Put plainly, "common" ownership of a given resource (say, the coal buried in a mountain) is fine if the members of a community come together as a company and homestead that resource for themselves (i.e., use it or change it in some way that gives it value). In a libertarian society, such a right to communal property would be respected. What the members of a community cannot do, however, is simply declare that they own a resource without homesteading it. If they were to do so, other individual people or companies would be fully justified in taking the resource for themselves, and thus gaining a title of first ownership.
To take the example of coal, an originally unowned natural resource: the people of Town A agree to form a company and mine the coal from a previously unused mountain, sharing the extracted fuel equally amongst themselves in a form of voluntary socialism. If villagers from Town B wish to use the coal that has already been mined or extract coal from a mine shaft built by the people of Town A, they will need the permission of the Town A company (for the sake of illustrating libertarian socialism, let's say that means the unanimous consent of all people in the town, as determined in advance of the whole operation). If they try to take the coal anyway, they have initiated force against the people of the Town A company and would be held liable should Town A take the case to a court (we can get into the subject of how law enforcement might function in a stateless society another time, but right now the topic is how voluntary socialism is compatible with libertarian ethics).
Hope that helps to clarify the matter for people who see libertarianism and socialism as opposites. They're not, and there's no reason they should be.
Socialism vs Libertarianism The great debate.
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(Original post by blueray)
Libertarianism - (longer as less people know about it)
Libertarians believe that each person owns his own life and property, and has the right to make his own choices as to how he lives his life – as long as he simply respects the same right of others to do the same.
Another way of saying this is that libertarians believe you should be free to do as you choose with your own life and property, as long as you don't harm the person and property of others.
Libertarianism is thus the combination of liberty (the freedom to live your life in any peaceful way you choose), responsibility (the prohibition against the use of force against others, except in defense), and tolerance (honoring and respecting the peaceful choices of others).
Socialism - ( I'm sure most know what it is about, so its shorter)
A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole
My questions to you socliasts and libertarians are the following;
1)Which is the better system and why?
(This includes the following, economic, social and environmental factors)
2)Why do you support this system?
3)And why is the other wrong/ worse than yours?
Edit, why have you negged me for starting a great and informative debate? I am not taking sides here, I am merely seeing which one is better. This is evident through all my posts.
I'm a libertarian.
My qualm with statutory socialism is that charity stops being charitable and becomes theft when it is made compulsory. Given that resources are scarce, so is property; thus one can only be so charitable before it becomes of serious detriment to oneself. Thus we are naturally compelled to be more charitable to those with whom we are familiar and know it would strengthern our relationship with them and thus benefit us in some way or other. I didn't choose my fellow citizens of England, so why should I be charitable towards them? Why do they have an entitlement to any of the product of my labour? I shall homeschool my children, and thus my children and I will not benefit from socialised education, so why should I contribute to the funding of something that my children and I don't benefit from and don't like when my money could be better put towards the benefit of myself and my children? Twelve or thirteen subjects at a time (as is the case with GCSE), which I don't remember **** all from afterwards, doesn't sound like a system worth supporting to me. I support the existence of private schools unlike some, if not all, socialists. Why should the state have a monopoly on education? Sounds very Orwellian to me...
If one wishes to engage in mutual aid in a libertarian society, one could join a "mutual aid/benefit society": a voluntary association to provide financial, emotional and/or educational support to one another. Call it the tribe of the modern capitalist-era. This is superior to statutory dominated "socialism" because it is voluntary and with folk whom one likes and feels a loyalty to.
"Benefit societies can be organized around a shared ethnic background, religion, occupation, geographical region or other basis. Benefits may include money or assistance for sickness, retirement, education, birth of a baby, funeral and medical expenses, or unemployment. Often benefit societies provide a social or educational framework for members and their families to support each other and contribute to the wider community."
Not to mention, there would be charitable organisations established to help others like there is today. So if there was poor folk in the community, go help them yourself and, if needed, persuade others to join your cause. This is good because it's voluntary.
So healthcare, education and general welfare, insofar as they cost money, could be funded on a individual, familial or organisational basis (be it an organisation dedicated to giving money to non-members who are in need (a "charity") or a mutual-aid society as described above).
Likewise, if workers want to pool funds to establish a worker-cooperative in the libertarian society: great! No one will stop you. They could be merged with a mutual-aid society.
I am largely of the belief that all charity is self-centred: why does one do charity if not to avoid the feeling of willful neglect if one didn't? Thus it is a question of where this feeling might arise, what sort of person and what level of ailment to them would bring it forth? This should be up to the individual to decide for themselves as they are giving their property (their money or their time) to another. This is the same reason as why honour exists.
Ultimately, libertarianism is about the maximisation of self-ownership. This means the protection of LIFE, LIBERTY and PROPERTY which are all things to do with the SELF and not the involuntary hivemind. This means not initiating aggression against another or their property (murder, rape, theft, child-molestation, and so on). This means having as much freedom to choose how one's money is spent, what one does on one's property, what one does with one's property, and so on. Thus libertarians must oppose compulsory charity in all its forms, must support the legalisation of drugs not to be used where it may lead one to harm others (in the presence of a child, in public, and so on), must support gun-rights and the right to defend one's property by any means deemed necessary by oneself ("An Englishman's home is his castle."), the privatisation of marriage, freedom of association and thus disassociation (think being allowed to be gay and being allowed to deny one's service to a gay), and so on.
I've been ostracised for most of my life for not liking pop culture and other modern obsessions. So suppose I get rich writing novels, why should I have to contribute to the welfare of those who forever, or would have, pushed me aside? I do not belong to this society, I know this; I'd be better off in some ancient time or other. My gods are not your gods (read "celebrities"). I also, after reading 1984, hold governments in great suspicion, hence I want the influence of the state to be deflated and thus not inflated as it would be under more socialism in the UKSSR.
Also, for those folks who are erect over democracy, do remember how the masses (the "democratic mandate") can be easily influenced by the statutory (mis)educative system and the (lame)stream-media? I'd say that the UKSSR is a plutocracy because the very rich fund the political parties, they own the media, and they know where to put money to control the national curriculum. Just because four men want to rape another man doesn't make it right.
As for the socialists who don't like economic inequality, what about Tolkien being pretty well-off as a result of his books? Is that a grave injustice? What about Notch, the maker of Minecraft, getting rich because loads of folk buy his game? Inequality is more than often just a simple fact of life. You and I are different. My computer is different to your computer. My job will be different to your job. One race is different to another. One nation is different to another. One gender is different to another. One set of values is different to another. One colour is different to another. I don't see what is so wrong with difference, it is the fruit of life.
The only way to fully disallow economic inequality would be to ban profit-margins because profit-margins allow for economic growth. It shouldn't take a lot of thinking to tell you how Orwellian that'd be...
There is something called the "Wiccan Rede" which is advice on how Wiccans should live their lives; given that most Wiccans will be leftists, I think it is relevant that I bring this up:
"An it harm none, do as ye will." (="If it harms none, do as you all want.")
This is essentially the non-aggression principle (NAP) of libertarianism.
So unless if you're unjustly physically harming someone, making them fear for their life or harming their property, the state should not have the right to ever intervene. Hence statutory (=compulsory) socialism is incompatible with libertarianism because it tries to enact moral imposition just as a fascist state would, hence why the UKSSR is often called a "nanny state". "The socialist state giveth and the socialist state taketh." However, if one wishes to participate in voluntary socialism (say, a worker's cooperative or a mutual-aid society), then the more the merrier!
The only duty and loyalty I have is to my friends and family; and that duty only remains insofar as they uphold their duty and loyalty to me. The general public do not have an entitlement to the fruits of my labour nor I theirs. I did not consent to being a part of society, and seeing as it is getting more and more inescapable due to the growing Americanisation of the earth, I hope to keep the bastard at bay until I can find a way out (secession of some sort).
(Original post by Tedaus)
I find it hard to accept that someone would want to not have democratically voted laws based on morality of the majority and what society deems moral.
If the majority of people thought that FGM was moral, would you find that ok?
I'm a libertarian (ironic when you look at my profile name), but only very reluctantly. After a while in the political wilderness, having rejected socialism as inefficient, Christianity as corrupt and false, and totalitarianism (at least in general) as being downright barbaric, I felt duped by the authority figures in my life (teachers, parents) and was ready to choose an ideology that fought back. I found libertarianism. It's the only ideology that seems logical to me. It still has its weak points. I disagree with the non-aggression principle and concepts like the "sanctity of life". I believe in pre-emptive strikes and an interventionist foreign policy based on neo-conservatism, which is very anti-libertarian of me, however you have to understand that the military-industrial complex has hijacked neo-conservatism. Neo-conservatism would have prevented WWII and the abomination that was Bolshevism. I also started watching Stefan Molyneux, the anarcho-capitalist YouTube philosopher (whose economic views I embrace, but whose support for anarchy I find distasteful). I have always hated and feared anarchy as corrupt and the rule of the mob, and I do not see how it would be any different under an anarcho-capitalist universe. Molyneux appears to believe that if we all do not hit our children we will breed a new human being that will abide by the NAP. I don't think that follows and I think it's outright nonsense. I have embraced the Austrian economists and have got to work on reading Ayn Rand, having recently finished her "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal", which I quite enjoyed (I'm such an anti-social nerdy **** that I read it at my aunt's birthday/christening party and my annoying anti-intellectual Muslim uncle gave me a talking to).
I style myself a "libertarian conservative" for convenience. My economic views stated on this website have caused some to confuse me with being an anarchist lol. I suppose I am still culturally conservative. I was only ever "conservative" in the sense of being socially conservative due to my religious faith, which I lost in spectacular fashion a year ago after years of faith, and which I am still coming to terms with. Thankfully the cultural Marxists have lost me for all time
Ironically, I remember being very conservative when I was a kid and I had just entered high school, being very anti-communist and anti-Islam, stances which I have now regained. I also recall being in a Citizenship class in Year 7 with a teacher who was an out-and-out communist (he supports Castro of Cuba) and who disapproved of my strong pro-Israel and anti-Islam views, and my defence of Christianity. I started out as his favourite student for being more knowledgeable than everyone else in the class, but I gradually became more and more distant from him, until one particular lesson (and endless bullying later from the militant Pakistani Muslims and other pricks) I condemned Islam in forceful terms that led to me being physically assaulted, PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED, by these Pakistani Muslim terrorists-in-waiting outside the classroom. My teacher actually encouraged the class' condemnation of my words, and my own parents criticised me for speaking out against Islam in class. I will never forget the utter betrayal of my teacher and parents, and the IDIOCY of the brainwashed masses in the form of the baying students in that Citizenship class. The school happened to be the worst in my borough and a ghetto with loads of angry pro-Al-Qaeda Muslims from Pakistan in it. Thankfully I was pulled out after one year and put into a Jewish school instead, how refreshing
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