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Can Anarchism work?

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hammerandsickle
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Aug 18 2005 21:58
Can Anarchism work?

Hi! I am new to this board so I thought I would first of all say hello. I'm 20 years old and I live in Stoke-on-Trent. I'm also a member of the Socialist Party. I was present at the G8 in July (for the entire week) and I received a leaflet from a member of the AF. I had a small knowledge of Anarchism before the G8, but this made me very curious about the AF and it's beliefs and so I decided that this may just be the best place to ask my questions. Hopefully you'll have some great answers for me.

1) Abolition of the state

In "The State and Revolution" by V. I. Lenin, he explains that when society is transformed after the revolution into a socialist society that, over an unspecified period of time, society will develop into a communist society and, eventually, the state with wither away by it's own accord because of the eventual lack of need for a state (although it is impossible to know when this will occur, if at all). To me this seems more logical and scientific than the abolition of the state. I personally cannot see how the state can be abolished over-night and an Anarchist-Communism society created in it's place without any means of achieve this.

2) Crime

Society needs to be revolutionised and gradually altered because people do not change their behaviours overnight. If the state is abolished overnight, crime will rise in my opinion because of the capitalist nature remaining within some sections of humanity and the remaining want of some people. Without any at least initial form of control after the revolution, chaos may reign. How would this be combatted? (By crime here, I'm referring to attacks such as murder, rape, etc, not the poor thieving from the wealthy)

3) Poverty

One of the central aims of Socialism/Communism is the re-distribution of wealth around the world. How would Anarchist-Communism create this without a central body acting to achieve this? Death, poverty and disease need to be erradicated using a central body, otherwise re-distribution, aid and construction cannot reach these areas.

4) The Police

I personally do not like the police at all. I view them as the first line of defence for capitalist society, and corrupt/intolerant. As Lenin describes them, they are like a "primitive stick-wielding herd of monkeys". Anyway, as much as I dislike them, constantly attacking the police only harms the reputation of Anarchist and ultimately, other left-wing groups (because the moronic masses cannot differentiate between the different groups and the image created by the capitalist press). I advocate all forms of self-defence against them, for example, when they attack you, when they try to intimidate you, when they block an allowed route for a demonstration/march, etc, etc, but I would like to know what is the idea behind constant violent attacks on them?

5) Health Service

A health service is about the only aspect of capitalist society I want society to retain (though obviously not managed the same). It saves people's lives ultimately. Of course, the amount of casualities and the need for a health service would decrease under socialism/communism, but it would still be necessary. If the state was abolished, how would a health service run?

6) Food

People need food to survive (obviously). I have read before that under anarchist-communism, people could spend their lives fulfilling their greatest desires and doing more productive things (along those lines anyway). However, would humanity not return to spending alot of time hunting for and growing food? Surely a nationalised body distributing food according to needs would be better.

7) Counter-revolution

After the revolution, counter-revolutions always occur. How would society be able to defend against these attacks, which will no doubt be violent, without an organisational body? If a counter-revolution from the capitalist class does occur, the working class and other revolutionaries will not be able to defend itself and the newly created society without organisation and arms (a state or at least a hierarchy).

8 ) Politics

I recognise the AF and the Anarchist ideology are anti-state and do not wish to 'conform' to politics, but how can you expect to alter the thinking of the masses without getting involved in this process? Politics is the main outlet for changing society and a debate could occur should you become involved.

These are very brief questions, but hopefully you can answer these for me. These questions are not meant to be critical, because I do not have dislike of an ideology centred around an aim of achieveing anarchist-communism, but I cannot understand how questions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 could be achieved.

Thanks

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lucy_parsons
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Aug 20 2005 13:42
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plus your not in the SWP so theres a 200% reduction in the chance of you being some lil rich kid.

Of course he's not a rich kid, he's from Stoke. Have you noticed how many Stokies are on here? It's part of our plan to take over the world.

afraser
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Aug 20 2005 19:31

The Workers Solidarity Movement (a serious anarchist organisation in Ireland) just wrote about this subject:

Quote:
And the workers' militia must be under the control of the workers. In general, anarchists see Workers' and Neighbourhood Councils as the means by which the people will organise their daily life during and after the revolution. From producing goods and services to organising street cleaning and community protection, anarchists advocate direct administration of all [public] aspects of life. We envisage that these Councils will federate with each other, first locally, then nationally, and then across the globe. [http://struggle.ws/wsm/ws/2005/87/socialrevolution.html]

If that sounds at lot like government, a state, it is because it is a lot like government, a state - albeit of a highly reformed type.

The differences with current states?:

* elected officials would be instantly recallable;

* elected representatives would be replaced with mandated delegates; government would as far as possible be at extremely local level;

* sovereignty would lie at local neighbourhood and workplace level - they would be free to leave higher federations at any time;

* (arguably) judges would be replaced with juries;

* (arguably) heavy use would be made of referenda.

So not a government or a state like those we currently have, but still state-like institutions (even if euphemised to 'militias', 'councils', 'polities' etc.) fulfilling the equivalent roles of the state you listed in your post above (police, crime, poverty, etc.). It is in economic affairs that the big differences between anarchism and liberal states lie.

Proudhon, the guy who started it all off, didn't quite intend to be taken literally to any extreme sense of meaning of the word "anarchism":

Quote:
Though Proudhon called himself an anarchist, he did not advocate the abolition of government nor did he believe that such a thing was possible. Rather, he advocated its minimization: "By the word anarchy I wanted to indicate the extreme limit of political progress. Anarchy is... a form of government or constitution in which public and private consciousness, formed through the development of science and law, is alone sufficient to maintain order and guarantee all liberties... The institutions of the police, preventative and repressive methods officialdom, taxation etc., are reduced to a minimum..." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Joseph_Proudhon]

Murray Bookchhin, the biggest anarchist intellectual living, wrote 2003 that anarchists should drop the name "Anarchism" because of this confusion. Instead he proposed the name "Communalism" be used - not surprisingly that has failed to catch on, for better or worse we are stuck with term anarchist now. [http://www.social-ecology.org/article.php?story=20031118120911606]

hammerandsickle
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Aug 20 2005 20:34

Hi! Thanks for replying. I too hate the SWP. They are not socialists/Marxists. I view them as an anti-fascist organisation having left-wing tendencies. They have more members than the Socialist Party though.

sad:(sad

Anyway, in response, firstly, if most anarchists agree with me on the issue of violence and the police, why are anarchists always so violent? I was at the G8 for the whole week. My minibus was one of the first present at the Asylum Camp. This is the only reason we were not stopped and searched. We were then delayed leaving by an hour due to police searches, stops, etc (in which some arrests were made). All this was because of trouble between Anarchists and the police the day before. The greatest involvement a lot, though not all, Anarchists have in trying to change society through activism is attacking the police, and it is done whenever possible. I do not understand the need to always attack the police.

I also have noticed you repeatedly mention the Anarchists in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. This is not a good example. The Anarchists only controlled an area of Spain in the 1930's, during a war. To relate this to the entire world in the 21st century and say "we can do this, we can do that because in Spain it was possible" is utter nonsense. The Anarchists in Spain sided with the government which ended up installing a FASCIST regime. The Anarchist revolution in Spain also failed. The example of Anarchists in Spain is not a good example of society working together in the right direction, much less a revolution, and much less how the world could function.

If food and wealth was distributed by organisations in different areas of the world according to needs and desires, and the world was supposed to be communist, how is it going to be distributed evenly? If they are not going to contact each-other throughout the world, then an Anarchist-Communism world is not possible. If they are contacting each-other, then a central body to organise this would be far better. A central body would also make the organisation of this process a lot easier. A certain amount of beaurocracy is always needed. Socialists strive for as little beaurocracy as possible.

"See Lenin's "What is to be done?" on Trade Union Consciousness, whcih in short argies that the working class can not see past reformist short term economic gains and that socialism as an ideology formulated by middle class intellectuals must be instilled in the proletariat via the Party"

- I am an apprentice plumber. I work with people from the working class every single day. Most conversations in the workplace involve women or booze. I am laughed at for saying such things as "more efficient soldering". Do you honestly think the vast majority of people in the working class are capable OR willing to become an intellectually-inspired Marxist revolutionary or a well-educated/well-informed Anarchist? They are not. By this, I am not insulting the working class. I do not think I am better than them either, but I also wouldn't say I have followed the education path of most of the working class. I am merely stating that they need to be guided by a party in order to bring about a successful revolution. The working class may rise in revolt, but it must be educated and guided in the correct path.

"this is elitist bollocks and is strange to hear from some commited to working class emancipation"

- Let me use examples. In Britain, the Conservative Party has only ever been elected historically when the working class voted for them. Why do you think people view George W. Bush as the "good guy" and "rogue states" as rogue states? Why do you think people disagree with Socialism or Anarchism when they do not even know the basics of it? Why do you think people are not worried, on the whole, about global warming, due to emissions, despite the evidence, which is in abundance? Why do you think people support governments that at the same time are exploiting them for all they are worth? Why do you think racism increases when the media produces articles concerning what they see as immigration problems? I could go on all day......

Answer?

Because the capitalist government and press has ingrained all these ideas into their heads, because people will believe any lie the media tells them if it is repeated often enough. The media groups all on the so-called "far-left" into one category and churns it out for the public to read like sheep. This is not an anti-working class statement at all, I am referring to all people of all classes. It is obvious when you talk to people. All we can do is try to educate them properly smile

As for not getting involved in the political process, this is only harming the Anarchist Federation movement. When people are elected from a small party, it raises awareness of that party throughout the country. As you increasingly become involved in politics, people's awareness of your party or movement grows. You can explain your politics, what you stand for and why, and the party continues to grow. If enough people support a movement/party or are elected from a party, pressure is put on the government. Yes, a revolution cannot be brought about by electoral success alone, because the fundamentals of society must be smashed and changed, but it certainly only adds to the gains a party or movement makes.

As for the comment about Russia, it is obvious you have not studied Russia enough. I suggest greater reading on this subject..... (most notably: what "state capitalism" is or is not, and, the difference between the USSR under Lenin, which was also during the Russian civil war (not peaceful times), and the USSR under Stalin)

P.S. The answer you have given to question 2 is almost the same as the Socialist answer to my question.

Thank you.

hammerandsickle
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Aug 20 2005 20:37

correction to post:

*I do not understand the need to always attack the police or attack people and their properties, another event which occured at the G8 when Anarchists began to smash the windows of houses that people had worked to gain. Why?

hammerandsickle
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Aug 20 2005 20:42

Sorry if the tone of my post sounds hostile to your reply. That is not intended at all, it is simply just the way I talk when debating a topic with people. Personally, I have some Anarchist tendencies/sympathies/beliefs, and like I said, I have very little dislike for an organisation wanting to change society into Anarchist-Communism.

hammerandsickle
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Aug 20 2005 20:52

Proudhon! smile As far as I am aware, his ideas influenced Marx smile Just saying tbh.....

"Murray Bookchhin, the biggest anarchist intellectual living, wrote 2003 that anarchists should drop the name "Anarchism" because of this confusion. Instead he proposed the name "Communalism" be used - not surprisingly that has failed to catch on, for better or worse we are stuck with term anarchist now"

- Socialists and Communists have this problem too because of their association with the USSR. Unfortunately, we are stuck with this title too sad

circle A black bloc red n black star

redyred
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Aug 20 2005 20:56
hammerandsickle wrote:
I do not understand the need to always attack the police or attack people and their properties, another event which occured at the G8 when Anarchists began to smash the windows of houses that people had worked to gain. Why?

A lot of anti-social scum call themselves anarchists. You won't find many of those on here though.

Quote:
I am an apprentice plumber. I work with people from the working class every single day. Most conversations in the workplace involve women or booze. I am laughed at for saying such things as "more efficient soldering". Do you honestly think the vast majority of people in the working class are capable OR willing to become an intellectually-inspired Marxist revolutionary or a well-educated/well-informed Anarchist? They are not.

True, but this I don't think anyone believes this is necessary for revolution.

Quote:
By this, I am not insulting the working class. I do not think I am better than them either, but I also wouldn't say I have followed the education path of most of the working class. I am merely stating that they need to be guided by a party in order to bring about a successful revolution. The working class may rise in revolt, but it must be educated and guided in the correct path.

But what you are doing is underestimating the working class's ability to to sieze and competently run the means of production. This is historically something which has organically happened in numerous working class uprisings. It is clear the tendency of the working class in revolt against capital is towards self-management. While sometimes parties have helped agitate and propagandise at some level, it has always been the class itself which has siezed the means of production for itself and proved its own capabilities in controlling the MoP. Parties brought to power in workers' revolutions have historically taken control back from the workers.

Some recommended reading:

Rosa Luxemburg - Leninism or Marxism

Maurice Brinton - The Bolsheviks and Workers' Control

afraser
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Aug 21 2005 00:09
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Do you honestly think the vast majority of people in the working class are capable OR willing to become an intellectually-inspired Marxist revolutionary...

Thank God the vast majority of people are not stupid enough to be in any way duped by 'intellectually-inspired marxist revolutionary' thought. The majority, quite rightly, treat Marxist mumbo jumbo with the contempt it deserves. And it deserves some pretty severe contempt: everything Marx ever said or wrote was and is without exception complete rubbish. The man was an idiot.

Quote:
...or a well-educated/well-informed Anarchist?

Yes, that they are. Look to your plumber comrades - when they (hopefully you too) complete their apprenticeships they will be in a position to become rich men by acting as self employed tradesmen for as long as the labour scarcity of plumbers in the South East of England continues. Such would be the actions of the well informed Anarchist.

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Aug 21 2005 18:03
afraser wrote:
everything Marx ever said or wrote was and is without exception complete rubbish. The man was an idiot.

Dude... eek

I hope Jack doesn't see this.

meanoldman
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Aug 21 2005 18:16
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everything Marx ever said or wrote was and is without exception complete rubbish. The man was an idiot.

Have you read everything he wrote? I'd put a tener on you having never read Capital.

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Aug 21 2005 22:15
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everything Marx ever said or wrote was and is without exception complete rubbish. The man was an idiot.

I wouldn't go thaaaaaat far, I mean he did screw his maid but....

seriously, he made a large contribution to socialism.

Anyone that says, "Do you honestly think the vast majority of people in the working class are capable OR willing to become an intellectually-inspired Marxist revolutionary..." can go to hell, quite frankly. The same to the sentiment, "socialism as an ideology formulated by middle class intellectuals must be instilled in the proletariat via the Party".

Marxists are as boring as fuck.

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Aug 22 2005 11:28
hammerandsickle wrote:

1) Abolition of the state

In "The State and Revolution" by V. I. Lenin, he explains that when society is transformed after the revolution into a socialist society that, over an unspecified period of time, society will develop into a communist society and, eventually, the state with wither away by it's own accord because of the eventual lack of need for a state (although it is impossible to know when this will occur, if at all). To me this seems more logical and scientific than the abolition of the state. I personally cannot see how the state can be abolished over-night and an Anarchist-Communism society created in it's place without any means of achieve this.

If workers were to take control of production and distribution then the state would cease to exist as a legislative body yes?

Then would you not agree that the class interests of those in power who run the state are directly against those of the working class and that therefore those in control of the state will always side with the bourgeoisie whenever possible.

Surely that is the mopre scientific way of looking at things, afterall your arguement here seems to be based on a notion of trusting those who run the state to be ''nice'' and just ''give away'' their power when the time comes, which is just idealism. As a marxist it seems to me to be exactly the kind of moralistic approach that scientific socialism strove to overcome.

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cantdocartwheels
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Aug 22 2005 13:04
revol68 wrote:
can'tdo i agree with you, but please in the name of fucking christ stop refering to scientific socialism, it makes you sound mental.

of course it does in day to day converstion, but in this debate on this forum it doesn't. But ok, if it makes you happy, can I have 'modern industrial socialism' instead? smile

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Steven.
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Aug 22 2005 14:31
cantdocartwheels wrote:
revol68 wrote:
can'tdo i agree with you, but please in the name of fucking christ stop refering to scientific socialism, it makes you sound mental.

of course it does in day to day converstion, but in this debate on this forum it doesn't.

Oh no - it does.

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Aug 22 2005 14:48
John. wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
revol68 wrote:
can'tdo i agree with you, but please in the name of fucking christ stop refering to scientific socialism, it makes you sound mental.

of course it does in day to day converstion, but in this debate on this forum it doesn't.

Oh no - it does.

We all know you and revol love engels really

hammerandsickle
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Aug 23 2005 16:45

LOL! Fuck you all. So much for "A lot of anti-social scum call themselves anarchists. You won't find many of those on here though". I've found plenty, and this has only increased my dislike of Anarchists, adding to the events of the G8. If "everything Marx ever said or wrote was and is without exception complete rubbish", then why do you call yourselves Anarcho-Communists (or whatever ridiculous title you choose today)? Marx co-wrote the Communist Manifesto and was the first to use the word in the form your ideology follows!!! You people have no idea how close (though somewhat distant on a few subjects) Socialism and Anarchism are!! FUCKING MORONS!!

"Surely that is the mopre scientific way of looking at things, afterall your arguement here seems to be based on a notion of trusting those who run the state to be ''nice'' and just ''give away'' their power when the time comes, which is just idealism"

I never stated this once!! I advocate violent revolution and the smashing of the state when the time comes.

hammerandsickle
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Aug 23 2005 16:48

It's really funny (hahahahahaha) - you people have no idea how much I began to question my ideology (which wasn't a lot but was enough for me to become more interested) in favour of the AF's when I got replies like revol68's and the like. Now all I see is an unintelligent incoherent group of people with a dislike of everyone outside of the AF and/or Anarchist ideology. A 'far-left' version of the BNP maybe.......

meanoldman
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Aug 23 2005 16:53
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why do you call yourselves Anarcho-Communists (or whatever ridiculous title you choose today)? Marx co-wrote the Communist Manifesto and was the first to use the word in the form your ideology follows!!

The word and the idea both predate Marx.

Questionauthority
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Aug 23 2005 19:40

hammerandsickle- your tone and writing is making you come off more and more as an elitist bastard minus the CAPS and !!!

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Now all I see is an unintelligent incoherent group of people with a dislike of everyone outside of the AF and/or Anarchist ideology. A 'far-left' version of the BNP maybe.......

libcom can seem a little groupy to those who don't really know it , i can hardly say i'm part of it as such but i read the forums enough to work out "inside" jokes of the place etc....

but also you cant expect everyone here to be in favour of what marx wrote we all have individual opinions

If you were questiong your ideology then good why shoulda few posts stop you, being possibly associated with dicks smashing windows didnt scare me off from looking into anarchism at least.

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Aug 23 2005 20:54
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Marx...was the first to use the word [communist] in the form your ideology follows!!!

Wrong.

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You people have no idea how close (though somewhat distant on a few subjects) Socialism and Anarchism are!! FUCKING MORONS!!

I bloody hope I'm nothing like you. Wanker.

Mike Harman
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Aug 23 2005 21:21

Can I remind both Volin and hammerandsickle that this is the introductory thought forum and it clearly states *no flaming*. Even Revol has been civil on this thread (nice post revol by the way).

hammerandsickle, if you think the state will wither away when there's no need for it, I have a couple of questions.

Who will decide when there's no need for the state?

How would disagreements on this point be resolved?

It's my view that a Leninist "Workers' State" is in many ways a more likely and certainly more difficult to deal with counter-revolutionary threat than what would remain of the capitalist class during a revolution - since it allows Capital to maintain its hold over labour yet appropriate much of the energy of the social revolution towards its service. It would therefore be imperative that the working class in such a situation had sufficient self-organisation and self-confidence to remove the need for centralised, institutional authority, and to remove that authority if it arose.

meanoldman, I doubt you'll find anyone to bet against you.

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Aug 24 2005 14:56

sowwy Catchy.

In addition, I'd say he should define a "violent revolution" and "smashing of the state when the time comes".

redyred
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Aug 24 2005 15:34
hammerandsickle wrote:
LOL! Fuck you all. So much for "A lot of anti-social scum call themselves anarchists. You won't find many of those on here though". I've found plenty, and this has only increased my dislike of Anarchists, adding to the events of the G8. If "everything Marx ever said or wrote was and is without exception complete rubbish", then why do you call yourselves Anarcho-Communists (or whatever ridiculous title you choose today)? Marx co-wrote the Communist Manifesto and was the first to use the word in the form your ideology follows!!! You people have no idea how close (though somewhat distant on a few subjects) Socialism and Anarchism are!!

afraser (who made that comment about Marx) is no more representative of this site in general than you are - if you actually read a bit more of the thread you'll see the next four posters actually criticised what he said.

libcom isn't a specifically anarchist site either, it's libertarian communist. A fair few of the admins and more regular posters would describe themselves as Marxists - take a look at our library - does it look like we all hate Marx?

From your last couple of posts it looks as if you won't be back, but if you are please take the time to actually read what everyone has said, and remember everyone who posts on libcom isn't part of some monolithic block - some nutter who's made 20 posts and has no other connection to the site isn't speaking for all of us.

redyred
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Aug 24 2005 15:54
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what i think is hilarious is the obvious fact that our Socialist Party friend has obviously no proper graps of Marx, and like most Trots has only really read some ole shite from Lenin, no doubt recommended by the party full timer.

Very true.

A brief Trot history of Communism:

1848 - Marx Invents Communism

1917 - Bolsheviks take power, everyone is happy

1920-something - Bad man called Stalin ruins it all

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Aug 24 2005 17:54

Hi

Quote:
some nutter who's made 20 posts and has no other connection to the site isn't speaking for all of us

Indeed. I can’t fathom afraser's remarks at all. He was coming over vaguely sane earlier. Perhaps he’s one of those former orthodox Marxists who’s now overcompensating for their previous religious reverence for the man.

I understand he had bad piles. Apparently, this was from sitting on the British Library’s hard, damp chairs. Too much time on the lav’ struggling with his algebra, I reckon.

Peace and Love etc

LR

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Aug 26 2005 16:03
hammerandsickle wrote:
LOL! Fuck you all.

Plenty of anti-socials appear to call themselves trotskyists also it seems wink

And for your information, i'd say most people on here either regard themselves as marxists or at least appreciate marxian thought. Can we perhaps be civil and carry on the debate, sinmce you seem to have put a fair amount of effort into the first post on the thread.

Quote:
Quote:
"Surely that is the mopre scientific way of looking at things, afterall your arguement here seems to be based on a notion of trusting those who run the state to be ''nice'' and just ''give away'' their power when the time comes, which is just idealism"

I never stated this once!! I advocate violent revolution and the smashing of the state when the time comes.

Well that sounds all very nice on paper, but your party advocates a ''workers state'' in which sole legislative power in the state is held by a parliamentary body of some form controlled by democratic centralism through a vanguard party, which assumes control of bureaucratic functions.

Hence the state is not exactly ''smashed'' is it. In fact what part of the state are you dismantling here exactly?

This is reflected in the way in which Lenin changed his views on the state and democratic particpation, for example in State and revolution he argued that the state should be ''smashed'' indicating a single sweeping change admittedly still directed and controlled by a vangaurd party and with a state controlled phase.

Yet later on he was to say of socialism ''Socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the whole people" (1917) when he began to lay out a more set view of how the socialist state-run phase of revolution should look like Then still later in 1920 he would say ''the Soviet Socialist Democracy is in no way inconsistent with the rule and dictatorship of one person; that the will of a class is at best realised by a Dictator who sometimes will accomplish more by himself and is frequently more needed'' which further changed hsi views from a dictatorship by the party cadre, to a far more top down model resting on the control of the politburo.

What is your idea of democratic workers control of production and distribution? Because to my mind Leninism seems to be the complete opposite of this.

afraser
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Aug 30 2005 22:37
meanoldman wrote:
Have you read everything he wrote? I'd put a tener on you having never read Capital.

You'd loose that tenner - but anyway the debate has flowered onwards at http://www.libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6245&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=16 But note - only for the thick skinned, the religously marxist probably don't want to look, I'm just warning you so you know....

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Volin
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Aug 31 2005 10:15

You've read ALL of Das Kapital?! Come on, who's gonnae believe that one! grin

(I saw some nice copies in a second-hand bookshop and, for a moment, I was tempted but then I thought, nah, I have a life.)

IrrationallyAngry
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Sep 4 2005 22:43

I was going to steer well clear of this carcrash of a thread after John pointed it out to me, but there is one thing here that attracted my attention.

cantdocartwheels wrote:
Well that sounds all very nice on paper, but your party advocates a ''workers state'' in which sole legislative power in the state is held by a parliamentary body of some form controlled by democratic centralism through a vanguard party, which assumes control of bureaucratic functions.

This is not what the Socialist Party advocates or what it means by a workers state. Anarchists may argue that this is what would result from a Marxist-led revolution, but that is a quite seperate argument.

The Socialist Party advocates an uprising which would smash the capitalist state and create a "workers state". This workers state would be organised through workers councils (or soviets) and within those councils various political parties would exist, reflecting the different political trends within the working class.

This is broadly what anarchists advocate, although anarchists are allergic to the terms state and party. It is not simply a terminological argument however, as there are still important differences between the Marxist and anarchist views of how this revolutionary society would operate. One such difference for example is over what we might call authority - the ability for instance for a higher council to compell a local council to do something it doesn't agree with.

And by the way, the Socialist Party doesn't refer to itself as democratic centralist and hasn't for some years.

IrrationallyAngry
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Joined: 23-06-05
Sep 4 2005 22:51
Jack wrote:

Only crap ones.

Or cancelled at the last minute ones, like the one I was supposed to go to last night. It made me feel a bit like a character from some 1970s American teen comedy who turns up expecting fun times only to find that the keg party has been rumbled and Chad's red faced father is still home.