Tag Archives: Libertarianism

Oh hey look! More "Anarcho"-Capitalists defending the facilitation of sexual harassment on the grounds of liberty.

I posted a while back explaining why the AnCap dismissals of Block’s support for sexual harassment where misguided and inconsistent with their own principles and why the question was not really about the act of aggression but how a capitalist system makes the act itself possible. Now, someone else is basically making the same argument as me only…he comes from the opposite side. I’ve just noticed that Stephen Kinsella left a comment on Brad Spangler’s blog making a similar case in support of such facilitiation…on the grounds of liberty of course.

In sum: no one is entitled to a job; employment is at-will: you can quit any time, or be fired any time. So you are not entitled to a job offer, so a conditional one does not violate your rights: I offer you a job IF you will consent to my lechery, fondling, whatever. The candidate can accept or turn it down. Note that this is true even AFTER they start work for you, usually–since employment is at-will. So you can just fire her one second, and re-offer the job, with strings, the next second. Etc.

So basically Kinsella is claiming that Block was absolutely in the right in his original case against sexual harassment laws. Maybe he considers that Block should have phrased it a bit differently to avoid drawing attention to the conclusions.

Really, this whole mindframe is the disease of right-libetarianism and the reason why I find it so difficult to take them seriously. If one can find nothing wrong with their espoused principles even when they theoretically lead to situations of people doing what they cleary do not wish to do or situations clearly appaling, then they’re well and gone in their fetishism of “voluntarism” and contracts.

The willfull ignorance of the social context in which such consent might be given is also stunning. “Nobody deserves work” says Kinsella. No, some people apparently just deserve to starve if they won’t accept sexual harassment or 16-hour workdays. It’s their fault for being born unprivileged and if they don’t like it they should just hole up in a corner and die. Compare that with Emma Goldman’s legendary quote to see the vast ideological difference between anarchism and “Anarcho”-Capitalism. The bankrupcty of putting rights to private property over rights to life.

“Ask for work. If they do not give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.” — Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)

But of course, this is nothing new. “Volunteering” to sexual harassment is exactly possible for the reason why people would “volunteer” to wage-slavery or “volunteer” to child labour. This is all a normal continuation of the same principles that see the hierarchical control of boss over worker and landlord over rentor as an expression of “freedom”. Consenting to be pinched is just that extra thing women might have to accept after they have consented to put aside their liberty during working hours. But hey, it’s all worth it for that cuchy office job isn’t it?

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A Right-Libertarian primer to Libertarian Socialism

RedblackstarflagI’ve been discussing with Right-“Libertarians” lately quite a bit, especially after the Division by Zer0 was linked from a related social network as well as in Reddit. Unfortunately it seems that while most Libertarian Socialists are aware of the positions of such opponents, it’s very rare for propertarians to be familiar with LibSoc positions, leading to the same tired old arguments that one hopes the AFAQ would have prevented by now.

I’ve been arguing against those points so often lately that I’m really getting tired of repeating myself every time some propertarian jumps to the same conclusions just because they don’t know better. As such, I’ve decided to write this primer which will simply be a list of relevant links touching on all such common points raised. I’m hoping it will serve as a handy link to give to those unfamiliar with LibSoc and avoid needless repetition.

Isn’t Libertarian Socialism An Oxymoron?

By far the most common reply once someone first hears about it. It’s also the most telling since it shows that the one asking it is very unfamiliar with LibSoc and thus a perfect candidate for a link to this primer.

Abolishing Private Property

You will certainly be confused about what LibSocs are talking about if you do not realize the way that they use the term “Private Property”, what they mean by the abolition thereof, what Possession is and the fundamental differences between them

Free Markets and Socialism

Private Property is usually presupposed in the existence of the free markets and/or liberty but this is not required. Unfortunately from this presupposition one then makes the straw-man argument that socialists wish to coercively prevent free markets or voluntary exchange. This is false. Not only are there forms of socialism which are compatible with Free Markets such as Mutualism but even communists wouldn’t try to stop it actively.

The Labour Theory of Value

Libertarian Socialists as a rule tend to support the Labour Theory of Value in some form (although that’s not always the case). Right-Libertarians are trigger happy in accusing them of supporting debunked theories based on a argument from authority (the authority of Boehm Bawerk mainly). But the reason why socialists still support the LTV is because we see it as the most scientific way to describe the capitalist mode of production and because the criticisms brought against it are generally weak.

Why can’t we all just get along?

A very common point makde, especially from those calling themselves “Anarcho-Capitalists” is the request to put aside our differences and work together to topple the state. They do not understand why LibSocs want nothing to do with them.

Human Nature

Ah, human nature. The favourite argument of every two-bit authoritarian. There has never been a concept more used from each and every political camp as an ultimate trump-card against all other social theories.

In Closing

I will try to keep this primer up to date with newer or better posts and I’ll be adding more classic questions once I get annoyed at them enough. Please do recommend more such subjects and provide links for them as well. I will be happy to improve this guide as much as possible.

Other than that, link, tweet and share far and wide. Hopefully we might avoid wasting so much time explaining the same concepts over and over again.

As for any right-“libertarian” having reached this point, I hope that by now you have a better understanding of LibSoc concepts and we can avoid rehashing the same stuff with both sides getting increasingly annoyed at the apparent obtuseness of the other. Hopefully this will help the dialogue between us to be constructive rather than an exercise in frustration. I hope you too will share this article to people from your side that you notice are ignorant of the fundamentals.

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Some results from my Political & Social survey

10 days ago or so I created a survey to try and gather some data about how people’s social status affects their political orientation. It was mostly aimed at Anarchists as I was interested to see what combination of ideas and social circumstances correlate to each ideology.

Initially I got a moderate amount of responses but yesterday I decided to post a link to reddit as well and within one day I had already exceeded my allotted amount of responses (PollDaddy allows 100 survey reponses for free accounts) by a 100. However I could still see and analyze those results so I’m not exactly certain when limitations kick in. In any case, now that I’ve got a small sample I think it’s time to do some analysis and see what we find.

The results

I’ve had most answers of course from Libertarian Socialists (i.e. Anarchists) as this is where I was aiming my survey in the first place. However, others also joined in in smaller amounts as well.

(Click on any image for a large view)

Question 1 - What is your political orientationIn the first question, I tried to allow people to select their current political orientation as they see it themselves. I realize this relies of people being a bit solid on their own political beliefs and it would probably have been better if I had decided their orientation for them via questions, but this is an amateur survey and I don’t have the necessary knowledge to ask the correct questions. I am thinking that in version 2 of the survey I should include one question which will ask people to take the political compass test and report back with their quadrant as this will hopefully help them choose more accurately.

If one answered this question as Libertarian Socialist, an extra page was opened to them which allowed them to further define their views within the two camps of Anarchism and also point out what brought them to this result.

How LibSocs splitInteresting Point: As I had the privilege to notice the differences between the LibSocs coming from my initial blogpost and those coming from reddit, I noticed that there were far more individualists coming from here while when reddit started entering the game, the Social Anarchists quickly overtook them as the majority. Still, the split is not that big and it seems to be in the middle between the real life numbers (where Social Anarchists are the vast majority) and the internet tendency towards right-libertarianism.

Individualist Anarchists

As expected, most of this camp came from Classical Liberalism following the liberty path of the LibSoc Pull.

Individualist Anarchist orientationsI was surprised however at how many considered that a balance must be found between liberty and equality.  The explanation I have is that because of the market mechanisms, a market anarchist always expects some levels of inequality to persist but doesn’t consider that they will be (big enough to be) disruptive. As such trying to achieve equality would by expectation interfere with the workings of the market and therefore liberty. For all of you Individualists who answered this way, is this analysis correct or did you have a different perpective on this choice?

The movement of the individualists was mainly form the liberal side athough it had a fairly large amount which came from the State Socialism path.

Individualist LibSoc Pull

Continuing on to their social status…

Individualist Anarchist social statusCompared to the overall Social Status, the Individualists seem to have a higher percentage of Company Owners and Academics and lower wage workers and unemployed but not excessively so. Unfortunately I believe that the question I asked on the social status were not enough to point out more fine differences that I think would have been useful. For example, I would be quite interested to see in which sector they are wage workers at as there is a big difference in the environment between an sysadmin wage-worker and a carpenter. This is certainly something for the next survey.

On the social status, it’s interesting that they have a higher percentage of people who consider themselves to be on the lower class.I wonder what kind of connection there is here.

Social Anarchists

These were the greatest group taking part in the survey, only late in the game overcoming the individualists. Interestingly, most of them seemed to start from their current position which makes me wonder what kind of upbringing they had and how their early environment affected their life. Did they get raised by LibSoc parents or did they just happen to be in a tolerant neighborhood? These are certainly questions that I will try to include in my next version of the survey.

Social Anarchists Orientation

As expected, Social Anarchists came mostly from the State Socialism side, following the libertarian socialist pull. Still, there were still quite a bunch of them that identified as propertarians for most of their life. Certainly, It must have been quite a trip from someone to move from stateless capitalism to communism or syndicalism.

Social Anarchist movement

Finally, there were also quite a few who consider equality and liberty to be on a scale rather than complementary to each other. While I can understand that from individualists, I can’t grasp it from socials so I would be interested to know some perspectives on this.

On the Social Status of the Social Anarchists, the result were more of what was expected.

Social Anarchist social statusThere is a far stronger presence of the working class which points nicely to the idea that wage-slavery radicalizes people to a degree. However while the percentage of wage-workers increased slightly, it was the student percentage that took a big jump. It seems that most of the Social Anarchists are or have mostly been still in education which can point us to two possibilities which of course don’t exclude each other. 1) Schools, colleges and universities can be a powerful breeding ground for socialism. Of course it’s difficult to figure out which is the correlation, which is why I think I should be requesting the ages of people in the future as well. 2) Social Anarchists might be as a rule younger and less experienced in life.  This is of course not necessarily bad as it’s most likely that wage-slavery will radicalize them even more, however it might also serve as a platform for other schools of thought to shallowly renounce us as immature or somesuch.

As for the social position, the Social Anarchists are as a group at the lowest rungs of the social ladder and we did not manage to have any of the rich within our ranks. Still I believe a greater sample would be more telling here.

Finally, I’m going to take a look at the two other camps of survey takers as a more generalized group or Left vs  Right so as to save some time. Of course you’ll be be getting the data yourselves so you can take a look yourself if you wish.

The Right (Minarchist & Stateless Capitalism)

There was quite a large number of such taking part in the survey, almost 1/4 of the total number of participants which tells a bit about my audience (hi guys & gals!) and the political consistency of /r/anarchism. Between them, their numbers were almost split in half.

The Right's Political Orientation

While many of those two groups either started from their respective positions or moved between them, there were a few that came from more egalitarian positions. I would be especially interested to see what convinced LibSocs to turn propertarian.

As for the choice between equality and liberty, the results are not surprising although I’m surprised about those who believe  that liberty requires equality. Since Capitalism is always a system which breeds inequality since it present the capacity for accumulation (indeed, it depends upon it), how can you both believe in such an idea but also support the Capitalist mode of production? I think that most who selected this option, perhaps were confused on either their choice of orientation or their choice in this question. Still, if someone consciously selected those two options, I’d like to hear the perspective behind this.

On the social status, the Liberals also have its largest percentage in wage-slavery but here it makes even more sense to know which sector dominates. I can’t get it out of my head that most will be in the Computer Industry.

The Right's social statusThe Liberals generally also seem to have been mostly students which also points to the possibility that intellectual pursuits are also conductive to liberalism. This makes me believe that I should also be inquiring on possibly both the sector one is studying in and also if the sector one currently works is the same one they’ve studied. I wonder is there is a correlation between liberalist feelings and someone managing to find work in their chosen field.

Finally the social status shows a marked move towards the upper strata. While they do not have any rich amongst them, both the middle and lower class percentages have dropped while the Upper-Middle class has increased by 8%.

The Left (Social Democrats and State Socialists)

First I’d like to say that I think I may have not been clear enough on the choices here (Curse you skewed US terminology). By “Social Democrats” I meant what the US Republicans call a “Liberal” while with “State Socialist” I mean mostly the variants of Marxist-Leninism which depend on the existence of a state to (temporarily) sustain the revolution/socialism. This might have been clear for governmental communists and the like but it might have confused Trotskyists. I had someone write to me that he didn’t know what to choose as a Marxist-Leninist so obviously this needs more work. Ideas on this appreciated.

Now on to the stats. As expected from being in the Anarchist subreddit, there were not a lot of Statists around so the sample if very small even between them.

The Left's political OrientationIt seems that isn’t extensive change in their viewpoints really but I was again surprised at how many people selected that you can’t have equality without freedom. If this is your viewpoint, then why do you support the existence of a state which is a profoundly authoritarian institution? Personally I expected far more people to select the “Balance” option in this case.

On the social status, things seem more or less standard. More collection on workers and students but greater concentration in the middle class. Unfortunately with such a small sample, it’s difficult to make a lot of conclusions as even the 1 rich person shows as a whole 4% of the total.


So that was it for now. I hope you’ve found the results interesting and my analysis insightful and of course, I will work on improving it more so that some more interesting information might be gleaned. At the moment, these are the kind of questions I’m thinking of adding.

  • Job or Study Sector.
  • Family type.
  • Early life environment.
  • Change question on “Which social position have you been mostly in your life” to “Which social position have you been mostly in your adult life”
  • Age.
  • Sex.
  • Private Property or Possession?
  • Political Compass quadrant.
  • Do you work on the sector you’ve studied?
  • Options for “co-op” and “Boss” social positions.
  • Labour theory of Value, Marginalism or some synthesis of the two?
  • School of Economics (Neoclassical, Austrian, Marxian etc)

I would really appreciate feedback and ideas of course. Especially on the questions you would like to see and how the survey should be paced.

There has been quite a lot of feedback from people who took the survey as well, some giving me some good ideas while others explaining what confused them. Below I’ll respond to some of them and you’ll be able to see the rest yourselves in the full export.


Each quote represents a different submitter.

Attitudes towards different things (how valuable are things – things are more valuable to the poor; attitudes to poverty verses excess); social class growing up verses social class held now.

I’ve already included this as a question for the future and comparing those two will certainly be interesting. It might also point out how much a perspective changes as one grows up.

I also like the idea of seeing one’s attitude towards excess or luxury. I need to think how to phrase this though.

Ask more specific ideas on social issues, and methods of organization. For instance, if someone identifies as a social democrat yet, constantly agrees with Libertarian socialist ideas, it would seem they may not know what either term means.

I think that is too detailed for this survey. I’ll add however the Political Compass as an option and ask people to figure and submit on which quadrant they belong.

The options for “political orientation” are terrible, I don’t really fit within any of them.

Although I’ve added the general groupings as I see them, it’s likely that either you understand them differently or you think of yourself as something completely different. If any of you felt this way, please let me know what you would like to see (keep in mind that it needs to be something generic that a sufficient large sample might select) or how you identify yourself.

I’ve been a student and a wage worker since I could legally work, your questions need to have more options to choose from

You mean like an option for someone to choose worker & student together? Hmm. Perhaps I should make this a multiple choice vote? So that someone might choose Student + Wage Worker or Academic + Wage Worker.

Ask about politics and class of parents. Ask about type of occupation (management, finance, health care, etc). Ask about where they’ve lived.

Very good idea. Already added.

Religiousness — religious, deist, agnostic, atheist, anti-theist, etc.

Although interesting I do not know how relevant it is. What does everyone think?

What attracted you to your political point of view?

What information or insight lead you to your current political orientation?

I’m thinking of adding such open-ended questions, but they will have to be inputed as text instead of multiple choice, which will mean it will require manual reading and more time (and thus possibility to cancel the survey) on behalf of the survey taker. I may add it as an optional field and try to analyze it for general trends.

I mainly identify with the Green party philosophy, and was not sure which of your categories most closely represented it. I came to political awakening from an environmental/anti-nuclear path, and expanded it to anti-imperialism and disgust with the corporate plutocracy we have in the U.S. I think questions or an expanded answer set to cover those concepts would be useful.

I never even thought of this path. No idea how common it is but it looks to me that the environmental path closely relates to the egalitarianism path (ie, why do we need to protect the environment? To sustain general human life). Will think about this.

[…]So, while I may have said I’m a social anarchist, I was leaving out a lot of important information. I think it would be worthwhile to add questions about specific overlaps and compatibility between ideologies. Questions about the role of government (as a protector of rights, as a mutual-aid organization, as a leader, etc.), about private property, personal property, and common property (e.g. which one should be the predominant kind of property? Should any of them be removed from society?) and other items which make the ideologies what they are should be asked. Then, there could be a multiple-choice for which ideologies you could support, if they had the ability to replace the existing political and economic system.

This is certainly interesting and I’ve already decided to add some questions of this extent as well. Will need to think how many others I can cram into a multiple-question.

I suggest attempting to make a clear distinction between advocates of big government and advocates of *this* big government.

Hmm, how many such advocates are there? AFAIK both conservatives and social democrats always push governments towards an idealized status. I don’t think many are happy with the current one. Furthermore, since this is a test that I mostly target at Anarchists, I think most will simply skip this question.

– The political choices are very US-focused.

This is a weird feedback. How do you mean?

Consider adding “I don’t know” as a possible answer.

To some questions, that defeats their purpose. I am considering adding “Apolitical” though, although I guess such would simply not take the survey in the first place?

Asking about labels is not necessarily a good idea. That is, people can call themselves whatever they want but not really have a clue as to what that entails.

True, but for an amateur survey I do not have much choice. Hopefully, the addition of the Political Compass might help.

Asterisks exist for some questions without the footnote that should be there.

There are more types of Conservatives than you allow in your questions. I’m a Libertarian Conservative, not a Libertarian Socialist, but that’s not an option in your poll.

Asterisks denote mandatory questions, not footnotes.

As for Conservatives, I thought about adding such an option but I’m not certain what their significant difference from Liberals and Social Democrats is. I have even less an idea what a Libertarian Conservative is.

Also, the question about recent change in ideology should be modified. Recent change is subjective, so I’m not really sure how to answer. You should either simply ask if I have changed, and if so, what I was before, or you should ask if I’ve changed, and then, if so, how long ago did I change?

Hmm, yes, this does sound a bit more clear. Other opinions?

Have definition links embedded within the political assignments. ie, define libertarian socialist, etc.

Not certain if that is possible but it sounds like a good idea. Wikipedia?

I once postulated that you might be able to tell the difference between a republican and a democrat using functional MRI. Let me explain.

In this model, democrats are those who primarily see the world in terms of cooperation and republicans see it primarily in terms of competition. Of course, each of us knows that many parts of the world work according to each model, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that one couldn’t easily classify people by their predilection to presume that most of the world should be viewed as either one or the other.

“Cooperation or Competition” does not sound like a bad question. I think I’ll add it.

I started out as state soc leaning at ansoc, converted to the Libertarian Party, spun into ancap, and then found myself a libsoc… this quiz doesn’t allow me to say how crooked my path has been!

You’re killing me here 🙂 But I think you’re such a small minority in your political changes that it wouldn’t make much of a difference if you answered it as an approximation.


Phew, so this is the end. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this analysis and I hope I’ll see you all in version 2 of this survey (no ETA yet). Below you’ll find a link to the raw exported data I’ve pulled today with which you can play in a spreadsheet. I release all of it under the same CC licence as the rest of this site so knock yourself out and just let me know if you write about it so I can link to you.

Raw Data: CSV, XML


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Why are you a Market Anarchist?

colourful spices in a french market
Image by GavinBell via Flickr

In recent posts I’ve been arguing a lot with various strands of Free Market Anarchists on the benefits of using such a free market approach and on trusting in them to achieve a better result for the society. The more I discuss, the more it dawns to me that there is a fundamental distinction between them and it basically relates to the reasons why one embraced Free Market Anarchy as a social theory.

The way I see it, there are two different reasons why one can end up being a Market Anarchist.

  1. Free Markets are the best way to achieve liberty.
  2. Liberty is the Free Markets.

Proponents of the first type are generally the ones who are far more interested in achieving the most personal liberty rather than in the specific system they will use to do so. This is the utilitarian perspective which considers that the best result for humanity as a whole is by maximizing each person’s individual liberty and are under the belief that free markets facilitate exactly that. I generally have no problem with this type of Market Anarchist as sooner or later they will come to the conclusion that the best way to maximize individual liberty is by achieving egalitarianism as well and thus turn socialist. This seems to be the way most Mutualists I’ve spoken with think of it at least.

In short, for the first type, Liberty and by necessary extension Equality are the most important part, the end goal. The Free Markets are merely the best way they believe we have to achieve this result. Such a perspective is open minded. Given enough arguments and solid criticism showing that the free markets cannot, in fact, achieve this goal, that person will discard this belief and embrace something that can. That is not to say that all will, but the fact that they are open about it is what will facilitate dialogue and constructive discussion.

It is the second path to Free Market Anarchism that I find flawed.

The latter type are nominally for liberty as well but they have a very distorted view of it. One seems to start again from questing for the best way to achieve liberty but then somehow is quickly immersed in Free Market rhetoric from the likes of the Austrian school of Economics. Using theoretical proofs of “working (propertarian) free markets” based on pure logic and unrealistic assumptions, the concept of liberty is conflated with the concept of propertarian free markets. It becomes dogma.

The original question of “what maximizes liberty?” is forgotten. All arguing commences from the position “Libertarianism is the Free Markets” which ends up misrepresenting the position of anyone who argues against this as authoritarian and easily devolves into flamewars. Even worse, when the logical consequences of such a perspective are pointed out as non-libertarian, an extreme rationalization kicks in to turn black into white. “It’s libertarian as long as it’s voluntary“, “It’s libertarian if no fraud or violence is involved.” etc etc. It is through such a distortion that the clear, authoritarian nature of a hierarchical relationship such as the one between boss and wage-worker can be rationalized away as “libertarian”, even though the worker maintains no freedom while working. It is through such a distortion that voluntary slavery can be defended as “libertarian.”

If the original question is brought up again, if the original economic assumptions are challenged, I very often receive a fallacious responses of a religious fervor. The most common being an argument from authority, most usually the authority of the Austrian school of economics naturally. When that fails, the most common fallback arguments I see is either the abstraction of the free market to the irrelevant or the trounce card of arguing for private property rights (and by extension Free markets to control distribution) via the Natural Law concept.

So the main difference between these two paths to Market Anarchism can be separated between Utilitarian and Ideological perspective. The Utilitarian perspective starts from the trying to achieve a utilitarian result, discovers that maximizing liberty is a necessary part of it and considers that free market anarchism is the best way to achieve this. The ideological perspective on the other hand starts from various asserted axioms, eg “Private Property rights are an objective reality”,  “The Non-Aggression principle leads to greater liberty”, “Free Markets are Pareto Efficient” etc and finds that Free Market Anti-Statism is the ideology that brings them all together in one package.

Thus, whatever the practical result of such a Free Market Anti-Statism might be is irrelevant as it has already been defined to be “Libertarian.” And it is this exact reason why I often find it so frustrating to discuss with (or even read) the latter type of Market Anarchist, as something that is obviously authoritarian or exploitative in nature is ignored at best (“It can only happen via the state”) or defended at worst (Slave Contracts).

But there is one particular argument I hear from the ideological market anarchist. When I point to a very possible authoritarian result of propertarian markets, such as sexual harassment in the workplace, crypto-feudalism or simply widespread wage-slavery, a common response (right after defending it as “voluntary”) is to claim “Oh that would probably never happen without the state anyway”. But then I have to ask: Why do you care about that? Whether that comes to be or not should not matter at all as long as it is the result of the “free market” should it?

In these market anarchists I see a strained dualism, where that person really wants to have a generally libertarian society, where hierarchy and authority are minimal if not abolished but at the other hand, just cannot bring themselves to consider discarding the propertarian free markets concept as all. It manifests itself in expressions such as “Certainly the worker has to sacrifice his liberty as a wage-slave and certainly sweatshop wage-slavery is not a good result but in a truly free market, the increased competition would give all workers such a competitive advantage that sweatshops could never exist and most people would be able to be self-employed if they really wanted to.”

If you would not like to see widespread wage-slavery, propertarian feudalism, hierarchy from 3rd institutions etc then why do you not start from this position in the first place? Why don’t you start by considering a socioeconomic system which would make such possibilities systematically impossible. Perhaps this will be possible via the free markets. Perhaps you’ll have to abolish private property. Perhaps you’ll have to move away from the markets altogether. But as long as your basic results are achieved, you shouldn’t care anyway, right?

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Free Markets are libertarian but libertarianism is not the Free Markets

Carrots and other vegetables for sale at Balla...
Image via Wikipedia

Just thought I’d throw this out there since this idea, that the only way to have libertarianism is to have a free market economy, keeps popping up from people coming from the right. It’s even more annoying when the same people also insist that the only way to have free markets is in a propertarian system where hierarchies of landlords and bosses wouldn’t affect the “libertarianism” of the society at all. Oh no.

Yes, a truly free market is a libertarian concept as it is based on the condition that people freely trade with each other, but then you still have to define what a truly free market is. Not all markets are free and the existence of a market is not enough or even necessary for liberty. A free society might choose voluntarily to avoid money and markets if the individuals within it so wish thankyouverymuch.

This confusion imho arises from the common misconceptions of people on the right about “human nature” and “natural human societies.” Specifically there is the impression that humans societies will naturally default to a market economy and thus some kind of coercion will be necessary to stop people from “freely trading with each other.” From this assumption spring all the automatic accusations against libertarian socialists of being “statists”, “authoritarians” etc which when directed against Anarchists can be just a tad annoying.

In fact, this argument is ridiculously common. From my experience, it’s so common that in discussions you’ll have with a free market proponent (anarchist or minarchist) where you mention that your idea of a future society will not include free markets, there a very high probability that their next response will be something like this:

How are you going to stop people from trading then? Are you going to forbit it forcefully? Will you use your “people’s army?”. Authoritarian! Statist!

Seriously people. We don’t care if you trade to your heart’s content in your own free societies, but just because we can visualise one where people have decided not to subject themselves to social darwinism does not automatically make it less libertarian. Markets will not be even explicitly forbidden in a communist society in the first place, people within it will be free to trade just as well, make up their own paper currency or whatever other such nonsense. We simply expect that nobody will wish to do so as it will be wholly unnecessary and alienating for the participants.

The only thing LibSocs would ever actively oppose is attempts to re-introduce hierarchies once more into human existence. It is not oppressive to oppose all oppression.

So can you please cut it out already with the misguided accusations? I’d be really appreciated and I can guarantee it will help your dialogue with us be constructive rather than devolving into a flamewar.

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Does private property facilitate sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment
Image via Wikipedia

It seems that the Walter Block quote on sexual harassment I posted a while back has been rediscovered by various libertarians online and  lots of criticism, analysis and defenses (of PP not Block) have been written about it. It appears as even Walter Block himself appeared on the scene to distance himself from his own words.

However, the issue here is not as simple as merely saying that Block made a flawed logical reasoning, or that it was all a mistake or anything as simple as that. The quote above is simply a pointed example of the intellectual dead-end one reaches when his whole ethical framework resolves around respect for Private Property and fetishism of  voluntarism.

The issue here is that what Block wrote, unfortunately is a logical conclusion of suggesting voluntarism and the non-aggression principle within a propertarian environment as the core of ethics. It is, unfortunately consistent with “Anarcho”-Capitalist principles.

Most defenses of Private property I’ve seen (for an example, see the No Third Solution argument) orbit around the concept that harassment is prevented by the Non-Aggression principle and the lack of an explicit contract to allow it to happen. In short they consider the problem to be simply one of a contractual nature. They miss the elephant in the room by looking at the murals.

You see, there’s basically two arguments put forth here. So lets look at them in turn

“The Problem is not that the boss is harassing the secretary, but that he is harassing her without having an explicit clause in their employment contract allowing him to do so.”

This argument in short suggests that there is nothing wrong with a boss who only hires secretaries as a personal semi-harem, as long as he makes that known from the start. It assumes then that any secretary which agrees to this contract cannot then consider the sexual advances she agreed to, to be harassment.

This argument, while on the surface seems legit, is not in fact any more different than Block’s. It simply moves the agreement of the secretary from the implicit to the explicit. Whereas block asserted that the secretary’s continuous acceptance of the sexual harassment (i.e. not quitting her job over it) was an implicit agreement to it and thus not “harassment”, the contractual argument simply desires to take the same exact situation and legitimize it via the legal stamp.

However this argument misses the point that in both cases, the implicit or explicit acceptance of the harassment from the secretary is not caused because she wants it but because of the lack of alternatives. Because the other choices that remain to her if she does not accept the harassment or sign the contract are worse (ex starvation of her and her family.) The same secretary which “volunteered” to be harassed without a contract in Block’s example will also “volunteer” to sign the contract. Does the nature of her harassment change because she signed a piece of paper? Does the moral condemnation the boss deserves for abusing his position disappear?

Of course not, because the moral condemnation does not spring from the “aggression” the boss performs against the secretary but from the fact that he is using his position of power, which stems from inequality of wealth, to passively coerce the secretary to accept behaviour she would not otherwise accept if she was on equal standing.

The second problem which logically follows from the propertarian system is this:

“The boss can initiate a sexual advance towards the secretary who is at all liberty to refuse. However the boss then is at all liberty to fire her and there is nothing at all wrong with this.”

I believe that this is even more tricky for propertarians to defend. If we assume that the boss would not go straight to pinching (which the right-“libertarians” can then jump to label as “aggression”) but would initially “test the waters” so to speak by starting with subtle advancement and then growing bolder the more such advancements are accepted we end up exactly in the original Blockean argument once more.

Let’s say that this Boss does a subtle sexual advancement which the Secretary refuses. The Boss then fires her (terminating their “voluntary contract”). Next secretary? Same thing. And so on until he finds one secretary which is in a desperate enough situation that she tolerates his initial advances. He then becomes bolder and bolder until we reach the phase of pinching. Can we call that “aggression”? No since the secretary did not show outright refusal to such an advance and for the boss it can look like a normal progression of human relationship (or some other similar phrasing of his excuse). After all, the secretary is free at any point to make it clear that she does not appreciate his advances…and get fired.

In fact, the prudent “libertarian” boss, would not offer a sexual contract upfront to his potential secretaries but would rather follow the above actions until he’s determined that she’s desperate enough, and before moving on to actual physical contact, he would simply request that his secretary sign a new job contract volunteering to his sexual advances so as to legally cover his arse…just in case, you know.

Is there any way for Voluntarism and the NAP to morally condemn the actions of the boss? I fear not. And this again points out the intellectual bankruptcy of this ideology which cannot be covered by shallow “I was wrong to say that” excuses. The problem is that Block was not inconsistent with his ideology. He simply took it to his natural conclusion as he’s done with his acceptance of slave contracts. It just so happened that his argument struck a chord in the feminist movement who saw through the bankruptcy of voluntarism and forced him to backtrack hurriedly, even if he can’t explain the reasoning behind this.

Unlike vulgar-libertarians, a boss firing a secretary because she would not accept such a debasement is immediately a cause for moral condemnation by egalitarians1 as we condemn all situations which passively coerce people to “volunteer” to such humiliation. It is the same reason why we condemn wage-slavery just as much as we condemn sexual harassment. The only difference between those two is that the latter has been taken out of the status of “normal” by the brave actions of the feminist movement while the former is still seen as something natural. But the underlying causes for one to “volunteer” to sexual harassment are exactly the same as what causes one to “volunteer” to wage slavery: Private Property.

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  1. Of course I maintain that one cannot be a consistent libertarian without being egalitarian as well but that’s beside the point []

The political path of a freethinker

The end of the path along Redhill/Storeton
Image by jimmedia via Flickr

I’ve written in the past on what the obvious trend for freethinker’s political orientation is but the more I talk and interact with libertarians online, the more I notice a second, more passive trend which seems to be present in the political history of those people. The Libertarian Socialist Pull.

This means the general tendency to move towards the left or, to put it a bit more practically, start giving more weight to concepts of justice, mutual aid and equality, as well as the tendency to move towards liberty which means to start demanding the right to manage all aspects of your own life without a higher authority and prioritize direct action. The first part then expresses the empathy all humans possess for others, while the second expresses the individualism which allows each human to naturally distinguish themselves.

It is no wonder then that the more someone experiences, the more they start to notice all the aspects of our current existence which limit those expressions and if this is coupled with thinking freely about them, that is, when someone does not have any irrational beliefs which would prevent them from looking at and judging the underlying causes, (eg “Goddidit”) then it is only natural that the truth will be found and lead to some uncomfortable conclusions about all the things we’ve considered normal until now.

This is by no means an easy process and can be as difficult as a deconversion if one is to start from a point of heavy indoctrination1. As such, it is a gradual progression, with people slowly discovering the puzzle pieces which just don’t seem to fit right, no matter how you turn them and then discarding them, only to discover that a whole chunk of the puzzle has now become disconnected and can be discarded as well.

From what I’ve observed, it seems that there are generally two paths towards Libertarian Socialism, one from Socialism and one from Libertarianism and which one people start walking depends on their upbringing and general circumstances and experiences. But in broad strokes, I would say that we can talk about two types of human personality which are more susceptible to either pull: Empathetic  – which is positive towards Socialism and Individualist which prioritizes Libertarianism. Why? Because the personality one has will define which difficult questions the freethinker will choose to investigate first.

Where one starts in the current political spectrum is not so important but it generally also correlates to one’s personality as well (although of course irrational beliefs one has not yet discarded play a large role). However as one asks the pointed questions and discovers that the easy answers are unfulfilling or just do not stand the light of reason so do the answers one discovers pull them more towards the Libertarian or Socialist pathways. You’ll notice I’ve split these two for now because it may very well be the case that one may initially move away from the other side as the initial answers which make sense, feel like a breath of cool air among stagnating fumes, and as a result are accepted with less rigor as one strives to investigate the whole spectrum of thought these ideas originate. In fact, I would say it’s rare for one to move simultaneously towards socialism and libertarianism at the same time.

EDIT: I realize that there is something I probably should have mentioned2 as it is quite important: What is it that causes some people to be empathetic while others to be individualistic? The answer to this is the material conditions one lives in. For example, wage-workers are quite unlikely to be individualists as the constant interaction with fellow human workers and the actual experience of the dreadfulness of wage-slavery is sure to fan the flames of empathy and mutual aid as they seek to collectively improve their lot and resist against the bosses. On the other hand, those lucky few who get to be entrepreneurs have the uncommon chance to experience liberty of action and control of one’s own destiny which make all interventions by a state seem as a horrible violation of rights. For them then, individualism becomes the primary basis of ethics. It is in fact for this reason that the individualists are always so outnumbered compared to socialists as there’s far more wage-slaves than there’s entrepreneurs or rich people.

As a general observation, the Socialist path will usually lead one towards Social Democracy while the Libertarian path will lead someone towards Liberalism (“Liberalism” and “Libertarianism” respectively for all you Yanks) but sooner or later one will discover the inability of the state apparatus to perform the tasks one expects from it (Protect public interests or Protect private property respectively for each path) and will take anti-reformist turn to revolution or anti-statism.

Thus we end up with something like this (Where “|>” symbolizes the break with reformism) :

Empathetic: Apolitical > Social Democrat |> Socialist > Vulgar Marxist (eg Stalinist, Maoist etc).

Individualistic: Apolitical >  Free Market Minarchist |> Liberal > Vulgar Libertarian (eg “Anarcho”-Capitalist).

Now it is very possible that someone will progress all the way to the far side of this path and stay there, or be brought up with such a ideology in the first place and just stay there3. But what I’ve noticed happening more often than not, is that after the break with reformism, freethinkers reach a dead-end and start noticing the impassable barrier posed by the following fact:

You can’t have equality without liberty and you can’t have liberty without equality.

The reasons for this have been explained many times by lots of anarchists so I won’t go into much detail other than to say that the practical implications of it make themselves known by the actual experience of everyone who has had their rights trampled by the state (even the “worker’s state) or their lives disrupted or ruined by the capitalist bosses.

Once this is noticed, then the second part of the freethinker’s journey begins as Libertarians and Socialists move towards their converging point. Anarchism.

My own experience of course has not been much different. I started profoundly apolitical but very empathetic. As soon as I linked the huge societal and environmental issues of our time to the economic system we live in I started moving towards a State Socialist direction, taking a break with reformism once I read the arguments against the failure of the parliamentary process and finally rejecting the need for a state in socialism as something counter-productive.

On the other side, I’ve seen and heard of many examples of Individualists, even at the extreme end of “Anarcho”-Capitalism coming to reject that ideology and start espousing more leftist concepts to the point of passing into the anti-capitalist camp altogether. The best historical example of this is of course Voltairine de Cleyre while in own online circles I’ve noticed (among others) Francois Tremblay and just yesterday Sean from the Skeptical Eye, both of which started from Objectivism no less.

In fact, the latter was what triggered me to write this post as it’s something that I seem to notice almost monthly lately. This was because we had quite clash a while back when both of us were more in our respective polar ends so when he explained that he’s almost abandoned his pro-capitalist ideas, it was just a very powerful real-world example of what I was thinking already.

None of this of course is meant to imply that one is not a freethinker unless the progress towards Libertarian Socialism anymore than one can expect a freethinker is always right. Of course I think people who have not yet embraced Anarchism are wrong but this is only logical, this does not mean that they are close minded. However I do have the impression, backed by experience, that the Libertarian Socialist Pull is in fact real for freethought.

And that is a cause for hope.

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  1. In fact, deconverting from a patriarchal or otherwise authoritarian religion would be rightly considered just one step in the greater process of the Libertarian Socialist Pull as the causes of such a deconversion are most likely the free thinking about the differences between the theory of faith and the experience of reality []
  2. h/t to redditr commernie []
  3. Which I attribute to them investing too much of their life to accept that they might be wrong, or on groupthink []

Why Anarchists and "Anarcho"-Capitalists can't be allies

Protester throwing Molotov Cocktail at a polic...
Image via Wikipedia

One things that crops up over and over when someone on the libertarian right notices the outright hostility of anarchists when he appropriates the “Anarchist” label for himself is the accusation of “harming the movement” by not being willing to look past differences and work with each other for a stateless society. The argument goes that since both Anarchist and “Anarcho”-Capitalists wish a stateless society but simply with a different mode of production (Socialism VS Capitalism respectively) we have at least one common goal we should be working together for: The abolition of the State.

On first view, this makes a modicum of sense, if we both want a stateless society, and if we are willing to tolerate each others productive organization within their respective areas, then why are we fighting, arguing and criticizing each other when united we could be more formidable in both convincing people and undermining the state?

The answer is simple: Tactics.

It is true that Anarchists wouldn’t try to violently enforce libertarian socialism on other areas and other people. This is simply contrary to the whole theory behind it. As such, it is only to be expected that after a possible revolution, in some parts of the world capitalist relations would remain and some of them might even approach the “Anarcho”-Capitalist model. However a revolution will not happen by itself. The areas which turn Anarchist or “Anarcho”-Capitalist will do so – will move to either stateless direction, by the methods that were used to bring the general populace to the boiling point of revolt.

And these methods are inherently opposite.

Libertarian Socialist of all types (yes, including individualist anti-capitalist anarchists) generally promote all tactics of Direct Action and Mutual Aid. This means that they will be positive to Unions, Strikes, Takeovers, Cooperatives, Mutual Banks, Communes and the like. They will even be the least hostile on state acts giving more power to the working class1 Their arguments on the other hand, will be based on the things which support such paths. That would include stuff like the fact human evolutionary psychology is conductive to Mutual Aid, the validity of the Labour Theory of Value and the consequent exploitation theory, the moral imperative for self-determination and self-management, a hostility against all types of domination and hierarchy and so on.

On the other hand, the “Anarcho”-Capitalist, even though distinctly lacking in tactics, are ideologically opposed to most such measures which would bring a society to a libertarian socialist revolt. They are against unions (at least, most of them are), against expropriation of land and capital by those who work it, consider Cooperatives “ineffective”, vehemently oppose all state acts which increase social security (while being least hostile to state acts which simply protect private property more) etc. Their ideological bases furthermore compels them to acts as apologists to the system through their dismissal of the LTV, the ethical support for the right to Private Property, accumulation and usury, the allowance or even support of hierarchy and domination as long as it’s “voluntary” and so on.

Even what tactics they do have end up being opposite to anarchist principles since they advocate the consolidation of force and judgement to third parties which is a distinctly anti-direct action idea.

All of this should make it obvious that there is an impassable rift between these two movements2 which prevents both of them from working together to change the system, since they would be simply pulling in opposite directions, countering each other. Much like the practical gap between Private Property and Possession, so does the difference of tactics and theory make co-operation of these two camps impossible.

Sure, if by simply willing it strong it enough, lots of people could magically pop-out a stateless society, then “joining forces” might make sense. But the world is not the magical la-la land. It’s the paths we tread, the methods we espouse and the tactics we use that defines which kind of stateless society we will have in the end.

So please “Anarcho”-Capitalists, Right Libertarians and all other assorted Propertarians, don’t ask us to co-operate and accept your as “fellow Anarchists”. Our possible co-existence in a stateless future is irrelevant when in the real world your whole worldview is counter-productive to what we suggest.

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  1. Anarchists do not support using the state to push forth regulations but do not oppose regulations which benefit the working class out of principle. Such regulation, even though flawed, can be the result of direct action or can give some breathing space for the workers to request more and get their hopes up. []
  2. Well one movement and one ideology, as there’s not really any actual movement behind AnCaps []

A Social Democrat and a Mutualist duke it out

My RSS reader recently lit up with a new post on the Black Sun Journal attacking (or defending against?) Francois Tremblay’s calling him out over a Facebook discussion. Now this should have normally been another instance of internet drama (of the kind I keep getting into myself unfortunately) and I wouldn’t have gotten involved (especially since I’ve gotten in my own private flamewars with Francois in the past), if it wasn’t for Sean bringing up the whole topic of Anarchism and not only misrepresenting it horribly in order to denounce it but also making some common arguments for statism, which stem out of ignorance. Ignorance which I’ve pointed out to him in the past and he simply (obviously) ignored.

From the get-go, it’s obvious that Sean conflates Anarchism with the (far-smaller) individualistic wing, even bordering on merging it with the right-“libertarianism” of Rothbard and other wannabe Anarchists. This by itself is a blunder as he only seems to perceive the individualist aspects of Anarchism while ignoring the very solid theory that exists on the points of society organization, community management economics and-so-on. In short, he assumes that Anarchism is simply Anti-statism and wishful thinking which is a wholly intellectually dishonest representation he’s been called on many times before and should know better than.

So lets look at Sean’s specific arguments against Anarchism and dismantle them one-by-one.

Why do humans have an even longer history of violence than do governments?

Here Sean is countering the classic straw-man of social-democrats, the “Noble Savage” which is the idea that people were more peaceful in the past. Anarchist do not claim that humans are inherently peaceful and abstain from violence. That may be a pacifist’s myth but not an Anarchist’s (although a minority of Anarchists are pacifists). As such, this poses no argument against Anarchism?

Yes, humans can be violent but they can also be peaceful if their society and the ethic values they are raised with promote such a behaviour. The rise of civilized behaviour thus, is not the cause of the state but of the changing values of humans which eventually the state acknowledged in the form of laws, laws which always follow the acts of man rather than the other way around.

Furthermore, while tribal societies may have been more violent, there were also far more egalitarian. This is the aspect that Anarchists point at as a fact that our proposed social-structures are not against human nature. Sure, the Celts may have been killing one another, but such deaths were usually cross-tribal and when they were within the same tribe, very often you’ll find that they were against usurpers of power, such as power-grabbing warchiefs and the like. Looking at other tribal structures such as the Iroquois, we notice similar patterns.

And what about the recent reduction of violence? Was that caused by the emergence of republics and the capitalist mode of production? Here Sean has far less of a base to stand on other than simple correlation. What we in fact notice is that the drop of violence does not correlate with republics which for many years promoted inhuman acts such as human Slavery and still promote many forms of human-over-human domination. Rather the drop of violence correlates far better with the rise of rationalism, a process which started only a few hundred years ago.

What in fact has happened under Capitalism (and its supporting state apparati) is the continuation of human suffering, not in the form of active violence, but rather in the form of passive coercion or economic destitution. To put it more simply, instead of humans killing humans, they simply let them die (from starvation or easily preventable diseases). And the rate of which this death occurs, as can be seen from the scale of misery which occurs in most nations outside the rich “developed” ones, vastly outnumbers the suffering from active violence that occurred in pre-civilization periods.

Do humans universally manipulate for power and profit?

While humans can manipulate each other for such reasons, this is far from being the natural state of mind of human behaviour. It is this precice point which Anarchists call attention to when they say that it’s the environment that shapes the behaviour of humans inside it.

Sean once again appeals to human nature as he perceives it and brings as backup genetics (ie the Selfish Gene). But what he misses is that Genes do not care how they reproduce and perpetuate but only that they do, and what this means is that the way by which they go about doing this does not have to be competitive.

This fact escapes Sean who is so keen to tie evolutionary science with his pro-capitalist bias (ie he wishes to have an empirical foundation) that he jumps to conclusion on how this works in human societies.

The actual empirical facts however beg to differ and in fact utterly demolish Sean’s argument that the human drive is a materialistic self-interest. Kropotkin’s evolutionary studies on Mutual Aid have not only shown that species (even different species) can find it far more helpful to cooperate rather than compete for natural resources but he has extensively documented how the human civilization naturally moves towards such a cooperative society (ie egalitarianism) when state-domination is reduced.

Not only that, but Engel’s analysis on the rise of the state and the pre-civilization familiar structures further reinforce that humans, lacking factors which promote inequality (such as private property) naturally form co-operative societies and in fact strong co-operative bonds were evolutionary required before Homo Sapiens became a viable evolutionary path.

So no. Humans will not naturally manipulate for power and profit, but when you put them into an environment which naturally selects for those which will manipulate for power and profit, then those will be selected. This is in fact what is happening in a propertarian economy and which Sean takes for granted and then draws his conclusions and states them as a fact of nature.

It is not possible to “opt out” of society.

Here we can clearly see Sean’s confusion on what Anarchism is and his merging it with Right-“Libertarian” rhetoric.  His argument is simply that people live in societies and as such need to provide for those more unfortunate around them. But Anarchists do not claim that they should not! If anything anarchists stress the requirements of acts such as Mutual Aid and (social anarchists) generally promote socialistic measures such as “according to need”. And while individualist anarchists and mutualists embrace a more market-based economy, they also oppose “sticky” property (ie private property) and believe that such a society would be better because the truly free market (ie free from inequality and the state) would be able to care for the less unfortunate without people needing to give the power to do so to a higher authority.

So Sean is proposing a false dilemma when he assumes that there’s only two choices, Tax-funded governmental social nets and dog-eat-dog rugged individualism. Anarchism is in fact all about pointing out that it is, in fact very difficult to opt-out of society (although not impossible as Sean suggests) but that this society does not have to be condensed around a nanny state who will care for us. It is about pointing out that a nanny state is far worse at providing such functions than what freely cooperating individuals are.

In fact, very often the delegation of the safety net to the state is a detriment to those who need it as the state is a tool of the ruling elite and as such this safety net will be dismantled when it goes against their interests. The experience of the last 35 years in the developed world should have been enough of a waking call to the flaws of this perspective. One only has to look at how the Reaganites gutted social spending once they got into power and such a trend continued through both Social Democrat and Liberal rule even when obviously against the will of the “democracy”. One also only needs to look at the phenomenal success of community driven mutual aid projects such as building societies, clothing clubs and the like to provide social safety despite the failure of both government and markets to achieve this.

Examples such as these should have been enough to make most people reconsider their opinion on what humans do “naturally”…

Will humans without regulation exploit and destroy common resources?

It is funny that Sean brings up the “Tragedy of the Commons” argument against Anarchism. A theory so debunk by studies in communal societies and co-operative management that it’s laughable to see it brought up as a counter to anything but free-for-all capitalism. Something that not even the right-“libertarians” do not suggest (They prefer to privatize everything).

Once again, that Sean brings this up as an argument against what he thinks is “Anarchism” is once more a case in point that he has not even bothered to understand what Anarchism is, even after the numerous times I explained that he has not understood it yet.

In closing, I will quote the last paragraphs of Sean which is in fact what has itched me enough to write this post to counter his rampart confusion:

There are many other sound reasons (beyond the scope of this article) why anarcho-anything does not work and can never work. Humans are a social, hierarchical species, and we need organizers.

No Sean. You have not yet proven that we are hierarchical species or that we need organizers. You simply allow your preconceptions to blind you and stubbornly refuse to understand why what you say is wrong. You seem content to simply repeat it.

Still anarchists continue with their irrational claims that people will all just somehow naturally work together for the common good, absent external incentives

*Sigh* No Sean. We do not claim that. In fact what we claim is that it is the external incentives that will shape how humans will work together and thus we propose a society structure (ie an external incentive) that naturally selects for co-operation and altruism rather than greed and domination over others.

What irrational claim, in fact, continues in this case, is your ideas of what Anarchists claim without having bothered to understand the theory behind them, the extensive evidence backing them up and the already existing criticism of your arguments that me and others have repeatedly pointed out to you.

And this is the last time I bother to correct your misrepresentations of Anarchism. If you continue with your misguided arguments as if they have not been addressed already, you will forever have exposed yourself as someone who does not care about the truth but only about stubbornly sticking to your ideological castle and basking in your own assumed intellectual superiority.

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Just to remind you why Right-"libertarianism" is intellectually bankrupt

Quoth Walter Brock [pdf]

“Consider the sexual harassment which continually occurs between a secretary and a boss . . . while objectionable to many women, [it] is not a coercive action. It is rather part of a package deal in which the secretary agrees to all aspects of the job when she agrees to accept the job, and especially when she agrees to keep the job. The office is, after all, private property. The secretary does not have to remain if the ‘coercion’ is objectionable.”

Lame as always.

On a brighter side, here’s why you should check up on Voltairine De Cleyre. Feminist, Syndicalist, Anarchist without adjectives.