Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist' Watch

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Drogue
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#3461
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#3461
(Original post by AnarchistNutter)
You just stated that goods have a subjective value according to the consumers, however the same monetary value for each and every good and/or service is hardly subjective, is it? Under capitalism, values are invented by the capitalist to maximise profit, under socialism, values are democratically invented by communes to ensure labourers receive the full value for their product.
No they're not. In capitalism, value is determined by what the consumer is willing to pay, usually the marginal consumer. So if there are 20 of some good, the price is the value the person who values it 21th highest thinks it has. Obviously it's a little more complicated like that when there are imperfections in the market, but that's why it's subjective.

Under communism you can democratically force people to buy/sell something when it's worth less/more to them than to the other person, which is a silly place to be. If a good is worth more than you to me, you should own it, and if I currently do, selling it at any price between what I value it at and what you value it at makes us both better of.

I've no issue with wealth redistribution or using other methods when the market doesn't work too well, as I've often argued here, but fundamentally it makes no sense for someone to own a good when someone else values it more, as they can both be made better off by selling it - everyone wins!
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AnarchistNutter
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#3462
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#3462
(Original post by Drogue)
No they're not. In capitalism, value is determined by what the consumer is willing to pay, usually the marginal consumer. So if there are 20 of some good, the price is the value the person who values it 21th highest thinks it has. Obviously it's a little more complicated like that when there are imperfections in the market, but that's why it's subjective.
And therefore the price that is most likely to maximise profit.

Under communism you can democratically force people to buy/sell something when it's worth less/more to them than to the other person, which is a silly place to be. If a good is worth more than you to me, you should own it, and if I currently do, selling it at any price between what I value it at and what you value it at makes us both better of.
The person may join another commune if they disagree.

I've no issue with wealth redistribution or using other methods when the market doesn't work too well, as I've often argued here, but fundamentally it makes no sense for someone to own a good when someone else values it more, as they can both be made better off by selling it - everyone wins!
I do not disagree here: communes could organise such exchange of goods and services (or people may wish to exchange goods/services outside of communes, I have no quarms here either).
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Melancholy
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(Original post by JakePearson)
Not at all. Musicians create utility - now I know that is an imaginable and unmeasurable thing, but each person's tastes, values and needs differ and some may regard musicians as more productive than doctors and plumbers. It's not up to a commune or whatever to decide what individuals need. Someone with only a very basic knowledge of economics would know that each individual regards certain goods in a different way than another person.
Of course it is - the State already does that to some extent under your ideal system, no doubt. You think that we ought not be murdered... why not let individuals choose their own morals and decide whether it's right to murder people or not (and deny each other's rights to self-ownership)? Under your definition, as far as I can tell, you're allowing for "murder" to create utility. And, of course, it does - it fulfils a preference of a person who may hire a hitman (perhaps a stronger person would prefer to live under a system with no rules or man-made/constructed rights). Most rights are derived from dogmatic and foundational moral values, and they themselves are based upon intuitions. Intuitions are widely assumed to play a crucial evidential role in philosophy, rightly or wrongly (we'll avoid this debate), but pretty much everything we think about (be it in logic or in Maths, or in theories of knowledge, or in philosophy of language or ethics) relies on intuitions. I don't see why anybody can't say that people "not having access to healthcare" ought to be a value which trumps the rights of others to enjoy a bit music, based on intuitions surrounding 'fairness' and the values that we'd each perceive to be important (I certainly would wish to have access to healthcare if I was born poor - it would be a pressing preference of mine; and I can accept that as a person who is fairly well-off and likes music); especially when you already impose your own value judgement upon others that says that the pain of death (or having rights to self-ownership infringed) ought to be avoided at the expense of all other values. You commit the same "crime" that you accuse your opponent of doing, and so I don't accept your argument (and, perhaps more importantly, neither do you, unless you accept your blatant contradiction between what you've said and the ideology that you've espoused).
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Melancholy
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#3464
(Original post by AnarchistNutter)
Everyone in the commune would have equal democratic say and every citizen may join the commune, so...
But unrestrained democracies are sometimes pretty rubbish as tools for establishing what we perceive to be fair. Imagine Weimar Germany on the eve of Hitler's rise to power as a massive commune. (And this is a well-used Nazi analogy, so don't cite Godwin's Law please :O)
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AnarchistNutter
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(Original post by Melancholy)
But unrestrained democracies are sometimes pretty rubbish as tools for establishing what we perceive to be fair. Imagine Weimar Germany on the eve of Hitler's rise to power as a massive commune. (And this is a well-used Nazi analogy, so don't cite Godwin's Law please :O)
Everytime I say the word democracy, it is because I am being lazy. Instead, please do feel free to replace the word with free association:

"In the anarchist, communist and socialist sense, free association (also called free association of producers or, as Marx often called, community of freely associated individuals) is a kind of relation between individuals where there is no state, social class or authority in a society that had abolished the private property of means of production. Once private property is abolished, individuals are no longer deprived of access to means of production so they can freely associate themselves (without social constraint) to produce and reproduce their own conditions of existence and fulfill their needs and desires.

The concept of free association, however, becomes more clear around the concept of the proletariat. The proletarian is someone who has no property of any means of production and, therefore, to survive, sells the only thing that he has, his abilities (the labour power), to those who holds the ownership of the means of production. The existence of individuals deprived of property, deprived of livelihood, allows owners (or capitalists) to find in the market an object of consumption that thinks and acts (human abilities), which they use in order to accumulate increasingly capital in exchange for the wage that maintains the survival of the proletarians. The relationship between proletarians and owners of the means of production is thereby a forced association in which the proletarian is only free to sell its labor power, in order to survive. By selling its productive capacity in exchange for the wage which ensures the survival, the proletarian puts his practical activity under the will of the buyer (the owner), becoming alienated from his/her own actions and products, in a relationship of domination and exploitation. Free association would be the form of society created if private property was abolished in order to individuals freely dispose of the means of production, which would bring about an end to class society, i.e. there would be no more owners neither proletarians, nor state, but only freely associated individuals.

The abolition of private property by a free association of producers is the original goal of the communists and anarchists: it is identified with anarchy and Communism itself. However, the evolution of various trends have led some to virtually abandon the goal or to put it in the background in face of other tasks, while others trends consider free association as something that should guide the all practical activity of the contestation of the status quo"


So we can see that in the absence of state and private property, Hitler would not have had the power to coerce other individuals in such a manner.
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Hy~
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#3466
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(Original post by AnarchistNutter)
Well the Marxist definition of labour exploitation is when the capitalist takes a percentage of the labourer's product away from him.

Now the actual value of a product = labour required to produce the product + cost of materials required to make product + labour added to the product.

The capitalist covers everything except the labour added to the product, otherwise it would be fair for him to take money for the materials required to make product + the labour values of his own services (provided that this was democratically decided, which it is not and for obvious reasons can't be unless we have collectivised trades).

I don't deny there is problem with these definitions but it is the most broad way of including all forms of socialism, now, is it not?
Except all of this is rubbish, you've just quoted what you interpret from Marx and ignored what I said. There is no "actual value of a product", there is no "actual value" to anything, value is not ontologically contingent, it exists only as the subjective evaluations of individual beings. There is no "true" value, there is no "actual" value, there is no "right" value, there is no "fair" value except those which are internal to you. The exploitation theory of wages only makes sense given the labour theory of value - Marx's ridiculous fetish with labour is totally arbitrary, he's just got an ideological erection for labour.

Oh, most of the libertarian right are advocating personal freedoms anyway. So you go ahead and define freedom for me. I'm sure some philosopher at some stage has gone over the top and created a pretentious definition for "freedom" which has then been debated by another pretentious philosopher and so on and so on. Like I said, to anarchists freedom is not some abstract philosophical definition. Freedom is not getting punched in the face. Freedom is being able to do as you pleased provided you don't hurt someone else. Do we have freedom philosophically? No, probably not as a result of existentialist nihilism - that we have no control over actions as all actions are a reult of previous circumstances. So? Does that mean someone has the right to punch you in the face without provocation or need for self-defense? Certainly not.
Meaningless words. You're being like a caricature now - "freedom is not getting punched in the face"? Sigh.

[Umm...Nazi Germany was fascist. National socialism (a) isn't really socialism (genuine socialism extending to all international workers), (b) was just a populist slogan for the working classes of Germany and (c) Hitler pretty much completely changed the party, adopting mainly the 'national' element (i.e. death to all jews). Also anarcho-syndicalism is part of the broad libertarian socialist branch: I am an anarcho-syndicalist. Anarcho-communism was also present in some areas in Spain. It lasted for three years and would have lasted far longer if it had not been for fascist military intervention.
No, Germany was not fascist. That's almost a No True Scotsman right there. Fascism and syndicalism are incredibly similar, indeed fascism is the mutation of a specific branch of syndicalism called guild socialism and it (fascism) certainly retained its syndicalistic idiocies. Spain was certainly not anarchistic by any conceivable stretch, and there's no way in hell was it communistic. Rationalising away any "bad" things that happen as "the fault of those pesky fascists" is also absurd, especially when you think Nazi Germany was fascist.

Actually I have read as many neutral definitions as possible and take note that my definition of socialism as 'the end of labour exploitation by capital' was used to include all branches of socialism, even the ones that directly contradict my own ideologies. I showed you how this could work through the list of all those other ideologies, including Communism (capital C), libertarian communism, etc. Lets go for another one: Pan-leftism is an ideology that "seeks to end the exploitation of labour by capital by uniting all various factions of leftist ideologies". So I'm hardly defining the word to suit me. You go ahead and define socialism for me and while your at it, define capitalism as well. Is it even possible to provide a completely objective, scientific definition? If it was, then the great thinkers wouldn't have been debating the exact definitions of these words for centuries.
No you haven't. That, or else you've been reading crap. I've provided definitions to these words. Check my previous few posts in this thread - they're the only ones that i) have meaning for relevant discussion, and ii) are wertfrei. Most "great thinkers" are nothing of the sort, incidentally.

(Original post by Oswy)
And this is why asking for one-liner definitions has as much value as providing them. At every stage of further definition there'd be more questions, until an essay-length offering was generated. Been there, done that. Even though I say so myself I think the above is reasonable enough as far as one-line definitions go. And, even if an entire thread could be dedicated to the issue of what constitutes 'equality' I think you are probably smart enough to get the gist as it has been offered right here.
And yet you're so very comfortable doing this for "capitalism". I think you just proved my point by not explaining, your definitions are empty and just help you to circularly make sense of your beliefs. Hell, "equality" is not even remotely meaningful without designating a specific characteristic to be "equalised".
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Melancholy
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#3467
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My main problem is that you have an odd definition of 'meaningless'.
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Hy~
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(Original post by Melancholy)
My main problem is that you have an odd definition of 'meaningless'.
People's normative fantasies have nothing to do with anything and are ultimately beneath logical analysis. I can't help it if they cling to them, but that doesn't suddenly make discussion about them worthwhile. I blame the Enlightenment for any disagreement with this.

Sleep ->
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HistoryRepeating
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#3469
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#3469
It seems that in order to 'drink the socialist coolaid' so to speak, one has to basically have almost zero understanding of human nature or the behaviour of people in groups.

There is so much talk about "communes deciding to do X" and other evidence of high-level organisation, which when queried turn out to be decisions made by "volunteer workers committees" or similar.

When the issue of disagreement is brought up, "you can leave the commune then" is considered the knock-out reply. But this is nonsense. What you are talking about is essentially a dictatorship with loose border controls. And a dictatorship, even though it may say it doesnt recognise private property in fact does - all such property being 'owned' by the person or persons controlling it, ie. the dictators.

The logical conclusion of your system of socialist communes is a series of mini fiefdoms where all capital is locally owned, but owned nevertheless. Control IS Ownership. Whatever controls the commune owns the capital. And its very VERY clear that its not "all of the people in the commune" who would end up controlling the commune as that is administrably unworkable. It would be the small clique of volunteer committee members, lets call them the Politburo, who make all the decisions on behalf of the "workers".

If my commune makes 100 tractors a month but no food, if a committee decides we will trade 90 of those tractors for food with another commune this is no different whatsoever from barter capitalism. If one commune has rich resources and good trade skills it could eventually accumulate massive amounts of capital at the expense of poorer communes. This is capitalism (without all the advantages) - the only difference is that the smallest unit of division of wealth is 'commune' rather than 'person'.
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manthew
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#3470
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(Original post by Drogue)
No they're not. In capitalism, value is determined by what the consumer is willing to pay, usually the marginal consumer. So if there are 20 of some good, the price is the value the person who values it 21th highest thinks it has. Obviously it's a little more complicated like that when there are imperfections in the market, but that's why it's subjective.

Under communism you can democratically force people to buy/sell something when it's worth less/more to them than to the other person, which is a silly place to be. If a good is worth more than you to me, you should own it, and if I currently do, selling it at any price between what I value it at and what you value it at makes us both better of.

I've no issue with wealth redistribution or using other methods when the market doesn't work too well, as I've often argued here, but fundamentally it makes no sense for someone to own a good when someone else values it more, as they can both be made better off by selling it - everyone wins!
Ah but you forgot. Value is also determined by what the supplier is willing to supply. See Yom Kippur War to determine the magnitude of the price controlled by OPEC.

In an ideal communism, the State is making the best, most efficient buying and selling between the buyers and sellers. In fact, it is actually more like giving and receiving. The State is assumed that their action can raise maximum utility in every individual in a communist country. It is assumed, that the State is acting in a just and fair way that everyone (including the State itself) best interest is served. However, it is only an ideal state, it's near impossible to reach that state really. We've seen how inefficient and socially intolerable a so called communist country can be; and we've seen how communism had overthrown by its counterpart, capitalism. It is, indeed, a sad scenario. One can only dream.... sigh


(Original post by JakePearson)
And I believe the communes would be ineffective for the reasons I just stated.
hey buddy, I can't seemed to trace back the post. Kay I'm lazy, I know hahas. Would you mind send me the original post link? I'm very interested to know =D
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Melancholy
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#3471
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(Original post by Hy~)
People's normative fantasies have nothing to do with anything and are ultimately beneath logical analysis. I can't help it if they cling to them, but that doesn't suddenly make discussion about them worthwhile. I blame the Enlightenment for any disagreement with this.

Sleep ->
It doesn't follow that it's 'meaningless', which trivially speaking just means that something lacks 'meaning'. Clearly 'negative liberty' and 'freedom' have very strict definitions in the field, but if you want to deny that then it seems you have to be a sceptic about language in general, because you can hardly explicate, for instance, the universal indicator any further without being circular ("for all", "every", "there is none that is not", etc.). And I'll come back to my objection before - saying that people desire to have a world free from poverty is not 'meaningless' (language can even be imagined in a picture, which ensures that it's certainly not senseless). It expresses a very clear will, intention and desired outcome. It's describes an 'end'. What you really mean to say is that it's not an adequate, response, by itself, to the question of what political ideology one supports, because you need to outline a means by which to achieve that ends. Now sure, you reject their normative claims (though if we count 'intuition' as normative, as you seem to do, then pretty much every aspect of philosophy is normative, but I wouldn't call it meaningless or valueless - I take quite seriously people's [including my own] well-observed preferences 'not' to be murdered, and you're relying on some intuition that we should not because you exclude other intuitions in your assumption that logical 'is' statements must only exist - quite odd, since the likes of Godel dabbled in doxastic logic; maybe there's something you know that none of the rest of us do).

Also, I think the roots of this sort of discourse are much much deeper than the Enlightenment (and our psychological dependency on the intuition-centric view of philosophy is probably much deeper than that). Even the Ancients relied on intuitions about justice and fairness in some of their literature, which remain fairly similar to what they are today (there's much more to ancient ethics than just Aristotelian Virtue Ethics). Granted, the rationale for such statements is much more sophisticated (we generally dislike pain, we generally don't want to live in a world where pain exist, let's grant some rights in a social contract). Maybe you can't evaluate it successfully with your conception of logic (much like they can't fully accommodate paradoxes, hence paraconsistent logic), but then maybe that's not strictly my problem, since I don't rely on ungrounded 'is' statements alone in order to be a Rawlsian moral constructivist.

Ultimately, coming in with the same sceptic voice about morals when talking to people who are analysing each others argument (working with the premises and the concepts) to see if they're consistent with what they believe in, doesn't really exhibit much philosophical charity in a subject with massive question marks hanging over it, which is a bad thing, imo, and it misses the point of discussions of what we 'ought' to do according to their own intuitions/value-system.

When a Libertarian uses a consistent definition of liberty, and say that capitalism as-it-is, does not meet that standard, then that is not circularly defining liberty which already has a specific meaning. There's no equivocation involved, nor any inconsistency - they're just stating a fact - and that process itself is not value-laden (in the sense that new values aren't introduced to make that point; it's just stating a definition and saying that 'xyz' does not match that definition).

But anyway, my main point is that you're using a rather unconventional definition of 'meaningless'.
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AnarchistNutter
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#3472
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(Original post by Hy~)
...
Dear me. First of all you discard the entirity of Marx's analysis of labour exploitation, commodities, use-values and exchange-values - it would seem that you are suggesting a complete denial of labour exploitation by capitalists who then value products in order to maximise profit - then you say that anarcho-syndicalism and fascism (which if you look on the political spectrum with anarcho-syndicalism being in the bottom left quadrant and fascism being at centre-right, extremely authoritarian) are esentially the same thing when they are almost polar opposites as ideologies and then you say Spain was not anarchistic, rather it was fascist! Please provide me with your own unique definitions of socialism - I can't be bothered to trawl through the pages of this thread to find them. However, to describe nazism as fascism is certainly debatable - I will give you that. As for my characterisation of freedom - this was merely to state that to me, and to most anarchists, freedom is not the abstract philosophical complex that you would make it out to be.

Guild socialism "is a political movement advocating workers' control of industry through the medium of trade-related guilds" where guilds are "presented as an alternative to state-control of industry or conventional trade union activity". "Guilds, unlike the existing trade unions, would not confine their demands to matters of wages and conditions but would seek to obtain control of industry for the workers whom they represented. Ultimately, industrial guilds would serve as the organs through which industry would be organised in a future socialist society."

(from wiki: see Guild Socialism)

Certainly, guild socialism is very similar to anarcho-syndicalism, I will grant you that but is it really similar to fascism?

A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. Robert O. Paxton in The Anatomy of Fascism.
Take note that fascism would not seek to abandon private property or the state, either. Rather, it would use both as tools to coerce those who would oppose its political doctrine.

But of course, your definitions of these two things will be far superior to mine. I can only hope to represent a small fraction of your intelligence good sir,

yours sincerely,

AnarchistNutter.
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Hy~
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#3473
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#3473
I cba quoting around things I'm replying to, it's all in order though so you'll not have too much trouble understand what I'm responding to (I think).

(Original post by Melancholy)
It doesn't follow that it's 'meaningless', which trivially speaking just means that something lacks 'meaning'. Clearly 'negative liberty' and 'freedom' have very strict definitions in the field, but if you want to deny that then it seems you have to be a sceptic about language in general, because you can hardly explicate, for instance, the universal indicator any further without being circular ("for all", "every", "there is none that is not", etc.). And I'll come back to my objection before - saying that people desire to have a world free from poverty is not 'meaningless' (language can even be imagined in a picture, which ensures that it's certainly not senseless). It expresses a very clear will, intention and desired outcome. It's describes an 'end'. What you really mean to say is that it's not an adequate, response, by itself, to the question of what political ideology one supports, because you need to outline a means by which to achieve that ends. Now sure, you reject their normative claims (though if we count 'intuition' as normative, as you seem to do, then pretty much every aspect of philosophy is normative, but I wouldn't call it meaningless or valueless - I take quite seriously people's [including my own] well-observed preferences 'not' to be murdered, and you're relying on some intuition that we should not because you exclude other intuitions in your assumption that logical 'is' statements must only exist - quite odd, since the likes of Godel dabbled in doxastic logic; maybe there's something you know that none of the rest of us do).

Also, I think the roots of this sort of discourse are much much deeper than the Enlightenment (and our psychological dependency on the intuition-centric view of philosophy is probably much deeper than that). Even the Ancients relied on intuitions about justice and fairness in some of their literature, which remain fairly similar to what they are today (there's much more to ancient ethics than just Aristotelian Virtue Ethics). Granted, the rationale for such statements is much more sophisticated (we generally dislike pain, we generally don't want to live in a world where pain exist, let's grant some rights in a social contract). Maybe you can't evaluate it successfully with your conception of logic (much like they can't fully accommodate paradoxes, hence paraconsistent logic), but then maybe that's not strictly my problem, since I don't rely on ungrounded 'is' statements alone in order to be a Rawlsian moral constructivist.

Ultimately, coming in with the same sceptic voice about morals when talking to people who are analysing each others argument (working with the premises and the concepts) to see if they're consistent with what they believe in, doesn't really exhibit much philosophical charity in a subject with massive question marks hanging over it, which is a bad thing, imo, and it misses the point of discussions of what we 'ought' to do according to their own intuitions/value-system.

When a Libertarian uses a consistent definition of liberty, and say that capitalism as-it-is, does not meet that standard, then that is not circularly defining liberty which already has a specific meaning. There's no equivocation involved, nor any inconsistency - they're just stating a fact - and that process itself is not value-laden (in the sense that new values aren't introduced to make that point; it's just stating a definition and saying that 'xyz' does not match that definition).

But anyway, my main point is that you're using a rather unconventional definition of 'meaningless'.
*Sigh*

I said something like "meaningless for discussion about the political economy". Sure, if they want to talk about their values then they can do that but just because they (or you) attach some mystical meaning to other peoples values doesn't suddenly make it relevant.

No, "freedom" does not have a strict definition, that's why we have huge variation in the branches of leftism (and modern rightism, which is really just rightism corrupted by leftist institutions - broadly speaking, the nation state) who want to use very very different tactics to "set people free". "Negative liberty" may be better defined, but it's useless - the liberty to be left alone? I can do nothing with that. I can't even curl up in a foetal position and suck my thumb until I die from hunger.

I'm certainly not a sceptic about language - indeed I thought you were the one who claimed that all language is ultimately circular.

Ends are irrelevant to this discussion. Honestly, I'd quite like everyone to be my slave and for me to be worshipped as a God-king, but I don't define my terms to make this seem more probable of happening.

It doesn't follow from the fact that I reject normatives that I'm a solipsist. Sigh.

It was the Enlightenment that essentially gave birth to leftism. It was the Enlightenment philosophers that misunderstood what value is and attached undue significance to it, resulting in the kind of craziness today that we see with people thinking value has some kind of ontological status. It was hugely influenced by egalitarian delusions, if the ancients actually cared about "fairness" as you say then I'm quite sure that that their conception of it was different from yours. The idea that justice is anything but the practice of the law is also a product of the Enlightenment; before it, the customary law system ruled relatively supreme and it was "just" because it was the law. Before this, justice was no more than a vocation. The Enlightenment tainted justice with morality, they're two distinct spheres (one real, the other fictive).

Except most people don't have a consistent definition of liberty to begin with; that, or it's an empty or irrelevant definition. And their definition is what's normative in the first place, unless they use definitions used in customary law because these are actually recognised in reality. Liberty is badly defined by nearly every philosopher (with the exception of some counter-Enlightenment ones). Stirner hit the nail on the head when he described positive liberty as nothing but power (or "might", as he preferred to use); and negative liberty is, as I've said a few times already, pretty worthless.

(Original post by AnarchistNutter)
Dear me. First of all you discard the entirity of Marx's analysis of labour exploitation, commodities, use-values and exchange-values - it would seem that you are suggesting a complete denial of labour exploitation by capitalists who then value products in order to maximise profit - then you say that anarcho-syndicalism and fascism (which if you look on the political spectrum with anarcho-syndicalism being in the bottom left quadrant and fascism being at centre-right, extremely authoritarian) are esentially the same thing when they are almost polar opposites as ideologies and then you say Spain was not anarchistic, rather it was fascist! Please provide me with your own unique definitions of socialism - I can't be bothered to trawl through the pages of this thread to find them. However, to describe nazism as fascism is certainly debatable - I will give you that. As for my characterisation of freedom - this was merely to state that to me, and to most anarchists, freedom is not the abstract philosophical complex that you would make it out to be.
Yes, it's wrong. Yes, I'm denying "labour exploitation". Did you not understand what I wrote about why I reject it? Do you have anything to actually challenge what I wrote or are you just dumbfounded into speechlessness that I reject it? You must hang out on Revleft too much, its about the worst forum on the internet.

Can anyone tell me why the hell profit is such a dirty word in this thread? Are people really under the pretense that if a capitalist profits, the labourer is "exploited"?

Lol. Is your political knowledge distilled from that graph in your sig?

Nowhere did I say Spain was fascistic, if I did then either I was very tired and wrote incorrectly or I was just ambiguous. I don't think either of these is the case, though, I think you're just trying to strawman me. Failure.

Socialism - a system of social organisation where the economy is de facto controlled by the state.

I don't make freedom out to be an "abstract philosophical complex".

EDIT: I quoted you before you edited your post, see http://mises.org/humanaction/chap33sec4.asp to see what I'm talking about re. guild socialism -> fascism. Nice that you recognise that guild socialism and syndicalism are similar, by the way.
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Rhadamanthus
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#3474
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(Original post by Melancholy)
Of course it is - the State already does that to some extent under your ideal system, no doubt. You think that we ought not be murdered... why not let individuals choose their own morals and decide whether it's right to murder people or not (and deny each other's rights to self-ownership)?
It makes no sense. The standard position is that all have rights equal under the law and any action taken against those negative rights is immoral. Murdering people is rather different to desiring an object and obtaining it peacefully. I'm all for intervention when it comes to this issue; perhaps I should have made myself clearer and said that it's not up to a commune/state to decide what individuals want if individuals are seeking to grant that desire by peaceful means and respect for the rights of others.

Under your definition, as far as I can tell, you're allowing for "murder" to create utility.
Not at all.

And, of course, it does - it fulfils a preference of a person who may hire a hitman (perhaps a stronger person would prefer to live under a system with no rules or man-made/constructed rights). Most rights are derived from dogmatic and foundational moral values, and they themselves are based upon intuitions. Intuitions are widely assumed to play a crucial evidential role in philosophy, rightly or wrongly (we'll avoid this debate), but pretty much everything we think about (be it in logic or in Maths, or in theories of knowledge, or in philosophy of language or ethics) relies on intuitions. I don't see why anybody can't say that people "not having access to healthcare" ought to be a value which trumps the rights of others to enjoy a bit music, based on intuitions surrounding 'fairness' and the values that we'd each perceive to be important (I certainly would wish to have access to healthcare if I was born poor - it would be a pressing preference of mine; and I can accept that as a person who is fairly well-off and likes music); especially when you already impose your own value judgement upon others that says that the pain of death (or having rights to self-ownership infringed) ought to be avoided at the expense of all other values. You commit the same "crime" that you accuse your opponent of doing, and so I don't accept your argument (and, perhaps more importantly, neither do you, unless you accept your blatant contradiction between what you've said and the ideology that you've espoused).

Nonsense; I was talking in terms of economics. Physical objects such as an apple or a car do not possess intrinsic economic value. On the contrary, only a human mind can attribute value to such items, and only then can economists classify them as goods. An object is valuable only because there is at least one human being who believes that this object can help satisfy his or her subjective desires. For example, even if a particular root cures cancer, if no one knows this fact, then the root has no economic value, and people will not trade money for it. Consequently, value is caused by an individual's subjective desires and his or her beliefs about the causal properties of a particular item. Some may find healthcare more valuable than others - such as the sick - whilst the perfectly healthy may see music as superior in value. I see no reason why one claim trumps the other, and so each individual should be free to act upon what gives them the most 'utility', regardless of consequences.
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Rhadamanthus
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(Original post by AnarchistNutter)
You just stated that goods have a subjective value according to the consumers, however the same monetary value for each and every good and/or service is hardly subjective, is it? Under capitalism, values are invented by the capitalist to maximise profit, under socialism, values are democratically invented by communes to ensure labourers receive the full value for their product.
I'm not sure you're following, or perhaps I don't understand what you're saying. You can't 'democratically invent' or elect a value of something that only really exists in someone's mind. If a majority of people vote for vanilla ice cream to have an intrinsically higher value than chocolate ice cream, that does not mean everyone necessarily believes vanilla is better than chocolate now, does it? It is a preference and not a fact; you can't vote for it to become a fact. People create a value for certain goods in their mind and it depends on their feelings, their desires and their ability to pay. Someone may regard a cup of coffee as a good with a lot of 'utility' first thing on a Monday morning but may regard the exact same item as something with low 'utility' at one o'clock in the morning when they can't get to sleep. Thus it makes no sense to pay workers based on what a majority of people elect is important. It makes no sense at all.
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AnarchistNutter
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edit.
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Melancholy
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Hmmmm, I don't feel that the issues that I have raised have been dealt with but I'm not going to put myself through the usual obnoxious squabbling atm, so count me out until I finish my work.
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Hy~
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You're (AnarchistNutter) not worth talking to anymore.

(Original post by AnarchistNutter)
You state that you do not consider freedom philosophically and yet you demand that I provide you with exact explanations of such a complicated and incredibly abstract concept or that it even exists? Of course freedom doesn't exist, I know this. I merely stated (or meant to state) that when I am talking about freedom, I am actually being lazy and mean to say that neither the state nor capitalism should intervene in people's affairs: people should have equal power politically and economically and "freedom" from being harmed (my "punched in the face" scenario). This to me, is "freedom", not the commonly accepted definition by right wing philosophers, I'm sure, but something all people should have.
See, Melancholy? This is exactly what I'm talking about.

I also like he how uses "reactionary" as an insult. Considering progressivism has been responsible for no less than 100 million deaths (that's 100,000,000), I think I prefer being called a reactionary than being called a progressive.
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AnarchistNutter
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SciFiRory
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I dont know how much one can apply the ideas of "Reactionary" and "Progressive" politics (themselves highly debatable terms) to wars.

I mean, for a start, technically all wars are "Reactionary" in the sense that they are reacting to something.
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