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View Diary: I Am NOT a Libertarian (76 comments)

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  •  Libertarians and anarchists have common (5+ / 0-)

    ideological roots. I found out during the Occupy movement that I am definitely not an anarchist. It might work on a small commune, but it isn't a basis for changing an economic system.

    •  I think you're right there. (4+ / 0-)

      Both of them just seem so unwieldy for a global system.

      Again, if there were 250 million people I think it might not be a bad idea, but for billions and billions? Shrinking & stretched resources?

      I think both of them are silly for this situation.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:50:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on how you define Libertarianism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, ukit

      If you referring to the right wing version, no, there is no commonality with true anarchism.

      The term libertarian dates back to the mid 1800s, and was used to describe anarcho-socialism, otherwise known as free socialism or libertarian socialism.

      In anarchism, society is structured with horizontal relationships, without hierarchy and without rulers. Participatory communities use self-management to organize the community, and there is no central authority. These communities network by forming federations, with appointed delegates who are mandated and recallable, and have no irrevocable authority of their own.

      The American usage is an oxymoron, since right wing "Libertarians" are capitalists, and private property as a right is the paramount cornerstone, which is completely opposite to the original meaning. Private ownership of the means of production is the foundation of right wing libertarianism, which means that there is still a ruling owner class, with the subservient, exploited working class. This requires hierarchy, and unequal relationships systemically built into the system, so it completely defies the ideas of anarchism and libertarian socialism.

      Thus, the original meaning of libertarianism and anarchism is about as distant from the Ayn Randian American version as can be.

      Most anarchists/libertarian socialists object to the later American usage (began in 1970s), since it is a contradiction in terms. In American so-called "Libertarianism" most individuals are anything but liberated, since they work as wage slaves, and the fruits of their labor is stolen. Proudhon, the first to call himself an anarchist, famously declared "Property is theft!"

      As to Occupy, the attempt to have large groups work by consensus was an experiment. Consensus with such large groups had never before been attempted. In anarchist societies, this approach has only been used in small working groups. In larger groups, other approaches to direct democracy work better. The spokes-council model is an example, where smaller groups (the spokes of the wheel) elect/appoint/rotate delegates (spokespersons) who meet with the other spokespersons and make plans and decisions. The spokespersons must confer in most cases with their respective groups, and are mandated by their groups, as well as immediately re-callable. And these larger groups (the spokescouncils) can federate with other groups, forming local, regional, national, and international federations, based on similar models. It is bottom up in structure, with no bosses, lords, rulers, no command structure from on high.

      And also, sometimes votes are taken in larger groups, but the spirit of consensus and non-factionalism is still emphasized.

      If you're basing your objection to anarchism on your occupy experience, you might want to read about other actual anarchist societies and how they organized. Occupy was a taste of this, but not a real working society that by necessity must keep trains running, utilities functioning, hospitals working, industry working. When real functioning of society is involved, people tend to get down to business and behave more efficiently than seen in Occupy. They have work to do, they have more experience in organizing anarchically, and there is far less time spent in meetings. Anarchist Spain during the civil war is a good example. In anarchist Spain, there were up to a reported 8 million people participating to varying degrees, and it was a success despite war-time pressures. Much of this story had been distorted and suppressed by the press at the time (1936-1939).

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 10:56:38 PM PDT

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      •  Outside of the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ukit

        and the UK to a degree, libertarian still means anti-capitalist anarchist. Modern Anarchist literature still uses libertarian to describe anarchist anti-capitalism.

        Leave it to Americans to call wage slavery and the exploitation of capitalism "liberty".

        To differentiate these terms, I've adopted the practice of using "right wing Libertarians" for the conservatives, and Libertarian-socialism, libertarian communism, free socialism, etc., for the original anti-capitalist usage.

        Or I'll simply use the word anarchist. But people are so misinformed and confused about these terms, when discussing them with non-anarchists I usually attach a suffix (such as anarcho-socialist, anarcho-syndicalist, etc.).

        I do not agree with right wing applications of these terms, since they are oxymorons and illogical, so I do try to avoid usage altogether, and so I may refer to RW Libertarians as Ayn Randian capitalists, or similar terms.

        Of course, no one can stop Americans from completely fucking up these terms.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:31:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Anarchy" is probably the most demonized (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, ZhenRen

          word of all.

          Almost everyone understands it as:

          a state of lawlessness or political disorder
          Which is one of the dictionary definitions of anarchy.

          The U.S. government just concluded their case against Bradley Manning by describing him as an "anarchist." Apparently they meant that Manning is like The Joker in Batman, an evil person who exists for no other reason than to create chaos in the world.

          Whereas the original meaning is:

          The word "Anarchy" comes from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία, anarchia, from ἀν an, "not, without" + ἀρχός arkhos, "ruler", meaning "absence of a leader", "without rulers").
          And the definition of Proudhon, the first political anarchist:
          In What is Property?, published in 1840, he defined anarchy as "the absence of a master, of a sovereign" and wrote, "As man seeks justice in equality, so society seeks order in anarchy."
          This has been simplified to the phrase "Anarchy is Order without Power" or "Anarchy is the mother of Order," which is the origin of the anarchist A symbol surrounded by the O. But notice the importance of the "order" part.

          Proudhon advocated for the peaceful, voluntary reorganization of society into workers' associations.

          In his vision, self-employed artisans, peasants, and cooperatives would trade their products on the market. For Proudhon, factories and other large workplaces would be run by "labor associations" operating on directly democratic principles. The state would be abolished; instead, society would be organized by a federation of "free communes" (a commune is a local municipality in French).

          In 1863 Proudhon said: "All my economic ideas as developed over twenty-five years can be summed up in the words: agricultural-industrial federation. All my political ideas boil down to a similar formula: political federation or decentralization."

          C4SS (a left-libertarian think tank) talks about "anarchy" in Egypt:
          In press commentary on the recent events in Egypt, there were frequent expressions of concern that Egypt might be falling into “anarchy.”  “Anarchy,” in conventional journalistic usage, means chaos, disorder, and bloodshed — a Hobbesian war of all against all — that occurs when the stabilizing hand of government is removed. “Anarchy” is the agenda of mobs of kids in black circle-A t-shirts, smashing windows and setting stuff on fire.

          But “anarchy,” as the term is understood by anarchists, is a form of society in which the state is replaced by the management of all human affairs through voluntary associations.

          We saw a great deal of anarchy in Egypt in recent days, in that sense. The people of Egypt have made a great start toward extending the spheres of free action, contracting new kinds of relationships between human beings, and creating the institutional basis of a real community.

          Despite the police state’s attempts to promote religious dissension and divide the opposition, Coptic Christians have stood watch over Muslims during their daily times of prayer. Muslims, likewise, guarded the perimeter of Liberation Square during a Coptic mass.

          The resistance organized patrols to safeguard shops and museums from looting, and to watch over neighborhoods from which the security forces had been withdrawn. Meanwhile, as it turned out, most of the actions of violence and looting were false flag operations, carried out by security forces posing as protestors. So the functionaries of the state were the actual sources of violence and disorder; law and order emerged from anarchy — that is, from voluntary association.

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