Posted on June 9, 2009 by adamfreedom
A new edition of the “Especifismo Reader: Anarchist Organization and Praxis” has been made publically available. Topping 120 pages, the updated reader includes several newly translated pieces such as the short political statement “Who We Are, What We Want, The Path We Follow” by Coletivo Comunista Anarquismo in Brazil, the article “Anarchist Advances in Uruguay and Brazil” and the “Interview with the Rio de Janeiro Federation” not included in the first edition of the reader, as well as several excellent though yet to be translated pieces in Spanish. 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.” I admit there is a bit of a funny sound to it, but this is the concept they use to define the relation to mass struggles and movements. To them anarchist 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).
My friend Nate of What the hell…? blog takes up the topic with a response/reflection piece after reading several pieces by written by especifist groups as well as my own piece included in the reader above, “Especifismo: The Anarchist Praxis of Building Popular Movements and Revolutionary Organization in Latin America.” With heaps of comradely respect I feel Nate is missing some of the arguements and the context for the discussion on especifismo and in some part I think he is perhaps pointing out sections of the writings that are unclear and can lend themselves to misinterpretation. Check out his thoughts and my response and I encourage folks to leave comments on his page with their own.
In fact, Nate is on a bit of a roll as of late. Here’s another discussion posting on contemporary anarchist politics with Nate’s review and comments on the mission statements and points of unity of current anarchist organizations in North America. Even better is that it includes links if you would like to read more. Next, is his piece discussing the importance of mass organizing work, along with a draft an article where he hopes to better lay out his perspectives on this. Finally, he writes reviews/quick responses to several of the Furious Five Revolutionary Collective, a 2003-2005 Anarchist-Communist collective based out of San Jose, CA that was influenced by the ideas and writings of the Latin American Especifist anarchists. Their writings are archived on this blog
Filed under: Anarchism, Latin America, Left Organizations, Theory | Tagged: Anarchism, Especifismo, Especifismo Reader, Latin America, Latin American Anarchism, revolutionary organization | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 11, 2007 by adamfreedom
April 10, 2009 Note: Right-wing bloggers quote and link this article in their attempt to attack individual members of some of the left-wing organizations discussed below. This blog condemns these shameful acts of McCarthy-esque red-baiting and in no way supports them.
Below are some thoughts on what seems to be a minor upstart today in third-world Maoism drawing inspiration from the New Communist Movement. Here I offer some thoughts on this through commentary on the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the now defunct Bay Area-based STORM. I close with a few thoughts on an November 3, 2007 forum FRSO held to discuss their recently released “Which Way Is Left?” pamplet. Also see the link for the audio panel at the 2007 US World Social Forum held in Atlanta, GA which featured former or current members of these orgs. -AW
Download a PDF of “Which Way Is Left?”
US Social Forum Panel on Revolutionary Strategy ~>link
Perhaps an interesting development on the left is a flare up of discussion and effort on the part of those on the left who identify as revolutionaries and Marxist, yet are independent of the traditional left parties such as Communist Party-USA, the New Communist Movement (NCM)  or the fractured family of Trotskyist parties that descend from the Socialist Workers Party. Many are late 20’s to early 30’s activists involved in recent bursts of social movements over the last decade and include many people of color. I don’t see it as a large discussion, but it certainly has the ears of certain layers of radical activists across the country who feeling stronger affinity and interest in revolutionary politics, though who don’t identify with any particular strand of revolutionary politics specifically.
Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad  (or just FRSO for short, not to be confused with a more hard-line split several years ago FRSO- Fight Back! based largely in the Mid-west) is maybe the only organization that managed to catch a certain layer of these folks into their ranks. To give an example of this, if you remember following the break up of Love and Rage Anarchist Federation in 1998, a small group emerged called Fire by Night Organizing Committee. This included members of L&R who were part of the working class student organizing at SUNY and after criticizing anarchism wound up merging into FRSO. The politics of the group are a sort of “Mao-light” if you will. They have origins in a merger between several NCM groups, but have adopted a more pluralistic set of politics which draw from Gramsci, Fanon and feminism among others. Like many Maoists they carry a more nuanced perspective on popular organizing then much of the Marxist left, but their main emphasis is the process they call Left Refoundation, whereby left socialist organizations build political and practical unity in an effort to reach a future merger into a larger party formation or umbrella type organization (they are open to where the process might take them).
Filed under: Left Organizations | Tagged: FSRO, revolutionary organization, strategy, the left | 5 Comments »