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We kick the ass of the ruling class

Capitalism IS the Problem

Posted 1 year ago on May 21, 2013, 1:29 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: exploitation, capitalism, worker coops

First of all: there seems to be some kind of misconception among some people, of what capitalism actually is. There are some who believe that where there is a market economy, money and competition, then that’s automatically capitalism. That’s not true. In capitalism there is of course a market economy, but that can exist in other systems as well.

What characterizes capitalism is that there is private ownership of the means of production. That’s when you know you’re dealing with a capitalist system. If this feature is absent, if it’s not the case that some individuals privately own the means of production others are using, then it’s no longer capitalism. If it instead was a system in which, let’s say, the workers themselves controlled and managed the means of production democratically at the place where they worked, and that these institutions were operating in a market system, then that would be some kind of market socialism etc, not capitalism.

And it is this private ownership of the means of production that’s a huge part of the problem. Capitalism is tyrannical, exploitative and dehumanizing; it’s intolerable

A system that allows a few individuals to have undemocratic control and power, not only at the workplace, but in society in general, is unacceptable; a system that allows some individuals to exploit and profit on other people’s misery is unacceptable; a system that allows more and more cash to be shuffled into the pockets of the owners and the wealthy, is unacceptable.

Capitalism IS the problem.

644 Comments

644 Comments


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[-] 5 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

The basic problem with attempting to end a system based on private ownership is that at present an overwhelming majority is unwilling to give up the right to said private ownership.

[-] 5 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

see it's funny cause even communist countries have had the right to private ownership.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Private ownership is something that's been with us for as long as civilization, it would be difficult for society to give up.

[-] 4 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

no practical system is absolute. i believe somethings should be state owned and run, some should be worker owned and run, and then yes there is a place for private enterprises but they should not be the intricate parts of society needed for one to flourish.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It's private ownership of the means of production that must end. We need economic democracy.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"Marx's 'Das Kapital' Lives On in Capitalist Age" (Audio) :

"Das Kapital" will always be relevant as long as we have a capitalist economic system. Marx's explanation of capitalism is one of the best, and though the book seems daunting, it really isn't.

"It's a myth that "Das Kapital" is about socialism. It is about "Capital" and anyone who wants to truly understand the economic system they live under should read it." by bw from your excellent thread :

I highly recommend the audio link and append the above links to cross reference your excellent forum-posts. Thanx for all your good and diligent work Andy :-)

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Cool ~{:-) & highly recommended ! Takk Andy & solidaritet !! pax ...

[-] -1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

That's your opinion, it's not likely to happen however the idea has no support.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Well established tyrannical systems have been abolished in the past, it can happen again.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Sure some systems have been abolished and anything is possible. I'm simply looking at anarchy's lack of growth and drawing the conclusion that few are interested in it or moving toward accepting it as an alternative to regulated capitalism. It reached it's high point in the 1930's and has since declined to relative obscurity.

The proponents of anarchy have been unable to convince people that the theory is actually workable in close to a century of trying. I don't believe this failure is due only to corporate propaganda against libertarian socialism, the public doesn't seem to like or trust corporations either.

Some in the majority may not believe the theory could work to their benefit. It's also possible that what you see as tyrannical many in the majority accept as the right of owners to set conditions for employment and are unwilling to make any changes to laws regarding private property.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The lack of support for libertarian socialism is in my opinion mainly because of the things I mentioned before. Systemic change often takes time and hard work; real changes don’t come over night, but eventually implementing a co-operative economic system in our communities is perfectly feasible. We’re seeing what could be the beginning of something huge all over the place, including in the United States, like here for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlO_2QhUQRI

There are many examples of libertarian socialist/libertarian socialist-like societies working just fine:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/workplace-democracy-and-workers-self-management/

Libertarian Socialism would benefit the entire population:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/part-ii-workers-self-management-workplace-democrac/

Capitalism is tyrannical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYxGkFxb7f4

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Cooperatives may very well be the way to go, workers don't have much of a history of investing in themselves though. Cooperatives do have have some weaknesses. Some have had problems with inefficient management due to a general lack of accountability.

A few cooperatives are unlikely going to change the mind of the population in general and cause them to turn to anarchy as a way of running all business. It might be done if the anarchists themselves took a longer view and built a new society one cooperative at a time. Most seem to alienate more people then they win over with an insistence on confiscating property and changing everything in a short amount of time.

Most see private ownership of business as a basic right and not as tyrannical. Workers have the legal right to leave. Whether they start their own business, stay where they are, or find another job is up to them. You're not going to change the minds of very many people by complaining about the owner's legal right to run his business his way.

[-] -3 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

It is the rule, not the exception. They abolish themselves - over and over again.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

That may happen with capitalism too, some day. Right now though, in my opinion, there isn't enough real economic misery for anarchy to grow or for capitalism to be abolished.

[-] -2 points by greysone (-264) 1 year ago

obama is working on that ( economic misery) . white house shut down for tours ( no money for that ) but the obama kids go to the bahamas and skiing in sun valley idaho in one week. at taxpayer expense.

[-] -3 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

I never said anythig about anarchy. There are more powerful forces at play here.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Sorry, I got thinking of anarchy in my exchanges with struggleforfreedom.

What forces do you see in play? What changes do you see evolving?

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[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Tyranny.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/defying-michigan-voters-gov-rick-snyder-takes-over-detroit

It's staring you in the face, daring you to notice.

But you won't.

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[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

How wonderfully non committal and uninformative.

Generic, really.

How will sticking gum on a camera or mooing in line take care of this?

http://www.propublica.org/article/another-race-case-for-a-hostile-court

[-] -2 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

I'll tell you how shooz. As a culture we are conditioned to compliance. That is all well and good when society earns our compliance, but when it doesn't then we need to break those bonds of conditioning. When we do this we release the creative aspects of our nature, which can be powerful.

That's not non committal, just the opposite.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Interesting but vague.

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Conformity is expected. Originality is a dirty word.

Struggleforfreedom80 and many other here and elsewhere beleive that the Group comes before the individual and that he and those that agree with him should be able to decide for ME. They want conformity, I want DISOBEDIENCE.

[+] -6 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

The opposite of vague. That's why you said it was vague. Now go back and ask your master what to say next - you're learning.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Calling him an asshole is totally non-commital and generic.

How about a comment on what his asshollery has done to the 99% in Wisconsin?

Show a little understanding of the steps he went through to get there.

deathshead has been gone for a very long time, who are you claiming to have been back then?

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

No masters to report to, just looking for specifics.

FYI, I believe the reply option is out of our control in this forum. It stops appearing after a certain number of times. No one is trying to keep you from responding.

[+] -4 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

There are no more specifics. Truth is truth. It flies in the face of tyranny all by itself, over and over again, because it is truth, and tyrants like to convince themselves that truth is relative. That is why they are overthrown,

Something vague about that?

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Say something vague and non-commital about this.

http://www.politicususa.com/gov-walkers-wisconsin-falls-44th-nationally-private-sector-jobs.html

So far you're batting 1.000.

[+] -4 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

What is there to say about that? Scott Walker is a first rate asshole.

Is that vague? He'd sell his mother to the first corporation that bid on her. Is that vague?

Man alive, I feel like I'm being put through some kind of hazing here.

Does someone have to prove themselves to comment here? I don't see why. I've seen guys with names like DeathsHead say the most despicable things on this forum, and they didn't get half this much shit.

[-] -2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The people have abolished them over and over again. And it can and should happen again. Capitalism is an unnecessary evil, it should be dismantled.

[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Economics is an unnecessary evil.

Is there even such a thing as a 'neccesary' evil?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The economy is very important. It affects everything. Who controls production etc in society is a very important factor.

[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

The economy does not decide what time im going to go to bed tonight, or what time im going to shit tonight, or how old ill be when I get my first colonoscopy.

The economy predicts wealth aquisition/distribution and has nothing to do with anything else.

Nobody should control production of anything, collectively or otherwise.

Production should be an individual decision.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Your personal life, things that don’t affect others, is your business. Things that affect many – like the economic institutions for example – should be controlled democratically by the workforce and the communities.

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[-] -2 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Don't be so sure about that.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

We can't be sure of anything, but anarchy hasn't shown any increase in support for decades. People may change, but there is no evidence of any pattern of change in behavior.

It's possible that a large segment of the population could wake up some day and push capitalism out of existence, but there is nothing to suggest that will happen anytime soon.

If change comes we'll most likely see people shifting toward anarchy slowly at first not in some massive wave composed of a majority. There hasn't been even a ripple of support for anarchy seen in the public in general.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

What constitutes truth and justice seems to vary from person to person. A desire to work for their beliefs may be what is motivating most people in Occupy, but I see it as a gathering of believers more then any kind of massive popular change in beliefs.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Truth for some comes from a holy book and doesn't always mesh with my truth. So many conflicts due to individuals thinking they possess some fixed universal truth.

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[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

bots equate to bad behavior you know.

[-] -3 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Unless they're tr@shys bots, or Iron Butt's bots. LOL.

Then they get away with Anything!

Go ahead and ban me shooz. I don't care. It isn't the speaker but the words that are spoken.

I know that you are trying to do good here. You have done good here. But there are certain ways in which we all become conditioned to put perameters on thought . . . in which we are subtley conditioned to define the bounds of thinkable thought - a certain way in which orthodoxy seeps in, despite our best intentions.

Don't let that happen to you. If you look over what I have actually said here, and the outrageous over-reaction to it, you will see what I mean.

That was my intention with my post about passive resistance - to see what might happen if anyone advocated action in the real world, instead of just abstraction - instead of mere words alone.

We have come a long journey here, and we need to stay real.

No need to ban me, I'm already gone.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Non-commital and generic until the bitter end, eh?

It won't be long before the mods catch up to you, so let us know the name of your new puppet.

[-] -2 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

To shooz below - that's really unfair.

Would you please tell me what I have said to justify this response?

I'm not trying to put you on the hot seat here. You may have been dragged into my thread by others. But I would really, really like to know why I am being treated this way.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Just using the "holy book" concept to illustrate that truth seems to vary among people, your truth my not be universal.

[+] -4 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Truth is universal. There is no such thing as "my truth."

That is what will up-end the current order.

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[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Unfortunately, unless what you see as a universal truth is universally agreed to then it isn't truly a universal truth. Can you give me an example?

[+] -4 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

To sandywhatever below - ah no, you didn't leave a reply link.

How convienant.

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[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Do you run the bots, or just attract them?

I would say you're headed for a bad end.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Like your dedicated non-commitalism.

still so very generic.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

It's all "isms", silly.

It always was.

Here's another truth for you.

http://www.politicususa.com/gop-split-call-resignation-republican-antigay-bigotry-public.html

This one's an uglyism.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Lots of room here.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/tyranny-for-fun-and-profit/

Show some commitment though.

[+] -4 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Shooz, please leave a reply link when you accuse me of non-commitaism. LOL!!!

[+] -5 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

I wish you had left a link below shooz. I would have answered.

"It's all "isms" silly"

Yes, that's why we're in this mess - silly.

[-] -2 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 1 year ago

This is what scares me about our situation with OWS. People are so badly educated. They can't even comprehend a simple article, and have no knowledge of basic economic theories like those of Marx. Everyone should learn the differences between capitalism, socialism, communism, etc... in high school.

How are we supposed to change the world when most people can grasp the most basic concepts because of lack of education?

[-] -3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

The thing is, people are more than welcome to get things going with each other now, as it stands. Its an eye opening experience.

Im all for people having a say in things, but making things happen in terms of work is very tough work and most people simply dont have the drive for it. If they did, we would be a nation of freelancers.

[-] -3 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Don't be so sure about that.

[-] -1 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 1 year ago

The article talks about the private ownership of means of production. That doesn't mean you can't own stuff that's been created.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 1 year ago

Over half the country own stock in companies and most pension systems are involved in private ownership of the means of production. You're not likely to get that majority to agree to make new laws that end their right to own the means of production.

[-] 3 points by Amml (3) from Milroy, PA 1 year ago

The majority are the minority owners of the means of production. A tiny minority own the vast majority of stock:

Table 6a: Concentration of stock ownership in the United States, 2001-2010

Percent of all stock owned:

Wealth class.........2001.......2004.......2007........2010

Top 1%.................33.5%.....36.7%.....38.3%......35.0%

Next 19%.............55.8%.....53.9%.....52.8%......56.6%

Bottom 80%........10.7%......9.4%.......8.9%........8.4%

The bottom 80% only own 8.4% of all stock! The bottom 99% - only 65.0%!

The majority benefits from earning the profits from their labor, which they currently don't receive - through stock ownership, or through heavily taxed wages. Benefits from profits don't just vanish into thin air if your society considers communal means of production to be non-ownable - they just get enjoyed by everyone, as much as people can get them to each other.

And income?

Table 7: Distribution of income in the United States, 1982-2006

.............Top 1 percent.....Next 19 percent.....Bottom 80 percent

1982.....12.8%.................39.1%.....................48.1%

1988.....16.6%.................38.9%.....................44.5%

1991.....15.7%.................40.7%.....................43.7%

1994.....14.4%.................40.8%.....................44.9%

1997.....16.6%.................39.6%.....................43.8%

2000.....20.0%.................38.7%.....................41.4%

2003.....17.0%.................40.8%.....................42.2%

2006.....21.3%.................40.1%.....................38.6%

2009.....17.2%.................41.9%.....................40.9%

Wealth?

Table 1: Income, net worth, and financial worth in the U.S. by percentile, in 2010 dollars

Wealth or.............................Mean household.....Mean household............Mean household financial

income class......................income.....................net worth.......................(non-home wealth)

Top 1 percent....................$1,318,200...............$16,439,400..................$15,171,600

Top 20 percent..................$226,200..................$2,061,600....................$1,719,800

60th-80th percentile..........$72,000....................$216,900......................$100,700

40th-60th percentile..........$41,700....................$61,000........................$12,200

Bottom 40 percent............$17,300...................-$10,600.......................-$14,800

Those are all U.S. census figures.

That's why an anarchist gift economy solves our problems. Good sense has to be the guide for how we distribute what we produce, not greed and fear.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 1 year ago

All true, but not relevant to my comment. That lower 80% still holds some stocks and many have retirement plans that depend on stock holdings. In my opinion, the less you have the less likely you are going to be willing to risk it. There is no popular support for a shift away from a capitalistic economy and there isn't likely to be any until there is a total economic collapse.

All the "isms" work great on paper, it's in practice that things fall apart. There isn't much of a track record to demonstrate workers owning the means of production could actually work and guarantee the bottom 80% would be better off.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Now here is a table of the percentage of income tax revenue each group pays:

Class Total tax paid % of total income tax

Top 1% $343,927 36.73%

Top 5% $154,643 58.66%

Top 10% $112,124 70.47%

Top 25% $66,193 87.30%

Top 50% $32,396 97.75%

Bottom 50% <$32,396 2.25%

Seems to me that we are pretty dependent on the top 1%. Is it fair that we are enslaving them by taking so much of their wealth that they accumulated 100% legally. How greedy can you be to want even MORE from them? It's pretty disgusting actually.

[-] -1 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 1 year ago

The right thing to do is not defined by how likely it is to happen. OWS is about the right thing to do, it's not about finding easy solutions that only help in minor ways. It's good to have movements that dream of hard things to accomplish. There are already zillions of people pushing for small unimportant easy to implement changes.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 1 year ago

The "right thing to do" is a matter of opinion and like it or not opinions vary. It's only my opinion but movements that focus on dreams that tread over the line from hard to accomplish to impossible simply fade away accomplishing nothing.

[-] -2 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 1 year ago

Yes, the right thing to do is based on opinions, and that's why there are many diverse political groups and movements.

I don't believe it is correct to say that movements that focus on dreams and hard to achieve realities are a waste. One group must aim at the pinnacle, the highest peak so that other groups can gauge the terrain. There's often a trickle down effect and some ideas are used in more practical frameworks. When Nasa sends a Rover to Mars, some of their discoveries are used in the aviation industry. Discoveries trickle down. It's the same with political theories. Karl Marx's communism was never put to practice like he described it, but some of his ideas were used nonetheless. You always need someone to aim at the highest peak possible in any field, even if he doesn't accomplish his goals in practice, the theory he lays down is often used in part by others.

Occupy might not achieve everything it set out to, and it probably knew it wouldn't. Nonetheless, it puts a lot of pressure for things to move towards the left, even though they probably won't move all the way to anarchy.

[-] 0 points by MichaelB (128) 1 year ago

I didn't mean to suggest that the movement was a waste. it's members likely get a positive feeling from working for their cause and there have been many positive actions taken that have helped some people along the way. It's just that if the goal isn't attainable the movement itself will fade away.

My own beliefs and experiences lead me to conclude that humanity doesn't have the qualities necessary for any of the forms of socialism to be successful. My initial comment comes partly from that bias and from an observation that there is no popular support for socialism and no effort to make any changes in law to end private ownership of the means of production.

I do think we're slowly drifting to the left, but more toward dependance on the state and not anything close to an anarchistic socialism.

[-] -1 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 1 year ago

Perhaps, true socialism and communism will only be achievable in a post-scarcity society.

[-] 1 points by aaronparr (597) 1 year ago

Your post is entirely irrelevant.

(1) Private ownership is not the problem identified in the article so you are simply creating a strawman (2) Your strawman is irrelevant because you are criticizing tactics rather than vision. This article expresses a vision for a better future, and the vision is spot on. (3) You have no evidence to back up your claim about an overwhelming majority and what they are willing or unwilling to do.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Private ownership of the means of production is the key element in capitalism. If you're going to end capitalism you must end private ownership of business. I don't see it as a strawman.

You are right of course, it is impossible to know exactly what people actually do or do not want. The evidence on which I base my opinion is history. The ideas expressed by the various socialist parties have never had significant support from the public as measured by vote totals. This support has dropped over the past 50 years. That tells me the public is not willing at this time to throw out capitalism and replace it with a worker run system.

The idea of workers controlling the means of production has been with us since the lat 1800's. The Socialist Labor Party is probably the oldest and has fielded candidates for state and federal office for over a century. Its membership has been up and down but never all that significant (its presidential candidate got around 45000 votes in 1944).

[-] 1 points by aaronparr (597) 1 year ago

Still irrelevant. You need to address my three points before you establish your argument as relevant.

You can still have private ownership in a non-capitilist system.

No matter how many times you kill your strawman, it doesn't make your point for you.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I suppose relevance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. For your three points:

1 From the article, second paragraph, a direct connection between capitalism and private ownership of the means of production was made. Private ownership (of the means of production) is what defines capitalism and in the author's view it has to be ended if capitalism is to be abolished. In the third paragraph the author repeats the connection and the final one deals with control, i.e. private ownership, of business as being intolerable to him.

If it were a straw man, it's one the author built and tied to directly to capitalism. I just pointed out there is no evidence of any significant movement to end private ownership. It does not appear to be something a significant portion of society has any interest in at this time.

2 The vision is no more relevant that any dream could or would be. Here ending capitalism is being offered as a solution to problems the author sees based on his perceptions of capitalism. It's only worthwhile as a solution if it can actually be accomplished. People may change, but there is no indication of any significant change underway at this time.

I could offer what I think the problem actually is or opine on the chances for success of libertarian socialism. I see those as different topics simply because the possibility for abolishing capitalism seems so remote in the first place.

3 For support, I offer a couple of observations. First, socialism's failure to gain any noticeable popular support in the last century and a half as measured by elections. There is some support for a more state centered form of socialism from progressives involving things like social welfare programs, better regulation of business, and tax reform but nothing effecting the right of individuals to own the means of production. If any significant portion of the population favors libertarian socialism with workers controlling the mean of production they have kept their desires and their numbers secret.

Second, both the UN and the European Union have elevated property rights a basic human right (without making a distinction between ordinary property and the means of production). Laws can always be changed, but the only changes in the past few decades have strengthened the rights of individuals to own the means of production not weakened them.

[-] 1 points by aaronparr (597) 1 year ago

Ah... so now it is only private ownership of the means of production. The straw man is that you were claiming all private ownership must be abolished.

There is a huge difference between abolishing ownership, and that of getting the means of production out of private hands.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I made the assumption that anyone who read my comment would also have read the article and realized I was referring to the private ownership of the means of production, that's the only private property mentioned in the article. The author isn't talking about taking away your car, house, jewelry, or any other personal items. Just property such as your business equipment or stocks.

However the law doesn't actually distinguish between different types of private property. Currently it's illegal to take any form of private property, including the means of production. In spite of our misunderstanding the point remains there does not seem to be any popular interest in changing property laws to end ownership of the means of production. I don't believe there are even any unions in the US that lobby for an end of private ownership of businesses.

[-] 1 points by aaronparr (597) 1 year ago

It should be clear to you that when you say one thing, people assume that is what you mean. Your claims to the contrary appear disingenuous.

Good luck weaseling out of this one.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

My shortening the phrase isn't really relevant to the point. Say it any way you wish, society shows no sign of interest in changing property laws to end capitalism.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

[-] 7 points by BradB (2204) from Washington, DC 8 hours ago

here's a simple temporary iframe with buttons to navigate until site fixed... no need to download extension or anything... I'll keep it up for a day or two .. http://midlc.com/ows/

[-] 1 points by HalalDali (17) 1 year ago

How did socialism arise in socialist countries? It was hardly voted in was it? Does that work? Has that been tried? Putting on the ballot that stock holders and stake holders turn their shares over to a social trust and have the people vote on it would require trust and faith in government. Could that be argued as constitutional? Does anyone trust the government that much? (9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy...)

I would wonder if the government could handle the social responsibility of full employment, free education, free health care, free housing, free food. Imagine Homeland Security on steroids.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

There are two types of socialism, in one the state owns the means of production. I believe that is the only type of socialist state we see today. I think you're right, governments have done a very poor job of managing an economy.

The other type would be the workers owning the means of production. There was one state of this type. That was in the 1930's in the area of Catalonia in Spain. It didn't last long enough to be judged a success or failure. There were numerous accusations of intimidation, arson and murder that indicate to me that, had it not been crushed by Franco, it would have become as tyrannical as any of the other socialist regimes.

As far as I know revolution has been the only way any socialist state has ever come into being. None came to power through elections. It's probably why we're not likely to see one rise here. There simply isn't enough real economic misery in this country for an actual revolution.

[-] -1 points by greysone (-264) 1 year ago

Why would anyone give up what they own? Why would anyone give up what they worked for?

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I agree with you. I don't believe anyone should have to give up their right to hold private property. Many anarchist disagree and believe it's necessary to confiscate the means of production and hand all businesses over to workers to be run along democratic principles. No compensation, simply take and redistribute. That belief is probably why their popular support hovers close to zero and isn't likely to change.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Should slave owners or tyrannical kings have been compensated? Why/why not?

Capitalists would be compensated in the sense that they'd be given the same rights as everyone else: the right to control your own life and work.

Wealth has been taken and redistributed many times before. Take the last 3-4 decades for example, in which enormous sums of cash – thru tax cuts, subsidies, multibilliondollar bailouts etc – has been shuffled into the pockets of the super wealthy, creating a gigantic wealth gap in which the richest 1% in the US now control almost half of investment capital. Now that’s some serious redistribution of wealth and power! It’s time to take the power back.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Slave owners were compensated in some cases and some monarchs were also given considerations when they gave up absolute power. If you want a peaceful change then it's the right thing to do. If workers actually want ownership, then they need to compensate the owners, buy them out.

If your position is that those that legally own the means of production should have it simply stripped from them then you'll never get anything close to majority approval.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The question was how you felt about compensating tyrants and others.

Ending private ownership on the means of production can only happen when the workers and the communities want this. I want a peaceful change, but if someone, with the use of force and violence, tries to crush achievements made by will of the people, then self defense must be used.

Workers shouldn’t have to buy out business-owners. Business owners should be stripped from their undemocratic power and given the same rights as everyone else. That’s not unreasonable at all.

[-] 3 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

If someone has legal title to something and it is to be taken from them, then they deserve just compensation. While there might be a specific "tyrant" that has been judged guilty of crimes that might warrant loss of property, I wouldn't make a general rule based on an extreme case, in general owners are entitled to compensation if property is to be taken from them.

It's apparent that the workers are not interested in ownership. The libertarian socialist direction of labor unions was abandoned decades ago.

You may feel it's reasonable to simply strip owners of their property. It doesn't seem as though more then a small handful of people agree with you. That demand alone makes libertarian socialism unexceptable to the overwhelming majority of the population.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Everyone who has undemocratic control in society and dominates others, should be stripped from that power, and given the same right as everyone else: the right to control their own lives and work. Tyranny should be dismantled; that goes for all types, private tyranny included.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYxGkFxb7f4

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I know the specific laws are different from one nation to the next, but in general, people in any one particular nation already have the same rights as any other citizen. One of those rights is the right to build a business and run it as the owner sees fit. Another is to be an employee and the right to change jobs. People have the right to pool their resources and form cooperatives.

Confiscation of private property is not a right anyone has. What you advocate is essentially stealing from owners. Your proposal takes away rights. It's something unlikely to ever win the support of even a noticeable minority, let alone the majority.

Private ownership of a business isn't tyranny as long as the employee has the legal right to leave his place of employment. His economic situation may make that a difficult choice, but I don't see ending private ownership as a good way for society to go.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

In a system with private ownership of economic institutions, some individuals (the owners) have the right to control these institutions, while others don’t. People should have the right to control their own lives; the economic institutions must therefore be run democratically by the workforce and the communities.

Well, I just want the property laws to be changed. If you want to call that stealing, then be my guest. The real theft is done by the right-wing politicians and the wealthy puppeteers, who thru the last decades have shuffled enormous sums of cash into the pockets and the wealthy.

I have absolutely no problem with confiscation of property from people who have undemocratic power in society.

By the way, do support taxation?

No, I propose giving people more rights. The entire society would benefit from a libertarian socialist society.

“Private ownership of a business isn't tyranny as long as the employee has the legal right to leave his place of employment.”

If all the people in North Korea were free to leave the country if they wanted, would North Korea then no longer be a dictatorship?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Ownership of a business is a right that everyone has. Anyone may build up a business and exercise control over it. Approximately 15% of the working people in the US are business owners. The other 85% have the right to become owners if they so choose. Government can only offer the opportunity, it can't guarantee outcomes.

Fortunately you don't get to decide what our property laws are, you're point of view is held by only a very small minority. The vast majority do not believe a libertarian socialist system could function. While a change in that attitude is possible, it is unlikely given the fact that support for libertarian socialism has not shown any significant growth in nearly a century. Personally I see a libertarian socialism as sort of a dead end for society. I don't believe it could work in practice.

Yes i support a system of taxation, but there are limits as to what I would give government the right to confiscate. Taxation takes a portion of the value from a property or business, you advocate taking all of that property. It's not that different to me then donating blood. I submit to giving a portion, that does not mean I would agree to give it all.

If the people of North Korea, or any nation, were free to come or go as they chose, then it wouldn't matter what the government was. They could choose to be dictated to by an individual or to leave and go somewhere to be dictated to by the majority. They would have control over their life. How you define the government becomes moot. The government would be the form agreed to by the majority in any country.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Ownership of a business is a right that everyone has.”

No it’s not. That’s the point. People don’t have the right to control their own workplace. They should have this right, though, and that’s why we should work to create a libertarian socialist society.

“Anyone may build up a business and exercise control over it.”

For a lot of people that’s an unrealistic goal. But that’s really beside the point. People shouldn’t have the right to control and dominate others. The economic institutions should be run collectively.

“Fortunately you don't get to decide what our property laws are, you're point of view is held by only a very small minority.”

The struggle of workers, women, blacks etc, always started of with a small minority. Eventually, though, achievements have been made.

“The vast majority do not believe a libertarian socialist system could function.”

The ones who believe that are wrong. We know it can work.

“While a change in that attitude is possible, it is unlikely given the fact that support for libertarian socialism has not shown any significant growth in nearly a century.”

Slavery in the US lasted for a very long time, but eventually it was dismantled. Well established systems have been dismantled many times thruout history.

“Personally I see a libertarian socialism as sort of a dead end for society.”

No, it’s what a future just society should be based on. Libertarian socialism is the obvious replacement for the tyrannical system we have today.

“Yes i support a system of taxation”

So then you advocate stealing?

“but there are limits as to what I would give government the right to confiscate.”

So a certain amount of stealing(using your standards) is ok?

“Taxation takes a portion of the value from a property or business, you advocate taking all of that property.”

That’s right. You see, I like democracy. People with undemocratic power in society should be stripped from their power.

“It's not that different to me then donating blood. I submit to giving a portion, that does not mean I would agree to give it all.”

That made no sense. You’re forced to pay taxes no matter what the amount is. That goes for all other laws as well.

“If the people of North Korea, or any nation, were free to come or go as they chose, then it wouldn't matter what the government was.”

You’re going to have to elaborate on that one. But you also didn’t answer the question. If Kim Jong-un allowed the ones who wanted to leave to do so, would North Korea then no longer be a dictatorship? Yes or no?

“They could choose to be dictated to by an individual or to leave and go somewhere to be dictated to by the majority.”

And the ones that chose to stay? Would they be living in a dictatorship?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Personal ownership of a business is permitted under the law, everyone does have the right to open and run a private business. People are in control of their lives, they may choose to be an employee or choose to develop their own business. If you choose to be an employee you freely choose to follow the directions of the owner of that business. Those are the rights all we have. It doesn't matter if ownership is an unrealistic goal for all, everyone has the right build a private business. What people choose to do with their rights is their decision. A workplace run along libertarian socialist lines would still dictate to the individual what his conditions of employment would be. The individual would still be faced with the same choices if he didn't like those conditions, quit or accept being dictated to.

Taxation can not be compared with the level of confiscation you propose. Businesses and individuals are required to pay a portion of their income to society. The system of taxation has been democratically agreed to and is considered a legal right of government. No government is considering changing ownership rights, so at present taxation is not considered theft, but confiscating private business is against the law and would be theft. There are constitutional provisions that no one may be deprived of property without just compensation.

You propose a system where business owners are forced to contribute the entire business and are bared from future ownership. You seem to be suggesting that the partial confiscation of taxation is somehow equal to the total confiscation of private business. That is, in my opinion, very much like claiming that donating a pint of blood is comparable to giving up all blood. Not all confiscation is the same. Taxes are legal confiscation, seizing businesses isn't.

The anti-slavery movement, civil rights movement, women's rights movement all showed growth over time. Support for libertarian socialism has remained static at best, if not lost strength. You're free to advocate and dream of course, but based on its past it's not likely to suddenly become a significant political or social force over the next century or so. You may also believe it could work, there are few that agree with that conclusion.

North Korea on paper claims to be a "dictatorship of people's democracy" which is supposed to be essentially a worker run democratic republic. North Korea is, in my opinion, a dictatorship, a de facto absolute monarchy. Allowing those that wish to leave to do so would give the people choice and some control over their lives, making the dictatorship irrelevant.

The idea that the individual can enjoy total unrestricted freedom is an illusion. All groups in society dictate and restrict behavior to some extent. If someone feels oppressed it isn't much consolation to know the dictating body is your neighbors, some faceless bureaucrat, or a tyrannical dictator.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Personal ownership of a business is permitted under the law, everyone does have the right to open and run a private business.”

But not all can do that. And like I said, it’s beside the point.

“People are in control of their lives”

To a certain extent, but they should be able to control their own lives even more.

“they may choose to be an employee or choose to develop their own business.”

For many people, that’s not a real choice. But it doesn’t make any difference: Undemocratic control should be opposed no matter how many that are able to achieve this control. People should have the right to a democratic say in the things they’re a part of and affected by; the economic institutions must therefore be run democratically by the participants.

“A workplace run along libertarian socialist lines would still dictate to the individual what his conditions of employment would be. The individual would still be faced with the same choices if he didn't like those conditions, quit or accept being dictated to.”

All individuals would have an equal say in the decision-making. It would based on democracy, unlike the top-down tyranny in capitalist institutions.

“Taxation can not be compared with the level of confiscation you propose.”

I was just pointing out that by your own standards, you advocate stealing as well. If confiscating the menas of production is stealing, then so is confiscating money.

“The system of taxation has been democratically agreed to and is considered a legal right of government.”

Stripping capitalists from their undemocratic power can only be carried out when the workers and the communities want it.

“You propose a system where business owners are forced to contribute the entire business and are bared from future ownership.”

No, I propose a system where business owners are forced to contribute the entire business and are given the same ownership rights as everyone else involved in the business.

“You seem to be suggesting that the partial confiscation of taxation is somehow equal to the total confiscation of private business.”

No, it’s not equal. I just pointed out that by your standards, both cases would be stealing.

But maybe there has been a misunderstanding. Again let me stress that democratizing the workplaces should only be carried out when the communities and workers want it.

“The anti-slavery movement, civil rights movement, women's rights movement all showed growth over time.”

Slavery and discrimination of women have existed very static for a very long time thruout history. Eventually the oppressed achieved important rights. That can happen again.

“North Korea is, in my opinion, a dictatorship, a de facto absolute monarchy. Allowing those that wish to leave to do so would give the people choice and some control over their lives, making the dictatorship irrelevant.”

That’s ridiculous. It would of course still be relevant – relevant for the people living there and everyone else who were affected by the regime.

Please answer my question: If Kim Jong-un allowed the ones who wanted to leave to do so, would North Korea then no longer be a dictatorship? Yes or no?

“The idea that the individual can enjoy total unrestricted freedom is an illusion.”

Sure. Why are you telling me this?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

North Korea is a dictatorship. If we're looking at it as an analogy for business then to make it accurate we should look at only those who choose to enter a North Korean dictatorship and live there, not those who may wish to leave. No business in the US goes out and forces anyone to work for them. People are not born into their role as employee, they choose it. They have other options available to them and make choices.

Your desire to support libertarian socialism may come from a belief that it could work as an economic system. I do not share that belief, I see libertarian socialism as flawed. I also place the right of the individual to own and operate a business above the desire of any group to simply take what they do not own.

Your thoughts that taxation and confiscation of private property are somehow the same, I see as in error. Taxation may be considered the confiscation of private funds, but it is provided for by law. The confiscation of private property is allowed only if just compensation is made. Simply taking the means of production and handing it over to workers is against the law. So while you may consider both forms of confiscation, taxation is legal, handing the means of production over to workers is illegal.

You are right of course that people could decide to change the laws. There has been no indication that there is any interest in that at all however. Over half the population of the United States has a partial ownership in business through stock ownership. Retirements for millions of people depend on this private system of ownership being continued. Change in the capitalist system through voting is unlikely as long as the majority depend on private ownership being maintained. The idea that 54% of the population would vote their ownership out of existence without compensation seems very unlikely.

You may have your bottom up democratically run work places, it’s simply a matter of finding workers that are willing to invest in themselves. Nothing stops people from owning a business as an individual or as a group. The law does stop them from taking property they don’t own.

The various movements seeking equal treatment under the law all grew slowly, and some may have languished with few followers for centuries. Once they did begin to grow however their growth was steady. Someday libertarian socialism may begin to show some growth, the point is it hasn’t yet. It could grow someday but it’s just as possible it will remain an idea few have any faith in.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Define "economic institutions" and tell me why they "should be run collectively".

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Economic institutions are the institutions in society that are involved in the economy – production, distributions of goods, services etc.

They should be run collectively because the economy is all-encompassing; it affects everyone involved. Also, people should have the right to control their own lives and work. That's why the institutions must be controlled democratically by the workers and the communities.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

So you're saying that production should be owned by the producers, and the procuct of their labors is shared collectively?

In a capitalist regime, can you envisage a way to tax this collective activity? Will the burden fall on the individual, or the collective?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I started a new thread to make it easier for us to continue the conversation. Would you mind responding to that instead. I'll answer when you've elaborated. I'm not sure what you mean, and where you're going with that last part.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

You're not answering my questions.

On whom will the taxation burden fall?

The individual? Or the collective?

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

What wrong have the employers done? Just because you work for someone doesn't mean that you are their slaves. You are suggesting that your employer should be YOUR slave. Is that fair? And why does everyone call those with initiative "tyrants"?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I think this will clear things up: http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

[-] 1 points by daydreamer (1) 1 year ago

I just have to step in and say something. I have been reading a lot of the comments and I know that I am so late, being a month or better behind, but if someone came to me and said I was being stripped of all ownership of my business they would have a huge fight on their hands. All the money, hard work and sweat I put in to my business and it gets taken? No way is that going to happen. I believe that is the response you would get from most business owners. I own a very, very, very small business but I have hopes for it to grow and that is done in the economy we have today. Capitalism has given me the inspiration to take nothing and make something...I shouldn't be going to college, since I can't pay for it outright and owning a business is probably one of the craziest ideas I have ever had but it is a dream and this capitalist society has given me the vision to see it grow. I'm not going to have anyone say it should be everyone's equally, they didn't start it with me and they won't get to enjoy the benefits of my hard labor.

Why would you want to crush the achievements made by the will of the people that have started their companies and have invested in our economy?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

People should be free to control their own lives and work. In order for that to happen, there must be economic democracy. Today, the economy is to a large extent run by the financial elite and the huge corporations. This is unacceptable. The economic institutions should be run democratically by the participants.

A free participatory democracy can only become reality when the workers and the communities want it.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Those that took the risk in order to accumulate their capital deserve every penny of it. If we get rid of capitalism, those with capital will not take the risk to invest it, and the economy would fall apart.

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[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

well i can think of a few reasons mostly having to do with greed. you know, wanting to live.

[-] -1 points by greysone (-264) 1 year ago

A person works and saves and buys a house, they live there with their family and try to enjoy the fruits of their labor. That is not greed.

[-] -2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

First of all, I think most people would embrace the ideas of libertarian socialism if they were properly introduced to them. Corporate propaganda has a lot of the blame for the opposition towards anarchist ideas.

In the cases where it is a fact that the overwhelming majority supports a tyrannical and immoral system, whether it’s slavery, Leninism, capitalism and so on, then it is the task of the ones who want freedom and democracy to try to convince the majority to abandon their believes.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

What have the advocates of it been doing wrong then? It isn't a new idea, yet only a handful of people seem in favor of it.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

There are many reasons for that. I mentioned corporate propaganda. Libertarian socialists have been marginalized and attempts to build libertarian socialist societies have been crushed by existing power systems. In the past many on the left bought into Leninist ideas and solutions. That was of course a big mistake. This of course led to tyranny and oppression, giving the left in general a bad rep.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

That may explain some of it, yet state centered socialism suffers from a similar PR problem but has a significant following. Your problem might go deeper then that. I don't think people in general believe an anarchistic system can work.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What exactly do you mean by "state centered socialism"?

Again, the ideas of libertarian socialism – workplace democracy, equality, justice, freedom etc – would be embraced by most people if they were properly introduced to them. Libertarian Socialism is the only logical, reasonable alternative to the immoral system we have today.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Socialism generally takes one of two forms. One form is State centered as with national socialism or communism with some central authority the other form is your libertarian socialism which advocates worker control.

I don't know the specifics of how libertarian socialism's introduction has been attempted. Based on the number of supporters however I can only think of two explanations for its lack of support. Those advocating it for the past 80 years don't have a clue on how to explain it properly or people have heard the message and don't want it or believe it would work.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I know about the different kinds of systems called “socialism”; I meant, what did you mean by it: did you mean Leninism or a kind of social democratic welfare state.

The thing is that people get their information to a large extent thru the established educational system and thru MSM. Well, there isn’t much talk about anarcho-syndicalism, libertarian socialist thinkers and so on there, so it’s not very strange that many are unfamiliar with these ideas. Trying to fight this well established system is hard, but we must never give up.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

All things labeled "socialist" in the United States suffer the same massive popular resistance. However, unlike libertarian socialism, ideas closest to social democratic ideals have made some progress.

You can't blame libertarian socialism's failure to grow entirely on corporate propaganda. There have been intellectuals lecturing for decades on libertarian socialism, to no avail. The MSM and the academics in our system of higher education are all politically to the left. College and university students have been exposed to libertarian socialist ideas since the 1960's. Growth has been negative. The basic message of libertarian socialism is something people either don't see as workable or simply find undesirable.

You my continue your fight as long as you like. I don't see you as being successful if you hold to the same method that has proven ineffective up to now.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“You can't blame libertarian socialism's failure to grow entirely on corporate propaganda.”

Correct. That’s why I’ve never claimed that either.

“The MSM and the academics in our system of higher education are all politically to the left.”

What’s “left” is debatable also, I guess. I regard most journalists (at least the ones involved in the MSM) as center/center-right.

“College and university students have been exposed to libertarian socialist ideas since the 1960's.”

To a very limited extent. Besides, lots of people aren’t able or are not interested in going to college.

“Growth has been negative. The basic message of libertarian socialism is something people either don't see as workable or simply find undesirable.”

These people just haven’t been properly introduced to the ideas.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I disagree with you about the media, but that's probably not all that important one way or the other. You brought up corporate propaganda, I simply don't think it's a very big factor. Also the fact that not everyone is interested in higher education isn't relevant to my point either.

The point is that there is a libertarian socialist presence on many campuses, and most students have been exposed to the ideas. With something like 40% of the population having earned a degree. That's over 100 million people.

My original question was, what are the proponents doing wrong? Noam Chomsky has been lecturing for half a century. Why hasn't socialism shown any significant growth in that time?

You're last sentence may be right, it's possible people haven't been properly introduced to it. If that's true what, in your opinion, have the anarchists been doing wrong? It's equally possible though that many people have been introduced to socialism and have rejected it.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"I simply don't think it's a very big factor."

Corporate propaganda is a huge factor. Please watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AnB8MuQ6DU

“Why hasn't socialism shown any significant growth in that time”

I answered that question.

“You're last sentence may be right, it's possible people haven't been properly introduced to it. If that's true what, in your opinion, have the anarchists been doing wrong?”

I don’t think anarchists are the ones to blame. I’m not saying all anarchists have done an excellent job in promoting left libertarian ideas, but I think the problem primarily lies in the way the society in general is organized, especially when it comes to concentration of power.

“It's equally possible though that many people have been introduced to socialism and have rejected it.”

No, I think the problem is that people either haven’t been properly introduced to the ideas or not introduced to them at all.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

We're largely talking about opinion so it looks like we'll simply have to disagree on this. Personally I don't see libertarian socialism as a workable economic system.

One fact, over half the people in the United States have a strong economic interest in keeping a system of private ownership of business. They are not likely to vote that out of existence.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"Personally I don't see libertarian socialism as a workable economic system."

You're wrong. There are many examples of libertarian socialist/libertarian socialist-like societies working very well:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/workplace-democracy-and-workers-self-management/

"over half the people in the United States have a strong economic interest in keeping a system of private ownership of business."

Actually they don't. The entire population would benefit from an egalitarian, sustainable and free society in which people were in control of their own lives and work.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Cooperatives are fine, if workers want to buy into a business, as Mondragon workers did, that is their right. Unfortunately Mondragon also requires a great deal of state support, so I don't see how you can call it an example of something that is "working very well".

Spain in the 1930's isn't much of a success story, in my opinion, for libertarian socialism either. It may very well have collapsed on its own had it been left alone to do so, it's impossible to know.

The Forja plant may be successful today, I don't know much about it. Unfortunately it too required government help. I don't see cooperatives that originate through theft of private property as examples of success.

The other links simply give opinions not modern, working, successful socialist entities.

Whether the population could benefit from "an egalitarian, sustainable and free society in which people were in control of their own lives and work" is something we could argue about. But it doesn't matter, too few want this type of society, or believe it is workable.

Actually you're wrong on one fact, at present, according to government statistics, 54% of the population have investments in stock. That gives a majority an interest in keeping private ownership rights of business as they are.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Capitalism is not tyrannical and immoral. The workers do not have to work at an employer if they do not want to: they can leave whenever they want and find another job.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Whether people can leave/enter a tyannical institution, is irrelevant; it does not change the hierarchical structure. I elaborated on this in the debate I had with "Sandy0621".

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Actually, it is relevant. In the socialist state that you seek, it is much more difficult to leave the tyrannical state, and you don't have the option to opt out of it.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Socialist state..?

You're forced to live in a capitalist society. How the economy is organized, affects everything.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I am not forced to live here, I can leave and go to Cuba. Nobody wants to live in a socialist state, so you can't let everyone leave. Remember that it is always better to have the markets figure out an optimum society than leave it to some tyranical government that you do not share best interests with.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, it's better to let people be in control of their own lives and work. Capitalism is undemocratic and exploitative; it must be abolished.

[+] -4 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Don't be so sure about that.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

(Root/sff continued)

Corporations are illegitimate no matter if the capitalist economy is regulated or not. Corporations are powerful today, and they’ll be powerful in a laissez faire capitalist society. In your society these institutions will have the overwhelming power and control over the economy and our lives. Giving corporations and billionaires huge tax cuts, as you suggest, is just going to escalate this corporate dominance we see today.

Today’s property rights are no laws of nature; they can and should be replaced by better ones. Private ownership of the mop creates tyrannical structures. Tyranny is unacceptable.

Your right-wing libertarianism is bullshit:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

Again, in a libertarian socialist society, force is down to the minimum. In LS people are free to participate and control their own affairs.

[-] 3 points by Revolutionary (279) 1 year ago

Nowadays capitalists and the capitalist governments are very nervous hence have gone berserk--but they are doomed.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

(Sandy/sff continued)

“Yes ownership of a business gives the owner the right to set the conditions of employment for all those that freely seek to work there.”

If a Stalinist dictator owns and controls all the institutions in the society, does that justify the dictatorship? Why/why not?

Ownership does not justify control and dominance, of course. That’s just ridiculous.

Why should the business owner be allowed to have ownership of the mop and exploit, control and dictate others?

“The workers agree to those conditions, sometimes there is some negotiating. If the workers and owners don't agree to the conditions then the worker must look elsewhere for employment.”

Why do you keep telling me this? I know. And I explained why these relations are unacceptable: One individual should not be allowed to control and dominate another. And I explained that the freedom to leave does not change the hierarchical structure. You keep on repeating things I’ve countered.

“Confiscation of the means or production is a violation of our laws.”

Why do you keep saying that? Didn’t I just answer this?

“They may try to change the laws but that isn't likely to happen because there is no support for such a change.”

We’ll just have to wait and see. Making big changes is going to take a while, but eventually things will happen. Well established tyrannical systems have been abolished many times before, it can happen again.

“The social or economic factors that may prevent a worker from exercising his right to buy a business are not relevant.”

As long as you keep on talking about “they have the freedom to choose”, “they can just start their own business”, then it’s very relevant.

“It isn't the role of society to make the worker's wishes for ownership come true”

I disagree. Everyone should oppose undemocratic and tyrannical systems.

“They can't dictate to the owner, nor can they appropriate the owner's property.”

The more people organize for systemic change and build growing popular movements, the closer we’ll get to ending tyrannical power and control.

“You oversimplify things if you are implying that all owners are tycoons.”

I didn’t say that. I was just listing examples of people with undemocratic control.

[-] -1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Under our laws anyone is allowed to own the means of production. It doesn’t matter if he’s a “Stalinist” dictator or a benevolent benefactor. The existence of those laws mean you are wrong, ownership does justify, in law, the control an owner has over the workplace.

It will remain allowed and justified because the vast majority of society does not wish those laws changed. Your vision of what is right and what needs to be changed isn’t shared by society and your ideas haven’t shown any significant growth or acceptance in decades.

If your hypothetical could become true and only one Stalinist dictator owned all institutions in society, the dictatorship would be justified under the laws we have.

I don’t find your arguments to alter property rights and confiscate the means of production convincing. Nor am I convinced to change my opinion based on extreme hypothetical arguments or oversimplified ideas of “giving everyone a say”. I don’t find private ownership of business undesirable. I don’t see a libertarian socialist society as workable. You may find that untrue and our economic system unacceptable, but few agree with you. That’s why libertarian socialism has not grown at all and is unlikely to grow in the foreseeable future.

You keep telling me that change is possible or that tyrannical systems have changed in the past. That’s true, but there are two things to say about that. First, few accept your arguments and actually see a private business is tyrannical, so they don't see a good reason to change. Second, change hasn’t happened without some indication of support for alternative ideas. Socialism hasn’t shown that support or indicated any growth. Few want it or seem to believe it could work. It doesn’t matter that you likely believe your arguments are convincing. They are only convincing to you, not to society in general.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I agree, it's impossible to make a one size fits all statement about businesses. In healthcare a single payer, government run plan would be best. I agree also there has been a slow acceptance of social programs in the US, in spite of American's negative reaction to the word "socialism" and all things "socialist".

My argument with struggleforfreedom is over libertarian socialism and his insistence that the workers appropriate all businesses. I have no problem with cooperatives, government supervised monopolies, government health care, or government run social programs. I would insist however that no one has the right to simply confiscate the means of production without compensating owners and ban all individuals from ever owning a business. It's on this last point that I don't see any hint of movement in people's attitude. There are many that would tax the rich more, even some that would be willing to take all their wealth, but very few that would be willing to change laws to end all private ownership of business for everyone and simply hand over the means of production to workers.

That seems to be a key element in struggleforfreedom's brand of libertarian socialism. I believe that makes it unacceptable to people and that is also not likely to change for generations if at all.

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[-] -2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I will respond to the distorted information you’re spreading about me, in my upcoming reply.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I'm not spreading anything, I responded to ZenDog, with what I see as our main point of disagreement. You wish all private ownership of the means of production ended. I certainly believe that idea is unacceptable to the vast majority of the population and will remain so.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You distorted my views. I addressed it in my reply.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“If your hypothetical could become true and only one Stalinist dictator owned all institutions in society, the dictatorship would be justified under the laws we have. “

But would you support a dictator's right to have all that ownership and power? Why/why not?

Again: Why should the business owner be allowed to have ownership of the mop to begin with? What justifies the law allowing one individual to control and dictate others?

“I don’t find your arguments to alter property rights and confiscate the means of production convincing.”

Why not?

“I don’t see a libertarian socialist society as workable.”

We’ve been thru this before. You’re wrong. It’s workable. I’ve given examples.

“You keep telling me that change is possible or that tyrannical systems have changed in the past. That’s true, but there are two things to say about that. First, few accept your arguments and actually see a private business is tyrannical, so they don't see a good reason to change.”

First you agree that systems can eventually be changed, then you say there’s no support for it.. What you said didn't seem to have much of a point.

……

About your other comment: Are you deliberately spreading misinformation?

I told you: I do want every individual to have the right to control their workplace. I want every individual to have the right to own/control its own workplace – together with all the others involved, obviously.

And I’m for a just compensation (equal rights to own/control).

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I'm not saying I'd support one person ruling the world, it is an outlandish idea that one person could ever own everything. It's also a violation of current anti-trust laws, it could not happen. Your hypothetical is an exaggeration to the point of absurdity. All that being said, if you managed to change all the anti-trust laws and made it legal for one person to buy up everything and all current property owners agree to sell, then his use and direction of those properties would be justified by the property laws. On the plus side if a single owner did a poor enough job, you might get what you consider positive changes to the property laws.

The owner has made the initial investment of time and money in building a business. That is why I believe he has and should keep the right to direct its operation. The worker brings labor and agrees to a wage, that's all he's entitled to. There is nothing actually sacred or unchangeable about the situation. It is simply a reality that over 99% of the population agree with the right of the owner to direct how his property is used. It's also a reality that shows no sign of changing.

Your arguments for confiscating the means of production without compensating owners simply don't move me to believe that is a good, fair, or moral option. I believe in private ownership and the right of the owner or owners to determine how their business is run.

I see my statements on the possibility of change and lack of support as compatible. I agree that in theory change is always a possibility, no one knows how people will feel in a century or two. Right now, today, there is no support for the changes you seek. From looking at the past it's easy to see support for libertarian socialist ideas has shrunk or at best remained stagnate. It's a simple observation your numbers haven't grown in decades and from that is simple to infer that the population isn't interested in change. You may be able to convince people in a generation or two, I doubt it, but I can't foresee the future.

In this world, right now, only the owners get to set the conditions of employment. I believe that is fair, and it's justified by our laws. What I want or what you want isn't relevant, it's only what society wants and right now there aren't enough libertarian socialists to force change. The unions, and the people in general have shown no interest in libertarian socialism.

When did you become in favor of compensating owners for their property? If that's the case then there is no further discussion needed, workers have always been free to buy a business. They have the right to co-own now and always have had, as long as the owner is willing to sell.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“The owner has made the initial investment of time and money in building a business. That is why I believe he has and should keep the right to direct its operation.”

So what about those who inherited a business? What justifies the law allowing them to control and dominate others?

So “hard work” justifies the right to dictate and dominate others?

I don’t think you quite understand what I’m trying to get at. Why should one individual be allowed to “build” a business which will allow him to control and dominate others?

“Your hypothetical is an exaggeration to the point of absurdity.”

What? Stalinist dictators have controlled entire societies. And I asked if you support such a dictator’s right to have this power.

“then his use and direction of those properties would be justified by the property laws.”

So let’s say an individual thru a lot of “hard work” eventually managed to build a powerful state. He (or his successor) now had full control and owned all the institutions in society. Would you support such a dictator's right to have all that ownership and power? Why/why not?

Hard work does not justify tyranny and concentration of power. People should be free to control their own lives.

“The worker brings labor and agrees to a wage, that's all he's entitled to.”

No, what humans should be entitled to, is to have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by.

“Your arguments for confiscating the means of production without compensating owners simply don't move me to believe that is a good, fair, or moral option.”

I want to compensate owners (equal control/ownership)

“When did you become in favor of compensating owners for their property?”

I’ve always supported individuals having the right to control their own workplace..

“If that's the case then there is no further discussion needed, workers have always been free to buy a business.”

No, having to buy the business is not a just compensation. A just compensation would be to give them the same ownership rights as everyone else involved.

[-] 2 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

Where does the money to start new businesses come from?

If you are going to say the owners, then why would they put up all that money without the chance of getting a big return on it?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I'm not going to say the owners.

In the society I want, production would be started and controlled by the participants and the communites.

[-] 2 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

I mean that may work for a restaurant or small grocery store or even a small factory.

What about capital intensive businesses? These communities will need gasoline. Will the participants of the business have the money between them to extract oil from the ground, ship it to the refinery, refine it into gasoline, and then ship it back to the gas station?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

In a libertarian socialist society, institutions/workplaces/production would be run democratically by the workforce and the communities in which they existed. In other words, capitalism would not exist. Recourses would be controlled democratically, and decisions over the economy and production would be taken by the participants.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

An individual that owns something has the right to do with it as he pleases. That includes giving it to his heirs. Taxes may claim a large portion of it but what is left becomes the property of the heir, as such it is now his to control.

I don’t see it as hard work that justifies ownership and the right to control a business. Hard work may make the business a success but it is the existing laws provide the justification for ownership. It’s what the majority want and things are likely to stay that way because there is no hint of changing attitudes on that point.

I see no reason to deny anyone the right to build whatever he wishes. I think the biggest reason to allow a person to build a business is that the vast majority in society wish to keep that right as it is. I think the majority do not see workers as literal slaves and as long as they have the freedom under law to leave, the issue of being dominated becomes unimportant.

You didn't ask if I support a dictator's right to have power you asked if I thought it was justified. The right of any owner to run his property is justified, that justification comes from law. I don't care what kind of dictator you propose. If he owns the means of production he gets to direct his business his way within the law. Under US law he couldn't own everything here because there are laws against monopolies.

A political dictator of a nation is a different matter. I don’t see a business owner restricted by law as anything like a dictator that is free to be a true tyrant.

You're idea of what constitutes compensation is a bit outside the mainstream. Take all the property and all the control and replace it with partial control sounds more like you’ve only taken rights and property not given anything. You may find it fair but that would be labeled as theft under our laws. Fair compensation to most would require financial compensation and both sides to agree on any terms of a sale. If an agreement can’t be reached the owner maintains control of his property. I think this point concerning the need for fair monetary compensation drives away more potential supporters then you could imagine.

As I’ve said the workers and owners already have all the same rights the law allows. It's just that the owner used those rights to build a business and the workers haven't.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

In the simplest of cases if you pay for it you own it. That gives you the right to control it.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Large corporations don't have a single owner, in some cases there are more investors that own shares then actual workers. Doesn't really matter though, the profit made by any business big or small belongs to the owner(s). Fair has little to do with it, we're talking about what the law allows. The money made does really belong to the owner.

Whether a business has one owner that built it up from nothing or several thousand investors, the initial financing comes from them, they took the risk they get the profit. The workers only get the wage they were promised. Your question gets the same answer under the law the owner or share holders that put up the initial investment own the business and the profits from it. One dollar or a billion, the quantity of profit doesn't matter.

As far as society is concerned the present system is what society has built. Capitalism evolved in response to human nature. Capitalism and society may continue to evolve. We'll see it in changes to tax codes or profit sharing or higher wages or the rise of cooperatives. What I doubt we'll see is a sudden unexpected shift in attitudes that permits workers seizing the means of production.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

First you say ”The owner has made the initial investment of time and money in building a business. That is why I believe he has and should keep the right to direct its operation.”; and when I brought up inheritance you said ”I don’t see it as hard work that justifies ownership and the right to control a business. Hard work may make the business a success but it is the existing laws provide the justification for ownership.” Something ain’t right here.

Ok, listen. Either you’re deliberately dodging, or there’s some kind of misunderstanding. If I haven’t been clear enough, then I apologize, so I’m going to try to be as clear as I absolutely can right now:

When you distinguishing between right and wrong, you’re basing it on your own moral principles and opinions, right? And that’s what I’m interested in: your opinion.

The issue is a law that allows one person to dictate and control another.

So the question is:

In your opinion, why should such a law be established/adopted in the first place? What’s your moral justification for such a law to be/become a part of the legislation?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

When you bring up inheritance you bring up a new element in the discussion and I gave my position on it. When someone owns something they may do whatever they want with it. The original business owner built the business bought and paid for it all, that ownership allows him to pass it on to his heirs. The heirs inherit and become the new owners.

I'm sorry I'm not sure I understand exactly what you mean by your question. You're asking me if I believe laws that give an owner the right to control his property and set the conditions of employment should have been established in the first place? Yes I do.

The original owner or owners make the investment in time, money, and effort. That is where I see the original morality coming from. I see it as a moral right that the person who builds a thing keeps control over it. They deserve to maintain that controlling position in that business. This includes the right to pass the business on to an heir, sell it, close it, expand it. Anything they want.

The workers enter into an agreement with the employer. In my opinion, they deserve only the wage they have been promised. The owner sets the terms of employment, all the worker has is the right to take the job or reject it. I'm not concerned about any circumstances that make the worker feel forced to get a job. It isn't right or moral to compel an owner to make up for the worker's unfortunate circumstances in life. The fact that workers are dictated to, while working, is simply part of the worker-employer relationship. I see nothing wrong with that. The worker does not deserve to share in ownership, unless he is willing to buy a portion of the business and the owner is willing to sell.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, you still don't get it. Let’s go thru the question one more time:

So, again, the issue here is a law that allows one person to dictate and control another.

And the question is:


In your opinion, why should such a law be established/adopted to begin with? What’s your moral justification for such a law to be/become a part of the legislation?


[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

You are absolutely right. Tyranny is allowed within Capitalism, and within Democracy. The ownership of any business becomes the soul dictator of all that happens within that business.. democracy is stopped at the entance and not permited on private business.. and that is exactly what capitalism is.. private business , where democracy is not permited.. so the question is , " should this be allowed, should tyranny be allowed to flourish within a democratic community" ?

It is a very good question

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Capitalism itself doesn't cause the unfair distribution of wealth between the executives and workers. It's caused by selfishness. The executives know the real value of the dollar and take unfair advantage of the workers who don't. Because inflation masks the declining value of the dollar, the workers sell their labor too low, then buy the products they produce too high. They lose on both ends of every transaction, and the executives and stockholders pocket the profit.

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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Then point out the flaws.

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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

It's up to you to provide the evidence that supports your statement. Do you have any?

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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

"profits are now being marked up 500=1000%"

Show me evidence for this statement.

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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

"you can give everyone a 200% raise .. and guess what .. the price in the store will jump 500-1000%."

This is based on what facts? All I read is emotion and exaggeration.

Check out this interactive graph, set it to 1974 to 2008. Notice how the lower 90% haven't had any increase in income for the past 34 years. Now set the sliders for 1946 to 1973. Notice how the lower 90% shared 70% of the increase in income.

http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1974&end=2008

So what was different from 46 to 73? High union membership, a relatively stable dollar, and high taxes for the wealthy. It is possible to have a fair distribution of wealth within capitalism.

Income inequality can't be solved by limiting profits. Wage and price controls were tried by Nixon and were a failure.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/ess_nixongold.html

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[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Look at the link below. As union membership declines, the top 1%'s income grows. Capitalism was just as alive in 1973 as it is in 2013. Obviously capitalism isn't the cause.

http://billmoyers.com/2012/07/03/inequality-rises-as-union-numbers-decline/

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[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Wages are always negotiable. The problem is most people, including yourself, don't realize it or have been conditioned to think it is an auction. If wages weren't negotiable, how could unions exist? And without strikes, or unions, or collective bargaining, how will we get a fair share of the wealth we help produce?

The worker is absolutely the seller of his own labor, and the employer is the buyer, just as in any other economic transaction. They both determine a fair price for the exchange. Whoever is most selfish and/or more knowledgeable has the advantage.

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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Capitalism hasn't failed. A tiny minority have changed the rules in favor of the 1%. It's up to the people to change it to a free and fair market.

Let's try another system. You will still have the same greedy sons of bitches manipulating it in their favor. A system doesn't change the heart of it's members.

The current resurgence in wealth inequality is due to two factors. First, abandoning the gold standard in 1973 allowed the value of the dollar to lose 80% of it's value over the last 40 years. A huge amount!

http://www.economics-charts.com/images/cpi-1913.png

The people, not knowing the true value of the dollar, continually sold their labor too low and bought products that were priced too high. This is the critical element responsible for wealth inequality, unfair trade. The workers traded more of their hours of labor for fewer hours of the labor of the 1%.

Second, since they mistakenly thought they were making more dollars, the workers continued to opt out of unions, encouraged by the meme that unions were bad for the economy.

Your solution is to scrap capitalism, a huge step, yet we have been unable so far to get the people to take even the small step of increasing union membership.

I think our goal here should be to get the people informed enough to know that they must take a step and do it soon!

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

My original comment on the topic was that at this point in time there is no significant movement to change and move away from capitalism. Support for a libertarian socialist economy hasn't shown any signs of growth in nearly a century and is well below 1% of the electorate. Considering that a corollary to your question is appropriate. If the vast majority want what you refer to as tyranny why should a minority have the right to force them to change?

My personal feeling on it is that while laws can be changed and capitalism might be replaced someday, the act of confiscating private property and turning it over to the workers in violation of current laws is also an immoral act. If a private business is a tyranny then it is one the workers voluntarily joined. Their rights were not taken, the worker agreed to set them aside while at work.

A better approach would be to work toward a more democratic workplace through cooperatives. Programs that assist workers that wish to become owners or part owners are being developed in some nations.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I'm sure there are workers that feel they must take a job because it's all they can find. Due to things outside their control or to bad life choices they've made. It's sad, but not enough to alter property rights for. Under the law duress would involve violence and coercion however. I doubt many employers bother with that.

I'm not necessarily saying it's right, it's legal and supported by a very large majority. There is little real support out there for ending a capitalistic system or radically changing it any time soon. The support for confiscating businesses and giving them to workers has even less support.

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[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I can't see the future, but I think you're wrong. It looks more like the poor are being given just enough to keep them barely satisfied. As long as that happens there isn't going to be any kind of revolution.

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[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't think there is public support for for punishment. Unless you could point to an actual violation of the law. You're going to find that most people believe in principle that anyone has the right to make a profit.

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[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

What you suggest is beginning to happen through taxes at much higher rates for higher earners and will likely continue. My argument in this thread was over the idea of total confiscation of the means of production without any financial compensation for the owners. There is no support for that in the public.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

We've had this debate before.

A cap on profits completely stultifies competition, and renders useless the concept of enterprise.

You might just as easily declare collectivism, or communism. Same result.

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[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

That's possible, but right now there is no support for the total elimination of the capitalistic model. There may be some growing support for more regulation and higher taxes on the higher earners but not on an end to private ownership.

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[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't pretend to know what conditions are like in other nations or how the cost of living relates to the pay offered by employers. If a movement in some other country confiscates all businesses and turns them over to the workers, that is their concern, not mine. Let them act as Guinea pigs.

In the US the median pay for a full time worker is around $39,000 and the median household income is about $52,000. The typical US worker is making an adequate income. There is inequity and that should be addressed, but socialism isn't something even a significant minority are considering.

A regulated capitalism is what is in place in the US and there is simply no support for developing a socialist economy. There's no support for confiscating the means of production from owners. Most importantly the typical american worker does not have faith in libertarian socialism's ability to actually work.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Exactly. If we think democracy is a good idea, then democracy should be applied in the economy as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls7QZm7omh8

[-] 0 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

Private Enterprise is Tyranny. Its horrible existence is not welcome anywhere within the Community.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Jepp. Like I said in the forum post: Capitalism is the problem. It's intolerable; it must eventually be abolished.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I'm not sure what you're talking about. I don't know if there is a law that simply gives anyone the right to take control of another without their permission. Taking control of someone without their permission would be slavery.

The workers are not slaves. Employment is something the worker seeks. He agrees to accept the rules made by his employer when he takes a job. Ownership gives the employer the right to set those conditions.

I'm sorry if I'm not understanding you. My perspective is that the individual is in control of his own life. He accepts a position in a company and that means accepting the rules his employer makes. He doesn't have the right to take private property.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

In my previous reply I did not ask you about agreements (why are you going on about this, by the way? I countered this. It’s not that easy: there are social factors involved). And this is not about slavery like you mentioned in your other comment. I asked you about your moral principles regarding authority.

We’ve been debating private ownership of the means of production. In order for there to be private ownership of the mop, there will have to be laws allowing this. Private ownership of the mop means that one person can dictate and control another (like you said: the owner has the right to dictate).

So let’s try this one more time:

The issue here is a law that allows one person to dictate and control another (which is the consequence of private ownership of the mop)

So please answer this:

In your opinion, why should a law allowing one person (an heir for example) to dictate and control another (the logical consequence of allowing private ownership of the mop), be established/adopted to begin with? What’s your moral justification for such a law to be/become a part of the legislation?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

For me personally I believe it is a person's right to own property, including the means of production, and to determine the conditions of employment. The right begins with building a thing, either directly or through paying for it. Once it is yours you may deal with it as you wish, including handing it down to your heirs. Yes I know we've mentioned agreements regarding employment, you stated your position, I don't find a worker's circumstances an important enough consideration to overturn property rights.

The right to dictate how your property (the means of production) is used is simply the right that comes with ownership. If you own it you are permitted to control it. The justification comes from centuries of law concerning private ownership of property. The morality of it comes from a society that in general accepts private ownership as a human right.

From the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property."

From the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Human Rights: "Article 17 1. Everyone has the right to own, use, dispose of and bequeath his or her lawfully acquired possessions. No one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and in the cases and under the conditions provided for by law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good time for their loss. The use of property may be regulated by law insofar as is necessary for the general interest."

The private ownership of the means of production is covered under these declarations. Most individual States in the US have strong guarantees protecting private ownership and the fifth amendment to the US Constitution in listing some of a citizen's rights includes "...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

We could argue points in the EU's version as to what is in the public interest, but I'm not opposed to workers taking property, just taking it without paying compensation to the owners.

The UN and EU declarations are recent, they offer evidence that society isn't yet ready to accept the way you wish to introduce libertarian socialism. Society actually seems to be moving in the other direction taking property rights and making it a basic human right.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“The morality of it comes from a society that in general accepts private ownership as a human right. From the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property."

And notice how the right to private ownership of the means of production isn’t mentioned at all. I don’t disagree with the declaration. But I was asking you about your moral justification, not what some organization thinks.

“The right begins with building a thing, either directly or through paying for it.”

Just so we’re clear, I’m actually not talking about the right to ownership right now per se, I’m talking about authority: the right to control and dictate others (which is a little different than just owning something). So in other words, this is not a “I built it, so I own it” issue, this is about the moral justification of one human having the right to dictate another human.

I don’t think hard work and building something legitimizes power and control over others. I could give lots of arguments for this, but i don't think it's necessary here, because it falls apart below:

“Once it is yours you may deal with it as you wish, including handing it down to your heirs.”

But now this "buliding" is no longer relevant, because the heir didn’t have anything to do with building anything. Property and authority has now been given to him. So now the interesting question arises: Why should the heir, who had nothing to do with building this business in any way, be given power and the right to control and dictate others? Because the previous owner who built it had the ownership rights, he could legally give it to the hair, sure, but the question is: what’s the moral justification for x, who had nothing to do with building the wealth and power (whether it’s a billionaire’s son or Kim Jong-un), being allowed to all of a sudden dictate and control y?

“The right to dictate how your property (the means of production) is used is simply the right that comes with ownership.”

So a Stalinist dictator who owns all institutions in society, has the right to control others, because he has the power to do so? Is that what you’re saying?

You’re not making any sense, Sandy. You can’t just say “because you have authority, you have the right to authority”; or ”because you’re given authority, you have the right to that authority”. Again, what’s your moral justification for this type of authority to be allowed in the first place?

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Maybe means of production has to be specifically mentioned for you but owning stock or a factory all falls under private property as far as I'm concerned and the laws agree.

I don't feel I need any additional moral justification. I see private ownership as a basic right that we all have. Society has confirmed that right to own property and pass ownership on to our heirs. The means of production is included in that. I don't need any further reasons then simply meeting what the law requires to establish ownership.

The authority to dictate to another individual I see as coming from two things. First it is given to the employer by the employee when the employee seeks employment. (I know we've mentioned this before, but the law doesn't take into account the worker's circumstances, society in general doesn't care either. He has the right to refuse employment and his circumstances don't diminish the owner's rights.) Second his ownership also gives the employer the authority to say how and when his property is to be used and by whom, this means he may set the terms of employment and unilaterally make all decisions effecting his business.

Our laws permit us to pass things on to heirs. It may just be the morality of custom, but we've built another set of laws that guard that right. The heir pays his inheritance tax and gains all the rights of ownership to whatever he inherited. This includes the means of production and the right to control what is now his property by setting the conditions of employment and directing the business.

You add a false premise when you talk about the Stalinist dictator owning all institutions. There are laws against monopolies. There couldn't be one individual owning all institutions. If by institutions you mean to include government then that too isn't acceptable under my constitution. If you changed those laws and permitted one person to own all institutions then yes you would have given him the right to control them. I wouldn't like it or support those changes, but if under the conditions I've mentioned, that dictator would have been given the right to control all things.

I know you're bothered by the lack of democratic process in the work place. For me the right of someone to own a business and control it takes priority over the desire of non-owners to seize it. Additionally I lack the faith that libertarian socialism could ever work.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

So in other words, you don’t have any other justification other than “Having power legitimizes power”? Someone who’s being handed power to control others, have the right to control others simply because they now have this power..

Internally private institutions have the same model as a state dictatorship. In both private businesses and totalitarian states there is a hierarchical structure with a few having power and control over the rest.

If you’re against establishing a Stalinist system in the state in which you live, where a small elite dictate and control the rest, why is the same kind of hierarchical structure ok at the workplace? If you’re against a Stalinist society which you’re free to leave, and where you can “choose” to work for the owners of the mop (the Stalinist elite), why should you accept dictatorship at the workplace? Both cases involve an undemocratic hierarchy with a few having power and control over the rest. Why is one acceptable, and the other not?

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

What you seem to be describing is a law allowing slavery. I wouldn't support laws designed strictly for the total control and domination of others. Obviously though all laws restrict behavior and control people to some degree. I do support the right of individuals or groups to own the means of production.

I think your looking at this backwards. The laws that exist and I do support were established to protect the rights of ownership. If someone builds something or pays for it that property becomes his. No one has the right to take away private property. These laws over property have little to do with control or dominating other people. The control of the workplace is a consequence of ownership and workers that seek to trade labor for a wage. That I do support.

[-] 2 points by hacikenks (2) 1 year ago

"What characterizes capitalism is that there is private ownership of the means of production." even this definition is half-true. What characterizes capitalism is that the capitalists (bosses, share holders and so on) own and control the means of production, not workers.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

The Hollandische Mercurius uses capitalists in 1633 and 1654 to refer to owners of capital. In French, Étienne Clavier referred to capitalistes in 1788, six years before its first recorded English usage by Arthur Young in his work Travels in France (1792). David Ricardo, in his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817), referred to "the capitalist" many times. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, used capitalist in his work Table Talk (1823). Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used the term capitalist in his first work, What is Property? (1840) to refer to the owners of capital. Benjamin Disraeli used the term capitalist in his 1845 work Sybil. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the term capitalist (Kapitalist) in The Communist Manifesto (1848) to refer to a private owner of capital.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the term capitalism was first used by novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1854 in The Newcomes, where he meant "having ownership of capital". Also according to the OED, Carl Adolph Douai, a German-American socialist and abolitionist, used the term private capitalism in 1863.

The initial usage of the term capitalism in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels referred to the capitalistic system (kapitalistisches System) and to the capitalist mode of production (kapitalistische Produktionsform) in Das Kapital (1867). The use of the word "capitalism" in reference to an economic system appears twice in Volume I of Das Kapital, p. 124 (German edition), and in Theories of Surplus Value, tome II, p. 493 (German edition). Marx did not extensively use the form capitalism, but instead those of capitalist and capitalist mode of production, which appear more than 2600 times in the trilogy Das Kapital.

Marx's notion of the capitalist mode of production is characterised as a system of primarily private ownership of the means of production in a mainly market economy, with a legal framework on commerce and a physical infrastructure provided by the state. He believed that no legal framework was available to protect the laborers, and so exploitation by the companies was rife. Engels made more frequent use of the term capitalism; volumes II and III of Das Kapital, both edited by Engels after Marx's death, contain the word "capitalism" four and three times, respectively. The three combined volumes of Das Kapital (1867, 1885, 1894) contain the word capitalist more than 2,600 times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism


Private property is the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property which is owned by a governmental entity and collective property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities. Ownership of collective property can be indeterminable, such as in a not-for-profit "private" university, or determinable, such as in a legal partnership.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_ownership


In short, capitalism is private employment. If the employment is public, it's not capitalism. If the employment is self-employment, be it a self-employed individual or a group of self-employed individuals, it's not capitalism. It's only capitalism when a private individual or group of private individuals employs a non-self-employed individual.


Teach Your Children Well: Don't Play Monopoly

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00 By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16512-teach-your-children-well-dont-play-monopoly


Workplace Democracy: Equality Over Profit

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 09:09 By David Morgan, Truthout | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16520-workplace-democracy-equality-over-profit

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

The forum is down, Weds, 5/22/13. Any word about this?

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by Grover3 (2) 1 year ago

“Unfinished state, and unsuccessful systems are caught in the planetary limb that interferes with the European project in the logic of including those areas that already belong to the European territorial structure.”

Must be articulate strong anti-European stance in order to have a chance to connect all the elements into a meaningful whole. For example., it turns out that Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece are unfinished state, unlike Germany, Great Britain, Sweden., which are top noch. It is an economy power, which by itself is not the superiority of organization and construction of the state. This superiority comes from forcing those state mechanisms in the economic purpose of achieving profit and capitalist expansion.

But the point is that the state system is not based on economics, but the other way around. Organization of the state is based on the idea of ​​what is good, just, true, free. When the idea is its set, its legality, content, such that recognizes itself, its proper implementation, in the world of production of goods and services, goods and cash flows, the singularity of property, then we have a capitalist state in which the principle of freedom remains at the level of abstract individuality. This means that it is understood solely by its point of singularity, which it defines as excluding relation to the other, as to the knowledge of the moment of generality that it also constitutes – not mature, or it remains clouded. This side developed communism, but we will not talk about that.

Everything is anxious to determine what is the individuality and its freedom. And now we have capitalism with its exclusionary attitude; individual and the state can˙t reach equality, mutual respect with other individuals or states, because excluding relation to other is just constitutive for them. They are nothing more than that relation.

And now Germany and other northerners oppressed less developed economically southerners; course within the states they oppressed, more or less, immigrants, low-class, and so on. Northerners also somebody oppress, it is America. Telling them what to do and how, when someone is not listening there is a beating. Let’s not mention examples, as they undergo the Western statesmen who dare to go to visit Fidel Castro and practice socialism, and what methods are available when the communists in a western country too their heads, for example in Italy.

In capitalism, everyone is at the same time on one oppressor and oppressed on the other side. The cause is that the abstract individualism of both the individual and the state can not come to independence, because it does not know the moment of generality. So it is not only opposed to the other from him but also depend on. Capitalist is dependent on workers and vice versa. The same applies to the states. European countries, although they are subordinated – need big boss. Condition, a situation in which both individuals were equal and mutually respected in the overall integrity of its person and its liberty will remain unknown to the West. Thus we see that the rule of the principles of abstract particulars of “free world” has in itself still a problem unsurmounted ancient contrast of lordship and bondage. The instability of this world rests in the fact that he basically does have the principle of liberty, that is, also the principle of universality, equality, and so on., but fails to reconcile it with other moment of individual freedom – the principle of singularity, which is that world’s leading and which is the same way as the principle of universality for freedom is constitutive. From there, the tension, there crumbling, hence the crisis. This world is torn apart in itself.

Who oppresses America? Is it the top of the chain and hierarchy? Does the principle of capitalism that America finally moves from exclusionary relationships to each other, necessarily, except in relation to himself. It certainly was. However, someone in a certain, although much milder way almost oppressive and does not respect even America. We know that it is Israel, according to which America shows weakness and condescending astonishing. The reason for that is not the power of the Israeli economy, or the military, and as we can see in this example, that reality is not what rules, but there is a principle, the idea of the West that in Israel is carried out more consistently and more extreme. That is its superiority.

America and Israel are so deeply involved in the paradoxical relationship, where the all-powerful protector of big brother humbly obey his ward, that you might think that there comes a kind of internal conflict. Internal conflict is the essence, but as it is a two-state here is not its stage. Israel appears to be perhaps the greatest master. He does not humiliate, except in a moral sense. He still can not impart lessons on human rights, those who have the make-up can still: this is the price going to the extreme. Everything has a price to different payment method.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''To Desire to Make Capitalism Moral Is, in Reality, to Demand Its Suppression'' - Yvon Quiniou :

''Marx had the genius to unmask in capitalist social and economic relations what their appearance, taken up by bourgeois ideology, tends to cover up : the phenomenon of exploitation that serves the interests of a minority, that turns workers into instruments by reducing them to factors in production and negates their autonomy by submitting them to the will of employers. Add to this the alienation that deprives them of their collective life at the same time as their individual existence.''

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Economic tyranny is tyranny, period. It doesn't matter how free you are in any other way, your liberty is a ruse if you are being ruled by a plutocracy. Capitalism requires exploitation and the worship of profit for the few concentrated at the top.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

That's right. And this system is unacceptable. It should, and can be overcome:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-can-be-overcome/

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

What do you think about this:

If the people in any system, dont pay attention, capital will centralize at the top?

I think its why there are so many examples of system doing good and systems doing poor-for all and any systems out there...all depends on how active the people want to be.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Definitely people need to be more active, but they need opportunity to be active. In capitalism, the wealth always accumulates with the capitalists, at the top, exploiting the workers and leaving them at the mercy of the capitalists and, thereby, powerless. In a sharing economy where profit is not the goal, the goal is a healthy society where everyone has enough to live decently. In that type of economy everyone would be more active because they would not be controlled and exploited, but equally powerful.

[-] -1 points by highlander21 (-46) 1 year ago

Profit is the purest, most easily quantitative motive for success there is.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Well, that sure depends on what you consider "success." Please try to think outside the box and overcome the brainwashing.

[+] -4 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

"Sent from my iPhone 5 from Starbucks"

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Lackingsensedude speaks for himself.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

The point is that without corporations and liberty we wouldn't have these amazing things in technology that we all take for granted today.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

I don't have an iPhone, nor do I want one. I am not awed by consumerism and materialism.

[+] -5 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Cool story. Just that we are much better off now than 100 years before. This is because wealth can be created just out of thin air, which is impossible without capitalism.

[+] -4 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Oh so namecalling is the best you can do. I see

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Right and you deleted the part of your comment that was offensive. Something like "Go enjoy the doll" or something low like that.

[+] -4 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Yea it means getting benefits. I thought you weren't going to understand it so got rid of it.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

"I thought you weren't going to understand it so got rid of it."

You got rid of it AFTER I responded to it. You are so condescending and smug.

[+] -4 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

And you are namecaling again.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

More like describing (adjectives describe), than naming.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Like boxing with a shadow.

Accurate descriptors, as well.

The socklike wraith that deletes as it flies on through.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Such a coward. Now there, that's name calling. LOL.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Ouch!! I can hear him scream from all the way over here.

heheheheh

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Very nice. If you want to make any actual arguments, I'd love to hear them. Bring it on!

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Society has legitimized private ownership, I need no further moral justification for myself. It’s a right we have and I wouldn’t want to see it given up.

I’ve told you why I accept the hierarchical structure of the workplace. I see it as a right that comes with legal ownership and workers choose to seek employment.

I see a workplace as something a person chooses to go to for a specific purpose and for a limited amount of time. That person also chooses to join the workforce. You are born into a government and are forced to live under its rules every moment of your life. I do not find the two things comparable.

I’m sorry but I don’t think there is some deep philosophical answer to your question. It’s simply a matter of that’s the way society seems to want it. Society has established private ownership as a basic right and it shows no indication of changing that. As long as that is the case the hierarchical arrangement will remain in place.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Society has legitimized private ownership, I need no further moral justification for myself.”

If society had legitimized a state dictator owning the mop, would you then also not need any further moral justification as to whether that’s right or wrong? Why/why not?

“I’ve told you why I accept the hierarchical structure of the workplace. I see it as a right that comes with legal ownership and workers choose to seek employment.”

Yes, I understand: “being in possession of power legitimizes power”. Would you apply the same principle to a Stalinist dictator running your state? And why not?

“I see a workplace as something a person chooses to go to for a specific purpose and for a limited amount of time.”

If you were free to leave the Stalinist state in which you lived, would the tyranny be acceptable? Why should a business be allowed to dictate and control others, while a state should not?

“I do not find the two things comparable.”

So what are the factors then, that make you accept dictatorship in business, but not in a Stalinist state you can "choose" to work for and leave if you want? Why the one, and not the other?

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Yes you're right if a society decided to place a dictator in charge, a Hitler, Stalin, or even someone benevolent that would be their decision. If society wants things a certain way then what I will call a "majority desire" makes it legitimate. A big enough majority can make almost anything right. Your desire to take the means of production from private hands is theft only because the majority desire legitimizes private ownership.

Keep in mind, although I personally oppose libertarian socialism, it's the majority that don't want it and have shown no signs of accepting it in greater numbers for a century. If they did I'd be forced to live with it, but they continue to support private ownership.

A dictator could not come to power in my state or my country without major changes to the constitution. If somehow a big enough majority changed the laws and placed a dictator in charge, I’d have to live with it or leave the country.

I wouldn't go to a Stalinist state to live, if free to leave I would, leaving the majority that put it into place to deal with the consequences of their choice. Businesses are different then governments, they are private property and the majority accept that difference.

Some of the factors that come to mind and make the way businesses are run acceptable to me are: 1 The majority shows no desire to change the present economic system. 2 The lack of proof that a completely socialized economy could work (obviously you feel it would work, I'm not convinced). 3 The right of a property owner to direct his property as he sees fit and the right of anyone to become a business owner. 4 The choice of the worker to go to the business owner and ask for employment and his freedom to leave at any time.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Yes you're right if a society decided to place a dictator in charge, a Hitler, Stalin, or someone benevolent that would be their decision.”

Pay attention. Would you find a Stalinist dictatorship acceptable? If a state dictator owned the mop, would you find it justifiable? Why/why not?

“Your desire to take the means of production from private hands is theft only because the majority desire legitimizes private ownership.”

Ending private ownership of the mop can only come when the workers and the communities want it. How many times do I have to tell you this?

“A dictator could not come to power in my state or my country without major changes to the constitution.”

Sure, but since we’re discussing principles here, SUPPOSE there was a Stalinist dictatorship in your state, that you could “choose” to work for and were free to leave if you wanted, would you find the dictatorship justifiable? Why/why not?

“I wouldn't go to a Stalinist state to live, if free to leave I would, leaving the majority that put it into place to deal with the consequences of their choice.”

Suppose the majority did not accept it, and that it was put in place long ago, with one Stalinist dictator handing power over to the next dictator? Would you find this dictatorship justifiable? And if not, why do you regard dictatorship in business justifiable?

“Some of the factors that come to mind and make the way businesses are run acceptable to me are: 1 The majority shows no desire to change the present economic system.”

So your moral principles and opinions are based on what the majority wants and accepts? So would this be a good argument for keeping a Stalinist system as well? And why not?

“The lack of proof that a completely socialized economy could work (obviously you feel it would work, I'm not convinced).”

Why is private ownership of the mop necessary? What makes you believe that if individuals were no longer allowed to dictate workers and make money off of other people’s work, that society wouldn’t function?

Successful cooperatives, as well as systems of federated cooperatives, are increasing in number all over the place. We know it works.

“The right of a property owner to direct his property as he sees fit and the right of anyone to become a business owner.”

Everyone having the right to try to create a tyranny, doesn’t make the tyranny acceptable.

“The choice of the worker to go to the business owner and ask for employment and his freedom to leave at any time.”

Just because you can “choose” to work for and leave a dictatorship, doesn’t make the dictatorship acceptable.

You didn’t answer me:

What makes you justify dictatorship in business, but not justify it in a Stalinist state that you can “choose” to work for and are free to leave? Why do you accept one, but not the other?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

We both agree that nothing is ever going to change until a large portion of society wants it to. That’s where the discussion started. I don’t see change as likely to happen for generations, if ever. Based on the total lack of growth for libertarian socialist ideas.

All the rest of our discussion is based more or less on my opinion about what is or isn’t justified or acceptable. In the interest of trying to be concise I’ll try to just sum it all up instead of going through your reply paragraph by paragraph.

Society provides justification for the way things are in government or business. If a society placed a dictator in charge it would be justified. If the dictator used force to gain power it would not be justified. The consent of an overwhelming majority has given the right for individuals and groups to own the means of production. I support that right. Owners invest in a business, that gives them the right to control it. Workers trade labor for a wage, their agreement allows them no control.

Personally I would find a dictatorial government unacceptable to live in, but I accept the right of a business owner to direct his business and I am an employee myself. I see a major distinction between the dictatorship over a nation and an owner running his property. Society’s acceptance of private property rights makes that an important difference, as does the worker freely seeking employment. Even in the impossible extreme of your hypothetical. If one man were able to own all businesses then that would be acceptable.

There is nothing that makes private ownership of the means of production necessary; it is simply what society accepts at this point in time. I have no feelings about cooperatives one way or the other. They are just another private business with shareholders, except the shareholders work at the business. It’s your idea to confiscate the means of production that raises serious personal objections. It breaks a social contract that has been in effect for centuries. Full financial compensation must be a part of any confiscation of property.

My objections toward libertarian socialism are probably the typical ones. To sum it up, I don’t see human nature as ready for it. I’ve read counter arguments but personally I’m not convinced. Judging by the support for it in society very few others are convinced either.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Investment=right to control” is meaningless here, because a lot of property is inherited. You can't use that. I explained this earlier.

The fact that society accepts something, is irrelevant when the issue is whether you think the law/regime is right or wrong. I was asking you about your moral justification.

The fact that people can leave a tyrannical hierarchy, does not change the structure of the hierarchy, and it does not justify a minority controlling and dictating the rest. That’s true for a Stalinist state you’re free to leave, and it’s truefor a private institution.

In other words: the reasons you’ve mentioned don’t hold up. Thruout this debate there have been lots of contradictions in your attempts to explain why you find dictatorship in business morally justifiable, while not in government and state.

So again: please answer this (and no contradictions or long sections with analysis of the likelihood of things happening, current laws etc this time please):

What are your specific arguments/moral justification for accepting dictatorship in business, while not accepting it in a Stalinist dictatorship that you can “choose” to work for and leave any time you want?

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Investment or the original purchase gives you ownership. One of the rights an owner has is to give his property to whomever he pleases. Whether you built the original business or inherited it, you have the same rights of ownership. Why bother differentiating between original owners and those that inherited? Would you be content to only confiscate inherited businesses and leave original owners in charge or their businesses?

I see ownership as a basic right that all people have, it does not need a moral justification. Society has reenforced that right by offering extensive legal protections for owners of any property including the means of production.

I do not accept the direct comparison of government with business as being valid. You are born into a government and citizenship is forced on you at that time, there is no choice. People generally choose to seek employment or build their own business as adults. There is justification for the owner having control over workers however.

The worker provides that moral justification for the traditional employer-employee relationship and the control that goes with it. He seeks employment and gives the owner the right to dictate certain conditions of employment during the hours of business. The relationship becomes legitimate, justified, and moral when the worker accepts a job.

The worker's personal situation, level of poverty, education, skill set, availability of other options none of that has any bearing on the fact that he has the same rights as anyone else. He has the right to buy a business and become an owner. That basic opportunity is all society is morally required to provide it does not have to somehow try to make all outcomes equal.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Why bother differentiating between original owners and those that inherited?”

Because I’m asking you why you think it’s morally justifiable that one individual can control and dictate another, and you give investment as a reason. That’s why.

“Would you be content to only confiscate inherited businesses and leave original owners in charge or their businesses?”

No, of course not. I’ve explained why I want to end private ownership of the mop; and there is no inconsistency: I don’t think people should be allowed to dictate and control others, period.

“I see ownership as a basic right that all people have, it does not need a moral justification.”

We’re talking about the relations that follow from ownership of the means of production: one individual dictating another. So again, why is dictatorship in business ok, but not in a Stalinist state?

You have to give reasons. You support dictatorship in business because…? You don’t support dictatorship in state because…?

“Society has reenforced that right by offering extensive legal protections for owners of any property including the means of production.”

You’re doing it again..

“I do not accept the direct comparison of government with business as being valid. You are born into a government and citizenship is forced on you at that time, there is no choice.”

But I asked you: What are your specific arguments/moral justification for accepting dictatorship in business, while not accepting it in a Stalinist dictatorship that you can “choose” to work for and leave any time you want? Please answer this.

“He seeks employment and gives the owner the right to dictate certain conditions of employment during the hours of business. The relationship becomes legitimate, justified, and moral when the worker accepts a job.”

So when workers in a Stalinist state (that you’re free to leave) seeks employment with the state and signs the contract, does that justifies the dictatorship, and is this according to you an agreement? Why/why not?

You’re making no sense. Again, you have to look the social factors before calling something a “voluntary agreement”. And again, the fact that you can “choose” to work in a tyrannical hierarchy, does not change the structure of the hierarchy, and it does not justify a minority controlling and dictating the rest. That’s true for a Stalinist state you’re free to leave, and it’s true for a private institution.

“The worker's personal situation, level of poverty, education, skill set, availability of other options none of that has any bearing on the fact that he has the same rights as anyone else.”

I don’t see how the fact that anyone can try to create a tyrannical institution, has anything to do with your moral justification for the tyrannical institution to exist in the first place.

“He has the right to buy a business and become an owner.”

You’re doing it again. I’m not interested in you telling me about how things are; I’m interested in your moral justification for why dictatorship in business is ok, but not in government and state.

So again, please list the reasons why you find dictatorship in business ok, and why you find dictatorship in state not ok.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

There is a difference between the workplace and the nation you live in. You live your entire life as a citizen of some state. Its form of government affects your entire life. It’s my opinion you should have some voice in governments’ operation.

A business is privately owned. The owner sets the conditions of employment. The moral justification for that comes from society. It accepts and protects private ownership of the means of production.

Employees do not have and right to a voice in the workplace because they are not forced to accept employment. They also are not governed by the employer outside of their working hours. The control is only work related and the employee agrees to it. The employee supplies all the moral justification needed for capitalism by seeking employment.

The social factors that face the employee are not a consideration for me. Only the fact that the workers are not slaves or forced by the employer to go to work for him. They have the legal right to quit or remain employees.

The top down hierarchy is simply the way the owner elects to run his business. Ownership gives him that moral right.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“There is a difference between the workplace and the nation you live in.”

Yes, there’s a difference between a state and a private institution. What I asked you was: what are factors that make you think dictatorship is ok in the latter and not in the first.

“You live your entire life as a citizen of some state. Its form of government affects your entire life. It’s my opinion you should have some voice in governments’ operation.”

How long you spend time in a tyrannical institution, and the fact that you can “choose” to work for it, does not change the structure of the hierarchy; it does not justify a minority controlling and dictating the rest.

So dictatorship is not ok in state, but ok in business, because you spend less time in a business then in the state?

“A business is privately owned. The owner sets the conditions of employment. The moral justification for that comes from society.”

What is it that you don’t understand about “what is YOUR moral justification?”

If society accepts something, then that does not mean you have to agree and find it morally justifiable.

So because society (democratically) has decided that private ownership of the mop is ok, then that’s a reason it should be legal?

“Employees do not have and right to a voice in the workplace because they are not forced to accept employment..They also are not governed by the employer outside of their working hours. The control is only work related and the employee agrees to it.”

Again, you have to look at the social factors before calling something a “voluntary agreement”. And again, the fact that you can “choose” to work in a tyrannical hierarchy, does not change the structure of the hierarchy, and it does not justify a minority controlling and dictating the rest. That’s true for a Stalinist state you’re free to leave, and it’s true for a private institution. I just countered this.

“The social factors that face the employee are not a consideration for me.”

When a worker signs a contract to work for a Stalinist regime for 5 cents an hour, is that a perfectly fine voluntary agreement? Why not?

“Ownership gives him that moral right.”

“Ownership=right to control” is ridiculous. We’ve been thru this before.

Again, your reasons don't hold up.

[-] 2 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I agree with the moral justifications as set by society. I believe in the basic human right of individual ownership and the right to control what you own. I believe the workers agree to the owner's direction as a condition for employment and that the right to quit is the only right workers have to start with. I believe workers have the right to negotiate with management, the outcome is only binding between that owner and his employees.

I told you why I felt a government dictatorship was unacceptable to me but an owner controlling his business was fine.

You may look at the social factors all you like, my personal opinion is that as long as the right to quit is there that is the only right the worker gets from society. If the worker feels his situation prevents him from exercising his right to quit that's unfortunate but it doesn't change the fact he has that right. He has as much control as society is willing to give him and I agree with that.

Five cents an hour might be fine in Stalin's factory if it's in some other country, it violates minimum wage laws in the US. Whatever the worker agrees to accept is fine with me as long as it is within the law.

My reasons hold up fine for me. I've tried to explain my position not change your mind. I know we are both committed to a position. From my perspective your idea to confiscate the means of production is outlandish. It probably does more to push people away from libertarian socialism then anything else.

I understand you want a change but society has accepted a capitalistic model. I see a great deal of irony in you fighting for democracy when you won't accept the will of the majority when you disagree with it. Right or wrong ridiculous or not, society has said ownership does equal control.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

My question was not exactly about ownership, but rather why you think one human being has the right to dictate and control another.

I countered this “agreement” you’re talking about. You’re not countering what I said above, you just repeat the same things I just countered.

The fact that someone has the right to quit/leave/move, does not change the hierarchical structure; the dictatorship is still there.

When a worker signs a contract to work for a Stalinist regime for 5 cents an hour, is that in your view a perfectly fine voluntary agreement? And does the fact that this individual can quit make the dictatorship morally justifiable for you?

Your reasons don’t hold up. So far your reasons for finding dictatorship in business morally justifiable have been:

  • “Investment justifies right to control.”

This is useless here, because lots of property is inherited.

  • “voluntary agreement/the right to quit justifies control”

The fact that people can leave/quit/move from a tyrannical hierarchy, does not change the structure of the hierarchy; the hierarchy is still there. The right to quit does not justify a minority controlling and dictating the rest. That’s true for a Stalinist state you’re free to leave, and it’s true for a private institution. Because of the social factors I’ve mentioned, it’s meaningless to call the contract signed a voluntary agreement.

  • “Ownership of property justifies control”

This is ridiculous. Do I really have to explain why?

Now, when the issue is dictatorship in government and state, then your principles suddenly change. Now you stress the importance of people having a say in the tings that affect them:

”You live your entire life as a citizen of some state. Its form of government affects your entire life. It’s my opinion you should have some voice in governments’ operation.”

– Sandy0621

( http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-is-the-problem/#comment-967227 )

However, people also spend a lot of time at work. About 40 hours a week in fact. Your work is a huge part of your life. But still you’re willing to accept dictatorship at work.

So in other words, and to sum up: Your reasons don’t hold up, and there are lots of contradictions in your reasoning.

[-] -1 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

My question was not exactly about ownership, but rather why you think one human being has the right to dictate and control another.

Iv'e read through most of the discussion and find it quite interesting. Personally, I agree with your position, but let me play the devil's advocate just for fun.

I don't believe a business owner truly dictates over and owns a worker. There are many businesses, and they all compete. If an owner treats his employees badly, they will quite and the business will soon fold. I saw it happen. I worked in a musical school that folded for this very reason. One of the teachers ended up starting his own school soon afterwards, and the other teachers worked for him. The conditions were much better.

The same applies to the purchasing of goods. A food company might have control over shelf space in a food store, but people have the control to buy the products or not. Many companies fail because their products don't sell well. Consumers dictate what they buy.

A dictator of a state which has full control of his army is another ball game all together. You don't have much power to change anything unless there is bloodshed through revolution. If the dictator permits citizens to leave, then it won't take long before most do if he's bad. In that case, the citizens dictate the outcome of the dictator.

I've worked as an employer and an employee, and I find advantages in both. An employee has many freedoms the employer doesn't. He goes to work, does his job, and that's that. Employers have many worries associated with their businesses and often work long hours after getting home. When I started my business I was working 70 hours a week without a paycheck which reflected this. My employees were making more money than I did at the beginning, and they were off at 5 without a worry in the world.

To say that an employer is a dictator and an employee his slave, is essentially failing to realize the power of the employee. He does have a lot of power.

Some people go to job interviews with the mindset of "Gee, I hope this guy will like me and I'll get the job," When I go I'm thinking "I wonder if this guy has something good to offer, because I have." I've left many interviews half way through because the salary was insufficient or the job uninteresting. I have the power to refuse the job. In that case, I'm dictating which company will benefit from my work.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“It's not undemocratic if the people choose to run things this way.”

A private institution is not run democratically. That means the institution has an undemocratic hierarchy.

“You could have a small community with an elected leader that makes daily decisions and reports to his community.”

Well, this is not a tyrannical structure. The goal should be a non-hierarchical society, where there are no leaders.

“I'm busy all day doing music. I don't have time to worry about economic budgets and so on.”

That’s your choice/problem. That doesn’t mean that the people who want to participate shouldn’t be able to do so.

“An employer doesn't really have the right to control and dictate another (employee).”

Yes he does.

“There is a nuance to be made between that relation and the relation of a owner/slave. He has certain rights in exchange for the employee to have the right to be paid.”

Workers have certain rights, but they still have to follow orders at the institution. The institution is not run democratically; it’s run by a small minority - the owners, the CEOs etc.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

How the employer treats the employee, is beside the point here; the point is that undemocratic, top-down hierarchy is unacceptable.

The people have always had a certain amount of influence in society, whether it’s in a totalitarian state or a corporate run society. It doesn’t have to be absolute zero public influence, in order for the system to be called a tyranny/dictatorship. The fact that consumers can choose between brands etc, does not change the hierarchical structures.

The point I was making in the debate with Sandy, was that one individual having the right to control and dictate another, is unacceptable no matter where it takes place.

I don’t believe you when you say you agree with me.

[-] -2 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

How the employer treats the employee, is beside the point here; the point is that undemocratic, top-down hierarchy is unacceptable.

It's not undemocratic if the people choose to run things this way. Perhaps it could be deemed unfair or unwise, but democracy doesn't always lead to fair and wise situations. Certainly, it doesn't necessarily fit the definition of undemocratic. That would depend on what has been decided from a democratic process.

The fact that consumers can choose between brands etc, does not change the hierarchical structures.

I don't believe hierarchical structures are necessarily dictatorships or lead to power over others. There's many types of hierarchies that can be setup. Sometimes it has more to do with distribution of tasks than power over others.

You could have a small community with an elected leader that makes daily decisions and reports to his community. The community could have the power to revoke or review decisions, and choose another leader if he is not satisfactory. His job would be to take care of things while the rest of the community can go along with their business. If representatives were more accountable and transparent in all their actions, they would not have much power at all. They would just be taken care of business so other people could do other things.

There are advantages to every system. The advantage of having representatives is that we can do other stuff while they do politics. I'm busy all day doing music. I don't have time to worry about economic budgets and so on.

The point I was making in the debate with Sandy, was that one individual having the right to control and dictating another, is unacceptable no matter where it takes place.

An employer doesn't really have the right to control and dictate another (employee). There is a nuance to be made between that relation and the relation of a owner/slave. He has certain rights in exchange for the employee to have the right to be paid. Both have a position of power. One needs the other. A slave does not need an owner. He gets nothing in return.

I don’t believe you when you say you agree with me.

Your beliefs don't interest me. Your arguments backed with evidence do.


My ideal system would be anarcho-communism, but I don't believe this is possible until we reach post-scarcity. I favor anarcho-syndicalist based businesses over capitalist type ones with a top down control, but if people want top down businesses I won't argue that it is undemocratic. I'll say it's unwise.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Nowhere man - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWEPu0w-7w

He's a real nowhere Man, Sitting in his Nowhere Land,

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

Doesn't have a point of view, Knows not where he's going to,

Isn't he a bit like you and me? ( not really )

Nowhere Man, please listen, You don't know what you're missing,

Nowhere Man, the world is at your command. ( U wish )

He's as blind as he can be, Just sees what he wants to see,

Nowhere Man can you see me at all? ( no not really )

Nowhere Man, don't worry,

Take your time, don't hurry,

Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand. ( you need help )

Doesn't have a point of view, Knows not where he's going to,

Isn't he a bit like you and me? ( no not really )

Nowhere man please listen, you don't know what your missing Nowhere Man, the world is at your command ( is not - but U do wish )

He's a real Nowhere Man, Sitting in his Nowhere Land,

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Tweet - Real Nowhere Men

@ ALL of the BLIND GREEDY corp(se)oRATions.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-is-the-problem/#comment-972414

Stop Attacking Life.

B Responsible

Act Responsibly

support life.

[-] -1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

One human being may dictate or control another in any relationship where one seeks some benefit from the other. In other words if you want something from me, I have a right to dictate conditions before I give you whatever it is you want. You accept or reject my conditions. The position of power either of us may have has little to do with it. It’s simply a matter of how badly one person wants what the other has and what he is willing to give up.

I see nothing wrong with the hierarchy of top down management in a private business. I don’t care if you consider it tyrannical. The worker seeks something from the owner. To get it he gives up some level of control while at work. They can negotiate and reach an agreement. All that justifies the control. The power of the owner and poor position of an individual worker are irrelevant to me.

Investment is what gets someone the original ownership, after that inheritance simply follows the will of the owner. It doesn’t matter what proportion of businesses were inherited, the owner makes the decisions no matter how he achieved his legal ownership.

Work is a big part of people’s lives, maybe 15% of it over a lifetime, but you spend 100% of your life as a citizen. It’s a big enough difference for me to say the two are not comparable. It also doesn’t change my opinion that the owner has the right to set the conditions of employment or that I prefer the country I know to a dictatorship I don’t.

In the case of your Stalinist workers earning $0.05/hr or Indonesian girls earning $0.50/hr. When we find some glaring problem with capitalism we impose regulations like a minimum wage. What you see as a dictatorship in the workplace isn’t as absolute as it is in some governments. Preferring democracy in government doesn't equate with having it in the workplace.

My reasons may seem inconsistent, but they hold up for me, that’s all that’s necessary. I find your desire for workplace democracy inconsistent when you ignore the majority’s decision to maintain private ownership and the top down control that results from it. Apparent inconsistencies are going to show up on both sides when we try to simplify complex issues.

I don’t feel any need to counter your arguments or accept them. I don’t consider them a valid reason to change my opinion. I’m not asking you to change your opinions or to consider my arguments valid for you. I’m just trying to explain my point of view.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You’re free to accept private ownership of the mop. You haven’t been able to give consistent arguments for this acceptance, though, and I have pointed that out.

Yes, if you’re not willing or able to counter the things I pointed out above, then I see no reason to continue.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

We've been going back and forth for several weeks, I'm not sure what specific arguments you've made beyond a desire for democracy in the work place that society has rejected. People can have democracy in the workplace but it has to comply with existing law.

Capitalism and private ownership of the means of production is a fact in today's society and that isn't likely to change any time soon. You've given me opinion as to how you think the work place should be run. Your reason, wanting democracy for workers, doesn't counter for me the right to ownership which has massive democratic support. Your insistence on confiscating private property isn't moral under today's laws.

We've probably said all there is to say to each other. Thank you for an interesting discussion though. We've probably tested each other's patience a few times, I hope I haven't been rude at all, it was never my intent.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You haven't been rude at all (hope you feel the same way about me).

Ok. Thanks.

Andy.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You’re just repeating what I just countered. The fact that people can leave/quit/move from a tyrannical hierarchy and reject it’s conditions, does not change the structure of the hierarchy; the hierarchy is still there.

I know that you see nothing wrong with the hierarchy of top down management in a private business. And I just explained that the reasons you gave for this position, don’t hold up.

The fact that someone seeks something from the owner, does not justify the dictatorship.

“They can negotiate and reach an agreement.”

When one of the parties has the overwhelming power and control, it’s not a voluntary agreement. I just explained this.

“It doesn’t matter what proportion of businesses were inherited”

As long as you use investment as a reason for control, it matters.

“Work is a big part of people’s lives, maybe 15% of it over a lifetime, but you spend 100% of your life as a citizen.”

So in other words: the reason people shouldn’t have the right to a democratic say at work, is that they only spend 40 hours a week there? So how much would they have to work there for there to be democratic decision-making?

“What you see as a dictatorship in the workplace isn’t as absolute as it is in some governments. Preferring democracy in government doesn't equate with having it in the workplace.”

Both states and private institutions have had limits as to what they can do.

“My reasons may seem inconsistent, but they hold up for me, that’s all that’s necessary.”

If you want to have inconsistent opinions, be my guest. I was just pointing them out. However, if you have no problem with being inconsistent, then you’re not going to be very successful in the political and philosophical debates you choose to engage in.

“I find your desire for workplace democracy inconsistent when you ignore the majority’s decision to maintain private ownership and the top down control that results from it.”

There’s no inconsistency. How many times do I have to tell you this: Libertarian Socialism should only come when the workers and the communities want it.

“I don’t feel any need to counter your arguments or accept them.”

That’s up to you. I was just explaining why your arguments don’t hold up. If you can’t/won’t counter it, then that’s your decision.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

It doesn't matter that you find fault with my reasons, they don't require your approval. Your opinion about their value is noted but that's just your opinion. I'm not debating, you asked for my thoughts and opinions, I gave them to you. If you insist on telling me I'm wrong, that's your right.

I consider private ownership a basic human right and it gives the owner the right to set conditions for employment, you disagree. I don't find your counter arguments convincing enough to alter my stance on the rights of the owner.

Buying or investing gives you ownership. When you initially asked about inherited property I told you it's the owner's right to give his property to whomever he chose. Ownership is where the right to direct your business comes from. As long as you achieved it legally you have the basic human right to direct your property as you choose.

I suppose to make work equal to life under a government you'd need to be under the employers control for all of your day. You'd also have to be born under the rule of an employer. Comparing work with government was your idea, I just told you how they were different only when pressed to do so. The reason people do not deserve a say in how their workplace is run is because that right belongs only to the owner. Everything else is just a distraction, the owner has the right to dictate when it comes to the use of his property.

Repeating that libertarian socialism will come only when workers and communities want it takes us back to my original statement. It may be the only actual fact we have, society has rejected libertarian socialism. It's support in this country went from a high of about 3% a century ago to well under 1% by the 1950's and it's shown no growth in over half a century. When you talk about arguments that are unconvincing or don't hold up perhaps you should review society's judgement on the arguments for libertarian socialism.

[-] -3 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

You’re just repeating what I just countered. The fact that people can leave/quit/move from a tyrannical hierarchy and reject it’s conditions, does not change the structure of the hierarchy; the hierarchy is still there.

It does make a difference. If people leave the hierarchy that controls them, then that hierarchy has lost all meaning and power. Without people to dictate, what is a dictator? The hierarchy dies without its lower foundation. The structure of the hierarchy has changed under those circumstances.

Businesses compete for money, but they also compete for employees, and stable employees benefit them. Those who treat their employees badly lose them to those who treat them better. Companies die all the time because of this.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You chose to engage in a debate. When your arguments are inconsistent, you have to expect that the ones you’re debating will to point this out.

So if an individual isn’t born into the dictatorship and hasn’t lived there his entire life, then that justifies the dictatorship? And “power and control justify power and control”? Don’t you see that this makes no sense?

We’ve been talking about private ownership of the means of production. If you regard that as a human right, then that’s up to you. However, what follows from this position is that you accept tyranny. You’ve presented arguments for this position; I’ve explained that they’re inconsistent and don’t hold up; and you ”don’t feel any need to counter [my] arguments or accept them”. Well, let’s end the debate, then.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I accept the right of any individual to own property including the means of production. That ownership begins with buying the property and gives the owner many rights. Among those are the right to direct any that choose to enter his employ and the right to pass his ownership on to his heirs.

If you insist on calling that tyrannical so be it. I accept that tyranny. I oppose the idea that it's somehow moral to confiscate private property for any reason.

I guess we'll leave things at that then and end the discussion. We're going in circles anyhow.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Good Comment.

In a Democracy - The People - Not the Employer - should set the acceptable conditions of employment - safety - minimum "living" wage - clean ( non-polluting ) operation. Etc. This is basic and does not even get into the employee's place/standing on the job.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Thanks, DKA. Yes, exactly. If you like the idea of democracy, then it should logically follow that the economic institutions should be run democratically as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls7QZm7omh8

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Yep - why should business run outside of societies precepts.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Essentially the people have set the conditions. Just not the conditions that the typical anarchist agrees with. We have laws permitting private ownership of the means of production and giving employers the right to set the conditions of employment within certain legal boundaries.

Capitalism was established with the consent of the people over time. If you want it dismantled you'll need enough support to change the laws that empower it. Right now support for workers taking over the means of production is well under 1% of the population.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

So you are saying that the employer should be the slave of the employee? Does that make sense? I think not.

[-] -1 points by factsrfun (6472) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

"Why bother differentiating between original owners and those that inherited? Would you be content to only confiscate inherited businesses and leave original owners in charge or their businesses?"

What do you have against meritocracy? I believe our economic problems stem from capital falling into weak hands through inheritance.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I have nothing against meritocracy in general. Other then concern as to who was determining the criteria. I don't think I originally brought up inheritance, it grew out of a discussion about the rights an owner has to deal with his property as he wishes.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (6472) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Allowing the accumulation of unlimited wealth combined with the ability to pass that on to whomever one pleases will always lead to Monarchy, there's a reason they say you can't take it with you and you should not be allowed to rule from the grave. A reasonable amount so that you can know your offspring will not want for food or shelter say five million or so should be all the incentive anyone needs to work hard. Anything more than that should be meritocracy based so that we can be sure that the large capital rests with those who know how to use it.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Federal rate on inherited wealth is 40% after the exclusion (5.2 million in 2013 I believe). I see no reason not to increase the percentage for ordinary wealth if you could work in an exclusion for things like family farms or businesses.

Do you have any modern examples of monarchies developing?

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (6472) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

The Royal Walmart Family, many of their peasants rely on the kindness of others for food and shelter and should they get sick, well kindness is really their only hope.

[-] -1 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

Your perspective is clearly correct and has been for a long time about society accepting private ownership. The reason collectives didn't work in the past was because of human nature.

Imagine a collective farm where everyone gets equal shares. When the crops are ready for harvest, bad human nature causes some to go into the field the night before the harvest and pick some for themselves, stealing from the rest. This is not acceptable to those that didn't cheat, and their desire for collectivism goes away. Other bad human nature caused some to not work as hard as others, creating resentment and no more desire for collectivism. Enter private ownership.

Private ownership allowed the owner to prosper if the owner works hard enough, and smart enough. Part of being smart enough is preventing others from stealing his private inventory. If he prospers enough, he pays others to work with him, but not as much as the owner gets.

Eventually, private ownership becomes focused on being more prosperous, enjoying being prosperous to the point that paying others to help becomes annoying, and paying them as little as possible. That's where we are now. This is simple and doesn't consider many factors but is reality.

Humans have the capacity to escape natural selection and the survival of the fittest, dog eat dog world, but so far haven't. Technology has only now reached the point where humans can break free of the dog eat dog world that has always existed. Private ownership demands competing with other people for water, etc., etc. Our society must change to one where Love is the foundation of economics and government, a new type of collectivism. The Revolution is Love!

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

If we had the capacity for that level of love toward all others we would have changed already. It may happen, but in my opinion not any time soon.

[-] 0 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

We love you whether you help or not.

[-] -3 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

Sure, but since we’re discussing principles here, SUPPOSE there was a Stalinist dictatorship in your state, that you could “choose” to work for and were free to leave if you wanted, would you find the dictatorship justifiable? Why/why not?

Singapore is an interesting case in this respect. The vast majority of Singaporeans I met don't mind their dictator because the economy is booming. Personally, I would hate living there. I would not feel free.

[-] 2 points by mideast (506) 1 year ago

The problem is not private ownership -
it is private ownership of our government
This is an approach already supported by 80% of Americans:


Bill HR 29 Constitutional Amendment XXVIII Introduced in Congress
by Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) & Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)


Section 1.
Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law. The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2.
Money is Not Free Speech
Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure. Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed. The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.


Consider your key project – jobs, military, elections, fracking, education, tax reform –
ANYTHING
Now imagine that the 1% opposition cannot spend to get their way against you

*** .

This responds to hundreds of local & state resolutions and Move To Amend for a “We the People” Amendment -
The movement for constitutional reforms that would end “corporate rule”.

The Amendment clearly and unequivocally states that: Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities – including corporations, unions, and parties. and that Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment. Government belongs to the people & must not be for sale to the corporations and the wealthy and the 1% special interests. The Move To Amend coalition of nearly 260,000 people and hundreds of organizations has helped to pass nearly 500 resolutions in municipalities and local governments across the country calling on the state and federal governments to adopt this amendment. This bill is specifically different from the other proposals that have come forward in response to Citizens United because it also specifically addresses corporate personhhod. In every single community where Americans have had the opportunity to call for a Constitutional amendment to outlaw corporate personhood, they have voted to end “CP”. The Citizens United decision is not the cause, it is a symptom. We must remove big money and special interests from the legal and political process entirely with this amendment.

If you want to understand

Citizens United &
Corporate Personhood &
the Amendment Process

Please visit our OWS CU / CP / Amendment site:
http://corporationsarenotpeople.webuda.com

70+ videos & 40+ documents on this issue from Sanders, Chomsky, Maher, Hedges, Lessig, Warren, Grayson, Hartmann, Hightower, etc

►►Support this bill HR29◄◄
Write & email your congresspeople house:
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
senate:
http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/How_to_contact_senators.htm

call Rep Rick Nolan to show support 202 225 6211

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

I think people don't realize we're in this mess not just because of the capitalism thing but because this type of government is set up to facilitate the evils of capitalism.

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/political-parties-of-departmental-governance/#comment-952756

...if it interests you.

And for the branches of government, the public sector, how could those organizations be run like the WSDE?

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

I think people don't realize we're in this mess not just because of the capitalism thing but because this type of government is set up to facilitate the evils of capitalism.

No - really - it is a fundamental failing of the public - the individual citizen. We have failed as a people to enforce the fact that - WE - are not ruled by royalty - WE are supposed to be ruled by our selves.

[-] 3 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Corporations wouldn't be fooling and ruling us if government didn't allow it. People are too susceptible to deceit and control. They take advantage of that rather than defending the indefensible.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Such is the result of raising a non-thinking public. Look at the poor fools - ummm - citizens of North Korea. Not that they have a real voice/say in anything.

[-] 3 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

I'd say non thinking public is the result, the intended result, of the elite. It's necessary for control. Can't have a wise population, keep them bowing down to something.

[-] 2 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

Right now that is my dream to resurrect the Bull-Moose. Fuck the Greens and the Libertarians they suck. Both are still glued to capitalism and "the system". I'll take the best of their ideas of civil liberties and personal, civic, and social responsibility. I'll leave the rest in a ditch. Obviously fuck the donkey's and elephants there is a bull-moose coming to town.

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[-] 1 points by Kampinski (1) 1 year ago

The definition of capitalism I like best is this one: Capitalism is the system that gives priority to the endless accumulation of capital.

[-] 1 points by Legion1022 (24) 1 year ago

The fact of the matter is, capitalism has been proven to be superior to forms of government like socialism or communism. Look at what happened in China Russia and now the EU. Capitalism encourages competition, which is the driving force behind some of mankind's greatest achievements, and is the whole reason why America is known as the leader of the free world. Because capitalism made us great.

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[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Money is the problem, capitalism is just a product of it.

[-] 1 points by aaronparr (597) 1 year ago

Great article. Don't let the idiotic nay saying bring you down.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

[-] 7 points by BradB (2204) from Washington, DC 8 hours ago

here's a simple temporary iframe with buttons to navigate until site fixed... no need to download extension or anything... I'll keep it up for a day or two .. http://midlc.com/ows/

oh, I pasted under news, because I almost sort of still get the news page

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago

wow.... the never-ending broken record.... Get It Fucking Straight

  • Capitalism is Not Corporatism....
  • We are currently experiencing governments driven by Corporatism...
  • Corporatism is destroying the opportunities in Art and many other social industries like teaching, etc... Capitalism is not....
  • true, Capitalism drives the hoarding of monetary wealth... but it does not have to....
  • true, Socialism drives the reduction of free enterprise ... but it does not have to....
  • Greed is a trait ..... everyone has greed... but the greed might be for Knowledge, or for Beauty, etc....
  • it is the sole Greed for money that is driving Corporatism... which is destroying our economic & social progress....
[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

We have a state-capitalist system. Capitalism, whether it’s regulated or laissez-faire, is unacceptable. Capitalism weakens democracy and allows for exploitation and concentrated private power.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

This system must be eliminated and replaced by a free, sustainable society in which the people control their own lives: Libertarian Socialism.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago
  • ok... sure .... let me see you or anyone else... beat the Corporatist Capitalists thru democracy, politics, civil war... or whatever....
  • The ONLY WAY....
  • is to put into implementation an alternative system....
  • and if it's worthy... and shows that it can solve the problems...
  • it will be openly embraced by All ...
  • STOP Wasting your time with calls for Destruction ... you sound like a Tea Party-er
  • .....
  • If you prove a better way... Capitalism does not need to be eliminated or overthrown ... it will be abandoned ... & same with Socialism .... they BOTH are Fucked up ...in any flavor ,,,
[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I think that if we focus on the things I mentioned here, lots can be achieved.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-do-we-fight-capitalism-the-1/

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[-] 1 points by SteadyRock (63) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1232207/ watch full movie here http://documentaryaddict.com/Capitalism++A+Love+Story-1516-documentary.html or download it from piratebay with better quality

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

A good film. I have the DVD :)

[-] 1 points by SteadyRock (63) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Somebody here doesn't think that way. They are stink up on you hehe

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It's the right-wingers' way of showing how much they love me.

[-] 1 points by SteadyRock (63) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Visual scheme of pyramid of capitalism -> picture image http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/01/18/the-pyramid-of-capitalism-poster/

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Yeah I've seen that many times before. A classic. Seems about right to me.

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[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

I think we need to take this a step further.

When you say the workers manage and control , What we really need is for the Community to manage and control.

All decisions should be Community controlled and not private or worker controlled.

Thank you for your post.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It should be both. People should have a say in things proportional to how much they’re a part of and affected by them. That means workers should have a say at their workplace as well. An important goal should be to organize the entire society/community, with democratic control at all levels. In other words, community and workplace democracy.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

Yes, when I said Community managed ,I meant everyone, workers included. Where as your post seems to suggest only those performing the work will have control over how production is managed. I believe the neighborhood , and WorldWide Community should have a say in how production is managed, and the decisions set forth.You are on the right the track.

Democracy has its purposes too. Although, majority rules eliminates absolute power, we have had democracy for 200 plus years ..and we see total economic failure.. perhaps this is a sign democracy does not work in all instances .. perhaps we should look into , "intelligence rules".. just a quick thought.

I absolutely believe we need to remove power from the private individual.. and place all power in the hands of the community. Private enterprise is a BIG Failure to society. We, as a people , can manage and run the world as a whole group. We do not need private enterprise to make the big decisions.

The good news, when we remove private enterprise, we will than divide the profits equally[and fairly] among all people.

Have a nice day sff.

~FOB~

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Ok. I guess we pretty much agree, then.

No, I didn't suggest that only those performing the work will have control over how production is managed. I just explained that there can be a market without capitalism.

It's not because of democracy that we're seeing economic failure, it's because of increased corporate tyranny and domination.

Yes, we should definitely spread the wealth around.

[-] 2 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

Democracy has not prevented economic failure.. so there has to be another way.. perhaps we should be guided by intelligent thought .. is what I am suggesting .. although democracy has its values .. Democracy , the most peaceful way to settle a conflict ..or make a decision , but it does not guarantee the decision will be the best decision...only that the majority seem to think it is the best.. and what portion of those voters are mislead..or have their own private agenda? .. I will say this , Democracy will eventually be used to overthrow capitalism.. once the majority are convinced Capitalism is designed for individual success, and not community success...When the founders coined the term pursuit of happiness, what were they thinking.. really, was it private individual success ..? because that is what we have .. Capitalism has been very successful for a limited few , ..but if we truly measure success by looking at the complete result, we will see nearly 40% living in poverty .. surely this can not be deemed successful.. and this being a result of 200 plus years of free market capitalism.. Unfettered GREED has left many in dire living conditions.. with a ahndful holding all the cards It's UNSUCCESSFUL Capitalism. We certainly agree 100% on that.

Thanks again

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No system, democracy included, will guarantee that the right decisions will be made all the time, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by. What’s needed is a real direct, participatory democracy.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

Okay, but maybe the right decision is not always made, but we could at least make the "best decision".. and that would require intelligence and careful scrutiny .. ,and if we were to mix that in with democracy .. I agree every one should have a say.. but .. there should be ..mandatory education on a subject before being allowed to vote . At least this would improve the score ..as to making the best choices /decisions .. currently democracy is a total farce .. with the campaigns that I have witnessed .. it's a pure ludicrous form of appointing leadership.. I would never run a business on popularity...

Thanks again for sharing a few thoughts.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“mandatory education on a subject before being allowed to vote”

No, there should be more involvement. People should get to participate more in the decision-making. With a decentralized direct democracy, people will become more active, engaged and educated about how things can be organized.

[-] 0 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

Okay , we both agree on a need for improvement. How we achieve that improvement .. through education or involvement.. both would work .. together.

On a different thought:

Long ago , during the time of the Founding Fathers , they had a vote on whether slavery should be allowed west of the Appalachians. The Final vote did in fact allow slavery west of the Appalacians. The outcome was won by "one vote".

Looking back at this, is an example where democracy failed.

Was the outcome the "right outcome", was the outcome the "best outcome", or was the outcome the wrong outcome ?

Voting has its "Falacies".

But, as mentioned many times, voting is still the most peaceful way currently to settle a mob decision. But it is the result of that vote that I am concerned with.

Thanks again sff, you are a worthy opponent, .. or, perhaps friend.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“If we're looking at it as an analogy for business then to make it accurate we should look at only those who choose to enter a North Korean dictatorship and live there, not those who may wish to leave.”

The point is that North Korea is a dictatorship no matter who/how many that are allowed to come and go. That goes for private enterprise as well. Capitalist institutions are tyrannies; tyrannical structures should be dismantled.

“People are not born into their role as employee, they choose it.”

It’s not a real choice when the alternative (for many people) is starvation.

“They have other options available to them and make choices.”

Many are living from paycheck to paycheck and so on; becoming a succesful employer or something like that is not a realistic goal for most people. But, again: it doesn’t make any difference.

“Your desire to support libertarian socialism may come from a belief that it could work as an economic system. I do not share that belief”

Why not?

“I also place the right of the individual to own and operate a business above the desire of any group to simply take what they do not own.”

I disagree. I don’t think one individual should be allowed to dominate and control another. Private ownership on the mop should be dismantled. Workplaces should be democratized.

“Your thoughts that taxation and confiscation of private property are somehow the same”

That’s not exactly what I said. I said that by your standards, it's stealing in both cases.

“Taxation may be considered the confiscation of private funds, but it is provided for by law.”

And which laws that apply should be determined by the people, right? I agree, I just want the laws to change.

“Simply taking the means of production and handing it over to workers is against the law. So while you may consider both forms of confiscation, taxation is legal, handing the means of production over to workers is illegal.”

Takeover of production can only come when the communities and workers want it. If politicians don’t accept the will of the people and try to maintain the unwanted, undemocratic laws, then I have no problem with law-breaking.

“Over half the population of the United States has a partial ownership in business through stock ownership.”

The general population (including the ones you mentioned) would be much better off with a LS society.

“You may have your bottom up democratically run work places, it’s simply a matter of finding workers that are willing to invest in themselves”

The more cooperatives that are established, the better. But the economy is all-encompassing; the existing economic institutions must be dealt with as well. A short term goal should be raising the taxes enormously on the wealthy.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

You asked what I thought the flaws in libertarian socialism are. I wanted to separate it from the other discussion, which I see as socialism’s lack of growth and rejection by the majority.

Socialism removes individual initiative. I do not believe people will work for the group as well as they would for themselves. I’ve heard Chomsky’s opinion that because he enjoys work everyone else should or would. I find that overly simplistic and unconvincing. Experience shows me he’s wrong.

Socialism replaces personal responsibility with a collective responsibility. One of the deficiencies found in today’s cooperatives is their poor management. Group decision making tends to be poor, slow, inefficient and lacking in accountability. (This lack of accountability shows up in reports about the problems and failures of cooperatives.)

It requires a level of altruism that people do not possess. I’m aware of the theory about the selfish gene, we do have altruism, just not enough. As with the issue of individual initiative, I don’t believe people will work as hard for the group as they would for an individual reward. (The anarchists in Spain learned this when they banned the use of money. People stopped working and simply took their free food. The anarchists had to create a voucher system to force factory workers to do their jobs. The altruism wasn’t there.)

The collective majority lacks the necessary empathy to protect the rights of the minority. The majority also do not necessarily possess the knowledge to make good decisions. Changing from capitalism to socialism would lead to a tyranny by the majority. Mondragon denies foreign workers the right to join the cooperative and has exploited foreign workers; they obviously lack empathy for their Polish brethren. The more numerous low skilled workers in a business could out vote the more skilled, knowledgeable, and necessary workers leading to a loss of productivity and failure.

Socialism restricts individual freedom. You have the right to establish a cooperative in today’s world. In a socialist society the individual would be denied the right to start up his own business, hire employees and run his business as he chooses. This can be a flaw when you consider the 15% of the population own a business (and would have it confiscated from them without compensation) and many more dream of private ownership. If you created a socialist society you’d begin with a large segment of the population resenting it and possibly working against it. You’re building discontent and opposition into your society increasing the chance of failure.

You’ll likely tell me I’m wrong but I don’t pretend to know the ultimate answer. I'm not trying to tell you to give up, I’m simply telling you what I believe and why I’d never be willing to risk a libertarian socialist economy. I also believe my views are shared by a much larger portion of the population then your views are. I see libertarian socialism as a relic of a more primitive past, a fit model for a hunter-gatherer society, not something that could work in a complex modern society. We began to outgrow it when we discovered agriculture and developed the concept of private ownership. There are no modern, operating, successful libertarian socialist societies to actually prove me wrong or you right. In the absence of solid proof and considering the its likely failure I'll always reject a libertarian socialism.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Libertarian Socialism does not remove individual initiative, it encourages it. The need to be creative and contribute is a part of us as humans; and being in control of this work and creativity, and having a say in how your workplace is run, motivates individuals even more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNhd4j4mzzc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

A libertarian socialist society would be based on individual freedom, cooperation, direct democracy and solidarity. It combines individual freedom and responsibility with collective freedom and responsibility.

Successful cooperatives are growing in number all over the place (Click here for more info: http://occupywallst.org/forum/cooperatives-info-articles-documentaries-etc/ ).

You can of course point to details about different worker-owned businesses, however, I think it’s unreasonable that when anarchists are asked to give examples of societies/businesses, the examples must be completely without flaws - a utopia of some kind. What we should do is see if we can learn something from the existing cooperatives, and try to make even better ways of organizing things.

There were anarchist communities, especially in the rural areas, that worked very well more or less without money. Labor vouchers were used many places; they have somewhat different functions than money. Anarchists do not necessarily reject the use of remuneration. There is for example Parecon, which is based on pay proportional to effort.

Solidarity and altruism are natural human feelings, but they’re being suppressed by the current system.

Libertarian Socialism is about building and controlling democracy from below, so that the decision-making is made by the ones affected. In a democracy you can’t get your will all the time, but that’s a logical consequence of living in a society.

People are allowed to establish cooperatives today, but the economy is all-encompassing; the entire economy must eventually be addressed and dealt with. The economy affects us all; the economy must be democratized.

The majority are not necessarily correct, so whether or not the majority agrees with you or not, does not make your case.

Creating a free, democratic society is even more likely in a wealthy, technological society.

Libertarian Socialism is about human liberation: http://occupywallst.org/forum/part-ii-workers-self-management-workplace-democrac/

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

What can I say? You asked what I see as flaws, I told you. I didn't expect to change your mind, of course I'm not likely to change my mind either.

On socialism encouraging initiative, I don't believe it. As I said personal experience has demonstrated to me too many times over the years that is not the case. I don't see Chomsky as at all convincing, he simply has an opinion. Here is an academic that might be as pompous as Chomsky, he takes nearly 7 minutes to say he thinks Chomsky is wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PS6wv3aET8

Whether an anarchistic community works well with or without money wasn't the point. The point was the lack of enough altruism. There were many that did not work for the benefit of the group out of altruism. They had to be forced to work by withholding food.

When you say the current system suppresses feelings of altruism and solidarity, that may not be true to any large degree. Capitalism grew over time from our human nature, it may be more accurate to say capitalism is a reflection of what we are. It may reinforce our nature but it didn't make it. That nature is there, it is what we are. Socialism could over a long period modify our nature, but right now we are not altruistic enough to make libertarian socialism work.

What libertarian socialism claims to be in theory and what it would be in practice are likely to be worlds apart. I'd never risk a change without proof. Most of what has been offered is opinion. You ask to change the entire economic system of the world. Asking for solid proof is in no way unreasonable. In theory all the "isms" look great, it's in practice that the flaws come out. I do not trust a movement that insists on removing the right to own a business and to do so through the total confiscation of private property.

If cooperatives are successful and can change attitudes, fine. They may operate as shareholder businesses and not be significantly different then a private business. When workers invest their own funds in setting up a cooperative I would expect their chances of success to be as good as those of any private business. It's the business where the workers "got it for free" from confiscating a private firm I would expect more likely to fail and I'd oppose on moral and legal grounds. Private individual ownership could become rare or even vanish on its own over time. I still don't agree that private ownership should ever be ended by law.

It would take a great deal of time before I'd be willing to trust a democracy run by a simple majority. I wouldn't care if the owners ran a factory that way, but I wouldn't want it running a government.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You say “libertarian socialism doesn’t work”. Then I say “But we’ve seen examples of anarchist or anarchist-like societies working just fine”. Then you immediately start pointing out details (some of which have questionable credibility) that were flawed.

No system is, or will ever be absolutely perfect. No, anarchist Spain wasn’t perfect; no, Mondragon is not perfect. However, what we’ve seen in these societies is that it is possible to organize systems based on participatory democracy, cooperation and worker-controlled institutions. What we should do is take the best things from these systems and implement them in society.

I think it’s pretty obvious that when people are in control of their own workplace, people will become more engaged as well. We see this all over the place in cooperatives, from Cleveland to Mondragon. Also in Spain, there was a lot of participation when things got collectivized.

“Whether an anarchistic community works well with or without money wasn't the point.”

You said that people stopped working when they stopped using money. That’s not true. Production actually increased.

We know there’s enough altruism in order for there to be anarchist/anarchist-like societies (because we’ve seen examples of such societies).

“When you say the current system suppresses feelings of altruism and solidarity, that may not be true to any large degree.”

Altruism is definitely suppressed. A society where people or businesses must focus a lot on being selfish in order to stay alive, will of course “create” a lot of selfish individuals and businesses. It’s institutionalized. We’ve seen solidarity and altruism decrease as capitalist markets were implemented more into society. This implementation was not a result of our nature, it was a result of the wishes of the power centers.

A libertarian socialist society is fully in accordance with human nature. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

“I'd never risk a change without proof.”

What exactly is it that you want proof of? A perfect anarchist society? That I can’t help you with – just as you can’t help me with proof of a perfect well-regulated capitalist society, or whatever it is that you advocate.

“I do not trust a movement that insists on removing the right to own a business”

You got it all wrong. I want people to have the right to own a business.

I don’t have any problem with the people taking property from the ones who have undemocratic power in society. Private ownership on the mop must be abolished so that everyone can have the right to control or own their own business.

Capitalist institutions are tyrannies: undemocratic top-down hierarchies. Anyone who likes the idea of democracy should reject such tyrannical systems.

People should have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by, and this say should be proportional to how much you’re affected. This is done by creating a decentralized democracy based on direct participation.

And if you agree that people should have a say in the things they’re affected by, if you like the idea of democracy, why shouldn’t it also be implemented at the place in which we work and contribute? If you like the idea of democracy, why not let people have a say in the things they’re a part of, instead of having some people control and dominate others?

....

You keep bringing up status quo to try to help make your case. It doesn’t help much, because societies aren’t static; they change all the time – sometimes fast and radically.

The ones who advocate a better society always start out with lots of obstacles.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I'm not really trying to make a case, I don't need to. This began with my opinion about libertarian socialism having little to no support and not likely to gain any in the near future. We can't know the future, only make predictions on trends we see today. The growth trend for libertarian socialism is not good and hasn't been for decades. It's benefits or flaws are not part of that observation.

I don't know of any existing, modern, libertarian socialist societies at all, let alone ones that are working fine. There are cooperatives which are essentially privately owned businesses with many owners. Some are working fine some have problems. Build as many of them as you like. You may eventually convince the majority it's a viable way to run an economy, without the need to take away the right to private ownership.

You seem to hold out hope for a sudden change in attitude. Possible I suppose but it isn't likely. I think you fail to understand that most people view private ownership as a basic human right and are not willing to give that up or modify it. You may call private business tyrannical and even be right in some ways, it doesn't matter. As long as libertarian socialism demands an end to private ownership its support will likely languish near zero.

Change can happen but it isn't likely anytime soon. Few would be willing to consider any modification to the laws on property rights. In addition to that a majority have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. A majority own a share of the businesses socialism would take without compensation.

You can get all the benefits you claim come from group ownership now, simply work out a way for workers to buy businesses. (One of the European nations has been doing just that, Austria I believe but I'm not sure.) I don't think the altruism, empathy, engagement, whatever is there, but I wouldn't deny any individual or group the right to invest in a business and succeed or fail on their own merits. Workers may be able to cooperate better when they have invested their own funds in a business, I don't think that's quite the same as being handed a business someone else paid for.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I know that many are opposed to ending private ownership on the means of production. We should try to convince them that there’s nothing wrong about ending it.

Private ownership on the mop creates tyrannical structures. Private ownership of the means of production means in reality private tyranny: undemocratic top-down hierarchy. Everyone who believes in democracy should oppose these tyrannical structures, and try to convince others who don’t, to do the same.

I think most people would embrace the ideas of Libertarian Socialism if they were properly instructed to them. LS is about liberating humans.

“You seem to hold out hope for a sudden change in attitude.”

I don’t know exactly what you’re referring to here. I’ve always stressed that ending capitalism is going to take lots of time and hard work. There’s a growing interest for creating a more participatory democracy today; it’s not big enough yet, but that doesn’t mean we should give up, it means it’s going to be a hard struggle.

Again, this “vested interest” you say the majority has, is nothing compared to a free, classless society in which the resources are collectivized and shared. The population would benefit enormously from a free, sustainable, democratic society.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't see much difference between a private tyranny and a group tyranny. Businesses run by a group or an individual still need to be successful. There will still be rules to follow and, depending on the size of the company, an individual' say in things is likely to be meaningless.

The population may or may not benefit from the type of society you describe. That depends on how well people work toward group goals. It could utterly fail, as I believe it would, leaving us worse off then we are now. I just don't find your arguments convincing. Personally I'd never vote in favor of changing the laws regarding property rights and ownership.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“I don't see much difference between a private tyranny and a group tyranny.”

What do you mean by “group tyranny”? Democracy – individuals having a say in the things that affect them? Is that it?

The economic institutions should be run by the participants, not by a minority.

“There will still be rules to follow and, depending on the size of the company, an individual' say in things is likely to be meaningless.”

Everyone would have an equal say, unlike private tyranny. An individual will not get its will all the time; in some cases you’re part of the minority, in other cases you’re not, and that’s the way it has to be when people organize things together.

“It could utterly fail, as I believe it would, leaving us worse off then we are now.”

I don’t understand why you would think a society in which people control their own lives more would fail.

“Personally I'd never vote in favor of changing the laws regarding property rights and ownership.”

Why? Why should some people be allowed to control and dominate others? Why should we allow tyrannical hierarchies in society? What are your arguments for justifying this?

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

First and foremost the rights you want come only with ownership. Start a business or buy stock to have your vote. It could be said that buying more shares means those with more wealth get a larger say. That's perfectly all right, they have invested and risked more and deserve a greater say. If you choose to invest nothing and still choose to work in a company all you deserve is your wage.

By group tyranny, I mean what has often been referred to as the tyranny of the majority. The majority can vote emotionally, out of ignorance, or with prejudice. Just because a decision is made by 50% plus one doesn't mean it's a moral decision. Depending on just what the company does and what the employee's job and level of education are, I don't believe every employee deserves an equal say anyhow.

I believe a libertarian socialist society would fail because I've seen enough of human nature to know you're wrong about the levels of altruism and empathy people have. I don't believe people would not act in the best interest of society, they would act in their self interest first and foremost. I see libertarian socialism as childishly naive and overly simplistic. Whether you understand why I believe these things just isn't all that important to me.

People are allowed to own a business, that is a right I would not take from anyone. I see employees as making a choice to work for a wage. They agree to let a boss or manager dictate to them, just as the members of any cooperative must follow certain rules. I don't care if the rules are set by 51% or one person. Private ownership rights come first. If a worker doesn't like it he may legally leave that company. I don't care how you define what is or isn't tyrannical. I hold to the right to privately own a business and would vote against your desire to confiscate property and turn it over to people that are not willing to invest their own funds.

I don't believe I need any arguments to convince you of anything, my beliefs represent those of the majority right now. I don't care if you hold to your faith in socialism or turn to capitalism. You have every right to do whatever you wish. If libertarian socialists ever reach a noticeable segment of the population there may be a reason to make arguments. At present it's you that need to make arguments and convert people not me.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“It could be said that buying more shares means those with more wealth get a larger say. That's perfectly all right, they have invested and risked more and deserve a greater say.”

So in other words, it’s ok to have some individuals control others? It’s ok that individuals who are not democratically elected can have power over our lives? That’s totally illegitimate in my view. Just because someone "takes risks" doesn't mean he/she should be able to control and dominate others.

“If you choose to invest nothing and still choose to work in a company all you deserve is your wage.”

Yeah, the waitress “chooses” to not invest.. Many are working from paycheck to paycheck, some might have children who depend on the income and so on. For a lot of people, taking these kinds of risks and/or investing just aren’t real options. Your choices in the economy depend on your access to resources, and this access is in most cases not chosen. People work in tyrannical institutions, because that’s often the only alternative in order to survive or have a somewhat decent life. It’s the lesser of two evils

The wage you say people deserve is to a large extent determined by the rich. It is of course the owners and the wealthy that have the overwhelming power and influence when the amount is set.

Wages for the average worker have gone down or stagnated many places, while the wages for the wealthy have skyrocketed. Is this ok with you? Do Indonesian girls working all day in a Nike-factory deserve the 50 cents an hour wage, Sandy?

“By group tyranny, I mean what has often been referred to as the tyranny of the majority. The majority can vote emotionally, out of ignorance, or with prejudice. Just because a decision is made by 50% plus one doesn't mean it's a moral decision.”

You talked about there not being a difference between private tyranny and “group tyranny”. There’s a huge difference: in private tyranny there’s a top-down tyrannical hierarchy, in which some individuals control and dominate others.

No system guarantees all decisions to be moral ones, so I don’t know where you’re going with this. The important question is: should people be allowed to have a say in the things that affect their lives?

“Depending on just what the company does and what the employee's job and level of education are, I don't believe every employee deserves an equal say anyhow.”

So you think people should have a say in things proportional to the level of education they have?

“I believe a libertarian socialist society would fail because I've seen enough of human nature to know you're wrong about the levels of altruism and empathy people have.”

We’ve seen many different kinds of societies and systems in which the people are much less greedy and cynical than they are now in the US. We’ve seen anarchist-like societies working very well, with lots of participation, solidarity and cooperation. In other words, your statement doesn’t hold water.

Human nature is best suited libertarian socialism: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

Libertarian Socialism is about human liberation: http://occupywallst.org/forum/part-ii-workers-self-management-workplace-democrac/

“Private ownership rights come first.”

Private ownership on the means of production should be abolished because it’s tyrannical.

“If a worker doesn't like it he may legally leave that company.”

If you don’t like the Stalinist dictatorship, you’re free to leave!

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Is it ok for the owner of a business to set the conditions of employment, or in your words to control his employees? Yes absolutely, the owner has all the rights in determining how a business will be run. The employee does his job and gets his pay, if he doesn't like it he may leave. You may call it tyranny all you wish. The person that owns a thing it gets to dictate how it operates. I'd never support a change in ownership laws.

I have no say in what happens in Indonesia or knowledge of their standard of living. For all I know $0.50 an hour may be a good wage there. In general if a worker goes to apply for a job then they agree to the conditions set by the employer. The worker has control over their situation, those girls evidently made the decision that $0.50/hr was a good enough wage. Isn't pay irrelevant for you and this discussion, would you abandon socialism if the pay offered were higher?

If I'm in the minority being tyrannized from the top down or bottom up wouldn't seem to make much difference to me. The boss tells me I have to work the night shift or 51% tells me I have to work the night shift, either way I'm stuck doing what I don't want to do feeling tyrannized. Should I be happy that I wasted time voting and lost?

Only the owner has a right to determine how his business is run. What I meant in mentioning education or worker value was that if a majority were to take control there is no guarantee it would or could make intelligent decisions. It was in response to a hypothetical, I don't think there should be any voting by employees that are binding on the owner, except by owners.

You keep saying that we've seen anarchist-like societies working very well. I know of no modern ones except for Spain in the 1930's. I don't see it as having lasted long enough to be judged a success and it had dark side that I believe made it worse then what it replaced. Where is there a modern libertarian socialist society?

Your links offer arguments and a point of view but no proof of anything. Simply saying we're altruistic or that human nature is best suited to libertarian socialism does not make it true. There is nothing in those links to convince me I'm wrong about my assessment of human nature. If socialist ideas are such a good fit with our nature then it should have thrived and developed instead of capitalism. Capitalism grew because it fit our nature best.

Private ownership of the means of production is not likely to change anytime soon. There is no significant support for any change. It reached it's peak at about 3% of the voting public in the US in the early 20th century and has shrunk to near zero and remained there. Change in attitudes may happen but your generations away from altering the constitutional right to own a business.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Is it ok for the owner of a business to set the conditions of employment, or in your words to control his employees? Yes absolutely, the owner has all the rights in determining how a business will be run.”

So tyranny in other words: x controlling y. You accept tyrannical top down hierarchy in business; do you feel the same way when it comes to state and government? Do you accept tyranny there? And why not? We don’t accept tyrannical hierarchies in the state; we shouldn’t allow it in business either.

“The employee does his job and gets his pay, if he doesn't like it he may leave.”

The government employee does his job for the Stalinist regime; if he doesn’t like it, he can leave…

“The person that owns a thing it gets to dictate how it operates. I'd never support a change in ownership laws.”

Exactly! Now we’re at the core of things. You just said it. The person that owns it gets to dictate.

Here’s the thing: there’s a difference between the things you do that don’t affect others, and the things you do that do affect others. What you do in your living room is your business, you get to dictate all you want. But when other people are involved, then that’s different. If your actions affect others, then those affected should have a say.

You apply this “right to dictate” principle to the economic institutions which involve many people. This principle is now in reality a call for tyranny: one individual having power and control over another. These kinds of structures are totally unacceptable. Tyranny should be opposed, including in the economic sphere.

“The worker has control over their situation”

To a limited extent – and I explained in the last answer why.

“Isn't pay irrelevant for you and this discussion”

Pay in itself is irrelevant, but you claimed that workers are free to choose. I countered this by pointing out the economic situation and access to resourses.

“If I'm in the minority being tyrannized from the top down or bottom up wouldn't seem to make much difference to me.”

Living in a democracy, having an equal say as all the others, and not getting your will all the time; or being ruled by a dictator how decided everything whether you or anyone else agreed or not. You dont see much difference?

I can’t believe I have to explain why democracy is better than dictatorship and minority rule.

“Should I be happy that I wasted time voting and lost?”

You should be happy you had an equal say as everyone else involved, and realize that it’s not reasonable that you get your will all the time, when making decisions together with other people.

“Only the owner has a right to determine how his business is run.”

Yes. It’s called private tyranny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYxGkFxb7f4

“What I meant in mentioning education or worker value was that if a majority were to take control there is no guarantee it would or could make intelligent decisions.”

No system guarantees that the right decisions are made all the time. So what about when the board of directors vote on things? Or a single person being able to veto anything?

On examples of anarchis/anarchist like societies, the Spanish revolution is obviously worth mentioning, yes. Today Mondragon/Basque is one of the societies that is closest to anarchist principles. Also, interesting things are happening in Ohio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlO_2QhUQRI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3l4PtC7iTA

None of these are perfect systems, but they show that things can be organized differently and based on somewhat different values.

“Simply saying we're altruistic or that human nature is best suited to libertarian socialism does not make it true.”

I presented lots of arguments, as well as reference to science, to make my case. If you disagree with anything, then present your counter arguments.

“If socialist ideas are such a good fit with our nature then it should have thrived and developed instead of capitalism.”

Not if concentrated power and tyrannical institutions have prevented it – which is exactly what has happened.

“Capitalism grew because it fit our nature best.”

What about when slavery came into existence and got well established? Then slavery fit our nature best?

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I favor the top down decision making for owners of businesses. I suppose it is much the same with government, only the owners get a say. In government it can be said all citizens are owners. Non citizens may not vote, they don't get a say. So yes, I favor the same thing in government, the owner-citizens get to vote, non-citizens do not, they, like workers, must follow the laws dictated to them by the representatives of the citizen-owners.

I can't speak to a Stalinist regime, in my country each citizen is more or less an "owner" in the government and does get a say. The Stalinist or N. Korean type regimes don't permit the owner-citizens to have a meaningful voice. We discussed something similar a few days ago, in making an analogy between business and government it would be more accurate to ask if he entered into the regime freely, if so then he should expect to be dictated to. Workers are not born into their jobs they go and seek employment they accept the relationship between worker and employer.

I intentionally used the word dictate and I did mean for it to extend to those that own a business. I'm in favor of the owner setting the rules for a business, as long as he complies with existing labor laws. I would never limit the rights that go with ownership. I don't care if you call it tyranny, I see it as the owner's right and believe he should keep it. Workers have rights too, as outlined in our labor laws, that apparently isn't enough to satisfy you, but it is for me. If workers want to have a greater say in the operation of a business they must buy that right, they don't deserve to have it given to them.

You say the workers do not always have the financial means to begin their own business. The owner provides that and in return gets to direct and dictate, how that business is run. Without the financial input there would be no business. If the workers have the money or can get the loans they can start their own business, like Evergreen or Mondragon. Your examples of libertarian socialist businesses did not confiscate property.

Spain is the only actual society you've mentioned and I don't see it as having been successful. It was put into place through violent revolution during a civil war and didn't last long enough to actually be judged a success or failure. There was also a good deal of intimidation and violence used by the anarchists to discourage dissent. The cooperatives are businesses, not libertarian socialist societies. You're free to develop as many cooperatives as you choose. You advocate changing laws and constitutions and forcing all to follow a new economic system. Cooperatives are not complete societies and I don't have confidence in their ability to predict success on a larger scale.

If Mondragon is going to be an example of what you see as success then I am more confident socialism in general will fail. It shows me cooperatives don't have the empathy to rule themselves fairly. Mondragon does not accept foreign workers and has exploited it's foreign work force. It's financial success can also be questioned because of the tax breaks it gets from the government and the advantage it gets from government protection. Evergreen may or may not be successful, I don't know a lot about it, but it exists without confiscation of property.

In your arguments you've presented opinion I just don't find it convincing. There are academics that say we have the necessary qualities and more that say we do not. You believe what you want, under the laws we have you're going to have to build your society through cooperatives within a capitalistic world. I don't see democracy in the workplace as necessary and certainly not worth changing property rights for.

Slavery does fit into our nature, those not of our tribe or nationality were viewed as inferior, it showed our lack of empathy. There is still some slavery in the world and for many our lack of empathy comes out now as prejudice. We're still working our way away from those traits and they are too strong for the world to become libertarian socialist. If you wish to use the elimination of slavery as a comparison to the elimination of capitalism then you may have to look at a path to socialism that is centuries long.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“I favor the top down decision making for owners of businesses. I suppose it is much the same with government, only the owners get a say. In government it can be said all citizens are owners. So yes, I favor the same thing in government, the owner-citizens get to vote, non-citizens do not, they, like workers, must follow the laws dictated to them by the representatives of the citizen-owners.”

So everyone involved get to vote? All the citizens get to have a say in things? That’s not top down tyranny. Why do you think it’s ok to have top down dictatorship in business, but not in government?”

Again:

Do you favor top-down tyrannical hierarchy – one or a few persons having all the power and dictating everyone else – in state and government?

Why?/Why not?

“We discussed something similar a few days ago, in making an analogy between business and government it would be more accurate to ask if he entered into the regime freely, if so then he should expect to be dictated to.”

And I explained that it’s irrelevant. No matter who goes in and out of the institution, and what the expectations are, it’s still a tyranny.

“Workers are not born into their jobs they go and seek employment they accept the relationship between worker and employer.”

And I explained that it’s not that simple: Your choices in the economy depend on your access to resources, and this access is in most cases not chosen. People work in tyrannical institutions because that’s often the only alternative in order to survive or have a somewhat decent life. It’s the lesser of two evils.

“I'm in favor of the owner setting the rules for a business, as long as he complies with existing labor laws.”

Ok. And if the labor laws were gradually changed more and more so that workers’ rights improved?

“I don't care if you call it tyranny, I see it as the owner's right and believe he should keep it.”

But you agree that it is tyranny? Why should he keep it, though? Should a Stalinist dictator who more or less owns every institution in a country get to keep it? And why not?

“Workers have rights too, as outlined in our labor laws, that apparently isn't enough to satisfy you, but it is for me.”

But why do you support today’s America’s labor laws? Why not support better rights?

“If workers want to have a greater say in the operation of a business they must buy that right, they don't deserve to have it given to them.”

They have to buy their rights? That sounds pretty grotesque. So no more rights thru democratic process and organization? Is that it?

“The owner provides that and in return gets to direct and dictate”

So access to lots of resources legitimizes tyranny?

“Without the financial input there would be no business.”

Capitalists aren’t the only ones capable of creating and managing economic institutions.

“If the workers have the money or can get the loans they can start their own business, like Evergreen or Mondragon. Your examples of libertarian socialist businesses did not confiscate property.”

That’s correct. And like I’ve said before, the more new cooperatives that get established, the better, but it can’t stop there. The economy is all-encompassing, and there are lots of tyrannical institutions and huge concentrated private power that have an overwhelming impact on the economy and our lives. The entire economy should eventually be democratized.

“Spain is the only actual society you've mentioned and I don't see it as having been successful.”

It was very successful when it existed. Lots of participation, cooperation, mutual support, with huge parts of the economy collectivized. Lots of things happened in Spain during this period, fascism was on the rise and so on, but the actual organization within these anarchist communities and institutions was very successful.

“The cooperatives are businesses, not libertarian socialist societies.”

An anarchist society would be an area in which the institutions and the community were controlled democratically by the participants. Cooperatives – worker-run businesses – would be an essential part of an anarchist society.

Mondragon is a network of cooperatives in the Basque Country, organizing the society with cooperative schools, banks, industry, agriculture and so on. It’s not a perfect utopia, but it shows that things can be organized based on cooperation and workers’ control.

“You advocate changing laws and constitutions and forcing all to follow a new economic system.”

Sure. Just like you advocate not changing laws and constitutions much, and forcing all to follow the current (or a very similar) economic system.

“I don't have confidence in their ability to predict success on a larger scale.”

Why Not?

“I don't see democracy in the workplace as necessary and certainly not worth changing property rights for.”

Yeah, I think I got it. Tyranny in business and the economy is just fine. Right?

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

We've run out of replies again, here's my response.

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-is-the-problem/#comment-963512

[-] 0 points by eterna (-93) from Montauk, NY 1 year ago

slavery has been abolished for quite ahile,.............except( and other muslims countries) in the sudan where muslims own black christian slaves.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

We've gotten off track with little details, how we define theft or tyranny won't determine capitalism's fate. We simply see things differently. I don't agree that private ownership of business should be ended and certainly not without compensating the owners. I disagree that employees are as powerless as you suggest. They have enough rights and choices.

Libertarian socialism is, in my opinion hopelessly flawed. Fortunately, from my perspective, over the last century people have turned away from it and it's support has fallen. Unions have turned away form it. There is no interest in securing ownership for workers or working toward changes in the law to make acquiring ownership of the means of production easier.

You are right in saying that none of this can come about unless people want it to. At present they do not and the number of those opposed has increased while the supporters have grown less numerous. Proponents of socialism have been unsuccessful for close to a century in trying to convince people that it could work.

I think a great deal of popular resistance to socialism comes from the impression people get from its proponents. I’ll paraphrase something I read about anarchists, “They to want it all, they want it now, and they want it for free”. The population in general has no respect for that attitude. Work for change instead, try to build a socialist society one cooperative at a time and prove it would work.

I believe that as libertarian socialism is explained to people they realize the flaws in it and know the chaos caused by implementing socialism would be worse then the system it's trying to replace. You may believe people would be better off under libertarian socialism, but that could be possible only if it works. I believe the overwhelming majority of people think libertarian socialism would fail and leave them worse off. Change is of course always possible. For the last century the change has been for people to move away from libertarian socialism.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“I don't agree that private ownership of business should be ended and certainly not without compensating the owners.”

And I have countered this. Private ownership of business is tyrannical – it’s undemocratic; it allows some individuals to control and dominate others. People with illegitimate power should be overthrown and given the same right as everyone else: the right to control your own life and work.

“I disagree that employees are as powerless as you suggest.”

I never said they’re powerless; I said they have much less power and that their situation prevents them from making certain choices.

“Libertarian socialism is, in my opinion hopelessly flawed.”

Why do you believe that.

“over the last century people have turned away from it and it's support has fallen.”

That can change. And we know it can work. We’ve seen examples of libertarian socialist/libertarian socialist-like societies working just fine.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Anything can change, Germany could give national socialism another try or Russia could get themselves a new Czar, but it's not LIKELY to happen any time soon given the present attitudes of the population. It's much the same with libertarian socialism. There is no indication that even a small segment of the population has shifting toward it. Could it change? Maybe. Will it change? We can't know. Based on the trends we see now however it isn't likely to change. We're not likely to see a socialist movement rising up with significant numbers this century.

Libertarian socialism is an idea that is defeated before you start because you begin with, what is by today's standard, an immoral proposition. Taking private property, the means of production, without compensation is not permitted by our laws. That alone makes libertarian socialism unacceptable to most people and more unjust then the assertion of businesses being tyrannical. The ideas of what is moral or legal could someday shift, but there is no indication that any such shift has begun. The idea of socialism being more democratic is irrelevant in a society where property rights are held in high regard and no one is forced to work for any company.

You see today's workers as lacking enough power. To me the fact that some people come from hardship and may find it too difficult to do anything they want is unavoidable. Life isn't fair or just and we can't ever make it so. All society or government should provide are the equal rights for all to strive for success. We have that now, anyone has the right to own a business. I see your solution to socialize business as worse then the problem.

I don't believe it matters to people if you say businesses are tyrannical. There are legal limits on the so called tyranny. Workers trade a wage for labor. They are free to change jobs, in the developed world virtually no one actually starves, even if they don't work. They do not deserve any say or vote in how a private business is run. Some companies offer shares for sale, if a worker wishes a vote he may buy a share in the company. The beauty of ownership is to run things as you see fit, within the law, and to succeed or fail based on your individual decisions. It's why ownership is something that many aspire to. It's a right very few are willing to give up even if they do not own a business.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I addressed this in my other answer.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"So you're saying that production should be owned by the producers, and the procuct of their labors is shared collectively?"

Production, distribution etc should be controlled democratically by the participants – the communities and the workforce.

"In a capitalist regime, can you envisage a way to tax this collective activity? Will the burden fall on the individual, or the collective?"

Could you elaborate a little on this one?

[-] 1 points by RoccoXXX (8) 1 year ago

Here in Southeast Idaho we have a recent Grand Opening (new location in town) of WINCO. It is a mega retail food outlet owned and operated by the employees. In the few short weeks it opened it has caused a major problem for the local Wal Mart. It may or may not be capitalism but it sure works well. The prices are great and extremely competitive with Wal Mart. I like the whole idea.

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 1 year ago

http://capitalism.org/

Your description of what capitalism has become is accurate. Neither the OP or the link define the ideal or why it actually works with our natural while in a free state of mind.

For the record, to correct any assumption that the cognitive distortion of "capitalist", a label is an adequate label, I'll improve the label of what I think is intended because of a saying I saw here on ows.

Justice is love expressed socially

I say, "spiritual capitalism" might be a better descriptor of what might work than the indirect reference to it I've created from the links focus on justice, the saying found here (it rings of truth) and the thread topic, or problems it points out.

Ultimately it says the lack of justice is the problem because with justice capitalism can be controlled. Now, settling for a system that does not consider justice, will not work either. And assuming that the existing corrupted social power systems in the justice system can be replaced, purified because the social system has changed is asking for SERIOUS problems.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Do people have the desire to commit that much time to regulating their own work?

Its pretty tough getting volunteers for elections that are once every four years. Getting people to volunteer full time would be really tough. Of course, they will get a benefit, but as we have seen with occupy, having a ton of hands in the pool can lead to some extremely frustrating things, along with a ton of procrastination.

When people's ability to support their kids is on the line, there isnt room for that kind of procrastination. Shit happens, and people would no longer be at the mercy of their "boss, but instead their bosses.

Many a great action ideas went to die at GA's. Many a great organizers got up and left GA's. Its very very very tough stuff.

I would rather see a nation of freelancers, who choose to partner up from time to time for bigger projects.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

There have existed, and there exist today, communities with much more participation than in today's state capitalist system. We must work to establish a more humane and democratic society in which people can be in control of their own lives and communities.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

I agree, and I think either what you propose or myself- in all likelihood either would turn into a hybrid of both- would be a vast improvement over what we have. But its getting people's momentum that is tough, and usually a sign of how well they will hold up over time.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

We have a mixed economy. Part free market and part socialist, plus an unhealthy dose of corporate and special interest control of government.

Fire and police departments are? Socialist or free market.

Public education is? Socialist or free market.

Social Security is? Socialist or free market.

Food stamps are? Socialist or free market.

Public roads are? Socialist or free market.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It's a mixed economy. We have state-capitalism.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

State capitalism technically is "for profit" enterprises, managed and organized by the government. The four examples above are all non profit.

I have nothing against socialism or anarchism, but the degree to which they should be a part of our governing structure should be up to the people.

It's a waste of breath telling the people to choose this or that form of government when they don't currently have the power to choose or the knowledge to make an informed choice.

Let's get the power back into the hands of the people first, then let them make the choice of government.

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 1 year ago

Is it worse than tyranny and fascism?

[-] -3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Capitalism is tyrannical as well. All tyrannical systems should be opposed.

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 1 year ago

Where is the ideal of capitalism defined as tyrannical?

I won't argue that greed can equate to tyrannical acts, and that a society taught principals by the elite will practice such acts

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

In Capitalism it is the financial elite and the huge corporations that have the overwhelming power in society. They control the important resources and the stock market; they have a huge influence and power in the economy, yet we’ve never voted for them. Wealth and power is very highly concentrated in the hands of a non-elected minority who make huge decisions that affect the entire society and our lives. This is highly undemocratic.

Not only are the rich and powerful in an undemocratic way controlling the economy as a whole in huge networks of transactions, investments and stock exchange, they also rule the institutions in society in a totalitarian way. The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model: a tyrannical non-democratic hierarchy in which the people at the top – the CEOs, board of directors, owners etc – dictate how the institution is being run, what’s being produced, working conditions and so on, while people further down the hierarchy must follow their orders. Capitalist institutions are in other words private tyrannies These structures are not in any way resembling democratic organization.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYxGkFxb7f4

Read more here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 1 year ago

Everybody here knows that, which does nothing to diminish the ideal of what capitalism can be.

I see that without justice, there is NO WAY capitalism can work".

We do not have justice, therefore we cannot reasonably judge capitalism. Any attempt will certainly be premature and erroneous.

I will not accept any system that does not have justice as a prime directive. I suggest we make our justice system robust with constitutional protections from greed exploiting the capitalistic system BEFORE we prescribe some thing else.

We can do that with ART5, if we develop a true understanding of constitutional intent. Then, if capitalism still cannot work, we can change again.

[-] -3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

or even the free market economy model

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

Some form of libertarian socialist political/economic system with technocratic guidance is the best system I believe we can hope for in our lifetimes. First we need to form a party that represents the ideals of libertarian socialism. My suggestion would be to resurrect the old Bull-Moose party. We need to do this now and not wait till 2016 6 months before the election. We can carve a sizable portion of the electorate with a true libertarian-progressive party platform. The republican party is going to split down libertarian/neo-con lines. The democratic party has been fractured for 20 years since the new democrats came in and shut down the progressives and liberals. This country is a fiscally conservative non-interventionist socially progressive welfare state at it's heart. If any political party can articulate these values it's one that already has BULL-MOOSE.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I beg to differ. I believe that this country is fiscally very progressive in that it spends 60% of its expenditures on entitlements. In fact, it is so unsustainable that it must be progressive.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

60% oh come now that figure is incorrect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_United_States_federal_budget it is under 50% but that is not the point. the point is 110.3 billion to the treasury and 154.5 billion for agricultural subsidies, 55.4 billion for homeland security, 35.0 billion in energy subsidies, 52.6 billion for national intelligence program, oh and the dod 672.9. granted there is plenty of waste in programs spending 940.9 billion dept of health and human services, 101.7 to the dept of labor (or lack of labor), 882.7 for social security. i am with you let us trim the fat but this in not a progressive country this is slavelandia. they just want the poor to never not be poor.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

The point is that it makes the country unsustainable. We need to borrow lots of money to pay for that, without which we could be sustainable.

By the way, why do you think that those entitlements are democratic, since they only benefit some and punish the rest?

There is nothing inherently special in the rich. They worked hard. If those that do not pay taxes to support the country (bottom 50%), they can work hard, use the educational system and sustain themselves instead of living off others like a parasite.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

look i have no problem with the fact people get wealthy off of their own talents and abilities. athletes and artists of all stripes do. inventors and business men with new ideas do. however to say that the rich worked hard well that is just a lie. rich people don't work hard. sure you can say you worked hard for 70 hours last week but what did you really do? entertain clients? talk on the phone? bullshit and fill out paper work? pitter putter on excel? travel to a meeting somewhere to give a piddly power point? really explain this to me. am i claiming all people that are rich are this way of course not but come on have you ever known a rich person? i am jewish so that should tell you in it of it self how many well off people i have known in life. trust me unless they are doing manual or service labor of some sort they are hardly working at all. these jokers claim to work hard but they are fucking prostitutes and blowing cocaine with clients to entertain them... yeah real hard fucking work where do i sign up for that gig. rape the system, make millions, fuck whores and blow coke all night long in limos and vip lounges. yeah life is so fucking tough. man i had to "work 80-90 hours last week". oh wo is me for the rich. give me a fucking break.

[-] -2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

One of the core ideas in libertarian socialism is that the main focus should be on direct action, not party politics. I agree with this. These are the things we should focus on in my opinion: http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-do-we-fight-capitalism-the-1/

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

that is not true per say. the unions become defacto parties. not just that but if you have not noticed we live in a land of political parties and states.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

There's more to democracy than party politics. Lots of things can be done without getting involved in political parties - it's called direct action

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Prove your system works. Take direct action and start a community that is based on your principles.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

We know it works. Establishing libertarian socialist societies or something very similar, has been done many times before:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/workplace-democracy-and-workers-self-management/

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

yeah, look at all that is getting done.... yawn.... let me know when you actually have the balls to use real revolutionary tactics....

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

The entire globalist system is built around immorality. How can you have a system with child labor? We banned that shit a century ago. Seriously it is fucking insane. Just that one fact in it of it self should tell you everything you need to know about global capitalism. Forget the environmental destruction and the corruption of governments. Forget the poverty and exploitation of adults. WE HAVE CHILDREN MANUFACTURING OUR KIDS FUCKING TOYS for pennies a fucking day. FUCK CAPITALISM and anyone who supports it should be lined up and summarily executed with the rest of the trash after of course their trial.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2239) 1 year ago

Just imagine, if we all gave up our vices, the entire U.S. capitalist system would crash. Say if we as a society could give up cigarette smoking the cigarette industry would fold. If we stopped being greedy, and gave up gambling, the stock market would crash. If we gave up being lazy, and started walking more, the auto industry would crash. If we stopped being gluttons with our energy use, the energy industry would fold. if we stopped hating people, the gun and defense industry would fold. If we started being responsible with our money the pay day loan industry would fold... . . . . . .Maybe we can do at least some of these things.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago

struggleforfreedom80....

"..A system that allows a few individuals to have undemocratic control and power, not only at the workplace, but in society in general, is unacceptable; a system that allows some individuals to exploit and profit on other people’s misery is unacceptable; a system that allows more and more cash to be shuffled into the pockets of the owners and the wealthy, is unacceptable..."

I agree .... however I believe you are trying to fight a war that can only be won thru bloodshed... you will not be able to convince the powers in this country to abandon the the illusion of Capitalism w/o bloodshed....

however... imo, we do not need to change the illusion to change the mindset... once the mindset is changed ... the people (the democracy) will change the rules...

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I want the transition to a free and democratic society to be as peaceful as possible. There are examples of societies that have changed their political and economic systems quite radically without much violence; that can happen again. There are no guarantees of a non-violent transition, but we just have to try our best. I have written a little bit about how I hope/think a transition to a free, libertarian socialist society could look like here:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1321101669_the_transition_phase_.html

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

In compliment:

Mandy Warner is a new mom; her daughter Daphne was born about 6 months ago. She has been following the progress of the mercury regulations for years. She recently returned from maternity leave only to find out that she must redouble her efforts to support the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

Polluting utilities are now suing for their right to pollute our air with poisons. And as usual, they claim that the controls are too expensive to adopt. But they’re telling their investors a completely different story.

Send a message to American Electric Power and FirstEnergy encouraging them to fund clean air, not lawsuits for the right to pollute.

I'll let Mandy--the analyst--explain:

As power plant pollution control projects continue, we are seeing--yet again--that the cost of meeting clean air standards, like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants (MATS), has fallen.

This past quarter, American Electric Power (AEP) and FirstEnergy each told their investors that their anticipated costs for meeting environmental standards dropped.

AEP has lowered its estimated costs of following environmental standards by half, from a high of $8 billion down to $4 to $5 billion.

AEP was the top emitter of mercury, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide in 2011 among the top 100 power producers in the U.S.

And...AEP is a leader in the lawsuit to halt the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

FirstEnergy has dropped its estimated costs of following environmental standards from a high of $3 billion down to $925 million (which is $50 million lower than they estimated last quarter).

FirstEnergy was the sixth highest emitter of mercury in 2011 among the top 100 power producers.

And...First Energy is challenging the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in court.

This has to end--please take a moment and send a message to the CEOs of AEP and FirstEnergy encouraging them to fund clean air instead of those lawsuits.

Mandy's research into the facts and figures tell the real story of a cynical resistance to pollution control--though why utilities would want to keep pouring poisons into our air is beyond me. We parents have to take back our power--literally. We cannot let polluters carry on with their cynical business-as-usual approach, while spewing into our air powerful neurotoxins that damage the brains, lungs and hearts of unborn babies, infants and toddlers.

Mandy--the new mother, who is a bit sleepless, remember those days?--should have the final word:

It is hard not to feel overwhelmed at times with all of the worries that come with being a (new) mom. It is hard not to feel powerless at times with all of the threats in the world, including those real threats to our basic need for clean, healthy air. But I have learned that we as mothers are far from powerless. Our voice is stronger than even the most well-funded opponents that would distort the truth about the real impacts and costs of pollution. It is our duty as mothers to unite for what's right until we've won the day.

Sincerely,

Dominique Browning Co-Founder and Senior Director, Moms Clean Air Force

PS: Food lovers the world over should be furious that our fish, rice and other grains are contaminated with mercury and other poisons. Mark Bittman, an award winning food writer (and my personal food guru) wrote about mercury and moms clean air force in the New York Times recently.

[-] 0 points by TruthForv (0) from Boyne City, MI 1 year ago

Occupy has adopted a definition of capitalism only accepted by "anti-capitalists," a minute group intellectuals. It's unfortunate, really, because the anti-capitalist definition of capitalism fails to acknowledge the essential "competition" aspect of capitalism, and this definition is contrary to leading inequality expert and Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz's view of our current economic system. Stiglitiz refers to our current economic system "ersatz capitalism," or pseudo-capitalism (and he said so when he spoke at Zuccotti Park). Why? Because REAL capitalism empowers all citizens to compete--thus it should be anti-oppressive. By referring to pseudo-capitalism as capitalism, Occupy is actually reinforcing the idea that oppressive feudalism equates to capitalism. For this reason, Occupy needs a drastic marketing charge or to go away as this anti-capitalist message does more harm than good.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The definition is accurate. As the post says, there can be competition and market without capitalism. What characterizes capitalism is that there is private ownership of the mop.

Capitalism is in fact the problem. It is exploitative, immoral and it undermines democracy:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

An asshole from CATO was on the PBS news hour tonight attacking food stamps.

[-] 0 points by norm741 (5) 1 year ago

This is the stuff that will kill OWS. Forget the leftest propaganda of the 20s and 30s and get back to the crooked bankers and politicians that are the real prroblem

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

In Compliment - From League of Conservation Voters:

It's bad enough that middle-class families are paying near-record prices at the pump, it's downright obscene that they're also forced to subsidize Big Oil through their tax dollars -- all at a time when Big Oil is raking in billions in profits.

Our friends and allies at the League of Conservation Voters are blowing the whistle and taking on the fight to end government handouts to Big Oil.

They've organized a petition and I hope you'll join me in signing it. Tell Congress to finally end the Big Oil handouts.

Senator Jeff Merkley

Tell Congress: It’s time to end Big Oil handouts. Send a message here.

Friends,

Last year ExxonMobil reported annual profits of nearly $45 billion. BP announced that its 2012 profits came to $11.6 billion. Collectively, the big five oil companies made $118 billion in profits in 2012.

Meanwhile Americans across the country continue to struggle with near-record prices at the pump.

And do you know the worst part? While the Big Oil companies rake in obscene profits, they’re also getting billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies. I don’t know about you, but I find that absolutely disgusting.

It’s time to stop giving billions of our taxpayer dollars to obscenely profitable oil companies. Tell Congress to end Big Oil handouts now.

Over the past decade, the big five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – have enjoyed more than $1 trillion in profits. Let me repeat that. Since 2002, the world’s biggest oil companies have made over $1 trillion in profits.

At the same time, oil companies benefit from tax breaks to the tune of $4 billion each year. Why are we subsidizing one of the most profitable industries? Why does ExxonMobil get a tax break while we get stuck paying higher gas prices?

If you’re tired of paying twice for your gas -- first at the pump and then again on tax day -- tell Congress to end Big Oil handouts.

In recent years, President Obama has proposed a budget that would eliminate billions in these ridiculous tax breaks for oil giants. Not surprisingly, the oil industry has been fighting back and getting their congressional cronies to maintain these needless handouts. But Big Oil’s party ends now.

Momentum is building for action. Polls consistently show that there is strong public support for cutting Big Oil’s special tax breaks. And our environmental champions in Congress are ready to put an end to this unfair practice once and for all. But they need to hear from you if they’re going to make it happen.

Tell your members of Congress to stand up for our environment and our families, not polluter profits, and end Big Oil handouts for good. Send a message here.

Thank you for taking action. I look forward to working with you to win this fight in the months to come.

Sincerely,

Gene Karpinski President League of Conservation Voters

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

In compliment - From Public Citizen:

1st e-mail:

You can “google” anything, right?

Have you ever tried to search for how much Google spends to influence elections?

While Google provides access to multitudes of information on the Internet at the click of a mouse, the company keeps information about its political spending well hidden.

Let Google know that accountability matters to you.

We know Google has supported some good policies in the past — from green energy to Internet privacy — but without knowing where the company’s political dollars are going, it’s next to impossible to know if Google is undermining the very causes it promotes.

But what little evidence we have isn’t pretty.

Google is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a dark money juggernaut that spent more than $35 million in the 2012 elections. The U.S. Chamber also supports regressive policies such as fracking and the kind of financial deregulation that led to the economic meltdown of 2008.

If Google is serious about its principles, it should adopt a policy to (1) fully disclose its political spending and it should (2) end its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Sign our letter to Google’s founders asking them to take these two important steps.

Google’s CEO and co-founder Larry Page once said, “We have a mantra: don’t be evil, which is to do the best things we know how for our users, for our customers, for everyone.”

Tell Google: Don’t be evil.

Thanks for all that you do,

Kelly Ngo Public Citizen’s Online Action Team action@citizen.org

donate

P.S. Do one more easy thing before you move to the next message in your inbox. Forward this email to five friends, family members, neighbors or colleagues. They’ll appreciate knowing what matters to you. And your voice will be amplified by every person who joins you in taking action.

Visit our Government Reform page to learn more about Public Citizen’s work to rein in the influence of money in politics. Go to http://action.citizen.org/unsubscribe.jsp if you do not want to receive future emails from Public Citizen.

© 2013 Public Citizen • 1600 20th Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20009 • www.citizen.org


Follow-up e-mail:

Google presents itself as a forward-thinking, innovative corporation.

But Google’s membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pits this supposed public-interest champion squarely against the public, as the U.S. Chamber pushes brutal austerity measures, the deregulation of polluting industries, limitless corporate influence in politics and cuts to consumer protections.

Tell Google to end its allegiance with the U.S. Chamber and to be a public-interest champion.

Tell Google to withdraw its membership from the U.S. Chamber.

More than 13,000 Public Citizen activists have already joined the campaign calling on Google to part ways with the U.S. Chamber.

Google’s annual shareholder meeting is this Thursday.

We’re delivering the petitions before the meeting, so now is your last chance to sign.

Add your name to the petition calling on Google to quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Thanks for all that you do,

Rick Claypool Public Citizen’s Online Action Team

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

In compliment - From The Sum Of Us:

Last week, Gap made a big announcement. After weeks of pressure by people across the globe to sign the binding Bangladesh Safety Accord and end death traps in its factories, Gap put out a press release about its big new plan: partnering with Walmart on a fake “safety plan” that is not accountable to anyone.

Gap thinks it can fool us with a cheap PR stunt. It’s wrong.

Help us undermine Gap's PR stunt by spreading the word about Gap and Walmart’s deadly “plan” and sharing this image on Facebook or forwarding this email to your friends.

Click here to share this image and help spread the word about Gap and Walmart's dishonesty:

Gap and Walmart are strange bedfellows. Walmart has a long record of unethical behavior, from brutally exploiting workers to discriminating against women to bribing Mexican officials, and it’s one of the most hated corporations in the world. Until recently, Gap was seen as a fairly responsible company.

Our sources tell us that Gap’s senior executives get really upset when they hear their company’s name mentioned in the same breath as Walmart. It means the brand they’ve tried to create for years is crumbling. But if they’re going to get in bed with Walmart to avoid taking responsibility for workers’ safety, they’re going to have to deal with the consequences. If Gap doesn’t like it, it can join the Bangladesh Safety Accord like dozens of brands already have.

Thanks for keeping the pressure on Gap to actually protect its workers from death traps, Marguerite, Rob, Kaytee, and the rest of The Sum Of Us

P.S. We’ve created a new tumblr to spread the word about Gap and Walmart’s blossoming friendship: gapheartswalmart.tumblr.com. If you want to make your own submission (and make Gap’s bosses angry), just go here or here and email a link to reportback@sumofus.org. We’ll take the best submissions and put them on the tumblr.

SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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[-] 0 points by kavakid (1) 1 year ago

Ummmm...... last time I checked we are free to create cooperative businesses..... And even to create cooperative banks (credit unions). Let's discard the broken record player, please. We tried that line 40 years ago but our parents didn't want to give up their toys, and neither will the 100 million rifle owning country folk.... So, sorry to say, that we need to look for practical solutions and not fanciful hallucinations. Oh, and by the way, real solutions aren't always sexy and exciting. Actually they are often used for revolutions that lead to even more tyranny. The real path is one of focused and gradual improvement. But that's harder than holding signs that say "capitalism is the problem"

[-] 0 points by CalabreRoberto (0) from Sesto San Giovanni, Lombardia 1 year ago

Capitalism is private appropriation of social labour. But the point is to understand that this mode of production has not been let down from heaven, but is the result of mercantilism. Capitalism is indissolubly linked to the exchange, to the money, to the market system. Workers can take control of all the factories in the world, but if they will continue to exchange products for money, the market will turn them into new capitalists, as well as the merchants has turned into capitalists in the past.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

So you're saying that if we get rid of money, we would be better off. Are you suggesting that wealth in dollars is worse than wealth in any tangible asset with intrinsic value? If you do, then you are incorrect. Money is simply a medium of exchange that has no intrinsic value, to make it more convenient. The workers trading the products for food etc. will not be any different from them trading the products for money.

[-] 0 points by boxman (7) from Prospect, KY 1 year ago

One would have to be ignorant of our own countries history to believe that private property is the problem. In the Plymouth colony, for example, the attempt was made to rely on Christian principles to work for the communal good, but the colony was on the verge of starvation when it switched to a private property system in 1623, which made immediate improvements to their situation.

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[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 1 year ago

"The means of production" is less important to consider than the claims to own the land and all natural resources. People obviously can and do own the products of their mind and their own labor, however the world and our resources are not such products. (patents are also now absurd claims at ownership of ideas)

The oppressive nature of our current corporate/military system rise from the police state being used to enforce the claims of a few on the bulk of resources of this planet.

Also feeding the imbalance is the insane monetary system where the many, feed wealth to the few, through a system of money, debt, and interest that has no useful function, and many many terribly destructive ones.

So to sum; no one owns the planet, the land, or any resources they can not show they produced through their own effort, and the current monetary system is a pyramid scam that steals from you every time you touch a dollar in any capacity.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It’s very relevant who controls the means of production. Private ownership of the mop, means exploitation and accumulation of wealth. In a modern, technological society like ours, with an all-encompassing economy, who controls the production is an important factor. The people/workers are the ones who should control production, not a small wealthy minority.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 1 year ago

You seem stuck in the idea of producing widgets. Did you read my comment? I do not want to be a "worker of the world". I desire to be a free person, to have adequate food and shelter, not a bunch of mass produced bobbles and widgets.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You can decide for yourself how much you want to participate. However, people should still have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by. The economic institutions should be run democratically by the participants.

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Instead of freedom and the freedom of association, you want a throw back to feudalism but with a twist. You want a society of cottage industries where the peasants have more say than they did during the medieval age. The Lords own nothing (except of course their personal property like their toothbrush and toilet paper). The Vassals swear their allegiance to the good of the community. The peasants sit around and vote on this that or the other. And someone somewhere comes up with the goods that make up the common goods of the society. Why agitate further? What are you waiting for? Have you yet joined a community whose members want to live their lives as you want to?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, I want freedom. Libertarian Socialism is about human liberation:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/part-ii-workers-self-management-workplace-democrac/

Right-libertarianism on the other hand, is about tyranny. Giving corporations and the 1% HUGE tax cuts (as you want to do), has nothing to do with freedom. Allowing huge, powerful corporations to have enormous control of the economy, means private tyranny, not freedom.

You’re an ultra right-wing libertarian. Right-libertarianism is BULLSHIT:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

It's weird to me that you continue to claim that you know what I want when it comes to taxation. I live in the US. As I have said many times that I am 100% for the repeal of the Federal Income Tax. My ideal for taxation is a voluntary tax. Less than ideal is a flat tax. With that, I'd advocate for repeal of Federal Income Tax and a flat tax in its place as the first stage to the ultimate stage of voluntary tax. I have also advocated a repeal of the Federal Income Tax and the funding of the Federal Government in the US made by each State contributing to the US Treasury.

Where you continually come up with your claim that you know what I advocate for taxation is beyond me. Are you really reading my replies?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Based on what you’ve written so far here, it’s not very hard to figure out where you stand on taxes. And you just now explained what I already knew.

You said you weren’t a right-wing libertarian. You lied! And you ultra right-wingers have a very simple solution as to what should happen: Give the wealthy and the corporations HUGE tax cuts, and CUT services for the workers and the poor. You advocate total private tyranny, in which people are forced to live in a society where huge, powerful corporations have the overwhelming control in the economy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwQEgOKEEXI

Right-libertarianism is BULLSHIT:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Your communism is so BULLSHIT, I don't know if even you believe in it, or are you just too proud to admit your wrong?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What do you mean by "my communism"? And why is it bullshit? I wrote an article explaining why right-libertarianism is bullshit. If you disagree, then present some arguments.

[-] -3 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

The communism that you try to bring has many problems. Maybe you never thought that if everyone got everything without doing any work, nobody would work. Those farmers, builders and doctors need to get paid, else they would become everyone else's slaves. Evidense: http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/does-socialism-work-a-classroom-experiment/

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You're wrong. NC counters this myth here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNhd4j4mzzc

We've also seen many examples of anarchist/anarchist-type societies working just fine:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/workplace-democracy-and-workers-self-management/

Capitalism should, and can be overcome:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-can-be-overcome/

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Then why do so many (up to 50%) not work and simply leach off society?

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

WallStreet doesn't make up 50% of "us".

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Most people work and contribute, or want to do so. If you want to talk about leeching, then let’s focus on the biggest ones: the corporations. The welfare checks that a few lazy people who don’t want to work get, is NOTHING compared to the enormous subsidies and the multbilllondollar bailouts the corporations have gotten thru the years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7JXfwUtz0w

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

You know that the higher tax you have, the higher deadweight loss you get, which means less wealth is created, as the supply curve is shifted, which changes the socially optimum price and quantity. As the tax gets passed on to consumers, wealth is destroyed.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The financial elite shouldn't be allowed to have this wealth and power in the first place. They shouldn't just be taxed more, eventually they should be entirely stripped from their privileges. The economy should be controlled democratically by the people.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Why? What wrong have they done? They have created significantly more wealth to society than what they have themselves. They took initiative and risk, and therefore got rewarded. I don't see anything wrong with that.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Tyrannical institutions shouldn’t be allowed to have control in the economy. People should be free to control their own lives.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Voluntary taxes!!!!?????.........LOL

Kinda like the libe(R)tarain ideal of voluntary charities to handle the poor.

LOL

Yeah. I see quite well where you stand on taxes.

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Do you see any causal connection between becoming or being poor and the Federal Reserve and Federal Government?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Casual? Perhaps.

But it's aggressive among WallStreet and libe(R)tarians alike.

Thus the casual part, might very well be because of a misinterpretation of the aggression.

This is of course a change of subject.

The only thing more asinine than a flat tax is a voluntary tax.

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You said, "Casual? Perhaps. But it's aggressive among WallStreet and libe(R)tarians alike. Thus the casual part, might very well be because of a misinterpretation of the aggression."

What are you talking about?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

No. You said casual.

Libe(R)tarains have been screwing Democracy since the 70s.

You lie for them.

WallStreet has always aggressively created poverty.

It's how they get so fucking rich.

Now what were you saying, about RonPaul beliefs?

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Sorry about the typo. I meant to type "causal". Do you see any causal connection between becoming or being poor and the Federal Reserve and Federal Government?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

It wasn't typo.

Tish, is a typo.

You mis-spoke and then you said the same thing.

My answer is the same, so...............

I already answered that question.

Why did you ask it again?

Seems redundant.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Wall Street's "aggression" thrives on volatility in the financial markets. There's nothing better to create it than a central bank and a fiat monetary system. And as you perhaps already know, there is nothing more systemic or conducive to keeping people poor than continuing to decrease the purchasing power of what little money they have. Monetary inflation hurts them most while enriching Wall Street. So I am advocating upholding the poor by breaking the connection between the rich and their fake money by eliminating the Fed. In the US, the Federal Income Tax was intimately bound to the creation of the Fed. So I am advocating the elimination of the Tax.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Well, there's your problem then.

WallStreet works more like the mafia.

You've heard of them?

What you're describing is an even worse form of leach, called a hedge funder.

All of those plus commodities traders, profit by adding as little as possible of value, to their chosen "markets".

WallStreet, is one of their ultimate "enforcers".

If you fail to pay your vig, they will find a way to break your "corporate" legs.

To adhere, corporations have been know to financially RAPE their workers, both present and especially, retired.

This has nothing to do with the FED, which they've only more recently bought control of.

Oh?

All of these shenanigans cost money.

They tack it onto everything, so it doesn't really cost them a dime.

It costs us.

They just financially rape everyone they can.

If you want to eliminate federal taxes?

You will need to adopt MMT, but that won't stop them either.

So you see.

WallStreet is the issue.

At least the way it is chartered and the way those psychopaths run it today.

As it is today.

They profit on poverty.

It's what they do.

It's in their charter.

[-] -3 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Go away shooz. If you can't appreciate the good that libertarians and corporations have brought us, I don't think you deserve to use them. So take your ignorance elsewhere.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

What good, precisely, did the libertopians bring? Be specific. If you can find any, contrast that with the wastelands they have created.

[-] -3 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

In libertarian Laissez-faire markets significantly more wealth is created than in your dystopian state controlled market. We are so much better off now than 100-200 years ago. In socialism our lives would suck just as much.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I just want to make sure that I heard you correctly. You said, you don't have any examples.

But, I knew that.

[+] -4 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Maybe specifically all the technology products like computers that we use every day. Without capitalism those ideas would not come to fruition, as the inventors of those products didn't invent them to be nice to people and to help them, but to make money. Adam Smith quote:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I just want to make sure that I heard you correctly. You have no examples of Libertopia.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

I guess I don't appreciate insanity as much as you...............:)

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

That's nice, but understand that society and technology does not move forward without the innovation that capitalism enables.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Why not?

The inquisitive mind creates progress. Are you implying otherwise?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Capitalism IS the Problem

Capitalism allowed to operate outside of the law - allowed to do any damned thing it wants - even if it ends all life on the planet. Capitalism running wild - like a chicken with it's head cut off - but this wild and brainless thing will not die like the chicken will ( not nearly fast enough anyway ).

It is worth repeating:

GREED THE #1 CAUSE OF DISEASE/DEATH/DESTRUCTION IN THE WORLD.

Case in point: http://occupywallst.org/forum/kicked-in-the-nuts/

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

But why is there so much greed? Because the system encourages and requires it. The owners and the wealthy have to be greedy in order to make it in the competition; if they’re not, they’re out and replaced by someone who is. It is the system – capitalism/state-capitalism – that’s the #1 cause of death and destruction. It’s the system that causes the greed.

Capitalism should and must die as soon as possible. A system that’s undemocratic, exploitative, unsustainable and dehumanizing, shouldn’t just be regulated, it should eventually be abolished.

[+] -5 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

DKAtoday is notorious for looking at symptoms, but overlooking the cause.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

The greed makes things work. It is human nature, without which nobody would take initiative to create wealth for everyone else

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

http://discovermagazine.com/2013/june/14-master-of-disaster#.UZ_CcG3DxEM

In many cultures, greed is considered a mental illness.

In ours, it's know as neoplexia.

[-] -3 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I am worried about greed from the government and progressives. Maybe you liberals do not understand that you want to give tons of more power to the government, and powerfreaks will end up making the USA a dictatorship.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

And you trust multinational corporations moar?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

So all other greed is OK with you?

BS statements like "it's human nature", you buy whole hog, and pass off as truth?

You don't find the Koch brothers to be power freaks???

You're either blind, or playing a game.

Which is it?

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I think the same about liberals actually. I wonder do you really not understand the concepts, or are you too proud to admit your wrong?

Anyways, all other greed is irrelevant, as it pushes the human race forward, and makes things more efficient. Without people being greedy and wanting to make money, the inventions that we use everyday would likely not exist.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

The concept of what?????

You've yet to present one, let alone anything comprehensive.

Your concept is based on the false premise of greed being somehow normal, it's not. It's a learned behavior.

I provided you with a link that shows how damaging it is... from the point of view of a risk manager.

You ignored it, and played some kind of FLAKESnews game.

Neoplexia........Look it up.

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

How economics and sociology works, how people make choices. Everyone makes choices for selfish reasons, for example. We should accept that and move on. Free markets are great because the people themselves know what decisions are best for them.

And sorry I didn't find anything about neoplexia, please explain.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Free markets are an impossible illusion.

Who was free here?

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Chile-s-Indians-take-on-world-s-largest-gold-miner-4548096.php

Sorroy about my dyslexia.

Try pleonexia

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

We don't have correct information to make best choice.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/great-information-here-youll-want-to-see-before-yo/

Let's make unselfish choice, ungreedy choice. That is prudent.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

If you mean asymmetric information, I will give you that, even though it is becoming less and less of a problem as we move into the Information Age, and getting rid of capitalism and the free markets will not get rid of it.

People don't make unselfish decisions, but they do make "selfless" decisions for self-esteem. If people made no greedy choices, then they would not have taken the initiative and put all that effort in to creating that wealth. Often greed is good

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Below, example of their efforts to create wealth

At present, the government can only issue bonds that are sold to the Fed, banks or investors with the funds raised by those bond issues used for federal spending. These bonds are loans that must be repaid with interest by the government. So in effect, the government places itself in a position of debt by borrowing money from the banks, and then taxpayer dollars are used to pay the debt with interest. If the government created its own (debt-free) money instead, taxpayers would get more value for their dollars and the system could be more democratic and transparent, and could function for the public good.

Henry Ford said, "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." Why? Because, as Thomas Edison pointed out, "If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good, makes the bill good ... It is absurd to say our country can issue $30 million in bonds and not $30 million in currency. Both are promises to pay, but one promise fattens the usurers and the other helps the people."

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

And they are not creating wealth, they are creating money. Big difference

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

All the gains of wealth is what banks and the financial system have created through non-real goods, but financing. watch that show, 97 percent owned, is where that is discussed.

Linked here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcGh1Dex4Yo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

With the current system the bond prices are determined by supply and demand. If we get rid of the liability that withstands with each printed note, the government could simply hyperinflate the dollar to pay off their debt. That's not how it should work. The government should work like anyone else, in that it has the responsibility to pay back the money it owes. What the government should do is cut back significantly on entitlement spending, which could easily get us out of deficit. Unfortunately the democrats (and some republicans) don't want this, and the dollar will therefore collapse by 2027.

[-] 2 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Uh, you and I are the government.

As it is now, private interests can gain financially while

They're charging you and me interst on their shenanigans, the taxpayers, so they can keep military all over world, and whatever else "we-they" decide. Like build a bunch of stuff the military doesnt want or need

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I don't know. If the government gets too much power all of a sudden then people will be dependent on a party caused it. They may even be able to change the constitution if they get so much power. So that is why it is important to avoid giving too much power to Washington in the first place. Better to keep them private, those have a lesser effect on people.

[-] -3 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

Greed doesn't cause diseases, bacteria and viruses do. Deaths are mostly caused by old age and sicknesses, not greed. As for destruction in the world, perhaps greed plays a large part.

But, we can't eradicate greed. It's part of human nature. What we can do is choose a political system which does not promote greed as a decision making criteria.

Capitalism and representative republics promote greed. They encourage it at the decisional making level. That's why greed plays a large part in US politics. It's not like that everywhere else in the world.

There are political and economic systems which do not promote greed. That's what OWS is all about, i.e. dismantling capitalism and representative republics to replace them with anarcho-communism.

If you think you can improve the world by making people less greedy without changing the system, you are fooling yourself.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

AlwaysWiIIBeanidiotAlwaysRight4commiting - your theme song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAcr-S1LSw

Cancer not old age is becoming the "natural?" cause of death.

[+] -4 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 1 year ago

Deaths are mostly caused by old age and sicknesses, not greed

I wrote old age and sicknesses. Cancer is a sickness. Learn to read. Your illiteracy is saddening.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Greed doesn't cause diseases, bacteria and viruses do.

And pollution - R U saying that pollution does not cause cancers or lung disease? Oh and don't forget food additives either.

AlwaysWiIIBeanidiotAlwaysRight4commiting - your theme song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAcr-S1LSw

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

Your system sounds a bit envious. You dont account for risk. You want to comfiscate the means of production "after the fact" avoiding the risk inherent to all enterprises.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

This is not about envy; this is about democracy – people having a say in the things that affect them. The workplaces must be democratized and run collectively by the workers and the communities.

Capitalism must be abolished.

[-] -1 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

Research inMotion, Dell computers, and Sears are nearly bankrupt. why dont you agititate to buy those companiies and make them employee owned. hostess Bakery was another. It could have easily been employee owned. Why arent you actively pursuing those easily acquired corporations?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

In general, it’s not that easy to simply just buy businesses. Workers often don’t have the resources to do so. However, successful cooperatives are growing in number all over the place. The more businesses that are turned into community and worker owned/controlled institutions, the better.

[-] -1 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

Capitalism allocates risk, something you arent accounting for. Its easy to point out some things and not highlight others. Your model doesnt have a system for allocating risk.

Plus capitalism isnt tyrannical. Its egalatarian. Name a company that has a tyrannical structure. Be specific.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What I’m concerned about is that people should be able to control their own lives and work. Decisions over production must be made democratically by the participants.

Capitalism is tyranny. In Capitalism it is the financial elite and the huge corporations that have the overwhelming power in society. They control the important resources and the stock market; they have a huge influence and power in the economy, yet we’ve never voted for them. Wealth and power is very highly concentrated in the hands of a non-elected minority who make huge decisions that affect the entire society and our lives. This is highly undemocratic.

Not only are the rich and powerful in an undemocratic way controlling the economy as a whole in huge networks of transactions, investments and stock exchange, they also rule the institutions in society in a totalitarian way. The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model: a tyrannical non-democratic hierarchy in which the people at the top – the CEOs, board of directors, owners etc – dictate how the institution is being run, what’s being produced, working conditions and so on, while people further down the hierarchy must follow their orders. Capitalist institutions are in other words private tyrannies. These structures are not in any way resembling democratic organization.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

And capitalism represents freedom, not tyranny. Example: you are an excellent McDonalds fry cook. Your boss screws you over. You can quit that day, and get a job at Wendys the next. THAT is FREEDOM!

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The fact that you can quit/move does not change the hierarchical structure. Having to live in a soceity in which the financial elite and the huge corporations have the owerwhelming control in the economy, is not freedom; freedom is people having control of their own lives and work.

[-] -1 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

People can control their own lives by starting their own businesses. Thats really easy. Trying to have control over their own lives is impossible in a corporation. In a corporation they have to do whats best for the organization. Lets use the example of the fry cook. If he only wants to work 30 hours a week, thats OK in his own business but if he works for another, he has to follow the rules. If not there would be chaos, or better for you, anarchy, people making their own schedules, working whenever they want to, perhaps not working at full capacity.

A business needs to be organized for full efficiency. Otherwise its wasteful and non productive. Organization means conforming to rules, rules set by an organizing entity.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Not everyone can start their own business. Also, the economy affects us all. The economy must be democratized.

Corporations are private tyrannies. Tyranny is unacceptable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYxGkFxb7f4

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

And you didnt answer the question of risk. Stockholders assume risk. Please answer. Risk is a huge component of enterprise.

Tyranny assumes one or 2 despotic rulers. Corporations of 1000s and 1000s of owners. You need to explain.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The answer lies in the first part.

I explained above why Capitalist institutions are tyrannical.

[-] -3 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

Please provide specific examples of tyrannical Capitalist institutions. Names, please.

Right now all you are doing is saying it, not proving it.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Pay attention. I explained above how all capitalist institutions are tyrannies.

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

No they arent. I have paid attention. You need to post clear examples. Just "saying" it has no value. Its just an opinion. Your opinion and in this context your opinion is not useful. You need clear examples.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, I don't think you have. I explained it all here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-is-the-problem/#comment-967463

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

Again, that is simply YOUR opinion. It isnt fact based. So often I see subjective opinon paraded as fact when its not.

Businesses are hierarchial but NOT tyrannical. All organizations are hierarchial, meaning there is a top down management chain of command, even the Mondragon has that, but they arent tyrannical. You have proved nothing.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It's an undemocratic top down hierarchy - tyranny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYxGkFxb7f4

No, not all institutions have a top down hierarchy; some are run democratically by the participants instead.

Mondragon is worker-owned. The workers elect the managers. There's no tyrannical structure.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23971) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Workers risk 100% - that is a workers investment. Stockholders? Not so much. Ceo's ??? Hell no they have golden parachute packages for failure.

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

In most large corporations, over 90% of their stock is owned by outsiders. Thats completely egalatarian, and non tyrannical.

Now if you can point out a company that is completely insider controlled, I might be able to understand. but you havent so i guess you dont know.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

ownership is highly concentrated. In general the wealth gap in the U.S. (and the world for that matter) is enormous.

[-] 0 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

In 2003 67% of all Americans owned stock. That isnt remotely highly concentrated. Thats egalitarian.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 1 year ago

First off that number has dropped to 54% and is steadily decreasing. Also just because an individual owns stock does not mean the individual gets to make operational decisions. Decisions which effect policy are mostly made by the Board of directors. Most of the board of directors of the Fortune Five Hundred companies are interlocking dictatorships. One person may sit on the board of directors of multiple companies. You may have your money working on the backs of labor but don't delude yourself in believing you control that company's destiny. A stock holder makes profits but hardly ever makes decisions.

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

What decisions would you like to make? I bet McDonalds knows exactly how to make a burger as quickly as possible. O bet the field workers at ExxonMobil know the best way to drill for oil. Walmart knows how to find the cheapest goods and get them to market the least expensively.

I am curious as to what decisions struggle or you think you can make better than those who actually work for a company.

Please be specific as to what operational decisions you are qualified to make.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 1 year ago

See son, I make the most important decision there is to make. I make a decision to put my work boots on every morning and earn my money through hard work, not sitting on my ass why employees feed my family. No man should be made rich through investing in other people's blood, sweat and tears. You either do the hard work or be labeled a parasite.

[-] -1 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

I work 48 hour weeks and I invest my surplus whereever. If you have surplus income you dont need and ARENT putting it away for the future, you are making an error.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Many own stock, but that doesn't change the fact that ownership is highly concentrated.

[-] -1 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

That isnt bad, its good. It is democratically participatory, exactly what you are recommending. You should be praising not complaining.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Concentrated private power must be opposed. People shouldn't have to live in a society where a small elite has the overwhelming control over the economy.

[-] -2 points by freemarket5555 (-182) 1 year ago

They dont. John Paulson, who made billions hedging against sub prime mortgages, just LOST billions hedging gold. If he had control over the economy why did he just lose billions?

What should have happened in the last crisis is that failing companies should have been allowed to fail. However GOVERNMENT stepped in and sunk billions into them. That was wrong.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Some individuals losing billions of dollars, doesn't change the fact that the financial elite and the huge corporations are the ones in charge.

The economy must be democratized. Then we won't have more crisis like we saw in 08.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

All you communists are so envious. Just because you lack the creativity or initiative doesn't mean you can take someone else's wealth.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It's not about envy. I explained this above.

[-] -2 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Yes it is. You believe that for someone else to have more you must have less.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, it's not about envy. I explained what it was about.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

It is all about envy. The reason why we have those at the top is that they worked the hardest, and had the best ideas, the most creativity. People buying their products let them gain that wealth and power. You weren't as creative or worked as hard, which is fine, and I have much respect for you. It is not fair though, to want to take all their wealth and power just because it wasn't you who had the best ideas. That is envy.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, it's about democracy. The economic institutions must be democratized.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

(Root/sff)

“Take for example, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. It is a prime example of laws that I do not support.”

Do you support laws that allow huge, powerful corporations to operate in the economy?

“Are you really reading my replies?”

Yes. Why do you ask?

“Look. I have no opinion of her.”

Sure you do. She claimed that unregulated capitalism was the way to go. This is what you want as well, yes? She claimed that taxing big corporations is immoral? You agree with this, yes?

Why don’t you want to talk about someone you seem to agree so much with?

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

If you want to talk with someone about Rand and her books, join a book club. I am saying that any business large or small who wants to politically force people to behave in ways that they wouldn't have voluntary chosen is immoral and tyrannical. Any government that panders to the business is illegal and tyrannical and should be thrown out. If any business big or small partly or wholly operates because of government favors, we the people should shut them down and we the people should repeal the laws and regulations that gave rise to the business and jail the bureaucrats who pandered to the business. Simply taxing such a business isn't justice because the motives and consequences of cronyism and tyranny are still in play. The same idea applies to any individual or group who wants to use politics to force others to behave in ways that they wouldn't have voluntarily chosen. They and the cronies in government supporting them are just as tyrannical.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Do you support laws that allow big and powerful corporations to participate in the economy? Do you support ultra right-winger Rand’s ideas of unregulated, laissez faire capitalism?

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

If you want to talk with someone about Rand and her books, join a book club. I am saying that any business large or small who wants to politically force people to behave in ways that they wouldn't have voluntary chosen is immoral and tyrannical. Any government that panders to the business is illegal and tyrannical and should be thrown out. If any business big or small partly or wholly operates because of government favors, we the people should shut them down and we the people should repeal the laws and regulations that gave rise to the business and jail the bureaucrats who pandered to the business. Simply taxing such a business isn't justice because the motives and consequences of cronyism and tyranny are still in play. The same idea applies to any individual or group who wants to use politics to force others to behave in ways that they wouldn't have voluntarily chosen. They and the cronies in government supporting them are just as tyrannical.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Why are you repeating yourself? Yes, I read that comment. Then I asked you a question.

Do you support laws that allow big and powerful corporations to participate in the economy? Do you advocate unregulated, laissez faire capitalism?

Can you answer this?

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I already have.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, what I want you to do is to answer "yes" or "no" to the following question:

Do you advocate unregulated, laissez faire capitalism? (which allows for big and powerful corporations to participate in the economy)

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

I will answer this, NO.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

First, characterize "powerful" in your term big and powerful corporations?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Powerful in the sense that an institution plays a huge role in the economy. Like these, for example

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/full_list/

So again: Do you advocate unregulated, laissez faire capitalism? (which allows for big and powerful corporations to participate in the economy)

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Unregulated, laissez faire capitalism doesn't exist. You're list of corporations in the F500 is not a list of laissez faire companies. These companies work with governments around the Globe in order to get their hands on political power. Instead of competing freely, these companies (and many, many more of all sizes) "compete" by force of law. I am surprised you didn't include the US Federal Reserve at the top of your list.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“You're list of corporations in the F500 is not a list of laissez faire companies.”

You didn’t ask me for that either. Pay attention. You asked me what I meant by “powerful corporations”. I answered you. So now answer:

Do you advocate unregulated, laissez faire capitalism? (which allows for big and powerful corporations to participate in the economy)

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Take anyone of the companies on your List that you provided me as examples of big and powerful corporations. (I am referring to your List that you gave me: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/full_list/ ). Not one of these corporations is laissez faire. Each one has their hands in politics. The governments that they work with are all too willing to work with these corporations in improper ways.

Laissez faire Capitalism means a society where all individuals cooperate voluntarily which means that the government in laissez faire capitalism has one role. That is to protect individuals from physical violence.

I am not an advocate of companies on your list nor of the governments that oblige them. As I said before, I am not an advocate of any group or individual who would forcibly deny a person their right to act voluntarily with others. For example, I do not support your desire to get free health care, education, transportation. There is no such thing as free in the sense that you use the idea. Free in your sense means that you would be forcing someone to provide it. And you imply that that is not tyranny.

And like I said, laissez faire capitalism doesn't exist. But I am fighting to bring it into existence. Capitalism rests on the morality of egoism, which means that the supreme beneficiary of one's thought, choices and action is oneself not God as the religion-ist claims, other people as the socialist claims or nature as the ecologist claims.

As a social system, Capitalism is based on the acceptance that it is right for any individual to act for his own life and for his own purposes. An individual must take these actions freely if he is to promote his life, that is, he has to be free from the forceful interference of others. It is difficult enough to perform these consistently right but when compelled by another, a group, a corporation or an entire nation of people, the individual is not living in a laissez faire capitalist society.

You ascribed tyranny, exploitation, and dehumanization to Capitalism. But these are characteristics not of laissez faire but of the dog-eat-dog societies united by the idea of "other-ism". That's the basic idea that you support because you advocate the individual as a servant to society. You say you are an advocate of liberty but insist that it is right to force innocent people by popular vote to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen. And you imply that that is not tyranny.

Your libertarian socialism will fail after much agitation and blood shed just as all the systems based on other-ism have failed. The systems that allow a few individuals or a majority of individuals to have "control and power" in the workplace have already been undertaken- systems of theocracy, oligarchy, monarchy, socialism, communism, fascism, libertarian socialism and the latest variation of other-ism called political ecology.

Why have they failed? The answer is because any society that doesn't understand and uphold the nature of man and respect an individual's right to his own life and property is a system that flies in the face of reality. All of these societies (yours included) failed and will continue to fail because they don't uphold an individual's life and property as sacrosanct.

To clearly answer you question, laissez faire capitalism doesn't exist because of people like you. But I am fighting to bring it into existence because it is the only moral system for living with others. I advocate and support any corporation big or small and any individual to pursue economic prosperity under laissez faire capitalism. I advocate and support a government that only protects the right to life, property and the pursuit of property from anyone who would forcibly deny these. I advocate a government that has no power to do more than that. These are the foundations of the charter of governments under laissez faire. When anyone makes an appeal to the governmental institutions to change these foundations, then I advocate that that appeal would be on its face illegal for the institutions to consider and the institutions would be required by law to reject it. Under laissez faire capitalism, as I described, no corporation could get big and powerful by using political power to force their way in the market and under laissze faire capitalism no government could get big and powerful either.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“all individuals cooperate voluntarily which means that the government in laissez faire capitalism has one role."

It’s meaningless to talk about voluntarism when power and wealth are concentrated on some individuals, while others have almost nothing.

“There is no such thing as free in the sense that you use the idea. Free in your sense means that you would be forcing someone to provide it.”

I have absolutely no problem with us forcing people with undemocratic power and control to give up their privileges, so that everyone will able to have a good life, and enjoy the benefits of our wealthy, modern society.

The resources should be controlled democratically by the workers and the communites, and we should make sure that all citizens are able to have a decent life.

“As a social system, Capitalism is based on the acceptance that it is right for any individual to act for his own life and for his own purposes.”

Nope. It’s based on the acceptance that it is right for the privileged and wealthy to have tyrannical control over the economic institutions in society, and have the overwhelming power in the society, while the workers are being exploited. The freedoms and choices you have depend on your access to resources.

“An individual must take these actions freely if he is to promote his life, that is, he has to be free from the forceful interference of others.”

If what you do affect others, then they should have a say in your actions. People should have a say in the things that affect them; they should be free to control their own lives and work, and that is achieved in a classless society, not in a society with corporate tyranny.

Only when we have a society without classes and exploitation, can humans live in freedom and voluntarily associate with one another:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6K7KvbkyGQ

“You ascribed tyranny, exploitation, and dehumanization to Capitalism. But these are characteristics not of laissez faire”

Absolutely. Capitalism, regulated or not, is exploitative, tyrannical and dehumanizing:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

“You say you are an advocate of liberty but insist that it is right to force innocent people by popular vote to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen.”

There's force in any society. People should have a say in the things that affect them. When you live in a society with other people, all individuals can’t get their will all the time, of course.

You say you are an advocate of liberty but insist that it is right to force innocent people, by a constitution and minority rule, to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen.

“Your libertarian socialism will fail after much agitation and blood shed just as all the systems based on other-ism have failed.”

No, actually, we’ve seen many examples of anarchist/anarchist-like societies working very well.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/workplace-democracy-and-workers-self-management/

“The answer is because any society that doesn't understand and uphold the nature of man”

The nature of man is pretty far from away from what you think it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8C-ntwUpzM

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

“Under laissez faire capitalism, as I described, no corporation could get big and powerful by using political power to force”

But some would become big and powerful in the marketplace. L-f capitalism allows for businessmen to ”build” a big and powerful corporation. And there’d be a constitution and a minority forcing people to live in a society where these private tyrannies had the overwhelming power over the economy and our lives.

So you are a right-wing libertarian. Why did you lie before?

Right libertarianism is a call for tyranny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwQEgOKEEXI

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You are still fusing together two opposite ideas. A person who would initiate physical force as a means to get what he wants from another is one of the ideas. You are mashing up that idea with the idea of a person who would think, act and persuade others to act with him in order to get what he wants. The two ideas are opposite.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, some individuals controlling and dominating others is unacceptable. People should be free to control their own lives and work.

You’re a right-wing libertarian, and you guys have a very simple solution: TAX CUTS for the 1%, WELFARE CUTS for the 99%. You advocate total private tyranny, in which people are forced to live in a society where huge, powerful corporations have the overwhelming control in the economy.

Right-libertarianism is BULLSHIT:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

Why did you lie before, Root?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What you’re proposing is corporate tyranny: people being forced to live in a society where huge corporations have the overwhelming power and control in society.

Concentrated power is bad no matter how it was obtained. People should be able to control their own lives, and that means that capitalism, whether it’s regulated or not, must be abolished and replaced by democracy.

Why did you lie before? You said you weren't a right wing libertarian.

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You keep saying, "Concentrated power is bad no matter how it was obtained." It certainly does matter how power is obtained, the concentration of power is not the defining characteristic.

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Instead of freedom and the freedom of association, you want a throw back to feudalism but with a twist. You want a society of cottage industries where the peasants have more say than they did during the medieval age. The Lords own nothing (except of course their personal property like their toothbrush and toilet paper). The Vassals swear their allegiance to the good of the community. The peasants sit around and vote on this that or the other. And someone somewhere comes up with the goods that make up the common goods of the society.

Why agitate further? What are you waiting for? Have you yet joined a community whose members want to live their lives as you want to?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, I want freedom. However, giving corporations and the 1% HUGE tax cuts (as you want to do), has nothing to do with freedom. Allowing huge, powerful corporations to have enormous control of the economy means private tyranny, not freedom.

You’re an ultra right-wing libertarian. Right-libertarianism is BULLSHIT:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Why did you lie before, Root?

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You have to be more clear about your terms. When you say (as you did above) that "It’s meaningless to talk about voluntarism when power and wealth are concentrated on some individuals, while others have almost nothing", you have to be clear about your ideas of "power and wealth". The idea of wealth accumulated by means of free trade and the idea of wealth accumulated by means of politics are two opposite ideas. I support free trade, the idea of wealth being accumulated by means of free association and trade. That idea is hardly meaningless. It is worth talking about and politically agitating for because it is true and right. The opposite of free trade is hardly meaningless and should be clearly understood in order to be spotted and fought against because it is false and wrong.

As to forcing people out, you said above that you "have absolutely no problem with us forcing people with undemocratic power and control to give up their privileges, so that everyone will able to have a good life, and enjoy the benefits of our wealthy, modern society." As I have always said, I advocate and support forming a government that only protects the right to life, property and the pursuit of property from anyone who would forcibly deny these. I advocate a government that has no power to do more than that. These are the foundations of the only proper charter of governments. To be clear, a government can do this and only this as prescribed by law. When anyone makes an appeal to the governmental institutions to change these foundations, then I advocate that that appeal would be illegal prima facie. That means that the governments wouldn't be permitted to deliberate over such an appeal and would be required by law to reject it out of hand. Under proper governments, as I described, no corporation could get big and powerful by using politics to force their way in the market. And as I described, no proper government could get big and powerful either.

So if you mean forcing those in political power out of politics because they abused the charter we gave them, then I agree with you. Throw them out. And if you mean forcing those businessmen out of their businesses because they operated their businesses with special favors from the government, favors that the government had no right to grant, then I agree with you too. Throw them out.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Wealth and power can be obtained in different ways. The point is that concentrated power should be opposed and dismantled, whether it’s in the hands of dictators or huge corporations.

To talk about “free association” and “voluntarism” in a society where wealth and power is concentrated in the hands the owners and the financial elite, is completely meaningless because the wealthy and powerful are the dominant parties in any “agreement” that’s taking place.

No, what we should do is organize society so that people can be in control of their own lives. A participatory democracy built and controlled from below, with institutions controlled democratically by the participants, is what we should strive for. It should be the people themselves that get to control their own lives, not a minority of powerful individuals.

Corporations would get big and powerful in a “free market” capitalist system – they’d get big and powerful in the marketplace.

Why did you lie before? You said you weren't a right wing libertarian..

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 1 year ago

Bravo, bravo, spoken like a true zealot.

All hail market solutions, peace be unto them. Tell you what, the day you clear out the jails of all the ordinance violators and other non violent criminals is the day I bow to the moral superiority of market solutions.

You want it free for man to exploit man, but you never address man's inkling to incarcerate man for non violent offences. If your philosophy to protect the economy from collectivism was as adamant at protecting the individual from prison for non violent offences, maybe I'd buy your Garden of Eden remedy.

But as is, all i hear is: it is unfair for labor to use government to stake a claim, but we, as business owners, can rally public opinion to make certain unproductive liberties illegal Labor cannot tell us how we run our businesses. But through conservatism we can tell them how to live their lives. That is the reality of today's discourse.

You libertarians want all the protection afforded to you by our republic but take on no liability. "Keep the rif raf out of my property," says the Libertarian to his government, "and I expect you to only use the stick.'

The idea of getting from where we are today as a society to where you envision it is as about as pie in the sky as any socialistic doctrine.

The only problem with our government, hence our society, is that our regulators are not as good at their jobs as our police officers. maybe it is because we pay one side better than the other. Care to guess which is which.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

30 days in jail for leaving the kid's dirty diaper on the park bench is a "crime"? NFW. I'd throw the Judge out and the creator of the ordinance too. How about the "criminal" who parks his Winnabegao on his front lawn? The Justice should say, "Why is this bozo in my Court because he's done nothing wrong?" (Same holds for the guy who fences his property "illegally". He's done nothing wrong either). What about the prostitute? She or he shouldn't even be arrested but if the prostitute were, the Judge should throw the case out because no wrong was committed. Same holds true for possession of "illegal" drugs. I'd throw the judge out and the legislators who wrote the legislation while staring down the pharmaceutical and the alcoholic beverage industries that lobbied for the legislation.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Do you know what the Federal Reserve Act is?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Yes.

[-] 0 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

yes capitalism in its unregulated form is a huge problem.

It's not creating enough jobs for all, and not providing for sufficient necessary resources such as affordable health care.

http://www.cusdi.org/index.html

Capitalism doesnt work when people there's little capital, and when unregulated.

It is exploitive and tyrannical

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Please explain how capitalism is exploitive and tyrannical

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

you are a slave

or slave enabler

in this system

banks create money from nothing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOj_xp2jHl0 and we all must pay for it with interest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcGh1Dex4Yo

we're in a race to the bottom. wages are decreasing for middle and lower classes, the world is competing to see who can make the least amount of money in wages, the only ones who prosper are those at the top.

It's like monopoly game, where some are given a big head start and special rules.

the banks create money from nothing via loans for homes and cars, etc, things we sort of need. the money comes at interest. money the government borrows comes at interest. we are all debt wage slaves in this system. we need something more modern, that can provide incentive to be productive and socially useful, without putting one's health and stability on the line.

even if we don't directly borrow, indirectly, because everyone does it, and through taxes, you become a slave to money

medical care is a monopolistic scam in this country, and should not be involved in capitalism, to profit from someones ill health is not very good.

there is a trillion dollars of student debt, but no jobs for them. technical and engineering jobs largely are a myth. If capitalism is so good, why isnt everyone working,

the human has no intrinsic value but as a consumer or producer or laborer, needing money for everything.

sounds like exploitation to have to work so hard for many many years out of fear of loosing what little security on has. it is like slavery, but instead of human masters, the economic system is your master.

it is tyranny because you get sucked in and there is really no alternative thought allowed on alternative economic possibilites, because one is labeled a socialist, communist, etc.

each society should have a basic lower and upper rungs, not sky is the limit, versus sleep on sidewalk system

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the_top_10_films_that_explain_why_occupy_wall_st_exists/

[+] -4 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

The fractional reserve banking system is pretty uncapitalist. The banks are dependent on the government for their FDIC insurance, or else nobody would trust them with their money. This gives them the ability to do all the crazy, risky stuff with your money without taking any risk. The FDIC insurance (issued by the government) costs the bank nearly nothing but gives them enourmous freedom. So sorry, that isn't capitalism.

As for medical care, I belive that we as adults need to be responsible for ourselves. If you are not careful or do something stupid to get hurt, why should someone else be responsible for your irresponsibility. The insurance is meant to be there for those that are not so responsible, but want the cover. The insurance companies are willing to be responsible for you in exchange for money. Seems legit to me.

You must understand that on the flipside of freedom comes responsibility. We have great freedom, but we must be responsible for ourselves. If we get subsidized healthcare, you are giving more power to the government. (that's bad!)

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

"You must understand that on the flipside of freedom comes responsibility. We have great freedom, but we must be responsible for ourselves. If we get subsidized healthcare, you are giving more power to the government. (that's bad!)"

What freedom? We are all born into debt and therefore wage slaves, not free, herein USA.

I suggest outlaw interest debt. Maybe govnt can be the bank at 0 percent, plus insurance and service fee.

The people would be the bank. Health care public backed too.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

The freedom to make your own choices, to pursue your own happiness, not live by what someone else says. You are not wage salves, as you always have the freedom to go somewhere else, unlike in communism. You have the freedom to ask for a better salary or more say over your work. If health ca were public, you would need to pay for it, and you wouldn't have the freedom to not pay for it.

Please explain in what you mean when you say that people should be the bank. Do you mean that we could eliminate banks completely from the financial system. I don't think that's possible, but I want to hear your ideas.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Economist Jack Rasmus also urges that we "democratize" the Fed and require it to function as a national, Bank of North Dakota-like "public banking institution that would provide cost-only loans to the consumer sector (mortgage, auto, student, installment, etcetera), finance public investment corps for alternative energy, lend to community infrastructure projects, and totally remove the private banks from its board of governors and open market committee decision-making process."

Moving the money creation function into the federal government would place it within the US constitutional system of checks and balances to work for the whole society, not only for the bankers and the privileged. Rather than the banker's corporation, the Federal Reserve, creating money, the Fed would be replaced by a US Central Bank operating within the Department of the Treasury (as one option) which would create money.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/remaking-the-federal-reserve-building-public-banks/

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Well if the Fed was able to borrow money to Main Street for almost free, as I understand, then it would create a monopoly, which is bad. There is no competition, and this central bank would be run inefficiently. Also since the existing financial system will fail, we would be dependent on the government, giving them much more power over us. We would be on our way to becoming their slaves.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

You may still have private banks for non public beneficial borrowing, so there would be no monopoly.

Rates would be at 0 interest, plus a service fee and insurance. Very efficient, not so for private bankers, who you've admitted are not efficient as the have FDIC backing, and hence can gamble, essentially, for little cost.

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Also a problem with your idea of the public bank is that when the interest rate is not set by supply and demand, but at 0, there will be nearly infinite demand, which will hyperinflate the currency instantly. It gives them an unfair advantage that they are the government, and do not have a reserve requirement. It is just better to let the banks take care of it completely, that way it will be sustainable for sure.

If you are only talking about public funding, then that is not really Main Street, but just the government borrowing money internally. This will not affect the financial system.

[-] 2 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Why hyperinflate? It won't be real dollars. It would be paid back, gradually, with real dollars.

It would pump up the economy too.

[-] 1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Right but initially there would just be a massive surge in the dollars in circulations, since the fed didn't use deposits to issue those loans, they printed the money and insisted on no interest. It doesn't matter if it's real dollars, as people have faith in them, and they won't pump up the economy as they are not creating any wealth, they are simply making the currency worth less.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

publicly financed banker f u ism.

Our health care is twice expensive, as other countries with worse results, we can't even know how we get billed.

It's called f us ism or capitalism in usa

What is that?

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Well if you mean subsidized healthcare, that would create that moral hazard, where responsible people would be paying for the healthcare of those less responsible, and would encourage irresponsible people to be even less responsible. Is it fair that the more prudent get punished this way? We would also be giving more of our freedom to the government, who will make more laws like banning smoking in order to save pooled resources that would only make sense in a society with socialized healthcare.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Smoker should pay a penalty. There should be a proceeded foods, and unhealthy foods tax and booze tax to pay for those extra risk.

Also firearms tax

[-] 1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Why? People making those choices have perfectly valid reasons, who are you to tell them that they can't have those freedoms. What extra risk? By taxing more you know that you are destroying wealth, right? I guess that's what you want then, because you believe that you are better off if others too are worse off. Not only are you destroying the wealth of those corporations, but also those of people.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Irresponsibility tax. I am the common good, established in the constitution.

Edit http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_Provide_For_The_Common_Good_mean_in_the_constitution#page2

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

No that wouldn't make much sense. The irresponsibility should only affect their personal lives, and should not be used as a way to fund giving benefits to more irresponsible people.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Well irresponsibilty and stupidity kills and harms society, so it should be taxed at a commensutrate rate.

Irresponsibility effects us all, and it's costs should be reimbursed to society.

There should be a big drunk driving tax. Drunk driving doesnt just effect ones personal life, but many.

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I see your point. Only that when you are affecting other people we shouldn't tax them, which wouldn't affect the victims directly, instead, civil suits should be used for those effected to get their compensation directly.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (22091) 1 year ago

Gee. I just went through this thread and voted up the people who have Occupy's interests at heart. If we don't start stinkling our detractors and twinkling our supporters our message will go into oblivion. Our detractors are working overtime and they are very good at controlling the message, hence the situation our country is in. We need to at least be vigilant here on this forum.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Top down hierarchy where, in government or business? In government I support a representative republic over a direct democracy. It may give a relatively small number of people a great deal of power, but I do support it. Every citizen gets a vote non-citizens do not. I do not see the people in a diverse society as having the empathy necessary to protect the rights of minority groups. I also do not believe the population in general stays informed enough to make a direct democracy workable. So if you consider a representative republic tyrannical then I support that kind of tyranny in government.

In business, as I’ve told you. I support the right of the owner to run a business as he sees fit. You wish to label it tyranny, that doesn’t matter to me, I support private ownership. I place individual private property rights above your desire to confiscate and redistribute the means of production.

The circumstances a worker finds himself in also don’t matter to me. He has the right to walk out and start his own business. All I’m willing to do is secure those rights, not expand them to let him take private property in compensation because fate was cruel. If fate has made life difficult that’s simply something the worker will have to deal with within the confines of our laws. I don’t care that you consider a private business a tyranny. I’m not willing to change property rights for that.

Labor laws have changed over time and will likely continue to evolve. Workers have been negotiating with management for over century, all within the system of private ownership. I would have to wait for specific changes to be proposed before I could say what I might support. Essentially that brings us back to where this all started, I don’t see any possibility for a significant portion of the population shifting toward supporting the level of change you want.

Stalinist dictators in government are not the same to me as owners running a business they own. As I said workers go to the employer and ask to be hired. Citizens are born part of a nation workers are not born employees, part of a company.

If capitalists are not the only ones capable of raising funds then you should explain to the workers how they could raise funding within the present legal system. We both know they have the right to own a business, if you can buy a business for them without capitalists and without stealing private property then do so.

I don’t care if you make an effort to continue beyond cooperatives or not. All I’ve said is that I personally would oppose changes in the law as they apply to private ownership. I don’t believe socialism is workable for a society. Presently your ideas with regard to ownership of the means of production are extreme and have little to no public support.

You wish to see capitalism as tyranny, that’s okay with me, see it any way you like. Work to build a libertarian socialist world. I don’t see it happening for centuries, if ever, there is no support for it and the idea hasn’t shown any growth. I would be opposed to a socialist society, but I’m just one person and my opinion is relevant only to me.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

So representatives should be democratically elected and government should be controlled democratically thru elections and so on, right? But that’s not top down tyranny.

A state dictatorship and a capitalist private business have the same model: a non-democratic hierarchy; a top-down dictatorship with one or a few persons controlling and dictating everyone else. So if you don’t accept this kind of dictatorship in government, why accept it in the workplace?

Workers’ takeover should only come when the workers and the communities want it.

You keep saying that workers must accept existing laws. The thing is: laws can be changed.

Why is private ownership of the means of production so important for you? Why is it so important that some people should be allowed to exploit, control and dictate other people? Why not support better rights which allow all individuals to control their own lives and work?

The amount of ignorance in today’s society is not a law of nature; it can be changed. Giving everyone free education would be a good start.

Long lasting, well established tyrannical systems have been abolished many times thruout history. It can happen again.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't care that you consider a privately held business a tyrannical organization. I stand by the right of an owner to run his business as he sees fit. I would not support new laws to change that.

I've already agreed that change is something that is always possible. The point is there is no indication at all that the public in general is considering the kinds of changes to the law that you would need to implement socialism. The workers and communities don't want libertarian socialism.

Libertarian socialism in the US has lost support in the last century. You can hope for some shift in attitudes, but there is no indication it's happening at all. In spite of all the writings and speeches by proponents over the last century there's been no growth.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago
  • Do you agree that a private business is tyrannical? (why/why not?)

  • Why should governments and states be controlled democratically, and not like a totalitarian dictatorship?

  • Why is private ownership of the means of production so important for you? Why is it so important that some people should be allowed to exploit, control and dictate other people? Why not support better rights which allow all individuals to control their own lives and work?

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago
  • According to the definition of tyrannical, "Exercising power in a cruel and arbitrary way", no. I do not consider privately run businesses tyrannies. Here is why. Decisions made are not by random choice or on a whim so they are not arbitrary, nor are they intentionally made to be brutal, evil, or cruel to the workers. Decisions are made for the good of the business. Privately run business fail to meet the definition of tyrannical on both counts.

  • I know of no reason why all governments should be run as democracies (technically speaking the US isn't a democracy, and I believe we are better off because it isn't). Each nation may work out the details of how it's governed for itself. If the central authority were benign a totalitarian government might even prove to have advantages over a democracy. In defense of democracy I would say that as long as we're all forced to live together in society it seems good to agree on the laws we live under and have a way to change them when necessary.

  • You had three questions here. 1. Every individual has, and should keep, the right to invest in and start a private business. Private property may not be taken without just compensation. 2. Those that you call exploited have the same rights as every other individual, they choose employment. They don't get to unjustly take private property because fate has given them a hard life. 3. You haven't convinced me that what you want would be "better rights" I'm only sure that you would deny rights all individuals currently have in the hope that something better might come out of it. I also believe people control their own lives now.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

”According to the definition of tyrannical, "Exercising power in a cruel and arbitrary way"”

That’s it? Or did your source say a little more? What’s your source?

Tyrannical/tyranny also means “despotic”, “oppressive”, “Use of absolute power”

Were some of these definitions included in your source, and if so, why didn’t you mention these as well?

So let’s try that again: Do you agree that private businesses are tyrannies? Why/why not?

“Decisions made are not by random choice or on a whim so they are not arbitrary”

That’s irrelevant for whether or not it’s a top down tyranny.

“Decisions are made for the good of the business. Privately run business fail to meet the definition of tyrannical on both counts.”

Nope. Private businesses have a totalitarian top-down model - tyranny.

“Every individual has, and should keep, the right to invest in and start a private business.”

I know you support that. What I asked was why should one individual be allowed to exploit, control and dictate another individual? (which logically follows from private ownership of the mop)

“Private property may not be taken without just compensation.”

A just compensation would be to give them an equal ownership/control of the business along with everyone else involved.

“Those that you call exploited”

You don’t agree that they’re being exploited?

“have the same rights as every other individual, they choose employment.”

I’ve told you that it’s not that simple. What do you disagree with?

“You haven't convinced me that what you want would be "better rights"

A society in which people have the right to control their own community and workplace, would be better than today’s society.

“I also believe people control their own lives now.”

They do to a certain extent. I want people to control their own lives even more.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't have another way to say it. No, privately owned businesses are not tyrannies. My reason is based on the meaning of the word tyranny in a standard dictionary. The way the decisions are made, top down or bottom up, has nothing to do with the definition of tyranny. Any person or any group is capable of being tyrannical if their decisions are made in a cruel and arbitrary manner.

The rights of the individual to own the means of production come before the right of any group to confiscate it. The owner or owners of the means of production get to set the rules and make the decisions. Either top down or bottom up management, it is the owner or owners that get to decide the method for running a business not the hired help. If a worker feels he's exploited he may go find another job or try to form a cooperative, but he may not take private property. The system is based on trading labor for a wage, both sides try to "exploit" the other in that arrangement.

Workers are not forced by law to work for any one particular business, they have choice. I believe it is that simple and that is all the choice they are entitled to. You want people to have more choice, that's nice. Unfortunately there aren't enough people that agree with you on the method you want to use to give people more choice. There hasn't been any change in the level of support for socialism in decades. It looks very much like society prefers individual rights over the total confiscation of private property.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“No, privately owned businesses are not tyrannies.”

A private business is completely from top-down, with the ones at the top – the owners, the CEOs etc. – dictating everyone else involved in the institution. Private businesses are private tyrannies.

“My reason is based on the meaning of the word tyranny in a standard dictionary.”

Tyranny means “despotic”, “absolute power” etc. (Tyranny/tyrant: from Latin: ”tyrannus”=Absolute ruler; from Ancient Greek: ”turannos”=lord, master, sovereign, tyrant). Are we done with this discussion now?

“The way the decisions are made, top down or bottom up, has nothing to do with the definition of tyranny.”

When all power lies in the hands of one or a few individuals, and they dictate and control everyone else, then that’s tyranny.

“The rights of the individual to own the means of production come before the right of any group to confiscate it.”

Why?

“The owner or owners of the means of production get to set the rules and make the decisions.”

Yes, that’s kind of my point.

Why should one individual be allowed to exploit, control and dictate another individual? (which logically follows from private ownership of the mop)

“If a worker feels he's exploited he may go find another job or try to form a cooperative”

  1. Like I pointed out earlier, starting a business is not an actual choice for a lot of people.
  2. It’s irrelevant: no matter who enters and leaves, it’s still a tyranny.
  3. It’s not about “feeling” exploited. He is being exploitated (cf surplus value)

“but he may not take private property.”

What about if the population wants to end private ownership of the mop?

“The system is based on trading labor for a wage, both sides try to "exploit" the other in that arrangement.”

This is not correct. I explained this here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

“Workers are not forced by law to work for any one particular business, they have choice.”

I said earlier that it’s not that simple; that one’s choices depend on a lot of social factors. What do you disagree with?

“I believe it is that simple.”

How so?

“Unfortunately there aren't enough people that agree with you on the method you want to use to give people more choice.”

Why do you keep telling me this? So what’s your point? At certain periods in history there wasn’t enough support and popular organizing to end slavery and Stalinism; that does not change that these systems were totally unacceptable and should be opposed and abolished.

“It looks very much like society prefers individual rights over the total confiscation of private property.”

When you say ”total confiscation of private property”, who/what are you referring to?

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't care what you call a privately owned business. The word private allows them to run it as they see fit. You wish to insist they are tyrannical, I disagree, but call them what you like. It doesn't matter what you call them, owners today have a right to run their business as they see fit. I would never support taking away the right to ownership. Public support for ending private ownership of the means of production is for all practical purposes nonexistent.

The fact that not every worker has the desire, ability, or financial means to begin his own business is irrelevant. They have the right to start a business, all society should provide is that right. If fate has been unkind to some that's no reason to confiscate property from those that were successful.

If the population wanted to end private ownership I'd have little say in the matter. Fortunately they don't and there is no indication that will be changing for generations, if ever.

Slavery didn't end without an observable growth in anti-slavery thought and political groups, there is no such growth observable toward libertarian socialism. Changes in the way people think and feel develop slowly over time and they can be observed happening. There has been no growth in libertarian socialism observed in the past century, it has in fact lost support. Change may happen some day or it may not. If change does come it is a long way off because the process hasn't shown evidence of having started yet.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“You wish to insist they are tyrannical, I disagree, but call them what you like.”

Why do you disagree?

“owners today have a right to run their business as they see fit.” I know.

“I would never support taking away the right to ownership.”

Why should one individual be allowed to exploit, control and dictate another individual? (which logically follows from private ownership of the mop)

“Public support for ending private ownership of the means of production is for all practical purposes nonexistent.”

It’s a matter of principles. If what you say were true, then it still does not change the fact that undemocratic and tyrannical systems are unacceptable and should be opposed and eventually abolished.

“The fact that not every worker has the desire, ability, or financial means to begin his own business is irrelevant.”

As long as you keep on talking about “the freedom to choose”, “they can just quit” etc, it’s very relevant.

“If fate has been unkind to some that's no reason to confiscate property from those that were successful.”

This is not about fate; this is about humans freeing themselves from authority and dominance. For those who want a society in which people control their own communities and workplaces and have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by, dismantling systems which allow a minority to control and dominate others, is very important.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

The word tyrant, to me, describes someone unrestrained by law and allowed to do anything, owners are limited in what they may and may not do. I would use the word private, and with ownership comes the right to run the business as the owner wishes, within the law. The right to own the means of production is an individual right I would not vote to take away and certainly not without paying the owner the value for his property.

An individual that invests in and owns a business may run it as he chooses, within the laws of his nation. No worker is under any obligation to go to him and seek employment and no one is forced to stay. The fact that you believe circumstances make employment the best of many bad options for the worker is irrelevant. Private ownership is legal and the owner has the right to run his business as he sees fit. Workers are not slaves, they have rights, just not the right to take private property.

If you disapprove of the system of private ownership, you are free to establish worker run businesses, but it is a violation of our laws to confiscate private property simply to please your principles. My principles place the right of the individual to own a business over your desire to confiscate it. Private ownership is acceptable to me, I believe that in general it works more efficiently then group ownership. I would lobby against any changes to the law that would confiscate private property or end private ownership of the means of production.

If people want to free themselves from what you call authority and dominance they do have the right to join a cooperative or start their own business. It's wrong to take private property because you perceive workers as powerless. Your particular remedy for what you see as the ills of capitalism, I see as immoral in addition to being illegal.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“The word tyrant, to me, describes someone unrestrained by law and allowed to do anything, owners are limited in what they may and may not do.”

There will always be limits as to what a tyrannical state/institution can do.

“I would use the word private, and with ownership comes the right to run the business as the owner wishes, within the law.”

The tyrannical hierarchy is the same, whether the rulers follow the law or not.

“The right to own the means of production is an individual right I would not vote to take away and certainly not without paying the owner the value for his property.”

But why? Why isn’t it enough to give them the same rights to ownership/control as the rest of the participants?

“An individual that invests in and owns a business may run it as he chooses, within the laws of his nation.”

I am aware. What I’m asking is, why should this individual have this right. Why should this owner have the right to control and dominate others?

“No worker is under any obligation to go to him and seek employment and no one is forced to stay.”

Like I said: Whether people are allowed to go in and out of the institution, does not change the structure and its moral legitimacy.

“The fact that you believe circumstances make employment the best of many bad options for the worker is irrelevant.”

How so?

“If you disapprove of the system of private ownership, you are free to establish worker run businesses, but it is a violation of our laws to confiscate private property simply to please your principles.”

Laws can be changed. And workers’ takeover can only come when the workers and the communities want it.

How many more times do I have to say this?

“My principles place the right of the individual to own a business over your desire to confiscate it.”

What logically follows from this principle is that you accept one individual controlling and dominating another. What I’m asking you is: why should this individual be able to do that?

“Private ownership is acceptable to me, I believe that in general it works more efficiently then group ownership.”

First of all, group ownership has shown to be very efficient and economically successful. Secondly, whether a system is efficient or not, is not very relevant. Stalinism was very efficient. There was enormous growth under Stalin, but Stalinism is still awful.

“If people want to free themselves from what you call authority and dominance”

So are you saying it’s not authority and dominance?

“..they do have the right to join a cooperative or start their own business.”

Or change things thru popular movements, organization etc, and eventually changing the laws.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

I don't care if you use your word "tyranny" or my word "private". I support the owner's right to run a business as he sees fit. The hierarchy of a top down decision making system for a business is acceptable to me. The legitimacy of that hierarchy comes from ownership. The owner may decide if he wishes to accept input from workers or run his business like a dictatorship.

The workers have a legal right to buy ownership. Lacking the financial ability to do so doesn't give them a right to take property. The workers do not have the right to confiscate private property. That idea has no support from the public or even from the labor movement and that is not likely to change in the mind of today's population.

An individual may determine how his property is used because it is his. Ownership conveys that privilege. Workers enter into an agreement to trade labor for a wage. The wage is all they are entitled to. I'd never support a change in the law to give the workers what they have no right to take.

Laws can be changed, change is always POSSIBLE but it isn't likely any time in the foreseeable future. You're essentially advocating what I see as two major changes to the law. You want to ban the individual's right to own a business and you wish to legalize the theft of the means of production by the workers. The possibility of the public accepting those changes is, in my opinion, about zero.

Stalinism's efficiency could be debated but it isn't the point. I don't support the state taking over the means of production any more then I do the workers. If anyone wants to own the means of production they must buy it.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“The hierarchy of a top down decision making system for a business is acceptable to me. The legitimacy of that hierarchy comes from ownership.”

So ownership equals the right to control and dominate others? Is that it?

“Lacking the financial ability to do so doesn't give them a right to take property.”

Absolutely. If the community and the workers want to end private ownership on the mop, and change the laws, they can confiscate the mop.

“Workers enter into an agreement to trade labor for a wage.”

Just like Russians in the Soviet Union entered into an agreement with the tyrannical state to trade labor for wages…

What actual, realistic choices you have, depend on a lot of social factors. I’ve countered this already, but you just ignore it and repeat the same thing again and again.

“You're essentially advocating what I see as two major changes to the law. You want to ban the individual's right to own a business”

No, on the contrary. I want every individual to have the right to own/control its own workplace – together with all the others involved, obviously.

“and you wish to legalize the theft of the means of production by the workers.”

Taking property and power away from dictators, tycoons, monarchs and others with undemocratic power and control, I have absolutely no problem with.

[-] 0 points by Sandy0621 (175) 1 year ago

Yes ownership of a business gives the owner the right to set the conditions of employment for all those that freely seek to work there. The owner indicates what he wants done and when it needs to be accomplished (I assume this is what you call dictating). He also indicates what he is willing to pay for the labor. The workers agree to those conditions, sometimes there is some negotiating. If the workers and owners don't agree to the conditions then the worker must look elsewhere for employment.

Confiscation of the means or production is a violation of our laws. Workers have no right to do that. They may try to change the laws but that isn't likely to happen because there is no support for such a change.

The social or economic factors that may prevent a worker from exercising his right to buy a business are not relevant. It isn't the role of society to make the worker's wishes for ownership come true, only to give them the right to make it happen through their own efforts.

Workers have the right to control any workplace they own. They are going to have to buy into a cooperative as the Mondragon workers are forced to do, if they wish a vote on how to run the company. They can't dictate to the owner, nor can they appropriate the owner's property.

You oversimplify things if you are implying that all owners are tycoons. Most business owners operate small businesses. If successful they may do well financially but are hardly tycoons. You may not have a problem taking property from others but it's against our laws to do so. It is also fortunate that there is no support for changing any of those laws and there is no indication that attitudes are changing the way you would like.

[-] 0 points by freewriterguy2 (3) 1 year ago

don't buy corporate and we take our freedom back

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Boycott can absolutely be used in many cases, but other things must be done as well. Here's where I think the focus should be:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-do-we-fight-capitalism-the-1/

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by mideast (506) 1 year ago

I propose a compromise -
1
a corporate tax break for distribution of stock and/or profits to employees
[ when done for every employee & up to a maximum $ ]
2 ending corporate personhood & citizens united to sever the ownership of democracy by crapitalism

http://corporationsarenotpeople.webuda.com
&
2013 HR29

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

I think 'the focus on economics" instead of freedom is the problem.

Money is nothing but a fetish.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Economics is pretty important, as it is the study on how people make choices. It is required to optimize production to be in economic equilibrium, and for society to work in general.

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Why does society need to work at max efficiancy to work properly?

Innovative, creative and forward thought are all completely independent of the aquisition/distribution of money and things.

[-] 0 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

Because therefore more wealth is created, and everybody is happier

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

I personally would be less happy, but then again Im only me and not you.

[-] -3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Focusing on the economy is very important. How production, distribution and so on, is organized is a crucial factor in terms of what kind of society we have to live in.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Materialism is pointless. Why do "things" matter so much?

[-] 1 points by greysone (-264) 1 year ago

if you feel that way,..... throw away your computer.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Would you be upset if the government took away everything you had and threw you out on the street?

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Why would the government do that? Doesnt communism and socialism usually begin with state control of property?

Why would a free government take from itself?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

This was not in reference to leninism etc. Just answer the question. Yes or no?

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Socialism: the first step on the road to communism. Isnt that what Marx(harpo not groucho) said?

Yes. I would be upset if the government confiscated MY property. The only think I trully own is my body and my soul. So Yes, I would be at least a little ticked off if the government imprisoned me.

Why should there be 'communal ownership' of anything?

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“Yes. I would be upset if the government confiscated MY property.”

Oh, so now “things” matter all of a sudden. Just what I thought. So in other words, how resources are controlled is important after all, yes?

“Why should there be 'communal ownership' of anything?”

Because we do many things in society together with others.

[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

The only thing I own is my body and my soul. I dont want "communal ownership" of my own person.

Property save for your soul is only an illusion.

[-] 2 points by gsw (2735) 1 year ago

Right on

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

communists say they are 'anti-private property', but then get offended when I say that we should abolish private property.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Possessions end up owning you.

[-] -3 points by greysone (-264) 1 year ago

You perhaps, not me .

[-] -2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

People should have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by. That requires collective solutions as well.

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Collective is anti-individual. If any and all individuals are to have a say, then collectivism needs to be thrown in the dumpster with other bad ideas, like capitalism and economics.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, one can have a system with good collective rights as well as individual rights - it's called libertarian socialism.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

collective rights are irrelevant. the focus should and must be on individuals.

Lumping people together into groups arbitarily based on how much stuff they have or on what color their skin is, is lunacy.

Any future system must treat people like people and individuals like individuals.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"In my ideal world, we wouldnt live in a modern technological society like ours."

Ok. I'm done with you.

[-] -3 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Denial is the first sign of ignorance.

If you give up on me, then how are you going to convince the people that REALLY don't like you?

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"I would prefer that there be No economic system and that people would not care so much about money and things and stuff.Money is a fetish."

In a modern, technological society like ours, there will be production. So how is this controlled?

Who controls the workplaces and the means of production?

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

In my ideal world, we wouldnt live in a modern technological society like ours. In my ideal world people would care so much about what they do and dont have as compared to other people. In my ideal world people would focus on learning and innovating and be creative and actually doing something.

Economics should be taught in schools, but as an elective like ceramics or underwater basket weaving. Civics and English and Math should be the requirements.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What kind of economic system do you want? Who controls production, the economic institutions and so on?

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

I would prefer that there be No economic system and that people would not care so much about money and things and stuff.

Money is a fetish.

[-] -1 points by johngalt47 (-1) 1 year ago

Private ownership is the only incentive for people to work in the first place. The reason why communism fails and capitalism succeeds rests in the incentive to work, to produce, and to create wealth. People can work for their own money, and they get to keep it. These people can then spend this money on what they want, be it expensive cars or ceral at the grocery store. But these people get to make money, and they get to keep it and spend it however they see fit. This is what drives the capitalist economy. It is fueled by humanity's own greed and selfishness. The want and the greed which all people enatly have fuels the economy and is responsible for everything. Now yes, inequality is an unaviodable fact about capitalism. It's bound to happen. But of course it is. None of us are equal. We all have talents. Some us are smarter, or stronger, or just luckier than others. Inequality is a fact of life. Inequality is the reason for evolution and natural selection. So yes, some of us are bound to end up being richer and better off than others. But it is far better for some of us to be well off than nobody. After all the only alternative to capitalism is communism, and under communism, EVERYBODY is poor. That is because there is no reason for anyone to work. The rich have no reason to continue working because any (most of it) money which they do produce shall be taken away from them and distributed to the poor. And the poor have no reason to work as they are all recieving welfare on the behalf of the rich anyway. So in the end, the whole communist economy slowly dies as the whole society runs out of wealth. That is pretty much what happened to the USSR, and it will start to happen to America once we start attacking the rich for not paying their "fair share". But back to the main point, the ownership of private property combined with human greed is what literally drives the economy, and without it, nothing gets done. If any want to see the importance of capitalism or private property in even more depth, I strongly recomend a reading of Atlas Shrugged.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, most people want to work, create and contribute. It’s part of who we are. Also, we know that private ownership of the means of production is unnecessary; there are and have been many examples of cooperatives and anarchist/anarchist-like communities working very well:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/cooperatives-info-articles-documentaries-etc/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/workplace-democracy-and-workers-self-management/

If you’re so concerned about incentives, then wouldn’t people’s motivation be strengthened if they controlled their own work, instead of taking orders and being exploited?

You don’t need capitalism in order for there to be money, competition and markets. Capitalism is based on private ownership of the means of production. That’s what should be abolished.

We’re all different, but in a wealthy, modern society economic inequality doesn’t have to exist.

What we should replace capitalism with is a libertarian socialist society: a free, non-hierarchical participatory democracy.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

The US was intended to be several states with a federal system to oversee the protection of individual rights. Instead, it has become a single nation-state with all control coming down from a central-planning monster- a fabrication of big business (starting with central bankers) and government. That is tyranny.

But you keep insisting that there is "force in any society" and want to substitute the force of corrupted society with the force of mob rule. You want one corruption instead of another. And when you throw out property rights as want to do, you are calling for annihilation of any hope for society. You can't imagine a society built on the right of an individual to live his life for his own purposes and a government chartered by individuals to protect their property. As I see it you can't stand the idea of being an individual but would rather hide in the fold of a group of people.

Where you want to go there is no safety in numbers. While you agitate for the life of an ant in a ant colony, I agitate for the right to live like a human being. I say, to the government, "hands off" and to the people who want to subvert government, I say, "No. And Hell No." I am fighting for both. Compared to your archaic socialist drivel, my cause is novel and nobel.

You said that you know what the Federal Reserve Act is. I don't believe you. If you did know, you'd know it is the motor and life blood of the ever growing monster of big business and government. And you'd know that of all the corruption to agitate against, it this one piece of legislation that deserves the dedication of We the People to throw out. This Act and the ~200 amendments to it since its inception continue to be the principal banking laws of the United States and the model for corruption the world over. (A model that's in practice the world over.) This is not laissez faire and you damn well know it. This is why the people of the world are in such misery.

Unadulterated freedom in the marketplace and a government to protect an individual's life and property is the only moral system for society. You've been drinking so much of Chomsky's Kool Aide that you refuse to see it.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I know you think today’s state-capitalist society is awful. I agree. The problem is, you want to replace it with corporate tyranny. Your solution to today’s challenges is TAX CUTS for the wealthy, and WELFARE CUTS for the rest.

No, I want people to control their own lives and communities.

I want to end private ownership of the means of production. People should have a say in the things that affect them; the economy must be democratized.

As a libertarian socialist, I strongly support individual rights.

If your actions affect others, then they should have a say. You live in a society with other people.

I’ve never claimed that today’s system is lf.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Because you want to end private ownership of the means of production, you can not support individual rights. But you can pretend that you do by saying that you do.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I absolutely support individual rights. Private ownership of the mop is a big obstacle. People should be free to control their own lives, and that means that the economic institutions must be run democratically by the participants, not by a small minority.

[-] -3 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

It seems to me that what you really want is to prevent others who disagree with you from engaging in production based on private property. And, though you rarely say as much, you are apparently willing to put the private owners out of business by brute force, deadly force if necessary.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Private ownership of the means of production is unacceptable. Capitalism undermines democracy and allows exploitation and domination. People should have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by; the economic institutions must therefore be run democratically by the workers and the communities.

A libertarian socialist society can only be created when the workers and the communities want it. I want a transition phase to be as peaceful as possible, but if someone refuses to accept the will of the people, they must be stopped of course.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

It also seems to me that someone has really gotten to you but not in a positive way. You believe the story that workers' lives will be happy, peaceful even picturesque once you get rid of your current bosses and confiscate their property. You'll find though that as you take over the means of production that you'll be facing "your real owners". These are the insensitive, greedy and merciless consumers who determine whether to purchase your workers' output. You'll learn that it is the consumers of your product who are the ones who truly determine your wages, working conditions and whether you'll even have jobs. You'll see your workers in your new co-operatives finding out first hand what the owners of today's means of production already see. You'll see the absolute tyranny that your customers exercise over you.

What will you do when they don't want to buy what you produce?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

If there’s no demand/need for something, then it shouldn’t be produced in high quantities. But that doesn’t change that people should be able to control their own lives and workplace. Production should be controlled by the participants.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You missed my point. I am referring to tyranny as you characterize it and asked you what will you do about the consumer i.e., your customer. Just as you characterize capitalist-owners as being tyrannical and oppressive, you can by the same rationale, describe customers who don't by your products the same way. The logic of your viewpoint says that you should have a say in that too. When your customers don't buy your product, you'll have to stop them from oppressing you.

Just as you denied property rights of the capitalist-owners, you'll seek the "control in your workplace and community" by forcing your customers to buy your products. You set the stage by forcibly denying property rights. You might protest saying that that is ridiculous. But the clever ones among you won't. Your term, "should have a say and control" has always been your euphemism for taking what you want not by earning it but by force. The clever ones will apply it to both sides of the economic transaction. This is what was exactly done during the Spanish Revolution, a bloody horror which you hold up as an example of what Libertarian Socialists are after.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

You're not making much sense. There’s no tyranny in a libertarian socialist society. People control production and the communities’ resources together democratically. There’s no tyranny in not wanting certain products, and no one is forced to be in possession of certain products.

I want private ownership of the mop to be abolished, because people should be in control of their own lives. Private ownership of the mop prevents that; it creates dominance and hierarchy.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

A society in which some of its members vote to deny an individual his property is tyrannical. LS is a society which does that. LS is tyrannical. By the same inference, crony capitalism is tyrannical too.

I've been suggesting to you that you don't go down the road of Libertarian Socialism because it is tyrannical. Instead, uphold an individual's natural and consequently moral right to his own life, lived for his own purposes. Uphold the individual's right to acquire, own, keep and dispose of property. That will encourage you to pave the way to the kind of government that is proper and just (which is not what we have today nor could we have in a LS). And more, it will require you to figure out how to continuously limit your government to protecting those two rights and only those two rights. (Anything more is outside the scope of a proper government.) With that, the marketplace will be free for people, ideas, and innovations and will engender the only society of lasting prosperity and peace.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, LS is about freedom; it's about human liberation.

People should be free, but not in the sense of “free to do anything”. You live in a society with other people, and if your actions affect other people’s life, then they should have a say as well. The institutions in society should be run democratically by the participants.

What we should do is not to give the billionaires and the huge corporations huge tax cuts, as you suggest, instead we should work to create a real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and affairs.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Freedom rests on life, private property and voluntary action among people where action taken is in the absence of physical coercion or compulsion. Three people living on an otherwise deserted island do not live in a free democratic society when two of them vote to cook and eat the third. The idea holds for each of their property holdings too. No matter how undeveloped or unsophisticated an islander's means-of-production is, there is no freedom when either of the other two decide to take his mop. When you eliminate respect for and protection of private property as being essential to the life of an individual, you open the door for murder and plunder in any society.

The fabric of cooperation in society is not stitched by voting ("a say"), as you claim. Instead, cooperation is based on the fact that people see plainly that they can advance their own lives as individuals by cooperating voluntarily with each other. And they see just as plainly that in order to consistently cooperate they must respect the life and property of everyone. Given those two facts, there is an age old fundamental political question people have to answer. That is, "What should be done to a person who initiates physical force against another (whether against another's life, property or his pursuit of either)?"

The democratic society in Germany before and during World War II answered the question horridly. The majority ignored the fundamentals of life, private property and voluntary cooperation. Instead of prohibiting force from relationships among people, they prided themselves on its opposite. In fact, they started by applying the very same socialist formula that you advocate for organizing society. They "lived in a society with other people"; where people's "actions affected other people's lives". This coupled with a racist dogma, they continued to apply the socialist formula. They said that they "should have a say in their lives". Using the formula you ascribe to, they further organized themselves by saying that their "society should be run democratically by the participants". And they arrived, a socialist society organized by the same ideas that you also advocate.

What was their "say"? One of them was to institutionalize genocide. How did they view their mass murdering? Let's bring in their socialist standard of justice to see. It's the same standard of justice as yours. I quote you, "but if someone refuses to accept the will of the people, they must be stopped of course". By the socialist formula for justice, these socialists did stop the Jews and believed justified in doing it. But what about the Jews who were slaughtered by them? Where was their say? How can anyone in their right mind say that they are for freedom and liberation when ideas like this when practiced lead to such horrid misery?

Any version of socialism including LS insists on freedom. But it is not the freedom that I've been describing. The fundamental nature of LS is the freedom of some to violate the right to the life, property and the voluntary choices of others. That is not freedom but a formula for barbarism. It leads to stagnation at best and mass murder at worst. In all your writings, you are willfully ignoring the antecedent ideas of freedom. It is only life, private property and voluntary cooperation in the absence of physical force that gives freedom its meaning. These taken together are the only valid supports of freedom, the fundamental requirement of life in society. You can't have private property when some of society's members vote to take it. You can't have voluntary cooperation among individuals when some of society's members vote against it. You can't have life when its "stopped by the will of the people". You're insisting that it is right to force individuals (in your case by popular vote backed by a gun) to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen. What your insisting on is not freedom.

By way of contrast, could you imagine a society organized around the novel idea that it is right for each person to live for his own purposes. And to act politically by establishing and overseeing a government limited to protecting everyone's life, property and voluntary agreements from physical violence or the threat of violence?

Anyone or any group who gets economic advantage by corrupting that simple political principle is criminal regardless of the laws they had passed, votes they accumulated, or judges they bought. They corrupt the power of law, step outside the marketplace and by their corrupt law force economic advantage from others to themselves. In judging the tilt of freedom versus slavery, compare any law to three basic standards. Does the law protect an individual from physical violence from others? Does the law protect an individual's property? Does the law protect individuals in voluntarily cooperating with each other? In answering, you'll have to conclude that most laws fail those standards with the tilt continuing away from freedom. The dominant trend in the US has come from those failures. Instead of free markets in the US, we have crony capitalism. Around the World, all forms of socialism fail those standards too by forcing economic advantage away from some over to others.

If you really are after human liberation, then you should be sure that what you want doesn't liberate people from their property but sits squarely on the issue of removing force from society. Your glossing over this issue by repeatedly saying "we have force in every society" doesn't justify force in any society unless it is for protecting the innocent.

Is my ideal unreal? I say hardly because unlike your ideal, mine lines up squarely with each of the fundamental requirements of life in society- respect for life, private property, voluntary cooperation and the elimination of force from relationships. Citizens in any society have to answer one question. How to organize and manage their government to protect these fundamentals. That's the real struggle for freedom; that's all that the struggle has ever been. The Founders of the US were onto something important when they argued the best form of government is a splintered government which is always watched and supervised by the people. Instead of a monolithic central government, they attempted to create a fractured federation where the power of the gun was divided in such a way that it would be hard to unite into a tyranny (whether of the few over the many or a tyranny of the mob). The road to liberty is to follow their lead but to do it better.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The reality is that we live in a society where huge corporations have enormous power. It’s completely meaningless to call something a “voluntary agreement” when one of the parties have the overwhelming power and control, while the other is forced to live under those conditions. This would become even worse if you had it your way. You want to hand over even more cash and resources to these tyrannical institutions, making them even more powerful than they are today. Laissez-faire capitalism is tyranny - private tyranny; it’s the financial elite and the huge corporations having the overwhelming control and power over our lives. We shouldn’t accept tyranny in government, but we shouldn’t accept it in business either. Your right-wing libertarianism is bullshit:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

People should be free to participate and have a say in how their communities are organized. What we should do is establish a decentralized, classless participatory democracy; a society where force is down to the minimum and where free association can take place:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6K7KvbkyGQ

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"The reality is that we live in a society where huge corporations have enormous power. ..."

Any corporation (small or large) who gets economic advantage by corrupting the fundamental requirements of life (respect for life, private property, voluntary cooperation and the absence of force from relationships) is criminal. Regardless of the laws they had passed, votes they accumulated, or judges they bought, they cannot turn the corruption of truth into truth. They can only shackle people and force their corruption down people's throats.

You are educating people to fight by targeting big corporations. You rail that corporations are big and tyrannical. And you call for people to organize a classless, participatory democracy. But when, as a matter of principle, you throw out the truths of private property (a moral truth) and the right to it (a political truth), you cut off your legs. You'll fall right into the camp of crony corporations you're railing against because like you, they also deny people's right to property. You insist that you want freedom but you are willfully ignoring its foundations. It is only life, private property and voluntary cooperation in the absence of physical force that gives freedom its meaning. These taken together are the only valid supports of freedom, the fundamental requirement of life in society. But, you throw out private property. Like the crony corporations that you hate, you'll end up having to shackle innocent people and force the same corruption down their throats.

[-] -1 points by Exhausted (-20) 1 year ago

The best way to never reach your goal is to set it to an unattainable level. That is all this forum seems to be interested in. Ideology is a luxury of the haves and an obstacle to the have nots. You are part of the problem. Get with reality or get off the radar.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Capitalism rests on the morality of egoism, the doctrine that says that the supreme beneficiary of one's choices, thought and action is oneself not God as the religion-ist claims, other people as the socialist claims or nature as the ecologist claims. As a social system, Capitalism is based on the acceptance that it is right for any individual to live his own life for his own purposes. How a capitalist acquires the means to further his life is crucial because it sets the contrast to other social systems. Coming to know, thinking, and taking rational action are characteristics of the individual. Such an individual must take these actions freely if he is to promote his life, that is he has to be free from the forceful interference of others. It is difficult enough to perform these consistently right but when compelled by another, a group, an organization or an entire nation of people who forcibly deny that individual's freedom to act for his own purposes, the individual is not living in a capitalist society.

The closest any society has come to capitalism has come and gone long ago. Today, you have anything but that all around the world. You ascribed tyranny, exploitation, and dehumanization to Capitalism. But these are characteristics not of Capitalism but of the dog-eat-dog societies united by the idea of "other-ism" where the individual is subjugated to nature, god or to society. The system that allows a few individuals to have undemocratic control and power in the workplace and in society includes those already undertaken- systems of socialism, theocracy, monarchy, oligarchy, communism, fascism and the latest variation of the few over the many called political ecology. Where have you ever seen a democracy grow and prosper? All democracies have splintered into non voluntary systems where the few rule over the many.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

In free market capitalism, individuals will be forced to live in a society where the economy and the workplaces overwhelmingly are controlled by the owners and the wealthy – pretty much like it is in today's America.

Allowing huge corporations and the 1% to have such power in the society, is totally unacceptable.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

People should be free to control their own lives; they should be able to have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by. That means that the economic institutions must be run democratically by the participants.

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You say, "People should be free to control their own lives; they should be able to have a say in the things they’re a part of and affected by. That means that the economic institutions must be run democratically by the participants."

But I say, a moral individual doesn't need permission to be free to live his own life. It is morally and politically right that the individual be left free and protect himself from anyone who would coerce him to act in ways he wouldn't have but for the actions of the coercer. That means that the individual forms a political institution and delegates to it his right to defend himself from physical violence. That means that the political institution's only charter is to act to protect citizens from physical violence and is proscribed by law from doing anything but that. That means that the political institution is the institution of "No. And Hell No." When anyone appeals to the political institution to change the charter, then that appeal is on its face illegal for the political institution to consider and the institution is required by law to reject it. There is very little freedom left in the marketplace in today's America not because of Capitalism but because of the dearth of liberty and its antecedent cause- the dearth of egoism.

Allowing huge corporations and the 1% to have any political power other than the right of self defense for its members is totally unacceptable. By the same principle, it is totally unacceptable to allow anyone (poor, miserable or otherwise) to have political power over an economy.

You can't have liberty and eat it too. You're insisting on living by their idea that it is right to force innocent people (in your case by popular vote) to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen. By way of contrast, could you imagine a society organized around the novel idea that it is right for a person to live for his own purposes, ones that he or she freely chooses and acts to achieve, and that it is right for that person to insist on a government limited to protecting him or her from physical violence from others? Anyone who wants to derive economic power by corrupting that simple political principle is criminal regardless of "the laws" that they have passed or judges they bought. And the legislators who passed those types of laws and the judges that upheld them are in collusion with those criminals. Compare any law (whether passed or proposed) to one fundamental standard. Does the law protect an individual from physical violence from others or not? In answering that, you'll have to conclude that many laws fail that standard.

Many of us entered the fray with OccupyWallSt because a few, at the turn of the century, foisted their "laws" on the populace in the United States and to this day are propagating the single biggest counterfeiting scheme the world over. In our view, there can be no better area of law to deny than the particular laws that permitted their scheme. We say this because proper money is the innovation of rational, peaceful people and gives rise to thriving civilizations. Clever charlatans corrupted money, hoodwinked most of us while doing it and are enslaving civilizations while lining their own pockets.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I wrote an article about you ultra right-wingers. Check it out:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/

The "libertarian" solution is simple: TAX CUTS for the 1%, WELFARE CUTS for the 99%.

If what you do don’t affect others, than that’s your business. If what you do affect other people, then they should have a say as well. You don’t live in an isolated bubble, you live in a society with an all-encompassing economy. People should have a say in the things that affect their lives; the economic institutions should therefore be controlled democratically by the workforce and the communities.

[-] 2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I am not a libertarian, right or left. Also, I am wondering whether you actually read my reply above.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I’ve read all of your comments – and I’ve answered them. Is there something you want me to address more thoroughly?

No, you’re definitely not left-libertarian. Agreed. However, based on the things you’ve written so far, I can’t conclude in any other way than that you are an ultra right-winger. Maybe you call yourself something else: objectivist, anarcho-capitalist, minarchist or something like that, but it doesn’t make any difference. These are all ultra right-wing ideas.

I’ve seen many Ayn Rand worshipers write a lot of gibberish with this “fuck you all, I’m an individual”- attitude, and what you’ve written so far, is very similar to that. Do you like the ultra right-winger Ayn Rand?

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Didn't see a reply from you. I asked, "Please address this passage of mine more thoroughly.

Referring to: "You can't have liberty and eat it too. You're insisting on living by their idea that it is right to force innocent people (in your case by popular vote) to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen. By way of contrast, could you imagine a society organized around the novel idea that it is right for a person to live for his own purposes, ones that he or she freely chooses and acts to achieve, and that it is right for that person to insist on a government limited to protecting him or her from physical violence from others?"

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Patience, dude. Reply's coming soon.

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Sure. Please address this passage of mine more thoroughly. Referring to: "You can't have liberty and eat it too. You're insisting on living by their idea that it is right to force innocent people (in your case by popular vote) to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen. By way of contrast, could you imagine a society organized around the novel idea that it is right for a person to live for his own purposes, ones that he or she freely chooses and acts to achieve, and that it is right for that person to insist on a government limited to protecting him or her from physical violence from others?"

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"You can't have liberty and eat it too.”

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

“You're insisting on living by their idea that it is right to force innocent people (in your case by popular vote) to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen.”

There’s force in any society: you’re forced to follow the laws. You're insisting on the right to force innocent people (in your case by minority rule and corporate tyranny) to behave in ways that they wouldn't have freely chosen.

It must be the people living in the society that should get to decide which kinds of laws they have to live by; people should have a say in the things that affect them.

“could you imagine a society organized around the novel idea that it is right for a person to live for his own purposes, ones that he or she freely chooses and acts to achieve”

I’m a strong advocate for individual rights. People should be free to work, create and contribute based on their own urges and wants. We do, however, live in a society and do many things together with others; and when decisions affect the entire group, then the entire group should have a say.

As you can see, my answers are very similar to my previous replies. Based on what I said before, I thought maybe you’d be able to figure out what my opinions are on this passage of yours.

“and that it is right for that person to insist on a government limited to protecting him or her from physical violence from others?"

Individuals should be protected from physical violence, sure.

What do you think about the ultra right-winger Ayn Rand?

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

A group of people not too long ago had ideas about how to live. They constituted a majority but a minority had little if any influence on the majority's decision. The majority decided to annihilate them. You're inviting big trouble with your insistence that you can bypass individual rights by deferring to the group to decide what is right. You say that you are a strong advocate of individual rights but choose to wipe them out with your "however"..."...when decisions affect the entire group, then the entire group should have a say". With such opinions as a guide, people in majorities have made disastrous decisions about the lives of others. The members of the National Socialist Party in Germany during the 30's and 40's, the inquisition, and the Soviet Union are examples.

As to what I think of Ayn Rand, I don't. I do think that you have ignored what it means to be human and ignored what is proper in socializing with others. I've simplified your political opinions, non sequiturs and ephemisms using the metaphor of a coin toss. The coin's "metal" is some people forcing other people (to behave in ways that they wouldn't have voluntarily chosen). If heads, a minority wins and uses force; if tails, the majority wins and forces their will on others. You're tired of the coin toss coming up heads, where the tyrannical minority wins. You're agitating for tails. But, regardless of who wins the toss, individuals loose.

I've thrown the coin away. Instead, I am fighting to live my own life for my own purposes. You spit on me claiming that I have a "fuck you all, I am an individual" attitude. You're invective is too broad and is therefore meaningless to me. I disagree only with those who would deny that it is morally right for me to pursue my own welfare. I am against only those who would forcibly deny my pursuing and achieving my own welfare. When I hear the objection that such pursuit would lead me to live like a wolf or an animal, I regard it as quackery. I socialize with people guided by the idea of "do no harm" and temper it with the fact that others can and will directly or indirectly harm me.

As I said, "Many of us entered the fray with OccupyWallSt because a few, at the turn of the century, foisted their "laws" on the populace in the United States and to this day are propagating the single biggest counterfeiting scheme the world over. In our view, there can be no better area of law to deny than the particular laws that permitted their scheme. We say this because proper money is the innovation of rational, peaceful people and gives rise to thriving civilizations. Clever charlatans corrupted money, hoodwinked most of us while doing it and are enslaving civilizations while lining their own pockets." These few people and their cronies in Government are denying me the use of real money. Their apologists in Academia are trying to smooth it all over while pretending how good the modern monetary system is. I am against these few and their cronies and I disagree with anyone in Academia who upholds the scheme.

On the other side of the coin are people like you. But what you have in mind for me is no better because it ends up in the same morbid place. By contrast, I have said, an individual must take actions freely, if he is to promote his life. That means that he has to be free from the forceful interference of others. It is difficult enough to perform these right but when compelled by another or any group of people, an individual can not live for his own welfare.

As I see it, underneath your self-hypnotic mounds of repetition, you're too afraid to look at reality and accept the demands of being human. You'd rather persuade a majority to form and once sufficiently riled up, have them leech off those who are living like humans. You and the 1% share the same false ideas and in practice you'll be controlling others just as they do by force.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No system can guarantee that the right decisions will be made all the time, and that goes for democracy as well, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t have a say in the things that affect them. The way to organize a democratic society is by decentralizing the decision-making as close as possible to the ones who have to live with the decisions. In other words, democracy should be controlled from below thru democratic workplaces, communities and so on.

The alternative to a democratic system is tyranny and minority rule. It’s is the people that must decide the laws they have to live by.

I’m a strong advocate of individual rights: individuals should have the right to free health care, free education, decent social security and decent rights at the workplace. Do you support these individual rights?

“As to what I think of Ayn Rand, I don't.”

What do you mean? Please elaborate on what you think of this ultra right-winger’s ideas. Your message is similar to her grotesque philosophy. So, what do you think of this ultra right-winger?

You’re still going on about “force”. Again, there’s force in any society. You want a society in which people are forced to live in a system with huge corporations controlling our lives.

Live your life however you want, but like I said: you do live in a society with other peopl; if what you do affect other people’s life, they should have a say in your actions. You can’t get your will all the time - that’s a logical consequence of living in a society with other people.

When you keep on posting the same message again and again, then I will post the same replies.

If you’re concerned about “leeching” you should direct your attention to the multinational corporations and the 1% – you know, the ones you want to give huge tax cuts.

You’re a right-libertarian, and whether you want to call your self something else, anarcho-capitalist, minarchist, objectivist or whatever, you support the right-libertarian solution:

TAX CUTS for the 1%, WELFARE CUTS for the 99%

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You say, "No system can guarantee that the right decisions will be made all the time, ..." What do you mean by the term "right decision"?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Could be anything. Depends on the situation. Anyway, I think you understand the point.

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You said, "You’re still going on about “force”. Again, there’s force in any society." Regarding the topic of political force here is what you say repeatedly with no explanation of what you mean, "There's force in any society." Every time you repeat it, I wonder whether you believe that political force simply grows like trees.

Let me ask you these two questions. Do you have any standard that you use to compare a law in society to in order to evaluate whether that law is morally good? Do you have any standard that you use to compare your actions to in order to evaluate whether they are morally good? If so, would you care to name them and elaborate on them?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Where there are laws, there’s “political force”. You support laws that force people to live in a society where corporations have enormous power over our lives.

I have certain moral principles, sure. I might elaborate when you start elaborating on what you think about the ultra right-winger Rand.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Where in my replies is any evidence for your saying that I support laws that force people to live in a society where corporations have enormous power over our lives?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Laws that allow huge, powerful corporations to operate in the economy, is one of the consequences of right-libertarian policies. So are you saying that you don’t support such laws..?

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Take for example, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. It is a prime example of laws that I do not support. (Are you really reading my replies?)

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You keep asking me about Rand. I told you that I don't think about Rand. When I was much younger, I read one of her books called Atlas Shrugged. I didn't read the whole book. What are you looking for?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I want to know what you think about her grotesque philosophy. I'm sure you have some opinions.

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Look. I have no opinion of her. She wrote a book. I read part of it.

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You say that you are a strong advocate of individual rights: individuals should have the right to free health care, free education, decent social security and decent rights at the workplace." There is no such thing as free health care, education, or social security. So no, I don't support fantasies.

Do you support these individual rights?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

So in other words, you didn’t understand that when I say “free health care” I mean free when you need it? Really?

”Do you support these individual rights?”

Didn’t I just tell you that?

Now that we’ve established that these are not “fantasies”, do you?

Oh, and what do you think about the ultra right-winger Rand?

[-] -1 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"Free health care" is free when you need it. Why did you stop then with such a short list. Don't you need food? Clothing? Shelter? By your view, these should be free because you need them. How about transportation? Do you need a way to get somewhere? Shouldn't that be free also. How about your need for friendship? Shouldn't you have friends for free? Affection too? Romance? Sex? Books? Televisions, smartphones? What about money? Shouldn't money be free too? You're stated view didn't include these. Why not? You need them too don't you?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I just mentioned a few to make a point.

We should definitely work to create a society in which everyone has access to necessities, yes. Free public transportation is absolutely a good idea. It’s good for the environment, and it cuts down on bureaucracy.

How all these things are organized in detail, should be for the communities to decide.

Romance and sex? Really?

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (305) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You say, "No system can guarantee that the right decisions will be made all the time, ..." What do you mean by the term "right decision"?

[-] -1 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

What if the workers and communities decide, democratically, to cut off all aid to the non-working "freeloaders" of society?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Who are those “non-working freeloaders” you’re talking about? The disabled? The elderly?

I would hope that in a participatory democracy, most people would realize that in a modern wealthy society, we all enjoy a “free ride”, and that the best way to organize society is to make sure everybody can have a decent life.

[-] -2 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

Yes, the disabled, elderly, or just plain lazy.

What if the workers in one particular community, who are in the majority, decide democratically not to give them aid any longer?

Just because something is decided democratically does not make it right. In many states a majority of people would back sodomy laws as a way to keep gays from being open about their relationship? Would that be ok as long as it is decided democratically?

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Well, like I said, I would hope that in a modern wealthy society, we recognize that we all enjoy a “free ride”, and that the best way to organize society is to make sure everybody can have a decent life.

But if this highly unlikely situation were to occur, everyone disagreeing should oppose it with arguments, demonstration etc. No system, democracy included, guarantees decisions to be perfect all the time, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t have a say in the things that affect them.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

You always have the right to say "I quit"

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The fact that you can “choose” to work in a tyrannical hierarchy, does not change the structure of the hierarchy, and it does not justify a minority controlling and dictating the rest. People should have the right to control their own lives, and that's impossible when huge corporations are in charge.

[-] -1 points by commonsensedude (-4) 1 year ago

I don't understand. You can work for someone else who is not tyrannical, or even be self-employed. If you don't like your employer, you don't have to put up with it, you can go away. People do have control over their workplace, and most certainly have choices over their own lives, people can choose what to do with their money, what profession they want, even how much work they want to do to make money. Now that's free society, not one where just because you work for someone they become your slaves.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

No, people don’t have control over their own workplace. Corporations are tyrannical institutions in which the few at the top dictate everyone else. Economic institutions should be run democratically by the participants.

It’s not freedom when the financial elite and the huge corporations have the overwhelming control in the economy. Real freedom is achieved in a libertarian socialist society:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/part-ii-workers-self-management-workplace-democrac/

[-] -1 points by ganya4 (-10) 1 year ago

spoken like a true ignorant communist . Only struggle could watch the history of the world, and see communism utter FAILURE and collapse in every country....and then think it;s a good idea.

Stupid fucking liberals always had a soft spot for murdering communist dictators, like Stalin, Mao, Castro and the the dead money in Venezuela.

[-] 2 points by BrianMid (132) 1 year ago

Communism is more state run, libertarian socialism (anarchy) is supposed to be run democratically. There hasn't been any successful anarchistic state though. The only one that can be pointed to lasted for a few years. It was in Spain in the 1930's and it had some issues with violent intimidation against detractors.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I am an anarchist. I strongly oppose all sorts of tyrannical systems – Leninism included.

Leninism has nothing to do with real communism: anarchist communism.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

but surely by now you realize that a dictatorship of the proletariat is the only way.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Let me put it this way: Concentrated power, wherever it is, should be opposed at any point in time.

[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

but surely by now you realize that the power is already concentrated and that only with in a system where an entire societal class (the working class) holds political and economic control, within a democratic system can progress truly begin to be achieved otherwise you will have the subversive business class with their wealth trying to reassert itself. it's a nasty business but true indeed. this of course does not mean allow a strong man in to establish himself to pervert an ideology to fit his will.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Power is concentrated in a lot of places, and that’s what needs to be fought.

The more we focus on the things I mentioned here, the closer I think we’ll be moving towards freedom and democracy.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 year ago

I agree... we want to move towards freedom and democracy... that IS the answer....

but ask yourself this... Is not the attempt to create one system while outlawing the others... also an action exactly like what the corporate capitalists are doing ?

the pure answer ... is to implement the new ideas.... and the ones that prosper for the people will prevail... while the old abusive will simply fade away...

[-] -1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

Its admirable that you think that change can happen that way. There is no chance of it happening but it is admirable nonetheless. You really think that the elite are just going to stop eating caviar and drinking champagne? Fascism is here and it gives two fucks about protest. Did you miss the evictions and subsequent terrorist indictments? OWS was nothing. A few thousand people. What do you think they will do with millions?

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The rich will stop eating caviar if we make them stop. Taking away power form the wealthy has been done many times thruout history; it can and should happen again.

What needs to happen is that the ones who want to end this awful system, have to build support in their communities, workplaces and so on, and in broader networks. As support grows, more direct action can be done and eventually there’ll be a popular movement big enough to make radical changes.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Well said. Inequity, & disgust always builds, frequently gets violent (which we CAN avoid) but the pendulum always swings back, and we are living through this next 'correction'.

This movement has contributed most importantly by focusing the message and empowering many progressive groups.

Great post.

[-] -1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

what political theorists do you read? cause i have never heard this theory before. while it may be possible for communities to be built that adhere to libertarian socialist ideals the likelihood that you are going to create that kind of change in a disparate neighborhood of individuals borders on zero.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Trying to create a more just and free society with use of direct action is what anarchism is essentially about. A libertarian socialist society must be built from below, starting with our own communities.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

it has to emanate from a national political party.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I don't agree with that.

How would that be done exactly?

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

You could start by resurrecting the old bull moose party. Update the platform to reflect 21st century concerns.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The elections in the United States are to a large extent controlled by the financial elites. As long as that doesn’t change, there’s not going to be much change.

[-] 1 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1 year ago

Trying to create a more just and free society is what the humanitarian tradition is all about. What you are saying is true, but please let's not get too hung up with labels. Let's reach out rather than draw intellectually inward. Broad truths that everyone can relate to are what is needed - not "isms."

Just a thought.

[-] -1 points by LittleMatchGirl (-143) 1