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anon (not verified)
Anarchy, communism, etymology

Anarchy is a NEGATIVE term: an+arche, without arche (origin, principle, sovereignty, or for simplicity’s sake rule). Disagreement about what constitutes the “rule” to be negated is why the prefix “anarcho-“ can be found affixed to almost every ideology : capitalism, nationalism, communism, etc. It’s why this site itself exists relative to a large and disparate constellation of “anarchists” who often disagree bitterly about what the word (& ideology it labels) means.

Communism is a POSITIVE term, and I mean something syntactic by negative/positive: communism is defined not by negation but by the affirmation of the materially common and proposes its equitable sharing.

If you want to really understand these words there is a long history of their use to parse. I do think it’s important to go to the root meanings of these words as we continue to take them up and redefine them. It’s always uncomfortable for ideological partisans to realize the slippery and ambiguous relationships between language, life and politics.

Can anarchy and communism coexist? Can they do without each other? Can either really exist at all or are they ideals? Do you define them by their history and a sort of globally flattened usage, or do they consist of particular constellations of meaning according to which you’ve constructed your understanding of them? It’s important to realize there is no eternal, universally valid or absolute meaning to these words but they are redefined throughout centuries of conflict about their meaning and application, by partisans both for and against. Etc!

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