The heart of the "libertarian socialism" issue

in #libertarian-party2 years ago (edited)

push-pull-2000x1000.gifThere has been a lot of misunderstanding (and unfortunately some deliberate distortion) about precisely what it is that is being objected to when I, and others, take the position that libertarian socialism is incompatible with Libertarian Party Libertarianism. In short, there has been an all-out Alinsky-esque propaganda campaign by some (I want to be clear - some few - most have been semantical misunderstandings) - and others are being caught up in the middle of a maelstrom they did not wish for nor choose.

I also have had some fantastic discussions with folks who claim the label but state that they do not believe the specific things I am referring to. When one word can mean so many different things communication is …. complicated. Which was my entire point in my post about socialism versus voluntaryist communitarianism. The latter is a long-standing LP tradition, the former is not - in the way I was using the terms. But ultimately, words are equivocal, and I do not care what people call themselves, I care about what they mean to the people using them so that we are discussing an actual disagreement of ideas not a disagreement of terminology.

Quoted below is a very good statement of what I am referring to as in conflict. It has been objected that the speaker is not an LP member. I never said he was. I said he politely represented the view. I can politely represent views that I do not hold. That is therefore a genetic fallacy, and not one person that has brought that up has addressed whether or not what this gentleman said was correct or not.

Here is the quote (author Trevor Hauge via Facebook):

Libsocs believe in occupational ownership rather than private or state. In a libsoc society you can only own what you live on, when you move you no longer own it. Workers own the means of production because they operate it every day. No one pays rent or sells and buys property. This means that there are no land lords as there is no cops or state to enforce eviction of someone doesn’t pay rent/mortgage

[any grammar issues original to text - no one should expect grammatical perfection on Facebook nor mock its absence]

This is fundamentally incompatible to what Libertarian Party Libertarianism holds as a “belief” or "ontological ideology." This is without question. And this is all that is being said -- at least by me.

Now what version of this WOULD be compatible? Well start with the first sentence:

Libsocs PREFER occupational ownership rather than private or state and while they recognize that there is a right to own property in contradiction to those preferences, they seek to voluntarily establish communities where all participants are willing to forgo those rights in favor of ……

That is the difference. The first one is absolutely incompatible at the core. There is no common cause because we can’t even agree on what aggression is (at least in the scope of property rights - we do agree on the aggression of unjust wars and prohibitions). The second one is perfectly acceptable, and in some small part, a community I would like to see and would consider participating in for a time.

Do not believe the distortions and the hype about what is being claimed that is being pushed (again by some not by all whatsoever). This is part one of at least a two-part series. The next will talk about morality versus justice in property rights. I hope to have input from a voluntaryist communalist/communitarian.


It seems to me the their statement is a misunderstanding of Locke. He does argue that after a time Land would go back to a natural state. This he points out is after some time. To me this makes some sense. Locke argues that use could also be fust enjoying it, like sitting on your porch.

For me I think that these socialists could be useful to nudge other socialists in our direction. Obviously I am a free market guy so I disagree completely with their economics. I also know that you understand Adam's understanding of localization. I really do think that this offers us a win with the socialists. If we could restrain their ideology under Localization it enables us to use them as a tool to reach out to the economic left without giving up on our free market ideals. Just a suggestion. To me this would be a way to come together.

Someone doesn't have to read books to understand that the fruits of my labor are mine to spend as I wish, and I cannot truly be free unless I own the land I improve. People who don't believe in private property are basically saying they want to make sure you can never secure your wealth and give it to other people upon your death. They want my children to reset and have to build their own wealth. No thanks. I'll pass. Why would I work as hard as I do to succeed if not to further improve the lives of my own children? I'm certainly not doing it for lazy strangers who are very unproductive.

This was more an attempt to understand the language gap, but I am with you obviously.

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