Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-01
  • Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist
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Black Flame is the first of two volumes that reexamine anarchism's democratic class politics, its vision of a decentralized planned economy, and its impact on popular struggles in five continents over the last 150 years. From the nineteenth century to today's anticapitalist movements, it traces anarchism's lineage and contemporary relevance. It outlines anarchism's insights into questions of race, gender, class, and imperialism, significantly reframing the work of previous historians on the subject, and critiquing Marxist approaches to those same questions. Lucien van der Walt teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Michael Schmidt is a Johannesburg-based senior investigative journalist.

Author Biography

Michael Schmidt is a Johannesburg-based investigative journalist and journalism trainer with twenty years' experience in the field as a writer and columnist for South Africa's leading newspapers. Lucien van der Walt is based at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he teachers in development, economic sociology and labour studies.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Acknowledgmentsp. 3
Introductionp. 5
Our Projectp. 8
Beyond Capitalism: History, Neoliberalism, and Globalisationp. 9
Rethinking the Broad Anarchist Traditionp. 14
Social Base and Global Reachp. 15
What Is the Broad Anarchist Tradition?p. 19
Insurrectionist Anarchism, Mass Anarchism, and Syndicalismp. 20
Organisational Dualismp. 22
War, Gender Issues, and Anti-Imperialismp. 23
Anarchism and Marxismp. 24
Before We Startp. 26
Theory and Analysis
Socialism from Below: Defining Anarchismp. 33
The Meaning of Anarchism: Debating the Literaturep. 34
The Need for a New Approachp. 41
Starting Again: Socialism, Bakunin, and the First Internationalp. 44
Against Hierarchyp. 47
Against Capitalism and Landlordismp. 48
Against the Statep. 52
The Rejection of State Socialismp. 54
Elements of the Social Revolutionp. 56
The Popular Classesp. 56
Internationalism, Social Equality, and Anti-imperialismp. 60
Counterpower and Counterculturep. 65
For a New Worldp. 67
Crime and Social Orderp. 69
Anarchism Redefined: Socialism, Class, and Democracyp. 71
In Conclusion: The Modernity of Anarchismp. 72
Proudhon, Marx, and Anarchist Social Analysisp. 83
Cooperatives, Proudhon, and Peaceful Changep. 83
A Critical Appropriation of Marxist Economicsp. 85
Marxist Economics and Anarchist Communismp. 87
History, Progress, and the Statep. 92
The Vanguard and the Statep. 98
State Capitalism and Libertarian Socialismp. 100
Economic Determinism and the Broad Anarchist Traditionp. 105
The Anarchist Understanding of Classp. 108
In Conclusion: Toward an Anarchist Social Analysisp. 113
Strategy and Tactics
Roads to Revolution: Mass Anarchism versus Insurrectionist Anarchismp. 123
Anarchist Communism versus Anarcho-syndicalism?p. 124
The Insurrectionist Traditionp. 128
Mass Anarchism, Possibilism, and Syndicalismp. 133
Syndicalism: Prefiguring the Future in the Presentp. 133
Against Economism: Direct Action versus "Political Action"p. 138
Anarcho-syndicalism, Revolutionary Syndicalism, and De Leonismp. 142
In Conclusion: Building Tomorrow Todayp. 143
Anarchism, Syndicalism, the IWW, and Labourp. 149
Bakunin, Sorel, and the Origins of Syndicalismp. 149
The First International and the First Syndicalistsp. 153
The First Wave: Syndicalism before the French CGTp. 155
The IWW and Syndicalismp. 159
De Leon and Connollyp. 160
The "Glorious Period" of the mid-1890s to mid-1920sp. 164
In Conclusion: Syndicalism and the Broad Anarchist Traditionp. 170
Ideas, Structure, and Armed Action: Unions, Politics, and the Revolutionp. 181
Union Activism, Anarchist Ideology, and Union Bureaucracyp. 181
Mass Anarchism, Radical Counterculture, and Syndicalismp. 183
Anarchist Schools and Syndicalist Educationp. 186
Democracy and Direct Actionp. 187
An Iron Law of Oligarchy?p. 188
Alliances and the Struggle outside the Workplacep. 190
Defending the Revolutionp. 193
The Question of Power and the Spanish Revolutionp. 198
In Conclusion: Anarchism, Syndicalism, and Counterpowerp. 202
Dual Unionism, Reforms, and Other Tactical Debatesp. 211
The Antimilitarist Tradition and Popular Revoltp. 211
Reforms, Laws, and Compromisesp. 218
Boring from Within and Dual Unionismp. 224
Tactics in Context and Organisational Dualismp. 228
Syndicalism and Rank-and-file Movementsp. 231
In Conclusion: Reform and Revolutionp. 233
Militant Minority: The Question of Anarchist Political Organisationp. 239
Insurrectionists Anarchists, Antiorganisationalism, and Stirner's Ghostp. 240
Syndicalism and Anarchism without Adjectivesp. 242
Bakuninism, the Organisation of Tendency, and the "Platform"p. 247
From Bakunin to the "Platform"p. 253
Rethinking the "Platform" Debatep. 256
Other Responses to the "Platform"p. 257
In Conclusion: Militant Minority and Mass Movementp. 263
Social Themes
The Class Character and Popular Impact of the Broad Anarchist Traditionp. 271
The Case against "Spanish Exceptionalism"p. 273
Broader Impacts and Infusionsp. 275
The Class Character of the Broad Anarchist Traditionp. 279
The Broad Anarchist Tradition in the Countrysidep. 282
Behind the Rise of Peasant Anarchismp. 283
In Conclusion: Labour Movements and Peasant Revoltsp. 290
Anarchist Internationalism and Race, Imperialism, and Genderp. 297
Anarchist Class Politics and Racep. 300
An International and Internationalist Movementp. 305
Imperialism and National Liberationp. 309
Anarchists and Syndicalists in Anti-imperialist Strugglesp. 314
Anarchism, Syndicalism, and Women's Emancipationp. 321
Women, Class, and Counterculturep. 323
Anarchist and Syndicalist Women's Activismp. 328
In Conclusion: Class Politics and Human Emancipationp. 334
Conclusion to Volume 1 and Prologue to Volume 2p. 347
Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 377
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