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News ::
Announcing: The Anarcho-Leninist Debate on the State (english)
12 Oct 2002
An Anarchist and a Leninist, firmly convinced, above all else, of the need to salvage revolutionary theory from its existing state of degradation, have agreed to collaborate in taking their political principles into the ring. Join the debate! Post YOUR comments, criticisms and questions at the interactive web site
Announcing ...

The Anarcho-Leninist
Debate on the State

Join the debate!

Post YOUR comments, criticisms and
questions at the interactive web site:

  • The debate question
  • Introduction
  • The Combatants
  • The Debate Rules
  • Our sponsors

The debate question

In the period immediately following a successful mass uprising against the bourgeoisie, should the form (or forms) of organization adopted by the proletariat to secure its ultimate liberation be understood to be a state?


An Anarchist and a Leninist, firmly convinced, above all else, of the need to salvage revolutionary theory from its existing state of degradation, have agreed to collaborate in taking their political principles into the ring.

The sparks will fly in this clash of ideologies, as they beat the living dogma out of one another. The shit will be dredged from the shinola, and the fragile ideologies of both opponents, though painstakingly built over many years, may well be badly bruised (if not completely blown to pieces) by fight's end. Only one winner will emerge from this battle: revolutionary theory itself.

The Combatants

In the RED corner, fighting for the Leninist team, stands Ben Seattle. Ben is an information theorist and infrastructure architect focused on building and using weapons of information war to serve the consciousness and organization of the proletariat. He was quoted in the pre-match press conference as saying:

"I have seen some of what passes for discussion and debate
between "marxists" and anarchists and, as someone who
considers himself a marxist, I am appalled at the evasion,
self-deception and denial frequently practiced by "marxists"
who are unable or unwilling to confront the residue of the
period, in the twentieth century, during which "marxism" was
captured by the enemies of the working class and converted
into a state religion used to justify the permanent
suppression of the independent political voice and
independent political life of the working class. I believe
that real discussion and debate, based not on evasion, but
on a sincere belief in the power of principles is necessary.
The time for such discussion and debate is now. And, having
seen the work of Daniel and the anarcho-marxist list that he
has created, I consider him to be a worthy opponent."

In the BLACK corner, fighting for the Anarchist team, stands Daniel X-Trot. Daniel is a reformed Trotskyist involved with the struggle for refugee rights in Australia. In response to Ben's provocations in the press conference, whilst being restrained by several security guards, Daniel was quoted as saying:

"I was once a Leninist like Ben, but was convinced through
arguments conducted on the Anarcho-Marxist list, that the
state is not simply the means by which one class maintains
its rule over another, but specifically that it is the means
by which a minority class maintains its rule over a majority
class. I believe that the consequences of this question
affect the entire character of the left. I always knew there
was something wrong with the organisation I had been in, but
could never find anything wrong with their theory, so I
always assumed it was a problem with the personalities I was
dealing with. Now, I believe it is leninist theory which
leads to these problems in organization, and I have yet to
encounter an intelligent defence of Leninist ideas, as
opposed to outcries rooted in a love of orthodoxy and
organizational ritual. Ben is an intelligent and passionate
defender of Leninism, whom I have found to be loyal not to
any organization, but only to the consistency of his own
principles. I hope we can establish a spirit of
collaboration in this debate, that sets a precedent for
other debates between anarchists and leninists."

The Debate Rules

• The fight will be fought over at least 3 rounds,
with at least one post from each opponent in
each round, for a total of at least 6 posts.

• The opponents have agreed to respond fully and
in a non-evasive manner to all questions asked
of one another.

• The opponents shall have no more than 30 days to
respond to a post.

• The ring for the fight shall be the
Anarcho-Marxist Rapprochement and Proletarian
Democracy elists and the website at:

• The fight will also be broadcast live to a few
other progressive lists and Indymedia sites

• Spectators should also feel free to jump in the
ring and throw some posts at either or both of
the opponents. This will be done by posting:

••• to the website MicroForums
••• or the Anarcho-Marxist Rapprochement
or Proletarian Democracy elists
••• or the other elists or Indymedia sites
to which the fight is broadcast

Opponents are only obliged to address each
other. However they may raise or respond to
thoughtful posts brought up by spectators.

• Spectators who wish their views to circulate
more widely should email their posts directly to
Daniel at: rosen (at) teachyou (dot) com. Daniel
shall be responsible for assessing the relevance
of these posts and forwarding the better posts
to the Anarcho-Marxist Rapprochement or
Proletarian Democracy elists.

• All posts shall be public domain, and may be
reposted on any other list or website in whole
or part. However we do ask, as a revolutionary
courtesy, that you link to the website at

• In the spirit of transparency, the negotiations
between the combatants over the debate question
and other matters relating to the debate are
posted in the public archives of the pof-200

This fight jointly sponsored by:

• the anarcho-marxist rapprochement elist
(moderator/owner: Daniel)

The purpose of this forum is to facilitate respectful and fruitful discussion between anarchists and marxists from all shades of the ideological spectrum, for the purpose of helping all participants develop and elucidate their ideas through the dialectic of criticism and counter-criticism. In this way, we become more resonant agents in the (class) struggle to effectively sabotage Capital, its (state) apparatus/apex, and its Slaves, in all areas of our lives.

Our aim is to uncover, reclaim and invoke the original unity of anti-authoritarian and communistic ideas within the socialist tradition, and to discuss a variety of historical and emergent forms for channeling and invocating (bringing-into-the-world) our class Power. Our weapons include everything from revolutionary industrial unionism to sonic warfare; anything disrupting the mining of surplus-value by invoking our Power: the unity, dignity and sentience of our Class.

Warning: This list is unmoderated, but repetitive propaganda posting will not be tolerated.

• and the proletarian democracy elist
(moderator/owner: Ben)

Working class rule has never existed except in embryonic form (the Paris Commune of 1871 and early Soviet Russia). Nevertheless it will emerge triumphant in the 21st century. How will a modern society suppress the former ruling bourgeoisie without also suppressing the independent political life of workers?

The primary obstacle to the development of a mass movement focused on the overthrow of bourgeois rule and its replacement with a system of workers' rule is the complete theoretical bankruptcy of nearly all conceptions of workers' rule. The proletarian democracy elist is focused on helping to overcome this theoretical bankruptcy. Topics discussed include: • competition of multiple workers' parties in the context of a stable, modern society • The theoretically degenerate "left ecosystem" that offers activists two equally stupid alternatives: (1) a "socialist" police state or (2) eternal bourgeois rule. • The sword of mass-based information war and the shield of separation of speech and property • The Transition Economy • Cargo Cult Leninism • Participatory Economics • the Self-Organizing Moneyless Economy


Round one begins !

The class war continues folks, so stay tuned for the action!
See also:
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