Azanian Anarchist Alliance – undated -“Anarchy and Organisation: For all those that think anarchism is purely a personal thing”

This text, written in 1991 or 1992, was a response to people who viewed “anarchism” as a personal lifestyle choice and/ or opposed formal organisation. It argued that, on the contrary, “Anarchism is not just a way of living one’s life. It is the most radical espousal of total social revolution. Anarchists wish to create a society which is libertarian, classless and stateless… Anarchism begins when people organise to change the world…” The Azanian Anarchist Alliance favoured, instead, a revolutionary organisation, and also published some texts influenced by Platformism: Revolutionary Organisations (based on a chapter from Class War, Unfinished Business) and The Role of the Revolutionary Organisation (by the Anarchist Communist Federation) (see here).

Get the PDF of “Anarchy and Organisation” here (2 pages).

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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).