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Author Topic: Cross post: Petition to form an indepentent Objectivist State  (Read 5441 times)
grantbdev
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July 16, 2012, 03:56:24 AM
 #61

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TV or factory - this is not so important. What's more important is whether this sharing is optional, whether it is a choice of every individual. Any form of socialism (including that "libertarian" socialism) implies that it is not.

Considering libertarian socialism is based on voluntary association, yes, it is optional to be part of the community that would adhere to the principles. It is a difference in opinion of a matter of rights. Libertarian socialists believe it is the right of workers to have a share in the instiution that they labor for. If you don't agree with that, fine, go to ancaplandia instead. The reason for believing this is because otherwise, unjust power (and thus, coercion) is put in the hands of the few who own the means of production.

Unless you wish to argue that murder has to be acceptable in all theories of voluntary societies, I do not see how this rules out libertarian socialism. Maybe I'm not doing a stellar job of explaining/defending it though. An (imperfect) analogy to it is the GPL software license. Sometimes certain actions do have to be limited to ensure greater liberty for all (murder applies here).

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How creation of more "authority/hierarchy" (more "government"), i.e. enforcement/coercive institutions can create more freedom??? What are you smoking? Wink

I think you misunderstood something. There is no more authority/hiearchy being advocated here. On the contrary, libertarian socialism advocates the abolition of ALL hiearchial instutions. The economy is democratically controlled inside of voluntary associations of workers.

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grantbdev
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July 16, 2012, 04:08:23 AM
 #62

I personally consider libertarian socialism to be much more 'libertarian' because it considers other forms of authority and hierarchry beyond government. A society that is freed from not only government/taxpayer relations but also boss/employee relations is much more free and equal, right?

Tell me how you propose to prevent people from hiring others to do work for them, or from contracting their services to another in return for wages without using authoritarian means, and I might accept you as a fellow anarchist, rather than just a socialist in different colors.

There is nothing technically wrong with hiring others to do work, it is just believed to be unfavorable if the workers do not get a proper vote in proportion to their labor and do not receive a fair share of the profit. Since there is no central authority, nothing could stop it. However, we are talking about a totally different set of cultural and moral viewpoints driving a voluntary community. It is hard for us to grasp because we have all lived a completely different lifestyle, but to me it makes sense and makes life better off for everyone, even those who are more fortunate than others.

In a hypothetical libertarian socialist community, if someone somehow soley managed to acquire means of production and wished to use wage labor to operate production, it is up to the workers themselves to either choose to (in my opinion) protect themselves or accept the contract with the capitalist. In my mind though, as a libertarian socialist economy grew more and more with co-operative enterprises these would be very small minority cases, because it is unlikely that means of production that has already been socialized would ever become private (all the workers involved in that insitution would have to agree to such a descision). Only newly introduced means of production could be potentially private, and then it could be socialized later (voluntarily of course).

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July 16, 2012, 04:47:33 AM
 #63

In a hypothetical libertarian socialist community, if someone somehow soley managed to acquire means of production and wished to use wage labor to operate production, it is up to the workers themselves to either choose to (in my opinion) protect themselves or accept the contract with the capitalist.

Well, alright then. As long it's voluntary, I got no problem with it.

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July 16, 2012, 05:02:26 AM
 #64

In a hypothetical libertarian socialist community, if someone somehow soley managed to acquire means of production and wished to use wage labor to operate production, it is up to the workers themselves to either choose to (in my opinion) protect themselves or accept the contract with the capitalist. In my mind though, as a libertarian socialist economy grew more and more with co-operative enterprises these would be very small minority cases, because it is unlikely that means of production that has already been socialized would ever become private (all the workers involved in that insitution would have to agree to such a descision).
If it was the case, it would have already happened as nothing stops you from creating such "socialized" enterprises in existing democratic societies. However in reality it seems that workers (mostly) prefer to be just workers and not shareholders/capitalists at the same time.

One notable example of the real world contradicting your theory: after the collapse of Soviet Union many enterprises were "privatized" there as well as in other former socialist states by distributing shares among workers, often without cost to them at all. However most of those workers apparently preferred to just sell their shares rather than give a chance to that world that you have in your mind.

Bottom line: freedom of choice destroys socialism. More freedom of choice leads to less socialism. More socialism requires more coercion.
grantbdev
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July 16, 2012, 05:17:31 AM
 #65

In a hypothetical libertarian socialist community, if someone somehow soley managed to acquire means of production and wished to use wage labor to operate production, it is up to the workers themselves to either choose to (in my opinion) protect themselves or accept the contract with the capitalist. In my mind though, as a libertarian socialist economy grew more and more with co-operative enterprises these would be very small minority cases, because it is unlikely that means of production that has already been socialized would ever become private (all the workers involved in that insitution would have to agree to such a descision).
If it was the case, it would have already happened as nothing stops you from creating such "socialized" enterprises in existing democratic societies. However in reality it seems that workers (mostly) prefer to be just workers and not shareholders/capitalists at the same time.

One notable example of the real world contradicting your theory: after the collapse of Soviet Union many enterprises were "privatized" there as well as in other former socialist states by distributing shares among workers, often without cost to them at all. However most of those workers apparently preferred just to sell their shares rather than give a chance to that world that you have in your mind.

Bottom line: freedom of choice destroys socialism. More freedom of choice leads to less socialism. More socialism requires more coercion.

This is true, but co-ops (and credit unions for that matter) are a growing sector of many economies and it is an appealing idea that I would say most people are not even aware of yet. That's why I keep saying that libertarian socialism's challenges are cultural, not political (although I consider exclusive tax breaks for co-ops to be sound policy in statist societies).

Even if your point and example are valid, I don't think it necessarily justifies your conclusion universally. It just requires a completely different vision than is common. However, I don't consider it an impossible fantasy considering the many different political, economic, and cultural systems that have been around in just a few thousand years. It would take dedicated individuals and a lot of time to pull it off without coercion.

I feel bad for completely derailing the topic. Roll Eyes

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July 16, 2012, 05:45:45 AM
 #66

(although I consider exclusive tax breaks for co-ops to be sound policy in statist societies).
See. That's exactly what's I'm talking about. Such coercive policies go hand in hand with socialist ideas because the latter can not be implemented otherwise. (translation of your example: "choose: pay more taxes or operate a socialist-ish enterprise")

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Even if your point and example are valid, I don't think it necessarily justifies your conclusion universally. It just requires a completely different vision than is common. However, I don't consider it an impossible fantasy considering the many different political, economic, and cultural systems that have been around in just a few thousand years. It would take dedicated individuals and a lot of time to pull it off without coercion.
The highlighted sentence probably answers the question "how?" but isn't it rational to answer the question "why?" first?
I suppose "it would take dedicated individuals and a lot of time to pull off" making everyone walk backwards too. But WHY do it?

Another more important question than what it would take is why did not it happen yet (without coercion). I believe it's because not many people really want it. My point is that socialism can not happen naturally (not many people WANT it, or even no one REALLY want it, otherwise it would have happened already) and the only way socialist ideologists ever managed to implement any form of socialism is by coercion. ALL examples of "success" involve coercion in one form or another. And even if there are plenty of people who want to live in a socialist society who gave them right to coerce everybody else into it?

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July 16, 2012, 06:29:31 AM
 #67

(although I consider exclusive tax breaks for co-ops to be sound policy in statist societies).
See. That's exactly what's I'm talking about. Such coercive policies go hand in hand with socialist ideas because the latter can not be implemented otherwise. (translation of your example: "choose: pay more taxes or operate a socialist-ish enterprise")

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Many people are content with or want government, and I think it is here to stay for quite a while. I also think most people believe in some form of progressive taxation and wealth redistribution. The only point I was trying to make there is I think that if you are going to have a government that has as its goal more income equality, then it makes much more sense from a policy point of view to indirectly support instiutions that create wealth equality (e.g. co-ops) instead of going through a much more inefficient system of taxing capitalists and re-distributing welfare to the poor. Less government expenditures would be required if co-ops were the major mode of economic progress, so I think it is a pretty fair deal to encourage them with tax breaks. If anything this would lead to a more libertarian or non-existant government, and thus libertarian/anarchist socialism.

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Even if your point and example are valid, I don't think it necessarily justifies your conclusion universally. It just requires a completely different vision than is common. However, I don't consider it an impossible fantasy considering the many different political, economic, and cultural systems that have been around in just a few thousand years. It would take dedicated individuals and a lot of time to pull it off without coercion.
The highlighted sentence probably answers the question "how?" but isn't it rational to answer the question "why?" first?
I suppose "it would take dedicated individuals and a lot of time to pull off" making everyone walk backwards too. But WHY do it?

Another more important question than what it would take is why did not it happen yet (without coercion). I believe it's because not many people really want it. My point is that socialism can not happen naturally (not many people WANT it, or even no one REALLY want it, otherwise it would have happened already) and the only way socialist ideologists ever managed to implement any form of socialism is by coercion. ALL examples of "success" involve coercion in one form or another. And even if there are plenty of people who want to live in a socialist society who gave them right to coerce everybody else into it?

I disagree with your claim that all examples involve coercion, but I guess it depends on the scale on which you require to be considered a success.

The reasons why are numerous, in addition to all the benefits of anarchism (which you have to be for in the first place before you can support libertarian socialism, if you don't then this discussion is mostly meaningless) you would have the benefits of even more liberty and power distributed among a strong community, with less poverty as well. Income equality is bad for markets and hurts everyone, and is a huge factor in crime and happiness. There is much more incentive for workers to be involved and work harder in their workplace if they receive shares of the profits and not just a fixed wage. You claim that most people just want to be workers, but why would they not want to make more money for themselves that their own labor has contributed to? Why would they not want to have a say in the decisions that directly involve their own economic outcome?
 

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July 16, 2012, 07:40:03 AM
 #68

I disagree with your claim that all examples involve coercion, but I guess it depends on the scale on which you require to be considered a success.

The reasons why are numerous, in addition to all the benefits of anarchism (which you have to be for in the first place before you can support libertarian socialism, if you don't then this discussion is mostly meaningless) you would have the benefits of even more liberty and power distributed among a strong community, with less poverty as well. Income inequality is bad for markets and hurts everyone, and is a huge factor in crime and happiness. There is much more incentive for workers to be involved and work harder in their workplace if they receive shares of the profits and not just a fixed wage. You claim that most people just want to be workers, but why would they not want to make more money for themselves that their own labor has contributed to? Why would they not want to have a say in the decisions that directly involve their own economic outcome?

I think what you meant to say there was income inequality, and I've taken the liberty of fixing it.

Aside from that, I agree, in principle, that people will probably have more incentive to do a better job if they have a direct stake in the success or failure of a venture. Not all businesses lend themselves easily to that model, though, and sometimes decisions can't be made by committee. I would argue, as well, that income equality, everyone making the same amount of money no matter what they do, would do much more harm than good.

If you haven't read it, Pictures of the Socialistic Future, by Eugene Richter paints an eerily accurate picture of what happened in Russia and East Germany under socialism. What makes it so disturbing is that it was written in 1893.

One of the principle problems was wage equality. Without premiums placed on high demand work, that work went wanting. The fact that the workers all got the same amount whether they busted their ass, or just did the bare minimum didn't help either.

Wage equality might work well in each individual shop, provided it was something like profit sharing. Service oriented jobs, such as waitressing, will not work well with wage equality, however. Historically, as soon as a restaurant started sharing tips, service in that restaurant went rapidly downhill. I've watched it happen.

How an individual business decides to disperse its profits is no real concern of mine, but if I get poor service, or a poor product, I will not be returning to that business. For some businesses, the coop or profit sharing method may work. In fact, it may be the best option. For others, it will surely doom that venture to failure.

In short, the market needs income inequality, as not all work is of the same value. In addition, an increase in income should be the result of your own effort, not that of your fellows'. And if equal rewards for unequal effort causes the effort to seek the lowest common denominator, things will not work well.

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July 16, 2012, 08:06:20 AM
 #69

Libertarian socialists will roll their eyes when you come with the Soviet Union and East Germany, it's like equaling Margaret Thatcher with Stefan Molyneux.

It's all about bottom-up vs top-down. The eastern bloc economies were inefficient because of top-down planning. Those who were in charge of reporting what materials they needed for their factory in order to fulfill the plan were becoming less and less diligent and more and more cynical. Morale was diminishing because Lenin's promises didn't hold up.

Now look at how things were in the Spanish anarchy. Like in a free market, workers themselves were responsible to order the material they needed. They were in control and felt immediately responsible for the well-being of the people around them they know and love, providing enough motivation.

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July 16, 2012, 08:25:33 AM
 #70

Now look at how things were in the Spanish anarchy. Like in a free market, workers themselves were responsible to order the material they needed. They were in control and felt immediately responsible for the well-being of the people around them they know and love, providing enough motivation.

Which is great. I don't dispute the ability of socialist anarchies to work in small areas, where everyone knows everyone else. Once we start talking about large cities like New York, though, the effectiveness of that motivation when dealing with people on the other side of town starts to break down. It gets even worse when looked at from a national point of view. Once you get past that Dunbar limit, socialism stops being nice, and starts being a real dick.

Which is where AnCap steps in. Each individual shop or group can arrange themselves however they like, but when they interact, it's best to have a framework set up to allow peaceful dealings with complete strangers. Market competition provides that framework very nicely.

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July 16, 2012, 04:38:59 PM
 #71

If you haven't read it, Pictures of the Socialistic Future, by Eugene Richter paints an eerily accurate picture of what happened in Russia and East Germany under socialism. What makes it so disturbing is that it was written in 1893.

One of the principle problems was wage equality. Without premiums placed on high demand work, that work went wanting. The fact that the workers all got the same amount whether they busted their ass, or just did the bare minimum didn't help either.

Wage equality might work well in each individual shop, provided it was something like profit sharing. Service oriented jobs, such as waitressing, will not work well with wage equality, however. Historically, as soon as a restaurant started sharing tips, service in that restaurant went rapidly downhill. I've watched it happen.

How an individual business decides to disperse its profits is no real concern of mine, but if I get poor service, or a poor product, I will not be returning to that business. For some businesses, the coop or profit sharing method may work. In fact, it may be the best option. For others, it will surely doom that venture to failure.

In short, the market needs income inequality, as not all work is of the same value. In addition, an increase in income should be the result of your own effort, not that of your fellows'. And if equal rewards for unequal effort causes the effort to seek the lowest common denominator, things will not work well.

Well, I do not even consider any of the so-called 'communist states' to even follow any sort of socialism, even though that was the intention of many of the revolutionaries at the bottom (read about the Kronstadt sailors.) Lenin pretty much screwed everything up, took away democracry (which is crucial to socialism), and created a militarist dictatorship under the guise of a worker's paradise. It does not even fit as an example of income equality, because it was really much more of a kleptocracy as very quickly wealth floated to party elites rather than the workers who wanted the revolution and to stop the war. Yeah, I'm not seeing socialism there.

I apologize, I do use income equality loosely. I was mostly speaking of the adverse effects of deep income inequality, not any benefits from exact income equality.

For one thing, the distribution of wealth in libertarian socialism only happens within the firm. So, workers in more successful fims may be paid more, and supply and demand may apply here to give weight to unwanted jobs. Really, the key difference is that there is no major wealth disparity between management and labor, as they are combined whenever possible. Pay within libertarian socialism firms is also usually paid in proportion to each person's labor.

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July 16, 2012, 05:24:38 PM
 #72

For one thing, the distribution of wealth in libertarian socialism only happens within the firm. So, workers in more successful fims may be paid more, and supply and demand may apply here to give weight to unwanted jobs. Really, the key difference is that there is no major wealth disparity between management and labor, as they are combined whenever possible. Pay within libertarian socialism firms is also usually paid in proportion to each person's labor.

Then since our disagreement is entirely confined to the arrangement of the structure within a business, and we both agree that should be voluntary, I don't think we have much of a beef. Wink

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July 18, 2012, 11:47:41 AM
 #73

Haha, objectivist state. Objectivism (in that sense) is great nonsense. There is no objective reason to have a state, to live or whatever. So that's just showing that you're incapable of thinking in an objectivist way. A bit like a blind person believing he's able to see or actually seeing more than everyone else.

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