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InvisibleSilversoul
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
free market = capitalism?
    #4247772 - 06/02/05 01:52 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I found out about an ideology called mutualism, which adherents sometimes describe as "free market anti-capitalism." This struck me as odd at first, as it seemed like a contradiction in terms. But then I realized that they were referring to the capitalist mode of production(i.e. wage labor). They believe in workers buying up the means of production, or otherwise acquiring them through peaceful means, and making business decisions democratically. Since they advocate only peaceful means, they would not abolish wage labor, but hope to undermine it, or out-compete it. Thus, there is no contradiction between this and a free market. Just thought that was interesting.

http://www.mutualist.org/


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InvisibleKrishna
कृष्ण,LOL
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Re: free market = capitalism? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4247860 - 06/02/05 02:12 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

a similar idea is expressed in different forms of participatory economics - saying basically that a state-controlled economy (communism, socialism to some extent, totalitarianism, etc) is obviously crap (ok they explain it a lot better than that, but it's not so important to this post), and that a free-market capitalist economy is crap as well, due to a few major flaws (namely, because it doesn't support the values of equity, self-management, diversity, solidarity, or efficiency - but instead focuses on a profit-motive to drive competition - resulting in some very few people getting very rich, but not resulting in the 'best' economy for the majority of people). instead, they suggest a blend of free-market features, but with the ability for participatory planning from the ground-up (as opposed to from the state down) to create an economy which is based on certain 'humanitarian' values, while certainly not ignoring industry needs and market 'fluctuations' (a majority of them being, in my mind, fabrications of the financial industry, but thats another thing...), and most importantly of all, staying dynamic.

here are two books on the subject :
http://www.zmag.org/books/pareconv/parefinal.htm
http://www.zmag.org/books/polpar.htm

and a nice website that tries to sum things up: http://www.zmag.org/parecon/capvsparecon/html/introduction.html

such an economic system could most definitely be implemented in a capitalist context, and indeed has been already done. ( here is a nice article explaning how such an implementation has taken place in a bookstore/coffee-shop )


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: free market = capitalism? [Re: Krishna]
    #4247908 - 06/02/05 02:22 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Personally, I'm neutral towards wage labor. I'm neither for it nor against it. I think in some businesses it may be more necessary than in others. I think as far as workers earning what many anarchists call the "natural wage"(i.e. earning the equivalent of what they produce), I think the Georgist model accomplishes that just fine, but if workers also see it fit to collectively own the means of production, I'm fine with that. Sometimes I'll just say that I favor a free market, without referring to myself as a capitalist, since I don't really have a preference for one mode of production over another.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1,258
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Re: free market = capitalism? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4247912 - 06/02/05 02:23 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

:thumbup: Thanks for sharing that. I read their introduction and bookmarked the site for further investigation.  It reminds me of what I've read of the Voluntaryists (which I also like).  Here's an article about them, in case you're interested.


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Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: free market = capitalism? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4247939 - 06/02/05 02:31 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

mmm the problem i see with a georgist model is firstly a philosophical one - if the workers do not 'own' the means of production, down to even the land the, say, factory is located on, then there must be a landowner. such a 'class' is not necessary, in fact, i'd call it a leach on society - the landowner currently is justified (as well as a whole class of beaurocrats, politicians, ceos, etc) as being well educated and the person who is needed to make the decisions to keep things running smoothly. in my mind, it would be much better for everybody to remove those positions from society, create balanced job complexes in the work-place, and allow the workers to collectively make decisions.
secondly, the simple problem of corruption - many of those in politics have very many ties with, say, rich land-owners - and a Georgist principle of high land value taxes might soon become watered down and inefficient - not to mention those taxes would, in our current situation, go to support the state (who should then use the money for the community, but tends not to!), instead of directly supporting the community. once again, there is an extra level of beaurocracy not needed.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: free market = capitalism? [Re: Krishna]
    #4248032 - 06/02/05 02:53 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
mmm the problem i see with a georgist model is firstly a philosophical one - if the workers do not 'own' the means of production, down to even the land the, say, factory is located on, then there must be a landowner. such a 'class' is not necessary, in fact, i'd call it a leach on society - the landowner currently is justified (as well as a whole class of beaurocrats, politicians, ceos, etc) as being well educated and the person who is needed to make the decisions to keep things running smoothly. in my mind, it would be much better for everybody to remove those positions from society, create balanced job complexes in the work-place, and allow the workers to collectively make decisions.



Georgism does allow a form of "land ownership", but fundamentally changes the meaning of it. Under Georgism, landowners essentially become tenants of the land, which is owned by everyone. As such, the value that the land produces belongs to everyone equally. This is manifest in both public works and in the citizen's dividend.

Quote:

secondly, the simple problem of corruption - many of those in politics have very many ties with, say, rich land-owners - and a Georgist principle of high land value taxes might soon become watered down and inefficient - not to mention those taxes would, in our current situation, go to support the state (who should then use the money for the community, but tends not to!), instead of directly supporting the community. once again, there is an extra level of beaurocracy not needed.



I have my doubts about the legitimacy, and perhaps even the necessity of the state. However, for the time being, I consider it a necessary evil. It should be written into law that those tax dollars which do not go towards public works(and this should be explicitly defined) should go towards the citizens' dividend. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and that applies here. I have to say, though, that mob rule(i.e. direct democracy) can be just as corrupt as the state.

However, assuming anarchy can work, there is a way to have a Georgist model work within that framework as well. There can be voluntary communities which perform the function of collecting and distributing the land rent. Also, you can simply reduce the role of the state to that function, and have all the revenue go towards the citizens' dividend, and then have people vote on having it spent on certain public works.


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InvisibleGijith
Daisy Chain Eater

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 2,400
Loc: New York
Re: free market = capitalism? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4249183 - 06/02/05 07:03 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Intriguing. First idea I've seen in a while that's really caught my interest. Thanks for the link.


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what's with neocons and the word 'ilk'?


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