MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms




Analogy means the establishment of similarity in certain aspects, relations or properties between quite dissimilar things. Analogy makes possible deduction of properties of the thing on the basis of reasoning which is made comprehensible by contemplation of the analogue (or “model"). All of mathematics is essentially analogy, since it is highly developed reasoning based on very thin abstractions which can be applied to almost any concrete thing.

Analogy is also the form of superficial reasoning which, lacking knowledge of a thing, draws conclusions which may be valid for a superficially similar thing and impose them on something, thus animism and all kinds of religion. See induction and what Hegel calls the “Syllogism of Allness”.


Analysis and Synthesis

Analysis and Synthesis are philosophical terms denoting the processes of mentally breaking down of a whole into its constituent parts (analysis), and reconstituting a whole from its parts (synthesis). Dialectics is a unity of both analysis and synthesis. Both analysis and synthesis take part, alternately, in every stage of the cognition of a thing. Like “abstraction” and “generalisation”, both analysis and synthesis arrive at new knowledge of the thing, and both are required for an all-sided knowledge of a thing — breaking it down and identifying its various parts, aspects, and then arriving at a new understanding based on how the parts interact and merge with each other etc., and gaining a new conception of the parts.

Further Reading: See Marx on the Method of Presentation of Capital and the the method of investigation of Capital.

See Hegel on the critique of empirical analysis and The Idea as the two methods of cognition of truth and Lenin’s comments on this, and Geoff Pilling’s explanation.



"In common with the founders of Socialism, Anarchists demand the abolition of all economic monopolies and the common ownership of the soil and all other means of production, the use of which must be available to all without distinction; for personal and social freedom is conceivable only on the basis of equal economic advantages for everybody. Within the Socialist movement itself the Anarchists represent the viewpoint that the war against capitalism must be at the same time a war against all institutions of political power, for in history economic exploitation has always gone hand in hand with political and social oppression.”

Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism, pp. 17-18

The aim of Anarchism is the creation of a Communist society. Anarchists stress the importance of achieving individual liberty and social equality for the working class, through the abolition of authority.

The practices of Anarchists can be divided into two fundamental categories: individual and social. Social anarchists are made up of such trends as communist-anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists, while Individual anarchists are made up of reformist-anarchists and terrorists.

Social Anarchists: Revolutionary workers who believe that the only way to destroy capitalist government is through an organized working-class. They also believe in the necessity of the expropriation of the bourgeoisie to prevent exploitation; necessary in order to fully realize Communist society. They believe in workers self-management and distribution based on need (See also the Workers Opposition, a Marxist group in Soviet Russia with a similar position).

Social anarchists believe that being a part of the community is essential to maintaining freedom. They are in full support of real communism, as opposed to the authoritarian communism of the Soviet Union, believing in communal ownership over the means of production, while retaining ownership of individual property.

There are four basic trends within social anarchist theory: mutualism, collectivism, communism and syndicalism. They differ in their view of how to reach full communism: mutualists support market socialism, collectivists stress distribution based on contribution (the view of Marx and Lenin when regulated by a government), anarchist-communists believe in an immediate transition to full communism, and syndicalists believe that unions are the organisations that can help usher in communist society.

Communists and social anarchists are often found working together in unions, protests, strikes, etc. — in their united struggles to overthrow capitalism. Historically, after the overthrow of capitalism, communists with the notion of a vanguard party being the only representative of the working class in government, suppressed anarchism. The notable exception to this was in the time of Marx and Engels, where revolutionary Parisan workers lead partly by anarchists, formed a coalition society — the Paris Commune.

Individual Anarchists: Those who are instinctively against all forms of authority and organization; believing organized power of any kind is a contradiction with anarchist principles. Individual anarchists usually follow two distinct paths of practice: (1) Reformists who stress the need for education and social awareness to reform society and achieve a mutualistic, laissez-faire capitalism to promote completely free competition. While they may support strikes and various social protests, they do so spontaneously — they are against organizing groups or parties to carry out such actions. (2) Terrorists ("propaganda of the deed") who seek to arouse revolutionary terror in the masses and government, to introduce periodic states of anarchy to instruct and convince the masses to spontaneously participate in overthrowing the government.

Individual anarchists of both types believe that being a part of a community is equivalent to losing their freedom. Max Stirner explained: “Communism, by the abolition of all personal property, only presses me back still more into dependence on another, to wit, on the generality or collectivity . . . [which is] a condition hindering my free movement, a sovereign power over me. Communism rightly revolts against the pressure that I experience from individual proprietors; but still more horrible is the might that it puts in the hands of the collectivity.” [The Ego and Its Own, p. 257]

Communists are opposed to both types of individual anarchists, terrorists because they are isolated from the masses but violently impose their will on the whole of society, the end result of which has always been the alienation of workers, an increasingly repressive government, and the destruction of revolutionary organizations, leaving the mass of the population unprotected by a now sharper and more brutal government. Communists oppose anti-authoritarians as in essence allowing capitalist government to exist by preventing the working class from organizing into a powerful enough structure to overthrow the capitalists. Communists also oppose their concept that community deprives freedoms; pointing out that since the beginning of human evolution community has been necessary not only for survival, but for the production of such technology that would allow humans to actually achieve communism.

Anarchism is the only [moral] philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man’s subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man. There is no conflict between the individual and the social instincts, any more than there is between the heart and the lungs: the one the receptacle of a precious life essence, the other the repository of the element that keeps the essence pure and strong. The individual is the heart of society, conserving the essence of social life; society is the lungs which are distributing the element to keep the life essence—that is, the individual—pure and strong.

[Anarchism fights] Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man’s enslavement and all the horrors it entails.

[Anarchism believes that] Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in. But if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool, or dig coal, or build roads for thirty years of his life, there can be no talk of wealth. What he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things, reflecting a dull and hideous existence,—too weak to live, too cowardly to die. Strange to say, there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production as the proudest achievement of our age. They fail utterly to realize that if we are to continue in machine subserviency, our slavery is more complete than was our bondage to the King. They do not want to know that centralization is not only the death-knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere.

A perfect personality, then, is only possible in a state of society where man is free to choose the mode of work, the conditions of work, and the freedom to work. One to whom the making of a table, the building of a house, or the tilling of the soil, is what the painting is to the artist and the discovery to the scientist,—the result of inspiration, of intense longing, and deep interest in work as a creative force. That being the ideal of Anarchism, its economic arrangements must consist of voluntary productive and distributive associations, gradually developing into free communism, as the best means of producing with the least waste of human energy.

Emma Goldman
Anarchism: What It Really Stands For

Further Reading: Bakunin Reference Archive; Emma Goldman Reference Archive . For Marxist critisms of Individual Anarchism, see Engel’s On Authority, and Marx and Engel’s Conflict with Bakunin.

Further Reading [off-site]: An Anarchist FAQ


Anarchist Cookbook

The Anarchist Cookbook is neither anarchist nor a cookbook. The book is an infantile absurdity, and contains absolutely no meaningful political content, let alone anarchist or radical theory.

Nearly all the content in this book is inaccurate, false or highly dangerous. The book is notorious for its absurd content, such as smoking banana peels to get high. The so-called recipes for explosives are recipes for suicide. William Powell, the author, explains how such a book was written:

The Anarchist Cookbook was written during 1968 and part of 1969 soon after I graduated from high school. At the time, I was 19 years old and the Vietnam War and the so-called "counter culture movement" were at their height. I was involved in the anti-war movement and attended numerous peace rallies and demonstrations. The book, in many respects, was a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnam to fight in a war that I did not believe in.

I conducted the research for the manuscript on my own, primarily at the New York City Public Library. Most of the contents were gleaned from Military and Special Forces Manuals. I was not member of any radical group of either a left or right wing persuasion.

I submitted the manuscript directly to a number of publishers without the help or advice of an agent. Ultimately, it was accepted by Lyle Stuart Inc. and was published verbatim without editing in early 1970.

In 1976 I became a confirmed Anglican Christian and shortly thereafter I wrote to Lyle Stuart Inc. explaining that I no longer held the views that were expressed in the book and requested that The Anarchist Cookbook be taken out of print. The response from the publisher was that the copyright was in his name and therefore such a decision was his to make — not the author's. In the early 1980's, the rights for the book were sold to another publisher.



synonyms: Revolutionary Unionism, syndicalism

“Anarcho-Syndicalists are of the opinion that political parties are not fitted . . . 1. To enforce the demands of the producers for the safeguarding and raising of their standard of living [or] 2. To acquaint the workers with the technical management of production and economic life in general and prepare them to take the socio-economic organism into their own hands and shape it according to socialist principles . . . According to their conceptions the trade union has to be the spearhead of the labour movement, toughened by daily combats and permeated by a socialist spirit. Only in the realm of economy are the workers able to display their full strength; for it is their activity as producers which holds together the whole social structure and guarantees the existence of society. Only as a producer and creator of social wealth does the worker become aware of her strength. In solidarity union with her follows she creates the great phalanx of militant labour, aflame with the spirit of freedom and animated by the ideal of social justice. For the Anarcho-Syndicalists the labour syndicates are the most fruitful germs of a future society, the elementary school of Socialism in general. Every new social structure creates organs for itself in the body of the old organism; without this prerequisite every social evolution is unthinkable.”

—Rudolf Rocker from Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism

Among the various strains of Anarchism, the most successful in terms of number of adherents, impact on the class struggle and, perhaps, it’s legacy, is Anarcho-Syndicalism. Anarcho-Syndicalism differs from “simple” anarchism mostly in the methods to achieve an anarchist society. The Anarcho-syndicalist sees the working class specifically as the means to achieve the anarchist society, through the organization of the workers in to revolutionary unions. These unions would be both the instrument for the overthrow of the capitalist order and the administrative apparatus of a future society. This tie to the organized working class gives anarcho-syndicalists something in common with Marxists who also view the working class as the motive force for revolution.

Anarcho-Syndicalism’s history traces itself back to the originators of Anarchism of M. Bakunin’s day and the Paris Commune of 1871. The divergences with other strains of anarchism began to coalesce in Spain and France and by the end of the 19th century, mass based Anarcho-Syndicalist unions existed in both countries with a strong influence in United States, the Italy and Argentina. But is in the former three countries, not the latter two, where Anarcho-Syndicalism can really be defined through example.

France—The CGT

In France Anarcho-Syndicalism took on the term “syndicalism” or “revolutionary-syndicalism”. Syndicalism, as a term, has meaning in France in two ways: one, as simple “unionism” and the other, as the revolutionary program of Anarcho-Syndicalism. The revolutionary-syndicalists of France founded one of the oldest trade unions in the world today: the Confederation Generale du Travail or CGT. The CGT [today the union is lead by the French Communist Party] was convened at the 1906 CGT Congress at Amiens.

Based on what was quickly to be known as the Charter of Amiens, the CGT became the premier revolutionary union in the world with over a hundred thousand members. The Charter of Amiens, defines, in essence, what Anarcho-Syndicalism stood for:

“The Congress clarifies this theoretical affirmation by the following points: In its day-to-day demands, syndicalism seeks the coordination of workers efforts, the increase of workers well-being by the achievement of immediate improvements, such as the reduction of working hours, the increase of wages, etc.

But this task is only one aspect of the work of syndicalism: it prepares for complete emancipation, which can be realised only by expropriating the capitalist class: it sanctions the general strike as its means of action and it maintains that the trade union, today an organisation of resistance, will in the future be the organisation of production and distribution, the basis of social reorganisation. The Congress declares that this double task, the day-to-day and the future task, dervies from the position of wage-earners, which weighs upon the working class and which charges all workers, whatever their political and philosophical opinions and inclinations, with the duty to belong to the essential organisation, the trade union.”

—Charter of Amiens, 1906

Thus this Charter defines anarcho-syndicalism in clearly anarchist terms: destroying the power of the capitalist political-economy and the ending of exploitation and in syndicalist terms by seeing the organized working class in it’s trade unions as the instrument of this change and as the means to organize this new society. It is also notably anarchist in it’s complete lack of a political orientation: no advocacy of a workers or communist party, of replacing the capitalist state with that of a workers state, or of a dictatorship of the proletariat that the Marxists advocate. Anarcho-syndicalists remained in control of the CGT until an alliance with the newly-created French Communist Party ended in 1920, and the anarcho-syndicalists departed from the CGT.

Spain—The CNT

“Long before syndicalism became a popular term in the French labour movement of the late 1890s, it already existed in the early Spanish labour movement. The anarchist influenced Spanish Federation of the old International Working Mens Association, in my opinion, was distinctly syndicalist. At the founding congress of the Spanish Federation at Barcelona in June 1870, the “commission on the theme of the social organization of the workers” proposed a structure that would form a model for all later anarcho-syndicalist labour unions in Spain, including the CNT. The commission suggested a typical syndicalist dual structure: organization by trade and organization by locality. Local trade organisations (Secciones deoficio) grouped together all workers from a common enterprise and vocation into large occupational federations (Uniones de oficio) whose primary function was to struggle around economic grievances and working conditions. A local organization of a miscellaneous trades gathered up all those workers from different vocations whose numbers were too small to constitute effective organisations along vocational lines. Paralleling these vocational organisations, in every community and region where the International Working Mens Association was represented, the different local Secciones were grouped together, irrespective of trade, into local geographic bodies (Federaciones locales) whose function was avowedly revolutionary—the administration of social and economic life on a decentralised libertarian basis.”

—Murry Boochin’s “An Overview of Spanish Anarchism”.

Because it was anarchism, or rather Anarcho-syndicalism and not Marxist socialism that determined the metabolism of the Spanish labor movement—the great general strikes that swept repeatedly over Spain before and after WWI, the recurring insurrections in Barcelona and in the towns and villages of Andalusia, and the gun battles between labor militants and employer-hired thugs in the Mediterranean coastal cities, the organized anarcho-syndicalists eventually formed the Central National de Trabajo (CNT) in 1911.

The CNT became the dominant part of the life of most Spanish workers and a large number of the landless peasantry. It became a way of life to a proletariat committed to the libertarian values of Anarchism.

In July of 1936, at the time of the Civil War, the CNT had well over a million members, dwarfing it’s Socialist Party rival union, the UGT, 2 to 1. Dominating life in and around Barcelona and the provinces of Aragon and Catalunya, the Catalan working class was almost synonymous with the CNT. When the shooting started by the uprising of Francisco Franco’s Falange, Civil guard and army, the working class of Barcelona rose up and in a matter of a day, completely smashed the fascist forces in that city and surrounding province. Seizing factories by the hundreds and implementing syndicalist organsization, Catalunya become a libertarian experiment involving millions of workers and their families. Factories were run by democratically elected workers councils and people worked according their ability and consumed according to their needs. Productivity actually went up in both agricultural sectors and industrial production. All this was ended by Franco’s triumph in 1939.

United States—The IWW

The Industrial Workers of the World was a US based anarcho-syndicalist organization formed in 1905 by anarchists, syndicalists, socialists and others. Reaching perhaps 100,000 members in 1914, it represented Anarcho-syndicalism as applied to the US working class, itself a very diverse and heterogeneous working class. While not explicitly calling itself “syndicalist” or “anarcho-syndicalist” it was viewed by most in and out of the workers movement as such. From the preamble of the IWW:

"We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.

These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.

Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage system.”

It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old."

Anarcho-syndicalism remains a dominant trend among the more general milieu of Anarchism. In Sweden and Spain they maintain a hold over various sectors of the working class of those countries, especially in the maritime industry, a traditional stronghold for Anarcho-syndicalism around the world.

See Anarchism Subject Archive.

For more information on Anarcho-syndicalism, see the Anarchosyndicalism101 web site or the IWW web site.

David Walters



Anthropologism is a point of view in which human nature is exhaustively determined by the culture in which a person lives, leaving no room for human agency.

From this standpoint, “growing up” is simply a matter of acquiring the culture into which you are born and adopting one of the available roles within it. Social change is either a result of outside forces or arises from the dynamics of the social structure itself, from “laws of history” or “internal contradictions” etc.

From this abstract anthropological point of view, the psyche is a non-entity. According to Feuerbach for example:

“The new philosophy is the complete and absolute dissolution of theology into anthropology, a dissolution in which all contradictions have been overcome. ... The new philosophy makes man, together with nature as the basis of man, the exclusive, universal, and highest object of philosophy; it makes anthropology, together with physiology, the universal science.” Principles of the New Philosophy

Marx responded:

“The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism — that of Feuerbach included — is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism — which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such.” [Theses on Feuerbach]

Society does not change by itself; people have to change what they do, or decide to do something about it. Certainly, it is not enough that people want to change things, more often than not the outcome of our efforts is quite opposite to what we intended, and at best deciding what to do is nothing more than clearly seeing what is necessary.

Further Reading: Theses on Feuerbach; Lucien Sève”s Human Personality and Historical Materialism.



Philosophical term meaning logical contradiction, especially associated with the work of Immanuel Kant.

Further Reading: See Hegel’s Outline of Logic, Kant’s Antinomies of Reason and the Science of Logic.