Thursday, September 17, 2009

The time is ripe for anarchism. Most of the traditional leftist ideologies are either totally or mainly discredited. Those that remain as an opposition to to decaying system of state and corporate management control usually have to disguise themselves (as in South America) in libertarian garb to seem something other than what they are, to seem like a real alternative rather than a ragtag collection of power seekers. In recent decades anarchism has been recovering from its long historical eclipse and gradually spreading across the world and deepening its organizational skills. In terms of "extent" anarchism has never been such a global idea, even at the height of its anarcho-syndicalist power in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Anarchism is now a familiar idea to at least a small minority in countries in which it never appeared before. The organizational recovery of anarchism has been slower, but there are great success stories afoot in the world today. One of these is the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front in South Africa. The following is a report of one of their recent efforts, published at the Anarkismo site. I cannot but feel optimistic when I read such reports. Yes, they are small efforts, but they are the seeds from which great things can grow. the sort of thing described here may seem "boring" to those enchanted by the sound of their own rhetoric and deluded as to their importance, but they are the necessary sort of thing if anarchism is ever to be a real presence amongst ordinary people. I gotta salute the South African comrades.

Report on Red & Black Forum on the Economic Crisis:
On Saturday 12th September the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) facilitated a Red and Black Forum - or popular education workshop - at a hall in the Sebokeng Municipal Hostel in Sebokeng township, about 50 kilometers south of Johannesburg.

The theme of the workshop was on the global economic crisis, covering a range of topics from a basic introduction to capitalism and neoliberalism and the causes of the crisis to an introduction to anarchist principles; from ideas for turning the day-to-day struggle for survival into a revolutionary mass movement to a basic outline of how a libertarian communist economy might function.
The RBF was attended by about a dozen activists from the Anti-Privatisation Forum-affiliated Working Class Crisis Committee (WCCC), three activists from the Landless Peoples' Movement (LPM) and even a dissident Young Communist League (YCL) member. Attendees comprised mostly unemployed activists of all ages and an even gender balance. Unfortunately there was confusion regarding the catering and at least one woman ended up going home to prepare lunch.(Oops-Molly )
There was a high level of participation in the discussions, which were translated into isiZulu, and attendees agreed that the residents of Sebokeng were suffering from a lack of information and agreed that they would benefit from further workshops. ZACF members and allied libertarian socialists from our Soweto-based study circle established good contacts, particularly with a youth group associated with the WCCC, and endeavored to maintain contact in order to organise future workshops and documentary screenings, and possibly establish a second study circle, this time based in Sebokeng.
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