Is it possible to reconcile anarchism and marxism? (ICC reply to GLC - extracts)

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Fred
Is it possible to reconcile anarchism and marxism? (ICC reply to GLC - extracts)
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Is it possible to reconcile anarchism and marxism? (ICC reply to GLC - extracts). The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Fred
anarchism, Marxism and Feuerbach's theses.

This is an exciting article and lovely to read. It deals with Leninism too and is full of tasty plums.  When read, it could work to inform the long and   repetitive discussion about Feuerbach, Materialism and Ideas  currently active elsewhere on the forum, and maybe help clarify some word meanings.  It also complements attempts by some comrades to come to grips with Anarchism  on other threads too.  Try it and see!  

LBird
Thanks

Fred wrote:

This is an exciting article and lovely to read. It deals with Leninism too and is full of tasty plums.  When read, it could work to inform the long and   repetitive discussion about Feuerbach, Materialism and Ideas  currently active elsewhere on the forum, and maybe help clarify some word meanings.  It also complements attempts by some comrades to come to grips with Anarchism  on other threads too.  Try it and see!  

Thanks for the heads-up on that, Fred. smiley

I won't get the chance to read it today because I'm too busy, but I will soon, and then perhaps I'll post my thoughts.

LBird
Consciousness and material, or material?

This is my first comment, Fred, and is obviously related to the concerns referred to in your post. Probably more comments to follow, later. smiley

ICC wrote:
While human will and consciousness indeed play a considerable role, human beings are above all driven to act under the impulsion of material necessity.

This is untrue, and easily disproven by any study of history.

Between 1914 and 1918, for example, millions of working class soldiers climbed out of the muddy and filthy holes in the ground in which they were living, and walked towards impenetrable multiple lines of barbed wire, behind which numerous modern belt-felt machine guns pumped bullets towards their ranks, often kept immobile as targets upon the wire.

They committed these suicidal actions, not through ‘material necessity’ but because, in a tremendous triumph of ‘human will and consciousness’, often based upon their feelings of deep personal comradeship with their friends alongside them in this hell, but also upon loyalty to their regiments’ glorious histories of hundreds of years of fighting, and upon their own profound nationalism and desire to defend their families and homes from a vicious invader whose murderous guns they selflessly attacked.

Whilst there is much else to this story, of resistance to, and rebellion against, the brainwashing they had suffered about ‘comradeship’, ‘regimental tradition’ and ‘our glorious nation’, nevertheless, on the whole, the elite view of the war held in place, both throughout the war itself, and, more worryingly, in the post-war period. The ‘ruling ideas’ of their societies never really seemed to come close to collapse: hence, the failure of ‘revolution’ in the West (especially Germany).

No, ‘human will and consciousness’ did not simply ‘play a considerable role’, but it was a fundamental factor by which ‘human beings are above all driven to act’, and not simply ‘the impulsion of material necessity’.

This interlinking of ‘material’ and ‘ideal’ is the historical materialism of Marx, which is not the simplistic (and scientifically disproven) 'exposure' of the driver of ‘material necessity’.

Fred
stay cool!

Nice post LBird, though I can't make a lot of sense out of the final two paras.which could easily be my fault.    But before you rush in with more posts, why don't you give the  ICC  time to reply which surely they will want to do?  And stay cool oh bird. Real cool!  

LBird
Cool as a proletarian cucumber

I’ve noted your appeal, Fred, but feel compelled to point out an inconsistency between what the ICC argues within the article, in contrast to other statements about the driver of ‘material necessity’. This is to allow the ICC to formulate a better response. I’ll try to keep it short, then.smiley

ICC wrote:
But the fact is that man reasons and feels differently in different historical epochs and in different social classes.

This is a correct judgment by the ICC, IMO.

‘Reason’ and ‘feeling’ are, as Marx also says about our very ‘senses’, historical and social products.

Thus, the ‘knowledge of’ a ‘rock’ is different in different epochs, to different classes. The belief that a human method exists which tells us absolutely what a ‘rock’ is, ie. that ‘knowledge of’ a rock is the same, is identical, is The Truth of, the ‘rock’, is 19th century positivism and naïve empiricism, employing a ‘reflection’ theory of knowledge, and is bourgeois ideology. The belief that ‘science’ produces eternal ‘Truths’, that, once ‘discovered’ and ‘known’, remain the same for ever, is the source of respect for an authority that provides the ruling class with many of its justifications: that authority is the ‘elite scientists’.

Our ‘knowledge of’ the rocks of material necessity is a social and historical product. Unless our conception of what ‘material necessity’ comprises, is a democratic product, then ‘material necessity’ or ‘material conditions’ will be determined by a small section of society which stands above society, as Marx argues in the Theses on Feuerbach.

The ‘material’ does not simply reveal itself to humans by the use of a neutral method. This method does not exist; it is a bourgeois fiction.

The same ‘material conditions’ are interpreted differently in different historical epochs and by different social classes, the ICC argues in the quote above. I agree.

And as the proletariat must employ a democratic method (there can be no ‘knowing elite’ within a Communist society), then ‘material conditions’ must be interpreted by a vote of all those affected by those conditions.

Consciousness and reality have the same worth within Historical Materialism. It is not a simplistic ‘material’ method. That myth has its roots in Engels, not Marx.

LBird
On Anarchism, method and ontology

ICC wrote:
Anarchism has borrowed a lot from various other socialist schools and from marxism in particular. But what characterises it, what forms its basis, is the speculative method
[my bold]

I think I disagree with this characterisation of its ‘basis’. I think its ‘basis’ is not its ‘method’ (‘speculative’ or otherwise), but its ontology of making the ‘individual’ both the starting point and the key to its thinking about society.

In contrast, I think we Marxists make the ‘relationships between’ things and the ‘things’ themselves, the basis of our analysis. That is, we don’t talk of ‘individuals’ without specifying their ‘relationships’, without which the notion of an ‘individual’ is meaningless, from our ontological starting point (or, the ‘hard core’ as Lakatos would have it, of our Marxist ‘research programme’, our ideology).

To rephrase my point, Anarchists have a one-concept ontology (component), whereas Marxists, who are Realists, have a two-concept ontology (component and relationship).

So, Anarchists' basic social category is an ‘individual’, whereas Marxists' basic social category is ‘worker’ or ‘boss’ (the ‘individual’ biological being is always related to their social relationships; and within class societies, this is always a relation to the means of production). Broadly speaking, the Anarchists are ahistorical and asocial, and accept a bourgeois definition (the ‘individual’) as an eternal category, whereas we always situate any discussion of ‘individuals’ within a socio-historical context.

Thus, our discussions of contrasts between capitalist and communist social relations have to use different concepts of ‘individuals’, whereas the Anarchists simply transfer ‘individuals’ from now to then, unchanged. When they talk of Communism, they imagine the individuals we are now, in all our present desires, abilities, consciousness, etc., being the basis of the new society, whereas we Marxists try to see the change and development of ‘us’, in every sense, social, educational, cultural, ideological, as part of the process of social change (which will range from ‘science’ to ‘poetry’). We won’t be the same people, who are simply inserted unchanged into a new social system, as for Anarchists. Changing ourselves as 'social individuals' is a central part of the process.

I have had numerous discussions in the past with Anarchists on LibCom (from which I am now banned: make what you will of ‘libertarian’ Anarchists banning comrades whose views they disagree with), but in my experience Anarchists don’t like being pressured to answer questions about social relationships, for example, like social authority. Their default position seems to be ‘authority won’t exist in a ‘Libertarian Communist’ society’, so it not only doesn’t require discussion, but also any comrades who try to discuss it are ‘authoritarians’ of some stripe. If any Anarchists (or comrades who can explain the ideological positions of it in more depth) are reading this thread, I would be happy to read any opposing arguments to what I’ve said above about the ontological category of ‘individual’.

Also, there are two additional points, which might prompt further discussion:

1) I think ontology comes before method, and that to a great extent one’s method depends upon one’s ontology.

2) Ontological categories don’t present themselves to us from ‘material conditions’; they are not something ‘passively’ or ‘objectively’ observed, but are products of 'abstractive' human thinking, in our active attempt to understand our natural and social world. Another term for ‘ontology’ is ‘metaphysics’.

radicalchains
LBird said:

"Between 1914 and 1918, for example, millions of working class soldiers climbed out of the muddy and filthy holes in the ground in which they were living, and walked towards impenetrable multiple lines of barbed wire, behind which numerous modern belt-felt machine guns pumped bullets towards their ranks, often kept immobile as targets upon the wire.

They committed these suicidal actions, not through ‘material necessity’ but because, in a tremendous triumph of ‘human will and consciousness’, often based upon their feelings of deep personal comradeship with their friends alongside them in this hell, but also upon loyalty to their regiments’ glorious histories of hundreds of years of fighting, and upon their own profound nationalism and desire to defend their families and homes from a vicious invader whose murderous guns they selflessly attacked."

Yes. But it was also based on the actual very real repression of the state. I would argue fear and real consequences played a much larger role. For instance being put in prison or being shot by your own ruling class. Are those not the material realities?

LBird
Comment

I stand by my explanation and opinion in post #4 above, rc.

It seems pointless to merely repeat them, again.smiley

Fred
I agree with what

I agree with what radicalchains  says and disagree with LBird.  What LBird calls "a tremendous triumph of 'human will and consciousness'..."  the ingredients of which he then lists, I would call a tremendous triumph for bourgeois ideology eg.the "glorious" regimental histories of past bourgeois wars; the "profound" nationalism; the "vicious" invader threatening a pride in homes and families the product of a now decaying bourgeois society and which mistaken and false "pride" formed  a major plank in bourgeois ideology; and lastly the foolish "selflessness" of  self-sacrifice for bourgeoisie, king  and country

 This is a selflessness of a most unfortunate nature.  The selflessness of misguided individuals submitting unquestioningly to the demands of bourgeois ideology.  it is the selfless "glory" of all those workers who died to preserve capitalism and the bourgeoisie, and which is now commemorated on all those deadly grey cenotaphs that litter Europe, and which glorify war and glorify those workers who died to preserve the very system that had demanded their blood sacrifice in the first place, and which had nothing to offer them.    How could they be so easily mislead?  

This First World War, far from being a triumph for consciousness was actually a victory for its absence. At least at the beginning. Had working class consciousness been the norm in 1914 the war would never have taken off so successfully and all those eager young men, just dying to fight for their countries, would never have fallen for the  absurd idea and would have gone for revolution instead.  But the war was a great teacher snd a great eroder of bourgeois ideology.  After a couple of years many working class soldiers,and peasants, were seeing the light and the truth of the matter: that this war had nothing to offer them, and that the incredible death count, executions for defiance, and the daily mindless murdering was all for nothing other than to preserve a stinking status quo.  This was indeed a tremendous triumph for bourgeois lies and hypocrisy and a tremendous though temporary crushing of developing proletarian consciousness.  

 

As to those "feelings of deep personal comradeship", and doubtless the trenches and horror must have generated some,  look how the bourgeoisie was able to abuse these feelings and use them for their own purposes.  This was a personal comradeship unable to transcend and throw off the phony allegiance soldiers  felt for their murderous exploiters with their small-minded nationalism.  It was a comradeship that was naive and dumb, leading only to death.   But by 1917 the naiveness  was transforming into class consciousness and solidarity,  and ideology exposed as wrong thinking. It was only when these feelings of personal individual comradeship took on a more conscious form and became the new class awareness of solidarity and class comradeship that workers  were able to see the way out of the bourgeois thought prison, the bourgeois war,  and see the proletarian way forward.  

 

As as radicalchains said: the First World War was  the product of a very real repression by the state, including fear of the state and of the consequences of disobeying it. This is a more realistic view of that awful event. 

LBird
Agreement about ideology?

Fred wrote:
I agree with what radicalchains says and disagree with LBird. What LBird calls "a tremendous triumph of 'human will and consciousness'..." the ingredients of which he then lists, I would call a tremendous triumph for bourgeois ideology...
[my bold]

But you agree with me, Fred. The point of the discussion is about 'material' versus 'ideal'. It was 'a tremendous triumph for ideology'.

Unless we start to place more emphasis upon 'consciousness', and its factors like ideology, propaganda and education, then, again as you say, it will remain triumph for bourgeois ideology, rather than our proletarian and revolutionary class consciousness.

The First World War proves the opposite to the argument in favour 'material conditions': the most terrible 'material' experiences by the working class during the war (which we've both mentioned, including terror, slaughter and repression) still did not produce a widespread revolutionary consciousness in 1919.

Communism has to be built consciously: it won't just emerge from 'material conditions', no matter how terrible. WW1 (and also WW2) proved that.

IMO, the focus during the 20th century by 'Marxist' organisations (Leninists and Trotskyists particularly) upon the 'material' has prevented a proper reassessment by Communists of the need for class conscious education and propaganda, to prepare the class itself (rather than a party).

But we've been through all this before. Can we get back to the discussion on 'Anarchism', now?smiley

lem_
nrt, i just wanted to post my

nrt, i just wanted to post my own feeelings before doing so... for me, anarchism is despite the posturing on sites like libcom, indivisible from radical liberalism. i posted a radical liberal take on anarchism, and in reply got an image of goatse.

LBird
'Radical liberals'? That sounds about right!

lem_ wrote:
... for me, anarchism is despite the posturing on sites like libcom, indivisible from radical liberalism.

Yeah, I know what you mean, lem_.smiley

On LibCom, there are many 'class-struggle' Anarchists, who I've got a lot of time for, but I think that the majority of the posters are just 'liberal individualists', who've just discovered that capitalism doesn't work for them, and so tag along with 'Anarchist Communism' because they see that as providing a way of realising their, essentially bourgeois, dreams of 'individual freedom'.

I've asked some, if they subscribe to the Communist ideal of 'from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs', then who (or what) determines 'abilities' and 'needs'.

It seems obvious to me, as a Communist, that it will be one's commune that decides one's abilities and needs; that is, we collectively will decide what abilities we all have, what we want from our society, what some will need more than others (the very young, sick and old, for eg.) and how we are going to realise those needs and wants, and who the burden will fall on more than some (on the fit, strong and clever, for eg.).

I get the strange feeling from some posters on LibCom that they think Communism means every individual doing as they please ("no authority, man!"), without the need for any social authority, organisation, discipline or duty. Some don't even seem to realise that meetings will take up much of our time, as we strive to plan and organise ourselves as a collective.

Society isn't going to go away, even under Communism (whether prefixed with 'Libertarian' or not).

'Radical liberalism' seems to be the denial of society and the complete freedom of the 'individual'. Many Anarchists seem to agree with this.

I tried a number of times to engage in discussions about the 'commune' or about 'federation of communes', and  ask where 'authority' will lie within a federation, but I never got any answers.

Compared to Marxists of any stripe, Anarchists are very weak theoretically, in my experience.

If any sympathisers of Anarchist ideas are reading, I would be happy to be disproved on any of the points that I've made!smiley

I think discussion is required between all forms of Communism, to help us all to develop our understanding of each other, and our views of where we are supposedly going.

lem_
i get that there are people

i get that there are people on there that are engaged in explicit class struggle, but i don't think i need to join a union or whatever to be able to engage with them as an entity. and yeah it really IS a good thing that they are developing internationist ideas / motives. but i can't help but think that they are too much a liberal activist to cope with e.g. schizophrenic persons in their communities.

lem_
i get that there are people

i get that there are people on there that are engaged in explicit class struggle, but i don't think i need to join a union or whatever to be able to engage with them as an entity. and yeah it really IS a good thing that they are developing internationist ideas / motives. but i can't help but think that they are too much a liberal activist to cope with e.g. schizophrenic persons in their communities.

 

edit libcom was the worst thing ever to happen to "anarchism", i mean it's an english language site and currently we're voting in ukip and declaring war on russia. go figure lol

LoneLondoner
I beg to differ...

LBird wrote:

It seems obvious to me, as a Communist, that it will be one's commune that decides one's abilities and needs; that is, we collectively will decide what abilities we all have, what we want from our society, what some will need more than others (the very young, sick and old, for eg.) and how we are going to realise those needs and wants, and who the burden will fall on more than some (on the fit, strong and clever, for eg.).

It seems to me that Lbird has it upside down in putting the "commune" first and the individual second. Heres the Manifesto:

Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels wrote:

In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.  

Not, you will notice "the free development of all is the condition for the free development of each". It is the individual who will determine his needs and abilities. This does not however mean that each individual will live as an island, since the development of the individual is only possible within the community.

Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels wrote:

Only in community [with others has each] individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible. In the previous substitutes for the community, in the State, etc. personal freedom has existed only for the individuals who developed within the relationships of the ruling class, and only insofar as they were individuals of this class. The illusory community, in which individuals have up till now combined, always took on an independent existence in relation to them, and was at the same time, since it was the combination of one class over against another, not only a completely illusory community, but a new fetter as well. In a real community the individuals obtain their freedom in and through their association.

Moreover, IMHO, Lbird's vision of "my commune" (whatever exactly that might be) is static and restrictive, rather like the downside of William Morris. Supposing the individual wants to spend 10 years traveling around the world - which "commune" will decide what his "needs" are?

Fred
one's commune

If it really is going to be "one's commune" (see LBird's post 13 above) rather than one's husband or one's country (lol) that decides what a person's needs are, then I want none of it!  Because it sounds stalinistic to me. And as to who "the burden" of taking care of the sick and the old will fall on - will these folk still be seen as burdens? - the suggestion that it'll fall on "the fit,strong and clever" bothers me.  Under LBird's system I suppose  one's  commune will decide who is fit and strong - though whether those are the qualifications needed for loving carers I'm not sure - but who decides what "clever" means in this new society?  In capitalist society I suppose we're all supposed to know what being clever means, and whose got it. 

 Who is clever in this society?  The top notch physicists, politicians, artists, musicians,  those who take  care of the sick and the old (lol) or those who make the  most money and run off with all the profits? In this society it's probably criminal elements that are the cleverest of all because they are good at making lots of easy money and it requires a certain amount of crude calculation to evade the law while doing it.  In short: it's the bourgeoisie who's clever: because being clever equates to one's abilities as a Machiavellian exploiter. 

In communism I think the idea of being "clever" will have been relegated to history's dustbin along with the word itself. Because actually, as all human beings are clever, and lots of animals too, the word has no significance.   From each according to their abilities means precisely what it says.  Isn't  one  of the most important points about communism that it will allow at long last the unlocking and development of all the innate abilities of all of humanity most of whom till now have been told endlessly and brain washed into believing they have no abilities, no brains, no intelligence, no talents at all and only exist to serve the needs of a ruling class as menials of the lowest order.  Even Hobbs Boson researchers are only allowed to do their work courtesy of the bourgeoisie which funds them and whose servants they are. 

 

Communism isn't going to be a  tarted  up version  of capitalism, and take all the bourgeoisie's assumptions and prejudices for granted.  So having other people and one's commune decide who you are and what are your abilities are - as happens all the time in this society!- will not be the way things work.  The community will cultivate everyone's gifts; which is not the same as deciding and announcing what they  are in advance. 

LBird
Is the ICC all for 'free individuals'? I thought this a myth.

So, LoneLondoner and Fred place 'sovereignty' with the individual, and not the democratic commune?

This is not Communism (which is a social theory), but Anarchism (which is an individualist theory).

LoneLondoner wrote:
It seems to me that Lbird has it upside down in putting the "commune" first and the individual second.

Yes, the commune comes first. The commune is the democratic organisation of all individuals within that commune. That democratic mechanism is the reconciliation between us as individuals and us as inescapable members of society.

We are not 'individuals', but 'social individuals'. The former is a bourgeois concept; the latter a communist concept.

LL wrote:
It is the individual who will determine his needs and abilities. This does not however mean that each individual will live as an island, since the development of the individual is only possible within the community.

This is just confused. Either the individual is an island (and self-determines, like Crusoe), or they live in a community, and decisions are made by the community (which means all individuals together).

LL wrote:
Supposing the individual wants to spend 10 years traveling around the world - which "commune" will decide what his "needs" are?

The world commune.

Do you really suggest that Communism is 7 billion individuals doing as they please, without any co-ordination by those 7 billion? That is a wet dream for the Libertarians!

If the talents, skills or labour of the 'individual' who 'wants to spend 10 years traveling the world' are required by the community to which the individual belongs (at every level), does the individual have the sovereign right to ignore the wishes of their commune?

Surely the individual must negotiate, and if their commune needs their personal abilities (for the needs of someone else), then 5 years' travelling would have to suffice?

The questions of 'power' and 'sovereignty' are fundamental, here. No society has ever existed that doesn't have social powers to check the absolute freedom of its members. This was true of 'primitive communism', and will be true of 'future communism'. To argue otherwise is to start from the bourgeois premise of 'free individuals', which is a myth (as we all know).

Fred wrote:
Communism isn't going to be a tarted up version of capitalism, and take all the bourgeoisie's assumptions and prejudices for granted.
[my bold]

Indeed, Fred!smiley

Including the assumption that 'we're all individuals' and the prejudice against 'democracy in production, distribution and consumption'.

LoneLondoner
Not me, Marx and Engels

Lbird wrote:

The questions of 'power' and 'sovereignty' are fundamental, here. No society has ever existed that doesn't have social powers to check the absolute freedom of its members. This was true of 'primitive communism', and will be true of 'future communism'.

I think you're missing the point, and actually I agree with Fred that your vision of the individual and communism is more reminiscent of Stalinism or a grotesque caricature of bourgeois democracy than anything else.

There is also a danger here of inventing "what if" situations where we get into the mistake which Marx absolutely refused to make of "inventing blueprints for the future" (the big mistake of the Utopians). And I can't help thinking that Lbird's reply simply prefers to ignore the difficult questions that Marx (not me or the ICC) raises when this contradicts his own hobbyhorse (so much easier and more satisfying!).

It is necessary to try to get to the roots of the question, as Marx did. That pithy phrase I quoted from the Manifesto implies a complete reversal of the relationship between the individual and the community.

Marx and Engels in the German Ideology wrote:

It follows from all we have been saying up till now that the communal relationship into which the individuals of a class entered, and which was determined by their common interests over against a third party, was always a community to which these individuals belonged only as average individuals, only insofar as they lived within the conditions of existence of their class — a relationship in which they participated not as individuals but as members of a class. With the community of revolutionary proletarians, on the other hand, who take their conditions of existence and those of all members of society under their control, it is just the reverse; it is as individuals that the individuals participate in it. It is just this combination of individuals (assuming the advanced stage of modern productive forces, of course) which puts the conditions of the free development and movement of individuals under their control — conditions which were previously abandoned to chance and had won an independent existence over against the separate individuals just because of their separation as individuals, and because of the necessity of their combination which had been determined by the division of labour, and through their separation had become a bond alien to them.

I don't profess to know exactly how this would work out in practice, but then neither did Marx, so I guess I'm in good company!

LBird
Marx backs me up!

LoneLondoner wrote:

Marx and Engels in the German Ideology wrote:

It follows from all we have been saying up till now that the communal relationship into which the individuals of a class entered, and which was determined by their common interests over against a third party, was always a community to which these individuals belonged only as average individuals, only insofar as they lived within the conditions of existence of their class — a relationship in which they participated not as individuals but as members of a class. With the community of revolutionary proletarians, on the other hand, who take their conditions of existence and those of all members of society under their control, it is just the reverse; it is as individuals that the individuals participate in it. It is just this combination of individuals (assuming the advanced stage of modern productive forces, of course) which puts the conditions of the free development and movement of individuals under their control — conditions which were previously abandoned to chance and had won an independent existence over against the separate individuals just because of their separation as individuals, and because of the necessity of their combination which had been determined by the division of labour, and through their separation had become a bond alien to them.

The quote you've provided backs up my opinion, LL!smiley

Once 'the necessity of their combination' is no longer 'determined by the division of labour' but by their coming together freely as a 'community of revolutionary proletarians', this then puts 'puts the conditions of the free development and movement of individuals under their control'.

Put simply, Communism is the democratic control of our lives, by all individuals participating in our community. At the highest level, this will be a 'world commune'.

There will not be '7 billion communes', with each commune corresponding to an 'individual'.

Democratic control is the resolution of the issue of 'individual' versus 'society'.

lem_
is that not before full

is that not before full communism though? i mean, there's more to life than democratic life, more to worker's control than democracy i mean - there's also control over the environment and self. i would expect that life under [full - or whatever the term is; stateless] communism would not revolve around group decisions, but individual decisions in work and art.

LBird
Are we Communists or Individualists? Or just confused?

lem_ wrote:
...communism would not revolve around group decisions, but individual decisions in work and art.
[my bold]

But what if an 'individual decides' to photograph naked children and calls it 'art'?

The 'sovereign individual', who has the power to make decisions irresepective of the wishes of their community, is a bourgeois myth. The closest any individual can get to this solipsistic state is in our present society, by being a multi-billionaire. They can then ignore the wishes of their fellow-citizens, for the most part (although even multi-billionaires are subject to some controls, even unofficial ones like the threat of being murdered by hired assassins of another multi-billionaire, if they transgress on someone else's power).

If one calls oneself an 'individual', one is under the sociological brainwashing of the bourgeoisie.

We are 'workers'.

Whilst even Communists focus on 'individual freedom', we can see the tremendous power of bourgeois thinking today.sad

If LoneLondoner wants the untrammelled freedom to 'travel the world for 10 years' at any time whatsoever and without any consideration for our community, then the only way this is permissable is for every individual to have the same freedom.

If we want to give us all this freedom, we have to first organise our collective production to allow every individual the right to 'drop tools', to stop producing, and ignore (or at least postpone) their duty to the sick, old, very young, etc.

This might be achievable, but we'd have to store up enough wealth prior to the introduction of this unrestricted 'individual freedom for all', and this decision would have to be a collective production decision by all.

It can't be the decision of an individual, to, in effect, say "fuck the community, I come first!".

I'm a Communist, not an 'Individualist'.

lem_
that sort of scenario is why

that sort of scenario is why i suggested there would still be democratic or group control over some things. are you saying that in communism the collective makes most of your choices for you, that any "individual choice" will be swallowed up by the majority decision?

that sort of micro democratic managment of our lives seems absurd to me; and all i was saying that was that life would revolve round indiviual choice, not that group decisions would be impossible. maybe i sound too individualist, in which case i apologize.

LBird
'Micro-management', or proletarian freedoms?

lem_ wrote:
that sort of scenario is why i suggested there would still be democratic or group control over some things. are you saying that in communism the collective makes most of your choices for you, that any "individual choice" will be swallowed up by the majority decision?

No, you're missing my point entirely, lem_ smiley

The point is, what's in the realm of "individual choice" will be decided democratically.

This is really a philosophical and political point about 'sovereignty'. That is, who or what is the 'authority' for society; or, where does 'power' lie.

If the 'individual' is the source of their own 'power', then crime (a social category), for example, is impossible. Any action could be taken by any individual and could justified by that individual as 'their right'. From this 'individualist' axiom, for example, if I didn't like you and stuck a knife in you, I could justify it to be my right to do this, because 'I felt like it'.

In my opinion, society must be able to determine what counts as a 'crime', but that determination must be made by all affected by that law in a democratic fashion. Put simply, the justice system must be under our control, not that of an elite of judges, lawyers and parliamentarians.

lem_ wrote:
that sort of micro democratic managment of our lives seems absurd to me; and all i was saying that was that life would revolve round indiviual choice, not that group decisions would be impossible. maybe i sound too individualist, in which case i apologize.

Well, you can always vote to allow LoneLondoner to bum his way round the world, whilst you carry out his social duties, as well as your own, for 10 years!smiley

Seriously, we'd have to introduce a system which allows as many people as possible to spend their time travelling freely, but this system requires organisation, and that means democratic discussion and preparation.

lem_
well then maybe

well then maybe we don't disagree except i think that plenty of people would be happy to stay working while a few people travel around - hell the latter may even be willing to take on occasional work on their travels :)

 

 

LBird
Occasional hot water, cooked food, and medical attention

lem_ wrote:

well then maybe we don't disagree except i think that plenty of people would be happy to stay working while a few people travel around - hell the latter may even be willing to take on occasional work on their travels :)

Perhaps it's just me... but I've got a funny feeling that running the world's production, to satisfy all our needs and wants, will require a bit more commitment than just 'occasional work'!laugh

Maybe I should just take your more 'hippy' approach, comrade! Perhaps Communism will be more like the 10th century and we'll be living in wattle and daub huts, covered in mud - but free to roam!surprise

lem_
gah what are you not

gah what are you not understanding here to call me a "hippy" lol :D !

 

i am saying, that if someone wants to leave a "commune" in the later stages of communism, if they are so inclined people will give them enough food to get by until they find work elsewhere. ok so there is the chance that they won't, but the choice is there to be made by the group.

lem_
what perccent of people will

what perccent of people will be desparate to leave their comrades and family in order to travel? some proportion sure, but i imagine it'd be fairly small, would entail a commitment to this (somewhat bourgeois imo) lifestyle of travel, similar to i dunno becoming a monk. in higer communism i expect human nature and tendencies to be radically transformed, really, for the formation of new and EXCITING bonds between people - workers. to claim that everyone would want to jack that in to shag and get high in backpacker hostels, strilkes me as absurd.

 

no offence, but your opinion seems pretty confusing - and if you're gonna reply, to call me a hippy or not hehe, may i suggest you choose a concrete thing i've said to disagree with and to disprove etc.! thanks :)

LBird
The IIC - a faction of the ICC?

lem_ wrote:
no offence, but your opinion seems pretty confusing - and if you're gonna reply, to call me a hippy or not hehe, may i suggest you choose a concrete thing i've said to disagree with and to disprove etc.! thanks :)

No offence taken, lem_!smiley

I think that the 'confusion' is arising because we're talking at different levels: you on the more 'individual' or 'experiential' level, and me on the more 'social' or 'structural' level.

I'm all for LoneLondoner's lifestyle of 'travelling around the world', where we can not only experience different cultures, but also help communities which we visit in many ways: with our labour, skills, education, arts, etc.

My point is that for this choice to be available to me, it also has to be available to everybody else on the planet.

That 'availability of choice for all' will take social organisation, not just individual willpower. LoneLondoner might be mobile enough just to set off on his travels, after a 'spur of the moment' decision. But what about a comrade in a wheelchair? The realisation of their 'free choice as an individual' to travel around the world requires more 'socially-provided' mobility, than just a biological pair of legs.

So, to me, it will always be a social decision to have 'travel around the world', not the act of an individual.

"From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs" is a couplet. This is precisely the point I was making to those Anarchists on LibCom who say they are Communists, but want to act as Individuals.

Frankly, I'm very surprised that this Communist stance of mine has stirred so much turmoil!laugh

Perhaps this is the site, not of the ICC, but the IIC... the International Individualist Current.cheeky

lem_
no but where do we disagree?

no but where do we disagree? unless you are saying that each year someone will be voted out of the community and forced to go backpacking, i don't see how you can say that your position is different!

 

let alone that it alone is the authentic communist positon.

LBird
Collective or Individual?

lem_ wrote:

no but where do we disagree? unless you are saying that each year someone will be voted out of the community and forced to go backpacking, i don't see how you can say that your position is different!

 

let alone that it alone is the authentic communist positon.

I'm not sure what you're asking anymore, lem_.

My starting point is the 'collective' (the democratic commune); your starting point seems to be the 'individual' (personal desires).

To me, 'backpacking' is a social activity, with production organised so that all 'individuals' have the same chance to have a go at it. If anyone doesn't fancy it, I'm sure they'll have a go at some other pleasurable and developmental activity.

To you and LoneLondoner (and Fred?), 'backpacking' seems to be an individual choice, with little thought for those who might not find it as easy to simply 'drop tools' and go wandering for 10 years.

I'm not actually sure if this is your (or LL's) position, but going by your answers so far, that is what it appears to be, to me.

lem_
oh ok - but unless i've

oh ok - but unless i've misunderstood [again] we're not disagreeing on how society is organized at all, just imagining backpacking under communism in different ways.

but if so, conceiving it as an individual's choice, doesn't make me wrong about society, i am just putting it in terms that more readily make sense now. i do think it's easier to think about "free" indiviuals than it is to start talking about emancipated social groups [take your example of socially organized backpacking trips - which seem to be a ba charaicature], and yeah that may tie in with my latent thirst for individualism. but really what is that - i would do away with the capitalist individual as much as anyone, i just feel a bit like communist groups will still be made of different people.

 

anyway, the point i was making is that less people will want to jack in their working lives in communism... in the same way that few people now would settle for an absolutely idle life without hobbies or people, just sitting in a hammock all day with a piece of grass and a note pof rebellion.

LBird
I'm going to pack my bag if this keeps coming back

lem_ wrote:
...conceiving it as an individual's choice, doesn't make me wrong about society, i am just putting it in terms that more readily make sense now. i do think it's easier to think about "free" indiviuals than it is to start talking about emancipated social groups...

The problem, lem_, is that the 'terms that more readily make sense now' do so now precisely because they are bourgeois terms and we live in a bourgeois society, so they clearly will 'make more sense'!

But... we're Communists, attempting to criticise bourgeois terms like 'individual' and their alleged 'free choices'.

If humans believe in the myth of 'free individuals' (a bit like believing in ghosts or fairies), they had better stick with the form of society that produces those myths, and keep pretending that, one day, they'll come true.

Part of becoming a Communist is coming to consciousness that 'free individuals' is a myth, and that all humans are born into and are produced by their society, made conscious by socialisation. In fact, every society brainwashes its members. And so too with bourgeois society and its brainwashing of its members to be 'free individuals'.

The point about Communism is that we will actively and consciously 'brainwash' ourselves. And why the hell we would continue to propagandise the 'myth of the individual', I can't fathom!

lem_ wrote:
...take your example of socially organized backpacking trips - which seem to be a ba charaicature...

You're still missing the point, lem_. The point is, not 'socially organised backpacking trips' (which sounds like the enforced activities of Pontins/Butlins/Stalins), but making sure that society organises production to allow everyone the choice of 'backpacking' (whether alone, in pairs, small groups, or in drunken, rampaging mobs, is not part of my pointsmiley).

lem_ wrote:
...that may tie in with my latent thirst for individualism.

Well, we all have this 'thirst for individualism', if by that is meant, not "I'm all-right Jack, I'll do what I like when I like", but the thirst that every human individual has the chance to realise their dreams, which means we all have to work together to realise that dream for all. Realising all of our dreams requires us to organise production to do so.

'Social Individualism' is not the act of an individual, but of society. And that society must be under the control of us all.

So, lem_, are you clear now? No "compulsory, regimented backpacking", but the choice made available for all to 'backpack', if they want to.laugh

LBird
Back to thread question

Since the 'backpacking' drama seems to have subsided, perhaps we can now reconsider the thread title, in the light of that exchange.

The title 'Is it possible to reconcile anarchism and marxism?' seems to beg the further question, 'What is the form of Marxism being compared?'.

For me, who thinks Marxism is a 'collective' philosophy and that Communism is a 'social' ideology (meaning focussed upon society, not just produced by society, which all ideologies are), the answer to the question posed by the thread is 'No'.

But I place the objection at an ontological level, that 'Anarchism' starts from 'individuals', whereas 'Marxism' procedes from 'society'.

Before my discussion with lem_, Fred and LoneLondoner, I would have thought that this was a pretty uncontroversial opinion for a Marxist to hold, but now I'm not so sure.

That is, I think that the form of (what I would term) 'Individualist Marxism' which they seem to propose is entirely reconcilable with 'Anarchism'.

As I said earlier, though, I don't think my views would be the same regarding 'Class Struggle Anarchism', of the sort espoused on LibCom, which is far closer to the Communism I'm talking about (although, again as I've said, the LibCom crowd are a bit unclear about this relationship between 'individuals' and 'society', in my opinion).

That is, perhaps some forms of 'Class Struggle Anarchism' are reconcilable with 'Marxism', especially given their focus on Marx's Capital, their understanding of which seems much more profound than most Marxists (including me!smiley).

Fred
philosophy, ideology and theory

How many types of Marxism are there?  Surely there's only one, though there may be a variety of interpretations of this.  Marxism is the theory derived from working class struggle.  If there wasn't a working class there wouldn't be any Marxism because there'd be nothing to theorize about.  And it isn't an ideology, nor a philosophy, but a theory derived from practice and sometimes informing new practice.  It is a prized working class collection of lessons learned from working class struggle for a better life; though these lessons are not carved in stone and are open to new understandings as history and life goes on.   

Philosophy is the now outdated  attempt to understand and explain what life is all about - why its so wonderful or so bloody awful - as a sort of complement to or improvement on religion.  Its merit over religion was that it tried to explain what was happening to people while they were alive, rather than waiting for them to die when all would, as in your wildest dreams, be revealed.  

 The philosophers interpreted the world but a lot of the time they didn't really know what they were talking about as speculation and fantasy formed the basis of much they said, because much of what they said had no firm foundations in life as lived by actual people.  The philosophers looked for explanations out of their own heads, on which they often stood as Marx elaborated. They didn't look to the world and society as it is.  Marx understood this, and said so, and explained why, and that's why Marxism isn't a philosophy but a theory deriving from life as lived by living people - the class struggle - in the same way that evolution is a theory, not invented out of somebody's head, but a response by scientists to what they saw around them (the talking rocks as LBird calls them) and to which evidence they devoted serious thought and reached at times remarkable conclusions.  

Ideology is neither a theory nor a philosophy but a serious mental deceit in which people take on a pack of lies uncritically and believe every word of it.  In distinguishing theory, and even philosophy  from ideology,  Marxism did humanity a great service, and achieved a remarkable breakthrough for thought;   though the bourgeoisie have never really been able to appreciate this.  The reason is that their  now  hellish society requires and depends on the pack of lies and mental deceit to hide its true nature more than ever, and to keep itself going.  Once workers see through this ideological claptrap they're hardly likely to go on being submissive to it anymore. 

Thus it is a mistake to talk of Marxism as being a philosophy or an ideology because it's neither. Its a theory. Its a scientific theory.  It is doubtful whether it is  really open to all that many different interpretations though the bourgeoisie try hard.  There are countless brands of bourgeois Marxism, and bourgeois communism, though only one genuine proletarian Marxist communist theory whose main job at the moment seems to be exposing the treacherous and phony nature of the various bourgeois brands, and explaining why bourgeois society all over the world is such a complete and useless mess and needs to be got rid of. 

I realize this is a very ad hoc post and anyone who wants to pull it to pieces will find that an easy job no doubt and have lots of fun doing it.   Failing that it's always possible to quote isolated sentences pulled out of context and lampoon them.  But this is to miss the point.  Today arguments about whether Marxism starts from the individual or from society seem quaint  and is to adopt a philosophical attitude to what is now the most serious issue facing us all on this planet, which is how do we get rid of capitalism before it gets rid  of us. Making out that some posters on this forum don't know whether they're individual communists, anarchists of  the wrong kind, or some real genuine authentic plastic communist packing the right ideology and the correct political scientific philosophy, is avoiding the main issue.  This issue is:  how do we come together around an accepted and generally agreed communist platform?  How do we come together to fight as best we can the last murderous actions of a system in the dangerously terminal throes of a bestial struggle  for the perpetuation of the capitalist machine?  For this creeping cancerous struggle for capitalism pushed forward by the bourgeoisie and its various thuggish goons, is against the interests of all humanity, all life and even the planet itself, and needs to be stopped.   

LBird
Discussion

Fred wrote:
I realize this is a very ad hoc post and anyone who wants to pull it to pieces will find that an easy job no doubt and have lots of fun doing it. Failing that it's always possible to quote isolated sentences pulled out of context and lampoon them.

I've no wish to be seen to 'lampoon' your post, Fred, so I'll leave my comment at this.

Your post covers all sorts of issues, many of which I've already tried to discuss on other threads, so I won't go over old ground, again.smiley

Perhaps the key point is:

Fred wrote:
This issue is: how do we come together around an accepted and generally agreed communist platform?

This obviously requires some agreement about what we mean by 'communist'.

I see the central issue as being about how we collectively organise production, so that we can use the fruits of that production to ensure that all 'individuals' have the same freedoms. That will require some, who have greater need, to receive a disproportionate amount of those 'fruits'.

My main assumption is that that 'collectively organised production' will employ democratic methods.

A second assumption is that all people will participate in that 'democratic production'.

You'll notice that thus far I haven't mentioned 'individual freedoms'; that's because I think that the issues around 'individual freedoms' come after the 'production' issues. We, logically, have to produce before we can distribute; and it's the distribution that gives freedom to all.

This focus on a social issue (collective, democratic production) is, to me, the defining point of 'Marxists', whereas the focus for 'Anarchists' seems to be on 'Individuals' and their freedoms from society. Communism (as the name suggests) is first and foremost about communal production, rather than individual freedoms (which, to me, is mere bourgeois ideology).

This is why I was surprised by the response by Fred, LL and lem_, who I'm assuming are Marxists rather than Anarchists.

If we are to discuss having the 'freedom to backpack for 10 years', my starting point is not an individual who wants the freedom to do this, but the question of how we organise our world production to allow any individual the freedom to 'backpack for 10 years'.

On the whole, I think 'Anarchists' are much more focussed on the 'here and now' of 'how can I do what I want, with no interference from society'.

It seems to me that the answer that 'backpacking for 10 years' won't exist for perhaps several generations to come, until we have produced the capacity to allow everyone this freedom, won't be acceptable to 'Anarchists' and their insistence that their wishes come first, now, in this life.

The obvious answer from Anarchists is that, to some extent, that 'freedom' exists now for some in the West, as long as they live a frugal, hippy, on-the-road lifestyle with few possessions, and so being told that they can't have that freedom right now is a backward step in their search for their own 'individual freedom'. That's true.

But Communism isn't about 'me', but is about 'us'.

The couplet 'from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs' can only be put into practice democratically. That is, 'abilities' and 'needs' are defined by the community, not the mythical bourgeois individual.

I think that this issue of 'I' versus 'society' is the difference between Marxists and Anarchists.

If someone wants 'individual freedom' right now, then go and become a multi-billionaire. The freedom exists now (as does the myth).

Communism won't be about the 'individual freedom' of one, but the 'individual freedom' of all. It's a social concept, not an individual one.

Enhance81 (not verified)
Anarchy and drugs ! :-) ! .... ! !

I've been growing more Anarchist recently going to Psy - Trance parties at club 414 and it seems at the moment Tribal Village in Camden this weekend, you need to add more of a hippy drug policy to Left Communist groups and argue for a peaceful revolution, we need Amsterdam coffeeshops around the country to legalize all drugs, deal with the health issue related to it.

Check this out: Mission

NeuroSoup contends that through the use of the many consciousness expansion tools currently in existence (including spirituality, entheogens, lucid dreaming, meditation, yoga, and sensory deprivation, among others), people can grow spiritually to realize their full potential. Aiding people as they walk down this path of consciousness exploration is NeuroSoup's primary goal. Since many people use psychoactive substances to produce consciousness expansion through altered states of consciousness, NeuroSoup also hopes to aid in harm reduction by educating people about the positive and negative aspects of all drugs, whether they are legal, available by prescription, or illegal. Another goal of NeuroSoup is to aid in addicted individuals' recovery by providing online self help drug and alcohol rehab resources.

http://www.neurosoup.com/about-us/

Drug education and harm reduction

https://www.youtube.com/user/NeuroSoup

! :-) ! .... ! .... !

baboon
Why?

Enhance,  what on earth are you posting on here for?

Enhance81 (not verified)
I know !

Have you ever met a Anarchist dancing at the glade festival, I have muchmore-fun-then-North-Korea.Com ! :-) ! .... ! :-) ! .... !

LoneLondoner
Missing the point again, ...and again, ...and again

Lbird's idea that "anarchists start from individuals, communists start from society" is, as usual, mechanistic and inadequate, as is his argumentation on the little quote from the German Ideology, which merely consists of highlighting all the times it talks about "community" and saying "look, you see, Marx (oh yes, and that dreadful Engels who was a co-author), Marx talks about community first".

This completely misses the point. 

For one thing, anarchists (except for Stirnerian ultra-individualists or the fanatics of "propaganda by the deed" who are almost nowhere to be seen these days) are themselves obsessive about "community". In fact, the usual anarchist vision of a future society is either anarcho-syndicalist or one of a network (very fashionable idea that) of "communities" who will trade among themselves (barter or money... anarchists have never been very hot on the problem of money and exchange), and where the individual only exists as part of a community.

Marx's vision, it seems to me, is radical and revolutionary where this anarchist fetish of the "community" is nothing but petty-bourgeois fantasizing. To go back to the German ideology: the community prior to communism was

Marx wrote:

a community to which these individuals belonged only as average individuals, only insofar as they lived within the conditions of existence of their class — a relationship in which they participated not as individuals but as members of a class.

This was also true of primitive communism where individuals only existed as expressions of their community (so to speak). To my mind, this existence in the community as "average individuals" whose individual difference does not go beyond the bounds of what is allowed by the "community", corresponds to the Lbirdian view, and it is not marxist (nor communist).

In communism, Marx posits a complete reversal of this situation. Individuals take part in the community (indeed this is a fundamental aspect of the human condition), but they do so on a completely different basis:

Marx wrote:
 

With the community of revolutionary proletarians, on the other hand, who take their conditions of existence and those of all members of society under their control, it is just the reverse; it is as individuals that the individuals participate in it.

One striking aspect of Lbird's argumentation is his inability to see beyond present conditions: we will still have to worry about paedophiles (a fashionable obsession), or about stopping people from sticking knives into other people, we will still have people in wheelchairs (not equipped with exo-skeletons or even cured), and we will all still be working as hard as we are today (this is directly contrary to what Marx posits as a condition for communism - labour becoming truly free because for the first time it will be liberated from necessity).

But if we are to have communism with "unreconstructed" humanity - ie essentially a humanity twisted and warped by its condition in capitalist society - then why should we not also envisage a very democratic decision that some group - Roms perhaps, or why not the Jews again? - is racially inferior and that humanity would be better off without it? In Lbird's view of democratic science and morality, then this minority could not only be democratically exterminated, the extermination would be both scientifically correct (science is to be decided by democratic vote remember) and better still, morally justified (since morality is also to be decided democratically).

LBird
No discussion

LoneLondoner wrote:
In Lbird's view of democratic science and morality, then this minority could not only be democratically exterminated, the extermination would be both scientifically correct (science is to be decided by democratic vote remember) and better still, morally justified (since morality is also to be decided democratically).

I don't want to go over all this, again.

Suffice to say, LL's characterisation of my view about 'proletarian democracy' as being identical to 'parliamentary democracy' is wrong.

If other comrades (who haven't already ignored what I actually say) want to know my position, and can't find it elsewhere on other threads, please ask.

As to the substantive issue of this thread, LL hasn't attempted to outline their view about the various agreements/disagreements between various strands of Marxist/Anarchist thought.

Unless someone comes back with some points worth discussing, I'll leave it at that.sad

lem_
"But I place the objection at

"But I place the objection at an ontological level, that 'Anarchism' starts from 'individuals', whereas 'Marxism' procedes from 'society'.

Before my discussion with lem_, Fred and LoneLondoner, I would have thought that this was a pretty uncontroversial opinion for a Marxist to hold, but now I'm not so sure.

That is, I think that the form of (what I would term) 'Individualist Marxism' which they seem to propose is entirely reconcilable with 'Anarchism'."

 

if it's not shared by me that's in part because i don't think it's useful to talk on an 'onotological' level.

why do you think what i've said [pretty much - i think - just that communism/st don't do away with individuality] is anarchist, or reconcilable with it?

perhaps my ATTUTUDE is, but i would only expect to be congratulated for that hehe. my understanding of marx is not as an anarchist - i would point out not only his hostility to bakunin, but believe that a graded transition to communism and a workers vanguard party are integral to his body of thought.

so to conclude: i would say that marxism is reconcilable with at least class struggle anarchism, BUT on the proviso that you don't take all of seriously. i have not studied him enough to say WHICH parts of marx's work implicate an opposition to anarchism, but i INTUIT that it is convincing and all the more so with the more convincing and useful elements of his work.

so while i cannot honestly claim to be a struggling communist, i think it is true that i'm not implictly advocating anarchism!?

 

which is not to say that anarchists are counter revolutionaries - any opposition to them would be on an communist basis [i.e. correcting the ideology that has smitten them], unlike say stalinists who i don't see as proletarian.

LBird
Class Struggle Anarchists

lem_ wrote:
so to conclude: i would say that marxism is reconcilable with at least class struggle anarchism...

Yes, I think that this is possible too, lem_.

My only doubt is that when I've tried to discuss with CSAs the relationship between individuals (components) and society (structure), and the inescapable power relationships involved (for example, the relationships between 'communes' and their 'federation'), they seem to be very unclear amongst themselves.

Some seem to agree with points that I've made (and recognise the necessity of recognising the power of society, and thus the need to control that power), but others, when pressed about 'social power and authority', simply revert to (what I think are simplistic) views of 'individuality', 'no authority', and 'freedom'.

I'm inclined to think that the CSAs who seriously consider 'power relationships' will come to be in the ascendent, simply because 'individual freedom without social authority' is actually a bourgeois myth, and most Anarchists will eventually see the need for democratic, as opposed to individualistic, controls.

Plus, I feel an affinity with 'Anarchists' of all stripes because of their relentless criticism of Stalinism, Leninism and the 'cadre-party'. I share that with them, too.smiley

Their wider fears of Marx are, I think, unfounded, because Marx, when all is said and done, was a democrat, rather than the authoritarian of 20th century myth. And in my experience, Anarchists read, and place more stress upon, Capital more often than  Marxists do.

So, grounds for reconciliation, perhaps!

lem_
"and the 'cadre-party'. I

"and the 'cadre-party'. I share that with them, too"

 

i don't really get that... unless by "cadre" you mean party that tries to wrest power from the democratic workers organs. for me, the existence of even a mass organization, with or without major democratic structure, need be no threat - certainly not if the working class is strong enough to complete a world socialist revolution despite its current plight. what harm is there to a free association into a party? as long as it is not a counter revolutionary one, i don't see it.

the problem in russia, for me, was that either the revolution was always doomed, or the bolshevik party was theoretically underprepared for it.

 

anyway, i come from the other side - share their distrust of a powerful state, and would rather see it disappear asap. but i got in so many fights with "working class" anarchists, on the internet, that i don't much trust them, either. tbh i tolerate hippies more readily haha.