My problems with ancoms and tankies

While I find myself agreeing with many tenets of anarcho-communist philosophy, such as the abolition of unjust hierarchies and the like, from my experience ancoms ignore the fact that there needs to be a certain set of material conditions in order for true communism to develop, at best you’d get socialism wherein the workers control the means of production. Take this passage from Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread (1891) for instance:

The quantity of imported provisions having decreased, consumption having increased, one million Parisians working for exportation purposes having been thrown out of work, a great number of things imported to-day from distant or neighbouring countries not reaching their destination, fancy-trade being temporarily at a standstill,—What will the inhabitants have to eat six months after the Revolution?

We think that when the stores containing food-stuffs are empty, the masses will seek to obtain their food from the land. They will see the necessity of cultivating the soil, of combining agricultural production with industrial production in the suburbs of Paris itself and its environs. They will have to abandon the merely ornamental trades and consider their most urgent need—bread.

Chapter 16 “Decentralization of Industry”

Kropotkin here assumes that the people of Paris, after the revolution, will be able to secure food production by themselves, the population of Paris even at the time was several hundred thousand, and a single city wouldn’t be able to secure that foodstuff without land and technology, which at that time neither of which would have been sufficient for Paris to become a self-sufficient city or “commune.”

Today we have the means to create a genuinely communist society, all the workers have to do is overthrow the bourgeois state and seize back the means of production. However, a dictatorship of the proletariat would be necessary in order to ensure that counterrevolutionaries and reactionaries don’t reverse the course of history back to barbarism, as well as to ensure that opportunists don’t come in and fuck things up as they did during the Russian Revolution, Stalin initiated a thermidor, a reaction, to the revolution and only paid lip service to Marxism and even basic Leninism.

I also disagree with the idea of a party being the vanguard and leading the revolution, namely because it merely changes hands of the control of the means of production from the capitalists to the party bureaucracy while still subjecting the proletariat to their every whim, see how, for example, the Red Army crushed the Kronstadt rebellion or how Mao crushed the Shanghai Commune of 1925-1927, while still proclaiming themselves to be of the “people.”

A true revolution can only occur when the working class itself becomes politically conscious of its situation and rises up as a result, this can be done by means such as mass strikes as advocated by Luxemburg, or by the usage of syndicalist unions as advocated by De Leon, or by other means, but the so-called “communist revolutions” of the 20th century weren’t genuine communist revolutions, nor were they socialist since barring a few cases, like Catalonia during the Spanish Revolution, did the workers genuinely control the means of production.

One thought on “My problems with ancoms and tankies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s