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 Communism and Anarchism

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Black_Cross
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PostSubject: Communism and Anarchism   Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:22 pm

Some of us here think that there is some misunderstanding of what communism and anarchism is, and we should use this thread to come to a concensus.

I happen to think they're synonymous in what they represent as well as their manifest forms (though some ideological currents within each will say otherwise. I think this just comes from a misunderstanding, not any irreconcilable difference).

I'll let the opposition present their argument first if they'd like.

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"Here then is the problem which we present to you. Stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?"
--Albert Einstein--Bertrand Russell--
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Black_Cross
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PostSubject: Re: Communism and Anarchism   Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:17 am

So here i go.

To understand why these two revolutionary doctrines are synonymous, it is necessary to understand their defining principles, goals, and how these will realistically manifest themselves in an egalitarian society. It also needs to be understood how authoritarian communist strategies will inevitably fail to bring about a workers' self-managed society (whether or not the vanguard is genuine). Hopefully vanguardism will be thoroughly covered in a thread to come, so we can bypass that for this thread. And, in passing, note that i'm not counting those individualist anarchist tendencies that don't revolve around the liberation of the working class (mostly i would like to remove that label from those anarchists, as i believe there are significant contradictions within these tendencies that make it hard to call them anarchist in the first place).

To begin with let's compare principles. Now, it's true that emphasis is made in these different doctrines that may give the illusion of a distinct break in ideology, but i think this is simply misunderstanding. Anarchy will tend to put emphasis on liberties (i'm speaking generally), whereas communist doctrines emphasize liberation; that is, anarchy is "individualistic", whereas communism is "populist" (it's easy enough to say that individuals form the population, and the population is made of individuals, in order to explain why there's no split here, but i'll go a little deeper). Now, maybe this is a rhetorical split, but in reality, these two concepts are tied tight to each other. One is dependant on the other, and vice-versa. I just ask that you give this some conscious thought, and it should be pretty clear. The liberties of the individual are completely dependant on the abolition of heirarchy (classes and the State) and the capitalist organisation of society. Likewise, to achieve this abolition of heirarchy and capitalism, it is necessary to ensure that individual liberties (obviously i mean for everyone, not just certain individuals) are defended, and privilege (antithesis to liberty) is undone. Here we can already see the strong link between anarchy and communism.

Obviously, another way in which they concur is on the question of tactics (this is where i ask you to understand that vanguardism is not a viable solution to the bourgeois, statist organization of society. If you have a problem with my assumption without substantiation, please make a thread about vanguardism, as i'd rather not do this annoying little dance in this thread). In order to establish a society based on the common need, it is necessary to employ grassroots democracy (i will simply say here that a society run by a few, will be run in the interestes of a few). This will not only be the training course of the working class, before they complete their drastic reorganization of the community, but will lay the foundation for a libertarian structure of society.

This structure, it should be noted, is key to our success in the realm of economic and political justice. Like i said before, if the structure of a society is geared towards party or individual control, it is plain to see how this structure will inherently tend towards privilege (that is, of the party or individual in control, as well as its economic constituents, those private or state run companies who enable the state), and not liberty. It is with this in mind that i'd like to cover the topic of anarchy, communism, and their realistic manifestations. Ever since Bakunin, anarchists have proposed that a society be run from the bottom-up. And they have contended that communists are averse to this based on their dictatorship (I contend that this is just a stupid, unnecessary play on words, which has only caused annoying amounts of confusion and flippant debate between the two groups). But even the vanguardists would like to see society run in a non-heirarchical way, they just have a backwards view on how to achieve this goal. Looking at how these shared principles and goals of anarchy and communism have manifested themselves in the past in Russia or Spain is to see just how similar they are. The most revolutionary groups in both Russia and Spain were the everyday workers. Creating collectives and federations in Spain and soviets and soldier councils in Russia, the workers were in accord on the need for self-organization and cooperation. Unfortunately we see the state taking up its usual role of reaction in both of these cases, but in the times of the working classes dominance in economic and social affairs, we see heirarchy destroyed, privilege wane, and the structure of society flipped on its ear. So it is that in both cases (one often referred to as anarchist and the other communist) the same goals are being chased and the same means being employed to realize those goals (i.e. workers self management, grassroots democracy), with variations in name only.

And so, to me, it seems clear that the achievement of anarchy is to have achieved worker control of all aspects of society, and the achievement of communism is to have achieved the greatest of individual liberties and the abolition of all coercive authority. You cannot have one without the other.

PS- i get the nagging feeling that i've missed something, so if there's any outstanding whole anywhere in this post, mention it so i can fix it, or just fix it yourself. Thanks.

_________________
"Here then is the problem which we present to you. Stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?"
--Albert Einstein--Bertrand Russell--
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