Marxism and Anarchism

anarchism ebookRadicalised youth, seeking to understand how to change modern society, naturally tend to look to both Marxism and anarchism in equal measure. The question as to which philosophy, or which combination of the two, has the best answers, has long been at the forefront of the minds of revolutionaries.

Anarchism is naturally attractive to all those correctly alienated by bureaucracy in the revolutionary movement. Anarchists are certainly correct to reject Stalinism and careerism. However, it is not sufficient simply to reject these phenomena. We need to understand why bureaucracy and oppression exist and what role they play, in order to understand how to avoid them. We believe that, for all its opposition, anarchism has little to say about the alternative to bureaucracy. Instead, it is Marxism’s historical materialist method that allows us to understand these problems. 

A few years ago we published a book called Marxism and Anarchism. This collection of classic and contemporary writings helps to clarify the Marxist perspective on anarchist theory and practice, and the need for a revolutionary party. 

How can we reach the masses? This question has been at the center of revolutionary debate since the birth of the socialist movement. Revolutions are preceded by preparatory periods of ferment and debate, clarification of ideas, perspectives, and tasks, and shaking off the inertia of the previous epoch of stability and passivity. In these periods, there is a growing sense that society is at an impasse, while at the same time, history is accelerating and great events are coming. This pushes

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The debate between Marxism and Anarchism is more than a century old. It is no accident that when the class struggle again boils to the surface this debate is revived. This collection of classic and contemporary writings helps to clarify the Marxist perspective on Anarchist theory and practice, and the need for a revolutionary party. Its publication marks an important step forward in the theoretical arming of a new generation of class fighters - in preparation for the momentous struggles

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The present period is the most stormy and convulsive period in history. Globalization now manifests itself as a global crisis of capitalism. Given the depth of the crisis and the worsening conditions, things are developing very quickly. The stage is set for a general revival of the class struggle, and in fact, this process has already begun.

What distinguishes Marxism from Anarchism? Why two theories, by what are they distinguished from each other, what are their relative merits, and which of the two theories, or which combination of their ideas, is the best tool for fighting capitalism and the bourgeois state? Such a process of questioning is necessary for any revolutionary, as an attempt to grasp and conquer revolutionary theory.

It is fashionable to portray Marxism as the source of authoritarianism. This accusation is raised repeatedly by anarchists, reformists and all kinds of opportunists. Bakunin was one of the more famous exponents of such accusations. But the truth is concrete and the historical facts reveal that those same elements who raise a hue and cry about authoritarianism are themselves the worst bureaucrats and authoritarians... where they manage to rule the roost.

The discipline that is imposed on the worker through the capitalist system — through wage labour, through the division of labour and the development of manufacturing — is the very same discipline that the workers turn against the bosses through organisation into trade unions and political parties of labour.  Therefore what effect does the theory and practice of Anarchism have in the attempts by the workers to forge fighting organisations? In a recent meeting of Socialist Appeal

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Many superficial explanations have been given for the conflict between Marx and Bakunin, between Marxism and Anarchism. Some commentators have resorted to personality flaws to account for the conflict. A more promising line of explanation of their intractable differences, however, lies in an investigation into the profoundly divergent philosophical frameworks that served as the points of departure for their respective political analyses. As will be shown below, their foundational concepts

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As the old Soviet archives are opened up and studied, more material is being made available about what happened in Russia immediately after the revolution. Myths have been created about events like the Kronstadt “rebellion”, the peasant revolts, the anarchists, etc. The new material available confirms what Lenin and Trotsky explained about  these events. In spite of all attempts to slander the Bolsheviks, the truth is always concrete.

Whilst one does not find in Noam Chomsky any specific critique of Marx’s writings (he admits he is not a Marx “scholar”), there are a number of inferences that Marxism represents an authoritarian tradition, although this is qualified by regular references to a supposed “left libertarian tradition”. Heiko Khoo looks at some of the ideas of Chomsky, showing how he misrepresents – or doesn’t even understand – genuine Marxism.

The recent anti-capitalist demonstrations have brought together many different groups protesting against the destruction of the environment, racism, the exploitation of the third world, and also many ordinary young people protesting at the state of things in general. This article debates the anarchist ideas of some of the groups organising these protests.

In May 1919 Lenin met Kropotkin in the Kremlin. Lenin admired Kropotkin, especially for his book The Great French Revolution, but the conversation revealed how the anarchist leader was more interested in this or that cooperative being set up and had lost the general picture of where the revolution was going.

"The working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery,” and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it."

There have been many splits in the history of the Marxist movement. The enemies of Marxism seize upon this fact as proof of an inherent weakness, an intolerant spirit, excessive centralism, bureaucratic and authoritarian tendencies and so on. The same arguments were used in the First International (IWMA), when Marx and Engels were obliged to wage a ferocious struggle against the followers of the anarchist Bakunin. The document that we published in installments, Fictitious Splits in the

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