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international / anarchist movement / opinion / analysis Sunday September 09, 2018 07:52 byWayne Price

A review of the nature of the State as understood by anarchists, especially as proposed by the tendency called "post-anarchism." This is done through a review of the opinions of Saul Newman, a leading proponent of post-anarchism, in his work, "Anarchism, Marxism, and the Bonapartist State." The post-anarchist view is opposed by the class theory of the state, versions of which are raised by traditional, revolutionary anarchists and by Marx.


A key question for any political theory is its conception of the state. This includes the view of the state by the trend calling itself “post-anarchism.” This name does not refer to being “after” or “beyond” anarchism. Mainly it refers to attempted integrations of anarchism with the philosophical views of post-structuralism and postmodernism, as developed by certain French philosophers (May 1994; Russell & Evren 2011). According to Ruth Kinna,“Anarchism’s third, post-anarchist, wave [is] usually dated to the rise of the alter-globalization movement in the late 1990s….” (Kinna 2017; 25) It was not so much a change in organizing strategies as a new theoretical approach. “Post-anarchism is not only one of the most significant currents to emerge within contemporary anarchist thought in recent years, it also has ‘evident affinities’ with small-a anarchist movement politics.” (36) In this paper, I am looking at the post-anarchists’ political thinking and not on their background philosophies (in philosophy, I prefer a radicalized version of John Dewey’s pragmatism; Price 2014).

One of the most prominent post-anarchist theorists is Saul Newman. He has written a number of important books and essays on the subject. One essay (Newman 2004) concentrates on the nature of the state. It directly confronts the class theory of the state (also called the “materialist” or “historical materialist” theory of the state). This is a subject on which I have recently written (Price 2018). His is different from many other post-anarchist writings which emphasize that the state is not the only source of power, but that power is created in many places. “Foucault argues that the state is a kind of discursive illusion that masks the radically dispersed nature of power….” (Newman 2004; 23) Newman does not quite agree with this. He takes the state seriously. Whether or not a network of power is a useful model of society, the state still exists and needs to be analyzed. For this reason, I think it would be useful to examine this particular post-anarchist work.

In his essay, Newman never actually defines what he means by the state. I have found the same to be true in other post-anarchist writings. Let me then define the state as a bureaucratic-military social machine, composed of specialized officials, bureaucrats, and armed people, separate from and standing over the mass of people. This is a different matter than just any possible social system of coordination, policy deciding, dispute settling, or even defense from anti-social aggression. All these things existed for thousands of years among humans before the state arose and will exist after it is abolished. It is the state as an elite socially-alienated bureaucratic-military institution which is connected to the capitalist system and all other systems of oppression.

Anarchism and Marxism on the Class Theory of the State



It would be easy to contrast anarchism with Marxist-Leninism, that is, with the recent and current Stalinist states of the USSR, Maoist China, North Korea, etc. These states were founded by people calling themselves “Marxist” and supposed champions of the “working class.” Yet they were state-capitalist, mass-murdering, totalitarianisms. But Karl Marx, a radical democrat, would have been as horrified by such states as are anarchists. The issue is to show what there was about Marxism which led to such results, despite Marx’s intentions. Consistent with that focus, Newman directs himself primarily to Marx’s views, with little to say about post-Marx Marxism (just a few comments on Lenin).

Still, the paper presents itself as a dispute between anarchism and Marxism. In part, this binary is modified by some indications that anarchists have found aspects of Marxism useful. “For anarchists, Marxism has great value as an analysis of capitalism and the relations [of] private property which it is tied to.” (19) “Bakunin perhaps represents the most radical elements of Marxist theory.” (17) (10) Newman himself repeatedly expresses appreciation of the “post-Marxism” of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, whose work comes out of the Marxist tradition.

However, the main problem with Newman’s anarchism-versus-Marxism approach is that the traditional anarchist movement also had a class theory of the state. Peter Kropotkin, the great theorist of anarchism, wrote, “The State has always interfered in the economic life in favor of the capitalist exploiter. It has always granted him protection in robbery, given aid and support for further enrichment. And it could not be otherwise. To do so was one of the functions—the chief mission—of the State.” (Kropotkin 2014; 193) In Kinna’s view, Kropotkin thought “political institutions reflected the nature of economic power, which was fundamental….The state was designed to protect the strong against the weak, the rich against the poor, and the privileged against the laboring classes….Bourgeois government [was] a special vehicle for the protection of commercial and industrial class interests.” (Kinna 2017; 86—88) “Bakunin had advanced the same argument, crediting Marx with its most sophisticated scientific articulation.” (86)

Newman’s attack on the class theory of the state is not only an attack on Marxism but also on the traditional mainstream anarchist view

.

Newman seeks to deny this. For example, he cites Bakunin’s support for the class theory of the state but then tries to turn it on its head. “Bakunin…takes Marx seriously when he says that the state is always concomitant with class distinctions and domination. However there is an important difference….For Marx the dominant class generally rules through the state, whereas for Bakunin the state generally rules through the dominant class….Bourgeois relations are actually a reflection of the state, rather than the state being a reflection of bourgeois relations.” (Newman 2004;17)

This acknowledges that Bakunin, the principal initiator of the movement for revolutionary anarchism, believed that “the state is always concomitant with class distinctions and domination.” That is different from seeing the state as distinct and autonomous from the class structure. Actually, Bakunin saw the state as interacting with the economy, in a back-and-forth, dialectical, manner. The modern state causes capitalism and capitalism causes the modern state.

This is similar to Marx’s concept of “primitive (primary) accumulation,” in which the state played a key role in initiating capitalism. The state expropriated the British peasants from their land, conquered and looted foreign countries, supported slavery, and defended theft from the environment. Theses actions accumulated capital on one side and propertyless workers on the other, the essentials for capitalism. In Capital, Marx wrote of “the power of the state, the concentrated and organized force of society, to hasten, hothouse fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode….Force is…itself an economic power.” (Marx 1906; 823-4) Kropotkin criticized this “primitive accumulation” only because it may imply that this is a passing phase, understating the continuing influence of the state in maintaining capitalism. Recognizing that “Force is itself an economic power”is not a rejection of the class theory of the state.

Newman presents two alternate views: “the state represented the interests of the most economically dominant class—the bourgeoisie.” (Newman 2004; 6) This is ascribed to Marx. Or: “Anarchism sees the state as an autonomous institution—or series of institutions—that has its own interests and logic.” (9) “It is independent of economic forces and has its own imperative of self-perpetuation….Anarchism sees the state, in its essence, as independent of economic classes….” (14) This last view is his opinion, that of post-anarchism, but not that of the “classical” anarchists.

Bonapartism



Newman points out that Marx developed his concept of the state further. This was expressed in his analysis of the French dictatorship of Louis Napoleon III in his 1852 The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Marx 2002). He developed a concept of “Bonapartism,” which was also expressed in Engels’ and his writings on Bismarck in Germany and on other historical states (Draper 1977). They noted that the state balanced among various class forces. Even within the upper class there were fractions of classes and agents of fractions of classes, which put conflicting pressures on the state. They saw that the state had its own interests as an institution and so did its bureaucratic, political, and military personnel. Sometimes the bourgeoisie had mostly direct control of the state, as under parliamentary democracy. At other times, they were shut out, as under Louis Bonaparte’s “Empire” or under Nazi totalitarianism. But even without democratic rights, the bourgeoisie continued to exploit their employees and accumulate profits. This “right” was still defended by the dictatorial state! “According to Marx…the Bonapartist state served the long term interests of the capitalist system, even if it often acted against the immediate interests and will of the bourgeoisie.” (Newman 2004; 7)

There is a tendency for the state—especially its executive branch—to develop increased independence relative to the rest of society, even under bourgeois democracy, but which reaches its height under political dictatorship. In Newman’s terms, cited above, it may be acknowledged that “the state has its own interests and logic…and has its own imperative of self-preservation.” But it is not true that the state is “independent of class forces.” Rather it balances among them and still maintains the overall interests of the bourgeoisie. This has been referred to as the state’s “relative autonomy.” (5)

Newman claims that anarchists (or at least post-anarchists) took the concept of Bonapartism to its rightful extreme. “Anarchism took Marx’s notion of the Bonapartist State to its logical conclusion, thus developing a theory of state power and sovereignty as an entirely autonomous and specific domain….” (38—39)

Does this make sense? Does not the state, as an institution with a drive for “self-preservation,” have an absolute need to keep the economy going? Under capitalism this means the continued accumulation of capital; it means the exploitation of the working class to produce ever increased amounts of profit. Without this, there is no state, no society, and none of the other oppressions of race, gender, etc. Can there be “an entirely autonomous” state, unrelated to economic oppression? Neither Bakunin nor Kropotkin believed that. I quoted Kropotkin above as believing that protecting capitalist exploiters “was one] of the functions—the chief mission—of the State.” Not the only function or mission, but 'one of the functions” and “the chief mission.”

If we look at the state as a “specific domain,” then it has a great many social forces, economic and otherwise, class and non-class, pushing on it. (Non-class forces include racial tensions, gender conflicts, not to mention organized religion.) Yet these forces are of differing strength and impact. The class theory “involves a claim that the capitalist class is able to wield more potent power resources over against pressure from below and the capacity for independent action on the part of the state itself….The political sway of the capitalist class [is] not exclusive but predominant.” (Wetherly 2002; 197) Even the most autonomous of totalitarian fascist states still must take into account the needs of its capitalist class—or it will not survive. Even the bureaucratic Stalinist states of the Soviet Union, Maoist China, etc.—which had entirely disposed of their stock-owning bourgeoisie—still had to maintain the exploitation of the workers and the accumulation of capital: the capital-labor relationship.

Summarizing the most mature and sophisticated views of Marx (and traditional anarchists)—with which he disagrees—Newman writes, “Rather than saying that, for Marx, the state is the instrument of [the] bourgeoisie, it may be more accurate to say that the state is a reflection of bourgeois class domination, a institution whose structure is determined by capitalist relations. Its function is to maintain an economic and social order that allows the bourgeoisie to continue to exploit the proletariat. “ (11) Or, for the Stalinist states, for someone “to continue to exploit the proletariat”—in this case, the collective bureaucratic class (until it collapsed back into traditional capitalism).

I think that this makes more sense than either a view of the state as a passive puppet of the bourgeoisie (should anyone hold such a crude theory) or as “entirely autonomous” and ”independent of class forces.”

Political Implications



Political analyses have no meaning unless they lead to differences in strategy or tactics. “A difference which makes no difference is no difference,” as the saying goes. Newman contrasts the differing potential “revolutionary strategies” that go with the alternatives of the “neutral” or “autonomous state” or the (class) “determined state.” He discusses which (theorized) state should be seen as the “tool of revolution” and which as something “to be destroyed in revolution.” (8) Rather than summarize his discussion, I will go through the issue as I see it.

(1) The idea that the state was integrally tied to the capitalist class and could not be otherwise, led to the revolutionary belief that this state had to be overturned, smashed, dismantled, and replaced by alternate institutions. In a new preface to the Communist Manifesto, Engels quoted Marx, “One thing especially was proved by the [Paris] Commune, viz., that ‘the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes’.” (Marx & Engels 1955; 6) This did not deny the value of fighting for reforms, but the ultimate goal was a state-destroying revolution.

But two different conclusions were drawn. One was that the working class, when overturning the capitalists’ state, also needed its own class state, a “workers’ state,” the “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat”—if only for a while, until a fully classless society could be instituted. This could be interpreted as an ultra-democratic state, similar to the Paris Commune or the early soviets, which would ”immediately” start to “wither away” —which is how Lenin presented it at the beginning of the Russian revolution. Or, alternately, as the justification for an increasingly authoritarian, one-party, police state, which is what Lenin developed over time. This soon evolved into Stalin’s state-capitalist totalitarianism.

On the other hand, anarchists argued that the state, by its very structure (as I defined it above), was an instrument of the capitalist class, or of some other exploiting class. Throughout history, ruling minorities needed a state to maintain their rule over the big majority; a self-managing majority would not need it. If a new state were to be created after a revolution, it would only put a bureaucratic class in power, ruling over a state capitalist economy. (As we know, these warnings came true.) Instead, anarchists argued for networks and federations of workplace councils, neighborhood assemblies, and voluntary associations. The workers and all the oppressed needed to replace all states with the self-organization of the emancipated people.

(2) The alternate theory of a neutral and wholly autonomous state was (and is) championed by reformists, liberals, and social democrats. The state, they claimed, was a machine which could be used by anyone, capitalists or workers, white supremacists or People of Color, oppressors or oppressed. Therefore radicals should fight to take over the existing state and use it to do good. (This is the view of Laclau and Mouffe, the “post-Marxists” whom Newman admires.)

But post-anarchists argue that the state has its own drives for oppression, regardless of the class system it is associated with at any time. To use it to get rid of one system of exploitation would only leave the field open for the state’s own oppressive dynamics. It would only replace capitalism with some other method of exploitation, such as the rule of a bureaucratic class. Therefore the state must not used to make a revolution nor to solidify a new society after one.

Those who identify with the revolutionary anarchist tradition do not really disagree with the last argument. The state has authoritarian and oppressive tendencies which make it unusable for a genuinely popular, democratic, revolution-from-below. However, I do not separate these tendencies from the state’s essential attachment to the rule of a minority exploiting class. These are not distinct dynamics.

Which leads to a response to the question of why Marx’s Marxism led to Stalinist totalitarianism, despite Marx’s own democratic-libertarian tendencies. At least one part of it was his program of replacing the bourgeois state with a new state of the working class and its allies, if only for a time. This transitional state was supposed to expropriate the capitalists and centralize all their property into its own hands. No matter how democratic, popular, and temporary in conception, the use of a socially alienated bureaucratic-military state machine was bound to lead to a new form of exploitation and oppression. This was argued by Bakunin, Kropotkin, and other revolutionary class-struggle anarchist-socialists at the time of Marx and immediately after, and has repeatedly been proven true, alas.

Whether Saul Newman is for revolution cannot be told from this essay (it may be clearer in other works). Most of the other post-anarchists, like the “new” or “small-a” anarchists, advocate building alternate institutions, small scale actions, and different lifestyles, without focusing on an ultimate goal of direct popular attack against the capitalist class or the state. (Price 2016) The post-anarchists usually justify this by arguing that the state is not the only source of power in society, but merely one among many. Therefore anarchists do not need to focus on the state as the main enemy. It can be worked around, chipped away, or just ignored. The capitalist class is seen as a disjointed, pluralistic, entity, with society overall best understood as a network of forces without a center. All of which leads to a rejection of overturning the state as a main goal. In fact “revolution” is usually regarded as the fantasy of a single (bloody) upheaval which would immediately change society—which is rejected as the nonsense it is (and is not a model held by serious revolutionaries). However, revolutionary anarchists regard as a dangerous fantasy the idea that the capitalist class and its state would permit a peaceful, gradual, transformation of society—in which they would lose their wealth and power—without attempting to crush the people (through savage repression, fascism, civil war, etc.).

No Working Class Revolution



Whether Newman is against revolution, he is against working class revolution, because he is against a focus on the working class. He would deny that the “proletariat” is the necessary (but not sufficient) agent to transform society, or even that it is one of the three to five most important potential forces.

Newman repeatedly merges the idea of the working class with the idea of the Leninist vanguard party, objecting “to the central role of the proletariat—or, to be more precise, to the vanguard role of the Party.” (37) But revolutionary anarchists who looked to the working class did not advocate such authoritarian, elitist, parties. Among Marxists, Rosa Luxemburg rejected Lenin’s concept of the vanguard party, and there is a long history of libertarian-autonomist Marxists who orient to the aspects of Marx’s work which are radically democratic, humanistic (anti-alienation), proletarian (anti-bureaucratic), and scientific (anti-scientistic). This trend, neither social democratic nor Marxist-Leninist, does not share a concept of the elitist vanguard party. It has raised libertarian socialist politics which can be in dialogue with revolutionary anarchism (Prichard et al 2017).

The post-anarchists have been criticized for their negative approach to class concerns and how they deal with them. An “emerging critique is that the post-anarchists have given up on the notion of ‘class’ and have retreated into obscure and intoxicating academic diatribes against a tradition built of discursive straw.” (Rousselle, in the Preface to Rousselle & Evren 2011; vii) Indeed, Newman’s rejection of a working class orientation is sometimes on a rather high plane of abstract post-structuralist philosophizing. He denounces “the perspective of a universal epistemological position—such as that of the proletariat….” (37)

At other times, Newman raises empirical problems, which I think are the real issue. He refers to “…the empirical reality of the shrinking of the working class…” (32) and to the “concrete social conditions of the shrinking working class in post-industrial societies….” (29)

It is true that there are fewer industrial workers in the U.S. (although still a big minority), but the population is overwhelming working class. That is, most adults are employed by capital or the state, producing goods or services for pay, without supervising others. Blue collar, white collar, pink collar, in construction or slaughterhouses, cleaning houses for others or waiting tables, writing code or teaching children, in animation or accounting, this is the modern proletariat. The class, in addition to waged workers, includes their children, full-time homemakers, adult students, and those unemployed and retired. Meanwhile one reason for the decline in industrial jobs in the U.S. is that many jobs have been sent overseas. There has been an enormous expansion of industrial workers throughout the “Third World,” for this and other reasons. This is not a proof of the irrelevance of the working class.

It is also an empirical fact that most workers and their families are not revolutionary—and many are even reactionary. This is cited by post-anarchists (and others) as disproving a supposed prediction that the working class must inevitably become revolutionary. Actually the “prediction” is only that the working class is potentially revolutionary, and able to shake the whole society when it is. This is evidenced by a two-centuries long history of workers’ struggles and upheavals. In any case, it is not that we could reject the (currently) non-revolutionary class for some other grouping which is revolutionary. Since such a large proportion of the world’s population is working class, the non-revolutionary consciousness of most of the working class means that most of the general population is not revolutionary, that most women are not revolutionary, nor are most People of Color, nor is any other category we could name. For now.

Perhaps Newman’s major discontent with a working class perspective is his belief that it would suppress all other sources of discontent and rebellion. “Radical political struggles can no longer be limited to the proletariat alone, and must be seen as being open to other classes and social identities.” (33) “The movement…rejects the false universality of Marxist politics, which denies difference and heterogeneity and subordinates other struggles to the central role of the proletariat….” (37)

There is no doubt that there have been wooden Marxists and wooden anarcho-syndicalists who have denied the importance of everything but the class struggle. (There have also been feminists who have subordinated all issues to that of women’s freedom, and Black activists who have put everything aside but Black liberation. But that is not the question here.) However this is not an inevitable result of a class perspective. On the contrary, it can be seen as strengthening the class struggle if the revolutionary workers support each and every struggle of oppressed people. The socialist Daniel DeLeon once said (quoting from memory) that socialists’ support for women’s liberation could unify the working class and split the ruling class.

To cite an authoritative (and authoritarian) Marxist, Lenin opposed “economism,” the strategy of only supporting bread-and-butter labor union issues. Instead he argued that socialists should defend every democratic concern, no matter how apparently far from class. This included supporting big groups such as peasants, women, and oppressed nations, but also students, draftees, censored writers, and religious minorities. “To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without…a movement of the… masses against oppression by the landowners, the church, and the monarchy, against national oppression, etc. – to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution. So one army lines up in one place and says, ‘We are for socialism’, and another, somewhere else and says, ‘We are for imperialism’, and that will he a social revolution!” (Lenin 1916) I cite this sarcastic comment even though Lenin was not a libertarian-autonomous Marxist, to demonstrate that even such a Marxist as Lenin could advocate that working class socialists should give support to all popular struggles against oppression—by all classes, on all issues. (In any case, the problem anarchists have with Lenin is not that he gave too much support to democratic struggles.)

“The Global Capitalist State Order”



Newman sees a model of the kind of radical movement he wants in “the emergence of what is broadly termed the ‘anti-globalization’ movement….” (Newman 2004; 36) He describes this movement as distinct from either a “universalized” working class or from a bundle of unrelated identity-based struggles. The distinct struggles are linked to each other and have a common enemy, which turns out to be….capitalism! and the capitalist state! “The ‘anti-globalization’ movement [is] a protest movement against the capitalist and neo-liberal vision of globalization….” (36) The movement “puts into question the global capitalist state order itself….It problematizes capitalism….targetting specific sites of oppression—corporate power and greed, G-M products, workplace surveillance, displacement of indigenous peoples, labor and human rights abuses, and so on.” (37) This only makes sense if we realize that these issues, overlapping with each other, are all directly or indirectly due to capitalism and enforced by the state. (For example, environmental, energy, and climate problems are due to the insatiable drive of capitalism to accumulate and grow quantitatively, regardless of the need of the ecosystem for limits and balance. The anarchist Bookchin explored this before the present ecological Marxists.)

We are living in a historical moment…dominated by capitalism, the most universal system the world has ever known—both in the sense that it is global and in the sense that it penetrates every aspect of social life and the natural environment….The social reality of capitalism is ‘totalizing’ in unprecedented ways and degrees. Its logic of commodification, accumulation, profit-maximization, and competition permeates the whole social order….” (Woods 1997; 13)

If the problem is ultimately capitalism, then what is capitalism? (Newman does not define it any more than he defines the state.) Capitalism is the capital-labor relationship in the process of production. Capital commodifies everything it can, including the ability of the workers to labor. Capital buys this labor-power and squeezes out as much surplus wealth (value) from the workers as possible, accumulating profits and expanding production. All the other issues and struggles against aspects of oppression are real and must be addressed, but the central issue of capitalism as such is its exploitation of the workers. And who will oppose capitalism? Is it in the immediate interests of the rich, the managers, the police, or various indeterminate “citizens” to revolt against capitalism? No one has a greater immediate interest in fighting capitalism than those who directly confront it day by day. No one has a greater potential ability to fight it, with their hands on the means of production, distribution, and services.

That is what makes the class struggle—if not “universal”—then central to the fight against “the global capitalist state order.” It is central, and necessary—but not sufficient by itself, since all sections of the oppressed need to be mobilized, on every issue, “against the capitalist and neo-liberal vision of globalization.”

Conclusion: The State Serves the Class Enemy



In recent years there has been a bitter and vicious class war, on an international scale. It has been waged by the capitalist class, using all its resources, most especially its state. There has been a remorseless attack on the working class in both the industrialized (imperialist) nations and in the rest of the world. Hard-won welfare benefits have been slashed, austerity has been enforced, and unions have been cut in number and power. As part of this class war, there has been an attack on the rights of women, of African-Americans, of immigrants, and of LGBTQ people. For the sake of profits, the environment has been trashed and looted, until the survival of civilization (even such as it is) is threatened.

This is hardly the time to deny that capitalist exploitation is at the center of all issues. And that, while the state is intrinsically oppressive, it serves the class enemy.


References


Draper, Hal (1977). Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution, Vol. 1; State and Bureaucracy. NY: Monthly Review Press.

Kinna, Ruth (2017), Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition. Edinburgh UK: Edinburgh University Press.

Kropotkin, Peter (2014). Direct Struggle Against Capital; A Peter Kropotkin Anthology (Ed.: Iain McKay). Oakland CA: AK Press.

Lenin, V. I. (1916). “The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up.”
https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/jul/x...1.htm

Marx, Karl (1906). Capital; A Critique of Political Economy; Vol. 1 (Ed.: F. Engels). NY: Modern Library.

Marx, Karl (2002). “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” (Trans.: T. Carver). In Cowling, M., & Martin, J. (eds.). Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire; (Post)modern Interpretations. London: Pluto Press. Pp. 19—109.

Marx, Karl, & Engels, Friedrich (1955). The Communist Manifesto. (Ed.: S.H. Beer). Northbrook IL: AHM Publishing Co.

May, Todd (1994). The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism. University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Morris, Brian (1993). Bakunin; The Philosophy of Freedom. Montreal/NY: Black Rose Books.

Newman, Saul (2004). Anarchism, Marxism, and the Bonapartist State. (Originally published in Anarchist Studies, 12, 1; 2004.) Retrieved on 2011.
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/saul-newman-ana...4.pdf

Price, Wayne (2014). “Anarchism and the Philosophy of Pragmatism.” The Utopian. https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/wayne-price-ana...atism

Price, Wayne (2016). “In Defense of Revolutionary Class-Struggle Anarchism.” Anarkismo. https://www.anarkismo.net/article/29243?search_text=way...price

Price, Wayne (2018). “An Anarchist View of the Class Theory of the State.”
Anarkismo. http://www.anarkismo.net/article/31082?author_name=Wayn...rice&

Prichard, Alex; Kinna, Ruth; Pinta, Saku; & Berry, David (eds.). (2017). Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red. Oakland CA: PM Press.

Russell, Duane, & Evren, Sureyyya (eds.) (2011). Post-Anarchism: A Reader. Pluto Press/ Fernwood Publishing.

Wetherly, Paul (2002). “Making Sense of the ‘Relative Autonomy’ of the State.” In Cowling, M., & Martin, J. (eds.). Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire; (Post)modern Interpretations. London: Pluto Press. Pp. 195—208.

Wood, Ellen Meiksins (1997). “What is the ‘Postmodern’ Agenda?” In In Defense of History; Marxism and the Postmodern Agenda. NY: Monthly Review Press. Pp. 1—16.

*written for www.Anarkismo.net

Διεθνή / Αναρχικό κίνημα / Γνώμη / Ανάλυση Saturday August 25, 2018 22:49 byRicardo Mella

Τοποθετήστε όλους τους ανθρώπους σε ένα καθεστώς ισότιμων οικονομικών συνθηκών, παρέχοντάς τους όλα τα μέσα παραγωγής και έχετε την αρχή της δικαιοσύνης. Δώστε σε όλους τους ανθρώπους την ελευθερία να διαθέτουν, όπως τους ταιριάζει καλύτερα, τα συναισθήματά τους, τις σκέψεις τους και τα έργα τους και θα έχετε δικαιοσύνη σε όλη την εκπληκτική πληρότητά της. Αυτό λέει ο κολεκτιβισμός, αυτό λέει η αναρχία.

Ricardo Mella, Κολλεκτιβισμός

Πέρασαν οι ημέρες που η σοσιαλιστική συναισθηματικότητα περίμενε τα πάντα από τη μητέρα γη και απαιτούσε τα πάντα από αυτή. Πέρασαν οι μέρες που η επανάσταση ήταν απλώς ένα συναίσθημα και καταφερόταν κωμικά κατά του ατομικισμού πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο με την ανώτατη εξουσία του Κράτους ή της κοινωνίας, του πελάτη του. Πέρασαν οι ημέρες που ο σοσιαλισμός και η επανάσταση δεν είχαν φιλοσοφία, παρά εκείνη της καρδιάς, καμία αρχή περί δικαιωμάτων και δικαιοσύνης, αλλά αυτή της παγκόσμιας αγάπης.

Όλες αυτές οι αντιλήψεις, όλες αυτές οι ιδέες είναι μόνο μεταξύ μας ως ένα απόθεμα αυτού που δεν υπήρξε ποτέ, ως ένα υπόλειμα της απομακρυσμένης μας προέλευσης.

Σήμερα, η Επανάσταση έχει την ορθολογική της φιλοσοφία, την αρχή του δικαιώματος και της δικαιοσύνης της. Έχει εισέλθει πλήρως στην περίοδο της ωριμότητας και είναι άχρηστο το να κοιτάξουμε πίσω. Ο άνθρωπος δεν περιμένει πλέον από την κοινωνία αυτό που δεν πρέπει και δεν μπορεί να περιμένει. Η κοινωνία δεν είναι γι’ αυτόν μια στοργική μητέρα που δεσμεύεται από καθήκον να καλύψει όλες του τις ανάγκες. Ξέρει ότι όλα αυτά εξαρτώνται από τη δική του δραστηριότητα και τη δραστηριότητα εκείνων που επιθυμούν να συνεργαστούν μαζί του. Η ελευθερία είναι αρκετή υπό συνθήκες ισότητας, ώστε να είναι σε θέση να εγκαταλείψει ένα ον που καθορίζει μόνο τη θέλησή του, την κοινωνία. Αυτό είναι το έργο του και η εργασία του αυτή είναι απαραίτητη για την αντιμετώπιση των ατομικών ελλείψεων. Δεν υπάρχει μητέρα του ανθρώπου που έρχεται: αυτή η αντίληψη πέθανε μαζί με την ιδέα του Κράτους, και αντί αυτού παραμένει μόνο το ελεύθερο άτομο για να συγκροτήσει επίσης ελεύθερες κοινωνίες.

Ο άνθρωπος έχει το δικαίωμα να ικανοποιήσει όλες του τις ανάγκες, αλλά να τις ικανοποιήσει για τον εαυτό του, μέσα από τη συνετή χρήση όλων των δυνατοτήτων και των στάσεών του, μέσα από το έργο του. Από τον εαυτό του, λοιπόν, περιμένει αυτή την ικανοποίηση, όχι από την κοινωνία ή το Κράτος. Εάν δεν είναι αυτάρκης, μπορεί να συνεργαστεί, επιδιώκοντας να συμπληρώσει τις ανεπάρκειές του μέσα από ελεύθερες ενώσεις συνεργασίας, πίστωσης, νομίσματος και ασφάλειας. Αυτό είναι όλο. Ελευθερία, ελευθερία για πάντα!

Εάν ο ατομικισμός έχει ρίξει τον άνθρωπο στη βία και την έλλειψη αλληλεγγύης, ο κομμουνισμός τον ωθεί σε μια κηδεμονία, σε μια αυτοαναίρεση και τον καθιστά απλό μέσο της κοινωνίας ή του Κράτους, δύο ταυτόσημα πράγματα με διαφορετικά ονόματα.

Στο όνομα της ελευθερίας απορρίπτουμε τον κομμουνισμό! Στο όνομα της αλληλεγγύης απορρίπτουμε τον ατομικισμό! Αυτή είναι η άποψή μας.

Η ελευθερία και η αλληλεγγύη αρκούν για την επίλυση του προβλήματος. Εξ ου και η κολεκτιβιστική σχολή.

Γνωρίζουμε ότι ο κολεκτιβισμός δεν είναι πανομοιότυπος σε όλα τα μέρη. Γνωρίζουμε ότι υπάρχουν αυταρχικές σχολές που υποστηρίζουν μια οικονομική ιδέα παρόμοια με τη δική μας και την βαπτίζουν ακόμη και με το ίδιο όνομα. Αλλά αυτό δεν έχει σημασία. Απαιτούνται ιδέες και περισσότερες ιδέες, τα ονόματα είναι απλώς θέμα συμβατικότητας. Ας συμφωνήσουμε να ονομάσουμε τη λύση που προτείνουμε στο πρόβλημα της ιδιοκτησίας κολεκτιβισμό επειδή δεν είναι ούτε κομμουνιστικός ούτε ατομικιστικός. Αυτό είναι όλο.

Ας εξηγήσουμε τις ιδέες μας και να προχωρήσουμε.

Δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι στο πλαίσιο του ατομικισμού και του κομμουνισμού υπάρχουν δύο αδιαμφισβήτητες αρχές. Ο άνθρωπος είναι απόλυτος κύριος της εργασίας του. Η ανθρωπότητα είναι κυρίαρχη όλων των μέσων παραγωγής που περιέχει η φύση. Δώστε στην ανθρωπότητα και τον άνθρωπο αυτό που τους οφείλεται και έχετε τον κολεκτιβισμό.

Ο άνθρωπος γεννιέται με τη δύναμη να παράγει και η φύση αναμένεται να παρέχει τα μέσα για να συνεχίσει ο άνθρωπος αυτήν τη δραστηριότητα. Αφήστε τον άνθρωπο ελεύθερο να εξασκήσει τις δυνάμεις του και σε πνεύμα δικαιοσύνης - δεν έχετε τίποτα άλλο να κάνετε. Οτιδήποτε κατέχει ο κόσμος, ο άνθρωπος μπορεί να το χρησιμοποιήσει για τη δουλειά του. Το δικαίωμα είναι καθολικό και ανήκει σε όλους. Συνεπώς, κανείς δεν μπορεί να εκμεταλλευτεί ακόμα και το μικρότερο μέρος αυτού του αμοιβαίου κεφαλαίου, το οποίο δεν κοστίζει τίποτα και κανένας δεν το δημιουργεί. Με ποιο δικαίωμα ή με βάση ποιο νόμο θα πρέπει ο άνθρωπος να κάνει κάτι περισσότερο; Πώς θα αναγκαστεί να επιτελέσει το ατομικό του έργο ως μέρος του αμοιβαίου κεφαλαίου; Αφήστε τον ελεύθερο. Είναι κύριος της εργασίας του, έχει την κατοχή του προϊόντος της εργασίας του και μόνο με την ελεύθερη βούλησή του μπορεί να δωρίσει ή όχι στην κοινωνία. Στην πρώτη περίπτωση θα είναι μια αρκετά ελεύθερη και αυθόρμητη πράξη της ύπαρξής του. Στη δεύτερη περίπτωση θα είναι ένα αναμφισβήτητο δικαίωμα και απεριόριστη κυριαρχία. Η υπέρβαση αυτών των ορίων και η ελευθερία θα καταστραφούν.

Αυτός είναι ο λόγος για τον οποίο επιβεβαιώνουμε την κοινή κατοχή όλων των μέσων παραγωγής και επιβεβαιώνουμε διπλά το δικαίωμα της ιδιοκτησίας και κατοχής ατομικών και συλλογικών προϊόντων για το άτομο και την κοινότητα, το πλήρες, απόλυτο δικαίωμα στο προϊόν της εργασίας.

Τοποθετήστε όλους τους ανθρώπους σε ένα καθεστώς ισότιμων οικονομικών συνθηκών, παρέχοντάς τους όλα τα μέσα παραγωγής και έχετε την αρχή της δικαιοσύνης. Δώστε σε όλους τους ανθρώπους την ελευθερία να διαθέτουν, όπως τους ταιριάζει καλύτερα, τα συναισθήματά τους, τις σκέψεις τους και τα έργα τους και θα έχετε δικαιοσύνη σε όλη την εκπληκτική πληρότητά της. Αυτό λέει ο κολεκτιβισμός, αυτό λέει η αναρχία.

Μη μας ρωτάτε πώς είναι να καθορίσουμε το προϊόν της δουλειάς του καθενός, διότι θα ήταν μια ανόητη ερώτηση. Σε μια κατάσταση ελευθερίας δεν ταιριάζουν a priori φόρμουλες. Η πολυμορφία της εργασίας παράγει ποικίλες λύσεις. Η Ελευθερία τις εγγυάται. Σε ένα έργο [η λύση] θα καθοριστεί από το ίδιο το άτομο. Σε ένα άλλο, θα είναι η ανταλλαγή και οι σχέσεις μεταξυ των ανθρώπωων που θα το καθορίσουν. Σε μια άλλη, θα είναι ένωση, ελεύθερα κυριαρχούμενη και ελεύθερη συμφωνία.

*Το κείμενο αυτό δημοσιεύτηκε το 1891. Αγγλική μετάφραση: Shawn P. Wilbur. Ελληνική μετάφραση: Ούτε Θεός-Ούτε Αφέντης.

international / anti-fascism / non-anarchist press Wednesday August 15, 2018 16:51 byJohn Riddell

The following talk was given on 21 July 2018 to a two-day seminar at York University entitled “Historical perspectives on united fronts against fascism and the far right.”

The framework for our panel this morning is “Unity against the Right: A historical approach.”

There are in fact many histories of such united resistance, each with its own lineage. We could talk of how Louis Riel united Métis, First Nations, and many colonial settlers to battle for democracy and aboriginal rights. Or of how women debated how to find allies in their liberation struggle and the trade-off with partnerships with the sectors of the elite or of the subaltern masses. But I will not speak of this. I will also set aside the struggle of colonized peoples for unity against imperialism, so central to the socialist movement of the last century.

My topic relates to the origin of Fascism. It was born in Europe as an expression of the ideology of European supremacy, and my focus will thus necessarily be European as well. I’m going to speak of events in Italy a century ago, not simply because of their objective importance but because they carry great weight in our political memory and imagination.

Italy – Between the Wars


Italy then ranked as an imperialist power, although a weak and unstable one, the product of an incomplete bourgeois revolution in which owners of large estates and the Catholic Church held great power, while the majority of Italy’s immense peasantry were landless. A sizable industrial working class was largely socialist in conviction, and the Italian Socialist Party governed more than 2,000 municipalities.

Formally a winner in the First World War (28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918), the Italian ruling class had been weakened by the impact of great human and material destruction in this conflict. The war’s end brought economic crisis, the ruin of middle layers, a mass of discharged soldiers with no visible future, and a militant workers’ upsurge that for a moment seemed about to sweep all before it.

In September 1920 a great wave of factory occupations brought the country to the brink of revolution. However, the Socialists gave no leadership and the movement foundered, opening the gates to counterrevolution.

A wave of reaction was then sweeping across much of Europe. It brought many rightist dictatorial regimes to power, as in Hungary, where the regime executed 5,000 supposed Reds. The Hungarian regime was aristocratic in nature, a military dictatorship based on upper-class cadres. Italy was different: the reactionary movement seemed to emerge from among the masses themselves.

Commandos Right and Left

In Italy, after the war ended, the spearhead of reaction emerged: the Arditi, or “commandos,” a network of anti-labour mercenaries led mainly by former army officers. But the most successful such force, the Fascists, was plebeian. Its leader, Benito Mussolini, had been a left-wing Socialist; the group, founded in 1919, posed as supporters of strikes and workers’ management and of land to the peasants. Yet their ideology was pro-capitalist, rooted in worship of the state and the nation. They acted as murderous anti-labour militia, financed by elements of the ruling class and tolerated or supported by the police and army. The Fascists backed up violence with a forceful ideology rejecting reason and fact while appealing to mysticism and religious-like idolatry of the state and the “man from destiny.”

By mid-1921 Fascism was a menacing mass movement. How did its opponents respond?

  • The Socialist Party relied on the state to rein in the Fascists. Rejecting organized self-defense, it pressed the regime to take action against lawless Fascist gangs, while rejecting entry into government. At one point it signed a “truce” with the Fascists, which the latter quickly cast aside. (The Socialist refusal to join a bourgeois-dominated government, while consistent with Marxist principle, was out of step with the conduct of most Social Democratic parties in that period, which did often enter such governments.)

  • The democratic parliamentary parties did in fact pass laws and regulations aimed against the fascists. For example, guns were to be reregistered and seized if due cause for ownership was not produced. Barricades were to be erected on highways to block Fascist flying squads. However, implementation depended on police and judges mostly sympathetic to the far right. As a result, little was done to enforce such measures.

  • The Italian Communist Party, which separated from the Socialists early in 1921, did not perceive the distinction between fascism and the democratic forms of capitalist rule. The Communists were for self-defense against fascists, to be sure, but without alliances and only when attacked. In practice, the Communist Party as an organization largely stood aside from the struggle.

  • Meanwhile, a spontaneous rank-and-file self-defense organization the Arditi del Popolo (People’s commandos), sprang up and won wide support. Both the communists and socialists were hostile to the new organization, ordering their members to leave its ranks. Alone, the Arditi del popolo could not win against a fascist host financed and supported by the ruling class and aided by the regular army. Even so, the Arditi led and won pitched battles against the Fascists on several occasions, indicating the road by which a united working class could have got the upper hand.

    At the end of 1922, the Fascists consummated their one-sided civil war with a parliamentary deal, in which they were appointed to government by the king and mainstream capitalist parties. During the half-decade that followed, the Fascist regime hardened into a totalitarian dictatorship that lasted until 1943.

    Two conclusions jump out from this depressing story:

  • First, the Socialists were wrong to believe the bourgeois democratic state could provide effective protection from fascism.

  • Second, the Communists were wrong to believe that they could deal with fascism on their own.

    During the years of Mussolini’s rise, however, the policy of the Communist International on alliances evolved greatly in a direction that, if applied in Italy, might well have changed the outcome. Five stages in this process should be noted:

    a. First, in 1920, far-right generals in Germany carried out a coup against the republican government. Social-democratic trade union leaders called a general strike that swept the country, while workers in many areas took up arms and gained effective control. The coup lasted only four days. This outcome proved the power of united workers’ resistance to the far right.

    b. After the coup collapsed, workers refused to end their strike and demanded effective protection against the far-right conspirators. The social-democratic trade-union leaders then came up with a novel proposal: a workers’ government including all workers’ parties and based on the unions. Although that government did not come to be, the idea behind it gained support and the Communist movement took note.

    c. The next year, the Communist International (Comintern) adopted the policy that had found expression in resistance to the German putsch, calling on workers’ parties to unite in struggle against the far right and for basic demands they had in common. This policy was known as the “united front.” It was not applied in Italy. Internationally, it met with resistance from Social Democratic leaderships. Why was this policy not applied by the Italian Communists? Their failure to conform indicates that descriptions of the Comintern’s supposedly excessive “centralism” in that period are often exaggerated.

    d. Another year passed, and the Comintern adopted the workers’ government approach broached during the great German general strike of 1920. Such a government would be sustained by the workers movement, not the state, and could serve as a transitional stage to revolution. A workers’ and peasants’ government of this general type was actually established by the October 1917 Russian revolution.

    e. Finally, in 1923, the Comintern adopted a strategy for resisting fascism. It was elaborated and presented by Clara Zetkin, drawing on the experience above all of the German workers’ movement. Her plan consisted of four major propositions:

    i. Workers self-defence against fascist violence: not through individual terror, but through “the power of the revolutionary organized proletarian class struggle.”

    ii. United front action against fascism “involving all working-class organizations and currents regardless of political differences.” By endorsing the Arditi del Popolo, the Comintern indicated willingness to join in anti-fascist struggle with non-working-class forces. They rejected, however, the perspective of a bloc with capitalist parties for government.

    iii. An ideological campaign to reach the best of the young people influenced by fascism who, in Zetkin’s words, “are seeking an escape from deep anguish of the soul. We must show them a solution that does not lead backward but rather forward to communism.”

    iv. Demonstration of “absolute determination to fight to take power out of the hands of the bourgeoisie in order to resolve capitalism’s social crisis,” including by “cementing the alliances necessary to do so.” Zetkin insisted that the perspective of a workers’ and peasants’ government “is virtually a requirement for the struggle to defeat fascism.”

    Essence of Fascist Doctrine

    There’s something missing here: an analysis of the racist and xenophobic essence of fascist doctrine. It was the reverse side of the fascists’ worship of an aggressive nationalism, which rested on plans for conquest of south Slavs, Greeks, Turks, Africans – all viewed as inferior peoples. In German fascism, such racial stereotyping became more explicit, maturing into a project of genocide against Jews, Poles, Russians, Roma, and other peoples.

    Despite this weakness, Zetkin’s report and resolution, adopted by the Comintern in June 1923, stand as the outstanding exposition of a Marxist response to fascism during its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. It theorized the lesson of the Italian Arditi del Popolo experience while fusing it with a perspective for workers’ power. Alternatively, the Comintern position can be seen, as Leon Trotsky later insisted, as an application of the Bolsheviks’ united front policies in the run-up to the Russian October revolution of 1917.

    Given the strategic force of this position, it may seem surprising it was applied during only two brief periods of Comintern history. Comintern anti-fascist policy proved to be unstable, going through no less than six reversals up to the International’s dissolution in 1943. Two of these turnabouts were particularly significant:

  • In 1928 the Comintern reverted to the sectarian stance of Italian Communists during Mussolini’s rise, refusing to seek alliances with non-Communist workers’ organizations. The Social Democrats, for their part, refused of united action with the Communists. The absence of workers’ unity in action, opened the door to Hitler’s victory.

  • In 1935 the Comintern switched to a policy of unity with Social Democrats while adding two significant innovations: first, unity was now to embrace progressive forces in the imperialist ruling class and, second, the project was now basically parliamentary in nature: to form a progressive coalition encompassing bourgeois forces.

    In my opinion, the 1935 policy, known as “popular frontism,” brought the Comintern into broad alignment with Social Democracy as regards the strategic alternative to fascism. The goal of socialist revolution was set aside in favour of a project for defense of democratic capitalism and alliance with forces within the imperialist ruling class.

    This occurred at the height of Stalin’s murderous repression of Bolshevik cadres, and this witch-hunt also infected the Comintern and its “people’s front.”

    To conclude, the responses of socialists to the first 15 years of fascism fall into three categories: sectarian isolation, an alliance for progressive reform, or a united front to bring working people to power. Despite the immense transformation in social structure and global geopolitics, these divergent impulses continue to find expression today, as we feel our way toward an effective defense against fascist dangers today. •


    A Note on Sources

    Some of the material in this text is also discussed in Fumble and late recovery: The Comintern response to Italian fascism.

    Clara Zetkin’s contribution to developing the Marxist position on Fascism is documented in Clara Zetkin, Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win, Mike Taber and John Riddell, ed., Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017. For the introduction to this book, see “Clara Zetkin and the struggle against fascism.”

    Sources for this text include:

    Tom Behan, The Resistible Rise of Benito Mussolini, Bookmarks: London, 2003.
    Jonathan Dunnage, The Italian Police and the Rise of Fascism: A Case Study of the Province of Bologna, 1897-1925, Westport Conn: Praeger, 1997.
    Georgio Galli, Storia del socialism italiano, Milan: Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 2008.
    Daniel Guérin, Fascism and Big Business, New York: Monad, 1973 (1939).
    Rossi (Angelo Tasca), The Rise of Italian Fascism 1918-1922, New York: Howard Fertig, 1966 (1938).
    Paolo Spriano, Storia del Partito comunista italiano, Turin: Einaudi, 1967.
  • Διεθνή / Λαϊκοί Αγώνες / Γνώμη / Ανάλυση Sunday August 05, 2018 21:31 byRicardo Flores Magon

    ... Από τη στιγμή που θεωρούν οι ίδιοι πως είναι ίσοι μεταξύ τους, με το ίδιο δικαίωμα στη Μητέρα Γη, δεν χρειάζονται αφεντικό για να προστατεύσουν τους προνομιούχους ενάντια σε αυτούς χωρίς προνόμια, επειδή όλοι είναι προνομιούχοι.

    Το να θες αφεντικά και ταυτόχρονα να επιθυμείς και την ελευθερία, είναι να επιθυμείς το ανέφικτο.

    Είναι απαραίτητο να επιλέξετε μία και καλή ανάμεσα σε δύο πράγματα: είτε την ελευθερία, συνολικά, να αρνείστε κάθε εξουσία, ή να υποδουλωθείτε διαιωνίζοντας την εξουσία του ανθρώπου πάνω σε άνθρωπο. Το αφεντικό ή η κυβέρνηση είναι απαραίτητα μόνο κάτω από ένα σύστημα οικονομικής ανισότητας. Αν έχω περισσότερα από τον Πέδρο, φυσικά φοβάμαι ότι ο Πέδρο θα με αρπάξει από το λαιμό και θα πάρει από μένα αυτό που χρειάζεται. Σε αυτή την περίπτωση, χρειάζομαι μια κυβέρνηση ή έναν επόπτη για να με προστατεύσει από τις πιθανές επιθέσεις του Πέδρο. αλλά αν ο Πέδρο και εγώ είμαστε οικονομικοί ίσοι, αν και οι δύο έχουμε την ίδια ευκαιρία να επωφεληθούμε από τα πλούτη της φύσης, όπως η γη, οι υδροβιότοποι, τα ορυχεία και οτιδήποτε άλλο, όπως ακριβώς και από τα πλούτη που παράγονται από το χέρι του ανθρώπου, μηχανήματα, σπίτια, σιδηρόδρομοι και χίλιες και μία κατασκευές, η λογική λέει ότι θα ήταν αδύνατο ο Πέδρο και εγώ να τραβήξουμε ο ένας τον άλλον από τα μαλλιά, για να αμφισβητήσουμε τα πράγματα που κερδίζουμε και οι δύο και στην περίπτωση αυτή δεν υπάρχει λόγος να έχουμε αφεντικά.

    Το να μιλάμε για αφεντικά μεταξύ ίσων είναι μια αντίφαση, εκτός αν μιλάμε για ίσους σε υποτέλεια, αδέλφια σε αλυσίδες, όπως εμείς οι εργάτες είμαστε τώρα. Υπάρχουν πολλοί που λένε ότι είναι αδύνατο να ζήσουμε χωρίς αφεντικά ή κυβέρνηση. Όταν είναι οι αστοί που τα λένε αυτά, παραδέχομαι ότι έχουν δίκιο στη λογική τους, επειδή φοβούνται ότι οι φτωχοί θα τους πιάσουν από τον λαιμό και θα αρπάξουν τα πλούτη τους που έχουν συσσωρεύσει κάνοντας τον εργάτη να ιδρώνει. αλλά για ποιο λόγο οι φτωχοί χρειάζονται αφεντικά ή κυβέρνηση;

    Στο Μεξικό, είχαμε και έχουμε εκατοντάδες αποδείξεις ότι η ανθρωπότητα δεν χρειάζεται αφεντικά ή κυβέρνηση εκτός από την περίπτωση της οικονομικής ανισότητας. Στα αγροτικά χωριά και τις κοινότητες, ο λαός δεν αισθάνθηκε απαραίτητο να έχει μια κυβέρνηση. Μέχρι πρόσφατα, η γη, τα δάση, το νερό και τα χωράφια ήταν κοινή ιδιοκτησία του λαού της περιοχής. Όταν η κυβέρνηση μιλάει σε αυτούς τους απλούς ανθρώπους, αρχίζουν να τρέμουν γιατί για αυτούς η κυβέρνηση είναι η ίδια με έναν εκτελεστή. Σημαίνει το ίδιο με την τυραννία. Ζουν ευτυχώς στην ελευθερία τους, χωρίς να γνωρίζουν, σε πολλές περιπτώσεις, το όνομα του Προέδρου της Δημοκρατίας, και γνωρίζουν μόνο την ύπαρξη κυβέρνησης, όταν οι στρατιωτικοί περνούν από την περιοχή αναζητώντας άνδρες για στρατολόγηση, ή όταν ο ομοσπονδιακός εφοριακός έρχεται να εισπράξει φόρους. Η κυβέρνηση ήταν, λοιπόν, σε ένα μεγάλο μέρος του μεξικανικού πληθυσμού, ο τύραννος που τράβηξε τους εργάτες από τα σπίτια τους για να τους μετατρέψει σε στρατιώτες, ή να τους εκμεταλλευτούν άσχημα απειλώντας πως θα κάνουν κατασχέσεις στο όνομα της φορολογικής αρχής.

    Οι πληθυσμοί αυτοί θα αισθανθούν την ανάγκη να έχουν κυβέρνηση; Δεν τη χρειάστηκαν για τίποτα και θα μπορούσαν να ζήσουν με αυτόν τον τρόπο για εκατοντάδες χρόνια, μέχρι που αφαιρέθηκαν τα υπάρχοντά τους προς όφελος των γειτονικών γαιοκτημόνων. Αυτοί δεν τρώγανε ο ένας τον άλλον, όπως φοβόντουσαν όσοι γνωρίζουν μόνο το καπιταλιστικό σύστημα. Ένα σύστημα στο οποίο ο άνθρωπος πρέπει να ανταγωνιστεί όλους τους άλλους για να βάλει ένα κομμάτι ψωμί στο στόμα του. Οι ισχυροί δεν ασκούν τυραννία πάνω από τους αδύναμους, όπως συμβαίνει κάτω από έναν καπιταλιστικό πολιτισμό, στον οποίο ο πιο αδρανής, άπληστος και έξυπνος εξουσιάζει τον τίμιο και καλό. Όλα ήταν αδέλφια σε αυτές τις κοινότητες. Υπήρχε αλληλοβοήθεια και η αίσθηση της ισότητας όπως ήταν πραγματικά, δεν χρειάζονταν αρχές για να παρακολουθήσουν τα συμφέροντα εκείνων που είχαν, φοβούμενοι πιθανές επιθέσεις εκείνων που δεν είχαν.

    Σε αυτές τις στιγμές, για ποιο λόγο οι ελεύθερες κοινότητες του Yaqui του Durango, του Νότου του Μεξικού και τόσες άλλες περιοχές στις οποίες ο λαός έχει πάρει την κατοχή της γης, χρειάζεται κυβέρνηση; Από τη στιγμή που θεωρούν οι ίδιοι πως είναι ίσοι μεταξύ τους, με το ίδιο δικαίωμα στη Μητέρα Γη, δεν χρειάζονται αφεντικό για να προστατεύσουν τους προνομιούχους ενάντια σε αυτούς χωρίς προνόμια, επειδή όλοι είναι προνομιούχοι.

    Ας ανοίξουμε τα μάτια μας, προλεταριάτο: η κυβέρνηση πρέπει να υπάρχει μόνο όταν υπάρχει οικονομική ανισότητα. Υιοθετήστε ως ηθικό οδηγό, το Μανιφέστο της 23ης Σεπτεμβρίου 1911.

    Πηγή: freepacifica

    SIN JEFES
    By Ricardo Flores Magon
    Δημοσιεύτηκε στην Regeneración, Μάρτης 21, 1914
    Μετάφραση: Vectrum

    Διεθνή / Καταστολή / Φυλακές / Γνώμη / Ανάλυση Thursday August 02, 2018 20:02 byΚώστας Δεσποινιάδης

    Καθήκον μας σήμερα να διαλυθούν κατά το δυνατόν αυτές οι «γκρίζες ζώνες», ο φονιάς και το θύμα να μην είναι αγκαλιά.

    Μιλώντας για τη «γκρίζα ζώνη» στο «Αυτοί που βούλιαξαν και αυτοί που σώθηκαν» ο Πρίμο Λέβι λέει ότι η πιο ακραία φιγούρα των στρατοπέδων συγκέντρωσης είναι οι Sonderkommando (ειδική ομάδα), οι Εβραίοι κρατούμενοι στους οποίους οι ναζί είχαν αναθέσει τη διαχείριση των θαλάμων αερίων και των κρεματορίων. Δουλειά τους ήταν να οδηγούν τους έγκλειστους στους θαλάμους αερίων, στη συνέχεια έσερναν έξω τα πτώματα, τα έπλεναν, έβγαζαν τα χρυσά δόντια, έκοβαν τα μαλλιά των γυναικών, έκαναν τη διαλογή ενδυμάτων και υποδημάτων, μετέφεραν τα πτώματα στα κρεματόρια και τέλος άδειαζαν τους φούρνους από τα υπολείμματα της στάχτης.

    Η οργάνωση αυτών των ομάδων, ισχυρίζεται ο Πρίμο Λέβι, υπήρξε το δαιμονικότερο έγκλημα του ναζισμού, γιατί διέλυσε το παμπάλαιο δυαδικό σχήμα καλού-κακού που όλοι έχουμε στο μυαλό μας, αυτή την αφαίρεση με την οποία μπορούμε να ερμηνεύσουμε, απλοϊκά έστω, το δυσερμήνευτο όσων συμβαίνουν, γιατί δημιούργησε μια «γκρίζα ζώνη» με δυσδιάκριτο περίγραμμα που ταυτοχρόνως χωρίζει αλλά και συνδέει τους δύο κόσμους: τον κόσμο των δήμιων και τον κόσμο των θυμάτων (άλλωστε, οι ίδιο οι Sonderkommando δεν γλύτωναν από την κοινή μοίρα των εγκλείστων, καθώς οι ναζί φρόντιζαν με ιδιαίτερη επιμέλεια και τη δική τους εξόντωση).

    Και αυτό το δυαδικό σχήμα, σε ψυχολογικό επίπεδο, επιτεύχθηκε με το να δημιουργηθούν δεσμοί συνενοχής.

    Ο ουγγροεβραίος γιατρός Miklos Nyiszli, ένας από τους ελάχιστους επιζώντες Sonderkommando διέσωσε μια μοναδική μαρτυρία: παραβρέθηκε κάποτε σε κάποια «διάλειμμα από τη δουλειά», σε έναν ποδοσφαιρικό αγώνα μεταξύ μιας ομάδας των SS και μιας ομάδας των Sonderkommando. Στον ρόλο των θεατών, τα υπόλοιπα μέλη και των δύο ομάδων, που χειροκροτούν, ενθαρρύνουν ο καθένας την ομάδα του, στοιχηματίζουν ποιος θα νικήσει, ως εάν αυτός ο αγώνας να γινόταν σε ένα κανονικό επαρχιακό γήπεδο, κι όχι στην είσοδο της κόλασης.

    Στο βάθος αυτής της «ανακωχής», αυτού του «διαλείμματος από τη δουλειά», λέει ο Miklos Nyiszli, ακούγεται ένα σατανικό γέλιο: «το κατορθώσαμε, δεν είστε πλέον η άλλη φυλή, η ενάντια φυλή, ο εχθρός του χιλιετούς Ράιχ. Σας αγκαλιάσαμε, σας διαφθείραμε, σας σύραμε στον πάτο μαζί μας. Είστε όμοιοί μας, κηλιδωμένοι από το ίδιο σας το αίμα, όπως εμείς. Κι εσείς, όπως εμείς, όπως ο Κάιν, φονεύσατε τον αδερφό σας. Ελάτε, μπορούμε να παίξουμε μαζί».

    Σε όλη την καταγεγραμμένη ανθρώπινη ιστορία, αλλά και σήμερα, σε συνθήκες τόσο διαφορετικές κάθε φορά αλλά πάντα τραγικές, μπορούμε να διακρίνουμε άραγε αυτή την επικίνδυνη συνενοχή; Αντιλαμβανόμαστε ποιοι και πώς μπορούν να επιτελούν, ασυναίσθητα ενδεχομένως, τον ρόλο εκείνων των «ειδικών ομάδων»;

    Στον Προμηθέα Δεσμώτη δεν υπάρχει μόνο ο Δίας και ο τιμωρημένος Προμηθέας. Υπάρχει ο γύπας, η Βία και ο Κράτος που αλυσοδένουν τον Προμηθέα, ο Ήφαιστος που έχει φτιάξει τις αλυσίδες…

    Καθήκον μας σήμερα να διαλυθούν κατά το δυνατόν αυτές οι «γκρίζες ζώνες», ο φονιάς και το θύμα να μην είναι αγκαλιά.

    Στον βράχο του Προμηθέα, ξέρουμε με ποιανού τη μοίρα ταυτιζόμαστε.

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    #Nobastan3Causales: seguimos luchando por aborto libre en Chile

    #Nobastan3Causales: seguimos luchando por aborto libre en Chile

    International

    Sat 22 Sep, 20:30

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