Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Another chance for Anarchism

The world’s dominant political economy has crashed; neoliberalism — an ideological smokescreen for financialisation, cartelisation, and monopolisation — is so discredited that even its own advocates remain silent. Finance capital for its part is now concentrated in so few hands that over $21 trillion — more than the combined GDP of the United States and Japan — is held in secretive tax havens. Much of the money has come from drug-running, arms smuggling, tax evasion, and tax avoidance. It is used not for generating legitimate productive work but only for making paper money. Wealth does not trickle down; it floods upwards.

Meanwhile, particularly in the Anglophone world, more evidence emerges almost daily of rampant criminality in every area of high finance. Far from regulating finance, let alone using the feeble criminal law available, governments terrified of financiers and also of the public instead confine themselves to passing progressively more vicious public-order legislation on the assumption that all people are terrorists.

The anarchists, inspired by the Popular Front’s election win in February 1936, achieved huge successes in, for example, Catalonia, but the surge of self-management by peasants and industrial workers was too much for Franco — and for the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. Those who hold established power seem unable to accept the anarchist principle that such power needs to be justified, especially in view of the horrors that it, whether public or private, has inflicted on us. Anarchism, therefore, combines its searching critique of capital with a deep suspicion of the evils of power misused, and Daniel Guérin’s commanding overview of the major themes in anarchism sets them in historical and political context. (Read further: Source)