user preferences

New Events

International

no event posted in the last week
Recent articles by Gabriel Kuhn
This author has not submitted any other articles.
Recent Articles about International Economy

Siamo proprio trattati male! Oct 12 14 by Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici

The U.S. Still Decides the Future of Capitalism Sep 02 14 by Leo Panitch

Argentina, fondi avvoltoi e BRICS: solo coincidenze? Aug 27 14 by Donato Romito

Review of Wayne Price, The Value of Radical Theory

category international | economy | review author Monday August 19, 2013 23:48author by Gabriel Kuhn Report this post to the editors

The Value of Radical Theory is a well-written, non-sectarian introduction to Marxism from an anarchist perspective. It highlights both the key differences between Marxism and anarchism and the potential for mutual learning. It engages with Marxism on the grounds of critical solidarity, which is the most promising start for any fruitful exchange.

17158682.jpg


Review of Wayne Price, The Value of Radical Theory: An Anarchist Introduction to Marx's Critique of Political Economy (Oakland/Edinburgh: AK Press, 2013)

The relationship between Marxism and anarchism has been a complicated one ever since Mikhail Bakunin was expelled from the First International in 1872. To this day, a number of anarchists reject any association with Marxism, some going as far as denouncing "the Left" altogether. This might explain why Wayne Price uses most of the introduction to his new book, The Value of Radical Theory: An Anarchist Introduction to Marx's Critique of Political Economy, to justify writing a book about Marx as an anarchist. He concludes: "I hope to show anarchists that it is possible to learn from aspects of Marxist theory while remaining anarchists." (7)

That Price would pick up this task is of little surprise. The self-described "Marxist-informed anarchist" (157) is a veteran anarcho-communist militant who has played an important role in organizations such as Love and Rage and the Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC). Among his best-known publications are the The Abolition of the State: Anarchist and Marxist Perspectives (2007) and Anarchism and Socialism: Reformism or Revolution? (2010).

In reevaluating the relationship between Marxism and anarchism, Price is not alone. In Germany, for example, Philippe Kellermann has edited a number of books in recent years – most notably, two volumes tellingly entitled Begegnungen feindlicher Brüder, or, "Encounters of Hostile Brothers" – in which both Marxists and anarchists reflect on the Left's old feuds. Such discussions have far more than only theoretical relevance. In face of the current neoliberal assault and the threats by the extreme right, strong and united anticapitalist and antifascist resistance seems crucial. In one of his last articles, the late Joel Olson – writing about the now defunct Bring the Ruckus organization – stated that "we believe that the old arguments between communists and anarchists are largely irrelevant today". [1] This is not to advertise any particular political organization; as a NEFAC member, Wayne Price himself criticized the Bring the Ruckus approach. [2] It is important to note, however, that attempts to deescalate the historical conflict between Marxism and anarchism in order to build a stronger Left already exist, both on a theoretical and on an activist level. Price's book is a welcome contribution to further this development.

The Value of Radical Theory – which is based on a series of essays first published on the anarkismo website under the title Marx's Economics for Anarchists – is divided into three parts:

The first, "Basics", addresses Marx's method ("abstraction", as Price calls it), and some of the key terms of Marxist theory ("value", "alienation", "fetishism", and so on).

Part two, "Epochs of Capitalism", offers a historical account of economic and political development reaching from "primitive accumulation" to "state capitalism". Price pays particular attention to issues that are often seen as lacking in orthodox Marxist theory, namely gender, race, ecology, and technology.

Part three, "The Socialist Goal", discusses some the most contested themes when it comes to the Marxist-anarchist relationship. On the role of the working class, Price states: "Because they produce the wealth of society, workers have their hands on the means of production and distribution. They have the potential power to stop society in its tracks and even to start it up in a different way." (121) On historical determinism, he comments: "It is not inevitable at all that workers, or anyone else, will choose revolution before we face economic collapse, nuclear war, or environmental cataclysm. It is only possible. It is less a matter of prediction than commitment. Whatever is the 'correct' interpretation of Marx on the question of inevitability, the issue will be decided in struggle." (133) And on the subject of revolution, he declares: "The international revolution of the workers and all oppressed is the only road to a classless, stateless, nonoppressive society, democratic and cooperative, of freely associated individuals, 'in which the free development of each is the precondition for the free development of all' (Communist Manifesto)." (163)

The book ends with an interesting appendix on Malatesta's views on anarchist organizing, a critique of prefabricated social models such as Parecon, and a very useful reference list.

The Value of Radical Theory is a well-written, non-sectarian introduction to Marxism from an anarchist perspective. It highlights both the key differences between Marxism and anarchism and the potential for mutual learning. It engages with Marxism on the grounds of critical solidarity, which is the most promising start for any fruitful exchange. The book is recommended for anyone who believes in such an exchange strengthening the fight against state and capital.

Gabriel Kuhn
(August 2013)


[1] Joel Olson, "Movement, Cadre, and the Dual Power", Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, v.13 n.1
[2] See, for example, "Revolutionary Strategy or Stagism", http://nefac.net/node/127

Related Link: http://www.alpineanarchist.org/r_price_review.html
author by José Antonio Gutiérrez D.publication date Tue Aug 20, 2013 04:32Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the review. It is always a great delight to read Wayne, so I am eager to get hold of a copy of his book which I am sure is a contribution to modern revolutionary thinking.

 
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch

International | Economy | en

Fri 28 Nov, 03:47

browse text browse image

tnimilitaryspending01.png imageEU: No austerity for military spending 15:18 Sun 09 Jun by ROAR Collective 0 comments

High levels of military spending played a key role in the unfolding European sovereign debt crisis — and continue to undermine efforts to resolve it.
A new report by the Transnational Institute — ‘Guns, Debt and Corruption: Military Spending and the EU Crisis’ — looks at the ways in which excessive militarization directly fed into the unfolding European debt crisis, and continues to undermine efforts to resolve it. Below the downlink links and infographic you can find the executive summary of the report.

valueofradicaltheory.jpg imageAnnouncing "The Value of Radical Theory" 14:21 Mon 18 Mar by Wayne Price 0 comments

Annnouncemt of a new book by Wayne Price which is an introduction for anarchists and other libertarian socialists to Karl Marx's crtique of political economy. In what ways can Marx's economic critique be of assistance to anarchists? What are anarchists' critique of Marx's economic theories, goals, and method?

affeng.jpg imageWe won’t pay their debt - let's move away from capitalism! 16:52 Thu 23 Feb by EuroAnarkismo 0 comments

To move ahead and build international solidarity, all the movements must come together on a European scale. The capitalists know how to organise on that level and how to adopt the treaties they expect to seal peoples’ fates with. We, the working men and women of Europe, have not yet achieved this level of organisation, even though alternative forms of trade union organistion have found ways to converge. This effort must be pursued, and a response organised on an international level. [Français] [Ελληνικά] [Nederlands]

solidarity.jpg imageSolidarity with the European peoples in struggle! 17:50 Fri 10 Dec by Anarkismo European Coordination 0 comments

Faced with this situation, we must respond with struggle and solidarity between the workers in affected countries. Faced with attacks like these, internationalism is more necessary than ever: we need a Europe-wide social movement! [Français] [Ελληνικά] [Deutsch] [Dansk]

300_0___20_0_0_0_0_0_al_2.jpg imageSolidarity with the European peoples in struggle! 19:23 Wed 01 Dec by Alternative Libertaire 0 comments

In recent weeks, the signs of anger among the peoples of Europe have been increasing: a general strike in Portugal, demonstrations of historic proportions in Ireland, the student movement in England and, hopefully, the beginning of a lasting movement following the mobilizations over pension reforms in France. [Français] [Castellano] [Português] [Italiano] [Català]

textGas, gas, gas, tovarishch Gazprom! (English) 18:53 Sat 07 Jan by Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

In the tragic and bloody framework of the wars (both geopolitical wars and wars for the sake of war) for the strategic control of raw materials, which from the Middle East to Central Asia sees a clash of imperialist interests for the control of energy resourses and of the various corridors needed to bring oil, gas and water out of the area, the stakes have been raised by Putin's (and Gazprom's) Russia on the very eve of Putin taking over the presidency of the G8 and Gazprom placing 49% of its juicy shares on the market.

textIs a moneyless economy possible? 21:58 Fri 25 Nov by Terry 17 comments

Anarchists want a non-market socialist economy, with free access to goods and services. Is this just a nice but impossible idea? Is an efficient economy possible without money, trade or barter? Terry reports from the discussion at an anarchist meeting in Dublin on this topic.

imageWorkers’ Self-Directed Enterprises: A Revolutionary Program Apr 26 by Wayne Price 2 comments

There is a lot of evidence that working people can manage workplaces, enterprises, and industries. What kind of self-managed economy would work best? How could it be achieved: by reform or revolution? How could self-management be integrated into the revolutionary program?

imageThe Crisis, Bailouts, Quantitative Easing, Tapering and Class War Mar 01 by Shawn Hattingh 2 comments

Since 2009 the US state has been undertaking Quantitative Easing (QE), which has involved the US state creating $ 85 billion a month, effectively electronically printing money out of thin air, and linking this to the “purchasing” of paper assets like US government bonds and also more importantly mortgaged backed securities from banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, and asset management companies, which lost their value when the capitalist crisis hit hard in 2008. Through this, these financial institutions and banks have been given up to $ 85 billion a month for the last five years. Much of this money has been used by these corporations to increase their speculative activity, including speculating on government bonds sold by the likes of the South African, Brazilian, Argentinean, and Turkish states. Now the US state has been looking to start tapering QE and speculators as a result are exiting these government bond markets. As this article explores it will probably not be the ruling class (capitalists and top state officials) that suffer the worst convulsions associated with tapering, although they may be affected, but the working class in countries such as South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Argentina and Turkey. This article examines why and how this could take place, how ruling classes from different countries are trying to protect themselves; and why and how the working class will in all likelihood be worst hit. In order to, however, understand how the class war around QE is unfolding it is important first to look at the role states have played during the crisis, along with the competition that exists between states.

textGerman elections to open new season of Eurocrisis show Sep 27 by Paul Bowman 0 comments

Like the fading sun of the Summer, there is now little time left to enjoy the last days of Eurostasis we have been enveloped in of late. The relative calm that descended on the Eurocrisis, with the brief exception of the Cyrpus panic in March, is coming to an end with the German elections this coming Sunday.

textCritique of "political economy" May 15 by Ilan Shalif 0 comments

I still have to encounter a serious critique of capitalist (and anti-capitalist) political economy that stresses the capitalist system's main nature as a huge gambling casino. As most capitalists cannot know in advance if and how much there will be of a market for the products and services they produce and provide and at what price, they are mostly gamblers...

imageNordic Front reawakens Eurogeddon Beast - Euro crisis returns Sep 28 by Paul Bowman 0 comments

The rain is pouring, Summer's over and the Eurozone crisis is back from his hols. Timed nicely to coincide with the brutal Spanish riot police attack on the indignados protest outside the Madrid parliament, yesterday's statement by the remaining triple-AAA rated "Nordic Front" of Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, has put the cat back amongst the pigeons.

more >>

imageAnnouncing "The Value of Radical Theory" Mar 18 0 comments

Annnouncemt of a new book by Wayne Price which is an introduction for anarchists and other libertarian socialists to Karl Marx's crtique of political economy. In what ways can Marx's economic critique be of assistance to anarchists? What are anarchists' critique of Marx's economic theories, goals, and method?

imageWe won’t pay their debt - let's move away from capitalism! Feb 23 Anarkismo European Coordination 0 comments

To move ahead and build international solidarity, all the movements must come together on a European scale. The capitalists know how to organise on that level and how to adopt the treaties they expect to seal peoples’ fates with. We, the working men and women of Europe, have not yet achieved this level of organisation, even though alternative forms of trade union organistion have found ways to converge. This effort must be pursued, and a response organised on an international level. [Français] [Ελληνικά] [Nederlands]

imageSolidarity with the European peoples in struggle! Dec 10 Anarkismo 0 comments

Faced with this situation, we must respond with struggle and solidarity between the workers in affected countries. Faced with attacks like these, internationalism is more necessary than ever: we need a Europe-wide social movement! [Français] [Ελληνικά] [Deutsch] [Dansk]

imageSolidarity with the European peoples in struggle! Dec 01 AL 0 comments

In recent weeks, the signs of anger among the peoples of Europe have been increasing: a general strike in Portugal, demonstrations of historic proportions in Ireland, the student movement in England and, hopefully, the beginning of a lasting movement following the mobilizations over pension reforms in France. [Français] [Castellano] [Português] [Italiano] [Català]

textGas, gas, gas, tovarishch Gazprom! (English) Jan 07 FdCA 0 comments

In the tragic and bloody framework of the wars (both geopolitical wars and wars for the sake of war) for the strategic control of raw materials, which from the Middle East to Central Asia sees a clash of imperialist interests for the control of energy resourses and of the various corridors needed to bring oil, gas and water out of the area, the stakes have been raised by Putin's (and Gazprom's) Russia on the very eve of Putin taking over the presidency of the G8 and Gazprom placing 49% of its juicy shares on the market.

more >>
© 2005-2014 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]