Anarchism and the left

These articles from various sources look at the anarchist critique of other socialist ideas including Leninism, Marxism and Social democracy. If you know of an anarchist on the left not listed here please suggest listing it to me. If one of these links is no longer working please tell me it is dead.


Which Way To The Revolution: Anarchism or Leninism
My talk is simply going to be an introduction to the basics of anarchism, though it'll be aimed a bit for those coming from a Marxist view-point. I'll tend to focus on the areas where we disagree, say the difference over authority and the state, rather than on why capitalism needs to go.

Anarchism and Marxism
A lot of people who call themselves anarchists will probably be extremely annoyed when I say that the most striking thing is how much we have in common with Marxism. Both anarchists and Marxists are materialists. Both believe that the ideas in peoples' heads are shaped by the social and economic conditions in which we live.

The Anarchist Alternative to Leninism
A spectre is haunting the left - the spectre of anarchism. All the powers of the old left have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre [PDF file of the Anarchist alternative to Leninism]

The Marxist theory of the anarchist reply
There is no one Marxist theory of the state, different currents within Marxism have developed their own variants. However all share the idea that the State can, and must, be used as a means towards achieving the classless society

The failure of Marxism
There is much of use within Marxism, I do not propose to throw away the impressive economic analysis for instance, but as an ideology, as a tradition and as a guide for the future it has failed; and failed on a grand scale

The Bolshevik Revolution: A legacy better rejected
This year marked the 80th anniversary of the death of Lenin. Time to dump Leninism as a deeply flawed theory.

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Anti capitalism or state capitalism

Anti-Capitalism or State Capitalism?

I Anti-Capitalism or State Capitalism?
II Socialism or Statism?
III Does it matter?
VI For a real anti-capitalism!

A pamphlet on the state capitalist and statist nature of Bolshevism which also explains the anarchist alternative.

[Download the PDF file]

Revolutionary politics and single issue campaigns
Over the past decades, there has been a tendency for activists to move away from organisations,and organisation on a class basis, and concentrate on single-issue campaigns. In its lifetime, the WSM has been involved in many such campaigns

Leninism and the failure of the Russian revolution
The Russian revolutions of 1917 demonstrate that a revolution is possible but they also warn against authoritarian methods of introducing socialism.

Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy
Review of Israel Getzler's excellent book on red Kronstadt. Essential reading for anyone interested in combating Bolshevik myths about the uprising of 1921.

What's the importance of the French revolution?
We can examine the French revolution as a prototype of how revolutions occur and progress. Kropotkin defined it as the "mother of us all ". The ideas and methods of the French Revolution were and still have relevance to us today

Rosa Luxemburg on socialism and objective conditions
Rosa Luxembourg argued that socialism didn't just entail a change in material conditions but also a change in relationships within society, that freedom was a prerequisite for a socialist society

Cuba..socialist paradise or Castro's fiefdom?
Cuba, about 90 miles off the coast of North America, is the largest of the Caribbean islands. The social services are in a far better condition than they are in other Latin American countries. Virtually every Cuban under the age of 30 can read and write. But the cost of these benefits is high for the working class who have never been in the saddle of power in Cuba.

Argentina and the left
An analysis and critique of two Leninist accounts of popular self-organisation in the crisis in Argentina.

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Anarchist replies to Leninists

Anti cap leaflet

Anti-Capitalism or State Capitalism?
A leaflet handed out at a Globalise Resistance conference showing the state capitalist nature of Bolshevism

[Download as a PDF file]

On the Labour Party

Globaliation movement

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More information on the Russian revolution

Specific left groups

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
A lengthy review of "Imagine" by the Scottish Socialist Party leaders Tommy Sheridan and Alan McCombes

Socialist Workers Party/International Socialist Tendancy

The British SWP has written over a dozen articles attacking anarchism in the last couple of years (see replies above). Below are some articles by anarchists on the SWP

PDF file of State or Revolution

Start or revolution

Useful links