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Organise! *82

Organise! *82

WHERE FROM HERE? Crisis on the Left, crisis in the Anarchist Movement, The Politics of Malatesta, Platformism and the "Fontenis Affair", The Life of Omar Aziz, The Zoot Suit as Rebellion, book reviews.

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n this issue of Organise! we take a cold-blooded look at the scale of attacks that we are facing as a class. The mounting frenzy of attacks is a real class Blitzkrieg, a shock and awe offensive that is stripping away many of the benefits we have fought for and gained over the last century. Not only are our health services and education, pay and conditions and pensions in grave danger but the scale of the housing crisis is reaching frightening proportions. In tandem with this is a frantic campaign in the media against the homeless, claimants, and immigrants in an attempt to find scapegoats and distract us from the real culprits for the state we are in - the boss class.

In anticipation of any fightback, some of the other things we fought for and gained over the last few centuries are under increasing threat. Free speech, free assemblyand the right to demonstrate, all of these are under pressure and the police continue to reveal how corrupt and brutal they are. The most recent examples have been their attacks on student demonstrators and their campaign of intimidation against anti-fracking activists. In addition to this we are more and more aware of how far states have gone in a massive surveillance of our phone calls and emails. We are also made more aware of the police infiltration of different political groups, with the aim of provoking, disrupting and gathering information on activists.

One would think that these conditions would have created a mass movement by now in Britain. We look at why this challenge has certainly not been initiated or helped by the traditional left. We know that opposition will break out at some point, but it won’t be the decaying left that has a key role in this. However, we don’t gloat over the decline of the left when we see that our own anarchist scene suffers from a profound malaise. We examine these questions in some details and offer some solutions whilst at the same time wanting to provoke a debate within British anarchism.

We look at the ideas of an important anarchist, the Italian, Errico Malatesta, continuing a survey of his thought and practice started in issue 82. Malatesta is an extremely pragmatic thinker and his ideas should once again be re-discovered and appraised and he has much to offer us when we look at how we can build an anarchist movement that is effective and can begin to attract wider support.

Malatesta was a fervent supporter of effective anarchist organisation. In an article on Platformism and Synthesism we look at ways anarchists have organised and are organising and the problems that they have faced in the past. How we organise as anarchists remains acutely pressing and this article is an important contribution to that debate.

We also look at the ideas of someone we don’t think we should emulate, the fake ‘libertarian’ Robert Nozick, who under the cover of a discourse about freedom offers us an unadulterated 110 % proof raw capitalism.

We continue our series of occasional articles on rebel youth cultures with a look at the zootsuiters of the United States who brought down upon themselves a nasty media campaign and orchestrated violence because of their challenging of the norms of American society during World War Two.

We also continue our series on anarchist artists and writers with a look at the work of the anarchist wood cut specialist Alexandre Mairet, whose artwork war-time (this time the First World War) gave his support to anti-militarist and anti-capitalist propaganda.

Plus our usual reviews of books and pamphlets and you have yet another scintillating issue of Organise! from the Anarchist Federation.

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Organise! magazine, issue 82, Summer 2014.

http://www.afed.org.uk