The Historical Failure of Anarchism

Implications for the Future of the Revolutionary Project

KASAMA_PAMPHLET_historical-failure-of-anarchism_cover_200x266By CHRIS DAY

Chris Day’s essay “The Historical Failure of Anarchism” was written for a conference on anarchist strategy in 1996 — and quickly sparked a far ranging ideological struggle in the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation. It was seen as a call for a break with inherited anarchism. But the importance of this essay is not just its critique of anarchism’s weaknesses and complacencies. It starts with a challenge to those who refuse to acknowledge or learn from their own failures… and who simply ascribe their own setbacks to the evil of others. But to advance the revolutionary project we need to learn from our own shortcomings and setbacks — and find fearless ways to transcend our own previous self-defeating assumptions. In that sense, this essay is not just about “the historic failure of anarchism” but precisely about “the future of the revolutionary project.”

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