|Feb. 9th, after the storm|
We were not as heavily affected by the big snowstorm that pounded most of New England. We were covered by 30 inches (76 cm) of snow in that time. Compared to those living south of Boston, we were fortunate. Some of my closer friends live down there and told me they were without power for days. We're supposed to get hit again this weekend. Kind of ironic how last year we complained of spring-like weather in February and no snow.
Speaking of this weekend, Liberty Forum is coming to town. Starting tomorrow, all the libertarians are going descend on Nashua like flies on butter. I remember last year's event and how out-of-place we were; not just myself, but the left-libertarians in general. Others at the event called us commies and claimed market socialists "know nothing about economics" (a rather common insult that pro-capitalist libertarians will often pull). I still hold that most of this bickering comes from the assumptions right-libertarians have about socialists and socialism, and are thus hard to react when they come across free market nuts who adhere to some socialist ideas of workers' control and social issues.
I will admit that I've fallen out with that crowd (that being, the left-libertarians). I see a huge number of flaws in their ideology, things I noticed right off the bat when I started looking into it about a year and a half ago but didn't want to admit. Most of it has to do with the fact that much of the left-libertarian ideology clings to a lot of the free market dogmas found on the political right. There is constant denial that markets can produce certain problems on their own without firms being granted privileges by the state, for example. Another is the lack of a clear set of principles. When us mutualists (and I should say, mutualism has nothing to do with markets; you could apply a mutualist framework to any brand of anarchist economics) point out the inherently capitalistic nature of the property rights many left-libertarians promote, they will either deny it or claim that the market will resolve whatever problems exist. That mentality speaks as if justice and freedom are merely commodities, but then again, many free market advocates (both on the left and right) tend to blur any distinction between commodified relations between persons in the market and social relations between persons (including exchange) outside of the market framework.
Though as much as I disagree with them, I still have a good amount of respect for left-libertarians. As it is, left market anarchists are the only ones who point out how the social democratic welfare state ultimately keeps capitalism alive and destroys efforts of truly bottom-up solidarity and on top of that furthers the notion that working people are powerless; most of the social anarchists are trying to work with keynesians and social democrats in order to implement a European-style welfare state in the US and have very little interest in creating projects that are anything close to anarchistic in nature. (Whether or not an absolute anarchy is possible is another story - the main issue here is that some projects and strategies are much more in-line with anti-authoritarian and egalitarian philosophy while some are not.) Free market socialists on the other hand heavily emphasize bottom-up projects that are meant to counter the state-capitalist system, even if they do a mediocre job of it. I'm not calling for austerity; I'm simply pointing out that a larger welfare state would be highly detrimental to our goals as anarchists. Just imagine how much support radical leftist movements would lose if the US chose to implement a basic income - not that I think the US would ever do this, but still.
Anyway, my life isn't very eventful. I need to get out of my parents' home as quickly as I can.