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Forum Post: Capitalism Must Be Replaced by REAL DEMOCRACY - Libertarian Socialism

Posted 2 years ago on March 1, 2012, 10:20 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Now, like I explained in the article ”Why Capitalism Must Be Abolished” Capitalism must be, yes you guessed it, abolished. Capitalism is exploitative, immoral, undemocratic and dehumanizing. This is intolerable. It must be replaced. But by what?

In my opinion Capitalism must be replaced by democracy - real democracy, that is. Not just where you put a piece of paper in a box every 2nd year, and then letting people in suits in charge for the rest of the years to come, but where people actually participate in the things they´re part of and which affects them. A society where people are in control of their own lives, workplaces and communities.

There´s a name for this society, in which people are in control of their own lives: It´s called Libertarian Socialism or Left Libertarianism if you will; or as ”francismjenkins” here on ows.org wanted to rename it: ”Participatory Democracy”; and that´s what it is - a real active democracy in which people really participate in the things they´re a part of. Libertarian Socialism is about building democracy from below, making democratic influence proportional to how much things affect you. That means democratic control of workplaces, democratic control of communities, democratic federations of different cooperating communities, and so on.

This would be a society where people could be creative and contribute based on their own abilities and where we focus on people´s needs instead of short term profit. This participatory democracy would encourage the good things in us, creating a solidaric society on all levels: workers, workplaces, unions, communities, federations not any longer being encouraged to only look after themselves and striving for as much money and material goods as possible, like it is in capitalism, but instead cooperating for a best possible society for everyone, democratically run by the participants.

So to sum up: Capitalism must be replaced by a solidaric, decentralized, free society building democracy from below - making people in control of their own life. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

64 Comments

64 Comments


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[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

You seem to have no concept of what the people in this country feel about socialism.

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

I am aware of it, but that´s what we has to change. Popular opinion is not unchangable. It is, by the way, libertarian socialism I advcate, not any leninist models that many associate with the word.

It´s necessary to create a democratic free sustainable society :)

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I know what it is, but I don't see it as the panacea you seem to feel it is. After a century of trying I don't think there is any more support even in the very few countries that have successful socialist programs. I see it as asking us to give up too much.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

And also,many people tried very hard and for very long to replace feudalism with parlamentary democracy, and look what happened..

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

That has little to do with today. Under feudalism the common man had no say about anything. Under the representative republic the common man does have a vote and there is not even a noticeable minority in favor of libertarian socialism.

You'll never get the people of the United States to amend their constitution to the degree you want and need, it's held in almost mythic regard.

You may see libertarian socialism as the next step in the evolution of society, but I see it as an alternate branch that the people have rejected in favor of a republic and moved away from.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

It was to illustrate that regimes can change

"You may see libertarian socialism as the next step in the evolution of society"

I see LS as what should be the end goal.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Anything can change. The vast majority today are not just opposed but vigorous in their opposition to libertarian socialism.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Ordinary people don´t have to give up anything. They will gain, they´ll get a better life. They´ll be in control of their own life work and community. The 1% on the other hand, have to give up a whole lot, including the tyrannical control they have over our lives.

And, again, yes there is a lot of convincing that must be done, yes.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

A lot of convincing is putting it mildly. The proponents of your system don't have the support of anyone in congress. Only one senator identifies himself as a socialist, you need 66 more plus 288 representatives. Statistically speaking none of the voting public wants libertarian socialism. Socialism has actually lost support over the last century.

Proving it works with coops might help, but you're probably a century from seeing any change. The only way you'll ever get it is how they got it in Catalonia, through force of arms.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Hehe, well since libertarian socialsim is very sceptical towards politicians Its not a big surprise that politicians dont like it..

But if you ask ordinary people, workers, students, seniors etc, if they like the idea of a real active democracy in which people really participate in the things they´re a part of, I think youd find out that its a much more popular idea than you think.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Framed that way it will certainly lure them in to a discussion. At what point do you fully inform these individuals? Very few people believe that socialism as a system of production or as a system of governance will work. Are they in favor of democracy, yes, do they want socialism, absolutely not.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Well, we have to inform them that libertarian socialsim is something completely different than what has been thought of as socialism (especially in the us)

Libertarian socialism is exactly about more democracy (as explained in my article) so you can´t oppose libertarian socialism if you like more democracy - democratic workplaces, communities and so on, because they are the same thing :)

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

You certainly can oppose libertarian socialism and still be in favor of individual rights and democracy. Direct democracy for a large nation or even a large city isn't workable it would cause more harm then good. Democracy may be a good thing, but too much of anything can become harmful. We have a representative republic now, it offers democratic elections of officials.

In addition once you tell people that this idea carries over into the workplace allowing workers to confiscate property you lose most Americans again. No one in this country is going to support altering the bill of rights to allow confiscation of private property. I don't think you understand how Americans feel about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I do not believe I'm exaggerating at all when I say you'd have better luck getting a christian church to vote against the existence of god.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Freedom and democracy should be our goal, my friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

"No one in this country is going to support altering the bill of rights to allow confiscation of private property"

Most people want us to tax the wealthy more (which is a form of taking property) We just need to convince the Gpopulation that we need to go further. But LS should be our end goal, remember that.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

No, I see you using semantics in an attempt to sell an idea no one wants. Taxing everyone is necessary to run a government, no one likes taxes but they are accepted. The idea of taxing the rich more through a progressive system is one tax philosophy. It's also already constitutional for the government to tax. Nothing new is being sought in a call to tax the rich more, historically they have been taxed more.

Taking private property away from it's legal owners and redistributing it to the workers is currently against our laws. This is not considered taxation and to do it you would need the support of at least a two thirds majority. It would be seen as a violation of individual rights and as I said require amending the Bill of Rights. That isn't going to happen in America especially when you have no modern, viable, successful libertarian-socialist societies to show that the system really works.

It's your time to waste, but I see it as a fools errand for the foreseeable future. I seriously doubt libertarian-socialism has a clear majority support even in academia in this country. Personally, I believe the goal should be to better regulate the form of capitalism we have and encourage educated voter involvement with our republic.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

............

    Americans are more afraid of the word 'socialism' 
      than they are of cancer, hiv or world war III.
        and they will fight it to their graves …

    Calm down people, you are only fighting a 'word' …    
      Neither socialism or capitalism exist in nature 
                  without the other…
           Alone they are mere philosophies…

   Socialism without capitalistic freedom & incentives 
            will fail just as miserably as 
            Capitalism without regulation 
              has just demonstrated...

  We can build a "true democracy" founded on the dreams 
           of all mankind & all ideologies...
                   We are the 99%

..............

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Capitalism has nothing to do with freedom. Capitalism is tyranny: http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-capitalism-must-be-abolished/

LS is real freedom.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

sorry ... whether it's right or wrong ... it's not gonna happen ... there is no way capitalism will be legislated out of our system.... we CAN improve it ... implement ALL kinds of safety nets and social programs ... but capitalistic free enterprise will exist whether legal or not... think of the prohibition days...

now ... eventually ... a hundred years or so... technology will replace capitalism and/or any-ism ... eventually ... we will have machines that build any materialistic thing right in front of our eyes... probably from our iphone ... ;)

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Remember though, that i think LS should be our end goal Im not advocating over-night revolution. The general population has to change thir mind before LS can become reality

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

I might agree ... but... MUCH more progress is made speaking specific issues ... than generalities grouped under a banner such as LS, or Liberal or Conservative... or any ...

;)

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 2 years ago

Nice post thanks.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Glad you liked it. Thanks :)

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Socialism is the natural companion to capitalism, which is a system that is designed to redistribute wealth (it's in the name). Socialism is designed to maintain critical systems at low cost, capitalism is designed to pool wealth for large projects. Libertarianism is antithetical to both. It's also a nonsensical philosophy that, taken to it's ultimate goal, would result in total anarchy and survival only of the most violent. It is not compatible with any other political philosophy. "Participatory democracy" is not only a better, more accurate name for what is being described, it's also a thousand times more marketable than anything with "libertarianism" or "socialism" in the name.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Libertarian Socialism" is an old term used to describe the anti-totalitarian anarchist-type direct participatory democracy. Anarchist socialists have used the word "libertarian" as far back as the 1800s, long before ultra-capitalists started using it.

Wikipedia:

"The first anarchist journal to use the term “libertarian” was La Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social, published in New York City between 1858 and 1861 by French anarcho-communist Joseph Déjacque. "The next recorded use of the term was in Europe, when “libertarian communism” was used at a French regional anarchist Congress at Le Havre (16-22 November, 1880). January the following year saw a French manifesto issued on “Libertarian or Anarchist Communism.” Finally, 1895 saw leading anarchists Sébastien Faure and Louise Michel publish La Libertaire in France." The word stems from the French word libertaire, and was used to evade the French ban on anarchist publications. In this tradition, the term "libertarianism" in "libertarian socialism" is generally used as a synonym for anarchism, which some say is the original meaning of the term; hence "libertarian socialism" is equivalent to "socialist anarchism" to these scholars.[46] In the context of the European socialist movement, libertarian has conventionally been used to describe those who opposed state socialism, such as Mikhail Bakunin."

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

I get all that and a similar diatribe could recount the history of socialism from it's birth in French philosophical circles to its corruption by the Soviets. That's not what we're dealing with now and trying to redefine heated political terminology that has already evolved beyond it's original meaning is a fool's errand.

Socialism can be resuscitated because we still have examples of socialism all around us, from water treatment to our standing army. There are no examples of working libertarianism anywhere on earth and never have been because human beings are social creatures. We cannot survive on our own. No human has ever made out of childhood without a massive investment by the community in one form or another. Libertarianism is stupid. And using it in the context of socialism is preposterous.

Don't be wedded to your terminology. Be wedded to the idea but don't lose the war fighting an unnecessary battle. Socialism is a no-go for the righties, libertarianism a no-go for the lefties. It's incompatible and you can't bridge that divide, no matter what. I'm not convinced by your idea to begin with but labeling it with libertarianism destroys the chances that I'll even care. I'm sure I'm not alone in that assessment.

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

"Libertarian Socialism" goes far back in history and is a well established term describing the society I advocate in my article. But hey, what you call it is really not that important, the important thing is that we work for this type of society :)

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Libertarian socialism is a theory that can only work on paper. The problem is that libertarianism is incompatible with all other systems at all times, no matter how it's packaged. Once you accept the premise of any level of anarchy, governance shifts from the coercive power of the State to the coercive power of the most violent or most willing to blow everything up.

Governance will happen, like it or not. That's the way things get done. Somebody will always assert leadership. It simply isn't possible to sustain decision-making bodies that include everyone. Representative democracy was born in America only after fighting a war of independence. The guns come out when the rules are stripped away.

We're not mature enough as a species for the kind of self-controlled governance required for anything remotely resembling libertarianism to be successful. And anything that gets paired with libertarianism becomes libertarianism, because anarchy is a black hole that sucks everything into its death embrace.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Libertarian socialism is a theory that can only work on paper."

No, no. More democracy is not only achievable, it´s necessary.

"Once you accept the premise of any level of anarchy, governance shifts from the coercive power of the State to the coercive power of the most violent or most willing to blow everything up."

No, no. Establishing egalitarian society based on soldarity and cooperation is in accordence with human nature.

We have to face the fact that we don´t know everything about human nature. We do, however, know that there are some fundamental human characteristics. Human nature allows for different kinds of behavior and it can be shaped to a certain extent, but there are certain things - such as solidarity for example - that make up some of the core features. Just look at the history of our evolution. For millions of years things like cooperation, sharing, caring, sticking together and so on, basing social organization on a relatively egalitarian principle, have been central parts of our evolution. Even as far back as Homo Habilis working together for the common good, cooperating on finding and getting food etc. were essential and crucial for the survival and further evolvement of the species. Now, there were also things like rivalry and violence that took place at that time, and these things have to a certain extent also been passed on, but as our ancestors evolved further, all the way up to Homo Heidelbergensis and later on Homo Sapiens, these things decreased and elements like solidarity and egalitarianism - in addition to cooperation - became more integrated in the social organization. Working together for the common good turned out to be a crucial and highly successful factor in our evolution. And with cooperation and working together, things like solidarity, altruism etc - a more collective mentality - also became a natural part of our ancestors´ way of thinking and acting. When our ancestors finally evolved into Homo Sapiens this had become a big part of our way of life: Some of the first human societies consisted of hunter-gatherers basing society on solidarity, cooperation and egalitarian principles. Marx and Engels studied and wrote about these types of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies; they called them "primitive communism" - a kind of preindustrial version of the modern classless stateless communist society they envisioned might come into place in the future.

In other words, evolution has allowed us to develop a free will, a mentality that allows for variation in behavior, making room for adaptation and molding of the mind; but our ancestors have also passed on certain elements - mostly good ones - that are determined and part of humans today. Things that were the main reason for our evolutionary success, like solidarity and cooperation, are parts of our nature.

In fact many of these things can also be seen among most species, simply because sticking together and helping each other increase the chances of species survival. Peter Kropotkin, a zoologist, philosopher and Libertarian Socialist - contributing especially to the philosophy of Anarcho-Communism - wrote about this issue in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution", looking at mutual aid and cooperation in nature, arguing that evolution naturally would develop things like commitment to helping others, and that these were important factors in the survival of the species.

Another important contribution to this topic is of course "The Selfish Gene" from 1976 by professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this book he pointed out that altruism, and cooperation naturally would evolve among species thruout evolution because organisms act as if their genes - not the organisms themselves - are selfish. It is the gene that is being passed on endlessly thru organisms, and things like altruism would therefore accrue in order to increase the chances for the gene to survive. And it makes perfect sense; individuals sharing the same genes would naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated. Most scientists on this field regard Dawkins´ contributions to be correct.

Robert Trivers` work is also very interesting and worth mentioning in this context. He focuses on what he calls "Reciprocal altruism": the phenomenon of an organism, or individual, acting in a way that might reduce its fitness ,being a cost or loss, while increasing the fitness of another organism, with the expectation that this other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time.

Now, with all this mentioned so far in mind, it would logically follow that cooperation, solidarity, altruism etc. are essential and fundamental elements of our nature.

But if these things are huge parts of our nature, why don´t we see a lot more of this in our society today? Well, the problem is that today these things are being suppressed. In today´s (especially Western) societies things like greed and consumption are being encouraged. In fact, capitalism requires corporations f.ex. to only think about the "bottom line". If they don´t, they´re out of business, and corporations that do think profits and greed replace them. A society like this will of course produce a lot of greedy individuals. Capitalism encourages greed, and since human nature allows for some molding of the mind, the system we have manages to suppress many individuals´ core characteristics. Take advertisement f.ex: Private tyrannies spend huge amounts of money on this. We´re being pumped full of this garbage almost everywhere we look, whether it´s TV, radio, internet, newspapers etc etc, day in and day out. It is a highly unnatural phenomenon, it´s been a part of human history for an extremely small amount of time, yet it affects us, many of us in a huge way. But with that said, I think it s worth mentioning that even though we´re being encouraged to be greedy and selfish, we still see lots of kindness and solidarity. Even in a society based on greed and consumption, human characteristics, opposing this lifestyle, are lived out.

In a Libertarian Socialist organization society would encourage all the good things in us. When society no longer encourages us to be greedy the true nature of humans would come to the fore. If a big part of our nature is based on cooperation and solidarity, and the society encourages cooperation and solidarity, guess what, it would produce cooperative and soldaric humans! There will of course be a few immoral individuals in a libertarian socialist society as well, but that shouldn´t prevent us from organizing society in a way that is best suited human nature in general.

So, in other words: living together in solidarity, cooperating, looking out for one another and being creative on one's own terms in an egalitarian social organization is in accordance with human nature. It would then logically follow that the most appropriate way to organize society would be one that is based on Libertarian Socialist principles: a free, egalitarian, non-hierarchical society where human characteristics like solidarity, kindness and creativity would come to the fore.

[-] 0 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Well of course we're social creatures but we're not all going to play by the same rules when anarchy presents other choices. Even the most egalitarian cultures, like precolonial Native American tribes, had systems of governance that were essentially bicameral and/or federalist in nature. Whenever societies have had the option of going for full-blown libertarianism, they have always chosen something else.

As I said, we're not mature enough to handle the reality of what is proposed on paper. There are plenty of ways we can foster a more cooperative, less profiteering culture in our system right now. Perhaps if we make it to some intermediary stage of tiered or participatory democracy on a global scale, then we can seriously consider moving to a more libertarian ideal. But right now it's a utopian dream that can only end badly.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I disagree (for the purposes I mentioned) Human history (especially when counting our evolutionary history) has involved state, concentration of private wealth, and other forms of big hierarchical structures for an extremely small amount of time.

Libertarian Socialism is like I said in the article, about building democracy from below, making democratic influence proportional to how much things affect you. That´s not an unreasonable suggestion, and it would logically mean democratic workplaces and communitie,s cooperating with others in federated alliances.

"But right now it's a utopian dream that can only end badly."

It probably far into the future, but we should always strive for the best :)

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

"It probably far into the future, but we should always strive for the best :)"

I'll grant you that much but even though humanity has been around for a lot longer than hierarchies based on wealth, the latter has been around long enough. No class of rulers goes quietly into that good night. And even the most egalitarian cultures that come closest to representing the ideal you suggest had enemies and went to war to defend their territories. There's always an asshole, at least to this date in history. As you said, perhaps the future will present us with better options but right now, I'm steering far clear of anything with libertarianism or anarchy on the menu.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Like I said, there will of course be a few immoral individuals in any society, but that shouldn´t prevent us from organizing society in a way that is best suited human nature in general.

But listen. The core of Libertarian Socialism is that people get to participate in the things they´re part of and which affects them (logically including workplaces and communities).

Honestly, is that really an unreasonable suggestion?

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Not necessarily unreasonable but not necessarily desirable either. Because there are plenty of times that things wind up affecting us from afar. Should Indiana allow a hundred new coal-fired power plants to be built? Is that my business in New York? It is when those plants are producing acid rain ten years later. Should I have the info I need about the risk of acid rain ahead of time? Can I get that now that we know about coal-fired plants? Sure I can. What about the new stuff? How do we know that some new factory being built somewhere by a bunch of locals in Texas for something seemingly innocuous won't wind up blowing half the country off the map by accident?

We live in a highly complex society with a lot of people who have just enough knowledge to be very, very dangerous. Now is not the time for anything remotely resembling anarchy. Sorry, you're not going to win me over on this one. I admire your tenacity and appreciate your intelligence but I'm not playing tag with anarchy. Not in this lifetime. ;-)

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

Listen, Getting hung up with every single imaginable detail is a little silly.Many details in a future free democratic society must be worked out by the people living in the society then, decided democratically be the participants.

The question is, do we like the principle (people getting to participate in the things they´re part of and which affects them) and if so, should we work for it? That´s the important thing.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Hey, if you're working for the benefit of future generations, more power to you. You should write some books. Seriously. But I think Occupy Wall Street (the overarching reason we're using this forum to chat) is more concerned with things that are achievable in the here and now. My energy is best spent on trying to amend the constitution and elect progressives to congress, not debating the merits of a philosophy that future generations may or may not embrace. I wish you luck in your quest but I'm moving on. Nice chatting all the same. :)

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I'm in sort of a house-on-fire mode right now."

I can understand that

"People don't even know what their own philosophy is anymore"

Thats what has to change, and that´s why I present and make more people aware of a moral, humane, philosophy worth striving for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnX96id-xI

yours s sff

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

Sure, there are lots of good short term goal that must be achieved, taxing the rich, ending corporate personhood, saving ss etc, but we can at the same time think about the long term goals - evaluate our principles and what we should work towards.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Noble sentiment. I'm in sort of a house-on-fire mode right now. Practical philosophy is fine but we're in the mess we're in largely due to rigid adherence to dysfunctional philosophical principles. While I agree, generally, with your point, I think we've had enough discussion about whether or not individual liberty is more important than the social contract. And any discussion that attempts to define libertarian socialism to large audiences would end up exactly there.

Our political landscape has now devolved to a re-prosecution of the merits of birth control. Freaking birth control! And that from the libertarian wing of the political divide! People don't even know what their own philosophy is anymore, let alone have the capacity to judge the merits of something so esoteric and delicately balanced as libertarian socialism, which, despite its longevity, I still think is an oxymoron. It's a fine mental exercise but I see no practical application to our current circumstance.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

You can't get people to participate and get informed now. Allowing several hundred million uninformed voters to decide things is lunacy. As bad as they are at least the corrupt politicians have a passing knowledge of the issues.

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

It is important to convince and getting people engaged. Lots of work has to be done, and The Occupy Movements have, in my opinion, done a very good job at this so far. We´ve just got to keep it up. Popular opinion and engagement can be changed for the better.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

The libertarian socialism you propose has too many flaws associated with it to be successful. It's proponents have been speaking for it for the last hundred years and it's not any closer to being accepted now then it was then, and for a host of reasons. It's simply not seen and being a change for the better.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Many people tried very hard and for very long to replace feudalism with parlamentary democracy, and look what happened..

Areal active democracy in which people really participate in the things they´re a part of is not an unreasonable suggestion, my friend. In fact it´s necessary to create a free democratic sustainable society soon now.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

You may think it's necessary, but practically no one else does. It probably won't have any significant support for the foreseeable future. Unlike with feudalism, the people do have a voice under the republic today. That voice has more then enough saying NO to libertarian socialism to halt it. I would be surprised if there were more then a few thousand true anarchists scattered around university faculty rooms and Occupy general assemblies.

In practical terms what you propose requires changing the constitution that means the approval of two thirds of the House and Senate and three quarters of the states to vote in favor of it. I'd be surprised if you could get more then a handful of congress people to even seriously listen to you. Just look at the reaction to a public health initiative two years ago. Americans do not want socialism.

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

If you ask ordinary people, workers, students, seniors etc, if they like the idea of a real active democracy in which people really participate in the things they´re a part of, I think youd find out that its a much more popular idea than you think.

I mentioned feudalism to illustrate that regimes can be changed, that status qou, although well established, is not graven in stone.

LS is the end goal - what we should strive for.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

That's very much like a leading survey. In reality their answer doesn't mean anything. Democracy is one thing, everyone sharing everything equally is another matter entirely. Once you bring up the socialist aspect you loose enough support to make your goal nothing more then a dream.

People may agree that democracy in general is a good thing, but direct democracy in practice is a very inefficient way to run anything large. The reality of it is that people prefer having representatives do things.

Things do change, countries have increased their social programs over the past century or so. Those programs point out flaws in socialism. Too many people take advantage of the system. Even in the few European countries that are not going bankrupt due to social programs, there is enough fraud to convince people that pure socialism wouldn't work.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"everyone sharing everything equally is another matter entirely."

What´s this? I have certainly not advocated this.

"but direct democracy in practice is a very inefficient way to run anything large."

There are lots of things that indicate the opposite (Catalonia in the 30s, and a growing amount of sucessful co-ops fex) but its also a matter of principle. efficient or not, are we in favor of a real active democracy in which people really participate in the things they´re a part of..

Norway, the country in wich I live, has one of the most "generous" if you will, social security systems in the world, yet we have the lowest unemployment rate in Europe. Youre underestimating you fellow humans. People wnat to work and contribute. Especially if you have democratic workplaces:

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

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

You advocate libertarian socialism, doesn't that call for the workers controlling the means of production? That means changing laws on property rights, altering constitutions, taking property and redistributing it, redistributing all wealth. The democracy issue is your entry point, it sounds pleasing, but if you ask people to vote for socialism they will vote no.

Anyone that looks into Catalonia learns very quickly the changes made by the anarchists were not done democratically, they too advantage of the civil strife and took control of the region by force. The people that will agree with you about voting may not like the idea of ballots cast by bullets and threats.

Co-ops would be a natural way to demonstrate a worker run company could function. It may be the only way to prove to the population that socialism could work, but you'd need to prove that larger companies of thousands of workers could give everyone a voice and still operate effectively. For people to believe you you'd have to actually show it working, not simply say how well you think it will work on paper.

I underestimate my fellow humans? I know them, perhaps better then you know your fellow countrymen. Just two minutes with google, Norway welfare fraud, in 2011, 100 families arrested, http://vladtepesblog.com/?p=31449

In 2010, estimates of NOK3 million in fraud http://www.newsinenglish.no/2010/04/29/state-cracks-down-on-welfare-cheats/

In 2009 the government must have suspected the problem of welfare fraud was serious enough, there was a conference held and a report done titled "Combatting Incorrect Payments and Fraud against the Norwegian Welfare System. http://www.kela.fi/in/internet/liite.nsf/NET/191009122243PM/$File/Sverre%20Lindahl%20-%20Combating%20Incorrect%20Payments%20and%20Fraud%20against%20tne%20Norvegian%20Welfare%20System.pdf?OpenElement

People naturally tend to take advantage of any situation. Guarantee everyone equal pay in a socialist system and they will do as little work as possible. That isn't theory it's what is observed over and over again, it's why very few are willing to risk a libertarian socialist society.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"You advocate libertarian socialism, doesn't that call for the workers controlling the means of production? That means changing laws on property rights, altering constitutions, taking property and redistributing it, redistributing all wealth."

Absolutely :)

"Anyone that looks into Catalonia learns very quickly the changes made by the anarchists were not done democratically"

The reason I brought up C now was because the people involved in this - to a large extent - anarchist type direct participation, which were infact very democratically internally, managed to organize and produce surprisingly efficient.

Im absolutley for a peaceful, democratic transition phase to a free democratic society (except if its self defense, of course)

About Norway; i think you missed my point. There´s of course always going to be a few percentage that tries to swindle, just like there ar swindlers in societies with less publicwelfare, but the vast majority in Norway- close to 100%, dont swindle and wnats to work and contribute. Again, most generous social security, lowest unemployment.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

The Catalonian anarchists were well organized and maybe even democratic internally, but they imposed their will, they weren't elected into power. Difficult for you to say you're in favor of democracy then hold up as a model an armed group that dictated by force how things would be run. The national socialists did some things efficiently too, but I wouldn't use that success to claim fascism was desirable.

In the US today, and probably in Norway too, you can work and earn more then the people on assistance. Effort is rewarded. In a libertarian socialist state everyone gets the same benefits. It causes a new dynamic, work a lot or a little you get the same reward. There has to be a motivation for people to put effort into their job, there are other motivators besides money but pay works best for the majority.

The welfare problem in Norway is, according to the articles I've seen shockingly widespread in the immigrant community. It points out that when there are different groups in a society they don't always share the same values. The articles indicate the immigrants don't feel any responsibility to Norwegian society. We would have a similar problem in America but on a much larger scale because we don't have a common culture going back hundreds of years. We're a nation of immigrants.

Libertarian socialism requires us to act as though we were all family, care for each other, and work for each other. If that feeling is missing, as it seems to be between Norway's immigrant community and the rest of society, then socialism fails. Again in the US we don't have that common heritage, few in my country believe libertarian socialism would work.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

You were the one who brought up efficiency. Like i said (and it seems like we agree) its not efficency that determines what society we should have.

"In a libertarian socialist state everyone gets the same benefits."

You get to be in control of your own life and workplace.

"There has to be a motivation for people to put effort into their job"

The motivation lies in our nature:

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

"Libertarian socialism requires us to act as though we were all family"

No, its about letting people be in control of their lives and have a democratic say in the things theyre a part of. That is not unreasonable..

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

You keep going back to the same point, that you want people to have a democratic say in things. They have had their say. They don't want to redistribute property to the workers. The supporters for the kind of society you want are minuscule in number. People are in favor of government employing democratically elected representation with an economic system blending capitalism and some socialism. You can believe they are all wrong, but that is what the majority want.

Over a century of socialists trying to advance a more anarchistic system has failed to gain any support. In America support for libertarian-socialism has actually dropped. It would seem you have your democratic answer. The majority don't want libertarian socialism. No one is holding the masses prisoner preventing them from having an opinion. They don't want your system.

Your country might be better suited for libertarian-socialism then America. It has a more homogenous culture and successful social programs. What is the level of popular support for libertarian-socialism there? I don't think there could be more then a few thousand socialists scattered across America.

[-] 0 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

Okay. So we first must abandon the Constitution. Not that difficult since we don't really follow it anyway. But what about democracy from below wants to do something wrong? Like expel all Muslims from the nation? Or only let one race do something that other races can't?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I´m not saying over-night revolution, what Im talking about is what our end goal should be.LS is about creating a classless, egalitarian society based on solidarity and making democratic influence proportional to how much things affect you. All sorts of different people would be living side by side in solidarity with each other.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

They used to call it the tyranny of the majority, it's why the constitution is so hard to change and explains the filibuster, difficulty in overriding a veto, and the Supreme Courts role in interpreting what laws violate the constitution. We've become lazy and let our fears push us too far from its principles, but the document itself is good.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

o this thread again

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

feel free to present counter arguments if you can :)

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

i did yesterday

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Oh, I´m sorry, my bad. What I ment to say was: feel free to present good, reasonable counter arguments if you can :)

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

Troll

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

I just had to point out that "go jerk off to Noam and your false idols" does not count as counter arguments in my book. and with that phrase above in mind, why are you calling other people trolls..?

[-] -3 points by amGreed (-8) 2 years ago

Take that crap and yourself to another Country

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No, no. I want all countries to have real democracy.

[-] 1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

What if other nations don't want it?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Then we have to keep on trying to convince more and more people that making people in control of their own lives is what we should work for.