Overcoming the duality of communism and anarchism

At one level, Žižek, Badiou, Ranciére, Karatani, etc., are all preoccupied with overcoming the duality of communism and anarchism. Or, more precisely, in a situation in which occupying the state is not a guarantee of transforming it, these contemporary Marxist thinkers are concerned with recuperating dual-power strategies as a means to disrupt the one power composed by the alliance between capital and the state. Let me briefly point out the main positions of some of the Marxist philosophers on this issue. Alain Badiou argues that “Marxism, the workers’ movement, mass democracy, Leninism, the proletarian party, the socialist state—all these remarkable inventions of the twentieth century—are no longer of practical use.” He maintains that the third sequence of the communist hypothesis, the situation in which we find ourselves now, is not a question of a proletarian party, nor of a mass movement as bearer of this hypothesis. We find, according to Badiou, a new relationship between the ideology and a political movement. The generic processes are neither “resisting” the state nor trying to take it, but by taking a distance toward the state. It is a dual power that claims to be more universal and more powerful than the state itself—a sort of immanent duality that, though dual, remains more immanent to the situation than the transcendental unity of the capitalist state.

Kojin Karatani proposes to simultaneously create a dual-power movement, through alternative common currencies and markets, and take over the state/capital. In Karatani’s view, the triad of capital–nation–state is inseparable; as such, the three ought to be revolutionized together. His solution, as we will see later, is the transformation of the modes of exchange. Žižek, on the other hand, proposes that the party should be conceived as another power (which is not the state, hence dual power) but also that it should become the state (one power). For him, the dichotomy of either the struggle for state power or withdrawal from and/or resistance against state power is a false alternative. According to Žižek, this alternative presupposes the premise that the state in its actual form is perpetual. Žižek’s wager is that we need a Leninist gesture: the ultimate aim of the revolution is not only simply to take state power, but also to use revolutionary violence in radically transforming it. As he puts it, we should make the state work in a “non-statal way.”

Finally, Jameson suggests a very concrete proposition through which the state/capital apparatus would gradually become the “smaller” of the two powers, when compared with the military complex, which would grow progressively more central. Jameson’s idea is a militarized version of Žižek’s tetrad of people–movement–party–leader. Jameson departs from Lenin’s short text “The Dual Power,” written in April 1917, during the coexistence of the Provisional Government and the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Lenin designates three main features of the Soviet councils: 1) power comes from below, that is, from the people in their areas (“direct seizure”); 2) in the soviets, the police and army are replaced by arming the workers and peasants directly; and 3) the bureaucracy is organized similarly to the armed forces—not by elected officials, but by direct rule of the people. In a sense, Lenin also provides a militarized version of the soviets.

source: libgen.io/book/index.php?md5=59BF50B9C0FB98F8FDA03CAA28902AED

Other urls found in this thread:


Althusser on anarchism: youtu.be/feepQg_Dx7U?t=746 [turn on CC]

Badiou against the party & anarchism:
from: Communist Hypothesis

There's no reconcilable duality between Marxism and anarchism. The reality is that it's Marxists who want to inject themselves into the anarchist milieu because anarchists became more visible after the invention of dynamite. Anarchism as an ideology isn't left-wing or right-wing no matter what a vocal minority of Marxists would have you believe.

Zizek on the state.

Good post OP.

There absolutely is. OP posted Althusser on Marx versus anarchism above, so here it is in WEBM form for you. Hope you'll give watching it a shot that way.

How so? Do you describe Marx's biggest inspiration and the reference point for all Marxist communists after him, the communard uprising, as being what you associate with anarchism? The fact of the matter is that Marx and Bakunin both were fascinated by this event, and some of their successors, n.b. Makhno and Lenin, came to virtually almost the exact same conclusions and did virtually almost the exact same things when they were in the reigns of influence of workers' movements. Their disagreement was quite ironically an almost semantic one, continuating the tragic autistic feud Marx and Bakunin started and were too immature to abandon when they could have met one another not even just halfway, but near-fully.

Marx didn't characterize communism as left or right either. He completely avoided describing it with this bourgeois framework of reference invented by bourgeois politicians under bourgeois revolutionary times.

Many Marxist communists after him and Engels actually made it a complete point to reject the label of "left" entirely, noting that the left includes many who merely represent capital's left wing; its more progressive establishment and proponents. Both social anarchism and communism are beyond meaningfully being described as left or right, because they go beyond everything else that finds itself on the left, from the various obvious ones like social democracy but also "market socialists" and other bourgeois bullshit Marxists have always fought against, starting with Marx himself versus Proudhon's "market anarchism" and Lassalle's social market stagism described in CotGP, a pseudo-anarchism and bourgeois socialism respectively.


from: On Kant and Marx

later, in the same book in the Notes section:

I got really bored of the same old leninist/leftcom/anarchist tirades, so maybe this can breath new life to the discussion.


There is nothing to overcome because Anarchism is dumb as fuck with no long term strategic goals on how to manage power.

Socialists have more in common with communitarian conservatives and fascists even than with Anarchists or liberals. Anarchism is in fact the extreme end point of classical liberalism, it has nothing communitarian like socialism does and rejects the state assuming every man should be a master and god on earth. Socialism preserves the power of the state in order to destroy the Capitalist mode of accumulation and reorganise society in a rank and file manner. Anarchism on the other hand assumes sponetnious revolution (by whom exactly? Not even they know) and that power will be theirs even when they don't have a state. But the state as Hegel profoundly stated is the ONLY manifestation of power that evolves over time into higher complexities throughout history.

Also before an Anarchist comes to me with Bakunin and Kropotkin, had they read the intellectual background of both thinkers they would know they are nothing alike. Kropotkin was a theoretician of Communism the end point of socialism (as in Conquest of Bread), his ideas have little in common with other theoreticians of Anarchism or revolution. The guy was a pacifist for Christ sake. Bakunin on the other hand took most of the economic ideas of Proudhon and just stretched them on a political level to account for anti-statist revolutionary Anarchism. Proudhon was loved by the conservatives of his time because he was the Milton Friedman of his time, leave the small entrepreneur alone from the big bad state.

It's true though, fascists stole nearly all of their economic ideas from Socialists and just added nationalism into the mix.

Has to be bait tbh. Miss me with that shit.

Badiou on discipline:

Zizek on discipline

Non-communist anarchism is shit. Mutualists, post-leftists and primitivists fuck off.

Ranciére on anarchism: youtube.com/watch?v=8n9l6QvfjXA

Come on fam. Marxists are as authoritarians as fascists, just with red and yellow drapery.

Isn't dual power a cornerstone of all revolutionary socialist ideologies? Even memechin incorporated it into social ecology.
BTW I agree with leftcoms/ultra-leftists on most things, like communism as the real movement and capitalism as a mode of production (and not of management, yugofags are retarded)

Go ahead and show me a historical anarchism that didn't engage in what you may equally describe in such simplifying and vulgar terms.

Revolutionaries are authoritarians as fuck.


way to be intellectually dishonest fam
these niggas are trying to reconcile a 150 year split between anarchists and marxists with concepts like communization (which is really dope)
dont be a bitch

Authors in OP aren't really leftcoms, tho.

You know how behind every rose there is a swastika? Well, behind every hammer and sickle there is mustache.

This is a critique I haven't read anywhere else, and IMO really clever:

Basically. Me and OP (he's not a leftcom by the way) are the type of socialists who are trying to reintroduce a possible and worthwhile vision: socialist unity (whether of the Marxist or anarchist variety), while showing that it's the only worthwhile unity there is to achieve the very essential unity of the class (of workers), in contrast to the folly which tries to gel what truly doesn't, never will and most importantly historically never has: left wing unity.

Stop shitposting, please.

Stop gaslighting, please.

Go to bed, William Golding.

Go back to your grave, phantom of ages past

Ranciére vs. Laclau on the state:


First, let's step away from the idea that marxism = Marx
Second, after the failure of central planning Marxists began to move towards anarcho-syndicalism as a way to "stick it to the man." They are able to tell heroic tales of iconoclastic "struggles" to inspire the youth in the wake of the wave of assassination attempts throughout Europe at the end of the 19th century. Before then socialists weren't so brazen in their militancy.
Prominent self-proclaimed leftist theorists nowadays outwardly claim to use the definition of "left-wing" that came out of the French Revolution, i.e. collectivist. A more congruent definition would be that which came out of the Socialist Party at the turn of the 20th century, i.e. concerned with the urban lifestyle as opposed to the rural lifestyle which would have been considered right-wing. These same self-proclaimed leftists also take the label "marxist." Some who prefer an intersectional analysis even call themselves liberals as the label is being associated with progressivism.

You don't actually believe that this was the definition used then, right? You do realize that it was a battle between bourgeois republic vs. feudal kingdom, right? That "individualism" vs. "collectivism" had nothing to do with shit?

And as a bonus: you do know that individualism vs. collectivism was a bourgeois nation later popularized to proclaim that capitalism allowed the individual to flourish while socialism would chain man to ridiculous strawman notions of equality, the type which people Lenin wonderfully BTFO'd (marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/mar/11.htm), right? You do realize that one of the biggest promoters of the individualist notion was Thatcher, and that people like Peterson carry on this torch by claiming that there exist no collectivity at all, right?

Hmmm what's more visible? A handful of anarchists throwing dynamite around with no effect or a geopolitical powerhouse that lasted almost a century? Truly the mystery of the ages.

except Fascism isn't socialist and in fact supported neo liberal privatization.

Representational politics is worthwhile IF IT WORKS.
Community organizing is worthwhile IF IT WORKS.
Different parts of the world have different conditions and require different methods.

That's not even remotely true. Different tendencies of anarchism believe in different revolutionary subject. For example syndicalists believe in the proletariat, communalists in "citizens", insurrectos in lumpens and whoever commits insurrectionary acts. Neither do all (or most anarchists) believe in spontaneous revolution. At least read the basics of a subject before commenting on it and making a fool of yourself.

Zizek on the party:

>We can make the same point in terms of the opposition between interpretation and formalization: the external agent (Party, God, Analyst) is not the one who “understands us better than we do ourselves”, who can provide the true interpretation of what our acts and statements mean; rather, it stands for the form of our activity.



This offers a rather cynical [?] interpretation for the reason behind all the "party splits" on the left. People either leave because they are simply not "right," or because they give up struggling for what they perceive as right against the party/collective doxa. So in the first case: intellectual dishonesty; in the second: intellectual laziness.

Whenever I pull the one about me not being either "left or right – I'm a communist" among comrades I get looks of shock or confusion. Most intellectuals (including all authors in OP [maaaybe except Badiou]) long gave up defending this line.

So how do we work towards a unity that isn't the left unity meme that results in a dominant faction throwing the others in a gulag? I think communization shows promise as it was discovered by anarchists and marxists organically and (relatively)independently from one another.

The anarchists because there is a small chance of seeing them outside of a history book. Not that larping as a sovietboo or bombing random shit is going to result in a revolution.

Ok, sure, but representation imo is so basic to politics that you can't possibly say that 'it works here but not there.'

By representation I mean "electing people within the current system" as opposed to making a new system that involves representation. The former absolutely does not work everywhere.

Too much obsession with the nominal while completely forgetting about and consequently not caring about the content. Usually such people unironically think that what's put the workers' movement on hold for decades is the fact that liberals are now called leftists by most people; as if words and popular definitions had anything to do with the fact that what really impairs it all is the real strategic impotence of the New Left. Communism could be commonly described as "sriracha hot sauce" by society for all I care and it wouldn't change a damn thing about what communism actually means at all.

You seem to be thinking that there is, outside of some truly pathological cases, truly a general instance in some positions that makes them want bloodlust; as if tankies are tankies not because they unironically think they have the key to success but secretly have a fetish for jailing homos and killing Poles. This is ridiculous. Look at the reality of nominally anarchist movements throughout history, like the often fetishized Catalonia for example, and you'll see that gulags were there in all but name. You may then realize that two main things actually contribute to such things: necessity (and I hereby absolve even the anarchists of blame for most of their secret police and reeducation camps), theoretical inadequacy or simply the conditions as they then were. Our quest is currently to look for what is possible and what is most desirable. We will avoid awful things for as much as they can be avoided, and engage in good things as much as they can be. The ultimate aim however will remain the same: doing away with capitalism.

Of course it shows promise, but don't go and fetishize it. If right now class-party politics were the most desirable, would you shun taking power that way just because your ideal solution is less desirable? I hope not. And the point is that more than anything, it's virtually always first the situation that forces a type of praxis and breeds a type of theory around it. If you were to attempt anarchist organization in a situation that structurally demands the type "tree-house organization" as quoted ITT, you would soon be faced with a choice: make some type of move compatible with the situation or die on your democratic, horizontalist principles. Let us look at the prospect of the various tendencies of communization theory in the same way we look at social anarchism and Leninism: practically, i.e. in accordance with what our conditions make possible and desirable.


What does Badiou say about this?

Can't quote him on this, but he has this "I'm so post-marxist I'm an ultra-orthodox" vibe.

Marx is a fucking statist, and no fucking muh stateless society is going to change that.

excellent thread


sadly theory threads sink

Bump, good thread.

Good thread, really made me think. Thanks, OP. Wish I could contribute something but I'm still a babby…yet.

we all grow
and then we crush our enemies


Good quads with something useful

I think the part of the issue with left unity (aside from what you already noted) is that it seeks unity from various organizations that are perceived to be of the varied political landscape that is called the left, and ends up seeing this left itself as the revolutionary subject

Fully Automated Luxury Retard

After the fall of the French Republic (and the revival of monarchy) socialism developed a narrative that replaced monarchy with capitalists and republicans with collectivists. The term "left" was revised to fit what would now be called an intersectional analysis of power.
>And as a bonus: you do know that individualism vs. collectivism was a bourgeois nation later popularized to proclaim that capitalism allowed the individual to flourish while socialism would chain man to ridiculous strawman notions of equality, the type which people Lenin wonderfully BTFO'd (marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/mar/11.htm), right?
There was never full equality under communism which is why there were different salaries for different positions and why billionaires in the Chinese Communist party can afford to support 8 concubines, each with her own million-dollar mansion.
The conservative movement was a reaction to the decadence of new-agers who were encouraging kids to take drugs, hitch-hike, commit pedophilia and bestiality, and practice occultism.

It wasn't a handful throwing dynamite. Anarchists had guns too. The European Spring stretched throughout the continent and lasted for several years. World War I was supposedly triggered by an assassination by an anarchist. Bombings of public spaces were almost always met with applause from the bourgoisie. Anarchists were the Rambos of the late 19th century. The execution of anarchists at Haymarket Square inspired communists to usurp May 1 as their own "worker's" festival.

I, too, have read and memorized the anarchist FAQ.

Your solutions seems imprudent. You don't present a solution to the problem of how to adopt a more authoritarian form of government without it leading to the dictatorship of the party over the proletariat, and to state-capitalism. You simply handwave that problem away, as if one must simply pray that it doesn't happen next time. I cannot accept this. It doesn't fix anything.
It seems to me that the matter of whether we will need a high level of organisation or not has already been solved by history. The old anarchist idea that with a low level of organisation one could reach the revolution has already been disproven. A disorganised revolution is bound to fail when faced with the organised forces of the reaction. So the matter now is how to achieve this high level of organisation but guarantee that it does not reproduce class society. Seems to me that this would require elected and recallable officials with some ability to exercise power autonomously (without the aproval of the assemblies). The recallability would serve as a retroactive aproval mechanism for their actions. Even in a system like this there might be issues. Such as having one official be in control of the army, and using it to abolish the assemblies and install a military dictatorship. It doesn't seem to me like we ought to place our faith in the good will of people with power. We should implement mechanisms that guarantee that their power is used solely for the benefit of the proletariat.

I like leftcoms tbh, because they seem like they trully want communism, whereas other types just want senseless activism, social-democracy, or state-capitalism. However, your tendency for handwaving away real problems is very disturbing. Bordiga handwaves away the problem of people with power being able to reinstate class society, Pancake handwaves away the problem of needing a high level of organisation, and Dauvé just outright handwaves away the problem of what type of organisation to use. Being the one ideology that seems to be trully concerned with reaching communism, I would like them to actually get their shit together and start focussing on this concrete stuff. If anyone is going to solve these issues, it's the leftcoms.