April 13, 2018
In 19th century class war based anarchism, the role of workers and the role of capitalists was portrayed as necessarily conflicting. For just price economic doctrines like the socialist exploitation theories, this incompatibility of productive roles was an article of faith. With the advent of the computer age, the roles of worker, capitalist, and entrepreneur have become intermingled. Most of us are all three. We are workcapreneurs!
With this shattering of dogma, we realize that people have always been workcapreneurs. Indeed, it is the normal lifestyle for homo sapiens. Call it lifecycle economics. One is born without property. One gains capital, in the form of education, skills, and external tools as one grows older, accumulates capital in middle age, and hopefully becomes a pure capitalist in old age - a stage called retirement. This process is not unusual or mysterious; retirement happens in virtually all cultures. Even young people who have not yet accumulated capital can appreciate the genius of this process.
Elders are suspicious of statist socialism for several reasons, such as inter generational robbery, the untrustworthiness of politicized welfare, and the resulting monetary debasement. But we anarchists can understand, even as we disagree with, a statist person’s faith in the wonderfulness of his holy State. Statists are statists. Anarcho-socialists have a much harder proposition to sell, since they want to dispossess the elderly people of capital. To socialists, occupation and use prevails; fuck the retirees. While statist socialists promise the elderly free stuff provided by the Government, anarcho-socialists promise that scarcity will disappear, and old farts will be able to get whatever they need at the local free store. In short, anarcho-socialism’s program is to exploit the elderly (and others) by stealing their accumulated capital.
This inter generational redistribution of wealth - in the opposite direction from government-imposed “Social Security” - may explain why socialism is more popular among the young than the old. Young people without capital, especially those that feel hopeless, feel that some people (generally older, more productive, and more educated) accumulating more stuff than others is bad. So they see nothing wrong with ripping them off, using some convenient but dubious exploitation theory invented by a pre-modern economist. To socialists, the elderly are considered subhuman - cows to milk for capital. Socialism is ageist.
Anarcho-capitalism in its various forms (voluntaryism, agorism, market anarchism) asserts a person’s right of property and freedom of trade, in short the universal property norms. Mutualism, with its more restricted private property, also satisfies those norms. Both of these protect the rights of the elderly better than anarcho-socialism. Mutualism has the drawback of forcing retirees to live near their capital and/or engage in occasional usage rituals.