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 Spinner's Political Profile.

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KenCat
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:38 pm

Stos wrote:
That is a dictatorship of equality. Shocked

Oxy-moron. lol

A dictatorship is government in which political power is exercised by a single individual or party whose rule holds absolute power. That's just about the opposite of equality. ha
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Stos
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:50 am

KenCat wrote:
Stos wrote:
That is a dictatorship of equality. Shocked

Oxy-moron. lol

A dictatorship is government in which political power is exercised by a single individual or party whose rule holds absolute power. That's just about the opposite of equality. ha
Yes, which is why you advocate a 'dictatorship of equality' as opposed to a 'dictatorship of one man or party'.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:38 am

Stos wrote:
KenCat wrote:
Stos wrote:
Spinner wrote:
I do not believe in the Workers' State or the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Define 'Dictatorship of the proletariat'.
Also, Marx's 'from each... to each' thing was actually basically a quote of Louis Blanc (though not exact. Louis Blanc was a utopian socialist with pinko qualities, last I remember), and he pretty much said that it was impossible until 'labour became not only the means of life, but life's prime want'.

Marx believed in the state "in which the State can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat" -- he refers to the period between a capitalist and communist society, in his theory.

Personally, I find it ironic that in order for a society to achieve equality, a dictatorship must be in order (I still respect Marx as a fellow anti-capitalist, though).
This was in order to differentiate himself from the Blanquists (he mainly uses the term 'dictatorship of the proletariat' after the 1848 and 1871 revolutions, where Blanquism was highly relevant). However, the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' is simply socialism before it is international. Or, to quote Marx here, in response to Bakunin's question in his work on Marxism and the State, “There are about forty million Germans. Are all forty million going to be members of the government?” (he then assumed that they wouldn't, and used that as an argument), “Certainly, because the thing starts with the self-government of the commune.” How is that bad, exactly? Marx used the term 'dictatorship of the proletariat' exactly to show that he did not believe in a Blanquist 'dictatorship of the few', nor the modern definition of dictatorship, that is, 'dictatorship by some bloke'. To quote Marx again, “... If you look at the last chapter of my Eighteenth Brumaire, you will find that I declare: the next French Revolution will no longer attempt to transfer the bureaucratic-military apparatus from one hand to another, but to smash it, and this is the precondition for every real people’s revolution on the Continent.” He, in fact, criticized previous revolutions for strengthening it, "Finally, in its struggle against the revolution, the parliamentary republic found itself compelled to strengthen, along with the repressive measures, the resources and centralization of governmental power. All revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it.”
Of course, the oft-cited example of 'dictatorship of the proletariat' was the Paris Commune. Well, until the Blanquists decided to take matters into their own hands...

Anarchists in the nineteenth century rejected the idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" simply because the proletariat was a minority of working people at the time. As such, to argue for a dictatorship of the proletariat meant to argue for the dictatorship of a minority class, a class which excluded the majority of toiling people. When Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto, for example, over 80% of the population of France and Germany were peasants or artisans - NOT the industrial working class/proletariat. Marx and Engels vision of proletarian revolution was one which involved a minority dictating to the majority.

As such, Bakunin rejected the concept. He was simply pointing out the fact that a "dictatorship of the proletariat," at the time, actually meant a dictatorship by a minority of working people and so a "revolution" which excluded the majority of working people (i.e. artisans and peasants). As he argued in 1873: "If the proletariat is to be the ruling class then whom will it rule? There must be yet another proletariat which will be subject to this new rule, this new state. It may be the peasant rabble . . . which, finding itself on a lower cultural level, will probably be governed by the urban and factory proletariat." [Statism and Anarchy, pp. 177-8]

So it is important to note that Marx meant a minority dictatorship when he wrote the communist manifesto

'The first step on the path to the workers' revolution is the elevation of the proletariat to the position of ''ruling class''. The proletariat will gain from its political domination by gradually tearing away from the bourgeoisie all capital, by centralizing all means of production in the hands of the State, that is to say in the hands of the proletariat itself organized as the ruling class'

Anyone who actually reads Marx knows ''exactly'' what he was advocating.

Most socialist parties today are marked by strong currents of bolshivism - The majority of so called socialist parties to date have become tainted by the power of gov - which proves that Anarchist thinkers are accurate in the observation that no one can wield power within the hierarchy without becoming corrupted by it.

That said, Marx did eventually ''change his opinions'' later on - laying he foundations for left/libertarian Marxism - perhaps upon seeing the success of the Parie commune, however the fact remains that most socialist parties are founded upon his earlier work. - Causing huge problems within the Marxist movement.

Be under no illusion though- the problem was never ''misinterpritation'' of his writings rather the inherent inconsistency.
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Stos
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:41 am

Did you read the quote about self-government, Y/N? Also, of course, the Paris Commune was what Marx and Engels saw as being 'dictatorship of the proletariat' (until, of course, the Blanquists decided to take power). The 'dictatorship of the proletariat' was also referred to here, "The class domination of the workers over the resisting strata of the old world must last until the economic foundations of the existence of classes are destroyed." (Emphasis mine. He obviously meant capitalists and supporters of capitalism that actively fight against the revolution, (Heh, I'm sure the Stalinists won't like this. What do you mean, counterrevolutionaries have to actually do something?) so basically, until the revolution is international, we will still have class domination, in which the working majority will seek to take the capitalist minority out of power.)
Also, Marx hardly assumed that revolution was going to take place immediately after the Communist Manifesto, it was propaganda. He was planting seeds, and hoping for them to grow. Just because a revolution can't take place at the time, it doesn't mean that it's not worth promoting it, nor is it worth planning to incorporate the lumpen and peasants (hey there, Bakunin), since they would eventually be reduced to a minority (as Marx said, as bourgeois society developed, it would increasingly get split up into the proletariat and bourgeoisie. He was obviously not expecting revolution before this. It's like arguing that people wanting socialism through elections are for cheating the electoral system because we're not yet a majority) Yes, I know exactly he was saying, he was saying that the workers should own the means of production, since revolution would only be possible once they were the majority anyways. Well, shit. What was the goal of a revolution, again? Classless society. Its aim was not to make everybody into peasants or lumpen ( Very Happy ), but into proletarians, thus making the proletariat class dissappear. The point was that there was no point in a revolution before the proletariat became a majority anyways. The point of putting out a Communist Manifesto was, then, probably that, as the proletariat's devolpment into a majority would be fast (and it was), that an organized workers' movement fighting for socialism could then be ready and organized already, rather than having to wait until the proletariat were a majority before raising consciousness.
"But those revolutions will be made by the majority. No revolution can be made by a party, but by a nation."

(Also, I had seen that argument before in the Anarchist FAQ. It's awesome, but the fact that it managed to quote Bakunin's objection to Marx without pointing out Marx's response is fairly bad.)


Last edited by Stos on Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:00 am

Wow, there's been a lot of replies. This'll be a rather long post.

Quote :
what do you think of syndicalism?

I think that Syndicalism as an organizational tactic (workplace oriented revolutionary movement, etc.) is effective and necessary, however Syndicalism as a post-revolutionary social principle doesn't appeal to me. I would be much more centered around the Communist tenents of Anarchism.

Quote :

Define 'Dictatorship of the proletariat'.

The time after Capitalism and before Communism in which workers control the means of production and state apparatus in order to gear society towards a socialist future.

My main problem with this is I'd rather the state be hastily abolished and currency phased out gradually as with no State there is virtually no position of usurp-able power. Thus, I believe Collectivism is an effective transitional stage, sort of a golden mean between societies. At least on the economic front.

Quote :
Also, Marx's 'from each... to each' thing was actually basically a quote of Louis Blanc (though not exact. Louis Blanc was a utopian socialist with pinko qualities, last I remember), and he pretty much said that it was impossible until 'labour became not only the means of life, but life's prime want'.

No matter the origin, it's a Marxist maxim. This is rather besides the point, no?

Quote :
Heh. So presumably we need everybody to agree with a revolution before it starts? Otherwise it might become... A dictatorship of the proletariat? :O

No, only the proletariat and those who support the proletariat. You could hang all the uncomplying bourgeoisie for all I care, it's revolution.

Further, people have to understand what dictatorship meant then and what it means now. Dictatorship then was not absolutism as it is now. It simply means in authority, making decisions, in control. Not necessarily complete control. I suppose if you define dictatorship as rule by one party, not one absolute leader, then sure, most people could be alienated by it these days, as it qualifies as a dictatorship. But you should probably think more the word 'dictate' meaning decide rather than the theoretical definition of dictatorship.

Also, this alienation is yet another reason I think the Marxist method of going about achieving Communism is most likely generally uneffective.

Quote :
who said dictatorships were inherently bad...? lol
no system is inherently bad...its what people make of it, or how people come out of it that makes it bad...right...?

This is kinda true. The idea of a dictatorship is to give one idea high resources and authority in order to continue to progress in one positive direction, in stead of switches in morals every four years or whatever. So sure, if they're positive goals like in the Marxist sense it's not really 'bad' dictatorship, but then again dictatorship, we as Anarchists tend to know, is quick to turn bad.
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Stos
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:35 am

Spinner wrote:
The time after Capitalism and before Communism in which workers control the means of production and state apparatus in order to gear society towards a socialist future.

My main problem with this is I'd rather the state be hastily abolished and currency phased out gradually as with no State there is virtually no position of usurp-able power. Thus, I believe Collectivism is an effective transitional stage, sort of a golden mean between societies. At least on the economic front.
It was, as far as I can see, socialism before the revolution was international. However, define 'state' (as we can see, Marx got fairly annoyed with the word after a while). Yes, I hate myself for asking that too. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:48 am

A valid question, which I'll be glad to attempt to define, haha. The State is basically, for me, a product of class antagonism and an instrument of Capitalism to enforce these antagonisms. The State is the actual force, or the enforcement, while Capitalism is the system behind it. Yet another reason why the dictatorship of the proletariat doesn't strike me as effective, it's getting rid of the wrong tenent of oppression first.
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Stos
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:04 am

Spinner wrote:
A valid question, which I'll be glad to attempt to define, haha. The State is basically, for me, a product of class antagonism and an instrument of Capitalism to enforce these antagonisms. The State is the actual force, or the enforcement, while Capitalism is the system behind it. Yet another reason why the dictatorship of the proletariat doesn't strike me as effective, it's getting rid of the wrong tenent of oppression first.
So the state is what supports capitalism, and was created by it (of course), and thus the dictatorship of the proletariat is...?
So what, the police and army?
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:57 am

Spinner, Stos, i hope you've come to an agreement on the definition of the state, otherwise you're wasting your time debating over it. Anarchists and Marxists use the word "state" in different ways. If you don't come to that understanding, your arguments are rather useless, since you'll be arguing over two very different subjects. Anarchists use the state to mean the government, and all repressive and coercive authority that stems from it, whereas marxists define the state as a tool of class repression, which they believe necessary to establishing a classless society. So marxists may still say the anarchists are using the 'state' in transition to a communist (anarchist [i don't see the difference]) society, even if there is no "government" per se (and they wouldn't be wrong, but anarchists believe in repressing the capitalist class in a different way).

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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:59 am

Black_Cross wrote:
Spinner, Stos, i hope you've come to an agreement on the definition of the state, otherwise you're wasting your time debating over it. Anarchists and Marxists use the word "state" in different ways. If you don't come to that understanding, your arguments are rather useless, since you'll be arguing over two very different subjects. Anarchists use the state to mean the government, and all repressive and coercive authority that stems from it, whereas marxists define the state as a tool of class repression, which they believe necessary to establishing a classless society. So marxists may still say the anarchists are using the 'state' in transition to a communist (anarchist [i don't see the difference]) society, even if there is no "government" per se (and they wouldn't be wrong, but anarchists believe in repressing the capitalist class in a different way).
A different way, meaning? And yes, that's pretty much the problem here, it's why I found the question necessary.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:09 am

Black_Cross wrote:
Anarchists use the state to mean the government, and all repressive and coercive authority that stems from it, whereas marxists define the state as a tool of class repression, which they believe necessary to establishing a classless society. .

I believe it's a tool of class oppression, just not something necessary to establishing a classless society post-revolution. Maybe I'm theoretically more Marxist then the average Anarchist but I do think the State is a product of class antagonism.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:13 am

Spinner wrote:
Black_Cross wrote:
Anarchists use the state to mean the government, and all repressive and coercive authority that stems from it, whereas marxists define the state as a tool of class repression, which they believe necessary to establishing a classless society. .

I believe it's a tool of class oppression, just not something necessary to establishing a classless society post-revolution..
Then what would you advocate doing after revolution? Mind that here we mean that a successful revolution has taken place, but not yet internationally, and thus class antagonisms still exist.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:15 am

The immediate abolition of the State apparatus and the transitional actions needed, for instance Collectivist economic implementations, would take place as fast as possible to ensure the State has been terminated and Capitalism will loosen its grip on the proletarians. Further, the violent fight against the bourgeois will most likely continue, so there must be effort on supressing the Capitalist reaction. Basically a hasty approach towards Anarchism.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:25 am

Spinner wrote:
The immediate abolition of the State apparatus and the transitional actions needed, for instance Collectivist economic implementations, would take place as fast as possible to ensure the State has been terminated and Capitalism will loosen its grip on the proletarians. Further, the violent fight against the bourgeois will most likely continue, so there must be effort on supressing the Capitalist reaction. Basically a hasty approach towards Anarchism.
Again, it largely depends on what you mean by the 'state'. For example, us De Leonists, the most Marxist of the Marxist ( Very Happy ) would also advocate destroying the current state apparatus, as did Marx. However, the use of violence and whatever else to put down a capitalist counterrevolution, and to aid other revolutions (Especially important for workers in the US and such), can be counted as pretty much the 'oppression' of the bourgeosie.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:30 am

Sure it's oppression of the bourgeoisie to usurp their power, but Anarchists intend to abolish it. Sure, it's forceful, but not authoritarian.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:48 am

Spinner wrote:
Sure it's oppression of the bourgeoisie to usurp their power, but Anarchists intend to abolish it. Sure, it's forceful, but not authoritarian.
Intend to abolish what, the bourgeoisie? Their power?
Also, who said anything about being authoritarian?
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:50 am

I just meant to say that it can be called 'oppressing' the bourgeoisie, but not through any state apparatus.

And both, as well as the proletarians -- what I mean by this is that class in its entirety should be abolished, as well as state power.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:16 pm

Spinner wrote:
I just meant to say that it can be called 'oppressing' the bourgeoisie, but not through any state apparatus.
It depends completely, of course, on your definition of the 'state'. So, how would you envision oppressing the bourgeoisie through the state as opposed to your form?

Quote :
And both, as well as the proletarians -- what I mean by this is that class in its entirety should be abolished, as well as state power.
Yes, exactly, but that can't happen when there's still bourgeoisie around. We're all internationalists here. Very Happy

Also, just as a note, De Leon actually did claim to be against anarchism, but he didn't seem to know exactly what anarchism is either, so I'm not going to defend him on that.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:19 pm

Quote :
[quote="Stos"]Did you read the quote about self-government, Y/N? Also, of course, the Paris Commune was what Marx and Engels saw as being 'dictatorship of the proletariat' (until, of course, the Blanquists decided to take power).

Actually no - Marx writes ''clearly'' about power being concentrated in the hands of a minority via the state ''in the literal sense'' ie nation state. ''the workers must not only strive for a single and indivisible ''German republic'', but also within this republic for the most determined centralization of power in the hands of the state authority." - Karl Marx


Ok it doesn't get any more bloody obvious than that now does it. The above view was expressed around 1850 - and is the prevailing current throughout most of his writing. Like I said, he ''changed his opinion'' later in life ''after'' the commune de parie ''surprise, surprise''. Furthermore, since hes referring to a nation state we can go on all day about the historical implications - for example the Leninist and Blanquist strands.


Quote :
The 'dictatorship of the proletariat' was also referred to here, "The class domination of the workers over the resisting strata of the old world must last until the economic foundations of the existence of classes are destroyed."(Emphasis mine. He obviously meant capitalists and supporters of capitalism that actively fight against the revolution, (Heh, I'm sure the Stalinists won't like this. What do you mean, counterrevolutionaries have to actually do something?)

In other words - ''the backward peasant rabble ''unable to organize'' requires the superior urban proletariat to act ''then rule'' on their behalf - Marx consistently lays the seeds for authoritarian party rule.

Quote :
so basically, until the revolution is international, we will still have class domination, in which the working majority will seek to take the capitalist minority out of power.)

The urban proletariat was not representative of the ''working majority'' in Marx's time -
Personally I don't agree with minority acting in ''my best interests'' - sounds like some variation of capitalist oligarchy, which is exactly how it turned out in practice.


Quote :
He was planting seeds, and hoping for them to grow. Just because a revolution can't take place at the time, it doesn't mean that it's not worth promoting it, nor is it worth planning to incorporate the lumpen and peasants (hey there, Bakunin), since they would eventually be reduced to a minority (as Marx said, as bourgeois society developed, it would increasingly get split up into the proletariat and bourgeoisie.

Here, hang on a second - you cant promote minority revolution based on the mere ''assumption'' that the minority will ''at some point in the future'' become a majority. Its circular reasoning - The fundamentalist faith self proclaimed Marxists have in his holy scriptures is astounding. Don't get me wrong Marx was a genius - but he wasn't a God he was human and made mistakes.

Furthermore from an anarchist perspective I hold that the unequal distribution in power automatically reconstitutes social factions - ie If one faction of the majority manages/controls the affairs of the populace, it is no longer by force of that relation part of the ''majority'' from which it came.

I don't deal with class in simplistic terms ie relations to the means of production.
Class is determined predominantly by institutionalized power relations.


More of Marx's earlier writing

"the free organisation of the worker masses from bottom to top" as "nonsense." - Karl Marx "they must not allow themselves to be misguided by the democratic talk of freedom for the communities, of self-government, etc." - Karl Marx

Again let me stress that the problem was never misinterpretation of Marx's work rather
inherent inconsistencies within it. Many Marxists find this hard to swallow and instead regurgitate his later work instead of admitting the obvious fact.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:20 pm

Quote :
It depends completely, of course, on your definition of the 'state'. So, how would you envision oppressing the bourgeoisie through the state as opposed to your form?

One is basically reversing the oppression we receive from the State and suppressing the bourgeoisie with their same state power. The other is a continuation of violent resistance (at this point against a bourgeois reaction) whilst the changes in society being implemented. Getting rid of the higher class reaction and hastily achieving Communism are the main priorities.

Quote :
Yes, exactly, but that can't happen when there's still bourgeoisie around. We're all internationalists here.

Thus the continuation of violent resistance.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:10 am

Spinner wrote:
One is basically reversing the oppression we receive from the State and suppressing the bourgeoisie with their same state power. The other is a continuation of violent resistance (at this point against a bourgeois reaction) whilst the changes in society being implemented. Getting rid of the higher class reaction and hastily achieving Communism are the main priorities.
Marx actually complained about the earlier French revolution simply 'perfecting' the bourgeois state mechanism, and said that the next French revolution will have to smash the bourgeois state, which will be the nature of all other socialist revolutions. Also, I get the feeling that by 'oppressing', he counted taking the bourgeoisie out of power in itself as 'oppressing the bourgeoisie' (mainly through the fact that the Paris Commune was pretty much what he seemed to believe was a 'dictatorship of the proletariat')
So yeah, I think we should abolish the word 'state' in all discussion of Marxism, because it has at least 200 different meanings. Nah, just kidding, the word 'state' will not be abolished, it will cease to exist as soon as we destroy all class hierarchies. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:27 am

It really is the confusion of definition, and it doesn't help we're from very different sides of the left.
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:20 am

Spinner wrote:
It really is the confusion of definition, and it doesn't help we're from very different sides of the left.
Are we?
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:34 am

I'd say an Anarchist and De Leonist are pretty different, no?
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PostSubject: Re: Spinner's Political Profile.   Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:38 am

Spinner wrote:
I'd say an Anarchist and De Leonist are pretty different, no?
de leonism is like anarcho syndicalism with a party

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