“Death to All Who Stand in the Way of Freedom for the Working People”: Anarchy’s False Flag

The near-inevitability of error is a perpetual thorn in the side of historians. Of particular interest to anarchists, the Makhnovist movement provides numerous examples of historiographical myth production – a key example is the famous black flag displaying the skull-and-crossbones and the slogan in white Ukrainian lettering, ‘Death to all who stand in the way of freedom for the working people’ [‘Smertʹ vsim, khto na pereshkodi dobut’ia vilʹnosti trudovomu liudu’].

The flag has cycled through a multitude of meanings, from Bolshevik attempts to associate it with anti-Semitic pogroms, to an international source of inspiration for anarchist resistance, to a symbol of regional pride in Makhno’s hometown, and a declaration of defiance against Russian invasion. But, as Sean Patterson explains in this article, despite its near-universal reputation as the primary symbol of Ukrainian anarchism, the flag is not Makhnovist. Even so, the flag and its slogan will surely survive and continue its march through time.

“Death to All Who Stand in the Way of Freedom for the Working People”: Anarchy’s False Flag

Doing-It-Together: Mutual aid and grassroots activism in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines

‘We will do it ourselves, because the government won’t do it for us.

But we must do it together, because we are stronger as a collective than we are as individuals.’

Elise Imray Papineau compares the mutual aid responses to the Covid 19 pandemic in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines, arguing that the proliferation and consistency of mutual aid initiatives is affected not only by need, but also by the reach of the state and the pervasiveness of political apathy.

Doing-It-Together: Mutual aid and grassroots activism in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines

 

Anarchist Studies Conference 2022 Call for papers

Anarchist Studies Network // 7th International Conference // Online

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Call for Papers: Anarchist Futures

Often called idealists, dreamers, unrealistic, anarchists have a complex relationship to the future. We imagine it, theorise it, work for it. We try to bring it to the present. We draw blueprints of what it might be like. We nurture connections that reflect our hopes. We imagine new worlds, living in the future whilst changing the present. However, utopian thought can be considered both an incentive and a discouragement to action. Its complexity and relationship to the future is particularly meaningful for anarchists. After all, how can political thought be fully understood without projecting ourselves and collectively into the future? Anarchist utopias from the early News Of Nowhere (William Morris, 1890) to The Dispossessed (Ursula K Le Guin, 1974) and other recent fiction has underlined the role of imagining the future in order to build a better world.

Anarchist Futures is a call to think about possibilities, gaps and interstices where anarchist futures exist. It is an encouragement to walk the bridge of time and make the future present. It is a hope that we can draw lines of solidarity and community which redefine the current state of affairs so that the future is anarchist.

The 7th International Conference of the Anarchist Studies Network will be held as an online event on 24th-26th August, subject to change to hybrid if we find a suitable location. ASN conferences aim to broach new frontiers in anarchist scholarship and encourage cross-pollination between disciplines. We also invite people who don’t usually reside in or feel comfortable in academia to do workshops, talk about their work, projects, plans and build connections.

The central theme for this conference is Anarchist Futures. A list of suggested topics includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • How do we imagine the future? What does an anarchist society look like?
  • How do we imagine a world without prisons, the state or police?
  • How did anarchists in the past imagine the future? Did we get there?
  • How does literature and art envision an anarchist future?
  • How do we act for the future now?
  • What is needed to change the future?
  • Who are the actors of change?
  • What is the role of imagination in changing the world?
  • What is the relationship between anarchist theory and the future?

As usual, ASN also welcomes submissions that do not reference the main topic but are related to anarchist theory and practice. We also welcome panels and streams on a particular topic. We particularly welcome submissions outside the traditional academic format, such as performances, exhibitions, workshops, among others. We are happy to accommodate papers in any language, but please send an abstract in English. Please indicate whether you want to present online or in person. Abstracts should be sent by 30 April 2022 to asn.conference@protonmail.com

We aim to facilitate and accommodate all accessibility needs, including but not limited to wheelchair access, hearing loops, quiet rooms, child-care and material support for low-waged participants.  Please do get in touch with any specific questions, needs or comments and we will do our best to meet them.

Call in other languages:

Español   Français    Italiano   Русски   Ελληνικά   Deutsch

 

 

‘A nation of shopkeepers’. The real lost history of British anarchism?

‘When most people today think of the Co-op, they probably think of the supermarket …’

Máirtín Ó Catháin argues that the co-operative movement, as a non-state and democratic economic strategy built from the bottom up by workers themselves, is long overdue for recognition as a native manifestation of British anarchism.

‘A nation of shopkeepers’. The real lost history of British anarchism?

Intellectual Property is Theft – Towards an Anarchist Culture of Knowledge Sharing & Translation

Intellectual property, enforced by the State and chiefly benefitting corporate enterprise, is a major obstacle to the universal exchange of knowledge. Against this unethical and exploitative hoarding of information, Luke Ray Di Marco Campbell argues that we must ‘Liberate to Educate!’, highlighting the practice of collective and co-constructed translation as a key circumvention of privileged copyright. In the spirit of Emma:

‘If you’re interested, ask to participate in the research process. If they won’t allow you, ask to access, comment on, critique, share, and further develop the work. If they won’t share it, take it from Sci-Hub or The Anarchist Library and do what you will.’

Intellectual Property is Theft – Towards an Anarchist Culture of Knowledge Sharing & Translation

Why Boris Johnson still isn’t a libertarian

The British Prime Minister has dubbed the 19th of July as ‘Freedom Day’, with most Covid-19 restrictions in England being removed. But, in this article, Jon Bigger reminds us that Johnson is not a real libertarian, and that having risk foisted upon us by those in power is not ‘freedom’:

‘They are forcing us to live the kind of lives they believe necessary, for an economic system they place among the gods. It couldn’t be more dangerous, it couldn’t be more risky, and it couldn’t be less libertarian.’

Why Boris Johnson still isn’t a libertarian

When You Fear Yourself! ‘Freedom’ in Bangladeshi Academia

Manosh Chowdhury’s critical insights reveal that the oft-celebrated ‘autonomy’ of Bangladeshi universities is very limited in practice. Manosh highlights the structural issues underpinning ‘self-censorship’ by academics, and details how this situation is exacerbated by increased surveillance under the Digital Security Act and cyberspace ‘bullying’.

When You Fear Yourself! ‘Freedom’ in Bangladeshi Academia

 

On Saving Marxism From Itself (A Response to Mustapha Mond)

In response to Mustapha Mond’s ‘A Brief Question of Syndicalism’ (4th February 2021), Iain McKay highlights that Marx and Engels, far from being advocates of syndicalism, lacked a commitment to workers’ management. Rather than trying to use syndicalism to save Marxism from itself, McKay argues that it would be better for the socialist movement to learn from their anarchist ‘frienemies’ and escape the deadweight of Marx’s legacy.

On Saving Marxism From Itself (A Response to Mutapha Mond’s ‘A Brief Question of Syndicalism’)

A Simple Idea

While we may not be able to gather as usual this International Workers’ Day, we are marking May Day by bringing you this excerpt from An Anarchist’s Manifesto by Glenn Wallis. Here, he defines anarchism as a set of ideas, as a value system, and as a praxis, considering its resonance at the micro, meso, and macro levels.

A Simple Idea

In solidarity!