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Any mutualists or "left-libertarians" on this forum?

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Freedom4Me73986 Posted: Wed, Jun 29 2011 2:50 AM

Not that I agree w/ their anti-capitalist ideology, but I want to know more about it. Under a mutualist system, would capitalism be allowed to happen? And why are mutualists opposed to capitalism when they say they support free markets and anarchy?

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Hey, I'm not a mutualist myself but I've been studying up on it a bit out of curiosity. I might not have everything down but I'll answer as best I can:

Kevin Carson who is a big deal mutualist (http://mutualist.org/http://c4ss.org/ ) seems to believe that left libertarians, right libertarians and something called Georgist libertarians--all differing in ideas of legitimate claims on land and other capital) should all peacefully exist in an anarchist society because none of their positions necessarily are derived from self-ownership. I'm not sure what the popular belief among other mutualists are though, but this makes sense to me. In my head, it's kind of like how ancaps are "sure, you can have that society, but ours is better, so good luck keeping people interested."

Mutualist believe in a type of labor theory of value which leads them to believe capitalists take the surplus value of labor and in this way make profits off the backs of the laborer. Occupancy and use give legitimate property claims to capital; and the idea of their being an absentee owner (landlord, shareholders) was established by and only enforced by state granted privilege and would disappear in a stateless society. So, "capitalist" to them means people who profit off of other peoples backs and off of interest on their capital. Interest from capital is considered usury; but I think interest on labor is considered legit. Hence, anti-capitalism.

Hope that helps!

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Chyd3nius replied on Wed, Jun 29 2011 12:15 PM

Yes here were few, but I think that they all got banned because of constant trolling, provoking and strawmen, not kidding. I think they have their own forums, those would be a good place to check to.

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To me there seems to be three different kinds of left libertarians:

1) Libertarian socialists: Like George Orwell or Noam Chomsky. These folks mix civil libertarian ideas with socialist "economics".

2) Anarchocapitalists with a different name and leftist terminology: These folks agree with pretty much all of what we say, except they like to use different words. For example they will reject calling themselves anarchocapitalists, and instead call themselves free market anarchists, because they see capitalism as synonymous with corporatism. Basically they define things differently. 

To me, this is all fine and dandy, because it is easier to pull actual leftists with civil libertarian positions into ancapistan.

3) Something else completetly: Some of these folks have some kind of basis in Austrian writings, or some friendliness to market places, but basically have their own ideas. They are closer to number 1.

 

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

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Scott F used to be active on here but got tired of debating. Brainpolice used to be active, whatever happened to him? But yeah, as another poster said, there is a forum for them.

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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But I  find it very hard to see how one can hold to the LTV and be an Austrian at the same time. Austrian Economics is diverse, for example: there are economists that question the validity of time preferences, question praxeology, question whether there are even such thing as an economic law that is universal, and there are some that advocate the use of history to explain economic phenomena. etc. But what unites all Austrians, at least to me anyway, is they all hold on to Menger's marginal utility approach.

And yes, some of the early Austrians were very Socialist* leaning, the biggest name being: Friedrich von Wieser, nevertheless, a fantastic economist.

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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I would say in many ways we share socialist aesthetics, without all the statist baggage or anachronism.

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A lot Mutualists and left-libertarians oppose capitalism because they define it specifically as a system that supports wage labor. This doesn't mean they all vehemently oppose it, but they believe that it would be hard to sustain in a stateless environment without the use of force. Carson is a big time mutualist, Proudhon was the first, and Dejacque is a contemporary of Proudhon and the first self-described libertarian, although I have not read much of his work and do not know where he stands exactly.
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Marko replied on Wed, Jun 29 2011 5:30 PM

As I remember it there used to be a bunch of them around but one by one they left in disgust over us being too vulgar and thin.

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James replied on Thu, Jun 30 2011 12:01 PM

Still better than being too thick, imo.

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AaronBurr replied on Thu, Jun 30 2011 1:55 PM

They are generally obsessed with race issues.

Bring back the Gold standard.
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What do people consider "left-libertarian"? I had assumed it was synonymous with libertarian socialist, but I've been seeing agorists referred to as left-libertarians. Agorists are capitalists, right?

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Left-libertarian is coming to mean anything "left" of run of the mill anarcho-capitalism, although it used to just be a different name for Agorism. It's popularity amongst Mutualists and other strains of Anarchist thought, due in much part to the ALLiance, had turned it into an umbrella term.

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