Anarchist Federation – neither left nor right
The left feels resurgent, and is rallying with a sense of urgency and vigor, calling for unity to combat capitalism’s excesses. We are not with them, because we are not part of the ‘left’ wing of capitalism. Capitalism is not our enemy because of its excesses, conflict, exploitation, famine, and destruction. These are its inevitable symptoms, not exceptional, but central to its functioning. Capitalism threatens us all because of its normality. Its reduction of us to individual producers and consumers, smashing our collective instincts, exploiting our work, our created isolation and our dreams. How better to oppress and manipulate us for all its other self serving aims, nationalism, profit and the state.
For all its apparent anger and clarity, whatever the noble intention (real or otherwise), the left will be capitalism’s last hope. Its belief that the working class can never reach more than a trade union consciousness, that we need the leader(dictator)ship of the party, that by getting us involved in the charade of democracy it will get to lead or seize power and create the workers state, then watch it ‘wither away’, actively opposes the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.
Capitalism is not a system of management, it is a social relationship based on the operation of the law of value, the pursuit of profit through exploitation, the accumulation of the labour of others. Its structures: the nation, corporation, wage labour, state and government are its means to this end. Revolution is not a change of management, it is the utter rejection and destruction of that relationship and the dispossessing of those who benefit from it. Anything that allows the state, money, the operation of the law of value to continue is counter revolutionary.
As anarchists, we reject the right and the left of ‘capitalist management’. We believe that revolutionary demands can not be diluted. Reformist demands are dishonest and derail the class struggle. We believe that only the working class is capable of developing a revolutionary consciousness through its autonomous self activity in the course of its class struggle. We are part of this class, not separate from, or outside it. We do not ‘intervene’ externally as leaders, we participate in solidarity as equals. The state is not reformable, nor usable. It is the political instrument of bourgeois class oppression, its abolition is central along with the abolition of money, the market and the wages system.
We are neither on the left nor right of it, and calls for unity are calls to save capitalism in another guise. Only social revolution offers humanity the last chance to create a truly human society, neither left nor right, but liberated and free.
Originally distributed as a leaflet by Manchester AF at the recent ‘Convention of the Left’ and also on AF-North.org