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0 votes
I've noticed from reading bits and pieces of kropotkin, Proudhon, Bakunin, and any rand that a big difference between anarchists is what they think the ideal economy would be. Could it not just be a mixture? There could be groups of people contributing to communal food sources, producing and trading/gifting/selling goods individually, producing more complex goods in collectively owned business which divide profits according to labor not need all in the same geographical area no? It would be an individuals right to choose whether to do to one or all of these things. If wealth accumulates because of the individualism so what? The only people they could oppress are employees right? If someone doesn't have the freedom to own any means of production individually like in communism isn't that simply dictatorship of the majority?

2 Answers

+4 votes
Downvoted for: "so what? The only people they could oppress are employees right?"

That's kind of a big part of the argument against the existence of employment and wage labor.

Also, Ayn Rand isn't an anarchist, even from the perspective of an-caps and market anarchists.

But, for an honest answer to the question: I do think it's possible (or probable) that there would be a variety of approaches for sharing and creation of resources in some hypothetical anarchist future - just none that reproduce existing forms of property ownership and alienated labor, ideally.
by (8.7k points)
I understand that capitalism oppresses workers, the only systems I mentioned were communism collectivism and individual production because I think capitalism will largely disappear when people realize a collectively owned company is more empowering and often lucrative than wages. Do you think people should have the right to subject themselves to wages if that's what they like better than communism?
Collectively-owned companies aren't necessarily more empowering than wages, and they're only lucrative to the extent that they can compete within the market economy.

The issue I see with this form of property, even assuming the downfall of capitalism as the dominant paradigm, is that it still subjects life to exchange-based relationships. Things would still be created, distributed, and collected on the basis of their value as objects for exchange.

Also, the idea of "people should have the right to [x] if that's what they like" is kind of a shallow liberal pluralism that could be logically extended to say "people have the right to participate in capitalism if they want to and anarchists have no right to prevent them from doing what they want to do".

On a side note, though, I'm not sure whether it's even possible or desirable to prevent ALL forms of exchange-based relationships from taking place, and maybe it's possible that necessarily includes a group of people making a somewhat complex thing and not just giving it away to anybody.

Someone else might be able to give a better answer than this.
That's exactly what I was saying, if someone wishes to be a business owner and can find people willing to take wages and let them profit off their labor who are we to prevent it? How would we even prevent it?
1) Anarchists, and 2) guns, probably?
1) contradiction? You would be preventing someone from self determination. I'm not talking about the owner's non existent right to exploit someone's labor but the laborers right to choose to do so in a system where there are clear alternatives. Back on collective business ownership getting a share of the profits according to how much you worked will often be more lucrative and will always be more empowering because one of the principals of it is having a say in company decisions whether it be by concensus parapol democracy or running a crystal ball. These last two also bring us back to the same question shouldn't people be allowed to subject themselves to dictatorship of the majority or probability or anything completely stupid if that's what they want to do? You can't force someone to join the revolution you can just educate them and make sure they have the freedom to take an alternative.
I don't really know what a "right" is, but:

I guess there's nothing preventing anyone from doing something stupid and self-harming, as long as that something doesn't have implications for anybody else. The issue with a laborer's deciding to enter into wage slavery is that it necessarily presupposes the existence of a boss who collects profit and pays wages - so, whether or not the employees have some supposed "right" to enter into their own exploitation is kind of a moot point, because the exploiters would be open to attack anyway (and then there's the question of whether it's permissible or worthwhile to attack those who support systems of domination through their obstinate complicity).

Anyway, collective business ownership - the thing about business is that you either answer to a boss or you answer directly to the economy. If we're talking about some hypothetical post-capitalist anarchist society, then it's a comparison between collective business versus any other form of self-organization, in which case it's hard to say what would be more empowering for any individual. If we're talking about a capitalist society, then a collective business ownership is functionally equivalent to freelancing or sole proprietorship, which isn't necessarily empowering because you still have to answer to the demands of the market.
i think that one of the most helpful things this site can do is to challenge the parameters that people are operating within.
case in point: "capitalism will largely disappear when people realize a collectively-owned company is more empowering and lucrative." *lucrative* is a concept that exists within a capitalist framework. so is *collectively-owned company*. so this person is not actually talking about the end of capitalism at all, or at least, not capitalism as anarchists define it.
antagonist (lol) capitalists want to talk about the steps to get from where we are now to what they see as a better system, and (to my view) get bogged down in the realism of those steps.
conversing with them to any purpose means figuring out translations of the false cognates we use.
a few words that would have no meaning (other than historical) in *my* anarchist world:  


as usual, i find dot and rb's comments pretty spot on.
Please don't accuse me of being a capitalist, I didn't realize that if there are many collectively owned companies and it would still be capitalism just with the employees owning the businesses. Just because I haven't formed a complete analysis of capitalism or thorough enough for good rhetoric doesn't mean I like what I see in it.  When you  say ownership would ideally have no meaning, fa, do you not believe in personal property? I understand and agree with resources and means of production being owned collectively  but what if I  find some pretty seashells and make a necklace? Is it our necklace? Ior I'm walking down the street and someone doesn't have shoes and I do? The commune needs to produce more shoes but has not yet. "Give me your shoes I need them " " I need them" " they're our shoes" "they're my shoes" .
not sure if it was meant for me, but i didn't accuse you of anything.

there are plenty of employee-owned businesses (and cooperatives, and collectives, etc) around... somehow, they neither reject, nor exist outside of, capitalism. rather, they depend on it.

as for "property", that is another word that would have no meaning. of course i am being somewhat facetious by saying "no meaning". what i mean is that those words would have no legitimate place in my world.

property implies ownership. i personally prefer the concept of usage - or perhaps possession - (based on needs/desires) rather than ownership. of course the specifics of what constitutes "usage" would (and should) be debated. both usage and possession have very different connotations to me than property.

the latter part of your above comment seems to have a distinctly communal/collectivist perspective. which is fine for you, but it is not the kind of world every anarchist wants. i could be wrong, but it seems you see capitalism and communism as the only possible options. some anarchists want nothing to do with either.
The defense of accusation was for dot, in my question I was actually asking to see if people agreed with me that different economic systems could co exist in the same area
Thanks for clarifying ur def of property
" I was actually asking to see if people agreed with me that different economic systems could co exist in the same area"

"in the same area" is not the same as "in an anarchist society". but for now i will assume you mean both. because we are talking about an anarchist "society", the first question raised for me is: why would there be an economic system (let alone many) in an anarchist society? but then i have a rather anti-mass perspective, and economic systems kind of require a mass mentality. as does production/consumption that extends beyond the immediate needs (and desires, for whatever that distinction is worth) of the individuals involved. if i grow more tomatoes than i (and my clan) can use, what do i do with them? of course, whatever the fuck i want, including composting them for my next garden or throwing them at passers by. but if my neighbor wants/needs them, and i choose to interact with them at that level, i am totally open to either gifting or bartering those tomatoes (depending on the nature of my relationship with said neighbor at the time). if i sometimes gift, and sometimes barter, with other individuals in my bioregion, what kind of economic system would that be? you might say it is 2 different systems. i would say it is no "system" at all, it is individuals choosing how to relate with each other and how to utilize what they want/need/have/create based solely on the context of that situation. an economic "system" does not (to my understanding) allow for that kind of fluidity and flexibility, let alone autonomy. i could be wrong, as i have no formal background in economics.

so perhaps my issue is with the assumed need for economic system(s) in an anarchist world.

then again, it could just be my crack pipe again.
Sounds like parecon, thanks for the fresh perspective on "system" I guess what I meant was just that people would choose to partake in whatever "system" they wanted and you would end up with a mosh of different people exchanging different goods in different ways from one day to the next.
not sure what sounds like parecon, but i have no affinity whatsoever with that model. i remember looking at that probably 15 years ago, when michael albert and his cohorts on the left were describing it.

maybe i am just getting caught up on the word "system", which i have issues with in the context of describing my desired world.

SYSTEM (meriam-webster):

1. a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole

2. an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole

3. an organized or established procedure

(4. harmonious arrangement or pattern -- ignored as irrelevant)

5. an organized society or social situation regarded as stultifying or oppressive
" it is individuals choosing how to relate with each other and how to utilize what they want/need/have/create based solely on the context of that situation." That's what sounded like a pare on to me. One is the definition I was thinking of. I don't really worry to much about words like "right" "property" or "system" I side with Crimethinc on words meaning different things or adapting the words to communicate ideas, mostly for lack of better terms personally. Words constantly change meanings, keeping them the same always sounds like a #2 system.
0 votes
Of course. To me the whole idea of anarchism is not to tell other people how to live their lives. Enforcing a single economic system sounds very hard to achieve with this premise, don't you think?

"If wealth accumulates because of the individualism so what? The only people they could oppress are employees right?"
No, they also can oppress other people. They hog resources that then are not usable to other people, which is quite a big problem. It is even more of a problem when they can use their power over other people to ensure their control of those resources over a longer time or to acquire more of them.
by (590 points)