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Would someone please explain to me the differences between these ideolgies?
I know where Anarchism differs, but I'd still like a thorough explanation.
I'm not too well-versed in Leftist theory, so I'd appreciate some help!

If you ask a socialist what socialism is, they would probably explain it as an attempt by the working class to obtain political power through elections and then use the machinery of the state to enact policies that are favorable to them as opposed to classes that are ruling above them. The word “democratic” will usually be thrown in to get either democratic socialism or social democracy by socialists to describe their philosophy. Communists and anarchists would probably argue that this is a road to compromise in which the “leaders” of the working class will use their positions in government to enrich themselves as the expense of the masses.

Communists, on the other hand, would say that Socialism is the first stage of transition towards communism in which the working class has seized the state machinery through a revolution and have set up a situation in which we have “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their deed.” Communism, according to communists, would be the point in which the state has withered away because the class struggle between the rich and poor has ended and everyone works because they want to. At this point, the rule is generally “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their need.” Pure socialists would argue that communism is either utopian and/or it would require the perpetual existence of an all-powerful state to maintain itself.

Anarchism is the belief that while the communists are on to something, they disagree with the communist belief that the working class needs to seize the state. Anarchists want to see both capitalism and the state smashed all at once to immediately transition into a communist-like society. Communists would most likely see this as utopian in that it assumes that the rich would simply give up without a fight.

This is a bit of a simplification as there are many variations within each camp like Individualist Anarchism, Left Communism and the like with their own unique arguments and counter-arguments, but hopefully that is enough for you to starting thinking up some more questions to ask.

5975657 It's kind of hard to define them but I'll try it.

Anarchism --- A state of a people/land without any social contract tied to an government.

Socialism --- A state of economy where the government controls/owns the economy through control or restrictions so as to equalize (there are degrees of it allowing some capitalism)

Communism --- Same thing as socialism but the people control/share the economy A vague and utterly useless word that became orwellion ever since the Soviet Union and China misused and abused it for propaganda purposes. Sadly, any sense of extreme left ideology is smuthered with autocracy and prominent capitalism that distorts the original message.

Any questions?

Sounds about right for a quick explanation.

5975830 There are a few problems in your mix.

The word “democratic” will usually be thrown in to get either democratic socialism or social democracy by socialists to describe their philosophy.

Yeah, and do you know who else throws around the word democracy? Spoiler alert: Dictators.

Do you know what other economic policies consider themselves democratic? Capitalism, a near opposite of socialism.

So I don’t know what’s the point of this sentence, it seems redundant.

Anarchism is the belief that while the communists are on to something, they disagree with the communist belief that the working class needs to seize the state. Anarchists want to see both capitalism and the state smashed all at once to immediately transition into a communist-like society. Communists would most likely see this as Utopian in that it assumes that the rich would simply give up without a fight.

Uhh... No. What you’re saying is an anarcho-communism point of view, and definitely not reflection of anarchism in general. Anarchism is a broad political belief, as there are different versions of anarchism, but they all generally advocate for either two things:

1) The dismantlement of a society for a new one.
2) To live in a stateless society.

The first one radically reforms while the second radically distrust the state. In either case, the people rather not live in their own systems and determine their own lives.

5976513 Fuck, I can’t get the ponemojis to work

For the purposes of comparing socialism, communism and anarchism, mentioning that advocates of socialism usually throw the word democracy in there when the other two generally don’t (despite being movements of the masses, a revolution isn’t comparable to an election) seems like something worth bringing up. Also, since some will describe USSR-like economies as “state socialist” (I go with state capitalist personally, but still), it might be worth mentioning. Alongside these reasons, one could point to the history of the term socialism within the United States and how attempts had to be made to make the term stick within the context of constant red scares, but perhaps that isn’t a concern where you live, so I will give you that much if that is the case.

I am aware of the existence of other schools of Anarchism like mutualism and collectivism which are difficult to summarize into a coherent overview of Anarchism in 2-3 sentences (one reason why I mentioned Individualist Anarchism at the end). “Communist-like” as a term could very well describe anarchism as a society in which the state and capitalism have ended, even if there is still distribution based on deed as in collectivism or some sort of markets without exploitation as mutualists theorize.


Now, while we are being critical of my descriptions and I accept that they are most likely not perfect, I did at least make an attempt to have them be as neutral as possible, despite my own preferences, for the sake of someone that could be new to all of this. Your definition of communism, sprinkled with terms like Orwellian and autocratic, is hardly that. It ignores many counter-examples that don’t fit into the USSR/Maoist China mold such as libertarian Marxism, autonomism, situationism and council communism. I don’t think it would be fair of me to claim that, for example, that because anti-civ anarcho-primitivism exists, and that because enacting such a system of pushing us back to hunter-gatherer societies would mean the destruction of billions of lives, that ALL anarchists are secretly wishing for genocide on a level that Stalin could never compare against. I hope that you will consider this and revise your definition to something that offers itself to discussion as opposed to poisoning the well.

5976717 Communism-like is a little bit unfair term, since it applies that anarchism is a very left ideology. It’s not. It’s just as likely that people can use credit/money (although unregulated) just as it could be used just as people shared/distributed resources through communes. People could be living together in tribe sharing each other, or separated into the hills competing and bargaining with each other.

And I’m sorry to say this, but whatever reading of history that says Anarchism thinks that rich can give up peacefully only belongs to the anarcho pacifism camp. Depending on whether the focus on economic, political, or social issues, they could focus on the beating ruling class or topple the “patriarchy”:rainbowlaugh:.

 libertarian Marxism, autonomism, situationism and council communism

:derpyderp2:I don’t have a college major... yet. But if one thing I know, it’s that they doesn’t have good representation in any recent government, so judging on whether or not they’re good in practice is up for debate, and could be totally legit, but not satisfying for anyone practical people like me. Plus, they’re not what mainstream communist thinkers of thinking of, and are almost never applied to government except situationism, which is... Not communism?:unsuresweetie:

FYI, I know socialism and communism are very different things, but since the U.S. treated Socialism as Communism (because of mccarthyism) and the USSR treated Socialism as Communism (because of how the states ended up with money and corporations) I frankly don’t think communism will get its original purpose and meaning back in power with these culture, only by creating a new culture would you bring back the original communism in use.

And yes, I am an american incidentally, and I do believe in the power of communism, but I’m in the group where I don’t think the USSR and China are good examples, thus awkwardly squishing me between the soviet communist and the European socialist. However, I do think hippies were going in a step in a right direction:yay::scootangel:

Comment posted by Commie-Shy deleted Jun 6th, 2017


My main point:

My sense, from reading this, is that this drive towards “practicality” to the point of everyone pursuing their own communities to live out their own visions of an ideal society is what allows you to hold to democratic socialism alongside anarchism while renouncing communism. Socialism has a democratic tradition and anarchism goes in many directions to satisfy many people, so both can be easily reconciled to a general audience. Communism, on the other hand, is seen by you as something that is too difficult to get people to really understand beyond tired clichés about Stalin and Mao being all that communism is. The thought behind this seems to be that by choosing the path of least resistance that this will quickly bring about electoral success and/or revolutionary change without the pain of having to actually debate or think through anything.

One of the reasons that I hold to Communism and Marxism is that I know there is a rich intellectual history of debate and struggle behind me in which many of the questions we face today have been worked through, at least on some level, before. “Practicality” as you describe is what Lenin and Stalin advocated for so that the Communist Parties would have the most reach, but this lead to a dilution of their principles. This created leaders who could shift positions in the name of “getting things done” (even when what was being done was a complete betrayal), alongside a rank and file who, lacking principles, history and theory, had to assume that their leaders were doing the best they could (or that they were corrupt…just not as much as the leaders of other parties).

Communism, as the self-determination of the working class towards the creation of a stateless and classless society, requires that they can ruthlessly criticize any intellectual deviations that demand submission or patience to the whims of leaders when their opportunity is right in front of them.

Other points:

On the idea of anarchism being a primarily left-wing ideology, I tend to agree with Libertarian Socialist Rants and the Anarchist FAQ in their presentation of Anarchism’s intellectual history which seems to come to that conclusion.

Why the need to put quotations around patriarchy? While there are limitations to things like identity politics and the like, the idea of women’s oppression as something that still exists isn’t something to laugh about. I highly recommend not following the path of least resistance within the toxic sewers of internet anti-feminist discourse and taking the time to actually look into the history and struggles of feminism, both in the past and today.

5977296 I do see your point, Stalins and Mao tried to make it practical, but I think that their authoritarian regime was doomed to be non-communistic in the first place. Authoritarianism puts the interest into a few people while ignoring the public’s interest, thus by definition, it never intends to promote the welfare for the working class. I honestly believe that the only way communism could promote the interest of the working class is by a mutual cooperation with some sort of representative democracy and a constitution. A government for the people, elected fairly by the people, and checked by the people. Although the details I do not know of, I hope that I could get the ideas on how a system could or couldn’t work or if any ideas need to be changed about any of it.

BTW. it’s not moderate feminism that I’m laughing about, if anything I would support feminism (though maybe because I’d really benefit from it ;) ) It’s the extremism of radical feminism and the anarcha-feminism that got me worried.

Radical feminism associates the men with the ruling class and the women as the suppressed, and while this seems find at first, this view ends up this ends up creating a new kind of discrimination, one where women are uncooperative with men without good reason while ignoring other ways of thinking.

This line from wikipedia would help explain some problems with radical feminism

During the early years, some radical feminists were criticized for emphasizing sex-based discrimination at the expense of race- and class-based discrimination, for being unwilling to work with men to effect change through political channels, and for reinforcing gender essentialism (the idea that men and women are inherently different)

And while Anarcha-feminism so far promotes change mostly peacefully, it associates feminine as inherently pro-communism/left while associating masculinity as pro-capitalism/right.

Since the 1860s, anarchism's radical critique of capitalism and the state has been combined with a critique of patriarchy. Anarcha-feminists thus start from the precept that modern society is dominated by men. Authoritarian traits and values—domination, exploitation, aggression, competition, etc.—are integral to hierarchical civilizations and are seen as "masculine". In contrast, non-authoritarian traits and values—cooperation, sharing, compassion, sensitivity—are regarded as "feminine", and devalued. Anarcha-feminists have thus espoused creation of a non-authoritarian, anarchist society. They refer to the creation of a society, based on cooperation, sharing, mutual aid, etc. as the "feminization of society".

This sounds great, especially for us communist, until you realized that anything masculine is considered evil capitalism/authoritarian. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that could easily lead to heavy discrimination against most men and thinks that their “masculinity” is a disadvantage needed to be uprooted, like as if they’re inherently evil or something. Are you masculine? Well guess what, according to this logic, your behaviour as “masculine” (anything that woman consider manly) is the root of all capitalism and authoritarianism in the world.

In the end, these view of the world should require cooperation between both genders, not excluding men from the process (although the sexist/gropers one should be excluded:twilightoops:)



If you are looking for recommendations on how a system in the future might be constructed, I would suggest looking at the example of the workers councils that sprung up during many different revolutionary periods. These institutions took place when the workers in each factory, say, would democratically organize the workplace and then link up with other such institutions from local to regional to national and, in some historical cases, international. These institutions, alongside what was called the factory committee movement to preserve them, were some of the first victims in the Bolshevik’s rise to power as they were a center of power that offered a vision of working class power and a state that, in the future, could wither away. I would consider myself a council communist in that I see these institutions as the starting point of a revolution.


While critiques of essentialism are something that I can agree with, I think a focus on that misses other aspects of radical feminism and anarcha-feminism that are worth considering. To my understanding, radical feminism essentially means critiquing the existence of institutions like corporations and governments because they were built during a time in which society was divided along gendered lines (alongside other such lines) and that a society in which gendered lines no longer exist requires a radical critique and reworking of such institutions. This is opposed to the liberal feminist conception in which women must simply work their way up these institutions that are built on, what could be called, patriarchal ideals. I don’t think it helps us too much that there was the possibility of a women with her hands on the nuclear codes (Clinton) over a man (Trump)…for what that’s worth in this giant reality show we call US politics.

Besides pointing out the fact that women generally give birth to children (excluding the possibility of something like using only test tubes in the future), most radical and anarcha-feminists don’t subscribe to essentialism, but rather the notion that gender is a largely social construct. Ending the hierarchy of masculinity over femininity, for these groups, requires that they are both ended in favor of the existence of just humanity in which different people can have different body parts without it being a problem. Essentialist readings should be challenged when they crop up, but we shouldn’t, at the same time, conclude that any analysis that puts gender, race, orientation etc. at the center of it all is essentialist.

I agree with pretty much everything you said:twilightsmile:

There’s just one thing I gotta mention. There are notable differences between males and females but the point of equality is that these differences don’t make their needs any less special, which I think we could agree.:pinkiehappy:

Yay!:yay:We’ve bonded over our differences! Whoever said that arguing isn’t magic?:rainbowkiss:

On the note of radicalism, there’s a friend of mine who claims that radicalism would become unstable in any form if there’s nothing to conflict with it, wouldn’t you agree?:rainbowhuh:


Radicalism, which means to go to the root of a problem, does, by definition, require a problem, so I suppose there is a bit of sense to that claim. However, I would say that Communism wasn’t designed to be a system of complete harmony all the time, but rather as a system that can best handle conflicts when they emerge. Humanity will always have problems to work through, so going to the root of them will always be necessary.

It has been nice to work through these things together. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

I salute to your life as well.

The Soviet Union may not exist anymore, but they will live on our memories... because most importantly, they sure as hell make great memes.:coolphoto:
And I bid you farewell with many memes.

Or at least memes made by Americans about Soviet Union or the Russian remnants of it.

Meme’s aside, I do hope to go to Russia one day to see whatever’s there people are excited about:yay:

Comment posted by saum22 deleted March 26th
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