Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Word is out on the "anarcho-net", from the Asian Anarchist Network, to A-Infos to Anarkismo, that 'The Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists' has now been translated into Indonesian. To Molly's knowledge (I might be wrong) this means that the translation will also be "generally" comprehensible to people in Malaysia as well. The translator can be reached at , and the translation itself can be seen and downloaded at:
Molly has reported on the recent development of an anarchist movement in Indonesia earlier this year (see 'Anarchist Activity in Indonesia'-March 9,2008; 'Arrests of Anarchists at Mayday Parade in Jakarta'-May 5, 2008 and 'Mayday in Jakarta'- May 11, 2008). It's hard to overestimate the importance of developments such as this. First of all, the growing geographic spread of anarchists ideas. In its classic phase anarchism did indeed have strong movements outside of the Romance language world (Russia, Bulgaria, Japan, China, Korea and even Germany, amongst others), but its world influence was very much geographically restricted. Today new groups keep popping up both in areas that have an anarchist history and in others where the idea falls upon "virgin ground". This is a healthy development, not just for the "number counters", but also for those who realize the importance of cross-cultural exchange in the deepening of the anarchist idea. The anarchist project is hardly a closed book where everything of any importance has already been written.
The translation of a document such as 'The Platform' is also an important matter. Not that I think it is such a great document. Not that I am a "platformist" either. Not that I think it describes the state of modern "neo-platformism" without so many caveats, hedges and "not-withstanding-clauses" as to be totally non-descriptive of what modern platformism is all about. What is important is that it presents the adult ideas of anarchism to a huge audience, in contrast to the juvenile rantings (mostly centred in the USA) of such things as "primitivism", "post-left anarchism" or "post-anarchism". However much I may disagree with platformism I have to recognize it as an intellectual current with "substance" rather than half-baked slogans. It's important not only that the name of anarchism spreads but also that the substance of what anarchism has always been about spreads as well. This translation is to be greatly welcomed as the beginning of a long discussion amongst our Indonesian comrades.
Want to keep up with this ? Events from Indonesia are regularly reported on the Asian Anarchist Network. Despite the language difficulties the Jakarta Indymedia (a real anarchist Indymedia in contrast to many others) and the Pustaka Otonomis website are well worth visiting. The latter quite impressed me even though I couldn't read more than the "international words" on the site. It shows a very high level of sophistication, both technically and theoretically. Many good wishes to the comrades.

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