Mutualism

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Anonymous
Nov 9 2016 00:12
Mutualism

Can somebody explain a bit about the the agro-industrial federation and federation of libertarian communities advocated by mutualist social anarchists as described in the excerpt below? Are these two separate things? Do individualist anarchist mutualists oppose both? What are their functions. I would appreciate if answers are objective. I understand that most of the users here strongly dislike markets. I'm just interested in the specifics of mutualist ideas.

The social anarchist version of mutualism differs from the individualist form by having the mutual banks owned by the local community (or commune) instead of being independent co-operatives. This would ensure that they provided investment funds to co-operatives rather than to capitalistic enterprises. Another difference is that some social anarchist mutualists support the creation of what Proudhon termed an "agro-industrial federation" to complement the federation of libertarian communities (called communes by Proudhon). This is a "confederation . . . intended to provide reciprocal security in commerce and industry" and large scale developments such as roads, railways and so on. The purpose of "specific federal arrangements is to protect the citizens of the federated states [sic!] from capitalist and financial feudalism, both within them and from the outside." This is because "political right requires to be buttressed by economic right." Thus the agro-industrial federation would be required to ensure the anarchist nature of society from the destabilising effects of market exchanges (which can generate increasing inequalities in wealth and so power).

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Sike
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Nov 9 2016 03:32

I make no claim to any special knowledge of Mutualism but I'll take a shot at it.

Basically, the "federation of libertarian communities" would as it's name implies be geographic federation of community based organizations, each organized according to the libertarian principal of direct democracy and mutual aid. The "agro-industrial federation" would likely be run by re-callable delegates appointed by the federation of libertarian communities. The agro-industrial federation would be responsible for handling issue that by their very nature are outside of the scope of any single geographical community to deal with, such as maintain transportation corridors and other logistical infrastructure. The agro-industrial federation would also be responsible for oversight of the libertarian project, assuring that exploitive social relations within and between communes are mitigated should they occur. Therefore, the agro-industrial federation, as the representative of the federation of libertarian communities in totality, would also serve as the arbitrator in any significant disputes that might arise between communes. The agro-industrial federation would also be responsible for armed defense, as implied in the sentence, "protect the citizens of the federated states [sic!] from capitalist and financial feudalism, both within them and from the outside."

ajjohnstone
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Nov 9 2016 04:50

I don't anyone would really take you to task on your organisational network speculation, Syke...except for that "states" part which you yourself acknowledged as an incongruous expression.

The simple reason is that what you describe isn't the essence of mutualism and what you say will more than likelybe applied to the non-market system some of us promote in some shape or form.

Your post completely fails to identify the economic structures and relationships to the production and distribution system that differentiates mutualism from free-access socialism/anarcho-communism.
As SpikyMike always suggests...study the debates already on the website and there are many.

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Sike
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Nov 9 2016 06:13

"Can somebody explain a bit about the the agro-industrial federation and federation of libertarian communities advocated by mutualist social anarchists as described in the excerpt below? Are these two separate things? Do individualist anarchist mutualists oppose both? What are their functions. I would appreciate if answers are objective."

The above is what I set out to shed some light upon and not how the specific modes of production and distribution of Mutualism differ from those as proposed by anarcho-communists. Besides, it would appear that the overall structures of geographic administration are going to share many similarities regardless of if one is speaking of mutualism or anarcho-communist systems of production and distribution.

Also, perhaps it's a small point but my understanding is that the Mutualists also identified as socialists in as much as they proposed that private property be abolished. Of course, the Mutualists were definitely not communists in that they favored a market system of production and exchange.

Anarcho
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Nov 12 2016 11:51
Scheuerf wrote:
Can somebody explain a bit about the the agro-industrial federation and federation of libertarian communities advocated by mutualist social anarchists as described in the excerpt below? Are these two separate things? Do individualist anarchist mutualists oppose both? What are their functions. I would appreciate if answers are objective. I understand that most of the users here strongly dislike markets. I'm just interested in the specifics of mutualist theories.

Proudhon's vision of a federation for economic and social functions is basically echoed by the revolutionary anarchists, like Bakunin and Kropotkin. Neither is mentioned by the likes of Tucker -- who also, it should be said, ignored Proudhon's critique of wage-labour and arguments for socialisation. Other individualist anarchists were not so blind to the obvious authoritarianism of wage-labour.

The basic difference, I would say, between a mutualist federation and a communist one is that the former would utilise exchange of products (on a market -- but, regardless of the claims of Marx, not using "labour notes"). The communist federation would simply distribute goods based on money-less agreements. The functions would very much depend on what its members would want -- but they would seek to guarantee social prosperity, coordinate joint activities, regulate members activities and so forth.

Scheuerf (not verified)
May 25 2018 19:26

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