View of the workers state.

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View of the workers state.

Post by Dave55 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:44 pm

What do people on SP think about the state? In my opinion a workers state is vital for the regeneration of British society and that there will be a need for the workers state to ensure that the collectively produced wealth will be used for the benefit of society and not for a parasitical minority. Without such a state then the future does not look promising with the danger being a disintergration into warring cliques.

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Re: View of the workers state.

Post by Rev Scare on Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:55 am

That is actually a rather vague question. There can be no serious debate as to the necessity of a workers' government for the successful revolutionizing of the mode of production. Some central governing authority would be indispensable for a multitude of reasons, among them defense and the generalizing of socialist productive relations across the whole of society. This was no less true of the Paris Commune and syndicalist Spain, with the Central Committee and federated workers' councils, respectively, as of Bolshevik Russia, with its soviets and Communist Party. Let us promptly dispense with anarchist crap. A polity would be established formally or as a de facto state if the revolution should have any hope of final victory. In fact, the Spanish Revolution, for all its laudable accomplishments, suffered from a defect that ultimately undermined its great initial strides, which was that its leaders failed to recognize the importance of ceding power to central organs of workers' democracy and a revolutionary party committed to smashing the bourgeois state until the eleventh hour had passed. Their Bakuninist idealism eschewed proletarian dictatorship and led them down a path of adventurism that strengthened and emboldened the forces of reaction with every failure.

If your question concerns the policies and composition of a revolutionary workers' state, that is obviously a matter of circumstance. The Bolsheviks were compelled to implement austere policies in order to protect the Russian Revolution largely due to factors beyond their control, as were the Chinese Communists. The Paris Commune, by contrast, was less internally repressive, though it was much too short lived to draw significant conclusions from it on this issue. In all circumstances, the state should provide for the organized expression of the will of the working class, including its interest in superseding capitalism by assisting in the construction of socialism.

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Re: View of the workers state.

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:56 pm

At the risk of sounding pedantic, it depends on how one defines a state. Anarchists generally consider the state to be an institution existing, in a certain sense, above society and which additionally exercises a monopoly of force within the boundaries a specific geographic location. If I recall correctly, Marx shared this perspective in his early writings. Marx later revised his position and came to define the state as an organ of class rule. My sympathies on the matter lie with Marx and Engels's mature work.

If we take the state qua instrument of class domination as our basis, then it will obviously cease to exist upon the establishment of a socialist mode of production. But if we instead adopt the anarchist definition, it will remain intact until society can reasonably rely upon voluntary respect for borders and socialized property.

As a revolutionary syndicalist, I categorically reject the traditional social democratic conception of communism being achieved in a series of reforms, as well as the Leninist method of a workers' state expropriating the means of production from the bourgeoisie. Capitalism, in my opinion, will instead be dismantled in a sequence of general strikes and workplace sabotage coordinated by a revolutionary syndicate led by a vanguard of class conscious workers. Thus, the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat will be a relatively brief affair.

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Re: View of the workers state.

Post by MutualistPhilosophy on Sun May 03, 2015 3:26 am

The problem with the workers` state concept is that virtually every time it has been attempted it has ultimately devolved into an ultra-bureaucratic,ultra-authoritarian society no less repressive to the workers than capitalism albeit in a different sense.Capitalism represses the workers by way of wage slavery and supply-side economics that are largely rigged in the ruling class`s favor.The so-called "workers` state" on the other hand represses the workers by way of removing their right to property and indenturing them to the party leaders just as they would be indentured to their bosses under capitalism.Mutualism would respect the rights of the workers to possess personal property,allow them to form their own firms based upon a more democratic mode of production, respect their right to organize without needing to kowtow to the will of the state and the bosses and most importantly respect their autonomy as productive members of the new social order.It would also abolish rent,usury,excessive taxes upon workers and wage slavery.Money would instead be precisely proportional to the amount of labor that goes into a product.
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Re: View of the workers state.

Post by slavicsocialist on Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:44 am

MutualistPhilosophy wrote:The problem with the workers` state concept is that virtually every time it has been attempted it has ultimately devolved into an ultra-bureaucratic,ultra-authoritarian society no less repressive to the workers than capitalism.
Every worker's state in history that has ever existed has had to become authoritarian and "bureaucratic" in order to survive. Otherwise internal and external counter-revolutionaries will topple the revolution. From Michael Parenti

For a people’s revolution to survive, it must seize state power and use it to (a) break the stranglehold exercised by the owning class over the society’s institutions and resources, and (b) withstand the reactionary counterattack that is sure to come. The internal and external dangers a revolution faces necessitate a centralized state power that is not particularly to anyone’s liking, not in Soviet Russia in 1917, nor in Sandinista Nicaragua in 1980.

Engels offers an apposite account of an uprising in Spain in 1872-73 in which anarchists seized power in municipalities across the country. At first, the situation looked promising. The king had abdicated and the bourgeois government could muster but a few thousand ill-trained troops. Yet this ragtag force prevailed because it faced a thoroughly parochialized rebellion. “Each town proclaimed itself as a sovereign canton and set up a revolutionary committee (junta),” Engels writes. “[E]ach town acted on its own, declaring that the important thing was not cooperation with other towns but separation from them, thus precluding any possibility of a combined attack [against bourgeois forces].” It was “the fragmentation and isolation of the revolutionary forces which enabled the government troops to smash one revolt after the other.”

Decentralized parochial autonomy is the graveyard of insurgency–which may be one reason why there has never been a successful anarcho-syndicalist revolution. Ideally, it would be a fine thing to have only local, self-directed, worker participation, with minimal bureaucracy, police, and military. This probably would be the development of socialism, were socialism ever allowed to develop unhindered by counterrevolutionary subversion and attack. One might recall how, in 1918-20, fourteen capitalist nations, including the United States, invaded Soviet Russia in a bloody but unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the revolutionary Bolshevik government. The years of foreign invasion and civil war did much to intensify the Bolsheviks’ siege psychology with its commitment to lockstep party unity and a repressive security apparatus. Thus, in May 1921, the same Lenin who had encouraged the practice of internal party democracy and struggled against Trotsky in order to give the trade unions a greater measure of autonomy, now called for an end to the Workers’ Opposition and other factional groups within the party. “The time has come,” he told an enthusiastically concurring Tenth Party Congress, “to put an end to opposition, to put a lid on it: we have had enough opposition.” Open disputes and conflicting tendencies within and without the party, the communists concluded, created an appearance of division and weakness that invited attack by formidable foes.

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