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plasticspoon wrote

Thanks, I look forward to reading these later when I have some time. I am curious about what you consider most anarchists to believe in - gift economies? - in contrast to markets? But based on what I've understood you say about authority elsewhere, it's hard for me to think you would be very comfortable with either.

In the meanwhile before I read your linked pieces, I want to suggest that the 'does not preclude' expression at least in my case fails completely to do what you hope. I read it as weasely language - with the implication that trade would be kept to a minimum and exist in certain very ad hoc specific contexts where gift economies make a bit less sense - when in fact you presumably don't mean this at all and instead have whole ranges of markets you expect to be part of regular life under anarchy. I'm not sure if I've made the feeling of deception seem clear.


humanispherian OP wrote

"Does not preclude" only makes sense in a context like our own in the anarchist milieus, where the question of "markets" is so divisive—and also perhaps so badly understood. Is it "weaselly" to refuse to "pick a side" in a fight that I think misses the point pretty badly? Others can decide.

I'm uncertain whether "gift economy" is a useful description of what anarchist communists intend. Anthropological accounts of gift economies include a lot of elements of individual property, competition, etc. that I'm not sure really apply to the common property that seems generally proposed. I've used the notion in some writing about property, in ways that I hope makes giving a really central element. But the an-com position I encounter most often just sidesteps the questions of property and value as much as possible: the complexities of things make precise divisions and valuations possible and less precise judgments are (for various reasons) undesirable. Sometimes it seems to come down to "nice people don't put numbers on things."

I think we have to be prepared for circumstances that do not involve plenty, let alone "post-scarcity," and that it will be some time before we can say that the possibility of exploitation is no longer one we need to guard against. That means confronting questions of valuation and property—hopefully with a deep understanding of the difficulties, which is why I tend to bring things back to the application of the theory of collective force—and establishing norms and forms that help us to protect one another. Some of those will be unmistakably "market" forms, but one of the fine things that past "market anarchist" experiments have given us is some examples of norms and institutions that have tendencies very different from the elements of capitalist markets.


plasticspoon wrote

Is it "weaselly" to refuse to "pick a side" in a fight that I think misses the point pretty badly? Others can decide.

I don't think it is, after you explain it. I was trying to express that in the meanwhile it seemed that way to me and it made the sayer of those words seem disingenous.