By Lewis Call, Erick Heroux, Saul Newman, Simon Choat, Thomas Nail, Edward Avery-Natale, Alejandro de Acosta, Nathan Jun, Allan Antliff, Xavier Oliveras González, Thomas Swann, Mohamed Jean Veneuse, Jamie Heckert, Leonard Williams

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2008) Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation. New York: Semiotext(e). 1 Postanarchism from a Marxist Perspective Simon Choat ∗ Abstract Postanarchists have tended to portray Marxism as an anachronism, taking the alleged redundancy of Marxism as a starting point for their revitalization of classical anarchism via post-structuralism. Critical assessments of postanarchism have so far failed to interrogate this portrayal of Marxism. This is unfortunate, I argue, because Marxism plays an important function within the postanarchist project, and because it allows postanarchist characterizations of Marxism and poststructuralism to go unchallenged.

This occurs through identification with state-defined roles of citizenship, for instance. Moreover, for Stirner, in a line of thought that closely parallels La Boëtie’s, the state itself is an ideological abstraction which only exists because we allow it to exist, because we abdicate our own power over ourselves to what he called the ‘ruling principle’. In other words, it is the idea of the state, of sovereignty, that dominates us. The state’s power is in reality based on our power, and it is only because the individual has not recognized this power, because he humbles himself before an external political authority, that the state continues to exist.

This is therefore a Marxist engagement with a current of anarchism that is offered in the spirit of reconciliation rather than denunciation. What follows is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis of the relations between postanarchism and Marxism: it is intended to open up an area of study that hitherto seems to have been closed, and is thus offered as a preliminary investigation rather than the final word. Drawing on postanarchism’s own characterization of post-structuralism as a theory that reconceptualizes power Postanarchism from a Marxist Perspective 53 and subjectivity, I shall re-examine these concepts as they appear in the work of Marx, challenging postanarchism’s dismissal of Marxism and its reading of post-structuralism.

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