Anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism: selected writings by Marx, Engels and Lenin

Marx and Bakunin

A collection of writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin on anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism, published by Progress Publishers.

We do not agree with much of these texts but reproduce them for reference. It is worth bearing in mind that Marx and Engels had a particular axe to grind with regard to anarchism. Read this account of the split in the first international for more info. In terms of texts to read alongside, for Lenin we would recommend Gorter's open letter, Sylvia Pankhurst's open letter and Solidarity's excellent account of what he did once in power. For a general response to Marxist critiques of anarchism we recommend section H of the anarchist FAQ.

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Anarchism & Anarcho-Syndicalism Selected Writings By Marx, Engels, Lenin [(New World Paperbacks) 1972].pdf14.3 MB

Comments

syndicalist
Sep 2 2017 19:25

It's a tremendously shitty book, but thanks for putting it.

Pennoid
Sep 3 2017 03:14

What's shitty about it?

syndicalist
Sep 3 2017 03:18
Pennoid wrote:
What's shitty about it?

The contents. I'm not a marxist, engelist,leninist.
That said, it's what came off of their pens and out of their mouths.
And, as a historical person, glad to see that it is accessible.

freemind
Sep 3 2017 09:55

I've got this book and read it a long time ago but remember feeling it was a poor reflection on Marx which is sad for such a brilliant mind.The tome and theme was very bitter and its criticisms puerile.I welcome and encourage Anarchists to read constructive criticisms by Marxists of our fundamentals as I believe we aim for the same goals using early Marx as a pointer but this book is poor.If anyone has a reading list for good Libertarian Marxist/Communist writings that would be of benefit to this Anarchist please let me know.

syndicalist
Sep 3 2017 16:58

Actually, the stuff by Lenin on the internal party fights, accusing others of anarchs-syndicalism within B Party, the CI and elsewhere is interesting. It's just you have to wade through intense retorhic and cranky ass language. The letter by Lenin to Pankhurst is interesting [Page 294, also-- https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/aug/28.htm ]

All this said, Luxembourg was in many ways right in on this. Much as many love her, her writings and criticism if Russian anarchist and anarchism can be found in her 1905 writings on the failed Revolution if same year [https://libcom.org/forums/history/luxemberg-mass-strike-25092007 ]

Pennoid
Sep 3 2017 20:56

Yeah, I'm sympathetic with lenin in LWC an infantile disorder. I think there is a tendency among anarchism that is really pronounced these days to eschew programs, delegates, and general democracy in support of really mistaken things like autonomy (federalism redux), volunteer work, and spontaneity. Often, tacked on is the idea that holding an idea or position is what makes you revolutionary; e.g. "We're revolutionary because we are AGAINST racism." But they have no concrete strategy for fighting it and no ideas about how to organize the working class to effect it. Often this leads to splittism and the replacement by support for prgrams with concrete aims, with agreement between members on esoteric or broad points; e.g. personal beliefs have to be perfectly aligned in really silly ways.

This is true of the broader left with parallels in Trotskyism as well. The justifications are a bit different in anarchism but similar results. I'm looking forward to reading this and seeing what stands and what doesn't.

syndicalist
Sep 3 2017 21:31
Pennoid wrote:
Yeah, I'm sympathetic with lenin in LWC an infantile disorder. I think there is a tendency among anarchism that is really pronounced these days to eschew programs, delegates, and general democracy in support of really mistaken things like autonomy (federalism redux), volunteer work, and spontaneity. .

I'm not sure I agree with this, but I guess I understand the context in which you are reacting to (as I think I know who you are).

Serge Forward
Sep 3 2017 23:10
Quote:
Yeah, I'm sympathetic with lenin in LWC an infantile disorder

Really, what the fudge are you doing hanging round Libcom? Like as if old Lenin was having a pop at some flakey anarcho types. LWC was aimed at "clear as crystal, hard as steel" communists like Gorter and Pannekoek.

Sike
Sep 4 2017 09:38
Pennoid wrote:
What's shitty about it?

I have not read this so I can't say but what I can say is to look to Marx, Engels, and Lenin hoping for a definitive account of anarcho-syndicalism is kind of like looking to the writings of Anarcho or Alexander Skirda hoping for a definitive account of marxism, or to Murray Bookchin for the last word on either.

I am not saying that this should not be read or has no place on libcom, what I'm saying is that something like this should be approached with an understanding that Marx, Engels and Lenin all had an ideological ax to grind against anarchism that often bordered on the pathological and that anything that they wrote about anarchism should accordingly be read with a healthy does of skepticism. As for Lenin, his hatred of all things anarchist is well documented, and If your in doubt of the bad faith and duplicity that Marx and Engels were capable of meting out to anarchists then I'll refer you to Frantz Mehring's account of the Marx-Bakunin split in the 1st International.

While critical about their views on marxism i'm not suggesting that Anarcho, Skirda or Bookchin don't have anything worthwhile to say. The anarchist FAQ is quite informative on many points (the parts I've read anyway), skirda's book on makhno is quite good, and bookchin is great for critiques of "eco-fascism", primitivism, and for radical perspectives on ecology, but if I want to learn about marxism I'll look elsewhere, like to begin with the writings of actual marxists.

syndicalist
Sep 4 2017 16:19

Glad to see the intro to this. Makes sense.

syndicalist
Sep 4 2017 16:27
syndicalist wrote:
Pennoid wrote:
Yeah, I'm sympathetic with lenin in LWC an infantile disorder. I think there is a tendency among anarchism that is really pronounced these days to eschew programs, delegates, and general democracy in support of really mistaken things like autonomy (federalism redux), volunteer work, and spontaneity. .

I'm not sure I agree with this, but I guess I understand the context in which you are reacting to (as I think I know who you are).

I can't speak for the poster, but I think some of what they were being critical of is regarding some internal IWW matters (as in the dueling wobbly banjos of: https://libcom.org/library/future-iww-part-1-does-iww-need-be-restructured and https://revolutionary-iww.org/2017-convention )
, while not saying that. I stand to be corrected by the poster.

That said, the lenin stuff aint my thing.

Agent of the Pr...
Sep 4 2017 17:15
Pennoid wrote:
I think there is a tendency among anarchism that is really pronounced these days to eschew programs, delegates, and general democracy in support of really mistaken things like autonomy (federalism redux), volunteer work, and spontaneity.

It's definitely true that there's "shitty tendencies" within modern anarchism, but do you honestly believe that promoting the "programmatic politics" of Kautsky and Lenin is the effective way to counter those tendencies?

Pennoid wrote:
This is true of the broader left with parallels in Trotskyism as well. The justifications are a bit different in anarchism but similar results. I'm looking forward to reading this and seeing what stands and what doesn't.

What are those justifications? What do they reflect that leads to similar results?