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table of contents 3 what 4

is all the left?

Factionalism, solidarity and the left

by CJLocke

6 Artistic

commentary

by leftpolitik and sachyriel

8 use

your library

by arcadie

10 arab

spring, global summer?

14 food

terrorism

by jake (midnight818)

15 excerpt

from “my iconoclastic individualism�

by renzo nagare

16 images

of tension in europe

by jackolas

18 is

socialism utopian?

by ben f.

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what is l l t h e l e f t

{

All the Left is an attempt at helping strengthen the left by bringing many viewpoints, factions, organisations, parties and tendencies together to coordinate, discuss and cooperate. Basically, we want to bring the actual left together to improve communications, fight against the petty sectarianism that consistently harms us and better cooperate, without requiring true unity that would be infeasible given our various incompatible views. We still haven’t entirely decided what form it will take or what direction we want to go with this but we’re new and the conversation is going on right now. Join in and make your voice heard!

taken from reddit.com/r/alltheleft

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Factionalism, solidarity and the

LEFT by CJLocke So here we are, on the first issue of AllTheLeft’s zine. As our little group is beginning to find its feet, hopefully on the way to a much larger movement; I feel I must give but one word of warning. From our start in the International Workingmen’s Association, the Left has been beset by sectarian factionalism. It has only gotten worse through the years. What started as a red/black divide between anarchists and Marxists has now extended to divides between all of our respective ideals. This is what has led to the endless infighting and the right gaining so much ground on us of late. This needs to stop. So comrades, I implore you: as our movement is finding its feet, please put aside the differences between us. Yes they are many but I’m sure we can agree on at least our main objectives and unify ourselves to accomplish them. We don’t need to all have the alltheleft //

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same ideals to participate in strikes, protests or other actions. We necessarily must have different ideas for an exchange of them to take place. We can all learn from each other and we’ll all benefit from this fellowship. Remember, we have a common enemy in capitalism and fascism; we shouldn’t let our internal divisions stop us from fighting them effectively. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with each other. Our struggle is far from over and we’ll need all the support we can muster. United, we can change the world for the better. If we’re successful in building solidarity within our own ranks, we will have the beginnings of a successful movement. From our solid base of camaraderie we will be able to expand and attract other leftists to our cause. With a solid establishment internationally, we’ll have the right wing quaking in its boots. So brothers and sisters, let


us look forward to a world free of tyranny and capitalism; a world free from the discrimination and divisions that are the hallmark of the capitalist world. Comrades, together we can do this; not as the disparate and defanged groups we’ve been of late but as a galvanised force for good. As Otto von Bismark (who was not sympathetic to our cause in the slightest) once remarked; upon hearing of the split in the First International: "Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!" This time, not only will we be uniting the red and black, but the green as well as a myriad of smaller factions. Let us not waste this opportunity!

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a r t

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by Leftpolitik

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by Sachyriel

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use your library

by Ashley H. (Arcadie)

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When I decided to become a librarian, at the ripe age of six, I figured the hardest part of my job would be convincing people to read my favorite books. Several years and a work-inprogress Master’s degree later, I still find myself convincing people - but instead of pursuading them to read Avi’s books, I’m working tirelessly to show the masses how integral libraries are to society. As an activist for free speech, information literacy, and human rights, I can’t imagine not having the library around to help facilitate my research and plan of action. To me, a library represents the foundation of socialist ideology; a communal facility where creativity and learning are encouraged, where all members have access to any information they can get their hands on. This simplifies socialism, of course, but a library’s mission is not far from the values of a Left solidarity movement. We should be using libraries because they offer what we need - free resources ranging from ancient texts to the newest fringe technology, and a place to gather, plan and discuss. Librarians are duty-bound to protect the privacy of their users. I can’t even recall how many books about socialism, anarchism, and feminism I have checked out over the years, and how thankful I am to have my records protected in an era of privacy infringement at every turn. The library encouraged my curiosity, and although I now have a college degree, I attribute most of my lifelong knowledge to the hours I spent in the stacks or on the web with everything I could ever imagine to learn at my fingertips. What I value most about the library, and even more so in librarians, is

the notion that it’s not enough to just give people information. That is undeniably important, but what takes precedent is understanding how people think. Librarians value critical thinking above all, and work with the many unique thinking processes of their patrons. This is something we need to keep in mind as we attempt to share our knowledge with others. But despite the As an almost-librarian, meek, shush-shushthis is my mission. ing stereotype, And this is my librarians are call to you, my largely a freedomcomrades, to use an existing upholding, riskresource to your taking group.” advantage. Linton Weeks You will benefit from having an established community that openly invites you and your ideas in the midst of a society that fights against your every belief, and the library, too, will continue flourish. It goes beyond stacks of books or a row of computers, or a kindly whitehaired woman stamping the due date on the inside cover; as our university system moves further into a bureaucracy, we need to value the institutions that still see education and learning as more important than money. If you haven’t been in a while, stop by your local public library. Maybe its hours have been seriously reduced due to budget cuts, and maybe the selection of DVDs is severely outdated, but I guarantee that its staff is passionate about that place and wants to see it thrive. I also guarantee that at least one librarian there is a radical. Never underestimate a librarian. •

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ARAB SPRING

GLOBAL SU alltheleft //

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Large anti-austerity protest movements have been growing in Europe following revolutions in several Arab states. What brought about the current movement, and how can a united Left play a role in the future? by Jake (Midnight818) This year, we have observed the unthinkable in many Arab and North African states. Massive protests and demonstrations - often yielding revolutions or insurrections - had begun to flower and spread across the region. Movements for change and democracy began in Tunisia, spreading across Egypt and Yemen and has since moved to Libya, Syria and still other nations. The rulers of the Arab world have been handed a clear message from their people: We are no longer willing to face economic hardship to line your pockets, political oppression to keep you in power, or social injustice to create the illusion of uniformity. This message was received loud and clear in places like Tunisia and Egypt,

where dictators who have ruled for decades have been shown the door. The "Arab Spring" uprisings have been the most successful revolutionary actions in decades, bringing a real chance for democracy to people in the region. Fast-forward to the events of the past few weeks. Societies around the world are currently fighting the strong grip of a severe economic depression, driven by globalized capitalist greed and prolonged by sheer governmental failure across the board. In the wake of bailouts of financial industries, lax regulatory environments and political capitulation, the current "debt crisis" continues to stagnate in countries across the Eurozone. Suggested measures

UMMER? 11

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to deal with this crisis, implemented in the form of "austerity measures," are slowly suffocating the people of Europe and unfairly punishing them for problems created by the reckless elite. Rather than casting an eye toward those responsible for the crisis or even attempting to address falling tax rates for the upper class to support revenue, these austerity measures chip away at social safety nets in each country and encourage large-scale privatization of state industries. With unemployment at record highs and government income at perilous lows, it seems that attacking the working class and importing a dangerous neoliberal agenda has become fashionable for economic and political elites alike. The preachers of austerity in government and the financial sector alike have told us that we must pay for their mistakes, that we must continue to support their unconscionable bonuses, and that we must be made to suffer in their stead. These actions are the vanguard for an even greater transfer of wealth to the private sector, masked in the sell-off of publicly owned assets like parks, power plants and even water systems. These actions risk further price gouging and could shut the poor out entirely from essential services. Nowhere is this ridiculous doctrine of austerity and economic liberalization more present than in Spain, where people have been suffering through the financial crisis for quite some time. A previous housing bubble, exacerbated by foolish government alltheleft //

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programs promoting home ownership and subprime loans, continues to resonate across the country. This has created a prolonged recession and has contributed to the country's 21% unemployment rate, effectively a staggering 45% among young people. Now that the modern "debt crisis" seeks to tighten the screws further with austerity programs, the Spanish people have quite clearly had enough of the nonsense. Encouraged by the successful people-power movements in the Arab states, and heartened by the anti-austerity victories of their comrades in Iceland, Spaniards have coalesced around the so-called 15th of May Movement. The 15th of May Movement includes supporters from across the political spectrum and focuses the power of protest towards a list of common grievances. They have brought tens of thousands of people to the streets and public squares with a message of change. Their manifesto, cobbled together at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, demands an end to austerity measures, the reaffirmation of the fundamental truths of democracy, and the end of political collusion with economic elites. Their demonstrations have already dealt a big blow to the ruling social-democratic party, the PSOE, for colluding with the elites and supporting the dangerous push for austerity. While this movement has had little coverage in the mainstream corporate media (unsuprisingly), outlets like Reflections on A Revolution (http:// www.roarmag.org/) have done a


great job in bringing the news to us. in the basic movements, which seek Make no mistake, the Spanto restore power and dignity to the ish dissidents are not alone in their people. Whether we are anarchists, struggle. Staying true to the catalyzing socialists, communists or anything else, Arab Spring movement, the demonit is now up to all of us to support strations appear these movements to be spreading to and continue to proA united Left cities across Europe. vide real alternatives coalition's role in Groups are staging to the predatory these modern day protests in the same system. Our common spirit, taking public goals include an end movements squares in France, to wage slavery and cannot be the Netherlands, the corporate control understated. United Kingdom and of society; as such, elsewhere. These the formation of a groups are coalitions of people-power new coalition of the Left can be vital to movements with different purposes but supporting and sustaining anti-capitalist common goals. In Spain, the 15th of and anti-globalist actions, no matter May Movement was formed by antiwhere they occur. • mortgage groups joining forces with the youth and unemployed to create "Real Democracy Now." In France, the spreading protests have been aided by the popular alter-globalist "Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Help to Citizens" (ATTAC), which is now supporting anti-G8 protests ahead of global meetings in Le Havre. A united Left coalition's role in these modern day movements cannot be understated. The organizations mentioned above have done a great job at including their respective constituents and focusing them on a real and focused course of action. Their anger is part of a large-scale rejection of the more inhumane tenets of capitalism. Greed, power and control of the upper class is being challenged 13

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“Even the purest springs of Life and Thought that gush fresh and laughing among the rocks of the highest mountains to quench the thirst of Nature’s chosen ones, when discovered by the demagogic shepherds of the hybrid bourgeois and proletarian flocks, quickly become fetid, filthy, slimy pools. Now it is individualism’s turn! From the vulgar scab to the idiotic and repulsive cop, from the miserable sell-out to the despicable spy, from the cowardly slave afraid to fight to the repugnant and tyrannical authority, all speak of individualism. It is in fashion!” from My Iconoclastic Individualism by Renzo Novatore

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l'incertitude:

france photographs taken in france by jackolas

a demonstration in tours, france

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“pas de quartier pour les fascistes”

“NON-VIOLENCE”

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is socialism

utopian?

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by Ben F Since this is the first issue I would like to examine whether the socialism is utopian or not. Our right wing counterpart on the opposite end of the political spectrum dismisses us as utopian as a means to make us look ridiculous and unrealistic but I wish to dismantle that notion. For arguments sake I will define utopia as a “perfect social, legal and political system” but a common interpretation of the word utopia simply suggests a better society that is not necessarily perfect. Our goals are indeed idealistic but no society can be perfect since the human condition has so many variables. Oscar Wilde (a socialist himself) claimed "A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.” Wilde elegantly wrote this in his essay entitled “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”. Did Oscar Wilde, one of the greatest writers of the 19th century want a perfect society? Not necessarily, it’s obvious that this is a figure of speech…an abstraction of sorts. Utopia is a place of sorts only found through progress. By struggling together (solidarity) for common goals we can achieve progress and indeed we’ll be setting sail to the better society that we dream of. As

Bakunin said “I do not say that the peasants [and workers], freely organised from the bottom up, will miraculously create an ideal organisation, confirming in all respects to our dreams. But I am convinced that what they construct will be living and vibrant, a thousand times better and more just than any existing organisation.” A society a thousand times better and more just is realistic and something we can work towards too. Initially socialism was a utopian movement. Saint Simon is one of the earliest self-proclaimed socialists. His ideal socialism had a huge emphasis on science, useful work and equality. These ideas spread to America and some of the first socialist experiments in America. Charles Fourier took Saint Simons ideas and made them far more egalitarian. In fact he was the first person to use the word “feminist”. His ideas spread across America and various utopian communities spread across America each varying in success. Two important figures would take these utopian ideas and make them into a philosophy rather than blueprints for a perfect society. The first and lesser known figure is Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. His work “What is Property?” laid the foundations to anarchism and from there the philosophy flourished. The second and notoriously known figure is Karl Marx. Marx rarely wrote about socialism itself but he wrote extensively on capitalism and how it affects society as a whole. Any serious socialist of any variety will use some of 19

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Marx’s analysis of capitalism. As we into different philosophies by the midcan see two philosophies developed 19th century. So the idea that the sofrom the original utopian movement. cialist movement is utopian has been I briefly mentioned Marx and a false merit for the past one hundred Proudhon as two great figures in the fifty years but it’s worth mentioning last paragraph but the key that trans- that various forms of utopian socialism formed the utopian socialist ideas into manifested in contemporary society. actual philosophies is British economThe most popular utopian socialist ics and German philosophy. British movement today is the Zeitgeist moveeconomics played an important part ment even though they do not claim for Proudhon and Marx. Both were to be socialist (yet they are against inspired by Adam Smith. Contrary to property) but they have virtually no popular belief Adam Smith was not connection to the historical Left so it’d strictly a capitalist. be unfair to group He brought fourth them with us. As it various ideas of Socialism is indeed a becomes more of a labor and proprather plausible ideology and methodology erty which would than a blueprint for not utopian; however, a perfect society influence both. Germany phithen we can group ideologies are losophy influenced them with us. extremely intoxicating Marx and the later Socialism is anarchists. Hegels indeed a plausible and can very easily was a huge influideology and not distort reality. ence on Marx and utopian; however, his master/slave ideologies are exdialectic helped tremely intoxicating him formed his ideas. Max Stirner also and can very easily distort reality. influenced Marx and later anarchists Since ideologies tend to distort realwith his post structural theories which ity it’s important to keep in check with claim society’s structures are a mere reality and pay attention to what’s manifestation and can be abolished by happening in the now and not some the individual. There are many more ideal society in the far future. This people to be discussed when dealing is something any follower of a wellwith the economic and philosophical grounded ideology does whether it’s influences of Marx and the early anfree market capitalism or anarchoarchists but these are the main people communism. Let’s build a better future who shaped the philosophy. by working and thinking in the present As we can see socialism start- then we can reach the ideal society ed out as utopian but had branched that we all yearn for. • alltheleft //

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S U B M I T


S U B M I T

submit artwork, essays, suggested reading lists, DIY tutorials, poetry, stories, scholarly articles, and more by going to the ZINE page at www.alltheleft.wordpress.com submissions are accepted year-round for both the zine and the blog. this zine is free to distribute. a printer-friendly black&white version is available for each issue. questions? email comradearcadie@gmail.com

thank you to all who helped get this first issue off the ground

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All the Left | June 2011