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zondag 10 juni 2018

Anarchic update news all over the world - Part 2 - 10.06.2018

Today's Topics:

   1.  US, black rose fed - KROPOTKIN: "CAN THE STATE BE USED FOR


Message: 1

Author of "the bread book" (The Conquest of Bread), Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) was a 
leading anarchist intellectual in his time who wrote dozens of books, articles and 
pamphlets arguing for a from-the-bottom-up socialist vision of society informed by his 
background as a natural scientist. The newly released Modern Science and Anarchy from AK 
Press brings together previously unpublished content in English as well as other writings 
previously only released as pamphlets and articles. Of course, a critical portion of the 
book which is as relevant as ever is devoted to Kropotkin's study of the nature and 
origins of the State and which includes this brief excerpt as part of a larger critique of 
the state. #TheLeftInPower ---- Can the State be Used for the Emancipation of the Workers? 
---- By Peter Kropotkin, excerpted from Modern Science and Anarchy

[F]ollowing an error of judgment which truly becomes tragic, while the State that provides 
the most terrible weapons to impoverish the peasant and the worker and to enrich by their 
labour the lord, the priest, the bourgeois, the financier and all the privileged gangsters 
of the rulers-it is to this same State, to the bourgeois State, to the exploiter State and 
guardian of the exploiters- that radical democrats and socialists ask to protect them 
against the monopolist exploiters! And when we say that it is the abolition of the State 
that we have to aim for, we are told: "Let us first abolish classes, and when this has 
been done, then we can place the State into a museum of antiquities, together with the 
stone axe and the spindle!"[1]
By this quip they evaded, in the fifties of the last century, the discussion that Proudhon 
called for on the necessity of abolishing the State institution and the means of achieving 
this. And it is still being repeated today. "Let us seize power in the State"-the current 
bourgeois State, of course-"and then we will make the social revolution"-such is the 
slogan today.[2]

Proudhon's idea had been to invite the workers to pose this question: "How could society 
organise itself without resorting to the State institution, developed during the darkest 
times of humanity to keep the masses in economic and intellectual poverty and to exploit 
their labour?" And he was answered with a paradox, a sophism.

Indeed, how can we talk about abolishing classes without touching the institution which 
was the instrument for establishing them and which remains the instrument which 
perpetuates them? But instead of going deeper into this question-the question placed 
before us by all modern evolution- what do we do?

Is not the first question that the social reformer should ask himself this one: "The 
State, which was developed in the history of civilisations to give a legal character to 
the exploitation of the masses by the privileged classes, can it be the instrument of 
their liberation?"

Furthermore, are not other groupings than the State already emerging in the evolution of 
modern societies-groups which can bring to society co-ordination, harmony of individual 
efforts and become the instrument of the liberation of the masses, without resorting to 
the submission of all to the pyramidal hierarchy of the State? The commune, for example, 
groupings by trades and by professions in addition to groupings by neighbourhoods and 
sections, which preceded the State in the free cities[of the Middle Ages]; the thousand 
societies that spring up today for the satisfaction of a thousand social needs: the 
federative principle that we see applied in modern groupings-do not these forms of 
organisation of society offer a field of activity which promises much more for our goals 
of emancipation than the efforts expended to make the State and its centralisation even 
more powerful than they already are?

Is this not the essential question that the social reformer should ask before choosing his 
course of action?

Well, instead of going deeper into this question, the democrats, radicals, as well as 
socialists, only know, only want one thing, the State! Not the future State, "the people's 
State" of their dreams of yesteryear, but well and truly the current bourgeois State, the 
State nothing more and nothing less. This must seize, they say, all the life of society: 
economic, educational, intellectual activities and organising: industry, exchange, 
instruction, jurisdiction, administration-everything that fills our social life!

To workers who want their emancipation, they say: "Just let us worm ourselves into the 
powers of the current political form, developed by the nobles, the bourgeois, the 
capitalists to exploit you!" They say that, while we know very well by all the teachings 
of history that a new economic form of society has never been able to develop without a 
new political form being developed at the same time, developed by those who were seeking 
their emancipation.

Serfdom-and absolute royalty; corporative organisation-and the free cities, the republics 
of the twelfth to fifteenth centuries; merchant domination-and these same republics under 
the podestas and the condottieri;[3]imperialism-and the military States of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries; the reign of the bourgeoisie-and representative government, are 
not all these forms going hand in hand striking evidence[of this]?

In order to develop itself as it has developed today and to maintain its power, despite 
all the progress of science and the democratic spirit, the bourgeoisie developed with much 
shrewdness representative government during the course of the nineteenth century.

And the spokespersons of the modern proletariat are so timid that they do not even dare to 
tackle the problem raised by the 1848 revolution-the problem of knowing what new political 
form the modern proletariat must and can develop to achieve its emancipation? How will it 
seek to organise the two essential functions of any society: the social production of 
everything necessary to live and the social consumption of these products? How will it 
guarantee to everyone, not in words but in reality, the entire product of his labour by 
guaranteeing him well-being in exchange for his work? What form will "the organisation of 
labour" take as it cannot be accomplished by the State and must be the work of the workers 

That is what the French proletarian, educated in the past by 1793 and 1848, asked their 
intellectual leaders.

But did they[their leaders]know how to answer them? They only knew how to keep on 
repeating this old formula, which said nothing, which evaded the answer: "Seize power in 
the bourgeois State, use this power to widen the functions of the modern State-and the 
problem of your emancipation will be solved!"

Once again the proletarian received lead instead of bread! This time from those to whom it 
had given its trust-and its blood!

To ask an institution which represents a historical growth that it serves to destroy the 
privileges that it strove to develop is to acknowledge you are incapable of understanding 
what a historical growth is in the life of societies. It is to ignore this general rule of 
all organic nature, that new functions require new organs, and that they need to develop 
them themselves. It is to acknowledge that you are too lazy and too timid in spirit to 
think in a new direction, imposed by a new evolution.

The whole of history is there to prove this truth, that each time that new social strata 
started to demonstrate an activity and an intelligence which met their own needs, each 
time that they attempted to display a creative force in the domain of an economic 
production which furthered their interests and those of society in general-they knew how 
to find new forms of political organisation; and these new political forms allowed the new 
strata to imprint their individuality on the era they were inaugurating. Can a social 
revolution be an exception to the rule? Can it do without this creative activity?


1.[A reference to the famous 1884 work by Engels, Origins of the Family, Private Property, 
and the State, which argues: "The state, then, has not existed from eternity. There have 
been societies that managed without it, that had no idea of the state and state authority. 
At a certain stage of economic development, which was necessarily bound up with the split 
of society into classes, the state became a necessity owing to this split. We are now 
rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of 
these classes not only will have ceased to be a necessity, but will become a positive 
hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they arose at an earlier stage. 
Along with them the state will inevitably fall. Society, which will reorganise production 
on the basis of a free and equal association of the producers, will put the whole 
machinery of state where it will then belong: into the museum of antiquities, by the side 
of the spinning-wheel and the bronze axe" (Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 26[London: 
Lawrence & Wishart, 1990], 272). (Editor)]

2.[A reference to, for example, Engels's arguments from 1883 that while he and Marx saw 
the State's "gradual dissolution and ultimate disappearance," the proletariat "will first 
have to possess itself of the organised political force of the State and with its aid 
stamp out the resistance of the Capitalist class and re-organise society." The anarchists 
"reverse the matter" by advocating revolution "has to begin by abolishing the political 
organisation of the State." For Marxists "the only organisation the victorious working 
class finds ready-made for use, is that of the State. It may require adaptation to the new 
functions. But to destroy that at such a moment, would be to destroy the only organism by 
means of which the working class can exert its newly conquered power" (Marx-Engels 
Collected Works, Volume 47[London: Lawrence & Wishat, 1993], 10). (Editor)]

3.[Podesta were high officials (usually chief magistrate of a city state) in many Italian 
cities beginning in the later Middle Ages; Condottieri were the leaders of the 
professional military free companies (or mercenaries) contracted by the Italian 
city-states and the Papacy from the late Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance. (Editor)]