Communism is the liberation of the Proletariat from the conditions of its present exploitation. Libertarianism is the new condition for its freedom.
Libertarian and Communism are both historically loaded terms. To understand them together, you must understand them apart.
Libertarianism is a Social Philosophy. Social means society; in sum all of our inter-relations and as such libertarianism is not just bound to a single institution or relationship between people, it is a way of life, a means of interacting with one another bound to every aspect of life. As a Social Philosophy at its core are a rejection coercion, oppression and exploitation. Coercion means to force onto another by forceful or cultural means, compliance and obedience. In such Coercion is the opposite of Liberty. Oppression is the exercise of authority as to restrain an individual’s freedom. Exploitation to use an individual as an object, similarly to a mine, to ascertain something for yourself. Libertarianism is often used synonymously with Anarchism – a stateless society. Between Right-Wing Libertarianism (expressed in Ron Paul, Libertarian Party America) and Left-Wing Libertarianism (Expressed in Anarchism and certain trends of Marxism) is the difference between Negative Liberty and Positive Liberty. Right-Wing Libertarians would have a Society where individuals would have a freedom to — exploit, oppress, etc. — whereas the Left-Wing would have a Society where individuals would have a freedom from — exploitation, oppression, etc.
Communism is a mode of production. To put that in some historical context, Hunter – Gather Societies, Feudalism and Capitalism are all independent modes of production. Unique to Communism is the abolition of Property (a distinction here between personal possessions) and its place, communal ownership of all industries, supermarkets, roads, railways, etc. Accordingly to “Communal “Ownership”, nothing is really owned by anyone, but held in common to one another. As such, in a a communal society, nothing can be bought or sold as nothing is actually owned. In a Communist society, you take as you please from the community and give back accordingly – hence the dictum “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. Marxism and Communism are often used interchangeably with one another, this is wrong, rather Marxism is the study behind the forces of the “Real Movement towards Communism”. The kernel of Communism is a classless society.
Together, Libertarian Communism would mean a radically different world then the one we have today. Together they mean a Stateless, Classless Society under the basis of Freedom, Liberty, Solidarity and Equality for all people and animals. Our desire is to not to turn today’s poor into today’s wealthy. Our desire is not to pull down the present rulers to put new rulers in their place. We want to abolish poverty, domination and exploitation to provide abundance for all. Such a goal is already possible with the productive capabilities at hand and with the knowledge already possessed by mankind. We want production for use and enjoyment, not profit and exploitation. Communities will ascertain what the requirements of the people are in food, clothing, housing, transport, healthcare, education, books, art, theaters – anything and everything the people desire. Generally necessity comes first, and then follows the means of amusement, culture, leisure, etc. We want control of the workplace by workers’ themselves, not oppressive and exploitative agents. The working class taken in the most general sense means those who partake in truly productive work – employees, farmers, scientists – which under Libertarian Communism, will indefinitely be the master of managing, directing and regulating the process of production. We want the distinction between those who give orders and those who carry them out to be abolished. In such an end to: Authority, Domination and Privilege. Government would pass from being centrally administered nation-states consisting of executive and legislative bodies to a federally organized confederation of directly democratic councils both executive and legislative at the same time. In Libertarian Communism, true democracy becomes an everyday operation. In place of Capitalist society, organized from the bottom up on layers of authority, exploitation and competition, we would have a society organized along a free association; where each individual is the master of themselves and where their free development becomes the condition for the free development of all.
The Transition out of Capitalism to Communism
Imperialism, the Post-War Boom of WWII and Post Cold- War Period has burdened Eastern and Southern hemispheres with heavy industry while at the same time undoing manufacturing in the West subduing the working population to precarious and casualized work abolishing the “one pay check” family. In the last few decades we’ve seen a fall in “real wages” – the relative amount a worker receives to the cost of their subsistence – as neoliberalism has torn apart the welfare state, unions and as workers have been expelled from the worlds “financial centers” such as New York, London and more recently Paris, greatly increasing commuting time, making housing an expense approaching 50% of a typical working-class income, and turning the major cities into theme parks for the unproductive FIRE (finance/insurance/real estate) population.
With this in mind we see more than ever that Internationalism is a necessity for the success of both the revolution against the international capitalist and for the success of a Communist society. The State Communist dictum that “Socialism in One Country” is possible has been proven a farce. We also see that the nostalgic phrase of “taking over production” and establishing it under “workers’ control” is proven a farce in the face of so much unproductive labor in America and the broader West. Relieving the world of the financial, insurance and environmentally destructive sectors will bring with it mass unemployment with no immediate solution towards turning it to productive labor. Forgetting this we also have the relative impoverishment of the Eastern and Southern world to the Western. The exportation of resources, technology and wealth to these areas must become a necessity of the revolution.
These are only basic problematic issues that we face both in the process of a revolution and in the building of a Communist society. We recognize that there are a great many more. We believe Communists ought to be talking about these issues which we face and developing both theories to confront them and tactics for the revolution around them.