Aims and principles
The Prairie Struggle is an organization of revolutionaries coming from different movements of resistance who identify with the communist tradition within anarchism. The Organization’s activities are organized around theoretical development, anarchist propaganda, and intervention in the struggles of our class, be it autonomously or by direct involvement in social movements.
As anarchist communists we struggle for a classless and non-hierarchical society. We envision an international federation of radically democratic, self-managed communities and workplaces. To achieve this society, our class will need to abolish the wage system, the state, and the market economy. We reject the division of labour that condemns an individual to a life of restricted activity for the sake of the commodity economy. The socialization of all industries, means of production and distribution will allow for the satisfaction of human needs, adhering to the communist principle, “From each according to ability, to each according to need.”
We seek to abolish all forms of capitalism, whether it be free-market capitalism or so-called “socialist” state capitalism. Capitalism creates a society divided into antagonistic social classes: a small, elite ruling class, the coordinator class and a large, exploited working class. The ruling class owns and controls the means of production and distribution, and are thereby able to monopolize the wealth. Their ownership of these two primary functions in society further enables them to focus production toward their own class interests (commodity production, increased profits, relentless expansion, etc.) without regards for society as a whole. The coordinator class, while members of the working class, is that group of people who do not own the means of production, but who run the means of production on behalf of the owners. The coordinator class are people like doctors, lawyers, managers, engineers, police and military officials that are instrumentalised against their own class interests. Those of us who are not part of the capitalist ruling class are forced to sell and rent our labor, whether physical or intellectual, for a wage in order to survive. We are trapped in wage slavery.
There is no one single humanity, there is a humanity of classes. Through inequality, and irreconcilable class interests, an ongoing struggle exists between different social classes. All aspects of modern capitalist society are a direct result of this struggle developing through centuries of conflict. Anarchist-Communism originated within, and was developed through, the every day struggles of the working class against the oppression of class rule.
We are opposed to all forms of Statism and hierarchical government. The purpose of any State, whether “representative democracies” or totalitarian dictatorships, is to administrate society in a way that ensures that the privileges of the ruling class are upheld. In order to accomplish this, the State must centralize and monopolize power through a complex network of political, cultural, legislative, judiciary, military and financial institutions. This system results in all power being removed from ordinary people, and leads to a society based on hierarchy. By placing itself outside and yet in control of society, the State negates the social and political potential of society and transforms all logical social functions into bureaucratic State functions.
Of all oppression in the world, one of the most entrenched is that of patriarchy, the domination of men over women. This domination expresses itself everywhere--in both private and public realms. Although it is perpetuated by capitalism and the State, patriarchy existed prior to them and without confrontation will exist beyond their abolition. Anarchist feminism is a theory and practice by which we critique and attack the triple reign of patriarchy, capitalism, and the State, through the realization that this sexual, economic and political subjugation has at it’s heart the common principle of authority. Only by uniting both the revolutionary class perspective of anarchism and the feminist critique of patriarchy can anarchism and feminism reach their common goal of human liberation. “There will be no revolution without women’s liberation. There will be no women’s liberation without revolution.”
Exploitation and oppression are also expressed through social inequalities and hierarchies based on race and ethnic origin. Like patriarchy, this form of social oppression is used to divide and weaken the working class and must be opposed at every level. Throughout the history of the world, class stratification has been defined in large part by race. Although racism is perpetuated by capitalism and class society, it will not necessarily end with the abolition of the capitalist social structure. We work to combat racism in all its forms and support those from our class who organize within the revolutionary movement for social liberation.
Capitalist patriarchy uses a specific set of gender roles in order to reproduce itself. These expectations breed homophobia and lead to an environment that limits an individuals personal sexual development. We strive for an environment free from oppressive socialization that traps us into a specific sexual identity and lifestyle.
Capitalism also threatens the planet with ecological destruction. To achieve balance between humanity and the natural world, we must create a society which is based on the satisfaction of true needs such as food, shelter, water, and community. Modern environmental destruction is a result of capitalism’s strife to commodify the natural world, for the wealth of a small minority. We recognize that social transformation is the first step towards ecological balance, not lifestyle changes or technological innovations. We recognize that the destruction of capitalism is the only avenue towards rescuing the planet’s biosphere, and by extension, ourselves.
Capitalism further endangers the world and humanity through imperialism and its manifestation: war. Imperialism expresses itself in two different manners: one uses brute force through direct state military intervention, while the other uses economic coercion through transnational financial institutions. As anarchist-communists, we are opposed to both forms of imperialism.
We recognize that colonialism is entrenched within both the capitalist and state system. The struggle against capitalism and the state must include the struggle against colonialism, and the antagonisms these systems and cultures have created. As an anarchist-communist organization we recognize the legitimacy of cultural identity but oppose a dual-state solution to colonialism. Therefore, we struggle for federalism and unity within the working class while striving to demystify the relations of colonialism working to divide our class interests.
We do not support the ideology of national liberation movements, which claims that there are common interests held between the working class and the native ruling class in the face of foreign domination. Although we support working class struggles against political and economic imperialism, racism, genocide and colonization, we are opposed to the creation of a new ruling class. We believe that the defeat of imperialism will only come about through a social revolution waged against both the imperialists and the local ruling class. This social revolution will have to spread across national borders. We further reject all forms of nationalism as this only serves to redefine divisions in the international working class. The working class has no country, and national boundaries must be eliminated. We must encourage and develop international solidarity which will one day lay the basis for a global social revolution.
Workers self-organization is essential to social revolution. It originates from the actions and interests of workers, not laws and regulations. The basis of workers organization is direct democracy: in opposition to hierarchy, workers must directly and equally participate in any decision that affects them; direct action: not an appeal to power, but the seizure of power by workers through strikes, slowdowns, sabotage and expropriation; and solidarity: the mutual aid of workers in struggle, to the highest degree possible. In the creation and transformation of these workers organizations we encourage and support maximum tactical flexibility.
The major focus of our activity is to work at those crucial points where working class people are organizing together for control over their lives, the decisions affecting them and against oppression. These areas stretch from workplaces activity in the unions to neighbourhood activism. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace.
We recognize that any deeply entrenched system based on power and privilege will not allow itself to be peacefully abolished. True liberation can only be attained by social revolution. For us, the concept of a social revolution is not an abstract metaphor, but, rather a very real social war against every form of oppression. While we don’t fetishize violence or armed struggle, we understand it will require revolutionary force on the part of the working class to bring about social emancipation. Such a revolutionary situation can only emerge from social movements and the radicalization of the working class. We advocate radicalization of every struggle. By means of this radicalization and of our involvement in the various resistance movements in which we participate, we encourage the development of an autonomous class consciousness, the only safeguard against political recuperation. We defend, everywhere and always, the autonomous organization and revolutionary self-activity of the working class.
We believe that, if only to wage the battle of ideas, anarchist organizations are necessary. We reject the vision which reduces the idea of revolution to the authoritarian seizure of power by a centralized body believing to be acting in the name of the masses. We know that this vision has led to bloody dictatorships and has nothing to do with socialism. The anarchist organization is neither a party, nor a self-proclaimed vanguard, but an active minority in the working class. It is a rallying point taking part in the theoretical and practical fight against all authoritarian ideology.
We are internationalists based in the prairie region of North America, and recognize that a social revolution must be global if it is to succeed. We develop and maintain international relationships, solidarity, and discussions to build a united revolutionary anarchist movement.
We recognize a need for anarchist organizations who agree with these principles to federate on an regional, national and international basis. However, we believe the degree of federation possible and the amount of effort put into it must be determined by success at building organizations capable of making such work a reality, rather than a matter of slogans.