As for political organization of this, anarchists have written a lot on the subject.
I suggest reading the following links first:
As for the economic aspect of things:
The main way goods circulate in a anarcho-communist society is through what anthropologists call "demand-sharing" (Kropotkin would call this "mutual aid").
You can understand this better about this by reading Thomas Widlok's recent book "Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing":
It's similar to what David Graeber calls "everyday communism", which he defines as:
"An open-ended agreement between two groups, or even two individuals, to provide for the other; within which, even access to one another’s possessions followed the principle of ‘from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs’."
(‘from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs’, the old communist formula, basically means if you have a need and I have the ability to meet that need, I do it.
Keeping count or reciprocating is very frowned upon in these sort of situations.
This sort of communism is quite common (even under capitalism), in families, between friends and there's a little of it in every non-hostile relationship.)
This is the main way people stateless societies (in the past and presently like the Bushmen of Western Central Africa) interact economically.
For long-distance economic interactions, gift-exchange is the way to go: "Gifts and Commodities" by Chris A. Gregory is the main book on anything Gift related: https://haubooks.org/gifts-and-commodities/
First of all, your talk of "market failure" tells me that you probably beleive some neoclassical bullshit of one sort or another.
So I recommend you take a look at at Prof. Stephen A. Marglin's (author of the famous paper "What do Bosses do") book "The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community":
Secondly, I should point out that Markets cannot exists with states.
This is something that David Graeber very brilliantly in his books (as did many people before him like Karl Polanyi, Emile Durkheim).
Here's a snippet:
The main way goods circulate in a anarchic society is through what anthropologists call "demand-sharing" (Kropotkin would call this "mutual aid").
The main way stuff/goods circulate in a anarcho-communist society is through what anthropologists call "demand-sharing" (Kropotkin would call this "mutual aid").
Some early Christians lived communistically:
> Reading back over my post it does seem like I knee-jerked about that one line at the beginning,
Yes and that is still what you seem to be doing.
You're starting with how you interpreted the phrase to mean, and you're completely ignoring what it means in communist literature or what David Graeber meant by that phrase here.
It's evident that you don't understand when you started talking about "measure", "fairness" and "equability", when in fact those notions not only have nothing to do with communism but in fact stand in complete opposition to it.
There's NO "measure" or "fairness" in communist relations ("measure", "fairness" and "equability" and even "reciprocity" are based in the logic of exchange and NOT communism).
As Thomas Widlok points out:
> Sharing does involve objects that are valued and desired but in contradistinction to gift-exchange it cannot be fully explained by a rule of reciprocity and in contradistinction to market exchange it cannot be fully explained in terms of values established through measuring objects against one another. Since demand sharing is its typical form, sharing is also inadequately described in terms of Western values of altruistic sharing. In fact, sharing events without demands are rather peculiar as they mark and underline the relation between giver and receiver and are therefore more appropriately considered as verging on gift-giving. Sharing does not necessarily entail that everyone gets the same; rather the value of equal allocation is more typically associated with situations of distribution. We may consider sharing to be tolerated scrounging but for the scrounging to be tolerated it has to build on a number of recognized modes of action and interaction. There are numerous pragmatic factors to do with the mode of relatedness, the modes of talking, and the bodily presence that influence when and what someone might receive as a share—or whether someone is allowed to take a share. It is therefore misleading to consider sharing to be any more a natural system than any other mode of transfer. It presupposes a cultural system similar to that of a system of communicating tubes wherein the flow in these communicating tubes is not automatic since the tubes need to be kept clear of obstacles and have to be actively constructed and maintained as the connections that make up the system. Both the construction of the system and its maintenance are complex cultural processes that allow us to speak of sharing as a cultural invention and innovation. The specificity of sharing is not that it distributes resources and transfers them from one to the other—sharing out—after all; this is also achieved through other forms of transfer. Its specificity is rather that it also constitutes sharing in, granting access to the flows of objects, their intrinsic goods, and their intrinsic value.
If David Graeber's use of the term communism distracts you from the point he's trying to make then I suggest you take a look at:
Thomas Widlok's book Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing , which expands on what Graeber talks about but uses less provocative terms.
The point is that you seem to completely misunderstand and misrepresent the formula of “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.”. Again, the idiosyncratic way you seem to be interpreting this formula has nothing to do with what its originators, Marx, the anarchists or David Graeber's understanding of the principle.
“from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.”, as David Graeber himself says in (Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value), is :
"(An everyday principle of access and distribution, a matter of dis-
positions and practices) in which specific individuals are bound together by such open-ended obligations, whether (as in the case of relations between affines) one-sided, or whether (as nowadays, he remarked, between husband and wife), both parties have equal rights to call on the other...No accounts need be kept because the relation is not treated as if it will ever end. (this is not saying that it won't)".
"Almost everyone follows this principle if they are collaborating on some common projet. If someone fixing a broken water pipe says, "Hand me the wrench," his co-worker will not, generally speaking, say, "And what do I get for it?"---even if they are working for Exxon Mobil, Burger King, or Goldman Sachs. The reason is simple efficiency (ironically enough, considering the conventional wisdom that "communism just doesn't work"): if you really care about getting something done, the most efficient way to go about it is obviously to allocate tasks by ability and give people whatever they need to do them."
> the words "need" and "ability" could possibly have meaning without implying a measurement of some kind
Needs and abilities cannot ever be meaningfully "measured". (and in the situations mentioned above, the idea of "measuring" this stuff never even crosses the minds of people concerned).
This is ridiculous idea to begin with.
Again if you're just stuck on your idiosyncratic understanding of the principle of “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.” then read Thomas Widlok's book "Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing" , which talks about the same ideas using different terms.
(It also seem that you've never read what David Graeber wrote so I advise reading him before going on a tirade about this stuff, that you seem to have no grasp on).
For those interested in their economic life, which is very interesting, I would recommend taking a look at Thomas Widlok's book Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing .