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–10 votes
Nation(s) which initially succeed in transitioning to anarchism will, in the days before revolution reaches the rest of the globe, still trade with non-anarchist nations (afterall, most nations are nowhere near self-sufficient in food... a comrades gotta eat!).

Therefore, early anarchist societies will still need to use money, if only for international trade.

How will a stateless, directly democratic society manage this money? (By manage I mean keeping it in a bank account and deciding which imports to spend it on.) How can we deal with this without giving any minority too much power? Or, if we have no choice but to entrust a small group with this power, how can we monitor them and keep them in check?

Here are some of my thoughts on this question...

(Many of you probably are familiar with federalism, so skip this explanatory paragraph if you are.) The federalist model of anarchism means that communes will have a delegate, and delegates from nearby communes will form councils, and delegates from councils in that region will form yet another council, and so on and so on, until at the national level there is a council of delegates (and there's also a final global council with delegates from the various nations). These delegates don't have the authority to impose their will downwards; rather, power flows upwards from the communes. All delegates are instantly recallable and are mandated to represent the will of those "below" them (rather than to enact their own will). Anarchists disagree on whether delegates would be elected or randomly selected and rotated.
 
I suppose, using this federated model, that the group of delegates at the national level would be the ones to actually have the bank account in their names? However, they would not decide how to spend it. Rather, the collective consumption requests of the nation determine what we would import / spend the money on. Those consumption requests would be sent to the relevant worker-managed industries. Those industries would contact the national-level delegates who controlled the bank account to request the necessary funds. Those industries would use the money to import the necessary materials needed to produce whatever was requested. As for imports of things already made elsewhere (rather than parts for things to be made locally), I suppose this would be handled by workers collectives responsible for importing goods.

However, this still leaves the uncomfortable fact that the bank account would be in the names of a small handful of people. This gives them way more power than anyone else in society. Theoretically, they could spend the money on personal enrichment.

One way to deal with this would be that they had to make all their banking transactions public. Put them up on a website for everyone in the nation to monitor. Upload photocopies of all the bank statements, along with receipts for every transaction. Show the hardcopies to their fellows in their local communes.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Thoughts?
by (110 points)
No. No. No. No.

(I would've said it only once, but I needed a minimum of 12 characters.)
Not sure where you got the idea that anarchy or a stateless society "doesn't have money" o.O - probably from a communist.
"The federalist model of anarchism means that communes will have a delegate, and delegates from nearby communes will form councils, and delegates from councils in that region will form yet another council, and so on and so on, until at the national level there is a council of delegates "  --- boy, the "federalist model of 'anarchism'" sure sounds a lot like statism.. at the national level????

"These delegates don't have the authority to impose their will downwards; rather, power flows upwards from the communes." - so what's the point of having a "delegate" - if they have no 'authority," where are they going, and what are they going there to do? why have they been chosen as a "delegate?"

"Anarchists disagree on whether delegates would be elected or randomly selected and rotated. " are you SURE you're talking about anarchists?
"One way to deal with this would be that they had to make all their banking transactions public. Put them up on a website for everyone in the nation to monitor. Upload photocopies of all the bank statements, along with receipts for every transaction. Show the hardcopies to their fellows in their local communes."  uhhh, big brother?

1 Answer

+2 votes
no.
no to all your assumptions.
no to money, no to things continuing as they are now, no to excuses for the creation of governing bodies under the "need for trade" (or whatever), no to banking, no to groups of delegates at the national level (!)...
no.
all your questions are practical, reform questions relating to non-anarchist transition points. even if one accepts the argument that a planned transition would be helpful/possible/necessary (which i would argue doesn't make sense), that transition period will, by definition, not be anarchist.
by (52.8k points)
You handle your own money, I will handle mine. If you want to give someone your money to handle for you, go for it... I will handle mine.
^^^ the ministry of truth STRIKES again! well "dot," at least i'm providing some "job security"
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