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<HTML>
<HEAD>

<TITLE>G.4 Why do social anarchists reject individualist anarchism?</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<p>

<H1>G.4 Why do social anarchists reject individualist anarchism?</h1>
<p>
As James J. Martin notes, <i>"paralleling"</i> European social anarchism 
<i>"chronologically was a kindred but nearly unconnected phenomenon in 
America, seeking the same ends through individualistic rather than 
collectivistic dynamics."</i> [<b>Men Against the State</b>, p. ix] 
<p>
When the two movements meet in American in the 1880s, the similarities
and differences of both came into sharp relief. While both social and 
individualist anarchists reject capitalism as well as the state and seek 
an end to the exploitation of labour by capital (i.e. to usury in all 
its forms), both schools of anarchism rejected each others solutions 
to the social problem. The vision of the social anarchists was more
communally based, urging social ownership of the means of life. In
contrast, reflecting the pre-dominantly pre-capitalist nature of 
post-revolution US society, the Individualist Anarchists urged 
small-scale possession of the means of life, co-operatives and 
mutual banking to remove interest and give every worker access 
to capital.
<p>
Thus their vision of a free society and the means to achieve it were 
somewhat different (although, we stress, <b>not</b> mutually exclusive as 
communist anarchists supported artisan possession of the means of 
possession for those who rejected communism and the Individualist 
Anarchists supported voluntary communism). Tucker argued that a
communist could not be an anarchist and the communist-anarchists
argued that Individualist Anarchism could not end the exploitation
of capital by labour. Being social anarchists, here we indicate
why social anarchists reject individualist anarchism (see 
<a href="secA3.html#seca31">section
A.3.1</a> for a summary of why Individualist Anarchists reject social
anarchism).
<p>
Malatesta summarises the essential points of difference:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"The individualists assume . . . that the (anarchist) communists
wish to impose communism, which of course would put them right
outside the ranks of anarchism.
<p>
"The communists assume . . . that the (anarchist) individualists
reject every idea of association, want the struggle between men,
the domination of the strongest -- and this would put them not
only outside the anarchist movement but outside humanity.
<p>
"In reality those who are communists are such because they see
in common freely accepted the realisation of brotherhood, and
the best guarantee for individual freedom. And individualists,
those who are really anarchists, are anti-communist because
they fear that communism would subject individuals . . . to
the tyranny of the collectivity . . . Therefore they want
each individual, or each group, to be in a position to enjoy
freely the product of their labour in conditions of equality
with other individuals and groups, with whom they would
maintain relations of justice and equity.
<p>
"In which case it is clear that there is no basic difference
between us. But, according to the communists, justice and
equity are, under natural conditions impossible of attainment
in an individualistic society, and thus freedom too would
not be attained.
<p>
"If climatic conditions throughout the world were the same, if
the land were everywhere equally fertile, if raw materials
were evenly distributed and within reach of all who needed
them, if social development were the same everywhere in the
world . . . then one could conceive of everyone . . . finding
the land, tools and raw materials needed to work and produce
independently, without exploiting or being exploited. But
natural and historical conditions being what they are, how
is it possible to establish equality and justice between
he who by chance finds himself with a piece of arid land
which demand much labour for small returns with him who
has a piece of fertile and well sited land?"</i> [<b>Life and
Ideas</b>, pp. 31-2]
</blockquote><p>
Thus, while Individualist Anarchists argue for the <i>"cost
principle"</i> (i.e. cost being the limit of price) the cost
of creating the same commodity in different areas or by
different people is not equal. Thus the market price of
a good <b>cannot</b> really equal the multitude of costs within
it (and so price can only equal a workers' labour in the
minority of cases where that labour was used in the least 
favourable circumstances). It was for this reason that
Proudhon argued that a portion of income from agricultural
produce be paid into a central fund which would be used
to make equalisation payments to compensate farmers with
less favourably situated or less fertile land. As he
put it, economic rent <i>"in agriculture has no other cause
than the inequality in the quality of land . . .  if
anyone has a claim on account of this inequality . . . 
[it is] the other land workers who hold inferior land. 
That is why in our scheme for liquidation [of capitalism]
we stipulated that every variety of cultivation should
pay a proportional contribution, destined to accomplish
a balancing of returns among farm workers and an assurance
of products."</i> [<b>The General Idea of the Revolution</b>, p. 209]
<p>
This problem was recognised by Tucker, who argued that <i>"economic 
rent . . . is one of nature's inequalities. It will probably 
remain with us always. Complete liberty will every much lessen 
it; of that I have no doubt."</i> [<i>"Why I am an Anarchist"</i>, pp. 135-6, 
<b>Man!</b>, M. Graham (ed.), pp. 132-6] Unlike Proudhon, however, he
proposed no scheme to equalise income. Perhaps Tucker was correct
and the differences would be slight, but in a market situation 
exchanges tend to magnify differences, <b>not</b> reduce them. The
actions of self-interested individuals in unequal positions will 
tend to exacerbate differences. Over time these slight differences
would become larger and larger, subjecting the weaker party to
relatively increasingly worse contracts. As Proudhon argued:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"I have shown the contractor, at the birth of industry, negotiating
on equal terms with his comrades, who have since become his workmen.
It is plain, in fact, that this original equality was bound to
disappear through the advantageous position of the master and
the dependent position of the wage-workers. In vain does the law
assure the right of each to enterprise . . . When an establishment
has had leisure to develop itself, enlarge its foundations, ballast
itself with capital, and assure itself a body of patrons, what can
a workman do against a power so superior?"</i> [<b>System of Economical
Contradictions</b>, p. 202]
</blockquote>
<p>
Moreover, <i>"there is a remarkable correlation between competitiveness 
in a society and the presence of clearly defined 'have' and 'have-not' 
groups."</i> [Alfie Kohn, <b>No Contest</b>, p. 38] As the communist-anarchist 
paper <b>Freedom</b> argued:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"Are not the scandalous inequalities in the distribution of
wealth today merely the culminative  effect of the principle
that every man is justified in securing to himself everything
that his chances and capacities enable him to lay hands on?
<p>
"If the social revolution which we are living means anything,
it means the destruction of this detestable economic principle,
which delivers over the more social members of the community
to the domination of the most unsocial and self-interested."</i>
[<b>Freedom</b>, vol. 2, no. 19]
</blockquote><p>
While state action may have given the modern capitalist an
initial advantage on the market, it does not follow that a truly 
free market will not create similar advantages naturally. And if 
it did, then surely a similar system would develop? That it 
developed without state aid would make it no less unfree and 
unjust. It is of little use to point out that such a situation 
is <b>not</b> what the Individualist Anarchists desired (after all, 
Stalin was hardly what most Marxists desired). It is a question 
of whether their ideas would actually result in what they wanted.
<p>
Which brings us to the corrosive effects of the market itself on
human personalities. As noted in earlier sections, individualists 
mostly base their economic ideas on the free market. However, as we 
have argued elsewhere (see <a href="secB1.html">section B.1</a>), competition for profits in 
a free market creates numerous problems -- for example, the creation 
of an <i>"ethics of mathematics"</i> and the strange inversion of values in 
which things (property) become more important than people. Competition,
as Alfie Kohn points out, <i>"itself is responsible for the development
of a lower moral standard"</i> which places winning at any cost above
fairness and justice [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 163]. In addition, the <i>"strife of
competition reduces empathic sympathy, distorts communication, 
impairs the mutuality of support and sharing, and decreases the
satisfaction of personal need."</i> [Nathan Ackerman, quoted by Alfie
Kohn, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, pp. 142-3] Thus, by supporting the free market,
Individualist Anarchists help to make us less human and more a
robot. In contrast, social anarchists stress community and
co-operation in order to develop us as fully rounded individuals.
As Kropotkin put it, <i>"the <b>individualisation</b> they so highly
praise is not attainable by individual efforts."</i> [<b>Kropotkin's
Revolutionary Pamphlets</b>, p. 297]
<p>
Ultimately, Individualist Anarchists lose sight of the fact that
success and competition are not the same thing. One can set and
reach goals without competing. That we may loose more by competing
than by co-operating is an insight which social anarchists base
their ideas on. In the end, a person can become a success in terms
of business but lose sight of their humanity and individuality
in the process.
<p>
Returning to economic issues, the accumulation needs of a competitive 
market economy do not disappear just because capitalism has been 
replaced by co-operatives and mutual credit banks -- a fact that
implies the inevitable development of big business (and so natural
barriers to entry). In any market economy, firms will try to 
improve their market position by investing in new machinery,
reducing prices by improving productivity and so on. This creates
barriers to new competitors who have to expend more money in order
to match the capital of existing firms. Such amounts of money may
not be forthcoming for even a mutual bank and so certain firms
would enjoy a privileged position on the market. Given that
Tucker defined a monopolist as <i>"any person, corporation, or
institution whose right to engage in any given pursuit of life
is secured, either wholly or partially, by any agency whatsoever
-- whether the nature of things or the force of events or the
decree of arbitrary power -- against the influence of competition"</i>
we may suggest that due to <b>natural</b> barriers, an individualist
anarchist society would not be free of monopolists and so of
usury. [quoted by James J. Martin, <b>Men Against the State</b>, 
p. 210] 
<p>
For this reason, even in a mutualist market certain companies would 
receive a bigger slice of profits than (and at the expense of) others. 
This means that exploitation would still exist as larger companies could 
charge more than cost for their products. In addition, the free market 
in banking would also result in <b>its</b> market being dominated by a few 
big banks, with similar results. 
<p>
This problem of natural barriers to competition also effects the
possibility of mutual banking being able to abolish capitalism.
While mutual banks would undoubtedly aid the position of workers under
capitalism (which is why Bakunin and other social anarchists recommended
them), they cannot undermine capitalism. This is because capitalism, due
to its need to accumulate, creates <b>natural</b> barriers to entry into a
market (see section C.4, <a href="secC4.html">"Why does the market become dominated by Big
Business?"</a>). Thus the physical size of the large corporation would make
it immune to the influence of mutual banking and so usury could not
be abolished.
<p>
This problem was recognised by Tucker himself in the postscript to a 1911
London edition of his famous essay <i>"State Socialism and Anarchism."</i> While
arguing that when he wrote his essay 25 years earlier <i>"the denial of
competition had not effected the enormous concentration of wealth that
now so gravely threatens social order"</i> and so a policy of mutual banking
might have stopped and reversed the process of accumulation, the way in 
1911 was <i>"not so clear."</i> This was because the tremendous capitalisation 
of industry now made the money monopoly a convenience, but no longer a 
necessity. Admitted Tucker, <i>"The trust is now a monster which . . . even 
the freest competition, could it be instituted, would be unable to destroy"</i> 
as the <i>"concentrated capital"</i> could set aside a sacrifice fund to bankrupt 
smaller competitors and continue the process of expansion of reserves. 
Thus natural barriers to entry, resulting from the process of capitalist 
production and accumulation, had ensured that mutualism could no longer 
reform capitalism away and the problem of the trusts <i>"must be grappled 
with for a time solely by forces political or revolutionary."</i> [quoted by
James J. Martin, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 273] 
<p>
In other words, the economic power of <i>"concentrated capital"</i> and <i>"enormous 
concentration of wealth"</i> placed an insurmountable obstacle to the realisation 
of anarchy. Which means that the abolition of usury and relative equality
were considered <b>ends</b> rather than side effects for Tucker and if free
competition could not achieve these then such a society would <b>not</b> be
anarchist.
<p>
(As an aside, Tucker's comments here indicate well how far he actually
was from "anarcho"-capitalism. The "anarcho"-capitalism desires free
markets no matter their result or the concentration of wealth existing
at their introduction. As can be seen, Tucker sees the existence of 
concentrations of wealth as a problem and a hindrance towards anarchy. 
Thus Tucker was well aware of the dangers to individual liberty of 
usury, inequality and economic power).
<p>
Also, we may note, in the slow transition towards anarchism, we would see 
the rise of pro-capitalist "defence associations" which <b>would</b> collect 
rent from land, break strikes, attempt to crush unions and so on. Tucker 
seemed to have assumed that the anarchist vision of <i>"occupancy-and-use"</i> 
would become universal. Unfortunately, landlords would resist it and so, 
ultimately, an Individualist Anarchist society would have to either force 
the minority to accept the majority wishes on land use (hence his comments 
on there being <i>"no legal power to collect rent"</i>) or the majority are 
dictated to by the minority who are in favour of collecting rent and 
hire "defence associations" to enforce those wishes. With the head 
start big business and the wealthy have in terms of resources, conflicts 
between pro- and anti-capitalist "defence associations" would usually work 
against the anti-capitalist ones (as trade unions often find out). In 
other words, reforming capitalism would not be as non-violent or as
simple as Tucker maintained. The vested powers which the state defends
will find other means to protect themselves when required (for example,
when capitalists and landlords backed fascism and fascist squads in Italy 
after workers "occupied and used" their workplaces and land workers and 
peasants "occupied and used" the land in 1920). We are sure that economists 
will then rush to argue that the resulting law system that defended the 
collection of rent and capitalist property against "occupancy and use" 
was the most "economically efficient" result for "society."
<p>
In addition, even if individualist mutualism <b>did</b> result in an increase 
in wages by developing artisan and co-operative ventures that decreased 

the supply of labour in relation to its demand, this would not eliminate 
the subjective and objective pressures on profits that produce the business 
cycle within capitalism (see sections <a href="secC7.html">C.7</a> and 
<a href="secC8.html">C.8</a> for more on these pressures). 
This means that an increase in the bargaining power of labour would soon see
capital moving to non-anarchist areas and using its financial power to buy
up any resources in the anarchist areas. Because individualist anarchists
assume an evolution towards anarchy, this is a distinct possibility. And
co-operatives in a market economy will be as influenced by the business
cycle as capitalist firms. This could mean that during an economic 
slump, when workers' savings and bargaining position were weak, the
gains associated with mutualism could be lost as co-operative firms
go bust and mutual banks find it hard to generate credit in a hostile
environment.
<p>
Mutual banks would not, therefore, undermine modern capitalism, as
recognised by social anarchists from Bakunin onward (they placed
their hopes in a social revolution organised by workplace and
community organisations). Moreover, social anarchists would argue
that any individualist system could revert back to capitalism and
wage labour, for two reasons. 
<p>
Firstly, there is a possibility that <b>possession</b> would be replaced 
by <b>property</b> as individuals sell their means of production to
others voluntarily or to repay loans in bad times and these new 
owners create "defence associations" to enforce their claims. In 
addition (and this may seem ironic), wage labour does have the 
advantage that people can move to new locations and work without 
having to sell their old means of living. Often moving somewhere 
can be a hassle if one has to sell a shop or home. Many people 
prefer not to be tied down to one place. This is a problem in a 
system based on self-employed artisan labour, but not in social 
anarchism as access to the means of life is guaranteed to all
members of the free society.
<p>
Secondly, there is the problem associated with natural barriers
to entry in an industry. This could help generate wage labour
(and so a new class of exploiters) as workers face the unpleasant
choice of working for a successful firm, being unemployed or
working for low wages in an industry with lower barriers to
entry. This process can be seen under capitalism when co-operatives
hire wage workers and not include them as members of the association
(i.e. they exercise their ownership rights to exclude others).
<p>
While state action may <b>increase</b> the degree of monopoly in an 
industry, the natural tendency for any market is to place barriers
("natural" barriers) to new entries in terms of set-up costs and so 
on. This means that if the relation between capital and labour was 
abolished <b>within</b> the workplace (by their transformation into 
co-operatives) but they remained the property of their workers, 
it would only be a matter of time before the separation of the 
producers from their means of production reproduced itself. This 
is because, within any market system, some firms fail and others 
succeed. Those which fail will create a pool of unemployed workers 
who will need a job. The successful co-operatives, safe behind 
their natural barriers to entry, would be in a stronger position 
than the unemployed workers and so may hire them as wage labourers 
-- in effect, the co-operative workers would become "collective 
capitalists" hiring other workers. This would end workers'
self-management (as not all workers are involved in the decision 
making process) as well as workers' ownership, i.e. <i>"occupancy
and use,"</i> (as not all workers' would own the means of production 
they used).
<p>
The individual workers involved may "consent" to becoming wage slaves, 
but that is because it is the best option available rather than what
they really want. Which, of course, is the same as under capitalism. 
Little wonder Proudhon argued that <i>"every worker employed in the 
association"</i> must have <i>"an undivided share in the property of the 
company"</i> in order to ensure workers' self-management. [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, 
p. 223] Only this could ensure <i>"occupancy and use"</i> and so self-management
in a free society (i.e. keep that society free).
<p>
Looking wider afield, unless there is some form of community control, 
a free market in banks may soon lead to the growth of purely capitalist 
firms. For in order to survive, banks -- like any company -- will have 
to make money, and so they will wish to lend to the most profitable firms. 
Capitalist firms are exploitative, thus allowing them to expand faster 
than co-operative firms. Hence even mutual banks will wind up preferring 
to lend to capitalist firms in order to survive on the market. This 
will enforce the division of labour (as opposed to work) as the most 
"efficient" way of exploiting workers, and this practice will spread 
across the economy like an oil slick as more and more co-operatives 
find themselves needing to introduce similar working practices in 
order to survive. Thus competition will soon result in like competing 
against like, not only in the market but also in production. 
<p>
If we take the creation of employer-employee relationships within 
an anarchy, we see the danger of private statism arising (as in 
"anarcho"-capitalism) and so the end of anarchy. Such a development 
can be seen when Tucker argues that if, in an anarchy, <i>"any labourers 
shall interfere with the rights of their employers, or shall use force 
upon inoffensive 'scabs,' or shall attack their employers' watchmen
. . . I pledge myself that, as an Anarchist and in consequence of 
my Anarchistic faith, I will be among the first to volunteer as a
member of a force to repress these disturbers of order, and, if 
necessary, sweep them from the earth."</i> [<b>Instead of a Book</b>, p. 455]
<p>
In such a situation, these defence associations would be indeed 
"private states" and here Tucker's ideas unfortunately do parallel 
those of the "anarcho"-capitalists (although, as the employees would 
not be exploited by the employer, this does not suggest that Tucker 
can be considered a proto-"anarcho"-capitalist). As Kropotkin warned, 
<i>"[f]or their self-defence, both the citizen and group have a right 
to any violence [within individualist anarchy] . . . Violence is also 
justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement. Tucker . . .  
opens . . . the way for reconstructing under the heading of the 'defence' 
all the functions of the State."</i> [<b>Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets</b>, 
p. 297] 
<p>
However, as we have argued above (see <a href="secG2.html">section G.2</a>), his opposition to 
usury in all forms implies co-operative labour, not wage labour, and 
if such a strike did occur in individualist anarchy it indicates that 
it was turning back into capitalism. And we may note this "love it or 
leave it" attitude of Tucker in regards firms in an anarchy ignores 
the fact that following orders is <b>not</b> a form of liberty and is 
degrading even when you get the full product of your labour. Ironically, 
by placing so much stress in opposing capitalist <b>exploitation,</b>
instead of capitalist <b>oppression,</b> Tucker is actually closer to 
(the <i>"authoritarian"</i>) Marx than (the <i>"libertarian"</i>) Proudhon 
(Tucker's terms) and like Marx opens the door to various kinds of 
domination and restrictions on individual self-government within 
<i>"scientific socialism"</i> (one of Tucker's expressions for individualist 
anarchy!). Again we see a support for contract theory creating 
authoritarian, not libertarian, relationships between people. 
<p>
So Tucker's comments on strikers brings to light an interesting
contradiction in his ideas. After all, he favoured a system of
"property" generally defined by use and occupancy, that is whoever
uses and possesses is to be consider the owner. Based on this
theory of "property" Tucker opposed landlords and rent, arguing
that anarchy <i>"means the freeing of all land not occupied <b>by the
owner</b>"</i> that is, <i>"land ownership limited by occupancy and use."</i> 
[<b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 155] He extends this principle 
to housing, arguing that <i>"Anarchic associations"</i> would <i>"not collect 
your rent, and might not even evict your tenant"</i> and <i>"tenants would 
not be forced to pay you rent, nor would you be allowed to seize 
their property. The Anarchic Associations would look upon your 
tenants very much as they would look upon your guests."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, 
p. 162]
<p>
Now, in a strike those who <b>use</b> the given property are in dispute 
with those who <b>own</b> it. If individualist anarchy <b>was</b> based 
on <i>"occupancy and use"</i> then the argument for housing and land must 
extend to workplaces. Hence, if <i>"the land should be free to all, 
and no one would control more than he [or she] used."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>,
p. 114] then it is clear that the boss controls more land than
he can use (simply because he hires <b>others</b> to use it, and what
is on it, for him).  Thus <i>"Anarchic associations"</i> could not defend 
the property owner against those who use his/her property. If 
landlordism is unjust, then so is the ownership of capital by those 
who do not use it. In other words, <i>"occupancy and use"</i> implies 
co-operatives and <b>not</b> wage-labour. And Tucker's comments about 
strikers show an inconsistency in his basic ideas (see also 
<a href="secG1.html">section 
G.1</a>). This conclusion is not surprising. As Malatesta argued:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"The individualists give the greatest importance to an abstract
concept of freedom and fail to take into account, or dwell on
the fact, that real, concrete freedom is the outcome of solidarity
and voluntary co-operation. . . They certainly believe that to
work in isolation is fruitless and that an individual, to ensure
a living as a human being and to materially and morally enjoy
all the benefits of civilisation, must either exploit -- directly
or indirectly -- the labour of others . . . or associate with
his [or her] fellows and share their pains and the joys of life. 
And since, being anarchists, they cannot allow the exploitation of
one by another, they must necessarily agree that to be free and
live as human beings they have to accept some degree and form
of voluntary communism."</i> [<b>The Anarchist Revolution</b>, p. 16]
</blockquote><p>
Occupancy and use, therefore, implies the collective ownership 
of resources used by groups which, in turn, implies associative
labour and self-management. In other words, <i>"some degree and
form of voluntary communism."</i> 
<p>
Moreover, if we look at Tucker's definition of the State, namely that
it based on <i>"aggression"</i> and <i>"the assumption of sole authority over
a given area and all within it,"</i> then it is clear that the capitalist
has sole authority over their workplace (<i>"a given area"</i>) and all 
within it. And, as Tucker notes, no State <i>"has ever tolerated a rival
State within its borders"</i> then the same can be said of the boss --
they rarely, through choice, allow unions to organise on their workplace
(they sometimes agree if they have no choice or if the union in question
will not question their authority -- as with the state). Given that the
major rationale for the Homestead strike of 1892 <b>was</b> (to use the
words of a company historian) that management decisions were <i>"subject
to the interference of some busybody from the Amalgamated Association"</i>
its clear that the boss does not like to tolerate a rival within his/her
borders (i.e. workplace). Moreover, according to David Brody in his
work <b>The Steel Workers</b>, after the union was broken <i>"the steel workers 
output doubled in exchange for an income rise of one-fifth . . . The 
accomplishment was possible only with a labour force powerless to 
oppose the decisions of the steel men."</i> [quoted by Katherine Stone,
<i>"The Origins of Job Structures in the Steel Industry"</i>, <b>Root and Branch</b>, 
p. 127 and p. 132] In other words, the boss is both the monopoly of
authority in a given area and tolerates no other within it -- just like
the state.
<p>
Thus Tucker's comments on strikers indicates a distinct contradiction
in his ideas. It violates both his support for <i>"occupancy and use"</i> and
his opposition to the state. It could, of course, be argued that the
contradiction is resolved because the worker consents to the authority
of the boss by taking the job. However, it can be replied that, by this
logic, the citizen consents to the authority of the state as a democratic
state allows people to leave its borders and join another one. That the
citizen does not leave indicates they consent to the state. In other
words, consent of and by itself does not justify hierarchy for if it
did, the current state system would be anarchistic. This indicates the
weakness of contract theory as a means of guaranteeing liberty and its
potential to generate, and justify, authoritarian social relationships
rather than libertarian and liberty enhancing ones. Hence Kropotkin's
comment that <i>"anarchism . . . refuses all hierarchical organisation
and preaches free agreement."</i> [<b>Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets</b>, 
p. 137] To do otherwise is to contradict the basic ideas of anarchism.
<p>
In addition, we must note another contradiction within Tucker's
viewpoint highlighted by this diatribe against strikes in an anarchy. 
If, as Tucker maintained, in an individualist anarchy the demand for
workers exceeded supply (unlike under capitalism) so ensuring that 
<i>"labour will. . . be in a position to dictate its wages, and will
thus secure its natural wage, its entire product"</i> [<b>The Anarchist
Reader</b>, p. 150], how will the employer attract enough scabs? There
would be few if any workers willing to swap jobs and work for an
employer whose management style provoked strikes by fellow workers. 
And in such a situation the power of labour would be so strong that 
workers' control would have occurred long before! 
<p>
Peter Kropotkin recognised the statist implications of some aspects of 
anarchist individualism which Tucker's strike example highlights. Tucker's 
anarchism, due to its uncritical support for contract theory, could 
result in a few people dominating economic life, because <i>"no force"</i> 
would result in the perpetuation of authority structures, with freedom 
simply becoming the <i>"right to full development"</i> of <i>"privileged minorities."</i> 
But, Kropotkin argued, <i>"as such monopolies cannot be maintained otherwise 
than under the protection of a monopolist legislation and an organised 
coercion by the State, the claims of these individualists necessarily 
end up in a return to the State idea and to that same coercion which 
they so fiercely attack themselves. Their position is thus the same 
as that of Spencer and of the so-called 'Manchester school' of economists, 
who also begin by a severe criticism of the State and end up in its full 
recognition in order to maintain the property monopolies, of which the 
State is the necessary stronghold."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 162]
<p>
Such would be the possible (perhaps probable) result of the individualists' 
contract theory of freedom without a social background of communal 
self-management and ownership. As can be seen from capitalism, a
society based on the abstract individualism associated with contract
theory would, in practice, produce social relationships based on power 
and authority (and so force -- which would be needed to back up that 
authority), <b>not</b> liberty. As we argued in <a href="secA2.html#seca214"">section A.2.14</a>, voluntarism
is <b>not</b> enough in itself to preserve freedom.
<p>
Therefore, social anarchists have to part company with individualists
when the latter apply <b>to bosses</b> the maxim, <i>"[t]o coerce the peaceful
non-co-operator is to violate equality of liberty."</i> [Tucker, <b>Instead 
of a Book</b>, p. 42] A boss not only <i>"attempts to control another"</i> but 
<b>succeeds</b> in doing so every day at work. To "coerce" bosses by those
subject to it removing their authority to control (i.e. to govern) them 
is not itself coercion but a blow struck for liberty. It is not coercive 
to prevent others from coercing! Therefore, social anarchists favour 
direct actions by those subject to authority, such as strikes, boycotts, 
the occupation of workplaces, picketing, etc., irrespective of whether such 
measures are desired by the boss. However, as already indicated in 
<a href="secA3.html#seca31">section
A.3.1</a>, social anarchists reject attempts to coerce other workers into 
joining a co-operative. Freedom cannot be given, it must be taken and
social anarchism, like all forms of anarchy, cannot be imposed. As
Kropotkin argued:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"Communist organisations . . . must be the work of all, a natural
growth, a product of the constructive genius of the great mass. 
Communism cannot be imposed from above; it could not live even for
a few months if  the constant and daily co-operation of all did not
uphold it. It must be free."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 140]
</blockquote><p>
Which indicates that Tucker did not really understand communist-anarchism
when he argued that communism is <i>"the force which compels the labourer
to pool his product with the products of all and forbids him to sell
his labour or his products."</i> [<b>Instead of a Book</b>, p. 400] Rather, 
communist-anarchists argued that communism must be free and voluntary.
In other words, a communist-anarchist society would not "forbid"
anything as those who make it up must be in favour of communism for
it to work. The option of remaining outside the communist-anarchist
society is there, as (to again quote Kropotkin) expropriation would
<i>"apply to everything that enables any man [or woman] . . . to 
appropriate the product of others' toil."</i> [<b>The Conquest of Bread</b>,
p. 61] Thus communist-anarchism would "forbid" exactly what Individualist
Anarchism would "forbid" -- property, not possession (i.e. any form of
"ownership" not based on "occupancy and use"). 
<p>
Free contracts are not sufficient to ensure freedom. Therefore, social
anarchists reject the individualists' conception of anarchy, simply
because it can, unfortunately, allow hierarchy (i.e. government) back 
into a free society in the name of "liberty" and "free contracts." Freedom 
is fundamentally a social product, created in and by community. It is a
fragile flower and does not fare well when bought and sold on the market.
<p>
As we noted in the <a href="secG3.html">last section</a>, Individualist "defence associations" 
would not be the private states of "anarcho"-capitalism only if the 
land and housing they protected were based on <i>"occupancy and use"</i> and
the workplaces they protected were co-operatives (and we have indicated 
why Individualist Anarchism logically implies co-operative labour --
see <a href="secG2.html">section G.2</a>). Tucker's example about strikers only drives home the 
contradictions in his views, contradictions resulting from his liberal 
slant on anarchism. If we agree with Kropotkin that Tucker's ideas are 
a combination of the anarchist Proudhon's and the liberal capitalist 
Herbert Spencer's, we see where the contradiction lies. If we reject 
Proudhon's support for association/co-operation as the basis of an 
anarchist economy, we are left with liberal capitalism and the need 
to protect the power of the employer over the employee, and so some 
form of statism ("anarcho"-capitalists, by ignoring Proudhon's
argument from the start, miss the contradiction by jumping straight to 
capitalism and so private statism). Moreover, even assuming that such
"defence associations" did protect a co-operative economy, they would 
still suffer from the problems of collusion which "anarcho"-capitalist 
"defence associations" face (as described in <a href="secF6.html#secf63">section F.6.3</a>). If 
"self-defence" does become a commodity on the market, there is a 
distinct danger that the "defence associations" would (in time) 
become a new public state, due to the unique market forces within 
that specific market.
<p>
Also, Kropotkin saw that Tucker's argument against the forced 
expropriation of social capital by the working class would lead 
to a continuation of authoritarian relations in production, which 
would need to be maintained by coercion through some kind of state 
(aka "anarcho"-capitalist private states). In addition, Kropotkin 
seriously doubted that capitalism could be reformed away as Tucker 
maintained. 
<p>
In addition, even assuming a fully individualist economy, co-operatives 
would still be controlled or influenced by market forces, which would 
drive them to increase working hours, create a division of labour, and 
implement a host of other dehumanising working practices in order to 
compete successfully against other co-operatives, and thus to "survive"
economically. Hence <b>survival,</b> not <b>living,</b> would be the norm 
within such a society, just as it is, unfortunately, in capitalism. 
<p>
So, taken as a whole, individualist anarchism would tend to revert back to
capitalism. Moreover, it would not eliminate the tendency of a market
economy to reduce people to commodities, as can be seen from Tucker's
argument that children are "owned" by their parents until such time as
they are able to make contracts -- an argument that led him, for the sake
of logical consistency, to tolerate child labour. Therefore, because of
the forces and tendencies at work within the any market system, social
anarchists recognise the need to communalise, and so decentralise,
production and finance in order to ensure that freely associated and
co-operative labour is the basis of a free society. 
<p>
Finally, as to its means of activism, individualist anarchism exaggerates
the potential of mutual banks to fund co-operatives. While the creation 
of community-owned and -managed mutual credit banks would help in the
struggle for a free society, such banks are not enough in themselves.
Unless created as part of the social struggle against capitalism and the
state, and unless combined with community and strike assemblies, mutual
banks would quickly die, because the necessary social support required to
nurture them would not exist. Mutual banks must be part of a network of
other new socio-economic and political structures and cannot be sustained
in isolation from them. This is simply to repeat our earlier point that
capitalism cannot be reformed away.
<p>
However, while social anarchists disagree with the proposals of
individualist anarchists, we do still consider them to be a form of
anarchism -- one with many flaws and one perhaps more suited to an earlier
age when capitalism was less developed and its impact upon society far
less than it is now (see <a href="secG1.html#secg11">section G.1.1</a>). 
John Quail, in his history of 
British Anarchism, puts his finger on the contextual implications and 
limitations of Tucker's ideas when he writes: 
<p><blockquote>
<i>"Tucker was a Proudhonist and thus fundamentally committed to a society 
based on small proprietorship. In the American context, however, where 
the small landowner was often locked in battle with large capitalist 
interests, this did not represent the reactionary position it often 
did later. . . Tucker had a keen sense of the right of the oppressed 
to struggle against oppression."</i> [<b>The Slow Burning Fuse</b>, p. 19]
</blockquote>
<p>
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