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CLEAVER, Harry. "Kropotkin, Self-valorization and the Crisis of Marxism"
Article published on 15 February 2007
last modification on 23 April 2015

by r-c.
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Anarchist Studies, Volume 2, 2003 No.2

" The collapse of the socialist states and the ongoing crisis of Western capitalism, both brought on by pervasive grassroots opposition, demands a reconsideration of the issue of the transcendence of contemporary society by anarchists and Marxists of all stripes. Such a reconsideration should include a reexamination of the thinking of earlier revolutionaries as well as of their experiences within past social upheavals.

With respect to the issue of transcendence, there are traditions of Anarcho-Communism and Marxism whose similar approaches to the question of the recreation of society warrant renewed attention and comparative consideration. These include the analyses of Peter Kropotkin of how a new society could be seen to be emerging out of the materiality of capitalism and those of ’autonomist’ Marxists who have argued that the future can be found within the present processes of working class ’self-valorization’ Ð the diversity of autonomous efforts to craft new ways of being and new forms of social relations. This paper examines these two approaches and compares and contrasts their ways of handling the issue of building alternatives to capitalism. It ends with a call for the application of these approaches in the present crisis"

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