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Thread: Unity-Criticism-Unity - Anarchism + MLM = Revolution

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  1. #1
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    Default Unity-Criticism-Unity - Anarchism + MLM = Revolution

    Greetings comrades. I want to have a discussion about anarchism (might as well specify anarcho-communism tendencies, as I doubt there's much to talk about regarding the individualist trends) and MLM.

    I am an anarchist. I am very committed to the libertarian part of my politics, and sincerely do not believe I will be moved from my anti-authoritarian stances, nor my opposition to involuntary hierarchy. Further, I distrust the concept of a centralized vanguard party, and the entire principle of democratic centralism.

    I believe that the very reason we must oppose capitalism, imperialism, and all forms of oppression is because of the hierarchies and domination they all lead to. It is the involuntary authority and oppression that they create that is the real problem...but I believe this of ALL involuntary authority.
    The dictatorship of the proletariat should be direct, decentralized, and constantly reaffirmed through participation.

    HOWEVER,

    After nearly 6 months of attending a weekly MLM study group, I have come to deeply respect many aspects of the ideology as A) a sound revolutionary strategy for building a mass movement and B) a sound blueprint for determining the correctness of ideas and accountability to good politics.

    Once upon a time in France there were anarcho-maoists. I think they self-identified as Mao Spontex.

    I'd like to discuss whether not there is a viable synthesis here...I suppose it could go one of two ways. MLMs could eventually be brought around to an anti-authoritarian standpoint...or anarchists could be brought around to a mass line movement-building strategy, and respecting some of Mao's teachings as a valid path forward.

    I look forward to your thoughts, and I'm excited to be a part of this forum!
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    I will attempt to preempt what I tend to see in similar discussions about why anarchism can not win a revolution:

    I believe there is value in leadership. The vanguardist revolutionary theory is all about the need for the masses to have leaders with advanced politics to guide them toward building a new society...and I agree with that completely. I simply do not agree that this leadership should organize itself nor the masses in a vertical, hierarchical manner. The MLM movement in the US right now is based on autonomous collectives...for now. I am certain they will eventually build a centralized party-shaping apparatus...at which point I'm probably going to be far less interested in what they are doing. I uphold the autonomous model they have now, and I have all of the revolutionary love in the world for the leadership they are putting into practice in their mass orgs all across the country. They are already providing political leadership without hierarchy...why can't this continue and grow?
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    Hi, and welcome. I'd be interested in this topic of discussion, too -- I just posted on this subject this morning:



    [O]ver the years I've developed a more 'hybrid' (by scale) approach, which is here, below. I'll leave it to you to figure out how to categorize my politics, based on what I advocate.

    Here's a brief summation, in one line, from a fairly recent thread:


    [T]he layout of *work roles* would be the 'bottom' of 'top-down' (though collectivized) social planning, and would be the 'top' of 'bottom-up' processes like individual self-determination.

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/threads/19...29#post2879529
    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...65#post2884565


    ---


    So I'd be looking for a comprehensive, *scale*-indexed approach that addresses all of the issues / implications of this objective framework. ( Again: )


    [T]he layout of *work roles* would be the 'bottom' of 'top-down' (though collectivized) social planning, and would be the 'top' of 'bottom-up' processes like individual self-determination.


    ---


    (In other words, I think the *crux* of the overall matter is how specific, socially-necessary work roles should be determined / formalized, and how particular personnel should be selected for these work-role positions.)
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    I will attempt to preempt what I tend to see in similar discussions about why anarchism can not win a revolution:

    I believe there is value in leadership. The vanguardist revolutionary theory is all about the need for the masses to have leaders with advanced politics to guide them toward building a new society...and I agree with that completely. I simply do not agree that this leadership should organize itself nor the masses in a vertical, hierarchical manner. The MLM movement in the US right now is based on autonomous collectives...for now. I am certain they will eventually build a centralized party-shaping apparatus...at which point I'm probably going to be far less interested in what they are doing. I uphold the autonomous model they have now, and I have all of the revolutionary love in the world for the leadership they are putting into practice in their mass orgs all across the country. They are already providing political leadership without hierarchy...why can't this continue and grow?

    My take / position on this is that much would depend on *actual prevailing conditions*.

    I think the anarchist approach to working class revolution is about as *optimistic* as an approach can get -- sure, I'd *like* to see a global uprising that takes place at all major locations the world over, all at about the same time, so that we wouldn't even *need* an organic-type, bottom-up, generic revolutionary *vanguard* at all (much less a formal vanguard *party* organization).

    But the slightest bourgeois *opposition* to this kind of even-keel uprising could cause it to become *unbalanced* and *complicated* overall, with some geographic locations possibly becoming *more important* than others, for the purpose of overall proletarian victory. This kind of situation would then benefit from a *non*-organic, *meta*-localist analysis and 'leadership' over the whole revolution, in realtime. Here's from a past thread:



    a. Anarchists believe in immediately tearing down the state apparatus, the means by which capitalists maintain power, control, and ownership. By destroying the state, then wealth and capitalist relationship to production inherently fall, leading to rebuilding society in a post-capitalist, ideally cooperative and egalitarian way.


    I happen to have no problem with this taking place, *in theory* -- but I think that this particular method for revolution would be very timing-dependent, and revolts would have to happen more-or-less *simultaneously* in major areas all over the world, to work.

    I'd like to see some clarification on how a widespread, though localist-constrained, workers uprising would handle the interchange of post-commodity collectivist production without resorting to exchange values / markets. What's the plan for a workers collectivist moneyless administration -- ?


    b. Socialists believe in that mid-stage between capitalism and communism where the state still exists, but it seeks to maintain ownership of labor, production, in the hands of the workers until there is no wealth accumulation and class divisions, at which point the state becomes unnecessary as there's no wealth or property to protect the ownership of, and it whithers away. Socialists take issue with anarchists in that by focusing on tearing down the state first, capitalists can and will simply use their wealth and property to violently put down any attempt to do so. Whereas changing the ownership of production and property into the hands of the people first, more likely prevents literal war or the resumption of capitalists to taking back their wealth and power.


    I'd also like some clarification on the composition of this socialist-transitional workers state -- would it depend on bureaucratic-type professionals for a separatist, specialized administration of post-commodity collectivist production, or would it genuinely look to *mass participation* from all liberated workers, at their respective work roles, for the same -- ?


    *[W]hat structure* would this proposed 'workers state' take.

    It's worth reviewing, I think, as to particulars -- in my conception the revolutionary workers would be numerous enough worldwide to kick out current politicians and bureaucrats, to assume such offices for the common good and to collapse others that would then be irrelevant, such as for finance, etc.


    The ambiguity is about how a proposed workers administration would function, exactly -- would it be as I just described, or would it be more-institutional, a standing relatively-fixed pool of specialized personnel that do nothing but expedite the administrative tasks resulting from the collectivization of social production -- ?

    If it's more the *latter*, then I agree with you that this formulation would be inappropriate because it would be too politically *specialized* and institutionally separatist from all other (regular) kinds of work that go on in the world.

    But if it's the *former* (the 'numerous revolutionary workers doing administrative tasks as a component part of their regular work, collectively cooperatively'), then I think *this* kind of 'workers state' would be far more appropriate and valid, a *good* revolutionary-transitional vehicle towards communism).

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/threads/19...82#post2880282


    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...12#post2880312


    ---


    Also, from another past thread:



    If revolutionary society can get to the point where no 'state' of any kind is necessary (a communist-type gift economy), *very* quickly, then the whole transitional dictatorship-of-the-proletariat phase could be skipped altogether. This would translate to a *very* broad-based revolutionary upheaval worldwide that is all on-the-same-page and simply swamps the elite and their goons within a short period of time -- a few months, and less than a year. This would be the *optimistic* possibility, of course.

    If that *doesn't* happen and something more along the lines of my scenario at post #4 takes place ('dotp'), I don't see how the workers state / apparatus *wouldn't* cease to exist after a finished, successful revolution, no matter how long it takes. (The historical facts of the unsuccessful Bolshevik Revolution and its devolving into Stalinism were due to invasions by the Whites.)

    In other words, 'Nothing succeeds like success.'

    A successful proletarian revolution would reach the point of generalization of socialized productive methods, and so the people and workers themselves would have the proper social environment in which to self-organize -- the workers state / dotp would become glaringly irrelevant in the absence of a continued class foe, and would have nothing further to do. (Consider that in terms of *numbers*, the formal workers apparatus would be a *subset* of all revolutionaries, and all revolutionaries worldwide would be lesser in numbers than all workers and people together.)

    My concern with your statement, and any similar line, is that it's too presumptuously *pessimistic* concerning the results of a workers state as a potential *strategy* for dealing with the bourgeoisie. If actual conditions objectively call for a monolithic-scale implementation of workers power then that's what's socially-necessary and anything *less* than that would be insufficient in the context of protracted battles with the forces of the bourgeoisie -- we wouldn't want to shoot ourselves in the foot, and any concerns about the 'leadership' (for lack of a better word) would have to take a backseat to the need to confront bourgeois forces at a comparable-or-superior magnitude.
    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...74#post2877074
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    So I think some of the most important parts of our revolutionary praxis have to be building the infrastructure now that will replace the capitalist-imperialist institutions when we tear them down.

    Build for self-defense, then kick the pigs out of your neighborhoods.
    Build for education, then close down the racist school systems that are brainwashing children to individualism and obedience to the empire.
    Build neighborhood councils, then burn down city hall...etc.

    We are dependents on the system. As a revolutionary anarchist it is my job to free the masses from this dependence.
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    I don't really respect first world Maoists, I think I respect Maoists who say the entirety of the first world (including my first world ass) needs to be atomized in a nuclear strike more, since they're atleast congruent in their policy. I think a lot of 1st world Maoists are like devil worshipers they only become one because of the hostile reaction of their current life, that if mao wasn't seen as the devil in their society they wouldn't call themselves that. if you read stories of people who have defected to socialist nations you can see they have really horrible misunderstandings about communism and that is what drew them to be communists. Not actual theories or writings from communists but attacks that fascists have directed towards the communists, that they then believe is true. Like the devil worshiper who is really just rebelling against their parents or their birth societies christian religion and they end up just practicing Scandinavian paganism.

    So if people are saying "communists want to kill all white people", then you might be a victim a white supremacist society and might think that's a great idea, so you defect to cuba or north korea and find out they not only dont want to kill all white people but they take offense to being labelled as such.

    here's a good thread on the subject https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...-and-Anarchism
    Last edited by willowtooth; 30th June 2017 at 22:23.
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    So I think some of the most important parts of our revolutionary praxis have to be building the infrastructure now that will replace the capitalist-imperialist institutions when we tear them down.

    Build for self-defense, then kick the pigs out of your neighborhoods.
    Build for education, then close down the racist school systems that are brainwashing children to individualism and obedience to the empire.
    Build neighborhood councils, then burn down city hall...etc.

    We are dependents on the system. As a revolutionary anarchist it is my job to free the masses from this dependence.

    Fair enough.

    My only critique / objection is that this anarchist-sided approach is too *prescriptive* -- it's the same critique I'd make of a strictly 'vanguard party' approach: That actual prevailing *circumstances* need to be taken into account, and an appropriate revolutionary *strategy* custom-fitted to those emergent circumstances. (See post #4.)

    On the broader scope, I'll proffer the following 'transition':


    [7] Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram






    ---


    And that transitional plan dovetails into my standing proposed framework / model:


    labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'






    communist supply & demand -- Model of Material Factors





    http://www.revleft.com/vb/entries/11...ly-amp-demand)


    A post-capitalist political economy using labor credits



    To clarify and simplify, the labor credits system is like a cash-only economy that only works for *services* (labor), while the world of material implements, resources, and products is open-access and non-abstractable. (No financial valuations.) Given the world's current capacity for an abundance of productivity for the most essential items, there should be no doubt about producing a ready surplus of anything that's important, to satisfy every single person's basic humane needs.

    [I]t would only be fair that those who put in the actual (liberated) labor to produce anything should also be able to get 'first dibs' of anything they produce.

    In practice [...] everything would be pre-planned, so the workers would just factor in their own personal requirements as part of the project or production run. (Nothing would be done on a speculative or open-ended basis, the way it's done now, so all recipients and orders would be pre-determined -- it would make for minimal waste.)

    We can do better than the market system, obviously, since it is zombie-like and continuously, automatically, calls for endless profit-making -- even past the point of primitive accumulation, through to overproduction and world wars, not to mention its intrinsic exploitation and oppression.

    Labor vouchers imply a political economy that *consciously* determines valuations, but there's nothing to guarantee that such oversight -- regardless of its composition -- would properly take material realities into account. Such a system would be open to the systemic problems of groupthink and elitism.

    What's called-for is a system that can match liberated-labor organizing ability, over mass-collectivized assets and resources, to the mass demand from below for collective production. If *liberated-labor* is too empowered it would probably lead to materialistic factionalism -- like a bad syndicalism -- and back into separatist claims of private property.

    If *mass demand* is too empowered it would probably lead back to a clever system of exploitation, wherein labor would cease to retain control over the implements of mass production.

    And, if the *administration* of it all is too specialized and detached we would have the phenomenon of Stalinism, or bureaucratic elitism and party favoritism.

    I'll contend that I have developed a model that addresses all of these concerns in an even-handed way, and uses a system of *circulating* labor credits that are *not* exchangeable for material items of any kind. In accordance with communism being synonymous with 'free-access', all material implements, resources, and products would be freely available and *not* quantifiable according to any abstract valuations. The labor credits would represent past labor hours completed, multiplied by the difficulty or hazard of the work role performed. The difficulty/hazard multiplier would be determined by a mass survey of all work roles, compiled into an index.

    In this way all concerns for labor, large and small, could be reduced to the ready transfer of labor-hour credits. The fulfillment of work roles would bring labor credits into the liberated-laborer's possession, and would empower them with a labor-organizing and labor-utilizing ability directly proportionate to the labor credits from past work completed.

    This method would both *empower* and *limit* the position of liberated labor since a snapshot of labor performed -- more-or-less the same quantity of labor-power available continuously, going forward -- would be certain, known, and *finite*, and not subject to any kinds of abstraction- (financial-) based extrapolations or stretching. Since all resources would be in the public domain no one would be at a loss for the basics of life, or at least for free access to providing for the basics of life for themselves. And, no political power or status, other than that represented by possession of actual labor credits, could be enjoyed by liberated labor. It would be free to represent itself on an individual basis or could associate and organize on its own political terms, within the confines of its empowerment by the sum of pooled labor credits in possession.

    Mass demand, then as now, would be a matter of public discourse, but in a societal context of open access to all means of mass communication for all, with collectivized implements of mass production at its disposal. It would have no special claim over any liberated labor and would have no means by which to coerce it.

    The administration of all of this would be dependent on the conscious political mass struggle, on a continuous, ongoing basis, to keep it running smoothly and accountably.

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/blog.php?bt=14673
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    I got a 404 error on your first image.
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    this is something i've been working out for a while myself, considering myself as being something of a left- or libertarian-maoist for some time now. the label i've used jokingly (and sometimes less jokingly) is autonomaoism, which seems to be similar to what you're describing here. i'm not and have never been an anarchist, so that's not my background, but coming from a diet leninism to maoism as an immanent critique of marxism-leninism made a lot of sense to me, even if a lot of maoists themselves would oppose that categorization.
    Economic Left/Right: -8.75
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    Thanks for sharing. Always good to not be alone. Some additional thoughts I've been chewing on since I made this post:

    Lenin seemed in many instances to compromise deeply with bourgeois interests for the sake of national liberation struggles, USSR survival, etc...and yet so many MLs and MLMs seem to suggest that had the critique-from-the-left been heeded, it would have served bourgeois interests.

    So I guess my question is: is it really any worse to lose ground to the right by strictly adhering to the left, versus to compromise with the right in order for the left to maintain power?
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    I got a 404 error on your first image.

    Yeah, the site's been having some problems with showing thumbnail images -- just click on that image placeholder and it'll bring up the correct image at the hosting site, if you like.
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    Thanks for sharing. Always good to not be alone. Some additional thoughts I've been chewing on since I made this post:

    Lenin seemed in many instances to compromise deeply with bourgeois interests for the sake of national liberation struggles, USSR survival, etc...and yet so many MLs and MLMs seem to suggest that had the critique-from-the-left been heeded, it would have served bourgeois interests.

    Agreed with this point.

    See this currently active thread for an historical instance:


    The Experiment: Georgia's Forgotten Revolution, 1918-1921

    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...tion-1918-1921


    ---



    So I guess my question is: is it really any worse to lose ground to the right by strictly adhering to the left,

    If we're talking about the Bolsheviks specifically, they were able to *defeat* imperialism, but only at a great internal socio-political-material cost -- agricultural production tanked, along with any immediate plans for both industrialization and collectivization of society.



    versus to compromise with the right in order for the left to maintain power?

    Why would any revolutionary even *trust* a right-winger in such a 'deal' -- ?

    You seem to be more concerned with *electoralism* than with anything else, by this statement.

    Or were you thinking of Brest-Litovsk -- ?




    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on 3 March 1918 between the new Bolshevik government of Soviet Russia and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire), that ended Russia's participation in World War I. The treaty was signed at Brest-Litovsk (Polish: Brześć Litewski; since 1945 Brest), after two months of negotiations. The treaty was agreed upon by the Bolshevik government under threat of further advances by German and Austrian forces. According to the treaty, Soviet Russia defaulted on all of Imperial Russia's commitments to the Triple Entente alliance.

    In the treaty, Bolshevik Russia ceded the Baltic States to Germany; they were meant to become German vassal states under German princelings.[2] Russia also ceded its province of Kars Oblast in the South Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire and recognized the independence of Ukraine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brest-Litovsk

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