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(sup) (en) Why Anti-Capitalism? By Joaquin Cienfuefos

From Worker <a-infos-sup@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:46:11 +0100 (CET)

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

(An Excerpt from Anarcho-Communism: A Revoluionary Position For Theory
and Practice in the Imperialist U.S.)
Building Anti-Capitalist Organization and an Anti-Capitalist Front
As we build a movement for radical change the question is always posed,
what should be the "dividing line" or what should people unite under.
Generally the idea for mass organizations or organizations as a whole is
to have the largest numbers out there in a rally or protest. The
argument is made that in order to build the Anti-War Movement or the
Anti-Globalization movement we can't and we shouldn't call out
Capitalism as the root cause or we shouldn't be upfront about the
economic infrastructure of power. The idea is put foward that we should
be first anti-war or anti-corporate and then anti-capitalist, meaning
first win people to resistance of what the ruling class is carying out,
and then take on the power structure which carries out the injustices in
the first place.

I want to put these questions out there not to be sectarian, but to
increase unity on a correct basis in building a revolutionary movement,
which is much needed today. We need a broad, diverse revolutionary
movement made up of autonomous organizations and cohesive networks to
not only challenge the power structure but to once and for all get rid
of it and reallign society from below.

This point brings to mind the Old Left of the 1920's to the 50's, and
what Staughton Lynd wrote about in Prospects for the New Left. In this
writing Staughton Lynd talks of the 60's generation and how there was
break with the Old Left type politics in particular the old left
Communist Party, and some of their labor unions. He makes a good point
that we should draw from some of the good aspects of the old left, to
build something new, in terms of the New Left of the 60's generation.
Some of these new ideas included the rejection of dogma, the celebration
of action, the struggle against centralization and union
bureaucracy, the vision of a movement as a band of comrades acting out
the future as if it were already here (which is in many ways what
anarchists talk about) . The principal criticism of the old left was
the whole idea of the popular front, "the assumption was that enemy was
fascism rather than capitalism, hence that the so-called liberal wing of
the ruling class might be an ally." This period was during World
War II, where basically the Old Left CP sold out, and called for the
support of the troops and the war against fascism, and ended up
supporting the U.S and their imperialist interests. "[The Communists]
declared that Communists would defend their country in time of war, that
Communism would come to the United States by parliamentary means, and so

I would agree with Lynds approach, I don't think it is linear, nothing
is. There is a multi-dimensional aspect to everything. There was a lot
to learn from the old left, and there is even much more to learn from
the new left (also from past struggles around the world and people), but
nothing is static either. We need a whole new approach, and a
revolutionary left. We need to synthesize the experiences but
be critical of the mistakes, in order to advance in our goals of a
new egalitarian society. The 60's generation challenged the order in
society, and the groups that developed from that era are inspirational,
but things must be taken even further.

Struggles have to be linked to the root cause of the problems facing
humanity and the planet, which is the economic, political and social
system of Capitalism-Imperialism. Capitalism should be the dividing
line in which people unite, debate, and fight under.
There wouldn't be war if it wasn't for the capitalist system, in its
imperialist stage, where it seeks to accumulate empire and power,
through its millitary. Capitalism seeks to expand its markets by
globalization, where it dominates entire "third-world" countries,
exploits people more brutally, and destroys the enviroment while doing
it. This is the honest truth. Fascism is a system where Capitalist
openly rule under different social relations but similar mode of
production and imperialist methodology. They should all be challenged.
It should be a popular front against capitalism, imperialism, and fascism.

It seems that the organizations that now exist, the anti-war coalitions
and so on, want to have large numbers in their demonstrations which
isn't bad in it of itself. There is a need for numbers, in order for
change we need millions of people to become politically conscius one way
or the other. However, history shows, that people step foward in
different times, and then take steps back, history itself is never
linear. The number of people in the streets depends on whats going on
in the world, and what the power is doing, the more overtly imperialist
they are, the more people resist, that is a fundamental truth. The task
of organizations are to expose the power structure mainly, and to create
a consciousness in people to be able to act out in the interests of
humanity. There is a difference in understanding and consciousness,
therefore our role as revolutionaries is not to impose our own
particular vision but to develop one collectively with others. Our role
is to develop and educate other rebels through building a revolutionary
movement that is determined, that will inspire and influence people
to take direct action and to be guided by theory. Ultimately, we have
to be organized in terms of how we want the future world to be
organized, and everything we do even the simplest act, has to prepare us
for the future.

There have been and are many people and groups who resist capitalism now
is the time to unite. There are people in the U.S. and around the world
who are challenging imperialism in many ways now is the time to
network. We have to seek to raise the debate amongst ourselves, and
link up but at the same time keep the autonomy which makes the groups
involved unique.

I see pictures of how the Industrial Workers of the World had Mass
Assembly meetings and thousands of workers participated in the decision
making process through vote by hand, this is direct democracy, where
debate and participation are part of daily life (this can be discussed
later, but just to give a glimpse of how we can organize ourselves).
As an Anarcho-Communist, but especially as an Anarchist, I think that we
should organize in a decentralized way, meaning that there is no small
group of people who make the decisions and the rest of us do the ground
work for them. The New Left, and mass movements that developed from
the time, follow the same model of organization, which in the final
analysis is hierarchical (I won't get into the problems of centralism,
they will also be discussed later). In our organization today, we have
to train ourselves to be self-sufficient, to be self-manageable, and to
develop our forms of organizing to be as inclusive as possible while not
losing our sense of autonomy and defense from the state.

This Anti-Capitalist Front should be diverse where different struggles,
and theoretical positions can enter debate. National liberation
struggles will definately be an important aspect of the front, because
they are always the first to challenge the power structure in any part
of the world. I think even pacifists can enter the front, because I
know a lot of them are anti-system, and its an individual process for
everybody. We'll influence each other, and debate over the means and
the strategy. In terms of today, in particular in imperialist U.S., we
are not yet in a military stage, meaning we are not yet there to getting
rid of the system. This does not mean we should be in the political
defensive, we should be calling out the system, and in our practice
preparing and fighting for better ground politically and
tactically against the right wing. This brings to mind George Jackson
of the Black Panther Party, he said that to simply engage in military
activity without a political component it would lead to being isolated
and smashed. This happens to much in the left today, where we isolate
ourselves, a lot of us anarchists do it. This makes it easier for the
state to come down on us and attack us. We're so small in numbers that
we have to seek to link up with each other on the correct basis.

The Black Panthers develop an approach of "survival pending revolution"
meaning they would be self sufficient and serve the people while they
awaited for revolution. George Jackson saw that in these programs they
should combine the military aspect, in defensive way, where they would
defend the programs when it came under attack by the police. While this
is true and it speaks to reality, you can't have complete autonomy under
capitalism, because if whatever you build becomes a threat to the status
quo, the state will seek to destroy whatever you create. I don't think
we should just patiently wait for revolution though. I think the
actions we take today have to prepare and lead up to the end of
capitalism. This is why we need a revolutionary movement, all struggles
have to be linked up to the economic infrastructure. Its a process of
theory-practice-theory, where we develop our strategy, our methods, and
our approach. Our organization cannot wither away when individuals are
attacked or when the state attacks the nucleus because there wouldn't be
one. This type of organization is necessary and possible. All
the groups and individuals involved would have a say so in the decisions
and planning that is done.

Respect goes out to the old left, the new left, and the rebels and
revolutionaries of the past, but we need a higher synthesis and we
need something revolutionary, in the interest of humanity and to finally
end the rotten system of capitalism.

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