Review: Anarchist Encounters. Russia in Revolution

  • Posted on: 2 February 2018
  • By: thecollective

via anarkismo.net

With the occasion of the recent centenary of the Russian Revolution of October, 1917, Anthony Zurbrugg has edited a wonderful contribution to our understanding of those turbulent times. As the revolution turned into a bitter civil war, exacerbated by the blockade of Soviet Russia by the allies of the Entente –mostly France, Britain and the US-, news of what was really going on in Russia were scarce. While the bourgeois press published horror stories, the left-wing movements associated to the Bolshevik movement reproduced propaganda documents which idealised everything Soviet. It was only in 1920 that it became possible for foreigners to visit the Soviet Union, and many unionists and revolutionaries from all over the world did so in order to offer they support and to witness the revolution with their very own eyes. The trip was not easy: often the travellers would be arrested by the countries of the so-called “free world” on their way in or out of the Soviet Union. However the hardships of such a trip, the testimonies left by these visitors give us an invaluable insight into the revolution as it developed, its complexities, hardship, difficulties, achievements and disappointments.

Bringing to life a world in revolution

What we found in this collection of reports put together by Zurbrugg, are testimonies written by anarchists who visited the USSR in the crucial years of 1920-1921, in a period in which still the majority of the anarchist movement supported the Bolsheviks, being oblivious (or in denial) of the suppression of the anarchists which started in 1918 and knowing little or nothing about the Makhnovist movement in the Ukraine. In short, these testimonies constitute a most valuable collection of encounters with the realities of an authoritarian revolution by libertarians. Many of these testimonies are available here for the first time in English, such as those written by Vilkens, Ángel Pestaña, Armando Borghi and Gastón Leval. The lengthy document by Emma Goldman, The Crushing of the Russian Revolution, had been published by Freedom Press in London in 1922 and it has been, as far as I am aware, unavailable since. These witnesses, are quite extraordinary figures. The Asturias born Manuel Fernández Alvar, aka Vilkens, to give but one example, went to Russia in 1920 to fight in the Red Army, but growing increasingly critical was arrested between October and November 1920, and then allowed to leave for France. He would die eventually in 1936 fighting fascism in Spain, in the defence of Guadarrama. Informed by these encounters, a critical stance of the international anarchist movement started to develop, as put succinctly by Vilkens: ‘The Russian revolution proves undeniably, against the opinion of reformists, that the capitalist class is not needed at all, that it is a parasite that society can do without. And here we are in agreement with the communists, except that the latter wish to impose a transitional regime which will make them the profiteers of the revolution while we do not expect anything for our own particular benefit and fight for the people themselves to benefit from the revolution’ (p.67).

Let us acknowledge that, like any testimony, these are highly subjective. It is also true that given these testimonies were written in 1920-1921, we miss an important element of the whole picture: they can’t tell us in what ways society actually did change in the period 1917-1920, because none of them was a witness to pre-revolutionary Russia nor to the first years of the revolutionary upheaval -the only Russian in this collection, Goldman, had left Russia in 1885 when she was a teenager. However, this is compensated with a wealth of information they provide about the day to day hardships of ordinary people and their impressions on the political realities of a society in revolution. They bring to life this fateful period with vivid snapshots. These testimonies are well-informed. All of the contributors spent months and even years in the land of the Soviets. None of them was hostile at first. All of them travelled to support the revolution and evaluate ways to defend it and expand it. Some of them had travelled to the International Congress of Unions of July 1920, as representatives of their own organisations, at a time when the Third International was coming into being. It was after their encounter with the harsh realities of post-revolutionary Russia, that they developed a critical stance. At first, however, most of them yearned intimately to be wrong when confronted with the evidence of the bureaucratic and despotic turn of the revolution. ‘How I would have preferred to be mistaken!’, thought Pestaña, ‘How I wold have preferred that this could be nothing but the workings of a fevered imagination, driven by the prejudice that might influence me driven by life under capitalism!’ (p.73). It is perhaps the fact that they had come with hopes and expectations what made their clash with reality the bitterer. And yet, in spite of their bitter disappointment, they still made efforts to be as balanced as possible, sometimes bordering on the pathetic, like Vilkens defending the Cheka of the accusations of torture in the international press: ‘Yet it is wrong to say that torture is employed by the Cheka. It executes easily, judges without guarantees, commits all sorts of injustices in the name of the proletariat, but as for torture, nothing would be so untrue. Bourgeois spies invent that. The Cheka is odious enough just as it is. It is the White armies that carry out savage mutilations and executions among the communists and the people’ (p.56).

The problem of creating a new society in the shell of the old

The value of these testimonies, above all, is that they are a reminder of the enormous difficulties of changing society, forcing us to put some more thought into general problems which are found in any revolutionary situation. No revolutionaries ever chose the conditions under which they will do the revolution and often they have had to work in exceedingly difficult circumstances of famine, civil war, embargoes, blockade, as the anarchist would found twenty years later in Spain. But the context of revolutionaries influences outcomes in other ways. Inasmuch as most revolutionaries want to also change radically society, there is never a blank slate in which to start putting into practice their social projects: they have soaked in values of the dominant society, they have to build a new world when the structures of the old permeate culture, communities, infrastructure, and institutions of all sorts. In spite of the claim that the Bolshevik revolution stamped out the last vestiges of the Czar’s regime, many of the testimonies here point at the continuities between the old regime and the new regime after the revolution. Most of these continuities referred to State structures, but also to political, community and class dynamics –here we find early critiques on how elements of the old regime managed to thrive and reproduce socially their privileged status through the bureaucratic structures of the State, a problem faced not only by radical revolutions, but also by reformist attempts elsewhere. Years later, Charles Bettelheim –who most certainly wasn’t an anarchist- would explore in detail this process in his famous Class Struggles in the USSR(Monthly Review Press, 1976). To what a degree the Bolsheviks reproduced the dominant ideology of the old regime, and how their ways aped the ways of the autocracy, is reflected here in an anecdotal fashion: following the official fashion of naming everything through acronyms, people in Russian cities derided the Sov-bourg, or the Soviet Bourgeoisie, that is, commissars, bureaucrats and technocrats, together with the Sod-Koms, or the mistresses of the commissars, many of whom came actually from the old aristocracy (p.36).

The international arena as a straight-jacket

Another big problem which revolutionaries have encountered time and again lies in the international arena, where often they found themselves surrounded by reactionary regimes, such as the Holy Alliance in the 18th century against French Revolution, and the Entente and its criminal blockade of Russia in 1920. These regimes are bent on isolating, invading, strangling, starving and smothering the revolution, thus making it non-viable and avoiding its spread to their own realms. The role of the Western capitalist countries in relation to the Russian tragedies and the famine of the early years of the revolution has been largely white-washed in mainstream historical accounts, in which they single-out the Bolshevik policy as sole responsible of this most dreadful body-count. The testimonies in this book put the record straight. The veteran anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin, in a private conversation with Goldman, in which she asked why he hadn’t denounced the arbitrary nature of the Bolshevik rule, confessed that ‘so long as Russia was being attacked by the combined imperialists of Europe, and Russian women and children were starved to death by the criminal blockade, he could not join the shrieking chorus of the ex-revolutionists in the cry of “Crucify!”’ (p.139). The Spanish anarcho-syndicalist Pestaña, while acknowledging the many faults of the Bolsheviks, also lashed out against the criminal behaviour of the West in outrage:

We refuse to hold them responsible for all the evils that afflict the Russian people. In saying so we proceed with the same candour that we used in rejecting and challenging the political procedures and sophistries that the Bolsheviks deployed to seize and remain in power. Yes, they are partly responsible, but for the smallest part, we must add from the off.
Material responsibility for all the miseries we witnessed in the seventy days we spent in Russia, falls as an affront, a stigma and a terrible accusation against Europe’s governments and bourgeoisie (…) One must absolve the Bolsheviks of this sin. They have enough faults already on their conscience as socialists and as actors in the drama of the dawning of a new world, without also burdening them with ones they did not commit, and sins for which they cannot be held responsible
’ (p.10-11)

The Kurdish in Rojava have found this same problem –as they have fought to create a new world based on the principles of freedom, autonomy and equality, they have faced a fierce reaction by the most conservative elements of the region, as well as the active military opposition of the Turkish State. But the international arena poses another most subtle problem which has massive repercussions for the organisation of a new and revolutionary society. As no nation can survive on its own in a world interconnected as this in which we live in, the relations to a world still organised in the form of conventional Nation-States poses enormous challenges for revolutionaries. The Kurdish of Rojava, for instance, in order to dialogue with the outside world, had to develop democratic autonomous administrations which mirrors more traditional representative administration, with its parliament, parties and ministers. Although this system has been described as transitional and it runs in parallel to the more direct-democracy oriented council network, it still imposes limitations to the ability of the revolutionaries to change radically their society. These objectives difficulties cannot be overstated and any serious movement aiming at changing society need to factor them in.

The thin-line that divides defence of the revolution from repression

Other immense problem for revolutions is posed by privileged sectors of society, even sectors of the subordinate classes enjoying meagre and very relative privileges: since times immemorial some sectors of the oppressed have been used by those in power to oppose other oppressed. How to proceed, as anarchists, with sectors who, without being part of the dominant classes still want to keep a privileged position in relation to other oppressed groups? Coercion, a fundamental fact in social life, has been always elusive in anarchist thinking, although revolution, as such, is a coercive action by definition –the suppression of some sectors of society, no matter it is made in the name of justice and freedom, is not a sweet affair. An example of this problem is explored in the testimonies of Pestaña, who discusses the situation of the anti-Bolshevik (and presumably anti-revolutionaries) Tula munitions factories’ workers, who had staged a strike shortly before he had visited them, which had been crushed with a great deal of ruthlessness by the Bolsheviks. His testimony, though short, is full of insights to feed into broader debates around these issues:

It should be pointed out –always in the interest of fullest impartiality and so that readers’ judgment is not distorted- that the sentences passed on these strikers (…) to us (…) seemed harsh and disproportionate, the strike was unjustified; furthermore at that moment it had counter-revolutionary consequences. Tula munition workers (…) enjoyed benefits and privileges not enjoyed by workers elsewhere. And these privileges were respected by the Soviet Government, inasmuch as was appropriate and possible (…) So (…) being in a superior position as compared to other workers all over Russia, what could justify a call to strike? Moreover, there was another factor that made the circumstances of this strike all even more tragic.
(…) Workers decided to declare a strike and stage a conflict in these workshops at the very moment when the whole world was anticipating the threat of a Polish invasion of Russia. Such a strike would leave the Red Army defenceless against the enemy, would it not? (…) the declaration of a strike might have led to an invasion by reactionary armies.
’ (p.70-71)

This testimony shows how bluntly real life puts to test the lofty theories and good intentions of genuine revolutionaries. No matter how reasonable the argument provided here, one may wonder if the Kronstadt workers and sailors weren’t accused in similar terms of potentially aiding even if involuntarily, the reactionary forces. Surely there were important differences –while the Kronstadt sailors and workers were actually defending the revolution and demanding an end to its bureaucratic deviations through a very practical programme elaborated in the original spirit of the Soviet system, the Tula workers seemed bent on gaining particular demands for themselves, placing their own relative privileges above the general needs of the bulk of the oppressed. However the historical verdict on this particular case, it proves that dealing with conflicting interests at a time of deep change, is always difficult and complex. No amount of well-meaning rhetoric can do away with this problem, and no one-size-fit-all solutions exist in order to deal with it either. Again, Vilkens summarises in powerful terms the difficulties faced by actual revolutions in terms of the thin line which divides defence of the revolution from repression, abuse and arbitrariness: ‘We do not believe that a revolution must be sweet and united, but what appears as unjustifiable and criminal is that it should be treated as an umbrella for all things’ (p.56).

History at the service of a better future

All in all, this is a highly recommended book which adds to the efforts being done by Anarres -Merlin Press, of making available to an English speaking audience a number of documents of the international anarchist movement which are rarely available in this language. However critical of the centralisation and the dictatorship of the single-party which developed in the USSR, these testimonies, as we have seen, are far from a black and white narrative. The narrative is complex, emotional but nuanced. If there is hurt and bitterness in these pages it is precisely because these are not detached observers. There is a rich texture here, in which the concerns of these militants, all committed to the revolution in their respective countries, comes up to the very forefront. They are just not observing events from a distance as train-spotters. They are thinking of what they can take with them to help them in their own revolutionary activities. They are trying to understand the events in Russia as a way to advance social transformation in their own contexts. It is with these eyes that contemporary activists should approach history in general and this book in particular. Almost a hundred years later, the voices of these anarchists still have a great contribution to make in the endeavour for a better future.

José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
25 January, 2018

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Comments

Here it is, the history lesson for all these American anarchists who read too much post-left theory and somehow don't realize how closely tied anarchist thinking is to the reds.

Of course the betrayals and horror shows of Bolshevism and it only got worse after that BUT the whole damned planet is now returning to the original problem, which is wealth concentration.

The real issue is STILL the "divine right" of those with so much wealth that they live in an alternate reality, just like the monarchs of old.

The tragedy of authoritarian hijacking of the revolution was just a century-long distraction.

'Here it is, the history lesson for all these American anarchists who read too much post-left theory and somehow don't realize how closely tied anarchist thinking is to the reds.'

You see this here is why nobody likes you people. Yes, theres a long history of anarchists being with the reds but how can you be expected to be taken seriously when you make claims that either insinuate or streight out claim that anarchism outside of leftism did not historically exist. Like honestly, how do you expect us to make claims and insinuations such as this seriously? Why do you people desire to be the soul progenitors of Anarchy? Where does this desire come from?

Hey look! It's the same asshole. You took the bait fool! Too easy. As usual, that's not what I said, damn you're predictable though!

'the same asshole. ' 'As usual' 'damn you're predictable though!'

Ummm, you realise that we have never met before, right? pretending to know me isn't an argument.

I recognized your post-style from earlier ;)

You have yet to achieve worthy-of-serious-argument status.

Again. i have never met you in my life. insinuating i am someone from some other thread is still not an argument.

Why would it matter if you declare my posts to be arguments or not? I certainly don't care about your opinion, I'm just mocking you.

This sort of thinking is akin to anti-semitism -- "If we just got rid of this one group of the BAD people, it would solve so many problems!" Systemic issues are systemic, and your two minutes of hate focused on one symptom aren't as insightful as you think they are.

Wow ... Are you actually this bad at logic? Probably just a troll. Being of Jewish ancestry is essential, being rich isn't.

If your ideas rely on racial essentialism, you probably shouldn't be critiquing anyone else's logic.

They don't. But if we can't separate economics from somebody's claim to a cultural tradition, we're basically in alt-right la la land. Do I need to draw you a map?

A person's race and a person's class are equally socially constructed concepts with ~equal material ramifications. They're separable, sure, but that doesn't mean it makes more sense to target one as the bad guys who make everything bad. Remember, there is no platonic reality that makes "the rich" a real, tangible entity, so we're just talking about groups of individuated individuals here -- individuals whose desires and worldviews were mostly, if not entirely, shaped by their experiences and the world they exist in. Not to say that I would absolve the people who comprise "the rich" of responsibility for how things are shit in my interpersonal interactions with them (e.g., I would not be friends with Jeff Bezos), but to think that you can just excise this tumor at this one point in society (whatever form it may take) and everything will change is just straight fooling yourself.

"there's no platonic reality that makes the rich a real, tangible entity" Of fucking course there is, you halfwit snake-oil peddling fool. It's called (among other things) the economy, capitalism and the state. You're just spewing relativistic fallacies, boring as they are stupid.

... you just spewed a bunch of social constructions as evidence of a material object. Do I really need to point out how dumb of an argument this is?

I understand that you're playing semantic games with little toy blocks you heard about in a philosophy class but the distinction of "platonic reality" isn't really that useful or interesting outside of the ivory tower. Millions of people believe in these abstract concepts and that belief makes them "real" enough to do much harm, so go piss in somebody's else's ear with your attempts to cloud the issue.

Lol did you just look up platonic and get pissed off or something? I'm not talking about philosophy, I'm talking about the fact that talking about "the rich" as though it were a real thing with material affects is near useless, let alone as the sole factor in the world we face today. Tell me, where exactly do you think rich people come from? You think that there is some sort of reproductive entity distinct from humanity that comprises "the rich"? Of course not, they're humans who are either born rich or become rich through the courses their lives take -- processes that take place in an immense leviathan of society. So why in sam hell would just getting rid of rich people change anything? What exactly do you plan on doing to stop a new class of rich people (perhaps in some other, non-capitalist form) from taking their place? You think there aren't poor and middle class people who want to be rich people? I find it pretty funny you're so offended by the idea that the causes of oppression are multifaceted that you resort to dismissing such a notion as... what, intellectualism? illogical? deceitful? I can't even keep track any more. "Hey, what if people being rich is caused by the society we live in, and not just their having wealth?" "Stop peddling snake oil! The jewish identity is essential to their nature! Your arguments only exist in an ivory tower!" Then you have the gall to accuse *me* of clouding the issue. You're sure you're not some kind of tankie who's lost on the internet? ;)

Excellent post concerning the label 'rich'

Why pretend you don't hang out here peddling this crap? I know it, you know it. You're just playing semantic games of "gotcha" and "look how clever I am" and it's incredibly tedious. You can appeal to complexity all you want, obviously I'm oversimplifying complex demographics because I'm not typing an essay every time I want to talk about rich people just to please arrogant pedants like you.

There's no denying a minority of people have way too much material wealth and wield disproportionate influence on society, so quit wasting my time fool.

Too much is simply how the crude material game operates myself. Asymetrical access is part of how leviathan wealth functions. People like Bill Gates are the consequence not the cause. There are also numerous people on the south side of the wealth game who AFFIRM the existence of Bill Gates for the sake of the game and the small possibility that THEY may become Bill Gates in the future.

Society doesn't exist, only the individuals who believe it and are influenceable.

This is your ongoing failure to understand the true nature of power. These abstract notions are only sort of true for as long as the social peace isn't disrupted. The real deal is when power is challenged and it comes from guns, bombs, jails and surveillance apparatuses. These are "real" and depend on the tools who wield them but saying this isn't very interesting or insightful.

Not again! Power is a metaphysical tool even when your "social peace" whatever that is! Some Utopianist rhetoric methinks, even then, only the individual has any autonomous agency to begin defining what people power is, and it doesn't run on bullets, prisons or missiles, these are just manifestations of the people's own fear, they are psychosomatic and systemic outgrowth.,.

methinks youthinks too poorly to follow the trail at all. Guess you'll wander in the woods

Class(which again is epiphenomenal) goes on. I know the true nature of power, it's diffuse and multifaceted. Class is a branching aspect of submission based power.

You didn't understand my point at all. Lets try again: your notions about submission are seemingly true when nobody is actively challenging power but as soon as they do, your point becomes moot.

It's just intellectually incoherent due to the fact that you have a linear tunnel vision conception of power. The Stirnerian answer to power is not based on some singular type of challenge toward a select group or institution.

Ha! You don't get the final say on coherency Ziggy. You'd have to manage it yourself first.

I have no idea what you're trying to implicate, that I discuss things on @news? This seems tautologically true... Of course I'm going to discuss things on the internet, what the fuck else do you use it for? A fancier TV?

>You can appeal to complexity all you want, obviously I'm oversimplifying complex demographics because I'm not typing an essay every time I want to talk about rich people just to please arrogant pedants like you.

But this isn't a pedantic issue here, it's extremely fundamental. Your original post says things like:

>The real issue is STILL the "divine right" of those with so much wealth that they live in an alternate reality, just like the monarchs of old.
>The tragedy of authoritarian hijacking of the revolution was just a century-long distraction.

This isn't some minor quibble, this is a core difference in what our desires are! There was no "degenerate workers state" or whatever term you want to use, the entire driving goals of Communist revolutions were different from what it is I want and fight for in my life. I cannot support any claim to "revolution" which identifies capitalism/wealth as a cause of the problems of society distinct from the rest of the rotten core that creates the conditions of capitalism/wealth. The "authoritarian hijacking of the revolution was just a century-long distraction" indeed, but not because it didn't get rid of the rich, but because it didn't even make claims at getting rid of everything else! These aren't semantic games, I would just as soon sing to the death of bureaucrats as I would any capitalist mogul. The way you talk about the rich, it's abundantly clear to me that you aren't talking about liberation of any kind, so much as trying to repair the machine you see as broken --- "Move the wealth into the proletariat! Fix the problems in the current society!" I have no illusions as to where someone like me would fit in to the world you're trying to build: a ditch 6 ft deep. Thankfully, your dreams are as implausible as mine, so all I can say is best of luck and sweet dreams. xoxoxo

You assumed too much about what I didn't say. Your conception of how argument works is your only issue here. The subject was whether anarchist thinking is tied historically to other strains of libertarian and socialist thinking. We've never got anywhere near what I think about what that means. You extrapolated all of that based on your biases.

Direct quotes were not extrapolations, nice try though.

And I can tell you once again that the issue is not wealth concentration but wealth itself. Only Marxists and their useful leftists idiots try to talk about all the problems of wealth accept wealth itself(much like work). Fact is that wealth works via circulation that involves asymetrical access, there has never been an example of wealth that did not have this to some degree. This is why the Bolsheviks turned out the way they did, they configured class because that is what modern wealth at least ultimately requires. There is the anarchist solution but that ultimately involves contraction from mass material wealth and even then you will still have status something that configures class and is even older then resource based excess(ie wealth). At best you could have a non class status society but again that will still involve a contraction of wealth.

I think you meant "know", as in "we already know all that".

Didn't grammar check this time.

random pedantic asshole here. in all sincerity i want to know what point(s) you’ve been trying to make on this and the other thread dealing with socialism. if your point is that anarchism came out of the socialist tradition, then nobody would dare to dispute that. however, some anarchists have noticed that the history of anarchism and the history of socialism have diverged fundamentally and irrevocably since the late 19th century (i find it convenient to date it from the founding of the socialist international —1889). if i’m understanding you correctly, you see leninism as an aberration rather than a culmination. but the problem the same asshole and i have (if i may be so bold as to speak for another person) is that you are not stating what you believe in any meaningful way. this is why i stopped engaging with you on the other thread. i get you have opinions, but because your posts are rather bereft of anything but assertive jabs at other people who may or may not share them, it’s impossible to tell what they might be. i am in favor of discussion (with or without snark, but right now definitely without), so i ask that you make your position clear and explicit. i prefer my pissing contests to be based on something real. thx

Sure! That's fair but it's also interesting that I didn't get anywhere close to making a thesis statement before these blowhard halfwits jump down my throat with their only-slightly-less-creepy-than-you-know-who version of anti-marxism. Some of it is that I post anon, some of it is that people reflexively strawman each other online BUT it's definitely also irrational and/or bad faith argument. Several of these jackasses DO try to assert that the history of anarchism can somehow be separated from socialist thinking, which is mostly what I've been picking at out of boredom. I'm interested in discussion too but only in good faith, not here to be a substitute for somebody's therapist.

Anyway, a real discussion: you're right that I see leninism as aberration. I would argue that authoritarianism is the ancient essential thing here, therefore a better reference point for making this statement. The outbreak of radical, militant, personal autonomy for large groups of people is what interests me as an anarchist obviously but part of that is the inevitability of snake-oil salesmen like lenin and robespierre, stepping in to the power vacuum and reforming the structures of state terror.

This is a huge thing BUT it's not THE thing. It's only a derail of the real issue: the problem of scarcity economics, therefore wealth distribution and the worst case scenario of extreme concentration, which we are living in right now.

Authoritarians are mere mortals like the rest of us, they can die, but the structural violence of the real issue will keep all of us as slaves for centuries, grinding our bones for a buck even after death and destroying much of the biosphere along the way. This is why trying to separate anarchism from its roots, tackling the only real issue, is to render it completely irrelevant. A cute little hobby oriented around publishing and sniffing our own farts while we play the philosopher. There's already hundreds of thousands of people doing that, posting endless, asinine little pet theories about hippy metaphysics that don't amount to much of anything. It spills over in to this forum and I get it, it's a way to pass the time while the world burns but it bores me to the point of snark.

So, how far did I piss?

addendum: Perhaps better to say that the outbreak of mass autonomy is the aberration (in a good way) and the authoritarian version of socialism is power reasserting itself. A return to the same old tyranny behind a new mask.

Also, I don't mean to dismiss all other struggles as subsumed by class. Only saying that people without access to capital have no rational reason to be anything but anti-capitalists.

... hence my abandonment of the discussion on the other thread and my frustration here (that will next manifest as another abandonment)... you have still not said anything meaningful about your positions and opninions. the only thing that comes close was teased out at my insistence: anarchism originates within a broad and vague ideology called socialism, and you believe leninism to be an aberration of socialist theory and practice.

so here’s my problem with how you express yourself: if you believe that your opinions and analyses are important and can contribute to a furthering of the relevance of anarchism, then none of the rest of us should be forced to tweeze out your opinions from what you write. making the rest of us into detectives trying to piece together the small clues you drop here and there into some sort of more or less coherent picture is not particularly enjoyable.

just say what you think. tell us why a continued uneasy association of anarchists with (presumably non-leninist) socialists is advantageous to anarchists — if that’s what you want, cuz even that isn’t clear from your posts.

Could actually be possible. The more radical anarchists and obviously anarchs are post political economy, however, I'm might be preferential to a development of, say, libertarian socialist liberalism. When it comes to the continuing relevancy of liberalism that could be a direction that a strain of it could go towards. The basic idea would be a neo-classical simplified economic system. That would be an interesting development which could have preferential benefits for non polyecon anarchists and anarchs. The role of this ideological strain would basically be to nullify nullify nullify abolish abolish abolish. I could be down with that even though I will not take on the elective weight that that ideology would entail.

I've been posting this stuff in context with the articles. The first was that op-ed about how socialism and anarchism have nothing to do with each other by PZS, which has no factual basis. This was about the russian revolution. I don't particularly care if "how I express myself" seems inadequate to you but you must have a screw loose if you can't see how ziggy and crew flame the shit out of everybody who pushes back against their nonsense.

My point is pretty straightforward: not limiting ourselves to tiny echo chambers of irrelevancy by failing to see the commonalities in different strains of libertarian thinking. The end stage of that failure, would be pretending these connections never existed in the first place. It's either terrible analysis or deliberate psy-ops, to try and deny or even severe the connection between anarchism and class.

first, taking anything ziggy says as anything but a provocation is a mistake. he’s insignificant and definitely not representative of post-left anarchy. second, he doesn’t have a crew. third, the context your posts inhabit to may be clear to you, but the point i’ve been trying to make is that all you’ve done is make assertions that boil down to saying “you’re wrong” without bothering to explain why PZS and SirEinzige provoke you. you complain about bad faith but cannot he bothered to directly address my sincere questions and comments. i recognize that it’s not your responsibility to satisfy me, but your coy avoidance of expressing your actual opinions and analysis is no longer amusing. best of luck

I'm not sure what you're on about. You want some kind of thesis statement? Here: I despise these fools who aggressively misrepresent anarchist history because of their weird, irrational, distinctly american, anti-marxist bent. I've explained my reasoning in detail, as per your request. That's all I was ever trying to say during these exchanges. What you want, seems to be something else entirely?

Why would I completely change the subject and just talk about myself and my own position?

You pissed into Marx's cup. Skol comrade!

Many of the so called post-left critiques were actually derived from these experiences with the reds, do you even read?

Everyone seems to forget Hitler was a socialist, a nationalist variety, but nevertheless still having the classic totalitarian socialist mindset. Godwin be damned, never the end of a thread.,.

I saw this video today where this clueless alt-right mouthpiece calling himself "Major League Liberty" thought the Traditionalist Worker's Party were "leftwing racists". It's entirely possible that you're even dumber than he is. Amazing!

Well just the name "Traditionalist Worker's Party" effuses it's invisible and disguised preference for unionist WASPS, one of many cases of informal organisations operating under a selection mechanism of exclusion. I'm not familiar with Major League Liberty but maybe there's an element of truth in his accusation,.,

PS anyway, right or left unionists are all in the same boat really, fascism and communism are ideological cousins sharing the same bed, as far as the management of labor, hierarchy and social intersubjective relationships are concerned.,.

But Le Wey is at least partly right that socialist ideology does co-factor into fascism simply because of the organization imperative. Sorel, Syndicalism and Mussolini are not isolated aberrations but logical outgrowths. There is also the likeable types like Wilde and Bakunin but for the socialism was a pure means based vessel to greater individuality. Short of those individualists anarchist imaginers socialism eventually pusses into either fascism or communism(actual communism, you know the one that sucks).

No need to apologize. I'll let you two continue to embarrass yourselves but you should probably at least read the wiki for the TWP before you say more on the subject ;)

I think Sir E had a rhetorical apology in mind. Having read the wiki on TWP , if one excluded the racist slant of their policies and the right-wing unionist management model which I predicted because ,,,hey, the majority of political models mostly originated from a Marxist socialist blueprint, but otherwise one could describe them as a healthy development of a Nietzschean aesthetic. YOU should apologise ! !.,.

and why the hell would one "exclude the racist slant"? It's the lynch pin of their whole thing. You haven't managed to sound any smarter yet but presumably you'll keep talking anyway. ;)

Listen Wheels, I'll keep a modest dialogue with you only because you seem starved of company and crave any type of contact to alleviate your alienation from the capitalist society which has enslaved and therefore defeated you. Firstly, to avoid the whole Idpol mentality which embraces race and gender specification, I therefore exclude race and gender as being lynchpins because they have become universal benchmarks for judging unfairly and labelling groups. Difference is a given and people should avoid assimilating with those who have different values and aesthetics. Unless a thorough awareness of the psychological and libidinal tendencies of a group are fully understood, one should be wary of mixing with them. This is merely intuitive and instinctually motivated self-preservation. Would you go on a hunting trip with a billionaire oil magnate from Texas. Of course not, you would feel uncomfortable and maybe homicidal, no?

… Its the Traditionalist Workers Party, one of the better known, openly neo-nazi groups in the US. This is common knowledge and you're a total jackass who never seems to stfu.

Neo-nazi is just a label, I respect the individual, not the popular label they have been pigeonholed into by Antifa fanatics. I'm an anti-artist, not some philistine chump who gets their inspiration from CNN !,.,

They self describe as white supremacists and white separatists … the only thing dumber than you, is my inability to stop stating the obvious about what an idiot you are.

Yes like a gramophone needle stuck in a groove singing "I am a CNN informed Idpol opinionated moron" to the "Johnny Be Good " tune.,.

CNN ..? jeez, it's like you're not even trying dude

CNN is the closest thing available to describe the popularist cliches you call political knowledge which infects your opinions.,.

I like how you confuse your terrible shit-talk and lack of imagination for the actual terrain! Dumbass troll solipsism lol

The Southern Poverty Law Center has extensive coverage in their Newsletter.
They catalogue currently 917 Active Hate groups in the U.S.
Of these , they categorize specifically 100 White Nationalist groups, 99 Neo-Nazi groups, 130 Ku Klux Klan groups,
78 Racist Skinhead groups, 43 Neo-Confederate, groups, and 21 Christian Identity Groups.Almost all have an active presence and recruitment via social media. They are the "shock groups' of the Patriarchal, Misogynous, Racist, "Alt Right" movements
spreading in the U.S. and around the "developed " World. Check out also the Guardian's recent expose on the numerous Alt-Right
political parties and formations in Europe. Stunning. The en-counters we need to focus on are "situational", ala Charlottesville.
The opportunities to make manifest our concerns will be many, " in a city near you!". As in baseball, the batter only needs to
"let the pitcher pitch to you". The hits will take care of themselves.

The Idpol controlled media don't include the hundreds of liberal and Idpol and Antifa hate groups which exist, so these statistics are meaningless, but I do agree there exist some white supremacist hate groups, but I would have to meet them face to face to come to any final judgement, as Orwell said, if you control the media, you control the people and their politics. I'm coming from the complete sceptic regarding binary political policymaking.

Here we have another definitive post from Le Fool clearly outing themselves as an alt right troll … mods?
It took years to start deleting every post from this asshole when they called themselves "biceps critic", why not keep it up?

If you go to upcoming demonstrations by these groups, you will certainly come "face-to face" with them. You can therefore make your own determinations.
As to ALT-Left groups, such as the DSA, the ,"ongoing" Bernie Sanders campaign; Anti-fa formations dominated by the usual influence(openly or secretly)of
alphabet-soup of minuscule Maoists/Communists, PL,RCP, etc.: they are so far no Match in active membership and present no level of organization,media penetration, possession of arms, or level of intent ,
active threats as compared to the Thousands of dedicated Alt-Right , many of who are armed and dangerous.
False equivalencies. The Alt-Right and its supporters: World -wide.( read the Guardian Articles and SPLC
Newsletters). The Weather Underground (Both the main group (Rudd), and the split off( emphasizing White SkinPrivilege) defeated these essentially same Maoist and Communists back in the 1970"s.
This is 2018. The focus will be on the Neo-fascist, White-Supremacist Alt-Right Movements , World-Wide,
the main and most powerful enemy of those of us here on this site.

You can't talk about the context of the alt-right without talking about the 3rd world IDPol left that played a role in their rise. Really they're not that powerful, they have no friends in institution areas that matter, they are more comparable to the new-left of the 60s-70s who were also nowhere near power.

They will inevitably have their big collapse period much like the new left did after 1970. At most they may play a role in the aesthetics of the future(post 2025) like the new left did for the final quarter of the 20th century and beyond. They are hardly Hitler however.

Underestimating these Hardcore groups, now that they have allies with the Alt/Right Ideology and material support from the Trump
regime, is very short-sighted. I would then expect as usual we shall contemplate our nails; or better yet,
where is emile? Lets go over , again and again, the Yang and the Yin, the outward/inward, our plans for
implementing…What? (situationally, of course); Stirner versus Bakunin versus Proudhon(etc.) >That will show those Statist Bastards!
Sit on our asses, make an obscure Theoretical "point". And (Whew) move on to Zerzan Podcasts. "That's it", of course!!
Feel self -satisfied? :Such pathetic Hubris. Enjoy your next Bookfair? That will show those DSA, Antifa, Liberal, hippy jerks.
Oh ,I forgot those Bookchin Lifestyle anarchists> Lame Lame Lame!There, I feel better now.
Honestly, its been a long while since those antiglobalization activities. We at least had a soul then, no matter what the Politics or
Analysis.

Also, a lot of the hate is just chestbeating macho adolescents which just fades out if ignored, but PC have to make a mountain out of a molehill, and making shooting ones mouth off illegal.,.

Lil' Dick Spence does not. This Thaddeus Russel interview with Dave Smith gets into the retarded IDPol talking points pretty thoroughly. It's really just the tertiary developments of 3rd world political capital gangs(as Camatte would say). Thanks to them we now have the padded noise of white western IDPols to further stink up the ideological joint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t-LjjjYnCs

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