Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review in the "South African Labour Bulletin"

"What is unique about Black Flame is that it illustrates the universality of anarchism, which until now, other literature has not done as it has tended to focus on the European anarchist tradition ...  [with] ... countless examples of large movements globally from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba and the United States,  to South Africa, Egypt, Korea and Japan, and of course Spain, Italy, Russia, the UK and Ireland ...

"For South Africans in particular the final chapter provides important insights into the anarchist perspective on issues which continue to undermine our struggles. It shows how anarchism, based on the fundamental tenets of equality and solidarity, was non-racial, non-sexist and supportive of the struggles against imperialism long before other socialist movements.

Praise from Brian Morris, Emeritus Professor, University of London

"Black Flame comes like a breath  fresh air. An excellent text - readable, free of jargon, engaging, well-researched, and very well argued, and, most gratifying, affirming the importance and centrality of
anarchist communism or revolutionary socialism."

Brian Morris, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College at University of London, author inter alia of Kropotkin: the politics of community (2004) and Bakunin: the philosophy of freedom (1993).

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Black Flame" and COSATU

In the political report for the 2-milllion-strong-COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) 2009 congress, prepared by Zweli Vavi (long text, which specifically cited Black Flame), there are a few "points of interest":

"... Marx has given us the tools to understand society but not a blueprint. It falls on our shoulders ... to Build Marxism. In carrying out this task we must be open-minded and grasp what is useful in critiques of Marx from both the right and the left ...For example, the communitarian anarchist movement, critique of classical Marxism on the grounds that is has latent features of authoritarianism, has to be engaged. Anarchists by definition are anti-authority and hierarchy. They make a compelling argument that hierarchical organisations or societies like capitalism tend to reproduce rather than eliminate inequality ...As socialists anchored in the Congress and Comintern tradition we differ with some of the theoretical, strategy and tactics of the Troskyites and Anarcho-Syndicalists, but it will be folly to ignore some of their valuable critique of bureaucratic socialism ..."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Two more discussions ..

First up:  "Using a fresh and thoughtful framework, Black Flame analyses the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism, producing a coherent and cohesive overview of tactics, strategies and praxis to both illustrate an anarchist history of struggle and revolution, and to push the current movement forward... Black Flame is a truly valuable and practical book, with something to offer both the newbie to anarchist thought, or those looking to further their own previous understandings". More here

In "Anarchism and Revolutionary Syndicalism: a critical review of the book by Fabiana Toledo, from the visions of Michael Schmidt, Lucien van der Walt and Alexandre Samis", Brazilian writer Felipe Corrêa draws on "two great books published in 2009" - Black Flame, and Minha Pátria é o Mundo Inteiro: Neno Vasco, o anarquismo e o sindicalismo revolucionário em dois mundos, de Alexandre Samis by Alexandre Samis - to interrogate Edeline Toledo's Anarquismo e Sindicalismo Revolucionário: trabalhadores e militantes em São Paulo na Primeira República. Tledo's book is a study of anarchism and syndicalism in Brazil. The English-language translation of Corrêa's piece is here and the Portuguese-language original is here