It was great to get Issue #2 of Wildfire, and I was even happier to read Michael Kimble’s letter which was, in part, a response to something I wrote in Issue #1. How cool that we have this forum to get this dialogue started– on whether or not hungerstrikes and work stoppages are reformist.
I wrote previously that hungerstrikes and work stoppages are categorically reformist, that by employing them, we seek concessions from those in state power but we do not attempt to eliminate state power entirely.
In his response, related to hungerstrikes, Michael Kimble points out that, at the time Issue #2 went to press, he and I were both on hungerstrikes– which is true. But, as always, our recourse to going hungry did not topple the hierarch enemy, but only made me a hypocrite.
A hungry one, at that.
So, in that sense, hungerstrikes are vindicated as a means for achieving small victories and concessions, but not as a means for bringing anything down.
In contrast, Michael brings up a scenario of a wide spread work stoppage where, if no one goes back to work, the system does collapse. Michael is right, of course, and what he describes is the anarcho-syndicalist dream, the work stoppage to end all work stoppages. The problem is, this has been a dream for centuries because it never materialized, in the free world or in prison. Continue reading