'Libertarian Socialist'

38 posts / 0 new
Last post
Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 21 2015 23:56
'Libertarian Socialist'

As an anarchist do you associate with the term libertarian socialist? Why or why not?
Is there anything about it that is off-putting to you?
Would you join an organisation or society that was called libertarian socialist?

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 22 2015 10:59

Anyone?

The reason I'm asking this is because I am trying to form a society and we're not sure if its worth calling ourselves libertarian socialist or if that's going to cause us problems

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Sep 22 2015 13:41

Scallywag, as a term, libertarian socialist is tip top. It says what we are but doesn't scare the horses. Go for it.

plasmatelly's picture
plasmatelly
Offline
Joined: 16-05-11
Sep 22 2015 14:43
Scallywag wrote:
As an anarchist do you associate with the term libertarian socialist? Why or why not?
Is there anything about it that is off-putting to you?
Would you join an organisation or society that was called libertarian socialist?

I loosely identify with the term 'anarchist' for the simple reason that every wing nut under the sun does too - I do, however strongly identify myself as an anarcho-syndicalist and generally as a socialist, so I hope this doesn't rule out my thoughts on the term 'libertarian socialist'.
Personally I wouldn't have a problem about joining an organisation that uses this not far from useless description if it were a decent class struggle organisation - but only up to a point. I strongly feel that it implies nothing structurally about organising - and possibly because of this (and possibly because it such a general, non-specific term) it seems to attract people with very polarised views on how organisations should work. In short, it lacks enough specifics to keep it anarchist, often being a slightly ridiculous meld of liberals, Statists and authoritarians.

Tarquin
Offline
Joined: 14-07-14
Sep 22 2015 17:16

It's not a term I'd associate with my politics as the people I've met who do identify as Libertarian Socialist have tended to be market socialists, pareconistas and state socialists trying to distance themselves from Stalinism, I guess the same way anarchists might use it to dodge the mindless bomb chucking stereotype.
This wouldn't wouldn't stop me joining a libertarian socialist org but it would have to be one that was somehow quiet explicitly none of those things.

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Sep 22 2015 17:30
Scallywag wrote:
As an anarchist do you associate with the term libertarian socialist? Why or why not?
Is there anything about it that is off-putting to you?
Would you join an organization or society that was called libertarian socialist?

Yes, I associate with the term. I think its descriptive of what I'm all about.

Not really anything off-putting. Its hard to make an argument that 'socialist' is tainted or something. Its true, lots of wankers have called themselves socialists, but same goes for libertarian, communist, anarchist and so on. Neat little descriptors are always hounded by such things and all new descriptors will be poisoned in good time - its best just to try to describe your politics in real terms (both practice today and vision of tomorrow).

I would join such an org but it wouldn't be because it called itself libertarian socialist. It would be because I'm down with their more detailed program and practice.

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Sep 22 2015 17:57

All I want is to live communism and spread anarchy. - Yoda, 1923, Moscow.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 22 2015 18:39

The things is we want the society be an anarchist society, and are concerned calling it libertarian socialist may detract from that, we are also concerned with it allowing people to join who aren't really anarchists like Marxists or 'radical liberals' even who could then maybe come to dominate the group and take it in a direction we don't want to go, (although we wouldn't want to shut people out if there not anarchists yet, but interested & sympathetic to our politics, which was one reason for calling it libertarian socialist). I thought it was a good idea though because its not as likely to scare people away as the term anarchist, may be more likely to attract curiosity than the term anarchist and might also keep us under the radar of the university. My friend is concerned also that the term libertarian socialist might have the effect of putting anarchists off, we have also seen other societies at other universities that have called themselves anarchist and they are doing well. Also whatever name we choose becomes permanent, which makes me think actually that possibly once the anarchists leave uni, it could become flooded with people that aren't anarchists and no longer be an anarchist society.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 22 2015 18:23
plasmatelly wrote:
it lacks enough specifics to keep it anarchist, often being a slightly ridiculous meld of liberals, Statists and authoritarians.

I thought all forms of libertarian socialist were anti-statist?

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Sep 22 2015 18:41

I like plenty of Marxists and anarchists alike. I also dislike plenty of anarchists and Marxists. We must go deeper!

Auld-bod's picture
Auld-bod
Offline
Joined: 9-07-11
Sep 22 2015 19:03

Scallywag #8

Anyone who is a ‘pure anarchist’ without a trace of any other political trait, is probably from outer space (and have hen’s teeth). If the society starts off like a discussion group talking about political basics, only then will you discover who thinks what. I’ve found the labels people give themselves very misleading. Think of it as learning from each other.

When I was a teenager I was a cocky little sod, who got a political pasting fairly regularly. It forces you to develop your ideas and debating skills. Nothing is permanent, you and your friends will change or entrench your ideas and in turn influence others. The society will inevitably reflect the views if its members. The revolution is based on the war of ideas.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Offline
Joined: 5-07-09
Sep 22 2015 19:15

For a society at school I'd say just go with LibSoc I think if you end up with a few libertarian Marxists, or genuinely anti-state left communists / autonomous Marxists, it shouldn't be a big deal.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Sep 22 2015 21:58

I'd say for the purposes of a uni society libsoc is the best bet. It would probably attract more people interested in politics than the word anarchist, which might net you some weird crusty lifestylist types.

But in general, it's all splitting hairs. We aren't going to appeal to most people. Umm and ahhing about this or that term for our un appealing ideology is a bit silly.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 22 2015 22:15

I think it's a really good term, and one identify with. If you don't want it to move too far away from your original objectives then you could just try and agree an original set of principles. We tried to come up with a really brief set which other people could use as a template here:
http://libcom.org/library/basic-principles-revolutionary-organisation

radicalgraffiti
Offline
Joined: 4-11-07
Sep 23 2015 00:18

i don't really like it, anti communists, liberals and trots seem to like it.

Although i wouldn't rule out joining a group that called its self libertarian socialist, it would depend on the actual politics

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 23 2015 04:19
Pennoid wrote:
All I want is to live communism and spread anarchy. - Yoda, 1923, Moscow.

To live communism and spread anarchy all I want is?

jahbread's picture
jahbread
Offline
Joined: 21-05-13
Sep 23 2015 08:41

In my view, socialism is the revolutionary period between capitalist and communist society, the period of proletarian dictatorship; there is very little that is libertarian about socialism. We dictate our needs upon the capitalist. Freedom, (libertarian) communism is the goal

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 23 2015 10:29

Actually on this subject this website would have been called "libsoc.org", if "libsoc" didn't sound too much like "Ingsoc" from 1984.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Sep 23 2015 10:40

Libsoc is indeed a vile term. Thanks for the ingsoc reference grin

Scallywag wrote:
The things is we want the society be an anarchist society, and are concerned calling it libertarian socialist may detract from that, we are also concerned with it allowing people to join who aren't really anarchists like Marxists or 'radical liberals' even who could then maybe come to dominate the group and take it in a direction we don't want to go, (although we wouldn't want to shut people out if there not anarchists yet, but interested & sympathetic to our politics, which was one reason for calling it libertarian socialist). I thought it was a good idea though because its not as likely to scare people away as the term anarchist, may be more likely to attract curiosity than the term anarchist and might also keep us under the radar of the university. My friend is concerned also that the term libertarian socialist might have the effect of putting anarchists off, we have also seen other societies at other universities that have called themselves anarchist and they are doing well. Also whatever name we choose becomes permanent, which makes me think actually that possibly once the anarchists leave uni, it could become flooded with people that aren't anarchists and no longer be an anarchist society.

You want anarchists to turn up, call it libertarian socialist or libertarian communist. You want loose wheels and assorted bellends to turn up and swamp whatever anarchists you do get, then call it 'anarchist'.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 23 2015 11:12
Steven. wrote:
Actually on this subject this website would have been called "libsoc.org", if "libsoc" didn't sound too much like "Ingsoc" from 1984.

hmm if we went with libertarian socialist that's most likely what our society would be abbreviated to, Libcom certainly sounds better, but I don't think libsoc sounds that bad, anything three letters and ending in soc sounds like ingsoc tbh.

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Sep 23 2015 15:00

Who are your existing group or who do you want to attract?

jura's picture
jura
Offline
Joined: 25-07-08
Sep 23 2015 15:58

Out of curiosity, would libsoc be pronounced libsock or libsots? Sounds strange either way.

Auld-bod's picture
Auld-bod
Offline
Joined: 9-07-11
Sep 23 2015 18:59

The libsots are the ones who are wide eyed and legless.

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Sep 23 2015 19:19

"Libsoash"

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 23 2015 20:15
jondwhite wrote:
Who are your existing group or who do you want to attract?

We're just a small group of about 5 students at the moment and we all have varying knowledge about anarchism, some of us are pretty new to the idea, some of us have been anarchists for awhile, some of us might have more understanding of anarchist theory whilst some of us might have more experience in organising. We haven't yet formed a society officially through the university, so we don't have a name yet and we haven't quite decided as a group yet the people we want to attract or our principles, but as for the people we want to attract it would likely be other students who are either anarchists, think they might be anarchists or are sympathetic towards our politics and want to learn more.

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Sep 23 2015 20:31

You should read capital. Very useful framework for understanding capitalism, difficult to read on your own and an interesting alternative to anarchist texts. grin

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
Sep 23 2015 21:07
Pennoid wrote:
You should read capital. Very useful framework for understanding capitalism, difficult to read on your own and an interesting alternative to anarchist texts. grin

making reading groups is one of the things we might want to do, but fuck capital is too long.

Anyone else have any ideas for things we could do though, one other thing is we want to invite people in maybe from other uni's or from anarchist organisations to give a talk or have a discussion about something, and possibly have debates with other societies, (although I am not sure if that's really worth it) we do have societies for all the main political parties bar UKIP I think (thankfully) and they are all pretty strong. We need to have some fun things to do as well, else we might be too boring to attract people, but yeah social nights/outings would obviously be something we would want to do as well.

plasmatelly's picture
plasmatelly
Offline
Joined: 16-05-11
Sep 23 2015 21:19

Scallywag - join AFed - tell people you read Capital (no one will question you) - take up raving and enjoy your life mate, being a good laugh will win you over more friends than being right.

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Sep 24 2015 02:27

May I suggest Wage Labor and Capital, Value, Price and Profit, and/or Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts.

Maybe I'm being a bit coarse but *ahem* capital is TOO LONG?!?! It's a READING group that's what they're FOR?!

Kidding. We broke it down to roughly 50 pages a week.

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Sep 24 2015 09:51

If you are anarchists and you want to attract anarchists you should call your group anarchist.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Sep 24 2015 09:52

I can't think of anything that would make me not want to join a uni society quicker than joining and then being told all it is reading capital. If you want to do a capital reading group than start one and advertise it as such.