is libertarian socialism possible?

 
  • heck we're all human and i think when it comes down to it i think everybody is in support of the same thing , its just a matter of being able to sort out all the propaganda that's been forced on us by "the man" and the media our whole lives....

  • I agree to some extent that I think in a way everybody is aware of the how and why of liberalism, if you're a mentally normal human you probably have a sense of self and your true deepest inner thoughts, even if only during fractions of a second every now and then; even the most die hard collectivists. But the majority of people are afraid of the responsibility that comes with it and choose to ignore it, sometimes even fully consciously because, for several reasons, that seems to be the easy way out to them.

    When I look around me I see hordes of people without a clue, even when they're not flat out stupid, all of them having 1 vote just like me, regardless. But because they outnumber me they're somehow entitled to control my life and everything in it against my own free will?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not paranoid or overly frustrated about it, but I consciously fight it because it's evil and rotten, I've recognized it as such since as long as I have been aware of existence.

    The freedom of my mind is not theirs to give or within their reach to claim.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • dyingdreams said:
    [...](although this in no way implies that liberalism or libertarianism is "anti-social", in fact I'd say that it's the most social form of living together with other people by letting them free to achieve their goals or screw up their own lives without holding others responsible.)

    sorry, i know this is dyingdreams's group and as the name implies, it's anti-socialist, but as initiator of this thread, i can't refrain from commenting on the "yes, (economic) liberalism (i.e. capitalism) is plainly the only just form of society, and everything else may be well-meant, but is inherently evil and the result of fear of responsibility" stance dyingdreams has been displaying over the last few posts, as if this be concluded from the discussion so far. dyingdreams, i think it would only be fair to mention that the above stance is only one of the two opposing positions being discussed in this thread, especially given the fact that you still owe my last post a reply.

    @pixiedustedd: just to avoid a misunderstanding: i am not a member of this group and i do believe in socialism - libertarian socialism, to be precise. libertarian socialism is a collective term for several economic theories derived from anarchist theory, it has very little to do with marxism and bolshevism, which is what most people think of when they hear the words "socialism" or "communism". in fact in many ways it can be considered the complete opposite, coming from anarchist tradition, it is inherently anti-authoritarian and strongly concerned with individualist rights and liberties. the reason why it qualifies as "socialism" is that it strives to offer an alternative beside private means of production, as entirely privatised means of production lead to economic dependencies, which curtail an individual's de-facto liberty.

    btw, the above quotation sounds very nice, but it fails to account for unequal conditions. telling someone who had less assets/education/family connections/etc. than oneself from the start that it's his own goddamn fault he/she didn't make it as far is indeed anti-social.

  • "the reason why it qualifies as "socialism" is that it strives to offer an alternative beside private means of production, as entirely privatised means of production lead to economic dependencies, which curtail an individual's de-facto liberty.

    btw, the above quotation sounds very nice, but it fails to account for unequal conditions. telling someone who had less assets/education/family connections/etc. than oneself from the start that it's his own goddamn fault he/she didn't make it as far is indeed anti-social."

    the way i see it is that when a person truly wishes to be successful, they will be so. work ethic is not exactly something that's difficult to have and i believe most people - whether they're from a family with or without assets/education/family connections and the like - possess this quality. it is a good thing and an important thing, and i feel that anybody without work ethic - in other words, without MOTIVATION - those people who whine about not being rich (and yet do not make the effort required to become so) and how unfair it is that people don't share, pro-welfare types - shouldn't be receiving any kind of special treatment as if they're somehow MORE deserving of wealth than those who actually WORK for it

    perhaps that is not what you mean but i cant really see how else you would mean it.

    sure it's anti-social to blame others for their circumstances. but it's also anti-social to reward those who are poorly situated. the way to truly help those who appear to be at a disadvantage is not to treat them like pets but to TEACH them how to survive in the world. TEACH them how to work for their money and spend it properly rather than wastefully, how to SAVE money -- teach the difference between wanting and needing and why it is very very important not to always give your children what they want (BECAUSE IT ENCOURAGES SOCIALISM)

    i am really not claiming any superior knowledge on the subject of capitalism . in americas diluted system i can't claim to know how economic liberalism, did you call it? would work. HOWEVER i find it truly depressing how many people feel as if they are ENTITLED to wealth and yet will not work for it. i am only a young adult and i have seen with my own eyes how EASY it is to make money and save it. i started working at the age of 13, though it wasnt until i was 16 that i began saving money. however i was able to make about 10k in a year and save more than half of it. by the time i graduated high school i was able to move out and live on my own for a couple of years and i had the luxury of learning how to pay rent, and other bills, and although i wound up broke thanks to a FREELOADING room-mate (boyfriend at the time) i was still able to learn a very valuable lesson: an individual MUST be responsible for himself. i have also learned that IT IS NOT HARD TO GET OUT OF DEBT. because: it is not hard to make money.

    now, it may certainly be difficult to find a JOB. it may take several weeks, even a year. but the important thing is to never give up. to stay motivated. and even not be picky - get hired ANYWHERE and WORK WORK WORK - if you don't like it, KEEP LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT JOB and eventually one will be found!!

    if you really want to help people who you feel are disadvantaged by their social status, all you need to do is simply EDUCATE them. why should they be allowed to remain uneducated and receive benefits for it??? "for the sake of equality" you may say as loud as you would like, but is that really equality? is somebody who works hard for their money makes X, and somebody who does not work is GIVEN X, HOW is that equal or fair??

    now perhaps we are angry about people who INHERIT X. but really it shouldnt be jealousy we feel towards those families that have been able to make and save so much - we should be INSPIRED by them. and really most of these people who inherit money STILL WORK, as it is their right to. this is not unfair to the rest of the world. we should not want a piece of their pie. we should be INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to bake our own pies. if they can do it, there is no reason nobody else can -- especially in a laissez-faire economic system!!!

    anyway i hope i didnt go off on too much of a tangent but i am really interested in what you mean by "entirely privatised means of production lead to economic dependencies" because it seems to me that socialized means of production is what leads to dependencies.

  • I agree.


    Also, as a side note on inheritance: capital has to be earned, always. Even when you inherit a fortune, when you're not worthy of it all you'll do is squander and lose it, the current Madoff business is an excellent example.

    And even so, what's it to you whether person X is a billionnaire or not? What's your loss and what's your right that has been damaged, or your right to claim it?

    The whole concept of taxation on inheritance is highway robbery.




    Quite simply put though, it might be because I've been out of the discussion for several weeks, but coming into this freshly again (for now, I'll get back to it in february) I'll say this: you can't claim socialism and liberalism at the same time. You simply can't. Liberalism is letting people engage in voluntary contracts or not, as much or as little as they feel like, once you throw socialism into that and start talking about not allowing people to own means of production then by the pure and simple definition of it it's not liberal or free anymore.

    "Libertarian" socialism is a farce, you're either free or you aren't. And if you're free you're free to own capital and means of production, what more is there to it.

    Calling yourself libertarian doesn't mean you are one and the term itself means nothing to translate into freedom if that's not what you're doing. The fact that you call your socialism "libertarian" means nothing, in any way, shape or form. Just like Obama isn't a liberal, no matter what he calls himself. If I go about calling myself chinese tomorrow that doesn't turn me into an asian.

    If you let people be free they acquire property and capital, to prevent them from doing so you have to force something on them and it stops being liberal, period.

    Like pixie says, if you want to work in a free market you make money, it's as simple as that. And you don't have to thank anybody for it, it's rightfully yours and nobody has a claim on a single cent of it. That's pride and self-esteem instead of whining about how the world isn't treating people fairly and being a beggar.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • lol "if i call myself chinese tomorrow that doesn't turn me into an asian"

    i like the way you think! :P

  • Well, I can't take too much credit for logic ;)

    I'm sure you've heard this one before, apparantly Abraham Lincoln said it once, if I remember correctly:

    "How many legs does a dog have, keeping in mind that you call the tail a leg?

    Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

    As I said a few posts back, "love" and "liberty" are the most misunderstood and abused words in human history.


    Also, reading your post I was thinking about this again: do you ever notice how in poor people's homes almost always their place is a completely filthy mess? Not in the sense of "messy", but just plain filthy, *masses* of clothes on the floor, *masses* of dirty dishes sitting in the sink, etc. Ever notice how even poor people have cellular phones and money to buy drugs in whatever form (including alcohol and sigarettes)?

    I don't have anything about people destroying themselves with drugs, it doesn't matter to me, but if you have money to spend on drugs of any kind you have enough money to get your act together if you choose to do so, and you don't have to have any money to keep your house clean.

    Especially if you have enough time to sit on your ass all day anyway, complaining how the world isn't giving you what you deserve with a cell phone in your hand and a TV flickering in front of your face.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • Also, while I'm typing this there's a homeless guy on TV getting his panties in a twist about how during these cold winter nights there aren't enough beds in the shelters for homeless people and how "you all" should be ashamed of yourselves and that it's a disgrace, yadda yadda yadda.

    How exactly does he figure anybody owes him anything for being a bum? There are in the immediate region of where the interview was recorded litterally hundreds of jobs that require no education of any kind that can't get filled, and I personally know people who provide free and official education to get a license for example to drive buses and what not, anybody who asks for it can get the education for free and it's perfectly known by everybody that those educations are readily available, and with which they get a job within a month after graduating, those same people even do the job searching for them.

    But they simply don't, and then act like it's an injustice as they line up for free food. What the hell do they expect? For every cent they're given somebody else *did* have to work for it.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • stuff like that..... its freaking disgusting and gets my blood boiling.

    one of my parents' acquaintances likes to blather on and on about how its "our duty" to give money to the poor, because they're poor and unfortunate and can't make any themselves.

    doesnt matter to her that they're always going to BE poor if we keep giving money to a) foundations that horde it b)even if it does go directly to the poor how many of them will really use it to take a shower, get some clean clothes and find a job?

    but charity works! she says, i donate more and more EVERY YEAR

    i ask...... if charity worked, shouldn't she be donating less and less??

    a pause, her eyes widen as if something in her brain understands and becomes enraged that she's spent her whole life giving and giving and giving only to realize she's just being robbed

    and then - YOU'RE WRONG!!! there are always more poor people every year!

    maybe that is because kind hearted people like her wind up going broke giving money to the poor who just throw her heard earned income away on booze or anything else that won't help their situation in life.

    hmmm


    the best way to help those less fortunate than ourselves is to work one-on-one, teaching them how to use their individual power to survive, how to be self sufficient. once you've helped one person in rags to understand they dont need to be a leech, not only will he be grateful for the key to success but it will help boost his confidence too, knowing that he can get everything he needs without having to depend on others!!

    too bad people who "care about the poor" concentrate on stupid things like welfare to fix the problem. and the government doesnt mind either cause they can take a cut of it and nobody will protest 'cause "they're the government"

    grrrrrr

  • a lot of what both of you say has already been discussed on this thread, lets not turn around in circles (ok, what i said has already been said in this thread, too, but i was just giving pixiedustedd a quick introduction to libertarian socialism).

    your contempt for the poor is fascinating. and both your accounts how easy it is to break away from poverty are just unreal. they remind me of when i gave up smoking: some people would tell me how easy it is, i just needed to really want it and with a bit of willpower it would be no problem. yes, i really wanted it, but i still had a damn hard time giving them up, i needed several attempts. people are different, for some, certain things are easy, for others they are damn hard, that applies to giving up smoking and coming to terms in a capitalist dog-eat-dog society alike. the thing about capitalism is, that circumstance is a necessity. capitalism is a game that produces winners and losers. if all the current losers suddenly got the knack on the game and turned into sly business men/women, there would necessarily be new losers, and who knows, maybe you or i would be one of them. (i bet you're thinking "no i wouldn't" right now, neo-liberals tend to be overconfident.)
    you might say: "well, that's just the way it is, no harm in a little social darwinism, it encourages innovation and separates the wheat from the chaff ", but you only have to open your eyes and look around to see that there is harm done, a lot of, actually. it needn't be that way, libertarian socialism is an alternative, one that still encourages innovation, that does not imply welfare or forced charity, as i have explained elaborately in this tread, and is not achieved by depriving individualist rights, but by adding some, also explained elaborately in this thread. it would not completely demolish poverty, but it sure to hell would shorten the gap between rich and poor, at fair terms (profit coming from work, not property).

    being the socialist-at-heart that i am, i would imply some form of social welfare for the drop-outs (to assume there would be none would be unrealistic), and i would abolish certain property and commerce rights, or make their execution economically unviable via regulations or heavy taxation, such as owning more land than one is using oneself. but before you freak out, please take into account that that's just me, these backward, collectivist, evil measures are not essential components of libertarian socialism, you could remain strictly anti-collectivist and still be a libertarian socialist - for those of you who refuse to see that a certain amount of collectivism is simply too beneficial to society to do without, for example being forced to pay taxes to finance a public judiciary system.

    i would like to ask both of you a question: statistics show that the probability of ending out under the poverty line is much, MUCH higher if you come from a family that lived under the poverty line (no surprises here). why is that? genetics or circumstances? (careful, "genetics" would be a rather dodgy answer, and "circumstances" would prove the point i made above, that lack of assets/education/family connections/etc. are indeed an overwhelming disadvantage in comparison to those that have them)

    btw, i do not dispute that some people gaining from welfare are simply freeloaders. they get a lot of media attention and are highly over-represented in public awareness (thanks to the likes of you guys moaning about them all the time - sorry for the dig). i know from people who have been on the dole in my own circles that even here in germany, which has a comparably strong welfare state, social welfare is barely enough to get by and nowhere nearly enough to live the good life, especially with all the implications. the overwhelming majority of unemployed people are or would be damn glad to get back on a job.
    i also do not dispute that many of the poorest people confuse dignity with lack of humility. obviously that must be a fairly natural reaction to being in a situation like that, as it happens so often.
    i also do not dispute that there is such thing as a counterproductive poverty mentality that many poor people succumb to (or are born into). again this is obviously human nature, as the ability to always get back on your feet is rather an exceptional talent. an economic-political system that does not account for certain aspects of human nature is an imperfect one.

  • i think it's interesting how you assume i have contempt for the poor because of what i said. perhaps i got a little over excited but really my only contempt is for people (of any income range) who feel <i>entitled</i> to wealth that they have not earned, and people who feel that i (or anyone) should be giving my hard-earned wealth (however great or small) to other people

  • First off, I'm not a "neo-liberal", I'm a liberal. The liberal ideology is the same as it has always been. If somebody wants to call himself a "neo"liberal (which in the US wrongly seems to coincide with banning rights to privacy or self-determination like abortus and such, again abusing the word "liberal" because they think that because they attach it to themselves freedom will magicly follow just because of that instead of applying it from the start) that's their position, not mine.

    I wouldn't call myself overconfident. I don't get why people can't stand it if somebody doesn't bring himself down needlessly. I see no merit to be gained in acting like I think I'm more stupid or less capable than I am, I don't think I am and have no reason whatsoever to do so, so why act like it. Is that arrogance? Any type of confidence or self-assurance is automaticly equated to arrogance for some reason, it says more about the people who do so than it says about me (which is not a stab at you). Life will be the judge of it.

    Ofcourse there are winners and losers in capitalism, because humanity like any other species has winners and losers, and very few of the first group and masses of the second. That's not injustice or a correction to be made, it's a fact of nature and it's why you can't legislate it away. If tomorrow you pass a legislation that it is forbidden to breathe and enforced to only eat glass, what difference does that make? It doesn't change people's nature and it doesn't change the reality of it that everybody will be breathing and avoiding the oral consumption of glass.

    Legislation isn't a genie in a bottle to which you can say the magic words and put them into legislation so that your desire will follow from it. There is no magic, if you start walking backwards you won't be moving forward just because that's what you want to happen, and "backwards" won't be "forwards" just because you start calling it such. Laws like that mean nothing.

    Don't misunderstand me, I reason by logic and I don't deal in contradictions, if you think there are then check your premises: I've never said that capitalism leads to automatic wealth for anybody, in fact I'm saying the complete and total opposite: it only leads to wealth for those who earn it and poverty for those who don't.

    But everybody is free to do so or not. I have no trouble with "social darwinism" where "harm is done" (but that in itself is twisting it by that use of words, they're letting it happen instead of somebody doing it). Ofcourse there's a gap between rich and poor, what else would be the point of working if there isn't a gigantic gap (speaking in the language of "the people")?

    "Libertarian socialism" isn't an alternative to this. You rob people's freedom away by saying "you can't own property" (machines and such are property just the same). By what right? Who are you to decide and enforce on me that I can't own a piece of machinery or "more land than I need" and letting you or a democracy of incompetents be the judge of how much I can own? And who are you to decide for me and somebody else that if they want to come and work for me or I for them on terms we both agreed to that they can't, because you think it isn't fair? More land "than I need"? It's none of your business to arrange my affairs, I'll take care of it myself, but thanks for asking.

    Your system does not encourage anything at all, if it doesn't lead you to more property why the hell would you bother anyway once you have what some guy has decided is "enough". If that ever came to pass I'd sit on my ass, all day long, and so would anybody else who's worth a damn because the sort of people you need to keep the world going aren't in it to be slaves.

    Profit needing to come from work and not from property is a contradiction; the property is a direct result of work, once you earned it it's yours to put to the best use. If you earned something and you want to give it to your children, by what right is anybody going to stop you? That's another reason why a state run economy doesn't work, if it's their own money people are very careful what they're going to invest it in, and that leads to either efficiency or the loss of their capital. A state official doesn't have that link to it and just wants to make it through the day to 5 pm.

    Your whole theory that capital is a result of exploiting or not giving people what they earn is based on nothing. If it really is that simple then go out and exploit. But it isn't. Building a factory indeed is the work of many people, but there's 1 guy (or girl, ofcourse) who started it, without that person there'd be no factory but just a bunch of people standing there. 100 "workers" in your sense of the word aren't worth as much as half a person with a mind in mine, because they'd get nowhere if it wasn't for those wo are the catalysts. Wealth isn't created by operating a machine, it's created by inventing a machine and then successfully running a factory or process through all the hurdles and obstacles that come with it or by offering your services to the highest bidder. If there's no highest bidder then you have no services to offer, and there's no reason why anybody else has to pay for your inadequacy. If you can find somebody who thinks they have to, or you feel like it, fine, who's stopping you? But demanding and enforcing it from me? No.

    And "democratic control"? You're certain that people are too stupid to know what's best for them because you want to regulate their lives, but at the same time you're certain they're smart enough to vote others into power to decide over everybody's life? You're probably right, if history tells us anything it is that this is not a failsafe recipe for disaster, it must have slipped my mind for a moment. You know where people who clamor for collectivised means of production end up? Here. I'm thinking I'm seeing a pattern there, but maybe it's just me.

    But to get back to you: you see poverty as a gap between rich and poor, I say that's the essence of people wanting something for nothing. If you own a house, a tv, clothes, food, a car, etc., that's not poor. It's only poor by comparison to wealth, but it isn't poor. In any country that has been capitalist in the past, the "poor" live better than the kings of 50 years before them. Not thanks to their own initiative but thanks to the fall out of wealth created around them by people who earned it. That's the nature of it: wealth isn't a standalone thing, it automaticly creates more of itself, it's basic economy. But tamper with it and it goes boom.

    But hey, if you want to give everything or anything at all to the state or to a collective, again, I'm not stopping you, but don't think you can tell me what to do, your opinion on how I should run my life means nothing to me. That's not an attack, because chances are in your mind such a statement probably is, but it is in fact a simple and honest statement, I don't care what other people do or think, if I want to deal with them I'll name my terms, if they accept that's fine, if they don't then that's fine as well, and vice versa. That's how human beings do it instead of waving a club and sticking their noses where it doesn't belong.

    The problem with socialists is that they'd do the rest of us a big favor by minding their own business instead of telling other people what to do. If you think what you're saying is the way to live I'm not going to stop you, honestly, but you have nothing on me to tell me what I can and can't do, or own, or agree to with others. In a capitalist system if you want to live in a commune without anybody in it owning more land than he or she is decided to be needing and owning the means of production collectively, no capitalist is going to stop you. If it'd go bankrupt after a year then that isn't capitalism not "giving" them a chance, the chance isn't anybody's to give or take away, it's because such systems by their nature don't compete with the efficient allocation of capital and effort in order to accumulate. But you're free to give it another go for all I care, just don't imagine you have the right to drag me down with you against my own will.

    You think that's the way, I don't. So fine, it does not matter to me, at all. Do it and leave me alone and we'll see who gets where. What more is there to it?


    The reason why statistics and experience show that people born under the poverty line usually end up there by the time they die is because they're born into the attitude. We have a saying here that says "in most races the finish line is the same as the start". I don't see how that's my problem or responsibility, and I don't see how that absolves them from their own responsibility. Probably genetics does have something to do with it, I don't see why that's a dodgy answer, if you think that automaticly leads to implying that we should gas the undesirables then again that says more about you than it does about me.

    I say it's purely a matter of attitude and I'll tell you why. When have I said or even remotely implied that there are no (dis)advantages? I've been saying the exact opposite from the very start: people as a whole aren't equal, that is in all views and on all levels. But a (dis)advantage again says nothing; the world is filled with millionnaires who came out of nowhere and it's filled with millionnaires who ended up bankrupt.

    To say that it's all a matter of chance and starting position takes away from the achievements of those who succeed regardless, I don't know whether you actually grasp that. I don't like Obama, but he wasn't exactly in the running for becoming US president when he was born, yet he achieved anyway and I recognise that achievement aside from not liking his policies. Do you think it's chance or do you think the guy is at least capable on some level? The same goes for literally thousands of people everywhere who worked their way up from the bottom or tumbled from the top. You have no right to diminish their achievement by brushing them away as pot shots.

    What socialists can't or refuse to see is that there's an enormous, titanic, unsurpassable difference between wish and will, and it's exactly that difference that pinpoints what makes you a loser or a winner. Somebody who doesn't understand this probably never will, from my experience that in fact is something you're either born with or not. Genetics and upbringing combined probably, but one thing leads to another.


    Also, I never said that capitalism is a "perfect" system, at least certainly not in the way you think it would be perfect. To put it bluntly: to continue drawing the line from the fundamentals you're implying, in the end perfect in your opinion would be everybody sitting on their ass all day long and getting served by mindless mechanical robots, for free. Nobody being frustrated because they've achieved or accumulated less than somebody else and nobody having to ask themselves the question of why that might be, everybody just the same and nothing to irritate their gentle spirits and nothing that requires them to stop and think, free of comparison and thereby free of responsibility and free of the sting to see somebody else achieve more than they have. In the spirit of things, who invented and made those robots is of no consequence, it was their duty to do so and your right to benefit from it: our final reward is living like equal plants.

    "Maybe nobody's worse than me, but above all else the most important final achievement is that nobody is better".

    You think I'm exaggerating but that's what it comes down to. That attitude is animated death. If you don't see that, rest assured that I do.

    That's not my idea of perfect, my idea of perfect is everybody getting what they have achieved, for better or worse. The whole fabric of life is competition. And for some it'll be harder, for some it'll be easier, thanks to or in spite of all kinds of varying circumstances.

    That's life, deal with it.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
    Edited by dyingdreams on 11 Jan 2009, 13:07
  • you aren't taught by your parents that "life's not always fair" for a reason. it can't be. and if it ever BECAME fair, it would STILL be unfair because people have differences. some people just happen to be better at some things than others. this reason alone is why out of all systems, capitalism just happens to be the fairest as it gives OPPORTUNITY to everyone. don't get mad at me if i succeed and somebody else -or multiple somebodies - doesn't. i'm not gonna whine if somebody else is more successful than me because eventually i will figure out some OTHER way to be successful. (although i can't lie i've looked at actors and actresses with much envy myself!!! im still not gonna try and claim that they should give me their money) and if people aren't taking advantage of the opportunities they have, they are the only ones at fault and while you could argue that there's no reason to feel contempt for them, you can't tell me there's any reason to feel sorry for them.

    people exist. so what. it's very easy to get along with anybody if they're not trying to hurt or rob you. and its not like i meet somebody on welfare and automatically think they're a bastard. sometimes anybody can fall upon hard times and if they can take advantage of their fellow citizens for a brief period of time to get back on their feet well fuck it i won't stop them, but im not going to be encouraging it and if it turns out they never wind up back on their feet, well.... that's not a problem with capitalism, it's a problem with the person.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 9 Apr 2009, 20:07
    Of course it's possible. It worked in Spain.

    By the way, Libertarian Socialism = Anarchism.

  • Anarchism has absolutely nothing to do with socialism, in fact it's more or less the complete opposite with the difference being that full blown anarchism doesn't rule out the use of force.

    Anybody with half a brain should be able to grasp that you can't have anarchy and government at the same time. That's the point.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 10 Apr 2009, 08:57
    It all depends on how you understand the meaning of 'socialism'. It can be used as a synonym for statist communism or it can be used to describe a social structure without classes (i.e. equality of condition) in which means of production are under workers' control.

    Lenin and Stalin have nothing to do with it. In fact, many people state neither Lenin nor Stalin were socialists.

  • In anarchism, the means of production are in the hands of the guy holding the gun

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • You're confusing anarchism with the common interpertation of anarchy, i.e. lawlessness and political disorder. In an anarchist society, there is no state as such, every socially relevant decision (e.g. what to do with a "criminal") is made by all concerned members of the community via direct democracy.

    Anarchism can indeed be socialist, and most forms of anarchism are, as they suggest to share means of production. "Libertarianism" was a synonym for anarchism long before American economic liberals hijacked the term, btw. Nonetheless, I wouldn't say that libertarian socialism and anarchism are the same thing (despite the fact that they are often used interchangeably), for one because there are forms of anarchism that are definitely not socialist (e.g. anarcho-capitalism), for another because anarchism predominantly stresses the abolishment of the state, whereas libertarian socialism predominantly stresses the introduction of a socialist economy. Moderate libertarian socialists (such as myself) will call for a decentralization and minimization of the state, but not for its abolishment. I, for one, hold certain public institutions to be necessary.

  • Who says democracy is the way to go though, either on practical or on ethical grounds?

    Democracy supposes that the majority is always right; more often than not it isn't so where does that leave us.

    I don't recognize anybody's right to vote over my life, it really is as simple as that.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • Who is anyone to decide for everyone that the majority is not right? You're anti-collectivism is concerned about groups enforcing their will against the will of individuals, but a non-democratic form of government implies that there is a minority which has the power to enforce their will against the will of the majority - how could that possibly be justified if it wasn't the people that gave them that power in the first place? And since we can't assume that every individual of the people will agree on who or what system is suited best to deal with government affairs, how else is their will to be determined other than by majority vote?

    That would vindicate representative democracy, anarchists are even more consequent: they hold that whenever a minority (being elected representatives or not) enforce their will against the will of the majority, they are NOT representing the people and thus are misusing the power given to them. This can only be avoided via direct democracy.

    I'm sure you assume that the masses don't know what's best for them, that they are an ignorant bunch of Joe and Jane Averages that can't be trusted to collectively make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone. But the unfortunate truth is NO ONE can be trusted to make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone (least of all elitist ethical egoists with a contempt for the masses - such as yourself, if you pardon my saying so). Anarchism attempts to countervail this by decentralizing the decision-making process: instead of everyone deciding on every topic, only the people involved participate. Worker cooperations democratically decide on the goals and policies of their enterprise, community councils democratically decide on their own politics, etc. So if you can't live with your councils' decisions, you can always switch. The more individualist forms of anarchism also often propose certain rights that may not be overruled by majorities.

  • What?

    Screw the majority, I say if you want to form a group and have majority votes on how to arrange your lives be my guest, but what makes you think I'd change my mind on something I have good reasons to believe in and which does not physicly hurt other people, even if literally every single other person in the world is against it?

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • I was just giving a quick outline on anarchism - as I've said, I wouldn't consider myself a full-blooded anarchist, so no need to get worked up. As for the type of libertarian socialism I advocate, of course you don't ever have to change your mind, but you'd probably find yourself running out of business pretty soon if you attempt to pay workers to do your work for you when they can use public or leased means of production to produce their own products.

    But even other forms of anarchism and libertarian socialism that are less tolerant towards capitalists have a point. After all, physical harm is not the only harm in the world. A system that establishes a plutocratic elite that lives of the back of the working class while pretending to be doing them a favour is not one that acts in the best interest of everyone, as a socio-economic system should.

    I find it interesting that the most convicted classical liberals usually tend to think very little of democracy. It kind of exposes their elitism. It's as if they were aware that the one thing that would endanger their privileged economical status is when the masses become aware that they are being ripped off.

  • moismyname said:
    you'd probably find yourself running out of business pretty soon if you attempt to pay workers to do your work for you when they can use public or leased means of production to produce their own products.


    I see what you're getting at, however I am convinced that this wouldn't be the case; I'll tell you why.

    Cooperatives. Look at how well they've done over time.

    That's the thing, it takes more than muscle and machines to produce something. What matters most is organisation, and good organisation requires efficiency. Efficiency in turn requires a profit motive, and we're back at square one.

    And even so, for all I care erect a few factories and donate them to the state and see how it goes, that still doesn't give you any basis to demand anything from (people like) me who disagree and will give it a try as they see fit, regardless of your good intentions.

    After all, physical harm is not the only harm in the world. A system that establishes a plutocratic elite that lives of the back of the working class while pretending to be doing them a favour is not one that acts in the best interest of everyone, as a socio-economic system should.

    You say it should, I say it should not, on what do you base your moral supremacy to decide what is "in the best interest of everyone" or what a socio-economic system "should or should not" do. Clearly there are different opinions on the matter, which is why I say that that's exactly the point: leave everybody free to arrange their affairs as they see fit, I won't hinder anybody who does not hinder me.

    I find it interesting that the most convicted classical liberals usually tend to think very little of democracy. It kind of exposes their elitism. It's as if they were aware that the one thing that would endanger their privileged economical status is when the masses become aware that they are being ripped off.

    I never said anything about not being elitist. I'm as elitist as it gets.

    The question is what do you base this elite on, as an elite cannot be avoided, just like you cannot stop oil and water from separating.

    Do you opt for an elite that gets where it is through industriousness and intelligence, do you opt for an elite based on use of force, or do you opt for an elite based on political power focused at the fingertips of "the first citizen" who knows how to play the masses best (which is de facto an elite of force).

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • dyingdreams said:
    Cooperatives. Look at how well they've done over time.

    That's the thing, it takes more than muscle and machines to produce something. What matters most is organisation, and good organisation requires efficiency. Efficiency in turn requires a profit motive, and we're back at square one.
    Cooperatives aren't less efficient than private businesses, on the contrary, they are usually more efficient because all worker-owners have a profit motive. The reason why cooperatives haven't spread like wildfire is because they still need capital, and not many people are willing to provide the capital without demanding at least a substantial part of the profits. If the community were obliged to provide the means of production at not-for-profit conditions, THEN cooperatives would spread like wildfire and make private businesses extinct.

    You say it should, I say it should not, on what do you base your moral supremacy to decide what is "in the best interest of everyone" or what a socio-economic system "should or should not" do. A government either does it's best to govern in the interest of the people (i.e. everyone), or it does it's best to govern in the interest of an elite, in which case the non-elite have no reason to accept that government's authority and every reason to overthrow it. Simple pragmatics, moral supremacy has nothing to do with it.

    I never said anything about not being elitist. I'm as elitist as it gets. I know, and I know you know. That doesn't make it any better.

    The question is what do you base this elite on, as an elite cannot be avoided, just like you cannot stop oil and water from separating.Why not? Where is it written in stone that there can't be a classless society? Show me the mathematical proof, please!

    When private businesses have become extinct and we're all worker-owners in cooperatives, when we all directly participate in the democratic decision-making process without powerful representatives, when we all have individualist rights, including guaranteed access to means of production, THEN we have a classless society! Who would be there to form an elite?

    Btw, your elite is by no means founded on intelligence. "Business smart" at best, money, social networks, class mentality and socially accepted ruthlessness and greed at worst.

  • moismyname said:
    Cooperatives aren't less efficient than private businesses, on the contrary, they are usually more efficient because all worker-owners have a profit motive.


    Really, do you have some data to back that up? I've never seen any where cooperatives turn out to be more efficient.

    Also, the profit motive isn't there since they aren't the ones directly gaining more by working harder.

    I don't see why "the community" would be "obliged" to provide them with anything though, that's the whole point. If you want to set up your magically efficient cooperation and worker-owned factory, I'm not stopping you. But before you do maybe take a glance at history to see how you'll probably end up with it.

    A government either does it's best to govern in the interest of the people (i.e. everyone), or it does it's best to govern in the interest of an elite, in which case the non-elite have no reason to accept that government's authority and every reason to overthrow it. Simple pragmatics, moral supremacy has nothing to do with it.

    Morality has everything to do with it. What you say to be "in the best interest of everybody" isn't what I consider to be in "the best interest of everybody", which brings us back to the same thing again: leave everybody free to decide for themselves and don't force anything on anyone; if you want to get a group together with people you think aim for similar goals, be my guest, you'd have the option to do so.

    In any collectivist system though, that option is not there. Then what's best?

    Where is it written in stone that there can't be a classless society? Show me the mathematical proof, please!

    It's human nature, I feel better than 75% of the world's population, and left to my own devises chances are pretty good to relatively certain that I'll come out on top regardless, so there you have it, classes never disappeared and they won't as long as there are better and worse people out there.

    When private businesses have become extinct and we're all worker-owners in cooperatives, when we all directly participate in the democratic decision-making process without powerful representatives, when we all have individualist rights, including guaranteed access to means of production, THEN we have a classless society! Who would be there to form an elite?

    Me and people like me, after your whole structure collapses or during, as you please.

    Guaranteed access to means of production combined with individual rights? And where will these guaranteed means of production come from exactly? The community? But I don't want to work for the community, so where does that leaves us if it'll have to rob or force me if it wants to obtain anything at all from me?

    Btw, your elite is by no means founded on intelligence. "Business smart" at best, money, social networks, class mentality and socially accepted ruthlessness and greed at worst.

    Society has nothing to accept or condone, a rat's ass for society's approval. Again, this is the whole point of the matter. Don't get me wrong, I like the civilized world, I just think socialism is reverting it to barbarism at worst and slowing it down at least.

    "Business smart" does not equal intelligence to you? Poor dumb self-made men, if only they realized their stupidity compared to the savants who can't sell 10€ for 5.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
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