Anarchism/Marxism what is the difference?

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May 8 2004 15:03
Anarchism/Marxism what is the difference?

What in essence, is the difference between an Anarchist and a Marxist view of an ideal future society? A very niave question I am sure, but as a new reader and poster to these forums, I would like to know. I have read quite a few posts in this 'Beginner's Thought' section, but I am still not fully clear on the answer.

Chris

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May 8 2004 15:41

Thank you for that most eloquent and quick response.

That has answered many of the questions I was pondering as to the relationship of the two. I was quite interested in your almost concluding statement:

"The choice for anarchism is clear, either continue as a fashionable life stylist and pseudo post modern philosophy, or embrace its class struggle roots fully and develop a real counter culture, one based on a social opposition to capitalism not a individualistic “dropping out”. "

Interesting stuff,

not sure about the 'mofo' reference though! wink

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Jacques Roux
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May 9 2004 22:37

Heya Start (welcome to the boards!) .....

What made you ask that question? (just curious!)

Heres some more links which may have info your interested in:

Infoshop A FAQ on Anarchism and Marxism: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/append3.html

Ok well only one link.. i forgot the rest wink

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May 10 2004 23:53
rkn wrote:
Heya Start (welcome to the boards!) .....

What made you ask that question? (just curious!)

Heres some more links which may have info your interested in:

Infoshop A FAQ on Anarchism and Marxism: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/append3.html

Ok well only one link.. i forgot the rest ;)

I asked the question as I have some knowledge of Marxism, steming from study during my distant days as a student. I also used to consider myself a Marxist, but became rather disallusioned. After a very long period of political inactivity, I happened to come across the Walthamstow free Anarchist paper, and decided to find out more.

My question was to help me establish if Anarchism was just Marxism without Marx! Sorry if it was niave, but I can see certain similarities.

Augusto_Sandino
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May 11 2004 12:51

Theres a big time difference in methods, and emphasis. The communist utopia of the communist manifesto and that of, say, "fields factories and workshops" are quite similar, but the means for its attainment are very different. The anarchists certainly dont go in with a dictatorship of the proletariat, or a vangaurd party/class idea.

The biggest difference to me though, is that the orthodox marxists are so inflexible. The peasantry are condemned as "counter-revolutionaries" because thats what marx thought, not through historical proof or experience. And marxism is all about numbers, about classes that act as a whole like some sort of collective intelligence, anarchism is about people. Where marx might say "proletariat, proletarian", anarchists say "person, people."

Anonymous
May 11 2004 15:28

For me, anarchism accepts a lot of marx's analysis but rejects some of his conclusions, especially the communist manifesto which is refromism at its worst.

I think to assume that all anarchists should reject or accept class is pretty pointless, there are bound to those that use class analysis and those that don't.

Personally since i stopped being such a liberal i see things in terms of the class struggle, so i use the word proletariat, i don't expect every anarchist to agree with me though.

john

Mike Harman
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May 11 2004 19:10

Regardless of the differences between Marxism and Anarchism, Capital volume one is worth a read for pretty much anyone at all, and doesn't talk about communism at all- it's a study of capitalism pure and simple. I read it about a year ago after being told by someone that almost everyone he'd ever met in both Anarchist and Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist groups had never read it, or much other Marx - so I decided to check it out. There's a big difference between Marx's critique of capitalism and the generalised State Communist language of groups like the SWP, and although I'm certainly not up on economics, I found reading volume one of Capital to be very rewarding. It'd certainly help to clear up a lot of the "who's working class" discussions.

Augusto_Sandino
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May 11 2004 20:18

Yeah, the communist manifesto actually had very little say of exactly what communism would be. It was more into identifying the historical trend of classes replacing classes as the leaders, which would eventually lead to the control of the proletariat. Marx didnt even really need to be a communist (although he was) to have written either Das Kapital or the Communist Manifesto.

Anonymous
May 11 2004 20:32

meh why not read all this intellectual babble, ..go on you know you want to...its actually pretty interesting and gives a good outlay on things

http://www.marxists.org/subject/anarchism/index.htm

Also, i think people should read as much as possible if you have the spare time

http://www.marxists.org/archive/index.htm

(Tony Cliff is a good one to look at if you want to get inside th head of the SWP)

i like that site because at least its not too biased

augusto

yeah i agree the CM is pretty pointless, its just an outline for some income tax and bank reforms dressed up as socialism it seems to me

john

Anonymous
May 11 2004 20:38

edit

not too biased...until it gets to lenin vs mahkno...then it gets a bit stupid

but for what i think is a fairly orthodox marxist site, crediting mahkno with having existed is faily impressive

john