5.4. The Methods

It is commonly said within the Anarchist movement that there is a close link between the means of the struggle and its ends. If by this is meant that certain methods must be excluded because they are inappropriate for the ends, then we have no objection. We have already seen, for example, that any suggestion of using the State in the march towards communism is out of the question, if we are to promote its extinction. There are means which are theoretically and practically incompatible with the ends of the struggle.

This does not automatically signify that there is a strict relationship between the means and the ends, something which many Anarchists claim, particularly the pacifist elements and the anti-organizationalists, with some grotesque consequences. To make an example, if this were indeed the case, Anarchists would have to behave in the here and now by acting out the rules of solidarity and social living that they are trying to create for the future society. This would mean living in some sort of collective such as a commune, but would have two unfortunate consequences - one practical and one theoretical. On a practical level, communes have always failed miserably (for example the famous 19th-century Cecilia commune in Brazil), as the members carry with them certain weaknesses and defects, inherited from the present bourgeois social organization where they were born, grew up and schooled, which have a negative effect on the life of the community and eventually ruin it. Neither can the commune remain isolated from the rest of the world: it is often therefore contaminated by its relationships (often of a commercial nature) with surrounding societies. Thus it follows that communist society must cover a vast area and increasingly include the rest of humanity and that a period of transition would be required in order to eliminate individuals from those vices which are part and parcel of their character. The theoretical consequence is that the new society would be born out of the example offered by small groups, like small spots of communism which spread throughout the social fabric, thus kissing goodbye to the revolution and welcoming a vision of the future make-up of society which can be realized by degrees in a new form of reformism.

We would have to be non-violent because (according to the axiom of ends and means) a society of peace and solidarity could not come from a violent act such as a revolution. Anarchist Communists do not love violence, but we know that the bosses will not voluntarily give up their privileges as a result of simply reasoning with them that communism is the most rational social structure possible.

It follows that, for Anarchist Communists, the means must not contradict the pre-established ends, but once the obviously incompatible means have been discarded there remain a wide range of methods of struggle which should be considered only on the basis of their effectiveness. Above all, we believe that certain means, far from advancing the struggle towards its goal, serve to distance it and make it impractical. This is the case with criticism of the political organization and its internal structure by some confusionists of anarchism, who see the internal discipline of militants with regard to the decisions taken collectively as a violation of the individual's freedom and in effect a negation of anarchist ends. This belief impedes any serious work within the masses and therefore delays the social revolution.

5.5. The Evidence