Anarchy & Entrepreneurship
One of the main themes and objectives of anarchy is the autonomy of the
With reference to work this means to be free, capable and willing to set up independent productive activities in the form, for instance, of cooperatives workshops or one-person firm, etc.
This can be achieved if everybody becomes an entrepreneur or is potentially free to become one.
This seems a strange proposition in a world where employment under a master
(dependent work) is widespread.
However, in a not distant past the number of independent rural workers, artisans and small merchants-shopkeepers was considerable.
It is only with the advent of large enterprises and the mass society that dependent employment has become, almost, the general rule.
This happened because, at that time, the big enterprise seemed the most efficient way to produce for masses of consumers.
Presently, the reduction in size and price of the instruments of production
and the need for flexibility and creativity, are all factors favourable to
the introduction of small units of production and of independent workshops,
without a drop in productivity
So, the age of widespread entrepreneurship might now begin.
What is still needed is a radical cultural change, away from the bureaucratic thinking and the petty aspiration of acting as cushioned robots under a directing master.
In fact, the spreading and acceptance of dependent work has been favoured
also, in the past, by the implementation of all sorts of social protections
of dependent workers under the tutelage of the state.
The promotion of entrepreneurship should then be accompanied by the introduction of forms of social insurance, administered (voluntarily and in common) by the independent producers, that operate when calamities struck or in the presence of unforeseeable difficult situations.
Kropotkin on small industries
“Whenever the direct intervention of taste and inventiveness are required, wherever new patterns of goods requiring a continual renewal of machinery and tools must continually be introduced in order to feed the demand … ; wherever a great variety of goods and the uninterrupted invention of new ones goes on, as is the case in instrument-making, watchmaking, bicycle-making and so on; and finally, wherever the artistic feeling of the individual worker makes the best part of his goods... there is a wide field for petty trades, rural workshops, domestic industries and the like.”
Piotr Kropotkin, Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow, 1899
“An entrepreneur will acknowledge that the system is broken and will then look for ways of fixing it, adding value to the system in the process. An entrepreneur would leverage this mass of people and do something for others as opposed to against others with them. An entrepreneur would show the way for those who are wrong to follow or die, by challenging and defeating them with innovation and better solutions.
There is no bigger anarchy, no bigger freedom, no bigger rebellion than that achieved by the entrepreneur.”
Entrepreneurial Anarchy: Liberation by Doing – 2011