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Forum Post: Libertarian Socialism - The Society We Should Strive For

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 15, 2012, noon EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In my opinion the society we should strive for is one where democracy is the core. A society where capitalism and central state power are replaced by more direct democracy and direct participation. A society where the economic institutions are run democratically by the participants and the ones affected by them. That means democratic control of workplaces, democratic control of communities and so on; a society where people participate in the decision-making and are in control of their own work, life and destiny. A system of cooperative communities that benefit everyone and focus on people´s needs instead of short term profit.

A society like this, where power is decentralized and democracy is built from the "bottom up", is often called Libertarian Socialism or Left-libertarianism. Many also refer to this type of society as Anarcho-Syndicalism which is a popular branch of Libertarian Socialism that focuses especially on direct democracy, workers´ self-management and solidarity.

In an Anarcho-Syndicalist society people are no longer profiting on other people´s work like in capitalism; no one exploits others, no one is being exploited - the economic institutions are now run democratically. Most services would be free when you need them, and production, distribution, remuneration etc. would be decided democratically by the participants. It would be a society where people are not treated like cogs in a machine and commanded to act in a mechanical way, but where each individual could live out its true potential based on its own capacity.

In a society like this human characteristics like solidarity, creativity, engagement and altruism would come to the fore. All though human nature is complex and gives room for different kinds of behavior we know that these things are at the core of human nature; just take a look at the history of human evolution which has been dominated by realtively egalitarian groups who cooperated for the common good. This type of organization which goes far back in our evolution also continued after we evolved into humans (Homo Sapiens) a little over a 100 000 years ago (cf Hunter-gatherer societies etc).

In other words, with an Anarcho-Syndicalist, or Libertarian Socialist organization society will become more egalitarian and most hierarchical structures will therfore vanish. At the same time a society like this will encourage humans to live out their true nature and create 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.

A Libertarian Socialist society would be based on direct democracy and not a system where representative politicians are running things. There will have to be representatives in this society as well, but they would be recallable delegates elected directly from the group or organization to which they belong, representing workplaces, unions, communities and so on. The society would in other words be decentralized and federated, run democratically thru networks of cooperative workers´ councils, assemblies, communities, delegates etc.

All the details in this free society would be too complex to sketch out here. All details must be decided and established when the time comes by the people participating in that society.

Now, Libertarian Socialism will not become reality in the very near future. We might have to settle for reform for some time, but we should always, at any given time, strive for the best.

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

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[-] 3 points by hankiis (3) 2 years ago

we should at least strive

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Yes, but strive for what exactly? I mean, I don't think there's a single grievance listed by OWS that I don't enthusiastically support (which is why I'm here), but all of those grievances can be remedied within our current Constitutional framework. So what I'm really trying to understand is how would something like Anarcho-Syndicalism be better than a Constitutional republic?

I think entrenched special interests will always be something that we'll have to guard against (irrespective of how we organize society, and even if we get rid of structure completely).

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

"Yes, but strive for what exactly?"

The society I described in the article..

"how would something like Anarcho-Syndicalism be better than a Constitutional republic?"

because the decent thing to do is to create a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??

yours s sff

[-] 4 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Again, I hear nice sounding themes, but no specifics. Employee owned companies and co-ops exist, and there's nothing stopping anyone or any group of people from starting an enterprise like this.

How would destroying our Bill of Rights help this idea along? If you're not talking about destroying our Bill of Rights, then (whether inadvertently or not) you support the idea of a constitutional republic, and the idea that some rights cannot be subjected to the whims of mob rule.

Furthermore, what makes you think that a stateless society would be any less venerable to the accumulation of special interests? If you don't think we should have a completely stateless society, then what kind of state do you propose?

Like I said, I absolutely agree that political corruption infects our society at every level, special interests and corporations have gained undue influence, wealth disparity is a terrible problem that needs to be addressed, we don't provide adequate educational opportunities, we have a poor approach to trade, we need to do much more to lift our disenfranchised out of poverty, people have perhaps become too isolated (and we've lost a degree of community and social cohesion), but I also acknowledge that there's a certain amount of mythic romanticism associated with both socialism and individualism.

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

You write very well and you make strong points. It's a joy to read your comments.

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

Oh yes, you need capital to create well functioning companies in todays society.

Im talking a bout a society of democratic institutions, not a co-op here and there. The economy is all-encompassing.

Because a libertarian socialist is a higly organized solidaric society basing social organization on democracy on all levels, building democracy from the bottom up.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

You speak of a society of companies, in this reply yet point out in others that such take funding...so how do you propose the funding occur?

A Co-op can be a business or market or it can be a company that produces things, most start out small to begin with and grow as more members join in.

Like anything, it builds from the bottom up, each state has it's own criteria for co-op charters, get a group together to decide what form of co-op, file the paperwork, put together a business plan and advertise for members.

I think you'd find your notion of Libertarian Socialism will be a misnomer.

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

"so how do you propose the funding occur?"

I propose that communities and organizations within this community decide production together democratically, in other words, production in the society I described in the article.

"Like anything, it builds from the bottom up......"

The key word here is democracy. I want democratically run workplaces and communities. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Okay, I'll put it another way. Would towns still be organized as towns, would they still have a town council elected by adult citizens, would we still have counties, states, a federal government, etc.? Would we abandon the idea of representative democracy (and if so, replace it with what), would we still have a constitution with a Bill of Rights, would we still have courts and a judiciary that operates according to common law principles?

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

It would be up to the people living in the different communities to decide how they should organize. Cities, towns etc, but alway based on the principle of non hierarchical structure with democracy from the bottom-up. If you read the article and watched the link, youd get lots of answers to your questions.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The video is good, and few could argue with concepts like the harm principle (John Stuart Mill is one of my favorite philosophers), but its depiction of the "workplace" does not resemble the modern workplace. I'm not saying more democracy in the workplace, recall elections, and so on, aren't good ideas, but modern companies do exhibit some of these features (everywhere I've ever worked, there's been significant collaboration among workers).

Nevertheless, the video wasn't bad. I'm not sure how it distinguishes between genuine and competitive innovation (given that consumers do vote with their wallets), but anyway, I like it's central theme, we're only half free (and I agree with it enough, though not completely).

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

I told you days ago: We agree on more than you think, my friend :)

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Indeed ... and like I said, some minor points of contention (like how does the author arrive at his "200" number as an upper limit to organization size), and maybe that is a good number (I'd have to think about it more), but I can see how this could work in a representative democracy (I mean, it does borrow from the concept of representative democracy, but also demands far more public participation, which I think is an excellent idea). I also like the authors commitment to individual liberties--so I presume he supports the Bill of Rights. Basically, I think we would get the benefits of direct democracy, without the drawbacks of an Athenian style direct democracy (which didn't turn out so good for the ancient Greeks).

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

... the principle of non hierarchical structure with democracy from the bottom-up.

Why "bottom-up" if there is no hierarchy?

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

A complex society (like today´s society) will need som kind of representation in some cases (necessary task on a more central level). But that must be recallable delegates voted directly from the organization to which they belong. That´s what I mean by "bottom up".

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

In that case, you shouldn't talk about a non-hierarchical structure. You should instead properly define how this hierarchy is implemented with your idea of recallable delegates and so on. If we don't use the proper words to explain a theory, things get very messy and confusing.

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

I don´t concider the recallable delgates, which have no power, but whose only job is to do what the ones electing them have decided, to be above others in a hierarchical structure.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Then you shouldn't use the expression "bottom-up". The point is, using "bottom-up" and non-hierarchic to talk about the same system is contradictory and thus confusing.

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

Maybe you´re right. Maybe there´s a better phrase (Do you know any). Anyway, this is a "hair-splitting" discussion :)

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Different groupings such as modules can interact together in various ways.

Hierarchically, their organization is often referred to as a tree or a pyramid. Relationships which are one level apart are often called parent-child relationships. We can talk of ancestors and grand-children when more than one level separates the modules in question.

Anarchically, the organization would be on an horizontal plane and so the relationships between modules would be referred to as siblings.

A more complex type of structure would be a network. In this case, all modules can be connected to all other modules. For example, a child module could be connect to the parent module of its own parent. This would be impossible in a tree like structure.

I don't think you can remove all forms of hierarchy in a political system. I have a feeling your system would resemble a network. This would be good because even if some modules are higher than others, there would never really be a module higher than all the rest. The complexity of the network would ensure that power is spread in a complex way, unlike a tree or pyramid. There would never be just one top level.

[-] 1 points by ehticalconservative (2) 2 years ago

We live in a world with competing ideas, some good and well meaning, some not so good but maybe equally well meaning however few if any can compare to the constitution.

The Constitution is a powerful document. Beautiful even, but alas not perfect because a multitude of absolutely necessary compromises had to be made. A fight for freedom won against all odds was about to disintegrate into the anarchy of competing interests between large states and small with different populations, monetary systems, and even secessionist ideas which wasn't settled until 70 odd years later. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June 1787 that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators.

The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise and as good as imperfect men can get. Unfortunately what it says and means is mostly ignored and or misunderstood by both houses and most presidents democrat and republican along with the majority of Americans of every persuasion.

This is a tragedy.....

Some ideas or theorems like "Anarcho-Syndicalism" quite frankly intrigue me so I would say let it compete with the free market. Those who favor A.S. should go for it.....I just don't want anyone to force anyone else to do anything and don't fuck anyone over. Full disclosure of risk is fine. Don't mind risk at all.....but again full disclosure! Hiding risk whether politically or in the free market or with the two in bed with one another has brought the wrath of the people pointing the finger at Wall street and Washington. I don't give a shit if it's OWS, the Tea Party or what....Americans are getting fucked over big time and we are angry beyond description. Full disclosure: I personally don't adhere to either movements for both have lost there way.

This very website indicates we still live in a free society and can voice whatever we choose whether we are on the right, left or middle. I suspect "with no proof what so ever" "Anarcho-Syndicalism" will fail but the competition might challenge or at least help the free market to finally step away from blatant corruption and manipulation. I maintain a conservative stance on many issues like fair market place competition, social issues, and foreign affairs while rejecting a European style socialism, however I do believe in an open mind to all good ideas being given a fair shot and it is because of that great document so many fought so hard for and so many now reject.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

What do you mean by "direct democracy" (specifically)? I've heard various emotional arguments, followed up by an appeal to this obscure concept of direct democracy, but I'm interested in hearing about the "mechanics" (how would this actually work in practice)?

Moreover, what's your evidence supporting the view that our remote ancestors (including pre-human hominids) organized their societies along the lines of what Anarcho-Syndicalist's are suggesting?

Were there no tribal leaders, no wars between tribes, no sexual jealously, infighting, murder, and other forms of violence? Do you deny group think, the human propensity for finding agency where it doesn't exist, etc.? Do you think civil rights should be subjected to majority vote, and the whims of popular sentiment? I keep hearing this theme mentioned, but I'd like to hear more than just an appeal to emotion (because it's often the case that emotion overrides rational thinking in very negative ways).

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

Direct democracy in the sense of a society where people participate directly and actively in the workplace and community. Read and watch here for more info:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

You´re probably referring to this one: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html I just said that humans, and their ancestors lived in relatively egalitarian social organization. I dont think anyone disagrees with that.

"Were there no tribal leaders, no wars between tribes, no sexual jealously, infighting, murder, and other forms of violence?"

Read my article again: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The problem here is you're making too many assumptions, and extrapolating too much from the work of scientists like Dawkins. It is obviously true that a genetic propensity to cooperate was selected for, but so was tribalism, group think, and many other things that aren't exactly conducive to enlightened democracy and civil rights.

Within tribes, yes, there is a general tendency to cooperate for certain purposes. Hunting (we would have probably become extinct if we didn't hunt in groups), yet underlying theories like reciprocal altruism and kin selection, is the premise that we're motivated by a genetic propensity to do things which increase our reproductive success.

This is hardly a proper basis for an enlightened political philosophy.

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

First of all. Dawkins´ Selfish Gene is probably one of the most respected recoginized work on this issue, so that work, alone, is very credible. Second, it´s not just Dawkins. There´s Kropotkin (1902), Trivers (1971). Mauss (1923) is also very interesting.

I can´t see any arguments against my claims in the other things youre saying here.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Yes, Dawkins' work is well respected, and I don't disagree with anything he said in that book ... I just disagree with your use of his research. You know, we already have a society with a very healthy dose of voluntary associations (volunteer firefighters, EMT's, charitable and civic organizations, public interest groups, employee owned companies, co-ops, and so on).

Big companies and well funded interests have corrupted our political system and hijacked our constitution. This is our acute problem. As for more lofty and speculative political theories, if they have any validity, then they'll happen from the ground up, not the top down, but it's unlikely you'll find the level of discontent required to change our system as radically as you seem to be proposing.

I mean, why would we possibly want to emulate jungle and desert tribes who have the shortest lifespans, highest infant mortality rates, highest rates of disease and hunger, etc.? Maybe we should borrow from more successful societies, like Norway for instance?

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

"You know, we already have a society with a very healthy dose of voluntary associations"

And I want MORE :)

"I mean, why would we possibly want to emulate jungle and desert tribes who have the shortest lifespans"

Come on man. Not strawmen... I just said that HN was best suited solidaric, cooperative and egalitarian social organization, not that we should emulate or go back to hunter-gatherer societies. I´m not an Anarcho-Primitivist ;)

"Maybe we should borrow from more successful societies, like Norway for instance?"

Norway, the country I live in, has many good things that many in the US are now struggling for, like free/affordable health care, social safty net, free college and university etc, but its not libertarian socialism with democratic workplaces. But, sure, social democracy might be a step on the road to eventually getting full freedom:)

[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

How much paycheck do you keep? Who pays the healthcare,medical bill if it is free? Collectivism is what does, and most reject the government stealing from it's citizenry. Government is made up of corrupt individuals with all of their human flaws.

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

There´s a relatively good progressiv tax systme in N which means that we all pay taxes, but that the more you earn, the more you pay. Incometax for avarage pay in Norway is about 30%. It´s free/affordable when you need the services.

One should alway be sceptical towards concentration of power, including government, as well as private power - That´s why we should work for the society I described in the article.

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

I don't see humanity as possessing the qualities to make this work on a large scale.

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

how so?

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

It requires an altruism humans don't possess. A full time living for the betterment of humanity attitude.

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

I could very well be mistaken, Chomsky makes interesting arguments, but at the end of it all it is still just that, argument, not proof that humanity is capable of succeeding with this type of social structure.

Often the societies shown to be successful in a near egalitarian model are primitive and small in number. Society has evolved beyond a simple hunter-gatherer. Because it worked for a tribe of 50 hunter-gatherers doesn't mean it will work for a planet of 7 billion or nations in the millions. Libertarian Socialism requires a level of faith in mankind that I don't possess.

In the end it doesn't matter, a Libertarian Socialistic society is unlikely to just evolve from the society we now have and are used to. Revolution is a possible means of creating radical change, but at least in the US the population is too content for revolution.

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

the history of human evolution has been dominated by relatively egalitarian groups who cooperated for the common good. In other words, human nature is best suited egalitarian structure. There´s no reason to believe that Anarcho-Syndicalism won´t work. in fact it has worked. Look at Catalonia in the mid 1930s. huge areas including 2000 workplaces were run by direct participation based on, to a large extent, Anarcho-Syndicalist principles. That was the 1930s, just imagine what can be achieved in the modern wealthy highly advanced technological 21.cent.

If large areas can be organized thru direct participation with 2000 workers´ run workplaces, why not equally large areas existing side by side?

Yes, Anarcho-Syndicalism is the long term goal, but like I said, we should always strive for the best.

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

It didn't just spring up in Catalonia, it evolved there as they struggled for a certain level of autonomy from Spain. I see you needing a more homogeneous population to make an attempt at this. As you say it's a long term goal, I'm more for regulated capitalism. I like a personal autonomy that socialism doesn't provide.

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

I am aware that it did evolve.

"I like a personal autonomy that socialism doesn't provide."

Libertarian Socialism provides it! Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

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

I've seen the video before, more or less a commercial for utopia, but I remain unconvinced. The arguments offered are unconvincing to me.

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

So you don´t want a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community? It´s sad when individuals oppose this, that´s all I can say.

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

At best all you're doing is changing from a boss to a committee. Since very few things are ever unanimous there are always going to be a number of people feeling oppressed. Control is an illusion anyhow. I have control in the sense that I've made decisions on a career path and I'm planning for my own future. I'm not looking to be cared for by some group with a hive mentality.

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

Again: I really don´t see the controvercy or problem with advocating system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community.

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

I don't have any problem with people being in control of their own life. Get an education or not, invest in a business or not, take that job or keep looking. The list of choices is rather long. Make decisions and accept the results of your actions.

The only way I see libertarian socialism possibly working is if you developed your system starting from nothing. When you just hand someone something unearned they don't treat it with the same care and respect as when you have actually worked for it. Most businesses aren't large corporations, they are small and the owners invested heavily in them, the employees haven't. Their choice was to work for an agreed wage. They have no claim to someone else's business.

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

"agreed wage"? That´s not how it works my friend. In today´s society wher capital, wealth, and the means of production are concentrated on some individuals, while others dont have this privilege, makes the "agreement" an illusion.

But what it boils down to is, do you think that people should have the right to run their workplaces and communities democratically - being in control of their own affairs. If the answer is yes, then you´re practically a libertarian socialist :)

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

The key is ownership. If the worker is a just a hired hand he has no right to claim property that isn't his or a share in profits when he didn't share in the risk. You don't gain ownership just by virtue of being hired. If it is truly his workplace then yes, he has the right to run his workplace the way he wants. Most small business owners do just that.

[-] 1 points by occupyamericasong (1) 2 years ago

These ideas have some value for me, but why do I have the feeling that bringing Libertarian Socialism to America would be as difficult as bringing democracy to North Korea?

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

Its going to be difficult for the western countries to achieve libertarian socialism (which I think should be our end goal). And its going to be hard for North Koreans to achieve democracy. Youre absolutely right. But it was hard for the ones living in feudalistic societies to achieve parlamentary democracy, and look what happened.

making changes is hard, it takes long hard struggle, commitment and organization.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

This is one of the most intelligent posts I have read. It appeals greatly to the innate principle of equality deeply imbedded in the human psyche. Unfortunately, it posits a world of Idealism, even Utopia. We all desire the ideals expressed, and there has been progress in the world over the last millennia towards greater and greater equality, but much of that equality has been won at the cost of enormous sacrifice.

Humanity in general, as creatures evolved from Nature, adheres to Darwinistic principles. Observations of Nature clearly categorize behaviors into two broad realms -- Predator and Prey. Unrestricted/Unregulated Free Market Capitalism reflects this dog-eat-dog world of Nature, because that Predator/Prey instinct is collectively deeply ingrained -- the human animal has not yet evolved beyond it.

Having said this, I sincerely hope that one day the beautiful vision contained in this post will come to pass. Until then, I'll still keep my handgun in good working condition.

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

Thanks for the kind words.

Utopia? I guess, but remember, this is - like I mentioned in the article - the end goal, what we should srive for.

Nature isn´t all just "dog eat dog". I´ve posted a blogpost that more thoroughly deals with human nature on my blog. Check it out:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/

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

There isn't a lot of evidence that a complex, multicultural society could function properly if we depended on man's humanity toward man. Is the vision for this strictly in the US or is it worldwide equality the goal? The problems in implementing and management only grow with size and the feeling in the nations of the haves is not likely going to be agreeable to sharing with the have-nots.

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

"There isn't a lot of evidence that a complex, multicultural society could properly function properly if we depended on man's humanity toward man"

You´re wrong: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

Besides, Catalonia was run, to a large extent, based on Anarcho-Syndicalist principles in the mid 30s...just imagine what we can achieve in a modern wealthy 21 century..

"Is the vision for this strictly in the US or is it worldwide equality the goal?"

The larger, the better. But the goal is of course networks of cooperating communities federated and expanding thruout the globe, but thats probably far into the future.

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

They offer arguments in the debate you linked to, not any real proof of anything. One could just as easily point to the ancient biblical laws as evidence and say that greed, lust, envy, murder, and so forth have been with us throughout our history also and are part of our nature. These qualities would tend to work against the success of an egalitarian society.

As far as Catalonia goes, I'm not familiar with its composition to know if it is one cultural group or ethnically diverse, as the US is. The motivation to gain some autonomy from Spain could have played a role to encouraged people to work cooperatively. Finding some enemy or threat to work against can be a motivator. Does Catalonia still operate under this model?

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

In the article I also mentioned Dawkins (1976) Kropotkin (1902) and Trivers (1971) which you should look at. If you read the article, youd also notice that I didn´t say that all humans are 100% pure angels. I also shared some thoughts on greed fex, and that we have to create a society that encourages the good things in our nature.

No Catalonia´s Anarcho-Syndicalist-like model was crushed by existing power structures, but it showed that it can be done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YftlB3AxBws

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

Born from a civil war and not lasting very long. It may have been successful in the long run, but it's just as possible that over time, had they won the civil war, things would have gone different way. Doesn't matter, I don't see a revolution taking hold here and that kind of unionist feeling isn't as strong as it was in the 30's.

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

It doesn´t have to be an over night revolution. It could come gradually, as more and more people are being convinced that AS is the best type of organization.

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

Perhaps, but anything containing the word "socialism" has a long uphill battle to get accepted in the US.

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

I know. How `bout "Anarcho-Syndicalism" then :)

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

You really think something containing anarchy has any better chance of being accepted in the US? You may convince some of the better educated young, largely because they are isolated in a theoretical environment of academia. Their attitudes tend to change as they succeed in our current system and as they mature. At some point they become the haves.

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

Guys, I was sort of half kidding, you know. Yea, anarchism, as well as socialism are words that have been misused a lot thru history. However, the important thing is not what you call it, the important thing is that we work for a more democratic and just society with decantralized local democratic societies as the end goal.

sff

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

The uphill battle to get the world "anarchy" accepted might be even longer than for the word "social". You need something new-agey and conspiracy theory like, that's what Americans love.

[-] 1 points by OccupyCapitolHill (197) 2 years ago

And totally erase the Constitution and the framework of the American dream?

How about...

http://pressthepsbutton.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/tn-memes-no-face-of-course-not.jpg?w=600

No but in all seriousness, direct democracy? Really? You mean that ancient system that destroyed Greece? "Tyranny of the masses"? Surely, you can't be serious. And I'm not calling you Shirley...

"Most services would be free when you need them"

Fine then. Show me a nation of people willing to work for free and I'll show you a leprechaun riding a unicorn racing through space.

"...production, distribution, remuneration etc. would be decided democratically by the participants. It would be a society where people are not treated like cogs in a machine and commanded to act in a mechanical way, but where each individual could live out its true potential based on its own capacity."

There are more menial jobs than there are people whose limitations are menial labor. Most people have greater potential than menial labor, but menial labor has to be done. It's a "dirty job, but someone has to do it". And if this happens, prepare for masses to be voting themselves longer vacations, shorter working hours, less work restrictions, and less demand for quality in their work. You will have a nation of unproductive loafers, guaranteed.

"Just take a look at the history of human evolution which has been dominated by realtively egalitarian groups who cooperated for the common good."

Have you heard of the Pilgrims who tried this very system? Did you hear about how so many decided not to work since they would benefit all the same from the work of the rest of the people in the settlement? That is why we have capitalism and "if you don't work, you don't eat" rules. Because that's the only thing that motivates people to work: working for THEMSELVES and their OWN survival. You live in a fantasy land if you think the average human cares more for other people than they do for themselves. Isn't that one of OWS's core arguments? That the 1% are selfish and greedy? So shouldn't you acknowledge that and not entrust society to this fantastical alternate "human nature" you envision?

Finally, we did not fight a Civil War and lose 600,000+ American lives so we could have a confederacy anyway. Your system is built on delusion, doomed to fail, unethical, and un-American.

straps on his flame suit

Flame on.

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

I don´t seem to recall Greece being a libertarian socialist society.

I don´t know about you, but my opinion is that it should be the people living today that should get to decide which kind of society they want to live in, not a piece of paper written by, in the case of the american constitution, wealthy. (many of them) slave-owners. That said, there are many things in the american constitution that libertarian socialists approve of (cf fex freedom of speech etc)

The decent thing to do is to create a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??

You have a warped view of what humans are about

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

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

[-] 1 points by ehticalconservative (2) 2 years ago

We live in a world with competing ideas, some good and well meaning, some not so good but maybe equally well meaning however few if any can compare to the constitution.

The Constitution is a powerful document. Beautiful even, but alas not perfect because a multitude of absolutely necessary compromises had to be made. A fight for freedom won against all odds was about to disintegrate into the anarchy of competing interests between large states and small with different populations, monetary systems, and even secessionist ideas which wasn't settled until 70 odd years later. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June 1787 that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators.

The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise and as good as imperfect men can get. Unfortunately what it says and means is mostly ignored and or misunderstood by both houses and most presidents democrat and republican along with the majority of Americans of every persuasion.

This is a tragedy.....

Some ideas or theorems like "Anarcho-Syndicalism" quite frankly intrigue me so I would say let it compete with the free market. Those who favor A.S. should go for it.....I just don't want anyone to force anyone else to do anything and don't fuck anyone over. Full disclosure of risk is fine. Don't mind risk at all.....but again full disclosure! Hiding risk whether politically or in the free market or with the two in bed with one another has brought the wrath of the people pointing the finger at Wall street and Washington. I don't give a shit if it's OWS, the Tea Party or what....Americans are getting fucked over big time and we are angry beyond description. Full disclosure: I personally don't adhere to either movements for both have lost there way.

This very website indicates we still live in a free society and can voice whatever we choose whether we are on the right, left or middle. I suspect "with no proof what so ever" "Anarcho-Syndicalism" will fail but the competition might challenge or at least help the free market to finally step away from blatant corruption and manipulation. I maintain a conservative stance on many issues like fair market place competition, social issues, and foreign affairs while rejecting a European style socialism, however I do believe in an open mind to all good ideas being given a fair shot and it is because of that great document so many fought so hard for and so many now reject.

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

"I would say let it compete with the free market."

It´s not that easy. First of all, the marked isn´t free at all. Corporations are command economies ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmakLRxGbW8 ), they´re tryannies. In this "marked " there´s is an extremely highly concentration of private wealth and power. The economy in a complex advanced society is also all-encompassing. So, what I´m getting at is that a co-op here and there, or small collective communes here and there is, of course better than nothing, and could be a start of big changes, but the whole society must eventually change and get rid of the unsustainable statecapitalism.

AS can only come when the people want it.

I honestly don´t see the problem or controvercy with creating a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community (which is the core of AnSyndicalism). If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

It's time for a Direct Democracy and some COMMON SENSE.

Consider this plan:

http://osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. Thomas Jefferson

Cheers!

[-] 1 points by WakeUpWorldTV (58) 2 years ago

The Scientific Method is far more efficient than any consensus-based system, because we'll arrive at decisions, rather than making decisions based on personal belief and opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIMy0QBSQWo&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Get money out of politics. Start at that point. No one in this great country wants libertarian socialism. If we can get our president, congress, and judges to respect the rules set up by our founders, we have greatly reduced the problems facing us.

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

LS is, obviously, the end goal. Getting money out of politics and taxing the rich are very important short term tactics, I agree!

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

I still say struggle dude, direct democracy is effectively mob rule. I don't like it. It has too much possibility of a swinging pendulum with the mood of the people. Representative government is really a good thing, but these crazy reps and senators we have now disregard the rule of law for the almighty dollar. They are mostly on the take. I find that disgusting, and it needs to be handled.

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

No, its not mob rule at all.LibSocialism is a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??

[-] -2 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Why should the workers tell the owner how it should be?

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

The point is that this situation is non existing in LibSoc. Institutions are run and controlled democratically. No one decides more/ less than others.

[-] -2 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

I see. But we already have a constitution. Why would any person besides a few disgruntled anarchist want a new system?

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

Constitutions and their writings, as well as current political systems and regimes are no law of nature, they can be changed. We need a new system bacause capitalism is immoral, undemocratic and unsustainable.

[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

So you reject our constitution and bill of rights?

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

Not everything. There are many things in the constitution that any libertarian socialist could agree with, but not everything. But it´s about principles as well:

my opinion is that it should be the people living today that should get to decide which kind of society they want to live in, not a piece of paper written by, in the case of the american constitution, wealthy. (many of them) slave-owners. But again, there are many things in the american constitution that libertarian socialists approve of (cf fex freedom of speech etc)

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

There is a process for amending the constitution, and it has been done many times. We can do it again.

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

Sure. I hope so. But like I said, the very idea of having a costitution containing laws that apply today written by slave owners, long since dead, dictating, to a certain degree, how people living today can live their lives is something one should be sceptical towards.

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

The founders got many things wrong, but they got many things right as well. Because of the mechanism provided for change, the 13th amendment abolishing slavery was passed just 78 years after the constitution was adopted.

[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

So would you advocate making changes, at the whim of the masses, at any point in time where 50.1% of the population agree? This seems like it could be very disruptive.

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

I´m for making as much changes as possible in an as constructive and reasonable way as possible. FOr more info, read here: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1321101669_the_transition_phase_.html

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Every system as drawbacks, and if you don't list them it makes this look like another utopian theory, or, at the very least, a very biased article.

Can you balance it out by giving us the known flaws of Libertarian Socialism?

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

There will, of course, also in a LS society exist a few people who will commit immoral acts, including violence etc. Other than that I cant really think of much, honestly.

Libertarian Socialism is somewhat flexible in the sense that it contains different braches of philosophies that suggests somewhat different ideas (but all with the principle of non-hirarchical/egalitarian structure and democratic institutions of course). So there might occure things/decitions that I personally would disagree with, but I obviously can not know what those would be now.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

It is essentially a theory at this point, that's true. It's been tried here and there on small scales, but not for an entire nation of ~300 million people. It would be nice if a small country somewhere in the world volunteered to have this system implemented nation-wide to serve as a guinea pig. Maybe US can try it with the next country they invade? What's next on the hit list, Iran? ;-)

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

Don´t get to hung up with needing a g.pig nation. Just imagine mulitiple "small scale" socieies existing side by side making up 300 million totally :) Remember, ln LS the main decitions are done at local level. It´s all about creating a society where people being in control of their own life, workplace, and community.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Sure, but I can't and won't support Occupy's dream of creating a political and economic revolution so that it can replace the government and businesses with Libertarian Socialism unless Occupy thoroughly tests the idea in practice first. You might have full confidence in this idea which is mostly theoretical at this point, but Iv'e had enough experience with various forms of structures in different fields to know that there are always surprises when a theory gets implemented.

I'm pretty sure most Americans have a position similar to mine. You would gardner a lot more support if you could show us by practical example.

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

Most Americans are philosophically opposed to this brand of anarchism. Why do you think you have the right to abolish our constitution, which is what would have to be done to implement this radical ideology?

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

Attitudes can change. In fact they must change. If we keep capitalism, which is not sustainable, humans arn´t going to survive.

I don´t know about you, but my opinion is that it should be the people living today that should get to decide which kind of society they want to live in, not a piece of paper written by, in the case of the american constitution, wealthy. (many of them) slave-owners. That said, there are many things in the american constitution that libertarian socialists approve of (cf fex freedom of speech etc)

Libertarian Socialism can only come when the people want it.

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

That will be never. Perhaps president big ears will give you people a piece of land and you can set up your utopian dream somewhere. We have a constitution and the rule of law. we may have to run these leaders out on a rail, but I could never go for this brand of anarchism. Long live our constitution!

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

LS is about creating a society with democratic institutions, not a co-op here and there or a small piece of land. The economy is all-encompassing, you know.

So you´d rather have a piece of paper written by wealthy dead slave-owners decide today´s poliicies rather than letting people living today get to decide over their lives and communities..?

[-] -2 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

I don't give a damn what people owned 240 years ago. I like our constitution. I believe in property rights. The king and serf system wasn't working so great, and the direct democracy mob rule doesn't work either.

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

Well, "property rights" can have many forms. I also want property rights, on personal belongigs, but obviously not on means of production that other people are using...

I honestly don´t see the problem or controvercy with creating a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

Imagine you have the jing, the backing, to let's say, start a machine shop. You get contracts, you buy the equipment, you borrow the money to pay the help. You prosper and succeed, paying your workers decently, in wages and benefits. Now let's say some workers decide they want a piece of the company. They try to unionize, but it fails because the workers are getting better than union scale wages and benefits already. The owner risked it all, not the workers. The workers have decent pay, benefits, time off. What is not to like about that? Btw, this was my situation for thirty years until the company was bought by a Detroit company that was unionized already. That company is a piece of shit now, but it once was nirvana.

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

Your example is not an issue for me, because in the society I want communitiesand their institutions would cooperate on things like production etc, making decitions based on cosensus or democratic process. In other words I want a system where we don´t have to deal with examples like this.

My deepest sympathy to you if your life situation has gotten worse, but this would not happen i the society i want since the workplaces and communities would be controlled democratically by the participants

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

I have since made my own way, but thank you for the sympathies. I have my own janitorial service and no longer depend on a company to make my way. I nô longer use my skills., but who gives a shit? I dont.

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

Ok.

Feel free to visit my blog anytime and read the articles and watch the videos. Hopefully you´ll like some of what I have written :)

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

Thank you.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

People don't loathe you because you're grotesquely disgusting. Don't get me wrong, you are fucking grotesquely disgusting, that's just not why people loathe you.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Further to the above, please read the article "The War Against the Poor : Occupy Wall Street and the Politics of Financial Morality" ; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29649.htm ... ) and some words from none other than Albert Einstein from over 60 years ago : "Why Socialism ?" : http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism .

commune bonum est summum bonum ...

[-] -1 points by getajoblosers (65) 2 years ago

We have this thing here called the Constitution. It works really well when followed. I propose we just follow it.

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

I propose we work for democracy and letting people living today decide what kind of society they want to live in, not be dictated by a piece of paper written by dead wealthy slave-owners.

This is the society we should strive for: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html