Sunday, October 01, 2006

Libertarian Communism Redux

A couple of comments on my posting of Kropotkin's 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica definition of Anarchism and Libertarian Communism decried my use of such outdated material. Why it was almost 100 hundred years old. Blow the dust off that.

So here is a more recent comment on what Libertarian Communism is and is not. It is the free association of producers and the unlimited distribution of the wealth of their labour.

But as we all do, this author too looks backwards to the origins of political economics from whence all such definitions come.

What is communism? - Anarkismo

One of the first people to critically engage with political economy and attempt to turn it around to defend the improvement of the condition of the working class and rural poor was the scion of an Anglo- Irish landowning family from West Cork by the name of William Thompson. Born in 1775 in Cork, the young Thompson had been an enthusiastic supporter of the enlightenment, republicanism and the French Revolution. He later became a leading figure in the Co-operative movement in radical opposition to Robert Owen.

Thompson moved to posit a system of "free exchange" where equal access to land and the means of production was guaranteed to all, but distribution was governed by the right to the produce of labour taking precedence over the right to subsistence. As the anarchist historian Max Nettlau noted "[Thompson's] book, however, discloses his own evolution; having started with a demand for the full product of labour as well as the regulation of distribution, he ended up with his own conversion to communism, that is to unlimited distribution".


Libertarian Communism

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