A few weeks ago was founded in Romania the „Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative“. The comrades run an actual and very informative Blog and set as an aim, the popularisation of Anarcho-Syndicalism inside the working class in Romania. We did an interview with our comrades from IAS Romania.
AS-Info Romania: We feel very happy to see, that with the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative there is now also in Romania a serious attempt to make Anarcho-Syndicalism popular among the wageworkers. What led to the foundation of your anarcho-syndicalist initiative? How did you encounter Anarcho-Syndicalism?
IAS-Romania: The need for a genuine class struggle anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist perspective in Romania and also to legitimize the libertarian socialist tradition as whole in Romanian society. After dabbling with some other projects we felt that the current anarchist scene in Romania ignores class struggle anarchism depriving the class nature of anarchism and leaving nothing but an “alternative fashion and lifestyle”out of it. We thought that an ideologically motivated initiative must be created, an initiative that presents actual alternatives to capitalism and statism. We saw no alternatives in the current Romanian anarchist scene, no ideological praxis no unity, nothing that can resemble an actual social and political movement. As for the second part of the question, well you know how they say, anarchists are not made they are born. I personally think that anti-authoritarianism is part of human nature as greed is or submission to authority is and things like that,the problem is that capitalism as an economic system creates a social environment that shapes people in this way,traits such as solidarity, anti-authoritarianism etc. are pushed away for other traits say,submission to authority and greed. So i think i always was an anarchist as far as my desires go,but the collapse of neo-stalinism in Romania and the effects of wild and crude capitalism,made me turn to anarcho-syndicalism’s blend of anti-authoritarianism and class equality.
AS-Info Romania: Are there in your opinion any prospects for the development of a union out of your current initiative? What are your ideas to make the initiative more popular?
IAS-Romania: The initiative is fairly new, only 2 weeks old, i think. And its interesting because it’s so new but the feedback we are getting from is pretty good, so for now we can’t think about building a union. The initative for now is a Romanian anarcho-syndicalist informative bulletin, but the main purpose of it, is to get attention and maybe in the near future build a union from it, so the initiative is just a start. We want to exapand and built a social agenda which can be understood by the Romanian working class, we want to adress everything from day to day labor struggles to alternatives to labor problems and at last alternatives to capitalism as a whole. This is can relate to question one, in Romania we don’t have such an initiative, the stalinist parties still use the same old back in the day argument wich let’s working class issues unattended and let’s people looking back rather then looking onward, towards a new fresh start.
AS-Info Romania: Almost every day the workers and unemployed have to face new attacks by the government and the IMF under the circumstances of the already unacceptable low standard of living. What are in your opinion the suitable means to answer these ongoing deterioration and cuts?
IAS-Romania: As an old man told me once, working people are always in economic crisis, so these measures taken by globalized capitalism in league with the government are not new for Romania’s working class. Romania’s problem is a world problem now that’s why the west has her eyes on us . For 20 years we have the same problems, its not the first time the IMF loans money to us and we implement heavy cuts . Romania for the past 20 years was in constant crisis, neither the quasi-statist social democratic agenda helped us nor the liberal one, the outcomes were and are the same, more unemployed people more concentration of wealth and more division among classes. The opposition in this country is controlled by wealthy bussiness people and the alternatives given by them are laughable, all unions are in the pockets of the parties, so the opposition is not really an opposition. I think there is no hope in Romania , a popular movement must be built by anarcho-syndicalist unions going for general strike and direct takeover of all means of production, working people must take over their businesses and their workplaces and implement worker’s self management at all levels, we must show the capitalists and statists that working people are capable of running their own lifes without the state nor the capitalists.
AS-Info Romania: Which reactions have you received from the small anarchist scene of the country on your initiative? Have you felt supported or was the idea of class-struggle rejected?
IAS-Romania: As i already said, until now its only positive feedback from the few people we know but most of the anarchist scene here is based around the punk scene and has no idea nor interest in class struggle anarchism. I said at question one about anarchism in Romania, most self proclaimed anarchists are punk’s involved in football hooliganism rather then actual activism or punk’s involved in alternative lifestyles so there is no ideological basis here.
AS-Info Romania: Have you already taken action of publicly informing workers about your initiative and which where the reactions received? Do you have a magazine or another kind of publication?
IAS-Romania: As i said, we are very new so we are still expanding, we are not concentrated in one city so its hard to move, but in the near future we are preparing for a publication and agitation inside workplaces and unions. At this stage we are trying to bring people together on this initiative so we can eventually create an actual union.
AS-Info Romania: Thanks a lot for this interview. We wish you success with your initiative!
The Homepage of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative can be reached here: