“Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.”
— Albert Einstein
“Abandon cleverness, discard profit, and thieves and robber will disappear.”
— Lao Tzu
“No man can serve two master: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
— Jesus Christ
The altar of mammon drips with the blood of Liberty, sacrificed to quench the insatiable greed of the elite. Lust for wealth has led our nations down a path to earthly damnation, a planet turned into a living hell for millions. Suffering is ignored for the sake of profit when it is not being created for the same. The political elite have whored themselves to the economic elite for power and personal gain, and billions suffer for their sins.
The natural world around us crumbles as our excesses consume us. The poor are left without basic necessities or the means of escaping their fate. Hateful and divisive ideologies are spreading like a plague. All can see that there is something wrong with the world around them, yet their collective response has been to keep doing the same harmful things as always and hope it all gets better. Change is hard, it’s confusing, it may even get in the way of profits. As a result of our crimes against our fellow man we continue to wallow in misery, exploiting and competing with one another to get to the top of a tumbling pile while trampling and crushing those unfortunate people at the bottom. The masters of this brutal frenzy have stacked the game in their favor to guarantee that their will always outweighs the will of the masses, replicating a feudal system with lords and aristocrats replaced by wealthy capitalists and the old-money families whose coffers grew fat from long-forgotten atrocities. Every day we come closer to complete domination of our society by corrupt oligarchs and fascist strongmen that would like nothing more than to take use back to the days of tyranny, backed by the weapons and legalistic terrors provided to them by modern industry. If our species hopes to ever escape this hellworld we have built for ourselves then we must act now before death becomes the only freedom we have left.
Our society is now and has always been under the absolute control of the wealthy and power hungry. The electoral system has been so effectively manipulated and rigged by conservative politicians and oligarch capitalists that the possibility of a citizen’s vote having any substantial impact borders on illusion. We are guided along by a political class that is controlled and organized by and for the wealthy, with the primary motivation of boosting profits and upholding capitalist dominion over the economy. Maintenance of the current world hegemony under America and the West relies upon the economic compliance of weak and developing nations, translating outdated colonialism to wage-slavery and resource exploitation by private corporations. The pursuit of their geopolitical goals has resulted in the international suppression of socialism, support for fascist regimes and dictators, allowing millions to die of preventable lack and want, constant asymmetrical warfare against political enemies and the militarized enforcement of the fiat petrodollar as the primary global currency. The comfort, luxury and economic dominance of Western elites has come at the cost of the freedom and financial security for those in the lower-classes and the lives and wealth of foreign nations.
The capitalist economy requires that there be an exploitable and impoverished underclass in order to create the desperation needed to drive people to sell their labor to the rich in exchange for a tenth or less of their productive output. Capitalism is fueled by coercion and fear, and thus could never be voluntary in a society that has the technological and scientific capability to eliminate such poverty, as the West is entirely capable of doing currently. Instead, the capitalist class desires minimum-wage workers who can be financially intimidated into perfoming menial drudgery and wage slavery, scrubbing toilets and flipping burgers for bourgeois masters for fear of losing their homes and being forced into destitution. The vast majority of jobs are pointless, only existing as an extention of capitalism, with most minimum-wage and office jobs being entirely unneccessary except to run the grotesque capitalist machine. In time, these positions will be replaced with inexpensive automation, thus making all previous arguments related to labor and wages moot and requiring us to ask if those people will be taken care of or if they will be expected to die off for the good of the economy.
A coalition of conservative factions have willingly worked with billionaires, provacateurs, the far-right and foreign operatives to hijack the American political system, and with it in their hands they have sought to destroy the world’s faith in liberal democracy. The right-wing base has been brought under the heel of corporate interests, with leaders willing to support divisive and regressive ideologies to maintain corporate welfare and global capitalist hegemony. The justice system has been unable to deflect the corruption of the 45th administration, in part because the corruption is essential to the current status quo and reveals difficult truths about the weight of wealth and conservative influence over the American legal system, and in part because the institutions that are supposed to protect against such corruption have been commandeered by those who work to hide it from the light.
American reliance upon the petrodollar for global control has given it an economic edge over all other countries, but it will eventually be the nation’s downfall. With the rise of sustainable energy the United States will have to alter its strategy for geopolitical control, and there are few options in the coming decades that will ensure it can challenge China for global influence and counter Russia’s economic growth and expansion into Europe. There will be fewer chains to bind small developing nations, allowing them to ally with other superpowers if they are offered a better alternative, effectively conquering the West’s neocolonies. Without other nations being dependant on U.S. currency for access to oil there will be a collapse of the petrodollar, and thus the basis of the American economy.
While the left may agree that capitalist hegemony is undesirable, it will not be beneficial for the people if the system is merely destroyed, as the void will be filled be a potentially worse world order. Instead, we must have a means of transitioning towards a system that will work for the benefit of all people while addressing the geopolitical realities that will challenge any new society. This includes the hostile foreign influences and the rise of far-right ideologies that are manipulating politics across the globe.
The one thing that Western capitalist nations have sought to destroy more than anything else is socialism. The idea that society functions best through unbridled competition rather than cooperation is has been pushed by government officials and the rich for centuries, and the belief that capitalism is inherently fair regardless of outcome has been used to justify the systemic cruelties that it requires for its maintenance. Resources are plentiful enough that most of our food goes to waste or is outright destroyed to prevent consumption, as it would harm the profits of an individual seller to distribute the food to those who cannot afford it. Tons of unused material goods are thrown away when they could be used, as it may affect the bottom line of the seller, and (in a display of capitalism’s ridiculousness) giving the resources to poor nations may harm local economies by draining profits from farmers and craftsmen. The system itself is unable to cure human suffering without proof of usefulness in the form of trade or labor, and the inherent discrepancies in this balance of power guarantees that the labor and trade goods of the poor can be acquired for pitance wages compared to labor that can be acquired from socially empowered workers like those protected by unions. In almost all cases the CEO will make profit dozens or hundreds of times greater than that paid their lowest-wage employees, often paying them as low as the law will allow them unless they are in need of a particular skill. Wealth has been proven time and time again to trickle upward, pooling in the pockets of capitalists, professionals and the bourgeoisie, never in the pockets of the common laborer.
Class struggle has been erased from the minds of the average Western citizen, being instead replaced with party politics that results in only a handful of issues relevant to the people ever being heard, while the will of elites and special interests remain the true dictators of public policy. The democratic republic is barely a democratic system, designed to provide liberal and conservative elites with a way to reap money and power from the masses. Voting will always ensure one of a handful of approved party members will win the election, as seen with the Democratic party’s willingness to undemocratically run their pre-selected candidate regardless of the public’s positive opinion toward the socialist candidate, effectively being caught in the act of rigging the system. Nothing will happen without the approval of the ruling parties, who have an agreement to stop socialism from coming to power. Freedom under such a system is merely an illusion. Fortunately there are strong leftist voices taking office in the West that may help turn the tide of popular opinion against the elite, but even with their inclusion in the current political system there will never be freedom under the corruptable legislature. The only way forward is to remove power from their hands and place it into the hands of the people, and the only way to do that is to form a direct democracy that can replace the current political structure. Humanity is desperate for a new stage of political development, but the powers that be have no intention of giving up their control over the rest of mankind. They have taken hold of the means of production and hold them high above the heads of the common man, willing to allow the masses to take the fall for their economic malfeasance. The social narrative can only be changed through either taking control of the democratic system or violent revolution, but the former path offers us a brighter and more viable chance for success if the popular will can be wrestled from the hands of liberals and the right. The formation of a populist democratic front comprised of the unified masses of the left and center-left will be necessary for real change, a difficult task to accomplish given the divisions between their beliefs. By establishing a system that can effectively blend the Western respect for personal freedom and democracy with the tenets of socialism there can be intersectionality strong enough to challenge the status quo. In response to this need I have created the basic components of a system that I call anarcho-democracy, a blending of anarcho-communism, democratic socialism and regulated capitalism that allows for a voluntary transition of society towards communism and a global Union with minimal coercion compared to the current system. In this text I have outlined the basics of my proposed system and answer a few questions that will undoubtedly be raised. Regardless of your opinion about the system itself, may it give you cause to think of your own ways to better the world around you. We need philosophers and leaders. We need a new binding ideology that can create solidarity amongst the left if mankind is ever to escape from the oppressive grasps of capitalism and the state.
To the Reader
This is a selection of my essays and notes compiled in a reasonably readable format and edited for clarity. My writings are intended primarily for a leftist audience as well as humanists and those who strive for a better world. I have sought to find an arrangement that would hopefully allow for a smooth transition to freedom without driving a wedge between the already fractious segments of society, a task that is worth pursuing yet may very well be impossible given our species’ archaic habits and the historic tendency for regressive cultures to resort to violence when their worldview is challenged.
This is not the final word on the subject of anarcho-democracy, only the basic foundations and the underlying perspectives that are to be central to the system. Much about its workings and operations needs to be addressed in the future, some of which I intend to write myself and some which must be created by others according to the customs and cultures of their home nation, ideally with the core values of anarcho-democracy intact. Most of my writings are from the perspective of a United States citizen and focused on the politics of the Western world; any nation may potentially benefit from these ideas, but they will have to be adapted to the political and social environments of each region to be relevant.
I present my theories for examination and criticism, with the hopes that others may be inspired to find criticism of their own beliefs as well. The workings of anarcho-democracy are not to be set in stone, with only the ideals of freedom, democracy and non-coercion and the basics foundations of the system are mandatory. Even if this system doesn’t gain traction I hope that it may inspire others to devise better systems that will bring about unity of the left. The left needs solidarity in action and elimination of dogma if we are ever to succeed in our revolution. The black and red must unite under a new flag, bound by our common goals.
For the political moderate, I welcome you to not only read this text but to explore other leftist books as well. If you have an unbiased knowledge of socialist ideology and historical materialism then you will have a better understanding of my perspective than if you are reading this without context or with right-wing bias. The philosophical basis for this text comes from socialist thought, and I do not mince words regarding my beliefs. To reassure the reader I would like to say that this is not a call for violent revolution. Quite the contrary, this is a call for a democratic revolution, one that brings us away from the inherent violence of our current society.
To allow this book to be read quickly I have cut dozens of pages worth of material from my initial draft, understanding that the worker’s free time is precious. I have limited my rambling to a short few points, as the terrors of the world under capitalism have been so deeply ingrained in the minds of the people that bringing them up is tantamount to beating a dead horse. The majority of people who would read this text already understand the cruelties of the war on drugs, the subjugation of minority cultures, the exploitation of the developing world, the lack of police accountability, the evils of wage-slavery, the underhanded manipulation of foreign politics, etc. More texts will be compiled in the future, but it is my current intention to present the foundational ideas of anarcho-democracy so that they may be further developed according to the needs of each nation.
Readers that want to know more will benefit from reading Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin as an introduction, as it explains the philosophy behind the formation of an anarchist communist society. This is required reading for full understanding of this system. A basic knowledge of marxism is helpful as well, although it is perhaps too much to ask a working person to read the lengthy Das Kapital, one can easily read The Communist Manifesto, a much shorter and more accessible text. Understanding the historical and sociopolitical circumstances that led to the creation of socialist ideologies and states can help us place their struggles into context and show us the potential pitfalls of their beliefs so that we may learn from the past to form a more perfect future.
The philosophy of anarcho-democracy was developed with the intention of creating a humanist society that will strive to reduce the suffering of all people within it, replacing the current system that elevates the elite to power to while the masses wallow in misery and toil to provide for their lavish lifestyles. My empathy for my fellow man and my disappointment with their collective lack of compassion has brought me to despair, yet I refuse to give up hope that it may some day be a better place. Empathy is what this current system lacks, and it is what must be used to swing the pendulum leftward.
The purpose of anarcho-democracy is to provide a sliding scale between capitalism and communism that can be moved both by society as a whole and by each individual person. It is the middle ground between the brutal and sometimes necessary society of today and the beautiful and humanistic society of tomorrow, and the society that I believe will strengthen the best aspects of modern liberal society without supporting the short-sighted and corrupt flaws that would ultimately bring about its downfall. By developing a new system that can bring about a readjustment of the West’s geopolitical goals without making it vulnerable to other nation’s own goals we can provide the best incubator available for an advanced communist society. Instead of only promising a bright future for our distant and imaginary descendants we can build the foundations of communism today. We can eliminate the republican system, establish direct democracy, reform the government to serve the people, create the infrastructure for an anarchist-communist society, and protect against the recurrence of the far-right.
Anarcho-Democracy — A system of government that provides a transition from capitalism to anarchist communism by democratically manipulating the republican system to create the policies, institutions, structure and infrastructure for a peaceful and voluntary revolution. Establishes a direct democratic socialism with a selective economic system, a voluntary commune system and a shield state that protects national stability and the rights of the people. Creates multiple institutions and policies to advance public perceptions of self-governance via anarchism, including the anarcho-constitution, the Alliance of Communes and a communist economy that parallels the private economy, with the long-term goals of separating the stability of a nation from the capitalist economic system and integrating with other democratic socialist nations to create a global communist Union.
Anarcho-Constitutionalism: A means of providing rights in a transitioning anarchist society. When possible, the previous constitution and bill of rights of a nation should be retained in its entirety, only adding to the rights of citizens instead of removing rights. Cannot be used to deny a right, except for instances such as the “right to own a slave” or other coercive “right”. All groups and communes that participate in society are bound by the constitution, and any attempt to deny citizens their constitutional rights shall result in action by the state and the Alliance of Communes to correct injustice. Provides protection to the anarcho-communist system that prevents abuse of the revolutionary goals by reactionaries and authoritarians.
Selective Economic System: A voluntary system that allows individuals to determine the system of economics that they wish to live under. Citizen may freely transition between the capitalist/socialist market, the anarchist commune system, and sovereign homesteading. The individual may change their preferred system at any time and may move freely between all three. It is the hope that the majority of the population would abandon or reduce their participation in capitalism when better and more liberating options are available, allowing the capitalist economic system to be decoupled from the health of the nation and reduced to a non-essential triviality.
Political Terms as I Use Them
Left/Center/Right — Left wing will only refer to political ideologies that include transferring the means of production to the people, with little differentiating left and far-left other than the extent of allowances for private property or capital within their society. Center refers to moderates, left liberals and social democrats that wish to maintain private ownership of the means of production but pursue social programs. Right refers to conservatives, right libertarians and most capitalists that seek to preserve the status quo. Far-right includes fascists, monarchists, theocrats and autocrats and race-supremacists. This often overlaps with alt-right, which refers to neoreactionaries and fascist-adjacent ideology that seeks to replace traditional right-wing parties and norms with a modernized form of conservatism.
Anarchism — Society free from oppressive heirarchy and capitalism and guided by mutual aid. Analogous with anarcho-communism. One should read Peter Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid if they want to learn more.
Bourgeoisie — Middle class and upper-middle class, benefactors of the status quo that may include owners of the means of production. “Bourgeois” refers to the culture and lifestyles of the bourgeoisie, marked by conspicuous consumption and a focus on the pursuit of material comfort. Much of Western society has integrated bourgeouis culture and comforts into all levels of society as a result of our modern standards of living, at times blurring the line between the “culturally bourgeois” and the upper-middle class business owners and capitalists that are often associated with the word. In my writings I typically avoid referring to the capitalist class as bourgeoisie for this reason, instead simply referring to them as capitalists.
Capitalist — I generally use this term to refer to those who own the means of production or profit from the labor of others, not the cultural or ideological adherents to capitalism. Those who call themselves “capitalists” because they like markets and trade are not truly capitalists for the purposes of determining a person’s position in the status quo. There is of course some overlap in the two categories that make it useful to refer to them collectively as capitalists, so apply context to any conversation with a socialist.
Liberal — A capitalist (of the ideological variety), most typically used to refer to center-left liberals that support social justice and high taxation, but I use this as a general term for ideological capitalists who are left of conservative capitalists. Not considered part of the left-wing but instead occupying the center, with center-left liberals supportive of social democracy instead of democractic socialism. Center-right liberals are classical liberals, which refers to capitalists that support individualism yet are not always supportive of social justice.
Libertarian — Refers to ideologies that are anti-statist and anti-oppression. Classical libertarianism and social libertarianism both refer to left-wing anarchist ideologies, while right-libertarian and American-libertarian refer to anti-statist, pro-capitalist ideologies and are may feature conservative values or extend into anarcho-capitalism. Generally used in my writings to refer to broad libertarian beliefs, but I do not believe that exploitation by wage slavery is liberating to anyone but the employer and thus omit such beliefs from my standard definition of “libertarian”. “Individualist libertarian” will be used to refer to such ideologies that value freedom for the individual over the common man.
Socialism — A society where the means of production are owned by the people. Broadly used to reference any leftist ideology from anarchism to state communism. I use the marxist definition of socialism, meaning that it is not the transition from capitalism to communism as socialism itself is communism. In marxist thought capitalism is the stage before communism, itself being the transition away from feudalism. Anarcho-democracy seeks to be the transitional system towards libertarian socialism/communism that marx did not see as necessary but which most modern people see as the definition of “socialism”. I never refer to liberalism as socialism, although I sometimes describe social democratic policies as “socialistic” to give credit to their attempts at mixed economics.
Communism — A classless, moneyless, stateless society. Analogous with anarcho-communism. Socialist states that referred to themselves as communists and govern with authoritarian rule will generally be called “state communisms” to differentiate them from the true definition of a communist society.
Commune — Contrary to the typical mental image of a hippy farm or a soviet kolkhoz, the communes of anarcho-democracy are to be model villages and cities of the future, providing citizens a voluntary alternative to life under capitalist dominion and wage slavery. Each commune is to be constructed by the state with a focus on sustainability, usability walkability, community and aesthetic beauty. They are to provide for common necessities (food, healthcare, community) and means of self-attainment (education, travel, self-governance, protection from exploitation, freedom from unjust rule). Where new communes cannot be built they will be retrofitted from neighborhoods and city blocks that have democratically chosen to join the commune system, integrating seemlessly and borderlessly with non-commune areas.
Communer — Communer refers to a person who has adopted the commune system, while a communist is someone who believes in communism. A communer can be a communist and vice versa.
Private Property and Personal Property — Private property in leftist terms refers to property owned by private interests which may be used to make profit, including factories and rental homes. Personal property refers to possessions and things one uses for themselves, including personal homes, your collections and your toothbrush.
Union — An alliance of anarcho-democratic or democratic socialist states that unifies into a combined front against exploitative capitalism. The basis for an international moneyless economy and a libertarian world order.
West/Western — Refers primarily to capitalist European nations and America, mostly governed by liberal democratic republics. Typically supportive of personal freedoms. For purposes of describing the trend of nations privatizing and liberalizing their societies, some countries can be called “Westernized”, such as Japan and South Korea. My writings often are focused around Western society and have been crafted according to the American political system, yet they could apply to a Westernized Eastern nation with sufficient reorganization.
The New Society
“Competition is the law of the jungle, but cooperation is the law of civilization.”
— Peter Kropotkin
The modern Western world was built upon the principles of democracy. Egality, equality, fraternity; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: brave men and women have fought and died so that these ideals may live on. The Tree of Liberty has been soaked in the blood of tyrannts many times over in pursuit of beliefs that once only existed in the dreams of serfs and peasants. With the collective struggles of the past we have been freed from kings and lords and brought into the age of the liberal democratic republic. This has been the most widely adopted democratic system up until today, and the bourgeious meritocracy of that system was a dream compared to the brutal tyranny of feudalism, but today their dream has become a nightmare. The beauty that they suffered and died to bring us has been soiled by the governments and systems they thought would safeguard the liberty of the people. Despite their best intentions, the capitalist republic has reached an endgame where the rich have drained the population of their wealth, horded in the hands of the elite.
The descendants of patriots are not free. The lower classes are trapped in debt, working miserable jobs, under the thumb of masters and oppressors that could end their careers and lives in an instant if not obeyed. Politicians do not truly represent the people and are instead owned by capitalist interests and conservative ideologues that seek to make the masses into useful servants of the few. The voting system is rigged and gerrymandered to benefit conservatives, guaranteeing a steady voting base of single-issue voters that are pandered to and fooled into supporting the means of their own economic suppression. Anyone who has avoided this brainwashing knows that things must change if liberty is to survive.
The establishment of a new direct democratic system free from the grasp of corrupt congressmen is essential for our will to be heard. The creation of a new society where the rich are not the only ones free from oppression is a prerequisite to a peaceful planet.
For those who find fault with the current system of sociopathic exploitation there should be a means of escape. I propose a voluntary economic system that allows for multiple life paths that will suit the personalities and beliefs of as many citizens as possible. People who choose to engage in capital and private industry should be allowed to do so, but it is essential that a system of free exchange be developed for those that wish to participate in a community without the chaos of the rigged capitalist game.
A system of advanced communities organized around cooperation — called communes in this text for clarity and to avoid mincing words — must be built for the benefit of the people, removing landlords, employers and financial middlemen from their portion of society and replacing them with self-governance and community-centered production of goods, with an open exchange between communes to provide a replacement for the capitalist market.
By establishing places where no man stands above another we can remove the suffering inherent to unjust hierarchies. The commune system should provide an escape from bourgeois society by allowing individuals to rid themselves of the abstact laws and justice systems that oppress the people. We can create a new form of self-governance that will maximize freedoms of the individual while protecting the rights and lives of all citizens.
By founding a new economy based upon cooperation and mutual aid we can address the poverty and economic disparity that keeps us enslaved to the arbitrary number faith of capitalism. With the ability to separate ourselves from exploitative profiteering and wage slavery we can rid ourselves of the insecurity caused by the fluctuation of markets and the whims of petty bosses.
Although it is possible that money will never entirely disappear while individuals have free choice in the matter, there will likely be a decades-long shift away from capital as the older generations pass and workers choose to free themselves from their chains rather than tolerate petty and demanding employers. Once people have no reason to work for tyrant bosses there will be far fewer workers available to exploit, and the stranglehold over the working classes will be broken. Die-hard right-wingers and political extremists will gladly fall into debt and pay half their incomes to a landlord rather than ever be a “commie”, and no one should ever deny them that option.
Some people may wish to live off the land, responsible for no one but themselves. It is a natural reaction for some people to seek such peace, and so there should be a means to allow them to pursue off-grid living. A system that allows individuals to claim sovereign citizenship can allow for a mutually beneficial alliance between leftists and right-libertarians. They can be allowed to purchase rural land and not be bothered by the outside world. As long as their income is below the “no tax” level then they should not be required to report income, and regional/national laws should not apply to them on their own personal property as long as they abide by the requirements of the constitution and do not commit a financial, violent, endangering or terroristic crime; they must also abide by all national laws while in public areas to maintain their end of the social contract. Inexpensive government-owned land should be offered in the heartlands and in rural areas outside of towns to guarantee that this lifestyle can be achieved by common people.
For communers that wish to homestead there should be land set aside and distributed according to location and value, with plots ranging from small lots of less than a quarter acre in more valuable land to large multi-acre spaces in inexpensive heartland. They should be supported with access to commune and state supplies and provided with a means to allow them to contribute to the markets or local communities.
The reformation of society should not reduce the people’s quality of life and should not be disruptive or harmful to their daily lives. If people wish to continue in their current occupations and maintain their current lifestyles then they should be free to do so. Each person may choose to work for a boss, start a business, own land and property, and be free from confiscation of their homes or possessions. If so chosen, each citizen may engage in capital and profiteering, and individuals and independently-owned businesses are to be taxed low and fairly. By slowly transitioning society away from capital instead of rapidly there is less cause for conflict, something that the average Westerner is both frightened to see and loath to participate in.
For the market system there is to be a practical limitation on profit, utilizing measures such as a 70% tax on profits over $10 million and 90–100% tax on an individual’s profit over $100 million. However, citizens should not be required to pay taxes on the first $30,000-$100,000, to ensure that lower and middle-income citizens are not negatively affected by the systemic change; people who make around $250,000 dollars or less should not have taxes raised to gain upper-middle class support. Multiple laws should be passed protecting independently owned businesses such as artists and craftsmen, while passing multiple laws to limit the strength of corporations. Eliminate the billionaire class through taxation, passing laws and enacting treaties with other nations that limit their abilities to export wealth or hide their profits. Annihilation of oligarch/corporate control over the government and the population are essential to the security of a socialist society. Socialists should promote a subtle hostility between the fair and honest independent businesses and exploitative corporations. Finally, eliminate social security and welfare programs. All social programs, with some exceptions for public safety, will be replaced by the commune system. A negative income tax or small basic income may be implemented depending upon the studied benefits of such a system and how much it would affect the commune system, although studies should be undertaken to guarantee that this does not damage the revolution by instilling political complacency or by disrupting the potential for a society free from capitalist control. The elderly, retired, unemployed, infirm and anyone who cannot afford to survive under capitalism may voluntarily join the commune system at will. Children in the market system will be given free access to education and healthcare.
Democratization of the economy must be achieved if the working class is ever to be free of wage slavery. All corporations and multimillion dollar businesses are to remain private for 10–30 years after the founding of the business, and are to be nationalized or democratized following that period. To prevent the corporation selling off all assets before the transition, the corporation must give the employees a chance to democratically choose to buy-out a corporation at it’s estimated value before they sell or liquidate the business, with a scale that reduces the maximum sale price determind by the percentage of time left before they are legally required to democratize, with the price reduced as they get closer to the end date. Without checks and balances on the power of major corporations they will utilize their vast sums to buy propaganda and influence with the intention of re-establishing corporate dominion over politics and humanity. Following the end of their privatized period the owners should be given honors and be publicly rewarded for their societal contributions.
Natural resources and utilities should be democratized or nationalized to prevent robber barons from controlling resources that may allow them to manipulate government policy for profit. Having such a powerful entity operate within a state in our globally connected world endangers democracy and places nations in the pockets of the resource barons. Furthermore, the government can distribute resources to the communes in circumstances where the creation of a locally-produced material is not viable or when there is a gap in the commune market. The resources must belong to the people, to be used and protected as they collectively wish. Never should nature’s gift to all be controlled by the few.
The single greatest achievement of the Western democratic system is the creation of the Constitution, a document that forms the basis of modern civilization and — in the absense of a collective culture or faith — allows individuals to point to a higher authority than even the government in defense of their rights. Bills of Rights are necessary for upholding freedoms under a state, and while not always perfect it has proven to be one of the few protectors from oppressions that would otherwise be “justifiable” under autocratic and authoritarian regimes. In countries such as the United States there is a deep reverence and respect for the Constitution, with the documents being seen as nearly a form of divine rule, as it is one of the few things outside of a revolution that may stop a wannabe despot. It is a necessity in a free society that one’s protections shall be written in permanence so all people may have liberty. Everyone must be able to know their freedoms and have room for recourse when they are violated.
Even in an anarchist society a constitution can fulfill a strong role in the protection of the people. Utopia is a falsehood, at least in our day and age, therefore it will come to pass a time when one or more people in a position of power, (malicious council members, petty militiamen, corrupt representatives, busybody abolitionists, charismatic psychopaths, etc.) will overstep the limits of a libertarian socialist society and abuse their power, requiring correction by law when possible or or by force when required. Under conditions where the local population has been overruled by an upstart tyrant, potentially with backing from a portion of the community or through outside coercion, there may not be a possibility for a local solution to the problem. Here lies the benefit of a binding and enforced constitution, one that allows a state or collective force to back the word of the constitution with the rule of law and the might of arms. This constitution can be the center of a society’s ideals, the document that one looks to for guidance on how to live righteously. In effect the constitution is a holy text for a nation, amounting to the word of god in cultural and political significance.
A constitution can be written to reflect the general will of an anarchist-communist society if done intentionally. This new document, the anarcho-constitution, is the foundation of the anarcho-democratic society. Combining the anarchist will to freedom with the time-tested sanctity of the constitution, a libertarian socialist society has the chance to avoid the corruptions and evils most common to nation-states.
It is impossible to have a society where all are free and security is absolute; we sacrifice rights to live in any kind of community, even an anarchist one. However, such sacrifices can be mitigated with the Authority of the Collective Will, found in the form of a constitution and bill of rights.
To gain the maximum benefit of an anarcho-democracy there should be a transfer of all previously granted rights to the new document along with amendments that will ensure the freedom of each person from hunger, homelessness, discrimination, and the various forms of capitalist tyranny. It should provide for protection against the enemies of democracy and freedom, guaranteeing that anarcho-communism (by whatever name) is protected by the state’s force of arms. Individual human lives and rights should be considered above all else, and the constitution should reflect that by valuing the people as a whole moreso than the wealthy. Plenty of time, effort, and democratic inclusion into the creation of the anarcho-constitution will be necessary: it will be one of the most difficult documents of all time to make, and for very good reason.
Transitioning from a Democratic Republic to a Direct Democracy
There is no greater necessity than to eliminate the republican system and the corporate hold on our governments. There is no particular specialty of the congressman or the parlaimentarian that could not be done by all citizens in a direct democracy, and the age-old suggestion that it is better to be ruled by the elected because they are among the most intelligent and capable is based upon foolish optimism in the abilities of the current system to find qualified people instead those who are merely charismatic grifters, not to mention that good men do not always strive for office with the same veracity of the self-assured human filth that often occupy the seat of government. The average congressman is more idiotic and corrupt than the average man, given the propensity for any person that seeks such a lofty position to be self-righteous and perhaps narcissistic, seeing as it takes great gall for any individual to believe they have they right to rule over other men. Even worse, it is now the career path of the corporate stooge to become a politician, so as to better rig the system for themselves and their masters. We have the ability and technology to replace these swine with the equally weighted vote of every citizen.
The movement should begin with popularizing social democratic and democratic socialist ideals within the standing political system, by promoting and electing those who are sympathetic to the cause and using their momentum to change the system from within. This allows the anarcho-democratic system to utilize the progress of the current democratic socialist movement to meet its objectives. Since few Western people will appreciate or understand the benefits of socialism immediately upon suggestion, issues that are parallel to socialism should be proposed to build popular appeal in the early years of the movement. When a substantial portion of the nation are receptive to socialism then the revolutionary allies may promote direct democracy. Creating a democratic revolutionary front that can safely dismantle the republic from within and replacing it with a direct democracy without rightist hijacking is the primary goal at this stage of the revolution. Only after this has been accomplished may anarcho-democracy be fully promoted. Building the shield state and the anarcho-constitution will come next, resulting in the retiring of the republic and the start of anarcho-democratic socialism.
The dismantling of the gerrymandered voting system shall be done by computer, placing each voting region into politically neutral units that do not benefit any party or demographic. The system should be designed to easily divide regions into communes of roughly 15,000 people, with subcommunes carved from individual neighborhoods and blocks to allow for future development of the new system without constant readjustments.
Citizens are to vote by advanced electronic means designed to counter hacking, with extremely important but non-urgent issues potentially being made with paper ballots. Citizens should have a constant alert system for upcoming votes on major issues and those relevant to them personally, with an app-like quality that allows people to vote on issues on a regular (even daily) basis.
But what of the fools and the careless, are they supposed to run our lives? What if people remain uneducated, refusing to vote rationally and instead vote along party lines? What about the masses of people who will grow bored or frustrated at the responsibility and abandon their votes? What of internet propaganda? These are indeed issues that need addressing.
The fools already run our world, controlled by masters that benefit from their foolishness. The era of weaponized outrage is upon us, with media shills supporting the status quo in exchange for massive paychecks and political provacateurs manipulating our bitter and fearful neighbors, milking money from the political game. The American system itself is designed to exploit that, with the voting power weighted towards rural states and districts gerrymandered to give conservatives a stranglehold over the population. If we count the popular votes from past presidential elections then you will see that the Democratic candidate would have beaten the Republican candidates if the system was truly an unrigged democracy. It is with this knowledge in mind that I remind all who are cynical of democracy that the current America Congress has been filled with charlatans that are hated by almost everyone, with scarcely a soul among them that does not take corporate money or whore themselves for political power. With a direct democracy the general goodness of man would shine through far brighter than under the intentionally broken electoral system.
As for those who choose not to vote, that should be their right. One should not be forced to participate in politics, as it is simply not for everyone. However, issues of importance must be advertised on all media. People will self-organize to push for issues that matter most to them, and groups will form to motivate voters and inform people of key issues. As all votes will be done through the same forums they will be impossible to slip by, and any law can be rescinded if it become a popular issue. Some people will vote constantly and on every issue, and some people will simply turn off their notifications and wish to be left alone. And in this way all people can be content, not simply the political/economic elite and the blissfully ignorant.
The most pressing issue will be foreign influence and targeted propaganda. While it is hard to corrupt and bribe an entire nation there can still be falsehoods aimed at creating strife. Fake news and internet trolls will work to destroy a new socialist nation by spurring reactionary violence, with the hopes of starting a civil war. While political opinions cannot be censored, fake news created by foreign agencies and extremists groups should be flagged and dealt with by cyber security organizations developed to root out hostile actions against the people. To enhance voting security, quantum computing, blockchain or other advanced form of secure computing technologies should be adopted, using studies and real-world examples to choose the new system.
Suggested Order of Operations
Below is a suggestion for the general step-by-step process of the development of an anarcho-democratic nation. Note that this is by no means an perfect order of operations, meaning that changes will need to be made as future events develop.
Democratically further progressive goals, place political allies into parliamentary system and begin popularizing socialist causes. Promote direct democracy and workplace democracy. Utilize patriotic aesthetics to establish connections to moderates and generate goodwill. Criticize systemic flaws. Admonish opponents for anti-democratic behavior, expose the inhumanity and criminality of the system they uphold.
Weaken the parliamentary system by popularizing direct democracy, using anti-corruption and pro-social legislation to build public support and create dissent against the oppressor regime.
Create the beginnings of a democratic socialist system, with the emphasis on plans for a future anarcho-democratic society advertised in a manner consistent with the popular opinion, using historical figures (presidents, founding fathers, etc.) and major historic events (New Deal, Revolutionary War, Civil War and so on) to demonstrate left-libertarian compatibility with patriotism and promote its popularization. Promote hostility between small businesses and large corporations. Back small businesses with lower taxes while raising taxes on large corporations.
Begin “New New Deal” to build infrastructure. Creating jobs akin to the Civilian Conservation Corp to assist in the construction of railways, bridges, factories, parks, communities and various clean energy sources for domestic use and export. This time period will be critical to the growth of the New Society as many of the first communes, suburban villages and modified cities will be constructed during this period or in the days to following the construction of the shield state.
Nationalize natural resource production, the military industrial complex and healthcare. Other industries that have harmed the public welfare may also be subject to nationalization.
Amend or update the Constitution and Bill of Rights, retaining all previous rights and ensuring freedom from capitalist exploitation. Add language to defend the commune system and promote a path toward self-governance. Adjust the documents to enable direct democracy, noting that the world of our forefathers could not technologically handle this freedom but that the time has come for our society to move forward.
Eliminate the parliamentary/congressional system with public support. Replace it with a direct democratic system.
Convert the republican government into a shield state to maintain the transition from democratic socialism toward anarchist-communism. The shift should be subtle, preserving as many previous structures as possible while altering them to fit the new system.
Organize the Alliance of Communes after several communes have been developed and populated.
Maintain current international relationships when possible, refusing aggression in distant lands and denying the desire to dominate others. Distance ourselves from alliances that are not in our best interests.
Encourage other nations to emulate our ideals and promote world peace in a manner that does not endanger us geopolitically.
Encourage a voluntary shift towards a socialist society by effectively promoting communal lifestyles, demonstrating to the people a higher quality of life than what was offered under capitalism.
Work towards the creation of a global Union that unites all peoples and nations, never losing sight of this goal. Expect this to take a long time.
After the global Union is formed and the threat of regressive rightist revolution has passed the people may vote to eliminate the shield states and organize under the Alliance of Communes or other voluntary anarchist alliance, fully achieving communism.
The Shield State
In the absense of order there is always a struggle for power. Given the divisions in our cultures and our species’ natural predisposition towards tribalism, Western nations have required states to provide a monololy on violence to maintain the solidarity of their nations. While the governments themselves are often responsible for many of these divisions themselves, the ones caused by religions, race, ideology and so on are deeply ingrained in segments of society by way of their own collective narratives. In short, there is a level of vitriolic division in the West that would prevent a stateless society from succeeding peacefully in the current era. There is no magic button that could be pressed to fix this problem, and it may never go away when there are too many people who stand to profit off our hatred waiting to stoke the fires. It is with this deficiency of the human spirit in mind that I must conclude the liberal republican democracy is both responsible for divisions in society and responsible for keeping society held together, keeping poors and undesirables downtrodden while attempting to prevent the regressive mobs (created by rightist incitements) from publicly lynching whatever cultural enemy they may hate the most that particular day. Without a state or capitalism most of the reasons we have for our divisions today will eventually fade, but instead of the hatred being wiped out for good we will see that those reasons were actually public justifications for mere prejudice, something that will take much longer to eliminate than any political system.
Socialists must also take into account the natural urge of rightists to follow a hierarchy, something that the modern left has mostly cast aside as archaic and harmful to human progress. This is a major reason for the divisions within the left that are mostly invisible amongst the right: anarchists, democratic socialists and marxist-leninists are divided to the point of near obsoletion, whereas conservatives, corporatists, and right-libertarians can ideologically blend with every form of nationalist and white supremacist without dividing the vote. Without the state as an intermediary for their social aggressions these same regressives would enact their will by force of arms, especially against the anarchists and communists they have been taught to hate and fear, and likely against the liberals that they would rather not have to listen to and the minorities they would rather disappear. Under these threats a utopian anarcho-communist society becomes impossible, requiring a more practical and less optimistic path to liberation. Libertarian socialists must find a means to account for the primitive behaviors of our fellow humans when planning a revolution. Without a peacekeeper our foolish world will fall back into the hands of strongmen and morons, creating the necessity for an entity that can maintain the monopoly of violence until regressive cultures have been modernized. In short, a state that seeks to maintain order during a social transition is necessary to prevent the right from dragging us back into the dark ages. A state that guards against the base wickedness of our modern civilization can, ironically, be the means of protecting the anarchist-communist movement. I dub this the “shield state” because it provides a progressive society a defense against the hostility inherent in our world.
There is also the danger of foreign manipulation and invasion, a threat that only a fool would overlook. It is the will of those who would see the West be destroyed for us to be left divided and without organization. Make no mistake, there are enemies to the West that do not care about the freedom of our peoples. They would see us dead or impoverished if given the chance, and there are many who would love to grab a slice of our territories if they felt that they would face no repurcussions for doing so. An organization that is capable of fighting against a geopolitical opponent is necessary for the long-term freedom of a people, and the refusal to acknowledge this is the most dangerously childish result of solipsistic political thought. The defeat of one state is not the defeat of all states, and if only one is destroyed then there will be another to take its place, likely coming from halfway across the globe. A shield state fulfills the necessary requirements for defense against geopolitical rivals, keeping the nation and its citizens free from international violence by preventing the shattering of the Union.
The shield state is a replacement for the republican state, created to prevent the personal interests of politicians from affecting the lives of the people by removing them from the state and replacing it with a semi-neutral, goal-oriented protector state. Guided by the direct democratic will of the people and removed from partisan politics, the shield state exists to protect the population from violence and violations of their constitutional rights, maintains and controls national finances while allowing for private industry, supports the common welfare by providing for the commune system, and creates the conditions for a voluntary transition from state-rule to self-rule.
The power of the nation shall be divided into two aspects, one that maintains the structure of the old capitalist society, and one that builds the foundation of a new world free from drudgery and poverty. The former is not preferred, but it is understood to hold value in the modern world for purposes of international trade and security, thus making it a necessary evil when engaging nations abroad. Just as importantly, the capitalists living through the period of transition should not have their lives upturned like the kulaks of Russia, but instead deserve the same respect as any other human. The shield state will provide the conditions for a slow transition, likely over multiple generations.
Operating as a helper rather than an oppressor, the shield state provides a vent for social aggression by ensuring that lives are not destroyed by capitalism’s carelessness. Likewise, the state would guarantee safety and protection to capitalists by providing them with a more tradition money-based economic system — complete with property ownership — in which they can start businesses and corporations, with some limitations enacted to protect society from oligarchs and robber barrons.
The state itself is not and cannot be an anarchist structure, but instead it enables the environmental conditions to allow anarcho-communism to thrive. Under capitalism, money is required to obtain land and build communities, which ensures that the poor have no means of escaping their predicament without outside support. No substantial community can be built without an amount of money far beyond the savings of your average anarchist, especially on a scale large enough to create meaningful societal change. Even co-op businesses are held to the financial standards of capitalists, requiring profit and toil for the sake of appeasing financial masters. There is simply no escape from the need for money. The governments of today have guaranteed this cruelty at the behest of their corporate constituents, using guns and tear gas to uphold their will. To disagree with their order is to invite poverty and prison. Resistance is destroyed by denying basic human necessities. Mammon’s grasp on our lives is thorough and absolute.
In contrast to a capitalist government’s enforcement of individual struggle, the shield state provides for the transition away from this system of exploitation by building the communes and infrastructure that grassroots socialism has struggled to find a means to develop. Villages and cities can be created with intention and efficiency with the large coffers of an entire nation. Once these communities have been built and the occupants have moved in and been integrated, the shield state will give the region autonomous rule.
The community is left to its own devices, save for a few exceptions. Conflict and violence between communes will be mediated by the state and the Alliance of Communes. If a commune engages in money exchange then profit made by the commune will taxed at 50%. Violent crimes that are unresolved by the community will be investigated by government agents. In an instance where gangs, cartels, terrorist cells, authoritarian or anti-communist groups have attempted to occupy a free zone, the government can intervene to maintain a society free from opportunistic coercion. Once an anarchist commune denies the tenents of anarchism, then the state may intervene to renew the rights of the people. In this way the revolution may be protected from Machiavellian manipulation and the overthrow of its ideals.
For international representation there should be a “head of state” that will fill the role of the president. Contrary to their modern equivalent, however, this individual is only allowed to express the popular democratic will of the people and cannot control or affect the legislative system personally. The presidency must be naturally short to prevent the people from becoming too comfortable with the arrangment, with votes taken every 1–2 years and with a term limit of roughly 8 years in office allowed throughout their lives. They are to act as the face and voice of the nation, being the servant and slave of the people’s will, having more in common with a celebrity than a modern president. They must also be the technical “commander in chief” of the military, authorized to reign in a corrupt or reactionary unit. To allow for the quick response of an armed force under a direct democracy the president may also be allowed to send peacekeepers to a foreign region for no more than 30 days before a national vote must be held on the continuance of intervention, after which time it should be voted upon regularly each month; at any time the decision may be brought into question by the request of a popular petition. Upon any national declaration of martial law, upon the request of a popular petition, upon the use of the military, or upon the denial of a popular vote on any policy, the presidency must come into an immediate vote from amongst the last election’s candidates, and it must be repeated every day (or week, if deemed more practical) until the end of martial law or the end of the presidency. The nation could theoretically elect a popular celebrity or a respected scientist and not be at risk of danger any more than with they are now with their current stock of elected officials, but only if the rules of the office are changed to eliminate much of their free will in regards to national and international policy. If a president has any more power or influence over the people than that given them by their charisma then they have been given to much power for the prosperity of a free society.
As long as there are nations the world can never be completely free. Given time the state may be voted out of power, leaving the Alliance of Communes and voluntary social spheres to organize society.
But when would this happen? I cannot say, as that will be a choice for the people of the future. As a recommendation, the anarcho-constitution must bind the Union until the socialist conversion of all major capitalist nations or until the complete global shift away from authoritarian and militaristic nation-states has been achieved. If hostile and expansionary nations still exist they will move to dominate the remnants of newly dissolved nation, either through war or manipulation of societal divisions. This long-term timeframe is a major reason for why the anarchist commune system should be implemented during the transition to communism and not after the global success of socialism, as seen in marxist-leninism. This is to give structure, form, and social credibility to communist society until it can be popularized and spread internationally.
When the requisite requirements for the vote have been met and the public has chosen to place the subject of final liberation on the ballot, it must be given a month of steady and accessible news announcements to alert all people. The vote should be international, requiring all nations in the Union to first have a successful popular vote within their own nations before it can be taken between all members of the union. If a vote results in the dissolution of the state and Union then there should be a full year, 365 days, before the dissolution takes effect, with the people given a monthly chance to cease the dissolution of the state through a revote. This is intended to allow for time for it to be determined if there are nefarious and nationally endangering reasons behind the vote, such a a hostile organization’s attempt to cause transitional chaos to further their geopolitical goals.
Perhaps our descendants will be comfortable with a partially socialist society, or maybe they will one day seek to combine states across nations to form a global federation. One could foresee a state existing far into the future, carrying our people across the stars. Or maybe it will be gone in a generation after a short burst of political turmoil, who could truly know? Regardless, the will of the people will be enacted and their governance will be their own. They will absorb all the risks associated with this as well, meaning that we must never cease to educate and inform our people before the Machiavellian and the ignorant fill their heads with division and lies.
To protect against hasty decisions and voter regret, once the state has been dissolved it can be revived again by democratic vote or by a vote in the Alliance of Communes. Care should be taken to prevent emergency powers from enabling the state to destroy the revolution, with checks and balances placed in the hands of the citizens and the Alliance of Communes.
The Commune System
The central aspect of anarcho-democracy, the commune system, is the beginning of the “anarcho-” portion of the ideology. By establishing state-sanctioned and state-built villages that are capable of efficiently maintaining the social welfare of the citizenry, the tenets of anarchism and communism can be solidified within the public perception as institutions similar to Social Security, eventually leading to widespread adoption of left-libertarian ideals. The communes are not only efficient living spaces, they are potentially the greatest means of achieving socialism without first having to eliminate the capitalist system.
Establishing localized self-governance is a major goal for anarcho-democracy, with the state building the foundations for a civilization that must eventually live without it. The powers of the state over the communes will be limited primarily to the protection of the lives and rights of all citizens and control over capital. Most importantly, the shield state must ensure that all communes abide by the constitution and are in accordance with “standards of anarchism” that maintain rule in the hands of the citizens and protect against the expansion of capitalism. Communers are free from laws within the boundaries of the commune, whether they be city, county, state or national laws, thereby providing an ecosystem for anarchism within the protective borders of the shield state.
The nation should be districted so as to allow for easy transition to the commune system, drawing out communes of 15,000 citizens with wards of roughly 150. Computers should be used to draw each district, with suburbs and city blocks divided in ways that would maintain the original structure of the community when possible. New wards will also be constructed around these numbers but will inevitably be more adequate for community living than most suburbs. The new communes should be built to draw people in, with individual wards made to appeal people of differing lifestyles and personalities. They must be capable of being voluntarily organized into compatible social groups, which can themselves be divided into subcommunes and microcommunes to provide a sense of community to those living in the area. Special attention should be made to assure groups of differing opinions and beliefs are comfortably accomodated and integrated sufficiently into the commune in a manner that does not harm them or others.
The infrastructures of the communes are to be built by the state and crafted with quality, durability, usability and aesthetics in mind. They should be made with multiple designs to prevent perfect uniformity and staleness, with necessary measures taken to assure that all needs are met and that there is plenty of space for living, manufacturing and communal “businesses” such as restaurants and hobby shops. Centers of education should be established, such as colleges, technical schools and worker’s guilds. Captains of industry should be encouraged to adopt communal lifestyles in exchange for workspace and occupations as idea generators and project leaders in their field of expertise, always subject to democratic oversight yet given the freedoms and benefits of all communers.
The funds used to construct the initial communes should come from multiple sources, with the current socio-economic situations of each nation and region taken into account. Income should in part come from taxing business owners and corporations and using profits from nationalized industries. Costs can be reduced with voluntary socialist labor and automation. Maintenance of the commune can be left to the communes themselves or organized on a national/regional scale.
To aid in the development of efficient communities, a percentage of the available space in a commune should be kept available for skilled workers such as doctors and engineers, as well as leaving room for a percentage of to-be-trained individuals. Communers from one commune should be able to use resources or see medical professionals in other communes, to cover travelers and to fulfill needs that cannot be met at home. All initial communers should be required to be educated in different forms of political theory and historical class struggle, with special attention paid to mutual aid and cooperation. Insincere applicants should be turned away.
The hatred of one’s occupation in the modern capitalist system is primarily a matter of a) poor management, b) low-quality work, c) meaningless work, d) the lack of flexibility in one’s work, e) the lack of variety in one’s work, f) the lack of choice in one’s occupation due to financial requirements. The communes must give a new meaning to work if we are to free ourselves from toil. Kropotkin himself had many interesting suggestions for the reorganization of work, but an update to his ideals is needed to better suit the personalities and preferred lifestyles of modern Westerners and to account for advances in technology. The elimination of the 40+ hour workweek is mandatory for all but those who enjoy such hours, to be replaced with a system of voluntary labor. One should be encouraged to have several occupations as a matter of social responsibility, taking part in each job for only a few hours for a few day each week so as to prevent boredom in one field and to allow others a chance to enjoy a particular occupation as well. Some specialists and project leaders will likely have to commit more time to a particular field than a non-leading worker would, although these positions can be rotated as well to ensure everyone has adequate free time.
Let us imagine a person who chooses to work 15 hours per week with three hours applied to five jobs, one or two jobs in skilled fields, one or two in factory/agricultural/labor work, and one as a member of the militia or civil service. This person may choose his own hours when possible, and they are not restricted to those jobs permanently and may end or switch fields when desired. They are not even bound to the hours, number of jobs or type of jobs, as one person may be more fulfilled with 10 hours a week with a couple jobs as they primarily value their free time, or they may prefer 60 hours with six jobs as they value their productivity and the respect such contribution gives them. Even if each communer only performed 5 hours of work each week then a singular ward can produce 750 hours of labor each day, 5250 each week, 21,000 each month, and 252,000 each year, and with this modest participation they would have 25,200,000 hours of labor from a single commune’s yearly work output. Even at half this number there should be enough labor to provide food, clothing and many basic necessities for the population: should they find their output unsatisfactory then a portion of the population would undoubtedly labor more often and more fervently if they can see personal benefit in doing so, as many do now under the capitalist system.
While there should be special protections for the disabled, ill and elderly, the communes must have a means of purging the system of manipulators that harm the community. This necessity dates back to Athenian “ostracism”, where they would exile troublesome members of the community for 10 years to preserve the sanctity of their democracy. The members of a ward may banish a communer from the ward by consensus, not only for their attitudes and behaviors, but also if the individual refuses to participate and uses the commune to support their laziness. It is hoped that in such a society where a person can pursue whatever occupations they want and can learn most any craft or skill, there is bound to be a field or two that can both entertain them and fill a needed role.
The establishment of factories, offices and places of production can be guided by the will of the people, with each commune to collectively decide what projects their community wishes to undertake through a series of votes. Each community should automatically be given the means of producing food through advanced indoor growing facilities that limit the physical toll taken to grow and harvest while maximizing the potential output. While the citizens will likely be entertained by producing luxuries such as alcohol and video games, it will be essential that the communes also think wisely about producing what items may be needed across the Alliance of Communes and devote time to producing more necessary items to guarantee a system that is self-sustaining and nonreliant upon capital. Communes that operate mines, metal foundries, forestries and other difficult yet necessary industries should be automated to the highest possible degree, removing the need for human labor as soon as the technologies are sufficient.
The mode of production in each commune industry should be determined by the people that live in those communities and work in those industries, as no single method would work best for all of them. A factory that produces necessities may wish to operate as syndicalists, with horizontal hierarchies and democratic decision making at all levels. In craft industries there may be a need for trained and skilled artisans to teach other workers, therefore a guild that elects their master workers to teach and train novice apprentices may be preferable. Some industries may require scientific precision and professionalism to ensure quality and safety, while others may benefit greatly from relaxing attitudes and expectations to make the work fun rather than tedious. What is for sure is that respect for other workers must be mandatory, and even if they are “under” a “superior” they should not be treated like wage-slaves or lessers as they often are under capitalist bosses, instead being treated as comrades and equals.
Communes are expected to choose trading partners with other communes to exchange luxuries and other resources that cannot realistically be produced within a single community. The state is to develop a system of open access for all communes to trade according to their needs. Communal logistics experts and elected officials can aid in acquiring the proper quantities of needed materials and items, compiled from the personal orders of the communers or chosen by popular selection to be stocked in commune stores (such as toothbrushes, bicycles, televisions, etc. that are not produced locally) and expert-level equipment can be chosen by professional organizations within the communes (medical or factory equipment, for example). Individuals can also order items from an online catalogue that is operated by the Alliance of Communes, designed to be similar to online shopping of today. While each commune should have advanced techniques for farming, either in greenhouses, towers or in some other technical method, it is too optimistic to assume every commune can sustain themselves at all times and make every needed material for themselves, so those goods which cannot be traded easily or are needed by all (medicine, machinery, clean energy) may partially or in full be developed and distributed by the state or Alliance of Communes, with some part of the excess being sold on the market (even the international market) for national funds.
Communes themselves can sell a portion of their goods on the capitalist market with the permission of the workers, with half of the profits benefiting the community and the rest distributed to the state to cover economic gaps that may not be filled by the non-money market or that may be used to acquire luxuries from innovative private industries and then distributed to the communes. To prevent capitalism from developing within a commune, there should be a maximum limit to their savings before the money is redistributed to the other communes via a fund controlled by the Alliance of Communes.
A portion of the profits earned should go into a fund that will be distributed to communers for when they financially interact with capitalists in their restaurants and stores, and for when the communers takes vacations and trips outside the community. Communers should be generally restricted from selling to other communers, and hiring employees while in a commune should disqualify individuals from the commune system.
Individual communers may earn up to $10,000-$15,000 a year without filing taxes, with all profits over that point transferred to the commune. This includes a $100-$500 dollar monthly stipend that allows communers to engage in society at large, to eat in restaurants and buy small luxuries outside the commune. Making money in a commune should not be banned, but using the commune system to hide an income or an illicit business from the view of the state must be removed from the system and the commune.
Human beings naturally gravitate towards small friends groups, reminiscent of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The lack of friendly interpersonal communities has created a disconnect from our tribal natures, which in turn manifests as depression, social anxiety and antisocial or asocial behavior. The forces of competitive capitalism and a fetishization for complete individualism has weakened our social cohesion and left us with a society that encourages and benefits psychopathy at the expense of the public welfare.
For this reason we must allow for the gathering of social groups based upon personality and lifestyle to fulfill the natural desire to have friendships and meaningful relationships. Within each commune should be wards with devoted subsections designed to closely integrate likeminded people that would prefer the company of similar people. While no one should be forced into a subtype, people can willingly choose to integrate with people who they would prefer to live with. Personality type, religion, race, ideology, hobbies and so on can be taken into account when one is searching for a community. As tough as it is for a socialist to accept that some modern people choose to harbor racism, it may be beneficial in the long run to accept a small percentage of wards to be based around different cultures to maximize integration of socialism within cultures that would otherwise be adverse to adopting it, while at the same time allowing for a multicultural community to surround them and slowly soften negative perceptions between cultures with a voluntary integration. It is hopeful that future generations will see no reason to maintain divisions and will themselves choose to integrate with society at large in a manner comfortable to everyone but the most die-hard extremists who would likely not have adopted the commune system in the first place. Of course, society should not allow an entire commune to be divided upon race, with no more than a handful of racially/culturally focused wards allowed to form in each commune. Doing so may potentially create the beginnings of a race-supremacist society that will be able to break away from their neighbors or hijack the revolution, with or without violence.
Communers may also choose to live in the homes they already own and still adopt the new system, free to live where they want yet be allowed to have social protections and claim communal benefits. They may utilize resources from state stores, with the opportunity to use facilities at nearby communes. Requirements for work and community involvement to maintain their communer status may be required for a period of time to determine that the communer is genuinely willing to accept communism. A home exchange system should be developed to allow communers to trade homes to live in regions more suitable to their personal tastes. Small restaurants and shops can open in individual homes and garages, and the commune or state can run community stores that sell to capitalists and distribute to communers. This can breath new life into our suburbs.
The mode of production in each commune industry should be determined by the people that live in those communities and work in those industries, with no single system being the best for all of them. A factory that produces necessities may wish to operate as anarcho-syndicalists, with democracy at every stage of production and perfectly even hierarchies. In a crafts industry there will be a need for skilled artisans to train other workers in their craft, therefore a guild that elects master workers to teach and train novice apprentices may be preferable. Some industries may require scientific precision and mandatory professionalism to ensure quality and safety, while others may benefit greatly from having laid-back attitudes and lowered expectations to make the work fun rather than grueling. What is for sure is that a common respect for other workers must be mandatory, and even if they are “under” a “superior” they should not be treated like wage-slaves or lessers as they often are under capitalist bosses, instead being treated as comrades and equals.
There will be some essential industries that will not easily fit it into the clean and environmentally friendly communes, leaving gaps in the economy that must be filled. For this purpose the state may develop phalansteries, named after [write]. These are factory-communes that are not intended to be permanently occupied but serve as temporary homes for voluntary workers. By serving in a phalanstery for a period of time a citizen may acquire a small non-taxable income, paid vacations, community honors, and so on. I am hesitant to recommend that communers receive access to luxury items through this system, as it would eventually be manipulated to force citizens into a system similar to capitalism and thereby ruin the liberating intentions of the anarcho-democracy. I highly recommend other alternatives, as even restricting the luxuries one acquired by labor to vehicles, vacation homes, jewelry or other rare items will may create a slippery slope that leaves people living in states of near poverty unless they labor for their every basic comfort, or God forbid they get the ridiculous idea of using labor notes and merely go full circle back to a money system. There may be need for a basic requirement that first-month communers undergoing community training must perform a short term of labor at a phalanstery (two weeks would be sufficient considering the millions that may choose to adopt such a system over time) to keep the industries afloat until they can be further automated. Without the phalansteries the anarcho-democratic system could not be entirely free of capitalism without placing polluting and dangerous industries inside the communes.
Each phalanstery should be built with a moderate level of beauty and have several facilities for entertainment that are stocked by volunteers. Private businesses and restaurants should be encouraged to build nearby to create entertainment centers around the working facilities, giving the workers plenty to do in their free time. Even done properly the phalansteries can become popular vacation destinations in and of themselves, bringing in people from across the globe on work-vacations to the area. Foreign non-citizen workers can be given jobs legally in the phalanstery and be allowed to work for their family’s accommodations and food, and given wages to encourage local spending; in this way foreign immigrants may participate in the humane commune system rather than be exploited by cruel bosses that pay them poverty wages.
Farmers that adopt the commune system may stay on their property and continue farming if so desired, and will be supplied with the resources needed to maintain their farms. If they no longer wish to farm then the land may be taken for use by the communes or made into state agricultural phalansteries.
To heal our planet of the environmental devastation caused by mankind we must reduce our ecological footprint. The global scientific community has determined that unless we significantly alter our lifestyles Earth will experience crippling damage from climate change, and we have very likely already reached the point of no return and are now left to limit the chaos. Our current communities are unfit to meet this demand, and even the communes I have proposed may require more than non-zero emissions for their continuation. With this in mind we must develop some communities with a primary motivation to limit their environmental impact to extreme levels. This will hopefully coincide with the mass abandonment of the suburbs and the shrinking of the cities, leaving urban decay that can be deconstructed and returned to a natural state or rewilded and left abandoned for nature to overgrow and future generations to explore and study. In the center of these wild areas will be new communities called Forestuaries (for-est-u-aries), small communes that may be the model for future rural living. These communities will be responsible for maintaining the local environment.
Forestuaries, like standard communes, would come in many different forms. Some would be similar to traditional villages that run on green technologies, or they would be compact micro-suburbs built with tiny homes, while others can be neo-primitive villages that will provide space for various primitivist philosophies while retaining their access to medicine and emergency supplies. There could be an entire community built within a singular skyscraper or a series of scattered towers that rise from the forests, perhaps surrounded by tiny hamlets, thorps and farms. Private industry forestuaries must be limited, as their material requirements are often incompatible with the ecological and infrastructure restrictions such a community would have.
The forestuaries are similar to the communes in most ways and are connected to the communist market system. Other than tighter restrictions on energy usage and environmental impact the forestuaries will have the same underlying structure as the communes. With time the line between commune and forestuary may be blurred, but that would certainly be in the distant future.
Experimental communes should also be built to develop the communities of the future. Small zones with changes to infrastructure, living spaces, social life and more should be built with the intention of finding out what works and what doesn’t. We must always remember that what works for some people won’t work for others.
Without encouraging paranoia and militarism, I must recommend that the communes be in some way defensible. While the modern developed world is mostly safe from violence and chaos, that does not mean that it will be safe forever. If the communes have defensive structures built into them over time, perhaps even perimeter walls and bunkers in some circumstances, they will be able to more adequately withstand whatever horrors the future may bring. We must consider the possibility of nuclear warfare, foreign invasion, fascist revolutions, roving post-apocalyptic gangs and the multitudes of unthinkable violences and catastrophe that we cannot reasonably predict. If defenses are built into the aesthetics and functionality of the communes then they can become architectural art for the citizens of today and maybe serve as a safeguard for the citizens of tomorrow. It may be impractical, unfeasible, and unpopular to rebuild every city into a modern castle, but each community should take defensive precautions to limit danger from unexpected events.
Anarcho-democratic communes can take many forms. There would be communes built from retrofitted neighborhoods that are occupied by citizens that have elected to join the commune system, and they may look like any city or neighborhood already built today but with added facilities and converted infrastructure. Communes that are built close together or that do not have land/people/industries/etc. to be self-sufficient will be expected to cooperate with their neighbors for resource production, meaning that a single city can consist of several communes that all work together and integrate industries while still having semi-sustainable self-governing communities.
Other communes will be built from the ground up for maximum efficiency and quality, with potentially no end to the styles and designs that would be used. Architects, artists, sociologists, psychologist and variety of industry professionals can be responsible for designing models for communities that can either chosen by vote by the locals and/or future occupants or they can be built according to styles that fit a particular bioregion or cultural aesthetic local to the area.
Many modern industries under capitalism overproduce items for the sake of filling shelves with a variety of worthless and eventually unused items, something which must not be repeated under socialism. For instance, the communes themselves need not have fast-fashion factories pumping out clothes that eventually will be thrown away unworn. As an alternative, a variety of fabrics can be made and shipped between the communes to be used by trained tailors from the local guilds, where a communer may select from thousands of designs and customization options, with the understanding that they will keep their wardrobe size moderate and wear their clothes at least until they have grown worn with age. In this way we can rid the world of millions of tons of fabric waste brought about by excessive overproduction.
Food can be cooked in massive quantities in local communal restaurants and cafeterias, limiting food waste and packaging that would be used if people were required to cook at home to save money. By growing much of the food locally and organically there can be an even greater reduction in energy expenditure and pollution. For foods that are produced for home consumption and long-distance distribution there can be packaging made from organic environmentally neutral packaging to reduce plastic usage.
Furniture is typically capable of being crafted by local craftsmen, meaning that a community can import lumber and supply a vast quantity of comfortable furnishings to the community without having to ship heavy items across the nation. Bed frames, tables, chairs and so one would only need to be shipped short distances in most circumstances.
Novelty items will be limited in their production before advanced automation as it will be hard to convince a community to waste significant amounts of their time on making useless junk. While the materially obsessed and capitalist bosses will decry this as an economic failing, it is the natural result of having a society free from capitalist exploitation and is a beautiful thing. Only the best quality items will be made, with the production of miscellanea, toys and luxuries kept to what is popular enough for people to want to build them of their own free will. As factories can produce different items each day of the week or at other intervals you can have a single factory be responsible for manufacturing several different items instead of being limited to a single purpose, meaning that the factories will not need to spend all year making toothbrushes that may never be used.
Communes are not meant to be reclusive compounds shut away from society but are instead intended to be fully integrated into civilization. Ideally there would be little to indicate that you have crossed over from a state-controlled area to commune-controlled area to except for maybe a sign or other designated marker. Within cities there should be no borders between the capitalist and communists, but rather a free mingling that is not stifled by economic status. Communers are not forbidden from spending money at a capitalist establishment and should not be ashamed for partaking in any aspect of a truly free society. Members of the capitalist system should be given the right to ended commune stores and pay fair prices for the goods, thereby keeping them from being restricted from society as well.
This integration does not mean that unwanted capitalists must be accepted in the neighborhood wards and distant forestuaries, as private entities have rights to privacy and will often place guards at gates to keep people out in the same manner. The wards have a right to place guards at their entrances and deny access to non-communers and non-residents as long as they do not deny access to a throughway or a city street in a manner that would block free travel through or past the area.
Communes can of course block access in case of emergencies and are allowed to respond to threats of terrorism with security lockdowns that prevent entry by outsiders. The risk of right-wing terrorism will unfortunately be very high in some instances and will likely require increases in defensive measures from time to time. What must not happen is a physical division of our cities as this will play into the hands of counter-revolutionaries that will seek to divide the population.
The commune system will be one of the biggest projects known to man and would likely cost trillions of dollars to construct and maintain. This should not be seen as an issue as the commune system will not only eventually eliminate the need for money, but it will cause growth in many sectors of the economy such as green energy and construction and will also eventually be able to pay for itself during the early stages of the transition. With the creation of billions or trillions of dollars of advanced industry the nation will experience an economic boom that will raise them to them top of the world economy in ways similar to China’s rise via industrial power. While the commune system is intended to supply the communes first and foremost, automation and sustainable practices will allow excess materials to be made inexpensively and sold across the world to gain additional funds and needed resources.
-------In the event of an economic downturn during this transition, emergency measures can be taken to guarantee every home is filled and that banks and debtors cannot claim them. Farm fields, factories and construction materials can be temporarily claimed by the state (their owners given a compensation) and brought under the state phalanstery system, staffed with migrant workers and volunteer communers. --------
Alliance of Communes
Any state — even a democratic state — is capable of being used as a tool of oppression. It is only due to states’ overpowering systems of coercive violence and the general lack of public knowledge about anarchism/communism that it becomes useful for revolutionaries to overcome the system from within. An organization of collectives or an Alliance of Communes should form alongside each shield state, with the eventual goal of having the collective dissolve the state or relegate it to a background position or a forgotten relic.
--------Comprised of representatives from each commune, the Alliance of Communes is to organize trade between themselves, provide for the protection of life and rights in all communes, and maintain the welfare of the people. The people themselves may choose to belong to multiple community alliances, but the state is not required to provide support or material to any alliance other than the primary Alliance of Communes. The state may also prevent organizations within its area of influence from allying or trading with foreign nations or groups to prevent geopolitical disaster.--------
Each representative is to be selected by a vote within each commune, and they are subject to immediate recall. Each representative may be democratically forced by their commune to vote in particular manners, and a single instance of abuse of power is grounds for a revote. Topics up for vote are limited to economy, defense, and material welfare, and issues are limited by the Constitution. Since the number of communes may range in the thousands, regular representatives votes may be performed digitally. Emergency issues that require immediate attention may draw from among the commune representatives a single individual that may represent that region as if it were a unit, and each region may send a representative to a national convention. The Alliance of Communes should never vote on an issue that could be effectively chosen through direct democracy.
Voluntary militia and regional defense should be organized for defense of the Union, operating concurrently with the shield state military. Their forces should replace the function of national guard in liberated regions when possible.
The Alliance of Communes should be constructed at the same time as the commune system, allowing the communes to develop the first stages of a post-government society. By enshrining the Alliance of Communes in the constitution the commune system can be cemented as an institution similar to Social Security or Medicare. The direct correlations to a democratic republic should be seen as an update to the democratic republic, with most means of corruption removed.
The Vanguard Party and the Vox Populi
The chance of a grassroots movement becoming strong enough to challenge a Western state has in the past proven very low, as the people will divide into small units based upon their own pet projects and are generally unwilling to tackle issues in solidarity with those outside their peer groups unless they have a guiding hand to point the way. For this reason there should be a collection of thinkers, activists and allied politicians that can act as an ideological vanguard that can organize the citizens towards common goals. While not a structure of the state but rather a collection of leftist influencers, and perhaps not even a political party but simply an activist social club, the vanguard will be necessary both in creating the means and revolutionary tactics that will be used against the electoral system and in sustaining the political willpower of the revolution once society has adopted direct democracy. The vanguard party will strive to protect democracy against regressives, such as fascists seeking to take control of the shield state or corporate oligarchs that want to keep their billions and their power over the populace. They must combat future challenges to democracy by alerting the voting base to dangers and by creating the strategy the left will use to further their goals. Regular meetings and collective think-tanks that combine science and social policy experts should be established by the vanguard to create bills for national and regional vote that they believe will best benefit society.
A revolutionary vanguard party should be formed to drive the will of the people towards the dismantling of the parliamentary system, and when the system has been dismantled they should continue to operate as a permanent revolutionary force comprised of thinkers, celebrities, socialites, political experts, socialist technocrats, popular leftists, scientists and the core revolutionary members of the previous parliamentary party. Even using the voices of popular ex-elites, such as billionaire philanthropists and rich politicians and celebrities who gave up their wealth, can encourage the people to take control of their futures through participation in the direct democracy. Utilizing a mixed narrative of anarchist, communist and patriotic ideologies, the vanguard must gather the collective will of socialists while still maintaining a level of appeal to liberals and social democrats. The vanguard should also reaffirm right libertarian and lower-class capitalist interests, especially when doing so may draw opinions away from corporate interest and conservative political parties.
his will be a difficult battle against the status quo, as the masses will be unfamiliar with real democracy and may vote in ways that disappoint us. Propaganda from the right (including corporate liberal news) will be our worst enemy, but it is being challenged by growing portion the viewing public and can be challenged even further by legally battling “entertainment news” that seeks to spread corporate propaganda and lies, and by breaking up the social media echo chambers that feed anti-science and antisocial “news”. The vanguard party must be constantly present in the public sphere, always fighting for leftist causes and promoting issues that further communism. They will be responsible for directing the vox populi — the voice of the people — towards the issues and problems that our nation needs to address. In a way they are also responsible for helping keep the nation on-track and away from actions that will bring us and our descendants shame. In a society where all citizens are their own senators, the only people we will have to blame for our bad policies will be ourselves.
The vanguard party must drive the rage of the people to decapitate the strongest aspects of capitalism through legal means such as protests, establishing maximum incomes, applying larger and wider taxes to the wealthy, getting rid of slumlords, destroying monopolies, arresting criminal members of the “elite” and other aggressive democratic actions that could not be accomplished with more virtuosity than by enacting top-down edicts that would create outrage from the right and could halt the revolution. By promoting radical democracy over radical violence, the right or far-right will have to initiate the conflict against the democracy first and will therefore not hold the moral high ground needed to sustain the support of the average modern Westerner. The shield state — if properly evolved from the original institutions of power, restricted by the Constitution, given a direct democratic mandate and only staffed by citizens who may be directly recalled by their constituents — will be a neutral stabilizing force that will prevent physical conflict.
Law, Order, Peace and Justice
Many socialists hold the view that criminality is largely induced by the cruelty of capitalism, with lack and want resulting in the majority of violence. Social libertarians believe the way to discourage antisocial behavior is to make sure that all people are cared for and helped when the individual becomes troubled; threats to the collective are dealt with by either disassociating from a hostile individual or by enacting mob justice in extreme circumstances. This may or may not be viable, but we can attempt to create an advanced system of criminal justice that is adapted to a modern libertarian society by first providing each individual with necessities for life, then with entertainment and luxury substantial enough to limit greed.
Mental health should be promoted, with each person having access to compassionate care. One could even consider that greed and antisocial behavior are mental illnesses in and of themselves, glorified because of capitalism’s fetishization of competition. These traits aren’t worthy of locking one away from society but are nonetheless the result of a status quo that upholds social darwinism as a means of discrediting the benefits mutual aid.
Instead of tossing every thief and petty criminal into prison there should be a system of rehabilitative facilities where people can be medically assessed and re-educated. In instances where they continue to offend, for reason of intense mental illness or wickedness, they may indeed have to be removed from society, either to a medical ward or to a separate community for offenders. Only in the most criminal of offenses should people be placed into prisons, which should be operated by the state and never private institutions.
Communes may have their own systems for handling criminal affairs. In instances where a convicted criminal is deemed too antisocial to handle peacefully, the commune may choose to send them to the state for rehabilitation or imprisonment. If needed, state help may be requested in the investigation, apprehension, judgement or transportation of a suspected criminal.
Communes are not beholded to the laws of the state, only the constitution, and no law passed by national vote can influence a commune. All national laws passed only affect regions external to communes but within the state’s region of control. The state may exert control over the flow of currency within its borders to ensure that capitalism does not run rampant over the population, and the government is also responsible for protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens and may use coercive action against a commune that denies the inherent rights of the people. When an “anarchist” commune refuses to obey by the tenets of anarchism and instead seeks the path of coercive rule, the state may do the same to set the matter straight. This function can also be handed to the Alliance of Communes by popular vote, or joint control can be had between the two.
For defense of communes, local volunteer militias may be established, from whom local “police” and specialist are chosen on a rotating democratic basis and are to act in a manner similar to modern firemen, not as oppressors or intimidators but as civil servants used only when called upon. These militias may be scrutinized by the state and Alliance of Communes to ensure that reactionaries, race supremacists and criminal elements do not take over communities. Elected commune officials should be in charge of these groups at all times, and militiamen should be easily removed from duty if they attempt to violate rights or overstep boundaries.
For defense of the nation a military should be maintained, with access to heavy weaponry and vehicles. Although an ideal anarchist world would remove all militant forces, it is simply not practical for defense against hostile nations. A divided series of small units is no match for a coordinated assault by an invading army. An organized force led by elected military leaders with limited and recallable power is necessary to counter the complex array of threats presented by our violent planet. The desire to serve a cause greater than oneself will always attract volunteers, and a ready framework for war mobilization can prevent a blitzkrieg from annihilating a divided series of communities.
Weapons of mass destruction should not be given to the communes individually, and the Alliance of Communes should not be given such weapons until the shield state is dissolved to prevent a possible nuclear stand-off with the shield state.
The state military is eventually intended to be downsized and then replaced by militias led by the Alliance of Communes, with officers elected by each division and rotated on a regular basis. The elected officers themselves are to organize and peer vote for their regional officers and commanders, and so on for each series of officers until the high ranking generals and admirals of the nation may select the best individuals to be presented for national vote, with transparency and the sum of their careers and personalities held open to the public eye.
To maintain combat readiness, a portion of each militia may deploy a number of their people to professional training facilities and forts for immediate defense against foreign opposition. Some individuals may simply prefer a militant lifestyle and may be allowed to live in communes dedicated to training and equipping the armed forces, removing or reducing the need for the military industrial complex. These communes should not be used as military bases or they may be able to overpower their neighbors. Instead the majority of heavy weaponry and military facilities should be maintained by the shield state or the Alliance of Communes.
The police should be fazed out of existence at the same rate as the voluntary expansion of the commune system. First, legal means must be taken to weaken the police unions and ensure that criminal behavior amongst law enforcement is restricted and punished. Forbidding law enforcement from operating on commune territory, including requiring officers to contact local militia to settle disputes on commune land and in housing occupied by communers (except in circumstances requiring immediate attention to save a life), and by ceasing patrols in neighborhoods that vote to become communes. Detective services can be provided by the communes themselves, or the Alliance of Communes or the state can be requested to send specialists to solve difficult cases. If needed, state police or a joint militia force from the Alliance of Communes can be requested to provide security or aid.
The temptation to engage in foreign intervention can bring about the potential collapse of the system, even if it is meant to assist those that are aligned with our interests. There is no doubt that the current reasons for Western intervention are almost exclusively based on private interests and should be either rethought or abandoned altogether, but that does not mean that all intervention will be so distasteful to the public. Even without the need to support a system of global exploitation there will be justifiable reasons to use military force across the world, but that doesn’t mean that we should engage in any conflict because we can, or even because we believe it may be ethically correct to do so. This may be hard for the empathetic and kindhearted to hear, but we cannot always be responsible for fighting hopeless battles, especially if we are not familiar with the situation enough to make sufficient long-term judgements. Instead we should engage geopolitical challenges with solutions that will result in minimal turmoil and suffering when possible. While the idea of a free society marching its armies all over Earth to liberate the oppressed people of the world may be exciting and romantic, I promise that unforeseen problems will arise at the worst possible moments. Even arming and supporting revolutions in developing nations, with the home nation absent from the field except for maybe advisors or special forces, will have its own causes and effects that may bring great shame. My hope is that by democratically placing the option for conflict in the hands of the people we will be able to escape the cycle of violence that the West has exported to socialist states and developing nations.
Without profit motive and without the incentive to destroy socialist movements we can hopefully avoid most costly and unnecessary wars. The public can be deceived and fooled, requiring a constant struggle for the minds of the people, but the shame of a singular pointless war for which they themselves can be blamed will instill a national fear of repeating the same mistake, at least for a generation or two. To reduce our chances of falling into a foolish war a major percentage of the nation should approve of the conflict, with 75–85 percent required to invade a nation, a similar percentage required to aid a revolutionary faction or insurrection, and with 50+ percent required to aid another nation against outside aggression. To prevent chamberlainism in the face of a Nazi-like opponent we must set the bar at an even vote of 50% to assist in the defense of an allied nation that has been or is likely to be attacked. This is by no means a perfect system, but is rather a foundation for the future development of more nuanced policies: to summarize, we should not have a vote requirement low enough to allow an emotional decision by a slim majority to drive us into a pointless conflict, but we should allow for the popular opinion to allow us to act in defense against an enemy to the world’s safety and freedom.
Anyone who is elected or given the responsibility of representing the people should be held to the highest standards. This of course applies to politicians and administrative officials, but it must also be applied to the police, the military and the militia. The foundation of a free society relies upon the public trust, and the breaking of that trust threatens to tear apart the status quo’s credibility and replace it with cynicism and pessimism for the governing institutions. A major fault with the current system is its reliance upon coercive force against lower-classes for the conservation of the capitalist status quo, with the law enforcers given immense leeway with how much violence they are allowed to apply to suppress dissenters and petty criminals. A cop can shoot an innocent man and not face any charges or face any lasting punishment, and this happens all the time. They can beat you, tase you, rob you, and shoot you or your dog without any repercussions from the law because the capitalist class relies upon their brutality to maintain their wealth and the bastardized economy that promotes crimes of desperation and the mindsets that cause the negative, hostile, fatalistic and socially nihilistic cultures we live in today.
Lower-class and impoverished victims of the capitalist system are driven to crime because of the economic imbalances caused by wealthy criminals, with multi-million dollar thieves given short sentences in nicer prisons than poor minorities that stole less than a hundred dollars. There is no equality of justice. The life of a millionaire is worth more than the life of a billionaire, and the death cult of capitalism surely has inspired millions of people to agree with this sentiment without a hint of self-loathing. It is expected that this is the way that it should be. An honest man, one who seeks truth and justice, would deny this corruption of the soul and instead apply the weight of the law with fairness and equal respect for all men regardless of their material worth, and perhaps he would even place those who are of higher status to an equally higher level of responsibility than the common man, and punish greatly those who gain from society’s status quo yet have still chosen to break the trust or profit bestowed upon them.
The individuals in each ward and community will have the option to exile others if they find them to be troublesome, non-cooperative or criminal, or if they are manipulating the commune for their personal gain. A ward can vote or use other means of adjudication to remove a negative ward member, and a commune can hold a trial, vote by a council of elected officials or use other approved means to remove a trouble member from a commune. Every effort should be made first to rehabilitate the offending person before they are abandoned, to determine if they are suffering from mental illness or if their offense was only a passing event. If a violent or financial crime is committed then the communer can be exiled and reported to the state for judgement, with the worst offenders subjected to government law and removed from the commune system.
Requirements for Revolution
Insurrectionists misjudge their popularity amongst 21st century Westerners and will likely drive the masses towards the right, strengthening the already powerful tools of right-wing propaganda. Their “propaganda by the deed” will be just that: a deed that provides propaganda for conservatives and liberals against the left. Revolt against the reaction, not against the nation. This is contrary to traditional anarchism, which understandably has no desire for gods, masters, and especially states. The state upholds social heirarchy and capitalism, and is therefore the greatest enemy of anarchist and communist thought. Why then should they participate in the political process of such a government?
The civilized Westerner has no will for violent revolution and has the desire for comfort, peace and order as their primary political motivations. It is this common call for civility that stays the hand of the cautious revolutionary, a humanistic personality that does not wish to see their neighbors and loved ones suffer for their cause. This is perhaps the great difference between modern Americans and their forefathers: the founders needed only taxes and a handful of social injustices to ignite the flame of war and rise violently against their rulers across the sea, whereas modern Americans are willing to tolerate the greatest evils and foolishnesses from politicians and their lackeys before they begin to even consider a peaceful protest. Fear and comfort have dulled the American revolutionary spirit.
On the matter of force, it is very true that power flows from the barrel of a gun. Unfortunately for insurrectionary anarchists, the majority of guns (and tanks, planes, bombs, and so on) are controlled by the wealthy and the capitalist state. Direct conflict against the trained, equipped, motivated, and well-paid forces of modern western governments is almost certain to result in the eventual destruction of the revolution, both by means of overwhelming force and a humiliating loss of public image. No modern military will revolt alongside anti-government socialists, removing any possibility that the average person will back it either. Few people will be willing to rise up with communists and anarchists that offer vague (and sometimes frightening) paths toward the future. We must instead wrestle the narrative from the hands of the bourgeoisie and show the world a path to liberation.
Many socialist writers have claimed that revolution against capitalism cannot be achieved by peaceful means. They may very well be right, but it is unlikely that this maxim is an objective truth. There is a potential for achieving a bloodless change that has been overlooked by many because of dogmatic and emotional thinking. People want freedom, people want change, people want something to strive for. Most importantly, with populist political allies we could shift the Overton Window leftward, instilling into the social consciousness the humane ideals of anarchism and communism without alienating future voters. It is worth the attempt, especially when it may bring more positive attention to socialism. This will be necessary for the future, whether or not the anarcho-democratic system is successful.
The bourgeois suppression of a democratic socialist revolution could be the flame that lights an insurrectionary revolution of the proletariat. While the intention of a democratic revolution is to use the current political structure to change itself, there is perhaps a greater potential for a revolution to come about when the people’s hope for peaceful and popular change is crushed beneath the heel of an authoritarian state. Suppression of democracy creates an environment of discontent that allows the people to be to stirred to protest and revolt. One can predict massive protests and widespread civil disobedience following the suppression of a popular democratic movement, bolstered by the power of communications technologies such as cell phones and social media. A nation’s capital can be flooded with angry protestors in a matter of days or hours with proper organization. If a fraction of a percentage of the people are freed of their apathy by popular calls to action then there there can be no stopping them from tearing the corrupt system apart.
If peaceful democratic change is suppressed by violence or rigging then the nation has been dominated by tyrants. Revolutionaries of different ideologies will collectively agree that they must be removed by any means necessary to secure the freedom of the people. Tactically speaking they are correct, as surrendering now will guarantee that the forces of the ruling regime will be bolstered and their suppression tactics updated, making future revolution more difficult with each passing protest.
If a revolution manages to replace a capitalist tyrant government without a strong political arm it is not likely to become a socialist society. Most nations are still liberal or conservative and comfortable with capitalism, meaning that the majority will not equate the tyranny of the dictator with the underlying systemic oppression that allowed the dictator to come to power. The revolution will end with people falling back on familiar institutions in their search for order, with the government being either a liberal republican democracy or a dictatorship that’s likely to be run by the military or a right-wing faction. Socialists will be asking themselves if it was worth it by the time all is said and done, and that answer will depend on what world was destroyed and what world was built on the backs of their struggles. Leftist revolutionaries that wish to replace capitalism through war against tyranny yet deny that they need a unified and credible political front from which support can be built are fooling themselves and will die for another man’s government if the a revolution does come their way.
The thought of a violent revolution brings me great fear and unease, but the desire for peace must not become a weakness in the face of enemies that would laugh at your pacifism. When the state starts cracking down, when the capitalist system can no longer tolerate democracy and the rights of the people, then all of my hopes for peace will be lost until society has grown past the archaic, brutal times thrust upon it by equally archaic and brutal people. There is no hope for justice when democracy is an illusion.
Profit, Progress, and the Democratization of the Economy
Western hegemony is built upon the strength of the American money faith which is itself built upon oil, requiring that it be purchased in U.S. dollars for access to the markets and that oil-producing nations not sell in currencies other than the dollar, thus ensuring the adoption of the capitalist American economic system by any country that relies upon foreign oil. This in turn guarantees that the U.S. elite and their global allies will always be given economic preference in all matters, allowing Western and OPEC nations to live unsustainably extravangant lifestyles on the backs of the people they once would colonize and enslave. It was this ancient theft that gives the benefactors of capitalism their advantage, having suppressed and stolen from indigenous peoples for centuries until they found the easier route of enslaving them economically rather than with costly and troublesome imperialism. This neocolonialism may have guaranteed Western power for decades, but it is fast approaching obsoletion with the rise in green energy. While there are always resources that one nation can dangle above the head of another, none are quite so efficient at inspiring desperation while simulatenously being so hard to acquire, meaning that America does not have long before they lose they their bargaining chip. You can see the system cracking already, with Russia, Iran and Venezuela moving away from the U.S. dollar for trade. China has for years been growing its infrastructure and global influence for the day it leaves the American economic system behind, likely drawing many nations with it and destroying what is left of American economic rule. The current world order is bound to collapse unless there are massive changes in U.S. global policy.
It is apparent that capitalism will not easily be replaced. Even if American leaders suddenly decided to abolish it they would have difficulty doing so without endangering the nation’s strength. If we were to instead make the changes gradually then we could prevent a planet-wide economic crisis. If private industries are allowed to stay in business then their economic output can be used to build the industries that will eventually replace them.
Capitalism may bring suffering to billions of workers but it is a culturally accepted institution that is approved of by many, guaranteeing that it is here to stay in some form or another for a very long time. This means that a socialist nation that is also a free nation must allow private businesses in some form. Under anarcho-democracy there is to be no restriction in capital for the average person, even if wealth at higher levels must be greatly taxed to prevent oligarchic corruption. However if the average person is not inconvenienced by taxation then there will be greater appeal in the system for both socialists and the majority of capitalists.
Over time the state and the communes can build a new economy free of monetary requirements, and trade alliances with other socialist nations can ensure that supply lines are maintained. Capitalism can still influence the markets for a time, but little by little its influence over our lives will be whittled away. This can be swiftened by passing democratic socialist policies and by taxing corporations, but for purposes of maintaining the moral grounds of the revolution and gaining appeal from the political center it should not be destroyed so much as it should be made obsolete.
Socialism demands that the means of production be held in the hands of the workers, although each different ideology differs as to the method of acquiring it. State communism seizes the factories and the farms by rule of law, in effect reclaiming the land by force. This is a distant plausibility in the West, not to mention that the blanket abolition of private industry is both widely unpopular and potentially harmful to innovation. Anarcho-communism as invisioned by Kropotkin was theoretically not intended to be violent, as the means of production were to be taken into the hands of the people of themselves for the benefit of all, although in reality there would certainly be violent repressions from the capitalist class and the law enforcement that work for them. There is no chance that that the employees of a factory would be able to walk into work, proclaim ownership of the facility and expect the boss to just walk away. No, the police would come in with clubs and tear gas to arrest the overoptimistic revolutionaries. For the anarchist to claim ownership of a factory under the current system they would almost certainly be required to either emulate the policies of a communist state or engage in violence against the capitalists and their protectors. Neither of these options are preferable to the humanist anarchist that dreams of free and just society.
An alternative to the outright seizure of the means of production would be to tax the wealthy to provide the funding of new factories, machines, and the tools that will be used to bring most private industries to obsoletion. By establishing a means of production without resorting to claiming it for the people we can undo the system without unneccessary aggression. This alternative also allows for the new system to maintain moral standing that it would otherwise sacrifice by engaging in coercion.
While the state may claim natural resource production rights for itself, this is less repressive than claiming all factories and workplaces by overthrow. The natural resources of the nation belong to all people, and allowing private industries control over materials of high value has given resource barrons power over entire nations. it is imperative that such resources be kept in the public’s hands, something that even many capitalist nations have agreed with.
There cannot be a free future without democracy in the workplace. While I admire the steps taken by the socialists in congress to hammer away at the power of the capitalist class, there is a long way to go before we can have workplace freedom across the nation. Permit private industry is essential to maintaining the freedom of the people to pursue individual enrichment,, but that does not mean that the traditional model of business needs to continue in the future. As said before there can be a shift towards democratization after a period of 10–30 years after the creation of the business, but there may also be a rough limit to the number of employees or a limit to a business’s wealth/income that will allow it to be nationalized or democratized.
While establishing worker’s syndicates and co-operatives may be counter-intuitive to the development of communism, it is nonetheless a step towards socialism. Furthermore, these entities are subject to government oversight and should be tied into the state’s independence from global capitalism and should be used to further the development of the commune system. Without the guiding hand of billionaire oligarchs the government can be free of the current system’s corporate appeasement, replacing it with the direct democratic will of the people.
In the days after the creation of the commune system there will be great collapse of businesses that are unable to adapt to the new system. This will be decried by capitalists as the death of all things, the result of socialism’s flaws. In truth it is capitalism’s flaws: being unable to adapt to the liberation of mankind is the flaw of an inherently uncaring system. This collapse will not be the end of the nation, nor the end of capitalism, but rather a re-adjustment towards the democratic future of both. There will be a loss of low-income workers and manual laborers as the most suffering members of society flood the commune system to escape their terrible employers and degrading jobs. Scores of terrible bosses will be forced to automate or go bankrupt, a fitting end to all exploiters. At least when they are left pennyless there will be a compassionate and humanistic system they can fall back to if needed. Their businesses, however, will remain empty of workers and be dead zones in once-busy cities. This will be at first an unfortunate sight, but it comes at the knowledge that it may be given to the commune system and one day could be a lively area once again, or at the very least it can be torn down and the land returned to its former natural beauty before man ruined it.
In short, the system will adjust to a higher state of liberty one way or another. What’s for certain is that the nation, backed by the strength of nationalized industries and a growing commune market, is to keep pushing forward with resource production to maintain the lives and livelihoods of the citizenry. The capitalist economy may indeed temporarily collapse (as it always threatens to do), so it is obvious that government should strive to seperate the fluctuations of the market from the health of the nation. When other capitalist nations are dragged into Mammon’s hell then we can invite them to emulate our own systems and, when beneficial, to create alliances, merge commune economies and eventually form a Union. Together the nations will be able to escape the fluctuations and manipulations of the capitalist markets.
Taxation of the poor worker is theft, taxation for the rich boss is the state taking its cut of the profits: the markets that they use would not exist without the state’s policies, its monopolies on violence, and its enforcement of the status quo. Those who believe otherwise should burn all of their currency, strike out for an open territory and build your own economy from scratch. For a capitalist to adequately support their claims of wealth and property they must pay for the government that keeps their wealth from the hands of marauders and revolutionaries alike. Those who choose to exploit their fellow man should be exploited themselves, at least in a fair enough manner to maintain the systems that defend them and support the people they profit from. To protect society from accumulators and those who would build empires over their fellow citizens, the state must extract that part of their wealth which affords the police, armies and courts that hold their claims apart from the rest of society. This form of coercion is necessary for the existence of the bourgious and the elite, as without it they would either form a neo-feudalist hellscape wherein the wealthy gather all the land and the political power, building private armies to fight their constant corporate wars and fiefdom cities where they can rule over their worker/serfs, or they would simply be overthrown by their workers/serfs in a moment of revolutionary violence that would end in guillotines and blood-stained walls. Therefore it is in the best interest of both the masses and the wealthy that the basic needs of all be met, and it is in the best interest of democracy that the rich never be able to acquire the wealth of nations.
The tax system must be modified to be equal but not unfair, and those who have acquired homes and possessions before the revolution should be allowed to keep them, remaining free from violence and oppression; those who make willful pro-social changes should be given due respect, with the state providing honors, awards, and jobs or the materials to develop new work. Most importantly, billionaires should be taxed out of existence, their tax dodges and means of avoiding payment scrutinized and undone, with those who hide wealth in foreign banks to avoid paying the society that fostered their success subject to criminal charges. Alliances must be made at an international level to help allied nations and our own country reign in the oligarch classes as they try to escape their duties. Those with tens of millions or hundreds of millions are a necessary “evil” in regards to maintaining the peace. A future society that has rid themselves of their worship of wealth will do good to place a maximum income on all people, to prevent the aspirations of one person from being used against society.
Seizure of property is an understandably touchy subject, therefore it is best to wait until the owner has passed before claiming it for the people. All owners of more than 3–5 properties are to have their excess property claimed by the state upon their passing and distributed to communes, and if there is no heir to the remaining properties they are to be claimed upon the owner’s passing as well. Empty homes should be claimed, repaired, and distributed when possible. Higher end properties such as mansions can have multiple communer occupants or be used for state or collective purposes. Certain luxury locations would be too great for any one person or even a small group, and should be used for vacation homes, hotels for travelers, or social facilities (libraries, museums, clubs, theaters, nursing home, space for community events, etc.).
The tax rate should not burden the middle and working classes, as the system will be unpopular and will halt or destroy the revolution. The poor and those making under $30,000-$100,000 should be exempt from taxation, while those under $250,000 should not have their taxes raised. Those making over $10 million should have income over that amount taxed at 70%. A tax of 90–100% for all people with an income over $100 million should levied to abolish the billionaire class that threatens modern society. Of course the value of these numbers change with the times and should be altered accordingly. Tax income, capital gains and the hoarded wealth of the rich.
No man alone can gain wealth without the labor of others or the protection of the state, as all men benefit from the roads, the logistics, the accumulated contributions of every member of a nation since it’s very birth, and the mountains of laws that protect private ownership and the legal claims of capitalists. To say that taxes are theft implies that one could obtain money without the very system that provides for the existence of money; the faithful seek to usurp the high priest of Mammon and take his place, unaware that his gospel was a lie built upon their belief. Without the power of the state, the numbers faith that gives the wealthy their comfort is worthless, and the civilization that holds the entire structure together would collapse under the strain of irresolvable conflicts of interest and a lack of support for infrastructure. Individuals will have to rely upon the charity of the rich or pay taxes to private industries to retain services, a lateral move away from state taxes at best.
Those wealthy men who deny they owe anyone for their success are laughably mistaken in their childlike and selfish beliefs. Their own personal success is deeply tied to the success of the entire system whcih is held together by a strict heirarchy that is necessary for the continued survival of the kingdom and the wellbeing of its people. The state is the high king, keeping order amongst the nobles who would seek to abuse their responsibilities and shirk their duties to their peasant/workers. To maintain his kingdom he must pay his armies and maintain the support and fear of the peasants to stay respected and prevent a revolt. A lord that refuses to pay his dues is no better than a traitor to his king and tyrant to his people, as the lord has taken the wealth of the peasants and refused to provide his king the taxes which give him the means of supporting his own claim to his title and wealth and the lord’s status by-proxy. The king would be right to bring this lord to justice for breaking the common trust and disrupting the system of government in ways that could lead to its demise. The peasants are discontented, and this anger and desperation reflects from their lords actions to their king credibility. Without any means of appeasing peasants they will either revolt or turn to crime, and the foundations of the system begin to crumble. This directly correlates with the modern state and the wealthy business owner, with the peasants of yesterday being replaced by the wage slaves of today. The foundations of capitalism are not vaguely different from those of feudalism, necessitating a similar means of control to maintain it; feudal behavior is a natural extension of concentrated wealth and privatized labor.
Mankind has progressed to the edge of a technological singularity, with the advances in artificial intelligence and computer systems reaching heights previously known only to science fiction. These advancements have been compounded with steady improvements in all fields of science, slowly for thousands of years of our species’ existence yet spiking sharply within the last few centuries and even more sharply within the last few decades. Our little communities have — for better and worse — been opened to the entire globe, allowing the progress of one to eventually become the progress of all.
There has been a cost for our “progress”: a series of exploitations that divide our planet into what is essentially two classes. There is the underclass that runs society and maintains its systems, and then there is the elite class of non-workers that use the struggle of their underlings — both those they pay and those lessers whose labor support the structures that maintain their wealth — to prevent themselves from being forced to labor and to allow them to hoard power that others helped them attain. Our progress is hollow because it does not benefit the human tribe so much as it benefits the elite. While society has created the means to build homes, make medicines and grow food for all people, it is not a certainty that the lowly laborer can afford to have these things. No, they must be kept desperate and poor so that the rich can live lives of obscene luxury. If you are lucky then you will be able to afford a few electronics and intoxicants to numb you to the fact that there are millions of people that live on the sweat and blood of billions, adding almost nothing to the world but trinkets and pain. We have essentially reached the maximum progressive potential of capitalism and are now regressing towards feudalism, with a useless aristocracy draining the life and wealth of our planet for their unsustainable lifestyles. The Western liberal capitalist experiment is almost over, and we are marching ourselves towards the end: it waits to be seen whether it will be made into something great and beautiful or something vile and horrifying.
The history of Earth has been one of violence and terror. Since the early days of our species we have relied upon brutality and coercion to enforce our leaders’ wills, inevitably resulting in the fiefdoms and kingdoms that ruled over our peoples for millennia, systems far more common than democracies and free societies have ever been. The natural state of man is one of aggression and domination.
By the time capitalism gained relevance, sometime after the formation of the bourgeoisie, the typical state of politics had been one of autocracy and hereditary hierarchy since time immemorial. Any shift away from the world of aristocrats and serfs was a welcome one. The idea that a man could be born of ignoble birth and yet still rise on the power of a lord was a revolutionary idea in its time. Furthermore, this system of distributed economic responsibility, once held solely hands of feudal kings and the hereditary aristocracy, was essential to the growth of trade-based civilizations that led to the development of relatively free societies. This was, in comparison to farming potatoes for the lord’s tax, a huge advancement for civil rights. It is with this in mind that I say that capitalism and is not evil.
Of course there have been issues with the capitalist system, ones that have empowered malicious people and made it potentially hazardous to society’s health. It is now reaching a stage where the capitalist class has managed to accumultate the wealth of nations and stacking the political deck in their favor, making themselves in some ways even more powerful than the aristocracy of the past as they essentially become lords of capital. The system has reached a critical mass often referred to as “late stage capitalism”, meaning that we are nearing capitalism’s endgame. We are regressing towards neo-feudalism, differing in aesthetics and in form but with the same underlying hierarchies under which our ancient ancestors toiled. The lord/serf dichotomy is being mirrored more perfectly every day within the current employer/employee dichotomy, nearing a perfect reflection with each new anti-labor law. However, this is not the colloquial ideal of capitalism held by the average person, but rather an inevitable bastardization of it. Despite the good intentions of the honest man, the dishonest man is empowered under the current system and rewarded for his Machiavellian traits, thus ensuring that the many of the worst aspects of capitalism will never disappear: if they have the upper hand it will be maintained with underhandedness, if they have been beaten back they will wait in the shadows for the right time to strike. This is a plague that infects civilizations built upon profitseeking. If one man worships Mammon then all men will suffer.
Despite its potential for abuse, even Marx and Engels agreed that capitalism was a necessary step in man’s social evolution, as written in the Communist Manifesto, [quote]. We should take into account the complications of history, realizing that the past is at times morally ambiguous and deserve complete understanding if we are to transcend beyond the current outdated system.
I have formed anarcho-democracy not to be necessarily anti-capitalist, but instead to be pro-socialism. While capitalists cannot be free to exploit the common man and money should never be the lifeblood of a nation, the pursuit of profit has gained a global cultural significance. This modern tradition should not be eradicated by force but should be decoupled with the health of the nation and limited to a hobby for individualists, a game akin to gambling. This will, in the long run, limit the incentive for capitalism to be associated with exploitation and human suffering: once our lives are not governed by its inhumane logic then perhaps capitalism won’t be as reviled by the left as it is today.
Growth is overrated, at least in the way we perceive the word in western society. It is believed by many that growth in one’s economic power is the most important kind of growth, and I must disagree. Manufacturing ability, economic output, the amount of stuff that one makes and convinces others to buy is not true growth, but artificial and imaginary growth based upon the capitalist assumption that a nation’s power comes from money. This assumption has been forced upon the world by those who benefit from the arrangement, with the capitalist lords In the current world money means one’s ability to trade and influence, but in reality, when one peals away the fiction of the numbers and the accounts, money is nothing more than a new god to replace the one science and society has killed. Money is useful, but only so far as people believe it is useful. Nothing keeps currencies together other than continuously renewed faith in its usefulness. Some people will need this god to maintain a sense of order in their lives — mostly people who have plenty of it already and are accustomed to its power — but like all faiths it should not be forced upon the unwilling. To be forced to abide by money is to be forced to bow to the altar of Mammon.
Post Traumatic Capitalism Disorder and the Antisocial Socialist
In capitalism’s wake lies the suffering and the broken. Starvation and malnutrition kills more people on earth today than all other causes, yet it is common knowledge that the world could be fed multiple times over with what is made. Economists gripe that it is not feasible to feed every mouth, that the producers and free trade would suffer, and the capitalist system as we know it would be left in chaos. This is perhaps true, as capitalism is bound to the will of Mamon to maintain civilization’s equillibrium and thus does not care about the death of a peasant in a foreign land. The same could be said for the sick without care, and the destitute without homes. Similar can be said for the laborer, who toils long hours for paltry pay, little more than a cog in a machine destined to be replaced by better cogs. The trauma of barely sustained life can be seen all around the world; poor people have as many emotions as the wealthy can have, yet they have little to no access to the help or care a rich man could acquire. Their needs go unmet and their minds go unhelped, building layer after layer of trauma until eventually they perish, their lives brutal and short, surrounded by a world of advanced medicine and bountiful rescources. This sad fact creates ripples of fear and negativity throughout our communities that in turn creates the division and hostility that shapes our societies and personalities.
Our communities have decayed, driving people across the nation and globe in search of new careers and better lives, breaking apart our once tight-knit communities into neighborhoods and cities of unaffiliated, uncaring and uncooperative people. While humans as a whole have adapted to these circumstances many of us have been left devoid of a sense of community and purpose, falling into pits of depression, anxiety, fear and hatred. The suicides of an untold number of men, women and children have been at the hands of a cold and uncaring world. Drug and alcohol addiction has claimed the lives of the those struggling to find joy and pain relief in this cruel and cynical society. Petty thieves and robbers are so removed from the bourgious benefits of civilization that they not only have lost — or never gained — respect for other men, but they have taken to seize what does not belong to them to claim a bit of comfort. All these people are victims of capitalism, left to rot not because nothing could be done, but because saving them is unprofitable; the dregs of society would be better off dead, says the conservative, with his actions if not his words.
The incels and the alt-right youth have been created in part because their lack of positive social connections and public exposure combined with the comfortable and ego-syntonic nihilism common to anonymous Internet forums. They are drawn in by fascist recruiters, sociopathic trolls and foreign provacators that invite disaffected young men into their communities to teach them right-wing ideals and a hatred of social justice.
This array of capitalism’s victims points to us the origins of the surge in negativity, anxiety, fear and trauma in the Western world that I call Post-Traumatic Capitalism Disorder. All traumas and terrors of life that could potentially be solved by technology or social change but instead persists to maintain the structure of Capitalism can create this disorder, ranging from the fear and anxiety induced by paycheck-to-paycheck living to the suicides and addictions brought by our unfullfilling lives and our uncaring communities. Even the disenchanted youth who become racists and fascists are reacting in self-preservation to maintain fragile egos and a sense of belonging, caused by their inability to cope with systemic changes to our cities, communities and cultures caused by modern western economics. They are taught to hate LGBT, minorities and socialists by internet fascists and political provacateurs, as they make easy targets for them to manipulate outrage against using hateful conservative talking points disguised as centrism and rational logic.
PTCD affects people differently, but with fear and anxiety common to all cases. It is seen in a low-wage worker who lies awake in bed at night not knowing how he will pay his bills. It is behind the trauma of slaves — still common throughout the world — who are kept for their economic purpose, merely purchased goods to be used by wealthy criminals. Even wage slaves live in terror at the thought of losing their job, and are thus willing to endure horrible masters for their salaries. All people who fear for lack or want and who could escape their terror through the means of societal cooperation are instead traumatized into compliance or suicide.
Similar to C-PTSD, such traumas can be endured over long spans of time and can be made by multiple small events that form the personality of the individual in ways that disguise just how much they have been altered from their baseline. These need not even be major events like starvation or illness, but even something as minor as losing money to a charlatan or being indebted can lead to lifelong anxieties. One may lose their savings to an unforeseen misfortune or have their property forfeited to creditors. Muggers may assault someone for their wallet, and though it may not equal the violence of raiders and brigands, both of these traumatic actions are enabled by the function and form of our methods of resource distribution. Indeed, the capitalist system is built upon the fear of suffering, with the lower-classes subjected to various levels of potential suffering related to the “worth” of the individual filling the job, with menial workers given minimum incomes to ensure their stress and societal voice never rises above a manipulable level. Without this stress there would be no one to fill the ranks of fast-food workers, pointless manual laborers, and other lackeys and servants of the elite classes and the structure of their life-defiling world.
The structure of our neighborhoods and cities is affected by profiteering, with entire districts built to segregate the poor and minorities. The structure of suburbs lends itself to loneliness, with nowhere to go within walking distances, each person hidden away in their tiny Versailles. This arrangement only creates antisociality, rendering each individual divided from the community around them.
The effects of capitalism-induced trauma are omnipresent, requiring further study to determine the full extent of trauma on humanity’s collective and individual psyches. Care must be taken not to broaden the scope of the PTCD beyond rationality, yet it is difficult or perhaps impossible to determine what effect a healthy society with an efficient system of distribution would have on psychology compared to our current situation. Since challenging economic systems is outside of the purview of psychology, the links between the capitalism-induced trauma will likely never be seen as more than a series of free-floating anxieties and mental illnesses caused simply by “life stressors”. It is my hope that one day the source of trauma and stress due to artificial lack are called out for what they truly are so that global healing can begin.
Many socialists have been afflicted by PTCD. The insight into the underlying causes of much of mankind’s suffering brings them misery and pain, knowing that there is little they can do to save the hordes of capitalism’s victims. The world in which we live is hollow, an uncaring and selfish hellscape built upon the greed of the wealthy and the desperation of the poor. Seeing this before their face on a daily basis, unable to fight or even run, they become cynical and bitter. We are all trapped in this expensive, ugly, greedy world and there is nothing that the average man can individually do to end the suffering of their families, countrymen, or any of the nameless victims in exploited nations. After years of witnessing the decay of our society one becomes willing to do anything to end the suffering. The weight of their convictions can drag them to the bottom of a deep pit of despair and angst.
Seeing the people you love in pain and being unable to help them is a trauma that leaves you feeling weak and helpless. You can truly understand the natural valuelessness of individual life when you witness the pointless death from lack of care or want for food, or when the games of nation-states ends their lives in a neo-colonial conflict. The ridiculous numbers-faith that binds us to this disgusting pattern of death and greed is the clear killer, yet the bulk of man are stuck in their ways, under the thumb of their employers not only in body but in mind and spirit.
In the face of this nightmare the socialist, his heart set upon the best of all possible worlds, is driven near madness. The most empathetic amongst them are harmed the most, with the only means of escaping coming either from the bitter release of suicide or the desperation of action against the cruelty around them. And after years of agony and the determination that our species will continue to wallow in stupidity for years to come will either break them, humble them or lead them a final conclusion: that the liberation of mankind from the evils of the capitalist machine must come at any cost. The noble socialist, betrayed by the world, threatens to become the very thing he hates. The cynicism towards others becomes apparent, having been disappointed so many times in the past. He may even wish for the death of his political enemies, and if he had the upper hand he would send them to the gulags or the purges. This is the birth of the antisocial socialist, someone who has tucked his humanity aside so that it may not get in the way of his goals. This is a grim and destructive individual.
Devoid of optimism and forced to engage in the oppressive systems that are responsible for the trauma and stress that led them down this path in the first place, the antisocial socialist is primed for hostility against everyone around them. Yet they are all too aware of the inability to ever force change by themselves or in these times, and so they settle for severing their connections with all but their niche crowds, ironically isolating themselves from the people in their search for a pure and just inner world. The need to defend their kind inner humanistic ego becomes the source of their mental anguish, knowing that our species is almost certainly bound for failure because of the wickedness of the few and the ignorance of the many.
This is to say nothing of capitalist governments’ historic violence and oppression against socialist that leads many of them to jusitified paranoia, knowing that a cop or an agent may very well be trying to trap them. After all, the government has been known to arrest or kill leftists whenever their “free speech” became inconvenient to them. This repressive behavior extends into the private sector, as many bosses and coworkers would be unwilling to befriend or trust a socialist, and to private life, as most people have neighbors, friends, and even family who would think less of them or exclude them from their lives if they knew about their beliefs. Even people who have only the most tenuous grasp of socialist ideals rush to the barricades to defend against the threat of “communism” in whatever form pops into their heads. Operating against culturally ingrained propaganda is like swimming up a river and soon becomes tiring. With the combination of a hollow society, an oppressive government, and cultural propaganda that could lead to multiple forms of social exclusion, the socialist may become reclusive and isolated, and may even become the hateful antisocial socialist out of a need to defend their vulnerable and gentle inner personality from being harmed by a hellworld which they can neither fix nor escape.
The Unity of the Radical Right and the Birth of an Antisocial Injustice Warrior
It has become apparent that Western society is in the midst of an ideological civil war between the progressive left and the reactionary right. The lines have been drawn around the heated topics of social justice and racial conflict, with the left wanting unity for all people and the right wanting division under the guise of free speech. The radical right consists of fascists, neo-nazis, alt-rightist neoreactionaries, nationalists, right-libertarians, Christian extremists and the conservative masses lured into supporting the cause by the capitalist oligarchs that profit from this alliance. If society does does not limit the impact of right-wing radicalism in the coming years we may have more to fight than just a culture war.
One of the major driving factors of the “new right” is the weaponization of the internet. While there is of course state-run weaponization that has accelerated their resurgence, It boggles the mind to know that anonymous forum boards, “ironic” fascist or racist internet memes, corrupted gamer culture and millions of hours of right-wing internet videos have contributed to the moral decay of swathes of the young male population. These right-wing communities have created an archetype I call the antisocial injustice warrior: the inverse of the social justice warrior, who is characterized as a loud, non-conforming, female LGBT person that represents all they are taught to hate about our diverse liberal society. The AIW’s have a second-hand hatred of the left non-conservative culture yet are often critical of aspects of traditional society unless it would personally benefit them or harm their opponents. Stripped of the “traditional values” veneer of the 20th century conservative Christian archetype, this modern interpretation typically has little to no religious or narratived motivation in their beliefs, instead opting to reactively despise things they do not understand or that they perceive as weird, different, or outside of their personal opinions about who should exist in the world, essentially making them post-modern neo-fascists. A hatred of LGBT, females, Muslims, people of color and leftists has been taught to them by their favorite YouTubers and politically provocative troll-shills: social schizmatists elevated to celebrity status by propagating their cynical narrative to easily persuaded and socially adrift youth. The victims generally come from middle class backgrounds and may either be mistreated outcasts or budding sociopaths that are in need of a community, a life purpose, or a place to vent their anger at the unfair world that led them here. They will adopt the mindset of the alt-right culture by being fed “ironic” racism and fascism and be encouraged to engage in negative nihilistic behavior through a constant exchange of cruelty, violence and pornography that makes them feel like they are participating in a counter culture community. Forum veterans, some of who are far-right recruiters, encourage new members to numb themselves to hate and graphic violence until they feel like they are not of the same mind as their fellow man, and they are trained to guilt one another into believing that they are “degenerate” and that they should “an hero”, “rope”, or “kys”: internet speak throughout the years that encourages suicide, typically meant to harm a person’s self-worth to make them more easily manipulated. They are trained to believe they have risen above the moral conventions of society, while simultaneously being shamed by one another for their social transgressions. Every time they turn on their computers they are driven further and further away from normality, being taught by the online rightist culture to negatively perceive segments of society they never would have thought about or acknowledged without being exposed to hours of provocative rightist media. They eventually decline in their empathy and willingness to accept others different from themselves; the most indoctrinated amongst them will become so alienated from general society that they can no longer view modern civilization as anything other than an enemy. This “community” infects their minds and kills the optimism in their hearts, yet it becomes the only place where the victim can consider themselves at home and safe, feeling that the world has abandoned them for the corrupted thoughts that swim in their heads, the thoughts fed to them by right-wing internet culture.
This sullen and angry person then seeks acceptance amongst their fellow “degenerates”, willing to do anything to belong to a crowd, and what the most devoted and vocal part of this crowd wants is acceptance of rightist ideology and obedience to the alt-right narrative. The first ideology they usually will adopt is a right-libertarian ideology such as anarcho-capitalism or randian objectivism, both of which glorify callous individualism and are subtly popularised by traditional conservative culture. Many intelligent people who get drawn into the right-wing communities and videos often adopt “classical liberalism”, which is typically a rebranding of familiar conservative ideals needed to attract younger voters to the right, as the old-fashion narratives used to keep the right afloat are becoming less popular with young conservatives. They want to distinguish themselves from anti-science conservativism, attempting to adopt a parallel rightist culture without leaving the comfort of conforming to the status quo. Regardless of the reasons behind why they reached those beliefs, the outcome in its most typical form is a denial of social justice that parrots the words of the far-right. They rally around the banner of free speech, seemingly obsessed by their ability to offend minorities and threaten others who think differently from them, far exceeding good-intentioned debate and extending into the realm of intentional social warfare against modern liberal ideals. Profiteers and ideologues have swarmed like sharks to create conflict over every screaming liberal or video of antifa knocking over trashcans, ensuring that they have fuel for spreading reactionary outrage.
The most familiar internet rightist culture — made widely known because of their connections to a number of high-profile shootings and terrorist attacks — is the incel culture. Comprised of antisocial injustice warriors that have adopted identities as “involuntary celibates”, they are amongst the most fervent and involved members of the rightist internet sphere. They become unable to seperate their core selves from the incel worldview, typically having adopted the identity and the community because of their disenchantment with society, usually due to a lack of friends, a mate, status, and the social skills to obtain them. They have been trained by their cultures to absorb negativity into their identities, to hate themselves and others. It is nearly useless to attempt to shame them if you are trying to convince them of anything, as they will either enjoy the negativity you give them or hate themselves even more, encouraging them move further to the right to protect their egos, making your efforts counterproductive. They are unfortunate victims of our modern world and, to a large degree, the capitalist structures that created their negative interactions with society that led to their predicament. For this reason I will not pursue the matter any further as they are themselves victims and will need compassion if they are ever to be brought out of the darkness.
Centrists are unfortunately complicit with the conservative status quo, being the “don’t cause any trouble” and “sit down and shut up” faction of every nation. They are either comfortable and well-off, or they are the politically disinterested that wish to avoid deep thought and mental pain, either passively or actively attempting to maintain cognitive dissonance about all matters of life that confuse them or cause them discomfort when considered. The saddest yet most understandable centrists are forced into the mindset by being too tired from work and life struggles to care about anything else other than a few hours of looking at a screen and getting enough sleep to carry on tomorrow. They have been beaten into submission by the capitalist machine.
The right-centrist is not usually a classical racist or openly hostile and is usually someone who is searching for a righteous and honest ideology, generally one that allows a greater sense of personal responsibility and intellectual autonomy while still being able to keep on the right side of their home region’s culture or their family beliefs. Thus the appeal of Ayn Rand amongst right-wing youth, allowing them to read a massive book their parents approve of that will make them feel as though their selfishness is a virtue instead of a means of upholding an unjust status quo.
Right-centrism is not in and of itself malicious, and neither are most of the variants of right-libertarianism, but these groups hold myopic worldviews that make them targets for far-right recruitment and propaganda. The individualist freedom narrative has been taken over by the right and given a cold and socially uncaring perspective, separating personal freedom from goodwill towards others and respect for those that live lives different from their own. Instead it has been made combative against a whole host of paranoia-crafted enemies. In the end, it is likely that most right-centrists and right-libertarians will support a far-right/alt-right narrative of any kind if it is set against a leftist or liberal narrative, making it frighteningly likely that they would support fascism if it harmed their political enemies.
It is a fact that the vitriolic conservative rhetoric has spawned violence from the right, and their leaders’ dismissive reaction to this truth shows us that this was likely their intention all along, to drive us to the brink of civil war because it was convenient to their electoral and monetary objectives. It remains to be seen whether they will acknowledge that fascists and white supremacists are waiting to push us over the brink and into the depths of hell, and I believe we will be waiting a very long time.
Those who believe that all human beings have equal rights will never be at peace with the far-right. This is the line that has been drawn, between the neo-nazis and fascists that would rip our cities apart for a white nation and global human schizmatism, and the left that must fight the feudal capitalist oligarchs and their fascist lackeys for unity and justice for all. It upsets even me to know that there are few liberal options in between that will not lead to the eventual rightist political overthrow and economic enslavement of the people. The centrists that support their goals even in parallel are merely useful tools for would-be oppressors, blinded by a lack of historical context and too comfortable with their lot in life to learn or care about politics outside of what their superiors and television news hosts teach them. The pseudo-fascist provacateurs that lead the ignorant to sell their nation’s dignity and give power to the corrupt are enemies to Western civilization and will be responsible for the violent right’s descent into greater depravities in the coming days. If you seek to find a middle ground, then you should look further to the left: the Overton window has been shifted rightwards for decades, to the point where anti-leftism and conservative social policies are now “centrist” ideals.
The right-centrist/right-libertarian is always at risk of falling prey to the fascists, racists and foreign provocateurs that seek to radicalize their communities. There is a tendency for many of them to be politically illiterate, with the former typically lacking a broad and deep political knowledge base, choosing instead to hide this ignorance by assuming everyone is wrong and leaving it at that (the worst offenders trusting only their family and conservative alt-news sites), and with the latter acting upon opposition-defiant emotions and feelings rather than cohesive ideology. They may be rather myopic in their perception and will focus on how an issue affects their small communities, whether it be their town, forum community, or hobby group without concern for anyone who may does not align with them. The most mentally grueling centrists are the lazy egoists who have gathered that beliefs may sometimes be incorrect, so it is best to believe in nothing rather than risk showing weakness by being proven wrong or ignorant. They are unhelpful and proud of the fact, yet they are all too often willing to listen to right-wing propaganda and find hatred for “SJWs” in the midst of their equivocating. All centrist are targets for subtle radicalization, as all it takes is a handful of biased internet videos and the divisive words of a few popular and provacative troll-shills to draw the attention of contrarians and antisocialists towards the right.
We must understand that this collection of far-right, centrist-right and conservative ideologues have historically allied against the left and sought to destroy democracy and egalitarianism whenever it does not suit their preferences. Liberals are all too often willing to side with the right instead of the left as well, willing to hand their rights to fascists rather than face the uncertainty of an equal society. It is under this uncomfortable truth that we must be wary of the liberal admiration for capitalism and corporatism and their willingness to fall in line behind them if they get a whiff of communism. Wealthy liberals and corporate democrats should not automatically be seen as reliable allies against the right-wing threat, but rather as fair-weather friends who at best may fight alongside leftists until they get the chance to safely dismantle them. At worst they will make a quick measurement of their values and decide they would rather live in an ethnostate than risk harming the capitalist system that elevates them to the upper ranks of society.The right-wings ranks will include many liberals in the coming days, drawn in by fear and propaganda. A tug-of-war for the soul of Western liberals will be held between the left and right.
Critique of Parallel Ideologies
To clear misconceptions as to the intended direction of anarcho-democracy, understanding my critiques of other leftist and anarchist ideologies. While anarcho-democracy is built upon anarchist and marxist thought, there are many issues surrounding revolutionary methodology that need to be addressed. Right anarchism is antithetical to anarcho-democracy, with each branch requiring a specific critique in relation andem ideology. Anarcho-statism is similar but different enough in key areas to require a more nuanced differentiation.
There is no greater influence on anarcho-democracy than anarchism, perhaps the most humane and idealistic of political beliefs. The creation of a better world, one free from coersion and exploitation, is its noble goal. I believe that no other ideology, philosophy or faith has touched upon the true spirit of man as deeply as the simple beauty of anarchism, a doctrine of liberation and cooperation that comes from the heart of both our collective will and self-interests. The men and women who brought us these revolutionary ideas did so not only for themselves, but for all people, and for that they deserve our respect. Unfortunately, they have been forgotten and ignored by society for far too long.
The words and deeds of anarchist thinker only occupy the fringes of history, their brave thoughts having never come to fruition save for during few brief periods in history, a handful of local revolutions across the world, and in a few hippy communes or anarchist bookstores. Society at large has failed them, instead choosing to hang onto familiar systems that have led us to our current state of chaos. If we wish to see their beliefs ever having an impact on global politics then we must continue fighting, with a new set of tactics needed if we want to learn from the outcome of the past 200+ years of struggle.
A lack of unified action has rendered anarchism a tertiary player on the world stage. The people have been well and truly convinced that government leadership is required to hold their lives together. “Anarchy” is popularly perceived as a void in order that causes societal collapse, and “anarchism” is typically seen as a fancy word for “chaos”. Communism and socialism have been reviled to the point of near irrelevance, and only now is the word “socialism” finally losing its verbal barbs and is fast gaining popularity. Even though “socialism” as a word colloquially means “universal healthcare and free college” instead of “seize the means of production”, the shift in appeal towards social democracy is a sign that the pendulum may swing leftward if political awareness becomes widespread. This brings me to anarcho-democracy, and the similarities and differences between it and traditional anarchism, including modes and methods of revolution.
On its face, anarcho-democracy as a term may seem to imply that other anarchist ideologies are not democratic. This is absolutely not the case, as all anarchist societies utilize democracy in some form of another. Rather, anarcho-democracy is named to differentiate the systems by its most prominent feature, the use of a society realigned under direct democracy to counter the parlaimentary/electoral system and the rule of the political elite, with the abolition of the state being the final stage of anarchism compared to the classical methods of abolishing the state first and then realigning society from the void, or in creating loose anarchist organizations that will replace the state after a revolution. Under our current socialism-adverse society it becomes imperative for an anarchist to utilize the greatest powers at his disposal — the malleable and manipulable parliamentary political apparatus — to drive popular support and create socialist-parallel policies that generate goodwill toward leftist ideology. If done correctly this will result in a leftward shift of the Overton Window, with a growing base of socialist support and political awareness for anarchist causes which will be used to undo the system from within while using it to legally protect the revolution. Regardless of electoral success, it will allow for publicity and normalization of anarchism that will have long-term effects on public opinion.
Anarchism has become a lifestyle and a personal identity more than an actual social movement. Other than a few successful indigenous movements and some scattered “friend group” sized collectives, many of whom revel in their ideological conformity and moral superiority. For some anarchists, it is better to have no revolution at all than one that does not match the revolution in their heads or in the books of popular and obscure anarchist writers. Like many leftist intellectuals, anarchists can be ironically dogmatic and subject to groupthink. No wonder there hasn’t been a revolution, since leftists are so content in destroying one another that they have forgotten that capitalism still holds a chain around all of our necks. Thus the libertarian left stagnates, unable to adapt against the capitalist republican system because they would rather fight the government with a dozen of their buddies than unite under democracy. Some anarchists will protest and riot but will be ideologically repulsed by casting a ballot, unwilling to vote even for a socialist because doing so makes them feel they have compromise their beliefs. This behavior must change if anarchist thought is to be adopted on a wide scale. Alienating themselves from the political stage has, unsurprisingly, made them irrelevant on the world stage. Anarchists must force themselves out of their comfort zones and engage the political world from all angles, including from within the system. The greatest thing an anarchist can do in the present day is ironically to take office. From there they can fight to undo injustices, stifle the advances of the far-right, advocate for socialism and make the people conscious of class conflict in preparation for the revolution. We can debate about the details of our new society when capitalism is no longer wringing our necks, but until then the upper-classes only benefit from the proletariat’s lack of solidarity.
There may very well be a time when a peaceful transition is impossible, due to an authoritarian or violent regime that rules without regard for the electoral will of the people. It may be necessary to attempt more conventional methods of regime change when democracy is broken. If anarcho-democrats have already entered office then they may provide the voice of the revolution and guide the people towards the new society. If there are no leaders in place then it may be wise to first reestablish liberal democracy before forming an anarchist society, but if the time is right and the people are wise enough to live in a free society without collapsing it due to their foolishness then the people may be able to transition past democratic socialism and anarcho-democracy. This is not entirely possible today with our current state of societal division, as our collective ignorance and individualistic cultures will likely mean that a void of rule will result in a chaotic post-apocalyptic hellscape rather than a just and kind utopia.
Liberation before mass social awareness leads to reactionary violence and mob mentality. Divisive narratives — both foreign and domestic — will influence the most ignorant and unempathetic among the people to enact civil war and bloody revolution. Order must be kept not for the benefit of the elite, but to prevent our sociopathic neighbors from killing us because they don’t like how we think and nobody is there to stop them.
While anarchists-communists inherently believe that humans are mostly good and naturally cooperative, it is a sad fact of reality that all people are capable of malice. Sadism, greed and cruelty can never be fully erased from the Earth. Fortunately for mankind, the malice caused by wicked men is outweighed by the malice of the ignorant, the worldweary, the saddened, the troubled, the broken. This imbalance gives me great hope, because this mass of suffering souls has the potential to be healed. Who is ignorant can be taught, who is weary can be rested, who is saddened can be gladdened, who is troubled can be helped, who is broken can be repaired.
Without action these words are merely platitudes, only true for a fortunate minority under the current uncaring system. The lack of community and social cohesion, the lack of health care and medicine, the crippling debt and financial anguish, the pointless toil and wasted lives. This is what many instead have to look forward to in this world where there is little love for others. For some it is better to never have been born. No child should have to grow up to regret their existence. These are the wrongs anarchists fight to make right: we must never forget that oppression and cruelty are what we are fighting, not each other. We are much stronger as a unified front, bound together by common causes for the benefit of all mankind.
One anarchist belief is that communism is a natural state of affairs, that with a lack of capitalism and hierarchy there would be a common return to a state of sharing and mutual aid. This is in some ways true, as peaceful and communally minded individuals would seek out such circumstances as a matter of “enlightened self-interest”, so to speak. The trouble comes from those who have unenlightened self-interest, the predatory psychopaths and reactionaries: race supremacists, class exploiters, fascists, gangsters and all manner of would-be conquerors. Unfortunately there will be plenty of these people after the fall of capitalism, their mindsets and worldviews crafted by our own uncaring and individualist society. It is utopian and overoptimistic to imagine that the vast sum of criminally-minded individuals would be instantly cured of an entire life of exploitation and negativity. No, it will require a long-term healing of our minds before society can escape its hateful past. Even within the commune system there will be a potential for gangs and extremist groups to use the freedom of the commune to disguise their crimes against society. This is why I have come to believe that some form of pro-anarchist order in the transitional phase is required to ensure that chaos does not infect our societies because of our poorly planned and emotionally guided revolution. The anarcho-democratic shield state and the anarcho-constitution could provide a defense of all the good intentions of the revolution, to prevent a descent into tribalism or feudalism. Whereas most people would either return to their daily lives or move onto something greater, there are those select few who would rather become warlords and bandits, slavers and terrorizers. The greatest shame that can come from anarchism would not be the failure to destroy capitalism, nor a failure to eliminate hierarchy, but the failure to adequately reform society after the revolution into something other than a violent hellhole void of order.
Socialists are, for the most part, intellectual individuals. To adequately speak amongst a crowd of leftists requires learning from a litany of ideas, authors and historical figures to understand their complicated and oft-misunderstood language. To fully appreciate their ideals requires intense study of not only anarchism itself, but also a somewhat detailed explanation of socialism, communism, capitalism property, and so on. Where the intellectual anarchist can go wrong with his assumptions is their belief that all men could easily understand their philosophies, that all men will instantly see the error in the system and know how to react appropriately to it instead of finding an infinite number of ways to make the situation worse. At worst it will result in total annihilation of civilization and perhaps mankind (with the current proliferation of nuclear weapons and other WMDs), but most likely we will end up with a system similar to our current one with a couple minor changes that will still result in the profiteering exploitation of the people, as a majority of Westerners could not possibly imagine a world without money, even amongst leftists. [rewrite, run-ons]
On Libertarian Municipalism
Murray Bookchin made great strides in his attempt to form a free society built upon marxist and anarchist thought, ending up with the concept of libertarian municipalism, also known as communalism. In essence, communalism attempts to establish a dual power between the state and a loose confederation of communities that would eventually end in the replacement of the state with the confederation. I wholeheartedly agree with many aspects of Bookchin’s work, but I find the idea of a grassroots organization replacing the current system to be an unlikely scenario in the modern Western world. Furthermore, the intended outcome of communalism does not create adequate organization to be capable of standing up to geopolitical challenges, likely resulting in the eventual collapse of the region due to civil war or foreign conquest.
To put it lightly, I do not believe that mankind in general is ready for such a free society. The average population of any given area is beholden to selfish and foolish ideals and behaviors that would result in the downfall of many localized communities. While theoretically the communalist movement is intended to be guided by grassroots socialist ideals, it ultimately will be hijacked in a manner similar to how the right-libertarian American Tea Party was hijacked by corporatists, and they will use the creation of local democracy to ensure rightist rule. Many communities have regressive cultures that would ensure a tyranny of a stupid majority if they were to be thrust into local democracy. With unchecked direct democracy they will not become a progressive and enlightened society, but instead they will become ruled by cultural traditions and reactionary against anyone politically left of them.
Imagine a rural religious community with direct democracy over its rules and standards. They may pass any number of rules against the LGBT population or a minority religion without oversight. Perhaps the confederation has a set of standards that must be followed for membership, but if they do not agree to follow the confederations guidelines they will have little reason not to join another confederation that would allow their ignorant — yet democratic — decisions. Without a binding force that can protect against the wickedness of man’s ignorance there will be chaos and violence, only there won’t be a federal government there to make it better. Minorities will be endangered when their neighbors are given full-reign over the legitimacy of their existence. This is why anarcho-democracy must maintain a shield-state during the transition: to protect society and the population while allowing individuals to advance towards freedom by their own accord. The shield-state is the gate that keeps the barbarians at bay.
Bookchin was right to criticize the lifestylism of modern anarchists, but his route towards freedom came with its own flaws. While his works are worth studying they are unfortunately not yet applicable to our primitive civilization and require a reexamination. In Kurdistan democratic confederalism has been formed around his ideals, and we have yet to see the outcome of that particular experiment. They have the odds stacked against them in more than one way, but perhaps they can make it work. Only time will tell.
On Right Anarchism: Anarcho-Capitalism, Anarcho-Monarchism and National-Anarchism
To form a cohesive definition for the term “anarchism”, we must first assume that anti-capitalism, anti-statism, and self-governance are key aspects as anarchism is and has always been a far-left ideology aligned with socialism and communism. Right-wing “libertarian” ideologies will always result in the reinstitution of unjust hierarchies based upon neo-feudalist economics and reactionary conservatism, as wealth accumulation without public law will inevitably lead to tyranny from those who have nothing over those who have everything. To protect their interests — of which wealthy men have many — the lord/capitalist will suppress upstarts and socialists either through purchased violence or simply through exclusion from their services, which may be basics such as water, electricity or road access. Unsurprisingly, few believers of such systems see themselves as anything other than the benefactors of their preferred worlds, with their identities firmly wrapped up in being one of the rich, noble, or powerful instead of the numerous poor, disenfranchised and powerless that inherently exist under such strident social conditions. They rarely think of the health and wealth of foreigners, scarcely consider the plight of the minority, and almost never take into account the masses of unfortunates that require aid beyond their ability to pay that would be left to suffer and die at rates higher than we already have under the current system. Out of personal goodwill and respect for man’s quest for freedom, I wish to reach out towards those libertarians sympathetic to right-wing ideology and ask them to listen to the perspective of their left-wing counterparts and understand that one cannot be truly free under a conservative or capitalist system.
Anarcho-capitalism is a ridiculous ideology, practically asking for the world to be a dystopian corporate hellscape in pursuit of pure capitalist freedom, as if though corporations do not have enough freedoms to screw over their employees, the environment and general society already. I have mentioned earlier that unbridled capitalism would lead to feudalism and private control over the public sphere, a major concern of liberals and socialists alike. Randian philosophy and “free market” policies have led us to the corporate hell we live in today, with billionaire ideologues pulling the reins of millions of the poor towards a world of financial serfdom in the name of “financial freedom”.
Ancaps will argue that mankind is both too selfish for socialism yet charitable enough to provide for the sick and poor from their own pockets. For those who aren’t Objectivist idealists or teenagers, these arguement are made in polite conversation so as to gloss over inconvenient truths, because saying “Who cares about those people?” would out them as sociopaths. This is unfortunately the go-to philosophy for antisocials as well as the lazy, attracting people that don’t want to be bothered and don’t like thinking about the plight of the world around them. Unsurprisingly there is a very effective libertarian-to-fascist pipeline on the Internet — found in anonymous forums and social echo chambers — that teaches young males to blame females, minorities and lgbt for their social exclusion and lack of success, finding a foothold with “anti-social justice warrior” talking points, and alt-right “news” sites confirm the biases of conservatives in an attempt to make pawns of them for their geopolitical and neoreactionary games. Ancap ideology is held by both the instigators of social violence and the pawns that fall for it: perpetrators and victims hand in hand. I believe that most right libertarians are good at heart and want freedom for all people, only held back from adopting leftism because they lack class consciousness and knowledge of historical materialism, and perhaps with beliefs they were taught to them by others that hold their empathy at bay. I have faith that people can change, and the left must work hard to appeal to their senses of personal independence and economic freedom if they hope to wrestle their support from the hands of corporate propagandists and racists. At the very least we can draw support from pro-personal freedom and pro-independent business policies as well as low-taxes on the working class. To right libertarians: I say that we can create a world where we are all free to live as we please, but this cannot be done under the current system of coercive capitalism.
Anarcho-monarchism is mostly an aesthetic system of government, based around Tolkien’s ideal world where a king would protect the peace and maintain a free society. I mention this ideology mostly for audiences in Europe and a few other notable nations, as they are still dealing with monarchs hundred of years after their practical purpose has been lost. Under anarchism (and anarcho-democracy) there must not be a popular acceptance of nobility or society will eventually regress to feudalism. Some people even today wish to return to the “simpler times” of living under a hereditary autocrat. Unfortunately, monarchy has a habit of producing genetic idiots and narcissistic tyrants. Let’s imagine a society that has reverted to full monarchism. Perhaps the first guy who earned the title of king was a good leader, but that does not mean that his son couldn’t be an evil bastard. The same issues with traditional monarchism apply to anarcho-monarchism. Although one could perhaps see this arrangement being successful for a few generations, eventually the rulers would overstep their bounds to suppress the popular will for civil rights, ending in them acting in their own interests or in the interest of the elite aristocracy above those of the common man. Without recourse against an absolute ruler they will be trapped in whatever system the king says they will be trapped in, with a tendency towards systems that favor their upper-class supporters such as fascism. If the people have a constitution or bill of rights there would likely be no real weight behind it, seeing as the armies and police would serve the royal family before the people in the event of social crisis or the anarcho-monarchist system would be replaced by a bourgious government such as a republic.
Aggressive capitalists and powerful nobles may grab the ear of the king out of threat to his sovereignty, bullying the weakling autocrat into complaince, and the anarcho-monarchy would either purge or be purged in a bloody war of bourgious revolution. Unless the people are given bread and circuses in a fashion similar to social democracy, perhaps even a UBI, or there would be an eventual shift towards liberalism and proletarian revolution; even under restricted markets with a socialist economy there would still be the need for levels of taxation, coercive labor and maintenances of status quos that would only be “anarcho” in name.
Perhaps a system of taxation wouldn’t be required if the king survived on donations while the people maintained an aggrarian lifestyle, with his rule like that of a shepard watching over the flock, but that would require either a willful population retreating to the countryside or a Pol Pot-style destruction of modern society, and even then the nation would be too technologically insufficient to defend itself against aggressors. As an alternative to this state of things, I recommend that modern monarchists simply find a crowd of people willing to move to an unclaimed plot and submit their lives to a person they judge to be worthy of kingship: It should be every man’s choice if they wish to subject themselves to a master, as some people may require that level of control over their lives. Build a village with your vast sums, dispense land and labor to your voluntary peasants and live free under the protection of a state that can keep your little world safe from foreign armies and bourgious insurrections, and the masses safe from your over-confidence and self-aggrandizement. Under anarcho-democracy a monarchist could change their selective economic system status to “homesteading (cooperative or experimental commune)” and be free to obtain a small amount of land per person that could add up to a sizable estate or buy private land and build their future kingdom, with their only restrictions being the constitution, the bill of rights and laws governing financial crimes and violence. However it would be hard to attract serfs and peasants in a society where everyone could be free from unjust hierarchies, relegating monarchy to the realm of novelty. When the claiming of indentured servants and slaves is banned from society it becomes very hard to assert nobility over anyone.
National-anarchism at first glance may seem similar to anarcho-democracy, it could not be any more different. The word “national” could be seen as having similar roots as “national socialism”, meaning that they are essentially libertarian nazis. Anarcho-democracy rejects racism, tribalism, fascism, and all forms of nazi-like ideologies. The belief that different races and faiths could separate into divided regions and not run the risk of eventual conflict is overly optimistic, as eventually there will be entire nations under a singular will, unbalanced by alternate opinions and cultures that may sway a broken governing ideology away from the insanity of ther echo chamber societies. Instead, we must defend the world against singular dogmas and race supremacies by bringing all our ideas and beliefs into the light of global scrutiny, breaking down divisions that may kill our descendants and our planet in one of the technologically escalated wars of the future. In a world that has nuclear bombs and bioweapons, such a level of division will eventually prove to be catastrophic. Anarcho-democracy refuses the idea of a permanent independent nation built upon a singular race or culture, instead seeking to set the conditions for a global society that is inclusive of all races and cultures.
The best advice I can give to the national-anarchist (and by extension all “Third-Way” nationalists) is to reassess your beliefs. If race supremacists wish to claim a foothold in society they must be challenged for the preservation of the future for all mankind. Being sensitive to cultural and religious plights, the left should allow for some level of community organizing along lines of culture and faith, but these should be restricted to a handful of wards in a commune at most, with maximum caps on such communities allowed in each region to deter racial supremacy and cultural conflict. Nationalists and racists that (for some reason) would want to join a commune must engage all people with solidarity and cooperation, and their communities should keep themselves (and be kept by the commune) to the highest standards of civility. The future has no need for hate between peoples. It will eventually catch up to us all.
Is anarcho-democracy the same as anarcho-statism? Surely it would be impossible for such a thing to exist, a contradiction of ideologies that would at best be communism with an anarchist aesthetic. One would be right to ask: Is this system statist? The honest answer to that question is yes and no. Yes, it is statist in the sense that it utilizes the state apparatus for the means of revolution. I also argue that it is inherently anti-statist at its core. The shield state is intended as a temporary entity with a pro-anarchist mandate that supports and defends the development of anarcho-communist communities while the world around them catches up. While this may be a seeming contradiction, it is actually based around the logic that one cannot force people to be free and expect perfect results. If a state exists to keep the people of a regressive system from discriminating against or harming those that pursue a more progressive system, then the progressive system has a better chance of surviving past its infancy.
The shield state is inherently non-anarchist. It is not an “anarchist state”, and to call it such would be inaccurate. As said before, the shield state is only pro-anarchist (perhaps even by another name), backed by a modified constitution that gives them the purpose of achieving self-governance for all people. The communes themselves, once organized and formed, are the anarchist part of anarcho-democracy. The state only interferes when a commune is endangered or when an individual’s rights under the constitution have been denied; a commune’s regression to criminality, extremism, capitalism, hierarchy and other non-anarchist behavior will have technically voided the commune’s status as an “anarcho-communist society” and will be subject to a weighted response from the shield state. The state also has control over the communes’ choice of association until the democratic dissolution of the state, as the nation would otherwise fall apart and be susceptible to outside influence; furthermore, an alliance between individual communes and hostile groups/nations would tear at the unity of the nation and endanger national security. There must be solidarity within the Union or the people will one day be in the prison camps of an enemy they forgot to worry about while they were having their little conflict.
Some anarchists maintain the fiction that they cannot engage in politics outside of civil disobedience and direct action, which has caused the near-stagnation of Western left-libertarian movements. This idea is contradictory: an anarchist can participate in society in any way they choose, due to the inherent libertarian nature of anarchism. It is practically state propaganda to say that anarchists should not participate in voting. Anarchists in general believe in the validity of direct democracy but have doubts as to the efficacy of the current system for very good reasons, but it is too simple to merely say that voting “doesn’t work”, as it has surprising effects every now and then that can make the attempt worthwhile. It is possible to vote for an issue that may not 100% align with your ideals without feeling like you are a fool, as the other option is usually much worse and would set back social progress perhaps indefinitely. An anarcho-democrat likely hates the state for what it is, but understands that it can still be used as a tool against itself.
This answer is likely unsatisfactory to many traditional anarchists, and I can understand the laughter and anger that such an unconventional system will create. However, I do not care and have embraced the absurd. Dogma was never my strongsuit, and I have doubts about the effectiveness of current revolutionary strategies. I do not believe that a state founded exclusively around the ideals of anarchism would effectively govern a politically diverse society and would either become to an inefficient and toothless state socialism or an authoritarian bolshevic-style state communism, remaining that way until it’s reverted to a liberal democracy or becomes a capitalist feudalism via anarcho-capitalism.
On Council Communism
My greatest critique of council communism is the same as my greatest critique of anarchism: I only wish they were more successful. In my opinion council communism, or councilism, was not morally incorrect when they criticized the methods of their opponents and the use of the corrupt legislative system, but they were unable to show substantial gain from their ideology. Sadly, they have been mostly forgotten. “Left Communism: An Infantile Disorder” by Lenin adequately sums up the flaws of councilism. The largest flaw, and one we must take note of today, is their denial of frontism. If the left remains divided then it might never defeat the current corrupt systems.
In some socialist circles there has been a revival of marxist-leninism, or a soviet style dictatorship of the proletariat. The cause of their rise in popularity is the belief that liberal institutions are unable to defend against the return of fascism, combined with some leftists becoming disillusioned with libertarian methods of revolution. The institutions that democratic socialists rely upon for revolution have failed to address the corruptions and crimes of the current administration. There is also a common belief amongst communists that the intelligence and security agencies will violently quell all attempts to democratically socialize the economy, a belief which has so far been shown to be true across the globe. Law enforcement and the state intelligence apparatus have acted in the past to defeat any attempt to change the status quo, and investigations into Republican wrongdoings have always been a pipe dream for liberals: unveiling the truth would crumble the American system as we know it. Congressmen will rush to protect their masters, willing to cripple the rights of the citizenry and destroy the world around us for their true constituents. In this light, anarcho-democracy may appear foolish to many socialists; only force of arms can bring freedom to the people, they claim.
Many authoritarian state communists see historical atrocities as being necessary to achieve social change, yet they ignore that they only add fuel to the propaganda of the capitalists: living proof that communists would kill to achieve their goals. There are several arguments and points of debate as to how intentional and necessary the famines, gulags and purges were for the revolution, and many marxist-leninists will point to the vast numbers of the dead that capitalism has left in its wake in their defense, but there is still not enough evidence that can make the average Western citizen to ever praise Stalin or Mao. The willingness of authoritarian state communism to engage in mass crimes has forever soiled communism in the eyes of the peaceful man and the moderate, whom the authoritarian communist is loath to work alongside unless their will is obeyed. Thus they may be forever unable to reignite their revolution.
The philosophies and sciences of Marx and Engels are central influences behind the development of my philosophy, as scientific socialism and historical materialism aid in seeing the class struggle in context. Lenin is a more contentious figure, but he was correct in his critique of factionalism, which has been the death of many socialist revolutions and continues to drive wedges between leftist communities, and likely will do so forever. Where his concept of democratic centralism falls short of modern Western expectations is the creation of the single-party system, and in some instances those that did not vote according to the party line were subject to retribution. While this was an effective system, it only gained traction in Russia because the people were escaping the hands of feudal capitalists and were generally willing to make extreme changes, whereas most modern Westerners do not have such a brutal recent memory and are entirely unwilling to escalate their class war to the level of suppression and oppression, and ideals such as freedom of speech would inevitably cause a single-party system to decay or would encourage the party to engage in oppressive tactics. Instead of a single-party system, parties can effectively be eliminated by establishing a direct democracy, which can blunt the divisive effects of factionalism by targeting the political bodies themselves, replacing them with popular opinion and the steady voices of influencial leftist thinkers. Most Western nations that would be capable and willing to adopt a congressless direct democracy in the first place would likely be socially progressive enough to lean leftward. Look at the votes in America for the last Republican victories and you will see that they won only because an archaic system holds back the popular will. My arguement against the need for a single-party system in the United States comes from this fact, that the people themselves would be a party great enough to democratically maintain the new system and that evidence shows that they would have chosen the leftmost candidate by themselves if given the chance.
Anarcho-democracy is designed as an ideological middle ground between Western democracies such as the United States, socialist/communist countries such as China and Soviet Russia, and libertarian anarchist ideology. It is this combination that I feel would be a sufficient transitional model for the West towards a free society, seeing the Chinese and Russian models as incompatible with Western conceptions of freedom. The revolution in the Soviet Union was fought against a feudal capitalist empire , and China had endured millenia of imperialism, then years of warlordism under the Republic of China followed by a brutal occupation by imperial Japan. In light of these terrible circumstances, one can understand how the world these people lived in bred violence and death in their fight for freedom, and it is not the West’s right to be angry at the millions of people who wanted so desperately to live in a better world, free from imperialism and the exploitation of the poor. The world these nations were born into was a violent one, full of chaos and terror far before the revolutions. In light of this sad history I can only say that the people of these nations were placed in a position that was far more terrible than what we experience today in the West, and that the situation here calls for action far less violence than what the people of China and the USSR utilized in their revolutions. Indeed, the USSR chose to fight the world around them and crumbled because of the opposition, while China has only grown by embraced the world around them and has the potential to beat the United States at its own game.
What about the enforcers of the status quo, the police, intelligence services and lawmakers? There is no doubt that violent opposition from the state has in the past crushed democratic socialists that tried to change the system from within. The deck is stacked against social change, an example of which is the American government barring communists from intelligence agencies and the unconstitutional Communist Control Act of 1954. But the cold war days are over and the red scare has become a shameful memory, and a new perspective on socialism has come over the Western world. The far right had a shot at claiming the popular opinion in 2016, but they only managed to show the world their repugnancy. Thanks to their concerted efforts we have been given an insight into the weaknesses and strengths of the American system, allowing us to see the possibility of a truly democratic transition in the events surrounding the election of the 45th president of the United States. Although much of his ascension was due to the support of billionaires, trolls and foreign propaganda, the ultimate cause of his election was his popularity among the voting public and the unpopularity of his political opponents. With the backing of a corrupt congress and immunity from the law given to him by his allies and the unwillingness of the intelligence services to act against him, the 45th president went on to commit a multitude of cynical crimes designed to enrich and empower his family while destroying the global credibility of his nation. The intelligence services knew of this corruption and could not speak or act for fear of throwing the country into turmoil. The legal system desperately attempted to fight back against the corruption, but to little avail. This has proven that the government of a powerful democratic republic can be driven to support the will of a tyrant, which gives me great hope that an honest, just and patriotic socialist government can use the similar but legal methods to modify the democratic system in favor of the people. Without colluding with foreign governments or committing electoral crimes a socialist government would be difficult to legally dismantle. Furthermore, by not compromising the system that ensures Western hegemony, but rather by adjusting it little by little to ensure a calm transition while retaining global stability we can potentially lessen the danger to the democratic socialist revolution posed by the government. By not making enemies of the intelligence services we can potentially avoid most of the oppressive tactics common to the “red scare” period. This is infinitely easier than entirely dismanting such a powerful institution by force.
What if that is not enough? What if after all this effort our democratic attempts at a free society are still led to destruction at the hands of the right or the capitalist state, proving that peaceful democratic revolution is impossible? This is a good question. With perfect honesty I admit that there is a possibility that the entire system will be disrupted in the early stages of the socialist transition, but the route toward social democracy in America has been called democratic socialism by a handful of progressive politicians not because they do not understand the tenets of socialism but because they know that the majority of the population would not support the immediate and abrupt change to the economy that anarchists and marxist-leninists demand. This plan from progressives and socialists who are already in power can readily integrate with anarcho-democracy whereas an attempt at establishing marxist-leninism would result in an immediate discrediting and defeat of the socialist movement as the justified fears of political moderates solidifies the conservative base. To me the possibility of democratic socialism’s succeeding is higher than the possibility that a marxist-leninist revolution would ever occur in the West, and much higher that it could occur without ending in civilization-crumbling chaos of some form.
To summarize, marxist-leninism is unpopular in the West and thus currently unviable as a revolutionary movement. While socialism is becoming mainstream and anarchism and communism have gained some appeal, the brutal history of many marxist-leninist regimes have limited their popularity and credibility. The idea that one could repeat the Soviet Union’s ascension in the United States is implausible. Anarcho-democracy is built upon marxist thought and agrees with leninism in some ways, especially the belief that state power is necessary to protect the revolution, but it disagrees with its methods of achieving communism. I believe that an anarcho-democratic society would be a suitable system to adapt the best aspects of marxism without engaging in authoritarian Bolshevic politics.
Political Purity Testing: How the Left Destroys Itself
A habit common to the left wing is the purity test, an artifact of argumentative socialist debate starting in the Paris Commune and continuing on into the Internet forums of today. This habit consists of two parts: the division formed between those that believe the words of centuries-dead men to either be outdated trash or holy gospel. There is constant petty division on matters of methodology that have historically led to a stagnation of action or outright civil war complete with the execution of non-believers. We have not had a solid, lasting alliance in our entire history.
Leftists are products of the world they live in, and since many socialists who have seen the harsh and Machiavellian world for what it is — with meaningless jobs, uncaring communities and entire nations revolving around greed and competition — the suffering leftist must silence the mental agony in any way possible before the urge to commit suicide overtakes them. Thus the most humane people are also the most troubled people, driven to liberate the world yet unable to see a peaceful path to a future that is not ruled by a wealthy elite. It is under these circumstances that the most aggressive symptom of PTCD becomes apparent: the urge to end the cause of suffering once and for all, either through death of the self or through an overthrow of the systems behind the suffering at any price, even if the price is one’s humanity.
Modern socialists are the product of the individualistic and uncaring society we live in today, and even thought they may feel apart from its ideals and perspectives, they are still exposed to the cruelties of that all men face, only with a deeper level of consciousness as to the historic and sociological meaning behind their predicament that only causes further despair. An understanding of the world’s flaws combined with an inability to affect change leads to depression and helplessness, knowing that the evils that surround us can only be escaped with revolution or death. It is this manifestation of PTCD that leads an average Western citizen to call for gulags and purges, representing a coping mechanism akin to a faithful man adopting a retributive religion to ease his fear and anger at what’s “wrong” with the world. The need to preserve the ego has made them attach it to all aspects of their chosen ideology, making them willing to form their personalities around the ideology instead of adapting themselves and their objectives to new events. While sometime a strict adherence to an ideal can be noble, it is unfortunately also favored by those who have need to justify their desire for revenge or else risk facing the deepest emotional core of their cognitive dissonance.
The authoritarian urge within the socialist community has echoed through history down to the internet forums of today. It is in this online environment that I will focus, as it is most relevant to Western leftists and people from developed nations to whom I believe this system would be applicable. In our online communities we run the risk of forming echo chambers that demand purity of ideology and suppress those thoughts they consider “regressive”, oblivious to the schisms they create in the socialist movement, driving themselves further and further away from unity. To the dogmatic leftist ideologues, solidarity only exists between those who believe exactly as they do, and everyone else deserves to be forced into a gulag until they see the world how they see it. These schizmatists have done as much damage to the socialist cause as government agents, some of whom I’m not sure aren’t some form of provacateur. A refusal to accept half-measures pushes the antisocial socialist into isolation, with most of the people around them unwilling to stoop to their level to see their viewpoints.
The answer to this behavior is to be open minded to things that are similar to what one wants and to be willing to compromise with those who are similar to yourself. After all, socialist communities are supposed to be built upon cooperative behavior. The path to liberation will be fought inch by inch, and the first battle has to be within our individual selves. With solidarity we can fight together. With unity we can be strong. With compromise we can rise above our differences and move forward as a singular socialist wave. My hope is that this system can bring unity to our disparate beliefs so that we may have a path forward that all people may benefit from.
Accepting Unpopular Opinions
There will always be people who do not see things the way that we see them. Many of the most pressing matters of our times are not exclusively right or wrong, instead being matters of culture and perspective. Therefore it is best to temper our disagreements with an acceptance of other peoples’opinions. While some issues are somewhat easier to accept (opinions on the drug war and the benefit of welfare programs for example), there are other issues which strike at core beliefs (abortion, gender and sexuality, etc.) and are much harder to reconcile. The lack of acceptance for particular faiths and nationalities, the denial of gender identity and sexuality, the battle over abortion and female reproductive rights: these are issues which harm individuals far beyond most people’s ability to accept. Why should I care what you think when you do not believe I should exist or have equal rights? This is a challenge to even the most pacifist of leftists, especially when they are themselves a member of the affected group. We may be able to agree to disagree with the particular of issues that do not strike at our personhood and humanity, but what about those that do?
First, one must not fall for the paradoxical tolerance of intolerance, which is manipulated by racists and nazis to turn your own civility against you and the people whose lives they would destroy if given the chance. They do not care for your liberal civility, but they know that someone who does hold liberal beliefs can be dragged by the reigns of their sympathies and tolerances. The nazi troll delights in making bad-faith arguments, laughing at any debate that does not come in the form of violence. These people do not deserve a worded debate as they will never enter it with the intention of learning, only to please them and their allies. Even non-nazi fascists rarely are sentimental for human life and tend to be cold and unempathetic, making them hardly worth talking to about matters of ethics: most people would have better luck squeezing blood from a stone than trying to convert a dedicated fascist in one sitting. This is to say nothing of the violent lunatic racists that fill their minds with hate far more than ideology, or the ones who are part of a white-supremacist neo-pagan cults, or the ones willfully propagating racist/far-right internet culture, or the ones that craft their own bizarre idiosyncratic fascistic worldviews, and so on.
As for the average racist, sexist, homophobic or typically conservative person, they are likely within reach of your understanding but will take time and effort to deprogram their thinking, possibly more time and effort than can be expended in a short conversation or an online debate. Every leftist has the power to affect those in their families and immediate social circles, at least in minimal ways that when added together on a national scale become a force for cultural change. Anyone who makes efforts to change these minds is a saint worthy of their own statue.
Liberals will be needed to provide a popular base for an anarcho-democracy. Center-left liberals often believe they are socialists because of the right’s effective propaganda against social democratic policies, meaning that they are typically within inches of abandoning the system altogether once they have been exposed to leftist theory and class consciousness. Others may never be convinced to agree with socialist beliefs, but they may be willing to agree with you on the dangers of far-right extremists and thus can make great allies. As some liberals may be unattached to the leftist aspects of the ideology it is unwise to assume that they will support socialism in a coming democratic revolution: liberals are just as vulnerable to right-wing propaganda as conservatives, with Randian objectivist-style classical liberals essentially being right-wing. However these people are often quite honest (perhaps with the exception of their public leadership) and willing to engage with leftists as long as they are reaffirmed in their beliefs on personal freedom.
Free speech is usually important to this person above all else, although its use may be perverted by an obsession with their right to offend and insult above all else, often with the belief that “my fist ends just before your nose” as a justification for their behavior. Although far-rightists propagate this behavior to further the culture war, the vast majority of free-speech proponents are honest in their intentions and are merely being manipulated by provacateurs and crypto-fascists. These people are often the easiest to teach anarchist ideology because as they both want liberty and freedom of thought, yet it must be known that the typical leftist insults and barbs against their cultures and national traditions are unhelpful for teaching them the humane and just aspects of libertarian socialism that they would find compatible with their own beliefs. When speaking to this type of individual it is best to be politely truthful and find commonalities between you before making an argument you feel that they would disagree with, using references to those commonalities and shared beliefs that you feel will lessen the impact of you opinion, especially if they never thought of it before. You will also be required to hear their views and attempt to understand their perspective. Of course you will not always get anywhere with such a conversation, but many would be surprised how many leftists were once honest and optimistic rightists before their opinions were flipped.
Where the real power of acceptance can be seen is in the conversion of right-libertarians, many of whom love freedom at heart and are generally willing to agree with anarchists on many topics, ranging from self-governance to the acceptance of human rights. Issues such as guns, drugs and freedom from police oppression are commonly shared opinions between the two wings, provide the anarchist debater a convenient route by which they can explain class consciousness. Right-libertarians commonly frame their beliefs by saying that a gay married couple should be allowed to defend their pot farm with ar-15s; this is the whittled-down core of American patriotism, meaning anarchists and right-libertarians have a lot more in common than either group may like to acknowledge. As long as they act in good faith and are willing to engage in a dialogue, anarcho-democrats absolutely must strive to appeal to and convert right-libertarians. Even if you cannot bring them to your side, you can help draw them away from the far-right extremists that seek to manipulate them towards racism and political violence.
Some socialists will likely have a different viewpoint than the average Westerner on practically every subject, usually with good reason but sometimes for the sake of defiance rather than rationality. This does very little to create solidarity or mass appeal and much to sew division and stroke egos. For some it creates a great sense of control and [beliving one is better than others], as though one has shattered a grand illusion while the unwashed masses wallow in ignorance. In a sense this is elitism, a way to create unneccessary complication and dogma to the otherwise naturally simplistic basics of socialism, generally not for the purposes of creating unity but to win petty debates. This is not to say that they are necessarily wrong about any particular issue, but an insistence that their personal opinion is the only one that has value is where they lose much of their audience.
A rational and good-intentioned individual will be highly suspect when someone dismisses their opinions outright and calls their culture and way of life immoral, as well they should be. They should be even more suspicious when the person telling them this has a clear bias and a voice filled with condescension. An alternative approach would be to acknowledge the good with the bad, for the speaker to bridge the gap between leftist critique and the traditional narratives, or at the very least acknowledge the emotional validity behind their opponents beliefs. It is hard to convince people that they are simply wrong about everything, but it can be much more effective (and honest) to admit that there are grey areas in much of history.
This isn’t saying that you should go around defending the nazis (please don’t), but rather that it can be an effective tool for building support and negating hostility in those you want to bring to a mutual understanding. You may have friends or family that you want to bring to an understanding, or perhaps you are trying to convince a liberal on an internet forum that you are not advocating for bloody chaos or a brutal dictatorship. Even when you are debating someone who is acting in bad faith, maintaining a moderate level of decorum while delivering your counters can be influential to onlookers, both harming your opponents image and solidifying your own in the eyes of truthseekers and people of good-faith. Only the dogmatic ideologue, blinded by their opinions, will deny and refuse an unbiased truth.
We can’t always bring people to our side, but we may be able to create better understanding between cultures. You could know every leftist theory ever written and be able to quote every last line of every last leftist book, but if you deter every logical thinker with your purity tests and scare away every emotional thinker with your anger then you have only harmed your cause. Socialism is social, sociopathy defeats the purpose.
Forming a More Perfect Union
The ultimate end-goal of anarcho-democracy is communism, and there is no possible means of achieving communism without first creating a unified alliance across the globe that can replace the current elitist capitalist world order as the primary global hegemony. Only by constructing a new society throughout the globe can there ever be a socialist system not subject to annihilation from government spies and orchestrated coups, a bridge between peoples and nations that can weather the tides of trade wars, cold wars and embargoes from foreign capitalist nations. Allies must be brought together under an agreed-upon banner if they hope to ever form a free world. In the present day this is impossible, as the left in the West is nearly neutered by infighting and the state of political dialogue has shifted so far to the right that we are more likely to build a wall than tear one down. We are far from finished fighting, we must have hope. The people of the world must form a more perfect Union.
Regional alliances between states must be arranged to ensure that one region does not gain supremacy, in effect allowing for a “democratic imperialism” of one region over another. To counter this effect it will be wise to merge only with nations that have made significant progress the creation of an anarcho-democracy, democratic socialism, or other socialist/communist system that is sufficiently respectful of personal freedoms. This merging would be done slowly and with each stage of the process done deliberately. There must be an understanding between regions that would allow for historical and cultural differences to be protected from the will of a larger group of people. Instead of an instant merging of shield states and economies, the two nations will enter a series of votes once a year (or similar) over the state of the union, allowing for the people to determine the terms of alliance instead. These votes need not be done simultaneously, and there may be a need for “primary voting” for each bill and ranked voting on each issue, so as not to force people into a handful of voting options that may not fully represent the wills do the people. Both regions must have equal day in such issues, regardless of population, so expect there to be much deliberation and primary voting between regions before an agreement can be met. As for the shield states, they must not be merged until the people of both regions agree that this must be done; it will likely come to pass that some regions will retain a cultural identity related to their past nationalities and may not be willing to assimilate with foreign cultures. This should not prevent nations from merging, as we can still mutually benefit and learn from one another without adopting each other’s lifestyles. It is also critical that both nations be either self-sufficient, useful to the alliance, or at the least not damaging to the economy of another ally. Be aware that a large nation may still overrule a small nation even under the best circumstances, and that the balance of power will always be controlled by the nation with the greatest resources and means of production. Therefore it is essential that a small nation’s people, their political allies and vanguard parties be vigilant in their pursuit of the best terms of agreement between the to-be-merged nation’s, never allowing themselves to be rushed, coerced or bribed, and placing the future happiness and preservation of their people above any personal goal or immediate gain.
Let us imagine a future — a distant and rather unlikely one — in which the leading superpowers of the world, the United States and China, were to have reformed their nations into libertarian socialist states. If the U.S. has moved left politically and economically and China has broadened acceptance of personal freedoms, then the two states could potentially form a Union. The two peoples would move slowly, both having much to lose, and would almost certainly maintain their previous states and regions indefinitely rather than give control to a past rival. Instead, economies could be merged in manners that would benefit both peoples, with free association and trade between communes and state industries, allowing both nations to combine their strength and productive capability. A constitution can be formed between the two, guaranteeing each region’s rights granted in their previous constitutions while making a binding pact that holds the merged nations to agreed-upon standards of human rights. Treaties may only be ratified by joint vote between all peoples, therefore each nation should be aware of the geopolitical intentions of their potential ally, and neutral parties should alert all potential voters to the facts of which they may not be aware regarding future conflicts of interest. The two states should come into an agreement with the expectation of being friendly or neutral with the current allies of the other state. Since the population of China is significantly larger than the U.S., there would be a clear disadvantage for the latter if there was a direct democracy, to the point where the system would never work in favor of the smaller state. To prevent such a tyranny, the two states must both individually have a successful vote on an issue to have an agreement on any issue that would affect the entire Union; this would apply to every nation that joins the Union, as even the tiniest state must have a say in the issue; for those matters that are within one state’s own borders and do not affect outside regions, there cannot be an international vote, only a regional one. In regards to human rights abuses in a nation, these may only be addressed by the Union if there is a constitutional violation, which must be corrected with legal action or result in expulsion of the offending state from the Union. Both regions may continue to mint currency but must not charge fellow Union states for resources or manufactured goods. Usury must be banned between the regions or they risk conflict. Both nations must prevent their capitalist classes from disrupting the Union or exploiting citizens.
With each new nation that comes into the alliance there must be a joint vote between all nations, and any one nation may prevent a new state from joining. Nations may be removed by popular vote of all opposing nations, but this may only be done in cases of hostile action or betrayal against the Union and should never be done in retribution or to violate the rights of others.
This is a difficult and tenuous path to unity, but there is no hope for peace without great difficulty. The alternative is an eventual future, perhaps 100 years or 10,000 years in the future, where there will be no other options than to either cooperate and unite, or fight and die. The weapons of the future will guarantee world peace by removing all of humanity from the face of the planet. If mankind somehow survives and moves beyond the stars to form colonies and galactic empires, we must ensure that we do not merely sew the seeds for 1000 new divided nations fighting for dominion. The brutality and horror the future will bring if we do not cooperate is barely imaginable in the most terrifying of science fiction. Entire worlds in the distant future will suffer and perish because of our human failings. -------With fear for the suffering of people and nations who do not yet exist, I say it is better to defend the human race rather than the status quo.
Imagine a situation in which a series of nations have joined together in an economic union, with each nation developing into an anarcho-democratic state or a democratic socialist state. They would first build the industrial and infrastructural foundations necessary to maintain their own commune system to ensure that they can become a mutually beneficial part of the global commune society. Nations within the economic union would be expected to provide a fair share of needed resources and commodities to the other nations, provided that doing so does not disrupt their development or environment. In the early days the large nations may benefit little from this arrangement unless the smaller nations have particularly rare resources, but I predict that this will balance out in the years to come as the smaller nations find niche resources and products to make them valuable trading partners. To encourage the participation of states in the development of other regions there should be a system whereby items of that have limited quantity are traded between regions based upon their rarity and value, with a minimum guaranteed amount of each resource/item that is to be delivered with each ordered shipment. Food and must be guaranteed, but luxuries traded across nations should be rationed and participation incentivized. Each nation trades upon a percentage of their production, with a guaranteed delivery of a small percentage of overall production of each requested material to each nation (after or before counting internal distribution, to be based upon international agreement), with the baseline percentage increased for nations that supply needed materials or valuable luxuries. The percentages distributed should be determined by a measurement scale that is fairly weighted and agreed upon by elected representatives from both nations (that have their decisions alterable by national votes within each nation to prevent their corruption).
For example (one which should not be taken literally), a nation is known for making a particularly hard to build electronic item, and they automatically distribute 5% of the production of the item to each other nation after consuming 25% of overall production at home. With five nations participating in the economic union they are distributing 50% of their production of this item either at home or in automatic transactions, leaving the other half for incentivized bargaining and (after all needed materials are taken by the communes) sold on the capitalist market. Say that another union ally requires more of these items and also produces a needed resource for material production, and that this resource is particularly hard to come by in the nation that produces the electronic item. They fulfill certain requirements that boost their access to the rationed trade materials, including the electronic item, in exchange for their international cooperation. It is hope that this system will not be permanent and will ultimately be replaceable with technological advancements that will allow each individual commune to produce needed materials locally and without need for any form of rationing. Until that time it will be wise for materials to be traded across cultures with some level of assurance that no nation will be manipulated by another. Only by supplying these nations with their own means of productions can the cycle of cruelty be stopped, and it will only make our society stronger and longer-lasting if we have allies that can sustain themselves, being bound to the Union by common ideology and for common defense rather than out of desperate material need.
An anarcho-democrat can be anyone that believes in humanism and anti-suffering. They are unifiers and peacemakers, people who agree that our divisions must be overcome if the people are to be liberated from the struggles and oppressions of our society. They understand that a collective movement must have realistic goals and take into account modern geopolitical realities if it is to be successful. The andem can be an anarchist that wants to be free from hierarchy, a communist that wants to be free from capitalism, a liberal capitalist that sees the benefits of a strong alternative economy, a right-libertarian that wants to be left alone, an independent business owner that wants lower taxes, or any number of people that believe that a person should have the freedom to decide what’s right for themselves.
Anarcho-democracy does not require that a person take the system as their sole political ideology, in fact it can be adapted to many previously held beliefs. The core unifying factor in anarcho-democracy is the belief that all people deserve the freedom to choose their life path and freedom from the oppression of elites and despots, something which most people can agree upon. Our world is comprised of various types of people and personalities, and anarcho-democracy seeks to unite them under a system that works for as many of them as possible.
Refrain from violence, unneccessary rioting and property destruction. While it is essential that you protest alongside other socialists, it is important that you not give in to chaos if you plan on engaging in the democratic process. Make yourself useful to protests by supplying food, water, and first aid. A well-placed camera and access to social media can reach far more people and change far more minds than a broken window. Be careful when engaging in self-defense, as modern rightist propaganda relies upon leftist aggression for fuel. Even punching a nazi can send the rightists, centrists and liberals into a frenzy, often regardless of context. Differentiating the anarch-democrat cause from enough to draw supporters from ideologies which may not initially find commonalities with or may be offended by anarchist or communist subcultures. Intersectionality with liberals and moderates is necessary for widespread acceptance of any democratic ideology
As for representational images, utilize symbols that would be considered patriotic in your homeland. Quote historic patriots and forefathers; honor the symbols of freedom popular in your country. Anarcho-democrats should experiment with symbols and styles to find ones that are popular and effective, and must use the best parts of their nation’s history honestly and respectfully if they hope to appeal to the average citizen. Be proud of the general political and social developments of the West, and understand that history is complicated and that we have developed this far because of the work of past peoples who were products of their times. Unburden yourself of your dislike of Western culture to gain an appreciation for their efforts and to draw the goodwill of those who would otherwise believe that you “hate them for their freedoms” because of your vitriol for their culture. If you are seeking to make allies with the masses it is better to direct your message toward drawing in allies moreso than attacking your enemies.
In keeping with anarchist tradition, the flag of anarcho-democracy must have half the flag as a black corner and the other half as the chosen color of the anarchist faction. I believe that the best representation for this faction would be for each region to divide the national flag or national colors with a black corner, but for a global anarcho-democracy flag it should have a color between blue (for democracy) and red (for communism). As indigo is too dark to easily see on a flag, difficult to differentiate from standard blue and purple, and because having an instantly identifiable color behind an ideology can be used to great affect, the color of anarcho-democracy should be specific. I’ve chosen #584ad5, a color I’m now dubbing “Anarchist Blue”. This color was chosen because it can be easily seen, identifiable, is peaceful and non-aggressive, and in combination with black its individual components represent the core beliefs of anarcho-democracy: democracy, communism and anarchism. The mixture of the colors denotes anarcho-democracy’s will to create an accepting and cooperative world. If a flag must be sewn and such colors cannot be found then the colored corner should be halved between red and blue, dividing the flag into the three colors.
The Urgency of Our Situation
“In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”
— Stephen Hawking
Mankind will not last a thousand years. If we continue down our current path of technological advancement we will eventually develop technologies capable of destroying our world. This is not the fault of science, it is the result of man’s imperfections of greed, hate, and hunger for power. Science has dragged us into the future, taking us from our caves and all the way to outer space. But science will never be enough to fix our deepest flaws, and because of this our species is losing a race against time to reduce and limit the worst of our human nature before we develop the means of our collapse. Without world peace and the unity of all mankind we will be destroyed by our aggressions and buried by our hubris.
We cannot know the exact tools of our doom: weapons, robotics, biologics, cyber technologies, etc. all provide a potential avenue for global annihilation. The governments of today are nearly impossible to revolt against due to the worst our advancements have brought us: digital surveillance, riot control tech and harsh legal systems that keep the population in compliance; the governments of tomorrow will have powers once relegated to the gods, with access to the means of power held permanently out of the reach of any rebels that would overthrow them. And these tools are becoming easily available to the poorest of dictators, and in time so will highly-advanced weapons industries. Whether it be decades or centuries, even the smallest nations will gain the means of creating technologies that can crumble all of civilization, and not even an alliance of the great states can stop the end times.
Even if we manage to create world peace, climate change and the mass destruction of the environment will likely end in the collapse of civilization, and it none of our current plans for action will be sufficient enough to stop this catastrophe. It may very well be that we are already doomed as a species and that we do not yet know it. I prefer to think that we have a chance to avert the worst of the damage, but it will be impossible to convince enough of mankind to change their ways enough to sufficiently prevent most of the tragedies we are about to face.
Without cooperation between all peoples we will soon meet our ends. As divided nations we lack confidence and security, which manifests in resource wars, trade wars, cold wars and the like. Our fear and our weakness drives us to feud, our inabiity to empathize and come up with solutions and compromises will lead us to a point where technology and violence will meet at a crossroads, ending our planet. The common misanthropist reassurance is that mankind cannot destroy the life-giving functions of Earth, only ourselves, and that life will continue on Earth in some form. This is optimistic, as we may very well crumble the fragile systems that preserve life on this giant rock. Never underestimate how effective mankind’s destructive capabilities may be. Without effort to prevent it we will destroy everything we have ever known.
Even if we manage to avert planetary suicide we will never be safe from the hostilities of the universe. To look upon the trillions of stars and galaxies and deny that other intelligent beings are out there is laughably foolish. Furthermore, we do not know how many millions or billions of years longer than us other species have had to develop. With our focus turned inward on our own petty squabbles we remain blind to unknown threats beyond our globe.
Catastrophe awaits mankind if we refuse to act. We must acknowledge the errors of our past and look forward to a brighter future, free from the archaic flaws we still carry to this day. We must fight for a better Earth, for an eliminate of unneccessary suffering and the enlightenment of all people. If we struggle against injustice today then the people of tomorrow may truly be free; if we act now, our species may still have a future.