The Instigator
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4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

Communism is Fascistic in Principle

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,504 times Debate No: 61997
Debate Rounds (4)
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The issue of Communism is a divisive one, with a growing number of defenders and sympathizers. One of the most common arguments from that camp is to say that Communism, despite its despotic history, is a free system if implemented "correctly". So here is my contention: by it's very tenants, Communism demands and indeed requires the implementation of either martial law or dictatorship. To accept the Con position, my opponent must support the opposite position.

Important Terms:

Communism: My opponent may choose their favorite form, but it must be commonly accepted as Communism, and generally stick to its definition.

Fascism: My use of this word describes not so much the 20th century movement but as a general police state or a tyrannical leader.

Principle: The phrase "in principle" means innate or inherent, inseparable from the theory.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments. Rebuttals to a minimum, please.
Round 3 : Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals/ Closing Statements

Good luck to my opponent, and I anticipate an informative and enjoyable debate.


I accept. I do not believe it is true that "Communism demands and indeed requires the implementation of either martial law or dictatorship". I will also question the accuracy of statements regarding the "despotic history" of "Communism", which should help to make it clear that the proposition is false.

I will also clarify that I am arguing from the perpective of a libertarian socialist - an 'anarcho-communist'.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting the challenge, and I hope we can maintain a civil and engaging dialogue

Now, the form of Communism my adversary has chosen is anarcho-Communism. The theory is based on a belief in the abolishment of private property and capital, replacing it with a communal system of decision-making with no real Government. Additionally, everything must be shared equally. (1) With minor exceptions in Spain during the civil war and the "Free Territories" in Russia, anarcho-Communism has never been put into widespread effect.

Over the course of this debate, it is my prerogative to demonstrate how this invites tyranny and requires control over mind and body.

Real Communism

I always allow for a small chuckle when I hear Communists deny that the Soviet Union and North Korea and Red China did not, and do not, practice "real Communism". While history itself will not be the prime focus of my arguments, be wary, readers, of this fallacy, that because Communism is not supposed to result in what I claim, and what history shows, these miserable nations cannot be "real" Marxist states. It is akin to suggesting that because Toyota brakes aren't supposed to malfunction, the cars in which they do are not "real" members of the Toyota brand. (2) Nor, it should be mentioned, am I contending that Communism is not economically feasible (although it isn't), but simply that by it's very nature, any state that adopts the theory will quickly devolve.

Defying Human Nature

The violation and oppression of human nature has not proven very effective throughout history. Whenever someone or something attempts to suppress the national tendency for, say, privacy, miserable failure is the result. No nation, no structure, no system is shorter-lived than that which tried this impossible feat.

However, when it is done, there is exactly one way the tyrants always work to maintain this greatest of evils: an absolute crackdown. The Soviets, the Nazis, the Kim regime and Red China share this common experience, of going to more and more extreme lengths to continue their coup against human principles, which prolonged but did not prevent their decline.

Communism is the greatest oppressor in this manner, the antithesis of human nature in many regards:


It pains me to use this term, as society, and mankind in general, has saddled it with bad connotations. But the desire for property and money, and by extension the free market, is entirely natural.

In a communist state, the idea of making one's own business, working for one's own benefit is profane. Thus any attempt to decide one's future, to improve one's
lot in life, is forbidden, and those who try, as is their rite, must be repressed.


Possibly even more fundamental then self-making is privacy, inseparable from the right to property. To have a place of your own, where no one may trespass, to conduct your business or raise your family is the most basic of instinct and simply put, ingrained. Making it illegal to the point of calling it morally untenable is undoubtedly and inevitably temporary.


Children don't like to work, and will not do so without the promise of reward or the threat of punishment. Some things don't change, and in a communist system, no incentive means little work or little effort. This point connects to my description of New Harmony (under "Communism and Government", where jobs that needed doing we're not done; after all, why should someone do it? Nothing is lost or gained by working for the common good (whatever that means).

What is the result? People need to either be forced to work, or be threatened with harsh punitive measures. One example of this is the Soviet Union. (3) Communism, for the system to operate, must extinguish the humanity of its people, which is, I'm afraid to say, totalitarian.

Government and Communism

The general intention of Communism, and especially true of Anarcho-
Communism, is to eliminate Government-hence "Commune". Rule by the community. However, this is already a failed proposition because of the role government must play to maintain the security and stability of a country. To emphasize this point, here are a few of the most vitally important tasks government must assign itself:

*Control of nuclear weapons/ WMDs
*Printing of money
*Diplomacy/Foreign Relations

I would submit that a system without a government is already a failed proposition. If my opponent has any suggestions on how these can be handled without administration, I am open to ideas. But back to the matter at hand: how is this in any way authoritative?

Well, it is this very impossibility of no government that allows the sinister and malevolent into power. A void appears which must be filled by whomever wishes the power and theoretically the responsibility. Since there is technically no government, it becomes a matter of much ease to control everything.

Case in point: Robert Owen, a welsh millionaire and socialite who founded a Communist township in Indiana, called "New Harmony". (4) Despite Owen pouring in money to afford food and housing and essentials to his followers, the experiment failed in two years. Why? Because no one did anything. (5) They had no guidance, and no motivation. Not only does this speak to the necessity of government, but it begs the question: on a countrywide level, how hard would it have been for a despot or psychopath to declare themselves in charge, especially as the people of New Harmony struggled financially and in rations.


History is not a point I will emphasize too stridently, but it is important on garnering an understanding of this issue. Examples like China, the USSR and North Korea are blatantly not the intended look of Communism. But whatever lessons you take away from those disasters, it is easy to see how easy it is to rule, to abuse, and to modest under the guide of Communism. It shouldn't be so easy to justify murder and genocide and dictatorship by declaring the "worker's revolution". It seems to me history demonstrates two important things.

1. Whatever the intent, the "Communist" countries of history quickly devolved into a quagmire of misery and horror. I challenge my opponent to name one that didn't.

2. Communism is a great tool for evil to control and manipulate people. Again, I challenge my opponent to deny this.

My opponent is welcome to disagree, but these implications should not be overlooked.

Communism is irreparably flawed. In it's very theory. It both intentionally calls for suppression, as in the case of human nature, and accidentally invites in evil, in the case of government. And history shows it.

I will leave it here. I look forward to my opponent's opening statements.



Thanks for the challenge! I'll do my best.

Anarchy and Communism

While viewed as a variation of communism, I think most anarchist communists are of the opinion that "Anarchy leads to Communism, and Communism to Anarchy, both alike being expressions of the predominant tendency in modern societies, the pursuit of equality".[1] The notion of "equality" referred to is critically important. It is commonly thought that if you and I are to be equal, then we must live lives which are, generally speaking, identical. We must live in identical houses, wear the same plain clothes, etc. This is not at all what the anarchist communist means when he advocates a society of equal, rather, he means that he is "truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free".[2] It is equality of power that the anarchist communist desires, because he sees that a free society is one in which no man has power over another. The modern notion of "liberty" contains with it the notion of "economic freedom", but we anarchist communists reject this. "We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality". [3] That may seem a little contradictory, since I earlier stated that socialism is an element of liberty, but what Bakunin means is that eliminating all inequalities of power apart from private property leads to privilege and injustice, and eliminating private property but not other inequalities of power leads to slavery and brutality.

The Soviet Union

The argument that communism requires dictatorship can only be based on the notion that it is impossible to abolish private property without permanent brutality, and in favour of this the example of the Soviet Union will be cited. If we hold communism to be a society of equals, as I do, then it is clear that the Soviet Union was antithetical to communism. Lenin believed that "unquestioning subordination to a single will is absolutely necessary" to the "the interests of socialism".[4] He quickly moved to destroy worker control, creating the Supreme Council of the National Economy, which, as E. H. Carr notes, functioned to "replace, absorb and supersede the machinery of workers' control".[5] How does Lenin describe this situation? He calls it "state capitalism".[6] He argues that it "is not state capitalism that is at war with socialism, but the petty bourgeoisie plus private capitalism fighting together against state capitalism and socialism".[7] Even to Lenin himself, the Soviet Union was not worthy of being called communist. It was a state capitalist society, because he alleged that "it is one and the same road" that leads to both state capitalism and socialism.[8] The reason he uses the phrase "state capitalist" is clear, since if the economy is controlled by the state, and the state is controlled by a dictator, then this is simply a country where that dictator is effectively the "owner" of all industry, since he alone has the right to use it as he wishes. If we understand private property to be something that only the owners have the right to use, the the Soviet Union did not abolish private property at all, they simply concentrated all property in the hands of the dictator, as he alone was ultimately in control of it.

Whether I can say that Lenin was against socialism or not I cannot really say. The Bolsheviks followed the teaching of Marx, who, according to Goldman, taught "that a social revolution is possible only in countries with a highly developed industrial system and its attendant social antagonisms. They therefore claim that the Russian Revolution could not be a social revolution" .[8] Regardless, this belief led to the suppression of socialism. In Russia, the people wanted ""The land to the peasants, the factories to the workers", and ""All power to the Soviets".[9] The soviets were originally conceived of as workers councils, i.e. a soviet was a delegation sent by a group of workers to practice direct democracy. This is socialism " "the Revolution was to find its highest, freest practical expression through the Soviets". [10] However, " as soon as the Communist Party felt itself sufficiently strong in the government saddle, it began to limit the scope of popular activity".[11] How could the people be subordinated to a single will if they had the democratic Soviets? Lenin had to destroy them, because they "threatened the supremacy of the State".[12] It is well established that the Communist Party alone had power in the USSR, and not the socialist soviets of the workers. As Wikipedia aptly states, the "decisions of state policy were decided within the organs of the Communist Party" while the soviets acted as a system for public approval of implementing the Party's programme".[13]

I believe with Goldman that "the Russian Revolution has demonstrated beyond doubt that the State idea, State Socialism, in all its manifestations... is entirely and hopelessly bankrupt".[14] The idea that communism as "fascistic" has arisen because of the irreconcilable tension between a Social Revolution and a State. It is impossible to desire both equality and subordination, and so it is impossible to desire both communism and a state. The purpose of the state must always be the "subordination of the individual";[15] it is a matter of definition. A state which has power over no one is no such thing, and an entity which as power over someone necessarily creates an inequality of power, and violates the first principle of a free society.


I am aware that "the people will feel no better if the stick with which they are being beaten is labelled 'the people's stick'".[16] This is why a Social Revolution can only succeed by "free self-organization and administration of their own affairs from the bottom upward, without any interference or violence from above". [17] Kropotkin agrees: "a free society" must seek free groups and free federations of groups".[18] This is one of the hardest elements of anarchist communism for people to understand, as "we have come to believe that man would tear his fellow-man to pieces like a wild beast the day the police took his eye off him; that absolute chaos would come about if authority were overthrown".[19] Even if we do not forsee a descent into savagery, we still believe that no one work would, because, "nothing gets done... save by order of some master".[20] I have come to see this as pure dogma; "the prophets ever ready to deny other men"s courage, good sense, and intelligence, and believing themselves to be the only ones capable of ruling the world with a rod" ignore the simple truth that "men, as soon as their interests do not absolutely clash, act in concert, harmoniously, and perform collective work of a very complex nature".[21][22] The only government a communist society needs is "free agreement" and "free organisation".[23] Any function of the state is a function of organisation, and people are perfectly capable of freely organising.

Private Property

Property is often considered an element of freedom. First I point out that "As long as Capital exists, the Greater Capital will oppress the lesser".[24] The richer man may not destroy the poorer at a whim, but he nonetheless has more power. This is displayed most clearly in labour. Private Property makes "the labour of the many the wealth of the few" by the very fact that there are employees working for an employer.[25] It is said that the difference between slavery and employment is that the employee may one day become an employer. Attempt to use this justification for any other crime and you will see its absurdity. The absolute lack of democracy and autonomy in the workplace is a clear indication that employment has no place in a free society.

Furthermore, private property is an insanely arrogant notion. "Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present. By what right then can anyone whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say " This is mine, not yours?".[26] The means by which private property is attained is incoherent. Do I own the air I exhale, because I worked to change its chemical composition? The absurdity of the lie is magnified when the outrages of wealth inequality are investigated, as the statistics would have us believe that a tiny percentage of the population are somehow responsible for producing half of the material we enjoy in life.


How can it be that "Men are not good enough for Communism, but they are good enough for Capitalism?".[27] If men are too despicable to be trusted, then why do we trust them with power? Eliminate power; at least then these evil men will not be encouraged and enabled to harm the good people, who will prosper in freedom.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'" - Martin Luther King

[1] Kropotkin, P.A., "The Conquest of Bread" p.23
[2] Bakunin, M.A., "Man, Society and Freedom"
[3] Bakunin,M.A., "Federalism, Socialism, Anti-Theologianism"
[4] Lenin, V.I., "The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government"
[5] Carr, E.H., as quoted by Chomsky, A.N., "The Soviet Union Versus Socialism"
[6] Lenin, V.I., "The Tax In Kind"
[7] Ibid.
[8] Goldman, E., "My Disillusionment in Russia"
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[14] Goldman, E., "My Disillusionment in Russia"
[15] Goldman, E., "Anarchism and Other Essays", p.62
[16] Bakunin, M.A., "Statism and Anarchy"
[17] Ibid.
[18] Kropotkin, Pa., op cit. p.32
[19] Ibid. p.113
[20] Ibid. p.113
[21] Ibid. p.123
[22] Ibid. p.114
[23] Ibid. p.125
[24] Ibid. p.117
[25] Marx, K.H., "The Civil War in France", p.24
[26] Kropotkin, P.A., op. cit. p.8
[27] Kropotkin, P.A., 'Freedom' June 188
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his very nice opening round. Although the different font and many quotes he uses may not seem necesarry (believe it or not, the fact that someone said something doesn't make it true), they do serve to make my adversary seem much more intelligent and researched. In this round, I think i'll pretentiously quote some intellectuals as well, thus both making myself look well-versed and relieving me of my responsibility to write something original!

"Now let's begin." (John Kern, 1932) Yeah, I know i'm having way too much fun with this.

Anarcho-Communism: A Contradiction in Terms

My opponent's cases hinges to a great extent on the claim that his own brand of communsim, the anarchy kind, is communistic in nature, and needs no liberty-shunting reinforcement to ensure its survival. For this to be true, anarchy must result in the following:

1. No private property
2. No selling/bartering
3. Noone having more then anyone else
4. Nobody having any kind of power over anything
5. Nobody getting paid to work

It would almost seem a waste of time to exand on this at all, given that my rebuttal basically writes itself. When Con says "If men are too despicable to be trusted, then why do we trust them with power? ", I must ask: could there be any system of existence which relies more heavily on men being good then your own, Sir? I need not explain why anarchy could not possibly result in any of these eventualities.

And here is the most potent reason why Communism of this type will result in dictatorship. All of these things I listed, and a great many more, cannot co-exist within an utterly, or even partly free society. Since the system is anarcistic, I must then be able to produce and sell commodities, and through doing that make myself wealthy and succesful. Since the system is anarchistic, I must then be able to claim a space as my own, and defend it from all intruders, be they criminals or my own neibhors. Since the system is anarchistic, I must then be able to hold power over my body, the things I make, and the space I claim for myself, right? No. Anarchy is not Communistic, and there is no way outisde of fascism to prevent people from doing what is right, and what is natural. Anarcho-Communism is simply an oxymoron, and it requires, and I do mean requires, repression for it to work.

The Abolishment of Power

This is an ideal topic to address, because it allows me to both take a jab at Communism and simultaneously discuss the proposition. (My opponent often sacrifices the latter for the former). I will confess that such an impressively-worded phrase sounds very tantalizing, but there are two claims in it that I think ought to be examined:

1. Power Can be Abolished
2. Power is by Neccesity Evil

Neither of these implications seem true upon investigation. For the first, power is just too important, in some variety or another. Enforcing law or morality is power, ownership or the use of anything is power, and even raising one's children is a very direct form of power. And none of these things is evil, or removable.

But how, you may ask, does this relate to communism and dictatorship? Well, because power of some sort (the most notable example a police force) is an absolute necessity, it can from there be controlled and regulated. The worst thing that can be done in relation to power is to pretend it need not exist, or can be eliminated. As in the case of every "Communist Utopa" ever attempted on a large scale, power did rise, as is inevitable to maintain any order, and because there were no reasonable limitations or a healthy mistrust of authority, these people were allowed to run rampant, essentially giving themselves all power.

Private Property

Is it evil to possess private property? Certainly it can be, and I accept many of the criticisms Con puts forth. But if I hunt and gather food, build myself a house, or produce my own objects, have I no right to keep or use those as I see fit? May others make a claim of my food and water? Banning private property is fascistic in its absolutism; it is one thing to restrict or place limitations on what you may own or what you may use, and quite another to ban it entirely. Cars are dangerous, both to humans and the environment. Shall we ban them? It is puerile and fatuous, and yes, tyrannical, to ban that which is so fundamental and in many cases good.

Remember, this debate focuses not on Capitalism or whether private property is universally good, but rather whether banning it is inherently despotic, which I hold it is, and seems quite evident in the nature of property and of the government which exterminates it. (Oh. I forgot. No government. How is holding property supposed to be prevented again?)

I will leave my round 3 arguments here. It seems clear that having no government is infeasible, and moreover a foolish venture, and that the void of the much-needed power results in it getting put into the hands of the wrong people. Furthermore, I saw little response to the point about suppressing human nature. Good luck to my opponent in the next round.


I was not trying to be pretentious, exactly. They phrase it better than I can most of the time, and I also feel that when defending anarchist communism it helps to point out that intelligent people have had these thoughts and defended them previously.

The Rebuttal That Writes Itself, or Living Without Private Property

My opponent has not been particularly sporting in his first line of argument. It is clear that anarchist communism is not understood by the great majority of people, and is quite radically different from the status quo, so it is very easy to score cheap points by simply pointing out how unusual it sounds. Hopefully a line-by-line rebuttal will clarify why it is not a contradiction to be an anarchist and a communist, which is namely a clarification of why life is possible without private property.

“1. No private property”. No right to assume absolute control over something.
“2. No selling/bartering”. There is no control to transfer in the first place.
“3. Noone having more then anyone else” This has already been dealt with. The ‘equality’ refers to equality of power, not ‘identical material wealth’.
“4. Nobody having any kind of power over anything”. This is not exactly a straightforward issue, but the anarchist idea is accurately defined by Chomsky: “[Anarchism] assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them”.[1] There are cases where ‘power’ may be justified, e.g. preventing someone from unintentionally hurting themselves, reasonable self-defence, but those cases are far removed from private property and law. Furthermore, leaders do not need power. Leaders who rule over their followers are tyrants; if a leader is required, then all that should mean is that a group desires guidance or rapid organisation.
“5. Nobody getting paid to work”. Indeed. You do not need to be paid if you recognise why something should be done. I am not paid to write this, after all.
“I must then be able to produce and sell commodities, and through doing that make myself wealthy and successful”. I understand that this is the most important concern of people, so I shall dedicate a lengthy section to it now.

As far as I am aware, the ‘must’ is unwarranted, insofar as it implies that private property is necessary for production and consumption. People like to refer to the word ‘my’ as if it proves that private property is a necessity, but I say ‘my opponent’ without stating that you are my slave. Similarly, ‘my house’ is the place I live, even if I do not claim the absolute right to control it. Anarchist communists, I admit, are conflicted over what rights we do have with regards to things like ‘my house’, but, as we can see from capitalism, such philosophical details are largely unneeded to establish a functioning praxis. How property is first established? Do I own the flakes of skin that fall from me all day long? These questions appear to never be raised in ‘reality’, and capitalism is the system in which we could expect the pettiest squabbling imaginable. Therefore, it seems hardly necessary to explain use under communism any more than to say that if we consider ourselves no more entitled to any object than anyone else, the rest should follow to anyone considering the issue sensibly. Take the example of the queue. To my understanding queues are not enforced by law, yet people still queue. Furthermore, if it is clear that someone greatly needs to skip the queue, people will oblige. This sentiment merely needs to be encouraged, and every social practice criticised continuously. The apparent failure of anarchist communism to provide an ultimate system to delineate what everyone may and may not do is one completely blown out of proportion, while the flexibility of our current practices and the vagueness of private property, specifically its acquisition, ignored.

I am afraid that my opponent has the greater share of the burden in this argument. He must prove that it is impossible for human beings to live under anarchist communism, i.e. use things without claiming the absolute right to control them, freely organise and work together as equals, without there being, somehow, a dictator or harsh system of law enforcing it all. That is the impressive burden he brought upon himself when he states that it is ‘fascistic in principle’.

“Could there be any system of existence which relies more heavily on men being good then your own, Sir?”

I believe my opponent’s argument attempts to prove that ‘human nature’ is such that they are simply not good enough to live under anarchist communism.

The best rebuttal I have so far seen comes from Kropotkin, who I briefly mentioned. Firstly, he pointed out that these are “Old words in a new shape”.[2] Hobbes believed that we had to submit to an “an absolute—undivided and unlimited—sovereign power”, because, of course, humanity would otherwise descend into bloodthirsty chaos.[3] Somewhat amusingly, Kropotkin references the “practical people”, who said that instead of abolishing slavery, “the thickness of the whips might be progressively reduced by law to half-an-inch first and then to a mere trifle of a few tenths of an inch; but some kind of whip must be maintained”.[4] Abolitionists were told that they did not understand human nature, and that the slaves needed to be whipped so that they would work. Similarly, “old negro slaves” would be brought out by the defenders of slavery who “were bewildered by a freedom which they didn’t know what to do with and who cried for their former masters”.[5] Would you not agree that both the defenders of absolute monarchs and the defenders of slavery were wrong to accuse their ideological enemies of being utopian dreamers? At least we have established some kind of precedent and awareness then.

Kropotkin argues that if men were good, “Even a King would not be dangerous”.[6] We all believe, though, that kings are dangerous, and that men are not good. Why do we believe, then, that men are good enough to govern each other anyway and good enough to be trusted with absolute control over property, which is simply a localised form of governance? It is the potential for humans to behave wrongly that provides the necessity and urgency of anarchist communism. I should accuse capitalists of having their head in the clouds when they argue that we can trust others to take power over us.


“Enforcing law or morality is power, ownership or the use of anything is power, and even raising one's children is a very direct form of power”

Referring to the explanation given by Chomsky earlier, it is easy to see how we can reconcile anarchism, morality and children. I think we are far too authoritarian with how we currently enforce morality and raise children, but I accept there is such a thing as justifiable use of power and justifiable hierarchy. I also hope that my previous discussion illustrated how use is possible under anarchist communism.

“As in the case of every "Communist Utopa" ever attempted on a large scale, power did rise, as is inevitable to maintain any order”
Again, you have placed an enormous burden on yourself. Hierarchy is not necessary for organisation; this is apparent from our experiences every day. As far as I am aware, two prominent examples of libertarian socialist societies, Revolutionary Catalonia and the Ukrainian Free Territory, both had to be destroyed by the military action of real fascists. The statement that a police force is “an absolute necessity” is completely unfounded. Unless you can establish that organisation is impossible without some people having power over others, you ought to refrain from these statements – you cannot simply assume the principle that would destroy my argument if true. Frankly I am confused when you accuse anarchists of lacking “reasonable limitations” and “a healthy mistrust of authority”; we are of the opinion that allowing power structures to form shows both a lack of reasonable limitations and trust, rather than skepticisim, towards power.

The Sanctity of Private Property

“…have I no right to keep or use those as I see fit? May others make a claim of my food and water? Banning private property is fascistic in its absolutism”

I hope to have already addressed the problem of use. Here, you are essentially claiming that it is somehow tyrannical to deny you the absolute right to deny others access to things. Though we are operating on some hazy definitions, it seems fairly clear that private property is the authoritarian idea. You are saying ‘I have power over this, you may not access it’; I am replying that you have no such power. Call me an idiot, if you would like, but ‘tyrant’ is just bizarre. I am hardly saying that you may not eat the food and that you must give it to others, I am merely being skeptical when you state that some moral law means that you alone have the right to eat it. It really is an important distinction.


I think you have failed to prove your case so far, because you have failed to prove that not accepting someone’s claim to authority is tyranny and that organisation requires hierarchies of power. Those are the two criticisms I would call ‘serious’. Arguing that I want to abolish privacy and that every hard working individual will have a thousand parasites descend upon him is the anti-communist equivalent of arguing that under capitalism, no one will ever do anything for anyone else unless they are paid to do it.


[2] Kropotkin, P.A., 'Freedom' June 1888
[3] Lloyd, Sharon A. and Sreedhar, Susanne, "Hobbes's Moral and Political Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =
[4] Kropotkin, P.A., op cit.
[5] De Beauvoir, S., ‘The Ethics of Ambiguity’, p.85
[6] Kropotkin, P.A., op cit.

Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for his very nice rebuttals in the previous round.

I feel I and my opponent may have drifted away slightly from the original contention of the debate, more toward a general discussion about the merits of Anarcho-Communism rather than to its devolution, so I will make additional effort in this round to return the debate to its original tract.


"If a leader is required, all that should mean is that a group desires guidance or rapid organization."

I'm dumbfounded. Read carefully, because this is very important. My opponent, in his demagoguery about private property, and the horror of having power over anything, cannot seem to understand one key point.

How does my opponent plan to sustain any of these strident, suppressive restrictions?

This is what I mean when I say anarchism and communism cannot co-exist. The banning of private property, of personal power, of currency, of free trade, and the muzzle on human nature cannot, I will say it again, can-not, coexist with no authority. To even suggest its feasible, I am sorry to say, is preposterous.

Evil, fascistic countries are known for their tight grasp of objects like literature, money, and land. My opponent suggests we ban everything to the extent that we meet his arbitrary standards of "equality". Just imagine the magnitude, the power, and the brutality a government would have no choice but to employ to achieve these sinister goals. My opponent may no longer respond by saying "we simply won't have anyone with power". To say that is to not understand one's own theory, and I am calling him on it here. Communism equals power.

I will at least give fascism this: it does not hide behind a veil of equality to justify the obliteration, the extermination, the bloody coup, of liberty.

Anarcho-Communism: A Contradiction in Terms

My opponent thought this line of argument was a cheap shot, exploiting the a-normality of the system he proposes. However, I don't find that my criticisms were based so much on the rarity of the suggestion as it's real implications. My opponent did, however, graciously respond.

Now, the one sentence responses to each of the stringent requirements for Con's system to be effective were quite weak. Let's briefly go over them:

1. No Private Property: The intent here is to demonstrate how this goal could not be achieved without a form of oppression. Instead of a response to that, Con opts to redefine property to "assuming absolute control over something", which is both vague and basically just re-defining terms.

You will, I think, see that even in Capitalist societies, "absolute control" is a bit of a misconstruction. Material objects are acceptable to possess because they are not animated; yes, I can choose to harm or destroy that which I own, but I could not, for example, use my plank of wood to beat something with. Absolute control of people is bad, of property is fine.

2. Selling/Bartering: Indeed, my opponent is correct that in his little utopia there would be no currency. Which is why I said bartering. Perhaps trading would have been the superior option, but the principle remains the same: the ability to exchange goods and services, a right which is sacred, and which to remove is a direct form of despotism.

3. Noone Having More than Anyone Else: Here we are again with re-defining terms. Obviously, when I imply equality in here, I do not mean "identical material wealth", as Con suggests, but instead a simpler version of freedom. Let us say that a hard-working individual chopped down lumber to build a large house, or a barn in which to raise animals. Would restricting this be a matter of morality, or of freedom?

4. As I devoted the semi-rant above to power, I will leave it be.

5. Pay: My opponent's theory is an interesting one, to be fair. He seems to be under the impression that "you do not need to be paid if you recognize why something should be done". The message appears to be that people will work simply for the sake of working. Despite the statement's obvious inaccuracy, I will provide a specific example.

On this point, I will remind readers of the example used in the first round, the failed Communist experiment of New Harmony, Indiana. It's greatest fault, along with the underlying theory, was that work didn't get done, because no one really benefited enough to justify the labor. Pay is necessary as an incentive for completing a task which would otherwise go unfinished. Instead, it becomes a further ban on the road to that ever-elusive paradise, another form of tyranny.


"That is the impressive burden he (I) placed on himself when he states that it (Communism) is "Fascistic in Principle"

In few instances have I had an easier proposition to act on. It is only necessary to point out the obvious destructions of freedom, violations that exceed that of any fascistic or dictatorial state in history. That which contends to ban almost everything of substance without delving into oppression is farcical. If this be utopia, may we never achieve it.

I thank my opponent for this extremely enjoyable debate, good luck to him, and may the best man won.


Yes, sorry. I’ll try to make things as clear as possible in direct relation to the proposition.


“How does my opponent plan to sustain any of these strident, suppressive restrictions?”
“The banning of private property, of personal power, of currency, of free trade, and the muzzle on human nature cannot… coexist with no authority”

My opponent’s argument seems to be:
1.A communist society, by definition, must operate according to rules
2.It is impossible for any society to operate with rules without a government which enforces laws
Conclusion: A communist society requires a government to enforce law

In addition, he appears to accept the right of the ‘majority’ to force the ‘minority’ to live in a certain way, but claims that the majority will never accept my views and will thus have to be forced by a minority.

If sufficient numbers of people accept anarchist communism, then the rest would likely conform due to societal pressure. Furthermore, ‘wrongdoers’, according to anarchist communism, could have force justifiably used against them by the people. Abandoning government and law does not mean that everything would suddenly become ‘permitted’, because the absence of a police force does not mean there is an absence of people who will use force to prevent wrongdoing, and the absence of ‘the law’ does not mean there will be an absence of social convention. Therefore, my opponent’s argument is flawed because, as I have stated many times, authority is not necessary for organisation. As far as I’m aware actors and actresses can manage to work together to put on a production without someone walking around with a stick ready to discipline them – even if it is a free show.

Thus, my response is:
1.A communist society, by definition, must operate by rules
2. People are capable of observing rules without the threat of government force
Conclusion: A communist society does not require a government

Again, however ‘unlikely’ you think it is for this to happen is completely irrelevant, since this is about the ideology in principle. Clearly I don’t think it’s unlikely, but regardless, this debate is not about how likely it is to happen, but whether a harsh military regime is necessary.

Private Property

My opponent wants to prove not only that rules require governments, but that the rules that I propose are ones that require military regimes even if governments are not required for rules.

“Con opts to redefine property to "assuming absolute control over something, which is both vague and basically just re-defining terms”
“Absolute control of people is bad, of property is fine”

I am confused. My opponent first declares that ‘I own X’ does not mean that I have ‘absolute control over X’, and he then proceeds to affirm that ‘having absolute control over X’ is fine, provided that X is an inanimate object. Apparently he is confused too: having absolute control of a plank of wood means I can do whatever I want to that plank, not that I can do whatever I want to other things with that plank. Property is about having inviolable control over a certain domain, here X. If I own X, then I can do whatever I want to X and X alone and no one else can do anything to X without my permission.

“the ability to exchange goods and services, a right which is sacred”

Assuming the right to private property is not particularly helpful. Am I despotic for refusing to accept that it is possible to make something your private property? I am not denying anyone the ability to do anything other than forbid other people to access things with they have no right to do.

“Let us say that a hard-working individual chopped down lumber to build a large house, or a barn in which to raise animals. Would restricting this be a matter of morality, or of freedom?”

I have no idea what I am meant to be restricting. Let us turn to an admired capitalist philosopher, John Locke.

“It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others”.[1]

My response is this: Why is there a need for property when it is clear that there is enough, and as good, left in common? It is also that Locke assumes self-ownership, which is completely unnecessary. It is clearly tyranny for this man’s neighbour to see this larger house and decide that he has more right to it than its current occupant, so property is completely redundant in this situation. Therefore, I reiterate, I have no idea what I am meant to be restricting. Furthermore, this is one of those capitalist objections that is completely removed from reality. If someone built a house all by themselves using wood, then the reality is that the extraordinary amount of time this would take them and the poor results of their hard work (a wooden house) would mean that this man was in fact a burden on society because instead of relying on a team of skilled house-builders with proper materials, he decided to waste all that time producing an inferior product, when he could have spent his time far more productively. I think you will find it is true for basically any endeavour that far more is achieved by cooperating with society to produce something than doing it yourself. If he had instead used bricks, mortar, glass, all produced by other people, and had built the house with the help of other skilled men, then he could have built houses for his entire neighbourhood of far higher quality than a silly wooden house for himself.

New Harmony and Incentive

It is my understanding that New Harmony was the insane experiment of man attempting to produce ‘perfectly virtuous individuals’ by having them all live in one building and live in a way that is superficially similar to anarchist communism. It is my understanding that he did not find a community of anarchist communists with a clear idea of what was to be done, but rather ordinary people. This is basically the equivalent of taking a thousand modern-day people and paying them all to be ruled by a king, who is also an ordinary person you have paid, and then when the ‘society’ you have created inevitably fails, you state ‘Aha! Monarchy is impossible’. You cannot take people accustomed to one form of society, place them in something completely alien, and expect results. It does not matter whether New Harmony was communist or not, since the methodology was so flawed.

The idea of incentive in anarchist communism is that you are incentivised to work by the prospect of enjoying the product of your labour, or by the prospect of enjoying the product of the labour of society as a whole, to which you contribute. The capitalist response: ‘But if I already have a house, what incentive is there for me to continue making bricks? Why don’t I just sit at home?’. This is a silly response because the industries of society are inter-dependent. Bricks are needed not only for houses, but farms, factories and hospitals too. You may have shoes, but other people need the shoes you make so that they can produce the other things you enjoy. Under anarchist communism the incentive will be to work so that the economy you rely on to provide you with what you want will be as healthy as possible, so that your wants will be met to the greatest extent possible.


There is absolutely no reason to think that anarchist communism is ‘fascistic in principle’. If you think that rules are best enforced by governments, laws and police forces, fine, but it is ridiculous to assert that this is the only method. That actually seems quite irrelevant. The contention, then, is essentially that private property is somehow a human right so inalienable that only a military regime could accomplish its abolition, as Ayn Rand attempts to argue:

"the right to property is a right to action... to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object"[2]

This is not the case. Turn instead to Chomsky:

“Property rights are not like other rights… If I have the right to free speech, it doesn't interfere with your right to free speech. But if I have property, that interferes with your right to have that property”.[3]

Property is a form of authority. Authority is something you have to prove that you ought to have over other people. Every other human right my opponent would identify would follow the formula ‘I have the right to not be oppressed in this way, because you do not have the authority to do that’. Property is the reverse: ‘I have the right to ‘oppress’ you in this way (deny you X), because I have authority over X’. Property is not necessary for any human behaviour. A world without property does not deny you the right to eat, sleep, dance, argue or love. Your right to do all of those things is not dependent on your right to control in a certain domain, but the absence of anyone's right to control you. If you think it would be inefficient, unsustainable, or impossible without the right kind of people, so be it, but none of that means that the ideology is ‘fascistic in principle’. Neither the Ukrainian Free Territory, nor Revolutionary Catalonia, employed martial law, and both were destroyed by conquest.[4][5]

"Complete equality implies freedom, since those who suffer restrictions cannot be the equals of those who impose them".[6] I only defend anarchist communism.

Thank you for the debate, and to anyone who has bothered to read this. I hope I've offered a helpful perspective.

[1] Locke, J., ‘Second Treatise of Civil Government’, Chap. V ‘Of Property’
[2] Rand, A., 'The Virtue of Selfishness'
[6] Rooum, D., 'What is Anarchism?' 1992
Debate Round No. 4
82 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wocambs 3 years ago
A king with a divine right to rule could pretend to be a communist, but it would be a charade, wouldn't it? He would always have the 'justified' authority to act against communism, and thus he would not be living under communism.
Posted by debate_power 3 years ago
They're two separate types of systems in the first place. Of course they can be separated...
Posted by Pfalcon1318 3 years ago
Economic systems and political systems can be separated. It's just that some economic systems are predicated on the existence of a State, while some others are not.
Posted by Wocambs 3 years ago
I don't really know what you're talking about. Political and economic systems are essentially inseparable, which seems particularly true of communism, which advocates a classless and stateless society.
Posted by debate_power 3 years ago
Communism is an economic system... so how can you compare it to a political one? I'm tired of people getting the wrong idea about it.
Posted by Wocambs 3 years ago
Woah, New Harmony was the place that replaced money with pay slips based on hours worked. Madness! (And not communism!)
Posted by Wocambs 3 years ago
Sorry Daktoria but I don't understand what comment you are trying to make on this debate. You state that it is not necessary to discuss human nature and you then proceed to discuss human nature. Furthermore I have no idea what you mean when you state that under capitalism, the goodness is brought out of people ot 'trust their fellow man to uphold contracts and property rights' when the very definition of property is that interference with it makes you an appropriate target for violence, thus establishing the protector of property as violence and not trust. A trust-based understanding of property would be far more similar to communistic conceptions of 'possessions'. The debate between communism and capitalism is not a debate of method but of morality.
Posted by Daktoria 3 years ago
I didn't really like this debate. The human nature dimension wasn't necessary. Heck, many communists argue that the point is to pin the evilness of human nature against itself or that good and evil don't exist. Furthermore, the motive to work is built around humiliation and intimidation where those who don't perform and those who perform too much are both taken advantage of. In other words, some argue that communism is motivated by bullying, but they likewise see capitalism motivated by ruggedly individualist bullying as well, so they interpret communism as giving capitalists a dose of their own medicine.

On the other hand, many capitalists argue that human nature is good, so the profit motive doesn't necessarily lead to utilitarian abuse of the inconvenient. They believe communism is built around laziness, so the motivation to produce is built around bringing the goodness out of people to trust their fellow man to uphold contracts and property rights.
Posted by Theunkown 3 years ago
RFD - In the end of the day the arguments came down to 2 major points,
1) whether an anarchic communist system is possible (without which there would be fascist totalitarianism as the debate leads me to believe) and
2) If private property is a human right, and its abolition is totalitarian and fascist.

1) Con proves that Anarcho communism is possible, especially in small groups (like the workplace example he gave of Actors). I also buy that Lack of Government does not equal to acceptance of immoral behavior and that an Anarchic society is sustainable (if not efficient, it is still possible).

What also makes me lean to the con side is the fact that if everyone, or an overwhelming majority, want an anarcho communist society, then you would obviously need no government to enforce communist ideals as con rightfully argued in Round 4

2) I think this was the more important of the two arguments. Communism advocates the abolition of private property and Pro argues that private property is a human right and its abolition is a violation of that right and therefore Communism is totalitarian and fascist.

Con argues that Private property is unnecessary and cannot be considered a human right, this is a weak point but I just wanted to put this out there. Free speech is unnecessary (good but unnecessary) but it is still a human right.

The stronger argument Con uses is that Private property is a right that infringes upon other's rights. My free speech does not affect someone else's right to say what i said.

However my private property affects another person to use that property as Con points out in the last round.
Con argues that the concept of private property is itself totalitarian (I have absolute power over this piece of land) and therefore fascist. Simple logic tells me that going against fascism is not fascism, and therefore Communism is not fascist.
Con therefore gets the points
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments are to con because I feel like much of his arguments remain un-refuted and strong. Wallace's vote is removed, therefore I counter theunknown's counter-conduct point. Con obviously wins sources, with his massive amounts of websites.
Vote Placed by Theunkown 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: First off, the Conduct and Source points go to con because Max.Wallace gave those points to Pro even though it should have been equal (Sources should have gone to Con though anyway, his source lists are crazy!). Of course, I didn't simply counter him when it came to the arguments. I will explain why arguments go to Con in the comments.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Both had excellent grammar with mistakes few and far between and professional conduct. I am giving credible sources to Con for his exceeding amount of sources as well as them having credibility((yes, Wikipedia has been tested for credibility and has about 1 to 8 mistakes per page as an average. A majority are spelling). As for argument, I will give this to Pro for one main reason. Throughout the debate, both argued about several points that became a rather circular two rounds. Pro made one contention, however, that made me vote for him. He gave an example of a society that failed and Con failed to answer his challenge to produce a society that had previously not gone Ameliamk1's predicted course. Anyway, good debate.