APPENDIX I How the Problem of Production was envisaged in the past

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 21, 2010

A. The International.

Until the split in the International, the members of the Jura Federation, in their newspaper Solidarity of August 20, 1870, wrote in this vein of the future organization of Europe:

"In the future, Europe will -consist not of a federation of different nations, politically organized in republics, but of a simple federation of labor associations without any differentiation according to nationality."

After the split at the Hague Congress in 1872, the Anarchists called their own Congress in St. Imier at which they envisaged the future society in the following manner:

"The aspirations of the proletariat can have no other goal than the establishment of a completely free economic organization and federation, based on universal labor and equality, and absolutely independent of all political governments; and this organization and federation can only be the result of the self-reliant actions of the proletariat itself, the associations of artisans and autonomous communes."

B. Michael Bakunin.

Society must be organized "by means of the free federation of labor associations from below upwards, both in industry and agriculture, of scientific associations and societies of workers in art and literature -- at first in communes, then in the federation of communes in each province, of provinces in the nation and of nations in the International Brotherhood." (Message, pp. 197-98).

Then, "the land will belong only to those who work it with their own hands -- the agricultural communes. Capital and all means of production will belong to the workers -- the workers' associations. The entire political organization of the future must be nothing but the voluntary federation of free workers, both in agricultural and factory-artisan cartels" (producers' cooperatives). (N.P. 97).

In such a society labor will be compulsory for all. It must be collective and equal -- all must work. If former bourgeois do not wish to work, while they are capable of doing so. they will be subject to the axiom: he who does not work, neither shall he eat.

After the Revolution, city and village proletarians will become owners -- probably collective owners -- in varying forms and varying conditions, depending on each locality, province and commune, in accordance with the level of civilization and the will of the population. The former will become owners of capital and the means of production, the latter of the land which they will till with their hands.

The full realization of this problem will, of course, take a century.

C. Peter Kropotkin.

Our production has gone in a wrong direction. Industrial enterprises are not concerned with the needs of society; their only goal is the increase in the middlemen's profits. Starting out from this point, the social Revolution will have to organize production on a basis derived from a concern with the needs of the population. The means of production must be transferred into the hands of the people. Everything must belong to all. The organization of production must begin immediately following expropriation. Society must be organized on the principles of Anarchist Communism. Our first task is the immediate realization of Communism. The main principle of the organization of the new form of production is "voluntary agreement." Its concrete form is the voluntary association within the commune, and the federation of communes. This is how Kropotkin wrote on this subject in his "Bread and Freedom".

Kropotkin formulated other more concrete and simpler organizational forms in the later years of his life. In his preface to Paroles d'un Revolte (1919) he expressed his thoughts more precisely than he had expounded them in "Bread and Freedom". He said that he had in mind a construction evolved by society itself, rising from the simple cell in the village, the city district, the Trade Union or cooperative, to the more complex organisms, enveloping the city as a whole, the province and the whole nation.

D. The Revolutionary Syndicalism of Pouget and Pataud.

Yet another Anarchist system, Kropotkin said, was pointed out by our comrade, the Syndicalist Pouget, in his book '"How He will Achieve the Revolution." In this he set forth the way in which the Anarchists saw the social upheaval from the viewpoint of the trade unions and the syndicates. Pouget maintains that the Revolution might have been realized in France had it been directed by the Trade Unions. The Trade Unions expecting nothing from those who would invest themselves with power, could expropriate the Capitalists by the action of their Congresses, and then organize production on new foundations, simultaneously preventing any stoppage in production. It is clear that this could be achieved only by the workers themselves through their organizations.

I differ from Pouget in several details, but I gladly recommend his book to all those who understand the inevitability and the closeness of the social reconstruction which humanity is yet to experience.