- January 1, 2005
Daniel is down for the count in the final round !
Not since Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in the first minute
of the first round in May 1965 has there been such a decisive victory.
Daniel never recovered from the beating that Ben administered
in Round 3. Rather than attempt a reply, Daniel has
completely collapsed. No one has seen or heard from Daniel since his
last-minute Round 2 reply in July 2003.
All attempts to contact Daniel have been unsuccessful.
It appears that the strain of attempting to find
scientific counter-arguments to Ben's
The World for which We Fight
has turned out to be overwhelming.
The victor in this contest, Ben Seattle,
has expressed his disappointment at the complete
collapse of Daniel's revolutionary morale:
"Ok, I always knew I would do well in this fight",
he said, "but I had hoped that Daniel would take
it seriously enough to simply admit that he could
find no effective counter-arguments -- and to
recognize the possibility that his original positions
may have been mistaken."
Ben is reported to be hopeful that Daniel will eventually
regain his confidence as an activist with a strong interest
in the nature of future society.
"Whatever can be said about Daniel", Ben continued,
"it has always been clear that he is an activist of high
integrity. Theatrics aside, it is clear that the real winner
in debates of this nature -- is revolutionary theory."
- November 7, 2004
Daniel is on the mat !
The knockout count has begun: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ...
It has been more than 7 months since Ben posted his third
and concluding installment to this debate. Daniel has not replied.
In fact, no one has heard from Daniel for 16 months now.
It is beginning to appear that Daniel has collapsed ...
The knockout count has begun ...
If Daniel does not reply by the end of 2004,
Ben intends to declare victory in the debate.
- March 20, 2004
After nine months of hard work -- Ben Seattle has replied!
The World for which We Fight
The world in which we live is a world of imperialist wars, racism,
unemployment, poverty, repression, ecosystem destruction on
a vast scale and a culture of escapism, ignorance and spam.
This world has been created and shaped
by the laws of commodity production.
Millions of people want to see the emergence of
a "better world" of peace, abundance and justice for all.
Such a "better world" will require
hundreds of thousands of activists to
(1) understand the laws of commodity production,
(2) grasp the potential of the
emerging revolution in communications,
(3) confront and resolve the crisis of theory, and
(4) build a conscious mass movement aimed at
the overthrow of the rule of the rich
and the creation of a world where nothing
need be bartered, traded, bought or sold.
Six appendicies include "The Ascendency of the Self-Organizing Moneyless Economy"
and criticism of "On the Anarchist Outlook of Noam Chomsky"
- July 2, 2003
A victory for principled discussion!
Daniel comes out swinging!
In a recent dramatic development Daniel has reappeared on the scene
six months to the day after Ben's January 1 post.
Daniel has come out swinging with hard-hitting questions for Ben to answer!
An Anarchist Replies: installment 2.
Daniel's dramatic and unexpected reappearance comes just as Ben
was about to declare a "technical knock-out".
Everyone understands, at this point, that Daniel's reappearance
means that the debate is still alive--and an example of calm, principled
discussion and debate is unfolding before a live audience.
- June 27, 2003
Daniel's fate unknown Joe Golowka takes on Ben
Is Daniel dead or alive?
As of our press deadline there has been no news whatsoever concerning the
fate of Daniel, the anarchist participant in this debate.
No one has heard from Daniel since he posted a notice on February 19 that
his reply to Ben would take longer than the 30 days originally agreed upon.
Some believe that Daniel is rotting is an Australian prison somewhere
as a result of his protest activities in defense of refugee rights.
Others suspect that Daniel's computer hard drive crashed and he has simply
never gotten around to checking his email.
The possibility that Daniel has been kidnapped by aliens from outer space
has not been confirmed--no one should be alarmed by this unconfirmed rumor.
More prosaically, Daniel may simply be in a state of confusion after
discovering, like the protagonist in the movie "The Matrix", that
the issues involved in this debate ran far deeper than he originally realized.
Followers of the debate are presently discussing whether the debate should be
liquidated or whether it would be practical to assemble a team of anarchist-minded
activists capable of working together to put out joint statements that would
continue both (1) the debate installments and (2) the high level of integrity
that we have seen from Daniel. To view (or participate in) this discussion
please check out the
Joe Golowka rolls up his sleeves--and replies to Ben
In Daniel's absence, Joe Golowka has replied to a number of Ben's essays and questions.
On June 17 Joe (1)
posted a reply to Ben's
Finding the Confidence to Build the Future and also (2) posted an essay titled
Russian Revolution & Workers' States which replies to Ben's
Why did Lenin suppress all competing trends
after the civil war ended in 1920?
Joe Golowka has also written (or forwarded) a number of other essays describing
anarchist views concerning the nature of the state. To view (or participate in) this discussion
please check out the
- February 19, 2003
Daniel's reply delayed Joe criticises "Marxist-Leninism"
Daniel's reply is delayed
High quality theoretical discussion and debate requires careful thought
and, often, a fair amount of time. Daniel explains in his
Open Letter to Ben
that "for the sake of submitting a reply that is worth taking the time to read,
I will not submit it until I feel it is relatively complete ... it is better to
submit something that is rigorous and complete, rather than something
half-finished but on time"
Daniel is currently aiming to complete his reply by the end of February but emphasizes
that releasing a reply that is worth reading must be the main priority.
Ben is in complete agreement. Daniel and Ben believe that readers and fans of this site
will understand and agree with the need for more time.
Marxist-Leninism: A Geriatric Disorder
See post # 102-2036 by Joe R. Golowka on
Based on his earlier essays (contributed under the name "Thinker12")
Joe concentrates into a single essay the theoretical essence
of what he believes is wrong with "Marxist-Leninism".
Portions of Joe's essay are of only tangential relation to the debate question
that is the focus of this site--but his essay represents a summation of the feelings of
many anarchists--so many may find it worth reading. Joe presents quotes from Lenin
which Joe believes proves that Lenin taught that workers' rule will always and everywhere take
the form of a state in which a single party holds a monopoly of power.
In addition, Joe presents a brief description of what he sees as the anarchist alternative
to bourgeois/capitalist rule.
(Note: Ben and the 8th floor have already replied to much of the political content
of Joe's post in posts: # 102-2028, 102-2030, 102-2031 and 102-2034)
- February 2, 2003
new content and improved comment forms
Scott Wallace replies to Ben's Part 5 January 28
What "Crisis of Theory" ?
The 8th Floor replies to Ben's essay 160 January 30
See post # 115-7507 on
forum # 115
Scott Wallace argues that Daniel DeLeon's program of Socialist Industrial Unionism,
largely ignored for the past 90 years, is a practical method for
putting the means of production under democratic control
The Information War: The other front
Ben replies to various tangential points by Daniel January 19 - 31
See post # 160-9014 on
forum # 160
The coming "information war" between the classes is inevitable
but the victory of the working class in this war is not, argues the 8th Floor,
who plays Devil's advocate and argues against complacency.
Ben replies to a number of interesting issues raised by Daniel
that were not directly related to the debate question. (posted to the
Improved comment forms
Does it make sense to lump people into a bucket depending on whatever "ism" they currently believe is
the least fucked up ? Are cults a cure for happiness? Lenin's attitude toward socialism from below
The lack of an organizational revolutionary model
Do Leninists want to shoot anarchists? Can theory be decisive?
The necessity of public debate Is communism inevitable? How to ask for directions at a gas station
Now you can
join this list and join the discussion!
By popular demand a new comments form has been developed.
Readers can now post comments of unlimited length.
(You can use the html paragraph tag "<p>" in order to separate paragraphs.)
Also there is a separate text box for you to create a title.
Debate response time extended to 45 days
The new comments form is available (so far) on 3 of our forums:
The main comments forum and the forums for
part 5 and
By mutual agreement the debate opponents, Daniel and Ben, have agreed
to extend the debate response time from 30 days to 45 days.
The basic reason is simple: quality work takes time.
A further extension to 60 days is also possible.
Loyal readers of this debate who are anxious to follow future installments
are encouraged to read all the debate installments and to join the action on
anarcho-marxist rapprochement elist
proletarian democracy elist
- January 1, 2003
Ben replies to Daniel!
Finding the Confidence
to Build the Future
How will the working class keep supply chains running
and bourgeois apologists from flooding the airwaves
on the morning after bourgeois rule is broken?
- December 14, 2002
Yhcrana Strikes Back!
A Critical Analysis of Ben Seattles
"The Future Transparent Workers State"
"When the potential for a workers state to result in dictatorship
is considered alongside the fact that statism will naturally create conflicting
class interests, we must conclude that such a state cannot possibly
be used to the advantage of the working class. And when we consider
this conclusion alongside the fact that the workers themselves are
perfectly capable of organizing a just society, then it becomes
glaringly obvious that anarchism offers the working class a far more
favourable system for social change than does Leninism or any other
- December 11
Ben misses his deadline!
However, Ben has not been slacking off. He has written an 8800 word magnum opus
as part of his preparation to demolish Daniel's arguments:
The Future Transparent
Will a workers' state be a
brutal police state or
a machine controlled by workers?
Ben's first and second laws drive a stake thru the heart of the great fear
nourished by anarchists and social-democrats alike.
Ben also explains how all the sturm und drang about historical events
of the 1920's and 1930's is rooted in the antagonist competition, today,
for the warm, living bodies of activists.
There is also a nice exposition on the nature and workings
of the local left ecosystem.
"Leninists are trying to grab our spotlight
with bullshit debates"
Ben's announcement that he intended to post installments from this debate
was not greeted with enthusiasm on the
(8 posts from October 11-12)
- November 11
Daniel comes out fighting!
Daniel replies to Ben Seattle's Parts 1, 2 and 3.
Me, my motivations, and my basic argument
Its time for one of us to answer the debate question
My Question for Ben
- November 5
A DeLeonist defends Revolutionary Cooperatives
Scotch Wallace replies to Ben's Part 1.
Scotch is an activist working in Brazil with the MTL
(rough translation: Land for Workers and Liberty Movement) that has launched
several revolutionary cooperatives that have become, he notes, centers of
"organization and class struggle".
"I certainly agree that the working class will need a machine, an organization.
I further agree that the working class had better take hold of the capitalist state,
and I can only see this happening through a working class political movement.
The only problem is that the capitalist state is something that was designed
to be useful to the capitalist class, and is of dubious utility to the working
class. We had better begin to build our machine before we take control of the state.
[...] The DeLeonists have an interesting point of view on this question. They
certainly occupy the middle ground between the Leninists and anarchists on this question."
- November 3 Another non-Ben essay
As part of our effort to present content by authors other than Ben Seattle,
we are pleased to present an essay by a former "Marxist-Leninist" who
finds renewed inspiration in the Paris and Shanghai Communes of 1871 and 1927,
which got things done using "anti-organization".
Essay 156 is
Communism Means Communes
- Economic sectors in the transition period
Ben has added a new chart with his guesswork as to the relative size
(ie: as a percentage of the economy as a whole) of each of the
three economic sectors as a function of time
following the overthrow of bourgeois rule. Obviously, any chart like this will turn out to be
wildly inaccurate, but it can help to illustrate the dynamic relationships between the different
economic sectors, and the logical culmination of humanity's progress towards a self-organizing
- October 26 First anarchist essay
Yhcrana has replied to Essay # 154
How will workers control production?
with Essay # 155
The Fallacy of the "Proletarian State".
This is an important first step in bringing to this debate site a greater representation
of the anarchist viewpoint. This site cannot be a success until it features
a strong representation of anarchist views.
- October 20
Daniel has announced that he will reply by November 13
"Just to let you know that I am working on a reply
to your posts, and am planning to address all of
your questions, whilst raising some of my own. ...
Hopefully I will have finished the reply by early
November ... since your
final post was on October 13 ... I have until
November 13 to post mine."