a Workers Solidarity Movement policy statement

Building an Anarchist International

1.1 Capitalism is an international system. It can not contain itself within national borders.

1.2 It is organised on an international basis. This is seen in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the European Community, the North American Free Trade Agreement and many other organisations and treaties. It is also seen in co-operation between governments in the interests of capitalism as a whole, or of a bloc within capitalism (e.g. the Gulf War).


This paper is out of date the current version can be found at


1.3 To combat it anarchists need international organisation. There can be no 'anarchism in one country'. While a single country may be the first to move to anarchism it will not be able to survive for long if it remains isolated. The ruling class, both native and foreign, are not democrats who will stand by and allow people to take control of their own lives. They will not only object to losing profits but will also fear the living example of anarchism in action. Trade boycotts, embargos on supplying raw materials, economic sabotage, sealing of borders and outright war will be their answer. The success of anarchism is dependant on it spreading across borders.

2.1. An international anarchist organisation is necessary. Such an organisation would have agreed policies on major issues such as the role of anarchist organisations, activity within the trade unions and relations with the syndicalists, how to combat racism and fascism, the type of struggle needed to advance the movement for womens' freedom, anti-imperialist conflicts. It would also have an agreed international strategy, the capability of fostering international debate among anarchists and the capability of giving aid to weaker sections or to those engaged in mass struggle.

2.2 Such an international organisation is more than a loose network of like-minded groups. It is not a paper body. It only has a purpose if it can contribute to the anarchist movement. Therefore it only becomes real when based on a number of sizable organisations. Anything less would need finance, administration, translation, publications, and conferences but would not be capable of making the return necessary to justify this expenditure of resources.

2.3 In order to reach a situation where an international anarchist-communist organisation can be formed we must start preparing the way now. Our tasks are to:

(1) Establish and maintain contact with other anarchist-communist groups, and tendencies within other organisations moving in the direction of our politics.

(2) Making the politics of both the Workers Solidarity Movement and the 'Platformist' tradition more widely known within the anarchist movement abroad.

(3) Take part in debates within the international anarchist movement with an aim of  explaining the policies of the Workers Solidarity Movement, and of getting the various  groupings to clarify their political positions. An international discussion  bulletin jointly produced by a number of organisations would be a contribution to  this work which would be immediately realisable if the idea wins agreement.

(4) Proposing concrete international co-operation on specific issues where there is  agreement between ourselves and other organisations.

2.4 As none of the current anarchist groups in Britain are moving in our direction or seem likely do so in the future we should have a medium term objective of encouraging contacts in Britain towards setting up an organisation along similar lines to ourselves. When resources permit, this will involve producing a bulletin for Britain and organising meetings over there.

2.5 Internationally the group we currently appear to be closes to is the South African Workers Solidarity Federation. We will continue to build links with that group and and have agreed the following 'Points of agreement' with them

We will establish an email list open to anyone in agreement with these points. We will maintain a database of people in agreement with these points and put them in contact with others geographically near them.

We will produce if possible a leaflet and aim to hold a meeting for British contacts at the next 'Anarchist book fair'

------ Points of agreement -----

------ Anarchist Platform -----

We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the 'Platformist' tradition within anarchism which includes groups and publications such as "The Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists" , the "Friends of Durruti" and the "Manifesto of Libertarian Communism". We broadly identify with the organisational practise argued for by this tradition but not necessarily everything else they did or said. That is it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point

The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist organisations that seek to develop

Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or as it is sometimes expressed to become a 'leadership of ideas'.

We work within the trade unions as the major focus of our activity where this is a possibility. We therefore reject views that dismiss activity in the unions. Within them we fight for the democratic structures typical of anarcho - syndicalist unions like the 1930's CNT. However the unions no matter how revolutionary cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).

We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions/workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions is to involve ourselves wherever the greatest number are found and within this movement to promote anarchist methods of organisation involving direct democracy.

We actively oppose all manifestation of prejudice within the workers movement and identify working alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the success of the elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre- revolutionary period.

We oppose imperialism but put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We defend grass root anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather then nationalist strategy.

We identify a need for anarchist organisations who agree with these principles to federate on an international basis. However we believe the degree of federation possible and the amount of effort put into it must be determined on success at building national organisations capable of making such international work a reality rather then a matter of slogans.

This paper is out of date - see the new WSM site for the more recent version