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Libertarian Socialism?

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SkepticalMetal posted on Sun, Oct 7 2012 7:09 PM

Lately I have been curious to know about libertarian socialism. The two terms seem to contradict each other, as I have absolutely no clue how a socialist society could exist without government coercion. The same goes for libertarian communism.

Could someone give me a simple breakdown of how this could possibly work?

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stsoc replied on Thu, Oct 18 2012 5:35 AM

Lol, are you even being serious now?

A group of capitalists: http://www.newsline.dot.state.mn.us/images/08/feb/13-35Wbridgesparks600.jpg

It's basically a denial of the idea that a distributor brings any value to a product, or that an investor / capitalist brings any value to production.

It's a very simplistic and naive view of the mechanics of business, based on a faulty construction of the labor theory of value.

There is no such thing as a set value. Values are relative.

"A dollar of profit is an unpaid wage." That's Marx's conception, and it's ridiculous. Marx focused purely on labor to the exclusion of all other ways value can be added to a product.

Legitimate property comes into being by mixing labor in it. Labor is central to existence of property. When people labor they are entitled to everything they make and earn, it is illegitimate for someone to take any part of product of their labor when he has not labored with them.

But the owner has provided the means of production, i.e. the building, the computers, the machines, the vehicles etc, so shouldn`t the owner get something in return for letting the workers make use of his means of production?

No. To rent means of production is to violate people's right to the full product of one's labor, which is actually the right to property. Also the capitalist has come in the possession in the first place by illegitimate means, either by force (war or other state action) or by ownership of natural recources- which is illegitimate (they can legitimately only be possessed, not owned).

capitalist based anarchism

Contradiction in terms.

Basically what I am saying is that marxism and the state have written real anarchism out of the history books per se and replaced it with what is realy communism or marxist tainted version of a stateless society.

This makes absolutely no sense. Read these:

http://infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionA

http://infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionF

http://infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQAppendix11#app6

What worker makes the entire product? Which single laborer is involved in every step of the manufacture and sale of the product?

Who claimed that?

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excel replied on Thu, Oct 18 2012 5:55 AM

Legitimate property comes into being by mixing labor in it. Labor is central to existence of property. When people labor they are entitled to everything they make and earn, it is illegitimate for someone to take any part of product of their labor when he has not labored with them.

If someone makes and sells a hammer, are they entitled to everything the hammer is used to make?

No. To rent means of production is to violate people's right to the full product of one's labor, which is actually the right to property. Also the capitalist has come in the possession in the first place by illegitimate means, either by force (war or other state action) or by ownership of natural recources- which is illegitimate (they can legitimately only be possessed, not owned).

What is the full product of one's labor in hammering the the nails that fasten together the framing of a house?

What is it that ensures as fact the proposition that all capitalists at all times must have come by possession of their capital either by force or ownership of natural resources?

What is it that makes natural resources into a special case from which it follows that they can merely be 'possessed' and not owned?  (Also, what is the differenece?)

This makes absolutely no sense. Read these:

His statement makes no sense  because you linked to definitions of anarchy on a web-page whose stated mission (right at the top) is 'kill capitalism before it kills you'? Your choice of sources seems to underscore his point. 

Who claimed that?

Then how can someone be denied 'the full product of their labor' since they can't possible own the end-product, as they have not mixed their labor with  it?

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stsoc replied on Thu, Oct 18 2012 7:37 AM

If someone makes and sells a hammer, are they entitled to everything the hammer is used to make?

No. They have sold the hammer. Don't ask idiotic questions.

What is it that makes natural resources into a special case from which it follows that they can merely be 'possessed' and not owned?  (Also, what is the differenece?)

Only products of labor can be owned. Recourses that are in the state of nature, that is- that don't have labor mixed with them, can only be under possession. Property is the right to exclusive use until the transfer of title, right to possession is the right to exclusive use during use of that possession. 

His statement makes no sense  because you linked to definitions of anarchy on a web-page whose stated mission (right at the top) is 'kill capitalism before it kills you'? Your choice of sources seems to underscore his point.

Looks like ad hominems can be directed at entities like websites. Read the links.

Then how can someone be denied 'the full product of their labor' since they can't possible own the end-product, as they have not mixed their labor with  it?

What you make is yours, and you can sell it. What part of that are you not understanding?

E.g. people make chop trees or mine or similar, and make timber and similar materials (they use labor and remove them from their state of nature) and then sell them to someone who will use them to make something else. Those people make boards, nails, tools, etc and sell goods to other people. Those people use it e.g. to build a house, and then they sell the house. Is there something incomprehensible there?

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excel replied on Thu, Oct 18 2012 5:18 PM

No. They have sold the hammer. Don't ask idiotic questions.

Laborer's have sold their labor. Why are they still entitled to it, if hammer sellers are not entitled to their hammers?

Only products of labor can be owned. Recourses that are in the state of nature, that is- that don't have labor mixed with them, can only be under possession. Property is the right to exclusive use until the transfer of title, right to possession is the right to exclusive use during use of that possession. 

So hammers can be owned, but a rock you pick up off the ground and bring home and put on your table cannot be owned?

Looks like ad hominems can be directed at entities like websites. Read the links.

Ad hominem does not mean what you think it means.

What you make is yours, and you can sell it. What part of that are you not understanding?

I accept your intellectual concession.

E.g. people make chop trees or mine or similar, and make timber and similar materials (they use labor and remove them from their state of nature) and then sell them to someone who will use them to make something else. Those people make boards, nails, tools, etc and sell goods to other people. Those people use it e.g. to build a house, and then they sell the house. Is there something incomprehensible there?

How can they sell the house, it is not a product of their labor alone... Someone owns the framing, someone else owns the foundation (normally not the same people who make these things), someone else owns the armoring, someone else owns the plumbing, someone else owns the wiring, someone else owns the paint and someone else owns the roofing.

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No. They have sold the hammer. Don't ask idiotic questions.

Laborer's have sold their labor. Why are they still entitled to it, if hammer sellers are not entitled to their hammers?

Cause the Ministry has labelled them as slaves so they aren't allowed to the product of their own labor! (see? I'm catching on)

 How can they sell the house, it is not a product of their labor alone... Someone owns the framing, someone else owns the foundation (normally not the same people who make these things), someone else owns the armoring, someone else owns the plumbing, someone else owns the wiring, someone else owns the paint and someone else owns the roofing.

Easy answer: there won't be workers on a house, because the division of labor wouldn't exist under these circumstances so we won't have to worry about complicated undertakings like that.

 

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But there are many types of labour that would not exist if it was not for the larger organisation. To restrict people from working for someone else would be to restrict the division of labour and reduce the possibilities available to everyone. My job would not exist in your socialist society.

What happens if 30 people work to build a house that I want to live in? Do I only posses the house, while the 30 people who built it actually own it. Now that is just idiotic and not pragmatic. That would create so many conflicts and just makes no sense.

You still have not commented on why anarchism is not compatible with socialism. What happens to all those people that don't want to participate in your view of property ownership and labour? It would be impossible to avoid a form of hierarchy in your socialists society. How could you possibly force people that do not want to comply without coercion and thus a form of hierarchy.

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stsoc:
A group of capitalists: http://www.newsline.dot.state.mn.us/images/08/feb/13-35Wbridgesparks600.jpg
Why cant`t construction workers own capital/stocks etc(I`ve worked in a factory while owning stocks, how is that possible)?

stsoc:
It's basically a denial of the idea that a distributor brings any value to a product, or that an investor / capitalist brings any value to production.

It's a very simplistic and naive view of the mechanics of business, based on a faulty construction of the labor theory of value.

There is no such thing as a set value. Values are relative.

"A dollar of profit is an unpaid wage." That's Marx's conception, and it's ridiculous. Marx focused purely on labor to the exclusion of all other ways value can be added to a product.

Legitimate property comes into being by mixing labor in it. Labor is central to existence of property. When people labor they are entitled to everything they make and earn, it is illegitimate for someone to take any part of product of their labor when he has not labored with them.
But the owner of the means of production(building/machines etc) has contributed by producing the means of production that the workers operate/use.
stsoc:
Johnny Doe:
But the owner has provided the means of production, i.e. the building, the computers, the machines, the vehicles etc, so shouldn`t the owner get something in return for letting the workers make use of his means of production?

No. To rent means of production is to violate people's right to the full product of one's labor, which is actually the right to property. Also the capitalist has come in the possession in the first place by illegitimate means, either by force (war or other state action) or by ownership of natural recources- which is illegitimate (they can legitimately only be possessed, not owned).

But I`m not refering to commodities/land etc, but the fruits of the owner of the means of productions labor, i.e. why shouldn`t the owner of the means of production get the full product(i.e. what he contributes by letting other people make use of the building/machines etc that the owner produced/mixed his labor with) of his labor? AnCaps/minarchists etc are not proponents of the illegtimate means/statism you`re refering to?

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excel:
Johnny Doe:
The owners of capital are favoured by the LLC, lower taxation, cheap credit, inflation etc
How are they taxes lower?
We have taxation of income, which is not flat, i.e. it varies, and there are various deductions etc which also changes the tax burden for different people/sectors etc. I.e. everyone are not taxed the same, i.e. everyone doesn`t pay a fixed amount for the "services" government forces upon them.
excel:
Do income taxes apply differently to someone who owns a tractor and someone who is hired to drive a tractor?
Is the tax rate the same, can the hiree sell is labor through a LLC/a company?
excel:
What is cheap credit?
It`s an artficially low price of buying power/money due to a fiat-monetary system/central banking/inflation of the currency.
excel:
How does inflation favor the owner of a tractor?
The owner gets to borrow cheaply, using the tractor as collateral, and the principle on the loan is made relatively smaller by the inflation.
excel:
Btw, do you mean 'the LLC' as some organization, or are you referring to limited liability companies?
Limited liability companies.

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stsoc:

The capitalist built it? Oh, wait.

"Oh wait" is right - you just had your fantasy destroyed. No capitalist = no factories = no jobs = no workers.

A starving population of people scrabbling around for roots and berries and maybe the odd artist hoping someone will trade him their thatched hut for a marble bust he carved. Ha ha ha ha.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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excel replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 4:25 AM

Thanks for your answers Johhny;

We have taxation of income, which is not flat, i.e. it varies, and there are various deductions etc which also changes the tax burden for different people/sectors etc. I.e. everyone are not taxed the same, i.e. everyone doesn`t pay a fixed amount for the "services" government forces upon them.

I see nothing to disagree with here.

Is the tax rate the same, can the hiree sell is labor through a LLC/a company?

I suppose their tax rate would be the same if they had the same level of income. I don't see any reason why the hiree couldn't sell his labor through an LLC. (Unless there's some legal barrier to this that I'm not aware of.)

It`s an artficially low price of buying power/money due to a fiat-monetary system/central banking/inflation of the currency.

When I think of cheap credit, I'm sort of imagining an interest rate that people 'find' to be cheap, but which doesn't necessarily have to be artificially low. Although I suppose in our present situation the rate is rather disconnected from reality. (Apart from the reality of it being more or less set by a central bank.)

The owner gets to borrow cheaply, using the tractor ascollateral, and the principle on the loan is made relatively smaller by the inflation.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to anyone who doesn't own a tractor as well, by using their future labor as collateral.

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excel:

Thanks for your answers Johhny;

We have taxation of income, which is not flat, i.e. it varies, and there are various deductions etc which also changes the tax burden for different people/sectors etc. I.e. everyone are not taxed the same, i.e. everyone doesn`t pay a fixed amount for the "services" government forces upon them.

I see nothing to disagree with here.

Is the tax rate the same, can the hiree sell is labor through a LLC/a company?

I suppose their tax rate would be the same if they had the same level of income. I don't see any reason why the hiree couldn't sell his labor through an LLC. (Unless there's some legal barrier to this that I'm not aware of.)

It`s an artficially low price of buying power/money due to a fiat-monetary system/central banking/inflation of the currency.

When I think of cheap credit, I'm sort of imagining an interest rate that people 'find' to be cheap, but which doesn't necessarily have to be artificially low. Although I suppose in our present situation the rate is rather disconnected from reality. (Apart from the reality of it being more or less set by a central bank.)

The owner gets to borrow cheaply, using the tractor ascollateral, and the principle on the loan is made relatively smaller by the inflation.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to anyone who doesn't own a tractor as well, by using their future labor as collateral.

 

The tractor exists, the future labor might not happen, i.e. the person who promises future labor can receive the loan, spend it, and never work again.

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Cortes replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 4:50 AM

(not even gonna attempt to figure out the right tags to post a video or this crappy abandonware text editor will probably explode)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KurgemG4H5c

The old duckspeaker dude in the video says "Socialism never existed and it was just 'state capitalism'."

Whenever somebody says this I simultaneously laugh at its absurdity and then feel utterly hopeless. One, not because I don't believe the term is valid, but because I have no idea what the hell they mean when they say it, and two, because of how it's such a perfect example of doublethink.

People saw socialism right in front of their eyes but denied what the results were, defining it out of existence as 'capitalism'.

But couldn't the same be said when a libertarian describes something as 'crony capitalism' or 'corporatism' and that the free market never really existed? 

State Capitalism as I understand it is essentially equivalent to what is described here as 'crony capitalism' or 'corporatism'. So does that mean that Stalin was a capitalist? Any time a government invests or owns capital and engineers things, that is capitalism?

Socialism never existed? Ever? It was all the work of capitalists?

"State Capitalism". The Government is the Free Market.

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Cortes:
(not even gonna attempt to figure out the right tags to post a video or this crappy abandonware text editor will probably explode)

Hilarious! I feel your frustration. :D

Cortes:
The old duckspeaker dude in the video says "Socialism never existed and it was just 'state capitalism'."

[...]

But couldn't the same be said when a libertarian describes something as 'crony capitalism' or 'corporatism' and that the free market never really existed? 

Quasi-free markets may have existed within various microcosms, but prices are always heavily distorted from the governmental fees and regulations. And, like "pregnant", "free" is one of those things you either are or you're not, so I'm not inclined to concede that we've ever really had a free market.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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excel replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 8:14 AM

The tractor exists, the future labor might not happen, i.e. the person who promises future labor can receive the loan, spend it, and never work again.

Then it seems non-capitalists have a greater advantage from inflation/cheap credit than capitalists.

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stsoc replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 8:20 AM

Laborer's have sold their labor.

The slave sold himhelf. He is still entitled to himself, because selling oneself is illegitimate. Renting oneself likewise.

So hammers can be owned, but a rock you pick up off the ground and bring home and put on your table cannot be owned?

You remove a recourse from the state of nature and it's yours. You can own stone, ore, wood, and similar, but by exerting some sort of possession over them, by mixing labor with them. If having a paper that says you own an area is all connection that you have with that area, in socialism you could use that paper only to wipe your a**. Recourses on that area could be yours only if you labored to get them.

How can they sell the house, it is not a product of their labor alone...

Who else worked to build it?

Someone owns the framing, someone else owns the foundation (normally not the same people who make these things) someone else owns the armoring, someone else owns the plumbing, someone else owns the wiring, someone else owns the paint and someone else owns the roofing.

All those things would be done by workers who belong to the a building coop.

My job would not exist in your socialist society.

What is that job?

What happens if 30 people work to build a house that I want to live in?

A building coop would build a house and sell it to you.

You still have not commented on why anarchism is not compatible with socialism.

What? Anarachism is socialism. There cannot be non-socialist anarchism.

What happens to all those people that don't want to participate in your view of property ownership and labour?

What about fraudsters in a stateless capitalist society? They would be banned by laws. Likewise in socialism capitalism would be banned by law as a type of fraud.

It would be impossible to avoid a form of hierarchy in your socialists society.

Why?

How could you possibly force people that do not want to comply without coercion and thus a form of hierarchy.

Prohibiting establishment of hierarchies is not hierarchical, it is by definition the opposite.

Why cant`t construction workers own capital/stocks

In socialism construction workers (with other workers in the firm) as a collective will be the owners and controllers of their construction company.

But the owner of the means of production(building/machines etc) has contributed by producing the means of production that the workers operate/use.

He has not contributed by labor.

why shouldn`t the owner of the means of production get the full product(i.e. what he contributes by letting other people make use of the building/machines etc that the owner produced/mixed his labor with)

He should. He contributed by his machine, and he is entitled to be recompensated for the machine. If I give you a machine so you can produce something, I'm entitled only to a recompensation for the machine, I cannot be legitemately entitled to recieve a cut of your earnings because "the machine is mine", that would be me denying you the right to the full produc of your labor, that is- violating your right to property, which is theft. Likewise if I give you money, and you produce stuff, I'm entitled only to get my money back, the only way I would be entitled to continously get a part of your earnigns would be if would to continously do a part of labor toghether with you.

No capitalist = no factories = no jobs = no workers.

The other way around. No workers = capitalists starve to death unless some of them become workers.

No capitalist = workers are free to be the masters of their own productive life. Like it happened in Revolutionary Spain.

The old duckspeaker dude in the video says "Socialism never existed and it was just 'state capitalism'."

Totally true.

One, not because I don't believe the term is valid, but because I have no idea what the hell they mean when they say it

State having property over land, factories, firms.

People saw socialism right in front of their eyes but denied what the results were, defining it out of existence as 'capitalism'.

USSR was dismissed as state capitalist by all anarhists and orthodox marxist groups as state capitalism as soon as bolsheviks abolished worker coucils and established state control. All mutualists, anarcho-collectivists, and anarcho-communist (and their sub-type anarcho-syndicalists), with the marxists groups souch as council communist, de leonists, world socialists, decists, workers' opposition, workers' truth, even the esers, dismissed the bolsheviks as state capitalists.

Bakunin said that state controling the economy to bring about socialism is nothing then state capitalism, and he said that many years before Bolshevik even existed.

So does that mean that Stalin was a capitalist?

Yes. A state capitalist. Someone posted here a video of Chomsky where he says something like "we never had capitalism" talking about pure market capitalism. Of cource socialists know the difference between the stateless capitalism (what you here are advocating), state capitalism (USSR and similar countries) and mixed capitalism (the system prevalent today), and I think almost all us are will admit that state capitalism is the worst of the three, but we still reject all of them, because we think that only non-hierarchical (economic) systems are justified, and that excludes all forms of slavery, feudalism and capitalism.

Socialism never existed? Ever?

It existed in Free Territory, Revolutionary Catalonia and Andalusia, and exists in Zapatista Chiapas. The Free Territory was destroyed by Bolsheviks, Revolutionary Spain by both USSR troops and Franco's fascists, and the Zapatista Chiapas is totally cut off from the world by the Mexican state that surrounds it (armed conflicts stopped about 10 years ago, Mexico now just tries to keep them totally locked down).

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