Movement analysis: “THE NEW ANARCHISTS”


Richard Moore

From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>,
  "TOES" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 09:57:14 -0700
Organization: Institute for Cultural Ecology

This article brings badly needed understanding to those
who are concerned with social change and justice today.
 Please take the time to read it.

Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 9:06 PM

New Left Review 13, January-February 2002

Is the 'anti-globalization movement' anything of the
kind? Active resistance is true globalization, David
Graeber maintains, and its repertoire of forms is
currently coming from the arsenal of a reinvented



It's hard to think of another time when there has been
such a gulf between intellectuals and activists;
between theorists of revolution and its practitioners.
Writers who for years have been publishing essays that
sound like position papers for vast social movements
that do not in fact exist seem seized with confusion or
worse, dismissive contempt, now that real ones are
everywhere emerging. It's particularly scandalous in
the case of what's still, for no particularly good
reason, referred to as the 'anti-globalization'
movement, one that has in a mere two or three years
managed to transform completely the sense of historical
possibilities for millions across the planet. This may
be the result of sheer ignorance, or of relying on what
might be gleaned from such overtly hostile sources as
the New York Times; then again, most of what's written
even in progressive outlets seems largely to miss the
point -- or at least, rarely focuses on what
participants in the movement really think is most
important about it.

As an anthropologist and active participant --
particularly in the more radical, direct-action end of
the movement -- I may be able to clear up some common
points of misunderstanding; but the news may not be
gratefully received. Much of the hesitation, I suspect,
lies in the reluctance of those who have long fancied
themselves radicals of some sort to come to terms with
the fact that they are really liberals: interested in
expanding individual freedoms and pursuing social
justice, but not in ways that would seriously challenge
the existence of reigning institutions like capital or
state. And even many of those who would like to see
revolutionary change might not feel entirely happy
about having to accept that most of the creative energy
for radical politics is now coming from anarchism -- a
tradition that they have hitherto mostly dismissed --
and that taking this movement seriously will
necessarily also mean a respectful engagement with it.

I am writing as an anarchist; but in a sense, counting
how many people involved in the movement actually call
themselves 'anarchists', and in what contexts, is a bit
beside the point.<>
[1] The very notion of direct action, with its
rejection of a politics which appeals to governments to
modify their behaviour, in favour of physical
intervention against state power in a form that itself
prefigures an alternative -- all of this emerges
directly from the libertarian tradition. Anarchism is
the heart of the movement, its soul; the source of most
of what's new and hopeful about it. In what follows,
then, I will try to clear up what seem to be the three
most common misconceptions about the movement -- our
supposed opposition to something called
'globalization', our supposed 'violence', and our
supposed lack of a coherent ideology -- and then
suggest how radical intellectuals might think about
reimagining their own theoretical practice in the light
of all of this.

A globalization movement?

The phrase 'anti-globalization movement' is a coinage
of the US media and activists have never felt
comfortable with it. Insofar as this is a movement
against anything, it's against neoliberalism, which can
be defined as a kind of market fundamentalism -- or,
better, market Stalinism -- that holds there is only
one possible direction for human historical
development. The map is held by an elite of economists
and corporate flacks, to whom must be ceded all power
once held by institutions with any shred of democratic
accountability; from now on it will be wielded largely
through unelected treaty organizations like the IMF,
WTO or NAFTA. In Argentina, or Estonia, or Taiwan, it
would be possible to say this straight out: 'We are a
movement against neoliberalism'. But in the US,
language is always a problem. The corporate media here
is probably the most politically monolithic on the
planet: neoliberalism is all there is to see -- the
background reality; as a result, the word itself cannot
be used. The issues involved can only be addressed
using propaganda terms like 'free trade' or 'the free
market'. So American activists find themselves in a
quandary: if one suggests putting 'the N word' (as it's
often called) in a pamphlet or press release, alarm
bells immediately go off: one is being exclusionary,
playing only to an educated elite. There have been all
sorts of attempts to frame alternative expressions --
we're a 'global justice movement', we're a movement
'against corporate globalization'. None are especially
elegant or quite satisfying and, as a result, it is
common in meetings to hear the speakers using
'globalization movement' and 'anti-globalization
movement' pretty much interchangeably.

The phrase 'globalization movement', though, is really
quite apropos. If one takes globalization to mean the
effacement of borders and the free movement of people,
possessions and ideas, then it's pretty clear that not
only is the movement itself a product of globalization,
but the majority of groups involved in it -- the most
radical ones in particular -- are far more supportive
of globalization in general than are the IMF or WTO. It
was an international network called People's Global
Action, for example, that put out the first summons for
planet-wide days of action such as J18 and N30 -- the
latter the original call for protest against the 1999
WTO meetings in Seattle. And PGA in turn owes its
origins to the famous International Encounter for
Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, which took place
knee-deep in the jungle mud of rainy-season Chiapas, in
August 1996; and was itself initiated, as Subcomandante
Marcos put it, 'by all the rebels around the world'.
People from over 50 countries came streaming into the
Zapatista-held village of La Realidad. The vision for
an 'intercontinental network of resistance' was laid
out in the Second Declaration of La Realidad: 'We
declare that we will make a collective network of all
our particular struggles and resistances, an
intercontinental network of resistance against
neoliberalism, an intercontinental network of
resistance for humanity':

Let it be a network of voices that resist the war Power
wages on them. A network of voices that not only speak,
but also struggle and resist for humanity and against
neoliberalism. A network that covers the five
continents and helps to resist the death that Power
promises us.<> [2]

This, the Declaration made clear, was 'not an
organizing structure; it has no central head or
decision maker; it has no central command or
hierarchies. We are the network, all of us who resist.'

The following year, European Zapatista supporters in
the Ya Basta! groups organized a second encuentro in
Spain, where the idea of the network process was taken
forward: PGA was born at a meeting in Geneva in
February 1998. From the start, it included not only
anarchist groups and radical trade unions in Spain,
Britain and Germany, but a Gandhian socialist farmers'
league in India (the KRRS), associations of Indonesian
and Sri Lankan fisherfolk, the Argentinian teachers'
union, indigenous groups such as the Maori of New
Zealand and Kuna of Ecuador, the Brazilian Landless
Workers' Movement, a network made up of communities
founded by escaped slaves in South and Central America
-- and any number of others. For a long time, North
America was scarcely represented, save for the Canadian
Postal Workers' Union -- which acted as PGA's main
communications hub, until it was largely replaced by
the internet -- and a Montreal-based anarchist group
called CLAC.

If the movement's origins are internationalist, so are
its demands. The three-plank programme of Ya Basta! in
Italy, for instance, calls for a universally guaranteed
'basic income', global citizenship, guaranteeing free
movement of people across borders, and free access to
new technology -- which in practice would mean extreme
limits on patent rights (themselves a very insidious
form of protectionism). The noborder network -- their
slogan: 'No One is Illegal' -- has organized week-long
campsites, laboratories for creative resistance, on the
Polish–German and Ukrainian borders, in Sicily and at
Tarifa in Spain. Activists have dressed up as border
guards, built boat-bridges across the River Oder and
blockaded Frankfurt Airport with a full classical
orchestra to protest against the deportation of
immigrants (deportees have died of suffocation on
Lufthansa and KLM flights). This summer's camp is
planned for Strasbourg, home of the Schengen
Information System, a search-and-control database with
tens of thousands of terminals across Europe, targeting
the movements of migrants, activists, anyone they like.

More and more, activists have been trying to draw
attention to the fact that the neoliberal vision of
'globalization' is pretty much limited to the movement
of capital and commodities, and actually increases
barriers against the free flow of people, information
and ideas -- the size of the US border guard has almost
tripled since the signing of NAFTA. Hardly surprising:
if it were not possible to effectively imprison the
majority of people in the world in impoverished
enclaves, there would be no incentive for Nike or The
Gap to move production there to begin with. Given a
free movement of people, the whole neoliberal project
would collapse. This is another thing to bear in mind
when people talk about the decline of 'sovereignty' in
the contemporary world: the main achievement of the
nation-state in the last century has been the
establishment of a uniform grid of heavily policed
barriers across the world. It is precisely this
international system of control that we are fighting
against, in the name of genuine globalization.

These connexions -- and the broader links between
neoliberal policies and mechanisms of state coercion
(police, prisons, militarism) -- have played a more and
more salient role in our analyses as we ourselves have
confronted escalating levels of state repression.
Borders became a major issue in Europe during the IMF
meetings at Prague, and later EU meetings in Nice. At
the FTAA summit in Quebec City last summer, invisible
lines that had previously been treated as if they
didn't exist (at least for white people) were converted
overnight into fortifications against the movement of
would-be global citizens, demanding the right to
petition their rulers. The three-kilometre 'wall'
constructed through the center of Quebec City, to
shield the heads of state junketing inside from any
contact with the populace, became the perfect symbol
for what neoliberalism actually means in human terms.
The spectacle of the Black Bloc, armed with wire
cutters and grappling hooks, joined by everyone from
Steelworkers to Mohawk warriors to tear down the wall,
became -- for that very reason -- one of the most
powerful moments in the movement's
history.<> [3]

There is one striking contrast between this and earlier
internationalisms, however. The former usually ended up
exporting Western organizational models to the rest of
the world; in this, the flow has if anything been the
other way around. Many, perhaps most, of the movement's
signature techniques -- including mass nonviolent civil
disobedience itself -- were first developed in the
global South. In the long run, this may well prove the
single most radical thing about it.

Billionaires and clowns

In the corporate media, the word 'violent' is invoked
as a kind of mantra -- invariably, repeatedly --
whenever a large action takes place: 'violent
protests', 'violent clashes', 'police raid headquarters
of violent protesters', even 'violent riots' (there are
other kinds?). Such expressions are typically invoked
when a simple, plain-English description of what took
place (people throwing paint-bombs, breaking windows of
empty storefronts, holding hands as they blockaded
intersections, cops beating them with sticks) might
give the impression that the only truly violent parties
were the police. The US media is probably the biggest
offender here -- and this despite the fact that, after
two years of increasingly militant direct action, it is
still impossible to produce a single example of anyone
to whom a US activist has caused physical injury. I
would say that what really disturbs the powers-that-be
is not the 'violence' of the movement but its relative
lack of it; governments simply do not know how to deal
with an overtly revolutionary movement that refuses to
fall into familiar patterns of armed resistance.

The effort to destroy existing paradigms is usually
quite self-conscious. Where once it seemed that the
only alternatives to marching along with signs were
either Gandhian non-violent civil disobedience or
outright insurrection, groups like the Direct Action
Network, Reclaim the Streets, Black Blocs or Tute
Bianche have all, in their own ways, been trying to map
out a completely new territory in between. They're
attempting to invent what many call a 'new language' of
civil disobedience, combining elements of street
theatre, festival and what can only be called
non-violent warfare -- non-violent in the sense adopted
by, say, Black Bloc anarchists, in that it eschews any
direct physical harm to human beings. Ya Basta! for
example is famous for its tute bianche or
white-overalls tactics: men and women dressed in
elaborate forms of padding, ranging from foam armour to
inner tubes to rubber-ducky flotation devices, helmets
and chemical-proof white jumpsuits (their British
cousins are well-clad Wombles). As this mock army
pushes its way through police barricades, all the while
protecting each other against injury or arrest, the
ridiculous gear seems to reduce human beings to cartoon
characters -- misshapen, ungainly, foolish, largely
indestructible. The effect is only increased when lines
of costumed figures attack police with balloons and
water pistols or, like the 'Pink Bloc' at Prague and
elsewhere, dress as fairies and tickle them with
feather dusters.

At the American Party Conventions, Billionaires for
Bush (or Gore) dressed in high-camp tuxedos and evening
gowns and tried to press wads of fake money into the
cops' pockets, thanking them for repressing the
dissent. None were even slightly hurt -- perhaps police
are given aversion therapy against hitting anyone in a
tuxedo. The Revolutionary Anarchist Clown Bloc, with
their high bicycles, rainbow wigs and squeaky mallets,
confused the cops by attacking each other (or the
billionaires). They had all the best chants:
'Democracy? Ha Ha Ha!', 'The pizza united can never be
defeated', 'Hey ho, hey ho -- ha ha, hee hee!', as well
as meta-chants like 'Call! Response! Call! Response!'
and -- everyone's favourite -- 'Three Word Chant! Three
Word Chant!'

In Quebec City, a giant catapult built along mediaeval
lines (with help from the left caucus of the Society
for Creative Anachronism) lobbed soft toys at the FTAA.
Ancient-warfare techniques have been studied to adopt
for non-violent but very militant forms of
confrontation: there were peltasts and hoplites (the
former mainly from the Prince Edwards Islands, the
latter from Montreal) at Quebec City, and research
continues into Roman-style shield walls. Blockading has
become an art form: if you make a huge web of strands
of yarn across an intersection, it's actually
impossible to cross; motorcycle cops get trapped like
flies. The Liberation Puppet with its arms fully
extended can block a four-lane highway, while
snake-dances can be a form of mobile blockade. Rebels
in London last Mayday planned Monopoly Board actions --
Building Hotels on Mayfair for the homeless, Sale of
the Century in Oxford Street, Guerrilla Gardening --
only partly disrupted by heavy policing and torrential
rain. But even the most militant of the militant --
eco-saboteurs like the Earth Liberation Front --
scrupulously avoid doing anything that would cause harm
to human beings (or animals, for that matter). It's
this scrambling of conventional categories that so
throws the forces of order and makes them desperate to
bring things back to familiar territory (simple
violence): even to the point, as in Genoa, of
encouraging fascist hooligans to run riot as an excuse
to use overwhelming force against everybody else.

One could trace these forms of action back to the
stunts and guerrilla theater of the Yippies or Italian
'metropolitan Indians' in the sixties, the squatter
battles in Germany or Italy in the seventies and
eighties, even the peasant resistance to the expansion
of Tokyo airport. But it seems to me that here, too,
the really crucial origins lie with the Zapatistas, and
other movements in the global South. In many ways, the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) represents
an attempt by people who have always been denied the
right to non-violent, civil resistance to seize it;
essentially, to call the bluff of neoliberalism and its
pretenses to democratization and yielding power to
'civil society'. It is, as its commanders say, an army
which aspires not to be an army any more (it's
something of an open secret that, for the last five
years at least, they have not even been carrying real
guns). As Marcos explains their conversion from
standard tactics of guerrilla war:

We thought the people would either not pay attention to
us, or come together with us to fight. But they did not
react in either of these two ways. It turned out that
all these people, who were thousands, tens of
thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, did
not want to rise up with us but . . . neither did they
want us to be annihilated. They wanted us to dialogue.
This completely broke our scheme and ended up defining
zapatismo, the
neo-zapatismo.<> [4]

Now the EZLN is the sort of army that organizes
'invasions' of Mexican military bases in which hundreds
of rebels sweep in entirely unarmed to yell at and try
to shame the resident soldiers. Similarly, mass actions
by the Landless Workers' Movement gain an enormous
moral authority in Brazil by reoccupying unused lands
entirely non-violently. In either case, it's pretty
clear that if the same people had tried the same thing
twenty years ago, they would simply have been shot.

Anarchy and peace

However you choose to trace their origins, these new
tactics are perfectly in accord with the general
anarchistic inspiration of the movement, which is less
about seizing state power than about exposing,
delegitimizing and dismantling mechanisms of rule while
winning ever-larger spaces of autonomy from it. The
critical thing, though, is that all this is only
possible in a general atmosphere of peace. In fact, it
seems to me that these are the ultimate stakes of
struggle at the moment: one that may well determine the
overall direction of the twenty-first century. We
should remember that during the late nineteenth and
early twentieth century, when most Marxist parties were
rapidly becoming reformist social democrats, anarchism
and anarcho-syndicalism were the centre of the
revolutionary left.<>
[5] The situation only really changed with World War I
and the Russian Revolution. It was the Bolsheviks'
success, we are usually told, that led to the decline
of anarchism -- with the glorious exception of Spain --
and catapulted Communism to the fore. But it seems to
me one could look at this another way.

In the late nineteenth century most people honestly
believed that war between industrialized powers was
becoming obsolete; colonial adventures were a constant,
but a war between France and England, on French or
English soil, seemed as unthinkable as it would today.
By 1900, even the use of passports was considered an
antiquated barbarism. The 'short twentieth century'
was, by contrast, probably the most violent in human
history, almost entirely preoccupied with either waging
world wars or preparing for them. Hardly surprising,
then, that anarchism quickly came to seem unrealistic,
if the ultimate measure of political effectiveness
became the ability to maintain huge mechanized killing
machines. This is one thing that anarchists, by
definition, can never be very good at. Neither is it
surprising that Marxist parties  -- who have been only
too good at it -- seemed eminently practical and
realistic in comparison. Whereas the moment the Cold
War ended, and war between industrialized powers once
again seemed unthinkable, anarchism reappeared just
where it had been at the end of the nineteenth century,
as an international movement at the very centre of the
revolutionary left.

If this is right, it becomes clearer what the ultimate
stakes of the current 'anti-terrorist' mobilization
are. In the short run, things do look very frightening.
Governments who were desperately scrambling for some
way to convince the public we were terrorists even
before September 11 now feel they've been given carte
blanche; there is little doubt that a lot of good
people are about to suffer terrible repression. But in
the long run, a return to twentieth-century levels of
violence is simply impossible. The September 11 attacks
were clearly something of a fluke (the first wildly
ambitious terrorist scheme in history that actually
worked); the spread of nuclear weapons is ensuring that
larger and larger portions of the globe will be for all
practical purposes off-limits to conventional warfare.
And if war is the health of the state, the prospects
for anarchist-style organizing can only be improving.

Practising direct democracy

A constant complaint about the globalization movement
in the progressive press is that, while tactically
brilliant, it lacks any central theme or coherent
ideology. (This seems to be the left equivalent of the
corporate media's claims that we are a bunch of dumb
kids touting a bundle of completely unrelated causes --
free Mumia, dump the debt, save the old-growth
forests.) Another line of attack is that the movement
is plagued by a generic opposition to all forms of
structure or organization. It's distressing that, two
years after Seattle, I should have to write this, but
someone obviously should: in North America especially,
this is a movement about reinventing democracy. It is
not opposed to organization. It is about creating new
forms of organization. It is not lacking in ideology.
Those new forms of organization are its ideology. It is
about creating and enacting horizontal networks instead
of top-down structures like states, parties or
corporations; networks based on principles of
decentralized, non-hierarchical consensus democracy.
Ultimately, it aspires to be much more than that,
because ultimately it aspires to reinvent daily life as
whole. But unlike many other forms of radicalism, it
has first organized itself in the political sphere --
mainly because this was a territory that the powers
that be (who have shifted all their heavy artillery
into the economic) have largely abandoned.

Over the past decade, activists in North America have
been putting enormous creative energy into reinventing
their groups' own internal processes, to create viable
models of what functioning direct democracy could
actually look like. In this we've drawn particularly,
as I've noted, on examples from outside the Western
tradition, which almost invariably rely on some process
of consensus finding, rather than majority vote. The
result is a rich and growing panoply of organizational
instruments -- spokescouncils, affinity groups,
facilitation tools, break-outs, fishbowls, blocking
concerns, vibe-watchers and so on -- all aimed at
creating forms of democratic process that allow
initiatives to rise from below and attain maximum
effective solidarity, without stifling dissenting
voices, creating leadership positions or compelling
anyone to do anything which they have not freely agreed
to do.

The basic idea of consensus process is that, rather
than voting, you try to come up with proposals
acceptable to everyone -- or at least, not highly
objectionable to anyone: first state the proposal, then
ask for 'concerns' and try to address them. Often, at
this point, people in the group will propose 'friendly
amendments' to add to the original proposal, or
otherwise alter it, to ensure concerns are addressed.
Then, finally, when you call for consensus, you ask if
anyone wishes to 'block' or 'stand aside'. Standing
aside is just saying, 'I would not myself be willing to
take part in this action, but I wouldn't stop anyone
else from doing it'. Blocking is a way of saying 'I
think this violates the fundamental principles or
purposes of being in the group'. It functions as a
veto: any one person can kill a proposal completely by
blocking it -- although there are ways to challenge
whether a block is genuinely principled.

There are different sorts of groups. Spokescouncils,
for example, are large assemblies that coordinate
between smaller 'affinity groups'. They are most often
held before, and during, large-scale direct actions
like Seattle or Quebec. Each affinity group (which
might have between 4 and 20 people) selects a 'spoke',
who is empowered to speak for them in the larger group.
Only the spokes can take part in the actual process of
finding consensus at the council, but before major
decisions they break out into affinity groups again and
each group comes to consensus on what position they
want their spoke to take (not as unwieldy as it might
sound). Break-outs, on the other hand, are when a large
meeting temporarily splits up into smaller ones that
will focus on making decisions or generating proposals,
which can then be presented for approval before the
whole group when it reassembles. Facilitation tools are
used to resolve problems or move things along if they
seem to be bogging down. You can ask for a
brainstorming session, in which people are only allowed
to present ideas but not to criticize other people's;
or for a non-binding straw poll, where people raise
their hands just to see how everyone feels about a
proposal, rather than to make a decision. A fishbowl
would only be used if there is a profound difference of
opinion: you can take two representatives for each side
-- one man and one woman -- and have the four of them
sit in the middle, everyone else surrounding them
silently, and see if the four can't work out a
synthesis or compromise together, which they can then
present as a proposal to the whole group.

Prefigurative politics

This is very much a work in progress, and creating a
culture of democracy among people who have little
experience of such things is necessarily a painful and
uneven business, full of all sorts of stumblings and
false starts, but -- as almost any police chief who has
faced us on the streets can attest -- direct democracy
of this sort can be astoundingly effective. And it is
difficult to find anyone who has fully participated in
such an action whose sense of human possibilities has
not been profoundly transformed as a result. It's one
thing to say, 'Another world is possible'. It's another
to experience it, however momentarily. Perhaps the best
way to start thinking about these organizations -- the
Direct Action Network, for example -- is to see them as
the diametrical opposite of the sectarian Marxist
groups; or, for that matter, of the sectarian Anarchist
groups.<> [6] Where
the democratic-centralist 'party' puts its emphasis on
achieving a complete and correct theoretical analysis,
demands ideological uniformity and tends to juxtapose
the vision of an egalitarian future with extremely
authoritarian forms of organization in the present,
these openly seek diversity. Debate always focuses on
particular courses of action; it's taken for granted
that no one will ever convert anyone else entirely to
their point of view. The motto might be, 'If you are
willing to act like an anarchist now, your long-term
vision is pretty much your own business'. Which seems
only sensible: none of us know how far these principles
can actually take us, or what a complex society based
on them would end up looking like. Their ideology,
then, is immanent in the anti-authoritarian principles
that underlie their practice, and one of their more
explicit principles is that things should stay this

Finally, I'd like to tease out some of the questions
the direct-action networks raise about alienation, and
its broader implications for political practice. For
example: why is it that, even when there is next to no
other constituency for revolutionary politics in a
capitalist society, the one group most likely to be
sympathetic to its project consists of artists,
musicians, writers, and others involved in some form of
non-alienated production? Surely there must be a link
between the actual experience of first imagining things
and then bringing them into being, individually or
collectively, and the ability to envision social
alternatives -- particularly, the possibility of a
society itself premised on less alienated forms of
creativity? One might even suggest that revolutionary
coalitions always tend to rely on a kind of alliance
between a society's least alienated and its most
oppressed; actual revolutions, one could then say, have
tended to happen when these two categories most broadly

This would, at least, help explain why it almost always
seems to be peasants and craftsmen -- or even more,
newly proletarianized former peasants and craftsmen --
who actually overthrow capitalist regimes; and not
those inured to generations of wage labour. It would
also help explain the extraordinary importance of
indigenous people's struggles in the new movement: such
people tend to be simultaneously the very least
alienated and most oppressed people on earth. Now that
new communication technologies have made it possible to
include them in global revolutionary alliances, as well
as local resistance and revolt, it is well-nigh
inevitable that they should play a profoundly
inspirational role.

<>[1] There are
some who take anarchist principles of anti-sectarianism
and open-endedness so seriously that they are sometimes
reluctant to call themselves 'anarchists' for that very

<>[2] Read by
Subcomandante Marcos during the closing session of the
First Intercontinental Encuentro, 3 August 1996: Our
Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings, Juana Ponce de
León, ed., New York 2001.

<>[3] Helping tear
it down was certainly one of the more exhilarating
experiences of this author's life.

<>[4] Interviewed
by Yvon LeBot, Subcomandante Marcos: El Sueño
Zapatista, Barcelona 1997, pp. 214–5; Bill Weinberg,
Homage to Chiapas, London 2000, p. 188.

<>[5] 'In
1905–1914 the Marxist left had in most countries been
on the fringe of the revolutionary movement, the main
body of Marxists had been identified with a de facto
non-revolutionary social democracy, while the bulk of
the revolutionary left was anarcho-syndicalist, or at
least much closer to the ideas and the mood of
anarcho-syndicalism than to that of classical Marxism.'
Eric Hobsbawm, 'Bolshevism and the Anarchists',
Revolutionaries, New York 1973, p. 61.

<>[6] What one
might call capital-A anarchist groups, such as, say,
the North East Federation of Anarchist Communists --
whose members must accept the Platform of the Anarchist
Communists set down in 1926 by Nestor Makhno -- do
still exist, of course. But the small-a anarchists are
the real locus of historical dynamism right now.

Other texts in this series are Naomi Klein,
'Reclaiming the Commons' (NLR 9), 

Subcomandante Marcos,
'The Punch Card and the Hourglass' (NLR 9), 

John Sellers,
'Raising a Ruckus' (NLR 10), 

José Bové,
'A Farmers' International?' (NLR 12), 

Michael Hardt,
'Porto Alegre: Today's Bandung?' (NLR 14), 

João Pedro Stedile,
'Landless Battalions' (NLR 15) and 

Walden Bello
'Pacific Panopticon' (NLR 16).



    For the movement, the relevant question is not, "Can we
    work through the political system?", but rather, "Is
    the political system one of the things that needs to be
    fundamentally transformed?"

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