Review: The Poverty of Philosophy by Karl Marx

by Anarcho
Anarchist Writers
March 14, 2017

This year (2017) marks the 170th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy, written in “reply” to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s System of Economic Contradictions published the year before. The book’s title is a play on the subtitle of Proudhon’s two volumes (“or, the Philosophy of Poverty”) and for Trotskyist Ernest Mandel “the prototype of that sort of implacable polemical writing which has often inspired the pens of Marx’s followers”. (The formation of the economic thought of Karl Marx [London: N.L.B., 1971], 53)

Given its age and stature, some may wonder why bother to review it? There are two reasons why this is no esoteric act.


What is a Marxist organization?

by Scott Jay

It is a commonplace on the Marxist Left that revolutionary organizations need to be rooted in the working class, so much so that “middle-class” is just as common an insult as “sectarian” or “opportunist.” Middle-class dominated socialist groups are generally aware of their class basis and strive to overcome it—noting that an organization tends to be middle-class does not tell anybody anything they did not already know. Therefore, we will look at the problem of the base of an organization from a different angle.

A fundamental weakness of the organizations of the socialist Left is that their members do not have a material stake in their organizations.


Malcolm Harris on Unruly Equality : U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century

Left Behind: Why Marxists Need Anarchists, and Vice Versa

Malcolm Harris
December 20th, 2015
Los Angeles Review of Books

Unruly Equality : U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century
Andrew Cornell
University of California Press
416 pages

IN AN 1875 letter to German socialist politician August Bebel, Friedrich Engels complained — on behalf of himself and Karl Marx — about being teased by anarchists. Bebel’s Social Democratic Workers’ Party was merging with the General German Workers’ Association, the latter of which advocated a parliamentary road to socialism rather than a revolutionary one.


Anarchism, Marxism, And Victor Serge

By Staughton Lynd
August 18, 2015

A Review Essay of Anarchists Never Surrender: Essays, Polemics, and Correspondence on Anarchism, 1908-1938, ed. and translated by Mitchell Abidor (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2015)

Andrej Grubacic and I have suggested the importance of synthesizing two radical traditions, anarchism and Marxism.  (Wobblies and Zapatistas, pp. 11-12, 98-99.)

In search of efforts in this direction in the United States, we called attention to the “Chicago idea” of two of the Haymarket anarchists, Albert Parsons and August Spies.  Speaking to the jury and a packed courtroom before he was sentenced to death, Parsons distinguished two forms of socialism: state socialism, which meant government control of everything, and anarchism, an egalitarian society without a controlling authority.  (James Green, Death in the Haymarket, p. 238.)

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