Why We Need a Vanguard Party (according to my friend - and he has me stumped)

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Joined: 10-11-11
Nov 11 2011 04:29
ultraviolet wrote:

- extra-judicial killings
I do see how this qualifies as authoritarian. However, I also see it as unavoidable to win a revolution. Excepting pacifists, I think anarchists openly accept using authoritarianism against active counter-revolutionaries / those who pose a threat to the revolution, whether that be killing or camps or whatever.

How we define "those who pose a threat to the revolution" is very important. What is a "threat" and who decides?

ultraviolet's picture
Joined: 14-04-11
Nov 11 2011 07:19

Good question.

In my opinion, that includes anyone who is out to kill us. So the people to kill are those who fight us on the battlefield, and the people to put in prison are those who surrender on the battlefield.

Who gets to decide this? The organs of popular democracy must agree to have militias for revolutionary defense (if not there will be no revolutionary war), which means they agree to militias killing/imprisoning those described above.

For prison, I would also add those who, off the battlefield, are conspiring/plotting to kill us or to sabotage us through infrastructure destruction (like burning crops or blowing up transportation routes).

For this to occur it must be voted upon by the community assemblies/councils, and all someone like me could do is argue/vote in favor of it. I would also argue/vote in favor of giving militias the power to make arrests of suspects, and also in favor of having trials and appeal processes, either by jury or before a general assembly.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Joined: 5-07-09
Dec 4 2012 21:23

I just want to point out that when the use of the terms party or union are reduced to their associational meanings (a grouping of workers that have shared material/political interests) then they are rather unlike the common usage applied to such terms, and there are better terms out there perhaps for anarchists they'd prefer the term "alliance" and for communists they'd prefer the term "league" ? grin

devoration1's picture
Joined: 18-07-10
Dec 4 2012 23:01

Sometimes you simply have to defend your point of view; yes it's messy but it is what it is. Counter-revolutionary elements from the beginning of the 20th century have taken the potent form of organizations which originally or aspired to or claimed to 'speak for' and 'defend' the working-class.

One of my favorite Situ quotes, and I use it often, is:

"You have to disarm Noske before he can kill you"

Not using the term 'union' for unions or 'party' for party, even if the conception is different, is superficial; a superficial fix to a historical and more complex problem than one of terms. I think the quote above both applies literally and in terms of ideology (something the Situ's wrote about as well- cutting off the legs of the bureaucracy in waiting by disarming their ideological base in parts of the class).

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Joined: 5-07-09
Dec 4 2012 23:21

Yeah, I just brought it up because of how many times it has been brought up over the years. All of these labels and how superficial the arguments behind their use or not are. It is the content and how that effects their structures that counts.