@pancake
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While abolition of e.g. copyright and patent laws would severely destabilize current economical powers, mathematical models show that an economy with no regulation always becomes an extreme monopoly, even in the absence of any a priori inequalities.

@southerntofu
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That’s true but based on certain assumptions. If you have private property and competition, then deregulation necessarily leads to injustice. If you have a self-organized cooperative economy (arguably without money), that’s not the case.

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@southerntofu
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Haha so true! “Lets build a Nation State that operates like all others and pray for a miracle to dissolve capitalism” has repeatedly failed :)

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@southerntofu
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we say that material conditions must be improved ( … ) Meanwhile, Anarchists appear to mostly care about maximizing their own personal freedoms akin to liberal ideology.

How do those two approaches contradict one another? Material conditions are poor because we don’t have collective autonomy to decide for ourselves how resources should be used. As marxist-leninist revolutions have shown, trading away freedom for a dream of equality only produces new ruling classes (do you think the Red bureaucracy was starving in USSR? no they were just a new privileged caste).

Also anarchist understanding of freedom is not the same as liberal. Liberal freedom is based on conflicting interests (game theory), where anarchist freedom (while it admits there can be conflicts) supposes more freedom for me plus more freedom for you equals more freedom overall (not “my freedom starts where yours stop”).

Meanwhile, nobody knows whether this mythical classless and statesless society is possible in practice at the scale humanity exists at today. I’m certainly not aware of any such examples.

What scale are you referring to? Arguably we couldn’t have a self-organized planetary government, but why would we need one in the first place? The Commune is the scale on which everything is provably possible and makes the most impact in everyone’s lives. The difficulty would reside in transitioning from a production based on destructive (extractive) multinational supply chains to a low-tech production, which might be impossible in a free society.

Large-scale self-organized societies certainly have existed. The zapatistas movement (based on dual power from below) and to some extent the Rojava commune (based on democratic confederalism, not exactly anarchism) are large-scale modern societies moving towards more freedom and equality for all (though nothing is perfect and there’s lots to criticize).

I’ll take incremental improvements that solve tangible problems (…) Only people who already have their needs met would scoff at building a state that liberates people from capitalist exploitation and provides them with things like food, housing, and education.

Why would you need a Nation State for food housing and education? We’ve had those things far longer than Nation States have existed, and many communities/regions have such services without having a Nation State. The zapatistas of Chiapas come to mind for example.

Side-note: i’m definitely not well-off and certainly welcome incremental changes. I’m an anarcho-communist not a post-left anarchist and i don’t hold contempt for eg. unions. I just believe we should not stop there because gaining breadcrumbs from our overlords does not lead to liberation/equality. I believe significant changes require a paradigm shift to reach. Case in points: all the bigger wins of the workers movement came at a point when the unions (eg. CGT) had an anarchist goal and praxis of revolutionary syndicalism; since they’ve turned into reformist central agencies, they’ve been rendered harmless to the system because the central bureaucracy keeps the more radical cells in check, preventing them from pressuring toward actual change.

My impression is that Anarchists make an implicit assumption that vast majority of people think the way they do.

Not exactly, but we make an explicit assumption that people are not stupid sheep and that given power and information everyone will be capable to make sensible decisions. Because as a society we have many interests in common and without a centralized State to ensure/enforce inequalities, we may realize we have more to win by cooperating.

Simple example: in France we have 3 million empty dwellings (not accounting for secondary housing or empty office/industrial spaces) yet some people live on the streets. Ask anyone whether everyone should be housed or not, they’ll tell you sure but they don’t know how because the empty dwellings are protected by the police and you risk legal trouble by housing yourself. Now imagine the State doesn’t exist, people in a neighborhood would just list empty dwellings and homeless folks, change locks and rehouse everyone: problem solved.

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The zapatistas live almost in a rural society except they have electricity and some internet connection, they are not suppressed because they live like that and don’t represent a real threat, if they ever were to industrialize they would get fucked up in less than the blink of an eye. While I appreciate their fight and resistance and would take their government any day over the current one dominating Mexico, I don’t think they’re a super example since (even though things have improved in their government in comparison to capitalist one) they still have vast numbers of people living under poverty, and they’re going to keep it that way because they lack the organization and resources to improve it.

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The decision is not for Mexico’s capitalist government to make, but for the USA, if they’re not trying to actively destroy it as with any other ML government that took power there’s a reason for it. I’m all for it for them to do it that way if they want, but they won’t be able to advance while having so much pressure from the outside.

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@southerntofu
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Marxist approach is to create a vanguard of professional revolutionaries

I think you should say marxist-leninists specifically. Anti-authoritarian marxists are more aligned with anarchists in that regard: we’re not opposed to a vanguard, but opposed to forming social hierarchies based on supposedly how “enlightened” you are. Just because you’ve read a few books and struggled for a few years does not make you more sensible or wise than the rest of the crowd: if anything, some fresh blood and critical feedback from outside the group can be instrumental in building widely-accepted/better policies.

This is a misinformed statement since there was no “ruling class” in USSR.

Maybe “class”/“caste” is the wrong wording, but in the USSR there was definitely a ruling group which held more privileges than the rest of the population. Fighting against privileges is precisely the reason i’m a communist. Whether this privileged status is inheritable by birth makes little difference to me.

Your views are held by a tiny minority of the people living in this world. Most people are not interested in your primitivist vision.

So first i’m not a primitivist in any way. I’m critical of technology as a tool of oppression, but i’m not anti-tech. I’m anti-civilization in the sense that i’m against empires dictating a doctrine and ruling over people. I believe a majority of people hold somewhat-anarchist views throughout the planet, although they’re never given a voice, but they’re convinced by the existing power structures that it’s just a dream that cannot be realized and we need more “realistic” or “reasonable” approach (the trojan horse to reintroduce inequalities at all levels).

Zapatistas do not consider themselves anarchists, and dual power is certainly not exclusive to anarchism

They don’t label themselves anarchists as a movement, sure (though some do individually), but the zapatistas uprising is arguably closer to anarchy than State Socialism: it’s based on people’s self-organization at the lowest levels with non-authoritative coordination, transformative justice instead of repression, and cooperatives to run the economy. Only the military arm (EZLN) is organized hierarchically, and that’s precisely why that vanguard does not try/want to have political power over the communes (caracoles). The zapatistas movement is an inspiration for the anarchist movement worldwide; we don’t cheer for Syriza/Biden/Boric coming to power because we understand such people/parties are not a path to human liberation.

Everybody on the left supports moving towards more freedom and equality.

Yet many people on the Left are willing to build a practical tyranny (without any freedom) in order to achieve equality. I’m precisely saying we should never trade one for the other, as only combining the two can produce any significant result. “Freedom without equality is rule of the strongest, Equality without freedom is tyranny” as a saying comes to mind. If we want to build more freedom and equality for all, we need to work in this direction and never let power-hungry tyrants let us believe that they’re incompatible principles.

Even the worst lifestyles in US are subsidized by even more horrific exploitation in the colonies.

I’m aware of that. I was simply replying to your saying that in order to be an anarchist i must be disconnected from capitalist exploitation (old leninist doctrine against the “leftists”). Yet, there’s a nuance to this argument which in my view is important: economic wealth does not equate quality of life. In some places you can live a decent life without a lot of money because there’s communal production and solidarity. So yes here in the Global North there’s social services and an abundance of trash off which you can survive (and still, that’s only in the biggest cities) but walking from one distribution to the next is not exactly a decent life (next week is long term when you’re homeless). Many people here in France don’t have proper access to food, housing, medicine and education despite an abundance/waste of resources.

Marxists aren’t satisfied to simply build communes while allowing such horrors to continue. We want all workers across the world to be liberated from the yoke of capitalist exploitation.

And yet, how do you change the end game without a paradigm shift? Work and obedience, whether for a capitalist or “socialist” State has shown to produce only more exploitation.

things that may be abhorrent to you or me will always be appealing to a significant portion of the population. Hierarchies we see in our society arose many times throughout human history because they’re ultimately effective at preserving themselves and rooting out ideas that threaten them.

That’s a good point! That’s precisely because there are exploitative social structures in place that they can reproduce themselves in our minds so easily. Without national schools and media to indoctrinate everyone, reproduction would arguably be more difficult. That’s why preventing hierarchies from emerging in the first place is key to social liberation.

It’s pretty clear that federalist efforts that anarchists advocate are not sufficient to challenge such organization.

I’m not sure that’s true, or at least i’m not sure a top-down “socialist” structure is more adapted. Take for example the Spanish revolution: all in all, the anarcho-communist revolution was going pretty well given the circumstances, and it took a lot of efforts to tear down the revolution:

  • Hitler/Mussolini supporting Franco with weapons
  • “social democracies” staying neutral because they didn’t want to anger those 3
  • the communist party sabotaging the revolution from within with military support from USSR: attacking (with weapons) workers self-organization like at the Telefonica, dismantling by force the people’s militias…

In this case, as in many others, trying to be more “organized” (read hierarchically-organized) than the opponent is precisely what brought down the revolution. By reproducing the structures and tactics of your opponent, you’re turning into your opponent. (I’m not saying some level of secrecy and non-consensual action is bad for “vanguard” action: i’m saying it’s bad as a social structure).

there is nothing stopping this sort of organization reforming because there is no central authority to keep it in check

I don’t think you need centralized powers to prevent reaction. If you actually build communism (freedom and equality for all) you destroy the material conditions in which such movements can thrive in the first place. If everybody’s well-fed and housed, how are the fascists going to convince that only a stronger fist and repression against some segment of the population (whether it’s the judeo-bolsheviks, the islamo-leftists, the anarchists or the queers) can help them out?

I mean if some people want to build a capitalist commune with bosses and landlords, good for them i guess. Soon they’ll realize nobody wants to live that life and work for them. It’s funny how in libertarian (ancap) doctrine everybody wants precarious workers, yet none of these people actually picture themselves being the lowly worker :)

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