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inkus2000
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PostSubject: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:42 am

Leave any problems you have with Anarchism as a system here - and they will be addressed.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:53 am

Er...

Can I have a kitty in anarchism? Pretty please~? :3

Lol, anyway, I think anarchism is literally "people's power" and overthrowing governmental control to let the common man take over. I used to be adamant to anarchy but this site has though me many things. ^^

No problems if anarchy is run democratically.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:57 am

[offtopic] Jeri... seriously I mean... can you pleas act less like a Interweb girl? xD[/offtopic]


Well I'm concerned that in Arachism a bigger stronger guy can come up to you and take your girlfriend/wife or kick you out of your own house... technically I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:58 am

who runs the means of production?

what keeps the threat of counterrevolution at bay?

end
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:59 am

Cyprian Uljanow wrote:
[offtopic] Jeri... seriously I mean... can you pleas act less like a Interweb girl? xD[/offtopic]

But...I leik kitties? :3

lol, sure. Razz And.

I'm a guy. XD ROFL!

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:09 am

If I didn't knew that I wouldn't find your acting a tad bit on the creepy side

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:17 am

morality idealism they think they just say hey guys anarchy is goood. okay lets make anarchies now. its not inevitable. plus they always do this shit like stopping counterevolution isnt state reresing the bourgeoisie isnt state.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:21 am

oh no! ther wil be streats burning and stuff if anarckism takes over, and it would allways be night and then people will kill eachother and the tears will fall on the houses.

lol!

oops forgot to ask question

ehm...
is anarchism aiming for the whole world or just national???
when can we start seeing it? maybe as an experiments afro


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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:37 am

Shabazz Freeman wrote:
who runs the means of production?


end

Self-managed workers collectives control the means of production - no one would hold a stake over capital - whoever happens to work their at any given time would be part of the collective management process - It is important to note that individuals who do not wish to join syndicates will be able to work for themselves. There is no "forced collectivisation" under any form of libertarian socialism, because coercing people is incompatible with the basic principles of anarchism. Those who wish to be self-employed will have free access to the productive assets they need, provided that they neither attempt to monopolise more of those assets than they and their families can use by themselves nor attempt to employ others for wages
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:09 am

Quote :
what keeps the threat of counterrevolution at bay?

anarchists think a revolution should defend itself in the same way that it organises itself -- from the bottom up, in a self-managed way. The means to defend an anarchist society or revolution are based around the organs of self-management that revolution creates. In the words of Bakunin:

"[T]he federative Alliance of all working men's associations constitute the Commune . Commune will be organised by the standing federation of the Barricades and by the creation of a Revolutionary Communal Council composed of one or two delegates from each barricade vested with plenary but accountable and removable mandates all provinces, communes and associations reorganising on revolutionary lines would send their representatives to an agreed meeting place vested with similar mandates to constitute the federation of insurgent associations, communes and provinces . which would organise a revolutionary force capable of defeating reaction it is the very fact of the expansion and organisation of the revolution for the purpose of self-defence among the insurgent areas that will bring about the triumph of the revolution.

"Since revolution everywhere must be created by the people, and supreme control must always belong to the people organised in a free federation of agricultural and industrial associations organised from the bottom upwards by means of revolutionary delegation" [Michael Bakunin: Selected Writings, pp. 170-2]


"Many suppose that . . . anarchists, in the name of their principles, would wish to see that strange liberty respected which violates and destroys the freedom and life of others. They seem almost to believe that after having brought down government and private property we would allow both to be quietly built up again, because of a respect for the freedom of those who might feel the need to be rulers and property owners. A truly curious way of interpreting our ideas!" [Anarchy, p. 41] Malatesta

Thus we have a dual framework of revolution. On the one hand, the federation of workers' councils based on self-managed assemblies nominating mandated and accountable delegates. On the other, we have a federation of barricades, again based on self-management and mandated delegates, which actually defends the revolution against reaction. The success of the revolution depends on spreading it and organising joint self-defence.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:46 am

workers councils..... delegates............. sounds a lot like democracy to me. sounds exactly like a socialist state. but of course anarchy sounds cooler so its anarchy!
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:05 am

Watermelon wrote:
workers councils..... delegates............. sounds a lot like democracy to me. sounds exactly like a socialist state. but of course anarchy sounds cooler so its anarchy!
lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:30 am

- Rejection of participating in parliament. Apparently anarchists have not realised that whilst your average worker can just about tell which end the bullet comes out of, the 'state' has professional soldiers with tanks, flamethrowers and machine guns. (not to mention battleships, cruise missiles, B-52's and perhaps even tactical nukes)

This further enforces the idea that economic power is more important to political power. Whilst they take over and start running factories the capitalist class, which is being steadily expropriated is able to maintain all of the institutions which allow them to prop up their economic power in the first place.

- Utterly meaningless use of words. I used to think of myself as an anarchist and today I still don't really get what you mean by authoritarian. Then there is the liberally defined state.

- The fact that they are utterly dishonest in their criticisms of Marxism. Apparently most anarchists are content to not read what the man had to say and instead parrot Bukunin's completely unfounded criticisms.

- It is both individualist and idealist
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:39 pm

Steel wrote:
- Rejection of participating in parliament. Apparently anarchists have not realised that whilst your average worker can just about tell which end the bullet comes out of, the 'state' has professional soldiers with tanks, flamethrowers and machine guns. (not to mention battleships, cruise missiles, B-52's and perhaps even tactical nukes)

This further enforces the idea that economic power is more important to political power. Whilst they take over and start running factories the capitalist class, which is being steadily expropriated is able to maintain all of the institutions which allow them to prop up their economic power in the first place.

- Utterly meaningless use of words. I used to think of myself as an anarchist and today I still don't really get what you mean by authoritarian. Then there is the liberally defined state.

- The fact that they are utterly dishonest in their criticisms of Marxism. Apparently most anarchists are content to not read what the man had to say and instead parrot Bukunin's completely unfounded criticisms.

- It is both individualist and idealist



1. Who makes up the bulk of the army ? - The 'working class'

Who builds maintains and mans the tanks, flamethrowers and machine guns ? Its not the bourgeoisie is it ? Anarchism calls upon 'all workers' to unite and overthrow the bourgeoisie - Of course the bourgeoisie will rely on those who they can buy from the lower middle class, so civil war may occur.

Im not sure what you imply in the second paragraph - If you think that Anarchists merely seek to expropriate the means of production and hope that the capitalist class will disappear your mistaken.

Anarchy requires revolution and the destruction of all capitalist institutions.
All institutions and assets that constitute the existence of the bourgeoisie class must be dismantled.

By authoritarian, Anarchists refer to the structured power relations which exist within all hierarchial institutions. The socialist attempt to control the state institution does not rid society of class - it creates a new class system based on the power relations brought about by subjection to the state hierarchy.

Concentration of power occurs within the state - society becomes once again based on subordination and domination. Anarchists believe that in order to have a truly free and equal society hierarchy must be done away with all together - essentially we seek a communism after revolution.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:43 pm

the red and the black army will beat the white and the blue army!! hell yea
OHM NOM NOM NOM
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:16 am

Quote :
Who makes up the bulk of the army ? - The 'working class'

The most backward sections of the working class. Important difference.

Quote :
Of course the bourgeoisie will rely on those who they can buy from the lower middle class, so civil war may occur.

A civil war in which the bourgeoisie will have control of the tanks, flamethrowers and machine guns, especially when you take into account that the army consists of the most backward parts of the working class.

Quote :
Anarchism calls upon 'all workers' to unite and overthrow the bourgeoisie

This does not however, that they will come out and fight against forces that the bourgeoisie can field. Take Vietnam. Had the country been reunified and elections taken place, something like 80% of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh. In the situation that developed the war was reduced to being fought by a minority (especially in the South).

Quote :
If you think that Anarchists merely seek to expropriate the means of production and hope that the capitalist class will disappear your mistaken.

What I sought to point out is that anarchism opposes involvement in elections and politics in favour of ‘building the new world in the shell of the old’ which invariably means that you leave the basis by which the capitalists maintain their power largely untouched.

Quote :
Anarchy requires revolution and the destruction of all capitalist institutions.

This does not necessarily mean that the methods anarchism employs achieve this result.

Quote :
All institutions and assets that constitute the existence of the bourgeoisie class must be dismantled.

And if you refuse to engage in politics and elections you intend to do this how?
Either you gain control of the means of production (something that in order to do you need to have had destroyed the state, so that the capitalists cannot enforce their right of ownership)
Or you don’t gain control of the means of production and begin (literally) an all out assault on ‘bourgeois society’ (as it was described to me by one anarchist) in which case your lack of control of the means of production will mean that you are unable to overcome any stubborn resistance.

Quote :
The socialist attempt to control the state institution does not rid society of class - it creates a new class system based on the power relations brought about by subjection to the state hierarchy.

In the history and practice of Leninism perhaps. However I fail to see how a society of free access and voluntary labour (in which the MOP are the common property of all, and operated by elected and instantly recallable officials representing the interests of society as a whole) will produce a classes (the lack of a state, under the socialist definition, makes it impossible to enforce this differentiation into classes).

I pretty much agree with the last part of this article http://www.connexions.org/RedMenace/Docs/RM3-AnarchismvsMarxism.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:16 am

Quote :
The most backward sections of the working class. Important difference.

Soldiers like wage workers are often only in the army due to necessity - many armies provide training courses trades ect they are only their for the same reasons people seek civil employment. Anarchy calls upon all members of the armed forces to lay down their arms or join the revolution. It is not unrealistic to assume many will do so - perhaps causing a split in the army - this occurs in most all civil revolutions.

Quote :

A civil war in which the bourgeoisie will have control of the tanks, flamethrowers and machine guns, especially when you take into account that the army consists of the most backward parts of the working class.

The bourgeoisie can not exercise power without those who refuse to carry out their orders. It can be said that a large portion will fight for the bourgeoisie - 'Revolution is not a tea party' - Mao Tse Tung

Quote :

This does not however, that they will come out and fight against forces that the bourgeoisie can field. Take Vietnam. Had the country been reunified and elections taken place, something like 80% of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh. In the situation that developed the war was reduced to being fought by a minority (especially in the South).

Vietnam's social revolution would have been swift if not for US intervention.

Quote :
What I sought to point out is that anarchism opposes involvement in elections and politics in favour of ‘building the new world in the shell of the old’ which invariably means that you leave the basis by which the capitalists maintain their power largely untouched.

Anarchists will organize into workers communes and take the means of production - The means of production will be protected by a network of communal barricades. State and private institutions would be targeted - banks - parliament - anything that capitalists require to fund resistance. Centralized rule would break down with the economy - Most all revolutions have suceeded via this strategy . Anarchists seek a social revolution just as the socialists - we do not seek to take the state in order to govern - we aim to take the state in order to dismantle it.

Quote :
This does not necessarily mean that the methods anarchism employs achieve this result.

The same can be said for socialism - or any manner of social movement.

Quote :

In the history and practice of Leninism perhaps. However I fail to see how a society of free access and voluntary labour (in which the MOP are the common property of all, and operated by elected and instantly recallable officials representing the interests of society as a whole) will produce a classes (the lack of a state,

Anarchists in the nineteenth century rejected the idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" simply because the proletariat was a minority of working people at the time. As such, to argue for a dictatorship of the proletariat meant to argue for the dictatorship of a minority class, a class which excluded the majority of toiling people. When Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto, for example, over 80% of the population of France and Germany were peasants or artisans. Marx and Engels vision of proletarian revolution was one which involved a minority dictating to the majority.

As such, Bakunin rejected the concept. He was simply pointing out the fact that a "dictatorship of the proletariat," at the time, actually meant a dictatorship by a minority of working people and so a "revolution" which excluded the majority of working people (i.e. artisans and peasants). As he argued in 1873: "If the proletariat is to be the ruling class then whom will it rule? There must be yet another proletariat which will be subject to this new rule, this new state. It may be the peasant rabble . . . which, finding itself on a lower cultural level, will probably be governed by the urban and factory proletariat." [Statism and Anarchy, pp. 177-8]

So it is important to note that Marx meant a minority dictatorship when he wrote the communist manifesto

'The first step on the path to the workers' revolution is the elevation of the proletariat to the position of ruling class. The proletariat will gain from its political domination by gradually tearing away from the bourgeoisie all capital, by centralizing all means of production in the hands of the State, that is to say in the hands of the proletariat itself organized as the ruling class'


Most socialist parties today are marked by strong currents of Leninism or even stalinism as we can see within many social democratic parties - They seek to govern the centralized gov without upsetting their bourgeoisie masters - or electorate as the case may be. Engaging in political activity in order to govern alongside the capitalists with no real drive to overthrow them. The majority of so called socialist parties today have become tainted by the power of gov - which proves that Anarchist thinkers are accurate in the observation that no one can wield power within the hierarchy without becoming corrupted by it.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:18 am

if people are "Self-governed" how do we stop people from murdering everyone?
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:11 pm

Quote :
Soldiers like wage workers are often only in the army due to necessity - many armies provide training courses trades ect they are only their for the same reasons people seek civil employment.

And yet the fact remains that soldiers exist for the sole purpose of propping up the current order and for the explicit purpose of killing people. I quite honestly don’t give a shit how much they need to join the army, killing for your masters is just about as antithetical to socialism as you can get, and so joining it is not the action of a conscious socialist.

Quote :
It is not unrealistic to assume many will do so - perhaps causing a split in the army - this occurs in most all civil revolutions.

Why? In all instances of this happening that I am aware of these soldiers have been conscripts rather than volunteers. This means that they are not necessarily from the backward section of the working class.


Quote :
Vietnam's social revolution would have been swift if not for US intervention.

In this respect it is a bad example, Vietnam’s “social revolution” was supported by external powers (USSR and China) just as ARVN was supported by the United States. In addition they had control of the DRV from the beginning. Surely you do not believe that the Vietcong could have beaten the ARVN on their own?

This is a much more comparable situation to any future social revolution.

Quote :
Anarchists will organize into workers communes and take the means of production - The means of production will be protected by a network of communal barricades. State and private institutions would be targeted - banks - parliament - anything that capitalists require to fund resistance.

And which do you intend to do first? As I have already said you cannot launch an attack on both or you will stall at the first sign of resistance (since you would have little economic might to back yourselves up) and you cannot simply take control of the means of production because you will not have destroyed the political institutions that enforce the capitalist classes right of ownership. Simply targeting banks and such like will not change the fact that the bourgeoisie will hold all of the weapons.

Quote :
Anarchists in the nineteenth century rejected the idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" simply because the proletariat was a minority of working people at the time. As such, to argue for a dictatorship of the proletariat meant to argue for the dictatorship of a minority class, a class which excluded the majority of toiling people.

Yes I have read the FAQ, and it was this argument in fact that was exactly what I had in mind previously and have included links that address this point twice:
- http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Theory/Martov.html
- http://www.connexions.org/RedMenace/Docs/RM3-BakuninvsMarx.htm

Martov wrote:
The voluntary acceptance by the great majority of the population of the hegemony of the working class engaged in the struggle against capitalism, forms the essential basis of the "political structure" that is called the "dictatorship of the proletariat". Similarly, the voluntary acceptance by the popular masses of the hegemony of the bourgeoisie permits us to designate the political structure existing in France, England and the United States as the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". This dictatorship is not done away with when the bourgeoisie finds it worth while to offer to the peasants and the petty bourgeois, whom it directs, the appearance of sovereignty, by granting them universal suffrage. Similarly, the dictatorship of the proletariat that Marx and Engels had in mind can be realised only on the basis of the sovereignty of all the people and, therefore, only on the basis of the widest possible application of universal suffrage.

Certainly by the time Bakunin wrote that criticism Marx and Engels had sufficiently clarified their view (The civil war in France anyone?). and indeed as Engels later said:

Engels, Introduction to the Civil War in France wrote:
Of late, The Social-Democratic philistine has once more been filled with wholesome terror at the words: Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Well and good, gentlemen, do you want to know what this dictatorship looks like? Look at the Paris Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

I might also add that government =/= state.

Quote :
So it is important to note that Marx meant a minority dictatorship when he wrote the communist manifesto

If by a minority dictatorship you mean one that is based on the widest possible application of Universal suffrage then you are correct (A funny use of minority dictatorship to be honest). As Rosa Luxemburg (quoted in the second article) explained:

Luxemburg wrote:
"We have always distinguished the social kernel from the political form of bourgeois democracy; we have always revealed the hard kernel of social inequality and lack of freedom hidden under the sweet shell of formal equality and freedom - not in order to reject the latter but to spur the working class into not being satisfied with the shell, but rather, by conquering political power, to create a socialist democracy to replace bourgeois democracy - not to eliminate democracy altogether.
"But social democracy is not something which begins only in the promised land after the foundations of socialist economy are created; it does not come as some sort of Christmas present for the worthy people, who, in the interim, have loyally supported a handful of socialist dictators. Socialist democracy begins simultaneously with the beginnings of the destruction of class rule and of the construction of socialism. It begins at the very moment of the seizure of power by the socialist party. It is the same thing as the dictatorship of the proletariat.
"Yes, dictatorship! But this dictatorship consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. But this dictatorship must be the work of the class and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class - that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses."
The fact that this is aimed at the Bolsheviks says a great deal about how anti-leninist arguments do not apply to other strands of Marxist Socialism. And indeed it is the view of many that Leninism is a distortion of Marxism to the extent that Marxism-Leninism is a contradiction in terms.

Karl Marx wrote:
'The first step on the path to the workers' revolution is the elevation of the proletariat to the position of ruling class. The proletariat will gain from its political domination by gradually tearing away from the bourgeoisie all capital, by centralizing all means of production in the hands of the State, that is to say in the hands of the proletariat itself organized as the ruling class'
You know what I find most offensive about this quote? The fact that on the face of it Marx seems to be presenting nationalisation as a socialist measure . However, taken in the context of the time, the Manifesto was written when Marx believed that Capitalism would collapse before its ‘historic mission’ was complete:
Rosa Luxemburg wrote:
This was the idea represented by Marx and Engels in the revolution of 1848; it was thus, likewise, that they conceived the basis for proletarian action in the international field. In common with all the leading spirits in the working class movement, both Marx and Engels then believed that the immediate introduction of socialism was at hand. All that was necessary was to bring about a political revolution, to seize the political power of the state, and socialism would then immediately pass from the realm of thought to the realm of flesh and blood. Subsequently, as you are aware, Marx and Engels undertook a thoroughgoing revision of this outlook.
And yes, much of my commentary is irrelevant to the point at hand because I view the quote given as irrelevant to the point of proving that Marx advocated a minority dictatorship.

Quote :
Most socialist parties today are marked by strong currents of Leninism or even Stalinism
And this is relevant to me as someone who opposes Leninism in all its forms how? By all means criticise it, but don’t think that it’ll greatly affect what I believe.
Quote :
They seek to govern the centralized gov without upsetting their bourgeoisie masters - or electorate as the case may be. Engaging in political activity in order to govern alongside the capitalists with no real drive to overthrow them. The majority of so called socialist parties today have become tainted by the power of gov - which proves that Anarchist thinkers are accurate in the observation that no one can wield power within the hierarchy without becoming corrupted by it.
Not really. You have, after all, already stated that these parties aim to govern alongside the capitalists. This does not justify saying anything along the lines of “no one can wield power within the hierarchy without becoming corrupted by it” it only proves that these parties do exactly what they have always aimed to do.
Seriously though why do you insist on attacking these strawmen? You quite clearly have no idea what I advocate in terms of revolution nor have I made it explicit on this forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:52 am

Quote :
And yet the fact remains that soldiers exist for the sole purpose of propping up the current order and for the explicit purpose of killing people. I quite honestly don’t give a shit how much they need to join the army, killing for your masters is just about as antithetical to socialism as you can get, and so joining it is not the action of a conscious socialist.

Many people are devoid of class consciousness and do stupid things. Its a reasonable assumption that many of these people would have a change of heart when ordered to turn their guns on their fellow brothers - It goes without saying that many will carry out orders but sizable desertion is very possible.

Quote :

In this respect it is a bad example, Vietnam’s “social revolution” was supported by external powers (USSR and China) just as ARVN was supported by the United States. In addition they had control of the DRV from the beginning. Surely you do not believe that the Vietcong could have beaten the ARVN on their own?

80% of the Vietnamese population was pro communist, without
external aid the VPA together with the VC would have succeeded.

Quote :

And which do you intend to do first? As I have already said you cannot launch an attack on both or you will stall at the first sign of resistance (since you would have little economic might to back yourselves up) and you cannot simply take control of the means of production because you will not have destroyed the political institutions that enforce the capitalist classes right of ownership. Simply targeting banks and such like will not change the fact that the bourgeoisie will hold all of the weapons.

You really want to analyze the Spanish Revolution for good idea of how an Anarchist revolt would occur. The most important weapon is the support and participation of the majority - from here militia's can be organized into a civil army and eventually take and dismantle the political institutions. Political participation is not required whatsoever all that is needed is majority support.

Quote :
Anarchists in the nineteenth century rejected the idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" simply because the proletariat was a minority of working people at the time. As such, to argue for a dictatorship of the proletariat meant to argue for the dictatorship of a minority class, a class which excluded the majority of toiling people.


Martov wrote:
The voluntary acceptance by the great majority of the population of the hegemony of the working class engaged in the struggle against capitalism, forms the essential basis of the "political structure" that is called the "dictatorship of the proletariat". Similarly, the voluntary acceptance by the popular masses of the hegemony of the bourgeoisie permits us to designate the political structure existing in France, England and the United States as the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". This dictatorship is not done away with when the bourgeoisie finds it worth while to offer to the peasants and the petty bourgeois, whom it directs, the appearance of sovereignty, by granting them universal suffrage. Similarly, the dictatorship of the proletariat that Marx and Engels had in mind can be realised only on the basis of the sovereignty of all the people and, therefore, only on the basis of the widest possible application of universal suffrage.


The below extract gives a clear picture of where Marx stood in 1850. Engels attempted to obscure Marx's meaning when he claimed in 1885 that the below was a misinterpritation and that Marx actually meant de-centralization, needless to say Lenin disagreed and insisted Marx was in favor of centralization.

In 1850, Marx stood for extreme centralization of power. As he put it, the workers "must not only strive for a single and indivisible German republic, but also within this republic for the most determined centralization of power in the hands of the state authority." He argued that in a nation like Germany "where there is so many relics of the Middle Ages to be abolished" it "must under no circumstances be permitted that every village, every town and every province should put a new obstacle in the path of revolutionary activity, which can proceed with full force from the center." He stressed that "as in France in 1793 so today in Germany it is the task of the really revolutionary party to carry through the strictest centralization." [The Marx-Engels Reader, p. 509-10] - Elsewhere he talks about "a socialist government . . . coming into power in a country." ["Letter to F. Domela-Nieuwenhuis," Eugene Schulkind (ed.), The Paris Commune of 1871: The View from the Left, p. 244]

Engels, Introduction to the Civil War in France wrote:
Of late, The Social-Democratic philistine has once more been filled with wholesome terror at the words: Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Well and good, gentlemen, do you want to know what this dictatorship looks like? Look at the Paris Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

Marx appears to give mixed messages on the matter however as we can see in his above writings he 'clearly' implies centralization. Bakunin's critique of Marx is entirely consistent with his earlier writings. It has been argued that Marx adjusted his ideas - needless to say most socialists after interpreted Marx as implying centralized power in the hands of a minority.
In fact many socialist parties today take the same line - an element that I think causes huge problems within the movement.

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If by a minority dictatorship you mean one that is based on the widest possible application of Universal suffrage then you are correct (A funny use of minority dictatorship to be honest). As Rosa Luxemburg (quoted in the second article) explained:"Yes, dictatorship! But this dictatorship consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. But this dictatorship must be the work of the class and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class - that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses."

In other words a revolution for the people but not by the people. Anarchists are correct in stating that any worthwhile social revolution must involve voluntary majority participation.

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Most socialist parties today are marked by strong currents of Leninism or even Stalinism
And this is relevant to me as someone who opposes Leninism in all its forms how? By all means criticise it, but don’t think that it’ll greatly affect what I believe.[/quote]

I was pointing out the major problems within modern socialist organizations. Socialist parties across the board adheer to many leninist and stalinist notions, within the same organizations are those who fiercely oppose them. Marxism is plagued with irreconcilable factions. Don't claim to be a 'true Marxist' just because you disagree with centralization - its open to interpritation. From what I have read Marx simply seems to have contradicted himself.

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Not really. You have, after all, already stated that these parties aim to govern alongside the capitalists. This does not justify saying anything along the lines of “no one can wield power within the hierarchy without becoming corrupted by it” it only proves that these parties do exactly what they have always aimed to do.

No those parties did not aim to please the buguarsie to begin with - they became corrupted over time. Take New Labor within the UK as an example, they initially aimed to nationalize the means of production and implement state socialism but gradually became corrupted.


Quote :
Seriously though why do you insist on attacking these strawmen? You quite clearly have no idea what I advocate in terms of revolution nor have I made it explicit on this forum.

This thread was created to address perceived problems within anarchy.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Anarchism   Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Quote :
You really want to analyze the Spanish Revolution for good idea of how an Anarchist revolt would occur.

I have a basic idea of what happened in the Spanish revolution. I also note how it is different to what happened in the Ukraine and to the anarchist involvement in the 1873 revolt in Spain as portrayed in Engel’s Pamphlet “The Bakuninists at work”. The later two involved the resurrection of, or participation in, some form of state:
Ukraine
The Bakuninists at work

As regards Spain, I think that the anarchist defeat following May 1937 in Barcelona resulted from their failure to do anything more than merely collectivise certain areas. (the fact that the government were still in a position to use Assault guards against them, which doesn‘t sound like smashing the state to me).

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The below extract gives a clear picture of where Marx stood in 1850. Engels attempted to obscure Marx's meaning when he claimed in 1885 that the below was a misinterpritation and that Marx actually meant de-centralization, needless to say Lenin disagreed and insisted Marx was in favor of centralization.

And as I have already stated Marx’s view of this time underwent a thorough revision. Nor does centralisation imply a minority dictatorship.

Quote :
In 1850, Marx stood for extreme centralization of power. As he put it, the workers "must not only strive for a single and indivisible German republic, but also within this republic for the most determined centralization of power in the hands of the state authority." He argued that in a nation like Germany "where there is so many relics of the Middle Ages to be abolished" it "must under no circumstances be permitted that every village, every town and every province should put a new obstacle in the path of revolutionary activity, which can proceed with full force from the center." He stressed that "as in France in 1793 so today in Germany it is the task of the really revolutionary party to carry through the strictest centralization." [The Marx-Engels Reader, p. 509-10]

Is this available online anywhere? If not can I have a list of the writings of Marx that they are specifically aimed at so that I can look at them myself?

Quote :
Marx appears to give mixed messages on the matter however as we can see in his above writings he 'clearly' implies centralization. Bakunin's critique of Marx is entirely consistent with his earlier writings.


Not really. In an article that I have already provided it is noted that Bakunin does not provide a single quote from Marx to back up his arguments. Once again centralization is not equivalent to a minority dictatorship.
Quote :
It is indicative of Bakunin's methods that he repeatedly accused Marx of advocating a "Peoples' State" (see for example Dolgoff, ed., Bakunin on Anarchy, Vintage, 1972), an accusation that in view of his failure to cite any evidence to support it (check the sources and see if Bakunin ever offers a single quote to back up his claims) and in view of Marx's and Engels' repeated and explicit repudiation of the concept, can only be interpreted as a deliberate fabrication on Bakunin's part.

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Marx pointed to the Paris Commune as being very close to what he had in mind; Bakunin too was enthusiastic about the commune, yet continued to accuse Marx of secretly holding very different views.

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As always in anarchist polemics, we have to take him in faith. Certainly Lehning cannot be referring to the Poverty of Philosophy, written in 1847, or the Communist Manifesto, written in 1848, or the Critique of the Gotha Program, written in 1875, or to the private letters Marx was writing at the same time as the publication of The Civil War in France in 1871. All of these consistently maintain that the state is incompatible with socialism.

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How does one refute an "argument" which, without a single shred of evidence, except racial predisposition ("as a German and a Jew, he (Marx) is from head to toe an authoritarian" - Bakunin in 1872) without a single quotation, attributes ideas and concepts to Marx that Marx repeatedly attacked?


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In other words a revolution for the people but not by the people. Anarchists are correct in stating that any worthwhile social revolution must involve voluntary majority participation.

???
[quote=“Julius Martov (again)”] The voluntary acceptance by the great majority of the population of the hegemony of the working class engaged in the struggle against capitalism, forms the essential basis of the "political structure" that is called the "dictatorship of the proletariat". Similarly, the voluntary acceptance by the popular masses of the hegemony of the bourgeoisie permits us to designate the political structure existing in France, England and the United States as the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". This dictatorship is not done away with when the bourgeoisie finds it worth while to offer to the peasants and the petty bourgeois, whom it directs, the appearance of sovereignty, by granting them universal suffrage. Similarly, the dictatorship of the proletariat that Marx and Engels had in mind can be realised only on the basis of the sovereignty of all the people and, therefore, only on the basis of the widest possible application of universal suffrage. [/quote]

[quote=“Rosa Luxemburg (again)”]"Yes, dictatorship! But this dictatorship consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. But this dictatorship must be the work of the class and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class - that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses." [/quote]

(anyone got any idea why the quotes are not working?)

I’m sure Watermelon would be happy to back me up on this (since he hints at having a thorough knowledge of Rosa Luxemburg’s ideas).

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Don't claim to be a 'true Marxist' just because you disagree with centralization

I disagree with centralisation? I don’t remember saying that. Interestingly the parties which are most likely to deny Leninists are Marxists are the SPGB and from the comments of some of its supporters the American SLP. But firstly I’d like to point out that both of these parties lay claim to being the oldest Marxist party in their respective countries (Britain and the US), both participate in elections, or support it (again in the case of the SLP this is mainly on the attitudes of members and supporters) and both to this day remain socialist (and not the piss poor Leninist stamocap masquerading as socialism). However, the attitudes of the two parties seem to suggest that they favour a more centralised form of socialism (at least economically).

A brief explanation of why Leninism is un-Marxist can be found here. However, the full argument against Leninism is much more far reaching.
In addition Rosa Luxemburg’s criticism of the Bolsheviks (aside from the Russian Revolution) is worth reading.

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its open to interpritation.
Indeed, however, the fact remains that Marx can have only meant one thing. Who do you believe is more correct about what he believed? his contemporaries in the movement, his friends and relatives? Or Lenin and company?

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No those parties did not aim to please the buguarsie to begin with - they became corrupted over time. Take New Labor within the UK as an example, they initially aimed to nationalize the means of production and implement state socialism but gradually became corrupted.

The labour party was not originally intended to be a socialist party. I may still have a brief data sheet (if you will) I produced on the foundation of the party (since I studied this period in History at college), which I will try to find. Instead it aimed to secure representation for the working classes in parliament, (and indeed began by collaborating with the Liberal Party). It was made up of TUC representatives as well as including people from the horribly opportunist SDF, and the reformist Fabian Society. But allow me to quote Wilhelm Leibknecht for the Marxist view of state capitalism:
Leibknecht wrote:
Nobody has combatted State Socialism more than we German Socialists; nobody has shown more distinctively than I, that State Socialism is really State capitalism!

That aside it remains to be said that these political parties have abandoned socialist policies in order to gain more votes, in the most opportunist way imaginable. That they were never exclusively Marxist and that claiming that they were inevitably going to be corrupted from the beginning completely ignores the influence of ‘Bernsteinism’.

Furthermore I have already provided an article which points out that nationalisation is not equal to Marxist socialism. I have provided a quote from Rosa Luxemburg’s On The Spartacus Program which points out that at the time of writing the Manifesto Marx believed that capitalism was going to collapse immediately, and that the views expressed there have been thoroughly revised.

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This thread was created to address perceived problems within anarchy.
Exactly my point.
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