Marxism and anarchism

Issue: 125

Paul Blackledge

There is a striking paradox at the heart of contemporary anti-capitalism. Many within the movement deny what is undoubtedly one of its defining characteristics: the very fact that it is political at all.1 The practical problems with this approach have been dissected in previous issues of this journal.2 In this essay I provide some context for these debates by examining the roots of the anti-political perspective in earlier arguments between anarchists and Marxists. My hope is that by outlining the historical similarities and differences between anarchism and classical Marxism the contemporary encounters between these two tendencies might move beyond what is too often a caricatured non-debate. Specifically, I argue that the rational core of anarchism—its desire to immunise the movement against the malign influences of “statist” politics—is actually weakened by its anti-political position. Moreover, this weakness is reinforced by anarchist criticisms of what they call Marx’s “statism”. As we shall see, this claim involves a massive misunderstanding of classical Marxism which not only serves to conceal its essence as the theory of working class self-emancipation but also obscures the way this theory points beyond the practical limits of anarchism.

In 1871 both Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, the most prominent representatives of the international socialist and anarchist movements respectively, welcomed the Paris Commune as a practical realisation of their visions of socialism.3 This fact would seem to confirm the claim made by Daniel Guérin in his classic history of anarchism that, beyond the sound and fury of sectarian wrangling, “anarchism is really a synonym for socialism”.4 If, additionally, we accept Noam Chomsky’s comment that “the consistent anarchist…will be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort”: a “libertarian socialist”,5 then perhaps we might be led to view anarchism as a variant of what Hal Draper called, from a classical Marxist perspective, the tradition of “socialism from below”.6

However, whereas Draper insisted that anarchism was a variety of socialism from above while being scathing in his criticisms of claims that Lenin had built an “authoritarian” party,7 Guérin suggests that Lenin was at best an “ambivalent” figure whose work combined libertarian and authoritarian elements,8 while Chomsky insists that, in contrast to consistent anarchism, Marx’s thought can be characterised by a tension between an earlier libertarian socialism and later “authoritarianism”; a tension which is reflected in the history of Marxism as a conflict between libertarian socialist tendencies, represented, for instance, by Rosa Luxemburg, and state socialist tendencies, above all associated with Lenin. Chomsky argues that although the ideas of the former “converge with elements of anarcho-syndicalism”, the latter is so far removed from this tradition that “if the left is understood to include ‘Bolshevism’ then I would flatly dissociate myself from the left”.9

Similar arguments are a commonplace within contemporary autonomist and anarchist circles,10 and inform the animosity these groups tend to show towards classical Marxists generally and “Leninists” more specifically.11 Typically, anarchists and autonomists are wont to criticise Lenin in particular as the main representative of the state socialist tradition which was tried and failed in the 20th century.12 To the extent that they engage with Marxism, theoretical and political differences within this milieu usually focus on the relationship of Marx to Lenin, asking whether the latter made a qualitative “authoritarian” break with the former or if he merely extended some of Marx’s “authoritarianism” to its logical conclusion. If autonomists attempt to “rescue” Marx from Lenin, anarchists tend to reject them both through reference to Bakunin’s famous claim that Marx was an “advocate of state communism”.13

As we shall see, Bakunin’s criticism of Marx is “inept”.14 It does, however, cohere with a more widespread liberal critique of Marxism which damns it by association with Stalinism.15 Thus, in Peter Marshall’s massive history of anarchism he argues not only that Bakunin’s criticism of Marx as a “state socialist” was “prophetic”, but also that the experience of Stalinism meant that Bakunin, and not Marx, had been “vindicated by the verdict of history”.16

Although this claim has a certain superficial plausibility, careful examination of Bakunin’s perspective reveals it to be not only false but also reactionary. For Bakunin’s argument was not simply a critique of what might happen if, as he caricatured it, Marx or the Marxists came to power. It involved a much more general rejection of the possibility that society could be democratised. This question, the problem of the possibility of real democracy, sits at the core of the political differences between classical Marxism and anarchism, and informs disagreements about the relationship between freedom and authority, the issue of political organisation, and the character of the ethical critique of capitalism. This aspect of Bakunin’s thought reflects a widespread failing within anarchism to develop an adequate conceptualisation of democracy: a weakness which is rooted in an incoherent model of human nature that fatally undermines the socialist side of anarchism’s claim to be the most consistent form of libertarian socialism.

As we shall see, Marx provided the theoretical tools to transcend the limitations of anarchist theories of human nature, and Lenin most fully elaborated the political implications of Marx’s vision of socialism from below. Far from standing in opposition to the tradition of libertarian socialism as Chomsky suggests, Lenin, once properly dissociated from his caricature at the hands of the Stalinists,17 is best understood as making a fundamental theoretical and political contribution to the struggle for human freedom. This is not to say that Leninist organisations are without their faults: far from it. But because autonomists and anarchists misunderstand the social basis of these problems their critique of classical Marxism tends not only to be misguided but also to be politically debilitating.

Direct action and the state

In an “open Marxist” critique of Lenin’s politics that shares common ground with anarchist and autonomist arguments, John Holloway suggests a link between Leninist, democratic centralist, forms of organisation and the claim that classical Marxists are state socialists. He argues that the problem with the “form of the party” is that it “presupposes an orientation towards the state” in a way that “impoverishes” the struggle itself. Consequently, even if these forms of organisation are successful, they are doomed to reproduce the kind of hierarchical and alienated power relations characteristic of the state.18

Taken as an account of reformist socialist political organisations Holloway’s arguments are insightful: these parties do tend to undermine their own progressive roots by subordinating their activity to work within capitalist states. However, because he conflates reformist and Leninist parties, he too quickly slips from a critique of the former to a rejection of the latter. The obvious weakness with this argument is that it ignores the different content of these strategies: reformist parties aim to win the state while the Bolsheviks aimed to “smash” it! On this issue Lenin insisted that the anarchists were right: “we do not at all differ with the anarchists on the question of the abolition of the state as aim”.19

To realise this goal Leninist parties have a fundamentally different mode of political activity to reformist organisations: if reformist organisations focus on winning parliamentary majorities, revolutionary socialist parties must be rooted in the place where workers have the potential to overthrow the old order—their workplaces.20 By using the label “state-centred” to describe both Leninist and reformist parties, anarchists elide the fundamental distinction between seizing and smashing the state in a way that blinds them to the emancipatory core of Lenin’s contribution to socialism.21

For his part, Lenin argued that anarchism mistakenly generalised from a critique of the practice of reformist political parties to a rejection of any attempt to build political organisations.22 Consequently, “anarchism was not infrequently a kind of penalty for the opportunist sins of the working class movement. The two monstrosities complemented each other”.23 This is not to say that classical Marxists dismissed the commitment of anarchists to the struggle for freedom. Thus Trotsky wrote of the death of an anarchist he had known in Paris that “his anarchism was the expression, though theoretically incorrect, of a profound, genuinely proletarian indignation at the villainy of the capitalist world and at the baseness of those socialists and syndicalists who crawled on their knees before this world”.24 Lenin and Trotsky did not doubt the honest “indignation at the villainy of the capitalist world” that anarchists shared with socialists; rather they argued that anarchist theory tended to undermine the promise of this activism.

Interestingly, anarchism’s political weaknesses mirrored flaws Lenin diagnosed in reformism in his What is to be Done? This book was intended as a critique of reformist currents in the Russian socialist movement—a much more militant reformism than we are used to in the West. Electoral politics was not on the cards in Russia at the time, but trade union struggles against local bosses were. Lenin criticised Russian reformism not for its (non-existent) electoralism, but rather because it did not fight to raise the myriad of local struggles against various aspects of the Russian system into a broader national movement against the autocracy. To realise this project required a national political organisation which challenged the limits of localism by drawing links between these various struggles. This is the basis for Lenin’s famous argument that the revolutionary socialist should act not as a simple trade unionist but more generally as the “tribune of the people”.25

Lenin’s convincing reply to those anarchists who rejected “political” activity was that, far from overcoming the problem of politics, they merely allowed the dominance of bourgeois politics to go unchallenged. He argued that within the workers’ movement anarchism therefore, in a way that paralleled reformist trade unionism, led to the “subordination of the working class to bourgeois politics in the guise of negation of politics”.26 It was to counter this tendency that Lenin argued to build a national political party that aimed to link together all the local struggles across Russia into a general offensive against the state.

This challenge to the power of the state was placed on a firmer theoretical footing in the year before the October Revolution when Lenin broke with the last vestiges of Second International Marxism to argue, in stark contrast to anarchist claims that he and Marx aimed to “take over the state” and use it for their own ends,27 that workers must be organised ideologically, politically and militarily (ie as a state) to smash the old (capitalist) state. This was not a case of taking over the old state, but of replacing it with a new organisation. And while workers’ states are still in a sense states (as we shall see below they are states of a very peculiar type, and in recognition of this difference Lukács called the new organs of workers’ power an “anti-government”),28 they have a very different social content to the capitalist state. Whereas capitalist states deploy military and ideological powers to maintain capitalist social relations, workers’ states mobilise their resources in the interests of suppressing the barriers to building a society based around meeting human needs. Because workers do not exploit any class below them, as these barriers are gradually overcome workers’ states will tend to “wither away”. Unfortunately, because anarchists are inclined to reify “the state” as the enemy of freedom, they are apt to underestimate both differences in the forms of class power (while liberal democracies and fascist dictatorships are types of capitalist states the differences between them are of the utmost importance) and more profound historical changes in the social content of state power (differences between feudal, capitalist and workers’ states, for instance).29 It is this tendency to reify something called “the state” as the enemy of freedom that undermines their conception of revolutionary politics.

While this is perhaps most apparent in the writings of those anarchists who imagine that they might be able to bypass the state, it is a much more general problem within anarchism. Thus the anarchist Ben Franks has suggested that, “despite the universal acceptance, in contemporary class struggle anarchist writings, of the need for revolution, there is a lack of clarity concerning its constituents and characteristics”.30

To the extent that there is an anarchist model of revolution it tends to be rooted in the idea of direct action. There is not one form of direct action but rather a plurality of forms which, it is suggested, prefigure relations in a truly free (stateless)31 society. Indeed, direct action is the practical implication of anarchist anti-statism,32 and the plurality of forms of direct action is reflected in the plurality of anarchisms.33

Although support for and appeals to direct action of one sort or another are common on the left, for anarchism this tactic is much more than one weapon among many in an activist’s armoury: it flows directly from their rejection of the state, and is explicitly counterposed to more traditional approaches to politics.34 Indeed, anarchism tends to be self-consciously anti-political, and this perspective is best understood as a reaction against the idea that politics, as it has conventionally been defined, is concerned with the state. This type of anti-politics is, of course, political once we accept a broader conception of politics, and the arguments for direct action are obviously political arguments even if they are not state-centred arguments.

In opposition to what he suggests is traditional state-centred politics, David Graeber argues that “the very notion of direct action, with its rejection of a politics which appeals to governments to modify their behaviour, in favour of physical intervention against state power in a form that itself prefigures an alternative—all emerges directly from the libertarian tradition”.35 From this perspective it is argued that a multitude of different forms of direct action are the living embodiment of non-state forms of social interaction that prefigure, in a myriad of ways, an alternative type of society. This approach to politics informs the types of organisations embraced by anarchists and autonomists. Whereas traditional parliamentary and revolutionary parties have oriented towards the states whose power they wished to capture or defeat, because anarchists reject these approaches in favour of prefiguring an alternative to the state they reject the form of centralised political parties that are necessary to confront states, often, though not uniformly, embracing instead supposedly non-hierarchical “horizontal” forms of organisation.36

In this sense at least anarchists are good Leninists. For Lenin argued, as Tony Cliff points out, that the organisational forms needed by socialists “derived from the nature of the political tasks” set.37 If the structure of Bolshevism derived from the task of overthrowing the Russian autocracy, different tasks demand different structures. Anarchists argue that, because they reject the goal of winning state power, they have no need of the centralised political structures of those that do.

One problem with this claim is that it is parasitic on the bourgeois view of politics: if traditional political theory has focused on the state, anarchism tends merely to invert these concerns rather than to overcome their limitations. Marx’s approach to politics is very different: just as Capital is a critique of political economy rather than a study of economics, Marx’s politics are best understood as a critique of traditional political perspectives. So whereas traditional (liberal) approaches to the state conceive it as the corollary of an unchanging human nature, Marxists argue that states are historical phenomena, tied up with specific relations of production, and consequently the key to getting rid of them is to remove the relations of production which both underpin and are maintained by them.

With respect to the modern capitalist states, Marxists focus on the way they help sustain the capitalist system at the expense of human freedom. This involves an analysis of how states relate to those class struggles and other social movements which create the potential for developing the solidarity and socialist consciousness necessary to overcome capitalist alienation. On this issue it is clear that once these struggles reach a large enough scale, they will be confronted by states which act as the key organisational safeguard of the capitalist system. It is for this reason that any movement from below which becomes powerful enough to challenge capitalism will be forced to confront the state. As Alex Callinicos has written in an exchange with John Holloway, “the trouble is that the state won’t leave us alone”.38

The truth of this statement was brought home recently in Britain by the death of Ian Tomlinson on the G20 demo in London. This incident acted as a lightning rod exposing the regular and systematic violence meted out by the police against not only political demonstrators but also large sections of the broader population. The fact that it occurred in the wake of the recent international state interventions to prop up the banking system, and in the context of those states’ sustained and regular use of military power, serves to remind us of the intrinsic links between capitalism and the state system. Among numerous other functions, capitalist states act as instruments of political legitimisation, social control, economic regulation and military competition: they are “structurally interdependent” with capitalism, which cannot survive without them. And, whatever else the recent wars and economic bailouts have achieved, they should have laid to rest the idea that the forces of globalisation have broken the power of states.39

In the first instance, therefore, the concern Marxists show for the state flows not from some supposed statist predilections but rather emerges out of the needs of the movement from below: once social movements are strong enough to point towards a real alternative to the status quo, states will intervene with the aim of suppressing them. Marx’s and Lenin’s so-called statism therefore consists primarily of a realistic appreciation of the enemy of the struggle for freedom: the workers’ movement requires a centralised military force to overcome its centralised military opponent. As Trotsky wrote, “To renounce the conquest of power is voluntarily to leave the power with those who wield it, the exploiters”.40

Ironically, while many anarchists have gravitated towards similar conclusions at highpoints in the class struggle, even at these points their failure to distinguish between bourgeois and workers’ states has proved fatal. For instance, in Spain in 1936 the main anarchist organisations felt compelled to join the Republican government so that the military opposition to Franco’s fascists could be coordinated under a unified structure. While this policy made some sense from the military point of view, it unfortunately placed the anarchists atop a bourgeois state whose lifeblood was threatened by the social revolution their members were leading (and which offered by far the most powerful alternative to fascism). In government the revolutionary energy of the anarchists was weakened as they were caught between the needs of the revolution and the need to maintain unity with their bourgeois partners. By contrast, in a similar situation in 1917 the Bolsheviks did defend Kerensky’s bourgeois government against Kornilov’s proto-fascist forces, but did not join the bourgeois government, thereby retaining their independence.

Throughout this period they insisted that the most consistent and most powerful alternative to Kornilov was to be found in the workers’ councils (soviets) which Kerensky, like his Spanish counterparts 20 years later, wanted to extinguish, but which the Bolsheviks saw as the embryo of a new workers’ state.41 These two approaches to revolutionary practice had very different outcomes. Whereas the actions of the anarchists in Spain helped demobilise their own support, the Bolsheviks’ “united front” with Kerensky strengthened their hand and laid the basis for the successful socialist revolution in October—when they led the overthrow of Kerensky’s government and replaced it with soviet rule. Despite differences in their rhetoric, both the Bolsheviks in Petrograd in 1917 and the anarchists in Barcelona in 1936 organised the “vanguard” of a revolutionary movement from below, and both recognised the need to build a unified military opposition to the counter-revolution. However, because the Bolsheviks recognised the difference between workers’ and bourgeois states, they were better able to conceptualise differences between forms of unity that would strengthen the workers’ movement and others which would weaken it. By contrast, when the Spanish anarchists recognised a similarly genuine need for unity, anarchism’s one-dimensional view of the state meant that they ended up following the disastrous path of subordinating the revolutionary movement to the requirements of unity with their bourgeois partners.42

If Marxist concerns about the state do not reflect their supposed “statism”, their focus on workers’ councils as the basis for opposition to capitalism shows that it is also far too simplistic to counterpose prefigurative politics to Marx’s supposed instrumental approach.43 For classical Marxists do not deny a prefigurative dimension to socialist politics—in fact they insist that an element of prefiguration exists in the shape of the institutions and culture of working class self-organisation and solidarity. However, Marxists also recognise that capitalism both fragments the working class internally and divides it from other exploited and oppressed groups externally. Consequently, Marx and (especially) Lenin insisted that socialist politics includes taking up the struggle against these divisions, and this implies a distinction between the revolutionary party, as a relatively homogeneous group of socialist activists, and the working class, which is more or less fragmented depending on the level of class consciousness at any moment. The Marxist distinction between party and class is not a distinction between a fixed elite and the foot soldiers, but a simple recognition of the fact that there exist a variety of levels of class consciousness within the working class—from scabs to revolutionaries and all the variations in between. The point of the party is to help win a majority of the working class to socialism, and to build a workers’ movement that offers a desirable model of liberation to other groups outside it. For the party to succeed in this task is to create the conditions for its own dissolution! Because socialism will be achieved once the divisions within the working class and between it and other oppressed and exploited groups are overcome, there will be no need for revolutionary parties in a mature socialist society. By their nature therefore revolutionary parties, as opposed to other forms of solidarity, cannot prefigure socialism: they are rather a (necessary and transient) instrument in the struggle for socialism.44

As to the key activity of revolutionary socialist parties—the attempt to win majorities to socialism—the guiding principle of Marxist politics is flexibility. Whereas real state “socialists” tend to reify one perspective (changing government either by insurrectionary or parliamentary means)45 and anarchists another (direct action), Marxists focus on struggle at the point where we have the potential power to change the system—the workplace. But beyond this, Marxists aim to make concrete judgements of particular tactics at particular junctures, judging their applicability by a simple criterion: are they likely to increase the self-activity, confidence and political consciousness of working class people and other oppressed and exploited groups? So while Marxists will engage in electoral campaigns on the one hand, and forms of direct action on the other, this will be for different reasons than do reformists and anarchists. Marxists consider neither tactic to be sufficient for the tasks confronting the left, and certainly both can degenerate into variants of elitism. Neither parliamentary politics nor direct action can be the last word in revolutionary politics because neither represent a fundamental challenge to the system, and in both cases activists run the risk of acting on behalf of, as opposed to alongside, ordinary people. Viewed from this perspective, a dogmatic commitment to direct action is best understood not as a solution to the problem of reformist statism but as the flipside of parliamentary elitism, and this explains why, despite its radical rhetoric, Draper claimed that anarchism is a form of socialism from above. It is not that Marxist parties are immune to the danger of elitism, but that this danger tends to have different roots: particularly when workers’ struggles are at a low ebb there is tendency for organisations whose lifeblood is the struggle to degenerate into sectarianism.46 If anarchist groups are prone to a similar tendency, the problem with the reification of direct action as the radical tactic of choice—in which, as Franks revealingly argues, “a small part of an entity represents the whole thing”47—is that it is liable to reinforce rather than challenge the propensity to elitism and substitutionism: the tendency of activists to substitute their activities for broader social movements. This weakness illuminates another, and superficially surprising, problem associated with anarchism: its reticence about engaging with the broader concept of democracy.

If the demands of the struggle from below are one aspect of Marxist concerns with the state, another is the problem of democracy. In terms of the debate with anarchists this problem has two distinct sides: democracy within revolutionary organisations and democracy within (pre and post revolutionary) societies. Anarchist anti-authoritarianism might, at first glance, suggest a deep concern with democracy. And indeed the anarchist theorist Uri Gordon has argued that “there are major parallels between some of the values animating activists’ collective process practices and those which feature in the more radical end of democratic theory”.48 However, as Gordon goes on to point out, because democracies allow for majority control whereas anarchism defends the absolute rights of the individual against the state, it is best understood as “not ‘democratic’ at all”.49 Similarly, in his classic survey of anarchism, George Woodcock argued that “no conception of anarchism is farther from the truth than that which regards it as an extreme form of democracy. Democracy advocates the sovereignty of the people. Anarchism advocates the sovereignty of the person”.50 More recently, Ruth Kinna has admitted that anarchists have had little of substance to say about democracy beyond a desire for consensus decision-making which, as she rightly points out, is open to the criticism that it tends to repeat the characteristics Jo Freeman famously analysed in the American anarcha-feminist movement in the 1960s, what she called The Tyranny of Structurelessness:51 the ability of the most articulate (usually middle class) members of structureless groups to hold de facto power within them.

For Marxists, the point of building democratic, and therefore centralist (if voting is to be meaningful majorities must get their way),52 revolutionary organisations is intended in part to govern against this problem: leadership and policy can be changed through debate about the best way forward. Indeed, it is precisely because healthy revolutionary organisations bring together individuals from a wide spectrum of campaigns that they provide an arena for debate about the way forward both for the movement as a whole and for specific local campaigns. These debates are not only essential to the process of unifying various campaigns into a broader movement capable of challenging capitalism; they are also an invaluable mechanism through which members learn from each other’s successes and failures and by which the party concretely embeds these lessons within the movement. But because debate is orientated towards action, decisions must be made, either by the kind of consensus that comes through sharp debate—which is very different to the kind of consensus achieved by going at the pace of the slowest—or by votes when debates do not reach a consensus.

The fact that revolutionary socialist parties are weapons of struggle rather than prefigurative forms entails that their internal structure is of secondary importance to their ability to act effectively. Nevertheless, because effective action requires open debate, internal democracy is an essential characteristic of these organisations—at least where external constraints allow. It is an unavoidable problem with this kind of structure that there will be a tension between debate and action. Unfortunately, the anarchist alternative of seeking consensus is only possible in relatively homogeneous groups, and can only be reproduced over time if those groups remain relatively immunised against the fragmentation of opinion in society more generally; that is if they are already, or degenerate into, a sect. It is not that the problems anarchists point to in democratic centralist organisations do not exist—Franks gives an unfortunately caricatured list of what are best understood as sectarian tendencies within Leninist parties53—it is rather that these problems are a necessary feature of socialist activity, and they are shared to a greater or lesser degree by any form of radical political organisation, including anarchist and autonomist organisations.

Human nature and socialism

The issue of democracy points to a deeper fundamental problem with anarchism: anarchist conceptions of human nature. On democracy itself, the 19th century French anarchist Proudhon complained that “universal suffrage is the counter-revolution”, while his Russian counterpart, Bakunin, pointed to a rejection of democracy when he argued that “all political organisation is destined to end in the negation of freedom”.54 This is an important statement which if taken seriously is not a prescient warning of the dangers of Stalinism, but rather implies the impossibility not only of socialism but also of any form of democratic social organisation. To make sense of Bakunin’s statement it is useful to examine the oft-repeated claim that anarchism involves a synthesis of “a socialist critique of capitalism with a liberal critique of socialism”.55

Despite its superficial attractiveness there are fundamental difficulties with such a synthesis: liberals and socialists hold to very different models of human nature which point in very different political directions. Whereas liberalism assumes as its analytical point of departure the atomised egoistic individual, socialism, or at least Marx’s socialism, recognises the social nature of human individuality.56 From the liberal assumption that people are by nature individually egoistic it is difficult to conceive of social organisation except as an alien power (state) over them: the state is simultaneously a threat to, and the essential guarantor of, individual liberty. The state is for liberals therefore, in Tom Paine’s felicitous phrase, a “necessary evil”! In a sense anarchism can be understood as a radicalisation of this perspective on the basis of a more optimistic view of human nature: it rejects the idea that the state, evil in any of its forms, is in fact necessary. Anarchist reticence about discussing democracy reflects the fact that from their perspective democratic political structures remain states and thus “the negation of freedom”.

It is not that all anarchists embrace a simple egoistic and individualistic model of human nature—if this has been true of the dominant voices of American anarchism over the last century, European anarchism has tended to embrace a much more social conception of human nature. Thus Proudhon, Bakunin and especially Peter Kropotkin articulated “a broad belief in a society underpinned by a spirit of solidarity, a society perceived as an organic whole within which individual freedom is mediated through some notion of communal individuality”.57 However, as David Morland argues in his exhaustive analysis of classical anarchist accounts of human nature, social anarchism does not involve a successful synthesis of socialism and liberalism, but rather brings these two accounts of human nature together in an uneasy mix which, by universalising the liberal conception of the egoistic individual alongside more socialistic elements, results in an “irresolvable stalemate over the question of human nature”.58 Because Marx, by contrast, recognised that human individuality is shaped by the kind of society in which we live, he was able to grasp both the social and historical roots of modern individualism and that democratisation need not merely result in a new form of unfreedom, but rather expanded the space and nature of individual liberty.59 Marx and Engels, therefore, agreed with Bakunin that organisation implies authority, but recognised that because society is an organisation it would be silly to imagine it without authority.

The struggle for socialism from this perspective is not so much a struggle against authority as it is a struggle to smash one undemocratic form of authority and replace it with a democratic alternative. Whereas liberalism and anarchism find it difficult to imagine the social aspect of humanity except as the alien form of the state, Marx argued that because workers are able to free themselves only through collective organisation their solidarity points towards a concrete democratic alternative to their alienation. Thus Engels comments that, while all revolutionary socialists agree “that the political state, and with it political authority, will disappear as a result of the coming social revolution”, this would not mean the end of social organisation. Rather, he insisted, under socialism society would lose its (alienated) political character to take instead the form of the democratic control of administrative functions.60 Consequently, the key question Marxists ask of any society is not is it characterised by some form of authority (the answer can only be yes), but rather is authority under democratic control and if not who is in control? As Herbert Marcuse comments, Marx looked not to the ending of authority but rather to its complete democratisation.61

Moreover, because social structures evolve over time, society itself has a historical character: if we are to take democratic control of society, we must first examine its concrete nature at specific historical junctures. For prehistoric hunter gatherers, society might have been the small group to which an individual belonged. Today, by contrast, because we live in a world marked by an international division of labour, our society is global. Consequently, our social problems, and ultimately the solutions to those problems, are global: while local activity is an essential component of the struggle for a better world, final success can only be won by democratising society on a global scale. This, and not some statist predilection, is the material basis for another of Marx’s crimes in the eyes of anarchists: his centralism.62

The fact that this centralism is rooted in the material transformation of society illuminates another anarchist myth: that Marx believed capitalist alienation can be overcome “simply by changing the form of government—by placing the control of government in socialist hands”.63 Marx cut his political teeth arguing precisely the opposite: that the successful struggle for liberation cannot come through a mere change in government but must be rooted in a much deeper social movement.

Towards Paris

The rational core of the myth that Marx thought that a change in government would suffice to bring about socialism can be traced to his debate with the anarchists in the First International over the issue of raising political demands, ie of demanding reforms from government.

Extrapolating from their views of human nature both Proudhon and Bakunin believed that there was a natural social harmony which could be regained only through the eradication of government and the state.64 Consequently, whereas Marx, supported by English trade unionists, stressed the necessity of fighting for reforms—Marx insisted that when workers won reforms and acted to enforce the new laws they did not “fortify governmental power, on the contrary, they transform that power, now used against them, into their own agency”65—his anarchist critics believed that making demands of the state would only make matters worse. If the above statement opened Marx to reformist misinterpretation,66 it and others like it are best understood as part of a process whereby he sought to foster and strengthen socialist consciousness within the working class. As Collins and Abramsky point out in their seminal study of the First International, Marx believed that “trade union struggle represented a necessary phase through which the workers must pass on the road to full emancipation”.67 The demands on the state arose organically from within the workers’ movement, and Marx supported reforms such as limitations on the working day both as a good in themselves and as part of the long-term process of socialist transformation which could only finally be realised through revolution.

This is most evident in his comments on the Paris Commune. Perhaps because Marx’s analysis of the Commune explodes the myth that he was a “state-socialist” it is difficult to fit with anarchist preconceptions about his politics. Despite the fact that Marx argued that the Commune was an example of real living socialism which showed that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes”,68 Bakunin insisted that the Marxists “believe it is necessary to organise the workers’ forces in order to seize the political power of the state”.69 And while anarchists such as Peter Marshall have dismissed Marx, Engels and Lenin’s embrace of the Commune as an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat as an “irony of history”,70 in reality it is anarchism that has much more profound problems conceptualising the Commune.

In his analysis of the Commune, Marx pointed out that though the old structures of state power (in Paris at least) had been smashed, workers replaced them not with a negation of authority but with their own rule: the Commune was “a working class government” that held real (not sham parliamentary) power in Paris. This, he explained, is what he meant by the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat,71 or, more simply, the rule of the working class.72 And although Marxists have described this situation as a workers’ state, more properly, as Engels commented a couple of years later, the word “state” is misleading here: “All the palaver about the state ought to be dropped, especially after the commune, which has ceased to be a state in the true sense of the term”.73 Because workers’ states, unlike all previous states, are expressions of the rule of the majority rather than of a minority, they are no longer specialised coercive apparatuses maintaining exploitative social relations. And though the Commune did not survive long enough to show this, even these structures will wither away as the threat of bourgeois counter-revolution recedes.

It is difficult to understand how Bakunin, by contrast, could embrace the Commune given that he had declared himself the enemy “of every government and every state power”.74 Indeed, as Kropotkin argued a few years later from a perspective very close to Bakunin’s, the Commune’s key failing was its embrace of a representative structure which meant that it reproduced the typical vices of parliamentary governments. The weaknesses of the Commune, he insisted, were due not to the men who led it but to the “system” it embraced.75 From an anarchist perspective it would appear that Kropotkin is the more consistent of the two: the Commune retained the form of representative government and was therefore merely another example of that which anarchists should oppose: the state. What Marx added to this mix was not a defence of “statism” but a recognition that, while aspects of the form of state and government had been retained by the Commune, their content had been radically transformed once a new class had come to power. This approach to the problem of revolution explodes another anarchist myth about classical Marxism: that it is a form of Jacobinism.

Jacobinism, Blanquism and Marxism

The claim that Marx was a statist who believed a simple change in government would suffice to bring about socialism is related to the charge that he failed to escape the limits of the Jacobinism of the revolutionaries of the most extreme phase of the French Revolution. For instance, in his Statism and Anarchy, Bakunin argued that “by education and by nature [Marx] is a Jacobin, and his favourite dream is of political dictatorship”.76 Leaving aside Bakunin’s silly rhetoric about Marx’s supposed will to power, the charge of Jacobinism is important and deserves to be refuted.

For a year in 1793-4 the Jacobins were at the forefront of the French Revolution. Led by Robespierre, they rode a contradiction during their time at the head of the government. On the one hand they believed they were acting as the instrument of Rousseau’s “general will”. On the other hand, however, they never adequately addressed the problem of how a common good could exist and be represented in a class divided society. In fact, far from representing the general will, the Jacobins came to power through support from, and effectively represented the interests of, the so-called sansculottes of urban “small shopkeepers and craftsmen (both masters and journeymen), servants and day-labourers”.77 Because Robespierre de facto recognised the limited nature of his social base, even if he was unable to provide an adequate theoretical account of it, he came to believe that the common good would have to be imposed on society as a correction against “the shortcomings and defects of individual men”.78 So, despite his fervent advocacy of democracy, he held to a more or less implicit belief not only that “democracy had to be directed from above” but also that “no reliance could be placed on the spontaneous revolutionary ardour of the people”.79 It was the contradiction between his formally democratic politics and the limited social basis of his support which, in the context of external military intervention against the Revolution, gave rise to The Terror.

Although Guérin rejected the idea that revolutions necessarily degenerated into tyranny, he nevertheless agreed that Marx had not fully overcome the tension between the “communal” and “Jacobin” aspects of his politics, and that Lenin went further along the Jacobin path.80 The reference to Lenin is an allusion to his famous comment that “a Jacobin who wholly identifies himself with the organisation of the proletariat—a proletariat conscious of its class interests—is a revolutionary SocialDemocrat”.81 This phrase has often been cited as evidence that Lenin at least failed to escape the limits of Jacobinism, and that because of this the Russian Revolution, like its French predecessor, was doomed to end in terror. However, from the context within which Lenin wrote it is clear that reference to Jacobinism was first made by the reformist critics of Marxism who sought to jettison revolutionary politics altogether, and that Lenin was pointing out that like the Jacobins, but in very different conditions, the Marxists were the most resolute opponents of the ruling order.82

As a keen student of Marx, the difference between the conditions that gave rise to Jacobinism and those that underpinned the emergence of modern socialism would have been ABC to Lenin. Michael Löwy points out that while Marx obviously admired Robespierre’s “historical greatness and revolutionary energy”, he explicitly rejected Jacobinism “as a model or source of inspiration for socialist revolutionary praxis”.83 Indeed, from his earliest writings, Marx drew on Hegel’s critique of Jacobinism. According to Hegel, Robespierre’s Terror was the necessary counterpart of his attempt to impose a vision on society from the top down that was not rooted in a prior transformation of the nation’s “dispositions and religion”.84

Marx recognised the power of Hegel’s argument, but disagreed that Jacobinism exposed the limits of the revolutionary project.85 Rather he argued that this gap between the revolutionary leadership and the mass of the population was not a general characteristic of revolutions, but rather reflected the bourgeois nature of the French Revolution. He distinguished this type of revolution from modern proletarian revolutions in a way that pointed to the qualitative difference between his politics and Jacobinism.86 According to Marx, bourgeois revolutions were born of developing contradictions between emergent capitalist relations of production and existing pre-capitalist states, and where they were successful resulted in the removal of fetters to further capitalist development. Although these revolutions were generally marked by a progressive break with pre-capitalist hierarchies, they were characterised by the transfer of power from one ruling class to another and involved at best a contradictory relationship between their leadership and the mass of the population. For instance, bourgeois revolutions “from above” such as Bismarck’s unification of Germany involved no mass action at all, whereas bourgeois revolutions “from below” in England, America and France were won through the involvement of the lower classes but ended similarly with the exclusion of the poor from power. Proletarian revolutions, by contrast, because they are made for and by the working class—”the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves”87—were necessarily qualitatively more democratic in both their execution and their outcome.

Marx’s distinction between bourgeois and proletarian revolutions points to a fundamental problem with the claim that there was an unbroken trajectory to him from Robespierre. Unlike Robespierre, Marx was absolutely clear that there could be no commonly accepted idea of what is good in a class divided society, but equally that workers’ collective struggles were uniquely able to point towards a systemic alternative to capitalist alienation in a way that could appeal far beyond their own ranks. If modern socialism only became a possibility therefore with the emergence of the modern working class, to realise this potential requires at least a two-sided struggle by socialists for leadership within the movement: Marxists struggle for the hegemony88 of socialism within the working class itself, while simultaneously struggling to win working class socialist hegemony across society more generally. At its core, therefore, Marx’s revolutionary strategy was founded upon the emergence of new social forces—the growth of capitalism and with it the modern working class. For this reason it is very different from previous (top-down/statist) attempts to realise a better world, and goes some way to explaining why Marx believed it was important for revolutionaries to have a sure grasp of history: if a socialist revolution was possible only in specific historical circumstances, it was important to recognise what these were and how they differed from the conditions that had given rise to other revolutionary moments.

By contrast with Marx, there were 19th century socialists who continued the Jacobin tradition—and Marx distanced himself from their politics. For instance, the French socialist Blanqui envisioned revolution as an act won by a small elite of revolutionaries who would act on behalf of the workers.89 Commenting on the Blanquists in the wake of the Commune, Engels argued that this group were “socialists only in sentiment”, because their model of socialism was not underpinned by anything like an adequate account of either the class struggle or the historical basis for socialism itself. And in stark contrast to the claim that he and Marx were closet Jacobins he dismissed Blanqui’s proposal that the revolution be a “coup de main by a small revolutionary minority”, and claimed that the Blanquist (Jacobin) approach was an “obsolete” model of revolution as “dictatorship”.90

In a sense Marxism transcended the distinction between anarchism and Blanquism: like the former it was rooted in the real movement from below, but like the latter it recognised the crucial role of socialist leadership in overthrowing the old state. The point was that socialist leadership must be rooted in the real movement rather than imposed upon it from above. As Trotsky argued, it is a mistake to counterpose spontaneity to leadership for they are better understood as two sides of the same coin.91

This approach to the problem of revolution filled out one side of the general model which Marx and Engels had elaborated in 1845. Revolution was necessary, they argued, not only because “the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way”, but also because “the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew”.92 This idea of “socialism from below” is the defining characteristic of Marxism which distinguishes it not only from any forms of state socialism, but also from anarchist anti-statism. It is only partially true, as some anarchists have argued, that Marx and (class struggle) anarchists are fighting for the same goals by different means:93 for Marx fought for the democratisation of social authority in a way that escapes the limitations of anarchist theory. While this means that, like anarchists, Marxists fight to “smash” capitalist states, we also recognise that sometimes steps towards greater democracy require more state activity: one only has to think of the anti-statist rhetoric used by the opponents of healthcare reform in America to recognise that “it is absurdly unhistorical to suggest that at all times and in all places it is the state which is ‘the main enemy of the free individual’”.94

Whereas the liberal aspect of anarchist theory portrays the relationship between freedom and authority as a zero-sum trade off, Marxists argue that because individual freedom is shaped by social organisation it can only be realised in some form of organisation. From this perspective, far from being in opposition each to the other, freedom and authority are best understood as complementary concepts: the former can expand if the latter is democratised. If our goal of democracy is therefore a form of authority, the alternative is not no authority but undemocratic authority.

This argument illuminates Bakunin’s famous prediction that if the Marxists came to power their state would be “nothing but the highly despotic government of the masses by a new and very small aristocracy”.95 As we have noted, this comment has been seized upon by numerous anarchists,96 and (strangely enough) some Marxists,97 as an eloquent warning of the dangers of bureaucratisation. However, it is no such thing. Rather it is best understood as a precursor to Robert Michels’ famous “iron law of oligarchy”, according to which all organisations inevitably generate ruling elites.98 Duncan Hallas comments that when applied to democratic centralist organisations, this type of argument smells of “a secularised version of the original sin myth”,99 and, just as the original sin myth condemns us to a life of hardship, despite its formal radicalism the anarchist idea that all organisation negates freedom leaves little hope for a progressive alternative to capitalism.


It is because Marxists and anarchists have different goals that they fight for these goals by different means. As we have seen, whereas anarchists tend to envision a natural (ahistorical) social harmony beyond the state, for Marxists socialism is conceived as the complete democratisation of society based upon the emergence of historically novel social relationships. While anarchists therefore attempt to prefigure freedom through direct action, Marxists fight for socialism within the working class and for an orientation towards the working class among anti-capitalist activists. If direct action does not require anything but a loose federal organisational structure, the struggle to democratise society against the state requires a democratic and centralised combat organisation that maximises its chances of success by focusing its resources. Despite anarchist claims to the contrary this does not entail a top-down model of leadership. Rather, to be successful the party must both give voice to the movement from below, while simultaneously struggling against the sectionalism of the movement. This model of leadership is best understood, as Cliff argued, neither as a variety of managerialism nor as a form of intellectual elitism, but as rooted in comradeship in struggle:

“The revolutionary party must conduct a dialogue with the workers outside it. [It] should not invent tactics out of thin air, but put as its first duty to learn from the experience of the mass movement and then generalise from it… Marxists [should] give a conscious expression to the instinctive drive of the working class to reorganise society on a socialist basis”.100

Cliff did not pull this model of leadership out of thin air, but learned it by studying the renewal of Marxism that occurred for a brief period around the First World War. This movement had similar roots to the syndicalist current that emerged within the workers’ movement before the war as a reaction against reformism. Syndicalism was underpinned by a renewal of class struggle from below and drew on Proudhon’s and Bakunin’s conceptions of direct action as an alternative to bourgeois politics, alongside Marx’s conception of socialism as working class self-emancipation.101 Like more recent anti-capitalists, the syndicalists had “nothing but contempt for ‘politics’ in the form of compromise and opportunism which characterised parliamentary affairs”.102 Although the renewed Marxist movement shared syndicalism’s distaste for the opportunistic politics of the reformist left, by re-engaging with Marx’s broader conception of the political they pointed beyond the limits of syndicalism. Associated with the writings of Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg, this movement found its highest political expression in Lenin’s 1917 work The State and Revolution, which traced the intellectual origins of the international socialist movement’s evolution towards reformism to a wilful misrepresentation of Marx’s critique of the state within the Second International.

The trajectory taken by Antonio Gramsci highlights both the differences and similarities between this renewed Marxism and anarcho-syndicalism in the early 20th century. In response to the accusation that he and the rest of the group around the socialist newspaper L’Ordine Nuovo in Turin in 1919 and 1920 had acted in a syndicalist fashion, he replied that, yes, like the syndicalists and against the increasingly reformist interpretation of Marxism dominant with the Second International, his grouping had attempted to root their socialism in the real spontaneous movement of workers from below instead of offering an “abstract” model of leadership. However, the weakness with this approach, which for Gramsci pointed to a more general weakness with syndicalism, was that L’Ordine Nuovo failed to articulate a strategy that was able to link the demands of the Turin workers with the peasants in the South of Italy into a project that could make concrete the aim of overthrowing the Italian state and replacing it with a democracy based upon workers’ councils.103

Over the next few years Gramsci sought to overcome these weaknesses while building on the strengths of the L’Ordine Nuovo period. Like the anarcho-syndicalists, he rooted his practice in the day to day struggles of ordinary workers, but unlike them he extended this approach into a political strategy that aimed not only to “smash” the capitalist state as part of a broad anti-capitalist movement but also to replace it with a democratic alternative.104This goal, and the Leninist means by which he sought to achieve it, has nothing in common with the label “state socialism”.

It does, though, presuppose Marx’s conception of human nature and its corollary, his positive model of democracy. Lenin’s contribution to the tradition of socialism from below was to show that in order both to win a majority across society and to smash the old state the left requires a democratic and centralised political party. It was from Lenin that Gramsci learned his politics, and their contribution to Marxism was not only built upon Marx’s critique of anarchism’s incoherence, but also remains a rich source of lessons for anti-capitalist and socialist activists to this day.


1: Thanks to Colin Barker, Alex Callinicos, Joseph Choonara, Kristyn Gorton and, especially, Chris Harman for their comments on an earlier draft of this essay. Chris Harman’s detailed comments were, as ever, both generous and superbly insightful. He was an inspirational mentor, and this essay is dedicated to his memory.

2: Most recently, for instance, Callinicos and Nineham 2007, p93.

3: On the Paris Commune generally and anarchist and Marxist interpretations of its significance more specifically see Gluckstein, 2006, especially pp181-207.

4: Guérin, 1970, p12.

5: Chomsky, 1970, pp xv, xviii.

6: Draper famously distinguished between what he called the “two souls of socialism”: the traditions of “socialism from above” (Stalinism and reformism) and “socialism from below” (classical Marxism)-Draper, 1992, pp2-33.

7: Draper, 1992, pp6, 11; Draper, 1999, p187.

8: Guérin, 1970, p86.

9: Chomsky, 2005, pp182-184; see also Berkman’s claim that Leninism leads only to “dictatorship and reaction”-Berkman, 1989, piv.

10: On the parallels between class struggle anarchism and autonomist Marxism see Franks, 2006, p12; Day, 2005, p10.

11: See, for instance, Franks 2006, p15.

12: For instance, Franks, 2006, p226.

13: Bakunin, 1990, p143.

14: Callinicos, 2003, p299.

15: The rational kernel of the anarchist caricature of Marxism is the fact that the most powerful voices claiming to be Marxists in the 20th century were statists (of either the Stalinist or Maoist variety) who presided over brutal systems that were far from anything we would recognise as socialist. However, given both that Marx’s vision of socialism provides the basis for an immanent critique of the socialist pretensions of the old Stalinist states (Thomas, 1980, p122), and that this journal has long been associated with the argument that the Stalinist and Maoist regimes were varieties of bureaucratic state capitalism which deployed bastardised versions of the ideas of Marx and Lenin to justify local dictatorships, I will not rehearse those arguments here (see, for instance, Harman, 1990).

16: Marshall, 2008, p305.

17: Blackledge, 2006.

18: Holloway, 2002, pp11-18.

19: Lenin, 1968, p304.

20: Molyneux, 1986, p76.

21: See especially Lukács, 1971, pp295-342.

22: As we shall see below, anarchists (or at least most of them) do not reject building organisations, but they do reject political organisations because they tend to define politics narrowly as pertaining to winning state power.

23: Lenin, 1993, p32.

24: Trotsky, 1921.

25: Lenin, 1961b, p423.

26: Lenin, 1961a, p328.

27: Marshall, 2008, p25.

28: Lukács, 1970, p63.

29: For an overview of the importance of these distinctions to socialist politics see Hallas, 1979, chapter 3.

30: Franks, 2006, p262.

31: Randall Amster and his co-editors of a recent academic collection on anarchism have argued that “Proudhon’s call for a stateless society became a hallmark of anarchist thought” (Amster and others, 2009, p3).

32: Woodcock 1962, p28. Franks describes direct action as being of “critical importance to current anarchist practice” (Franks, 2006, p17).

33: Colin Ward lists anarchist-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, individualist anarchism, pacifist anarchism, green anarchism, anarcha-feminism (Ward, 2004, pp2-3, see also Franks, 2006, pp12-18). Murray Bookchin from the libertarian socialist wing of anarchism penned a devastating critique of lifestyle anarchism which ended with a critique of “a state of mind that arrogantly derides structure, organisation, and public involvement; and a playground for juvenile antics” (Bookchin quoted in Gordon, 2008, pp25-26).

34: Franks, 2006, pp116-124.

35: Graeber, 2002, p62. See also Gordon, 2008, pp17; Woodcock, 1962, pp28;
Franks, 2006, p115.

36: Franks, 2006, pp196-259.

37: Cliff, 1986, p84. See also Le Blanc, 1990, p44.

38: Callinicos and Holloway, 2005, p117.

39: Harman, 1991, p13, see also Harman, 2009, chapter 4.

40: Trotsky, 1973, p316.

41: On the importance of soviets to Marxism and on the relationship between soviets and revolutionary parties see Gluckstein, 1985, pp212-246.

42: Durgan, 2006, pp165-6; 1981, p104-110; 2007, p.88; Trotsky, 1977, pp646-668.

43: Franks, 2006, p100.

44: Harman, 1996.

45: To be fair to anarchists, their tendency to reduce Lenin to a 20th century Blanquist (see below) coheres with some of the best academic discussions of the issue. For instance, see Miliband, 1977, p155 and for my criticisms Blackledge, 2007, p78.

46: Barker, 2001, p42.

47: Franks, 2006, p118.

48: Gordon, 2008, p69.

49: Gordon, 2008, p70.

50: Woodcock, 1962, p30.

51: Kinna, 2005, pp114-115; Freeman, 1970.

52: Löwy, 2005, p.23.

53: Franks, 2006, p212.

54: Marshall, 2008, p23, p296.

55: Goodway, 1989, p1; Chomsky 1970, pxii; Marshall, 2008, p639.

56: Marx, 1973b, p84.

57: Morland, 1997, p3.

58: Morland, 1997, pp188-189.

59: Collier, 1990, p41. See Blackledge, 2008, p134, for how Marx developed this historical conception of human nature through his critique of Max Stirner’s anarchism.

60: Engels, 1988, p425; 1990c, p227; Marx, 1974b.

61: Marcuse, 2008, p87.

62: Marshall, 2008, p305. In a comment in which he criticised Bakunin’s “schoolboy stupidity”, Marx wrote that “a radical social revolution depends on certain definite historical conditions of economic development as its precondition” (Marx, 1974b, 334).

63: Kinna, 2005, p31.

64: Kinna, 2005, p8.

65: Marx, quoted in Fernbach, 1974, p17.

66: Fernbach, 1974, p17.

67: Collins and Abramsky, 1964, p101; Compare Gilbert, 1981, p90.

68: Marx, 1974c, 206.

69: Bakunin, 1973, p263.

70: Marshall, 2008, p301.

71: Marx, 1974c, pp206, 208, 212,

72: Draper, 1987, p29.

73: Engels, 1989b, p71.

74: Bakunin, 1990, p136.

75: Kropotkin, 2002, pp237-242.

76: Bakunin, 1990, p182.

77: Rudé, 1988, pp94-5.

78: Israel, 2001, p717.

79: Soboul, 1977, p107.

80: Guérin, 1989, p.121.

81: Lenin, 1961c, p383.

82: Le Blanc, 1990, p83. For contemporary reformist criticism of Marx’s supposed Jacobinism see Bernstein, 1993, p36.

83: Löwy, 1989, p119.

84: Hegel, 1956, pp446, 450, 449. Compare Marx, 1975, p413.

85: Taylor, 1975, p437.

86: Marx, 1973a.

87: Marx, 1974a, p82.

88: For a terrible anarchist critique of this concept see Day, 2005, pp6-7, and for a devastating Marxist reply see McKay, 2009.

89: Draper, 1986, pp37-8.

90: Engels, 1989a, p13. See also Lenin, 1964, p47, on the differences between Marxism and Blanquism.

91: Trotsky, 1977, p1017.

92: Marx and Engels, 1970, p95.

93: Kinna and Prichard, 2009, p272; Guérin, 1989, p119.

94: Arblaster, 1971, p181.

95: Bakunin, 1990, pp178-179.

96: Chomsky 1970, pp ix-x; Ward, 2004, p5; Marshall, 2008, p305.

97: McNally, 2006, p348.

98: Thomas, 1980, p252.

99: Hallas, 1996, p40.

100: Cliff, 1996, pp73-74.

101: Darlington, 2008, pp74-75.

102: Portis, 1980, pp44-45.

103: Gramsci, 1971, pp197-198; Williams, 1975, pp145-168.

104: Gramsci, 1978, p369.


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