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brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana / economia / opinião / análise Tuesday March 24, 2020 02:13 byBrunoL

Fica difícil fazer análise em tempo real, com a velocidade da pandemia de coronavírus avançando e o desgoverno confundindo mais que ajudando. Nas palavras que seguem a tentativa é nos aproximar do real e das proposições. Vamos começar.

23 de março de 2020 – Bruno Lima Rocha
1ª parte
Fica difícil fazer análise em tempo real, com a velocidade da pandemia de coronavírus avançando e o desgoverno confundindo mais que ajudando. Nas palavras que seguem a tentativa é nos aproximar do real e das proposições. Vamos começar.
Não tem como analisar o comportamento de Jair Bolsonaro, sua prole e a maior parte de seus ministros sem levar em conta o fator irresponsabilidade. Muito já me perguntaram a respeito e mais ainda me questiono: Por quê? Qual o nexo causal entre a demência e a necropolítica do presidente que precisa ser urgentemente interditado? Aí vai uma hipótese.
Se Bolsonaro admitir o tamanho da gravidade da pandemia e tomar medidas semelhantes as que vêm sendo tomadas por governos europeus e anglo-saxões - incluindo as primeiras medidas dos EUA sob a administração Trump, governo ao qual ele é servil e lacaio - necessariamente vai precisar mudar o modelo econômico.
Até o momento de eu iniciar este texto a administração de Paulo Guedes - o Chicago Boy à frente do governo protofascista - não havia aportado nem sequer a 3% do PIB em medidas emergenciais para conter os efeitos da pandemia (incluindo o vai e vem da MP 297, a da Sociopatia). Pensemos juntos: no Estado Espanhol estão colocando 20% do PIB no chamado cinturão de seguridade social; os EUA apenas com recursos do governo federal vão aportar cerca de US$ 1 trilhão no auxílio econômico podendo chegar a US$ 4 trilhões de dólares; no Reino Unido o governo do demente e conservador Boris Johnson se compromete a pagar até 80% dos salários dentro de um teto de 2500 libras esterlinas para não sobrecarregar o seguro desemprego do país; a administração central da União Europeia disse que iria colocar cerca de 1 trilhão de euros.
É conta de chegada. Ou os especuladores que comandam a economia brasileira abrem mão do modelo, ou vão dobrar a aposta na confusão e soltar gota a gota para não "ampliar ainda mais o déficit fiscal" do Brasil. É esse o nível da estupidez e da sociopatia.
2ª parte
Estamos diante de dois infernos tropicais - e subtropicais no caso da Região Sul - e são simultâneos. O primeiro diz respeito à negação da pandemia em toda a sua dimensão pelo presidente da república, sua prole e asseclas. Para preservar o modelo econômico austericida - ponto de convergência dos golpistas e da traição iniciada no segundo governo Dilma Rousseff quando a chefa de Estado coloca o Joaquim Levy, também Chicago Boy, na Fazenda - e manter a temperatura de agitação protofascista junto a seus seguidores nas redes sociais, o discurso "olavista" é retomado a cada dois dias. E, simultaneamente, o próprio Bolsonaro, ao reforçar mais de si mesmo, perde adesão dobrando a aposta nos 30% a 35% de incondicionais.
Podemos observar neste esforço macabro o discurso olavista de Bolsonaro e o eco retumbante dos manipuladores da fé alheia, os empresários da fé que operam redes de captação de dinheiro sonante (em espécie) em cultos de adoração ao demônio do capitalismo. Não vou citar o nome desses hereges para não entrar em querela jurídica, mas todas e todos sabemos quem são os Fariseus e Herodes do Bananistão, a mesma laia que ajuda a eleger Eduardo Bananinha como o deputado federal mais votado da história do país. Repito o que venho dizendo sem cessar: nem todo evangelicalismo é fariseu assim como nem todo pentecostalismo o é, e tampouco há uma liderança verticalizada nestas religiões. É preciso reconhecer e ser solidário com todo o esforço de protestantes evangélicos da Teologia da Missão Integral, na mesma caminhada da Teologia da Libertação, e primeira linha de luta popular na América.
Mas, apesar dessas considerações, na alta hierarquia do farisaísmo, aí se encontra o perigo. Os líderes empresariais que comandam os pontos de captação de dinheiro vivo - nos cultos em grandes centros de adoração ao bezerro de ouro - e, não por coincidência, estão à frente de poderosos conglomerados midiático-empresariais, estes sim são perigosos apoiadores do protofascismo tropical e do irresponsável que foi eleito presidente.
Pense no mais alucinado olavista, junto ao mais famigerado apoiador do extermínio parapolicial e acrescente ao mais idiotizado dos imbecis manipulados pelos fariseus. Eis a soma explosiva do bolsonarismo de base, nossos vizinhos e vizinhas de classe média baixa; da classe trabalhadora e nas comunidades periféricas. Pessoas com quem convivemos todos os dias e não se manifestam abertamente, mas se transformam como "possuídos" nas redes sociais, "orgulhosos" de errarem concordância e regência, dilacerando a língua de Machado de Assis e Carolina de Jesus tal como elogiam a tortura e as execuções extralegais. O Brasil tem essa composição ideológica no tecido social e instituições que reproduzem e alimentam tal tipo de comportamento. Esse é o dado de realidade e não há como negar, apenas lutar e organizar para transformar essas condições.
Tamanha tragédia social também atinge aos ignorantes com diploma de nível "superior", onde não tem pensamento crítico e tudo é adesão por conveniência. O discurso do “Coiso” estava pronto para a "necropolítica dentro da 'normalidade" do Brasil violento, mas não para uma pandemia mundial. Eis o motivo porque Bolsonaro quando fala, e só lhe resta falar porque governar não sabe e liderar menos ainda, entra na parábola do "sapo e do escorpião". Logo, ele tem de baixar de 30% de apoio e assim ligar o sinal de alarme, de vez. Quem sabe ao menos no combate à pandemia, seu desgoverno cujo ministro da Saúde é muito criticado pela gestão de 2019 justamente por não defender o SUS, consegue realizar algo diferente de ser macabro e incompetente?
3ª parte
Vamos supor então que finalmente Bolsonaro assuma o tamanho da pandemia e tome todas as medidas necessárias para achatar a curva de expansão do vírus. Qual a consequência lógica disso? Uma diminuição ainda mais drástica da atividade econômica, passando pelo tema da circulação controlada de cargas e pessoas, e a necessidade urgente de Planificação Econômica dos serviços essenciais.
A decisão correta neste momento seria garantir a quarentena de todas as categorias do mundo do trabalho que não fossem consideradas essenciais segundo o Ministro da Saúde seguindo as orientações da OMS. Isso vai ocorrer? Na íntegra possivelmente não, a não ser que os governos estaduais sigam tomando à dianteira e se contrapondo à inação do desgoverno de Bolsonaro.
Se todas as orientações da OMS forem levadas em consideração e aplicadas pelo Ministério da Saúde, como fica a atividade econômica no Brasil? Outro problema concreto. Como aplicar estas orientações em comunidades urbanas com péssimas condições sanitárias? E os recursos dos governos locais nas rubricas de orçamento além da saúde coletiva? Como diria um cronista das antigas "é né, pois é".
Novamente o desgoverno Bolsonaro terá de brigar não mais com seus apoiadores nos estratos sociais mais próximos da base da pirâmide mensurada do IBGE (mais um dos institutos de pesquisas negados pelo olavismo imbecil), mas com o topo da cadeia alimentar urbana, com agiotas e sonegadores importadores (como um certo empresário calvo que aparece sem parar falando estupidez).
Se por um milagre de Santo Antônio Conselheiro o desgoverno dos imbecis seguir as orientações da OMS, não vai querer seguir as demais indicações das agências da ONU, como garantia de renda básica para toda a cidadania, ainda mais em momento de calamidade. Fazendo isso, Bolsonaro teria de escolher entre seguir no governo abrindo mão do austericídio dos Chicago Boys, e ao mesmo tempo, abrir parcelas do governo para outra leva de neoliberais, estes posando de "arrependidos" ou a favor de medidas extremas contra o modelo de necrose social que a canalhada neoliberal a soldo dos agiotas sempre defendeu. Novamente não vou citar nomes aqui, mas sugiro que todas e todos identifiquem estes que se encontra em condição de "arrependimento passageiro" e vejam o papel que cumpriram em gestões privatistas ou a posição na cadeia alimentar da agiotagem internacional operando no Brasil sob os nomes pomposos como "gestores de risco".
A Globo, ela mesma, com todo o seu potencial, reflete quase que integralmente nas editorias de "economia" (o mais sensato seria denominar editorias de especulação pela financeirização) uma desesperada tentativa de preservar o modelo, mas se opondo ao presidente irresponsável. Essa pode ser a janela de oportunidade, a direita está rachada, a extrema direita se isolando e até a banca e os especuladores podem estar à beira de um ataque de nervos com o demente no Planalto.
Última parte
Falando em obviedades é hora de enterrar de vez o neoliberalismo e junto com este toda a dimensão imbecilizadora do olavismo e adjacências. Se o governo federal quisesse – mesmo sabendo que não quer – tomaria passos básicos. Listei alguns, depois de conversar com professoras e pesquisadores de economia política e moderna teoria monetária (MMT), listei algumas medidas que têm certo acúmulo de experiência histórica e poderiam ser tomados imediatamente.
Seriam estes, não exclusivos:
- federalizar ou perdoar a dívida de estados e municípios, condicionando a aplicação desses recursos para conter a pandemia e diminuir o impacto sócio-econômico
- fim ou alteração tanto da Regra de Ouro como do Teto de Gastos
- possibilidade do Banco Central e da Caixa Econômica comprar títulos do Tesouro Nacional (diminuindo assim a pressão de dealers assim do circuito da jogatina financeira)
- decretar a economia planificada para bens essenciais e incluir nesta essencialidade tudo o que garantir o bem-estar coletivo
- suspensão imediata de contas básicas como luz, água, telefone, internet e acesso a cestas básicas para estudantes da rede pública que tinham acesso à merenda escolar
- garantia de emprego e renda com a cobertura do salário pelo governo (até 80% com um teto ampliado, ao exemplo da medida sendo tomada pelo Reino Unido e até mesmo pela Venezuela)
- linhas de crédito e capital de giro para os pequenos negócios, com um teto na movimentação anual e que gerem empregos diretos
- renda básica universal conforme recomendação da ONU
Seriam passos básicos iniciais, para evitar que a pandemia se transforme em uma desgraça societária. É o oposto da necropolítica, do farisaísmo, dos protofascistas e sociopatas da agiotagem encrustados na alta hierarquia econômica do desgoverno Bolsonaro. A situação é tão grave que tem até especulador profissional, gerente de corretora de aplicação de risco exigindo gastos ilimitados assim como um Plano Marshall tropical. É a hora. Derrotar os fascistas e conter a pandemia.
O momento é de pressionar e nos prepararmos para dar o troco quando o isolamento social for suspenso. Amanhã sempre será outro dia.

Bruno Lima Rocha é pós-doutorando em economia política, doutor e mestre em ciência política e professor nos cursos de relações internacionais e jornalismo.
Contatos: blimarocha@gmail.com para Email e Facebook / @estanalise para Twitter

argentina/uruguay/paraguay / economía / opinión / análisis Tuesday March 24, 2020 01:05 byFederación Anarquista de Rosario

Como planteamos oportunamente, podemos ver que la gran ganadora en el proceso de cambio de gobierno en nuestro país fue la institucionalidad. A pesar del nivel de pobreza, la inflación, devaluación, endeudamiento externo, pérdida del poder adquisitivo de la mayoría de la población, entre muchos otros saldos del gobierno macrista, la clase política supo llevar el “juego” a su propio campo y canalizar prácticamente todas las iniciativas y acciones en torno a la participación electoral y las expectativas puestas en el gobierno entrante. Así el gran vencedor de este proceso ha sido el Estado como estructura política de la clase dominante, uniendo los lados de “la grieta”, fortaleciendo la idea de que por “primera vez un gobierno no peronista termina su mandato”. En este sentido observamos, como rasgos fundamentales del nuevo período, intentos del Gobierno y sectores de la clase dominante de profundizar el control social y la institucionalización de las organizaciones populares en un contexto donde los de arriba siguen exigiendo más ajuste para los de abajo. Buscando también realizar cambios estructurales que atentan contra la lucha de clases, como el establecimiento de aumentos salariales por decretos gubernamentales, que no solo apuntan a poner un techo a los ingresos, sino que de fondo es una injerencia clara del Estado en la relación de fuerzas entre las patronales y los gremios, paralizando la dinámica sindical.

Es así como en este escenario de debacle social y económica, el Gobierno de Fernández intentará por un lado (quizás sin los niveles destructivos de Cambiemos) estirar lo más que se pueda el clima de ajuste y austeridad generalizado que dejó la hecatombe ultra-liberal, en pos del cumplimiento de pago de la deuda con el FMI. Pero esta avanzada no puede pensarse sin un “pacto social” que la garantice. Es ahí donde se evidencia a gran parte de las burocracias sindicales y sociales dándole tiempo al Gobierno, aceptando sin resistencia los aumentos “solidarios” a los ingresos de los trabajadores. En este orden se encuentra el pedido de Fernández a las cúpulas de la CGT y las CTA de que sus gremios acepten aumentos salariales fijos y no reclamen la cláusula gatillo (una llave de ajuste automático que permite no quedar tan desfasado con la inflación). Esta medida de cara a las paritarias, busca evitar que los trabajadores recuperen por completo el poder adquisitivo perdido en los últimos años. Es en este sentido que la independencia de clase y la acción directa se tornan más estratégicas que nunca. Se torna necesario presionar hacia adentro de las organizaciones sindicales posturas más tajantes respecto al avance del gobierno sobre los derechos laborales. Es evidente que desde el Estado se sigue con la táctica de sondeo que utilizó el macrismo. En este sentido, vemos como se han anunciado aumento de tarifas que después han negado, o los dichos del Ministro de Trabajo sobre un posible aumento de la edad jubilatoria. Aquí las burocracias están en una encrucijada que no les es gratuita en torno a la posible pérdida de bases, si se cierra por completo un pacto entregador. Por eso desde nuestras agrupaciones debemos ser claros, articular y aglutinarnos con aquellos sectores combativos para poner freno a estos avances. En este punto destacamos a modo de ejemplo la combatividad de la multisectorial de estatales en Chubut o los acertados posicionamientos de la CTA Autónoma de Rosario, quienes proponen mantener presencia en la calle con autonomía (a diferencia de la conducción de la CTA Autónoma a nivel nacional).

Dentro de las conducciones de las organizaciones sociales también se ha sellado un pacto con el gobierno, quedando poco de esos viejos movimientos de los 90` que cortaban la ruta contra los despidos, pidiendo trabajo genuino. Décadas de políticas focalizadas, y un vínculo cada vez más cercano con el Estado, han aportado a la institucionalización creciente de prácticamente todas las organizaciones del sector de desocupados, quedando la militancia social entrampada en dinámicas de gestoría administrativa de las enroscadas políticas lanzadas por el Gobierno de turno para emparchar los índices de desocupación. Así la creación de la UTEP como sindicato viene a ser una marca de época, lamentablemente, con el distintivo gesto de un saludo presidencial a través de video y la participación del Ministro de Desarrollo Social en su acto fundacional, y más grave aún con sus dirigentes en cargos gubernamentales. A la luz de la historia, estamos convencidos que el avance organizativo del sector -en defensa de reivindicaciones por demás de sentidas para los desocupados- no puede ni debe ir jamás acompañado de mayores niveles de dependencia política con el Gobierno de turno. Y mucho menos debe adoptar como propia, la dinámica burocrático-administrativa de las políticas de Estado. Aquí nuevamente hacemos hincapié en la necesidad de mantener la independencia de clase como bandera de los sectores populares.

En cuanto a políticas sociales –en un contexto de aumento exponencial de la pobreza y el hambre en todo el país- podemos ver que se ha conseguido finalmente, desde la lucha de las organizaciones sociales, instalar una agenda de necesidad de aumentos en los subsidios para desocupados, así como planes de acceso a los productos de primera necesidad. En este sentido el Gobierno nacional comenzó apostando, en términos económicos, al viejo caballo de batalla de políticas orientadas al estímulo del consumo interno. Esto ya se vio expresado en el lanzamiento de la tarjeta alimentaria, el aumento de las asignaciones y las jubilaciones mínimas. Pero sorpresivamente, este necesario aumento a los sectores en situación de indigencia, recayó en la pérdida “solidaria” del poder adquisitivo de los sectores que se encuentran rondando la línea de pobreza, como los jubilados que cobran más de $20 mil, los monotributistas, etc. A contrapartida a esos sectores se les plantea que deben permanecer tranquilos y confiados en la baja de la inflación y el acuerdo de precios y salarios.

De la misma manera, vemos como se buscará encorsetar al movimiento más masivo de los últimos años como ha sido el feminista. Se torna evidente que es con este fin que se creó el Ministerio de la Mujer, donde se intenta cooptar/institucionalizar el amplio movimiento feminista y sus luchas, canalizando toda acción a través del Estado. Es significativo que, pocos días antes de que se presente nuevamente el proyecto de ley de interrupción voluntaria del embarazo –por presión popular-, el presidente haya hecho declaraciones favorables a la iniciativa. Por esto, es importante siempre hacer visible que, si se logra la aprobación del proyecto, será fruto de la lucha y organización que hace décadas sostenemos las mujeres y disidencias, habiendo ya logrado instalarlo a nivel social, cada vez que se habla de la “ola verde”.

Por otra parte, como ya venimos anticipando, el gobierno de Fernández no marcará ningún cambio de fondo en torno a la matriz económico-productiva del país, dando señales claras de fortalecer el extractivismo y la producción primaria. Sin embargo ya se vieron expresiones contundentes de resistencia a estas políticas. A las claras, el único freno a la sangría de bienes comunes y la contaminación viene siendo dado desde la lucha social, como fue el caso de la pueblada en Mendoza, donde se logró frenar una ley de contaminación sistemática impulsada desde la gobernación y el gobierno nacional.

Párrafo aparte merece la continuidad de la dependencia con las políticas del FMI y los vencimientos de la deuda externa, que ascienden aproximadamente a los 311.000 millones de dólares (deuda pública global), lo que implica más del 90% del Producto Interno Bruto (PIB). De esa deuda la correspondiente al FMI son actualmente 44.000 millones de dólares. La estrategia del gobierno, ya desde el período de la campaña, fue siempre conciliadora, buscando tener el visto bueno del Fondo y lograr postergar los pagos lo más posible, siempre reconociendo su validez –y legitimidad como política de Estado-, expresando un compromiso de pago. Para esto el Gobierno de Fernández buscó apoyo internacional, realizando una gira europea donde también aprovechó para hacer jugar el apoyo papal a su gestión. La visita realizada por el Fondo a la Argentina en el mes de febrero se dio en ese marco, avanzando en la negociación positivamente de acuerdo a lo planteado por el presidente. Es aquí donde también se expresa la intención desde el Estado de encapsular toda acción impulsada desde los sectores en lucha en torno a sus propios intereses, ya que ante las masivas movilizaciones en repudio al FMI y su presencia en el país, desde el gobierno se buscó desdibujar ese perfil cuestionador y tornarlo como demostraciones a favor del gobierno y apoyo a la negociación. A pesar de esto, entendemos que la dimensión y amplitud de las manifestaciones en repudio se plantean como límite a la acción desde el Estado y las políticas de ajuste pretendidas desde el organismo usurero. Es necesario en este tipo de acciones diferenciarse de las perspectivas que acercan a las organizaciones en lucha (sindicales, estudiantiles, territoriales, etc.) con los gestores del Estado, ya que tenemos bien claro que nuestros intereses son antagónicos y que la búsqueda de conciliar con los organismos prestamistas solamente favorecerá a los sectores ricos y poderosos.

No podemos tampoco pasar por alto algunos rasgos de las políticas internacionales desarrolladas en estos meses de gobierno. Por un lado, podemos ver que en cierto sentido busca inscribirse dentro de la herencia de los llamados gobiernos progresistas que se desarrollaron en el cono sur hasta hace unos años, la cercanía con Lula (el apoyo al pedido de libertad cuando se encontraba detenido) y el asilo político que se está prestando a Evo Morales luego del golpe de Estado son significativos en este sentido. Pero más allá de estas acciones, y una retórica propia de las banderas del peronismo encontramos la visita con elogios incluidos al estado genocida de Israel en su primera gira internacional, el relativo silencio y calma ante las violaciones a derechos humanos que se están desarrollando en Chile (brindando incluso el ofrecimiento de ayuda al presidente Piñera), y mucho más importante la autorización para la realización de ejercicios militares conjuntos, con países limítrofes y potencias mundiales. Esto último, aprobado el pasado 17 de febrero, con acuerdo de todas las fuerzas políticas parlamentarias, autoriza un gasto de 249 millones de pesos para unos 17 ejercicios militares con países vecinos y potencias, como Estados Unidos, China, Rusia, Alemania, India, Brasil y Venezuela, entre otros. Con Estados Unidos es especialmente significativo ya que la Armada norteamericana participará en un ejercicio denominado “Gaucho Gringo” con un portaaviones, que llevará cinco mil efectivos a bordo en el mar de nuestro país. Entendemos sumamente grave este avance del imperialismo yanqui en la región, así como el reforzamiento del poder de las Fuerzas Armada que cuentan nuevamente con un espacio de formación de primera línea, como fuera hace ya tiempo la Escuela de las Américas.

Estos acuerdos se enmarcan en una política de derechos humanos peligrosamente ambigua. Hace días Fernández, en un acto del Ejército, llamó abiertamente a “dar vuelta de página” con respecto a la dictadura, catalogando al terrorismo de Estado como “inconductas de algunos” dentro de las FFAA, omitiendo el plan sistemático de exterminio del Estado nacional, visión consensuada por la totalidad de las organizaciones populares y organismos de DDHH que vienen luchando contra la impunidad. Puntualmente, este posicionamiento no debería de sorprendernos si rescatamos del archivo la campaña por la “reconciliación nacional” de 1983 de Ítalo Luder, prometiendo respaldar la “ley de autoamnistía” de los genocidas. Pero la venia de Fernández a las fuerzas represivas (a pesar del posterior pedido de disculpas por la fuerte reacción que causó), junto con el uso de las mismas en las provincias para reforzar la presencia con la excusa de combatir la inseguridad, no dista mucho de lo realizado por Patricia Bullrich los últimos años. La ambivalencia mostrada por ejemplo, al derogar el protocolo de la doctrina Chocobar (que otorga mayor libertad para disparar a la policía) se da al mismo tiempo que gobiernos provinciales de la misma coalición política, como Perotti en Santa Fe, autorizando a la policía a llevar una bala en la recámara promoviendo así el gatillo fácil.

Podemos afirmar que este nuevo gobierno, cuya consigna reza “es con todos” (léase ejército, iglesias, empresarios, burócratas, políticos y organismos financieros internacionales) disfraza de “cintura política” a un pragmatismo extremo, que no hace más que actuar a favor de los sectores dominantes, acudiendo a una retórica popular –clásica del kircherismo- y repartiendo migajas para los de abajo, al fin y al cabo licuando las esperanzas del electorado. Por esta razón en Argentina, será crucial en el siguiente período seguir reforzando la acción directa y la independencia de clase como principios rectores en nuestra militancia cotidiana en todos los ámbitos.

Para el especifismo, el camino hacia una revolución es el de la organización popular y la acción directa, en las fábricas, en el campo, en los barrios y en los lugares de estudio, para ello el anarquismo debe estar organizado políticamente. Sabemos también que el camino es largo, y difícil, pero nuestra historia demuestra que la inserción social en las luchas populares, sostenida en el tiempo, en el marco de un proyecto político libertario organizado, da frutos que verdaderamente habilitan la posibilidad de otra sociedad, una sin dominación, explotación, machismo, racismo, una sociedad libertaria.

¡POR LA CONSTRUCCIÓN DE UN PUEBLO FUERTE!
¡POR EL PODER POPULAR!
¡POR EL SOCIALISMO Y LA LIBERTAD!

greece / turkey / cyprus / economy / news report Monday December 09, 2019 19:22 byDevrimci Anarşist Falliyet

As the Young Workers Association, we were at the crisis rally in Bakırköy with our slogans, black flags and rebellion. Last week we have distributed leaflets, made posters on the walls in different parts of the city. To raise the anger of the oppressed ones.

As the Young Workers Association, we were at the crisis rally in Bakırköy with our slogans, black flags and rebellion. Last week we have distributed leaflets, made posters on the walls in different parts of the city. To raise the anger of the oppressed ones.

We're the ones who can't buy pants for our kids. We're the ones who can't afford to pay the bills. We work 14 hours a day with minimum wage. We're the ones who haven't been paid for 4 months. We're the ones who can't pay the rent. We are the ones whose lifes are stolen. We are the oppressed ones. They won't give us the right. We will get. They won't give us our bread. We will get. They will not give justice. We will get. They won't give freedom. We will get. Victory is won on the street with struggle.

We will never give up the struggle against capitalism, which is itself a crisis, as it is today. We will continue to shout that all bosses are thieves. This fight is not just today's fight. Now it's time to fight. As long as the powers exist, as long as capitalism exists, this fight will continue. We will continue our fight with our black flag against injustice everywhere.

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international / economy / opinion / analysis Wednesday May 01, 2019 04:59 byLeroy Maisiri

The purpose of this pamphlet is giving a coherent, comparative analysis on how anarchists and Marxists view the concept of “class,” and the political implications of each approach. Class is the nucleus of both Marxism and anarchism; however the conceptualisation of class is different for both. In pointing out these differences, it is my hope that I will convincingly show how and why the anarchist conceptualisation of class is more comprehensive and more useful, providing a more holistic analysis of many related aspects of class, and a more practical political guide. In particular, the anarchist approach – which stresses ownership and control of administration and coercion, not only means of production, as with Marxism – allows us to develop an effective analysis of why the state simply cannot be used to emancipate the popular classes i.e. the working class, the poor and the peasantry.

First published April 2019 as a Zabalaza Books (South Africa) pamphlet.


Theory Matters


The use of theory within the Left has serious implications in our lived experiences and political praxis. Theory has been deployed for, and many times profoundly shaped, political action. Simply put, how we analyse the problem shapes what we see as the solution.

It is therefore essential that activists and the Left, in general, not only know and understand the differences between anarchists and Marxists, but remain cognisant of the implications these differing views have for day-to-day struggle. Like the Marxists, our theory as anarchists is, from the outset, not developed by arm-chair reasoning, or by intellectual work for the simple pleasure it brings, but as a means of change. Anarchism was designed by and by, the working class in its struggles, and so, it must be tested and regulated by everyday struggles. If we have bad theory, we have bad practice; we need theory to understand what we are fighting and to understand how it can change.

The Marxists on Class


In the teachings of Marxism, class is defined as a social relationship built around differential possession and rights over the means of production i.e. raw materials, tools and equipment, including machinery, used in production.[1] It is the relationship to the means of production that defines class. Not all societies have classes. But in class-based societies there is, the argument goes, a small group (an upper, or ruling, class) that owns the means of production, which locates that group of people in a position of dominance over a much larger group (a producing class) that is marked by its lack of control and ownership over these means of production.

Classes are therefore a relation of production, and this relationship is characterised by exploitation: the class lacking control and ownership has to work for the owning class, and earns less in return than it produces, and is therefore exploited; since it is without ownership, it is dominated – ruled – by the owning class, and we have thereby a situation where the majority is both an exploited and a dominated class, suffering all sorts of oppressions, besides exploitation, as it, the lower class, is bled out for the benefit of the few. So, class relations are social relations, based on the different class positions of different individuals i.e. class differences in rights and powers over the forces of production.[2]

Marxist class analysis highlights conflict as intrinsic to class relations. The fact of exploitation means that in class societies, there is a structured relation of inequality between the main classes. The livelihood of the exploiters can only be secured by the constant, systematic exploitation of the oppressed lower class. Therefore within class societies, exploitation is structural – it’s not just about bad conditions and bad attitudes, but built-in – and describes the core type of relationship that exist between the classes. What this also means is that class societies are based on a core contradiction: there are fundamentally opposed class interests, since the oppressed class is harmed by exploitation and resists it, while the oppressor class needs exploitation and imposes it.[3]

The silver lining in this structural darkness is that exploitation means dependence: the upper class has to rely on the low class for its incomes and so, its very survival; its very existence as a class is inevitably linked to the existence of the class system. However, this creates a pressure point, massive structural leverage that the lower classes can use against the upper class to win reforms. In short, the lower class can disrupt production, and therefore force concessions from the upper class, and the upper class cannot exterminate, replace or remove the lower class.

For Marxism, it is important to note here, the owning class also controls the state — the army, the administration, the government – due to its economic dominance of society, which then acts as a machine to keep this unjust system going. Since the two main classes have different interests, they are involved in a class struggle, and this struggle, the existing state is aligned to the owning class. This is why, for example, police kill strikers not bankers.

The Marxist Idea of “Historical Materialism”


Why the focus on the means of production? Marxist theory views society as basically structured around the mode of production, which is a mixture of a specific set of forces of production (means of production plus labour) and specific relations of production (specific class system), each mode operating on specific historic laws. For example, capitalism has machine-based forces of production, and is a society based on a wage-earning lower class (working class/ proletariat) exploited by capitalist class (bourgeoisie) compelled to make profits by selling goods and services.

Beyond this, Marxism tends to see history moving through a series of ever-more advanced modes of production until we are in a position in which a classless mode of production can emerge through a socialist transition. In this sense, Marxism can be generally understood as explaining the history of the economy in order to explain the history of society.[4]

For Marxism, society’s laws, ideas, politics and culture are all a superstructure that rests on an economic base. These “superstructural” elements are very real, very solid, but they are basically seen as a *product* of something deeper and even more solid, the “base.” In Marxism the economic base is the determiner of what type of society will exist, and what type of class relations will occur, and how power will be produced and used.[5]

In Marxist reasoning, the base leads to everything else. It is the prime mover. This is exactly why each type of society is defined in terms of a mode of *production*, why the historical laws of each mode are basically about the dynamics in the *economy*, and why the core social relations are the relation to the means of *production*, why in fact class is itself seen as a relation of *production*,[6] and why there is the Marxist idea that the state serves the *economically* dominant class.

Marxism also believes its model of society to be scientific, and thus its political programme is not just a programme, but truth, not just a prophecy about change, but a set of scientific predictions. Obviously this claim to science is easily translated into the idea that the “truth” of Marxism is non-debatable – can you “debate” gravity? – and, as such, there is no room for competing ideologies. Since Marxism claims to be scientific, and that its view is the one, true working class ideology, all other approaches are at best unscientific, and at worst represent the views of other classes e.g. the bourgeoisie, petty bourgeoisie, feudalists, lumpen-proletariat etc.

This act of grand-standing by Marxism gets taken to the point where Marxism is presented as created by history – as a merely a “discovery” of reality – and not as a set of ideas initially devised by a few men in a specific context: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in the 1840s. In this depiction Marx is becomes merely a scientist describing the facts, and the description (Marxism) an all-knowing model that is never wrong, and which explains where we come from and where we are going: a History with a final destination (teleology), that just happens to correspond precisely to what Marx and Engels believed should happen.

So, Marx believed the working class was duty-bound by History to move into a certain direction, and to end up with a revolutionary state, a Dictatorship of the Proletariat (DOP), and since the proletariat’s “real” ideology is supposedly Marxism that meant a DOP run by. the Marxists. It was not about what the working class wanted or needed, but rather, about what the working class supposedly was, and was consequently compelled to do i.e. it was all about the historical purpose bestowed on them from the very beginning of time.[7]

The Marxists’ Valuable Contributions


As this paper continues to unfold it should be made clear that Marxism cannot be taken as scientific, but that one can certainly use parts of it and benefit from this, for there are many parts that help generate scientific knowledge. Marxism is not a “science,” but is rather than ideology that mixes some scientific elements (like a profound analysis of capitalism: Marxist economics) with unprovable and unscientific claims (like teleology, the necessity of the DOP, the claim to be the one, true working class theory and so on).

If we put aside the criticisms of the political agenda and the grandstanding claims of Marxism, great credit must go to Marxism for its powerful analysis of capitalism, the precision and attention to detail it brings to bear, its ability to highlight and name many things, which, now conceptualised, can be debated and contested.

If nothing else, Marxism is a powerful and challenging set of ideas that have undoubtedly contributed to the development of scientific ideas – even if just as an object of critique. Anarchism itself emerged through debates over Marxism in the 1860s and 1870s, and remains deeply influenced by Marxist economics.[8] However, anarchism is not Marxism and breaks with it in key ways – and one of the breaks is over the issue of how we understand “class.”

Marxist class analysis builds on the concepts of exploitation and domination, and when this applied to modern capitalism, it is a profound criticism of (the dominant) liberal economic theory, which sees capitalism as a benevolent system based on the choices of free individuals. Marxism locates individuals in classes, stresses the unequal relations between the classes, and the exploited and dominated nature of the working class, and the contradictions in capitalism. In doing so it explodes the liberal myths of free markets and free choice, with a picture of inequality, crisis and oppression.

While the liberals focus on exchange – choices within markets – Marxism unpacks the relationship between exchange and production in capitalism.[9] Marxists use class analysis to emphasise the close links between the ways in which social relations are organised within exchange and within production: for example, working class people are not just consumers, but also people who have to sell themselves for wages in order to survive. This is an example of how differences of ownership and non-ownership of the means of production play out. There is structured variation in how individuals can exercise choices, and these come down to different rights and powers over productive forces i.e. the prearranged class relations.[10]

Where does Anarchist Class Analysis Differ from Marxism?


Anarchists aim to separate all the good of Marxism from the bad, and build on that good, to develop something different. In this sense, anarchists critically appropriate Marxist theory, but shear it of its economic reductionism, teleology, DOP doctrine and associated party-building focus, while developing a much larger critique of society that opposes all forms of hierarchy.

Class Analysis without Base / Superstructure


In the first place, the anarchists do not agree with the Marxist model of historical materialism. Anarchists like Mikhail Bakunin and Rudolph Rocker completely accepted the Marxist claim that economic factors were enormously important. For example, it is a fact that many wars are waged to get access to cheap labour and cheap raw materials. However, they rejected the idea that everything can be derived from or reduced to the base.[11] Ideas, laws, politics and culture – and the dynamics of the state itself – cannot always be read off the economy. For example, a state based on an ideology of nationalism will often engage in activities like deporting undocumented immigrants because they are foreign, even though this limits the supply of cheap labor to many capitalists. War, too, can be due to rivalries in the state system – rather than economic issues, as Bakunin argued. The apartheid state definitely benefited capitalism by providing cheap, unfree black African labour, but its very difficult to see what laws – strictly imposed – that banned sex across the race line had to do with capitalism or the economic “base.”

The whole idea that history is going in a definite direction is also, as Piotr Kropotkin argued, a completely unscientific “metaphysical” view – and many of Marxism’s specific predictions have proved false.[12]

For example, Marshall Berman in his book, "All that is Solid Melts into Air" noted that Marx’s stress on the incredibly disruptive nature of capitalism undermined Marx’s prediction that capitalist society would polarise into a small, unified capitalist class facing a vast, increasingly united and conscious working class, set on creating the DOP.[13] If working classes were continually disrupted, uprooted, and disintegrated, argued Berman, how would the conscious global working class get a chance to form itself into a coherent agent that can unite and overthrow the system?

Marx believed that divisions of age, gender and nationality would be eroded by capitalist development, but it could equally be argued that the endless disruptions of capitalism would continually inflame these divisions. Post-apartheid South Africa, which has an official ideology of non-racialism, non-sexism and African belonging typifies this analysis, having the working class fractured by divides of women/ men, black/ coloured/ Indian/ white, and South African/ foreign. If the working class is continuously put in a blender and chopped up – as Marx predicted – how can it be united by the very process of capitalism – as Marx also predicted? [14]

What this means is that there is no real basis for a base/ superstructure model, a serious problem with teleological views, and strong grounds to be highly sceptical of Marxism’s claims to be a science.

The DOP as Contradiction in Marxist Theory


It is worth noting here that there is a contradiction within the Marxist theory itself on these same issues. The materialist conception of history argues that society moves fundamentally in a way that can be extrapolated from the economic base, this applying to everything we see and do, including the world of ideas; in this view the state itself is a *superstructure*, emerging as the product of the rise of class society, with class society, of course, seen basically in terms of a society becoming fractured between owners and non-owners of means of production, and the owners needing a state to defend themselves.

But the Marxist theory of transition from capitalism to communism centres in the idea of a DOP. This is a revolutionary state, which is supposed to create socialism by suppressing the capitalist class, taking over the means of production, and supposedly representing the working class. It goes without saying that for Marxists the DOP will be a Marxist state, since Marxism claims to be the one true working class ideology and the DOP is supposed to be the one true working class state.

Marx and Engels always insisted against Bakunin and Kropotkin that a working class revolution could only take place through a Marxist state, a DOP, and that the DOP was essential to expropriate the capitalists of the means of production, suppress their violent resistance and start to construct a new planned economy. The DOP enables the socialist mode of production, in which the formerly oppressed working class suppresses the formerly exploiting capitalist class. When it has done its job, there are no classes, and we come into a classless communist mode of production, which is the end of the story.

But if when looking at the nature of the DOP, one can see that it is a state, and so, a superstructure. But now, suddenly, the state is no longer a reflection of the base as the theory prescribes and in fact its ideology – Marxism – also does not clearly come from that base. The DOP emerges within the capitalist mode of production but it is not determined by it. It is a *superstructure* that is used to then revolutionise the base and change society. But if the superstructure can change the base, then either the Marxist theory of historical materialism is wrong or the DOP theory is wrong. In either case, this is an incoherent jump in the Marxist system that questions its reliability and highlights its non-scientific nature.[15]

If it is the DOP that will begin to create a better society using state power, and this means in the first place creating a new base – a new set of social relations of production – how can this be reconciled with the Marxist insistence that everything originally comes from and reflects the base, even the state? That would mean the DOP reflects the base, and if so, the DOP cannot emerge under capitalism, but if it does not emerge under capitalism it is pointless. Or we have a situation where the DOP does emerge, but this means suddenly the opposite happens: superstructure determines base. So which is it?

Class Analysis beyond Means of Production


But then, second, if the historical materialist theory of society falls away, and we have to take the state, ideas, culture and politics seriously in their own right – as *irreducible* phenomena, which are linked to economic issues but also distinct [16] – what is the basis for insisting withn the Marxists that class must be reduced to a relation of production, or defined by ownership / non-ownership of the means of production? Economic issues are essential but are they enough?

If the economy is no longer the determining factor in society, is there any specific reason to insist that class is basically, and only, about a relation to the means of production, or even to insist that the state is controlled by an economically dominant group? If the state has its own dynamics, what does this mean for understanding class?

Bakunin noted in the 1870s that new ruling elites could emerge from within the state, as former nationalist leaders used state power to become exploiting, dominating elites: he gave the example of Serbia in Eastern Europe.[17] Lucien van der Walt noted how, in the late industrialising powers of Germany and Japan, states led by modernising feudal lords created capitalist industry for military purposes.[18] The work of Robert Fatton highlighted how postcolonial African states enabled elite accumulation and the formation of new ruling classes, which some have called a “bureaucratic bourgeoisie.” [19]

These examples go against the economic determinism found in Marxism: here we see political (state) power generate economic (capitalist) power, which is the opposite of historical materialism argues. It is important to look at such cases seriously and to avoid the arm chair reasoning that skips empirical tests, as is the case with a fair amount of Marxism. The pure Marxist model – base determines superstructure, rising bourgeoisie wins state power – might apply to some Western countries. But even there it surely does not apply to Germany or Japan, long the second and third most powerful capitalist economies. And surely a neat, textbook Marxism might be a reasonable theory on paper, but it struggles to explain cases like most postcolonial African states.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR, Soviet Union), which was the world’s first Marxist state, fits into this problem well. In making a revolution in economically backward Russia – which had a mainly feudal, rural society, much poorer than Egypt, India or South Africa today – Marxists like V.I. Lenin did not read the Marxist textbook. But the fact that under Joseph Stalin, and later, in China, under Mao Zedong, it was the state that industrialised the country, again refutes the historical materialist view.

Marxists have tried to dodge this, by saying that this shows how well “socialism” works etc., or a “workers’ state” works, but those argument only makes sense if we accept the DOP theory, but that means throwing out historical materialism – and taking the state seriously as a power in its own right. But then where is Marxism?

Indeed, the USSR and similar states were anything but the actual rule of the actual working class, the proletariat. The state, as noted by writers like Alec Nove, created a mew, top-down system: “…one could, without too much exaggeration, fit Soviet society into a universal civil and military service model.” [20]

In such a model, orders come from above, and go down; power is centralised. In the USSR, for example, all means of production were effectively controlled by a small group that controlled the state. In this way, the small elite was a ruling class in the Marxist sense.

But what gave it power over means of production, how did it come to “own” these means? What was it that allowed states like Serbia in the 1800s, the USSR in the 1920s, or independent Kenya in the 1960s economic power? *It was the “means” – the resources – built into the state itself*. These are the *means of coercion*(the military, police, courts, and jails, in short armed force) and *means of administration* (the governing apparatus, including bureaucratic systems, government departments, parliament, and so on, in short the bodies that enable making and administering law).

It is these, which allow those who control to the state to extract taxes, to nationalise means of production, to employ workers, to evict people, decide at the stroke of a pen whether a Simbabwean living and working in South Africa is “legal” or must be repatriated. Using these resources, the new elites we spoke about earlier were able to take over property, award themselves lucrative contracts and jobs, appoint themselves senior posts in state and private sector, and otherwise act as a ruling group.

For the anarchists, anyone with control or ownership of *any* of these three means – administration, coercion or production – that is any one of these three pillars, is part of the *ruling class*. Not only this, access to any one pillar allows relatively easy movement between the other pillars.

This is why the anarchist conceptualisation of class is quite superior to the Marxist one, as it can easily map out the class position of, say, the President of a country, who is not strictly a capitalist and has no means of production but is surely not a proletarian. He or she has means of administration and coercion who has his or her own interests and agendas. He or she can mobilise armed forces, and legislate. Generally he or she will do so in ways that keep capitalism going, since this generates tax, and tax helps pay for means of administration and coercion. But by having his or her own independent power base – in the state apparatus itself – he or she is no simple tool of the capitalists, and can make demands upon them, even disrupt them in major ways including in some cases by nationalising means of production.

Applying the Anarchist Approach: The Soviet and South African Cases


Using anarchist theory provides a more comprehensive analysis at what is happened within complex modern society. The anarchist, unlike the Marxist, uses a more holistic term: a “ruling class” rather than, for example, a “capitalist class.” The term “capitalist class” which Marxists use for capitalist society’s ruling group just does not accurately capture the ruling group in the state. It continues the economistic focus, reducing the ruling class to the *economically* dominant class. But *political* domination through the state is essential for the survival of the economically dominant group – through armed forces and state control – and it involves means of power not reducible to economic power – coercion and administration.

By saying “ruling class,” we are speaking in detail of what is happening in the penthouse layer of society: within the ruling class we are acknowledging that there exist different types of elites, the *economic elite*, or capitalists, and the *political elite*, or state managers, and we are positing that “State + Capital = Ruling Class.” [21] Therefore when conceptualising class relations, anarchists look at three pillars that can be used to help locate which class an individual can be found in. The first one is production which is neatly covered by Marxism the second one is administration and the last one is coercion.[22] Fatton called such elements “class powers.” [23]

Obviously the exact way a given ruling class is structured – how the pillars fit together, and who is in each – can vary. In the USSR, all means of administration, coercion and production were centralised into a single state. In the United States of America, most means of production tend be in the hands of private capitalists, and most means of administration and coercion are in the state, so here we have the ruling class structured into two wings. In many postcolonial African countries, the state elite tended to be comprised of a local elite, mostly from indigenous races, and merging from the educated “middle” class, which rode to power through the nationalist movements that captured state power at independence, while private capital tended to be foreign, usually owned by large multi-national companies. Here we have two wings, but while in the USA the two wings tended to both be mainly American, in these African cases, the one wing was local, the other foreign.

In all cases there are tussles between different sections of the elite – based in different pillars, as well as conflicts between those in different pillars – but there is a common class interest in keeping the system going which usually helps keep it together.

Coming closer to home in demonstrating a comprehensive analysis using anarchism, van der Walt’s piece on "Who Rules South Africa" gives a close look at the South African ruling class, and does so in an intricate detail showing of the strength of anarchist approach. His analysis argues that in post-apartheid South Africa, there exist two main ruling class camps: one that is made up of mostly black individuals, who are the core of the state elite, and the second camp is largely of white individuals, in the private corporate elite. These two ruling class camps have clashes – for example, the state elite wants more tax, the private elite, less – but these contradictions are secondary; they share a common enemy, the South African working class.[24]

Rivals or Allies or Instruments?


In explaining the class relations one can see that the state ruling class requires capital accumulation” to take place, first to generate tax so it is able to keep spending on arming its military and growing its power of coercion, and in the second, because capitalist innovations also enable the development of the forces of administration and coercion.[25] For example, a large and efficient capitalist steel industry is key to the production of weapons, while capitalist software used to monitor workers in the private sector is also very useful for state surveillance.

So, the anarchist theory distinguishes between economic power and state power, but unlike the Marxist narrow conception where the state “serves” the interests of the capitalists in some way, where in effect the capitalists are the top dog and the state is basically subordinate, the anarchist theory argues that both camps share generally common *interests*, but neither of them use the other as a means to an end.[26] The state elite needs capital accumulation to fund and arm itself; the private elite needs the state’s power to maintain capital accumulation.[27]

The anarchist perspective views the typical ruling class under capitalism as having “two wings: private capitalists centred on means of production in corporations, and state managers, centred on means of administration and coercion in the state,” [28] although these can merge, as was the case in the USSR

What this Means for Revolutionary Change


In the beginning of this paper I argued that Marxism, and anarchism, as a theories aiming to fundamentally change society, must be tested in struggles – and are theories that are meant to be used in struggles. This means that we need to consider carefully the theories in terms of their usefulness and in terms of their political implications.

I also argued that both Marxists and anarchists see class as the central fact of capitalist society, and maintain that a class struggle – ending in the victory of the oppressed, exploited classes – is the key means of breaking out of capitalism and ending its state. I have also argued that anarchists agree with a great amount of the Marxist analyses of capitalism, although not everything.

The theories differ in some important ways, as I have shown. The Marxist model centres on the idea of historical materialism, with its base/ superstructure model, while the anarchists have insisted that while economic factors are very important, ideas, politics, the state and other factors all play their own role, and this cannot be reduced to the economy. One expression of this is that, while Marxists reduce “class” to ownership of the means of production, anarchists see “class” in terms of ownership or control of the means of administration, or coercion, or production, or any combination of these.

But what does this really mean in practical terms? It had huge implications for political strategy. Marxists have historically insisted that the DOP is the road to socialism – essentially you need state power to defeat capitalism. Anarchists have disagreed, arguing this would in fact create a new elite.

When we unpack the different theories at play – including the different understanding of class – this difference makes perfect sense, and I would say also shows the anarchist scepticism of the DOP is well-founded and far more realistic than the Marxists’ faith.

In the classical Marxist tradition, the state is conceptualised as a “body of armed men” serving the dominant class, to use Lenin’s paraphrase of Marx.[29] Here the state is not really theorised, except as something generated by the needs of something outside of itself: the economically dominant class. The possibility that the state has its own dynamics and interests is ruled out by the historical materialist theory, where the real action is in the base, the prime cause of everything. Since the state is seen as simply a shadow thrown by the class society, once that class society ends – when the DOP has done its job – the state will somehow “wither away,” in Engels’ words.[30]

This does make sense in Marxist terms: remove the cause (class-divided base) then you remove the effect (class-state). But what if, as argued earlier, the state is not just an effect, not just a shadow, but *itself* a site of class power, based not on elite control of means of production as such, but on elite control of means of administration and coercion?

That would mean the Marxist party running the DOP would be part of the ruling class, ruling over the working class, distinct from it, dominating it and requiring it to be exploited. Now if that same political elite also became the economic elite – by using its administrative and coercive powers to nationalise (capture) the means of production and suppress any private economic elite – then obviously it would also exploit the working class directly. It would have its own class interests and it would crack down on workers resistance, strike and dissent. And this is precisely what happened in the USSR and similar states where the working class was systematically crushed by self-described Marxist states.

The blindness of Marxism towards other aspects of class and the its weak theory of the state that results for historical materialism led Marxists to create DOPs – but in doing so, to simply end up as new ruling classes, oppressing the very people they set out to emancipate.

This is exactly what the anarchists had in mind when they argued (like Kropotkin) that “state… and capitalism are inseparable concepts,” and insisted (like Bakunin) that revolutionary Marxist states would end up as a type of brutal “state capitalism,” not socialism at all.

The more holistic conceptualisation of the state is important in the anarchist approach, and explains how *the state itself* is a part of the class systems, creating and giving space to a minority system of rulership that inevitably concentrates power and wealth in the hands of a few. The state’s hierarchical structure is in the very DNA of the state; it centralises power in the hands of a small elite, and does so by no means accidentally.

Conclusion: Counter-Power, Not State Power


When comparing anarchism and Marxism, it becomes clear from the very beginning that one is speaking of “warring brothers.” Marxism, although interesting, complex and investigative, as well as an important influence on anarchism itself, is outdone by anarchism for the simple reason that Marxism has some fundamental errors in its analysis – and therefore in its strategy.

Marxist theory has a strong economically reductionist and teleological thread, which insists on trying to force everything into an explanation in which the economy is the prime mover – even when this is clearly false. This is one of the main reasons that the Marxist perspective simply fails to properly understand the state – despite the fact that the state is central to society, and despite the fact that the Marxist theory for transition is all about getting state power through a DOP. Related to this, Marxism has a surprisingly weak theory of class.

Sadly Marxism has tended to be quite impervious to criticism. This is partly because of a tendency to assume that Marxism is a science, while not scientifically testing key claims, such as economic reductionism, and while insisting on ideas that cannot be scientific, such as a teleological theory of history. The view that Marxism is the one true working class theory has also led to a ready dismissal of criticism by labelling critics as “anti-working class,” as has long been done with the anarchists, who many Marxists dismiss as “petty bourgeois” without any proof at all (and a lot of evidence to the contrary).

The anarchist theory retains Marxism’s valuable emphasis on class, as well as accepts a great deal of Marxist economics. But a distinctive contribution of the anarchist perspective on class and class analysis, and to the discourse on class, is the argument that class theory needs to be delinked from a reduction of class to economics, and the related argument that the state must be seen as an entity that, in itself, generates classes. It is a centralised apparatus, and while the elite at the top can be changed, it will only change the personnel, not the role of the state itself as a site of minority class rule. Those at the top of the state have class interests that are basically the same as private capitalist elites – and at odds with the mass of the people.

Politically this means that the state cannot be used to end the class system, as the misleading DOP idea claims, since it requires minority classes to exist. It cannot bring about emancipation: as Bakunin said, “No state – not even the reddest republic – can ever give the people what they really want.” [31] The state cannot be the guardian angel of the people against capitalism, since it is in essence allied to capitalism and identical to it, in that it is a structure of class rule.

Therefore for the anarchist, the aim is the complete removal of the state – rather than trying, pointlessly, to use it as a way to change society. The removal of the state is a prerequisite for creating a self-managed, libertarian, bottom-up socialist society without oppression and inequality i.e. an anarchist society. To create such a society requires organising new formations of working class counter-power outside and against the state, in place of creating parties to capture state power; it means organising democratically and from below, unlike the top-down, elitist organising of the capitalists, through their corporations, and the political elites, through the state. Rather than taking the shortcut of the DOP – a road to nowhere – or hoping capitalism will automatically or inevitably unite the working class, anarchism advocates careful organising and mass education, knowing that only a conscious people can replace elite rule.[32]


List of References:


Berman, Marshall. (1988). All that is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. Penguin.
De Vroey, M. (1980). Managers and Class Relations: A Marxist View of Ownership and Control. In T. Nichols (ed.). Capital and Labour: A Marxist Primer. London: Fontana.
Fatton, Robert. (1988). Bringing the Ruling Class Back in: Class, State and Hegemony in Africa. Comparative Politics. 20 (3) 253-264.
Knowles, R. (2004). Political Economy From Below: Economic Thought in Communitarian Anarchism, 1840- 1914. Routledge.
Nove, Alec. (1975). Is There A Ruling Class in the USSR?. Soviet Studies. 27 (4): 615-638.
Van der Walt, Lucien. (2013) Who Rules South Africa?: An Anarchist/Syndicalist Analysis of the ANC, the Post-Apartheid Elite Pact and the Political Implications. Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism, 13: 7-13.
van der Walt, Lucien. (2016). Back to the Future: Revival, Relevance and Route of an Anarchist/ Syndicalist Approach for Twenty-First-Century Left, Labour and National Liberation Movements. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 34 (3): 348-367.
van der Walt, Lucien. (2017), “Anarchism and Marxism”, in N. Jun (ed.), The Brill Companion to Anarchist Philosophy, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden.
Wright, E.O. (2005). Foundations of a Neo-Marxist Class Analysis. In E.O. Wright (ed.). Approaches to Class Analysis. Cambridge University Press.


Footnotes:


1. Wright, E.O. (2005). Foundations of a Neo-Marxist Class Analysis. In E.O. Wright (ed.). Approaches to Class Analysis. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 4-30.
2. Wright (2005).
3. Wright (2005): 28.
4. De Vroey, M. (1980). Managers and Class Relations: a Marxist View of Ownership and Control. In T. Nichols (ed.). Capital and Labour: A Marxist Primer. London: Fontana.
5. Wright (2005): 29.
6. van der Walt, Lucien. (2017), “Anarchism and Marxism”, in N. Jun (ed.), The Brill Companion to Anarchist Philosophy. Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden. Pp. 505-550.
7. van der Walt (2017).
8. van der Walt (2017).
9. Wright (2005).
10. Wright (2005).
11. van der Walt (2017).
12. van der Walt (2017).
13. Berman, Marshall. (1988). All That is Solid Melts into Air. The Experience of Modernity. Penguin.
14. Berman (1988).
15. van der Walt (2017).
16. van der Walt (2017).
17. See van der Walt, Lucien. (2016). Back to the Future: Revival, Relevance and Route of an Anarchist/ Syndicalist Approach for Twenty-First-Century Left, Labour and National Liberation Movements. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 34 (3): 348-367.
18. van der Walt (2016).
19. Fatton, Robert. (1988). Bringing the Ruling Class Back in: Class, State and Hegemony in Africa. Comparative Politics. 20 (3): 253-264.
20. Nove, Alec. (1975). Is There A Ruling Class in the USSR? Soviet Studies. 27 (4): 616
21. van der Walt (2013).
22. van der Walt (2016).
23. Fatton (1988): 255.
24. van der Walt (2013).
25. van der Walt (2013).
26. van der Walt (2013).
27. van der Walt (2013).
28. van der Walt (2013).
29. van der Walt (2013).
30. van der Walt (2013).
31. Quoted in van der Walt (2013):54.
32. Knowles, R. (2004). Political Economy From Below: Economic Thought in Communitarian Anarchism, 1840- 1914. Routledge. P. 7.

THE AUTHOR: Leroy Maisiri comes from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and currently lives in South Africa. He is involved in political education and civil society initiatives, and is working on a study of the independent left in the anti-apartheid 1980s “people’s power” movement in South Africa.He is also a militant of the ZACF.

greece / turkey / cyprus / economy / news report Monday December 24, 2018 23:45 byDAF

Young Workers Association (GIDER) was in the protests against the economic crisis. GIDER walked with a pancard written "You are Crisis, We are Liberation".

Young Workers Association (GIDER) was in the protest against economic crisis. The protest held on 22nd of December, in Bakirköy Square/Istanbul.

GIDER walked with black and red flags and with a pancard "You are crisis; we are liberation." and raised the slogans "sharing and solidarity" against economic crisis and capitalism.

The fire of the workers will burn the bosses!

GIDER-Young Workers Association

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Neste 8 de Março, levantamos mais uma vez a nossa voz e os nossos punhos pela vida das mulheres!

Neste 8 de Março, levantamos mais uma vez a nossa voz e os nossos punhos pela vida das mulheres!

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