Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I recommend the online writings of the Australian historian, Dr. Bob James for an understanding of the history of the meaning of mutualism and cooperation and perhaps help in the process of moving beyond a somewhat interminable (and potentially endless) discussion of the meaning of socialism. For reasons which I won't go into here, most "Third Way" approaches take on a socialist tinge, which is not correct in terms of the sense in which socialism is used today.

There are several essays here which you will find quite valuable: "Craft, Trade or Mystery...", "Secret Handshakes and Healthcare in Australia", "Secret Societies and the Labour Movement...", and "The Tragedy of Labour History in Australia". James' position is similar to that of Dr. David Beito's in his published papers and books (I highly recommend his "From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State").

These essays by James are on Takver's (an Aussie Anarchist who has taken his name from the Ursula K. LeGuin novel, The Dispossessed) website which is an excellent source of all things anarchistically Australian. The section listed as Radical Tradition has a wide range of biographies of Anarchist Aussies and Kiwis, including David Andrade and Arthur Desmond (aka the infamous Ragnar Redbeard) with links to articles of theirs and many others. It's rather fun running through the essays here.

Also, there is the Colin Ward essay on his website, "The Case Against Voting" (1987).
Just a thought.
Just Ken


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