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About Maximilien Rubel’s article “Marx, theoretician of anarchism”
With "A short biography of Maximilien Rubel" by Nick Heath
Article mis en ligne le 5 juillet 2023

par René Berthier

The evolution of Maximilian Rubel’s critical thinking led him to formulate the hypothesis that Marx was a theorist of anarchism.1 It is easy to imagine that if the idea did not arouse enthusiasm among Marxists, it did not arouse enthusiasm among anarchists either. It’s because the oppositions between Marx and the anarchists of his time were such that if one accepts the idea of a Marx theorist of anarchism, one is forced to reject from the anarchist “pantheon” all the others, which obviously simplifies the debate... by making it useless.

This idea also poses another problem : the “niche” of anarchist theorists is already largely occupied by men, some of them contemporaries of Marx, who had obviously never envisaged such a hypothesis, and one can say, without compromising oneself too much, that they would have vigorously rejected it. Maximilian Rubel is thus in the uncomfortable situation of being alone against all. Worse, he puts Marx himself in this uncomfortable position, insofar as, having fought all his life against the anarchists – Proudhon and Bakunin, mainly – the author of Capital finds himself invested with a status that he, his opponents and his supporters would have rejected, but which Rubel proposes to show was justified.

rubel_traduc.pdf 301.9 ko / PDF