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The Northwest Anarchist Federation

category north america / mexico | local contacts | feature author Thursday August 11, 2005 23:44author by Various - NAF Report this post to the editors

About NAF, contact details, drafts aims and principles

The Northwest Anarchist Federation is federation of collectives and individuals in the Pacific Northwest working to bring about revolutionary change in our region, as well as support and work in solidarity with others both regionally and worldwide working towards Revolution.

The Northwest Anarchist Federation


The Northwest Anarchist Federation is a bi-national organzation based in the Pacific Northwest coast of North America We are opposed to all forms of capitalism and the state. We are fighting for a revolutionary movement that has the power to chalenge government, politicians employers, and bureaucrats. In place of the system of oppression and war that both Canada and the U.S. are, we envision building world based on stateless communism.

We want housing, food, dignity at work, access to education, freedom, and a voice in how our live are run. We want democracy, equality, justice, and peace. These are natural rights that belong to all people. The complete fulfillment of these basic rights can only be achieved through revolution. We will fight for these rights until we win.

We are denied these rights because the system we live within is built on structural inequality. Our aim is to abolish that system and replace it with libertarian communism.


The Fourth NAF Conference, Labor Day Weekend, 2005

The Northwest Anarchist Federation will hold its fourth conference labor day weekend in Portland, Oregon. If you are interested in attending as a visitor or potential member, contact the Anarchist-Communist Union of Portland at ACUP@NAFederation.org.


Interested In Joining NAF?

Send an email to the local union nearest to you and we'll get in touch with you.

Victoria, B.C., Canada
Victoria@NAFederation.org

Seattle, WA, U.S.
ACUS@NAFederation.org

Portland, OR, U.S.
ACUP@NAFederation.org


From Unfinished Buisness No 2: Agitational publication of the NORTHWEST ANARCHIST FEDERATION - NAF U..B.. B U P.o. Box 112 Portland, O R 97232

AIMS AND PRINCIPLES

These Aims and Priciples are still being discussed and have not been voted in by the Federation.

Principles

1. Anarchist Communism is a theory of social, economic, and political organization. As such, the principles of anarchism are best demonstrated by example rather than illusory rhetoric. Anarchism is not based in crude dogmatism, but shapes itself according to the needs of the situation. Thus, as an organization, anarchist communist principles guide our activity, but we define our path based on the condition and situation of our region. Six essential tenets guide our internal and external organizing as a federation.

i. Direct action is taking action independently rather than appealing to the power of politicians, bureaucrats, and employers. It is when we take power into our own hands through strikes, sabotage, shutdowns, ect..

ii. Direct democracy is the equal and direct participation of working people in the decisions that affect us.

iii. Solidarity is the common concern for the struggles we face each day together. It is the combination of unity and action.

iv. Self-organization. Working people must build autonomous organizations in defense of our rights. Our self-organization originates from our needs and actions.

v. Tactical and theoretical unity are necessary for effective coordination of our activities and resources. They ensure a strategically based organization.

vi. Collective responsibility is the wholesale responsibility of our organization to us, and us to our organization. Thus we are all responsible to each other as much as to ourselves.

2. We believe in the necessity of revolutionary organization. Libertarian organization is both the means and the ends of revolution. An anarchist communist revolutionary organization will not lead the revolution. We participate within social struggle, seeking out the radical elements within them. We encourage, support, develop, participate, and popularize the radical elements within the social struggles that mirror our six basic tenants.

3. Revolution is the only path of true social change. While we support all victories of working people, we also recognize the limited nature of reforms. Reforms are steps towards total revolutionary change when they are achieved through revolutionary tactics and are based in an area of struggle that contains the power to eventually create revolution.

4. We are diametrically opposed to any incarnation of the professional state. The state and the system of structural inequality formerly known as capitalism go hand in hand in exploiting working people. To abolish the state, capitalism must be abolished. To abolish capitalism, the state must be abolished.

5. We recognize that our class is horizontally divided along the lines of race, gender, age, ability, and economic position within the working class. We realize that a united class can only be achieved through solidarity within struggle.

6. We are internationalists who organize for worldwide social revolution. Complete revolution must abolish all nation-states and organize the world based on culturally autonomous communities and workplaces federated in directly democratic federal organizations. This said, we critically support national liberation struggles; meaning we seek out and support the radical and libertarian elements within these struggles. We see the defeat of colonialism and imperialism as a step towards international revolution. As a federation within industrialized and imperialist nations, we see it as our responsibility to attack the imperialist beast at home in solidarity with colonized peoples around the world and within North America.

7. We are a regional organization because each region of North America is subject to specific economic and political pressures not felt in other regions. We can most effectively coordinate our resources, energies, and activities by organizing on a regional basis. This does not prevent us from networking our federation with other federations and organizations in North America and the rest of the world, it only defines our focus.

Aims

1. We want housing, food, dignity at work, freedom, and a voice in how our lives are run. We want democracy, equality, justice, and peace. All these things are natural rights that belong to all people. The complete fulfillment of these basic rights can only be achieved through revolution. We will fight for these rights until we win. We are denied these rights because the system we live within is built on structural inequality and neo-liberalism. Our aim is abolish that system and replace it with libertarian communism.

2. We want to take back power in our communities and workplaces, and make democracy a reality. Thus, we want to socialize and democratize the economy, putting it under the control and ownership of all people.

3. We want to eliminate horizontal oppression within the working class through participating in and popularizing solidarity in struggle. We support, respect, and provide solidarity to the autonomous organizations within our class that struggle for their own collective liberation and the collective liberation of the working class as a whole.

4. The work of organization lies in working within these movements to radicalize them, building their autonomy from the state and bureaucrats, and pushing them towards revolutionary goals amid the fight for reforms.

5. We will stop at nothing short of the international working class revolution. We will organize tirelessly towards this end and will defend it by any means necessary.


From the NAF website Aug 11 2005

author by Tim Pattersonpublication date Fri Aug 12, 2005 07:00author email gonzodex at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

I just found your website as I look for interesting stuff on Libertarianism. And I was quite amused by the description on your main page about wanting to create ‘libertarian communism.’

Based on my understanding of the two terms, libertarianism and communism are pretty much the exact opposite, so I’d be curious as to how this will work!

Communism is the collective ownership of property and the collective labor of citizens for the common advantage of all members.

Libertarianism is advocating maximum individual rights and minimizing the role of the state, as well as one who believes in free will.

As a long-time Libertarian, I support the minimization of the state. But libertarians fully support free-market economies (ie, capitalism). And as you advocate the elimination of capitalism it mystifies me as to what economic system you support. If it is not capitalism, and you want to have each member of society receive their fair share, no matter how much they work, then you must have a system of dividing up the spoils of labor – which is a state, regardless of how you characterize it.

author by Joe Licentiapublication date Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:02author address US-Occupied MexicoReport this post to the editors

The state is a hierarchical organization with a monopoly or near-monopoly on legitimate violence. A system that divides up the spoils of labor isn't a state unless it has that monopoly of violence. All economic systems actually have ways of dividing up the spoils of labor, they just do it in different ways. Capitalism has a system for dividing up the spoils of labor, through stores, distribution systems, etc. it just does it in a way we consider unjust. Your overly broad conception of the state would make many private companies states since they are often in involved in dividing up the spoils of labor (via buying & selling). Capitalism is actually dependant on state intervention in the economy to enforce private property. You probably think this is justified in order to protect people's rights, but that's the same justification US liberals use to justify statism. It contradicts libertarian principles because it's statist. Libertarian communism doesn't rely on state intervention because private property doesn't exist. Capitalism requires private property and private property requires a state. You can find a more detailed description of libertarian communism at http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secIcon.html or http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/toc.html

Related Link: http://question-everything.mahost.org
author by Andrewpublication date Fri Aug 12, 2005 18:15Report this post to the editors

I guess you must be posting from the USA where curiously the term 'libertarian' is used by a fringe of neo-liberalism. This is pretty unique to the post war US - elsewhere in the world and elsewhere in US history 'libertarian' means anti-state socialism/communism. There are hundreds of organisations and publications that use 'libertarian socialism' or 'libertarain communism' in their title.

I was reading an article submitted for a 'magazine of libertarian communism' last night. In it the author points out that the French anarchist Joseph Dejacque was the first to use Libertarian as a synonym for anarchism. That would have been back in the 1850's.

You'll find an exhaustive discussion of all this in the Anarchist FAQ - linked below

Related Link: http://anarchism.ws/faq/
author by Philip - The Working Classpublication date Sat Feb 14, 2009 03:52author email socially_challenged at hotmail dot comauthor address Hillsboro, Oregonauthor phone 503-531-6326Report this post to the editors

Borrowing Tim's definitions, one can not logically conclude that Libertarian-Communism is an "oxymoron":

1. Communism is the collective ownership of property and the collective labor of citizens for the common advantage of all members. -- Tim Patterson

2. Libertarianism is advocating maximum individual rights and minimizing the role of the state, as well as one who believes in free will. -- Tim Patterson

Neither premise, 1 or 2, contradict one another. If everyone in a community shares equal responsibility and equal power, because it is a true collective - without bosses or without leaders - there is no State. A State is only required where the people can not get along, and do not share common goals. In a communist collective, cooperation is understood as manditory by all voluntarily present individuals! If a group of people decide to form a collective, and operate under Tim's (correct) definition of communism as communists, then the State is superfluous. Communism, by its very nature, is libertarian!

In fact, the problem is not that "Libertarian-Communism" is an oxymoron, but the fact of the matter is this: "Libertarian Communism" is redundant.

author by nestorpublication date Sat Feb 14, 2009 14:38Report this post to the editors

Thank you for that fine explanation of why Libertarian Communism is not an oxymoron. However, you finish your piece with a totally unqualified statement that "Libertarian Communism is redundant". You could at least make a minimum of effort to explain to us why you think this true, and also which senseof the word "redundant" you are implying, (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/redundant). To me your affirmation is about as meaningful as saying "The wait fish under come blue"

author by JEFFpublication date Fri Mar 06, 2009 03:08Report this post to the editors

WHEN WE SEE HOW POORS IN THE USA ARE TREATED, WORKERS, UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE SEEN AS SUB HUMANS BY THE FASCIST CAPITALIST GOVERNMENT AND THE MEDIA, THAT THEY BRIBE, THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT COMES TO EVERYBODY'S MIND HOW DUMB CAN A NATION BE TO STAND THAT EVIL SYSTEM ONE MORE MINUTE??!!! THAT IS BEYOND HUMAN UNDERSTANDING.

author by MVM - nonepublication date Wed Jan 20, 2010 17:28Report this post to the editors

Libertarian capitalism is an oxymoron. How can you believe that the individual would strive in a world governed by a corporate state? The individual is held hostage by the capitalist. He has no individual freedom but rather the illusion of having individual freedom. The state is a hierarchy as the corporation is a hierarchy, and both contribute to the great inequalities, and hardships suffered by the working class. Just think about it, at work your freedom of speech is aggressively limited. You are monitored by supervisors, cameras, co-workers, and judged by customers. There is a great unequal distribution of wealth that benefits the top ranking officials in the corporation, and that impoverishes the lowest level employees who greatly outnumber the executives. Talk of union and/or other democratic means of collective bargaining are discouraged and your job is threatened leaving you with two choices, 1. work, or 2. starve, thus democracy is even denied at your workplace. Even if the company (controlled by the few) encourages employee feedback, it is only to improve productivity and not workplace prosperity. I am a libertarian because I believe I am the most important person in society, but understand I must act collectively in order meet my individual needs. If we create a community in which worker's own the means of their production we are no longer slaves of ceos, and shareholders, but rather become are own masters.

author by Matt A - seasol.netpublication date Tue Sep 28, 2010 16:51Report this post to the editors

It should be made clear at the top of this article that NAF no longer exists. It was disbanded in 2006.

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