Peter Staudenmaier

The Hijacking of History

This article originally appeared in the October 2001 issue of Direct Democracy, a publication of Demokratisk Alternativ.

For many people involved in the worldwide struggle against capitalism, the past two years had seemed, for once, to offer some promise of progress toward a freer society. History appeared to be taking a rare turn in our favor, with the ranks of the global movement expanding and its politics becoming sharpened and defined. But the massive crimes against humanity perpetrated on September 11 have stifled these hopes and ushered in a new period of […]

The Economics of Race Hatred

In August 1999, just a few months before the newly invigorated anti-capitalist movement scored a provisional victory in Seattle, an unemployed white supremacist named Buford Furrow shot a group of children at a Jewish preschool in Los Angeles. Furrow went on to kill an Asian-American mail carrier before turning himself in. This murderous outburst happened a month after a frighteningly similar racist rampage in Chicago. Such atrocities obviously represent the opposite of everything that the movement against global capital stands for. Yet Furrow’s motivations, murky as they may be, reveal a […]

Redeeming Reason: Domination and Reconciliation in Dialectic of Enlightenment

Because too much thinking, unwavering autonomy, makes conforming to the administered world difficult and causes suffering, countless people project this suffering, which is in fact socially dictated, onto reason as such. Reason is supposed to have brought suffering and disaster into the world. The dialectic of enlightenment, which must indeed name the price of progress, all the ruin wrought by rationality in the form of increasing domination of nature, is in a sense broken off too soon, according to the model of a state of being whose blind impenetrability seems to block any way out. Thus the fact is […]

From a Critique of Corporate Power to a Critique of Capitalism

(this article co-written with Jay Driskell)

Note: This piece was originally written in 1997, before Seattle and the re-emergence of a radical grassroots international movement explicitly opposed to capitalism, at a time when anarchist and anticapitalist perspectives were still marginal within the movement against “globalization.” We’re reprinting it now because we think the ideas it contains still have some work to do.

With the recent wave of successes in the struggle against corporate control of our lives, many activists are beginning to assess the long-term goals of our efforts and the fundamental assumptions underlying our work. Anticorporate sentiment is on the […]

Anarchism and the Cooperative Ideal

(This is an abridged version of the workshop I gave at the NASCO conference on cooperatives in Ann Arbor each November from 1997 to 2003. As I pointed out to the audience beforehand, my take on anarchism is a partisan one; there’s nothing “objective” about it, and many other anarchists would disagree with my presentation. I mean it to spark discussion, not provide final answers.)

Peter Staudenmaier,
Ofek Shalom Co-op, Rainbow Bookstore Co-op, Madison Community Co-op

Anybody who tries to talk politics within the cooperative movement realizes one thing pretty quickly: a lot of people in the co-op scene don’t […]

The Political Decomposition of the German Greens

(This article originally appeared in the North American Green journal Synthesis / Regeneration in 1997.)

At the beginning of the decade the German Green Party was on the verge of collapse. Torn throughout the 1980’s by bitter internal struggles over basic questions of political direction, the party was entirely unprepared for the tumultuous events of 1990-91: German re-unification and the Gulf war. In the first elections of the newly “united” Federal Republic in December 1990, the Greens fared miserably, failing to garner the 5% of the popular vote needed for representation in parliament. Many Germans concluded that the great experiment […]