Recent comments in /f/Anarchism

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.

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Mirio 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.

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nbdy wrote

Conversations like this (didn't read the essay lol) seem to position anarchism as the spawn of the dialectical conflict between order and chaos. No thanks! Let's get away from binary thinking and embrace the bliss to be found in the layered stories of chaos! Certainly not a humanist endeavor but I think that's alright with me.

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_caspar_ wrote (edited )

what you are asking and looking for is a policy. I have no policy for you, as I have no interest in drafting frameworks for how hundreds/thousands/millions of people should live like pieces on a gameboard. you are reading what I am saying only through a political lens. we are just speaking from entirely different perspectives.

my terms might sound vague to a politician whose logic is embedded in what are taken as societal givens, humanism, reason, utility, and so on: "what should we do, how can we do it?" I cannot propose a solution for we because we is so much more vaguer than anything I am describing. the best I can do is offer strategies, failures, and experiments from lived experience. Im even fine playing with utopic imaginaries, but always keeping in mind they are utopic, imaginary and not proposals to manage others i.e. policies.

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ziq wrote (edited )

Also you are aware of the concept of abolishing commodity production and how that factors into things such as work abolition and moving away from extractivism?

I'm aware of that Marxist fantasy, yes. Removing profit and exchange from the equation but maintaining industry won't stop extractivism even if profit and exchange were actually abolished, which no socialist revolution has ever done because it's impossible to produce the highly specialized industrial goods today's highly civilized people demand without profit and exchange.

In this fantasy where industrialism is preserved but with goods only being produced to meet the "needs of the people" rather than to make profit or to be exchanged for other goods, lavish "needs" as defined by 21st century yuppies will make it impossible to mine, process and manufacture the goods in a single location by a single population using a single ecosystem's resources, necessitating exchange and profit to acquire and coordinate all the global specialized resources, skills and technologies needed to manufacture the item.

Exploited labor will be utilized at some point along the mining / manufacturing / transportation chain since there's no way for you to control the labor practices of people in distant lands, including all the industries that are involved indirectly (e.g. energy).

Colonization, slavery and ecocide will be perpetuated to produce the specialized goods that are desired by the anarcho-technocrats the fictional society has been built to serve whether they're making a profit or not.

Resources will continue to be extracted and goods will continue to be mass produced whether they're labelled commodities or not. To suggest everyone will just stop extracting resources if everything their hearts desire were free for the taking is straight up delusional. If anything, they'll extract more.

collectivized industry operating under the capitalist mode of production.

No shit. There's the complete history of communism in one succinct sentence. Industrialism and capitalism are one and the same.

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subrosa wrote

It's not a question of anarchism needing to be communist it's a question of what anarchism itself means.

Ok. Why do you think it means communism?

What forms of noncommunist anarchy exists besides either market anarchism or anarchist capitalism? The former preserving the coercive forces of capitalism but collectivizing the system and the second being a contradictory concept.

I highly doubt the usefulness of the 'market or communism' thing you do, I would be similarly critical if it were the other way around. ("Anarchism without markets ends up always coercive communism blah blah", I can imagine some C4SS reader tweeting that). Either approach would seem a little stuck in the 'ontology' of existing economics and politics, the interlocking sciences and practices of household-managing and government that gave us the most commonly accepted meanings of 'markets' and 'communism'. As if anarchism is merely another political program, a plan for how to run the community or whatever 'house' you plan to communize.

Obviously unwilling to 'kill my heroes', or just not great with language, here's me pulling two quotes that express important bits of what I'm trying to get at:

I believe that anarcho-hyphenations tend to favor the non-anarchist side of the hyphen and should be avoided. [...] This burden of hyphenation wasn't necessarily the way it had to happen. Hyphenated positions can just be a way to state a preference, to work through the extremes of a position, or to compensate for the fact that so many partisans of positions have gone quiet in our modern era, replaced by mealy mouthed voyeurs who swipe left and right on the infinite choices life presents them.

Aragorn!

[...] if I am anywhere near correct that it is various forms of something like escheat that connects the various kinds of exploitation that we currently experience, then I am probably not too far wrong in thinking that the entire abandonment of the polity-form is the key to shifting from archic to anarchic forms of social organization.

That, it seems to me, is the one fundamentally anarchistic task we face and, if we manage to accomplish it, many of the challenges to follow are really just technical questions, to be answered experimentally as we try to best match our available resources with our needs and desires. At that point, we can settle back into a kind of economic analysis that we’ve learned to approach with a mix of skill and pleasure. But, at that point, I expect that the market-form itself will have diminished considerably in its specific importance, losing much of the ideological significance that it clearly now bears.

Shawn Wilbur

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Esperaux OP wrote

Nun killing democrat? What do American liberals have to do with nun killing?

Social anarchists don't mind people being reclusive. Funny enough I live off in the woods by a mountain too.

Also modes of production aren't something that exist just because people "support" it. Just because someone doesn't support the capitalist mode of production doesn't mean they no longer operate under it.

Also you keep using the slaves and general talking point to deflect. This was an event that happened in reality. It happened in history. A fascist army was attacking and anarchists organized and fought back in response. What do you think should've been done to the POWs in this situation? Do you think people shouldn't have organized to fight back against fascists?

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ziq wrote

I'd kill a nun-killing democrat just as soon as I'd kill a democrat-killing fascist if either of them violated my autonomy or tried to involve me in their war to control the factories.

The mistake you keep making is assuming I'm on the side of syndies just because they support an alternative mode of production. I support no mode of production. I'm an off-grid remote mountain recluse who has no interest in participating in society beyond what I'm forced to do to survive.

If you're not the general in your fantasy then you don't need to keep justifying taking slaves. Let the fantasy general do that so you can just blindly follow orders and sacrifice your life for the great struggle and not have to think so hard about the ethics of your actions.

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Esperaux OP wrote (edited )

A community fridge isn't meant to force people to share food wtf? It's a method of dealing with food insecurity in a community. You understand that correct?

Also you are aware of the concept of abolishing commodity production and how that factors into things such as work abolition and moving away from extractivism?

You seem to be describing collectivized industry operating under the capitalist mode of production.

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ziq wrote

Oh not to mention you still haven't provided any actual case for why democratically running a community fridge is apparently an equivalent to enslaving people

Because I never said anything like that? How am I going to defend a strawman you completely made up? I would never share a fridge. No one is touching my food. When I was in a shared living space for 3 years I just never used the fridge because I didn't want to risk anyone fucking with my food or their meat getting on it.

like a childish liberal.

That superiority complex, fam. Yes I'm an individualist. All anarchists should prize their individuality if they understand what anarchy entails.

No, I'm not going to fight a war to build democratic factories and oil rigs. I'd sooner demolish them than sacrifice my life to maintaining them. Stop assuming I share your bankrupt deadend ideology just because we're on the same site.

I don't support organized war in any way. I don't support prisons in any way. I don't care what the material conditions in your fantasy scenarios are, I'm not sharing a fridge, I'm not participating in your war, I'm not enslaving your ideological enemies to build your democratic tanks and I'm not murdering nuns for disobeying your orders. Fuck your democratic army, fuck your democratic factories and most of all fuck your democratic fridges.

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Esperaux OP wrote (edited )

Again you're deflecting from the actual point. We are discussing history right now not hypotheticals. A war occurred where a fascist military was sweeping across the country. In response anarchist militias organized against this military. The anarchists were not perfect but that is what happened. Now how exactly does this liberal view of yourself as an isolated individual fit into this? Do you think that people shouldn't have come together to fight the fascists at all? What do you think should've happened to the POWs?

As an anarchist you of all people should be aware generals are often not the ones to actually fight and die in these wars.

Also I'm done with the slavery nonsense you keep trying to accuse me of supporting slavery because you have no actual response.

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ziq wrote

You are not the general of a socialist military force trying to establish a new world order. I refuse to buy into your fantasy. I'm not a general in a war. I'm a nobody on an internet forum.

Justifying slavery is justifying slavery, your reasons for justifying it ("My ideology is better than my slaves' ideology") don't change the fact that you're justifying it. Someone is defending slavery: you.

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Kinshavo wrote

The point I was trying to made is: trying to frame Anarchism as a Dichotomy between social Anarchism (communism) and individualist Anarchism (capitalist) is shallow. Trying to gatekeeping others Anarchisms will face resistance here.

I think you are making your point in good faith but preaching the communism gospel here will get no results here.

Anarchism is simple as the root of the word - no masters, either in economy or in democracy, etc. We don't need to complicated it.

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Esperaux OP wrote

No I didn't I pointed out that the only other options you present as an alternative to POWs is to either outright murder them or set them loose. Then when asked further you retreated into this idea that all situations only ever occur on an individual level like a childish liberal. Oh not to mention you still haven't provided any actual case for why democratically running a community fridge is apparently an equivalent to enslaving people which seems to be your only weasel method of holding a discussion with me instead of reading what I have to say is to falsely claim that I was arguing in favor of slavery.

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Esperaux OP wrote (edited )

Your position is nonsensical and contradictory. People don't live in bubbles. They're inherently social creatures. You as an individual inherently rely on other individuals. We are not talking about a single individual trying to kill you. We are talking about a full blown fascist army. It's not up to you as an individual to decide if there's a conflict or not. Conflicts have existed even before the state. Individuals survive and protect their autonomy best when working with other individuals.

This is practically a liberal take to focus on this issue from a purely individualist perspective with no regards for other outside systemic factors.

Also again with the slave argument. No one is defending slavery. I'm simply pointing out that in a conflict it's unreasonable to either execute all your POWs or just set them loose.

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Esperaux wrote (edited )

What do you consider a third position between communism and capitalism? Do you propose we preserve markets? You're being extremely vague with your terms. There is a point where rejecting binaries is a good step but only when you are actually specific on what policies or views are transcending these binaries. Otherwise it's no different from empty statements from a politician trying to court the broad support of people with no actual solid position.

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Esperaux wrote

It's not a question of anarchism needing to be communist it's a question of what anarchism itself means. Working against the structures of capitalism and the state means radically changing the very way resources are extracted and consumed. What forms of noncommunist anarchy exists besides either market anarchism or anarchist capitalism? The former preserving the coercive forces of capitalism but collectivizing the system and the second being a contradictory concept.

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Esperaux wrote

The two versions of anarchism that claim not to be communistic are often either capitalist in nature or despite their best intentions only reforming capitalism and preserving the very coercive forces that need to be abolished. Mutualists have their contributions to the theory but are even more archaic than the syndicalists. The agorists only react to the mechanisms of capitalism but still don't actually exist to abolish it.

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aboutit wrote

Thank you. Tbh didn't expect a reply cause it's a bit old and already on the second page. It's a welcome surprise.

I really appreciate your post and the community-involvement and the spirit of discussion. I related to your post because I also take for granted the invisible social systems we follow blindly and sometimes I can fall into relativistic nihilism spirals where I can even negate myself. It can be a really comfortable place for a while, but ultimately its a kind of learned helplessness.

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