Bikisha Media Collective
NEW SOUTH AFRICAN ANARCHIST PAMPHLETS
Anti-Imperialism and National Liberation
this struggle] only the workers and the peasants will go all the way to
leader of 1927-33 armed rising against
the US occupation of Nicaragua.
division of the globe is not between Europe and the Three Continents, but
between those above and those below.
Stop the Congress:
Against the World Bank and IMF
imperialism we refer to a situation
in which the ruling class of one country dominates the people and territory of
another country. In other words,
there is a situation of external domination by an outside power.
This relationship assumes different forms in different contexts.
Anarchists we are opposed to
imperialism because of the suffering and oppression that it brings. We do not accept the argument that imperialism is a
progressive force, whether this argument proceeds from the idea that
imperialism “advances the productive forces”,
“intervenes to keep the peace”, “civilises” etc.
Imperialism is responsible for genocide, national oppression, attacks
on working class conditions, war, underdevelopment, starvation, and poverty.
Imperialism is not, however, the only cause of these problems, and is
itself the product of capitalism and the State (see below).
key imperialist powers are the
dominant First World states and their ruling classes: Western Europe, the
United States of America, Japan etc. These
are commonly called the First World, or the West, or the “core” or the
metropolitan countries. In
addition to these countries, the main Eastern bloc countries such as Russia
and China have also acted as imperialist powers.
other side of the coin are the
countries and regions dominated by imperialism: Africa, East Europe, South
Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Latin America.
These countries are often called the Third World, the South or the
“periphery”, the “satellite” countries or “colonial and
the same time, the Third World is not a homogenous zone. Some countries are more regionally powerful and economically
dominant than others. These
countries often (but not always) act as the local enforcers and allies of the
imperialist powers and are backed up by these powers.
This range of countries is sometimes referred as the industrialised
Third World, the Newly Industrialising
countries (NICs), or the “semi-periphery”.
Examples of semi-peripheral countries that act as the local partners of
imperialism are South Africa and Israel.
Semi-peripheral countries which do not act overtly as the junior
partners of imperialism include Poland, Brazil and South Korea.
Apartheid/racial capitalism in South Africa shared many of the features of an
imperialist relationship (particularly of the settler-colonial type) insofar
as a settler-derived oligarchy (ruling class-dominated alliance of different
White classes) historically exercised political and economic domination in the
country (Apartheid/racial capitalism), Apartheid / racial capitalism was not strictly speaking an imperialist
relationship. This is because
this system of domination was internally based.
It was not governed from outside in the manner typical of a
settler-colony such as Zambia or Kenya. Instead,
the settler -dominated ruling class took local State power in 1910, took
ownership over most of the economy in the subsequent decades and made the key
political and economic decisions. This
fact is not changed by the point that the local ruling class (and its African
allies the chiefs and homeland bourgeoisie) were backed by the imperialist
powers. Thus, there was not an
external enemy to be expelled, but a localised situation of oppression to be
confronted. This is not to
say that South Africa was independent of the broader world imperialist system,
as it acted as a semi-periphery /
junior partner of imperialism dominating the southern part of Africa.1
repudiation of the theory and practice of imperialism is logically implied by
anarchism’s rejection of coercive political structures and economically
exploitative modes of production in favour of a freely constituted
international federation of self-administrating communes and workers’
associations based on free libertarian stateless socialism.2
On the theoretical and practical level, theorist-activists such as Bakunin, Reclus and Berkman all condemned and fought against imperialism. In the colonial world, anarchists played an important role in anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles, notably those in Cuba, Ireland, Korea, Macedonia, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Ukraine. For example, the national hero of Nicaragua, Augustino Sandino, who led a revolt against the American occupation in the 1920s and 1930s was an Anarcho-Syndicalist; in Mexico, the Anarchists of the PLM, the IWW and the CGT consistently challenged American imperialism and anti-Mexican discrimination in Mexico, both before, during and after the Mexican Revolution; James Connolly, the famous martyr of the 1916 Easter rebellion in Ireland against British imperialism was an anarchist revolutionary union organiser in the United States and Ireland; in Korea the Anarchists were a key force in the struggle against the Japanese occupation that begun in 1910 and even managed to establish a massive self-governed liberated zone in Manchuria in the 1930s; in the Ukraine, the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of Nestor Makhno expelled the occupying Central Powers in 1918-9.
the imperialist countries, anarchists were also at the forefront of the fight
against imperialism. For example,
in Japan, the prominent Anarchist Kotoku Shusi was framed and executed in 1910
after his Commoner’s Newspaper
campaigned against Japanese expansionism; in 1909, the Spanish Anarchists
organised a mass strike against intervention in Morocco (the “Tragic
Week”); in Italy, the Anarchists consistently opposed Italian expansionism
into Eritrea and Ethiopia in the 1880s and 1890s and organised a massive
anti-war movement against the Italian invasion of Libya in 1911, and
intervention in Albania in 1919.3
CAUSES OF IMPERIALISM
Imperialism existed before capitalism and the
imperialism has been a central
feature of capitalism and the modern State since their emergence 500 years
ago in Europe and their subsequent global expansion.
Indeed, this period has been characterised by imperialism on a scale
unprecedented in world history. Of
these powers, Britain and France were pre-eminent, holding between them
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, colonies in North and South America and the
Caribbean, most of Africa, the Middle East, the Far East as well as the Indian
subcontinent in its entirety. Japan
also embarked on colonial expansion in South East Asia, intervening in Korea,
China and other countries. Since
the relative decline of the European and Japanese imperialist powers in the
post- World War Two period, the United States has risen to pre-eminence as the
dominant imperialist power.4
Imperialism in the modern period has been driven by
there is an economic dimension to
imperialism: the system arises in part to benefit the imperialist ruling
classes (or at least important factions within those classes) by, for example,
providing extra-high levels of profit from cheap labour and cheap raw
materials, and blocking the access of rival ruling classes to these resources.
second factor is the International
State system. In the same way
that capitalist companies compete in the market, so too do States compete: for
territory, for strategic advantage (e.g. sites for military bases), and for
expansion. This provides a
pressure for national conflicts, war, foreign conquest and attempts at
forcible assimilation of conquered peoples as the smaller States are swallowed
up and the “greater” ones strive to increase their power and reach.
IMPERIALISM IN THE PRE-1945 PERIOD6
has assumed different forms during the history of capitalism and the State.
Merchant Capitalism and Slave Labour.
This early stage of capitalism dates from the early 1500s to the late
1700s, and was characterised by the accumulation of capital through trade,
plunder and the exploitation of European workers and peasants.
This was the period when capitalism began to forcefully expand itself
into Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Slave
plantations were set up in the Americas and elsewhere, and supplied by an
enormous slave trade. The roots
of modern racism may be found in this period: slavery generated racism -
racism did not generate slavery. A
key feature of this period was the forcible articulation of non-capitalist
modes of production as subordinate components of an emerging world capitalist
system. The riches acquired through plunder and trade, in conjunction
with the exploitation of European artisans and peasants, laid the basis for
the industrial revolution. This
period was associated with genocide in the Americas.
Colonial Conquest: From the 1500s until the
1900s, capitalism and its State were involved in the conquest and colonisation
of Africa, the Americas and Asia. This
period was associated with genocide in South Africa, Australia and elsewhere.
major aim of the imperialists in this period was creating a source of cheap
(often forced) labour, cheap agricultural and mineral raw materials (for First
World firms) and also markets for First World manufactured goods. This had a strategic dimension insofar as part of the point
of colonial occupation was to deny rival imperialist ruling classes access to
the markets and resources of one’s own colonies.
The pattern of trade established in this period was one in which Third
World/colonial countries exported raw materials (mineral and agricultural) and
imported finished products (machinery, tools etc.).
is a negative situation.
Firstly, Third World exports were typically based on the displacement
of local economic activities such as growing food crops in favour of export
-oriented activities such as growing cash crops.
One result of this was growing food security on the part of Third World
peasants, who were now growing crops for export rather than focussing on food
to satisfy their needs. Secondly, a large number of Third World countries were
producing fairly similar products for sale to a few huge monopoly
corporations, who in turn manufactured the finished goods that were exported
back to the First World. This
unequal situation allowed the large monopolies to drive down the prices of raw
materials whilst driving up the costs of the finished goods that the Third
World economies needed to survive.7
Africa was formally divided amongst the main European powers
at the Conference of Berlin in 1884, and by the start of the 1900s partitioned
and occupied (with the exception of Ethiopia, whose feudal ruling class was
able to fight off the invasions).
In many cases, the indigenous ruling classes and elites collaborated in
the colonial enterprise as they felt that it would be to their advantage to do
so. Again, not only were vast
territories plundered, but local societies and economies were drastically and
forcefully restructured into the world capitalist system by the imperialists.
Again, colonialism provided racist ideas with fertile ground.8
In general, two main types of colonies were established in Africa: the so-called “peasant” colonies, in which a tiny foreign ruling force, in conjunction with local chiefs, governed the colony (e.g. Ghana); and colonies of white settlement in which a sizeable White settler population dominated political and economic life (e.g. Algeria, Zimbabwe). The ruling class in the settler colonies did not comprise all the Whites as many Whites were middle and working class and as the ruling class included those local people who held important positions in the State apparatus or economy (e.g. chiefs). Nonetheless, the ruling classes were White-dominated with its leading members of European descent. The White ruling classes deliberately sought to draw in allies from other White groups such as the middle class and working class by providing material benefits such as job reservation, exclusive trading areas etc. We can refer to this alliance of all White classes and a section of the local elite as an oligarchy or power bloc.
IMPERIALISM IN THE POST-1945 PERIOD
entered a new phase after the Second World War. It is important to note that although this period saw the end
of the formal colonial empires, key features of political and economic
features of imperialism continued to exist despite the attainment of formal
independence. These include
continuities in colonially-established economic relationships of “unequal
exchange”, the continued global political dominance of the First World
countries, and military interventions in the Third World on the part of
imperialist powers. This is why
this period may be referred to as the
“neo-colonial phase” of imperialism.
The key features of the neo-colonial period are:
the end of the formal colonial empires and their replacement by relations of
the rise to prominence of the USA as the central imperialist power,
the development of a “semi-periphery” of more developed Third World
countries allied to imperialism
the emergence of the multinational corporations (MNCs)
the creation of international organisations to enforce the system, notably the
IMF and World Bank. and
the emergence of a second set of imperialist powers in the East bloc.
*End of the formal colonial empires9
formal empires were dismantled for a number of reasons. Firstly, there was the economic exhaustion of the West
European and Japanese powers. Secondly,
there was the pressure from the USA, which wanted access to the markets,
material and labour of the old empires. Thirdly,
there were massive anti-colonial struggles in the period from the 1940s to the
1970s. For example, uprisings and
even insurrections took place in against Holland in Indonesia, against France
in Indo-China and Algeria, and against Britain in Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus and
India. These struggles paralleled
an earlier wave of risings against colonial rule in the late 1700s and early
1800s that destroyed the formal colonial empires of Spain, Portugal, France
and Britain in most of the Americas and the Caribbean.
speaking, the imperial ruling classes took care to manage the process of
decolonisation in order to reach a settlement that helped secure the
preservation of their own interests. This
typically meant: a long period of negotiation in which the masses became
politically demobilised, negotiations with moderate nationalists, and the
marginalisation, elimination or co-optation of hostile elements.
overall this strategy succeeded, and power was transferred in substantial
measure to local ruling classes who would defend capitalism, the State and
imperialism, there have been exceptions.
In cases such as Mozambique and Nicaragua and Iran in 1979 radical
nationalist movements won independence, often on the basis of armed
insurrection In these cases resources and industries were typically
nationalised and some social reforms (e.g. health) instituted.
These struggles created not socialist societies but state capitalist
regimes of various forms; however, by seizing imperialist property and by
demonstrating a development path independent of the West (although often
dependent on the East, and certainly not independent of world imperialism as a
whole) they posed a threat to imperialism which was ruthless in its response.
Imperialism used blockades, sanctions, cutting foreign aid etc. and, in
the last instance, force such as campaigns of destabilisation or even direct
military invasion (e.g. the wars against Vietnam, Grenada, and Iraq).10 The use of direct
armed intervention by the USA, backed by Japan and Western Europe, seems set
to increase with the collapse of the limited deterrent provided by the Soviet
Union , an alternative imperialist power.11
See below for more discussion on the nature of Third World ruling
*Rise of USA Dominance12
USA took the opportunity provided by the crisis of the old imperialist powers
to become the dominant imperialist country.
First it sought -through the Marshall Plan, which gave or lent to
Western Europe and Japan $17 billion between 1947 - 1955, and through other
aid programmes, to make the competing imperialist nations dependent on US
capital. Secondly it formed
military blocs which it controlled such as NATO (1949) and SEATO (1954) to
guard against the “spread of communism”, that is, to defend its spheres of
influence from the Soviet and other East bloc capitalists.
Thirdly, it set up a New World monetary order based on the supremacy of
the dollar. The USA’s plans to
create the “American Century”
began to unravel from the 1970s with the end of the post war economic boom,
the re-emergence of Western Europe and Japan as major capitalist centres, and
the rise of radical liberation movements both in the USA and the “Third
World”. Nonetheless, the USA
remains the dominant imperialist power.
*Emergence of the Semi-Periphery13
a whole, African and other Third World countries continued to rely on the
export of agricultural and mineral products, and the import of manufactured
goods. In other words, the
colonially-derived patterns of trade typically continue in the post-colonial
period. However, we must note the
existence of what has been called the “semi- periphery”.
Although still at least partly subject to imperialist domination, some
Third World countries have developed a sizeable locally owned industrial base
which allows them to be less dependant on the production of agricultural and
mineral goods (however, they were still dependent on exporting local products
to import the capital goods and machinery that powered the new factories).
Often this development has been at least partly promoted by the
imperial powers. In some cases
these countries, act as local enforcers for imperialist rule e.g. South Africa
and Israel. In other cases, they
do not act as junior partners of imperialism, although their ties to the
imperialist powers may be quite close e.g. South Korea, whose development was
deliberately promoted by the USA in order to provide a buffer against the
“spread of communism” (i.e. of Soviet and Chinese imperial influence) in
South East Asia. The
semi-peripheral countries may also have investments outside their own borders,
and even their own MNCs (e.g. South Africa’s Anglo American Corporation has
operations in Zambia, Bermuda, Peru, Ghana and the USA).14
*Rise of the Multinational Corporation (MNC)
of the key features of neo-colonialism is the rise of the multinational
corporation (MNCs). The MNCs can
be defined as gigantic corporations (owned either by the state or private
capitalists) who have operations in more than one country.
These planet-spanning corporations are typically (but not necessarily)
based in the imperialist countries.
of today’s MNCs grew out of the
small family-owned and controlled businesses of nineteenth-century Europe and
the USA, which first expanded their operations in their countries of origin
before expanding abroad.15
An important reason for expansion abroad was that within the First
World countries the various nation-wide firms, together controlling the
greater part of the economy, tended to collaborate with their competitors to
keep prices up, wages at standard levels and the like.
However, rich pickings were to be made by the corporation that could
outwit its competitors by controlling markets, the supply of raw materials or
developing new products that made the old obsolete.
Result: some firms invested abroad in order to secure control over
their raw material requirements, to control marketing outlets, and to
forestall other corporations gaining control of raw material and markets.
This was the origin of the MNCs. MNC
s first moved into the Third World in the late nineteenth- and early
twentieth- century, focussing in this stage on primary industry (raw material
extraction and production). In
the 25 years after World War 2 (1939-45), there was an “unprecedented
expansion” of MNC activity, initially led by US firms, but since the 1960s
overtaken by European and Japanese firms.
This has often involved activity in the manufacturing sector as a
general pattern. MNCs tend to
invest where the political and cultural influence of their home countries has
been the greatest.16
size of the MNCs is striking.
For example, a large and growing proportion of world production is
controlled by a few hundred MNCs and by the year 2000 about 400 MNCs will own
two thirds of the fixed assets of the entire globe.17
In terms of size, the largest MNCs have sales that exceed the Gross
Domestic Product (total output) of most Third World countries (for example, in
1984, Exxon had sales of $73,6 billion, which exceeded the total output of
Nigeria ($73,5 bn), Algeria ($50,7 bn), Libya ($30,6), Egypt ($30,1), Morocco ($13,3) etc.).18 500 MNCs control 80%
of all direct foreign investment. MNCs
also play a predominant role in trade. For
example, MNCs account for 90% of all trade in which the USA is involved and
also dominate the marketing of Third World exports.19
MNCs also play a central role in developing and controlling new
technology. There are also MNC
banks that have historically loaned money to the Third World.
With the onset of a world capitalist crisis in the 1970s, however,
these banks have demanded faster repayment and charged higher interest rates.
bourgeois ideologists and economists like to argue that the activities of the
MNCs are beneficial to the Third World because they promote development and
social peace; MNCs are examples of harmonious co-operation between the First
and the Third World. This view is
when serious conflicts with Third World governments (not to mention popular
forces) take place (e.g. attempts to nationalise foreign firms in order to put
them under the control of the local bosses and rulers), the MNCs can rely on
their home governments’ ability to exert “pressure” to change the policy
of Third World governments. We
have seen above what such “pressure” can entail.
In other words, the MNCs invoke the continuing power of the imperialist
ruling classes to secure their interests.
MNCs are central players in the system whereby the Third World exports raw
materials and provides a market for First World goods.
As we noted earlier, this arrangement allows the systematic
under-pricing of Third World exports and the systematic overpricing of Third
where MNCs are involved in the manufacturing or industrial sector, not only do
these investments have few links to other parts of the economy (and so do not
have positive spin-offs e.g. jobs) but they centre on the super- exploitation
of a low paid, coercively controlled and rightless workforce.
This allows the MNCs to reap higher than average (or “super”)
profits not to mention undercutting the wage and welfare gains won by First
World workers. MNCs are notorious
for their labour policies in the Third World.
MNCs also block or retard Third World development by extracting surplus (i.e.
production above that needed to satisfy basic needs- and thus suitable for use
in building productive resources, infrastructure, services etc.) from the
Third World. This is done by
means of sending profits made back to the First World (for example, it is
estimated that US MNCs sent 79% of their declared net profits out of Latin
America between 1960- 1968), by manipulating prices charged in trade within
the firm (“transfer pricing”) and by manipulating charges for patents,
product and technology licenses, brand names, and management, marketing and
technical services (Elson 1988). A
similar process happens through the repayment of loans to MNC banks and to the
IMF and World Bank: in the 1980s, it was shown that there was a net capital
loss from Africa to the First World banks, the supposed benefits of bank loans
notwithstanding (see below for more on the IMF and World Bank).
MNCs undermine local industries by “taste transfer”, that is, by promoting
the replacement of locally produced goods (often labour-intensive, artisan
produced) with more expensive imported ones utilising far less labour but
requiring far more investment and foreign currency.
*Role of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank21
like IMF and World Bank are central to enforcing modern imperialism.
Founded in 1946 at Bretton Woods in the USA, the IMF and World Bank
initially focused on rebuilding Western Europe and Japan after World War 2.
They were a key component of the USA’s attempts to create a dollar-centred
international monetary system. Then,
from around 1971, the focus of IMF and World Bank shifted to the Third World,
and especially to Africa. Despite
IMF and World Bank’s rosy views of themselves as neutral, purely technical
aid agencies their role in these regions has been objectively imperialistic.
This is clear in both political and economic spheres.
structure of the IMF and World Bank
most States in the world are members of the IMF and World Bank, and pay into
the central coffers of these institutions, their decision-making processes are
dominated by the imperialist countries of the First World.
Rather than a “one country, one vote” system, as can be found in
United Nations organisations, a percentage of votes is granted according to
the economic size and contribution of a given country, a system which favours
the First World states: the USA has 19.9% of the total vote; the United
Kingdom 6.9%; and the USA, Western Europe, and Canada combined have 53% of the
Pro-imperialist political role.23
The IMF and World Bank have
always operated in the political interests of imperialism . Aid and funds have historically been readily given to Third
World regimes favourable and friendly to the USA and other imperialist States
- like South Africa (before the sanctions campaign got underway- e.g. massive
loans after the crushing of the 1976 uprising), the death squad ARENA regime
in El Salvador, and Daniel Arap Moi’s regime in Kenya. This takes place no matter how much the despicable and
vicious crimes committed by these regimes are in stark contrast to the
professed liberal, democratic and human rights concerns of the imperialists.
But more radical Third World states who fail to toe the imperialist
line, or introduce social reforms that are seen as destabilising are refused
loan facilities. For example, the
elected social democratic government of Salvador Allende in Chile was refused
assistance in its reform attempts. (The
USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the American MNC, ITT,
subsequently assisted the military coup which overthrew Allende in 1973).
In this way the IMF and World Bank help ensure the perpetuation of
capitalism, the State and imperialism.
Pro-imperialist economic role.24
The IMF and World Bank act
to perpetuate the colonially-derived world division of labour which relegates
most Third World countries to producers of raw ,materials and importers of
finished goods. They also
act to further the interests of MNCs by promoting free market policies that
facilitate the operations of the big companies by attacking worker rights,
freeing capital movements and removing tariff barriers.
Since their founding, the IMF and World Bank have been committed to the
construction and regulation of an international capitalist system of free
trade and capital movements. This
aim is reinforced by the General Agreements on Trades and Tariffs (GATT) (now
called the World Trade Organisation (WTO)) which was established at the same
time as the IMF and World Bank with essentially the same aims.25
key way of attaining these objectives is to
insisting that Third World ruling classes adopt the appropriate free-market
policies as a precondition for financial assistance.
Another method is to try to influence
government policy thinking as a whole by promoting free market ideology.
Consequently, the increasingly stringent conditionalities placed on
loans made available by these institutions to African states as the economic
crisis deepened emphasised policy reforms such as currency devaluation, trade
liberalisation and reduction of the economic role of the State (in practice,
this means cutbacks in public sector jobs, slashing welfare services, and
removing wage and price controls). Conditionality
also involves the seconding of IMF and World Bank staff to government
ministries to monitor the implementation of these policies, a marked parallel
to colonial administration. This
package of policy prescriptions is called
Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP).
These policy prescriptions are informed by the free market theory
that the crisis of Third World States such as those in Africa economic crisis
was rooted primarily in internal factors such as inappropriate State
interventions in the economy and “bloated” civil service, all of which
could be resolved by a growth path premised on neo-liberal prescriptions and
emphasising reliance on Africa’s “comparative advantage” in the export
of raw materials.
these economic conditionalities were added political conditionalities
encompassing improved “governance” (more accountable, honest, legitimate,
open and consensus-based government), which IMF and World Bank technocrats
came to see as vital to the effective implementation of the economic reform
programme. This is not the same
as even parliamentary democracy- the issue for the IMF and the World Bank is
not the establishment of democratic States but of governments with an
increased capacity and efficiency in implementing ESAPs.26
Overall, then, ESAPs function to facilitate the operations of MNCs
and the continuation of the imperialist world division of labour.
are an attack on the Third World working class, working peasantry, and the
poor. Its effects on popular
living standards are highly negative. For
example, in Zimbabwe, ESAPs led to price control relaxation resulted in
dramatic rises in the inflation rate (running between 25% and 40%), a fall in
consumer demand of up to 30%, a drop in average wages to the lowest levels
since the early 1970s (due in part to wage restraint and high inflation), and
at least 55,000 jobs losses up to 1995 (particularly in the civil service
where 22,000 employees have been retrenched.27
These job losses have an especially severe impact in a country in which
fewer than 20% of school-leavers each year are able to find employment in the
formal economy: and more than 50%
unemployment in the formal sector. ESAPs
also involved severe cuts in spending on social services with health spending
falling by 39% in 1994-5, expenditure on low-cost housing dropping by Z$4,3
million, and spending in the primary education sector at its lowest levels
since independence. In addition,
the imposition of cost recovery principles requires that all but the poorest
of the poor (those earning under Z$400 a month) have to pay school and clinic
fees (at the same time, however, President Mugabe awarded himself, his top
officials, and members of parliament salary increases ranging from 116% to
134%!). It might also be noted
that, in general, the export-orientation of an ESAP increases food insecurity
as increasing amounts of land are given over to cash crop production.
IMF and World Bank also promote ecologically
destructive policies, by encouraging countries to cut down and export
resources such as rain forests (as part of the drive to export raw materials),
or to import toxic waste (in order to raise foreign currency).
Laurence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank wrote in a
confidential memo in December 1991:
between you and me, shouldn’t the World bank be encouraging more migration
of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]?... I think the logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the
lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that...
I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are
vastly under-polluted... The problem with the argument against all these proposals for
more pollution in the LDCs (intrinsic rights, moral reasons, social
concerns)... is that they could
be turned around and used against every bank proposal for liberalisation”.28
are ESAPs adopted?
these negative effects of IMF/World
Bank policies, how is that that many (perhaps most) Third World countries have
adopted them? Several factors
need to be taken into account.
Economic Crisis: In the African context, at
least, a key factor is the economic crisis that began in the 1980s.
Africa is the poorest region of the world and the only one consistently
getting poorer. It would be fair
to say that living conditions have declined over the last 30 years.
This situation reflects both “external” and “internal” factors.
By external factors we mean the effects of imperialism; these have
mostly been examined above and include things like worsening terms of trade
for Third World exports, the loss of capital to MNCs and higher interest rates
on foreign loans.29
Internally, the main cause of the crisis has been the local ruling
class. The local ruling class is
firstly, allied with imperialism and is thus directly culpable for the
continuing negative effects of imperialism (see below).
Secondly, the ruling classes in Africa are strongly dependent on a
State connection and / or position for the accumulation of wealth: through
passing contracts onto friends and family, corruption (primitive accumulation
directly from the State coffers), nationalising private property in order to
put it in the hands of government rulers.30
This has negative effects, both economically (declining
infrastructure, endemic corruption and inefficiency, the implementation of
ineffective state-led industrialisation and economic development schemes) and
politically (the centrality of the State to accumulation means that
competition for State power is especially intense and typically culminates in
the establishment of military rule or a one-party State as one faction of the
ruling class strives to monopolise access to the sources of power and
The crisis predisposes African governments to use the various loan
facilities of the IMF and World Bank, which provide not only cash but also a
“stamp of approval” that indicates to MNCs that a country is a safe
investment . The point is that it is not the masses who turn to the IMF and
World Bank, but the local rulers and bosses.
Faced with a crisis situation Third World elites find ESAPs a
comparatively attractive option. ESAPs
allow the local ruling classes to install “adjustment” policies that (i)
transfer the costs of the crisis onto the working people (e.g. cut backs on
welfare spending, falling wages) and (ii) provide opportunities for retaining
power as well as increasing profit through new links to MNCs, opportunities to
buy up privatised State companies, lower corporate taxes etc.
Indeed, in countries like Zimbabwe the economic crisis was not severe
enough to force the ruling class to adopt an ESAP: in fact, the ruling class
willingly chose an ESAP because key factions within that class believed that
the free-market policies of ESAP would promote economic growth (and therefore
profit).32 This clearly shows that an ESAP is not simply the result of
some sort of imperialist conspiracy imposed on innocent local elites, but
rather a policy which accommodates the class interests of the local rulers and
the imperialist bourgeoisie. Nonetheless,
it is certainly an additional advantage of ESAP that it allows the local
bosses and rulers to claim that the policies that hurt workers are solely
imposed by the IMF and World Bank demands.
The blatant biases in ESAP against working people are reinforced by the
nature of negotiations over ESAP conditionality: these are conducted in total
secret between local rulers and IMF and World Bank executives; ordinary people
are denied any say at all.
*Rise of Eastern Bloc imperialism
collapse of the old formal colonial empires, and the rise of the United States
the main imperialist power was paralleled by the increasingly expansionist
role of the so-called “socialist” countries of the Soviet Union and China.
Both of these states occupied neighbouring territories on the grounds
of “historical affinity” (China in Tibet) or “spreading socialism”
(the Soviet Union in East Europe and the Middle East).
As Anarchists, the very clear parallels between the imperialism of
these countries and that of the United States and the West is not surprising,
we have long recognised that these countries were not socialist but
State-capitalist and thus subject to all the general laws and tendencies of
capitalist / State development.
*The United Nations33
United Nations is not a neutral international peacekeeper, it is part and
parcel of the imperialist system. Overall,
it is nothing more than a loose federation of different States, a convention
of exploiters and rulers. And
from the start it has been dominated by the key imperialist powers who sit on
the Security Council: the USA, the Soviet Union, France, Britain and China,
all of which had the right to veto UN operations; the effect was to legitimise
any spheres of influence enjoyed by these countries. As a result, UN intervention depended on, and was shaped by
the interests of these countries. No
action was ever taken against the Soviet invasion of Hungary or
Czechoslovakia, or against the US war against Nicaragua.
Interventions either took place where they were essentially irrelevant
to imperialist interests (e.g. Rwanda) or compatible with them (e.g. the Gulf
War had UN support). In
addition, the UN solution for ending wars (when it actually does intervene) is
to use the “official” channels: talking to governments and local warlords. For example, UN aid to Rwanda in 1994 was often channelled
through the former government officials who controlled the refugee camps in
Zaire and who were themselves implicated in the genocide; it strengthened
these individuals who were part of the problem.
Generally speaking, the UN seeks to reach “settlements” that are
compatible with the interests of the imperial and local bourgeoisies, not the
popular masses. The UN was and is
incapable of ending war because it is the creature of those who cause war: the
ruling classes of the world.
FIRST WORLD WORKERS BENEFIT FROM IMPERIALISM?
We reject the idea that First World workers benefit
to this type of argument, these workers receive a share of the colonial booty
and this improves their standards of living to levels that would not otherwise
be possible. This argument, which
originated in large part with Lenin’s 1916 book, Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism, is a recipe for
disunity in struggle. It is
moreover inaccurate and unfounded.
argument misrepresents living
conditions in the First World. For
example, in the United Kingdom (UK) (Britain and Northern Ireland), which was
historically one of the “greatest” imperial powers, at the start of the
1980s, the top 10% of the population received 23.9% of total income while the
bottom 10% received only 2.5%. The
top 10% of the population also owned four fifths of all personal wealth, and
98% of all privately held company shares and stocks.
The top 1% itself owned 80% of all stocks and shares.
Meanwhile the bottom 80% of the population owned just 10% of the
personal wealth, mostly in the form of owning the house they live in.
These economic inequalities correspond to material deprivation and
hardship. A study published in
1979 found that about 32% of the population of the UK (15-17.5 million out of
a population of 55.5 million) were living in or near poverty.
A 1990 United Nations survey of child health in the UK showed that 25%
of children were malnourished to the extent that their growth was stunted.34
argument is theoretically and
empirically flawed. It
provides no explanation of how the alleged transfer of wealth takes place.
It merely asserts that it happens.
Nor does it provide any proof of the alleged process.
example, it has been claimed that there were different wage rates for west
African and Scottish miners in the 1930s and that, subsequently, the alleged
disparities between the incomes of the two groups reflected a process whereby
the Scots were somehow allegedly subsidised by the exploitation of the
However, it simply does not follow that from a demonstration that there
were nominal differences in wage rates between two groups of miners that the
one benefited from the exploitation of the other.
wage figures are misleading as they are almost never adjusted to take into
account the real value of the different currencies relative to one another,
differences in the cost of living, the effects of inflation and so on.
As such, merely listing off figures does not actually establish that
there were substantial differences in living standards between Third and First
World workers. In other words, it
is risky to take different figures and, without contextualising them, use them
as a basis for an argument.
Moreover, even if substantial wage gaps for workers in the same occupation in different countries were clearly shown to exist, it does not follow that they necessarily reflect a transfer of value from one set of workers to the other. A mere demonstration of disparities does not automatically establish what mechanism accounts for these disparities. At one level, there is no evidence of a correlation between imperialism and living standards in the First World. For example, the nineteenth century is commonly recognised as one of the most extreme periods of mass impoverishment in British history, the period of child labour in the coal mines and so on, yet it is precisely during this period that British imperial power in Asia and Africa and the Caribbean was at its height. Similarly, the welfare State, which provided some social insurance and benefits for First World workers and which marked one of the most substantial periods of working class material advance in the First World, took place after World War Two. That is to say, the welfare State was established precisely the period in which the European colonial empires in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean collapsed. Similarly, Western military interventions in the Third World have increased greatly since the late 1980s with the end of the Cold War, yet this same period has seen the greatest attack in working class conditions, and the greatest decline in real living standards in the First World, since the 1920s and 1930s.
take another example, Spain and Portugal are amongst the poorest countries in
Europe, yet it is precisely these countries which had the longest standing
colonial empires, dating from the 1400s to the 1970s. At another level, a number of alternative explanations for
the patterns of change in working class conditions in the First World have
been well established. These
include: mass struggle which reached a revolutionary level (the key factor in
the establishment of the welfare State); an economic boom (the greatest
capitalist boom in history took place from the 1950s to the 1970s, resulting
in increased crumbs available for social services without disturbing the
underling patterns of income inequality); increased mechanisation in
production (greatly increasing workers ‘productivity thus allowing bosses to
pay slightly higher wages while extracting greater levels of surplus from
workers than ever before; this actually means that the rate of exploitation in
the First World has increased, not declined).
would be more accurate to claim that the
interests of First World working people are actually harmed by imperialism.
the coercive forces and repressive techniques developed in the colonies and
imperial dominions can and are utilised against working class resistance “at
home”. This coercive force is
built up through taxes on the working people, consuming resources that would
be far better used elsewhere e.g. on welfare.36
The clearest example of this was in the Spanish Revolution where
the fascists used the Spanish colonial army from North Africa to launch their
attack in July 1936 and to
slaughter Spanish the workers and peasants.
the national chauvinistic and racist ideas promoted by the ruling class in
order to generate support for imperialism act to divide the international
working class and divert it from realising its true interests.37 These sorts of
national hostilities are also promoted by Third World elites and nationalists
who also oppose the idea of
international class struggle unity. In
this way, British workers are divided from French workers, and both are
divided from Asian and African workers. This
allows the bosses and rulers to divide and rule the workers and peasants,
whose interests across the whole world are in fact identical.
The more unity the bosses and rulers can try to build with local
workers against a supposed foreign enemy, the lower the level of class
struggle, and, therefore, the lower the wages and the worse the working
conditions of the proletariat. The
real ally for the workers of one country are the workers of another country,
not the local elites; the real enemy in a war is at home, in the form of the
local ruling class.
negative effects of imperialism are especially evident in the era of
neo-colonialism. In this period,
the MNCs are able to shift their investments around the world in search of the
cheapest and most controlled labour; the threat of packing up and going where
workers are more pliant is used to attack workers living standards across the
world. In other words, the
existence of repressive Third World regimes who smash unions, shoot peasant
organisers etc. (thereby pushing down labour costs) is in direct contradiction
to the interests of First World workers as these regimes directly help cause
job losses, plant closures, wage cuts etc. in the First World itself as MNCs
transfer their investments elsewhere.
that there is no evidence or theoretical support for the notion that First
World workers benefit from imperialism, it is clear that the recipients of
increased rates of surplus value due to low wages in some Third World contexts
are capitalists, and not workers. In
other words, the super-profits are going to the bosses not the workers.
This strengthens the ruling class as a whole relative to the working
class and working peasants.
NATIONALIST POLITICS CANNOT DELIVER FREEDOM FROM IMPERIALISM38
is a specific political strategy for decolonisation that is based on the idea
that all classes within a given nation or people must unite to achieve
decolonisation and self-determination through some sort of people’s
government. Nationalism has
historically been a powerful current in anti-colonial and anti-imperialist
struggles across the world. For
example, in South Africa the African National Congress (ANC), the
Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) and the Azanian People’s
Organisation (AZAPO) all subscribe to one or other variant of nationalist
reject the idea and the assumption that nationalism is the “natural” form
of anti-colonial struggle. This
idea is commonly put out in books and political commentaries which either
claim that nationalism was the only way that colonised people responded to an
imperialist relationship, or which use the word “nationalism” to mean the
same thing as “anti-colonial struggle”39. While clearly any serious politics has to address the
issue of national oppression, it does not follow that the experience of
national oppression automatically results in the dominance of nationalist
politics. In South Africa,
colonialism met with large-scale political responses amongst the oppressed
ranging from liberalism, to religious millenarianism, “tribalism”, and
socialism. In other contexts,
anti-colonial struggles have been led by political forces ranging from
Anarchism (Ukraine 1918-21) to religious fundamentalism (Iran 1978-9) to
Stalinism (China 1948). The
dominance of nationalist politics in a given struggle needs to be explained
and challenged, not assumed away as inevitable.
Anarchists we believe that nationalist politics are fatally flawed and are
unable to deliver freedom from domination to the majority of people in the
colonial and imperialist- dominated world.
For nationalists, freedom is achieved when an independent local
government is established (as, for example, when the British colony of Gold
Coast became independent Ghana in the 1950s).
While we defend the right of people to choose to have a independent
State, and while we support the establishment of systems of free elections to
governments as an immediate demand, we disagree with nationalism as it cannot
provide freedom for the majority of people living under a situation of
Nationalist politics cannot deliver freedom from
imperialist relationships continue to exist despite the establishment of an
independent State. The
ex-colonial countries are integrated into the world capitalist system as small
economies exporting raw materials, and as sites of cheap industrial labour.
Given that this world system is dominated by Western multi- national
corporations who act as monopoly (sole) buyers of these commodities and who
control access to modern technologies, given that, moreover, the metropolitan
countries dominate the multi-lateral financial institutions (the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank) on whom many peripheral countries depend for
development and fiscal loans, and given that, finally, countries such as the
United States and France in particular have shown a continuing willingness to
engage in military interventions in the Third World, it is clear that most
of the patterns metropolitan imperial domination continue to exist even
after the attainment of formal independence.
Above we called these relationships “neo-colonialism”.
does not mean that there is no difference between direct colonial rule and
neo-colonialism. In the latter
case, there is no direct rule from London from Paris; the local State can form
alliances with a variety of different imperialist powers, thus increasing its
scope for manoeuvre as well as its ability to exact more concessions and
favourable terms from the imperialist ruling classes, particularly if it is
strategically important (witness the manner in which Third World countries
played off the Soviet and Western powers in the Cold War to accrue maximum
advantages); and the international laws and public opinions on the right of
countries to govern themselves constrain the ability of imperialist
powers to decree policy in the Third World.
In other words, neo-colonialism is a slightly weaker form of imperial
control than direct colonial rule, although it is still a powerful form of
Nationalist politics cannot deliver freedom from internal domination.
addition to being subject to continuing external domination, the majority of
the population of the post-colonial State also experience internal domination.
The State is a hierarchical structure of coercion that concentrates
power in the hands of a small ruling class.
It defends the class system and the forms of oppression (e.g. sexism)
that the class system generates. Rule
by the State makes it impossible for the mass of the people to actively
participate in the decisions that affect their conditions of life.
In other words, decolonisation on the nationalist model delivers power to a new local ruling class. It does not provide self-determination for the working class and peasant majority. Even if nationalists take up socialist sounding slogans in order to win working class support, the interests of workers are not central to these movements, they are incidental. The effect of nationalist politics is to hide the very real class differences that exist even amongst colonised populations, and in this way nationalism smoothes the way for a local elite claiming to speak for a homogenous “nation” to take power for itself. In fact, it is the function of nationalist politics to deny the importance of class differences within the nation in order to facilitate the construction of a class alliance between local workers and peasants and local bosses and rulers. Nationalism is a politics of the frustrated local elite who seek to build a mass base for their own class programme by arguing that class alliances and State power are the way to resolve the genuine anti-colonial grievances of the popular masses.
THIRD WORLD RULING CLASSES ARE PART OF THE IMPERIALIST SYSTEM
argument that there are no ruling classes in Third World countries because
real power supposedly lies outside the borders is wrong.
argument sometimes pops up in the African context in the form of the claim
that the holders of State power who currently govern the country are really
only a “petty bourgeoisie” (a middle class).
As Anarchists we do not accept the idea that the only criterion for
determining class status is ownership or non-ownership of productive
resources. Any group with State
power is by definition part of the ruling class.
Moreover, the Third World elites do control substantial parts of the
local economy, particularly by means of State ownership and control of key
industries such as mines and railways. As
we discuss below, nationalisation does not equal socialism, all that it means
is that a State capitalist rather than a private capitalist controls the means
of production. The claim that
there is no “real” indigenous ruling class is also inaccurate as it
ignores the massive disparities in wealth and power that exist within the
Third World. On the one hand,
there is a small elite controlling the resources of the State such as the
military. On the other, a
disproportionate amount of income accrues to a tiny section of the population. In Chile in 1996, the wealthiest 10% received 41% of
available income while the poorest 40% received only 13%; 28% of the
population was below the official poverty line.
In Zambia in 1974 the top 5% received 35% of the national income; by
1983 the top 5% got 50% of the national income.
In Zimbabwe in 1991, the richest 3% got 30% of total incomes while 50%
of the population got less than 15% of total annual incomes.
While the United Nations 1996
Human Development Report showed that 338 billionaires had more assets than
the combined incomes of countries home to 45% of the worlds population, it
also showed that about half of these billionaires were based in Third World
countries. Clearly, the argument
that there is no Third World ruling class is a gross distortion of the facts40.
do we see Third World ruling classes as nothing more than the tools of the
imperialist ruling classes. These
classes have their own interests and
agendas which do, however, tend to coincide with the interests of
imperialism (see below).
local ruling class who vault into power in nationalist-dominated anti-colonial
struggles may, obviously, mouth anti-imperialist rhetoric.
Indeed, it is likely to, given that it is the new elite’s claim to
have defeated colonialism which legitimises its place in power.
Nationalism, “national unity” etc. may become the official ideology
of the state. Nonetheless, in objective terms, the new rulers are the
allies of the imperialist ruling classes of the First World.
local ruling class is dependent for its
economic and political survival on the maintenance on close ties with
imperialism. They defend the
colonially derived economic relationships which they inherit at independence:
they need to export copper etc. in the medium term in order to keep their
economies functioning, and thus, their State funded and their lifestyles
luxurious. They accumulate wealth
by relying on the multinational corporations, who it joins in business
ventures, sells land and mineral rights, taxes and so forth enters into joint
business ventures, charges taxes (they also, as noted above, accumulate wealth
more “dishonestly” by plundering the State coffers, passing business
contracts onto their friends and family, and by nationalising property).
They are funded by IMF/World Bank loans and other forms of aid.
This requires, in turn, that they continue to dominate
and exploit the workers and the peasants who do the actual work in
the agricultural, mining and manufacturing industries. In other words, they maintain the old imperialist economic
relationships, as well as the foundations of those relationships, which are
the exploitation of the working people. Moreover,
when the masses rise up, the new local bosses and rulers are happy to call on
the aid of their friends in the imperialist States to help crush the
resistance, because both the local and imperialist ruling classes are opposed
to worker and peasant resistance. This
is particularly evident in the ex-French colonies in Africa41.
It is therefore incorrect to characterise Third World
ruling classes as anti-imperialist, or to call for their defence against
imperialist aggression. Firstly,
these ruling classes are an essential part of the imperialist capitalist
system as they provide the economic and political preconditions for continued
imperialist domination throughout the ruling class. It is these ruling classes who bludgeon workers, throw
peasants off the land and shoot students.
Secondly, these ruling classes are unable to act in a consistently
anti-imperialist manner as they are constrained by the continuing patterns of
neo-colonialism, and as they are the direct beneficiaries of, and are
dependent on, continuing imperialism to maintain their positions of wealth and
power. Given a choice between
worker revolution and continued imperialist domination, they will always
choose the latter as it is in their direct class interests. For their part, the imperialist ruling classes will not
undermine a local ruling class, even if it is something of a renegade (see
below), if this raises the spectre of mass revolution.
On the contrary, the imperialist ruling class will put aside whatever
conflicts it has with a local ruling class if continuing on a confrontational
path threatens the bigger picture of continued State/capitalist rule.
Thus, the US-led forces withdrew from their assault on Iraq in 1991
when deserting soldiers joined with peasants and workers in the North and
South of the country to establish workers councils (“shoras”)
and raise radical demands. This
withdrawal provided Saddam Hussein with the opportunity to slaughter the local
This is not to deny that conflicts will not arise
between Third World and imperialist First World ruling classes.
Conflicts often arise.
The Third World ruling class may raise radical rhetoric which the
imperialist ruling classes fear is too disruptive, or they may even
nationalise foreign property in an attempt to bolster their own power-wealth
position. The local ruling class
will probably resent being trapped in a role as suppliers of raw materials and
may undertake efforts to industrialise the country.
In such situations, good examples of which are Cuba from 1959 onwards,
and Nicaragua and Iran in the 1980s, the imperialist powers may intervene
through means like sanctions, military action and other forms of pressure to
bring the “renegade” local bosses and rulers back into line.
This is a clear example of the power of neo-colonialism in the world.
Nonetheless, all such conflicts are “secondary” in the sense that
they are about the appropriate way to manage capitalism and the State, rather
than about whether these structures should be preserved. Both sides agree on “primary” matters such as the need to
maintain class structures and the systems of exploitation and domination
entailed by capitalism and the State. All
of the supposedly “radical” Third World regimes (China, Vietnam,
Mozambique, Ghana etc.) were based on the repression and suffering of the mass
of the people, that is to say, the workers, the poor and the working peasants.
At most power was transferred from local landlord and business elites
to State elites. Nationalisation
does not equal socialism, it only means that a State bureaucrat rather than a
corporate bureaucrat is running the economy.
We do not, therefore, characterise the Third World ruling classes as “sell-outs” because this implies that they have become corrupted and failed in their alleged anti-imperialist mission and / or common destiny with the masses. Instead, we recognise that it is their natural role is to act, in objective terms, as partners for imperialism. Nor do we see the only problem with the Third World ruling classes as one of insufficient anti-imperialism. Even if the local ruling classes were anti-imperialist (which they are not), we would still not defend them because their existence as a ruling class is based on the dispossession and exploitation of the majority of the population, which is the working class and working peasantry. In other words, the pro-imperialist nature of the Third World ruling classes is only one of their many faults, and not necessarily the worst of these.
we have indicated, imperialism is part and parcel of capitalism and the State.
So long as these structures continue to exist on a global scale, it is
impossible to end imperialist relationships.
Indeed, even attempts by local ruling classes to isolate themselves
from imperialism in order to develop independent forms of capitalism are
typically met with blockades, war and intervention.
Clearly, this has several implications.
an anti-imperialist struggle cannot
succeed if it is isolated in one country.
There can be no “anti-imperialism in one country” as hostile
imperialism will either (a) subvert the autonomy of that struggle through
subjecting it to the logic of the international State/capitalist system, or
(b) intervene against and/or destroy regimes its considers too renegade (in
the case of a socialist revolution, armed intervention is a certainty).
Thus a successful struggle against imperialism requires maximum
international support and solidarity, both within the First World and across
the Third World. The revolution
needs to spread into nearby territories dominated by imperialism as well as
into the imperialist countries themselves.
In other words, it requires an assault on the whole edifice of world
capitalism and the world State system.
imperialism cannot be defeated without
simultaneously defeating capitalism and the State. In
other words, the struggle against imperialism can only succeed if it is
simultaneously a struggle against capitalism and the State.
Since capitalism and the State can only be defeated by class struggle,
and since the Third World ruling classes are objectively pro-imperialist,
imperialism can only be defeated by means of a class struggle against all
rulers and bosses, local and imperial.
with local elites are a disastrous and anti-revolutionary strategy.
In other words, the key force on decolonisation is not the “nation”
but the international proletariat and working peasantry.
In this struggle, therefore, the allies of the working classes of the
Third World are not the local elites, but the working classes of the
imperialist countries. The
formation of an alliance with a local ruling elite requires the proletariat to
put its revolutionary programme on hold in order to maintain bourgeois
support, providing a veto to an exploiting class whose aid is neither
desirable nor necessary to the anti-imperialist struggle.
The real division is not between the First and the
Third World, it is between those who rule and exploit and those who take
orders and toil. Within the Third World, “settler”
working classes are potential allies of the colonised indigenous toilers,
although clearly, such alliances are not always possible (e.g. in Zimbabwe an
alliance was highly unlikely due to the extreme material benefits the White
working class received for its acquiescence in racial capitalism); while
always desirable, the lack of such an alliance does not negate the need for a
class struggle approach to the anti-imperialist struggle as this struggle can
be based on the organisation of the indigenous toiling masses.
Our approach is social not racial, the problem is not people’s skin
colour, its a certain social system. We
are not for the expulsion of all “settlers”, but for an international,
multi-racial social revolution that restructures politics and economics in the
interests of all the masses.
The aim of the anti-imperialist struggle should not be the establishment of independent “nation” States, but rather the establishment of an international stateless socialist system which would embody the principles of equality, co-operation and grassroots democracy.
AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
As Anarchists we recognise the right of different nationalities/ethnic
groups to express their own cultural beliefs and ways of life.
These differences, like the
individual, are a natural historic and social fact that must be recognised.
Every nationality/ethnic group has the right, just like the individual,
to think, feel, desire, speak and act in its own ways.
A defence of the right to be oneself is a natural consequence of the
principles of liberty and equality.
At the same time, however, it is
also necessary to add certain general points on this issue.
We reject the idea that there is a unified
“national” culture that encompasses all the classes in one country.
The different social and material conditions of different classes make
impossible a shared set of customs and values.
There are also regional differences within each country which enhance
this fragmentation. At the same
time, it would not be an exaggeration to maintain that there is more in common
in terms of habits and customs between the working people of different
countries than there is between the owning and non-owning classes within each
For this reason Anarchists sometimes distinguish between a “nation”
(everyone living in the same country e.g. “the Germans”) and a people (a
class-bounded nationality (e.g. “German workers”).
defence of the rights of different cultural groups within the working class
and working peasantry does not imply an unconditional and uncritical defence
of all elements of a given culture. On
the contrary, we defend in each culture
only the progressive and neutral elements, and we oppose all backward and
reactionary manifestations. We
do not defend “national
rights” that violate the principles of liberty.
To accept culture as an aspect of freedom means to reject elements of
that culture (e.g. sexist practices like genital mutilation; acceptance of the
monarchy) which contradict this general principle.
In addition, as the victims of backward practices are themselves part
of that culture, it is also inconsistent with their own rights to
self-expression to maintain or endorse such practices; these groups too have a
valid claim to “own” and change that culture.
We also reject the idea that there is a common
“national interest” between the different classes within a “nation”.
Their interests are in direct contradiction.
The phrase “national interests” hides the interests of the ruling
classes, which are against the interests of the mass of the people themselves.
We reject the idea that the State, whether
post-colonial or otherwise, provides a vehicle for the expression of different
exist within a competitive State system that generates strong pressures
towards national conflicts, and, ultimately, to wars, foreign conquest and
attempts at forcible assimilation of minority groups.
The basis for inclusion in a given State is typically not some sort of
“national” characteristic, but the ability of a State to conquer and
incorporate new territories and peoples.
It is also common for newly independent States to deny national rights
to their own subordinate minorities. Attempts
by the State to impose or promote cultural uniformity upon the variegated
population it rules (“nation-building”), and to inculcate loyalty to its
structures amongst its subjects (“patriotism”) leads to attempts to
destroy cultural specificity’s and, in particular, to the repression of the
national rights and languages of ethnic minorities; no nationality can find
suitable conditions for the free development of its culture within the
confines of a State organisation that seeks to level all differences.
State power dampens artistic expression and cultural creativity amongst the
population as whole; the more pervasive the power of the State, the lower the
general levels of creativity in the country as a whole.
Consequently, the free development of the arts and humanities requires
a reduction of State power to a minimum.
It also requires a society that prioritises human development over
profit, a society that will give all people the maximum opportunity to develop
their forms of expression, while imposing on everybody the obligation to work
for the common good.
State is not a vehicle for the expression of the will of the majority of the
people (the workers, the poor and the peasants) but is instead a tool of the
ruling class. Consequently, the
realisation of an independent State usually means the realisation of the right
of the local elite to take power and exploit the proletariat.
While we defend independence and secessionist movements (see below) we argue that genuine self-determination for the majority can only come through an anarchist social revolution that puts power in the hands of the working class. In anarchism, society will be based on the free association of individuals into communes and syndicates, the federation of syndicates along industrial lines, and of communes on regional, inter-regional, continental and ultimately global lines. The new inter-regional federations will not necessarily coincide with the borders of the previous States. These structures would be co-ordinated by democratic committees, and councils of delegates and would be defended by a democratic workers militia. This system will remove all causes of war and oppression, and allow every people of whatever size the right to self-determination with the provisions only that their internal structure does not threaten the freedom and self-determination of their neighbours, and that the fact of voluntary association does not permanently bind a member. Such a society can only be realised through a united, integrated international worker-peasant revolution that includes all races, peoples, genders and sexualities.
ACTIVITY AGAINST IMPERIALISM
Anarchists we are avowed opponents of imperialism.
We believe that the working people must fight imperialism through mass
action. We get involved in
struggles against imperialism for their own aims, for the confidence that
campaigning gives people, and because we stand in solidarity with our class.
We recognise that it is in struggle that people are won to
revolutionary ideas. We always
try to link daily struggles against imperialism to our vision of a free
society, and we argue that only a working class revolution can finally uproot
and defeat imperialism.
Guidelines for day-to-day activities
are opposed to the intervention of any collection of imperialist
“peacemakers” and this includes the United Nations.
We are opposed to such interventions in all circumstances as they are
examples of the continuing power of imperialism and as they are not part of
the solution, they are part of the problem.
We do not believe that such interventions are motivated by good
intentions such as “restoring democracy” but are rather the product of
political and economic calculations on the part of the imperialist ruling
classes. There can be no “just
settlement” that involves any imperialist power or the UN or similar bodies.
Instead, such settlements will always be designed to protect the
interests of the imperialists. Therefore
we oppose any intervention in any region of the world for whatever reason by
the imperialists. We are for the
unconditional withdrawal of troops of the imperialist countries from any
country they are occupying. Given
that wars and occupations are largely the result of ruling class drives to
increase power and wealth, we do not decide who is right or wrong in a given
situation on the basis of who is the apparent aggressor, nor do we take sides
in wars between States. Instead,
we argue that for the workers in each country the real enemy is their
“own” ruling class, and that their allies are the working people of the
enemy State. On this basis we
would seek to undermine the war effort.
a situation of imperialist aggression towards a Third World country or ruling
class (e.g. the blockade of Cuba, the Gulf War against Iraq), we do not raise
slogans such as “Defend Castro” or “Victory to Iraq”.
Instead, we raise the slogan “No War but the Class War” and call
for solidarity with, and a victory to, the popular masses of those countries
(e.g. “Solidarity with Cuba,
not Castro”), as it is they who bear the brunt of hardship imposed by
imperialism. We make this
concrete by offering solidarity including material aid to independent working
class and working peasant and anti-authoritarian organisations.
We do not send aid to the local State as it can use this to repress
mass resistance. Aid of any sort
must go to the masses of workers and peasants and allow them to organise to
defend and advance their own interests. We
call on First World workers to oppose the interventions. Local defeats for imperialism are to be welcomed as they give
confidence to working class struggles in the imperialist countries and as they
encourage anti-imperialist struggles in other countries.
However, any defeat of imperialism that does not have anarchist goals
will not be able to remove imperialism from that country or region.
We recognise that the local ruling classes are unable to challenge
imperialism and that only an international working class revolution can
actually defeat imperialism, capitalism and the State.
defend movements for greater regional autonomy.
We defend the right of ordinary people to choose to have an independent
State and/or secede from an empire, and we support every independence struggle
that expresses the will of the peasants and proletarians, even if we do not
support the political currents that dominate that struggle.
We demand the liberation of all colonies and sites of imperial
oppression, and we oppose all imperialist interventions against secessionist
movements. This reflects our
general commitment to progressive struggles and to freedom and equality.
We always stand in solidarity with the struggles of the working class
and the poor, even if they fight under the banner of nationalism.
We support all progressive struggles for their own aims and for the
confidence that campaigning gives to people.
However, only a victory of the toiling masses can deliver genuine
freedom from imperialist domination.
Anarchists, we recognise that in the course of an anti-colonial or
anti-imperialist struggle that the nationalists are on the side of the
progressive forces. They are not
the real problem in this context, the situation of colonial / imperialist
domination, capitalism and the State is the problem.
Therefore we defend nationalists from attacks by colonialists and
imperialists and we support progressive initiatives on the part of nationalist
we clearly have deep political differences with nationalist organisations. Although we are willing to fight alongside various
nationalist currents who represent or advocate class alliances, we will not
hide our politics, we will not enter into alliances that undermine our ability
to function as an organisation . We
will argue for class politics, direct action, anti-statism, anti-capitalism
and the need for revolution. Our
role as Anarchists is to take up the battle of ideas and we know that this is
most effectively done in struggle. Thus,
while we side against imperialism by defending nationalist organisations, our
role is to win workers and peasants away from these movements by exposing the
limits of their politics and their class nature as the politics of the
frustrated local elite. So
although we defend nationalists against imperialism we do this on the basis of
building a mass anarchist movement that will replace them. In place of “national” identity we promote class
pride, class unity and class struggle
countries where nationalist movements do come to power our role is not to
support them but rather to organise for a revolution that will place power in
the hands of the working class and working peasantry.
In the imperialist country concerned our role is to undermine the war
effort and argue that the workers of such countries are the natural allies of
the working classes of the colonial countries.
The final defeat of imperialism requires an international working class
and working peasant revolution in both the First World and the Third World.
ESAP has yet succeeded in resolving the African economic crisis, despite its
government’s promise that an ESAP would improve living standards, increase
employment and establish a modern, growing and internationally competitive
economy has proved a hollow one. This
could be related to the technical faults in the programmes.
For example, the ESAP package assumes that the cause of the African
economic crisis is internal, the result of too much government intervention in
this question is merely an academic one as the workability of an ESAP is
irrelevant to us as Anarchists. Our
concern is with fighting capitalism, not designing better ways for it to
do not choose one set
of capitalist economic policies over another, we do not collaborate in
economic restructuring. We do not
fall into the trap of calling for the reform of the IMF, the World Bank, the
WTO or any other imperialist institution, or into the trap of calling for a
more (or less) State-led economic capitalist development process. Instead, we realise that it is only class combat, not policy
intervention that will deliver real material gains to the working class.
Even in the course of day to day struggles, this holds true.
Welfare reforms in Europe after World War Two (the welfare State) were
not won by allegiance on the part of workers to Keynesian demand management
economics (State intervention to boost sales of goods), but through titanic
class struggles that forced the ruling classes to introduce some basic
reforms. Consequently, our role
is to reject and resist any policy that harms the interests of workers and
peasants, and to do so by means of mass struggle.
We resist all attacks on the conditions of working people by means of
mass struggle, we strive by the same means to advance the gains of the working
class and peasants, and, ultimately, we stand for the destruction through of
imperialism, capitalism and the State through mass action and revolution.
are for an international minimum wage and international working class unity.
If capitalism is global, the workers struggle must become global as
well. The way to defeat MNC
manipulation of different national wage rates in order to attack workers is
not protectionism against cheap imports or surrender to the demands of
capital, it is international unity in support of basic worker and consumer
living standards across the world. We therefore support all initiatives at international trade
union unity. We are for
solidarity strikes between workers in different countries in general, and for
solidarity action and trade union unity between workers employed by the same
MNC in different countries in particular.
The international integration of production, which sees different parts
of the same product made in different countries, does not necessarily weaken
workers. A workers strike in one
country can disrupt production across several countries; just-in-time
production techniques which mean that firms produce exactly enough goods at
short notice in order to cut down on warehousing costs increase the bosses
vulnerability as they run out of stock almost immediately that a strike takes
place; the new communications technology used by the bosses to co-ordinate the
MNCs (e.g. the Internet) are also available to workers and provide
a powerful potential resource.
1. South Africa as a semi-periphery is discussed in M.
Legassick (1977), “Gold, Agriculture and Secondary Industry in South Africa,
1885-1970”in R. Palmer and N. Parsons (ed.) The
Roots of Rural Poverty in Central and Southern Africa.
2. See Daniel Geurin, (1970), Anarchism: From Theory to Practice.
Monthly Review Press.
(New York and London ).
3. On Bakunin, see Daniel Geurin, (1970), Anarchism:
From Theory to Practice.
Monthly Review Press.
(New York and London ).
pp. 68-9; on Reclus, see P. Marshall (1993), Demanding
the Impossible: a History of
Anarchism , chapter 20 (on Elisee Reclus) (Fontana: London); see A.
Berkman, “The Only Hope of Ireland”, The
Blast!, vol.1, no.13, page 2; May 15, 1916; on Macedonia, see “East: a
Freedom Workshop”, January/ March 1991, in The
Raven, no.13, pp. 31-2; on Cuba, see F. Fernandez, (1986), Cuba:
the Anarchists and Liberty (ASP.
London.); on Nicaragua, see A. Bendana, (1995), A Sandinista Commemoration of the Sandino Centennial.
Speech given to the 61st Anniversary of the Death of General Sandino,
held in Managua’s Olaf Palme Convention Centre.
Distributed by Centre for International Studies, Managua.
Trans: F.S. Courneyuer; on Ukraine, see esp. P. Archinov, (1987) History of the Makhnovist Movement 1918-21 (Freedom Press); on Korea
and Japanese solidarity, see Ha Ki-Rak, (1986), A History of the Korean Anarchist Movement.
(Anarchist Publishing Committee.
Korea) and Alan MacSimoin, “The Korean Anarchist Movement”, talk to
the Workers’ Solidarity Movement,
Dublin Branch, Ireland, in September 1991; on Italy, see C. Levy, “Italian
Anarchism 1870-1926”, in D. Goodway (ed.), 1989, For
Anarchism: History, Theory and Practice.
London and New York).
4. Important discussions of imperialism are to be found in
the studies of the American anarchist Noam Chomsky: see, among others, his Year
501: the Conquest Continues.
5. See, among others, M. Bakunin, 1990, Marxism,
Freedom and the State (Freedom Press.
London), pp29-30; P.A. Kropotkin,
and Anarchist Communism: Two Essays, 1987, ed. N. Walter.
London), p. 39; G.P. Maximov, 1985, The Programme of Anarcho-Syndicalism.
(Monty Miller Press.
6. See, for example, Joe Black, summer 1992, “1492-1992:
Christopher Columbus, Slaver and Thief”, in Workers
Solidarity: Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, no.35.
Dublin, Ireland; Endless Struggle, spring/summer 1990, “Against imperialism:
International Solidarity and Resistance”, in Endless Struggle, no.12.
Vancouver; see also A.
Webster, (1990), Introduction to
the Sociology of
2nd edition, chapter 4; on Africa, B. Freund, 1984, The Making of Contemporary Africa: the Development of African Society
Bloomington University Press).
7. The issue of food insecurity is touched on in P.
McCarthy, winter 1992/3, “Famine in Somalia - its not a natural disaster,
its murder”, in Workers Solidarity:
the Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, no.37.
Unequal exchange is discussed in R. Sandbrook, 1985, The
Politics of Africa’s Economic Stagnation.
(Cambridge University Press), chapter 2 and 3.
At the same time, it is important not to focus all attention on
external causes, as the first reference here tends to do - as we discuss
below, the local elites are as culpable as the imperialist bourgeoisie.
8. B. Freund, 1984, The
Making of Contemporary Africa: the Development of African Society Since 1800.
Bloomington University Press) provides a useful, class conscious
analysis of the partition and the resistance it encountered.
9. The process of decolonisation in Africa is surveyed in
B. Freund, 1984, The Making of
Contemporary Africa: the Development of African Society Since 1800.
Bloomington University Press).
See also Endless Struggle,
“Against imperialism: International Solidarity and Resistance”, in Endless Struggle, no.
10. On the Gulf War, see D. MacCarron, spring 1992, “New
World Order: Same Old Slaughter”, in Workers
Solidarity: Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, no.34 (Dublin.
On US aggression more generally, see N.
Chomsky, 1991, Terrorising the Neighbourhood: American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold
War Era (AK Press.
Pressure Drop Press).
More on western interventionism in Africa can be found in R. Sandbrook,
1985, The Politics of Africa’s Economic Stagnation.
(Cambridge University Press).
11. On the role of the USA in the post-Cold War period, see
N. Chomsky, 1991, Terrorising the
Neighbourhood: American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era (AK Press.
Pressure Drop Press) and also A. Flood, summer 1992,
“The Return of the ‘White Man’s Civilising Mission’:
Imperialism Is Not Just Another Buzz Word”, in Workers
Solidarity: the Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, no.35.
12. On the emergence of the US-dominated imperialist
period, see especially Endless Struggle,
spring/summer 1990, “Against imperialism: International Solidarity and
Resistance”, in Endless Struggle,
Also see Teeple, G., (1995), Globalisation
and the Decline of Social Reform.
New Jersey Press.
13. On the Newly Industrialising Countries, see A.G. Frank,
1983, “Global Crisis and Transformation”, Development and Change, no.14
14. On Anglo-American, see D. Innes, 1984,
Anglo: Anglo-American and the Rise of Modern South Africa.
15. The rise of the MNCs is discussed in D. Elson, 1988,
“Dominance and Dependency in the World Economy”, in B. Crow, M. Thorpe et
al, Survival and Change in the Third
16. See D. Elson, 1988, “Dominance and Dependency in the
World Economy”, in B. Crow, M. Thorpe et al, Survival and Change in the Third World.
(Polity Press), and also, R. Jenkins, 1987, Transnational Corporations and Uneven Development (Metheun.
17. See A.
Webster, (1990), Introduction to
the Sociology of
2nd edition, chapter 4.
18. R. Jenkins, 1987, Transnational
Corporations and Uneven Development (Metheun.
19. R. Jenkins, 1987, Transnational
Corporations and Uneven Development (Metheun.
P. 8; also R. Sandbrook, 1985,
The Politics of Africa’s Economic Stagnation.
(Cambridge University Press).
20. D. Elson, 1988, “Dominance and Dependency in the
World Economy”, in B. Crow, M. Thorpe et al, Survival
and Change in the Third World.
(Polity Press), and also, R. Jenkins, 1987, Transnational Corporations and Uneven Development (Metheun.
London); A.G. Frank, 1983, “Global Crisis and Transformation”, Development
and Change, no.14
21. On the IMF and World Bank, see Endless Struggle, spring/summer 1990, “Against imperialism:
International Solidarity and Resistance”, in Endless Struggle, no.12
(Vancouver) and Endless Struggle,
spring / summer 1990, “Development of the IMF”, in Endless Struggle, no.12 (Vancouver) p.25; F. Cheru, (1989), The
Silent Revolution in Africa.
London); F. Haffajee, (1993, August 20-26), “An African Alternative
to the IMF’s Programmes [report on lecture by Bade Onimode]”, Weekly Mail and Guardian.
p.38; L. Harris, (1989), “The Bretton Woods System and Africa”, in
B. Onimode (ed.), The IMF, the World
Bank and the African Debt: the Economic Impact.
Zed and IFAA.
(London and New Jersey); Makgetla, N., (1993, October 13), “Need SA
Fear ‘Rule by IMF’?”, in The Star.
(Johannesburg.); B. Onimode (ed.)., The
IMF, The World Bank And The African Debt: The Social And Political Impact.
(Zed and IFAA.
London and New Jersey); Onimode, B., (1989), “IMF and World Bank
Programmes in Africa”, in B. Onimode (ed.), The
IMF, the World Bank and the African Debt: the Economic Impact.
(Zed and IFAA.
London and New Jersey); Teeple,G., (1995), Globalisation
and the Decline of Social Reform.
New Jersey Press.
22. See especially Endless
Struggle, spring / summer 1990, “Development of the IMF”, in Endless
Struggle, no.12 (Vancouver) p.25; B. Onimode (ed.)., The
IMF, The World Bank And The African Debt: The Social And Political Impact.
(Zed and IFAA.
London and New Jersey); Onimode, B., (1989b), “IMF and World Bank
Programmes in Africa”, in B. Onimode (ed.),
The IMF, the World Bank and the African Debt: the Economic Impact.
(Zed and IFAA.
London and New Jersey).
Struggle, spring / summer 1990,
“Development of the IMF”, in Endless
Struggle, no.12 (Vancouver) p.25
24. References as for 21.
The rise of neo-liberal (free market) policies in Africa cannot,
however, be explained solely by reference to the interventions of the IMF and
the World Bank: there is a world wide shift to the free market affecting all
countries, the result of a general capitalist crisis, the apparent collapse of
state-centred forms of capitalism, and by the continued growth of
25. On the GATT/WTO, see ECN, March 1994, “GATT and the
New World Order”, in Contra Flow.
European Counter Network); B. Webb, 1995, “Nothing to Lose But
Our Gains”, New Statesman and Society:
Guide to Trade Unions 1995; K. Watkins, 1992, “GATT and the Third World:
Fixing the Rules”, in Race and Class.
26. S. Decalo, (1992), “The Process, Prospects and
Constraints of Democratisation in Africa”, in African Affairs.
27. On Zimbabwe, see Saunders, R., (1996, July),
“ESAP’s Fables II”, in Southern
28. quoted in Work in
Progress, (July/August 1992).
See also on the issue of the link between the IMF/World Bank and
environmental destruction, R. Bruce, 1994, Mortgaging
the Earth: the World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment and the Crisis of
Development (Earthscan) and W. Bello and S. Cunningham, “The World Bank
and the IMF: the Reagenites and the Resubordination of the Third World”, Z
Magazine (July/August 1994).
29. see the references in 21.
30. see R. Sandbrook, 1985, The Politics of Africa’s Economic Stagnation.
(Cambridge University Press).
C. Ake, (1983), “Explanatory Notes on the Political Economy of
Africa”, in Journal of Modern African
no.3 provides an excellent discussion of class in Africa.
31. See N. Makgetla, (1993, October 13), “Need SA Fear
‘Rule by IMF’?”, in The Star. (Johannesburg).
32. See T. Skalnes, (1993), “The State, Interest Groups
and Structural Adjustment in Zimbabwe”, in Journal
of Development Studies. vol. 29. no. 3.
33. See P. Sullivan, Autumn 1996, “The Real Spirit of the
United Nations: Rulers of the World Unite”, in Workers Solidarity: Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement
Ireland); also A. Flood, summer 1992, “The Return of the ‘White
Man’s Civilising Mission’: Imperialism Is Not Just Another Buzz Word”,
in Workers Solidarity: Magazine of the
Workers Solidarity Movement, no.35
34. Figures for the UK from Robert Lekachman and Borin van
Loon, (1981), Capitalism for Beginners.
New York, esp. 44-5, 67, 70. and Class War (1992),Unfinished
Business: The Politics Of Class War.
AK Press and CWF, p. 77
For the USA see Lind, Michael, The
Next American Nation, cited in “Stringing up the Yuppies”, (24
September 1995), Sunday Times, p14; Business
Week which estimated in 1991 36 million Americans (15% of the total
population) were living in poverty; and New
York Times, Sept. 25, 1992.
35. by P. Fryer, Black
the British Empire.
36. see A. Berkman, “The Only Hope of Ireland”, The
Blast!, vol.1 no.13, page 2; May 15, 1916; P.A. Kropotkin, Anarchism
Communism: Two Essays, 1987, ed. N. Walter.
London), p. 39 onwards.
37. A. Flood, summer 1992, “The Return of the ‘White
Man’s Civilising Mission’ Imperialism Is Not Just Another Buzz Word”, in
Workers Solidarity: Magazine of the
Workers Solidarity Movement, no.35
38. The general perspectives outlined in the remainder of
this paper draw on Alfredo M. Bonanno, 1981,
Anarchism and the National Liberation Struggle.
Second English edition.
Translated by Jean Weir.
(Alfa Grafica Sgroi.
Bratach Dubh Editions no.1 London); A. Flood, summer 1992, “The
Return of the ‘White Man’s Civilising Mission’ Imperialism Is Not Just
Another Buzz Word”, in Workers
Solidarity: Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, no.35
Ireland); A. Berkman, “The Only Hope of Ireland”, The Blast!
vol.1 no.13, page 2; May 15, 1916; Endless
Struggle, spring/summer 1990, “Against imperialism: International
Solidarity and Resistance”, in Endless
(Vancouver); G.P. Maximov, 1985,
The Programme of Anarcho-Syndicalism.
(Monty Miller Press.
Australia); Workers Solidarity Movement, 1992, Ireland
and British Imperialism, (Dublin.
39. e.g. E. Said, (1993),
Culture and Imperialism. (Vintage.
40. on Zimbabwe, see Saunders, R., (1996, July),
“ESAP’s Fables II”, in Southern
vol.1 no.4; on Zambia, J. Hanlon, 1982, Apartheid’s
Second Front, p.86; on Chile, C. Madlala, 29 December 1996, “Hot Recipe
for Growth from Chile”, in Sunday
Times, (Johannesburg), p16.
41. See R. Sandbrook, 1985, The Politics of Africa’s Economic Stagnation.
(Cambridge University Press).
42. See D. MacCarron, spring 1992, “New World Order: Same
Old Slaughter”, in Workers Solidarity:
Magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, no.34 (Dublin.
Ireland); and A. Flood, summer 1992, “The Return of the ‘White
Man’s Civilising Mission’: Imperialism Is Not Just Another Buzz Word”,
in Workers Solidarity: Magazine of the
Workers Solidarity Movement , no.35
43. Rudolph Rocker, (1978) Nationalism and Culture.
Croixside Press, StillWater, Minnesota p.270-1 makes this point as does
Alfredo M. Bonanno, 1981, Anarchism and
the National Liberation Struggle.
Second English edition.
Translated by Jean Weir.
(Alfa Grafica Sgroi.
Bratach Dubh Editions no.1 London) and Endless
Struggle, spring/summer 1990, “Against imperialism: International
Solidarity and Resistance”, in Endless Struggle, no.12
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