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Why I am no longer a socialist

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Matthew78 Posted: Sun, Oct 14 2012 12:03 AM

For quite a few years, I was a socialist. I considered myself an anarchist (also known as a libertarian socialist). I remember reading a few books by some libertarian socialists and my favorites were Economic Justice and Democracy by Robin Hahnel and Anarchism, Marxism, and the Future of the Left by Murray Bookchin. I also read Hahnel's journal paper "Exploitation: A Modern Approach". What got me to renounce socialism, regretfully at first, is part of my general trek from progressive politics to libertarian politics. What led me to realize my error as a socialist was actually a thought experiment.

I believed, as a socialist, that only effort, or sacritice, was worth rewarding and not the contrbution of one's property or labor to the market system. I had aspirations to become an author. I had it in my mind to become a socialist author. I wanted to write both fiction and nonfiction and hope to earn enough money to establish my financial independence so I could write books denouncing capitalism. I now laugh at the absurdity of what I had in mind: a socialist would-be author seeking to become financially independent. Benefiting from capitalism in order to destroy it! 

But this put me in a horrile dilemma. How do I escape the horrible charge of hypocrisy? To further educate the world about libertarian socialism and the evils of capitalism and to spend my time educating the world, full-time, would require financial independence. Yet if I became financially independent, I would have to admit that I exploited people in the process. If I became financially independent, I would have to either admit that I am part of the very problem that I am railing against or that there is nothing exploitative about capitalism. How would I avoid hypocrisy? I realized that I couldn't.

Then something hit me that never hit me before. I was really shocked that it hit me as forcefully as it did. It was also a very profound realization for me. 

I realized that many wealthy people acquire their wealth through voluntary exchanges with other people. Take, for instance, Dan Brown or J. Rowling. Brown's book The DaVinci Code and Rowling's Harry Potter books sell millions. Brown and Rowling are probably multimillionaires. Yet, there is no exploitation involved, as far as I can see. I realized that if people want to buy any of Brown's books, that is up to them. How much people are willing to pay and how much Rowling gets for her books is between the customers, the publishing company, and Rowling. It's all a voluntary exchange. 

If a publishing company offers a royality of half for a book to an author, so that for every dollar earned, the author gets half the dollar and the publishing company gets the other half, that contract is between the author and the company. If a company and an author agree to split sales, 50/50, and a book sells at, say, 10 dollars, if 100 people choose to buy this book, the company gets 500 dollars and the author gets the other 500. If 200,000 people buy this book and the author gets 5 dollars per purchase, then that author will become a millionaire. 

Again, whether the costumers purchase a book or not is up to them. How much the cost is for the book and how much royalty the author gets is all a matter of voluntary contract. An author freely writes. Costumers freely buy books they choose to buy. The same is with sports. How much a given athlete makes is between that athlete, the manager of a sports team, the sports fans willing to buy tickets for a game, and other people involved. All of it is voluntary exchange. There is no fraud or coercion that I can see in these kinds of exchanges. I realized that the market economy is based, ideally, on free, voluntary market transactions like these. 

When I had this realization, I became convinced that capitalism is not exploitatiive and that socialists llke Robin Hahnel and others are simply wrong. This realization shattered my belief that socialism of any sort is morally superior to capitalism. It was after this that I abandoned my libertarian socialist ideas and I realized that I was a libertarian capitalist. 

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Walden replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 2:48 AM

Isn't the objection that it isn't voluntary if the worker is required to work in order to survive?

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The objections are two.

First I, the socialist, don't get enough free money. One way of saying this is that I'm a slave who has to work to survive.

Second, everyone with more money than me is evil, because they exploited me to get their money. And the OP refutes this one very well.

 

 

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Groucho replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 6:38 AM

Ironically enough, and I hope this does not frighten you off, in a truly anarchistic society there would be no copyright laws that could be enforced. I suspect it would be a bit harder for an author to "rest on his laurels", as it were, by making vast sums of money through licensing his words and ideas.

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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Wheylous replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 10:19 AM

That was beautiful, Matt.   ; (

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stsoc replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 12:48 PM

Yet if I became financially independent, I would have to admit that I exploited people in the process.

I don't see the connection. Exploitation has to do with living of other people's labor (or more precisely taking a part of product of someone else's labor), and economic inequality is not exploitation, neither is it wrong because it can be a consequnce of exploitation.

I realized that many wealthy people acquire their wealth through voluntary exchanges with other people. Take, for instance, Dan Brown or J. Rowling. Brown's book The DaVinci Code and Rowling's Harry Potter books sell millions.

Intellectual rights don't exist, they are illegitimately given by the state, so this example is not really relevant. Also, consent doesn't make things magically rights. Slavery is illegitimate no matter if someone consented to being made a slave.

I realized that the market economy is based, ideally, on free, voluntary market transactions.

I'm a communist, and I acknowledge this. If someone wants to organize a mutualist society (a society of free people functioning in a free market as peers), I support that.

When I had this realization, I became convinced that capitalism is not exploitatiive

You don't seem to have the grasp what exploitation is, or at least you didn't seem to think it important to say why you think capitalism isn't exploitative, being that you didn't, you talked about ineqality and voluntarism.

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Malachi replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 1:02 PM
Also, consent doesn't make things magically rights. Slavery is illegitimate no matter if someone consented to being made a slave.
slavery is nonconsensual by definition. Other than that, rights are social in nature so yes consent would be the opposite side of that coin.
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Matthew78 replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 4:47 PM

 

Yet if I became financially independent, I would have to admit that I exploited people in the process.
 
I don't see the connection. Exploitation has to do with living of other people's labor (or more precisely taking a part of product of someone else's labor), and economic inequality is not exploitation, neither is it wrong because it can be a consequnce of exploitation.
 
In the socialist works I read, profits are necessarily the result of an exploitative relationship between a capitalist boss and a worker. At least how I understood it, a profit made results from exploitation, somehow, someway, somewhere. If I made profits in the form of selling books, then exploitation had to be involved somehow. I realize that economic inequality is not the same thing as exploitation. But I would disagree with you back in my socialist days; income inequality is exploitative, I thought, if there was an economic relationship involved when two or more agents are benefiting at the expense of others. 
 
I realized that many wealthy people acquire their wealth through voluntary exchanges with other people. Take, for instance, Dan Brown or J. Rowling. Brown's book The DaVinci Code and Rowling's Harry Potter books sell millions.
 
Intellectual rights don't exist, they are illegitimately given by the state, so this example is not really relevant. Also, consent doesn't make things magically rights. Slavery is illegitimate no matter if someone consented to being made a slave.
 
How are intellectual rights illegitimately given by the state? As for consent not making things "magically right", I agree. I didn't say otherwise. However, I have to question you on this point. You say that "slavery is illegitimate no matter if someone consented to being made a slave"-but if someone consented to servitude, is it really accurate to describe it as slavery, if the consenting person is, legally, a grown adult? 
 
I realized that the market economy is based, ideally, on free, voluntary market transactions.
 
I'm a communist, and I acknowledge this. If someone wants to organize a mutualist society (a society of free people functioning in a free market as peers), I support that.
 
Mutualists and market socialists have always believed that a market economy is based on freely voluntary transactions in the market place. The point I was trying to make is that even in a capitalist system, the ability of athletes and authors to make large profits from their services is based on voluntary market transactions. Voluntary transactions aren't just limited to market economies; it extends to capitalism as well.
 
When I had this realization, I became convinced that capitalism is not exploitative
 
You don't seem to have the grasp what exploitation is, or at least you didn't seem to think it important to say why you think capitalism isn't exploitative, being that you didn't, you talked about ineqality and voluntarism.
 
It may help if we define what exploitation is. I was going by what Robin Hahnel defined exploitation as, although I modified, to my personal satisfaction, his definition into one of my own. Perhaps you have a different definition of exploitation? 
 
As for why capitalism isn't exploitative, in my opinion, the best I can offer is a critique of Hahnel's argument for exploitation. Since it was chiefly Hahnel who originally convinced me that capitalism is exploitative, my reasoning is that I have detected what I consider to be flaws in his argument. 
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stsoc replied on Mon, Oct 15 2012 2:18 PM

slavery is nonconsensual by definition.

If a condition of extreme need that would make someone so desparate to sell himself into slavery is coersion, then yes, slavery is by defition nonconsesual. But if coersion has to do only with a more direct actions of people, then, no, slavery is not by definition nonconsesual, because people have "voluntarily" sold themselves into slavery troughout history.

In the socialist works I read, profits are necessarily the result of an exploitative relationship between a capitalist boss and a worker.

In classical and marxian economics, profits are defined as the income of a capitalist. E.g. a factory sells the products it makes, and the earning are split up into expences (material, electric power, etc) + wages + profits (the part that goes to the owner/ capitalist); that is- being that the owner takes a part of earnings, the workers don't get the full product of their labor.

But I would disagree with you back in my socialist days; income inequality is exploitative

So you left socialist that you didn't even understand. Economic ineqality and exploatation are both wrong but not because the of the other one, and are not directly connected.

How are intellectual rights illegitimately given by the state?

I have a printer, I have paper, I have text of a published book on my computer, but I am prohibited to use my possessions how I want, although I would use it peacefully without in any way interfering with anyone else of their possessions. Anyone (state, firm, an individual) who prohibits me that is violating my freedom.

You say that "slavery is illegitimate no matter if someone consented to being made a slave"-but if someone consented to servitude, is it really accurate to describe it as slavery, if the consenting person is, legally, a grown adult?

Yes. Slave is person that is kept by another person as property. If you sell yourself into slavery, you have become a voluntary, consensual slave. But, as I said, voluntarism doesn't make things magically legitimate. Slavery is illegitimate no matter the consent. Likewise with serfhood and employment.

It may help if we define what exploitation is.

Someone taking profits, in the meaning of the word I mentioned above; a concrete identification of the action that is exploitation, would be, in the narrower sense- renting means of production (instruments and subjects of labor), or in a wider sense- renting anything. Afaik, Hahnel talked about the latter as exploitation, being that renting is unearned (unlabored for) income, but I didn't really read the paper, correct me if I'm wrong.

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Anenome replied on Mon, Oct 15 2012 10:28 PM

Thanks for that. Coming from the right myself it's interesting to read about the journeys of others from the other side and what specifically convinced them.

 

 

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Winder replied on Mon, Oct 15 2012 11:02 PM

But how did you end up a socialist to begin with?  That is the question that always baffles me.  

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Anenome replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 12:50 AM

Winder:

But how did you end up a socialist to begin with?  That is the question that always baffles me.  

By being confused economically about what would be moral in that sphere. That seems to be the heart of it from what I have seen. Ultimately socialism rests on a moral argument about economics, but it's completely confused and obfuscated.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Anenome:

By being confused economically about what would be moral in that sphere. That seems to be the heart of it from what I have seen. Ultimately socialism rests on a moral argument about economics, but it's completely confused and obfuscated.

They don't seem to care if socialism is economically sound at all. Socialism is purely grounded in emotion, using economics only to rationalize their already held desires, not caring about truth in the slightest.

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 Slavery is illegitimate no matter the consent. Likewise with serfhood and employment.

So, employment is illegitimate no matter the consent. If I am completely self subsistent and I spent my days tilling the fields to to produce food to survive, but one of my neighbors invents a more efficient way to do it, and offers me the opportunity to use this invention, but we contractually agree that I must also till part of his land--yet I still save time and effort, this is illegitimate? 

Say the same neighbor begins to produce more food than he needs. He sells some of his produce for other goods, and gives me an amount that we both find fair. I now have to do less work and produce more food than before. Is it illegitimate at this point?

What if the same neighbor accrues enough goods through his barter that he is able to make another one of his inventions and he leases it to his other neigbor on the same terms. Is this also illegitimate?

 

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stsoc replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 1:49 PM

They don't seem to care if socialism is economically sound at all. Socialism is purely grounded in emotion

False. Even if I were the only socialist on the world to base my views not on emotions but ethical principles (and I am certanly not the only one), it would still make this generalization false.

So, employment is illegitimate no matter the consent.

Yes.

If I am completely self subsistent and I spent my days tilling the fields to to produce food to survive, but one of my neighbors invents a more efficient way to do it, and offers me the opportunity to use this invention, but we contractually agree that I must also till part of his land--yet I still save time and effort, this is illegitimate?

Yes. Principles cannot be invalidates by a pressumption of (general) preferability of actions' consequences. To deprive someone of the full product of their labor is illegitimate, and that is why employment will be banned. Also "to till someone else's land" would be a contradiction, land cannot be owned, but only "occupied-and-used", and that principle will be established in socialism.

Say the same neighbor begins to produce more food than he needs. He sells some of his produce for other goods, and gives me an amount that we both find fair. I now have to do less work and produce more food than before. Is it illegitimate at this point?

I don't get what are you asking here. Maybe you missed a word, or my english is not so good.

he is able to make another one of his inventions and he leases it to his other neigbor on the same terms. Is this also illegitimate?

Rent is illegitimate, and would be banned in socialism. At least the rent of the means of production (that's the basis of socialism), but I would personally agitate for all renting of anything to be banned.

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Autolykos replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 1:57 PM

stsoc:
Yes. Principles cannot be invalidates by a pressumption of (general) preferability of actions' consequences. To deprive someone of the full product of their labor is illegitimate, and that is why employment will be banned.

So even if there was some form of employment where the employee wasn't deprived of the full product of his labor, you would want to ban that form of employment too?

stsoc:
Also "to till someone else's land" would be a contradiction, land cannot be owned, but only "occupied-and-used", and that principle will be established in socialism.

So you'd agree that, under occupancy-and-use, no one has the right to stop you from tilling land that you've been tilling?

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stsoc replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 2:00 PM

Sorry?

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Autolykos replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 2:03 PM

What part are you confused about? (I'm not implying that you shouldn't be confused, I'm just asking so I can hopefully make my questions [more] understandable to you.)

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  Principles cannot be invalidates by a pressumption of (general) preferability of actions' consequences.

I agree with this, this is why we are not utilitarians. However, I don't see how a legitimate principle could prevent people from making their own choices about how they wish to transform their labor.

 I don't get what are you asking here. Maybe you missed a word, or my english is not so good.

I'm trying to put my finger on what the dispositive factor is from when labor becomes "illegitimate". I would guess from your former analysis that you do not take employee consent into consideration because you believe that bargaining power is unequal; one party, usually the employee, 'needs' the work far more than the employer needs the employee. It's the difference between starving to death and making a profit. Except less melodramatic. Is this more or less the gist?

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stsoc replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 2:50 PM

However, I don't see how a legitimate principle could prevent people from making their own choices about how they wish to transform their labor.

Slavery is illegitimate no matter if it is the slave's choice. Things being volutary doesn't make them legitimate.

I would guess from your former analysis that you do not take employee consent into consideration because you believe that bargaining power is unequal;

You haven't see me mentioning that everyone has the right to "full product of one's labor"?

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stsoc:

They don't seem to care if socialism is economically sound at all. Socialism is purely grounded in emotion

False. Even if I were the only socialist on the world to base my views not on emotions but ethical principles (and I am certanly not the only one), it would still make this generalization false.

How is it fair that you get your worker self-management yet I can't work for someone if I desire? (The idea of working for someone is repulsive to me but to some that isn't the case.) Emotions heavily influence ethics, especially deontological ethics, which in some form you endorse. (Your ethics is very absolutist, outright stating that employment is always morally wrong, not taking into consideration the consequences of not just socialism but how it would affect other people. Many people have grown up constantly being told what to do, a person like that would perform poorly under a environment where he/she has no one to tell them what to do, what about them? You wish to force them manage themselves even when they don't want to? Do you care at all about what they want? Just because I hate being told what to do, and believe that people would be better off if they thought for themselves, I'm not willing to force them to conform to my wishes. Is it ethical to force someone to do what they don't want to do "for their own good"? Perhaps you believe so.

Anyone serious about ethics wouldn't be as absolutist as you are. (Any socialist who labels employment immoral isn't serious about ethics either. Pure emotion.)

Reminds me of religious people who label something like drug use as immoral, because drugs are "bad" for people, even though people willingly choose to do drugs.

My sympathy towards anarcho-socialists is quickly going down.

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 2:59 PM

that contract is between the author and the company

But I think where there leftists have a perfectly valid point, here, is that this contract is not actually fair. Publishers are at a massive advantage in the formation of publishing contracts. In most exchanges, the wealthier party clearly enjoys a surfeit of rights in the exchange. However, leftists misdiagnose the cause of the problem. They jump to the conclusion that the wealth itself is the cause of this state of affairs. Meanwhile, the right-wingers deny that it's even a real phenomenon. Between the two, we are almost hopeless.

The fact is that a surfeit of rights must exist as a matter of law. Who writes the laws? Government. Who interprets the laws? Government. Who enforces the laws? Government. So, wealthy interests do not end up with a surfeit of rights by magic, there is always an intermediary: the government. The government is the means by which laws, rules and regulations are put into place that create the surfeit of rights that wealthy interests enjoy. And how do they persuade the government to do this? Bribery. It may be legal bribery (lobbying) but bribery all the same.

But the statists (left & right) always believe the solution is more government, even though government is the cause of the problem to begin with. Wealthy interests create an unfair playing field for the little guy? Let's increase taxes on the rich. Let's impose equal opportunity labor laws. Let's give child-tax credits. Blah blah frickin' blah. The cycle was already laid out by Mises in Socialism and Hayek in Road to Serfdom. There is a "crisis". Government steps in to "solve" the "crisis". The "solution" unwittingly sows the seeds of another, often larger, crisis. The government intervenes again. And so it goes until the entire economy - and, with it, the government - is driven to its knees in a final collapse.

The correct answer is to solve the root problem: Instead of granting favors to wealthy interests that create the need for legally-protected unions or "worker's rights" legislation, why not simply not grant those privileges in the first place? That's called a free market... not allowing the big guys to rig the market to quash smaller competitors.

The first flint-knife-maker to run a newly arrived flint-knife-maker out of the tribal village on threat of, well, death... was the first crony capitalist. The first-ever "Too Big to Fail" industrialist. He was the first a-hole who sought to "protect the tribe's knife-making industry" (aka himself) at the expense of the tribe. And it's all been downhill since then. The trouble is that a) people generally fail to perceive that regulations are primarily about protecting established business interests and b) that "good" governments (i.e. the governments of developed countries) act either in their own interests against all business interests (big and small alike) or in the interests of big business against small businesses and consumers. Government never acts in the true interests of small businesses and consumers for the simple reason that it cannot, even if it really intended to. (Calculation argument)

</rambling>

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Clayton replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 2:59 PM

<duplicate>

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However, I don't see how a legitimate principle could prevent people from making their own choices about how they wish to transform their labor.

Slavery is illegitimate no matter if it is the slave's choice. Things being volutary doesn't make them legitimate.

In a sovereign individual, how does a voluntary non-aggressive act not constitute a legitimate act? 

 You haven't see me mentioning that everyone has the right to "full product of one's labor"?

I have. I was talking about in the current system, not in your Utopia where there is no private ownership. So how is capital/the means of production managed in your system? Surely for a factory to exist there is a hierarchy.

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Winder replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 3:35 PM

The more you use logic the more Utopian the socailist argument will become.  

A corner stone of socialist ideology is that individuals don't have freedom of choice.  They don't have a right to the products of their labor.  They serve the state and the "greater good".  

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stsoc replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 4:03 PM

How is it fair that you get your worker self-management yet I can't work for someone if I desire?

You also couldn't become a slave if you would desire to, boo hoo for you.

not taking into consideration the consequences of not just socialism but how it would affect other people

Are you appealing to emotion? Ironic, ey?

Many people have grown up constantly being told what to do, a person like that would perform poorly under a environment where he/she has no one to tell them what to do, what about them?

That's your assumption. Also, another assumption you pressupose here is that I want to condunt some sort of putch where the majority of people will not be supportive of individual autonomy and non-hierarchical organization. And assumptions are mother of...

Reminds me of religious people who label something like drug use as immoral, because drugs are "bad" for people, even though people willingly choose to do drugs.

Voluntarism doesn't make stuff magically ok.

In a sovereign individual, how does a voluntary non-aggressive act not constitute a legitimate act?

By the fact that neither voluntarism nor NAP are not legitimate ethical principles, but no-imposition-of-harm and power equality (no hierarchy and no wealth ineqality) are. Also another fact is that they are not the only ones, they are only the a priori ones, but there are a posteriori ethical principles, so even if one doesn't violate those two axioms, one can still behave immorally.

Surely for a factory to exist there is a hierarchy.

You've never heard of a workers cooperative?

They don't have a right to the products of their labor.

That's the definition of hierarchical economic systems (like say, capitalism).

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 By the fact that neither voluntarism nor NAP are not legitimate ethical principles, but no-imposition-of-harm and power equality (no hierarchy and no wealth ineqality) are. Also another fact is that they are not the only ones, they are only the a priori ones, but there are a posteriori ethical principles, so even if one doesn't violate those two axioms, one can still behave immorally.

No hierarchy or wealth inequality, eh?

I never understood why income and hierarchical inequality bothered socialists so much. I honestly cannot compare it to anything except the jealousy that I experienced over Frat boys at my university having a monopoly on the biggest parties.

It's simple in my eyes. No two people are the exact same. No two humans have the same drive, the same aptitude, the same environment, the same beliefs, the same attitute, the same physical tools, the same personality. And you wish to correct this natural phenomenon by cutting everyone else down to the lowest common denominator? No, I want people to self-allocate so that they may specialize in what they want to do.

Once again, I'm not a utilitarian. But we all lose in the inevitably authoritarian system you speak of. I benefit from people around me trying to trade me things I want for my "work tokens", so that they, too, can trade for self enrichment.

I'm 6'4", I suppose I'll have to have a few inches removed so that I won't encroach on the rights of others to be of equal height.

 

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stsoc replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 4:49 PM

I never understood why income and hierarchical inequality bothered socialists so much.

Appeal to motives is irrelevant. The relevant thing is that power eqality is an a priori norm of communication, and thus an ethical axiom. I do personally think that correct ethical principles are present intuitionally in humans, but those are my religious/ philosophical view, which don't have much to do with the topic at hand.

It's simple in my eyes. No two people are the exact same. No two humans have the same drive, the same aptitude, the same environment, the same beliefs, the same attitute, the same physical tools, the same personality.

So? Are you directing me to towards naturalistic is/ought fallacy?

No, I want people to self-allocate so that they may specialize in what they want to do.

This sounds like you're implying I'm for some sort of totalitarianism where some authority will order people what profession will they pursue in life, what person will they marry, exactly what will they eat, wear, etc. Which, of course, I would never support.

But we all lose in the inevitably authoritarian system you speak of.

Banning authoritarianism is not authoritarian. Also, I don't see how tolerating forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism (like voluntary slavery) can be called promotion of freedom, and the opposite.

I'm 6'4", I suppose I'll have to have a few inches removed so that I won't encroach on the rights of others to be of equal height.

Yes, and you would have to work extra hard so that my height being enlarged would be afforded, too.

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Malachi replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 5:20 PM
""The relevant thing is that power eqality is an a priori norm of communication,""

is not.

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 So? Are you directing me to towards naturalistic is/ought fallacy?

No, I'm saying why "equality" forced by the state and not in spite of the state in unattainable. We are a complex species, and we cannot be molded into some ideal and arbitrary concept of "equality". 

 

 Banning authoritarianism is not authoritarian. Also, I don't see how tolerating forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism (like voluntary slavery) can be called promotion of freedom, and the opposite.

Interestingly enough, I think by definition, banning what you'd consider "social authoritarianism"--that is, various, natural power constructs that arise from capitalism--is patently authoritarian. You either have it or you don't.

Like I said in the other thread, your Communist Utopia could exist in a Libertarian society, but a Libertarian Utopia could not exist in a Communist Society. This is because one is authoritarian and the other is, well, not.

 This sounds like you're implying I'm for some sort of totalitarianism where some authority will order people what profession will they pursue in life, what person will they marry, exactly what will they eat, wear, etc. Which, of course, I would never support.

But it is a basic element of making all of these choices as a sovereign individual to not be restrained by others' morality. In your case, you think that employment qualifies as immoral. Therefore, you want to protect the employee from the employer by illegalizing their relationship with your moral sword--imposing your own ideals on the individual making their own choices, whether or not they are ultimately detrimental, for the good of greater society. To me, this is no different than crusading against people drinking or smoking pot.

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z1235 replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 8:55 PM

Willy Truth:
I'm 6'4", I suppose I'll have to have a few inches removed so that I won't encroach on the rights of others to be of equal height.

Or he'll have everyone else stretched out to match your height. It all depends on which type of socialism he decides would be more legitimate. 

 

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z1235 replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 9:13 PM

stsoc:

You haven't see me mentioning that everyone has the right to "full product of one's labor"?

Say I built a chair with my labor and I voluntarily sold it to you for $10. Case A: A week later you voluntarily sell it to X for $15. Case B: A week later you voluntarily sell it to X for $5. Would you then attempt to hunt me down in order to give me "my" extra $5 (in Case A), or to take $5 from me (in Case B) -- towards ensuring that I got paid the "full value of my labor"?

And just for kicks, what if X voluntarily sold the chair for $1 a week later? Are you going to make him hunt me down too? You'd get pretty busy pretty fast shoving all this a priori legitimacy stuff down everyone's throat. It could get messy, too. Are you sure you have thought this all the way through?

 

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@z1235 False premise! You forgot that there's no property so there can be no legitimate trade. It's shared communal resources...or something.

There's also no such thing as voluntary action--unless it's preapproved by the Ministry of Voluntarism©

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Winder replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 10:22 PM

Socialism is nothing more than slavery to the state or society.  The individual has to forfeit their liberty, property, and the right to chose not to participate.  

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z1235 replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 10:26 PM

Willy, so the "full product of my labor" is not my own but communal? Say it ain't so! The comrade said I have a legitimate right to it.

 

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Anenome replied on Tue, Oct 16 2012 11:41 PM

Libertarians are not against hierarchy per se, they are against compulsory hierarchy. Not against cooperation in any form, but against compulsory cooperation.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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RagnarD replied on Wed, Oct 17 2012 1:23 AM

STSOC, let me make sure I have this straight...

I have the right to the full product of my labor....

Employment is always illegitimate.....

My conclusion:

Since employment is nothing but trade--an employer giving me his previous labor (in dollars or any form I accept) in return for my labor

 I must therefore produce everything I need to survive by myself with no help from anyone else--because for them to help me would alienate the product of their laboring as would their trading with me.  Sure wish I knew how to make a pencil.

Something doesn't add up here?

 

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cab21 replied on Wed, Oct 17 2012 2:20 AM

why do socialists think labor is so much better and more deserving than capital?

labor gets a return no matter what

capital may get no return at all.

people can use the profits from labor to invest capital and may or may not get a return.

people can provide capital and labor and gets the fruits of the combination, but both are neccicary to even bring a product to market and even have a sale or trade.

another other ishue seems to be saying the person must work or starve as is a slave because of this, sure a person must work or be given resources that someone else worked for, but that fact does not mean working for anyone in particular for any price in particular. its not the reasponsibility for the potential employer if not being employed would put someone in a worse situation, each individual is reasponsible for each individual.

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why do socialists think labor is so much better and more deserving than capital?

If you treat the factor of production labour as homogeneous and all other factors as heterogeneous then labour is common to all production and therefore the source of production.

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cab21 replied on Wed, Oct 17 2012 2:36 AM

why would they treat labour as homogeneous?

all production takes labour and capital.

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