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What's anarcho-collectivism?

+3 votes
What's the theory behind it? How does it relate to anarcho-communism?
asked Apr 15, 2012 by anonymous
Who the fuck keeps downvoting legitimate 101 questions, and why? People like Jay's Thoughts, who give out 423 downvotes with little explanation other than ideological conflict? Shit's getting old. I have no affiliation with or interest in anarcho-collectivism but if someone wants to learn in good faith why downvote In my opinion we should reserve downvotes for things like: bad faith statements, fallacious reasoning, distortions, lies, obvious hit-and-run hatchet jobs, pointlessly lengthy statements, hopelessly vague responses, assumptions based on inaccurate caricature and stereotype, double standards, rationalizations for abusive behavior, time-wasting babbling, recuperation, and anti-anarchic bullshit (e.g. pro-snitching). This doesn't even seem like a hard question to answer, which, some folks also seem to want to downvote those too apparently.
i agree with you, ALC. i will say that people can have different assessments of a question's (or answer's) bad faith, fallaciousness, etc -- which is why i encourage people to comment to explain their downvotes.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Anarcho-collectivism is the economical system and political program proposed by Mikhail Bakunin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Bakunin Collectivist anarchism, as it is also known, has important differences with anarcho-communism which was mainly theorized later by Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta but which could be said to have taken form already in Joseph Dejaque´s conceptions.

"Anarchist-communism must be distinguished from collectivism, which was both a diffuse movement (see, for example, the different components of the International Working Men’s Association, the Guesdists, and so on) and a specific anarchist current. As far as the latter was concerned, it was Proudhon who supplied its theoretical features: an open opponent of communism (which, for him, was Etienne Cabet’s “communism”), he favoured instead a society in which exchange value would flourish — a society in which workers would be directly and mutually linked to each other by money and the market. The Proudhonist collectivists of the 1860’s and 1870’s (of whom Bakunin was one), who were resolute partisans of the collective ownership of the instruments of work and, unlike Proudhon, of land, maintained an essence of this commercial structure in the form of groups of producers, organised either on a territorial basis (communes) or on an enterprise basis (co-operatives, craft groupings) and linked to each other by the circulation of value. Collectivism was thus defined — and still is — as an exchange economy where the legal ownership of the of the instruments of production is held by a network of “collectivities” which are sorts of workers’ jointstock companies...In the 1870’s and the 1880’s the anarchist-communists, who wanted to abolish exchange value in all it’s forms, broke with the collectivists, and in so doing revived the tradition of radical communism that had existed in France in the 1840’s."

"The question of communism remained unsettled at the Verviers Congress of the ‘anti-authoritarian’ IWMA in September 1877, when the partisans of communism (Costa, Brousse) and the Spanish collectivists confronted each other, with Guillaume refusing to commit himself. However, the Jura Federation, which was an anarchist grouping that had been active in the French-speaking area of Switzerland throughout the 1870’s, was won over to the views of Reclus, Cafiero and Kropotkin, and integrated communism into its programme at its Congress in October 1880. At this Congress, Carlo Cafiero presented a report that was later published in Le Révolté under the title ‘Anarchie et Communisme’. In this report, Cafiero succinctly exposed the points of rupture with collectivism: rejection of exchange value; opposition to transferring ownership of the means of production to workers’ corporations; and elimination of payment for productive activities. Furthermore, Cafiero brought out the necessary character of communism, and hence demonstrated the impossibility of a transitional period of the type envisaged by Guillaume in his 1876 pamphlet. Cafiero argued that, on the one hand, the demand for collective ownership of the means of production and ‘the individual appropriation of the products of labour’ would cause the accumulation of capital and the division of society into classes to reappear. On the other hand, he maintained that retaining some form of payment for individual labour power would conflict with the socialised character (indivisibility of productive activities) already imprinted on production by the capitalist mode of production. As to the need for rationing products, which might occur after the revolutionary victory, nothing would prevent such rationing from being conducted ‘not according to merits, but according to needs’."

"Kropotkin’s contribution in favour of communism at the 1880 Congress was the culmination of a slow evolution of his position from strict collectivism to communism, by way of an intermediate position where he saw collectivism as a simple transitional stage...The collectivists favoured the ‘right to work’, which is ‘industrial penal servitude’. In Kropotkin’s view, their pro-worker policy sought to ‘harness to the same cart the wages system and collective ownership’, in particular through their theory of labour vouchers. Kropotkin opposed labour vouchers on the grounds that they seek to measure the exact value of labour in an economy that, being socialised, tends to eliminate all distinctions as far as contribution of each worker considered in isolation is concerned. Furthermore, the existence of labour vouchers would continue to make society ‘a commercial company based on debit and credit’. Hence he denounced labour vouchers in the following terms: ‘The idea... is old. It dates from Robert Owen. Proudhon advocated it in 1848. Today, it has become “scientific socialism” (marxism). "

Alain Pengam

A similar system of economics to collectivist anarchism is being proposed by the american anarchists Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel which they call PARECON http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parecon . An interesting debate with these neo-collectivists and an anarcho-communist position can be found here if you want to dig deeper in the issues involved http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/zdebatealbertvsprice.htm
answered Apr 16, 2012 by iconoclast (3,380 points)