Friday, October 21, 2011


From Syndical Syndrome in Mises Daily: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Of the three major proposals for running an advanced industrial society — socialism, syndicalism, and free-market capitalism — syndicalism is the most blatantly unworkable and most rapidly disastrous. For in such a society, there must be some rational mechanism for allocating resources efficiently, for seeing to it that the proper amounts of labor, land, and capital equipment are employed in those areas and in those ways most efficient for satisfying the wants and desires of the mass of consumers. Free-market capitalism not only provides the most smoothly efficient way; it is also the only method that relies solely on voluntary inducements.

Thus, suppose that a great number of new workers are needed in a new and expanding industry, say, plastics or electronics. How are these workers to be supplied? The market way is to offer new jobs at higher wages in these new areas and fields, while firing people or cutting wages in those industries that are in decline (say the horse-and-buggy industry). The pure socialist way is to direct the labor out of one industry and into another purely by coercive violence — i.e., by forced labor direction. The socialist method is both despotic and highly inefficient, and so even the socialist countries have been turning more and more to free-market methods in the allocation of labor. But at least socialism is an attempt at a rational allocation of labor in a modern, industrial society.

Syndicalism, on the other hand — i.e., full worker "ownership" of "their" industries — does not even attempt to achieve a rational allocation of resources. Both the free method of market allocation and the coercive method of central dictation are eliminated. And what is to take their place? In effect, nothing but chaos. Instead of a coordinating mechanism there is now only the chaotic will of groups of brawling monopoloid syndics, each demanding parity and control regardless of economic law.
I like this line, too, "...a libertarian society does not mean the total absence of coercion but only the absence of coercion against noncriminals."

Criminals, of course, defined as 'those who initiate force or fraud against others.'

Edit: Dr. Rothbard quotes from The Anarchists later in the piece. It promises to be a good read.

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