Where do Tanks come from? ☭

A very tankie essay in defense of Marxism-Leninism, specifically for “the libertarian left”

Anarchists would probably clear their minds after reading some Mao. But of course they never will because Mao is a terrible person and who would read a terrible person. Perhaps that’s why there’s been so much disinformation against Mao, Lenin, Stalin and even Marx – to ensure that no one would feel like engaging with their ideas.

Revolutions stand in contradiction to the status quo, and this is true of all revolutions and not only communist ones. Both forces will push against each other. And as you start pushing, expect to be pushed back. This back-and-forth grows more violent as time passes because more actions are needed to tilt the balance, and the other force responds in kind. Revolutionaries will start acting more boldly as their forces and supplies grow, and the state will start repressing them as they become more dangerous. Of course the world is not a closed-circuit system and unexpected events can change this linear progression in various ways; such as the president of the state dying of an illness which paves the way for the revolutionaries to take power. But barring extraordinary events, this is generally how things progress.

It’s true that anarchists seem to believe they’ll be left alone to organise until the time is right. This is an idealist conviction. The state will make sure you’ll never get to that stage because you are in contradiction to one another. The only way the contradiction will be resolved is with the dismantling of either force.

In your dealings with anarchists, remember that they are liberals. They are individualists and idealists; they have yet to break from the liberal mould they’ve been born in. The “barriers to entry” (to borrow a very capitalist term) from liberalism to anarchism are close to none. You can be a liberal and consider yourself anarchist; it doesn’t require you to question your whole upbringing, the whole world around you, the past and the things you thought you knew. You just need to feel like oppression is bad, politicians are corrupt (that’s not a difficult one), and capitalism sucks. This requires no commitment and you can abandon your beliefs at any time and rejoin civil society. I’d bet money that almost all marxists on this instance have done something in their revolutionary lives that have closed doors for them for the rest of their lives. Just being part of a communist party can be enough. The commitment is much higher, not to mention all the soul-searching and theory-reading that happens.

They will, at the same time, champion individual rights but turn on you the second you stray from the common beliefs. Their mind is full of contradictions because they have not rejected liberalism (already rife with contradictions) and superposed anarchism onto it, which gives birth to more contradictions.


I couldn’t agree more.

I have recently taken to asking anarchists what makes them believe that they are entitled to the undying, unreciprocated allegiance of the communists, particularly when they whinge about Makhnovia or Revolutionary Catalonia being “betrayed” (you can throw Kronstadt in there too) and they never for one moment stop to consider that those movements might have been betraying the communist revolution.

Of course, they never have a reply.

Though there is more to the Revolutionary Catalonia issue and I am considering drafting a short piece in defense of the actions of the USSR framed around the writing of George Orwell, of all things, so I might come up with that soon…

The one thing I don’t get about the Spanish civil war is that if the left’s success hinged on the undying support of the USSR (as anarchists today claim), then it was a failed endeavour. Of course I can’t fault people for fighting against a fascist coup in any way they can even if popular support is low. It’s just that to pin this on the USSR alone, then turn against them because of your own shortcomings is very very low.

The USSR was not responsible for the worldwide revolution alone, just like China isn’t today. It’s a privileged position to wait for them to basically wage our wars for us. And honestly I’m tired of 21st century anarchists telling me again about their three or four “betrayed” revolutions over and over again. It happened a century ago, that there hasn’t been a successful anarchist revolution since then (successful as in managed to seize power even for an instant) is not my fault or my concern.

I’ve been thinking about the revolution in my country and what it would look like. And I personally am open to finding a solution with anarchists, like granting them an autonomous city (which is of course easier said than done because people already live in that city). But I doubt they’ll recognize the socialist republic, and they’ll start turning on us.

what makes them believe that they are entitled to the undying, unreciprocated allegiance of the communists

This is something I’ve noticed too and that rubs me the wrong way. On the grounds that they’re somehow purer than us (they’re really not, anarchists have committed their share of violence too and as an ML I accept that), they speak as the one true communists. In this way they’re not really different from ultras I guess.


Great post. I doubt anarchists will read this, though.


Wonderful essay made by @DashRendar@lemmygrad.ml


Wow, that’s awesome - I didn’t realize the author was on here!

A place for long-form journalism and editorials which provide an in-depth analysis of the subject.