C.L.R. JAMES, KARL MARX, MAX STIRNER

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc2.igc.apc.org
Sun Feb 19 00:28:29 MST 1995


A person who would address himself as uburoi already speaks
volumes before he opens his mouth.

>Could it be that things are more complex?

In what way?  Can an anarchist even recognize complexity?

>I don't wish to claim that Stirner and other individualists were
>without shortcomings. It is known that he became an influence on
>the young Mussolini and the French fascist Robert Brasillach.

You make my case for me.

>how much more true is it in the case of Marx! Marx may well have
>upheld the individual to a great extent, but see with what
>contempt concrete individuals have been treated by marxist
>parties and states.

And what is the connection between them other than the "Marx" in
Marx-ism?

>Nothing could beat the arrogance and narcissism of Bolshevism's
>technocratic intelligentsia.

No argument from me here.  What has this to do with Marx?

>True, more of this degeneration of consciousness can be blamed
>on Engels,

That is a lie!  None of it can.  You regurgitate cliches.

>but Marx himself cannot be entirely exonerated.

Oh yes he can.

>Bakunin was right to predict the tyranny of the socialist state
>and science.

And there is also a tyranny of criminal recklessness and
grandiosity that thoughtlessly and selfishly brings people to
their ruin.  Such is Bakunin.

>Intellectuals as a class *should* in fact disappear, ideally.

Marx believed that would happen with the achievement of communism.
C.L.R. James said that very thing, first in the 1940s, later
openly in Cuba in the 1960s after being invited by the Cuban
Stalinists to a conference of intellectuals.

>Marx at his best certainly seems to suggest that such is
>possible.

Yes.

>But marx-ists have often tended to behave as if pedagogy and
>tutelage are the only means of leading the toiling masses

And how do you think that came about?  When I write about what
Stirner led to, I am not preaching a great-man (or evil-man)
theory of history where everything flows from the inspiration,
actions, or thoughts of a single person.  I was speaking in
shorthand.  Stirner was a product of and represented a social
force, a social force which outlived him and any direct influence
he had.  Stalinism is also a social force.  Where does it come
from?  No anarchist can answer that question, because anarchism
never had nor ever will have a social theory; it lives in a world
of pure subjectivism.

>workers becoming theoreticians, refusing mediation and
>consciousness brought in from the 'outside,' workers
>refusing the identity of worker and the reactionary concept of
>the dignity of labor.

Fine, and let's discuss the conditions that make this possible.
Shall it come about by reading the ravings of Bakunin?

>Till that happens, I'd rather suffer the existence of a few
>embittered declasse intellectuals

In 1995 neither you nor I are going to have much of a choice of
what or whom we suffer.  Those who suffered under Mussolini or
Stalin had no choice, and neither do we.  If I did, there would be
a whole lot of riff-raff of all stripes that would disappear, and
I wouldn't have to worry about choosing the less loathesome.

With whom did you think you were arguing?  Did I sing the praises
of Uncle Joe or the Great Helmsman?  You're picking a fight with
your own shadow, not with me or Marx.  Leave me out of it. I just
don't have any time left for punks, anarchists, Maoists, other
breeds of Stalinists, or even Trotskyists, and not Greens or
nationalisms or identity politics either.  The hour is getting
late.


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