The Anarchist Prophets

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Agnapostate, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Agnapostate
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    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?
     
  2. mascale
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    mascale VIP Member

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    A dissertation about "an anarchy" is better regarded a contradiction in terms. Marshall McLuhan had a better sense of an anarchy when he suggested that "The Medium Is The Message," and not the drivel. In the above, each of the commentators is engaged in one or another contention about a civilization with borders, not without them.

    In North America, an anarchy is easily best represented by the illegal aliens of the United States, essentially going back and forth, often enough, using the state civilizations as a kind of forest with benefits--ripe for the picking.

    What, then, do they lack--if not wealth? Wealth is what they lack.

    Widespread Wealth Worldwide has to be thought a pre-condition for an anarchy. An anarchy would not be alleged to be a breeding ground for servitude, for example, either voluntary or involuntary.

    Widespread Wealth is an arithmetic trick, just like state civilizations--wherein the rich get richer, and poorer get poorer--is itself an arithmetic trick.

    State civilizations invariably fail. Using arithmetic, the civilization failure can be predicted. The civilizations either promotes material prosperity, or it does not. Mostly, recently, they do not--and worldwide.

    That is not likely a basis for an anarchy. Notice that the state civilizations do not concede that in fact they don't work. The poor couldn't pay the mortgages, the rich houses came tumbling down.

    That is what works(??!

    "Crow, James Crow: Shaken, Not Stirred!"
    (Odd that no one seems to want to admit that the stateless illegals, actually do work(?)!)
     
  3. Agnapostate
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    Agnapostate BANNED

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    Your post is based on the all-too-common fallacy that anarchism involves chaos or disorder. Since self-described anarchists have instead advocated decentralized libertarian socialism since Proudhon's declaration of anarchism in 1840, that's baseless.
     
  4. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Agna, in your system, is my house MY house? Or is it everyone's?
     
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  5. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    With Agna, you should be more worried about your daughter than your house. :eek:
     
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  6. Ralph
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    Ralph Member

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    I prefer to live by the simple mandate of God's punishment upon all mankind...that will exist throughout the expanse of man's physical existence. To survive one must earn that life by the sweat of his brow and take it from the good earth, "........cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and bristles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for thou art dust, and unto dust shalt thou return." -- Genesis 3:17-19

    With the Christ presenting this eternal truth, "You will always have the poor among you." -- John 12:8. Why does the Christ make such a statement? Poverty comes from a variety of sources; Circumstances, incapacity, and even free will choice.....the majority of the poor, simply choose to be poor as directed by their free will actions. No government can control the conditions that bring about poverty...regardless of the subscribed ideology. These things will continue to happen, and there is nothing that anyone or any government can mandate that will stop nature from taking its course.....unless of course your middle initial is "W".....then you have the inherent power to control the forces of weather. Or St. Al....or "barry" the Messiah.....then you can simply purchase carbon credits, health care, and food stamps on the money borrowed from WE THE PEOPLE...and their Children...and their Children..and their Children's Children..etc. The reality is.....nothing in life is free, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE must place a spade to the earth in order to preserve life, when you have more potato consumers than potato farmers....it does not take a genius to figure out the ultimate results.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  7. Agnapostate
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    All variants of socialism involve a distinction between private and possessive property, with private property, on the one hand, involving a monopoly of dictatorial control over a relatively scarce resource that permits the "owner" to deprive others of usage of that resource unless they subordinate themselves under a hierarchical chain of command in the labor market. The capitalist economy is based on coordination between countless arrangements of that nature. Possessive property, conversely, involves ownership of individual items and personal effects; ownership of a watch would be an example of a personal possession, while ownership of a watch factory would be an example of private property.

    Even if that were the case, that would probably be better for the daughter than the Taliban-style strangulation your Rapunzel-length pubes would inflict on her, trannymold. :eusa_whistle:

    Considering that I referred to an ideology that involves specifically focused opposition to government, this comment seems rather purposeless. Your position seems weakened further, considering the reality of the early apostles' practice of libertarian communism recorded in Acts 2:44-45: "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need."
     
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  8. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    :rofl:

    A douchebag with a sense of humor! My kind of guy.

    If only you could teach your playpen mate JPukenema a thing or two about humor we'd all be better off for it. :cool:
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Holy Bible Matthew 7:6
     
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  10. mascale
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    mascale VIP Member

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    Hello Again,

    And so it's back to the contradiction in terms! A "decentralized, libertarian, socialism," is about a government, not an anarchy.

    And again, the illegal aliens are not about chaos and disorder. And, Widespread Wealth Worldwide is about arithmetic. Post-Proudhon, mathematics is shown, by philosophers who do these things, to be a complete and logical system--therefore of order. Like illegal aliens, mathematics works across borders, even across the border.

    "Decentralized governments," "Libertarians," (One of my older friends, who is older like me, is a founder of the Libertarian Party), "Socialists," "Centrists," "Communists," "Nationalists," "Democrats," "Republicans," "Radicals," "Peace and Freedom Party," and then on and on: All have government in mind, and none have Widespread Wealth Worldwide in mind.

    The various writers cited, in the OP, did not have Widespread Wealth Worldwide in mind, but did have a socialist, pro-government, bias in mind.

    Proudhon, who is dead, is nevertheless associated with the following:

    "By the word [anarchy] I wanted to indicate the extreme limit of political progress. Anarchy is... a form of government or constitution in which public and private consciousness, formed through the development of science and law, is alone sufficient to maintain order and guarantee all liberties... The institutions of the police, preventative and repressive methods officialdom, taxation etc., are reduced to a minimum... monarchy and intensive centralization disappear, to be replaced by federal institutions and a pattern of life based upon the commune."

    "Crow, James Crow: Shaken, Not Stirred!"
    ("Bias," of course, is now a non-starter in The Colonies. It simply turns out that the Colored Guy has a penchant for careless hair coverings, on the upper lip--apparently. There are even pictures!")
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009

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