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How would commodities and luxuries work under a left anarchic society?

0 votes
Would we have the entertainment industry under left anarchism? Microsoft and the like? Obviously it would be different, but non existent? What about other commodities? Would we still have things like books, movies and the sort? What about media in general? I apologize for my ignorance. Thank you very much.
asked Feb 14, 2015 by Freed Thought (240 points)

The world cup , olympic games question is somewhat related.

2 Answers

0 votes
The answer will depend on the anarchist you ask, the particular future they envision, and how they interpret the framing of the question. Also, it is impossible for us to know what would and wouldn't exist in an anarchist future, anarchy, at it's best, is less like a destination and more like an idea of heading in a general direction with no map.

An anarchist future I would want to be involved in would most certainly have no entertainment industry, Microsoft, or commodities. It would most likely still have books (I'm not planning on burning all the libraries, nor is that a primary target of any anarchists I know), it *might* have movies, and would certainly have some media, though which media would really depend, and might vary from place to place.

I say there would be no Microsoft because Microsoft is a capitalist business, and it is one that I imagine that it *might* become a primary target of many anarchists and other folks intent on smashing and burning and looting. That doesn't mean there might not be collectives of ex-microserfs doing programming and stuff, maybe even on what used to be the Microsoft campus. I am personally skeptical of the compatibility of information technology of the scale and sort that Microsoft or similar but  anarchic endeavors would create, but who knows?

Similarly, the entertainment industry is an industry - it is the production and sale of entertainment for profit. Many anarchists critique the idea of creating distinctions between work and play, as opposed to living lives in which the things capitalism deems leisure and labor are not distinct categories. I highly suggest reading Bob Black's essay The Abolition of Work (http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/bob-black-the-abolition-of-work) for more on this. I guess the gist of this part of what I am saying is that entertainment as a concept seems, to me, to be something (fun, relaxation, distraction...) commodified and sold to me.

Which leads me to commodities - the idea of the "commodity" (according to Webster's Unabridged: 1.something to use, advantage, or value. 2. an article of trade or commerce, esp. a product as distinguished from a service) is so inextricably linked to a capitalist world view that I don't see a way to salvage them, nor would I want to.

But people still might write stories and poems and essays, and people still might print and bind books. There still might be movies made (or, in the absence of film or digital technology, plays acted). To not have businesses or industry or commodities does not mean to not have or make things, it just means that the having and making are so very different that the words and current forms are so alien as to be almost wholly different beasts altogether.
answered Feb 14, 2015 by ingrate (21,910 points)
Thanks ingrate! I have another question. Under what anarchic societal structure would we have those things? I'm not saying weather I would want those things or not, i'm just trying to understand the breadth of anarchic schools of though. Thank you so much. You have been a great help in helping me widen my ideological horizons.
In my experience the tendency most likely to posit an anarchist future that retains all of the creature comforts and amenities of our current world is anarcho-syndicalism.

Some anarcho-communists and mutualists and collectivists might also argue that we could retain these things (or some of them) but that either modes of production or distribution would be different.
–1 vote
The work could go on as if nothing had changed,....

Picture the collective work of walmart,....we have to have the people that create and distribute the goods but we can cut out the bosses and their accounting department.

As long as the miner mines, the driller drills, the refiner refines, the manufacturers manufacture, the trucker trucks, the stocker stocks, and the cashier records for reorder the shelves at walmart are full whether we get free passes to the shelves or dollars.

We have to have workers we don't have to have dollars.

But I agree with ingrate, things cannot be predetermined, they will flow from the desires of the people directly affected, but I for one would like consumer goods and my plan includes provisions for them as outlined above.
answered Feb 14, 2015 by FreeBorn Angel (320 points)