Anarchist Federation of Britain (AFB)
[Founded in 1945, became International Workers Association (SWF-IWA) in 1950]
Aims and Principles
Adopted by the 1st National Congress at Glasgow, September 29th-30th 1945
THE ANARCHIST FEDERATION OF BRITAIN seeks to establish a free society which renders impossible the growth of a privileged class and the exploitation of man by man. The A.F.B. therefore advocates common ownership of the land, industry and all means of production and distribution, on the basis of voluntary co-operation. In such a society the wage system, finance and money shall be abolished and goods produced and distributed, not for profit, but according to human needs.
CLASS STRUGGLE. “The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.” The A.F.B. is based upon the inevitable struggle of the worker against those who own and control the means of production and will continue that struggle until the workers gain possession of the means of production.
REFORM OR REVOLUTION. Victory in the fight against class domination can only be achieved by the direct action of the workers themselves. The A.F.B. rejects all parliamentary and similar activity as deflecting the workers from the class struggle into paths of class collaboration. No compromise with the forces of reformism or reaction. Organisation for the Social Revolution.
WAR AND MILITARISM. The A.F.B. is opposed to all wars between rival states and governments. It stands firm for the international solidarity of the world’s workers. But while it opposes war, it does not urge non-violent submission to ruling-class aggression. It believes that it is necessary for the workers to use violence in their own defence. It opposes militarism because the armed forces are used by the ruling-class to maintain their class rule.
THE STATE. “The State is the executive committee of the ruling class.” The A.F.B. does not, therefore, hope to use the State to achieve the emancipation of the working-class : it does not seek to obtain seats in the cabinet or Parliament. Nor does it desire to build a new state on the ruins of the old. Any attempt by an allegedly working-class party to create a new State could only result in a new ruling-class. Instead, the revolutionary working-class must abolish the state and administer economy by workers’ committees without a standing army, gaolers. police force or any body of public coercion.
ORGANISATION. To achieve these aims the workers must organise. They must replace the hundreds of craft and general trade unions by revolutionary industrial unions — syndicates. To that end the A.F.B. aids the formation of workers’ committees in all factories, mines, offices, shipyards, mills and other places of work, and carries out propaganda for their development into syndicates federated to an all-national Federation of Labour.
To popularise this aim it is necessary to build up the A.F.B. Recognising the need for organisation, we therefore accept the responsibility which organisation places upon its members. Without the loss of freedom or personality, we can avoid both dictatorship and leadership.
READ ” DIRECT ACTION ”
Monthly Organ of the AFB (2d. Monthly).
The Social General Strike – Tom Brown – Anarchist Federation of Britain [1945-1950]
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