Anarchism: The Struggle Continues
Since the beginning of human history there have always been exploiters and exploited. The great majority of humanity has been living and working in order that the minority could live in luxury and pleasure. But the exploited have always felt that this situation must be changed, they always hated their masters, caused trouble and damage to them and revolted against them whenever they could. History is nothing else but the history of the increase of exploitation and the development of the fight against it, i.e. the history of class struggle. The rest is only evasion and eyewash.
The struggle against the existing order, against the different historical forms of class society - in which people are divided into classes of antagonistic interests - has always been anarchist - fighting against even, form of authority -and communist - fighting for the realisation of human community. The driving force of these struggles has always been the anger and exasperation of the exploited: the hatred they felt against the ones who made their life miserable. This fight had different forms, but there has always been a common essence: they wanted to exterminate exploitation, the rule of man over man, abolish property, the basis of exploitation. The history of the human race is actually a long movement starting from the primitive communities that were destroyed by their own limits -primarily by the fact that community relations were restricted only to the members of a particular group of people, and there was no community among the members of the different groups - to the fixture world-wide communist society, which will necessarily replace the society' of exploitation. This is not only some idealists' daydream, on the contrary: the utopist dreamers are those who believe that the present world, the society of wars, famine, ecological catastrophes could be maintained till Doomsday (nevertheless if they_ are right, Doomsday - at least for the human race - is doubtless quite close).
Anarchism means fight against authority. It is declared and explained in each and every "anarchist" publication. "Authority" has become a fetish, and it is considered to be the basis of every trouble. But what is the origin of authority? What does it mean actually?
Although authority only seems to mean that certain people rule the others that "the rich" give orders and the rest is compelled to obey, the problem is much more complex. In primitive communities people were identical with their activities; they produced what the communiy needed, what they consumed. Thus, every object only meant itself and its only aim was man and the maintenance of the community . Food was only food, its sole function was nutrition (and pleasure of course), clothes were only clothes, etc. However, these communities, as we have mentioned above, were only communistic in their internal structure. Entering into relations, the separated communities did not melt into a larger community, but started to regard each other as rivals. Through regular intercourse the exchange of products evolved between them. Food and clothes started to mean not only themselves, but several other products they could be exchanged for. In addition to their real bodies, to their usefulness, objects acquired another real, though invisible body: exchange value. In the beginning this did not seem to be of importance, since exchange value also seemed to serve the interests of the community. But relations became more and more intense, and exchange, which was only accidental in the beginning, started to dominate production. The aim of production slowly became less and less the needs of the people (which were finite); instead of man, the objective of production became exchange value, which is infinite, since an object can be exchanged for innumerable other objects. Exchange value, contrary to use value, could be accumulated. Needs became limitless, but these were not the needs of the community' any longer. Parallel to the development of the production of exchange value, work, the alienated human activity', and accumulation also developed. However, accumulation became the privilege of the few only, of those who were able to accumulate more and more by the means of exchange, and what they accumulated was already their property: community declined and was replaced by the society of proprietors and exploited. In this long, several-thousand--year process exchange value acquired a crucial role in every relation among people. By the time the human race stepped on the stage of history (as the appearance of writing is usually called) the dictatorship of value ruled society'. Value as well as property is individual, it has nothing to do with any kind of community except for the community of money, that of value. It penetrates evewyhere and everything, since everything can be sold. Everything that is human alien to it - but money can buy evertyhing; in this world man also turned into mere value, into that which they can produce and sell. Man is the "most important value" only because he is the only value that, by the means of his work, is able to produce new value: thus, for the capitalist, the value of man is not man himself but the value he produces.
Throughout history there existed innumerable different social classes, strata, etc. Countless variations on exploiters and exploited: slaves, landlords, free peasants, serfs, artisans, apprentices and patricians, aristocrats and bourgeois, etc. Their situation was always determined by their relation to property, that is to say, ultimately by their relation to value. Progress simplified these relations: the great majority of humanity has been dispossessed of everything and all property has been acquired by a small minority. Capitalism has evolved, and there are only tvvo classes in capitalism: the proletariat, whose only property is his their ! own labour force, and all through their life they have to sell it in parts to the class of proprietors, to the bourgeoisie. The interests of the two classes are totally antagonistic: the proletariat's ultimate aim is the complete destruction of this system, of every exploitation, the abolition of the dictatorship of value itself.
In the 20th century capitalism conquered the whole world. (The so called "socialist countries" were only the representation of a certain form of capitalism.) Although bourgeois ideologists claim that capitalism is eternal, it is only the final phase of the history of class societies: it is a system from which the class relations cannot further develop, and the terrible internal contradictions cannot be solved within its framework. Thus, capitalism is destroying itself, and it is exactly what it lives from that will cause its destruction: the accelerating exploitation of the proletariat, wars, famines and the promise of "life" spent in senseless, inhuman labour. Capitalism is like a heroin addict in the final phase: it is not able to exist without the proletariat. which is slowly destroying its whole body.
The cause of the trouble seemed to be the state for many people in the past and in the present too. It is not surprising. The state is the organisation we are alwavs confronted with in our everydav life. It is the state which rules our life from the moment of our birth, which makes us fight in wars,which prevents us from living a human life, which shepherds us into schools, churches, maternity centres, factories, offices, etc., which explains what is permitted and what is forbidden and asks for our tickets in the underground. "The state has to be demolished, and this will solve everything!" many echoed. But it is not true, or at least not in this way. The state is only the organisation of capital, of value against us. It cannot be destroyed isolated from the totality of the relations. It is natural in the present relations that value cannot exist without state. The state, however, is not the dictatorship of value, but only its outward form. If anarchism denied only the state - as a lot of liberal "anarchists" try to present it - it would be senseless and impotent. Of course, state will have to be destroyed too, when the dictatorship of the proletariat is opposed to the dictatorship of value, but state is not the core of the problem. Thus, the main element of anarchism is not anti-etatism, but the destruction of capitalism, which, of course, means the destruction of state too.
Although the anarchist fight, the class struggle started with the emergence of value, anarchism, in the strictest sense of the word, appeared in the beginning of the l9th century, when capitalism became more and more general. As a movement, anarchism is the proletariat's class struggle, and this is the reason why it is much more general than any previous forms of class struggle, since its purpose is the total abolition of class society and the establishment of communism. This may sound surprising since we were taught that communism and anarchism are antagonistic movements. This is, however, the lie of the bourgeoisie: the proletarian movement fights for the same objective, but the meaning of these words were falsified and distorted. Anarchism is communist, its aim is the realisation of the worldwide human community. the abolition of value. But communism is anarchist too: it has nothing to do with democracy, power and authority. Anarchism and communism are organically linked and depend upon each other. What's more "both" contain the other too. Nevertheless, we have to see that communism is global: it is the very movement of class-antagonism, the total denial of class society . Communism is not only a goal, but the movement towards that goal as well as the apperance, the methods, etc. of the movement: a coherent reaction of humanitv against value. Anarchism, let's say, is an aspect of communism, but an unavoidable, essential aspect. Thus if we talk about anarchism (without quotation marks) we mean communism too, ad vice versa. However, "anarchism" and "conununism" in quotation marks are nothing else but the bourgeoisié s fight against us, capital painted red. But being in serious trouble, the bourgeois alwavs try to make us believe that they are actually proletarians and they will lead our fight. But where do they want to lead us? It can be seen vew well from the history of the "socialist" countries or from the confused ideas of today's "anarchists" Lenin, Stalin or János Kádár (neo-Stalinist leader of Hungaw from 1956 to 1988) were not commurllsts, just as BAT (Budapest Autonomy Association) or other similar liberal concoctions are not anarchist either. They are all just the representatives of the different shades of bourgeois ideology, trying to channel proletarian anger and formulate "positive demands" for the proletariat on the one hand while discrediting the whole revolutionary movement in the eyes of the proletarians on the other.
The myth of the fight between anarchism and communism was born in the middle of the 19th century and originates from the fight between the two tendencies in the First International: "anarchism represented by Bakunin and communism led by Marx". This, however, is already the falsification of reality: neither anarchism nor communism is the invention of individuals, but the product and form of class struggle. Bakunin and Marx were only outstanding militants of this fight, who indeed were hostile to one another and fought a rather filthy personal battle against each other. Still, their fight was common, they represented the same struggle. They really were anarchists (communists) not like those "anarchist" and "communist" shitheads who later distorted and falsified their ideas. In fact, the latter, too, share a common aim: to maintain capitalism with all possible means. Their internal skirmish only serves the purpose of widening the range of supply on the market of bourgeois ideologies and onlv gives the spectacle of choice for society. Communists and anarchist, however, do always know that the two words denote the same struggle.
But the "red" boot-lickers of capital launched a war against anarchism. Evervbody who didn't come up to their expectations, who wanted radical changes and who even did something for these changes, was labelled as anarchist. The Social Democratic ('Second') International (1889-1914) kicked out the real communists accusing them of being anarchists.
At the end of the 19th century a great number of proletarians migrated to the USA, because they hoped that there they would get more money for their labour force. But they had to be disappointed in their hopes: they could only find the same misery they had left behind. Soon they recognised the basic thesis of anarchism: separation is our weakness. Individual resistance and isolated fight can achieve nothing. Anarchism is the organised class struggle. Groups founded by the immigrants became the strongest anarchist organisations of the time. The most outstanding one was the International Working People's (IWPA), which in its pamphlets followed the tradition of the "Communist Manifesto" formulated by Marx and Engels.
„The day has come for solidarity. Join our ranks! Let the drum beat defiantly the roll of battle: 'Workmen of all lands, unite! You have nothing to loose but your chains; you have a world to win!' Tremble, oppressors of the world! Not far beyond your purblind sight there dawn the scarlet and sable lights of the JUDGMENT DAY!”
Their best known militant was Johann Most, who not only fought defiantly against the obvious forms of capitalism, but also against the "anarchist" and Social Democratic counter-revolution too. Most was characterised by his contemporary "anarchist" milieu as a maniac leader, a dictator infected by greed for power. In reality, he recognised - though according to the sacred texts of "anarchism" it is the greatest sin - that only the organised, centralised class struggle - i.e. the dictatorship of the proletariat - can fight effciently against the centralised forces of the bourgeoisie. Consequently, for him the fight was not the business of individuals, but that of the community, not the problem of the individual, but a common cause, and this fight was the most important thing for him. Of course, the "anarchists" called him communist, and the "communists" labelled him as anarchist. He himself proudly accepted both attributives. The anarchists who in the beginning of the 20th centuw founded the first Communist Parties in the countries of South America followed the same tradition. It was not their fault that these organisations, which were real class struggle communities, degenerated to be the puppets of Stalinism.
The anarchist-communist fight didn't stop after the turn of the century either. During the revolution in Mexico the proletarian fighters led by Ricardo Flores Magon occupied large territories. But undoubtedly the greatest fights were fought in the territory of the Ukraine between 1918 and 1922. For the first time in history, fighting anarchist militants, simultaneously with their outward fights and revolutionary expansion, carried out a permanent communist activity on a vast area too. In an region as big as Hungaw the insurrectionists abolished property, church, state; and everything was submitted to the needs of the fight. The unified forces of the "red" and white counter-revolutionaries managed to defeat the revolutionary insurrection only after three years. Nestor Makhno the leader of this movement settled down in France with several other militants. As a result of serious discussions, there they clarified the aims and tasks of anarchism. They asserted that it is necessary to break with the "Holy Family of anarchism", with the milieu , where everybody is considered to be a good guy only because he says he is an anarchist:
„A great number of individualists who call themselves anarchist, are nor aharchist at all. These people who gather together (on what bases at all), loudly propagate that 'we are a big family', and call this concoction an anarchist organisation are not only ridiculous, but simply counter-revolutiortary" as Makhno and his comrades wrote in the anarchist paper called Dielo Truda.
Anarchism is nothing else but the organised, centralised class struggle, the dictatorship of the proletariat, red terror against the white terror of value. Indignation among the "anarchists" was running high, since Makhno and his comrades dared to touch the "beautiful ideas" which were the most important for these bourgeois riff raff. They dared to attack their tolerance (let others exploit you), democracy (equaliy of values and respect the opinion of the majorty, and if the majority, thinks that you have to die, then you die), individualism (you have to fight the revolution inside yourself, revolutionise your thinking, so leave the bourgeois alone), idealism (anarchism is only a nice idea) etc. All over the world several class struggle groups were founded in accordance with the basic principles defined by Makhno and his comrades (which, of course, were not invented by them, they only formulated the historical experiences and necessities and their consequences).
Makhno and his comrades are usually called bandits. Generally this is the truth, since they were real banditsy such proletarians who didn't hesitate to take away those goods which were produced by the blood and sweat of their class. They destroyed property, and what was the cardinal sin in the eves of the bourgeoisie, they did so not as individuals acting on their own behalf, but in an organised way, as a community. There always existed "social bandits": such exploited who wanted to hit back to their exploiters. Soon they had to realise it was only possible if they organised their forces. But the makhnovists went further: they recognised that fight against capital and authority can only be world-wide, it has to be limitless in even sense. Nothing should be preserved from the system of capitalism. From bourgeois historians' point of view, it is a logical conclusion that they were called looters and plundering bandits. The real rebels are called so today too. It is worth considering what was written about those who took part in the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 or about the participants of the revolutionary insurrection in Albania in 1997. The whole bourgeois media - including the "anarchist" and "communist" scribblers - talked about riff raff, mob, rabbles. These proletarians were anarchists when they carried out their revolutionay activity-, even if they were not aware of it. A hundred times more anarchist is an insurgent who breaks the shop-window or the mob that opens the jail and frees the prisoners - even if they wave a fucking Albanian flag - than a journalist who talks about anarcho-capitalism and free market wearing a huge black star on his chest. These "anarchists" are going to be swept away by the first revolt without mercy.
The Spanish Civil war is also considered as the great time of anarchism. There really took place a large proletarian insurrection and the betrayal of official "anarchism" became obvious in the course of the events. Proletarians could see very well that there was no difference at all between the "fascist" Franco and the "anti-fascist" republic. They fought for social revolution, against all fractions of the bourgeoisie, including fascists and anti-fascists too. The "anarchist" organisations, first of all the National Labour Confederation (CNT, which has even in its name three bourgeois elements: nation, labour and confederation...). with their all force struggled for the maintenance of capitalism. They delegated ministers into the anti-fascist government, which crushed the revolution, massacred tens of thousands of proletarians killed the leaders of the revolution and in the end , were defeated by Franco's troops. However, it is less known that Franco and the anti-fascists were able to cooperate very well in stifling the proletarian forces. In May 1937 a proletarian rebellion broke out against the government of the Republic in Barcelona. Franco immediately declared annistice, until the "republic stifles the rebellion" and he did keep his promise. Some anarchist militants were fleeing from Barcelona on a ship, which moored on Franco's territory as well. The Republican authorities gave the description of these people to the fascist leader of the port who managed to capture them and shot them on the spot. This is only one of the thousands of similar cases. The attitude of "anarchists" towards the fighting proletarians couldn't be anything else but white terror, deceiving, misleading and the protection of the interests of capitalism. Naturally, the different fractions of the bourgeoisie compete with each other too, they torture, execute, imprison their rivals. But when they confront their common enemy, the proletariat, the rivalry is always put aside and they unite their forces. After his victory, Franco jailed a great number of "anarchists", CNT leaders, etc. But in the 40s and 50s they were released under amnesty. And who were those who remained in Franco's prison? And who were those few who were still alive in 1976 when Franco died, and who were not released even then either? Of course they were the "bandits" the "criminals": those real ararchist proletarian militants who at the end of the 30s fought not for anti-fascism but for social revolution.
The events of 1968 are also considered as the upswing of anarchism. And it is really so: almost in every region of the world the proletarian anger burst out in the forms of looting, wildcat strikes, and clashes with the police and army. Proletarians founded organisations in the course of the fight. However, the media didn't report about them, since these proletarians were only "the looting scum" for them, but everything was full of the new self appointed "anarchist" media stars, first of all Cohn-Bendit. The "Red Danny" later said he had wanted to keep back the fighters with every possible means, and tried to convince them that they should protest simbolically, make campfire, dance and sing. The fight itself is ecstasy: the minute when we can really be humans for a short moment. Cohn-Bendit preferred a little sing-song around the campfire... He was unable to understand anything of the proletarians' feelings, of the rampage of anger. He was as "anarchist" as a TV commercial which tries to make you believe that consuming is the most joyful thing in the world. The only function of "revolutionara hedonism" advertised ba him was that fat pseudo-revolutionaries could find excuses for their impotence. The joy is the common fight itself - not the consumption of the spectacle of the fight.
Nowadays "anarchism" has become fashionable again in certain circles. But do a large letter "A" in circle or boots and a black star make anarchist from anybody? Are grouplets like BAT in this country anarchist? Our answer is, of course, no! We want to explain more clearly why we don't think that this kind of groups and people are anarchist. Let's examine some features which usually characterise this fashion anarchism. As we can't enumerate each and evers peculiarity of this or that group (for example such stupidities as "animal rights", alternative art, punk, etc.), we only deal with the most typical features that characterise almost all "anarchists".
Basically every "anarchist" firmly believes that anarchism, class struggle isn't the product of a historical process, isn't the conclusion of accumulated experiences or the addition and practice of historically necessary aims, but the invention of some "clever man", a "good idea." born in some highbrow minds. Consequently, they don't have to do anything else just examine the thoughts and instructions of the big ones, memorise their principles and apply them for their own lives. For them knowledge is fundamental, since their "anarchism ' only exists on the level of ideas, and that's why for them the most important task is the, instruction of these ideas to the "masses" (this will be the task of a clever "elite" of the "professional revolutionaries"), and when everybody - or at least the majority - acknowledges these ideas, the brave new world wrill be born, the bourgeois willingly hand over all their wealth and power and man won't be the wolf of man any longer. This fairy tale is the basis of BAT's "corresponding instructions on anarchism", which offers that everybody could acquire at home the principles of the movement, can take an exam, and they may even be given a certificate that they are anarchist... This idealism, the belief that thoughts and ideas rule the world, and not the other way round, realitv determines the ideas, is one of the basic elements of bourgeois ideology. As well as individualism, which follows from it. Since in this society evervbody is responsible and fights only for himself (the family is only the enlarged version of this, a kind of defence alliance against the outside world), it is not surprising that the "anarchists" also make a cult of the individual deprived of community. even if thev make some statements that sound "collective" . "The world depends on you", they declare. "You have to fight the revolution inside you." In this way they of course don't disturb anybody , and there's no need saving that they are not dangerous for capitalism at all. On the contrary both idealism and individualism are nothing else just the two most general ways of behaviour of democracy, which is the social system of capitalism: believe only in yourself and hope that wrapping in your thoughts you can achieve the changing for yourself But, of course it is impossible: a nuclear testing base is working on the last deserted island, or the beach is full of ten-storey hotels. "Escape" is only possible forwards, towards the revolution: this is, however, not an individual solution, but the task of the whole exploited class.
These are the two fundamental characteristics of the whole pseudo-anarchist movement. We are going to deal briefly with some other questions from which one or two are also compulsory dogmas of the "anarchists".
Almost each and every "anarchist" denounces "terrorism" stressing that they are pacifist and against all violence. Although we also criticise terrorism, not because of moral reasons, but because we don't think that anything can be achieved in this (individualist, elitist and reformist) way. Pacifism is, however, an important weapon against us. It only means that we walk into the slaughter-house like sheep and smile at our butchers. We are not surprised if a priest says such things, but if somebody calls himself "anarchist"... As regards wars: capitalism can't exist without wars. On the one hand, it is a big business; a great opportunity for the development of science (technology, medicine, chemistry, biology, etc.); and, on the other hand, the shortest way for channelising (nationalism, state of war) and eliminating the unnecessary and dangerous proletarian masses. There will be wars as long as capitalism exists. And because bourgeoisie won't retire smilingly, revolution itself will be a war too: the war of one class against the other.
Capitalism pollutes the environment not because it likes doing it, but because it simply works this way. It is totally senseless to beg capitalists not to pollute so much.They will do it only if they can. Capitalism ruthlesslv exploits not only the proletarians but the whole Earth too. Slowly it is completely destroying the whole biosphere. But only the revolution can prevent it and seize the problem at its roots. The greens have a lot of stupid tips what we, proletarians can do, so that we won't pollute so much. On the one hand, nobody has time to trouble with this, because the fight for survival takes up almost all our time, and only some intellectual bourgeois, who have a lot of free time. can make up such ridiculous suggestions. And, on the other hand, it is not us who are responsible for pollution. These greens would tell us to make our life even more difficult, we ought to pollute less so as the bourgeois could dump their litter on the places saved by us. We should separate out bits of litter into different groups according to material, so that some bourgeois entrepreneur could get cheaper raw materials. We would be functioning at our optimum if we didn't even breathe, lest we don't leave air for the bourgeois. (Although they seem to breathe not the same air: it does make a difference whether you live in the hills ten kilometres far from the city or in the filthy suburbs.) Ecology is a typical reformist idea: it claims the whole system is OK, but it should be made better in a few aspects. They would be satisfied with capitalism if it didn't pollute the environment.
It shows a great similarity to ecology. Sometimes feminists can make vey good criticism against certain elements of society but the content and the solution they offer is totally counter-revolutionay. Capital really makes distinction between male and female labour force as a result of a long historical process, and as a consequence of the fact that for capital we are not humans but things, carriers of our commodiy, which is labour force. Feminism fights to make female labour equal with male labour: then Stalin and Pol Pot were the greatest feminists since women and men had the same fate in their labour camps! The proletarian women who worked in the Siberian marshes or in metallurgy works could have told us how good it was. Our aim is not the introduction of equal opportunities for men and women in work but the complete abolition of all kinds of work. The increasing of the number of women in leading positions so that there will be more female managers, politicians or factory owners. shouldn't be so important for us... Or do you really think that voy, your mother, sister or girlfriend have any chance to become prime minister? If yes, then why do you call yourself anarchist? Feminism strives for equal rights we anarchists spit on the rights. Feminism - like its twin-sister sexism - serves only the division of the proletariat. It tries to make us believe we don't have common proletarian interests at all, and everybody has his/her completely different interests. Thus, they adopt the capitalist point of view-, and attempt to find a solution under the capitalist conditions. In reality however, we have common interests regardless that we are men or women, black or white, children or old: destruction of capitalism. And in this fight feminism is senseless.
Perhaps this is the most important recuperation in the "anarchist" movement. It wants to convince us that certain forms of capitalism are less evil than other ones, consequently we must defend these forms. Let's protect the factory, the school, the office, where we waste our life in the service of capital, let's protect the property of our employers, let's fight for our politicians... But there exists only one capitalism, which, according to its immediate interests, always shows us a different face. Basically, fascism is the same phenomenon as parliamentary capitalism: the democratic dictatorship of capital, the domination of value over our lives. If instead of class struggle we assist one fraction of capital against the other, then we serve the interests of our enemy. And the winner, doesn't matter who it is, surely won't hesitate to kill us, as it happened in the so called "Spanish Civil war". The protection of democracy i.e. antifascism, is the betrayal of class struggle. "Antifascism is the worst product of fascism," said Amadeo Bordiga, an Italian communist, who was persecuted by both the fascists and the antifascists. Naturally, it doesn't mean the support of fascism; the only real enemy of fascism is the revolutionary proletariat - as only the proletariat can destroy the roots of fascism: capitalism itself. The proletariat always fights against its prevailing oppressors, who are the fascist in a fascist dictatorship, the liberals in a liberal dictatorship, the conservatives in a conservative dictatorship and the social democrats in a social democratic dictatorship - but it has to fight against all the fractions of bourgeoisie. We cannot separate them, we cannot make alliances with our mortal enemy. Capitalism is a thousand-headed dragon but it has only one body which is exchange value. If vou only cut off one head the dragon will survive. You can't even save the smallest head because its mouth is not so stinky. The body itself has to be destroyed.
We hope now it is clear what real anarchism is. And this is not a terminological question, what we or other groups mean by the word anarchism. It is not an academic debate either. It is rather reality we talk about: since anarchism is not an ideology, not a political programme, but the historical product of the active denial of capitalism. The worldwide fight of the exploited against their exploiters.
This is the common fight of all of us!
PROLETARIANS OF THE WORLD UNITE IN THE COMMON FIGHT AGAINST EXPLOITATION!
DESTROY WHAT DESTROYS YOU ! DESTROY THE STATE !
DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT AGAINST THE DICTATORSHIP OF VALUE!