Alexander Hope

Revolutionaries and Reactionaries

There are those political groups that are revolutionaries, and then there are those who are reactionary and counter-revolutionaries. The revolutionaries are those that destroy the current state of things, they are hell-bent on the destruction of the old institutions, while the counter-revolutionaries and reactionaries are those who want society to remain as it is, to conserve and preserve the current status quo and their institutions of oppression.

This picture may be quite ‘‘White and black’’ but the reality is found in the shades of gray. Those that abolish the state and rebuild their own state after the revolution such as Liberals and Marxists are both revolutionaries and reactionaries at the same time. They are revolutionary because they destroy the old society, they are reactionary because they do not see past their society that they have themselves constructed, and blinded by the construction of the new society, they preserve the new society in a time when it has become old and destroyed all the previous revolutionary notions the construction once had. All those revolutionaries that rely on rebuilding the state, are both revolutionary because they destroy the old society, but at the same time also reactionary and counter-revolutionary, because in rebuilding a state, and in preserving their state, they have merely created the thing they swore to destroy. Figures like Napolean, Lenin, Mao are all great revolutionaries but also the greatest reactionaries at the same time — This is the flaw of ‘‘dialectics’’ — the hegelian weakness in both liberalism and marxism. Anarchism on the other hand has vanquished this hegelian weakness and since they do not rely on the state, they are always revolutionary and never reactionary, never counter-revolutionary. The figures of Napolean and Lenin create a ‘‘contradiction’’ in society, — the idea of a ‘‘revolutionary state’’ — while the revolution is hell bent on the destruction of states, the state is hell bent on the preserving of itself and the destruction of the revolution itself.

Marxism-Leninism is merely an extension of liberalism, and seeks to continue liberalism’s mission of a ‘‘revolutionary state’’ — Marxism-Leninism is even more liberal, than the so-called liberals of common modern day society. Where the liberal has failed, the marxist-leninist fails even harder. They create a contradictory society that cannot be reconciled, — the question needs to be asked, ‘‘Who will win?’’ — The revolutionary spirit? or the state under socialism? — the question is rather easy to answer. The moment a state is propped up instead of the revolution, — the revolution itself has officially died. What remains is a state with revolutionary characteristics, and these ‘‘characteristics’’ of revolutionary fervour are destroyed gradually as the revisionist take over to restore capitalism. History speaks for itself, that the heightened liberalism of marxism-leninism could not be maintained, therefore they fell back to the older version of liberalism, — the liberalism of the free market, not that of the new economic policy, the liberalism of unbridled capitalism, not that of state capitalism. The capitalism of the soviet union became social imperialist under the kruschevist take-over, and america and the soviet union engaged together in an imperialist ‘‘war’’ over capital and wealth.

Those who worship the dialectic are inherently both revolutionary and reactionary. We start by Hegel himself — His philosophy was considered reactionary from the get go — because his philosophy preserved the Prussian state, and the way things are, however the disciples of Hegel, also saw it possible, that hegelianism itself could vouch for a revolutionary edge. The dialectics are in constant motion, and therefore Hegel’s philosophy although it protected the Prussian state, it also made it possible to entrust contradictions to it, that would result in the state’s own destruction via a revolution. This was the contribution of the left hegelians, Engels and Marx became revolutionaries. The only ‘‘Free’’ Left-Hegelian was the one that denied hegelianism, denied the spirit and the dialectics, and he is the one and only Max Stirner, who used the dialectics to lead the dialectics towards Nothing. Stirner therefore can never be a reactionary, because he is always fighting, struggling and insurrectionizing.

Marx and Engels on the other hand, were both revolutionary and reactionary. The anarchists in opposition to Marx and Engels maintained that late stage communism could be achieved via free activity, action, and voluntary cooperation. That to build communism, one needs the tools of freedom, not the tools of liberalism and oppression. The Marxist laughs at the face of the electorate socialist who thinks he can change society ‘‘By using bourgeois electoralism’’ to bring about socialism, but in so doing, the Marxist is laughing at himself. Both the electorate socialist and the marxist rely on bourgeois tools to construct socialism, while the anarchist relies on the tools of freedom and cooperation, without involving the state.

Napolean was possibly the shining example of reactionary and counter-revolutionary. He came into power through a coup d’etat, usually a feat attribuited to fascists. He then crowned himself emperor, returning to feudal conditions. Napolean, in trying to use the ‘‘state’’ as an organ of class bourgeois rule that could free Europe from monarchism and feudalism, became feudalist himself and carried all of France with him back to feudalism. The figure of Lenin and Napolean are almost the same, but the figure of Lenin is even more tragic. Lenin achieved the revolution through appropriate and correct means, — that much can be granted to Lenin, unlike Napolean who achieved power through a coup d’etat. After the revolution however, Lenin was returning to how ‘‘things were’’ — firstly he developed the dictatorship of the NEP (New economic policy) — This was under the excuse that socialism could only develop, if capitalism had developed in the first place. (This mistake could only be done under marxists) — Such a mistake could not be done under anarchists, because anarchists do not believe in ‘‘socialism’’ — they believe that communism can be achieved through free action, and that the productive forces can develop out of feudal, bourgeois and socialist conditions through free action and mutual aid. We do not necessarily need to wait for ‘‘capitalism’’ to develop productive forces. Productive forces can be developed merely through mutual aid, sociability and organization.

Lenin developed capitalism in Russia, and when there came a time for so-called ‘‘Socialist construction’’ — there was a temporary peroid, where socialism was actually constructed. However, the bolshevik revolution repeated the same mistakes of the french revolution, because it based itself on a flawed and liberal revolution. This was the logic of Marx, that ‘‘the proletariat can achieve power by copying the method of how the bourgeois achieved power as a class’’ — unfortunately this logic fails, it would be like Judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree, as Einstein would say. One could not attribuite the same features of the bourgeoisie to the proletariat. After a temporary peroid of ‘‘actual socialist construction’’, Stalin took over, and yet again the socialist construction continued. This socialist construction ‘‘failed’’ during the second world war, when the ‘‘Soviet union’’ like France under Napolean wanted to liberate Europe through their state power. Unlike Napolean who crowned himself emperor and returned to ‘‘Feudalism’’, Stalin crowned himself with bureaucracy and extensive state capitalism. Until eventually this power was taken back from him in the The Khrushchevites’s take over, who returned back to the old ways of capitalism. Many so-called scientific Marxists blame the ‘‘revisionists’’ for the failure of socialism, but they are merely blaming a sympton of a much larger problem. Revisionism is a sympton of the Marxist-Leninist state. The proletariat state is a breeding ground for opportunism and therefore social imperialism, and to an extension revisionism itself. It is the ideology of Marxism-Leninism that breeds revisionism into existence, because as we remarked before Marxism-Leninism is a ‘‘contradictory’’ ideology, it is both revolutionary and counter-revolutionary.

The trotskyist are no better, in fact they are worse. Trotskyists often blame the Marxist-Leninist, the maoists and the ‘‘Stalinists’’ for being ‘‘Left Bonapartist’’ — this may be to an extent true, but the trostkyist are even worse than Left Bonapartist. The trotkyist praise their ‘‘Permanent revolution’’ — but at the same time like the marxist-leninist they believe in the proletarian state. The trotskyist are ideologist who are reactionary but do not believe that they are reactionaries.

How come are these individuals reactionary?

To get a jist of what we mean by reactionary, I shall quote an article about Lenin’s opinions on Tolstoy,

‘‘Tolstoy’s assault on Russian absolutism delighted Lenin, but the count’s mystical Christianity and pacifism left him cold. How, Lenin asked, could such a gifted writer be a revolutionary and a reactionary at the same time?’’ — (How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution)

This may be true — The Tolstoy figure is both revolutionary because he seeks to destroy Russian absolutism, but at the same time, reactionary because he falls short. Tolstoy is like an ‘‘intermediary’’ — in the middle of things. If we follow the logic of hegelian dialectics, on society’s eve of a new future, society raises itself to new knowledge and to new concepts. Society does away with the ‘‘Old’’, and constructs the ‘‘New’’ — Tolstoy was in the middle of the Old and the New. Therefore, he could barely see the future, but also haunted by his past. Tolstoy is therefore a revolutionary because he’s bringing about a new understanding that challenges the status quo, but he is a reactionary, because he is still stuck in the past, haunted by the concepts of the past. For Lenin, the reason why Tolstoy maintained ‘‘Pacifism and the mysticism of christanity’’ was because Tolstoy was still haunted by the tsarist past. The Tolstoy figure can be compared to ‘‘Manuel Dimech’’ in the development of the Maltese working class in Malta. Although he was a revolutionary and anti-colonialist, he was still a metaphysician and a christian. The same can be said about Proudhon, although he was a revolutionary because of his scientific understanding, and his assault on private property. He was still a reactionary because of his anti-scientific metaphysical understanding, his christian understanding and him being still haunted as a child of the enlightenment. The only philosopher who is not haunted by history, historicism, the past, is Max Stirner, — he has done away with the past, and he ridicules the historical idealist and materialists in his essay on the philosophical reactionaries,

‘‘Now, in a flash, our hero takes a ride through history. “Hurrah! the dead ride fast.” — Max Stirner, The Philosophical Reactionaries: A Response to Kuno Fischer’s “The Modern Sophists”

The same logic that was applied to Proudhon, Manuel Dimech and Tolstoy can be applied to Lenin. The figure of Lenin is still haunted by his past, in fact every Marxist is an ‘‘intermediary’’ — in the middle of things. The concept of socialism is a reconcilation with the capitalist past, while communism is something far into the future. Lenin is both a great revolutionary and the greatest reactionary. Every Marxist has this title, ‘‘Great revolutionary, Great Reactionary’’.

We can descrine the irony of the figure of Lenin, by quoting Karl Marx, in his book, ‘‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’’

‘‘Hegel remarks somewhere[*] that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.’’ — Karl Marx

In this quotation, we find, that great historic leaders appears twice, of course this doesn’t mean to say that history is cyclical, but rather that the same person appears twice. First appears the revolutionary within man, and then appears the reactionary. Another lenghty quotation perhaps to illustrate the most spooked sentence in all of Marxist Literature,

‘‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. Thus Luther put on the mask of the Apostle Paul, the Revolution of 1789–1814 draped itself alternately in the guise of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and the Revolution of 1848 knew nothing better to do than to parody, now 1789, now the revolutionary tradition of 1793–95. In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue.’’ — The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Karl Marx 1852

Not only does this sentence rely on the ‘‘Abstractual spirits’’ of the new langauge and the old langauge, it actually enforces these spirits into the world. For a so-called ‘‘Scientist’’ — Karl Marx sure loves to be haunted by ‘‘spirits and ghosts’’ especially from the past, historical figures that are now dead. Perhaps the comical criticism against history by Stirner needs to feature again, ‘‘Hurrah! The dead sure ride fast!’’

The contradiction of marxism is for all to see, on one end Marx claims that people are busy revolutionizing themselves to create ‘‘New things’’ — on the other hand he claims precisely the opposite notion, that people rely on the traditional past, on the ‘‘old things’’ — clearly the socialism of marxism already appears in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonparte. Marx forget to mention, that not only do revolutionaries such as the bolsheviks borrow names, battle slogans and the like, but they also borrow the same state apparatus, the same prisons, the same instutitions of liberal oppression. While Luther puts on the mask of the Apostle paul, Napolean puts on the mask of Ceasar and Lenin puts on the mask of the perfect petit-bourgeoisie.

The ghost of Marxism continues to envelope the world in the following quotation,

‘‘When we think about this conjuring up of the dead of world history, a salient difference reveals itself. Camille Desmoulins, Danton, Robespierre, St. Just, Napoleon, the heroes as well as the parties and the masses of the old French Revolution, performed the task of their time — that of unchaining and establishing modern bourgeois society — in Roman costumes and with Roman phrases.’’

Marx is like a Jesus figure here but worse! While Christ performed miracles, Marx performes Magic and like a necromancer he conjures up the dead of world history, even from the first quotation, the notion of conjuration pertains, that in , ‘‘precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.’’

Marx is also an intermediatery, caught in the middle of history’s web. Unless Marx and all his disciples do away with the ghost of history, do away with the itnermediarness of socialism. Communism will never be achieved.

Communism is achieved when individuals free themselves from the ghost of the past, when men make their own history and do not rely on the history of their own making. For Marx, Men make their own history, but not as they please, yet another ‘‘Aporia’’ another, mistake, another contradiction. On one hand he claims that we are free, on the other he claims we are determined by the webs of fate history itself has implanted. Communism must be free or not free at all!

The Marxist may judge the anarchist for denying ‘‘socialism’’ as an intermediary process, they may jump and say, ‘‘Just because you have abolished the state in 24 hours, does not mean you have achieved communism’’ — This is Something Lenin said in his book, ‘‘State and revolution’’ — unfortunately, Lenin misquotes the anarchists, since the anarchists never themselves claimed that they wanted to abolish the state in 24 hours. We maintain that revolution is gradual, and that even after the revolution, there is a gradual process through which communism is slowly achieved through free action. The marxist jumps in, ‘‘This is socialism then!’’ — the anarchist will reply, that the anarchists do not rely on a historical political peroid of socialism, rather they rely on the free actions of free individuals everday, that will construct communism everday. The more free their action, the more oraganized, the more mutual aid develops productive forces and surplus of commodities, the more the people rely on the principle, ‘‘to each according to their needs’’ — the more communism becomes achieveable. We are always, avant-garde and revolutionary, the marxist may step in and say, ‘‘If all you do is revolution and destruction, then you will not construct anything of value’’ — This is also incorrect and illustrates the ignorance of marxists when it comes to anarchism.

Bakunin claimed explicitly that, ‘‘The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”

Furthermore the anarchist, Alexander Berkman claimed in his book,

“Our social institutions are founded on certain ideas; as long as the latter are generally believed, the institutions built on them are safe. Government remains strong because people think political authority and legal compulsion are necessary. Capitalism will continue as long as such an economic system is considered adequate and just. The weakening of the ideas which support the evil and oppressive present-day conditions means the ultimate breakdown of government and capitalism. Progress consists in abolishing what man has outlived and substituting in its place a more suitable environment.” — ABC of Anarchism

What is this ‘‘Suitable environment’’ which Berkman mentions? — This is anarchist construction, and it is explained in detail in my other essays. Essentially, it is that which constructs anarchism, mutual aid networks stronger united organization among fellow men and the like.

Reactionaries and revolutionaries, Tolstoy, Lenin, Hegel, Marx, Napolean and many others. We have mentioned them all.

What about the state? Is it reactionary or revolutionary? — The answer is that, the state is always reactionary, even if it is endowed with revolutionary virtues. The state will always be reactionary, even if you dress it up with a revolutionary dress.

The state always results in reaction, the state is not comfortable in a revolutionary position, the nature of the state is reactionary, backwardism, conformism, authority and denies the revolutionary spirit. While the revolutionary spirit wants to overthrow and destroy, the state wants to preserve and create institutions of oppression by which means it will preserve itself. The state can only create institutions of oppression and it has done so for hundreds of years, it cannot possibly lead to a stateless, classless and moneyless society, that which we call ‘‘Communism’’. The Marxist use their argument that ‘‘The state will wither away’’ once we reach a classless society, once the bourgeoisie have been defeated. While it is true, that the state is a product of class society, the state exists to propogate class relations, and therefore even if it is used to destroy the bourgeoisie, it will yet again create another class in order to propogate the state’s existence. Nietzche once said, the ‘‘state is a cold Monster’’, Max stirner once said, the State is like a ‘‘Lion’’ or an ‘‘Eagle’’. I say that the state is a slivering Lizard, because like the lizard, it can cut off it’s tail, show it to the other lizards in victory and pride, proclaiming that the ‘‘REVOLUTION HAD BEEN WON!’’ — and moments later, the tail is regenerated and regrown. The lizard’s tail is replaced with another as they munch on the old tail as reactionaries. This is the legacy of socialism — it is a lizard that cuts out the feudal and capitalist tail, it grows another tail and munches on the old feudal tail as a compromise, just like the bolshevik’s state’s fight against the bourgeoisie, merely replaced them with another class of the bolsheviki to propogate the state’s prolonged existence. Marxist-Leninists not only replace one tail by another but they also eat the old tail of capitalism — Lenin’s New economic policy is such an example of this — Lenin the monopolist feasted on the tail of capitalism and bloated himself like a big fat pig.

The state is a monopoly on power and as long as this monopoly of power exists, no matter how many classes are abolished through the state, the state will ironically recreate it’s own enemy, it’s own Frankenstein’s monster to fight against. As long as the state has an enemy to fight against, the state will always exists. This is how the bolsheviks justify the state’s existence by declaring enemies of their own making. Does the naive marxists honestly think, that once the bourgeoisie are defeated, that the state will merely vanish and deteroriate? What about the monopoly on power? Will those in power simply not cling to power? — The marxists might say, that ‘‘As class is gradually abolished, the state will start to lose its features and lose also its monopoly structure’’ — while this may be correct, the state remains a monopoly of power, and as long as there are monopolies, there is a minority that is in control. Even though the marxist preach that the party walks hand in hand with the masses, it nonetheless puts a distance between the common masses and those within the party, if they truly wanted to walk hand in hand with the masses as equals, they would ahve abolished the state like the anarchists and walked hand in hand with the masses truly as equals.

A fish is not comfortable on land and will flutter its tail on the coast until it is back in the ocean. The same thing is a state. Whether communist or liberal, the revolutionary spirit and everything that had to do with the revolution will revert back to “ how things were” -the state like the fish is not comfortable on the revolutionary land, it will revert and devolve back to the reactionary land of the ocean where the plankton reigns.