Dec 052013

David Wieck (in the 1950s)

David Thoreau Wieck was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 13, 1921. Named after David Henry Thoreau, he was the son of Edward A. and Agnes Burns Wieck. His mother, known as the Mother Jones of Illinois, was the daughter of a miner. She was a writer in the middle and late 1920s for the weekly journal Illinois Miner, and after training with the Women’s Trade Union League, she worked as an organizer for the Progressive Miners of America. His father was a self-educated coal miner and writer. In 1934 the Wiecks moved to New York City when Edward Wieck was hired as a research associate for the Russell Sage Foundation’s Industrial Studies Department. David Wieck joined the Young Communist League in 1935, but by 1936 had become, in his own words, a “dissident bolshevik,” much more enamored of the anarcho-syndicalists then fighting in Spain.

He enrolled at Columbia University in 1937 and graduated in 1941. He subsequently did post-graduate work toward a masters degree with Leo Wolman, writing an unpublished study of the process of centralization in the United Mine Workers of America. Registering as a conscientious objector following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he left New York City in early 1943 pending his appeal and was arrested in New Orleans for not notifying his draft board of his “change of address.” In July 1943 Wieck began serving a three-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut for refusing induction into the United States Armed Services. As prisoner #2674 Wieck was involved in numerous actions protesting racial segregation in the federal prison system.

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Jan 112013

PovertyStatismATHE POVERTY OF STATISM Anarchism versus Marxism. A debate with Nikolai Bukharin, Luigi Fabbri and Rudolf Rocker (Introduced by Albert Meltzer) Translated by Paul Sharkey. UK : £1.93 ; USA : $3.10 ; Germany : €2,37 ; France2,37 ; Spain2,37 ; Italy : 2,37 ; Japan : ¥ 264 ; Canada : CDN$ 2.96 ; Brazil : R$ 6,30

Anarchist response to Nikolai Bukharin’s ‘Anarchy and Scientific Communism’; a libertarian critique of the proletarian state, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the organisation of production, etc., by two of Bukharin’s anarchist contemporaries. Includes Rocker’s essay ‘Marx and Anarchism’.

This what Lenin’s ‘Golden Boy’ — and, at the time, considered Lenin’s most-likely successor— Nikolai Bukharin, had to say about anarchism . . .  That is, until the Marxist-Leninist Golem finally caught up with him in 1938:

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Sep 052012

Anarchism and Marxism (from a paper given in New York on 6 Nov. 1973 with an introduction by the author for the first English language edition, 1981). First published I981 by Cienfuegos Press Ltd., Over the Water, Sanday, Orkney, KWI7 ZBL, UK.. This Kindle eBook published 2012 by ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN341ZS. ISBN 978-0-904564-43-3

(€1,64; £1.30; $2.06) España ; France ; Germany ; Italy ; UK ; US/Canada/India and RoW

The main part of my contribution to this Cienfuegos Press pamphlet is a paper which I had occasion to give in New York in 1973, on “Anarchism and Marxism”. But I would like to preface it with a few hitherto unpublished reflections on Marx and Engels militant, for it is this aspect of their activities that attracts me most. I must confess that philosophical Marxism, the Marxism which criticises bourgeois political economy, indeed even its historical writings (which are, for me, the most exemplary) nowadays leave me rather cold. On the other hand, I like to follow Marx and Engels in action, fitting into the movement of the labouring masses. I will not discuss here all the militant performances of the two revolutionaries, but only two episodes, chosen from among the most revealing: the editorship of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne in 1848-1849, and the impetus given to the First International of 1864-1872.

If I’ve opted for these two major episodes, it’s partly because some recent publications have placed them in a new light. The first is the publication of the articles by Marx and Engels from their journal, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, in a French translation in 3 volumes (1963-1971). The second, also in French, is the Minutes of the General Council of the First International published in 6 volumes by Progress Publications in Moscow, from 1972 to 1975. The study of these episodes fits into the context of a confrontation between anarchism and Marxism, for they demonstrate at the same time the incontestable value of the two founders of Marxism, and their weak points: authoritarianism, sectarianism, and lack of understanding of the libertarian perspective…. (from the introduction by Daniel Guérin)