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Some of My Past Political Mistakes – Re-evaluating a 1985 Dialogue on Anarchism and Marxism

In the 1980s I participated in a “dialogue” about anarchism and Marxism. Re-reading my writing now, when I am a revolutionary anarchist, I think that much of what I wrote then was wrong–with one exception. I went over certain key issues, such as the strengths and weaknesses of Marxism, the state, the revolutionary party, election participation, and national liberation–topics which are still important for anarchists and other radicals to consider and debate.

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A Green New Deal vs. Revolutionary Ecosocialism

The idea of a “Green New Deal” has been raised in response to the threat of climate and ecological catastrophe. Two such proposals are analyzed here and counterposed to the program of revolutionary libertarian ecosocialism.

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Review of Peter Gelderloos, “Worshipping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation”

A review of Peter Gelderloos’anarchist analysis of how states are formed and developed.

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The #Anarchism of Blackness–Review of Zoe Samudzi & William C. Anderson, “As Black as Resistance; Finding the Conditions for Liberation.”

There are almost no books on anarchism and African-American liberation, which makes this an exceptional work. It places racial oppression at the center of U.S. society, interacting and overlapping with all other forms of oppression and exploitation. The strengths and weaknesses of the work are reviewed.

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Post – #Anarchism on the State — An Anarchist Critique

Response to Saul Newman, “Anarchism, Marxism, and the Bonapartist State”. A review of the nature of the State as understood by anarchists, especially as proposed by the tendency called “post-anarchism.” This is done through a review of the opinions of Saul Newman, a leading proponent of post-anarchism, in his work, “Anarchism, Marxism, and the Bonapartist State.” The post-anarchist view is opposed by the class theory of the state, versions of which are raised by traditional, revolutionary anarchists and by Marx.

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An Anarchist View of the Class Theory of the State

In order to understand government politics, it is necessary to have a theory of the state. The essay reviews classical anarchist and Marxist views of the class-based, pro-capitalist, nature of the state. But there are also non-class and non-capitalist influences on the state. These need to be integrated into a class theory of the state.

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Some Lessons from Revolutionary History

Review of Loren Goldner, Revolution, Defeat, and Theoretical Underdevelopment: Russia, Turkey, Spain, Bolivia (2017). A review of a book by a libertarian Marxist sympathetic to anarchism who analyses four revolutions in the 20th century and discusses their lessons.

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The Limits of Hegemony

Review of Jonathan M. Smucker, Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals. How can we build an effective popular movement to change society? That is the subject of this book, which has been widely praised. In my opinion, it has important and profoundly true things to say, but is politically unbalanced and mistaken in certain ways.

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Wayne Price: National Self-Determination, Internationalism, and Libertarian Socialism

Some anarchists and libertarian Marxists oppose the concepts of national self-determination and national liberation. They argue that these slogans deny class struggle, endorse nationalism, is contrary to anarchist principles, and lead to Leninism. I respond to these arguments, saying that anarchists should be in solidarity with the people of oppressed nations without endorsing their nationalist leaders.

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