Forschungsarbeit: Erich Mühsam und sein Verständnis von Anarchismus

Erich Mühsam und sein Verständnis von Anarchismus

POLITICA – Schriftenreihe zur politischen Wissenschaft, volume 117

Hamburg , 164 pages

ISBN 978-3-339-10794-7 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-10795-4 (eBook)

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Erich Mühsam (6 April 1878–10 July 1934) was a German-Jewish antimilitarist anarchist essayist, poet and playwright. He emerged at the end of World War I as one of the leading agitators for a federated Bavarian Soviet Republic, for which he served 5 years in prison.

Also a cabaret performer, he achieved international prominence during the years of the Weimar Republic for works which, before Hitler came to power in 1933, condemned Nazism and satirized the future dictator. Mühsam was murdered in the Oranienburg concentration camp in 1934.

This book introduces his version and his writings to anarchist communism, his biography and his role in the Bavarian Soviet Republic.

Anarchist communism is a political philosophy and anarchist school of thought which advocates the abolition of the state, capitalism, wage labour and private property (while retaining respect for personal property, along with collectively-owned items, goods and services) in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy (among communes, participatory democracy), cooperativism, equal distribution of valuables, and a horizontal network of workers’ councils with production and consumption.

The abolition of money, prices, and wage labor is central to his version of anarchist communism. With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude.

He argues that there is no valid way of measuring the value of any one person’s economic contributions because all wealth is a common product of current and preceding generations. For instance, one could not measure the value of a factory worker’s daily production without taking into account how transportation, food, water, shelter, relaxation, machine efficiency, emotional mood etc. contributed to their production. To truly give numerical economic value to anything, an overwhelming amount of externalities and contributing factors would need to be taken into account.

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