Marx’s Theory or Marxist Theory?: Daniel Morley responds
Daniel Morley offered this response to my post, Marx’s Theory or Marxist Theory?: How Daniel Morley (mis)Educated Anarchists:
Marxists certainly should be against sectarianism in the workers movement, no doubt those ‘Marxists’ who do behave in a sectarian manner to workers, are a plague on the movement.
However, you seem to equate sectarianism with the writing of and development of theory, which for me is the attempt to understand society in its movement. But then, if that is the case, both yourselves and Marx himself are the worst sectarians. If “[Marx’s] model of historical development…plays absolutely no role in society’s actual development” then the question to be asked is why the hell did he bother? What did Marx hope to achieve when he wrote all those books?! Moreover, what is your website and this article hoping to achieve by elucidating a theoretical argument against my article?
Presumably, the aim is to win people over to your point of view? But why bother, since as you yourself say, your point of view plays absolutely no role in society’s development? And if Marx’s great theories are inadequate to affect society at all, then what can we say of a sectarian’s [such as myself?] theories? Presumably they have even less of an effect! Then why waste hot air on their presence?
In writing this article, you disprove in practice your own theory, and you should understand that the schism between theory and practice is precisely what defines idealism. Your are aiming to win people over to your ideas, proving that you think ideas can [affect] the development of society.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading your response, and I sincerely consider myself a comrade in the battle not only against capitalism, but also sectarianism.
This is my reply to his response:
I am sorry Daniel, but you are not yet a comrade in the battle against sectarianism until you and your comrades dissolve your sectarian organization.
As to the question you posed: I bother for the same reason that Marx did: because there are things the theoretically advance elements of the worker’s movement can accomplish. But first, they must dispel the utopian system building approach to the revolutionary transformation of society, which consists, more than anything else, of isolated insignificant sects who profess one or another vision of how the communist movement of society MUST unfold. These sects each have their well thought out positions on everything under the sun. They profess to know exactly how the relations between the sexes MUST be transformed; they profess to know exactly how the relation between the races, nations, etc. MUST be constituted. They have innumerable positions on everything from gender questions to environmental concerns to managing the affairs of society in the aftermath of social revolution.
They even condescendingly profess to know — as your article suggests — how, and under what circumstances, the mass of society can be trusted to manage their own affairs!
Of course, all this is beside the point since the actual social transformation of society does not pause to consult them on any of these things. If Marxists, Anarchists and Libertarians are to offer anything to society in the way of tackling the very real issues of social revolution they must first put aside all of their well thought out positions and remember that the point of their efforts is solely to teach the worker to walk on her own — to avoid “experts”, seers, and utopian system builders.
As the entirety of social revolution consists of nothing more than the individual worker AS AN INDIVIDUAL seizing back her own alienated productive capacities and exercising those capacities in association with the rest of society, who can possibly know better than she what this task entails?
In the end, we can do no more than make her aware of this theoretically derived fact.