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OfflinePotSmokinHippie
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Capitalism or Socialism?
    #357603 - 07/19/01 06:33 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)


Which would you prefer?
Capitalism
Democratic Socialism



The thing people don't realize is that lions are very kind and gentle creatures, until they try to rip your head off.


Votes accepted from (12/31/69 07:00 PM) to (No end specified)
View the results of this poll



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"assumption is the mother of all fuckup" - me


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: Capitalism or Socialism? [Re: PotSmokinHippie]
    #358082 - 07/21/01 12:58 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)



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OfflinePhred
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A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #358125 - 07/21/01 02:56 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Anarchosyndicalism? I actually took the time to wade through the turgid prose in the "Basic Concepts" section of the page linked in your post. They can call it whatever they want, but it is Marxism, pure and simple.

As for "libertarian socialism"... the two concepts are diametrically opposed. It is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

I can readily see where socialism could be hyphenated with anarchosyndicalism, since the two are fundamentally identical from a philosophical standpoint (same old shopworn Marxist/Leninist rhetoric), but to add libertarianism to the mix was a stroke of comedic genius.

You have a much more subtle sense of humor than I had originally surmised, Agent Cooper. Kudos.

pinky







Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/21/01 02:00 AM.



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OfflineEllis Dee
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Phred]
    #358132 - 07/21/01 03:37 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Pinksharkman, I am a moderate libertarian liberal. That means I agree with liberals on most social aspects and with libertarians on freedom issues. But I voted republican in the last presidential election, only because Bush is Pro gun NRA like me though. For local judges I voted all democrat, etcetera. I am classified as a moderate libertarian liberal. I really don't fit into any political party and I vote for what I believe is right. And Pro Gun candidates are #1 on my list. I will not vote for anyone anti gun. I don't see libertarian socialism as being so far fetched. Only difference is instead of moderate libertarian liberal it would be left libertarian liberal. You need to brush up on your political science.



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"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Phred]
    #358245 - 07/21/01 12:22 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Not quite my friend. Anarchosyndicalism is not the same as Marxism/Leninism; they both are two vastly different ideologies that have little in common other than their anti-capitalist stance. Different paths, goals, and values. Perhaps there is a minor similarity in extremely left-wing Marxism, but this is a rare breed (if not dead and outdated - to the best of my knowledge there hasnt really been such an organization since the POUM of the 1930s) and is completely overshadowed by common and popular Marxism. Syndicalists do not identify with Marx, nor do Marxists identify with syndicalists. To lum these two socialistic strains together is simple-minded and rather typical.

Libertarian socialism an oxymoron? hehe, good one.

This is not a contradiction of terms; libertarian socialism is simply coercion-free, decentralized and community-based organization that is non-hierarchial, non-bureaucratic, and non-overreaching. This avoids the nasty pitfalls of state socialism (Marxist/Leninism for example) that has done a great disservice to the people of the world in my opinion.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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OfflinePhred
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Political Science has now been brushed up on. Guess what? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #358256 - 07/21/01 12:47 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Rail_Gun writes:

"You need to brush up on your political science."

Any introductory Poli Sci class in any university in any country in the world will give the same definition of Socialism. For that matter, so will any grade school Civics class. Or dictionary. Or Encyclopedia.

Oxford Dictionary of Current English:

socialism: political and economic theory of social organization advocating State ownership and control of natural resources and commercial activities; policy or practise based on this theory.

Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary:

socialism: (a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property.
(b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

Encyclopedia Britannica

socialism: A system of social organization in which property and the distribution of income are subject to government control rather than individual determination or market forces.

Strangely enough, these definitions match perfectly what I remember being taught in school. Is my understanding of Libertarianism as accurate? Encyclopedia Britannica says:

"Libertarian doctrine supports the rights of individuals to exercise virtual sole authority over their lives and sets itself against the traditional services and regulatory and coercive powers of federal, state, and local governments."

Okay... I brushed up on my political science. Let me repeat... "libertarian socialism" is as big an oxymoron as "Christian Satanism". Libertarianism and Socialism are about as diametrically opposed as two concepts can be. By definition there can be no middle ground between the two. Which are you?

pinky





Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/21/01 11:52 AM.



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Offlinejihead
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Re: Political Science has now been brushed up on. Guess what? [Re: Phred]
    #358309 - 07/21/01 02:46 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

ughh, (sigh) read more of the link. put the concepts together now...

no coercive political hierarchy (state, fed, local) found with socialism, combined with no capitalist system and profit motive found with libertarianism. simple. think--hippie communes--



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OfflinePhred
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Conflicting concepts [Re: jihead]
    #358342 - 07/21/01 04:17 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Jihead writes:

"ughh, (sigh) read more of the link. put the concepts together now..."

No matter how hard one tries, one cannot combine concepts that are fundamentally opposed, unless one is Lewis Caroll's Mad Hatter, who routinely believed several impossible things before breakfast each day.

I re-read the entire "Basic Concepts" section of the link. One would hope that all the fundamentals necessary to grasp the concept of "Anarchosyndicalism" would be covered under that heading. It appears that they are covered pretty thoroughly, hence I felt no need to comb through a dozen other cryptically-titled links. Regardless of Agent Cooper's assertion to the contrary, it is fundamentally Marxism. Nothing new there. Merely another in an endless stream of variants on Collectivism.

"simple. think--hippie communes--"

And what is a hippie commune but a Socialist society? Who owns the property in a commune? Everybody (the collective). Is there such a thing as individual profit in a hippie commune? No. If there was, it wouldn't be a commune. A hippie commune is simply Socialism run by majority rule, rather than Socialism run by an elite. The decision-making body may not be called "The Government" or "The State"... it may be called "The Council" or "The Gathering", and normally includes every member of the commune. Nonetheless, once the majority rules on a particular issue, those in the minority have no recourse but to obey or leave the commune.

My point is not that Socialism and Anarchosyndicalism are incompatible... far from it, they are variations on the same theme -- Collectivism. If Agent Cooper had chosen to describe himself as a "socialist/anarchosyndicalist/communard" I wouldn't have made a peep.

But to claim that Libertarianism is compatible with ANY form of Collectivism (including a hippie commune) is just plain wrong. Libertarianism is based on INDIVIDUALISM.

"...combined with no capitalist system and profit motive found with libertarianism"

Remove the profit motive, individual ownership of property and other capitalist concepts from Libertarianism and what remains is NOT Libertarianism.

If Agent Cooper wishes to espouse his particular variant of Collectivism in this forum, fine with me. But to use the label "Libertarian" in an attempt to make it more palatable is deliberate fraud, and he can't take umbrage in being exposed. It is abundantly clear from his posts that he is intelligent, well-read and articulate, so his misuse of the term "Libertarian" is deliberate, not the result of ignorance or stupidity.

pinky




Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/21/01 03:24 PM.



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Invisiblesvoboda
Stranger
Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 17
Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #358390 - 07/21/01 05:47 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"...libertarian socialism is simply coercion-free"

Do you think it's possible for anarchy to be totally coercion-free? If it is, do you think it would be desirable?

And you are right: there is nothing in this poll to vote for.



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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
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Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: Capitalism or Socialism? [Re: PotSmokinHippie]
    #359284 - 07/23/01 08:15 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I'm for a representative republic.....democracy is a joke....9 vote to eat the 10th, sounds fair to me.

Relax, Relax, Relax.....it's just a little pin prick * there'll be no more AARRGGHHH!!!! but you may feel a little sick.....


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America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Registered: 08/04/00
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re: *DELETED* [Re: Phred]
    #359445 - 07/23/01 03:41 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Post deleted by Agent Cooper


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: re: [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359450 - 07/23/01 03:49 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

The usage of the term "libertarian" is meant as an adjective or a prefix to the term "socialism" not as some great adherence to Libertarianism itself. The prefix simply describes the type of socialism that we desire; roughly speaking, nongovernmental and decentralized and suspious of any power that is removed from the communities, individuals, and families of society themselves.

(Also interesting to note is the common usage of the term "libertarian" - if you travel anywhere other than the United States or Canada and happen to use this term, most anyone would think you are an anarchist not some free-marketeer. Also if you read 20th century history, the term "libertarian" means a socialist who sees government as illegitimate. The so-called Libertarian Party that developed in the 1960's essentially co-opted the term and made things confusing.)

Just the same as there are many types or degrees of capitalism, there are a myriad forms of socialism. Quite elementary.

Political and economic theory is a bit more complex than some poor Webster's Dictionary passage or Politcal Science 101. In order to make our definitions more clear, my launching point for socialistic thought is: those who work the land should own and manage the land themselves; those who work the land should receive the full sum of their work. From there, I assert the best way to realize these social goals is via libertarian-esque methods, not through central planning or all-powerful parties as seen in the past that attempt to steer people into social conventions. I believe people can naturally come together for their benefit without someone telling them to do so.

I do believe complex systems can work in a decentralized fashion. One analogy would be the telephone system; an individual can make a telephone call to virtually anywhere in the world with little trouble. There are thousands of different companies and thousands of technologies, but very little (if any) structures of power at the center. All that is necessary is a few agreed rules of the game. I also believe that the previously mentioned "hippie communes" can incoporate large industry and large populations and can work together in such a decentralized fashion.

Yes, a majority rules construct would exist; I do not find this method to be coercive or unhealthy so as long as the decision-making body is not removed from the people. And since the entire body of the so-called communes or collectives is made up of voluntary members of the actual community in a horizontal way (not removed and professional politicians thousands of miles away) this is not much of a problem. A great example of this in practice would be the Zapatistas/Mayans of Chiapas, Mexico. The entire population of a community gathers and works their problems, much like a group of friends in the 1st world deciding what they want on their pizza. Very simple and with the decisions being made by those affected by the decisions and the problem itself.

And lastly, I believe anarcho-syndicalism is the best way to organize against capitalists/government. Please do not base your entire opinion of this method on the "Basic Concepts" section (especially since it is not complete - relatively new website still in development). Rudolf Rocker's writings on the subject, specifically the book Anarchosyndicalism is probably the definitive piece on the subject, as is Daniel Guerin's Anarchism with an excellent foreword by Noam Chomsky.

What's the point in discourse when someone has already prejudged not only the subject but also the character and motivations of the other person? I doubt I can communicate well with someone whose mind is already closed & has already caste judgment upon me.

Edited by Agent Cooper on 07/23/01 03:12 PM.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: svoboda]
    #359457 - 07/23/01 03:59 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

Do you think it's possible for anarchy to be totally coercion-free? If it is, do you think it would be desirable?




Well, anarchism (or libertarian socialism) is not utopian. There will be flaws and problems that will need solutions. But so as long as the ideals of self-power and self-management and mutal-aid exist, people can go along way.

Is this desirable? I think allowing communities, families, and individuals to make their own decisions within in a very horizontal and egalitarian society would help refine human character and allow human creativity to blossom. And sounds good to me.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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Invisiblesvoboda
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Registered: 07/21/01
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359463 - 07/23/01 04:13 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I don't think you've answered my question, but thanks anyway.
You and I are like-minded people, so you need not inform me what anarchism is.
My question was not whether anarchism would be possible and desirable (I have no doubts about it), but whether or not anarchy could be totally coercion-free, and if it could, whether or not it would be desirable. For example, sometimes it is necessary to use a degree of coersion against children, or against a mental patient, etc.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: svoboda]
    #359467 - 07/23/01 04:23 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I think society would have to work out what kinds of authority are illegitimate, unhealthy, and should be avoided. Chomsky once said:

"...the essence of anarchism...is the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that is should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met. Sometimes the burden can be met. If I'm taking a walk with my grandchildren and they dart out into a busy street, I will use not only authority but also physical coercion to stop them. The act should be challenged, but I think it can readily meet the challenge."


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359474 - 07/23/01 04:43 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Agreed.
By the way, what is your position as far as the use of violence is concerned?



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OfflinePhred
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Re: re: [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359496 - 07/23/01 05:47 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Agent Cooper writes:

"The usage of the term "libertarian" is meant as an adjective or a prefix to the term "socialism" not as some great adherence to Libertarianism itself."

If it is meant as a modifier, use another term. Libertarian has a specific definition attached to it, one that precludes any form of collectivism, centralized or not.

"Political and economic theory is a bit more complex than some poor Webster's Dictionary passage or Politcal Science 101"

Theory may be complex, but definitions are not. The fundamental core concept of Socialism, what MAKES it Socialism, is the fact that property and the distribution of income are subject to GROUP ownership and control rather than individual determination or market forces. Regardless of whether that "group" is a town council or a centralized democratically elected representative body, this irreducible minimum requirement is what makes it incompatible with Libertarianism. It is the ANTITHESIS of Libertarianism and to pretend otherwise is to be either obtuse or dishonest.

"...those who work the land should own and manage the land themselves; those who work the land should receive the full sum of their work. From there, I assert the best way to realize these social goals is via libertarian-esque methods..."

A perfect example of how your vision of society is antithetical to Libertarianism. Under your system, if I trade the results of my honest work for a piece of farmland, I am not allowed to enter into a voluntary contract with anyone who wishes to be paid a wage for working on my land, yet has no interest in owning that land himself. How is that non-coercive? I am being prevented from benefitting from the fruits of my labors, since I alone cannot work the land... I am in a wheelchair. The individual who wants to work my land in exchange for MONEY, not OWNERSHIP, is being prevented from providing for his family. Prevented by whom? By the GROUP. Both individuals involved are powerless to act as they have decided.

I await your explanation of how any part of the prohibition of two individuals entering into a mutually-agreed-upon contract is based on "libertarian-esque methods".

"I believe can naturally come together for their benefit without someone telling them to do so."

If you meant that to read "I believe INDIVIDUALS can naturally come together...", then I too, hold that belief, as do all Libertarians. Socialists do not hold that same belief. See above.

"Yes, a majority rules construct would exist; I do not find this method to be coercive or unhealthy so as long as the decision-making body is not removed from the people."

The tyranny of the majority is no less a tyranny for the numbers involved. Again, "majority rule" is diametrically opposed to the concept of Libertarianism. No Libertarian would allow a group of people, ANY group of people, to decide what he can and cannot do with his life and his belongings.

"What's the point in discourse when someone has already judged not only the subject..."

I know that you hold beliefs as opposite to mine as it is possible to get. That is NOT what my posts in THIS thread are about. You believe your variant of Collectivism is a better way of life than Individualism. I disagree. So what? My beef in THIS thread is solely with your misuse of the word "Libertarianism".

"...but also the character and motivations of the other person? I doubt I can communicate well with someone whose mind is already closed & has already caste judgment upon me."

There are only two options here:

1) You have never bothered to take the time to read ANY Libertarian website (no matter how raw and incomplete a work in progress it may be) in order to obtain a definition of Libertarianism, hence have no way of knowing what Libertarianism is and are misusing the term out of ignorance.

2) You do know what Libertarianism is and choose to misuse the term deliberately.

It is clear that you do indeed know EXACTLY what Libertarianism is, and the careful crafting and polishing of your posts shows that you are not given to mis-statement through sloppiness, therefore option 1) is not viable. By default, we are left with option 2): your misuse of the term is deliberate, for whatever motive. I stated that your motive for this misuse was to make your brand of Collectivism more palatable to Individualists only because if you had wanted to make it more palatable to Collectivists you would have called it "Guild Socialism/Anarchosyndicalism" or "Community Socialism/Anarchosyndicalism" or "Mayan Socialism/Anarchosyndicalism".

pinky




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Offlinemm.
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Re: re: [Re: Phred]
    #359588 - 07/23/01 08:41 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

pinksharkmark. - Check section I (eye not one) of the anarchist FAQ i posted as a new topic.. As Agent_Cooper said, outside the US 'Libertarian' means 'non-authoritarian' and doesnt have the other meanings you associate with it.



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OfflinePhred
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Sincere Apology to Agent Cooper [Re: mm.]
    #359731 - 07/24/01 01:19 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I apologize for impugning Agent Cooper's motives and for accusing him of misusing the term "Libertarian" out of dishonesty.

According to the link provided by mm., Anarchists used the word "libertarian" a century or so before the American Libertarian Party even existed, therefore "libertarianism" means whatever an Anarchist decrees it to mean. I cannot dispute that point. It is now apparent to me that Agent Cooper was merely using the term as it was originally used 150 years ago by anarchists in Europe, not the way it has been commonly understood for the last three decades in America. My bad.

The same site points out that: "Many anarchists, seeing the negative nature of the definition of "anarchism," have used other terms to emphasise the inherently positive and constructive aspect of their ideas. The most common terms used are "free socialism," "free communism," "libertarian socialism," and "libertarian communism." For anarchists, libertarian socialism, libertarian communism, and anarchism are virtually interchangeable."

Apparently to Anarchists, there is no conflict between the terms "free" and "communism", nor is there any difference between "socialism" and "communism". As long as one uses the word "free" or "libertarian" in front of a term describing any variant of collectivism, it becomes indistinguishable from Anarchy.

I still admit to being baffled as to why Anarchists feel the need to shy away from the term "anarchy", but that is their choice, I guess. I have always understood it to mean exactly what Errico Malatesta defines it as: "...anarchy, which means absence of government..." Pretty simple.

I was wrong and I admit I was wrong. My only defense is ignorance. If I had first been directed to mm.'s website I would not have made the statements I did.

I will follow Agent Cooper's example in future posts. Henceforth, when you see me use the term "Capitalism", it will mean what it originally meant when coined 200+ years ago, not what opponents of Capitalism define it as today, and certainly not the hobbled, mixed-economy, welfare state mishmash currently operating in the United States

Similarly, I will use the term "Liberal" in the classical sense, as it was defined centuries ago, not in its currently understood usage, which has somehow been twisted 180 degrees from its original meaning. This should avoid future confusion.

Once again, sincere apologies to Agent Cooper.

pinky



Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/24/01 02:34 AM.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: re: [Re: Phred]
    #360967 - 07/25/01 10:50 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

Under your system, if I trade the results of my honest work for a piece of farmland, I am not allowed to enter into a voluntary contract with anyone who wishes to be paid a wage for working on my land, yet has no interest in owning that land himself. How is that non-coercive? I am being prevented from benefitting from the fruits of my labors, since I alone cannot work the land... I am in a wheelchair. The individual who wants to work my land in exchange for MONEY, not OWNERSHIP, is being prevented from providing for his family. Prevented by whom? By the GROUP. Both individuals involved are powerless to act as they have decided.




Under the system that I advocate, this is an unlikely scenario; such a contract that you describe would not be necessary, desireable, nor even feasible. Mr. Wheelchair would not own the land in the first place nor would his "employee" need or wish to rent himself in order to survive. Is this coercive? I do not consider voluntary community norms or even the entire praxis & paradigm of society to be coercion. Coercion is a direct and concentrated force - a gun in a citizen's back, a book of laws, a judge, a prison, a network of secret police, so on and so forth. An anarchist society would share similar perceptions of the past Native Americans who did not believe land, et al. could be bought and sold; natural resources were social or non-private means of existence. What I describe is not some blueprint to be forced upon populations, but rather a natural and cultural development. I do not consider culture to be a prohibiting, direct force, nor do I believe such a culture would limit individual liberty; your concerns are understandable but misdirected. In my opinion, common ownership (or non-ownership to be more accurate) within this construct would enhance and protect individual freedoms by eliminating concentrated power structures and unnecessary hierarchies as well as ensuring equal availability of the means of existence.

In reply to:

My beef in THIS thread is solely with your misuse of the word "Libertarianism".




Never once did I use the word "Libertarianism." Never did I describe a great adherence to such doctrines. Libertarian is a word used classically and historically (not just 150 years ago in Europe) but also in contemporary times and around the world to describe an aversion to governmental power. It is a legitimate term to counter authoritarian socialism.

Ever visit China Town? Just because there are ducks hanging in shopwindows and short people walking around does not mean you are in China.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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