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Two Questions for Libertarians

charleslb
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5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Two Questions for All Libertarians and Free-Marketarians

I have a sincere question I'd like to put to my free-marketarian/libertarian friends here, really. I'm genuinely curious to know, so please enlighten me, how would an authentically and purely free-market society safeguard the freedom of, and guarantee justice to workers, if their capitalist employers are totally deregulated and scot-free to do as they please?

And please don't resort to the old bromide that a free-market system will be a worker's paradise, in which John Q. Workingman can quit a job where he's not being treated decently at 10:00 in the morning, and depend on having a new and better job by 3:00 in the afternoon. It's insulting to the intelligence to expect anyone with any amount of life-experience in an even nominally capitalist society to buy that a puristic form of capitalism will be a paradisiacal proposition for the rank & file of the labor force.

So how then will it work, how will unplanned and undirected market forces work things out so that employers are consistently constrained to do right by their employees? Oh, what's that roaring sound I hear? Oh yeah, it's the ideological floodgates of free-marketeers opening to inundate us with a surging stream of intricate and rationalizing economic arguments that are supposed to convince us of the iron clad logicality and commonsensicality of free-market theory. Well, but the problem for anarcho free-marketeers is that those of us who are able to keep our heads above the treacherous waters of their philosophy, whose thoughts are not drowned by the orthodoxy they've imbibed from Hayek, von Mises, and Lew Rockwell, i.e. those of us who think critically about capitalism aren't satisfied with the self-satisfied iron-cladness of libertarian logic.

No, we take a Missourian stance and say "Show me!" Show me how it is that life will be decent and better for the blue-collar masses under a system that seems to be a capitalist's ultimate wet dream. Show me how it is that things will just naturally and extemporaneously work out so that an economy governed by the self-interest of owners, and by forces that favor owners, and that will trust owners to abide by lofty principles even when they think they can do better for themselves by fudging those principles and screwing their workers, I say show me how it is that such an economy will result in workers living happily ever after. Show me, if you can, why I or any reasonable person should believe that conditions for workers will be so blessedly blissful when capitalism is totally unfettered, if conditions are so far from blissful in societies in which capitalist greed is still mildly fettered?

Do capitalists in the real rough & tumble world of business that we currently live in demonstrate an ethical conscientiousness and good sportsmanship that should give us to believe that they will voluntarily play fair if given the laissez–faire carte blanche of a "free market"? Doesn't the same human nature argument that conservatives like to think sinks socialism in fact sink free-marketarianism? That is, won't the very self-interest and greed that libertarians tout actually cause the failure of a free-market society? If socialism has supposedly been tried and failed because it couldn't suppress the selfishness coded into our nature by evolution, then shouldn't we think twice or more about the realism of believing that a libertarian society could harness the same selfishness and greed without any regulation of it except that of Adam Smith's "invisible hand"?

You might say that the Soviet Union ineptly and half-as*edly tried to tame and domesticate the tiger of man's greedy nature, and that the libertarians propose to do them one better, to put a saddle on and ride the same tiger. Well, riding a tiger is always and notoriously a dangerous feat to undertake. A feat that might make a good many workingpeople a little leery and anxious, shall we say. So how then do libertarians, who profess to believe in non-aggression, in never coercing anyone to do anything, how do they propose to ever get the working multitudes to go along with their vision of a brave new world of absolutely unsupervised self-interestedness and capitalist liberation? If you can't convince the majority of people in society beforehand that a system of run-amok economic individualism will be in their best interest, how do you get your society to take the leap into the theoretical model you advocate?

Are the tides of history supposed to carry us inexorably to the kind of future you tout? Hmm, isn't this taking a page out of the book of the Marxists though? You know, doesn't it mean believing and trusting in some notion of historical economic determinism? But if, as good conservatives and libertarians, you staunchly reject such Marxian concepts, then what? Do we wait for it to one day dawn on everyone that capitalism is such a lovely and superior system that we should embrace it in a more unreserved way and convert our current system of "crony capitalism" into a full-blown capitalist free-for-all?

Well, if we wait for the globe's masses, who mostly fill the ranks of the laboring and lower classes, to come to this epiphany it might be quite a wait indeed. Because, as you may not be aware from the libertarian cloud–cuckoo–land you-all live in, the lot created for the Third World's common man (and woman) by the globalization of capitalist avarice is not very pretty. Nor, increasingly, thanks to a recession caused once again, you guessed it, by capitalist gluttony, is the lot of poor and working-class people in First World countries all that beautiful. So, with capitalism looking a good deal less than appealing to so many ordinary people the world over, I don't really foresee an upswell anytime soon of support for society going whole hog with the greedy spirit of capitalism.

What matters come down to is this, unrepentant self-interest set loose to stridently express itself, yielding nothing but positivity and prosperity for those low on the socioeconomic totem pole is just downright counterintuitive, and will always be a hard sell to understandably skeptical workingpeople whose personal experience under the less than gentle thumb of capitalist bosses is often not at all happy. So if you can't sell people on your pro-capitalist worldview, and if history is not going to obligingly deliver them, en masse, into your philosophical camp, how do you non-coercively and in a manner that's perfectly consistent with your libertarian values, perform a radical makeover of society that makes it into what you think it ideally should be?

Furthermore, it's not only workers who lack your brilliant logic and who don't share your optimism about capitalism & capitalists who will be disinclined to make the paradigm shift to a system of undiluted, untempered, and unrestrained capitalism. It's also the current capitalist elite, who like the "crony" status quo just as it is, and who don't fancy having to walk the free-marketarian talk they like to talk who will prove to be major obstacles too. Of course in the end, in a genuinely free-market society, the same aggressive alpha capitalists would just promptly reestablish their dominance, but still, why would they want to go through the process when the status quo already favors them so asymmetrically?! So, somewhat ironically, the libertarians' heroes, the capitalists, will perhaps be more of an opposition to contend with than the working majority.

The conclusion is located directly below
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles? And, back to my first question, if free-enterprisers ever succeed and actually create a free-market "state of nature", well, in such a ferally dog-eat-dog economy who and/or what will protect all the proletarian omega dogs from the capitalist alpha dogs, with their big teeth and appetites?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
GeoLaureate8
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5/29/2011 3:39:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I clicked on this expecting to see two questions in the form of a couple sentences. Shoulda known better.

Didn't know it was possible to ask two questions the size of an essay.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
charleslb
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5/29/2011 3:41:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:39:54 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I clicked on this expecting to see two questions in the form of a couple sentences. Shoulda known better.

Didn't know it was possible to ask two questions the size of an essay.

Okay, that being said, would you care to try to answer my questions?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Greyparrot
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5/29/2011 3:44:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
How would an authentically and purely free-market society safeguard the freedom of, and guarantee justice to workers, if their capitalist employers are totally deregulated and scot-free to do as they please?

Oh, what's that roaring sound I hear?

I think those are his two questions.
Fabian_CH
Posts: 232
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5/29/2011 4:08:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM, charleslb wrote:
I have a sincere question I'd like to put to my free-marketarian/libertarian friends here, really. I'm genuinely curious to know, so please enlighten me, how would an authentically and purely free-market society safeguard the freedom of, and guarantee justice to workers, if their capitalist employers are totally deregulated and scot-free to do as they please?
Same as everyone else's freedom; by enforcing non-aggression. Why is a man suddenly so much more "opressed" and in need of more protection if he gets paid by others for his work instead of for the result of his work (or not at all).

Anyway, no one would choose to get paid for work if the result of it were more valuable if he produced it for himself. This means that every single employee is already in a privileged position. Why is he in need of special protection that others aren't?
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Reasoning
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5/29/2011 5:03:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?

This is the subject of much debate in the community. Some think that libertarian education and politics is the correct path other idea have been propoed, though, such as agorism and seasteading.

Agorism is the idea of using black market activity as a way to conduct economics without needing to deal with the State and its taxations and regulations. As the black market grows, the need to participate at all in the white market will increasingly diminish until the State becomes useless and withers away.

Seasteading is the idea of building libertarian communities on large moving platforms in the ocean called seasteads.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/29/2011 5:15:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?
Either A. electorally or B. by conquering some socialist hellhole like Burma with a privately funded army. Whichever opportunity works out first.

And, back to my first question, if free-enterprisers ever succeed and actually create a free-market "state of nature"
Some of us aren't ancaps, the minarchist free market is distinct from a state of nature.

well, in such a ferally dog-eat-dog economy
That's not how laissez faire works.

who and/or what will protect all the proletarian omega dogs from the capitalist alpha dogs, with their big teeth and appetites?
The court system, in the event genuine protection from genuine force becomes needful on some occasion and you aren't just whining about low wages for incompetents or something. And, of course, police or possibly military once the court system decides that question.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Cody_Franklin
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5/29/2011 10:56:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM, charleslb wrote:
Two Questions for All Libertarians and Free-Marketarians

I have a sincere question I'd like to put to my free-marketarian/libertarian friends here, really. I'm genuinely curious to know, so please enlighten me, how would an authentically and purely free-market society safeguard the freedom of, and guarantee justice to workers, if their capitalist employers are totally deregulated and scot-free to do as they please?

As far as guaranteeing freedom, that happens in a couple of ways. One, firms will enforce nonaggression. Two, absence of state intervention will decrease unemployment by getting rid of things like the minimum wage. Three, people can quit their job and seek another one. No one ever claimed that they would have another job within a few hours; however, trying to say that anyone has a "right" to a job would require forcing employers to hire people solely on the basis of need, rather than on the basis of skill or demand, which is massively inefficient, and would probably cost the business. The result, which would be downsizing to reduce costs, would be impossible because firms would be unable to fire people under your "right to a job" plan. More than likely, the firm would end up whittling away whatever money it had left before probably going bankrupt, since it can't cut employment to reduce unnecessary or detrimental costs. In such a case, you would end up with less employment overall, especially when this happens to most businesses that aren't massive multinationals or number 1 in their industry.

As far as "guaranteeing justice", I don't even really know what that means. "Justice" tends to be an ideologically-specific construct, so I don't know that capitalism needs to guarantee it to be coherent.

And please don't resort to the old bromide that a free-market system will be a worker's paradise, in which John Q. Workingman can quit a job where he's not being treated decently at 10:00 in the morning, and depend on having a new and better job by 3:00 in the afternoon. It's insulting to the intelligence to expect anyone with any amount of life-experience in an even nominally capitalist society to buy that a puristic form of capitalism will be a paradisiacal proposition for the rank & file of the labor force.

So how then will it work, how will unplanned and undirected market forces work things out so that employers are consistently constrained to do right by their employees? Oh, what's that roaring sound I hear? Oh yeah, it's the ideological floodgates of free-marketeers opening to inundate us with a surging stream of intricate and rationalizing economic arguments that are supposed to convince us of the iron clad logicality and commonsensicality of free-market theory. Well, but the problem for anarcho free-marketeers is that those of us who are able to keep our heads above the treacherous waters of their philosophy, whose thoughts are not drowned by the orthodoxy they've imbibed from Hayek, von Mises, and Lew Rockwell, i.e. those of us who think critically about capitalism aren't satisfied with the self-satisfied iron-cladness of libertarian logic.

I just want to point out that you can't "plan" market forces. If you try, they cease to become market forces. Oddly enough, though, since you want an anarcho-communist society, I should wonder A) what kind of economic arrangement you expect to have, and B) how you plan to keep competition/markets from arising naturally, unless you use force to drown out anyone who tries to offer up alternatives to the central distributor of the commune. :P

No, we take a Missourian stance and say "Show me!" Show me how it is that life will be decent and better for the blue-collar masses under a system that seems to be a capitalist's ultimate wet dream. Show me how it is that things will just naturally and extemporaneously work out so that an economy governed by the self-interest of owners, and by forces that favor owners, and that will trust owners to abide by lofty principles even when they think they can do better for themselves by fudging those principles and screwing their workers, I say show me how it is that such an economy will result in workers living happily ever after. Show me, if you can, why I or any reasonable person should believe that conditions for workers will be so blessedly blissful when capitalism is totally unfettered, if conditions are so far from blissful in societies in which capitalist greed is still mildly fettered?

Because free markets are responsible for all of the economic improvements that you see in society. State policies are literally no help at all, because they don't produce anything. Name any increase in the state of living, and I'll demonstrate how it was likely produced by the market.

Do capitalists in the real rough & tumble world of business that we currently live in demonstrate an ethical conscientiousness and good sportsmanship that should give us to believe that they will voluntarily play fair if given the laissez–faire carte blanche of a "free market"? Doesn't the same human nature argument that conservatives like to think sinks socialism in fact sink free-marketarianism? That is, won't the very self-interest and greed that libertarians tout actually cause the failure of a free-market society?

The problem is that businesses have had to get extremely creative to survive in a "market" wherein sweeping state regulation is the norm. The corruption and "bad greed" that you see is the result of executives getting in cozy with regulators, getting competitors busted by antitrust legislation, and so on. I already gave you Sieben's analysis on Rockefeller and Standard Oil in the other thread which demonstrated the truth about the "evil, profiteering capitalists". If you take out the state, you'll see a vast improvement.

If socialism has supposedly been tried and failed because it couldn't suppress the selfishness coded into our nature by evolution, then shouldn't we think twice or more about the realism of believing that a libertarian society could harness the same selfishness and greed without any regulation of it except that of Adam Smith's "invisible hand"?

Actually, socialism failed for several reasons. Calculation problem, the use of brute force, overall crappy politics, stuff like that. "Selfishness" in its own right didn't have a great deal to do with it.
Cody_Franklin
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5/29/2011 10:57:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM, charleslb wrote:
You might say that the Soviet Union ineptly and half-as*edly tried to tame and domesticate the tiger of man's greedy nature, and that the libertarians propose to do them one better, to put a saddle on and ride the same tiger. Well, riding a tiger is always and notoriously a dangerous feat to undertake. A feat that might make a good many workingpeople a little leery and anxious, shall we say. So how then do libertarians, who profess to believe in non-aggression, in never coercing anyone to do anything, how do they propose to ever get the working multitudes to go along with their vision of a brave new world of absolutely unsupervised self-interestedness and capitalist liberation? If you can't convince the majority of people in society beforehand that a system of run-amok economic individualism will be in their best interest, how do you get your society to take the leap into the theoretical model you advocate?

How did we get people to believe in democracy in a period where the norm was totalitarian rule under the divine right of kings?

Are the tides of history supposed to carry us inexorably to the kind of future you tout? Hmm, isn't this taking a page out of the book of the Marxists though? You know, doesn't it mean believing and trusting in some notion of historical economic determinism? But if, as good conservatives and libertarians, you staunchly reject such Marxian concepts, then what? Do we wait for it to one day dawn on everyone that capitalism is such a lovely and superior system that we should embrace it in a more unreserved way and convert our current system of "crony capitalism" into a full-blown capitalist free-for-all?

Well, if we wait for the globe's masses, who mostly fill the ranks of the laboring and lower classes, to come to this epiphany it might be quite a wait indeed.

I'll wait.

Because, as you may not be aware from the libertarian cloud–cuckoo–land you-all live in, the lot created for the Third World's common man (and woman) by the globalization of capitalist avarice is not very pretty. Nor, increasingly, thanks to a recession caused once again, you guessed it, by capitalist gluttony, is the lot of poor and working-class people in First World countries all that beautiful.

First, the recession wasn't caused by "capitalist gluttony". That's a gross oversimplification.

Second, the "poor" in this country are actually a pretty wealthy poor. A majority have air conditioning, ample living space, utilities like running water and electricity, appliances (e.g. washer/dryer/dishwasher/refrigerator/stove/microwave), stereos, televisions, cable and internet, and at least one car.

So, with capitalism looking a good deal less than appealing to so many ordinary people the world over, I don't really foresee an upswell anytime soon of support for society going whole hog with the greedy spirit of capitalism.

What matters come down to is this, unrepentant self-interest set loose to stridently express itself, yielding nothing but positivity and prosperity for those low on the socioeconomic totem pole is just downright counterintuitive, and will always be a hard sell to understandably skeptical workingpeople whose personal experience under the less than gentle thumb of capitalist bosses is often not at all happy. So if you can't sell people on your pro-capitalist worldview, and if history is not going to obligingly deliver them, en masse, into your philosophical camp, how do you non-coercively and in a manner that's perfectly consistent with your libertarian values, perform a radical makeover of society that makes it into what you think it ideally should be?

That's sort of an absurd question, isn't it? If we can't convince people, if it doesn't "just happen", and if we refuse to coerce them, then obviously the world won't be libertarian--much like it is now. Then again, things like the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment seem to suggest that it isn't impossible to have a dramatic shift of spirit when the moment's right. If Galileo, for example, were to be reanimated and asked, based on present-day conditions, whether he regretted being murdered for challenging the then seemingly-impossible-to-change authority of the church, I think he would answer with a resounding yes.

Furthermore, it's not only workers who lack your brilliant logic and who don't share your optimism about capitalism & capitalists who will be disinclined to make the paradigm shift to a system of undiluted, untempered, and unrestrained capitalism. It's also the current capitalist elite, who like the "crony" status quo just as it is, and who don't fancy having to walk the free-marketarian talk they like to talk who will prove to be major obstacles too. Of course in the end, in a genuinely free-market society, the same aggressive alpha capitalists would just promptly reestablish their dominance, but still, why would they want to go through the process when the status quo already favors them so asymmetrically?! So, somewhat ironically, the libertarians' heroes, the capitalists, will perhaps be more of an opposition to contend with than the working majority.

I don't doubt that opposition is fierce.

The conclusion is located directly below
Cody_Franklin
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5/29/2011 11:00:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?

There are a few theories. I'm a fan of education and an attempt at changing the predominant philosophical tide. Others take to ideas like creating capitalist communities of their own, or, as Reasoning mentioned specifically, Agorism or seasteading, perhaps. There's not a single "right" way to go about establishing a functional free market.

And, back to my first question, if free-enterprisers ever succeed and actually create a free-market "state of nature", well, in such a ferally dog-eat-dog economy who and/or what will protect all the proletarian omega dogs from the capitalist alpha dogs, with their big teeth and appetites?

Capitalism isn't "dog eat dog". To answer the question, however, I already answered in my first post--first section--how the freedom of laborers is guaranteed. Even so, I don't think the alpha/omega distinction is ultra-legitimate. Both laborers and "capitalists" are capital owners of different varieties.
mcc1789
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5/30/2011 12:30:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
As to your first question:

While the employer would of course have the right to hire and fire, with running of their business following whatever they desire, the employee would have far more options. There is nothing to stop people from voluntarily collectivizing, forming communes, cooperatives, credit unions, etc. They can issue their own currency, just for themselves if desired, or do something else that works for them.

Workers in any case would be free to join unions or any voluntary organization they please. If the employer refuses to hire union members or bargain collectively, they could find ones that will. Or, it may be they would organize boycotts against such employers, both primary and secondary, which in this system would be perfectly legitimate. Tactics like this might also be utilized to pressure businesses with poor safety and health conditions, arbitrary discrimination in their hiring, etc. (although these would likely be unsustainable business practices in any case).

Since no barriers to entry such as licensing, zoning, capitalization requirements, to name just a few, will not exist, it would be far easier to employ yourself, be part of cooperatives, or set up traditional businesses large or small. Medical care could be secured by voluntary collectives, one type of which, friendly societies, historically did provide most insurance for working class people in Australia, the UK, and US before the modern welfare state. Credit unions, health care consumer cooperatives, or any other voluntary arrangement would attract people no doubt.

As to your second question:

Others have mentioned agorism, education, seasteading, etc. all of which have their place. To put it most simply: as ever, be the change you want to see in the world.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.-Philip K. Dick
charleslb
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5/30/2011 12:51:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 5:03:24 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?

This is the subject of much debate in the community. Some think that libertarian education and politics is the correct path other idea have been propoed, though, such as agorism and seasteading.

Agorism is the idea of using black market activity as a way to conduct economics without needing to deal with the State and its taxations and regulations. As the black market grows, the need to participate at all in the white market will increasingly diminish until the State becomes useless and withers away.

Seasteading is the idea of building libertarian communities on large moving platforms in the ocean called seasteads.

Thank you for an informative reply. Let me ask, is "seasteading" (the creation of a libertarian "waterworld"!) actually considered to be a serious idea in libertarian circles? Or is it just an idea that libertarians kick around together when they're feeling lighthearted and jocular?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Reasoning
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5/30/2011 1:19:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 12:51:33 PM, charleslb wrote:
Thank you for an informative reply. Let me ask, is "seasteading" (the creation of a libertarian "waterworld"!) actually considered to be a serious idea in libertarian circles? Or is it just an idea that libertarians kick around together when they're feeling lighthearted and jocular?

It's taken very seriously by some portions of the population.

Patri Friedman, Milton's grandson, has founded the Seasteading Institute: http://seasteading.org...

"Our mission is to further the long-term growth of the seasteading movement. Our current focus is on enabling the success of the first seasteads by researching the critical engineering, legal, and business problems, increasing public awareness, and building a core seasteading community."
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
mongoose
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5/30/2011 1:30:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 1:19:34 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 5/30/2011 12:51:33 PM, charleslb wrote:
Thank you for an informative reply. Let me ask, is "seasteading" (the creation of a libertarian "waterworld"!) actually considered to be a serious idea in libertarian circles? Or is it just an idea that libertarians kick around together when they're feeling lighthearted and jocular?

It's taken very seriously by some portions of the population.

Patri Friedman, Milton's grandson, has founded the Seasteading Institute: http://seasteading.org...

"Our mission is to further the long-term growth of the seasteading movement. Our current focus is on enabling the success of the first seasteads by researching the critical engineering, legal, and business problems, increasing public awareness, and building a core seasteading community."

There's also the (possibly more practical) free state project: http://freestateproject.org.../
It is odd when one's capacity for compassion is measured not in what he is willing to do by his own time, effort, and property, but what he will force others to do with their own property instead.
charleslb
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5/30/2011 1:38:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 4:08:41 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM, charleslb wrote:
I have a sincere question I'd like to put to my free-marketarian/libertarian friends here, really. I'm genuinely curious to know, so please enlighten me, how would an authentically and purely free-market society safeguard the freedom of, and guarantee justice to workers, if their capitalist employers are totally deregulated and scot-free to do as they please?
Same as everyone else's freedom; by enforcing non-aggression. Why is a man suddenly so much more "opressed" and in need of more protection if he gets paid by others for his work instead of for the result of his work (or not at all).

Hmm, enforcing non-aggression, sounds a little oxymoronic, doesn't it? And in an anarchist-capitalist society who will do any of this paradoxical non-coercive forcing of respect for justice upon the owners and power-possessors who aren't at all inclined by their own narrow self-interest to voluntarily respect values such as justice? Are we back to the quixotically idealistic idea that market forces will do all the forcing of pro-social conduct that needs to be done? And even if it worked out this way, the way libertarians imagine, wouldn't society still be employing force to compel people to "get with the program" of the free market, i.e. the force their vaunted economic principles will possess when implemented by a society?

As to your second point/question, people most certainly and unfortunately are in a position to be exploited and oppressed when they are employed by a capitalist owner, i.e. when they are a wage slave (it might sound like I'm using amusingly cliché nomenclature here, but I'm really just calling the proverbial spade a spade) because the owner of a business that provides a worker's livelihood quite obviously holds the better hand, sometimes he holds all the cards. That is, in the real world owners enjoy an unfair coign of vantage, they deal with their employees from a position of strength that can allow them to abuse, trample on the dignity of, exploit, and ruin the health and lives of workingpeople. The power to hire & fire, the clout owners exercise in the lives of workers and entire communities by virtue of controlling the wealth workers produce, the power to expropriate that wealth in the first place, etc. this is all real power, and not to be underestimated. If you doubt that workers are in the inferior position vis–à–vis employers, check out this link: http://www.dollarsandsense.org...

Anyway, no one would choose to get paid for work if the result of it were more valuable if he produced it for himself. This means that every single employee is already in a privileged position. Why is he in need of special protection that others aren't?

Again, if you really think that employees are all in a position in life or in their society's economy to be able to just tell an employer "Take this job and shove it, the result of my work is more valuable if I produce it myself, ergo I'm leaving your employment to provide my own livelihood", if you believe that the average workingman or woman can actually do this in a society in which alpha capitalists own the means of production, you need to study real life a bit more than libertarian economic theory my friend. In the hard reality of capitalism, workers are not the privileged ones, capitalists are. After all, it's called capitalism, not workerism for a reason. The way the very term "capitalism" privileges capitalists over jobholders strongly hints at who the real privileged characters are in a capitalist society. Again, if you would like a real-world instantiation of what I'm saying, click on this link: http://www.dollarsandsense.org...
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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5/30/2011 1:45:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 5:15:23 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?
Either A. electorally or B. by conquering some socialist hellhole like Burma with a privately funded army. Whichever opportunity works out first.

Wow, somehow conquering people who disagree with your philosophy of economics with an army and imposing your benevolent rule by military force doesn't sound all that non-aggressive! Instead of a "dictatorship of the proletariat", you'd end up with a dictatorship of hypocritically implemented libertarian precepts.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Fabian_CH
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5/30/2011 2:10:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 1:45:05 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/29/2011 5:15:23 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?
Either A. electorally or B. by conquering some socialist hellhole like Burma with a privately funded army. Whichever opportunity works out first.

Wow, somehow conquering people who disagree with your philosophy of economics with an army and imposing your benevolent rule by military force doesn't sound all that non-aggressive! Instead of a "dictatorship of the proletariat", you'd end up with a dictatorship of hypocritically implemented libertarian precepts.
Are you sure the common Burmese citizen likes his government?
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/30/2011 2:13:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 1:38:00 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/29/2011 4:08:41 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM, charleslb wrote:
Hmm, enforcing non-aggression, sounds a little oxymoronic, doesn't it?
Aggression has two semantic components. INITIATION of force.

Wow, somehow conquering people who disagree with your philosophy of economics with an army and imposing your benevolent rule by military force doesn't sound all that non-aggressive!
INITIATION of force. The present military dictatorship has already initiated force in Burma.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
charleslb
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5/30/2011 2:47:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 10:56:56 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
As far as guaranteeing freedom, that happens in a couple of ways. One, firms will enforce nonaggression.

So, the capitalist fox is to be entrusted with the freedom and well-being of the working-class occupants of the hen house. Kind of risky to my skeptical way of thinking.

Two, absence of state intervention will decrease unemployment by getting rid of things like the minimum wage.

Ah, removing any outside intervention on behalf of, and abolishing the minimum wage that people need to be able to at least subsist, is a favor to workingpeople!!! Because we can just trust that the free operation of economic laws will produce all the most desirable results for workers! As I suggested to another libertarian contributor to this thread, study life and economics in the real world a bit more, and see if there's really any solid empirical justification for continuing to hew to such cloud–cuckoo–land theories.

Three, people can quit their job and seek another one.

Yeah, but seeking and having a realistic expectation of finding, are two very different prospects. And in a real-world capitalist economy the latter prospect is not going to always be adequately assured by the laws of the "free market". Sorry that I have to keep using the term "real-world", but it somehow seems necessary in any discussion of libertarian theory.

however, trying to say that anyone has a "right" to a job would require forcing employers to hire people solely on the basis of need, rather than on the basis of skill or demand, which is massively inefficient, and would probably cost the business.

Well, not recognizing people's actual right to work to create their livelihood is both morally unsupportable and socially dangerous.

As far as "guaranteeing justice", I don't even really know what that means. "Justice" tends to be an ideologically-specific construct, so I don't know that capitalism needs to guarantee it to be coherent.

Talk about ideological constructs, it's the libertarian's concept of "freedom" that's a flaming, raging ideological construct! And the fact that an intelligent libertarian can make a statement such as "I don't know what justice and guaranteeing it means", that you can seem to deny the objective reality of or need for justice in the world, is quite disconcertingly telling.

I just want to point out that you can't "plan" market forces. If you try, they cease to become market forces. Oddly enough, though, since you want an anarcho-communist society, I should wonder A) what kind of economic arrangement you expect to have, and B) how you plan to keep competition/markets from arising naturally, unless you use force to drown out anyone who tries to offer up alternatives to the central distributor of the commune. :P

As I believe I said in the previous post in which I described myself as a proponent of anarcho-communism, I recognize that "freedom" is not an absolute, or the only value that a society should strive to actualize. Therefore, I'm not ideologically locked into maintaining the appearance of not advocating infringing on people's liberties. In my philosophy the liberty or license to be a selfish and exploitative capitalist is not sacrosanct, and can reasonably be infringed on and banned, the same way society seeks to curtail and ban a host of socially bad behaviors.

By the way, I suppose you could say that this, curtailing the "liberty" of capitalist types, would be perfectly sensible in a utilitarian libertarian sense, as it would lead to greater freedom for the multitudes of workingpeople, because it would mean freeing them from the domination of their capitalist bosses. Yep, the ultimate result would be less oppression and increased freedom for the bulk of humanity.


Because free markets are responsible for all of the economic improvements that you see in society. State policies are literally no help at all,

So, the policies of the federal government in the 1800s that made the building of a transcontinental railroad a reality, that helped develop much of the country, are not to be considered "economic improvements, they were "no help at all"?! Forgive my frankness, but this position is rubbish and to maintain it would require one to engage in a good deal of historical revisionism, or to be highly selective and intellectually dishonest in one's reading of history. To refer back to the example I've just given, it was the U.S. army that conceived the plans for a national railroad, and the government that provided the financial wherewithal to reify its plans. To deny this and give all credit to the private sector would be, yes, intellectually dishonest indeed. For more on the army and the governments involvement in building America's railroads visit this link: http://american_almanac.tripod.com... But of course this is just one example that refutes your excessively categorical statement that: "State policies are literally no help at all".

because they don't produce anything.
Oh, so building a railroad that leads to the development of the nation's economy is not producing anything?

Name any increase in the state of living, and I'll demonstrate how it was likely produced by the market.

I just named one, the economic development and improved state of living that resulted from the federal government helping to build the railroads. Are you going to deny the big bad government's very instrumental part in providing that economic boon to the country?

The problem is that businesses have had to get extremely creative to survive in a "market" wherein sweeping state regulation is the norm.

Oh, the troubles of the economy are all a result of state regulation? Deregulation, such as the deregulation of Wall Street that led to the current worldwide "economic crisis", aka recession, isn't the real culprit of a factor? The mighty men of business and banking at the top of the corporate and financial food chain don't play the largest part in bringing economic woes upon society and its innocent working-class populace?

The corruption and "bad greed" that you see is the result of executives getting in cozy with regulators, getting competitors busted by antitrust legislation, and so on.

Ideological distortions of reality! It's de- and grossly insufficient regulation that caused the current recession. View the documentary Inside Job.

I already gave you Sieben's analysis on Rockefeller and Standard Oil in the other thread which demonstrated the truth about the "evil, profiteering capitalists". If you take out the state, you'll see a vast improvement.

Yeah sure, a thoroughly deregulated John D. Rockefeller would have been no robber baron at all, and I suppose an Al Capone operating in a lawless society would have been kept on better behavior by free-market economic principles too?!

Actually, socialism failed for several reasons. Calculation problem, the use of brute force, overall crappy politics, stuff like that. "Selfishness" in its own right didn't have a great deal to do with it.

Soviet-style socialism failed because of the historical baggage of Russia, because the USSR tried to launch into full-blown socialism from feudalism, because the Soviet system was hijacked by the lowly likes of Joe Stalin, because of grossly excessive military spending, because the Soviet Union was up against the corruptly and exploitatively ill-gotten but massive economic, political, and military might of the Western capitalist powers, etc.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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5/30/2011 2:49:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 1:19:34 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 5/30/2011 12:51:33 PM, charleslb wrote:
Thank you for an informative reply. Let me ask, is "seasteading" (the creation of a libertarian "waterworld"!) actually considered to be a serious idea in libertarian circles? Or is it just an idea that libertarians kick around together when they're feeling lighthearted and jocular?

It's taken very seriously by some portions of the population.

Patri Friedman, Milton's grandson, has founded the Seasteading Institute: http://seasteading.org...

"Our mission is to further the long-term growth of the seasteading movement. Our current focus is on enabling the success of the first seasteads by researching the critical engineering, legal, and business problems, increasing public awareness, and building a core seasteading community."

Hmm, what about libertarians who are susceptible to seasickness?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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5/30/2011 2:56:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 2:10:05 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/30/2011 1:45:05 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/29/2011 5:15:23 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?
Either A. electorally or B. by conquering some socialist hellhole like Burma with a privately funded army. Whichever opportunity works out first.

Wow, somehow conquering people who disagree with your philosophy of economics with an army and imposing your benevolent rule by military force doesn't sound all that non-aggressive! Instead of a "dictatorship of the proletariat", you'd end up with a dictatorship of hypocritically implemented libertarian precepts.
Are you sure the common Burmese citizen likes his government?

That's like the Bush administration saying that the average Iraqi didn't like Saddam Husein, ergo it was doing them a favor to invade and occupy their country to the tune of perhaps over a million dead, and an incalculable amount of misery. It's like saying that many Filipino people didn't want to remain under US domination, therefore it was all right for Japan to invade the Philippines during WWII. It's like saying that the people of Cuba didn't like the Batista regime, therefore it was okay for Fidel to take over and impose his ideology by armed insurrection. Is this really a slippery and slimy slope that you wish to place your argument on?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Fabian_CH
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5/30/2011 3:01:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 1:38:00 PM, charleslb wrote:
Hmm, enforcing non-aggression, sounds a little oxymoronic, doesn't it?
Hm, no, it actually doesn't to me. Enlighten me, if you will :)

I'm not an anarchist, as you mistakenly believe. The proper function of government (and it's justification, anarchist protests notwithstanding) is enforcing individual rights.

What is a wage slave? That is an oxymoronic term.

Anyway, no one would choose to get paid for work if the result of it were more valuable if he produced it for himself. This means that every single employee is already in a privileged position. Why is he in need of special protection that others aren't?

Again, if you really think that employees are all in a position in life or in their society's economy to be able to just tell an employer "Take this job and shove it, the result of my work is more valuable if I produce it myself, ergo I'm leaving your employment to provide my own livelihood", if you believe that the average workingman or woman can actually do this in a society in which alpha capitalists own the means of production, you need to study real life a bit more than libertarian economic theory my friend.
Ah, and why are can't they do that? Because they're better off working for those who already have aquired "means of production", as you're fond of calling them. Ergo, they are privileged thanks to those "alpha capitalists" (You should stop using that term. It's really childish.) who can provide with a better living than they could on their own.
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Fabian_CH
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5/30/2011 3:03:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 2:56:48 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/30/2011 2:10:05 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/30/2011 1:45:05 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/29/2011 5:15:23 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion

Well then, back to my questions. With everyone except hardcore true believers likely to be anywhere from reluctant to strenuously resistant, how do non-aggressive libertarians intend to actualize their theories and transform society according to their principles?
Either A. electorally or B. by conquering some socialist hellhole like Burma with a privately funded army. Whichever opportunity works out first.

Wow, somehow conquering people who disagree with your philosophy of economics with an army and imposing your benevolent rule by military force doesn't sound all that non-aggressive! Instead of a "dictatorship of the proletariat", you'd end up with a dictatorship of hypocritically implemented libertarian precepts.
Are you sure the common Burmese citizen likes his government?

That's like the Bush administration saying that the average Iraqi didn't like Saddam Husein, ergo it was doing them a favor to invade and occupy their country to the tune of perhaps over a million dead, and an incalculable amount of misery. It's like saying that many Filipino people didn't want to remain under US domination, therefore it was all right for Japan to invade the Philippines during WWII. It's like saying that the people of Cuba didn't like the Batista regime, therefore it was okay for Fidel to take over and impose his ideology by armed insurrection. Is this really a slippery and slimy slope that you wish to place your argument on?
Oh, I'm not for invading other countries, Ragnar can speak for himself there. I'm merely pointing out that the black and white you're imagining doesn't quite correspond to reality.
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/30/2011 3:04:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago

That's like the Bush administration saying that the average Iraqi didn't like Saddam Husein, ergo it was doing them a favor to invade and occupy their country to the tune of perhaps over a million dead, and an incalculable amount of misery. It's like saying that many Filipino people didn't want to remain under US domination, therefore it was all right for Japan to invade the Philippines during WWII. It's like saying that the people of Cuba didn't like the Batista regime, therefore it was okay for Fidel to take over and impose his ideology by armed insurrection.
The problems with all of those were the end government. Any of the above would be perfectly acceptable had the end government been an improvement. (in the US and Iraq case, invasion was acceptable, but the occupation was simply wasteful.)

http://www.overcomingbias.com...

Is this really a slippery and slimy slope that you wish to place your argument on?
Slippery slope is a fallacy and irrelevant if someone is trying to go exactly where the slope leads, and slimy slope doesn't mean anything.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/30/2011 3:06:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Why is this? Because, you see, whether there is going to be war in these places isn't marginal to one's decision, only who wins.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
rarugged
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5/30/2011 3:26:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm still not clear on what kind of government charles is advocating. Forgive me for my ignorance, but is he a pro-socialist?
If Jesus came back tomorrow, a cross would be the last thing he would want to see.
mcc1789
Posts: 43
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5/30/2011 3:28:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 1:38:00 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/29/2011 4:08:41 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/29/2011 3:37:10 PM, charleslb wrote:

Again, if you really think that employees are all in a position in life or in their society's economy to be able to just tell an employer "Take this job and shove it, the result of my work is more valuable if I produce it myself, ergo I'm leaving your employment to provide my own livelihood", if you believe that the average workingman or woman can actually do this in a society in which alpha capitalists own the means of production, you need to study real life a bit more than libertarian economic theory my friend. In the hard reality of capitalism, workers are not the privileged ones, capitalists are. After all, it's called capitalism, not workerism for a reason. The way the very term "capitalism" privileges capitalists over jobholders strongly hints at who the real privileged characters are in a capitalist society. Again, if you would like a real-world instantiation of what I'm saying, click on this link: http://www.dollarsandsense.org...

I feel the problem here is you assume the basic structures of the state capitalist economy simply transferred into a setting with everything funded and run by private institutions, but otherwise no change. However, this is not the case. The power of capitalists that you dislike (as do I) stems from the fact that, (paraphrase) as Marx said: the state is the executive committee of the ruling class. Such privilege is due to continuous state aggression, both to establish it, by "primitive accumulation" but also maintaining that position currently too.

Without taxes for externalizing the costs of large capitalist firms in protection, transportation, etc., it would be up to businesses, thus far more capital is spent. In addition, with barriers to entry such as capitalization requirements, licensing, zoning ordinances, etc. non-existent, there would be no way to artificially reduce amount of competition or shut down rivals entirely. Not to mention "intellectual property" that would be impossible without state protection.

The monolithic, highly centralized firms that dominate industry today get away with such practices as detailed in your link precisely because of their privileged status, given the dearth of competitors with healthy practices. In addition, do you know that industry actually lobbied to pass most of these health and safety regulations to begin with, for their small competitors were less able to comply, often forcing them into closing. This business model would not survive without their pet state.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.-Philip K. Dick
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/30/2011 3:36:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/30/2011 3:26:08 PM, rarugged wrote:
I'm still not clear on what kind of government charles is advocating. Forgive me for my ignorance, but is he a pro-socialist?

He's some kind of anarcho-commie.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.