This is the second of two essays I submitted for university this week. For this one the question prompt I chose was “Does socialism always tend towards authoritarianism?” Short answer was no, but I had to write about 1799 more words so this is the long answer talking about the State, Russia, Spain, and anarchism and a bit of democratic confederalism. Title is iffy and unimaginative because screw putting effort into that. All references are down the bottom. Enjoy
Socialism is a school of thought most simply defined by its opposition to capitalism (Heywood 2021: 75). This is, however, an extremely broad range of ideas and there has been much conflict within and between nations, parties and movements about what, and who, constitutes true socialist ideals. Perhaps the greatest of these is the antagonism between democratic and authoritarian visions of socialism. The Twentieth Century saw the rise of authoritarian socialism, manifested primarily through the Russian Revolution in October 1917 and the horrors of the Stalinist regime, and in China under Mao’s Communist Party.
Continue reading “Authoritarian Socialism and the Anarchist Alternative”
2021 off to a great start, eh? Julian Assange not being extradited, but not for the precedent setting reasons, and denied bail. Now the US is yet again in turmoil, probably the closest to a genuine threat to their government and “democracy” since the Civil War, with a rather incompetent and short-lived coup attempt. Both events occurred at times inconvenient for an Australian political addict. Here are some very quick thoughts on the events in America today, in no real order:
Continue reading “Some Notes on the American Coup Attempt”
As this rather wretched and exhausting year comes to a close, I looked back at my list from 2019 and laughed sadly at my optimistic plans to read more in 2020. Perhaps I did when you count news, analysis, etc. online, but in terms of books it was disastrously minimal. However, the books I did read offered brilliant insights or just fascinating bits of knowledge. So, in no real order:
Continue reading “My 2020 Reading List”
In the past week, both the Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald, the Murdoch and Costello duo enveloping Australia’s media landscape, did hit pieces on Friendlyjordies. This resulted in a number of things, the most ironic being the skyrocket of attention someone can get from being on the front page of a national paper. But for all the transparently hostile spin towards Jordan, there is one criticism I saw in the online response to these pieces that I thought worth noting: Friendlyjordies is not the be all and end all of political thought.
Continue reading “Go Beyond Friendlyjordies”
An anarchist, voting? Oh no, that’s not allowed, that… that’s the other kind of anarchy! Let alone for Biden! Well, let it be some consolation that I cannot vote in the US election because I have the fortune of being born elsewhere in the world and vote there instead. But I do not view the act of voting in a capitalist electoral system as entirely contradictory to the anarchist belief of abolishing authority, even that of the State itself. Let me explain, because this is a piece for the “left”.
Continue reading “Why I’d Vote for Biden”
Does it surprise anyone that Trump’s rhetoric has labelled anyone involved in the protests and riots in the US as a “terrorist”? That isn’t hyperbole, that is the implication of him trying to designate Antifa as a terrorist organisation, even though he can’t actually do that on a whim despite how he’s acted during his first term (yes, first, there will probably be a second even after this).
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The more varying anarchist literature and essays I read (which is, admittedly, not even that much overall), the more I realise that, beyond the central theme of “opposing” all forms of authority and hierarchy, anarchism only has one other uniting feature – it can’t really decide or agree on much more than that. One such field is that of technology, with anarcho-primitivists and crypto-anarchists essentially being on opposite ends of that particular spectrum.
Continue reading “Anarchism and the Neutrality of Technology”
One of the few things I’m currently in uncertain disagreement with regarding anarchism is the idea of private property. In many cases, it is quite simple, but in others, like housing, and data, there are some discrepancies that it would be wrong to not address. Seeing as I have probably written more about anarchism in the past few days than I have since I started the site, now seems to be a good time to discuss them.
Continue reading “Private Property: Housing”
I finished two books today. The first was The ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman, which I’ve referenced in a few of my recent posts – well worth reading if you want to understand anarchist (specifically communist anarchism) ideas. The second, which was half the size and a much quicker read – hence finishing it within a few hours of the day – was Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin. The title intrigued me, and rightfully so – it was also fascinating, although I admit it threw me in the deep end on feminist writing and thought. Both books had some rather similar suggestions and themes, which I thought were worth discussing.
Continue reading “Free Speech, Understanding, and Growth: Anarchism and Feminism”
Earlier this year, I read Lenin and the Russian Revolution by Christopher Hill, which was a rather old and small book that is very much an introduction to the revolution and to Lenin himself. At the time I also wrote a couple of pieces on my thoughts about it, thoughts which, with further reading and understanding, are worth revisiting in an exercise of revision. While the general thrust of each of the pieces is still solid, my view of Lenin has changed drastically – for the worse.
Continue reading “Reflecting on Old Reflections: Lenin and the Russian Revolution”