"Private" worker ownership and common ownership in the anarchist tradition

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Trofim
Offline
Joined: 24-09-10
Nov 21 2010 19:10
"Private" worker ownership and common ownership in the anarchist tradition

Is it true that anarchist "collectivists" endorsed each worker owning the means of production he uses himself? (and therefore advocated the abolition of the right of inhertiance, which is meaningless when the means of production belong to society as a whole)

Did later anarchists reject that view?

Trofim

Anarcho
Offline
Joined: 22-10-06
Nov 21 2010 22:34
Trofim wrote:
Is it true that anarchist "collectivists" endorsed each worker owning the means of production he uses himself? (and therefore advocated the abolition of the right of inhertiance, which is meaningless when the means of production belong to society as a whole)

Well, no. Anarchists, since Proudhon, have argued that the means of production would be socialised, would be "collective and undivided" (to quote Proudhon's "What is Property?"). As he put it in 1848:

Quote:
Under the law of association, transmission of wealth does not apply to the instruments of labour, so cannot become a cause of inequality... We are socialists... under universal association, ownership of the land and of the instruments of labour is social ownership... We want the mines, canals, railways handed over to democratically organised workers’ associations... We want these associations to be models for agriculture, industry and trade, the pioneering core of that vast federation of companies and societies, joined together in the common bond of the democratic and social Republic

Later anarchists like Bakunin and Kropotkin built on this vision. Under mutualism and collectivism, workers would have use-rights to the means of production but the products of their labour would be owned by them (and so have a price and sold). Communist-anarchists argued that this was both unjust and contradictory, arguing for the products should also be socialised and distributed according to need rather than deed.

In short, that use-rights and socialisation be extended to both the means of production and what was created using them. This is discussed in both An Anarchist FAQ and in the introduction to my Proudhon anthology, "Property is Theft!"