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internacional / economia / opinião / análise Wednesday November 15, 2017 07:37 byBrunoL

Vemos como essencial interpretar o conceito de imperialismo globalizado e financeiro. Este se manifesta desde formas mais grosseiras, como uma invasão militar, até o objeto de estudo o qual este texto se vincula, as relações complementares e subordinadas de Transnacionais (TNCs), paraísos fiscais, capital financeiro como forma de acumulação selvagem contemporânea, endividamento securitizado de populações inteiras e a existência de uma soma nefasta de elites orgânicas agindo através de portas giratórias em escala nacional e transnacional, a serviço e se locupletando da versão atual do neoliberalismo.


Traçando uma definição de imperialismo na etapa do capitalismo global e financeiro pós-2008

Novembro de 2017, Bruno Lima Rocha

Venho trabalhando com o tema da globalização financeira desde agosto de 2008, no auge da “crise”- ao qual denomino farsa com nome de crise – originada pela bolha imobiliária dos EUA e a consequente liquidação de hipotecas sem lastro. A etapa anterior desta pesquisa foi materializada no livro “Desvelando a farsa com nome de crise” (Bruno Lima Rocha/Ânderson Santos, Ver: encurtador.com.br/abPVX). Vale recordar que a de 2008 não foi a primeira “crise” da era pós Guerra Fria embora tenha sido aquela a afetar o planeta após os ataques de 11 de setembro de 2001. A partir daquele momento, decidi dedicar parte do esforço analítico para conectar algumas variáveis fundamentais para a escala de dominação planetária deste mundo pós-2008.

É preciso caracterizar a ação do imperialismo no século XXI tanto nas chamadas “revoluções coloridas” como em seus efeitos subsequentes, com a internacionalização de empresas nacionais, a cessão de patrimônio coletivo e a exploração desenfreada de recursos naturais não renováveis. A meta permanente é a financeirização das economias subordinando a vontade soberana de sociedades concretas. Nesta ação conjunta e combinada, a opinião pública é atingida de forma estrutural. A capilaridade da internet e manipulação de Big Data pelos provedores estadunidenses implicam na frágil soberania das sociedades civis latino-americanas.

Uma variável de fundamento é o conceito de imperialismo e a necessidade de sua revisão. Estando na América Latina e lecionando na ciência política e nas relações internacionais, automaticamente nos colocamos em uma posição polarizada quanto aos Estados Unidos e as capacidades de projetar outras inserções no Sistema Internacional distantes do eixo anglo-saxão e da Europa unificada. Ao mesmo tempo, a noção realista nos faz evitar qualquer adesão às posições da Rússia, Índia e menos ainda da China. Para nosso caso, observando as relações assimétricas de poder global a partir do Brasil como país líder continental, é possível manobrar dentro de um guarda chuva dos BRICS, mas reconhecendo a existência de um imperialismo chinês em escala global e projeções afins dentro e fora da Eurásia para estas três potências.

Com todas estas ressalvas, vemos como essencial interpretar o conceito de imperialismo globalizado e financeiro. Este se manifesta desde formas mais grosseiras, como uma invasão militar, até o objeto de estudo o qual este texto se vincula, as relações complementares e subordinadas de Transnacionais (TNCs), paraísos fiscais, capital financeiro como forma de acumulação selvagem contemporânea, endividamento securitizado de populações inteiras e a existência de uma soma nefasta de elites orgânicas agindo através de portas giratórias em escala nacional e transnacional, a serviço e se locupletando da versão atual do neoliberalismo.

Tal sistema de dominação opera através de uma dimensão complementar de inteligência e espionagem eletrônica – e a quebra de sinais, sigint -, o aval jurídico-político e por que não ideológico de mídia especializada (como o papel do “jornalismo” econômico), das agências de análise de “risco”, das recomendações dos organismos ainda originários de Bretton Woods (como o FMI e o Grupo Banco Mundial), dos operadores “nacionais” vinculados aos volumosos e pouco ou nada regulados fundos de tipo hedge e o conjunto de instrumentos de acumulação através do chamado shadow banking. Na ponta, agindo em cada sociedade concreta, observamos a internalização de interesses externos (imperialistas) como nos acordos de Cooperação Jurídica Internacional, os institutos e think tanks da “nova” direita (que se alastram como metástase na América Latina), a captura das instituições do Estado capitalista – diminuindo a pouca margem da democracia de massas – e ampliando tanto os espaços de mercado – marketização –, como a privatização de recursos, empresas e patrimônios coletivos (como as reservas de recursos naturais) e a constante pressão da maior parte do topo da pirâmide de nossas sociedades em serem absorvidas como sócias minoritárias da distopia do capitalismo global com “liberdade e eficiência” de mercado.

Na dimensão da meta permanente, o modus operandi em escala mundo, vemos a concentração cada vez maior de TNCs – dentre estas incluem conglomerados chineses, russos, indianos e até há pouco tempo atrás, brasileiros – cuja capacidade de interconexão é inversamente proporcional à preservação dos recursos não renováveis do planeta e os biomas. A internacionalização de cadeias secundárias de suprimentos, a interdependência subordinada de mercados inteiros e sociedades concretas – como na venda no mercado futuro de safras agrícolas e a dolarização de produtos primários – e uma produção científica piramidal onde a circulação de pesquisa cientifica é também inversamente proporcional ao segredo industrial e a capacidade de pesquisa e desenvolvimento com conteúdos nacionais definem um planeta onde os conglomerados de capitais cruzados e controle acionário múltiplo, mas subordinado a centros decisórios externos, aumentam as fragilidades de cada país e fazem da soberania decisória uma meta cada vez mais distante.

Este conjunto complexo tem na acumulação selvagem de riqueza através de compromissos de resgate – títulos, papéis, instrumentos financeiros – e depósitos ultramarinos um autêntico cassino global protegido por legislação específica em territórios com jurisdições especiais. São beneficiários deste mecanismo tanto indivíduos como empresas, podendo ser considerado o depósito em “paraísos” a forma contemporânea de enriquecimento. Os valores que acumulam nestas jurisdições evadem tanto do fisco de países – e por tanto não se transformam em políticas públicas ou financiamento do aparelho de Estado – como tampouco aumentam a renda média das sociedades. É justamente o contrário. O modelo de acumulação financeira e a ação do imperialismo em sua etapa de globalização pós-2008 vê o aumento de circulação da “indústria financeira” não regulada, fazendo com que a riqueza não seja sequer oriunda especificamente de exploração de mão de obra e extração de mais valia. O capitalismo atual já não necessita gerar um volume de trabalho vivo e de emprego direto volumoso e sim subordinar as sociedades para fins privados em nome do “crescimento” de alguns setores ou da “estabilidade”.

A ausência de trabalho vivo e o sequestro da capacidade extrativa dos Estados aumenta a lacuna de representação e a captura dos bens coletivos pelos entes privados, sendo que seus representantes estão dentro e fora dos governos de turno e das tecnocracias de carreira. Como se observa, a complexidade do imperialismo contemporâneo nos obriga a desafios teóricos e organizativos de vulto.


Bruno Lima Rocha é professor de ciência política e de relações internacionais / (www.estrategiaeanalise.com.br para textos e colunas de áudio / estrategiaeanaliseblog.com para vídeos e entrevistas / blimarocha@gmail.com para E-mail e Facebook)

internacional / economia / opinião / análise Wednesday November 08, 2017 21:41 byBrunoL

As agências de “análise” são empresas privadas dos EUA operando como vetores do cassino financeiro global, gerando a subordinação de sociedades inteiras. Isso ocorre em todos os países do “ocidente” ampliado, sendo que as regiões eurasiáticas sob a influência direta da China, Rússia e Índia conseguem sofrer outras projeções de poder. No caso da América Latina, sofremos hoje uma dupla intervenção, tanto das potências ocidentais – com os Estados Unidos à frente - como da presença chinesa cada vez maior em todas as camadas da economia real. Neste texto, fazemos uma breve digressão no papel de operador político das agências de “análise” na Europa pós-crise de 2008 e depois voltamos ao nosso Continente observando uma das chances desperdiçadas no período anterior.

08 de novembro de 2017, Bruno Lima Rocha
As agências de “análise” são empresas privadas dos EUA operando como vetores do cassino financeiro global, gerando a subordinação de sociedades inteiras. Isso ocorre em todos os países do “ocidente” ampliado, sendo que as regiões eurasiáticas sob a influência direta da China, Rússia e Índia conseguem sofrer outras projeções de poder. No caso da América Latina, sofremos hoje uma dupla intervenção, tanto das potências ocidentais – com os Estados Unidos à frente - como da presença chinesa cada vez maior em todas as camadas da economia real. Neste texto, fazemos uma breve digressão no papel de operador político das agências de “análise” na Europa pós-crise de 2008 e depois voltamos ao nosso Continente observando uma das chances desperdiçadas no período anterior.
Sempre cabe perguntar. O que legitima as agências de risco? Os contratos dos fundos de investimento controlando os maiores volumes de investimento do cassino financeiro global. Em tese – longínqua e distante - as chamadas agências de “análise” de risco produziriam indicadores críveis para investidores interessados em adquirir ações ou dívidas na forma de títulos ou produtos financeiros exóticos gerados por agentes econômicos privados. Isto nas origens, porque a relevância destas empresas de bens simbólicos cresceu. Afirmo que estas agências, a partir das três maiores, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s e Fitch Rating são peça fundamental da engrenagem capitalista em sua etapa financeira, reforçando um mecanismo de legitimação que reforça e blinda o papel nefasto que a especulação financeira tem.
Recordando o ataque contra a Europa do Sul forçando o ajuste pós 2008-2009
No auge da etapa de “ajuste“ da farsa com nome de crise, do estouro da bolha imobiliária dos EUA e a venda de derivativos baseados em hipotecas não cobertas, as agências de “análise” reforçaram o empobrecimento do sul europeu. A S&P apontou diretamente suas baterias contra a Europa. Trata-se da mesma agência que até dias antes da falência do Lehman Brothers – em setembro de 2008 – classificava-o como AAA. É um papel semelhante ao aval que a empresa de auditoria contábil Arthur Andersen dera para a empresa de energia Enron, sendo que esta pediu concordata em dezembro de 2001 após o exercício de contabilidade “criativa”. A diferença é que a Arthur Andersen acompanhara a diretoria da Enron direto para uma investigação de fraude corroborada pela auditoria;já a S&P seguiu sem ser muito incomodada pelas autoridades da União Europeia.
Os fatos são reveladores. Em 13 de janeiro de 2012 a S&P rebaixou a classificação da dívida (e dos títulos desta) de nove países europeus, incluindo a França, potência latina da Zona Euro e rival da Alemanha no projeto da Europa unificada. Já em 16 de janeiro de 2012 veio a consequência, com o também rebaixamento do Fundo Europeu de Estabilidade Financeira (European Financial Stability Facility, EFSF, ver esm.europa.eu ), composto por todos os Estados já depreciados pela mesma agência. Imediatamente, o ex-vice-presidente do Goldman Sachs e então (atual) presidente do Banco Central Europeu, Mario Draghi, pediu celeridade dos países membros na busca por ajustes de austeridade. Vale observar que o ESM, organismo gestor do EFSF, tem sede em Luxemburgo, paraíso fiscal continental e é gerido como um fundo de investimento e “estabilidade” para a Europa pós-2008. Na prática, opera como legitimador da maior transferência de renda coletiva para fins privados da história da humanidade.
O que ocorrera em 2012 é base para o sistema de domínio que segue. Tanto a S&P como o próprio Draghi são, agente e ator, diretamente responsáveis pela fraude com nome de “crise” que até hoje assola a Europa, em especial a “Europa do Sul”. Desaparecera por mágica a relação causal direta do aumento da dívida pública dos países membros, fruto da maior transferência de riqueza em forma financeira e depreciação de renda coletiva, quando os Estados passaram recursos públicos para bancos privados insolventes após haverem negociados derivativos podres.
Quando o movimento por outra globalização expandiu-se, nos anos ’90, uma das bandeiras consensuais era a instauração da Taxa Tobin, onerando a especulação internacional. É pouco. É preciso desmontar o poder de legitimação das instituições financeiras que impõem suas vontades sobre Estados soberanos e governos eleitos, incluindo as agências de “análise”.
A jogatina e a traquinagem não correm sem “riscos” para os influenciadores das roletas dos cassinos. Como era de se esperar, a tentativa de respostas legais e institucionais avançara (se arrastou eu diria) mesmo por dentro das estruturas de poder do ocidente. O procurador do município de Trani, Michele Ruggiero, na região de Milão, abriu – à época - investigação junto ao aparato da Guarda de Finanças (ligada ao Tesouro Italiano, mas com outras funções de polícia) e adentrou em diligência dentro do escritório da referida agência na cidade que consagrara Silvio Berlusconi como presidente de clube de futebol com projeções “populistas de direita”. A S&P e a Moody’s estavam (seguem estando e sempre estiveram) na alça de mira da Justiça da Itália, justamente por fazerem – ou supostamente haverem feito – aquilo que são acusadas: manipulação de dados e julgamentos imprudentes e infundados. A S&P em julho de 2011 e a Moody’s em maio do mesmo ano geraram fatos políticos a partir de relatórios supostamente “técnicos” ainda com o jogo político oficial em andamento (no Parlamento a primeira, e com o mercado em aberto, na segunda). Além do tradicional comportamento de manada, os informes puseram contra a parede a capacidade de mando do próprio governo italiano. As agências de “análise” derrubaram um governo soberano em plena Europa unificada. Imaginem o que não podem fazer – e fazem – com países latino-americanos?
A grande chance perdida para uma nova arquitetura financeira
Nossos países da Semi-periferia poderiam ter medidas de proteção mútua, tais como fundos de emergência e índices de risco (já previstos no Fundo de Resgate e no Banco dos BRICS), por fora das estruturas estabelecidas pela atual hegemonia financeira recebendo ameaças diretas. Este arranjo foi interrompido pela guinada à direita do Brasil. É preciso compreender que a internalização de interesses externos adentra os Estados através das portas giratórias entre o sistema financeiro, a autoridade monetária e as pastas ministeriais formadoras da “equipe econômica”. Assim, por mais surreal que pareça, o balizador das dívidas dos países – e dos papeis de títulos públicos - são índices de empresas privadas de análise de risco (da possível ausência de pagamento), a saber, Standard & Poors, Moody’s e Fitch. Para os organismos financiadores do capitalismo, a informação produzida através destas empresas é considerada superior à coproduzida pelas autoridades de países como Brasil, Rússia, Índia, Indonésia, China e Coréia do Sul. Retirar a absurda legitimidade das empresas de “análise” de risco e, ao mesmo tempo, iniciar acordos multilaterais em busca de novos lastros para além do fator dólar-dólar, tal como uma possível moeda cambial dos emergentes, teria sido um belo primeiro passo. Teria.
O papel das agências de “risco” e sua projeção de interesses na América Latina poderiam ter enfraquecido. A gangorra começaria a pender para outros lados se blocos regionais ou de países, como a Celac, Unasur e Mercosul, e a partir da relação Brasil-África do Sul, forçassem uma nova condição de barganha dentro dos BRICS. Com as viradas à direita no Continente, o inverso foi feito e agora a China aposta em engolir e controlar as possibilidades de produção primária e infraestrutura existentes, concorrendo diretamente com os EUA em sua área de influência direta. A América Latina, com o Brasil à frente, segue sua sina de internalizar interesses externos em nome do “país”. Herança maldita colonial que nos segue assombrando.
Versão atual da Maldição de Malinche, ao invés de “exportar” para a metrópole estanho, cobre, prata e ouro para cunharem moedas europeias, exportamos a riqueza na forma financeira. Vão os dividendos e ficam os compromissos da dívida coletiva. O moderno imperialismo coloca nossas populações no prego.

Bruno Lima Rocha é professor de relações internacionais e de ciência política (www.estrategiaeanalise.com.br para textos e áudios / estrategiaeanaliseblog.com para vídeos e entrevistas / blimarocha@gmail.com para E-mail e Facebook)

international / imperialism / war / opinion / analysis Wednesday November 08, 2017 05:56 byWayne Price

Some anarchists and libertarian Marxists oppose the concepts of national self-determination and national liberation. They argue that these slogans deny class struggle, endorse nationalism, is contrary to anarchist principles, and lead to Leninism. I respond to these arguments, saying that anarchists should be in solidarity with the people of oppressed nations without endorsing their nationalist leaders.

There are few subjects of greater disagreement among libertarian socialists than “national liberation” and “national self-determination.” By “libertarian socialists” I include anarchists of all sorts, also libertarian-autonomous Marxists and others with similar politics. By “national liberation/self-determination,” I mean the idea that some nations are oppressed and deserve to be liberated from that oppression, and to be able to decide for themselves what social, economic, and political systems they wish to live under.

This is a major issue in the world today. In the Middle East, the Kurds and the Palestinians are denied their own independent political existence. Meanwhile the U.S. and other imperialist states are waging war on a number of oppressed countries. The U.S. state owns Puerto Rico (but treats Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, as colonial subjects). There may be a nuclear war between the U.S. state and impoverished nation of North Korea. The Russian imperialist state denies independence to the Chechens and has attacked Ukraine and other eastern European countries. China rules the Tibetans and the Uigars, and claims Taiwan. There are calls for national independence in Catalonia, from Spain, and in Scotland, from the U.K. I am just touching on a few of the many places where national issues have arisen. Not that they are all the same but there is a common topic which needs to be addressed. (Wars between two oppressor, imperialist, powers—such as the U.S.A. vs. Russia—do not involve issues of national self-determination. Both sides should be opposed by anti-imperialists.)

It has always seemed obvious to me, at least in principle, that we who believe in freedom should support national liberation/self-determination as a democratic demand. I have written this several times (Price 2011; 2006; 2005). Yet many, perhaps most, anarchists and libertarian Marxists disagree. (At one time, posters on the Libcom site urged the anarchist group of which I was a member to expel me because of my support for national liberation.) What are their arguments? (I now present their arguments in bold face and then respond.)

The only issue which counts is the emancipation of the international working class. Everything else, such as national oppression, is a distraction from the class struggle.

Taken literally, this pure-and-simple class perspective is a minority viewpoint today. It is held only by wooden workerists, by primitive Marxists and syndicalists. Most anarchists and Marxists recognize that other oppressions than class exploitation are real and important. Women are oppressed by sexism; African-Americans and other People of Color by white supremacy; LGBT people by homophobia; immigrants by nativism; and so on; not to mention the reality of issues such as global warming and war. Recognizing these systems of oppression does not prevent recognizing the importance of capitalist exploitation of the working class. These forms of oppression overlap with and interact with class exploitation. For example, most people in oppressed nations are working class, peasants, or other poor people. The very fact that these issues are used to prop up capitalism (in many ways, besides being “distractions”) means that they need to be taken on (in turn, capitalism also props up these oppressive systems). Supporting these struggles strengthens the fight against capitalism and the capitalist state.

Oddly enough, there are radicals who do support the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, etc., etc., but do not support struggles against national oppression. Some even oppose imperialism by the big powers but will not support the anti-imperialist efforts of oppressed nations. Unlike the pure-and-simple workerists, such radicals are…. inconsistent.

National liberation/self-determination is the same as nationalism, which we, as internationalists, reject.



National oppression is an objective reality—for Palestinians, for example. It leads to the question of how to oppose it, what is the program which can lead to national liberation and self-determination. One such program is “nationalism.” But it is not the only possible program, and is not synonymous with “national liberation.”

“Nationalism” can be defined in various ways. A common understanding is to use nationalism to mean people’s love for their country, their culture, their contributions to world civilization, and their history of popular resistance to oppression (domestic and foreign). This is not a program for opposing domination, but rather a love for their land and people. I see nothing to criticize in this, but that is not what is controversial.

As a program, “nationalism” means seeing the particular oppressed nation as a unitary bloc. It ignores the differences between the ruling class and the workers and peasants, the exploiters and the exploited. Essentially it accepts the leadership of the rulers or would-be rulers (these may be rich capitalists but also might be bureaucrats, déclassé intellectuals, military officers, or similar would-be new bosses). It denies differences between men and women, religious groupings, or majority and minority nationalities and ethnic groups—rejecting the special concerns of oppressed subgroups within the nation. Its aim is to win an independent national state of its own, and to establish some type of capitalist economy—perhaps as a program of state socialism, which actually results in state capitalism. (I am only discussing the program of nationalism in an oppressed nation, not in an imperialist state where it serves to justify imperialism.)

By now, most of the countries of the world have won their formal independence. They have their own states with their own flags, postage stamps, money, and uniforms for their own military and police. But they remain economically dominated by the international market. They remain politically dominated by the international power system. They are vulnerable to being invaded at any time. Both the world economy and world politics are dominated by the big imperialist powers, first among which is still the United States—that is, the U.S. ruling class and its state. (This is not the U.S. working people, who have little to no control over their economy or their state’s international policies).

In short, nationalism has not been a very good solution to the poverty, oppression, exploitation, and suffering of the people of the world. But its very failure—the continuation of national oppression despite formal independence—results in a tendency for people to look for answers, including a revival of nationalism.

However, there are other programs which offer to solve the problems of oppressed nations. For example, Islamic salifism (miscalled “fundamentalism”) is an international movement, completely reactionary. It opposes Western imperialist domination of Muslim-majority countries, not by appeals to nationalism but by distorted religious programs, aiming for a “caliphate.”

Anarchists and other libertarian socialists propose a different solution to national oppression. Our program is for an international revolution of the working class, allied with all other oppressed and exploited people, against the capitalist ruling class, its states, and all systems of oppression. It would replace capitalist and authoritarian institutions with self-managed, cooperative, free associations of the people. Such a revolution will likely start in a few countries, but it will have to spread to the whole world. This alone would make it possible to end all forms of national oppression, as well as all other forms of oppression, exploitation, and domination.

From this standpoint, anarchists and others can participate in national struggles against imperialist domination. We recognize the legitimacy of such struggles and are in solidarity with the oppressed people. But we do not agree with or support those leaders who advocate nationalist (or jihadist) programs. We seek to win the working people of these nations to our revolutionary internationalist program.

This is the same approach we can use in any struggle. For example, we must support the movement for women’s liberation. We oppose male supremacy (patriarchy) and support women’s fight against it. But we do not agree with or support the liberal, pro-capitalist, versions of feminism raised by the bourgeois leadership of the women’s movement. We try to win women and their male allies over to our revolutionary perspective.

By “winning over” women or nationally oppressed people, I do not mean that we should just unveil our program as if we knew all the answers—Ta-da! Persuading people of our viewpoint includes listening to them and learning from them, in dialogue. It includes having them develop the ideas in their own way, relevant to their own situation.

"Anarchists never supported national self-determination"

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Some anarchists are ignorant of the fact that anarchists have supported national liberation as a principle. And anarchists have taken part in national liberation struggles.

Michael Bakunin asserted his “strong sympathy for any national uprising against any form of oppression…every people [have the right] to be itself…no one is entitled to impose its customs, its languages, and its laws.” (quoted in van der Walt & Schmidt 2009; 309)

Iain McKay writes, “Kropotkin was a supporter of national liberation struggles….Anarchists, Kropotkin argued, should work inside national liberation movements in order to…turn them into human liberation struggles—from all forms of oppression, economic, political, social and national…the creation of…a free federation of free peoples no longer divided by classes or hierarchies.” (my emphasis; 2014; 45—47)

Peter Kropotkin wrote, “True internationalism will never be attained except by the independence of each nationality, little or large…. If we say no government of man by man, how can [we] permit the government of conquered nationalities by the conquering nationalities?” (quoted in McKay 2014; 45-46)

Errico Malatesta was an influential Italian anarchist who had been a comrade of Bakunin and Kropotkin. He wrote, “We are internationalists…so we extend our homeland to the whole world…and seek well-being, freedom, and autonomy for every individual and group….Now that today’s Italy invades another country [Libya—WP]…it is the Arabs’ revolt against the Italian tyrant that is noble and holy….We hope that the Italian people…will force a withdrawal from Africa upon its government: if not, we hope that the Arabs may succeed in driving it out.” (In Turcato 2014; 357) This did not imply agreement with the politics of the Arabs’ leadership.

During the wars which followed the Russian revolution, Nester Makhno and other anarchists organized a military resistance in Ukraine. Their forces opposed the capitalists and landlords, integrating these class issues with a Ukrainian war against German, Polish, and Russian invaders. Similarly, during World War II, Korean anarchists organized a military resistance to the Japanese invaders.

After World War II there was a national liberation war waged by Algerian rebels against the French empire. French anarchists gave concrete aid, and various forms of support, to the Algerian forces. As an anarchist “public intellectual”, Daniel Guerin expressed his solidarity with the Algerian people in insurrection. He was for the Algerian organizations when they fought against the French state—which is not the same as endorsing their nationalist politics, which he did not. (Price 2013) (For the record of anarchists’ attitudes towards the Vietnam war and more recent wars between imperialist powers and oppressed nations, see Price 2006; 2005.)

National Self-Determination was Raised by Lenin



Some anarchists point out that national self-determination was supported by Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the totalitarian Soviet Union and the “Communist” movement. (Some even claim, ignorantly, that Lenin invented the concept.) This is supposed to discredit the slogan.

Calls for national liberation and self-determination are at least as old as the formation of nations and nation-states in the 18th century. They have been made by many people, then and now. For example, during World War I, the liberal U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, made national self-determination part of his “14 Points,” which he raised (hypocritically) as supposed “war aims” for the imperialist Allies.

With the aim of getting his party into state power, Lenin followed a certain strategy. He rejected a focus only on bread-and-butter trade union issues, such as better wages, shorter hours, etc. This was called “economism.” He also rejected just raising the eventual—and abstract—goal of socialism. Instead, he wanted his party to win support by also championing the democratic demands of every oppressed and discriminated-against group. He wanted his party to use its newspaper and other outlets to support big groups such as peasants, women, and nations enslaved by the Czarist empire. But also to champion abused army draftees, censored writers, minority religious sects, and so on. Championing the democratic rights of all these groups (including oppressed nations), he believed, would counterpose his revolutionary socialist program to that of the liberals, reformists, and nationalists. It would build popular support and prepare his party to rule.

Let me be clear. The problem with Lenin was not his support for democratic demands! Lenin could hardly be criticized for being too much for democracy and freedom! The demand for national liberation/self-determination is part of the democratic program. This is not where anarchists should disagree with Lenin.

The problem with Lenin was that his support for democratic demands was instrumental—used in fact only to get his party into power and to establish its authoritarian rule. Support for peasants was meant to lead them to eventually—voluntarily—merge their lands into collectivized state farms. Support for national rights was meant to persuade workers from oppressed nations that they could trust the workers from the oppressor nations—and eventually lead to voluntary merger into larger, centralized, states—which he said. (I am not getting into how Lenin violated these democratic promises—including national self-determination—once in power.)

Revolutionary anarchists are internationalists. We are also decentralists and pluralists. We value small cultures and multiple societies—not as stepping stones to an eventually unified and centralized world state, but as good in themselves. To quote again McKay’s summary of Kropotkin’s perspective, our goal is “a free federation of free peoples no longer divided by classes or hierarchies.” This is where anarchists must reject Lenin’s approach to national liberation.

"But it’s a state!"



Does support for national self-determination mean support for new, national, states? No. It means that revolutionary libertarian socialists are in solidarity with the people (mostly workers, peasants, and the poor) of the oppressed nation. The nation’s people themselves may believe (in their majority) that the only solution to their foreign oppression is to form a new state of their own. Anarchists do not agree with this popular view. But we believe in freedom, if we believe in anything. We must defend their right to decide for themselves what they want—even if we think that they are making a mistake. That is how people learn.

Between the imperialist state which rules the country and the oppressed people, we are not neutral. We should not become neutral if we think that the people are accepting a mistaken program. We must be in solidarity with them in their struggles, even as we seek to persuade them that only anarchist internationalism can really solve their problems. We must not endorse their leaderships; we are political opponents of their nationalist leaders. But we want the imperialists to lose and the people to win.

When workers decide to form a union, they usually join a business union with its pro-capitalist bureaucratic leadership. Nevertheless, anarchists are never neutral between the bosses and the workers. We must support the workers’ freedom to chose whichever union they want (while trying to persuade them of the need for union democracy and militancy and revolutionary opposition to the union bureaucracy). This is the same principle as our attitude toward national self-determination.

As Lucien van der Walt summarizes, “One anarchist and syndicalist approach…was to participate in national liberation struggles, in order to shape them, win the battle of ideas, displace nationalism with a politics of national liberation through class struggle, and push national liberation struggles in a revolutionary direction.” (van der Walt & Schmidt; 2009; 310–311) That means, in a revolutionary, internationalist, libertarian socialist, direction. That is the approach I am arguing for.


References



McKay, Iain (2014). “Introduction.” In Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology (ed. I. McKay). Oakland CA: AK Press. Pp. 1—97.

Price, Wayne (2013). “Anarchists and the French-Algerian War.”
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/24619?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2011). “Anarchism in the Oppressed Nations.”
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/19702?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2006). “Lessons for the Anarchist Movement of the Israeli-Lebanese War; The Anarchist Debate About National Liberation”
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/3614?search_text=Wayne...Price

Price, Wayne (2005). “The U.S. Deserves to Lose in Iraq but Should We ‘Support the Iraqi Resistance’?”
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1016

Turcato, Davide (ed.) (2014). The Method of Freedom; An Errico Malatesta Reader (trans. P. Sharkey). Oakland CA: AK Press.

van der Walt, Lucien, & Schmidt, Michael (2009). Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. Oakland CA: AK Press.

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international / history / opinion / analysis Tuesday November 07, 2017 16:22 byMelbourne Anarchist Communist Group

The October Revolution in Russia was a momentous event and the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group celebrates its centenary. The Soviets and the Factory Committees were great achievements of the working class and taking power was an even greater achievement. We are angered by the betrayal of the Revolution by Lenin and its total perversion by Stalin, but we are not disillusioned. Rather, we have learned lessons and work in the confident expectation that, if capitalism doesn’t destroy us in the meantime, there will be another revolution, and it will be worldwide. Unlike last time, workers won’t get taken in by the siren song of leaders who tell us fairy tales about a workers’ state. We won’t be fooled again.

HAIL THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION!

One hundred years ago today, a workers’ revolution triumphed in Russia, with consequences that would echo for generations. It was 7 November 1917, which Russia then called 25 October because the Czar was so reactionary he opposed switching from the inaccurate Julian calendar to the more accurate Gregorian one. That day, workers and soldiers under the command of the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet (which means “council” in Russian) took control of all important public buildings in Petrograd, the Russian capital, and dismissed the Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky. That night, the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets met and proclaimed its power.

The Road to October

The road to the October Revolution had been long and filled with diversions. Russia was a large but very backward country, whose participation in the First World War had shown that the State apparatus was so chaotic as to be useless in prosecuting the war. Pushed to breaking point, it collapsed in March (February, old style) 1917 and a Provisional Government was formed to take over from the Czar. Significantly, the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies was also formed.

This makeshift government, however, was unable to solve the crisis. Peasants lived in desperate poverty in semi-feudal conditions, inflation was driving workers to starvation, soldiers at the front were short of arms, ammunition and even boots, and industry was grinding to a halt due to shortages of raw materials. Not a single problem in Russia could be solved without stopping the war, but none of the parties in the Provisional Government would contemplate pulling out. As a result, the situation continued to deteriorate. Parties participating in the Government lost credibility and support. More soviets formed, growing stronger and more representative as the year progressed.

The Anarchist movement in Russia at the time of the February Revolution was very small. It grew as the year went on, but its influence in the Soviets was still very limited. The main parties in the Soviets were the Mensheviks, the Social Revolutionaries and the Bolsheviks. While the Mensheviks and SRs maintained their majority, the Petrograd Soviet acted as a pressure group on the Provisional Government, rather than seeking to overthrow it.

Out of all the parties, it was the Bolsheviks that gained most from the growing crisis – but things could have been different. The long-time Bolshevik position was to support what it called the “democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants”. After the February Revolution, this meant being a Left pressure group on the Provisional Government and hoping to become a Left wing opposition party in a capitalist parliament governing Russia. Lenin had to fight several internal battles in the Bolshevik Party in order to get it to adopt, and then to keep, a position calling for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and for the Soviets to take power. Without that position, the Bolsheviks would have followed the path of the Mensheviks and SRs, whose strength grew and then shrank as the Provisional Government floundered in the face of the growing crisis. The war effort was tearing Russia to pieces. The only solution was for Russia to leave the War – and that required overthrowing the Provisional Government.

The growing crisis in the economy spawned the growth of the Factory Committees, where rank and file workers tried to deal with the day-to-day problems they faced. The Bolsheviks had a majority in the Committees from an early date, but the more conservative workers, concerned to support the war effort, were also often keen to use the Committees to counter-act the bosses’ incompetence. Factory Committees gained control of hiring and firing, resolved conflicts over wage rates, dealt with personnel matters, took on abusive managers and, increasingly, addressed supply issues. In some cases, bosses abandoned their factories in the face of their difficulties, but the workers, through the Factory Committees, kept them going. In the beginning, the impetus behind their formation and growth was practical, not ideological, but the experience of these committees in gradually establishing workers’ control was key to the growth of working class support for overthrowing capitalism and establishing self-management under socialism. Workers were solving problems the bosses couldn’t, and learnt a powerful lesson from this.

By early July (Old Style), the workers of Petrograd were supporting the slogan “All Power to the Soviets”. There was a mass demonstration sparked by opposition to the Provisional Government’s order for a war offensive at the front. But support for Soviet power was at its infancy across the country as a whole and the Petrograd Soviet still had a moderate majority. The Government suppressed the peaceful demonstration with great violence, killing 700, and ordered the arrest of Bolshevik leaders. Lenin fled temporarily to Finland.

At the end of August (Old Style), the Provisional Government invited General Kornilov to bring an army to Petrograd to restore order and suppress the radicals. Kornilov agreed wholeheartedly and marched on the capital. When Kerensky, leader of the Provisional Government, realised Kornilov saw him as one of the radicals that needed repressing, he panicked and turned to the Soviet for salvation. Co-ordinated by the Soviet, railway workers refused to provide transport, dissidents encouraged sabotage and soldiers deserted en masse. The army never made it to Petrograd, except for Kornilov and his aides, who arrived under arrest. The credibility of both the Provisional Government and the Czarist Right were shot. The Bolsheviks immediately won majorities in both the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets and continued acquiring majorities in other cities.

October

As a result of the Kornilov Affair, the Petrograd Soviet gained control of troop placements in and around the capital. The Soviet formed a Revolutionary Military Committee, under the leadership of Leon Trotsky, to administer this new power. Trotsky, who had been in a small faction independent of both the Bolsheviks and mainstream Mensheviks, had led his group into the Bolsheviks at the start of August (Old Style). Lenin at last persuaded the Bolshevik Central Committee that an insurrection must be organised and the Revolutionary Military Committee became the forum where the military side of the October Revolution was planned.

On 25 October (Old Style), which was 7 November (New Style), delegates to the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets gathered in Petrograd. The Bolsheviks, for the first time, had a majority. Not only was the Revolutionary Military Committee ready for action, but (unlike in July) the Soviets were ready to accept power.

The actual insurrection was almost an anti-climax. With the Petrograd Soviet in control of military deployments, the ability of the Provisional Government to resist the take-over was almost non-existent. Detachments occupied public buildings, troop formations went over to the revolution, government communications were cut and loyalist troops were overwhelmed or prevented from being located by Kerensky. The entire event was bloodless, with only one shot fired (into the ceiling) in the storming of the Winter Palace. At 11 p.m. the Congress of Soviets opened. The Revolutionary Military Committee announced that the Provisional Government was overthrown and the Soviets accepted power. One chapter was over and a new one immediately began.

Aftermath

Kerensky blew his remaining credibility four days after the insurrection when he tried to enter Petrograd like a Czarist general, complete with a white horse and church bells, and killed eight people before retreating. Events in Moscow were more bloody. Fighting continued for a week before the Soviets defeated Kerensky’s forces. After that, resistance to the power of the Soviets gradually subsided – for the time being.

From a tiny beginning, Anarchists were growing in influence in Russia during 1917 and continued to grow through 1918. Anarchists supported the overthrow of the Provisional Government and some even participated in the storming of the Winter Palace. Anarchists also participated in the Soviet’s dispersal of the Constituent Assembly in January 1918. It was a capitalist parliament and would only have created a capitalist state.

Anarchists and Bolsheviks had been operating roughly in parallel (though rarely in co-operation) until the October Revolution, but went in different directions after that. In retrospect, it can be seen that the Soviets made two key errors that foreshadowed all subsequent ones. Firstly, the All-Russia Congress disregarded Marx’s insight which he had set out in his pamphlet on the Paris Commune:

1. The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time.
That is, the Commune held executive power and implemented its own decisions. Instead, the Congress elected a Council of People’s Commissars to act as an executive cabinet over the Soviets. The Congress of Soviets had turned itself into a legislature and was no longer the working body that the Commune had been.

Secondly, the All-Russia Congress of Soviets assumed central power over the regional and local soviets. Because of the unevenness of political developments in Russia, the Congress did need power in relation to areas where regional soviets were not yet established, and regional soviets needed power in relation to districts where local soviets were not yet established. But having the Congress assume central power over other soviets ensured that the All-Russia Congress was experienced as an external power imposed from above, making arbitrary and often ill-informed decisions. Its decisions were initially a good deal more just and popular than those of the Czar or the Provisional Government, but they were not the freely made decisions of the people who would implement them.

As a result of those two errors, Russia had a new state. The Bolsheviks would proceed to build its power at the expense of the workers and the peasants.

Subsequent events demonstrated that poor structural decisions made at the beginning were fateful. Very soon, the new government started reining in the Factory Committees. Before too long it was insisting on “one man management” – often the former owner employed as a “specialist” on a high salary. Repression of the Anarchists started in April 1918, a month before the first clashes with organised counter-revolutionary forces that became the White armies. The Red Terror, in the process of combating counter-revolutionaries, drove increasing numbers of workers and peasants into opposition because of its dictatorial methods. Opposition parties were crushed, one by one. Independent revolutions in the territory of the old Russian Empire were put down – a Menshevik republic in Georgia and peasant-based Anarchists, the Makhnovists, in Ukraine. The suppression of the Makhnovists was especially grievous because they had proven their loyalty to the revolution on the battlefield. In fact, they had done the bulk of the fighting against the White armies that had invaded from the south. And finally, the Bolshevik (now Communist) Party crushed the Kronstadt Rebellion, suppressed all other parties and banned its own factions in 1921 – all after the Civil War had been won.

By 1921, the Russian Revolution was over. All counter-revolutionary forces had been defeated, but so had the working class. The so-called “Communist” Party had usurped the power of the Soviets and established a heavy dictatorship. In time, assisted by the illness and then death of Lenin, Stalin would rise to power and institute major changes in policy, including “Socialism in One Country”, a concept both intellectually ridiculous and politically criminal. He stacked the Party with flunkies, purged opposition and turned the reign of terror systematically onto the Party as well (though Lenin had engaged in sporadic internal repression himself). The name of communism was dragged through the mud, with consequences we still suffer today.

Lessons

The most obvious lesson of the October Revolution is that workers can take power. We’ve done it before and we can do it again. Fundamentally, the October Revolution was successful because power was taken by the Soviets, the mass organs of workers’ democracy. It was not a mere Bolshevik coup. We don’t know what the mass organs of workers’ democracy may be in future revolutions. They may be workers’ councils, workplace committees, anarcho-syndicalist unions, or something else. The essential thing is that, like the Soviets in Russia, they have the participation of the mass of the working class and they operate by direct democracy, with mandated and recallable delegates.

The next lesson is that things went very badly wrong in Russia very soon after the October Revolution, not in 1924. The “workers’ state” built by the Bolsheviks was an oxymoron, a repressive apparatus that could only impose authority from above. It was the antithesis of workers’ freedom and workers’ control.

Things could have been otherwise. If the All-Russia Congress had not set up a Council of People’s Commissars to act as an executive cabinet, and if relations between the Soviets had been established on the basis of consistent federalism, then the Soviets would have been working bodies where workers came together to make decisions and implement them directly, without coercion or hierarchy. The Factory Committees would have been able to take over inside the workplace, being the basic organs of workers’ self-management.

A third lesson is that political parties cannot be trusted. The capitalist parties and the moderate workers’ parties discredited themselves well before October, leading to their eclipse by the Bolsheviks. The Bolshevik Party played a vital role in the period between the February and October Revolutions, but after the October Revolution it acted consistently to draw power from the Soviets unto itself. It considered itself the vanguard of the proletariat, possessed of a better and more reliable revolutionary consciousness than the mass of the workers. When it had the opportunity to substitute its judgement for that of the workers, it did. The Civil War provided a high pressure context in which many of those decisions were made and could be sold to the Soviets, but the authoritarianism began before the Civil War and continued afterwards.

The final, and to many the most surprising, lesson is that the Russian Revolution proved that, on the question of the party, Lenin was wrong and Anarchist communists are right. It is well known that the February Revolution started because of an International Women’s Day demonstration that took a militant turn. It is occasionally pointed out that Bolshevik women textile workers organised this demonstration and its militant tactics. It is seldom remembered, though, that these women were acting on their own initiative. They were organised revolutionaries who debated and discussed amongst themselves, but they weren’t acting on instructions from the Bolshevik Central Committee. This was to be expected, since the Bolsheviks were illegal at that point and Central Committee members were either underground or in exile. Much latitude was necessarily given to local branches and factory cells.

This process played out on a larger scale through 1917. Before the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Party acted in a very decentralised way, and party discipline was much weaker. The social turmoil and the rapid growth of the Party prevented the establishment of thorough centralism. It was only after October that the Bolsheviks could begin working consistently in the way that Lenin had fought for since 1903. Before October, Right Bolsheviks like Kamenev and Zinoviev engaged in open freelancing against the Party line. They even publicly opposed the Soviets taking power after the Central Committee had committed to the insurrection. An even more telling example is Lenin’s famous speech at the Finland Station when he returned from exile in April. His call for the overthrow of the Provisional Government, and for the Soviets to take power, was against Party policy! Lenin had to fight tooth and nail after this speech in order to get the Bolsheviks to adopt his position. If he had kept to Party discipline, he may never have won the argument and the Russian Revolution may have taken a vastly different course. Centralisation has a conservatising effect on organisations and, in a political party, cuts it off from radical shifts in public consciousness.

Anarchist communists accept that we need to be better organised than in 1917. Revolutionary working class activists need to organise themselves in specific revolutionary bodies, in addition to being members of the mass organisations of the working class. Where we differ from Leninists is on the role and structure of the specific revolutionary organisations. We believe the role of revolutionary organisations is to urge the working class to take power itself and not to take power on behalf of the workers. Our activists need to be exemplary militants rather than leaders. They need to inspire workers to act for themselves rather than to follow leaders, however revolutionary. As the old Wobbly saying goes, whoever can lead you into paradise can just as easily lead you out again. The role of Anarchist organisations, important at any time, will be irreplaceable in revolutionary periods, since Anarchists in the mass organs of workers’ power will have a message that all parties, including the Leninists, will oppose – that these mass workers’ organs are the very substance of the revolution and must not surrender power to anyone, whether it be a parliament, a constituent assembly, or a Council of People’s Commissars.

The structure of Anarchist communist organisations must reflect their function. We believe workers’ power must operate on the basis of consistent federalism, where power rests at the bottom and the higher bodies exist to co-ordinate without coercion. Anarchist communist political organisations that are large enough to have more than one constituent group must also organise in this way. Since we believe the mass workers’ organs must operate with mandated, recallable delegates and limited tenure of office, so must Anarchist communist political organisations operate.

And since we believe that workers can only exercise real power if they are able to hear all arguments on a given topic, we believe that Anarchists should not attempt to form a single organisation to present a monolithic opinion to the working class. The inevitable differences of opinion within the Anarchist movement (let alone between Anarchists and state socialists) should not be resolved artificially behind closed doors, but presented to the working class for judgement. If any one organisation, even an Anarchist one, gains an enduring majority in the mass workers’ organs, the danger of usurpation will arise. Anarchists need to guard against this by ensuring that Anarchist communist organisations preserve pluralism. They must reject the artificial unity that comes from papering over political differences.

Conclusion

The October Revolution in Russia was a momentous event and the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group celebrates its centenary. The Soviets and the Factory Committees were great achievements of the working class and taking power was an even greater achievement. We are angered by the betrayal of the Revolution by Lenin and its total perversion by Stalin, but we are not disillusioned. Rather, we have learned lessons and work in the confident expectation that, if capitalism doesn’t destroy us in the meantime, there will be another revolution, and it will be worldwide. Unlike last time, workers won’t get taken in by the siren song of leaders who tell us fairy tales about a workers’ state. We won’t be fooled again.

*https://melbacg.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/hail-the-octob...tion/

Διεθνή / Αναρχικό κίνημα / Κριτική / Παρουσίαση Tuesday November 07, 2017 15:49 byΕΠΙΜΕΛΕΙΑ: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΤΡΩΑΔΙΤΗΣ

Πιοτρ Κροπότκιν, Το πνεύμα της επαναστάσεως
Μετάφραση Ιωάννη Μαγκανάρα
Επιμέλεια - Εισαγωγή Νίκου Παπαχριστόπουλου
Εκδόσεις opportuna
Πάτρα

ΕΠΙΜΕΛΕΙΑ: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΤΡΩΑΔΙΤΗΣ

Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι ένα άλλο εκδοτικό βήμα των εκδόσεων opportuna, σε μετάφραση Ιωάννη Μαγκανάρα, στη σειρά Αναρχική Βιβλιοθήκη (Εκδόσεις “Επί Τα Πρόσω” - που κυκλοφόρησε στην Πάτρα το 1898). Η μετάφραση αυτή παρατίθεται εδώ έτσι όπως είχε. Η επιμέλεια εδώ καθώς και η εισαγωγή έχουν γίνει από τον υπεύθυνο των εκδόσεων opportuna, Νίκος Παπαχριστόpουλο. Το εξώφυλλο της παρούσας έκδοσης έχει φιλοτεχνηθεί από τον S. Dakdouk-Kastro.

Στην έκδοση παρατίθενται εν είδει επίμετρου τα κείμενα που αποτέλεσαν τα δύο πρώτα φύλλα της αναρχικής εφημερίδας της Πάτρας “Επί Τα Πρόσω”, φύλλα τα οποία παρατίθενται και φωτογραφικά.

Το κείμενο εμφανίστηκε αρχικά ως άρθρο το 1880 στην εφημερίδα Le Révolté (Ο Εξεγερμένος) της Γενεύης, που εξέδιδε ο Κροπότκιν, ενώ αργότερα αναβαθμίστηκε και αναδιαμορφώθηκε και κυκλοφόρησε ως ξεχωριστή μπροσούρα στη γαλλική γλώσσα.

Στο “Πνεύμα της επαναστάσεως” (ή “Επαναστατικό πνεύμα” όπως έχει μεταφραστεί πρόσφατα από άλλες εκδόσεις στον ελλαδικό χώρο), ο Κροπότκιν περιγράφει το ρόλο των επαναστατικών περιόδων στην ανθρώπινη πρόοδο λέγοντας ότι εξακολουθεί να είναι τόσο ζωτικές και απαραίτητες.

Ο Κροπότκιν επισημαίνει τη λειτουργία τη νέας κοινωνικής τάξης που ανήλθε στην εξουσία, μετασχηματίζοντας την προπαγάνδα της από λόγια σε πράξεις, ανατρέποντας κυβερνητικούς θεσμούς που φαίνονταν τόσο σκληροί και άκαμπτοι αλλά σάπιζαν εκ των έσω.

Στην ολοκληρωμένη μπροσούρα, ο Κροπότκιν παραθέτει τη Γαλλική Επανάσταση ως μια κλασική διαδικασία, δίνοντας έμφαση στα μέσα προπαγάνδας με τα οποία η ανερχόμενη τάξη κατέκτησε την εξουσία. Αλλά επιχειρηματολογεί ότι όσον αφορά την υπόθεση της επανάστασης από τους εργάτες, ότι αυτή δεν θα είναι απλώς μια αλλαγή κυβέρνησης ούτε και η εξάσκηση της παλαιάς εξουσίας από μια νέα τάξη, αλλά ένα ολοκληρωτικά νέο, συνεργατικό καθεστώς το οποίο θα βασίζεται στην κοινωνικοποιμένη ιδιοκτησία.

Διαβάζουμε στο οπισθόφυλλο της παρούσας έκδοσης:

…Πολύ προ του 1789 η Γαλλία παρουσίαζεν ήδη μίαν επαναστατικήν κατάστασιν. Αλλά το πνεύμα της επαναστάσεως δεν είχεν ακόμη ωριμάσει αρκετά ώστε να εκραγή αύτη. Επί της αναπτύξεως λοιπόν του πνεύματος τούτου της ανυποταξίας, της τόλμης, του μίσους κατά της κοινωνικής τάξεως, διηυθύνθησαν αι προσπάθειαι των επαναστατικών. …

… Ενώ οι νοικοκυραίοι επαναστάται διηύθυνον τας προσβολάς των εναντίον της κυβερνήσεως, οι επαναστάται του λαού -των οποίων ούτε καν τα ονόματα η ιστορία μας διετήρησε- οι άνδρες του λαού προητοίμαζον την εξέγερσίν των, την Επανάστασίν των, δια στασιαστικών πράξεων, διευθυνομένων κατά των αφεντάδων, των εισπρακτόρων και των εκμεταλλευτών παντός προϊόντος…


Σε μια μεταγενέστερη μεταφραστική εκδοχή διαβάζουμε και τα ακόλουθα αποσπάσματα τα οποία και παραθέτουμε:

Στις εποχές του ξέφρενου αγώνα δρόμου με σκοπό τον πλουτισμό, των πυρετωδών κερδοσκοπικών κινήσεων και των οικονομικών κρίσεων, της γοργής καταστροφής των μεγάλων βιομηχανιών και της εφήμερης άνθισης άλλων κλάδων της παραγωγής, περιουσιών που δημιουργούνται σκανδαλωδώς μέσα σε λίγα χρόνια και εξίσου εύκολα χάνονται, καταλαβαίνουμε ότι οι οικονομικοί θεσμοί που διέπουν την παραγωγή και την ανταλλαγή δεν δίνουν στην κοινωνία την ευημερία που επιδίωκαν να της εγγυηθούν. Φέρνουν τα εκ διαμέτρου αντίθετα αποτελέσματα. Αντί για την τάξη γεννούν το χάος, αντί για την ευτυχία γεννούν τη δυστυχία και την αβεβαιότητα για το αύριο, αντί για την αρμονία των συμφερόντων φέρνουν τον πόλεμο, τον διαρκή πόλεμο του εκμεταλλευτή ενάντια στον παραγωγό, των εκμεταλλευτών και των παραγωγών μεταξύ τους. Βλέπουμε την κοινωνία να χωρίζεται ολοένα πιο καθαρά σε δυο εχθρικά στρατόπεδα και συγχρόνως να υποδιαιρείται σε χιλιάδες μικροομάδες που πολεμούν λυσσαλέα μεταξύ τους. Αποκαμωμένη απ’ αυτούς τους πολέμους και από την αθλιότητα που φέρνουν, η κοινωνία αναζητά έναν νέο τρόπο οργάνωσης. Απαιτεί ρητά την πληρη αναδιάρθρωση του καθεστώτος της ιδιοκτησίας, της παραγωγής, της ανταλλαγής και το συνόλου των οικονομικών σχέσεων που απορρέουν απ΄’ αυτές.

Τι μορφές θα πάρει η αγκιτάτσια; Μα τις πιο διαφορετικές μορφές, όποιες θα της επιβάλλουν οι περιστάσεις, τα χρησιμοποιούμενα μέσα και οι διαθέσεις των ανθρώπων. Άλλοτε σοβαρή, άλλοτε περιπαικτική, αλλά πάντα τολμηρή, άλλοτε συλλογική, άλλοτε καθαρά ατομική, δεν παραμελεί κανένα από τα μέσα που έχει στη διάθεσή της, κανένα γεγονός της δημόσιας ζωής, για να κρατάει πάντα ξύπνιο το πνεύμα, να διαδίδει τη δυσαρέσκεια και να της δίνει μορφή, ν’ ανάβει το μίσος ενάντια στους εκμεταλλευτές, να γελοιοποιεί τους κυβερνώντες και να δείχνει την αδυναμία τους και, πάνω απ’ όλα και πάντα, να ξυπνά το θάρρος, το εξεγερσιακό πνεύμα, διδάσκοντας με το παράδειγμά της.

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