Power through communities

Posted on March 7, 2011

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In order for the citizens of a nation to fully take hold of the wealth, power and resources of their nation, they need do only one thing: invest in the local municipalities.

This will do two great things for society; one, it will show the power of a local collective by acknowledging the importance of one’s own immediate geographical area in their life; and two, it will show the useless nature of a large scale, centralized authority figure, thereby dissolving it entirely.

If people began to participate openly in the relationships of their local areas, they would see much greater and more immediate solutions to their everyday problems. They will do this by participating in local forums on decision making in which they would have an equal say, a free and not for profit press institution, and a genuine appreciation for one’s neighbors and area. In doing these things, a real sense of community will manifest itself like we have never seen before. The reason no one participates locally is because their thoughts and dollars are elsewhere; paying medical bills and education taxes for someone in another state or funding a war they don’t believe in. This distracts the citizens from their everyday lives, problems, and community obligations.

In doing this, the citizens will see a much more radical and useful change for the better in their everyday lives. They will also begin to see the uselessness of a central authority – one which takes their money and relocates it to a project they have not heard of or do not support. This realization of community will bring about the dissolve of centralized power.

As citizens begin to interact on an effective level locally, they will lose the need for centralized authority, they will not need its protection because they will have a community watch. They will not need its courts because they will judge, try, and prosecute each other. They will not need its wars because they will have no need for colonization, imperialism, or foreign resources. They will not need its jobs because the community will be self sufficient with the participation of its inhabitants. They will not need it because they will have each other.

Institutions such as currency, mechanized trade, transportation, tax and banking will be services of a central government rendered useless by this change. Local communities will have the power to trade amongst each other in the logical “tit for tat” manner. The people have the capability of controlling these institutions individually if given the opportunity. If any community has plenty of something another one needs, they are perfectly capable of working something out on their own. This is what we tell our children, is it not? We tell them that they can learn to share and work it out on their own. The same principle applies.

As for work, the labor field will be reduced to the few jobs it takes to maintain life and a few luxuries. Occupations such as law enforcement, military, retail, federal legislature, judiciary jobs, and foreign diplomacy will all be eliminated. This adds millions upon millions to the work force while also diminishing the job fields to low quantities.

In capitalism, this is a recipe for unemployment and then poverty. But in anarchy, it breeds vast material availability and equality, low work hours and thus incredible free time. If we are reduced to trading goods for goods rather than the need for currency, the need to work for a living becomes eliminated. You simply work as much as you must to contribute equally to your society. In turn society rewards you with your physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter and protection; and your personal ones such as entertainment and camaraderie.

An unequal share in these necessities would become impossible because, unlike today, production and price are not factors controlled by the market. Corporations and governments will no longer be able to decide what is produced and when, how much it will cost, and who is entitled to it or has opportunity to receive it. The people will provide for themselves because in this model, they control the market. There will be no more exclusivity of products, especially necessary ones. Not to mention, with the vast workforce and decreased job necessity just presented, where everyone works for a share rather than wages and material betterment, there will be more than enough to go around.

With this, goods and services would be provided for free by citizens with the assurance that goods and services will in turn be provided to them for free. This model is not easily acceptable to people who hold the mindset of a current business model. The model would not be one of businesses competing with businesses. Essentially, all businesses that produce the same product would work together to provide for their area. This means there is no need to try to undersell, over produce, or work harder than anyone else.

My friend posed to me a scenario that he thought was anarchism. He tried to prove that people are not equal because one farmer may have the physical or mental capacity to produce more than another farmer. While he may have the ability to do this, it would not be necessary. Each farmer would be given a quota – an easily attainable one given the new model of production, where goods are not produced for profit but rather for need – based on community discussions. The farmers don’t have to compete, but rather they are working together; so there will be more than enough food to go around. The farmers will work together to help meet the quotas and to provide for their community.

In addition to the improved equality in the market, there will be low crime and thus no need for law enforcement. If everything is readily available to everyone who contributes, there is infinitely less of a need to steal or kill over property. With this comes the removal of regulated law enforcement. What little crime there will be will be dealt with through direct public action. This can mean ant number of things from exile of a cut in rations for a period, but the beauty of anarchy is that it is up to the people in a community to decide on how they will deal with their criminals.

A similar fate would await those who refuse to contribute, though the most commonly accepted punishment for laziness is a simple revocation of all communal goods and services. This strategy ensures that all will work in some form or another based on their abilities. Not to mention, in the labor construct I described earlier, no man would have to do his job for more than three hours a day, or less.

Aside from some of these most basic structures that would allow the people of a community to live happier and fuller lives, their exact nature is really impossible to design. The practices of each community would vary probably greatly from region to region but these minute relationship details are superfluous in the grand scheme. For so long as all members of a society contribute as a whole, they will be free and equal. Emma Goldman said that the needs of a society should directly reflect the needs of the individual. This is because all individuals share the same basic needs. So long as everyone is allowed and encouraged to contribute to community affairs, the community will be equal.

Then, so long as all communities are constructed this way, they too will be no need for a central authority to dictate laws for and take from some to give to others. Communities will conduct their affairs reasonably and peacefully and people will live free from tyranny and oppression.

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Posted in: Communism