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(en) Beyond Resistance a Revolutionary Manifesto for the Future Fourth Edition, Spring 2003 II. (2/4)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(UK AF - www.af-north.org/Beyond_Resistancev4.txt)
Date Sat, 17 May 2003 09:48:48 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

> The Anarchist Communist World
Capitalist society, indeed any society which is not anarchist
communist, fundamentally and negatively influences the kind of
people we are, what we are capable of achieving, and how we relate
to each other. It is not just the State and the bosses who ruin our
lives. We compete with each other, exploit each other, abuse each
other and constrain each other because capitalist society persuades
us that we cannot escape 'the law of the jungle'. In fact, this is a lie.
There are no 'laws' of human behaviour except those which capitalist
society imposes on us. Humans have so far created their social
institutions and ways of behaving according to the interests of those
in charge who fool us into believing that war, poverty, the nuclear
family and religion are 'normal'. After the Revolution we will find that
social relations can be re-defined in creative and liberating ways. We
will have a social revolution. By choosing this Revolution we will have
chosen to live in a way in which we can all benefit greatly and equally
- that is, to live as unique and equal individuals who collectively
comprise both an immediate and a global community.

First Things First
Once capitalism has been destroyed, we can set about the exciting
task of fulfilling our individual potential and shaping this new
community. Of course, in a world which has been disrupted by the
process of revolutionary war, we first need to ensure that we can feed
and shelter everyone. This need not be the onerous task which
counter-Revolutionaries would have us believe. In the world are more
than enough buildings and food to provide for everyone, enough to
survive a revolutionary war. What matters, of course, is to distribute
these using the newly seized communications such as radio stations,
roads and railways.

The global and local communities can then decide what
organisational structures
they wish to establish. It is not useful to try to determine now exactly
what these will be because this will be the task of society, not the
revolutionary organisation. However, as Revolutionaries we must
argue for egalitarian structures accountable and accessible to all. It
seems most likely that these structures will emerge from the workers
and community councils that the working class created during the
Revolution. We also foresee that a federal structure will emerge
globally to co-ordinate such things as the production and distribution
of resources, the making of decisions that concern a number of
communities etc. This is the organisational basis for an anarchist
communist society. Collective decision-making leaves no room for
governing authorities, and voluntary co-operation will mean that laws
and policing can be done away with. Under these new structures, all
forms of exchange and money will be abolished and all land and
property will be taken into the control of the community. Most of it will
be used collectively to provide for the needs of its members. Some
may be held by individuals for their personal use. There will be a
distinction between 'private property' which will be socialised and put
to use by the whole community and the possession and use of
resources by individuals for their personal fulfilment - though not at
the expense of communal need. No community or individual will be
privileged over another in terms of resources.

The New Economic Society
We can now begin to re-build our communities. Again, it is not for us
to determine now exactly what our world will look like. But it is certain
that agriculture will still be a major activity as will necessary industry
and both will be undertaken by communities that are part of networks
distributing their produce.

Where we live and work will be considerably altered. There will be
less of a division between town and country. Those living in isolated
places or in villages can now have both a pleasant environment and
the resources to enjoy it. Some of us will still desire to live in larger
social centres, but in the heart of towns there will be no offices and
shops but perhaps communal meeting places, open green spaces for
leisure and congregation, gardens and orchards, or whatever we
choose and need. Likewise, our homes need not look like the drab
boxes we are forced to live in now, but can be as exciting as
resources, not profit, allow. Some of us will desire to live in our own
space for the privacy which we have been deprived under capitalism,
whilst others will relish the chance to share their lives with others and
live communally. We will also have more flexibility about changing
where we live, because the question of whether we can 'afford' it will
not be relevant. Transport will also be geared towards social need for
industry, agriculture and leisure, and not the private ownership of
status vehicles as it is now, and we will thus see a reduction in motor
vehicles and the social and ecological problems they create. However,
the physical appearance of our world will only be a symptom of other,
more fundamental changes in human relations.

The way we spend our lives in relation to each other is even more
significant. The Revolution will fundamentally transform the nature of
work. We will re-organise industry so that we only produce what is
socially-useful. We will introduce the ecological management of
production and consumption. The renewal of the built environment
will occur alongside more efficient and sustainable systems for
generating distributing and using energy. We do not propose rigid
solutions but we do say that the technology for efficient and fair ways
of sharing energy already exist. Massive consumption by some
groups and energy poverty for millions will cease. It is likely that
renewable, low-cost and sustainable methods such as solar energy,
photo-electric cells, passive heating through modern architectural
methods, wind power, biomass and combined heat and power
systems will become commonplace. The burning of fossil fuels may
continue for a while until alternatives are put in place. All nuclear
power programmes will be halted and polluting industries will be
progressively abolished or minimised.

Most work under capitalism is mindless and pointless, unless you are
a boss. All activity after the Revolution will take place not for profit or
the maintenance of the status quo, as it does now, but for the
fulfilment of the individual, although never to the detriment of society.
There will be no place for useless work such as the production of
consumer goods for profit, the maintenance of social control, because
these 'normal' aspects of society will be irrelevant after the
Revolution. Each person will therefore have more time on their
hands, but this is fundamentally different to 'unemployment' because
no one will be 'employed'. This is because society is easily capable of
producing enough for its needs but not its greed, the concept of
having to work for a wage - or else starve and become homeless - will
become redundant.

The nature of work will in itself be more enjoyable, because, unlike
under capitalism it will have a point to it and because we will work in
ways that maximise fulfilment, not profit. Less pleasant but none the
less necessary tasks will be shared out entirely equally and the rest of
our time can be spent in enjoyable and creative pursuits. Of course,
fields will have to be ploughed, drains cleaned and domestic work
performed, but no one will be 'a farm labourer', a 'sewage worker' or
'a housewife', because these task will be shared out equally and be
performed in collectively run farms, workplaces, launderettes and
crèches etc., and occupy the minimum of time for each person (unless
they like doing them!). In addition, these tasks will no longer be
performed for a boss, a council bureaucracy or a husband, because
we will not be answerable to any more powerful individual but to each
other, within our free, anarchist communist society. It is a
fundamental belief of anarchist communists that the working class
already have all the skills needed to run society. Not everyone has all
of these, of course, and equality does not mean that we all take it in
turns to perform heart surgery! Neither will we all have the skills to
nurse the sick back to health. Thus, some specialisation will be
necessary. What will change, however, is that there will not be more
prestige or status attached to one social function in comparison to

The Free Individual in Voluntary Society
Specific examples of changed social relations will serve to show what
we mean by social revolution. We spell out exactly what we mean
because some previous and contemporary 'revolutionary' or 'utopian'
theories, even those with a class analysis, envisage an 'ideal' society
which is still dependent on the physical and sexual exploitation of
women, as though this is 'natural' and as though women will
'naturally' co-operate with it. Under anarchist communism, women
will not have the maintenance of the home and childrearing as their
major social function, because such tasks will be the responsibility of
the whole community. It may be that 'parents' in some communities
do rear their own children within a
family unit which may live within a separate house to others. Children
will have a choice in how they want to live as well. It may be the case
that children have no more connection with their biological parents
than with anyone else and that the entire community chooses to live
communally. There is no need for it to be the 'norm' to live within a
family unit. Indeed, the choice of whether to have children, how to rear
them, and how the individual wishes to live once it begins to make its
own choices, will be a matter for those concerned and not for social

Similarly, the nature of sexual relationships, whether heterosexual or
homosexual, will be determined equally by partners and need only be
as monogamous or 'conventional' as the individual wishes. Just as
not everyone accepts narrow-minded definitions of what is sexually
acceptable prior to the Revolution, so we can be even more liberated
and respectful of each other after
the Revolution.

Likewise, all other forms of social relation will change. Remove
national boundaries, colonial politics, the requirements of profit for
cheap labour in 'under-developed' countries and, more importantly,
the State lie that certain 'peoples' are by nature inherently inferior to
others, then the significance of racial distinctions will be re-defined.
Our relationships within our communities and with other communities
the world over will be based on the sharing of ideas and 'commodities'
as needed and desired, and will not constitute either exploitation or
charity. Racism itself will be eradicated both through the process by
which the class unites globally to free itself from Capitalism, and
through deliberate efforts to expose and undermine any remnants of
institutionalised or personal bigotry which remains within our class
after the Revolution. Whilst not denying the multifaceted origins of
human-kind, in the new society concepts such as 'race' will not be as
relevant as those of 'regional culture'. We of course reject the
reactionary regionalism supported by sections of the New Right.
Society will nurture the development of regional cultures that reject
chauvinism and racism within a libertarian federalist framework that
celebrates both internationalism and local diversity. When resources
have been more equally shared out and the Earth's ecology recovered
from capitalism, the only relevant differences between communities
the world over will be positive and creatively chosen ones of cultural
diversity. At present it is leading capitalists who are most easily able
to communicate across world-wide cultural boundaries, but the world
will seem 'smaller' after the Revolution and contact and exchange
with communities globally will be a common feature of our lives.

Other currently unequal relationships will change. No individual will
be considered less socially valuable because of age, ability or health.
The identity of the aged, the very young, the mentally and physically
disabled or the infirm will not be one of 'dependent' on society but of
'contributor' to it. Although this ideal is a common 'sentiment' in this
capitalist society, it can never be achieved until economic relations
are taken out of social relations. Under anarchist communism,
'contribution' and 'social value' will not be measured in economic
terms. As with other areas of social relations we do not envisage that,
on 'day one' after capitalism has been over-thrown, we will all be free
of unfounded and reactionary assumptions about each other. What
we believe is that a conscious and voluntary policy of re-education
will take place to undermine the commonplace 'truths' created by
capitalism (indeed, this work must, and does, take place before the
Revolution and forms an essential part of revolutionary activity). Only
by consciously understanding and acting on the arguments for
anarchist communism can the individual be fulfilled, as well as free
and equal, within the new society - creating the life which they wish
for themselves in relation to the equally important needs of other

Of course, even under anarchist communism, we cannot all live
harmoniously with each other all the time. However, the vast majority
of 'crime' relates to material need or greed, neither of which should
occur under Anarchist Communism. For example, no money means
that there will be no need for burglary, mugging, fraud or extortion.
Drugs will not be 'illegal' because there will be no law, but a major
change in the extent to which we respect ourselves and each other
will necessarily mean that anti-social drug use will be virtually
unknown. Other 'crime', involving the abuse or exploitation of one
human being by another, will be minimised in a society that teaches
that we are all equal. Some anti-social behaviour may remain. Some
people may still be psychologically unfit to behave with respect and
care for others. How such people will be restrained from anti-social
behaviour must be a matter decided by
the community affected by them.

The transformation of social relations between people - the
Revolution - must be accompanied by a change in how humans relate
to other life: other animals, plants and the ecosystem. This is because
all life is interdependent e.g. plants produce the air we breath and our
food (directly or via plant-eating animals) whilst in turn, plants are
nourished by our excrement and dead bodies. All life (excepting
humans at present) exists in a certain dynamic equilibrium with other
life, since plant and animal populations interact and adjust to changes
between themselves and their environment in order to maintain a
stable, though changing, system. Post-revolutionary society will
therefore need to establish a way of life in a similar equilibrium with
the rest of nature, rather than the present relationship of domination
and destruction which has resulted from industrial capitalism and
class society. Practically, this would mean an end to the industrial
methods of agribusiness, such as large scale monoculture (single
crop growth) with the accompanying poisoning caused by chemical
fertilisers and pesticides, the abolition of factory farming which is
harmful to both animals and people (e.g. foot and mouth disease,
salmonella, B.S.E.), and the cessation of industrial fishing which is
decimating fish populations and harming the environment. In place of
such dangerous techniques there will have to be a system of
sustainable agriculture, smaller scale, largely or wholly organic, with,
for example, crop rotation to restore and maintain the soil. These
changes would, for practical reasons, stimulate a move to a far less
meat-dominated diet. The global trend is currently in the opposite
direction, as the 'under-developed world' seeks (with the help of the
advertising industry) to emulate the diseased, fat and
additive-sodden West. Not only is this diet fundamentally detrimental
to human health, it is unsustainable (and possibly unachievable) due
to the vast amounts of resources (energy, land etc.) that are
consumed by animals, as compared to arable (plant) production:
larger areas of land are required to grow plants which feed animals to
feed people. It seems obvious that the vast majority of animal
experiments will end with the abolition of the profit motive (e.g. those
connected with cosmetics, arms production etc). A new ethics arising
from the future society's desire to achieve a sustainable relationship
in and with the rest of nature will also surely lead to a desire to
minimise/abolish the exploitation of animals wherever possible, and it
will rest with post-revolutionary society to decide whether any animal
experimentation should be allowed to continue.
We will now look at the alternative culture which must exist in order
for revolutionaries to succeed, at the role of the revolutionary
organisation itself, and at specific examples of how and why it must
intervene in the class struggle and broader revolutionary movement.
Finally, we address the Revolution itself.

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