AnCom is really just one thing

Anarcho-communism sounds like two things. And, in dispelling the common misconceptions of our current culture, maybe anarcho-communism is most easily explained as two things. But it’s really just one thing.

Power and corruption go hand in hand. You can see that at every level: Bosses bully workers, guards torture prisoners, the police shoot the poor, and the rich start wars to make themselves richer. The causality goes in both directions: Corrupt people seek power, and conversely, power corrupts people. (The clearest proof of the latter was the Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971.)

The fact that power corrupts people does not mean that people are bad. It just means that we should try to organize our society so that a few people don’t have a lot of power over other people.

Two major types of power are political power and material wealth. “An”+”archism” means “no”+”rulers” — it says that instead of a hierarchy of coercive authority, we should form a horizontal cooperative network. Commune-ism means that instead of hoarding stuff separately and competing against each other, we should share stuff and help each other. Put the two of those together, and you get “share and don’t hit,” which is what we all learned in kindergarten.

That sounds like two different kinds of power, but really they are interchangeable: People with one kind of power can often use it to obtain the other kind of power. Money IS influence, regardless of what the Supreme Court does or doesn’t say about it. That has become blatantly obvious in the USA, where there is a revolving door between high positions in government and lobbying positions in big corporations. Liberals think that government regulations can protect us from big business, and conservatives think that private enterprise can protect us from big government, but they’re both wrong: Government and business have merged. The 2014 statistical analysis of Gilens and Page showed that the public policies that get enacted as law are the ones the rich want, regardless of elections.

Electing better plutocrats to run the plutocracy will not end the plutocracy. To do that, we have to change the fundamental ideas of both our political and economic system. The first step is to get more people talking about it.