FOR COMMUNITY - The Communitarian Anarchism Of Gustav Landauer

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FOR COMMUNITY - The Communitarian Anarchism Of Gustav Landauer

Post by Entfremdung on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:50 pm

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/landauer/forcommunity.html
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Re: FOR COMMUNITY - The Communitarian Anarchism Of Gustav Landauer

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:59 pm

Gustav Landauer's acknowledgment of national identity as a legitimate and enduring human characteristic was commendable, as was his work highlighting the distinction between the state and nation. His contributions to the Bavarian Soviet Republic were also of merit. Unfortunately that's the extent to which he deserves praise, in my opinion.

Landauer's theoretical flaws were manifold. The notion we could return to an economy of simple commodity production, for example, is ludicrous given the sheer quantity of goods and services that fundamentally require the joint efforts of numerous laborers working in unison currently in existence. I suppose those sympathetic to his views could respond by stating that, even though it may not be realizable, the ethic underlying Landauer's position is defensible and therefore ought to at least be approximated. Producer cooperatives could be resorted to in instances where independent production isn't a viable method, they might argue. But communists reject the very notion that workers are entitled to the product of their labor (for reasons described here), and, to my knowledge, Landauer never provided a persuasive justification for natural resources being subject to individual appropriation. In this sense, his economic philosophy bears the mark of Max Stirner more than it does that of Proudhon, which is baffling given that community was so central to his thinking.

Landauer's theory of social transformation was also idealistic to the point of absurdity. Rejecting the class struggle in favor of some populist, socialistic ethic makes little sense when one could just as easily conjoin the two, as Sorel recommended. How he could overlook the fact a material antagonism exists between labor and capital is beyond me. He additionally took the concept of dual power much too far. If capitalism could be abolished simply by people withdrawing from society and setting up independent consumer and producer cooperatives, we would no longer be living under it.

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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