Anarchism and dialectics

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Anarchism and dialectics

Post by 4thsupporter on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:39 pm

My question is to any anarchist about there use(if any) of dialectics, so far iv read that Bakunin embraced Hegelianism but i do not know how it was applied to this theory(if it is at all) and what they think of dialectic materialism?

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Re: Anarchism and dialectics

Post by Celtiberian on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:08 am

I'm not an anarchist, but I do have some knowledge of anarchist political philosophy. With respect to their view of dialectical materialism, it really varies within the anarchist community. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, and Peter Kropotkin, to my knowledge, didn't adhere to the materialist dialectic. If it's true Bakunin accepted the Hegelian dialectic, that would imply Bakunin was an idealist—whereas Marxists are mainly materialists. As Marx wrote in his Critique of Hegel's 'Philosophy of Right' (1843), "My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite."

The traditional anarchist opposition to capitalism rests upon a sophisticated moral critique of the system. Many contemporary anarchists, however, are strongly influenced by Marxism and accept the materialist dialectic.

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Re: Anarchism and dialectics

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:02 am

Does not Bakunin repudiate idealism in God and the State?

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Re: Anarchism and dialectics

Post by Celtiberian on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:17 am

Rev Scare wrote:Does not Bakunin repudiate idealism in God and the State?

That was my impression, which is why I was perplexed by 4thsupporter claiming that Bakunin may have been a Hegelian. I've not yet read the entire corpus of Bakunin's work, but he does indeed repudiate idealism in many of his writings. For example,

"Man at first understood by the word 'Nature' only what we call external Nature, his own body included. What we call the universal Nature he called 'God'; hence, the laws of nature appeared not as inherent laws but as manifestations of the Divine Will, God's commandment imposed from above upon Nature and upon man. In line with this, man, siding with God, whom he himself created, in opposition to Nature and his own being, declared himself in revolt against Nature, and laid the foundation for his own political and social slavery.

Such has been the historic work of all religous cults and dogmas.
"
Maximoff, G.P. (ed.) The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism, p. 25.

I don't know if Bakunin subsequently or prior to the publication of those lines embraced idealism.

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Re: Anarchism and dialectics

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:57 am

I suppose it might have been the case that Bakunin embraced idealism in his early days of activism. He was quite a colorful and unbridled personality, and the views he held throughout his life are therefore difficult to condense. I do believe it is beyond dispute that he sided with materialism toward the end of his life.

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