Libertarian or "Dynamic" Socialism

Jamal Hannah (
Fri, 3 Jan 1997 10:30:45 -0500 (EST)

Back on Sat, 12 Oct 1996 15:32:39 -0400 <>
wrote an essay titled "Collectivist anarchy vs. Individualist anarchy".
In it he described his idea of a collectivist or socialistic
anarchy vs. a individualistic and misnamedly capitalistic
anarchy. I think he had his definitions mixed up, however, and
I'll attempt to set the record straight.

> Anarcho-syndicalism looks to me like "Anarcho-communism, communism without
> the state" or because communism is though of a state, more accurately:
> spontaneous socialism/ collectivist anarchy. AKA Libertarian-socialism.

This is more or less true, however, what is left out is that
anarcho-syndicalism, or libertarian socialism, is not a philosophy based
on altruism but in fact on rational, enlightened self-interest.
There are in fact win-win, and lose-win situations in a socialistic
context as well as the context one might have between two capitalist
businessmen who make a deal (both see themselves as "winning"...
this is considered the capitalistic "win-win" situation...
of course it is a win-lose situation when one capitalist is forcing
people at gun point in a slave-labor shop in South Korea, or
El Salvador. In the case of a socialistic win-win situation,
you have cases where two people agree to work on building a house.
both will eventually benefit from the warmth of the house... but
their agreement is not based on the exchange of capital, but
the fact that they both need each others labor. One could try to
sucker the other individual

So-called Libertarian capitalism or "Anarcho-capitalism" is described as
capitalism without the state. This, however, is far from comparable to
libertarian socialism or even anarchist individualism. A capitalism
without the state would not do away with state regulations
of private property, because the new private state put up to protect
private property would prevent people from utilizing vast areas of

Collectivist anarchy and Individualist anarchy vs "anarcho-" capitalism:

There are two groups of Libertarians the Spontaneous
Socialists (Collectivist anarchy) and the Individualist Anarchists.
There is another group, the so-called anarcho-capitalists, but
they in fact are one of the current incarnations of a form
of liberalism that existed before the more common Liberalism
of the post-FDR years. This type of "liberalism" bases it's
"liberal" emphasis on the fact that it opposes the State and
the Church as entities that control capital. It does not,
however, have much to say about liberty of labor, or the rights
of individuals in the labor force, beyond that they have the "choice"
of whom to take order from, or the opportunity to become a boss
and give orders to someone else.

The first group is where Rudolf Rocker, Noam Chomsky
and Gregory P. Maximoff stand. A common misconception is that their
systems are based on the illegalization of private property. This
is not true. anarcho-syndicalism, or libertarian socialism, is based
on working class individualists putting their own self-interests
first and _abandoning_ the system of private property that
exploits them. The survival of such a group is not based on
"expelling" win-lose meme private property people, but rather
in keeping the win-win libertarian socialist people.

This group does not force itself to not see the "win-win" aspects
of capitalism: it's pretty obvious that there are some win-win
transactions, where two powerful capitalists might make a transaction
and each side be satisfied... however, what they recognize is
that there is ALWAYS a win-lose side to capitalism in how workers
are treated.

Individualist and Socialistic anarchy are not fundamentally different.
Some capitalist theorists have argued that capitalism is an
individualist philosophy based on the idea that the "individual"
capitalist is pitted against the "mass" of workers. But the
reality is that it is the individual worker against the
individual boss. The model of "mass" representing the left,
something boosted by Stalinist ideology, only helped re-enforce
the illusion of "individual" on the capitalist side. However,
the early individualist anarchists were not in favor of capitalism
per se, they were simply opposed to mass state organizations like the
Communist Party. Individualist-leaning philosophers like Thomas Jefferson,
Adam Smith, Lysander Spooner, Henry David Thoreau, Max Stirner and so on
all believed that workers had fundamental rights, and the right to their
fair share of labor... but they had to claim it themselves, through
their own efforts, and through acts of resistance, strikes,
and civil disobedience.. not by imposing ones will on the
capitalist individual, but by refusing to be exploited by the
capitalist individual.

Another name for libertarian socialists might be "Laissez-Faire
Socialists": the saying goes that if a group of libertarian
workers were approached by a government official who asked them
"what can I do for you?", the answer would be "leave us alone:
labor united can solve it's own problems". The Communist and
Socialist parties turned to electorialism and the
state as a tool to solve the working class's problems... but
libertarian and individualist anarchists historically
rejected this.

Laissez-Faire Socialists (individualist and syndicalist anarchy)
believe people like to work hard and get paid fairly for it. Win-win...
(though capitalists often force themselves to refuse to see the win-win
aspect of such a situation and only see it as win-lose, thus opposing
working-class individuals who ask for nothing more than freedom
from exploitation)

Libertarian Socialism/ anarcho-syndicalism encourages people to work and
be paid a fair wage (WIN-WIN) when they are employed.

Libertarian socialism assumes people own their own bodies, unlike
"anarcho-capitalism" where the individual is "owned" by the corporation
they work for. In "anarcho-" capitalist society human behavior is regulated
by the imposition of regulatory patents, copyright laws, and so on.

BTW, Fascism is a form extreme capitalism. Fascism occours when small business
owners, frightened of a rising, militant and organised working class,
turn to the extreme right which uses workerist rhetoric and emotional
appeals to build a counter-revolutionary movement to stop the spread
of (libertarian) socialist ideas.

Dynamically Optimistic,

For more info:
Liberty for the People web page:
Prominent Anarchists & Left-Libertarians: