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Post-scarcity Anarchism (1971)


Murray Bookchin


“Today the greatest strength of capitalism lies in its ability to subvert revolutionary goals by the ideology of domination. What accounts for this strength is the fact that ‘bourgeois ideology’ is not merely bourgeois.

Capitalism is the heir of history, the legatee of all the repressive features of earlier hierarchical societies, and bourgeois ideology has been pieced together from the oldest elements of social domination and conditioning—elements so very old, so intractable, and so seemingly unquestionable, that we often mistake them for ‘human nature’.

There is no more telling commentary on the power of this cultural legacy than the extent to which the socialist project itself is permeated by hierarchy, sexism and renunciation. From these elements come all the social enzymes that catalyze the everyday relationships of the bourgeois world—and of the so-called ‘radical movement’.

Hierarchy, sexism and renunciation do not disappear with ‘democratic centralism’, a ‘revolutionary leadership’, a ‘workers’ state’, and a ‘planned economy’. On the contrary, hierarchy, sexism, and renunciation function all the more effectively if centralism appears to be ‘democratic’, if leaders appear to be ‘revolutionaries’, if the state appears to belong to the ‘workers’, and if commodity production appears to be ‘planned’.

Insofar as the socialist project fails to note the very existence of these elements, much less their vicious role, the ‘revolution’ itself becomes a facade for counterrevolution.”

Murray Bookchin

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