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Postby jacobhaller » Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:41 pm

Back when I was a Marxist I thought I understood anarchism:

(1) It couldn't defend the revolution without an army (and a state)
(2) It couldn't resolve internal disputes without democratic centralism (and a state)
(3) It couldn't act against existing capitalism without systematic violence (and a state)
(4) If a community can enforce its decisions, it is a state

Of course militias and federations answer the first pair of critiques, while a variety of elements add to gether to both sidestep and negate the second pair. I think it is easy for Marxists to think they understand anarchism, especially if their initial exposure is to ancapism, or to pretend anarchism contains equally statist elements, especially if their initial exposure is to SRism.
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Postby Din » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:27 am

PatheticKammy wrote:Anarchism and Communism are two disparate ideologies. Communism tends to have one main path, perhaps the majority of its adherents have virtually identical beliefs, anarchism on the other hand tends to generally agree on one main thing, the abolition of the state.


Anarchism is not synonymous with the mere abolition of the State. There are three main positions that distinguish anarchists from others - anti-statism, anti-capitalism, and decentralization. Remove any one of the three things and it would not be anarchy as anarchists think of it.

Though there have been flaws in anarchism, I don't think there are any big flaws with the overall main theory, abolishing the state once the movement is strong.


There are so many flaws, not the least of which is the very notion that there exist some overall main theory...

Marx and Engels had the whole "withering away" theory which entitles the belief of having the state ruled by all of the millions of proletarians but yet they advocated a vanguard party.


The "withering away" rhetoric was merely rhetoric. Visit Morpheus' home page. I've sent him an essay on the topic by Richard Adamiak that he has since put up. Worth reading.
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Postby Username » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:42 am

PatheticKammy wrote:
commiefuck wrote:[M]arx saw the need for a vanguard party. see the chapter in the communist manifesto titled "Proletarians and Communists".


It's quite odd. Marx and Engels had the whole "withering away" theory which entitles the belief of having the state ruled by all of the millions of proletarians but yet they advocated a vanguard party.
Actually, Marx and Engels didn't see a need for the vanguard party. only lenin and trotsky saw the need. According to Chapter Two, Proletarians and Communists, of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels mentioned nothing of a vanguard party.
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Postby commiefuck » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:00 pm

this is going to have to be quick cause i'm at work and i'm not really supposed to be on the computers.

Edo:

"I hope this isn't a response to my post, or that this is the best the CPC has to offer (although the latter wouldn't surprise me at all.)"

this wasn't a response to your last post, hence the "a little off topic" sidenote to the first entry. it was just somewhat relevant and i thought you might get a kick out of it. as i said, it was written by a young comrade (i think he's 18 or 19) who is a little more centrist than me (i classify myself more to the left). this is just one opinion in the cpc. you don't have to get all smarmy about it. that said you did a good job of deconstructing the argument. perhaps you'd like to post your opinions on the cpc message board?

PatheticKammy:

i chose to sign up with the communist party not for numbers but because i think in order for the revolution to come in my lifetime an organized, focused opposition is going to be needed to battle and defeat organized, focused capitalism. while i think anarchism is great for radicalizing alot of people i find alot of anarchists aren't too convinced the revolution is coming any time soon. they focus on setting up alternatives to capitalism instead of organizing the proletariat and agitating for revolution. this is just my opinion though, perhaps i am wrong.

Username:
"According to Chapter Two, Proletarians and Communists, of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels mentioned nothing of a vanguard party"

so it was implied. i don't have time to post quotes now, but i'll give it a try later.
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Postby jacobhaller » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:27 pm

"The Communists do not form a party separate from the other working-class parties"
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Postby Username » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:37 pm

jacobhaller wrote:"The Communists do not form a party separate from the other working-class parties"
exactly
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Postby commiefuck » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:47 pm

"The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the lines of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement."
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Postby PatheticKammy » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:01 pm

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Postby PatheticKammy » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:08 pm

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Postby Harry Haller » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:02 am

As far as observation and sociology, Marx was a genius(though I'm pretty sure he was probably just the dude who took the best notes). As far as political systems to "abolish exploitation" go, Marx was a bit of an elitist.

I'm not an expert on Marx, though I've read a number of his writings, but what turns me off about Marxism is that whole "smart people should control everything" attitude that he perpetuates. It's like Plato, sophistry that claims to defy sophistry.

"The Experts" have had their say, and they've fucked everything up. I think people that are more concentrated on survival, together, can get a lot more fixed, than a small group of intellectuals that talk about the populous like it was a statistic on a baseball card......
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Postby Din » Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:39 am

PatheticKammy wrote:That all boils down on whether you think of anarcho-capitalism as anarchist or not. ... I myself happen to think of anarcho-capitalism as a branch of anarchism not from empirical observation and knowledge but a presupposition. I have not looked into the whole theory and even though it preserves the evils of capitalism, it still maintains along the lines of anarchist affiliation. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.


Anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron. That has been well established and elaborated upon on numerous occassions on this very forum. What is misleadingly called anarcho-capitalism is really just an anti-statist branch of liberalism, a direct continuation of the liberal tradition that has always had a moderate anti-statist element, and should be seen as a member of the liberal family and not the anarchist family. Indeed, it is precisely because liberalism has a moderate anti-statist position, varying in degree from one variety to another, that anarchism cannot simply be described as anti-statism. The two other major elements of anti-capitalism and decentralization, serve to distinguish anarchism from both the anti-statist liberal crowd and the anti-statist Socialist (re: marxists et al) crowd. Some commentators would add other elements to anarchism, such as anti-authority, anti-hierarchy, or pro-spontaneity, but these are not necessary to distinguish anarchists any further from others.

Anti-statism and decentralization is all tied up within the question of the need for a state, perhaps not in every situation, but in all branches of anarchism.


Anti-statism and decentralization are two separate concerns. It is possible to be in favor of one and not the other. The anarchist preference for decentralization is not limited to the subject of the State. Within the organizations of anarchists themselves, there is a very strong concern to be as far away from any centralization whatsoever. A common criticism that anarchists tend to throw against other anarchists is that their organization is centralized, to which the other anarchists would rush to deny and defend themselves against the allegations. Likewise, for those anarchists that would bother to visualize a hypothetically ideal society, there is a similar concern to avoid any facet of centralization. As much as one can possibly imagine, anyhow. It is not, as some suspect, that anarchists fear a State would emerge from such centralization, but rather than anarchists dislike the State from a distaste of decentralization. Among other reasons, of course.

In theory, almost everything sounds great. Capitalism: all that opportunity. Statism: Paradise, the government serves the people and takes care of everything, no more drudgery.


That description of statism sounds awful to those of us who dislike the idea of rulership not merely because they do not like to be ruled but because they do not like to be served either. Likewise, any description of anarchy might sound awful to those who think that people should be ruled by some sort of authority.

My assumption is that this anarcho-capitalist society has diminished the severity of competition so at least you could see all the people that you're stepping on and that people are not being harshly exploited.


The point of the stateless liberal society, erroneously described as anarcho-capitalism, is to increase the level of competition, removing the artificial monopoly of the State so that private firms could compete with each other to market the services that the State currently provide in military defence, law courts, police agencies, and so on. The point of the mutualist economic system that some anarchists have advocated, including Pierre Joseph Proudhon, is to increase the level of competition even further, removing the monopoly of capitalists that exist in the form of usury and its effect in profit and rent, so that individuals would be even more free to compete and trade with one another.

There are so many flaws, not the least of which is the very notion that there exist some overall main theory...


Yes, there are many flaws and perhaps in the overall main theory, but I don't think that there are any big flaws that hold the truth that anarchism is unfeasible and will inevitably lead to totalitarianism and chaos.


Look closer. My point was that there does not exist an overall main theory to anarchism.
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Postby jacobhaller » Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:46 am

Anarcho-Capitalism contains a variety of contradictions within it; it can either accept anarchism and turn against the capitalist monopolies, or it can accept the capitalist monopolies and turn against anarchism. The former becomes market anarchism*; the latter becomes corporate statism (fascism).

*With a weaker standard for stronger possession claims.
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Postby PatheticKammy » Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:43 am

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Postby PatheticKammy » Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:45 am

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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:11 am

I apologize for taking so long to answer this reply, but here it goes:

commiefuck:

saying that marxism and fascism are siblings just because they advocate "state control" is silly. that's like saying anarchists and laissez-faire neo-liberal capitalists are siblings because they don't want any state involvement in the economy. saying marxism is simply "state control" of the economy is also wrong.


Well, state control of the economy is the main ideal of Marxism, is it not? Look at the ten measures Marx and Engels thought appropriate for the installment of Communism (in the Communist Manifesto). It clearly outlines a kind of government in which the state owns nearly everything (mistakenly called abolition of property) and commands the economy through centralization of banks, means of communication, and transport in the "hands of the state," state ownership of factories, state indoctrination of children through public schools, and so forth. This sounds nearly identical to the programs implemented following the National Socialist ideal of the supreme importance of the state.

Furthermore, anarchists are closer ideologically to neoliberals than to Marxists, in my opinion. Marxism advocates control of the economy by a VERY few (state bureaucrats); neoliberals advocate control by a few (the capitalist class); anarchists advocate control of the economy by everyone (whether through individual enterprises a la mutualism, or collective democratic control a la collectivism.) In short, there is a sort of spectrum.
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