Pop the Left, Episode 8: Dual Power

by Douglas Lain and C. Derick Varn on August 25, 2013

C. Derick Varn and Douglas Lain discuss the anarchist/communist strategy of dual power and how the term has come to mean too many things. Starting with a wikipedia article that lists everything from communes to workers coops as examples of “dual power” Varn and Lain walk through the history of Lenin’s use of the strategy. Stopping briefly to imagine the end of Capitalism we end up taking on the list of “dual power” institutions head on.

The notion of dual power is usually associated with prefigurative politics which accounts for a lot of our criticism and debate.

From the Mutualist Alliance Blog:

The mutualist praxis is not based on insurrection (though it does not strictly object to it, it views it as frequently ineffectual), nor open revolution (as the enemies of mutualist society far exceed us in power and capacity at this point in time). Instead, it is based on what Proudhon termed the dissolution of the State in the social mechanism, or what Lenin called “dual power” and Konkin called “counter-economics”. The essential principle of mutualist organization is to build a better, freer society, right here and now, which can serve as an alternative to the current system.

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