Sam Pawlett rsp at
Wed Mar 14 13:48:50 MST 2001

Jim Farmelant wrote:
> Chomsky as Marxist?  I think it would be more accurate to characterize
> him as someone who freely draws upon Marxist analysis without
> necessarily being a Marxist.

OK. He used to quote and discuss Marx extensively in his early writings.
I had a friend who marched into his MIT office some years ago and
demanded what Chomsky's political allegiances were. C replied "council
communist". The council communists were Marxists who were kosher in
anarchist circles.

  There is in his political writings a
> certain nostalgia for an idealized "purer" capitalism that was supposed
> to have existed sometime in the past.

Hmm. Where?

  Chomsky has often expressed
> admiration for Adam Smith.

Yes, but it seems to me he is trying to use capitalist ideologues
against themselves. There are those well known passages in Smith where
he condemns the deleterious effects of capitalism on the person of the
wage laborer.
Chomsky (and William Tabb in his latest book) seem to think this means
Smith was disdainful of capitalism. Michael Perelman in hisbook on
primitive accumulation has put a strong case otherwise.

.  At the same time it should be noted that even many
> of the classical anarchists drew upon Marxist analysis, whether
> or not they were willing to admit it.  Bakunin was one such example.

Oh yeah. Anarchism is derivative from Marxism. Bakunin was hired as a
Russian translator of Capital but true to character never finished.

> Marxists would of course say that they too are opposed to all forms of
> opression and that they too look forward to the abolition of state power.
> The differences lie in their respective analyses of how this it to be
> done,
> and this in turn lies in their differing analyses concerning the
> dialectics
> of oppression.

The anarchists at best are harmless wishful thinkers. They owe an
explanation of how counterrevolution(aries) are to be treated. Saying
"exile them" is not good enough since a state and a standing army will
be needed to protect the anarchist society from without. In other words,
anarchism is not an evolutionary stable strategy. Nozick explained this
in his book.

Sean Noonan wrote:

> At least the majority of anarchists are some kind of  utopian socialist.
> Danaher and Global Exchange are just utopian reformers. So I guess it is a
> matter of context. Out here in the midwest I draw the line at socialists of
> some flavor (marxist, anarchist, even christian). I'd rather work with
> anarchists than liberals and so-called "progressives" any day.

The anarchists should be commended for their wholesale opposition to
capitalism everywhere and always. None of this business of capitalism
bringing modernity,growth in the productive forces leading to socialism
and growing concentration of capital leading to greater socialisation of

Macdonald Stainsby wrote:
> > Sam Pawlett (former teenage and undergrad Anarchist)
> What changed you?

I read Marx&Engels then Lenin, Trotsky and Gramsci. The anarchist
movement (if you want tocall it that) became a bore with its focus on
"personal liberation" i.e. screwing anything that moves, listening to
horrible music, being called a 'sellout' because you had a job, a formal
education and didn't die your hair green, constant whining about the
right to smoke dope and take speed in the street and total ignorance
about what really matters like capitalist social relations and class

Sam Pawlett

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