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inkus2000
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PostSubject: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Tue May 13, 2008 11:17 pm

Anarchy - libertarian socialism - Anarcho syndicalism

VS

Marxism - leninism ect


Round 1 - Revolution
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Tue May 13, 2008 11:26 pm

What parts of anarchism do Marxists particularly misrepresent?



As will become clear, many of the most common Marxist attacks on anarchism have little or no basis in fact but have simply been repeated so often by Marxists that they have entered the ideology (the idea that anarchists think the capitalist class will just disappear being, probably, the most famous one, closely followed by anarchism being in favour of "small-scale" production). We will not bother to refute the more silly Marxist assertions (such as anarchists are against organisation or are not "socialists"). Instead, we will concentrate on the more substantial and most commonly repeated ones. Of course, many of these distortions and misrepresentations coincide and flow into each other, but there are many which can be considered distinct issues and will be discussed in turn.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Tue May 13, 2008 11:27 pm

Some marxists are revolutionists and some are reformists
Some anarchists are revolutionists and some are reformists

you cant divide it between marxists and anarchists for revolution.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Tue May 13, 2008 11:47 pm

According to many Marxists anarchists either reject the idea of defending a revolution or think that it is not necessary.

Many Marxists claim anarchism to be unscientific and weak due our rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Tue May 13, 2008 11:54 pm

The Trotskyists of Workers' Power present a typical Marxist account of what they consider as anarchist ideas on this subject:

"the anarchist conclusion is not to build any sort of state in the first place -- not even a democratic workers' state. But how could we stop the capitalists trying to get their property back, something they will definitely try and do?

"Should the people organise to stop the capitalists raising private armies and resisting the will of the majority? If the answer is yes, then that organisation - whatever you prefer to call it -- is a state: an apparatus designed to enable one class to rule over another.

"The anarchists are rejecting something which is necessary if we are to beat the capitalists and have a chance of developing a classless society." ["What's wrong with anarchism?", World Revolution: PragueS26 2000, pp. 12-13, p. 13]

It would be simple to quote Malatesta on this issue and leave it at that. As he argued in 1891, some people "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 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] Pretty much common sense, so you would think! Sadly, this appears to not be the case. As Malatesta pointed out 30 years latter, the followers of Bolshevism "are incapable of conceiving freedom and of respecting for all human beings the dignity they expect, or should expect, from others. If one speaks of freedom they immediately accuse one of wanting to respect, or at least tolerate, the freedom to oppress and exploit one's fellow beings." [Life and Ideas, p. 145] As such, we have to explain anarchist ideas on the defence of a revolution and why this necessity need not imply a state and, if it does, then it signifies the end of the revolution.

The argument by Workers' Power is very common with the Leninist left and contains numerous fallacies and so we shall base our discussion on it. This discussion, of necessity, implies three issues. Firstly, we have to show that anarchists have always seen the necessity of defending a revolution. This shows that the anarchist opposition to the "democratic workers' state" (or "dictatorship of the proletariat") has nothing to do with beating the ruling class and stopping them regaining their positions of power. Secondly, we have to discuss the anarchist and Marxist definitions of what constitutes a "state" and show what they have in common and how they differ. Thirdly, we must summarise why anarchists oppose the idea of a "workers' state" in order for the real reasons why anarchists oppose it to be understood. Each issue will be discussed in turn.

For revolutionary anarchists, it is a truism that a revolution will need to defend itself against counter-revolutionary threats. Bakunin, for example, while strenuously objecting to the idea of a "dictatorship of the proletariat" also thought a revolution would need to defend itself. In his words:

"Immediately after established governments have been overthrown, communes will have to reorganise themselves along revolutionary lines . . . In order to defend the revolution, their volunteers will at the same time form a communal militia. But no commune can defend itself in isolation. So it will be necessary to radiate revolution outward, to raise all of its neighbouring communes in revolt . . . and to federate with them for common defence." [No Gods, No Masters, vol. 1, p. 142]

And:

"the Alliance of all labour associations . . . will constitute the Commune . . . there will be a standing federation of the barricades and a Revolutionary Communal Council . . . [made up of] delegates . . . invested with binding mandates and accountable and revocable at all times . . . all provinces, communes and associations . . . [will] delegate deputies to an agreed place of assembly (all . . . invested with binding mandated and accountable and subject to recall), in order to found the federation of insurgent associations, communes and provinces . . . and to organise a revolutionary force with the capacity of defeating the reaction . . . it is through the very act of extrapolation and organisation of the Revolution with an eye to the mutual defences of insurgent areas that the universality of the Revolution . . . will emerge triumphant." [Op. Cit., vol. 1, pp. 155-6]

Malatesta agreed, arguing for the "creation of voluntary militia, without powers to interfere as militia in the life of the community, but only to deal with any armed attacks by the forces of reaction to re-establish themselves, or to resist outside intervention." The workers must "take possession of the factories" and "federate amongst themselves" and only "the people in arms, in possession of the land, the factories and all the natural wealth" could defend a revolution [Life and Ideas, p. 166, p. 165 and p. 170] Alexander Berkman concurred: "The armed workers and peasants are the only effective defence of the revolution. By means of their unions and syndicates they must always be on guard against counter-revolutionary attack." [ABC of Anarchism, p. 82] Emma Goldman clearly and unambiguously stated that she had "always insisted that an armed attack on the Revolution must be met with armed force" and that "an armed counter-revolutionary and fascist attack can be met in no way except by an armed defence." [Vision on Fire, p. 222 and p. 217]

Clearly, anarchism has always recognised the necessity of defending a revolution and proposed ideas to ensure it (ideas applied with great success by, for example, the Makhnovists in the Ukrainian Revolution and the C.N.T militias during the Spanish). As such, any assertion that anarchism rejects the necessity of defending a revolution are simply false.

Which, of course, brings us to the second assertion, namely that any attempt to defend a revolution means that a state has been created (regardless of what it may be called). For anarchists, such an argument simply shows that Marxists do not really understand what a state is. While the Trotskyist definition of a "state" is "an apparatus designed to enable one class to rule another," the anarchist definition is somewhat different. Anarchists, of course, do not deny that the modern state is (to use Malatesta's excellent expression) "the bourgeoisie's servant and gendarme." [Anarchy, p. 20] Every state that has ever existed has defended the power of a minority class and, unsurprisingly, has developed certain features to facilitate this. The key one is centralisation of power. This ensures that the working people are excluded from the decision making process and power remains a tool of the ruling class. As such, the centralisation of power (while it may take many forms) is the key means by which a class system is maintained and, therefore, a key aspect of a state. As Kropotkin put, the "state idea . . . includes the existence of a power situated above society . . . a territorial concentration as well as the concentration of many functions of the life of societies in the hands of a few." [Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, p. 213] This was the case with representative democracy:

"To attack the central power, to strip it of its prerogatives, to decentralise, to dissolve authority, would have been to abandon to the people the control of its affairs, to run the risk of a truly popular revolution. That is why the bourgeoisie sought to reinforce the central government even more. . ." [Kropotkin, Words of a Rebel, p. 143]

This meant that the "representative system was organised by the bourgeoisie to ensure their domination, and it will disappear with them. For the new economic phase that is about to begin we must seek a new form of political organisation, based on a principle quite different from that of representation. The logic of events imposes it." [Op. Cit., p. 125] So while we agree with Marxists that the main function of the state is to defend class society, we also stress the structure of the state has evolved to execute that role. In the words of Rudolf Rocker:

"[S]ocial institutions . . . do not arise arbitrarily, but are called into being by special needs to serve definite purposes . . . The newly arisen possessing classes had need of a political instrument of power to maintain their economic and social privileges over the masses of their own people . . . Thus arose the appropriate social conditions for the evolution of the modern state, as the organ of political power of privileged castes and classes for the forcible subjugation and oppression of the non-possessing classes . . . Its external forms have altered in the course of its historical development, but its functions have always been the same . . . And just as the functions of the bodily organs of . . . animals cannot be arbitrarily altered, so that, for example, one cannot at will hear with his eyes and see with his ears, so also one cannot at pleasure transform an organ of social oppression into an instrument for the liberation of the oppressed. The state can only be what it is: the defender of mass-exploitation and social privileges, and creator of privileged classes." [Anarcho-Syndicalism, p. 20]
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Tue May 13, 2008 11:56 pm

As such, a new form of society, one based on the participation of all in the affairs of society (and a classless society can be nothing else) means the end of the state. This is because it has been designed to exclude the participation a classless society needs in order to exist. In anarchist eyes, it is an abuse of the language to call the self-managed organisations by which the former working class manage (and defend) a free society a state. If it was simply a question of consolidating a revolution and its self-defence then there would be no argument:

"But perhaps the truth is simply this: . . . [some] take the expression 'dictatorship of the proletariat' to mean simply the revolutionary action of the workers in taking possession of the land and the instruments of labour, and trying to build a society and organise a way of life in which there will be no place for a class that exploits and oppresses the producers.

"Thus constructed, the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' would be the effective power of all workers trying to bring down capitalist society and would thus turn into Anarchy as soon as resistance from reactionaries would have ceased and no one can any longer seek to compel the masses by violence to obey and work for him. In which case, the discrepancy between us would be nothing more than a question of semantics. Dictatorship of the proletariat would signify the dictatorship of everyone, which is to say, it would be a dictatorship no longer, just as government by everybody is no longer a government in the authoritarian, historical and practical sense of the word.

"But the real supporters of 'dictatorship of the proletariat' do not take that line, as they are making quite plain in Russia. Of course, the proletariat has a hand in this, just as the people has a part to play in democratic regimes, that is to say, to conceal the reality of things. In reality, what we have is the dictatorship of one party, or rather, of one' party's leaders: a genuine dictatorship, with its decrees, its penal sanctions, its henchmen and above all its armed forces, which are at present [1919] also deployed in the defence of the revolution against its external enemies, but which will tomorrow be used to impose the dictator's will upon the workers, to apply a break on revolution, to consolidate the new interests in the process of emerging and protect a new privileged class against the masses." [Malatesta, No Gods, No Masters, vol. 2, pp. 38-9]

The question is, therefore, one of who "seizes power" -- will it be the mass of the population or will it be a party claiming to represent the mass of the population. The difference is vital and it confuses the issue to use the same word "state" to describe two such fundamentally different structures as a "bottom-up" self-managed communal federation and a "top-down" hierarchical centralised organisation (such as has been every state that has existed). This explains why anarchists reject the idea of a "democratic workers' state" as the means by which a revolution defends itself. Rather than signify working class power or management of society, it signifies the opposite -- the seizure of power of a minority (in this case, the leaders of the vanguard party).

Anarchists argue that the state is designed to exclude the mass of the population from the decision making process. This, ironically for Trotskyism, was one of the reasons why leading Bolsheviks (including Lenin and Trotsky) argued for a workers state. The centralisation of power implied by the state was essential so that the vanguard party could ignore the "the will of the majority." This particular perspective was clearly a lesson they learned from their experiences during the Russian Revolution.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Wed May 14, 2008 12:15 am

This argument is directed more to the Leninists. I am a council communist so I reject a vanguard party or any kind of pary at all because parties are necessarily authoritarian. The revolution must be carried out by the workers themselves.

The state in socialism will be run by the workers themselves. It will be direct democracy.

The means of production will be owned by the workers, not the state. That is state socialism.

There must be a state because the workers must make sure the former capitalists can't do a counterrevolution.

Anarchists may say that the workers can do that by themselves, that a state is unnecessary.

I would counter by saying the Marxist definition of state is an instrument for one class to suppress the other. So when there are classes, there is necessarily a state

The Marxist definition of state is NOT authoritarian. In fact, the state as I envision it is probably nearly the same as anarchists imagine their anarchist society to be.

So there is not much of a difference between us on the issue of state, we just choose to use different definitions.

However, there is still a difference between us on the economy. Anarcho-communists believe in an immediate establishment of an economy of free access to goods.

I believe there needs to be a transition phase. To understand why, imagine if a communist economy was immediately established right after capitalism was abolished.

Since capitalism was just abolished, the former capitalists would try to regain power. They could do that by not working and hoarding many goods, to ruin the economy.

This could happen if a communist economy was immediately established, but not if there was a transition period which had a socialist economy.

If communism were immediately established, it would be like capitalism. The workers would work and the former capitalists would not work.

When you have a socialist economy first, it forces everyone to work, and so everyone is a worker. This makes the class antagonims disappear, so that communism can be established, a stateless, moneyless society.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Thu May 15, 2008 1:03 am

Watermelon wrote:
There must be a state because the workers must make sure the former capitalists can't do a counterrevolution.

A state must necessarily form alliances and form a new privelaged class. This is the only way the state can maintain itself. Once it does this, the supression of a different class will begin, effectively destroying their liberty.

If it comes around that the capitalists want "their" property back, we will all be armed in self-defense. Their minimal numbers would be obsolete if the ideal anarchist revolution were to occur.

Quote :
Anarchists may say that the workers can do that by themselves, that a state is unnecessary.

I would counter by saying the Marxist definition of state is an instrument for one class to suppress the other. So when there are classes, there is necessarily a state

Our definitions differ, this argument is pure semantics.

Quote :
However, there is still a difference between us on the economy. Anarcho-communists believe in an immediate establishment of an economy of free access to goods.

Baseless. Money may still necessary in an anarchist transition. Collectivism is based on needs and the ability to utilize property for the good of all. The greatest solidarity for the greatest individual prosperity. This means that the farmers who work the capitalists' lands will be given the land for their own use. It's not free access, but merely a way of divvying up the land to those who can work it, the tools of production for those who can produce, etc. There is no blue-print that can be pointed to because anarchists argue that there is no way to tell exactly how revolution will come about. These are decisions that will need to be made during the revolution, as it was in Spain and some parts of Mexico with the EZLN.

Quote :
I believe there needs to be a transition phase. To understand why, imagine if a communist economy was immediately established right after capitalism was abolished.

Red anarchists hold the same view. It is often argued that there is little difference between collectivism and a socialist transition. The major difference is democratic centralism. The socialist transition has it, the anarchist transition would not.

Quote :
Since capitalism was just abolished, the former capitalists would try to regain power. They could do that by not working and hoarding many goods, to ruin the economy.

If you were armed, would you really allow a capitalist to steal from you? If you are still speaking in regards to free access, purge your mind of that concept. Even if people did want free access, which is unlikely at the start of revolution, it may not even be viable.

Quote :
This could happen if a communist economy was immediately established, but not if there was a transition period which had a socialist economy.

The only way i see your argument holding any validity is if the means of production were nationalized, held by the state. But you've said you are against this, haven't you? Or did i misinterpret you?

Quote :
If communism were immediately established, it would be like capitalism. The workers would work and the former capitalists would not work.

Then the capitalists would likely starve or leave... or one then the other.

Quote :
When you have a socialist economy first, it forces everyone to work, and so everyone is a worker.

That's the problem anarchists have with a socialist transition. It is forceful, authoritarian. Not that it is wrong for everyone to work, but how can you have a successful transition if the people you forced are becoming agitators. Forced labor will only alienate the people from the state, thus forcing the new state to take on the role of the previous oppressive state.

Quote :
This makes the class antagonims disappear, so that communism can be established, a stateless, moneyless society.

This makes people pissed. Free association will not be accomplished by coercive methods. You cannot say that this will happen, since history has never supported this, and has always refuted it.

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--Karl Polanyi--
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Thu May 15, 2008 4:09 am

Quote :
Baseless. Money may still necessary in an anarchist transition. Collectivism is based on needs and the ability to utilize property for the good of all. The greatest solidarity for the greatest individual prosperity. This means that the farmers who work the capitalists' lands will be given the land for their own use. It's not free access, but merely a way of divvying up the land to those who can work it, the tools of production for those who can produce, etc. There is no blue-print that can be pointed to because anarchists argue that there is no way to tell exactly how revolution will come about. These are decisions that will need to be made during the revolution, as it was in Spain and some parts of Mexico with the EZLN.

I apologize, I didn't think you supported a transitional economy.

Quote :

Red anarchists hold the same view. It is often argued that there is little difference between collectivism and a socialist transition. The major difference is democratic centralism. The socialist transition has it, the anarchist transition would not.

Yeah, we agree on the economy. However, I do NOT support democratic centralism or any kind of centralism. I am NOT a Leninist I am a council communist. I am opposed to a revolutionary party. The revolution is not a party affair.

Quote :
If you are still speaking in regards to free access, purge your mind of that concept. Even if people did want free access, which is unlikely at the start of revolution, it may not even be viable.
Like I said, I did not know your position.

Quote :
That's the problem anarchists have with a socialist transition. It is forceful, authoritarian. Not that it is wrong for everyone to work, but how can you have a successful transition if the people you forced are becoming agitators. Forced labor will only alienate the people from the state, thus forcing the new state to take on the role of the previous oppressive state.
It seems there is a misunderstanding here. I do NOT support state ownership of the economy. I support the same economy as you do. The only reason I say they are "forced" to work is because they get paid according to their work, so if they don't work, they are not paid. I support the same economy as you do.

Quote :

This makes people pissed. Free association will not be accomplished by coercive methods. You cannot say that this will happen, since history has never supported this, and has always refuted it.

I do not support coercive methods, only Leninists do. I do not support the Russian revolution, Chinese revolution, or any other supposedly socialist revolution in history.

As I have said before I am a council communist, not a Leninist. I am just as opposed to coercion as you are. From what I see, we have no real differences other than semantics.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Thu May 15, 2008 9:45 pm

Watermelon wrote:
Yeah, we agree on the economy. However, I do NOT support democratic centralism or any kind of centralism. I am NOT a Leninist I am a council communist. I am opposed to a revolutionary party. The revolution is not a party affair.

Then it seems our biggest disagreement would be the existence of the government.

Quote :
It seems there is a misunderstanding here. I do NOT support state ownership of the economy. I support the same economy as you do. The only reason I say they are "forced" to work is because they get paid according to their work, so if they don't work, they are not paid. I support the same economy as you do.

No, i knew you didn't want state ownership; that much was clear. The misunderstanding came from the way you used the word forced. The state may not be in control of economic factors, but they still have ways to force. But you've clarified, so i retract.

Well, at least we've been able to clear up some misconceptions since it seems no one else is inclined to perpetuate these anarchist stereotypes.

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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Fri May 16, 2008 12:23 am

Yeah the only difference is support for government although really its the same I just called armed workers a state and you don't.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Fri May 16, 2008 12:50 am

Watermelon wrote:
Yeah the only difference is support for government although really its the same I just called armed workers a state and you don't.

Watermelon I don't agree with some of your veiws

You are one one smart 14 year old!!!! - I only got that now
Holy Shit - you must think the teachers in school are idiots ?

Seriously most history teachers in my old school didn't have half the grasp of polotics you have, fair play !

Id say the other kids in your class are busy sniffing glue ?


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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Fri May 16, 2008 12:52 am

I know you dont agree your a reformite although you probbli say your not idk. And is that sarcasm saying im smart. haha very funny.
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Fri May 16, 2008 12:56 am

Watermelon wrote:
I know you dont agree your a reformite although you probbli say your not idk. And is that sarcasm saying im smart. haha very funny.

No seriously when I was 14 I was busy spraying shit on walls and breaking stuff, your very well educated. Very Happy keep reading !


And Im no longer a statist

Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Anarchy vs Marxist Socialism   Fri May 16, 2008 12:58 am

Well thanks ur very nice. Also what do you disagree with me on.
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