Marxism and Anarchism
Archive of anarchist writers and marxist comments. Blanqui is more a communist rather than an anarchist and yet he is a precursor of both. In , Bakunin joined the International Workingmen's Association and built up an anarchist wing. The Anarchists differ with the Marxist-Leninists in many areas, but The catalyst group is merely an Anarchist-Communist federation of affinity groups . clarify any major differences and explore alternative courses of action. In spite of this, there are important similarities and differences between Anarchism and Marxism when it comes to revolutionary perspectives.
In these bodies, not only are decisions made regarding projects and political matters, the delegates are expected to get feedback from and organize their own base to accomplish the decisions.
Marx also advocated that the standing army be replaced with an armed populace for their self-defense. In addition, he also advocated that the tasks of the state be simplified until they were no more than simple administrative tasks, determined by a democratically arrived at plan.
In doing this, anyone would be capable of executing these tasks and the responsibility for doing this type of work, which had formerly been the responsibility of a handful of state bureaucrats, could be rotated through the populace.
A Temporary Measure Anarchists oppose the formation of any kind of state because a state is by definition repressive. In this sense, it is a semi-state.
Consequently, it is a temporary measure. Once the threat of counterrevolution is eliminated and material needs are guaranteed for everyone, and the tasks of the state are reduced to administrative measures, there is no more need for a state.
It will wither away and be replaced by the free association of humanity where the freedom of each is dependent on the freedom of all. In his book State and Revolution, Lenin stated: We do not at all disagree with the anarchists on the question of the abolition of the state as the aim.
We maintain that, to achieve this aim, we must temporarily make use of the instruments resources and methods of state power against the exploiters. Marxists are statist only to the extent that one cannot achieve the liquidation of the state simply by ignoring it. For instance, Venezuela remains a capitalist state in the grips of a revolutionary process.
We have seen how its Community Councils, Communas, and popular militias have been developing.
While the revolution in Venezuela started relatively spontaneously, as it has matured the grass roots have developed more organized forms that have the potential to replace the parliamentary bodies created to serve the oligarchy. In Oaxaca, Mexico inthe capitalist state was chased out of the area by a spontaneous uprising. Again, this was the beginning of another state fundamentally different than the capitalist one they were combating.
If the Oaxaca revolution had succeeded and if the Venezuelan one does, it is impossible to believe that those involved in these mass struggles would favor the immediate disbandment of the state bodies that had enabled them to take power. Any serious revolutionary, including many Anarchists in spite of their theoretically categorical rejection of all states, would oppose such a measure since it would result in the abandonment of their efforts to defeat any counterrevolutionary attempts to bring back the rule of a handful of capitalists.
Movement Building There are other differences between Anarchists and Marxists in relation to movement building as well. Most Anarchist groupings have been traditionally opposed to fighting for political reforms. While they would, for instance, participate in individual strikes that called for a shortening of the workweek, Anarchists such as Bakunin would not participate in mobilizations that called for legislation to shorten the workweek on a national level.
In contrast, as long as the taking of power is not on the immediate agenda, Marxists support organizing for every reform that benefits workers. The organizing of workers independently of the capitalists on a national level in support of such reforms as full employment, a single payer health care plan, or the Employee Free Choice Act can heighten their class-consciousness and aid in the strengthening of their capacity to organize to struggle for more revolutionary demands.
Anarchists traditionally do not support the building of any party. Anarchists such as Bakunin advocated the building of secret revolutionary societies of a few hundred that would live among the masses and, once the masses went into action, the revolutionary societies would support and inflame their revolutionary instincts and act as a midwife to the smashing of the state. Even if such parties have a reformist leadership as most dothe Marxists would struggle in these parties to promote putting up a fight against the capitalists, as opposed to merely seeking accommodation with them.
It is this policy that differentiates revolutionaries from reformists and helps point working people in a revolutionary direction. This will be rare, but sometimes it is unavoidable.The Difference Between Socialism, Communism, and Marxism Explained by a Marxist
The consensus, in that case, would then have to be among a much smaller circle than the general membership of hundreds or thousands. But ordinarily all that is needed is an exchange of information and trust among parties, and a decision reaffirming the original decision will be reached, if an emergency decision had to be made.
Of course, during the discussion, there will be an endeavor to clarify any major differences and explore alternative courses of action. And their will be an attempt to arrive at a mutually agreed upon consensus between conflicting views.
As always, if there should be an impasse or dissatisfaction with the consensus, a vote would be taken, and with two-thirds majority, the matter would be accepted, rejected, or rescinded. This is totally contrary to the practice of Marxist-Leninist parties where the Central Committee unilaterally sets policy for the entire organization, and arbitrary authority reigns. Anarchists reject centralization of authority and the concept of the Central Committee.
All groups are free associations formed out of a common need, not revolutionaries disciplined by fear of authority. This enables the group to expand limitlessly while maintaining its anarchic form of decentralized self-management. It is sort of like the scientific theory of the biological cell, dividing and re-dividing, but in a political sense. For instance, organization would tighten during military operations or heightened political repression. Unlike members of Leninist parties, whose daily lives are generally similar to present bourgeoisie lifestyles, Anarchist organizational structures and lifestyles, through communal living arrangements, affinity groups, squatting, etc.
They want to seize State power and institute their own dictatorship over the people and the workers, instead of crushing State power and replacing it with a free, cooperative society. They insist that the party represents the proletariat, and that there is no need for them to organize themselves outside of the party.
Marxism & Anarchism
Yet, even in the former Soviet Union, the Communist Party membership only represented five percent of the population. This is elitism of the worst sort, and even makes the Capitalist parties look democratic by comparison.
- Free association (Marxism and anarchism)
They must be held accountable politically for these crimes against the people, and we must reject their revolutionary political theory and practice. They have slandered the names of Socialism and Communism. We reject the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is unbridled oppression, and the Marxist-Leninists and Stalinists must be made to answer for it. We reject State communism as the worst aberration and tyranny.
Anarchist vs. Marxist-Leninist Thought on the Organization of Society
We can do better than this with the mass commune. Anarchists look to a world and a society in which real decision-making involves everyone who is involved with it — a mass commune — not a few discipline freaks pulling the strings on a so-called proletarian dictatorship.
Any and all dictatorship is bad, it has no redeeming social features, yet that is what the Leninists tell us will protect us from counter-revolution. While Marxist-Leninists claim that this dictatorship is necessary in order to crush any bourgeois counter-revolutions led by the Capitalist class or right-wing reactionaries.
Anarchist vs. Marxist-Leninist Thought on the Organization of Society | Infoshop
Anarchists feel that this is itself part of the Marxist school of falsification. A centralized apparatus, such as a state, is a much easier target for opponents of the revolution than is an array of decentralized communes. Reality is not bipolar. Also, the fact that one holds views that are not mainstream does not mean that one has no role to play.
Some laissez-faire anarchists run for political office under the banner of libertarianism. As to what they believe in, there's quite a mix of different views, but one political text you might care to consult is Anarchy, State and Utopia by Robert Nozick. It advocates a minimal "night watchman" state. However, they are significantly different in what they reject. History Anarchism and socialism have overlapping histories, which accounts for their similarities.
Although there were historical antecedents, the modern forms of communism and anarchism were both created in the mid-to-late 19th century in Europe as a response to the problems brewing in industrial, capitalist society.
While the anarchists would blame government for their social problems, communists would come to blame capitalism via industrialization. There are two incredibly notable publications in this period: Proudhon publishes What is Property?
Proudhon is notable for being the first person to call himself an anarchist, and his work would inspire significant intellectual discussion on the topic. Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifestoespousing the general aims of a group of socialists and communists in Europe.