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“The units of an anarchic system are functionally undifferentiated. The units of such an order are then distinguished primarily by their greater or lesser capabilities for performing similar tasks.”
I would distinguish (anti-state) communism from anarchism by noting that we would have a network of functionally differentiated units without a single dominant hierarchy and without any hierarchy capable of imposing it’s dictates unilaterally. This would be analogous to the primitive institution of chief, a man who mostly lacked the ability to enforce dictates but who played an organic part within the social fabric.
The task of building a post-capitalist society is the task of concentrating social decision-making within a complex fabric of relations.
A key thing is that this fabric would form as a living process rather than as an engineering project. Thus, those who will be acting at that point would in many ways have a better vision about what would extend the power and richness of this fabric. The role of “communist militants” is not to pronounce some series of actions or organizational forms, even to organize a Gestapo to eliminate enemies. Rather, we who aim to “have no interests other than the interests of the working class as whole” should first of all simply call for extending the power and coherence of this social fabric in ways that are most appropriate for the situation (And the measures we envision as necessary presently, such as the elimination of exchange, we see as being equivalent extending the power of this social fabric by eliminating any alienation standing against it).
This would be a wide-open process involving considerable trial-and-error. One thing that we would anticipate as a crucial step is preventing situations where resource-circulation would overwhelm social power as the determining factor in activity. The abolition of private accumulation of social resources and the exchange process would be the main way to maintain our open social process.
Other ways to maintain this fabric would include making the elements of any hierarchy changeable, reducing the height of any hierarchical tree, using the minimum amount of formal organization practical to achieve it’s goals (with no formal process at all being included) and other methods.
Our new world will be able to pick and choose from the “technologies” of every historical era ranging from the Stone Age up to the present. We imagine it would abolish the exchange value of commodities altogether and that just as much it would abolish “use value” of a commodity as something separate from the activity of the person and the society which creates that use. Thus it seeks the abolition of work and consumption as separate spheres.
Communist relations are a nexus of relations which tends to develop in any place where a community seizes direct control of its environment. As communists, we encourage the extension of communist relations to every aspect of life. But this is different from viewing ourselves as the direct carriers of this relationship. Those engaging in communist relations might not be conscious communists and those pushing for communism might not yet engage in these relations (and might even have personal failings which prevent them from doing so).
Since as explicit communists, our role is to push for an extension of the whole of these relations rather than claim individual particular abilities, this is not a stumbling block.
The goal of communism is to make its own coherent social relations the main end of social activity.