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  • Anarcho-Collectivism versus
    Anarcho-Capitalism Debate

    Between Punkerslut and
    Hogeye Bill

    Post #17

    Made by Punkerslut
    Image: Based originally on material by Rejon,
    Edited by Punkerslut

    Post #17


    Punkerslut to Hogeye Bill...

    Date: October 22, 2009


    Hogeye Bill:
    "Time and land (natural resources) are not products of labor. I'm glad you agree that capital and capital goods are legitimate factors of production (theoretically reducible to labor.) Maybe you will now stop advocating exploiting holders of capital by stealing their product and giving it to shorter-term and/or manual laborers."

         I've never heard of time being a natural resource. And land? It wasn't usable -- until governments and capitalists used slaves and serfs to make it worth working.

    Hogeye Bill:
    "This is just classist dogma, like saying that black entrepreneurship provides nothing. If you agree that entrepreneurship is a factor of production, it is true for Abe, Bob, Cathy, and anyone else, regardless of any artificial class you might put them in."

         Classist dogma? That's a bit rough. Very early in the debate, I openly admitted to classism. To simply call it "classist dogma" doesn't defeat it. Adam Smith was a classist -- he dealt with Capitalist behavior in one chapter, and worker behavior in another. In one section, you'll find his discussions on how and why merchants make purchases, and in the next, you'll find history of governments violently repressing worker movements. Adam Smith dealt with the behavior of the worker and the landowner completely separately. Why? Because they are distinct economic entities, with their own economic self-interests.

         One's position in the economy naturally determines the thoughts causing their behavior. For a worker that wakes up to a dirt floor and a sick family, only to labor twelve hours a day -- it is a very different thought compared to the capitalist; compared to the idler who enjoys all of society's luxuries simply by owning. Like Smith, Sismondi, and Steuart, I see the difference of behavior in these two separate classes -- I see their behavior arising out of their socio-economic position.

         You have not been able to explain why all of economics has been based on classist distinctions, on the analyzing of behavior of one class versus another. You should just condemn economics altogether, if you're going to condemn me for making an economic class distinction in creating economic judgments. From William Petty to William Stanley Jevons, all analysis of economy breaks down into one's socio-economic background. This is the foundation to many of their decisions -- or, at least, to their socio-economic decisions.

         The investor can invest only because of their wealth, and the wage-worker submits to toxic, degrading, and miserable conditions because they must eat. These decisions aren't something born out of nothing. They're decisions based on economic, class distinction. If everyone who worked owned the tools that they labored upon, then there would cease to be such socio-economic distinctions. Everyone would be on an equal, economic footing when bargaining with each other. But this could not ever be the case, where the majority were at the brinks of poverty, while an elite few controlled all social wealth.

         Yes, I am a classist -- the Capitalist and laborer have nothing in common. In the words of Peter Kropotkin, "The fatherland does not exist.... What fatherland can the international banker and the rag-picker have in common?" [*1]

    Hogeye Bill:
    "No, I don't, but this is probably a semantic issue rather than a disagreement between us. I define 'capitalism' as an economic system characterized by mainly private ownership of the means of production. Anarcho-capitalism is the voluntary version of capitalism, as opposed to State capitalism (aka fascism) when the State controls (regulates) the means of production. When you use 'capitalism,' you apparently define it as necessarily involving exploitation and collusion with the State. IOW you are looking only at the statist type. This is the same mistake that some people use with 'socialism' - defining it as only the statist version (USSR, N. Korea, etc.) Obviously both socialism and capitalism have a libertarian interpretation."

         No, I've been strictly defining Capitalism as you have: the private ownership of property. I've been defining it as a socio-economic system where many different parties need each other, but the bargaining is tilted by some artificial title -- whether it's to monarchy, aristocracy, presidency, god, nation, or property. In Capitalism, it's quite obvious and clear exactly how the table is titled -- and how one party is naturally exploited by their poverty, and their employer's wealthy.

    Hogeye Bill:
    "I don't think everyone with a computer, or a lawn mower, or a wrench is evil or exploitative simply due to their possession of capital."

         To live off of a computer, a lawn mower, or a wrench -- alone -- is an amazing accomplishment. And if anyone can pull it off, let them keep their four-figure a year salary. Hell, even RICE can be considered capital, if you want to stretch the definition to unheard-of proportions. But that's never been what I said at all. I've been strictly talking about those who live off of the labor of employees, not those who live off their own labor. This is the exact class distinction that you keep bringing up and comparing to Racism.

    Hogeye Bill:
    "Of course, Marx was totally wrong about this. He suffers from the Zero Sum Game fallacy. Successful firms generally have both increasing profits and increasing wages. Unsuccessful firms suffer from falling profits and often wages, too."

         Yeah, and so does the Anarcho-Capitalist economist Thomas Hodgskin, right? "Wages vary inversely as profits; or wages rise when profits fall, and profits rise when wages fall; and it is therefore profits, or the capitalist's share of the national produce, which is opposed to wages, or the share of the labourer." [*2] That is exactly what this Free-Market Anarchist described of the economy, and it seems so perfectly rational. There being a limited resource pool, where one takes, the other loses. Where just a few enjoy extreme luxury, the vast majority suffer poverty-stricken conditions. Not limited by their ambition, but limited by an artificial title to property that keeps them from working the land.

         That is the inherent evil of Capitalism, and why it is naturally against the interests of humanity at large. We must be arguing for the natural improvement of the situation of humanity -- and this does not exist where the majority are at the economic obedience of just a few. It creates an economic tyranny, just as exclusive political authority creates a state tyranny.

         Thank you,

    Andy Carloff


    *1. "The Conquest of Bread," by Peter Kropotkin, 1892, chapter 9, part V.
    *2. "Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital," by Thomas Hodgskin, 1825.

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