Anarchism; more popular than marxism?

Alan Bradley alanb at
Fri Dec 10 06:15:08 MST 1999

> From: Louis Proyect
> There is one area in which the anarchists have made inroads--and this was
> demonstrated in the Seattle actions--and that is in the Green movement.
> One other reason that anarchism has grown in influence in the green
> movement is that Marxists, except for the Australian DSP, largely ignore
> it. Some give lip-service to the movement, like the American SWP while
> others like the Spartacist League are outright hostile.

Green anarchism is probably the main strand of anarchism in Australia too.
In many cases, though, the members of this tendency wouldn't really see
themselves as anarchists, or have much contact with the more traditionalist
types.  I doubt most of the "old" anarchist leaders (or influential
individuals, if we want to pay lip service to the anarchist claptrap about
not having leaders) have much clout amongst these groups, even when, like
Gary Maclennan's old mate (and sparring partner - this is not intended to
be an insult to Gary) Brian Laver, they associate themselves with currents
like "Social Ecology".

The "real leadership" of the "Green anarchists" in Australia, though,
aren't anarchists at all.  Rather, they are the liberal "official" leaders
of the "environment movement", and their more youthful understudies.  These
people are thoroughgoing careerists, essentially indistinguishable from
labour movement careerists, and prone to end up with essentially the same

It is possible to combat these layers.  In fact, doing so can materially
assist in the success of environmental campaigns.  After all, which
political tendency is most interested in organising lots of "ordinary
people" in achieving their political goals, if not Marxists?  And in the
process, you can make some useful points as to who benefits from
environmental destruction, and why it happens, and so on, and win
bucketloads of young people who are moving into political activity to
Marxism, at least at those times when "bucketloads" of young people are
moving into political activity around environmental issues.

For those Marxists who don't see the importance of the environment movement
- in Australia, at least, it is inextricably tied to indigenous rights, and
to questions like uranium mining, and thus nuclear weapons, imperialist
military alliances, and so on.  Then there is just the plain and simple
right of working people to live in an environment free of poisons - it's
almost invariably the working class whose houses will be built over toxic
waste dumps, and the like.  Then there are questions involving agriculture,
and the use of pesticides.  (I believe that we have an expert in this area
on the list - Brett K?  Are you there?)  Anyway, the farmers here are
busily poisoning themselves quite happily, and I won't make snide comments
about that, especially since it's mostly workers who get to eat the food
they produce.

And hell yes, you get recruits, and the anarchists and other liberal
fluffies don't.

Alan Bradley
alanb at

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