Class struggle Anarchism

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Comrade Phil's picture
Comrade Phil
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Mar 4 2015 19:28
Class struggle Anarchism

What is it exactly?
I haven`t found any articles directing describing what Class Struggle Anarchism is.
Could anyone explain the basics or send me a link to look at?

Chilli Sauce's picture
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Mar 4 2015 19:34

I mean, any anarchism worth the name is class struggle, no wink

The intro guides put out by libcom - which is definitely a class struggle anarchist website - are probably a good place to start:

http://libcom.org/library/libcom-introductory-guide

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Mar 4 2015 23:52
Chilli Sauce wrote:
The intro guides put out by libcom - which is definitely a class struggle anarchist website - are probably a good place to start:

http://libcom.org/library/libcom-introductory-guide

Yeah, of particular interest would probably be our intros to anarchist-communism and anarcho-syndicalism. For some of the more historically important figures and texts, you could also read our anarchism reading guide.

BTW Not sure I would personally describe libcom as an anarchist site, but that's by-the-by..

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Mar 5 2015 00:07

Hi Phil,

Look up the AF webpage and you will see a lot of our resources on there including links to what we get upto.

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Mar 5 2015 03:10

Comrade phil,

Libertarian communism is pretty much (in contemporary usage) a broad tent encompassing class struggle anarchism and 'libertarian' marxisms, tendancies which place primary emphasis on the self-activity of the working class in the struggle against capitalism and state.

If you have the time, and is willing to read something more in depth on class struggle anarchism, you should give Black Flame a read.

jojo
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Mar 5 2015 06:10

Why is this site called "libertarian communism" and not "libertarian anarchism"?

Chilli Sauce said "any anarchism worth the name is class struggle, no" and I'm sure all communists would want to agree. But as to "any anarchism worth the name..." How many types of anarchism are there? Can you just make up your own individual type of anarchism as you go along? How big is the tent Agent mentions? Who decides whether a particular brand of anarchism is "worth the name"? What criteria are at work here?

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Mar 9 2015 15:51

Anarchism is a very broad tent, it includes insurrectionists, green, individualist tendencies including contradictory stuff like anarcho-capitalism.

Communism is an element within the workers movement which seeks to fight and abolish capitalism and the state. Hence libertarian communism. The word libertarian was used as a replacement for anarchism in the late nineteenth century, therefore libertarian anarchism sounds weird.

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Mar 9 2015 17:07

Agree with JoeMaguire #7

There are lots of different oppressions in society, the 'communist' element signals the fundamental contradiction in capitalism, the role of class exploitation – the extraction of surplus value and the accumulation of capital. Unfortunately many anarchists only relate to the oppression of ‘the state’ and are blind to the need to destroy the real economic basis of capitalism. Essentially their politics are ‘liberal’ married to ‘revolutionary’ rhetoric.

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Mar 9 2015 17:43

I would disagree that "anarcho"-capitalism really falls under the category of anarchism. Even putting aside its internal illogic and silliness, it's totally against fundamental anarchist principles and about as similar to anarchism as the "stateless" company towns of the early 20th century. Individualism and insurrectionism, as objectionable as they are, at least have some relation to the historical anarchist social movement.

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Mar 9 2015 19:46

Tyrion, we agree, but someone new to the subject night need to be broached in what is thought to fall under the 'anarchism' label.

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Mar 10 2015 17:08

"Communism is an element within the workers movement which seeks to fight and abolish capitalism and the state." - JoeMaguire

Yes. And in the great schism between 'anti-state' communism and so-called 'state communism' (or 'political socialism'), the latter of which was essentially a bourgeois radicalism that claims to be based on a 'revolutionary' theory, that itself is based on an erroneous presupposition that such a 'revolutionary' theory can alone constitute a movement. The latter became known as 'Marxism', and regardless of its manifestations ('authoritarian', 'libertarian', 'fake', 'genuine', etc.), isn't a movement and by design, it never aimed to provide expression to a communist movement.

In fact, by design, it abdicated itself from such a revolutionary movement, literally handing the mantle over to anarchism. What this means is that the schism above, is more fundamental than just being about "two (opposed) wings" articulating different strategical positions for a revolutionary movement. That the strategical split between 'anti-state' communism and bourgeois radicalism is real is beside the point, communism can only be anti-state, hence the redundant (but necessary, in explanatory terms) use of such categories such as 'anti-state' communism and the like. And this points to the fundamental difference between anarchism and 'Marxism', which many Marxists fail to grasp and explains why many of them try to dismiss anarchism as “petite-bourgeois” or locate anarchism in “particular historical figures” [note that it is also largely a reflection of the design of ‘Marxism’ itself], refusing to acknowledge that anarchism did articulate ‘anti-state’ communism from the very beginning; For anarchism had assumed the role of expressing a revolutionary workers’ movement (“communism as a movement”), its theories, methods, organisation, strategy and tactics, and most importantly the practice.

It is that practice, that orientation of anarchism, as a movement, that allow individuals and groups to synthesize their own outlook or politics. It doesn’t impose a particular ‘revolutionary’ theory or ‘worldview’. This is reflected in the fact that anarchism introduces tendencies (or ‘-isms’) which are not intended to be distinct bodies of thought, but are mostly positions strictly on strategical, tactical or principal issues, and which can be overlapping (as they most often are). This is far unlike ‘Marxism’, which is mostly made up of competing sects (in the most genuine sense of that word), which really can’t be of anything more than that.

So, yeah, this is anarchism. Class struggle anarchism, as a category, is used by anarchists to explain that tradition, that role it has had in the historical workers’ movement.

Hope that clears up some of the questions jojo and Comrade Phil has. Some other posters might be able to articular this better.

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Mar 11 2015 01:57

I've been thinking about this question. But I think I lean on a more class struggle position than "anarchist" position at a lot of times. What I mean is, capitalism is a class society. Marxism and Anarchism are political traditions (and now sects, BOTH are reduced to sects now), that grew up in the class struggle inherent in capitalist society, and expressed a lot of the ideas about solutions to problems in capitalism, the movement, revolutionary epochs, etc.

Of course Bolsheviks and SPD had militants in unions, neighborhoods, factories etc. The center of the Marxists in the 2nd international (Kautsky) rejected mass, insurrectionist, politics, and for some reasons that are legitimate (Summit-hopping/Age of Riots anyone?) In other words, OF COURSE Marxists were committed to the "the movement."

I think a lot of the muddled politics of anarchism today come with an undeveloped theorization of "the political" and what constitutes it. There are politics outside the state, and the rejection of electoral methods (righteous) does not have to equal a rejection of politics. Anarchism is a political, social, theoretical viewpoint like any other.

But I agree, Agent, that compatibalism is the best (though I wouldn't limit it to anarchism!). Capital 1-3, Kautsky, in a word , "history," is a useful thing for anyone who wants to get rid of the state and capitalism.

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Mar 20 2015 21:25

So as a Anarcho-Communist, Platformist, could I also call myself a Class-Struggle Anarchist?

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Mar 20 2015 21:33
Comrade Phil wrote:
So as a Anarcho-Communist, Platformist, could I also call myself a Class-Struggle Anarchist?

Yes.

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Mar 22 2015 23:42
Comrade Phil wrote:
So as a Anarcho-Communist, Platformist, could I also call myself a Class-Struggle Anarchist?

Platformism, insurrectionary, anarcho-syndicalism and straight-forward anarcho-communism are best understood as all being tactical approaches to class struggle anarchism. I.e. they still have the same goal.