Building an Anarchist International [ZACF]

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The path towards the emancipation of the workers can only be reached by the union
of all the workers of the world.

Long live the workers international! Long live the free and stateless anarchist commune.

Makhnovist Army and Nabat Anarchist group, May 1919,
“Workers, Peasants and Insurgents. For the Oppressed, Against the Oppressor- Always!”,
leaflet issued in the Anarchist-led revolution in Ukraine, 1918-21.
Reproduced in Peter Archinov, History of the Makhnovist Movement, 1918-21.
1987 Freedom Press edition.


INTRODUCTION

Capitalism and the State dominate every part of the earth. There is nowhere on the planet that is not subject to some boss or ruler.

Capitalism cannot contain itself in national/ State boundaries. Since the Second World War in particular, capitalism has organised itself on an international basis. This is seen in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the European Community (EC), the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT), and many other organisations and treaties. It is seen in co-operation between governments in the interests of capitalism as a whole, or of a bloc within capitalism (e.g. the Gulf War). And it is seen in the rise of massive transnational corporations (TNCs).

To combat this international situation, workers need international solidarity and unity. The ZACF promotes international working class solidarity, challenging nationalist, imperialist, racist. protectionist and/or “labour aristocracy” arguments.


SEE POSITION PAPERS ON ANTI-IMPERIALISM, FIGHTING RACISM,
AND CLASS STRUGGLE, CAPITALISM AND THE STATE IN PARTICULAR.


ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL

To combat this situation, Anarchism must also be an international movement. There can be no “Anarchism in one country”. While a single country may be the first to move to Anarchism it will not be able to survive for long if it remains isolated. The ruling class, both local and foreign, are not democrats who will stand by and allow people to take control of their own lives. They will not only object to losing profits, but will also fear the living example of Anarchism in action. Trade boycotts, embargoes on supplying raw materials, economic sabotage, sealing of borders and outright war will be their answer. The success of Anarchism is dependent on it spreading across borders.


SEE POSITION PAPER ON FIGHTING IMPERIALISM.


An international Anarchist political organisation is necessary to provide international solidarity within the movement, promote working class solidarity across borders, help provide a co- ordinated response to capitalism, facilitate the international revolution etc. Such as organisation would have agreed policies on major issues such as the role of the Anarchist political organisation, activity within the trade unions, fighting racism and fascism, the type of struggle needed to advance the movement for women’s freedom, anti-imperialist conflicts, and gay and lesbian rights. It would also have an agreed international strategy, the capability of fostering international debate among Anarchist and the capability of giving aid to weaker sections or to those engaged in mass struggle.

Such an international organisation is more than a loose network of like-minded groups. It is not a paper body. It only has a purpose if it can contribute to the Anarchist movement. Therefore it only becomes real when based on a number of sizeable organisations. Anything less would need finance, administration, translation, publications, and conferences but would not be capable of making the return necessary to justify this expenditure of resources.

IMMEDIATE STEPS

In order to reach a situation where an international Anarchist political organisation can be formed we must start preparing the way now. Our tasks are to:

  • Establish and maintain contact with other Anarchist groups, and tendencies within other organisations moving in the direction of our politics
  • Making the politics of both the ZACF and the “Platformist” tradition more widely known with the Anarchist movement abroad.
  • Take part in debates within the international Anarchist movement with an aim of explaining the policies of the ZACF, and of getting the various groupings to clarify their political positions. An international discussion bulletin jointly produced by a number of organisations would be a contribution to this work which would be immediately realisable if the idea wins agreement.
  • Proposing concrete international co-operation on specific issues where there is agreement between ourselves and other organisations.
  • We should set up formal relations with other Anarchist/Syndicalist groups in Africa (e.g.). the Awareness League in Nigeria, and the Industrial Workers of the World in Sierra Leone. We should aim in the medium term to get contacts in nearby countries, with the aim of setting up organisations along similar lines to ourselves.
  • Applying for the closest possible formal relationship with the Workers Solidarity Movement in Ireland, a group whose politics are extremely close to those of our own.
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