Review of Wayne Price, The Value of Radical Theory: An Anarchist Introduction to Marx's Critique of Political Economy

From Alpine Anarchist Productions

(Oakland/Edinburgh: AK Press, 2013)

The relationship between Marxism and anarchism has been a complicated one ever since Mikhail Bakunin was expelled from the First International in 1872. To this day, a number of anarchists reject any association with Marxism, some going as far as denouncing "the Left" altogether. This might explain why Wayne Price uses most of the introduction to his new book, The Value of Radical Theory: An Anarchist Introduction to Marx's Critique of Political Economy, to justify writing a book about Marx as an anarchist. He concludes: "I hope to show anarchists that it is possible to learn from aspects of Marxist theory while remaining anarchists." (7)

That Price would pick up this task is of little surprise. The self-described "Marxist-informed anarchist" (157) is a veteran anarcho-communist militant who has played an important role in organizations such as Love and Rage and the Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC). Among his best-known publications are the The Abolition of the State: Anarchist and Marxist Perspectives (2007) and Anarchism and Socialism: Reformism or Revolution? (2010).

In reevaluating the relationship between Marxism and anarchism, Price is not alone. In Germany, for example, Philippe Kellermann has edited a number of books in recent years – most notably, two volumes tellingly entitled Begegnungen feindlicher Brüder, or, "Encounters of Hostile Brothers" – in which both Marxists and anarchists reflect on the Left's old feuds. Such discussions have far more than only theoretical relevance. In face of the current neoliberal assault and the threats by the extreme right, strong and united anticapitalist and antifascist resistance seems crucial. In one of his last articles, the late Joel Olson – writing about the now defunct Bring the Ruckus organization – stated that "we believe that the old arguments between communists and anarchists are largely irrelevant today". [1] This is not to advertise any particular political organization; as a NEFAC member, Wayne Price himself criticized the Bring the Ruckus approach. [2] It is important to note, however, that attempts to deescalate the historical conflict between Marxism and anarchism in order to build a stronger Left already exist, both on a theoretical and on an activist level. Price's book is a welcome contribution to further this development.

The Value of Radical Theory – which is based on a series of essays first published on the anarkismo website under the title Marx's Economics for Anarchists – is divided into three parts:

The first, "Basics", addresses Marx's method ("abstraction", as Price calls it), and some of the key terms of Marxist theory ("value", "alienation", "fetishism", and so on).

Part two, "Epochs of Capitalism", offers a historical account of economic and political development reaching from "primitive accumulation" to "state capitalism". Price pays particular attention to issues that are often seen as lacking in orthodox Marxist theory, namely gender, race, ecology, and technology.

Part three, "The Socialist Goal", discusses some the most contested themes when it comes to the Marxist-anarchist relationship. On the role of the working class, Price states: "Because they produce the wealth of society, workers have their hands on the means of production and distribution. They have the potential power to stop society in its tracks and even to start it up in a different way." (121) On historical determinism, he comments: "It is not inevitable at all that workers, or anyone else, will choose revolution before we face economic collapse, nuclear war, or environmental cataclysm. It is only possible. It is less a matter of prediction than commitment. Whatever is the 'correct' interpretation of Marx on the question of inevitability, the issue will be decided in struggle." (133) And on the subject of revolution, he declares: "The international revolution of the workers and all oppressed is the only road to a classless, stateless, nonoppressive society, democratic and cooperative, of freely associated individuals, 'in which the free development of each is the precondition for the free development of all' (Communist Manifesto)." (163)

The book ends with an interesting appendix on Malatesta's views on anarchist organizing, a critique of prefabricated social models such as Parecon, and a very useful reference list.

The Value of Radical Theory is a well-written, non-sectarian introduction to Marxism from an anarchist perspective. It highlights both the key differences between Marxism and anarchism and the potential for mutual learning. It engages with Marxism on the grounds of critical solidarity, which is the most promising start for any fruitful exchange. The book is recommended for anyone who believes in such an exchange strengthening the fight against state and capital.

Gabriel Kuhn
(August 2013)

[1] Joel Olson, "Movement, Cadre, and the Dual Power", Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, v.13 n.1

[2] See, for example, "Revolutionary Strategy or Stagism", http://nefac.net/node/127

Category: 

Comments

"To this day, a number of anarchists reject any association with Marxism, some going as far as denouncing "the Left" altogether."

He says this without explaining why it's a bad thing, and then avers that "attempts to deescalate the historical conflict between Marxism and anarchism in order to build a stronger Left already exist, both on a theoretical and on an activist level. Price's book is a welcome contribution to further this development."

He says this without explaining why it's a good thing, other than to assert - as if it were self-evident - that "In face of the current neoliberal assault and the threats by the extreme right, strong and united anticapitalist and antifascist resistance seems crucial."

When fascism was a real threat to the lives of working and poor people (let's say from around 1924-1945, give or take), this line of argument led to the ideology and practice of the Popular Front, which was billed as an alliance of all anti-fascist forces, with some anti-capitalist stuff thrown in (mostly for rhetorical purposes). Or you could take Kuhn's assertion as a call for a United Front, which at least nominally is not a cross-class alliance with the progressive elements of the middle and ruling classes. Either way, it means an alliance with non-revolutionaries - if we understand revolution to be an irreversible process that has as its goals the abolition of capital and the state - which means a compromise of revolutionary organizing methods, revolutionary goals, and revolutionary principles.

Kuhn and Olson (and Price and the rest of the left anarchist scene) might think "that the old arguments between communists and anarchists are largely irrelevant today," but I disrespectfully and wholeheartedly disagree. To assert this is to reduce those arguments to the personality conflicts between Marx (and Engels) and Bakunin. But there were substantial reasons for the tensions that existed within the International, which came to an analytical head during and after the Paris Commune, and which came to a practical head during the years immediately following it. Those tensions, disagreements, and "arguments between communists and anarchists" have never been resolved. Attempts to ignore them inevitably lead to the same conclusions: irreparable splits, expulsions, and sectarian squabbles.

It's somewhat ironic that in the wake of the dissolution of the former USSR (and the accompanying shattering of most of the last remaining illusions of the Left), that Marxists would gravitate toward explicitly anarchist projects. Such is the trajectory of the former Trotskyist Mr Price. The Marxist baggage infused Love and Rage and later NEFAC (along with plenty of other, less well-known, and shorter-lived experiments and projects), leading to unresolvable internal conflicts that - guess what? - almost entirely mirrored the tensions that led to the definitive disintegration of the International. So instead of Marxists and anarchists fighting, it was left anarchists and non-left anarchists fighting.

Here is my summary (feel free to add more):
1. the national question: do we support nationalism for oppressed people, post-colonialist national liberation (aka anti-imperialism), or do we resolutely stand by internationalism - as the name implied?;
2. the union question: do we help organize legally recognized craft-based unions, or opt for (at least rhetorically) more radical (and possibly extra-legal) industrial unions?;
3. the organizational question: do we opt for horizontal (bottom-up) federations or more centralized hierarchical organizations? Do we opt for parliamentary recognition with political parties, or do we shun electoralism?

These questions split the International, especially in terms of how the Paris Commune was interpreted. These questions also split Love and Rage (three times!), in case anyone noticed. A few of these questions also brought NEFAC - and by extension the entire neo-Platformist project - into some well-deserved disrepute. These questions are only unresolved when anarchists fail (or refuse) to recognize that there are such things as anarchist principles, positions that are non-negotiable. If Marxists share some or most of those principles, great. But the problem for anarchists is that historically, Marxists have been on the shitty, hierarchical, authoritarian, and statist side of those questions.

If anarchists are to be taken seriously as anarchists, there's not much room for some generic feel-good anti-capitalism and/or anti-fascism. Anarchists don't need to learn or even care about Marxist political economy to be good anarchists. We just need to remain true to our principles of anti-hierarchy, anti-authority, anti-oppression, and anti-statism. If Marxists want to come along on the ride, fine - as long as they respect and agree to operate with those principles in mind. Otherwise, they can eat our dust.

"To this day, a number of anarchists reject any association with Marxism, some going as far as denouncing "the Left" altogether."

What a bullshit strawman, for many of us who reject the Left, Marxist analysis offers useful tools for understanding those wings of capital dedicated to reform and recuperation. The post-left argument, by and large, is directed against what is reformist in both anarchism and leftism. As an anarchist, I feel much closer to anti-state communist comrades who reject parties and unions than with platformists who use more of the same language I do ("anarchy" or whatever) but whose practice is basically soft-Leninist.

Many of the anti-state communists I have worked with over the years have similar practical analyses to radical anarchists:
a rejection of nationalism and anti-imperialism in favor of internationalism; a rejection of trade unions as actual or potentially revolutionary formations; a rejection of electoralism and parties in favor of direct action; a rejection of centralization and hierarchical forms of organization in favor of face to face affinity groups and federations of those affinity groups without representation; a keen interest in promoting and assisting in the self-activity of working class and poor people. I don't care if such folks call themselves Marxist (most usually don't), as long as those analytical and organizational principles are respected and adhered to. This almost always means a rejection of liberalism, social democracy, and Leninism - in other words, the Left.
Perhaps the German/Austrian context makes it difficult to understand a rejection of the Left since these positions are most closely associated in German with "linksradikal" (the radical left). It also might just be the refusal to consider (anti)politics outside the traditional Left/Right binary.

In case anyone is interested you can also read Wayne's new book from AK Press for free online at:

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/wayne-price-marx-s-economics-for-...

It has a different name, but appears to be just like the book.

Marxism and Anarchism can never exchange discourse because their essential natures are contrary. For a start, Marxism is Statist and therefore organisationally hierarchical. Didn't the dynamics and politics of the Spanish Civil War blatantly expose the duplicity of the leftist Republicans, even if Franco had not been assisted by the Nazis, and the Republicans by Stalin, ultimately the anarchists would have been suppressed by POUM who were even intolerant of anarcho-syndicalists like the CNT and FAI . It comes down to the neverending hypocrisies by both sides perpetuating a duality within political consciousness, the idea of the State by egalitarian vs State by free-enterprise. What's missing? Hahaha, NO FUCKING STATE BY INDIVIDUAL AUTONOMOUS SELF_DETERMINATION AND INITIATIVE! Damn, I would cook a thousand scones for those with a thousand balls!

i really expected a lot more from Gabriel Kuhn in a review of this; also, a terrible understanding of the complicated relationship with anarchism and marxism (which is more muddy than Grumpy lets on)

It is, I suppose, possible to interpret Gabriel's reference to the value of "deescalat[ing] the historic conflict between Marxism and anarchism" as advocacy of some sort of mushy integration of the two tendencies. However, this is not I intention or that of this book. The review even quotes me as writing, "it is possible to learn from aspects of Marxist theory while remaining anarchists." However, it should be easy to see from Gabriel's summary of the topics covered, that I am not discussing all the "aspects" of Marxist theory but one set of aspects, namely those related to Marx's (not others, but Marx's) economic theory (more properly, his critique of political economy). I try to show, in a little book, that it is useful for anarchists to learn from Marx's economic theory, which does not mean being uncritical. The book's subtitle is, "An Anarchist Introduction to Marx's Critique of Political Economy."

Other topics, raised by various posters, may be interesting, but are not covered in the book, nor really in Gabriel's review. This includes such questions as the United Front and Popular Front, and national liberation and nationalism. Nor did I discuss the nature of "the Left". I do have some discussion of Marxist "statism," which I reject. I do not believe ""that the old arguments between communists and anarchists are largely irrelevant today," But I cannot discuss all of them at once.

Anyway, after seeming to reject the idea of anarchists getting along with Marxists, "MIster Grumpy" declares that "Many of the anti state communists I have worked with over the years have similar practical analyses to radical anarchists." Some of these anti-state communists appear to be "Marxists" of some sort. So M.G. cannot object to anarchists working with (some) Marxists! Apparently what he objects to is accepting anarchism (and anti-statist Marxists) as part of the "Left," which seems more an argument about definitions than over content (since I am also against liberalism, reformism, and Leninism). The same seems to be true for "Anonymous". He or she also objects to the "Left," while stating, "Marxist analysis offers useful tools for understanding those wings of capital dedicated to reform and recuperation." Yes it does.

Dorothy rejects "exchang[ing] discourse" between anarchists and autonomous (anti-statist, libertarian) Marxists, due to their different natures. In particular due to Marxism being statist. But Mister Grumpy and Anonymous have been able to work together with supposed Marxists who regard themselves as "anti-statist." Now, I am not going to argue who is right about Marx (the anti-statists or the authoritarian Marxist-Leninists). I am just pointing out the empirical reality that it is possible for some (yes, a minority!) of Marxists to also have almost-anarchist political programs and practices. So we can work with them and be in dialogue with them.

Rocinate points out that my book can be found on the internet. Mostly true, of the first version, but the book itself is a revised and expanded edition.

I am curious what exactly anarchists or anyone else is supposed to learn from Marxist economic theory, which is not made clear in the review or Price's comment. Marxist economics is patently false in its main ideas and does not explain the evolution of a capitalist economy. Marx starts out from the labor theory of value and the idea that values and prices tend to converge. From this bizarre idea that there is a "correct" price for all commodities, Marx goes on to deduce that the economy operates according to laws, like the tendency of the rate of profit to fall and an increasing rate of exploitation. He also thought centralized large-scale industry and joint-stock corporations were the foundations of communism, and that industry should be developed as rapidly as possible.

All of this is proven nonsense. There are no "values," no "laws," and no benefit to centralization. The market operates according to oligopolistic power relations and all kinds of other irrationalities, not some precisely measured "labor time." Anarchists have always argued that there was no such thing as "objective" price or economic laws, and advocate decentralization. Even on these narrower economic issues, there is nothing in common between anarchists and Marxists.

Of course, we can all agree that capitalism entails profit-seeking, classes, exploitation, unemployment etc. Marx did not discover these things and there's nothing specifically Marxist about these simple observations, which any capitalist would have to agree with.

Actually a significant minority of marxists within the libertarian camp, including for instance the "Open Marxism" folks, reject not only the specific conclusions of marxist economics, but the very notion of a "marxist economics" as both self-contradictory and a false interpretation of Marx. Maybe you should read some of this literature before offering such hackneyed objections to the vulgar interpretations of Marx's more mainstream followers? Yet even those vulgar interpreters would rightly reject your absurd thesis that "any capitalist would have to agree with" Marx's or anyone else's "simple observations" on class and exploitation. Of course they precisely reject such notions altogether! How could "simple observations" ever be adequate to explain our complex reality? For his rigor, detail and synthetic powers of analysis, Marx still remains the best place to begin understanding the capitalist nature of society.

Yes, I'm sure there are more than a few souls out there arguing that they alone know and understand the "real" Marx. That itself is practically de rigueur for Marxism! I'm not interested in these games of one-upmanship where people trade quotes and look through posthumously published notebooks with a magnifying glass to discover the authentic, esoteric Truth that the Prophet Marx bequeathed to us 150 years ago. I simply read Marx's works and take him at face value, as did the vast majority of his followers who formed Marxist parties and created Marxist states. In those books written by Marx, Capital above all, which he and almost all of his followers considered his major work, which he spent decades working on, it is obvious that Marx is expounding an economic theory, he clearly states that that is what he is doing, and that's what the vast majority of Marxists have understood him to be doing. He frankly states in perfectly clear language that he is attempting to scientifically uncover the laws of the functioning of a capitalist economy. The simple fact of the matter is that he made erroneous theoretical assumptions and that his "laws" are invalid.

You are displaying some very common and now largely discredited assumptions, e.g. that Marx was "developing an economics", rather than a 'critique of economics' as his 'Capital' is sub-titled (though left out of older translations of which you're presumably familiar. That is, a critique that intended to expose the economic paradigm as inherently alienating and in need of destruction. The point is not to find the "real marx" but that which is still useful and critical in his work. There is no timeless, ahistorical "true" interpretation of Marx, whether mine or yours.

I don't know what you mean by "largely discredited." The vast majority of Marxists today believe that Marx has an economic theory - a theory of the basic patterns of a capitalist economy, explaining how and why it evolves as it does. If someone can read Capital and tell me it's not an economic theory, I really don't know what to say to them. To me, this is just trying to save Marx from criticism at all costs, even the complete denial of what is there in black and white on the pages he wrote.

Of course, he believed or hoped that capitalism would be destroyed. But he still had a theory of how it functioned - a wrong one. You haven't explained to me what there is in Marx that is useful to me, or how he "comprehended" exploitation any better than anyone else. His idea, spelled out very explicitly in Capital, is that exploitation results from labor producing more value than the value required to reproduce itself. Without going into long explanations, that's not really correct. Exploitation can't be mathematically measured like that, and in the real world, the market takes no notice of imaginary things like "value."

Marx subtitled it a "Critique of Political Economy" - because he was criticizing certain economists (not the "economic paradigm," which I don't see criticized anywhere in Capital), mainly for their idea that capitalism would last forever and was the best possible system. But he mainly agreed with people like Ricardo on the fundamentals of how capitalism worked. He corrected him on the minor point that wages are for "labor power" and not actual labor performed, and for confusing surplus value and profit - that's about it.

And again, there is nothing "Marxist" about noting class struggle or exploitation. Long before Marx many people - especially workers - obviously noticed these things! How could they not!? What is specific to Marxism is the idea that Marx created a "science" that uncovered some special "truth" about capitalism. What that "truth" is, is not very clear, but usually it's taken to be the idea that the rate of profit necessarily falls and that this leads to a crisis and communism. There are many problems with this idea, but to begin with, the "rate of profit" can't be calculated the way Marx thought it could, because there is just no such thing as "value." Marx thought the numbers that appear in economic calculations were actually rigorous and objective, because everything boiled down to "labor time" that you could measure with a clock. The reality is that market prices reflect all kinds of contingencies and irrationalities, not least the state of the class struggle.

"And again, there is nothing "Marxist" about noting class struggle or exploitation. Long before Marx many people - especially workers - obviously noticed these things! How could they not!? "
so what? noticing isn't the same as comprehending or critically analyzing.

"What is specific to Marxism is the idea that Marx created a "science" that uncovered some special "truth" about capitalism. "
Orthodox Marxism perhaps, but why do assume theirs is the only or most true interpretation?

"The reality is that market prices reflect all kinds of contingencies and irrationalities, not least the state of the class struggle."
If you think this is news to Marx your understanding of him is unbelievably woeful! Comprehension fail!

Agreed. You don't need to learn political economy or the Marxist Labor Theory of Value to know that capitalism thrives on exploitation and crisis, or that its primary purpose is to expand the reach of commodification and resource extraction for the benefit of the owning/ruling class, or that the expansion of capitalism is accomplished through war. All you need to know is that bosses exploit workers. LTV = FAIL.

Yeah, learning things is hard. Learning complex things like how/why systems that thrive on crisis manage to survive despite crisis . . . . that is is even harder. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE. "All you need to know" is what Mister Grumpy tells you. Anything more than "bosses exploit workers" is useless information. Derf!

anarchists like Mr G. and the one above dogmatically reject anything even slightly tinged with "Marx/ism", which they reduce to its most vulgar, objectivistic and authoritarian forms in order to combat. Presumably out of some wish to preserve the purity and independence of their doctrine.

Good one. The fact that I constantly engage with people who still insist on calling themselves Marxists or at least "influenced by Marx" means that I am not reducing Marxism to its authoritarian forms. I recognize that there are forms of Marxism that are quite libertarian -- especially when compared to its Leninist incarnations. That being said, most of the best libertarian communists I know eventually have to abandon the label "Marxist" to define themselves, if only for the sake of honesty; Marxism was, and more often than not still is, vulgar, objectivistic and authoritarian. Unless you're talking about the Grouchoist deviation of course.

Please. So what if you "engage" with them? All you've said here just repeats your earlier view in a more round-a-bout, wishy-washy way. i.e. you posit an inevitable contradiction between the "best", "honest" libertarian communists and marxists or those applying marxist methods, who while "relatively" or "quite" libertarian may be safely disregarded, unless of the non-existent "Grouchoist deviation".

No, learning things that are 19th century ideological constructs based on 18th century economics and the truncated inversion of Hegelian Dialectics (tm) is relatively easy. Understanding why many of those concepts and analytical categories no longer apply to the 21st is hard -- at least for those who remain wedded to Marxism. Maybe it has something to do with needing to feel part of a phenomenon of World Historical Importance.

Systems thrive (or at least don't crumble) despite crisis because of two interrelated issues. One is the adaptability of capitalists regarding investments, productive methods, and especially the excuse of crisis to lower wages and increase prices. This is something Marx and Engels never got the chance to see in all its dubious glory. As much as I loathe him, Proudhon had a few things to say about the reliance on speculation and other forms of non-productive capital that were becoming more influential during his lifetime; his analysis of that magical aspect of capitalism makes him slightly more interesting to read as a political economist than Marx and Engels.

The other reason is the increased reliance on the state to intervene in crises, whether through a well-timed war, bail-outs, price-fixing, subsidies, tariffs, embargoes, debt consolidation/export... The schemes are as endless as the imaginations of economic advisers and other crooks.

Again, you don't need Marxist (or "Open Marxist") political economy to understand the symbiotic relationship between corporations (large and small) and the state, a relationship that guarantees (with its armed force, along with its monopoly on currency and its control) the continuation of capitalism, no matter what. In fact, it's better if you're not encumbered by Marxism at all.

Not dumb, your attempt to insinuate some sort of anti-intellectual populism to me is as pathetic as it is transparent. Try harder next time.

you got trolled, fool.

Those anarchists who have decided that they have nothing to learn from Marx's economic theory, that there is no economic "value" nor "tendency of the rate of profit to fall" nor any lawfulness about capitalist crises and that nothing meaningful can be said about worker exploitation beyond the fact that they are exploited--those anarchists should not read my book. It might be interesting if one of you would read my book (which engages with all these topics) and wrote an argument about why my reasoning was wrong on each issue, but there is no moral requirement that you do so. But other anarchists and antiauthoritarians might read my brief book if they are unsure whether such opinions are right or wrong. They might note that many anarchists, starting with Bakunin, have found it useful to critically investigate Marx's critique of political economy. They might note that capitalism seems to be in great difficulties and that official (bourgeois) economic theory has no satisfactory explanation. Good luck, either way.

Wayne. Accept it. You are a marxist. I mean to come here to sell us the idea to follow the particular writings of a non- anarchist 19th century socialist theorist over others. Even though there is plenty of anarchist economics and more recent socialist economics we still have to go read the overread german socialist philosopher and economist who inspired genocidal tyrants like Stalin, Mao tse Tung and Pol Pot.

If Wayne price can come here and promote a particular non- anarchist 19th century socialist theorist i want to promote my favorite non-anarchist 19th century socialist theorist Charles Fourier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fourier). And i also want to say that i declare myself both anarchist and "fourierist". I hope anarchistnews.org will want to publish a piece on why Charles Fourier is so great and why the 20th century might have been less murderous from the side of socialism than it was with marxism if the world would have chosen to pay attention more to the pluralist socialism of Fourier.

It's always interesting to hear/read the following argument:
"You know, even if you don't agree with what I/he/she/they have said/written, you should go through it point by point either to refute the arguments and/or find the places of agreement. In any case, you should take what I/we/they said seriously enough to go through it closely and respectfully."

This is the same argument used by the religious when they try to prove the reality of intelligent [sic] design. It's the same argument used by the authors of Black Flame. It's the same argument used by anyone who may think they've stumbled onto/discovered something so relevant to the lives of millions of people that they can't imagine that there could be people within their target demographic who might find the subject matter irrelevant, or the methods by which the author's conclusions were made to be suspect, or who perhaps are just not interested. This begging for recognition is undignified.

Back to the topic of Wayne's book(s). If I wrote a book about the origins of class society and the state, and like plenty of other charlatans throughout the 20th century, invoked extraterrestrial visitors to explain it, using photo comparisons of ziggurats, Mayan and Egyptian pyramids, lots of ancient artifacts, and maybe even throw in some Atlantis stories, I would most likely become indignant that no contemporary anarchists were taking my book seriously; after all, it took years of painstaking study to bring this exciting information to people for whom this analysis should be invaluable. I would probably say this:
" Those anarchists who have decided they have nothing to learn from the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis of the Origins of the State, that there is no angelic legacy or any scientific basis for the sudden explosion of monument-building cultures, and that nothing meaningful can be said about the sudden appearance of fully hierarchical class societies beyond the fact that they are hierarchical -- those anarchists should not read my book. But it might be interesting if one of you would read my book (which engages with all these topics) and wrote an argument about why my reasoning was wrong on each issue, but there is no moral requirement that you do so. But other anarchists and anti-authoritarians might read my brief book if they are unsure whether such opinions are right or wrong. They might note that many anarchists, starting with Bakunin, have found it useful to critically investigate the Atlantis and Flood stories as the origins of class structures. They might note that the state seems to be in great difficulties without recurrent visitations by extraterrestrial class-builders, and that official (bourgeois) scientific theory has no satisfactory explanation."

Or you could say something like the charlatans who wrote Black Flame (paraphrasing of course): "Go through all the source material in our bibliography and show us how we were wrong to come to our conclusions."

It's just not relevant, so why would anyone need to engage with it? Plenty of anarchists are not interested in Marx's critique of political economy, and have long ago dismissed the Labor Theory of Value. Accept it and deal with it.

don't generalize. thank you.

Gabriel Kuhn, who has read my book, summarizes it: "It highlights both the key differences between Marxism and anarchism and the potential for mutual learning." On the other hand, iconoclasta, who has not read my book, declares, " Accept it. You are a marxist....come here to sell us the idea to follow the particular writings of a non- anarchist 19th century socialist theorist over others." Clearly, mere words will not help. But I think that a review of the contributions of Fourier to socialist anarchism would be quite valuable, especially his views on sexual variation.

Mister Grumpy calls the authors of Black Flame (which he drags into the discussion for no obvious reason) are "charlatans." Not that they are mistaken, but that they are deliberately lying, fakers. There is too much of this sort of name-calling "discussion" among anarchists. However, MG does agree with me on one main point. I wrote, "Those anarchists who have decided that they have nothing to learn from Marx's economic theory... should not read my book" MG responds, "It's just not relevant, so why would anyone need to engage with it? Plenty of anarchists are not interested in Marx's critique of political economy..." In short, he is in complete agreement with me on this point. Thank goodness.

Its handy to flip through Marxist theory like a crash course in sociology 101, and then putting it all into an historical context, one could then write a book like Wayne did, to assist those of a less imaginative or experienced nature to fast-forward to a position of foundational anarchism awareness.

Back to the topic of Wayne's book(s). If I wrote a book about the origins of class society and the state, and like plenty of other charlatans throughout the 20th century, invoked extraterrestrial visitors to explain it, using photo comparisons of ziggurats, Mayan and Egyptian pyramids, lots of ancient artifacts, and maybe even throw in some Atlantis stories, I would most likely become indignant that no contemporary anarchists were taking my book seriously; after all, it took years of painstaking study to bring this exciting information to people for whom this analysis should be invaluable.

I'd like to read Mr Grumpy's writings, if they are available elsewhere, since, hell - the dude can write. So, please, if you see this, send me an e-mail and tell me where I can find your stuff.

PS. I don't give a fuck about Marxism or anarchism or any other chasm that comes to mind.

mspaaz[at]gmail.com

Oh, and that first paragraph there is a quote,clearly.

My skills with formatting are worth absolutely nothing, Marx or no Marx.

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