As a socialist, I've become accustomed to incessant repetition of mockeries that refer to the failures of Leninism and its derivative of Stalinism in the Soviet Union and derivative of Maoism in China. No matter how many times I attempt to explain that I'm an anarchist and a libertarian, and that the failures of Leninism in fact strengthen anarchist ideology, politically and economically misinformed rightists are seemingly incapable of distinguishing between the pseudo-socialist state capitalism adopted by Leninists and legitimate socialism, that which necessitates actual public ownership and management of the means of production, not mere declaration of such. With significant factions within the socialist movement now advocating republican market socialism as the way forward after having witnessed the numerous deficiencies of central planning, we should be aware of the fact that it was anarchists who initially identified the problematic nature of authoritarian inclinations within socialist ideology. It was then the anarchists who were persecuted after the state capitalists gained power, and to add insult to injury, anarchists who are now told that all forms of socialism are impossible to implement because of the failures of an ideology that they attacked as anti-socialist even prior to its complete development, offering prescient and desperately needed criticisms of authoritarian "socialism" throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Elements of this commentary were indeed prophetic in nature, and it's necessary to examine them to determine the role of anarchism in the socialist movement, and whether anarchism is better equipped than Marxism and republican market socialism to lead that movement forward. This analysis must start with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first person to declare himself an anarchist (in 1840), and a socialist theorist who ensured that the development of anarchism predated the development of Marxism, attacking what he regarded as the authoritarian nature of the socialism advocated by rival Louis Blanc: Proudhon's work was published several decades before Marx and Engels were to achieve their ultimate fame, but Proudhon did know Marx and was aware of Marx's criticism of his work, terming it a "tissue of abuse, calumny, falsification and plagiarism," and Marx (or Marxism) "the tapeworm of socialism." Marx's greater libertarian foe, however, was to be the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, who warned that "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Czar himself" and "When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick" decades before the Bolsheviks were to spark the Russian Revolution. Marx himself cannot be entirely blamed for the state capitalist legacy of the USSR, of course (and likely would have disavowed Leninism), but it's worth noting that anarchists predicted that authoritarian elements would be able to base themselves upon Marxist principles and tenets. Bakunin elaborated on this in his 1871 manuscript Statism and Anarchy: He complemented this with a criticism of Marxist "Communism." (Note that this was the only variety of "communism" existing during his lifetime, and anarchist communism was not to develop until after his death.) This statement, again, was issued several decades prior to the Russian Revolution, illustrating a level of prophetic insight on the part of the anarchist theorists that perhaps indicates a similar knowledge of legitimate and positive socialist organization. Shortly after the Russian Revolution and establishment of the Soviet Union, the anarchist theorist Peter Kropotkin made his many criticisms of the authoritarian nature of Soviet state capitalism known, writing this to Lenin in 1920: This insight is utterly prescient and demonstrates substantial abilities of foresight. Kropotkin knew not only that the state capitalism of Lenin and the Bolsheviks was not "socialist"; he knew that it was in fact anti-socialist, and that its ruinous legacy would generate harsh damage to the socialist movement, creating a "guilt by association" of sorts for even those socialists (such as anarchists), who had quickly and vigilantly condemned the authoritarianism of state capitalism. Similarly opposed to this pseudo-socialism was Emma Goldman, deported from the U.S. to Russia for her political convictions and participation in radical activity, and initially optimistic about the Russian Revolution. This optimism turned to dismay after she witnessed the brutal suppression of the democratically motivated Kronstadt Rebellion in 1921 by the Red Army, and led to her 1923 publication of My Disillusionment in Russia, in which she railed against the nature of dictatorship in the USSR: Goldman had no ability to know that the Soviet Union would eventually be dissolved many decades later and did not declare it anti-socialist only after its imminent destruction was apparent. She, as with other consistent anarchists, declared the Soviet Union and the authoritarian state capitalism that falsely masqueraded as socialism within it to be tyrannically monstrous and unjust even as it gained greater power: In the mid-to-late 1930's, the world saw the most expansive and important socialist revolution throughout history occur during the Spanish Civil War, as anarchists and libertarian workers organized and collectivized vast areas of land and numerous fixtures throughout Spain, establishing several thousand anarchist collectives among several million inhabitants of Spain, their hub being in the industrialized region of Catalonia and its capital of Barcelona, a city populated by 1.2 million residents. Unfortunately, the exigencies of the situation (a fascist military revolt against the republican government), led union leaders to organize an alliance with authoritarian "socialists" backed by the Soviet Union. These phony socialists considered the social revolution a counterproductive engagement, and moved to sabotage and destroy collectivization efforts through violent force, with Soviet "allies" deliberately depriving anarchist and libertarian Marxist military forces of necessary aid, critically undermining the war effort. The anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker offered this insighftul analysis into the reasons for this treachery: This anarchist criticism has continued to the present day, and saw a remarkable recent expression in Noam Chomsky's 1986 publication of his article The Soviet Union Versus Socialism: It is thus apparent that anarchists have been at the forefront of criticism of the authoritarian and dictatorial nature of the pseudo-socialism of the Leninist states, and criticized the authoritarian inclinations of Marxism and pre-Marxist socialism long prior to that. With every facet of this analysis in mind, is it reasonable to claim that anarchism and libertarianism (which could include minarchist varieties of socialism, such as forms of libertarian Marxism) represent the future of the socialist movement?