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What is the situation regarding home , privacy and property in an Anarchist Society ?

+2 votes
I’m an introvert , I like my privacy and alone time. Who doesn’t from time to time right ? An available quiet room with a door and lock on it. Peace and Quiet. But I also like to have a home to call my very own. Same idea but customized to my liking. Maybe I want to have some entertainment there or read some books , invite a friend or lover ( and the lover and me may want to live together in harmony ) , or perhaps store items that are very special to me there with security systems and locks so no one will steal it. Probably nothing of value to other people maybe but perhaps they were special gifts from friends that have emotional value but I don’t want to feel like I need to carry them in my backpack everywhere I go with the fear that someone might steal them. I don’t want to feel like I need to overwhelm myself with the need to fight for it every time they do. Know what I mean ? I want to keep my valued treasures safe while I’m alive. And when I’m gone , I’ll figure that out in my will of course.

So is this all accepted in an Anarchist society ?
asked Jan 2 by anonymous

2 Answers

+3 votes
there are many different visions of anarchist society, but i don't know of any of them that envision people having to continually (or even usually) fight to keep their stuff safe.

some of the issues that are brought up by this question (as i see them, and many anarchists have discussed them)...

a. personal property is different from other kinds of property (ie, your toothbrush or treasured photo of your sister) is different from something like a house, or even a hammer, which you only use periodically, or which other people can use with you.

b. different groups of people would figure out how they want to live with each other. so you could find people who agree with you about how to value things, and how to protect those things, and live with them.

c. in a different world (one where we hadn't been taught all our lives to value work, or laws, or to define ourselves through what we own, for example), we would care about things differently, so that the things that are important to us now, would be less important, and things we don't even recognize now (or don't find as important) would gain in value.

an exercise in imagining one different world is a book that gets referenced here all the time, called bolo'bolo (by p.m. and published by autonomedia, originally). it might be a fun read for you.
answered Jan 2 by dot (50,280 points)

Bolo’bolo immediately popped into my head when I read this question. While the OP might not like the specifics of ‘taku’ (0.25 mreally isn’t much), the bigger ideas and the spirit of the smaller ideas I think could be very appealing to the OP. On a personal note, I love bolo’bolo, it’s the most plausible, appealing and positive model for how a society structured around free association could work in the real world that I’ve ever come across.

i've gotten in trouble over-hyping bolo'bolo. it raises people's expectations too high, for an odd little book that isn't even really fiction... and that has some definite weird marxist business going on in various places.
but the concepts! they're great! and taku is definitely one of the more provocative ones. that and the tooth are my favorites :)

Vernon Ricahrds wrote in Protests without Illusions,

"We believe that human beings can achieve their maximum development and fufilment as individuals in a community of individuals only  when they have free access to the means of life and are equals among equals, we maintain that to achieve a society in which these conditions are possible it is necessary to destroy all that is authoritarian in existing society.

Anarchy is only solely about destroying or eliminating abusive auhoritarian powers of the state, but it is not about living lawlessly.

In principle, for a society to socially own or control property, produce goods to meet the needs of all instead of allow profit for a few,  to organize a system of distribution so that all rather than an elite share equitably in the material means of life—then clearly definable administrative  institutions have to be established that not only make them workable but also constrain irrational behavior. In short, forms of authority have to be created that are meant not to exploit or oppress human beings, but rather to ensure that some human beings are not exploited or oppressed by others and to ensure the means for acquiring the good life.

to anarchyaction: no.

this site is open to many definitions of anarchy, but not to ones that include laws, which not only imply but *require* lawmakers and law enforcers. "ensuring" anything also requires systems of enforcement.

in short, you are free to ask questions here and make comments, but please refrain from posting answers.
dot you mention a hammer and it made me think:

Have any of you ever considered the intersection of private and personal property and how certain items can be regarded differently from others? while my hammer certainly doesn't feel the same way as my disc truer or piston press, I feel a sentimental connection to some of my tools. I wouldn't mind someone using my tools, but not with me around, that being said I most likely wouldn't feel this way if they weren't valuable by capitalist standards. its still something to think about, however. another example, in some families in different class situations/locations people share toothbrushes. It is regarded as a communal item. People talk about occupancy in regards to homes, ive heard the statement if you occupy a house its yours. consider a five bedroom house, how much of it can you occupy by yourself? a lot of people here may say you would only truly be using a fraction of said house and others could share. this makes sense, but what about a single room cabin with nothing but four walls, a fireplace, and a hole in the ground. most of us here would probably think it would be reasonable for one person to occupy it, defend it, and keep other people out or invite them in at their discretion, but what if some weary traveler comes along, who grew up in a similar structure with 5 people, and moved out into a similar situation with seven, who will then perceive you as the one who is being unreasonable?

People could perceive these things differently, would call for some conflict resolution.
How nice to be reminded of Bolo'Bolo. May I offer a link?

+3 votes
I think this sort of question is symptomatic, and therefore interesting.

The question expresses an anxiety about the fact that dwellings, and the things that dwellings can or should afford, are not at all easily obtainable under capitalism.

Having destroyed everything that was formerly held in common, capitalism's overwhelming tendency is to turn around and force us to economize by "sharing" but always in an irrational, annoying, and inhumane fashion. You share space on a packed bus with strangers, space in an apartment with frenemies, etc.

The space, solitude, and comfort that we think (say) owning a house would afford, can therefore be held out as an always unfulfilled promise that is supposed to justify the crowded and unfree conditions of real life.

If sharing things seems unpleasant, I suspect that is mainly because the form sharing necessarily takes in capitalism actually is unpleasant. If having things to yourself seems desirable, I suspect that is mainly because it is both unobtainable, under capitalism, and at the same time one of the most significant ideological justifications of that system.
answered Feb 13 by asker (7,680 points)
edited Feb 23 by asker