17 responses

  1. Oisín
    September 9, 2010

    this is entirely based on the soviet unions practice of state socialism and the misconception of the meaning of anarchism as a political ideology.

    Please actuallty do some reading on the thoughts of communist and anarchist thinkers like MArx and Bakunin.


  2. Mojo Rhythm
    January 26, 2011

    I would say that the essential thread of communism is a classless society where there is no money, the means of production are commonly owned, there is no private property and everyone contributes products and services to a collective storehouse from which everyone is free to forage when needed From each according to his ability to each according to his need. Communism encompasses a variety of sub-movements, some anarchist, some not.

    Anarchism is the general skepticism of any kinds of authority, whether they are private tyrannies, oppressive governments or some such thing. Anarchism mandates that these authorities either justify their existence or be dismantled. That is about the only common motif that runs through out all anarchist-based sociopolitical movements. Anarchism has its own “political spectrum”, with individualist anarcho-capitalism and right libertarianism on the far right, and movements such as anarcho-communism, collectivist anarchism, left libertarianism et al. on the far left.

    That is the difference as far as I see it.


  3. jim
    February 3, 2011

    Uh, except for those communists who are anarchists, and those anarchists who are communists – like Kropotkin and Goldman, not to mention the whole contemporary libcom.org folks today.

    Communism is a form of social organization – a way to embody the values of socialism, so anarchists (non-state socialists) can be communists or syndicalists or agorists/mutualists, or another mode of organization.


  4. Cody Gaisser
    April 8, 2011

    Whoever wrote this has very little comprehension of either system and absolutely no concept of what anarchism is whatsoever. Apparently there has been no attempt to research it.

    Anarchism is not “chaos” nor is it the promotion of a system that leads to chaos. The nuances can get pretty complicated, but in very simplified terms anarchism is the belief in a society which is not governed by a state. The reason is pretty much that when one person or organization has power over others, there is necessarily injustice. One group governs another simply because they have the means of forcing others to comply (police, prisons, weapons, military). The governors have economic privilege and are not bound by the law to the same extent as the governed. The people always eventually lose what say they may have had in the decision-making processes, and policies develop against their interests. Violence, war, oppression, and economic inequality ensue.

    Don’t be misled into thinking it is simply the negation of the current establishments. Anarchism posits a number of alternative methods to social/political/economic organization, all of which (as far as I know) are centered on DEMOCRACY (self-rule by the people). As stated in the comments above, there are different ideologies within anarchism. There are conservative anarchists and liberal anarchists. Captialist and socialist anarchists. Due to the stateless and democratic nature of an anarchy, it is (conceivably) possible for all of these systems to exist simultaneously (though perhaps separately). I’m sure some would disagree, and perhaps have valid points.

    Ignore the above article. It is altogether misinformed.


  5. Adam Lassila
    March 31, 2012

    I agree with the above commenters. This is horrible. The author has no idea of what anarchism is. “Anarchism believes in individual ownership.” Where the hell did they get that from? Anarchism is explicitly anti-capitalist, as capitalist property relations depend on coercion.


  6. me
    May 4, 2012

    I think the above two comments dont actually know what Anarchy is.
    Anarchy in simple form means chaos. The term Chaos is always seen negatively, but Anarchist see it possitively. Chaos is the lack of unity, essentially. That is also what Anarchy is, the person is in control of himself and no one else, nobody is above the person and the person is above no one.
    Communism is the community, all people working together for one another, instead of for themselves. This is where the misconception takes place. You can be a person for the people as an Anarchist, anarchistic communist, but a community can not be for a person, a communistic anarchist.


    • jim
      May 7, 2012

      “Anarchy in simple form means chaos. The term Chaos is always seen negatively, but Anarchist see it possitively.”

      No. Anarchy does NOT mean “chaos” –
      ἀναρχία (anarkhiā), from ἀν- (an-, “not”), + ἀρχή (arkhē, “power, authority”).

      Absence of authority does NOT mean or imply absence of order.

      And anarchists do NOT “see chaos positively”, they see self-organization positively. Self-organization only appears as chaos from the standpoint of a power wishing to impose another order.


      • George
        June 11, 2013

        I think ‘Anarchy’ means two different things, and the article mixes them up:

        1.A state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. (in other words, chaos)

        2.Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal. (what the article should have been talking about)


  7. Michael
    November 3, 2012

    Doesn’t Anarchism seem sort of Capitalist and Opportunistic when compared to Communism?


    • jim
      November 16, 2012

      “Doesn’t Anarchism seem sort of Capitalist and Opportunistic when compared to Communism?”

      Not at all. Read the people cited above. Communism *is* anarchism, whether set in practice by the immediate abolition of the state (Kropotkin, Bakunin, Goldman), or through the eventual withering away of the state as its class function becomes obsolete and disappears (Marx).

      There is nothing anarchistic about capitalism, since capitalism is built on wage labor, and thus requires hierarchy and inequality to function.


  8. asdkjfhs
    February 14, 2013

    This article is wrong in almost every way that it is possible to be wrong in.


  9. Joe
    November 19, 2014

    Contraty to what they are trying to convince, I think these commenters have it wrong and this article is pretty spot-on to say the least, especially the person that said Anarchism is Communism. Communism is for dictatorship while Anarchism is against dictatorship; about the only thing these two movements have in common is that they are against capitalism. Even the founder of Anarchism Mikhail Bakunin opposed Communism for this exact same reason.


  10. Shreedhar Shekhar
    November 26, 2014

    Author do not seem to have any idea about what anarchism is
    every individual have rights to decide what is right;no one should believe earth is flat just because whole community thinks so;
    communism is a monster;essentially evil practically,it is only good in utopian (theoretical) societies.anarchists are liberators they believe that even if you have to stand alone you must.it echoes
    ‘Ekla Cholo Re’.


  11. voltaire obrero
    April 24, 2016

    The definition of a communist society here is disgustingly inaccurate. First of all, a communist society is not in need of a government as well (like anarchy), in what Marx describes as the “withering away of the state” where the state gradually diminishes in value and need and eventually becomes obsolete and irrelevant to the needs of society.

    A communist society is one in which the means of production is common property, and goods are distributed by need. The state in which a communist-led government is merely a communist state and is not the full realization of communism. This “communist state” is not meant to be permanent and should wither away when true communism is reached. In simple terms, a communist state is a mere stepping stone towards a fully communist society.


  12. Nuno Santos
    April 27, 2016

    This is not accurate. Communism does not rely on any type of government as wrongly stated. Soviet union was not a communist society, but a state socialism system instead. This article is therefore misleading regarding the true defining of communism.


  13. Susan
    April 21, 2017

    This is a terrible comparison and the person who wrote it is utterly unqualified. Not once does it mention that a core tenant of anarchism is anti-capitalism. The way it describes anarchism is more like Libertarianism which is definitely not anarchism. Moreover, anarcho-capitalism does NOT exist; it is a contradiction in terms, like saying you’re a vegan meat-eater.


  14. Zach
    May 14, 2017

    Susan, I assure you anarcho-capitalism does exist and is in no way a contradiction of terms. I consider myself within this exact class of thought. As an anarchist I believe in individual rights and freedom and I fight non-violently against government and oppressive social constructs. But we can not deny that there is an economy and an entire international structure that needs tending too. That’s why I believe in the idea of a free market society where everyone enters into voluntary contracts. This is the only way anarchism will work in the real world because we will need businesses to support infastructure, perform emergency services, etc.


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