Recent comments in /f/Communism

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

why was marx in conflict with bakunin then? I remeber the conflict stemming from marx wanting a transitional state contrary to bakunin, but you said he wasnt like that when he was "young". Skimming marxist.org gave me the same answer, adding that marx supported incremental reforms while bakunin was against compromises with the bourgeoise.

well now I kinda answered to myself lol.

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hasbrochem wrote

Venezuela today can take twenty-six weeks of maternity leave makes up for the lack of birth control (and that the illegality of abortions has been killing women). I was led to believe that supporting Maduro was the right thing to do, since I believed Venezuela’s social programs had been most beneficial to the poor. Meanwhile, their economic woes have forced numerous women to prostitute themselves for just a dollar an hour, in many cases abandoning their children because they cannot afford to keep them. Unfortunately some of these facts did not come to light until many months later, so I continued to make the mistake of defending the party position on Venezuela. (see the article for references/citations accompanying these statements)

that's not going to be popular with many western leftists, including anarchists who strangely support maduro

Workers do not have control of the means of production, nor a monopoly on the means of coercion. By definition, Cuba isn’t a "dictatorship of the proletariat.” The heroic narrative of the Cuban revolution, shrouded in nationalist mythology, gradually fell away. It became obvious that what had actually occurred was simply a coup, or at best a bourgeois revolution that fell into the arms of the imperialist power opposed to the one Batista had been in bed with.

they're definitely not out to make friends with MLs

Stalinism was not the product of revolution at all, but merely seventy years of counterrevolution

very interesting piece, thanks for sharing it.

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conseil wrote

Anarchists definitely aren't a part of that legacy of mistakes. Anarchists, as far as I'm aware, never seized the state apparatus to slaughter people. I don't like the term 'anti-capitalist' standing alone, but the whole idea of 'we all want a communist world in the end!' is exactly what's used to justify Leninism and derivatives and 'left unity'.

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ziq wrote

As far as I can tell, Marxists don't seem to focus enough on this problem while Anarchists are the ones who actively seek to develop alternative social and economic relations to fill the gaps left unaddressed by the market system 

Because Marxists don't really see a problem with the system, they just want to change the people in charge of it.

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ziq wrote (edited )

well-informed analysis

Dictatorship of the proletariat doesn't mean dictatorship of bureaucrats and death to all workers who dissent.

This is educating alright, it's an education in swallowing authoritarian propaganda in order to repeat the same mistakes and ward off any real revolutionary action in favor of more statism and more capitalism.

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sudo wrote (edited )

I don't believe it - a well-informed analysis of the Soviet Union? On Raddle?! Surely it can't be!

In all seriousness, this is an excellent post. Thanks for posting it here. This is a refreshing break from the thought-terminating, anarchist, anti-communist drivel that has seemingly saturated every corner of this site. Please, stick around - we need more educated users here.

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PerfectSociety wrote

Anarchism is a metaphysical, moral theory which postulates ahistorical, acontextual "truths" such as: violence and domination are immoral, therefore we oppose them in all situations, etc etc etc. Many anarchists claim to be non-pacifists, but in practice they never support anything more than property destruction,

None of this is true.

and when confronted about property destruction ie in black blocs, they retreat into pacifist yammering.

Like when? Is this from a black bloc participant that you personally know or...?

When anarchists have broken from pacifism, they veer into individualistic terrorism. See the examples of Leon Czolgosz and the two anarchists who kneecapped an Italian nuclear energy CEO in the last few years. In both cases, these acts of terrorism, orchestrated by individuals, targeting individuals, are flashes in the pan that don't, in the long-term, accomplish anything. The two anarchists who kneecapped the CEO admitted as much when they were sentenced, although I wish I could find their sentencing statements again to provide an exact quote.

I think you are cherry picking and trying to interpret too much from just one example. Also, individualist anarchism isn't just about doing things by yourself it's more about a starting perspective and a baseline of ideas for why you choose to do what you do. Individualist Anarchists also do things on a social scale (but with a different motivation than social anarchists).

Meanwhile, multiple communist parties around the world are at this very moment engaged in protracted revolutionary wars to accomplish the goals of revolution, seizing land, expropriating capitalists, etc.

Have they answered the question of bread? In other words, have they worked on creating alternative social and economic relations ready to replace those of bourgeois society once they have defeated the bourgeois state? This is important because a revolution cannot survive without meeting the material needs of the people. Reducing dependency on capital and the market system is essential to preventing the revolution from being destroyed or degraded by a Capital Strike. As far as I can tell, Marxists don't seem to focus enough on this problem while Anarchists are the ones who actively seek to develop alternative social and economic relations to fill the gaps left unaddressed by the market system during periods of crisis. What has been going on in Greece is a good example.

Thus, "authoritarian" methods are accepted as one part of the process of ending capitalism, because it is based on the recognition that moral categories are never neutral and "above history" but are always partial and embedded in history.

I don't oppose Marxism because of morality. I oppose it because I don't want to live under an authoritarian regime. In fact, I don't want to live under any regime. Or any authority of any kind. I am not interested in trading one form of oppression for another. I want to get rid of oppression. You've presented a false binary, whereby we either continue with capitalism or we support a Marxist revolution. I disagree. I think an Anarchist insurrection is capable of abolishing capitalism and is less at risk of degradation and ultimate collapse, compared to a Marxist revolution. Unlike bourgeois social and economic relations, which can be implemented effectively in a top-down manner through the creation of institutions (under certain material conditions) that propagate and enforce the requisite extrinsic motivators, I do not think that approach can work for implementing communistic social and economic relations. This is because, from what I have understood from anthropology, communistic social and economic relations seem to be more dependent on intrinsic motivators which cannot simply be foisted onto people by an authority. This is, one could say, a challenge for us but only because we humans have lost much of our practice in directing our lives through intrinsic motivators over the last 20,000 years.

Marxism (and Leninism, and Maoism) are dialectical theories of practice. They posit historical, contextual truths, like: the freedom of the bourgeoisie is based on the oppression and exploitation of the workers, and therefore there is no way to free the working-class without in some way infringing on the freedom of the bourgeoisie. The freedom to buy and sell labor-power, for example, is nothing more than the freedom to exploit. The right of private property is the right of capitalists to deprive workers of the product of their labor. There is no way to free the working-class without infringing on some people's "freedom" to exploit and the "right" to immiserate the majority of people in society.

Anarchists aren't exactly sympathetic to this "freedom", so I'm not sure why you're even bringing it up in this post as if it's a point of disagreement between Marxists and Anarchists.

Anarchism takes the moral categories inherited from bourgeois philosophy and ethics (such as the individual subject, possessor of rights and property, etc) as given, and tries to go beyond them while still basing itself on these categories. Marxism critiques these moral categories and points a way beyond them, through revolutionary practice.

Are you familiar with the philosophy of Max Stirner and Egoist Anarchist tendencies? It is an amoralist meta-ethical perspective that categorically rejects ethics. And this has actually been a significant influence in Anarchist circles. Much of 21st century Anarchist praxis has been influenced by Egoist Anarchism, which is quite different from Social Anarchism (a generally moralistic tendency).

I will freely acknowledge that I know plenty of anarchists who are not as narrow-minded and dogmatic as all this, but then again, when they fix up their perspective and their practice based on a historical materialist analysis, they can only do so by in practice breaking from that which is distinctively anarchist about their perspectives.

How so?

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