Section H - Why do anarchists oppose state socialism?


H.1 Have anarchists always opposed state socialism?

    H.1.1 What was Bakunin's critique of Marxism?
    H.1.2 What are the key differences between Anarchists and Marxists?
    H.1.3 Why do anarchists wish to abolish the state "overnight"?
    H.1.4 Do anarchists have "absolutely no idea" of what the proletariat will put in place of the state?
    H.1.5 Why do anarchists reject "utilising the present state"?
    H.1.6 Why do anarchists try to "build the new world in the shell of the old"?
    H.1.7 Haven't you read Lenin's "State and Revolution"?

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 the need for collective working class struggle?
    H.2.3 Does anarchism "yearn for what has gone before"?
    H.2.4 Do anarchists think "the state is the main enemy" rather than just "one aspect" of class society?
    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 either "ineffective," "elitist" or "downright bizarre"?
    H.2.15 Do anarchists reject discipline?
    H.2.16 Does the Spanish Revolution show the failure of anarchism?

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 place power into the hands of 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 his essay "On Authority"?

    H.4.1 Does organisation imply the end of liberty?
    H.4.2 How does free love versus marriage indicate 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 that industry required leaving "all autonomy behind"?
    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 Why does Engels' argument that revolution is "the most authoritarian thing there is" totally miss the point?

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.6 What actually happened in Russia?

    H.6.1 Can you give a short summary of what happened in 1917?
    H.6.2 How did the Bolsheviks gain mass support?
    H.6.3 Surely the Russian Revolution proves that vanguard parties work?
    H.6.4 Was Lenin's "State and Revolution" applied after October?
    H.6.5 Did the Bolsheviks really aim for Soviet power?
    H.6.6 What happened to the soviets after October?
    H.6.7 How did the factory committee movement develop?
    H.6.8 What was the Bolshevik position on "workers' control" in 1917?
    H.6.9 What happened to the factory committees after October?
    H.6.10 What were the Bolshevik economic policies in 1918?
    H.6.11 Did Bolshevik economic policies work?
    H.6.12 Was there an alternative to Lenin's "state capitalism" and "war communism"?
    H.6.13 Did the Bolsheviks allow independent trade unions?
    H.6.14 Was the Red Army really a revolutionary army?
    H.6.15 Was the Red Army "filled with socialist consciousness"?
    H.6.16 How did the civil war start and develop?
    H.6.17 Was the civil war between just Reds and Whites?
    H.6.18 How extensive was imperialist intervention?
    H.6.19 Did the end of the civil war change Bolshevik policies?
    H.6.20 Can the Red Terror and the Cheka be justified?
    H.6.21 Did Bolshevik peasant policies work?
    H.6.22 Was there an alternative to grain requisition?
    H.6.23 Was the repression of the socialist opposition justified?
    H.6.24 What did the anarchists do during the revolution?
    H.6.25 Did the Russian revolution refute anarchism?

H.7 What was the Kronstadt Rebellion?

    H.7.1 Why is the Kronstadt rebellion important?
    H.7.2 What was the context of the Kronstadt revolt?
    H.7.3 What was the Kronstadt Programme?
    H.7.4 Did the Kronstadt rebellion reflect "the exasperation of the peasantry"?
    H.7.5 What lies did the Bolsheviks spread about Kronstadt?
    H.7.6 Was the Kronstadt revolt a White plot?
    H.7.7 What was the real relationship of Kronstadt to the Whites?
    H.7.8 Did the rebellion involve new sailors?
    H.7.9 Was Kronstadt different politically?
    H.7.10 Why did the Petrograd workers not support Kronstadt?
    H.7.11 Were the Whites a threat during the Kronstadt revolt?
    H.7.12 Was the country too exhausted to allow soviet democracy?
    H.7.13 Was there a real alternative to Kronstadt's "third revolution"?
    H.7.14 How do modern day Trotskyists misrepresent Kronstadt?
    H.7.15 What does Kronstadt tell us about Bolshevism?

H.8 What caused the degeneration of the Russian Revolution?

    H.8.1 Do anarchists ignore the objective factors facing the Russian revolution?
    H.8.2 Can "objective factors" really explain the failure of Bolshevism?
    H.8.3 Can the civil war explain the failure of Bolshevism?
    H.8.4 Did economic collapse and isolation destroy the revolution?
    H.8.5 Was the Russian working class atomised or "declassed"?
    H.8.6 Did the Bolsheviks blame "objective factors" for their actions?

H.9 How did Bolshevik ideology contribute to the failure of the Revolution?

    H.9.1 How did the Marxist historical materialism affect Bolshevism?
    H.9.2 Why did the Marxist theory of the state undermine working class power?
    H.9.3 How did Engels' essay "On Authority" affect the revolution?
    H.9.4 What was the Bolshevik vision of democracy?
    H.9.5 What was the effect of the Bolshevik vision of "socialism"?
    H.9.6 How did Bolshevik preference for nationalisation affect the revolution?
    H.9.7 How did Bolshevik preference for centralism affect the revolution?
    H.9.8 How did the aim for party power undermine the revolution?

H.10 Were any of the Bolshevik oppositions a real alternative?

    H.10.1 Were the "Left Communists" of 1918 an alternative?
    H.10.2 What were the limitations of the "Workers' Opposition" of 1920?
    H.10.3 What about Trotsky's "Left Opposition" in the 1920s?
    H.10.4 What do these oppositions tell us about the essence of Leninism?

H.11 Why does the Makhnovist movement show there is an alternative to Bolshevism?

    H.11.1 Who was Nestor Makhno?
    H.11.2 Why was the movement named after Makhno?
    H.11.3 Why was Makhno called "Batko"?
    H.11.4 Can you give a short overview of the Makhnovist movement?
    H.11.5 How were the Makhnovists organised?
    H.11.6 Did the Makhnovists have a constructive social programme?
    H.11.7 Did they apply their ideas in practice?
    H.11.8 Weren't the Makhnovists just Kulaks?
    H.11.9 Were the Makhnovists anti-Semitic and pogromists?
    H.11.10 Did the Makhnovists hate the city and city workers?
    H.11.11 Were the Makhnovists nationalists?
    H.11.12 Did the Makhnovists support the Whites?
    H.11.13 What was the relationship of the Bolsheviks to the movement?
    H.11.14 How did the Makhnovists and Bolsheviks differ?
    H.11.15 How do the modern followers of Bolshevism slander the Makhnovists?
    H.11.16 What lessons can be learned from the Makhnovists?