Destroying the state in one swift blow

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Lucky Black Cat's picture
Lucky Black Cat
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Feb 23 2018 10:29
Destroying the state in one swift blow
Craftwork wrote:
More to the point, it's a mistake to focus one's politics on the locale/municipality, because the level of municipal/city politics is too weak, too small, too isolated, it is subject to the pressures of national (and even international) politics. This is why the working-class must unify and focus its struggles towards one aim: the destruction of the capitalist state; it will have to destroy the state in one, swift blow, from the top-down. Not gradually from the bottom-up.

I agree with Craftwork's point here (from another thread). But how can this be done in a way that's libertarian? In a way that uses direct democracy? Or would this, to some degree, require a hierarchical, centralized, top-down power structure?

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Mar 5 2018 15:18

The only way to complete such a feat is to engage in violent revolution. That is, at least, given the current sociopolitical environment. It is also worth noting that the revolutionary spirit of the first world has dwindled. There is no potential for revolution. In the link I just prescribed, a YouTuber by the name of Jason Unruhe advocates a brand of communism he calls third worldism. To sum it up, capitalism must be brought down through the development of communism/socialism in the third world, where the ground for communism/socialism is fertile; their situation is dire enough to inspire action.

With capitalism having been rid of, third world countries will stolen back their agency from the likes of America, the United Kingdom, etc. As the capitalist countries are thus unable to exploit communist/socialist countries, they too will lose power; they will see reason for communism/socialism. My addition to this is simple, during the transition construct a system which effectively limits the state's ability to govern, paving a roadway to anarchism.

That's just my thoughts, though.

Fleur
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Mar 5 2018 18:09

I'm not sure that third worldism in general or Maoist Rebel News in particular will really go down well here.

Just asking but is Jason still mad that his mom sold his Playstation?

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Mar 6 2018 13:42

Perhaps, but I don't see the downside to discussing, and more importantly libertarianising, the ideas of third worldism. They can be adapted to fit an anarchist perspective.

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Mar 6 2018 13:55

I think the downside is that those ideas have literally nothing to offer workers in the "first world". The idea that people in, say, Flint, or Rhyl for that matter, are just too comfortable for their own good and need more deprivation inflicted on them is grotesque.

Maclane Horton
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Mar 6 2018 18:22

“Violent revolution in one swift blow.” So you mean Mao and Castro were wrong. Now remember if you hear of a surprise attack and occupation of the presidential palace, it isn’t a revolution. It’s one faction of the Junta seizing power from another.

When I was a teenager I sneered at the gradualists and the attentistes (the revolution is inevitable). I expected everything in the world around me to change just as fast as my life changed in those teenage years. But no, I was naive. Raising a secret vanguard and assaulting the presidential palace ain’t going to happen.

Anti-aristocracy and anti-imperialist revolutions (England, American Colonies, France, Russia) were preceded by periods of active destabilisation. And again the anti-capitalist ephemeral revolutions in Central America and South America have been the result of campaigns of destabilisation.

Detach and destabilise are the watchwords. Detach their support and destabilise their system.

In England a clever step has been made detaching the capitalist support of the European Union. And already there I see an important campaign starting up to discredit the gross salaries and bonuses of the boss class. Even the good old bourgeois Labour Party with Jeremy Corbyn are jumping on the bandwagon.

Remember the ruling class are a minority. To keep in power they have to be very clever and fool an awful lot of people. Mind you, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it, but if I were them I’d be worried. We live in interesting times.

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Mar 9 2018 00:29

It's nice to see some replies to this thread! They raise some interesting ideas, but none of them address my question.

NewAgeApollo I don't think anyone can predict where in the world capitalism will first be overthrown. But even if it does begin in some of the poorer countries, as you say, it still leaves my question unanswered.

How to overthrow the nation-state in one swift blow in a way that's consistent with libertarian structures and principles?

Maclane Horton I think you misunderstood me (or misunderstood Craftwork). I'm not saying that revolution would happen in one swift blow. I'm saying that the state would need to be overthrown in one swift blow. Revolution is much more than just overthrowing the state, so you're right that it would take more time (though I wouldn't say "gradual" describes it, either).

So my question isn't about revolution in general, but only about overthrowing the state.

ajjohnstone
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Mar 9 2018 05:05

Those acquainted with the SPGB will be aware of their position. To capture the machinery of the State if possible peacefully via the existing electoral process though forcibly if required and then use our control of the State to abolish it, once having settled with the ruling class.

A non-SPGB article that reflects much of its basic position is here
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-state

We accept the need for the existence of that most misinterpreted "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" ie the period of proletarian rule and the use of the state by the socialist-minded, democratically-organised working class majority to abolish class society by dispossessing the capitalist class. This phase could be passed through fairly rapidly, but, of course, it has to exist for however short a period as that's what political action to establish socialism involves.

Maclane Horton
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Mar 9 2018 20:13

How to overthrow the state.

You can try looking at policy one and policy two on this website:
marxistanalysis.wordpress.com

the croydonian anarchist's picture
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Mar 9 2018 21:52

that article does not summarise the position of any parliamentary party

ajjohnstone
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Mar 10 2018 05:04

If you are referring to my claim, croyonian:

Quote:
Some critics may look at a focus on the Paris Commune as bound to make Marx and Engels look very hostile to the bourgeois state, when in fact their politics were much more ambiguous. Did they not advocate participation in bourgeois elections, and the election of workers’ candidates into parliament? In fact, in certain countries, they even thought that a working class parliamentary majority could be used for a peaceful transition to socialism. For many anarchists, this is the defining aspect of Marx’s political thought, and his supposed authoritarianism is considered proven on this evidence. Leaving aside the question of the relative value of electoral politics, it is worth asking whether there is necessarily any contradiction in advocating the use of bourgeois parliaments while hoping for their eventual replacement by Communal-type organization, in other words whether one can insist on the fullest possible democratization while participating in governmental forms that are less than ideal. The anarchist assumption, of course, is that participation in bourgeois governmental forms can only help sustain such institutions. But the error comes when it is assumed that since Marx advocated such participation, he also believed in keeping the governmental forms of the bourgeois state for the period of proletarian rule.

You may not but i do recognise a similarity in what David Adam is saying and what the SPGB tried to convey in their 'What's Wrong With Using Parliament" pamphlet.

the croydonian anarchist's picture
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Mar 11 2018 12:04

"The anarchist assumption, of course, is that participation in bourgeois governmental forms can only help sustain such institutions."

I don't think there is anything that has happened especially in recent political history in great britain that could lead one to think this isn't the case.

ajjohnstone
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Mar 12 2018 02:14

But to refer you to your original claim

Quote:
that article does not summarise the position of any parliamentary party

The essay explains

Quote:
But the error comes when it is assumed that since Marx advocated such participation, he also believed in keeping the governmental forms of the bourgeois state for the period of proletarian rule.

That statement is an acknowledgment that Marx's position is one reflected by the SPGB case in capturing the machinery of the State...obviously it is not a verbatim summary of the SPGB case but its sentiments are of what i originally said

Quote:
A non-SPGB article that reflects much of its basic position

in my obviously failed attempt not to be too sectarian in sources to respond to the OP query about doing away with the State.

You own view that involvement in elections sustains what limited democracy we have in bourgeois democracy is true enough. The SPGB is not willing to surrender the suffrage our ancestors fought for by non-engagement, non-participation and abstention.

Political action for the capture of the State is one of the principles that divide anarchists and Marxists. Once caputured, Marxsts insist that its coercive powers will wither away. We in the SPGB maintain that this will be a rapid process in practice. As it is a projection, it is up for legitimate debate and discussion.

Spikymike
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Mar 12 2018 10:43

I'm sure ajj knows that today not all 'Marxists' line up with his claimed ''in principle'' distinction between anarchists and Marxists as regards the ''capture'' of the capitalist state.