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There is no such entity as 'The Collective'

The noun "collective” is shorthand for "worker collective” and specifically refers to a group of workers who run a cooperative business* together without hierarchy. Such entities may also be referred to as "anarchal coops” in order to distinguish them from hierarchal coops. Collectivism is when such entities form the backbone (although not necessarily the entirety) of a gift economy, within the wider anarchist economy.

[This is using the term "business” in the loosest possible sense, given anarchal coops are inherently non-profit making.]

Contrary to popular LOLbertarian misconception/misinformation, there is no such entity as "The Collective”, which rules over communism. To suggest otherwise is akin to claiming the existence of an entity called "The Board”, which rules over capitalism. It's abject nonsense mostly stemming from wilful ignorance.

Here's a concise description of what how an anarchal coop may be structured, and how such an entity might operate. If you're curious about this stuff, then please read on.



If the organisation of a conventional business is analogous to the structure of a pyramid, then that of an anarchal coop would be analogous to a more complex flat structure, such as that of a railway.

There are seven abstract components (in additional to the obvious physical/material aspects):

constitution and praxis
governing principles
common good
workplace democracy
zones of authority


An anarchal coop will be founded upon a clearly defined social mission, which cannot be amended in retrospect. This, along with its horizontal organisational praxis forms the entirety of its written constitution. Said praxis will include details around the various powers, which can be wielded autonomously vs collectively. The praxis itself is defined as 'militant', with every member being obligated to assertively police it.


Individual participation is typically governed by the following ten anarchist principles:

direct action
mutual respect
freedom of association
social equality
rational authority
collective accountability


The coop's workplace, workforce, assets, equipment, customers, suppliers, products and services, and its reputation, are together encapsulated by its "common good”.

Members of a collective show solidarity around their common good, rather than with one another; solidarity is not blind loyalty (another dangerous misconception).


Democracy underpins everything a worker collective does, in order that every member is vested with equal power since that affords maximum autonomy for each of them. Four different processes can be selected, depending on what is being decided, these are: accord, consensus, proportional vote with veto, and simple majority.


Voting on every decision would not only be time consuming, but might also lead to group think, so different aspects of the operation are zoned to various workers with relevant expertise, who we refer to as Zone Authorities (ZAs). The power of these functionaries stems from responsibility. They supervise whatever aspects they are responsible for, as opposed to managing other workers.


A trio of workers also serve as our administrative officers. Their roles are that of the custodian (stewardship), the commissioner (organisation), and agitator (communication). Any decision taken by an officer is subject to instant democratic override. Override may be retrospectively initiated by any individual member within a set timescale of the decision being taken. Thus the officers are purely expeditors who wield no actual authority.


Any consensus decision making process not pertaining to membership or zoning, sets a precedent by default, unless otherwise decided at the inception of the process. Precedent can thereafter be executed autonomously, thus adding to autonomous power. Any existing precedent can be rescinded by a subsequent vote.

Any frequently executed precedent may automatically give rise to a tradition, which any worker can thereafter compel adherence to. Traditions cannot be rescinded by vote.

Neither precedent nor tradition are officially recorded, thus no written legislature is ever actually compiled, so as not to unreasonably bind the future workforce to historic decisions. Therefore it's possible to collectively choose to ignore a tradition until such time as it has been forgotten.



Any member of the collective can invoke any of the coops autonomous powers, or kickstart a democratic process. Outside of that any administrative duties are deal with by the officers.


Proportional vote (often with a veto) is used to elect officers. This mechanism may also be used to override the appointment of ZAs. An election can be triggered by a vacancy, but mandatory elections for all zones and officer posts are triggered by an annual general meeting.


A consensus process can be initiated by any member at any time to instantly recall any officer or functionary.


The custodian safeguards the coop's mission, compels adherence to its praxis, chairs any democratic process, and also acts as the emergency decision taker / adjudicator of last resort.


Elections can be something of a hassle though, so a commissioner is elected to expedite the commissioning of zones and the subsequent appointment of functionaries to those. The commissioner is obliged to consider the common good at every juncture of that process.


The agitator ensures that adequate information is being communicated to all members of the collective, and actively encourages workers to participate in the running of their coop.


Simple majorities are used to arbitrate disputes, but the protagonists may instead opt to have the custodian arbitrate, particularly where the dispute is minor.


Consensus may also be invoked for adding new members, or for the expulsion of any existing member.


Most decisions are thereby handled autonomously by functionaries. For any decision falling outside those zones of authority, who takes it will depend upon who would be significantly impacted by it. Low impact decisions may be taken autonomously by whomever is present. High impact decisions are either taken through the accord of those impacted, or by invoking collective consensus where a majority of workers would be impacted.

Any disagreement around the magnitude of impact is resolved by invoking arbitration, and this can also be undertaken retrospectively.



There is no such entity as 'The Collective'.

'A collective' is just a business structured without hierarchy, where around 90-95% of the decision making is undertaken autonomously by the individual workers.