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What is communism

Added from August 2006

A collection of documents on the Spanish Civil War provided by anarchists in Seattle

IWW coverage of the Spanish revolution
Selection of 6 articles


An Anarchist FAQ, David Friedman and Medieval Iceland
A reply to David Friedman's criticism of section F.9 of "An Anarchist FAQ" In a nutshell, to err is human..

An Anarchist critique of Anarcho-Statism: Or refuting "anarcho"-capitalism by means of "anarcho"-capitalism
A shortist critique of "anarcho"-capitalist claims to be a form of anarchism

.Kronstadt 1921: the end of the Bolshevik Myth
A discussion of the Kronstadt revolt, what it means and a critique of Bolshevik lies about it. Written to mark the 85th anniversary of the crushing of the rebellion.

Yet more "bad apples"?
Why the Iraqi abuse video shows that the problem is systemic in imperialism and the state.

Don't tell Blair...
A company is tagging workers in Ohio. A door which should not be opened for bosses or governments.

Resist ID cards!
To stop ID cards being introduced in Britain we need to use direct action, not rely on politicians

A Friend of Democracy?
The US response to the Hamas election victory shows how nothing has changed in US foreign policy.

Double standards a-go-go!
New year, new war? The Iraq WMD farce has not stopped Bush and Blair attacking Iran using the same arguments. And the media plays along...

Objective journalism at its best
Media Lens is a UK based organisation applying Chomsky's "Propaganda Model" to the UK media, with great results.

State terrorism in action
The US states kills civilians in Pakistan and no one really objects. What it says about the morality of the state.



Voltairine De Cleyre: Her revolutionary ideas and legacy
A long review of three books by and about one of the leading anarchists in America. It discusses her evolution from individualist to communist anarchism. Along the way it explains why

"anarcho"-capitalism is not anarchist. For my daughter. Fiona Lucy.
[ PDF file of RBR 10 ]

  • Interview: Looking Back On The Battle of The Bins and Lessons Learnt
    The campaign against the bin charges was one of the largest organised mass movements of resistance to the state in recent years. Local organising groups popped up across the city. It climaxed in the winter of 2003, with the jailings of numerous activists in quick succession. Here we talk to Dermot Sreenan, a member of the WSM who has been a prominent activist in the campaign from the off.
  • Communism: What’s In A Word
    This article discusses the meaning of communism as opposed to socialism that evolved in the late nineteenth century. Of course its not that important to get hung up on a name; for many people the concise definition of communism being something to do with Marx and the USSR is the one they know. For us the name of the post-capitalist society we aim to help construct is a detail, what matters is the content of the ideas.
  • Enviromentalism: Class and Community Struggle
    The economic boom in Ireland and the construction boom that has come alongside it has led to a growth in the importance of environmental campaigns. There has frequently been a large gap between the environmentalists involved in such campaigns and the left - including anarchists. Sean, one of the 'Carrickminders' and now a member of the WSM gives his view on what can be learnt from the recent struggles.
  • Book Review: Anarchy’s Cossak; a review of the latest book on Makhno
    This was a much awaited book. Published originally in French back in 1982, its English version finally saw the light of day, and the wait was well worth it. For those who are not familiar with the subject, the Makhnovists were a libertarian movement, deeply rooted in the traditions of anarchist-communism, that developed an experience of revolutionary changes in the economic and political structures of the backwarded Ukrainian society. To defend the gains of the Social Revolution, they launched a guerrilla warfare in Ukraine against a number of enemies: foreign troops, Nationalists, Whites, different warlords and Bolsheviks.
  • Situationism and Anarchism
    The Situationist International formed in 1957 from two avant-garde groups. The Situationists are mostly known to anarchists as a group that had something to do with the May 1968 Paris Uprising. However, the Situationists played a relatively peripheral role in the disturbances. Although much of the graffiti that appeared around the city (some famous ones included : "Never Work" and "All Power to the Imagination") were taken from Situationist works, the group did not play a major role in initiating the revolt themselves.
  • A New Direction For The Zapatistas
    Over the summer the Zapatistas announced a new strategy but what was it and what does it mean? On the global level the the rebellion in Chiapas was both an inspiration and organisational model for new a generations of anti-capitalist activists. Because of this the change in direction will have repercussions that stretch far beyond Mexico



PDF file of RBR 9]

  • The nomad, the displaced and the settler: Work in the 21st Century
    A number of issues are being discussed. Firstly has the workplace changed fundamentally such that people increasingly are in temporary work rather than permanent work? Secondly is the division between work time and non-work time dissolving, are we spending more of our lives 'in work'? Thirdly are the non-work aspects of life becoming increasingly insecure?
  • A look at workers in Ireland
    Chainworkersmeans the 'workers in malls, shopping centres, hypermarkets, and in the myriad of jobs of logistics and selling in the metropolis'. Brainworkers means the knowledge workers, the programmers, the creatives and the freelancers. How do these categories pan out in the Irish labour market? Originally a box in the article The nomad, the displaced and the settler: Work in the 21st Century
  • After Nationalism
    An analysis of why many on the left joined Sinn Fein and what their options are now. I joined Sinn Féin in the mid eighties with many others on the back of what we saw as a radical shift to the left and a commitment to build a 32 county Democartic Socialist Republic. I find myself outside that movement now, thoroughly disillusioned with it and its shift to a left nationalist and social democratic electoralist future.
  • The Ghost of Mayday Past
    Compared to many other European countries May Day demonstrations have always been small in Ireland. By the mid-1990's, May Day had become a fairly underwhelming event. So, given this dismal tradition why were the explicitly libertarian May Day events in 2004, comparatively speaking, such a success?
  • Learning from May Day: Anti-Capitalist Strategy direct action, militancy and building the movement
    The experience of May Day brings up us back to some of the perennial questions thrown up by counter-summits protests: how do we broaden our movement and what role do direct action and confrontational tactics have in that process
  • Learning from May Day: Organisational Problems
    Without a proper convergence centre in which to debate and discuss issues related to the protests many of the international activists. Legal and defendant support work was more piecemeal than it should have been. These problems were not just oversights, they are serious political problems
  • Book Review: To Live
    The 'civil war' within the Civil War that occurred in Spain between 1936-39 is a difficult business to understand. Mick Parkin has succeeded admirably in his short novel To Live.
  • Book Review: Parecon: life after capitalism
    Anarchists, in common with all radical proponents of social change are continually asked what their vision of a new society/economy is. The book outlines a radical vision of social and economic reconstruction whose core principles and values, Solidarity, Equity, Diversity and Self-Management, are very familiar to anarchists

Workers Solidarity 89

WS 89 cover
[Download the PDF]

  • Why are they still running our schools?
    It's taken decades for the mask of evil to finally be fully exposed. The report by the inquiry into child sexual abuse by pervert priests in the Ferns diocese has at last exposed the suffering endured by huge numbers for people.
  • Pushers Out! - The inside story of Dublin's anti-drugs movement
    Pushers Out tells the story of how people living in the North Inner City and the South Inner City organised to save their communities from heroin. Not relying on the state to solve their problems, they started to organise themselves. One such working class organisation is Coalition of Communities Against Drugs (COCAD) A review of the book by by Andre Lyder
  • Elections in Haiti - What about Democracy?
    The 30th of September marked a new anniversary of the first coup against Aristide in Haiti. That day, activists in 47 cities around the world, held an international day of solidarity with Haitian people who, once again, are suffering from the effects of a coup and a bloody occupation under the command of the UN
  • Irish Ferries: Time to break the law
    The dispute at Irish Ferries is about greedy bosses, very greedy bosses who want to replace their staff with modern day galley slaves.
  • Bad things happen: Tales from the frontline in Iraq
    "It was when we started killing innocent civilians. We killed over thirty of them in a three month time period when I was there, in a clear violation of the Geneva conventions."
  • Thinking about anarchism: Anarchism and human nature
    It is a very sincerely held belief by many people, that we are "naturally" greedy, rotten feckers and, in the absence of government, some mad form of capitalism would be inevitable
  • Swedish and Finnish Commuters Take Direct Action for Free Public Transport
    In Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsinki commuters are taking the initiative in the fight for decent, free public transportation. Here Oisín Mac Giollamóir interviews Anna from the planka.nu campaign.
  • 2 Years In Jail For Criticising Islam
    Text of a letter recieved by the WSM from the Workers Communist Party Of Iraq.

Updated WSM positions papers from October 2005 National Conference

If you are a frequent visitor I recommend you bookmark this page. This page is normally updated twice a month.

RBR 8 cover






Solidarity not Social Partnership - Why SIPTU should say no to another partnership deal
Pamphlet produced for SIPTU Thursday 6th October 2005 Biennial National Conference in Cork. "Conference should vote against Motion 59 because social partnership is a lie, a rip-off and has floored our movement. SIPTU needs a new direction and a renewal as a fighting," participatory organisation. PDF file of this text

What is communism?
It is this meaning of communism as opposed to socialism that evolved in the late nineteenth century that this article discusses. Of course its not that important to get hung up on a name, for many people the Concise definition of communism being something to do with Marx and the USSR is the one they know. For us the name of the post-capitalist society we aim to help construct is a detail, what matters is the content of the ideas.

You can download, print out and distibute this essay as a PDF file
What is communism



  • Crazy Cleric strikes again
    Some one should tell Pat Robertson about "Thou shalt not kill".
  • The Joys of Democracy
    Yet again, Iraqis are asked to brave death to vote, this time for a constitution shaped by their occupiers, which they have not read and which can be changed at will by politicians.
  • Incapacity benefit: lies, damned lies and statistics
    New labour are attacking people on Incapacity Benefit. Find out why people are on it in the first place and what it says about neo-liberalism and unemployment
  • Not putting their money where their mouths are...
    Not only won't they fight for their war, the right will not even pay for it.
  • Why bother?
    A few notes on the 2005 Labour Party conference. Why do people bother going? And the expulsion of a heckler shows the real purpose of anti-terrorism laws.
  • Anarchy in New Orleans?
    Exposing a few myths about what happened in New Orleans and why it has nothing to do with anarchy.
  • The real looting of New Orleans begins
    How the right are using the destruction caused by Katrina to transfer yet more monies to corporate America and to impose their ideology.


cover ws88

[Print out the PDF file]

  • Tescos Exploits Foreign Workers
    During July and August, major Polish newspapers, TV and radio stations carried a story about two Polish workers, who were dismissed from TESCO in Dublin, because of their fight for workers' rights.. One of sacked warehouse attendants, Radek Sawicki tells us about the struggle against TESCO and its consequences.
  • Why Would Gays Want To Marry?
    The issue of gay marriage has come to the fore again recently with both Canada and Spain approving bills to make it legal. In this interview we talk to Judy Walsh, from the Equality Studies department in UCD about how marriage and partnership rights are currently constructed in Ireland.
  • Politicians - We Don't Need Them!
    Unelected bodies 'quangos', have responsibility for a wide share of Irish society from the health service, to tourist promotion, to inland fisheries. And who gets appointed to these boards? The wealthy and the powerful.
  • The Price of Being Reasonable
    There were fewer strike days last year than in any year since the 1920s. At the same time the number of disputes referred to the Labour Court was up 21%. Does this mean that 'going through the procedures' and being 'reasonable' is paying dividends of workers?
  • Solidarity - The Working Class Weapon
    In reality, sympathy strikes are a workers' best weapon as individually we have little power compared to the boss. Standing together, however, we can defend our rights. The bosses know this, hence the attack on even the barest form of solidarity by workers
  • Popular Response to Shell's Pipeline Shows Way Forward
    Over the Summer in a small corner of Mayo a mass campaign of non-violent direct action systematically, and in part spontaneously, shut down a major development being carried out by several multi-national corporations and the state.
  • Rebel Girl: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn's Autobiography
    Though born in the US, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was of Irish descent and came from a long line of rebels and revolutionaries. She begins her autobiography describing the exploits of some of her ancestors who joined the French when in 1798 they landed in Killalla Bay to help free Ireland from British rule and set up an Irish Republic.
  • As Capitalists Waste Earth's Resources...... Organise for a Free Society ...For Anarchism
    As another summer draws to a close, it's worth taking a snapshot of the state of the Ireland as the dawn of the 21st century casts its light upon us. The struggle for equality and justice continues unabated, whilst our elected 'leaders' and their corporate paymasters keep their head in the sand.
  • Thinking About Anarchism: Organisation
    There is no one right form of anarchist organisation. Rather, different forms are used for different purposes. What all these forms have in common is a desire to avoid the creation of any hierarchy while at the same time making sure that whatever needs to be done gets done.
  • That's Capitalism
    Crazy bosses, tax cheats and starving children


Anarchy or Chaos


  • Pro-choice campaign calls for safe, free, legal abortion
    6217 women who gave addresses in Ireland had an abortion in Britain last year, according to recently released British abortion statistics. This means that at least 17 Irish women go to Britain for an abortion every day.
  • Letter to Anarchy on bob Black and Platformism
    A reply to Bob Black's letter in Anarchy in which I correct Black's basic mistakes and show that he really should read what people write.
  • Letter to Anarchy on bob Black and Platformism
    longer (and unsent) reply to Bob Black's letter in Anarchy covering the same ground but in more depth.
  • Rewriting history to defend failure
    Blair denied denying a link between the London bombs and Iraq. Not the only case of him rewriting history...
  • Gaza
    The withdrawal of Israel from Gaza is a step towards consolidating the occupation of the West Bank, not peace.
  • Capitalism and Freedom
    The NLRB in America has approved a contract which stops workers meeting after working hours. Yet another example of the autocracy at the heart of capitalism
  • For Workers' Power
    A lengthy review of the excellent new collection of Maurice Brinton's work.
  • Niger: Yet another capitalist famine
    Now the market and neo-liberalism has caused the famine in Niger, not nature.
  • Changing our way of life
    On Blair's new "anti-terrorist" policies and how, if we believe his rhetoric, he is doing the terrorists work for them by changing our way of life.

New anarchist FAQ material

  • Section B.1.6
    New sub-section on how hierarchy can be overcome.
  • Section B.2.6
    New sub-section on how the state can be an independent power within society
  • Section B.3.5
    New sub-section on why state owned property is basically the same as private property.
  • Section B.7.2
    New sub-section on social mobility in capitalism and why it does not make class or inequality irrelevant. The rest of section B.7 has been reorganised to take the new section into account.
  • Section A
    Slight changes to section A to change the references for Murray Bookchin's "Post-Scarcity Anarchism" and Martha A. Ackelsberg's "Free Women of Spain" to the most recent edition and make a few minor additions here and there (mostly to section A.4).

For the record - an archive of older updates to Struggle for 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002