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Why do Communists confuse themselves with anarchists?

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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    No, but I have no way of knowing what institutions people will form in a stateless society, they'll probably be different from place to place. If I were to come up with some one-size-fits-all proposal that I said would definitely be the case, someone would be bound to say that one-size-fits-all ideas wouldn't work or that I want to force everyone to have these courts or something like that.
    So it's fair to say that you have absolutely no idea what you're offering? It could be a classless workfree utopia but it could equally be certain death at the hands of a dictator, it's a gamble then I suppose.



    You're just messing with terms and words now and trying to redefine concepts so that they fit in with your argument. Kropotkin's about the closest thing to an 'outright communist' there is. He certainly wasn't a mutualist, he explicitly rejected markets and any form of money, both of which mutualists tend to advocate.
    Pot calling the kettle black there I feel. He's what I'd consider a mutualist because his theory tends to emphasise the individual rather than the state, yes he advocted the abolition of money but in many other respects he'd fit right into the mutualist school.


    Again, you always have to try and picket and find a loop hole or something, don't you? Marxists do, yes. Marxists are socialists.
    That's funny, when I try to highlight the similarities between Marxism and socialism you immediately highlight their differences, and when I highlight the differences you tell me their values are identical. Are you now on auto-contradict by any chance?


    Which you probably should do before you start criticising something anyway. The amount of strawmen of Marx by you and others here is huge. And I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't done what you're describing.
    How am I supposed to understand something that doesn't make any sense? If the Communist/Anarchist schools feel like they're they're having their beliefs distorted they need to clear things up and advance some sort of coherent manifesto. It's not my problem if they're unable to do this.


    Again, what I said in my last post. You just keep churning out and repeating the same asserted nonsense over and over, in the hope that sticking it at the end of every post somehow will have an effect on something.

    Well when the stock response seems to be "herr derr you don't understand you don't understand" we're not going to get very far, are we?

    It's not unreasonable to ask why Communists confuse themselves with non-violent Anarchists when Communism has claimed the lives of millions during the 20th century. I apologise if you find my 'nonsense' tedious.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    Oh jeezus. I actually facepalmed when I read this.

    You have got everybody against you (even marxists) on that point.

    Are you a sociologist?
    No, only those guilty of chronological snobbery would facepalm. And trust me, some of the greatest thinkers ever would facepalm at the sort of ideology you are peddling.

    So far as the feudal point is concerned, I paste two quotations for your benefit (you get browny points if you tell me where they are from):

    In fact, with the exception of minorities of the enlightened, the acquisitive and the 'strong and sober' among the peasantry, the vast bulk of the rural population from the largest feudal lord down to the most poverty-stricken shepherd united in abominating it. Only a politico-legal revolution directed against both lords and traditional peasants could create the conditions in which the rational minority might become the rational majority (151/152).
    [E]mancipation gave him two-thirds or half the land he already tilled and freedom from forced labour and other dues; but it formally took away: his claim to assistance from the lord in times of bad harvest or cattle plague; his right to collect or buy cheap fuel from the lord's forest; his right in extreme poverty to ask the lord's help in paying taxes; his right to pasture animals in the lord's forest (158).
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    So it's fair to say that you have absolutely no idea what you're offering? It could be a classless workfree utopia but it could equally be certain death at the hands of a dictator, it's a gamble then I suppose.
    I'm fairly sure 'certain death at the hands of a dictator' requires a state.


    Pot calling the kettle black there I feel. He's what I'd consider a mutualist because his theory tends to emphasise the individual rather than the state, yes he advocted the abolition of money but in many other respects he'd fit right into the mutualist school.
    Communists advocate the abolition of the state. Apart from both being anarchists, in what way are they similar?

    when I highlight the differences you tell me their values are identical.
    For example?

    Socialism is a very broad church, all it is is common/worker control of the means of production. That accomodates a very broad range of theories. Marx advocated socialism and communism (though made no real attempt to describe socialist or communist societies except pointing to the Paris Commune as an example of the former), but most of his work was in critique of capitalist economics, as well as history and philosophy.

    How am I supposed to understand something that doesn't make any sense? If the Communist/Anarchist schools feel like they're they're having their beliefs distorted they need to clear things up and advance some sort of coherent manifesto. It's not my problem if they're unable to do this.
    You yourself said you haven't read the works in question, so how do you know whether they don't make sense?

    Filling out a 'manifesto' of anarchism is something I could never do on an online forum, it would require a book. But if you'd bothered with a little research, you'd know there's already a book. And it's online: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/index.html

    Well when the stock response seems to be "herr derr you don't understand you don't understand" we're not going to get very far, are we?
    And this is what you keep saying and I see no-one actually doing.

    It's not unreasonable to ask why Communists confuse themselves with non-violent Anarchists when Communism has claimed the lives of millions during the 20th century. I apologise if you find my 'nonsense' tedious.
    Ah, was wondering when we'd get to this fallacy that definitely hasn't been refuted ten billion times. Communism is a stateless, classless, moneyless society. If you can find me examples of millions dying in these societies (or these societies at all) in the 20th century, I'd love to hear about them.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    What you suggest as an internal contradiction of communism is not a contradiction at all. It only sounds strange to you because you have not understood communism, and I am not the first person in this thread to have to repeat myself over this point. Common ownership over the means of production does not contradict a moneyless, classless, stateless society at all. It removes these negative attributes from the process of production itself.
    The common ownership over the means of production cannot be guaranteed under a stateless society, this is the point. Nothing can be guaranteed, you may as well say that you advocate a horse for all or free cakes forever after the revolution for the amount of sense it makes. Why are communists writing cheques their ideology can't cash?



    Ironically, if these attributes were removed from society true capitalism could function in reality. This is where the two systems overlap. One is predicted upon the idea of equality of opportunity (communism), while the other advocates it in principle but does not actually practice it (i.e. the idea that competition is beneficial for all). This is the major contradiction of capitalism. It almost never involves actual competition. You criticise communism because you suggest that a state would be necessary in order for it to function, but at the same time a state impedes true capitalism from functioning. You cannot criticise one without acknowledging the other. If you disagree then feel free to name just one example of true capitalism, where competition is allowed to function unimpeded. (I am confident you will not be able to name one because true capitalism has never existed in human society).

    Having re-read the last paragraph, it strikes me that true capitalists are anarchists. Communists are only anarchists - if they are at all - by historical accident. Perhaps that is something worth considering.
    I'm think you're confusing capitalism with anarchism, sustainable capitalism, i.e the mechanism that upholds private property rights can only function when it's being backed up by the state. I cannot give you an example of purely capitalist society as no such things exist, but when capitalism has been tested in the real world against socialist alternatives it's consistently provided more freedom, higher standards of living and consistent growth. It's not perfect just better than anything the left have come up with so far.

    The major flaw of communism is its teleological nature. Like all non-religious teleologies, what happens after communism is questionable. If Marx's historical materialism is valid then - to simplify - there is no reason to suggest that communism itself will not be superseded. This is the strength of capitalism, it makes few promises, it caters for the 'pessimistic realist'.
    Exactly, stateless communism offers nothing of substance.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    China, North Korea etc etc are all communist inspired dictatorships
    nuff said.
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    (Original post by chefdave)

    Perhaps Communism is a religion rather than a coherent body of ideas? You believe in the principles of anarchism but instead of pushing through the change you're waiting for history to catch up with Marx's predictions. It all sounds very strange to me.
    If you ever get the chance I'd recommend Ludwig von Mises' treatment of the 'Marxism as religion' angle in his Human Action (free PDF at mises.org). He draws some striking and persuasive parallels.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    I'm fairly sure 'certain death at the hands of a dictator' requires a state.
    No, it just requires deadly violence. This is something that anarchists would be unable to prevent because they disagree with centralised bodies such as the state or the police. The net result would be an increase in violence in other words as we were either invaded or taken over by local warlords. Our murder rate is currently around 12 people per million citizens, I could guarantee that number would increase under anarchism.



    Communists advocate the abolition of the state. Apart from both being anarchists, in what way are they similar?
    They claim to advocate the abolition of the state but this contradicts their support for the common ownership over the means of production. They need to decide whether they're genuinely in support of dictatorships or drop it and join the anachists. I cannot evaluate a belief system that at it's core makes no sense. It's a fruitless task.



    Socialism is a very broad church, all it is is common/worker control of the means of production. That accomodates a very broad range of theories. Marx advocated socialism and communism (though made no real attempt to describe socialist or communist societies except pointing to the Paris Commune as an example of the former), but most of his work was in critique of capitalist economics, as well as history and philosophy.
    Well in that case capitalism could also be described as a system that gives workers control over the means of production, the capital isn't horded by a small group of individuals the capitalist system disperses it widely and makes sure that we all get a share of the pie. I take it the chuch isn't that broad though?



    Filling out a 'manifesto' of anarchism is something I could never do on an online forum, it would require a book. But if you'd bothered with a little research, you'd know there's already a book. And it's online: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/index.html
    That's far too long winded, is it really that much of an ask for you to jot down the core principles of a system you're clearly in favour of?


    Ah, was wondering when we'd get to this fallacy that definitely hasn't been refuted ten billion times. Communism is a stateless, classless, moneyless society. If you can find me examples of millions dying in these societies (or these societies at all) in the 20th century, I'd love to hear about them.
    If it's been refuted 10 billion times then it's also been asserted 10 billion times, and 10 billion people just might be onto something. Communism killed millions of innocent civilians because it attempted to put the principle of the common ownership over the means of production into practice, when people have been robbed of their right to make a living tyranny is inevitable until they can snatch those basic human rights back. If those countries had adopted capitalism instead all those people wouldn't have died.
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    If you ever get the chance I'd recommend Ludwig von Mises' treatment of the 'Marxism as religion' angle in his Human Action (free PDF at mises.org). He draws some striking and persuasive parallels.
    If only mises could have debated marx like the exchange of letters between Bastiat and Proudhon.

    Mises would have wiped the floor with marx in areas such as economics, economic history and politics, and marx the same with societal history. Though there is much debate around whether marx history was all that accurate, some say he was almost as disingenuous as rothbard (I very much dislike rothbard).
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    If only mises could have debated marx like the exchange of letters between Bastiat and Proudhon.

    Mises would have wiped the floor with marx in areas such as economics, economic history and politics, and marx the same with societal history. Though there is much debate around whether marx history was all that accurate, some say he was almost as disingenuous as rothbard (I very much dislike rothbard).
    Exchange of letters between Bastiat and Proudhon? I knew nothing of this. To the internet!
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    (Original post by evantej)
    No, only those guilty of chronological snobbery would facepalm. And trust me, some of the greatest thinkers ever would facepalm at the sort of ideology you are peddling.

    So far as the feudal point is concerned, I paste two quotations for your benefit (you get browny points if you tell me where they are from):
    And you know what my ideal system would be?

    And I have no idea who those quotes are from, but since you were being quite sarky, are they from God himself? Marx?
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    (Original post by evantej)
    Criticising you or capitalism does not make me a communist sympathiser so get rid of that idea straight away. Likewise, the reasons behind people's support of communism are obvious. It is in principle a fairer way to structure society. Just because you are unaware of 150 years of intellectual thought does not mean we have to state the obvious for your benefit.

    What you suggest as an internal contradiction of communism is not a contradiction at all. It only sounds strange to you because you have not understood communism, and I am not the first person in this thread to have to repeat myself over this point. Common ownership over the means of production does not contradict a moneyless, classless, stateless society at all. It removes these negative attributes from the process of production itself.

    [B]Ironically, if these attributes were removed from society true capitalism could function in reality. This is where the two systems overlap. One is predicted upon the idea of equality of opportunity (communism), while the other advocates it in principle but does not actually practice it (i.e. the idea that competition is beneficial for all). This is the major contradiction of capitalism. It almost never involves actual competition. You criticise communism because [B]you suggest that a state would be necessary in order for it to function, but at the same time a state impedes true capitalism from functioning. You cannot criticise one without acknowledging the other. If you disagree then feel free to name just one example of true capitalism, where competition is allowed to function unimpeded. (I am confident you will not be able to name one because true capitalism has never existed in human society).

    Having re-read the last paragraph, it strikes me that true capitalists are anarchists. Communists are only anarchists - if they are at all - by historical accident. Perhaps that is something worth considering.
    .
    Capitalism (the word was invented by socialists, actually) does not hold 'the equality of opportunity' to be a central principle, communism does, but capitalism does not. And I would say the majority of capitalism in practace today does have compeition.

    We won't get anywhere here if don't acknowlege that capitalism, the free market, and market anarchism are all seperate (I am avoiding anarcho capitalism as market anarchism is the proper term, since capitalism IS the state aswell as all the other gubbins that comes along with it).

    True Capitalists are market anarchists, yes. But market anarchists are not capitalists, I would not identify myself as a capitalist, I would say I am a favourer of the free market, volunetaryism and statlessness, I also advocate that in my society communes, co-op's, syndicates, federations can exist and they can abolish capital if they want.

    The only true anarchists are market anarchists.

    And Proudhon ... haha.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    No, it just requires deadly violence.
    A dictator is by definition a ruler. Since anarcism literally means 'without rulers', you cannot have a dictator in an anarchist society.

    This is something that anarchists would be unable to prevent because they disagree with centralised bodies such as the state or the police.
    You can have a police system that isn't centralised, though I would predict in anarchism non-forceful means would be severely exhausted before it ever came to this level.

    The net result would be an increase in violence in other words as we were either invaded or taken over by local warlords. Our murder rate is currently around 12 people per million citizens, I could guarantee that number would increase under anarchism.
    You're now onto an argument about the feasibility of anarchism, which I'm happy to have but isn't relevant to communists being anarchists.

    The crime rate would most likely go significantly down because the major causes of crime (the state and capitalism) would no longer exist.

    They claim to advocate the abolition of the state but this contradicts their support for the common ownership over the means of production.
    Quite the opposite. The state has always been the greatest bar to common ownership. Stateless societies throughout history always have some form of either common or use-based ownership of the means of production.


    Well in that case capitalism could also be described as a system that gives workers control over the means of production
    No it couldn't because that's by definition what capitalism isn't. If you propose worker control, you propose socialism.


    That's far too long winded, is it really that much of an ask for you to jot down the core principles of a system you're clearly in favour of?
    Which I have done already through this thread.
    - Abolition of capitalism, and the state and any other forms of violent enforced authority or hierarchy.
    - Worker control of the means of production (and or use-based ownership).
    - Popular, bottom up, directly democratic self-organisation (admittedly I hadn't mentioned that one)
    would be the main principles I can think of to summarise here.


    If it's been refuted 10 billion times then it's also been asserted 10 billion times, and 10 billion people just might be onto something.
    By that logic, creationists are onto something.

    Communism killed millions of innocent civilians because it attempted to put the principle of the common ownership over the means of production into practice
    Still waiting for this stateless society (as only this could be communism) in which this apparently happened.

    In fact, give me an example of any society at all that did this. State ownership is not common ownership.

    If those countries had adopted capitalism instead all those people wouldn't have died.
    As communism is by definition stateless, a 'communist country' would be an oxymoron.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    Capitalism (the word was invented by socialists, actually) does not hold 'the equality of opportunity' to be a central principle, communism does, but capitalism does not. And I would say the majority of capitalism in practace today does have compeition.

    We won't get anywhere here if don't acknowlege that capitalism, the free market, and market anarchism are all seperate (I am avoiding anarcho capitalism as market anarchism is the proper term, since capitalism IS the state aswell as all the other gubbins that comes along with it).

    True Capitalists are market anarchists, yes. But market anarchists are not capitalists, I would not identify myself as a capitalist, I would say I am a favourer of the free market, volunetaryism and statlessness, I also advocate that in my society communes, co-op's, syndicates, federations can exist and they can abolish capital if they want.
    The crucial feature of capitalism is private property in the means of production - meaning wage labour, the power to take some of a worker's produce, or as Proudhon put it, 'the right to live without working'. This requires the state to protect, but there's no requirement that this state be a 'corporatist' state. Markets are of course a part of capitalism by definition, but the market and capitalism are not synonymous.

    The only true anarchists are market anarchists.
    How do you arrive at that?

    I've got nothing morally against markets, but I think they'd play a significantly smaller role in an anarchist society to modern day. If we look at history, markets as we think of them today almost always come about as a byproduct of state action (though market economies of a sort often develop earlier due to some form of non-state bureaucracy).
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    That's a market.
    And capitalism is the system where markets are allowed to exist, for the most part, unlike say, feudalism or communism.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    A dictator is by definition a ruler. Since anarcism literally means 'without rulers', you cannot have a dictator in an anarchist society.
    Anarchists have no way of enforcing this rule so they can't guarantee the absence of dictators in the long term, all they can say is that they reject the dictatorship model.


    You can have a police system that isn't centralised, though I would predict in anarchism non-forceful means would be severely exhausted before it ever came to this level.
    Sure, but is non-centralised violence objectively better than centralised violence? This localism myth is an idea that currently sweeping through the Conservative party, as if being violated locally is more humane than it's national state-based alternative.



    You're now onto an argument about the feasibility of anarchism, which I'm happy to have but isn't relevant to communists being anarchists.

    The crime rate would most likely go significantly down because the major causes of crime (the state and capitalism) would no longer exist.

    I would imagine that 'crimes' would reduce as they'd be no centralised body to police them but violence would increase significantly from it's current low level. The idea that all injustices flow from the state and 'capitalism' is too simplistic, the are other relationships at work that enfranchise some at the expense of others.

    Quite the opposite. The state has always been the greatest bar to common ownership. Stateless societies throughout history always have some form of either common or use-based ownership of the means of production.
    I think you need to define your terms here. What do you mean by "common ownership" and "the means of production"? Under anarchism would I be compelled to share my spanner set for example? I don't know what you mean.


    No it couldn't because that's by definition what capitalism isn't. If you propose worker control, you propose socialism.
    You're a bit deluded if you believe that no worker has ownership over a factor of production. Would the unemployed be disenfranchised under your model for example? They're not workers by definition.


    Which I have done already through this thread.
    - Abolition of capitalism, and the state and any other forms of violent enforced authority or hierarchy.
    - Worker control of the means of production (and or use-based ownership).
    - Popular, bottom up, directly democratic self-organisation (admittedly I hadn't mentioned that one)
    would be the main principles I can think of to summarise here.

    Well we're getting somewhere now, at least your advancing your argument which is a lot more than can be said for some of the Communists around here.

    By that logic, creationists are onto something.
    It was your logic remember, tyranny via numbers not arguments.

    Still waiting for this stateless society (as only this could be communism) in which this apparently happened.

    In fact, give me an example of any society at all that did this. State ownership is not common ownership.
    You'll have to take this line of enquiry up with the Communist regimes that slaughtered tens of millions during the 20th century, I don't know why they didn't reach their goal of a stateless utopia, perhaps because the model was (deeply) flawed?
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Anarchists have no way of enforcing this rule so they can't guarantee the absence of dictators in the long term, all they can say is that they reject the dictatorship model.
    I'm not writing page-long explanations and these probably explain it better anyway:

    http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secI5.html#seci58
    http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secI4.html#seci412

    Sure, but is non-centralised violence objectively better than centralised violence?
    No, but it is more accountable and more likely to be in tune with the local people and area.


    I think you need to define your terms here. What do you mean by "common ownership" and "the means of production"? Under anarchism would I be compelled to share my spanner set for example? I don't know what you mean.
    Means of production is fairly self-explanatory. Common ownership is often interchanged with 'occupancy and use' ownership, but fundamentally it means that those who produce with means of production should manage and control them. That could be individual or collective. For the spanner question, you could opt to share it or keep it for your own use.

    You're a bit deluded if you believe that no worker has ownership over a factor of production.
    They may well do, in arrangements such as co-operatives, but these cases are socialist. You can have patches of socialism within a broadly capitalist system, and theoretically vice versa.

    Would the unemployed be disenfranchised under your model for example? They're not workers by definition.
    As I have said, anarchism would involve the abolition of wage labour. There wouldn't be a situation where people could not work (apart from illness) because means of production are owned in common.

    It was your logic remember, tyranny via numbers not arguments.
    Where was it 'my logic'?

    You'll have to take this line of enquiry up with the Communist regimes that slaughtered tens of millions during the 20th century, I don't know why they didn't reach their goal of a stateless utopia, perhaps because the model was (deeply) flawed?
    'Communist regime' is an oxymoron, therefore none existed. And no state has ever referred to itself as a 'communist state' due to this obvious contradiction.

    What 'model'?

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