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Author Topic: Thoughts on Mutualism  (Read 6748 times)
LegesNullae
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« on: March 04, 2012, 01:26:39 PM »

I somewhat recently discovered that Mutualism is still alive in contemporary Anarchist thought, having been revived by Kevin Carson's Studies in Mutualist Political Economy. I know Mutualism was the system proposed by Proudhon, Tucker, and Spooner to varying extents, but I wasn't aware that people still advocated it (like here: http://mutualist.org/). What do you all think of it? Would you consider it a viable alternative to Anarcho-Capitalism, or is it better left in the 19th century?
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derick
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 05:33:29 PM »

Sounds like a "nicer" form of communism, to me. I'm really starting to wonder how many anarchist's honestly believe in a free society with property rights.
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SinCityVoluntaryist
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 05:48:57 PM »

 It seems to me that mutalists do believe in property rights, but seem to hold a limitation on how far property rights can go. 

 Also, Spooner was mutualist? He seems to be venerated as a market anarchist.
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derick
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 06:06:33 PM »

They talk the talk when it comes to property rights but you dont need to read very far into it to find that they are communists at heart. I say no thanks.
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Will
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 06:23:46 PM »

Freya considers herself a mutualist and I have strong leanings in that direction. Calling it a communist theory is to either have a grave misunderstanding of communism or mutualism.

Also, Spooner was mutualist? He seems to be venerated as a market anarchist.

Mutualism is a form of market anarchism, as its economic basis is free market socialism. Its the original form actually, started way back with good old Proudhon.
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derick
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 06:50:27 PM »

"Our ultimate vision is of a(mutialist) society in which the economy is organized around free market exchange between producers, and production is carried out mainly by self-employed artisans and farmers, small producers' cooperatives, worker-controlled large enterprises, and consumers' cooperatives."

This is all communist rhetoric.
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derick
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 07:15:27 PM »

The Mutualist's quote the Wobbly slogan, "build the structure of the new society within the shell of the old"

Here is the rest of that slogan.

The Wobblies believed that all workers should organize as a class, a philosophy which is still reflected in the Preamble to the current IWW Constitution:
 

"The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth. We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers. These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all. Instead of the conservative motto, "A fair day's wage for a fair day's work," we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wage system." It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old."
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Will
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 07:42:46 PM »

"Our ultimate vision is of a(mutialist) society in which the economy is organized around free market exchange between producers, and production is carried out mainly by self-employed artisans and farmers, small producers' cooperatives, worker-controlled large enterprises, and consumers' cooperatives."

This is all communist rhetoric.

No, its not. Communists do not believe markets, no matter how free, should be used to distribute scarce resources. They believe in setting up communities built on a gift based economy.

But really you have a problem with whats written here?
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 07:44:10 PM »

"Our ultimate vision is of a(mutialist) society in which the economy is organized around free market exchange between producers, and production is carried out mainly by self-employed artisans and farmers, small producers' cooperatives, worker-controlled large enterprises, and consumers' cooperatives."

This is all communist rhetoric.
I disagree. This doesn't sound like communist rhetoric. Organization by cooperative is simply a choice of how to produce. Nothing communist about it. This is free market if you ask me.
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derick
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 07:55:28 PM »

"Our ultimate vision is of a(mutialist) society in which the economy is organized around free market exchange between producers, and production is carried out mainly by self-employed artisans and farmers, small producers' cooperatives, worker-controlled large enterprises, and consumers' cooperatives."

This is all communist rhetoric.

No, its not. Communists do not believe markets, no matter how free, should be used to distribute scarce resources. They believe in setting up communities built on a gift based economy.

But really you have a problem with whats written here?

The key word here is "organized", just because they reference "free markets" does not make them pro free market. Its obvious to me that there would be some sort of centralized authority to "organize" the economy. Call it what you will, I call it bullshit! 
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Will
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 10:49:21 PM »

The key word here is "organized", just because they reference "free markets" does not make them pro free market. Its obvious to me that there would be some sort of centralized authority to "organize" the economy. Call it what you will, I call it bullshit! 

I think your reading into the text too much. Unless you believe that for a society/economy to be organized there has to be a central authority bringing this order about?

This sounds an awful lot like a statist argument that I run into all the time.
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Rothbardian
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 03:01:42 AM »

The key word here is "organized", just because they reference "free markets" does not make them pro free market. Its obvious to me that there would be some sort of centralized authority to "organize" the economy. Call it what you will, I call it bullshit!
+1!! Plus the mutualists fundamentally misunderstand time preference (or rather don't understand it at all)!
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Freya
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 05:29:56 AM »

Mutualists are pro free-market as far as I am concerned. They do not believe in using violence to interfere with the market. Thats pretty much what makes a market free isn't it?

Yes, their rhetoric fits more with the left, but thats just semantics. When you get to the meaning behind their philosophy its not so different from anarcho-capitalism. They dislike certain things like rent and wage-labour, it is a preference, and they are not against it. They seek to compete with capitalism, not burn it to the ground. I honestly can't see anything wrong with competition.
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 05:50:59 PM »

The key word here is "organized", just because they reference "free markets" does not make them pro free market. Its obvious to me that there would be some sort of centralized authority to "organize" the economy. Call it what you will, I call it bullshit!
+1!! Plus the mutualists fundamentally misunderstand time preference (or rather don't understand it at all)!
Misunderstanding time preference and attempting to prevent people from acting upon said preferences are two completely different things.
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"I like to eat. Instead of a monarch I propose we have a Chef be final arbiter in matters. We'll call it anarcho-chefism."
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