leftists for a free economy?
- Pretty much any leftist I have heard, read or encountered takes the position that central planning and statism is the way to go. If they don't, then they aren't "genuine" leftists, but libertarians or anarchists. And ask most "progressive" or comtemporary leftists (either Democrats, Socialists or Communists), and they will tell you the biggest nutcases are libertarians and anarchists.
Your position is that no "genuine" leftist favors state control and central planning of the economy?
If so, that is a preposterous statement.
--- In LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com, Marja Erwin <merwin@...> wrote:
> I don't know of any genuine leftist who would take that position. Maybe some Marxist-Leninists if you consider them leftists, but even they claim to desire human freedom, including economic freedom, in the long run.
> On Mar 31, 2010, at 12:09 PM, libertarianlawyer wrote:
> > I think many leftists despise free markets not because they believe people are subject to forces beyond their control, but because they don't believe there should be free markets or individual, voluntary economic decision making. They believe in central planning, common good etc and freedom is not a value they have.
> > They may scream "freedom" when it comes to aborting fetus's or something, but they don't see freedom as relevant in commmerce and economics, and they certainly believe central planning and utilitarianism, as dictated by political elite, trumps any notions of freedom that do exist in these areas.
> > If by "priviliged status for capital", you mean state granted priviliges, I agree. If you mean something else by that phrase then it would have to be explained further.
- In a message dated 5/9/2010 4:41:48 PM Central Daylight Time,
>I think you are on to something here. Bookchin's rhetoric seems very
> I could be mistaken, but my suspicion is that the valence of
> "individualism" here is mainly supposed to be caught up with the thing that Marxists are
> criticizing when they complain about "individualism" in, e.g., bourgeois
> liberal or utopian socialist politics -- roughly, the notion that revolution
> can be brought about through the accumulation of so many individual acts
> of personal emancipation, resistance or withdrawal, without a concerted
> effort at organizing or making structural changes. (There is something similar
> going on in, e.g., the Redstockings' critique of what they call "cultural
> feminism," which is again taken to be a form of individualism, in something
> like the Marxian sense.) Anyway, while Bookchin's critique does conflate
> like crazy, I think the core meaning he attaches to "individualism" is really
> neither something directly entailed by, nor something that directly
> entails, either philosophic egoism or political individua lism in the
> Spooner-Tucker-Yarros sense.
> For whatever that's worth.
classically Marxist/Leninist in theory anyway, so the terms are not to be taken at
normal face value.
"Individualism" was usually a sin of some kind, depending upon who it was
describing. Generally going against the class analysis and class approach to
whatever was supposed to be done. The connotation was of selfishness and
unwillingness to sacrifice (or follow orders) for the collective good.
Generally when not following the Party Line on something, and not doing so under
some recognizable leader/theory variant, the accusation was usually about
This was one of the weakest theoretical sins however, because individualism
is inherent in human nature. Explaining why it is bad is a tough sell.
The entire shift of the Left to the politics of the personal (gay rights,
anti racism, feminism, et. al.) tended to be labeled as an individualist
deviation, though classic Marxists also would claim that "true" Marxism would
also take care of these issues as part of the reformation of Man. That didn't
sell since it was obviously untrue.
Bookchin seemed definitely old school, so his critique of then contemporary
anarchism is hardly understandable today without translation into that
When a self proclaimed anarchist is accusing other anarchists of
individualism, that is highly presumptuous. Most would take that as a compliment