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Marxist Libertarianism

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  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    Translation, "Everyone for themselves" and "I'm alright, screw everyone else". There's a good reason that people won't vote for this nonsense. It falls apart upon the slightest bit of examination.

    Absolutely the opposite. Everyone is responsible for themselves and is therefore highly dependent on each other as opposed to coercive government where everyone is subservient to the state and dependent on the state.
    Where a complex code of laws exist the most beneficial course of action is to behave as selfishly as possible but not be fined/imprisoned/executed under the law (not synonymous with not breaking the law as all complex systems are subject to abuse and corruption)
    Without a complex code of laws and where only fundamental rights to person and property exist the incentive is to collaborate positively with others in order to provide for your needs and wants.

    As regards your second point I think the whole idea of anarchism is that it isn't something that you vote for, that would be minarchism - see diagram in previous post


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,881 ✭✭✭✭PopePalpatine


    So...how did Somalia work out when its government collapsed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    So...how did Somalia work out when its government collapsed?

    Interestingly enough some research has been done on this subject...
    Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse
    Could anarchy be good for Somalia’s development? If state predation goes unchecked government may not only fail to add to social welfare, but can actually reduce welfare below its level under statelessness. Such was the case with Somalia’s government, which did more harm to its citizens than good. The government’s collapse and subsequent emergence of statelessness opened the opportunity for Somali progress.
    This paper investigates the impact of anarchy on Somali development. The data suggest that while the state of this development remains low, on nearly all of 18 key indicators that allow pre- and post-stateless welfare comparisons, Somalis are better off under anarchy than they were under government. Renewed vibrancy in critical sectors of Somalia’s economy and public goods in the absence of a predatory state are responsible for this improvement. Journal of Comparative Economics 35 (4) (2007) 689–710. George Mason University,
    MSN 3G4, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.
    More...

    Obviously having a government collapse in the midst of long running civil war is a negative way to enter "anarchism". The Proudhon view was that anarchism can be unilaterally chosen by free people who refuse to comply with illegitimate force (i.e. force applied by an authority in excess of the defence of the intrinsic rights of those that it represents and who freely choose to delegate those rights to it)


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,789 ✭✭✭✭ScumLord


    johnp001 wrote: »
    Absolutely the opposite. Everyone is responsible for themselves and is therefore highly dependent on each other as opposed to coercive government where everyone is subservient to the state and dependent on the state.
    The state is basically a collaborative effort of the people. I don't think people have fully adjusted to the democratically run state just yet, we're still living under the impression that an elite control everything we do and we just have to do what they say. While in practice that's still true in a lot of ways the power is with the people, we're just too busy working and consuming light entertainment to care what the state does, we're happy to go along with what leaders say and don't want that responsibility.


    Something I've learned in my working life is the vast majority of people just want someone that knows what they're doing to tell them what to do. Most don't want to be leaders or have responsibility for others. We are a very hyarcial animal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,881 ✭✭✭✭PopePalpatine


    johnp001 wrote: »
    Interestingly enough some research has been done on this subject...


    Obviously having a government collapse in the midst of long running civil war is a negative way to enter "anarchism". The Proudhon view was that anarchism can be unilaterally chosen by free people who refuse to comply with illegitimate force (i.e. force applied by an authority in excess of the defence of the intrinsic rights of those that it represents and who freely choose to delegate those rights to it)

    I just read through the concluding remarks by the author, this bit stood out to me:
    Nor is [recognising improvements in Somalia's conditions since the fall of the Barre regime] to say that Somalia is better off stateless than it would be under any government. A constitutionally-constrained state with limited powers to do harm but strong enough to support the private sector may very well do more for Somalia than statelessness. Further, Somalia’s improvement under anarchy does not tell us whether continual improvement is possible if Somalia remains stateless. It is possible that past some point, to enjoy further development, Somalia might require a central government capable of providing more widespread security and public goods.


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Insofar as I've given anarchism much thought, it strikes me as a system that can only survive in a post-scarcity world. As long as there is competition for resources, there will be an incentive to put one's own needs ahead of the greater good.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Insofar as I've given anarchism much thought, it strikes me as a system that can only survive in a post-scarcity world. As long as there is competition for resources, there will be an incentive to put one's own needs ahead of the greater good.

    Hence a non hierarchical system being the end state. I think the biggest misconception about an anarchists or libertarian socialists is that we want to throw a switch and reset society tomorrow as a stateless society. It can't happen that way and should never be attempted

    The idea is that the functions of state are progressively devolved to the people, this requires a societal evolution that will take decades.

    So yes a truly free, egalitarian society may require the creation of a post scarcity world. But equally a slow incremental evolutoon towards this goal can help eliminate scarcity of resources.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    ScumLord wrote: »
    The state is basically a collaborative effort of the people. I don't think people have fully adjusted to the democratically run state just yet, we're still living under the impression that an elite control everything we do and we just have to do what they say. While in practice that's still true in a lot of ways the power is with the people, we're just too busy working and consuming light entertainment to care what the state does, we're happy to go along with what leaders say and don't want that responsibility.


    Something I've learned in my working life is the vast majority of people just want someone that knows what they're doing to tell them what to do. Most don't want to be leaders or have responsibility for others. We are a very hyarcial animal.

    That sounds completely in line with my own observations. The thing that drives me to philosophically contemplate an alternative are the possible consequences of this way of thinking.
    e.g. what are the prospects for a sustainable future for the next generations? if we can't be trusted to preserve our prosperity and provide for ourselves in our old age why would the politicians we elect to manage our money take a more long term view than us ourselves who have to live with the consequences? Is there a possibility that the welfare state is a big ponsi scheme built up on a baby boom generation which will blow up as demographics shift and the population ages? Would any politician ever tell us if it was or will we only find out when it is too late?

    Why are the taxpayers in the western world paying taxes for wars of aggression that are of no conceivable benefit to them? What are the consequences of this?

    As comforting as it is to believe in a benevolent leadership that can be safely followed it is also perfectly plausible that our leadership could lead us into cruel, destructive and immoral actions as the legitimate authorities of many states have done in the past. How would we know that this was happening and what could we do about it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Insofar as I've given anarchism much thought, it strikes me as a system that can only survive in a post-scarcity world. As long as there is competition for resources, there will be an incentive to put one's own needs ahead of the greater good.

    Self interest is what drives productivity and progress so the greater the scarcity the less that can afford to be wasted by the massive, inefficient, non-productive redistribution mechanism that socialist governments are.
    Adam Smith wrote:
    It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

    Coincidentally, Tom Woods published an interview yesterday describing the Brehon law based anarchic system that existed for generations in Ireland prior to plantation.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,257 ✭✭✭Yourself isit


    Brian? wrote: »
    Hence a non hierarchical system being the end state. I think the biggest misconception about an anarchists or libertarian socialists is that we want to throw a switch and reset society tomorrow as a stateless society. It can't happen that way and should never be attempted

    The idea is that the functions of state are progressively devolved to the people, this requires a societal evolution that will take decades.

    So yes a truly free, egalitarian society may require the creation of a post scarcity world. But equally a slow incremental evolutoon towards this goal can help eliminate scarcity of resources.

    Your last sentence is guff. How is the post scarcity world to come about exactly by a "slow incremental evolution" of anarchism. That's more magical thinking. Going post scarcity will need capitalism using AI and automation to eliminate scarcity probably along a strong state to redistribute income. Some kind of universal wage.

    And of course socialist anarchism wouldn't just eliminate the state but workers will apparently run their own factories. I don't see the incentive to overthrow the American owners of my company as they own the ip and pay my wages. The Dublin cooperative software without ip company won't make any money.

    As for hierarchy not only are humans naturally hierarchical but complex societies need hierarchy. If we weren't hierarchical we'd have to learn to be.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭FreudianSlippers


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    It's more that the "winning" side is never going to challenge a system which was fundamentally responsible for their victory. The fact that both sides complain about the system when they lose is more damning of the system than the fact that nobody complains when winning IMO. It's human nature really.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    Brian? wrote: »
    Hence a non hierarchical system being the end state. I think the biggest misconception about an anarchists or libertarian socialists is that we want to throw a switch and reset society tomorrow as a stateless society. It can't happen that way and should never be attempted

    The idea is that the functions of state are progressively devolved to the people, this requires a societal evolution that will take decades.

    So yes a truly free, egalitarian society may require the creation of a post scarcity world. But equally a slow incremental evolutoon towards this goal can help eliminate scarcity of resources.

    Your last sentence is guff. How is the post scarcity world to come about exactly by a "slow incremental evolution" of anarchism. That's more magical thinking. Going post scarcity will need capitalism using AI and automation to eliminate scarcity probably along a strong state to redistribute income. Some kind of universal wage.

    And of course socialist anarchism wouldn't just eliminate the state but workers will apparently run their own factories. I don't see the incentive to overthrow the American owners of my company as they own the ip and pay my wages. The Dublin cooperative software without ip company won't make any money.

    As for hierarchy not only are humans naturally hierarchical but complex societies need hierarchy. If we weren't hierarchical we'd have to learn to be.

    Can you not ask simple questions like this without the borderline insulting lead in?

    If you're going to describe points as "guff" and "magical thinking" I'm not going to answer. It's unnecessary and lowers the tone.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    johnp001 wrote: »
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Insofar as I've given anarchism much thought, it strikes me as a system that can only survive in a post-scarcity world. As long as there is competition for resources, there will be an incentive to put one's own needs ahead of the greater good.

    Self interest is what drives productivity and progress so the greater the scarcity the less that can afford to be wasted by the massive, inefficient, non-productive redistribution mechanism that socialist governments are.

    Pure socialism is an anarchic philosophy though. It's the end goal.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,257 ✭✭✭Yourself isit


    Brian? wrote: »
    Can you not ask simple questions like this without the borderline insulting lead in?

    If you're going to describe points as "guff" and "magical thinking" I'm not going to answer. It's unnecessary and lowers the tone.

    There's no requirement to not criticise the post.

    Anyway we are not much closer to working out the mechanics of Marxist libertarianism.

    As for pure socialism wanting the state to disappear, that's the weakest part of Marxism. Not sure Marx said it - Engels did.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    Brian? wrote: »
    Can you not ask simple questions like this without the borderline insulting lead in?

    If you're going to describe points as "guff" and "magical thinking" I'm not going to answer. It's unnecessary and lowers the tone.

    There's no requirement to not criticise the post.

    No requirement. But simple manners would be nice. I'm nice, by in large, can't you try being polite.
    Anyway we are not much closer to working out the mechanics of Marxist libertarianism.

    As for pure socialism wanting the state to disappear, that's the weakest part of Marxism. Not sure Marx said it - Engels did.

    I don't think the term Marxist Libertarian is widely used to be fair. I certainly wouldn't use it. I'm a libertarian socialist.

    To quote someone else:

    We base ourselves on the heritage of Marxism. This does not mean that we accept all the ideas of Marx, let alone of those who claim to be his followers. Marxism is a point of departure for us, not our pre-determined destination. We accept Marx’s dictum that our criticism must fear nothing, including its own results. Our debt to Marxism will be no less if we find that we have to go beyond it

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 39,022 ✭✭✭✭Permabear


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭Pete29


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Government is necessary. Without it, you're living in a state of nature which has no inherent sense of justice or fairness. If you truly want a free market place with no government restrictions, you would be choosing to live in The Stone Age.

    Isn't marxist libertarianism a contradiction in terms?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,242 ✭✭✭MayoSalmon


    Pete29 wrote:
    Government is necessary. Without it, you're living in a state of nature which has no inherent sense of justice or fairness. If you truly want a free market place with no government restrictions, you would be choosing to live in The Stone Age.


    Government is not necessary, justice is decided by society


  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭Pete29


    MayoSalmon wrote: »
    Government is not necessary, justice is decided by society


    Nonsense

    Without constitutional government there's nothing to enforce any concept of justice. Justice becomes a thing human tribes go to war over. Government cements our concepts of justice in a way that is enforceable.

    Name one time in human history where a lack of government has resulted in more prosperity, opportunity or freedom that exists today.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,242 ✭✭✭MayoSalmon


    Pete29 wrote:
    Name one time in human history where a lack of government has resulted in more prosperity, opportunity or freedom that exists today.


    Sorry are you making my argument for me? That is precisely what I am saying. The very lack of government creates more prosperity which is evident today as it has been throughout human history


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    That may be the case if all people are assumed to be rational actors, but that's a little bit like a physicist assuming spherical chickens of uniform density.


  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭Pete29


    MayoSalmon wrote: »
    Sorry are you making my argument for me? That is precisely what I am saying. The very lack of government creates more prosperity which is evident today as it has been throughout human history

    Sorry, either I'm not understanding you or you're not making sense, or we're not communicating properly.

    You accept we live in countries with governments?

    If you do, point to a time in human history where these types of governments didn't exist and society was just as good or better.

    Do you think people living in the stone age had a better quality of life than we do now?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,242 ✭✭✭MayoSalmon


    Pete29 wrote: »
    Sorry, either I'm not understanding you or you're not making sense, or we're not communicating properly.

    You accept we live in countries with governments?

    If you do, point to a time in human history where these types of governments didn't exist and society was just as good or better.

    Do you think people living in the stone age had a better quality of life than we do now?

    This has very little to do with the presence of government though?

    More government = less prosperity
    Less government = more prosperity


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    That may be the case if all people are assumed to be rational actors, but that's a little bit like a physicist assuming spherical chickens of uniform density.[/quote]

    You don't need to assume all people are the same.

    My reasoning is that people, individually, are naturally altruistic and good. With notable exceptions, sociopaths etc. . It's groups of people motivated and organised by a central unquestionable authority that perpetuate the real evils in the world.

    Where is peak authority for you? At what point is too much government?

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Brian? wrote: »
    You don't need to assume all people are the same.
    I'm not assuming that all people are the same. I'm pointing out the fact that people don't dependably act in rational ways, and any theory of human behaviour that assumes they do is automatically doomed to failure.
    My reasoning is that people, individually, are naturally altruistic and good. With notable exceptions, sociopaths etc. .
    I think that's a questionable assumption at best. Some people are just dicks, without actually being sociopaths. And some people put their own self-interest ahead of the needs of others because they don't feel they have a choice.
    It's groups of people motivated and organised by a central unquestionable authority that perpetuate the real evils in the world.
    When I see a gross oversimplification like that underpinning a political philosophy, it's the sort of thing that makes me deeply wary of it.

    I don't disagree that people do bad things when motivated by a central authority - but I reject out of hand the implication that individuals or ad-hoc groups are incapable of evil.

    The core tenet seems to be that if you remove a central authority, people will instinctively band together to achieve good things, and that they won't band together to do bad things to other people. That strikes me as the sort of extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence.
    Where is peak authority for you? At what point is too much government?
    What's the SI unit for quantity of government?

    As a committed centrist, I remain suspicious of any argument that says "too much of X is bad for you, therefore completely eliminating X is the perfect solution". It's a bit like suggesting that everyone move to the Atacama Desert to eliminate drownings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    In response to the previous two posts I would tend to agree with some of the points Brian? makes regarding the good and altruistic nature of people.
    It can be summed up as "Either man doesn't need government or he daren't have one" i.e. if people are bad then giving some of them more power and the right to initiate force is a terrible idea.

    The advantage of voluntary societies compared to authoritarian ones where the state has a monopoly on force is that when people harm others the rest of society is empowered to resist.

    So taking the assumption that people are generally good but will act badly sometimes then a population which is responsible for its own safety and prosperity will resist the destructive actions of a minority. Thus precluding the danger that a bad minority gain authority and a monopoly on force.

    This is a highly likely occurrence (as proven by history) as if your intentions are to harm others then creating a system where you can do so with impunity is your top priority. If you have no bad intentions towards others you have no incentive to invest your time and effort in gaining and maintaining control and power over them.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Brian? wrote: »
    You don't need to assume all people are the same.
    I'm not assuming that all people are the same. I'm pointing out the fact that people don't dependably act in rational ways, and any theory of human behaviour that assumes they do is automatically doomed to failure.
    My reasoning is that people, individually, are naturally altruistic and good. With notable exceptions, sociopaths etc. .
    I think that's a questionable assumption at best. Some people are just dicks, without actually being sociopaths. And some people put their own self-interest ahead of the needs of others because they don't feel they have a choice.

    I like my assumptions to be questionable :). I'm certainly not dealing in absolutes. I would disagree about some people just being dicks, I would say they have been nurtured by environment into becoming dicks. Change the environment, change the man. I specifically mentioned sociopaths as most authoriatarian leaders displayed the hallmarks of being narcissistic sociopaths; Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet, Suharto etc.

    If you take away the environment that allows people like this to exert power and influence over others the impact of their personality disorder is greatly diminished. Wouldn't you agree?
    It's groups of people motivated and organised by a central unquestionable authority that perpetuate the real evils in the world.
    When I see a gross oversimplification like that underpinning a political philosophy, it's the sort of thing that makes me deeply wary of it.

    I don't disagree that people do bad things when motivated by a central authority - but I reject out of hand the implication that individuals or ad-hoc groups are incapable of evil.

    The core tenet seems to be that if you remove a central authority, people will instinctively band together to achieve good things, and that they won't band together to do bad things to other people. That strikes me as the sort of extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. [/quote]

    Unfortunately it's evidence that's difficult to provide. We are stuck on an authoritarian merry go round.
    Where is peak authority for you? At what point is too much government?
    What's the SI unit for quantity of government?[/quote]

    dB/bureaucrat

    As a committed centrist, I remain suspicious of any argument that says "too much of X is bad for you, therefore completely eliminating X is the perfect solution". It's a bit like suggesting that everyone move to the Atacama Desert to eliminate drownings.

    I understand your scepticism. But if flip the question and ask "why do we need centralised governments"?

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    johnp001 wrote: »
    ...a population which is responsible for its own safety and prosperity will resist the destructive actions of a minority. Thus precluding the danger that a bad minority gain authority and a monopoly on force.

    Great. What about the destructive actions of a majority?


  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    johnp001 wrote: »
    So taking the assumption that people are generally good but will act badly sometimes then a population which is responsible for its own safety and prosperity will resist the destructive actions of a minority. Thus precluding the danger that a bad minority gain authority and a monopoly on force.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Great. What about the destructive actions of a majority?

    You have removed the start of the sentence in your quote above which gives the required context.

    If a majority of people are inherently destructive then a government that is representative of the people will be similarly destructive. However, I don't think humanity could have over a hundred of thousands of years as the dominant species on the planet without being innately co-operative. Homo Sapiens were not the physically strongest hominid so by supplanting physically stronger species they probably demonstrated a capacity to co-operate more effectively.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 39,022 ✭✭✭✭Permabear


    This post has been deleted.


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