Greetings

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Metternich, May 25, 2009.

  1. Metternich
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    Metternich Federalist Farmer

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    My name is Metternich. I believe in only Value, Morality and Man. I take a very poor look towards American "Liberals" and even a poorer look on their trans-Atlantic "neoliberal" counterparts. I admire Ludwig von Mises, Barry Goldwater and believe in many conservative issues; especially in the belief that nothing is worthless, except the demagogues who say that everything is worthless.

    I hate social justice, I love justice.

    I hate welfare, I love magnanimous behavior and generosity.

    I am also a very large Euroskeptic, but at this point; who isn't a little Euroskeptic?
     
  2. Agnapostate
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    Ludwig von Mises? That's unfortunate; the only important figure that the Austrian school was ever able to contribute was Hayek. Their current marginality enables them to do little more than provide cheap talking points for Internet rightists and embarrass other heterodox schools.

    I'm a libertarian socialist, specifically an anarcho-communist. I'm glad to be the head of the welcoming committee. :)
     
  3. Metternich
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    Metternich Federalist Farmer

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    I would say that you have some very hasty generalizations; Austrian School is, and was undoubtedly, the economic system choice of thought for the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan, and quite a few of his associates, were open in their subscription to the thought of Austrian Economics; indeed, while the no one from that particular school is at the fore front of public policy; they have nonetheless been the thinkers of the conservative movement in America for quite some time.

    Personally, a communist sailing under the flag of anarchism is as false a figure as could be invented. The cognitive dissonance you must experience when on one side you have the inequalities of Natural Law, yet you must have equal classes as per communist's most basic tenants; how do you keep classes perfectly equal if there's no oversight to them; how do you believe to protect the means of production when there's nothing but Social Darwinism?
     
  4. Midnight Marauder
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    Welcome to USMB.
     
  5. Agnapostate
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    While modern rightists certainly pledge allegiance to the Austrian school and its subsidiaries, thought does not constitute deed. Reagan's Military Keynesianism proved to be a critical divergence from traditional Austrian thought, for instance. Perhaps the only individual whose obsession with Austrian economics was so effective as to be legitimately damaging was Margaret Thatcher, and her neoliberal regime certainly played a critical role in socioeconomic crisis in the UK. The Austrian's school sole valuable contribution thus turns out to be Hayek, whose study of knowledge was integral for the continued development of socialist economics, particularly in post-Hayekian market socialism, as argued primarily by Theodore Burczak.

    This reality has ensured the Austrian school's current marginal status. As a market socialist remarked to me when I commented on this matter, "[t]he socialist calculation debate was ironically their downfall. Genuinely useful analysis was provided (particularly concerning the nature of knowledge) in their conflict with the early socialists. Orthodox economics, however, cottoned on to the developments and demonstrated that the Austrian stance was normally inconsistent with firm behavior. They've therefore been left with nothing but the morality rant, normally involving chanting that socialism is fascism." He spoke truly. The conflation of socialism and fascism in their confused misconceptions speaks volumes as to their ignorance of political economy.

    A similarly inaccurate remark based on misunderstanding of both anarchism and communism. Anarchism is not composed of "social Darwinism," but of the establishment of horizontal federations of decentralized collectives and communes managed through direct democracy as implemented in community assemblies and workers' councils. It's thus necessary for anarchism to retain an anti-capitalist position, since capitalism imposes authoritarian social relations and hierarchies just as assuredly as the state does. Neither is equality of outcome a condition of communism; equality of opportunity is more desirable and more in spirit with the principles of communism.

    I'd advise you to have a look at Peter Kropotkin's Anarchist Communism: Its Basis and Principles. As he notes therein:

    Unfortunately, obfuscation of radical political theory and economy has ensured that anarchism will be associated with "chaos" or "disorder" and socialism and communism with "dictatorship," or more fallaciously, with "big government." Kropotkin predicted the corruption of socialism that the USSR would bring about, and Bakunin predicted the authoritarian implications of the establishment of Marxist political organization before him. It's thus shameful that anarchism and socialism have been slandered so.
     
  6. Metternich
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    Metternich Federalist Farmer

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    Absolutism in a politician has a lower possibility of happening then oxygen spontaneously turning into gold. Dismissing references to Austrian economics because it did not follow, instantly, a utopian Austrian economy system is not only easily dismissible but is also contradictory to your own argument. Which, if followed to its ultimate conclusion, would mean that your particular eccentric brand of communism is actually impossible to accomplish. That anything you say is ultimately worthless because by your standards unless your train of thought happens instantaneously, absolutely, then it bears no value. Which is, I don’t doubt you know what’s coming, incredibly shortsighted of you.

    Firm behavior, just by a single; stand alone statement, is an opinion he holds. In essence, you're savior said that "Austrian economics are wrong because if they were right about the policies of 'firms' then we would be wrong." I hardly see how that statement holds any meaning whatsoever.

    ‘Once again, that is merely you getting your political theory mixed up. Anarchism, pure and free anarchism, is merely - best - defined as lacking any socio-economic structure. No state, no anything; in short there is only one thing that would determine who survives and who does not, in short Darwinism, explicitly: social Darwinism. For you to add in the next breath French "communes" and Marxist "collectives" insults any true anarchist - social control is as bad to any anarchist, no matter who holds the gun. To believe that your choice of words would even exist without some sort of the same control that enables capitalism is insanity, democracy does not give you a cloak of invincibility to social 'pressure.'

    In short, the difference between a collective farm, and a privately owned farm, is merely that in the collective farm the manager is elected; where the private farm elects their mayor.

    Finally, the last statement is so at odds with most thinkers of communism it is not remotely amusing. The phrase "equality of outcome" does matter to Engels because without the means to express his freedoms, economically, then it is entirely impossible for him to express them socially.

    I also dismiss your author, sadly, because he talks like a communist - using anarchism. I would rather not go step by step into how in his idea anarchists believe all property is "commonly held" and that by eliminating government you also somehow eliminate property rights themselves takes for granted points that are not, will not, conceded by but a handful of your own.
     
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  7. Agnapostate
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    That's not at all what I said. I first noted that Reagan's Military Keynesianism acted directly contrary to the variety of economic organization advocated by the Austrian school (though he was largely ignorant of economics, you might consult Murray Rothbard's condemnation of the Reagan administration's policies, for instance), and that Margaret Thatcher, who actually did have a perverse obsession with Austrian economics, caused socioeconomic crisis in the UK through her as a result of her neoliberalism and attempts to implement laissez-faire.

    I have no idea how you could have made such a poor and odd comparison. My own anarchism can be supported on the merits that it has enjoyed a record of successful implementation, unlike "free markets." Said implementation occurred during the social revolution that occurred during the Spanish Civil War. As put by Gaston Leval:

    It's thus a reality that Murray Bookchin's observation about free marketers and not anarchists being the true "utopian dreamers" is accurate. Anarchism has at least enjoyed widespread inter-regional existence, whereas laissez-faire has never enjoyed successful implementation, least of all in an industrialized society. Free markets are merely a textbook fantasy.

    My savior? I refer to him (he posts on another political message board, incidentally, in case you'd like to get acquainted), because his post-Hayekian market socialism has enabled him to obtain a richer understanding of socialist economics. It's certainly a virtuous approach; it's essentially centered around a "heterodox stew" that incorporates the more positive elements of several schools. As noted by Theodore Burczak:

    And his statement was that empirically observed firm behavior was quite different from Austrian predictions of what it would be, and one that I agree with. But this business is all related to the Austrian failure to construct a coherent theory of the firm. For instance, just two weeks ago, one remarked to me that "the 'firm' lacks any clear definition in economic theory beyond its use in describing a single economic actor akin to an individual." As I said, truly laughable.

    This was laughable. It's a necessary component of anarchist theory that we are constituted of socialists, specifically libertarian socialists. As put by Joseph Labadie, "it is said that Anarchism is not socialism. This is a mistake. Anarchism is voluntary Socialism. There are two kinds of Socialism, archistic and anarchistic, authoritarian and libertarian, state and free. Indeed, every proposition for social betterment is either to increase or decrease the powers of external wills and forces over the individual. As they increase they are archistic; as they decrease they are anarchistic." Judging by your comments thus far, you've apparently committed the basic economic error of inaccurately conceptualizing authoritarian state capitalism (such as that of the former USSR, of course) as "socialism." You've not considered the manner in which a party dictatorship undermines any pretense of legitimate collective ownership and management, apparently.

    Ultimately, your understanding of anarchist political theory is really quite dreadful, because you apparently fail to realize that the establishment of "social Darwinism" will necessarily lead to the overpowering of the weak by the strong, until hordes of the weak score strategic victories against the elite strong...and then the process repeats itself over and over again without respite until a more progressive structure of political organization is established.

    There's no such "election" that occurs, for the most part. Anarchism is broadly associated with the libertarian socialist principles expressed in "participatory economics." As I've said previously, neighborhood assemblies are typically open to the general public, and these assemblies have traditionally functioned as the primary (and final) governors of public policy in their jurisdiction. Public policy is of course determined by direct democratic means, and delegates are assigned to deal with the task of public policy administration. These delegates have typically been recallable at any time by a direct democratic vote, as opposed to the current dictatorial political system.

    Various sections and aspects of the Paris Commune are an illustrative example of this sort of direct democracy in action, though the Paris Commune was not strictly anarchist or libertarian socialist, merely broadly democratic socialist in nature.

    Workers’ councils are specifically intended to address workers’ needs and concerns, and would determine workplace management and administration through direct democracy, again. In such a scheme, ontrol of the means of production are granted to both these democratically managed workers’ councils, as well as to the citizens of the locality, if some of the workers are not both. The community assemblies would thus primarily serve as complementary features of workers’ councils for citizens who do not perform conventional work (such as parents with small children, the elderly, the disabled, the sick, etc.)

    If the community’s industrial aspects are properly and efficiently managed through direct democracy, this would result in increased benefits for the workers and surrounding community. The workers themselves would be able to distribute and delegate work tasks and administration evenly among themselves, and thus form a far more efficient workforce, resulting in increased production levels and benefits, as well as decreased work hours and shortages.

    Equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome is and has traditionally been the primary purpose of communism. Absolute equality was never sought, of course; the equal distribution of the exact same goods and services to everyone has never been advocated by any major communist theorist. But though there is a means for equality of outcome, such is dependent on individual effort, and considering the imperfection of mankind, equality of opportunity is thought a more prudent and sensible establishment, as well as one that would provide incentives for improvement. Modern socialism is thus broadly aligned around the positive relationship between equity and efficiency. You'll notice that I've abandoned the traditional "think of the children!" line in favor of advocacy of bottom-line efficiency, and have noted the manner in which this can be sought by the establishment of workplace democracy.

    Though these comments are admittedly amusing, they're still nothing short of woefully inaccurate. "My author"? Peter Kropotkin is one of the foremost anarchist theorists to have ever lived, and I can think of not a single anarchist who advocates the nonsense that you claim anarchist theory represents. Look to Mikhail Bakunin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Benjamin Tucker...all socialists! Proudhon and Tucker, moreover, understood the manner in which socialism could facilitate more competitive market enterprise than capitalism.

    You'd not be able to. That these sentiments are traditionally held by conventional anarchists is not something denied by even Murray Rothbard and his ilk, nor the majority of "anarcho"-capitalists (consultation of Bryan Caplan's Anarchist Theory FAQ should confirm that, though the fact that you're an Austrian reveals how much Caplan you've read and understood). That you claim otherwise merely reveals that you're familiar with only the popular misconception that anarchism involves chaos or disorder, rather than horizontal and direct democratic political organization free of the hierarchies of capitalism and the state.
     
  8. Agnapostate
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    I have to run off, but here's another commentary on the historical application of anarchism in Spain for you to consider in the meantime, courtesy of Gabriel Jackson:

     
  9. Metternich
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    Metternich Federalist Farmer

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    Last edited: May 27, 2009

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