An Anarchist FAQ - Section I - What would an anarchist society look like?

Section I - What would an anarchist society look like?

Introduction

I.1 Isn't libertarian socialism an oxymoron?

    I.1.1 Didn't Ludwig von Mises' "calculation argument" prove that socialism can not work?

    I.1.2 Does Mises' argument mean libertarian communism is impossible?

    I.1.3 What is wrong with markets anyway?

    I.1.4 If capitalism is exploitative, then isn't socialism as well?

I.2 Is this a blueprint for an anarchist society?

    I.2.1 Why discuss what an anarchist society would be like at all?

    I.2.2 Will it be possible to go straight to an anarchist society from capitalism?

    I.2.3 How is the framework of an anarchist society created?

I.3 What could the economic structure of an anarchist society look like?

    I.3.1 What is a "syndicate"?

    I.3.2 What is workers' self-management?

    I.3.3 What role do collectives play in the "economy"?

    I.3.4 What relations exist between individual syndicates?

    I.3.5 What would confederations of syndicates do?

    I.3.6 What about competition between syndicates?

    I.3.7 What about people who do not want to join a syndicate?

    I.3.8 Do anarchists seek "small autonomous communities, devoted to small scale production"?

I.4 How would an anarchist economy function?

    I.4.1 What is the point of economic activity in anarchy?

    I.4.2 Why do anarchists desire to abolish work?

    I.4.3 How do anarchists intend to abolish work?

    I.4.4 What economic decision making criteria could be used in anarchy?

    I.4.5 What about "supply and demand"?

    I.4.6 Surely communist-anarchism would just lead to demand exceeding supply?

    I.4.7 What will stop producers ignoring consumers?

    I.4.8 What about investment decisions?

    I.4.9 Should technological advance be seen as anti-anarchistic?

    I.4.10 What would be the advantage of a wide basis of surplus distribution?

    I.4.11 If libertarian socialism eliminates the profit motive, won't creativity suffer?

    I.4.12 Won't there be a tendency for capitalist enterprise to reappear in any socialist society?

    I.4.13 Who will do the dirty or unpleasant work?

    I.4.14 What about the person who will not work?

    I.4.15 What will the workplace of tomorrow look like?

    I.4.16 Won't a libertarian communist society be inefficient?

I.5 What would the social structure of anarchy look like?

    I.5.1 What are participatory communities?

    I.5.2 Why are confederations of participatory communities needed?

    I.5.3 What will be the scales and levels of confederation?

    I.5.4 How will anything ever be decided by all these meetings?

    I.5.5 Are participatory communities and confederations not just new states?

    I.5.6 Won't there be a danger of a "tyranny of the majority" under libertarian socialism?

    I.5.7 What if I don't want to join a commune?

    I.5.8 What about crime?

    I.5.9 What about Freedom of Speech under Anarchism?

    I.5.10 What about Political Parties?

    I.5.11 What about interest groups and other associations?

    I.5.12 Would an anarchist society provide health care and other public services?

    I.5.13 Won't an anarchist society be vulnerable to the power hungry?

    I.5.14 How could an anarchist society defend itself?

I.6 What about the "Tragedy of the Commons" and all that? Surely communal ownership will lead to overuse and environmental destruction?

    I.6.1 But anarchists cannot explain how the use of property 'owned by everyone in the world' will be decided?

    I.6.2 Doesn't any form of communal ownership involve restricting individual liberty?

I.7 Won't Libertarian Socialism destroy individuality?

    I.7.1 Do tribal cultures indicate that communalism defends individuality?

    I.7.2 Is this not worshipping the past or the "noble savage"?

    I.7.3 Is the law required to protect individual rights?

    I.7.4 Does capitalism protect individuality?

I.8 Does revolutionary Spain show that libertarian socialism can work in practice?

    I.8.1 Wasn't the Spanish Revolution primarily a rural phenomenon and therefore inapplicable as a model for modern industrialised societies?

    I.8.2 How were the anarchists able to obtain mass popular support in Spain?

    I.8.3 How were Spanish industrial collectives organised?

    I.8.4 How were the Spanish industrial collectives co-ordinated?

    I.8.5 How were the Spanish agricultural co-operatives organised and co-ordinated?

    I.8.6 What did the agricultural collectives accomplish?

    I.8.7 I've heard that the rural collectives were created by force. Is this true?

    I.8.8 But did the Spanish collectives innovate?

    I.8.9 Why, if it was so good, did it not survive?

    I.8.10 Why did the C.N.T. collaborate with the state?

    I.8.11 Was the decision to collaborate a product of anarchist theory, so showing anarchism is flawed?

    I.8.12 Was the decision to collaborate imposed on the CNT's membership?

    I.8.13 What political lessons were learned from the revolution?

    I.8.14 What economic lessons were learned from the revolution?