This article looks at the phenomenon of recent migration to Europe and Aotearoa/New Zealand, highlighting both commonalities and differences.
The fascistic Sweden Democrats have become the third largest political party in their Parliament in this month’s elections. The two main political parties have stated they won’t form a coalition with them. However, there might not be an option if they want to avoid having to go back to the polls.
All over Europe ultra-nationalist and racist parties are springing up and winning elections. Why?
Since at least 2012 Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen have been plunged into civil wars that have been marked by levels of atrocities, massacres and other war crimes on a scale that haven’t been seen in decades. Millions of people have been driven out of their homes and forced to leave their war-torn countries. Millions more are on the move, cast out by repressive regimes or the loss of livelihoods as the result of economic, political and social instability or upheaval in their countries.
It’s estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that there are fifteen million Iraqis and Syrian refugees and internally displaced people (Millions of refugees at risk in the Middle East as winter funds dwindle, October 3rd, 2017, UNHCR website). It is impossible to tell how many of these refugees have fled to Europe but the European Parliament estimates that around 2.5 million migrants entered Europe between 2015 and 2017 (“EU migrant crisis: facts and figures”, European Parliament News, June 30th, 2017). Most of them have ended up in Germany and Italy.
Their arrival in Europe was initially mostly welcomed but the sheer numbers of people arriving quickly began to overwhelm local housing providers, social agencies and other organisations. It also didn’t help that a few were involved in anti-social crimes. Of course, the establishment media coverage was often sensationalist around those isolated incidents. On January 3rd the BBC website had an article emblazoned with the headline “Germany: Migrants ‘may have fuelled violent crime rise’.” On January 17th the New York Times had the headline “A Girl’s Killing Puts Germany’s Migration Policy on Trial”. However, it was the far-right vigilante mobs in Chemnitz in Germany who were hunting down and attacking foreigners, including two migrant teenagers – an Afghan and a Syrian – who were accused of killing a German man that finally revealed how deep anti-migrant sentiments run there.
It’s not just in Germany that this sentiment is being expressed. Xenophobic views have played a major role in the election of anti-immigration nationalist governments in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
In Aotearoa/New Zealand we haven’t faced large numbers of refugees putting pressure on already over-stretched social services, state housing and health care. That is primarily the result of the tyranny of distance but it’s also because general immigrants encounter a points system to determine if a person has the qualifications, skills or wealth that the bosses and government deem valuable. The more points a person has the more likely s/he will be allowed to move here.
Refugees don’t go through the points system. They go through a refugee centre where they learn about local cultures, customs and laws. By the time they enter the community they will usually have a place to live, an income (often a social welfare benefit) and someone to help them to integrate.
As a result of the points system, processing procedures and geographical isolation it’s nearly impossible for undocumented immigrants to get here. This has helped to create the belief that immigrants are better educated, harder working and wealthier than many of the locals so they are more likely to be hired to work in better paying jobs than their counterparts in Europe. There is also a more prevalent culture of accepting immigrants and refugees here. Perhaps this is a legacy of the fact everyone here with the exception of the tangata whenua are fairly recent immigrants themselves or descendants of immigrants. As a generalisation, ignorance rather than outright bigotry tends to have been the biggest barrier faced by the most recent arrivals in Aotearoa.
However, it would be misleading to claim there’s no anti-immigration sentiments. Some people labour under the delusion that the Muslim community is seeking to impose Sharia law upon this country (“Sharia Law Inside New Zealand”, www.whaleoil.co.nz, April 13th, 2017) while others, like the Salvation Army, believe that immigrants are taking jobs away from the unemployed (“Too many jobs going to migrants – Sallies”, RNZ, October 19th, 2016). Perhaps the biggest source of discontent with immigrants in recent times was due to the mistaken perception they were driving up house prices to the point few locals can afford to buy a house. Riding on the back of this anti-immigrant populism, the Labour-led government banned foreigners from owning existing housing stock earlier this year. Thus far, house prices show no signs of coming down.
It would also be wrong to assume that life has been sweet for all of the immigrants coming to this country. According to the RNZ website exploitation of migrant workers living in New Zealand is becoming such a big problem that the government has set up an inquiry to look into the issue. (“Migrant exploitation cases growing – advocate”, RNZ, March 8th, 2018.)
Despite some grumbling from certain quarters immigrants and refugees are mostly still welcome in Aotearoa and, at a time when countries in the rich regions of the northern hemisphere are calling for an end to immigration and taking in refugees, many here want the refugee quota to be doubled from 5000 a year to 10,000. So why are so many Europeans supporting anti-immigration parties?
In Europe it’s hard for some in the middle class to grasp that much of Europe’s working classes have still not recovered from the 2008 Great Recession. The majority of the migrants have ended up in areas where there is already high unemployment, shortages of affordable housing and poverty caused by austerity measures that have hit the poor and the working classes the hardest. For a lot of workers these migrants are seen as competition for scarce resources. It also doesn’t help that these areas sometimes have minimal cultural diversity. The local people aren’t used to living with anyone but other people from their own culture, ethnicity and nationality. This is particularly true in the case of Austria, eastern Germany, Hungary and Sweden.
For all concerned in Europe the migrant crisis has been one heck of a culture shock and this has led to the rapid rise of populist anti-immigration, alt-right identitarian and other fascistic groups. It has also led to violent clashes between migrants and extreme-Right groups, especially in Germany. There has been some effort to counter this, but the mainstream attempts have often been things such as marches or music festivals. While holding anti-fascist rallies and concerts can be a component of a co-ordinated and comprehensive fightback, they will achieve little beyond the symbolic in themselves.
Two key issues mark the difference between European and Aotearoa/New Zealand immigration.
The first is that the immigrants and refugees coming here mostly want to be here. In the case of Europe many of the migrants don’t want to be there. They are stuck in Europe because there’s no other option. As the Irish Times article “Road to Damascus: the Syrian refugees who want to go home” (December 2, 2017) makes clear they face legal, financial and practical hurdles which prevent them from returning and many, if not most, of them can expect to be arrested, conscripted or executed if they ever set foot back in Syria.
The second is that most immigrants coming here are lifestyle immigrants looking for a better life for themselves and their families in a country perceived as relatively peaceful and stable and economically and environmentally better than their places of origin. The reality of course is more nuanced than that.(there are real problems of economic disparity, housing, environmental damage and social and economic legacies of the colonial robbery of indigenous people etc.) but that’s the perception or draw card at least. Many have the option of returning home if they choose. Even the refugees in New Zealand seem to like it here and most of them would prefer to stay rather than return home, (“Resettled Syrian refugees talk of life half a world away from their homeland” Stuff website, June 25th, 2016.) In Europe they’re not looking for a better life. They’re looking for a place where they can feel safe and stay alive until they can return home.
Immigration is a big issue everywhere but there are differing factors which drive immigration in different parts of the world, despite the fact there is a common underlying economic system. Also, the impact on the societies which immigrants end up in can be primarily positive, negative or a combination of both. That’s the complex reality.
When local working people perceive they have largely been forgotten it should not come as a shock when their reaction to immigrants is far from welcoming. It should come as no surprise when they vote for demagogues and political parties preying on their fears. It should also not be a major revelation when liberals end up being abused for their willingness to open up opportunities to these migrants. After all, they aren’t moving into the nice middle class neighbourhoods where most liberals live or applying for the types of jobs that most liberals are employed in.
The migrants risking literally everything to get to Europe are not to blame for the situation they find themselves in. Blaming them and running them out of town (literally in some cases) is not the solution. Nor is electing racist and ultra-nationalist leaders and political parties into office. The only solution in the longer term is to sort out the mess that colonial powers of the past, primarily France and the United Kingdom, and various current local tyrants, despots and rival regional powers have created. That means people at the grassroots working hard to alter the map of the area in their own favour, to amend the artificial boundaries and hierarchical structures in place now and finding more natural alternatives. These islands would also benefit from a similar process.
We also need to address the built-in inequalities and injustices of a Capitalist class system that pits local workers against migrant workers for the same jobs and resources. This same class system also entrenches many of the tyrants and despots whose actions have forced millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa to flee to Europe. It also divides immigrants into various classes of desirable and undesirable people with working class people often being relegated to the ranks of undesirables who never get selected for refugee or points systems quotas.
In this country immigration control is relatively easy because these islands are so remote and so it’s difficult to get here. As noted, the people who migrate here mostly want to be here and they are, for the most part, accepted by the local people. It is worth noting however, that the points system and, therefore, those who can get into Aotearoa, is weighted heavily in favour of the middle classes and petty bourgeoisie classes.
To conclude, we need to put our heads together and work out methods for dealing with both the differing and shared aspects of the immigration phenomenon that exist in the antipodes and Europe. Perhaps then we might get real solutions to the challenges posed by immigration and the bigger threat that lurks behind most of the world’s injustices: Capitalism.
La Carta Opinión de la Federación Anarquista Uruguaya del mes de agosto 2018.
Estaba fijado para el 25 de julio un paro de 24 horas, votado por una Mesa Representativa del PITCNT que también aprobó un paro parcial con movilización para el pasado 28 de junio. Ambas paralizaciones estaban en el marco de la lucha presupuestal.
Sin embargo, ante la declaración de huelga para el 6 de agosto de la Federación de Funcionarios de Salud Pública y las movilizaciones previas generadas por dicha Federación, el Poder Ejecutivo otorga una partida de 70 millones de pesos, con lo cual se destraba el conflicto y la huelga queda sin efecto. Otro tanto realizó directamente Tabaré Vázquez luego de varias reuniones con la Federación Uruguaya de Magisterio, presupuestando a 300 auxiliares de servicio de las escuelas.
Estos avances no dejan de ser importantes, pero son por demás insuficientes. Recordemos que esta Rendición de Cuentas viene a “completar” el Presupuesto 2015-2020, ya que el gobierno presentó un Presupuesto originalmente para 2016 y 2017, y en cada Rendición de Cuentas se va completando el presupuesto del quinquenio. Algo inédito en la historia de nuestro país. La Rendición de Cuentas presenta números nuevos para el Presupuesto y no un ajuste de los mismos, como ocurre habitualmente. Ello permitió que el gobierno procesara un verdadero achique del presupuesto en ciertos rubros, por más que haya aumentado en términos globales. Esta maniobra les permitió también reducir el ritmo de crecimiento que había tenido el presupuesto en el período anterior.
Igualmente, el crecimiento del Presupuesto o su aumento -mayor en el período anterior, menor en éste- no va a parar a los bolsillos populares. El rubro que más ha aumentado es el Ministerio del Interior, con la tecnificación que ha recibido la Policía, y ahora con el pago de la nocturnidad. Se gasta más hoy en “seguridad” que en educación, salud y vivienda. Un policía que recién ingresa gana más que un maestro o un enfermero. Ello habla a las claras de las prioridades de la política económica y social del gobierno y de todo el sistema político.
Pero lo llamativo ha sido que mientras sigue en debate la Rendición de Cuentas (última de este período de gobierno hasta 2020) y se dice con total desparpajo desde el gobierno que no se va cumplir con la promesa del 6% del PBI para la enseñanza y que se va a violar el Convenio Colectivo firmado con los sindicatos de dicho sector, el Secretariado Ejecutivo del PITCNT proponga a la Mesa Representativa -y ésta apruebe- levantar el paro general de 24 horas del 25 de julio y realizarlo el 22 de agosto en el marco de los Consejos de Salarios.
Tengamos en cuenta que esta Rendición de Cuentas valida las PPP, con lo cual no se invierte un sólo peso en obra pública de ningún tipo, y se abre un inmenso espacio al capital privado en materia de infraestructura y de su posterior gestión. ¿Esto no es una privatización?
La política de desarrollo de las PPP ha atravesado a todo tipo de gobiernos en América Latina desde el 2000 a hoy. Es bueno tener en cuenta su articulación regional vinculada a intereses imperiales, incluso. Caso notorio del Plan IIRSA (Integración de la Infraestructura Regional Sud Americana).
Heber Nieto: mártir estudiantil, ejemplo de lucha y compromiso con los de abajo
Otro 14 de agosto, otro día de conmemoración de los “Mártires Estudiantiles” y su lucha. En años del “Pachecato” (1968-1972), período donde se procesó un fuerte ajuste económico contra el pueblo y se lo reprimía con dureza bajo “Medidas Prontas de Seguridad”, ese “Estado de Excepción” permanente, por el cual se gaseaba, apaleaba, encarcelaba y militarizaba a obreros y estudiantes.
La lucha por el salario, trabajo, libertades, abría camino a una lucha más profunda: por un cambio profundo de sociedad. Eran tiempos donde estaba vigente la Revolución Cubana y la voluntad revolucionaria del Che, el “Cordobazo”, la guerrilla en Colombia y Venezuela, la resistencia de los pueblos a los golpes de Estado e invasiones de los marines de Estados Unidos. El movimiento obrero fuerte y con una experiencia y tradición de 100 años. En ese marco, irrumpe una generación de jóvenes de Secundaria y UTU como una marea incontenible en la lucha callejera.
Era de primer orden la lucha por el boleto estudiantil. En el marco de crisis generalizada, los hogares obreros no podían sustentar el transporte a sus hijos para que estudiaran, justo en momentos de explosión de la matrícula estudiantil. Varias movilizaciones de los diversos gremios estudiantiles tenían ese reclamo como central. Todo ello iba de la mano de una natural alianza “obrero -estudiantil”, que se verificaba en el apoyo de los estudiantes en forma masiva a las luchas obreras, como en FUNSA, por mencionar un ejemplo. Y viceversa.
El 14 de agosto de 1968 muere por balas policiales Líber Arce, al mes siguiente Susana Pintos y Hugo de los Santos. En 1971 sería asesinado nuestro compañero Heber Nieto, conocido como “El Monje”, por su estilo austero y modesto, pero siempre solidario y dispuesto a dar una mano. Su asesinato constituye toda una muestra del accionar policial y del sadismo con que atacaban al pueblo. En momentos en que estudiantes de la UTU IEC apoyados por otros estudiantes, construían salones conquistados con lucha, otros estudiantes realizaban un peaje en apoyo al conflicto de los obreros papeleros de CICSSA. Tras un primer enfrentamiento a pedradas con varios “tiras” de Inteligencia, éstos rodean la IEC y desde el edificio en construcción del BPS (frente a la UTU), un francotirador dispara sobre Heber Nieto, cayendo muerto al instante.
“El Monje” era militante de ROE (Resistencia Obrero- Estudiantil) y de FAU, comprometido con el desarrollo de ambas organizaciones y de la lucha. Tenía 17 años. Luchaba por el Socialismo y la Libertad. “Con tu brazo constructor de nuevas aulas”, como le cantaría Carlos Molina, pintaba muy bien la calidad de militante, de joven que era Heber. Un militante de intención revolucionaria con todas las letras. Tomar su ejemplo, continuar su lucha, es un buen legado para nuevas generaciones de jóvenes militantes.
Filtro: todo está guardado en la memoria
Un año más… Van 24 años de aquella noche en que nuestro pueblo demostró que la solidaridad no tiene fronteras. Donde una pueblada se hizo presente defendiendo el derecho de asilo de los ciudadanos vascos. La historia es conocida: represión, palos, heridos y dos muertos. Dos compañeros muertos. Y a partir de ese día, una memoria que no olvida. Una memoria que hoy como ayer denuncia el aparato represivo, que sigue intacto desde la dictadura, lo cual quedó demostrado esa noche. Ese aparato represivo, hoy más tecnificado pero igual de ensañado con los de abajo.
Continuamos denunciando a Gianola y Lacalle como responsables de estas muertes y a quienes esa noche dispararon y hoy gozan de total impunidad. Algo que se quiere hacer costumbre con todos los asesinos de nuestro pueblo pero que no vamos a permitir porque nuestra memoria es porfiada y no olvida ni perdona.
Tampoco olvidamos que muchos de quienes esa noche convocaron a nuestro pueblo, hoy miran a un costado a la hora de esclarecer el caso.
Por todo lo que esta fecha significa, por toda la resistencia que implica, por Fernando Moroni y por Roberto Facal marcharemos nuevamente este 24 de agosto junto a Norma Morroni.
Argentina: más que un triunfo de la reacción, triunfo de la lucha en la calle
Dentro de lo variopinto de la “marea verde”, no podemos menos que saludar a las organizaciones feministas populares que con organización y lucha arrimaron a cientos de miles de personas y organizaciones del pueblo a las puertas del Congreso a exigir la despenalización del aborto, oponiendo resistencia a la reacción y a la Iglesia, para que las de abajo dejen de morir a causa de abortos caseros y clandestinos. Si bien en el Senado triunfó la reacción en la calle, las de abajo ganaron en lucha y organización.
La CIA y un nuevo intento
En Venezuela la CIA incrementa su accionar en un intento de asesinato con drones al presidente Maduro. Esta agencia, a la que no le importa nada, tiene en su siniestro haber los homicidios de Torrijos, Allende, y del propio Keneddy. Pero sabemos que han sido y son muchísimas más las formas de intervención que la CIA y EEUU en general tienen en América Latina, por ejemplo, apoyando las dictaduras sangrientas y asesinas de nuestros pueblos. Así que nada nuevo bajo el sol. Solo la resistencia y la lucha de los pueblos triunfará sobre el imperialismo.
Tiempos de Resistencia
Sí, son tiempos de Resistencia, de lucha. A pesar de todo: del momento de “chatura” general, de cierto descreimiento, desgano, apatía. Pero, sobre todo, para contrarrestar la ya iniciada campaña electoral, que se ha largado a todo vapor con la danza de nombres, cenas, encuentros y conversas que lejos están de atender los problemas populares. El pueblo no tiene candidato, nuestra única “candidatura” es la lucha popular organizada por más conquistas y avances sociales y organizativos.
Esta lucha que hoy lleva adelante el movimiento popular, tanto por la Rendición de Cuentas como en los Consejos de Salarios, debe ser un importante punto de referencia para avanzar y acumular fuerzas. Vencer el desgano y descreimiento, organizar la militancia y fortalecer las instancias organizativas de cada sindicato, de cada gremio estudiantil, de cada cooperativa de vivienda, cada organización barrial, etc.
Estamos en medio de un trayecto histórico complejo en nuestro país: tenemos dos años por delante claves para ir cimentando un pueblo fuerte, que, en primera instancia, deberá enfrentar el ajuste que se ya se está procesando lentamente, a ritmo uruguayo. De hecho, las declaraciones del ministro Astori de que esta es la primer Rendición de Cuentas sin pensar en la campaña electoral, es decir, aumento del gasto para captar votos, es un reconocimiento de que no hay aumento de gastos sociales. Ese ajuste lento, por goteo, continuará a partir de la asunción del próximo gobierno y tal vez, se profundice.
Ya es hora de poner el acento en la construcción de un pueblo fuerte y no de fortalecer el gobierno. Los gobiernos cambian, van unos y vienen otros, pero los pueblos siempre están, siempre resisten y mantienen en alto esa Resistencia porfiada que alumbra un mañana distinto, un mañana de Socialismo y Libertad.
Son tiempos de Resistencia, son tiempos de Lucha y de Organización…
¡A DERROTAR LAS PAUTAS EN ESTOS CONSEJOS DE SALARIOS!
¡POR UN PRESUPUESTO PARA LAS NECESIDADES POPULARES!
POR LA CONSTRUCCIÓN DE PODER POPULAR
FEDERACIÓN ANARQUISTA URUGUAYA
Lado a lado com a violência simbólica dos discursos de ódio, galvanizados pelo atingido em Juiz de Fora (MG), temos a negação do direito ao reconhecimento e, concomitantemente, a perda progressiva dos direitos coletivos que vinham num crescendo desde 1932 e se consolidaram como política pública permanente na Constituição de 1988. Trata-se de restauração burguesa e liquidação da soberania popular e, por tabela, a soberania nacional.
Bruno Lima Rocha, 09 de setembro de 2018
Às vésperas do sete de setembro de 2018 houve um atentado contra Jair Messias Bolsonaro, candidato do PSL, deputado federal no sétimo mandato e aquele que encarna a “grande esperança branca” da Casa Grande do país governado por um baronato rentista e seus aliados dentro e fora de nossas fronteiras. Desde então abundam teorias especulativas e uma evidência: tal fato tem relação total com o contexto vivido pelo Brasil desde o início do terceiro turno de 2014.
Lado a lado com a violência simbólica dos discursos de ódio, galvanizados pelo atingido em Juiz de Fora (MG), temos a negação do direito ao reconhecimento e, concomitantemente, a perda progressiva dos direitos coletivos que vinham num crescendo desde 1932 e se consolidaram como política pública permanente na Constituição de 1988. Trata-se de restauração burguesa e liquidação da soberania popular e, por tabela, a soberania nacional.
O fim da proteção ao mundo do trabalho é o velório da Nova República?
Vale alguma reflexão. O STF autorizara a terceirização para atividades fim em todas as empresas. Ou seja, entendo que eu na maioria das Pessoas Jurídicas, a classe trabalhadora do Brasil está diante de uma “Pejotização” galopante. Óbvio que a direita afirma que isso é "da nova economia", ou que "a terceirização já existe, logo é preciso autorizar ou regular". Me recorda o debate sobre transgênicos, que acabou sendo liberada a circulação de sementes assim no primeiro governo Lula utilizando um pouco da política do fato consumado. "As sementes vêm de contrabando da Argentina e assim fica impossível ilegalizar todo um setor e blablabla e cumpra-se". Não custa lembrar. Sementes não são animados com mobilidade própria, logo, foram trazidas e o contrabando - a prática centenária de chibeiros - seria bastante controlável nas barrancas do rio Uruguai. Enfim, tal como o fato consumado das sementes, o mesmo se dá com a desagregação social que avança no país.
Em parte, essa é a dimensão substantiva do golpe em andamento e agora, especificamente, rastejando pelas sarjetas da pior política possível. Era esperado e os discursos literalmente se repetem em toda América Latina. Durante o auge dos escândalos do governo Priista de Enrique Peña Nieto, no México, "colonistas de economia" repetiam a ladainha de que o salário mínimo (ou seja, o salário social) é uma "ilusão econômica", pois "primeiro é preciso fazer o bolo crescer para depois dividi-lo". A ladainha perfeitamente falsificável era a mesma. Não exagero, as analogias eram idênticas do guru da modernização conservadora da ditadura, agora travestido de parlamentarista, Antônio Delfim Netto.
Uma observação vinda do nosso campo, pode afirmar que sempre houve desagregação social no período republicano, "desde que o povo bestializado assistiu a tal proclamação". Não há contestação possível desta afirmação. A "tal da república" nunca foi inclusiva e incorporou um governo nacional com reconhecimento para os trabalhadores urbanos somente no varguismo, isso após completarem o trabalho sujo de Arthur Bernardes e Washington Luís, dizimando a liderança sindical de orientação anarquista no Brasil. Em termos de maioria afro-brasileira, a repressão sempre se fez presente, e se faz, na distribuição espacial da mesma, cortando na ausência de direitos civis e sociais da maior parte de nossa população.
Logo, se nada disso é "novidade" (infelizmente), quais as características prevalentes de nosso momento histórico? Ou, falando em termos mais diretos, como liquidaram com a Nova República e quais suas consequências?!
Que tipo de crise é essa? Quando os setores não se protegem do entreguismo visceral
Sabemos a dificuldade de qualquer tipo de tabelamento de preços ter algum fôlego; o próprio Plano Cruzado e o congelamento de preços básicos levou a um aumento da sonegação e do crime contra a economia popular. Mas, isso é diferente de afirmar em termos de "modelo" que as "regras da economia" - ou seja, da balela neoclássica - vai ajeitar o excesso de oferta pelo crédito do BNDES durante o período lulista diretamente implicado no consequente aumento da frota de caminhões. Resumindo: ou o setor de transporte de carga tem alguma forma de proteção para os caminhoneiros autônomos, ou cerca de 500 mil caminhoneiros - e pelas contas, dois milhões de pessoas - serão atingidos. As empresas de agroindústria que têm crédito agrícola vão se defender do jeito que dá, incluindo o protelamento da execução de suas dívidas e quem vive no trecho vai engrossar o desemprego nas cidades.
Como pano de fundo, o que a laia quer fazer crer ao povo brasileiro? Que devemos quebrar o monopólio fático da Petrobrás, pois esta foi quebrada em função da “artificialidade” dos preços praticados anteriormente e também pelo modelo de partilha do Pré-Sal. Sobre a perda de causa e o seguido acordo com a Justiça dos EUA na defesa dos especuladores aglutinados como acionistas minoritários, óbvio que os “consultores” não dizem. Logo, a “solução” apresentada é liberar a importação de diesel, gasolina e demais derivados por todas as transnacionais do setor de óleo e gás. E, também para a obviedade, a cambada nunca diz que existem 16 traders mundiais forçando os contratos futuros e incidindo diretamente na cotação do barril Brent. Logo, desejam expor ainda mais a sociedade brasileira às oscilações forçosas dos especuladores. Como se chama isso em português? Em castelhano os países Hermanos denominam “vende pátria”. Concordo com o conceito.
Bruno Lima Rocha é pós-doutorando em economia política, doutor e mestre em ciência política, professor de relações internacionais e de jornalismo.
(estrategiaeanaliseblog.com / firstname.lastname@example.org)
A review of the nature of the State as understood by anarchists, especially as proposed by the tendency called "post-anarchism." This is done through a review of the opinions of Saul Newman, a leading proponent of post-anarchism, in his work, "Anarchism, Marxism, and the Bonapartist State." The post-anarchist view is opposed by the class theory of the state, versions of which are raised by traditional, revolutionary anarchists and by Marx.
A key question for any political theory is its conception of the state. This includes the view of the state by the trend calling itself “post-anarchism.” This name does not refer to being “after” or “beyond” anarchism. Mainly it refers to attempted integrations of anarchism with the philosophical views of post-structuralism and postmodernism, as developed by certain French philosophers (May 1994; Russell & Evren 2011). According to Ruth Kinna,“Anarchism’s third, post-anarchist, wave [is] usually dated to the rise of the alter-globalization movement in the late 1990s….
” (Kinna 2017; 25) It was not so much a change in organizing strategies as a new theoretical approach. “Post-anarchism is not only one of the most significant currents to emerge within contemporary anarchist thought in recent years, it also has ‘evident affinities’ with small-a anarchist movement politics.” (36) In this paper, I am looking at the post-anarchists’ political thinking and not on their background philosophies (in philosophy, I prefer a radicalized version of John Dewey’s pragmatism; Price 2014).
One of the most prominent post-anarchist theorists is Saul Newman
. He has written a number of important books and essays on the subject. One essay (Newman 2004) concentrates on the nature of the state. It directly confronts the class theory of the state (also called the “materialist” or “historical materialist” theory of the state). This is a subject on which I have recently written (Price 2018). His is different from many other post-anarchist writings which emphasize that the state is not the only source of power, but that power is created in many places. “Foucault argues that the state is a kind of discursive illusion that masks the radically dispersed nature of power
….” (Newman 2004; 23) Newman does not quite agree with this. He takes the state seriously. Whether or not a network of power is a useful model of society, the state still exists and needs to be analyzed. For this reason, I think it would be useful to examine this particular post-anarchist work.
In his essay, Newman never actually defines what he means by the state. I have found the same to be true in other post-anarchist writings. Let me then define the state
as a bureaucratic-military social machine, composed of specialized officials, bureaucrats, and armed people, separate from and standing over the mass of people.
This is a different matter than just any possible social system of coordination, policy deciding, dispute settling, or even defense from anti-social aggression. All these things existed for thousands of years among humans before the state arose and will exist after it is abolished. It is the state as an elite socially-alienated bureaucratic-military institution which is connected to the capitalist system and all other systems of oppression.
Anarchism and Marxism on the Class Theory of the State
It would be easy to contrast anarchism with Marxist-Leninism, that is, with the recent and current Stalinist states of the USSR, Maoist China, North Korea, etc. These states were founded by people calling themselves “Marxist” and supposed champions of the “working class.” Yet they were state-capitalist, mass-murdering, totalitarianisms. But Karl Marx, a radical democrat, would have been as horrified by such states as are anarchists. The issue is to show what there was about Marxism which led to such results, despite Marx’s intentions. Consistent with that focus, Newman directs himself primarily to Marx’s views, with little to say about post-Marx Marxism (just a few comments on Lenin).
Still, the paper presents itself as a dispute between anarchism and Marxism. In part, this binary is modified by some indications that anarchists have found aspects of Marxism useful. “For anarchists, Marxism has great value as an analysis of capitalism and the relations [of] private property which it is tied to
.” (19) “Bakunin perhaps represents the most radical elements of Marxist theory
.” (17) (10) Newman himself repeatedly expresses appreciation of the “post-Marxism” of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, whose work comes out of the Marxist tradition.
However, the main problem with Newman’s anarchism-versus-Marxism approach is that the traditional anarchist movement also had a class theory of the state. Peter Kropotkin, the great theorist of anarchism, wrote, “The State has always interfered in the economic life in favor of the capitalist exploiter. It has always granted him protection in robbery, given aid and support for further enrichment. And it could not be otherwise. To do so was one of the functions—the chief mission—of the State.
” (Kropotkin 2014; 193) In Kinna’s view, Kropotkin thought “political institutions reflected the nature of economic power, which was fundamental….The state was designed to protect the strong against the weak, the rich against the poor, and the privileged against the laboring classes….Bourgeois government [was] a special vehicle for the protection of commercial and industrial class interests.” (Kinna 2017; 86—88) “Bakunin had advanced the same argument, crediting Marx with its most sophisticated scientific articulation.
Newman’s attack on the class theory of the state is not only an attack on Marxism but also on the traditional mainstream anarchist view
Newman seeks to deny this. For example, he cites Bakunin’s support for the class theory of the state but then tries to turn it on its head. “Bakunin…takes Marx seriously when he says that the state is always concomitant with class distinctions and domination. However there is an important difference….For Marx the dominant class generally rules through the state, whereas for Bakunin the state generally rules through the dominant class….Bourgeois relations are actually a reflection of the state, rather than the state being a reflection of bourgeois relations.
” (Newman 2004;17)
This acknowledges that Bakunin, the principal initiator of the movement for revolutionary anarchism, believed that “the state is always concomitant with class distinctions and domination.
” That is different from seeing the state as distinct and autonomous from the class structure. Actually, Bakunin saw the state as interacting with the economy, in a back-and-forth, dialectical, manner. The modern state causes capitalism and capitalism causes the modern state.
This is similar to Marx’s concept of “primitive (primary) accumulation,” in which the state played a key role in initiating capitalism. The state expropriated the British peasants from their land, conquered and looted foreign countries, supported slavery, and defended theft from the environment. Theses actions accumulated capital on one side and propertyless workers on the other, the essentials for capitalism. In Capital, Marx wrote of “the power of the state, the concentrated and organized force of society, to hasten, hothouse fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode….Force is…itself an economic power
.” (Marx 1906; 823-4) Kropotkin criticized this “primitive accumulation” only because it may imply that this is a passing phase, understating the continuing influence of the state in maintaining capitalism. Recognizing that “Force is itself an economic power
”is not a rejection of the class theory of the state.
Newman presents two alternate views: “the state represented the interests of the most economically dominant class—the bourgeoisie
.” (Newman 2004; 6) This is ascribed to Marx. Or: “Anarchism sees the state as an autonomous institution—or series of institutions—that has its own interests and logic.” (9) “It is independent of economic forces and has its own imperative of self-perpetuation….Anarchism sees the state, in its essence, as independent of economic classes
….” (14) This last view is his opinion, that of post-anarchism, but not that of the “classical” anarchists.
Newman points out that Marx developed his concept of the state further. This was expressed in his analysis of the French dictatorship of Louis Napoleon III in his 1852 The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Marx 2002). He developed a concept of “Bonapartism,” which was also expressed in Engels’ and his writings on Bismarck in Germany and on other historical states (Draper 1977). They noted that the state balanced among various class forces. Even within the upper class there were fractions of classes and agents of fractions of classes, which put conflicting pressures on the state. They saw that the state had its own interests as an institution and so did its bureaucratic, political, and military personnel. Sometimes the bourgeoisie had mostly direct control of the state, as under parliamentary democracy. At other times, they were shut out, as under Louis Bonaparte’s “Empire” or under Nazi totalitarianism. But even without democratic rights, the bourgeoisie continued to exploit their employees and accumulate profits. This “right” was still defended by the dictatorial state! “According to Marx…the Bonapartist state served the long term interests of the capitalist system, even if it often acted against the immediate interests and will of the bourgeoisie
.” (Newman 2004; 7)
There is a tendency for the state—especially its executive branch—to develop increased independence relative to the rest of society, even under bourgeois democracy, but which reaches its height under political dictatorship. In Newman’s terms, cited above, it may be acknowledged that “the state has its own interests and logic…and has its own imperative of self-preservation.”
But it is not
true that the state is “independent of class force
s.” Rather it balances among them and still maintains the overall interests of the bourgeoisie. This has been referred to as the state’s “relative autonomy.
Newman claims that anarchists (or at least post-anarchists) took the concept of Bonapartism to its rightful extreme. “Anarchism took Marx’s notion of the Bonapartist State to its logical conclusion, thus developing a theory of state power and sovereignty as an entirely autonomous and specific domain
Does this make sense? Does not the state, as an institution with a drive for “self-preservation
,” have an absolute need to keep the economy going? Under capitalism this means the continued accumulation of capital; it means the exploitation of the working class to produce ever increased amounts of profit. Without this, there is no state, no society, and none of the other oppressions of race, gender, etc. Can there be “an entirely autonomous
” state, unrelated to economic oppression? Neither Bakunin nor Kropotkin believed that. I quoted Kropotkin above as believing that protecting capitalist exploiters “was one] of the functions—the chief mission—of the State.
” Not the only
function or mission, but 'one
of the functions” and “the chief
If we look at the state as a “specific domain
,” then it has a great many social forces, economic and otherwise, class and non-class, pushing on it. (Non-class forces include racial tensions, gender conflicts, not to mention organized religion.) Yet these forces are of differing strength and impact. The class theory “involves a claim that the capitalist class is able to wield more potent power resources over against pressure from below and the capacity for independent action on the part of the state itself….The political sway of the capitalist class [is] not exclusive but predominant.”
(Wetherly 2002; 197) Even the most autonomous of totalitarian fascist states still must take into account the needs of its capitalist class—or it will not survive. Even the bureaucratic Stalinist states of the Soviet Union, Maoist China, etc.—which had entirely disposed of their stock-owning bourgeoisie—still had to maintain the exploitation of the workers and the accumulation of capital: the capital-labor relationship.
Summarizing the most mature and sophisticated views of Marx (and traditional anarchists)—with which he disagrees—Newman writes, “Rather than saying that, for Marx, the state is the instrument of [the] bourgeoisie, it may be more accurate to say that the state is a reflection of bourgeois class domination, a institution whose structure is determined by capitalist relations. Its function is to maintain an economic and social order that allows the bourgeoisie to continue to exploit the proletariat.
“ (11) Or, for the Stalinist states, for someone
“to continue to exploit the proletariat”—in this case, the collective bureaucratic class (until it collapsed back into traditional capitalism).
I think that this makes more sense than either a view of the state as a passive puppet of the bourgeoisie (should anyone hold such a crude theory) or as “entirely autonomous
” and ”independent of class forces
Political analyses have no meaning unless they lead to differences in strategy or tactics. “A difference which makes no difference is no difference
,” as the saying goes. Newman contrasts the differing potential “revolutionary strategie
s” that go with the alternatives of the “neutral
” or “autonomous state
” or the (class) “determined state
.” He discusses which (theorized) state should be seen as the “tool of revolutio
n” and which as something “to be destroyed in revolution
.” (8) Rather than summarize his discussion, I will go through the issue as I see it.
(1) The idea that the state was integrally tied to the capitalist class and could not be otherwise
, led to the revolutionary belief that this state had to be overturned, smashed, dismantled, and replaced by alternate institutions. In a new preface to the Communist Manifesto
, Engels quoted Marx, “One thing especially was proved by the [Paris] Commune, viz., that ‘the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes
’.” (Marx & Engels 1955; 6) This did not deny the value of fighting for reforms, but the ultimate goal was a state-destroying revolution.
But two different conclusions were drawn. One was that the working class, when overturning the capitalists’ state, also needed its own class state, a “workers’ state,” the “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat”—if only for a while, until a fully classless society could be instituted. This could be interpreted as an ultra-democratic state, similar to the Paris Commune or the early soviets, which would ”immediately” start to “wither away” —which is how Lenin presented it at the beginning of the Russian revolution. Or, alternately, as the justification for an increasingly authoritarian, one-party, police state, which is what Lenin developed over time. This soon evolved into Stalin’s state-capitalist totalitarianism.
On the other hand, anarchists argued that the state, by its very structure (as I defined it above), was an instrument of the capitalist class, or of some other exploiting class. Throughout history, ruling minorities needed a state to maintain their rule over the big majority; a self-managing majority would not need it. If a new state were to be created after a revolution, it would only put a bureaucratic class in power, ruling over a state capitalist economy. (As we know, these warnings came true.) Instead, anarchists argued for networks and federations of workplace councils, neighborhood assemblies, and voluntary associations. The workers and all the oppressed needed to replace all states with the self-organization of the emancipated people.
(2) The alternate theory of a neutral and wholly autonomous state
was (and is) championed by reformists, liberals, and social democrats. The state, they claimed, was a machine which could be used by anyone, capitalists or workers, white supremacists or People of Color, oppressors or oppressed. Therefore radicals should fight to take over the existing state and use it to do good. (This is the view of Laclau and Mouffe, the “post-Marxists” whom Newman admires.)
But post-anarchists argue that the state has its own drives for oppression, regardless of the class system it is associated with at any time. To use it to get rid of one system of exploitation would only leave the field open for the state’s own oppressive dynamics. It would only replace capitalism with some other method of exploitation, such as the rule of a bureaucratic class. Therefore the state must not used to make a revolution nor to solidify a new society after one.
Those who identify with the revolutionary anarchist tradition do not really disagree with the last argument. The state has authoritarian and oppressive tendencies which make it unusable for a genuinely popular, democratic, revolution-from-below. However, I do not separate these tendencies from the state’s essential attachment to the rule of a minority exploiting class. These are not distinct dynamics.
Which leads to a response to the question of why Marx’s Marxism led to Stalinist totalitarianism, despite Marx’s own democratic-libertarian tendencies. At least one part of it was his program of replacing the bourgeois state with a new state of the working class and its allies, if only for a time. This transitional state was supposed to expropriate the capitalists and centralize all their property into its own hands. No matter how democratic, popular, and temporary in conception, the use of a socially alienated bureaucratic-military state machine was bound to lead to a new form of exploitation and oppression. This was argued by Bakunin, Kropotkin, and other revolutionary class-struggle anarchist-socialists at the time of Marx and immediately after, and has repeatedly been proven true, alas.
Whether Saul Newman is for revolution cannot be told from this essay (it may be clearer in other works). Most of the other post-anarchists, like the “new” or “small-a” anarchists, advocate building alternate institutions, small scale actions, and different lifestyles, without focusing on an ultimate goal of direct popular attack against the capitalist class or the state. (Price 2016) The post-anarchists usually justify this by arguing that the state is not the only source of power in society, but merely one among many. Therefore anarchists do not need to focus on the state as the main enemy. It can be worked around, chipped away, or just ignored. The capitalist class is seen as a disjointed, pluralistic, entity, with society overall best understood as a network of forces without a center. All of which leads to a rejection of overturning the state as a main goal. In fact “revolution” is usually regarded as the fantasy of a single (bloody) upheaval which would immediately change society—which is rejected as the nonsense it is (and is not a model held by serious revolutionaries). However, revolutionary anarchists regard as a dangerous fantasy the idea that the capitalist class and its state would permit a peaceful, gradual, transformation of society—in which they would lose their wealth and power—without attempting to crush the people (through savage repression, fascism, civil war, etc.).
No Working Class Revolution
Whether Newman is against revolution, he is against working class revolution, because he is against a focus on the working class. He would deny that the “proletariat” is the necessary (but not sufficient) agent to transform society, or even that it is one of the three to five most important potential forces.
Newman repeatedly merges the idea of the working class with the idea of the Leninist vanguard party, objecting “to the central role of the proletariat—or, to be more precise, to the vanguard role of the Party.
” (37) But revolutionary anarchists who looked to the working class did not advocate such authoritarian, elitist, parties. Among Marxists, Rosa Luxemburg rejected Lenin’s concept of the vanguard party, and there is a long history of libertarian-autonomist Marxists who orient to the aspects of Marx’s work which are radically democratic, humanistic (anti-alienation), proletarian (anti-bureaucratic), and scientific (anti-scientistic). This trend, neither social democratic nor Marxist-Leninist, does not share a concept of the elitist vanguard party. It has raised libertarian socialist politics which can be in dialogue with revolutionary anarchism (Prichard et al 2017).
The post-anarchists have been criticized for their negative approach to class concerns and how they deal with them. An “emerging critique is that the post-anarchists have given up on the notion of ‘class’ and have retreated into obscure and intoxicating academic diatribes against a tradition built of discursive straw
.” (Rousselle, in the Preface to Rousselle & Evren 2011; vii) Indeed, Newman’s rejection of a working class orientation is sometimes on a rather high plane of abstract post-structuralist philosophizing. He denounces “the perspective of a universal epistemological position—such as that of the proletariat
At other times, Newman raises empirical problems, which I think are the real issue. He refers to “…the empirical reality of the shrinking of the working class
…” (32) and to the “concrete social conditions of the shrinking working class in post-industrial societies
It is true that there are fewer industrial workers in the U.S. (although still a big minority), but the population is overwhelming working class. That is, most adults are employed by capital or the state, producing goods or services for pay, without supervising others. Blue collar, white collar, pink collar, in construction or slaughterhouses, cleaning houses for others or waiting tables, writing code or teaching children, in animation or accounting, this is the modern proletariat. The class
, in addition to waged workers, includes their children, full-time homemakers, adult students, and those unemployed and retired. Meanwhile one reason for the decline in industrial jobs in the U.S. is that many jobs have been sent overseas. There has been an enormous expansion of industrial workers throughout the “Third World,” for this and other reasons. This is not a proof of the irrelevance of the working class.
It is also an empirical fact that most workers and their families are not revolutionary—and many are even reactionary. This is cited by post-anarchists (and others) as disproving a supposed prediction that the working class must inevitably become revolutionary. Actually the “prediction” is only that the working class is potentially revolutionary, and able to shake the whole society when it is. This is evidenced by a two-centuries long history of workers’ struggles and upheavals. In any case, it is not that we could reject the (currently) non-revolutionary class for some other grouping which is revolutionary. Since such a large proportion of the world’s population is working class, the non-revolutionary consciousness of most of the working class means that most of the general population is not revolutionary, that most women are not revolutionary, nor are most People of Color, nor is any other category we could name. For now.
Perhaps Newman’s major discontent with a working class perspective is his belief that it would suppress all other sources of discontent and rebellion. “Radical political struggles can no longer be limited to the proletariat alone, and must be seen as being open to other classes and social identities
.” (33) “The movement…rejects the false universality of Marxist politics, which denies difference and heterogeneity and subordinates other struggles to the central role of the proletariat
There is no doubt that there have been wooden Marxists and wooden anarcho-syndicalists who have denied the importance of everything but the class struggle. (There have also been feminists who have subordinated all issues to that of women’s freedom, and Black activists who have put everything aside but Black liberation. But that is not the question here.) However this is not an inevitable result of a class perspective. On the contrary, it can be seen as strengthening the class struggle if the revolutionary workers support each and every struggle of oppressed people. The socialist Daniel DeLeon once said (quoting from memory) that socialists’ support for women’s liberation could unify the working class and split the ruling class.
To cite an authoritative (and authoritarian) Marxist, Lenin opposed “economism,” the strategy of only supporting bread-and-butter labor union issues. Instead he argued that socialists should defend every democratic concern, no matter how apparently far from class. This included supporting big groups such as peasants, women, and oppressed nations, but also students, draftees, censored writers, and religious minorities. “To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without…a movement of the… masses against oppression by the landowners, the church, and the monarchy, against national oppression, etc. – to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution. So one army lines up in one place and says, ‘We are for socialism’, and another, somewhere else and says, ‘We are for imperialism’, and that will he a social revolution!
” (Lenin 1916) I cite this sarcastic comment even though Lenin was not a libertarian-autonomous Marxist, to demonstrate that even such a Marxist as Lenin could advocate that working class socialists should give support to all popular struggles against oppression—by all classes, on all issues. (In any case, the problem anarchists have with Lenin is not that he gave too much support to democratic struggles.)
“The Global Capitalist State Order”
Newman sees a model of the kind of radical movement he wants in “the emergence of what is broadly termed the ‘anti-globalization’ movement
….” (Newman 2004; 36) He describes this movement as distinct from either a “universalized” working class or from a bundle of unrelated identity-based struggles. The distinct struggles are linked to each other and have a common enemy, which turns out to be….capitalism! and the capitalist state! “The ‘anti-globalization’ movement [is] a protest movement against the capitalist and neo-liberal vision of globalization
….” (36) The movement “puts into question the global capitalist state order itself….It problematizes capitalism….targetting specific sites of oppression—corporate power and greed, G-M products, workplace surveillance, displacement of indigenous peoples, labor and human rights abuses, and so on
.” (37) This only makes sense if we realize that these issues, overlapping with each other, are all directly or indirectly due to capitalism and enforced by the state. (For example, environmental, energy, and climate problems are due to the insatiable drive of capitalism to accumulate and grow quantitatively, regardless of the need of the ecosystem for limits and balance. The anarchist Bookchin explored this before the present ecological Marxists.)
“We are living in a historical moment…dominated by capitalism, the most universal system the world has ever known—both in the sense that it is global and in the sense that it penetrates every aspect of social life and the natural environment….The social reality of capitalism is ‘totalizing’ in unprecedented ways and degrees. Its logic of commodification, accumulation, profit-maximization, and competition permeates the whole social order
….” (Woods 1997; 13)
If the problem is ultimately capitalism, then what is capitalism? (Newman does not define it any more than he defines the state.) Capitalism is the capital-labor relationship in the process of production. Capital commodifies everything it can, including the ability of the workers to labor. Capital buys this labor-power and squeezes out as much surplus wealth (value) from the workers as possible, accumulating profits and expanding production. All the other issues and struggles against aspects of oppression are real and must be addressed, but the central issue of capitalism as such is its exploitation of the workers. And who will oppose capitalism? Is it in the immediate interests of the rich, the managers, the police, or various indeterminate “citizens” to revolt against capitalism? No one has a greater immediate interest in fighting capitalism than those who directly confront it day by day. No one has a greater potential ability to fight it, with their hands on the means of production, distribution, and services.
That is what makes the class struggle—if not “universal”—then central to the fight against “the global capitalist state order
.” It is central, and necessary—but not sufficient by itself, since all sections of the oppressed need to be mobilized, on every issue, “against the capitalist and neo-liberal vision of globalization
Conclusion: The State Serves the Class Enemy
In recent years there has been a bitter and vicious class war, on an international scale. It has been waged by the capitalist class, using all its resources, most especially its state. There has been a remorseless attack on the working class in both the industrialized (imperialist) nations and in the rest of the world. Hard-won welfare benefits have been slashed, austerity has been enforced, and unions have been cut in number and power. As part of this class war, there has been an attack on the rights of women, of African-Americans, of immigrants, and of LGBTQ people. For the sake of profits, the environment has been trashed and looted, until the survival of civilization (even such as it is) is threatened.
This is hardly the time to deny that capitalist exploitation is at the center of all issues. And that, while the state is intrinsically oppressive, it serves the class enemy.
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*written for www.Anarkismo.net
This article is a brief analysing of the future of Rojava in Syria in Line with the attack of Assad’s forces on Idlib’s Province . The battle of Idlib can be a crucial one for all sides who are involve especially for the regime and the Kurdish in Rojava . There are few scenarios that the Kurdish forces there and its self rule administration are facing . There is also a strong possibility after this battle the Kurdish question there can be on the top of Assad and Russia’s agenda to be resolved either way.
The battle of Idlib Province in Syria is decisive and crucial for the future of Rojava
By: Zaher Baher
Iraq, 05 Sep 2018
“We are at the final stage of solving the crisis in Syria and liberating whole territory from terrorism
”, stated Walid al-Moualem, Syria’s foreign minister when he met Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, in Moscow.
The Assad Regime and its allies are preparing themselves for the upcoming battle for Idlib. The military launch might start this month, September, or the beginning of October. The war will likely bring victory to Assad and catastrophe to the 2 million citizens of Idlib where 1.6 million are already in need of humanitarian aid.
Idlib, near Aleppo, Hama and Homs, is a stronghold of over 60,000 anti-regime rebels and over 10,000 jihadists. To justify attacking Idlib, Assad often claims the province is full of terrorists.
Although the battle of Idlib looks rather small with any parties like the US, Russia, Turkey and Assad and their other allies' involvement directly or indirectly, it will, no doubt, be a big battle. Each of these parties has their own stake in Idlib and the region. Assad is trying to control the whole country by defeating opposition rebels and terrorist groups. He also wants an open hand over the Kurdish in Rojava either to suppress or negotiate with them on his own terms and conditions. Turkey, which has supported anti-Assad forces and terrorist groups throughout the war for many reasons, has its own interests too. The US and Russia have been the major powers in the region and are arch enemies. Their intervention and involvement in Syria only serves their own interests economically, politically and financially and protects the power of their friends in the region.
As for Rojava’s situation, its future within the Idlib battle scenario is quite complicated. In my opinion, Rojava’s position has been weak since Jul 2015 when Erdogan launched a brutal attack on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forcing them to become involved in war. On the other hand, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has been aligned with the US in the war against Islamic State (IS), and has committed many deadly mistakes mentioned in my previous article
The battle of Idlib will happen sooner or later. It will be decisive and crucial for the major powers and their allies in the region and also for Rojava. At the moment, US opposes the attack because it would lead to a “humanitarian catastrophe “. The White House warned on Tuesday 04/09 that the US and its allies would respond “swiftly and appropriately” if Assad used chemical weapons. The question here is why the US and its allies were not concerned about a “humanitarian catastrophe” when Turkey invaded Afrin and massacred hundreds of innocent people? In Idlib,the US is probably concerned with defeating the terrorist groups rather than innocent people because they want the game to last longer to achieve completely what they planned in the first place.
Rojava and its self-rule administration and the SDF cannot be ignored during the attack on Idlib and after the battle as well. It cannot be left as it is. The Rojava question and its future must be resolved either way. Rojava is facing many possible scenarios. If Assad prevails in this battle, as commonly predicted, the position of the Kurdish in Rojava will be weaker. Assad will be in a very strong position, securing his hold on power for a while. In this situation, he can impose his terms and conditions on the PYD and SDF while they are in a weak position. There is also the possibility of the SDF joining Assad’s forces for the battle of Idlib while the PYD is negotiating with the regime. As we can see, the PYD and SDF are in a very complicated situation. The SDF may join Assad’s forces against the rebels; an action which is opposed to US interests. In this circumstances the PYD and SDF might be abandoned by the US which, in the near future, may encourage a Turkish attack on Rojava or, at least, Turkey may try to occupy the towns on its border currently under control of the SDF.
If Assad fails to defeat the rebels in Idlib, it won’t be in the interest of Rojava either, because Assad’s defeat will also be a Turkish victory who will then be in a better position to attack Rojava as happened to Afrin.
However, whatever the outcome of Idlib’s battle, it will be critical for Rojava as its future is tied to the battles between the forces mentioned above. The situation may become so complicated in Rojava that it will become difficult for the Kurdish to maintain their principal aim of Democratic Confederalism.
What keeps Rojava alive is the continuing war with Isis and other terrorist groups and, also, the economic embargo imposed by regional powers. Saying this does not mean that Rojava’s movement will collapse. In my opinion, the Kurdish have proved themselves and resolved many questions positively so they cannot be ignored or marginalized by any sides of the major powers and Assad’s regime I believe that, in the end, there might be some compromise between the US and Russia over Syria and its regime. The power struggle between them and their allies to reach their own aims forces Assad, or a future government in Syria, to offer cultural autonomy and some cultural rights. These rights would be far short of building Democratic Confederalism.
#Nobastan3Causales: seguimos luchando por aborto libre en Chile