In Defense Of Anarcho-Hucksters

August 27th, 2013   Submitted by Gyorgy Furiosa

Prostitutes

“The ‘ideal’ social interaction, in ‘anarcho’ capitalist terms, is that of prostitution. Prostitution, e.g., selling your services for an anticipated monetary gain, is the highest definition of ‘anarcho’ capitalist ‘empowerment’, amazingly. The ability to sell yourself to whomever you want is the ‘anarcho’ capitalist idea of ‘freedom’.” ~ Daibhidh, Anarcho-Hucksters: There is Nothing Anarchistic about Capitalism

Freedom = Money?

Daibhidh’s scathing criticism of libertarianism and market anarchism over at The Anarchist Library, although heavy on ‘sarcasm’ and pitched in a tone approaching the shrieking hyperbole of an indignant church mouse, raises a pertinent question about the advent of laissez-faire capitalism: will the amount of freedom one experiences in one’s life be relative to the amount of money one has?

The crux of his argument is based on the straw man that anarcho-capitalists are only interested in the removal of the State insomuch as it interferes in the amount of profit they are making, and that if an an-cap society would still require courts, defense firms and property rights, than it would innately be exploitative and produce top-down, hierarchical oppression with more in common with a fascist corporatocracy than even democracy, let alone anarchism in its unhyphenated form.

The vision of a truly free market, unfettered by the interference of the State, opens opportunities for not only increased liberty, but also increased oppression. To quote Mikhail Bakunin – “If there is a State there is domination, and in turn there is slavery.” Dabhidh’s argument is driven by the correct belief that even without a State, there can be domination, and therefore liberty is not guaranteed by Statelessness alone.

In a fount of fonts, he spumes: “Anarchists … don’t think there should BE any bosses. Everyone pulls their fair share of the collective social burden of day-to-day living. And, while everyone works, the distinction between this and typical capitalist drudgery is that, in anarchy, you’d be working for your own needs, rather than for the profit of another! As such, you wouldn’t have to put in 40+ hour weeks lining the pockets of whoever owns the company you work for (or servicing your clients’ needs).”

The above statement reveals some flaws in his analysis. Apart from the viewpoint that by working for a collective social burden, you are working for the benefit of another, under idealized anarcho-capitalism people would be working for their own profit, as well as the profit of another, in the spirit of mutualism and cooperation, rather than under the current capitalist system which operates principally on coercion and power dominance – the bosses suck the profits and keep the majority under heel. As there exists now, there will be groups of peoples (like the Mafia, or McDonald’s) who do not abide by the principle of non-violence, or that of mutual aid. Will the market unfettered be able to deal with them? At least, one would hope more successfully than our current State has been able to.

All Work Should Be Voluntary

Let us examine his analogy of the prostitute. If the ideal social relationship is akin to sex work, then let us explore the highest ideal of that relationship. First, remove its derogatory connotations and express the position more neutrally as ‘sex worker’. Secondly, remove the criminality of the practice, as would be done in a Stateless society, where everyone is free to contract however they like. Then, a sex worker is an independent businessperson working without coercion, offering goods or services in exchange for money. Without a boss, or pimp, they are free to work as little or as much as they like. They can pick and choose their clients and can dictate the terms of their exchanges (“service their clients’ needs”) to mutual satisfaction. Above all, the sex worker’s method of earning income is generally agreed to be pleasurable, as all forms of work should be. As Bob Black discusses in The Abolition of Work, all work should be voluntary, enjoyable, and possess a ludic (playful) quality. Sex has these three qualities. At least good sex does.

But then, if the market in desirable sexual partners for financial exchange shrinks, or becomes glutted with other workers, then the freedom to choose may diminish. Is the sex worker then forced to have sex with people for the money, rather than out of desire for mutual exchange? This is where his ratio of money to freedom rears its’ head.

In such instances, the sex worker could diversify their sources of income, or work harder at creating themselves a niche, or becoming the best, most sought after sex worker in town. Whichever way, the response would be determined by the market: unprofitable sex workers would have to change professions, or perish, whilst the profitable ones flourish. One option may be that the worker enters into a business partnership with a colleague, boss or pimp, whose services include a guaranteed number of clients, correct motivation, or professional support, but if this relationship is entered into willingly, without coercion, then it is arguably still a matter of personal choice, rather than exploitation.

Daibhidh’s and many dogmatic anarchists’ real objection is the seeming embodiment of the tenets of survival of the fittest. For many, it seems inhumane that some people are born to lose, are incapable of competing, or just plain unlucky.

As he brays in sweeping generalities: “Laissez-faire capitalists don’t particularly care what happens to people; despite their lofty declarations about liberty and freedom, their actions put the lie to them. They say, ‘nobody FORCES you to work for somebody else’, but if you don’t have your own capital reserve (like most of us), what choice do you have? You must work or starve!”

I thought he just said “everyone works” under anarchism – but we can all agree there are alternatives to working in order to produce or acquire food. Dabhidh seems to forget, as many do, that in any and every society, people will always show compassion for their fellow humans, and find ways of helping them, in the spirit of mutual aid – a quality that Kropotkin professes to be so intimately woven with the evolution of humanity that “it has been maintained by mankind up to the present time, notwithstanding all vicissitudes of history”. If your business is poorly run, and unprofitable, then it will fail. If you’re not good in bed, you probably don’t become a successful sex worker. That doesn’t mean you cease to be human, or that people won’t help you, or that there won’t be other opportunities for advancement.

Mutual Aid = Mutual Struggle

This leads us back to a lesson from anarcho-syndicalism that is still valid for an-caps. An individual is consistently at the mercy of the mob, yet can attain greater strength through solidarity with others. The sex worker in question could align themselves with others in the same profession or locality and form a firm (I avoid saying union or syndicate to avoid associations there). In fact, this would be a natural occurrence in anarcho-capitalism, the creation of groups of affiliated peoples with common interests, and therefore greater ability to defend their rights and properties against the unscrupulous – think Cosa Nostra or Triads, or more simply, the boss/pimp.

To get Biblical, consider: ‘Love of money is the root of all evil.’ Not money itself. Like any system, money can be used for benefit or harm, for self or others. Anarcho-capitalism, for myself, is a hybrid, the bastard love-child of our present system and our dreams of how it might be better. Like all children, it is impossible to fully predict how they will grow up, but we can do our utmost to work with them here and today to instill values and duties that will be of benefit to them and other people in the future.

In a Stateless world, there will still be mobsters and McDonald’s, but there will also be a fantastic cabaret of free-associating anarchs and organizations building for genuine liberty and interdependence, rather than exploitation and dominance. What is key in this is that we retain our humanity, our criticality, and avoid becoming as blindly dogmatic as Daibhidh. As the man Kropotkin said: “Sociability is as much a law of nature as mutual struggle… mutual aid is as much a law of animal life as mutual struggle.”

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37 Responses to “In Defense Of Anarcho-Hucksters”

  1. EthanNo Gravatar says:

    What’s wrong with bosses and what’s wrong with McDonald’s?

    • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

      The common criticisms of both bosses and McDonald’s are exploitation and using the labor of others to generate profit for themselves unequally.

      Arguably, bosses get rich off of the labor of others, denying their workers the opportunity for employment or advancement. For example in McDonald’s the profits move upwards to the higher levels of the organisation, away from the majority of workers. Instead of McDonald’s workers all receiving a small pay increase, board members and stockholders receive a huge bonus, whilst workers wages are kept low and working conditions poor.

      In McDonald’s, unionising is forbidden, and the operations mechanism is designed to make workers expendable. Each area of work is broken down to its bare essentials, so anyone can do the job, so therefore anyone is expendable. In terms of money-making and business credentials, it’s an awesome success, in terms of worker’s rights, a nightmare.

      McDonald’s also sells food with an extremely low nutritional content, but with a highly addictive nature (high salt, sugar, fat). Of course, people are free to buy whatever they want, but that argument also applies to heroin cut with impure substances.

      See Fast Food Nation for more information on McDonald’s.

      • EthanNo Gravatar says:

        So that contradictory leftist stuff that says I can’t hire people and there is no such thing as upwards mobility? There is no such thing as management and we must all be sole proprietors.

    • Bob RobertsonNo Gravatar says:

      I agree, Ethan. If you don’t like MacDonald’s, don’t work/eat there.

      • EthanNo Gravatar says:

        lol Yes, I’m not a fan but damn. It ain’t slavery.

      • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

        It’s always hard to tell whether a person’s judgments mean they think it should be “outlawed” or something.

        I mean, I don’t like bars because they sell an addictive and deadly drug called alcohol, and the men are usually hormone enraged with lust and short tempers. But that doesn’t mean I think they should be “outlawed.”

        It’s a bit different with anarcho-syndicalists, though, because their judgments are seen as endorsing the idea that it “should not be allowed.”

        Maybe that’s our fault for assuming as much. Or maybe it’s their fault because that is exactly what they mean.

        • EthanNo Gravatar says:

          This… this made me laugh. Thanks.

          • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

            Until the 20th-century, people across the US considered ‘wage slavery’ as being on par with ‘chattel slavery’. PR has worked very hard to change this opinion over the last hundred years, exactly so people no longer consider being employed in jobs such as offered by McDonald’s as any form of slavery.

            And as Crass said, ‘left-wing, right-wing, you can keep the lot.’

        • Al KourNo Gravatar says:

          @Seth King “I don’t like bars because they sell an addictive and deadly drug called alcohol”.
          I like them just for it! I’d prefer to be a poor Irishman rather than a rich Muslim. In vino veritas!
          Ancient Russians electing their future religion have rejected Islam just on this ground, “ we find our happiness in drinking”.

  2. I have never understood the animosity between anarcho-libertarians and anarcho-syndicalists. It seems that in a truly stateless society, both could exist side-by-side. When we are SO far from reaching anything like a world/country/state without rulers, I’m not sure why there isn’t a lot more cooperation in reaching attainable goals instead of tearing down the people closest to us. Oh yeah… it’s because we’re ANARCHISTS!

    • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

      Based on what little I know of anarcho syndicalism I wouldn’t consider them anarchists. Don’t they advocate democracy?As if it isn’t a form of rule somehow?

      • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

        No that’s incorrect.

        “Anarcho-syndicalists believe that only direct action — that is, action carried out by the workers themselves, which is concentrated on attaining a goal directly, as opposed to indirect action, such as electing a representative to a government position — will allow workers to liberate themselves.

        Anarcho-syndicalists believe that workers’ organizations — the organizations that struggle against the wage system, and which, in anarcho-syndicalist theory, will eventually form the basis of a new society — should be self-managing. They should not have bosses or “business agents”; rather, the workers alone should decide on that which affects them.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-syndicalism

        • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

          “Anarcho-syndicalists seek to nurture their ideas through modes of organization and action such as solidarity, and direct action (meaning action undertaken without the intervention of third parties such as politicians, bureaucrats and arbitrators) and direct democracy, or workers’ self-management.”— wikipedia

          That’s the second paragraph right there. Unfortunately direct democracy is statist speak.

    • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

      It’s very true Ricardo, and it serves a very clear purpose to divide the movement against itself through these distinctions. Any hyphenated form of anarchism should be enjoyed as a healthy dialogue on different methods of advancement, different approaches, but the root of Anarchy (an archos, without rulers) should remain at the heart of that discussion, and should allow people of different perspectives (-communist, -capitalist, -syndicalist) to cooperate for their shared aims. This was always the appeal of insurrectionary anarchism for myself, as it advocated joining movements with common cause for as long as they served those causes, but refusing to get locked into a faction or party. I hope that we can keep the emphasis on the Black, and welcome the Gold, Red or Green in our little stars.

    • Al KourNo Gravatar says:

      Surely they can co-exist.
      But there are two questions:
      a) which system will extend and make people richer and freer and which one will shrink and decline?
      I have no doubts that An-Cap will win ( partly because it will attract the independent, smart, and creative youth from boring kibbutz’s). All laws of economics and ethics are for us.
      b) which system will allow another one to coexist peacefully? I have no doubts about An-Caps, but great suspicions about An-Socs. Many of them ( not all of course) are just cripto-commies dreaming about gulags and would be happy to foist their orders on others.

  3. Ricardo FeralNo Gravatar says:

    Well put, Gyorgy!

    I moved from syndicalism to libertarianism when I went from being a worker to being self-employed. That was 30 yrs ago (!) and at that time, there really was no anarcap movement- to be an anarchist was to be some shade of red, which never suited me, but I still believed that our current model of “the state” was the root of all evil.
    I’m thrilled to see young libertarians taking the next step into anarchism, and re-imagining it in a way that makes a lot of sense to me as a 21st century movement. Keep up the good work! But–I think it’s also going to be on you (and old guys like me) to build a bridge to the black and red folks- they have been standing up for victims of government-backed capitalism for a century, and they are rightfully suspicious, what with tools like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio running around waving a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” and talking about the “Free Market”.

    • state haterNo Gravatar says:

      The difference between crony capitalism and free market capitalism has been pointed out to all sorts of socialists (“anarchist” or otherwise) numerous times. If they are too stupid to comprehend, or too stubborn to admit, the difference, then that’s their problem.

  4. Bob RobertsonNo Gravatar says:

    I’m going to make an overly broad generalization too.

    The people who constantly decry how workers are “exploited” and all work should be for the collective, etc etc, have seemed to me to be driven by a combination of envy and laziness.

    Envy, because they “look” at a “manager” and don’t instantly perceive they work that they do, so they must do no work at all, and yet the manager makes a living. That’s just plain wrong! They’re obviously exploiting the workers! Blah blah blah.

    Laziness, because they don’t want to do anything that has to please someone else, and yet they still want to get paid, have food to eat, a nice place to live, internet service, medical services, and all that. The idea of trading value for value is so repellant to them that they reject what that value JUST HAPPENS TO BE MEASURED IN, “money”.

    They realize on some abstract level that without the state, without government extracting tribute and setting arbitrary rules, there would be much greater net productivity available in general, and thus greater abundance, but rather than recognize that this abundance is the RESULT of people trading value for value (which just happens to be measured in those horrible evil monetary units), they make the leap of irrationality to the conclusion that this abundance is everywhere and everyone can live without producing anything.

    Does my contempt show clearly enough?

  5. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    Call out all the hucksters you want in an anarchic society. Maybe people will listen and agree to the point of bankrupting the huckster.

    Don’t ever claim that there isn’t room in an anarchic society for capitalists, because that would be confessing to a pretense of authority regarding the ability to permit or prohibit “on behalf of” others. Statist plants are known to do that.

  6. ShawnNo Gravatar says:

    Bottom line: I’m just simply an anarchist. I don’t put on any prefixes or suffixes or try to find some “flavor of the month.” So, here’s the thing: assuming no state, if “syndicalists” wanted to collectivize and form some worker’s paradise, more power to them. No one would have a right to interfere with such a peaceful activity. By the same token, however, if I wanted to use resources that I’ve accumulated to start producing and selling some sort of product for profit – and pay for the labor of others in the process – THEY don’t have to right to interfere with me or my workers, either.

    The fact is, people sell their labor to others VOLUNTARILY, and with the understanding that the business owners are using that labor to profit for themselves. This is usually (but not always) beneficial to both parties. However, no one, except the power elite themselves, is particularly happy with how this horrid experiment in State Capitalism has turned out, but that’s only more reason why anarchists of all ilks need to lay their differences aside and work together against our common enemy: the State.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      Well said. The state takes everything that is good and holy and perverts it. Anarchists of all flavors know and understand that. And yet, they forget that the state has perverted both communism and capitalism, so to be a partisan to one and point to the state’s version of the other and claim it to be synonymous with the other’s flavor of anarchism is forgetting the fact that the state perverts all.

    • SamaramiNo Gravatar says:

      Shawn:

      ‘…Bottom line: I’m just simply an anarchist. I don’t put on any prefixes or suffixes or try to find some “flavor of the month.”…’

      Excellent, Shawn. Prefixes and/or suffixes to “anarchy” (or “libertarian”, for that matter — I’m still awaiting a “theorist” guru to explain the difference in simple English) give me to suspect the promulgator(s) thereof have a secret, probably subconscious, lust to rule in place of what they’re railing about now.

      “Theories” about liberty and freedom are a dime a dozen. That, I surmise, is because so few have ever experienced “freedom”; and have difficulty divorcing their mentalities from an all-pervasive statist mindset.

      I strongly suggest an earnest study of the late Delmar England’s “Insanity as the Social Norm”:

      http://www.anarchism.net/anarchism_insanityasthesocialnorm.htm

      Not an easy read, I must warn. England has the pesky habit of poking at the noses of the idols of “theorists”.

  7. SamaramiNo Gravatar says:

    The fatal flaw I observe when communicating with and reading essays produced by my web friends is what appears to be an overriding need for “ism” ‘s. When I came upon the internet a number of years back and at the same time came upon “anarchy” and “libertarian” thinking, I was struck by the number of “ism” ‘s and “ist” ‘s used by my friends.

    I started a list; and at the risk of over-lengthening the comments section I think I’ll attempt to paste it here:

    Various Libertarian and
    Anarchist Labels

    • Acclarism
    • Agorism
    • Anagorism (http://anagory.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/antilibertarian-antistat ism/
    • Anarchy
    • Anarcho-Capitalism (Mises/Rothbard)
    • Anarcho-communism
    • Anarco-primitivism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-primitivism
    • Anarcho-syndicalism
    • Antilibertarian antistatism (see “Anagorism”)
    • Anti-Positivism
    • Apriorism
    • Autarchism (Le Fevre)
    • Carsonian mutualism
    • Classical Liberalism
    • Collectivist anarchist
    • Communism
    • Consequentialism
    • Eco-agorism
    • Eco-Libertarianism
    • Eco-Socialist-Libertarian
    • Egoist anarchism (Max Stirner)
    • Establishment liberal left
    • Existentialism
    • Explicitly anarchist, pro-decentralist libertarians (Kinsella)
    • Free Market Anarchism
    • Free Market Capitalism http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard146.html
    • Geoanarchism
    • Geoism
    • Geolibertarianism
    • Georgism
    • Green-Libertarianism
    • Individualism
    • Individualist anarchism
    • Individualist/collectivist anarchist Individualist/collectivist anarchism
    • Kantianism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant)
    • Kratoclism http://www.marketmentat.com/i-think-i-maked-up-a-word-two-actuall y/
    • Kritarchy http://www.voluntaryist.com/backissues/135.pdf P 8
    • Left Libertarianism
    • Left-Rothbardians
    • Legal Positivism
    • Liberal socialism
    • Liberalism
    • Libertarian
    • Libertarian Anarchist
    • Libertarian Populism (James Ostrowski)
    • Libertarian Socialism
    • Libertarianism
    • Localism and decentralization
    • Logical Positivism
    • Market anarchism
    • Minarchism
    • Modal Libertarianism
    • Modern Liberalism
    • Moral consequentialism
    • Mutualism
    • Natural-rights libertarianism
    • Neo-liberalism
    • Neolibertarianism
    • Objectivism
    • Panarchism
    • Patrio-psychotic anarcho-materialism http://www.subgenius.com/
    • Plumbline Libertarianism
    • Polycentrism
    • Post-anarchism
    • Post-left anarchy
    • Post-modernism
    • Post-structuralism
    • Praxeology
    • Primitivism
    • Progressive Libertarianism
    • Punkish/syndicalist/queer radical social anarchism (above two from Rad Geek site)
    • Queer anarchism (“sex workers?”)
    • Radical minarchists
    • Right Libertarianism
    • Rothbardian strain of market anarchism
    • Schmodal Libertarianism
    • Scientific Anarchism Social Darwinian right-wing economics
    • Socialism
    • Socialist Anarchism
    • Socialist-Libertarianism
    • syndicalism
    • Syndicalist Anarchism
    • Utilitarianism (Friedman’s strain of Anarcho-capitalism)
    • Utopian socialism
    • Voluntarism
    • Zenarchism

    I think the list is nearing 100 — and I’m certain a few readers can supply many I’ve missed. I eschew them all.

    Long prior to the internet I had read Harry Brown’s “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World”, and Robert Ringer’s “Looking out for #1″ and a number of other very good “tangential anarchist” writings, including the Hebrew Book that remains a number one seller on almost all charts every year throughout the world — or at least the “western” world (where does the west begin???).

    That’s an interesting story all in itself.

    I knew from an early age (almost 80 now) I was anarchistic in nature, but it took the internet to put words, or substance, to my anarchy. Here’s the best treatment of anarchy I’ve seen so far:

    http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/Obvious.pdf

    Sam

  8. SamaramiNo Gravatar says:

    Ricardo, I see each as a bid for control (“group think” mentality). Subconscious, perhaps, but desire for control of others nonetheless.

    The late Delmar England had an excellent treatise on this:

    http://www.anarchism.net/anarchism_insanityasthesocialnorm.htm

    Sam

  9. Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

    All the bitterness between left and right, which to me seem grossly outdated and misused terms, especially in the mainstream, seems to serve the elite perfectly, and hence why I must insist and agree with the above that we focus on anarchy, and accept the details will work themselves out, and that infact anarcho-capitalists and anarcho-syndicalists overlap and agree on a huge amount – atleast everything before the hyphen.

  10. Anarcho-capitalism would allow anarcho-syndicalists to live as they choose

    http://www.libertarianview.co.uk/general-principles/libertarianis m-welcomes-non-violent-socialists-islamic-fundamentalists-and-fas cists

    If the opposite is not true, which is the champion of freedom?

    • STLICTNo Gravatar says:

      Speaking as a mutualist panarchist/free market socialist(it’s an idea that I’ve been considering due to what I see as affronts to liberty in every social system I know of) who would prefer to live by social anarchism, an anarcho-capitalist society would not allow me to live as I wish; instead it would try to enforce a certain interpretation of the idea of property unto me because that is axiomatic to anarcho-capitalism. This was a really serious issue when europeans met indigenous cultures, different ideas of property is one of the things that lead to the latter getting screwed over and being unable to live to this day according to their traditional lifestyle-and anarcho-capitalists to this day tend to consider that to be good and right because they refuse to even consider that other people may in genuinely good conscience have other ideas.

      I would be entirely happy for anarcho-capitalists to live according to anarcho-capitalism, I have no desire to enforce a foreign system unto them, so long as they genuinely don’t try to enforce their ideas of property rights unto everyone else. In fact, I would consider it a failure of the system for there to be any social system the prevents anarcho-capitalists from living as they please without interference from anyone else. There are multiple ways this could be done, but none of them are “everyone accepts anarcho-capitalism as the underlying baseline” since that would be ancaps enforcing THEIR system on everyone else, and to be quite frank I think it’s too… empty, too cold, to be worth living in.

      I also frankly find the idea that it’s social anarchists who are the violent and threatening ones to be a combination of offensive and hilarious. For all the violence inherent in the idea of a social revolution that makes it the last option that should be chosen, and only chosen when no other means exist for obtaining freedom, I have never heard a social anarchist suggest we preemptively kill every anarcho-capitalist… yet I have seen posts where anarcho-capitalists suggest this would be a good thing to do to social anarchists. I have also never seen social anarchists suggest that freedom of association should be abridged-freedom of trade yes, which I disagree with and which is mostly suggested by communists who are only one type of social anarchist-but the right of free association is something most social anarchists regard as practically sacred. Yet I have seen anarcho-capitalists suggest banning any kind of communist organization, and also doing everything they can to ensure that future generations follow the same social organization they do. Social anarchists talk of violence because of desperation and seeing it as literally the only way for everyone to have an acceptable quality of life; ancaps talk of violence because they’re against people who have a different opinion to them-the desperate “this really is our only option” is utterly lacking.

      Also, while I am not an anarcho-syndicalist per say, I have read enough of it to say that the opposition to anarcho-capitalism is a matter of the personal opinion of the people interested in anarcho-syndicalism and not inherent in the system. In principle there are two ways people who want to live according to anarcho-capitalist principles could in an anarcho-syndicalist society; one, they form their own syndicate(“the agorist labour union”, “the voluntarist syndicate”, what have you) and vote to secede from the wider society and undergo collective bargaining about that-and the whole point of an anarcho-syndicalist society is to ensure that such are resolved to the satisfaction of all. Once the negotiations about what they will be given-how much land, etc-are finished, they would be their own sovereign body. Two, they all individually secede and build a society based around the individual parcels of land and basic material that anarcho-syndicalists generally suggest should be given to those who refuse to collectivize like the rest of the syndicalist society. Even Kropotkin said communization must be voluntary, the disagreement between ansyns and ancaps is mainly about how voluntary the system of private property and wage labour really is, aka how much weigh should implicit coercion be given. I honestly think that ancaps should consider the matter of implicit coercion more closely since it seems to really be a blind spot for them sometimes. You know, before blood is shed over these ideas and so we can all just get on with the business of living in society together without ruling each other-anarchy!

      • ShawnNo Gravatar says:

        Hi, STLICT,

        To start with, if you have really seen any ancaps advocate violence against ansynds, please post some links. In all my years of research on the subject, I can’t say I’ve seen that – and by the same token, I can’t really say I’ve seen any ansynds explicitly espouse violence against ancaps. To most people with an ancap bent, they perceive a violent attitude in the works of ansynds because they state that capitalism itself is some sort of evil, and that it must be somehow destroyed…that implies violence towards anyone who would attempt to practice any form of capitalism. There have been those who call themselves anarchists who preach violence, but from what I can tell, they’re usually just anti-social, non-actualized and alienated individuals who just hate everything and anyone, and aren’t really anarchists in the intellectual sense.

        Regarding a “different idea of property,” certainly that is the crux of the matter. Ownership may exist only the mind, but it is an extremely powerful motivator. If I feel I “own” something, then I will be inclined to defend it whatever way I can. Since the notion of property rights and ownership are only meaningful in a social context (if I were the only man left in the world, the point is clearly moot) then the goal is to establish the rules of ownership, to the best that we can. In that regard, if I’m travelling along and find you occupying some land and in control of tangible items, I consider those *yours* and will take care not to infringe upon them. I ask only that when I *own* something, you do the same. I can’t really see how that is forcing a different view of property on anyone. Those who would seek to take what isn’t theirs are thieves, and nothing more. There will always be those who will try – but that’s the point of finding that common understanding, because it is then we find justification in the actions we take to protect our property, or in seeking the judgement of a third party to back up our claim. The Europeans who came to the New World didn’t just have a different view of property, they had the mindset that there were vast resources to be had, and they would obtain them through whatever means necessary. This was the height of European imperialism, after all.

        Like I said earlier, I don’t do prefixes or suffixes on anarchy. The state is the violent and coercive force that makes it so that a few have much and the rest of us march in tune. If it works for a group of people to (voluntarily) establish a commune where all property is shared and everyone gives according to his ability, and receives according to his needs, good for them. But what I’ve seen is some implication that if I were to squirrel away resources for ten years, then use it to freely buy capital goods and hire others to produce a good or provide a service, I am somehow evil and must be stopped. That is a violation of free association itself; if I am not correctly understanding this, then please explain further.

        Ultimately, what I believe in is the free market, which simply means voluntary transactions in the economic realm. Again, people who prefer a collective are free to have at it; those who prefer to sell their labor and purchase what goods and services they want or need are also free to do so. But it’s my belief that capitalism will simply happen in a free market: the desire to create, to practice business, and yes, to profit, are simply too strong in the human spirit to think otherwise.

        • ShawnNo Gravatar says:

          Edit to add: if you seen anyone claim to be an anarchist buy yet say something must be banned, that person is not really an anarchist.

        • STLICTNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Shawn, sorry for delay in replying. Computer screwy.

          Shawn:To start with, if you have really seen any ancaps advocate violence against ansynds, please post some links. In all my years of research on the subject, I can’t say I’ve seen that – and by the same token, I can’t really say I’ve seen any ansynds explicitly espouse violence against ancaps.

          Me: https://dailyanarchist.com/forum/index.php/topic,2528.0.html might not outright state much outright, but it does imply a lot. Especially considering the constant ranting about anarcho-communists that are of exactly the type that would be used in a war to dehumanize someone seen as an enemy(“it doesn’t matter if we kill those bloody commies!”, “they don’t believe in property rights, so they have no rights to their own bodies!” basically).

          Shawn: . To most people with an ancap bent, they perceive a violent attitude in the works of ansynds because they state that capitalism itself is some sort of evil, and that it must be somehow destroyed…that implies violence towards anyone who would attempt to practice any form of capitalism. There have been those who call themselves anarchists who preach violence, but from what I can tell, they’re usually just anti-social, non-actualized and alienated individuals who just hate everything and anyone, and aren’t really anarchists in the intellectual sense.

          Me:Thinking capitalism is an evil doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to be violent towards capitalists; speaking for myself for example I think that a purely capitalist market tends to create perverse incentives that destroy possible alternatives and lead to a worse society as a whole but think that the best way to approach this is to ensure that people have alternatives so that capitalism itself must compete; a free market for types of markets basically. This would be good for everything, even wages; the need to offer genuine incentive to accept wage work when someone can just create goods at the local “public manufacturing unit” and sell them themselves at the “mutual market federation store” would mean that there would be a NATURAL, rather than enforced/legislated, minimum wage set by the disulity of wage labour itself(. So long as no one has to work under a boss who doesn’t really want to, or isn’t stuck in the position where it’s “work under a boss or starve”, I’m happy.
          Proudhonian mutualism takes a similar viewpoint in terms of wanting competition between markets and types of banking; Proudhon considered usury to be a sin and thought workers were being screwed over, but the solution he saw, similar to mine, was not to abolish usury by “sovereign decree” but instead force it to compete against a more fair and socially beneficial system. See also the posts by Y on black flag, where he basically argued for using 3D printers and other modern manufacturing methods to set up the infrastructure for the economics of anarchist communism and letting people do what they want with it, saying IIRC something along the lines of “even if there are pockets of capitalism that doesn’t matter, you can still have basically an anarchist communist system as the overall structure”. I happen to agree with him, even if most ancoms don’t, and take it further by saying “we can create cooperatively and proactively the infrastructure for everyone to be able to live the kind of life they want, or at lest live a life compatible with their ideas”.

          Shawn:Regarding a “different idea of property,” certainly that is the crux of the matter. Ownership may exist only the mind, but it is an extremely powerful motivator. If I feel I “own” something, then I will be inclined to defend it whatever way I can. Since the notion of property rights and ownership are only meaningful in a social context (if I were the only man left in the world, the point is clearly moot) then the goal is to establish the rules of ownership, to the best that we can

          Me: Yes, this is basically a social contract to allow us to get along on a basic level. I don’t oppose this in itself, but I think that everyone should explicitly define what social contracts they agree with in a peer-to-peer fashion, and also explicitly define the protocols for dealing with people who have other ideas. Some people wouldn’t mind a hungry person taking their food for example, while others would shoot anyone who steps a foot on their property. If I was a hungry person I would want to know the difference on purely practical grounds, and don’t think that creating a system where this is known would be too hard to do; people hang the flag of their nation in the current social system often enough, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for people to hang the flag of their preferred social relationships up either. Given this, the challenges of relations between social anarchists and anarcho-capitalists is basically a matter of setting up a protocol for how to deal with their different contracts regarding property in a way that is voluntary for both, which anarcho-capitalists would probably agree to as part of their insurance+defense policy(in fact, they might find benefits to allowing people to steal from them some of the time simply for lower insurance costs; in a truly free market this would be really a matter of personal choice).

          Shawn: In that regard, if I’m travelling along and find you occupying some land and in control of tangible items, I consider those *yours* and will take care not to infringe upon them. I ask only that when I *own* something, you do the same. I can’t really see how that is forcing a different view of property on anyone.

          Me: Well, what if I don’t consider those things mine but belonging to society as a whole? You’re imposing your views upon what I am in control over by considering it mine instead of asking. What if where I grew up, everyone shared everything and I had to write a hundred lines on the value of sharing whenever I tried to make any kind of exclusive claim upon something, and the lesson took so well that the very idea that you wouldn’t be willing to share your stuff is almost incomprehensible? What if I believed someone owns the products of their labour, but can never own natural resources or land-in fact, what if I consider the very idea I own the land offensive and consider it tantamount to you considering me a thief who is stealing what is everyones? What if someone believes they own anything they can tape a piece of paper to? In a plurality of social systems, these issues are in my view not unlikely to happen and it’s a bit arrogant to assume one position as a baseline; instead, I argue for equality of all ideas with negotiation between them to determine the proper protocol for ensuring no one is participating in something involuntarily, in fact ensuring the opposite of there being room for everyone.

          Shawn: Those who would seek to take what isn’t theirs are thieves, and nothing more. There will always be those who will try – but that’s the point of finding that common understanding, because it is then we find justification in the actions we take to protect our property, or in seeking the judgement of a third party to back up our claim

          Me: Yet if the only basis for it is a common understanding, it is my view we need to make this common understanding explicit, without anyone having to agree to any particular thing for peace instead of ensuring that the peer-to-peer protocols ensure a mutuality of all viewpoints. In this system, the anarcho-capitalist will find their property rights fully respected while an anarcho-communist will look everywhere they can and see that “all are receiving according to their needs”(which is my suggestion for the basis of mutuality between anarcho-capitalists and anarcho-communists- anarcho-capitalists NEED to have their property rights respected in order to attain fulfillment by their own lights).

          Shawn: The Europeans who came to the New World didn’t just have a different view of property, they had the mindset that there were vast resources to be had, and they would obtain them through whatever means necessary. This was the height of European imperialism, after all.

          Me: Yes, but the legal and ‘moral’ argument they used was that agreements made with ‘savages'(people not like us) don’t matter because anyone who is different from europeans is inferior. The only sure way to avoid this is to have respect for different ways of life, different beliefs, etc as the foundation for society; it is one more application of the anarchist postulate that “liberty is the mother, not the daughter, of order” in my view.

          Shawn:Like I said earlier, I don’t do prefixes or suffixes on anarchy. The state is the violent and coercive force that makes it so that a few have much and the rest of us march in tune. If it works for a group of people to (voluntarily) establish a commune where all property is shared and everyone gives according to his ability, and receives according to his needs, good for them.

          Me:This is a misunderstanding of what anarchist-communists tend to really want; if all they wanted was to live in a commune where people share everything that could be done even in this system. Instead, anarcho-communists tend to want EVERYONES needs satisfied, or at least the needs of everyone who is contributing according to their ability to be satisfied. I honestly find this idea hard to argue with, it basically amounts to a “no more hungry children” platform… I just think that this both could and should be done in a way that doesn’t violate any particular individuals desires for their life.
          For example, one thing I am currently looking into right now is how hard it would be to ensure a gaurunteed minimum food ration for everyone on earth. The main barrier I am currently seeing is that “charity” organizations tend to be disregarded entirely, or at least not taken seriously… mostly because the systems involving them tend to be abused as fronts to give rich people tax breaks. So total transparency of finances would be one thing that I would need to implement in any such organization. Arguing in favour of a more generous, less cynical society is another.

          Shawn: But what I’ve seen is some implication that if I were to squirrel away resources for ten years, then use it to freely buy capital goods and hire others to produce a good or provide a service, I am somehow evil and must be stopped. That is a violation of free association itself; if I am not correctly understanding this, then please explain further.

          Me: You’re free to do that, but others are free to point out to prospective employees that wage work is generally not conducted in a manner respecting the dignity of the employees(even that very word; think about it for a minute, you would talk in the same way as you would a mere tool; “I employed a hammer to nail some wood together”) and some of the texts related to studied in management made available so that people can see exactly what has at times been involved in accepting that system. You could of course convince said workers that the relationship you wish to have with them isn’t like that and that you really want to deal with them fairly, in which case they might even find benefit in doing so and isn’t something that I think anyone can have a real problem with. When wage labour/employment is the only option though, as it is for many, that kind of relationship of mutual respect isn’t likely to exist, nor is the inherent personal disulity of having to spend a portion of ones day listening to someone else likely to even be acknowledged as something people should be compensated for when compensation for. Mostly I get the impression though that power over workers is something employers want, and as far as they want that I oppose them and feel that a different balance should be sought in the labour market-not ‘by sovereign decree’ but out of a society that exists in a state of mutuality between members.

          Shawn: Ultimately, what I believe in is the free market, which simply means voluntary transactions in the economic realm. Again, people who prefer a collective are free to have at it; those who prefer to sell their labor and purchase what goods and services they want or need are also free to do so.

          Me: Ultimately, what I believe in is freedom; freedom for all, freedom without limit(literally, I consider the laws of physics as “just one more thing we will need to learn how to overcome”). Free markets are a part of this, but not being stuck by poverty into accepting something you otherwise wouldn’t is also a part of it. How to achieve the balance between interests that is closest to perfect liberty is something that, as I said, I feel can best be had by a society that involves a lot of negotiation between voluntarily agreed to peer-to-peer networks that have the objective of achieving the state I call mutuality.

          Shawn: But it’s my belief that capitalism will simply happen in a free market: the desire to create, to practice business, and yes, to profit, are simply too strong in the human spirit to think otherwise.

          Me: and so long as that does not violate the liberty, most broadly defined, of another that’s perfectly mine. More than fine, in fact. I would like to propose that one can profit just as well or better by serving society and aiding in the achievement of mutuality between all interests because then you doubly profit; you get the personal gain, and you also get to live in a better world-which when people see they will be more likely to help you achieve more personal gain and also more likely to aid you if you ever happen to fall on hard times.

  11. John ZubeNo Gravatar says:

    I am glad that so much discussion goes on now about panarchism, voluntarism, personal law and related subjects. Currently, I try to add to the beginnings of a panarchist directory list. If you have any names of persons or organisations to add to it, please do so and I will send you my list in response as an email attachment. – Possibly also adding some other libertarian files. – John Zube, jzube@acenet.com.au 14.12.13. – On http://www.panarchy.org is gradually appearing an enlarged A to Z compilation, there called ON LIBERTY, which for me is the beginnings of an attempt to compile replies to the usual popular errors, prejudices and objections, on the long road to an encyclopaedia of them. It is a development of my SLOGANS FOR LIBERTY. – A to Z are and there are many entries relating to panarchism and one important aspect of it, monetary and financial freedom.

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