A Case for Anarchist Class Analysis: Why it Works Better than the Marxist Approach and What it Means for Struggles

A Case for Anarchist Class Analysis - Leroy Maisiri

Author: Leroy Maisiri

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The purpose of this pamphlet is giving a coherent, comparative analysis on how anarchists and Marxists view the concept of “class,” and the political implications of each approach. Class is the nucleus of both Marxism and anarchism; however the conceptualisation of class is different for both. In pointing out these differences, it is my hope that I will convincingly show how and why the anarchist conceptualisation of class is more comprehensive and more useful, providing a more holistic analysis of many related aspects of class, and a more practical political guide.

First Zabalaza Books edition, March 2019

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Anarchism and the National Liberation Struggle

Anarchism and the National Liberation Struggle - Alfredo Bonanno

 

Author: Alfredo Bonanno

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“The anarchist programme concerning the national liberation struggle is very clear: it must not go towards constituting an ‘intermediate stage’ towards the social revolution through the formation of new national States. Anarchists refuse to participate in national liberation fronts; they participate in class fronts which may or may not be involved in national liberation struggles. The struggle must spread to establish economic, political and social structures in the liberated territories based on federalist and libertarian principles.”

Alfredo Bonanno,
1978.

This important pamphlet attempts to develop an anarchist internationalist position on the ever present reality of national liberation struggles and the national question. Wide ranging in the topics it covers – from internal colonialism to a critique of certain Marxist views – the pamphlet argues that anarchists should support national liberation struggles insofar as they are waged by and for the oppressed classes, and that the national question can only be resolved by the free association of peoples on a libertarian and federalist basis.

Humanity will never be free until we liberate ourselves by global social revolution

Third South African Edition, February 2019

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AgitProp #21 – National Self-Determination, Internationalism, and Libertarian Socialism: Once More on the Subject of National Liberation

AgitProp 21 - National Self-Determination, Internationalism, and Libertarian Socialism by Wayne Price

Author: Wayne Price

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There are few subjects of greater disagreement among libertarian socialists than “national liberation” and “national self-determination.” By “libertarian socialists” I include anarchists of all sorts, also libertarian-autonomous Marxists and others with similar politics. By “national liberation/self-determination,” I mean the idea that some nations are oppressed and deserve to be liberated from that oppression, and to be able to decide for themselves what social, economic, and political systems they wish to live under.

From anarkismo.net

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Russia: Revolution, Counter-Revolution: An Anarchist-Communist Analysis of the Russian Revolution

Russia: Revolution, Counter-Revolution by Joe Licentia

Author: Joe Licentia

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The Russian Revolution was one of the most important events of the 20th century. It had a massive impact on the world and revolutionary movements, especially in the period after world war two when many groups seeking to imitate the Bolshevik triumph in Russia came to power. The revolution itself shows two main things. Firstly, the revolution validates anarchist critiques of the “workers state” or “dictatorship of the proletariat” advocated by Marxists and other authoritarian socialists. Anarchists have long predicted that these schemes would inevitably result in the creation of a new bureaucratic ruling class that dominated and exploited the proletariat, a prediction that was proven correct in Russia and subsequent state socialist revolutions. Second, the early phases of the revolution provide an example of how society might be run in an anarchistic manner without capitalism, the state or other authoritarian systems.

Text originally downloaded from: http://question-everything.mahost.org This version found at: www.unlikelystories.org/. The text no longer exists at either site.

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The Deepening Capitalist Crisis: From Blood and Dirt to much worse

The Deepening Capitalist Crisis - Shawn Hattingh [ZACF]

Author: Shawn Hattingh

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It was long ago stated that capitalism came into the world dripping in blood and dirt, from every pore, from head to toe. While it has demonstrated that it won’t simply collapse under its own weight, the recent goings-on around the current capitalist crisis have shown that with age it has become even more hideous. Capitalism is now rank with massive state intervention required to simply keep its rotting body moving: through states propping up the financial sector and deepening the colossal attack on the working class.

Shawn Hattingh is a member of South Africa’s
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
www.zabalaza.net
This text from the Anarkismo site.
www.anarkismo.net

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Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege

Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege - Dónal O’DriscollAuthor: Dónal O’Driscoll | File size: 298 KB

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Privilege and the theory around it is a significant topic of debate at the moment among those interested in radical social change. Touching on many issues dear to the hearts of anarchists, it is hard to avoid. Yet, the two are not fitting together as well as they should and there is a sense of unease about this. Much of this is because privilege theory has emerged from US academic circles rather than anarchist ones and, ironically, has been co-opted to protect middle- class privileges. This is a situation in need of repair if we are to maintain our links with feminist, anti- racist and other struggles against oppression. If we are to create a mass movement capable of social change then it has to be able to engage with everyone in the first place.

This article is from the Irish Anarchist Review, no. 8, Autumn 2013

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AgitProp #15 – Privilege Theory: The Politics of Defeat

AgitProp #15 - Privilege Theory: The Politics of DefeatAuthor: Unknown | File size: 516 KB

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I’ve been blissfully ignorant of these ideas of privilege and the concept of checking it until very recently. It came across my radar after the fall out of a twitter row. A set of ideas were put forward, and argument was made. The response to this argument boiled down to the person was writing it from a perspective of “white male privilege”. The issues were side stepped.

I assumed that this was an abuse of a theory that I didn’t understand, that privilege theory wasn’t simply a handy tool to dismiss an argument because you don’t like the person making it. I asked on twitter for some links so I could find out what this theory was really about. The most interesting and by interesting I mean the most infuriating was A Class Struggle Anarchist Analysis of Privilege Theory – from the Women’s Caucus.

Found at the SabCat site

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AgitProp #14 – Identity Politics, Class and Autonomous Organising

AgitProp-14-Identity-Politics-Class-and-Autonomous-Organising-TimothyAuthor: Timothy | File size: 200 KB

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This talk is at a midpoint between being an original work, and being an exegesis of Selma’s James justly famous “Sex, Race and Class.” This astonishingly brilliant work contains within itself the clear foundations of a historical materialist, or Marxist, conception of the relationship between capitalism and oppression. Because I have mixed in many of my own original points, both intentionally and no doubt by accidental misinterpretation, I would strongly suggest everyone here goes and reads the original.

This text is taken from an audio recording of a talk and discussion in the Black Rose anarchist social centre in Sydney on the theme of identity politics and its relevance today. The text is taken from the website of the Workers’ Solidarity Movement. Go to the WSM site here

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The Rise of the Post-New Left Political Vocabulary

The Rise of the New Left Political Vocabulary by Stephen D’ArcyAuthor: Stephen D’Arcy | File size: 350 KB

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“If a handful of time-travelling activists from our own era were somehow transported into a leftist political meeting in 1970, would they even be able to make themselves understood? They might begin to talk, as present-day activists do, about challenging privilege, the importance of allyship, or the need for intersectional analysis. Or they might insist that the meeting itself should be treated as a safe space. But how would the other people at the meeting react? I’m quite sure that our displaced contemporaries would be met with uncomprehending stares…”

Found on the website of The Public Autonomy Project

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The Problem with “Privilege”

The Problem with “Privilege” by Andrea SmithAuthor: Andrea Smith  |  File size: 328 KB

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“In my experience working with a multitude of anti-racist organising projects over the years, I frequently found myself participating in various workshops in which participants were asked to reflect on their gender/race/sexuality/class/etc. privilege. These workshops had a bit of a self-help orientation to them: “I am so and so, and I have x privilege.” It was never quite clear what the point of these confessions were. It was not as if other participants did not know the confessor in question had her/his proclaimed privilege. It did not appear that these individual confessions actually led to any political projects to dismantle the structures of domination that enabled their privilege…”

This article is from the blog of Andrea Smith.
It was found on the website of Miami Autonomy & Solidarity

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Don’t Vote, Organise!

Don’t Vote, Organise!Author: unknown | File size: 359 KB

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“It seems amazing that after over 100 years of electioneering, the Left still thinks that standing for elections is a good thing. It is even more amazing that certain anarchist thinkers are arguing along similar lines. Recent developments within the left and the US anarchist scene make it worthwhile to present the anarchist case against standing for elections…”

This text was downloaded from the excellent and highly recommended Struggle.WebSite

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Marxism, Freedom and the State

Marxism, Freedom and the State - Mikhail BakuninAuthor: Mikhail Bakunin | File size: 478 KB

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Liberty for all, and a natural respect for that liberty: such are the essential conditions of international solidarity.

~ Bakunin

This collection of extracts from the works of Mikhail Bakunin are taken from his writings touching on his controversy with Marx over the nature of the state and its role in the liberation of the international working class.

Written between 1867 and 1872, many of Bakunin’s predictions about the outcome of following the authoritarian communist road have been proven valid by the actions of Leninist tyrants across the world.

Text from LibCom | libcom.org

This second Zabalaza Books edition July 2014

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Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A Critical Evaluation

Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A Critical Evaluation by Scott NappalosAuthor: Scott Nappalos  |  File size: 379 KB

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The terrain is changing beneath our feet. Since the collapse of the majority of the “official Communist” regimes, the world has witnessed both events and ideas that have undermined the former dominant thinking within the left. The Zapatistas, Argentina in 2001, South Korean workers movements, Oaxaca in 2006, the struggles around anti-globalization, and Greece’s series of insurrectionary moments have increasingly presented challenges to traditional left answers to movements and organisation. In previous eras Marxist-Leninism was the nexus which all currents by default had to respond to either in agreement or critique. Today, increasingly anarchist practices and theory have come to play this role.

As a member of an anarchist political organisation, a friend once told me I in fact was practicing democratic centralism. This was perplexing, because the group had no resembling structures, practices, or the associated behaviours of democratic centralism….

Related Links: https://miamiautonomyandsolidarity.wordpress.com | http://anarkismo.net

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From Theory to Practice, Taking a Critical Look at Leninism

From Theory to Practice, Taking a Critical Look at Leninism by Adam WeaverAuthor: Adam Weaver  |  File size: 303 KB

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Where can those looking for a critical understanding of Lenin turn? How can we better understand how the Russian Revolution began as the first modern anti-capitalist revolution from below with workers taking over and running their workplaces, peasants seizing the land, and the creation of democratic soviets (worker committees)? And then in less than a decade its devolution into the brutal dictatorship of Stalin? Is there a continuity between the ideas of Lenin and his particular brand of Marxism that reshaped the Marxist movement in the 1920’s and the number of revolutionary parties that would later achieve state power and claim the Bolshevik party and Lenin as their model and inspiration?

This is a piece that was originally posted to Machete 408 by Adam Weaver. It is a review/summation piece, which is released in conjunction with a piece by Scott Nappolas which presents an extensive discussion of Lenin’s concept of democratic centralism. See Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A Critical Evaluation by Scott Nappalos, now published by Zabalaza Books.

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