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.

Do Communist Anarchists generally care more about the abolition of the state or the abolition of classes or both?

–1 vote
Do most generally think it is more important to abolish the authority of the state or of the bourgeoisie, if they even think one is more important at all?
asked May 17, 2014 by anonymous

2 Answers

+1 vote
What are your two favorite ice flavours ?
Let's imagine that it's vanilla and chocolate (oh ! very unconventional).
Let's say that you would never be able to live without these two flavors.
Which flavour do you prefere ? ;-)

Better. You are contaminated with two deadly diseases.
Treatments exist to save you. But you can only afford one :
Which cure do you prefere ?

Seriously, I could still define myself as an anarchist communist (or a communist anarchist) because I really think, I hardly believe that a state without capitalism is either reactionnary either impossible (USSR was analysed by various radical tendencies as a state capitalism). And I'm also conviced with the idea that capitalism without state is either war, chaos, the reinforcement of all oppressions, either impossible.

to quote Bakounin, even I would replace the term "socialism" by "communism" :

"We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality."

Or to say it with the words of Carlo Cafiero :

"Our revolutionary ideal is very simple, as may be seen: it consists, like that of all our forerunners, of these two terms, Liberty and Equality. Only there is one little difference. Learning from the tricks which the reactionaries of all times have played with liberty and equality, we have decided to put next to these two terms the expression of their precise value. These two precious coins have been forged so often that we now want to know all about them and to measure their precise value.

We therefore place next to these two terms, liberty and equality, two equivalents whose clear meaning cannot allow of any ambiguity, and we say: ‘We want Liberty, that is to say Anarchy, and Equality, that is to say Communism.’ "

But more than this, defining yourself as an anarcho-communist or not, I'm totally conviced that you can't abolish the bourgeoisie without abolishing the state as the modern state was created by and for the bourgeoisie, and it needs a state to defend its interests, its wealth and its power. So the state protect the bourgeoisie. Infact, I said that capitalism without state would be war and chaos, but I should have precise that it's already the case. In fact, a bourgeoisie (or any other dominant class) without a state would fight of all its forces to recreate one or would just be defeated in the social war / class war. That situation happened many times in recent or older history.
answered May 18, 2014 by okapy (2,120 points)
edited May 18, 2014 by okapy
nice to have you back okapy, now you have to go answer all the other questions that are for anarcho-communistis! (lol)
just want to include a caveat for readers here; as has been noted before, there seem to be differences between what is (anarcho) communism in europe, and what people mostly think it is here in the u.s. don't know enough to be specific, but... hey.
Infact, I'm part of a minority, even here. Let me explain : to me, a lot of anarchist communist basic theories are still revelent in the light of the points of criticism brought by more recent anarchist or anti-authoritarian authors (groups or individuals, known or anonymous). Like post-leftists, some "ultra-left" materials, insurrectionists, or even anti-colonialist and other critics of dominations. And even I'm not sectarian (or, I try to) I'm pretty opposed to formal organisations. So let's say I'm a "autonomous anarchist communist". ;-) For what I know, in the US, as in the rest of the western world (Western Europe), anarchist communism is really liked with syndicalism and the tradition of formal organisations. But in fact, on a theorical and historical point of view it can't be sum up to this.

I think that all of this is very complicated. For example, most of traditional anarchists from formal organisations (such as the french AF, the "AL" -libertarian alternative-, or the french CNT) assume that direct action only makes sense in a collective perspective, or in "social movements" (tm), and that "social anarchism" is "historical anarchism" and opposes the "insurrectionnists" and the "autonomous" (which have a very complicated history here, but is also linked to anarchism, despite of what most ideologists pretend).

And the fact is that some unknown writtings of traditionnal anarchists are not only limited to these misconceptions. Bakunin (for instance), also promoted violent and individual direct action, secret organisations, etc...
Malatesta, Luigi Fabbri or Cafiero are still considered as forerunners of anarchist insurrectionism because they theorized insurrection as a mean and a goal to realize anarchy. And today the same organisations that I mentionned published many works and books of these old companions, selecting only what interests them.

Most of the time I only define myself as an anarchist, but this is the kind of things I would say if you ask me more. ;-)

Thank you for your welcoming.
"You are contaminated with two deadly diseases.
...
Which cure do you prefer ? "

I like this metaphor.  A lot.  Tres bon.
Thank you. I found it thinking about this kind of question cause I've been asked similar ones frequently. If you think about it, you can use it in many different circumenstances. In french, there is an expression that says "choosing between the plague and cholera" about impossible choices. About elections for example ;-).
+1 vote
i would say that you can't get rid of either without getting rid of both.
the state -- broadly defined as people and institutions that make decisions about other people's lives, regardless of their desires -- is a class-based system -- broadly defined as a system composed of groups of people who economically and culturally distinguish themselves from other groups of people.
that's kind of sloppy, but it gets the point across, i think.
answered May 19, 2014 by dot (50,920 points)
...