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–1 vote
Some anarchists, even those that support private property, see wage labor as an exploitation. Why is this view so common and what is the logic behind it?
by (150 points)
See http://libcom.org/files/Capitalis_ex-dummies_updated.pdf

Also, quit calling yourself an anarchist. You're an anti-statist.
The debate on which anarchists are "true" anarchists is completely pointless in my opinion. The central idea that all those who call themselves anarcho-something adhere to is that the state is undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. I don't know why that can't be accepted as the core of anarchism, since we all seem to agree on it. Of course there's nothing wrong with dividing ourselves into anarcho-sindicalysts/communists/capitalists etc, depending on our views regarding everything else.
the reason for calling oneself by a name is in order to make a certain point.
opening the definition of that name beyond recognition means that communication gets harder, not easier.
obviously "beyond recognition" is subjective, to some extent.
why *do* you want to call yourself an anarchist though? what is wrong with the anti-state label for your beliefs?
There's nothing wrong with calling my beliefs anti-statism, since I am anti-statist. But I still find it irritating, when people tell me, that anarcho-capitalism is not the "correct" form of anarchism and that true anarchism is something else, usually what they believe in. I see no reason why anarcho-syndicalists, anarcho-communists or anarcha-femminists get to call themselves anarchists, but anarcho-capitalists don't.

EDIT: also anarcho-capitalism has been around for a while now and many identify themselves that way and I'm not really aware of any possible translation of "statist" into my native language(Slovenian), so it's for practical reasons too
Since you pulled your answer from wiki, I'll pull the next sentence you left out: "Proponents of anarchism (known as "anarchists") advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical voluntary associations."

"It was only after the rise of hierarchical societies that anarchist ideas were formulated as a critical response to and rejection of coercive political institutions and hierarchical social relationships."

Anti-statism isn't the core of anarchism. It's historically been a questioning of hierarchy in not just the state, but in social relations, as well.

Words often mean more than their etymology implies. 'Democrat', 'Republican', 'Libertarian', 'Anarchist', all have contextual meanings based on each word's history. I'd venture to say you're not really familiar with Anarchism.
"I see no reason why anarcho-syndicalists, anarcho-communists or anarcha-femminists get to call themselves anarchists, but anarcho-capitalists don't."

For the same reason that any random economist from Austria can't call themselves an adherent to Austrian Economics. Words come to mean things beyond their basic etymological meaning.

What's wrong with 'anti-state capitalist'?
I can see that historically anarchism wasn't just about getting rid of the state, it also included some social changes. However if you take the social reform away, I think people are still going to identify it as anarchism, while if you take away the anti-statism, you have an ideology that's very similar to a collectivist ideology. That's why I think anti-statism actually is the core of anarchism, and why individualists still call themselves anarchists. Nothing wrong with calling me an anti-statist capitalist either, I just don't see why anarcho-capitalist shouldn't be a legitimate label, since it's been around for a while, it sounds good and everybody knows what it means.
Anarchism's anti-statism comes out of a critique of hierarchy, which is responsible for the critique of private property, wage labor, capital, etc. You cant just say anarchism at its core is anti-statism. It's core is a critique of hierarchy in all relationships, which gives rise to anti-statism.
Well, ok, let's accept that definition of anarchism, it sounds pretty sensible. Is anarcho-capitalism really incompatible with it or is it just a way of interpreting anarchism?

You could argue that private property creates a hierarchy, because it limits what people can have and use, but doesn't the right to personal property do the same? If you accept that it isn't ok to murder someone, doesn't that restrict some people and create a hierarchy in the same way? Also isn't saying that hierarchy is wrong in all cases, unless it's voluntary also a legitimate point of view when critiquing it? Anarcho-capitalists aren't just anti-statists, they also denounce slavery and similar practices, that don't necessarily involve the state, because it infringes on the right of slaves to own themselves.
Short answer: It's a critique of institutionalized hierarchy. Having personal property doesn't prevent others from having anything. You're welcome to try and murder someone, but there will be consequences, social or otherwise. If you think 'owning yourself' means a 9-5 and no state, well have fun with that. Anarchism comes with a much larger analysis of domination. It would answer your questions a lot more thoroughly and accurately if you actually learned what anarchism is.

See this: http://www.infoshop.org/AnAnarchistFAQ

There's even a section for you, but don't limit yourself to that. Read the rest first.

1 Answer

+3 votes
per how this site accepts the range of "anarchists", *all* anarchists believe that capital exploits labor. capital (as defined by marx) is built on the value of the labor that is taken from the customer/consumer and kept by the capitalist, instead of all going to the laborers.
the state allows/encourages this by providing to capitalists services like roads and electricity (also obtained by under-compensated laborers), and by providing armed forces (who are also under-recompensed workers) to keep laborers from resisting the situation.

also see

none of those links are the one i was looking for, which includes some comments about definitions and associations with capitalism, and differences between markets and capitalism (differences that exist in theory even if they may not be able to exist in practice), but maybe if you search for capital and such like, you'll find some good commentary (inside and outside of the answers).
by (52.8k points)
edited by
I'd be curious to know which alleged anarchists you know "support private property." I'd be further interested to know which alleged anarchists you know would be able to defend/guarantee this private property without recourse to a publicly or privately paid police force.
lawrence, i feel like your framing assumes the intention/character of all people everywjere to be beholden to slave morality, that if some person is perceived not just to have something more but even of greater variance, it must be taken from them in the name of equality or leveling out.  under capitalism, all the fuzzy dreamy stuff of what should be goes out the window for all anarchists, not just market anarchists, but in the same way we say "could you picture this as possible?" I would ask to you, do you think its possible that some people somewhere not under a state could live near some person/people who want to live in a certain place, and have others not live there (for whatever reason), and then those people respecting that idea (and if its not respected, forcefully removing them themselves)?  Sure this isnt the legal category of private property, but effectually it seems similar enough to me
Actually it's the ideology and practice of private property that presumes that there are people who want to take your stuff. I'm not interested in some sort of leveling of goods, nor am I interested in some vague category of equality. I am also not interested in engaging with people who call themselves "market anarchists" as if there were some anti-hierarchical market worth imagining.

Your clumsy counter-example of settlement being based on voluntary (non)association is a red herring; it has nothing to do with the idea of private property.