Socialism & Libertarianism

Ian Goddard (
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 23:10:41 -0500

At 09:56 AM 10/29/98 +1300, J. Maxwell Legg wrote:

>> IAN: In fact, it stands to reason that "socialist
>> transhumanism" would be "compulsory transhumanism,"
>> because a socialist plan is government implemented
>> and thus compulsory, and therefore the libertarian
>> ethic is the definitionally anti-Nazi >H policy;
>> and as such, the libertarian ethic is the only
>> policy compatible with ethical transhumanism.
>excerpt from "Isn't libertarian socialism an oxymoron?"
>So what does socialism mean? And is it compatible with
>libertarian ideals? Webster's New International Dictionary
>defines a libertarian as "One who holds to the doctrine
>of free will; also, one who upholds the principles of
>liberty, esp. individual liberty of thought and action."
>According to the American Heritage Dictionary "socialism"
>is "a social system in which the producers possess both
>political power and the means of producing and distributing
>goods." This definition fits neatly with the implications
>of the word "libertarian" indicated above. In fact, it
>shows that socialism is necessarily libertarian, not statist.

IAN: The definition of socialism cited observes by default that consumers have been deprived of political power -- which is held by producers -- and that consumers have been taken out of the control of the distribution of goods; which is exactly the case in the socialist, but not libertarian, state.

We can also observe that a definition of libertarianism need only note that * individuals * have political power, not that one social subset, such as producers, had power. What is more, the idea that producers have power in the socialist state is false, the central planners have it.

The case presented for the nondifference of socialism and libertarianism has not been made by the selective set of definitions cited. Here's a better definition that clearly defines what is unique to socialism:

From Merriam Webster's (

SOCIALISM: 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state 3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

Visit Ian Williams Goddard -------->

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

                 Max Plank - Nobel physicist