Chris asks me how I can square my anarchism with my Marxism. A number of people have asked me that over the years, so perhaps I ought to have a shot at replying. At the risk of sounding like Bill Clinton, it turns on what I mean by "anarchism" and "Marxism."
First of all, when I call myself an anarchist, I mean just exactly what I explained in my little book In Defense of Anarchism. I deny that there is or could be a de jure legitimate state. That is the sum and substance of what I call in that book my "philosophical anarchism." This is a limited claim, but not at all a trivial one. Forty years ago I debated Eugene V. Rostow, former Dean of Yale Law School, at a celebration of the centenary of the New York City Bar Association. This was in the depths of the Viet Nam War, when conscientious young men were torn between their opposition to the war and their loyalty to what they believed was a democratic government. Rostow argued that those men had a moral [not just a legal] obligation to serve in the army if drafted, because the war was approved and voted by a legislature and president chosen by the people, and hence legitimate. I argued the negative. No one at that meeting thought we were nit picking.
My Marxism, as I have many times explained, is not a form of secular religious faith, but a conviction that Marx was correct when he argued that capitalism rests essentially on the exploitation of the working class. Marx was a social scientist, among many other things, and he advanced his theses on the basis of facts and arguments. Some of his theses were correct and some were wrong. Some of his arguments were incorrect [although fewer than is generally supposed] and his assemblage of facts, although way ahead of his time, has now been folded into and in some cases corrected by the work of subsequent generations of historians and economists.
I am not a libertarian, and I consider the arguments of people like Hayek, Friedman, Nozick and others to be incorrect. The pseudo-arguments of Ayn Rand and her epigones are absurd. I can see no conflict whatsoever between philosophical anarchism and Marxian socialism. The citizens of a socialist society, were one ever to come into existence [Gott sei dank!], would have no more obligation to obey the laws of that state, merely because it was socialist, than they have now to obey the laws of the United States, merely because America is [let us grant for the sake of argument] democratic. Both groups of citizens would stand under the universal duty of judging for themselves whether what the laws command is something that on independent grounds it is good to do. There is no duty, prima facie or otherwise, to obey the law simply because it is the law.
Does this clear things up?