Libertarian socialism is a group of anti-authoritarian political philosophies inside the socialist movement that rejects the conception of socialism as centralized state ownership and control of the economy. Libertarian socialism is close to and overlaps with left-libertarianism and criticizes wage labour relationships within the workplace, instead emphasizing workers' self-management of the workplace and decentralized structures of political organization. Libertarian socialism rejects the state itself and asserts that a society based on freedom and justice can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialists advocate for decentralized structures based on direct democracy and federal or confederal associations such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, workers' councils. All of this is done within a general call for libertarian and voluntary human relationships through the identification and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of human life.
As such, libertarian socialism seeks to distinguish itself from both Leninism/Bolshevism and social democracy. Past and present political philosophies and movements described as libertarian socialist include anarchism as well as autonomism, Democratic Confederalism, guild socialism, revolutionary syndicalism and libertarian Marxist philosophies such as council communism as well as some versions of utopian socialism and individualist anarchism. Libertarian socialism is a Western philosophy with diverse interpretations, though some general commonalities can be found in its many incarnations, it advocates a worker-oriented system of production and organization in the workplace that in some aspects radically departs from neoclassical economics in favor of democratic cooperatives or common ownership of the means of production. They propose that this economic system be executed in a manner that attempts to maximize the liberty of individuals and minimize concentration of power or authority. Adherents propose achieving this through decentralization of political and economic power involving the socialization of most large-scale private property and enterprise.
Libertarian socialism tends to deny the legitimacy of most forms of economically significant private property, viewing capitalist property relation as a form of domination, antagonistic to individual freedom. The first anarchist journal to use the term "libertarian" was Le Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social and it was published in New York City between 1858 and 1861 by French anarcho-communist Joseph Déjacque; the next recorded use of the term was in Europe, when "libertarian communism" was used at a French regional anarchist Congress at Le Havre. January 1881 saw a French manifesto issued on "Libertarian or Anarchist Communism". 1895 saw leading anarchists Sébastien Faure and Louise Michel publish La Libertaire in France". The word stems from the French word libertaire, used to evade the French ban on anarchist publications. In this tradition, the term "libertarianism" in "libertarian socialism" is used as a synonym for anarchism, which some say is the original meaning of the term. In the context of the European socialist movement, "libertarian" has conventionally been used to describe those who opposed state socialism, such as Mikhail Bakunin.
The association of socialism with libertarianism predates that of capitalism and many anti-authoritarians still decry what they see as a mistaken association of capitalism with libertarianism in the United States. As Noam Chomsky put it, a consistent libertarian "must oppose private ownership of the means of production and wage slavery, a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be undertaken and under the control of the producer". In a chapter recounting the history of libertarian socialism, economist Robin Hahnel relates that thus far the period where libertarian socialism has had its greatest impact was at the end of the 19th century through the first four decades of the 20th century: On the other hand, a libertarian trend developed within Marxism which gained visibility around the late 1910s in reaction against Bolshevism and Leninism rising to power and establishing the Soviet Union. John O'Neil argues: Libertarian socialists are anti-capitalist and can thus be distinguished from right-wing libertarians.
Whereas capitalist principles concentrate economic power in the hands of those who own the most capital, libertarian socialism aims to distribute power more amongst members of society. A key difference between libertarian socialism and capitalist libertarianism is that advocates of the former believe that one's degree of freedom is affected by one's economic and social status whereas advocates of the latter focus on freedom of choice within a capitalist framework under capitalist private property; this is sometimes characterized as a desire to maximize "free creativity" in a society in preference to "free enterprise". Within anarchism, there emerged a critique of wage slavery which refers to a situation perceived as quasi-voluntary slavery, where a person's livelihood depends on wages when the dependence is total and immediate, it is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person. The term "wa
Freedom is a London-based anarchist website and biannual journal published by Freedom Press, a monthly newspaper. The paper was started in 1886 by volunteers including Peter Kropotkin and Charlotte Wilson and continued with a short interruption in the 1930s until 2014 as a regular publication, moving its news production online and publishing irregularly until 2016, when it became a bi-annual; the subtitle was "A Journal of Anarchist Socialism". The title was changed to "A Journal of Anarchist Communism" in June 1889. Today it labelled "Anarchist Journal"; the newspaper's mission statement was stated in every issue and summarises the writers' view of anarchism:Anarchists work towards a society of mutual aid and voluntary co-operation. We reject economic repression; this newspaper, published continuously since 1936, exists to explain anarchism more and show that only in an anarchist society can human freedom thrive. The current printed issue does not carry a summary, but the website retains a section of the original 1886 introductory essay by Peter Kropotkin: We are socialists, disbelievers in property, advocates of the equal claims of all to work for the community as seems good — calling no-one master, of the equal claim to each to satisfy as seems good to them, their natural needs from the stock of social wealth they have laboured to produce...
We are anarchists, disbelievers in the government of the many by the few in any shape and under any pretext. The paper featured news from the peace and labour movements and events as well as listing planned events and protests. Staying true to Kropotkin's principle of mutual aid, the paper featured reviews of other anarchist and libertarian publications, such as Organise! and Direct Action as well as other local and international newsletters and journals. In 2006, the paper gained a colour front for the first time in its history. Along with a number of gradual changes in the content and structure of the paper and organisational changes at Freedom Press, Freedom got a re-design in January 2008. While remaining a fortnightly newspaper, it doubled the number of pages to 16 and reduced to A4 in size, introducing a basic theory section, dedicated business and public sector pages and an increased story count. In late 2011, it switched from fortnightly to monthly publication, which continued until its closure as a regular paper in 2014.
It cost £2 per issue. Note that this is a non-comprehensive list: 1886–1895: Charlotte Wilson 1895–1910: Alfred Marsh 1910–1928: Thomas Keell 1930–1934: John Turner 1930–1936: John Humphrey 1936–1949: Marie Louise Berneri 1936–191968: Vernon Richards 1940–1960: Colin Ward 1964–1969: John Rety 1970: Peter Turner and Bill Christopher 1970s: Donald Rooum 1970s–1980s: Stu Stuart, Vernon Richards 1976–1980s: David Peers 1980s: Gillian Fleming 1990s–2001: Charles Crute 2001–2004: Toby Crow 2003–2004: Steven, Jim Clarke 2004–2009: Rob Ray 2009–2013: Dean Talent 2012–2013: Matt Black 2013–2014: Charlotte Dingle On 1 March 2014, Freedom announced the closure of its print edition, continuing to publish online alongside an irregular printed freesheet; as of 2017, it publishes bi-annually in October as an A4 20-page free journal. Spain and the World was an anarchist publication founded in 1936 by Vernon Richards with former Freedom writers, which had ceased publication in 1932; the intention was to provide an English-language publication to support Spanish anarchists who were at that time achieving a measure of political influence through the anarchist trade union Confederación Nacional del Trabajo and other organisations.
Spain and the World had several notable contributors, including Emma Goldman, Herbert Read, Ethel Mannin and John Cowper Powys. Between the end of the Spanish Civil War and the outbreak of World War II, the fortnightly Spain and the World became Revolt! in 1939 before adopting the title War Commentary. In 1945, War Commentary resumed the title of Freedom. In 1944, his wife Marie-Louise Berneri and two others associated with the paper were charged with conspiring to cause disaffection among members of the armed forces. Despite a defence campaign backed by the likes of George Orwell, Michael Tippett, T. S. Eliot and Benjamin Britten, Vernon and Hewetson were convicted and served nine months in jail. Freedom Press compiled a selection of articles from Freedom in the 1991 book The State Is Your Enemy. List of anarchist periodicals The Raven: Anarchist Quarterly Rooum, Donald. "Freedom, Freedom Press and Freedom Bookshop: A short history of Freedom Press". Information for Social Change. ISSN 1756-901X.
Anarchy was an anarchist monthly magazine produced in London from March 1961 until December 1970. It was published by Freedom Press and edited by its founder, Colin Ward with cover art on many issues by Rufus Segar; the magazine included articles on anarchism and reflections on current events from an anarchist perspective, e.g. workers control, squatting. The magazine had irregular contributions from writers such as Marie Louise Berneri, Paul Goodman, George Woodcock, Murray Bookchin, Nicholas Walter. A second series of Anarchy was published into the 1980s with an editorship that included Chris Broad and Phil Ruff. Freedom Press published A Decade of Anarchy 1961-1970: Selections from the Monthly Journal Anarchy which collected writing from the first series as edited by Colin Ward. Cover designs for every issue are collected in Autonomy: The Cover Designs of Anarchy 1961‒1970 edited by Daniel Poyner; the Raven: Anarchist Quarterly Anarchy issue covers from Internet Archive Anarchy issues Anarchy archive from The Sparrows' Nest Anarchy issues #23 and #40 at Libcom.org "Work" reading of an excerpt from Anarchy 101, published in issue 59 Full-text articles from Anarchy: a journal of anarchist ideas
The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, the Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust; the trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to shareholders; the current editor is Katharine Viner: she succeeded Alan Rusbridger in 2015. Since 2018, the paper's main newsprint sections have been published in tabloid format; as of November that year, its print edition had a daily circulation of 136,834.
The newspaper has an online edition, TheGuardian.com, as well as two international websites, Guardian Australia and Guardian US. The paper's readership is on the mainstream left of British political opinion, its reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing editorial has led to the use of the "Guardian reader" and "Guardianista" as often-pejorative epithets for those of left-leaning or "politically correct" tendencies. Frequent typographical errors in the paper led Private Eye magazine to dub it the "Grauniad" in the 1960s, a nickname still used today. In an Ipsos MORI research poll in September 2018 designed to interrogate the public's trust of specific titles online, The Guardian scored highest for digital-content news, with 84% of readers agreeing that they "trust what see in it". A December 2018 report of a poll by the Publishers Audience Measurement Company stated that the paper's print edition was found to be the most trusted in the UK in the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
It was reported to be the most-read of the UK's "quality newsbrands", including digital editions. While The Guardian's print circulation is in decline, the report indicated that news from The Guardian, including that reported online, reaches more than 23 million UK adults each month. Chief among the notable "scoops" obtained by the paper was the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal—and in particular the hacking of the murdered English teenager Milly Dowler's phone; the investigation led to the closure of the News of the World, the UK's best-selling Sunday newspaper and one of the highest-circulation newspapers in history. In June 2013, The Guardian broke news of the secret collection by the Obama administration of Verizon telephone records, subsequently revealed the existence of the surveillance program PRISM after knowledge of it was leaked to the paper by the whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In 2016, The Guardian led an investigation into the Panama Papers, exposing then-Prime Minister David Cameron's links to offshore bank accounts.
It has been named "newspaper of the year" four times at the annual British Press Awards: most in 2014, for its reporting on government surveillance. The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by cotton merchant John Edward Taylor with backing from the Little Circle, a group of non-conformist businessmen, they launched their paper after the police closure of the more radical Manchester Observer, a paper that had championed the cause of the Peterloo Massacre protesters. Taylor had been hostile to the radical reformers, writing: "They have appealed not to the reason but the passions and the suffering of their abused and credulous fellow-countrymen, from whose ill-requited industry they extort for themselves the means of a plentiful and comfortable existence, they do not toil, neither do they spin, but they live better than those that do." When the government closed down the Manchester Observer, the mill-owners' champions had the upper hand. The influential journalist Jeremiah Garnett joined Taylor during the establishment of the paper, all of the Little Circle wrote articles for the new paper.
The prospectus announcing the new publication proclaimed that it would "zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty warmly advocate the cause of Reform endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy and support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures". In 1825 the paper merged with the British Volunteer and was known as The Manchester Guardian and British Volunteer until 1828; the working-class Manchester and Salford Advertiser called the Manchester Guardian "the foul prostitute and dirty parasite of the worst portion of the mill-owners". The Manchester Guardian was hostile to labour's claims. Of the 1832 Ten Hours Bill, the paper doubted whether in view of the foreign competition "the passing of a law positively enacting a gradual destruction of the cotton manufacture in this kingdom would be a much less rational procedure." The Manchester Guardian dismissed strikes as the work of outside agitators: " if an accommodation can be effected, the occupation of the agents of the Union is gone.
They live on strife "The Manchester Guardian was critical of US President Abraham Lincoln's conduct during the US Civil War, writing on the news that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated: "Of his rule, we can never speak except as a series of acts abhorrent to every true notion of constitutional right and human liberty " C. P. Scott ma
Anarchism is an anti-authoritarian political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary, cooperative institutions and the rejection of hierarchies those societies view as unjust. These institutions are described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more as distinct institutions based on non-hierarchical or free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable and harmful. Anarchism is considered a far-left ideology and much of its economics and legal philosophy reflect anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, syndicalism, mutualism, or participatory economics; as anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular worldview, many anarchist types and traditions exist and varieties of anarchy diverge widely. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism, or similar dual classifications.
The etymological origin of anarchism derives from ancient Greek word anarkhia. Anarkhia meant "without a ruler" as it was composed by the word arkhos; the suffix -ism is used to denote the ideological current that favours anarchism. The first known use of this word was in 1642. Various factions within the French Revolution labelled opponents as anarchists although few shared many views of anarchists. There would be many revolutionaries of the early 19th century who contributed to the anarchist doctrines of the next generation, such as William Godwin and Wilhelm Weitling, but they did not use the word anarchist or anarchism in describing themselves or their beliefs; the first political philosopher to call himself an anarchist was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, marking the formal birth of anarchism in the mid-19th century. Since the 1890s and beginning in France, the term libertarianism has been used as a synonym for anarchism and its use as a synonym is still common outside the United States. On the other hand, some use libertarianism to refer to individualistic free-market philosophy only, referring to free-market anarchism as libertarian anarchism.
While opposition to the state is central, defining anarchism is not an easy task as there is a lot of talk among scholars and anarchists on the matter and various currents perceive anarchism differently. Hence, it might be true to say that anarchism is a cluster of political philosophies opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of all human relations in favour of a society based on voluntary association and decentralisation, but this definition has its own shortcomings as the definition based on etymology, or based on anti-statism or the anti-authoritarian. Major elements of the definition of anarchism include: a) the will for a non coercive society. During the prehistoric era of mankind, an established authority did not exist, it was after the creation of towns and cities that hierarchy was invented and anarchistic ideas espoused as a reaction. Most notable examples of anarchism in the ancient world were in Greece. In China, philosophical anarchism, meaning peaceful delegitimizing of the state, was delineated by Taoist philosophers.
In Greece, anarchist attitudes were articulated by tragedians and philosophers. Aeschylus and Sophocles used the myth of Antigone to illustrate the conflict of personal autonomy with the state rules. Socrates questioned Athenian authorities and insisted to the right of individual freedom of consciousness. Cynics associated authorities while trying to live according to nature. Stoics were supportive of a society based on unofficial and friendly relations among its citizens without the presence of a state. During the Middle Ages, there was no anarchistic activity except some ascetic religious movements in the Islamic world or in Christian Europe; this kind of tradition gave birth to religious anarchism. In Persia, a Zoroastrian Prophet known as Mazdak was calling for an egalitarian society and the abolition of monarchy, but he soon found himself executed by the king. In Basra, religious sects preached against the state. In Europe, various sects developed anti-state and libertarian tendencies; those currents were the precursor of religious anarchism in the centuries to come.
It was in the Renaissance and with the spread of reasoning and humanism through Europe that libertarian ideas emerged. Writers were outlining in their novels ideal societies that were based not on coercion but voluntarism; the Enlightenment further pushed towards anarchism with the optimism for social progress. The turning point towards anarchism was the French Revolution in which the anti-state and federalist sentiments began to take a form by Enragés and sans-culottes; some prominent figures of anarchism begun developing the first anarchist currents. That is the era of classical anarchism that lasted until the end of the Spanish Civil War of 1936 and was the golden age of anarchism. William Godwin espoused philosophical anarchism in England morally delegitimizing the state, Max Stirner's thinking paved the way to individualism and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's theory of mutualism found fertile soil in France. Michael Bakunin took mutualism and extended
Albert Isidore Meltzer was an English anarcho-communist activist and writer. Meltzer was born in Hackney, London, of Jewish ancestry, educated at The Latymer School, Edmonton, he was attracted to anarchism at the age of fifteen as a direct result of taking boxing lessons where he met Billy Campbell, seaman and anarchist. At his first anarchist meeting, in 1935, he contradicted Emma Goldman's comments on boxing, considering that, as a woman, she could not appreciate the sport; as the Spanish Revolution turned into the Spanish Civil War Meltzer became active organising solidarity appeals. He involved himself with smuggling arms from Hamburg to the CNT in Spain and acted as a contact for the Spanish anarchist intelligence services in Britain. At this time he had a part as an extra in Leslie Howard's film Pimpernel Smith, as Howard wanted more authentic actors playing the anarchists. In the Second World War he registered as a conscientious objector on 9 March 1940, but renounced his objection and enlisted in the British Army.
He took part in a mutiny in Cairo in 1946. Meltzer believed, he opposed the individualist anarchism of people such as Benjamin Tucker, believing that the private police that individualists support would constitute a government. Albert Meltzer was a contributor in the 1950s to the long-running anarchist paper Freedom before leaving in 1965 to start his own venture Wooden Shoe Press. Soon Meltzer was to be involved in a long and bitter dispute with fellow anarchist and former comrade at Freedom Press Vernon Richards which entangled many of their associates and the organisations with which they were involved and continued after both their deaths. Although the feud started in a dispute arising from the possibility of Wooden Shoe moving into Freedom premises, there were political differences. Meltzer advocated a more firebrand and proletarian variety of anarchism than Richards and denounced him and the Freedom collective as "liberals". Meltzer was a co-founder of the anarchist newspaper Black Flag and was a prolific writer on anarchist topics.
Amongst his books were Anarchism, Arguments For and Against, The Floodgates of Anarchy and his autobiography, I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels, published by AK Press shortly before his death. Meltzer was involved in the founding of the Anarchist Black Cross; the imprisonment of Stuart Christie, jailed in 1964 for his part in a plot to assassinate Francisco Franco, led to the spotlight being placed on anarchist resistance and the fate of other anarchist prisoners. Meltzer campaigned for Christie's release and when he was freed in 1967 Christie joined with Albert to launch the Anarchist Black Cross, to call for solidarity with those anarchists left behind in prison; this solidarity gave practical help, such as food and medicine, to the prisoners, helped force the Spanish state to apply its own parole rules. One of the first prisoners the Anarchist Black Cross helped free was Miguel Garcia, a veteran of the Spanish anarchist resistance, as well as wartime resistance in France. After serving 20 years in Spanish jails he moved to London to work with the Anarchist Black Cross.
At the time, Albert managed to get Garcia work in the trade. Meltzer helped to found the Kate Sharpley Library, he was involved in producing the library's publications, helped shape its philosophy. He joined the anarcho-syndicalist Direct Action Movement in the early 80s and was a member of it, its successor organisation the Solidarity Federation until his death, he was a member of the Central London Direct Action Movement branch, but when that wound up he joined the Deptford branch, as he lived in Lewisham. He died after a stroke at the 1996 Solidarity Federation Conference in Weston-super-Mare, his biography I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels: Sixty Years of Commonplace Life and Anarchist Agitation was published in 1996, with illustrations by Chris Pig. Acting on behalf of – and with – the boy's natural father, in 1983 he was charged with harbouring an 8-year-old boy, kidnapped by his birth mother from his adoptive mother on the way to school, he was acquitted. The birth mother was under the mistaken belief that she could not be convicted of kidnapping her natural child, the law having changed weeks earlier.
She was acquitted because she was under the mistaken belief that her son was being abused. Reporting of the case in City Limits described Meltzer as a'gentle and generous soul, one of the leading figures in British anarchism'. Police examination of seized diaries and address books led them to interview a doctor specialising in diseases of the gums, something Meltzer himself attributed to his poor handwriting and the similarity of the words gun and gum. Anarchist Archives entry on Meltzer link checked 16 June 2009 Articles by or about Meltzer collected on libcom.org link checked 16 June 2009 Albert Meltzer page at the Kate Sharpley Library link checked 16 June 2009 I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels: Sixty Years of Commonplace Life and Anarchist Agitation - Published by AK Press Stuart Christie "Albert Meltzer, anarchist" Obituary by longtime comrade and co-author of Meltzer. Appeared in Black Flag no. 208, June 1996. An edited version appeared in The Guardian link checked 16 June 2009 Aileen O'Carroll An obituary for Meltzer link checked 16 June 2009 John Patten "Albert Meltzer 1920–1996: a tribute", Kate Sharpley Library appeared Freedom v. 63 No.
16, 10 August 2002. Link checked 16 June 2009 Nicolas Walter "Obituary: Albert Meltzer" Obituary by longtime associate of Freedom Press, The Independent Friday, 10 May 1996 link checked 16 June 2009 Ros Wynne-Jones