Regular readers of this blog and our sister publication, the South Essex Stirrer, will be in little doubt as to our feelings about the current condition of the anarchist movement. A movement that in our opinion, as too many parts of it slide into the vortex of identity politics is becoming less relevant to the working class by the day. A movement that in all honesty, we don’t really feel that we can be an integral part of as things currently stand. Which is why were taking a bit of a step back from it while we reassess which elements of it we can have a constructive working relationship with and those that sadly, we have to move well away from.
We’re more than happy to continue working with those parts of the movement that see class struggle as a central part of their strategy and tactics. That also applies to those who understand the importance of working from the grassroots upwards on the estates. Which is why we’re working with Rebel City offering our support to them in producing the next edition of the paper. The same also applies to the newly formed Anarchist Communist Group – https://www.anarchistcommunism.org/about-us/ – whose analysis on the centrality of class struggle is one we strongly agree with.
As we’re taking a bit of a step back from the movement while we reassess our relationship to it, one of the changes we’re making on this blog is binning the bookfair diary. It would be a bit disingenuous of us to put up listings for events and then start criticising the organisers because we disagree with their politics! Also, there wasn’t much point in our having a bookfair diary that duplicates what Freedom are doing: Anarchist Bookfairs in 2018 – https://freedomnews.org.uk/anarchist-bookfairs-in-2018/ – linked to in the sidebar on this blog.
One project we’re going to be carrying on with is our page linking to a range of readings on identity politics. Obviously, given our views, that list will feature some critiques of identity politics! It’s a work in progress and suggestions for additions are always welcome. The aim is to range from readings about issues surrounding cultural identity all the way over to the contentious issue of gender identity. We aim to put up readings on the issue of gender identity politics from both sides of what has become a toxic debate with the aim of trying to encourage a more reasoned, nuanced discussion. We realise that this will get people’s backs up and we may lose friends over this but we’ve got to the point where we’re no longer willing to self censor ourselves.
Getting back to the centrality of class struggle politics and grassroots activism to our project, we’re going to produce a two sides of A4 mini-newsletter / statement to hand out at bookfairs, meetings etc. over the coming year. It will also be available as a downloadable PDF. All things being equal, we aim to have this ready in time for the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday May 12th. Whether that will be inside the bookfair or outside in the street depends on how well (or not) we’re received! We hope that it will be seen as a constructive contribution to the discussion about the future direction of the movement.