The red and black flags flying at the big anti-cuts demo on March 26th have prompted that question again. Why are anarchists – who are against the state – taking to the streets against cuts in public spending and state provision? I’ve been hearing this from potentially sympathetic folk, so it’s a question worth answering again.
Tories, New Labourites and others moot the ‘freedom’ of the ‘open’ market against the bureaucratic state, but class struggle anarchists regard both as sources of exploitation. The market is expanding into every area of life with an authority far more oppressive than any old-fashioned autocracy. The ruling classes want us to work more for less, to tug our forelocks and obey. Wages stagnate or go down, and we face longer working hours, fewer liberties and employment rights, less job security or security of any kind. This insecurity has nothing to do with freedom, and everything to do with labour discipline. As our conditions get worse, their profits soar.