Melbourne Anarchist Archives Index

Anarchism Against Maoism (1972)

The kind of society that anarchists and libertarian socialists strive for is a society which is free and socialist. A free society makes no attempt to suppress or oppress any lifestyle and does not interfere with the cultural (in the broadest sense of the word) freedom of any individual or group. A necessary condition for the establishment of the free society includes the destruction of the patriachal nuclear family and its specific forms of sexual behavior. These forms of behavior repress natural sexuality. Sexual liberation involves every member of society; heterosexuals as well as homosexuals, bisexuals and autosexuals. Cultural chauvinism, a product of sexual and economic repression, disappears only when the forces of repression have been overthrown.

A socialist society requires the destruction of hierachical authority relationships at all levels of society - the family, the work situation and the government of society. A socialist society is attained when the people involved in the production process consciously control that process, with each person's option carrying equal weight. Such control does not only include the 'conditions of work'. It involves control of the content of production as well. Management as something separate from the point of production cannot exist in a socialist society. There cannot be a managerial class in a socialist society. Likewise there cannot be a group of decision makers and administrators separated from the masses. Every person must have an equal opportunity to participate in all decisions, and all decisions must be made by the masses themselves - not by individuals or groups representing or pretending to represent the masses.

We see the basis for revolutionary change in society as a dual thrust for socialism and freedom. Any analysis of revolutionary change ignoring this leads to new forms of mystification. For example W.S.A. [Worker Student Alliance] newssheets continually tell us that the main enemy of the peoples of Australia (and other parts of the world) is U.S. Imperialism, and imply that all will be well when the people overthrow U.S. Imperialism. The only analysis undertaken by W.S.A. is a crude economism. In simple terms U.S. Imperialism is an enemy of the people. But it is only one (probably the most important one) example of a much broader phenomenon - that of massive oppression by an advanced technological society. An analysis of U.S. Imperialism must be based on its modes of economic, sexual and cultural oppression.

One must examine the role of the masses and the degree to which they support the system. W.S.A. has done a small amount of the analysis of U.S. Imperialism by examining the economic and political roles of some of the large U.S. corporations in Australia, Indo-China and elsewhere. We consider this to be only one small part of a complete analysis of U.S. Imperialism.

Essentially W.S.A. is using 'U.S. Imperialism' as a scapegoat - a focus for hatred which removes the necessity for thorough analysis: This focus illustrates the shallowness of W.S.A. ideology. More importantly it makes it very easy for proponents of W.S.A. ideology denounces as (reactionary' anyone attempting to analyse W.S.A. ideology, or anyone not accepting the W.S.A. official line. It is easier for one to accept the official line than to undertake a searching analysis; it saves one having to think.

Perhaps we are being severe on W.S.A. but it would be informative if they stated their position on a number of issues. These could then by analysed for their adherence to the philosophies of socialism and freedom. It is much more positive to analyse and present one's own beliefs than merely to focus on those of 'the enemy'. In particular we would like to know W.S.A.'s thoughts on the following:

  1. Authority relationships - does W.S.A. feel that it is necessary for society to be divided into leaders and followers following the revolution, even if society is in a transitional stage.
  2. Family - does W.S.A. have any thoughts about the position of the family in a revolutionary society, and the demands of women's liberation.
  3. Sexual behavior - in particular W.S.A.'s attitude to groups such as gay liberation, and to forms of sexual behavior often considered deviant in bourgeois societies.
  4. Conscription - does W.S.A. oppose all conscription? It is not logically wrong for one to oppose conscription into capitalist armies and support conscription for people's armies, but such a position is incompatible with freedom.

We believe that a revolutionary philosophy must be consistent with the ideals of freedom and socialism.

[ Top of Page ] [ Melbourne Anarchist Archives Index ] [ Radical Tradition Contents ]