Anarchism And Marxist Power

To effectively interpret theorist conceptualizations of power we must first understand power as a social construction. This is an important concept to acknowledge when attempting to understand the role of power in both Marxism and Anarchism. We must acknowledge each theories different idea of power distributions between individuals and authorities. Despite Marxist and Anarchist similarities they differ in ideas of the role of ‘the state’ and they conceptualize the use of power structures differently, one through direct action and the other through expecting capitalism’s own self-destruction. Williams and Shantz and Karl Marx offer different ways to understand power; both works raise questions regarding how we can dismantle, redistribute, or …show more content…
Because power structures are socially constructed, individuals possess the power to recreate them. Individuals have the power and autonomy to change the power structure and dynamics of the social world and make them better (Berger and Luckman, 1967:47-48). The idea that individuals have the autonomy to change the power structure is a form of power represented within the Anarchist Imagination. The Anarchist imagination works to help anyone “observe forms of domination in their own life and identify their roots in hierarchical systems in society” (Williams and Shantz, 2011:13). Individuals should self reflect on their place in society and the power that they hold within the larger social structure. How can individuals observe their place of power in the social structure in their own lives if they are not aware of it? If they take their position of power in society for granted, would only reproduce the power structure? What if we are content and comfortable in that role? What if they upon learning about their power, privilege, and dominance in the larger social structure they do not wish to give up their power? Will these individuals have a place in an anarchist society? Would everyone in this society have to possess an anarchist imagination for an anarchist society to be successful? What is the role of a non-anarchist in an anarchist society? Can anarchy only work on a small scale in a homogeneous environment? Williams and …show more content…
His work raises and important question to Anarchist, if the state is destroyed how can we effectively redistribute power and ensure those who have power, economic power in Marxist terms, will not acquire power again? To effectively understand Karl Marx we must acknowledge when he expresses opinion of power or inequality it has always has to do with class struggles. We must understand power is acquired through resources in a Marxist society and be aware of who has most control over the resources. Elites use power in ways that reproduce inequality and block the mobility of those who are not a part of the ruling class. The class struggle is a result of conflict between two groups that directly oppose each other, the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. The Bourgeoisie is a part of the elite and ruling class and the proletariats are under their control. This is because “the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and exchange” (Kivisto, 2013:16). This begs the question from a functionalist framework, if the bourgeoisie has always evolved and remained in power does that not suggests their place in society necessary? Marx states how, “the bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production” (Kivisto, 2013:17). Will society ever stop production? Do we not need production to

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