Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement
[Book Review] “Anarchist Perspectives in Peace and War 1900-1918” by A.W. Zurbrugg (London: Anarres Editions – Merlin Press, 2018)
This is, above all, a history of the anarchist movement from the perspective of those who were at the centre of its development, their voices recovered through a careful and extensive research of conference proceedings, journal articles, memoirs, etc. Altogether, this is a prime example of historical work which is not backward-looking, but forward-looking, bringing history back to life in order to feed contemporary agitated conversations, encounters and debates.
by José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
A.W. Zurbrugg has edited and worked on some very interesting contributions on historical anarchism: his selection of Bakunin’s texts and his book on anarchists’ impressions on the Russian Revolution, had both been reviewed in anarkismo.net before and I absolutely recommend them to anyone interested in anarchism. Now Zurbrugg comes back with a more ambitious project: an international historical recount of anarchism in the 20th century in four volumes, of which the first one was published under the title “Anarchist Perspectives in Peace and War 1900-1918”.
So what’s different in this attempt at an international history of anarchism from others?
Architects for Social Housing
As part of ASH’s residency at the 221A Gallery in Vancouver, the Pollyanna 圖書館 Library asked us to provide a bibliography of books to add to their collection that provide a written context to the four workshops we will be holding on the principles and practices of a socialist architecture. This is what we came up with.
Bibliography for a Socialist Architecture: Pollyanna 圖書館 Library, Vancouver
Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation
As the left revisits questions of strategy and the role of elections in the path towards socialist transformation, author and veteran activist Tom Wetzel outlines both a critique of the electoral centered path and a strategy for working class power from below.
By Tom Wetzel
Could a shift from capitalism to socialism be brought about through electoral politics? Ever since the origins of the modern socialist left in the late 1800s, many socialists have viewed the politics of parties and elections as a way they can insert themselves into history — forming a core component of their strategy.
In the World War I era the American Socialist Party (SPA) had gained a hundred thousand members and elected more than a thousand government officials — mayors, members of city councils and state legislators. By the mid-20th century “democratic socialism” had been coined as a kind of political brand to refer to the tradition of the socialists oriented to electoral politics as a strategy for social change.
The “democratic socialist” label was partly meant to show their defense of the systems of “representative democracy” and liberal values in western Europe, North America and elsewhere. This was combined with critiques of the repressive and undemocratic nature of the “communist camp” countries of the mid-20th century — the Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba, Communist China. This defense of “representative democracy” is tied in with their basic strategy of working to gain political power through elections.