(work in progress)
It’s important to present a positive vision of the future to counterbalance all the negative ones, and it’s important to explain how a better society might be organised. That’s the purpose of this article - to explain the workings of a society that is peaceful, non-hierarchical and participatory, and which provides everyone, without exception, with everything they need in order to fulfill their individual needs and their collective aspirations. This is a society which functions without governments or nations, without markets or money and without any kind of hierarchy, but is still highly structured, and capable of respecting all kinds of lifestyle choices, and at the same time encouraging all kinds of art and creativity, science and technology. The political and economic structure of this world is based on Peter Kropotkin’s vision of Anarchist Communism, but his vision was written over a century ago. The goal here is to bring Kropotkin’s vision up-to-date, whilst also expanding and refining it with the help of ideas that have been offered by more modern anarchist thinkers.
The basis of this society is free association for people’s mutual benefit, and at the basis of the society’s decision-making lie the general assemblies of these associations. There are three main levels of association: the community, which is a group of probably no more than 200 people who live together and work together; the region, which consists of communities which decide to co-operate on a larger, regional level; and the world. The community assembly is a general face-to-face meeting at which collective decisions are made, including the decision to delegate a member to attend the regional assembly. Similarly, the regional assembly will delegate a member to attend the global assembly, and in this way, power will flow from the smallest level to the largest. Delegates are recallable functionaries who are tasked with advancing the will of the group that they come from, strictly in accordance with the group’s prior instructions. They have no power other than that which is given to them for this particular purpose by the assembly that they came from.
Decisions at the assemblies are made democratically, where the precise voting method and the majority required for a vote to pass are decided by the assembly in question and could vary from one to another.
Joining the regional or global confederation entitles the member community to all of the socially-produced goods and services provided by that confederation, distributed according to need via agreements at the relevant assemblies. In return, a community will socialise its own production, making its products and services available to the larger confederations. There are two main economic models, which I will call the syndicate model and the guild model, replacing any previous usage of these terms.
The ‘syndicate model’ is summed up as follows: “what do we collectively need and how shall we collectively meet that need?” The associations exist, after all, to meet people’s collective needs, given that it’s often necessary to organise with others in order to provide something that you could not provide for yourself on your own. In this model, an association decides that something is needed and then creates a working group or syndicate to provide it, drawing volunteers from the community to join it. The syndicate is therefore directly responsible to the association that created it, which means: decisions about its purpose, goal and the general outline of its methodology are decided by the association in its general assembly; smaller decisions consistent with this outline are made directly by the workers in the syndicate’s own assembly. Although a syndicate might be established by the regional or global confederation, each component of its operation should in most cases be taken up by individual communities who manage the syndicate as part of their community decision-making. This prevents syndicates from taking on a life of their own, independently of the communities who may be affected by their operations - cf. Murray Bookchin’s ideas on ‘libertarian municipalism’.
The ‘guild model’ can be summed up with the adage “what can we provide for society?” In this case, a person or a group of people with a shared vision can get together and autonomously establish a guild, which provides a product or service to society. The guild is in principle autonomous, but still needs to make agreements with relevant communities and syndicates in order to obtain raw materials, which could put conditions on how it operates.
Examples of the two models will recur throughout the sections which follow, and we will see that in most cases, both models will coexist for the same industry. In general, however, syndicates would seem to be more useful for providing the most important necessities of life and for mass production, while guilds would be more suited to artistic and experimental pursuits.
Since the land is a primary means of production for society, it must be held in common. Usage of the land to provide for society is therefore managed by communities and their confederations, who will set up an agricultural syndicate to work the land and provide food. Those who enjoy working on the land will join this syndicate in their area. The rest of society will be able to provide the agricultural syndicate with all of the tools and machinery that it needs. Such questions will be settled at the community and confederation assemblies, ensuring, for example, that agricultural practices are environmentally sustainable for the long-term good of society. The harvest is distributed in accordance with agreements made at the general assemblies, but at the very least it will be transported directly to the store-rooms of the community kitchens and directly to the households of people who are incapacitated or ill. Some portion of the harvest may be transported to more distant communities as part of an agreement at the regional or global level.
Cafés and restaurants will not exist as we know them. Instead we will find community kitchens, places where people can gather at any time of the day to produce their own meals using the ingredients provided by the agricultural syndicate. Some people may find it agreeable to cook a feast for large numbers of people to share, others may wish to cook for themselves or for their own family or friends, and others are welcome to take ingredients back to their own home for preparation in their own kitchen. Left-over food is easily kept for latecomers, so that there is never any waste. The community kitchens would probably be run under a syndicate model: called into existence by the community assembly and maintained by a rotating group of volunteers.
The work of the agricultural syndicates will be lessened when more people grow their own food in their garden or in shared plots of arable land. The agricultural syndicate is therefore likely to provide encouragement and organise skillsharing sessions to teach people how to do this. Especially in urban areas, shared green patches and greenhouses can be used to lessen the burden on imports, and therefore on agricultural syndicates from the countryside. In labour-intensive periods of the agricultural year, more people from the community will be encouraged to volunteer their time in the syndicate, and will learn useful skills in this way too. If volunteers are not forthcoming, exchange schemes will be initiated to get city dwellers to come out into the countryside for outdoor farming work, perhaps during the harvest, and later in the year the farmers will spend time volunteering in the city. Such schemes are organised by free agreements between syndicates, and serve to strengthen the connections between workers in different industires, between city and countryside and between communities in different regions.
There are a number of ways in which a free society can provide its members with clothing. The syndicate model is safe and universally accessible, but probably overkill in most communities. It would involve setting up a tailoring syndicate which makes clothes in standard sizes, probably with the use of highly automated machinery, and distributes them to stores in the relevant communities. ‘Stores’ in this case would be literally that - places where the clothes can be stored and then taken freely by people who need them. A community will also set up an exchange store, where people can bring their unwanted clothes and pick up new ones. This ensures that old clothes never need to be thrown away. All such stores would be brought into existence and managed by volunteers chosen at the community assembly.
A guild model for clothing is also possible and in many ways more advantageous. Individuals with a flair for design, or people who simply have tailoring as their preferred vocation, will enter into agreements with textile syndicates in order to pursue their craft. They can either produce to order, dealing with a specific client, or they can produce to the specifications of their choice and then offer their products in store rooms. Potentially they could also have them mass-produced by a tailoring syndicate, if there is the technology to do this with the minimum of human labour, and if the syndicate agrees. Competition between guilds and syndicates could scarcely be called competition: the more local tailors there are, the less often the syndicate’s machines need to be running. Since the syndicate is tied to the community assembly, it can change the rate of its operations based on the community’s stated need of clothing, and could probably even shut down completely in communities with a stable population and enough local artisans.
The framework outlined so far is in principle capable of providing fossil fuel and nuclear energy, but this is a decision which concerned citizens everywhere should oppose. Instead, it will be possible for people, through their directly democratic assemblies, to make a conscious and scientifically informed decision to reject fossil fuel and nuclear energy in favour of a decentralised electricity grid based on renewable energy sources. A potential way of organising such a network is as follows. Each community assembly will be responsible for its own energy provision. What they decide to implement will depend to a certain extent on their geographical circumstances. Buildings may be fitted with solar panels, rivers may be equipped with water wheels, wind turbines may be placed at high altitudes and geothermal energy plants may be installed in suitable locations. (Indeed, geothermal energy is viable in a lot of places - it’s just a question of how difficult it is to tap, in terms of how far down you need to bore.) But all of these energy solutions still require materials and engineering. If communities wish to be relatively self-sufficient, they may opt for what E.F. Schumacher calls ‘appropriate technology’, using resources that are locally available to create generators that require a minimum amount of labour specialisation.
But things do not have to be like this if the people do not wish it. It is also possible to provide communities with more powerful energy solutions by creating syndicates at the regional and global levels of confederation, syndicates which provide for each of the various raw materials needed in the construction of renewable energy devices. These will co-operate with each other to carry out all of the various chemical and industrial processes that are necessary for the construction of those things that the assemblies wish to create. People will volunteer to participate in the industry that appeals to them. Working conditions are under the direct control of the workers themselves, and they will meet in industrial unions (that is, confederations of syndicates and guilds) to ensure that all of the technology that is necessary to improve their working conditions is made available to them for their mutual benefit, and to ensure their comfort while working.
Labour will be shared out at the relevant assemblies according to what each person is capable and willing to contribute, and what the group is collectively prepared to accept as a ‘fair’ division of labour. Nobody should need to work more than a few hours a day when the division of labour is fairly allocated. Difficult and labour-intensive tasks such as mining will be made as comfortable as possible for the people involved in them, but if the task is still considered “undesirable - but necessary”, then the assembly has various means to ensure that nobody is consigned to it to a disagreeable extent: they can advertise for more volunteers with the promise of dramatically reduced working hours and long holidays; they can introduce a rota so that nobody has to be involved in the job for the whole year; and they can set up an exchange scheme so that people with more sedentary but ‘intellectual’ occupations can swap jobs at certain times of the year or for certain years. A combination of such solutions will probably work out best, with the goal of minimising the time that anyone is spent doing a difficult but socially necessary job, whilst simultaneously maximising the comfort that they experience while doing it.
People may be concerned that this level of industry might be damaging to the environment, but there are several reasons why a society like this could never have a particularly high ‘footprint’. Firstly, as we mentioned with reference to clothing, industry will be producing based on need, and so it can reduce its output as soon as demand decreases. There is no reason why industry should need to carry on producing as much as possible all the time (as is the case under capitalism). When the population is stable and everyone is provided with clean electricity, there is no longer a need to build new power stations. Unlike our current society, this will not result in large numbers of people being ‘put out of work’. On the contrary, it simply means that each person will need to work less. As we noted before, assemblies share out the workload as fairly as they can; if there’s less work to do, logically the number of hours that each person needs to work will go down. If we assume that communities will value an increase in their leisure time, we can also assume that society will naturally try to curb production whenever it can - it won’t carry on producing things just for the sake of it.
Secondly, there are no vested interests, which means that knowledgeable people and those with scientific data will be listened to when society debates energy policy and when it considers different possible solutions to engineering problems. To the extent that communities value the health of their local ecosystems, the beauty of their natural surroundings and the long-term sustainability of their lifestyle, people will be eager to adopt environmentally friendly solutions and take heed of scientific findings in these areas. The media, being controlled by the people, would reflect these same values, and there would be no powerful corporations with profits to protect, nor a bureaucratic state apparatus to impede the progress of environmentalist policy.
Theoretically it would be possible for this kind of society to provide everyone with a car, simply by establishing a global automobile syndicate and sharing out the necessary labour. I personally would not vote for this. Instead, I would hope for an extensive public rail network that connects all communities together. Such a network would be necessary in any case to transport goods and raw materials from one locality to another in accordance with the needs of industry, and it is difficult to see what advantage could be gained from additionally maintaining a road network, manufacturing automobiles and then maintaining them as well. This would represent a massive increase in the amount of labour that society has to reckon with. If we simply ensure that all communities are connected by rail, and that cities or large communities are serviced by a good quality tram and/or subway system, then there is little advantage in having cars as well. The streets would then no longer be dominated by vehicles - they would be given back to communities as public spaces, streets to walk, ride or cycle down, streets in which to meet people, sit outside in the good weather, have discussions and parties and so on. Reclaiming the streets as public spaces will have an extremely positive effect on the community spirit prevailing in localities, which in turn will facilitate the participatory nature of their decision-making structures.
It will probably become desirable for there to be a worldwide, high-speed, free access data network for the sake of free communications between people. The global assembly will therefore establish a syndicate to engineer the necessary physical infrastructure (for example, wireless communications masts) and will also establish a working group to devise the network standards. A syndicate can also be established with the purpose of manufacturing computers and mobile telecommunications devices. This syndicate will naturally split into several different parts for the provision of the various raw materials and industrial processes that are necessary for the task (see the section on industry). The finished products can then be distributed to every member of the global confederation who wants one (this probably means everyone in the world) in accordance with the global assembly’s decisions. The syndicates should ensure that they collaborate directly with consumer groups in order to tailor their products to the needs of society, so that such decisions are not just confined to the (perhaps relatively infrequent) meetings of the global assembly. Guilds may also spring up with their own creative ideas about technology, and they may cooperate with industrial syndicates to obtain raw materials and then produce their own computer products compatible with the standards established.
There can be no education ‘system’ nor law of compulsory education in a society without government. Instead, there will be a variety of educational establishments which are created simply to serve people’s academic curiosity and their needs, should particular knowledge be required for the fulfilment of their aspirations. At least three forms of educational establishment spring to mind: community learning centres (syndicate); training centres (syndicate/guild); and academic communities (guild).
Community learning centres are established by communities for the benefit of its members, including for the formative education of its children. Although there may be places designed specifically for children, community learning centres are in principle open to everyone. There are many potential models by which these centres could function. The most horizontalist ideal for learning would envisage a space where people simply come together to exchange skills and knowledge. Workshops could be organised around a particular topic, bringing people together to share what they know and learn from each other, no distinction needing to be made between teacher and student. Alternatively, people can advertise what they have to offer and the way that they would like to deliver it, and those who are interested can sign up; in this case the teacher at one event will find themselves a student at a different event. Timetabling the use of the available space would be a trivial technical task which would not require any bureaucracy to intervene. These types of learning centres would probably not confer qualifications or set exams.
Training centres are those educational establishments aimed particularly at people who wish to enter areas of industry that require specialist expertise, or people aspiring to the medical profession where the use of their knowledge and skills may one day be of critical importance for people’s lives. In these cases, full-time specialists will deliver targeted training and will have to assess their students in order to ensure that they have reached a necessary level. A cross-regional, horizontal meeting of health professionals might establish standards which aspiring doctors/nurses and other health workers would need to meet. In co-operation with communities and educational associations, they could establish a working group to maintain an accreditation system for medical courses. In this way, training centres could be set up as syndicates by communities or by industrial syndicates, or on independent initiative, but they would be unified by these standards.
Finally, there may be communities dedicated entirely to research and learning. These communities would have spaces available to live, work and study, as well as the equipment necessary to do research in its members’ areas of interest. Such a community would be integrated into the regional and global confederations just like any other community, on conditions agreed upon by the relevant communities. In all probability, the main conditions will be that the research is made freely available to the world (what we now dub open access), and available to be used, extended and modified by the rest of society; and that the community is open to new members and visitors who wish to share in the researchers’ knowledge. Then such a community will be provided with all of the tools that it needs to carry out its activities. These communities might have a fairly fixed membership, or they might be places where people come and go. They would be defined by the people who are living and working in them at a particular time, and by the facilities they have available.
It stands to reason that the society outlined here would have less ‘work’ to do than the society we currently live in. For a start, all of the occupations associated with maintaining a monetary system would be completely redundant - banks, building societies, insurance companies, financial advisors, accountants, brokers, agents, actuaries, investors, market analysts and so on. Occupations associated with the legal system would also be redundant - lawyers, judges, solicitors, legal advisors, police, prison officers etc. And then, most or all of the occupations associated with the political system would instead be carried out by the entire population as part of their ordinary routine. In addition to this, a large amount of work would be saved by the simple fact that the economy will be tailored directly to needs, rather than by competition for profit. For example, there would be just one interoperable rail network and one interoperable mobile communications network, rather than several competing ones. An enormous amount of over-production would be saved. As noted above in the discussion of industry, production and consumption would be considerably less: once a need is met, production ceases until the need arises again; resources are recycled, reused and passed between owners via stores of free exchange whenever possible; tools that spend most of their time idle would be shared between neighbours; environmental awareness would cut out unjustifiable pollutants (possibly including the aerospace industry); no longer would there be any incentive for planned obsolescence or aggressive marketing campaigns urging people to buy more new things. Furthermore, the vast numbers of people who are nowadays unemployed would no longer be unoccupied, so we would have more people with whom to share out the necessary work. All of this suggests that the envisaged society would have a lot of leisure time on its hands. A common anarchist ideal is to work for just three to four hours a day. With an appropriate use of technology, powered by a robust new renewable energy grid, this ideal could easily be achieved, or surpassed. Before long, once all needs throughout the world have been met, and once the population has stabilised, such a society could enjoy entire months of the year with scarcely anything to do that we would recognise as ‘work’.
The result will be an explosion of creativity, an outpouring of energy into science, invention and the arts. I cannot hope to outdo Kropotkin’s own remarks on the subject in The Conquest of Bread. “Thousands of societies will spring up to gratify every taste and every possible fancy,” he says, and proceeds to present a passionate description of the various ways that people will choose to spend their time, and how they will associate with each other freely in order to pursue their mutual passions. I can add a few pragmatic remarks. Firstly one might wonder whether, in such a society, it will ever be the case that we have ‘full-time’ musicians, writers, designers or actors. Kropotkin implies that we won’t, but this would probably fall to the decision of the community assembly. Perhaps, if a particular artist is so well-loved and if the community is in agreement that this person’s time would be much more usefully employed if they devoted themselves fully to their art, then they could agree that this would be so. This is not really a ‘work exemption’ in the same way that children, the elderly and the sick would be exempted. In distributing its work, a community would merely be recognising that a particular person’s art is vital to their lives, and would assign to that person the task of continuing their artistic work specifically for the enjoyment of the community. This could put a lot of pressure on that person, and they may not wish to accept that assignment. Secondly, the recent growth of digital media has raised questions about ownership and control of creative works. Certainly, in the society envisaged here, there would be no commercial or monetary reason for putting creative works into the shackles of private property, and there could be no legal system to enforce a ban on ‘derivative works’. But the problem is not so great. If a person’s creative works are produced for society, rather than a purely leisure activity, then society (in the form of its democratic assemblies) would be able to benefit fully from liberal use of those works; but if something (whether physical or digital) is produced as part of a private hobby, then there is no obligation for it to be distributed or made available. I see no good reason for placing restrictions on the use of creative works, but if an artist in this latter case were to act protectively of their work and do so, then it would fall to the general public to respect their wishes politely, or not.
In theory, it would be possible for community assemblies to agree, democratically, on rules of personal conduct or behaviour that community members have to follow. It is important to recognise this possibility so that it can be effectively avoided. That’s not the role that community assemblies ought to be adopting if we seek a fully libertarian society directed towards the greatest happiness of all. Firstly, if such decisions were made by majority decision-making rather than consensus, then they will almost certainly alienate a minority of the population. Secondly, visitors and newcomers to the community will either be forced to conform to rules that they didn’t have any say in, or they will be curiously exempt from them, and both scenarios would set up a new class division in the community. Instead, community assemblies should understand their role to be a purely economic one. People gather together in the assemblies in order to discuss and organise the provision of their common needs - it’s about distributing labour and the products of that labour, not divising and instituting a new rule of law. Certainly some communities or syndicates, or working groups within them might find it helpful to have a charter that sets out certain guidelines or shared expectations, but in principle, individual decisions should be made by the individual alone. If the assemblies are properly understood as purely economic, then there would be no mechanism by which a particular religion or sexuality could be discriminated against, nor for a particular behaviour, style of dress and such-like to be criminalised. Oppression is still oppression and prejudice is still prejudice even if exercised by a majority in a democratic framework.
If crime is defined as activity that contravenes the law, then clearly crime cannot exist in a society without law. But we would be hiding from reality if we defined crime in this way. Instead we need to think of it not as crime but as activity which threatens the interdependence of communities, people and ecosystems. Every person, in a society such as this one, plays an important role in the proper functioning of society. Causing harm to any living being that has a vital role in this society’s natural interdependence is a threat to its harmony and makes society, as a whole, to that extent dysfunctional. Such activity - violence against people or animals, or causing unsanctioned pollution to the water, soil and atmospheric systems that they depend on - would properly be considered as a kind of pathology. The only logical action is to treat the problem’s causes holistically in order to bring systems back into balance. Concretely, the sort of things that people can do in the event of this ‘disharmonising activity’ includes seeking medical and rehabilitative help for those involved and taking direct action measures in the case that they won’t listen and are continuing to cause harm. There can be no recourse to a punitive system because there is no basis in ‘law’ to back this up: there are only problems and logical solutions to those problems.
Nevertheless, it stands to reason that a libertarian communist society such as the one laid out here would not suffer from anything like the scale or magnitude of problems that our current world faces, simply because the causes of most ‘crime’ in our current system are no longer present. This society has no classes, no poverty and no division between rich and poor - it even dispenses altogether with money; these are currently the main causes of what we call crime. A fully participatory society ensures that nobody is excluded from decisions that affect them and everyone has a role to play in providing for society. Ultimately, then, we envisage that ‘crime’, as defined above, would be very rare indeed.
Many revolutionaries argue that it is pointless to discuss what a future post-revolutionary society would look like, believing that it will arise organically as a function of the particular but unpredictable circumstances of revolution, including its time, location and the specific people involved. A successful revolution in 1936 inevitably looks different from a successful revolution in 2036; and likewise a revolution in Spain will look different to a revolution in India. Malatesta (1931) disagrees, but advocates a middle way instead: “To neglect all the problems of reconstruction or to pre-arrange complete and uniform plans are both errors, excesses which, by different routes, would lead to our defeat as anarchists and to the victory of new or old authoritarian regimes. The truth lies in the middle. It is absurd to believe that, once the government has been destroyed and the capitalists expropriated, ‘things will look after themselves’”.
In my view, downplaying discussion of what a new society would look like is a fatal, senseless and dangerous mistake. The Occupy movement demands an end to the tyranny of the banks and financial elites, but what do they propose to put in their place? They have rightly been criticised for having no coherent suggestions. With governments slavishly paraphrasing Thatcher, “there is no alternative”, no alternative to austerity, to periodic crisis, to privatisation, to capitalism, to the exploitation and oppression of the poor for the benefit of the rich, it is perhaps no wonder that so much of the working class is fooled into believing that there really isn’t an alternative - the left wing is weak and the grassroots protesters are apparently just shouting about how bad everything is and how urgently change is needed. But none of them have any concrete proposals. Ask Occupiers or other grassroots protesters what sort of world they would like to see in place of the current one, and you will likely get responses anywhere from social democracy (or “nice capitalism”, an oxymoron) to very vague notions of communism or anarchism. And if the banks, the government and the capitalists were all to suddenly disappear, and the masses suddenly found themselves faced with the task of running society for themselves, what would they do? Suddenly they would realise that they were never prepared for this to happen, all of their internal differences would suddenly become apparent and they would flail around not knowing what to do. When we think about how much of the working class currently turns to the far right for solutions to its problems, it’s easy to see how a charismatic but power-hungry fascist could ride the tide of the incumbent chaos, find itself at the head of an ‘interim’ government with popular rallies surrounding it and soon the same old hierarchies and the same old problems would creep back in. The working class not only needs to be organised, it needs to have a coherent vision of the solutions to the problems it currently faces, and it needs to start implementing this vision immediately in whatever form the current (bleak) circumstances allow. Then when the tide of power turns, there will be concrete alternatives on offer, and people will know what they need to do.
This potentially informs a new approach to revolutionary strategy. Reactionary politics does not need to stop, but it isn’t good enough for revolution, and only revolution is good enough. Currently we are asking questions such as “how shall we fight austerity?”, “how shall we protest against this terrible new policy?”, “how shall we keep fascism out?” and so on. But given that revolution is what we need, none of these questions are actually relevant or necessary in the long run (although I admit that it might be the best way of pulling in the un-politicised into the debate in the first place). Questions we should address instead are the same ones that we would be addressing all the time in a post-revolutionary, needs-based society, “how shall we generate our electricity?”, “how shall we educate ourselves?”, “how shall we distribute the products of our labour?” - in short, “how shall we collectively meet our needs?” We can start by answering these questions as I have done: without any preconceptions, without any limits but imagination. This sets out a long-term ideal. Then we can look at the resources that we currently have available to us and see how closely we can approximate to the ideal. We can set up community assemblies now - nobody is stopping us - and start to practise direct democracy, federation and delegation immediately. We can pool arable land available to us and start to distribute the products to each other according to need. We can set up free stores to get rid of what we don’t need anymore and share it with people who do need it. We can set up skill-sharing sessions and time-banking schemes to educate ourselves and do things for each other in the spirit of mutual aid. We will find ourselves setting up housing co-ops and food co-ops and pooling our monetary resources to reclaim land and space to be put back into our hands. In doing these things, we should always be aiming to de-monetise parts of the economy, learning in the process about how to provide for ourselves. In so doing we will naturally find that we are helping people who are being left out to dry by governments keen to dismantle the welfare state. As the crisis of capitalism deepens and the state increasingly turns against its people, the disenfranchised will see our efforts and realise that ‘‘this’’ is the only alternative available to them now - meeting their own needs, collectively. Soon we will be able to take over entire workplaces, reclaiming more and more private property back into the commons, and increasing the number of things that we can provide for ourselves without money, and expanding the remit of the political-economic assemblies that are practising genuine democracy. With capital in crisis, the final stage of this revolution will be against the violent forces of the state who are desperate to uphold their own power. But once the police force and the army have been won over, the state will have no power left to hold on to.