LONDON – SOAS student and anarchist Rhys Davies emerged shaken from a debate with classmate and CPGB-ML member Michelle O’hanrahan over the historical personage of Joseph Stalin.
“She wanted me to come to a Stalin Society meeting. Why don’t I just go to a Hitler Society meeting?”
“The thing that bothers me most is, it’s pretty clear Marx was an anarchist just from what Marxists themselves say. They all say communism is a stateless society. Therefore, all communists who ever established states were bad Marxists.” Davies informed us, ignoring the well-known polemics between Marx and contemporary anarchists.
“It’s not that I’m trying to convert them to anarchism or anything, it’s just that communism’s real spirit is anarchist. They know the state is bad, and they keep talking about overthrowing it, but then they want to a establish a NEW state? What would the difference be? I assume nothing.”
“And all those socialist states were dictatorships. Would Marx have ever defended a dictatorship? I don’t think so. But the way the Soviet Union was run was, there was a single, all-powerful leader in charge who made everyone do what he wanted and everyone secretly hated him but went along with it.”
“Unlike in capitalism, where at least I’m free to openly call for the overthrow of the state, as bad as it is.”
“Anyway, the thing I don’t understand is, whether CPGB-ML or the Trotskyists, they all like Lenin. So I guess Lenin is where Marx’s anarchists teachings first got perverted. But unlike Stalin, who was illiterate, I presume he read Marx. So he must’ve understood that all states are bad. I heard a quote from ‘the State and Revolution’ where he says ‘While the state exists there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there will be no state’.”
“It’s a brilliant quote, so why did he establish the Soviet Union?”
“Maybe one day I’ll read ‘the State and Revolution’ and figure it out.”