“The impotence of the anarchists … in particular depends on the lack of a practical programme that could be implemented in the short term.” – Errico Malatesta, 1924
2014 heralds new attacks on the conditions of the working class and what little gains have been wrought from capitalism in Australia over the past hundred years. Abbott is gearing up, 2013 was the prelude, the real horror awaits us in 2014’s planned austerity budget.
In this issue we touch on some of the battle grounds. Brutal attacks on refugees conceal real attacks on the conditions of the working class. Access to healthcare is in the firing line as increased ‘copayments’ move the cost of healthcare to those who can least afford it whilst private health insurers reap billions in government hand-outs. New police powers brought in under the cover of conservative moral panics in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria give the state increased scope to choke resistance from our social movements.
This is the first issue of a new publication from Anarchist Affinity. We take Malatesta’s criticism seriously. As anarchists we need to do more than recount tales of past glories. This new quarterly publication is a small step towards advancing an anarchist understanding of the situation that confronts us here and now.
We write from an explicitly revolutionary anarchist viewpoint, but we want to do more than just talk to the small groups of self-identified anarchists that already exist in Australia today. Right now attacks on the working class are expanding, sexism rears its ugly head, the ecological crisis demands action, and what passes for social democracy offers no real alternative. If anarchism is going to play any part in building a movement against these systems of oppression, anarchists MUST engage in the concrete discussions which Malatesta called for in 1924.