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Forum Post: Noam Chomsky on Wage Slavery, and what we should replace it with: Anarcho-Syndicalism

Posted 2 years ago on April 4, 2012, 6:43 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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88 Comments


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

It is unlikely for Anaracho-Syndicalism to replace anything. In order to alter any of the representative governments you would need to participate in that system and elect people to change it. Anarchists do not seem interested in doing this. They are waiting to inherit the earth.

The term wage slavery is simply semantic play. You have a choice, You're told what the job is and what it pays, you then decide. In many developed nations you also have an option to stay home and collect money from the state for doing nothing.

Besides Anaracho-Syndicalism won't end the burden of work. Even Saint Chomsky admits there are likely to be jobs no one wants to do and some kind of requirement may be necessary to force people to work at something against their will.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

You err. Anarcho-syndicalism seeks to replace the state with direct worker participation; elections mean representatives, which contradicts the anarchist principle.

Anarchists are not waiting to inherit the earth, specifically the goal of anarcho-syndicalists is to replace the present systems of government with worker-managed units tied together by the common good and more realistically necessity.

The workers would manage themselves starting at the lowest level, perhaps just a family of farmers, and pass along their products or services, needs, and ideals as part of a larger group, ad infinitum.

Anarcho-syndicalism was never meant to "end the burden of work." It's goal is to equitably reward workers for their labors. In the present lopsided system people willingly clean sewers and worse, not because they want to, but because they are rewarded sufficiently to perform such work.

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

Not According to struggleforfreedom80. He's sees (from earlier posts) representatives as necessary. Maybe it highlights another problem, Anarcho-Syndicalists can't always agree on what Anarcho-Syndicalism is.

If you are willing to start at the lowest levels, then why not actually do that and prove the system has merit? Grow it one co-op at a time.

Reward is what all life works for, not just man. If there isn't enough reward for the effort then no effort is made. It's also true that given a choice with equal reward, less effort is the preferred course over more. This leads to a problem when workers control their own reward.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Many successful employee-owned companies prove the practicability of such a system. I don't believe equal reward is suggested for different levels, simply an equitable reward for the amount of diligence, skill, and effort required.

For a full discussion of anarch-syndicalism I recommend the works of Rudolf Rocker and--of course--Noam Chomsky, both of which are available online.,

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

That path, co-ops, would probably be one to take to advance Anarcho-Syndicalism. It would go a long way toward demonstrating it's viability. The other major hurdle is participation in the current political system. Laws will not change themselves, someone has to assume a representative role to change things through constitutional means.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I agree, but am not sure how anarcho-syndicalists would implement assimilation into representative government, except perhaps as Rudolf Rocker believed a slow process of educating the proletariat to take matters into their own hands. He believed this could best be accomplished through anarcho-syndicalist unions, which would safeguard workers' interests until the time when the workers assumed direct control.

It is interesting, and I believe anarcho-syndicalism, or a democratic-socialist government, as the Scandanavian countries employ, may be the logical next step for our society, if we mean to transition peacefully.

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

It looks like the United States is slowly moving toward a democratic-socialist model at present. In spite of the population's apparent fear of the word socialism.

It would seem to run counter to the anarcho-syndicalist's outlook to vote for what amounts to leaders. Yet if a peaceful transition were to ever be possible that would have to be done. Some proof that Anarcho-Syndicalism works on a large scale would also be needed.

I haven't read anything by Rocker, but Chomsky seems to have developed his ideas for a nation with a factory based economy, something out of the 1950's. It seems as though Anarcho-Syndicalism is an outdated notion in a country where about 75% of the population work in the service industry.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Rocker died in the late 1950s; most of his ideas are outdated, but adapatable. For example unions would not be a feasible way of organizing American workers today, but some other method, perhaps like a workers' party, could be used.

He envisioned a society, composed almost like a body, each healthy cell contributing to the whole, and if one benefitted, all cells would eventually benefit. Like Chomsky, he believed that the notion of workers functioning like mechanical parts needed to change, so that workers no longer viewed themselves as replaceable, but as intrinsic units of the successful organism.

If you're interested in reading some of Rocker's works, here's a link: http://libcom.org/library/anarcho-syndicalism-rudolf-rocker

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

Any type of complex society needs some kind of representation, and an Anarcho-Syndicalist or Libertarian Socialist society would have it as well. Very few object to that fact. But there's a huge difference beween voting for a guy in a suit every second year, and the kind of representation we'd have in a LS society. It would be very different than today's system, and that was probably what Titus meant.

"Grow it one co-op at a time."

That's a great idea, but you're missing the big picture here; the economy is all-encompassinmg; private tyrannies must be addressed and dealt with as well

"If there isn't enough reward for the effort then no effort is made."

No, you're right. Indonesian factory girls working 12 hrs a day for 10 cents an hour arn't making enough effort.

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

You and your fellow anarchists are going to have to agree on wether or not there is representation and what form it will take. The kind of representation you think you have among like minded individuals is due to your diligence at staying informed. It is in that area that a wider Anarcho-Syndicalist society is as likely to fail and lead to the same corruption we see in the present Representative Republic. A majority of the population don't stay informed.

The big picture is you have no real evidence that the society you dream of can effectively run things. You need to demonstrate you can run businesses and somehow run a society. It's unreasonable to ask to be taken on faith.

In Indonesia is $0.10 an hour a competitive wage? For all I know that may be enough to live well there. If you are interested in somehow creating better opportunities for Indonesian workers you should be trying to organize them.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

It is not the "burden of work" we are trying to end , it is the unfair distribution of the profits from that work that is unjust.

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

There may be a need for better regulation, but profit goes to those that invest and take a risk. Anyone can start a business. I've always chosen a safer route and been an employee. I see very little unfair in those taking the risk earning a majority of the profit, as long as it's done within the laws we've established.

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

"but profit goes to those that invest and take a risk"

Yepp (but a useless argument, and totally irrelevant if one likes the idea of democracy)

"Anyone can start a business"

What you can and cannot do in a capitalist/state-capitalist society largely depends on access to wealth and resources. The more you have of it, the more power you have, and the more freedom you have to do things, fex what you mentioned.

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

If you like democracy then you may have to accept the judgement of an overwhelming majority that Anaracho-Syndicalism is not something they are willing to experiment with.

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

I accept it, but we should continue to organize and try to convince more and more people that a free society is what we should strive for. Attitudes in communities and among the general population can change, and that's an important factor to achieving actual change in the organization of society.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

what if we establish new laws .. and all is fair .. wealth is divided equally amongst everyone according to their efforts and time.. , and what if it is the sovereign community that makes the investment.. and there is no risk .. just the old adage .. "you get out of it what you put into it "

you may have chosen a safer route .. but the investor chose the easier route .. should there be a difference in pay .. some many conclusions and so few questions.

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

Establish any law you like, we have a process for that. Applying your adage involves making a judgement as to what value various contributions are worth. In our society it's difficult to start without a bank loan, and since many small businesses fail, the people with the money risk more then the unskilled employee coming in off the street. It can easily be argued that the investor is more necessary then the line worker.

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

In a free, just, Anarcho-Syndicalist society decitions of what's produced, prioritized etc, would be decided by democratic process by the ones living there. Your example is therefore not relevant. The society you just described would be appalling to anyone favoring real participatory democracy

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

I find it impossible to feel that the rights of the individual would be respected by a system that has to start by taking property from others. You can't build a moral society on immoral acts, no matter what the majority vote.

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

How so? Current property rights arn't graven in stone. If some dictator or king ruled your country and were in possession of huge wealth and resourses, would you feel bad about taking his property away? and if not, what's really the big difference between that and taking away the wealth that Goldman Sachs and Citibank f.ex, have gotten thru the years?

If you like the idea of democracy, shouldn't you favor rights that made people in control of their own workplace and community?

People having a say in the things that affect them and they're a part of is the only moral way to organize society. Don't buy into these Rand/Friedman-philosophies, it's pure savagery advocating private tyranny.

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

I know property rights are not carved in stone, but they are there, society has developed around that and to some extent we depend on a society consistently following it's own laws.

Kings or dictators that rule at their personal whim are not my concern, it's a hypothetical. Rebellions have been started over excesses in that regard. Do you advocate armed rebellion?

If the rich violate laws then they should be tried and punished. If they accumulate wealth legally then that too is none of my concern. It actually has very little impact on my life if someone else has more then I do.

Your belief that no one has a say in their life now I see as being simply wrong. I also believe a representative form of government superior to a direct democracy.

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

"..but they are there, society has developed around that and to some extent we depend on a society consistently following it's own laws."

But this isn't an argument agianst my position. I argue that current property rights should be replaced by other rights that will create a better society for people to live in. We need laws and rights, but I'm advocating different ones on certain issues, including regarding property.

"Kings or dictators that rule at their personal whim are not my concern"

My question was a on a matter principle (and you didn't answer it)

"Do you advocate armed rebellion?"

It depends on the what kind of a society we're dealing with.

"If the rich violate laws then they should be tried and punished. If they accumulate wealth legally then that too is none of my concern."

Kings and dictators have made laws that fit and justify their exploitation and totalitarian control and rule over others. Is it fine that a dictator continue these kind of policies if the country's laws allow it?

My point was exactly that rights and laws can be changed and arn't neccesarily the (morally) right ones just because they are the current ones.

"Your belief that no one has a say in their life now I see as being simply wrong."

I say that we don't get to decide enough of our affairs. I want there to be more, especially in things like your workplace and community (being very important parts of your life)

"I also believe a representative form of government superior to a direct democracy."

I disagree. I think that as much direct democracy as possible (some kind of representative democracy is also needed in libertarian socialism) because that makes the ones part of and affected by the decitions more in charge of the decitions.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (22348) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You mean like the Banks taking property away from mortgage holders? The Banks that were bailed out for their failure to conduct proper business in the selling of artificially inflated properties? The Banks that made profits and sent out bonuses for inept ( to say the very least ) business practices? The Banks who got a reset on their failure and have refused to negotiate in good faith to make those bad mortgages sound?

Those kind of acts?

I agree, that is just unconscionable. This failure on the Banks and the others responsible for the economic meltdown need to do some sort of public restitution - Major Public Restitution.

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

Banks didn't force anyone to sign loan agreements. When you borrow you agree to pay or face foreclosure. Mixed in with the people that never should have had loans approved are speculators and those that took out second and third mortgages for foolish reasons and lost their gamble.

The bailout is a separate issue from foreclosures. The government made what I thought was a bad decision to bail out banks then compounded their error in not attaching strings to the bailout. Like giving $10 to a homeless man, then hoping he'll buy food, not beer. The use of the bailout money once it was given was immoral, but not illegal.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

"I find it impossible to feel that the rights of the individual would be respected by a system that has to start by taking property from others. You can't build a moral society on immoral acts, no matter what the majority vote."

Back-riding, exploiting the labors of the fellow man, keeping all profit for those at the top and in power to do so .. all these are what we have built our current society on. Building laws that encourage and support the status quo, building laws that allow investors to reap the profits while others do the work, building laws that lead to millions of forclosed homes while the wealthy swim in their illbegotten gains. Is this the system you respect !?! Are you so ignorant to not see/open your eyes at the results of the powerful rich have displayed in front of you !!? The poverty, despair, and hopeless suffering...

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

There is a process for changing laws, use it. You may believe employees are slaves, I don't, I see it as a voluntary exchange of services for a reward. The fact that the employer keeps more of the profits then I do isn't relevant to the initial agreement I made when i accepted the job.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Original agreement ! You accepted what they offered because it was your best available option. Do you plan to stay on your knees !

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

I suppose one of us is living an illusion. Fortunately each believes it's the other, so we can walk away content with how our life is.

Currently only a very small minority see themselves as slaves, it isn't proof of who's right, just a reality that makes Anaracho-Syndicalism a fringe movement unlikely to gain much of a following, at least for the present.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

In a perfect world , private investment will no longer be required.

In a perfect world, mankind will not be hindered by limited credit.

The hour-coin credit system creates that perfect world.

Credit for projects will be decided democratically. Natural resources will be allocated proportionately as to necessity and importance. When credit is unlimited it is the labor and resources that become of most value, and the decisions of how they are prioritized / allocated.

ie. If 50% of a community votes to say yes a new community center is needed, than 50% of the available lumber will go towards building that center. If 12 % of the people vote yes they want medical research , than 12 % of the budget goes to medical research. Allocating resources democratically. The success and failures of mankind will depend upon the decisions we make.

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

What can I say? I don't think Anaracho-Syndicalism is workable and won't produce a utopia. Humans don't possess the altruism necessary to make it work.

Ignoring that, to implement it you would need to have either the total collapse of government or a truly massive change in attitude. The public simply doesn't want it at this point in time.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

"The public simply doesn't want it at this point in time."

Two billion people are living on less than $2 per day, of those 700 million are living on less than $1 per day.

When's the last time you took your laundry down to the river ?

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

It may be fair in some sense of the word to subject those that were born and raised in the developed world to real poverty. That doesn't change the fact that in the developed world Anaracho-Syndicalism is a fringe movement.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Globally, twice the population of the USA are living on less than a dollar per day. That's one in ten people globally. 10% of the worlds population living on less than $1 per day. Is that okay with you ?

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

Oversimplified, but honest answer, yes.

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

Very honest, indeed; and totally cynical and immoral.

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

I have no idea what value $1 a day has in the society he mentions. I assume it's of significant value that it attracts people to voluntarily work, so yes that wage is fine with me.

I'm certainly cynical, but I don't see it as immoral. Employment is simply not a synonym for slavery for me.

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

Agreed. Like I've written earlier, today's property rights are not graven in stone, they can be changed into better ones.

We should create a society in which the participants control their own communities and workplaces, including whats produced and prioritized etc.

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

..and when this unfair distribution of the profits has ended, and people instead control their own work, work will become more desirable :)

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

absolutely !

[-] 1 points by flip (7470) 2 years ago

nice job

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

:-)

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

Anarcho-Syndicalism has its aim to replace capitalism with a society in which people control their own lives, work and community. This can be achieved thru direct action like striking, union building, educating, workers' takeover etc. Building democracy has more dimensions than party politics.

"You have a choice, You're told what the job is and what it pays, you then decide."

It's a bit more complicated than that.

Agreements taking place in this kind of state-capitalist system are of course far from being voluntary. In a capitalist / state-capitalist class society, you have some people with huge wealth and recourses - which on the national and global level are very highly concentrated - and others with very few or no wealth and resources. It is of course meaningless to talk about “voluntary agreements” in such a society, because the ones owning the recourses, the wealth and the means of production etc, have much more power in society. That includes of course that they have the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring, negotiations etc. So the non-owners - the workers - are trapped in a society in which they, in order to have a decent life or necessities in order to survive, must sell their labor to people who have much more power than they. This has very little to do with voluntary agreements, rather it’s submission to necessities.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-exploitation-and-involuntary-agreements/

There will probably be necessary work few want to do in a libertarian socialist society as well, yes, but that is easily solved by either the participants capable sharing the work, or remuneration of some kind. Details in a future free society must be decided democratically by the participants living in and creating this society.

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

What do the employer's resources have to do with a potential employee's right to turn down a job? Work, collect some form of welfare, start your own business, there are options. Most jobs are provided by small businesses, not corporations with hugh resources and power anyhow.

When was life anything other then submitting to necessities? A self employed farmer, or small business owner bows to necessity all the time. Until you actually set up a self sustaining community under Anaracho-Syndicalism you have no idea how many jobs there will be that no one wants to do. You may have as much wage slavery under it as you seem to think we have now.

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

"What do the employer's resources have to do with a potential employee's right to turn down a job?"

I just told you. The more wealth and resourses you have the more power you have, incuding in a job hiring.

"there are options."

These options depend on access to resourses and cash.

"Most jobs are provided by small businesses, not corporations with hugh resources and power anyhow."

maybe so, but that doesn't change anything. The employer/owner still have more power, and the worker/employee still has to sell his labor to the more powerful in order to survive. And also: no matter who your employer is, wealth and power is highly concentrated in the hands of the financial elite, which means that they have a huge control of the economy in general, hence over your life

"When was life anything other then submitting to necessities?"

It shouldn't be. We have more wealth than ever. Also, many societies, both present and past, both industrial and preindustrial, have social organization in which people take care of the ones who need it. People should't have to "submit to necessities", especially not in a soceity more wealthy and modern than ever.

What I'm objecting to in today's society is this undemocratic cynical, humanizing system in which people are forced to rent themselves to people who exploit their labor - capitalism.

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

I fail to see how the fact that some corporation has a great deal of money forces me to work for them. No one is tied to a single location and everyone has the ability to retrain and change jobs. There are even individuals work for themselves or that choose not to work and live off the state.

Your notion of employers is wrong too. Most employers are not major corporations with vast amounts of money/power in the first place. They are small businesses, often where the owner puts in more effort then the hired help.

We require food and shelter, at some point we may require care. These are necessities we must submit to and deal with. Some nations have attempted to create a welfare system that provides for those that do not work.

Anaracho-Syndicalism doesn't promise anyone a life free of work, so people will still have to work to provide for their needs. If you're society is going to make work optional then it will quickly fail.

As for democracy, the representative governments today provide their citizens with a say. If they would in informed active participants most of the corporate in justices could be eliminated. Until you get voters that wish to be involved and educate themselves on each issue, offering direct democracy isn't freedom it's chaos.

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

It's not so much taht a specific corporation forces you to do anything, it's the conditions in society that's the focus here. You have to look at the big picture and where power lies.

"Most employers are not major corporations with vast amounts of money/power in the first place"

You're just repeating what I just countered. It doesn't make much difference (look above)

In an Anarcho-Syndicalist society people control their own life and work. The desire to work, create and contribute is part of us as humans; work noone wants to do is solved by sharing it or by remuneration.

Today's democracy has a huge democratic deficit. Democracy shouldn't be just voting for a guy in a suit once evry 2nd year. democracy should be people participating on a daily basis in the things they're a part of.

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

The individual controls nothing, you need to be in the majority. I think it's naive to think that workers under Anaracho-Syndicalism will enjoy unanimous votes. There are likely to be as many wage slaves under Anaracho-Syndicalism as there are now.

You can't get voters to pay attention to the issues now. Thinking they will suddenly become informed and involved because you have given them more issues to deal with is foolish. It's your time though, you can put utopia up to a vote or wait and hope for a total economic collapse.

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

I respectfully ask you to study Anarcho-Syndicalism before you go ahead abd criticize it. AS wants to eliminate wage slavery. What it boils down to JPB, is that Anarcho-Syndicalism is about building democracy from below, starting with democratic workplaces, democratic communities which accociate and coopertate with other communities and so on. That way we'd have a decentralized system where democratic say and right to participation in society is proportional to how much you're a part of and affected by things. People are in other words in control of their own lives, workplace, and community. Now, is that really so unreasonable?

My hope is that a free libertarian socialist society will come into existence one day in the future. I realize that it's not going to happen over night, but it's what we should strive for.

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

Sorry I see "Wage slavery" as something that only exists in your mind. Anarcho-Syndicalism is too general in nature, close examination raises serious questions about flaws. The only answer to those questions seem to be based on faith not any proven fact.

You keep repeating the same idea that if someone likes democracy then they should be for Anarcho-Syndicalism. Democracy isn't very attractive when it becomes a tyranny by the majority. Your very starting point is to have the majority undo property rights and in effect steal. When you start with what I see as theft, I'm not likely to believe you'll respect my rights if they stand in your way.

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

Having to work on command, being forced to rent yourself to powerful people is a form of slavery, yes.

AS is about people being in charge of their own affairs. On some issues there could be concensus/agreement, but of course, when livng with, and organizing with other people you can't get your will all the time, and if the overwhelming majority in a group agrees on an issue, it's fair that they get their will rather than insted a few dictating the majority..

Theft? Stealing? Listen, I want democratic process and community support when changing the laws. Again, laws can be changed. Taking over property currently in the hands of say, Goldman Sachs, is no more stealing or theft than people dismantling a totalitarian dictatorship and distributing the dictator's wealth back to the people. Forget "theft", it's changing laws making society better for people to live in

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

We're not going to agree on the basic definitions, I don't see employment as slavery at all. It's a voluntary trade of service for reward. I can change jobs at will, move to where conditions are better, certainly not the lot of a slave.

We have an electoral process that people don't take full advantage of now. You wanting people to have direct democracy isn't relevant, it seems that people don't wish to exercise their rights to vote. Until you change people any system will develop corruption.

Have you made the attempt to change things through constitutional means? Do so and see what the will of the people actually is. Until you change the laws giving the workers someone's private property is theft.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (22348) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It will remain slavery as long as there is more population then positions to fill. On that score we are building up a super surplus of hungry to work population as more work is outsourced.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

What about people who would rather delegate those decisions to other people so they can go about and enjoy their lives and not have to be bothered making a seemingly endless stream of decisions?

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

Libertarian Socialism is about building democracy from below; making right to participation and democratic say proportional to how much things affect you. decitions involving a group of people must be democratically decided by the participants. In LS it's up to you how active you want to be in the participation/decitionmaling

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

does that not cancel each other out than.. the people who do not want to do the actual work and would rather the easy road of decision making, than hard work .. ?

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I was kind of referring to our current system in which we elect representatives. Personally, I simply don't have the time to be well informed and make good decisions about the numerous problems our society faces because I work, take care of the kids, walk the dog, etc.. I think our current system would work well if it was not so corrupted by big money.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

We all fall a little short when it comes to maintenance. And it's a little late for preventive maintenance where economics and politics are concerned.. we have a big mess to clean up and repair... where will you find the time for that ..mooks ?

there may have been some value in " a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

my dentist once told me , " a change of habits will lead to improvements."

[-] 0 points by flip (7470) 2 years ago

you understand very little - but don't let that stop you

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

If you see that the political control system is a rigged system, why would you possibly think participation in that broken system will in any way change it? You can not vote for a revolution.

We have wage slavery when we are forced to work for the 1% to get the money just to exist, i.e. the current system. Perhaps if the .1% did not claim to own 70% of the property we could find some equality. The current system is a pyramid scheme, those with power/wealth easily get more, those with none are wage slaves.

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

How do you expect to exist except through some effort on your part? If the current political system is rigged, it's because a majority haven't bothered to become informed. They vote based on things like fear, greed and slogans. Under those conditions no system is going to work properly.

Under those conditions Anaracho-Syndicalism would fail miserably.

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

"How do you expect to exist except through some effort on your part?"

What exactly do you mean by this?

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

It was in response to another's statement about not participating in the system. By effort I meant working to stay informed as a voter and keeping all the electorate engaged. Without that effort I don't believe any system involving a vote would work.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

"How do you expect to exist except through some effort on your part?" where did I say anything about 'effort' being an issue? We are talking about a rigged system, where laws and police forces are aligned with the 0.1% minority, out of greed and fear. what does that have to do with anyone's work ethic? This is why we are changing "those conditions", now,. stay tuned.

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

I mean that sitting outside the system not participating, just complaining or protesting is pointless. Beyond raising awareness of a minority that seem disposed to be progressive anyhow nothing is being accomplished. We obviously differ in our approach. I see a national wave of involvement as an opportunity to educate voters and elect representatives across the nation that will work for change.

As far as Anaracho-Syndicalism or any political system of organization is concerned, without an effort to educate voters and keep them informed you may change masters, but there will be just as much corruption as there is now.

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

"They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within." -leo c.

I don't see people as 'voters' I see people as elements of the collective voice. People need more to have their input heard than to be educated, many people are very well educated, we are just excluded form the current 0.1% dominated process.

[-] 0 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

It becomes a form of slavery when alternate forms of living are restricted due to the ownership of private property and the extension of civilization over natural land. I have to work since it's impossible for me to find farmland to grow food on. It's impossible for me to hunt or gather my food in this day and age, since restrictions are largely placed on hunting and gathering is unlikely in highly populated and developed land, which is already probably private property.

[-] 4 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Adapt to the conditions that exist today. That's how all life survives, not sitting around waiting to be handed someone else's property.

This whole slavery thing is simply your own personal perspective. Hunter-gathers are slaves to the movement of herds and and seasonal growth of plants. Farmers are slaves to the weather, the land, their livestock. Socialists are slaves to the demands of the group.

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

"not sitting around waiting to be handed someone else's property."

We shouldn't sit around waiting, we should take action and take over "someone else's property" - the capitalists' enormous wealth and ownership on the means of production, that is.

"Hunter-gathers are slaves to the movement of herds and and seasonal growth of plants."

But you see, we're not hunter-gatherers. We don't live in the stone age, we live in a free ride society - a modern, highly advanced technological society with more wealth and efficiency than ever. The way to organize such a society should be thru democracy from below so that people are in control of their own workplace and community, and to make sure everyone living in the society can have a decent life.

[-] 4 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I know we're not hunter-gatherers, slavery in today's modern nations is only a reality in your mind and you can be a just as much a slave to the whims of a 51% majority as you can to the 1%.

I have to agree with the other guy up above that said you choose your workplace. Most employees work for small businesses not big corporations. They don't necessarily have the background to make decisions in the workplace. They haven't invested in things and don't have anything to loose if the business goes under. Your whole line of thinking seems directed at a nation of factories. That isn't us, your model is outdated.

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

This is an unreasonable argument because, like I mentioned, "voluntary agreements" and "freedom to choose" becomes more and more meaningless the less resourses you have access to. Again, working for a small business isn't that much different because the employer/owner still have more power, and the worker/employee still has to sell his labor to the more powerful in order to survive. And also, no matter who your employer is, wealth and power is highly concentrated in the hands of the financial elite, making you much less powerful than them.

Not only is it an unreasonable argument, It's also totally irrelevant if you like the idea of a real democratic society where people have a say in the things they're a part of and which affect them (including of course community and workplace)

A free Anarcho-Syndicalist / Libertarian Socialist society would mean a highly advanced technological society with democracy all the way thru, not only in factories, but in all institutions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiTyON5iID8

[-] 4 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

My arguments can never be relevant to you, you have faith in Anarcho-Syndicalism. You're dealing almost exclusively with emotions. You feel people are wage slaves, you feel Anarcho-Syndicalism will work, you feel that direct democracy will be better then a representative republic. The fact is the type of socialism you espouse has gone from having almost 1% of the population support it to perhaps one tenth of that over the last century. A vast majority have turned away from it.

Your emotional attachment to an ideal is nice, but to get any real support you need actual facts that prove Anarcho-Syndicalism would work. You don't have that, you have only hopeful hypothesis. That is all Chomsky offers too, belief and supposition. Belief without proof isn't enough.

Anarcho-Syndicalism has no set structure, no constitution establishing individual rights is offered, just a vague statement that the majority rules and a hope that the minority won't be enslaved. Without proof it will work, that isn't not enough of a guarantee.

You're certainly free to attempt to change things, constitutions can be amended, rights can be taken away and altered. My own emotional response to that is we will have tyranny by the majority.

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

If wanting a society in which people control their own life, work and community; a society where people get to participate actively in their affairs, including in the workplace, means "dealing almost exclusively with emotions" well then so be it. In my view, a society like this is what any decent human being should be in favor of.

"You feel people are wage slaves, you feel Anarcho-Syndicalism will work, you feel that direct democracy will be better then a representative republic."

Those are my opinions. Why are you now calling my opinons "feelings". Is that the way you and I should talk to each other? So I can say "Stacy feels that if we just "fix" capitalism a little here and there (or whatever it is you feel is the right thing to do) then that's good enough. If my political opinions are "feelings" than yours are as well.

You really don't need to tell me (again and again) that not enough people support Libertarian Socialism. I am aware. We have a lot of convincing-work to do, yes, I know.

Anarcho-Syndicalism, or close to Anarcho-Syndicalism worked very well, especially in Catalonia from 1936 with very active participation and cooperation. That socety was poor compared to the societies we have today; just imagine what we can achieve now, with all the wealth and technology we have today. Co-ops are also today, growing in number.

Proof? Well do you have any proof that your ideal society would be the best one and would not lead to unwanted consequences? I don't get why resonable arguments and opinions should be totally discredited because "you don't have any proof". Do you apply the same standards to yourself when you enter into a political / ideological discussion?

Anarcho-Syndicalism will be a highly organized society building democracy from below, making the participants and the ones affected in charge of the affairs in society.

Majority rule? well, not necessarily; on some issues there could be concensus/agreement, there could be some kind of rotation of and trying different solutions, etc etc, but of course, when livng with, and organizing with other people you can't get your will all the time, and if the overwhelming majority agrees on an issue, it's fair that they get their will rather than insted a few dictating the majority..

Libertarian Socialism strongly favor both individual and collective rights.

[-] 4 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I see it as emotion when you choose to believe we don't control our life now, or that we are unable to participate now. I see both those statements to be untrue. I also see you ignoring the fact that a sizable percentage of people choose not to participate in government now and that that isn't likely to change. It means it would be a minority making many decisions in an Anarcho-Syndicalist system. My emotional response is that corruption would quickly enter into it.

I agree opinions are often based on feelings, that's why there is little point in arguing opinion when you have no proof Anarcho-Syndicalism can work, you have only opinion or an emotional fondness for the idea of direct democracy. I see your position as in support of chaos, unless you can prove voters will participate in an informed way.

In Catalonia anarchy was established at gunpoint, not through free elections of choice. Are you advocating violent overthrow? Their success is questionable in my mind too. Although they banned the use of money, under penalty or death, they had to institute a voucher system to trade work for food. It leads me to believe it actually didn't work very well. If you had to provide documentation that you had worked then I suspect people weren't as altruistic as they would need to be to make socialism work.

In what issues will the will of the majority not be considered the law? Are individual rights to be laid out in a constitution of sorts, if so then spell out what things are to be held inviolate. Saying it will be worked out later isn't good enough if you wish an entire society to change, it has a right to demand all the details in order to make an informed decision.

I actually don't need to prove that a regulated capitalism is or isn't successful, allows for choice, or gives workers a say. It's what we have, it's here we deal with it or change it. If you wish a change then the burden is on you to prove it's to something better. You have to offer more then opinion.

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

You're just a slave to the times then I guess. If you'd been born several centuries ago you could have done anything you wanted with your 25 or 30 year life expectancy. As it is you'll have to learn to get along with the other 6 or 7 billion people on the planet and learn to work and earn what you want.

Besides what makes you think you wouldn't be in the minority and made to do some job no one else wants to do? There is no guarantee your plight will be any better in an Anaracho-Syndicalist system that has no track record of success.

[-] 1 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Yet we live in a society (Corporate-Capitalist-Republic) which has been in practice for quite some time and has been completely ineffective for freeing the majority of its constituents. Yet we role up our sleeves and say, "That's the best we can do." Why? Why not strive for something deeper and richer?

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

Prove it's better. Anarcho-Syndicalism only offers vague statements about democracy and worker control. It assumes a level of altruism in people that there isn't any evidence for. It also assumes a level of voter involvement and education we've never seen. If we had truly informed voters any representative form of government would work, without that none will work. You are free to strive for any form of social organization you want, you'll probably need either an armed revolution or two thirds of congress to institute Anarcho-Syndicalism.

[-] -1 points by po6059 (72) 2 years ago

ROLL up your sleeves instead.

[-] 1 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Get a job

[-] -3 points by po6059 (72) 2 years ago

Get a life.

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

Yepp. The more private ownership there are over resourses and wealth, the more power these owners will have in society, and the more constraints there are on the ones not owning. It's pretty straight forward.

Having to rent yourself in order to survive is degrading, and like NC said "if you work on command you're some kind of slave".

[-] -2 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

All of those things are not possible because you live in Brooklyn. Drive a couple hours north and you are all set.

[-] -1 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 2 years ago

What? I stil have to work? I'm out. LOL.

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (274) 2 years ago

India usually disables such topics or those on science and technology on the internet in Kashmir therefore I was unable to listen what is being said Mr. N.C.But I think a worker is entitled to fulfill his/her living expenses which is termed as wages,to pension after a specific age,savings what can be called a share in profit or a share in consumables which pile up due to the improvement in technology, to the medical aid,and aid to for the improvement in skills and education.(by the way there is a huge propaganda in India against this web site,they just stop one to sign in!)

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

What he's saying is, in short, that democratic control of workplaces and communities by the participants is much better than managment control and private ownership, and that there's no law of nature that says that workers wont be able to do this (in fact we've seen examples of it actually working very well).

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (274) 2 years ago

I agree with you but the most important of all is that no one should be allowed to earn his/her livelihood without work which does not intentionally contribute to the economy or to the people.

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[-] 0 points by blinxwang (25) from Johns Creek, GA 2 years ago

2012

not an anarcho-communist

Shiggy Diggy, costanza.jpg, etc. etc. ad nauseum

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[-] -1 points by e2420 (-28) 2 years ago

ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that castle? WOMAN: No one live there. ARTHUR: Then who is your lord? WOMAN: We don't have a lord. ARTHUR: What? DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. ARTHUR: Yes. DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting. ARTHUR: Yes, I see. DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,-- ARTHUR: Be quiet! DENNIS: --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more-- ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet! WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is? ARTHUR: I am your king! WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.

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

Smart peasants.

Cool film, but I like "Life of Brian" better :)