2007 - 2021

Addicted to Power

This American anarchist analysis of the Catalan referendum from ‘Final Straw’ radio sheds useful light on the situation from a left perspective. Although some of it is background – it is an insight into the factions and tensions within the democracy movement, the energy for more radical change, the organisation of non-violence and an analysis of Spanish state power.

It raises the question of starting a new state – and deeper change and challenges orthodoxy in the movement for Scottish self-determination.

Catalan Referendum: an Anarchist Perspective




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Comments (2)

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  1. SleepingDog says:

    The underlying fascism that seems to persist within Spain’s political structure is perhaps not surprising (how many people in British society really prefer democracy?).

    I get the point that just because anarchists are anti-state, this is not a simple binary, and varied evaluations of different state options are currently essential. Some intermediate states will exist in any withering-away process at least.

    Many fewer people have capacity for (street) violence than can take part in conversation or voting, and the modern state is usually well prepared for handling, provoking, instigating and spinning violence. The central Spanish govt appears to be adopting tactics to provoke violence. And violence seems a poor way of deciding between political arguments. Therefore I am sceptical of the kind of affrays against the police described here, which seem more likely to divide a movement (not least on generational lines), and can be influenced by unhelpful and manipulable emotions.

    Defence of people and rights (such as to vote) is another matter. But if by general affray you make it difficult to distinguish non-combatant anarchists (including the street medics mentioned, legal advisers, observers, protesters) then I guess your organisation will suffer compared to the formal, uniformed state powers.

    There were tantalising hints during this interview of where people in Spain believe authority lies, such as the constitutional monarchy arrangements. However, there was little about how anarchists might set about challenging such perceptions.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      Some agreement, possibly, with my central point from “Anarchist writer and activist” Gabriel Kuhn in this recent interview in Freedom Press:
      “With respect to black blocs and militant resistance within First World autonomous movements, there have certainly been problems with fetishising the young, male streetfighter. There have also been problems with adventurism, irresponsibility, and a lack of both political and strategic vision. This does not discredit the tactic but it challenges us to reflect upon its use and improve it, mainly by tying it to broader social movements and other means of resistance in a collaborative effort that involves a bigger diversity of people.”

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