Some Good Intentions, but No Fundamental Solution, and Some Big Problems
September 6, 2021
In these times, some anarchists have distinguished themselves in standing up against fascist thugs. Some are serious about seeking to change society in a positive direction. And some do act in a principled way in their relations with others seeking such change. But the truth is that anarchism cannot lead to bringing into being a radically new society that is on the road to eliminating exploitation and oppression and dealing with the increasingly existential environmental and ecological crisis. This is something that can be, and is, readily demonstrated in scientifically analyzing the nature of the beast we are up against—the system of capitalism-imperialism that now dominates the world—what is actually required to uproot and eliminate the relations of exploitation and oppression that are embodied in and enforced by this system, and how any anarchist program will utterly fail to achieve this.
It is worth repeating here these fundamental truths:
There is no possibility of putting an end to the continuing horrors caused by the system we are now forced to live under, the system of capitalism-imperialism, without a revolution—a real revolution to overthrow this system. Such a revolution is an extremely complicated and difficult process. There is no possibility of making this revolution without leadership. Not just any kind of leadership, but leadership that is based on the most consistently scientific method and approach….
You cannot bring a radically different and emancipating society into being, moving to abolish all oppression and exploitation, without breaking the capitalists’ violent hold over society (the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie) and establishing a radically different socialist form of rule (the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat). And only with this socialist system can you give the most powerful support to the revolutionary struggle throughout the world.*
Anarchists refuse to recognize, and actively oppose, these fundamental truths.
This relates to an additional problem with anarchists more broadly: the general and widespread tendency among anarchists to be opposed to authority of any kind, regardless of the nature, content, purpose and role of any particular authority. This is completely unscientific. Among other things, it is an expression of extreme individualism that often assumes irrational dimensions which, despite the passionate opposition to fascism among anarchists, actually shares much in common with fascists. It is not at all a stretch to say that, in the case of many anarchists, their basic orientation could be captured in the slogan, popular among fascists: “Don’t Tread On Me!”
It is right to unite with anarchists, where possible, in the fight against fascism, and more generally against outrages and injustices constantly perpetrated by this system of capitalism-imperialism; and, as a general point of orientation, it is important to engage in principled discussion and debate over what is the problem that we are up against, and what is the solution to this, including with anarchists who are willing to engage in such principled discussion and debate.
But it is necessary to firmly oppose the far too many instances where anarchists, rather than seeking to achieve unity where unity should be possible, and to engage in principled ideological struggle over the problem and the solution, instead act in an antagonistic manner toward those who are working to bring about the fundamental transformation of society that is so urgently needed—and specifically those of us who are working to build an organized revolutionary force, of thousands and ultimately millions, based on and led by the new communism as the scientific approach to the overthrow of this system of capitalism-imperialism and its replacement by a socialist society on the road to the final goal of a communist world.
* Questions That Come Up… And Answers: On Revolution And The Need For The Scientific Leadership Of Bob Avakian. On Dictatorship, The Need For Revolution, And What Comes Next. This article is available at revcom.us (emphasis in the original). [back]