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.

How does Anarcho-Communism distribute goods?

0 votes
I've been looking into anarchist views for quite some time; however, I don't have a complete grasp on how different sections would each work. Correct me if I'm wrong, but collectivists and mutualists use labor notes to purchase goods, and believe in competition through the market place?and how exactly does Anarcho-communism distribute goods? Would every ones needs not be meet better in a market fashion? And what is Individualist-anarchism? sounds kinda like An-cap stuff without private ownership of the means of production? Please and thank you
asked Nov 21, 2014 by S.w.i.m and a Bum (280 points)

This website has a wealth of questions and answers already, covering most if not all of your questions here, just try typing some keywords into the searchbox in the top right ;)

Of course doing that will likely raise more questions for you, and you're welcome to post those too :)

> "Would every ones needs not be meet better in a market fashion?"

I'd argue that both history and the present demonstrate pretty conclusively that markets meet *everyone's* needs - and just as importantly, enable their desires -  pretty abysmally.  In the real world, as opposed to the idealised world of economic models, market arrangements meet some people's needs very well and others' very poorly, and this true of both conventional markets and everything that has ever gotten close to the anacap ideal of a 'freed market'.

Edit: oops, meant this to be a comment.
I've read the last 3 links already, but I want more of an explanation on how goods get from producer, to distributor, to the other people, in anarcho-communism.  I'll look into the ones one the free market though, thanks for sharing!
Yea, I see your point on markets.. I have read some mutualist critiques talking  about how it can lead back to capitalism to due inequality between the collectives. However, I just don't understand how anarcho-communism distributes goods, I've been trying to find out for quite sooome time. Plus I kind of like how markets allow for choice. In anarcho communism, What car do I get? and how do i get it? Its very confusing... in authoritarian communism, the state distributes goods, so I know how its done... Buut im no authoritarian, and capitalist seems a way better alternative than state socialism.

1 Answer

–2 votes
Just as goods are distributed today.

If we use walmart as an example, then the workers that filled the shelves today continue to do so tomorrow.
The miner mines, the driller drills, the refiner refines, the trucker trucks and the stocker stocks, except instead of being compensated in money she orders what she needs from the internet.

A free pass to the goods of the world is the full wage of your work, if you work then you have one share of all the work done coming to you.

The trick in implementing a system like this is in insuring that you don't consume more than you produce.

I have proposed taking all the man hours needed to produce the goods of the world and divide that by the number of people between 20 and 45 to get an idea of how many hours you need to engage in productive work in order to insure that your production of shoes and consumption of computers balances to make all goods available to all workers.
answered Feb 19, 2015 by FreeBorn Angel (660 points)
A couple questions:

If I worked at Walmart before the revolution (or whatever world-turning-upsidedown thing) why would I want to stay at Walmart (which sucks)?

What happens if the miners don't want to mine or the drillers drill?

When things are no longer being refined or produced, how does this all continue on?

What about me as a case study: I am 39. IF capitalism topples tomorrow, there is no way in hell I am going to work (at a stupid non-profit), and there are even less chances than none that I am going to start refining, mining, drilling or shelf stocking. What happens now? How does your proposed new economic program reconcile with anarchy?
You won't be working for walmart, crapitalism and it's corporations will not exist, but the distribution system erected by walmart serves to continue the availability of consumer goods.
The driller drills and the miner mines because she wants consumer goods and the division of labor is the only way to make those available.  It is not practical, yet, for each individual to make their own goods, just the time needed to get food would not leave time to make shoes, or paper.
The continuance of going to work as currently structured insures that you can have toilet paper and tvs while not being a parasite on the people that did the work.

If you chose not to work then the system collapses you will likely starve, but if you work just as you did today then the system of supplying the world with consumer goods can continue, or you can be a bum and eat from the stuff provided by those that do continue to work, but having done so you would be viewed as a thief.

The proposition is that as long as the workers continue to work the goods will continue to be available.
The value of the work is one share of the whole of the work done, ie, work and get free stuff.
The trick is in accounting for your consumption in a way that definitively proves that you have produced more than you consumed and are not a parasite on the workers.

You would not be working at a non-profit, though you really need to look at escaping that matrix, profit makes you a slave or victim, but by continuing to work you get what you want from the work of others while they get your work in return.
Tit for tat trades leave crapitalism in place, but it is important to insure that you have produced more than you have consumed, that necessitates some form of objective measure, I have proposed hours, but perhaps a better measure exists.

The only way to escape crapitalism and wage slavery is to eliminate dollars and any other medium that exchanges directly work for goods.
Any medium of exchange allows wealth to be built and the privileges that wealth brings.
Only by figuring out a way to give all people access to the basics, food, clothing, shelter, without having to pay for it out of wages of $40 paid for work worth $100 can we escape wage slavery.  Any solution that leaves money in place leaves us enslaved to those that control it.

I suggest a free pass to the store in return for working in a needed area of endeavor from the age of 20 to 45 in the amount of hours needed to continue current inventory needs.  

This reconciles with anarchism because it eliminates the privileges of wealth and requires a voluntary compliance.

The workers already comply with what I have proposed they just account for their labor in a way that restricts what they can have in return and establishes a permanent privileged overlord class.

As long as the workers continue to work we can just stop paying at the register and short circuit the system that has led us willingly into our own enslavement to those permanently on top of the system.
"The only way to escape ... wage slavery is to eliminate ... any ... medium that exchanges directly work for goods."

Oh!  you mean a gift economy!
Yes, but one on a world wide scale that comes with an objective measure that one can use to insure that she has produced more than she has consumed thereby leaving the world with more than when he entered it.

I would think that a pattern would develop that would become a right of passage, some years in food production, some years in factory work, some years in research, but just as a guideline and not a rigid policy.

The number of hours of production spread out among the entire population would have to be ridiculously small as not everybody is engaged in those areas today, just the labor freed up from soldiers and their suppliers would have to make a large difference, and when tax lawyers, cops and accountants are added in the target hours diminishes even more.
"Yes, but one on a world wide scale that comes with an objective measure that one can use to insure that she has produced more than she has consumed thereby leaving the world with more than when he entered it."

then you don't mean a gift economy. not by any definition i've heard.
Ok,  you are correct, it wouldn't function purely as a gift.
FBA - unless you've read about actual gift economies, which have existed in entirely different contexts than the one we're in now, i doubt you have a sense of how they work.
people's sense of "stuff" is very VERY different from what we have now, and i doubt we can get there from here.
at any rate, you might want to read the gift
not that i support anthropology or anything (lol), but this is a fascinating read.
Thanks, dot, you may enjoy this,...http://news.yourolivebranch.org/2010/07/12/mali-gift-economies/.

I agree that the people are toooo indoctrinated to easily transition to a gift economy.
In fact, sound money would make anarcho-communism a nearly impossible sell.
i think people often operate in the spirit of the gift today - giving a friend a haircut, sharing food without expecting something in return, helping family members with projects without money (or barter) exchange, passing on things to someone else who can use them more - but we tend to separate most of our lives from this way of living. i've found if i focus more on living with a gift mentality, the more it expands to other people in my life, and the less i want to engage with the monetary (or any) system.
Indeed, BAA, if each of us takes these steps we will have the society we want, and we get it without arms or armies.