Throughout the world, anarchist involvement within mass movements, as well as the development of specifically anarchist organizations, is on the upsurge. This trend is helping anarchism regain legitimacy as a dynamic political force within movements and in this light, Especifismo, a concept born out of nearly 50 years of anarchist experiences in South America, is gaining currency world-wide. Though many anarchists may be familiar with many of Especifismo’s ideas, it should be defined as an
original contribution to anarchist thought and practice.
A new edition of the “Especifismo Reader: Anarchist Organization and Praxis” has been made publically available. Topping 120 pages, the updated reader compiles a number of translated key articles as well as several excellent though yet to be translated pieces in Spanish in the tradition of Especifismo in Latin American anarchism. The next steps for this reader are the inclusion of several more pieces by Latin American anarchists and a organization in Mexico, as well as a section of articles called “Towards a North American Especifismo,” with pieces written by North American anarchists influences by the Especifismo Latin American Anarchist tradition.
One of the key concepts of the Latin American Anarchist tradition of especifismo is “social insertion,” which is the concept they use to define the relation to mass struggles and movements. The Especifista anarchist current advocates that involvement in the social struggles must be firmly rooted, argues for anarchist values rather the conversion of movements to “anarchism itself” or a specific political line, and which aims to build popular power (“horizontal power” and “of the base” I think are similar concepts from Latin American traditions that readers might also be familar with).
The first organization to promote the concept of Especifismo – then more a practice than a developed ideology – was the Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU), founded in 1956 by anarchist militants who embraced the idea of an organization which was specifically anarchist. Surviving the dictatorship in Uruguay, the FAU emerged in the mid-1980s to establish contact with and influence other South American anarchist revolutionaries. The FAU’s work helped support the founding of the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG), the Federação Anarquista Cabocla (FACA), and the Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (FARJ) in their respective regions of Brazil, and the Argentinean organization Auca (Rebel).
The key concepts of Especifismo can be summarized in three succinct points:
1. The need for specifically anarchist organization built around a unity of ideas and praxis.
2. The use of the specifically anarchist organization to theorize and develop strategic political and
3. Active involvement in and building of autonomous and popular social movements, which is
described as the process of “social insertion.”
For all articles relating to especifismo at Machete408 please click here
Especifismo Reader Table of Contents:
An Especifismo Reader : Anarchist Organization and Praxis
I. Especifismo: The anarchist praxis of building popular movements and revolution organization
in Latin America – Adam Weaver pg.2-6
II. Building a Revolutionary Movement: Why Anarchist Communist Organization? – Adam
Weaver pg 7-11
I. The Social Question: Latin American Anarchism and “Social Insertion” – Michael Schmidt
(Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation, South Africa) pg.12-17
II. NEFAC Interviews The Federacao Anarquista Gaucha (FAG Brazil) – Red Sonja (North
Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists-Boston) pg18-23
III. Who We Are, What We Want, The Path We Follow – Coletivo Comunista Anarquista (Brazil)
IV. Anarchist Advances in Uruguay and Brazil -from Rojo y Negro (CGT, Spain) pg26-27
V. The Principles of the Forum of Organized Anarchism -Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado
VI. Interview with the Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation pg.35-47
VII ¿Qué es el Grupo Socialista Libertario? Pg48-51
I. The Need of Our Own Project – Libertarian Socialist Organization (Argentina) pg.52-54
II. The Specific Organization – Jaime Cubero (Centro de Cultura Social, Sao Paulo) pg.55-57
III. Materialism and Idealism – Anarchist Collective of “Zumbi dos Palmares” Forum of
Organized Anarchism (Brazil) pg.58-64
IV. Theory, Ideology, and Historical Materialism – Internal Education Secretary of Libertarian
Socialist Organization (Brazil) pg.65-67
V. Huerta Grande – Uruguayan Anarchist Federation pg.68-72
VI. Anarquismo Especifista – Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation pg.73-75
VII Construir el Socialismo Libertario – Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation pg.76-83
VIII El Copei – Uruguayan Anarchist Federation pg.84-123