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Seattle Bulletin # 1

Tuesday 22 April 2014, by ps

The Seattle Group is a little aggregation of old and new leftists of various generally independent tendencies, held loosely together only by personal rapport – and by the availability of a mimeograph machine. It has no organizational structure and no ideological line. Some of us think of ourselves as anarchists, some as libertarian socialists, and there are others on whom it’s impossible to pin any of the standard labels. We believe we can function together, open in our disagreements, and that the dialogue thus produced will contribute toward realizing the things that do unite us. What those are we’ll leave to the Bulletins to elucidate.

[Originally hand written. This is Bulletin #1 below.]

ANARCHO-SOCIALIST COMMITTEE : STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

We stand not so much opposed to other organizations of the Left as aside from them. We have joined together in a loose federation to struggle for social justice in a manner we believe to be best suited to us. This federation is leaderless in the sense that there are no leadership bodies, there are no disciplinary committees, there is no centralism of either a democratic or a monolithic variety. We are an organization of leaders in the sense that each member is expected to be a fountain-head of ideas, the inspirer of actions, the initiator of struggles.

We reject both the cumbersome, stifling organizational methods of “democratic” organizations and the stern, semi-military formations of the Leninist parties. Our emphasis is upon liberating the creative power of the individual thru his direct individual action, and his voluntary co-operation with others in small groups. Our war is not only with the formal institutions of society – the oppressions of the state, the ugly power wielded by private and corporate capital – but also with backward and anti-human attitudes. We immodestly propose, albeit in a small way, to attempt to win “the hearts and minds” of men, to win them from views and beliefs which in reality are almost as antiquated as the superstitious faiths of our savage forebears.

We are internationalists, rather than nationalists; we recognize the fundamental brotherhood of all people. We oppose all oppressions, whether that of a minority over a majority, or that of a majority over a minority. We agree with Lord Acton that all power corrupts. We take our stand against the pompous Soviet bureaucrat as well as the American capitalist, against all who harness the free spirit and turn man into a beast of labor, a victim of famine, depression, want and war. We reject racism of all varieties, whether that of an “Afrikaner”, a redneck, or one of those curious white radicals who ardently embrace black nationalism.

At the same time we support all movements which lift even a part of the harness off man – the Chinese revolution in so far as it has driven famine from the land, the Cuban in that it has given status, dignity, and education to the most lowly of Cubans, etc. We align ourselves with the outcast and the disenfranchised of the world. We take as issues not alone the great primary problems – war and peace, colonialism and anti-colonialism – but also the irritating, endlessly troublesome secondary problems – the legalization of abortion, the freedom of women, the rearing of children to be whole human beings, etc. Our object is a world in which “man is no longer wolf to man”, and our method is that of a shadow war – of picket lines, sit-ins, civil disobedience, resistance to authority, a rallying of those beyond the pale of “accepted society” to resistance in all the many ways that will occur to their ingenuity.

S. I.

[Handwritten and typed on a standard upright typewriter on mimeograph stencil. Transcribed September 28, 2011 by Dotty DeCoster.]