Anarchism is naturally attractive for those wanting to abolish capitalism. But only Marxist ideas can explain why bureaucracy and oppression exist.
Anarchism poses some of the most important and fundamental questions for revolutionaries. These questions are concerned with power: what is it? Is it necessary? Is it legitimate? And does it inevitably corrupt those who wield it?
At first glance the notion that ‘all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’, seems thoroughly convincing. However, Marxism is a science, and science must look deeper. We fully agree with anarchists that a truly free, socialist society would be one without oppression, abuses of power and a state. We, like the anarchists, fight for the realisation of just such a society, one that provides genuine human freedom. But Marxism shows its superiority over anarchism in seeking a scientific, historical explanation for the horrors of class society. Marxists understand that society changes over time. There is nothing eternal or fixed about features such as class inequality, sexual oppression, racism, greed and the state.
Marxists understand that power is not the source of all evil. Instead, state power for instance came into history to serve a specific purpose: to protect private property. It is nothing but a tool in the hands of the given ruling class to oppress and hold down the exploited classes. So long as such opposed classes exist, it will be impossible for these classes to jointly and fairly run society, as it is impossible for a business owner to allow his or her workers to run the business.
The defeat of one class by another can only be accomplished by means of political struggle. To bring about a socialist society, it is the working class that must defeat the capitalist class. To do so, it needs its own political weapons: a workers’ state and structures of leadership. Without these, any socialist revolution is bound to be destroyed by counter-revolution.
Marxism and Direct Action - Phil Mitchinson
Marxist and Anarchist Theory - Daniel Morley
"The State and Revolution", Chap. 4: Controversy with the Anarchists - Lenin
On Authority - Frederik Engels
Marxism and Anarchism - Alan Woods
Marxism or Anarchism? - an open letter to thinking anarchists - Alan Woods
Marx vs Bakunin - Alan Woods
Hue and Cry Over Kronstadt - Leon Trotsky
Kronstadt: Trotsky Was Right! - A. Kramer
The Machno Anarchists and Kronstadt - A. Kramer
Marxism and Anarchism - Various authors
Anarchism and Socialism - G.V. Plekhanov
Communism and Syndicalism - Leon Trotsky
Marxism and Anarchism - Alan Woods
Socialist Appeal are proud to publish this education guide to help focus your studies of Marxist theory and practice. Visit the various tabs below to find links to introductory articles, classic texts, videos and audio talks for different topics. Read More
We present here Marxism 101: a series of responses and short video talks answering the most common myths and questions about Marxism, socialism, and revolution. Read More
Check out this selection of writings for an excellent introduction to many of the fundamentals of Marxist theory, providing a strong basis for those wishing to equip themselves with the ideas necessary in order to fight for socialism. Read More
Dialectical materialism is the philosophy or methodology of Marxism. We must seek to understand the laws of society and nature in order to change them. Read More
Historical materialism is the general theory of how and why society develops in the way it does. Each social system has its inherent laws of motion. If we want to overthrow capitalist society, we must understand how capitalism works. Read More
Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society, allowing us to understand why capitalism perpetually goes into crisis, where inequality comes from, and what the alternative is. Read More
The Russian Revolution is the greatest event in world history for Marxists. Studying the events of 1917, and understanding why the Revolution degenerated into Stalinism, provides vital lessons for revolutionaries today. Read More
For Marxists, the state is not at all neutral. We must understand the state’s real basis and strip away its mysticism by treating it historically - taking in its origins, rise, and eventual fall. Read More
Anarchism is naturally attractive for those wanting to abolish capitalism. But only Marxist ideas can explain why bureaucracy and oppression exist - and how to overthrow the exploitative capitalist system. Read More
Marxists are irreconcilably opposed to the oppression of women and fight determinedly for liberation and against discrimination. We believe this will be achieved through the class struggle - to abolish the oppressive capitalist system. Read More
The madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism. But it could have been avoided if the working class had a united revolutionary leadership, prepared to take power. Read More
Nations have not always existed, nor will they always exist in the future. Marxists are internationalists, fighting for world socialist revolution as the only way forward for humanity and our planet. Read More
Wars represent the sharp extreme of capitalism’s impasse. Imperialism, Lenin said, was the "highest stage of capitalism". As long as the profit system exists, there will be wars over markets and spheres of influence. Read More
All written history, Marx stated, is the history of class struggle. Our task is to learn the lessons from history in order to prepare for the revolutionary events taking place today and in the future. Read More
Our aim is to spread the ideas of Marxism, in an organised fashion, amongst workers and youth. In order to do this, we must study the history and traditions of the working class. Read More
Fundamentals of Marxism
Stalinism and the Soviet Union
Identity and Oppression
The National Question
Imperialism and War