Posts Tagged ‘Tom Wolfe


Just What the Hell is ‘Socialism’?

Just What the Hell is ‘Socialism’?

by the Tasmanian National-Anarchists

Some anarchists claim that anarchism is a form of ‘libertarian socialism’, while others claim that anarchism is totally opposed to socialism and everything it stands for. This begs the question: what exactly is ‘socialism’?

‘Socialism’ is, in fact, a highly ambiguous term. This short article looks at what socialism is, or rather what it claims to be, and whether National-Anarchists (i.e. tribal anarchists) could be called ‘socialist’ in any way, and to what degree.


Proudhon’s definition of a socialist was “one who hopes for the improvement of society”, but that is far too vague. By this definition, almost everyone is a socialist. Spengler’s claim that “all world improvers are socialists” is equally open to dispute; some capitalists see themselves as ‘world improvers’ too, however misguided they might be.

The Macquarie Dictionary defines socialism as “a theory or system of social organisation which advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land etc. in the community as a whole”…but it is unclear from this what is meant by ‘community’.

This ambiguity over what constitutes the ‘community’ or ‘social unit’ has led to many divergences between socialists, as socialists themselves have been both nationalist and internationalist, both cultural and economic in outlook. There is no one all-embracing kind of socialism.

But something many self-described socialists do have in common is a desire for more justice (which for some, but not all, is bound up with the idea of ‘equality’), often at the price of less freedom.

Not all socialists are opposed to hierarchy (Plato’s ‘Republic’ is socialist, but advocates a hierarchical caste system, for instance) but they ARE opposed to hierarchies which they see as being unjustified, i.e. lacking justice. Socialists are hostile to a ‘might is right’ kind of worldview not because they hate power per se, but because such power is seen as lacking justification (i.e. justice).

One potential negative quality inherent in socialism is the way it can lead to the resentment of higher or noble qualities. Too many socialists seem to want to make kings into peasants, rather than the other way around.

Another fault many (but not all) socialists possess is puritanism – they dislike things they see as being ‘useless’. This probably stems partly from Christianity and its hold over the European collective unconscious, but that doesn’t explain it entirely, as the same puritanical streak can also be found in socialists from non-European backgrounds, e.g. Islamic socialists.

This hostility to ‘uselessness’ means many socialists see whatever doesn’t further ‘the cause’ as being worthless – be it art, sport, religion, romance or love (Marxist regimes have taken this hostility to the extreme, liquidating or putting in concentration camps anyone seen as useless or reactionary).

Because of this hostility, socialists have often been portrayed as ‘joyless’, and it is true that certain socialists seem to regard any kind of happiness with suspicion.

But there are many exceptions to the rule…indeed, we can say that socialism, at its best, means having a strong sense of justice; at worst it means being motivated by resentment and envy.

National-Anarchists generally like a beer and a laugh and are far from puritanical, so we don’t really fit into this second category of socialist. But we do empathise with a different kind of socialism, one based on a communitarian version of justice (as opposed to a hyper-egalitarian one).

Before returning to this theme, let’s take a look at some of the main groups usually regarded as ‘socialist’:


Ironically, the ultra-materialist and anti-religious doctrine of Karl Marx has much in common with monotheistic religion – the iconography, the prophets etc. Perhaps this is unsurprising, given Marx was the son of a rabbi (and also, we might add, a kind of Jewish anti-semite who wrote racist diatribes against his own people).

The key to Marxism’s success was its adoption of the 19th century ‘progress’ paradigm: Marxists claimed (and still claim) that their form of socialism is ‘inevitable’, that its eventual triumph has been ‘scientifically proven’ by Marx. But in seeking to make socialism ‘scientific’, Marx made it soulless in the process.

Marxism is a product of the 19th century in its belief that society works like a machine; in this it is a typical byproduct of capitalism. Capitalism and Marxism are alike in their notion of ‘progress’, with ‘useless’ or ‘reactionary’ elements being swept aside or trampled under.

Marxist regimes have murdered over 100 million people in the last century, and it goes without saying that National-Anarchists oppose this hateful ideology and all that it stands for.


Bolshevism claimed to put Marxist theory into practice, but like its sister movement fascism it was essentially a soldier’s movement (the word ‘comrade’ is military in origin). As Michael Walker astutely pointed out, finance capitalists loved bolshevism but hated fascism, while industrial capitalists loved fascism but hated bolshevism.

While National-Anarchists might respect bolsheviks for their courage and fighting skills, we have no sympathy whatsoever for their tyrannical political aims.


Ranging from the ‘elite’ upper crust (satirised by Tom Wolfe as ‘radical chic’) to the standard upper-middle class types who frequently harp about the benefits of third world immigration (while conveniently not having to live in the same neighbourhoods as the worst of the immigrants), these are the most numerically common type of ‘socialist’ found in Tasmania (and probably in the Western world as a whole).

These ‘socialists’ are happy to compromise with capitalism if the latter is seen as somehow ‘reforming’ itself. Lenin famously described them as ‘useful idiots’, for the way they helped further the cause of internationalism and tyranny, while still claiming to be democratic and liberal.


Marxists mainly come from upper-middle class backgrounds, and have frequently been disappointed by the proletarians they claim to side with. Proletarians tend not to be internationalist in outlook; they generally don’t want revolution – merely an improvement of their and their family’s lot.

For this reason, in the 1960s, the so-called New Left arose, fixating on groups other than traditional proletarians they could exploit for ideological purposes. Immigrants and gays were the two favourite groups. For this reason, New Left socialists talk of ‘rights’ (not responsibility) for groups they want to exploit – immigrants, gays etc. – but ‘responsibilities’ (not rights) for the average Joe Sixpack.

As stated, their main aim seems to be to exploit minority groups, who they believe will help them usher in a hyper-egalitarian world order. But not all the minority groups actually share this aim, and for that reason one must feel a bit sorry for the ‘New’ Left types (whose ideas are actually getting pretty old by now).

The most noteworthy thing about the New Left is its high level of funding in proportion to overall membership. New Left groups like ‘Resistance’ and ‘Socialist Alternative’ have very few members, but seemingly endless supplies of materials, organisers etc., which means they must have some pretty wealthy backers. Not really surprising, as finance capitalists also bankrolled the Bolsheviks in 1917.


Besides the so-called ‘scientific’ kinds of socialism, there is also a ‘socialism of the heart’.

Socialism does not mean ultra-egalitarianism – there is nothing in the word ‘socialism’ which implies that it does. Nor do all socialists blindly believe in the ‘inevitability of progress’, especially when the word ‘progress’ has come to mean ‘making things worse than they already were’.

Socialists certainly want more justice – but that doesn’t entail buying into the hyper-egalitarian dogmas of the extreme left.

People are reluctant to work for the good of an intangible ‘All’. They simply won’t make sacrifices for abstractions like “a completely non-hierarchical society,” and nor do most of them even want one. Several generations of Soviet socialism produced, as one commentator notes, “not even the slightest manifestation of the antlike social altruism which would cause workers to work because they want to.”

Ironically, ‘proletarian internationalism’ works best only as a motivating force for upper-middle class communists!

But if ‘equality’ is an abstraction, COMMUNITY, on the other hand, is real – there is nothing abstract or intangible about one’s local community. If socialism means a refusal of social fragmentation, then National-Anarchists are definitely socialist. We regard ‘socialism’ as being valid if it truly means ‘social man’ – and not merely ‘equal man’, as some would have us believe.

To again quote Michael Walker: “Socialist initiatives are doomed to failure if the community of social members is not united by a common belief or identity which distinguishes it. In life [it is] the organism which wants to succeed.”

It seems like the more our technology progresses, the less we actually understand our own nature.

A genuinely scientific socialism would acknowledge ethnic identity as a reality, despite the claims of 20th century pseudo-science that it doesn’t exist. As Bakunin stated, “Diversity in capacities and powers – those differences between races, nations, sexes and persons – far from being a social evil, constitutes on the contrary, the abundance of humanity.”

National-Anarchists could be called tribal socialists or, if you prefer, communitarians. We agree with Georges Sorel that human beings identify with a tribe first and foremost.

Today these tribes still exist in various shapes and forms – but they are emasculated by the consumer society. One of the goals of National-Anarchism is give the tribes their power back.

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