Rethinking Anarchism

For Communism
September 21, 2009, 7:15 am
Filed under: Random Shit | Tags: , , , ,


A friend of mine recently told me that he has realized that the radical left doesn’t really do anything. Sure, there are journals and blogs, ink and pixels spilled over theoretical questions, punctuated by the odd mass mobilization. But what the fuck does the radical left actually do in society?

Not a whole fucking lot for people who claim to be revolutionaries.

As someone who spends almost every waking minute talking to workers or fighting my own boss, I find this very frustrating.

I think it’s time to clean house. There is no longer any room for anyone above the struggle. The world has been interpreted enough. The point is to change it.

The “movement” is not made up of those who necessarily self-identify as revolutionaries, anarchists, marxist, or what have you. It is made up of those who struggle against their own masters from their own class position. As Marx wrote, “communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established , an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.”

For this reason, the starting point of our politics must be concrete and direct involvement in the struggle of our class. In a truly revolutionary movement, there is no room for staff organizers, professional intellectuals, and everyone who makes a career or hobby out of someone else’s struggle. We’re all in this together.

What is the deal with peoples’ fear of mass work? You are scared of talking to strangers? And you want to smash the state? Let’s have first things first, shall we?

I’d like less talk and more action.


2 Comments so far
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That’s one of my favorite Marx quotes. Here’s another – “how grossly Feuerbach is deceiving himself when by virtue of the qualification “common man” he declares himself a communist, transforms the latter into a predicate of “man,” and thereby thinks it possible to change the word “communist,” which in the real world means the follower of a definite revolutionary party, into a mere category.”

Comment by Nate

I remember when Murray Bookchin used to rant about the failings of “lifestyle anarchists” vs., presumably, anarchists who had some class consciousness and actually did stuff. He was wrong. I know plenty of lifestyle anarchists who do lots of hard work prefiguring a stateless, classless society. They’re not perfect. But the issue isn’t whether they are doing the same work is me, for example, but whether they’re doing SOMETHING. If it’s real work, and if there’s something to show for it, and it inspires people, then it doesn’t matter if it fits the rigid definition of “class-based” or anything else. The point is it works. And that’s what working class people want and need.

Comment by Eric Laursen

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