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    did it just get cold in here?..., 2005-10-28 21:47:15 | Main | the global system of injustice and torture..., 2005-11-02 10:39:44

    the joys of etymology:

    of the term "libertarian socialist", or, How to Twiddle Away the Minutes. The subject having hijacked an interesting discussion on maxspeak, for which I may bear some regrettable responsibility of its instigation. Link limitations identified this as mere spam, and quite so:

    The commenters overlook (though with refrence to the use of 'libertarianism' in 1800s France) "The Libertarian, a Journal of the Social Movement", 1858, published out of New York by exiled French anarchist Joseph Dejacque whom Kroptokin, in his 1910 Encyclopedia Britannica entry, described as especially deserving of credit for the progress of anarchist thought in the twenty years following the fall of the Republic.

    From the journal's subtitle I would suggest that the author is identifying libertarian currents in a broader socialist movement. Either way being as libertarians were all socialists prior to the 1950s "libertarian socialist" would be rather redundant. Should we require another example Chomsky, in the bibliography to that 1970 preface, cites Daniel Guérin's 1959 history, titled relevantly, "Youth of Libertarian Socialism". It's fairly clear the term "libertarian socialist" has it's origins in very old arguments between state and anti-state socialists, "authoritarians" and "libertarians" respectively, popular among French socialists, e.g.:

    In 1857 Dejacque used the term in a letter to Proudhoun accusing the latter of advocating a socialism that was "liberal and non-libertarian" - an invective still in common use in socialist squabbles - for his advocacy of markets and his tolerance of patriarchy.

    Speaking of whom Barkley Rosser writes:

    "Proudhon used the term 'communism.' He was the one who moved its meaning from merely 'equalitarianism' (it should be kept in mind that Babeuf did not call for the abolition of private property back in 1794) to opposition to private property with his 'property is theft!' line."

    In the sense, I guess, that he may have moved its meaning by his attacking it, but I'm not sure if that's what is meant. What he argued in "What is Property?" - in which he made said declaration - was that private property was only legitemated by occupancy and use, denounced communisms of various sorts (and in turn, as above and by Marx, denounced by communists of various sorts). He used the term 'Mutuallisme', or 'mutualism', to describe his own views.

    The origin of disagreement between Marx and Proudhon is laid out simply enough in their correspondance. Proudhoun replied by, more or less, slighting Marx as an authoritarian rather than libertarian socialist on matters of tactics:

    "Let us gather together and encourage all protests, let us brand all exclusiveness, all mysticism; let us never regard a question as exhausted, and when we have used our last argument, let us begin again, if need be, with eloquence and irony. On that condition, I will gladly enter your association. Otherwise — no!"

    History records that the nos had it.

    update, 8/11/2006:

    Bakunin, Politics and the State, 1871:

    Revolutionary - now known as libertarian socialists believe that in the instinctive yearnings and true wants of the masses, is to be found much sound reason and logic than in the deep wisdom of all the doctors, servants, and teachers of humanity who, after many disastrous attempts, still dabble in the problem of making the people happy. ... the Anarchist ideas of Joseph Pierre Proudhon which have educated the proletariat of the Latin countries and led them intellectually to the last consequences of Proudhon's teachings. This latter revolutionary or libertarian socialism has now, for the first time, attempted to put its ideas in practice in the Paris Commune.

:: posted by buermann @ 2005-10-31 14:08:16 CST | link

      Touche. Clearly, you and Mr Rosser know your stuff. Should have just let you deal with it from the beginning; it didn't take me long to prove that I knew remarkably little about the topic at hand.

    posted by Adam @ 2005-10-31 20:38:03 | link

      You sell your contribution to the discussion very short, being as the bulk of it was sourced from it.

      "Should have just let you deal with it"

      A republican!? Ya basta!!


    posted by buermann @ 2005-11-01 03:08:25 | link

      Yeah, well, I was still out of my element. I even had to look up what 'OED' meant...oi vey... At least now I'll be able to lecture people on the etymology of 'libertarian socialism' (assuming we, or rather you and Mr Rosser, settled it), so I can say that, at the very least, I've come out of it a more useful member to society. I think.

      On a side now, while I've been looking at a few blogs a while, it wasn't until recently that I started to really peruse a couple of the ones I could really relate to (dadahead, maxspeak, this one). And, may I comment, you're rather ubiquitous; I see "buermann" commenting everywhere. Even here, where you try to "deal with it", though I think your comment went over their heads (leading me to attempt to "deal with it" but, assuming my comment even gets accepted, I'm sure that I'll be lambasted for being a pro-government liberal or something silly...of course, I'm criticized by liberals for being an anti-government radical. Yay politics).

      Now that I think about it, there's no reason why this should surprise me; you link to almost every blog that I've found on my own (dada, max), and the other ones I've visted I've gotten from your impressive link list. I usually hate blog rolls and the such, but you've picked out a lot of good ones. So thank you, and well done!

    posted by Adam @ 2005-11-01 22:57:43 | link

      Ignore my comment about the karmalised comment; I mixed your comment up with someone else's....comment.

    posted by Adam @ 2005-11-01 23:05:01 | link

      No fears, Adam. Aside from spam I don't censor comments, unlike others that do that sort of thing. As for going over my head, I don't think that's occurred yet, but edumucate me please whenever you feel the need arises.

    posted by Diane @ 2005-11-02 07:07:17 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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