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How an anarcho-capitalist became a libertarian socialist

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 How an anarcho-capitalist became a libertarian socialist2002-12-30 23:59
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by Flemming Funch

In this article a guy named Chris Wilson describes in detail his experiences and his thought process while he is re-evaluating what kind of libertarian he is. Some excellent analysis there of some of the integral principles of capitalism.
"My experience in the work world forced me to seriously reconsider my advocacy of capitalism in any form. As I was still very committed to libertarian principles, I began to study the "socialist anarchists". (I put "socialist anarchist" in quotes, as I now consider such a term to be a redundancy -- anarchists are necessarily socialists.) I forced myself to consider the fundamental disagreement that separates Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Malatesta from Rand, von Mises, and Friedman. My answer to myself: The advocates of capitalism believe that one can sign away or sell off one's liberty, whereas anarchists do not. As a right-wing libertarian capitalist, I was of the opinion that one could enter into a morally binding agreement in which one sacrifices one's liberty in exchange for a wage. My position was that a worker would be committing fraud against the employer if he attempted to retain rights to the full product of his labor. My argument was that if an employer has a "legitimate" prior claim upon the capital being used, then he has the right to dictate its terms of use. The laborer doesn't have the right to anything more than what the capitalist agrees to give, just as the capitalist doesn't have the right to take anything more than what the laborer agrees to give. (Of course, I didn't realize in my early "anarcho-capitalist" days that capitalists almost always demand more than what the worker initially agrees to give.)

My current position is that one cannot be ethically bound by agreements that restrict one's liberty to be self-governing. It has always been my view that one cannot be bound by an agreement to be a slave. Although one can enter into a contract that mandates one to serve as a slave, one should be considered free to cease honoring that contract at any time."
What I find particularly important there is the part about whether one can sign away one's freedoms or not. So much in our current capitalist society is based on the principle of tricking people into situations they wouldn't freely choose, if they were fully informed. I agree with the writer. It isn't acceptable that one can trick people out of their liberty just by making the small print small and convoluted enough.

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1 comment

31 Dec 2002 @ 12:40 by sharie : Down with Capitalism!
Down with Corporations!

Down with corporate law!

Down with business as usual!

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