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(en) Beyond Resistance a Revolutionary Manifesto for the Future Fourth Edition, Spring 2003 IV. (4/4)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(UK AF - www.af-north.org/Beyond_Resistancev4.txt)
Date Sat, 17 May 2003 09:58:55 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

The Revolutionary Movement
The creation of an effective revolutionary movement is necessary for
such inspiring activity to be maximised. This seems a long way off. In
the meantime, the AF remains amongst the principal groups where
revolutionary militants unite and act. Admittedly, there is a huge gap
between the aspirations of these groups and their current capacity. In
order to change this we must continue to integrate of new militants
within the organisation and educate each other politically so that
positions and strategy are formulated collectively, and achieve the
widest possible circulation of Organise! and other propaganda.

The time to regroup within the revolutionary movement is now.
Outside of the AF there are other revolutionary groupings and various
militants scattered in local and single issue campaign groups and
movements around the UK. For example within solidarity groups, in
defiance of the Terrorism Bill which aims to stifle protest, in
(un)employed action groups, in the wider anti-capitalist movement
etc. We already work with other groups who are close to our politics.
At a local level, our members work with revolutionary groups and
individuals on anarchist projects and in other areas of struggle.
However, we need to debate the problem of localism in some
groupings. The importance of local work should not obscure the need
for national, and ultimately global coherence and perspective, which
is best achieved through national, and ultimately international,
organisation. We are concerned at the excessive group pride in some
town based groupings which are more concerned with 'action' than
their equally important political direction and role in the broader

But theoretical diversity has been a strength in our movement. It has
made groups like the AF able to assess the changing world situation
from an informed and undogmatic perspective. Unity does not mean
rigid unanimity. Differences exist because they are produced by the
complexities of the present situation. They are even necessary
because they create a richness and quality to a movement, and they
must be allowed freedom in a debate which is the embryo of a
revolutionary decision-making structure. But equally important is the
search for common ground and common positions. The ability to
reach common agreement is a measure of the maturity of a
movement, of its capacity to decide what is important and what is
secondary. Because we believe debate is vital, we want to establish a
place for discussion with other groups, through conferences and/or a
discussion bulletin, in order to prove our case for national
organisation and co-ordination and better developed theory than
exists in much of the movement. This in itself will make the AF and
our movement in general more credible to militants within the
workplace and community who are developing
revolutionary/semi-revolutionary positions. The militants of the AF
are ready to debate with all those who recognise the need for an
anti-capitalist alternative though the end of the 20th Century and into
the 21st. Strategic unity does not just consist in numerically uniting
the small and isolated groups of Revolutionaries but in relating the
struggles of the present to the vision of a future society, to introduce
the concepts of Revolution into the present social struggles and into
everyday life.

Whilst there are anarchist communists in many countries, the
individualist and syndicalist traditions still dominate. We argue that
these traditions neither fully represent revolutionary working class
self-activity nor offer the best way towards international Revolution.
In addition, many countries have no anarchist tradition, where our
ideas have not reached or where the State has suppressed them. Our
aim is to encourage Revolutionaries to work towards an Anarchist
Communist international. This is vital because we believe that the
Revolution, wherever it starts, must spread quickly internationally if it
is to survive. True revolution cannot succeed whilst Capitalism
remains in any part of the world. Neither can it succeed whilst
established anarchist organisations draw disproportionately heavily
on the experience of militants in the Western, traditionally
industrialised countries without addressing the changing experience
of the working class under the new global capitalist practices outlined
in earlier sections. For this reason we take communication with our
members, sympathisers and contacts throughout the world very
seriously, giving what advice and support we can to them and
learning from the lessons they learn in struggle in their own

The Revolutionary Process
The culmination of all the hopes and fears expressed in this manifesto
will come when our class directly challenges the bosses and states for
control of our world - the Revolution itself. Many who sympathise
with our ideas may think this day is far off, or even an impossible
dream, but history has shown time and again that revolutions do
erupt against the most unlikely backgrounds, unpredicted by rulers
and revolutionaries alike. We cannot predict the precise form that
revolution will take. It is not pre-destined, it is for the working class to
create. We cannot say when or where the revolutionary outburst of
class anger will first appear, and we will doubtless be astounded by
the creativity of the working class in fighting their age old oppression.
But we can be sure of two things. Firstly that it will come, not because
of inevitable economic rules such as a declining rate of profit, but
because of the desire for freedom, anger at the suffering of others,
and hatred for those who oppress us. Secondly, we can be sure from
experience of past struggles that we will face opposition from many
quarters. These include state and capital; those like the unions or
social democrats who would wish to gain power by leading the
working class back to slavery; and those like the Leninists and
Trotskyists who would take us forward to a new despotism. How can
a truly revolutionary organisation help to win this battle where all
libertarians have failed before?

The Function of the Revolutionary Organisation
There will be no change in the aim of the organisation now or during
the revolution. That aim is the self-emancipation of the working class,
conscious of itself. Our tactics will of course be modified to the
circumstances and activity will be raised to the highest possible level.
However, it should be stressed that revolutionary action even in time
of violent conflict must be combined with even greater self-education
and propaganda. The most important battle to win will be the battle of

Another key to success will be unified operational decision-making.
Anarchists have been amongst the most effective militants in fighting
the revolution but have often failed to grasp the need for acting
together in a co-ordinated way to achieve our common purpose. The
organisation must have a robust libertarian structure that can
organise itself more effectively than the authoritarian 'revolutionary'
parties, who are able to order about their dupes and underlings.
Members and groups in the revolutionary organisation must accept
collective responsibility for its action, work to a collective plan and
more importantly contribute to making decisions themselves.
Otherwise we will be no more than a
pale imitation of the hierarchically organised so-called 'communists'.

To operate effectively the revolutionary organisation should adopt a
more organic nature in time of revolution. Since it may be difficult if
not impossible to hold congresses or delegate meetings of comrades
far apart (the successful revolution is a global event, although it may
spark in only certain places initially) and meetings are often slow to
come to decisions (and are extremely vulnerable to attack by our
enemies thus breaking up inter-group links), most communication and
achieving of consensus on short term strategy is likely to be done by
informal contact between members and groups using what methods
of communication are available. We must have an inter-linked
network of members involved not only in their local revolutionary
grouping but simultaneously in workplace and community collectives
that have arisen in the course of struggle. Equally important are
non-geographical alignments. For example, with revolutionaries to
whom our members are politically close to or in debate with, with
those in similar circumstances of struggle or sharing types of
communities or particular forms oppression. Nor should we forget
that amongst the strongest bonds uniting people are family and
friendship, which also enable those far apart to consult and take
effective unified action. Multiple frames of references can not only
make us more effective but also less isolated and vulnerable. As it
does already, the revolutionary organisation will undoubtedly need to
delegate responsibility to individuals and groups to carry out certain
roles during the revolution. What is important is that no one should
become indispensable in event of their loss or defection, and that the
organisation retains the ability to remove delegates at any time. The
recall and rotation of delegates must be a normal feature of the
revolutionary organisation. Ideally all members should be able to fulfil
a variety of roles, and no leadership elite will be allowed to develop.

The Revolutionary Organisation within the Working Class
The revolutionary organisation is nothing more than those of the
working class who recognise their oppression and have come
together to work for free and equal society. In a revolutionary
situation vast numbers of the working class come to see the true
nature of capitalist society and aim at its abolition. As the revolution
progresses the distinction between a politically aware organisation
and a class in struggle will blur and finally disappear when the
revolution triumphs in the emergence of society organised by all its
members for their mutual benefit. There will most likely be friction as
this process unfolds, with some members of the working class
distrustful of political theory, and revolutionaries who become
impatient with a slower development of political consciousness.

While a strong organisation is needed to promote libertarian ideas
and act decisively in their defence it will not be a question of simply
educating the working class to anarchism, rather each will learn from
the other. In the Revolution more people will hopefully be attracted to
revolutionary ideas and be
active in the organisation. While this is beneficial this may create
problems for the revolutionary organisation. It must avoid a dual
structure of theoreticians and activists, remembering that activity
leads to good ideas, and useful action flows from correct ideas. To
achieve this the organisation must be in a constant state of
self-education and encourage new members to be immediately as
confident and participatory in decision making as the most
experienced revolutionaries. However, the organisation must never
compromise its politics by accepting members who fundamentally
disagree with anarchist communism, certainly not even with a view to
changing their ideas, because to realise an anarchist society we must
do it by anarchist methods and never by subterfuge or intrigue.

Other Groupings - Revolutionary and Otherwise
Operational and tactical decisions will need to be taken by groups like
the AF in relation to other groupings who will wish to influence the
course of the revolution. No one organisation has a monopoly on the
right ideas, however, and different groupings will be actively pushing
these. This will be inevitable on a world-wide scale. We hope to
achieve theoretical and practical unity with other libertarian
communist and anarchist groupings or individuals if this has not
already happened before the onset of revolution. This is integral to
our revolutionary politics and to the creation of the free communal
society. However, during the Revolution we must still be critical of
ideas in debate, so that in practice we do not make the same mistakes
that Anarchists have made in
potentially revolutionary situations in the past (for example, in
reproducing aspects of the state and capital as occurred in Spain in
the 1930s).

Many authoritarian groups profess the same end as us but insist that
a hierarchical organisation is necessary to achieve it. The
revolutionary organisation must oppose these ideologies at all levels.
By argument, propaganda
and the living example of a libertarian movement it is to be hoped that
many of the militants in the authoritarian left will join us. However, it
is the declared intention of many such groups to eliminate libertarian
tendencies so that they can control the revolution themselves.. The
working class must be prepared from the outset to use force against
counter-revolutionary groupings when they attempt to hijack the
revolution and attack libertarians as readily as we would against
capital or the state.

By far the largest working class groupings formed in the Revolution
will be the organic structures established by the working class as the
struggle develops. Many different types of workers' councils,
communes, community networks, affinity and other groupings may
emerge spontaneously in the first days of the revolution, in addition
to those which established themselves as part of the movement
before the Revolution. Members of the revolutionary organisation will
doubtless already be involved in these. Our role must be to help them
build links between each other and form as quickly as possible a
united force.

Winning the Class War
When the Revolution starts the state will waste no time in attempting
to crush it with all the forces at its disposal; police, military (especially
the use of the military of one state against the workers of another); the
arming of fascists and other reactionary elements etc. The
revolutionary organisation must be prepared to make this class war
winnable. A strong anarchist communist organisation can help
facilitate the working class itself producing coordinated armed
self-defence forces, to counter the police and armies of states

If the working class is resolute, it can win a revolutionary war against
the military might of the state. The majority of military personnel are
working class and, however indoctrinated they are, we doubt that
they will be prepared, on the whole, to shoot down their friends,
neighbours and relatives. Examples from the Russian Revolution of
1917 to Romania of the 1990s show that the army will desert the state
when it becomes clear that the people will no longer tolerate their
government and are prepared to take to the streets to prove it.
Unfortunately, history also shows that troops from one country
sometimes readily shoot revolutionaries in others. This is why the
revolution must be global and virtually simultaneous if incredible
destructive war is to be avoided. When we fight this revolutionary
war, it may be very easy to forget what we are fighting for. It is the
task of the revolutionary organisation to make itself a global
movement, to encourage the break down of national barriers which
divide the working class, and argue incessantly against nationalism in
all its forms.
This is only a glimpse of how we see the revolutionary process. No
one can envisage exactly how Revolution will come and exactly what
form it will take, but we are sure that if there is to be freedom and
equality for all, come it must. We work towards that goal, open to new
ideas whilst firm in our convictions.

We hope to have convinced you of our vision of a better world and
welcome you to join us in fighting for it in existing and future
revolutionary organisations and movements.

The Anarchist Communist society will be shaped initially by the
generation which fights the revolution. So the manifesto is not
intended to be a blue-print - it is not up to the AF or even the wider
revolutionary movement to determine now what the future society will
be like. Beyond Resistance contains our thoughts on those aspects on
which we have come to some conclusions. We will continue to engage
in theoretical debate in the libertarian movement as a whole.

The AF is not a large body and we have no pretensions about our
importance. However, we are convinced enough of our ideas to want
to spread them as widely as possible, both by involvement in struggle
and by convincing comrades to want to join organisations and
groupings such as our own. We encourage those of a like mind to join
us in debate and action.

If you would like to comment on what you have read or would like
more information about us, please contact us. If you are interested in
joining the AF after what you have read about us and our ideas, and
agree with our Aims and Principles, please get in touch and we will
tell you how to do this.

We look forward to debate with comrades about the issues we have
raised and to more joint action in the future. Towards the creation of a
global anarchist communist movement and Revolution!

The Anarchist Federation, Spring 2003.
AF, c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX, England, UK
E-mail : anarchistfederation@bigfoot.com Web:

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