Is private property incompatible with libertarianism?

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
Is private property incompatible with libertarianism?

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

quote:


Libertarian socialist Noam Chomsky: “a consistent libertarian must oppose private ownership of the means of production and the wage slavery which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer”.

Is Chomsky correct? Are right wing libertarians sellouts of true libertarianism?

See [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism]Libertarian socialism for more information.[/url]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

He is absolutely correct.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

[url=http://www.ternette.com/]Winnipeger Nick Ternette [/url]is the most public libertarian socialist I know. He got my vote for Mayor at least once.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by N.Beltov:
[b]Is Chomsky correct? Are right wing libertarians sellouts of true libertarianism? [/b]

I would say they are more than "sellouts".

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Not a peep. Imagine that! I guess all the libertarians on this board agree with Chomsky. I must say that I'm surprised.

Stargazer

Hahahaha. I was waiting for our new poster to speak as well but I also knew he didn't have the intellectual acumen to do so.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

We have a new poster that is a libertarian? How did I miss that?

Stargazer

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

sknguy

The thread title is a bit misleading. Is Chomsky referring to in "ownership of production" the ownership of labor, or is Chomsky referring to material property, as the thread title suggests?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It is obvious that syndicalism is the holy grail of ownership of the means of production. Who says he is a libertarian I think he is an anarchist? Libertarianism too me is right wing "centre of the universe" thinking that doesn't want community and cooperation but individual greed instead.

quote:

In place of capitalism we want a free socialistic economic system in which the workers and peasants directly control the land and factories, and use these resources to produce for the benefit of all. In place of the State, we want to manage our own affairs through grassroots workplace and community councils, united at the local, regional, national and international levels. We call this system "anarchism" or "stateless socialism" or "libertarian socialism".

We do not think that the State can be made to help ordinary people. The only language the bosses understand is the language of mass struggle from below. This is the only way to win any gains in the here and now, and definitely the only way to smash the system in the long run. Relying on the State to make the revolution is a recipe for disaster, in every country where a "revolutionary government" got into power the result was a social system at least as oppressive as the one that got overthrown. Russia was not socialist, it was a one-party State in which a Communist Party-bureaucratic elite ran a "State-capitalist" system.

Instead of using the State, we believe that the struggle and the revolution must come about through mass democratic movements of the workers and the poor. In particular, we emphasise the revolutionary potential of trade unions. The trade unions can organise the workers to fight the bosses in the here and now, we all know that. The unions can also provide the vehicle for the workers to take-over, and directly manage, the factories, mines, farms and offices. The role of an organisation such as the Workers Solidarity Federation is not to make the revolution "for" the masses. It is to help to organise and educate the masses to march to freedom in their own name. We are opposed to all forms of oppression and support all everyday struggles to improve the conditions under which we live. We promote the self-activity and revolutionary awareness of the masses.


[url=http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7017/what_is_as.html]Anarcho-Syndic...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

quote:


sknguy: The thread title is a bit misleading. Is Chomsky referring to in "ownership of production" the ownership of labor, or is Chomsky referring to material property, as the thread title suggests?

It's the contradiction between the two that Chomsky is drawing attention to. If I subscribe to a doctrine that says I can only be "free" if I control my own productive activity, and enter into such activity freely, then how can someone who subscribes to such a doctrine of freedom claim that a society is "free" when some individuals can command (and reap the benefit of) the labour of others by virtue of ownership of the means of production? The ones who are "commanded" are not free. The doctrine falls apart, says Chomsky, in a society, like our own, divided into social classes that have different relations to the means of production (some own and most do not).

[i]Private property[/i] is typically used to mean private ownership of anything, including the means of production. Advocates of private property typically don't distinguish between ownership of a multi-billion dollar industry and ownership of a toothbrush. Both sorts of ownership are supposed to be "private" property.

Needless to say, those who critique the concept and practice of private property like to use the term more precisely. A toothbrush is personal property. One's own car could be considered personal property, in most cases, with the caveat that in certain relationships the car could become private property. [i.e., if I use my car in my work, such as a courier might do, then it is considered something different] Obviously, ownership of a company would be considered private property.

[ 05 August 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Fidel

What if a constitutional rule said that stock shares for all means of production and corporations must be widely held, and that the state, or the people, should own controlling interest or large minority stock shares in all heavy industry and certain key industries?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'm glad you added the word "control" to the word "ownership" here Fidel. Recent sociologists, on the left anyway, have pointed out that control has to be considered alongside ownership to get a more complete view of social life.

Back to your example. Shares and controlling interest notwithstanding, big social change requires the involvement of masses of people in social life that were, hitherto, much less active. Just look, for example, at how Chavez in Venezuela and Castro et al in Cuba have managed to mobilize large numbers of people in social and political life in those societies. [rant]Without that mobilization, the kind of change that Margaret Thatcher carried out in Britain might be considered in the same breath as what we are discussing here, with her efforts to privatize public housing and make everyone "an owner" in "the ownership" society. [/end rant]

Sven Sven's picture

Let's say there a community with 1,000 people (they are all individual craftspersons). 500 are frugal and save money to buy some large pieces of capital equipment to collectively increase their individual productivity by 300%. 500 are not frugal and spend what they earn.

Under "socialist libertarianism", the first 500 can owned and work (and become wealthy relative to the second 500) in a company they formed (First 500 Company, Ltd.) but the second 500 could be prohibited (by the first 500) from working for the First 500 Company, Ltd., unless the first 500 decided to make a gift of their savings to some or all of the second 500, right? If this was the case, perhaps more productive worker/owners would tend to work together to the exclusion of less productive worker/owners.

Or, would the first 500 be required to share, 50-50, with the second 500? If so, it would become more complicated if the investment of the first 500 was risky (i.e., they could lose their entire investment). Why would the first 500 save and invest (and risk losing that investment) if the fruits of their efforts, if successful, would have to be shared with the second 500 who would contribute, labor-wise, nothing more than the first 500?

[ 05 August 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

quote:


Sven: Let's say there a community with 1,000 people (they are all individual craftspersons).

Has such a society [i]ever[/i] existed in any place other than in the imagination of capitalist thought-experiments? Even the early U.S. had a preponderance of indentured labour and, of course, slavery.

quote:

... 500 are frugal and save money to buy some large pieces of capital equipment to collectively increase their individual productivity by 300%. 500 are not frugal and spend what they earn.

What's really amusing about this particular experiment is that this capital equipment must have fallen off a turnip truck as everyone is, as you say, an individual craftsperson. But where does this turnip truck come from, I wonder?

It's a gift from the invisible hand, of course.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by N.Beltov:
[QB][/QB]as such a society ever existed in any place other than in the imagination of capitalist thought-experiments? Even the early U.S. had a preponderance of indentured labour and, of course, slavery.

It's a hypothetical as a "socialist libertarian" society, which only exists in the imagination of "socialist libertarians"...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Not being a socialist libertarian, I don't really feel the need to defend such views, even if I hold those who defend them in high regard.

The most biting criticism I have ever heard about Chomsky, for example, was that he failed to elaborate a worked out alternative to the policies of the American Empire that he's done such an excellent job of exposing. I don't really agree with this; all he has to show is that U.S. foreign, or domestic, policy benefits elites at the expense of the masses of the people. The rest is up to us.

You might try reading some Chomsky, much of which is free online, to uncover his own Libertarian Socialist ideas. Or not.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by N.Beltov:
[b] [rant]Without that mobilization, the kind of change that Margaret Thatcher carried out in Britain might be considered in the same breath as what we are discussing here, with her efforts to privatize public housing and make everyone "an owner" in "the ownership" society. [/end rant][/b]

And from what I understand, some percentage of labour supporters were sucked in by Thatcher's appeal to ownership. What they didn't count on was that the economy was about to be strangled by Friedmanite monetarism until 1986. She pauperized a nation, and very many lost the mortgages on their homes. The housing fiasco was all a ruse for the real enormous property grabs of British Telecom, railways, water, and electrics. NeoLiberal privatization and deregulation appealed to Thatcher and members of her party whose eye lit up with dollar signs at thoughts of rich commissions from sale of state-owned corporations and crown assets.

NeoLiberalism says it shouldn't matter who owns the means and crown assets, as long as competition is created. So if it doesn't matter, then I think the public should be in for a large cut ie. controlling interest, and let private enterprise have wholly-owned interest in the production of luxury goods. Military-industrial production should be heavily taxed back into the musket and cannon era. This is, of course, how I would try to make a capitalist system work by true democratic control. However, we know and understand that true democracy is the right's most hated institution. Perhaps the overall goal must first be democracy itself.

Doug

quote:


Originally posted by N.Beltov:
[b]

Is Chomsky correct? Are right wing libertarians sellouts of true libertarianism?

See [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism]Libertarian socialism for more information.[/url][/b]


It's always confused me, anyway, what exactly privileges state enforcement of property rights as rightful and good over every other form of coercion libertarians hate. If they aren't going to go all the way and be anarchists they're being awfully hypocritical.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Doug:
[b]It's always confused me, anyway, what exactly privileges state enforcement of property rights as rightful and good over every other form of coercion libertarians hate. If they aren't going to go all the way and be anarchists they're being awfully hypocritical.[/b]

That seems silly. It's akin to saying something like:

quote:

[b]It's always confused me, anyway, what state controls to mandate equality that socialists don't like. If they aren't going to go all the way and be communists they're being awfully hypocritical.[/b]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Doug:
[b]

It's always confused me, anyway, what exactly privileges state enforcement of property rights as rightful and good over every other form of coercion libertarians hate. [/b]


I completely agree, and you've captured the essence of the "libertarian" agenda.

Human rights are [b]inherent[/b] to the human being herself - her speech, her conscience, her freedom of movement, her control of her body, her being treated without discrimination, etc. etc. They definitely require state coercion to enforce them.

Property rights, however, are unique: they concern something (property) which is, by definition, [b]completely external[/b] to the human being.

How ironic that those who trumpet "liberty" would privilege state enforcement of external possessions over state enforcement of individual dignity and freedom.

ETA: Of course, I'm referring to "libertarians" of the Libertarian Party breed.

[ 06 August 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The libertarians that Doug remarked on are, I think, on the right of the political spectrum. That should be obvious - if one of the few roles the state should play in such a view is to protect property rights that requires the "free" labour of other people to function at all. That sort of property right is a synonym for private property or private ownership of the means of production.

Most anarchists, socialists and communists are on the left.

What's silly, or unhelpful, is to blur right and left together and trivialize the differences. Chomsky, in the quote from the OP, rightly points out that the libertarian tradition he belongs to includes that the producers, which is everyone, shall truly be "free" in practice and not just in theory.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]How ironic that those who trumpet "liberty" would privilege state enforcement of external possessions over state enforcement of individual dignity and freedom. [/b]

I’m not sure that libertarians “privilege” property rights over all other rights. I’m sure there is a wide variety of opinion among libertarians regarding any hierarch of rights.

Lefties and libertarians largely agree on many of the individual civil liberties—with the exception of property rights. So, naturally, lefties, when looking at libertarians, will place more of a focus on the differences (property rights) than commonalities. That view may lead lefties to think that property rights, necessarily, predominate in the hierarchy of rights valued by libertarians.

A subtler distinction between lefties and libertarians relates to individual civil liberties. Civil liberties are placed, by many lefties, in a hierarch depending on class. For example, I think that you take a pretty “libertarian” view regarding religious matters (and it doesn’t matter what religion is at issue—you have a consistent view of the matter). Many lefties, however, look at religion and classify rights depending on if one religion is “privileged” or not relative to another religion. I think the free speech debate is a good specific example of that. It’s okay to use speech to rake Xians over the coals because Xians are “privileged” but it’s not okay to use the [i]identical[/i] speech to rake Muslims over the coals because, relative to Xians, they are “not privileged”.

But, property rights is clearly the biggest difference between libertarians and “pure” lefties.

Unionist

Point taken, Sven. I confess to not knowing enough about the range of "libertarian" opinion. I guess I was commenting on what Beltov calls the right wing of the spectrum. But I should probably have toned down my rhetoric until I find a more specific target of criticism.

Sven Sven's picture

With regard to the equation [b]labor-for-owners-of-property = "slavery"[/b]

I’ve worked as a:

■ Newspaper carrier
■ Janitor
■ Painter
■ Radio dispatcher
■ Retail clerk
■ Sunflower roguer (walking field to remove certain plants by hand)
■ Tutor
■ Door-to-door sales
■ Elder caretaker
■ Accountant
■ Lawyer

In none of those jobs have I been an owner of the business. And, in none of those jobs have I felt “oppressed” simply because my labor was being used for the benefit of the owners of property—principally because the jobs benefited me as well.

I don’t understand the concept of labor-for-owners-of-property = "slavery" (unless it’s actual slavery, it's hyperbole).

Fidel

Debt and interest-owing money creation by a private banking cabal is the new slavery, Sven.

quote:

[b][i]Our current financial system diverts us from our real problems to ask, "Where is the money going to come from?" This should be the least of our worries. As long as we have vast unmet human needs and idle human and nonhuman resources, and resources which can be diverted from wasteful activities such as the military, finance should never be allowed to stand in the way of doing what must be done. Could anything be more insane than for the human race to die out because we "couldn't afford" to save ourselves?[/i][/b] - John Hotson, former economics professor, U. Waterloo, Ontario

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]With regard to the equation [b]labor-for-owners-of-property = "slavery"[/b]

In none of those jobs have I been an owner of the business. And, in none of those jobs have I felt “oppressed” simply because my labor was being used for the benefit of the owners of property—principally because the jobs benefited me as well.

I don’t understand the concept of labor-for-owners-of-property = "slavery" (unless it’s actual slavery, it's hyperbole).[/b]


I, on the other hand, have felt that I was selling the greater part of my life, long before I knew much of anything about Karl Marx.

Millions of people died fighting for one empire or another. Probably only a very small minority "felt" they were being used to advance the interests of their national ruling class.

Millions of oppressed peasants worked and fought for their lords without feeling exploited. (Yes, after many centuries, they did begin to revolt. Eventually the working class, too will revolt, if capitalism survive the impending environmental apocalypse.)

"I feel exploited" or "I don't feel exploited" really doesn't settle such questions.

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by RosaL:
[b]

I, on the other hand, have felt that I was selling the greater part of my life, long before I knew much of anything about Karl Marx.

Millions of people died fighting for one empire or another. Probably only a very small minority "felt" they were being used to advance the interests of their national ruling class.

Millions of oppressed peasants worked and fought for their lords without feeling exploited. (Yes, after many centuries, they did begin to revolt. Eventually the working class, too will revolt, if capitalism survive the impending environmental apocalypse.)

"I feel exploited" or "I don't feel exploited" really doesn't settle such questions.[/b]


So why do citizens end up worse off and hungrier in societies where Karl Marx's ideas are put into practice?

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]

So why do citizens end up worse off and hungrier in societies where Karl Marx's ideas are put into practice?[/b]


Just to cite one example: for all its faults, the Soviet Union did manage to feed, house, educate, and provide health care for its people. Not lavishly, no. But it was a vast improvement on the situation before the revolution. And this was in spite of the unfailing efforts of the capitalist world to destroy it, together with the errors and (all too often) appalling actions of its government, as well as several devastating wars fought in its territory.

[ 06 August 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by RosaL:
[b]

Just to cite one example: for all its faults, the Soviet Union did manage to feed, house, educate, and provide health care for its people. Not lavishly, no. But it was a vast improvement on the situation before the revolution. And this was in spite of the unfailing efforts of the capitalist world to destroy it, together with the errors and (all too often) appalling actions of its government, as well as several devastating wars fought in its territory.

[ 06 August 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ][/b]


I am sure those starving in food lineups or starving in Gulags would have agreed wholeheartedly with you. The hungriest Canadians have WAY more selection and food at food banks than did their entire nation on a daily basis.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]

So why do citizens end up worse off and hungrier in societies where Karl Marx's ideas are put into practice?[/b]


Could you name those countries and compare them to equivalent countries on the basis of the resources available in each. I personally have trouble finding a country that followed Marx but then he was a theoretical writer not a policy wonk.

True syndicalism is democracy art work in an industrial setting. How does a real workers cooperative function? Well that is up to the real workers cooperative so there is no one model fits all sizes.

My favourite example of how that would work vis a vis each other is like the international postal protocols. No single country controls the other countries but the mail flows freely to countries of varying political governments. I can send a letter to the US or China or Cuba or Russia or Saudi Arabia. Some would have you believe that without a hierarchical structure this kind of international cooperation would not be possible but voila it is.

There is confusion as well around the concept of property and the bundle of rights associated with it. Most anarchist writers to not envision a free for all where everyone has no rights but the opposite where all people have some rights. It means that poor people need not fear eviction anymore than rich people because they would have the right to occupy their homes. Those kinds of property rights are different than the right to own the means of production and clip coupons for a living.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]

I am sure those starving in food lineups or starving in Gulags would have agreed wholeheartedly with you. The hungriest Canadians have WAY more selection and food at food banks than did their entire nation on a daily basis.[/b]


I made a comparison between pre-revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union. I also mentioned some of the enormous obstacles that country faced. You reply with a comparison between Canada and the USSR. Perhaps I should compare the USSR and Sudan?

You also mention gulags. I find that puzzling. I had assumed that your point was that marxist economics is bound to lead to some kind of disaster. Are you now arguing that marxism is bound to lead to gulags?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

For Sven: Just as a general remark, social class is not a subjective category, even if the boundaries of social classes are not as precise as points on a number line. It is an objective concept, founded on the social relations between people that exist in their productive (work) activity. "Oppressed" has got nothing to do with it, as I suspect you know.

Chomsky's point, which you seem to have gloriously misunderstood, is that a doctrine founded on the "freedom" to dispose of my own labour and the wealth generated by that labour as I see fit is a strange justification for social arrangements that condemn the vast majority to the private dictatorships of businesses controlled and/or owned by others.

Playing with "ownership", "oppression" and other loosely defined terms just shows what a prisoner of such views you yourself are.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]

So why do citizens end up worse off and hungrier in societies where Karl Marx's ideas are put into practice?[/b]


Because it's not true. According to UNICEF, FAO and verious other sources, 25 years ago there were half a billion chronically hungry people. Today there are 854 million hungry people and anywhere from six to 13 million dying of the capitalist economic longrun each and every year like clockwork. Food riots have occurred in over 30 countries which never break free from developing country status under tutelage by the west. Socialist Cuba practices sustainable agriculture while ten million in chronically hungry thirdworld capitalist countries die agonizing deaths from malnutrition and related diseases every year. Cash crop capitalism is the kiss of death for 30, 000 children world-wide every day.

quote:

[b][i]"World wide capitalism kills more people everyday than Hitler did. And he was crazy.[/i][/b] - Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b] The hungriest Canadians have WAY more selection and food at food banks than did their entire nation on a daily basis.[/b]

During laissez-faire capitalism of the 1930's, there were hungry Canadians and Americans riding the rails in search of work. Unsold meat was thrown in the St Lawrence River because Montrealers couldn't afford to buy it. Hungry and desperate Canadians, and many contracted tuberculosis, wrote letters to RB Bennett begging for relief. The Conservative Prime Minister said to them to go looking for work, and they would find it. One Canadian was so overtaken with grief from watching his child starve to death that he shot his family and himself in transit to British Columbia from Eastern Canada. This is was in the land of plenty, two countries with more arable land from one horizon to the other than the Soviet Union or North Korea could ever dream of having. Laissez-faire capitalism was rejected by democratic elections in North America in the 1930's. It just doesn't work.

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]

During laissez-faire capitalism of the 1930's, there were hungry Canadians and Americans riding the rails in search of work. Unsold meat was thrown in the St Lawrence River because Montrealers couldn't afford to buy it. Hungry and desperate Canadians, and many contracted tuberculosis, wrote letters to RB Bennett begging for relief. The Conservative Prime Minister said to them to go looking for work, and they would find it. One Canadian was so overtaken with grief from watching his child starve to death that he shot his family and himself in transit to British Columbia from Eastern Canada. This is was in the land of plenty, two countries with more arable land from one horizon to the other than the Soviet Union or North Korea could ever dream of having. Laissez-faire capitalism was rejected by democratic elections in North America in the 1930's. It just doesn't work.[/b]


I am not advocating complete laissez-faire capitalism, but a mixed economy. We see from the USSR that complete governmental top-down communist control of everything does not work.

I am more interested in voluntary consumer, farmer's etc. co-ops where the organization is democratic but where control is at a more local level and where the coop members have control rather than the government.

I also think we need a strong welfare state where single mothers are actually able to support themselves and afford housing,etc. What I don't agree with is reverting to a Cuban or USSR-style system of complete socialism. There is a lack of freedom and too much repression.

Farmpunk

Just to answer the thread's title, I say No.

I've not a fucking clue what Chomsky has to say about the question at hand, and to be honest, I don't really care.

Sven Sven's picture

If Farmpunk owns his farm, then under "socialist libertarianism", would he be prohibited from hiring anyone to help on his farm unless he gave them an ownership interest in his farm?

ETA: [b]Another example[/b]: If someone here saved up money (and maybe took out a chunk of debt) to build or lease a building to open a bookstore, would that babbler be prohibited from hiring people unless that babbler gave the prospective employees an ownership interest in the store?

[ 06 August 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]

Sven Sven's picture

So far, Farmpunk, no one seems to want to take your farm away from you! [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]
I am not advocating complete laissez-faire capitalism, but a mixed economy.[/b]

In the 1930's, I believe Keynes proposed some excellent solutions and compromises toward a mixed market economy. And many of his ideas did shape the most important western economies after the collapse of laissez-faire. JK Galbraith said New Deal socialism had its time and place in the sun.

Leftists like Naomi Klein propose turning back the clock and re-creating the mixed market post-war economic expansion. And she places herself in that group of lefties who describe themselves as realists. If only the capitalist elite class would meet these amicable pragmatists half-way, the world would be a better place, from their perspective. However, very many on the far left are not under this illusion that the new finance capital will knuckle under and return to a [url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,923769-1,00.html]3-6-3 banking model[/url] and submit to FDR era regulations, or cede any amount of power of money creation and credit back to the hands of democratically-elected governments as it was from the 1930's to mid-1970's in Canada. Ongoing crises of capitalism since the 1970's are expected to worsen, and I believe we may well see capitalism's fangs bared for all the world to see, once again. Perhaps another terrible war, but we hope not.

The only real solution, in my opinion, will be not to repeat political compromise with capitalists if history repeats itself. And many believe it's happening again with the new Liberal capitalism failing in various experiments where tried, and now deregulated banking teeters on the verge of global meltdown. Workers around the world must be committed to change and ready to demand true democratization of world economies and political power.

quote:

[b]We see from the USSR that complete governmental top-down communist control of everything does not work.
[/b]

Soviet communism lasted 70 years, whereas laissez-faire lasted 30. The second laissez-faire experiment in Chile lasted just 16. Western propagandists want us to believe that Soviet communism collapsed all on its own. But that is more true of the two experiments in laissez-faire capitalism of the last century.

Farmpunk

Yes, Sven, goes to prove why there's a strong line between private property and firearm ownership.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[QB]If Farmpunk owns his farm, then under "socialist libertarianism", would he be prohibited from hiring anyone to help on his farm unless he gave them an ownership interest in his farm?

ETA: [b]Another example[/b]: If someone here saved up money (and maybe took out a chunk of debt) to build or lease a building to open a bookstore, would that babbler be prohibited from hiring people unless that babbler gave the prospective employees an ownership interest in the store?[QB]


I'm not a libertarian and don't know much about socialist libertarianism, but it seems to me that this question is, unsurprisingly, decidedly disingenuous. The answer to both is, of course, yes. But you voice the questions in terms of free market entitlement to evoke a sense of illusory injustice. "Chunks of Debt" and "owning a farm" are capitalist concepts. Under socialist libertarianism, I would imagine, there would be an entirely different method of distributing property and resources, so that Farmpunk wouldn't 'own' his land the same way he does now and thus be dependent on its capital yield. In the same way, there would be no need for a babbler to go into debt to buy a bookstore, so the sense of injustice at 'prohibiting' people from working there unless you gave them part of your bookstore that you had to bankrupt yourself to create disappears.

Sven Sven's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Catchfire:
[b]I'm not a libertarian and don't know much about socialist libertarianism, but it seems to me that this question is, unsurprisingly, decidedly disingenuous. The answer to both is, of course, yes. But you voice the questions in terms of free market entitlement to evoke a sense of illusory injustice. "Chunks of Debt" and "owning a farm" are capitalist concepts. Under socialist libertarianism, I would imagine, there would be an entirely different method of distributing property and resources, so that Farmpunk wouldn't 'own' his land the same way he does now and thus be dependent on its capital yield.[/b]

I'm not talking about creating a system from scratch. Instead, I'm talking about converting to a "socialist libertarian" (or simply a "socialist") system from [i]what we have today[/i]. And, to convert to a "socialist libertarian" system from what we have today, those who own capital, such as Farmpunk, would lose that capital. Ditto the bookstore owner. Ditto anyone with property that is used today as a productive asset.

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]So far, Farmpunk, no one seems to want to take your farm away from you! [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

Haw haw haw.

I personally ignored your question after I read this far:

quote:

[b]If Farmpunk owns his farm, ...[/b]

That's just a logical fallacy intro (the fallacy of "appealing to mutual babbler love in order to introduce trap").

My mind immediately translated it as:

quote:

[b]If Bill Gates owns his own several dozen banks, railways, industrial sectors, and computer leviathins, would he be allowed to hire a few people to help out behind the counter?[/b]

Thanks Catchfire for taking the time to give a serious answer.

Sven Sven's picture

Well, unionist, if a theory is going to be put to practice, the consequences of doing that should consider more aspects that just the Evil™ Bill Gates-types of the world. Most businesses are small businesses and most "oppressed" employees are employed by small businesses.

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

Thanks Catchfire for taking the time to give a serious answer.[/b]


But in practice, you cannot deny that it would result in Farmpunk losing ownership of his farm. And the owners of rabble losing their ownership. (Luckily we would all be owners and able to democratically challenge mod decisions). I am sure Farmpunk would feel just as happy about this as farmers did in the USSR when they were being forced into land nationalization.

Bill Gates in a spurious example who can and should be dealt with by anti-trust laws, strong labour laws, environmental laws as well as a progressive rate of taxation to ensure society benefits from the wealth he creates.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]

But in practice, you cannot deny that it would result in Farmpunk losing ownership of his farm. [/b]


I don't care. We shouldn't have societies where some own land and buildings and livestock and fields, while others own nothing and must work for them. I have believed that since I was a teenager, and life's experience has confirmed that this is as true as the need for universal health care or education.

quote:

[b]And the owners of rabble losing their ownership.[/b]

That's silly. We're talking about means of production. Rabble produces nothing but headaches.

quote:

[b]I am sure Farmpunk would feel just as happy about this as farmers did in the USSR when they were being forced into land nationalization.[/b]

Or "farmers" (a euphemism for landowners) felt whenever there was land reform (which you choose to call "nationalization", an obscene word not to be utilized on a family discussion board), where they had to now share their ownership with the impoverished labourers who used to do the actual farming for them. Poor Farmpunk. Poor "farmers" who worked hard to inherit their wealth.

quote:

[b]Bill Gates in a spurious example who can and should be dealt with by anti-trust laws, strong labour laws, environmental laws as well as a progressive rate of taxation to ensure society benefits from the wealth he creates.[/b]

"The wealth he creates..." Now I've gone and lost my breakfast. I truly hope you're happy.

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sven:
[b]... to convert to a "socialist libertarian" system from what we have today, those who own capital, such as Farmpunk, would lose that capital. Ditto the bookstore owner. Ditto anyone with property that is used today as a productive asset. [/b]

I doubt property being used productively is in danger.

OTOH, there are literally thousands upon thousands of acres in Southern Ontario currently unproductive, in the hands of speculators, who are lobbying for zoning changes (developers are the largest single block of political contributions) to allow them to pave more of the most productive farmland in Canada.

Ghislaine

quote:


don't care. We shouldn't have societies where some own land and buildings and livestock and fields, while others own nothing and must work for them. I have believed that since I was a teenager, and life's experience has confirmed that this is as true as the need for universal health care or education.


Well, all I can say is that I am not likely to change your opinion then - but I am VERY glad that these ideas will never cause anyone to be elected here.

And I think it is relevant to discuss what it would mean for rabble.ca. You say it would only result in a loss of a headache? Don't you think it would be more headaches if it was communally-owned? Would it be owned by all Canadians - or would it even exist? Do you envision only various CBCs or would there be other media outlets in your ideal Canada?

ETA:

To answer the thread topic and question: no. Not only that, but I think private property is crucial to libertarianism.

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: Ghislaine ]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Ghislaine:
[b]Well, all I can say is that I am not likely to change your opinion then - but I am VERY glad that these ideas will never cause anyone to be elected here. [/b]

That's what they used to say about universal health care. They still say that in the U.S. - which is why no "serious" candidate has ever promised to abolish private health care. You are living in the unlamented past.

quote:

[b]And I think it is relevant to discuss what it would mean for rabble.ca. You say it would only result in a loss of a headache? Don't you think it would be more headaches if it was communally-owned?[/b]

Frankly, I have no precise idea of who "owns" it now. Do you? I'll bet you don't. You just seem to have pure faith that as long as it's owned by some individual or individuals, it's in safer hands than if it were communally owned. Your instincts are definitely the opposite of mine, and I think mine are better rooted in the Canadian experience than yours are.

quote:

[b]Do you envision only various CBCs or would there be other media outlets in your ideal Canada?[/b]

I envision only one media outlet which would only be allowed to propagate my views. Happy?

quote:

[b]To answer the thread topic and question: no. Not only that, but I think private property is crucial to libertarianism.[/b]

I'm a worker. I'm a trade unionist. The only reason we need a union is because we face individuals and small groups who own our means of existence. They have the right and power to build them up and tear them down at will. And even when we workers combine into huge organizations, we still end up without any semblance of real equality in facing these individuals.

You want to perpetuate this situation by invoking the horrors of the Soviet Union (as I have seen you do in other posts). You should try to see past human failure instead of using it to perpetuate an immoral form of economy.

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