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Rudolf Rocker - Marx and Anarchism

Rudolf Rocker - Marx and Anarchism

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Published by: Adrian on May 13, 2010
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06/30/2012

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Rudolf Rocker 
Marx and Anarchism
1925
The Anarchist Library
 
Contents
I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11VI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12VII. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
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I
Some years ago, shortly after Frederick Engels died, Mr. Eduard Bernstein,one of the most prominent members of the Marxist community, astonished hiscolleagues with some noteworthy discoveries. Bernstein made public his mis-givings about the accuracy of the materialist interpretation of history, and of the Marxist theory of surplus value and the concentration of capital. He wentso far as to attack the dialectical method and concluded that talk of a criticalsocialism was impossible. A cautious man, Bernstein kept his discoveries tohimself until after the death of the aged Engels; only then did he make thempublic, to the consequent horror of the Marxist priesthood. But not even thisprecaution could save him, for he was assailed from every direction. Kautskywrote a book against his heresy, and at the Hanover congress poor Eduard wasobliged to declare that he was a frail, mortal sinner and that he would submitto the decision of the scientific majority.For all that, Bernstein had not come up with any new revelations. The rea-soning he put up against the foundations of the marxist teaching had alreadybeen in existence when he was still a faithful apostle of the marxist church.The arguments in question had been looted from anarchist literature and theonly thing worthy of note was that one of the best known social democratswas to employ them for the first time. No sensible person would deny thatBernstein’s criticism failed to make an unforgettable impression in the marxistcamp: Bernstein had struck at the most important foundations of the metaphys-ical economics of Karl Marx, and it is not surprising that the most respectablerepresentatives of orthodox marxism became agitated.None of this would have been so serious, but for the fact that it was tocome in the middle of an even more important crisis. For almost a century themarxists have not ceased to propound the view that Marx and Engels were thediscoverers of so called scientific socialism; an artificial distinction was inventedbetween so called utopian socialists and the scientific socialism of the marxists, adistinction that existed only in the imaginations of the latter. In the germaniccountries socialist literature has been monopolised by marxist theory, whichevery social democrat regards as the pure and utterly original product of thescientific discoveries of Marx and Engels.But this illusion, too, vanished: modern historical research has establishedbeyond all question that scientific socialism only came from the old English andFrench socialists and that Marx and Engels were adept at picking the brains of others. After the revolutions of 1848 a terrible reaction set in in Europe: theHoly Alliance set about casting its nets in every country with the intention of suffocating socialist thought, which had produced such a very rich literature inFrance, Belgium, England, Germany, Spain and Italy. This literature was castinto oblivion almost entirely during this era of obscurantism. Many of the mostimportant works were destroyed until they were reduced to a few examplesthat found a refuge in the tranquillity of certain large public libraries or thecollections of some private individuals.This literature was only rediscovered towards the end of the nineteenth andbeginning of the twentieth centuries and nowadays the fertile ideas to be foundin the old writings of the schools which followed Fourier and SaintSimon, or theworks of Considerant, Demasi, Mey and many others, are a source of wonder.It was our old friend W. Tcherkesoff who was the first to come up with a sys-3

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