The Marxian Knot

November 15, 2016

Introduction

The legacy of Marx is a puzzle of rhetoric, historical movements and drastic political changes that have shaped the lives and deaths of millions of people. Although Marx is most often the target of criticism from economists and politicians, to understand Marx we first need to understand the philosophical basis that led to his thoughts on economy and politics. Marx has also been greatly misunderstood, by both followers and opponents, and the fault lies both with the interpreters and with Marx. The problems stem from the ideological eye wear of commenters, myself included, by him contradicting himself, the large quantity of text he produced, his unpublished works and the complexity of the terminology and the subject matter. To understand Marx’s works and the events that followed in his wake, it is necessary to describe the context thoroughly. For this reason I’m going to present this text in roughly chronological order

We will begin in Prussia with Marx’s studies of philosophy. Next we follow him to France and to his studies of economics, here I will try to explain his magnum opus, popularly known as Das Kapital. In the last section we will investigate his legacy as a man of international revolution. Although somewhat chronologically structured, thematically this leads us first through philosophy, then economics and lastly politics, interspersed with historical recapitulations when additional context is needed. If you’re only interested in Marx’s economic theories, just read the part entitled Critique of the Political Economy.

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Bureaucracy, Promises and Predictions in Relationships

September 4, 2016

What is an organization? A common answer is that it is the people of which it is composed, but I propose that it is everything but the people. The defining characteristic of an organization is the glue which exists between people, the principles that unite its members, an interpersonal relationship, not the persons themselves. In this text I will try to demonstrate how bureaucracy is the totality of promises in a relationship or principles in an organization, that capital is only one type of such promises and that capital is based on a predicted future value. I consider this to be my second text under the umbrella of post-anarchism after this one.

To the extent that an individual acts in accordance with the commands of the organization, the words of the organization manifest outside our minds. To the extent an individual acts in discord with the bureaucracy Read the rest of this entry »

Anarchism, Communalism and Blood and Soil

April 6, 2016

Nationalism is a generalization of a group of people, someone claiming a common identity. This is comparable to racism, sexism and other attempts at creating monolithic identities. The identitarian movement in Europe is the most recent expression of such generalizations. In theory, these groupings do not cause harm, but in practice any interactions between self-identified members of different groups will result in conflict. Of course, as long as we don’t interact, there won’t be conflict, but that’s another problem.

Another trend in Europe has been labelled national-anarchism. The term anarcho-identitarian has also been used.  Read the rest of this entry »

Post-Anarchism – Introduction

March 11, 2016

Post-anarchism means ‘late anarchism’. It is not separate from anarchism, nor is it merely the combination of anarchism and post-structural analysis. It can be described as a reunification of anarchism after the split between anarcho-communists and anarcho-individualists. It also attempts to step out of the shadow of political anarchism, which predominantly consists of anti-fascism and anti-statist communism. Not to deny this aspect of anarchism, just to emphasize that this is not fundamental to anarchism.

Post-anarchism is a deconstruction and reconstruction of anarchism that is still underneath the umbrella of anarchism. Since anarchism is inherently anti-dogmatic it has no problem with revisionism. However, this is not a platformist attempt. Instead it is in itself an example of the type of organizations or federations it promotes, namely ones that start with one person reaching out to other people with similar thoughts, although not necessarily the same thoughts. Each person or group has their own focus and this is true for this text as well. Basically, post-anarchism, as I present it in this text, is how I think post-anarchism should be defined, meaning I’ve given myself the right to define it after having given myself the right to proclaim myself a post-anarchist.

After re-reading my latest writings a number of times I’ve come to the conclusion that the main feature of my post-anarchism is that it reduces all the problems in anarchist analyses to organizations and so to relationships and so to the subject in the world. This includes property, capital, violence, bureaucracy, representation et cetera. This allows for all previous theories to still be true and relevant and so doesn’t negate the past of anarchism and its bedfellows but rather provides a base structure in which all the different analyses can come to rest in their proper places and in their proper relationships to each other. I believe anarchism should have a place in organizational theory next to Max Weber, game theory and common laissez-faire realpolitik. However, that is a major undertaking and this text is merely an introduction.

I will introduce my view on post-anarchism/anarchism by listing a few topics which I believe are relevant to analyze, without going into too much detail. The list is not meant to be complete and it’s not in any specific order and my ramblings on each topic are meant as kick-starters rather than as closing statements. Since I’m rambling a bit and not trying to clarify many demarcations it helps if you already know what anarchists have focused their analyses on in the past.

In short, people in Europe were criticizing God, the king and the nobility after the Enlightenment. In the 19th century Stirner talked about the equality of individuals, Déjacque about compassion that ignored family and lineage, Bakunin and Proudhon about mutual engagement in labour. Just before WW1, Kropotkin, the last major figure in anarchism, talked about natural organization. More recently, the anarchist critique against oppression has been combined with black liberation, feminism, ecology, LGBTQ, disabilities and various other issues. However, all the combinations haven’t necessarily combined with each other and some of the newest combinations, like anarcho-capitalism, contradict the rest of anarchism. Bookchin stopped calling himself an anarchist because of the anarcho-capitalists and the post-left anarchists have been trying to reformulate the red-and-black current but little has changed since Kropotkin. I’m focusing on theory but just to have it mentioned, anarchists were most active in France and Germany during the 19th century, and then, in chronological order, in the Russian (including in the Ukraine), Spanish and Syrian civil wars. We might also add the many assassinations of the rich and powerful, like Prince Franz Ferdinand, and uprisings like the Zapatistas’ in Mexico and further note that anarchists take part in anti-fascist demonstrations,union strikes, squatting, street occupations et cetera. For all of these events it’s unclear to which degree and how many of the participants are anarchists.

  1. Home
  2. State
  3. Economy
  4. Identity
  5. Subject
  6. Language
  7. Communication
  8. Ideology
  9. Territory
  10. Cities
  11. Power
  12. Freedom
  13. Organization
  14. Bureaucracy
  15. Prison
  16. Revolution
  17. Informal relationships
  18. Education
  19. Representation versus responsibility

The concept of home needs to be deconstructed. Does it need to be a physical territory or a certain building or is it a state of mind? Whatever it is it shouldn’t replace your identity with a generalization that you are like those who are (physically) around you.

Sure, the language and culture in my immediate environment are important to me, but the history of “my” land/country/state/nation/culture is not relevant beyond whatever has survived, in the form of culture and artefacts, into the present. My siblings might have influenced my identity, but mere historical facts have not, and either way it’s not generalizable. We have virtual homes online as well, on platforms like wordpress.com, which represents both a complex infrastructure and a single brand that can be adopted as a symbolic identity for a group.

Should I not open “my” home to you? Why is this piece of the planet mine and not yours? Should we really have toll stations on every threshold? It’s not easy to answer these questions. Similarly, on the one hand I wish the oppressed peoples of the world were freed, but if that means they then create nation-states of their own, then we’re still going to have to deal with that problem. How small units must we divide ourselves into and on which basis? Maybe that question is the wrong one anyway.

Language is important for identity, although not to the extent that ideologies or ideas are shaped solely by words as many ideas exist prior to and next to the words that represent them. You might feel at home when you identity yourself with someone you meet and language matters; social, Read the rest of this entry »

Svensk debatt – individualanarkism eller anarkokommunism?

January 18, 2016

(Först vill jag bara notera att jag bara saxat andras texter och inte bidrar med eget material till debatten, förutom några extra historiska fakta i slutet. Personligen är jag emot både privat egendom och kollektiv egendom och anser att överenskommelser ska vara situationsanpassade och får inte utgå ifrån antagandet att virtuella koncept som ägande har permanent validitet. Jag föredrar alltså ingen av de två strömningarna som här diskuteras utan föredrar en slags variant av ömsesidig hjälp.)

Carl Johan Björklund, född 1884 i Uppsala, skrev såhär år 1969, två år innan han dog, om tiden strax före första världskriget:

“Varifrån Stirners anhängare fått den uppfattningen att han var motståndare till organisation vet jag inte. Stirner betonar nödvändigheten av organisationer och han var själv initiativtagare till en organisation i Berlin för att rationellt fylla människornas behov av mjölk. ‘Det är alltid fördelaktigt att vi enar oss om de mänskliga arbetena, så att de inte som under konkurrensens epok upptar all vår tid, alla våra omsorger.’ Stirner svarar utan förbehåll ja på följande av honom själv formulerade frågor: Bör jag inte ta levande del i den andres liv, bör inte hans glädje och hu: väl ligga mig om hjärtat, skall inte den njutning jag bereder honom för mig vara mer än andras egna njutningar? På ett ställe säger också Stimer att han älskar människorna, inte blott enskilda människor utan alla – därför att ‘kärleken gör mig lycklig, därför att det är naturligt för mig att älska, emedan det behagar mig’.

Även om Stimer inte känner något ‘kärlekens bud’, hyser han medkänsla med varje levande väsen. Föreningen är för Stimer en multiplikation av den enskildes kraft. ‘Som enskild kan du försvara dig genom föreningen. ty det är inte föreningen som besitter dig utan du besitter och gör dig nytta av föreningen’, säger han.

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Quote of the Day: Kropotkin

January 15, 2016

In “Anarchism – Its Philosophy and Ideal” from 1896, Kropotkin, in my opinion, criticizes the holistic view of society as if it itself were an atomic, human soul and consequently any ideas of revolution that rely on this simplistic notion.

“After having fixed all their attention on the sun and the large planets, astronomers are beginning to study now the infinitely small ones that people the universe. And they discover that the interplanetary and interstellar spaces are peopled and crossed in all imaginable directions by little swarms of matter, invisible, infinitely small when taken separately, but all-powerful in their numbers.

It is to these infinitely tiny bodies that dash through space in all directions with giddy swiftness, that clash with one another, agglomerate, disintegrate, everywhere and always, it is to them that today astronomers look for an explanation of the origin of our solar system, the movements that animate its parts, and the harmony of their whole. Yet another step, and soon universal gravitation itself will be but the result of all the disordered and incoherent movements of these infinitely small bodies – of oscillations of atoms that manifest themselves in all possible directions. Thus the center, the origin of force, formerly transferred from the earth to the sun, now turns out to be scattered and disseminated. It is everywhere and nowhere. With the astronomer, we perceive that solar systems are the work of infinitely small bodies; that the power which was supposed to govern the system is itself but the result of the collision among those infinitely tiny clusters of matter, that the harmony of stellar systems is harmony only because it is an adaptation, a resultant of all these numberless movements uniting, completing, equilibrating one another.”

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Spektral Anarkism

November 26, 2015

Jag myntade precis denna neologism så det är upp till var och en att anamma/avfärda den. Spektral anarkism, eller Sparkism, ser på samhället som ett sammanhängande, steglöst spektrum vari sociala konstruktioner vävs samman och uppstår och kvarstår beroende av varandra. (Alternativa namn innefattar Kontinuerlig anarkism, Intersektionell anarkism, Flytande anarkism, Flytande demokrati, Interanarkism, Regnsbågsanarkism, Spektral demokrati, och Interokrati.) Det är en kritik mot alla hierarkier på samma gång och bygger på tanken att hierarkier stödjer varandra på ett sådant sätt att alla måste rivas. Om endast en av dem faller så kommer de andra gå i försvarsställning och stärka varandra. Jag har skrivit om dessa olika hierarkier förut, men har inte kunnat formulera ett sammanbindande koncept förrän nu (jag hoppas att jag lyckats med det i och med den här texten). Det som följer är en heltäckande förklaring som mestadels består av text jag klippt ut och klistrat in från mina andra bloggposter.

 

Anarkism

För mig betyder anarkism inga hierarkier. Hierarkier är sociala Read the rest of this entry »

Spectral Anarchism

November 25, 2015

I’ve just coined this neologism so feel free to adopt/reject it. Spectral Anarchism, or Sparkism, approaches society as though it were a continuum or spectrum, a multifaceted world in which social constructs are interwoven and dependently-arisen. (Other possible terms include Continuous Anarchism, Intersectional Anarchism, Fluid Anarchism, Fluid Democracy, Inter-anarchism, Rainbow Anarchism, Spectral Democracy and Interocracy). It is a simultaneous critique against all hierarchies reasoning that one hierarchy will lean on another in such a way that all must be torn down – for if only one or a few are torn down the remaining ones will go on the defensive and strengthen each other. I have written about these different facets of Anarchism before, but not been able to formulate a unifying concept until now (well, I hope I have managed it with this post.) What follows is for the most part copy-pastes I have gathered into a comprehensive narrative from other blog posts I’ve made.

 

Anarchism

For me anarchism means no hierarchies. Hierarchies are social Read the rest of this entry »

Why Anarchism isn’t part of the Left

November 20, 2015

Socialism alone can’t solve social problems because society is much more than the division of labour. All social problems seem to be like the problem of labour, but solving the problem of labour doesn’t mean that the other problems will be solved simply by association. In contrast, anarchism addresses all problems at all levels simultaneously. Thus the Left can be part of anarchism, but anarchism is broader than the Left, if by Left we mean socialism.

This reasoning can be applied to veganism, anti-statism, anti-fascism, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, indigenous rights and so on and so forth. These and others are potential allies of anarchism and also part of anarchism, but to make this clear let’s take patriarchy as an example by comparison to capitalism. Capitalism was initiated by the capitalists, not the workers, and this division has persisted. The propaganda and the law enforcement really only offer one solution to the workers; to become capitalists themselves and thereby reaffirm the system.

Similarly, it is men who have benefitted the most from owning their wives through the institution of marriage. The propaganda and the law enforcement again only offer one solution to e.g. non-male and non-straight people: striving for equality in the form of an equal share in the ownership in a formal marriage, which thereby reinforces the system.

Obviously, the ultimate solution in both cases must be to tear down these structures rather than attempt to push one individual up the ladder at a time, even though it pains us to see all the people on the bottom. However, if we can’t figure out how to solve the structural problems, we are forced to fight for equality within the system until we figure it out.

P.S. Previously I have described anarchism as part of socialism and historically there is some truth to that, in particular regarding the fact that anarchists were part of the First International and then got kicked out. However, there were anarchists already before then. (There were also socialists before Marx(ists) who claimed the words socialism, communism, leftism, workerism which makes the problem even more complicated.)

P.P.S. Compare it to anarcho-capitalists. They define anarchism as anti-statism, thereby allowing other hierarchies to exist. This is similar to the narrow view that communists have towards the economy. Anti-statism is part of anarchism, but only a part of it. Anti-capitalism is part of anarchism, but only a part of it.

Straight Females are Bi

November 8, 2015

That’s basically the title of this article on Female Sexuality.

It references a study which found that women who identify as straight apparently got aroused by looking at other women. I haven’t looked into the study but let’s assume that these findings are correct. I don’t think this is surprising.

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Re: Beyond Dialectics/Critique of Fascism

October 12, 2015

Democracy “will in practice lead to the destruction of a people’s true values”

I think your Hitler quotes show mainly buzzwords and populism. I think he used nationalism because it was the most popular ism at the time.

“preservation and intensification of the race”
“primarily serve the preservation of physical life”

Preservation might be a good word to describe fascism, or maybe bodily self-defense, or Read the rest of this entry »

Cultural Marxism – What it isn’t

July 4, 2015

In the early 20th century, people in different fields started questioning long-held truths. E.g. the group of philosophers known as the Frankfurt school developed something called critical theory, influenced by Marx’s questioning of economics. People started realizing that knowledge was subjective and reinterpreted established facts with a more sceptical mindset, in part placing more emphasis on how upbringing, that is environment and culture, influence our perspective on reality. However, the term Cultural Marxism is a more recent invention. Some people, probably coming to the debate from a variety of starting points, have banded together in reaction to this scepticism united by their opposition to what they have labelled Cultural Marxism. Judging from the list in the article on Cultural Marxism on Metapedia, they are concerned about criticism against whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians, Westerners and the nuclear family.

The people who use the term Cultural Marxism might not all be concerned with all six issues, but as any reactionary movement, they havn’t unified behind a common ideology, they only pick and choose among any research that can be utilized in their opposition. It might seem like the reactionaries should be the ones to carry a label, rather than those they have decided should be grouped together, but without a common ideology they remain reactionaries. Labelling them doesn’t work for the same reason that the label Cultural Marxism doesn’t work; “Cultural Marxists” and “anti-Cultural Marxists” are both equally ideologically heterogeneous groups.

Gabriel’s Mutualism

May 20, 2015

Mutualism identifies the near-infinite problems of current markets and attempts to get rid of these by first of all getting rid of the state. If I understand it correctly, mutualism is essentially based on the cost principle. The cost principle means that “market actors themselves will engage only in transactions where the benefits are sufficient to pay for the real costs.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ode to Death

May 19, 2015

The smooth wall is ever present;

it sings to me, it resonates within me,

though it consumes all sound.

The topless tower radiates emptiness;

a dull, frozen impermanence;

but I can’t fathom this petrified dream.

I swirl about with my eyes closed,

no time to think of dreams.

I move joyfully to the incessant, droning knells

though I’m a puppet, unheard and unseen.

Unwillingly I stop and stare;

it is everything,

yet it fades before me like a memory.

It grabs my hand and gently turns me in the dance,

but the mystery ensnares me.

I fly and swim to escape the unknown,

yet the black wall finds me.

It expands towards me,

hypnotically dimensionless,

yet I keep swirling.

Bob Bobson’s Georgist Economy

May 19, 2015
Questions:

1. The target of the LVT is “the unearned profits on land [from] the Unimproved value of land, that is created by location value of the community”
So, in casual terms, the goal is to discourage a rich person from buying something, waiting for it to increase in value, and then selling it for profit without having contributed anything?

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The Balance between Revolutionary and Reactionary Forces

May 7, 2015

Serfdom, the Black Death and the 100 Years’ War set the austere preconditions for the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, ultimately triggered by a random tax collector. The revolt was suppressed but fear of another rebellion led to a small reform in the royal council, a decrease in war expenditure and more careful management of local political power. Revolt and reform represent two possible results of the pressure of resistance, explode or vent respectively. A reform is in this sense a compromise between revolutionary and reactionary forces designed to temporarily calm things down to maintain the status quo. The pattern can be described as suffering -> trigger -> revolt -> reaction -> reform -> repeated suffering. Each of these steps may involve a complex of different phenomena and each step may be repeated more than once before advancing.

I’m going to focus on Europe here, but I’ll skip a lot of details, including the entire Reformation although it follows the same pattern. In 18th century France the conditions were nobility, war, austerity -> leading to the reform of a general assembly -> back to the same preconditions -> triggered by the dismissal of the finance minister -> the Storming of the Bastille -> Louis XVI failed to react -> reform for male suffrage and abolition of feudalism -> Prussia, Austria, Britain and others declared war on the French Republic -> Napoleon reconstructed France as an empire and conquered much of Europe -> nationalism fought back -> Communist Manifesto -> Bismarck countered the workers’ movement by uniting the German nation through war and reintroducing the reform of male suffrage -> Serb revolutionary killed heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire triggering WW1 -> WW2 -> Cold War -> Today we have hundreds of armed conflicts caused by centuries of oppression of varying and intersecting character, dozens of resistance movements (including Black Power, Gay Pride, Feminism, Animal Liberation, Anonymous, indigenous’ rights, anti-colonialism et cetera) and consequently a long array of reforms.

Jollege’s Voluntaryism

May 3, 2015

Hi, I got a question about voluntaryism. Read the rest of this entry »

Anarchist Property

May 2, 2015

This text is a suggestion for amending Marx’s description of power relations throughout history. It is focused on the pre-conditions of property since material property is fundamental to Marx’s analysis, which led to the global clash between capitalism and communism.

Before unravelling the consequences of this amendment let’s start with establishing the source of property and determine which attributes of property would alter the outcome of Marx’s analysis. To understand the source of property, we must first understand the self and I’ll get to the self by comparing three ideas; a dependent, an independent and an interdependent self.

Dependent self

A long time ago, I contend, people felt like they were in some sense an immanent part of nature. This was not the only view Read the rest of this entry »

The Status of Socialism in Europe 2015

April 1, 2015

Since I wrote a post on the status of capitalism, I thought this could be an informative extension. With Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece and conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle-East, it is interesting to speculate on what the future holds for the EU and its neighbourhood.

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Separation of Capitalism and State

April 1, 2015

So, I had this idea of separating capitalism from politics, much like the separation of church and state. It’s fairly simply and although it would be very difficult to implement, I don’t see any major drawbacks. I’ve also added an old idea about a communist state below. Obviously I still prefer my neurocracy, but it’s always useful to test other ideas.

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