One must oppose capitalism in order to be an Anarchist.
Hello everyone! This topic was inspired by MaesterAemon's comment on the debate "Government is unnecessary and unjust and should be abolished".
"While you are obviously trying to associate yourself with the anarchist tradition by using the word "anarcho" or by calling yourself "anarchists" your ideas are distinctly at odds with those associated with anarchism as a political as well as a social movement. As a result, any claims that your ideas are anarchist is simply false."
To me, this is a pretty interesting claim. I have done some research into the Anarchist tradition; it has not been exhaustive and is still ongoing, of course, but I have not found anything within the anarchist tradition that requires that Anarchists oppose capitalism.
It should be an interesting debate. Unfortunately, MaesterAemon deems the dictionary definitions of "Anarchy" to be unfit, to say the least. As such, I will simply use the definition provided by Immanuel Kant.
"Anarchy is a form of political organization with Law and Freedom, but without Force."
Round One will be a simple statement of position, and, if you choose, a BREIF layout of your arguments to come. The layout may not to exceed 30 words.
Round Two will be opening arguments ONLY.
Round Three will be Rebuttals
Round Four will be Counter-Rebuttals and Closing Statements.
Neither debater will use profanity or derogatory language. "Derogatory language" includes calling an argument nonsensical or silly.
Neither debater may attack the definition provided in for this debate. If the definition must be discussed, this can be done in the comments section.
Breaking any of the above rules in any round (Say I use derogatory language in R1) results the lose of the conduct point. This applies to EACH of the above rules.
Burden of Proof is shared in this debate. Each debater needs to make a positive case for their position.
Statement: One does not need to oppose capitalism in order to be an anarchist.
1. One must oppose forcefulness* to be an anarchist.
2. Capitalism does not require forcefulness.
C. One does not need to oppose Capitalism to be an anarchist.
* "Forcefulness" in the context above means "initiation of force".
Statement: One must oppose capitalism in to be an Anarchist.
1. One must oppose forcefulness to be an anarchist.
2. Capitalism and freedom are incompatible
3.Capitalism necessitates the use of force.
C. One needs to oppose Capitalism to be an anarchist.
Thank you for accepting, MaestorAemon, and good luck to you as well.
Anarchy, as defined in R1, is a form of political organization with Law and Freedom, but without force. Within this definition, the term “force” is slightly ambiguous, and appropriately so. The compatibility of Anarchism and Capitalism is one of great debate within the Anarchist tradition. The correct definition of “force” is quite difficult to find. Perhaps this debate will bring this definition to the fore.
This debate is focused on the nature of capitalism and anarchy. The resolution states “One must oppose capitalism in order to be an Anarchist”. This means that I, as CON, must argue that there is nothing inherent to capitalism that groups it among those things which anarchists must oppose, whereas MaesterAemon, as PRO, must argue that there is, in fact, something inherent to Capitalism that groups it among those things which anarchists must oppose.
Arguments such as “Everyone is free to make their own choices, unless those choices entail the use of force” for my side or arguments such as “Sweat shops are exploitative” for PRO’s side will not be powerful enough. Neither of these has to do with the nature of capitalism as relates to anarchy. While these arguments could work in another debate, and in fact they have, these arguments neither support, nor refute, the resolution. People can be free to make their choices outside of a capitalist system and sweatshops can be opposed inside of a capitalist system. Should arguments similar to these be raised, I trust MaesterAemon will address them will as much tenacity as I will.
Defense of Premise 1
Anarchists do not necessarily oppose the use of force, as force must sometimes be used to defend oneself, others, or property; anarchists oppose the initiation of force. I use the term “forcefulness” to refer to the initiation of force. Pacifists are those who oppose all force; some of these people are among the ranks of anarchists. However, pacifism is not necessarily for identification as an anarchist. Some anarchist philosophers argue that violence must be used in response to the violence of the State. The Spanish revolution is one such instance.
In order for an anarchist to be consistent, they must oppose more than just the power of the State. They must oppose all circumstances that are similar to the circumstance found in regards to the State. The State exercises dominion and rulership over its’ subjects. In some cases, the State’s use of force is warranted, as when punishing those who have themselves used force. In other cases, the State’s use of force is not warranted, as when someone breaks a law which is not related to any particular act against another person. It is in those cases that force is not warranted that the State’s power is questioned. These same instances constitute “forcefulness” as described earlier.
Defense of Premise 2
With my defense of P1 now in place, I will begin my case for P2.
2A. Capitalism as a system
The dictionary definition of Capitalism fails to encompass the whole of the system. As stated by PRO in the debate I linked in R1 “Dictionaries are rarely politically sophisticated”. This lack of sophistication extends into the economic realm. For example, the term “capital” can be used to refer to cash, goods, or the combination of both. Within economics, the term refers mostly to capital goods, that is, those items which are durable and are used to produce other goods or services . I shall refer to “capital goods” as simply “capital” from this point forward.
The Factors of Production include land, labor, and capital. As the name suggests, these are the inputs for the production of a good or service. A pizza oven is capital. The pizza ingredients are not. While ingredients are inputs, they do not count as capital because they are not durable. The person who owns the pizza oven is, then, a “capitalist”. While some may argue that some distinction must be made between this person and, say, a wealthy factory owner, this distinction seems, to me, quite arbitrary. These same people argue that the pizza shop owner is not a capitalist, but that the factory owner is. It would be similar to calling only those people who can throw a perfect spiral when throwing a football, run a 4.3 second 40-yard dash, jump at least 40 inches, and bench at least 250 pounds a “football player”. It would seem to be quite a narrow definition of “football player” to place these requirements on the term. Likewise with “capitalist”, it is quite a narrow definition to consider as a “capitalist” only those who are wealthy. A “capitalist” is any person who owns capital goods and uses them for the purposes of producing goods or services. This then begets a system wherein people can profit from private ownership of capital. “Capitalism” is the system in which this occurs.
2B. Capitalism and Forcefulness
Capitalism does not require forcefulness to work. While it could be argued that force is required, force is required for any system of laws or ownership to be successful. A key component of capitalism is the ability to privately own capital. As mentioned earlier, capital goods are those items which are durable and are used to produce other goods or services. A capitalist is a person who owns capital. The statement “X owns y” means that “X can determine the disposition of y”. How one goes about gaining ownership of something is a debate in itself. Whether ownership “rights” can be said to exist or not is a topic for discussion at a later time. Once some x does establish ownership of some y, we get into discussion of how that ownership is to be maintained. Unfortunately, ownership of an item means very little without the ability to prevent others from taking said item. Thus, in order for ownership to be maintained, force must be used. This applies to any item, not solely capital. Clothing, food, water and other such items must sometimes be defended as well, if one wishes to keep them.
Capitalism only requires that one be permitted to use force in this capacity. That is, one has no need to be forceful. Just as someone, call him Joe, needs to be able to protect his food and water, so too much Joe be able to protect his pizza oven. In order for one to maintain ownership of any item, one must be permitted to defend it. However, Joe does not need to use force against others. If Joe were a lumberjack, for example, and were to cut down trees then sell them, he would be a capitalist. The only force involved in this is the force required to protect his earnings from others.
2C. Capitalism and Wages, Organization, and Equality
An argument that is sometimes offered by those who oppose Capitalism is that Wages are exploitative. However, this objection is not to the system of Capitalism, but rather a practice that has been seen within it. Likewise, the organizational structure which is often seen within Capitalism is considered oppressive. However, these arguments are addressed at a method of implementation, not at the system itself. As an analogy, consider the Windows Phone operating system. One complaint that is raised is that the app selection for the Windows Store is quite low. Another complaint is that it is (was) difficult to get notifications, as there is (was)* no quick notification screen**. These two complaints are offered as reasons to not get a Windows phone. However, the App store can grow, with the help of developers, and there is now a drop down menu available that displays the notifications of various apps. Likewise, with the issues that I mentioned, even if true, neither of these entails that an anarchist must oppose Capitalism, as the structure can be changed and compensation increased.
The organizational structure of some businesses is oppressive. Employees are not valued as people and are easily replaceable. However, this is not inherent to capitalist, as it is not necessary to have a top-down approach or view employees as machines. The wages of working will vary. Unfortunately, some people are more productive, efficient, or valuable to a business. For example, a private tutor who can tutor a C average student such that this student begins making A’s is more valuable than a private tutor who only takes that student to a B average. By “valuable” I mean worth more investment. By paying Tutor A more money, the business, or customers, might get more “bang for their buck”, that is, a better return on investment. For example, the now-A average student earns scholarships based on essays that were written in class, under the tutelage of Tutor A.
With that, I shall close my Opening Statements. I look forward to reading what MaesterAemon has to offer.
2. Capitalism and freedom are incompatible
3.Capitalism necessitates the use of force.
C. One needs to oppose Capitalism to be an anarchist.
The "Forcefulness" that anarchist oppose is not limited to the state anarchism seeks to dismantle all forms of domination (misogyny,racism,homophobia etc).
Capitalism and freedom are incompatible. Now freedom has many definitions, I will argue from a positive and negative (http://plato.stanford.edu...) liberty perspective as well as Kant's autonomy and inalienable rights to make this point.
Kant's notions of autonomy (positive freedom to act in regards to yourself in accordance with your will and without being restricted by any external conditions such as legal, social or economic factors) and inalienable freedom ( one person has no right to act in such a way that it transforms itself into a means only to an end, one doesn't have a right to instrumentalize oneself, that one simply isn't allowed to sell his labor power since that makes him an object of demand for the use of others to accomplish their own ends) .
Form a negative liberty perspective "property is theft" , therefore wage-labor relationships can never come about.(https://www.marxists.org...) Property - especially absentee property- is grounded on a violation of everyone's negative liberty to go about the world without restrictions insofar as he acts on no one's body, without stable absentee property capitalist property relations of wage-labor are impossible because everyone has access everywhere so he needs not contract to do so, therefore capitalism is incompatible with freedom. Instead the people can only voluntarily restrict their own freedom of access to pieces of the world which would lead to some property arrangement or other (for example we ought to keep our possessions) as people would enter free associations the members of which would all concede to specific property entitlements that would regulate their relations).
The autonomy/inalienable liberty perspective property is acceptable, but wage-labor relations are not as they place one person under the commands of another and no one has the right to sell even part of their liberty. Combining this with Locke's labor theory of property it's clear that wage-labor is wage-slavery insofar as you don't receive all of what you made this implies that you labored at least in part for free, thus you entered into a voluntary slavery relationship and you don't have the right to sell your freedom.
Capitalism implies the ownership of the wealth created by a working community, not by the community, collectively, but rather a upper socio-economic class, a statistical minority. This ownership necessarily requires a system of enforcement, because the have nots will inevitably come after the haves therefore the wealthy need 'police' to protect the capital they have accumulated. Therefore, Capitalism is always dependent upon, and propped up by a 'government', even if that government is comprised of corporate executives who command private security forces. It's still a power structure and exploitative, exclusionary hierarchy requiring force , hence, not anarchy.
I look forward to seeing your rebuttals.
Thank you for submitting your Opening Statements, MaesterAemon. These are some intriguing arguments. I did have to take some time determining the best route to take, in regards to my rebuttals.
P1: “One must oppose forcefulness to be an anarchist.”
I will grant this, as P1 for PRO’s argument is identical to P1 for my argument.
P2: “Capitalism and freedom are incompatible”.
Negative Liberty Perspective
If it is true that people can “voluntarily restrict their own freedom of access to pieces of the world” and also true that this “would lead to some property arrangement or other”, then absentee property ownership can come aboutper people’s voluntary restriction of their own freedoms, which means that wage-labor arrangements can come about. PRO’s own reasoning refutes their conclusion.
Inalienable Freedom/Autonomy Perspective (I do have an issue with the definition of autonomy, as it is quite difficult to act without restrictions from political, social, and economic factors. This definition is unrealistic. For example, I might desire to buy a Lexus convertible, however, I do not have the economic backing to do so. Have I lost my autonomy? I will still address this argument, but this definition is highly problematic. Further, Inalienable Freedom has quite a confusing definition. I would like PRO to elaborate in his counter rebuttals.)
PRO claims that “wage-labor relations are not as they place one person under the commands of another and no one has the right to sell even part of their liberty”. Not only is there no support offered here, I fail to see how this is connected to inalienable freedom or autonomy. I can choose to do as someone else says, or not. Obviously each of these has consequences, and those might be undesirable, but I have not given away my liberty by simply being in a wage-labor relationship. I still have the ability to act in accordance to my will. However, as I noted above, I might be restricted by things like social or economic factors. I wonder, then, if it can ever be said that we do have autonomy, given that such factors are quite numerous, and frequently present.
PRO further claims that “it's clear that wage-labor is wage-slavery insofar as you don't receive all of what you made this implies that you labored at least in part for free,” when one takes LPR into account. However, LPR says nothing of how we are to determine who holds a legitimate claim to something that has been made out of the property of another. If we are speaking of wage labor, “theR39;socioeconomicrelationship between aworkerR39;and anR39;employer, where the worker sells theirlaborR39;under a formal or informalR39;employment contract”, then we have to be aware that one person is providing materials to be worked with, the capitalist, and the other person is working with those materials to create a product. A simple mention of LPR is not enough to substantiate the claim PRO is making here. LPR does not address who rightfully owns the items one makes from the property of another. PRO will have to make this connection before these points can be firm.
P3: “Capitalism necessitates the use of force.” (R)
Remember the definition of “forcefulness” that I offered in R1. “’Forcefulness’ in the context above means ‘initiation of force’ ". PRO’s argument is invalid when this premise is used.
A conditional version of P1 is this: If X requires the initiation of force (P), then an anarchist opposes X (Q), where “x” is an action, system, or similar.
PRO’s claim is the capitalism requires the use of force. The argument, then, in symbolic form, is this:
If P then Q.
Which is obviously invalid. The initiation of force and the use of such are not the same thing.
Further, PRO claims that “Capitalism is always dependent upon, and propped up by a 'government' “. Simply put, laws need to enforced, otherwise they are not at all binding, but are simply suggestions. Since “anarchy” entails the existence of laws, anarchy must entail the use of force, insofar as laws are only such when they can be enforced, and the only way to enforce a statement is through the use of force. If this is what PRO means by “government”, then a government is necessary for Anarchism, as Anarchism entails the existence of laws, somehow, and laws are only binding when force is used. If the law is not binding, then it is simply a suggestion, as such, the system being discussed is not Anarchy as we have defined it here.
For Premise 2, Point A: PRO’s argument is self-detonating. PRO’s own assertions in this argument contradict the conclusion.
For Premise 2, Point B:
From Premise 3: In order for statements to be laws, they must have binding power. The only binding power available for statements is force. Force, then, is required for anarchy, as anarchism entails laws. Any form of ownership, if it is to be maintained, requires force to back it up.
With that, my Rebuttals are finished.
I look forward to PRO’s rebuttals, and hope his counter-rebuttals are of some strength. I think I have provided some pretty strong counter arguments here.
MaesterAemon forfeited this round.
Well, it is unfortunate that my opponent was unable to provide rebuttals.
Extend all arguments.
"A pizza oven is capital. The pizza ingredients are not. While ingredients are inputs, they do not count as capital because they are not durable. The person who owns the pizza oven is, then, a "capitalist". "
Capital is distinct from natural resources that capital must itself be produced by human labor before it can be a factor of production. The problem with is not the holding of the capital but how it's use is regulated. My family actually owns a pizza oven but the distinction between us and a capitalist is that we make pizzas for us and friends and don't rent someone and take the pizzas to sell for a profit. (Sports metaphors offend my delicate homosexual sensibilities :p)
'Thus, in order for ownership to be maintained, force must be used. This applies to any item, not solely capital. Clothing, food, water and other such items must sometimes be defended as well, if one wishes to keep them.'
Again the opposition to capitalism is the renting of people which is what is implied with private ownership by those who own the mill or whatever the capital is.
The organizational structure of some businesses is oppressive. Employees are not valued as people and are easily replaceable. However, this is not inherent to capitalist, as it is not necessary to have a top-down approach or view employees as machines. The wages of working will vary. Unfortunately, some people are more productive, efficient, or valuable to a business.
Capitalist enterprises are by nature top-down hierarchies. Co-operative enterprises are socialist. Is a CEO 350 times as valuable as an entry level worker?