Below is a summary of the ideas that we see as central to our politics as a group. This is a living document, and we will update it as our politics change through debate, discussion and self-reflection. This is not an exhaustive explanation of anarchist-communist politics, but an attempt to summarise the key points which unite us. We hope this will act as a useful point of reference, both for ourselves and everyone else who is committed to fighting for a better world.
1. We are opposed to any society based on wage labour, where production is carried out for exchange and private profit, and in which the land, buildings, machines and other means of production are owned or controlled privately (whether the private ownership is by individuals, the state, by organisations). This is capitalism, and all the social problems we face are either directly caused by society being organised in this way, or are greatly aggravated by it.
2. We seek to replace capitalism with a society organised to solve these problems, or provide us with the ability to solve them. Such a society would be based on the principle of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”, where production would be carried out to directly satisfy human needs, and be based on mutual aid and cooperation. Such a society would be classless and therefore stateless, organised on the principles of direct democracy, federation and delegation – an Anarchist, or Libertarian Communist, society.
3. A libertarian communist society can only be brought about through a social revolution by the working class (everyone who has to work for a living, students, the unemployed, “middle class” workers, etc) against the ruling class (business owners, politicians, landlords, etc). This will be a result of class struggle, as these two classes have fundamentally opposing interests in the economy and in society that cannot be resolved any other way. Class struggle takes many different forms and does not just occur at work – housing, healthcare provision and pollution are all examples where the interests of the working class and the ruling class come into conflict.
4. Nationalism attempts to resolve this conflict by organising people together according to their nationality, in the name of a national interest, for the good of the country, etc. Although different nationalisms have different features depending on the circumstances they occur in, all share this common feature of national unity, and therefore we oppose them all for their role in hiding the class divisions in society, dividing the working class along lines of nationality, and their role in submerging the interests of the working class through both force and persuasion.
5. Similarly, the working class is organised into differing identities and social roles, which are enforced through custom, law and violence, and taken to be the natural order of things. These change according to the evolving needs of capitalism, but also in response to attempts by working class individuals to resist the customs, laws and violence used to organise people and society in this way and instead attempting to live how they wish. Examples of this process are the changing perception of gender roles, race and sexuality, where a particular way of organising the working class (such as women being confined to domesticity, ‘inferior’ and ‘superior’ races, and compulsory heterosexuality) have been, and continue to be, challenged and changed.
6. We support efforts to break through the artificial divisions of nationality and social roles. We are internationalists, and aim for a working class movement united across borders. We never take sides in wars between states or would-be states, instead always supporting mutiny, fraternisation and the working class fighting in its own interest. We also aim for a society in which people are not confined to specific, predetermined social roles or expected to conform to preconceived ideas of ‘types’ of person, and support efforts to eliminate prejudice and create a society in which people are free to be themselves. These aims – international unity, opposition to prejudice and liberation from restrictive social organisation – are an essential part of class politics.
7. We also see class politics as essential to attempts to achieve these aims, as in its absence internationalism takes on the character of nationalism, in that it seeks to unite people on the basis of shared interests as humans and consequently hides the real divisions of interests created by a class society. Similarly, social movements against prejudice and compulsory social roles which organise people whilst neglecting class divisions obscure the class divisions in society, and become ways to carve out new markets and launch lucrative political or business careers as new members of the ruling class. Such movements can also end up reinforcing existing identities and roles, strengthening the current organisation of society.
8. Other social movements and organisations are open to being turned against the working class as well. Unions can demobilise and undermine workers activity to show management that they are responsible partners that they can make deals with, damaging self activity and the will to fight. Political groups can manipulate other organisations in an attempt to make them do what they want, creating in miniature the society they claim to oppose. Community organisations can obscure class divisions, or be used by the state for purposes of social control. Campaigns get caught up trying to sway politicians with petitions and moral force, arguing against direct action. Cultural projects and social centres can become reliant on donors or state funding for finances, undermining their independence. Working class organisers get taken on as paid functionaries, separating them from the people they organise and making them reliant on their funders. It is a group or movements actual activity and organising methods that open them up to being recuperated in this way, not just a lack of radical ideas – and sometimes in spite of them.
9. Just as it is a groups activity that determines whether it challenges capitalism and the problems it causes, it is our everyday activity as workers that reproduces capitalist society, and it is through changing and disrupting this activity that we can challenge and eventually replace this society. As such, we reject electoral politics, voting and other state-centric strategies for bringing about change, in favour of activity based on challenging problems that occur in our day to day lives through direct action with the aim of building the confidence and power of ourselves and other working class people.
10. To an extent, this can be done by individuals. However, we believe it is necessary for workers with radical politics to join together in organisations based on similar politics, both for support and to increase our power and ability to act. These organisations can take various forms, such as political groups, workplace organisations, community or tenants groups, or media collectives, and any healthy libertarian movement will have a variety of active organisations operating across society. We think that having coherent aims, strategies and shared politics that enable us to work together effectively are more important than maximising numbers, and are not trying to recruit anyone and everyone into our organisation. Consequently, we aim to have good relations and work together with other groups with similar aims.