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Why do anarchists oppose capitalism?

+2 votes
Also, what about instances of "tempered" capitalism/democratic socialism such as those in Iceland and Scandinavian countries? Are @s just as opposed to these economies, or are these more tolerable (or possibly desirable)?

For a 101 site, I'm surprised to find this question hasn't been asked specifically.
asked Jan 30 by anonymous
re: your actual question: this has been the long-standing thread on this topic. http://anarchy101.org/25/why-does-capitalism-rely-on-the-state?show=25#q25

doesn't mean it couldn't be expanded on and/or improved. but it's worth checking out.

re: your second question, there are different kinds of anarchists.
some would say that a softer, gentler state is better than other kinds of states (we call those left anarchists), and others who would say that a state is a state, and anarchists are against all of them, even though some are easier to live under than others.
I have a feeling that most left-anarchists would justifiably take umbrage with the suggestion that they'd be okay with a kinder, gentler state. Of all the criticisms that can be lodged against left-anarchists (such as their critique of capitalism being laughably outdated), I'm not sure this is one of them.
Your question has been asked on more than one occasion. dot linked to one. Another http://anarchy101.org/4521/why-are-anarchists-anti-capitalist?show=4521#q4521

None of those countries are instances of tempered capitalism/democratic socialism. The means of production are entirely privately owned. Those countries, I would say, are freer of government intervention in the economy and more capitalistic than the US. For example, just look at their degree of free trade compared to the US and how none of them have minimum wage laws. Those countries providing universal healthcare and safety nets through taxation doesn't say tempered capitalism/democratic socialism to me. A lot of those programs was an idea the capitalist man came up with in order to keep production up back in the mid to late 19th century to early 20th century. It's generally a simple idea, give the work force nice things and watch the GDP rise. I really don't understand where people get the idea that Scandinavia is socialistic or tempered capitalism in any way when they're actually more capitalistic than the US and many other western countries.

social democracies, some resources such as Norwegian oil reserves or the resulting wealth are government owned, and they have extremely generous social programs. they mean what they sound like, democracies with wealth sharing tendencies/ideas of some form or another (social democracy, vs socialism/common ownership of the means of production overseen by another democratic government (democratic socialism)

what is more interesting for the purpose of the question however are the difference between state/non state socialism and anarchy.

edited to add a forgotten word and delete where I said I would answer bc I typed a page and lost it editing this comment angry

5 Answers

0 votes
Anarchists oppose the existence of the state, national borders, and all forms of hierarchical authority. Therein lies your answer to how they feel about "democratic socialist" countries.
answered Jan 30 by Matt Dionysus (820 points)
+1 vote

i oppose any state created money system and supply, no matter what you call it - capitalism, socialism, tempered, or not.


because it comes directly from the state - the government and the banking industry -- attempting to force me to use it to survive, forcing me to relate to other people/creatures/earth economically rather than creatively based on mutual desires, because it attempts to instill feelings and thoughts of scarcity, fear, authority, and separation....

unless i find ways to avoid it, circumvent it, do without it, or devise other ways to relate and experience life and survive....all of which i try to do to the best of my abilities...and which i've experienced as the most enjoyable, dynamic, conscious, free, playful, and often painful and difficult (in ways i prefer to the pain and difficulty of the monetary system) moments and relationships in my life.

hell, i even feel opposed to capital letters these days. :)

answered Jan 30 by bornagainanarchist (8,120 points)
edited Jan 30 by bornagainanarchist

in addition to using lower case have you ever thought of using sparse use of punctuation like E E Cummings or Cormac McCarthy or Timothy Dexter? E E Cummings rarely if ever used capitalization and punctuation except in r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r he used punctuation for the visual effect. Cormac McCarthy uses capitalization and periods but rarely anything else except an occasional colon or comma. I think they felt that punctuation is too restrictive. Timothy Dexter did use capitalization randomly but only used a period twice in his writings like his masterpiece A Pickle for the Knowing Ones. You should keep it in mind that punctuation is not really needed to convey a message and it is repressive. ;)

I used too much punctuation.

0 votes

I don't know that this answer will add much to this conversation, but this​ anarchist opposes capitalism because it is the monetization (or more generally valuation) of life and lived experience. I have a drive to survive, and outside of capitalism, I would still have that drive, but in a capitalist reality that drive to survive means I do things I don't want to do, and that aren't necessary to my immediate survival, except that I live in a capitalist world, so, as pertains to my particular life, that means job, car maintenance (for job), bills, mortgage (Boogey, I know), etc. Hunting and gathering ain't going to cut it in my life as it now stands, even if I'd rather that we were all living that way.

answered Jan 31 by ingrate (20,770 points)
+1 vote
I don't think we can talk about social democracies as being local systems unto themselves. Welfare states of the Nordic type are (obviously!) a mode of governing that is possible for very wealthy countries, as a way of distributing the wealth that pools there, so as to benefit the citizens of those countries. But that wealth only exists in global capitalism–within international circuits of exchange and valorization.

This is not capitalism "tempered," any more than it is capitalism "tempered" when people share wealth within a nuclear family. It's just circling the wagons! To suggest otherwise is to misunderstand what capitalism is (as a national "system" rather than a totalizing dynamic).

Second, I hope it should be clear that anarchists (and Marxists worth their salt) would be critical both of capitalism and social democracies. I'm going to refrain from answering though, since I'm not sure that my answer is anarchist.
answered Jan 31 by asker (7,720 points)
0 votes
this anarchist opposes all forms of institutional economics (as well as both institutions and economics in general, as i see them).

capitalism is a system rooted in hierarchy. it requires (creates, perpetuates) a class-based society. [the same could be said of any economic system, i am fairly certain.] how could someone with anarchic desires NOT be opposed to such a scheme?
answered Feb 7 by funkyanarchy (10,780 points)