What Is A Collective?

A collective is a group of individuals who work together on a common project without relying on internal hierarchies. Collectives can be large or small. They might exist temporarily or over long periods, and membership in them is voluntary. Any group—whether it’s a social club, NGO, or political organization—that has a board of directors, boss, manager, guru, or president is not a collective. In our current society, most formal organizations use a system of ranking that concentrates decision-making power in the hands of a minority that then uses this power to serve their own interests. This is exactly what collectives are designed to prevent.

In collectives, leadership happens naturally and fluidly. All skills and knowledge are shared, not hoarded by an elite. This means that duties and responsibilities can be rotated among a collective’s members and that they can be revoked if anyone starts abusing their power. This horizontal structure is a dynamic and vital way to constantly increase member-empowerment.

In many ways collectives are the basic form of organization among anarchists. Collectively-run projects can include: magazines, cafes, infoshops, prisoner support groups, bicycle cooperatives, community gardens, publishers, etc…

Zines we carry on collectives:

Additional online resources on collectives: