Welcome to the sixth issue of Red and Black Revolution, the second to be produced since we switched to this shorter and more frequent format. Although the gaps between each issue are still substantial, we hope that one of the effects of more regular publication will be to encourage our readers to use this magazine as a forum for debate. Most of the articles will, of course, reflect the positions of the Workers Solidarity Movement, since we produce the magazine, but we continue to print articles from outside the organization, and would like to see other anarchists responding to some of the arguments made in these pages.

In this issue we look at two of the earliest anarchists, two men who represent very different traditions within the movement. Bakunin is perhaps the most famous of anarchists, a man who travelled Europe preaching revolution, clashed with Marx, and whose politics ranged from early Slav nationalism to anarchism. While Bakunin was a man of action, Stirner was an intellectual and an academic, known mainly for 'The Ego and its Own', reviewed here. Both have been controversial, and though often enough there are misquotations and deliberate misunderstandings at the roots of some of those controversies, the differences between the two men, and between the visions of anarchism they represent, are real enough.

Though Bakunin may have had the better arguments, Marx was always the more respectable revolutionary, and often since the 19th century it has seemed that anarchism was the poor relation of authoritarian socialism. In recent years anarchism has been making a comeback, partly because of the final collapse of the soviet union and the last vestiges of 'actually existing socialism', and partly because of the role non-hierarchical, directly democratic and essentially anarchist ideas have played in the anti-capitalist/anti-globalisation movement. Within that movement, the Black Bloc has been seen as the personification of anarchism, but what future does it have?

The Black Bloc, the summit protests, and many of the modern protest movements have often emphasized the role of the media, their part in creating images and in blocking or transmitting information. It's crucially important, then, to understand the make-up of the media, and to know how we can expect them to deal with political issues. This is all the more necessary in a time of war, when information is so important, and access to that information so controlled.

Our first article in this issue is also about conflict, and control. The question of community policing raises pressing human rights problems especially in Northern Ireland, a situation where poverty and sectarianism combine in a cycle of crime and punishment. When our ideas are tested, in our own communities, what solutions can anarchists propose?


This page is from Red & Black Revolution
(no 6, Winter 2002)

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