“Anarchist Economics: an alternative for a world in crisis” (Guillén) – ca. 1996 – Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF)

Continuing the series of 1990s South African anarchist pamphlets, here is a scan of the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) reprint of “Anarchist Economics: an alternative for a world in crisis”  by Abraham Guillén. Guillén was a veteran of the Spanish Revolution of 1936-1939 (the main subject of this pamphlet), and in exile in Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, was a prolific writer and militant. He wrote Strategy of the Urban Guerrilla in 1966, as well as an introduction to the Uruguayan edition of Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare. The main English compilation of his work is Philosophy of the urban guerrilla. The revolutionary writings of Abraham Guillén (New York, 1973).

The material in this particular pamphlet seems to come from translations that appeared in the American paper Libertarian Labour Review (now Anarcho-syndicalist Review). While explicitly Platformist, the WSF at this time (as the back cover shows) referred to itself as “the Voice of Anarcho-syndicalism,” reflecting both its focus on the unions and its view that there was no contradiction between anarcho-syndicalism and Platformism.

Anarchist Economics cover

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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 am currently also 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 papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. 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. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' '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) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009).