“Anarchism and Ecology” (Purchase) – ca. 1996 – Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF)

“Anarchism and Ecology” (Purchase) – ca. 1996 – Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF)

Work by Graham Purchase, who was linked to the Australian anarcho-syndicalists, had been published in South Africa in the  early 1990s by the unfortunately named Backstreet Abortions distro, linked to the Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ARM). Purchase argued that major anarchist thinkers like Kropotkin were pioneers of environmentalist politics; he opposed various liberal and Romantic trends in environmentalism (green consumerism, primitivism etc.), and insisted that an anarchist society, brought about in part through syndicalist unions, was essential to environmental survival.

Published in Johannesburg around 1996, with a new cover but without an introduction, this edition of “Anarchism and Ecology” pamphlet was issued by the Workers Solidarity Federation  (WSF).

Anarchism & Ecology (WSF)

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About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I have long been involved in union education, and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented or published 100s of papers conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 4 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and produced five books. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. My books includd include 'Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives' (2018, co-edited with Kirk Helliker), 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' and 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014).