Private versus 'Socialised' healthcare

Originally posted on Anarchist Federation.

The noisy, controversial and increasingly confrontational ‘debate’ in the USA over the Obama administration’s proposed healthcare reforms has received a good deal of attention in the UK, especially after a series of speeches, articles, email circulars and TV ads began making outlandish claims about both the contents of the proposals and the UK NHS, which is supposedly about to be emulated in the US.

Fragments of an Anarchist Public Health: Developing Visions of a Healthy Society by Marcus Hill

Originally posted on the Reimagining Society Project.

Taking note of intensifying anarchist social movements worldwide, the goal of this paper is to provide some vision through relating the objectives of these movements to discourse going on within the area of public health—specifically, taking into account these movements' social, political, and economic goals, impact, and implications toward considering what functionally makes for a healthy society. The intention of this paper is both to work toward developing a proposal for considering the merits of radical and utopian ways of thinking and practice within the domains of health care and public health policy, and discuss a developing awareness that such currents of thought are (re)emerging worldwide and have been reconsidering and challenging hierarchical institutions and industry across the board. Development is needed in terms of envisioning functional health care and (more broadly) a healthy society by discussing where things can go from here.

Of Tea-Parties and Patriots: Liberty for Who? by Dave Strano

The following article was written and directed towards members of the "Liberty Movement," participants in the Tea Parties and Town Hall meeting protests. It was originally intended to be handed out at Colorado gun shows, where anarchists have done counter-recruitment against the Minutemen:

Of Tea-Parties and Patriots:
Liberty for who?

As town hall meetings on health care become the targets for disruptive protest and a growing “pro-liberty” movement gains traction and headlines, a full analysis of the situations we are facing as white working class people and an analysis of the strategies of the new “pro-liberty” movement is necessary.

I am authoring this piece as a white working class male that comes from a military family background, and identifies to some extent as being a libertarian. This description of myself is important as it helps color the perspective I am writing from, as any differences in my background, race, or socio-economic status would ultimately change the entire nature of this essay.

This piece is also mainly directed at white working class people that are active within this new movement. The reasons for this are many, as will become obvious as this piece progresses.

What’s Happening: Recent Books, by John Petrovato

This column was written some time ago, but contains much relevant information. We present it now, and promise a more up-to-date column this fall.

The Institute for Anarchist Studies, in its mission to encourage critical thought and discourse about anarchism, has given out over 50 grants to writers over the last thirteen years. It was our hope that by assisting anarchist writers with encouragement and financial support, that more and better anarchist writings would appear. The fruits of these labors are now apparent, and half a dozen of the books reviewed below are projects by IAS grantees. The first part of this column will review some of the books IAS grant recipients have published recently.

“A Country Considered to Be Free” Towards a Transnational Study of New Zealand Links with the Wobblies by Mark Derby

In the 1890s a New Zealand watersiders’ leader announced to his members, “We have no flag, we have no country.”1 He was declaring the internationalism of labor at a time when patriotism and imperialism then characterized the population. It was some years before his views became widespread, even within the militant end of the New Zealand union movement, and none promulgated them more strongly and sincerely than the Industrial Workers of the World, the Wobblies, whose name is itself a declaration of internationalism. The early Wobblies were internationalists in practice as well as in spirit – they belonged to transitory occupations, they crossed and re-crossed the Tasman, the Pacific and much further afield, were often in danger of deportation or on the run, and in general they regarded their nationality as an accident of birth and a supreme irrelevance.

For those reasons a study of the Wobblies in New Zealand, which has been barely attempted on practical grounds, is also inappropriate to its subject. It is imposing a nationalist frame on an internationalist movement. Instead, I am addressing the wider issue of New Zealand’s many links with the IWW, links which run both into and out of this country and include some of the organization’s most influential figures worldwide. My research suggests that the influence and extent of Wobbly ideas in New Zealand have been seriously understated, and New Zealand’s links with Wobbly movements elsewhere entirely overlooked. The Wobblies themselves left only scanty traces of their actions as they passed in and out of this country, and the partisan rewriting of history by the political parties which regarded themselves as natural successors to the IWW both co-opted and eliminated traces of their Wobbly roots. This essay is, therefore, an initial attempt at tracing the Wobbly strain in New Zealand’s political development.

Call for Climate Change and Economic Crisis Articles for Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, the journal of the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS), is calling for submissions that address climate change and the current economic crisis from radical and revolutionary positions. We see the ecological crisis as an indictment of dominant social structures. With this in mind, we would like to publish essays exploring this moment as an opportunity to radically restructure society for the better.

The world today faces the immediate impact of a global recession, coupled with the quickly unfolding reality of catastrophic climate change. The economy and the environment are inextricably linked, as capitalist economic decisions erode ecological balance and long-term sustainability. Ecology may be the one question which capitalism can not answer. This climate crisis, a threat to the lives of billions of people - primarily the poor of the southern hemisphere - as well as countless plant and animal species, has not as of yet received due consideration by the anti-authoritarian Left. It has received some attention from the Left, and from the anti-civilization, primitivist Green Anarchy camps, but we are seeking further elaborations and more systematic treatments from social revolutionaries and anti-authoritarians.

2009 Southern California Anarchist Conference

The Second Southern California Anarchist Conference and Cultural Fair will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2, 2009 at the Southern California Library for Social Studies & Research, 6120 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90044 (Saturday) and the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, 675 S Park View St, Los Angeles, California 90057 (Sunday).

Among many educational workshops and panels there will be a session on the Institute for Anarchist Studies. Check out the schedule here.

Reimagining Society Project - Opening Essays Posted

Originally posted on ZNet

Project Description

Reimagining Society participants are generating a vast outpouring of content bearing upon vision for a new society and strategy to attain the aims. This includes:

* Brief introductions by a great many participants summarizing their histories and their hopes and desires for the project
* Initial essays provided by many participants which serve as the starting point of the project discussions
* Discussion among participants of the essays
* Comments on the essays by many readers of the site
* Itemized proposals extracted from the essays and discussions
* Polls tallying participants' and readers' reactions to the proposals
* Concluding essays by participants assessing the overall project
* And a brief accounting of possible future directions for the project.

The Project is hosted by Z Communiations but the contents are freely available for linking or posting on any site that wishes to reproduce all or part of the contents.

Anarchism and the Movement for a New Society: Direct Action and Prefigurative Community in the 1970s and 80s By Andrew Cornell

The international anarchist movement was reborn on new footings in the wake of the global insurrections of 1968, nearly all of which were decidedly libertarian in character. In the United States, the decade that followed was a time of experimentation and consolidation, as a surprising variety of groups sought to develop and adapt different aspects of the anarchist tradition to contemporary conditions. Sam Dolgoff and others worked to revitalize the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), alongside new syndicalist formations like the Chicago-based Resurgence group and Boston’s Root & Branch; Bookchin’s Anarchos collective deepened the theoretical links between ecological and anarchist thought; the Fifth Estate drew heavily on French ultra-leftist thinking and began pursuing a critique of technology by decade’s end. Meanwhile, the Social Revolutionary Anarchist Federation connected individuals and circles across the country through a mimeographed monthly discussion bulletin. Just as influential to the anarchist milieu that has taken shape in the decades which have followed, however, were the efforts of the Movement for a New Society, a national network of feminist radical pacifist collectives that existed from 1971 to 1988.

Building a Non-Eurocentric Anarchism in Our Communities: Dialogue with Ashanti Alston

Originally published on

The following is an interview with Ashanti Alston Omowali, an African descent anarchist activist, who started his political militancy back in the ‘60s in the Black Panther Party. He was also a member of the Black Liberation Army, and because of his revolutionary activities spent more than a decade in prison. In prison he moved forward to anarchism and after his release he has participated with numerous libertarian initiatives and publications, and is one of the founders of Anarchist People of Color (APOC), a network that brings together anarchists of colour in the remarkably racist US. Ashanti also participates in a number of initiatives ranging from solidarity with political prisoners in the US to the Institute for Anarchist Studies.

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