Libertarian Socialism

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  • #1
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There are references to libertarian socialism in Spain between 1936 and 1937.

What led to its demise?

Even if libertarian socialism is the natural extension of classical liberalism, it would be rather difficult to implement at present.

I don't even think it would take place in a utopian society.
 

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  • #2
Astronuc
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There are references to libertarian socialism in Spain between 1936 and 1937.

What led to its demise?
Francisco Franco? Franco was head of state of Spain from October 1936 (whole country from 1939 on), and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November 1975.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Franco
 
  • #3
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Why then does Chomsky refer to that period of Spain as under libertarian socialism?
 
  • #4
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism


""Early in the twentieth century, libertarian socialism was as powerful a force as social democracy and communism. The Libertarian International– founded at the Congress of Saint Imier a few days after the split between Marxist and libertarians at the congress of the Socialist International held in The Hague in 1872– competed successfully against social democrats and communists alike for the loyalty of anticapitalist activists, revolutionaries, workers, unions and political parties for over fifty years. Libertarian socialists played a major role in the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917. Libertarian socialists played a dominant role in the Mexican Revolution of 1911. Twenty years after World War I was over, libertarian socialists were still strong enough to spearhead the social revolution that swept across Republican Spain in 1936 and 1937."[21]"
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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Why then does Chomsky refer to that period of Spain as under libertarian socialism?
I don't believe that it was, or rather, not completely so.

See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Revolution
In Spain during almost three years, despite a civil war that took a million lives, despite the opposition of the political parties (republicans, left and right Catalan separatists, socialists, Communists, Basque and Valencian regionalists, petty bourgeoisie, etc.), this idea of libertarian communism was put into effect. Very quickly more than 60% of the land was collectively cultivated by the peasants themselves, without landlords, without bosses, and without instituting capitalist competition to spur production. In almost all the industries, factories, mills, workshops, transportation services, public services, and utilities, the rank and file workers, their revolutionary committees, and their syndicates reorganized and administered production, distribution, and public services without capitalists, high salaried managers, or the authority of the state.

. . . .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War

Franco and his allies were all about taking control (as in an oligarchy), which would be at odds with the Social Libertarian movement.
Following the military coup, working-class revolutions spread across the country in support of the Republican government, but were all brutally put down by the army. The war ended with the victory of the nationalist forces, the overthrow of the Republican government, and the founding of a dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco.
And of course, WW II came along shortly thereafter.
 
  • #7
Sea Cow
The anarchists within the Republican coalition were more or less crushed by the Soviet-backed communist party, the PCE. The anarchists and the socialist party, the POUM, advocated radical social reform, and in particular a radical new egalitarian approach to army discipline, and the PCE turned against them during the war, in particular in Barcelona in 1937.

George Orwell talks extensively about the internal undermining of the Popular Front by Stalin in his book Homage to Catalonia (Orwell fought with the POUM, rather than the PCE-controlled International Brigades).
 
  • #8
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There are more wikipedia citations than I thought there would be in an academic forum.
 
  • #9
Al68
Even if libertarian socialism is the natural extension of classical liberalism, it would be rather difficult to implement at present.
Libertarianism is essentially classical liberalism, but by definition, libertarianism precludes any implemented economic system at all.

Most of the world uses the word "capitalism" to describe the lack of any implemented economic system, even if socialism is commonly practiced voluntarily, such as historically in the U.S.
 
  • #10
There are more wikipedia citations than I thought there would be in an academic forum.
Do you see anything wrong with the articles cited?
 
  • #11
Char. Limit
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Am I the only one who sees something wrong with the name "libertarian socialism", which makes about as much sense as "cold fire"?

Libertarians are in general against restrictions, including economic restrictions. (Using Nolan's Square from his Political Quiz here)

Socialists, which I believe are somewhat like liberals, believe in many economic restrictions.

Thus, "cold fire".
 
  • #12
Libertarians are in general against restrictions, including economic restrictions. (Using Nolan's Square from his Political Quiz here)

Socialists, which I believe are somewhat like liberals, believe in many economic restrictions.
Restrictions would be legal recourse for enforcing the social philosophy. Libertarian Socialists would apparently believe in a socialist philosophy instituted through free choice without any legal or legislative coercion. Which is probably why the term has been applied to anarchism.
 
  • #13
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instituted through free choice without any legal or legislative coercion.
You mean like PF?
 
  • #14
Al68
Restrictions would be legal recourse for enforcing the social philosophy. Libertarian Socialists would apparently believe in a socialist philosophy instituted through free choice without any legal or legislative coercion.
Sounds just like the U.S. prior to the regulatory state to me. The Amish seem to be an example of those practicing it without physical coercion.

Historically the U.S. has had no restrictions on such a thing at all, and has been practiced freely by many. And I've never heard a single person ever object to it politically.

Of course many, like Chomsky, who believe in physically coerced socialism have used "libertarian socialist" to describe themselves in order to mislead others.
 
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  • #15
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physically coerced socialism
Is there any "physically coerced socialism" in the world currently?
 
  • #16
Sea Cow
lol physically coerced?

Yep, all those voters who keep turning out for Chavez are dragged at knife point to the polling booths to vote for him.

Oh, it appears that Venezuela's elections are free and fair. People can actually want socialism, you know.
 
  • #17
Al68
lol physically coerced?

Yep, all those voters who keep turning out for Chavez are dragged at knife point to the polling booths to vote for him.

Oh, it appears that Venezuela's elections are free and fair. People can actually want socialism, you know.
Huh? Are you only pretending to misunderstand what I said? I was referring to the force used against those who don't want to participate, not against those that do. Was that not obvious?

Nobody is even objecting to people practicing socialism that choose to. The objection is to the use of coercion against those who don't, whether they are a minority or not.

The Venezuelan government, like many others, does indeed use physical coercion against those who don't want to participate in socialism. Does the fact that the force is used against a minority mean it's not coercion?
 
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  • #18
Al68
Is there any "physically coerced socialism" in the world currently?
In virtually every country on the planet to varying extent. The word socialism is almost always used to refer to "physically coerced socialism" and only rarely used to refer to voluntary socialism.

My post was a response to a post about voluntary socialism, such as the Amish in the U.S.
 
  • #19
Char. Limit
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Huh? Are you only pretending to misunderstand what I said? I was referring to the force used against those who don't want to participate, not against those that do. Was that not obvious?

Nobody is even objecting to people practicing socialism that choose to. The objection is to the use of coercion against those who don't, whether they are a minority or not.

The Venezuelan government, like many others, does indeed use physical coercion against those who don't want to participate in socialism. Does the fact that the force is used against a minority mean it's not coercion?
The joke is that socialism is hardly ever physically coerced, as in dragging someone or hitting someone. Even the coercion you are thinking of, I believe, is mental.

Physical Coercion is like hitting someone until they give up. Or something like that.
 
  • #20
Al68
The joke is that socialism is hardly ever physically coerced, as in dragging someone or hitting someone. Even the coercion you are thinking of, I believe, is mental.

Physical Coercion is like hitting someone until they give up. Or something like that.
Yes, the Amish use mental coercion, not physical coercion.

But I don't see the joke. I rarely hear the word socialism used to refer to non-physically coerced socialism like the Amish. It's usually used to refer to socialism imposed by government by force.

But the coercion is usually more like imprisonment than "hitting someone until they give up". :smile:
 
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  • #21
The joke is that socialism is hardly ever physically coerced, as in dragging someone or hitting someone. Even the coercion you are thinking of, I believe, is mental.

Physical Coercion is like hitting someone until they give up. Or something like that.
A lot of people, particularly anarchists, see law enforcement as coercion through the threat of violence. I think that this is what Al is referring to.
 
  • #22
Al68
A lot of people, particularly anarchists, see law enforcement as coercion through the threat of violence. I think that this is what Al is referring to.
Yes, that's right. But you don't have to be an anarchist to know that coercion means "force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force."

And physical coercion isn't always bad. We use it to imprison murderers, for example.
 
  • #23
Yes, that's right. But you don't have to be an anarchist to know that coercion means "force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force."

And physical coercion isn't always bad. We use it to imprison murderers, for example.
Understood. I simply mean that it is a central tenet of anarchism. I believe that many libertarians hold similar views except that they do not necessarily have any objection to the use of the threat of violence to uphold the law in certain circumstances.
 
  • #24
Sea Cow
Huh? Are you only pretending to misunderstand what I said? I was referring to the force used against those who don't want to participate, not against those that do. Was that not obvious?

Nobody is even objecting to people practicing socialism that choose to. The objection is to the use of coercion against those who don't, whether they are a minority or not.

The Venezuelan government, like many others, does indeed use physical coercion against those who don't want to participate in socialism. Does the fact that the force is used against a minority mean it's not coercion?
Ah, ok. In that case, your point is meaningless. Your minority may be free not to participate in society, but they would give up any rights granted by that society too – the right to property, for instance. You can't just refuse to take part because you were doing well in the old system.

Next time you fill out your tax return, try telling the tax people that you no longer wish to participate...
 
  • #25
Al68
Ah, ok. In that case, your point is meaningless.
Being outnumbered and outpowered doesn't make my point meaningless. My point is the entire foundation of classical liberalism, and the Enlightenment. The fact that most have been "De-enlightened" by socialist propaganda over the last century doesn't make the tenets of classical liberalism meaningless.
Your minority may be free not to participate in society, but they would give up any rights granted by that society too – the right to property, for instance.
Who said anything about not participating in society? I was referring to not participating in a government program.

And the right to own property (like all rights) isn't granted by society. Another foundational tenet of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism.
You can't just refuse to take part because you were doing well in the old system.
I don't want to be in any "system" involuntarily. This is just not that complicated.

Unless, like some, you are using the word "system" to refer to the lack of a system. Why do people do that?
 
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