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Emergence Anarcho-Capitalism

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That's good.  It ought be rembered there isn't a real thing as some sociological "property right" in itself - homesteading is an elastic principle.  IAlso as a reminder whenever we talk about these things we are indeed talking about what can be said in a sociological format.  Hence any homesteading principle is very much the subject to the society where the custom prevails.  This is however legal theory (and on this we may be eye to eye to a degree). 

What I would like to point out though - is there are real laws of supply and demand.  If there is a demand for land owners and they are prevented from landlording, the consequences will not be good.  Landlording is laboring if it is unsubsidized and there is a profit (as is collecting interest).  Moreover they seem to have very vital functions to having a flourishing society.

Once again though, if you have a flexible and highly decentralized custom law, thereis no denying  cases where the communities natural empathies can perform local justice - as well as looking at other communities and laws.

here is a link to a previous talk on kind of those lines:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/22255.aspx 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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"Presumably, no capitalist would be concerned with working conditions, wages, and living conditions of people other than himself (including his workers)? (Why not?) Also, presumably, no worker (or even a socialist!) would save and build capital of his own, and turn himself into a capitalist? (Why not?)"

There have been exceptions. Kropotkin was a Prince (although his land was seized by the state and he had a warrant for his arrest), and plenty of people have become capitalists after working as laborers.

"In your opinion, are there socialists that do not fit (or would disgree with) this wikipedia definition?"

Early Anarchists such as Proudhon don't fit very nicely, and Tucker certainly doesn't either. The Mutualists that are still around today also don't fit perfectly in there. I would say that I can't think of any socialist opposed to common, public, or bilateral ownership of at least something.

"If this definition were to be found agreeable by most socialists, how is "the means of production [being] publicly or commonly owned and controlled co-operatively" compatible with voluntary trade, or voluntary anything, for that matter? "

I'm not sure I see the connection? In a case of joint ownership if all involved parties agree to own something in common I don't see where anything isn't voluntary.

"How would a socialist deal with individuals that refuse to voluntarily submit their "means of production" to the collective? In socialism, who (what body) maintains the catalogue of what is or is not a "means of production", i.e. of what can or can not be private property?"

The common misconception with anti-authoritarian socialism is that there is some collective deciding whether or not things are public or private. The first, and most glaring, problem with this is that most socialists are not collectivists. The second is that no socialist, just as no pro-capitalist, is proposing a rule of law, but rather a philosophy of something. It seems as though you cannot wrap your head around the idea of public ownership without imagining some sort of alien body that supposedly represents the public. The idea is that the public, all the people who use the thing, have control over it. How they decide to reconcile disagreements and such between them is their choice.

Anyway, to answer the first part of your question, they wouldn't "deal with" anything. They'd just let them go as long as they aren't violating someone else's property. The question is a double edged sword. How would capitalists deal with workers that refuse to recognize the capitalists claim to the means of production?

"Which aspects of your capitalism definition collide with voluntary trade?"

Neither of the definitions given collide with voluntary trade, and both can fit within it.

"In the case of socialists that support voluntary trade, what exactly are they in support of voluntarily being traded?"

Sorry for missing that one, but now that I see it I don't really know what you mean. Anarchist socialists, the socialists I'm concerned with, are in favor of voluntarily trading things, you know, stuff. Here's a bike for $10 or whatever.

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"What I would like to point out though - is there are real laws of supply and demand.  If there is a demand for land owners and they are prevented from landlording, the consequences will not be good.  Landlording is laboring if it is unsubsidized and there is a profit (as is collecting interest).  Moreover they seem to have very vital functions to having a flourishing society."

I can think of two kinds of landlords, one of which I see as acceptable, another of which I don't see surviving if worker's self-management became popular. The first is the owner occupier, who has a vested interest in the house, or is the one primarily working on the house. The second is the corporation or simply the land sitter. Someone or something that simply owns a house or houses and employs others to maintain it.

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Well economically speaking if people demand that someone can own a house with out living in it and charge rent, someone can, will, and prosper from owning a house and charging rent.  This is beneficial because the inter-subjectivee results is real human action, not talking about "oughts" that one can not really talk about with any universal validity.

Sociologically speaking the entrpreneur is at the mercy of the society that allows the custom of that specific type of ownership.  Ths is a fact.  All I can say is I hope it is obvious that the more decenteralized and autonomous the community is the better they will be able to come up with good custom, be flexible eough to tend to it's populations unique and personal needs, and  have more power to stop any "moral hazards", be they economically good or otherwise.

Universal languages have their limitations.  This stuff of actual action in real or future environments goes well beyond anything I can talk about other than quoting the Ludwig Lachmann maxim "the future is uncertain, but not unimaginable" 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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I agree with this. "if people demand that someone can own a house with out living in it and charge rent, someone can, will, and prosper from owning a house and charging rent." I'm not sure people would continue to desire a situation that would result in that, given working alternatives. But neither of us are in a position to debate that.

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z1235 replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 6:58 AM

Birthday Pony:
There have been exceptions. Kropotkin was a Prince (although his land was seized by the state and he had a warrant for his arrest), and plenty of people have become capitalists after working as laborers.

In your opinion, what % of the developed ("capitalist") world population today are (1) "workers", (2) "capitalists, or (3) "both"? For instance, I work for others, rent property/capital to/from others, and I invest, i.e. own "means of production" worked in/on by others. Which # am I?

I'm not sure I see the connection? In a case of joint ownership if all involved parties agree to own something in common I don't see where anything isn't voluntary.

Obviously, I was refering to the scenario where property was simply taken away from Individual (or Group) A by Group B without the former's consent.

The common misconception with anti-authoritarian socialism is that there is some collective deciding whether or not things are public or private. The first, and most glaring, problem with this is that most socialists are not collectivists.

Are most socialists individualists, then? How does someone exclusively support collective ownership of the "means of production" (or collective anything, for that matter) without being a collectivist? In other words, what makes those socialists non-collectivists?

The second is that no socialist, just as no pro-capitalist, is proposing a rule of law, but rather a philosophy of something. It seems as though you cannot wrap your head around the idea of public ownership without imagining some sort of alien body that supposedly represents the public. The idea is that the public, all the people who use the thing, have control over it. How they decide to reconcile disagreements and such between them is their choice.

First, "the public" = "the people who use the thing" = "pretty much everybody", correct? If Collective A who voluntarily owns "means of production" X (MOP X) voluntarily decides they would like to (instead or also) own MOP Y which is currently voluntarily owned by Collective B, how does a socialist propose that such property conflict gets resolved? If a worker decides that he's tired of his MOP (say, a pick-ax he's using to crush rocks in the sweltering sun) and would rather work with a different MOP (say, an air-conditioned iPhone factory), does he just show up and say: "Hey comrades, I'm here. What needs getting done"? What if 3000 such workers showed up in front of said MOP?

Anyway, to answer the first part of your question, they wouldn't "deal with" anything. They'd just let them go...

What do you mean "let them go"? After they take their property from them? 

...as long as they aren't violating someone else's property.

So after property is "properly" allocated then everyone can go on and become a capitalist, i.e. respect property and voluntary exchange of same? Neat plan.

The question is a double edged sword. How would capitalists deal with workers that refuse to recognize the capitalists claim to the means of production?

It's actually a single-edged sword. How do Jews deal with Nazis that refuse to recognize their claim to their own lives? How do full-haired people deal with bald people who refuse to recognize their claim to their hair and would scalp them instead? How does any Group A owning Property X deal with Group B refusing to recognize their claim to such ownership? (I have an answer. Do you?)

Neither of the definitions given collide with voluntary trade, and both can fit within it.

So defining capitalism as voluntary trade may not be that outlandish, after all.

"Anarchist socialists, the socialists I'm concerned with, are in favor of voluntarily trading things, you know, stuff. Here's a bike for $10 or whatever.

So the difference between a socialist (who's for voluntary trade) and a capitalist is merely in the former's more restrictive norms regarding what may or may not be individually owned, hence voluntarily traded by individuals. To such socialist, the only legitimate ownership of certain types of property is of the collective kind, that is belonging to the collective/group that "uses" them which may or may not include anyone who may decide to use them in the future. At the same time, they're not collectivists. Am I getting closer?

 

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Birthday Pony:
Not in the least. All actions being somehow implicitly backed by force only demonstrates that there is no default human behavior. There are always dissenters. One cannot hide behind a method of trade being the "default," especially considering the different systems that emerge. Unless we are now defining capitalism as "whatever humans do voluntarily."

So because some minority of people prefer to crawl around on all fours, we can't say that walking is a "default" human behavior? Indeed, by what you say above, it seems that living itself can't be called such.

Birthday Pony:
"That's a strawman of what I stated, and I think you know it. The reality I was talking about was the logical validity of the syllogism I presented."

Valid, yes (as I have conceded multiple times), sound no. The other syllogism about socialism that you've presented is also not sound, although it is logically valid. We may as well say:
Bananas are voluntary trade
Some self-styled socialists support voluntary trade
Some self-styled socialists support bananas

Logically valid, yes, true? Who fucking knows or cares?

What you can say is:

1. "Bananas" is hereby defined as "voluntary trade".

2. Some self-styled socialists support voluntary trade.

3. Therefore, some self-styled socialists support bananas.

I don't see anything wrong with this. Then again, I don't make any separation between logical validity and logical soundness. That is, to me, validity = soundness. So what's this distinction you make between the two? And how are all of these syllogisms unsound, in your opinion?

Birthday Pony:
"So you concede that wage labor, interest, and rent are not necessarily exceptions to any/all theories of property?"

Not any and all, but within the Anarchist tradition, wage labor as such, interest, and rent only exist within self-styled capitalist property theories. At the root of the premises presented by capitalists, they logically follow. Those premises are not the same as traditional anti-authoritarians.

That depends on what you call the "Anarchist tradition", doesn't it? Are you implicitly appealing to tradition here?

Birthday Pony:
"Personal attacks are not allowed in the Mises Forum."

That so?

Yes, that is so. Furthermore, to make a personal attack in an otherwise logical argument is to commit a logical fallacy. But I'm sure you already know that.

Birthday Pony:
"you're just not willing to emotionally accept it."
"I was left with the conclusion that you're all desperate to get the voice of real logic out of your heads when it leads you to conclusions that you simply don't like."

Spare me.

Too late. I won't spare you. Now what?

Birthday Pony:
"Wrong. I haven't studed Deconstructionism or post-structuralism, so any conclusions I share with them I arrived at independently."

No wonder you say language is arbitrary yet fail to even try to follow what that implies.

Perhaps you'd like to substantiate this?

Birthday Pony:
"I take this to mean that you simply don't want people defining "capitalism" as "voluntary trade", because 1) you support voluntary trade and don't want to be called a "supporter of capitalism", and 2) therefore you want people to define "capitalism" as something different."

No, it's because that definition is not commonly recognized and used, and aside from the people here, I don't know who would understand me more clearly if I started calling myself a capitalist. Furthermore, I have said mutliple times that I'll concede that definition for the sake of argument, what does that mean about self-styled capitalists versus self-styled socialists? You are the first person to actually move it beyond that. [Emphasis added.]

I don't know if you remember, but I was certainly willing to use the left-libertarian definition of "capitalism" in the Left-Libertarian Forum. In other words, I was willing to adapt my semantics to those of a larger group, in order to be able to communicate with that group. Nor do I see any contradiction in using one definition of "capitalism" with one group of people and another definition of "capitalism" with another group. As I've been trying to say this entire time - they're just definitions.

Since they're just definitions, what does that mean? It means it doesn't matter - in logical terms - whether a particular definition is commonly recognized and used. If that's the case, then what's the problem with using a certain definition of "capitalism", that's different from the one you normally use, around a certain group of people (namely the other people here)? The only things I can think of that would make it a problem is because 1) you simply don't like that other definition and therefore don't want to use it, and/or 2) you have trouble keeping to that definition because you're so used to using the other one.

So which is easier? Demanding that a whole other group of people abandon their established semantics for certain words and follow your semantics for them instead? Or adapt your own semantics to theirs? You tell me.

Birthday Pony:
"You're using "capitalism" in two different ways in two different parts of that statement. You also seem to be appealing to the notion that there's a particular definition of "capitalism" that is somehow "more correct" than any other - despite your apparent agreement with me that all definitions are inherently arbitrary. How do you reconcile these contradictions?"

First of all, if you want a post-structuralist tip, meaning is produced by the tension between contradictions inherent in language. Second of all, it is not I that produced two opposing definitions of capitalism. What I am saying is that let's go ahead and accept the definition of capitalism you have provided, how do we reconcile the inherent contradiction when those who are supposed to be capitalists decry capitalism? We would have to find out what that second definition is anyway.

I'm not a post-structuralist, and I'm actually not interested in studying it right now, so thanks but no thanks.

Whether it's you that produced two opposing definitions of "capitalism", or someone else, or no one, doesn't matter and wasn't my point. You nevertheless implicitly used two opposing definitions of "capitalism" in your earlier statement. And you do it again in your above statement, when you refer to "those who are supposed to be capitalists decry capitalism".

Maybe this is a better way to explain it: were Proudhon, Tucker, and Kropotkin necessarily anti-capitalists? I can only answer in the negative. There are no labels that are necessarily attached to them. They can be labeled "capitalists", "anti-capitalists", "communists", "anti-communists", "fascists", "anti-fascists", "criminals", "non-criminals", "sane", "insane", etc. - but only if you define the label in question to logically coincide with what they actually believed and supported. So if one considers it "insane" to support voluntary trade, then by that definition, Proudhon, Tucker, and Kropotkin were "insane". Does that mean they labeled themselves "insane"? Hardly.

As a result of this, what you call a contradiction above is no contradiction at all. You have a situation where some people (e.g. Proudhon, Tucker, and Kropotkin) called themselves "anti-capitalists" because they were opposed to something that they called "capitalism". If others come along later and call something else "capitalism", then they might consider the term "anti-capitalist" (which is now implicitly defined differently due to the different definition of "capitalism") to no longer apply to the first group of people.

Basically, what I'm trying to do here is look past the labels being used, because they don't really matter. I mean, if I call a banana a "dog" and you call it a "cat", we both see the same thing, don't we?

Birthday Pony:
...
The problem is then we need to figure out what they mean by capitalism anyway. Otherwise, we have no idea what they're going on about. What it also means, in the here and now, is that those who continue to style themselves as anti-capitalists will rightfully so first be met with hostility. Language is supposed to be a collective tool. There seems to be little to no debate about what the word "word" means, given the context, and there is no clear benefit to arguing a new definition to that word. What your proposed definition of capitalism does is provide great benefit for those who are capitalists (in the classical sense of the word) by way of casting anti-capitalists as anti-voluntarists. This is something you have addressed yourself:
"It might do a lot of good for anarcho-capitalists!"

I actually never proposed a definition for "capitalism". From what I understand, someone else earlier proposed defining "capitalism" as "voluntary "trade".

Are all self-styled "anti-capitalists" what I would call "anti-voluntarists"? No, not at all. However, I do see your point: someone who comes in here and calls himself an "anti-capitalist" may be met with knee-jerk hostility from others here. I think a wiser course of action for those others would be to first ask what the new person means by "anti-capitalist", and go from there. Doing so requires a recognition that other people's semantics may be very different from one's own, especially with such abstract terms as "capitalism".

Birthday Pony:
"In my honest opinion, they can call themselves "socialists" all they want. If I choose to define "capitalism" as "voluntary trade", and they support voluntary trade, I'll call them supporters of capitalism - and I won't be wrong."

No, to you you will not be wrong. But without understanding what not only anti-capitalists but the vast majority of sociologists mean when they say "capitalism" you won't be able to effectively communicate, which you have conceded is the point of using language in the first place. Moreover, in order to understand what anti-capitalists even mean, you have to know what their definition is in the first place, and it's not even a definition of something you oppose! So why even bother with a simplistic, and unrecognized definition if not only to confuse and discredit anti-capitalists?

Again, I'm not the one insisting on using the "voluntary trade" definition of "capitalism". My point this whole time was to refute your claim that conceding that definition would result in an inherent contradiction regarding self-styled "anti-capitalists". I actually have no problem trying to understand what self-styled "anti-capitalists" mean by "capitalism", and I believe I have tried to understand. How successful I've been in that understanding may be a different story.

Birthday Pony:
"Nevertheless, I'll be mindful of the fact that they call themselves "anti-capitalists" just the same. By the same token, however, I think they should be mindful of the fact that I'm not defining "capitalism" the same way they are. While I agree that language is a collective process, because it requires two or more people to agree on the meanings of the words used, there's no pre-standing obligation to communicate at all costs, let alone to agree that certain words have certain meanings. Hence this fixation on "one definition to rule them all" is a fool's errand, IMHO."

No doubt, but there are effects of language that are pretty damn clear. If the vast majority of people see wage labor and property theory as the markers of capitalism, two things that you yourself even support, why bother with this glossy definition of yours? I really mean that. Why is that definition preferable to you?

Where did I ever say that defining "capitalism" as "voluntary trade" is preferable to me? Also, are you implying that the vast majority of people do see wage labor and property theory as the markers of capitalism?

Birthday Pony:
"On the other hand, and this might surprise you, but I personally won't insist on defining "capitalism" as simply "voluntary trade" in this thread. My issue hasn't been with the definition of "capitalism" to be used - it's been about the nature of definitions and the implications thereof."

The certain property theory just may be a good definition. I'd like your take on where the connection between capitalism as such is between it and the anarchist tradition, or if it is simply another word game used in order to benefit supporters of such a system.

Others have pointed out the connection between capitalism and one branch of the classical liberal tradition - namely the branch that followed through on the logical conclusions of classically liberal principles. However, classical liberals didn't originally use the term "capitalism". Rather, they used the terms "free market(s)", "free exchange", and (especially) "free enterprise".

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Voluntaryism Forum

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I'm going to start out by saying I can't do this any more. I'm getting tired of repeating myself and constantly having to tell people things that should be obvious, unless the word socialism is assumed to mean the epitome of all evil. This is going to be a little frustrated.

"In your opinion, what % of the developed ("capitalist") world population today are (1) "workers", (2) "capitalists, or (3) "both"? For instance, I work for others, rent property/capital to/from others, and I invest, i.e. own "means of production" worked in/on by others. Which # am I?"

In my opinion what %? I didn't think percentages were opinions! I'd say the determining factor here is that you don't employ people without being involved in the word yourself (at least from what I know from you). Regardless, I couldn't imagine how this is relevant, unless it turns into a "I DON'T FIT IN YOUR GODDAM COLLECTIVE SYSTEM, COMMIE. GO HOME!" So whatever.

"Are most socialists individualists, then? How does someone exclusively support collective ownership of the "means of production" (or collective anything, for that matter) without being a collectivist? In other words, what makes those socialists non-collectivists?"

Where did I say socialists are exclusively for anything? I didn't. I never did. You are projecting now. You are ignoring the preceeding 3 pages of this thread.

"First, "the public" = "the people who use the thing" = "pretty much everybody", correct? If Collective A who voluntarily owns "means of production" X (MOP X) voluntarily decides they would like to (instead or also) own MOP Y which is currently voluntarily owned by Collective B, how does a socialist propose that such property conflict gets resolved? If a worker decides that he's tired of his MOP (say, a pick-ax he's using to crush rocks in the sweltering sun) and would rather work with a different MOP (say, an air-conditioned iPhone factory), does he just show up and say: "Hey comrades, I'm here. What needs getting done"? What if 3000 such workers showed up in front of said MOP?"

Really? Clearly this is a theft scenario, by anyone's definition. Remember: occ/use, those who use it. You're bullshitting. You're sitting here bullshitting. I'm not going to answer stupid questions that have obvious answers. Research stuff before yourself before you make up your mind about it. And no, reading Hoppe doesn't count as researching socialism.

"So after property is "properly" allocated then everyone can go on and become a capitalist, i.e. respect property and voluntary exchange of same? Neat plan."

You've clearly ingored everything I've said about property as well. You're really showing how intelligent you are right now. You're so smart I'm intimidated.

"So the difference between a socialist (who's for voluntary trade) and a capitalist is merely in the former's more restrictive norms regarding what may or may not be individually owned, hence voluntarily traded by individuals. To such socialist, the only legitimate ownership of certain types of property is of the collective kind, that is belonging to the collective/group that "uses" them which may or may not include anyone who may decide to use them in the future. At the same time, they're not collectivists. Am I getting closer?"

Wow. You've solved the puzzle. And on top of that I'm a Maoist sleeper agent here to enslave you all. Good thing we have smart guys like you at Von Mises. Autolykos, do you have more genius insights to add to the conversation?

"So because some minority of people prefer to crawl around on all fours, we can't say that walking is a "default" human behavior? Indeed, by what you say above, it seems that living itself can't be called such."

An ingeniuos analogy. Totally compatible.

"I don't see anything wrong with this. Then again, I don't make any separation between logical validity and logical soundness. That is, to me, validity = soundness. So what's this distinction you make between the two? And how are all of these syllogisms unsound, in your opinion?"

Validity follows the form A=B, B=C, A=C. Soundness must also be true. But actually, language is arbitrary, and it just so happens that everything I'm saying has a meaning slightly altered than what you think it means such that I am actually talking about tourism in Spain, but no one knows it because they're not on my level and don't know the logical definition of words.

"That depends on what you call the "Anarchist tradition", doesn't it? Are you implicitly appealing to tradition here?"

That really depends on what your definition of 'depends' is. Are you appealing to diaper brands?

"Also, are you implying that the vast majority of people do see wage labor and property theory as the markers of capitalism?"

Yes. Property theory certainly, wage labor more in Sociology. But property theory is most certainly a pretty damn near universal marker of capitalism.

"I actually have no problem trying to understand what self-styled "anti-capitalists" mean by "capitalism", and I believe I have tried to understand. How successful I've been in that understanding may be a different story."

Unfortunately every definition of every word I've been using has a slightly different meaning than you think such that I've been talking about boating this entire time.

"However, I do see your point: someone who comes in here and calls himself an "anti-capitalist" may be met with knee-jerk hostility from others here."

They may be? Might I suggest you look over this thread? How many times have I had to explain socialism has a property theory? How much of FLL is ex-von mises crew that got fed up?

"Others have pointed out the connection between capitalism and one branch of the classical liberal tradition - namely the branch that followed through on the logical conclusions of classically liberal principles. However, classical liberals didn't originally use the term "capitalism". Rather, they used the terms "free market(s)", "free exchange", and (especially) "free enterprise".

So it's just another word game, trying to link itself to the sexiness of anarchism while maintaining the respectability of liberalism. Remember though, I'm really discussing what you may call fly-fishing.

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 11:07 AM

Birthday Pony:
I'm going to start out by saying I can't do this any more. I'm getting tired of repeating myself and constantly having to tell people things that should be obvious, unless the word socialism is assumed to mean the epitome of all evil. This is going to be a little frustrated.

You can keep doing it, you just won't. Well cry me a river.

Birthday Pony:
"So the difference between a socialist (who's for voluntary trade) and a capitalist is merely in the former's more restrictive norms regarding what may or may not be individually owned, hence voluntarily traded by individuals. To such socialist, the only legitimate ownership of certain types of property is of the collective kind, that is belonging to the collective/group that "uses" them which may or may not include anyone who may decide to use them in the future. At the same time, they're not collectivists. Am I getting closer?"

Wow. You've solved the puzzle. And on top of that I'm a Maoist sleeper agent here to enslave you all. Good thing we have smart guys like you at Von Mises. Autolykos, do you have more genius insights to add to the conversation?

...

Z1235 wrote that, not me.

Birthday Pony:
"So because some minority of people prefer to crawl around on all fours, we can't say that walking is a "default" human behavior? Indeed, by what you say above, it seems that living itself can't be called such."

An ingeniuos analogy. Totally compatible.

I'm guessing this is sarcasm? Why do you feel the need to behave dishonestly now?

Birthday Pony:
"I don't see anything wrong with this. Then again, I don't make any separation between logical validity and logical soundness. That is, to me, validity = soundness. So what's this distinction you make between the two? And how are all of these syllogisms unsound, in your opinion?"

Validity follows the form A=B, B=C, A=C. Soundness must also be true. But actually, language is arbitrary, and it just so happens that everything I'm saying has a meaning slightly altered than what you think it means such that I am actually talking about tourism in Spain, but no one knows it because they're not on my level and don't know the logical definition of words.

I'm assuming that by "truth" you mean "conform to empirical phenomena". Tell me, where is there any such truth in defining "capitalism" as "voluntary trade", "a system of property that gives rise to wage labor, rent, and interest", or any other way, for that matter? You seem unable to actually refute this, so instead you simply engage in outright mockery in the hopes that it will shut me up. Bad move. I'm still here.

Birthday Pony:
"That depends on what you call the "Anarchist tradition", doesn't it? Are you implicitly appealing to tradition here?"

That really depends on what your definition of 'depends' is. Are you appealing to diaper brands?

How about you try to answer these two questions honestly now? What are you afraid of?

Birthday Pony:
"Also, are you implying that the vast majority of people do see wage labor and property theory as the markers of capitalism?"

Yes. Property theory certainly, wage labor more in Sociology. But property theory is most certainly a pretty damn near universal marker of capitalism.

You're doing it again - claiming (implicitly) that your (and, by extension, socialist anarchists') definition of "capitalism" is the "true" one.

Birthday Pony:
"I actually have no problem trying to understand what self-styled "anti-capitalists" mean by "capitalism", and I believe I have tried to understand. How successful I've been in that understanding may be a different story."

Unfortunately every definition of every word I've been using has a slightly different meaning than you think such that I've been talking about boating this entire time.

That may well be true, but once again, I doubt you're being serious here. See my above comments regarding your mockery tactic. For someone who claims to want to communicate with others, you're certainly doing yourself a disservice at this point.

Birthday Pony:
"However, I do see your point: someone who comes in here and calls himself an "anti-capitalist" may be met with knee-jerk hostility from others here."

They may be? Might I suggest you look over this thread? How many times have I had to explain socialism has a property theory? How much of FLL is ex-von mises crew that got fed up?

...

I don't know. What's so wrong with me saying "may be" anyways? I don't know the future and I'm not going to claim otherwise.

Birthday Pony:
"Others have pointed out the connection between capitalism and one branch of the classical liberal tradition - namely the branch that followed through on the logical conclusions of classically liberal principles. However, classical liberals didn't originally use the term "capitalism". Rather, they used the terms "free market(s)", "free exchange", and (especially) "free enterprise".

So it's just another word game, trying to link itself to the sexiness of anarchism while maintaining the respectability of liberalism. Remember though, I'm really discussing what you may call fly-fishing.

And here we get to your entire purpose of starting this thread (minus the final mocking jab). The purpose was to, once again, try to demonstrate that anarcho-capitalists have no standing within the "anarchist tradition", therefore they aren't "real/true anarchists", therefore they shouldn't call themselves "anarchists", therefore they must be intellectually dishonest, therefore they should just shut up already. Do I have it about right?

Next time, try not to let your emotions betray yourself so much.

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Voluntaryism Forum

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z1235 replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 11:13 AM

Birthday Pony:
"In your opinion, what % of the developed ("capitalist") world population today are (1) "workers", (2) "capitalists, or (3) "both"? For instance, I work for others, rent property/capital to/from others, and I invest, i.e. own "means of production" worked in/on by others. Which # am I?"

In my opinion what %? I didn't think percentages were opinions! I'd say the determining factor here is that you don't employ people without being involved in the word yourself (at least from what I know from you). Regardless, I couldn't imagine how this is relevant, unless it turns into a "I DON'T FIT IN YOUR GODDAM COLLECTIVE SYSTEM, COMMIE. GO HOME!" So whatever.

I just employed some people who voluntarily exchanged their labor (to work in my field) in return for money (a wage!). Capitalist, then, am I? If you don't know (or care to know) how many (1) "workers", (2) "capitalists", or (3) "both/neither" are actually out there today couldn't you as well be concerned about the living conditions of unicorns? 

"First, "the public" = "the people who use the thing" = "pretty much everybody", correct? If Collective A who voluntarily owns "means of production" X (MOP X) voluntarily decides they would like to (instead or also) own MOP Y which is currently voluntarily owned by Collective B, how does a socialist propose that such property conflict gets resolved? If a worker decides that he's tired of his MOP (say, a pick-ax he's using to crush rocks in the sweltering sun) and would rather work with a different MOP (say, an air-conditioned iPhone factory), does he just show up and say: "Hey comrades, I'm here. What needs getting done"? What if 3000 such workers showed up in front of said MOP?"

Really? Clearly this is a theft scenario, by anyone's definition. Remember: occ/use, those who use it.

The pick-ax worker is occupying the iPhone factory and using it right now, isn't he? So are the new 3000 workers. How could they be stealing what is legitimately theirs, according to your property theory?

You're bullshitting. You're sitting here bullshitting. I'm not going to answer stupid questions that have obvious answers. Research stuff before yourself before you make up your mind about it. And no, reading Hoppe doesn't count as researching socialism.

You have no idea how much I know about socialism and how I have learned it. 

 

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Alright. Well, I got it out of my system. Anyway. I'm going to try again with a little more grace. I apologize for the outburst, but if I do say so myself I've been keeping it pretty cool despite how many times I've had to repeat myself and clear up the same misconceptions over and over again.

"Tell me, where is there any such truth in defining "capitalism" as "voluntary trade", "a system of property that gives rise to wage labor, rent, and interest", or any other way, for that matter? You seem unable to actually refute this, so instead you simply engage in outright mockery in the hopes that it will shut me up. Bad move. I'm still here."

Proudhon was one of the first to use the term in it's modern sense, and although he's not the final word on the matter, since then capitalism has more or less been used to mean a system of property in which the means of production are owned privately such that the owner may charge rent, interest and employ others for a wage. Aside from Austrians, that is the common definition. Even wikipedia has a similar definition, although it's by no means an authority on the matter: "Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit. Income in a capitalist system takes at least two forms, profit on the one hand and wages on the other. There is also a tradition that treats rent, income from the control of natural resources, as a third phenomenon distinct from either of those. In any case, profit is what is received, by virtue of control of the tools of production, by those who provide the capital."

Defining it simply as "voluntary trade" may cause self-styled anti-capitalists to be recieved with knee jerk reactions, it creates an historical dichotomy between capitalism as voluntary trade and capitalism as self-styled anti-authoritarian socialists meant it (which means one would have to figure out what they mean anyway).

Then again, I could be discussing boating. I find it funny that when I do it, it's mockery, but when you do it it's logically correct because of the arbitrainess of language. Sometimes, I use absurdity to make a point. *shrug*

"You're doing it again - claiming (implicitly) that your (and, by extension, socialist anarchists') definition of "capitalism" is the "true" one."

I wish most anarchist terms were mainstream. They are not, and I wish I could say that the definition of capitalism I've provided really belonged exclusively to anarchists. It, however, does not.

"And here we get to your entire purpose of starting this thread (minus the final mocking jab). The purpose was to, once again, try to demonstrate that anarcho-capitalists have no standing within the "anarchist tradition", therefore they aren't "real/true anarchists", therefore they shouldn't call themselves "anarchists", therefore they must be intellectually dishonest, therefore they should just shut up already. Do I have it about right?"

I haven't even had time to do that. I've been busy clearing up misconceptions about self-styled socialists.

Honestly, I really want to hear out anarcho-capitalists on how they think their movement relates to anarchism. The only exposure I've had is through anti-capitalists, so I really do want to see where it comes from. Unfortunately, the second you mention socialism it turns into some kind of bloodfeud. People here have claimed that all socialists are collectivists, all socialists are authoritarian, that socialism requires people to be thoughtless conformist drones, while what have I said of capitalism? Nothing other than tried to define it in a way that isn't tied up in socialism being its antithesis. I have not started whining about exploitation. I haven't started telling everyone they're oppressive (I don't believe anyone here is), but what do I get for just suggesting that socialism can be voluntary? Where has that got me and what does that really say about this board?

Anyway, let's go on the classical liberal note. If it derived from classical liberal premises, I see two points of divergence from traditional anarchism. First, classical anarchists and liberals were divided amongst class lines. Whereas anarchists were concerned with the liberation of the working poor and peasants, liberals were concerned with the liberation of the entreprenuer, both from monarchy, a blurry distinction today but it carried much weight then. Second, liberals were not necessarily anti-state. Even Molinari used the term government when talking about competing defense associations.

Now, I'm not trying to say "shut up because you don't adhere to the traditional authorities! What is Property? is the bible and Proudhon is king!" What I am trying to do is simply fill myself in just so I am better informed. If I just wanted to ya'll to hang yourselves with your own words, I would be done here. I don't mean to be insulting when I say that, I'm just saying that most folks have openly disassociated themselves with traditional and contemporary anarchism, save for the namesake of anarcho-capitalism.

Now, z1235

"I just employed some people who voluntarily exchanged their labor (to work in my field) in return for money (a wage!). Capitalist, then, am I?"

The jury isn't out on that one to tell you the truth. Contracted labor versus wage labor is not a closed subject as far as anarchist discourse goes. In all honesty, most people could care less whether or not you do that. I personally will never do anything against you for employing others to work your field. Whether or not those working your field do is entirely up to them, but my guess is, with the lack of alternatives, you'll probably be fine. In actuality, I'm not really much of a labor guy myself. I do belong to a small union (IWW) in which I actively participate, but most revolutionary potential seems to be in the neighborhoods these days, a more communalist system, a polisjungle where there are multiple associations and individuals in political life and no unitary state, to quote a Greek anarchist.

"The pick-ax worker is occupying the iPhone factory and using it right now, isn't he? So are the new 3000 workers. How could they be stealing what is legitimately theirs, according to your property theory?"

I guess you glossed over the part about people who are currently occupying and using something being justified in defending it. Either way, you're not really concerned with what I think personally, or what the many socialist theories I've presented here suggest. To be sure, let's go ahead and just say that Proudhon and Tucker were more accurately described as capitalists that liked to share. What of their relationship to modern anarcho-capitalism?

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z1235 replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 1:31 PM

Birthday Pony:
I personally will never do anything against you for employing others to work your field. Whether or not those working your field do is entirely up to them, but my guess is, with the lack of alternatives, you'll probably be fine.

Why would you do anything against voluntary interactions between parties that are not, and frankly should not be, any of your business? What would you do against me if I had people voluntarily trading their labor/expertise/advice/service in exchange for my money/capital/property/labor/advice? At the same time, if you prefer to exclusively work in collectively owned outfits, or neon pink barns, be my guest. As a capitalist, I don't give a rat's ass about how you arrange your affairs on your own property. Means of production, means of procreation, means of digestion, means of defecation, means of pretty much anything make no difference to me and you and your comrades can do whatever you want with whomever you want as long as it's all voluntary and with/on your property. If you agree to this, how are you not a capitalist, i.e. a proponent of voluntary trade?

In actuality, I'm not really much of a labor guy myself. I do belong to a small union (IWW) in which I actively participate, but most revolutionary potential seems to be in the neighborhoods these days, a more communalist system, a polisjungle where there are multiple associations and individuals in political life and no unitary state, to quote a Greek anarchist.

Whatever floats your boat. I dig arugula salad, myself.

I guess you glossed over the part about people who are currently occupying and using something being justified in defending it.

I guess it depends on your definition of "currently". If you define legitimate property owners as ones which are "currently" using or occupying said property then whatever someone "currently" uses or occupies is his, no? The pick-ax worker currently uses and occupies the iPhone factory, too, or doesn't he? Btw, who decides who gets hired/fired from such factory? Why can't the pick-ax worker just get a job there and become a co-owner himself? Or is everyone stuck with whatever "means of production" they ended up holding post-revolution forever (the pick-ax worker with the pick-ax, and the iPhone factory workers with the iPhone factory)?

I always wanted to know, where do you think "means of production" (such as iPhone factories) come from? Post-revolution and lacking any capitalists from which it could simply be taken away from, how does the next generation of "means of production" come to be? 

Finally, you conveniently skipped my question about the distribution of "capitalists", "workers", and "both/neither" within the human population today. I think it's important that we stick to discussing entities/groups that actually exist in reality. I have no interest in debating the working/living conditions of unicorns.

 

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"Why would you do anything against voluntary interactions between parties that are not, and frankly should not be, any of your business? What would you do against me if I had people voluntarily trading their labor/expertise/advice/service in exchange for my money/capital/property/labor/advice? At the same time, if you prefer to exclusively work in collectively owned outfits, or neon pink barns, be my guest. As a capitalist, I don't give a rat's ass about how you arrange your affairs on your own property. Means of production, means of procreation, means of digestion, means of defecation, means of pretty much anything make no difference to me and you and your comrades can do whatever you want with whomever you want as long as it's all voluntary and with/on your property. If you agree to this, how are you not a capitalist, i.e. a proponent of voluntary trade?"

You may call me a capitalist knowing full well I disagree with your interpretations. Just because I am not going to attack you personally does not mean I support wage labor. It is pretty clear at this point what I mean when I say capitalism. Ignore the semantical disputes and just understand that until I state otherwise, when I say capitalism in this post I mean an economic system with a property theory of private ownership that enables the owner to charge rent and interest and employ others while having agency over how their employees use their capital.

It is my personal belief that without a state capitalism as such would fall apart. The inordinate amount of wealth that is controlled by a small few would not be able to be sustained without the explicity enforcement of a state body. There would be a lot of expropriation, or stealing if you will, and capitalists would have no power to defend themselves without the use of a state or state-like body. Obviously a state of total chaos and theft is not preferable, not only to society as a whole, but to me personally. Therefore, I seek to find models in which every individual has agency over their own lives. To me, the boss gives me more orders in a week than a police man does all my life. And disobeying orders from my boss in the case where I am ordered to do something that goes against my interest or my conscience, is punishable by firing. If I stick by my convictions and resist my boss, it is punishable by law. Without the use of force being tipped toward my boss, he would have no claim over me.

So, personally, I've preferred self-employment and/or cooperative work. I find a lot of like-minded individuals that feel the same way and encourage them to organize amongst each other, excersizing a right to free association, the right to come together as individuals and collectively address a similar concern. Do I personally view myself as the authority over their matters? No. I only give them support in what they want to do. I have my own ideals, but they might not be shared by everyone. That doesn't mean I give them up, but I'm willing to work with things as long as its in accordance with what I believe personally. I personally do not like the capitalist system of property and wage labor, so I chose to organize against it with others who do not like it.

If the people working your field decided to organize and got in touch with me, sure, I'd support them. But I would not personally launch any assaults on you. If your employees wish to associate with me, then so be it. I'd simply like to see you try to deal with a group of employees expropriating your land without relying on the law. And at that, I assume you probably don't have the money to employ private police. Given that, you're not really my enemy. If you've found people that like working for you, that's great, and I don't have a problem with that. But if they start organizing and confronting you with greivances, I would agree that they have a case. If they have no greivances, I don't see the problem.

The thing is a good number of wage workers do have greivances with their employers. Those are the people I'm interesting in supporting and organizing with.

Okay, so if after all that you think I fit into the realm of capitalist (no longer using my definition) go ahead and call me a capitalist. Our disagreements on semantical issues is not my concern. We obviously have very different views on legitimate property and what the legitimate reponses to infringements on said property are. I'd rather discuss that, as I have said multiple times, I'll concede the definition provided, but what of the examples I give? The only reason I've continued this semantical debate is because I have been continually asked about it. If you want to move past it, I'll move past it.

How do you think anarcho-capitalism relates to the rest of the anarchist movement?

"I always wanted to know, where do you think "means of production" (such as iPhone factories) come from? Post-revolution and lacking any capitalists from which it could simply be taken away from, how does the next generation of "means of production" come to be?"

In a cooperative system means of production would be produced by various cooperatives and traded to other cooperatives or self-employed folk. The means of production as they exist and are most prominent today were originally produced by laborers, due in part to an excessive exploitation of slave labor during the colonial period.

"Finally, you conveniently skipped my question about the distribution of "capitalists", "workers", and "both/neither" within the human population today. I think it's important that we stick to discussing entities/groups that actually exist in reality."

There have been plenty of definitions of class, socioeconomic status, and the like between sociologists for years, and none of them have really rubbed me the right way. I don't really know the exact percentage, but that's not really of importance to me. The lines are always too blurry to really know. What I am concerned with are the few people (no matter how small) that do have greivances with their working conditions. I support them. Whether they're air traffic controllers making 6 figures or Jimmy John's workers making 7.50/hr doesn't really matter to me. I'm for self-determination and agency over ones life more than I am a sweeping blanket revolution that you'll take whether you like it or not. As far as capitalists go, there's about 400 people in the US that control most of the wealth. I've got no sympathy for them, not to mention the legal fictions that control way more than any state ever has.

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This sums up how I feel about anarchy, I should probably revise it a bit, but this should do for now:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/21846.aspx 

Short sum up, I hate the word in general, and find it near useless.  I hate the word specifically to be associated with us non lefties. 

If anything I think you will find a lot of us apathetict about the word, we just like to use words that are useful to describe reality, as a by product of conclusions drawn from the best picture we have of a descriptive reality.  Though as you can tell, some people are really attached to their political labels.

 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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A comment from the sidelines:

I've found the words "capitalism" and "socialism" to be defined so broadly (or at least without consensus) as to be useless for any serious discussion. Both seem to be used as slurs and neither are actually applied in a way that makes clear distinctions.

I think it would be more productive to stop arguing over what various "isms" and "ists" are advocating and instead discuss the merits and drawbacks of different ideas of what contitutes legitimate property (which is subjective). I think both labels refer to "bundles" of propositions that could probably be considered separately.

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Couldn't agree more, CernelJoson!

Anyone, for the nth time, I'll concede the definition provided. Given that capitalism is voluntary trade, what kind of relationship do you see between self-styled anarcho-capitalists and the anarchist movement?
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Not much, the meat of anything here is probably going to be closer to cosmopolitan, professional, technocratic, left wing liberalism than most anarchist positions.

To paint in very broad strokes:  I see most left wing anarchist group trying to box in aesthetical positions (some of which even can contradict eachother), assert them and talk about them in a universalist sense.  I think many of us here just have semi-apathetic political conclusions as a by product of the way the world can be made sense of and discussed.  The politics is rather lukewarm, the structure is the more interesting thing.

As I pointed out in that link - I think the word anarchist is inteself an undermining word which may help cause a lot of confusion.  It's just a bad word, but I'll digress from that.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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z1235 replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 11:10 AM

Pony, you seem to be confusing your aesthetic preferences about the universe (hate this, love that, support this, have no sympathy for that, etc.) for a philosophical/property theory with even a smidgen of logical consistency. Like all socialists/marxists, emotions (hate/love) and random personal hang-ups are your driving force. I may hate pink Ferraris but my property theory allows anyone who adores them to collect as many of them as they want. You probably just need to make some personal changes so that you relax, lose the palpable bitterness, stop blaming others (such as the "capitalists", the "rich", the "bossy") for creating a universe not to your liking, start taking responsibility for your own life/actions/satisfaction/predicament, and hopefully learn to live and let others live.

My profit from this debate was minimal and I feel that it's quickly converging to zero, so I'll quietly bow myself out. Pleasure chatting with you and I wish you good luck. 

 

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I'm pretty sure you could make exactly the same argument about the state e.g. stop blaming others (such as the "government", the "politicians", the "judges") for creating a universe not to your liking.

I would be willing to bet that, to Pony, that sounded an awful lot like the "love it or leave it" argument. I'm not saying I agree with her position, but I can't say I've found the response she's gotten to be very credible either. You're also arguing from personal preferences as property is a subjective and normative concept.

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Property isn't subjective as everyone expects the things that they own to be respected as theirs. Also, what Z was saying is that Pony  and other socialists are all about emotion rather than logic and reason.

 

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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bbnet replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 2:21 PM

While I think someone migt have beaten me to it earlier in this thread, I believe, based on her assertions here and on other forums the reason for Pony's presence in this discussion is to convince the community here at mises.org to stop using/hijacking/debasing/disrespecting the term 'anarchist' since our use of it doesn't fit into her/his historical perspective and definition, especially when associated with his/her understanding of 'capitalism'.

Its sorta like speaking Swahili in Greece about ancient China?

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I'm so confused. Why did Rothbard feel the need to tack on the word "capitalist" if Proudhon, Tucker, and Kropotkin were capitalists? If capitialism was a word invented by Marx to designate "mercantilism" (or whatever others here prefer to call actually existing capitalism), then why did Rothbard want to coopt it? Didn't Rothbard use the term "anarcho-capitalism" because he didn't want to be associated exclusively with either anarchism or capitialism but to take what he saw as the best of both worlds?

When people say "voluntary trade" are they assuming other things such as a natural rights theory of property? Can one have voluntary trade without a natural rights theory of property?

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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TANSTAAFL replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 1:44 PM

Pony, I am interested in learning more about your position. I would like to discuss some things using your terms/definitions. To quote you:

"Proudhon was one of the first to use the term in it's modern sense, and although he's not the final word on the matter, since then capitalism has more or less been used to mean a system of property in which the means of production are owned privately such that the owner may charge rent, interest and employ others for a wage. Aside from Austrians, that is the common definition. Even wikipedia has a similar definition, although it's by no means an authority on the matter: "Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit. Income in a capitalist system takes at least two forms, profit on the one hand and wages on the other. There is also a tradition that treats rent, income from the control of natural resources, as a third phenomenon distinct from either of those. In any case, profit is what is received, by virtue of control of the tools of production, by those who provide the capital."

 

Do you understand why the Austrians draw distinctions that alter your definition of capitalism? Can you explain, starting with the action axiom, why rent, interest, and wage labor exist? Are you able to articulate the differences between a wage earner (wages) and a capitalist income (profit)? Do you understand what profit is, where it comes from, what information it conveys, its relation to interest and rent?

 

 

I would like to know more about your notion that ownership of property can be determined by use/occupancy. The first thing that pops into my head is how are disputes to be settled? The only thing I saw you offer on the topic of disputes is that they will just get worked out by those involved. This is a huge weakness in your position. You can offer any imaginable dispute and the capitalists here on this board can explain to you how it can be specifically resolved.



 

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You can offer any imaginable dispute and the capitalists here on this board can explain to you how it can be specifically resolved.

Really? No one here has been able to explain to me how a preservation group can acquire a rainforest without "transforming" it and then tell a logging company that they don't have a right to cut it down.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Phaedros:
Property isn't subjective as everyone expects the things that they own to be respected as theirs.

Of course, expectations are subjective as is ownership. You only "own" what you and others agree you do. It's an intersubjective consensus, not a fact of reality.

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"Do you understand why the Austrians draw distinctions that alter your definition of capitalism?"

I can't say I do. Could you explain why?

"Can you explain, starting with the action axiom, why rent, interest, and wage labor exist?"

I'm not sure what the action axiom is.

So, I just found a wikipedia entry on the action axion I think you're referring to, and I can't say I see a connection right away.

Basically, my argument would be that if and only if one can legitimately own (with legitimate in the sense of polisci, meaning others recognize and accept it for whatever reason) more property in land or capital than they can work, occupy, or defend, then they may charge rent for the occupation of land or pay wages for work with capital or land while determining the character of said work, and must rely on external force to defend their capital or land. My argument is not then, that capitalism creates wage labor, interest, or rent, but that it is dependent upon it. And one of the few ways it would be reasonable for someone, or a group of someones, to work in a low position in an employment hierarchy would be if their living conditions were subject to matters out of their hands such that it becomes reasonable for them to take a lower position in an employment hierarchy, given the alternatives.

"I would like to know more about your notion that ownership of property can be determined by use/occupancy. The first thing that pops into my head is how are disputes to be settled?"

From a personal standpoint, I take an egoist view on the matter. If you hold more property than you yourself could reasonably defend then there's no reason to believe it's yours. One can defend their house, their workplace. Bands of people working together could reasonably defend their neighborhood.

"This is a huge weakness in your position. You can offer any imaginable dispute and the capitalists here on this board can explain to you how it can be specifically resolved."

I take it as a benefit actually. If there are disputes, they can get worked out in public forums by actual neighbors and community members who have a vested interest in the wellbeing of themselves as a community, instead of politicians and business people who have a vested interest in themselves as people with power over communities.

If I really can name any dispute and the pro-capitalist folks here can explain how it will be specifically resolved, I take that as a weakness in theory. It's sounds like the platforms capitalist cousin. Plus, things tend to be in a constant state of change rather than static. I don't think anyone here really believes that if a society with their desired theory in practice that politics, disputes, or some sort of power dynamic will just end with a quick and easy solution.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

z1235, I am very sorry to hear you're bowing out of this discussion, not because I felt as though you had much to add in the way of informative, thought provoking posts, but only because of your wonderful way of working things. With posts such as,

"Why would you do anything against voluntary interactions between parties that are not, and frankly should not be, any of your business? What would you do against me if I had people voluntarily trading their labor/expertise/advice/service in exchange for my money/capital/property/labor/advice? At the same time, if you prefer to exclusively work in collectively owned outfits, or neon pink barns, be my guest. As a capitalist, I don't give a rat's ass about how you arrange your affairs on your own property. Means of production, means of procreation, means of digestion, means of defecation, means of pretty much anything make no difference to me and you and your comrades can do whatever you want with whomever you want as long as it's all voluntary and with/on your property. If you agree to this, how are you not a capitalist, i.e. a proponent of voluntary trade?"

Full of questions directed at me personally and what I would do specifically to you, and when I reply with my personal response, you then have this to say:

"Pony, you seem to be confusing your aesthetic preferences about the universe (hate this, love that, support this, have no sympathy for that, etc.) for a philosophical/property theory with even a smidgen of logical consistency. Like all socialists/marxists, emotions (hate/love) and random personal hang-ups are your driving force. I may hate pink Ferraris but my property theory allows anyone who adores them to collect as many of them as they want. You probably just need to make some personal changes so that you relax, lose the palpable bitterness, stop blaming others (such as the "capitalists", the "rich", the "bossy") for creating a universe not to your liking, start taking responsibility for your own life/actions/satisfaction/predicament, and hopefully learn to live and let others live.

My profit from this debate was minimal and I feel that it's quickly converging to zero, so I'll quietly bow myself out. Pleasure chatting with you and I wish you good luck."

Don't you see the beauty in it? Your response not only places you in a philosophically superior place by proclaiming your ability to stick to theory and objectivity, it simultaneously puts me in the position of the emotional ranting poster who is just too helpless to even try to reach. But you don't take it out in frustration. Oh no, not a smart, clever man like you. You feel sorry for me, because I am so worthy of your pity. And still, despite my thick reliance on emotions like all Marxists, which everyone knows I am despite my insistence that I'm not, you still have the ounce of humanity left in you to offer me advice, so I can cool down. So I can take it easy. Start looking at things the logical way.

Everyone knows this isn't the place for some emotional Marxist to go on raving about what they think. This is the place for emotional capitalists to go on raving about what they think, in a logical way of course! It is so obvious to you, and I god knows it should be to me, that capitalism is a logical way of looking at things, so when capitalists ask questions addressed to the second person it's only for logical reasons. There is no personal animosity behind it. There is no emotional motive behind it. It's all for logic's sake. Even personal exceptions to theory would be logically consitent. "No, my friend and I didn't both equally own the cost of gas on our trip here. Could you imagine managing that sort of thing? It would take a state! We wouldn't want that, now would we?"

So althought I'll miss all your wonderful posts, full of personal rage, questions addressed directly to me, and then subsequent accusations of relying on emotion and personal experience when I return an answer (all with hints of sexism about raving, emotional, Marxist women), I understand completely why you wouldn't want to deal with someone as emotional as me, and can't help but feel optimistic about the future without z1235 giving me gems of wisdom.

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agisthos replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 2:59 AM

No offence Birthday Pony, but your main problem communicating here is not the semantical definitions of Socialism and Capitalism, but your inability to differentiate between free-market capitalism and state-monopoly capitalism.

"Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at.

State capitalism consists of one or more groups making use of the coercive apparatus of the government —the State— to accumulate capital for themselves by expropriating the production of others by force and violence."

Rothbard

You make a presumption that all the unfair things about current Capitalism, it's exploitation, its monopolies, it's violence and predation, you seem to presume all these things would still exists under a stateless system of free and volunatry exchange.

In all your posts, the afformentioned examples of 'capitalism' you show, are ALL the result of state-monopoly capitalism, not the capitalism of free and voluntary exchange we espouse.

I can see why you would not want to make this distinction. Because to accept the logic and fairness of property rights would then cast doubt on the co-op Anarchist society you envision.

If I was so steeped in Marxian class bias about the economics of how producers, laborers and capital interact, I too would subscribe to this occ/use theory of property rights to protect myself from being exploited by capitalists. But we reject it as being empirically and logically false.

Also be aware of this, the Anarchism you envision, with groups of individuals banding together to seize land and capital goods from others based on occ/use, will naturally lead to an institutionalized culture of even more seizure, violence and theft. In fact, the weak property rights theory of Anarchism will by it's nature lead to the exploitive and totalitarian state which Anarchists want to avoid.

 

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TANSTAAFL replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 7:48 AM

"Really? No one here has been able to explain to me how a preservation group can acquire a rainforest without "transforming" it and then tell a logging company that they don't have a right to cut it down."

 

 

The preservation group raises money. They then use the funds to purchase the land the forest is on. They own the land and the trees. The trees are safe from the loggers.

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Who are they going to buy the Amazon rain forest from? Who is the legitimate owner currently?
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Phaedros replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 6:50 PM

"Who are they going to buy the Amazon rain forest from? Who is the legitimate owner currently?"

Thus the real crux of the problem, huh?

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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"If I really can name any dispute and the pro-capitalist folks here can explain how it will be specifically resolved, I take that as a weakness in theory. It's sounds like the platforms capitalist cousin. Plus, things tend to be in a constant state of change rather than static. I don't think anyone here really believes that if a society with their desired theory in practice that politics, disputes, or some sort of power dynamic will just end with a quick and easy solution."

 

 

This is correct, assuming I understand what the other guy was saying.  It would mean we would actually support a command economy - or try to assert that law is an exact science (it's not) rather than it being a practiced art (which it is).  It makes 0 sense to speak of an unexistant legal theory in a void.
Honestly we can't even say that decentralization is de facto better than centralization.

 

"Basically, my argument would be that if and only if one can legitimately own (with legitimate in the sense of polisci, meaning others recognize and accept it for whatever reason) more property in land or capital than they can work, occupy, or defend, then they may charge rent for the occupation of land or pay wages for work with capital or land while determining the character of said work, and must rely on external force to defend their capital or land. My argument is not then, that capitalism creates wage labor, interest, or rent, but that it is dependent upon it. And one of the few ways it would be reasonable for someone, or a group of someones, to work in a low position in an employment hierarchy would be if their living conditions were subject to matters out of their hands such that it becomes reasonable for them to take a lower position in an employment hierarchy, given the alternatives."

 

 

I don't think anyone here disagrees with your 1st sentence, or probably the second.  But these are all issues of time preference which are inherent in human action.  It is people's valuation of future goods vs present goods that determine such actions.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Consultant:
Anarcho-capitalists don't have a problem with natural hierarchy, only the artificial political one.
Does a "natural hierarchy" = voluntaryism/non-aggression principle?

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Fool on the Hill:
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).

Ergo capitalism = someone gets a profit?
Fool on the Hill:
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.

But if anarcho-capitalism, laissez-faire capitalism, anarchism,  anarchist socialism etc = non-aggression principle/voluntaryism, what`s the difference between them?

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haymor replied on Tue, Jul 12 2011 3:53 AM
From my modest point of view, the most important factor that distinguishes the anarcho-capitalists from any other movement/ideology is that it finds its roots in austrian economics. Austrians see (after Mises) praxeology as the starting point to apodictically deduce all their social theories regarding economics (Human Action), ethics (Rothbard's "Ethics of Liberty") or epystemology itself (that is all possible knowledge including the mere possibility of experimentation). Phylosophically is very keen both to Kantian rationalism and Tomistic realism for it pretends to reach truth from reflection. Therefore anarcho-capitalism does not tend to see interest in such "hermeneutic" exercicis like analyzing its relation to other schools of thought or "share" knowledge among them. Given an statement then it is true or false, we are not relativists, we don't see any dialogue in history nor we see history as a narration, we are not materialistic but humanistic, we don't extract any new knowledge from history but mere examples to illustrate our theories, and we are certain about our starting points, at least until someone refutes them finding some contradiction.
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Birthday Pony:
"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
But what if the workers have entered a contract/agreed with the factory owner that they shall only receive wages, and that the factory owner should own the means of production, i.e. make all decisions regarding the use of the means of production?

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TANSTAAFL replied on Tue, Jul 12 2011 6:48 AM

My point on conflict resolution is that because we believe in private property and contracts we have a built in mechanism to settle disputes.

All Pony has offered as a solution to conflict over property is that whoever is involved in the conflict will just get together and somehow work things out.

 

 

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magnetic replied on Tue, Jul 12 2011 9:03 PM

Really? No one here has been able to explain to me how a preservation group can acquire a rainforest without "transforming" it and then tell a logging company that they don't have a right to cut it down.

They can acquire a rainforest, like any other land, through homesteading or purchase. Any owner can tell a logging company to stay off of their land. Whether the government will uphold the property right of the owner is another matter.

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Or the Dispute Settlement Agency, i.e. the courts. (They probably wouldn't)

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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How do you homestead a rainforest? Put a fence around it?
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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"All Pony has offered as a solution to conflict over property is that whoever is involved in the conflict will just get together and somehow work things out."

Really?

Me: "From a personal standpoint, I take an egoist view on the matter. If you hold more property than you yourself could reasonably defend then there's no reason to believe it's yours. One can defend their house, their workplace. Bands of people working together could reasonably defend their neighborhood."

"No offence Birthday Pony, but your main problem communicating here is not the semantical definitions of Socialism and Capitalism, but your inability to differentiate between free-market capitalism and state-monopoly capitalism."

Once again, my argument is not that wage labor in and of itself is necessarily bad, but that capitalism as I have defined it before is dependent on it, and the only way to maintain a large group of laborers willing to work in hierarchical positions as opposed to relatively equal positions is to control the means of production in such a way that it is their only reasonable option.

"If I was so steeped in Marxian class bias..."

Who here is the Marxist?

"Also be aware of this, the Anarchism you envision, with groups of individuals banding together to seize land and capital goods from others based on occ/use, will naturally lead to an institutionalized culture of even more seizure, violence and theft. In fact, the weak property rights theory of Anarchism will by it's nature lead to the exploitive and totalitarian state which Anarchists want to avoid."

History, I'm afraid, is not on your side of that statement.

"But what if the workers have entered a contract/agreed with the factory owner that they shall only receive wages, and that the factory owner should own the means of production, i.e. make all decisions regarding the use of the means of production?"

Then I have absolutely no problem. My point is that the factory owner only maintains their control by the consent of the workers and/or the threat and use of force. There is absolutely no reason to believe you own something if you yourself cannot reasonably defend it.

"They can acquire a rainforest, like any other land, through homesteading or purchase. Any owner can tell a logging company to stay off of their land. Whether the government will uphold the property right of the owner is another matter."

Not to jump into another discussion, but that's a rather lame argument. I believe the point of preservation is to preserve. Homesteading a rainforest is not exactly perservation. If there's anything modern day monopoly capitalism can teach us, it's that preservation tends to be marginally profitable solely for PR reasons compared to ludicrous endeavors such as the tar sands or fracking.

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