Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dissolving the Right-Wing "Left"

Revolution must NOT be directed toward the seizure of power, but the dissolution of it. Marx continually stressed the preconditions for freedom as economic ones and he declared that the "ultimate goal" would be a stateless society, however, one must not forget that right-wing Marxism (a.ka. Leninism) smuggles in intensely authoritarian methods and institutions for advancing economic development.

Mikhail Bakunin adamantly disagreed with Karl Marx about the historical role of the state. While Marx believed the state's historical role to be "progressive" and that centralization was an advance over localism and regionalism, Bakunin correctly understood a federalist structure that embraced localism and regionalism to be the most direct means through which the individual would control his/her life. "These seemingly abstract theoretical differences between Marx and Bakunin lead to opposing conclusions of a very concrete and political nature. For Marx, whose concept of freedom is vitiated by preconditions and abstractions, the immediate goal of the revolution is to seize political power and replace the bourgeois state by a highly centralized 'proletarian' dictatorship. The poletariat must thus organize a mass centralized political party and use every means, including parlimentary and electoral methods, to enlarge its control over society...A revolutionary group that turns into a political party, structuring itself along hierarchical lines and participating in elections, Bakunin warns, will eventually abandon its revolutionary goals. It will become denatured by the needs of political life and finally become coopted by the very society it seeks to overthrow." The historical record of these highly centralized "dictatorships of the proletariat," has continually proved Bakunin to be prophetic.

The immediate goal of the revolution for Bakunin, however, is to "extend the individual's control over his/her own life" by dissolving power. The revolutionary movement must reflect the society it is trying to create. So if it sets as its "ultimate goal" a stateless society as Marx claimed should be the aim of communism, it must maintain itself as such throughout its revolutionary trajectory. Working away from the center and returning direct/participatory powers at the local level must be the goal: i.e. federalism.

"If the movement is to avoid turning into an end in itself, into another state, complete conformity must exist between its means and ends, between form and content." "If people are to achieve freedom, if they are to be revolutionized by the revolution, they must make the revolution themselves, not under the tutelege of an all-knowing political party." Bakunin appreciated that a "revolutionary movement was needed to catalyze revolutionary posibilities." He suggested the movement be organized into small groups of dedicated "brothers who single-mindedly pursue the task of fomenting the revolution."

Yet another black mark on the historical record for Marxism (Leninism) is its criminal treachery and deceit in the most advanced, large-scale social revolution the world has ever witnessed: the Spanish Revolution. The anarchist revolution of Spain challenged every popular notion of a libertarian society as an unworkable utopia. Unfortunately, due to the criminal treachery of socialists and communists alike, in league with the major powers of the world, Spain (and the rest of the world) was denied an historical human right. On the other hand, I guess we can continue to marvel at the accuracy of Bakunin's predictions about right-wing Marxism's betrayal of the revolution.