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A phrase used by George Orwell in Homage to Catalonia to describe the way in which the command structure of the anarchist militias of the Spanish Civil War functioned.
Anarchists hate hierarchy, so they didn’t have any in their militias. Everyone was paid the same. Officers were chosen democratically on the basis of their skill, leadership ability, and character. ("Hierarchy" here refers to an institutionalized power structure, as in a traditional military; leadership does not imply hierarchy.) This required the soldiers to understand why orders had to be followed, which required that they have political consciousness. Orders were given "as comrade to comrade and not as superior to inferior". According to Orwell, this did require time to develop, but then again, so did traditional methods of training troops, and the anarchist soldiers were motivated by "class-loyalty" whereas traditional troops were motivated by fear. Apparently such troops were better than one would expect.

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