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.


troutsky said...

Che Bob, while there can be no disagreement that avoiding authoritarianism must be the primary objective of all anti-capitalist movements and recognizing the split between Marx/Engles on the role and nature of the state is of historical importance, I disagree that those same analyses have the same meaning when applied to the struggles of today. Objective conditions were so different that the arguments need to be re-examined in a modern context, like Venezuela.

I think some confusion typically arises over the term "dictatorship of the proletariat" in that a modern definition of dictator automatically introduces the notion of authoritarianism.(post Hitler, Stalin) This needs to be addressed. The German term which became translated into "dictatorship"( 1850) referred to a radical (for the time) democratic process of worker suffrage and participation.In the sense that the organized proletariat (centralized) would assume leadership over a (localized)largely reactionary, uneducated peasantry, there would be "authority" resting in the general will of the working class, yes. But can authority be eliminated? Should it? Having direct knowledge of capitalist exploitation they were in a position, that is, they had the authority, to explain and resist it.While total consensus is desirable,there exists a point where the majority exerts it's "authority " over the minority.I don't know enough of Bakunin to guess whether he was advocating for peasants inclusion(regionalism) or regional groups of proletariat?

As to "role of the state",I think it first must be determined what is the nature of the state? Do fifty autonomous agents with shared property become a state? A thousand ? A million? At what point does a worker owned entity stop being a collective and become a "state", and if it is not a quantitative point, is it a qualitative? Do Bakunin and you object to the bureaucratic form,or particular mechanisms?The state that Marx felt would "wither away" was the organization that the landowners and capitalists provided for themselves in order to protect their social privileges.But Marx argued that the evil Bakunin saw residing in the state actually existed in the relations between capitalist and the wage worker.Smash the state without changing that relation and you have accomplished nothing.

As for the Marxian goal of siezing "political power",I believe the workers NEED to be politically minded but whatever determinist force Bakunin saw necessarily creating "hierarchical lines" Im not sure would apply to all times and places nor is there any aspect of Marxian theory that i am aware of that creates such a condition.Which instances of the historical record that actually saw worker controlled systems "co-opted" (as referred to) are not specified but assigning such a trend to theoretical flaw seems a leap.In Russia there was a World War ,then a civil war,etc.

Not that plenty of theoretical flaws have not been identified in Marx's "Law of Social Development" and not that I insist only an orthodox and strict adherance has value, only that a close reading is needed concerning this issue of inherent authoritarianism.

So, where the hell was I ?,oh yeah, Venezuela. The reason the anarchist movement has so little traction, in my opinion,is because the people cannot envision obtaining the services they need, having the goods they need distributed or having the bond they have developed over centuries of colonization without an organized social structure.And neither can I quite frankly.The national oil infrastructure and the necessity for investment and trade (not just oil, many things),the need for defense, for diplomatic relations, for the transportation structure,universities,health care, en todo, requires a degree of concentration to be managed efficiently.Because development is so uneven all localities do not share in resources.Shipping is through ports, airports, centrally located.So this idea of "dissolution of power", if done prematurely, would seem to create a void that capitalist empire would love to fill.(where does power go if it is dissolved, or isit dispersed?)

Chavez has been leading a radical movement in direct opposition to prevailing neoliberal strategems,in what by any historical standard is a bold and daring fashion.The democracy of Venezuela ,while not perfect,is the deepest in the hemisphere, in my opinion.The charges of corruption would be laughed at in any major american city,much less on the federal level.If offering hope and real improvements is buying votes then populism is far preferable to promises and if supplying cheap heat to people in the Bronx is coercive,Im all for coercion.Do the "usurped occupied factory workers" want title? Do they want to manage themselves? Do they want to raise private capital for investment? Pay taxes?

Of course it is not socialism as theorized by Marx or Bakunin, it is a movement "thinking while it is walking."It needs guidance and deserves criticism , but also support.The necessity of reflecting your "ultimate goal" throughout your entire trajectory seems to say any variation through out the "stages" of development, de-legitimize the movement as a whole.hmm.Socialism is only the beginning of the path.

Fire back , my friend.

Ché Bob said...

Ché Bob said...


Is it fair to say that a major complaint emanating from Venezuela among all sectors of society is corruption? Both you and I had recent experiences in Venezuela. Mine, at least, was rife with the discussion of corruption at all levels of Venezuelan society. I'm not sure either of us could laugh at the corruption being experienced by those we paid witness to in Venezuela. For the purpose of argument, I am conceding that corruption is a problem here as well. However, corruption under Chavez, according to PROVEA, is a very serious concern for that human rights organization.

Please explain what you see as the differences of the analyses when applied to the struggles of today.

I feel I am quite clear what is meant by "dictatorship of the proletariat," and I am saying that no such reality is likely for the reasons I mentioned in the post. Primarily because the "dictatorship of the proletariat" has served historically and continues to serve as a pretext for authoritarian designs. Chavez has not decreased suspicion, but only increased it. This was observed firsthand by the delegation that traveled to Venezuela in August.

You asked if authority can be eliminated. You even asked if it should be. The answers are "yes," and "fuck yes"! Anarchists peasants and the industrial working classes of Spain we able, side-by-side to gain "direct knowledge of capitalist exploitation" and they were able "to explain it and resist it." That is until they were betrayed by socialists and communists.

Trout, the historical record on the Spanish Revolution cannot be overlooked any longer. One must read about the accomplishments, and yes, failures of this revolution. It helps explain what Chomsky, Albert, Zinn, Bookchin, et. al. so admire about what the anarchists were able to accomplish in such a diverse economic and political nation. What's more, one is only left to wonder why so many leftists know so little about and discuss it so infrequently. The treachery and betrayal of socialists and communists alike is present even today in the silence surrounding this embarrassing historical moment.

Smashing the state is but a simultaneous act to be executed alongside changing social and economic relationships. It happened in Spain with some great success, running large bourgeois landowners and industrialists out of Spain along with their power structure. The resulting social relationships were the marvels described by Orwell who went to Spain expecting to dislike anarchists.

As for "worker control", the whole idea has been an historical farce. If you can think of an example in history where worker's actually controlled the means of production in a Marxist/Communist revolution the way they are supposed to and I bet a "cooption" wouldn't be far behind. The point was meant more to signal that emerging revolutionary states have historically usurped power from revolutionary forces and have led to the prophetic demises Bakunin predicted.

The theoretical flaw is that liberty could ever be managed by a political party. "Even when it commands the good, it makes this valueless by commanding it; for every command slaps liberty in the face; as soon as this good is commanded it is transformed inot an evil in the eyes of true (that is human, by no means divine) morality, of the dignity of man, of liberty..."

As for anarchism's lack of traction in Venezuela (and many parts of the world), one should not forget that anarchism is NOT arguing against an organized social structure, just a hierarchial one. Syndicalism in particular is highly organized, but lacks arbitrary concentrations of power. Syndicalists argue for a structure that purports to maximize autonomy and the free association of men. But the lack of traction can more easily be explained in the nature of the narrow education the left provides when discussing revolution. Remember, the left has plenty of reasons to forget the most advanced social revolution: its hand in destroying it. Spanish anarchism was not nearly as spontaneous as one may believe since the first anarchists arrived to Spain in 1868 and the movement percolated for nearly seventy years. The inability to envision that anarchism can provide for our basic needs, which you admitted to sharing with Venezuelans, is understandable considering its marginalization by the left. Hobsbawm does a complete hatchet-job on anarchism and the Spanish Revolution. His analyses lack a great deal concerning these two areas and seem greatly afficted by partisanship: not an uncommon trend in the left's discussion of this topic.

As for the long list of fears that you created to justify the need for a centralized state, I can only say that to have these fears is legitimate. However, (and I can't stress this enough), fear cannot be allowed to bend us over the barrell so that we would be willing to forfeit our natural human rights. Unanimously, people beleived the anarchist revolution to be an unworkable utopia and they included a list of reasons why that sounds almost the exact same as your list. Had it not been for deceitful and corrupt socialist and communist politicians seeking to limit the revolution, who knows the potential of anarchism.

Trout, you said Chavez "Chavez has been leading a radical movement in direct opposition to prevailing neoliberal strategems," when you and I both know that to be only partially true. He has also brokered deals that smack of neoliberalism and have raised the criticisms of the left within Venezuela. I agree that he has made bold moves and that he and the changes in Venezuela deserve my patient analysis. However, I do not share your opinion that Venezuela is the deepest democracy in the hemisphere and neither did PROVEA.

As for your expressed zeal for Venezuelan populism as preferable, I believe it also deserves more patience on your part. Let us be more cautious and remember what a highly nationalistic population whose lives have experienced rapid transformation and deliverance from squalor can be coerced, even self-directed, into doing in the name of patria o muerte. In the case of Cuba, they've been asked to forgo their most basic human rights with the faithful expectation of an eventual capitulation. In Nazi Germany, the population elected Hilter for all the supposedly right reasons but...I don't even want finish this sentence.

Perhaps its completely unfair to make these kinds of leaps, but I was witness to Venezuelans that were so ecstatic and dismissive of Chavez's flaws that I feared their "supreme leader" rhetoric. Without a centralized state, god-like leaders, etc. common people, even peasants were successful in eliminating formal paternalistic titles. Spain carries this tradition to this day as witnessed in linguistic changes of formality, their strong irreverence for the church and state, etc. The long brewing of Spain's peasantry and industrial working class was more than effective for their revolution.

troutsky said...

Companero,If we attempt to organize the workers at a Starbucks,and we get 51%to sign union cards, will we be "maximizing autonomy" if we allow the dissenters to negotiate their own contracts?To organize "horizontally", will we need to reach absolute consensus with every employee? Once organized, won't this new majority group become endowed with the authority to gain concessions they previously lacked? Rather than dissolving power won't we be extending it to them so that they can negotiate with the "power" of the bosses? The boss, of course, will be explaining to the employees that they are giving up their "liberty" of free association as individuals by joining a collective effort.

Whether in Missoula or Venezuela or the Paris Commune of 1871 or Spain in 36 ,the struggle is for a rightful share of the power that pre-exists in the social, political, and economic structure. Arrayed in opposition will be counter-forces and treachery will be but one of the many contingent factors determining success or failure.

Just as the Bolivarian revolution is having to devise forms of struggle to both build and defend itself gainst the forces of global capital and ideological reaction, we face this same daunting task and I agree wholeheartedly that process matters in constructing a durable foundation. The concepts regional, local, central all seem a bit arbitrary and follow the logic of Gregrandgars "tribal" unit. I don't get what defines any of these or at what point the quantitative becomes qualitative, what determines boundaries or where in Marx this was discussed?

In my reading, the "dictatorship of the proletariat" lasted about as long as the anarchist revolution and was undermined by the exact same treachery (and myriad contingencies) before it ever had a chance to develop.Its historical usefulness in explaining theoretical flaws is vague to me and one needs to consider Leninism quite seperate from Marxism. Far from defending Marx from Bakunin, Im more interested in what aspects of each (and others)theoretical construct might work for Venezuelans and us in throwing off the yoke of both capitalism and bourgeois democracy.

John in Montana said...

I am not sure I understand either of your arguments. Che, you mentioned dictatorship by the proletariat. Under Marxism, do you think that the proletariat will essentially create a dictatorship after they throw off their oppressors? Theoretically, the proletariat will be a very large class. Trout, they are then allowed to make new rules, with everybody having an equal say. If that is the case they will run into the same problem that democracy faces: what about the rights of the minority; Native American rights, Civil rights, Gay rights, Immigrant rights, etc. In this way we can see that there is high potential for the majority to invade upon the rights of the individual via legislation. John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty does a good job of wrestling with this idea. Alternatively we have the idea of Anarchy. Here there is essentially no centralized state? Ostensibly, this would maximize every individual’s autonomy because there would be no centralized government to invade or eliminate an inidividual’s liberties. Che I know that you said we can’t predict what that sort of government (or lack thereof) would look like, but I can’t help but go back to Trout’s question of security. Ben Franklin said that those would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither, but what happens when we are living in an anarchist state and a foreign country invades? This question was posed to me the other day when I was discussing the idea of an anarchist state without any police or security in place. Is it possible to maintain any semblance of the traditional notions of security or police without them being “above” the rest of society? If you give factories over to workers and their factory is polluting who tells them to stop? Who can make them stop?

One of my questions is how does anarchism prevent capitalism? From what you say anarchism will dissolve power, which I am assuming would be the taking of private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods and assumedly giving it to the public or small collectives, whereas with communism those factories would be under state control. Is there a tax system of any sort under anarchism? If not, what will prevent the highly skilled, independent shoemaker from making his shoes and acquiring a surplus of material goods. In that case is it ok for a single person to own the means of production if he does not have employees? Does anarchy allow anyone to own anything or acquire material possessions? If not, who regulates and who decides when a person has too many things or too much power.

A seeming advantage to communism is in efficiency. A central government can ensure that roads are maintained, schools are available, etc, whereas with anarchy there seems to be a certain inherent potential for a sort of choppiness. That might work itself out over time though.

Ché Bob said...


The "dictatorship of the proletariat" is a term employed by Marxists that refers to a temporary state transition period between the capitalist society and the classless and stateless communist society; during this transition period, "the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat". The term does not refer to a concentration of power by a dictator, but to a situation where the proletariat (working class) would hold power and replace the current political system controlled by the bourgeoisie (propertied class).

What I meant to say was that Bakunin argued that this ideal transition period fails to take shape and instead a predictable political party of elites steps in to organize and structure the working class. This inevitably leads to yet another concentration of power in too few of hands. Perhaps though, as Troutsky has aptly pointed out that the historical record includes myriad contextual factors that may not have anything to do with some kind of theoretical flaw. I tend to be skeptic and as a result I am affected by Bakunin’s predictions. I believe more discussion is necessary before making any leap to conclude that this aspect of Marxian theory is flawed. At the same time, I see Bakunin’s point and am currently investigating the historical situation in Spain to see what might be possible in the organization of today’s societies.

You understandably asked about the concern for minority rights. Here I am conflicted by my skepticism again. I have a difficult time believing that freedom and rights can have perfect harmony. David Barsamian asked Noam Chomsky if he lit a cigarette in his office and started smoking and was then told to extinguish his cigarette if Chomsky would be restricting his freedom. Chomsky replied that he would indeed be restricting Barsamian’s freedom but he would also be increasing his own rights to work in a clean, healthy and safe environment. Clearly then we are talking about the common good. Since the common good is arrived at through majority rule, respect for and protection of minority rights becomes of paramount importance. However, operating within a democratic system is still an element of anarcho-syndicalist system. It just means doing away with a top-down approach to democracy. It is intended to be much more participatory. It involves the individual in the decision-making process in a much more meaningful way with much more say in the shape of society. Therefore, public opinion should be much more accurately reflected in subsequent public policy (unlike the American system). The first result of participatory (direct) democracy is a more natural respect for and protection of minority rights since the most basic level of society will be given genuine power to affect policy.

To understand a most basic structure of an anarcho-syndicalist society I’ll refer to a recent description I read by Murray Bookchin:

This system calls for a “dual form of organization”: a federation of industry-wide “worker’s associations” on the one hand and a federation of local, regional, national and international “labor councils” on the other…To understand clearly syndicalist organization, it should be examined in two periods: before a revolutionary change, and afterward, when the “syndicates” are expected to take over the management of the economy. Under capitalism, the federation of “worker’s associations,” organized by trades, is engaged in conducting the day-to-day class struggle and dealing with the immediate grievance of the workers. In this period, the “labor councils,” organized geographically, have the tasks of education, propaganda and the promotion of local solidarity between the “workers’ associations.” After the social revolution, the “workers’ associations” assume responsibility for the overall administration and technical coordination of the economy. They see to it that the productive units throughout the country are supplied with raw materials, means of transportation, machinery, etc. The “labor councils,” in turn, which contain representatives from each trade and enterprise in the locality, administer the economic operations of the community or region, determine its needs, and arrange for the distribution of goods. In this dual system of organization, the local “workers’ associations” and the “labor councils” are federated into parallel municipal, regional, and national bodies until, at the summit of society two councils emerge—one composed of representatives of the trades and the other of the regions—which coordinate the total production and distribution of goods. Inasmuch as representatives of the trades also constitute the “labor councils,” the two parallel organizations tend to intersect at every geographic level, but each obviously has separate function in economic life.

This model, of course, is abstract and overly schematic. Its purpose is to explain the essential structure of a syndicalist organization in the simplest possible terms. In practice, syndicalist federations have been far more flexible than any model could possibly indicate and they incorporated long-established unions that retained distinctly non-syndicalist features.

As far as telling a polluting industry to stop, I consider this of little concern since we understand societies to be made up of people—something the American government does not consider or appreciate since the society they see is made up of private corporate interests. Therefore, since the vast majority of “people,” not capitalist industries, are opposed to polluting the environment and people would be in control of making their policy, it should follow that their opinion will be respected!

As for invading foreign nations, there is no reason to think that classless/stateless society would have little difficulty defending itself. Within this same classless/stateless society one’s self-interests would best be served working with rather than against revolutionary society. Should one decide to not work cooperatively or collectively with others than one is opting not to benefit from that society’s advantages. This individual should appropriately not be allowed to exploit natural nor human resources for his own greedy purposes. Though I cannot imagine a revolutionary society would leave an individual who would so choose to be without the basic land and resources to survive, it could be expected that some restrictions on individual freedom are necessary to increase rights for the maximum number of human beings (common good).

Private property is not necessarily precluded from an anarchist society. The key is an honest assessment of what a society can afford to give to all individuals so that all the basic human needs are met first.

One of the main purposes of the social revolution is to educate and increase social consciousness. This should include the improvement of human dignity and mutual respect. Spanish anarchism was rooted in an era of material scarcity (unlike our own reality); its essential thrust was directed against poverty and exploitation. Living in a society where little was available for all to enjoy, they excoriated the dissoluteness of the ruling classes as grossly immoral. They reacted to the opulence and idleness of the wealthy with a stern ethical credo that emphasized duty, the responsibility of all to work, and the disdain for the pleasures of the flesh. Material scarcity is a problem for American society the way it was for Spain or it is for the vast majority of the world. This helps us understand why Americans are very complacent. However, we all know that this opulence cannot last forever, so why not start the education now? Why not start organizing along anarcho-syndicalist lines today? We could follow the dual form of organization to start organizing our working class.

troutsky said...

In all my study of socialism, communism, anarchism, mutualists, libertarians etc it seems the tension and antagonism always seems to revolve around the role of the State without everyone ever really settling on a clear definition of the State. How is it different from society,where does the civil leave off and the authority begin? If a State is just a politically organized body of people,with no designation as to size or structure (hierarchical or non),in some territory, we find room for everything from an aboriginal tribe to the "summit of society where the two councils emerge" to the worst totalitarian "BigBrother".What separates them qualitatively is the system of sharing power and the rule of law in guaranteeing rights rather than any arbitrary , quantitative aspect.

Here the talk of "centrality",as in "centralized state", lacks any real geographical meaning; central to what? The question is, is there any value or benefit in being organized into some body under some form of governance and if the answer is yes, should the economic system also be something the society chooses to govern? One set of institutions will safegaurd life, liberty and the pursuit of bliss (or whatever we choose) and the other will resolve the issues of production and allocation.Wherever these functions are located and all these politics take place we can call a State or a wombat or a Federation it seems to me.The power of coercion "whithers away" by being spread equitably.

As for "preventing capitalism" or "the independent shoemaker from aquiring a surplus" I think it is here we reach the limit of autonomy,and where I part with the classic libertarian. At this point I don't see how you can have a minority or an individual who wants to trade in a "market" system while the majority decides to eliminate a profit system and somehow accomodate them both. Freedom to pursue your self interest runs into the public trust right here and the trust wins in the society I envision.On moral grounds.This is where Chavez faces his most complex challenge.

As for the structure of the wombat or society it seems the best outcomes are arrived at with as horizontal a decision making process as possible but there are probably also areas where majority or super- majority might be fine.To defend yourself you might even need a Chief.Great topic Che, I invited others over but they can't handle it.

Renegade Eye said...

There is little anarchist precedent to critique.

Anarchism is a healthy, although abstract response against authority. Things as work safety law, traffic regulation, social welfare come about through a legislative process. Our whole security is through state power.

The problems of socialism are much more complex than just authoritarianism.

Marie the team member of my blog from Argentina, would love this post. I do enjoy coalition work with anarchists. I think it is a conservative philosophy, closer to libertarians than Marxists.

Workers control was never meant to be ultra democratic. Each workplace has a hierarchy.

I'm linking to this fine blog.

LeftyHenry said...

I didn't know you were an anarchist. Interesting. Although I must point out that there is a reason that the only anarchist revolution to ever occur failed, and that workers all over the world, even in this day and age, continue to wage people's war under the banner of Marx, Lenin, and Mao from Nepal, to India, to the Philipinnes, to Peru.

Ché Bob said...


Unfortunately, I'm not sure you'll be too proud (as a Leninist/Maoist/Marxist) of what destroyed the Spanish Revolution: communists and socialists! The Spanish Revolution is a lesson in history communists and socialists either fail to study, deny or sweep under the rug. The shame that it must be to live in the skin of the Spanish communists and socialists who betrayed the social revolution, the people of Spain and the hope for social justice! Treachery on behalf of the communists and socialists alike in Spain should never be forgotten (or we on the left do so at our own peril) because it can only help remind us of two things: 1) communists, anarchists, and socialists should be careful not to let their pride get in the way of social justice and remain focused on ending the Capitalist system, and 2) that "to change masters is not to be free." To replace authoritarian rule of a capitalist nature with authoritarian rule of a communist nature is still authoritarian. Tyranny is tyranny!

The communists and socialists of Spain should have been allies to the anarchists who ruled in number and ideology. They should have used their material support from Russia to advance the social revolution or they should have refused to accept the support from Stalin if his conditions were to undermine anarchists. The communists and socialists should have respected the right of the working class to self-determination and recognize that the vast majority of Spanish were anarchists despite their desire to convert them. Their betrayal of the Spanish working class and peasants cannot be overstated!

P.S. I recommend reading George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia." Here was a card-carrying communist whose eyes were opened by the anarchist revolution and whose disillusionment with the communists and socialists is transparent and honest.