Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.


–6 votes
Most especially Marxism (state/compulsory collectivism), which calls for the utilization of the STATE as a means to "expropriate" the "property owning 'class?'" How can moving to RULE others (through 'government'), even if you have perceived them to be attempting to rule you previously, EVER lead to "no rulers" ?
If a group "collectivizes" their property voluntarily, and uses "democracy" ("majority RULE")  to decide what is to be done that day, etc.. and considers all of this property to be "owned by no one, and everyone" - by "the collective," how is that "no rulers" ? or, in in the case of the "anarcho" communist, "no bosses" ? if a person doesnt like what "the collective" decided, and can just leave.. how is that not a "boss" ? is not "the collective" exercising some control over "it's" property? how is that any different than working for a "capitalist" now?

edited to fix tags
by (70 points)
edited by
Where do "natural rights" come from? You keep talking about rights, which makes me think they come from the State, but if not, where? God? Do you believe rights come from God?
You forgot to put quotes around "property"

lol enkidu :)
Rights are inherent. they come from me, and stop at you. my self, my liberty - your liberty + the concept of moral reciprocity + ethics.. no rights = no reasoning = back to animals.. stirner was a communist. you dont have to value your self (consider yourself "sacred" - sitrner "realm of the sacred" etc_ or what you spent your time finding/claiming/trading for, but you surely better value my self and mine (as i do your self and yours).. if not, you're just another brigand, or tyrant.. (communist.)
You call out collectives for being intangible, yet you form the basis of your argument around the concept of "rights"?

what i mean, though, is that "the collective" is not an entity.. it doesn't have a will.. you cannot speak to the collective.. but you can speak to individual members of the collective... so even if a bunch of people got together and decided what they were going to do that day... any voting or anything of that manner in anarchy would be pointless.... otherwise it will just be some portion of "the collective" imposing it's will upon the others.. why vote on anything? why handle any decision "collectively" as an anarchist? if a group comes together and decides to each go out on their own, do whatever they want... why did they even come together? is everyone going to pool their resources and then take as equal a cut as they can? what if i got deer meat and you got apples... and id rather just keep the deer meat than get a cut of your apples? how many hours of "socially necessary labor" does it take to competely construct an automobile?

two people want to do the same thing... they settle that minor dispute.. one guy gets sick.. someone has to do extra work for the same cut of the collective pot? or do they get more? or do they get less because more has to go to the sick guy? Why even collectivize anything? Why not just get your own stuff?
what if i broke off into the forest and got a few cows and started getting milk.. and i started trading this milk to some other people for more stuff.. and i ended up with a bunch of milk, cheese and other food... and then i spend say 2 hours hours cutting up a bunch of wood, i ask a guy to come over and spend 4 hours making 2 plows in exchange for 3 wheels of cheese.. take the plows and trade them to another guy for 200 eggs, which he usually charges me 7 wheels of cheese for.. ...?

2 Answers

+1 vote
"Collectivism" -- preferring to fulfill the needs of the highest percentage of individuals where possible; the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it. For example, if five occupants share a dwelling, a collectivist perspective would deem it illegitimate for one member to lock out everyone else, burn down the house, or sell it to a third party without obtaining the consent of the other interdependent occupants. Collectivists see such individualistic behaviors as authoritarian, and push instead for everyone having access to what they need, either through sharing or empowering each person to have their own (the latter reflecting a synthesis of collectivist and individualist thinking).

Marxism acts as a sub-category of collectivism in a similar way to how Constitutionalists do not have a monopoly on individualism.

Not all forms of collectivism use majority rule or democracy. The way I practiced anarchy with collectivism in a month-long outdoor band society, we used roughly this process: In the morning we checked in about our projects, and discussed what things the group needed (e.g. firewood, water) and agreed on it using informal consensus. We expressed our preferences and split the tasks into bundles based on what people felt like doing and where they would need to do them, trying to reach a balance so that everyone would feel like they had a meaningful day. Tasks that everyone felt disempowered by but that we felt we needed to do (gather firewood for the winter from across the far marsh) we tried to minimize down to what we actually needed, share the burden of by acting together, and play games while doing it. We informally rotated the tasks for variety, or did them together and told stories to pass the time. We always had our own more individual side projects as well. At dinner we gave an update and checked in on our feelings.

Because everyone had both a desire for autonomy and a desire for fairness, and we planned things creatively as a group, we routinely completed all the necessary tasks with lots of spare personal time: our group subsistence activities took only a few hours a day off and on at most. Individual side projects we could slack off on all we wanted, but that would have wasted our time since we determined those based on our own interest. Usually we had enough variety to prevent boredom, and talking and games always helped. No one forced anyone to do anything the entire time; we all agreed to everything knowingly and voluntarily when we made decisions.

Everything productive, such as tools, we held in common. We “collectivized” tools by keeping them in a common storage area, notifying others when we borrowed them for individual tasks, sharing them as needed, and returning them to common areas when not in use. We didn't use any tools that we could not repair or replace if needed, made sure everyone knew how to use all the tools, and understood that those who broke a tool would repair or replace it.

We didn't have any problems sharing raw materials either; once again, every improvement for an individual contributed to improving the capacity of the group. Since we tried to plan things such that people would only gather materials when they voluntarily decided to and felt fun gathering, we overcame a lot of the ego-attachment and disappointment issues that materialistic people have with sharing. People still had some personal belongings though: no one thought to take someone else's sleeping bag or clothes, though everyone made sure that everyone else had enough of those as it got colder.

So we held almost all of our possessions in common, including food. No locks or fences all month long. Some days we divided the food equally, other days we agreed to just take what we felt we needed. Both worked fine because we lived face-to-face, checked in a lot, and every person had an interest in every other person having their needs met. The more scarce a food item the more we divided it evenly; the more abundant the item the more we took as we desired. We stored the food in a communal structure and in a communal storehouse where everyone had easy access. Sometimes people would feel extra hungry and we'd just get more food. No one hid any food the whole time.

The closest instance we had of the collective overpowering the individual was when storms forced the group to have to move in to a shelter that one person usually slept in alone for our cooking. He moved his stuff over somewhat unhappily, but he would have had a worse time seeing us eat in the hail and snow. We then worked on another winter shelter so as to avoid that issue from recurring.
by (8.9k points)
"nobody owns anything, but if you take something and claim it as yours, you stole it from me" i mean wtf.. are you even using your brain?
"Since when did property become an extension of the body?  If someone has $10,000,000,000 and I steal $200 from them, did I initiate force against a person?" 1. since humans have been able to create tools/cultivate land/create property by exerting their labor on nature. 2. you committed theft/fraud- you appropriated property which was not yours through theft/fraud.. by taking it without their consent ..

if nobody owns anything ... what gives you the right/claim to say i can't own it? you are claiming to own it.
"Collectivists see such individualistic behaviors as authoritarian" - because they have it completely backward. I HAVE AUTHORITY OVER MYSELF. NO ONE ELSE.
i go out and make farm.. no one was around.. i have lots of stockpile that i harvested.. communists come around and say i cant have so much 'cause some other people are poor. not "hey could you help" but "it's not right that you have so much" and "you CAN'T have all this JUST for yourself, even though you made it, you gave people stuff that they accepted to help you make more, etc etc" -- who's the damn authoritarian? who is ruling themselves, and who is trying to rule another?
i go out and use my mind/time/labor to make farm /tools/shelter/grow vegetables... you sit around and do nothing.. you DESERVE the things I HAVE CREATED?
you gather 5 apples.. your friends gather 5 apples.. you all put them in a pot... you can't take more than 5 apples out a piece and have more left over man! might as well just keep your own damn apples!
two men walk to a faraway plant they see at the bottom of a valley. One of them needs to use the plant as medicine, otherwise he will die. The other man has no particular goal with the plant, but he arrives first, and fences the plant. He posts razor-wire around it and leaves, presuming "the plant will just rot. The first man finally gets there, hurts himself getting over the razor wire, and as he approaches the plant the other man shoots him dead for trespassing. An anarcho-communist calls bullshit, seeing the act as authoritarian. The capitalist says "Finders keepers, first takes all" and calls it liberty."

  -- so the "anarcho communist" owned the plant before the first guy got there and built the fence? unfortunately for you, that IS liberty... what claim on that plant does the anarcho communist have if no one owns it, ? to say he CAN'T claim that property/build that fence? who is "exercising authority" over who in that situation? the anarcho communist already claims the "right" to exercise "authority" over ALL LAND, by claiming "no one can claim it as theirs..." ! and over all people's right/ability/decision to go out and claim unowned land, cultivate it, and live off it/be productive/trade.
maybe the anarcho communist should have asked to use the plant before trespassing.....of course, that is a bit of an extreme reaction/example..  if the guy fenced it to just with hold it from the sick guy/had no use for it, and then shot him for trying to get at it, i'd say he's a psychopath (and will probably end up in office at some point), but, that's life. taking everyone's property isn't going to fix it.... it's the problem.
Nothing at all.

The point of Anarchy is individual liberty and self ownership.
Personal sovereignty.

To STOP being subjugated and decided by the coercive forces of others.

Not merely to make your subjugation a more personal and pleasant experience, but to actually be free of that.

The only thing a collective has ever been.. is a group of Individuals.
–2 votes
Collectivism has nothing to do with anarchy.

Can there be ownership in anarchy?  I believe stewardship is a better and perhaps a more acceptable concept.  No one really owns anything except perhaps the body, mind, and one's own life, but then again seeing that we are stewards of these brings about more of the importance of how one uses what they have, than it is of ownership.   

Possibly a new definition of ownership could be offered and could be seen as "that which I am able to use."  This also would be a self-determined amount.  Without interference of others or by means of regulations or mandated distributions.
by (2.0k points)