Why Marx Matters

One interesting aspect of this segment is where Michael Brooks describes himself as having been a “Chomsky kid” (#metoo, Michael) and how the far-left in the US is largely just “progressive liberalism with an anarchist tinge.” Amen, brother. Michael seems to have since moved to something along the lines of a Jacobin Magazine-like socialism, while I have (hopefully) moved toward a more substantive anarchism.

The three main criticisms I have of the left-anarchist milieu are that 1) some anarchists only want anarchism to be the fringe wing of socialism, while I take a much more expansive view of what anarchism is; 2) for some anarchists “anarchism” is merely a euphemism for an extremist version of progressive liberalism (particularly the IdPol-obsessed SJW types); and 3) many anarchists of the left exhibit a pathological right-wingophobia that fails to recognize that a consistent application of anarchist principles requires a transcendence of the “left, right, and center” paradigm.

For instance, this article describes left-anarchism as “Anarchism is a process whereby authority and domination is being replaced with non-hierarchical, horizontal structures, with voluntary associations between human beings. It is a form of social organisation with a set of key principles, such as self-organisation, voluntary association, freedom, autonomy, solidarity, direct democracy, egalitarianism and mutual aid. ”

But how many “left-anarchists” ever even talk about these things as opposed to progressive liberal talking points or critical theory-inspired SJW rhetoric?

I disagree that anarchists must be leftists, and I consider non-leftist forms of anarchism to be legitimate forms of anarchism, but even a consistent application of left-anarchism would require a rejection or at least a modification of the conventional “left, right, center” framework.

2 replies »

  1. Well, I think the best approach is to recognize and encourage anti-authoritarian tendencies from across the political and cultural spectrum, while criticizing authoritarian tendencies from all points on the spectrum. But I agree that a major problem is anarchist left has is a failure to recognize that anarchism is much, much more than a ghetto within the left, or merely a cousin to Marxism or progressive liberalism.

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