About

This is a personal blog which I use to catalog and backup writings, drafts, revisions, and things I find. It’s useful to have a workspace where you can share and spread out your thoughts, and all my writings have been indebted to the friends and comrades that have offered up their ideas and support in helping work through these issues.

I am a healthcare worker, anarchist, and active over the years in a number of collective projects like Miami Autonomy and Solidarity and the Industrial Workers of the World. Many of these writings reflect my perspective, but are not official positions of any organizations I’m a member of. Sometimes I put up things I don’t agree with just to save a place if I feel like it raises interesting issues.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Scott,

    This newly published review of The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics. AK Press. 2012

    is likely to be of interest…

    Anarchists have a reputation for being weak in economics. This collection of articles is an attempt to refute this. It doesn’t succeed entirely and in fact tends to confirm that most modern-day anarchists get their economic ideas from Marx (as did Bakunin who was once going to translate Capital into Russian). Some of the writers don’t seem to be anarchists at all, in particular Robin Hahnel and Michael Albert, the inventors of a blueprint for an ideal future society they call “parecon”. Hahnel seems to be a Keynesian, advocating more state intervention (yes!) as a way out of the present crisis and of avoiding future ones. Albert is a supporter of President Chavez of Venezuela, and urges people to vote for him.

    Even so, the book does give a view of the range of opinion amongst anarchists. Some – the modern-day followers of Proudhon – are “market anarchists” who hold that there is nothing wrong with production for the market, except that the competitors should be worker-cooperatives rather than capitalist corporations and there should be no state to interfere in it. This is a minority view these days (though well represented in the US), but there are other anarchists who are against full, free-access communism (known as “collectivists” rather than “communists”) who favour instead relating people’s consumption to the amount of work they do.

    Marx himself sort of endorsed this for the very early days of post-capitalist society and some in the Marxist tradition still argue for labour-time vouchers. We don’t. Neither do some anarchists. In fact, two contributors to this book describing themselves as “libertarian communists” – Deric Shannon and Scott Nappalos – argue against this in the same terms that we do. Nappalos even quotes from our pamphlet Socialism As A Practical Alternative.

    Nappalos says that, as a libertarian communist, he stands for “a society based on the abolition of remuneration in the form of wages and democratic control” and “an economy based on the destruction of the wage system, and a de-linking of the value of labor in production from the distribution of society’s wealth to its members.” He makes the valid point that it is not possible anyway to measure an individual’s contribution to production. He writes “in our time, production is largely social. The contribution of an individual is very difficult to isolate from the contributions of countless others that make work possible”. Any such attribution can only be arbitrary, as in the parecon blueprint, of which he says: “having co-workers judge each other’s work would turn gossip and infighting at work presently from an annoyance into a system of power over wages.”

    Shannon’s criticism is directed more at “market anarchists”. He quotes another libertarian communist, Joseph Kay:

    “The assets of a co-op do not cease being capital when votes are taken on how they are used within a society of generalised commodity production and wage labour. That is to say there remains an imperative to accumulate with all the drive to minimise the labour time taken to do a task this requires, even in a co-op.”

    Other articles describe anarchist economic practice such as factory occupations, setting up vegan cafés and campaigns directed at particular capitalist firms (called PEDCs or “political-economic disruptive campaigns”). However, these are not specifically anarchist activities, only activities in which some anarchists engage.

    ALB

    http://tinyurl.com/csdxawn

    Needless to say, agreement is not expected and feedback welcomed.

    Yours for a world of free access,

    Robert Stafford
    Internet Department
    feedback@worldsocialism.org

    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb

    “);

  2. Hi, I guess you are in the US. If you happen to be over in the UK for 20th April we would love to have you speak at the bristol anarchist bookfair. In solidarity, Phil

    • Thanks Phil. I am in the US. I would love to come, but it would be tough because of work this year. Maybe in the coming years. Thanks for the invitation!

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s