A Word on behalf of Anarchists

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Dec 15 14:09:30 MST 1999

Tony Tracy wrote of the TAO anarchists:

>The anarchists of TAO identify
>with the wobbly model of organizing, and generally see themselves as
>"class struggle" anarchists (as compared to "lifestyle"
>anarchists)... I find increasingly that I have loads in common with
>these folks politically, and they have moved slowly towards more
>"socialist" forms of organizing (local branches have been
>established, etc.).

I think it is important to distinguish between types of anarchists, just as
we distinguish between types of socialists.  As someone who wrote a
scathing thing about anarchists last week, I should add that I know someone
who describes himself as a 'class struggle anarchist'.  Hearing him talk
about many fundamental issues is really not much different to how myself
and no doubt other Marxists approach these particular issues.

 His attitude to many of the kind of anarchists we have floating about in
NZ is pretty scathing.  I think the fact that he is middle-aged, employed,
and comes from a fairly working class north of England background has
something to do with this.

In NZ, the anarchist milieu is largely a bunch of drop-out deadbeats who
try to make their deadbeatness a political position.  The kind of campaigns
we see here - like for no-shopping days - are the kind of thing you'd
expect from people who see the working class (whose shopping is already
severely restricted by economic restructuring) as part of the problem
rather than the agency for solving the problem.

In a showdown situation, I think I'd rather be in a united front with class
struggle anarchists than with some sections of 'Marxists'.

But I get the idea that the section of anarchists most in evidence at
Seattle were not the class struggle anarchists but the nihilist ones.

Philip Ferguson

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