It is my personal opinion that a society which operates in accord with limited Libertarian Socialist values could potentially be the most humane and the most practical of all prospective systems which I myself have considered. This is not to say that there may not actually be social systems better suited for human cohabitation than those which I have researched to date; however among those systems which I have researched, I prefer limited Libertarian Socialism to the alternatives.
I qualify my Libertarian views as limited, in that I do believe that a minimum of social structure is necessary in order to ensure mutual benefit and the common good of each and every person, the latter expressing the sought end of any society of my personal preference. As I am clearly a Socialist, my thoughts as to limited government may seem contradictory, but frankly, my observations of government in general are that such seems to inevitably evolve into layers of illegitimate power and assumed authority which are unnecessary and at times outright oppressive.
It is likewise my observation that most people tend to do the right thing quite naturally, seemingly as a matter of personal principle, as opposed to as a response to an external coercive power such as a law or rule of social engagement. Frankly, most people don’t need a law in order to live peaceably within the realm of their social relations. Sensitivity for the feelings of others as a natural governor of social conduct is the norm, hence autonomy is for the most part a reliable guide for such. The exceptions to those who choose to live peaceably with others, and the existence of those who exploit others in unfettered circumstances; however would necessitate a limited, democratically directed structure for the purpose of protecting principled people from those with malevolent intent in any given social setting.
As to Socialism itself, I maintain that the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need” is a practical guide for any society, and one which maintains an ethical high ground in terms of seeking the best for everyone. I certainly regard such as preferable to any form of Capitalism. The social experiment known as neo-liberal Capitalism, which has been the prevailing process here in the US since the late 70’s, has proven to be a pitiful failure as a medium to provide for the general welfare (a Congressional responsibility according to Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution), yet such has been a smashing success as a get rich and stay even more wealthy scheme for the upper 1% among our society. The last few decades have seen a decline in the leverage of the working class to the extent that collective bargaining is becoming a practice of the past, an alarmingly inequitable distribution of financial resources between the wealthy and the working poor to an extent unrealized in this country for almost a century, which has resulted in a working class whose existence is a dependency upon wages that have seen no noticeable increase for almost 40 years. Our society is in dire straits, and we have neo-liberal capitalism to thank for our miserable state of affairs.
Inasmuch then as the cause of Socialism is just, it subsequently seems to me that we should be able to transform a given culture by intelligent persuasion and passionate appeal to the principles upon which Socialism is founded. In fact, it is my personal opinion that most people are Socialists, they just don’t realize such to be the case. Most people believe in the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need”. Most people feel it is wrong to allow someone to suffer. Most people feel it is wrong for some to hoard resources while others suffer. Most people seem to hold Socialists views, for Socialism is based upon basic principles which are so universal that in everyday life they are almost assumed.
That said, I maintain that the means to secure a Socialist society is by way of passionate but intelligent persuasion, and perhaps there is no time more opportune for such than the 21st CE.
We live in the age of the information highway, the social media, Youtube, and Instagram. Now, I personally am a techno fossil. I actually use my cell phone primarily to place calls, which seems to put me in the minority. But even an old throwback like me can navigate FB, email, or blog. And I can also present my case on behalf of Socialist principles in everyday conversation, which I try to do as reasonable opportunity allows.
The case against Capitalism as an evil system is a case which should be maintained persistently, but one of the fundamental evils ever present to such is that Capitalism must be secured and maintained by brute power. There is no righteous basis for Capitalism, and certainly no one would voluntarily choose such as a viable social system, save for those who are greedy and insensitive enough to exploit the misery and services of others for their own gain and gratification. Certainly no one would volunteer to be exploited at the commencement of a start up society; hence no one would willingly choose Capitalism as a social system of choice. Thus, Capitalism is a system which has to be secured and maintained by way of brute power, and the history of Western Civilization reveals such to have been the case.
Ours is a just cause, theirs is an evil and sinister system. Most people don’t realize this, and consequently vote and propagandize against their own self interests.
I am for peaceful, persistent, private and public appeal to the intellect of my human peers in pursuit of a society based upon mutual benefit and shared responsibility, established and maintained not by brute force, but by way of voluntary cooperation.
Such as they are, these are some of my general thoughts as to a society based upon limited Libertarian Socialists values.