Critique by Punkerslut
A letter sent to the Libertarian Party, USA,
There is something particularly interesting in the Libertarian Party's program. "We believe that all individuals have the right to dispose of the fruits of their labor as they see fit and that government has no right to take such wealth." And if it is true that without labor, there can be no wealth, then one must naturally be inclined to the position that laborers should be the sole proprietors of the social product. Naturally, few people are going to support a political party that doesn't support that statement. If one supports the antithesis, that a laborer does not deserve the product they create, then it would be a support of slavery. Nobody would vote for a party with that platform A more interesting and pertinent question is this: does the Libertarian Party believe that every person has the right to fruits of investment? There is only one product that comes from business operations, and that is the wealth produced. Whether in profit or wages, that wealth is distributed through society. As a Communist, I believe that the laws should be effected in the interests of the working class, but certainly not as the most direct or effective means for achieving a new, socially harmonious world. The best way to make my defense of this is to ask another question...
Does the Libertarian Party believe in deregulation of the anti-discrimination laws in the US? Let's apply the same libertarian policy of economy to that of race. "Well, if white stores refuse to sell to minority customers, they'll make less money than white stores that accept all minorities. In the natural process, all it takes is just the economy on its own to bring racist policies to an end on their own." This idea of social change would have suffocated the civil rights movement, the abolitionist movement, and the struggle for women's suffrage. Letting things go on until the oppressor changes has rarely been the greatest means to accomplishing social justice. We would be living in a very different world today if Martin Luther King told his listeners to stay at home and let everything resolve itself. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 declared federal interference in the hiring practices of all businesses. Far from being a tyrannical act, this law was demanded after years of fighting and protest -- but would you call this interference, which protects the economical and social rights of minorities, a type of slavery? Perhaps repealing this act should be added to your party's political platform.
The Libertarian program is straight forward. "Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers." Should every business and government entity be allowed to engage in racialist policy, on account of this ultimate fear of an "entrenched privileged class"? A nation is not its leaders, but its people, and that is where its value and concern ought to lay. To allow the economically elite to create a world that denies access to racial minorities is to create social injustice. It is not in the skin color or race that a human being's value can be found. Every individual is a part of cultured society as any other. Racial minorities fulfill the same obligations as any others in this social organization. After their contributions, to ban and harass them would create an unbalanced social order. The cooperation of mankind to create the end product of society must be based on mutual grounding. If an involved party does not benefit from the social contract, then all of society is unjust. As no one person holds the ability to back out of this agreement; no people can abolish the power of an oppressor by simultaneously leaving the civilized world. We can't simply "back out now" of the social agreement. Going back to twigs and berries isn't going to prevent thousands of years of slavery from repeating itself.
The principle of labor law is absolutely identical. If there is not a fair and just distribution of wealth over society, if those who are responsible for creating the social product receive very meager payment, then we are living in an unbalanced order. If society is truly the crossing point where everyone can contribute their energies to create something civilized, something completely apart from untamed and uncomfortable nature, then every party must be allowed to benefit. The working class, the wealth-producing class, which makes up the majority of our population, is also the group which faces the most severe and unbearableexploitation of the economy's elite. When they are the party most responsible for creating this industrialized world, on what account can society proceed without guaranteeing them a fair and just exchange of their labor for their product? It is well known by all economists that a capitalist will offer as low as possible to his employees, by the very simple premise of self-interest. If the law does not extend its protection to the workers, they will quickly and easily become the victims of greed and economic manipulation.
For quite some time, the Conservative movement, much like the Libertarian movement, opposed regulations on the environment, declaring that the government has no right to create laws that prohibit something when it effects no one else. It was only less than ten years ago that the government and its institutions were forced to recognize the real threat of global warming. Our world ecology is facing very serious, threatening conditions because of the lack of regulation on industry. The quality of life for every human being and animal is going to drastically effected because of free enterprise. Perhaps the Libertarian Party would allow the detonation of nuclear materials on private property, even if there is a nuclear fallout radiating for miles and miles? After all, much like the polluting industries, this action would only be effecting the environment of the people, regardless of how much it effected the people. How is public prosperity different from environmental issues? The economy effects everyone's condition of living; why should the people be content to relieve the greatest movers in this field of any regulation at all? Just as the earth is collectively owned, so is public prosperity. In a social organization only possible by everyone's mutual need of each other, to deny an participating group their share would be injustice.
"Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers." Those with access to the tax money have existed so long as there has been government. What of the other basic functions that government today provides, such as transportation and law enforcement? Shouldn't these be considered interference in the economy; shouldn't citizens be given the choice to pick a private distributor of one of these services? Absolving an economy of all public industry and regulation has rarely been enough to protect it from "the entrenched privileged class." The exploitation of the workers from the employing class cannot be denied. On what conscience can you attempt to recreate society, while leaving this undeniable brutality comfortably in place?
In solidarity with anarchists everywhere,