Anarchism in Action (was Re: Capitalism, Private Property, etc)

From: Travas Gunnell (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 03:23:24 MDT

--- Neal Blaikie <> wrote:
> "J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> > Let me tell you a little secret about the real
> world (as opposed to the
> > anarchist, socialist world).
> > Capitalism prevails because it allows players to
> have a real and palpable
> > stake in the game. That's why the US government
> encourages citizens to own
> > their own homes. Private ownership stabilizes the
> system by giving people a
> > reason *not* to riot, rebel, and revolt. Take away
> private ownership, and
> > people have nothing to lose by burning down the
> neighborhood (or the whole
> > country for that matter). Anarchism is a nice
> ideal, but it just doesn't pay
> > the mortgage, and it never will.

You have the situation hopelessly reversed. In an
anarchistic society, people have much greater control
over their own lives and workplace, and are therefore
much less likely to want to destroy them. It is the
capitalistic system that is not stable. Notice there
have been quite a number of riots, rebelions, and
revolts as of late. The events in Seattle not too
long ago had a significant anti-capitalist bent to
them, as will the events this weekend in Quebec City.
(Keep checking here: for
updates on the action.)

More below...

> While I've always found anarchism to be compelling
> as a romantic ideal, it just
> doesn't make it in the world we find ourselves
> living in. Maybe someday it
> will. Who knows? Even if we don't subscribe to it as
> an ideology, I think there
> is a lot we can learn from anarchist writers (I like
> Kropotkin). But then, I
> feel that way about most things, and am not easily
> converted (I tend to
> assimilate and/or synthesize what I need). For an
> excellent examination of how
> an anarchist society might actually look (warts and
> all), I would heartily
> recommend Ursula K. Le Guin's novel THE
> DISPOSSESSED, which was originally
> published in 1974. I recently reread it after many
> years, and her critique of
> both anarchism and capitalism still rings true. And
> it's a great novel (IMHO).
> Neal

I point people to the FAQ again for an example of how
anarchism really did work in practice during the
Spanish Civil War, until it was largely destroyed by
the fascist Franco:

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

In Spain there is also the Mondragon Co-operative
Federation which has definite anarchistic qualities.
The federation has consistently outperformed
surrounding capitalist industry and grosses billions
in revenue yearly:

Also, in the US, there is a company called W.L. Gore &
Associates. They are structured in a non-hierarchical
manner, much like one would see in an anarchistic
society (though I'm unaware of whether or not its
founder knew anything of anarchism). They gross over
a billion dollars a year. A quote from their company

How we work sets us apart. At Gore, we don't tax
creativity with conventional hierarchy. We encourage
hands-on innovation and discourage bureaucracy,
involving those closest to a project in decision
making. Teams organize around opportunities and
leaders emerge. Instead of a pyramid of bosses and
managers, Bill Gore created a flat lattice
organization. There are no chains of command, no
pre-determined channels of communication. Instead, we
communicate directly with each other and are
accountable to fellow members of our multi-disciplined


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