An Anarchist FAQ
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LINKPDF version of Section H.

Section H – Why do anarchists oppose state socialism?


H.1 Have anarchists always opposed state socialism?

H.2 What parts of anarchism do Marxists particularly misrepresent?

H.2.1 Do anarchists reject defending a revolution?
H.2.2 Do anarchists reject “class conflict” and “collective struggle”?
H.2.3 Does anarchism yearn “for what has gone before”?
H.2.4 Do anarchists think “the state is the main enemy”?
H.2.5 Do anarchists think “full blown” socialism will be created overnight?
H.2.6 How do Marxists misrepresent Anarchist ideas on mutual aid?
H.2.7 Who do anarchists see as their “agents of social change”?
H.2.8 What is the relationship of anarchism to syndicalism?
H.2.9 Do anarchists have “liberal” politics?
H.2.10 Are anarchists against leadership?
H.2.11 Are anarchists “anti-democratic”?
H.2.12 Does anarchism survive only in the absence of a strong workers’ movement?
H.2.13 Do anarchists reject “political” struggles and action?
H.2.14 Are anarchist organisations “ineffective,” “elitist” or “downright bizarre”?

H.3 What are the myths of state socialism?

H.3.1 Do Anarchists and Marxists want the same thing?
H.3.2 Is Marxism “socialism from below”?
H.3.3 Is Leninism “socialism from below”?
H.3.4 Don’t anarchists just quote Marxists selectively?
H.3.5 Has Marxist appropriation of anarchist ideas changed it?
H.3.6 Is Marxism the only revolutionary politics which have worked?
H.3.7 What is wrong with the Marxist theory of the state?
H.3.8 What is wrong with the Leninist theory of the state?
H.3.9 Is the state simply an agent of economic power?
H.3.10 Has Marxism always supported the idea of workers’ councils?
H.3.11 Does Marxism aim to give power to workers organisations?
H.3.12 Is big business the precondition for socialism?
H.3.13 Why is state socialism just state capitalism?
H.3.14 Don’t Marxists believe in workers’ control?

H.4 Didn’t Engels refute anarchism in “On Authority”?

H.4.1 Does organisation imply the end of liberty?
H.4.2 Does free love show the weakness of Engels’ argument?
H.4.3 How do anarchists propose to run a factory?
H.4.4 How does the class struggle refute Engels’ arguments?
H.4.5 Is the way industry operates “independent of all social organisation”?
H.4.6 Why does Engels’ “On Authority” harm Marxism?
H.4.7 Is revolution “the most authoritarian thing there is”?

H.5 What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it?

H.5.1 Why are vanguard parties anti-socialist?
H.5.2 Have vanguardist assumptions been validated?
H.5.3 Why does vanguardism imply party power?
H.5.4 Did Lenin abandon vanguardism?
H.5.5 What is “democratic centralism”?
H.5.6 Why do anarchists oppose “democratic centralism”?
H.5.7 Is the way revolutionaries organise important?
H.5.8 Are vanguard parties effective?
H.5.9 What are vanguard parties effective at?
H.5.10 Why does “democratic centralism” produce “bureaucratic centralism”?
H.5.11 Can you provide an example of the negative nature of vanguard parties?
H.5.12 Surely the Russian Revolution proves that vanguard parties work?

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