Libertarian Socialism: Does It Make Sense and How Does It Work? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Classical liberalism. The individual before the state, non-interventionist, free-market based society.
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#15229416
Are libertarianism and socialism diametrically opposed? The libertarian socialist would say no.

The political philosophy of libertarian socialism categorically rejects state interference in social affairs and instead proposes the abolition of authoritarian institutions that inhibit freedom and justice.

The rejection of state socialism and the current mixed economy define libertarian socialism. Instead, the libertarian socialism project calls for decentralized institutions that use direct democracy or voluntary associations to break up centralized institutions and institutions captured by rent-seeking capitalists.

What is a Libertarian Socialist?

The libertarian socialist believes in a free society, where individuals do not have to worry about being coerced by corporations or oppressive states. The political philosophy is focused on freedom and the individual’s quest to break free from institutions that shackle human thought and creativity.

Unlike their state socialist counterparts, libertarian socialists do not push central planning, state-owned enterprises, or outright nationalization. However, they do not reject the idea of collective ownership of property. The ability for free individuals to determine their own property-holding arrangements is crucial for socialist libertarians.

If people band together and collectivize the ownership of private property ona voluntary basis, this is perfectly in line with these precepts. There are numerous cases where private property is acquired through dubious means and is used by elites to cement their economic status and lord over the working classes.

A social libertarian stresses the importance of defending civil liberties, which made them staunch opponents of totalitarian socialist regimes throughout the 20th century. Since Vladimir Lenin successfully led the Bolshevik Revolution starting in 1917, Communism and its socialist cousins have been directly associated with totalitarianism.

What Is a Libertarian Socialist Approach to Governance?

Libertarians of all stripes never approved of one-party states. Communist regimes and totalitarian socialist adjacent political movements were marked by such arrangements. Ironically, these regimes banned many dissident socialist parties, which validated the initial libertarian socialist skepticism towards these kinds of regimes.

Instead, libertarians with socialist inclinations favored voluntary associations, economic democracy, and local governance. One of the contradictions they spotted with regards to 20th century communist experiments was how wealth inequality still persisted thanks to the concentration of power in the state.

This was a sign of how centralized political structures can allow for massive wealth and power consolidation. Which is why political decentralization is key for ensuring equality of political and economic opportunities. In sum, states have a tendency of centralizing and creating benefits for parasitic individuals, thus requiring a new way forward.

Unlike conventional free-marketers, libertarian socialists are concerned about economic inequality. A society marked by wealth inequality is oppressive and socially unstable. By phasing out the state, individuals would be free to live up to their economic potential now that they’re no longer shackled by the state’s laws and regulations.

Similarly, being free from excessive corporate power allows for people to chart their own economic paths free from sub-optimal employment arrangements. Additionally, individuals and communities would then be afforded the opportunity to set up economic institutions that provide real value to consumers while providing dignified work.

Although market interactions would be respected, many socialist libertarians called into question a number of economic assumptions and offered alternatives at the local level to address certain inequalities and worrisome social problems that corporate capitalism generally brought about.

Origin of Libertarian Socialism

It’s often forgotten that the word ”libertarian” had a different meaning in the 19th century. Anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, and other forms of left-leaning anarchist movements of that century were often described as libertarians. These movements thoroughly opposed the state, as well as dominant business entities.

This stands in contrast to modern libertarianism, which focused more on economic freedoms and private property. This 20th century philosophy of liberty drew more from classical liberalism and generally held market activity in a much higher regard. There was much stronger emphasis on individualism and respect for private property.

In the 19th century, advocates of private property and free markets would generally be categorized as liberals. Broadly speaking, libertarian describes a pro-liberty outlook on politics, while socialism describes an economic system where wealth is distributed on a more equal basis.

Libertarian socialists try to fuse these concepts together to form a unique philosophy. Liberalism would be critiqued from a socialist perspective, while state socialism would be critiqued from a libertarian perspective. The goal was to create a new way of dealing with the problems of industrialization while protecting individual freedoms.

This unique philosophy tried to make political discussion more nuanced by recognizing the merits of both socialist and liberal thought. Political discourse tends to get stale at times, and often what’s needed is to recognize that certain competing political schools have valid points that can be combined to form news ways of thinking.

The rapid industrialization of the 19th century caught many people by surprise and required novel strategies to address its many unforeseen consequences. Socialist libertarians firmly believed they had the right answers to the many problems present during the industrial era.

Continue reading Libertarian Socialism: Does It Make Sense and How Does It Work? on Libertas Bella
#15229427
libertasbella wrote:Are libertarianism and socialism diametrically opposed? The libertarian socialist would say no.

The political philosophy of libertarian socialism categorically rejects state interference in social affairs and instead proposes the abolition of authoritarian institutions that inhibit freedom and justice.

The rejection of state socialism and the current mixed economy define libertarian socialism. Instead, the libertarian socialism project calls for decentralized institutions that use direct democracy or voluntary associations to break up centralized institutions and institutions captured by rent-seeking capitalists.

What is a Libertarian Socialist?

Are you here to spam ads for your website or actually contribute?



The libertarian socialist believes in a free society, where individuals do not have to worry about being coerced by corporations or oppressive states. The political philosophy is focused on freedom and the individual’s quest to break free from institutions that shackle human thought and creativity.

Unlike their state socialist counterparts, libertarian socialists do not push central planning, state-owned enterprises, or outright nationalization. However, they do not reject the idea of collective ownership of property. The ability for free individuals to determine their own property-holding arrangements is crucial for socialist libertarians.

If people band together and collectivize the ownership of private property ona voluntary basis, this is perfectly in line with these precepts. There are numerous cases where private property is acquired through dubious means and is used by elites to cement their economic status and lord over the working classes.

A social libertarian stresses the importance of defending civil liberties, which made them staunch opponents of totalitarian socialist regimes throughout the 20th century. Since Vladimir Lenin successfully led the Bolshevik Revolution starting in 1917, Communism and its socialist cousins have been directly associated with totalitarianism.

What Is a Libertarian Socialist Approach to Governance?

Libertarians of all stripes never approved of one-party states. Communist regimes and totalitarian socialist adjacent political movements were marked by such arrangements. Ironically, these regimes banned many dissident socialist parties, which validated the initial libertarian socialist skepticism towards these kinds of regimes.

Instead, libertarians with socialist inclinations favored voluntary associations, economic democracy, and local governance. One of the contradictions they spotted with regards to 20th century communist experiments was how wealth inequality still persisted thanks to the concentration of power in the state.

This was a sign of how centralized political structures can allow for massive wealth and power consolidation. Which is why political decentralization is key for ensuring equality of political and economic opportunities. In sum, states have a tendency of centralizing and creating benefits for parasitic individuals, thus requiring a new way forward.

Unlike conventional free-marketers, libertarian socialists are concerned about economic inequality. A society marked by wealth inequality is oppressive and socially unstable. By phasing out the state, individuals would be free to live up to their economic potential now that they’re no longer shackled by the state’s laws and regulations.

Similarly, being free from excessive corporate power allows for people to chart their own economic paths free from sub-optimal employment arrangements. Additionally, individuals and communities would then be afforded the opportunity to set up economic institutions that provide real value to consumers while providing dignified work.

Although market interactions would be respected, many socialist libertarians called into question a number of economic assumptions and offered alternatives at the local level to address certain inequalities and worrisome social problems that corporate capitalism generally brought about.

Origin of Libertarian Socialism

It’s often forgotten that the word ”libertarian” had a different meaning in the 19th century. Anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, and other forms of left-leaning anarchist movements of that century were often described as libertarians. These movements thoroughly opposed the state, as well as dominant business entities.

This stands in contrast to modern libertarianism, which focused more on economic freedoms and private property. This 20th century philosophy of liberty drew more from classical liberalism and generally held market activity in a much higher regard. There was much stronger emphasis on individualism and respect for private property.

In the 19th century, advocates of private property and free markets would generally be categorized as liberals. Broadly speaking, libertarian describes a pro-liberty outlook on politics, while socialism describes an economic system where wealth is distributed on a more equal basis.

Libertarian socialists try to fuse these concepts together to form a unique philosophy. Liberalism would be critiqued from a socialist perspective, while state socialism would be critiqued from a libertarian perspective. The goal was to create a new way of dealing with the problems of industrialization while protecting individual freedoms.

This unique philosophy tried to make political discussion more nuanced by recognizing the merits of both socialist and liberal thought. Political discourse tends to get stale at times, and often what’s needed is to recognize that certain competing political schools have valid points that can be combined to form news ways of thinking.

The rapid industrialization of the 19th century caught many people by surprise and required novel strategies to address its many unforeseen consequences. Socialist libertarians firmly believed they had the right answers to the many problems present during the industrial era.

Continue reading Libertarian Socialism: Does It Make Sense and How Does It Work? on Libertas Bella
#15229723
Unthinking Majority wrote:Anyone can go create a commune at any time. Or form a co-op. There's nothing stopping anyone from sharing the means of production with their co-worker if they start a business.


And remain supervised and taxed by their government.
#15230885
Unthinking Majority wrote:
Anyone can go create a commune at any time. Or form a co-op. There's nothing stopping anyone from sharing the means of production with their co-worker if they start a business.



You sound like Wolff -- 'Let the workers run their own workplaces.' Like Marie Antoinette, 'Let them eat cake.'

No one bothers to address *how* workers are supposed to *acquire* their own workplaces, when they're only being paid a *wage*. Additionally, workers shouldn't be striving to *join the system* -- it's *their* workplaces, they're the ones *at* the workplace, so it should be the dictatorship of the proletariat at *all* workplaces, everywhere.


pugsville wrote:
Are you here to spam ads for your website or actually contribute?



The experiment between Wikipedia and AI went *horribly* wrong.... (grin)


---


libertasbella wrote:
[P]olitical decentralization is key for ensuring equality of political and economic opportunities. In sum, states have a tendency of centralizing and creating benefits for parasitic individuals, thus requiring a new way forward.



Structurally this is a *bad idea*.



"The Tyranny of Structurelessness" is an influential essay by American feminist Jo Freeman that concerns power relations within radical feminist collectives. The essay, inspired by Freeman's experiences in a 1960s women's liberation group,[1][2] reflected on the feminist movement's experiments in resisting leadership hierarchy and structured division of labor. This lack of structure, Freeman writes, disguised an informal, unacknowledged, and unaccountable leadership and ensured its malefaction by denying its existence.[3] As a solution, Freeman suggests formalizing the existing hierarchies in the group and subjecting them to democratic control.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tyran ... relessness



And now, from the 20th century, we have historical proof of *why* 'decentralization' is a bad idea, and even *counterrevolutionary*:



A situation of ‘dual power’ existed—as in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and at points during the German Revolution of 1918-20—with the official government dependent on networks of revolutionary committees and organisations to get things done. However, the republican government did have one advantage over the revolutionary committees. It had a centralised structure and they did not. This was a vital matter. The fascist armies were centralised and so able to pursue a single strategy across the whole country. The anti-fascists needed to be centralised as well, otherwise the fascists would be able to win the war simply by moving their troops to points on the front where the opposing forces were weakest, knowing the anti-fascists would not be able to respond by concentrating their forces.

This anti-fascist centralisation could have been achieved by drawing the committees together. There were coordinating committees of anti-fascist militias in many localities. But there was no establishment of an all-Spanish committee of militias and workers’ delegates comparable to the Russian soviets of 1917.

The reason for this failing lay in the politics of the workers’ organisations. The most powerful, the anarcho-syndicalists, had always insisted that any centralisation of power would involve a crushing of the workers by a new state. It would be wrong to follow this path now, they said. In the words of one of their leaders, Santillan, ‘Dictatorship was the liquidation of libertarian communism, which could only be achieved by the liberty and spontaneity of the masses’.221 Rather than go along that path, they argued to leave Companys’s government intact and collaborate with it. Even the ablest and most militant of the CNT leaders, Buenaventura Durutti—who had been involved in two unsuccessful risings against republican governments—did not dispute this logic. He had played a decisive role in crushing the fascists in Barcelona, was the hero of the city’s workers, and was to lead an impromptu workers’ army of tens of thousands which swept across the Catalan border into Aragon and towards the fascist-held city of Saragossa. But he was not prepared to confront the question of power, and left his CNT colleagues free to share it with Companys’s bourgeois government.



Harman, _People's History of the World_, pp. 504-505
#15230915
ckaihatsu wrote:You sound like Wolff -- 'Let the workers run their own workplaces.' Like Marie Antoinette, 'Let them eat cake.'

No one bothers to address *how* workers are supposed to *acquire* their own workplaces, when they're only being paid a *wage*. Additionally, workers shouldn't be striving to *join the system* -- it's *their* workplaces, they're the ones *at* the workplace, so it should be the dictatorship of the proletariat at *all* workplaces, everywhere.

It's only their workplace if they paid for it and own it. The people who own the means of the production own the business. Workers aren't "entitled" to anything. If they choose to voluntarily sign a contract where they earn a wage that's up to them. Nobody can be forced to sign a contract. Literally anyone can start a business and sell their labour and keep the profits. Start a dog-walking business. Basically no start-up costs or overhead. Start a carpentry business, plumbing business. Get some buddies who have some cash and start a co-op. Get a loan from a bank.

Businesses often sell equity in their businesses to get investment cash to expand. Nobody gives them anything for free. Why would a bunch of workers expect the same? We don't give people a house or car for free.

We live in a free society, you can organize any way you wish.
#15230923
Unthinking Majority wrote:
It's only their workplace if they paid for it and own it. The people who own the means of the production own the business. Workers aren't "entitled" to anything. If they choose to voluntarily sign a contract where they earn a wage that's up to them. Nobody can be forced to sign a contract. Literally anyone can start a business and sell their labour and keep the profits. Start a dog-walking business. Basically no start-up costs or overhead. Start a carpentry business, plumbing business. Get some buddies who have some cash and start a co-op. Get a loan from a bank.

Businesses often sell equity in their businesses to get investment cash to expand. Nobody gives them anything for free. Why would a bunch of workers expect the same? We don't give people a house or car for free.

We live in a free society, you can organize any way you wish.



This is just a standard bullshit defense of *private property*.

Again, the historical pay-in has been *too much* for workers to be treated like newbies, and told to *forfeit* the centuries of past labor completed.

*You* can go do odd jobs if you like, but then you'd be missing the point:


Image


And:



Like millions of other workers, FTZ workers joined the strike to take action against their intolerable living conditions.

Immediately after the May 6 general strike, the President declared a state of emergency facilitating the mobilization of the military throughout the country. Under the state of emergency he can deploy the military and police with powers to arrest people without a warrant, ban strikes, protests and meetings, impose curfews and media censorship, and proscribe political parties and any other organisation.

On May 10, the president mobilised the military onto the streets with orders to “shoot on sight” any so-called rioters and looters.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/0 ... a-m18.html
#15230924
Furthermore I'll remind you that you're a *statist*, so that means that by-default you support *heavy-handed* approaches by government, in the interests of *private property* -- not people:



The President Rajapakse has installed a new Prime Minister to rapidly implement brutal austerity measures dictated by the International Monetary Fund in the guise of solving the country’s economic problems. But his policies are designed to make us pay for their crisis.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/0 ... a-m18.html

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