Sunday, July 14, 2019

Freeing Feelings (or Liberating Libido) in Soviet Russia

Freeing Feelings in Russia
From translation of an article by M P T Acharya in l'en dehors, July 1932
Pursuing an argument in the pages of the French anarchist paper l'en dehors, Indian anarchist writer M P  T Acharya (as featured on earlier post) explored questions that were to come to the fore in discussions among libertarians and others decades later, notably women's liberation  and the politics of the personal. In attempting to demystify the supposed brave new world of the Soviet Union in this regard, he may have exaggerated the positive in the pre-revolutionary situation of Russian women, but made valid points, for example about the necessarily limited capacity of the state to prescribe for personal fulfilment.
Comrade Eliézer Fournier is mistaken in thinking that liberation of women and of marriage were due to the Soviet government. Before the war, Russian women had more freedom than the women of western Europe. Being married wasn't considered necessary in order to live together, even for people of 'good reputation'. It was not held to be indecent if a person went into another's room without being fully dressed. The universities, in and outside Russia, had a higher number of women students of Russian nationality than from the countries of western Europe. The immensely significant and risky part played by women in the liberation movement is well known. Even women of the upper class had gone over to the workers, and stayed, like (Alexandra) Kollontai and Vera Figner. People from the democratic countries who came to live under the Tsarist régime had found more democracy and less prudery among men and women in Russia than in parts of Europe with more advanced ideas.
Alexandra Kollontai, in the year the article was published.
From the biography by Cathy Porter. 
   After the Revolution, it was noted that women from Muslim regions of Russia were more active in agitating for female emancipation than those of Moscow, who only cared about attending to their appearance and going dancing - just like the 'leaders' in fact.

   The communists tried to arrange their own homes in the bourgeois style current in other countries, and to keep their wives in a bourgeois frame of mind. As one communist said: 'The first act of the Revolution, for communists, was to get divorced from their proletarian wives and marry aristocrats.' (Numerous instances could be cited in support of this assertion). The sum total of women's activity is to join the public services and become bureaucrats - which is happening now in western Europe. If to become members of the police, soldiers, prison warders or torturers constitutes 'liberation', the Bolsheviks gave them the opportunity, no question. But the US and other countries do the same. China has its women's battalions too. Amanullah [Khan]'s father had female gendarmes as his bodyguards in the harem.

   Russian women were always free in the best sense of the word, and were consequently considered 'shameless' in western Europe. The number of their substantial literary productions was greater than at present; there were even more doctors pre-war than today.

   But Tatar women always had the benefit of being free of the veil and liberated from illiteracy; they were more advanced than emancipated Turkish women.

   What the Bolsheviks did in the name of liberation was to assume no responsibility as far as women's economic situation was concerned, even while invoking liberty and responsibility. It's true that their laws state all women are free to marry and divorce as they like. But they were used to doing that in the time of the Tsars. As for insurance provision for divorced mothers, the same law exists in the capitalist countries. The State does not provide for the needs of divorced mothers, but it makes the man or men indicated by the mother pay maintenance. - I recently heard of a young man who had to pay nine-tenths of his wages to feed nine children.

   As for those women who are not economically indispensable (like working women), they can do a lot of things they couldn't have done before. They can accuse four or more men of being the father of their only child and get payments for upkeep from them all. If that's freedom, it's also engendering and encouraging corruption among women - without the Russian state taking on the responsibility as it claims. Similar corruption is practised professionally with the protection of the State in all countries, including Russia.

   The only good thing the Soviet government has done is to free women from being forced to bring children into the world, but without supplying them with means of contraception. But other countries are coming round to the idea of the need for a right to abortion. In the prevailing conditions, the cost of abortion is as prohibitive in the USSR as it would be in other countries, if it was allowed. Preventive methods are cheaper and better for health, it's true. But in either case, they have to be purchased. Hence the necessity for abortion, costly and dangerous as it is, in Russia as in other countries.

   The Soviet government has not abolished prostitution, as in its original banning of it on pain of prosecution, it even derives a source of revenue from it. It has even set up 'houses of sexual satisfaction in the interests of the people's health' - based squarely on those unfortunate women. Even in capitalist countries, brothels are considered physically, morally and intellectually dangerous... We only read the Soviets' propaganda line about sexual regulation and regularising, we don't think about hunger.

   In fact, the Soviet government is like any capitalist system or the Catholic religion: it can only exist by doing business. It can authorise and legalise certain freedoms in matters of sexuality, but its business and its interest are at the same time to punish and to encourage the 'evil' as in capitalist regimes, it cannot liberate women from economic worries and harassments.

   As long as the government does not supply the means of everyone's existence, no law and no regulation in favour of liberty, health and ethics can secure those things. Poor people will have to profit from those corrupting laws, simply in the interests of their continued existence. The best laws are powerless against debauchery and poverty because decrees are the result of the misery created by the law-makers. No government, however well-intentioned, can obtain food and life for all, with or without work. It can only prevent millions of people from eating and working and punish those who infringe those limitations and restrictions (called law and order). To make generous laws without granting the means to use them is to act in a contradictory way, to neutralise and prevent the realisation of 'good intentions'. Laws and 'good intentions' (or arrangements) are mutually destructive. Laws are incompatible with freedom, but they are necessary faced with the force majeure of statist economics.

    Hence so many shameful contradictions and abolition of laws 'to make freedom stronger' such as one even finds in a soviet state. Suppress or abolish the State and no law is of any use, and liberty and the economy generally will benefit from their disappearance.

   However, there cannot be any authorised or imposed communism in sexual relations. Sexual matters are part of individual freedom, as between the partners. In this case, you cannot train people up to partake of sexual pleasures without denying freedom and pleasure. Responsibility from the sexual viewpoint cannot either be made instantaneous by 'improving' or 'regularising' sexual freedom, a system which seems to arouse the enthusiasm of Comrade Eliézer Fournier. But blind admiration for Russian Soviet marriage laws is rooted in the capitalist habit of thinking (or rather not thinking) that the Bolsheviks are going too far. That can only please the bourgeois who are blind in sexual matters, who make no difference between liberty and libertinism and condemn both. -


(From RaHN Blogger). 
Some readers may be reminded of certain preoccupations and publications of the London 'Solidarity' group in the 1970s:
"Between 1920 and about 1933 the situation gradually regressed to the point where the sexual ideology of the leading groups in the USSR could no longer be distinguished from that of the leading groups in any conservative country." - M. Brinton, The Irrational in Politics (1970). 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Some Summer and subsequent Events

See also previous listings post

Saturday 13th July 2019
  Vi Gostling Memorial Lecture

                   Why private financing of public infrastructure must end and how we can do it

Speaker: Helen Mercer

 We all now know that no new PFI contracts will be signed, following general recognition that the experiment has been inefficient, costly and otherwise disastrous for the quality of our infrastructure and services. This talk focuses on what to do with the PFIs that are being left to run their course until the 2030s, or longer for many. 

The talk first demystifies financial wheeler-dealing by providing a clear and straightforward explanation of how private profit is spun off from public services, using examples of PFIs which affect people in North East London. Understanding those financial mechanisms has informed an idea currently gaining interest and agreement: that we can end the process entirely by nationalising the ‘Special Purpose Vehicles’, the financial companies which sign the contracts with public authorities. Helen is a retired lecturer in Economics and Economic History, and a member of People vs PFI.
                                 At the Epicentre, West Street E11 4LJ
7.30pm Buffet   8.00pm Talk and discussion
Free entry, donations welcomed / raffle
Enquiries 0208 555 5248  All welcome, no need to book
News from Nowhere Meeting
Saturday 10th August
UPDATE from email:
"Our speaker from Ashiana cannot come after all, but instead we are privileged to have Dr Annie  Gray talking about
'Loneliness Amongst Seniors: Why It's Important and what to do about it'
... Usual time, usual place: 7.30 for 8 p.m. at Epicentre E11 4LJ."

Bishopsgate Institute Peace Day, 19 July 1919

Saturday 20 July

  • Time:11:00 AM - 14:00 PM
  • Days of Week:Saturday
  • Course Code:AC19301
  • Subject:Arts and Culture
  • Tutor:Dr Michelle Johansen
  • Max students:16
  • Number of Sessions:1
  • Status:Available/A
  • Cost:£22.00 to £29.00
  • Concs. :£22
World War One did not officially end on 11 November 1918. Treaty negotiations at Versailles continued into the following year and it wasn’t until July 1919 that Britain celebrated formally with processions, pageants and street parties.

This session uses original historical sources to discover at first-hand what life was like in the aftermath of war for ordinary Londoners, among them demobilised soldiers, women office workers and conscientious objectors.

A Hands-on History course led by Dr Michelle Johansen.

For more information about this course and what you will learn, see the course outline.

Have a question? Send us an email or give us a call on: 020 7392 9200
From New Anarchist Research Group

Saturday 27 July 14:00-16:00 at the MayDay Rooms* 

Paris, May 1968 - An Eyewitness Account
Peter Turner 

"In 1968 France was in melt down. There was rioting in the streets and everyone seemed to be out on strike. I was 25 years old and involved in camping at the gates of Porton Down biological warfare research station on the Salisbury Plains with CND. I thought that there might never be another revolution in Western Europe in my lifetime so if I wanted to see history being made I had better get over there a.s.a.p. Four days later I was in the Sorbonne. This account is a personal record of what one man saw and heard (and smelt) in Paris in May 1968. It is cobbled together from the pages of the diary I kept at the time, the photos I took and my memories. I worked as a translator in the students' Press Dept and I experienced the bullets and the barricades at first hand. As for interpreting what it all meant, I'll leave that to others."

"I have earned my living from teaching science, and from working as an entomologist, both in Europe and in the Caribbean, where I lived for 4 years. Most of my political activities have been in the NUT and in single-issue campaigns, particularly solidarity movements such as Anti Apartheid and Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign and the Palestine Solidarity Movement. I am a member of the Haringey Solidarity Group, and I support the Catholic Workers Movement, though without being Christian.
I write 2 blogs: which publishes details of footpaths in London's green belt, while assessing their suitability for disabled walkers, and which is a 'Christian-atheist' cum 'Christian -anarchist' blog with nearly 60,000 hits so far."

*MayDay Rooms 88 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1DH 
Our meetings are friendly and informal.  
Please note that we hold a collection to pay for the use of the room

Thursday 15th August 2019
Doors open 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: LARC (London Action Resource Centre)
62 Fieldgate Street

London E1 1ES 
Entry is free, donations to LARC are appreciated.
Booking preferred but not essential.
"The international economic crisis of 2007-9 brought people in the UK within two hours from cashpoints running dry. The effects are still reverberating around the world today, causing deepening poverty and increasing international instability. This isn’t a talk about bitcoin, but deep financial reform, multiple currency systems with an emphasis on Mutual Credit, seen in part, through an eco-anarchist filter."
There will be two parts to the talk, the first part is definitions and types of money, some advantages and disadvantages.
The second part will be about radical and people owned approaches to money. Hugh will include references to technical work that has already been done, working examples elsewhere in the world, some of the controversies and speculation about the immediate future.
This is a large, complex and controversial subject, and references for further reading will be supplied.
About Hugh Barnard - Hugh has an MSc in computing from the Open University and recently finished a philosophy BA at Birkbeck. He stood for the Greens in the 2017 Municipals and his outlook is probably adjacent to Bookchin’s eco-municipalism. Hugh is currently semi-retired and working on community currencies and open-source environmental sensing.
From Medact

 End the cycle of violence: Take action against UK arms fair DSEI
As many of you will now be aware, on June 20th the Court of Appeals ruled that the UK government’s licencing of the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia that were used in the devastating war in Yemen was unlawful. Since then, the government has now been forced to suspend export licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners for weapons that may be used in the war in Yemen.
This is a positive first step, but we must go further in order to end the cycle of violence. The UK government continues to fuel the arms trade to countries that have been and are complicit in mass human rights abuses and destruction in places such as Yemen and Gaza.
Arms fairs such as the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), taking place once again this September in London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre, facilitate the sale of arms from the UK and all around the world. A number of companies who exhibit weapons and technology at DSEI have sold arms to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kazakhstan and Turkey.
Take action with us by signing and sharing our open letter to the Secretary of State for International Trade urging him to commit to not hosting or supporting arms fairs such as DSEI.


We'd like to invite you to register and create an interesting and sparkling day about:

Women Making History: locally, herethere and everywhere.
Saturday 7th September  11.00 - 3 pm

We are still inviting stories, poems, films and Exhibitions and we would really value what everyone has to offer.......

Contributions in any medium lasting.15/20 mins are invited.

It will be in the Working Class Movement Library in Salford (near Manchester) on Saturday 7th September. 11-3 pm. 
Free but donations welcome

Please get in touch to register - 
or Keith Venables

We look forward to seeing you!
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
Salford, M5 4WX

Not just Peterloo - our evening talks on state violence continue

7pm Wednesdays is the time for our series of free talks on state violence, Not just Peterloo.  There are two more talks in what's proving an excellent series.  We are keeping the library open after our usual closing time of 5pm so you can drop in beforehand and look at our detailed and much-praised Peterloo exhibition too.

Wed 10 July 7pm Jennifer Luff State surveillance of the 20th century left
From the early 1920s through the late 1940s, the British government operated a very large programme to identify, blacklist and dismiss suspected Communists working in HMG's munitions factories, shipyards and scientific establishments. This programme was kept secret from British workers and the British public, and it has remained so to the present day. This talk tells the history of Britain's secret red purge and reflects on its implications for modern British history and contemporary politics.
  Jennifer Luff is Associate Professor, Department of History at Durham University.

Wed 17 July 7pm Joanna Gilmore Lessons from Orgreave: policing, protest and resistance
In October 2016, then Home Secretary Amber Rudd ruled out a public inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’, arguing that “very few lessons” could be learned from a review of practices of three decades ago. The policing landscape, she suggested, has “changed fundamentally” in recent years, “at the political, legislative and operational levels”. In this talk Joanna will challenge claims of a progressive shift in the state’s response to protest and dissent since the 1980s. Drawing on empirical research into the policing of anti-war, anti-fascist and anti-fracking protests, she will highlight the continuing relevance of Orgreave, and the policing of the 1984-5 miners’ strike more generally, for contemporary policing practice.
  Joanna Gilmore is Lecturer in Law at the University of York researching public order policing, human rights and community-based responses to police misconduct. She is a founding member of the Northern Police Monitoring Project.
Full details at

Our Sam, the Middleton Man - film screening

On Saturday 3 August at 2pm we will be hosting a screening of ReelMCR’s new community film about Samuel Bamford, radical reformer, writer, handloom weaver and leader of the Middleton contingent who walked to Manchester on 16 August 1819 in a peaceful protest which turned into what we now know as Peterloo.
Admission free.
A day of women's protest at the Pankhurst Centre
The Pankhurst Centre is welcoming two projects, Greenham Women Everywhere and Remembering Resistance, to 62 Nelson Street on Thursday 15 August from 10am to 4pm.

Remembering Resistance is a project which celebrates 100 years of women's protest in the North of England. Do you have stories to tell about activism? Come and share your memories and any related objects with the project team, who will record these stories to inspire future generations. You can also take part in two guided walks from 62 Nelson Street to find out more about women activists in the local area, and to share your own stories. The walks, at 10.30am and 1.30pm, are free, but bookable via Eventbrite here

Greenham Women Everywhere - pop-up exhibition
Established in 1982, the Greenham Common Peace Camp brought women from all over the world to live together to protest peacefully and creatively about the threat to humankind from the nuclear arms race.
All set in a Greenham-inspired tent, this touring exhibition displays original photographs and archival material collated from some of the women involved. A video installation explores what political concerns and campaigns the Greenham Women are taking on today, and there will be a chance to meet some of the women themselves.
From CND
Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The world says never again
2019 is the 74th anniversary of the bombings. Memorial events are planned across the UK for Hiroshima Day on the 6th August and Nagasaki Day on the 9th August.
Please join memorial events to support efforts to remember these catastrophic events & work towards a world where this can never happen again. The following are the events we know about so far, but keep an eye out on our web site for new events and let us know about events you are planning. 

3 August  Hiroshima: Birmingham commemoration; Hiroshima vigil and ceremony, Bromley
4 August  Hiroshima Day Peace Walk – London
Hiroshima and Nagasaki event: Southampton
Hiroshima Haiku workshop at the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft,  (BSL interpreted)
6 August  (until 9th) Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days of Action
Hiroshima: Liverpool  East Midlands CND, Derby  Edinburgh  
Hiroshima Peace Picnic: Charlton, London  Hiroshima: Wimbledon, London
Hiroshima Day commemoration – Sutton for Peace and Justice
International Fast for Nuclear Disarmament
Annual floating lantern ceremony at the Peace Pagoda, Willen Lake North
7 August  Seminar: The most dangerous scientist in history, at The Royal Institution, London
11 August  Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Wimbledon picnic
Events at Housmans
Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
King’s Cross
London N1 9DX
Tel: 020 7837 4473
We’re very easy to find – just a two minute walk from King’s Cross/St.Pancras terminals. Housmans is at the bottom end of Caledonian Road where it meets with Pentonville Road.
  1. ‘Curious King’s Cross’ with Andrew Whitehead

    Wednesday August 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  2. ‘Different Class: Football, Fashion and Funk – The Story of Laurie Cunningham’ with Dermot Kavanagh 

    Wednesday August 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  1. ‘The Twittering Machine’ with Richard Seymour

    Wednesday September 4 @ 7:00 pm8:00 pm
  2. ‘Prison: a Survival Guide’, with Carl Cattermole and Erika Flowers

    Wednesday September 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  3. ‘Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century’ with Kehinde Andrews

    Wednesday September 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
From Marketing Manger, Open City Documentary Festival in London.

As part of the festival this year, we have an event with artist and psychogeographer Laura Grace Ford. She's curating a screening of archival television documentaries from the early 90s, exploring the poll tax riots, housing, architecture and the politics of the time
One of these will be an episode from the series 'Summer on the Estate', set on the old Kingsland estate, whilst the other is "The Battle of Trafalgar' which looks at London more generally. 

Her work is really interesting, and she'll be present to introduce and discuss the work she's chosen, placing it within an idea of these films being "catalysts for new social imaginaries." I thought this event might be of interest to you, considering the local / historical themes, hence my getting in touch.

... You can see the event details here.

At @OpenCityDocs 2019, artist and writer Laura Grace Ford (@LauraOF) will host 'An Act of Unforgetting': a programme of archival TV documentaries centred around social and political upheaval in London during the summer of 1990:
We are thrilled to announce our next event:
Many thanks to Notts Zine Library and Nottingham Contemporary for hosting the event. 
Further details TBC shortly, but please start to spread the word! 

And we would like to hear from you: 
* Were you involved in the production or distribution of these or any other titles?
* Do you have any stories or anecdotes you would like to share in relation to these or similar publications?
* Do you have a box or a folder of similar materials in your attic (beneath your bed/in the shed) and would consider to either donate them to us or loan them to us for digitisation?

If so, we would very much like to hear from you (please note that we usually respond to emails rather fast - if you do not have an answer after three days, please check your spam folder!) - 

Follow-up to earlier notification:
The Little Rebels Award for Children's Fiction 2019 was decided at an event on Wednesday 10th July. The result and details of the winner can be found on our previous posting about the shortlist

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Anarchism and Voluntary Associations

Following the meeting of the New Anarchist Research Group on 25th May, we hope to publish a few extracts or summaries from the writings of its subject, M P T Acharya, translated from French publications unearthed by the speaker., Ole Laursen, in the course of research for a biography. 

Further information about Acharya is available on Dr Laursen's blog. The first piece is from a 1930 issue of the French paper l'en dehors.  

Anarchism and Voluntary Associations

Summary of argument in an article by M P T Acharya

 (based on unpublished translation) 

The subject of voluntary association, as discussed by Brand in L'en dehors with reference to creating those associations in the economic sphere... is a most important one. I am convinced personally that economic association of this kind (which would enable individuals as much as communists to participate, as well as other anarchists) is not only possible, but is among the easiest to bring about. If it is neither possible nor easy, that amounts to saying that anarchists have nothing better to offer than a philosophy and a religion: the promise of a better life in another world.  Well, anarchism must open the way to a better economic world down here - it must be in a position to provide the lever that everyone can operate to raise up humanity, pull it out of the present chaos and shift it on to the path of unlimited progress. To get there, anarchists need to distance themselves on a daily basis not only from the path of anarchist 'tradition' of one kind or another but from the path they've followed up to now.

  But... I continue to believe that economic anarchism cannot have to do with means of exchange and its implications, money or paper credits. All exchange must necessarily lead to capitalism - and to conflict of interest. The idea of exchange is a capitalist idea, better suited to marxism: whether it's a prostitute hiring out her body for money, a married woman living with a man because of some kind of 'love', the worker selling his physical and mental capacities for a wage paid out by the state (even one comprised of his comrades)... That is why I am for the abolition of the notion of exchange in anarchism. Either you are happy with production and enjoyment TOGETHER, or not: if yes, you are anarchists. Otherwise you are impelled by another interest, production, and the various ways of joining together (associations) are only means to your ends - and what you are going after is dictatorship, yours or that of others.

  Anarchism without exchange means production in common and enjoyment in common as the only logical solution, and the simplest, in anarchist terms. How can we make this a reality? It looks very difficult, almost impossible at first sight, so that all we have to fall back on are capitalist mechanisms of exchange, in other words, exchange via the dictatorship of a party (elected or slf-appointed) over the rest. The apparent difficulty or impossibility arises quite simply from a lack of synthesis in our thinking.

  What does anarchism demand? The annihilation of dictatorship, euphemistically called regulation, by one party over the rest. This annihilation can only be made effective by direct democracy, that is by making authorities, even those elected locally or by a wider geographical area, useless and impossible. The idea of 'direct democracy' implies acceptance of the principle of individual sovereignty in regard to what concerns the individual when it comes to choosing which association he [or she] wants to join... He  chooses the one that suits him or puts forward new ideas about how associations might function. No-one can exist without associating... The idea of anarchism is to act in such a way that through the variety of its aspects association will include all human beings without exception. Any exclusivity, any ruling-out of association is contrary to anarchism, aristocratic, dictatorial, whether or not anarchists are involved.

  Direct democracy (founded on anarchism) cannot be possible between individuals located in opposite corners of the world. Its realisation must begin first with those closest to each other, and through them, economically speaking, be applied throughout the world.  

  If each locality is anarchist and all localities cooperate, nothing would be easier than to establish economic anarchism among them all on the basis of production and enjoyment in common. No need for any exchange of products such as is considered 'necessary' by both individualist and communist anarchists. Production in common leads to the avoidance of exchange and implies the need for equal or fair distribution - not to individuals receiving it personally, but to all the inhabitants of the locality or area. This distribution will happen from time to time and will include useful items and objects of comfort or luxury, shared out either equally or fairly - as agreed in advance - within the bounds of possibility. This arrangement rules out any intervention from outside in the economic life of the local unit. It is the only anarchist type of economic administration; any other form necessarily lapses into centralisation.

  Before taking any steps in this direction, the principles I've just outlined should be spread not only among anarchists but also among the non-anarchist working class, those who are not resolutely anti-anarchist. For state socialists and individuals we would need to initiate particular discussions to show them that their positions - individual or statist - won't last long and will bring no solution for them... We have to show them that the present system of retail buying and selling cannot last long, because of the alliance of the most important businessmen, industrialists and farmers with the big financiers. Sooner or later they will find themselves empty-handed in the labour market. Then they'll have to decide between state capitalism or social anarchism with direct democracy (where there are only equals and friends), between dictatorship and freedom, for they can never hope to recover their vanished capital. It will be too late for them then to embark on anything voluntary. Today is the time to create voluntary associations on an anarchist basis or to lose everything they have, even their hopes.

  Given that anarchists haven't yet got enough equipment or capital to build their own organisations - those of Europe at least, as far as a non-European like me can judge - it is necessary to push this propaganda among non-anarchists, especially in the countryside. So let's see anarchists who own land, capital or means of production uniting to produce and consume on an anarchist basis, that is without exchange or credits.

   If it could be shown in this way to all the others that anarchists of all shades can get along with no more money than what was needed to start them off, without the system of exchanging or of wages, without buying or selling among themselves at a profit or loss, those 'others' will open their eyes and see that it is a question of life or death, and they too can be brought to join the anarchists on a voluntary associationist basis. They will realise that, in fact, if undertaken on a larger scale, this economic organisation would put an end to all the 'crises' and that they would thus be sure of going on living, in a better way and without risk.

   Anarchism consists of independent economic life with well-being for all - the non-anarchists will be happy working with the anarchists on an equal footing until they become anarchists.

   If the solution I've proposed can't succeed among anarchists, the only remaining alternative*, among anarchists and sympathisers capable of providing employment, is to issue credits and employ a workforce in such a way that workers would be sheltered from unemployment, free from money and stagnation...

[An editorial postscript took issue with some of the above]

We note that the word anarchist means absence of state or government authority, hence the uselessness of state and government for regulating people's inter-relationships. What those relations should be is up to the anarchists themselves and given the multiplicity of points of view, desires and personal aspirations it seems unlikely that one universal rule of conduct, even economic, can be predicated or wished for... [I]t is just as anarchistic to practise the exchange of products, from the economic point of view, as not to do so, to use an exchange value as not, to employ the method of advances, credits, etc. as that of piling up and taking. But none of those ways of understanding the relations between individuals would bring a return to statism and unification in any sphere. And that is what is anarchistic: the coexistence of varied systems of economic life - competing with each other - is the only firm guarantee that can stand against statism or unification.... - E.A.

Related Links to examples* referred to by MPTA in the original:

*Industrial Exchange Association in the 1930s:

Further comments and contributions to the debate would be welcome.