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Collectivist anarchism, also known as anarcho-collectivism, is a 19th century anarchist doctrine that advocated the abolition of the state and private ownership of the means of production, with the means of production instead being owned collectively and controlled and managed by the producers themselves. Workers would be compensated for their work on the basis of the amount of time they contributed to production, rather than "to each according to his need" as in anarcho-communism. Collectivist anarchism is most commonly associated with Mikhail Bakunin, the anti-authoritarian sections of the First International, and the early Spanish anarchist movement. Other prominent proponents of collectivist anarchism included the German anarchist Johann Most before he became an anarchist communist.
The collectivist anarchists at first used the term "collectivism" to distinguish themselves from the State socialists associated with Karl Marx. In the name of liberty, Bakunin wrote, "we shall always protest against anything that may in any way resemble communism or state socialism," which Bakunin regarded as fundamentally authoritarian ("Federalism, Socialism, and Anti-Theologism," 1867).
The anti-authoritarian sections of the First International proclaimed at the St. Imier Congress (1872) that "the aspirations of the proletariat can have no purpose other than the establishment of an absolutely free economic organization and federation, founded upon the labour and equality of all and absolutely independent of all political government," in which each worker will have the "right to the enjoyment of the gross product of his labours and thereby the means of developing his full intellectual, material and moral powers in a collective setting." This revolutionary transformation could "only be the outcome of the spontaneous action of the proletariat itself, its trades bodies and the autonomous communes." A similar position was adopted by the Workers' Federation of the Spanish Region in 1882, as articulated by an anarchist veteran of the First International, Jose Llunas Pujols, in his essay, "Collectivism."
By the early 1880s, most of the European anarchist movement had adopted an anarchist communist position, advocating the abolition of wage labour and distribution according to need. Ironically, the "collectivist" label then became more commonly associated with Marxist state socialists who advocated the retention of some sort of wage system during the transition to full communism. The anarchist communist, Peter Kropotkin, attacked this position in his essay, "The Collectivist Wages System", which was reprinted in his book The Conquest of Bread in 1892.
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