Anarchist Communism

Being as my previous entry was commented upon by Roy Jones of the BNP I feel it necessary to c+p a wee description of Anarchist-Communism for the wee man as he obviously has little grasp of the plethora of political ideas in this world.

From Libcom, edited by the Anarchist Federation (UK)

A short introduction to anarchist-communism.

Anarchist communism is a form of anarchism that advocates the abolition of the State and capitalism in favour of a horizontal network of voluntary associations through which everyone will be free to satisfy his or her needs.

Anarchist communism is also known as anarcho-communism, communist anarchism, or, sometimes, libertarian communism. However, while all anarchist communists are libertarian communists, some libertarian communists, such as council communists, are not anarchists. What distinguishes anarchist communism from other variants of libertarian communism is the formers opposition to all forms of political power, hierarchy and domination.

Anarchist communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations. In anarchist communism, the state and property no longer exist. Each individual and group is free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution are managed by their participants.

The abolition of wage labour is central to anarchist communism. With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people will be free to engage in whatever activities they find most fulfilling and will no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude. Anarchist communists argue that there is no valid way of measuring the value of any one person’s economic contributions because all wealth is a collective product of current and preceding generations. Anarchist communists argue that any economic system based on wage labour and private property will require a coercive state apparatus to enforce property rights and to maintain the unequal economic relationships that will inevitably arise.

Well known anarchist communists include Peter, or Piotr, Kropotkin (Russia), Errico Malatesta (Italy) and Nestor Makhno (Ukraine). Kropotkin (pictured above) is often seen as the most important theorist of anarchist communism, outlining his economic ideas in books The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops. Kropotkin felt co-operation to be more beneficial than competition, arguing in Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution that this was illustrated in nature. Anarchist communist ideas were very influential in the introduction of anarchism to Japan through the efforts of Kôtoku Shûsui in the early 1900s who corresponded with Kropotkin and translated his works. Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman (who were both deported from USA in 1919) became important proponents of ‘Communist anarchism’ and became especially critical of Bolshevism after they discovered its devastating reality first-hand in Russia, and after the Red Army’s crushing of the Kronstadt uprising. They in turn had been influenced by German-born émigrée to the USA, Johann Most, who had earlier helped bring anarchist communist thought to Britain though his contact with Frank Kitz in London around 1880 (see Anarchist Communism in Britain for a full historical account).

Many platformists refer to themselves as anarchist communists, although other anarchist communists are uncomfortable with some areas of the Organisational Platform document, such as the issue of ‘collective responsibility’ as supported by Mahkno but opposed by Malatesta. In general anarchist communists of all kinds are critical of some aspects of anarcho-syndicalism which considers workplace self-management by workers as fundamental to the aims (as well as the means) of achieving social revolution and still maintains economic relations based on reward of effort and exchange.

Modern day anarchist communists are represented in several organisations within the International of Anarchist Federations, including the Anarchist Federation (Britain). Platformist anarchist communists include the Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) and the North-Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (USA). Many nascent Eastern European, Russian and Caucasian anarchist groups identify with anarchist communism and there is a strong anarchist communist current amongst contemporary Latin American and Caribbean anarchist organisations.

Edited by the Anarchist Federation.

Posted on May 22, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Cheers for the lesson, but it looks like a charter for the work-shy and feckless to lay about and do nothing. And you think we are cranky. Perhaps you can all move to a small island and live your life roaming like free rabbits, where you will eventually die off because no one has taken on the responsibility of providing food or building a shelter.

    That’s basically what the above is a life without collective responsibility. Remember communism has been responsible for more deaths than any other political movements, communism makes Hitler look like a boy scout in comparison, and we both know how deranged he was.

    I agree with wealth being spread around more evenly but someone has to take on the responsibility and risk for providing jobs and work in the first place, They do deserve a little more for that, I would just like to see the profits limited and not at the levels we see at the moment, where company directors get huge bonuses for failing in a lot of instances.

    I also believe that Britain should export our expertise so that all countries have a decent healthcare and education system.

    I am no historian, but I can see how my neighbourhood is affected and changing due to mass immigration, I just feel more comfortable living in an environment that I was brought up in. Most communities are like this, perhaps its animal extinct, that’s why large Asian, Chinese, whatever communities spring up wherever enough people settle.

    Its human nature. Not hate, just they way we are as human beings.

    Yes we should all get along, and I would love a world without war.

    Having nation states where people feel at home and a sense of belonging prevents war, its when people feel threatened in there own homeland that wars break out, or for greed as in the Oil in Iraq.

    If communism is so good why did millions die in mother Russia’s gulags?

  2. Two points in reply to Roy Jones. First, the version of communism you are referring to is Stalinism. Along with Lenisim, Maoism Trotskyism and Luxemburgism it is a form of communism based on Marxism. Anarchist-communism, which welshoi is referring to, is not based on Marxism. If you read the post you would have grasped that.

    Second, modern nationalism is a product of capitalism and industrialisation. Nationalism and industrialisation feed off one another and both require uniformity and homogeneity in everything, including ethnicity, race, religion, language and culture. As a result minorities are seen as a threat. Nationalism gives people security and meaning through the sense of belonging to a group and by creating negative distinctions between different groups of people. By doing so it makes conflict and war more likely not less, just look at Rwanda and the Balkans.

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Crustal

  4. Glad to see more people out there informing people about what anarchism and Communism are really about.

    Roy, you prove your own ignorance by claiming Communism has claimed lives–I assume you, like all anti-Communists, are referring to the Soviet Union and China. If you had actually taken the time to study Communism, however, you’d realize what a ridiculous statement that is.

    Soviet Russia and China were not and never were Communist. Communism requires classlessness, worker rule, equality, etc. However, anyone can see that these two countries were governed by an elite ruling class which exploited workers. These countries were more like massive corporations than Communist countries!

  5. Interesting read: it will help those who can be bothered to read to realize that anarchism and anarchy are *not* the same – that being an anarchist by and large does *not* mean you believe in doing what the hell you like to whom the hell you want without consequences.

    And why are people still so frightened of the “C” word (“communist”, not the word *you* were thinking of you dirty-minded boy!)? If we abandon the nation-state model and take things to a more small-regional level, communism could work just fine. It’s just the guys with the vested interests or who are less community-driven who tend to screw things up. There’s always someone who wants to be in charge and/or do things their own way. But this could possibly be overcome by making leadership a *duty* rather than a perk. You know, a randomly-selected council or some such arrangement to keep things ticking and maintain relations with other regional councils. Of course such a system could be corrupted and abused – what system has ever been immune to that? – but it’s gotta be better than being ruled over by some jerk who put himself up for election because he *wants* to rule over you. If you want to participate in the “democratic process”, you really need to sit down and think about the motives of the candidates who want your vote.

    While I’m here: you interested in a link swap? I’ll put you on my blogroll and you do the same for me? Check me out at

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