Mutualism is a political and economic theory or system, largely associated with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, based on a labor theory of value which holds that when labor or its product is sold, it ought to receive in exchange, goods or services embodying "the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility" (receiving anything less is considered exploitation, theft of labor, or "usury"). Mutualists believe that a natural economic consequence of a truly free labor market is income to individuals being received proportionally to the amount of labor they exert. Mutualists oppose the idea of individuals receiving an income through loans, investments, and rent, as they believe these individuals are not laboring. They hold that if state intervention ceased, these types of incomes would disappear. Insofar as they ensure the workers right to the full product of their labor, mutualists support markets and private property in the product of labor. However, they argue for conditional titles to land, whose private ownership is legitimate only so long as it remains in use or occupation (which Proudhon called "possession.") Proudhon and other Mutualists believe in labor-owned cooperative firms and associations. As for capital goods (man-made, non-land, "means of production"), mutualist opinions differ on whether they are private "possession" (i.e. individuals required to be using them in order to retain titles) or private property. Some commentators distinguish between the nineteenth century American individualist anarchists and mutualists, suggesting that mutualists are more concerned with association.Because of this, some see mutualism as being situated somewhere between individualism and collectivism. Proudhon himself described the "liberty" which he pursued as "the synthesis of communism and property." Mutualists, following Proudhon, originally considered themselves to be libertarian socialists. However, "some mutualists have abandoned the labor theory of value, and prefer to avoid the term "socialist." But they still retain some cultural attitudes, for the most part, that set them off from the libertarian right." Mutualists have distinguished themselves from state socialism, and don't advocate social control over the means of production. Benjamin Tucker said of Proudhon, that "though opposed to socializing the ownership of capital, [Proudhon] aimed nevertheless to socialize its effects by making its use beneficial to all instead of a means of impoverishing the many to enrich the few...by subjecting capital to the natural law of competition, thus bringing the price of its own use down to cost."
Please rate this
Gadget Votes: 0 |NaN out of 5