Friday, February 03, 2006


Person of the Day

Noam Chomsky

He is Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at MIT. Although he has received numerous accolades for his work in linguistics and grammar and behavioral sciences, he is most well known for his political activism.

Wikipedia, I think, appropriately reports Chomsky's leanings below:

"Chomsky describes himself as a libertarian socialist, a sympathizer of anarcho-syndicalism, and is often considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of American politics."

And although he is one of the many followers of the archaic LTV he is still an important voice for the American Left. Additionally, he had a cameo in the "documentary" The Corporation.

For a critique of LTV, read Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk's Capital and Interest.

I'm confused about Libertarian Socialism.

From Wikipedia: "Libertarian socialists believe that all social bonds should be developed by individuals who have an equal amount of bargaining power...libertarian socialism is said to promote positive liberty at the expense of negative liberty"

So, my questions are:
1. How does society equalize "bargaining power" when individuals are inherently unequal?

2. How does such a society begin to exist? Does everyone simultaneously volunteer his personal property to the common ownership, or are those who want to keep their property coerced somehow to part from it?

3. Can this society exist without either every member's constant consent or some form of coercion?
Response (my opinion)

1. Society equalizes so that it is individual versus individual (I think that this why there is the leaning towards anarchy - no government and no corporations)

2. I have no idea how this is supposed to evolve. I have thought about this one and really haven't read anything on it yet. How do we realisitically apply it? You got me.

3. I think it would be like a real "social contract" for a specified period of time or it is an agreement where you could also leave at any time. I am not sure how you have the order without some order from above (atleast law).

I am not sure about anarchy for that reason. Liberty only exists for a period of time and there are constantly changes in it and movements against it. How can one really have a "society" based on constant consent, unless it was very small?
On the first point, even if it is individual versus individual, people have different skills, different needs. Even if they start at the same point, they won't stay there.

So, would this society enforce this equal bargaining power by somehow preventing individuals from accumulating the fruits of their labor? Could this state of equal bargaining continue to exist without coercion?
I would think it would be inappropriate for this "group of individuals" to redistribute wealth for the purpose of maintaining equality without becoming a fully coercive government.

If it continues to strive for "equality" then I don't think it can last as a non-coercive entity.
NRO on Chomsky:
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