I’ll start off by saying that libertarian-socialism is not something you vote for. It is something that comes about out of a vacuum or through revolution. To be clear, I’m not in favor of the revolutionary approach. But under our current system, which is based on infinite growth and reliant on finite resources as well as the exploitation of people in an evermore connected and more educated global society, global economic collapse is a near certainty unless adjustments are made. Biodiversity could also become a serious problem. All the living things on our planet evolved together, but because of new technologies like pesticide and GMOs, some species like bees and natural plants are in danger of extinction in the not-so-distant future. World War III is also a threat, as are catastrophic natural disasters and climate change. The point is, in the next century or so, it is possible that our society as we know it may come to an end, and we will have to start over.
I believe it is possible to maintain our current standards of living in a near- stateless, post-capitalist society. I used to dabble in anarchism, but I have come to recognize that there is some use for the state, though its size and scope must be greatly reduced. If I were to tell the average consumer of corporate media that I am a socialist, they would assume I’m in favor of big government and ‘free stuff.’ But let’s forget that nonsense and have an adult conversation.
Let me take you to a hypothetical future that is more possible and likely than you might think. I am proposing a society in which the state is made of something more akin to a blockchain computer program. There are no politicians, no capital city, and no corporations. Police and military are greatly reduced and for defense only. The only branch of government that is left largely untouched is the court system. Judges, jurors and litigators all have their uses, but they are operating in a vastly altered legal system in which crimes must have a victim, and one cannot victimize himself. So things like guns and drugs are legal. This is enshrined in the new constitution.
Let’s be honest, politicians and representative democracy are archaic 18th century concepts. There is not that much to be decided on, and we can decide for ourselves. There are still local, state/ providential, and national elections, but people vote directly on issues, not for representatives. Everyone is automatically registered to vote when they turn 20 and can do so from home on line.
Small businesses are worker owned. Big businesses and natural monopolies are publicly owned. People invest the same percentage into businesses that they will get out in profit. Percentages are negotiated by the workers/ owners and relative to the amount and difficulty of the work they do. People can be fired by a 65% vote, but they are given their investment back as compensation. The same think goes if someone quits.
Let’s look at a hypothetical new business. If people are starting a business and need an accountant and don’t know any, they go to the local accounting guild and interview possible investor/ worker/ owners. If one interviewee is asking for an unreasonable percentage, they just move on to the next one. Eventually they find one who fits, so it’s time to get started. They go to the local publicly owned, non-profit bank and each investor/ worker/ owner gets a separate interest-free loan. If, later, they can’t pay back their loans in the generously agreed upon time period, the bank can seize their share of the business or some other equal asset.
People in small businesses do not make fixed incomes, instead their pay is directly correlated with their productivity and the business’s profits, so they are incentivized to work harder.
If a business is unprofitable or someone is unemployed, they receive welfare and free housing, but, to incentivize work, welfare is the bare minimum needed for survival, and these people are among the poorest in society. There are no homeless people.
People in certain professions can buy robots or computers to do their work for them, and they can stay home and do whatever they want with their lives.
Many businesses are publicly owned; These include big businesses like airlines, natural monopolies like utility companies, and other public businesses like banks and schools. None of these are incorporated. The employees are paid by the state.
Excluding elective procedures, healthcare is publicly funded. Doctors are basically free agents. Some doctors get more patients, and thus more money, because they are good at their jobs, not because the hospital they work for cut a deal with an insurance company. This is what a real free market looks like.
All education, all the way up to the PHD level, is publicly funded. The is what true egalitarianism looks like. Universities still have a rigid application process and not every one is excepted.
Private property is still a thing.
If we look back at the dark ages of 2018 and take how much taxes the average American was paying plus how much the parasitic insurance companies were robbing them of, people at this time are paying a bit less and getting VASTLY more. This is because they aren’t flushing money down the military industrial toilet, and they aren’t subsidizing oil companies and Amazon and whoever else their politicians are being bribed by, because there are no politicians or corporations to bribe them.
Well, that was fun. I laid out a cogent plan and dispelled a few myths in the process: myths like socialism being antithetical to competition, free markets, and small government.
Some day I will right a part 2 where I talk more about international relations, borders, citizenship, police and such. I’ll also be writing more about how capitalism has failed us. Until then, keep fighting.
For part 2 click here My Libertarian Socialist Manifesto (Part 2)