On the counter-revolutionary role of anarchism
“… so long as the proletariat still makes use of the state, it makes use of it, not for the purpose of freedom, but of keeping down its enemies and, as soon as there can be any question of freedom, the state as such ceases to exist.” –Engels, “Engels to August Bebel In Zwickau”
Up until recently the US “left” has been dominated by reactionary and small-dog-big-bark politics. These so-called revolutionaries use all the radical leftist buzzwords and phrases, i.e. “fuck capitalism”, “long live revolution”, “power to the people”, “fight back”, “smash the patriarchy”, “smash the state”, etc. But what do they do? What have they done?
Going farther back to the New Communist Movement, revisionists and reactionaries smuggled in the anti-communist lines of “peaceful transition to socialism”, “insurrectionaryism”, “adventurism”, “Neither Peking nor Moscow third-positionism”, and “focoism”.
These reactionary and revisionist lines should be seen as being essentially anti-Communist, even if the organizations espousing these lines called themselves “Communist.” It is one thing to adopt a title for yourself. But it’s a different matter altogether what you actually are. Anyone can say they’re a Communist, but are they a Communist? Are they serving the people and organizing for People’s War? Are they part of the movement to reconstitute the Communist Party under Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, in their country? If they’re not, we call them what they are: false Marxists.
These false Marxists – permanently demoralized revolutionaries who gave up and threw away the red flag – sought to “save” Marxism from the bad PR (Public Relations) image of the bloody and prolonged nature of revolution. The so-called “Stalin purges.” The “genocidal famines of Mao”. The Great Leap Forward. The rounding up of dissidents. The PR nightmare of the dreaded Kronstadt. The violence and blood and death. Etc.
Some of these false Marxists included the college graduate-heirs of the Frankfurt School “Marxists,” (the German intellectuals who didn’t think a revolution needed a Communist Party), like anti-Party followers of Antonio Gramsci and Eurocommunism, like the “left”-deviationists anti-Party followers of Amadeo Bordiga, the counterrevolutionary Trotskyites and all the third-positionists.
All of these “leftists” aimed to negate the Marxism from Marxism; they attempted to destroy Marxism because it became unpopular but they sought to salvage bits and pieces selectively. They kicked out the Great Lenin, Comrade Stalin and Chairman Mao from Marxism. They attempted to clean off the blood from Marxism to make it more presentable to the petty bourgeoisie. They didn’t understand that revolution is, like Chairman Mao said, “not a dinner party.” It is violent affair. But there is no other way forward. History has shown us this.
And of course the main anti-communist camp that merits attention is anarchism, which for many offered resolutions (but more like cover) to the problems of Marxism and revolution.
There exists problems in the application of Marxism, but they are only solvable through study and application, not abandonment.
Anarchism and revisionism
Anarchism was born in Europe, specifically in France in the 19th Century. Pierre Proudhon was the main forefather of anarchism, the first to call himself an anarchist, arguing for workers self-management, arguing for the elimination the state – even though William Godwin in England much earlier at the end of the 18th Century put forth some of the first utopian anti-state ideas that would later be know as anarchism. Proudhon argued that it was possible to reach socialism peacefully through workers and the people mutually supporting one another, such as his idea of mutualist progressive banks. His ideas have come to be known as mutualism, but are still widely considered an anarchist or at the very least proto-anarchist school of thought. In Proudhon’s anarchist society, there would still be, however, private property. Marxists are against private property because it represents the irreconcilable contradiction within capitalism.
After Proudhon came Peter Kropotkin, the father of anarcho-communism, and then Mikhail Bakunin, the father of collectivist anarchism or anarcho-syndicalism. These are the three main anarchist philosophers but of course there are many, many more. Emma Goldman is often regarded as the founder of anarcha-feminism, bringing the framework of the anti-authoritarianism of anarchism into the women’s rights movement as anarcha-feminism. But the earliest incorporation of anarchism with the women’s rights movement came in Argentina with “La Voz de la Mujer” newspaper in 1896. A popular slogan of the time, inspired by their supporters, was “No God, No Boss, No Husbands.”
There exist hundreds of schools of thought contained under the big black umbrella of anarchism, which normally exist as hyphenated modifiers. Anarcho-syndicalism. Class-struggle anarchism. Platformism anarchism. Anarcho-communism. Anarcha-feminism. Anarcho-pacifisim. “Anarcho”-capitalism (although not authentically anarchism, it shares many of anarchism’s tenants and we argue therefore it should be included in the examination of anarchism in general). Mutualism. Queer anarchism. Postmodernist anarchism. Christian anarchism. Individualist anarchism/egoist-anarchism. Indigenous anarchism/decolonial/anti-colonial anarchism. Autonomism. Insurrectionary anarchism. Most with their own half-black diagonal flag. This is not a complete list. There are dozens more; and more are born and die with every passing political trend.
Of all the trends of anarchism the two most popular are autonomism and insurrectionary anarchism. The “autonomy” of autonomism, the “insurrectionaryism” of insurrectionary anarchism and the individual acts of terrorism were devised to appeal to the instant gratification of the petite-bourgeoisie. Like a spoiled little brat yelling at his mom, the petite-bourgeois anarchist wants personal freedom and liberty right this instant! He wants autonomy and anarchy right here and now. Like a spoiled little brat throwing a tantrum, disrupting the authority of his mother, his petite-bourgeois anger pushes him to spontaneous “insurrectionary” destruction and individualism.
Autonomism was developed in the 1960s in Europe, originally in Italy. It was a response and rejection to the authority and centralism of the Communist Party and of Marxism in general. However, the autonomists did not want to fully, exclusively, claim the black flag of anarchism. In their political confusion and conciliatory cowardice and objective underhandedness, they attempted to steal aspects or aesthetics of Marxism and glue them haphazardly to anarchism. Even in their liberal and sneaky supposed rejection of anarchism, they default to it. That’s why autonomism is anarchism and, in the end, nothing more. Today we see autonomism as the main current within the general anarchist movement and in particular in the Los Angeles anarchist movement. Autonomist groups and individuals are loosely organized into social clubs, jumping from small struggle to small struggle, insularly justifying their failures mechanically to external forces, not internal forces.
Insurrectionary anarchism is one of anarchism’s oldest trends, going as far back as the 19th Century, mostly through assassinations and bombings. Like Luigi Gaellani and the Gallenists bombing bankers, politicians and capitalists. These insurrectionists, but also other anarchist variants, are guided by and espouse “propaganda of the deed,” the idea that armed actions alone serve as a sort of catalyst for the social insurrection. Propaganda of the deed is the manifestation and application – the political line – of the insularity and anti-masses ideological line of insurrectionary anarchism that has a disdain for organizing the masses’ clamor and rebellion into revolution. Ironically, the insurrectionary anarchists use propaganda of the deed to say the masses want revolution, which is true, but can’t stomach the patience, discipline and leadership this great project of revolution demands. They disdain and do not trust the people. That is why they do not organize prolonged revolution with the people. To them, it is enough to assassinate key enemies of the people. To them, that will encourage the masses to rise up. But the masses, as history shows, yearn not merely for “deeds” but for their clamor to be organized into rebellion and revolution. It is adventurism, pure and simple.
The Great Lenin, writing directly to this question of the petite-bourgeois class character of anarchism said:
“The history of Russian Social-Democracy teems with tiny groups, which sprang up for an hour, for several months, with no roots whatever among the masses (and politics without the masses are adventurist politics), and with no serious and stable principles. In a petty-bourgeois country, which is passing through a historical period of bourgeois reconstruction, it is inevitable that a motley assortment of intellectuals should join the workers, and that these intellectuals should attempt to form all kinds of groups, adventurist in character in the sense referred to above.”
The anarchists have propaganda of the deed and Maoists have armed propaganda. We do not have a metaphysical outlook on armed struggle, like the anarchists do. Armed actions alone will not spontaneously any social struggle – workers, peasants, students, etc. – into revolution. It never has. It never will. The argument that it will is based on idealistic wishing, on a dream the anarchist has because the conscious reality of class struggle is tedious, filled with setbacks and sacrifice. Armed struggle is a general form of struggle. A primary form of struggle but not the only form. The armed struggle exists prior to the initiation of People’s War. In the period prior to the initiation of People’s War, armed struggle is the secondary method of struggle while during the People’s War armed struggle becomes principal.
Moreover, before and after the initiation of armed struggle, and the initiation of the People’s War, Maoists always employ revolutionary violence. We incorporate it in all forms of struggle. We teach and train the masses how to wield it, how to become masters of revolutionary violence. The anarchist refuses to teach and train the masses on armed actions. Instead, in their exclusive elite secrecy they hoard violence. The masses aren’t good enough to wield it. Maoists have faith in the masses because the masses have always rebelled and resisted. They are the true heroes and they make revolution.
Like insurrectionary anarchism, terrorism has historically been employed by petite-bourgeois socialists and anarchists. Maoists see individual terrorist attacks not under the central authority of a Communist organization with decentralized actions as a militarist-adventurist deviation. We differentiate between individualistic terrorism and Communist Red Terror as fundamentally distinct to one another. The former is thoroughly petite-bourgeois, ultimately reformist, in character because it does not incorporate the masses into revolutionary organizations to conquer power. The latter is proletarian, ultimately revolutionary, in character because it understands the role of the masses, especially the proletariat, in history and the Party’s role in the People’s War and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In 1902, Lenin exposed the economism of the terrorism defended by the Socialist-Revolutionaries:
And if that is so, it is evident that the present-day terrorists are really “economists” turned inside out, going to the equally foolish but opposite extreme. At a time when the revolutionaries are short of the forces and means to lead the masses, who are already rising, an appeal to resort to such terrorist acts as the organisation of attempts on the lives of ministers by individuals and groups that are not known to one another means, not only thereby breaking off work among the masses, but also introducing downright disorganisation into that work.
When speaking on disorganization, we fail if we don’t give proper attention to the French eclectic postmodernist anarchist group(s), the Invisible Committee and Tiqqun. This group(s), which merges insurrectionary anarchism, postmodernism and autonomism, is some of the most popular of the insurrectionists. They hold a special place in the anarchist movement for their attempts at appropriating Communism and even paying lip-service to Leninists with their calls for mass uprising, a bizarre defense of a “Party” (they call the “Imaginary Party”) to guide the revolution.
Tiqqun/Invisible Committee see any act of organic mass and individualist “rebellion,” like not going to work, “…to learn how to fight in the streets, to take over empty buildings, to never work, to love ourselves and each other like crazy and steal from shops,” as what they term in The Coming Insurrection as “social subversion.”
But once you sift through the flowery poetics and postmodernist senseless language you discover their reactionary third-positionism (neither right nor left) and the embarrasing truth: a revolutionary theory is absent; a revolutionary organization with mass links is absent.
Different from the revolutions of the past, the coming insurrection does not call upon any secular transcendence save the continued disappearance of so many regimes of oppression eager to justify themselves that end up by being hated. At no moment does it pretend to draw its legitimacy from the People, from Opinion, from the Church, the Nation, or the Working Class, even under an attenuated form. It founds it cause on nothing, but this nothingness it knows to be identical to being…
… As we see, the Imaginary Party is also fundamentally anti-state and anti-popular. Nothing is more odious to it than the idea of political unity, if not maybe obedience.
In fact, as we can see, they reject any attempt to structure the clamor and rebellion of the masses into a revolutionary force; they boldly reject the “legitimacy from the People” or “the Working Class” and let alone to even have a cause! In general, they are true to their name and themselves – they are invisible because they are irrelevant and non-existent.
Marxism has also suffered the eclecticism of various “left” schools. But unlike anarchists, Marxists don’t categorize these schools of thought under Marxism. We understand them to be deviations. They are revisionist, regardless of their color or supposed allegiance to Marxism. The self-proclamation of revisionists is as worthless as the words of rat-traitors. We reject deviations to Marxism as Marxism. Marxist-feminism is not Marxism. Libertarian-Marxism or anti-authoritarian Marxism is not Marxism. Marxist-humanism is not Marxism. Trotskyism is not Marxism. Left-Communism is not Marxism. Council Communism is not Marxism. Post-Marxism is not Marxism. Eco-Marxism is not Marxism. So-called “pure Marxism” is not Marxism. And there are many more.
A refutation of the above-mentioned deviations would necessitate a separate paper. But in general all those deviations cease to be Marxism because they attack and negate core components of Marxism, such as Marxist political economy, scientific socialism and dialectical and historical materialism (Marxist philosophy). They typically and generally reject the revolutionary armed struggle, the Communist Party and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. These deviations are revisionist and therefore are antagonistic to Marxism. Marxists – today Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoists – attack revisionism and the arch-revisionists who lead the masses to treachery. Communists are not their friends. We are their enemies. And they recognize us as such.
Revisionism is a particularly dangerous enemy. Maoists respond accordingly. This will continue and go on well past the conquest of power and the construction of the new proletarian state; it will go on as long as classes exist.
Anarchists, however, do not reject their hyphenated modifiers. On the contrary, they rally in their defense as proof of the survivability and adaptability, and therefore the superiority, of their ideology. Anarchism, by opposing a scientific approach, finds itself in opposition to using a scientific method of revolution and becomes purely emotional.
While there are different schools of thought under anarchism, and not separate from the ideology of anarchism, they all share a set of core components. But the main one that cuts through them all is the overall concern of the personal freedom of the individual in society, and in particular against the state and its authority. All authority, revolutionary and reactionary. While being against the state, they proclaim themselves to be anti-capitalist (although a proclamation is not a political line). This is how we define anarchism.
Even the most serious school of thought under anarchism, historically, has been class-struggle anarchism, which as the name indicates embraces a class analysis. Class-struggle anarchism exists within anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism. We consider this, like the serious anarchists including the supporters of the Black Flame publication which makes the same claim, the only authentic anarchism. Class struggle anarchists have organized in the workplace. Although they are mostly tailists or performative “unionists” within the Industrial Workers of the World. There have been conferences, some even international, on class struggle anarchism. By far, it is the most serious school of thought under anarchism. It is not a coincidence that Los Angeles’ only class struggle anarchist organization, the Black Rose Anarchist Federation – Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra, is the largest and most advanced anarchist organization in the US.
At the decline of the New Communist Movement in the 80s, the black flag of anarchism was taken up again but this time wearing some postmodernist garb. The world was left without any socialist countries, not China, not the Soviet Union. This was proof for the anarchists of the supposed bankruptcy of Marxism. They pointed to the errors, the reversals, and the anti-communist propaganda, in the Soviet Union and China – and even lumped in the revisionist countries and their imperialist-collaborationist markets of Vietnam, Cuba and Laos together as further proof. The stage was set. It was the opportune time to continue and escalate the attack on Marxism in the US. We are now left with a stubborn anarchist influence that persists in the so-called “left” in the US like overgrown weeds.
In Los Angeles, this is especially true. From the early 2000s through the present, Los Angeles has seen dozens upon dozens of postmodernist anarchist organizations and influential postmodernist anarchist tendencies, even extending beyond their respective organizations. Like consensus-decision making, “horizontalism,” “diversity of tactics,” “security culture” (as opposed to security protocol), “anti-authoritarianism,” “leaderlessness,” etc.
These postmodernist tendencies went so far, influencing and penetrating neighboring organizations and neighboring ideologies (such as decolonial theory), that today we can’t tell the difference between actual authentic (class struggle) anarchism and its mutated contemporary offspring.
But we are not attempting to “save” anarchism. We are not attempting to critique the false anarchists, leaving actual anarchists off the hook. We are attempting to offer a genuine critique of anarchism in Los Angeles and in general. But most importantly, we are critiquing anarchism from a Maoist position.
As Maoists we find ourselves actively organizing for revolution through the reconstitution of the Communist Party in our respective countries, the concentric construction of the three instruments of revolution. This is the greatest thing in our lives. Everything else falls short of the hope and inspiration and concrete conviction that Maoism and the path of the Party’s construction give us.
As Communists we subordinate our entire lives to the Party, and in our case in the US we subordinate our lives to the embryonic Party.
Anarchism and the individual; Marxism and the masses
Why are we talking about anarchism?
In the US, Maoism is relatively new. Too many still have the bad taste of revisionist “Marxism” left in their mouth. No one is born a revolutionary. No one is born a Communist or an anarchist. They are made one. The Communist task is to mobilize the deepest and broadest masses, and to take the most advanced and turn them into the future militants, cadre and combatants of the Communist Party, the People’s Army and the United Front. For Maoists, we must not leave the rebellious youth out of our growing sphere of influence. We must steer them away from the bourgeois dead-end of anarchism.
While Communism represents the masses, the bringing together of all progressive communities, anarchism represents the opposite: the absolute freedom of the individual above all else.
Stalin says anarchism and Marxism do not share the same principles, contrary to what is popularly understood. Most people have been told that both anarchism and Marxism center around the destruction of capitalism and the creation of Communism. And only the method, or road, we take give anarchism and Marxism their distinct characteristics. However, in reality there is no truth in this. The method and ends of Marxism and anarchism are worlds apart.
Anarchism’s core beliefs make it fundamentally different from Marxism. Marxism is the scientific approach making revolution which is only achievable through armed struggle against the old state, relying on an analysis of exploitation and oppression.
Anarchism puts the individual at the center of its ideology. It sees the main problem of society, and of the world, as starting with the domination of the individual in society. Not the domination of the masses.
Anarchism says, “I get free, and then you get free” and Marxism says, “We all get free or none of us get free.”
The cornerstone of anarchism is the individual, whose emancipation, according to its tenets, is the principal condition for the emancipation of the masses, the collective body. According to the tenets of anarchism, the emancipation of the masses is impossible until the individual is emancipated. Accordingly, its slogan is: “Everything for the individual.” The cornerstone of Marxism, however, is the masses, whose emancipation, according to its tenets, is the principal condition for the emancipation of the individual. That is to say, according to the tenets of Marxism, the emancipation of the individual is impossible until the masses are emancipated. Accordingly, its slogan is: “Everything for the masses.”
It sees the un-free individual as the biggest concern. And, so, it has come up with eclectic ways to resolve this contradiction. Some ways include changing your lifestyle – your diet, your shopping, your way of thinking and socializing, your way of having intimate relationships, etc. Other ways include hurling bombs at police stations, banks and government buildings, carrying out poorly planned attacks on enemies of the people. Other ways include organizing a so-called “socialist” or “anarchist labor union” and transforming your workplace into a worker-run co-op. In other words, syndicalism. But they are all based on completely free association of the individual. But if everyone is free to do what he or she wants, there are inevitable problems. But the anarchist has already thought of this. The way of resolving the contradiction between the individual that may have an anti-people behavior and harbor reactionary ideas, the racist or sexist or chauvinist, etc., is in the concept of peaceful co-existence, or the voluntary non-aggression principle common in “anarcho”-capitalism. It says everything goes as long as you don’t touch my personal property. This is how anarchism protects individual rights over the wellbeing and transformation of the majority, that is, society. This is wrong primarily for two reasons: 1. it attempts to resolve reactionary ideas in society only superficially by saying everyone should play nice without addressing the root cause – that society’s superstructure is built upon the economic base of society – and only in changing that economic base will we then see an end to old reactionary ideas and the emergence of wide-spread new Communist ideas, and 2. to allow reactionary ideas to persist just as long as it doesn’t effect another person in society is a thoroughly bourgeois liberal ideal – it is hyper-individualistic and cultivates reclusion and not participation in the construction of socialist society.
The anarchist would rather live with reactionary ideas in their conceptual “utopian” society rather than support a centralized state program to re-educate the backwards elements of the masses! The old decrepit bourgeois state is dying, but its ideas will live on after its death. It is the task of the Communist Party and the new proletarian state to continue the socialist revolution with successive cultural revolutions, and the arming of the masses.
It’s important to understand that a critique of anarchism does not come from a place of immature malice or a knee-jerk sectarianism. Since some Maoists have come from anarchist backgrounds, it’s important to talk about why that is, how we ended up here.
Many of us started, by default of the anti-communist “left,” from an anarchist or anarchist-influenced beginning. Many of our first “left” organizations were anarchist or anarchist-inspired. We learned about consensus as a supposedly more democratic way of reaching decisions. We learned about participatory democracy as opposed to representative democracy – as if these were the two main types of democracy and not workers democracy versus capitalist democracy! We discovered we were all leaders. We shunned theory. We shunned Stalin and so-called “totalitarianism.” We learned to make vegan burritos, delivered them on bikes while reducing our carbon footprint. We carried out direct actions, such as property destruction, in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same and then eventually, somehow, we would all find ourselves in an insurrection. Propaganda of the spontaneous deed was our line, even without understanding it. We learned to hate Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Chairman Mao. But we were allowed to respect and study the students of these great Marxist leaders, such as the Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Army, the Young Lords, Che Guevara and the Latin American focoist guerrilla groups. This by no means should mean we therefore uphold or even uncritically defend these groups and individuals. The point here is that of hypocrisy.
But mostly we learned, in general, that we didn’t have to wait for the socialist revolution to have anarchism; we could start living it here and now – through learning new organizing strategies, changing our behaviors, understanding and critiquing “power dynamics,” etc. This was intoxicating for many of us. But let’s call it what it is: instant gratification and performance.
The Zapatistas attempt to save and indigenize anarchism
We can’t talk about anarchism and the Los Angeles left without talking about the Zapatistas. While not anarchist, the Zapatista movement nonetheless attracted anarchists because they shared some of the same anarchist tenants, such as direct democracy and “leaderlessness”– but also because of the Zapatistas background rupturing with Marxism-Leninism.
The Zapatistas were known earlier as the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (the EZLN). The EZLN came from Mexico’s 1970s Communist guerrilla movement, specifically the armed Marxist-Leninist guerrilla organization las Fuerzas de Liberación Nacional (FLN). After their failed attempts at organizing while integrating with the oppressed indigenous masses in the mountains of Chiapas, the leadership reconstituted itself in the Lacondan Jungle in the early 1980s, abandoning Marxism and adopting more eclectic “leftist” and postmodernist ideas. The Zapatista Uprising of 1994, after the imperialist trade policy of the North American Free Trade Agreement, was the first popularly-followed revolution after the fall of the social-imperialist Soviet Union. It was referred to as the first post-modernist revolution. It meant a lot of things for a lot of people, but most notably it meant a revolution didn’t have to be led by the Communist Party as the vanguard. What a relief to the anarchists and the demoralized former Communists! They emphatically rallied behind this conviction and discovery. People learned about the autonomy of the Zapatistas within Mexico, “a world within a world,” they said.
The Zapatistas were living the reality many anarchists wanted: a nearly self-contained community without government interference. Leadership positions were rotated. Decisions were made collectively en masse – there are stories about Zapatista meetings going on for hours through the night and into the early morning. And it was framed as an amazing display of “true” democracy. They created autonomous federated-like “Caracoles communities”. There are five Caracoles each governed by its own respective council with rotating membership approximately every two weeks, which were set up in August 8, 2003, to further decentralize decision-making within the entire Zapatista territory in Chiapas.
Even though the Zapatistas are mostly Mayan natives, they chose not to focus on the principal contradiction between imperialism, mainly US imperialism, and the oppressed nations of the world, and in their case Mexico. No, for them, the fundamental problem was the question of so-called “autonomy,” autonomy from the “bad government” of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of the Mexico. Instead of identifying Mexican bureaucratic capitalism as the problem, to follow after the principle problem of US imperialist domination, instead of identifying the problem of bureaucratic and comprador capitalists versus the peasantry and the proletariat of Mexico, they focus on separation from Mexican society. What about the fundamental question of power? What about the millions of exploited and oppressed Mexican masses, most of which are indigenous too, outside of their hyper-focused communities in the jungles of Chiapas? But for the Zapatistas, similarly to the anarchists, autonomy is principal in everything.
Let’s call it what it is. The Zapatistas abandoned the masses, including the indigenous peasantry, of Mexico for their narrow project of so-called “autonomy.”
Capitulationism continues breeding capitulationism. In the early 2000s the Zapatistas had made their peace accord with the Mexican government, laying down their weapons, agreeing not to continue the armed struggle. It was covered up with Subcomandante’s words of alternative societies, indigenous ways of democracy, of building the revolutionary community first and foremost peacefully. Subcomandante Marcos used his way with flowery words and poetry to trick the masses of Mexico that this was a progressive development, not continued capitulationism. Soon thereafter, the Zapatistas initiated “La Otra Campaña” popular front campaign throughout the country, collecting anyone that would lend their tailist support to the Zapatistas in their abstract “another world is possible” “awareness” campaign. And finally, most recently, most embarrassingly, the Zapatistas teamed up with the National Indigenous Congress to back the presidential candidate known as “Marichuy” for the 2018 Mexican presidential elections – and by and large the pro-Zapatista anarchists, swallowing their anti-state politics, either supported the candidacy or remained silent. Marichuy ran on a campaign of diversity and inclusivity, the first indigenous women president of Mexico. Just like the imperialist-feminist electoral propaganda of Hillary Clinton, and before her, the “pro-Black” imperialist-representative politics of Barack Obama.
But as Maoists we know we first must conquer power violently before we can build anything. As Maoists we know the Communist Party, the People’s Army, the United Front and the masses must never lay down their guns, not before the seizure of power and not afterward.
The Zapatistas, as we’ve said up above, abandoned Marxism because they did not know how to deal with failure in organizing the peasant indigenous masses. But we know the road to Communism is not linear. It is, like knowledge and progress, ever-spiraling progressively forward. There are dips and turns, advancements, qualitative leaps and retreats and bends.
So let’s be clear and blunt yet again: the “Marxist” who abandons the road to Communism after initial failure was not a Marxist to begin with.
As Chairman Gonzalo teaches us, in the interview with El Diario in 1988, paraphrasing Chairman Mao, a Communist must be a revolutionary optimist:
Only the revisionists and opportunists are pessimists, the proletariat and communists are always optimists, because the future is ours–it is historically determined so long as we keep to our course. The masses will not fall into pessimism, nor have they ever done so. That is absurd, it is a slander. The masses fight, but in order to fight they need leadership, a Party, because there is no mass movement that can unfold and sustain itself, much less develop itself, without a Party to lead it.
Back to the question of power. What the Zapatistas did not understand was the role of the masses, the question of revolutionary violence, the task of and the concentric construction of the three instruments of revolution. But at the end the fatal flaw was the Zapatistas inability to comprehend the question of power.
To them, the question of power and mass bases was a matter of gaining sympathy and participation from the local masses. To them, the Maoist concept of New Power/New State, and conquering and developing Bases of Support, was outdated and unnecessary. SO much was it unnecessary, to the Zapatistas, that they quickly abandoned their guns.
Rightwing paramilitary groups have attacked the Caracoles, killing several indigenous people. The Zapatistas are mostly, if not entirely, unarmed now. They have segregated themselves away from the “bad government” of the semi-feudal landholding state of Mexico. While the rest of Mexico is being destroyed under the weight of US imperialism, the Zapatistas claim to enjoy an indigenous utopia, having escaped capitalism. But there is no escape. Capitalism must be destroyed. No one person can be free while others, the vast majority of workers and peasants, are not.
This was the price of “democracy” – which is ultra-democracy, as Chairman Mao has taught us, meaning it prioritizes everyone having a say at the expense of having a united political line that gives us all a shared understanding on the road to revolution. Ultra-democracy sacrifices discipline. Discipline is good and necessary for a revolutionary militarized organization. Ultra-democracy reinforces liberalism, and in the end reinforces capitalism. We know everything assumes a class character. When we talk of democracy we must add proletarian to democracy, to distinguish our democracy from bourgeois democracy. Therefore, since ultra-democracy is not proletarian democracy, it ultimately serves the bourgeoisie, even ifs style and character is petite-bourgeois. The petite-bourgeoisie is incapable of leading and winning a revolution, of installing a dictatorship of their class. Therefore, their style of work and ideas ultimately serve the dominant bourgeois class.
After the Zapatista Uprising came the World Trade Organization protests in 1999, referred to as the “Battle of Seattle.” This was yet another example of the eclecticism of anarchism. Ecological struggles. Pacifism struggles. Feminist struggles. Animal rights struggles. Bourgeois labor struggles. Some anti-imperialist struggles. Civil liberties struggles. LGBT rights struggles. Etc. Anarchism was able to survive, and continues surviving, in the welcoming waters of petite-bourgeois political eclecticism. For anarchists, as long as you are against the state, any state, and are against authority and want the individual to be free, you are welcomed inside their big political tent, including postmodernists. Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatistas had a similar saying that the Zapatistas were creating a world where many worlds can co-exist.
The anarchist movement in Los Angeles for the last 20 years has been in a constant ebb and flow, almost marking some progress and then falling flat. So many anarchist collectives have disbanded. Many of the same anarchists continued to hop from collective to collective, taking their supporters and diminishing energy with them. Groups like RAC spawned after the fall of the South Central Farm. Some went on to start Cop Watch chapters. A reason these collectives have not gained much traction is due to the fact that majority of their work either heavily falls on one individual or there is a severe lack of discipline. Mutated postmodernist anarchism even tells its followers to abandon organizations and structures because even those organizations and structures are “authoritarian” in and of themselves. These people prefer to be called anti-authoritarian and go as far as to advocate “de-recruitment” from organizations! They are not neutral to organizing, including revolutionary organizing. They are literally counter-revolutionary; they attack revolutionary organizations recruiting militants! This inevitably ends with even the most committed anarchists burning out, with many turning to the dead-endless of “self-care” and they most often permanently stop organizing – the logical conclusion, therefore, of self-care is actual self-destruction because it abandons the revolutionary transformation of society. The individual is not transformed. They are robbed from the honor of subordinating themselves to revolution and in serving the people wholeheartedly. And the few anarchists that still remain in the movement don’t focus on a specific collective but just give support to others so as not to “over-commit,” as they say.
The nature of political eclecticism is self-destructive. It will eat itself into irrationality or irrelevancy. After a while, the more advanced and cognizant anarchist will find themselves at a crossroads. They inevitably will ask themselves: do I continue going on, knowing I cannot end capitalism on my own or that we cannot end capitalism by simply moving outside the city; or, they will tell themselves, it is time I seriously start organizing for real revolution. Many anarchists do not go on being anarchists for long. It is a small fire, a tiny black flame, which burns out. The anarchist who loves the people and wants a society free from exploitation and oppression will have to reevaluate his or her ideology and soberly examine it in history. Anarchism’s catch-22 is its claim to being better than Marxism because anarchism has not failed, but the anarchist revises their scope of failure. The short-lived anarchist communities in the Spanish Civil War, the short-lived and weak anarchist state (ironically) in Ukraine, the anarchist-hippy communes and book stores and squats and workers co-ops in Europe or South America – these are examples of anarchism, but the anarchist project never learns from its mistakes. Because they are not really mistakes in actuality; the ultimate conclusion of the anarchist project is the failed insular commune.
The great reversals, from socialism to capitalism, in China and the Soviet Union, are not arguments of the bankruptcy of Marxism. They are arguments of the march of history and the great questions answered by Marxism. The road to the complete emancipation of humanity is not a short or straight road; it is filled with twists and turns, with bends, with advancements and retreats. Real Marxists are not pessimists. We are revolutionary optimists! We see the end of socialist China or the Soviet Union as important chapters in history but by no means the final chapter.
In Los Angeles, like in other parts of the US, Maoists were engulfed with some of these postmodernist ideas, and coming to a head the public study series “Unlearning Patriarchy” held out of La Conxa. To read more about RGLA’s self-criticism on incorrect gender theory and practice, see the document released in April 2018 “With proletarian women and revolutionary theory, all is possible: criticism and self-criticism on incorrect gender theorization and practice.” The fight against postmodernism is an ongoing and protracted fight. It is a fight Communists have seriously taken on, unlike the anarchists.
It is important to have a sound and correct political analysis of society, and of the world, in order to carry out revolutionary organizing and ultimately revolution. Postmodernism and identity politics only place in a political analysis of society and the world is to serve as an example of the reactionary ideology of the bourgeoisie that must be combated ruthlessly.
If, for example, to an organization the main problem in society is “anti-blackness”, they wouldn’t by definition be organize against imperialism first but against non-black people “dominating” or “taking up space” first, and then imperialism. Even though, of course, imperialism literally is the domination of the third world, including African countries. While the “woketivist” will say they are against “anti-blackness” and they “challenge it” in their household or community and that they too are anti-capitalist, their analysis literally prioritizes something else. (Checking your racist gramma at Thanksgiving dinner gets you “woketivist” points online, apparently). The identity politicians and postmodernists will attempt to “challenge the power structure.” Or that “the revolution starts at home,” they say. Or that “you kill the cop in your head.” “You smash the patriarchy,” they say. But women’s oppression cannot be stopped outside of stopping capitalism, and patriarchy is a system based on private property that largely no longer exits – just like men, we now have female CEOs, female imperialist capitalists, female bureaucrat and comprador capitalists. To many anarcha-feminists they perhaps will agree with some of this analysis, but they will say “patriarchy” or women’s oppression is of the same importance as capitalism, if not more important. Or they will go even further into postmodernism, flattening all contradictions and say all “systems” of oppression are of the same importance. Patriarchy/women’s oppression, “ableism,” “fatphobia,” “lookism,” “cis-heteronormativity,” and other progressive-sounding but ultimately-empty categories .
This is what anarcha-feminism and their adherents do when they say they are “anti-patriarchal,” anti-capitalist, “anti-sizeist,” “anti-anti-black,” “anti-authority,” “anti-ableist,” “anti-anti-fatphobia,” “anti-cis-heteronormativity,” “anti-colonial,” etc. You can say you are against all these things but if you put them all on the same level, your analysis and work will show and it will fail and you will fail. You will burn out. You will burn out mainly because your analysis cannot yield victory. You will burn out because of the tyranny of ultra-democracy. You will burn out because the question of leadership is left unorganized. The anarchist organization will un-democratically allow the emergence of leading personalities instead of elected and competent leaders – as oppose to the Communist method of organizing two-line struggle and collectively recognizing the worthy leadership which emerges.
You will constantly run into sexist men in society, in the “left” and outside of it. You will hold “public forums,” “call-outs,” “tribunals,” and even isolate one or two abusive racist men, but capitalism reproduces abusive racist men and sexist bosses. These oppressive ideas are constantly produced under capitalism because women are social products, like men, in relationship to the economy and society. Change the economy, change society. Change society, change everyone. Change everyone, change men and women. For the anarcha-feminist, just like the anarchist, it is the reverse: “change yourself, change society.” A tried and true postmodernist concept –all power is bad, power in the state, in the relationship, in the family, in titles, etc.
No other “left” tendency can say they fight against postmodernism as much as the Communists, not even the real anarchists. This isn’t hypocritical to say. The International Communist Movement has been fighting back ruthlessly against postmodernism. Look at the Parti Communiste Révolutionnaire—Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada that split from a bloc of academically-trained postmodernists from positions of leadership throughout the country in 2017. While it demarcated itself from postmodernists. The struggle against postmodernism in the Communist movement in the US has also manifested in Austin with Red Guards Austin, which has concluded, publication of the document “Identity Opportunism.” The Red Guards Movement led the charge against the postmodernist and identity-politics headquarters in Saint Louis at the time, which as of now has been laid to irrelevant waste save for a few online fans. Maoists have also attacked postmodernism in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Red Guards Charlotte call against postmodernism in their essay in the Maoist Conference on Line Struggle book – like Austin’s “Identity Opportunism,” it is one of the first serious US Maoist papers against postmodernism. But a resounding blow to postmodernism was launched by the publication of the article, “ALL ANTI-COMMUNISTS ARE SWINE” on the Maoist theoretical journal Struggle Sessions.
But the failures of postmodernist anarchism in Los Angeles are the failures of anarchism in general.
From the largest and oldest anarchist organization to the smallest pseudo-anarchist grouplets, and everything in between, anarchism contains fatal errors that welcomes postmodernism and will not allow actual revolution.
Organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World, Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, the APOC (Anarchist People of Color) movement which briefly was an official organization, Los Angeles Queer Resistance, the OVAS (Overthrowing Vendidxs, Authority & the State, formerly the Ovarian Psychos Bicycle Brigade), the lesser-known Free Association of Anarchists, Comida No Bombas, all Food Not Bombs chapters, el Hormiguero, all Cop Watch chapters in Los Angeles, the comical artist niche social club of Ediciones Inéditos and dozens, if not hundreds, more, are short-lived and/or irrelevant, insular or currently only exist on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Three fatal errors of anarchism
1. The hypocrisy of ‘Eurocentrism’
Los Angeles anarchists, and other anarchists in the west, have often opportunistically attacked Marxism as Eurocentric, but they are never critical of their own ideology developed in Europe. Eurocentrism is the racist supremacist ideology that the world and history revolves around Europe, including its philosophies and ideas. Many anarchists and others understandably revolt against the fake socialists or “Communists” going into their communities, like South Central to handout newspapers without forging revolutionary mass links and mobilizations with the masses, like the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. The masses have been led to nothingness and performative, die-in rallies. Unfortunately, sometimes they see the failure of these revisionists as the general failure of Marxism. And, so, the anti-colonial anarchists and indigenous nationalists will attack Marxism as European colonialism.
This line was used heavily in the struggle to save the South Central Farm. They didn’t mind the support from others but you couldn’t criticize because you were an outsider and didn’t understand the conditions. And, so, as the South Central Farm was being attacked by the police-pigs, the indigenous nationalists and the anarchists and the anti-authoritarians held each other, tears running down their cheeks, at best not knowing and at worst rejecting militarized Communist organizing.
This observation may certainly sting some sentimental readers, especially those who remember and participated in the South Central Farm struggle. But we must see things for what they are and not for what we wish them to be.
The Communist combatants sacrifice themselves for the Party, for the revolution and the masses. Can we say that the organizers in the South Central Farm had the same dedication? Some actors like Darryl Hannah stayed up in a tree in protest in the final moments of the showdown between the farm supporters and the bulldozers and law enforcement. But, as heroic as it was, power must be taken, not passively protested, petitioned, and, as the postmodernist would want, “challenged”. Chairman Mao taught us that we must fight through offensive strikes and defensive positions, but that even in defensive positions there are offensive strikes. Therefore, in the dialectic of offensive-defensive, it is offensive that is primary generally.
The leadership relocated to San Bernardino and survives as a farmer’s market vendor. What are the lessons here? What good is autonomy or self-segregation if you’re not actively organizing for the destruction of US imperialism?
Returning back to Eurocentrism. Marxism isn’t Eurocentric. It is beyond Europe. It is the universal ideology of the proletariat – it is not exclusive to the white proletariat. Wherever there is capitalism and semi-feudalism, Marxism is valid and correct. Marxists have been waging revolutions or building revolutionary movements all over the world, from Africa to the Pacific Islands, to Asia, to the Americas and everywhere else in between. But the anarchist will sneak around accusations of Eurocentrism by claiming their ideology has more in common with indigenous cultures. They make several theoretical errors. 1. Not all native nations and groups are the same. There were advanced and militaristic ones, like the Mexica who conquered neighboring nations and groups; they had a top-down pseudo-state. All of the advanced ones who had class had gender roles. To argue that the freedom and democracy of anarchism is best represented in the natural indigenous ways and culture is an argument of native fetishization – in fact, it is a racist trope of the noble savage. 2. Ideas can be racist, but only because the birth of that idea happened to take place in Europe doesn’t make it automatically racist. What is the idea? If the idea is discovering sub-atomic particles or dark matter or dark energy, does that make that discovery a racist or European discovery? Absolutely not! From the atom, from matter to anti-matter, scientific discoveries are universal. They belong in everything. The discoveries belong to everyone. This is exactly how Marxism is universal; its laws exist everywhere.
Some anarchists have historically fetishized the revolutionary Black, Asian, Puerto Rican, Native American and Chicano individuals organizations who openly embraced many of the tenants of Marxism, or at least its aesthetics, like Fred Hampton or George Jackson or I Wor Kuen, the Red Guards from San Francisco, the Young Lords and the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization,
Some anarchists do this by not bothering to examine their politics. All they care about is a Black women or a native person holding a gun on a poster on their wall or T-Shirt. The anarchists, knowing the European roots of their ideology, have gotten smarter and sneakier. They now say they are “decolonizing” anarchism; they are discovering the anarchist tenants in indigenous culture. But this is wrong. It is a desperate attempt at reviving, reinforcing and making their crippled ideology relevant.
But another core reason anarchists gravitate toward this groups from the New Communist Movement is more subtle. The anarchists, as anti-communists, saw the liquidation of Marxist tenants, their defects, of these groups – like Huey Newton’s thesis of “revolutionary intercommunialism,” which liquidated the Black Nation, or the economism of the Panthers and the Young Lords, and the inability of the BLA to generate mass organs and its militarism/focoism by not having generated a guiding militarized Communist Party first to lead the People’s Army. The anarchist, with or without knowing it, is drawn to these groups not exclusively based on their victories and identities but also because of their political defects and failures.
There indeed are similarities in anarchism and some indigenous nations and groups. There are also similarities between Marxism and anarchism and other “left” ideologies. The goal of a stateless, egalitarian society, free from social classes, from exploitation and domination. Freedom. Liberty. Safety. Justice. Peace. This doesn’t make all of these ideologies the same. It only means there are universal truths that cut through them all. It just so happens that the collection of those universal truths we call Marxism-Leninism-Maoism – the only social science of revolution.
Even though class struggle anarchism, as an ideology, calls for class-based organizing, the vast majority of anarchist tendencies do not put social class as primary in their analysis. Without a solid foundation everything built on top will eventually crumble. For example, we all know people who say the main problem in the world today are the banks or corporations poisoning our foods and the environment. If we were to all unite around that analysis, in the final instance the only things we would perhaps accomplish are smaller-scale exploitative businesses, more bureaucratic environmental regulations, fleeting and unstable economic security and relatively healthier foods. But what about capitalism and imperialism? The US, and its Whole Foods mass-diet and mom-and-pop businesses, would still be plundering the world for oil, for natural resources and cheap labor. That is why the Communist position on economic gains and demands is to never separate them from the conquest of power, which is primary. In other words, these people leave the struggle at its most immediate expression, as an economic fight, and they do not transform it into a political struggle for the conquest of power. Chairman Gonzalo teaches us that “the struggle for economic and political demands is one side of a coin, which has the struggle for political power on the other side.” There is no “ethical consumerism” under settler-colonialism and imperialism. As long as the proletariat continues to be exploited by the capitalist class, as long as the oppressed nations-internal colonies continue to be oppressed, there will be no peace.
Even the anarcho-syndicalists like their founder Bakunin who argued for anarchist unions and workers control over the means of production, put personal liberty above all else, is guilty of this. To most anarchists, class is important but not the totalizing thing Marxists argue it is. Because of this, their theory is filled with these holes that allow for random metaphysical ideas to sneak in.
In Marxism, we have the concept of class character. Everything under an economic system, in our case capitalism, reflects that specific system. This means everything has a class character. It doesn’t mean things, like tools and technology, are born or made with a class character but that the class character comes depending on who uses it and how it is used.
For example, an AK-47 is just a weapon. It is used by the enemies of the people, like terrorists, mobsters and capitalist soldiers. But it is also used by Communists and revolutionaries. This means the gun doesn’t have an innate class character. Or the physical structure of a prison system. It isn’t innately capitalist and reactionary. The entire structure, with modification of course, can be turned into a tool for re-education and transformation like the prisons of China during the socialist period. Enemies of the people were given opportunities to change, to see the error of their ways, to politically transform them into socially productive supporters of the socialist project and in some cases even into Communists.
For the anarchists, even the classical ones, class is just another social factor to inform a political analysis; it is not the social factor. And even when class guides the work of an anarchism organization, it rarely comes close to revolution or revolutionary struggle.
Again, we must reiterate a fundamental truth: everything serves a class. The society the anarchists are trying to create actually perpetuates capitalism because it does not resolve the fundamental contradiction of class society: the private accumulation of wealth and the public character of social production. Anarchist political economy, after removing the black flag, in the final instance, is capitalism. Man continues to struggle, as he must, to have access to the necessary resources of advanced civilization. In the anarchist federation commune model, inequality is guaranteed, leaving some communes poorer than others because of internal and external factors. Internally, the level of skills and economic planning of the commune’s leaders (the anarchist may object but they cannot deny the organic development of leadership) will vary from commune to commune. The attempted anarchist resolution to this contradiction is weak because it only focuses on ideological political programs but dares not question the very structure in the flawed federation model that imposes this inequality under guise of “autonomist” equality. Externally, the federated anarchist commune is exposed to the precariousness of random chance. If the commune is close to the means of production and if it has access to necessary resources, they are in luck. But if the commune is one of the unlucky ones, far removed from the means of production and access to resources, they are left to fend for themselves – albeit “autonomously,” upholding their anarchist principles to the very bitter, pointless and completely avoidable end.
Since everything serves a class, we must state clearly, then, which class this type of anarchist dystopia serves. It serves the hyper-individualist, the egoist, the insincere proponent of a capitalism dressed in black who is reluctant to exercise revolutionary authority over the enemies of the people, and the most antagonistic class of society, the bourgeoisie. Anarchism is a petite-bourgeoisie ideology because it perpetuates class society.
The anarchist fights an economic, petite-bourgeois struggle. He dares not answer the question of how to conquer political power because that would expose the anarchists’ biggest ideological weakness, his Achilles’ Heal: the proletarian state as the centralized instrument of defending the victories of the revolution and subjugating the enemies of the people, and the militarized masses as the rearguard of the state – the only method of conquering and defending socialism.
3. The State
And, finally, the anarchist denies power, specifically as it is expressed in two main things: the state and authority.
To them, the state is innately tyrannical and anti-people. To them, it isn’t enough to be against capitalism; you have to be against the state. To them, the state reproduces power-hungry blood-thirsty tyrants and reactionary inequalities. But the state is an instrument, the most powerful tool created, that doesn’t stop existing if people stop using it. Like the gun. If you don’t pick it up, someone else will. Or authority. A police officer’s authority is different than the People’s Army’s authority demanding discipline from its guerrillas. Or an even closer example: a militarized red unit marching through the streets of a city, tightly organized with the people and militants following leadership. This is authority but it is revolutionary authority; it is even celebrated. Violence is the same way. There is revolutionary violence and reactionary violence. Communists utilize revolutionary violence against our enemies. Reactionary violence is what the capitalist state does to us, or what reactionary elements of the masses do to each other.
Engels wrote poignantly on authority. Even back in the days of Marx and Engels, so-called socialists were using these petite-bourgeois moralistic arguments against proletarian authority and the state. “Anti-authoritarianism” is the made-up word anarchists rally around, dispensing with authority completely and recklessly, like swinging a hammer in a room full of glass dishware, yelling that the room shouldn’t even exist.
But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social conditions that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?
The Great Lenin hammered in the final nail in the coffin of anti-authoritarianism and anarchism in the historic Marxist text of State and Revolution where he asserted the Marxist position on the state. Taking from none other than Engels on this question, Lenin said the state withers away only well after the proletariat has smashed the bourgeois state and seized political power. Since the state is an instrument of state repression, once classes cease to exist, so too does the state. Or as Lenin said:
The state withers away insofar as there are no longer any capitalists, any classes, and, consequently, no class can be suppressed.
The anarchists of today, like their predecessors in the late 1800s and early 1900s, retain the same argument of “abolishing the state” as the most immediate act and slogan of their revolution. To them, the state is the source of all repression – and, yes, it is the source of all repression but of one class over another. In this way, the anarchist incidentally protects the capitalists by negating the proletarian state as the source for the bourgeoisie’s total repression.
The anarchists say we don’t need the state, and certainly not the dictatorship of the proletariat, because we don’t need authority. To them, the state sits above all classes. It does not represent one class dominating the other. To the anarchist, the state is a manifestation of centralized authority– regardless of social class. They ignore and reject the historical development of private property and the state. That is, they reject the scientific study of the development of class society and capitalism, which they purport to rally against!
Some anarchists are bolder and assert that we don’t need violence. This comes from a fundamentally incorrect understanding of the state and authority. The state and authority are not some military units bent on destroying the people. The state is a system of centralized power that controls society, with one class dominating the other. It uses authority. The state is the strongest instrument of class domination. Currently, the capitalists control the state, so they’ve made it a capitalist state. But just like the gun, its class character depends on its usage and who is using it. The proletarian state, the socialist state, will repress. It will control. It will dominate. It will have authority, and the Communist Party will exercise all-round authority as the dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in all corners of society until the very end with the abolition of all classes.
Like Chang Chun-chiao said, going back to Lenin on this important question, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a matter of the sole establishment of proletarian power. It is continuous and encompasses all of society.
Lenin pointed out that the dictatorship of the proletariat is a persistent struggle —bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative—against the forces and traditions of the old society, that it means all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie.
But the dictatorship of the proletariat does not attack the people and the workers. This is an incorrect conception of the proletarian state that comes from ignorance or counterrevolutionary malice. Dictatorship is itself an expression of power, where one thing is overpowered by another. As long as the capitalist exists, so to must his future repression under the proletarian state.
If the proletarian state ever begins to turn on the people and the workers, it is the job of the very people, workers and Communists to tear down the leaders who are reversing the proletarian state into a bourgeois one. We want a socialist state because we need to subdue the enemy and struggle toward Communism. Communism cannot be achieved anywhere until imperialism is wiped away everywhere. For that, we need revolutionary violence, revolutionary authority and a revolutionary socialist state.
Final thoughts on anarchism
It’s important to continue the struggle against anti-communist ideas. Principally, it is important in the context of reconstituting the Communist Party, especially here in the US. Without struggle there is no progress. Struggle is the basis for development. Struggling over important questions of ideological differences – especially on Marxism and anarchism – in Communist mass work is vital. Without struggle, a thing dies. In this way, we are like fishes. Like Chairman Mao said. The masses are the sea and we swim through them all smoothly because it is our natural habitat. Communists are always with the masses. But a fish doesn’t stay still. It needs to keep moving or else it will die by either not filtering in oxygen from the water through its gills and into its lungs or it will be eaten by a predator. This is struggle. We will struggle, inside and outside the mass organisms of the Party. This must be viewed as healthy and mandatory. To not struggle is to cease to be a revolutionary, a Communist.
We must raise the red flag of Maoism high and proudly. It is stained red with the blood of our class and our people. It shows us a future of pain, terror and beauty. We are made fearless through class struggle. We are made invincible through understanding and applying Maoism.
In conclusion, it is fitting we return to Engels.
Therefore, either one of two things: either the anti-authoritarians don’t know what they’re talking about, in which case they are creating nothing but confusion; or they do know, and in that case they are betraying the movement of the proletariat. In either case they serve the reaction.
– By Cajeme Iniciador and Kike
 “Adventurism” – Lenin. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/jun/09.htm
 ‘Revolutionary Adventurism” – Lenin. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1902/sep/01.htm
 “The Coming Insurrection” – Invisible Committee.
 Stalin – “Anarchism or Socialism?” This is one of the best, if not the best, written text on the question of anarchism and Marxism
 “Interview with Chairman Gonzalo” – http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/dawson/data/Interview_with_Chairman_Gonzalo.pdf
 “On Authority” – Engels. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/10/authority.htm
 “State and Revolution” – Lenin. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/ch05.htm#s1
 “On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie” – Chang Chun-chiao