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Marxists(Leninists/Trots/Maoists) Irrelevant

by Otto Nomous Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2001 at 3:11 AM

This is a response to a rant entitled "Revolutionary Theory(!)" which was a comment on the article "Race, Anarchy, and Punk Rock," which can be found on: http://richmond.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=300&group=webcast I post it here since the website was having problems adding it as a comment.

Those who are familiar with the relationship of the anarchist movement and the "anti-globalization movement" know that it is obviously ridiculous to lump the two together. One would have to be pretty clueless to mistake the politics of Green party members(or any other liberal/right wing/conservative/reformists) with those of anarchists. And only those who are seriously clueless about anarchism will make statements like "it has no theoretical framework from which to work, nothing to answer the question of special oppression of blacks in America." Anarchism, of course, is a revolutionary philosophy that has always been based on theory and practice. It is quite understandable for marxists to complain that anarchism doesn't adhere to the rigid, dogmatic marxist/leninist idea of a "program." But to say that it has no theoretical framework, with nothing to support it except "I can only name a few folks whom I have met who can discuss any classical anarchist theorist" is just ubsurd. I would recommend an excellent magazine called Arsenal for those of you interested in reading about the current anarchist movement and its constantly evolving theory and practice.

It is true, however, that the anarchist movement, as with the rest of the "left," is mostly white and middle class. Certain communist/socialist groups do tend to have relatively more people of color in their organizations, but this is due to their heavy, aggressive recruiting tactics in communities of color. Perhaps to cover up the fact that most of their top leaderships are white leftovers from the '60s. Marxist (Lennist/Trotskyist/Maoist... take your pick) groups have been notoriously worse historically when it comes to issues of race and gender, whether it be relegating them to side issues or treating the black or indigenous community in very condescending ways, or trying to justify blatant homophobia(as illustrated by the RCP in their "New Programme," although they are by far not the only homphobic ones, not to overlook SWP and most other Marxist groups.) So just because they use very sly tactics to heavily recruit people of color, such as using front groups(Refuse & Resist, International Action Center, Oct 22nd... can't keep track of them all) just to build their party membership, doesn't mean they're trying to solve racial oppression at all. Besides the fact that they attract people who are comfortable with hierarchical structures, as most people in this society are conditioned to be, I think it's interesting that they recruit heavily from the most undereducated sector of the population, such as the youths of color, probably because no one else takes them seriously. I must admit that many communists/socialists I've met seem to be very sincere about the idea of revolution, but I think they have a hard time realizing that authoritarian socialism (meaning state socialism) is not only outdated but completely irrelevant to truly revolutionary social change, in light of historical lessons as well as the current, international anti-globalization direct action movement that is decentralized, consensus-based, and anti-authoritarian with principles of direct democracy, mutual aid, ecological awareness, and voluntary cooperation.

The typical marxist rationale of distinguishing "between a bourgeoise state and a workers state" implies the inherent notion that the "workers' state," comprised of "professional revolutionaries" or the "dictatorship of the proletariat" will "serve" or "lead" the masses to revolution. This kind of elitist idea is exactly why all communist/socialist "revolutions" replicate just as (if not more) authoritarian structures and institutions that formed the basis for the system they "overthrew." True revolution will only occur when a society is organized from the bottom up through direct democracy, just as the original soviets were doing in Russia before the counter-revolutionary Bolsheviks forced themselves into positions of power, or just as the Spanish people were doing during the Spanish Civil War before the communists tried to take power by stabbing the mostly anarchist revolution in the back (which is the real reason, aside from being crushed by fascist forces, why the spanish revolution was undermined. It is infuriating to hear marxists ignore this fact and pretend that it was because "anarchist leaders" joined the republican government, never mind that they can't comprehend that there are no "leaders" that lead, represent or speak for an anarchist movement. It's well documented in history(herstory), except the ones written by communists/socialists to erase their ugly past. The fact is, communists/socialists have been kicking themselves for not having been able to see Seattle coming, and are futilely scrambing to steal the spotlight and make up for their irrelevance by attempting to discredit their biggest threat: a growing anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist movement that they cannot control.

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Good Discussion Magon Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2001 at 12:27 AM
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