Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Why do anarchists oppose a revolutionary vanguard?

+2 votes
What's wrong with the formation of an anarchist vanguard? What exactly constitutes a vanguard? Does a group of anarchists revolting in a space before anyone else there does make them a vanguard?
asked Oct 30, 2012 by anonymous

1 Answer

+4 votes
A group of people having a more developed analysis and plan(s) isn't necessarily a bad thing for anarchists; most anarchists would probably describe themselves similarly.

The anarchist swear-word "vanguardism" derives from the history of self-selecting groups of professional revolutionaries (usually Leninists) who try to substitute themselves for oppressed people. Lenin famously quipped that, on their own, working class folks could only attain "trade-union consciousness," meaning having a defensive posture toward capitalists in their struggle for bread and butter issues in the workplace. A combative, insurrectionary, revolutionary consciousness could only be injected into the proles as a  class from the outside - by which Lenin meant himself and his buddies.

There's a difference between helping to organize people to get what they want, and organizing them to get what you want.
answered Oct 31, 2012 by lawrence (18,030 points)
I'd started writing a much longer answer, but really, this does the trick.
...