Monday, 21 April 2014

quotes on how NOT to carry out revolutions.


When insurrections die - Gilles Dauvé .

Bolsheviks shooting anarchists - Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.

Spanish  'Revolution'

"There is no revolution without the destruction of the state: that is the Spanish "lesson".But be that as it may, a revolution is not a political upheaval, but a social movement in which the destruction of the state and the elaboration of new modes of debate and decision go hand in hand with communization. We don't want "power"; we want the power to change all of life "

"The best guarantee against the reappearance of a new structure of power over us is the deepest possible appropriation of the conditions of existence, at every level"

"To conceive the destruction of the state as an armed struggle against the police and the armed forces is to mistake the part for the whole. Communism is first of all activity. A mode of life in which men and women produce their social existence paralyzes or reabsorbs the emergence of separate powers. "

"From one compromise to the next, the CNT wound up renouncing the anti- statism which was its raison d'etre, even after the Republic and its Russian ally had shown their real faces and unleashed their fury on the radicals in May 1937, not to mention in everything that followed, in the jails and secret cellars. Then, like the POUM, the CNT was all the more effective in disarming proletarians, calling on them to give up their struggle against both the official and Stalinist police bent on finishing them off. Some of them even had the bitter surprise of being in a prison administered by an old anarchist comrade, stripped of any real power over what when on in his jail. In 1938, a CNT delegation which had gone to the Soviet Union requesting material aid did not even criticize the Moscow trials"

"Durruti and his comrades embodied an energy which had not waited for 1936 to storm the existing world. But all the combative will in the world is not enough when workers aim all their blows against one particular form of the state, a nd not against the state as such"

"Reducing the revolution to war simplifies and falsifies the social question into the alternative of winning or losing, and in being "the strongest". The issue becomes one of having disciplined soldiers, superior logistics, competent officers and the support of allies whose own political nature gets as little scrutiny as possible"

"The compromise evoked by Durruti, the necessity of unity at any cost, could only hand victory first to the republican state (over the proletariat) and then to the Francoist state (over the Republic)."

"There was the beginning of a revolution in Spain, but it turned into its opposite as soon as the proletarians, convinced that they had effective power, placed their trust in the state to fight against Franco. On that basis, the multiplicity of subversive initiatives and measures taken in production and in daily life were condemned to fail by the simple and terrible fact that they took place in the shadow of a perfectly intact state structure, which had initially been put on hold, and then reinvigorated by the necessities of the war against Franco, a paradox which remained opaque to most revolutionary groups at the time. In order to be consolidated and extended, the social transformations without which revolution remains an empty word had to pose themselves as antagonistic to a state clearly designated as the adversary"

"even Durruti did not seem to realize that the state was everywhere still intact. As Durruti's column (70% of whose members were anarchists) advanced, it extended the collectivizations: the militias helped the peasants and spread revolutionary ideas. But, Durruti declared, "we have only one aim: to crush the fascists". However much he reiterated that "these militias will never defend the bourgeoisie", they did not attack the bourgeoisie either."

"Thus, if the Spanish revolution proves anything, it is that the most important thing is not who has the weapons, but for what purpose they are used. The arming of the popular masses (and winning to their cause of portions of the police and/or army) might be decisive from the military angle for the insurrection, but for the defense of the social conquests of the insurrection and for the construction of a new society the principal tasks are not accomplished by means of arms but by means of self-management of production and community life. A successful proletarian revolution needs a proletariat armed with individual and class autonomy more than one armed with rifles"

Russian 'Revolution'

"Leaving aside Lenin's eulogy for Taylorism, and Trotsky's justification of military labor, for almost all the Bolsheviks and the overwhelming majority of the Third International, including the communist left, socialism meant a capitalist socialization PLUS soviets, and the agriculture of the future was conceived as the large landholdings managed democratically. (The difference-- and it is a major one!-- between the German-Dutch left and the Comintern on this question was that the left took soviets and democracy seriously, whereas the Russian communists--as their practice proved--saw in them nothing but tactical formulas. "

"A power which gets to the point of massacring the Kronstadt mutineers (who were, for their part, only raising democratic deands) in the name of a socialism it could not realize, and which goes on to justify its actions with lies and calumny, is only demonstrating that it no longer has any communist character."

"In any case, the Bolsheviks are the best illustration of what happens to a power which is only a power, and which has to hold on without changing real conditions very much"


" the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves; that, the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule"- Marx.

"Power Corrupts The Best"-Bakunin .

"But whoever says "State" says domination; and whoever says "domination" says exploitation"-."- Bakunin.

"The State, however popular may be the form it assumes, will always be an institution of domination and exploitation, and consequently a permanent source of poverty and enslavement for the populace. There is no other way, then, of emancipating the people economically and politically, of .giving them liberty and well-being at one and the same time than by abolishing the State, all States, and, by so doing, killing, once and for all time, what, up to now, has been called "Politics," i. e., precisely nothing else than the functioning or manifestation both internal and external of State action, that is to say, the practice, or art and science of dominating and exploiting' the masses in favor of the privileged classes."- Bakunin

"The State, being the supreme objective, everything that is favorable to the development of its power is good; all that is contrary to it, even if it were the most humane thing in the world, is bad"

"It is in the nature of the State to break the solidarity of the human race and, as it were, to deny humanity"

"And, in general, no State, either ancient or modern, has ever been able, or ever will be able to do without the forced labor of the masses, whether wage-earners or slaves,"

"The State is nothing else but this domination and exploitation regularized and systematized"

"We do not admit, even as a revolutionary transition, either National Conventions, or Constituent Assemblies, or so–called revolutionary dictatorships; because we are convinced that the revolution is only sincere, honest and real in the masses, and that when it is concentrated in the hands of some governing individuals, it naturally and inevitably becomes reaction."

"In accordance with this belief, we neither intend nor desire to thrust upon our own or any other people any scheme of social organization taken from books or concocted by ourselves. We are convinced that the masses of the people carry in themselves, in their instincts (more or less developed by history), in their daily necessities, and. in their conscious or unconscious aspirations, all the elements of the future social organization. We seek this ideal in the people themselves. Every state power, every government, by its very nature places itself outside and over the people and inevitably subordinates them to an organization and to aims which are foreign to and opposed to the real needs and aspirations of the people. We declare ourselves the enemies of every government and every state power, and of governmental organization in general. We think that people can be free and happy only when organized from the bottom up in completely free and independent associations, without governmental paternalism though not without the influence of a variety of free individuals and parties."

"This fiction of a pseudo-representative government serves to conceal the domination of the masses by a handful of privileged elite; an elite elected by hordes of people who are rounded up and do not know for whom or for what they vote. Upon this artificial and abstract expression of what they falsely imagine to be the will of the people and of which the real living people have not the least idea, they construct both the theory of statism as well as the theory of so-called revolutionary dictatorship."

"All work to be performed in the employ and pay of the State– such is the fundamental principle of Authoritarian Communism of State Socialism. The State having become sole proprietor–at end of a certain period of transition which will be necessary to let society pass without too great political and economic shocks from the present organisation of bourgeois privilege to the future organisation of the official equality of all–the State will be also the only Capitalist, banker; money-lender, organiser, director of all national labor and distributor of its products"- Bakunin.

"(...) in all past revolutions, the mode of activity has always remained intact and the only issue has been a different distribution of this activity and a redistribution of work among different persons; whereas the communist revolution is directed against the mode of activity as it has existed up till now and abolishes work and the domination of all classes by abolishing classes themselves, because it is carried out by the class which is no longer, in society, considered as a class and which is already the expression of the dissolution of all classes and all nationalities, etc. within society itself" (Marx, The German Ideology, 1845-46)

 “Nothing good or durable can be done except by the free initiative of the people, and every government tends to destroy it;”

"The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!"-Mikhail Bakunin .

"freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality"-Bakunin.

"There will be no possibility of the existence of a political government, for this government will be transformed into a simple administration of common affairs.
Our program can be summed up in a few words: Peace, emancipation, and the happiness of the oppressed. War upon all oppressors and all despoilers. Full restitution to workers: all the capital, the factories, and all instruments of work and raw materials to go to the associations, and the land to those who cultivate it with their own hands. Liberty, justice, and fraternity in regard to all human beings upon the earth. Equality for all. To all, with no distinction whatever, all the means of development, education, and upbringing, and the equal possibility of living while working. Organizing of a society by means of a free federation from below upward, of workers associations, industrial as well as a agricultural, scientific as well as literary associations - first into a commune, then a federation communes into regions, of regions into nations, and of nations into international fraternal association. "

"Correct Tactics During a Revolution. In a social revolution, which in everything is diametrically opposed to a political revolution, the a of individuals hardly count at all, whereas the spontaneous action of masses is everything. All that individuals can do is to clarify, propagate, and work out ideas corresponding to the popular instinct, and, what is more, to contribute their incessant efforts to revolutionary organization of the natural power of the masses - but nothing else beyond that; the rest can and should be done by the people themselves. Any other method would lead to political dictatorship, to the re-emergence of the State, of privileges of inequalities of all the oppressions of the State - that is, it would lead in a roundabout but logical way toward re-establishment of political, social, and economic slavery of the masses of people. "

"The Methods of the Communists and the Anarchists. Hence the two different methods. The Communists believe that it is necessary to organize the forces of the workers in order to take possession of the political might of the State. The revolutionary Socialists organize with the view of destroying, or if you prefer a more refined expression, of liquidating the State. The Communists are the partisans of the principle and practice of authority, while revolutionary Socialists place their faith only in freedom"

"Nothing is more dangerous for man's private morality than the habit of command. The best man, the most intelligent, disinterested, generous, pure, will infallibly and always be spoiled at this trade. Two sentiments inherent in power never fail to produce this demoralisation; they are: contempt for the masses and the overestimation of one's own merits."

""The masses" a man says to himself," recognising their incapacity to govern on their own account, have elected me their chief. By that act they have publicly proclaimed their inferiority and my superiority. Among this crowd of men, recognising hardly any equals of myself, I am alone capable of directing public affairs. The people have need of me; they cannot do without my services, while I, on the contrary, can get along all right by myself; they, therefore, must obey me for their own security, and in condescending to obey them, I am doing them a good turn.
Is there not something in all that to make a man lose his head and his heart as well, and become mad with pride? It is thus that power and the habit of command become for even the most intelligent and virtuous men, a source of aberration, both intellectual and moral."

against Leninism.

We have already expressed several times our deep aversion to the theory of Lassalle and Marx, which recommends to the workers, if not as a final ideal at least as the next immediate goal, the founding of a people’s state, which according to their interpretation will be nothing but “the proletariat elevated to the status of the governing class.”
Let us ask, if the proletariat is to be the ruling class, over whom is it to rule? In short, there will remain another proletariat which will be subdued to this new rule, to this new state"

"If there is a State, there must be domination of one class by another and, as a result, slavery; the State without slavery is unthinkable – and this is why we are the enemies of the State."

What does it mean that the proletariat will be elevated to a ruling class? Is it possible for the whole proletariat to stand at the head of the government? There are nearly forty million Germans. Can all forty million be members of the government? In such a case, there will be no government, no state, but, if there is to be a state there will be those who are ruled and those who are slaves.
The Marxist theory solves this dilemma very simply. By the people’s rule, they mean the rule of a small number of representatives elected by the people. The general, and every man’s, right to elect the representatives of the people and the rulers of the State is the latest word of the Marxists, as well as of the democrats. This is a lie, behind which lurks the despotism of the ruling minority, a lie all the more dangerous in that it appears to express the so-called will of the people.
Ultimately, from whatever point of view we look at this question, we come always to the same sad conclusion, the rule of the great masses of the people by a privileged minority. The Marxists say that this minority will consist of workers. Yes, possibly of former workers, who, as soon as they become the rulers of the representatives of the people, will cease to be workers and will look down at the plain working masses from the governing heights of the State; they will no longer represent the people, but only themselves and their claims to rulership over the people. Those who doubt this know very little about human nature.
These elected representatives, say the Marxists, will be dedicated and learned socialists. The expressions “learned socialist,” “scientific socialism,” etc., which continuously appear in the speeches and writings of the followers of Lassalle and Marx, prove that the pseudo-People’s State will be nothing but a despotic control of the populace by a new and not at all numerous aristocracy of real and pseudo-scientists. The “uneducated” people will be totally relieved of the cares of administration, and will be treated as a regimented herd. A beautiful liberation, indeed!
The Marxists are aware of this contradiction and realize that a government of scientists will be a real dictatorship regardless of its democratic form. They console themselves with the idea that this rule will be temporary. They say that the only care and objective will be to educate and elevate the people economically and politically to such a degree that such a government will soon become unnecessary, and the State, after losing its political or coercive character, will automatically develop into a completely free organization of economic interests and communes.

There is a flagrant contradiction in this theory. If their state would be really of the people, why eliminate it? And if the State is needed to emancipate the workers, then the workers are not yet free, so why call it a People’s State? By our polemic against them we have brought them to the realization that freedom or anarchism, which means a free organization of the working masses from the bottom up, is the final objective of social development, and that every state, not excepting their People’s State, is a yoke, on the one hand giving rise to despotism and on the other to slavery. They say that such a yoke – dictatorship is a transitional step towards achieving full freedom for the people: anarchism or freedom is the aim, while state and dictatorship is the means, and so, in order to free the masses of people, they have first to be enslaved!

Upon this contradiction our polemic has come to a halt. They insist that only dictatorship (of course their own) can create freedom for the people. We reply that all dictatorship has no objective other than self-perpetuation, and that slavery is all it can generate and instill in the people who suffer it. Freedom can be created only by freedom, by a total rebellion of the people, and by a voluntary organization of the people from the bottom up."

"Modern capitalist production and bank speculation inexorably demand enormous centralization of the State, which alone can subject millions of workers to capitalist exploitation. Federalist organization from the bottom upward, of workers’ associations, groups, communes, cantons [counties], regions, and finally whole peoples, is the sole condition for true, non-fictitious freedom, but such freedom violates the interests and convictions of the ruling classes, just as economic self-determination is incompatible with their methods of organization. Representative democracy, however, harmonizes marvelously with the capitalist economic system. This new statist system, basing itself on the alleged sovereignty of the so-called will of the people, as supposedly expressed by their alleged representatives in mock popular assemblies, incorporates the two principal and necessary conditions for the progress of capitalism: state centralization, and the actual submission of the sovereign people to the intellectual governing minority, who, while claiming to represent the people, unfailingly exploits them."

"The modern State is by its very nature a military State; and every military State must of necessity become a conquering. invasive State; to survive it must conquer or be conquered, for the simple reason that accumulated military power will suffocate if it does not find an outlet. Therefore the modern State must strive to be a huge and powerful State: this is the indispensable precondition for its survival."

"The fundamental difference between a monarchy and even the most democratic republic is that in the monarchy. the bureaucrats oppress and rob the people for the benefit of the privileged in the name of the King, and to fill their own coffers; while in the republic the people are robbed and oppressed in the same way for the benefit of the same classes, in the name of “the will of the people” (and to fill the coffers of the democratic bureaucrats). In the republic the State, which is supposed to be the people, legally organized, stifles and will continue to stifle the real people. But the people will feel no better if the stick with which they are being beaten is labeled “the people’s stick.”

"... No state, however democratic – not even the reddest republic – can ever give the people what they really want, i.e., the free self-organization and administration of their own affairs from the bottom upward, without any interference or violence from above, because every state, even the pseudo-People’s State concocted by Mr. Marx, is in essence only a machine ruling the masses from above, through a privileged minority of conceited intellectuals, who imagine that they know what the people need and want better than do the people themselves..."

"But a social revolution cannot be confined to a single isolated country. It is by its very nature international in scope"

"Every State, like every theology, assumes that man is essentially wicked and bad."


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