Friday, September 11, 2009


Rudolf Rocker, Nationalism and Culture:

Every power presupposes some form of human slavery, for the division of society into higher and lower classes is one of the first conditions of its existence. The separation of [women and] men into castes, orders and classes occurring in every power structure corresponds to an inner necessity for the separation of the possessors of privilege from the people. Legend and tradition provide the means of nourishing and deepening in the concepts of [women and] men the belief in the inevitability of the separation. A young rising power can end the dominion of old privileged classes, but it can only do so by creating a new privileged class fitted for the execution of its plans. Thus, the founders of the so-called "dictatorship of the Proletariat" in Russia had to call into being the aristocracy of the Commissars, which is as distinguishable from the great masses of the working population as are the privileged classes of the population of any other country.

As I like to say, the communists are always the first to go -- this holds as true under fascism as it does under liberal democracy as it does under "communism." Anyone advocating equality of power, particularly in the economic sphere -- which is what communism means -- is second only to the anarchist as persona non grata, since the anarchist generalizes equality of power to every sphere of human experience.

For the purposes of power, the two are taken together, since anarchists, as much as they contest various Marxist interpretations, accept communism or some variant as appropriate for economic relations. The important distinction lies in whether control is exercised by the population directly or by some political entity which claims to act on their behalf.

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