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international / anti-fascism / opinion / analysis Tuesday June 02, 2020 19:13 byShawn Hattingh

The rise of an authoritarian populist politics, which presents itself as against the “Establishment,”” for the “common” people and “anti-globalisation,” is happening worldwide — and there are dangerous signs in South Africa. The populist upsurge sees voters reject big, established parties that embraced neo-liberalism after the economic crisis of 2007, in the context of a retreating working class and left. The author argues that the solution is to build from below for a new society beyond the state, class rule and capitalism based on self-management and production for need.

What is authoritarian populism and why should it be combatted?

by Shawn Hattingh

Like maggots crawling out of a decaying carcass, authoritarian populist parties and politicians have emerged in many parts of the world over the last few years. All of these parties and politicians practice a vile form of politics based on hatred, crass stereotypes, blatant lying, spectacle, bigotry, anti-democracy, misogyny, racism, and militarism.

This brew of toxic politics has been served up as “anti-establishment” and in the interest of the common people by the strongmen that are at the heart of these authoritarian populist movements. In reality such politics are profoundly frightening – they point to the possibility of a future not of hope and greater egalitarianism, but decay, intolerance, enforced inequality through extreme violence and ethnic cleansing. They are, in many ways, the frightening side of identity politics.

Prime examples of hatred

The prime examples of such authoritarian populist politicians, in Europe and North America include the likes of far right wing fanatics such Donald Trump in the United States (US), Marine Le Pen of Front Nationale in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Danish People’s Party, Alternative for Germany, Golden Dawn in Greece and the League in Italy. All of these parties and politicians share a platform of white supremacy and islamophobia.

Their “anti-establishment” politics goes no further than blaming immigrants or minority groups for all problems. They claim to oppose the unfairness of free trade, yet deny that internal class rule lies at the heart of economic inequalities that are driving discontent. Likewise, few of these right-wing fanatics identify capitalism as the cause of people’s misery. Given their deliberately shallow and crude analyses, for these politicians the solution is the ridiculous and racist notion of keeping immigrants out and for the return to some mythological past – which never existed – of a white Europe or North America in which prosperity reigns under capitalism.

While sharing racism, nationalism and a commitment to some form of capitalism, not all of the authoritarian populist parties and politicians in Europe and North America share exactly the same economic policies, at least on the surface. While all rail against the “establishment” and claim to be for the “common” people and even to be “anti-globalisation”, some like Trump on a domestic front follow a rabid form of neoliberalism that has involved huge tax cuts for corporations, which he falsely sells as a stimulus to encourage investment in production and to create jobs, along with slashing welfare for the working class. Yet others like the openly fascist Golden Dawn in Greece (who are not in power), rhetorically are proponents of bringing back welfare capitalism for ethnic Greeks.

Such politicians and parties are not just present in the heartlands of imperialism; they are also to be found in parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East (this does not even include the long established authoritarian regimes in places such as Russia and China). In India there is Narendra Modi. He harks back to a mythical golden age when only Hindus were supposedly citizens and seeks to ultimately ethnically cleanse India of people that are part of religious minorities – such as Christians and Muslims – who he blames for the country’s ills. In Brazil, the far right misogynist Jair Bolsonaro has vowed to kill progressive activists from the Landless People’s Movement. He is also fanatically anti-immigrants having called people from Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean coming to Brazil the “the scum of humanity”.

During his rise to power, Recep Erdogan in Turkey – an authoritarian Muslim fundamentalist and right wing nationalist – railed against the Kurdish minority blaming them for all tribulations in Turkey; while claiming that he would provide welfare for ethnic Turks should he become president. Once in power, however, he imposed further neoliberalism. But the one frightening promise he did keep was to ethnically cleanse hundreds of Kurdish villages. As the economy declined, far from moving away from neoliberal policies that were driving the crisis, he began to blame unnamed foreign powers for Turkey’s economic woes. In this Erdogan followed the long history of far right, authoritarian populist and fascist politicians scapegoating specific ethnic/race groups or immigrants.

In the Middle East and parts of Africa we have also seen the rise of the authoritarian Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is a fascist movement based on religion that is misogynistic to its core. Thousands of people have been killed and raped by this movement on the basis of not fitting into ISIS’s view of religion. ISIS, like all of the above authoritarian politicians, grew out of a crisis – in its case it was birthed in the chaos of war and economic collapse in which the US played a central role.

Why the rise of authoritarian populists globally?

The reality is that the rise of authoritarian populist politicians can largely be traced back to the worldwide crisis of capitalism that erupted in 2008. In the prelude to the crisis, established political parties around the world had imposed neoliberal policies that set the stage for the crisis. In Europe, it was mostly the established social democratic parties that had imposed these policies. In the US it was both the Republicans and Democrats; and in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America it was former liberation movements.

It is these policies that freed up financial capital, which then set the crisis off: through unregulated financial institutions and speculation on debt derivatives on a massive scale. Along with this, in most countries, neoliberal policies that allowed corporations to shift to regions of the globe where wages were lower caused discontent amongst the working class who lost their jobs in the process. Sections of the ruling classes in such cases did not blame themselves or neoliberalism; they blamed the “other” and turned to racism to deflect attention – for example, against the “Chinese” or “Mexicans”. Adding to the working class’s misery, established parties then bailed out the very same corporations that were central to the crisis and made the poorest pay for it by ransacking social benefits. Since then, such established parties have been unable to resolve the capitalist crisis – all they have done is to protect the interests of their class, the ruling class, and shift the burden to the poor and workers.

The attack of neoliberalism also restructured the working class on a global scale. There has been a weakening of the traditional organisations of the working class, such as trade unions. The working class has become more fragmented. Permanent lifelong jobs have largely disappeared, and there has been a rise in low paid and precarious work. In many countries unemployment has grown and the share of wages to gross domestic product has declined. Coupled to this, the ruling classes around the world have pushed the ideology of individualism and large sections of the working class have inculcated this. The consequences have been that progressive working class struggles have been weakened and it is in this context that authoritarian populism has been arising.

Since 2008, voters in numerous countries have been electing authoritarian populist politicians and have rejected established parties. Social democratic parties across Europe have shrunk; numerous established parties in countries like India have been ousted, and even in South Africa an established party such as the African National Congress (ANC) has lost significant support. Many voters are voting for so-called “anti-establishment” authoritarian parties and politicians to punish the established parties with some hope that such politicians will be messiahs that bring back a mythical golden age, fix the economy or at least keep out immigrants that they see as taking their jobs or encroaching on social benefits.

This has posed a problem for the ruling classes in countries such as France, Italy, Hungary, India, Philippines, Brazil, and to a lesser extent the US. This is because the established parties were the traditional parties of the ruling classes. Through these parties the ruling classes could govern through consent and push through their agenda whilst still getting sizeable sections of the working class to vote for these parties. With established parties collapsing, sections of the ruling classes have now turned to politically and financially supporting authoritarian populist politicians such as Trump, Modi, Bolsonaro, Erdogan and Rodrigo Duterte.

Sections of the ruling classes are now backing these authoritarian parties and politicians precisely because they scapegoat minorities and immigrants; while keeping class rule, capitalism and the state’s coercive power firmly in place. They are now seen by some within the ruling classes as the only means to keep capitalism going under its permanent conditions of crisis. The primary means of this is violence or the threat of violence. As such, they guarantee that they will violently maintain the interests of the ruling classes under the notion of defending tradition and order. It is precisely why authoritarian parties strengthen the repressive arms of the state, shut down debate and it is why sections of the ruling class are funding, backing, joining and founding such parties.

Authoritarianism in South Africa?

South Africa has not been fully spared the rise in the popularity of authoritarianism. A study in 2017 by the University of Stellenbosch found although a minority of people felt some form or another of authoritarian government in South Africa could be a good way to run the country, the data showed that that minority is growing. In fact, it more than doubled from 1995 to 2013 and such sentiments were expressed by 46 percent of the sampled respondents in 2013. The legacy of apartheid has also ensured that racial and ethnic identities – rather than class and non-racialism – remain a dominant lens through which much of South African politics is practiced. The space is, therefore, unfortunately ripening for authoritarian populist politics to grow, and signs are it is already happening.

With capitalism ailing in South Africa, numerous small political parties have arisen on overtly authoritarian populist, xenophobic and/or racist platforms. These include the likes of the African Basic Movement, the People’s Revolutionary Movement, and Black First Land First. There are also a number of far right wing parties that are still based on the notion of white supremacy, including the ludicrous Cape Party that wants independence for the Western Cape in the name of protecting white and “coloured” interests.

While there is need to battle such parties, if an authoritarian populist party or politician ends up gaining very wide popularity or even power, their rise will probably not come from the quarters of these fringe parties (although this should not be ruled out). Rather it would most likely come from one or the other of the two competing sections of the ruling class – one section being an aspirant black elite tied to the Jacob Zuma [former president] faction in the ANC and leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF); the other section being white capitalists, their allies in the Democratic Alliance (DA) and a section of the ANC leadership opposed to Zuma and his cohorts. If it does, neither one of these broad factions would in the end claim to be far-right (to do so would be their political death knell in South Africa), but authoritarian populist they could most certainly be.

Part of the reason why the possibility exists of an authoritarian form of politics gaining dominance in South Africa lies in the deal that led to the 1994 elections. This deal saw the established capitalist class (a small section of the white population) dump the National Party and enter into an alliance with sections of the ANC leadership. In exchange for gaining state power, the capital of the largest corporations was left untouched and a few of the [black] elite in the ANC were incorporated through Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and heading the state. Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the ANC then drove through policies that favoured corporations and the wealthiest individuals (i.e., neoliberalism), all whilst maintaining the majority of the working class’ vote. That began to change gradually with the rise of the global capitalist crisis and the emergence of the Zuma faction (which included the likes of Julius Malema of the EFF), who were a part of the ANC leadership that had not benefitted from the BEE of the 1990s and early 2000s.

The rise of the Zuma faction, therefore, represented an aspirant black section of the ruling class that intended, and did, use its rise to power within the state to accumulate wealth. In the process it began stepping on the toes of the white section of the ruling class and their business interests. As a consequence, two sides of the ruling class have been engaged in a battle over the wealth and the future of the country. One of the results of the fallout however, was a decline in the ANC’s popularity at the polls.

This posed a major threat to established white capital and their allies – now spearheaded by Cyril Ramaphosa – in the ANC leadership. In the process, they chose to back Ramaphosa’s rise to the top of the ANC and the state, in the hope that this would revive the ANC’s fortunes and deal a deathblow to the rival faction of the ruling class that backed Zuma. White capital, however, was and is not opposed to the Zuma faction because of corruption; white capitalists have a very long history of corruption, as it was key to colonialism and apartheid. Rather, white capital found Zuma’s corruption too blatant and it was leading to the decline of the ANC’s popularity. The Zuma faction – while not fundamentally opposing white capital – did to a degree also favour handing out contracts to black capitalists. This was beginning to impact on white capital’s business interests with the state.

These are the reasons white capitalists generally backed Ramaphosa’s faction to oust the Zuma and return to a status in which established companies were favoured when tenders were handed out. Along with this, it was a ploy to try and revive the ANC’s popularity at the polls under a new leadership that would supposedly deal with blatant corruption. If this fails, however, white capital in alliance with sections of the ANC could turn to more overt authoritarian means to maintain power – in fact, signs of how this could happen have already been seen in events such as Marikana.

The scapegoating of immigrants frighteningly already forms part of the politics of this faction of the ruling class (it also forms part the politics of Zuma’s faction too). Indeed, the largest parties in South Africa in the form of the ANC and DA already have significant numbers of members who have targeted immigrants, and both parties have leaders that have made overtly xenophobic statements blaming “foreigners” for unemployment and calling for greater control. In late March 2019 such forms of xenophobic electioneering by politicians in KwaZulu-Natal saw immigrants being attacked and their shops and houses looted. In parties such as the ANC, violent forms of authoritarianism already are a problem at the lower levels of the organisation, with rivals for positions being assassinated rather than engaged in debate.

The possible threat of full-blown authoritarianism does not just come from that section of the ruling class based around established capitalists, but also from remnants of the original Zuma faction within and outside the ANC. The faction fights within the ANC are far from over. Those backed by white capital currently have the upper hand; but this could easily change. When the Zuma faction gained control of the ANC there was already a creeping authoritarianism; should they (re)gain state power there is no reason to believe that their authoritarian politics would not continue. If challenged electorally and faced with the prospect of again losing their grip on power, this faction could easily turn to a renewed and even more virulent form of authoritarianism.

There are also the remnants of the Zuma faction that are outside of the ANC, most notably in the form of the EFF. While the EFF likes to claim economic freedom for the majority as its key objective, despite what many people believe it is not anti-capitalist nor opposed to rule by an elite –even according to its own documents. It rather favours a combination of private and state capitalism.

The reason for this is that the group of aspirant black elites that head the EFF wish to use state power to free up economic opportunities for themselves to accumulate wealth. As was clear from the conduct of EFF leader Julius Malema before the EFF was formed, this group were already engaged in this approach at the provincial and local levels within the ANC before their expulsion.

What the EFF does, however, do is that they opportunistically tap into the very justified frustration of the black working class (defined here as workers and the unemployed) – including their on-going experiences of racism and exploitation – to gain votes and a following. The fact that in South Africa the full liberation of the black working class was not achieved in 1994 as a result of the institutional (state) and economic (ownership) status quo being kept intact, meant the continuation of their impoverishment. The reality is that if the EFF came to state power, it would probably throw some crumbs to the black working class as its own form of populism, but it won’t mean liberation.

At the heart of this is the fact that the EFF does not seek to genuinely end capitalism or expand democracy – it only wants another form of capitalism in which its leadership has power. This can be seen in the plans, contained in its 2019 election manifesto, to provide billions in support to black industrialists/capitalists and to make R2 trillion (about US$143 billion) available for black asset managers to gain shares within companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Indeed, authoritarianism already defines the politics of the party; it fetishes millenarianism and a militarised and male dominated hierarchy, all summed up by the title of Commander in Chief. In other words the EFF is defined by a personality cult. In state power, those authoritarian tendencies and the tendencies to violently silence any opponents would be amplified. Their overt nationalism and race baiting of all Indians and all whites – often defined by crass stereotypes – is South Africa’s own version of authoritarian populism; it is dangerous and needs to be combatted.

Given all of the above it is not beyond the realms of possibility that in some form or another, South Africa too could easily drift towards a fully-fledged authoritarianism; the warning signs are there. This would be especially the case if the capitalist crisis continues to deepen, since ruling classes and factions therein, have a history of turning towards authoritarian populist politicians during such crises.

The question though is how to combat it.

Resistance to authoritarianism

In most countries resistance to the rise of authoritarian populism has occurred. For example, Antifa (Antifaschistische Aktion) in Europe and North America has resisted the rise of the far right and fascism. In Brazil, formations such as the Landless People’s Movement have protested and mobilised against Bolsonaro. These, however, have mostly been defensive; a reality that is directly related to the weakness of progressive working class struggles as a result of the onslaught of neoliberalism. One area in the world where there has been an offensive struggle against authoritarian politics has been in the north of Syria. There activists – mainly, but not exclusively Kurdish people – have successfully fought against the authoritarian Assad regime and the fascist ISIS. These struggles though have not been to defend a parliamentary system, but rather to create a new and more directly democratic, egalitarian and feminist society under the name of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.

Through this, a new system of direct democracy based around federated communes and councils has been created to run society from the bottom up – in other words to expand democracy into all spheres of life to combat the threat of authoritarianism. Much of the economy too has been socialised and democratised and is now largely based around democratic workers’ co-operatives that produce to meet people’s needs.

If we are going to successfully fight and defeat the rise of authoritarian populist politics, we are going to need a vision of creating a new society beyond the state, class rule and capitalism. It is these systems that authoritarian populism ultimately defends. The struggle in the north of Syria, while not without its own contradictions, is important as it give us a glimpse of what can be done. It also shows that South Africa too could follow another path beyond the state and capitalist systems; a path that holds the promise of an egalitarian future as opposed to the current situation, or even worse a future of authoritarian populism.

* Shawn Hattingh is a researcher and educator for the International Labour Research Information Group, South Africa.

This was also published in Pambazuka News, 10 April 2019.

international / anarchist movement / feature Monday June 01, 2020 00:11 byAmericas Coordinator
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The Americas Coordinator held a virtual talk on May 9 on the current situation in America, particularly in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and the United States from a libertarian socialist perspective. During the discussion, the different analyses and future projections that each organization builds on this moment of world economic crisis were expressed. The Covid-19 pandemic deepened the miseries generated by this capitalist system in all territories.


internacional / movimiento anarquista / news report Saturday May 30, 2020 23:26 byCoordinadora de las Américas

La Coordinadora de las Américas llevó a cabo una charla virtual el pasado 9 de mayo sobre la situación actual que se vive en América, particularmente en Argentina, Chile, Colombia y Estados Unidos desde una perspectiva socialista libertaria. Durante el debate se expresaron los diferentes análisis y proyecciones que cada organización construye sobre este momento de crisis económica mundial. La pandemia del Covid-19 profundizó las miserias generadas por este sistema capitalista en todos los territorios.

Esta Coordinadora hasta el momento, está integrada por las siguientes organizaciones políticas libertarias: Acción Socialista Libertaria (Arg), Solidaridad (Ch) y Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra (EEUU), quienes también vienen visibilizando a través de una campaña comunicacional internacional que “el capitalismo es la pandemia”, y que “otro mundo es posible”. En ese marco, se organizó la charla “La pandemia capitalista, organización y lucha desde las Américas” para exponer y debatir el momento actual, cómo afecta a nuestros territorios, y de qué manera, como organizaciones, estamos pensando esta coyuntura y las proyecciones. También se contó con la invitación especial de Vía Libre Grupo Libertario (Colombia), a través de la compañera Luisa.

Desde la Coordinadora se apuesta a trabajar concretamente en las organizaciones populares que están en lucha, creemos que es urgente la tarea de unirnos y organizarnos como pueblos para denunciar a este sistema que ha precarizado históricamente nuestras vidas.

Les panelistas comenzaron explicando la situación actual en cada uno de sus territorios, cómo se encuentra el sistema sanitario y la economía de esos pueblos. Para la compañera María Paz de Solidaridad, la crisis generada por la Covid-19 golpea con fuerza a aquellos países en donde el sistema de salud es altamente segmentado o privatizado. “Esto se produce dado el principio de entender la salud como un negocio bajo el cual operan los sistemas privados, privilegiando las ganancias por sobre la salud de nuestros pueblos”. Agregó que en los primeros meses de este año, Chile tuvo su máximo nivel de desocupación de los últimos diez años: llegó a 8,2%.

El escenario para les trabajadores es complejo. El diseño del plan laboral de la dictadura, la constante precarización del trabajo durante la transición y la falta de estructuras sindicales fuertes, son factores que mantienen al pueblo trabajador desprotegido, relató la compañera. El gobierno de Chile traspasó los costos de la crisis a les trabajadores, como por ejemplo a través de la “ley de protección del empleo” en la cual se permite a las empresas suspender contratos manteniendo el vínculo laboral pero les trabajadores se deben cubrir sus propios fondos. Así protegen las ganancias de las empresas. Algo similar sucede en Argentina, con el gobierno de Alberto Fernández quién lanzó un programa para subsidiar a las empresas pagando la mitad de los sueldos, lo que expone una gran transferencia de dinero del sector público al sector privado, enfatizó la compañera Angela de Acción de Socialista Libertaria (ASL).

Y agregó que para el sector de la población que se quedó sin ingresos (o los vieron reducidos drásticamente), el gobierno implementó un ingreso de emergencia –de 10.000 pesos- que poco ayuda a la hora de sobrevivir con una canasta básica muy alta. Según explicó Angela, el gobierno no tiene identificada la situación de precarización que vive casi la mitad de les trabajadores (hay un 42% aproximadamente de trabajadores informales); a dicho programa se inscribieron 12 millones mientras que el gobierno esperaba a 3 millones. Así, el monto destinado a la ayuda familiar es muchísimo menor que al facilitado a las empresas. Y siguen negociando la implementación de un aporte extraordinadorio del 1% de las grandes fortunas.

En Argentina, desde el primer momento el discurso manejado por el gobierno fue muy efectivo garantizando “el cuidado” de la población. Sin embargo, en “muchos barrios y asentamientos populares es imposible cumplir con una cuarentena: hay hacinamiento en las viviendas, falta de servicios básicos como agua potable, falta de elementos de higiene, baños compartidos por muchas familias, entre otras falencias. Estos barrios se han convertido en focos de transmisión importante, y hasta incrementan las muertes allí”. Y señaló: “es un escenario donde claramente se deja ver cómo el capital más concentrado, el sector financiero, los bancos, la oligarquía, las multinacionales, están aprovechando esta crisis para avanzar sobre nuestras condiciones de vida”.

Una situación similar se vive en Colombia. “La situación de las trabajadoras en este momento de crisis sanitaria es crítica debido a los numerosos despidos que se han presentado y que las han obligado a acatar la cuarentena sin recibir ingresos, poniendo en peligro su vida e integridad y obligándolas a salir a buscar trabajo exponiendo sus cuerpos al virus”, manifestó la compañera Luisa de Vía Libre.

A su vez, contó que en esa región la pobreza facilita la propagación de enfermedades endémicas, prevenibles y curables, como el Dengue, la Malaria y el Sarampión presentes en nuestro continente antes de la llegada del SARS-CoV-2. “La nueva ola reaccionaria y neoliberal a agravado aún más los problemas estructurales de la región por medio de políticas de precarización y austeridad, manifestadas en servicios de salud sobre saturados y mal equipados en el cual muchos hospitales públicos se caen a pedazos y decenas de sanatorios se encuentran cerrados y quebrados. Así, la prestación de salud pública es de muy baja calidad”.

En ese escenario, observan cómo la crisis hizo evidente la crudeza de la explotación capitalista que en estos tiempos pone en peligro a la población más vulnerable con tal de mantenerse en pie y continuar beneficiando a unos por los esfuerzos de otros. Un día antes de la cuarentena obligatoria, el 19 de marzo, hubo una movilización en la zona industrial de Bogotá por despidos masivos los cuales se fueron profundizando en las últimas semanas.

El compañero César de la Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra de EEUU, el territorio con más casos y muertes por coronavirus del mundo, contó que la población migrante y afroamericana son les más golpeades en esta crisis. “El sistema de salud está privatizado y enlazado con el trabajo de cada persona”, es decir, quien cuenta con un trabajo accede a un programa de salud de caso contrario muchos del sur viajan a México para comprar inhaladores, alguna medicina o bien atenderse con algún especialista. Tampoco está preparado para poder proveer las necesidades básicas, garantizar el acceso al aborto, terapias hormonales para compañeres trans, y mucho menos para enfrentar la pandemia”, señaló Cesar.

También ahondaron sobre la situación de las mujeres, lesbianas, trans, travestis y no binaries en el marco del aislamiento. “Lo que hemos visto en Chile es un aumento de la cantidad de llamadas recibidas para realizar denuncias (70% más de llamadas) y que el número de femicidios ha aumentado considerablemente a nivel mundial. La situación de cuarentena (encierro) propicia situaciones de violencia y se nos obliga a permanecer en nuestras casas siendo que muchas veces el propio hogar es un lugar de riesgo para niñes, mujeres y disidencias sexo-genéricas”, relató la compañera María Paz. En Argentina sucede la misma situación, la compañera Ángela puso el ejemplo de la lucha de las trabajadoras de la Línea telefónica 144 de atención a situaciones de violencia y las constantes denuncias de las malas condiciones laborales y el aumento de las violencias.

La compañera María Paz agregó que hace unas semanas, en Chile, se anunció como nueva ministra de la Mujer y Equidad de Género a Macarena Santelices, sobrina nieta del dictador Augusto Pinochet y que defiende abiertamente la dictadura y todas las medidas de represión estatal para proteger la “patria”. En contraposición, desde los territorios han surgido a nivel local diversas iniciativas autogestionadas; por ejemplo, realizar catastros y levantar planes de emergencia ante situaciones de violencia patriarcal. También, la Coordinadora Feminista 8M en conjunto con otras organizaciones feministas han impulsado la campaña “En Red Nos Cuidamos” para entregar diversas herramientas feministas y datos útiles para enfrentar la violencia patriarcal en cuarentena.

En ambos territorios de Chile y Argentina coinciden en que la violencia de género aumentó a partir de la cuarentena, “donde nos vemos forzadas a convivir con nuestros agresores y nuestros abusadores y los de nuestres hijes”, señaló Angela de ASL. Y agregó que desde el Estado, las políticas que se promueven terminan siendo básicamente de propaganda, ya que no atacan los problemas de fondo ni dan ayuda real a las personas que están atravesando una situación de violencia, como podría ser ofrecer algún recurso concreto de refugio, de vivienda, una ayuda económica, de cuidado de les hijes, etcétera. En este contexto también queda en evidencia el rol de la justicia y la mirada binaria heterocispatriarcal del Estado sobre esta esfera de nuestras vidas.

En Colombia la situación es similar que en el sur de sudamérica: “la pandemia ha logrado hacer más visibles (o en ciertos casos simplemente visibles) tanto los problemas estructurales vinculados al sistema económico capitalista y sus contradicciones, como las violencias de género perpetradas por el patriarcado”, asegurando que en parte aumenta las violencias machistas por obligar a las mujeres a convivir con sus agresores. Un eje estructuctural de este sistema que se repite en cualquier territorio. La compañera Luisa también relató la situación que atraviesa un gran sector de la población trans que viven del precario trabajo sexual que en estos tiempos se ha congelado exponiéndolas aún más a situaciones de precarización y explotación de sus vidas. A su vez, mencionó a las mujeres y disidencias encarceladas que han llevado adelante diferentes huelgas en defensa de sus derechos.

En tanto, Cesar manifestó que en EEUU las mujeres en su mayoría son trabajadoras esenciales, son las cajeras en los supermercados, las doctoras o enfermeras en los centros médicos, que sumado a su precarización también afecta esta situación a su psiquis. También denunció que las compañeras trans están sin acceso a terapia hormonales por lo que corren muchos riesgos su salud. “No es que no hay recursos sino que lo utilizan con la intención de controlar a la gente en todos lados”.

Luego, el la charla, dieron paso a las acciones y las experiencias organizativas de la clase trabajadora en este contexto, que llevan adelante en los diferentes territorios. Para Angela de ASL, en lo concreto y al calor de las luchas y los conflictos que se vienen dando son para sostener las necesidades básicas de la clase. “Todo lo que se pudo garantizar en medio de esta pandemia es gracias a les trabajadores que siguen sosteniendo el sistema de salud, la educación, la energía, la alimentación, el transporte y el plato de comida en los barrios”, señaló la compañera. Y agregó: “las patronales nos atacan con despidos, suspensiones, rebajas salariales, mientras las burocracias sindicales entregan todos nuestros derechos sin un mínimo de discusión, y el Estado reprime cualquier intento de defensa de nuestra clase”.

En ese sentido, manifestó que “desde ASL, en cada territorio donde estamos insertes, intentamos impulsar la solidaridad entre trabajadores, la organización, las asambleas para poder intervenir, allí donde se pueda, en la discusión sobre nuestras condiciones de trabajo, elementos de higiene y cuidado, apoyando nuestros conflictos, tomas, ocupaciones, haciendo ollas populares”.

En tanto, la compañera de Solidaridad contó que para elles la pandemia los toma en cierta forma mejor preparades post 18 de octubre. “El proceso de recomposición de tejido social que se potencia fuertemente a partir de la revuelta da origen a diferentes y nuevas formas de organización. En este contexto la organización local y territorial tiene una importancia clave, y son las distintas asambleas territoriales u organizaciones de ese tipo, generadas al calor de la revuelta, quienes han asumido tareas para abordar los diferentes ámbitos de la reproducción de la vida que son problematizados por la crisis”, relató.

También resaltó la importancia del movimiento feminista, sobre todo la Coordinadora 8M respondiendo ya desde el comienzo de la crisis sanitaria con un “plan de emergencia feminista ante la crisis del coronoavirus”, concentrando en los cuidados colectivos organizados territorialmente, la confrontación de la violencia patriarcal, un llamado a una huelga por la vida y medidas de emergencia que ponen la salud de todas y todos por sobre la ganancia de unos pocos.

Los despidos masivos y falta de pago también se vive en Colombia. La compañera María Luisa contó diversos conflictos que sucedieron como por ejemplo el 7 de abril (en plena cuarentena) hubo marchas y bloqueos de los obreros de la construcción, y más a fin de mes trabajadores de la multinacional Tenaris realizaron un masivo cacerolazo en Cartagena denunciando despidos y retraso en el pago. “La situación lleva a pensar la urgencia de sindicalizar a este sector precarizado y fuertemente golpeado por la crisis”.

A su vez, mencionó las protestas de sectores sociales que reclaman por ayuda alimentaria en este contexto de crisis, obteniendo represión por parte del Estado. Y resaltó: la lucha de las trabajadoras de la salud se hace aún más importante que nunca, pues su vida, así como la vida de las personas que padecen ahora del COVID-19, depende de una mejora en las condiciones laborales, del incremento de salarios y de los equipos, dotación y recursos de protección en contra del virus”.

En tanto, según contó Cesar en EEUU la clase trabajadora se está organizando. En algunos casos piden el cierre de las fabricas por el aumento de transmisión del virus, y en otros, al quedarse sin trabajo muches de elles ya no pueden pagar su renta que es donde se destina su mayor porcentaje del sueldo. En este último sector, se están organizando desde el Sindicato de Inquilinos, buscando las formas de organización para resistir a los desalojos y pretenden ampliarse para llegar a una huelga nacional.

Luego de varios intercambios entre les panelistas sobre el avance represivo en los territorios, los giros autoritarios y el rol actual del Estado, finalizaron con las proyecciones para afrontar esta crisis económica mundial. Para la compañera Luisa, “el futuro es algo incierto” aunque afirmó que se viene un fuerte golpe a la clase trabajadora y a diversos grupos sociales oprimidos en el esfuerzo del Capital de salir de la crisis económica que enfrenta ahora y que se agudizará en los próximos años. Desde Grupo Vía Libre resaltan el valor de las iniciativas de solidaridad y apoyo mutuo que se están llevando a cabo en este momento; enumeró una serie de acciones autogestivas solidarias y afirmó que “estas espontaneas muestras de hermandad entre trabajadoras, reafirman la idea y la práctica de que una sociedad alternativa es posible, pues la pandemia del Coronavirus a expuesto con crudeza la injusticia y la desigual del sistema capitalista. Se refuerzan los vínculos entre les miembres de la clase trabajadora, para lograr la construcción de un pueblo fuerte que se hará imperativa en esta nueva fase de lucha contra el Capitalismo y el Estado”.

Por su parte, Cesar de la Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra expresó que se están generando niveles mayores de politización entre les trabajadores, la situación ha cambiado muchísimo, despidos masivos que en ciertos lugares generaron mayor organización en los sindicatos laborales. “Lo importante es que hay organizaciones de base que existen ahorita y muchas personas que nunca estuvieron involucradas en nada empiezan a ver con buenos ojos esas organizaciones”.

En tanto, Angela desde Argentina manifestó que esta situación se presenta como un largo y difícil camino a recorrer, “es imprescindible realmente trabajar la unidad desde abajo y detener todo intento por avasallar aún más nuestras condiciones de vida y de trabajo. Nos parece que la única forma de salir de esta crisis es generando lazos entre trabajadores ocupades y desocupades, con solidaridad, apoyo mutuo, unidad en las luchas y acompañamiento en los conflictos. Estando atentes a cualquier avance sobre nuestra clase, reaccionando con firmeza para detenerlo, ocupar la calle si es necesario”. A su vez, resaltó la importancia de “estar presentes en las organizaciones de nuestra clase y desde ahí dar la pelea”, y la urgencia de debatir con organizaciones hermanas para lograr mayores niveles de unidad. Y resaltó la necesidad de “generar espacios de poder directo del pueblo, organizándonos en nuestros barrios, en las fábricas, en las escuelas, en las casas, en los centros de salud, en cada lugar donde estemos”.

Mientras que la compañera María Paz contó que a nivel local desde Solidaridad tienen la convicción de “impulsar un frente-político social que sea capaz de unificar a las organizaciones vivas de la clase trabajadora y los pueblos en lucha para enfrentar bajo una misma plataforma la crisis. Una plataforma que permita consolidar el tejido de la revuelta con su espíritu feminista, anticapitalista y libertario, en una plataforma herramienta organizativa que coordine desde las ollas comunes hasta la huelga general”. A la vez señaló que identifican que no hay salida sin coordinación regional y mundial. “La crisis es global de una manera inédita y por lo tanto tenemos una oportunidad histórica para estrechar lazos de solidaridad y debate internacional para construir un programa anticapitalista, feminista y libertario que cruce fronteras, del mismo modo que la clase trabajadora cruza fronteras, a pesar de todas las restricciones que buscan poner los estados”.

La Coordinadora de las Américas seguirá montando charlas virtuales en las próximas semanas para profundizar en diferentes ejes, y tejer reales redes a nivel regional y mundial desde una perspectiva libertaria, en el marco de la campaña internacional “El capitalismo es la pandemia: otro mundo es posible”. Tenemos que crear las bases de ese mundo nuevo que llevamos en nuestros corazones.

Podrán ver el video completo en las plataformas de cada organización:

Acción Socialista Libertaria
Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra

international / geschichte / link zu einer audiodatei Sunday May 24, 2020 21:54 byLibertäre Aktion

Ein Mitglied der Anarchistischen Föderation Rio de Janeiro erzählt von den Entwicklungen und Geschehnissen in Lateinamerika der letzten 30 Jahre. Zur Sprache kommen der «Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts», das erneute Aufkommen des Neoliberalismus, die momentane Welle an Aufständen in der Region und ein Ausblick in die Zukunft.



Der Podcast wurde aufgezeichnet an einem öffentlichen Vortrag von einem Mitglied der der Anarchistischen Föderation Rio de Janeiro, gehalten in Englisch am 24. Januar 2020 in Bern. Organisiert wurde die Veranstaltung durch die Libertäre Aktion (

Nachdem die Militär-Diktaturen in den späten 80er-Jahren gefallen sind, hat Lateinamerika ein turbulentes Jahrzehnt durchgemacht. In dieser Zeit machte die politische Halbfreiheit und die aggressive Neoliberalisierung neuen sozialen Bewegungen wie den revolutionären Zapatist*innen in den 90ern und den massiven Aufständen 2001 in Argentinien Platz.

In vielen Fällen führten diese Zusammenstösse zum Aufstieg des «Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts»: progressive Regierungen mit Führer*innen, die aus den Bewegungen selbst kamen und es sich zum Ziel machten, Reichtum umzuverteilen, ihre Länder zu entwickeln und so einen «Dritte-Welt-Pol» als Opposition zur US-Dominanz zu schaffen.

Während der letzten Jahre sind fast alle dieser neuen Regierungen aufgrund von Korruptionsskandalen, militärischem Druck oder Strassenprotesten gefallen. Ein erneuerter, aggressiver Neoliberalismus hat sie ersetzt und rechtsextremes Gedankengut mit sich gebracht.

In letzter Zeit rollt eine neue Welle von Aufständen durch Lateinamerika – die Menschen organisieren sich selbst, gehen gegen die zerstörerische Wirtschaft auf die Strassen und erheben ihre Stimmen, um ihre Rechte einzufordern.

Was ist passiert? Ist der «Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts» gescheitert? Oder hat es ihn gar nie gegeben? Und was passiert jetzt? Werden die neuen Aufstände die Faschist*innen, die besitzende Klasse, den Imperialismus und die Bürokrat*innen überwinden können?

Die Berichterstattung der Massenmedien ist chaotisch und verwirrend, aber wir hatten die Chance, mit einem Mitglied der FARJ/CAB* über diese Fragen zu sprechen und zu verstehen, was die selbstorganisierten, revolutionären Organisationen in Lateinamerika denken und tun.

FARJ = Federação Anarquista de Rio de Janeiro (Anarchistische Föderation Rio de Janeiro)
CAB = Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (Anarchistische Koordination Brasilien)

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international / history / link to audio Sunday May 24, 2020 21:07 byLibertäre Aktion

A member of the Anarchist Federation Rio de Janeiro tells about the developments and incidents in Latin America over the last 30 years. To be discussed are the "socialism of the 21st century", the renewed rise of neoliberalism, the current wave of uprisings in the region and an outlook into the future.

The podcast was recorded at a public presentation by a member of the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro, held in English on 24 January 2020 in Bern, Switzerland. The event was organised by the Libertäre Aktion (



After the military dictatorships fell in the late '80s, Latin America went through a turbulent decade in which the political semi-freedom and the aggressive neoliberalization made space for renewed social movements, like the revolutionary Zapatists in the '90s and the massive riots in Argentina in 2001.

In many cases, this conjuncture led to the rise of the so-called '21st century socialism': progressive governments with leaders coming from the movements that aimed to redistribute wealth and develop their countries, therefore creating a 'third-world pole' opposing the US-hegemony.

Over the last few years, almost all of these governments have fallen because they've been involved in corruption scandals or pushed by military pressure and, in some cases, by street protests. A renewed, aggressive neoliberalism has replaced these governments, and it has brought extreme far-right ideas and figures with it.

In recent times a new wave of uprisings has spread through Latin America – the people are organizing themselves and taking to the streets against this destructive economy, claiming their rights with their own voices.

What happened? Did the '21st century socialism' fail? Or did it not even exist in the first place? And what is happening now? Will the popular organization overcome the fascists, the bourgeoise, imperialism and the bureaucrats?

The news reproduced by mass media is chaotic and confusing, but we had a chance to talk to a member of FARJ/CAB* about these questions and to help us understand what autonomous and auto-organized revolutionary organizations in Latin America are doing and thinking.

FARJ = Federação Anarquista de Rio de Janeiro (Anarchist Federation Rio de Janeiro)
CAB = Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (Anarchist coordination Brazil)

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George Floyd: one death too many in the “land of the free”

George Floyd: one death too many in the “land of the free”


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