Title: Revolutionaries
Subtitle: Thinking about anarchism
Author: Dermot Sreenan
Date: 1994
Source: Retrieved on 18th November 2021 from struggle.ws
Notes: Published in Workers Solidarity No. 43 — Autumn 1994.

I may not have any chains around my feet, but still, I am not free. In modern society — capitalism — our bosses and leaders have invented new methods to chain us. According to the propaganda we are supposed to live in a free, democratic society, yet all of us experience limitations in our lives. Everyday more of us are being flung on the dole, families are being thrown out on the streets, our pay packets are shrinking and prices keep going up. Politicians care about little else except their popularity. In truth, we all know that this free, democratic society doesn’t exist on the streets where we live.

We must change the system which forces us to live under it’s heel. The only way to take the power back from the bosses and place it in the hands of the people is via Revolution. Capitalism now operates globally. If you are serious about fighting them then there is a glaring need to organise and co-ordinate. It is in answer to this need that revolutionary organisations spring.

Anarchists have an acknowledged respect for individual freedom. We believe that anarchist ideas and principles are those which will bring about a successful revolution.

We are not interested in changing our leaders. We wish to change the system so that there is no leaders just real democracy. We therefore believe in the need to develop individually. Socialism doesn’t exist without freedom. What we want is a society where we are free to exercise control over our own lives.

Ideas are our lifeblood

Just as there are major differences between Marxists and Anarchists in politics so there is in the way we organise. We do not have leaders and led. Anarchists believe that ideas are the lifeblood of a revolutionary movement. We wish to be the educators and instigators of our class but not the leaders. The working class has been led down enough ‘cul de sacs’ to not be bothered with the journey.

The WSM, as our organisation, must reflect the type of society we wish to create. All our members are active in the work and decision making of the organisation. Each member carries out the tasks of writing, paper selling, and preparing educational talks. We are all involved in campaign work and in our trade unions. Here we address the issues and try and win people to our politics in both heat and mind.

Party Versus You

There are no power positions within the WSM. Any position held within the organisation is electable, recallable and entails administrative work. The Leninists demonstrated that power when wielded in the name of the working class means the precedence of the party over the people. There will always come a time when there is a clash between the party and the people. This is because it is the party making the decisions on behalf of the people and not the people making and exercising their own decisions.. We say that Anarchism has no place for power unless it is in the hands of the workers themselves.

The need for efficient co-ordination and decision making in a post revolutionary period shall be dealt with by the workers’ own organisations. The history of struggle is also the history of self-organisation. >From the Paris Commune through the original Russian Soviets to the workers’ self-management in 1930’s Spain, people have automatically sought to organise themselves and create their own decision-making organs. Democracy either involves decisions being taken by the people being effected or it is not democracy. Such self-organisation will provide the structure for our future free society to be built on.

“Only the Truth is Revolutionary”

The WSM are not players in a game called politics. For us politics is the fight forward for a better future. Anarchism will either be the creation of a free and politically aware working class.....or it will not be anarchism.

It is the role of a revolutionary organisation is to get our class to a stage where we take on the might of the state, destroy it and replace it with workers’ councils. There is no room for leaders or parties doing it on our behalf. There is only room for the working class being in control and in power. When the working class are in charge of society then it will only be run in our interests.