Why do people think that libertarian socialism is an oxymoron when they haven’t even read about it?

Question by Kenny: Why do people think that libertarian socialism is an oxymoron when they haven’t even read about it?
Now, before anyone says it’s an oxymoron because you need to have a big government to have socialism I want you to


“I.1 Isn’t libertarian socialism an oxymoron?” search this on a search engine

You do not need a state to have socialism, socialism is supposed to be workers control of the means of production.

“I would like to offer some calculations on a business which is:

(a) capitalist owned: One guy owns it and earns $ 1,000,000/year. His 50 workers are paid minimum wage $ 15,000/year.

(b) socialist (worker) owned: no rich guy: the 50 workers now earn his salary of $ 1,000,000/50 = $ 20,000 each.
Each worker now averages 15,000 + 20,000 = $ 35,000, more than double his meager capitalistic wages.

Here is proof that “worker-owned” socialism raises the standard of living for the masses, not just a few filthy-rich capitalists.

No government-run wealth redistribution schemes needed here either. ”
- Post from a far-left website.

I could start a worker cooperative right now and have socialism on a small scale, imagine if this was expanded to all of society as a whole! OMG SOCIALISM HATES FREEDOM BLAH BLAH BLAH. When you’d make more money under socialism!

For more information look up “worker cooperative”

It’s libertarian because its the opposite of authoritarian! There’s no government (or very small government) to redistribute the wealth. Libertarian does not have to mean unregulated capitalism (or anarcho-capitalism in some cases) unless you are talking about the Libertarian Party. In Europe, libertarian almost always means libertarian socialism/left-anarchism.
Noam Chomsky has a quote about this “Let me just say regarding the terminology, since we happen to be in the United States, we have to be rather careful. Libertarian in the United States has a meaning which is almost the opposite of what it has in the rest of the world traditionally. Here, libertarian means ultra right-wing capitalist. In the European tradition, libertarian meant socialist. So, anarchism was sometimes called libertarian socialism, a large wing of anarchism, so we have to be a little careful about terminology.”

You can even have markets under real socialism, search this on a search engine “Mutualism (economic theory)” !

It isn’t fair when one rich guy hoards all the money, if you are producing 40 dollars worth of stuff per hour then you should get 40 dollars an hour, instead of the rich guy stealing 30 dollars from you because he owns the means of production how about EVERYONE owns the means the of production and gets paid according HOW MUCH THEY WORK? There’s no wealth distribution by the evil gubmit, because everyone owns the means of production. But it’s not stateless, classless communism (and certainly not authoritarian Marxist-Leninism) either, since workers are still paid for how much work they do; rather than

Keep in mind this has actually worked before, in the Spanish Civil War there was was anarcho-syndicalism in Catalonia, anarcho-syndicalism is a form of libertarian socialism. (look up that too)

“Despite their limitations, the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists established libertarian collectives where the means of production and exchange were socialized, through direct management by the workers and not through imposition by the state. Economic surplus was also self-managed. Also, and once again in contrast to the USSR, the workers of the collectives were rewarded equally, without productivity falling or initiative lacking. The bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy believe that if there is not a large wage differential, initiative and interest in increasing production will be lost. This idea was shown to be false in the Spanish libertarian collectives, where solidarity between the collectivists made self-government function satisfactorily.”

Last time I asked a question like this a guy named Freedom > Govt said “if government takes money and redistributes it by force, as in, INvoluntary, that IS authoritarianism” THE GOVERNMENT ISN’T REDISTRIBUTING THE WEALTH!

A guy called Joe in texas answered in my last question “Socialism requires a central authority with the power to take what is yours and “redistribute” it to someone else. How can this possibly co-exist with freedom and Liberty?”

I’ve showed you it can co-exist with freedom and liberty easily and you don’t need a central authority.

So I ask everyone, how is it an oxymoron? (after I’ve given you all these examples?)


Best answer:

Answer by Jason K
Your average American voter doesn’t know the difference between a Political philosophy and an Economic system.

What’s more, most of them use very crude, connotative definitions of “Socialism” to being with.

The first response makes my case for me.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

2 Responses to “Why do people think that libertarian socialism is an oxymoron when they haven’t even read about it?”

  1. correrafan says:

    While studying alternative economic systems under the College of Liberal Arts, in the department of Anthropology, I heard the term “Socialist Libertarian”. It was defined as a person whose philosophy approved of more personal liberty than we currently have in the US, and less corporate or business liberty than we currently have in the US. Since all of the students taking that class were Americans, we could all identify with the restrictions on liberty that come from government, like marijuana.

    One of my professors once said that if everyone in the US owned at least some stock in every public corporation, and that private corporations were small with only a few owners, that would come closest to the real practice of socialism. His belief was that Corporatism, like we have in the US now, was the result of businesses having way too much control over markets, over their employees, and over their customers. I agree with him. (And with you.)

  2. picador says:

    Shakespeare disparagingly said “Words, words, words.” I, in the same spirit, say “Labels, labels, labels.”