An Open Letter to Socialist Worker

This is a re-post of an article by Steven Johns on libcom.org an Anarchist Federation member. We were going to write our own response to the original article available here, but decided this was better than we would have put things.

It is an open letter to Socialist Worker newspaper in response to “Autonomism and the fight for change” by Estelle Cooch.

Dear editors,

I write in response to Estelle Cooch’s article “Autonomism and the fight for change” in SW issue 2246, 9 April 2011.

Of all the frequently inaccurate articles on anarchism in the socialist press, I’m afraid that this one surpasses them all in terms of its level of complete baloney. I note with concern that this article is meant to be the first in a series looking at the ideas of anarchism and autonomism. However from the first sentence it is clear that the author knows absolutely nothing about either.

I will address it in the order in which it appears.

My first real encounter with anarchist ideas, although I didn’t know it at the time, was at school when I was part of organising a student walk-out against the Iraq war.

One group of friends wanted only a small number of pupils to walk out, and to daub anti-war graffiti on a rival school.

The majority of us, however, argued that our success would depend on the number of students who walked out together. We tried to win a majority using posters and leaflets.

Eventually we were proved right. And more students walking out also meant we could provide solidarity to students who were victimised.

Now the mistake here is that this was not her first encounter with anarchist ideas. There is no evidence of any sort of anarchism here. What she had an encounter with here was a group of kids who wanted to graffiti something. Arguing against a mass walkout is completely contradictory to any kind of anarchism. And indeed, anarchist schoolkids did participate in and help lead anti-war walkouts in their schools. See this contemporary discussion by pupils in the Anarchist Youth Network for example.

In situations like this, anarchists can appear very radical—let’s take the small group we’ve got and go for it! Marxists, in repeating the importance of “mass action” which involves more than just a small group of activists, can seem a bit tedious by comparison.

Again – she is not referring to anarchists here, but just most likely some antisocial kids she has dubbed “anarchists”. When I was on strike with half a million council workers back in 2008 over a sub inflationary pay rise I didn’t say to my co-workers, hey let’s not bother trying to get everyone out let’s go over the road and tag that library. I went round, spoke to people, including agency workers and non-union members arguing for solidarity. And in the end my team was one of the strongest in my council, with one of the highest union densities, 100% of union members out and several agency workers and non-members refusing to cross picket lines.

We are hoping to build on this for our upcoming strike against job cuts.

On the contrary, small group vanguardism has been characteristic of many Marxist and Leninist organisations, such as the Red Army Faction, which is much criticised by anarchists.

Many activists now call themselves “autonomists”, and more are influenced by autonomist ideas.

I would dispute that that many call themselves “autonomists” or that those that do are more influenced by autonomist ideas, but moving on…

Autonomism shares many of the characteristics of anarchism. Its main idea is a rejection of organisation.

This is completely false. Firstly, it implies that the rejection of organisation is a characteristic autonomism shares with anarchism. Whereas in fact the exact opposite is true. As leading anarchist Errico Malatesta always said: “anarchism is about organisation, organisation, organisation”.

Secondly, autonomism does not reject the idea of organisation in the slightest. And I ask Estelle what her source for claiming that.

The author basically seems to have no idea of what anarchism or autonomism actually are. For starters autonomism is something which has come out of Marxism and Leninism! I would recommend her having a read of Steve Wright’s http://libcom.org/library/storming-heaven-class-composition-struggle-italian-autonomist-marxism-steve-wright for an induction.

It believes small, imaginative groups of radicals should act on behalf of the masses.

No it doesn’t. If anyone claims the contrary, where are their references/evidence?

It says the creation of “autonomous” spaces like occupations allows us to carve out alternative societies within the system.

Now I get an idea of where the use of “autonomist” is coming from. In fact this sort of “autonomous spaces” politics is espoused by some individualists, but is derided by the vast majority of anarchists and autonomists.

Usually, differences between Marxism and autonomism rest on three points: leadership, political parties and the state.

This isn’t right either, but I want to keep this letter short so I won’t go into it here.

When it comes to leadership, autonomists reject the “leadership” of capitalist society, where the wealthiest Eton toffs are in charge. So do we.

Actually, I think that the description of our capitalist leaders as the “wealthiest Eton toffs” is actually laughably juvenile, and not at all an accurate description of the situation we are in. “Socialist” leaders from working-class backgrounds are pushing through austerity measures the same as the Conservatives here, as would Labour if they were in power.

And they are also right that the “leadership” offered by trade union and labour leaders is not always a pretty picture.

This is something of an understatement…

When union officials leave behind the drudgery of everyday work, they can lose touch with those they represent.

This is a gross simplification of the forces at work which set union officials against the working class. The main issue is the unions’ structural role in contemporary capitalism as negotiators on the sale of labour power. But again, this is another discussion.

But this is not what Marxists mean by leadership. Leadership exists at every moment in history. The person who argues for strikes, the person who shouts “push” against a line of riot police, the person who picks up the stone to throw at Israeli tanks—they are all leaders.

Of course, anarchists have no problem with this type of leadership.

In some university occupations, autonomists argued that voting is hierarchical and creates “leaders”, so all decisions should be agreed by everyone using consensus decision-making.

Again, I don’t know on what basis Estelle is calling these people “autonomists”. But using consensus decision-making is not something which is inherently anarchist at all – many anarchists have written extensively against it, for example here.

The question of leadership leads directly to the question of parties. Autonomists rightly reject the corrupt, undemocratic parties in parliament.

But a revolutionary party aims to bring together workers’ different experiences to come to a general strategy for fighting back. The capitalists have a high level of organisation—we need to organise together if we are to challenge them.

As stated above, anarchists of course do believe in organisation. What we are against is workers attempting to use political parties to conquer state power.

One important form of capitalist organisation is the state. The state is a tool the rich minority use to maintain their class rule, sometimes violently.

Autonomists and Marxists often disagree over what to do about this.

The autonomist John Holloway, author of Change the World Without Taking Power, argues that “you cannot build a society of non-power relations by conquering power”.

He suggests that small “cracks” in capitalism can be revolutionary without directly confronting the state. But the problem is that the state is hugely oppressive—we cannot afford to ignore it as Holloway suggests.

The revolutionary Vladimir Lenin said, “The state is a product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms.”

It will attempt to crush any threat to itself, as we can see in Libya. To build a revolution that will last, workers have to smash the capitalist state.

The first problem here is is that again the author has not done her reading. John Holloway is a Marxist. And I (and most anarchists) would not agree with everything he says. (See this review of Change the world… for example)

Anarchists would agree that we need to smash the state. The problem with Leninism is that Leninist parties have not attempted to smash the capitalist state, but instead have taken it over and attempted to use it to institute socialism. In every instance this has had disastrous results, and instead of socialism it has resulted in state capitalism.

Ultimately, however, autonomism cannot be a successful strategy for ending the horrors of capitalist society. Karl Marx identified the key to overthrowing capitalism—the mass power of the international working class.

As for this, the author has absolutely no idea what autonomism is, and so can’t really make that first statement, and as for the second, we would of course agree with old Charlie on that wholeheartedly.

Yours sincerely,
Steven Johns
Local government worker and a member of libcom.org and the Anarchist Federation

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6 comments

  1. CJ

    As leading anarchist Errico Malatesta always said: “anarchism is about organisation, organisation, organisation”.
    And Blair was about education, education, education. What type of organization do you suggest, what democratic structures does it have?
    John Holloway describes himself as an autonomous Marxist, of course Socialist Worker is aware that autonomism came out of Italy workerism. http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj92/callinicos.htm
    Holloway is a leading supporter of autonomous zones such as the garden in Alexandria, Athens I visited. Holloway went as far as saying “Capital could not enter” the garden. In fact the people who look after it have paid a company to help dig up the concrete.
    “It believes small, imaginative groups of radicals should act on behalf of the masses”
    Examples of this include the Black Bloc tactic which is to increase conflict with the state by attacking property and the police at demo’s. What attempts of the black bloc supporters made to win over working class people to a strategy of resisting the cuts. Similarly it could be argued that Anarcho-syndricalism, setting up separate radical unions from the ones most workers are in is about radical action by a minority.
    Regarding consensus decision making in the recent university occupations it tended to be people influenced by autonomism who would argue for it. If some Anarchists reject this good, but when the article makes reference to autonomists it means that’s who they are talking about. The author merely states that they are similarities between autonomism and anarchism on certain issues.
    If you are against making generalizations why do you state that Leninist parties tend to create State Capitalism. Name some? Not to preempt but most Leninists (from the IST tradition anyway) wouldn’t recognize the Cuban 26th of July movement as Leninist, nor Mao’s communist party etc.

    P.s Anarchists and Marxists have alot more in common than people who are neither.

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  2. Bristol Anarchist Federation

    Theres a lot in that post, I’ve attempted to respond to all your points. I hope it doesn’t come across as delibretly confrontational, but its hard to avoid when the starting point is an article that lies about ideas i hold close to my heart in an attempt to discredit them!

    As leading anarchist Errico Malatesta always said: “anarchism is about organisation, organisation, organisation”.
    And Blair was about education, education, education. What type of organization do you suggest, what democratic structures does it have?

    Not sure about the relevence of quoting Blair here, as he was about as far from anarchist as its possible to get. The method of organisation favoured by the anarchist federation is, unsurprisingly, that of a federation. We believe communities should come together to collectively decide how their needs are met, and that in a simaler fashion these communities should then come together in an equal federation to collectively make decisions that have wider impacts. Personally I believe all plans and ideas for how we wish to see the world need to be open and flexable enough to allow different people to adapt them to suit their needs and their ideas of equality and freedom.

    John Holloway describes himself as an autonomous Marxist, of course Socialist Worker is aware that autonomism came out of Italy workerism. http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj92/callinicos.htm

    Perhaps this article would have been less terrible had Estelle Cooch had done atleast as much research as reading her own publications previous articles on the subject then? Altho I’m left wondering how, if the SW is so knowledgable they allowed this article to be published in their name, and have not (to my knowledge) published any clarification, apology or retraction. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was being misleading to help confront a ‘challenge to marxism’.

    Holloway is a leading supporter of autonomous zones such as the garden in Alexandria, Athens I visited. Holloway went as far as saying Capital could not enter” the garden. In fact the people who look after it have paid a company to help dig up the concrete.

    Not sure why your putting forward an anti-holloway arguement here, he was only quoted in the post above to disagree with him. Needing to get in a company to do some of the work is one of the issues with the ‘autonomous zone’ approach. You are in relative isolation surrounded by capital and at somepoint you will have to choose to either engage with it on its terms, or to confront it more directly.

    “It believes small, imaginative groups of radicals should act on behalf of the masses” Examples of this include the Black Bloc tactic which is to increase conflict with the state by attacking property and the police at demo’s. What attempts of the black bloc supporters made to win over working class people to a strategy of resisting the cuts.

    I massively dissagree with that quote when applied to anarchism, you give an example but not only is it an oversimplification it is a misrepresentation. I beleive you would struggle to find many(if any) people on a black bloc who claim to be representing anyone other than themselves, especially if they also call themselves anarchists. However in answer to your question I know of the following done by ‘supporters of the black bloc tactic’:

    Opening up of explicity political community spaces which have empowered local (non activists) to not only create services to meet their own needs but to actively challenge the existing capitalist/statist status quo.
    Organising within non union work places to fight (sometimes even sucessfully) against cuts to jobs and for better conditions.
    Supporting working class communities in their own struggles against capital and the police, regardless of their political persuation or lack of it.
    Agitation within unions that are taking a moderate stance or no stance at all against the cuts.
    writting and distributing propaghanda relating to the cuts at demos, events and on street stalls.
    Getting up at dawn every time there has been a strike to go down to the picket lines and join with the strikers.
    Regularly engaging and talking to members of their local communitys and work places.
    Doing the same with fellow (‘non black bloc supporting’) activists on marches.
    Launching and helping with a multitude of campaigns around cuts to specific areas, eg the cutting of disablity benefit or the closing of youth centres.
    Working within broader anticuts groups, often being a large and/or essential part of the organisations actually ‘getting stuff done’.
    taking part in uncountable numbers of non ‘black bloc’ demonstations.

    Similarly it could be argued that Anarcho-syndricalism, setting up separate radical unions from the ones most workers are in is about radical action by a minority.
    Syndacalism is not about radical action by a small minority, by its very nature it requires a mass movement to be successful. Whilst the (anarcho-syncalist) solidarity federation may be a relatively small group they make up for it by the way they organise, for instance a single member was in a workplace where the workers were being treated unfairly and illegally. Rather than ‘acting on their behalf’ he organised a collective meeting with as many of them as he could get to come and shared his knowledge of workplace law & organising. The result was a campaign run on the grounds decided by the people taking part – which sucessfully changed the way the office ran. Simallerly the radical union, Industrial Workers of the World, encourages dual carding where by members are also part of and agitating within the larger mainstream unions. They have no intention of staying a relatively small union though, and have seen membership increase exponentially over the past few years. Their ultimate goal is “one big union”, in which all workers are joined together and can collectively fight against capitalism. Whilst this may seem a long way off, it is definitely not advocating ‘radical action by a minority’ as its tactic of choice!

    Regarding consensus decision making in the recent university occupations it tended to be people influenced by autonomism who would argue for it.

    I’m ‘influenced by’ lots of political ideas, I’m still an anarchist. I haven’t met any students who sited autonomists as their sole/main political influence. Is this just a confusion about people using the term ‘autonomous’ to describe a space or a group? What uni occupations were you at? They are as varied as the people taking part, but the two I was at ended up with consensus partly because of a strong anarchist presence and partly because it was the method of decision making which seemed to make the most sense in the situation, and was the most different from the representative ‘democracy’ many of them blamed for the current crisis in higher education. It isn’t the best decision making process in all situations (perhaps not even many) but in the right circumstances it can be very effective, if somewhat frustrating…. Also if all the occupations ‘tended’ to be influenced so much by autonomism (which you & this article suggested doesnt favour organisation or mass movement) why were they so well organised? why did they cooperate so much with each other? why did they support mass protests? why did they enagage so much with other students, staff and community members? why did they try so hard to get as many different people involved as possible?

    If some Anarchists reject this good, but when the article makes reference to autonomists it means that’s who they are talking about. The author merely states that they are similarities between autonomism and anarchism on certain issues.

    No, the article argues numerous times that Anarchists are against mass action, and only in favour of small cladestine actions that ‘represent’ the majoirty. This is blatantly not true. Whilst some people may take part in cladestine actions (torching a police van, or daubing a bank with anti war graffiti), it doesn’t mean they claim to be representing anyone else or that they are against mass action. Although personally i recognise that these actions can sometimes be the opposite of constructive for a cause i’m not going to condemn anyone who chooses to hit back at capital in this way.

    If you are against making generalizations why do you state that Leninist parties tend to create State Capitalism. Name some? Not to preempt but most Leninists (from the IST tradition anyway) wouldn’t recognize the Cuban 26th of July movement as Leninist, nor Mao’s communist party etc.
    We wern’t generalising and saying ‘Leninist parties tend to create state capitalism’ we were saying ALL instances of Leninist/Marxist-Leninist princibles being put into practice have led to state capitalism. (If you can enlighten me of a place where this hasn’t been the case I would genuinely be intrested to hear about it so I look into it in more depth).
    Not only is this what has happened, it is a predictable result of Leninist doctrine and one of its main flaws. It is an important reason anarchists believe we must confront both capitalism and the state simaltaniously. It is also why we believe our means must be consistant with our ends, we organise collectively for a collective society. When groups organise using capitalist ‘democratic’ representatives or any form of dictatorship they end up with either another form of capitalism, a dictatorship or both. Whilst you may argue that those parties that took power, for example the marxist-leninists under stalin, strayed away from the doctrines of both marx and lenin, i would argue that this is what will always happen in a system that attempts to reach freedom via dictatorship, whoevers name the dictatorship is in.

    P.s Anarchists and Marxists have alot more in common than people who are neither.

    It is true that we share a lot of common ground, many anarchist-communists used to think of themselves as marxist-leninists or trotskyists. Our anaylisis of the problems of capitalism tends to be very simaler, our goals for a classless egalitarian society of equals near identical, however in both day to day tactics and overall strategy there are big differences. Not big enough we can’t work together as induviduals – in bristol the anarchist federation has been working with many different people within the anticuts struggle. The reason we’ve been sucessful in this is because we have talked to people and educated them about what our politics really mean, and have thus been able to counter the sort of lies printed in the SW article which would have otherwise stood in the way of co operation.

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  3. CJ

    Hi, when I said what method of organisation do you suggest I meant in terms of your anarchist federation rather than what it would be like under anarchism. What democratic structures does your group have?

    The idea of community/workplace councils is one Marxists also support. Maybe the Marxist emphasis is more on international planning rather than local production which would be difficult in countries that don’t have many natural resources.

    Its good if black bloc members also engage in agitation within the wider working class. However the Black Bloc tactic seems to be separating off from marches and acting as a minority, rather than trying to lead others into more militant action. Demonstrations provide a massive audience to agitate for ideas, I’ve yet be on one were the supporters of black bloc tactics have engaged with other people on marches as a group.

    The problem with anarcho-syndicalism is the contradiction between its aims as a union and as a radical minority (which it currently is). All members of the class should be in unions, but radical groups should be restricted to those who hold revolutionary politics. You don’t want say someone who supports immigration controls in your group for example because it is a barrier to winning a no borders position in the wider movement. Anarcho-syndicalism can also said to be “economistic” in focusing on wages, conditions while ignoring wider questions for example you can join the IWW and be pro-war. Syndicalism can be patronising to workers suggesting all they care about is immediate workplace issues.

    The term “Marxist-Leninism” generally refers to Stalinist parties which have nothing to do with the Russian Bolshevik party from 1903 to 1924. One genuinely Leninist party has lead to a state capitalist regime in Russia as a result of the failure of the German revolution (you can’t have socialism in one country), imperialist intervention and a low economic base. To paraphrase Victor Serge Bolshevism could be said to have the seeds of Stalinism within it, but it also had many other seeds which point to a future socialist society. While Kropotkin supported the First World War and was adviser to the capitalist state of Kerensky, the Bolsheviks actually brought Russia out of it.

    An example of a Leninist party today is the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt.

    Autonomists are engaging with workers and anti cuts groups in occupations which is great I think it shows a coming together of radicals on certain issues. I don’t think theoretically autonomism leads to this conclusion though for example Negri’s concept of the multitude does not have much to say on this issue.

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  4. Bristol Anarchist Federation

    Sorry its taken so long to reply, have been rather busy and it feels like i’m having about 6 conversations at once, none of them seem relevent to the initial debabte about how terrible the SWP article was but thats certainly not a bad thing!

    Without going into unnessacary detail, we operate a system which aims for consensus but acccepts direct votes with a simple majority on smaller/administartive issues or 2/3rds majority on larger issues. However it is accepted that all induvidals in a group, or groups in the federation remain largely autonomous, so these decisions arent forced onto people. Roles within groups are rotated every 3 months, as are delegates sent to national meetings. No positions offer power (eg delegates can only put forward the views mandated and agreed upon by their group) and are all recallable at any point by members of a group.
    Major changes (for example changes to the constitution of the organisation) can only take place at an anual conference and must be sent out to all members several weeks prior to the conference taking place so everyone can make their views known or attend in person.
    This isn’t an ‘ideal’, its just whats worked in practise and is subject to change if there are new ideas which can be agreed upon by the membership. Personly I think of it as an experiment in true democracy, something which should always be strived for even if its impossible to realise.

    The issue with supporters of black bloc tactics not appearing to engage with others is partly because if they’re talking to others they’re likely to have changed into non black bloc clothing (or have not brought it at all if they deemed the tactic inappropriate on a certain day, or had personal reasons not to engage). Obviously no one is going to say to a stranger “hi i’m normally in the black bloc on marches”. I agree it is a tactic open to many critisisms, and wouldn’t ever defend it wholesale. However it certainly has its place in a society with police evidence gatheres and anywhere from 1.5-4.5million CCTV cameras, leading a whole unmasked march into millitant action would lead to a lot of people in jail, unless of course revolution or atleast insurrection was really on the cards. I doubt it was on march 26th!

    I think people should be encouraged to join as radical a group as they are comfortable with, as they are often starting points for moving further into radical politics. I think its patronising to workers to suggest they aren’t revolutionary enough to join radical groups. Political oppinions and ideas shouldn’t be fixed, and most people will adapt theirs based around what they expirience. Being in a radical non hirecarhical union could be one way. Altho I accept people with certain beliefs may need to form radical groups of their own, hence why i’m in Afed and not just an IWW member and nothing else. Personally I think its going to take a multitude of groups and national organisations to move our planet to anything even resembling a free, egalistarian, socalist society.

    Kropotkin and other anarhcists did indeed support the allies in WWI, altho the majority of their anarchist contempories did not, for example Gustav Landauer suffered repression in Germany for continuing to distribute antiwar propaghanda calling for a general strike, whilst Malatesta Emma Goldman and Rudolf Rocker were among many others to speak out against the war. One of the things that most attracts me to anarchism is that it isn’t named after any idividual, it allows it to evolve more freely. Ideas are treated on their merit and how they function in practise, whatever their source. So whilst as a movement we may take ideas from Kropotkin, Bakunin or Marx, we also disregard many others.

    As for the Bolshevik party I have many issues with them. To be a bit cliche, I think the Kronstadt rebellion is a good example of what is wrong with that system of organising, or maybe the way parts of the ukraine were treated by the red army. You start out wanting to give power to all the workers then end up attacking these very people when they threaten to take the power you promised them out of your hands.
    Whilst i’m not going to argue the Bolsheviks were completely bad, I defeintely wouldn’t want to model any future organising around them. Marxist-Lenninism is certainly worse than Lenninism but saying “it wasnt as bad as stalin” isn’t a great defence of anything. Wouldn’t it be preferable to have a system that didn’t contain the ‘seeds’ of a repressive totalitarian ‘socalist’ state and/or of a simple swap of control from capatlists to party beurocrats and the continuing of the captalist system(albeit with a possible pause during change over)? In the last hunderd years there have been many great thinkers ideas and genuine attempts from germany to korea to create more socalist societies, and we should learn from all of them rather than repreating mistakes made in russia in the early 20th centuary.

    Cool, if the revolutionary socalists of Egypt take power, run on Leninist princibles and succeed in creating a free socalist state I will be in awe of the potenital of Leninism, when it is done right.

    I’m glad autonomists are engaging with workers and the broader left anti cuts groups. I think its only when Autonomists, Anarchists, Socalists, Communists (and people that are uncomfortable with any of those lables) start genuinely listening to people (including each other) that the anticuts campaign will succeed. I find concentrating too much on history tends to be a bit counter productive for this, for obvious reasons. Altho if the CNT and POUM managed to get along (if only when cornered by both franco and stalin) maybe there is hope eh?

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  5. CJ

    The increase in struggle and cooperation means that tactical issues are becoming more important than arguments about historical events on the left.

    Consensus seems to force people to compromise their views, it can be slow and in the end you can get an outcome nobody wanted. Also I prefer democratic centralism than people being autonomous as when it comes to an action if half the people aren’t doing it and it fails, you don’t know whether it was the wrong tactic or whether it was because other people were doing the opposite. I would rather keep my own view even if it loses the vote and be proven right when it is tested in practice. Also people going off and doing their own thing shows a lack of democratic accountability to the group as a whole.

    When arguing on a picket line with scare resources (the far left in the UK) if everyone is arguing contradicting things your less likely to convince anyone of a way forward.

    “However it certainly has its place in a society with police evidence gatheres and anywhere from 1.5-4.5million CCTV cameras, leading a whole unmasked march into millitant action would lead to a lot of people in jail, unless of course revolution or atleast insurrection was really on the cards. I doubt it was on march 26th”

    I believe this shows a tendency towards militant action by a minority with mass militant action being put off until the revolution. The more people are involved in militant action the less the state can use repression as a means of controlling people. The more people are involved in militant action the more support you can get across the workers movement. I think that’s why Millbank was successful because it was thousands of people feeling part of it. If it was just 50 people, revolutionaries would have been isolated and easy to pick off.
    I’m not against masking up in certain situations but again I think it leads to a lack of accountability within the wider movement and it is easier to infiltrate by provocateurs.

    “One of the things that most attracts me to anarchism is that it isn’t named after any individual, it allows it to evolve more freely”

    I think this is a minor point Marxism is often described as Historical Materialism and there is no shortage of people challenging the founders of its ideas from within it.

    History

    Kronstadt was simply the wrong thing to do. The invasion of the Ukraine wasn’t the right thing to do either, the Bolsheviks should of stuck to their position of granting independence to countries if they chose it whether they were socialist or not.

    If this was a seed within Bolshevism it could be argued that Makno supporting the imperialist and anti Semitic whites at times in the civil war was a similar seed in anarchism. In fact anti Semitism and sexism were both features of the thought of the founders of anarchism as Proudhon and Bakunin both show. Its difficult to decide what is central to the ideas and what is historically dated.

    I think there is a great scope for working together and these differences won’t stop that

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