From the term “Anarchist-communism” (also known as red anarchism), we know it is a political ideology that combines qualities of both communism and anarchism. Like the communists, anarchist communists pursue egalitarianism and oppose social hierarchy as a result of the capitalist system and, like the anarchists, they aim to abolish any form of political power and state. They believe in the corporation of the commune to provide their own services and that through this network people are free to satisfy their needs without the fear of being restricted by others. However the defining characteristic of anarchist –communism from other variations of communism and anarchism is the abolition of wage system. This is because, according to Peter Kropotkin, an important theoretician in the history of anarchist-communism, that “we shall not estimate the share of each in the riches which ALL contribute to amass”, one cannot use this “instrument of labour” to access the worker’s contribution to society without taking into account of other externalities such as transportation and food that could have affected their production. The anarchist-communists believe that mutual aid and the fact everyone has satisfied their material wants will be a big step to a more civilized society.
Anarchist-communism is not the work of certain intellectual individuals but arises from and within the struggles of the proletariat. Nevertheless, having said so, there are still people who have laid the basis of anarchist-communism. Below are some important figures in the history of anarchist-communism:
Mikhail Bakunin: He can be called the “father” of every form of class-struggle anarchism. He is supportive of collective anarchism which aims to collectivise ownershp of means of production while retaining the wage system which anarchist-communism opposes.
Joseph Déjacque: An early anarchist-communist whose argument “"it is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature” greatly potrays the idea.
First International: It is the Italian Section where this political philosophy was first formulated (expressed).
Peter Kropotkin: He is an important man in the history of anarcho-communism. He had presented his economic ideas in several books, most notably the Conquest of Bread in which he questions the collective wage system and suggested abolishing capitalism by “expropriation of the whole of social wealth”.
1. If you are destitute workers under the capitalistic system, then you will definitely like this system because no one is going to squeeze out the profit from your labour. Everything that is the product of your sweat and toil belongs to you, there will be no bosses who are going to “steal them” from your life.
2. There will be no masters and servants. You will be in control of your destiny. The real freedom is not the having the right to do whatever you want , it is , as Alexander Berkman put it in chapter 3 of his book titiled “ what is anarchist-communists”, is the “opportunity to satisfy your needs and wants.”
3. You do not have to be afraid of hunger anymore. Society is a big reserve of commodities.
4. You do not have to toil day and night just to earn a living.
5. There will be no trade war between different countries to protect the rights of it’s industrial workers and bankers in a foreign market because, as Carlyle says, “patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels”
6. No form of political organization will intervene in what you do.
Despite all the good points discussed above, this philosophy is unrealistic, a mere utopia. This is because human are by nature selfish. Productivity will not be kept up because resource/income distribution is based on personal needs not the based on the wage system. Though this philosophy talks lots about egalitarianism, it is not fair for the the people who have greater potential and more industrious while receiving the same treatment with another lazy bone. If you are competent, you might think, “I might be as well as like him.” Such a society will not progress. To view the society as abundant with resources may lead to overmining of resources and result in envirmomental problems such as deforestation and depletion of natural resources.
Anarchist communism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2008, March 15). Retrieved March 22, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-communism.
Appleton, H. (n.d.). Henry Appleton - Anarchism, True and False. Retrieved March 22, 2008, from http://praxeology.net/HA-ATF.htm.
Berkman, A. (n.d.). What Is Communist Anarchism?. Retrieved March 22, 2008, from http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/berkman/comanarchism/
Craparo, S. (n.d.). Anarchist Communists: A Question Of Class - International Anarchist movement - Anarkismo . Retrieved March 22, 2008, from http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1336.
Kropotkin, P. (n.d.). THE CONQUEST OF BREAD. Retrieved March 22, 2008, from http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/toc.html.