Anarchist & Radical Book Club discussion

The Method of Freedom: An Errico Malatesta Reader
This topic is about The Method of Freedom
(A) Book Discussions > The method of freedom, Malatesta (Any Malatesta fans?)

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by abclaret, facilitator (new)

abclaret | 93 comments Mod
Lot of anthologies coming out at the minute, and I am big fan of Malatesta despite what I perceive as the shortfallings of some his politics.

Maybe this or the previous Freedom Press collected works might be interesting to dip into., no?

Micah | 9 comments Malatesta is my favorite anarchist writer. I'm curious what you think his shortfallings were though?

message 3: by abclaret, facilitator (new)

abclaret | 93 comments Mod
He believes in a separation between the political and labour struggles in organisational terms, akin to believing that all labour and union struggles lead to conservative ends. There is also a tendency towards insurrection in his praxis. I think anyone who had either syndicalist or platformist tendencies would have problems with his body of ideas, but that being said, he's probably anarchists best and clearest writer.

message 4: by Mark E. (new)

Mark E. Smith (fubarista) | 21 comments Mod
Just got this book and haven't read it, but as an election boycott advocate I immediately looked in the table of contents to see if there was anything about elections, and found "The Socialists and the Elections."

A few quotes (page 210):

"The anarchists remain, as ever, resolutely opposed to
parliamentarism and parliamentary tactics."

"Accustoming the people to delegating to others the winning and defence of its rights is the surest means of giving a free hand to the whims of those who govern."

"I am well aware that Merlino places small store by elections, and seeks, as we do, to ensure that the real battle is fought in the country and with the country. But, for all that, the two methods of struggle do not go together and whoever embraces them both inevitably winds up sacrificing any other consideration to the electoral prospect."

I agree. But then I'm lumpen and have no syndicalist or platformist tendencies. I'm 74 now, but I haven't forgotten that when I was entering the job market it wasn't the bosses who kept me out of good jobs, but the unions. They haven't changed. There is a lot of construction going on as San Diego gentrifies to enrich the real estate developers and landlords, and I always look at the construction sites to see if there are any women or Blacks. Apart from an occasional (rare) token, there aren't.

If a group has a predominantly white male character, particularly in its leadership, I cannot trust it.

If a group has a vested interest in perpetuating property rights, I cannot trust it.

There are some unions from below, like the Janitors Union, I might trust, as they have no vested interest in perpetuating capitalism and their leadership is predominantly people of color and women, but if they are hoping to make progress through the electoral system, they are reformist rather than revolutionary.

I do have some respect for the Bolivarian socialists in Venezuela, as they immediately proceeded, once in power, to tackle the most dire poverty, and have succeeded in almost completely eliminating it. But the funds came from oil, and that oil fuels the US wars of aggression all over the world, including its attacks on Venezuela. I agree with Audre Lorde that you can't dismantle the master's house using the master's tools.

AK Press had some heavy Spring releases, and this was one of them. I don't expect to read Malatesta soon, but will definitely read this book as time allows.

back to top