AIMS & PRINCIPLES
The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of class struggle anarchists (based in Britain and Ireland, but with many contacts overseas) which aims to abolish Capitalism and all oppression to create a free and equal society. This is Anarchist Communism.
We see today's society as being divided into two main opposing classes: the ruling class which controls all the power and wealth,
and the working class which the rulers exploit to maintain this. By racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as well as war and environmental
destruction the rulers weaken and divide us. Only the direct action of working class people can defeat these attacks and ultimately
As the capitalist system rules the whole world it's destruction must
be complete and world wide. We reject attempts to reform it such as working through parliament and national liberation movements
(like the IRA) as they fail to challenge capitalism itself. Unions also work as a part of the capitalist system, so although workers
struggle within them, they will be unable to bring about capitalism's destruction unless they go beyond these limits.
Organisation is vital if we're to beat the bosses, so we work for a united anarchist movement and are affiliated to the
International of Anarchist Federations.
Read: our monthly bulletin for news and activism, our topical magazine and collection of pamphlets to find out more about us.
Find out: how to join the AF in Britain and Ireland, or contact us for more info.
Aims and Principles - point by point
Translations of our Aims and Principles and other AF texts are available in:
The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of revolutionary class struggle
anarchists. We aim for the abolition of all hierarchy, and work for the creation
of a world-wide classless society: anarchist communism.
Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling
class. But inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of race,
gender, sexuality, health, ability and age, and in these ways one section
of the working class oppresses another. This divides us, causing a lack of
class unity in struggle that benefits the ruling class. Oppressed groups
are strengthened by autonomous action which challenges social and economic
power relationships. To achieve our goal we must relinquish power over each
other on a personal as well as a political level.
We believe that fighting racism and sexism is as important as other aspects
of the class struggle. Anarchist-Communism cannot be achieved while sexism
and racism still exist. In order to be effective in their struggle against
their oppression both within society and within the working class, women,
lesbians and gays, and black people may at times need to organise independently.
However, this should be as working class people as cross-class movements
hide real class differences and achieve little for them. Full emancipation
cannot be achieved without the abolition of capitalism.
We are opposed to the ideology of national liberation movements which claims
that there is some common interest between native bosses and the working
class in face of foreign domination. We do support working class struggles
against racism, genocide, ethnocide and political and economic colonialism.
We oppose the creation of any new ruling class. We reject all forms of
nationalism, as this only serves to redefine divisions in the international
working class. The working class has no country and national boundaries must
be eliminated. We seek to build an anarchist international to work with other
libertarian revolutionaries throughout the world.
As well as exploiting and oppressing the majority of people, Capitalism threatens
the world through war and the destruction of the environment.
It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will
arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown
to achieve anarchist communism. Because the ruling class will not relinquish
power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence
as well as liberation.
Unions by their very nature cannot become vehicles for the revolutionary
transformation of society. They have to be accepted by capitalism in order
to function and so cannot play a part in its overthrow. Trades unions divide
the working class (between employed and unemployed, trade and craft, skilled
and unskilled, etc). Even syndicalist unions are constrained by the fundamental
nature of unionism. The union has to be able to control its membership in
order to make deals with management. Their aim, through negotiation, is to
achieve a fairer form of exploitation of the workforce. The interests of
leaders and representatives will always be different from ours. The boss
class is our enemy, and while we must fight for better conditions from it,
we have to realise that reforms we may achieve today may be taken away tomorrow.
Our ultimate aim must be the complete abolition of wage slavery. Working
within the unions can never achieve this. However, we do not argue for people
to leave unions until they are made irrelevant by the revolutionary event.
The union is a common point of departure for many workers. Rank and file
initiatives may strengthen us in the battle for anarchist communism. What's
important is that we organise ourselves collectively, arguing for workers
to control struggles themselves.
Genuine liberation can only come about through the revolutionary self activity
of the working class on a mass scale. An anarchist communist society means
not only co-operation between equals, but active involvement in the shaping
and creating of that society during and after the revolution. In times of
upheaval and struggle, people will need to create their own revolutionary
organisations controlled by everyone in them. These autonomous organisations
will be outside the control of political parties, and within them we will
learn many important lessons of self-activity.
As anarchists we organise in all areas of life to try to advance the
revolutionary process. We believe a strong anarchist organisation is necessary
to help us to this end. Unlike other so-called socialists or communists we
do not want power or control for our organisation. We recognise that the
revolution can only be carried out directly by the working class. However,
the revolution must be preceded by organisations able to convince people
of the anarchist communist alternative and method. We participate in struggle
as anarchist communists, and organise on a federative basis. We reject
sectarianism and work for a united revolutionary anarchist movement.
We oppose organised religion and religious belief(s).