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Author Topic: The Anarchist Brewing Co.  (Read 5323 times)
FatherMcGruder
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January 27, 2011, 03:23:49 AM
 #1

"The coercion-free beer for discerning anarchist!"

As a homebrewer, I understand beer. I do not completely understand anarchism though. If I can figure out how a brewery might function in an anarchist society I suppose I might learn some more about anarchism.

Apart from my own fascination with beer I would think that some aspects of a brewery might allow for some interesting discussion in the context of a hypothetical anarchy. For example, breweries require substantial amounts of grain, water, and hops. However, the inhabitants of said society would also desire grain and water, and farming hops also requires water and land that could otherwise produce grain. Breweries also generate lots of heat and require either fuel or electricity to do so. How would the society reconcile the competing demands for these resources without coercion, governmental or otherwise? Unless the population found itself particularly susceptible to alcoholism, I don't think the brewery could sell enough beer to significantly affect the prices of the resources I listed. Furthermore, if the resources became scarce, the demand for beer would decrease in the face of more pressing needs. Then again, in the absence of dependably safe drinking water, the society would come to view beer as a necessity. But, I digress.

I suspect that a brewery could function free of coercion if its workers had come together to build it and now own it as partners. But what if they sought to expand and bring on more workers? How might these new workers also come to own shares of the brewery and avoid mere wage labor? Would they simply own shares of each batch? How is that fair for the original owners, having already laid out the capital and effort to build the brewery? Would the newcomers have to buy in?

I guess I really want to know how anarchists expect to avoid economic coercion through wage labor. Bonus points if you can stick to the beer theme in your responses.


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January 27, 2011, 03:45:42 AM
 #2

I've never understood how choosing to work for someone could be considered coercion. 

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January 27, 2011, 03:51:45 AM
 #3

How would the society reconcile the competing demands for these resources without coercion, governmental or otherwise?

Answer: bitcoin

I suspect that a brewery could function free of coercion if its workers had come together to build it and now own it as partners. But what if they sought to expand and bring on more workers? How might these new workers also come to own shares of the brewery and avoid mere wage labor?

Answer: contracts

Would they simply own shares of each batch? How is that fair for the original owners, having already laid out the capital and effort to build the brewery? Would the newcomers have to buy in?

Answer: New workers would get paid by whatever means the current workers and the new workers agree on.  I like the idea of new workers being paid partly with stock, so they gradually come to own a share of the brewery in proportion to the amount of effort they put in.

I guess I really want to know how anarchists expect to avoid economic coercion through wage labor. Bonus points if you can stick to the beer theme in your responses.

Who says anarchists expect to avoid wage labor?  I guess I need a more specific definition of "anarchist" and "wage labor".  In order for humans to exist, they must consume resources.  If they are unable to produce enough resources on their own or trade for them, then they starve to death.  Some may say that humans are compelled to work for an employer.  However, Stargazer gives a very good explication that so-called anarcho-communists do not actually solve the problem of wage slavery, but rather just shift the distribution of resources around so that you are compelled to work for a different employer (e.g. the commune's majority rule): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urASFJClhdI

Short answer to the solution to wage-slavery: you need to own skills, resources, and/or capital that can produce things demand by society.  For example, start your own home-brewery (as a sole-proprietorship or cooperative with friends).

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January 27, 2011, 04:57:49 AM
 #4

In coming to reject intellectual property laws, I found it helpful to imagine examples of life without them. Against Intellectual Monopoly, by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, really helped me out with that. However, I have trouble imagining life without coercion, the anarchist ideal.

I've heard folks explain that an anarchist society would depend on contracts, with protecting one's reputation as the incentive to honor one. But what's to stop someone from enforcing a contract with blackmail or violence?

Back in the brewery, what's to stop the new workers from not honoring the original owners' investment on the grounds that they presently use and occupy the brewery?

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January 27, 2011, 06:23:33 AM
 #5

In coming to reject intellectual property laws, I found it helpful to imagine examples of life without them. Against Intellectual Monopoly, by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, really helped me out with that. However, I have trouble imagining life without coercion, the anarchist ideal.

I've heard folks explain that an anarchist society would depend on contracts, with protecting one's reputation as the incentive to honor one. But what's to stop someone from enforcing a contract with blackmail or violence?

Back in the brewery, what's to stop the new workers from not honoring the original owners' investment on the grounds that they presently use and occupy the brewery?

Like so many things, the term 'anarchy' gets lost in the nuances of semantics.

When anarchists speak of an anarchist ideal, they are not speaking of lawlessness.  What they really mean is a society without any persistent institution with a monopoly on the use of force.  Asking how it would work out is asking for wild speculation.  A better question  would be, "has it ever worked before", for which the answer would be "yes and no".  Yes, because we have numerous examples of societies that existed that functioned for generations without any persistent institution forming that filled such a role, but also formed such institution on an improve basis due to threat of invasion or internal conflict.  The 'old west' is a somewhat recent example.  Even though there was, literally, a federal government; the closest thing that most residents of the western territories ever encountered to a government was the county sheriff or the federal marshal.  Judges were elected by the counties, and traveled from town to town to adjudicate crimes and civil disputes, but even judges were hired locally and their enforcement was as local as the sheriff's willingness to abide by the judge's decisions.  Still, it was a far more peaceful and law abiding society than contemporary cities such as Detroit or Oakland.  Disputes were rare, and more often than not negotiated between neighbors.

Another example is the 12 tribes of Israel of the old testament, prior to the establishment of the king.  Another is the Swiss from their foundation without a monarch around 1250 A.D. to at least 1450 A.D. and arguably much longer.

No, because those examples no longer exist.

So the question needs to be updated.  Can a society exist without a persistent institution developing with a de facto monopoly on force in a modern society with modern technologies, social interactions, and population densities that are common today.  I'm inclined towards no due to intuitive reasoning, but no one can really say for certain because no one can really predict how such a society might develop.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

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January 28, 2011, 11:22:59 AM
 #6

In coming to reject intellectual property laws, I found it helpful to imagine examples of life without them. Against Intellectual Monopoly, by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, really helped me out with that. However, I have trouble imagining life without coercion, the anarchist ideal.

I've heard folks explain that an anarchist society would depend on contracts, with protecting one's reputation as the incentive to honor one. But what's to stop someone from enforcing a contract with blackmail or violence?

Back in the brewery, what's to stop the new workers from not honoring the original owners' investment on the grounds that they presently use and occupy the brewery?

If the old owner is now going to retire and not continue his work in the brewery then he'd better hope he's made very good friends with the old workers.

The old workers have the experience and skill to make good beer, the new workers don't yet.  That comes through years of actually making beer.

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January 28, 2011, 11:29:21 AM
 #7


I've heard folks explain that an anarchist society would depend on contracts, with protecting one's reputation as the incentive to honor one. But what's to stop someone from enforcing a contract with blackmail or violence?
 

Is that how you operate? Do you deal with people who would do those things?

We already have and use ethics that work in a voluntary society. We carve out special exceptions for a certain class of people and the areas they get control of end up sucking, to put it mildly.

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February 02, 2011, 03:25:13 AM
 #8


I've heard folks explain that an anarchist society would depend on contracts, with protecting one's reputation as the incentive to honor one. But what's to stop someone from enforcing a contract with blackmail or violence?
 

Is that how you operate? Do you deal with people who would do those things?

We already have and use ethics that work in a voluntary society. We carve out special exceptions for a certain class of people and the areas they get control of end up sucking, to put it mildly.

Nice. But the answer for me is... No and yes, but, not because there is another choice right now.

There are all manner of problem people out there, from the violent hoods, to the scam artists, to the simply unreliable. Really the problem is that the world is large enough that, even without the internet, its easy to dissolve into the crowd. Reputation is only as good as the size of the network that knows you.... it quickly falls off for most of us. To the point that, for the most part, its not relevant for most transactions.

Real reputation systems that can scale up to the size of communities that already are somewhat of a gap now and really only exist in terms of criminal offender databases, credit ratings, and ebay... all of which rely on central authorities, and are subject to various sorts of pressure. (never mind whether they are meaningful)

It seems to me like a general solution there, would be useful. Knowing that you are who you are is nice, and easily solved. Knowing that you do business on the up and up and can generally be relied upon more often than not, that is actually very valuable data, to both of us.

Mixing it with authentication, say via openID, makes a lot of sense. My thought was it would be nice to have a protocol that defines an openid attribute that an application can request, that can return certificates from reputation providers that allow the site to then go get the current reputation information (or some particular portion of it that they are allowed to see... not everyone needs to know that you also carry a reputation for organizing protests)
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February 02, 2011, 04:26:42 AM
 #9

In coming to reject intellectual property laws, I found it helpful to imagine examples of life without them. Against Intellectual Monopoly, by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, really helped me out with that. However, I have trouble imagining life without coercion, the anarchist ideal.

I've heard folks explain that an anarchist society would depend on contracts, with protecting one's reputation as the incentive to honor one. But what's to stop someone from enforcing a contract with blackmail or violence?

Back in the brewery, what's to stop the new workers from not honoring the original owners' investment on the grounds that they presently use and occupy the brewery?

Like so many things, the term 'anarchy' gets lost in the nuances of semantics.

When anarchists speak of an anarchist ideal, they are not speaking of lawlessness.  What they really mean is a society without any persistent institution with a monopoly on the use of force.  Asking how it would work out is asking for wild speculation.  A better question  would be, "has it ever worked before", for which the answer would be "yes and no".  Yes, because we have numerous examples of societies that existed that functioned for generations without any persistent institution forming that filled such a role, but also formed such institution on an improve basis due to threat of invasion or internal conflict.  The 'old west' is a somewhat recent example.  Even though there was, literally, a federal government; the closest thing that most residents of the western territories ever encountered to a government was the county sheriff or the federal marshal.  Judges were elected by the counties, and traveled from town to town to adjudicate crimes and civil disputes, but even judges were hired locally and their enforcement was as local as the sheriff's willingness to abide by the judge's decisions.  Still, it was a far more peaceful and law abiding society than contemporary cities such as Detroit or Oakland.  Disputes were rare, and more often than not negotiated between neighbors.

Another example is the 12 tribes of Israel of the old testament, prior to the establishment of the king.  Another is the Swiss from their foundation without a monarch around 1250 A.D. to at least 1450 A.D. and arguably much longer.

No, because those examples no longer exist.

So the question needs to be updated.  Can a society exist without a persistent institution developing with a de facto monopoly on force in a modern society with modern technologies, social interactions, and population densities that are common today.  I'm inclined towards no due to intuitive reasoning, but no one can really say for certain because no one can really predict how such a society might develop.

For most of the American Old West's time period (around 1800-1900) there were no federal agents at all, or maybe one or two roving surveyors. But third party land claims administrations were set up to arbitrate disputes and it was a functioning anarcho-capitalist society for a while (until the government moved in and subsequently the crime rates spiked). For a more in depth discussion, you should read An American Experiment in Anarcho- Capitalism, it's a great read.

Then there was also the Icelandic commonwealth, from 930-1262 A.D. Which worked very well for a long time until the church ruined it. Which is incredibly disappointing.

The most recent experiment in anarcho capitalism is Somalia, which I made my thoughts clear on in this thread.

I'm doing my thesis on Anarcho-capitalism - it's really interesting and theoretically my ideal government  Grin

Now, it seems like FatherMcGruder is talking about Anarcho-Communism, which isn't really anarchy as much as mob rule. Which in my opinion doesn't work and is unjust, but I'm not studied in historical examples of anarcho-communism  Wink

-Garrett
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February 02, 2011, 04:54:59 AM
 #10

The most widely known historical example of Anarcho-Communism is Catalonia and some other parts of Spain during the civil war.  There were operating breweries and wineries there, with the workers enjoying the fruits of their labours and also supplying all sorts of others with victuals.


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February 02, 2011, 10:30:03 AM
 #11

I think the whole point is to allow people to experiment and build their own societies. If you don't like how one place is run then you move to another. Anarcho-communism, libertarian, democratic, ... all of these could be tried on city-size scale. The internet and technology is a great enabler in today's world.
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February 02, 2011, 05:20:30 PM
 #12

Anarcho-capitalism...
Isn't that an oxymoron? Doesn't proper anarchism reject capitalism, insofar as capitalism promotes the subjugation of the poor by the rich?

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February 02, 2011, 05:22:13 PM
 #13

...No. That is incorrect.

<edit>

Let me elaborate. In my opinion, and most anarchists' opinion (I presume), there is no entity that has a monopoly on coercive force in a true anarchistic society.

Capitalism does not promote the subjugation of anyone by anyone else- it merely suggests that the market will choose which businesses rise or fall, based on any number of factors.

In my opinion, anarcho-capitalism is far superior to anarcho-communism for some of the reasons you mention, but mostly that anarcho-communism rejects the idea of private property; a critical, basic freedom.

</edit>
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February 02, 2011, 05:33:01 PM
 #14

...No. That is incorrect.
But capitalist relationships are authoritative and require hierarchy, which anarchists reject.

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February 02, 2011, 05:34:52 PM
 #15

...No. That is incorrect.
But capitalist relationships are authoritative and require hierarchy, which anarchists reject.

YOU may reject that idea, but certainly not all anarchists reject the idea of a hierarchy. Read my edit of my last post.
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February 02, 2011, 05:36:17 PM
 #16

The capitalists are slaves to the people, not the other way around.

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February 02, 2011, 05:38:05 PM
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The capitalists are slaves to the people, not the other way around.
That reminds me of the 1970s, when the libertarian party in Australia changed its name to the Workers Party to make that point. Of course this caused great confusion and was generally regarded as a failure.
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February 02, 2011, 05:42:38 PM
 #18

The capitalists are slaves to the people, not the other way around.


Thank you Kiba! This is what I was failing to articulate  Grin

I shouldn't try and debate while exhausted  Tongue
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February 02, 2011, 08:02:10 PM
 #19

Why do anarchists drink herbal tea?
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February 02, 2011, 08:21:51 PM
 #20

In my opinion, and most anarchists' opinion (I presume), there is no entity that has a monopoly on coercive force in a true anarchistic society.
As I understand it, anarchists do not tolerate any use of coercion.

Quote
Capitalism does not promote the subjugation of anyone by anyone else
Under capitalism, aren't employees subject to their bosses? Aren't renters subject to their landlords?

Quote
In my opinion, anarcho-capitalism is far superior to anarcho-communism for some of the reasons you mention, but mostly that anarcho-communism rejects the idea of private property; a critical, basic freedom.
Isn't private property the basis of monarchy, wherein the king owns the kingdom and its inhabitants?

Quote
The capitalists are slaves to the people, not the other way around.
Thank you Kiba! This is what I was failing to articulate  Grin
That anarchists would tolerate any kind of slavery seems counter-intuitive.

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February 02, 2011, 08:41:58 PM
 #21

But then how is anything enforced? Coercion is fine as long as there is not a monopolistic power. That was the system used in the American Old west and it worked beautifully.

Employees are subject to their bosses until they decide they don't want to be. They can quit at any time. Same with renters/landlords. Free market at work.

Taking your analogy with private property to another subject, isn't communal property the basis of authoritarian communism, where one ruling power owns all the land "In the name of the people"?

If someone wants to sell them self into slavery then let them. A person's property is theirs to do what they please with.
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February 02, 2011, 08:53:05 PM
 #22

Anarcho-capitalism...
Isn't that an oxymoron? Doesn't proper anarchism reject capitalism, insofar as capitalism promotes the subjugation of the poor by the rich?

I think impossible is a better term than oxymoron.  There's a discussion on that in he economics forum brewing at the moment.

Most of the people on this board are Anarcho-capitalists though, so calling them oxymorons isn't likely to get a good response

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February 02, 2011, 08:56:17 PM
 #23

...No. That is incorrect.

<edit>

Let me elaborate. In my opinion, and most anarchists' opinion (I presume), there is no entity that has a monopoly on coercive force in a true anarchistic society.

Capitalism does not promote the subjugation of anyone by anyone else- it merely suggests that the market will choose which businesses rise or fall, based on any number of factors.

In my opinion, anarcho-capitalism is far superior to anarcho-communism for some of the reasons you mention, but mostly that anarcho-communism rejects the idea of private property; a critical, basic freedom.

</edit>

You are confusing market anarchy with anarcho-capitalism.

Capitalism means that the production is controlled by those with capital, the owners of the means of production, not by the workers, who do the actual producing.

As Father MacGruder points out worker control leads to a bit of a dillema for someone who wishes to found a business and then retire on the proceeds.  I think that I offered a workable solution in that he needs to work hard to cultivate the respect and admiration of the workers so that they choose to support him in his retirement.  If he's cultivated the respect and admiration of the wider community so that they do as well, all the better.

Personally if I started up a brewery I'd want to be involved in the day to day operation as a pat of my retirement, formulating recipes and such, things that a lifetime of knowledge helps with and a physically frail body doesn't serve as an obstacle to.

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February 02, 2011, 09:28:38 PM
 #24

Why can't people manipulate their matter and energy in anyway they choose, at the consent of the people they hire to manipulate it? Workers have consent. If they aren't happy, they can slowly collect and manipulate matter and energy as well. This whole concept of coercion and giving power to the workers is retarded. The owners and workers are on an equal playing field (unless there is government subsidization). They just offer different skills and possess different materials. So what if one owns more than the other? It means nothing in the end. They can still sustain themselves.
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February 02, 2011, 09:36:13 PM
 #25

But then how is anything enforced?
That question spurred my recent curiosity in anarchism. Apparently, an anarchist society would rely on voluntary cooperation instead of coercion.

Quote
Coercion is fine as long as there is not a monopolistic power. That was the system used in the American Old west and it worked beautifully.
I won't argue that such systems don't work. However, that they qualify as anarchism contradicts what I've read on the subject.

Quote
Employees are subject to their bosses until they decide they don't want to be. They can quit at any time. Same with renters/landlords. Free market at work.
What free person would ever choose to work in a sweatshop or as a sharecropper? It's hard for comfortable people to see it, but in subscribing to the anarchist point of view, capitalism is just a means of oppression. The property holders just have to wait for times of scarcity to bust out the prima nocta.

Quote
Taking your analogy with private property to another subject, isn't communal property the basis of authoritarian communism, where one ruling power owns all the land "In the name of the people"?
Authoritarian communism is just state capitalism, wherein the state controls all the property, rationing it to the obedient and withholding it from the disobedient. If a state should not have this power, why should individuals or corporations?

Quote
If someone wants to sell them self into slavery then let them. A person's property is theirs to do what they please with.
Fine, but the slave and his master are not anarchists.

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February 02, 2011, 09:51:00 PM
 #26

But then how is anything enforced?
That question spurred my recent curiosity in anarchism. Apparently, an anarchist society would rely on voluntary cooperation instead of coercion.

Quote
Coercion is fine as long as there is not a monopolistic power. That was the system used in the American Old west and it worked beautifully.
I won't argue that such systems don't work. However, that they qualify as anarchism contradicts what I've read on the subject.

Quote
Employees are subject to their bosses until they decide they don't want to be. They can quit at any time. Same with renters/landlords. Free market at work.
What free person would ever choose to work in a sweatshop or as a sharecropper? It's hard for comfortable people to see it, but in subscribing to the anarchist point of view, capitalism is just a means of oppression. The property holders just have to wait for times of scarcity to bust out the prima nocta.

Quote
Taking your analogy with private property to another subject, isn't communal property the basis of authoritarian communism, where one ruling power owns all the land "In the name of the people"?
Authoritarian communism is just state capitalism, wherein the state controls all the property, rationing it to the obedient and withholding it from the disobedient. If a state should not have this power, why should individuals or corporations?

Quote
If someone wants to sell them self into slavery then let them. A person's property is theirs to do what they please with.
Fine, but the slave and his master are not anarchists.


My response to pretty much everything you said here is to go read up on anarcho-capitalism. You seem to have read mostly anarcho-communist writings so far.


"On the free market, everyone earns according to his productive value in satisfying consumer desires. Under statist distribution, everyone earns in proportion to the amount he can plunder from the producers."
—Murray N. Rothbard, Power and Market

And a large part of our disagreement comes from semantics I believe. McGruder, you seem to think of anarchy as a COMPLETE lack of coercion. Which in my opinion is silly - that would never work, and as far as I know hasn't ever worked. Though again I'm not an expert in historical  examples of anarcho-communism.

In my opinion Anarcho-communism is coercive and more of a 'mob rule' than a true anarchist system. Only when the market is free can you have true freedom.

In contrast to anarcho-communism, which seeks to equalize everyone in every way (an unfair goal - people are different, and some are better than others. Shouldn't the people who are better and can do better/more work be paid a higher wage?), anarcho capitalism equalizes peoples rights only, not their property or holdings or any such thing. In this way it provides the option for anyone to succeed in their own way, while not penalizing people who work harder than their co-workers or what have you.
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February 02, 2011, 09:58:43 PM
 #27

Also consider the fact that under an anarcho-communist system, you could not 'host' a small anarcho-capitalist system, whereas the reverse is possible. Hell, if you want to, go and collect money from many workers, and buy a factory. Then you all own a share of the company and the product of your labor. Unfortunately none of you would receive paychecks, but you have all those boots to sell so you should be fine, yes?
Anonymous
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February 02, 2011, 11:16:39 PM
 #28


Quote
Employees are subject to their bosses until they decide they don't want to be. They can quit at any time. Same with renters/landlords. Free market at work.
What free person would ever choose to work in a sweatshop or as a sharecropper? It's hard for comfortable people to see it, but in subscribing to the anarchist point of view, capitalism is just a means of oppression. The property holders just have to wait for times of scarcity to bust out the prima nocta.


The property holders have no interest in simply holding their property because they still have to sustain it and themselves.
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February 02, 2011, 11:22:23 PM
 #29

Also consider the fact that under an anarcho-communist system, you could not 'host' a small anarcho-capitalist system, whereas the reverse is possible. Hell, if you want to, go and collect money from many workers, and buy a factory. Then you all own a share of the company and the product of your labor. Unfortunately none of you would receive paychecks, but you have all those boots to sell so you should be fine, yes?

Why couldn't you host a small anarcho-capitalist system?

Anarchists aren't going to prevent you from living in whatever manner you choose, so long as you don't go trying to keep them from living in whatever manner they choose.

Ownership meanwhile is a legal fiction, backed up by force.  Anarcho-capitalists are the ones which claim they wish to live in a society free of force, without force ownership is not possi8ble.


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February 02, 2011, 11:30:38 PM
 #30

Also consider the fact that under an anarcho-communist system, you could not 'host' a small anarcho-capitalist system, whereas the reverse is possible. Hell, if you want to, go and collect money from many workers, and buy a factory. Then you all own a share of the company and the product of your labor. Unfortunately none of you would receive paychecks, but you have all those boots to sell so you should be fine, yes?

Why couldn't you host a small anarcho-capitalist system?

Anarchists aren't going to prevent you from living in whatever manner you choose, so long as you don't go trying to keep them from living in whatever manner they choose.

Ownership meanwhile is a legal fiction, backed up by force.  Anarcho-capitalists are the ones which claim they wish to live in a society free of force, without force ownership is not possi8ble.



True, without force, ownership is not possible. But what stops someone in an anarcho-communist society from claiming they own a larger portion of the factory than their co-workers? The threat of force from the rest of the workers.

And look at the land claims societies that were created in the American Old West. They did a remarkable job of settling disputes.

Nothing is truly coercive as long as there is an opt out. Go somewhere else and make your own society, or start your own land claims organization. Doing so lets the market decide which organization is better, and thus who is in control.


As far as why you couldn't host a small anarcho-capitalist society, anarcho-communists seem rather hostile toward anarcho-capitalists, at least on this forum I've noticed. I'd imagine that they would feel the need to 'liberate' their fellow workers from wage slavery by running the factory owners out. That's how anarcho-communism starts, in most cases that I've read about, whereas Anarcho-capitalism would allow a group of people to do whatever they want with a factory owned by a group or individual in the name of the group or whatever. Since the A-Caps don't mind  what any other particular group does with their own land, that organization would be peaceful. Whereas A-Coms hosting A-Caps would tend toward being hostile because of how A-Com societies are created, and they would be in the majority.
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February 02, 2011, 11:40:28 PM
 #31

I'm not hostile to A-caps.  I just think they're wrong.  You guys have great morals. 

Also, with that assumption (that A-coms won't allow A-caps to exist) wouldn't it be in the best interest of the A-caps to destroy the collective the a-coms were attempting to build?

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February 02, 2011, 11:43:48 PM
 #32

I'm not hostile to A-caps.  I just think they're wrong.  You guys have great morals.  

Also, with that assumption (that A-coms won't allow A-caps to exist) wouldn't it be in the best interest of the A-caps to destroy the collective the a-coms were attempting to build?

Why? It's unethical.

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February 02, 2011, 11:47:02 PM
 #33

I'm not hostile to A-caps.  I just think they're wrong.  You guys have great morals. 

Also, with that assumption (that A-coms won't allow A-caps to exist) wouldn't it be in the best interest of the A-caps to destroy the collective the a-coms were attempting to build?

Why? It's unethical.

Eliminating an existential threat is immoral?

I know that if I was living in an anarchist society, of any kind, and the neighbors decided they were going to build an expansionist militaristic feudal society next door I'd stop them as soon as I possibly could.  and I'd hope that all my anarchist neighbors, capitalist, communist, primitivist or what have you, would have the same self interest in doing so that I would.

Now mind you, I don't think that anarcho-communists are an existential threat to anarcho-capitalists, but that we are seems to be an assumption of many anarcho-capitalists.

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Garrett Burgwardt
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February 02, 2011, 11:48:27 PM
 #34

Destroy economically perhaps, by trying to undercut their prices, but no more so than any other business they're trying to take down.

You could make the same argument about any business that competes with a company.

And fair enough, guess we're just getting caught up in the debate and are a little gruff with each other, no harm done  Wink

But to be fair, most communist takeovers were fairly violent toward the owners of property, from what I've read. Please correct me if I'm wrong, this is related directly to my Thesis paper, so the more information the better!


And I'm glad I realized I could just type A-Cap and A-Com, saves me lots of typing  Tongue


If everyone is in agreement that all interaction should be voluntary, then I think no matter who is right, the free market will chose Grin , from people moving between societies or organizational types depending on which is better for them. Personally, I'd rather live in an A-Cap society, not just because I think it is right, but it allows people to be rewarded for coming up with something that people want or doing something that people feel they should be rewarded for, rather than just being paid a set wage no more or less than your coworkers.

So while we can agree to disagree and let each other be, it's always fun to debate  Cool
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February 02, 2011, 11:49:16 PM
 #35

Eliminating an existential threat is immoral?

I know that if I was living in an anarchist society, of any kind, and the neighbors decided they were going to build an expansionist militaristic feudal society next door I'd stop them as soon as I possibly could.  and I'd hope that all my anarchist neighbors, capitalist, communist, primitivist or what have you, would have the same self interest in doing so that I would.

Now mind you, I don't think that anarcho-communists are an existential threat to anarcho-capitalists, but that we are seems to be an assumption of many anarcho-capitalists.

I misunderstood the questions in my fast reading.

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February 03, 2011, 12:11:45 AM
 #36

Destroy economically perhaps, by trying to undercut their prices, but no more so than any other business they're trying to take down.

You could make the same argument about any business that competes with a company.

And fair enough, guess we're just getting caught up in the debate and are a little gruff with each other, no harm done  Wink

But to be fair, most communist takeovers were fairly violent toward the owners of property, from what I've read. Please correct me if I'm wrong, this is related directly to my Thesis paper, so the more information the better!


And I'm glad I realized I could just type A-Cap and A-Com, saves me lots of typing  Tongue


If everyone is in agreement that all interaction should be voluntary, then I think no matter who is right, the free market will chose Grin , from people moving between societies or organizational types depending on which is better for them. Personally, I'd rather live in an A-Cap society, not just because I think it is right, but it allows people to be rewarded for coming up with something that people want or doing something that people feel they should be rewarded for, rather than just being paid a set wage no more or less than your coworkers.

So while we can agree to disagree and let each other be, it's always fun to debate  Cool

Communist revolutions, actually all revolutions, tend to be quite violent toward the holders of property yes.

This is where we run into a basic conflict, there's not a bunch of free wealth laying around to be utilized by hard workers, there was in the American West, which was what allowed the society that evolved there to evolve, there isn't anymore. By this I mean real wealth, land and resources, not just capital.  Bitcoins make a lovely form of capital, and I am glad that I have more wealth in them now than I used to, but I know that wealth has been redistributed from others, it's not something I extracted from the environment or created with my own labor.

So yes, for a new society, of any sort, to be successful the wealth has to be redistributed.  If it remains in the hands of the rulers then nobody, capitalist, communist, or anything else, is going to have any success establishing a new society.

I may be an unusual A-com in that I consider a-caps to be far better allies than Authoritarian Communists, but I do think hopefully we've learned our lesson from trying to work with the Leninists in Spain and Russia.  Those guys are jerks.

You guys have a similar experience in the American West of being sold out by those that agree with you economically but not politically, however it was longer ago and the lines were not as sharply drawn, so it may not sting as badly.

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February 03, 2011, 12:16:57 AM
 #37

Babylon- I was thinking about this a few posts ago. It would be entirely possible in many places to buy land from the government representing a group of people, and then simply leave it communally owned or stake claims, etc.

In other words, just work within the system and start your own system within theirs, and when you are big enough you can secede, which unfortunately would likely turn into a violent conflict.

My personal dream is to group up with a bunch of people and buy an island, then work out how we distribute land and such, then see what can be done in such a system Smiley

Maybe when 1btc=1000000000000 USD I'll be able to do so  Tongue
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February 03, 2011, 12:20:28 AM
 #38

Babylon- I was thinking about this a few posts ago. It would be entirely possible in many places to buy land from the government representing a group of people, and then simply leave it communally owned or stake claims, etc.

In other words, just work within the system and start your own system within theirs, and when you are big enough you can secede, which unfortunately would likely turn into a violent conflict.

My personal dream is to group up with a bunch of people and buy an island, then work out how we distribute land and such, then see what can be done in such a system Smiley

Maybe when 1btc=1000000000000 USD I'll be able to do so  Tongue

Stay in touch, your island sounds like it would be a good trading partner for mine.

I'll see if I can get father MacGruder to come onboard with the brewing enterprise that will be one of our primary exports.

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February 03, 2011, 02:40:33 AM
 #39


The Kid, any chance we get to read your thesis when you finish?  What is your major that you are writing the thesis for?

Also, the island thing has been done before: google "The Republic of Minerva".  However, if you let me join your island we won't suffer the same fate as I'll bring my friends and their arsenal of firearms.  Cheesy

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February 03, 2011, 02:50:34 AM
 #40

The property holders have no interest in simply holding their property because they still have to sustain it and themselves.
Nor do they necessarily have any interest in trading fairly. Desperate workers and tenants benefit employers and landlords most of all, as long as their discontent isn't so great as to provoke mutiny.

Anyway, I'm not trying to argue for one type of political theory or another. I'm just not convinced that anarcho-capitalism is anarchism. If I thought it was, I would have never created the thread. I doubt a brewery would function differently under anarcho-capitalist ideals than most do in our current society. How workers of a traditional anarchist persuasion might create, run, and make a living off of one interests me much more.

The Kid, any chance we get to read your thesis when you finish?  What is your major that you are writing the thesis for?

Also, the island thing has been done before: google "The Republic of Minerva".  However, if you let me join your island we won't suffer the same fate as I'll bring my friends and their arsenal of firearms.  Cheesy
Do your friends have a navy? In the tradition of individualist anarchism, I think, I don't really like the idea of revolution or snatching remote islands. Can't we just adopt anarchistic behavior, in whatever little ways we can, to slowly convince our neighbors and change our present society? What if I were to start a brewery that embodied anarchist ideals in our present society? Could it work?

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February 03, 2011, 02:55:23 AM
 #41

The property holders have no interest in simply holding their property because they still have to sustain it and themselves.
Nor do they necessarily have any interest in trading fairly. Desperate workers and tenants benefit employers and landlords most of all, as long as their discontent isn't so great as to provoke mutiny.

Anyway, I'm not trying to argue for one type of political theory or another. I'm just not convinced that anarcho-capitalism is anarchism. If I thought it was, I would have never created the thread. I doubt a brewery would function differently under anarcho-capitalist ideals than most do in our current society. How workers of a traditional anarchist persuasion might create, run, and make a living off of one interests me much more.

The Kid, any chance we get to read your thesis when you finish?  What is your major that you are writing the thesis for?

Also, the island thing has been done before: google "The Republic of Minerva".  However, if you let me join your island we won't suffer the same fate as I'll bring my friends and their arsenal of firearms.  Cheesy
Do your friends have a navy? In the tradition of individualist anarchism, I think, I don't really like the idea of revolution or snatching remote islands. Can't we just adopt anarchistic behavior, in whatever little ways we can, to slowly convince our neighbors and change our present society? What if I were to start a brewery that embodied anarchist ideals in our present society? Could it work?


Of course we could just change the way our current society thinks, I just want my own island  Grin



The Kid, any chance we get to read your thesis when you finish?  What is your major that you are writing the thesis for?

Also, the island thing has been done before: google "The Republic of Minerva".  However, if you let me join your island we won't suffer the same fate as I'll bring my friends and their arsenal of firearms.  Cheesy



I'm not writing it for a major, it's one of the requirements to graduate my high school. And I'll post it with a bitcoin address for donations   Wink

What, I'm not technically a kid anymore but I'm still quite young in most people's eyes, so I still don't really have to change the name I use on forums and such  Roll Eyes
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February 03, 2011, 02:57:45 AM
 #42

Instead of buying an island, buy a seastead.

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February 03, 2011, 12:47:44 PM
 #43

The property holders have no interest in simply holding their property because they still have to sustain it and themselves.
Nor do they necessarily have any interest in trading fairly. Desperate workers and tenants benefit employers and landlords most of all, as long as their discontent isn't so great as to provoke mutiny.

Anyway, I'm not trying to argue for one type of political theory or another. I'm just not convinced that anarcho-capitalism is anarchism. If I thought it was, I would have never created the thread. I doubt a brewery would function differently under anarcho-capitalist ideals than most do in our current society. How workers of a traditional anarchist persuasion might create, run, and make a living off of one interests me much more.

Same here. I tend to like to ask the question "How can we hack the current system, to work in a more equitable way?". Pure anarchism is great but, we are not founding an island full of fertile idealists. Also, the world is full of people, and thats not really a model which many others can emulate.

I am also not convinced of anarcho-capitalism, but, I don't think any pure ideal system is going to work, what you need to do is borrow a little bit of concept from communism and ask "Who owns the means of production?". I have been a landlord, and a bit much of a nice guy at it for my own good. However, that does mean everyone was at my whim, even I can't be the benevolent dictator all the time.

There is kind of a chicken and egg problem. More democratic systems work fine if everyone is informed and staked. However, putting a vote over the house to everyone, when ownership is mine alone and I bear all the cost of mistakes, is not going to work for very long.... because I am the only one staked.... but getting to that point where everyone is informed and staked is a hard problem.

So I tend to envision replacing the term "company" with "collective", much as the beer example describes of workers with voting stocks. However when you get to the talk of "the future workers caring enough to not stiff the current workers", I think we lead to one of the gaps. Its easy to see this is creating a schism amongst ownership and work again.

This is one of the nice things about the current system and capitalism. wealth, being portable, can be handed to third parties to hold and invest. So now, if my company goes under, or fires me etc, my retirement fund is held by some other company and I take it with me. Clearly, we still need some form of capital (not just for this but to work between the "collectives"). So perhaps the "tweak" is, that when you leave the company, any stock under your ownership is cashed out to your retirement fund?

It closes the schism, and, do you want an all inclusive collective? Why should choosing where you work mean choosing who you live with? What if my company is one collective, and my housing or home situation, is another? Now I definitely need capital to contribute to my home collective. Some interesting takes on this....

look at "The Farm" down in TN... a progressive communist community that functions in this sort of manner, and even provides its residents with a pension. Or "co-housing" which seems to be about upper middle class people building semi-collective enclaves away from the city. Usually setup as a bunch of privately owned houses around a common dining hall with common meals.
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February 04, 2011, 05:14:36 AM
 #44

Do your friends have a navy? In the tradition of individualist anarchism, I think, I don't really like the idea of revolution or snatching remote islands. Can't we just adopt anarchistic behavior, in whatever little ways we can, to slowly convince our neighbors and change our present society? What if I were to start a brewery that embodied anarchist ideals in our present society? Could it work?

Of course not.  I'm not sure that the Republic of Tonga does either though.....
All we'd need is a few surface to ship missiles and then hope that a real navy didn't mess with us.

The Kid and I are not talking about "snatching" remote islands, but rather purchasing.  However, I agree that that is not the best system, and I believe in working to change society from the inside out.  But common, this is the internet, let us dream a little....  Cheesy

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February 04, 2011, 05:24:21 AM
 #45





The Kid, any chance we get to read your thesis when you finish?  What is your major that you are writing the thesis for?

Also, the island thing has been done before: google "The Republic of Minerva".  However, if you let me join your island we won't suffer the same fate as I'll bring my friends and their arsenal of firearms.  Cheesy



I'm not writing it for a major, it's one of the requirements to graduate my high school. And I'll post it with a bitcoin address for donations   Wink

What, I'm not technically a kid anymore but I'm still quite young in most people's eyes, so I still don't really have to change the name I use on forums and such  Roll Eyes

Oh, for HIGHSCHOOL.  I see.  Wink  I was thinking you were a Master's student in economics or something....disappointing....  Ha, ha, that's still cool that you chose that topic and I hope it goes well for you.  Smiley
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February 04, 2011, 09:10:41 AM
 #46

Edit.
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February 04, 2011, 04:50:18 PM
 #47

... honest to god  ...
You seem to imply that God has some kind of authority over you. Contradiction? Wink

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February 04, 2011, 04:56:09 PM
 #48


Still, at least they are proper anarchists, unlike the capitalist apologists who would not be doing any better in mafia run state-less capitalist society.

*cough* what were ya'll talking 'bout 'gain?

Opposing anarchists tend to call each other "not a real anarchist", which tend to mean we have a non-debate and no attempt at understanding.

Anarcho-capitalist: You guys are a bunch of democractic mob!

Anarcho-communist: You're a bunch of capitalist pigs!

I am more worried about my libertarian comrades who refuse to join in to undermine the state because they are a bunch of goldbugs.

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February 04, 2011, 08:57:18 PM
 #49

Do your friends have a navy? In the tradition of individualist anarchism, I think, I don't really like the idea of revolution or snatching remote islands. Can't we just adopt anarchistic behavior, in whatever little ways we can, to slowly convince our neighbors and change our present society? What if I were to start a brewery that embodied anarchist ideals in our present society? Could it work?

I think we could.  It would have to interface with our current statist society, which would be a drain on resources, but there are breweries that are run as worker owned cooperatives (fishtail in Olympia WA is one example.)

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FatherMcGruder
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February 04, 2011, 09:21:48 PM
 #50

Opposing anarchists tend to call each other "not a real anarchist", which tend to mean we have a non-debate and no attempt at understanding.
Anarcho-capitalism seems to have come about out of a misunderstanding of anarchism which opposes both the state and capitalism, although not necessarily markets. Think of it as listening to someone confuse tea with coffee: both hot, liquid, contain caffeine, and served in similar cups, but not the same. People understandably get frustrated when they ask for coffee and get tea. Anarcho-capitalists shouldn't take offense with the correction. In and of itself, it doesn't mean anarcho-capitalists hold an indefensible position, but rather one that simply doesn't qualify as an anarchistic.

I think we could.  It would have to interface with our current statist society, which would be a drain on resources, but there are breweries that are run as worker owned cooperatives (fishtail in Olympia WA is one example.)
The brewery workers would also have to deal with capitalistic suppliers and customers. I wonder if workers would pay less taxes if they filed as co-owners instead of employees.

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February 04, 2011, 09:44:33 PM
 #51

In and of itself, it doesn't mean anarcho-capitalists hold an indefensible position, but rather one that simply doesn't qualify as an anarchistic.

Anarcho-capitalists are committed to the principle of self-ownership and the non-aggression principle, by the virtue of being libertarians. Anything that oppose the autonomy and the right of individuals will be opposed. That include any authority that attempt to impose the others' will upon the individual. We do not oppose communes, worker cooperative, and so on, as long as they do not coerce people into joining their organizations.

Rather than say that anarcho-capitalists support only free market capitalism, it is far more accurate to say that they are in support of voluntary non-coercive human activities.

If you do not think we are anarchists in the true sense, so it will be.

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February 04, 2011, 09:56:25 PM
 #52

Until I see evidence of a functioning Anarcho-Capitalist society, I will join them. At the moment, I think the only true way to have liberty is to have it enforced by a minimal government. The defense of one's life is not a market that can be set free, in my eyes. It could function for a bit but the balance can be usurped by one force or be made unstable by many very easily.
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February 04, 2011, 11:39:31 PM
 #53

I agree that some sort of money helps a lot as far as interacting with other communities.  It can be useful internally as well, or it can just complicate things.

As far as an Anarchist brewery in current society it would be advantageous to form relationships with other workers collectives to source hops and malt and so forth.  Hops are actually really easy to grow and could be incorporated with the brewery itself, barley takes a much larger amount of land, but would be a major expansion of operations and if there were a local agricultural collective that would make things easier.

As far as a housing collective the brewery would be taking in profits in sales that could be distributed to workers they'd have to buy food and clothes and all those fun things after all and as long as the collective is functioning as a part of a capitalist society they need to get those things from capitalist entities.

Forming relationships with other communities is always advantageous though, so, for example, if the agricultural collective that the brewery gets their barley from also grows food crops and perhaps chickens and such a relationship could be formed.  People in a housing collective are also likely to be working at cooperative ventures and there could be some sort of relationship between the whole, especcially if legal ownership is held by the housing collective rather than by an external landlord.  Taxes still need to be paid, but minimizing the interactions with the capitalist world is generally in the best interests of any collective.

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Garrett Burgwardt
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February 05, 2011, 12:34:32 AM
 #54

Until I see evidence of a functioning Anarcho-Capitalist society, I will join them. At the moment, I think the only true way to have liberty is to have it enforced by a minimal government. The defense of one's life is not a market that can be set free, in my eyes. It could function for a bit but the balance can be usurped by one force or be made unstable by many very easily.

I used to think like you, then after a large amount of thinking about it I decided that a complete lack of government would work fine. Free market enforcement of law and such are completely possible Grin

Read some of the articles I've posted if you haven't. Very interesting stuff.
Anonymous
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February 05, 2011, 01:16:17 AM
 #55

Until I see evidence of a functioning Anarcho-Capitalist society, I will join them. At the moment, I think the only true way to have liberty is to have it enforced by a minimal government. The defense of one's life is not a market that can be set free, in my eyes. It could function for a bit but the balance can be usurped by one force or be made unstable by many very easily.

Free market enforcement of law and such are completely possible Grin

At what cost?

Also, I would love to read your articles.
Garrett Burgwardt
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February 05, 2011, 01:17:25 AM
 #56

Well, not articles I wrote - here:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/long1.html

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Iceland/Iceland.html

And at no cost - look at how it's done. An ingenious system, in my opinion
FatherMcGruder
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February 05, 2011, 06:24:18 AM
 #57

I agree that some sort of money helps a lot as far as interacting with other communities.  It can be useful internally as well, or it can just complicate things.

As far as an Anarchist brewery in current society it would be advantageous to form relationships with other workers collectives to source hops and malt and so forth.  Hops are actually really easy to grow and could be incorporated with the brewery itself, barley takes a much larger amount of land, but would be a major expansion of operations and if there were a local agricultural collective that would make things easier.

As far as a housing collective the brewery would be taking in profits in sales that could be distributed to workers they'd have to buy food and clothes and all those fun things after all and as long as the collective is functioning as a part of a capitalist society they need to get those things from capitalist entities.

Forming relationships with other communities is always advantageous though, so, for example, if the agricultural collective that the brewery gets their barley from also grows food crops and perhaps chickens and such a relationship could be formed.  People in a housing collective are also likely to be working at cooperative ventures and there could be some sort of relationship between the whole, especcially if legal ownership is held by the housing collective rather than by an external landlord.  Taxes still need to be paid, but minimizing the interactions with the capitalist world is generally in the best interests of any collective.
Dairy farms can also make use of the spent grain from the brewing process. Cattle will eat it. The spent grain can also be fermented to produce methane fuel, or combined with peanut butter to make dog biscuits.

As for distribution of the brewery's profits, I would think that it would go according to the total amount that each worker will have invested. In addition to their labor, the original workers will have also had to acquire the building and equipment. It seems fair that they should receive more of the profits. Over time, as the brewery grows, the new workers' labor investments will grow larger than the original workers. I think the cooperative would also have to allow for outside investment. For example, if a builders collective builds the building which houses the brewery, their work would count as an investment entitling them to a decreasing share of the brewery's future profits. I don't think such an arrangement would qualify as unduly capitalistic because the profits get distributed according to real contributions. Furthermore, the workers could always refuse or undervalue investments that would otherwise reduce their shares to nothing.

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February 05, 2011, 08:56:02 AM
 #58

I agree that some sort of money helps a lot as far as interacting with other communities.  It can be useful internally as well, or it can just complicate things.

As far as an Anarchist brewery in current society it would be advantageous to form relationships with other workers collectives to source hops and malt and so forth.  Hops are actually really easy to grow and could be incorporated with the brewery itself, barley takes a much larger amount of land, but would be a major expansion of operations and if there were a local agricultural collective that would make things easier.

As far as a housing collective the brewery would be taking in profits in sales that could be distributed to workers they'd have to buy food and clothes and all those fun things after all and as long as the collective is functioning as a part of a capitalist society they need to get those things from capitalist entities.

Forming relationships with other communities is always advantageous though, so, for example, if the agricultural collective that the brewery gets their barley from also grows food crops and perhaps chickens and such a relationship could be formed.  People in a housing collective are also likely to be working at cooperative ventures and there could be some sort of relationship between the whole, especcially if legal ownership is held by the housing collective rather than by an external landlord.  Taxes still need to be paid, but minimizing the interactions with the capitalist world is generally in the best interests of any collective.
Dairy farms can also make use of the spent grain from the brewing process. Cattle will eat it. The spent grain can also be fermented to produce methane fuel, or combined with peanut butter to make dog biscuits.

As for distribution of the brewery's profits, I would think that it would go according to the total amount that each worker will have invested. In addition to their labor, the original workers will have also had to acquire the building and equipment. It seems fair that they should receive more of the profits. Over time, as the brewery grows, the new workers' labor investments will grow larger than the original workers. I think the cooperative would also have to allow for outside investment. For example, if a builders collective builds the building which houses the brewery, their work would count as an investment entitling them to a decreasing share of the brewery's future profits. I don't think such an arrangement would qualify as unduly capitalistic because the profits get distributed according to real contributions. Furthermore, the workers could always refuse or undervalue investments that would otherwise reduce their shares to nothing.


So long as contracts which are entered into are agreed upon by all members, and do not include obligation upon those that are not yet a part of the collective when the agreement is entered into.

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