Review of book about the CNT’s integration into the State

February 2024 Forums Events and announcements Review of book about the CNT’s integration into the State

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  • #243446
    ZJW
    Participant

    The CWO’s review of ‘Revolution and the State: Anarchism in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939’ by Danny Evans:
    https://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2023-05-11/revolution-and-the-state-anarchism-in-the-spanish-civil-war

    #243449
    DJP
    Participant

    Danny Evan’s book is well worth reading. As is this forthcoming one, which also started off as a PhD thesis and is published by AK Press:

    https://www.akpress.org/means-and-ends.html

    Not that there’s anything to disagree with, but both are good scholarly studies.

    #243451
    Lew
    Participant

    “Not that there’s anything to disagree with”

    If the blurb is accurate, there’s plenty to disagree with.

    “… as people engage in activity, they simultaneously change the world and themselves… the means that revolutionaries propose to achieve social change have to involve forms of activity which transform people into individuals who are capable of, and driven to, both overthrow capitalism and the state and build a free society.”

    This hasn’t worked in the past, it isn’t working now and there’s no reason to suppose that it will be more successful in the future.

    #243461
    DJP
    Participant

    Lew wrote “This hasn’t worked in the past, it isn’t working now and there’s no reason to suppose that it will be more successful in the future.”

    But the paragraph you mention, when taken just by itself, is just a vague passage about the unity of means and ends and the need to develop capacities through practice. As socialism is a democratic society it can only be reached by democratic means; and for people to live in a democratic society they have to develop the skills required for living in that way – skills that are developed through practice.

    The author of the book would presumably disagree, but the type of democratic activity that the SPGB engages in could fit this description – the SPGB doesn’t think that you can get to socialism by force, by decree or without the majority playing an active role.

    I don’t know how different the published book will be from the PhD thesis, but the dissertation version can be downloaded for free from here:
    https://repository.lboro.ac.uk/articles/thesis/The_revolutionary_strategy_of_anarchism_in_Europe_and_the_United_States_1868-1939/16961263/1

    #243513
    ZJW
    Participant
    #243538
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    This hasn’t worked in the past, it isn’t working now and there’s no reason to suppose that it will be more successful in the future.

    Succinctly sums up the SPGB’s quandary!
    Over 100 years of ‘activity’, fewer than 300 members, all of your companion parties defunct or near defunct, and still no socialist revolution in sight.

    #243560
    Lew
    Participant

    “still no socialist revolution in sight”
    There is a difference. The anarchist position (about which you say nothing) is based on individualism and can never lead to socialism. Instead of regularly posting your counsel of despair, why don’t you tell the SPGB what it is doing wrong? Just repeating that there is no socialist revolution in sight in itself does not show that it is wrong.

    #243561
    chelmsford
    Participant

    Hardly a mere quandary, more of a dirty great hole in socialist theory.

    #243565
    chelmsford
    Participant

    Isn’t the burden of proof on the SPGB? If what you are doing is sound, why such lamentable results?

    #243575
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    Isn’t the burden of proof on the SPGB? If what you are doing is sound, why such lamentable results?

    Don’t be too hard on the SPGB, Essex Boy! It’s not doing anything wrong, apart from wasting its time. It should be blatantly obvious by now the problem lies fairly and squarely with the intended recipients of the ‘message’: the ignorant and politically unsophisticated mass of humanity.

    exempli gratia:

    #243580
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Actually, you are on the right track. The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself.

    #243587
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    Actually, you are on the right track.

    Oh, and don’t I know that! 🙂

    Serious question. If I join the SPGB now would I qualify for a share in its assets (sale of No 52 and its not inconsiderable other monies) when it folds?

    #243589
    ALB
    Keymaster

    You can have it all when the working class establish socialism and there is no longer any need for a socialist political party and it is dissolved.

    #243592
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “Serious question. If I join the SPGB now would I qualify for a share in its assets (sale of No 52 and its not inconsiderable other monies) when it folds?”

    If the Socialist Party is in its death throws, as you suggest, is your ongoing interest in our terminal decline some kind of Harold Shipmanesque like interest in death. If so, “serious question”, does your necrophilia display itself in other areas. Just want to keep an eye out for you if you end up working in whatever nursing home I end up in.

    #243596
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    Just want to keep an eye out for you if you end up working in whatever nursing home I end up in.

    Fear not! I’m a physicist, not a physician. 🙂

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