Wayne Price Response to Peter Rushby Wayne Price
Dec 16, 2014
In Peter Rush’s long rave review of Ron’s The Tyranny of Theory, he includes a section which responds to my own review (http://www.anarkismo.net/article/26583?search_text=Wayne+Price). While noting that I am “a friendly critic,” his attitude toward my views is pretty hostile. This is not surprising since his opinion (and, he says, Ron’s) is that there is absolutely nothing whatsoever of any worth in Marx’s theories. This is contrary to my opinion that there are aspects of Marxism which can be useful for anarchists. From his viewpoint, it is hard to understand why Peter, Ron, and I were ever attracted to Marxism in the first place, once upon a time. I am pleased that he does not regard me as a totalitarian. In any case, he seems to misunderstand much of what I wrote, but this is probably due to my failure to explain myself as clearly as I should have.
I am not going to respond to Peter’s arguments. (With one exception: he chides me for not commenting on everything Ron wrote, “He totally ignores several of the major domains that Tabor analyzes….” This is true. The reason is that Ron wrote a very big book and I wrote a much smaller review.) My review will have to stand on its own. I also wrote a short book on anarchist interpretations of Marx’s political economy, The Value of Radical Theory. (Peter says my book was not available to him. It is easily ordered through AK Press or Amazon. But given Peter’s attitude, he might as well save his money.) I have also written a number of essays relating anarchism and Marx’s economic theory. (For example, on the background to the economic crises, http://www.anarkismo.net/article/24227?search_text=Wayne+Price. Or a recent one contrasting Marxist economic theory with that of individualist anarchism, http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27661.) These will have to do.
The real issue is expressed in Peter’s words, “Everything that Marx worked for his entire life…was aimed at bringing about the proletarian revolution that Marx forecast…. If such a revolution is not inevitable, nothing remains for a true Marxist to do….” Marx expected that a mass working class movement for socialism would develop which would culminate in (successful) socialist, workers’, revolutions. This has not happened—yet. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t, but it certainly does not look “inevitable.” Given the failure—so far—of a socialist revolution or even a mass movement for one, what do we make of this? Whether we are Marxists of some variety or revolutionary, class-struggle, socialist-anarchists (me), or something else, we have to face this fact. We must develop an evaluation of it: opinions, programs, actions, and commitments. My own opinions have been made in various writings (such as in my piece on philosophy in the current Utopian).