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Marx-Bakunin : “Science & Society”, Mr A. H. Nimtz & Bakunin (revised)

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IWA: The class organisation model
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Article published on 3 February 2018
last modification on 3 October 2020

by Eric Vilain

The paperback version on this text can be bought at:

Cercle d’Études libertaires Gaston-Leval

I felt the need to write a few pages to complete somehow my “Social-democracy and Anarchism” [The Merlin Press Ltd], freeing myself from the requirements an author is obliged to comply to in a published book.
So one must on no account take what follows as a response to Mr. Nimtz, because his article actually does not call for an answer.

Besides, I realize that there is something unfair and disproportionate in answering 80 pages to a three-page article. But, as I have said, I do not seek to reply to Mr Nimtz but to comment on his argument which is, in my opinion quite paradigmatic of the pre- and misconceptions within academic and Marxist circles.

Mr Nimtz’s argumentation is symptomatic of the dominant Marxist attitude and of the Marxist discourse, ignorant of facts, archaic, dogmatic, arrogant, devoid of any critical spirit. I found it necessary to publicize the libertarian point of view on the issues Mr Nimtz raises so that the reader can have access to another approach.

There is a sort of 1) academic; and 2) Marxist monopoly on these questions which I find a bit irritating. This is why I do not feel compelled to proceed with the customary politeness and reserve which academics use in their writings – besides the fact that I am not an “academic” [1]. (...)

There is no better way to situate the gap between the Marxist vision and the anarchist view of history than to quote Marianne Enckell:

“One of my hopes, and one of the reasons why I became a historian is that should stop the dialogue of the deaf between Marx and Bakunin, between dogmatic Marxists and frantic Bakuninists, and that should improve the political questions that were raised over a century ago in the IWA. Too often the disciples look backward, hammering out phrases of their mentors who are nothing but fixed representations.” (Marianne Enckell, Interrogations n° 1, décembre 1974.)

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