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Forum Post: The Alternative to Capitalism

Posted 5 months ago on Jan. 29, 2014, 2:31 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Capitalism is a system in which there is private ownership of the means of production. If there is no private ownership of the means of production, it is not capitalism. So what would a society without this private ownership look like? How could a society without capitalism be organized?

Some believe -- or want to trick us into believing -- that the only alternative to capitalism is some kind of authoritarian society with a powerful state owning all the means of production (cf. the Soviet Union etc). This is of course completely false.

Leninism, Stalinism and all other similar tyrannical systems are awful. They should not be introduced, they should be rejected.

So what other alternatives are there to capitalism?

There is another proposal. It's about creating a society where the means of production are controlled not by powerful capitalists, nor by a powerful state, but instead by the workers and communities. In other words, a decentralized federated society with a more participatory and direct democracy in which the communities and the workplaces are controlled democratically by the people who work and live there.

This way of organizing society is often called libertarian socialism. It is the anti-authoritarian socialism that opposes all forms of authoritarian systems and illegitimate hierarchies, and instead wants a free, non-hierarchical society with collective ownership of the means of production.

This has also worked very well in real life. We’ve seen many examples of societies and businesses based on libertarian socialist, or at least libertarian socialist-like principles that have worked very well. The Spanish Revolution is obviously worth mentioning here, as well as Mondragon and the Evergreen Cooperatives, but there have also been interesting developments in other countries as well, like Argentina, for example.

In other words, it’s not a question of whether we can achieve a free and just society based on workers’ self-management & workplace democracy, but how we most effectively can get there (I mentioned some of the things I think we should focus on in the struggle for such a society here ).

A libertarian socialist society will lead to human liberation. By creating a participatory democracy where people have control over their own workplaces and communities, people will be free from authority and dominance, and no longer treated like cogs in a machine. They will have control over their own lives; they'll be free.

The alternative to capitalism is democracy - including workplace democracy

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA6jWAYzTIJeUdm0xO_DAZYRYkdRNPuP5

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA6jWAYzTIJfb-LPnn8FhTwF8KWCldeGt

202 Comments

202 Comments


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[-] 5 points by TGN (47) 1 month ago

IT'S CALLED ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM. AND IT LOOKS SOMETHING LIKE THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

George Orwell had many positive things to say about it, too: http://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comments/1q7duh/orwell_on_anarchism/

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

There are many words for it.

[-] 3 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

The type of company you're talking about is called a cooperative (co-op, for short). The agricultural sector in Ireland is dominated by co-ops and they've been thriving for decades.

I wouldn't describe it as an alternative to capitalism. Rather, it's capitalism in an inclusive economic environment. The agricultural sector in the U.S. is an example of capitalism in an extractive economic environment.

Co-ops also exist in the US. You may have seen Alvarado Street Bakery featured in a Michael Moore documentary called Capitalism: A Love Story. At the time, employees were all earning an annual salary of around $60,000.

http://www.alvaradostreetbakery.com/index.php

If the environment is inclusive, it means that workers who create wealth through their hard work are included in the resulting benefits. The IT sector in the U.S. is more inclusive than other sectors in the country - entrepreneurs can enter the market easily and it's even possible to become wealthy by working for someone else (because you're included in the wealth). Other sectors are more extractive (the wealth is extracted by the people at the top) because of over-deregulation, in most cases.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (453) 1 month ago

There needs to be some strategy for dealing with the massive amount of people who simply want to show up and get a paycheck and not be involved in all the strategy and long hours needed to be profitable.

Someone once said "the reason I work for someone is I value my free time".. that was interesting. And probably very true.

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

I don't think that's going to be big a problem. Most people want to do something with their lives.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

profit is a boar

why is it necessary to put twinkie's on the shelf ?

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (453) 1 month ago

Its not, theres all sorts of open space to live. Just depends on how much "stuff" you want.

[-] 2 points by TGN (47) 1 month ago

In other words Workers' Self-Management: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers%27_self-management

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

That's right.

[-] 2 points by TGN (47) 1 month ago

That gives me an idea!

[-] 2 points by carlylesanders (1) from New Hope, PA 4 months ago

Are you talking about co-ops? They already exist, and anyone can create them if they wish. The bank I use is a co-op.

What kind of work do you do? Do you work in a co-op too? I started mine back in the early 80s. We're like 80 people working now. Doing translation work for governmental offices.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

Well, kind of. I'm talking about a system in which the economy is democratized and decentralized. So it would be a co-operative economic system where the entire society is controlled democratically by the participants.

Co-ops are growing in number all over the place. If this continues and escalates, they can play a huge role in transforming our economic system.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 1 month ago

Ok, buddy, you're going to cream when you read about what happened at Lincoln Electric, a company that is wholly owned by its employees:

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20131213/FREE/131219872/lincoln-electric-co-awards-record-100-7-million-in-employee-bonuses

By the way, I have one of their welders, they are very good.

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

sff/NS debate continued:

Sure, if a small minority don’t want to accept the will of the people and refuse to give up the right to exploit and control others, then they’ll be forced. There’s nothing controversial about that.

[-] -1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Wow, Hitler. You keep insisting on this assumption that people owning their own means of production would amount to exploitation, as if the democratic regulation of a mixed economy was out of the question. So, there's nothing controversial about communists and independent people slaughtering one another throughout history? You should really have to taste what you're saying.

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

People owning the means of production is what I advocate.

"So, there's nothing controversial about communists and independent people slaughtering one another throughout history?"

Yes there is. Stop with the strawmen and the Hitler comments. It's pathetic.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Well, that's public ownership of means of production, every communist war all throughout history. The idealogical hypothesis that appears so romantic which infects people this way is literally contradictory. You want to show up on somebodies land where they grow their own food and force them at gun point to give it up and live the way you want them to? Then you're joining the list of people like Hitler. Go ahead and say the same things over again as if that proves them, I'm done. Cheers.

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

If what you do only affects you, then that's your business, and no one's coming to take anything. But if youre doing things together with others and do things that affect others, then these people should have a say as well. This is a pretty reasonable proposal. If you're going to compare that with the Nazi-regime, then that just makes you sound like an ignorant and immature 14 year old who's been watching too much Glenn Beck.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

That's the only good argument you have, and it's just an ideal. It's an ideal which has been used throughout history to fool people into something that doesn't actually work in reality and always plays out the same with people getting killed and living in fear. I thought it sounded great too, but then I spent the last 2 months at a library the size of a football stadium at one of the most respected schools in the country reading everything i could find on the physics of democracy and the history of it.

You're using the romantic aspect of it to fool people into the very same communist war. This ideal would only work if absolutely everyone was completely like-minded, and since we're not (thank god) you have to resort to violence. Pathetic? Ignorant? Immature? For pointing that out? How about being that person, just like Hitler. You know he wasn't trying to be evil. He actually thought he was doing the right thing. And likewise you're sticking with that ideal while refusing to understand the reality. You tried to use the Spanish Revolution as an working example, but totally ignored that it was a frightening nightmare for people, only seeing what you wanted (other people) to see.

Unifying popular will is tyranny, and negates the variety of independence. I should have the right to grow my own food without someone like you showing up with a rifle saying I have to give it up and live with the community. I should be able to start a business and run it, paying people to help me if they choose, making arrangements such as that to achieve the artistic vision I have which other people may not understand. People should not be exploited, and neither should the planet, and that's what democratic regulation in a mixed economy succeeds in doing.

I have to assume you're doing this on purpose, since you're relentless and totally ignore the facts you don't like. And you can go ahead trying to fool the innocent people of Occupy, but you're not going to fool any educated person, or the country at large.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/socialism-and-capitalism-a-short-explanation/#comment-1033547

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

"That's the only good argument you have"

I've never seen you present any reasonable counter arguments. Do you think democracy is a good idea?, if so, why shouldn't it apply in the workplace?

"It's an ideal which has been used throughout history to fool people into something that doesn't actually work in reality and always plays out the same with people getting killed and living in fear."

As I mentioned in the post, there are examples of worker-run societies working just fine, without there having been any bloodshed. I want a peaceful transition to a libertarian socialist society, but if a small minority don't respect the will of the people, and refuse to give up the right to exploit and dominate others, then they will be forced, of course. There's nothing controversial about that. If a small minority refused to accept the laws passed in today's parlamentary democracies, they'd be stopped as well.

Leaders, tyrants and dictators have said all kinds of things in the past. American presidents have time and time again waged wars and killed thousands and thousands of people in the name of "freedom and democracy". Does that mean we shouldn't support freedom and democracy?

I strongly oppose all tyrannical regimes.

The fact that tyrants have lied and deceived people with nice speeches about how they're fighting for a society without oppression and so on, doesn't mean we shouldn't try to create a society without oppression -- and it certainly doesn't mean we should believe what they claimed.

How many hours you've spent in the library doesn't interest me at all.

"Pathetic? Ignorant? Immature? For pointing that out?"

Reductio ad Hitlerum.

"Hitler actually thought he was doing the right thing."

So did George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and others, and they're all responsible for thousands of deaths -- and they were all doing it in the name of"democracy and freedom".

"You tried to use the Spanish Revolution as an working example, but totally ignored that it was a frightening nightmare for people"

This is false. The Spanish Revolution made many people more in control over their own lives. People organized and managed put a big part of the economy under worker-control.

"I should have the right to grow my own food without someone like you showing up with a rifle saying I have to give it up and live with the community."

no one's going to show up with guns if you want to grow your own food. Pay attention.

"I should be able to start a business and run it, paying people to help me if they choose"

If your business affects other people, they should have a say as well. If you think democracy is a good idea, this shouldn't be controversial.

"People should not be exploited"

Exploitation will naturally occur in a state-capitalist economy.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Last time, you are not in control of your own work if everyone else is. It completely defeats the point of being artistic if you can't create anything other people don't understand. You could try saying trust me, but everyone has a tendency to think they know best.

The ideal of absolute democracy is a concept that doesn't take into account the physics of diversity. It would literally require people to be like-minded, otherwise you have a lot of people who feel utterly infuriated, and when this is being applied to huge social structures the conflicts can be devastating.

That's why it has only worked in extremely small towns, farm communities, and things like grocery stores. You can't give me an example of anything bigger than that because they have always failed in bloodshed and terror.

Hay, at least I care about educating myself. I highly recommend you try it but that's not your mission, is it. Like i said, have fun trying to infect the people of Occupy. Btw farming is means of production.

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

"Last time, you are not in control of your own work if everyone else is."

Yes you are -- if you do things together with others. If person A, B and C do a project together, then they should all have an equal say in things. Then they all control the work equally.

"The ideal of absolute democracy is a concept that doesn't take into account the physics of diversity."

Decentralized worker-run societies are and have worked fine. We know it works.

A LS society would welcome diversity, and at the same time allowing people to be in control over their own lives and workplace.

"That's why it has only worked in extremely small towns, farm communities, and things like grocery stores. You can't give me an example of anything bigger than that because they have always failed in bloodshed and terror."

The ones who advocated parliamentary democracy in feudal times was told more or less the same. "It's a pipe dream" and so on. Well, now it exists many places.

The transition to a libertarian socialist society should be as peaceful as possible, and must primarily be organized at local level. I strongly oppose the idea that a worker-run society can be implemented by first concentrating all the power in the state (leninism). This obviously failed and caused a lot of bloodshed, yes.

"Hay, at least I care about educating myself."

That's good. So do I, but how many hours you've spent in the library is not relevant for the discussion. It's doesn't add anything.

"Btw farming is means of production."

And if you want to grow your own food and not get involved with the outside community, youre free to do that. Pay attention.

[-] -1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Pay attention? So lets say I have my own farm and do practices that you don't like, you want to be able to control the means of production so that you can democratically alter the way i do things because anything you don't like effects other people, like pollution. So it doesn't matter if I'm solo or not, lines are too blurry. Your logic doesn't even remotely take into account the complexity of the real world.

You don't want to hear the things i'm saying, fine. But take a lesson from history, every single time people have tried what you're suggesting it results in violence and terror. Communist have an easy time killing independent people as long as they call them fascists. Too bad diversity isn't like-minded, and thank god it's not or everyone would be barbie and ken.

You want democracy to keep exploitation under control? Check out the mixed economy.

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

I'm not talking about liking/not liking, I'm talking about things that others are a part of and affected by. If you want to more or less isolate yourself and grow your own food, then be my guest. However if you're farming business is a big part of the local economy, and you hire people who use means of production that produce a profit for you, well, then that's something completely different. People should have a say in the things that affect them. If you like democracy, this shouldn't be controversial.

If we created a democracy form below, people would in fact have a say in things proportional to how you're affected. Starting with neighborhoods and workplaces, which will be democratically managed by the ones working and living there. Now, as we know, most people also associate with people outside their neighborhood and workplace, so naturally there'd be lots of networks with community participation, and with elected recallable representatives taking care of the broader issues.

If you're talking about what happened in Russia, China and so on, then that has nothing to do with my "recipe". What these so called "communists" did was concentrating a lot of power in the state, giving the "communist" leaders and their parties basically all the power. This is called Leninism and it failed miserably of course.

I strongly oppose concentrating all power into the state. As I said, democracy should primarily be built and controlled from below.

Again, LS welcomes diversity. In a classless society people would be free to contribute based on their own creativity and unique talents.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Again, all you do is repeat the ideal, but it doesn't take any real life complexity into account. People don't agree on everything, and when you apply that to large social structures the conflicts can be devastating. That's why we have a government in the first place. People would not be in control because the plurality of other people would be. Your logic is full of so many holes it cannot hold water.

If i have a business and you come along looking for work, and i say you could help me wash dishes for 10/h, and you agree, how is the rest of my own business affecting you? I just did you a favour in return for a favour. Just because you do some work for another person's business doesn't mean you should have the right to sway their entire business, that's seriously ridiculous.

The point is being exploited and the cost of living and that is something which is different, and those things are addressed in a mixed economy, which you continue to ignore.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/some-examples-of-workplace-democracy/

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

"Again, all you do is repeat the ideal but it doesn't take any real life complexity into account."

I just counter what you're saying. If you feel I repeat myself, then that means you do it as well.

I've said time and time again that we know that decentralized worker-run societies can work, because we've seen them in real life. How big does this society have to be in order for you to accept that it works, and why that specific size?

The whole point with LS is to have decision-making done primarily at local level; worker-run societies living side by side in decentralized networks. And if it works in towns etc, why wouldn't it work in the neighboring towns and so on?

"People don't agree on everything, and when you apply that to large social structures the conflicts can be devastating."

Of course people disagree on things. That's one of the reasons we have democracy. And if democracy was controlled from below, I don't see how it could be "devastating".

"People would not be in control because the plurality of other people would be."

Again, When person A, B and C do a project together, they should all have an equal say in their common work. Do you disagree with this, and why?

"If i have a business and you come along looking for work, and i say you could help me wash dishes for 10/h, and you agree, how is the rest of my own business affecting you?"

An individual's workplace affects the individual quite a lot. People should have a democractic say in the things they're a part of and affected by. It's called democracy; and if you like the idea of democracy, then why shouldn't it apply in the place you spend most of your day? Why should you have the right to dictate and dominate another individual? Why should you be allowed to have undemocratic power in soceity?

"I just did you a favour in return for a favour."

I've heard this a million times before -- especially from the libertarian right. It's all "voluntary agreements" and so on. This is just an illusion. One have to take into account the power structures in society. Who has the most bargaining powewr and so on; and when we study these factors, we see that employer/employee relations are often very far from voluntary, but rather have-nots being forced to accept the conditions set by the haves.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

"No, you're probably thinking about Leninism."

No, we're talking about absolute democracy. It doesn't matter if you're talking about the nation, the state, or the workplace, the physics are the same.


"That's what I oppose: one person having the right to control another person. "

If someone doing cashier work for me can vote on decisions for my entire company, then I'm being forced to not be in control of my own business. You are so full of contradiction it's not even funny.


"This happens when the value of the worker’s pay is less than the value that was added through his/her work in the paid hours; this creates a surplus that the owner of the means of production gets, even though he did not create it."

You're talking about being paid fairly, NOT having the right to control other peoples business. And in that regard, who's going to judge what's fair, you? If the owner doesn't make anything from their own efforts of pulling the whole thing together, what's the point? And why create an artistic vision just to have it sabotaged with impulsive democracy?

A mixed economy actually does solve this, because when people have enough money already, they won't need to agree to relationships that don't feel fair to them.


"No, I just told you, it does the opposite." - "a bottom up democracy in which the ones having to live with the dicisions are the ones making them."

There's your ideal again without the whole picture. Nobody makes their own decisions when everyone else does. Like i said, strict democracy establishes an absolute executive power. The complex issues that people disagree on can be infuriating, and unlike a system that supports independence, absolute democracy will go ahead and infuriate a lot of people.


"There's "force" in any society."

Yes, and again, when people are infuriated, and people start pointing guns, people get shot.

This is why absolute democracy has always ended with violence and terror (besides extremely rare and small examples). And your isolated logic that contradicts the whole picture is exactly why people have been fooled time and time again throughout history. People have a tendency to want to direct everything in accordance with their own ideas, and democracy tends to result in hegemonic ploys. Such as Hitler, and all the people like him.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

"Now who's repeating himself? What did I just tell you?"

A lot of BS and isolated ideals that have fooled people all throughout history.


"And what gives you the right to hire in the first place, so that you can dominate and control other individuals? What gives you the right to have undemocratic control over institutions in society?"

Because I made a business for myself. Because that's the work I do. If your business is working as a cashier then I have the right to offer you a job doing your work for my business. And you have the right to take your business elsewhere.

Just because you do work for someone else doesn't give you the right to control everything that other person is doing. Talk about tyranny.


Being exploited by monopolies is a different thing, and there are plenty of solutions to that without screwing up our entire freedom of business and independence. You say a mixed economy doesn't solve exploitation? Look at Norway, highest standard of living in the world, and it's hard for people to exploit you when you basically have enough money already.

That's not good enough for you? Talk about greedy and lazy.


"Of course people disagree on things. That's one of the reasons we have democracy. And if democracy was controlled from below, I don't see how it could be "devastating"."

The problem is that absolute democracy creates an absolute executive power, aka tyranny, and there is nothing to moderate the independence of people in an entirely political society such as this.

The complex issues that people disagree on can be infuriating, and unlike a system that supports independence, absolute democracy will go ahead and infurriate a lot of people. Also, the only way to ensure this absolute political governance is by force.

When people are infurriated, and people start pointing guns, people get shot.

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

"A lot of BS and isolated ideals that have fooled people all throughout history"

No, you're probably thinking about Leninism. Leninism is very different from what I'm advocating.

"Because I made a business for myself. Because that's the work I do."

So if you "work hard", that means you should be able to have undemocratic control and power? So if a dictator worked hard to become dictator, building a lot of wealth and power, does that justify it? And why not?

"If your business is working as a cashier then I have the right to offer you a job doing your work for my business."

You should not have the right to have undemocratic control over the institutions in society. The economic institutions should be run democratically by the participants. That way people have control over their own lives

"Just because you do work for someone else doesn't give you the right to control everything that other person is doing. Talk about tyranny."

That's not what I'm saying. That's what I oppose: one person having the right to control another person. That's why things involving more people should be controlled by the ones involved (democracy).

"You say a mixed economy doesn't solve exploitation? Look at Norway, highest standard of living in the world, and it's hard for people to exploit you when you basically have enough money already."

When there is private ownership of the means of production (as it is in amixed economy) the owner (the employer) will be able to profit on the users (the employees). This happens when the value of the worker’s pay is less than the value that was added through his/her work in the paid hours; this creates a surplus that the owner of the means of production gets, even though he did not create it. This profit is then used for future investments and more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value.

This is exploitation.

"That's not good enough for you? Talk about greedy and lazy."

What are you talking about?

"The problem is that absolute democracy creates an absolute executive power, aka tyranny"

No, I just told you, it does the opposite. A participatory democracy is a system where democracy has been implemented in the economy and the workplaces; that means that it would be a bottom up democracy in which the ones having to live with the dicisions are the ones making them.

A private business is a private tyranny: an undemocratic hierarchy in which the decisions are made by a tiny minority: the CEOs and the owners.

"the only way to ensure this absolute political governance is by force."

There's "force" in any society. We're forced to follow the laws. A mixed economy would require force -- taxing people, taking part of their property. So as long as it doesn't include the system you want, it's ok to use "force" as an argument? Is that it?

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Common work? If i've hired you to wash dishes what gives you the right to change my menu? How is that affecting you? If the dish soap is toxic, that would be more realistic for you to put up a fuss about. but just because you can wash dishes doesn't mean you should have the power to make decisions for everything else; mind your own business.

It only works in a few, small examples because maybe those small towns (1/5 the size of boulder, CO) happen to have like minded people. Every time it's been tried elsewhere or larger it ends with violence and terror, and for good reason because the logic reduces independence to nothing, which tends to infuriate people.

An entirely democratic society would mean entirely political, and to maintain total political governance by force you would have to arrange society in a way that would make it indistinguishable from a socialist state. You just can't talk your way out of how reality works.

But i've already spelled this out for you, and you called it nit-picking. I know you're doing this on purpose. You keep recycling the same ideal without taking the whole picture into account because that isolated ideal is one the thing that fools people.


But think about this. The problem isn't about having the right to control businesses just because you work there, because that's ridiculous. It's about being exploited, and it's also about the cost of living. These problems are solved in a mixed economy and you refuse to consider that. Why?


Btw, I asked you once before if you're the same person as sff90, and you ignored it, so let me expand. Are you? Why do you need more than one account here? How many accounts do you have? Is that your version of democracy?

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

"Common work? If i've hired you to wash dishes what gives you the right to change my menu? How is that affecting you?"

And what gives you the right to hire in the first place, so that you can dominate and control other individuals? What gives you the right to have undemocratic control over institutions in society?

When some individuals own the economic institutions, while others have to rent themselves to it, then that creates hierarchy and domination. These tendencies should be dismantled.

What is so hard to understand? Your workplace is a pretty big part of your life, why shouldn't democracy apply there as well? Do you believe in democracy? If so, why shouldn't it be implemented in the workplace and the economy?

"It only works in a few, small examples because maybe those small towns (1/5 the size of boulder, CO) happen to have like minded people." Again, a LS society would be full of diversity. All towns have people with lots of different opinions, that's one of the reasons we have something called democracy.

"Every time it's been tried elsewhere or larger it ends with violence and terror"

Now who's repeating himself? What did I just tell you?

"An entirely democratic society would mean entirely political"

A participatory democracy means that you have a democratic say proportional to how much you're affected.

Libertarian Socialism just means we implement democracy into the workplaces and the economy -- that we have a say in how these things are run, not a rich minority.

"But think about this. The problem isn't about having the right to control businesses just because you work there, because that's ridiculous."

No, it's not. Why should we have the right to a democratic say in how the state and government is run, but not in the place we spend 40 hours a week?

"These problems are solved in a mixed economy"

No they're not. A mixed economy allows for exploitation. "I asked you once before if you're the same person as sff90, and you ignored it, so let me expand. Are you?"

If I ignored it, then I simply didn't notice it. No, that would probably be a guy we call "trashy". He's seemingly mentally disturbed and spends his days creating lots of different accounts and spews out lies and disinformation in order to confuse and piss us off. I have only used one name here.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

People don't agree on everything, and when you apply that to large social structures the conflicts can be devastating. That's why we have a government in the first place.

I figured government came from community projects

like roads and aqueducts

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

American presidents have time and time again waged wars and killed thousands and thousands of people in the name of "freedom and democracy".

in the name of evil and enemy

US interests is used by democrats but kills just the same

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

The Problem with Capitalism is Not it's design ... but is it's ability to be corrupted and misused for unfair leverage ....

This... currently.... is because Capitalism as is used today is focused & driven on simple monetary profits... and those profits find their way into the hands of a few ... who then have an unfair and often corrupt control of everything....

There are many answers to solve these problems ... co-ops is one... which already exist today...

We can also tax... the profits away from the few.... We can also print more money to provide capital for the non few (the 99%) to be able to compete ... which also dilutes and devalues the power of the few ... and many other ways which involve a governmental intervention ... which will also find it's way to corruption.... We need a way that does not rely on any governmental or committee control .......

We need to change ourselves ... We need to change what we consider valuable.... We need to change what we consider profit....

Why ... is it... that ... We all think that money drives everything ?

Money ... is Not the only type of profit....

For the Old mind sets ... It is argued that Wealth ... is something that can be bought or sold...

When we teach a child to read ... Is that not adding Wealth to the world ? ... Is that not adding value ? ... Is that not a profit for All ? ....

That action can't be bought or sold .... but it is still adding wealth...

This is but a simple example of what is considered Social Wealth... Social Profit... & Social Capital ...

This Forum (as well as our politicians) ...exert an extreme amount of energy trying to figure out how to build new "Control Systems" ...

Well ... I do not want to be Controlled...

I want to be lifted up out of these chains... I want to be free to go anywhere in the world ... without check points... taxes... restrictive laws.... I want to be able to smoke pot if I want to... smoke anything I choose....

I don't want to see hungry kids & elders anywhere....

Dammit ....Lets add new types of Capital... Profits & Wealths

...

[-] 6 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 months ago

Capitalism is unfair in nature. The whole point with a capitalist system is to make profits and act like a dirtbag. If you're running a corporation and you want to be nice and altruistic, then you'll soon be replaced by someone who is more cynical. In other words, it's the game, not so much the players, we should focus our anger on. The dirtbags are just doing what the system requires them to do.

There are lots of things that can and should be done. Higher taxes on the rich, strikes, boycotts, joining/organizing unions, civil disobedience, building cooperatives, workers' takeover etcetc. And yes, there also has to be a change of consciousness if you will, among the general population, where other values are embraced.

Yes, we need a more free society, a society free from tyrannical institutions and concentrated wealth and power. It's called libertarian socialism.

[-] 3 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 months ago

struggle4freedm... :) I understand your concerns... I was where you are back in the 60's... but please try to understand... you are focusing on the evils of capitalism... the miss-use of capitalism ... not on capitalism itself....

capitalism is merely a system that allows anyone & everyone to do whatever they wish.... that might be allowing anyone to steal... as much as they want... etc... but please understand... capitalism ( free enterprise ) will exist whether legal or not .... the black market of drug dealing is capitalism (free enterprise) ... we cannot successfully outlaw it... it will continue to exist whether legal or not.... but,,,, we can improve it... and evolve it into something that works for the betterment of mankind and for all equally

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

"the miss-use of capitalism ... not on capitalism itself...."

No, I'm describing Capitalism itself. Capitalism is abhorrent in nature. As I explained above, what naturally follows from having private ownership of the means of production is exploitation, greed and cynicism. Do you agree that the whole point with the capitalist system is owners exploiting workers and trying to make as much profits for as little cost as possible?

"capitalism is merely a system that allows anyone & everyone to do whatever they wish"

No, it's not. Capitalism is an undemocratic, coercive system in which a small elite of wealthy owners have the overwhelming control, while the rest have to rent themselves to totalitarian institutions in order to survive.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-case-against-capitalism/

"capitalism ( free enterprise ) will exist whether legal or not"

No, It won't. If an economy run by co-ops is established, capitalism would no longer exist. All sorts of tyrannical systems have been abolished in the past, Capitalism can be abolished as well.

If someone tries to disrupt a co-operative economy that has been established by the people, then these undemocratic forces should be stopped, just like other criminals.

"we can improve it... and evolve it into something that works for the betterment of mankind and for all equally"

That's a short term goal. Higher taxes on the rich, better welfare services, better wages for the the workers, putting more people like Kucinich and Nader into office, these are all fine initiatives, but eventually, in a long term perspective, capitalism must be abolished, and replaced by a participatory democracy.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

you make welfare much better then it is, and nobody will have good reason to do any difficult work. i wish we could let you have a planet to experiment with, so you could see just how extremely things would go wrong. diversity of individuals makes society comparable to an insane person in need of a straitjacket. you can't have such diversity in a state of anarchy (democracy from the ground up), and we sure as hell don't want everyone to be the same.

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

What makes you say that? Could you elaborate?

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

You've already admitted to how similar what you're saying is to anarchy. Democracy from the ground up, which is what you've been advocating, given the necessity of violence backed coercion would have to organise itself no differently than a socialist state. With no constitution (which you've also said must be abolished) or any system of hierarchy, these pocketed concentrations of power would show you just how intolerable people can be.

Not only that, the taking over of group think would pretty much accomplish the most irrational things. If you don't agree that's your business, but I highly recommend reading about real life democratic physics which has been studied in great detail and overwhelming appreciation.

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

No, as I mentioned in the forum post, there are communities and businesses that have been and are organized based on libertarian socialist principles, with decentralized workers' control of production. We know it works.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

You know that it works great in small farm communities and grocery stores. But you're talking about changing our entire infrastructure and political intercourse, which does need change, but not anarchy.

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

It's not only worked in small farm communities (cf Mondragon, Spanish Revolution etc)

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Mondragon is a small town in Spain about 1/5 the population of Boulder, CO.

And speaking of the Spanish Revolution, also in Spain, let's talk about that. And if it was so great, then tell me why it was not capable of lasting more than 3 years.


"Although CNT-FAI publications cited numerous cases of peasant proprietors and tenant farmers who had adhered voluntarily to the collective system, there can be no doubt that an incomparably larger number doggedly opposed it or accepted it only under extreme duress...The fact is...that many small owners and tenant farmers were forced to join the collective farms before they had an opportunity to make up their minds freely."

"Villagers could find themselves under considerable pressure to collectivize - even if for different reasons. There was no need to dragoon them at pistol point: the coercive climate, in which 'fascists' were being shot, was sufficient. 'Spontaneous' and 'forced' collectives existed, as did willing and unwilling collectivists within them. Forced collectivization ran contrary to libertarian ideals. Anything that was forced could not be libertarian. Obligatory collectivization was justified, in some libertarians' eyes, by a reasoning closer to war communism than to libertarian communism: the need to feed the columns at the front."

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

The Spanish Revolution didn’t last because it was crushed by fascists and others.

Co-ops are growing in number all over the place; and some cooperatives are interconnected, building sustainable communities. It’s not a question of whether decentralized workers’ control works, it’s a question of how we most effectively can spread these solutions to more communities.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

I'm not saying co-ops aren't cool. http://occupywallst.org/forum/paradise-beyond-possession-reworked/#comment-1033343

But you're advocating the complete extreme anarchy to our entire infrastructure. Did you even read the fine print on the Spanish Revolution? No because you're only seeing what you want, and repeating the same statements over and over doesn't make them any less contradictory. You're going to be one of those people showing up at other peoples doors with a rifle telling them they're going to live the way you want them to. And you're going to join the long line of people like Hitler. I wish i could tattoo the word balance on your forehead so you'd eventually see it.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (453) 1 month ago

The spreading - like the system- has to be voluntary.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

the zombie apocalypses is a satire

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

And that's the problem inherent in diversity. The world is only going to be perfect when everyone is like-minded, and the day in which people are all the same is the day I'd put a shotgun to my temple.

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

I don’t support everything that was done during the Spanish Revolution. Collectivizing the means of production I have no problem with. That’s what I advocate. The mop should be owned and run by the participants.

“You're going to be one of those people showing up at other peoples doors with a rifle telling them they're going to live the way you want them to.”

No, People should be free to control their own lives –and that should include their productive life.

“And you're going to join the long line of people like Hitler.”

Now you’ll definitely be taken seriously, right? Pathetic.

“I wish i could tattoo the word balance on your forehead so you'd eventually see it.”

Tattooing someone against their will, now that sounds like something Hitler would do.

[-] 0 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Apparently you have a troop of people voting up your comments who also aren't reading the fine print. Again, if it was so good than why didn't people embrace it?

"there can be no doubt that an incomparably larger number doggedly opposed it or accepted it only under extreme duress"

"Villagers could find themselves under considerable pressure to collectivize - even if for different reasons. There was no need to dragoon them at pistol point: the coercive climate, in which 'fascists' were being shot, was sufficient."

You've used this "Revolution" as an example of socialism many times, but fail to appreciate the reality of what happened.

"Forced collectivization ran contrary to libertarian ideals."

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

Again, I don’t support everything that was done during the Spanish Revolution. But collectivizing the means of production I have no problem with. That’s what I advocate. The mop should be owned and run by the participants. A free society should include having the right to control your productive life.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Man, you keep saying the same thing without any regard to what you're saying. Collectivizing the means of production would require forcing people. Not all people are going to agree, and you're going to need a method to force the people who don't like something. Allowing it to happen naturally wouldn't happen because of that inherent conflict in diversity. You want somebody to give up their land they've been growing their own food on then you had better have a gun. Throughout history it has always played out this way, the Spanish Revolution being no different. We're done talking because you only respond with the same idealistic hypothesis as if that was proving anything.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

humans have be copying each others methods for millenniums

methods design to create greater output per hour

gatherer to farmer

hunter to shepherd

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

my friend.... you can replace every word "capitalism" in your reply ... with the word "socialism" ... and it will still read the same.... think new :)

[-] 6 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 months ago

"my friend.... you can replace every word "capitalism" in your reply ... with the word "socialism" ... and it will still read the same.... "

In other words, you don't know the difference between capitalism and socialism? Because that's pretty much what you're telling me right now. Please explain what you mean by that.

"think new :)"

Could you elaborate on this one as well? What "new" thoughts have I missed?

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

what I am saying from the very beginning of the Occupy Movement... throughout the majority of my comments.... is that BOTH Capitalism & Socialism ... might have worthy ideals (goals) ... yet neither one of them can become successful .... we must look ahead... we must be creative and invent something new....

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 months ago

Explain to me why you support an exploitative, undemocratic and unsustainable system (capitalism). What's good about some being allowed to control and dominate others?

Libertarian socialist-type systems work very well, actually--as I explained in the post. Worker-controlled businesses (co-ops) are growing in number all over. Mondragon in Spain, for example, is one of the biggest ones. It's a huge network of cooperatives operating on all sorts of fields, all the way from agriculture to banking and industry etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vJDhKMrncw

There are of course things that can and should be improved in Mondragon, and the number of worker-owned cooperatives has to grow much more in order to have a significant impact on the overall economy, but it's a beginning. So we know that an economy run and controlled by the workers and the communities can work, and if more people get involved in strikes, workers' takeover of workplaces, building co-ops, pushing politicians to the left, organizing active grassroots movements and so on, capitalist structures can gradually be dismantled and replaced by a really large scale libertarian socialist society.

And again, please explain these "new" thoughts you're talking about.

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

s4freedom,.. why do you try to twist my words ?

where did I ever suggest I "...support an exploitative, undemocratic and unsustainable system (capitalism). ... "

however let me ask "... why you support an exploitative, undemocratic and unsustainable system (socialism). What's good about some being allowed to control and dominate others? ..."

funny how that can also be true ... huh ?

your problem is that you are trying to make sense out of archaic systems in a modern world .... and you are confusing what is Socialism..and what is the ideal concept of Communism.... they are NOT the same....

please don't get me wrong... I fully support your ideals of promoting cooperative systems... I believe that the development of co-ops as well as Social Capital is some of the most promising venues available...

I SUPPORT your ideas ... I simply disagree with your description... I think your are hurting & confusing your goals by using archaic systems as descriptors....

again let's look at those terms....

In the Pure sense ... Capitalism &/or Communism do not exist anywhere...and never have...

In the Pure sense ... the concept or ideals of a Capitalistic system ... is based on ...

1) free enterprise...

2) private ownership of property..

3) the expansion of economic prosperity for the world overall...

4) and individual freedom ... (freedom to choose one's own path)

however... this system has never been developed in a working model ... without exceptions applied....

In the Pure sense ... the concept or ideals of a Communistic system ... is based on ...

1) shared enterprise...

2) shared ownership of property...

3) the expansion of individual prosperity for the world overall... (the ability for people to prosper in non-economic types endeavors... such as learning, teaching...researching..etc)

4) and economic freedom ... (freedom from economic oppression as we see when wealth amasses into the hands of a few)....

let's understand that the ideals & goals of Communism was invented to correct the failures of Capitalism .... Now... in the non-idealistic state (Reality).... all attempts install pure Capitalism as well as pure Communism has also included exceptions and compromises to the pure systems... in attempt to fix their failures....

Capitalism... adds social programs to help the poor ... etc... Communism ... adds incentives to boost productivity... etc....

and these exceptions and compromises result in "compromised idealistic systems" which is called Socialism...

and every developed country in the world currently operate under some form of compromise..(socialism) ....

Some lean towards Capitalistic socialism ... and some lean towards Communistic socialism....

Now in a purest sense.... I agree ....fixing the ills of ... and efficiency ...and democracy .. of this socialism would work to great extent... however...in my opinion...is it an archaic word... which many hate and fear... and it is simply a patch to fix a broken system ... can we not move forward and invent something new ... in our New modern world ? ....

Can we not have a true "movement" of thinking & freedom ?....

Why not build a "Idealistic" system that is founded on the Ideals and dreams of all mankind ?....

Why not an Idealism that strives for all ....

1) free enterprise...

2) shared enterprise...

3) private ownership of property...

4) shared ownership of property...

5) the expansion of economic prosperity for the world overall...

6) the expansion of individual prosperity for the world overall... (the ability for people to prosper in non-economic types ...

7) individual freedom ... (freedom to choose one's own path)...

8) and economic freedom ... (freedom from economic oppression as we see when wealth amasses into the hands of a few)....

9) etc....

A true "movement" of thinking & freedoms ....

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 month ago

"why do you try to twist my words"

I don't. I'm describing the system you support.

"where did I ever suggest I "...support an exploitative, undemocratic and unsustainable system (capitalism). ... "

You don't want to end capitalism, right? Well that means you support an exploitative, undemocratic and unsustainable system. I explain why here:

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-case-against-capitalism/

"and you are confusing what is Socialism..and what is the ideal concept of Communism.... they are NOT the same"

I know the difference between socialism and communism. However, thruout this debate it seems as though you don't know what these words mean.

Socialism means workers control over the means of production. Some also use collective control" rather than "workers control", but I prefer the first definition, because that's what libertarian socialism --the real form of socialism--is all about.

Communism is a classless and stateless society based on "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

"please don't get me wrong... I fully support your ideals of promoting cooperative systems... I believe that the development of co-ops as well as Social Capital is some of the most promising venues available..."

Ok. Good. So replacing private ownership of the means of production (capitalism) with (decentralized) collective ownership of the means of production (socialism/co-ops) would be a good idea, yes?

"In the Pure sense ... the concept or ideals of a Capitalistic system ... is based on ...1) free enterprise..."

If you want to call totalitarian institutions "free enterprise", then sure.

"2) private ownership of property.."

But more importantly private ownership of the means of production. This is what characterizes Capitalism, and that's what I oppose.

"4) and individual freedom ... (freedom to choose one's own path)"

Yes, for the rich and powerful. Not for the rest of the population, though. Read more here:

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-case-against-capitalism/

"and every developed country in the world currently operate under some form of compromise..(socialism) ...."

That's not socialism. You're talking about state-capitalism.

"Some lean towards Capitalistic socialism"

What? Socialism is a system without capitalism. This is an oxymoron.

"Why not an Idealism that strives for all ....1) free enterprise...2) shared enterprise...3) private ownership of property...4) shared ownership of property...5) the expansion of economic prosperity for the world overall...6) the expansion of individual prosperity for the world overall... (the ability for people to prosper in non-economic types ...7) individual freedom ... (freedom to choose one's own path)...8) and economic freedom ... (freedom from economic oppression as we see when wealth amasses into the hands of a few)....9) etc...."

So these are the "new" thoughts you were talking about? There's nothing new with this. Partially you're describing what we already have (state-capitalism: a regulated capitalist economy), and partially your describing libertarian socialism (freedom from economic oppression and freedom to choose one's own path)

You have to take a stand on who should control production. That's what it boils down to. Either there's decentralized collective ownership (libertarian socialism), private ownership (capitalism), private ownership with an active state regulating the market to some extent (state capitalism), or total state control (leninism/stalinism etc). I prefer the first one. Which one do you prefer?

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

Struggle4.... also thiink about this....

you say "You have to take a stand on who should control production. "

well .... in 50 yrs.... all production (excepting the Art's) ... will be automated ... there will be zero manufacturing tasks performed by people anywhere.... excepting the Arts....

We are entering a New Age.... We need to change our thinking...

and that is what ... "A Movement" is....

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

I wasn't talking about who will perform the tasks, an increasing amount can of course be done by machines etc as technology develops, sure, I was talking about who controls it. Who are the ones that own/control the resources in society.

So which one do you pick?

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

fair enough... I agree... "Who are the ones that own/control the resources in society." .... that is the primary problem.... as well as acknowledging that labor is and will continue to disappear due to technology....

so the task is ... how to allow everyone equal access to the resources ...

we are all ... (pretty much all 99%) ... are in agreement with that....

my primary argument.. is that we cannot win a war waving a banner or flag that already has much opposition....whether valid or not ... we do not have the time ... nor the ability to educate everyone...

We cannot use the terminology that already has built in opposition ... such as socialism, communism, capitalism, etc... if we expect to win ....

Call it something else... anything new... call it Occupyism ... anything ... I don't care... just simply design the perfect system .... and promote it as something that takes the best from everything else... that way ...we gain support... instead of opposition....

99% of the world knows we need a change... even the rich....

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

"it ain't that simple"

Yes, it is. If you don’t understand that, then you don’t know what socialism is.

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

"absolutely ... democracy in the workplace is the way to go!!!"

Well, that's the end of capitalism. If you want democracy in the workplace, then that means you want to abolish private ownership of the mop (capitalism)with collective/democratic ownership of the mop (socialism). When the workers control the economic institutions democratically, it's no longer capitalism.

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

Jesus!! struggle4 .... it ain't that simple.... who owns the currency that pays for the mop..? who owns the needs for the mop to even play a part ?...

you will have to create WWIII to take the existing power away from those that have.....

but..... you CAN get them to give you the power.... If you have a fair & perfect system .... that ... is democracy..,.

and you will not do that.... by telling them their capitalism will go away....

but ... you CAN convince them that you can remove the evil's of Capitalism... All will support that

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

"wikipedia defines.... State capitalism is usually described as an economic system in which commercial (i.e. for-profit) economic activity is undertaken by the state, with management and organization of the means of production in a capitalist manner, including the system of wage labor and centralized management."

But it can also mean private ownership of the mop, but with state regulations (read further down the article)

"but I do believe that the only way is to provide a mix.... it is not only... the only way to be successful.... it is also democracy."

But if you believe in democracy, shouldn't we implement democracy in the the workplace as well?

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 1 month ago

Sff, you're not appreciating the real life physics of democracy, and i'm done trying to tell you because your mission isn't to learn. Good luck, Brad.

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 month ago

absolutely ... democracy in the the workplace is the way to go!!!

and all we have to do ... is do it... if the economy is strong ...and jobs are available .... the democratic workplace will be the most productive...

the major problem we are looking at... is that labor type jobs are disappearing ... worldwide....

we also need to invent new types of work... or simply put everyone one the payroll to do whatever they wish... (which might be the best answer) ... hehe

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

It's a little difficult to figure out where you stand. So do you support a worker-run (socialist) economy, or do you support a mixed economy (state-capitalism)

Where do you stand on control of production?

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 month ago

:) good honest question ...

wikipedia defines.... State capitalism is usually described as an economic system in which commercial (i.e. for-profit) economic activity is undertaken by the state, with management and organization of the means of production in a capitalist manner, including the system of wage labor and centralized management.

no I do not support that....

but I do believe that the only way is to provide a mix.... it is not only... the only way to be successful.... it is also democracy...and it is also the right thing to do....

I believe in freedom for all to chose their own path....

I believe that we need to provide and support the best of all systems ... while trying to diminish the worst of all systems...

I believe in developing what many call "social capital" .... that is not based on monetary profit.... but based on social profit and the development of social wealth...

and I really don't care if some people want to rape and pillage the world right now.... that battle will distract us... is not winnable in short term.... and eventually sooner than later they will die off and fade away.... except for cheney...we should keep him alive as long as possible ...so he can revel in his mistakes :)

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

hmmm.... Struggle4 ... you still are not trying to understand what I am trying to tell you... you simply already think you know my beliefs... and therefore will not read my posts...

anyway... maybe a different approach... check out .. http://occupytheory.org/mixed-economy-advantages-and-disadvantages/

I believe you will enjoy what they are saying.... however they do not once promote the word "socialism"... and because of that they may get somewhere making change ...

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

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my understanding you support state-capitalism (private ownership of the mop, but with some state control and regulation (a mixed economy). Well, that means you support system which undermines democracy by allowing some individuals (the owners of the mop) to exploit and control others.

Listen, If more countries organized a mixed economy based on social democracy and scandinavian-type systems, with decent workers' rights and more equality, then that would certainly be a step in the right direction; those are perfectly decent short term goals, but I'm talking about the kind of society we should always strive for, and that should be a society without capitalism.

Again, these "new" ideas you presented are not new. It's good old fashion social democracy/state-capitalism -- a system I've lived under all my life. Again, if the world had more social democracies, the world would be a better place, but our goal should be to eventually dismantle capitalism entirely.

"however they do not once promote the word "socialism"

That's because it's not socialism. Socialism is a system without private ownership of the mop, and where production is controlled democratically by the workers and the communities.

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

first of all please explain what socialism is and where it has functioned since you say-"you can replace every word "capitalism" in your reply ... with the word "socialism" ... and it will still read the same." secondly the goal of capitalism is to increase profit - check out the legal duty of any ceo - go ahead check it out and let me know what they must legally do! now please answer this - what happens in your free market system when one man owns all the water?? and how about when you must sell yourself to someone in order to buy food for your family - as in "wage slave" - how can that be individual freedom???

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

"how about when you must sell yourself to someone in order to buy food for your family ?"

I wouldn't .... I would kill the guy with the most food ... and give his food to my family... and maybe eat him also.... That Is Freedom !!

[-] 2 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

it is happening as we speak - all around us. and no you cannot kill the guy with the food because the state will put you away and now your family starves for sure. have you not read history - as in the poor laws in england

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

does not answer my question - where has socialism existed - certainly not the soviet union - a state capitalist system. and ceo legal responsibility and wage slavery - can you address those issues? or would you rather not debate your ideas?

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 month ago

no flip... I do not want to debate... that's a waste of time until you read my posts with an objective view... I already explained to you what socialism is.... it is the compromised ideals system.... there is no debate... and there are many who support these concepts... you should look more towards simplicity in this complex world... politicians will invent all types of spins and new words to obscure their agenda .... and you can spend your life trying to follow their false literature ... or you can lead... simple as that... just the common sense you are born with....

added: you say the soviet union - is a state capitalist system ... ?

really ?.... a new description to mask the failures of the socialism they have installed ...

think... about this.... when the US subsidizes big oil... big farms ... etc... why? Is it greed, corruption... kickbacks...? yeah maybe some....

but it is really to help ease prices for the public... THAT is socialism !! plain and simple ...

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (453) 1 month ago

Socialism is people working together, its roots have very little to do with price controls of things. Anarchists were the original socialists. Government across the globe have perverted it, because they are ran by elites and have little desire to really help anyone if it doesnt

A) make them money B) get them elected

A confusion of community socialism with decentralized free markets, vs state controlled capitalism vs socialsim, is the direct result of the people copping out of the system of participation, instead choosing to elect politicians to make their rules and laws of the land.

[-] 2 points by wickerman (59) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

"A confusion of community socialism with decentralized free markets, vs state controlled capitalism vs socialsim, is the direct result of the people copping out of the system of participation, instead choosing to elect politicians to make their rules and laws of the land."

Isn't that what always happens with any system of government?

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 month ago

"...A confusion of community socialism with decentralized free markets, vs state controlled capitalism vs socialsim, is the direct result of the people copping out of the system of participation,..."

Good statement... I agree....

[-] 3 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

all well and good but your ideas do not always hold water. you make statements that are not accurate so now what. this statement by you is not correct - "capitalism is merely a system that allows anyone & everyone to do whatever they wish" - neither is this - " you can replace every word "capitalism" in your reply ... with the word "socialism" ... and it will still read the same" - I am pretty sure ewe agree on much of this but seems to me there is some muddled thinking going on here - how do we clear that up??

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

flip... :) your were taking those comments for face value...and not in the content they were written in.... those comments were made dirrectly to struggle4F...whom I have been having a long going argument with... only because I supports his goals...and am trying to help

[-] 2 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

a new description - wow do you have some reading to do. the anarchists have been criticizing the soviet system - and calling it out of what is was since its inception. here is paul street just yesterday - see if it makes sense to you - "The legend had little to do with reality. Whatever the claims of its ruling elite, the Soviet Union was not remotely socialist in the authentic sense of the word: workers’ control and popular democracy for the common good. Soviet Russia was an authoritarian state-capitalist and bureaucratic despotism that had little to do with Karl Marx and other 19th century leftists’ dream of capitalist class society being replaced by “an association, in which the free development of each is the conditions for the free development of all” – a “true realm of freedom” beyond endless toil and necessity and “worthy of [homo sapiens’] “human nature..”As US Marxist economist Richard Wolff notes, early Soviet non-capitalist experiments in which workers were “both the producers and the appropriators of surpluses” were quickly “abandoned under multiple pressures.” Further:

“Soviet socialism – and increasingly socialism in general – came to be redefined in terms of what actually existed inside Soviet industrial enterprises. There, hired workers produced surpluses that were appropriated and distributed by others: the council of ministers, state officials who functioned as employers. The Soviet Union was actually an example of state capitalism in its class structure….by describing itself as…socialist, it prompted the definition of socialism to mean state capitalism.”

Along the way, the Soviet Union quickly descended into a top-down political tyranny whose harsh dictatorial reality – replete with dungeons and mass political executions – was far removed from genuine socialism’s democratic, grassroots, and popular-participatory ideals.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

ya sure

the first on the logistics is to expand the creative

a stressed population losses creativity through routine

so stop threatening to sell my organs to pay off my student debt

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

hehehe ... ok Matt :) ... you got an answer ? :)

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

let's set if i can remember one

money through circulation gathers into pools

tax those pools and reintroduce the money

paid to each citizens so that the entrepreneurs can strive to gather what they may by serving the citizens

being rich would be based on ones ability to serve

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

ya... I agree ... go for it ... see if you can get it passed in the next 5 yrs.... and then see how long it will stand un-corrupted .... the system is broken and archaic ... we need to move forward

[-] 1 points by wickerman (59) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

The governmental system is not the problem, nor is the economic system. Any form of government has worked in the past, if only briefly, as have most economic models. The problem is people. So long as a government has the confidence of the people, and the support of the people, so long as it at least appears to listen and respond to their needs, so long as they at least believe that it has their best interests in mind it can succeed. Any economic system if managed by a concerned and attentive government may as well succeed. When people no longer care, when they no longer support the government, no laws no matter how strict will insure its survival. When a government has more concern for the rich (or for that matter any class, sect or creed) and manages the economy to their betterment and and not for the mutual good, it will fail. Capitalism has failed not because it cannot work, but because it must be managed by the people through a responsive government for the mutual good. Socialism has failed because likewise it has not been managed for everyone's good. I agree, we must look ahead, and try to design a system of both governance and economics that benefits all, and safeguards the future so that a few never manage to manipulate it for their benefit alone.

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

wickerman !! Right On !!....think about this... the concepts... the ideals... the goals... of designing any system...

as example take Capitalism & Communism ....

the ideals of Capitalism is based on the objectives of "Individual Freedom" & "Economic Prosperity" ...

whereas ...

.the ideals of Communism is based on the objectives of "Economic Freedom" & "Individual Prosperity" ...

Both... worthy goals ... who can argue that ? ....

the problems lie in the inability of either system to control the corruption ....

but aside from that for a moment ... lets focus on the goals ...

why not combine them .... why not strive for everything ?... why either this or that ?... why not the goals of "Individual Freedom" , "Economic Prosperity" , "Economic Freedom" & "Individual Prosperity" ... all working simultaneously ?

We can do that .... if we change our mindset ... if we change what we consider wealth ... if we simply see the truth ... what is profitable ....

Is monetary profit ... the only thing valuable ? Is monetary profit ... the only type of wealth ?

all we have to do is invent new types of currency ... (which is already happening)

nothing to outlaw or destroy ... the market will find it's path....

funny how Freedom works :)

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

another example...

What if ...every time the Treasury prints a new Federal Reserve Note.... It also prints a Social Reserve note ?...

the FRNote is used for monetary profit type things ... like making money via investing savings into business ventures.. etc....

the SRNote is used for social profit type things... like making money by doing good things like teaching... researching... etc...

the monetary profit guys could care less about the social type endeavors and the social profit guys could care less about the monetary type endeavors ...

and we would have doubled opportunity over-night....

that's but one example....

[-] 0 points by wickerman (59) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

Time. Time is a commodity that countless employees invest in businesses everyday. They are paid, but only once. The rich invest their money in a business, and are paid a dividend check from then on. Why is the money worth more than the time? Just one of many observations. You are on to something. Keep at it.

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

I agree .... it is grossly unfair that those who produce.... make far far far less than those who simply invest....

but.. also.... why can't someone who has worked hard all their life ... and saved every penny... not be able to earn by investing their savings ?

the problem ... is the lack of opportunity for those without the silver-spoon nest eggs...

I personally have made lots of money in the past.... to the tune of thousands a day...but It was not what I wanted....

I am now far happier making a hundred a day.... doing something I am proud of....

what we need... is the simple source of capital for people to be able to pursue their dreams... pursue worthy goals... that are not simply based on monetary profit.... I think we would see an exodus of the 1%ers

[-] 3 points by flip (5207) 2 months ago

you have been reading too much mainstream history. what socialism might you be talking about- the ussr - a state capitalist system! capitalism might be fine for small business but not for the means of production. tell me this - under your version of capitalism can one man or company own the water supply? can they sell our water to the highest bidder - like china?

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

see previous

[-] 3 points by flip (5207) 2 months ago

ok - so what about the water question - you seemed to be defending capitalism and if that is the case there are some problems with that stance. we agree that the system could be more fair - what Keynes and fdr did to save capitalism was good - we need to do the same thing again but there is an inherent problem with the idea of private ownership - not of personal belongings but the commons. also you might address what I said about socialism - seems to me we have not seen socialism yet - we have for sure seen capitalism

[-] 2 points by wickerman (59) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

"We can also tax... the profits away from the few.... We can also print more money to provide capital for the non few (the 99%) to be able to compete ... which also dilutes and devalues the power of the few ... and many other ways which involve a governmental intervention ... which will also find it's way to corruption.... We need a way that does not rely on any governmental or committee control ......." Federal reserve. Currently the US does not mint it's own money, the Federal Reserve does, and that money enters circulation in the form of interest bearing loans. The process is controlled by the rich for the rich. Were the government to mint it's own money to pay it's way, that money would indeed devalue that money already in circulation, and thereby reduce the fortunes of the 1%. You have a very good point.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

We can also tax... the profits away from the few.... We can also print more money to provide capital for the non few (the 99%) to be able to compete ... which also dilutes and devalues the power of the few

and many other ways which involve a governmental intervention ... which will also find it's way to corruption.... We need a way that does not rely on any governmental or committee control .......

corruption is nature, a corrupt official will not be able to lie and cheat like a private sources that does its functions in secret

[Deleted]

[-] 7 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 months ago

I'm advocating an economy based on cooperatives that are run by the workers and the communities. That way people will have control over their own lives and work.

[Deleted]

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 months ago

I didn't refute your claim. Sure, there'd be public ownership. The economic institutions would be run and owned collectively by the participants and the ones affected. Decentralized socialism if you will.

[-] 1 points by Durvasa (-4) from Davie, FL 4 months ago

cool, an alternative to capitalism or economy. Now anybody got any ideas about the new religious or political system?

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

I need to clarify something. "It is the anti-authoritarian socialism that opposes all forms of authoritarian systems and illegitimate hierarchies, and instead wants a free, non-hierarchical society with collective ownership of the means of production."

Now when I think public ownership I think that is in fact the government, by the people for the people. Isn't that what the government is supposed to be? Public ownership?

Let's say the democracy of one community decides to create something that harms the planet and everyone else. How does that and our government (public ownership) all fit together when you say something like non-hierarchical society?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

But there can be decentralized public ownership. In short term perspective the government can be given certain tasks to improve the lives of the population, but in long term perspective we should try to create a society with as little concentration of power as possible. Power shouldn't lie in an authoritarian state, and it shouldn't lie in the hands of powerful corporations, it should lie in the hands of the communities and the workforce. Then people will be in control over their own lives, and not having to be ruled or dominated by some outside force.

If someone does something that's harmful for others, then the people affected should have a say in these decisions. Libertarian socialism/anarcho-syndicalism is not about every cooperative or community for itself, it's about creating a highly organized society with democracy on all levels; it's about creating a democracy from below, so that your say in things is proportional to how much you're affected.

[-] 2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

One more thought. Participatory democracy which advocates more involved forms of citizen participation causes me to cringe a little. Most people really just don't want to participate. "We don't want power, we don't want to be congressmen, or bankers....we want to be ourselves."

I can sympathize with that. I would much rather focus my energy on the things I'm more interested and talented with. I simply don't want to wrap my head around diplomacy and economics. I would rather be able to trust that simple truth can keep things functional and free for everyone.

Think about how most people have their face buried in a cell phone. They want to enjoy life and make friends. We could very well end up with the same, power hungry, trickster people being the ones to pay attention and take advantage, while normal, modest people remain more concerned about their own state of being alive.

What do you think? What would stop the power hungry from dominating the distracted? Don't get me wrong, I strongly agree that something independent like this is the right formula to protect our united rights. But what can really solve the problem of democracy in that way?

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

Most of the participation would be at local level: in your neighborhood, at the workplace and your local community. What you want to contribute with and participate in should be up to you. If someone doesn't want to participate, if they don't want to have more control over their own lives, then that's up to them, but I think most people would like to contribute.

Libertarian socialism prevents authoritarian structures because power always lies in the local communities. Delegates would be elected from the group to which they belong, and would have to take orders from them.

I think Norwegian anarchist Syphilia Morgenstierne summed up the, in my view at least, ideal form of organization for a modern society pretty well:

"Anarcho-syndicalism is unionism with direct democracy. In syndicalism individuals organize not by craft, but by location -- it does after all not make much sense if nurses and engineers have to fight over the same money. Syndicalism is about organizing the entire business, as well as the entire city or town. Direct democracy is practiced by careful balance between town meetings and voting; and education and training, so that there'll be more "strong" votes. Power-oriented "clicks" will then be suppressed.

The association between these syndicates, or clubs, can be seen not as something superior, but something equal, or inferior. These are called federations. The delegates in these federations have voting power proportional to the number of members they represent; they are elected for only one period, and they don't receive any form of remuneration. The ones in charge in this kind of organization, are the individual members. This system is well organized, well tested various places around the world, and it's a very democratic system."

--Syphilia Morgenstierne

[-] 2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Aye, it does seem like enough people would be interested for that positive affect, even in America.

So what happens to the corporations in power right now that are spread out in various forms all over the globe? Would they be split up into localized components, or would they remain a larger organism of operations, just with publicly owned regulation? It seems like a hierarchy model does work pretty well in some cases, and I'm mostly playing devil's advocate, but I'm not thinking of a good example right now (besides the military). Anyone?

Also, what if someone has a great idea but it's way ahead of its time and goes against the comfort zone of most people. Let's say it needs great resources to accomplish but nobody votes in favor of it. Let's say people think it's stupid, but if it actually happened they would be totally amazed and enlightened. How can you experiment with big ideas if absolutely everything is democratic?

Here's what makes me cringe a little too, groupthink. Would that rule the world?

"Power-oriented "clicks" will then be suppressed." <-- by what? Gang mentality is most common. People want to be accepted, and in fact fear of disapproval can dominate a personality.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

Corporations are illegitimate structures in my opinion. The economic institutions must be democratized and controlled by the ones affected. I've written a little bit about what we should do here: https://occupywallst.org/forum/how-do-we-fight-capitalism/

In a libertarian socialist society there'd be an effort to seek out and try to dismantle all forms of hierarchies --and that certainly includes multinational corporations.

Hierarchies work very well... for the ones at the top. As I pointed out in the post, we should fight all forms of authoritarian systems, and try to replace them with a democracy built and controlled from below. That way the system would work well for the people, not the CEOs.

Well, just think about how many great ideas that are never realized today because of lack of resources etc. In a LS society, great ideas and creative solutions would flourish, because people would be free to participate and contribute with their ideas. Also, if you have an idea that few supports, there's no stopping you from asking others to help you with your project etc.

Not everything is democratic. Things that only affect you is your business. Things that involve more people should be decided by the ones involved and affected.

Power oriented clicks will be suppressed by the way the system is organized. The system prevents power hungry individuals from gaining power.

[-] 0 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

What would stop you is that nobody wants to help you. And you say this system would prevent dominant personality by the way it's organized, but how? I want to be clear about what you're suggesting, because you're saying to abolish all forms of hierarchy, but that's exactly what levels and rules are, with or without democracy.

The classic story is being cast out by society and having to prove an idea on your own. How could that happen if everyone controlled everything? Nothing would allow you to build a factory, or waste funding on research that the sky was falling. I think that was the real American dream, that anyone could pursue their dreams, and sometimes the world isn't flat, it's round despite prevailing thought.

Imagine it from the point of view of an artist. You're trying to create a vision that nobody else understands, but countless people are all trying to assert their personality into everything.

And what about group-think? Didn't Hitler become so powerful because he was popular? Maybe that's a bad example because things can be much more subtle, but the point is that groups of people are a completely different animal.

Anyone can voice their opinion even now, unrelated to democracy. I'm not sure that more people would have more opportunity, because if everything was decided by everyone then the law of averages would dictate that we'd have less. If elitist profiteers weren't undermining technology and our system was allowed to promote itself then that would cause people to have more opportunity.

Think about this in terms of absolutes. On one hand you have no democracy, like an artist, but also limited to a singular view. On the other you have total democracy, unlimited in view, but at the same time confined by group dynamics. It’s a great idea for a lot of things, like grocery stores, but for example try to picture the military without having a chain of command, it'd be a mess.

Nature has been doing things a lot longer than we have, and what will always kill the natural world are the extremes. Balance is key and I don't think this is any different. We need democracy to keep structure serving the people, and we need structure to keep democracy from becoming oppressive.

I'm not convinced we understand the extent of these things, and instead of diving headlong from one extreme right into another, I think we should start with the most necessary changes and take it slow from there, experimenting while trying to understand the impact our transformation has.

The public ownership of world resources and necessities that affect everyone, along with a government that can truly apply democratic regulation, seems like the right idea to start with.

What is democracy? Without the combination of education and free speech it is nothing but the justification of opinion. -- just like the manipulative comment point system of this forum.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

"What would stop you is that nobody wants to help you"

Sure. And then you'd have to continue to try toconvince others to help you. That's how it is to live in a society with other people. You can't get your will all the time.

"And you say this system would prevent dominant personality by the way it's organized, but how?"

S.Morgenstierne explained it.

"because you're saying to abolish all forms of hierarchy, but that's exactly what levels and rules are, with or without democracy."

No, it's not. There's no contradiction between having a classless society and at the same rules and representation.

"I think that was the real American dream, that anyone could pursue their dreams"

If this dream includes wanting to exploit workers and have undemocratic control over others, then that shouldn't be allowed.

In a classless society where no one controls others, people are free to control their own lives and work.

"And what about group-think? Didn't Hitler become so powerful because he was popular?"

His lies, his demagogy, his scapegoating, this made him popular, and he took advantage of the parliamentary system and state power. In a libertarian socialist society, power hungry people like Hitler would be prevented from gaining power. The system would stop him immediately. When hierarchies are being dismantled, there'll be no hierarchies to take over.

"We need democracy to keep structure serving the people, and we need structure to keep democracy from becoming oppressive."

A libertarian socialist democracy would not be oppressive, because it would be controlled from below, allowing the individual to have control over its own life and work.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17968) 4 months ago

"If this dream includes wanting to exploit workers and have undemocratic control over others, then that shouldn't be allowed."

A little etymology, by the man who coined the term.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=American+dream

( For those that never follow my links)

"[The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position. [Adams] Others have used the term as they will."

A misused term, indeed.

[-] 0 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Alright one more thing. Who said anything about classless society? That sounds awesome. I was talking about hierarchy, like an artist, or the military. Or any rules that dictate from above, like thou shall not kill, or someone running their company the way they want to.

People should have a choice of what kind of buisness they make. If it's a good buisness it would do well. We need artists and leaders, as well as fairness, not one or the other. Something modular, bottom up and top down at the same time, like a circulatory system?

Maybe i'm too accustomed to hierarchy in programming languages. Is this semantics?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

In a classless society hierarchic structures would be down to the minimum. No matter what kind of society we live in, we should always try to find structures of hierarchy and domination, and dismantle them if they're illegitimate.

We don't need leaders; we need a democracy from below in which the ones electing representatives are the ones in charge.


No one's talking about "total democracy". I'm talking about a democracy in which your say in things is proprtional to how much you're affected. AGain, what only affects you is your business, what affects you and your friends, is you and your friends business, and so on.

Libertarian socialism is about strengthening both collective and individual rights. You can't have good individual rights without at the same time having good collective solutions.

What should I explain? She is a norwegian anarchist and has written books on the topic. I quoted her from a lecture I heard.

There will always be disagreements -- and that's why we have discussions, debates, and democratic process. And this should be done by the ones affected by the decisions.

In a classless society, things associated with defense should be handled the same way other things would be handled: controlled from below, and with as little structures of authority and domination as possible. Also, in a classless society, there'd be less reasons for people to become involved in crime and violent conflict, so spending would be far less then in today's society.

There are and have been many societies, businesses etc where there has been much more participation then in the US for example. The main problem is that we have a system that discourages and prevents participation way too much.

[Removed]

[-] -2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

You are talking about total democracy, that's what having your say being proportional to how much you're affected is. Things that only affect you are isolation, but we all have to live together.

So I did some research. Apparently it's commonly known that too much democracy is oppressive, but I found some better verbiage, much more politically minded than I am. And since I came to pretty much the same conclusion by looking only at the universe, I think that bodes pretty well for the argument.

Politics is a euphemism for 'control of the collective means of violence backed coercion', the essential core around which 'society' exists and interacts. And a completely democratic society would mean completely political.

Individual liberty fails immediately by virtue of the fact that you cannot opt out of a democratic political society: if my neighbor gets to vote on all aspects of 'any arrangement by which people organize their lives', then clearly my individual wish regarding my own life is by no means my choice unless that choice is quite literally a popular one.

To maintain such a condition of total political governance requires the use of force to prevent any consensual but not democratically sanctioned acts between individuals. To maintain this suppression of spontaneous several relationships, a collectivist socialist society must be organized and structured in certain ways that make it indistinguishable from a collectivist socialist state.

Now of course all societies have laws, however the collectivist places the protection of the political collective as more important than the individual. If the political collective says 'a factory may not put dioxin in Dick's lungs because we want a more environmentally safe place to live for all of us', then that is the law because the political collective has said so, not because Dick has the right to control the contents of his own lungs.

But if they say 'a factory may indeed put dioxin in Dick's lungs because we want a better economy and more stuff for the rest of us' then that too is the voice of the collective. If Dick does not like it, well, it is 'only through interaction with others in political activity and civic action that individuals will fully realize their humanity'. If Dick is the minority, he'll have to suck it.

Forget constitutions that constrain democracy because those are anti-democratic (which is rather the point). And forget custom and culture as a means to moderate interactions because that is not political. Every aspect of life is subject to the views of a plurality of other people, with no inalienable truth.

How can the individual rights of people be insulated from the democratic political process which may seek to abridge them? You can either have complete democracy enshrined or, as the American founding fathers tried with limited success, you can have individual rights enshrined and placed outside the reach of democratic politics.

Unlike a voluntary collectivist commune, you cannot just walk out the door of a collectivist 'society' and begin private arrangements with other willing people if the majority do not want you to do that: they can in fact deputize the use of violence to prevent it. Put another way, this democratic society is in fact a state but organized to enforce the political will of the plurality on an epic scale.

Is the collective mind a better idea then dictatorship? It's the same thing, except that groups of people can become the most irrational animal, especially when dominated by the assertive personalities who take advantage of them. Take it from Nature, the secret to Ying and Yang is balance.

Libertarian socialism is individualist collectivism; ergo an oxymoron. In reality this is a locally organized totalitarianism that completely invalidates individual liberty. It's also the perfect trap, because at first glance it appears so good. But I'm finding that these things are already so well understood, it's only used now as a trap to lure the uneducated, like me.

We need a level of democracy that we don't have now, that much is for sure.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

A lot of hairsplitting here. I also wondered sometimes what you were actually responding to.

Like I said, good individual rights are dependent on good collective solutions, as well as equality -- including economic equality. Only in a classless, non-hierarchical society are individuals free from authority and domination. In other words, Libertarian Socialism is not in any way an oxymoron, it’s a society where real individual freedom is realized. It’s a society where individuals control their own lives, where the ones affected by the decision-making are the ones making the decisions.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Are you the same person as stuggleforfreedom90?

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

You have to change your statement to this: In a classess, non-hierarchical and also democracy-free society are individuals free from authority. Isn't that anarchy? You're saying a lot of things that sound good, but they wouldn't actually work the same way in reality, just like an oxymoron.

This isn't hairsplitting, it's a valid argument. You say that true individual freedom would be realized, as if people would actually agree on everything. Not everyone will, and there goes the variety of individuality because the democratic society is law (backed by means of force).

People have a million different opinions about everything, and that's what our contitutions protect. Think about it, no independent and politically neutral courts would be stepping in to support the objective and several rights of Dick against the collective because that would be undemocratic.

Like our founding fathers realized, we need both. Golden rules placed outside the reach of democratic politics in order to keep the foundation of civilization. The problem is democracy has been subverted, so we don't really have it for anything, and total dictatorship isn't the answer either.

Our government was trying for this: nobody hurt each other, but otherwise do whatever you want. But, what you're suggesting would amount to popular opinion designing everything, just like a dictatorship. Collective solutions yes, but democracy from the bottom up to become law is a different animal.

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

"Isn't that just anarchy?"

Yeah, sure. Libertarian Socialism is basically the same as anarchism.

"You say the ones affected by the decision-making are the ones making the decisions as if people would actually agree on everything."

No I don't. Of course there will be disagreement. And that's why everyone should have a say in the things that affect their lives.

"and there goes their individual rights because the democratic society is law."

On the contrary. One of the most important rights an individual can have is the right to a say in the things that affect its life. When a decision affects person a, b and c, the decision shouldn't be made only by person a or a and c; all three should have an equal say -- in other words, democracy. The alternative to all three having an equal say in the decisions that affect all three would be some kind of system in which one individual is dominated and controlled by others.

A democracy should, like I said, be built and controlled from below. Then an individual's say in things would be proportional to how much it's a part of and affected by these things.

"Our government was trying for this: nobody hurt each other, but otherwise be whatever you want."

As long as there's flow of capital, resources concentrated in the hands of powerful owners, this is extremely naive and a superficial way of looking at it.

We need to democratize the economy and create a classless, non-hierarchical society; a society where no one can control and dominate others. Then, and only then, can we live based on that principle.

I'm not that fond of constitutions. Ideally it should be the population that lives today that should get decide what kind of society they have to live in, not dead slave owners.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Not on the contrary. If everyone wants to put a loud night club on the 2nd floor of every apartment in the city, and i'm part of the minority who doesn't, i better pack my bags, take myself and my sick mother, and hit the road, just to find the same kind of bullshit happening everywhere.

People have a say in their communities right now. And yes, we need democracy to regulate the economic monopoly. But you're talking about democracy that could do whatever it gosh damn wanted, a society defined by holy wars. Not only that you're talking about decentralizing infrastructure like the state and military which organize resources to confront all kinds of threats to survival.

My whole life I've been advocating that sharing opens all doors, bigger, better, stronger and faster. But even to me it's obvious that totalitarian democracy is not even remotely what you think it'd be. And sure, it might just work out in some areas with like-minded people, not to mention things like grocery stores. But you're not even trying to consider what might actually happen, to transform everything into another extreme, so whatever.

And you try to defend this by saying that anything else would be dictatorship? Talk about naive. You've not once acknowledged that I'm talking about finding balance. All you can do is keep saying the same thing over and over without any kind of illustrative example. But this is why you want comment voting, and that makes perfect sense.

I think we've had our say, no worries.

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

I think total democracy would be oppressive, because yeah, you couldn't do exactly what you wanted. Like spend funding on research that the sky was falling. Or that you couldn't be an artist because everyone that worked for you would be asserting their personality upon it, et cetera.

Nobody should be able to do what they want if it hurts other people, that's the other extreme. That's way I'm saying there has to be some kind of balance between democracy and structure, or lets say between democracy and liberty.

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

You're chopping up the statements and not answering the real questions. I knew you'd jump on Hitler, but the point was that groups of people are a completely different animal (and not always rational).

We definitely need democracy in a lot of places, but we also need to establish liberty. I looked up Morgenstierne and nothing jumped out. Would you care to explain? And why so sure of their opinion?

An individual would have control over their own life, if they were isolated. We all live together, and people conflict. Everything would get carried away by groupthink. Please understand that groups of people never sit still. Groups will step on the toes of other groups, without some kind of hierarchy you're going to have war. Isn't that what the Constitution is, the highest rule?

There has to be a balance of ying and yang. If you don't believe me then take it from nature. And what about the military? It helps protect us from natural disasters, not to mention the unknown. And the military, like an artist, needs chain of command.

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Ok, here, "Direct democracy is practiced by careful balance between town meetings and voting; and education and training, so that there'll be more "strong" votes. Power-oriented "clicks" will then be suppressed."

I've been to town meetings, that's where you go if you want to see power-oriented clicks. Normal people don't care about this stuff. Maybe that works in farm communities. Not everyone everywhere is so enlightened. In a perfect world everyone would get along, but that isn't going to happen because everyone is different. We don't have to get along, but we do have to live together.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

collective ownership of the means of production.

who builds the roads?

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

The workers build them and the ones who are going to be using them (society/community) pay :)

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

hmm.. ok... so who sets the price for what the users have to pay ?

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

Production, remuneration, distribution etcetcetc is decided democratically by the ones involved.

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

oh pure democracy ?

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

Sure.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

What if I don't wanna use the roads. I like walking better than driving.

[-] 0 points by zzx375 (3) 4 months ago

"...There is another proposal. It's about creating a society where the means of production are controlled not by powerful capitalists, nor by a powerful state, but instead by the workers and communities...."

Interesting. Remove the word "collective" and substitute the word "communities" and you have made the definition of Soviet style communism no less palatable. Would substituting the word "training camp" for the word "gulag" make the latter more palatable?

And for some global perspective, if you make $30,000/yr or more YOU are in the global 1%. And the practical global perspective exercise for this is to practice the "rolling famine" for at least a week. For the "family of four", Janine eats on Monday, A-aron eats on Tuesday, Mom eats on Wednesday, Dad eats on Thursday, then repeat.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

I'm sorry, that made no sense.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

Are you not in favour of communism?

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

Yeah, pretty much.

[-] 1 points by zzx375 (3) 4 months ago

What made no sense? What do you mean? Are you part of the global 1% and that bothers you?

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

So help me understand this. So a lot of us in the West are pretty well off compared to the majority of the world's population. And what's your point? Are people who are able to live decent lives not allowed to have principles, or think that wealth should be distributed more equally? What are you saying?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21327) 4 months ago

I would argue that most people in the West are living on debt and so their wealth is not real. Most people in the West live way over their means and therefore, their standard of living is a sham.

The 1% and corporations have hoarded all the wealth because capitalism allows them to do this. It is a failed economic system. And, then the rich and corporations "allow" the masses to live in debt which in a way covers up the economic tyranny that they are under.

Thanks for this great and informative post.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

Sure, but I said that compared to the majority of the world's population, many of us in the west are pretty well off. Compared to the hundreds of millions of people in 3rd world countries living in often extreme poverty, a teacher with a mortgage is much better off.

Yep, corporations are in control. First they made sure that wages stagnated or declined, then they lent the working class the money instead. In other words, they didn't have to pay more in wages + they earned enormous sums on the interest. Brilliant!

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21327) 4 months ago

Compared, for sure. But people must remember the debt! The economic tyranny and chains they have put us all in! Just because we're not as bad off as third world countries doesn't make it right and doesn't mean that it is sustainable and that we won't one day end up as bad off as a third world country. What a scam they have pulled off!

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

Agreed.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

That collectivism simply does not work.

[-] 0 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

This is pretty damn good. I've been trying to drive at something like this with democratic regulation of world resources and independent communities. Language is tough. The way you put something doesn't always translate the same in everyone's mind.

Means of production seems like a bit more then just sharing the planet, I'm not even sure the extent of what that means. But after looking through a few Wikipedia links it all seems pretty good. Please, don't let this topic sink.

I think we can start by challenging the private ownership of these world resources that should be democratically regulated. After all isn't that what we're really fighting? Get money out of politics sure, but does that really solve the problem compared to this?

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[-] 1 points by cheViva (21) 5 months ago

Can you see this? An alternative to capitalism needn't involve a thing about governance, although money and power are way too tied up in washington.

https://github.com/EM-Che/Appropriate-building-technology/wiki let's build these concepts here

Basically not using money. One relevant thing to ask is where will you be, a house, apartment, car, streets, forest, rural area, city, etc? Hmmmmm http://freeworldcharter.org/

Good idea, akapak knew a guy in Redwood city, CA who he and his wife had a tiny house . Be sweet to see one of those roll up to the occupy lol.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

The freeworldcharter intro video is as far as i got, so maybe point out anything else about it. Who's going to fix those machines? Who's going to do a great many things? Some people would do things out of boredom, curiosity or adventure, but certainly not everything, especially the things that aren't fun. Our society would quickly be defined by laziness and indulgence. Just look at us now, and things aren't even that available.

But I agree. Money being energy is horrifying to me. It's artificial energy, worse than GMO McDonalds, and you can see plainly how it derails life from the path of reality. Money creates money for example. We have a pretty good equation, almost: individual rights enshrined and placed outside the reach of democratic politics (but if only we had actual democracy for the economic vitalities). But yeah, eliminating money from the equation could solve the equation.

You need a better job, for better money, for a better living situation? How about a better job for a better living situation? And how about population control? Especially if the world was more functional, we have to deal with population control sooner then later already. If people had some kind of allowance to how many kids they should have, it could be enhanced by your contribution, providing an additional level of motivation. That's a hard one to talk about, but you get the idea.

What if everyone had a type of visa depending on their work? You know what, this would actually be a society based entirely on class (not a hierarchy class but a modular one). Sort of interesting to think about. Sort of ruins the flavor of it, but how can you create motivation without giving people a reward system to strive for?

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[-] -1 points by Freedomfeen (9) 4 months ago

Just to be clear, you are not advocating for using force or violence right? So if someone owns a factory or small business now, how will you implement workplace democracy? Will you take the factory by force? What if the owner doesn't want you to take it? Will you use violence?

Also you are advocating that all this be done voluntarily right? Without using the state violence to acheive your ends?

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

"Just to be clear, you are not advocating for using force or violence right?"

Yes I am! The rich and powerful are not going to give away all their privileges voluntarily.They have to be taken from them. I have absolutely no problem with taking property away from people who control and dominate others. The multinational corporations and the financial elite have an overwhelming control over the economy and our lives. They have to be stripped from their power so that individuals can be free to control their own lives. This "voluntarism" that ancaps and others are talking about is just an illusion, given the maldistribution of wealth and power.

Real individual freedom and voluntary association are only achieved in a free and classless society.

"So if someone owns a factory or small business now, how will you implement workplace democracy?"

Thru organization in the local community and elsewhere, support for a participatory democracy can be acieved. When support has grown big enough, workers and communities can take over the economic institutions and run them democratically. A libertarian socialist society can only come when the people want it.

"Also you are advocating that all this be done voluntarily right? Without using the state violence to acheive your ends?"

As a libertarian socialist I think capitalism and the state must be destroyed together. However, if there are politicians and parties concerned with weakening the power of the corporations and strengthening the rights of the workers and communities, they could play a role. The important work, however, is what's being done in between elections.

[-] 1 points by Freedomfeen (9) 4 months ago

In a practical sense, lets consider what you are suggesting. You vote (which is immoral but i will leave that alone for brevity's sake) to elect someone who agrees with you. They get elected. Do you get to write and enforce the laws they will enact? Lobbyists will write the law, don't think so? Then your dreaming. Well now its written, it goes to the floor to be debated. It gets knocked around and changed here and there and now resembles nothing close to what you intended. So now the law goes into effect. Guess what? It's enforced by people who do not share your opinions and have nothing in common with you. Sounds like a great way to go about things doesn't it? If you think politicians will ever represent you, I've got a bridge me and my cousin built-we'll give you a real good price.

The way to take power away from the rich and powerful is to use force? The rich and powerful control the state not you, you and people like you will never control the state. If you did control the state it would corrupt and destroy you like it does everyone else. Using the state to stop powerful interests is like using gasoline to put out a fire.

Do you not realize that the state is what the elite used to gain power? If you use the "ring of power" yourself and you achieve your ends, then what? What happens when you lose power? The power of the state will be used against you and your interests. The idea of hijacking the power to initiate force and using it to your advantage is akin to using the "ring of power" from lord of the rings. It will not work and you will have changed nothing.

Capitalism is not the problem. Voluntary exchange of goods and services has provided us the highest standard of living humanity has ever seen. The computer your typing on is the result of the market, so is your phone, your shirt and your food. Crapitalism is the problem, the marriage of corporate and state power. Resetting from zero in a purely free market, corporations would never develop because the market would be opened to all comers. The corporations state granted patents would be rendered powerless to stop copy cats, their competitors no longer needing to conform to the regulators (which have been captured by the corpoations-see regulatory capture), entrants to the market would no longer have artificial barriers to entry-corporations would see their power diminish back to the level of small companies and businesses over the long term. The last thing corporations want is a free market. Regulations exist to increase the power of the corporations not protect the consumer, hence the term regulatory capture.

Any change you achieve by using a monopoly of violence is false change and will not last. The only peace that lasts is one gained slowly over time as people change and become educated about the world, not by forcing something to happen.

Calling something an "illusion" is not an argument and is akin to putting your fingers in your ears and saying : "la la la la la your stupid"

The way to truly take their power away is through technologies like Bitcoin, Namecoin and 3D Printing. New decentralized and distributed technologies that cannot be stopped will render their power useless, beginning with the power to create and control money.

I don't see how them having a great deal of wealth and power can stop the creation of decentralized technologies that render them obsolete.

Individuals will never be free to control their own lives as long as a monopoly organization exists which has the ability to create arbitrary law and initiate force at will. Until you address that elephant in the room, you have changed nothing. No one should have the ability to use force except in defense.

Voluntary association is achieve by removing the gun from the situation. The gun is force. Every law is a gun. Society will never be classless because there will always be some people who are more gifted or lucky than others. People will never and should never be equal, that is a pipe dream.

So workers will take over the factory? What if the owner doesn't want them to? Will you use violence? Will you kill the owner? Why not start your own factories that conform to your ideals instead of using violence?

If you are advocating for a statist system, you are no better than the elites. Find a way to offer your solutions voluntarily without stooping to their level and enslaving your fellow man so that you can have what you want.

If you advocate for a state than want me locked up in a cage or killed for disagreeing with you. What If I don't want to go along with your plans? Will you force me to? What if I resist?

Please see my post here for more info about why your wrong to advocate violence: http://occupywallst.org/forum/your-not-an-anarchist-if-you-initiate-force-and-ut/#comment-1026204

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 4 months ago

Yes, states and corporations are tightly linked. That's why I think that they should be destroyed together.

Capitalism is the problem. Capitalism does not mean voluntary exchange. Capitalism means private ownership of the means of production. There can be markets without capitalism (cf market socialism). It is private ownership of the means of production that must be abolished. This kind of organization creates hierarchy and domination. Capitalism should be replaced by democracy -- including workplace democracy.

Oh, and by the way: computers, the internet and so on, were mainly developed in the state sector.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHsN44UzvII

In a so-called free capitalist market corporations would -- after being handed even more wealth and power than they have today thru tax cuts and further privatization -- be free to buy up competitors, merge, create huge conglomerates, buy up huge areas and resources and accumulate enormous wealth and power. It would be total corporate tyranny.

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

I'm also for gradual change, for example by creating cooperatives and workplaces owned and run democratically by the communities and the workforce, but existing institutions must also be dealt with. The whole economy must be democratized.

suppose we were back when kings and their associates owned most of the wealth. Should we have just left the king alone and tried to create something "on the side", or should we also overthrow the tyrannical monarchs as well?

The financial elite have not been democratically elected by the people, yet they still have a lot of power over our economy and our lives. This is unacceptable.

The ancap version of voluntarism -- the starving single mother "agreeing" to work for a huge powerful corporation for $6 an hour in order to barely survive -- has nothing to do with voluntarism. You have to take into account the distribution of wealth and power. Only in a classless society are people really free.

Bitcoin is not the solution. The solution is democracy -- creating a society in which workplaces, neighborhoods, communities and so on are run democratically by the ones who work and live there.

People are different, and that's good, but I'm talking about economic equality. The resources that a modern and wealthy society provides us should be shared more equally. That way everyone can be free to contribute based on their own creativity and ideas.

If owners and others refused to accept the laws decided thru democratic process, they'd be stopped, of course.

"What If I don't want to go along with your plans?"

You're free to have that opinion, of course.

"Will you force me to?"

In order to avoid consequences, you'd have to follow the rules decided by the people.

"What if I resist?"

You mean breaking the law? Then you'd be stopped

[-] -1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

Perhaps the best way to get to the solution of the factory situation is to simply start organizing and see where it takes you. Crazy things happen when momentum is built.

Until the populace realizes that they can buy shirts of the same quality and help their neighbors by purchasing from them instead of walmart, then not much is going to change.

Couples needs to make $200 a day to get by. How many tshirts is that after expenses? 20 a day perhaps. 600 a month. Thats a lot of tshirts.

I would be interested in knowing how many tshirts our local Sears sells. Or Walmart or Target, in a month.

Probably the best way to achieve this would be to bring back real marketplaces- need to convince the populace its in their best interest to stay away from the malls.

After reading through this, we need a major culture change.

[-] 1 points by Freedomfeen (9) 4 months ago

If people opened businesses without permission and resisted state aggression against their peaceful market operations things would be very different. If a true free market arose we would be much better off.

[-] -3 points by IndigoRed (45) 4 months ago

What if I told you capitalism is a reward system for those few and exceptional who make the sacrifice of living out their lives in joy in order to become experts in a field or build solutions to problems they feel they can fix, and that the rest of you plebians are supposed to shut up, stay ignorant, continue to bend to the system and buy our products. What if.

[-] 3 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

what if you lived in the real world? Chomsky on capitalism -

""Personally I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions in the society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level -- there's a little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy."

"...capitalism is basically a system where everything is for sale, and the more money you have, the more you can get. And, in particular, that's true of freedom. Freedom is one of the commodities that is for sale, and if you are affluent, you can have a lot of it. It shows up in all sorts of ways. It shows up if you get in trouble with the law, let's say, or in any aspect of life it shows up. And for that reason it makes a lot of sense, if you accept capitalist system, to try to accumulate property, not just because you want material welfare, but because that guarantees your freedom, it makes it possible for you to amass that commodity. [...] what you're going to find is that the defense of free institutions will largely be in the hands of those who benefit from them, namely the wealthy, and the powerful. They can purchase that commodity and, therefore, they want those institutions to exist, like free press, and all that."

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

Why do you deify Noam Chomsky as if he is the most right of all of the intellectuals for all time? You don't even refer to Cornel West or Howard Zinn!

[-] -2 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

no one has deified anyone - noam just happens to lay things out better than most. zinn is great but even he says chomsky is a better historian than he is! and why not comment on what was written instead of making assumptions about what I think?

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

That is your opinion. I personally Noam is a collectivist anarchist. He just seems to be referred to as to voice of reason by many on this site for some reason.

[-] -1 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

care to comment on this by noam - or would you rather say something inane like- "I prefer to walk" - here Is noam - "In the past several months, we have been provided with instructive lessons on the nature of state power and the forces that drive state policy. And on a closely related matter: the subtle, differentiated concept of transparency.

The source of the instruction, of course, is the trove of documents about the National Security Agency surveillance system released by the courageous fighter for freedom Edward J. Snowden, expertly summarized and analyzed by his collaborator Glenn Greenwald in his new book, “No Place to Hide.”

The documents unveil a remarkable project to expose to state scrutiny vital information about every person who falls within the grasp of the colossus – in principle, every person linked to the modern electronic society.

Nothing so ambitious was imagined by the dystopian prophets of grim totalitarian worlds ahead.

It is of no slight import that the project is being executed in one of the freest countries in the world, and in radical violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which protects citizens from “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and guarantees the privacy of their “persons, houses, papers and effects.”

Much as government lawyers may try, there is no way to reconcile these principles with the assault on the population revealed in the Snowden documents.

It is also well to remember that defense of the fundamental right to privacy helped to spark the American Revolution. In the 18th century, the tyrant was the British government, which claimed the right to intrude freely into the homes and personal lives of American colonists. Today it is American citizens’ own government that arrogates to itself this authority.

Britain retains the stance that drove the colonists to rebellion, though on a more restricted scale, as power has shifted in world affairs. The British government has called on the NSA “to analyse and retain any British citizens’ mobile phone and fax numbers, emails and IP addresses, swept up by its dragnet,” The Guardian reports, working from documents provided by Snowden.

British citizens (like other international customers) will also doubtless be pleased to learn that the NSA routinely receives or intercepts routers, servers and other computer network devices exported from the United States so that it can implant surveillance tools, as Greenwald reports in his book.

As the colossus fulfills its visions, in principle every keystroke might be sent to President Obama’s huge and expanding databases in Utah.

In other ways too, the constitutional lawyer in the White House seems determined to demolish the foundations of our civil liberties. The principle of the presumption of innocence, which dates back to Magna Carta 800 years ago, has long been dismissed to oblivion.

Recently The New York Times reported the “anguish” of a federal judge who had to decide whether to allow the force-feeding of a Syrian prisoner who is on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment.

No “anguish” was expressed over the fact that he has been held without trial for 12 years in Guantanamo, one of many victims of the leader of the Free World, who claims the right to hold prisoners without charges and to subject them to torture.

These exposures lead us to inquire into state policy more generally and the factors that drive it. The received standard version is that the primary goal of policy is security and defense against enemies.

The doctrine at once suggests a few questions: security for whom, and defense against which enemies? The answers are highlighted dramatically by the Snowden revelations.

Policy must assure the security of state authority and concentrations of domestic power, defending them from a frightening enemy: the domestic population, which can become a great danger if not controlled.

It has long been understood that information about the enemy makes a critical contribution to controlling it. In that regard, Obama has a series of distinguished predecessors, though his contributions have reached unprecedented levels, as we have learned from the work of Snowden, Greenwald and a few others.

To defend state power and private economic power from the domestic enemy, those two entities must be concealed – while in sharp contrast, the enemy must be fully exposed to state authority.

The principle was lucidly explained by the policy intellectual Samuel P. Huntington, who instructed us that “Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.”

Huntington added a crucial illustration. In his words, “you may have to sell [intervention or other military action] in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union that you are fighting. That is what the United States has been doing ever since the Truman Doctrine” at the outset of the Cold War.

Huntington’s insight into state power and policy was both accurate and prescient. As he wrote these words in 1981, the Reagan administration was launching its war on terror – which quickly became a murderous and brutal terrorist war, primarily in Central America, but extending well beyond to southern Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

From that day forward, in order to carry out violence and subversion abroad, or repression and violation of fundamental rights at home, state power has regularly sought to create the misimpression that it is terrorists that we are fighting, though there are other options: drug lords, mad mullahs seeking nuclear weapons, and other ogres said to be seeking to attack and destroy us.

Throughout, the basic principle remains: Power must not be exposed to the sunlight. Edward Snowden has become the most wanted criminal in the world for failing to comprehend this essential maxim.

In brief, there must be complete transparency for the population, but none for the powers that must defend themselves from this fearsome internal enemy.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

I agree with abolishing large swaths of government which current exist (IE: the military), but what does this have to do with linguist Noam Chomsky?

[-] 0 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

I do not see what this piece has to do with abolishing swaths of government. first of all do you know the difference between the government and the "state" - this piece has nothing to do with noam's linguistics but I assume you know that so what can your comment mean except to distract. I will make it easy for you - here are a couple of punch lines from the article for you to comment on -"Huntington’s insight into state power and policy was both accurate and prescient. As he wrote these words in 1981, the Reagan administration was launching its war on terror – which quickly became a murderous and brutal terrorist war, primarily in Central America, but extending well beyond to southern Africa, Asia and the Middle East.......................... .Throughout, the basic principle remains: Power must not be exposed to the sunlight. Edward Snowden has become the most wanted criminal in the world for failing to comprehend this essential maxim.

In brief, there must be complete transparency for the population, but none for the powers that must defend themselves from this fearsome internal enemy"

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

Again I understand your contention about Edward snowden and transparency, but what does any of that have to with Noam Chomsky? Also, Noam Chomsky is a linguist, not a sociologist. His opinions carry no more weight than my do.

[-] 0 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

what difference does it make that he is a linguist? what matters is what he says and the evidence he uses to back up his points - so respond to his points or lets just end this silliness

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

But why him? Why not just present the facts yourself? Why use his name, if the facts themselves have credibility enough?

I personally don't find someone who promotes violence and anarchism and socialism to be all that credible.

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

who cares what you "find" - this is an anarchist site. and where do you see violence promoted? as to why I use him it is because he makes the point better than anyone - at least on this subject - care to comment on that subject or just like to make silly remarks - are you related to that little 99 guy who does the same

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

I thought it was a socialist site. Or at the very least an anti-capitalist site.

I like to criticise where criticism is due. Noam is not universally lauded, not even close.

This site is in favor of BETTER government, not no government.

[-] 0 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

your ignorance is showing! anarchists are not for "no government" - could you try to have something to say here - noam is not universally lauded - what does that mean - who is?? say something about what was written or don't say anything - yea that would be a good idea - don't say anything

[-] -1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

Anarchy literally means "one without rulers". In an anarchy, you can't even rule yourself.

Alright I shut up, I'll go quietly into the night just like you want me too. I will never ever give my opinion on anything ever again. I will covert to the church of flip and worship your infallible opinion on al. That is and all that ever will be.

NOT!!!!

Why are your opinions exempt from criticism? And yet mine are automatically invalidated simply because they conflict with yours?

I am trying to understand the Noam Chomsky fetish. I don't understand it.

[-] -2 points by flip (5207) 1 month ago

maybe English is your 2nd language - no rulers does not mean no government. read some anarchist literature and then discuss intelligently. last time I will ask. can you make a comment on what was written instead of saying stupid things about fetishes. and to be clear I explained it TWICE already - on the subjects of history and politics noam usually lays it out the best - the most simple and coherent explanation. on other subjects I might use max neef or alan watts or even Stephanie kelton - look them up

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

he's little long winded

probably an education from academia

but he explores subject I care about

[-] 0 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

Maybe english is my second language. What of it? Hablas espanol? Bet not. Parlez-vous français? Bet not.

Your opinion about Noam is yours. I think he is an ignorant hypocrite who promotes anarchism.

Not everyone is in love with Noam Chomsky.

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[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

How would you define those major institutions? Public ownership of world resources? Resources and necessities that affect everyone? Is there a clear definition the designates this from other kinds of business which have every right to be private?

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

first a question for you - can you have political democracy when you do not have economic democracy? I thought it was obvious what institutions he is talking about. you might start thinking about this in the follow the money mode. who has the trillions of dollars we all hear about that are sitting in offshore accounts, corporate accounts and private pockets. and how is the decision made to invest that money - who does that - that would be a start in finding those central institutions.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

I suppose the key word is economic then. You're right, what are politics compared to owning the world itself. That's probably why so much appears to be a puppet show, as hard as some people try, there's an unmovable force.

So we're looking for public ownership of the economy? Is there a better, more accurate way to say that?

Anything food related seems to work extremely well with democracy. I'm guessing the same would be true for energy, but what could that really change? Incentives for solar panels? What could really transform the motivation into clean energy, while there's still so much fossil fuel to be had? Clean energy would have to be worth more?

My t-shirt shop is part of the economy, right? How would you say the vital nessesities of economics?

[-] 2 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

the whole mess used to be called political economy since they were so obviously related. the ruling class separated the fields to keep us confused. it worked! yes public ownership of the means of production - not your t shirt shop or my tennis teaching business - or your house or car. certainly as a society - if we had any intelligence - we could allocate resources to move quickly towards conservation of energy and solar etc. would be easy and smart - read Buckminster fuller's "spaceship earth" from 1969 - he saw it then - very brilliant man. oil is getting harder and harder to get - miles below the ocean and tars sands - we need to move now!

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

I've been reading a lot of arguments for and against public ownership recently. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I'm starting to think the best solution is private ownership with the exception of government/democratic regulation. From what I understand we lost regulation, as well as democracy. Maybe we should focus on that?

We want things to meet the needs of society, not profit. So it makes sense not to have total private ownership or even total public ownership. For example public sector ultility companies haven't traditionally been successful because they also end up seeing an opportunity for profit. Having an alternative form regulating the other might just be nessessary.

I would personally like to see civilization educate itself away from the brainwashing of advertisement and commercialism. Maybe that's just a problem of capitalism and money in general. As long as we're using money I guess the only solution is education.

[-] -2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

What if I told you that capitalism was the freedom to rape and dominate the world while manipulating everyone else into a slave class that cultivated a singular view of reality. What if there were countless other reasons to be exceptional and contribute to something worth being.

[-] -2 points by IndigoRed (45) 4 months ago

What if there's only a handful of reasons to be exceptional in a world with countless troglodites who only think of making money only because they've realized they can't eat, fuck and have fun otherwise and that's it. Why are only a handful of humans capable of building these computers you are complaining on the internet with, neither of which you could begin to comprehend the inner workings of and how are these people able to begin building quantum computers? Canada has such a great social system and yet America is building these things.

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

what if you read and understood history? one more from noam - CHOMSKY: It goes back to the writing of the Constitution. They were pretty explicit. Madison saw a "danger" in democracy that was quite real and he responded to it. In fact, the "problem" was noticed a long time earlier. It's clear in Aristotle's Politics, the sort of founding book of political theory -- which is a very careful and thoughtful analysis of the notion of democracy. Aristotle recognizes that, for him, that democracy had to be a welfare state; it had to use public revenues to insure lasting prosperity for all and to insure equality. That goes right through the Enlightenment. Madison recognized that, if the overwhelming majority is poor, and if the democracy is a functioning one, then they'll use their electoral power to serve their own interest rather than the common good of all. Aristotle's solution was, "OK, eliminate poverty." Madison faced the same problem but his solution was the opposite: "Eliminate democracy."

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Water finds its way through cracks. People have been innovative long before capitalism, and in fact, capitalism is causing advanced technology to be undermined for the sake of elitist profiteers. That's a fact. Just because we've been using capitalism doesn't mean you should attribute the few things we've done entirely to it.

[-] -1 points by IndigoRed (45) 4 months ago

it is not a fact unless you give me evidence. Give me proof that the elite profiteer from patented technology. Show me how the world works in this simplistic view that you have of it

[-] 2 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

one last point that is obvious to anyone who can think - capitalism is not the really responsible for the rising wealth of the world - fossil fuels are. In particular oil - the most perfect of all fuels. here is the cato inst on that idea - Then mankind began to develop technologies to augment or displace living nature’s uncertain bounty. Gradually food supplies and nutrition improved and population, living standards, and human well-being advanced haltingly. The Industrial Revolution accelerated these trends. Mankind broke its Malthusian bonds. Growth became the norm. Population exploded, along with living standards and well-being.

Technologies dependent on cheap fossil fuels enabled these improving trends. Nothing can be made, transported, or used without energy, and fossil fuels provide 80 percent of mankind’s energy and 60 percent of its food and clothing. Thus, absent fossil fuels, global cropland would have to increase by 150 percent to meet current food demand, but conversion of habitat to cropland is already the greatest threat to biodiversity. By lowering humanity’s reliance on living nature, fossil fuels not only saved humanity from nature’s whims, but nature from humanity’s demands.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

You're saying that fossil fuels took us to a level that we naturally shouldn't be at, and now our population is dependent on it? Where did you get those numbers from? That totally sounds right, I'm just curious. Is cropland really the greatest threat to biodiversity? How about hydroponics for local semi-mass production?

I heard about clean technology for cars over 20 years ago, and the first thing I heard was that it was being fought by big money. Solar power could take people off the grid but of course that isn't being made popular.

It makes total sense that fossil fuel interests would suppress anything better. Sort of like GMOs. If there's a good reason for it then they could be honest about it, but they can't because the only real reason is for them to maximize the profit.

One thing I don't understand is well-being. I sleep outside, bike everywhere, hang in the sun, eat very modestly, and feel healthy and good constantly (the only exception being when I sit in front of the computer too long).

Where is this well-being that wealth has provided? Shopping? That abundance of things which don't matter? How does big money advance well-being? My teeth were in bad shape but I started brushing them with spring water and sometimes baking soda, and now they've regenerated - no need for permanent damage under the dentist's drill - what a scam.

Such as big money does with technology, it seems to only hinder well being, and in some cases create exaggerated impressions of comfort which become increasingly addictive, like drugs do.

I'm just ranting. But I'm also trying to say that in this society of ours, we have a seriously false impression of well being.

[-] 4 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

you are right that we seem to have lots of wealth but are not fundamentally healthy. now just imagine that our supply of oil is cut drastically overnight. we would see a crash in well being - no food I the stores and real disruptions in society. our whole standard of living - as messed up as some of it is - is based on cheap and plentiful oil

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Aye, so then about dealing with that addiction. How about local hydroponic farms to help releave that dependancy? Stimulations to incite more transition, like for cleaner transportation as well? Stimulations to incite more use of solar power? All those things that oil interests are sweeping under the rug. What abou that carbon tax idea? Couldn't something like that help to transform the motivation?

[-] 4 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

local farming is a great idea but for many areas it may not be possible right now - nj used to be the "garden state" - feeding nyc. now it cannot feed itself - the suburban sprawl has destroyed the farms. cleaner more efficient transportation is a must - railroads are 10x more efficient than trucks. in 1920 we had a rail system that was the envy of the world - would be simple to ramp that back up again - no need in my opinion for high speed rail - too costly. bring back mass transit - in 1896 12,000 trains went through the small town of corning ny - in central ny state! bring back the rails! lots of ways to move towards solar carbon tax is one - there is already something like that in many states google srec. my wife and I started a solar construction company and srecs are making it go to some extent. my choice would be a nation wide - ww2 style manhatten project to rebuild the country for the coming resource scarcity.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

So the lack of local farming is more about space than fertile ground? Are we so confined to how we've already set things up? We need jobs, and change, perfect. Or get serious about population control?

Nation wide sounds good. I've been trying to pin down some thoughts on a government program to promote independant farming communities for the sake of lessening mass distribution. It's just that putting the idea out there for people to consider is one thing, but the government could really make things like that happen, ww2 style manhatten etc.

Except that it's not in the interest of the government, considering the abduction of government.

[-] 3 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

I think that is the point of all of this. until we get our government under democratic control none of the great ideas will get going fast enough. there are lots of good ideas out there - we need the ability to implement them

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

How do you think democracy could really be implemented? Something like citizens being able to vote on every action? What if the best thing to do is something nobody wants to do? Abuse of power comes at no surpise but there's also something good about having people in charge of certain things.

I suppose that was the whole idea behind voting on the people in charge, to have both.

What if citizens just had more power to hire and fire? We are technically the boss of the government. In this kind of situation that things are so bad and the needs of society are clearly not met, we could just roll heads, right? Having a boss like that is usualy enough reason to take your responsibility seriously.

That wouldn't solve the big money monopoly issue though, or could it?

[-] 3 points by flip (5207) 4 months ago

first step is to get money out of the electoral system - big step

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

A non fundable, standardized campaign process that gave candidates equal exposure?

[-] 0 points by flip (5207) 3 months ago

sounds like a plan and is very doable - tea party types and all sorts would agree to it. now get to work organizing the campaign - or should we just talk about it?

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 3 months ago

I'm not doing anything except staying right where I am with my middle finger extended (long story).

I think it would be neat if candidates had to disclose foreseeable actions they'd take, and then not be able to back out without some very good, publicly expressed reason (like roosevelt's fireside chats, something accountable that the public can test). I'd like to vote and have the person actually do what they said they would, because they wont let you take back your vote. Not fair. I'll give you $50 if you eat a bannana slug.

Along these same lines would be legislature without riders, or passing things when nobody's looking. How hard is it to make corrupt politics illegal? I mean who could actually say that stuff isn't totally evil, and yet it continues?

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[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

To be completely honest i've never seen proof either. It's somehow been common knowledge for as long as I can remember. I'm sure some people around here can point you in the right direction. And maybe i'll pull something up when it's not my bed time. Mainstream media most likely is never going to highlight anything like that though.

Simplistic view my butt. There's total democracy and no democracy. But the answer is between those extremes, like everything else in the universe. Ying and Yang require a balance that doesn't break the equation. Maybe the conversation shouldn't be about capitalism so much as rediscovering a level of democracy. I agree people can use a reason to be motivated. More than one thing could create that.

[+] -4 points by chilidip (-34) 3 months ago

You fucking morons can't even balance a checkbook, and you expect to run billion dollar corporations.

Take another toke Cheech. Laughable fucking loosers. Post asshole ideas by day here how to take over the world...then play World of Warcraft at night.

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

Please stop acting like a brat and instead present reasonable counter arguments in a respectful manner.

[+] -4 points by Durvasa (-4) from Davie, FL 4 months ago

<clapping> We all believe in evolution right? Not just for cars, fashion and phones but for religion, currency and politics as well, right? Evolution is a good thing right? Doesn't it make stuff better? Our children should understand their own stochastic system, not someone elses static system.

Am i talking to a bunch of fucking retards here or what? I mean i'm a cognitive neuropsychologist so i know the answer to that. But anyone , really , seriously ...... anybody?

[+] -4 points by akapak (-8) from Jersey City, NJ 5 months ago

Didn't you post about libertarian socialism already? I like the idea. I do support it. I think we should stop talking about it and put is in practice already. Occupy should prove that it's possible. If it works well, others would follow. Start a few businesses using this model. Perhaps a small publishing company for Occupy material.

The fact that you always post the same thing leads me to believe you might be a bot programmed to advertise libertarian socialism on this site. Mind you, I have no problem with that. Whatever way we use to promote anarchist ideas is fine by me.

What do you do? Are you taking parts in projects to promote libertarian socialism through practice, or are you only a theorist. (Nothing wrong with theorists, very useful, I'm just curious.)

I started a project with people in my area to build tiny houses. The way it works is that we wait to have many people willing to build this type of house for themselves. When we have twenty, then we get together and see what each of us wants to make. Then we make a plan to help each other out. We form small teams. We might work together to build the house of someone else, we get together to buy material in bulk to get it cheaper, we share knowledge, etc... It's a project I care about a lot. Putting power back into the hands of the community.

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 5 months ago

Are you this "trashy" guy?

[-] -3 points by akapak (-8) from Jersey City, NJ 5 months ago

No, why? My name is akapak. Are you a reposter bot?

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 5 months ago

Yeah, I think you're him. I'm not talking to you, remember? Bye.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-to-deal-with-thrasymaque/

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[-] 5 points by DKAtoday (34872) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 months ago

LIAR - epa1nter was not U and I had no problem with him either.

But it is likely true that when I was moderating - that I booted "Ur" butt out of here quite regularly.

When U get booted again - Ur new name on return should be = prevaricator.

[+] -4 points by akapak (-8) from Jersey City, NJ 5 months ago

I was epa1nter, I supported Thrasymaque, and someone did ban me.

I still stand by my original words on Thrassy.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/thrasymaque-is-out-of-control-again-are-the-modera/#comment-674256