Anarchist Theory and Practice
Michael D. Damore
mdamore at moose.uvm.edu
Fri Apr 28 14:39:48 MDT 1995
Guy has a point here. That is why I have found that anrchist theory
works best when it is blended with syndicalism. The syndicalist approach
provides the tools for a defined class analysis (you know who your allies
are, and you know who your enemies are real quick by where they sit in
the structure of your work environment).
I also think that anarchist who totally dismiss Marx are needlessly
closing themselves off to a significant school of thought and
On Fri, 28 Apr 1995, Guy Yasko wrote:
> Justin Schwartz wrote:
> > "chaos." The fundamental left anarchist belief, its defining
> > characteristic, is that society should not have an organbized coercive
> > apparatus to maintain order, which should rather be done--and it is agreed
> > that it should be done--cooperatively and voluntarily. Anarchists differ
> > from Marxists largely in the question of whether the establishment of a
> > workers' state should be a revolutionary goal. Anarchists don't want to
> > establish any state.
> As a friend says, like liberals without the police. Actually, I think the
> anarchists differ from Marxists over the relation between theory and
> practice, too. Anarchists optimistically assume that the transformation
> of the working class from a class in itself to a class for itself occurs by
> means of struggle. In other words, according to the anarchists
> all we need to do is struggle. As things which would restrict and
> restrain the autonomous activity of the people, theory and politics hold
> little value for anarchists. Practice is enough.
> The problem with this approach to relating theory and practice is that
> it becomes very difficult to decide who is and is not part of the struggle.
> For example, I study the Japanese student movement from about 65-73.
> I find the more anarchistically inclined students incapable of defining
> their movement and themselves. This became a serious problem when
> people like Mishima Yukio (the novelist, but also the leading right
> wing ideologue of the time) began to argue that the student movement
> ought to fight for the emperor. The students couldn't answer Mishima,
> because they had no means of self-definition, i.e. no theory. They had
> defined themselves as people struggling together against the state and
> university administration. In fact the abbreviated version of their
> moniker translates to "All Struggling Together" (Zenkyoto). I
> could also use a Russian example: One of the criticisms of the
> Mensheviks was that anyone could be a Menshevik.
> The anarchists do have a point in that the theory and form of struggle
> must be open. Marxists reply that they can't be completely open.
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