TOM BROWNS SYNDICALISM

Whilst a bit of interest in Tom Brown seems to be revived of late, we’ll take the opportunity to share one of the largest pieces of Toms writing.. The principles of Syndicalism, which makes up the majority of the following book we have in our collection. Phoenix Press July 1990. Then below that we have found the PDF document for you….enjoy…

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And the file for you…………

Principles of syndicalism

 

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FASCISTS ARE INSTRUMENTS OF THE STATE

The fascists are instruments of the State – Peter Gelderloos

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  1. Fascism is widespread in many industrial and post-colonial countries, and exists in the form of extreme nationalism, neo-Nazism, or some other extreme authoritarianism. In almost all cases, the commons and currents of fascist movements tend to be dispossessed members of a privileged group in society (eg poor whites). In pre-World War II Germany, the majority of working-class Germans were impoverished by the Depression, in contrast to their self-image as a rich and powerful nation. In modern Germany, neo-Nazi political parties get most of the votes, often more than 10% of the total, in states where unemployment is highest. In the US, poor southern whites who do not enjoy the wealth promised to the white people of the richest nation on earth, they often join the Ku Klux Klan.In Rwanda, the Hutus, impoverished and in great need of land, expressed their desire for more wealth and power by identifying with the majority ethnic group, joining the fascist Hutu parties responsible for the genocide. There was a similar fascist movement among the Hindus in India, asserting their power as the majority ethnic group. Thus, fascism can be seen as a response to disempowerment and unfulfilled promises of privilege.

  2. Fascism can also be seen as an elite phenomenon, a movement of knights. The German Nazi party included many of the richest industrialists, the Spanish fascists after Franco were an alliance of generals, the landed aristocracy, and church leaders, while Mussolini said that fascism should be called better “corporatism” since it is the mix of state power and corporate power. In the US, the KKK was originally a gentlemen’s club, and before the Second World War, the richest industrialists (Hearst, Rockefeller, Ford, DuPont, Morgan) supported the fascists in Europe. Currently in the US, many elite conservatives support the anti-immigration group Minutemen and other crypto-fascist groups. Fascism is especially linked to conservative sectors of the elite who fear that the expansionist strategies of the progressive elite will backfire and destabilize the entire system. In these manifestations, fascism is a way in which the elite preserves traditional morality, strengthens the social hierarchy, and defends itself against revolutionary activity among the lower classes.

  3. The basic ideas common to fascism ( a:  anti-immigration,  b:  racial purity,  c:  white supremacy,  d:  political empowerment through nationalism,  e:  social Darwinist ideas of “survival of the fittest,”  f:  anti -Semitism) are all empty and incorrect. TO: Anti-immigration is hypocritical. The anti-immigration political parties in the US and the European Union in general supported the same free trade agreements and wars (eg NAFTA, the civil war in El Salvador) that are the cause of a large part of immigration, and their economies depend on the work of immigrants (EE agriculture) US and the construction industry would collapse overnight without the work of immigrants). European governments that are supposedly concerned to protect their cultures against immigrants are generally the same ones that colonized the countries from which they come; they had no problem in taking their culture to the country of others, and they do not do anything to stop the “cultural contamination” of McDonalds and MTV. B: As for racial purity, the idea has no scientific basis, and indeed the race is an arbitrary generalization. There is no danger in interracial reproduction, in fact a diverse gene pool is much healthier than a homogeneous one, and no ethnic group is actually “pure.” We all actually come from the same ancestors and have mixed from the beginning. C:  White supremacy is also a lie with no basis in facts other than the crude (and fabricated) pseudo-science of skull measurement that took place in the 19th century. D: Nationalism is a blatant lie: the political and economic elites are constantly making deals with other countries and enriching themselves as they teach their blind followers to hate people from other countries, thus dividing the lower classes. Waving the flag and loving the nation empowers the government, and this is the opposite of empowering people.Ridiculously, nationalists believe that they will be free if their jailers look the same and speak the same language as them. AND: Social Darwinism – the idea of ​​the “survival of the fittest” as a political system – has nothing to do with scientific Darwinism. In fact, Darwin never used the phrase “survival of the fittest,” and discovered that species survive adapting to nature, not declaring war. Humans waste their greatest evolutionary advantages-communication and creative thinking skills-conforming to strict social hierarchies that have no real natural basis. F: As for anti-Semitism, in the Middle Ages, those who murdered Jews put them in the role of lenders and depended on them. In the 20th century, the anti-Semitic capitalists claimed that the Jews were part of the “international Bolshevik conspiracy” while the anti-Semitic anti-capitalists said that the Jews were part of a conspiracy of bankers and capitalists. Clearly, fascists simply use Jews for whenever they need to blame someone.

  4. So many fascists and neo-Nazis could not continue to believe such stupid and baseless ideas unless their hatred served an important purpose. Clearly, we can not take fascist ideas seriously, but we must take the fascists themselves seriously, for all the murders, social violence, and intimidation of those who are responsible. So, if fascism is useful, we must ask: for whom is it useful? The previous example of anti-Semitism offers a clue.Fascism provides a scapegoat. Fascism encourages poor members of the dominant group (eg, poor whites or poor Christians) to hate some other group, so that their real enemy is safe. The poor have good reasons to hate the rich. If the Jews can replace the rich (as part of some international conspiracy of bankers), then the poor will hate the Jews, and Judaism, instead of hating the rich, and capitalism. When this happens, the elite can smile and be at peace: they are safe from the wrath of those they exploit. The hatred of fascism also points to oppressed groups. In the history of the USA This means blacks, Native Americans, and Latino immigrants. Poor whites must take part in exploiting the lower classes (in the days of slavery they generally had the whip). According to the mythology of white supremacy, all whites are supposed to be superior (even in terms of wealth and power). Fascism teaches poor whites and can not blame and hate blacks and immigrants (for “causing crime” or “monopolizing our jobs”) instead of their real enemy, the elite. This hatred also creates a psychological distance that makes it easier for some to oppress people of color, and harder for others to join. They are the rich whites, the capitalists and the ruling elite, who get rich thanks to slavery, immigrant employment, and other forms of exploitation, but it is the working-class whites who must assume the role of police. They get little material benefit, but are deluded with psychological benefits, pretending to be powerful and superior as members of a mythical white race.

  5. If it is correct that the elites are the beneficiaries of fascism, then we should be able to find evidence of support for fascism by them. And in fact we can. Many European Union governments encourage the idea of ​​”cultural purity” and protect European higher culture from the “pollution” of immigration by subjecting immigrants to pass cultural exams.Corporate media (owned by elites) in the EU and the US They deal with the issue of immigration in a way that surely fosters ignorance and fear. For example, they rarely give the context of why people immigrate, whose corporations and wars have destroyed their homelands. Rarely do they mention the fact that the European and US economies they would collapse without the work of the immigrants, that white consumers depend on cheap labor and cheap imports (fruit, clothing, computers, cell phones, etc.) from immigrants and the countries from which they come. And in the US, members of the elite give great financial support to the most respectable fascist groups (especially fundamentalist Christians). George W. Bush has even been successful (as was Reagan) in giving government money to such groups. In countries like Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, it is also easy to find evidence that the government or the church gives ideological or material support to fascists. Clearly, the elite feeds fears and ignorance to give a foundation to fascism. cell phones, etc.) of immigrants and the countries from which they come. And in the US, members of the elite give great financial support to the most respectable fascist groups (especially fundamentalist Christians). George W. Bush has even been successful (as was Reagan) in giving government money to such groups. In countries like Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, it is also easy to find evidence that the government or the church gives ideological or material support to fascists. Clearly, the elite feeds fears and ignorance to give a foundation to fascism. cell phones, etc.) of immigrants and the countries from which they come. And in the US, members of the elite give great financial support to the most respectable fascist groups (especially fundamentalist Christians). George W. Bush has even been successful (as was Reagan) in giving government money to such groups. In countries like Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, it is also easy to find evidence that the government or the church gives ideological or material support to fascists. Clearly, the elite feeds fears and ignorance to give a foundation to fascism. Bush has even been successful (as was Reagan) in giving government money to such groups. In countries like Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, it is also easy to find evidence that the government or the church gives ideological or material support to fascists. Clearly, the elite feeds fears and ignorance to give a foundation to fascism. Bush has even been successful (as was Reagan) in giving government money to such groups. In countries like Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, it is also easy to find evidence that the government or the church gives ideological or material support to fascists. Clearly, the elite feeds fears and ignorance to give a foundation to fascism.

  6. What does the elite get in exchange for fascism? A lot. Fascist instruments do not disappoint their masters of the elite. The fascists help to distract the lower classes by blaming the problems of the elite (poverty, disempowerment, corporate globalization) on a scapegoat, such as immigrants. The riots in Hungary in 2006 are a perfect example. People were so upset with the horrible conditions that took to the streets, fought the police, and occupied the state television station, but this was no revolution! The crowds were dominated by fascist ideologies, so that in the face of capitalist exploitation (which worsened after the government joined the EU) they blamed the poorer people instead – immigrants; they attacked a synagogue, and they turned to a fantasy of an idyllic Hungarian history, hundreds of years ago, even though most of those responsible for their problems were also Hungarians. The fascists divide the lower classes, making them fight with each other, and creating the hatred and distance that make it easy for whites and Christians to oppress and exploit people of color, Muslims, etc. Thus, they protect the elite from the revolution.

  7. Some fascists (inspired by Hitler’s “national socialism”) are more consciously anti-capitalist, or think they are. These extremists are also useful for the elite, even when they generally hate the governments of which they are instruments. First, they make any potential anti-capitalist revolution less effective by dividing the lower classes, and by emphasizing race. Because they confuse the real nature of capitalism they end up supporting a national capitalism (at best this will only imply greater governmental control, similar to the “socialism” of Hitler or Lenin). Second, as extremists who pretend to be revolutionaries, they reserve much of their hatred of communists, anti-fascists, and anarchists. The authoritarian communists are just like another sect of fascists in competition, and once in power they have shown the will to use the same methods to purge or purify their country. Right or leftist fascists will be able to fight, but in the end they have much in common (as we see in Lenin’s treaty with the Austro-Germans, the Nazi-Soviet treaty, and more recently the emergence of the fascist “national-Bolsheviks” and the support of the Communist Party to the Russian Federation for the xenophobic Movement Against Illegal Immigration). The anarchists, on the other hand, want to abolish all political power, so they represent a threat without compromise for the elite. It is no coincidence that the fascists have no commitments in their assault against the anarchists. The fascists have attacked and even killed anarchists throughout Europe and in the USA. In some parts of Eastern Europe, the anarchists can hardly organize a concert to benefit, for the certainty of fascist attacks. In this way, the fascists function as a paramilitary force for the State. In the US, the FBI (federal police) has long infiltrated the KKK and other white supremacist groups, using them for attacks against radical blacks, as in the Greensboro Massacre; in Italy during the “Tension Strategy” in the 1970s, the intelligence services used fascist groups to kill leftists, or to blow up bombs in crowded areas and blame the Red Brigades; In Moscow in 2006, the neo-Nazis fought alongside the police to attack the Gay Pride parade.the fascists function as a paramilitary force for the State. In the US, the FBI (federal police) has long infiltrated the KKK and other white supremacist groups, using them for attacks against radical blacks, as in the Greensboro Massacre; in Italy during the “Tension Strategy” in the 1970s, the intelligence services used fascist groups to kill leftists, or to blow up bombs in crowded areas and blame the Red Brigades; In Moscow in 2006, the neo-Nazis fought alongside the police to attack the Gay Pride parade. the fascists function as a paramilitary force for the State. In the US, the FBI (federal police) has long infiltrated the KKK and other white supremacist groups, using them for attacks against radical blacks, as in the Greensboro Massacre; in Italy during the “Tension Strategy” in the 1970s, the intelligence services used fascist groups to kill leftists, or to blow up bombs in crowded areas and blame the Red Brigades; In Moscow in 2006, the neo-Nazis fought alongside the police to attack the Gay Pride parade. as in the Greensboro Massacre; in Italy during the “Tension Strategy” in the 1970s, the intelligence services used fascist groups to kill leftists, or to blow up bombs in crowded areas and blame the Red Brigades; In Moscow in 2006, the neo-Nazis fought alongside the police to attack the Gay Pride parade. as in the Greensboro Massacre; in Italy during the “Tension Strategy” in the 1970s, the intelligence services used fascist groups to kill leftists, or to blow up bombs in crowded areas and blame the Red Brigades; In Moscow in 2006, the neo-Nazis fought alongside the police to attack the Gay Pride parade.

  8. Apart from providing this constant service, the fascists are useful instruments of the State because the elite and the bourgeoisie can use a fascist revolt to save themselves from a true revolution of the lower classes. Although fascism can overthrow a particular government, government is only a tool of the elite. In Italy, after the landlords, the church leaders, and the factory owners saw that they were doing so well under Mussolini, the bourgeoisie everywhere understood that fascism could save them from the revolution. This led to the elite in Spain supporting the fascist coup of Franco, to save himself from the growing anarchist movement.

  9. Fascism is neither anti-authoritarian nor anti-capitalist, so the capitalist elite will be protected with fascism. Even the fascists who are anti-rich and anti-globalization, who believe that they are anti-capitalist “national-socialists” put their nationalism first, that is, they will be easily controlled by the capitalists of their own nationality. They have deprived themselves of the weapon of solidarity by separating themselves from people of other nations. The nationalist governments that have won the support of the fascists uphold capitalist inequalities and continue to facilitate globalization – the only problem is that they distract everyone from the same old problems by waving the flag, deploying a war against a weaker country, or blaming some minority. But the problems of poverty and disempowerment continue. Thus, fascists who believe that they are “defending the nation” or “strengthening their people” are actually simply licking boots. They are asking to be controlled by leaders of the same nationality, they are blindly swearing allegiance to an elite that will consent to their petty prejudices, and they are ensuring that their exploitation and lack of power continue.

  10. Many fascists (particularly neo-Nazis) base many of their criticisms of social problems on race. But it is important to understand that in scientific terms, race does not exist. Some people are clearer than others, others are darker, but there are no clear lines, and all have a mixed heritage. In terms of genetics, there is by far more diversity within the same “race” than there is difference between the averages of the different races (that is, your genes could easily be more similar to those of someone of another race than of someone of your same race). Race is a social invention. The idea did not exist until Europe began its colonial phase. Once they began to enslave the Africans, colonize the Asians, and exterminate the Native Americans, the European elite began to speak in terms of race to separate and dupe lower-class Europeans into the role of police and cooperate with the exploitation of the most oppressed. In the early American colonies, the ruling class had to quickly enact laws against white marriage with Africans or live with Native Americans, since on several occasions lower-class Europeans joined the colonized in rebellion, or went to live with them (finding more freedom in those societies).

  11. Capitalism and the State will always produce resentment and rebellion. People do not like to be controlled or exploited. The racism and authoritarianism of the State will cause some malcontents to blame the scapegoats and to cling to fascist ideals of rebellion. The direct propaganda of the State ensures the growth of fascism in the dispossessed populations.Therefore, as long as the State exists, fascism is inevitable. Those who oppose fascism must support the anti-authoritarian revolution. (The authoritarian revolution is not the answer, because the state is a tool of domination, and although it can be withdrawn from the hands of a particular capitalist class, it will turn those who hold it into a new class of similar elite. , authoritarian revolutions on the left led to governments like the USSR, similar in many ways to the fascist states). But if there is a strong fascist movement, the revolution becomes difficult or impossible, because of the ability of the fascists to divide the lower classes and to attack the revolutionaries.

  12. Therefore, people who oppose fascism should attack the government and capitalism as its causes, while treating fascism as an aggressive and disabling symptom. The anti-fascists without any criticism of capitalism or the state are fighting a losing battle, because they confuse the cause with the effect. The fascists do not come out of nowhere. They are encouraged by the State, and rely on the anger produced by capitalism. Fascism can not be defeated simply by striking fascists (although in the short term self-defense is certainly necessary). After all, the fascists often recruit from the poor, who could support the true anti-capitalist revolution if they could be educated to see beyond xenophobia and racism.

  13. So, in order to defeat fascism, we need to create an anti-capitalist movement that is also anti-authoritarian. And such a movement needs to belong to people of all colors and nations, capable of international solidarity. But renouncing the national / ethnic divisions of the fascists does not mean ignoring the divisions that do exist in society. It is the liberals who adopt the “colorblind” approach to racism. There are no inherent differences between people with different skin color – in this sense we are all the same. But there are differences in our cultures and histories. It makes a big difference if society has treated you and your ancestors as sub-humans. The systems of privilege and oppression continue to divide us, even when we have good intentions. Frequently, anti-fascist whites ignore these divisions and are unable to work with people of color clinging to their privileges or being blinded to real differences in needs, histories, and consequences of actions (eg, how hard the police will react with different people based on the color of their skin). This is one reason why “anti-fascist” movements throughout Europe and the US they are almost entirely white, effectively excluding people of color and immigrants. Overcoming white supremacy is as important as overcoming capitalism, and being color blind to the point of just seeing the economy is a way in which white people divide the movement (many people of color will not want to work with targets that minimize long-range problems of white supremacy).White people must also find their own reasons to fight against the alienating system of supremacy. Instead of ignoring it, seeing how it hurts and limits their own identities can help them become better allies for people of color who are most obviously wounded by racism. Overcoming segregation that ironically haunts antifascists does not mean that white antifascists invite immigrant and colored activists to enter their movement. On the contrary, it means that anti-fascists must understand how they can be better allies for those who suffer from fascism more directly; and it also means that they need to take responsibility for, instead of ignoring, those whites who have been misled by racism to become a base for fascism, and educate them. Therefore, the immediate steps towards the construction of a movement capable of destroying fascism at its root are to understand how our society feeds on fascism and to learn where to obstruct this process; understand that the privileged and the oppressed experience fascism and resistance differently, and gather these understandings in a spirit of mutual assistance; and direct the rage of people insulted daily by exploitation and authority away from the scapegoats and towards the objectives that deserve it: capitalism and the State. understand that the privileged and the oppressed experience fascism and resistance differently, and gather these understandings in a spirit of mutual assistance; and direct the rage of people insulted daily by exploitation and authority away from the scapegoats and towards the objectives that deserve it: capitalism and the State. understand that the privileged and the oppressed experience fascism and resistance differently, and gather these understandings in a spirit of mutual assistance; and direct the rage of people insulted daily by exploitation and authority away from the scapegoats and towards the objectives that deserve it: capitalism and the State.

from –

filosofiantiautoritaria

 

TOM BROWN IN BIRTLEY..

As mentioned in an earlier article, little is known about the actual life of Tom Brown after the loss of his memoirs. Therefore we were quite pleased to discover that during the late 1920’s, after losing his job in Coventry, Tom returned to the North East and resided in Birtley, Co Durham for a couple of years – an area we know intimately.

The below PDF of Direct Action, July 1963, page 6, explains all in an article entitled ‘Into battle with the bazooka bands’.

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KATE SHARPLEY LIBRARY

BULLETIN OF THE KATE SHARPLEY LIBRARY,  NUMBER 95.  JULY 2018.

Check the pdf file link below to read the July issue of the KSL bulletin which, as well as an  interesting interview with ex Bristol Class War member, also gives Tyneside Anarchist Archive a nice little write up.

We cant stress enough how much important work our good friends at KSL achieve, so please give them you support / subscription / solidarity….

contact details etc within the bulletin and on our links page

ksl bulletin

Below..a copy of the first bulletin we have in our collection.   1991.

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1936 THE SPANISH REVOLUTION

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produced by TYNESIDE ANARCHIST GROUP in 1996 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution.

articles – 60th anniversary. What is anarchism. 1931 Barcelona rent strike. Anarchist revolution in Spain. North East people + the civil war. Free women.

 

BUENAVENTURA DURRUTI

Born on this day 14th July 1896

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Above, a book from our collection.  Below a photo we have of Durruti’s grave, taken on the day of the scattering of Albert Meltzer’s ashes 31/11/1997.

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TOM BROWN

We have searched in vain for decades for any hint of the whereabouts of Tom Browns unpublished memoirs, to no avail. They were loaned to a local student to use parts for her thesis, and apparently, after Toms death, his partner Lillian Brown wasnt interested in their return.

“Tom Brown, whose writings did much to revive interest in Syndicalism
and Workers’ Control, was that rare phenomenon in the British libertarian
movement, a theoretician whose ideas had been tested and developed by
his own experience in the hard school or working-class struggle.
An able and persuasive public speaker, whether at Speakers’ Corner in
Hyde Park, at indoor meetings, or in the more intimate role of lecturer, he
had the happy knack of relating what he said to the everyday experience of
his audience. The same quality illuminated his writings, which mirrored the
life and times or this lifelong revolutionary and loyal comrade.
Born and bred within sight and sound of the Tyneside shipyards, Tom
served his engineering apprenticeship there and was quickly drawn into militant
industrial activity. Much of his working life was spent as an active shop
steward and factory floor activist.
Like many others he was fired with enthusiasm by the Russian
Revolution, was an early member of the Communist Party and, for a time,
became its industrial organiser for the North East. But the double dealing of
the CP and the growing repression in Bolshevik Russia quickly brought disillusion
and he left the party, though never his natural role as a shop floor
militant.
Moving south during the Depression, he worked in the motor industry of
the West Midlands and, probably around this time, was attracted by
Anarchist and Syndicalist ideas. In the mid-thirties he and his wife, Lily,
found their way further south to London with their daughters, Ruth and
Grace.
The Spanish Revolution of 1936, with its takeover of industry and agriculture
by the Syndicalist unions of the CNT in anti-fascist territory, especially
Catalonia, reinforced and developed Tom’s own ideas and he became
a member of the grouping around the paper, ‘Spain and the World’, which
was dedicated to supporting the Spanish workers. He spoke at meetings
supporting their struggle, several times sharing the platform with Emma
Goldman. His Syndicalist writings appeared for the first time in ‘Revolt’, which followed ‘Spain and the World’ after Franco’s fascist victory in 1939.
During the war, as a member of the Anarchist Federation of Britain
(AFB), he wrote regularly for ‘War Commentary for Anarchism’ and produced
his first two pamphlets, ‘Trade Unionism or Syndicalism’ and ‘The
British General Strike’, both of which had wide sales. He remained a member
of the editorial board until near the end of the war, when the AH, of which
he stayed an active member, parted company with Freedom Press in
unhappy circumstances, but on points of principle.
With others, he helped launch ‘Direct Action’ in 1945, as the AFB’s new
voice and continued his close association with it for well over 20 years.
Saddened by the failure of an attempt to form an International of Anarchist
Federations in the late 1940s, he later supported the AFB’s decision to
change its name to Syndicalist Workers’ Federation (SWF) and affiliate to
the International Working Men’s Association, of which the CNT was the
strongest member, although then underground in Spain. The SWF maintained
friendly contacts with the IWW in the States and Tom visited them
when he and Lily crossed the Atlantic to see their daughters, who had both
married GIs in London and later emigrated. He also went to see the veteran
anarcho-syndicalist, Rudolf Rocker, in a libertarian colony near New
York. Tom and Lily returned to London after a year and he resumed his
SWF activity. He and Lily, who was then in poor health, returned to Tyneside
in the late 1960s and his continued activity there included several lively contributions,
on libertarian subjects, on local radio.
Tom Brown’s activity and writings influenced and inspired many people.
A latter-day Tom Mann, he sowed the seeds of a rebirth for Syndicalism in
Britain.”

We have plenty of literature which we shall show in future posts, but for now, check out the following copy of Direct Action, and its ‘school for syndicalism’ article by Tom Brown, which sheds a bit light on his early years….    page 5 …..  

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