Best examples of anarchist economic theory and proposals

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klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Feb 3 2018 22:16
Best examples of anarchist economic theory and proposals

I'm looking for the most historically relevant anarchist economic theory and proposals, and actual attempts probably as well from various revolutions.

Kropotkin, "The Conquest of Bread" - 1892
Isaac Puente, "Libertarian Communism" - 1932
Maximov, "Program of Anarcho-Syndicalism" - 1934
De Santillan, "After the Revolution" - 1936/37
Souchy, "Collectivizations: The constructive achievements of the Spanish Revolution" - 1937
Tom Brown, "Syndicalism" - 1943
Leval, "Libertarian Socialism: a Practical Outline" - 1959
Leval, "Collectives in the Spanish Revolution" - 1975 (1971 in French?)
Dolgoff, "The Anarchist Collectives" - 1974
Solfed, "The Economics of Freedom" - 2003
Iain McKay,"The Economics of Anarchy" - 2009
Abraham Guillen, "Anarchist Economics" & "Principles of Libertarian Economy" *Would like to know dates on these.

Are there any others? I think it's important for anarchists to actually have a balance sheet on this stuff.

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Jan 12 2017 23:14

Great list and thanks for compiling. The only other text I can think of is The Accumulation of Freedom. I haven't read that collection yet, but may be the only 21st century text on anarchists economics?

zugzwang
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Jan 12 2017 23:47
Khawaga wrote:
Great list and thanks for compiling. The only other text I can think of is The Accumulation of Freedom. I haven't read that collection yet, but may be the only 21st century text on anarchists economics?

I actually have that; it's actually a collection of different essays on different topics, and not just about anarchist economics or how exactly a libertarian socialist society would function. It talks about the history of libertarian socialist thinking (Mutualism, Collectivism, and Communism), present-day capitalism (the financial crisis), democratic workplace organization, ways of resisting capitalism, etc. I'm not sure if that's something to include in this list, but I'd still recommend it.

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Jan 13 2017 00:48

Ah, thanks for the correction. I bought the book for the essays on economics, so that's likely where my confusion comes from.

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Jan 14 2017 15:58

Draft Declaration of the (Makhnovist) Revolutionary Insurgent Army of the Ukraine adopted on October 20, 1919 at a session of the Military Revolution­ary Soviet.

Pg. 368
https://libcom.org/files/NestorMakhnoAnarchysCossack.pdf

This is basically the program of the RIAU.

http://www.ditext.com/arshinov/appendix.html

paul r
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Jan 17 2017 18:52

I haven't read this text, but it and the comment attached to it may be relevant:

http://libcom.org/history/abraham-guillen-anarchist-economics

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May 4 2017 23:34

https://zabalazabooks.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/resolution_on_libertarian_communism_cnt.pdf

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May 5 2017 00:04

http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/3bk4c0

MT
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May 6 2017 08:56

Does anyone know which tradition is this close to? Also, is there an English translation of the whole 200p. book?

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May 6 2017 14:09

Novomirsky was close to the French anarcho-syndicalists (especially Pouget) and belonged to the anti-intellectual wing of the Russian anarchist movement (he regarded the intelligentsia as an exploiting class).

There is no English translation of his book, which was republished in Russia in 2013.

syndicalist
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May 6 2017 18:20
Karetelnik wrote:
Novomirsky was close to the French anarcho-syndicalists (especially Pouget) and belonged to the anti-intellectual wing of the Russian anarchist movement (he regarded the intelligentsia as an exploiting class).

There is no English translation of his book, which was republished in Russia in 2013.

Some time ago, I recall some of us had a conversation on the origins of the term "anarcho-syndicalist". It sees to be that Novomirsky was the first to use the phrase in the early 1900s.

maltesto
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May 7 2017 22:50

Nothing more recent about innovation or consumption?

infektfm
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May 9 2017 00:54

She isn't necessarily an anarchist, but the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom has an immense body of work that basically dismisses the state/market dichotomy and both theoretically and empirically vindicates democratic management of commons. She is not anti-state or anti-market, it seems, but her work is something anarchists should grapple with.

infektfm
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May 9 2017 00:56

(and by empirical vindication, I mean she actually spent her life studying democratically managed common resources in the real world)

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May 9 2017 14:55
infektfm wrote:
She isn't necessarily an anarchist, but the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom has an immense body of work that basically dismisses the state/market dichotomy and both theoretically and empirically vindicates democratic management of commons. She is not anti-state or anti-market, it seems, but her work is something anarchists should grapple with.

Yeah Ostrom was an advocate of 'polycentrism', i.e. states and markets and self-governing commons all overlapping and coexisting. But she's definitely worth reading (if a bit dry at times, she's using some neoclassical/game theoretical economics to subvert its usual conclusions), and takes seriously the institutional requirements for commons regimes to succeed. If your anarcho senses bristle at 'institutions', this is basically the norms and rules of self-governing commons. They're summarised in this blog post, and some of them are pretty anarchish:

Quote:
1. Define clear group boundaries.

2. Match rules governing use of common goods to local needs and conditions.

3. Ensure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.

4. Make sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.

5. Develop a system, carried out by community members, for monitoring members’ behavior.

6. Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.

7. Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.

8. Build responsibility for governing the common resource in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system.

Anarcho
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May 17 2017 17:41

May I suggest:

The Economics of Anarchy

Anarchist Economics

Also section I of An Anarchist FAQ.

These may also be of interest:

Laying the foundations: Proudhon’s contribution to anarchist economics

Review: The Poverty of Philosophy by Karl Marx

Review: "Democracy at work: A cure for capitalism"

Also section C of An Anarchist FAQ as it critiques capitalist economics.

I'll leave it to others to say whether they count as "best" or not smile

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May 18 2017 13:40

thanks for those additions anarcho

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Jul 1 2018 05:46

What would an anarchist society look like?
http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secIcon.html

How could an anarchist economy function?
http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secI4.html

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Jun 6 2017 16:29
AFAQ wrote:
A short summary of Spanish Anarchist visions of the free society can be found in chapter 3 of Robert Alexander's The Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War (vol. 1).
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Jun 8 2017 03:02

Haven't given this a read, but it looks relevant: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/wayne-price-workers-self-directed-enterprises-a-revolutionary-program

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Jun 13 2017 03:22

https://zabalazabooks.net/1936/07/19/economics/

klas batalo's picture
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Jun 13 2017 03:40

"Spanish Anarchist Sketches of a Libertarian Society" is a good overview of various thinkers by Robert Alexander.

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Jun 24 2017 08:06

There is an academic book about 400 pages long called Political Economy from Below: Economic Thought in Communitarian Anarchism, 1840-1914 published by Routledge

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Jul 1 2018 05:48

https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchy101/comments/6i2ynu/how_cntfai_managed_to_organize_the_workers_during/

Posted a bit on reddit about some good libcom hosted articles/books.

Quote:
read mostly guillamón, level, peirats, souchy for first hand accounts on political, economic, and social matters.
auntibalas
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May 28 2018 15:06

Hi folks -- I am currently adding items to a reading list on anarchist economics over at ASN/Anarchist Studies Network:

http://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/ReadingLists_Economics

Also just transcribed a couple of articles by G.P. Maximoff on "Anarchist Economics" -- really mainly a commentary on Kropotkin's Conquest of Bread written in the heat of the Spanish Revolution...

Pierre Besnard's work is missing here. I'm working slowly on a translation of his Le Monde nouveau, which seems to me a peer of Santillán's After the Revolution, though I am aware there was some dispute between them (I'm trying to get an understanding of that).

Is anyone familiar, BTW, with Christian Cornelissen's work in this area? (See the ReadingList)

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Jun 30 2018 15:06

After quite sometime digging into books on the Spanish Revolution I'm finally confident I've figured out how distribution/ consumption was managed across the collectivized areas. It was pretty much so:

In the cities workers were issued state money (the peseta) based on hourly wage vs piece work as had been standard before.

In the agrarian towns local money was usually produced equivalent to the peseta.

In cases where “money was abolished” each male head of household was given a producers’ card / consumer pass / family ration book. It was like a credit card organized according to a point system equivalent to the peseta and with it coupons "vouchers" could be used to obtain consumer items. It also allotted them housing, use of public services, and voting power in the workplace / commune.

If there was abundance, consumer goods were distributed freely according to need, with families taking precedent.

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May 29 2018 05:24

Also in other anarchist free territories like Ukraine and Manchuria they also still used fiat money with minimum wages and mutual banks.

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Jun 30 2018 15:05

http://www.elcosaco.org/revolucion-social-espanola-i/

This is also good

It explains that they did not collectivize the banks, and neither seized them nor smashed the state.

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Jun 30 2018 16:47

klas batalo,

It sounds like you could write up a very good piece that pulls together all the research you looked into and provide an outline of that aspect of the Spanish Revolution. I would be interested in reading such a thing.

But thanks for providing a listing of all your sources. This is all certainly useful for those of us interested.

Salvoechea
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Jun 30 2018 21:41

If you read spanish I'd recomend:

La autogestión viva. Proyectos y experiencias de la otra economía al calor de la crisis. Carlos Taibo y José Luis Carretero
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/cPath/21_33/products_id/5144

Economia anarquista. Una visión global
Deric Shannon, Anthony J. Nocella II y John Asimakopoulos.
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/products_id/5609

Autogestión para tiempos de crisis. Anastasio Ovejero Bernal.
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/cPath/21_33/products_id/59508

Adiós al capitalismo. Autonomía, sociedad del buen vivir y multiplicidad de mundos. Jérôme Baschet.
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/cPath/21_33/products_id/5699

¿Por qué el decrecimiento? Un ensayo sobre la antesala del colapso
Carlos Taibo.
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/cPath/21_33/products_id/5339

Las empresas recuperadas. Hacia la comprensión de la autogestión obrera real. José Luis Carretero
https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/NOMA/article/viewFile/NOMA1010140487A/26014

And If you read catalan, two hits:

Els factors econòmics de la revolució. Joan P. Fábregas
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/products_id/58949

This guy was in charge of the section of economy of catalonia, and he was responsible for the decree of collectivization. This book is a kind of balance.

Les col·lectivitzacions a Barcelona (1936-1939) Antoni Castells Duran
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/products_id/2510

Other about the spanish civil war:

Trabajan para la eternidad. Colectividades de trabajo y ayuda mutua durante la Guerra Civil en Aragón
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/products_id/3260

Colectividades agrarias en Andalucía: Jaén (1931-1939)
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/products_id/2329

Campesinos y revolución en Cataluña
http://www.lamalatesta.net/product_info.php/products_id/213

In Spain there're quite a lot of material being published about local history, which is very interesting. It gives a vision of how stuff really works

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Jul 2 2018 19:47

This is a pretty good short text on the matter by a Russian Anarcho-syndicalist historian.

http://aitrus.info/node/2595