Communalism and Communism

“Zapata” (1931) by David Alfaro Siqueiros. Oil on canvas, 53 1/4 in. × 41 5/8 in. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. © 2019 ARS/SOMAAP. PHOTO BY LEE STALSWORTH.

Societies which engage in production for means of subsistence on a communal level, however that community is particularly defined, can most accurately be termed “communalist.” This communalism can encompass different forms of production and social relations, and typically has continuity within a dominant mode of production such as the tributary mode of production or even capitalism. That is not to say there is never an antagonistic…