Behold the ministers of left-unity in all their glory!
“The only way to achieve revolution is to put aside our differences and unite together as leftists and then after we overthrow capitalism we can then debate on what form of government to replace it with.”
Leave it to a red preaching left-unity at us to not understand the very first thing about anarchists: We want no form of government. This mentality really sums up the absurdity of the entire left-unity moment.
“I don’t get why so many people try to distinguish Marxism and Anarchism. Marxism is a vital part of Anarchist ideology.”
Um, no, it isn’t.
“I don’t think it’s a disservice to acknowledge (anarchism’s) inspirations. Anarchism has taken many cues from Marx. It’s just a fact.”
Bullshit. Nearly every point Marx made was ripped straight from Proudhon and burdened with Marx’s authoritarian hokum, as I’ll demonstrate later in this essay. Anarchy has no need or want of Marx or ism.
“As a libertarian socialist, I would much rather live in an ML state like the USSR, North Korea or China than in this capitalist hellhole.”
It’s always easy to spot someone moments from casting away their long-held superstitions against dictators and police states and signing up with the red ministry. Life is so much easier when you put your faith in a higher power that promises to bring you eternal salvation, to smite all your enemies and create paradise on Earth for you and all true-believers.
“Marx wanted a stateless, moneyless, and classless democratic society. Anarchists want that as well. The difference lies in how we get there.”
Gah, that irksome creed of every insufferable red entryist.
“We’re all headed in the same direction, the difference is only how far one is willing to travel. Someone might leave on the next stop, but before that stop it might be beneficial to work together. Establishing ideological purity that excludes our ML comrades hurts progress.”
Ugh… I feel dirty just quoting these internet commies and their perverse people-conglomeration fantasies, but it’s the best way to establish the purpose of this essay. This one’s going to cover a lot of ground, from entryism and left-unity, to the origins of anarchy and Marxism, to the ways we think about the community ideal and belonging, to a lived anarchy that’s persisted in east Africa for centuries, and finally the psychology behind the strange current of Han Chinese nationalism that’s rising within the white settler-colonial left. Let’s get started.
Exhuming The Left-Unity Corpse
The disturbing trend of self-proclaimed non-sectarian libertarian-socialists and “anarcho-Marxists” that have been attaching themselves to the anarchist discourse can be traced back with a straight line to the proliferation of “left-unity” spaces.
Most of these spaces exist on cursed corporate portals like Reddit, Twitter and Facebook, but they’ve also spread into meatspace. Currently, one of the most prominent virtual left-unity spaces spawns from the US social democrat “Chapotraphouse” podcast, along with assorted inoffensive Reddit spaces led by r/breadtube, the “leftbook” corner of Facebook and several Youtube personalities that start out identifying with particularly milquetoast strains of red anarchism, but then gradually embrace state-capitalist narratives before inevitably swearing off anarchy altogether and doing round the clock propaganda for the Chinese state and its incredibly successful strain of red fascism.
Self-hating settlers who accessorize themselves with various red fascist tendencies infiltrate anarchist and socialist spaces on corporate platforms and initiate left-unity policies that successfully ban all criticism of their backwards conservative views. The more vocal opponents of the new policy are quickly purged for breaking left-unity, leaving a more passive audience who are ripe for indoctrination.
Then the propaganda starts. Endless authoritarian memes to normalize gulags, guillotines, firing squads, violent struggle sessions against anyone who resists social stratification, dictators and genocide. Tomes of nonsensical ideological “theory” is then injected into the eyeballs of alienated young settlers who, for obvious reasons, are starved of cultural identity and belonging. The process ends when the targets are thoroughly brainwashed and can now only see the world through the increasingly warped tankie lens.
Once the transition to their new religion is complete, almost immediately, any ideas that conflict with the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Deng and Xi (never mind that they all contradict with each other) create desperate cognitive dissonance in their minds. So these pasty emotionally-stunted people angrily lash out at the unindoctrinated for being “radlibs”, “western chauvinists” and “imperialists” rather than risk parting with their new-found identity, community and belonging.
Once the majority in the newly minted left-unity community are comfortable joking about rounding up and killing “kulaks”, “anarchist bandits” or more recently “Uighur terrorists” and quoting Chinese state media to counter all the “imperialist western propaganda” from the mouths of the various minority groups being imprisoned and enslaved by the Chinese state (for their own good, they’ll insist), the shaming campaign begins.
Anyone in the space who breaks with the red fash party line is lambasted and ridiculed into submission. The remaining libertarians in the space now find themselves hopelessly outnumbered by scornful white settlers with daddy issues telling them they’re imperialist CIA stooges for thinking the Uighurs maybe shouldn’t be put in concentration camps or the Hong Kong and Tibetan people should get self-determination (watch tankies insist Tibetans who don’t want to be ruled by China are fascists and China is, in fact, saving them from themselves).
In order to not be shunned and purged by their peers, the anarchists in the left-unity space adopt an obscene anarcho-tankie ideology that allows them to maintain their affections for feel-good libertarian philosophers like Chomsky, Bookchin and Kropotkin, while somehow fusing the authoritarian third positionist fascist dogma enforced from the top down by their chosen community.
Uncritical support for every empire that competes with the USA’s, the insistence that anarchism and communism are one and the same because “they have the same end goal”, the claim that anarchist communes and an ML state can co-exist in harmony despite a mountain of historic evidence to the contrary, the attempt to whitewash and obfuscate failed authoritarian concepts like the dictatorship of the proletariat and the vanguard, the nonsensical belief that they can be an anarchist and also a Marxist or even a Dengist… Suddenly they’re able to take wildly contradicting ideas and hack them together in order to be accepted by the elitist red fash echo chamber they so desperately want the approval of.
The conflicting ideas grow increasingly out of whack the further down the rabbit hole the left-unity space takes them, and the ridicule they get for their remaining libertarian attachments begins to eat at their ego, until finally they post “How I went from an anarkiddie to a principled scientific analytical dialectic Marxist-Leninist with Chinese characteristics” and the transition from anarchy-curious to fully programmed red fascist shitlord is complete.
Perhaps all these conservative settlers calling themselves communists are hoping to alleviate their white guilt in some perfunctory way by identifying with ideologies that are little more than shallow anti-Americanism: Denouncing their home imperial empire and presumably all the power and privileges it lavishes them with (fat chance), but spending their days on Reddit and Twitter stumping for every competing imperial empire (China, Russia, Iran), no matter how tenuous a connection the empire has to their supposed socialist ideology.
Corporate platforms that give space to leftists are always organized in a way that requires a rigid hierarchical governance, giving the most power to the most senior moderators. As soon as a small group is able to mount big enough struggle sessions to rise to the top of the ranks of the virtual hierarchy, they’re granted complete control over the space forever and cement their power with a quick purge of anyone who objects to the new management.
They’ll find an assortment of ways to justify the purges, including claims that the dissenters are “wrecking” the space, that they’re racist Sinophobes for objecting to China’s treatment of ethnic minorities, or that they’re simply breaking the newly written left-unity rules by being sectarian, divisive or anti-communist. Nine out of ten people in the space will quickly adapt to the new status quo so they don’t risk losing their place in “the community”. Because the good of the precious community always comes first.
The truth is collectivists are all looking to be led and dictated to and given a role to play by their masters, while anarchy is all about telling people to think for themselves and reject all authority.
The tankie route is much easier for people to take because it doesn’t require real effort or self reflection. A prospective tankie just needs to follow the program, parrot the propaganda, swallow the lies, never dissent against party dogma, and they find automatic praise and acceptance and are able to feel like members of an elite group of “radicals” without actually doing anything radical or engaging in any kind of self-reflection.
Anarchists ask much more of ourselves and we never rest on our laurels or praise our associates for their obedience. We actually strive to unmake domination in all its forms, kill every cop in our heads, turn every social institution inside out, do anarchy in our lives at every opportunity and tell anyone who tries to rule us in any way to fuck off and die… That all takes a lot of fucking effort. Much easier to repost gulag memes on 4chan all day and be showered with praise from your fellow AK-47 enthusiasts.
While reds endlessly thirst for domination, bureaucracy and performative politburo, spending their gloomy little lives bossing all their deferential underlings around while promising them a magical revolution some day if they just stick to the program, prop up dear-leader and evangelize from the good book of Marx, anarchists are actually out there in the world waging perpetual warfare on everything and anything that would dominate us.
Left-unity is a deliberate ploy by disturbed groomers to indoctrinate impressionable young minds into their authoritarian red fascist cult and force them to abandon any dangerous individualist beliefs they might have once held so they can be accepted within the collective’s rigid hierarchy. Joe Commie can’t risk getting called a radlib or an anarkiddie by members of the Soviet reenactment society for forming their own thoughts or questioning daddy’s bullshit-laden narratives in any way.
“Left-unity” has never been anything more than tankie doublespeak for “obey us or be purged”. Don’t fall for it. Burn the space down before you let the scum of the earth get their hooks in it.
Red Fash Entryism
“Entryism is a tactic whereupon members of a political group join another group with the (often secret) intention of changing its principles and plans.”
“Entryism provides a means for a small but determined group to leverage their influence onto a larger sphere by using an infiltrated group’s resources.”
Before the red fash brigade can cement their power and seize control of a space to control the discourse, turning it into yet another boring apparatchik congregation, they need to do a whole lot of good old fashioned entryism.
Like any pious door-to-door missionary, once they’ve wedged themselves into the building with some gentle inclusivity-pleas and cries that they’re being oppressed by “sectarians”, it’s not long before they’re moving towards the stairs and getting ready to start their climb to the top floor where they can really let loose… Here are some examples of entryists at work on Raddle.me; an anti-authoritarian and illegalist space I founded:
“China has to put them in re-education camps because they’re terrorists, they pose a serious threat to society. The party can’t let dangerous people run around throwing bombs at schools, they have to maintain public order, so if the Uighurs are going to keep doing terrorist attacks, they need to be dealt with, it’s as simple as that.”
Is there anything a red fash enjoys more than casting ethnic minorities as villains in their Chairman Übermensch fantasies? This entryist worked hard to convince a site full of scumbag thieves and anarchists that the state needs to protect public order from ‘terrorists’. The irony was apparently lost on them.
Stay mad Western white libs. Accept facts that the only genocide happening in China is against poverty and outdated transit. But keep pretending that you’re against “all genocide” when you have literal concentration camps at the border of your countries. If only you were just as furious and took that much effort to focus on that than on China. Supporting CIA-funded terrorism in Xinjiang is the epitome of your white liberalism. China will keep winning and there’s nothing you can do about it.
The fact that this chuckle-head is a white boy from California, USA of course doesn’t stop him from weaponizing his own whiteness against a couple of people (non-western people of color, mind you) who were concerned about China’s self-admitted ethnic cleansing campaign. The entire tankie defense for ML atrocities always seems to come down to snarky shaming and whataboutism taken to the extreme.
“If there’s actually a genocide happening, I find it hard to believe the anti-Islamic GOP is the group that’s most concerned about Muslims in China. If there’s actually a genocide happening, I find it hard to believe that countries with large Muslim populations aren’t equally concerned, or even more concerned. If there’s actually a genocide happening, I find it hard to believe that China still has almost three times as many mosques-per-worshipper as the U.S.”
I find it hard to believe. If there’s actually a genocide happening. I find it hard to believe. If there’s actually a genocide happening. I find it hard to believe. If there’s actually a genocide happening… They’re not even subtle with the brainwashing.
ML states have done so many atrocities at this point that I don’t know why tankies bother denying it when a new one happens. The USSR alone was responsible for the de-Tatarization of Crimea, the genocide of the Ingrian Finns, the ethnic cleansing of Poles, the mass gulaging and pogroms of Greeks, the deportation of the Karachays, the deportation of the Kalmyks, the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush (Aardakh), the deportation of the Balkars, the deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia, the deportation of the Meskhetian Turks, the deportations of the Chinese and Koreans, the execution and deportation of Latvians, the expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe and the Holodomor famine that largely happened due to the USSR’s confiscation and export of all the grain stores in central and eastern Ukraine, and preventing people from acquiring more food by banning free movement.
Then there’s communist Czechoslovakia’s Romani sterilizations, the Cambodian genocide, Bulgaria’s “revival process”, Vietnam’s Montagnard persecution, the Isaaq genocide in Somalia, the Hmong genocide in Laos, the Gukurahundi massacres in Zimbabwe and the mass starvation of anywhere between 15 and 55 million people that happened in China during Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”.
At what point did tankies of the past switch from denying one of their genocides to praising it and insisting it was justified because the victims were kulaks? I give it 3 years, tops, before this clown’s narrative switches from “I find it hard to believe” to “well, they were a threat to the revolution so they had to go”.
“Why is it that when I go to “tankie” internet spaces I see genuine respect for other viewpoints and an interest in discussing and working with everyone willing to unite against the ruling class, but when I go to “anarchist” internet spaces all I see is a bunch of punching left and people calling MLs fascists and so on? Exaggeration of course, there are some actual principled anarchists in these places, but the radlibs (that’s all you fuckers who use the term “red fash” by the way) clearly own the place.”
This one’s a self-proclaimed “anti-imperialist anarchist” who thinks opposing China’s genocide is disrespectful to red fash. Brilliant bit of entryism that as usual tries to cast anyone who pushes back against authoritarianism as “unprincipled” and uncooperative and standing in the way of progress. Accusing us of “punching left” for rejecting ethnic cleansing is the cherry on top of this turd cake.
“Do you not see the difference between calling someone an “anarkiddie” and calling someone a red fascist? I’m not sure why I’d need to explain this to you, but you realize a fascist is one of the worst things you can possibly be, right? I hope I won’t be criticized for saying that I believe fascists should literally be executed openly. Being a fascist is, in my mind, like being a child molester or a murderer or a slave owner. It is something which completely invalidates any right you might have to continue living your life peacefully. To be a fascist is to be an active threat to all good people in the world.”
The same entryist goes on to insist we stop calling his comrades red fascists because they’re not murderers and child molesters… Except their daddy Stalin was both a murderer and a child molester. Mao too. Oops, was that disrespectful of me? Sorry, comrade. I guess those particular fascists don’t count because then you’d have to execute yourself for praying at their altar.
If Marxist-Leninists don’t want to be called fascists they shouldn’t stan for rulers who put gays and sex workers in gulags, displaced and starved millions of indigenous people in order to colonize their land (i.e. genocide) and murdered all their political opponents — including — shock — anarchists. In other words, they should stop calling themselves Marxist-Leninists.
You can’t detach a political ideology from its creators, and even if you could, ML rulers continue to enact racist, homophobic and colonial policies today, showing that modern MLs haven’t changed in any meaningful way. And you certainly can’t expect anarchists to not think of them as fascists when anarchists have been mass-murdered throughout history by ML counter-revolutions.
“Anarkiddy” is a low-effort paternalistic insult and it makes perfect sense that tankies would come up with it. It says a lot more about MLs than it says about us. But “red fascist” isn’t a mere insult, it’s the perfect description of what the modern Marxist-Leninist-Dengist is. A fascist draped in red. And judging by how riled up they get when they hear the term, it’s working as intended.
“If you’re not getting paid by the CIA to spread nonsense about its enemies, you’re really fucking stupid.”
They’re starting to betray their true intentions here. A little strange for an anarchist to be so angry that other anarchists aren’t willing to kneel for the state with the most billionaires in the world, no?
“It simply does not seem to me that Xi is a man with total and unquestionable power over his country. I’d need to see some good evidence that this is, in fact, the case before I would believe it.”
I’m sure they’d be perfectly willing to consider all the evidence, after all they’re a principled anti-imperialist anarcho-communist! Let’s see what happens.
“How in the world am I supposed to engage you in a serious discussion when you say absolute nonsense like “China has a dictator” lmao. Have you ever in your life read a book??”
Looks like I hit a nerve and he’s gone full mask off. The strugglismo is especially strong with this one, casting himself as the white knight in charge of defending Xi Jinping’s honor by shaming strangers into compliance with the party line on internet message boards.
“Go drink some more fucking kool-aid western chauvinist radlib.”
This back and forth I had with an entryist posing as an anarchist is identical to 100 other perfectly telegraphed conversations with entryists I’ve had. They’ll try to cast doubt on the narratives of the ML state’s victims, insist their favorite ML dictators are actually accountable, equitable and democratic, accuse you of being a lackey of one of the USA’s alphabet agencies and finally label you a reactionary / western chauvinist / radlib if you continue to resist their attempts to gaslight you and normalize authoritarianism in the space.
No matter how meticulously sourced your citations are, they’ll reject all of them as “western propaganda”. If you give them evidence from the ML state itself, they’ll claim it’s being taken out of context or is a mistranslation. There’s really no way to get through their thick armor of sun-baked bullshit. I find it’s much more productive just to mock them from the get go.
A couple of the quotes I opened this essay with were some red anarchists insisting that the only difference between Marxism and anarchy is the method we use to reach our supposed shared end goal.
That’s just it though, anarchists don’t have a final destination, we embody an endless negation of authority. To assume there can be a neat and tidy goal to anarchy would be to believe archy will just go away one day, which would be a ludicrous proposition at odds with everything we know about archy. As long as humans exist, so will Leviathan.
And when I say anarchists I mean anarchists, not milquetoast libertarian socialists whose idea of praxis is posting bread memes on Reddit while rubbing virtual elbows with their genocide-denying red fascist comrades from the safety of their sterile gated condos in suburban USA.
Anarchists desire a lot more than socialists desire. We want to unmake all forms of domination, not just economic and class-based domination. That’s what makes anarchists stand apart from every other political school of thought, and to pretend we’re just alt Marxists does a great disservice to anarchy.
Anarchists demonstrably predate Marxists. Even if you only count scholarly European men (as settlers will do) and not the centuries of peoples all around the world living anarchically without naming it e.g. the Hadza people in east Africa (a fascinating anarchistic culture I’ll explore later in this essay).
Anarchy was not inspired by Marxism, in fact Marx was greatly “inspired” by Proudhon; the first person to refer to himself as an anarchist, whose work “What Is Property?”, which concluded “property is theft”, was initially praised by Marx as “the first resolute, pitiless, and at the same time scientific investigation and critique of private property”.
Marx really made his career shamelessly ripping off Proudhon’s earlier work point by point, but piling on a thick authority sludge before serving it up to the world as if he were presenting something new and not just an authoritarian perversion of Proudhon’s ideas. Once Marx found fame with his plagiarism, he then decried Proudhon as being detestable; a bad economist, a bad philosopher, whose critiques were worthless and unevolved.
From Springers “Why A Radical Geography Must Be Anarchist”:
“Marx, like Proudhon before him, argued that abolishing interest-bearing capital was destructive of capitalism. Marx, like Proudhon before him, differentiated between possession and private property and argued that cooperatives should replace capitalist firms. Marx, like Proudhon before him, argued that the working classes must emancipate themselves. Marx, like Proudhon before him, regarded property as the subjugation of the labor of others by means of appropriation. Marx, like Proudhon before him, saw the cooperative movement as a necessity of transitioning away from capitalism and thus recognized the need for communal land and workplaces. Marx, like Proudhon before him, proclaimed the need for ‘scientific socialism’. Marx, like Proudhon before him, argued that the state was an instrument of class rule, although they differed in terms of whether or not a temporary proletariat dictatorship was necessary to see it properly undone.”
Moving beyond the widely-repeated entryist lie that Marxism somehow birthed anarchy, even the entire basis for left-unity; the idea that anarchy is leftist, is also predicated on a lie.
The left / right paradigm has nothing to do with anarchy, really. It was created in the days leading up to the French revolution, to differentiate between those who supported the French republic (leftists) and those who supported the French monarchy (rightists).
A politician in the états généraux who sat on the left side of the king favored the republic, while those sitting on his right favored the monarchy. Of course, neither side wished to abolish authority. Both left and right were clearly in favor of the state, regardless of who got to rule it.
To anyone not bamboozled by entryist swindlers and their doublespeak, identifying as a leftist is a statement to the world that you support nationalism, states, borders, a monopoly on violence, being ruled by kings or presidents or central committees. Anarchists aren’t left or right wing, we’re anarchists. We reject the power machinations of both wings of government. We reject all authority.
The underlying assumption still persists in the minds of leftists and rightists today that the whole spectrum of conceivable politics need to be enacted through the state. Anarchists shouldn’t be placing themselves on either side of the fucking king.
If anarchists know anything, it’s that nothing worthwhile can come from the state and its bureaucracy, so why would any anarchists want to adopt the left wing of the state into their politics? Why would any anarchist want to fuse themselves with a legion of shitty genocide-fetishists in a grotesque display of anti-authority and pro-authority unison?
Guess what happens when someone who purports to be anti-authority joins up with an authority-happy group, helps normalize their politburo posturing, their domination role-playing and amplifies their grotesque messaging for them? They cease to be anti-authority. There’s nothing anarchist about giving petty tyrants more power and a bigger audience.
From its inception, post-left anarchy has simply been a course-correction to restore and revive anarchy by unweighing it from the specter of authority (the left) that it’s been weighed down with by a hundred years of settler colonial humanism.
Slaying the Community Ideal & Exploring a Living Example of Anarchy
The libertarian socialists (I refuse to call them anarchists) who succumb to glaringly obvious entryism and embrace third positionist ideology (without ever admitting it to themselves) largely do so because they so value the idea of community, of being accepted and embraced by the other members of their supposedly non-sectarian, all-inclusive (so long as you obey an ever-expanding list of entryist rules) hugbox of a community. Because to all reds, world-building and comradeship is the very basis of their every ideological convulsion.
If the concept of community is authority-based e.g. steeped in majoritarianism, then what good is it to anarchists? Since at least 99.9% of all existing self-identifying communities and even theoretical proposals for communities are beholden to states, councils, committees, voter bodies and other forms of rulership, it’s safe to say the community ideal in itself is just another vessel of authority.
If all organized communities on the planet can be clearly demonstrated to be authority-based, then it’s a safe bet that the entire concept of community is authority-forming… By simply looking at every example in the world today, you can bet with absolute certainty that any forced grouping of people around the community ideal is going to lead everyone involved through another abusive and torturous adventure in archy.
The idea that a community can be without rulers has never been proven. The few remaining free people in the world e.g. the Hadza in east Africa (“Tanzania”) don’t live in anything resembling what we know as a community. They’re nomadic, have no leaders, no gods, no rules, no crops, no property, no marriage, no parents (Hadza children have full autonomy and essentially raise themselves), don’t extract anything from the land other than foraged food and are quick to remove themselves from the presence of anyone who tries to rule them.
Anthropologist Frank Marlowe:
“The Hadza certainly are egalitarian (Woodburn 1979, 1982a). This does not mean that there are no individuals who would like to dominate others and have their way. It is simply difficult to boss others around. If a Hadza tries to tell others what to do, which does happen now and then, the others simply ignore it; if he or she persists, they just move to another camp. Of course, the bossy person could follow them, but if people move to several different locations, the bossy person cannot control them all at once.”
I would suggest the reason the Hadza are so successful at living anarchy is because they have no attachment to the idea and the ideology of community, and will split up and drift away from a band of people without hesitation the moment the band ceases to suit their interests. The word “band” I’m using here is especially relevant since it’s distinctly compatible with the concepts of anarchy. From Britannica:
“By definition, a band was a small, egalitarian, kin-based group of perhaps 10–50 people, while a tribe comprised a number of bands that were politically integrated (often through a council of elders or other leaders).”
The Hadza live in groups of as little as 2 people, but generally their bands consist of around 30 people. The fascinating thing about Hadza bands is they can wholly consist of children without any adult supervision, demonstrating how they learn self-sufficiency and autonomy from other children from a very early age rather than through their parents.
Here’s the abstract of the journal “Evolution and Human Behavior Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2020, Pages 12–22”:
“Teaching is cross-culturally widespread but few studies have considered children as teachers as well as learners. This is surprising, since forager children spend much of their time playing and foraging in child-only groups, and thus, have access to many potential child teachers. Using the Social Relations Model, we examined the prevalence of child-to-child teaching using focal follow data from 35 Hadza and 38 BaYaka 3- to 18-year-olds. We investigated the effect of age, sex and kinship on the teaching of subsistence skills. We found that child-to-child teaching was more frequent than adult-child teaching. Additionally, children taught more with age, teaching was more likely to occur within same-sex versus opposite-sex dyads, and close kin were more likely to teach than non-kin.”
“The Hadza and BaYaka also showed distinct learning patterns; teaching was more likely to occur between sibling dyads among the Hadza than among the BaYaka, and a multistage learning model where younger children learn from peers, and older children from adults, was evident for the BaYaka, but not for the Hadza. We attribute these differences to subsistence and settlement patterns. These findings highlight the role of children in the intergenerational transmission of subsistence skills.”
Since the Hadza have no leaders or councils or any concept of social hierarchy, including the parent-child hierarchy libsocs like Chomsky are so fond of clinging to, “small bands of people” is really the perfect way to describe how they live. I wish more anarchists would gravitate towards forming temporary, transient bands of people who share common interests, rather than continuing their attempts to build permanent, massive, alienating, authority-breeding “communities”.
And perhaps the most important feature to their anarchistic way of life is that the Hadza have no specialists, with every Hadza skilled in everything they need to survive. This means there’s no division of labor and no systems or institutions are needed to create these divisions.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, the division of labor and resources is what a community is founded around inside civilization. Without the division that comes with specialism, the Hadza are able to live in complete anarchy in small, unattached bands of people where everyone owns the means of their survival. Marlowe writes:
“Each Hadza knows how to do everything he or she needs to do and does not depend on others. Each man can make his own bow and arrows, his poison, and his ax. Each man knows how to make fire, how to track, and how to make pegs to climb baobab trees and get honey. Each woman knows how to make her own digging stick, how to find tubers and dig them up, how to build a house, and how to make her own clothes, jewelry, and baskets or find gourds to use as containers for carrying water or berries. Even when it comes to medicine, each adult man and woman knows which plants to pick for different ailments.”
Since the Hadza’s anarchistic existence has no similarity to anything thought of as a community today (sedentary, hierarchical, complex legal systems, property-based, extractive, patriarchal, overflowing with authority), it wouldn’t make sense to call their way of life a community. Another word would be needed that isn’t weighed down by centuries of domination, shame and conformity, because the two ways of life simply have nothing in common. The closest political concept that describes what the Hadza have is probably Stirner’s union of egoists:
“The union of egoists is a voluntary structure formed by its members in their own immediate interests. This is a union of self-confessed selfish people, which they leave as soon as their interests are not being delivered.”
Both “a band of people” and “a union of egoists” are more descriptive phrases for living anarchy than a word as loaded and authority-laden as “community”.
A community comes with ideological baggage that needn’t exist, such as the perceived need to defend the wholly-manufactured community from externalities (even to the point of the loss of your own life), to put the needs of the community above the needs and desires of the individual and to more broadly collectivize the people who form the community as if they’re a singular, monolithic body and should act in unison at all costs, regardless of the damage this would inflict to their individuality, their autonomy and thus to anarchy.
Communities are often (always?) held together by ideology, and like all the nonsensical ideologies the world is ruled by, third positionism is showing itself to be a formidable community-builder in the perpetually-online sect.
It’s important to note that since the settler-colonial far-left have embraced Dengism or “communism with Chinese characteristics” as they more often term it, the bar has really been lowered to such an extent that their ideology has become harder and harder to distinguish from the various forms of third positionist fascism.
Third positionists seek to establish monocultural nation states built around the idea of supremacist racially-homogeneous nationalism. The third position argues for a mixed economy (blending elements of a market economy with elements of a planned economy) with a dedication to eliminating weakness and “degeneracy” from society.
The third positionists claim to be opposed to both communism and capitalism, while using ideas from both, typically fusing reactionary right-wing cultural views with radical left-wing economic views. The so-called third way is really no different than the other two ways to run a society in practice, but has snappy new branding.
Since tankies have updated their ideology to center around the modern People’s Republic of China: A state that openly trumps privatization, free markets, landlords, banks, stock exchanges, private healthcare, union-busting, billionaires, ethno-nationalism, cultural genocide, expansionist colonialist armies, institutional racism / homophobia, rampant economic imperialism overseas and mass-incarceration…. It’s become very difficult to distinguish how their ideology is any different from the western neo-fascist system they already live under.
So really, the imagination of the average internet tankie has been so utterly colonized that they’re unable to envision any system that doesn’t simply reproduce the USA’s neo-fascist empire 1:1 but with a different ethnic group at the helm.
But the Chinese state certainly checks all the boxes on the list of third positionist fascism. A nation state with a mixed economy, monoculturalism, racial homogeneny, Han supremacy, a blending of capitalism and communism, conservative cultural values (including bans on “abnormal sexual behaviors”). It’s like a third positionist wet dream.
So where did third positionism originate? The term “third position” was first used by Terza Posizione, a short-lived far-right movement founded in Rome in 1979 as a supposed third way of running a society, claiming to be a middle ground between communism and capitalism.
Much earlier, Strasserism evolved out of the National Socialist German Workers Party in the 1920s and 30s and tried to do the same thing. Unlike fellow party-member Hitler, who was avidly anti-communist, they took the “socialist” part of the party’s name seriously and combined anti-capitalism and wealth-redistribution with antisemitism and German nationalism.
In 1930s and 1940s France, a number of communist and socialist parties splintered to create nationalist off-shoots . These included Jacques Doriot’s French Popular Party (from the French Communist Party) and Marcel Déat’s National Popular Rally (from the French Section of the Workers’ International).
The original National Bolsheviks in both Russia and Germany had the same idea, believing socialism needed more blatant nationalism and racism than it already had under Lenin and Stalin. In the 1980s, the concept of third positionism was taken up by the far-right, fascist political party National Front in the United Kingdom. Today there has been a resurgence in third positionist fascism under various labels, from modern nazbols to “national anarchism” to neo-Eurasianism to (I argue) Dengism.
It’s completely unsurprising that an ideology founded by virulent racist and colonialist paternalists like Marx and Engels would find support with so many racist nationalists. Here’s part of a particularly offensive Marx-Engels Correspondence from 1862 that perhaps helps us understand why Marx felt the need to fuse all of Proudhon’s innovations with a heavy dose of authoritarian dogma, and why so many racists are drawn to forming nationalist Marxist offshoots. (Warning: Racial slurs ahead).
“The Jewish nigger Lassalle who fortunately leaves by the end of this week, has lost another 5,000 thaler in speculation. I realize now that he — his head form and his hair growth are evident enough — is a descendant of niggers, who joined Moses’ exodus from Egypt. The intrusiveness of this chap is also very niggerish.”
Engels shared these white supremacist beliefs. Here he is writing about Marx’s Cuban son-in-law Paul Lafargue in 1887, who Marx enjoyed denigrating as “the negrillo” and “the Gorilla.” The letter was addressed to Lafargue’s wife, commenting on Lafargue’s decision to run for public office.
“Being in his quality as a nigger a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.”
Both Marx and Engels celebrated the USA’s conquering of Mexico, further showing that their support for equity really only extended to white people in practice, and they were in full support of white nationalism and colonialism.
“Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?”
“In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States.”
Finally, here’s an example of Marx’s antisemitism, which of course appeals greatly to the third positionist fascists who see Marxism and fascism as being so compatible. Marx’s family had originally been Jewish, but his father swore off Judaism before he was born and converted to Evangelicalism, to better integrate himself into European society.
“What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.”
Today, several third-positionist and Eurasianist media outlets such as The Grayzone and Globalresearch.ca push fascist propaganda that attacks Western empires but glorifies Eastern ones.
These media outlets are beloved by tankies because their journalists deny the Uighurs are being ethnically cleansed and attack Hong Kong protesters for resisting Communist Party of China rule. Globalresearch.ca even has articles denying the holocaust, which doesn’t seem to slow down red fascists who lap up their pro-CPC, pro-Assad and pro-Russia propaganda and spread it far and wide.
I’d suggest the only reason modern Dengist tankies don’t openly identify as fascists is because they’ve gotten so much play historically out of casting fascists as their sworn enemy after the rift that developed between Stalin and the Nazis following their earlier gentleman’s agreement to divvy up Europe between themselves.
Every devoted ideologue needs a villain before they can cast themselves as the only hero who can vanquish the great force of evil. Hey, it worked for G. W. Bush with Saddam, and it’s working wonders for Xi Jinping with the Uighurs. Most of his citizens and foreign devotees are convinced he’s keeping them all safe from those big mean social pariahs.
Indeed, the contemporary tankie is devoted to “Xi Jinping thought”, a pious and devoted sermoner who calls for his congregation to have faith in the divinity of the good book, regardless of how many lifetimes it’ll take to bring about the holy rapture. Xi Jinping:
“It is Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought that guided the Chinese people out of the darkness of that long night and established a New China. The consolidation and development of the socialist system will require its own long period of history… it will require the tireless struggle of generations, up to ten generations. The fundamental reason why some of our comrades have weak ideals and faltering beliefs is that their views lack a firm grounding in historical materialism.”
Ten generations. So if we do the math, with each generation lasting 30 years, the communist rapture should be granted to true-believers in approximately 300 years. But only if their ideals are strong, their faith unfaltering, and they’re grounded in the divinity of hallowed historical materialism i.e. the necessity to “tirelessly struggle” through centuries of ecocide, police brutality and genocide inflicted on them by Xi and his successors. Don’t falter from the celestial path, comrades. Your salvation is near.
Deng and Xi’s economic and social reforms have succeeded where previous third positionist projects failed, mixing and matching socialist, nationalist and capitalist elements as it suits them. The party even goes as far as to declare Han culture as being synonymous with Chinese culture, and punishes all the minority cultures for not conforming to Han cultural supremacy.
It’s clear to me that this latest breed of tankie, the communist-with-Chinese-characteristics or Dengist, both within China and without, has fully embraced the mythical third position between communism and capitalism that in actuality is just far right nationalism with a state-controlled economy. So in a word, fascism.
Fascism Was Never Defeated
“Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultra-nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy.”
The only thing that’s really changed about global fascism since the second world war is it has adapted to no longer require one-party rule, instead turning the two-parties of western neoliberal democracies into separate wings of the same (fascist) party. Everything else is the same.
Two party rule is still a dictatorship for all intents and purposes, but with rotating reps who all represent the same political class. The rich fund both parties and their candidates to buy their allegiance regardless of which flag-waving stooge’s turn it is to sit in the big chair.
The billionaire class as a whole is the new dictator form, while the presidents, ministers and governors are just there to create spectacle, hold back any and all threats to the system and keep the peasantry convinced they have a say in the political process when they vote for one of the dictator class’s two pre-approved showmen.
Charles Koch is the supreme ruler of the fascist USA empire.
China, on the other hand, still matches up with the original unadulterated definition of fascism since it’s far-right i.e. extreme nationalist, nativist and authoritarian. It has an unabashed dictator i.e. the Paramount Leader of China, who simultaneously holds the positions of head of state, government, civil and military offices of the highest order within the party…
It has a forcible suppression of opposition in the form of re-education camps, outlawing of protest, institutional rape, mass-censorship, an intricate government propaganda system and staggering numbers of political prisoners. It has strong regimentation of both society and economy: The state has long acted to purge anything that doesn’t meet with strict hetero-normative Han-nationalist ideals, even outlawing LGBT representation in the media, and maintains an iron grip on the economy to the point of putting government officials to work full time inside at least a hundred big corporations.
Fascism is also always corporatist in nature, which the CPC certainly embodies with its forced class collaboration between worker and employer, and the way it structures its whole economy around the growth of the corporations, which serve to grow the state and its imperialist expansionism.
The party’s corporatism has all the usual features including useless employer-controlled unions and a staggering 1.5 million-member police force which springs into action during any class conflict, using its monopoly on violence to uphold the interests of the bourgeois class and violently put down the workers.
China is implicitly a fascist nation in the most traditional sense, meeting every word of the original definition, with the power in the hands of the head of state seemingly for as long as he wants it.
While the USA, due to its rotating two-party democracy, is better described as neo-fascist, with both parties serving the fascist billionaires who really rule the nation. But even China purports to be democratic much like the USA does, so the distinction is barely there… Xi Jinping calls China a “whole-process democracy”. Democracy is really a meaningless moniker when it’s so easy to obfuscate what the democratic process actually achieves. Plenty of lifelong dictators around the world claim to be democratically elected and will have anyone who says otherwise shot dead.
So the only tangible difference I can see between the two fascistic nations is the Chinese head of state is positioned above China’s billionaires on the hierarchy, and has no qualms about retaliating against them when they break with the party line, while the USA head of state is wholly subservient to the billionaire class and serves at their pleasure.
Some will argue that unlike previous fascist genocides, the Uighur genocide is motivated by economics, which it is, but it’s just as motivated by religious, cultural and ethnic considerations. The party’s propaganda depicts Uighurs as a crazed, seditious out-group striving to destroy China and its (Han) culture from within, and bring about the country’s collapse, which is really exactly how the Nazis depicted the Jews. And this isn’t even the first time the party has engaged in ethnic, cultural and religious erasure — they’ve been doing it in Tibet for decades.
Ideologues prone to entryism like to rebrand things every so often because their ideas start to look ridiculous after decades of failures, so fascism and Marxism-Leninism become third positionism, and seem more respectable for a while, at least until more failures and atrocities pile up. Got to hide that power level while you can I suppose.
As I mentioned earlier, third positionist ideology is likely embraced by goofy American and European settler-colonizers so readily because they have a lot of deep-seeded guilt stemming from their empire’s colonization of the world and they lack the imagination to envision real alternatives to their status quo. It’s far easier for them to seek an alternate strongman ruler to root for against their own strongman ruler than part entirely with the tight comforting security blanket a strong and charming ruler offers them.
After all, their fave ruler has a complex multifaceted plan to one day gift them a glorious utopia — in China’s case, a series of succeeding 5-year plans playing out over at least the next three centuries… And how can they resist the warm mushy feels that such strong regimentation and structure gives them? How can they doubt daddy when his big promises for a master plan make them feel so giddy and safe?
Being a communist-with-Chinese-characteristics means they’re not like all the other normie white settlers living with them under the Koch dynasty. When they log onto Twitter and flood their followers with neo-fascist conspiracy blog posts proving just how much the terrible Uighurs deserve to be erased, they get one step closer to that beautiful rapture where all the chosen ones float to Marx’s communidise and the reactionary unwashed heathens are left to rot in anarcho-hell.
Tankies will always insist they need to build a strong one-party capitalist state because their daddy Lenin said so. They’re convinced they need an almighty state so it can one day “wither away” and allow communism to bloom, because just look at how all those socialist states in history withered away! Look at Russia, look at China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, Syria, Burma, Libya, North Korea, Angola, Bangladesh, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Poland, Mozambique, Romania, East Germany, Hungary, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Albania… All socialist states that withered away into communism, right? Lenin was fucking prophetic eh?
More than a hundred years later, tankies still cling to the same bankrupt ideology that has failed catastrophically more times than anyone could have imagined. So the source of my endless befuddlement is: Why do so many self-proclaimed anarcho-communists and libertarian socialists see these people as their allies? And more often than not end up joining their third positionist cult after some gentle entryist prodding?
To tankies and their red/black advocates I say put down those blood-soaked books and face reality. Your amazing worker paradise, the reward for your century of struggle isn’t coming. You can kill all the kulaks, all the community-wreckers, all the anarchists, all the left-communists, all the ethnic minorities, all the gays, all the thieves, all the ungrateful unionists, all the muslims, you can pile all their reactionary revisionist terrorist infantile heretic bodies high and light massive meatsack bonfires all over the landscape, and you still won’t get your glorious communist utopia where everyone who hasn’t been murdered, lobotomized or gulaged gets to be equal, resource-rich and fancy-free.
Look at the world around you. Look at the rapidly collapsing inferno we’ve inherited from the slippery bearded ideologues of decades past. Your daddy Lenin was wrong, Stalin was wrong, Mao was wrong, Xi is wrong, all your big strong men whispering sweet nothings into your ear while they impregnated teenagers, orchestrated peasant massacres and stripped the lands they ruled bare were wrong.
It’s been a hundred something years of broken promises and bald-faced lies from every one of your heroes, going all the way back to the day grand-daddy Marx connivingly expelled the anarchists from the International for daring to offer an alternative to his authoritarianism. Yes, the man who first ripped off, watered-down and relabeled anarchist ideas also perpetrated the original entryist purge against anarchists… And history has been repeating itself ever since.
How about learning from history’s mistakes instead of repeating them in an endless loop hoping for a different result? No, Xi’s successor in the year 2321 isn’t going to give the workers a rapturous reward when he decides the time is finally right to abolish capitalism. He’ll live in a fucking palace on a pile of gold and diamonds just like all the rulers before him.
Xi’s disgusted by you. All your daddies are disgusted by the filthy peasants that kiss their boots and beg for table scraps. The only way you’ll get a piece of his pie is after you kill him and pry it from his ivory dentures. People who possess ultimate power over 1.4 billion people don’t wake up one day and decide to slice their wealth up into equal pieces and share it with everyone. It has never happened and it will never happen.
Authority strangles everything in its path. Building your society around authority and domination does not create anything but more fascism with a dozen different labels, each crudely stuck on top of the other.
There will never be a global communist society because communists will always find ideological enemies around every corner. You can’t murder them all and you can’t bend 7 billion people to your will, so stop fantasizing about reshaping the world in the image of some dead tyrants who told some big beautiful lies to their wide-eyed subjects a century ago.
You have no power to control the tides, whether you pray to Koch or Xi. Your ceaseless entryism (especially your wildly successful campaign for left-unity) will keep growing your base, but all you’re really doing in our spaces is indoctrinating people that were already wholly constituted of 100% pure horseshit. You can keep them.