|—||Herbert Read, Anarchy and Order|
For anarchists, capitalism is marked by the exploitation of labour by capital. While this is most famously expressed by Proudhon’s "property is theft," this perspective can be found in all forms of anarchism. For Bakunin, capitalism was marked by an "economic relationship between the exploiter and exploited" as it meant the few have "the power and right to live by exploiting the labour of someone else, the right to exploit the labour of those who possess neither property nor capital and who thus are forced to sell their productive power to the lucky owners of both." [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 183] This means that when a worker "sells his labour to an employee … some part of the value of his produce will be unjustly taken by the employer." [Kropotkin, Anarchism and Anarchist-Communism, p. 52]
At the root this criticism is based, ironically enough, on the capitalist defence of private property as the product of labour. As noted in section B.4.2, Locke defended private property in terms of labour yet allowed that labour to be sold to others. This allowed the buyers of labour (capitalists and landlords) to appropriate the product of other people’s labour (wage workers and tenants) and so, in the words of dissident economist David Ellerman, "capitalist production, i.e. production based on the employment contract denies workers the right to the (positive and negative) fruit of their labour. Yet people’s right to the fruits of their labour has always been the natural basis for private property appropriation. Thus capitalist production, far from being founded on private property, in fact denies the natural basis for private property appropriation." [The Democratic worker-owned firm, p. 59] This was expressed by Proudhon in the following way:
"Whoever labours becomes a proprietor — this is an inevitable deduction from the principles of political economy and jurisprudence. And when I say proprietor, I do not mean simply (as do our hypocritical economists) proprietor of his allowance, his salary, his wages, — I mean proprietor of the value his creates, and by which the master alone profits … The labourer retains, even after he has received his wages, a natural right in the thing he was produced.” [What is Property?, pp. 123-4]
|—||Noam Chomsky, Talk titled “Government in the Future” at the Poetry Center of the New York YM-YWHA, February 16, 1970|
Libertarian Star Wars
Max Weber, in Politics as Vocation.
Note: Capitalism entails capitalist control of property by means of violence. The capitalist, or owner, of any given private property claims the monopoly legitimate use of physical force over/within the territory/property he controls. In other words, capitalists are NOT anarchists.
|—||An Anarchist FAQ|Not capitalism
Anarchism is a movement for human freedom. It is concrete, democratic and egalitarian … Anarchism began — and remains — a direct challenge by the underprivileged to their oppression and exploitation. It opposes both the insidious growth of state power and the pernicious ethos of possessive individualism, which, together or separately, ultimately serve only the interests of the few at the expense of the rest.
Anarchism is both a theory and practice of life. Philosophically, it aims for the maximum accord between the individual, society and nature. Practically, it aims for us to organise and live our lives in such a way as to make politicians, governments, states and their officials superfluous. In an anarchist society, mutually respectful sovereign individuals would be organized in ‘non-coercive’ relationships within naturally defined communities in which the means of production and distribution are held in common.
Anarchists are not dreamers obsessed with abstract principles and theoretical constructs … Anarchists are well aware that a perfect society cannot be won tomorrow. Indeed, the struggle lasts forever! However, it is the vision that provides the spur to struggle against things as they are, and for things that might be …
Ultimately, only struggle determines outcome, and progress towards a more meaningful community must begin with the will to resist every form of injustice. In general terms, this means challenging all exploitation and defying the legitimacy of all coercive authority. If anarchists have one article of unshakeable faith, it is that, once the habit of deferring to politicians or ideologues is lost, and that of resistance to domination and exploitation acquired, then ordinary people have a capacity to organise every aspect of their lives in their own interests, anywhere and at any time, both freely and fairly.
Anarchists do not stand aside from popular struggle, nor do they attempt to dominate it. They seek to contribute practically whatever they can, and also to assist within it the highest possible levels of both individual self-development and of group solidarity. It is possible to recognise anarchist ideas concerning voluntary relationships, egalitarian participation in decision-making processes, mutual aid and a related critique of all forms of domination in philosophical, social and revolutionary movements in all times and places.
[My Granny made me an Anarchist, pp. 162-3]