Poison Root

Jennifer III posted a great piece yesterday warning about the dangers of collaborating with those who appear to be an enemy’s enemy. To put things in historical perspective, she opens up with an example of how Chinese anarchists were thrown under the bus after helping the Bolsheviks take over.

The whole thing is worth reading, but there’s one part which jumped out at me for some reason:

As soon as the anarchists were no longer needed, the nature of the relationship changed. Many anarchists defected to communism and became influential leaders. Those who chose to continue working toward anarchist goals were dealt with accordingly, just like the guy on the top of this page.

Did the nature of the relationship between the communists and anarchists really change though? Or did the anarchists not properly understand the true nature of the relationship to begin with?

I don’t ask this because I feel her analysis is wrong in any way, but rather because it’s worth exploring just how the Chinese anarchists misunderstood the relationship. Well, that, and lately my brain has been kicking around the question of how so many current “anarchists” continue to align themselves with communists and socialists even after seeing the disastrous real world results.

The obvious answer is that impressionable, would-be anarchists are prone to fall for Marxist propaganda because it claims that the end goal is a classless, stateless society. But under even the most basic examination, this part of Marxist theory is and always has been ridiculous.

According to Marx, the communist workers’ paradise is achieved by passing through an allegedly temporary socialist hell where the state grows so large and powerful that it eventually encompasses everything and everybody. And since the workers supposedly control the state, it is then when the state is supposed to magically disappear. Since everybody would then control everything, the theory is that there would be no need for a state.

But this is only an illusion of a stateless society. What you actually end up with is a state so pervasive that it simply becomes indistinguishable from anything else. With nothing private to point to in contrast, and no limits on the ability of the collective to initiate force against the individual, one could only define such a society as stateless because there would be no way to prove otherwise.

One could say that Marx’s greatest trick was hiding a totalitarian forest state behind a few rhetorical trees..

So, yea, going back to the subject of enemies’ enemies, how should a liberty-minded person– anarchist, libertarian, Threeper, or otherwise –choose who to ally with? And what lesson should they learn from the Chinese anarchists? Well, I’d say a good rule of thumb is to be very wary of anybody who seeks more power for the collective yet claims it will make you more free somehow. This works whether you’re talking about communist revolutionaries, or “Republicans” like Bush who gave you the so-called PATRIOT Act and “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market.”


#1 DirtCrashr on 06.21.10 at 1:45 pm

Interesting reading! Anarchists are gullible ideologues and Communists are pragmatic liars – kinda what I get out off it.
The Utopian “Stateless” vision is the carrot hung from a stick, the future that never arrives once the State is firmly and Bureaucratically entrenched. With those Cadres in place the (rest of the) re-education is a work of rhetoric and future-vision (and prisons and gulags) to which the gullible and idealistic are easily aimed, while the pragmatics run the System and enjoy it’s real-time fruits.
The NRA is a corporatist entity, provisionally for Gun Rights and the 2nd Amendment, and it seems that either by accident or by intention they were able to Akido the acts of Statists and use a poison-pill to thwart the takeover of information and cause the bill to be abandoned. Maybe that’s giving them too much credit and foresight – but they do know their corporate law more than the Congresssidiots who write up self-serving legal-sounding piles of steaming legislative poo.
Not too surprisingly the Democrat architects of State power are basically Socialists with a background in Government and a major in real-time greed, but little actual business experience – and they did not see the dual-nature of what they had created or their exposure to the poison-pill gambit.
The same people (idiots and morons) complained when industry, complying with those same laws they had created, came forward as REQUIRED BY LAW, to advertise and disclose a write-down of assets as necessitated by a negative business environment – one that the Government had created with their ill-considered Obamacare legislation…

#2 illspirit on 06.21.10 at 5:13 pm

Anarchists are gullible ideologues and Communists are pragmatic liars

Pretty much. While the plural of anecdote isn’t data and all that, most of the collectivist-leaning anarchists I tried to avoid in the late ’90s punk scene were indeed gullible. A sizable portion of the kids who got involved then (and likely a great many of the ones today throwing bricks outside of G20 meetings and such) don’t start out as ideologues though. A lot of the time, they come from dysfunctional families or were unpopular in high school, and the freaky punks or neo-hippies offered them a place where they felt like they “belonged.”

Even the spoiled rich kids we all like to laugh at who show up at an anti-capitalist protest in daddy’s BMW often have some sort of family issues. Granted, it’s usually something childish like being mad because daddy bought them a gray Lexus instead of the red one, but the collectivists still descend on them like vampires to exploit this and convince them the collective can essentially replace family.

With regards to the Marxist version of statelessness being a carrot, well, I’m saying it’s deeper than that. Yes, the promised communist utopia is a lie, but my point is that the commies and some anarchists actually believe the lie because they’ve redefined the concept of state until it means something different.

In essence, Marxist theory inflates the state until it’s too big to be observed, thus leading to an illusion of statelessness. In physical terms, imagine the state is a prison fence. Marxism simply expands the size of this cage past the horizon where you can’t see it, then tells you there is no fence. A gullible or impulsive anarchist might exclaim “Yay, no fence!” Whereas the anarcho-capitalist, libertarian, or conservative will realize the cage now imprisons everyone and everything.

As for the NRA doing some reverse Judo shit to throw a wrench in the works, I guess the only way to know for sure is if DISCLOSE still manages to pass with the exemption and their support. But seeing as they and their apologists told everyone straight up that it’s better to get an exemption than fight, they were either lying then or will be lying later if they claim it was all strategy. In either case, why should we continue to believe them?

#3 DirtCrashr on 06.22.10 at 7:54 am

It reminds me of a section in of Gravity’s Rainbow where the Girl (Katje ?) is wondering about her brother who has joined the anarchist/nihilist youth movement on a train headed for a place to set fire and burn…they are all dreaming of death. It was a along time ago that I read that — but the arc that Marxists take upon launching is inevitable, that’s their “Historical Imperative.” They launch, they kill and imprison, they rule the gulag and die.

I like especially: Marxist theory inflates the state until it’s too big to be observed, thus leading to an illusion of statelessness. – that requires illusion and dreaming too, an almost constant narcotic dreamstate.

I ultimately dunno about the NRA, but they do help us a lot here in CA.