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Especifismo (Portuguese:  [eʃpesiˈfiʒmu] , "specifism") is one of the two main forms of anarchist activism championed by FARJ (Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro) and other South American anarchist organizations, the other being social insertion. Especifismo emerged as a result of anarchist experiences in South America over the last half of the 20th century starting with the Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU), which was founded in 1956 by anarchists who saw the need for an organization which was specifically anarchist.

Activism efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, religious, economic, or environmental change, or stasis

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.

South America A continent in the Western Hemisphere, and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.

Organization Social entity established to meet needs or pursue goals

An organization or organisation is an entity comprising multiple people, such as an institution or an association, that has a particular purpose.


Especifismo has been summarized as:

Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized. "Praxis" may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire, Ludwig von Mises, and many others. It has meaning in the political, educational, spiritual and medical realms.

Other organizations that propound especifismo include the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG), the Federação Anarquista Cabocla (FACA), the Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (FARJ), the Columna Libertaria Joaquin Penina (Joaquin Penina) Libertarian Column) from Rosario, Argentina, the Columna Libertaria Errico Malatesta from Buenos Aires, and the Red Libertaria de Buenos Aires (RLBA), also from Argentina. The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front in South Africa and Black Rose Anarchist Federation (BRRN) in the United States also take especifismo as key points of reference.

The Columna Libertaria Joaquin Penina – in English: Joaquin Penina Libertarian Column (CLJP) – is a regional anarchist political organization from Rosario, Argentina. It was founded in late 2008. The name refers to Joaquin Penina, an anarchist bricklayer from Rosario who disappeared in 1930 by the dictatorship of José Félix Uriburu. The CLJP aligns in the specifism tendency, ideological trend influenced by Mikhail Bakunin, Errico Malatesta, Luigi Fabbri, Camillo Berneri, Ricardo Flores Magon, Ettore Mattei, Carlo Cafiero and others. The organization argues in its written the need to support anarchist organizations then regional federations. His stated intention as an organization is to influence with libertarian principles and ethics in the various social struggles, including those of union, territorial and cultural youths. The organization also participated in international solidarity campaigns. Regularly engaged in ideological propaganda in various parts of their city and country.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front South African platformist-especifista anarchist political organisation based primarily in Johannesburg.

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, formerly known as the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZabFed), is a platformist–especifista anarchist political organisation in South Africa, based primarily in Johannesburg. The word zabalaza means "struggle" in isiZulu and isiXhosa. Initially, as ZabFed, it was a federation of pre-existing collectives, mainly in Soweto and Johannesburg. It is now a unitary organisation based on individual applications for membership, describing itself as a "federation of individuals". Historically the majority of members have been people of colour. Initially the ZACF had sections in both South Africa and Swaziland. The two sections were split in 2007, but the Swazi group faltered in 2008. Currently the ZACF also recruits in Zimbabwe. Members have historically faced repression in both Swaziland and South Africa.

Especifismo is considered to have come to broadly similar conclusions to the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft) and may be considered to be very similar to platformism, which in turn claims its roots lie in the organisational work of figures like Mikhail Bakunin, Errico Malatesta and Nestor Makhno.

Platformism is a form of anarchist organization that seeks unity upon its participants, having as a defining characteristic the idea that each platformist organization should include only members that are fully aligned with the group ideas, rejecting people with any level of conflicting ideas. It stresses the need for tightly organized anarchist organizations that are able to influence working class and peasant movements.

Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was a Russian revolutionary anarchist and founder of collectivist anarchism. He is considered among the most influential figures of anarchism and one of the principal founders of the social anarchist tradition. Bakunin's enormous prestige as an activist made him one of the most famous ideologues in Europe, gaining substantial influence amongst radicals throughout Russia and Europe.

Errico Malatesta Italian anarchist

Errico Malatesta was an Italian anarchist. He spent much of his life exiled from Italy and in total spent more than ten years in prison. Malatesta wrote and edited a number of radical newspapers and was also a friend of Mikhail Bakunin.


  1. NEFAC (2006) "Especifismo: The Anarchist Praxis of Building Popular Movements and Revolutionary Organization in South America".

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