Submitted by ziq in Anarchism (edited )

Dual power was coined by Lenin to describe two powers (the Soviets and the existing government) temporarily coexisting with each other and competing for legitimacy with the ultimate goal of the Soviets expelling the other power and seizing control of the state (to install state capitalism / one party dictatorship).

Dual power has nothing whatsoever to do with anarchy. Anarchists are not and have never been advocates of dual power.

We are not a political party. We are not interested in competing with other political parties for power.

We are not interested in giving legitimacy to the state or its institutions.

We are not interested in seizing control of the state to install a 'people's dictatorship'.

We are also not interested in a so-called 'democratic dual power' whereupon we plead with the states / banks / corporations to be nicer to us by lobbying the people in power (electioneering) while also participating in charity work, like this Occupy activist / wealthy art critic proposes:

(Dual power) means forging alliances and supporting demands on existing institutions — elected officials, public agencies, universities, workplaces, banks, corporations, museums — while at the same time developing self-organized counter-institutions.

  1. This is not what dual power means. Stop trying to whitewash Leninist lingo and force it on anarchists.

  2. Anarchists are not interested in participating in the state/capital mechanism, period.

We don't ask the corporations to stop polluting. We don't ask the banks to stop printing and distributing the currency that upholds the class system. We don't ask the bosses to stop exploiting our labor. We don't ask politicians to stop serving their corporate benefactors. We don't ask coal to stop staining our fingers. We don't ask sandflies to stop biting our necks. We know better than to plead with our oppressors to stop oppressing us. Because we're anarchists and we understand the workings of authority. We understand we can only have back from them what we take by force.

When you prop up state/capital, work to further the legitimacy of its agents, while also embedding yourself into the system in order to 'change it from within', the theoretical 'counter-institutions' you claim to also support are effectively negated because guess what? People who work for the state are not countering the state in any way that counts.

Functionaries of the state and capital (whether lobby groups, campaigners / canvassers, political committees or 'progressive' politicians standing in elections) are not able to mount real opposition to the state or capital because they have been successfully absorbed by the state and capital and now do the bidding of the elite class, in one way or another.

Anyone claiming they're entering the belly of the beast so they can somehow tame the beast is a deluded dipshit. The acid in that belly will melt away any anarchist inclinations they may have held in seconds. The system is designed to absorb all threats to the system. Anyone who claims they can work within the system to counter the system is nothing more than a tool of the system.

It's so frustrating how often authoritarian ideology like dual power is absorbed by red anarchists and then promoted in anarchist spaces every single day.

Anyone claiming to be anti-authority while going out of their way to organize collective action (e.g. the USA's DSA) to further the authority of politicians / a political party / the state is a liar and a coward.

You will not reform authority. Authority will reform you. Into a tool.

Once you ingrain yourself within systems of authority, specifically within the system that exploits the living shit out of billions of people: Enslaves, incarcerates, poisons, genocides, invades, bulldozes, acidifies, destertifies and burns every corner of the planet, you have abandoned any claim to anarchy you may have once held. You are not an anarchist. You are just another clink in the state's ever-expanding armor, devoting your pathetic little activist life to legitimizing, and thus shielding the state from those brutalized by it.

Your dual power tales are as useful to anarchists as the charity galas where you rub elbows with the robber barons you expect us to beg for table scraps.

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ziq OP wrote

can't post this to reddit because i got suspended, so if anyone wants to post it for me, go ahead

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[deleted] wrote

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subrosa wrote

33% ratio on the slightly less embarassing r/AnarchismZ, oh well.

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TheNerdyAnarchist wrote

The "downvoting" was the early response...it's got a positive ratio on r/@ now

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ziq OP wrote

well raddle is brigading the shit out of it probably

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gone_to_croatan wrote

GENZ is already coopted by the Tankies, and a very few of them are really engaged with anarchism at some level. This will take decades to undo. The Seattle generation left us with Chomsky and Bookchin, now we are ripening the fruits

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Esperaux wrote

I'd say the issue more or less stems from the assumption of left unity being a good thing. From there a lot of these people end up joining broad leftist groups that end up being glorified book clubs that put the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin on a pedestal. Many times it's simply because these groups are the only existing ones in the area to be involved within and being critical of these people can risk exclusion on the grounds of "breaking left unity".

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ziq OP wrote

On the bright side, the Bookchin acolytes will all fade away when Kurdistan gets statehood since they're so tied to that project

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ziq OP wrote

[–]wholesomeanarchist

1 point 3 minutes ago

Feds on anarchist Reddit be like proletarian power bad, be as unorganized as possible

this tank has been working overtime

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JoeK wrote

Is he wrong? You're ordering us not to organize mutual aid and you think you're an anarchist lol.

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ziq OP wrote

dual power isn't mutual aid

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JoeK wrote

It's one half of mutual aid.

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ziq OP wrote

What does that even mean? Mutual aid is mutual aid but if you split mutual aid in half it becomes dual power? You don't make any sense to me.

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

This is dumb. The soviets previous to the october revolution werent controled by the bolshevics and anarchist structures can coextist with aa severely deestabilized goberment given the right conditions without being controled by any central party

Yes Lenin's counter-revolution hadn't happened yet and no that doesn't change anything because dual power is still an authoritarian project to seize the state. "Lenin hadn't yet enacted his plan to create a totalitarian police state when he came up with dual power" is not an excuse to embrace dual power.

Anarchy existing in small pockets while states exist is also not an excuse to embrace dual power. Dual power does nothing for anarchy. Working with the state / corporations / banks doesn't help anarchy. It helps the state / corporations / banks to continue to get away with their oppression.

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ziq OP wrote

lol redditor deleted their comment when they saw my reply here

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TheNerdyAnarchist wrote

They didn't delete it - it was removed. I wasn't the mod who removed it, but I assume the one who did deemed it tankie apologism

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JoeK wrote

It's interesting how often you get caught in lies.

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ziq OP wrote

being mistaken isn't lying

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JoeK wrote

Lenin's dual power was literally rejected by authcoms at the time because it was too anarchist but go on.

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ziq OP wrote

If they rejected it, how did they seize the state with it?

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gone_to_croatan wrote

And other thing, why they bother to label as anarchists is beyond reason. If you want workers govt no shame in being socialist/communist/Marxist, but don't poison the definition of Anarchy

It's a beat up slogan but I liked: power is not to be conquered but destroyed - this is what they don't get, we don't want to grab power to run thing our way, we want to destroy any condition that enable this power in the first place

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

because they do have shame. americans have swallowed too much anti-soviet propaganda to simply accept their actual political affiliations, instead they have to go through a years long struggle where they ID as an anarchist or a libsoc while rapidly fusing lenin/stalin/mao/deng/xi's ideology into their own but refusing to acknowledge it as such until they finally overcome the overpowering cog diss and announce they've read too much 'theory' to remain an imperialist anarkiddie and want to move to north korea

every cringey ironic crypto authoritarian thing they utter is completely entrenched in the politics of shame

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gone_to_croatan wrote

Curious you said Shame, I always thought it was Guilty better than shame.

Like white settler guilt.

But makes sense too, this explains why they praise Democracy soo much and why Liberal/Libertarianism is a thing only in the US (they export for sure)

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

Boy, this is... Stupid

Even if we pretend that terms can't be reappropriated, and that we can't steal the name of a leninist strategy invented 100 years ago to suit our needs, the situation of dual power itself is not inherently linked to the takeover of an existing state or the creation of a new one.

There was dual power within the republican-controled areas during the Spanish Civil War. There is dual power in the regions of mexico overtaken by indigenous councils.

There is dual power in the areas of Brazil controled by druglords if you want to call it that too, just not between the state and a popular institution but rather the state and cartels. This is also dual-power, but it's neither good nor even remotely related to Lenin's authoritarian ideals. You want a good example of a counter-institution that can evolve into a duality of power? Black Markets or Liberated Markets. Counter-economy is a seed of dual power too, if it evolves to fit the role of a competing institution to the capitalist monopolist "free" market.

Whoever wrote this shit lumps every use of the term "dual power" by anarchists together to pretend DSA affiliated "libertarian democratic socialist" organize the same way as communist anarchists. IDK, maybe in the US it really is like that, but Dual Power as a modern tool for understanding anarchist counter-politics is absolutely not the same as marxism-leninism.

And yet, OP wants to pretend dual power is somehow "working within the system" when it's quite literally the opposite: Creating a counter-system or, even better, creating a non-system. A way of organizing and living collective life without the need for a state.

Drink my fucking piss larper.

Wow how much flexing does one murican need to do to take Lenin's authoritarian theory and desperately try to force it into anarchy? Sounds like you're super upset that I don't like your little anarcho-statism ideology :(

You're not 'reappropriating' Lenin's theory, it was not appropriated by Lenin, he invented it, so how are you reappropriating it? It never belonged to you. You're appropriating it (or more specifically, the academic / Occupy activist you're parroting is).

Dual power, as explained by both its inventor Lenin, and the liberal Occupy activist academic trying to appropriate it requires that the two powers cooperate. It requires that the two powers work within the state to either seize control of the state (Lenin) or attempt to reform the state (Occupy Lad).

Here's his definition of the appropriated term once more. I know how hard it is to overcome your cognitive dissonance the first time you read something that exposes your shitty politics:

(Dual power) means forging alliances and supporting demands on existing institutions — elected officials, public agencies, universities, workplaces, banks, corporations, museums — while at the same time developing self-organized counter-institutions.

Alliances.

Supporting demands on existing institutions.

Including banks, politicians and corporations.

It's right here in black and white from the person who brought dual power into the anarchist conversation for whatever fucked up reason.

Maybe you should read it again since you've surely ignored it the 2nd time too:

(Dual power) means forging alliances and supporting demands on existing institutions — elected officials, public agencies, universities, workplaces, banks, corporations, museums — while at the same time developing self-organized counter-institutions.

Seeing you say cartels and the state sharing power is something that proves dual power is anarchist is just amazing. Fuck the cartels, fuck the state and fuck all authority.

Black markets existing inside capitalism is not dual power. Both definitions of dual power say nothing about black markets. Black markets, drug dealing and other forms of untaxed trade are still capitalism. They still feed capital and make the rich richer. That isn't dual power, it's one power. But I guess that's the point really since dual power doesn't actually counter power, but simply reproduces it... Why do you people always, always, always move the goalposts to make your fave auth ideological terms impossibly vague so no one can possibly hope to define them?

'Dual power by anarchists' does not exist. Anarchists do not practice dual power because dual power is not compatible with anarchy. When anarchists do mutual aid, it has nothing to do with either Lenin's dual power or Occupy Lad's democratic dual power. There is no state involved, no lobbying of authority figures, no forging alliances to reform the state or to seize power over the state. Dual power is not an anarchist principle and continuing to insist it is only betrays your desire to falsely associate the politics of authority (which is what power in this context is) with anarchy i.e. the act of negating authority. Your power machinations having nothing to do with making anarchy.

I'm not pretending dual power is working within the system, I'm quoting the people who have defined dual power, both from an authoritarian state capitalist and, much more recently, a 'libertarian socialist' (Occupy Lad never claimed to be an anarchist) perspective.

You're the one pretending - because by acknowledging the actual meaning of the term, you'd be admitting it has nothing whatsoever to do with anarchy. Much easier then to continue casually promoting the term without explaining what it means. Entryism is fun like that.

There's no counter system that specifically tries to 1. work with the existing system and 2. replicate the existing system but add more democracy. That isn't a countering the system, it's trying and failing to reform the system.

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existential1 wrote

We need to crosspost these quotes to f/whiteness.

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JoeK wrote (edited )

I think you missed the part where they said

This is also dual-power, but it's neither good nor even remotely related to Lenin's authoritarian ideals.

They didn't say the drug cartels in Brazil are anarchists or that they're even desirable, they simply said they have a power separate from the power of the state. It's not a noble savage / whiteness thing when they're not praising the cartels.

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Garbear104 wrote

No they said gangs were anarchism silly. Go read the thread.

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Vulgar_Soda wrote (edited )

And yet, OP wants to pretend dual power is somehow "working within the system" when it's quite literally the opposite: Creating a counter-system or, even better, creating a non-system. A way of organizing and living collective life without the need for a state.

and the examples given are cartels and black markets. So living without a state is reproducing the state by different means? Capitalism isn't capitalism if it's done alongside capitalism? This is somehow a "counter or non-system."

I appreciate your take downs, ziq, but they are hardly neccessary. They do it to themselves.

Why do people insist on grafting disparate ideologies onto something so beautifully simple as anarchy? Dual power can never be analogous to anarchism, because, woahhhhhh spoiler alert, it's literally in the name: power. If an anarchist is interested in analyzing and enacting ways in which to better accrue power, a means of control over others, then they are an anarchist in name only.

Again, I ask, why? Why is this concept so hard for certain people to grasp, that anarchy =/= other thing that isn't anarchy? Anarchy is not democracy. Anarchy is not shadow markets. Anarchy is not finding ways to put anarchists in charge. Does anarchy have a PR problem, or are the enlightened masses that unable to imagine a world without subjugation?

I was starting to enjoy the reddit pile ons, but now these posts just make me sad. I feel like I'm being gaslit. Even the fucking academics can't get anarchy right. Am I the one that is wrong? Should I embrace the would be anarcho-kings?

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ziq OP wrote

So living without a state is reproducing the state by different means?

Yes, that's exactly what they mean by dual power but fail to articulate. You should write the wiki on dual power since you understand it better than anyone since Lenin.

I appreciate your take downs, ziq, but they are hardly neccessary. They do it to themselves.

Doublespeak and entryism needs to be called out or it'll fester and innocent baby anarchists will get bamboozled into it and then I'll be even more annoyed by how outnumbered anarchists are by minarchists roleplaying as anarchists.

Why do people insist on grafting disparate ideologies onto something so beautifully simple as anarchy?

Because they're unable to conceive of anarchy. They have to keep making it like the systems they know and are comforted by so they and their peers can take anarchy seriously. It's a desperate lack of imagination, really.

Even the fucking academics can't get anarchy right. Am I the one that is wrong?

academics only read other academics and are only interested in feeding the system that lavishes them with privileges. chomsky has admitted he has read no anarchists other than... benjamin tucker I think it was. And bookchin read other anarchists just so he could shit on them for being anarchists.

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subrosa wrote

chomsky has admitted he has read no anarchists other than... benjamin tucker I think it was.

He's read some Rudolf Rocker in the early years of WWII, and he occasionally references Daniel Guérin (who prefers libertarian socialist over anarchist). That's it.

Not that it matters much.

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ziq OP wrote

oh yea, i always get rocker and tucker confused

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

This is who we have to thank for ancoms suddenly promoting dual power.

it's ALWAYS a USA academic pushing this kind of shit

'radical democracy' from bookchin

'justified authority' from chomsky

and now this

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[deleted] wrote

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

I've heard it too, but I quickly found out it's just entryist propaganda. He didn't actually come up with dual power, it's all Lenin. This is what Proudhon actually said, that they somehow warp in their minds into being the invention of dual power:

Beneath the governmental machinery, in the shadow of political institutions, out of the sight of statesmen and priests, society is producing its own organism, slowly and silently; and constructing a new order, the expression of its vitality and autonomy, and the denial of the old politics, as well as of the old religion.

Democratic dual power advocates try to claim proudhon invented it because they're reaching to excuse their appropriation of Lenin's shit theory.

so much shame

i should probably include this in the essay but i hate having to waste time debunking coercive strawmen - it just gives them more air

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ziq OP wrote

it's a lot like how the justified authority sect use bakunin to support that bullshit even though he said nothing of the sort and they're quoting him completely out of context... but then me writing the no justified authority essay somehow made his out of context quote even more latched onto by ancoms than it was before

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JoeK wrote

Uh how is constructing a new order not dual power? That's literally what dual power is.

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ziq OP wrote

people self organizing isn't dual power

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lettuceLeafer wrote

I was going to write about Proudhons definition of dual power but I was too lazy. It's still something I'm against but it's way less objectionable and I'm not in active opposition to it. It's somewhat anarchist Proudhons dual power. But not something I would want to participate in probably.

Tho the Leninist dual power is an absolute crock of shit and I agree with ziq. Except for the part where their analysis often never accepts the nuance of words meaning different things.

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TheNerdyAnarchist wrote

STOP GOOGLING MURRAY BOOKCHIN lol

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lettuceLeafer wrote

I've actually never read anything by him besides the rant against lifstylists which I valued greatly. Bc now everything I'm doing something cool like being vegan or diving in a dumpster I can imagine old man bookchin sharking his cane at me yelling those damn Lifestylist.

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JoeK wrote

You should start with Post-Scarcity Anarchism.

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lettuceLeafer wrote

Yeah I hate it.

Also I'm a literal pro private property Agorist. Your Tankie wanabie anarchism isn't interesting to me.

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JoeK wrote

I think you meant to say ancap.

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JoeK wrote

Both Proudhon and Lenin's definitions are libertarian actually. Lenin was capable of having a non-authoritarian idea every once in a while.

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ziq OP wrote

government isn't libertarian

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gone_to_croatan wrote

it's ALWAYS a USA academic pushing this kind of shit

😤

This is one of the perks of having English as internet's lingua franca, Yankee bubble becames universal

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JoeK wrote

Or maybe we're just in the unique position to understand best how to defeat capitalism since we live in the capital of Babylon.

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gone_to_croatan wrote

Yankee exceptionalism? Do u really want to go down dis road fam?

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JoeK wrote

I'm just saying the people best equipped to critique a system are those who are most affected by it.

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_caspar_ wrote

or those most outside its logic and grasp, able to recognize the unnecessary dependency and servitude it entails, and having already some experience with alternatives? or maybe better yet, someone in between with feet both inside and out?

I think someone from either 3 of these perspectives could be just as equipped. critique is not some quantifiable pissing contest, and if it were, what would even determine who is "most affected" globally in the 21st century at this point: the child spending everyday looking for the most valuable trash in the landfill, or the manager spending everyday looking for the most valuable financial move?

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gone_to_croatan wrote

Ok, if are not trolling this is a huge flag.

Please consider reading Marx and Lenin and abandoning Anarchism, you will thank me later

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ziq OP wrote

who most reap the rewards of it

ftfy

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subrosa wrote

Nice. I've been meaning to write this post lol.

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ziq OP wrote

what i don't get is why they don't call it prefiguration since that doesn't have as much baggage. i guess they really like the word 'power' for some reason

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

Honestly, I’m not so sure about abandoning the term. Personally, I find it to be helpful to describe how mutual aid in a community can work in parallel with an existing governmental structure with the end goal of superseding the governmental structure in favor of the systems by, for, and within the community. By providing a community with an option other than the current system

Why would you want to associate mutual aid with the state's power? By labelling what you're describing as 'dual power', you're equating mutual aid with the state's power when it's neither a state form nor power. It's just helping people. Does the state help people? Does the power brandished by states help people? No? Then why are you using language that includes the state and its authority in actual anarchist matters like mutual aid? Why does the state's power even need to be mentioned and contrasted with presumably a 2nd ('dual') power structure when talking about mutual aid? Does mutual aid need to be presented as a power structure? Why?

The word you're looking for is 'prefiguration'. Dual power specifically means working within the state to push for either reform or seizure of the state. Anarchists want neither. We don't want anything to do with the state's power, so we have no reason to use Leninist language to describe (poorly) mutual aid. Mutual aid doesn't need to be tarnished by the concept of dual power. People don't need you to tell them that power can be done by the state and also by people doing mutual aid in order to grasp the concept of mutual aid. It's nonsense. Fuck power structures.

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ziq OP wrote

Say what you will about Ziq, they are well read.

That's a common misconception. I just see through bullshit.

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gone_to_croatan wrote

And I appreciate your efforts, thank you

Actually even if your style is a bit rough for many red baby "anarchists" you manage to keep it real, Anarchism-withou-sugar as I say. And you try to be simple and didactic where possible, not an easy feat

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JoeK wrote

I don't think anyone else has you confused with someone who reads theory tbh. Maybe Batman comics.

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UberGeek wrote

I don't think any of this describes dual power, afaik.

Dual power == Build new systems that will replace the functions of the state, that are actually liberatory, rather than wait until after the revolution happens, which almost always leads to a vacuum of power, where the law "Might == Right" happens.

Build today, for tomorrow, is dual power.

Build alternative food systems, where communities can feed and cloth themselves, without the need for a state.

Build alternative systems of justice, that build and repair the community, without the need for a state.

etc, etc

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gone_to_croatan wrote (edited )

So people are just using "Dual Power" to describe prefiguration focused on infrastructural/suprasttrucural changes?

Edit: prefiguration is a concept I leaned here, I have a very personal insight on it or how I view this necessity of expressing Anarchy out one's own psyche

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UberGeek wrote

That's how I see it, yes. It's how I try to do things, too.

I think of course, this also requires people to not think of anarchy as an end state, but a constant struggle to dismantle hierarchies as you can or come across them.

There's never going to be a "Anarchy" button, for a state as large as the US.

It's also handy to use as a model of thought for dealing with The Crumbles.

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gone_to_croatan wrote (edited )

I agree, that's one of the reasons that I reject revolution or any technical solution that don't count on prefiguration.. anarchy is dealing with people not numbers or abstractions..

But many people who wants Dual Power would benefit to understand what is Leninism and what is Marxism before trying to glue it to Anarchist theory

Edit: imagine the "top ten anime betrayals" face these people will have after discovering Lenin's Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

That's prefiguration. Dual power has been a clear concept utilized by MLs for 100 years. It doesn't suddenly change meaning when a few anarchists on the internet are confusing their terms due to the marxist entryism creep in the circles they frequent.

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