What would an anarchist society look like?

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yoshomon
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Sep 27 2008 18:29

Dave B, is your quote meant as a defense of factories?

dave c
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Sep 27 2008 20:40

Perhaps, for a start, the both of you could explain what you are trying to say? roll eyes

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Jenni
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Sep 27 2008 21:40

Well I think it's fairly clear what Dave B is saying, he's just reiterating that the reason for advocating mass production in factories (albeit massively differently organised, as mentioned 6 million times before here) is that it means we can produce as much of the stuff we need relatively efficiently and get on with having a life outside of production. It's true that under communism work will be more enjoyable anyway for reasons already mentioned - working with your mates to produce something that's been decided democratically to be useful and necessary, the trade-off between reducing hours worked and maximising fun had working them - but at the end of the day the best fucking thing about communism is going to be having all this incredible technology to hand that was once used to maximise profit and often make labour more boring and isolated, that has been transformed to meet the material needs of all. I mean workers theorized, invented, created and operated this technology: the only reason it is not amazing to them under capitalism is that it doesn't exist to meet their needs; it exists to meet the needs of capital. Under communism the world will be our lobster and the factories will be full of ever more advanced machinery and technology designed to make our lives easier. And hell if you're worried that reducing labour time via machinery/factories/technology is going to make work less interesting or somehow maintain alienation, we can invent a few new hobbies/go to the pub/play Guitar Hero in our hours of spare time to make up for it.

also;

Quote:
In an anarchist society where those inequalities and stigma are removed, what excuse do you have to not work and expect to receive the benefits of other peoples labour?

Would be good to have an answer to this from daniel brennan, yoshomon or others, i'm interested in how you justify this. Stigma etc might well do the trick, and I would imagine this would be the first action taken in any case, but it's entirely feasible that some people will just refuse to contribute despite social pressure and then without some way of getting people to pull their weight, we have a problem.

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PartyBucket
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Sep 27 2008 21:55
Jenni wrote:
it's entirely feasible that some people will just refuse to contribute despite social pressure and then without some way of getting people to pull their weight, we have a problem.

Well if people refuse for no good reason to contribute theres no cause to stigmatize, imprison, maltreat or coerce them; if they dont contribute according to ability, their needs shouldnt be catered for, which would be up to them.

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Jenni
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Sep 27 2008 22:04

I didn't mean we should imprison maltreat or coerce them, but I don't see a problem with using social pressure to encourage people to work. Since it'd be in their interests to do their share anyway. I see your point though, "no compulsion to work, but no duty towards those who will not work" is fair enough. (whoever said that..)

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PartyBucket
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Sep 27 2008 22:16

Anyone who knows me in real life knows Im not as tolerant as my last post made out.

Dave B
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Sep 27 2008 22:30
Jenni wrote:
Well I think it's fairly clear what Dave B is saying, he's just reiterating that the reason for advocating mass production in factories (albeit massively differently organised, as mentioned 6 million times before here) is that it means we can produce as much of the stuff we need relatively efficiently and get on with having a life outside of production. It's true that under communism work will be more enjoyable anyway for reasons already mentioned - working with your mates to produce something that's been decided democratically to be useful and necessary, the trade-off between reducing hours worked and maximising fun had working them -

Thanks for that, Jenni , that is exactly what I meant.

BillJ
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Sep 28 2008 00:36
yoshomon wrote:
Marx in Chapter 13 of the Grundrisse:
Quote:
As long as the means of labour remains a means of labour in the proper sense of the term, such as it is directly, historically, adopted by capital and included in its realization process, it undergoes a merely formal modification, by appearing now as a means of labour not only in regard to its material side, but also at the same time as a particular mode of the presence of capital, determined by its total process -- as fixed capital. But, once adopted into the production process of capital, the means of labour passes through different metamorphoses, whose culmination is the machine, or rather, an automatic system of machinery (system of machinery: the automatic one is merely its most complete, most adequate form, and alone transforms machinery into a system), set in motion by an automaton, a moving power that moves itself; this automaton consisting of numerous mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves are cast merely as its conscious linkages. In the machine, and even more in machinery as an automatic system, the use value, i.e. the material quality of the means of labour, is transformed into an existence adequate to fixed capital and to capital as such; and the form in which it was adopted into the production process of capital, the direct means of labour, is superseded by a form posited by capital itself and corresponding to it. In no way does the machine appear as the individual worker's means of labour. Its distinguishing characteristic is not in the least, as with the means of labour, to transmit the worker's activity to the object; this activity, rather, is posited in such a way that it merely transmits the machine's work, the machine's action, on to the raw material -- supervises it and guards against interruptions. Not as with the instrument, which the worker animates and makes into his organ with his skill and strength, and whose handling therefore depends on his virtuosity. Rather, it is the machine which possesses skill and strength in place of the worker, is itself the virtuoso, with a soul of its own in the mechanical laws acting through it; and it consumes coal, oil etc. (matières instrumentales), just as the worker consumes food, to keep up its perpetual motion. The worker's activity, reduced to a mere abstraction of activity, is determined and regulated on all sides by the movement of the machinery, and not the opposite. The science which compels the inanimate limbs of the machinery, by their construction, to act purposefully, as an automaton, does not exist in the worker's consciousness, but rather acts upon him through the machine as an alien power, as the power of the machine itself. The appropriation of living labour by objectified labour -- of the power or activity which creates value by value existing for-itself -- which lies in the concept of capital, is posited, in production resting on machinery, as the character of the production process itself, including its material elements and its material motion. The production process has ceased to be a labour process in the sense of a process dominated by labour as its governing unity. Labour appears, rather, merely as a conscious organ, scattered among the individual living workers at numerous points of the mechanical system; subsumed under the total process of the machinery itself, as itself only a link of the system, whose unity exists not in the living workers, but rather in the living (active) machinery, which confronts his individual, insignificant doings as a mighty organism. In machinery, objectified labour confronts living labour within the labour process itself as the power which rules it; a power which, as the appropriation of living labour, is the form of capital. The transformation of the means of labour into machinery, and of living labour into a mere living accessory of this machinery, as the means of its action, also posits the absorption of the labour process in its material character as a mere moment of the realization process of capital.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch13.htm#p690

I think it's pretty clear here that Marx is talking about capitalism -- it's not some transhistorical/ontological statement about machinery as such.

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cantdocartwheels
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Sep 28 2008 10:07
yoshomon wrote:
. In machinery, objectified labour confronts living labour within the labour process itself as the power which rules it; a power which, as the appropriation of living labour, is the form of capital. The transformation of the means of labour into machinery, and of living labour into a mere living accessory of this machinery, as the means of its action, also posits the absorption of the labour process in its material character as a mere moment of the realization process of capital..

Nope reading the whole quote Marx is discussing the idea that increased automation in production would make labour an accesory to production; a thesis which marx questioned in his 19th century speculation and something that in the last century has been proven largely to be incorrect. In short in a capitalist society the needs and means of production are subjugated to capitals need to to accumulate and impose work discipline thus its logical to deduce that under capitalism robotism or full automation is virtually impossible. If anything this aptly demonstartes that an anarchist/socialist society would develop the means of production and utilise their full potential to maximise leisure time, whereas a capitalist society wouldn't since capitalisms aim is to maximise profits. In short what you've just quoted is part of a debate whose logical conclusion would seem to run entirely counter to your primitivist musings and as billj points out what you've quoted most definitely is not some sort of transhistorical rant about ''the machine''.

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cantdocartwheels
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Sep 28 2008 19:02
weeler wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
what you've just quoted is part of a debate whose logical conclusion would seem to run entirely counter to your primitivist musings and as billj points out what you've quoted most definitely is not some sort of transhistorical rant about ''the machine''.

Anti-civilisation marxist, is his preferred title. :)

I know its just ridiculous. Worst idea since decaffinated coffee. .

vanilla.ice.baby
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Sep 30 2008 17:43
Quote:
Well I think it's fairly clear what Dave B is saying, he's just reiterating that the reason for advocating mass production in factories (albeit massively differently organised, as mentioned 6 million times before here) is that it means we can produce as much of the stuff we need relatively efficiently and get on with having a life outside of production. It's true that under communism work will be more enjoyable anyway for reasons already mentioned - working with your mates to produce something that's been decided democratically to be useful and necessary, the trade-off between reducing hours worked and maximising fun had working them

Sounds good to me, having worked in plenty of factories before, I'd be happy to do twelve to twenty hours a week, even of repetative tasks, and no anti-civ nutcase has got a right to stop me.

If needs be I dare say Feds would take action against elements that threatened the continuity of useful production.

Dave B
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Oct 2 2008 18:15

There are not many examples of what Karl and Fred thought that a Communist society would look like. Later, in rejecting the ‘idealism’ of others they would have been exposed to double standards in doing so. Although Engels came pretty close to a prescription in Ante Duhring in part III, socialism I think.

Perhaps their early ideas were best revealed in Fred’s “Description of Recently Founded Communist Colonies Still in Existence” from 1844. There is an interesting letter as a preamble to this below;

Quote:
The Teutons are all still very muddled about the practicability of communism; to dispose of this absurdity I intend to write a short pamphlet showing that communism has already been put into practice and describing in popular terms how this is at present being done in England and America. [12] The thing will take me three days or so, and should prove very enlightening for these fellows. I’ve already observed this when talking to people here.

Down to work, then, and quickly into print! Convey my greetings to Ewerbeck, Bakunin, Guerrier and the rest, not forgetting your wife, and write very soon to tell me all the news. If this letter reaches you safely and unopened, send your reply under sealed cover to F. W. Struecker and Co., Elberfeld, with the address written in as commercial a hand as possible; otherwise, to any of the other addresses I gave Ewerbeck. I shall be curious to know whether the postal sleuth-hounds are deceived by the ladylike appearance of this letter.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/letters/44_10_01.htm#n12

And the thing itself;

Quote:
The first people to set up a society on the basis of community of goods in America, indeed in the whole world, were the so-called Shakers. These people are a distinct sect who have the strangest religious beliefs, do not marry and allow no intercourse between the sexes, and these are not their only peculiarities of this kind. But this does not concern us here. The sect of the Shakers originated some seventy years ago. Its founders were poor people who united in order to live together in brotherly love and community of goods and to worship their God in their own way. Although their religious views and particularly the prohibition on marriage deterred many, they nevertheless attracted support and now have ten large communities, each of which is between three and eight hundred members strong. Each of these communities is a fine, well laid-out town, with dwelling houses, factories, workshops, assembly buildings and barns; they have flower and vegetable gardens, fruit trees, woods, vineyards, meadows and arable land in abundance; then, livestock of all kinds, horses and beef-cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry, in excess of their needs, and of the very best breeds. Their granaries are always full of corn, their store-rooms full of clothing materials, so that an English traveller who visited them said he could not understand why these people still worked, when after all they possessed an abundance of everything; unless it was that they worked simply as a pastime, having nothing else to do.

Amongst these people no one is obliged to work against his will, and no one seeks work in vain. They have no poor-houses and infirmaries, having not a single person poor and destitute, nor any abandoned widows and orphans; all their needs are met and they need fear no want. In their ten towns there is not a single gendarme or police officer, no judge, lawyer or soldier, no prison or penitentiary; and yet there is proper order in all their affairs. The laws of the land are not for them and as far as they are concerned could just as well be abolished and nobody would notice any difference for they are the most peaceable citizens and have never yielded a single criminal for the prisons. They enjoy, as we said, the most absolute community of goods and have no trade and no money among themselves. One of these towns, Pleasant Hill near Lexington in the State of Kentucky, was visited last year by an English traveller named Finch, who gives the following description of it.

“Pleasant Hill consists of a great number of large, handsome hewn stone and brick houses, manufactories, workshops, farm buildings, all in the neatest order, some of the best in Kentucky; the Shaker farm-land was easily known by the fine stone wall fences by which it was enclosed, and by its superior cultivation; a great number of fat cows and sheep were grazing in the fields, and numerous fat swine were picking up fallen fruit in the orchards. The Shakers possess nearly four thousand acres of land here, of which about two-thirds is under cultivation. This colony was commenced by a single family about the year 1806; others joined afterwards and they gradually increased in numbers; some brought a little capital and others none at all. They had many difficulties to contend with, and suffered many privations at the first, being generally very poor persons; but by diligence, economy and temperance, they have overcome all and now have a great abundance of everything and owe nothing to any man.

This Society consists at present of about three hundred individuals, out of which some fifty to sixty are children under sixteen years of age. They have no masters — no servants; far less do they have slaves; they are free, wealthy and happy. They have two schools, a Boys’ and a Girls’ School, in which are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar and the principles of their religion; they do not teach science to the children as they believe science is not necessary to salvation. As they tolerate no marriages, they would inevitably die out, if new members were not always joining them; but although the prohibition on marriage deters many thousands and many of their best members leave again for that reason, so many new members nevertheless still come that their number constantly increases. They rear livestock and variously cultivate the fields, and themselves produce flax, wool and silk, spinning and weaving them in their own manufactories. What they produce in excess of their needs they sell or exchange amongst their neighbours. They generally labour from sunrise to sunset. The board of trustees keeps all the books and accounts in a public office, and the books are open for all members to see, as often as they choose. They not themselves how wealthy they are, as they never take account of their stock; they are satisfied to know that all they have is their own, for they are in debt to no one. All they do is to make out a list of the debts their neighbours have with them once a year.

The Church is divided into five families (divisions) of from forty to eighty in each; each family has a separate domestic establishment and lives together in a large, handsome mansion; and all get every article required, and as much as they want from the common stores of the Society, and without any payment. A deacon is appointed to each family, whose business is to see that all are provided with every thing they want, and to anticipate their wants as far as possible. They all clothe in Quaker-fashion — plain, clean and neat; they have a great variety of articles of food and all of the very best description.

If a new member seeks admission, he must, according to the laws of the Society, give up every thing he has to the community and is never allowed to claim it back, even if he leaves; nevertheless it is their practice to give back to each as much as he brought in. If a person leaves who has brought in no capital, he is not allowed by the laws to claim any thing for services either, as he has been fed and clothed at general expense whilst he was working; nevertheless it is their custom in this case too to make parting presents to every person if they leave in a kind and proper manner.

“Their government is established in the manner of the first Christians. There is a male and a female minister in each Society, and each has an assistant. These four . . ters are the highest power in the whole Society and decide all cases of contention. There are also two elders in each family of the Society, with two assistants and a deacon or administrator. The property of the Society is vested in the board of trustees, which consists of three persons, oversees the whole establishment, directs labour and carries on transactions with neighbours. They have no power to buy or sell any land without the consent of the Society. There are of course also foremen and managers in each department of labour; however they have made it a rule that no commands are ever given by any one, but all are to be persuaded by kindness.” [Finch, Letter V, The New Moral World, Feb. 10, 1844]

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/10/15.htm

Ariege
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Dec 8 2008 07:25

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/dec/08/nhs-instruments-child-labour

Now it's my impression that small scale workshops in an anarchist society could do a lot better than this.....

Oh Jenni you were so sure of yourself:

Quote:
er, no, they're made in large specialised factories under sterile conditions, y'know, so patients don't die of infections and so on. how on earth can the production, appropriate labelling and aseptic packaging of the ~150 million hypodermic needles used every year in the UK alone lend itself well to "small workshop based production"?

So, bye again everyone. I'm going now I may be some time.

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Dec 8 2008 09:31
Ariege wrote:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/dec/08/nhs-instruments-child-labour

Now it's my impression that small scale workshops in an anarchist society could do a lot better than this......

Nope, Its precisely because they are small scale workshops that this shit happens. Its not the 19th century so in most states employment laws exist that prevent large factories from employing children and that give workers some paper thin protection in terms of wages, hours and conditions. Hence these large factories often outsource the shittier work to small workshops where conditions are obviously going to be a lot worse since they;ll be located not in major cities but in backwards rural shitholes where class relations still have semi-feudal elements and where unemployment and poverty are higher. Workshops are less mechanised and the only way they can keep up in terms of volume of production is by hyper exploitation of the workforce, hence they employ children and refugees and anyone else who will work for a pittance and make them work absurdy long hours in unsafe conditions.

Also those workshops make scissors and scalpels and seem to be small sub-contractors making the most basic equipment. Not exactly the best example of an industry making modern hi tech equipment on an industrial scale is it afterall I somewhat doubt we're talking monomolecular surgical scalpels here.

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 8 2008 12:32
Ariege wrote:
Oh Jenni you were so sure of yourself:

she was talking specifically about hypodermic needles, the article you linked is not.

Ariege wrote:
So, bye again everyone. I'm going now I may be some time.

with 'refutations' like that, tis no wonder.

Fletcher
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Dec 8 2008 16:45

An anarchist society would, by it's very nature, change and adapt to new situations, advances in technology, production advances etc. Those who say the scale of production units would be downsized have been watching too much of the Good Life.

The way to ensure high quality production with mininum human effort and a low level of error is to do it on a large and repeatable scale. Where the major change will occur is in how WHAT we produce is determined. Hopefully gone will be the culture of producing disposable crap which is designed to have a short lifespan in order to keep people coming back to buy more.

We will hopefully produce what individuals in a society need to have a fullfilling and rewarding life. This means increased use of technology to solve the real problems that people face rather than a dumbing down of technology. Pushing human achievement beyond what capitalism is capable of, so that all our labour and effort go towards positive and socially beneficial projects rather than towards serving the needs of a few.

Oh and Derry City FC will win the UEFA Champions League under the management of a players and supporters council.

Boris Badenov
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Dec 8 2008 16:55
anarcho_and_peace wrote:
Anarchism doesn't necessitate consensus at all. It is, as said, a product of the post-60's era, and the liberal influence on anarchism that occured then which brought that in.
In most cases, it would be majority rule which would be used.

Isn't majority rule without consensus an utilitarian hell? But more importantly, will we still have ipods in an anarchist society?

Zazaban
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Dec 9 2008 23:50
Vlad336 wrote:
But more importantly, will we still have ipods in an anarchist society?

Yes.

I'm personally liking the idea of the adhocracy.

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Django
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Dec 10 2008 09:11
Vlad 336 wrote:
But more importantly, will we still have ipods in an anarchist society?

yeah, but without the built-in obsolescence, which would disappear along with every other distortion of use by the need to circulate commodities.

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Jenni
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Dec 10 2008 16:22
Joseph K. wrote:
Ariege wrote:
Oh Jenni you were so sure of yourself:

she was talking specifically about hypodermic needles, the article you linked is not.

Actually I did imply that I meant all sterile equipment, so I stand partially corrected. However, since these aren't sterile conditions, I assume they are shipped off to somewhere else to be sterilized, then off to somewhere else to be packaged, depending on where these parts of the production process are the most profitable. Much in the same way that t-shirts are made, dyed and printed upon in different places around the planet. So, whilst you might be right that these are indeed surgical instruments being made in small workshops, they are hardly favourable conditions to be drawn upon for an idea of how things would work under communism, and I still maintain that the large-ish factory model is more likely to

I wrote:
(a) make worker collaboration easier and give people access to many parts of several complicated production processes and (b) make standardised aseptic techniques easier to enforce

and as such should be more attractive to communists than maintaining small scale, spread out workshop based production that in a society run according to need and not profit would simply make the process inefficient.

Dave B
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Dec 10 2008 19:32

The factory system

I suspect that there is a bit of mythology talked about the evils of the big factory system. Even though it is never made totally clear by the opponents what constitutes a big factory and what is the ideal size, composition or function of a small workshop.

I have worked in the past in what might be regarded as a large factory that employed about 2000 people. Although it may not have been as big or typical enough to be a big factory. It was a food factory that was broken down into discrete units or workshops based on product type. So much so that the workers in one area or workshop might as well as worked on the other side of the planet as far as the workers in another section was concerned.

In fact you wouldn’t have known the others were there if you didn’t share the same canteen and all walked out of the same gate at the end of a shift. I was a bit unusual as I worked in the ‘tea house’ that made loose tea and Typhoo tea bags and in one of the biscuit ‘factories’ that made chocolate chip cookies and Cadbury’s chocolate fingers.

I mention that as a personal seminal example as to what happens to ‘greed’ in a world of abundance. The factory owners and managers understood ‘greed’, by experience probably, well enough to allow the workers to consume as much of the product as they desired whilst they were there.

Smuggling stuff out was a different matter of course.

By the way it takes on average about four weeks to get sick of chocolate biscuits when they are free and about 15 years to recover your appetite for them once you have to start pay for them.

Eventually I went down on my knees and begged to be transferred as the smell of chocolate was beginning to make me wretch.

I was sent to the ‘tea house’, and at first to the ‘blending room’ which was a different world. There was about 50 people who worked in the blending room per shift producing a product that was passed on to the packing house.

There was a sense of community or a ‘small’ workshop kind of thing even if the stuff was only being passed onto ‘another’ place next door. Again, I then moved into the packing house were there was another ‘community’ and in fact some people who had worked there for years had no idea what went on in the blending house and had never even bothered to go into it.

I work in a smaller place now but that is still broken down into sections, teams or communities. I think that most big factories are just discrete and to some extent ‘autonomous’ albeit integrated workshops located in one geographical place.

In fact I think technology is driving things more and more in that direction.

I have never found the big factory system boring and in itself oppressive unless of course you are locked into a small part of it.

ThePeacemaker54
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Dec 11 2009 12:58

Hello everyone, my Name's Ken and i hope to provide some of thetheoretical answers you are seeking, I see that the usual overthinking of the moneyless society is happening on this thread, and would encourage you all to open your minds to what should be a very simple evolution.

We currently have technologies, and skills to produce everything our hearts desire. What we don't have is the universal will to be able to produce these products and services in large enough quantities to enable every single person on the planet to benefit from them.

We all like to think of ourselves and our tastes as unique, to ourselves. This is inaccurate. There are a range of goods and services we all need in order to survive and be comfortable and safe on this planet. We all need shelter, food, drinks, healthcare, transport and access to social and communal activitities and facilities. We all need clothing.

Let's concentrate on the basics. What level of quality should we aim for without the constraints of money? Simple answer - the best we can produce for ourselves at that time. Why would we knowingly produce substandard, or shoddy goods when there is no extra profit in it?

So with the above in mind, our immediate mission would be to provide all these services, from wherever we have the resources to produce them. The evolution would be in producing these goods and services better, faster and more regularly.

Once this evolution begins, the world and all its resources will become the shared responsibility of all mankind to care for and use. There should be no mechanism in existence for 'trading' goods or skills. This is an all for one and one for all deal. If we can learn the simple lesson that we own nothing, but have access to everything, then we can progress at warp speed.

I have many more answers to what ails us. We really have to try to stop overthinking and overarguing these problems, and just get on with getting this thing started and overcoming obstacles as they arise. We have the technology and common sense to overcome anything in a moneyless society.

What about making work FUN? What about using the agencies and skills already in place to facilitate and organise our future, rather than committees, who will almost certainly not have the skills and knowledge required to make the very BEST decisions. Obviously local knowledge and conditions will be taken into consideration when the decisions are taken to build or plant in a specific area. But the actual decisions should be made by the acknowledged experts in whatever field is required for that particular project.

Does this sound like common sense? because that is what this whole area of discussion should be based on. Not pre-formed, half baked ideas which have already failed. This is a NEW start for us. All we have to do is grasp the humanity of it and do whatever we need to do to, to make it happen.

Respect to all

Ken

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orthodoxyproxy
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Nov 5 2011 17:32

To be honest, it's impossible to see the future from the present. You can project images which may be accurate but to be honest in all those films such as Back to the Future and Blade Runner I see no flying cars and no prospects of them around for a while, do you?

This site is pretty intersting regarding the topic.

http://dbzer0.com/blog/what-would-an-anarchist-society-look-like

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Railyon
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Nov 6 2011 00:56

Whew, old thread...

I have a bit of a problem with the use of the word "work".

If "working hours" and necessary labor intensity decrease with the progress of automation and thus people have more time for other stuff outside "work", wouldn't the distinction between "worker" and "non-worker" in relation to labor input be relatively marginal compared to that under capitalism?

I think it will be, if we strive for this futurist ideal, making it a non-issue whether some people here and there decide not to "work".

But first and foremost, I am a bit confused about what constitutes "work" in the vocabulary of those that used it here. Is it purely a productive activity or is it defined by being "for the general benefit"?

My point is that if we abolish Value, it will become difficult to differentiate what "work" actually is, making the term redundant in my opinion.

"Non-Workers" (for a lack of a better term, let's say "leeches") would only become a problem if the needs of the people are not met or if some people feel exploited, but then again, wouldn't we suppose that after The Revolution we'd have people you can actually reason with instead of having to force them to do stuff? And if we suppose an abolition of the division of labor, wouldn't "work" therefore be a natural, organic state of being, making the distinction between "work" and "non-work" even more difficult?

Wondering what to do with the "non-worker" is making assumptions about a future we don't even know. The whole question is, to me, saturated with capitalist modes of thinking.

(I'm new here, go easy on me)

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orthodoxyproxy
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Nov 16 2011 14:29

Oh, I just realised this thread was last commented on in 2009.. So I guess I resurrected it!

My thoughts are what would a civilisation with no government look like? How would it function? etc. Would there still be a military? Plus, will money itself be abolished. I guess this is all a bit speculative as we base our vision upon the present combined with personal ideals.

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Railyon
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Nov 16 2011 14:43
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
My thoughts are what would a civilisation with no government look like? How would it function? etc. Would there still be a military? Plus, will money itself be abolished. I guess this is all a bit speculative as we base our vision upon the present combined with personal ideals.

Well... that depends on what kind of society you have in mind when you talk of "civ but no government".

Under 'anarcho-capitalism', no government, but still military (defense agencies), money, wage slavery, and all that jazz we have now. In a way, each corporation would be its own state though. The AC's definition of freedom simply cannot stand up under scrutiny, that's why they're largely disregarded.

Since we're on a communist board, no to all. No money, no wage labor, no military. Unless you count loose militias, which is in no way the same as an institutionalized third-party military power like defense agencies under 'anarcho-capitalism'.

If we go by Morton Fried's definition of civilization as a system "with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments", we'll effectively have abolished that as well in a communist society.

black spaghetti
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Nov 18 2011 18:47

Anarchist societies would look like a bunch of communes which each have their unique ways of functioning and self governing. In a sense, I think we already have this sort of configuration, but its actual unfolding is constipated by the bourgeois tyranny over production, and whatever. Because the commune is at root merely a community, it is just that communities in our bourgeois civilization are... tyrannized, subdued to an alienating power... they are proletarian. But clearly anarchist communes, which are microscopic societies, can exist under the bourgeois order, and they can develop their own power set against state power... and, if they want, they can buy guns, and form a militia. Ha ha ha! Or they can study the mysteries of the universe and fight power with the greater power of love... it all depends on one's taste

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Railyon
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Nov 19 2011 13:02

Are you related to the user 'brown spaghetti'? smile

Quote:
Anarchist societies would look like a bunch of communes which each have their unique ways of functioning and self governing. In a sense, I think we already have this sort of configuration, but its actual unfolding is constipated by the bourgeois tyranny over production, and whatever.

I don't think so. We have quite a ways to go.

I guess this is somewhat true in rural areas where most people know each other well (at least that is my limited first-hand experience), though that does not hold true in urban or metropolitan areas, where people have little in common and are just faceless strangers to one another.

Not that this is necessary for a commune to function per se I think, but society is too atomized right now for it to work. That in itself may be the "bourgeois tyranny", but it has more to do with the philosophy of 'survival of the fittest' instead of mutual aid that is underlying in our society.

Now, on the possible existence of communes 'develop[ing] their own power set', that is indeed true but some may see this as essentially futile because it lacks strength.

black spaghetti
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Nov 19 2011 19:25

Yes preceisely the bourgeois philosophy which upholds self-centered atomization, justifies it, can only be widely perpetuated insofar as the ruling class has the power which keeps society subjected to it. Because once the gigantic alienating and dehumanizing power begins to break down, people will have a shroud lifted from them and be able to begin to look at each other as real live....human beings...

Thunaraz
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Jan 9 2018 01:37

Idk this might sound kinda dumb but i thought the answer to this question was obvious. Theres a broad agency organizing production labor for needs. Dwellings, water, waste, food, and power, etc. There are regular 'assignments' of work in these sectors for every citizen. Ofcourse, you dont have to do it, but both the social pressure and said labor being the backbone of our society, it will be an obvious choice. Ofcourse there will be those actively enrolling in those sectors, so said assignments dont need to be constant. Other than that, what exactly need be debated? Shoes? Sure. Theres a fuckton thats gotta change before this stuff is even possible or probable.