Supplementary presentation – link
Anarchism and theory of power
Introduction – for an articulated anarchist theory of power
“Anarchism – which can be regarded as the most radical critique of domination explained so far, a theoretical and practical critique – has not produced a more articulated and subtle theory of power than the apologists of domination.” – Felipe Corrêa, Towards An Anarchist Theory of Power
Anarchism suffers from a lack of discussion surrounding organisation, socialisation and radicalisation in workers and anarchist circles. This text elaborates on presentations given in Ljubljana and Zagreb during July of 2023. We hope to contribute this supplementary text just on these issues that have been almost minimally discussed in the anarchist milieu.
The text introduces concepts such as power consciousness and local consensus to explain fundamental social anarchist worldview based on determinism and materialism. It also explains anarchist and socialist rejection of liberal concepts and methods, such as free will, freedom, democracy, etc. At the end we state our goal as anarchists – to agitate for and create prefigurative social relationships and groupings (aka establish anarchist power structures) that are capable of countering existing power structures.
With this new goal we break off ideologically from Traditional Platformism, but this break off is more an evolution in which we address its issues and rebuild organisational theory, while still maintaining some of the fundamental principles like Theoretical and Strategic Unity in mind. In this spirit we also drop the old name of our organisation and replace it with a new one, MAK.
- Anarchism and power consciousness
- Determinism, free will and materialism
- Power structures and “Laws of Anarchism”
- Individualism and collectivism
- Revising democracy
- Anarchist power structures and local consensus
- Communication channels and decision making
Anarchism and power consciousness
What is anarchism? In this essay we strictly refer to Anarchism as an anti-statist socialism with origins in First Internationale. Although many different ideological groups like mutualists, collectivists, libertarians, libertarian socialists and libertarian collectivists existed all under an anarchist umbrella, what we really want to focus is on analysing some fundamentals axioms of those groups and extrapolating them to construct logically consistent form of Anarchism. On this basis we derive new theoretical concepts like power structures, anarchist power structures, power consciousness, local consensus, etc.
Primary concept we entrench our framework in is power consciousness. We define it as a specific structure of consciousness. In a more materialist sense, it’s a specific brain structure which produces specific thought patterns of affected individuals. Specific thought patterns include structural consciousness and determination consciousness.
Structural consciousness is the perception of power structures and laws that govern their behaviour, heightened sense about people and environment individuals interact and reside in. This includes knowledge those people possess, their personalities, material condition and awareness about laws under which environment they reside in works, this includes but is not limited to general universal laws of matter, technology, human biology, etc.
Determination consciousness is the perception of how an individual’s own consciousness and that of others are determined by biological and environmental factors.
But power consciousness is not an idealist concept, but rather a concrete state of mind which follows from natural and social laws. As such, questions of radicalization and morality of future society are resolved too, since the human mind is no longer considered as “magic meat”, but something that can be developed and shaped by outside influences. As for morality, it just becomes a simple fact of nature, power consciousness wants to spread. In order to do that, it needs to prefigure future anarchist society.
We will further discuss why free will and traditional (liberal) concept of freedom are incompatible with an anarchist worldview, explained further with our conceptualisation of determinism and materialism.
Determinism and free will
“Causal determinism is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature. The idea is ancient, but first became subject to clarification and mathematical analysis in the eighteenth century.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
“The term “free will” has emerged over the past two millennia as the canonical designator for a significant kind of control over one’s actions.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Various philosophical traditions were concerned with the nature and existence of free will throughout history. Since there are various different definitions of free will, it is important to note that in this essay we will only be concerning ourselves with the ones liberal ideology builds upon.
It is important to understand that the existence of free will is a purely empirical question that can be explored using science.
There is plenty of neurophysiological evidence which reinforces the assertion that there is no such thing as free will. If free will were to exist, we would need to suppose that the perception of willing precedes actions at the very least, but there is no empirical evidence as of now to back up such a proposition. What we do know is that the perception of free will most likely arises from an interaction between frontal and parietal lobes of the brain.
We can also observe that various brain disorders point to the role of unconscious processes in making decisions. For example, in people with disconnected brain hemispheres, we see a phenomenon where the left brain observes the movements made by the right brain, and sometimes tries to explain them as free will. People with schizophrenia experience hallucinations, proving that there is a disconnect between perception and willing. People struggling with addictions have developed neurotransmitter reward circuitry in their brains which determine them to continually repeat the behaviour tied to their addictions.
Let us now observe the most famous scientific experiment which tries to disprove free will, the Libet experiment. In the experiment, the subject is connected to electrodes which measure activity in the brain called Bereitschaftspotential which precedes an action done by the motor system. Subjects are asked to record the time at which they perceive they made the decision to tap a finger, and the time of the actual movement is also recorded. The results say that Bereitschaftspotential appears in the brain hundreds of milliseconds before the subjects perceive the willing of a decision.
This experiment had many critics with varying amounts of legitimacy. The most known and legitimate one said that even if we don’t have a free will with which we make conscious decisions about motor actions, we can still stop the movement after it has been initiated in motor areas of the brain. However, it was later discovered that there is similar brain activity found in the brain which precedes the perception of willing to abort a movement, so it seems that we don’t even have a “free won’t”.
In physics, we know that the position and the state of every particle is determined by its previous position and state. These rules apply to the matter that makes up our brain and bodies, our brains is not a “magic meat”, nor are we disconnected from the universe and physical laws. On the other hand, in quantum physics we have certain situations where determinism does not fully hold, but there we have indeterminism, which means that the outcome is random and once again, we can not influence it with our “magic meat”. That means that the view that liberalism projects onto us, namely that we could decide between many different futures, is an illusion because it comes into conflict with basic physical principles because our bodies are a part of the universe and the physical laws that apply to all other particles apply to our bodies as well.
Materialism is usually defined in opposition to idealism that usually claims products of human consciousness (ideas, thoughts) being capable of influencing/determining not only other ideas and thoughts, but also physical entities and processes.
Although ideas and thoughts make up human knowledge and application of that knowledge in relation to other humans (society) and nature, they are not the main determiners of how physical entities and processes fundamentally act, function or change.
Materialists proclaim that only physical entities and processes are real, i.e. that only physical entities can interact and determine each other in a way to alter each other’s development and states (aka how they act, function and change).
They claim that an entity can be real only if it can be observed as a process (i.e. it has its own history and course of development, previous states of existence and relationships with other physical entities that change with time).
Although individuals and societies throughout history developed different ideas that resemble ideas being shared and adopted in today’s societies and by living individuals, ideas do not alter themselves to their new forms. It is the living individuals and societies that are discarding, combining and recontextualising ideas and ascribing history to them (trying to connect up and make narratives about how ideas developed to their “current” form).
For a materialist “[it is] not [a matter] of setting out from what men say, imagine, conceive, nor from men as narrated, thought of, imagined, conceived, in order to arrive at men in the flesh; but setting out from real, active men, and on the basis of their real life-process demonstrating the development of the ideological reflexes and echoes of this life-process. The phantoms formed in the brains of men are also, necessarily, sublimates of their material life-process, which is empirically verifiable and bound to material premises. Morality, religion, metaphysics, and all the rest of ideology as well as the forms of consciousness corresponding to these, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence. They have no history, no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this their actual world, also their thinking and the products of their thinking. It is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines consciousness. For the first manner of approach the starting-point is consciousness taken as the living individual; for the second manner of approach, which conforms to real life, it is the real living individuals themselves, and consciousness is considered solely as their consciousness.” (Marx, K., Engels, F. The German Ideology. MECW, vol. 5, p.36-37)
It becomes clear that humans and other natural entities observed from this viewpoint are not determined in a simplistic casual way (entity A afflicted a change to entity B), but are constantly interacting and causing changes on each other.
Bakunin was also influenced by this materialistic viewpoint, stating the following about materialism and free will:
“Materialism starts from animality to establish humanity; idealism starts with divinity to establish slavery and to condemn the masses to perpetual animality. Materialism denies free will and ends in the establishment of liberty; idealism in the name of human dignity, proclaims free will, and, on the ruins of every liberty, founds authority; materialism rejects the principle of authority, because it rightly considers it the corollary of animality, and because on the contrary, the triumph of humanity which is the object and chief significance of history, can be realised only through liberty.” (Bakunin, M. Philosophy of History. Maximoff, G.P. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism. p.173)
Although human knowledge may never encompass the full complexity of all relationships and processes that happen in both the natural and social world, that should not stop us from building our own complex explanatory scientific framework of observable relationships and processes.
We believe that anarchist society cannot be established without setting up a critical framework that encompasses not only interactions between humans, but also all interactions between the social and natural world. Such a framework is of utmost importance due to the ongoing capitalist destruction of the global ecological and biological systems that renders any human society able to survive in following decades.
“For… everything that exists and every living being carries within itself the two-fold law of Nature; 1. No existence is possible outside of one’s natural environment and its external world; 2. In that external world only that can maintain itself which exists and lives at the expense of that world and is in constant struggle against it.” (Bakunin, M. Man as Conqueror of Nature. Maximoff, G.P. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism. p.89)
Humans are not only subjected to the laws of nature, but they are also subjected to a determinate mode of life and production that individuals partake in.
As Bakunin notes:
“Socialism, being founded upon positive science, absolutely rejects the doctrine of free will. It recognises that whatever is called human vice and virtue is absolutely the product of the combined action of Nature and Society. All individuals, with no exception, are at every moment of their lives what Nature and Society have made them… Hence it clearly follows that to make men moral it is necessary to make their social environment moral.” (Bakunin, M. Ethics: Man Wholly the Product of Environment. Maximoff, G.P. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism. p.155)
We base our worldview and ideological framework on materialism and determinism defined up to now in this presentation. That’s why we demand that any serious understanding of current social matters and individuals must start off from materialism that encompasses both natural and social determinism.
We know that one’s class and social position is determined by their initial and current conditions in the power dynamics of society This is why for example not everyone can just “learn to code” or “do dropshipping” or “do crypto” and have that as a shortcut to higher status and wealth in current and all previous societies.
According to Marx, each social mode of production produces the material conditions of its reproduction: “What they [individuals] are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production.” Marx & Engels, The German Ideology
Although freedom is often used in media and political discourse as something to strive for or to achieve, it is really ever clearly defined. In philosophy there are usually two kinds of freedom discussed, positive and negative freedom. Liberal political schools usually use negative freedom (freedom from restraints), while positive freedom is usually associated with self-determination and autonomy. Although most anarchists use some version of proclaiming self-determination as the measure of freedom that should be pursued in an anarchist society, we should keep in mind that the category of self-determination is determined by the current mode of life of a society and its social dynamics.
Power structures in class societies deny freedom to members of the producing and powerless classes, making it impossible for any individual to actually be free. In our framework, we move away from the concept of self-determination and focus on the consciousness about the determination of consciousness, i.e. determination consciousness. In this way, we can define freedom as the awareness of the influences and conditioning done by external factors on one’s own consciousness, while understanding that no individual act can change these external factors by itself.
As stated by Bakunin:
“Man only frees himself from the brutal pressure exercised upon him by his own external world – material and social… Such is the only rational meaning of the word liberty; that is, the rule over external things, based upon the respectful observations of the laws of nature.“ (Bakunin, M. Mind and Will. Maximoff, G.P. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism. p.96)
We showed that humans are deterministic in nature. This is important because it gives empirical basis to the power consciousness. In a broader sense we can conclude that our socio-political theory of anarchism can also be described by social and political laws akin to natural laws (like in physics or biology).
Anarchism follows a common description of a socio-political theory:
- Understanding the dynamics of how the state and society exercise and contest power (e.g. power structures, authority, social inequality)
- How political values and behaviours shape society and how society’s values and behaviours shape politics (e.g. public opinion, ideologies, social movements)
- How these operate across formal and informal areas of politics and society (e.g. ministerial cabinet vs. family home)
- How socio-political cultures and identities change over time.
These are all common topics among anarchist literature.
Few examples how power structure can determine individual behaviour:
“If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself.”
“…power corrupts those invested with it just as much as those compelled to submit to it” Mikhail Bakunin, Statism and Anarchy
Bakunin also noticed that even revocable delegates changed their behaviour and started ordering around inside of First Internationale.
Before we can move on to constructing some general laws underlying anarchism, let’s define what actually are power structures, a fundamental block of socio-political theory of anarchism.
We define power structure as “a material and conceptual system embodied through social, technological, and environmental relations that then determine how the collective powers of some group of conscious beings are directed.”
Power structures that we deem important to understand and systematise are the following:
- individual conditioning
- interpersonal relations
- social structures
- environmental structures.
Individual conditioning is the result of nature and nurture acting on some given individual, comprising all of their psychological and biological conditions. This also crucially includes ideology, which is a system of ideas that inform an individual’s outlook on the world.
This category includes examples such as: reward-seeking behaviour, personal meaning, fear, trauma, delusion, bodily disfigurement, or strengthening, but also capitalist ideology, anarchist ideology, communist ideology, liberal philosophy, Buddhism, Islam, Daoism, and so on…
Interpersonal relations are those relations which an individual has with the other conscious beings that they directly interact with.
For example: friendships, intimate partnerships, families, boss-worker relations, but also such phenomena as racism, transphobia, sexism, xenophobia, domestic abuse, etc…
Social structures are consistent patterns which direct the flow of social power and are reified by continued use of social power.
For example: capitalist property relations, the state, law, white supremacy, patriarchy, honour, chivalry, but also anarchic society, communal ethics, organic societies, mutualism, hospitality standards, and so on…
Environmental structures are non-conceptual structures, embodied in the non-human physical world. These are those structures which, were humans to cease existing, would remain.
Includes infrastructure, factories, buildings, technology, armouries, cars, tanks, firearms, forests, deserts, fields, animals, asteroid belts, galaxies, even natural law.
Common power structures that anarchists analyse is a state. Some properties that states have are that they have tendency to reproduce and self-preserve, they will show some form of intelligence, obvious example being hostility towards anarchism. They also have a tendency to evolve over time, especially in regards to specific material conditions.
As such we can abstract power structures as some primitive life forms. Interestingly, we can also perform classification on power structures. Just like we can divide the biological world into three domains, archaebacteria, bacteria and eukaryote, we can divide power structures also into two, namely horizontal and hierarchical power structures.
Just like biological life forms can be further divided into various subclasses, so can power structures be divided up too. For example, corporations can be thought of as members of a wider class of power structures called market power structures.
Those power structures can then be visualised as lifeforms in some abstract environment. In there they will form their own ecosystem, and just like biological ecosystems they are very sensitive to the environment they developed themselves in. Capitalism as a whole can be thought of as an example of a power structure ecosystem.
That power structures exhibit properties of biological lifeforms is not just a mere coincidence, especially since humans are primary acting agents of power structures. Generally, it’s very common for objects to inherit properties from their composition.
Looking closer, it seems that the heart of power structures resides in matter located inside of human brains. This is an important observation, because it shows us that there could exist specific brain structures which are more immune to the power structures, and indeed some empirical observations do point towards such a conclusion, namely that neurodivergence is much higher among left-radical groups.
This is not such a novel claim. It has, in fact, already been studied by some information theorists which are doing research into information theory as it applies to life and biological systems. An example of similar work would be Information Theory in Living Systems, Methods, Applications, and Challenges by Robert A. Gatenby and B. Roy Frieden.
We can deduce that the framework of the power structures themselves is being determined by those same factors that determine the consciousness of individuals in current society. An important example of this is the effect of neuroplasticity from which we can conclude that power structures determine the current and future behaviours of individuals operating inside them.
Laws of Anarchism
We will note three “laws of anarchism” that define the relationship between individuals and power structures.
- Individual actions will always be determined by the structure in which the individual performs the action.
In other words, individuals are completely determined by power structures, regardless of whether they are a part of them or power structures are the ones acting on individuals.
- Power structures are stable, i.e. they resist change and can not be changed or reformed.
This law is often found in anarchist literature, and its most common expression is anti-statism – the fact that the state cannot be taken over and then destroyed from the inside, the full explanation follows directly from the first and second law.
- An individual’s ends cannot be separated from the means he uses to accomplish those ends.
The third law of anarchism is just the common anarchist motto declaring that “means must follow from the aspired ends”. As Nietzsche said “if you stare long enough in the abyss, the abyss stares back at you”.
Those laws, if taken as axioms for anarchist socio-political theory, not only explain a vast array of social phenomena, but also lay foundations of how organising, radicalization and future society should look and operate.
Individualism and collectivism
While individualism and collectivism are pretty commonly used in general political theory, they are especially relevant to anarchism since “anarchism” was historically composed of two factions, individualist anarchists and collectivist anarchists.
It’s of note that those two factions never really liked each other and didn’t have success in working together.
“Those who, in calling themselves individualists, see that as justification for any repugnant action, and who have as much to do with anarchism as the police do with public order they boast to protect.” – Malatesta, Patient Work
“An Individualist, if he intends to remain Individualist, cannot be an Anarchist.” – Kropotkin, Direct Struggle
But on the other hand, those same people would again make some difference between bad individualists and good ones, ex. Malatesta for French individualist anarchist E. Armand, describing him as “one of the ablest individualist anarchists” (Malatesta, Life and Ideas).
The reason for such paradoxical behaviour is due to a bad definition of individualism and collectivism. We think that definitions of individualism and collectivism are inconsistent, because they both stem from individualist frameworks (collectivism cannot be comprehensible to individualist consciousness and no individualist framework can accurately describe it – it’s like asking a fish to describe what water is).
We redefine individualism and collectivism as follows:
Individualism – qualities of individuals are independent of their environment, sense of self is limited to itself and the individual is thought to be capable of self-determination
Collectivism – qualities of individuals are fully determined by their environment and society, sense of self is spread out through other individuals and the individual is thought to be incapable of self-determination
This is why even anarchist individualists will always favour traditional power structures like markets, but even “collectivists” do no better. Although they recognize social determination, they still succumb to first law of anarchism and reproduce behaviours of dominant power structures like, for example, favouring democratic organisations (more on that later).
Anarchist organisation by type:
Although collectivist anarchism never fully managed to break free from individualism due to effects of dominant power structures, they still had much higher developed power consciousness, which allowed them to much more rigorously describe how and why humans behave the way they do. Hence concepts like delegates,rotations and prefigurative politics are so prevalent among collectivist anarchist literature, with prefigurative politics being the most important one since, in practice, it guides almost all action.
“The means used to further the revolution must harmonise with its purposes. In short, the ethical values which the revolution is to establish in the new society must be initiated with the revolutionary activities of the so-called transitional period. The latter can serve as a real and dependable bridge to the better life only if built of the same material as the life to be achieved. Revolution is the mirror of the coming day; it is the child that is to be the Man of To-morrow. “ – Emma Goldman, My Disillusionment in Russia
Distancing away from democracy
“In short, we reject all legislation, all authority and every privileged, licensed, official, and legal influence, even that arising from universal suffrage, convinced that it can only ever turn to the advantage of a dominant, exploiting minority and against the interests of the immense, subjugated majority. It is in this sense that we are really Anarchists.” – Bakunin, What is Authority
“I now want to talk about democracy “within our own ranks” — that is, amongst proletarians in struggle. The usual “workers’ democracy” argument, for example, will say “OK, we don’t have democratic relations with the bourgeoisie but amongst ourselves there should be the most perfect equality and respect for rights.” This is usually seen as a way of avoiding bureaucratisation and domination by small cliques and ensuring that as many people as possible are involved in a particular struggle. The idea is that if people are allowed the right to speak, the right to vote etc., then you can just go along to a meeting and immediately be part of this democratic collectivity and so immediately be involved.
What does democratising a struggle mean in practice? It means things like:
- Majoritarianism — Nothing can be done unless a majority agree to it.
- Separation between decision making and action — Nothing can be done until everybody has had a chance to discuss it. This can be seen as analogous to the separation between the legislative and executive arms of a democratic state. It’s no coincidence that discussions within democratic organisations often resemble parliamentary debate!
- Embodiment of the view that no one can be trusted — Democratic structures take the “war of all against all” for granted, and institutionalise it. Delegates always have to be revocable so they won’t pursue their own hidden agenda which, of course, everyone has.
All of these principles embody social atomisation.” – Wildcat, Against Democracy
In classic anarchist theory, flow of power is portrayed very simplistically, reduced to who takes part in decision making analysis. As such, direct democracy is portrayed as an optimal solution to the problem of power.
What happens in reality is that direct democratic structures promote centralization of information flow, which makes it almost impossible to deal with malicious actors and on top of that it actually promotes socially manipulative behaviour since “charismatic” individuals will find themselves to be major nodes in decentralised social network direct democratic power structures induce. Centralised information flow, together with low structural consciousness caused by social atomization promoted by democratic structures, make direct democratic structures wholly ineffective in any kind of decision making.
As a whole, we think direct democracy is a huge failure which bottlenecked a movement by inhibiting its development through structural individualism. Just pointing at many anarchist federations, it’s easy to prove its ineffectiveness.
Direct democracy is often compared to representative democracy as a fixed counterpart, but in reality it hardly differs from it. As such, direct democracy is an individualistic solution to the problem of power.
In anarchist theory, prefigurative politics generally means embodying the kinds of organisational structure and methods of deliberation and decision-making that future society would contain, i.e. performing the kinds of functions that institutions in a future society will carry out.
Although applying it on organisational structure, methods of deliberation and decision-making might seem enough, in practice it’s not. Hence we expand the definition of prefigurative politics to also encompass the following:
- ways of communication between individuals, including all communication channels and technologies that support it
- methods of social correction, i.e. how the group enforces its internal moral, rules, behaviour, etc.
It’s worth noting that, although we say “enforces”, anarchists do agree on a large set of unacceptable behaviour and the individuals who exhibit these behaviours, of course, need to have their behaviour corrected or these individuals need to be isolated.
Typical anarchist radicalization methods include following:
- Propaganda: books, pamphlets, posters, stickers, banners, graffiti, podcasts, videos,
- Education: lectures, workshops, seminars, reading groups, study circles
- Action: protests, demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, sabotage, vandalism, mutual aid projects, such as food banks, community gardens, housing cooperatives, free clinics, etc.
We proclaim all these methods to be ineffective due to their individualistic nature. They fail to grow power consciousness and continue to propagate relations of dominant power structures. This follows directly from First and Second law. More generally most of these methods move more towards the stabilisation of dominant power structures, rather than building counter power structures that will dismantle them.
Also those methods are only effective on already neurodivergent individuals because dominant power structures have lesser effects on them, but since those individuals only encompass an extremely small portion of total population, it comes as no surprise that anarchism remained and will remain a minority movement.
Standard anarchist theory is extremely abstract in goals because it gives way too much focus on abstract workings of the system, resulting in half baked methods like cooperatives and naive syndicalism taking roots, while at the same failing to reverse conditioning done by dominant power structures. This as a whole makes movement extremely dissociated and fragmented, with every single stance always being seen as a binary option and bigger federations dysfunctional in terms of cooperation.
“Being free for man means being acknowledged, considered and treated as such by another man, and by all the men around him. Liberty is therefore a feature not of isolation but of interaction, not of exclusion but rather of connection. “ – Bakunin, Selected Writings, 147.
Anarchist power structures (APS)
As such we propose that the primary way of radicalization be forceful development of power consciousness through integration into anarchist power structures (APS).
We already defined power consciousness, so let’s define APS. We can easily deduce that APS need to have specific properties in order to be able to prefigure anarchist society.
Namely they need to be:
- Stable and rigid (because of constant pressure from non APS)
- Reproducible (every node of APS needs to be able replicate it)
In order to maximise reproducibility and rigidity of APS, we need to find the smallest possible set of knowledge which would derive all foundational behaviours of future anarchist society including how to reproduce itself. We propose this set to be the three laws of anarchism previously stated, in combination with specific instructions on how to reproduce power consciousness.
Local consensus is an APS which takes the form of a distributed network. Each node is connected to a few other nodes via strong bonds. Strong bonds are formed by learning each other’s knowledge maps and agreeing to cooperate towards a specific goal. Knowledge map is just an abstract concept which encompasses some individuals skills, interests, and knowledge. Analogy of knowledge maps can be found in computer science, where knowledge maps would be some library, you don’t need to know how specific implementation is coded to execute its function. Note to not reduce this to an individual’s profession, ex. mathematician, but it’s needed to actually familiarise with specific functions that individuals can carry out, ex. mathematician will probably have knowledge on how to approximate some functions via polynomials.
Those bonds needs to be formed distributively, meaning that network on semi-local level (when picking a random node, it would encompass nodes up to 2-3 connections away) would rationally distribute nodes dependending on their intrinsic properties such that wider network is able to accomplish its goal on local levels (1 or 2 connections distance).
In summary, each node will have:
- Knowledge maps of adjacent nodes (ensures development of structural consciousness)
- Understanding of laws of anarchism (ensures development of determination consciousness)
- What is local consensus and how to reproduce it (ensures further reproduction of power consciousness)
Some emerging properties of this APS include:
- No centralization of information and power (for example it disallows certain individuals prone to social maxing to degenerate networks into decentralised types, figure b.)
- Each member is much more powerful, simply due to much wider set of knowledge and skills disposable to him
- Very efficient coordination (ex. two neighbour nodes can instantly create working group of ~8 people, and they will have highly dedicated knowledge of groups skills and knowledge, hence optimal allocation of tasks)
- Decision making is more optimal because context of information is more local, as such more valuable
- Easy neutralisation of malignant agents since all that’s needed is for its neighbour nodes to break bond with him
- More efficient information flow than hierarchical and decentralised horizontal PS counterparts
- Very efficient reproduction since each node is able to reproduce the structure
- It avoids bureaucracy even for basic things like membership (for example membership can be defined as having formed 3 strong bonds)
- It prefigures future society extremely well since we can model future society as a conglomerate of many different local consensus networks (ex. education, medicine, economy)
- It naturally reproduces and maintains power consciousness which is mandatory requirement in order for individuals to be able to reproduce behaviours and acts of future anarchist society
Communication channels and decision making
Important trait of local consensus is the lack of any central communication or information channels. Although this seems inefficient, in many other global networks (hundreds of millions or even billions of users), everyone is separated on average by just 6 connections (see six degrees of separation wikipedia page).
Currently the major problem of communication channels is that they are built in an individualistic way, as such they are not optimal for local consensus. Although we are making communication technology suitable for this based on the Matrix protocol, current eta is between three and six months.
Nevertheless, it is possible to emulate something close to the optimal with current technology. Each node creates his own chat group in which he adds all other individuals he is strongly bonded with. It is best to use messengers with some kind of chat grouping functionality like Telegram’s “Chat Folders”, in order to avoid clutter.
Decision making inside local consensus is, as the name suggests, by local consensus around specific node.
For example, in order for a blue node to act, it needs consensus with other red nodes.
Consensus is an extremely important property because it keeps the network distributed, i.e. it avoids centralization since consensus is naturally inefficient for large sizes, and strong bonds are time consuming to perform, yet at the same time it promotes structural consciousness and collectivism because it requires permanent synchronisation with neighbour nodes.
For way too long, we have been slaves to power, be it rulers or ruled we can’t escape its influence. Nonetheless we refuse to yield, for we must master power, learn how it works and how it influences us and only then can we finally break free and change the world in a way we want.
When we look at the current communist/anarchist movement, we see weak, divided and dominated people. Influenced by forces they can’t understand or perceive in vain struggle to build a better society, instead they reproduce the current one.
In this, we reject the notion of weakness, we need to be smarter, stronger and more efficient if we want to win. This is what local consensus aspires to build, by significantly reducing complexity of anarchist theory via constructing an APS that can very simply produce a simple and precise formula for inducing power consciousness while ensuring high cohesion due to the majority of the theory resting on just a few axioms. On top of that, a highly distributed structure makes it very easy to take ground into hostile PS like corporations, providing a simple and efficient substitution to many popular revolutionary theories like syndicalism.
Combined with strong bonds, it makes individuals and groups smarter, stronger and more efficient than any other counterpart. Which is exactly what’s needed to displace dominant power structures with the only proven method, force.
Though our aspirations are great, we are not dreamers. Even though this essay is in many ways still incomplete, everything shown in this essay is empirically provable. So we challenge you to try and disprove our laws and methods, for we have nothing to lose but our chains.