Libertarian socialism (sometimes called social anarchism, and sometimes left libertarianism) is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic society without private property in the means of production. Libertarian socialists believe in converting present-day private productive property into the commons or public goods, while retaining respect for personal property. Libertarian socialism is opposed to coercive forms of social organization. It promotes free association in place of government and opposes the social relations of capitalism, such as wage labor. The term libertarian socialism is used by some socialists to differentiate their philosophy from state socialism or by some as a synonym for left anarchism.
Adherents of libertarian socialism assert that a society based on freedom and equality can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialism also constitutes a tendency of thought that promotes the identification, criticism, and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of life.
Accordingly, libertarian socialists believe that "the exercise of power in any institutionalized form—whether economic, political, religious, or sexual—brutalizes both the wielder of power and the one over whom it is exercised". Libertarian socialists generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, and workers' councils.
Political philosophies commonly described as libertarian socialist include most varieties of anarchism (especially anarchist communism, anarchist collectivism, anarcho-syndicalism, mutualism) as well as autonomism, communalism, participism, libertarian Marxist philosophies such as council communism and Luxemburgism, and some versions of "utopian socialism and individualist anarchism.
Famous quotes containing the word socialism:
“Men conceive themselves as morally superior to those with whom they differ in opinion. A Socialist who thinks that the opinions of Mr. Gladstone on Socialism are unsound and his own sound, is within his rights; but a Socialist who thinks that his opinions are virtuous and Mr. Gladstones vicious, violates the first rule of morals and manners in a Democratic country; namely, that you must not treat your political opponent as a moral delinquent.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)