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Anarcho-Communists, Platformism, and Dual Power: Innovation or Travesty?

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Anarcho-Communists, Platformism, and Dual Power: Innovation or Travesty?



Lawrence Jarach

Anarchy #54

Winter 2002-2003

"...When a revolutionary situation develops, counter-institutions have the potential of functioning as a real alternative to the existing structure and reliance on them becomes as normal as reliance on the old authoritarian institutions. This is when counter-institutions constitute dual power.

Dual power is a state of affairs in which people have created institutions that fulfill all the useful functions formerly provided by the state. The creation of a general state of dual power is a necessary requirement for a successful revolution..."
-Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchisat Federation New York Local Member Handbook; June, 1997

"...What we need is a theory of the state that starts with an empirical investigation of the origins of the state, the state as it actually exists today, the various experiences of revolutionary dual power, and post-revolutionary societies..."
-After Winter Must Come Spring: a Self-Critical Evalution of the Life and Death of the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (New York); 2000

A revolutionary strategy seeks to undermine the state by developing a dual power strategy. A dual power strategy is one that directly challenges institutions of power and at the same time, in some way, prefigures the new institutions we envision. A dual power strategy not only opposes the state, it also prepares us for the difficult questions that will arise in a revolutionary situation...[A] program to develop local Copwatch chapters could represent a dual power strategy, since monitoring the police undermines state power by disrupting the cops' ability to enforce class and color lines and also foreshadows a new society in which ordinary people take responsibility for ensuring the safety of their communities."
-Bring The Ruckus statement (Phoenix, AZ); Summer, 2001

"...As anarchist communists, our strategy of transforming society is the establishment of dual power; creating alternative and democratic institutions while simultaneously struggling against the established order. If we ever hope to succeed, anarchist actions cannot be random and uncoordinated. We should strive for strategic & tactical unity and coordination in all anarchist factions and affiity groups."
-Alcatraz magazine (Oakland, CA); February, 2002

"...[W]e feel that it is necessary to develop a long term strategy, and to place all our actions in the framework of that strategy...this framework draws most heavily from the Platformist tradition [sic] within anarchism. This is not to say that one must, or even should, agree with the specifics of the original Organization Platform of the Libertarian Communists, but is rather a recognition of the importance of collective responsibility, discipline, and tactical unity which the Platformist tradition [sic] puts forward. Clearly then, the framework laid out in this document recognizes that many of those who today identify as 'anarchists' will strongly disagree with this most basic assumption, and therefore will find the entire framework less than satisfactory. However, our priority, as stated above, is the creation of a mass anarchist movement, and where we feel that building such a movement means alienating others who identify as anarchists, we should have no provlem in doing so.

Further, it is necessary to clarify that this framework assumes that it is through the creation of dual power and a culture of resistance that a truly mass, working-class based, anarchist revolutionary movement will be born..."
-"Toward The Creation Of An Anarchist Movement: From Reactive Politics to Proactive Struggle" in Barricada: Agitational Monthly of the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists [NEFAC] #16 (Boston, MA); April, 2002

"We want Dual Power. We seek to build popular power that can contest and replace state and capitalist power. We actively work to create a new world i the shell of the old - politically, culturally and economically. We do this by both challenging and confronting oppressive institutions and establishing our own liberatory ones."
-Announcement of the formation of the Federation of Revolutionary Anarchist Collectives (FRAC) (East Lansing, MI); August, 2002

"I do not think that word means what you think it means."
-Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride

My use of quotes from each of these projects has nothing to do with whether or not they are large or influential in terms of numbers of members or supporters, but with the fact that they have published statements where the term dual power has made a prominent appearance. The discussion of what actually constitutes this dual power is sparse; when it does occur, it is either vague or unintentionally funny. It is my intention to examine what the term might mean to those self-described anarchists who use it and why it is used by this particular constellation of anarcho-communists.

What is "anarchist dual power"?

Various projects have been suggested as examples of incipient dual power. There are a few questions that I feel must be answered in order for any real discussion to take place between the partisans of this odd formulation and those who remain skeptical of its relevance to anarchist theory and practice. Are the examples of "anarchist dual power" just anarchist-operated alternatives to current non-revolutionary projects? Are they counter-institutions that replace current non-revolutionary projects with more "democratic" control? Do any of them have the potential prestige, influence, or notoriety to challenge the smooth operation of capitalism and the state? Then there's the question of centralization versus diffusion; is bigger better, or more better? Do these projects require copies, or do they inspire others that are better and more relevant? Are they examples of direct action and self-organization, or do they come with leaders and directors (sometimes called "influential militnats" or "revolutionary nuclei")? Are they used to recruit followers and/or cadre, or are they used to promote solidarity and mutual aid?

Bring The Ruckus champions Copwatch, while others propose extending Independent Media Centers, micropower radio stations, zines, Food Not Bombs. Infoshops, cafes, performance spaces, and other hangouts are sometimes mentioned in the context of "the creation of dual power". Barter networks, worker collectives, food co-ops, independent unions, and squats also get brought up on occasion. These self-organized projects exist currently for providing mutual aid and support to various communities around the world. They are alternative infrastructures for taking care of the needs of antiauthoritarians trying to eke out some kind of decent living. Creating and maintaining an antiauthoritarian infrastructure of autonomous institutions is good practice for making and carrying out some important decisions in our lives, but it's impossible for me to believe that these projects could have the potential to challenge the loyalty of non-subculture people toward the state. until people's allegiance to the state begins to shift toward these or other alternative or counter-institutions, there's nothing that even remotely resembles dual power in the works. Indeed, until the state feels threatened by these independent institutions, those who sit in the places of real power will continue to ignore them. Either that or they will silently cheer them on because voluntarism is more efficient (and less expensive to them) than welfare programs. Using the term dual power to describe Food Not Bombs, or your local infoshop, or even your local autonomous union, is a parody of history.

What is real dual power? Lenin & Trotsky speak

"What constitutes the essense of dual power? We must pause upon this question, for an illumination of it has never appeared i historic literature... a class, deprived of power, inevitably strives to some extent to swerve the governmental course in its favor. This does not as yet mean, however, that two or more powers are ruling in society... The two-power regime arises only out of irreconcilable class conflicts - is possible, therefore, only in a revolutionary epoch, and constitutes one of its fundamental elements." Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution.

"The basic question of every revolution is that of state power. Unless this question is understood, there can be no intelligent participation in the revolution, not to speak of guidance of the revolution. The highly remarkable feature of our revolution is that it has brought about a dual power...Nobody previously thought, or could have thought, of a dual power. What is that dual power? Alongside the ...government of the bourgeoisie, another government has arisen, so far weak and incipient, but undoubtedly a government that actually exists and is growing - the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies..The fundamental characteristics of this [dual power] are:

the source of power is not a law previously discussed and enacted by parliament, but the direct initiative of the people from below, in their local areas...;

the replacement of the police and the army; which are institutions divorced from the people and set against the people, by the direct arming of the whole people; order in the state under such a power is maintained by the armed workers and peasants themselves, by the armed people themselves;

officialdom, the bureaucracy, are either similarly replaced by the direct rule of the people themselves or at least placed under special control..."
Lenin, Pravda April 9, 1917."

Lenin and Trotsky were the ones who originally used the term, so we must look at what they said about it and how they meant it. For these two theorists of Bolshevism, dual power is a condition of revolutionary tension, where the allegiance of the population is split between bourgeois (or non-bourgeois) rule and the incipient governing power of "the people" (through their deputies in the soviets). A general arming of "the people" is a central characteristic of such a revolutionary moment. For Lenin and Trotsky, the term dual power is used as a descriptive category rather than a strategy; looking back on the revolution in Petrograd in 1905, in which the first soviet (council) came into existence spontaneously, Trotsky formulated the term to describe the situation. For Leninists, dual power is the ultimate revolutionary conflict, when the state must fight to survive; overt challenges to its ability to govern are made by councils that, as well as commanding the loyalty of a majority of the population, have the ability to execute and enforce their decisions.

The two main factors leading to a divergent loyalty to each government in Russia in 1917 were domestic and foreign policy. Domestically, the Provisional Government had a difficult time solving the conflicts between workers and owners and between peasants and landlords; being bourgeois, its members wanted the resolution to be based on legal and peaceful compromise. The more radical members of the soviets, factory committees, and peasant committees were interested in worker control and expropriation of property - hence some tension. Externally, the Provisional Government was committed to continuing Russian military involvement in the First World War, while the Bolsheviks were split between those who wanted to conclude a separate peace (Lenin) and those who wanted to widen the war into a general European revolutionary class war (Trotsky). This was the second, and arguably the more crucial, tension that existed between the Provisional Government and the growing power of the Bolshevik-dominated soviets. Incidentally, the decision-making process was not one of the causes of the tension. The soviets could have been what they eventually became within a year -rubber-stamping organs of Bolshevik dictatorship over the workers - and still constituted organs of dual power so long as their members were armed and willing to confront the police and military formations still loyal to the bourgeois state.

Dual power in its original sense, then, is not a program or even a strategy, but a description of a transitional political tension and conflict that must be resolved. The Bolsheviks knew that their periodicals didn't constitute organs of dual power; they knew that their meeting-places didn't; they knew that their legal aid committees didn't; they knew that all of their self-help groups didn't. They were clear that the organs of dual power were the soviets of workers, peasants, and soldiers, which were making and executing decisions on production and distribution of goods and services, ownership and control of factories and land, and how to dea with an imperialist war. As authoritarians and statists, they were equally clear that these organs needed to be guided and ultimately controlled by them in order to create the necessary infrastructure for a new "workers' government". The Bolsheviks understood that this tension must ievitably end either in revolution or reaction. The situation of dual power must end with the state crushing the (more or less) independent power of counter-institutions based on an armed population, or the successful taking over/replacement of the state by "the people" and their counter-institutions.

I have no objections to the adoption of non-anarchist ideas, models, or vocabulary to anarchist theory and practice; many aspects of anarchism would be impossible to describe without Marxist language and ideas. However, it is usually clear from the context of their usage that when anarchists say certain things that are also said by Marxists, their meanings are different: "revolution", for example. Language changes through time, but the insinuation of the term dual power into anarchist discourse is a sign of muddled thinking and creeping Leninism, the unfortunate legacy of Love & Rage and similar groupings. Its use by those who call themselves anarchists to describe a situation that is supposed to be anarchist is ahistorical and therefore inaccurate. Its use by Revolutionary Anarchists is vague (at best), confusing - and confused - and too far outside the realm of normative anarchism to accept. Anyone with even a basic grasp of radical history will be able to recognize this. It is a borrowed term with a borrowed history; that history cannot be separated from the term.

Love & Rage and the influence and legacy of Leninism

The Love & Rage project began in the late 1980s when the desire for a mass anarchist federation coincided with the supposed defection to anarchism of all members of the New York-based Trotskyist Revolutionary Socialist League. The RSL had been flirting with anarchists as early as '83, when they began having comradely relations with the New York chapter of the Workers' Solidarity Alliance, an anarcho-syndicalist group. L&R took over all the resources of the RSL, including their newspaper (The Torch). This capital extraction allowed them to create a new kind of anarchism - one that was heavily influenced by a mixture of traditional Leninism, New Leftist identity politics, and anti-imperialism. They called it "revolutionary anarchism" and sometimes referred to their ideas as "anarcho-communism" even though they had little to do with the theories and ideas of Kropotkin, Malatesta, Goldman, and others.

They were constantly working on their Statement of Principles, which was meant to show their distinctions from other anarchist and Leninist tendencies. Fewer and fewer individuals worked on the statement, feeding rumors of a small group of influential cadre who were really in control; the many other pseudonyms of "Ned Day" were seen as a cover for the dearth of diverse voices. The specter of democratic centralism was spreading. There had been similar speculation from the very beginning. At the conference where the name of the project and their newspaper was decided, some participants had the feeling that the decisions had been made prior to the actual conference, that the conference was used as a public rubberstamp to create a false democratic face for the organization. Tha strong influence of bolshevism is clear. One participant at the founding conference even went so far as to suggest that they name the paper The Torch.

Hooked into the opportunist politics of anti-imperialism, members of L&R were expected to be supportive of the national liberation movements of oppressed peoples in their struggles to create new states. This generates its own contradictions; but in one of the later incarnations of the Statement, the organization came out infavor of "weaker states" in their struggles against "stronger states". Especially galling at that time (of Operation Desert Shield followed by the Gulf Massacre of 1990-91) was that this was clearly a reference to Iraq - this even after the revelations of the previous mass gassings of Kurds, among other atrocities perpetrated by this "weaker state". Such was their commitment to anti-statism, the cornerstone of anarchism.

Having learned nothing from the previous attempts to create national and continental anarchist federations, L&R - immediately after it formed - began to lose members through attrition, and the group split not once, but twice; the final split fractured the membership in three directions. Like most similar organizations, at a certain point the tension between ideological flexibility and conformity came to a head, with many feeling that the organizational model chosen and used by L&R after the first split had become incompatible with anarchist ideas. Others decided that the problem was not with the organizational model, but with the anarchism, and they descended into Maoism. Indeed, well before the final split (it could be argued from its very inception), L& R looked and sounded more like a Marxist-Leninist outfit with a circle-A clumsily slaapped over a hammer-and-sickle. This is the legacy that L&R has left to groups like NEFAC and Bring The Ruckus, both of which include former members of L&R.

Anarcho-Bolshevism?

NEFAC is a champion of the Platform. Regardless of their criticisms of specifics (what is not included in it), NEFAC members find the overall idea of a highly-structured organization with written bylaws and other formal disciplinary measures to be a positive development for anarchists. The Platform was written by several veterans and supporters of the Makhnovist insurgent army of the Ukraine, which was active from 1918-1921. Having successfully beaten thw Whites (counter-revolutionaries fighting for the restoration of the monarchy and private capitalism), the Ukrainian anarchists had to face Trotsky's Red Army. The Makhnovists were finally defeated. Makhno and several of his general staff eventually escaped to Paris, where, after a number of years of recovering and establishing contacts with other anarchist exiles from the Soviet Union, they began a project that culminated in the publication and circulation of the Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists. In this document, they attempted to explain and understand the reasons for their loss in particular, and the more general loss of an antiauthoritarian people's revolution to the Bolsheviks. They decided that among the main causes were that the anarchist were not disciplined and dedicated (and ruthless?) enough. As a result, they attempted to emulate the political formation of the victorious Bolsheviks (democratic centralism, an untouchable central committee) without using the terminology of the Bolsheviks. They wanted to out-Bolshevize the Bolsheviks, in the hopes of winning the next round of the struggle. It was for these reasons that the Platform was publicly condemned by ex-Makhnovists (including Voline), anarcho-communists (like Malatesta), and others as being a sectarian attempt to create an anarchist program with a Bolshevik organizational structure. The Platform project was unsuccessful.

There is a nagging question in this organizational discussion: why have the promoters of formally structured membership organizations taken an example from a historically unimportant document, an example of unrivalled ineffectiveness? Why have they not used as a model the most "successful" anarchist mass organization - the FAI (Iberian Anarchist Federation)? From the time of its official founding in 1927, the FAI was feared by government agents, and cheered by a majority of Spanish anarchists. In the decade of their revolutionary activity the members of the FAI made many mistakes, most notable the entry of some of its members into the Catalan and Spanish governments in 1936. Despite that extremely serious lapse in judgment, the fact remanis that the FAI was a real and functioning anarchist federation, and commanded a lot of respect both inside and outside the Spanish anarchist movement. A practical issue that makes the FAI a better example of anarchist organization is that it was based on real affinity groups, developed as an extension of members' familiarity and solidarity with each other. This is in stark contrast to the Platform model, which proposes a pre-existing structure that collectives are supposed to join; it puts the cart before the horse, creating a federative project where there may be no need and no interest in creating a federation in the first place. Members of the FAI had known and been active with each other for many years before they decided to create the Federation, mostly as a response to legal repression against the broader anarchist movement during the 1920s. Its members maintained their ties to a traditional and recognizable form of anarchism. After it was allowed to operate openly, only its reformist rivals condemned it as being anarcho-Bolshevik; other anarchists sometimes condemned it for being too liberal (i.e., generous to its enemies).

The Platform, on the other hand, did not result in anything concrete, other than its condemnation from almost all contemporary anarchist activists and writers as a call for some bizarre hybrid of anarchism and Bolshevism. No actual General Union of Libertarian Communists was formed after the Organizationa Platformi was circulated. The project of creating a semi-clandestine militarized vanguard (complete with an executive committee) of anarcho-communists was soon after abandoned by the Russian exiles. For almost 70 years the document itself languished in relative obscurity, a curio from anarchist history, something to titillate the trivia-minded. What made it worth rediscovering?

The anarcho-communism of the Platformists is eerily similar to the authoritarian communism of various Leninist gangs. From a cursory examination of their published rhetoric, it is difficult not to conclude that they have taken the "successful" aspects of a Leninist program, a Leninist vision, and Lenino-Maoist organizing, and more or less removed or modified the vocabulary of the more obviously statist parts. The promoters of this hybridized anarchism - should it be called anarcho-Leninism? - draw on the Platform the same way that the writers of the Platform drew on lenism. In doing this, the Platformists are in turn trying to reclaim a moment in anarchist history that had been largely (and well-deservedly) forgotten as an embarrassment. By fabricating a "Platformist tradition", they hope to give themselves an impeccable anarchist pedigree, allowing the discussion of "anarchist dual power" to ocurr without needing to justify such a contradictory concept. Unfortunately for them, however, there was never such a "Platformist tradition".

Tha creation of "anarchist dual power" by the descendants and disciples of Love & Rage goes against the ideas of a more recognizable anarchism (that is, one not directly influenced by Leninist ideas). The fans of this "anarchist dual power" have adopted a , shall we say, unique perspective on the issue of dual power. Historically the term dual power has been used as a way of understanding the class-based tensions that lead either to periods of reaction or political (i.e., statist) revolution. It is clearly meant to describe a condition of loyalty split between an existing state and a state-in-formation. As the L&R Member Handbook correctly states (as quoted above): "Dual power is a state of affairs in which people have created institutions that fulfill all the useful functions formerly provided by the state." How this "state of affairs" can be anti-statist is never explained - for the unspectacularly simple reason that it cannot be explained within an anti-statist conceptual model. The entire dual power discourse is concerned with government, with how to create and maintain a set of institutions that can pull the allegiance of the governed away from the existing state. Unless the partisans of dual power have worked out a radically different understanding of what power is, where its legitimacy comes from, how it is maintained, and - more importantly - how anarchists can possible exercise it within a framework that is historically statist, the discussion of "anarchist dual power" is a mockery of the anarchist principle of being against government.





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Anarcho-Communists, Platformism, and Dual Power: Innovation or Travesty? | 99 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
comment by Western Sun
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 11:18 PM CST
I find it funny how Platformist anarchism and reactions to it in north american anarchist circles have identical roots

(I mean, hell, read the WSM intro to Makhno\'s Platform of the Libertarian Communists)
comment by rise
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 11:41 PM CST
I find it interesting how the same accusations are made continually, on under a different title. This time, Jarach is saying that the anarchist conception of \"dual power\" is a marxist-leninist one [indeed, even a trotskyist one] through ontological presentation, rathen than the actual usage of the word. In short, when anarchists speak of dual power, we don\'t mean the same thing Lenin did, we are talking about our conception of it.

The charge that platformists seek to \"out-bolshevize\" the bolsheviks for obvious reasons doesn\'t make any sense. Probably because it sounds better than stating what we really want, namely to out-organise the marxists. That\'s right, we want to organise even better, using egalitarian methodology, so we can defeat them in a revolutionary situation. It\'s easy for \"post-leftists\" like Jarach to criticise this when their own ideology doesn\'t concretely deal with the whole \"revolution\" thing.

Interesting is Jarach\'s decision to compare a synthesist federation, the Spanish FAI [which desipte his criticisms was still infinitely more succesful than any post-leftist group or action has been or ever will be] with NEFAC, a platformist federation on a different continent with a different membership that\'s not tied to an anarcho-syndicalist union [the FAI was closely inter-related with the CNT in Spain, was slightly more seperate from the trade unions in Portugal].
The continual implication that NEFAC is a mass organisation seems ridiculous considering they have consistently stated they are NOT a mass organisation.

I would challenge post-leftists to actually give examples of how platformists have copied \"lenino-maoist\" organising - I see this charge as being hollow [further, historically, leninists and maoists have copied anarchist organising techniquse to be more succesful]. Jarach doesn\'t even understand platformist organising, as he thinks that the typical platformist structure is that of collectives joining a federation.

And by the way, FNAC believes in \"collective responsibliity and strategic and tactical unity\" as well. Huh. Wonder when FRAC-GLR and FNAC will start getting trashed by the post-leftists. Or how about what\'s left of the IWW? Maybe a few shots the IWA/AIT\'s way? And whil they\'re at it, im sure the hacks in the Anarchy:AJODA sandbox would love to trash the anarchist movement abroad, starting with those horrible platformists struggling in Argentina!
comment by Workers' Cause
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:19 AM CST
I think a qoute from the Organizational Platform of Libertarian Commuminists is apt for this article, magazine and a lot of the \'discussion\' about platformism vs. post-leftism on this website. I guess a whole lot hasn\'t changed in 76 years.

\"We foresee that several representatives of self-styled individualism and chaotic anarchism will attack us, foaming at the mouth, and accuse us of breaking anarchist principles. However, we know that the individualist and chaotic elements understand by the title \'anarchist principles\' political indifference, negligence and absence of all responsibility, which have caused in our movement almost incurable splits, and against which we are struggling with all our energy and passion. This is why we can calmly ignore the attacks from this camp.\"
comment by do something
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:37 AM CST
It a travesty! No I mean an innovation!! An innovative travesty!!!
comment by Necrotic State
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:58 AM CST
Here we go again.
comment by Brady
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:18 AM CST
where is the quote from?
comment by I find it funny...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:25 AM CST
That after I just got past two threads that explain the excellant organizational strategy by NEFAC, and ESPECIALLY Green Mountain, I find some whiny fucker complaining about the internal structure of the organization and how it\'s similar to some authoritarian structures, when they haven\'t a shred of evidence to explain exactly HOW!?!?! Dual power is not explicitly authoritarian. It\'s like saying that apples MUST be fundamentally yellow, because GEEZ - they\'re fruits JUST LIKE bananas! NEFAC has NEVER been authoritarian in practice or theory, no matter how close some terms sound similar. The closest they came to being somewhat questionable in activity was when they freely disassociated themselves with a couple of folks who they decided they weren\'t comfortable working with. OH MY! what\'s this? \"free association\"....Oh yeah that\'s one of those incredibly important principles of anarchism. The idea that people can build organizations and decide amongst themselves that they don\'t want to work with people they don\'t feel like. It\'s not like they suddenly convicted someone amd sent them into prison. I hope that they don\'t freely associate themselves into being authoritarians, especially since the whole foundation of the organization is based on what? anarchism!
comment by WC
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:28 AM CST
It\'s from \"the platform\" that platformism draws ideas from. The organizational platform of libertarian communists.
comment by Reverend Chuck0
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:27 AM CST
Infoshop publishes a range of news and opinion from the anarchist press.
comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 04:56 AM CST
You will find the full text of \'The Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists\' aka \'the platform\' at http://struggle.ws/platform/plat_preface.html

The continutation of the quote above is quite relevant, IE \" ... calmly ignore the attacks from this camp.

We base our hope on other militants: on those who remain faithful to anarchism, having experienced and suffered the tragedy of the anarchist movement, and are painfully searching for a solution.\"

At to the article above, it simply repeats the method of all the similar articls in this issue of AJODA, throw mud and hope it sticks. With the anti-organisations frothing at the mouth in this manner is should be quite clear to anyone intersted in moving beyond the current disorganistion of the movement that the platform is worth reading and considering as a starting point.

[ps Apart from anything else most of the groups mentioned in this article (including Love and Rage) did/do not describe themselves as platformists!]
comment by donald
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 08:54 AM CST
This is so incredibly stupid. Anarcho-communists fought and died against the Bolsheviks.

Disagreeing with anarchist communists is one thing but calling them \"authoritarian\" is just bullshit. I like the NEFAC.
comment by CT Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:05 AM CST
first of all, i\'m surprised that AJODA is worried
about NEFAC\'s supposed vanguardism, but praises the FAI as an example of a \"real\" anarchist organization. We have lots to learn from the FAI, and the degree of repression they faced had a lot to do with the organizational structure they chose... but they were certainly a lot closer to vanguardism than any of the North American platformist organizations. To maintain the direction of the CNT they captured secretary positions and control of the arms\' committee, and called a general strike irresponsibly in \'33(?) without the participation of the rank and file, which resulted in the slaughter at Casas Viejas.

Also, who cares who first used the words \"dual power?\" The problem with capitalism is that it doesn\'t meet the needs of our communities, so we need to meet those needs ourselves through self-organization. That self-organization means survival in the here and now, as well as training us to interact in new, libertarian ways. That\'s my understanding of dual power, and i don\'t understand what the problem with that strategy is...
comment by me
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:16 AM CST
Besides saying that the word \"duel power\" has statist roots, what does this article show? Here I\'ll nefac for you, instead of a tatic of duel power, lets just call it revolution through redundancy. No more evidence nefac is statist, happy now?

Why is this garbage being printed in infoshop, you delete stupid comments, you should delete this article it adds nothing.
comment by Reverend Chuck0
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:31 AM CST
I have several requests as one of the Infoshop moderators:

1) Please keep the discussion civil here. So far it\'s been OK, but some of you get carried away and these discussions turn into flame wars, with the result of making this website and anarchists look bad.
2) Andrew, Makhno, et al: If you have an older article that you want to cite in one of your comments, please link to it, or send it to me to post on Infoshop. Older articles that are submitted as \"news\" with the intention of being a response to an ongoing discussion, will not be approved. The primary goal of Infoshop News is to share news--it was not set up to be a general discussion board. That is what Infoshop forums is for.

Thank you!
comment by DarkAngel
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:10 AM CST
It\'s funny that Jarach probably quoted more Lenin & Trotsky in that article than I ever heard from a NEFAC member.

It\'s also funny to see how he\'s the one using the tactics used by most Trotskyists, that is inferring secret guilt through overanalyzing the semantics of a few phrases from a statement of organisational principles, to paint NEFAC as neo-bolsheviks.

And finally, I find it funny that this was printed in Anarchy mag., a magazine which I thought had one of the best editorial ever when it called for an end to the kind of mud-throwing going on in anarchist circles, and a raising of the level of debate.

I guess the reports of the death of irony have been greatly exagerated.
comment by Christopher Day
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:11 AM CST
I actually have ambivalent feelings about this article.

On the one hand, its account of Love and Rage is an amalgam of lies, gossip and speculation. The suggestion, for example, that I wrote for Love and Rage under multiple pseudonyms, is a lie. The anecdote about someone at our founding conference suggesting that we name the newspaper The Torch is disingenuous, since the \"someone\" was actually a member of Makhno\'s non-group, Some Chicago Anarchists who came to the conference only to disrupt it. The claim that we began to lose members shortly after our founding is also not true. The organization grew slowly but steadily from its founding in 1989 until it split in 1993. Its hard to put numbers on it since we had no formal membership up to that point (one of the matters that contributed to the split). After the split Love and Rage experienced a surge of membership and steady growth until 1996 when the issues that eventually brought down the organization began to fester. If memory serves, in 1996 we had close to 150 members.

On the other hand, I think the article actually raises some important points -- even if it does so in a nasty and sectarian manner.

Jarach Lawrence rightly notes the orignis of the concept of dual power in the writings of Lenin, and also correctly stresses that it is not so much a strategy as a description of a transitional situation. Lawrence is also correct in noting that Love and Rage had something to do with popularizingthe idea of dual power. The person primarily responsible for this was Noel Ignatiev of Race Traitor. Ignatiev was a former member of the Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) who joined Love and Rage for about a year. The outlook of STO was an amalgam of Leninism, autonomist marxism, and anti-imperialism. It was Ignatiev who advanced the idea that dual power should be at the center of any revolutionary strategy. He used the term in a distinct manner to describe pretty much anything that could be regarded as prefigurative of the new society. He offered the sit-in movement for civil rights at the beginning of the 1960s as an example of dual power. This certainly stretched the definition beyond anything that Lenin would have recognized as dual power. It is Ignatiev\'s sense that caught on with some in Love and Rage and beyond, and that has informed BTR\'s take on the question.

My view is that this makes a muddle of a very important and powerful concept. But that muddle should not surprize us. I would argue that it is inherent in anarchism.

Dual power is a term used to describe a phenomena in real world revolutionary situations -- namely the moment when the oppressed classes have constructed organs of self-governance that are contending with the power of the old state. Appropriating the term is a way for anarchists to talk more coherently about the revolutionary process up to the moment before the old state is decisively smashed. In my view this is a good thing because revolutionaries need a way to talk about this stuff, and the Marxist terminology is the richest and most precise.

But situations of dual power are inherently unstable. Sooner or later one of the two powers, the old or the new, must triumph and smash the other. Often enough of course it is the old power. But for a revolutionary situation to become a successful revolution it is the new power that must destroy the old. \"So far so good\" most anarchists would say. But then what?

This is where the anarchist radio goes silent. Because once the new power has decisively smashed the old we enter into another sort of transitional period. The old state may have been smashed, but many of the social conditions that compelled people to make revolution in the first place are still around. And while the old state machinery has been broken into pieces, those pieces are still lying around and there are people very much interested in putting them back together and restoring the old order. Suddenly the organs of self-governance developed by the revolutionary sections of the oppressed have a whole new set of responsibilities. They are responsible for reorganizing production and getting it going so that people can eat and survive. They are responsible for settling disputes not just those within their own ranks, but all the disputes that had previously been taken to the state. They are responsible for ensuring public safety. They are responsible for defending the revolution against organized counter-revolution and/or foreign invasion.

In theory the organs of popular power (soviets, assemblies, etc...) are perfectly democratic expressions of the peoples will in which all voices are heard. In reality however they bear the marks of the society that birthed them. All the inequalities that exist within the oppressed classes themselves will be manifest in the organs they create -- hopefully in lesser degrees of course, but manifest nonetheless. And we know from historical experience that the opportunity to smash the old state has consistently presented itself before the organs of popular power have had an opportunity to draw in the entirety of the oppressed and to perfect their functioning. They are instead flawed human creations involving an energetic fraction of the oppressed -- hopefully a majority, but usually not.

These are the instruments that the oppressed have in their hands to remake the world the day after the successful overthrow of the old state. What they have before them is not the new world itself but an opportunity to embark on its construction, a process that history suggests is not accomplished either quickly or easily.

So what is the character of the popular organs in this period after the smashing of the old state? Lenin argued, I believe correctly, that it constituted a new kind of state. This isn\'t because some nefarious statists or authoritarians impose this outcome. Rather it is because of the logic inherent in the situation. Even if anarchists constituted a solid and controlling majority of the organs of popular power they would constitute a state.

The organs of popular power become a state because there are still social antagonisms that alienate the instruments of governancce from a section of the population. Ideally this section should be as small as possible, consisting exclusively of the old ruling class. Unfortunately in the real world the forces arrayed against the revolution are not limited to the old ruling class, but also usually include a large fraction of the intermediate strata and many people from the ranks of the oppressed classes themselves who are deluded, decieved, corrupted or whatever. And of course the organs of popular power are, no matter how democratic they are, capable of making mistakes that antagonize sections of the opporessed who would otherwise be supportive. Social antagonisms within the working class, along ethnic, religious or job lines, don\'t just evaporate the day after a successful insurrection. Perfectly just and sound policies may nonetheless alienate the more backwards members of the oppressed classes from the organs of popular power.

Anarchism pretends that all of these difficulties can be avoided by good intentions, just by being incorruptible anti-authoritarians. In constrast, Marxists know better. We understand that even under ideal conditions the instruments of self-governance constructed in a period of dual power would constitute a new kind of state in th eperiod following the overthrow of the old state in so far as they represented the interests of one section of society (even if it is a majority ) against another (even if it is a tiny minority). But we also understand that history never hands things over to us in such a tidy fashion. In the real world revolutions are at best made by a plurality of ordinary people with all the contradictions this society loads us all down with and never by a majority of saints.

The anarchist delusion that the period of dual power can be followed immediately by a stateless society is just that, a delusion. As a fantasy it is harmless, but in a revolutionary situation this delusion can serve to disarm the most revolutionary minded among the oppressed and obscure the tasks before them -- namely of building a revolutionary state that is both as genuinely democratic as possible and strong enough to resist and defeat the forces of counter-revolution that will attack it.
comment by CT Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:30 AM CST
Chris Day-

How do your comments hold up if we view revolutionary struggle as a constant process, and not the traditional marxist view of revolutionary struggle as a straight line that ends in a utopia that is eerily similar to heaven in the Christian cultural tradition that Marxism comes from?

Also, if the dual power strategy means creating alternative institutions that both make life livable right now and socialize us in new ways, these institutions would secure the allegiance of most people simply because it is the only place their needs are met. In contrast to a post-\"revolutionary\" state they would be decentralized, so it would be much more difficult for the counterrevolutionary types to gain control of. If a state was still around, it would be a relatively simple thing for the old elite (or a new one) to gain control of and use the centralized powers of the state to control the rest of the population. Even if counterrevolutionaries gained control of some dual-power institutions, they wouldn\'t have the same leverage over the rest of the population as they would if they had the mechanism of a state at their disposal.
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:47 AM CST
\"Dual Power\" hasn\'t actually made it into any collective NEFAC document yet. The above quote that was in Barricada is from one NEFAC member, not the Federation as a whole. The commitee that was drafting some revisions to the Aims & Principles is evenly split over whether to include a section on dual power or not.

\"Revolutionary Dual Power: Mass protests and social struggles lack revolutionary potential if we are not actively creating bases of power in our communities and working places which have the ability to create ruptures within the capitalist social order. Revolutionary dual power is a strategy of developing counter-institutions (including workplace committees, community organizations, and popular councils) and radical social alternatives that are antagonistic to both capitalism and the state, and reinforced by a mass working class culture of resistance. A strategy of revolutionary dual power is a temporary situation and one which can only reach fruition within the context of an massive revolutionary crisis within capitalism and which has the ultimate aim of superseding the dominant power structure entirely.\"

Anyway, NEFAC seems to be divided over the issue, and it\'ll probably come up to a vote. I imagine this section will just be cut from the document.

Wayne Price questions What, If Anything, Is A Dual Power Strategy? (Northeastern Anarchist #5) Quite frankly, I think he addresses the issue better than Larwence Jarach does. He concludes \"Whether or not this oppositional approach is called a dual power strategy is not important. I do not see any advantage to calling it dual power. There is no point in tying our hands with rigid definitions of what sort of struggles may or may not be supported.\"
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:51 AM CST
The question of the relationship of the concept of \"dual power\" as it is currently used by some anarchists to the \"dual power\" notion developed by Lenin & Trotsky is, I believe, an extremely important one for anarchists to discuss. Some might take the naive position that there is no relationship other than the use of the same words to describe two radically different ideas. Others might see some historical and theoretical continuity in the usage of the dual power concept, but insist that over time, and in the context of current anarchist practice, it has acquired a significance that it did not originally have.

As Jarach points out, it is quite normal for anarchists to use some Marxist terms in their own discourse, so the mere fact that some anarchists are today using a phrase originally coined by Bolsheviks is not, in itself, evidence of their lack of sincerity or confusion about anarchist principles. It is clear from the quotations that Lawrence provided at the beginning of this article that groups like Love & Rage, Bring The Ruckus, and NEFAC see dual power as a dynamic revolutionary strategy, rather than a description of an existing state of affairs, in the sense that Lenin and Trotsky used the term. I agree with this \"strategy\" insofar as it is just an attempt to create, as this essay puts it, \"... self-organized projects...for providing mutual aid and support to various communities around the world\", or \"...alternative infrastructures for taking care of the needs of antiauthoritarians trying to eke out some kind of decent living\". However, the advocates of anarchist dual power seem to define the concept in a more explicitly political way, as an attempt to create an alternative power structure, and this is precisely where the idea becomes problematic. This article ends with a stark challenge:

Unless the partisans of dual power have worked out a radically different understanding of what power is, where its legitimacy comes from, how it is maintained, and - more importantly - how anarchists can possible exercise it within a framework that is historically statist, the discussion of \"anarchist dual power\" is a mockery of the anarchist principle of being against government.

It is certainly no accident that the same groups advocating an anarchist dual power strategy are those which call for more tactical and theoretical unity in the anarchist movement, and promote platformist organizational structures for anarchist groups; the quote from Barricada at the beginning of this essay makes that connection explicit. Bring The Ruckus also makes no secret of its quasi-leninist affinities, as the following quote from their Statement shows:

A revolutionary organization for the 21st century needs to forge a path between the Leninist vanguard party favored by traditional Marxist parties and the loose \"network\" model of organizing favored by many anarchists and activists today.

This statement from the Organizational Section of the Platform shows how indebted its authors were to Bolshevik methods of organization:

The idea of the General Union of Anarchists poses the problem of the co-ordination and concurrence of the activities of all the forces of the anarchist movement.

Every organisation adhering to the Union represents a vital cell of the common organism. Every cell should have its secretariat, executing and guiding theoretically the political and technical work of the organisation.


I am certain that the majority of activists in organizations like NEFAC, Bring The Ruckus, etc., are committed anarchists with the best intentions, but I must agree with Lawrence Jarach that their ideological adherence to ideas like dual power and platformism represents deep theoretical confusion, and may lead to results, or lack of results, that were neither foreseen or desired.

comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:54 AM CST
First off, and this is not an ad-honeum, its worth noting that Chris who is from one end of the \'post-anarchist\' spectrum is the first to see something positive in this written as it is by someone from the other end. More on this at the end.

I want to tackle Chris\'s comment that \"Even if anarchists constituted a solid and controlling majority of the organs of popular power they would constitute a state.\" This is pretty interesting because it suggest he either never got or has forgotten one of the basic principles of anarchism. That is we don\'t achieve a free society by being in power \'controlling majority of the organs of popular power\' but by getting the idea of a libertarian society to by the majority goal of these organisations. The distinction is pretty important as one of the major internal flaws of Leninism is that these two things are one and the same. Or rather a semi mystical idea that IF the party can have the majority at some stage in these organs it wins/earns the right to impose its will from that point on.

This is an important question. Chris rightly points out the problem of counter-revolution and the \'transition\' period before a new society is created. Neither of these ideas is terribly controversal for anarchists (again something Chris has \'forgotten\'). The controversy is the solution proposed.

The anarchist solution is indeed a tricky one. Chris is right to point out that the problems what exist in this society in terms of division within the proletariat will exist on day +1 of the revolution. That is where the US working class today is often deeply divided by racism at least some of this will carry over into a new society. So, on day 2 of the revolution, Chris worries that with the removal of the liberal states strong hand in areas with a majority \'white\' population minorities could find themselves in a worst situation.

I think denying the risk is stupid. But I also believe that, at least in the short term, revolutionary upsurges in which all the proleteriat fights together tend to greatly reduce, if not eliminate such frictions. I\'m also inclined to believe that a movement that has not already made great steps in that direction BEFORE the revolution will almost certainly fail to overthrow capital due to the manipulations of such internal divisions.

However it would be stupid to deny any such risk exists. So is there an alternative?

The only alternative seems to be the one that Chris advocates. That is that in the course of the revolution a mass party is built of the vanguard and that -as in Russia and China - the moment of revolution is also taken to be the moment at which that party earns the right to rule from that point on. As he is following the Chinese rather then the Russian model I presume he is willing to allow considerable faction struggles within the party which sometimes even spill over into attempts to mobilise larger sections of society behind specific programs.

I\'ll presume Chris has not forgotten the \'predictive\' anarchist critiques of such arrangements - ie the warnings of Bakunin and others that such an arrangement would lead to a dictatorship of scientists. Yet the problems would seem to be that in the comparison with other forms of revolution, from the limited anarchist experiment in Spain to the various anti-colonial revolts this \'party dictatorship\' methodology seems to come out worst of all.

That is, unless you are willing to limit yourself to official pig-iron statistics it seems that not only did these methods fail in their eventual goal they also created dictatorships that were so bloody that they are only rivalled by fascism. This led them to an end point, already witnessed in Russia, pretty obvious in China and widespread elsewhere where the new elite that grew out of this party form reintroduces \'market capital\' in a brutal fashion. Thus not only did you end up with a similar economic form to the purely nationalist post-colonial revolts of the same period (Ireland or India being two examples) but you do so in the context that the very idea of \'socialism\' has been totally discredited amongst the working class in general. Thus today in the Czech republic for instance, marching around with a red flag emblazoned with a hammer a sickle is about as popular as doing so with a swastika (perhaps less so).

There was a famous exchange sometime around 1920 between Trotsky and the anarchist Voline after Voline had complained to him about the authoratarian course of the revolution. Trotsky had replied to such criticisms by observing that \'you can\'t make an omlette without breaking eggs\'. Voline retorted \'OK, I can see the broken eggs, now show me this omlette you are talking of\'.

The standard reply tends to be that the \'wrong guys\' in the party got into power. Even accepting this we now have a risk equation to make, which strategy seems risker to you

1. The possible tyranny of a majority of prejudiced workers who can trap an oppressed layer of the working class.
2. The creation of an authoritarian party in which the \'wrong guy\' ends up on top.

Anarchists pretty much go for the first risk, post anarchists worry about it to the extent that some of them end up seeing revolution as impossible while others end up going for option 2.
comment by Stirner
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 11:38 AM CST
When you are trashing NEFAC can you at least quote official NEFAC documents (easyly accessible on our web site).

For exemple, the author leave the reader with the impression that NEFAC use the concept of the \"platformist tradition\" when in fact it is the WSM who does this (NEFAC talk about \"the communist tradition within anarchism\" wich obviously include platformism but is not limited to it). Furthermore, it give the distinct impression that NEFAC formaly identify as \'platformist\' and everything it stand\'s for while nowhere in the official documents of the organisation is the word \"platformist\" or \"platformism\" used. The thing is we are influenced by the platform but we do not make an ideology out of a short pamphlet. Also, you get the impression reading this that NEFAC is structured around local\'s while this is not true, we only reconise collectives and affinity groups. There\'s a couple other stupidity but I\'ll stop at that.

(BTW Like Flint said, dual power is not yet an accepted concept in NEFAC. I, for one, oppose the current use of the idea. I also agree that the term is best used in the original \'leninist\' meaning as a short revolutionnary moment. The way today anarchists use the term is more in line with the old anarcho-syndicalist concept of \'building the new society in the shell of the old\'. I think if we want to stick to the idea of \'power\' a better term to describe what anarchist who use the term mean is \'counter-power\' and \'counter-institution\'. Some will argue that the very use of the term \'power\' is antithetical with anarchism but I disagree. I think the important thing to know is who have the power.)
comment by rise
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 11:43 AM CST
\"it is not by bread alone that man survives\". Marxism lacks the critical psycho-sociological basis to contrast its materialism [anarchism also strongly relies on the \"conquest of bread\" analysis] that anarchism so willingly adopts.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 11:53 AM CST
I agree with Stirner that in order to understand NEFAC\'s views on organization, we should look at official NEFAC documents, such as their Constitution, which would have made the authors of the Platform proud. Stirner\'s views on power are a little unclear to me, however. Why would an anarchist want any person or group to exercise power? If we are speaking only of control over one\'s own life, then use of the word \"power\" is superfluous; in the context of an organization or community reaching decisions by majority rule, the concept of power takes on a rather different meaning.
comment by Stirner
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:21 PM CST
Makhno wrote: \"Why would an anarchist want any person or group to exercise power?\"

Just like Makhno pointed out, there\'s the issue of the power of the individual over it\'s own life and the power various groups of people must have over their own activity. To me freedom and liberty are all about power: the \"power to\".

I think anarchism is about power to the people or rather people\'s power.

Get it?
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:28 PM CST
When one discusses power in the context of a group, this implies that decisions are being made that affect the group as a whole. If all individuals in the group agreed about all issues all of the time, this would be no problem; since this is obviously not going to be the case, what you have is a political conflict, a power struggle. Some members of the group will favor one course of action, others will wish to pursue a different one. One person or faction must prevail, hence they are exercising power over those members of the group who disagreed with them.

Get it?
comment by :(
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 01:11 PM CST
So is everyone saying that anarchism is just stateless fascism?

Too bad.
comment by
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 01:16 PM CST
from the original article:

\"The anarcho-communism of the Platformists is eerily similar to the authoritarian
communism of various Leninist gangs.\"

Which is nonsense. Since when did Leninists argue for self-management?
Abolition of the state? Where has a Platformist group argued for the seizure
of state power by a vanguard?

\"From a cursory examination of their published rhetoric, it is difficult not to
conclude that they have taken the \"successful\" aspects of a Leninist program,
a Leninist vision, and Lenino-Maoist organizing, and more or less removed or
modified the vocabulary of the more obviously statist parts.\"

Again, rubbish. Its clear that Platformists have no such similar \"vision\" as Leninism
nor do they support Leninist organising. And no Leninist group favours the ideas of
liberty, self-management, federalism and so on? Nevermind try and apply them?

Makhno writes:

\"The question of the relationship of the concept of \"dual power\" as it is
currently used by some anarchists to the \"dual power\" notion developed by
Lenin & Trotsky is, I believe, an extremely important one for anarchists to
discuss.\"

Surely this is a bit like the right-wing argument that \"Lenin called himself a
communist. as did Kropotkin. therefore anarchists are simply Leninists\"?

Just to state the obvious, Lenin called himself a communist. So did Kropotkin.
They meant different things by the term. Concentrate on what is being argued,
not what it is called.

I\'m not a Platformist, but I know enough about it and current Platformist influenced
groups to know that they are *not* secret Leninists or influenced by Leninism. They
seek to learn from history, not to repeat it. We should be encouraging this, not
labelling it \"anarcho-Bolshevik\"
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:39 PM CST
You\'re getting sucked in Stirner. Debates with Makhno lead nowhere but to increasingly levels of abstract thought divorced from reality. Don\'t waste your time. Learn from my mistakes!
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:47 PM CST
Come on, Flint, don\'t be a sore loser. Just because you can\'t successfully defend your positions doesn\'t mean nobody else should try.
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:52 PM CST
Ha!
comment by Ted Ludd
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:01 PM CST
I say fuck a \"counter-institution\" and fuck all institutions for that matter.
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:03 PM CST
Yeah, down with infoshops everywhere!
*sigh* Do you all really believe this stuff?
comment by Harry Hope
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:08 PM CST
Smartest thing you\'ve ever said to Makhno, Flint. \"Ha!\" Man I\'m glad you read so many books.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 03:32 PM CST
Our anonymous poster from Monday January 13 2003 @ 11:16AM PST doesn\'t seem too well-informed on the issues that are being discussed here. For one thing, Lawrence Jarach spelled out exactly how the Love & Rage Federation was not only influenced by Leninism, but actually founded by ex-members of a Trotskyist sect, as well as one notorious \"anarchist\" who later openly proclaimed his allegiance to Maoism (by the way, for anyone who\'s curious, the individual at L&R\'s founding conference who suggested that they call their newspaper The Torch was Jon Bekken, an anarcho-syndicalist). Also, let me re-print the following quote from Bring The Ruckus\' Statement:

A revolutionary organization for the 21st century needs to forge a path between the Leninist vanguard party favored by traditional Marxist parties and the loose \"network\" model of organizing favored by many anarchists and activists today.

Official documents for groups like NEFAC and Workers\' Solidarity make no overt references to Leninism, and do explicitly reject vanguardism; however, they do insist on the importance of theoretical and tactical unity, as well as that vague concept, the \"leadership of ideas\", and are structured on a basis of strict political formalism. Their revolutionary theory shares the Leninist emphasis on the importance of class struggle, as well as the practical goal of operating as a separate political entity within the working class in order to \"steer\" or \"guide\" workers\' struggles in a more radical direction.

The Platform itself was written in response to a crushing defeat of an anarchist movement by the Bolsheviks, so how could one say that it was not influenced by Leninism? Was the Platform a complete and total rejection of Leninist principles? Hardly. Again, a quote from the Organizational Section:

The idea of the General Union of Anarchists poses the problem of the co-ordination and concurrence of the activities of all the forces of the anarchist movement.

Every organisation adhering to the Union represents a vital cell of the common organism. Every cell should have its secretariat, executing and guiding theoretically the political and technical work of the organisation.


The specter of Bolshevism looms large over this document.

As I said before, I am not arguing that the majority of members of contemporary platformist and platform-inspired groups are not serious anarchists, but rather, that their theory and organizational structure have been influenced, albeit unconsciously, by Leninism to the point where many other anarchists find their approach rather distasteful.


comment by MaRK
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 03:46 PM CST
In my personal opinion, I\'d say that if NEFAC is indeed \"influenced\" by just enough Leninism to make anarchists like yourself, Bob Black, Jason McQuinn, or Lawrence Jarach find our approach \"distasteful\" and not want anything to do with us, well, I would say that Lenin has made at least one useful contribution to the anarchist movement!

Ha, ha, ha...

comment by anarcho
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 03:48 PM CST
\"So what is the character of the popular organs in this period after the
smashing of the old state? Lenin argued, I believe correctly, that it constituted
a new kind of state. This isn\'t because some nefarious statists or
authoritarians impose this outcome.\"

Given that lenin constantly equated \"workers power\" with \"party power\" and
constantly stressed that the Bolshevik party would take power, the conclusion
that he was an authoritarian is pretty much correct. As such , his vision was
statist as it was based on hierarchical power -- the masses elect a few party
leaders who have the real power.

\"The organs of popular power become a state because there are still social
antagonisms that alienate the instruments of governancce from a section of
the population.\"

But as the state is based on *delegated power* then the \"instruments of
governance\" are, by definition, alienated from the population under the
so-called workers state. In so far as the population manage their own
fates then its not a state. In so far as power is centralised in the hands of
a few party leaders, it is a state.

\"Unfortunately in the real world the forces
arrayed against the revolution are not limited to the old ruling class, but also
usually include a large fraction of the intermediate strata and many people
from the ranks of the oppressed classes themselves who are deluded,
decieved, corrupted or whatever.\"

So the \"dictatorship of the proletariat\" is required to dictate to the proletariat?
And lets not forget that once the Bolsheviks were in power the \"ranks\" of the
\"deluded, deceived, corrupted or whatever\" became, in fact, the whole of the
proletariat! Hence the Bolshevik truism of the \"dictatorship of the party,\" for
the party monopoly of power to protect the working class from itself.

For more on this visit:

http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secH3.html#sech38

I wish more Leninists were as honest as this! Yes, lets hear for the
\"dictatorship of the proletariat\" which exists to make sure that the
proles do what the party thinks is best!
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 03:54 PM CST
Well, Mark,

As Kruschev said - \"We will bury you.\"
comment by anarcho
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 04:03 PM CST
I forgot to add my details in my first post, sorry. Anyways...

\"Their revolutionary theory shares the Leninist
emphasis on the importance of class struggle\"

That obviously means that Bakunin was a Leninist, as
was Kropotkin, Malatesta, Goldman and Berkman! I\'m
amazed that an anarchist could claim that anarchism
does not emphasis the importance of class struggle! I
expect that sort of nonsense from the likes of the SWP
(ISO). And I\'m sorry to be rude, but a claim like that is
just an insult to the intelligence!

\"as well as the practical goal of
operating as a separate political entity within the working class in order to
\"steer\" or \"guide\" workers\' struggles in a more radical direction.\"

As Malatesta, Bakunin, Voline and so on also argued for! That is a
common anarchist position -- and one the anti-platformists like Voline
did *not* disagree with. The question was *how* anarchists do that,
not whether they did or not.

And, of course, why have papers, webpages, meetings, and so on if we
are not trying to influence (\"push\") struggles in a more radical direction?

\"The Platform itself was written in response to a crushing defeat of an
anarchist movement by the Bolsheviks, so how could one say that it was not
influenced by Leninism?\"

So if someone, say, like Vernon Richards writes a book in response to the
crushing defeat of the anarchist movement by fascism, does that mean he
was \"influenced by fascism\"?

Personnally, I agree with Malatesta\'s critique of the Platform. But at least his
debate on the matter was based on respect and an attempt to understand
where it was coming from. As it was, he agreed with the need for anarchists
to organise as anarchists to influence the class struggle. As such, the Platform
is a basis for debate and discussion and a text that needs to be critiqued
positively and this *not* done by labelling those who support it crypto-Leninists!

And as for being not being \"too well-informed on the issues that are being
discussed here\" all I can say is that I\'ve read the Platform, the replies by
Voline and Maximov, the Malatesta-Makhno exchange, the documents of
various Platformist influenced groups and by non-Platformists. I\'m also well
aware of the ideas of Bakunin, Malatesta, etc as well as the basic ideas of
anarchist.

Why not read my summary of anarchist organisation, including the Platform, at:

http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secJ3.html

comment by
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 04:06 PM CST
Oh, oh... Look... Makhno is quoting Kruschev! Using the AJODA \"guilt by vague association\" logic, this clearly points to his revisionist-Stalinist politics. I knew it! I knew it!
comment by MaRK
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 05:12 PM CST
Bah, tough talk from the \"Post-Left Gang of Four\".
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 05:21 PM CST
We \"Friends of Ironchef\" have our eyes on the \"Boston Trientista\".
comment by White Middle Class Egghead
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 05:24 PM CST
My anarchist study group will bury all of you! We\'re a force to be reckoned with.
comment by Duke
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 05:41 PM CST
The Iron Chef Column will never be defeated!
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 05:52 PM CST
Or atleast retreat across the frontier in formation with all of our gear intact. Though we\'ll probably be short on ammo.
comment by Duke
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 06:02 PM CST
Maybe short on ammo, but our side-burns will remain intact.
comment by
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 07:26 PM CST
What the fuck are you talking about??Shut up if you dont have anything intelligent to say!
comment by smash
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 07:40 PM CST
One of the first things that turned me onto anarchism was the fact that it was totally voluntary. Noone is exercising power over anyone else. To go along with majority is still the choice of the minority.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 08:39 PM CST
I took your advice and checked out your section on Anarchist Organization in the FAQ. At one point you said the following:

The Platform\'s basic assumption is that there is a link between coherency and efficiency. By increasing the coherency of the organisation by making collective decisions and applying them, the Platform argues that this will increase the influence of anarchist ideas. Without this, they argue, better organised groups (such as Leninist ones) would be in a better position to have their arguments heard and listened to than anarchists would.

Here the authors of the Platform, by your interpretation, admit that they consider Leninist groups to be \"better organized\", and thus, more \"efficient\" than their anarchist counterparts. Given this attitude, it is only natural that these anarchists would wish to emulate at least some aspects of Leninist organization. It is this goal, taken along with their determination to provide the \"leadership of ideas\" to the working class, that gives the Platform a distinctly Leninist tone.

There is no question that class analysis is fundamental to anarchist theory and history, and the Platform\'s emphasis on class certainly does not, by itself, provide grounds for accusing its authors of being influenced by Leninism. However, if one looks at the development of the Platform in a historical context, as a response to a Bolshevik victory, and as an attempt to bring about greater \"coherence\" and \"efficiency\" in anarchist organizations in an effort to provide the \"leadership of ideas\" to the working class, I think the accusation is well-justified.

How much of the original Platform modern Platformist or platform-friendly groups have actually adopted in practice or theory is debatable, and seems to vary from one organization to another. On the one hand, you have a group like Bring The Ruckus, which explicitly states that they are guided, in part, by Leninist principles of organization. On the other hand, you have a group like NEFAC, which, while composed of collectives and affinity groups, also advocates tactical and theoretical \"coherence\" and the \"leadership of ideas\", and organizes its federation on an explicitly political, non-organic basis.

All of these groups are pretty small, and will remain so, except for the ones that simply fold, so I don\'t believe they will ever have a significant impact on society at large; they do, however, have the potential to divert some conscientious anarchists from pursuing more productive and imaginative projects. Before I end this long post, I can\'t resist pointing out another trend in anarchist thought that sees the issue of class struggle a little differently, so here is a quote from Murray Bookchin\'s pamphlet, Listen, Marxist!:

The worker becomes a revolutionary not by becoming more of a worker but by undoing his \"workerness.\" And in this he is not alone; the same applies to the farmer, the student, the clerk, the soldier, the bureaucrat, the professional--and the Marxist. The worker is no less a \"bourgeois\" than the farmer, student, clerk, soldier, bureaucrat, professional--and Marxist. His \"workerness\" is the disease he is suffering from, the social affliction telescoped to individual dimensions. Lenin understood this in What Is to Be Done? but he smuggled in the old hierarchy under a red flag and some revolutionary verbiage. The worker begins to become a revolutionary when he undoes his \"workerness\".

comment by joe schmoe blue collar nobody
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 08:53 PM CST
haha, that was so great.

you know i love you.
i, need you.
even when i\'m with my boo
you know i\'m crazy over you.
comment by joe schmoe blue collar nobody
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:13 PM CST
you know what.... i just don\'t care anymore. these pointless arguements about organization and post-leftism have gone absolutely nowhere since they started about ten years before i even heard the word \"anarchy.\"

i can understand why people don\'t want government and in turn, why there\'s a need for another way of doing things. but this is just ridiculous- the fact that this article was written in the first place, and the people who spend so much time argueing for and against this, publishing it, editing it, monitoring it.... this is just a waste.

for organization? against organization? who cares? i\'ll worry about it when we have an effective revolutionary movement. in the mean time, i just don\'t want to hear about it.

one more point: i\'ll agree with the primitivists that technology is alienating. i wish you all could have seen me jumping up and down, pulling my hair out, and screaming \"woo hoo, woo hoo\" like daffy duck when i stumbled upon this article.

comment by
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:20 PM CST
hey, the Durruti Column served as a rearguard for the retreating republican army.
comment by Reverend Chuck0
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:09 PM CST
Anybody want to hear my idea for an anarchist-themed Iron Chef episode?
comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 04:59 AM CST
More dishoensty from the post-anarchists when fake \'Makhno\' writes \"Official documents for groups like NEFAC and Workers\' Solidarity make no overt references to Leninism\"

There are quite a few for instance
\"We have to be capable of combating false ideas such as Social democracy and Leninism.\" from \'The role of the Anarchist Organisation\'.
http://struggle.ws/ppapers/role.html

Or later on
\"20. This is not to deny the need for efficient co-ordination and decision making in all spheres of life. The point is that the ultimate authority will be the democratic, mass organs of the class. Let there be no talk of the state co-existing with the workers councils....the councils would be co-existed out of existence! Instead of the state there will be the federation of workers councils .

21. It is on this issue that our fundamental difference with Leninism is made clear. We agree with Lenin that authority can only be defeated by authority, that the authority of the bosses will be destroyed by the authority of the workers. We agree on the need for a lead to be given within the class. but while our leadership is one of persuasion and education, the Leninist party goes way beyond this and tries to grab power through control of the state. It seeks to exercise the authority of the party over the workers. In doing this it prepares the way for the growth of a new oppressive ruling class .\"

Incidentally 20 also deal with the \'duel power\' nonsense in the original article.

And of course \'State Capitlaism in the Soviet Union\' at \'http://struggle.ws/ppapers/statecap.html is somewhat relevant here as well.

So fake \'Makhno\' its not simply the case that what is lacking are postive words about Lenin (which might imply - as you seek to do - a neutrality). Containg in these documents are several negative critiques of Leninism that show your claims, and those of the article to be no more then a crude and lying slander campaign. Just the sort of thing Lenin excelled in, next time your looking for closet Leninists I suggest you start by looking in your mirror!
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 05:14 AM CST
In tackling the resolution of the matter of the revolution\'s defense, anarchists must unceasingly look to the social character of libertarian communism. Faced with a mass revolutionary movement, we have to acknowledge the need to organize that and endow it with means worthy of it, then throw ourselves into it whole-heartedly. Otherwise, if we appear to be dreamers and utopians, then we must not hamper the toilers\' struggle, in particular those who follow the state socialists. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, anarchism is and remains a revolutionary social movement and that is why I am and always will be an advocate of its having a well articulated organization and support the establishment, come the revolution, of battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions designed to amalgamate, at certain times, into one common army, under a single regional command in the shape of supervisory organizational Staffs. The task of the latter will be, according to the requirements and conditions of the struggle, to draw up a federative operational plan, co-ordinating the actions of regional armies, so as to bring to a successful conclusion the fighting conducted on all fronts against the armed counter-revolution.

The matter of the defence of the revolution is no easy matter: it may require very great organisational commitment from the revolutionary masses. Anarchists must realise that and stand by to assist them in that undertaking.


http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/makhno/sp001781/chap3.html
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 05:37 AM CST
I take revolutionary discipline to mean the self-discipline of the individual, set in the context of a strictly prescribed collective activity equally incumbent upon all.

This should be the responsible policy line of the members of that collective, leading to strict congruence between its practice and its theory.

Without discipline inside the organization, there is no way of undertaking any consequential revolutionary activity at all. In the absence of discipline, the revolutionary vanguard cannot exist, for in that case it would find itself in utter disarray in its practice and would be incapable of identifying the tasks of the moment or of living up to the initiator role that the masses expect of it.

That is why I am speaking about a libertarian organization that rests upon the principle of fraternal discipline. Such an organization would lead to the crucial understanding between all of the living forces of revolutionary anarchism and would assist it in taking its rightful place in the struggle of Labor against Capital.

In this fashion, libertarian ideas can only gain a mass following, and not be impoverished. Only empty-headed, irresponsible chatter-boxes could balk at such an organizational set-up.

http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/makhno/sp001781/chap15.html
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 05:41 AM CST
The final and utter liquidation of the State can only come to pass when the struggle of the toilers is oriented along the most libertarian lines possible, when the toilers will themselves determine the structures of their social action. These structures should assume the form of organs of social and economic self-direction, the form of free \"anti-authoritarian\" soviets. The revolutionary workers and their vanguard - the anarchists - must analyze the nature and structure of these soviets and specify their revolutionary functions in advance. It is upon that, chiefly, that the positive evolution and development of anarchist ideas in the ranks of those who will accomplish the liquidation of the State on their own account in order to build a free society, will be dependent.

http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/makhno/sp001781/chap11.html
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 05:44 AM CST
Andrew from Workers\' Solidarity has really outdone himself with his last post from Tuesday January 14 2003 @ 02:59AM PST; the deceptiveness and venomously personal nature of his attacks is worthy of any of the most hard-line Stalinist or Trotskyist groups. One has to wonder if that approach is typical for members of his organization.

The pint of truth in his lake of poison is that I stated in my post from Monday January 13 2003 @ 01:32PM PST that there were no overt references to Lenin or Leninism in the literature of WSM or NEFAC. Since I did not feel it necessary to make it clear that I meant positive references, I suddenly stand accused by Andrew of engaging in a \"crude and lying slander campaign\". Here is the entire paragraph to which he refers:

Official documents for groups like NEFAC and Workers\' Solidarity make no overt references to Leninism, and do explicitly reject vanguardism; however, they do insist on the importance of theoretical and tactical unity, as well as that vague concept, the \"leadership of ideas\", and are structured on a basis of strict political formalism. Their revolutionary theory shares the Leninist emphasis on the importance of class struggle, as well as the practical goal of operating as a separate political entity within the working class in order to \"steer\" or \"guide\" workers\' struggles in a more radical direction.

Note that Andrew did not even attempt to address the real thrust of my argument in that paragraph. I see nothing in the Workers\' Solidarity document he referred to that would contradict my general critique of platformist organizations; in fact, the authors speak quite explicitly of the need for leadership of the working class, albeit one based on \"education and persuasion\".
comment by DarkAngel
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 09:02 AM CST
Never has so much been written about so little...

I always wondered why there is so much in-fighting between various tendencies within the anarchist movement (similar to what happens within the authoritarian Left).

My guess is that the reason why we\'re wasting so much ink, paper and electrons on such futile debates is that those forums are a segregated area where almost only anarchists dwell. Since we are all basically agreed on our opinions on reformists, fascists or authoritarian communists, there\'s not much to be said on that front.

\"Nazis are bad, aren\'t they?\"
\"Why, yes they are.\"

So even though the basic differences between green anarchists, primitivists, post-leftists, anarcho-commies, etc... are in fact very minor compared to our differences with pretty much all political tendencies outside of anarchism, we waste more time here debating around those differences than anything else.

Thus the average Jo or Jane Internet, stumbling upon this site, might reasonably conclude from the relative volume of writings on different subjects that anarchists care more about taking down other anarchists than, say, fascists.

As for myself, I\'m pretty much tired of such crap, and thus I take my leave from the entire debate.
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 09:11 AM CST
The secret ingredient is... TOFU! Now make 6 course meal to feed a 1,000 with what you can scavenge from surrounding dumpsters!
comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 09:26 AM CST
Makhno you have delibretly misrepresented documents and posts on a number of occasions in these threads, one is an accident, twice is co-incidence but third time out it is a methodology. Frankly there is NO other way to deal with such methods other then by pointing them out. Don\'t expect me to answer serious points mixed in with lies as they will merely appear to legtimate the lies. If you think I\'m being hard on you have a look at the treatment we gave a leninist who tried similar tricks at http://flag.blackened.net/wwwthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=revoltnew&Number=14702&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=2&vc=1

Of course when called on it you try and present the lie as some minor slip up or oversight. It\'s not. You were seeking to label us leninists so not \'noticing\' the denunciations of Leninism that are mixed into the very documents you are citing is being delibretly misleading.

BTW calling an anarchist a leninist, given our history, is about the nastiest insult you could give. Accusing you of lies and slander in return is really in the ha\'penny place in comparison!
comment by Kieranarchy
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 09:36 AM CST
The Platform should be read.http://struggle.ws/platform/plat_preface.html Form your own opinion, no help from Lawrence Jarach required there.

About dual power. Society now is not anarchist. Society will not become anarchist overnight. Between here and anarchy (if it ever happens) there will inevitably be various shades of dual power. That is, power of anti-authoritarians trying to control their own lives, struggling with power of the state and statists. Anarchists want to push this struggle in one direction. From the current state&capitalism power situation, dual power is in that direction.

Dual power can be both a description and a strategy. As a strategy, it is seeking a situation fitting the description. (So it\'s not really a specificc, that\'s what the anarchist movement is always doing: pushing towards anarchy, inevitably via dual power) This strategy/description distinction is a non issue.

Alternative institution like the ones Jarach lists do not constitute dual power now, (and no-one claims that), but they would if they grew. The existence of these instituions, small and marginalised as they are, is a positive step: they\'re something to build on. When there are more roles taken by co-operatives, and more people involved, a whole section of society drifts out of the state locus. Power is shifted, or dissolved, depending how you define it. The state is left with the choice of explicitly using force (sending the police in to enforce its rules), or explicitly not enforcing, and losing credibility. It gets to the point where the state can\'t always politicaly afford to confront a genuinely popular movement with force. On the other hand, the revolutionaries can\'t yet smash the state (and may not see the need to), and some people still recognise that state. This is dual power.
comment by Flint
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 09:36 AM CST
That I agree with, oh wait... that\'s the real Makhno, not the post-leftist who posts under that handle.

And I agree with that quote from Bookchin in \"Listen, Marxist\". The basis of class struggle, is often workers withdrawing their labor; that is--not working!

I do wonder if projects like NEFAC are so small and insignificant, why you spend so much time attacking them... rather than attacking with your keyboard, capitalism and the state. I mean, should you be engaged in some kind of productive and imaginative project? I know I am. I know you have been thinking about doing something interesting... but have you actually done it yet? Funny thing is, I find many hands makes light work, which is why I like working with my affinity group--and like it when my affinity group works with other affinity groups on a common project.

That stuff about the platformism being Leninism I disagree with. Whatever argument you thought you were making is totally discredited by hyperbole, bad jacketing, strawmen, and shadowboxing.
comment by Stirner
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 09:54 AM CST
NEFAC also have a few reference to leninism in it\'s official document. For exemple:

\"We reject the vision of the
comment by Reverend Chuck0
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 10:24 AM CST
You know, I have little patience for those people who complain about these threads. Nobody is forcing you to read them, in fact, some people just read the news and skip the comments. But if some people want to get involved in a debate here, that\'s ok. If they post a lot of comments, that doesn\'t mean that they aren\'t activists or they \"need to get a life.\" Most, if not all, the people who post here are involved in activist projects and \"have a life.\" You can\'t do activism 24-7, so what\'s wrong with spending a half hour posting comments here?

Personally, this debate on platformism bores me to tears, which is why I\'ve chosen to stay out of it and have opted instead to post yesterday in threads about the anti-war movement.
comment by Iron Chef
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 11:38 AM CST
Dice the onions, mince the garlic, smash the state!




The Iron Chef Column will never be defeated! We have formed an undefeatable alliance with the Flint-borg Column, and the Thugarchist Column (who are ready to unleash their secret weapon... the Vermin Supreme)!
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 11:45 AM CST
Andrew, you\'re pretty thick, so I\'ll make this nice and simple. I am not calling any of the platformist groups, even Workers\' Solidarity, Leninist; what I am doing is supporting Lawrence Jarach\'s position that platformism is heavily influenced by Leninism in theory and practice, despite the platformists\' anti-Leninist rhetoric. By the way, the quotes from Nestor Makhno that someone posted here on Tuesday January 14 2003 @ 03:37AM PST and Tuesday January 14 2003 @ 03:41AM PST makes the resemblance to Leninism perfectly clear - note the emphasis on organizational discipline and anarchists as a revolutionary vanguard.
comment by Arshinov
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 11:49 AM CST
No!
comment by Duh
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 11:53 AM CST
\"Makhno\": your arguments are silly. Of course the Situationists had a tightly organized, disciplined group and aspired to a vanguard role in social movements. Anarchy Magazine is highly influenced by the Situationists and thus, according to your argument, the same issues apply to Anarchy Magazine.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 11:54 AM CST
Hey, Flint,

Have you read the whole text of Listen, Marxist!? If you had, you might not be so enthusiastic about it. Let me provide another quote from that essay:

To reinforce this class structure by babbling about the \"role of the working class,\" to reinforce the traditional class struggle by imputing a \"revolutionary\" content to it, to infect the new revolutionary movement of our time with \"workeritis\" is reactionary to the core. How often do the Marxian doctrinaires have to be reminded that the history of the class struggle is the history of a disease, of the wounds opened by the famous \"social question,\" of man\'s one-sided development in trying to gain control over nature by dominating his fellow man? If the byproduct of this disease has been technological advance, the main products have been repression, a horrible shedding of human blood and a terrifying distortion of the human psyche.

As the disease approaches its end, as the wound begins to heal in their deepest recesses, the process now unfolds toward wholeness; the revolutionary implications of the traditional class struggle lose their meaning as theoretical constructs and as social reality. The process of decomposition embraces not only the traditional class structure but also the patriarchal family, authoritarian modes of upbringing, the influence of religion, the institutions of the state, and the mores built around toil, renunciation, guilt and repressed sexuality. The process of disintegration in shirt, now becomes generalized and cuts across virtually all the traditional classes, values and institutions. It creates entirely new issues, modes of struggle and forms of organization and calls for an entirely new approach to theory and praxis.

Furthermore, if you have any evidence to back up your claims about my alleged \"hyperbole, bad jacketing, strawmen, and shadowboxing\" in this discussion, then put up or shut up.


comment by Arshinov
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 11:58 AM CST
No!
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 12:00 PM CST
Kieranarchy\'s position on dual power is pretty straightforward, but I think his analysis of power as such is a little shaky. In a political situation, power means much more than controlling one\'s own life; it also means attempting to control other people\'s lives, even if this is done through a strictly democratic process.
comment by DarkAngel
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 12:04 PM CST
Chuck0, I haven\'t complained about being forced to participate in those debates. I just wanted to put things back into perspectives. Mainly, these debates might be important in the long run but they are not the main focus of what our politics are about (at least I hope that is the case). I am just saying people shouldn\'t take those debates too personally.

It\'s like when you need to break-up from a sexual/life partner. There might be some irreconciliable differences between you two but you should try to at least remain civil to one another during the break-up, because tomorrow when the tempers have flared down you might enjoy still being friends. Taking it too personally might make this impossible farther down the road.

I also am a little peeved at people making personal attacks rather than actual arguments, but then nobody is perfect and I can understand that these debates can get frustrating.
comment by DarkAngel
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 12:11 PM CST
Oh, and I haven\'t asked anyone to get a life. I\'m also not saying that the people debating here aren\'t doing anything else useful. I\'m just wondering why there is so much bickering and offering a theory to explain it, which may be mistaken BTW. I don\'t usually see that much bickering from the Right, though I expect there is some between competing tendencies (the Religious Right and the secularist wing of the Libertarians for instance).

Such lively debates is both a strenght in one way and a weakness in another, just like a lot of things in life. I certainly wouldn\'t have joined of a social movement in which there wasn\'t at least some dissention and debate, because that\'s just the kind of person I am. I need to know people aren\'t just walking in lockstep. There is a time though when you have to know the line between healthy debate and personal attacks, and I see that line crossed a little too often for my taste.
comment by Thuglife
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 12:30 PM CST
The Vermin fuckin\' rocks man. I have one of his tracts where he calls for the reduction of nuclear weapons through deployment. The guy\'s hilarious.
comment by Iron Chef
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 12:52 PM CST
I almost forgot about the Laskey columns and his warrior princesses
comment by joe schmoe blue collar nobody
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 01:49 PM CST
chuck0 said:
\"You know, I have little patience for those people who complain about these threads. Nobody is forcing you to read them....\"

i wasn\'t complaining for the sake of complaining. i was complaining because i think too many people get sucked into these arguements. newcomers get into anarchist politics and immidiately feel like they have to join up with a side or something. are you red or green? are you a platformist or anti-organizationalist? blah blah blah.... i just think that those of us who get tired of these pointless left-anarchy vs post-left debates have just as much of a valid point on the subject as anyone else.
comment by anarcho-bolshevik
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 07:02 PM CST
I admit, I\'ve been a part of this stupid arguements. I however have seen the error of my ways...none of this shit matters. We are not part of the same movement, why are we debating each other.

The folks that have a clue and want to organize should do just that (and they aren\'t doing it as much as they should), go out and organize amongst our class and fuck these fools.

The folks that want to have a riot tomarrow or live in a tree or think the spontaneous revolution is coming, go and do your thing...just don\'t fuck ours up...

that\'s all
comment by anarcho
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 01:13 AM CST
\"Makhno\" wrotes:

\"Here the authors of the Platform, by your interpretation, admit that they
consider Leninist groups to be \"better organized\", and thus, more
\'efficient\' than their anarchist counterparts.\"

Hate to say this, but the Bolsheviks *were* better organised and more
efficient and effective than the Russian anarchists. The Bolsheviks went
from being a sect into a mass party in the space of a few months. While
the anarchists did grow in influence, they could not match them. Once
in power the Bolsheviks turned on the anarchists and the Russian
working class, imposing state capitalist and authoritarian policies.

Now, not to want that to happen again does not mean that the Platform
was \"influenced\" by Leninism, quite the reverse! As active participants
in the Russian revolution, they saw that the anarchist movement had its
flaws, identified them and suggested solutions. As someone else put
it, they did not want to \"out-Bolshevise\" Bolshevism but rather out
organise it -- and raised ideas such as federalism, and so on to do so.

Specific aspects of their suggestions were flawed, but their inspiration was
far from Leninist. It was a desire to see the anarchist movement live up to
its potential so that a Leninist party would not be able to seize power
again and crush a revolution. What this better, more effective, efficient
organisation would be like is, of course, a point of discussion. The FAI,
for example, was all those things but it was not Platformist. To seek a
more effective, efficient, better organisation than the Leninists does not,
therefore, imply a desire to apply Leninist organisational ideas into an
anarchist group.

\"Given this attitude, it is only natural that these anarchists would wish to
emulate at least some aspects of Leninist organization.\"

What, you mean things like being organised? Or having clearly thought out
politics? And thinking about how to apply them? If that is the case them most
political groups have \"some aspects\" of Leninism about them.

I\'ll note that \"Makhno\" has dropped his list what he considers \"Leninist emphasis\"
to be, now that I\'ve pointed out that anarchists from Bakunin onwards have held
them!

\"It is this goal, taken along with their determination to provide the \"leadership of
ideas\" to the working class, that gives the Platform a distinctly Leninist tone.\"

But earlier Makhno stated it was emphasis on class struggle and being a
\"separate political entity\" was what accounted for it! As for \"leadership of
ideas,\" Makhno *must have* read what Platformists and other anarchists
mean by that term. But he fails to indicate that rather than imply some sort
of desire for hierarchical leadership positions the concept simply means
arguing for anarchist ideas and convincing your fellows of them. Hardly
\"Leninist\" as all political groups try to do that.

Indeed, this concept was used specifically to show the different between
anarchists and Leninists. The former seek self-management and influence
by debate, the latter seek positions of power for their party.

\"There is no question that class analysis is fundamental to anarchist
theory and history, and the Platform\'s emphasis on class certainly does
not, by itself, provide grounds for accusing its authors of being influenced by
Leninism.\"

A few days ago it apparently did. To quote \"Makhno\" in his attempt to show
the Leninist nature of Platformism: \"Their revolutionary theory shares the
Leninist emphasis on the importance of class struggle\" Now, if class analysis
is fundamental to anarchism, them why mention that the Platformists base
their ideas on it? Unless its to do a bit of guilt by association?

\"However, if one looks at the development of the Platform in a
historical context, as a response to a Bolshevik victory, and as an attempt to
bring about greater \"coherence\" and \"efficiency\" in anarchist organizations in an
effort to provide the \"leadership of ideas\" to the working class, I think the
accusation is well-justified.\"

Firstly, the non-Platformists also shared the concept of \"leadership of ideas.\" They just
disagreed on how best to do it and how best to get a good anarchist organisation to do it.
They also proposed their ideas \"as a response to a Bolshevik victory\" Does that make
Voline a crypto-Leninist? If not, why not?

While certain aspects of the Platform are incorrect (and I\'ve not known a Platformist
influenced group actually apply them), it cannot be said that they were crypto-Leninists.
Some of their basic ideas were and are common in the movement. They took certain
concepts too far, undoubtably, but they did so to combat Leninism, not to reproduce it.

\"How much of the original Platform modern Platformist or platform-friendly groups
have actually adopted in practice or theory is debatable, and seems to vary from
one organization to another.\"

Quite. As such to attack the Platform as such is wrong as its not applied. Most
pro-Platform people see it as a guide, not a bible. Its a shame their critics do not
do so as all!

\"On the one hand, you have a group like Bring The Ruckus, which explicitly states
that they are guided, in part, by Leninist principles of organization. On the other
hand, you have a group like NEFAC, which, while composed of collectives and
affinity groups, also advocates tactical and theoretical \"coherence\" and the
\"leadership of ideas\", and organizes its federation on an explicitly political,
non-organic basis.\"

The FAI was a federation which was \"explicitly political\" -- as is every anarchist
federation in the world. As such, claiming that the NEFAC is \"explicitly political\"
means simply that its an anarchist federation! And what does \"non-organic\" mean,
exactly, in this context? They don\'t print their papers using recycled paper? That
they organise in a way \"Makhno\" objects to? That they are organised in the first
place?

And as for \"coherence,\" that simply means that people who agree with each other
work together. That they debate their ideas and actions and agree to act on them.
As such, its no big terrible thing. Its just co-operation between like-minded people.

\"All of these groups are pretty small, and will remain so, except for the ones that
simply fold, so I don\'t believe they will ever have a significant impact on society at
large; they do, however, have the potential to divert some conscientious anarchists
from pursuing more productive and imaginative projects.\"

Conversely, these anarchists may see that \"makhno\'s\" \"organic\" form of doing
stuff is not that productive and imaginative and, indeed, not a project at all. By
working together with like-minded people they can multiply their influence,
do more useful projects and get more anarchists and struggle going.

\"Before I end this long post, I can\'t resist pointing out another trend in anarchist
thought that sees the issue of class struggle a little differently, so here is a quote
from Murray Bookchin\'s pamphlet, Listen, Marxist!:\"

I agree with that quote, as do all the class struggle anarchists I know (including
Platformists). You really need to get past your blinders and thing about what
other anarchists are saying and doing rather than subject them to what *you*
think they say and do. It would save some time and energy -- I really have
better things to do than post replies to straw men arguments.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 05:00 AM CST
For myself, who has acquired the habit of fully facing up to the realities of our movement, your denial of collective responsibility strikes me not only as without basis but dangerous for the social revolution, in which you would do well to take account of experience when it comes to fighting a decisive battle against all our enemies at once. Now my experience of the revolutionary battles of the past leads me to believe that no matter what the order of revolutionary events may be, one needs to give out serious directives, both ideological and tactical. This means that only a collective spirit, sound and devoted to anarchism, could express the requirements of the moment, through a collectively responsible will. None of us has the right to dodge that element of responsibility. On the contrary, if it has been until now overlooked among the ranks of the anarchists, it needs now to become, for us, communist anarchists, an article of our theoretical and practical programme.

Only the collective spirit of its militants and their collective responsibility will allow modern anarchism to eliminate from its circles the idea, historically false, that anarchism cannot be a guide - either ideologically or in practice - for the mass of workers in a revolutionary period and therefore could not have overall responsibility.


http://www.struggle.ws/platform/makhno_about.html
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 05:11 AM CST
Organize yourselves, brothers, call every man to your ranks. Call him from the factory, from the school; call the students and the learned. It may be that nine out of ten academics will not come to you, or it may happen that they will come in order to deceive you if they are servants of the State\'s five. But the tenth man will come.He will be your friend and will help you overcome the deceit of the others. Organize yourselves; call every man to your ranks; call on all the governors to stop their stupidity and the brutalizing of human life. If they do not desist, disarm the police,the army and other organizations of the five\'s defense. Burn their laws and destroy their prisons, kill the hangmen, the bane of mankind. Smash authority! Call to your ranks the press-ganged army; there are many killers in the army who are against you and who are bribed to kill you. But there are friends for you even in the army. They will confound the mobs of murderers and will hurry to your side.

After we have collected ourselves into a great, universal family, brothers, we will go further in the fight against darkness. On to the universal human ideal! We will live as brothers, enslaving no one. The brute force of the enemy will be answered with the force by our revolutionary army. If our enemies do not agree with our ideal, we reply by building our new life based on individual responsibility. Only hardened criminals who belong to the five will not wish to tread the road to a new life with fruitful activity. They will try to fight us in order to regain their power. They must die.

Long live the ideal of universal human harmony, and man\'s fight towards it!
Long live the ideal of anarchist society!

http://www.geocities.com/makhno_archive/english/anar_rev.htm
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 08:01 AM CST
My thanks to whoever is posting those quotes from Nestor Makhno; they show more clearly than anything I could say that anarchist theories and tactics from a different culture and historical era may not be appropriate for the challenges we face today.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 09:30 AM CST
I will express only my surprise to see you use such an argument in the course of your criticism. I have given much thought to it and cannot accept your opinion.

No, you are not right. And because I am not in agreement with your confutation, using arguments that are too facile, I believe I am entitled to ask you:

1. Should anarchism take some responsibility in the struggle of the workers against their oppressors, capitalism, and its servant the State? If not, can you say why? If yes, must the anarchists work towards allowing their movement to exert influence on the same basis as the existing social order?

2. Can anarchism, in the state of disorganisation in which it finds itself at the moment, exert any influence, ideological and practical, on social affairs and the struggle of the working class?

3. What are the means that anarchism should adopt outside the revolution and what are the means of which it can dispose to prove and affirm its constructive concepts?

4. Does anarchism need its own permanent organisations, closely tied among themselves by unity of goal and action to attain its ends?

5. What do the anarchists mean by *institutions to be established* with a view to guaranteeing the free development of society?

6. Can anarchism, in the communist society it conceives, do without social institutions? If yes, by what means? If no, which should it recognise and use and with what names bring them into being? Should the anarchists take on a leading function, therefore one of responsibility, or should they limit themselves to being irresponsible auxiliaries?

http://www.struggle.ws/platform/makhno_about.html
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 10:34 AM CST
In a belated reply to the questions posed decades ago by my namesake, I would say that anarchists most definitely do not need permanent (i.e., formal, self-replicating) organizations, and that the establishment of social institutions is contrary to my vision of a free society. Furthermore, I certainly am not interested in taking on any kind of \"leading\" function in a revolutionary situation. I honor Nestor Makhno for his and his comrades\' brave struggle in the Ukraine, but it is time for anarchists to leave outmoded habits of thought and practice behind us.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 10:50 AM CST
Authority is always dependent on the exploitation and enslavement of the mass of the people. It is born of this exploitation, or it is created in the interests of this exploitation. Authority without violence and without exploitation loses all raison d\'etre.

The State and Authority take from the masses all initiative, kill the spirit of creation and free activity, cultivates in them the servile psychology of submission, of expectation, of the hope of climbing the social ladder, of blind confidence in their leaders, of the illusion of sharing in authority.

Thus the emancipation of labour is only possible in the direct revolutionary struggle of the vast working masses and of their class organisations against the capitalist system.

http://struggle.ws/platform/plat_general.html
comment by Duke
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 01:09 PM CST
Ahh... whose got time for his wacky ultra-leftism.
comment by Christopher Day
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 01:35 PM CST
If deceptiveness and venom are the marks of Stalinism, what does that make you?

Seriously, the anarchist conceit that anarchists are more civil or decent in their interactions with other people than Marxists is self-congratulatory nonsense. I\'ve met plenty of Marxists both nasty and nice and plenty of anarchists of both sorts as well.

We all know that Andrew is generally very civil and that you are frequently rude. When Andrew gets his undies in a bundle about a misrepresentation in a post of your you are not in a very strong position to complain. Even if Andrew were half as unpleasant as you it wouldn\'t prove a damn thing about his political outlook. A movement that can\'t deal with a wide range of personal temperments is no movement at all.
comment by Christopher Day
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 02:07 PM CST
I think Kieranarchy\'s position more or less refelcts the thinking of the seriously revolutionary (and therefore pro-organizational) wing of the anarchist movement.

The problem with this formulation is that it is too linear. It describes a process of increasing power for the organizations of the oppressed and shrinking power for the capitalist state. This is essentially a matter of quantitative change. But at a certain point the quantitative change in the balance of power becomes qualitative and the the organizations of the oppressed have the power to SMASH the capitalist state. The basic dilemma is that this occurs BEFORE the organized power of the oppressed is fully formed. The result is a qualitatively different situation that is none the less plagued with the contradictions of the old society. The organized forces of the oppressed suddently find themselves with a whole new set of responsibilities.

Andrew\'s response to my original post basically evades this problem in the typical anarchist fashion by assuring us that the anarchist revolution will only occur AFTER the oppressed have been adequately prepared and that even if there are still some conflicts within their ranks the revolutionary spirit of unity will wash them away.

The problem with this formulation is that revolutionary situations consistently present themselves under other conditions and revolutionaries are compelled to respond.

Andrew suggests that I don\'t understand the difference between anarchists being the \"controlling majority of the organs of popular power\" vs. \"getting the idea of a libertarian society to be the majority goal of these organisations.\" I know full well what he is trying to say, but if the \"the idea of a libertarian society\" is the \"majority goal of these organizations\" I would say that for all intents and purposes anarchists would therefore have a controlling majority of the organs of popular power. Central to Andrew\'s point here is the idea that Marxists think taking over such bodies gives them the right to rule. But my point was that even if such bodies were thoroughly committed to anarchist ideas that wouldn\'t prevent them from constituting a state in a post-insurrectionary period for the simple reason that the tasks of the state and the contradictions of the social situation would be thrust on them whether they liked it or not. Of course they could attempt to squirm out of the contradiction by choosing to abdicate their revolutionary responsibilities like the anarchists in Catalonia did in July 1936 when they left the Republican power intact. But in the end they would have to choose (as the CNT had to) between irrelevance and participating in state power.

My point here was not, as suggested, that the Bolsheviks weren\'t authoritarian, but rather that the statist character of Soviet power after the October Revolution was not a function of Bolshevik ideology but of the logical neccessity of the situation: a non-statist solution was not possible.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 03:11 PM CST
The flaw in my namesake\'s thinking, as the post from Wednesday January 15 2003 @ 08:50AM PST shows, is his failure to grasp the fact that authority - that is, power relations - can exist outside of the State, and even outside of capitalism. This is why critiques of organizationalism and power are such a big step forward for the contemporary anarchist movement
comment by duh
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 05:09 PM CST
Power relationships always exist. They will never disappear. The question is: what type of power? Democratic or authoritarian.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 09:22 PM CST
Duh, duh,

Power relationships exist because people allow them to; they\'re not a law of physics. If democracy is the limit of your aspirations as an anarchist, you might as well go join some political party.
comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 07:07 AM CST
Actually Chris if you re-read my post I admit the risks involved in the anarchist approach, ie that perhaps the working class will remain too divided for this division to be overcome \'post revolution\'. But I ask what is the alternative and what are the risks associated with that. IMHO the risks associated with your \'alternative\' are not only far greater but have been demonstrated historically on several occasions.

You know the \'out of the fying pan into the fire\' expression? What I\'m saying is to avoid the problems of the fying pan you have dived into the fire.

Secondly you are more then aware that your expression \"tasks of the state\" above is meaningless unless you explain what these tasks are and argue why FOR ANARCHISTS these can only be carried out by a state. The old Engels \'bodies of armed men\' 3 card trick won\'t do it!
comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 07:12 AM CST
Fake \'Makhno\' this is exactly the logic of reaction, under \"Power relationships exist because people allow them to\" enslaved peoples were responsibe for slavery and the Jews were responsible for the holocaust!

Capitalism is a social relationship not a series of \'power relationships\' we can all somehow opt out of. Resistance is possible but victory is not guranteed, it depends on a sufficent level of organisation to overthrow capitalism.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 07:29 AM CST
Andrew, you are either extremely stupid or extremely dishonest (well, maybe both) to try to twist my argument about power relations in that way. My position about power relations, which are social relationships, is this - they are brought into existence by human beings, and can be negated by human beings. Victory is most certainly not guaranteed, and some circumstances are much more difficult than others to change, but the \"sufficient level of organization\" of which you speak is simply a reactionary proposal to exchange one set of power relations for another. It is time for anarchists to move beyond such out-moded approaches and theories.
comment by
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 07:30 AM CST
comment by Andrew
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 10:41 AM CST
Fake \'makhno\' I note that although you call me names you don\'t even attempt to answer the criticism I made. It is a trival observation that power depends on those it is exercised on consenting (although the penalties for not consenting can be severe). Simply observing this, as you did, as some sort of \'answer\' amounts to blaming the victims of power.

We face a very, very organised system. We cannot overthow this as individuals, we cannot overthrow it with a dozen friends. Your only \'answer\' to this is to call it \"out moded\", the worship of \'progress\' that argument implies sits rather oddly with your other attitudes don\'t you think?

The reason is simple -- you don\'t have an answer or even the start of one. All you have is a critique of what others are doing. It is one that has some small use when it is first stated but as with all other critiques repetition simply makes it staler and staler.

To be honest your critque is not anything new either, rather it is a lot older then the platform and goes back to the pre-dawn of anarchism. Anarchism was developed as an answer to your dualist choice of \'the individual or the collective\'. At the end of the day your post-anarchism is simply pre-anarchism unaware of its own history.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 11:16 AM CST
Andrew, no name-calling here, but I believe I did answer your criticism in my last post. However, I\'ll try to make my answer even more explicit. I did not say that power depends on the consent of those over whom it is exercised; what I said was that power relations are created by human beings, and can be modified or abolished by human beings. Some power relations are more extreme than others, and the ability of those being dominated in such situations to effect change may be correspondingly less. What left anarchists in general don\'t seem to grasp is the pervasiveness of power relations in our society and in our inter-personal relationships; as John Moore put it in Maximalist Anarchism:

Given power\'s pervasiveness and its capacity to insinuate itself into all manner of relations and situations (even the most intimate and apparently depoliticised), the maximalist stance involves a relentless interrogation of every aspect of daily life. Everything is open to question and challenge. Nothing is off limits for investigation and revision. Power, in all its overt and subtle forms, must be rooted out if life is to become free. Maximalism remains ruthlessly iconoclastic, not least when coming into contact with those icons that are vestiges of classical anarchism or earlier modes of radicalism (e.g., work, workerism, history) or those icons characteristic of contemporary anarchism (e.g., the primitive, community, desire and - above all - nature). Nothing is sacred, least of all the fetishised, reified shibboleths of anarchism.

What is out-moded about your way of thinking, Andrew, is the belief that power is only an external force residing in State and Capital, ant that the best way to fight that power is to surrender our autonomy by joining some herd-like mass organization that offers us only a different power structure, rather than the possibility of living lives free from all vestiges of the control complex.
comment by Makhno
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 16 2003 @ 11:17 AM CST
Here is the correct link for Maximalist Anarchism.
comment by anarco-istist
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 22 2003 @ 04:46 PM CST
\"Seriously, the anarchist conceit that anarchists are more civil or decent in their interactions with other people than Marxists is self-congratulatory nonsense. \"

And in some cases these rude anarchists defect over to Marxism.
comment by Ryan P.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, March 20 2004 @ 03:57 PM CST
Why was Lenin succesful in establishing Bolshevik rule in Russia?