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Emergence Anarcho-Capitalism

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Birthday Pony Posted: Thu, Jun 23 2011 1:12 AM
Hello there, I'm new to the forums here, so I'll take a minute to introduce myself along with the discussion I hope to start. I'm an Anarchist. I consider myself relatively unaffiliated, by which I mead I don't necessarily adhere to one school over another. I came to Anarchism and anti-authoritarianism by way of culture, my community, and life experience, not via theory; although I am trying to become a little more versed in the nuances of Anarchist theory, which brings me to my question. I'm familiar with how the majority of the Anarchist movement characterizes the emergence of anarcho-capitalism, but not sure how anarcho-capitalists themselves actually view their relation to the rest of the anarchist movement. I've heard this is the place to find ancaps so I'm just interested in what the ancaps here have to say on how anarcho-capitalism relates historically, politically, and economically to anarchist history and the current anarchist movement. I'm sure plenty of anarchists have come on here simply to bait and start flame wars, but I'm really just interested because I have not had many discussions with ancaps. Just hoping to enlighten myself.
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Conza88 replied on Thu, Jun 23 2011 2:30 AM

Welcome to the forums!

"I'm familiar with how the majority of the Anarchist movement characterizes the emergence of anarcho-capitalism, but not sure how anarcho-capitalists themselves actually view their relation to the rest of the anarchist movement. I've heard this is the place to find ancaps so I'm just interested in what the ancaps here have to say on how anarcho-capitalism relates historically, politically, and economically to anarchist history and the current anarchist movement."

I'd be interested in why this matters?

My take.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Like I said, I'm exploring theory more now than I have in the past. I've made fairly decent connections between existing movements and historical movements, but the only mention I have heard of anarcho-capitalism is from those who are vehemently opposed to it. So, I'm trying to go right to anarcho-capitalists to see what they actually have to say. The thread you linked to was not exactly what I was looking for. I'm not concerned with whether or not Rothbard's anarcho-capitalism is "true" anarchism, but what historical thread ties it to the early anarchist movement from the perspective of an ancap, not Iain Mckay paraphrasing. Now, that's not to say I won't ask questions or engage, but I'm not just trying to bait people into a flame war if that's what you're thinking.
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James replied on Thu, Jun 23 2011 4:26 AM

You might be interested in this little video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqUiE-vJ-64

Bill Whittle on a "Tale of Two Revolutions".  It goes into the history of the "constrained", or right-hand path of philosophy represented by the classical liberal thinkers and the American Revolution, versus the "unconstrained", or left-hand path philosophers of the French Revolution.   Rousseau, Marx, Malthus etc represent the latter... I think of them as the 'dark', or anti-human philosophers, united in their conviction that humans are a disease or blemish upon the Earth, and that mutually beneficial human interaction is inherently undesirable, especially on a large scale.  They believe that their quality of life is threatened unjustly by the peaceful activities, and often mere presence, of their fellow human beings.

Rothbardian 'anarchism' is a development of the right-hand, 'constrained' revolutionary lexicon.

You might also be interested in this little piece by Rothbard:  The Origins of Individualism in The US.

http://mises.org/daily/2014

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
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The way i see is, which is not neccessarily correct nor held by all an-caps. We had people in history that laid claim to creating anarchist theory. Then we have others that distort anarchist theory by mixing it with such theories as communism and collectivism. If you take the opinion that capitalism exists without the state, which does not fit the marxism/socialist definition of capitalism. If you take the opinion that capitalism is the default economic system. Then basic anarchism would in fact be anarcho capitalism. The way I saw it was that anarchism was always anarcho-capitalism, Rothbard just coined the term to differentiate it from all the other ridiculous types of anarchism to make it more clear. Voluntaryism and anarchism are the same thing as they are both based on the non initiation of force principle. As capitalism is loosely defined as the voluntary trade between two or more parties. Voluntaryism is essentially anarcho-capitalism. As soon as you have a party (like a state of some kind) that initiates force (regulations, tariffs, taxes) then it is no longer anarchism or capitalism. Anarchist principles and capitalism in its raw forms have been around before they were labelled anarchism and capitalism and before people developed it in to a philosophy or political theory. But within an anarcho-capitalism society or region, people would be free to setup a communist community or town, as long as people are free to leave and join the town as they please. But then people would like to call that communist-anarchy. But realy that is just a communist community within an anarchy region. It is not communist anarchy. But they would definitely run in to some problems as the communist towns or community would conflict with the larger societies laws on property rights and similar and thus they would have to give up their rights by entering and joining the communist town. But that is a whole different topic. But I repeat that is not the general belief held by anarcho caps just my own view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_schools_of_thought

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Eric080 replied on Thu, Jun 23 2011 10:39 AM

Historically:  I've seen many people on these boards and elsewhere who are fans of Max Stirner, Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, or William Godwin.  This is pretty much the individualist wing of the anarchist movement.  However, many anarcho-capitalists have also read and/or sympathize with some of the things they may hear from an Emma Goldman or Proudhon or Chomsky.

 

Politically:  Well, an-caps are fine so long as no system is forced on others and it keeps the peace.  Anarcho-communists can have their communes, syndicalists can have their co-ops, and capitalists can exchange value for value so long as nobody threatens each other.  I think often times these schools get rammed against each other so much that they forgot how much in common they have in opposition to the State.  I should add though that I think these are for different reasons; many left-anarchists are against hierarchy whereas the an-caps beef is only against coercion.  They don't see a moral issue with natural hierarchies.

 

Economically:  Obviously a lot different than other anarchists since they feel that private property is the engine for all economic development.  Marxists think that the capitalist will wither away without the State whereas the an-caps feel that the capitalist has an inflated standing due to assistance from the State.  Again there is some agreement between the two schools that "big business" has too much control, but they differ wildly on the diagnosis and the remedy.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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I'm a bit confused. First, I don't understand equating Marxists to Anarchists that are in the vein of Baukunin, Proudhon, or Kropotkin. They were all critics of Marx, and certainly not Marxists. The second thing I don't get is the assumption that Capitalism is the "default economic system," especially from individualist Anarchists since capitalism came to rise much more slowly in the states. Capitalism most definitely has a definition that spans beyond "voluntary trade," and in all my time I've never heard someone reduce it to that and that alone. From what I understand both individualists in the US and social anarchists in Europe were responding to the rise of wage labor and the land monopoly. So capitalism at the beginning of Tucker's time was, in fact, very new. And lastly, I thought Tucker considered himself a socialist?
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Definition of capitalism

For ancaps, capitalism means free markets without any type of corporatism/socialism/collectivism. So if you define capitalism as corporatism (as many left anarchists do), note that this is a difference in definition.

Land ownership

Ancaps have no problems with land ownership as we believe that mixing your own labor with land ("homesteading") makes it yours (if you are the first one, after that it's property to be traded). Every organism just takes from nature what it needs and advanced organisms communicate within their own groups to achieve mutual benefit in working together. Homesteading + Free trade in land is simply the most efficient way to achieve the max possible benefit.

Rise of wage labor

Wage labor is indeed much more prevalent today that it is in earlier (and poorer!) times, but it's not because of some corporatist conspiracy. An economy develops as people save and invest capital in innovative products that make life more productive. The industrial revolution provided massive opportunities for increased productivity through capital investment. Farmers could sell the farm and move to the city to make more money working in a factory. (Note that today in developing economies so called "sweatshops" pay higher salaries than those laborers can make farming.)

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(excuse me if html codes show up. I'm still learning how to format posts here)

That definition of capitalism has a problem though. The individualists called themselves socialists, yet supported free markets. So if capitalism is "free markets without any type of corporatism/socialism/collectivism," then the individualists are disqualified, since they were socialists, and all that is left is capitalism. So we're left with capitalism is free markets with capitalism. If capitalism is simply trade without the state, then so be it, but we're still left with an obvious divide between anarchists that favor worker's federations with mutual banking, Tuckerites who support occupancy/use property yet oppose the ownership of unused land, and communism on one hand and anarcho-capitalists on the other. So there must be something that is more definitive to capitalism than simply "trade." From the perspective of most sociologists and historians (not necessarily anarchists) the difference is capitalism's system of wage labor, (at least that is what I've gathered from my years in school, something I feel a bit more comfortable about than my familiarity with the nuance of anarchist theory). Is it that or is that not correct and why?

Perhaps I should be a little more clear. My understanding of anarcho-capitalism (on a very basic scale) is somewhat adequate. What I am unclear on is how it is a continuation in the discussion Anarchists have been having since the late 18th century. The only material I've yet to find on it is from anti-capitalist anarchists, individualist and social alike, who obviously have a bias against it.
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Phaedros replied on Thu, Jun 23 2011 7:59 PM

If you define capitalism as the collusion between state and capital then that's what you're getting from many anarchists. Capitalism is many things to many people. The best way I have seen it defined was by Hans Herman Hoppe where the system of capitalism is the respect for and upholding of private property while socialism is marked by systemic transgressions against private property.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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That definition seems to be tied up in strictly capitalist definitions of private property, which anarchists of all stripes (and societies over time, for that matter) have certainly debated. Proudhon and Tucker had ideas of what is legitimate private property and what is not and made clear distinctions between types of property. Kropotkin's idea of legitimate property may have clashed with Proudhon's and Proudhon's with Tucker's, but of those three at least Proudhon and Tucker had definitions of what kind of private property is legitimate. So socialism may be a transgression of what capitalists consider to be property, but that doesn't mean that it opposes all property.
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Phaedros replied on Fri, Jun 24 2011 2:25 AM

Is there private property in socialism? Wasn't aware of that.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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By default economic system, I mean it is the natural economic state. The example of people on an island is used by Rothbard in Ethics of Liberty chapter 6 and 7. He does not use the term default economic system, that is something i have made up. Socialism and communism require an authority and thus are not the default economic system. Those systems require a third party to create a political authority over other people in order to arrange the system. While capitalism existed before man had even defined the word capitalism. Primitive people were trading goods between tribes centuries before the term capitalism was invented.

You might argue that there was communist tribes before communism was invented. But realy a tribe that worked together and shared the fruits of their labour were not actually communist. They were in a capitalist system that shared their goods amongst their family and community.

Even within the communist states in history we had capitalism, for example in communist russia people still traded vodka and cigs on the blackmarket.

A black market developed for goods that were particularly sought after but constantly underproduced (such as cigarettes).

http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/six.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Soviet_Union#Planning

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What I am unclear on is how it is a continuation in the discussion Anarchists have been having since the late 18th century.

Anarcho-capitalism just isn't what you described though.  It began as continuation of the liberal tradition of minimal government and free markets.  I think there are striking resemblances between ancap and 19th century individualist anarchism, and it may very well be that Spooner has more in common with Rothbard than with Kropotkin, but its not like individual anarchists evolved into capitalists.  It was that laissez-faire liberals applied their own principals (primarily that a monoply provision of any good--including law and order--is bad)  consistently enough to reach an anti-state position.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

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Private Property in Socialism
Proudhon, a socialist, who is most famous for his saying "property is theft," also said, in the same book, that property is liberation.Tucker most certainly supported private property, yet was also a socialist. If you really want your mind blown, here's Marx:
Political economy confuses, on principle, two very different kinds of private property, one of which rests on the labour of the producer himself, and the other on the exploitation of the labour of others. It forgets that the latter is not only the direct antithesis of the former, but grows on the former's tomb and nowhere else.
These two kinds of property are a pretty common thread throughout socialism, in mutualism, individualism, and communism.

Capitalism as the natural economic state
That has no basis in reality whatsoever. We could of course make up hypothetical situations between two people on an island that reinvent capitalism, but it would not reflect history at all. It would be ludicrous to call hunter/gatherer societies capitalistic at all. After that were small settlements with property more based on beating the shit out of someone or god's will than homesteading or trade. Capitalism is definitely the dominant economic system, but not the "natural" one.
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Sorry for the double post (I don't know how to edit posts on this board).
Socialism and communism require an authority and thus are not the default economic system.
Let's pretend that's true. Then why aren't socialist anarchists capitalists? They do not support authority and their proposed theories have been voluntary (despite what folks here may believe). That definition is simply useless. There is obviously a very distinct divide between anarcho-capitalists and socialist anarchists, even if we accept that definition. Accepting that definition simply turns socialist anarchists into capitalists and does absolutely nothing to explain how they differ.
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I can not say that I have ever seen an anarchist quote marx before. That is not two kinds of private property, the property of the producer is the producers property and the property of a laborer is the property of a laborer. The labor of other people that work for the producer, offer their services in return for money or compensation. The labor is only exploitation and a private property extension of the producer when there is no compensation ie slavery.

If you remove the government from any region, economic wise you will be left with a free market or otherwise called capitalism. Capitalism can be decentralized and does not require a government to setup and arrange the system. What is ludicrous is that you think that primitive man did not engage in capitalism and whilst in small settlements people beat the shit out of each other rather than trade. If you study the tribes of africa and south america, they were not socialist, they engaged in barter and this is well documented. If capitalism is not the natural economic state then what is ?

Socialist anarchists capitalists? are you trolling? Firstly you can not have socialist anarchists because they are incompatible terms. Unless you have your own definition of what socialism is. But lets pretend that such a system or ideology of socialist anarchists could exist. Then the answer would be, they would not be capitalist because they are socialist.

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"I can not say that I have ever seen an anarchist quote marx before."
Only to show that even one of the most authoritarian socialists of the time had a theory of property that was much more nuanced than simply abolishing it. The point being, that all economic theories have ideas about what kind of property is legitimate. Socialism only disregards certain types of private property as much as capitalism disregards certain types of public property (or capitalism upholds private property and socialism upholds public property, if we want to look at the two in a positive light). Property theory is never as clear cut as all or nothing.

"Socialist anarchists capitalists? are you trolling?"
I am not trolling, but you have picked up on the paradoxical nature of defining capitalism as voluntary trade. Defining capitalism as "voluntary trade" leads us to this:
Capitalism is voluntary trade
All anarchists support voluntary trade (which would include socialist anarchists)
Socialist anarchists are capitalists.
Now do you see the problem with that definition?
"But lets pretend that such a system or ideology of socialist anarchists could exist. Then the answer would be, they would not be capitalist because they are socialist."
It seems as though you do..

"Firstly you can not have socialist anarchists because they are incompatible terms. Unless you have your own definition of what socialism is."
The 1950's were the first time someone identified as both an anarchist and not a socialist. How unfamiliar with anarchist history are you?

"If capitalism is not the natural economic state then what is ?"
I don't purport to know this, and as much as you may beg the question, my only point is that a relatively new economic system is most likely not the dominant one. It is, indeed, true that hunter/gatherers traded, but their interpretation of property, labor, and the like was absolutely nowhere near modern capitalist interpretations.
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"a relatively new economic system is most likely not the dominant one," should read, "a relatively new economic system is most likely not the default one."
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Phaedros replied on Fri, Jun 24 2011 8:40 PM

There aren't "new economic systems". Economics is economics, there are only different political arrangements of capital.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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Why do I feel like you've missed the point?
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Phaedros replied on Sat, Jun 25 2011 12:41 AM

I didn't really want to or care to get "the" point. I was just pointing that out.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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If I concede to the definition of capitalism that seems to be the popular one here, then I must accept a contradiction. Socialist anarchists support voluntary trade, and if capitalism is voluntary trade, then socialists support capitalism. How is that definition useful, or am I missing something?
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Phaedros replied on Sat, Jun 25 2011 2:19 AM

Socialists don't accept voluntary trade. They can't because then there would be some perceived inequality that arises (that is, according to them).

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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I'm not sure what connection is between those two things.

Proudhon, Tucker, and even some syndicalists for that matter, did not oppose inequal compensation for labor, if that's what perceived inequality you mean. I don't understand what is involuntary about social anarchist theory.
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Phaedros replied on Sat, Jun 25 2011 2:57 AM

The connection is that as soon as there is some perceived inequality that occurs collectivists and socialists will call for some third party to rectify the situation. I had a lot more typed up but my browser crashed so so much for that.

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I'm still not getting it, and it may very well be my fault, but that just seems like a whole lot of vague speculation. What do you mean by perceived inequality? What perceived inequality? Most socialists did not endorse 100% labor compensation equality, nor did they equate equality to sameness. What "third party?" The state? They're anarchists, and absolutely no anarchist theory has ever endorsed or supported the state. Socialist anarchists have a history of not cooperating with the state while authoritarian socialists did.
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Phaedros replied on Sat, Jun 25 2011 3:16 AM

What is the essential difference you see between anarcho-capitalists and social anarchists or collectivist anarchists?

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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Birthday Pony:
"I can not say that I have ever seen an anarchist quote marx before."
Only to show that even one of the most authoritarian socialists of the time had a theory of property that was much more nuanced than simply abolishing it. The point being, that all economic theories have ideas about what kind of property is legitimate. Socialism only disregards certain types of private property as much as capitalism disregards certain types of public property (or capitalism upholds private property and socialism upholds public property, if we want to look at the two in a positive light). Property theory is never as clear cut as all or nothing.

"Socialist anarchists capitalists? are you trolling?"
I am not trolling, but you have picked up on the paradoxical nature of defining capitalism as voluntary trade. Defining capitalism as "voluntary trade" leads us to this:
Capitalism is voluntary trade
All anarchists support voluntary trade (which would include socialist anarchists)
Socialist anarchists are capitalists.
Now do you see the problem with that definition?
"But lets pretend that such a system or ideology of socialist anarchists could exist. Then the answer would be, they would not be capitalist because they are socialist."
It seems as though you do..

"Firstly you can not have socialist anarchists because they are incompatible terms. Unless you have your own definition of what socialism is."
The 1950's were the first time someone identified as both an anarchist and not a socialist. How unfamiliar with anarchist history are you?

"If capitalism is not the natural economic state then what is ?"
I don't purport to know this, and as much as you may beg the question, my only point is that a relatively new economic system is most likely not the dominant one. It is, indeed, true that hunter/gatherers traded, but their interpretation of property, labor, and the like was absolutely nowhere near modern capitalist interpretations.
What was their interpretation?

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Phaedros replied on Sat, Jun 25 2011 3:28 AM

You seem to believe that anarchist socialists did not disapprove of private property. Ok then what's the problem?

You say inequality is also not a problem for socialists of any stripe or at least of all stripes (not really true but ok). Again, then what's the problem?

The essential difference that I can pick out is that anarcho-capitalists begin at the rational starting point of the individual whereas social anarchists stress the collective over the individual. Logically, then, actions in a socialist "anarchist" society will not always be voluntary as the "commune" is held up above the individual.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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Anarcho-capitalists don't have a problem with natural hierarchy, only the artificial political one.

Socialist anarchists have a problem with both natural and artificial hierarchy, hence there childish focus on cooperation, communes and other egalitarian solutions.

Than they get mad when in a free market less egalitarian shareholder structures outcompete them in serving the people's needs and wants.

Rather than making an effort to understand the time value of money and the capital structure in an economy, they smoke some more pot, destroy a shop window or start arguing on a message board that anarcho-capitalists don't understand where they are coming from because some dude somewhere, sometime had a different meaning for some terms they use.

You can't change nature honey. Get over it.

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"I can not say that I have ever seen an anarchist quote marx before."
Only to show that even one of the most authoritarian socialists of the time had a theory of property that was much more nuanced than simply abolishing it. The point being, that all economic theories have ideas about what kind of property is legitimate. Socialism only disregards certain types of private property as much as capitalism disregards certain types of public property (or capitalism upholds private property and socialism upholds public property, if we want to look at the two in a positive light). Property theory is never as clear cut as all or nothing.

You say nuance I say distorted. ie Marx had a distorted view of property. Capitalism and socialism both acknowledge public and private property as being one being owned by the state and another being owned by a private party. Property theory (or better, property rights) is quite clear from an an-cap perspective, even within a system with a state.

"Socialist anarchists capitalists? are you trolling?"
I am not trolling, but you have picked up on the paradoxical nature of defining capitalism as voluntary trade. Defining capitalism as "voluntary trade" leads us to this:
Capitalism is voluntary trade
All anarchists support voluntary trade (which would include socialist anarchists)
Socialist anarchists are capitalists.
Now do you see the problem with that definition?
"But lets pretend that such a system or ideology of socialist anarchists could exist. Then the answer would be, they would not be capitalist because they are socialist."
It seems as though you do..

If capitalism is not loosely defined as voluntary trade then you must concede that it has to be defined as involuntary because there is no other option, but of course capitalism is not involuntary trade. The actual definition of capitalism; An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. Involuntary trade would be trade that is done against the will or done without the conscious control of one of more parties involved. Involuntary trade could be called theft or taxation or in some cases blackmail. Once trade becomes involuntary then it no longer can be considered capitalism or a free market.

Like I said "socialist anarchist" are incompatible because socialism requires involuntary trade or coercion as its main function. Socialism definition (standard dictionary definition, not an cap definition) A political and economic theory of that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. This means in real terms that a third party (like a government) will have to own and regulate a service or "good" (production, distribution, and exchange) of another party. Which amounts to involuntary trade. Which means that socialism and anarchism are incompatible because anarchism is about voluntary trade and non coercion, ie no third party be it the government or the "community" has a right to own and regulate the means of production, distribution, and exchange.

"Firstly you can not have socialist anarchists because they are incompatible terms. Unless you have your own definition of what socialism is."
The 1950's were the first time someone identified as both an anarchist and not a socialist. How unfamiliar with anarchist history are you?

"If capitalism is not the natural economic state then what is ?"
I don't purport to know this, and as much as you may beg the question, my only point is that a relatively new economic system is most likely not the dominant one. It is, indeed, true that hunter/gatherers traded, but their interpretation of property, labour, and the like was absolutely nowhere near modern capitalist interpretations.

Well it was kind of a trick question because the natural economic state is capitalist or free markets. Of course "modern capitalist interpretation" has developed the definitions and theories around property, labour but the very basic nature of capitalism has not changed since the days of primitive man ie. They had a sense of property rights, they knew what they owned and what they did not and what was not owned. They knew that if they hunted and got some meat that they owned it. Which in principle is still the same today.

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Hi,

I'm new here. I too am more familiar with the socialist anarchist tradition than with the capitalist one. So I'm finding this thread interesting.

Maybe I can clear up a few definitional differences. Socialist anarchists do not consider state owned property to be "commonly owned." While such property is nominally owned and managed "in the interests of the public," it may in fact be that only a few individuals exert any control over it. Thus, anarchists often refer to countries such as the USSR as state capitialist. Such countries are run like a giant corporation for the profit of those who actually own the country (i.e. the state bureaucrats).

Ivan Illich classified institutions by their placement on a left-right continuum. On the right, he put what he called "manipulative institutions." These include the military, schools, and automobile manufacturers. The clients of such institutions must operate within them according to the dictates of the owner, and the institutions are organized as hierarchical bureaucracies. On the left, he place what he called "convivial instutions." At the left extreme are sidewalks, parks, and telephone lines. The clients of such institutions have freedom to use these as they see fit. 

Anarchists generally equate these left institutions with their view of socialism. A modern institution close to socialism would be Wikipedia. It's an institution run collectively by its users. The users actually participate in regulating and creating content for it. And they all stand on a roughly equal plane. Their influence is determined by how much time they put into it. By contrast, a "public" school is run much more in the manner of serving private interests. The teachers and administrators have near total control over how the institution is to be used. They teach children to be submissive to authority, competitive with their peers, and to see reality as something which they must conform to--basically all the features that a profit-oriented culture would demand from its people.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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There's so much logical fallacy, projection, and flat out ignorance of socialist anarchist theory flying around I'm almost overwhelmed (almost). I honestly have no idea where the idea of socialist anarchists placing the "commune" (as if all socialists are communists) over the individual comes from, especially considering that the individualists were socialists.

And for the sake of argument, let's pretend like socialists as a whole do favor the commune over the individual. If all individuals are involved voluntarily and of their own will do so, what's the problem? I don't understand how a choice an individual makes like favoring one thing over another implies force or coercion. Use carrots for example. Even if the vast majority of people favor carrots over apples, that doesn't imply that they would force the few apple lovers into eating carrots instead. That just doesn't make any logical sense.

The fact that socialists were not against and in some cases supported private property (a much different variety from the capitalist concept of it, however), just goes to show that the presence or absence of an idea of private property is not enough to differentiate socialists from capitalists. Property is much more complex than all or nothing.

"Capitalism and socialism both acknowledge public and private property as being one being owned by the state and another being owned by a private party."
That is just not true at all. Read What is Property?, The Conquest of Bread, or anything by Tucker. All three are socialist books or works. All three have slightly different views of property. And none of them follow that definition at all.

My argument is not that capitalism is involuntary trade, but that voluntary trade is not an adequate feature of capitalism, nor is a take on private property. I have my own ideas about what is, but like I said, my opinions on the matter have been heavily informed by socialists. So I came here to see what you all thought was the definitive feature of capitalism. All I've received has been definitions that are so broad they would encompass socialists into capitalism or logically flawed.

Now, let me try again with an example we have been using. Some socialists (usually communists) have pointed to hunter/gatherer societies as an example of a primitive communism, yet here I'm hearing that it was actually capitalism. The only reason I have been given why is that there was voluntary trade. My point is that socialist anarchists, by virtue of pointing to hunter/gatherers as an example, clearly support voluntary trade. That is why I don't think that is an adequate definition!
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As an after thought that I just had as to why I might not be clear, when I say socialism I by no means mean state ownership of the means of production or anything like that. I use it as those who call themselves socialists have used it, as a philosophy aimed at solving the so-called "labour problem," which encompassed many different, sometimes opposing, philosophies. So socialist anarchists do not support state ownership of everything (since they're, you know, anarchists) and none of their theory has ever supported that.
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What is the "labor problem"?

 

The older I get, the less I know.
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Fool on the Hill:
A modern institution close to socialism would be Wikipedia. It's an institution run collectively by its users. The users actually participate in regulating and creating content for it. And they all stand on a roughly equal plane. Their influence is determined by how much time they put into it.

Ironically, the founder of wikipedia was a student of Mark Thornton's (an anarcho-capitalist) and was very influenced by Hayek's ideas on spontaneous order. 

EDIT: Jimmy Wales also identifies himself as an Objectivist and libertarian.  So... that makes your comment even more ironic.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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Socialist anarachists often divide property into capital (those used for production) and possessions (those used for consumption). From my understanding*, individualist anarachists and mutualists support the private ownership of possessions. They believe, however, that capital must be commonly owned among those who use it for production. This means that a family who owns a farm can work that farm themselves, claim the produce they grew as their own, and then sell the produce on the market. However, if they want to get someone else to help them with the work, they would have to accept that person as a co-owner rather than paying him or her a wage. One of the primary goals of socialism is to eliminate wages, rents, and interests.

Anarcho-communists take it a step further and support the common ownership of possessions--at least when such possessions are not in use.

*I'm not really an expert on the subject yet, so I may be misrepresenting their position.

 

 

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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If all individuals are involved voluntarily and of their own will do so, what's the problem? I don't understand how a choice an individual makes like favoring one thing over another implies force or coercion.


The problem is that Socialism does not allow for voluntary involvement. Socialism that is voluntary is no longer socialism. As the nature of socialism is about collectivising services and "goods". Socialism's idea of voluntary is; we will take the money whether you make use of the goods and services or not. To me that is not voluntary, voluntary to me means voluntary payment.


Property is not that complex, especially regarding the difference between public and private property within the current system. The sentence you quoted was not meant to be a definition of property. I was only pointing out that there was not much confusion when it comes to the different types of property within the current system.

Hunter/gatherer societies had none of the tenets of communism. Unless you go as far as to say that a family sharing their wealth is communist. The textbook book version of communism was definitely different than how communism ended up to be. Communism is against private property. That would mean that hunter/gatherer had no concept of individually owned property.

I never technically said that hunter/gatherers lived in a capitalist society. That might give people the idea that primitive people were making profits with money. But at some point they would have traded some meat for some berries and thought that they had made a profit. But other times they might have shared their produce with other people, but that was not communism. Sharing your produce with other people and communism are different things.

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"Socialism's idea of voluntary is; we will take the money whether you make use of the goods and services or not. To me that is not voluntary, voluntary to me means voluntary payment."
Which socialist anarchist advocated that? I defy you to find one who did.

"I never technically said that hunter/gatherers lived in a capitalist society. That might give people the idea that primitive people were making profits with money. But at some point they would have traded some meat for some berries and thought that they had made a profit. But other times they might have shared their produce with other people, but that was not communism. Sharing your produce with other people and communism are different things."
That's very reasonable. I wouldn't call a hunter/gatherer society an example of socialism either. My point is that it's not just capitalism or socialism, and the fact that capitalists here have claimed hunter/gatherers to be capitalistic and socialists elsewhere have claimed that they were socialistic just goes to show that both are having some trouble defining their systems.

"Property is not that complex"
Oh, but it is. It may surprise you to know that the advocacy of factory occupations follows very similar logic to capitalist advocacy of private ownership. The main difference is in regard to what kind of property is deemed legitimate. If occupancy and use are the qualities of legitimate property, the rest simply follows pretty simply:
Workers own the factory (by virtue of occ/use)
The so-called factory owner has made aggression upon their property
The workers are in their rights to expel him or her from the property
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