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Author Topic: Can someone explain to me the various flavors of Libertarianism?  (Read 4203 times)
grantbdev
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July 20, 2012, 05:07:33 PM
 #21

Alternatively, you could try to convince everyone in society to throw their property into the communal pot, but let's be honest, that's never going to happen, so really, turning an existing society into a libertarian socialist one isn't a realistic option.

What you said down there applies to this. It's a moral principle, it helps to believe in certain socialist arguments that the capitalist system of production is immoral. Libertarian socialism can be helped by supporting the co-ops that exist today. I think I've said this many times, it's more of a cultural fight than a political one.

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One thing I find people miss about the NAP in particular (regardless of how closely any particular "flavor" of libertarianism adheres to it) is that it's more of a moral principle for people to impose on their political views than it is a political system. IOW, whether anyone else "likes" the NAP, or thinks it will work, or wants to try to implement it in their life or their society is pretty irrelevant. Those who DO believe it to be a moral principle worth following intend to follow it, period. They will refuse to intrude upon the liberty of others, and that's that. All the debates in the world about the political workings of it isn't going to convince them to start voting for anything that, in their minds, is aggression.

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July 20, 2012, 05:33:07 PM
 #22

Alternatively, you could try to convince everyone in society to throw their property into the communal pot, but let's be honest, that's never going to happen, so really, turning an existing society into a libertarian socialist one isn't a realistic option.

What you said down there applies to this. It's a moral principle, it helps to believe in certain socialist arguments that the capitalist system of production is immoral. Libertarian socialism can be helped by supporting the co-ops that exist today. I think I've said this many times, it's more of a cultural fight than a political one.

Quote
One thing I find people miss about the NAP in particular (regardless of how closely any particular "flavor" of libertarianism adheres to it) is that it's more of a moral principle for people to impose on their political views than it is a political system. IOW, whether anyone else "likes" the NAP, or thinks it will work, or wants to try to implement it in their life or their society is pretty irrelevant. Those who DO believe it to be a moral principle worth following intend to follow it, period. They will refuse to intrude upon the liberty of others, and that's that. All the debates in the world about the political workings of it isn't going to convince them to start voting for anything that, in their minds, is aggression.

Interesting.

Most people I run into promoting socialism do so because, in their mind, "it works better." Whether it's moral or not usually seems secondary.

If it's your moral principle, well, I disagree, but OK... as long as you're not forcing it on me, carry on.

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July 20, 2012, 05:55:50 PM
 #23

Interesting.

Most people I run into promoting socialism do so because, in their mind, "it works better." Whether it's moral or not usually seems secondary.

If it's your moral principle, well, I disagree, but OK... as long as you're not forcing it on me, carry on.


Well, I would say my *actual* moral principle is similar to the Golden Rule or the Categorical Imperative. While I do think libertarian socialism is more efficient in providing the needs for mankind, I also think it is really the most "libertarian" system because there is no hierarchy left and any potential power or authority is decentralized amongst the people. I also see it as a much more peaceful and charitable world because people the goals are co-operative prosperity, not self-profit. Why shouldn't I advocate for libertarian socialism over anarcho-capitalism?

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July 20, 2012, 08:41:26 PM
 #24

Interesting.

Most people I run into promoting socialism do so because, in their mind, "it works better." Whether it's moral or not usually seems secondary.

If it's your moral principle, well, I disagree, but OK... as long as you're not forcing it on me, carry on.


Well, I would say my *actual* moral principle is similar to the Golden Rule or the Categorical Imperative. While I do think libertarian socialism is more efficient in providing the needs for mankind, I also think it is really the most "libertarian" system because there is no hierarchy left and any potential power or authority is decentralized amongst the people. I also see it as a much more peaceful and charitable world because people the goals are co-operative prosperity, not self-profit. Why shouldn't I advocate for libertarian socialism over anarcho-capitalism?

That depends on how socialist you intend the system to be.

If the system requires that ALL goods are to be held in common, and all acts should only be for the common good, then I'd say you shouldn't advocate for it because, it promotes the idea of the collective to the detriment of the individual. For example, if I make a widget, it's mine, and I should keep it... and I'll fight anyone who wants to take it to use "for the common good." You shouldn't take property from others that they aren't voluntarily giving to you, when they haven't harmed you.

If it's a system where people have their own personal property, but there is common property that everyone must contribute too, I'd still usually say one shouldn't advocate it based on the same principle, depending on what the common property is, where the line between personal and common property is, etc. For example, if everyone else in the community believes contributing to a specific charity is what should be done, and I feel the charity wastes too much money on overhead, then I simply won't contribute, regardless of whether I'm the lone holdout. I see no need for unanimity or consensus... why can't everyone just donate to whatever charity they feel is appropriate?

If it's a system that's pretty much a free market, but with individuals spontaneously and voluntarily contributing to group projects as they each deem
appropriate, then surely no one could have a problem with that. Ayn Rand's idea that individualism is the highest ideal, manifested in the exclusive pursuit of self-interest and profit, seems pretty immoral and indefensible. It seems more reasonable that each individual should just choose for himself when to be charitable and cooperative.

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July 20, 2012, 09:42:48 PM
 #25

"Non-coerciveness" -- without coersion, how is anything ever supposed to change?

You confuse coercion with persuasion. Perhaps an example would help:

Persuasion: "This is wrong, you should do it this way"
"Prove it."
"Sure, Let me explain..." *explains*
"Oh, OK. Thanks."

Coercion: "This is wrong, you should do it this way"
"Prove it."
"Do it or I'll fucking shoot you." *cocks a gun*
"Oh, OK. Yessir."

My other gripe is that even if a certain ideology sounds really appealing, and I can't pick in any holes in it, it's as though nobody wants to consider the 500-or-so steps required to actually get there without causing some kind of accidental apocalypse along the way.

I'm not sure about other ideologies, but AnCap does indeed have a "road map" of how to get there: Agorism. The idea is not just to avoid an accidental apocalypse, but to prevent the one we see coming, by replacing unsustainable coercive monopoles with market alternatives, before the coercive monopolies collapse.

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grantbdev
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July 20, 2012, 10:56:47 PM
 #26

That depends on how socialist you intend the system to be.

If the system requires that ALL goods are to be held in common, and all acts should only be for the common good, then I'd say you shouldn't advocate for it because, it promotes the idea of the collective to the detriment of the individual. For example, if I make a widget, it's mine, and I should keep it... and I'll fight anyone who wants to take it to use "for the common good." You shouldn't take property from others that they aren't voluntarily giving to you, when they haven't harmed you.

If it's a system where people have their own personal property, but there is common property that everyone must contribute too, I'd still usually say one shouldn't advocate it based on the same principle, depending on what the common property is, where the line between personal and common property is, etc. For example, if everyone else in the community believes contributing to a specific charity is what should be done, and I feel the charity wastes too much money on overhead, then I simply won't contribute, regardless of whether I'm the lone holdout. I see no need for unanimity or consensus... why can't everyone just donate to whatever charity they feel is appropriate?

If it's a system that's pretty much a free market, but with individuals spontaneously and voluntarily contributing to group projects as they each deem
appropriate, then surely no one could have a problem with that. Ayn Rand's idea that individualism is the highest ideal, manifested in the exclusive pursuit of self-interest and profit, seems pretty immoral and indefensible. It seems more reasonable that each individual should just choose for himself when to be charitable and cooperative.


Socialism is *only* about common means of production or productive property. So yes, there is personal property that is completely private (it's MY book). All outputs are private, but the inputs are democratically controlled by the workers inside each firm. That is, the workers for a computer firm do not have a say in how a firm that makes watches is run. However, everything is a voluntary system, there is no coercion. But if you are able to work and you don't, you can't expect the help of society.

I am also of the opinion that acting only by self-interest is not in the self-interest of anyone in the long term.

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July 21, 2012, 08:49:18 AM
 #27

I'm not sure about other ideologies, but AnCap does indeed have a "road map" of how to get there: Agorism. The idea is not just to avoid an accidental apocalypse, but to prevent the one we see coming, by replacing unsustainable coercive monopoles with market alternatives, before the coercive monopolies collapse.

Anarcho-capitalism is a 'end goal'  just like any other political philosophy.  Since it is just 'nice' to have a 'pit in the sky goal.'  A group of clever people created Agorism, a methodology or personal/collective philosophy to get there.

It deals with the fact that what we have atm is a very long way from freedom; and is systematic in the way to not 'attack' the current system. Just provide better market based infrastructure for people when the current systems inevitably starts falling on it's own sword.

Edit: Another belief is that with the free-sharing of information, (aka, free-speech).  No oppressive power can maintain their power in the long-term.  n.b.  Bitcoin proves that money is just they transfer of 'value information' between people.  Banning bitcoin, would be to ban a form of speech between people.

Edit2:  The 'natural state' of a society with Free-Speech; is Anarcho-capitalism.  It just take time to get there.  That is why it is inevitable that free-speech and thus the free-communication on the internet to be curtailed. (by anyone who uses force (or the credible threat of force) to maintain their power).

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July 21, 2012, 09:33:25 AM
 #28

I am also of the opinion that acting only by self-interest is not in the self-interest of anyone in the long term.
Then I would say you don't have a coherent understanding of what "self-interest" is. By definition, acting only by self-interest must be in one's self-interest. And if one is acting *only* in one's self-interest, one would strike the balance between short-term and long-term that maximally benefits one's self.

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July 22, 2012, 02:54:07 AM
 #29

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Socialism is *only* about common means of production or productive property. So yes, there is personal property that is completely private (it's MY book). All outputs are private, but the inputs are democratically controlled by the workers inside each firm. That is, the workers for a computer firm do not have a say in how a firm that makes watches is run. However, everything is a voluntary system, there is no coercion. But if you are able to work and you don't, you can't expect the help of society.

I am also of the opinion that acting only by self-interest is not in the self-interest of anyone in the long term.

To be absolutely clear: Do you recognise and support private property? For example individual ownership of a gold mine?
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July 22, 2012, 02:57:14 AM
 #30

I'm not sure about other ideologies, but AnCap does indeed have a "road map" of how to get there: Agorism. The idea is not just to avoid an accidental apocalypse, but to prevent the one we see coming, by replacing unsustainable coercive monopoles with market alternatives, before the coercive monopolies collapse.

Anarcho-capitalism is a 'end goal'  just like any other political philosophy.  Since it is just 'nice' to have a 'pit in the sky goal.'  A group of clever people created Agorism, a methodology or personal/collective philosophy to get there.

It deals with the fact that what we have atm is a very long way from freedom; and is systematic in the way to not 'attack' the current system. Just provide better market based infrastructure for people when the current systems inevitably starts falling on it's own sword.

Edit: Another belief is that with the free-sharing of information, (aka, free-speech).  No oppressive power can maintain their power in the long-term.  n.b.  Bitcoin proves that money is just they transfer of 'value information' between people.  Banning bitcoin, would be to ban a form of speech between people.

Edit2:  The 'natural state' of a society with Free-Speech; is Anarcho-capitalism.  It just take time to get there.  That is why it is inevitable that free-speech and thus the free-communication on the internet to be curtailed. (by anyone who uses force (or the credible threat of force) to maintain their power).

You seem pretty smart.  How do you feel about an ancap constitution?  And how would it work?  I'm still struggling with it myself.
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July 22, 2012, 03:14:54 AM
 #31

I'm not sure about other ideologies, but AnCap does indeed have a "road map" of how to get there: Agorism. The idea is not just to avoid an accidental apocalypse, but to prevent the one we see coming, by replacing unsustainable coercive monopoles with market alternatives, before the coercive monopolies collapse.

Anarcho-capitalism is a 'end goal'  just like any other political philosophy.  Since it is just 'nice' to have a 'pit in the sky goal.'  A group of clever people created Agorism, a methodology or personal/collective philosophy to get there.

It deals with the fact that what we have atm is a very long way from freedom; and is systematic in the way to not 'attack' the current system. Just provide better market based infrastructure for people when the current systems inevitably starts falling on it's own sword.

Edit: Another belief is that with the free-sharing of information, (aka, free-speech).  No oppressive power can maintain their power in the long-term.  n.b.  Bitcoin proves that money is just they transfer of 'value information' between people.  Banning bitcoin, would be to ban a form of speech between people.

Edit2:  The 'natural state' of a society with Free-Speech; is Anarcho-capitalism.  It just take time to get there.  That is why it is inevitable that free-speech and thus the free-communication on the internet to be curtailed. (by anyone who uses force (or the credible threat of force) to maintain their power).

You seem pretty smart.  How do you feel about an ancap constitution?  And how would it work?  I'm still struggling with it myself.
AnCap/Voluntaryist constitution:
http://shiresociety.com/

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July 22, 2012, 03:24:36 AM
 #32

To be absolutely clear: Do you recognise and support private property? For example individual ownership of a gold mine?

I do not support private means of production. I do not support situations that divide people into ownership and working classes. In the instance of the gold mine, if the workers at the gold mine are not given shares of ownership of the gold mine then I don't support it. However, I don't believe I should use coercion to make you follow my opinion.

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July 22, 2012, 08:26:09 AM
 #33

I do not support private means of production. I do not support situations that divide people into ownership and working classes. In the instance of the gold mine, if the workers at the gold mine are not given shares of ownership of the gold mine then I don't support it. However, I don't believe I should use coercion to make you follow my opinion.
Isn't this horribly inefficient? Say a particular gold mine is willing to pay me the most for my labor. Well, gee, that's the place I should be working, right? But say I think that gold mine is a horrible investment that is very likely to lose money. Why should I also be forced to own shares in a business I think is a horrible idea? Why should I be forced to probably lose money, as owner, just to make money, as employee?

Isn't it much more efficient and sensible that I can buy shares in the businesses that I think have the best chance to do *well* rather than being forced, for no rational reason at all, to own shares in the business that happens to offer me the best employment deal? What the hell does one have to do with the other? Nothing at all.

If I want to invest in the same business that hires me, I can certainly do that. But it's bizarre that I should be forced to even if my investment priorities and my employment priorities don't coincide -- as they don't for the vast majority of people.

It seems totally illogical and inflexible to force people to invest in the exact same businesses they happen to work for. Why shouldn't I be able to work for the business that pays the most for my labor and still be able to invest in the business that I think has the best chance of turning a profit?

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July 22, 2012, 08:46:12 AM
 #34

I do not support private means of production. I do not support situations that divide people into ownership and working classes. In the instance of the gold mine, if the workers at the gold mine are not given shares of ownership of the gold mine then I don't support it. However, I don't believe I should use coercion to make you follow my opinion.
Isn't this horribly inefficient? Say a particular gold mine is willing to pay me the most for my labor. Well, gee, that's the place I should be working, right? But say I think that gold mine is a horrible investment that is very likely to lose money. Why should I also be forced to own shares in a business I think is a horrible idea? Why should I be forced to probably lose money, as owner, just to make money, as employee?

Isn't it much more efficient and sensible that I can buy shares in the businesses that I think have the best chance to do *well* rather than being forced, for no rational reason at all, to own shares in the business that happens to offer me the best employment deal? What the hell does one have to do with the other? Nothing at all.

If I want to invest in the same business that hires me, I can certainly do that. But it's bizarre that I should be forced to even if my investment priorities and my employment priorities don't coincide -- as they don't for the vast majority of people.

It seems totally illogical and inflexible to force people to invest in the exact same businesses they happen to work for. Why shouldn't I be able to work for the business that pays the most for my labor and still be able to invest in the business that I think has the best chance of turning a profit?

You keep using the word "forced", but remember this is a voluntary system. I think you are taking too much of the capitalist system into account. Even though what I'm talking about may sound like joint stock corporations, there wouldn't be any actual 'shares' that you own and sell in a market.

It's not about investment, it's about ownership and voting rights. In a hypothetical co-operative gold mine in a libertarian socialist community, if a new worker is hired by that co-operative, the worker is then entitled to vote in business decisions (or vote for a representative) and a share of the revenue to which the worker's labor contributed (on the terms voted on by the co-op, probably a proportional system). I do not see any reason why there would be any outside stock for investors in this system, it's not necessary and it goes against the ideals of self-ownership, economic democracy, and classless society.

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July 22, 2012, 08:58:11 AM
 #35

I do not see any reason why there would be any outside stock for investors in this system, it's not necessary and it goes against the ideals of self-ownership, economic democracy, and classless society.

I beg to differ... stocks and other methods of raising operating capital are vitally necessary. Of course, stocks aren't the only way. Kickstarter is a fine example of raising operating capital without offering profits in return. (well, not "rent" profits, at any rate. Kickstarter rewards are great incentives, but don't give "unearned" profits)

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July 22, 2012, 10:49:55 AM
 #36

You keep using the word "forced", but remember this is a voluntary system.
Either way, it's really, really dumb and inefficient. It just takes away people's freedom to pursue different employment and investment priorities in exchange for nothing at all.

Quote
I think you are taking too much of the capitalist system into account. Even though what I'm talking about may sound like joint stock corporations, there wouldn't be any actual 'shares' that you own and sell in a market.

It's not about investment, it's about ownership and voting rights.
What do you think the difference between investment and ownership is? Regardless, whatever it is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with employment. Why would anyone want a system that ties things together that have nothing to do with each other rather than obviously superior systems that allow them to pursue these things independently?

Say I want to work for company X. But I have no idea how that company should be run. But I might have great ideas about how company Y should be run and I'd prefer to have some ownership in company Y because that fits my investment priorities. For absolutely no rational reason whatsoever, your proposed system requires me to pick one company for these completely logically independent things. It just makes no sense at all.

And if they're not shares you own or sell, what happens when a person works for a company for a long time, builds that company up, and then stops working? They cannot sell their shares because they don't own them? So they just lose all claim over the value they added to the company? That doesn't seem logical or fair. It seems a system where the shares are owned and sold is much fairer.

Quote
In a hypothetical co-operative gold mine in a libertarian socialist community, if a new worker is hired by that co-operative, the worker is then entitled to vote in business decisions (or vote for a representative) and a share of the revenue to which the worker's labor contributed (on the terms voted on by the co-op, probably a proportional system). I do not see any reason why there would be any outside stock for investors in this system, it's not necessary and it goes against the ideals of self-ownership, economic democracy, and classless society.
The problem is, the worker may prefer to have a share in a completely different company because that company better reflects his *investment* priorities even though this company best reflects his *employment* priorities. There is no rational reason to advocate a system that prevents people from pursuing these interests independently.

This just stupidly hurts people for no benefit whatsoever. It makes absolutely no sense.

Why would anyone want a system that compels them into sub-optimal investment choices just to make optimal employment choices? Or sub-optimal employment choices just to make optimal investment choices? You are advocating a system that hurts people and gains *NOTHING*.

Say I'd really like to own part of company Z because it makes investment sense for me. But company Y is offering me a great job. Why would you advocate a system that forces me to make compromises? What is the benefit? It just seems like pure idiocy to me.

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July 22, 2012, 10:47:44 PM
 #37

I do not support private means of production. I do not support situations that divide people into ownership and working classes. In the instance of the gold mine, if the workers at the gold mine are not given shares of ownership of the gold mine then I don't support it. However, I don't believe I should use coercion to make you follow my opinion.
Isn't this horribly inefficient? Say a particular gold mine is willing to pay me the most for my labor. Well, gee, that's the place I should be working, right? But say I think that gold mine is a horrible investment that is very likely to lose money. Why should I also be forced to own shares in a business I think is a horrible idea? Why should I be forced to probably lose money, as owner, just to make money, as employee?

Isn't it much more efficient and sensible that I can buy shares in the businesses that I think have the best chance to do *well* rather than being forced, for no rational reason at all, to own shares in the business that happens to offer me the best employment deal? What the hell does one have to do with the other? Nothing at all.

If I want to invest in the same business that hires me, I can certainly do that. But it's bizarre that I should be forced to even if my investment priorities and my employment priorities don't coincide -- as they don't for the vast majority of people.

It seems totally illogical and inflexible to force people to invest in the exact same businesses they happen to work for. Why shouldn't I be able to work for the business that pays the most for my labor and still be able to invest in the business that I think has the best chance of turning a profit?

You keep using the word "forced", but remember this is a voluntary system. I think you are taking too much of the capitalist system into account. Even though what I'm talking about may sound like joint stock corporations, there wouldn't be any actual 'shares' that you own and sell in a market.

It's not about investment, it's about ownership and voting rights. In a hypothetical co-operative gold mine in a libertarian socialist community, if a new worker is hired by that co-operative, the worker is then entitled to vote in business decisions (or vote for a representative) and a share of the revenue to which the worker's labor contributed (on the terms voted on by the co-op, probably a proportional system). I do not see any reason why there would be any outside stock for investors in this system, it's not necessary and it goes against the ideals of self-ownership, economic democracy, and classless society.

I'm the owner of a pretty big company.  My top employees get rewarded with shares. But I keep the majority.  Democracy doesn't work.  It would require everyone at the work flow to be on my level of intelligence to make the best decisions.  If my competition offers better value to their workers they could leave, so we are competing to keep employees as happy as possible.  A classless society would entail everyone be as smart.  We need people of less intelligence to do the dirty work.  That is, until we reach the singulariy event in computing and robots.  And the best and quickest way to reach that is competing capitalism, trust me on that one.
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July 23, 2012, 10:32:52 AM
 #38

I'm the owner of a pretty big company.  My top employees get rewarded with shares. But I keep the majority.
There are three basic reasons this can make sense:

1) When you're hiring high-level employees, their performance really could make a noticeable difference in the bottom line. Having them hold stock increases their incentive to boost the company's stock price. (This can backfire though. For example, it can create a perverse incentive to hide losses, so you have to be careful.) This only applies to employees that have a chance to actually affect the stock price of the company.

2) Sometimes investing in the company's stock does make sense for the employee because the company's risk/reward profile is a good match for the employee's desired investment profile, at least to some extent. This is a win/win because it is generally cheaper for a company to offer its own stock rather than cash.

3) It is often cheaper for a company to offer its own stock than cash, so the company may want to give the employee some compensation in stock form even if that doesn't make good financial sense for the employee. This is good for the company, as stock is cheaper for them to give than cash, but it creates significant financial risk for the employee as it ties his financial health to the company's when this is beyond his control. (And often such stock is subject to restrictions that may make it hard for the employee to sell. In this case, the employee generally would rather have cash.)

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 24, 2012, 05:47:59 PM
 #39

Anarcho-capitalism isn't the only type of extreme libertarianism (which does not imply anything about economy). Ancap is based on two "social" rules:

  • Enroaching upon another's property without consent is frowned upon.
  • Breaching a contract without consent is frowned upon.

The other extreme is much less popular, at least here, but basically uses the opposite "social" rules:

  • Preventing someone from using yours or another's property is frowned upon.
  • Retribution against cancellation of contract is frowned upon.

(essentially, stateless communism).

There is no reason both cannot exist simultaneously. However, human nature may prevent prolonged stability in this situation if the two societies interact.
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