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Egalitarian Militias


by John Spritzler


There have been egalitarian militias in the past, from which we can learn important principles to apply in creating our own egalitarian militias. These principles are:


  • The individuals who are members of the militia are volunteers, not conscripts. They can leave the militia anytime except during a battle.

  • The members of the militia elect their officers (or agree to follow them in the typical case of the top officer who created the militia) and can recall them by democratic means if and when they wish.

  • The officers are authorized to give appropriate military orders and commands that must be obeyed during a battle, but they have no other privileges and wear no special insignia of ranks.

  • The entire membership of the militia, as equals, democratically determine fundamental goals.

  • Politically, the militia is, depending on its size, either a single local mobil rather than geographical community governed by its Local Assembly of Egalitarians, or else it is two or more such local militia communities, each with its own sovereign Local Assembly of Egalitarians. In the latter case the entire militia uses voluntary federation of egalitarians to achieve order on a larger-than-local scale, including electing officers commanding some part or all of the entire militia who must be obeyed during a battle, but who have no other privileges and wear no special insignia of ranks. A local militia community's Local Assembly of Egalitarians may, in between battles, remove its local militia community from the larger militia if it wishes. 

  • The militia is likely reliant on other non-militia local communities for supplies, and this is accomplished by voluntary federation of egalitarians as well.


These principles, in whole or in part, were applied by peasants in the German Peasant War of 1525, by peasants and other working class people in England in their New Model Army in the 1640s, by the American revolutionaries in the Minuteman militia in the 1760s, and by workers and peasants in the anarchist militias of Spain in 1936-9.

Interestingly, pirates had a very similar kind of democracy that you can read about here.

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