Book Club #4 - Anarchy

Short read this week with Malatesta's pamphlet Anarchy. You could probably get it read within one setting, here's two sources for the text so enjoy the read.

Make sure to vote in the book club thread for next week's read.

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It's not real communism unless you have a sick beard.

That happens to be anarchists' biggest criticism of Lenin, although he did rock the bald look like no one else in his day.

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Fuggg :D what we're the last two? I know 1 was Bakunin

2 was capitalist realism, 3 was society of the spectacle

Thanks. Need to go back to politics had a bit of a falling out

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Oh shit are we already starting.
Alright I guess it's not like I have anything better to do with my time.

>warzone [email protected]

Bit yikes, looks like fun though

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This image is physically painful to look at.

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I love, first of all, the distinction between ideology and facts. Everything that doesn't conform to his ideology is ideological, and he doesn't bother substantiating his "facts", and even treats Kropotkin as a source of them, while common historiography is mere ideology (bourgeois ideology, I assume)
now, some things caught my eye

Completely outdated, in many European countries socialist parties became the main opposition and eventually the government itself, and only much later did they become subverted by bourgeois interests, after improving the condition of workers significantly. Usually to be ousted immediately there's a need of intervention by the INTERNATIONAL bourgeois forces and not just the ones within the state, as was the case with Allende's government.

yeah, if only the popular front equalized wellbeing by giving people a living wage, paid vacations and such instead of mere deceptive reforms…

this is what you have been arguing for so far
alright let's see

first sentence in the document I can agree to without reservations, but how will this be ensured without a government?

we're like halfway through the text and still nothing practical, will continue later

I'm not sure that "society without government" is a great definition of anarchy. "society without authority" might be more accurate, since anarchism rejects forms of authority other than the state, such as capitalism. But that may be just semantics and Malatesta probably didn't conceive ancaps would be a thing.

I really enjoyed that part :

Too many times, people who are confused about anarchism think of it as a political program with a clear and non-negotiable vision for the future.

Name one European country where they elected a socialist government.

IMO it's of paramount importance to clearly establish a difference between "government" and "state." There's zero wrong with a society having no authority but having a political structure where people collectively manage things and solve public/social problems, i.e. a government. A state on the other hand is specifically a self-justifying (might makes right) authority structure that claims a monopoly on "legitimate" violence and rules over a defined territory. I'm not sure where exactly the discourse on this was in the context where Malatesta wrote this, so I'm not sure if it's fair to criticize the work for not doing this.

But there must be some sort of program, at least a sketch of what society will look like
Are we really supposed to destroy the structures that oversaw millenia of progress with merely the word that they are chains that bind us, and that afterwards we'll be free and prosper?

France's united front, pre-Blairite Labour, Sweden's SD before the 60's, PS in Portugal's early days, just off the top of my head

He did make that distinction, hence why he defined anarchy as without government, by state he also encompassed other social institutions not involved in the political and administrative process, rather than defining it as a self-justifying government

Interesting. I haven't read it yet so I was going by what I saw ITT. Wanted to get a feel first before I read it later.

Isn't the whole point supposed to be that the people decide what to do from the bottom up? It would be a bit of a contradiction for an anarchist to prescribe a particular program (although not to suggest one for consideration).

Yeah, I meant a suggestion, I obviously don't expect you guys to have a rigid goal like leninists, but it would be nice to have some sort of general direction be proposed to see what people think of it, no person with something to lose like a family would support anarchy if it meant complete chaos at the beginning, which is why syndicalism had its day of glory (and even then, its weak structures meant it could only exist in the power vacuum of a civil war)

Your concerns are important which is why I'm for communization prior to any revolution/collapse so there are anarchic social structures in place already, so that people have something to rely on that doesn't depend on state or capitalist power. Local sustainability and self-sufficiency (on a short-term basis) will be absolutely necessary to avoid collapse into some kind of mad max nightmare.

I really dislike how in chapter 5 he deviates the criticism that there must be an organised way to deal with necessities such as health and safety by saying that the french forestry services protect wolves to have a justification for wolf catchers
The fact that certain problems of society are replicated by organs of the state to justify themselves doesn't mean that after the revolution we will live in a utopia with rivers of lemonade, come on, problems don't just solve themselves

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Those are socdems at best, none of those are socialist. Outside of Soviet Union and Yugoslavia there hasn't been a socialist country in Europe. Even Yugoslavia is criticised for not being socialist enough, and you bring up Labour as an example of socialism? lol

Yes, anarchists have multiple ideas about a future society, but those ideas are more like general directions or principles rather than fine-tune details like the stomach-ache example Malatesta gives. This excerpt from Bob Black's "Anarchy 101" comes to mind :

Holy shit that was a boring read, it was literally just "Baby's first anarchy book."

Didn't mean to sage.

you might have noticed from my flag I don't subscribe to the marxist scheme

Well you did name social democrats as one group so I think he has a right not to trust you.

Until they were compromised socdems did way more than any larping vanguardists, he laughs at labour as if the post-WW2 housing system wasn't more democratic than anything that ever existed in the eastern block,
and swedish workers actually had a say in their companies, unlike in the USSR; it's not my fault that illiterate children glorify a decrepit system that collapsed on itself and was about as socialist as Mussolini

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Which one are we talking about here.



Finished reading, kind of meh, didn't stop being abstract and some of the things were just flat-out hallucinations, like the government having no hand in the education of doctors, teachers, or engineers because it doesn't create any new social forces by itself and merely directs them, when that is the whole point of government, directing social forces towards specific ends
I would have no problem if he merely admitted to such gaps in his theories, but he really does just handwave away such problems as having been solved by his 2-sentence replies, which is extremely annoying

Also, no point even commenting on the anti-theism, same old bull

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If it triggers the christcuck, it must be a good book.

It's actually just a pamphlet, could probably read it in less than an hour.

Speaking of what kind of leftist is christguy anywho.

I don't have an ultra-defined ideology at the moment, I just consider myself a Christian and a Socialist

Well it was nice to read this again, any anons have more thoughts?

I agree, mostly because "government" is even more contentious than "state".
I assume he believed all the pedophiles would call themselves liberals or monarchists.

Fellow Christian here, how exactly does that preclude you from agreeing with Marx's analyses?

I would imagine that his reasonimg is that Marx's base-superstructure dialectic has God and religion firmly in the superstructure, meaning that they were created and modified over the centuries to serve the interests of the ruling classes in whatever societies they happened to find popularity. The Abrahamic religions do not allow for God being anything less than the principal creative force.

Marx's dialectical materialism is inherently atheistic, I have some vestigial influences from Marxist thought; in how I see class and the contradictions within capitalism. Going beyond analysis and into what is to be done, pacifism has proven itself to be the most reliable method to advance the rights of the working class in an enduring way, it was by shedding only His blood and that of the martyrs that Christ conquered Rome, it was in peace that fascism ended in Portugal never to come back, it will be in peace that even if just for their own sakes and the sakes of their souls the class privileges of the bourgeoisie will end, as unbelievable as that sounds. But you can just try bolshevism again and see what happens

This too, although it's a criticism that's existed long before Marx. Even from a purely historical perspective it's absurd, given the content of the Bible and how many millions of people were inspired by their faith to fight for justice. But then again, organisations like the DSA just relabel people such as Dorothy Day "union organizers" to sustain that absolutely retarded thesis that religion is some reactionary tool of the ruling classes that keeps the dumb peasants from seeing the light of revolution

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You read some weird history books.

It was by Constantine I playing to a cult to consolidate his power in the midst of a civil war that Christ conquered Rome.

It was in the modern capitalist "free trade" that fascism was ended in both Portugal and in Spain. That shit always kills fascism as soon as the communist revolution is quelled.

I have read the Bible, and it very much reads like a collection of aesops that validate the Iron Age status quo. It was disillusioning to realize just how perfectly the Good Book fits the theory that the superstructure serves to maintain the meterial base. However people interpret it, it really is just a literary product of its time to which they apply meaning founded in their own biases.

Why do you think they didn't remove the "fables" denouncing class injustice when Constantine created the church then? Or that if a man doesn't turn against his father and brother he's not worthy of God? Those Roman porkies really left a lot of room for us peasants to impose our biases on, huh? Even from a historical perspective the New Testament is a revolutionary social project

the Estado Novo was toppled because of war fatigue, not "free trade", don't forcefully insert Marxism into history, it makes you look religious ;)
Anyway I don't know what's "weird" about recognizing the uselessness of anarchist assassinations and bomb plots compared to peaceful strikes. We are the blood and muscle of society's body, if we stand in general strikes we can kill it. It might seem idealistic, but it's gonna happen some day, we'll always have that power

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What fables? The slaves and the talents? Incidentally, Constantine did in fact instigate a massive overhaul of the cult. There was a rebellion in Alexandria over it.

Are you kidding? Constantine's family was constantly turning against one another. That bit fit him perfectly.

Aristocrats and slavers, not porkies.

The New Testament was cobbled together centuries after Constantine was buried. The Textus Receptus was only compiled in the sixteenth century A.D.. Who wrote what bits of it when and using what source materials are a complete mystery. I suppose that you could call the Textus Receptus "revolutionary" in so far as Martin Luther translated it into German and used it to critique the Church, but Luther notoriously sided against the actual revolutions of his day.

Where are you getting this bullshit? The Estado Novo was toppled by a Soviet-backed coup which the Americans supported, because they wanted to open Portuguese colonies in India, China, and elsewhere to global trade.

Peaceful strikes have always been ineffective. The bosses inevitably just get their thugs to break them up. Armed proletarian movements, however, actually get shit down, even if the useless reformists try to claim revolutionary gains as their own afterward.

That's completely pathetic, the Bible's canon was established before the textus receptus, I don't know what kind of protestant shithole you're from but the Vulgate was compiled by St. Jerome in the 4th century. The attempts to link biblical passages to Constantine personally as far as I'm concerned aren't even worth adressing

Let's see, I'm Portuguese so an entire year of highschool history and 3 semester-long classes in university? Portugal wasn't economically isolated, despite early attempts at protectionism the economy was completely globalized in the 60's, and the colonies actually always relied on foreign British and later American capital. Not the colonies you claim, since India was already lost for a decade and Macau was handed over only in 1999, but the African colonies, of which Angola had the most investment.
The bloodless coup was done by middle officers in the military and without foreign intervention, despite increasing M-L influence in 1975 thanks to the Portuguese Communist Party, which at the time of the coup was preparing to start a civil war by burying weapons in the mainland and encouraging
conscripted members to defect to the national liberation movements

But you implying that somehow social gains by the unions were done by revolutionary means and then just erased from history shows how rigorous you are with history, doesn't it? Making up whatever suits your agenda whether it's the history of Christianity, Portugal, or Labor, your hubris leading you to think you have all the world's answers in a 40-page manifesto and watched a handful of youtube channels… (you're totes gonna get started on Capital in the summer though!)

Apologies in advance if my tone sounds too agressive, I was in your shoes some 5 years ago, and you'll probably evolve, but in the meanwhile don't try to lecture me in my field of study in my own country, separate theory from facts. I'll welcome any discussion of theory, but it's impossible to discuss the social consequences of the New Testament when you consider it compiled at the arbitrary date of some Greek translation

St. Jerome only translated the Gospels from unknown sources. The rest of the texts were done by a team. Why those particular texts were chosen and not others we can only speculate. The Vulgate was a compilation of texts that, much later, served as the primary basis of the Textus Receptus which was further modified in the sixteenth century into what we now call the New Testament.

Constantine overhauled the cult of Christ. You don't honestly dispute that, do you? Constantine I wasn't the only Roman emperor who did so either. Do you also dispute the fact that we are uncertain who authored any of the New Testament apart from those bits that were written by Paul of Tarsus? It takes a hell of a leap of faith (not to mention logic) to assume that the texts were not influenced by outside sources, especially given that Roman emperors and officals were so fond of wielding propaganda to further their ends. Constantine I himself was quite clearly using his conversion for just that reason. I cannot say who did what or who changed what, but neither can I say with any certainty how true any of them are to their now-lost sources.

At which point fascism was over, because protectionism is a defining quality of fascism. The coup just ended the Estado Novo. It was the same way with Franco in Spain. His fascism gave way to globalist capitalism as soon as Hitler's body went cold, but he remained in power (after purging the fascists who had initially supported him) until he died.

Right when the Estado Novo was adopting "free trade."

You know that you are leaving out the part where the new government tried to give Macau back immediately but China refused to accept it until 1999.

Without foreign soldiers but not without foreign backing. Coups like that do not just happen spontaneously without there being any guarantee of foreign support. It is just like the military coup in Egypt in 2013. There were no American soldiers there, but Obama and Clinton made it happen all the same.

Not "erased from history." They were reframed. Trade union reformism gets credit for what IWW revolts and the fear of bolshevism accomplished. Ghandi gets credit for getting the Brits to leave India, even though they never actually left. Martin Luther King gets credit for the American social programs that were in fact enacted in response to the Black Panther Party creating their own social programs to foment revolution. The people in charge love giving the credit for revolutionary accomplishments to non-threatening groups and individuals.

That is to be expected on imageboards.

What exactly is "arbitrary" about the date that it was compiled? It did not exist as such prior to that date. That is pretty damned objective. All that existed before were latin texts of questionable authorship.

Are you claiming the Luther Bible is when the New Testament came up? The Vulgate was a standardization of the old latin bible and its translations, and it was the official version used by the Catholic Church until recently without modification

Constantine gave bishops the same privileges as roman magistrates, but events such as the Council of Ephesus, where Constantine's privileged position of Arianism was condemned, really make your thesis shaky. His conversion was a completely private matter and he only got baptised at his deathbed, so 1. He gained nothing from it and 2. It's ludicrous to think, as you seemed to imply, that parts of the Bible were rewritten just to suit him, when he couldn't even avoid a popular doctrine that he followed from being declared a heresy
And regarding copies of manuscripts, some have surviving copies from the end of the 1st century, so the thesis that they were constantly rewritten is also shaky, unless they only rewrote before the earliest surviving manuscripts? Weird how we never caught blatant forgery, the Ministry of Truth must have been very meticulous in destroying old copies

Your claim is that a coup orchestrated by the USSR and supported by the USA ended fascism, now you're saying it was over before that…
but if it was already open, what's the "free market" usefulness of handing it over to a China in the middle of the cultural revolution?

the IWW did strikes and sabotage, they defended a revolution to overthrow capitalism but they never did so
yes, peaceful social programs, revolution was something on the mind of the more evolved members in the later periods when they started getting into maoism (though on this topic I might be wrong, it's not something I've studied)

my whole point is that revolution can be peaceful, a point you stressed with the examples you gave. When we change the world for good, it will also be without bloodshed, those who live by the sword die by the sword. The fear of belshevism left a bigger mark than bolshevism itself in the long run

Why are latin texts of questionable authorship not the NT, but its Greek translation is? My church never used the Bible if this is the case

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Luther printed his Bible shortly after the Textus Receptus was compiled. That was when it got all of the books that we now associate with it and officially lost the Apocrypha.

No, the Vulgate was not adopted as the offical Bible of the Church (pending some additions and subtractions like Revelations) until the sixteenth century. Until then, clerics used various texts, some of which made it into the Textus Receptus, as the word of God. And let us not forget that the Vulgate itself was a collection of texts that were translated into latin from various languages, not original material.

Hell no it wasn't! Haven't you heard of the Edict of Milan? Then he gave his vision story to biographers. And then he commissioned the construction of the old St. Peter's. It was a huge propaganda piece.

You know why he did that, right? So that he could be forgiven for doing all the things that emperors do after having done them.

He got the support of a large cult in the midst of a civil war.

I was saying something about his little issue with the bishop of Alexandria earlier, wasn't I? What did he do about that again? Oh yeah, he forced the Nicene Creed under penalty of exile. Constantine got what he wanted from the church.

Copies. Yes.

Nonsense. It is all but guaranteed. Consider how scripts were copied: by hand, by different people, and often from a different language.

Consider that we only have one of each manuscript in many cases. We have no idea what was on any of the others or how they were copied from some long-lost original.

Like how they eliminated every last copy of every last one of Epicurus' books?

Fascism was definitively over in Portugal when protectionism ended, but the Estado Novo was ended later by coup.

Bear in mind that this was after Nixon went to China. The Americans and the Chinese were close enough that they were performing "regime change" together (see: Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge). The Americans had no problem at all with supporting Chinese interests and indeed found strengthening the Chinese to be useful in hemming in the Soviet Union.

They didn't just stage strikes. They staged general strikes where entire cities effectively threw off government control for short periods of time, and they did it while the Russian Revolution was going on. Porkies were terrified that they were going to set off another Red October in North America.

The Black Panther Party was never peaceful. The first thing that they did was to buy shotguns using money that they made reselling Mao's Little Red Book.

Revolution is never peaceful. Ruling classes never give up power without a bloody war. It has always been thus.

In what way? There are still ML countries out there, and groups like the Naxalites and the various Red Guards are legitimate political forces.

Because we don't know who the authors were. Also, they are in High Latin, not Aramaic or Koine or one of the languages that writers with first hand experience would have likely spoken. They had already been through translation at least once.

It's not, but at least it is in the language in which the original texts were likely written. Of course, we don't know that for sure either, since we do not know who the original authors were.