The Instigator
JackFritschy
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Jingram994
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

can a.libertarian.socialist.society exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Jingram994
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/26/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 965 times Debate No: 41309
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

JackFritschy

Con

Jingramn 994 believes in Libertarian socialism but I am confused on how these totally contridictory ideologies can coexist. Furthermore I believe thatnthere can never be a libertarian socialist society. To clear things up, I am chalanging him to debate it with me.
Jingram994

Pro

First of all, I accept your debate challenge and would be more than happy to debate this topic with you. As you yourself haven't made arguments against said position, I am assuming that the first round is 'acceptance only'. However, as you have given an 'okay' for this, I will post a description of Libertarian Socialism for the sake of definition-of terms within the debate.

Libertarian Socialism:

"Libertarian socialism (sometimes called social anarchism or left-libertarianism) is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic society without private property in the means of production. Libertarian socialists believe in converting present-day private productive property into common or public goods, while retaining respect for personal property. Libertarian socialism is opposed to coercive forms of social organization. It promotes free association in place of government and opposes the social relations of capitalism, such as wage labor. The term libertarian socialism is used by some socialists to differentiate their philosophy from state socialism, and by some as a synonym for anarchism."

1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
JackFritschy

Con

A libertarian socialist society relies on 2 things. Socialism/communism and direct democracy instead of a state buecracy. Now this is very unfeasable because in their natural state, humans use capitalism. Socialism is not natural because it is not normal to give up power to authority or let authority plan a economy. People will resist socialism or at least some will. This is why socialism frequently tries to coexist with capitalism. To administer change, a central government is needed. Only massive government coeresion and propoganda can make people comply with this change.

While under this system, the workers control factories and the farmers control farms. Workers councils govern regions and the national government. This system would break down very fast. For one, it is assumed that factory workers will control what they produce. Exchange of products between centers of production would be hard without currency. They would have to bargain their proroducts, cutting people with products unneeded by other factories out of the trade. With a currency would foment either a powerful central bank or banks controlled by laborious unions. Also, who creates new factories. Do the super unions decide to build a new one? What if its something the old factory didn't make. If they kept doing this, then we would have
worker controlled corporations fighting each other. In free society, people can sell what they want at whatever price. Now in socialism all capitalism is banned. How will this be enforced in this utopian sociate? The labor groups will have to punish those evil capatilist where ever they find them. This leads to not Soviet agents stalking you, but a mob of your fellow workers condemning you do die on the floor of the union meeting.

In this society, everything is totally democratic. This means two things. One, everything is political. Everything. All descitions have to be debated and voted on. Factories will be divided into into warring factions. Things will move very slowely. Second, your individual will is totally given up to the masses. You have no freedom. If you are in the minority, suckes for you. You are enslaved to the will of the majority. Finally, what happens win some young caparilist takes control of the workers council. In the USSR, moderates took over the workers councils.The bolshkiviks realised communism and democracy don't mix. The councils were disbanded and the dictatorship began. Communism is repressive and limits free will. Making it democratic changes the tyranny of the buecrat to the tyranny of the mob.

w were disbanded and the dictator ship began. Co

effectively worker controlled corporations fighting for control.
Jingram994

Pro

My opponent here claims that Socialism, as a system, is not how humans 'naturally' organize themselves, economically, and that Capitalism is. He also implies that state intervention is required to create and enforce a socialist economy.
To begin, Libertarian Socialism, as a system, rejects not only capitalist private ownership of essential means of production, but *also* state ownership of such, and outright enforcement of lack of said private ownership, as this would constitute "..the exercise of power in any institutionalized form-whether economic, political, religious, or sexual...".

My opponent claims that "in their natural state, humans use capitalism.", with no reasoning for this, or evidence to back up his claims. Really, in their 'natural state' humans exist as local groups, tribes, if you will, that work together for the betterment of said groups and their constituent individuals. Certainly, in their 'natural state', forms of barter and exchange occur between individuals and groups. This is not 'capitalism'.

According to Wikipedia;
"Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits in a market economy. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets and wage labor. In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which assets, goods, and services are exchanged."

'Ordinary' Socialism, also according to Wikipedia;
"Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy. "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them. They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets or planning, how management is to be organised within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism."

It appears to me, though my opponent is free to argue this point, that the 'economic' stance of humans in their 'natural state' more closely resembles a form of Socialism than it does Capitalism.

"Socialism is not natural because it is not normal to give up power to authority or let authority plan a economy."

Where Libertarian Socialism is concerned, nobody 'gives up power', nor does 'authority plan a economy', as both of those would defeat the entire purpose of this economic/political stance. One could also make the argument that it is, in fact, 'natural' for humans to 'give up power' in exchange for other 'concessions' by society, such as greater 'social' freedom (ie. in private life, not economic freedom), safety, stability, greater access/ease of access to necessities and amenities, and so on. This also applies to capitalism, so my opponent has not in fact refuted anything with these statements.

"While under this system, the workers control factories and the farmers control farms. Workers councils govern regions and the national government."
This is not necessarily the case. "Libertarian socialism is opposed to coercive forms of social organization. It promotes free association in place of government and opposes the social relations of capitalism, such as wage labor." None of this implies, or leads to, what my opponent is implying here. While it is likely the case, in such a system, that various workers would have a great deal of power over and authority within their various forms of profession, they do not 'control' these enterprises; society, and all individuals within it, 'controls' them, to lead to the 'best' outcome of production for everyone in said society.

"For one, it is assumed that factory workers will control what they produce. Exchange of products between centers of production would be hard without currency. They would have to bargain their proroducts, cutting people with products unneeded by other factories out of the trade. With a currency would foment either a powerful central bank or banks controlled by laborious unions."
Currency is merely a measure of worth. Even then, Libertarian Socialism, and indeed Socialism as a whole, is not necessarily opposed to currency as a measure of worth in itself, just 'wage labor', or the specific form of 'employer/employee' relationship wherein the employee's labor is 'sold' to the employee in exchange for a certain agreed upon raw amount of currency, and possibly other benefits. As well, in a Libertarian Socialist society, no private enterprise 'owns' means of production; society does. Factory workers will produce as is required, or as much otherwise as a given factory in a capitalist society would.

"Do the super unions decide to build a new one? What if its something the old factory didn't make. If they kept doing this, then we would have worker controlled corporations fighting each other."
Factories are arranged to be made as the economy of a given nation requires. That doesn't really make a lot of sense. You are again stating that Libertarian Socialism = worker-controlled Marxism. That's just not the case.

"In free society, people can sell what they want at whatever price. Now in socialism all capitalism is banned. How will this be enforced in this utopian sociate? The labor groups will have to punish those evil capatilist where ever they find them. This leads to not Soviet agents stalking you, but a mob of your fellow workers condemning you do die on the floor of the union meeting."
Am I correct in surmising that you are conflating a decidedly socially-Libertarian state with what amounts to a Marxist police state? 'The freer the economy, the freer the people' is just not a logically good statement; 'economic freedom' has little if anything to do with social or political freedoms. And remember, simple use of currency in economic barter =/= 'capitalism'.

"In this society, everything is totally democratic. This means two things. One, everything is political. Everything. All descitions have to be debated and voted on. Factories will be divided into into warring factions. Things will move very slowely. Second, your individual will is totally given up to the masses. You have no freedom. If you are in the minority, suckes for you. You are enslaved to the will of the majority."
Democracy is not just 'majority rules', nor does it require that every single decision be put to a direct vote. In fact, such a thing is decidedly *very* undemocratic. Consensus =/= 'majority'. The point of a democratic, and recall *Libertarian*, society, is to make decisions that allow for the freedom and equality of all individuals. What you a saying here is that democracy inherently leads to lack of democracy, unless said democracy is limited and/or removed ahead of time, which is ridiculous.

"In the USSR, moderates took over the workers councils.The bolshkiviks realised communism and democracy don't mix. The councils were disbanded and the dictatorship began. Communism is repressive and limits free will. Making it democratic changes the tyranny of the buecrat to the tyranny of the mob."
What you are essentially stating here is that extremists have tried to enforce a non-democratic, extremely authoritarian and hence non-libertarian form of radical Communism, thus all unrelated forms of socialism, which is not in fact the same thing as communism, will inevitably lead to this. That is, at best, an association fallacy, and at worst little more than begging the question.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
7. http://www.spunk.org...
Debate Round No. 2
JackFritschy

Con

I congragulate my opponent for some good arguments. It seems there are at least 15 kinds of libertarian socialism, making things pretty confusing. One question though. How would new industries be created? If niether government nor private individuals then who? Any way, lets get one to the debate. I still assert that the natural state of humans is capitalism. This is shown in the fact that we have used it for thousands of years and still use it today. Humans have chosen capitalism over any other system. This is easy to understand because people like to a) keep what they produce b) trade what they produce for other goods c) Own what they use for a living, like property d) be able to make any exchange they feel benifits them including selling their labor for a wage they see to benifit them. People started doing this even in the most primative villages. Other then in survival situations, people want to keep what them make and sell what they make. If someone in the village killed a deer they would think "Great I killed a deer, now I have some food." They didn't think, "I better slice up that deer and give it away to everybody else. Villages that uses communal systems couldn't survive. There was no incentive to work hard because you weren't keeping the profit. Every body would just hope someone else worked harder. We see the same thing in socialist countries. Production hits rock bottom. Governments have to use quotas to keep people working. Of course, you're society will have a super small or non existent government. This means it will be very hard to keep production high. Assuming that capitalism is indeed human nature after all, then what happens when a super small government imposes socialism? Everyone just reverts to capitalism. People will like the old system with its social mobility and diversity. With no police cracking down on capitalist, people will start to revert to capitalism. Now lets say only a few capitalist remain. The government isn't going after them, but they are pretty small. In your society its garunteed that even if people like the new system, some capitalist will remain. They will be in direct competition with the collectivised industries. Private compenies work for profit. It is their one goal. And to this end they will constantely innovate to beat out the competition. The collectivised industries exist only to produce for the society. They're is little incentive to improve. Even if they try, they're unions are very powerful and will stop any measure they don't like. The private companies will provide people with better goods and services and offer more diversity. They will also compete for workers which will lead them to offer higher wages and steal workers from the collectivized industries. Capitalism will quickly finish all socialist compitition. So any anarchist, small government state will be anarcho capitalist, not anarcho communist. This is also true because bussinesses will be free of any regulation. They will be totally impowered. The situation is socialism at its weakest, capitalism at its strongest. All this means is is that your society must have at least one law. Capitalism is forbidden. You'll have to have police to crack down on capitalist dissenters. You will need big regulatory agencies to make sure all bussiness is sufficiantly socialist. This all leads you to the tyranny you despise. Bueracrats, police crackdowns, government control. Most government control isn't made to take away freedom. Its just intennded to make sure everything is working as it should. It just wants to make sure the economy fits what the governments vision is. This is how your tyranny, like most tyranny, shall begin. You can have socialism at the cost of tyranny and bloodshed. You can have liberty, at the cost of mass privatization and capitalism. You cant have both. There is a reason capitalism is the worlds system. It is better. Socialism has always been forced on a nation. No socialist instatutions spring up because they don't work. Private bussiness will always fight to win. They

They will constantely improve to survive. To do this they give people choices. People don't want to choose what industry to work in in some workers utopia. They want to be able to choose to create a bussiness. They will want to be able to sell their labor for any price they deem right. People function best when risk is involved. With no risk, nothing changes, industry shrivels up. Take away government. Cut most of it away. Usher in you're utopia. You will have to choose. Police state or freenmarket. That's the final choice. With little centralized authority capitalism will thrive like never before. Collectivism needs to be run by government to keep it going and will fail in this land of limited government. There is a reason there are no colectivised factories outside of socialist police States. Its because in freedom capitilsm ALWAYS wins. So will you take capitalism or police state? What is the lesser of your two evils. So i look forward to your utopia. Lets tear all that government down! Lets make it controlled by the people not control the preople! Just don't be surprised when our free market paradise kills the workers revolution in its cradle.
Jingram994

Pro

My opponent has made some decent points, and I will address the arguments he has brought up therein.

"How would new industries be created? If niether government nor private individuals then who?"
Local 'collectives', essentially. People see that there is a 'hole' in which a new industry can be created, or indeed is actually needed, and so work together to obtain the requisites to build said industry. The industry is then 'owned' (not the best word to use, given the context) and used by and for society as a whole, whilst being managed by said 'local collective'.

"I still assert that the natural state of humans is capitalism. This is shown in the fact that we have used it for thousands of years and still use it today. Humans have chosen capitalism over any other system. This is easy to understand because people like to a) keep what they produce b) trade what they produce for other goods c) Own what they use for a living, like property d) be able to make any exchange they feel benifits them including selling their labor for a wage they see to benifit them. People started doing this even in the most primative villages. ...Villages that uses communal systems couldn't survive."

My opponent still seems to have misgivings about my claim that the 'natural state' of human economics, if such can truly be said of any economic system, is closer to socialism than capitalism. For one, my opponent does not seem to understand how primitive tribal life actually works. If everyone in a tribe had to hunt, skin and eat their own meat, most of said tribe would starve and the 'society' would implode very rapidly. In a huge majority of tribal systems, work is shared, as is the outcome of said work, so long as all individuals that receive this outcome are actually working to the best of their ability to support the tribe as a whole; the hunters hunt, the gatherers gather, the builders build, the shamans smoke and make philosophical-sounding stuff up, etc. In fact, villages that *didn't* use communal systems would be completely unworkable and would collapse in short order. Capitalism, as a complex economic system that uses private ownership of production means, not just selling products and using abstract currency, which I will reiterate is not 'capitalism', only began to occur once humans started building cities and complex societies. Thus, not the 'natural state'.

"Assuming that capitalism is indeed human nature after all, then what happens when a super small government imposes socialism? Everyone just reverts to capitalism."
Of course, as has been stated, this assumption is false. This has been stated; simple use of currency to measure worth and make purchases, and personal ownership and sale of production items, *is not capitalism*. 'Private ownership' of the means of production is capitalism. People only 'revert to capitalism' inasmuch as certain greedy individuals try and get their hands on more than is their right to own.

"People will like the old system with its social mobility and diversity."
Socialism, and especially the libertarian-flavored version thereof, is not opposed to social mobility or diversity; it's just that people are all 'equal', in most of the respects that matter, so there isn't a lot of need for 'upwards mobility', as there isn't very far 'up' to go. And of course 'horizontal mobility' is nothing more than choosing your own profession and life, which is basically part of what this philosophy is about securing.

"So any anarchist, small government state will be anarcho capitalist, not anarcho communist. This is also true because bussinesses will be free of any regulation. They will be totally impowered. The situation is socialism at its weakest, capitalism at its strongest. All this means is is that your society must have at least one law. Capitalism is forbidden. ....This all leads you to the tyranny you despise. Bueracrats, police crackdowns, government control. Most government control isn't made to take away freedom. Its just intennded to make sure everything is working as it should. ....You can have socialism at the cost of tyranny and bloodshed. You can have liberty, at the cost of mass privatization and capitalism."

My opponent does not appear to understand the complex 'ins-and-outs' of the sort of 'Libertarian socialist' government I am discussing. His earlier statement of there being "It seems there are at least 15 kinds of libertarian socialism, making things pretty confusing." is quite apt. Of course, what he is describing here is a mix of pure right-libertarianism, and state-communism, which is very much not what I am discussing. A libertarian-socialist government is not required to be 'tiny', or even that small. The statement that "your society must have at least one law. Capitalism is forbidden." misses the point; one cannot have a genuinely 'free' society unless there are in fact some restrictions on what one is 'allowed' to do where their fellow citizen's rights are concerned. For example, if my opponent is trying to imply that there will be no laws regarding murder, theft, or drunk-driving in this society, he has missed the point. My opponent also believes that profit-driven (thus, emotionally impacted) economic systems somehow work 'better' than systems that have non-profit motives at their core; I fail to see how a system specifically designed to promote social freedom and economic equality is 'worse' than the greed-powered. poverty-making machine that currently runs the world. Capitalism is designed to make certain individuals rich at the expense of their peers; socialism is designed to make everyone equally richer at the expense of these greedy individuals desires. The point isn't 'deregulation', it's support of human rights and civil liberties, as well as economic equality. Which is much harder to obtain if a capitalist model is used.

"They will want to be able to sell their labor for any price they deem right. People function best when risk is involved."
There is always 'risk' in reality; the 'point' is that neither singular individuals, nor a government disconnected from it's populace, can legitimately 'own' means of production, as this is by definition a form of coercion and certain use of 'force'.

"Police state or freenmarket."
This is a false dichotomy. Does my opponent also assume that the current capitalist system used in most of the modern world is a genuine 'free market'? That economics are in any way related to civil rights or social freedoms? That economic equality is analogous to a police state?

"Lets make it controlled by the people not control the preople! Just don't be surprised when our free market paradise kills the workers revolution in its cradle."
Therein lies the 'rub'; 'true' capitalist systems are not 'free'; they are controlled by certain individuals at the expense of all other individuals. This can be regulated away but does not impact the core fact that this system plays on and exacerbates one of humanity's worst flaws, greed, and encourages selfishness in contradiction to natural tendencies otherwise, and at the expense of others. Such a system would then be less-than-optimal for both these certain greedy individuals, and the 'others'. In fact, most people naturally shy away from risk and potential for harm, which capitalism is certainly not short of. The only reason people have 'problems' with socialism is because of it's 'storied' history, and the number of times the word has been misappropriated. Just for example, 'national socialism' is not actually 'socialist' in the true meaning of the word, and doesn't have much to do with 'nationalism' either.

I thank my opponent for this debate, and encourage my readers to vote pro.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.abovetopsecret.com...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://www.cracked.com...
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JackFritschy 3 years ago
JackFritschy
Feel free to submit a description of left libertaranism
Posted by Jingram994 3 years ago
Jingram994
Only one day and already getting straight into it? That's the spirit!

Also, I'm assuming that the first round is 'acceptance only', as you yourself haven't actually formulated specific arguments against the debated topic. Am I right?

Should I post a copy-pasted description of 'Libertarian Socialism', sometimes known as 'Left-Libertarianism', from Wikipedia/dictionary.com/something like that, in the first round, or would you rather I just post to accept, and we start the debate proper only in the second round?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
JackFritschyJingram994Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G to Pro because of spelling mistakes and long, never ending paragraph's on con's side. Sources to Pro for using them. Arguments were interesting on both sides - I enjoyed the discussion of the various political systems, but Pro *did* prove that a libertarian socialist society can exist - so arguments to him. Enjoyable debate to read.
Vote Placed by Bruinshockeyfan 3 years ago
Bruinshockeyfan
JackFritschyJingram994Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had more and better sources. His arguments were better and more clear.
Vote Placed by DudeStop 3 years ago
DudeStop
JackFritschyJingram994Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro always used sources, yet jack (con) never did in this debate. Con had various spelling mistakes. Lastly, I believe pro had better arguments, and I think he should be the victor. Thank you...