Three Sacred Monsters of Anarchy: Today Kropotkin and Anarcho-comunism

To end this series dedicated to three sacred monsters of anarchy, today is Kropotkin's turn. The previous posts dedicated to Proudhon and Bakunin can be seen here. Proudhon. Bakunin.

My intention is to show an analogous path between the thinking of these anarchy theorists and the decentralization process that Satoshi Nakamoto started with his White Paper in 2009.

I can imagine the terrified faces of many at the term "anarcho-communism." We not only have communism, but we also add anarchy to it. We are close to hell!

Kropotkin is my favorite author. He is the one who comes closest to my way of interpreting existence and passing through this world. Because of his nature as a natural scientist, and after studying nature for many years in his native Russia, he found many analogies showing that nature is not wrong in coordinating the forces of its many components.

The idea of ​​decentralization and DeFi ecosystems, in particular, are the closest thing to a free society without authorities. A smart contract cannot be bribed, nor can it say one thing one day and another day another as politicians do. By extension, an ecosystem composed of thousands of smart contracts that interact with each other could be assimilated to the perfect functioning of nature to distribute the creation of value among all its components in an equitable and fairway in terms of the well-being of the "mutual".

Piotr Alekséyevich Kropotkin was born in Moscow and was a geographer, zoologist, and naturalist, as well as a political and economic theorist, and the author of several books, among which his emblematic work “The Conquest of Bread” stands out. His theory is known as “mutual support Theory”, anarcho-communism or libertarian communism.

Like Bakunin, he came from an aristocratic landowning family. He was a military man and served as an officer in Siberia where he carried out his scientific research. He was arrested by the Czar's police for his activism and imprisoned. He escaped from prison but was in a long exile of more than 40 years in Switzerland and France, where he was also imprisoned. He returned to Russia after the February revolution of 1917. He was already old although he was revered by a crowd. Lenin admired him, although he did not consider him fit for the revolutionary stage that was coming in Russia. Kropotkin spoke very badly about Bolshevism and the course things were taking in his country.

Observe the suspicion of this anecdote told by Kropotkin in The Conquest of Bread: “It is said that, in 1848, when Rothschild saw his fortune threatened by the revolution, he invented the following farce: "Let us admit that my fortune has been acquired at the expense of others. Divided among so many millions of Europeans, each person would touch two marks. As well; I promise to return to each one his/her two marks if he/she asks for them”. Having said this, and duly published, our millionaire walked calmly through the streets of Frankfort. Three or four passersby asked him for his/her two pesetas, and he handed them over with a sardonic smile. The millionaire's family is still in possession of his treasures today. The bourgeois reason more or less like this when they tell us: “Ah, expropriation! Understood. You take away all the overcoats, put them in a pile, and each one goes to pick one and be careful not to tear yourself apart to see who gets the best”. What we need is not to put the coats in a pile to distribute them later, and that those who shiver with a cold would still find some advantage in it. Nor do we have to share the two Rothschild marks. What we need is to organize ourselves in such a way that every human being, coming into the world, could be sure to learn productive work, first of all, get used to it, and then be able to engage in that work without asking permission from the owner or the employer, and without paying the monopolists of the land and of the machines the greater part of everything he/she produces.”


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

“The day when the worker can plow the land without paying half of what he produces; the day when the machines necessary to prepare the soil for large harvests are at the free disposal of cultivators; the day the factory worker produces for the community and not for the monopoly, the workers will no longer be in rags, and there will be no more Rothschilds and other exploiters.”

It seems like a typical Marxist argument, however, it belongs to Kropotkin, a staunch critic of the authoritarian communism proposed by Lenin.

Kropotkin was an advocate of a decentralized communist society, free from central government and based on voluntary associations of autonomous communities and worker-run companies.

Kropotkin is very clear: all the goods available in a society are the product of the joint and supportive work of men and women of all times. Therefore, all goods belong equally to everyone. It is impossible to discriminate what part each of those who worked in the production of a given good has had.

The most important invention in Kropotkin's time was the steam engine. The question being asked is who was the most important person in the process of achieving this technological breakthrough: James Watt? The owner of a workshop in England who had the ability and intelligence to produce every single part of the machine? The boy who happened to invent an automatic device to handle the inflow and outflow of steam? The train driver who served to test and thus improve the invention? The signalman who made it possible for trains not to collide? The engineer who suggested testing the bases of the tracks with wooden logs so that the trains would not derail because the stones did not give the whole elasticity?

It is like asking nature what its most important component is, perhaps the sun?, perhaps the rain?, perhaps a certain microorganism that gives the necessary PH to the soil to stabilize a forest?

In a DeFi ecosystem, what is the most important component, the entrepreneur who came up with the platform?, any of the developers?, the liquidity providers to the pool?, those who take loans?, those who develop interconnection platforms between blockchains?, publishers like Publish0x who spread the word and promote the platform?

I think we all agree that they are all necessary. So who owns the ecosystem?

I believe that the DcAOs, even with their current limitations, is a coordinated solution aimed at solving this problem.

Kropotkin's anarchist-communist society recognizes full and complete freedom of the individual, does not admit any authority, and does not use any type of violence to force anyone to work.

Kropotkin is responsible for marking in his work that, since we were instructed from birth in the structures of government, legislation, and the judiciary, we have a natural tendency to believe that, without these hierarchies, men and women would go out on the streets like beasts to kill each other and tear us apart for a piece of bread. We tend to believe that without the police watching over us, chaos would ensue and criminals would kill us all.

However, when we go through small communities, far from what is usually called "progress", we observe a rather peaceful life, a collaboration between people, coordination of efforts, and all this without an oppressive authority. The structures function freely and efforts are coordinated to advance a project, without a centralizing ordering power, without any intervention by the law, and without vigilant police.

But if I had to define Kropotkin by a single concept, it would be the avant-garde idea of ​​abolishing the salary system. His most notable phrase is "to each according to his need", thus confronting Proudhon who held "to each according to his contribution". For me this clearly defines Kropotkin's position vis-à-vis the "individual." Individual means “indivisible”, and he thus establishes a simple logic: we are all different. Therefore, we all have different needs, and then, to achieve the well-being of the "mutual", each one must receive according to his/her "need" and there should be no hierarchies that impose another type of distribution.

In the previous post about Bakunin, I referred to the question of how it was possible for poverty to exist today, since the world infrastructure generated through many generations that made their contribution, is perfectly capable of providing food, health, and clothing to all the inhabitants of the planet. The answer was clear: poverty is very good business for many operators of capitalism.

According to Kropotkin, this happens because, under cover of alleged rights acquired in the past, the power structures today appropriate two-thirds of the product of human labor, squandering it in the most senseless and scandalous way. Because by reducing the masses to the point of having nothing to live on for a month or a week, they do not allow man/woman to work except by consenting to have most of his/her work taken away from him/her. Because they prevent him/her from producing what he/she needs and force him/her to produce, not what is necessary for others, but what promises the greatest benefits to the shareholders of the company that holds power.

The steam engine is very important to Kropotkin because it was the basis of the revolution that he lived through. In the same way that today blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem mean for us the basis of the revolutionary analysis of the times in which we live. Just think of the decades of ignorance about the workings of the debt-based banking and financial system and the printing of promissory notes that we should have endured if Satoshi Nakamoto had not submitted his White Paper in 2009.


Image by Harald Landsrath from Pixabay 

Each new development in the crypto ecosystem means thousands of hours of development, thousands of hours of testing, thousands of profits and losses by users, entrepreneurs, hardware manufacturers, device suppliers, mostly all anonymous, who with their contribution made possible its operation or its defenestration. Don't they all own the platform and all the inventions that came from its development?

But protected by the model of centralization taught and learned, many monopolize for themselves the fruit of all development, and degrade it to a simple form of adaptation to existing systems, as in the specific case of CBDCs.

Kropotkin shows that, since workers cannot buy the wealth they produce with their wages, the industry seeks markets abroad, among the hoarders of other nations. But everywhere it finds competitors since the evolution of all nations is carried out in the same direction. And wars have to break out for the right to own the markets. Wars for possessions in the East, for the empire of the seas, to impose customs duties and dictate conditions to their neighbors. Entire generations are killed, and States spend most of the budget on weapons. (All this was written in 1892).

With regard to education, Kropotkin is lapidary, since at that time it was also a privilege of tiny minorities. Can one speak of education when the worker's son/daughter is forced at the age of thirteen to go down to the mine or help his/her father or his/her mother in the fields?

The current situation of unemployment was already denounced by Kropotkin, explaining it with the prevailing capitalist model. Thousands of factories work only half the time, and in every civilized nation, there is always a population of several million individuals asking for work and not finding it. Isn't it enough to show that the current system is a failure for the general welfare and only produces welfare for a small minority?

Those who contributed to the development of a particular asset are unemployed because the owners of the resources, of the factories, of the means of distribution, prefer to dedicate their capital to financial speculation, backed by international organizations and by the banking establishment. Is it clear what is the problem that cryptocurrencies came to solve?

The salary system based on considering the human resource as another resource was born from the personal appropriation of the land and the instruments of production by some "new feudal barons" and the Nation-States. The wage is the necessary condition for the development of capitalist production. The worker is forced to sell his/her labor power for a salary that only represents a very small part of what he/she produces. On the other hand, the common possession of the instruments of work necessarily leads to everyone being able to enjoy in common the fruits of the common labor. No one has ever wondered where the fortunes of the rich come from. A little reflection would suffice to show that the origin of these fortunes is in the misery of the poor. Where there are no wretches, there will no longer be rich to exploit them. The master of the soil is enriched by the misery of the farmers. The same happens with the industrial. And this system is endorsed by international organizations that then give it the character of "legal".

The history of the last 200 years clearly shows us the failure of the current power structure, based on States, governments, the banking-corporate system, and international organizations.

Kropotkin failed in his assertion that "one day the nineteenth century will be cited as the date of the abortion of parliamentarism", since it is still in force, although everyone recognizes its uselessness. But he always recognized himself as a utopian, in the sense that he always believed that the revolution could guarantee everyone housing, clothing, and bread and that this revolution would break out in the midst of a formidable industrial crisis that has not yet occurred. Kropotkin does not join the criticism that the bourgeoisie are bums who live without working. Sure there are, but in general the bourgeois work a lot. The problem is that they work in the wrong direction. The main charge against capitalist society is that production has taken an absolutely wrong direction since it is not aimed at ensuring the well-being of all. That is what condemns it.

The main criticism that Kropotkin makes of the collectivists (Bakunin) is that they speak of abolishing the capitalist regime, but, however, they do not speak of abolishing the two institutions that constitute the bases of capitalism, which are representative government and wages. For Kropotkin, it is inconceivable that an intelligent person (and there are many among collectivists) could endorse the farce of representative parliamentary systems through which absolutely ignorant people rise to power and end up being lackeys of the corporations that pay them their bribes. The collectivists begin by proclaiming a revolutionary principle—the abolition of private property—and deny it immediately after proclaiming it, maintaining an organization of production and consumption that is born out of the private property.

Beyond the nuances and the internal fights, it is clear to me that the world must go towards anarchy to self-organize and self-coordinate the action of the millions of people who work on the different projects. Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin are probably the best-known thinkers of this philosophy of life, but there are thousands of writers who theorize about an egalitarian society based on that anarchy that scares so many.

As a conclusion to this trio of posts, I believe that decades or centuries are missing before the world understands that inequality brings crisis and poverty, which brings more inequality and so on. But I also believe that Satoshi Nakamoto caused a turning point in this regard and that now it is up to our generation and those to come to continue on the right path.


Image by Ana_J from Pixabay 


As usual, none of the things written in this post are financial advice and are not intended to replace personal research.

Thank you for reading!

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Franchise veteran, Dapps developer, DeFi evangelizer, Bitcoin and Ether since a long time

SirGerardThe1st Grimoire
SirGerardThe1st Grimoire

The book of secrets. The book of spells. The fundamentals of anarchy. Nature does not make mistakes. Tao does not fight, triumph.

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