Survey: Response by Wayne Price

1. — How would you most succinctly define anarchism? Is there a shared “anarchist project” — and, if so, how would you characterize it?

I see anarchism as the movement and theory aiming for a society without the state, capitalism, and any other forms of oppression (racism, sexism, LGBT oppression, climate and ecological destruction, etc.). That is putting it negatively. Positively it is the theoretical and active struggle for a society which is cooperative, radically democratic, egalitarian, and encourages the full development of each individual.

2. — What is the relationship between anarchism and the concept of anarchy?

Anarchy expresses the ideal, the goal. Anarchism is the theory and practice of how to achieve that goal.

3. — What is the value of tradition within the anarchist milieus and what might be its uses?

It is very important to recognize and study the anarchist tradition, not to slavishly follow it, but to learn from the past, its failures and successes. In particular, the connection between the anarchist goal and the strategy of revolution by the working class and all oppressed groupings has been severed. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we can see further than the giants did. But it is first necessary to climb onto their shoulders.

4. — What, specifically, is the role to be played in the present by the anarchist literature — whether theoretical or artistic — of the past?

See above. We need to build on what went before, rather than to start over, reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

5. — What are the most significant challenges facing anarchists — and anarchism, as you understand it — in the present?

Developing theoretical understanding of how capitalism and the state and other oppressive systems are working, in this age of Trump. Building organizations based on classical anarchist values and goals, while updating theories and perspectives.

6. — How would you characterize the present state of anarchist activity (outside the realm of theory and propaganda)?

Rather limited. Good things are done but often not well, as in some of the anti-fa, black bloc actions. Not enough effort to reach out to working class and “minority” populations.

7. — How would you characterize the present state of anarchist theory and propaganda?

Limited. Need further work on the nature of the state, political economy, intersection of class with race, gender, sexual orientation, national oppression, and ecological crisis. In my opinion this requires learning from certain aspects of Marxism, especially its political economy.

8. — What are the most urgent changes to be made in anarchist practice moving forward?

Need for self-organization, bringing together anarchists into groupings with common views to coordinate their activity where possible.

9. — What is the role of some kind of “anarchist unity” moving forward? What form could or should that unity take?

I am for unity among revolutionary class-struggle anarchists of varying backgrounds. I am willing to work with non-revolutionary anarchists who have common goals of anarchy, but do not see this as a major aim.

10. — What are the greatest needs with regard to new anarchist theory, propaganda, literature and art?

Need to examine whole range of theorizing on the Left, to reject statist and reformist conceptions in favor of revolutionary, libertarian-democratic, socialist concepts.

11. — Do you currently identify with any particular anarchist current or tendency — and, if so, how do you characterize your position?

I regard myself as in the tradition of revolutionary class-struggle anarchist-socialism (communism), of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Goldman, and Makhno, to the anarchist-syndicalists and anarchist-communists. I think there are things worth learning from the humanist, libertarian, and proletarian aspects of the Marxist tradition (a very minority tradition within Marxism, to be sure). I believe in the self-organization of revolutionary anarchists, in the tradition from Bakunin to Makhno to the FAI to the especifists.

12. — What additional questions would it be useful to pose to a broad anarchist audience?

How can we dialogue with each other to develop our common goals of anarchy in opposition to the dominant liberal views of the U.S. left?

13. — Would you be interested in participating in future surveys, perhaps addressing more specific elements of anarchist theory, practice and culture?