Chris Wyatt
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Anarcho-constitutionalism as associational anarchism
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This chapter introduces associational anarchism’s mode of organisation in full. In transcending the divide between state and civil-society, democratic participation is extended to the economic and civic realms and is centred on the various self-managing organisations individuals belong to. Self-governance applies both within and between these differentiated formations. It is the organisational contours sketched in Cole’s Guild Socialism Restated (1920) that are primarily drawn from. Particular attention is paid to the functional principle of representation, which breaks down chiefly into a system of economic guilds and formal agencies to represent consumers. While these interrelating economic structures are retained and adapted throughout this book, both the role and the powers of Cole’s communes are heavily revised. The chapter then explains how goods and resources will be allocated democratically. At this point, David Schweickart’s ingenious approach to the planning of new investment is introduced. In order to assimilate his scheme into the guild system, it will be subject to a thorough functional demarcation. From here it is shown that although both planning and market-exchange will continue to have a role, it will not be through the central planning of command socialism or the mixed-economy typical of social democracy. The method of democratic planning and the delineation of the guild market system are both original and are hence unique to associational anarchism. It is these structural arrangements that make up the organisational aspects of freedom as Marxian-autonomy. The chapter concludes by establishing the internal structures the guild cooperatives will need to assume in order to make labour a fulfilling and enriching experience for all associates.

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Associational anarchism

Towards a left-libertarian conception of freedom


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