The SWP on anarchism, John Molyneux speaking at Marxism 2012

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Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 6 2013 14:13

Unfortunately the 'instrumentalist' approach referred to, which is most evident in such groups as the SWP and other leftist groups, is not absent from many anarchist groups either. It is a common feature/tendency of most ideologically based political groups to one degree or another. A recognition that this tendency exists and guarding against it's worse ecesses can only be beneficial in maintaining a healthy self-critical approach to our activities.

Croy's picture
Joined: 26-05-11
Feb 6 2013 23:14
Spikymike wrote:
Unfortunately the 'instrumentalist' approach

What is the approach exactly ?

Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 7 2013 10:36


My use of the term 'instrumentalist' was referring back to the earlier quotation and content of RedHughes post so have another look at those but I take it to mean here something along the lines of.......organisations relating to people, and in our context social movements or campaigns, primarily in terms of how the organisations activity enhances the importance and influence of that organisation rather than the succes of the campaign or social movement, often in competition with other similar organisations. Such an approach can also then result in it's application to the internal relationships of the organisation and become self-perpetuating. It's often expressed in the emphasis on paper selling and recruiting we are familiar with in leftist groups like the SWP but the absense of this is not proof of the absense of an instrumentalist approach. Other signs might be an organisations time becomming dominated with the everyday functions of organisational maintenance rather than an interactive process of engagement with the class struggle and self-education.

Not sure if that helps? Perhaps Red might help out by elaborating or contesting my interpretation.

Joined: 18-12-11
Feb 7 2013 12:57

I once read a critique of anarchism by John Molyneux.

I think I know what type of person he is after calling "platformism" a form of leninism, equated all anarchism with throwing bombs everywhere and spontaneism, spent like twenty pages going on about the evils of peasants, and literally justified Kronstadt.

He's a swell fucking guy, basically.