questions for Chris Sciabarra

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Fri Aug 27 11:58:47 MDT 1999

What is the dialectics in the libertarian view you describe ?  What is it that the
libertarian/anarchist viewpoint provides that it lacking in the Marxist view , the
abolition of the state ? But surely you know that the Marxist view is that the state
whithers away when all of capitalism has been abolished ? Marxism is not repressive,
totalitarianism, or statism.

Charles Brown

>>> Chris Matthew Sciabarra <cms10 at> 08/27/99 10:59AM >>>
At 04:43 PM 8/26/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello Comrade,
>Would you mind giving a summary of your criticisms of libertarians and
>Marxists ?

I argue that dialectics is essential to any radical critique of society.
To think dialectically is to keep in mind the full context, to grasp the
systemic and dynamic relations among the various disparate factors in
reality. To the extent that some libertarians have attempted to achieve
their ideal by emphasizing the market over the state -- such that, in some
anarchist variants, the market actually provides for legal functions --
they neglect cultural, social-psychological, and historical factors.  Their
atomistic designs reduce to utopia.   And to the extent that some Marxists
have attempted to achieve their ideal by emphasizing the state over the
market -- such that, in some statist variants, the state provides for all
functions outside the context of a price mechanism -- they too dissolve
into utopia.  We end up with a dualistic choice between a context-less
anarchism and an oppressive statism.

>Of course, there were "right" Hegelians, and Hegel's philosophy became , for
>a while, a sort of state religion of the Prussian state which was very
>reactionary, so non-left dialectics is not new. But... you know... that
>there are non-left dialectics is not a good thing to leftists and Marxists.
>Charles Brown

Very true.
Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Visiting Scholar
NYU Department of Politics
715 Broadway
New York, New York  10003-6806
Dialectics and Liberty Website:
Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand:

More information about the Marxism mailing list