Benjamin Tucker: Individualist Libertarian Market Socialist (Updated 2017)

  • Posted on: 4 March 2017
  • By: EvansPress

Benjamin Tucker: Individualist Libertarian Market Socialist - By Nicholas Evans (Updated 2017)

The tradition of the American Individualist Libertarians (Libertarian Market Socialism)

American Individualist Libertarianism is a form of market socialism with self-employed individuals, co-operative businesses, and socialist employers. 1. (If your interested, please see: Benjamin Tucker’s State Socialism and Anarchism: Where they Agree and where they Differ) It differs from Mutualist market socialism because mutualist market socialism also has an agro-industrial federation and a regulated market (regulated market by the community or federation) to ensure equality of opportunity. 2. (If your interested, please see: Proudhon’s Principle of Federation)

What is Capitalism?

Capitalism is a competitive market system where the majority of businesses operate with a subjective theory of value and does not fully factor into account the complete amount of mental or physical labor into the value of wage labor or a product. 3.

What is Socialism?

Socialism * is any economic system where workers are paid enough in wages to have the ability to generally buy back the total value they produce on a competitive market (the total value also includes the physical and mental labor) or where workers own a business or workplace collectively or individually (individually would be self employed).

Therefore employers who generally pay their employees enough to buy back the value that they produced (which includes mental and physical labor ie. Labor Theory of Value), co-op businesses, publicly owned workplaces and self-employed businesses are socialist. 4.

What is market socialism?

Market socialism includes employers where workers are paid enough in wages to have the ability to generally buy back the total value they produce on a competitive market (the total value also includes the physical and mental labor) at the time with equality of opportunity, co-op businesses, and self-employed businesses on a competitive market.

5. As the economist Stanford notes:

“But capitalism is not the only economic system which relies on markets. Pre-capitalist economies also had markets-where producers could sell excess supplies of agricultural goods or handicrafts, and where exotic commodities (like spices or fabrics) from far-off lands could be purchased. Most forms of socialism also rely heavily on markets to distribute end products and even, in some cases, to organize investment and production. So markets are not unique to capitalism, and there is nothing inherently capitalist about a market.” 6.

What is Libertarianism?

This term Libertarian is another name for the political society of Anarchism. Contrary to popular thought, anarchism is an organized and free society with equality of opportunity and it is different from Capitalism. Most forms of anarchism are based on direct democracy. This means that almost all or all organizations in an anarchist society are organized from the bottom up in a directly democratic fashion. This means that all or almost all business, workplaces, neighborhood assemblies, federations ect. would be organized in a directly democratic fashion. 7.

In this sense, there are delegates, or representatives rather than rulers. As most or all of the society would be run from the bottom up by directly democratic organizations and businesses and with elected delegates or representatives, Proudhon called this philosophy Anarchism. Bakunin, Kropotkin and others followed by calling their forms of political views anarchism by building off of Proudhon’s views. The term ‘Libertarian’ was first used in the anarchist journal ‘La Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social’. It was published in New York between 1858 and 1861 by French Anarchist Joseph Dejacque. Benjamin Tucker used the term ‘Libertarian’ in 1897 in his journal Liberty, no. 350 pp 5. 8. ‘Libertarian’ is a nice term since ‘Anarchism’ is sometimes confused with disorder which is incorrect.

Libertarians understand that equality of opportunity is important whether in a market or collectivist systems ect. This is why libertarians are socialists. 9.

Radical capitalists have different views, as can be seen from their beliefs that Henry Ford of Ford motors has equal footing with a small farmer when it comes to setting prices on the market:

“‘There is an all-too-common assumption, however, that if we compare, say, Henry Ford and a small wheat farmer, the two differ enormously in their respective powers of control. It is believed that the wheat farmer finds his price “given” to him by the market, while Ford can “administer” or “set his own” price. The wheat farmer is allegedly subject to the impersonal forces of the market, and ultimately to the consumer, while Ford is, to a greater or lesser extent, the master of his own fate, if not indeed the ruler of the consumers. Further, it is believed that Ford’s “monopoly power” stems from his being “large” in relation to the automobile market, while the farmer is a “pure competitor” because he is “small” compared to the total supply of wheat. Usually, Ford is not considered an “absolute’‘ monopolist, but someone with a vague “degree of monopoly power.

In the first place, it is completely false to say that the farmer and Ford differ in their control over price. Both have exactly the same degree of control and of noncontrol: i.e., both have absolute control over the quantity they produce and the price which they attempt to get; and absolute noncontrol over the price-and-¬quantity transaction that finally takes place. The farmer is free to ask any price he wants, just as Ford is, and is free to look for a buyer at such a price. He is not in the least compelled to sell his produce to the organized “markets” if he can do better else¬where. Every producer of every product is free, in a free-market society, to produce as much as he wants of whatever he possesses or can purchase and to try to sell it, at whatever price he can get, to anyone he can find.’” 10. **

This view may be ignoring market power. Market power is a situation where a company can afford to buy a lot more machinery and wage-workers, and therefore producing products that are perceived to be much better quality then a self employed individual can make (since the self employed individual may not have the machinery to make products in order to compete with the company on the market). Being free from most competition, the company can generally set prices they want. 11. The libertarians understood this, which is why the individualists are market socialists and all other libertarians are socialists. 12.

Even though the Individualists supported socialist wage labor, they knew the hierarchy was truly voluntary as the economy would be free of unearned capitalist income and free from market power:

“…it will make no difference whether men work for themselves, or are employed, or employ others. In any case they can get nothing but that wage for their labor which free competition determines.” 13. in other words the worker’s wage would be enough for the worker to buy back on the market the general value of what their job generally creates which is a form of the labor theory of value. Tucker and the other Individualists also placed importance on equality of opportunity on the market through mutual banks and occupancy and use (with the exception of Spooner). For more information please see: Instead of a Book by Benjamin Tucker. Gordon Press. (1972)

In a radical capitalist society, the capitalist dies not take the labor theory of value into account and the wage-labor may be involuntary as the wage-worker may have no means to compete with the larger well-off companies so have no choice but to became a wage worker. The hierarchy would be involuntary and therefore un-libertarian.

Benjamin Tucker obviously knew this, and he knew about market socialism and socialist wage labor. 14. This is why he is a socialist and why he called himself a socialist. 15.

Extra Information and Footnotes to this article:

*See Adam Smith’s Cost-of-Production Theory of Value.

Marx’s authoritarian politics are different from his analysis of capitalism and maybe contradict, since the state would act as one big corporation, the workers would neither receive the full value of their work or control the workplaces directly (ie. Worker self management)

However, his analysis of Capitalism is used by most socialists and accepted by the mainstream economics and by Libertarians such as Bakunin. His analysis of Capitalism is one thing of course, his political side (authoritarian politics in order to apply Socialism) is another thing as his analysis is different and can be applied to authoritarian as well as Libertarian societies.

Please see: ‘State Socialism and Anarchism’ by Benjamin Tucker and “Like Marx, Bakunin emphasized the importance of the economic factor of social evolution…In criticizing Marx’s theory of the State, Bakunin maintained that the State is not merely an agent of dominant economic class, but also constitutes a class in itself, and the most powerful of all by its virtue of its monopoly of armed force and its sovereignty over all other social institutions.” (Dolgoff, Sam (editor) Bakunin On Anarchy. New York: Vintage Books., (1972) pp 4-5)

As for Marx’s Labor Theory of Value, it has been critiqued correctly by Steve Keen, Joan Robinson (Keen, Steve. Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences. Zed Books: New York. (2004) pp 278-299) and others as incorrect with regards to labor and prices. However as McKay notes, Marx knew this which is why he stated:

“Ironically, the classical economists would agree. Marx, for example, explicitly noted that price and value do not actually equate:

"The continued oscillations in prices, their rise and fall, compensate each other . . . and carry out their own reductions to an average price, which is their internal regulator . . . the problem of the formation of capital . . . [is]: How can we account for the origin of capital on the supposition that prices are regulated by the average price, i.e., ultimately by the [labour] value of the commodities. I say 'ultimately,' because average prices do not directly coincide with the [labour] values of commodities." [Capital, Vol. 1, p. 269fn]” (McKay Iain. An Anarchist FAQ Blog: Unfinished Appendix on the Labour Theory of Value (11-25-2008) Retrieved 8-10-2009 from: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/blogs/afaq/secCapp.html)

Marx was working at a very abstract level in his analysis that was not meant to reflect reality but to show that the basis of work is the source of all value. However, as the economist Stanford points out there need not even be a Labor Theory of Value from Marx (or Proudhon or Tucker ect.) to show the labor is the source of all productivity. As the economist Stanford notes: “…Sraffa still proved that an inverse relationship must exist between wages and profits: if one is higher, the other must be lower. This was utterly contrary to the conclusion of neoclassical economists that labour and capital have complementary interests, rather than conflicting interests.” (Stanford, Jim. Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism. Ann Arbor: MI., Pluto Press. 2008. pp 72)

** Radical Capitalists have noted they are different from anarchists (ie. Libertarians):

“We must therefore conclude that we are not anarchists, and that those who call us anarchists are not on firm etymological ground, and are being completely unhistorical…Then, when, in the jousting of debate, the inevitable challenge ‘are you an anarchist?’ is heard, we can, for perhaps the first and last time, find ourselves in the luxury of the "middle of the road" and say, ‘Sir, I am neither an anarchist nor an archist, but am squarely down the nonarchic middle of the road.’” Rothbard, N. Murray. ‘Are Libertarian’s ‘Anarchists’?’ Ludwig von Mises Institute re-print 2008 (original mid- 1950’s in the article Faith and Freedom under the name "Aubrey Herbert," article was never published) retrieved August 30, 2009 from: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard167.html
(note: Radical Capitalists started to use the term ‘Libertarian’ in the 1970’s.

“Unfortunately, in the United States the term “libertarian” has become, since the 1970s, associated {to some-ed} with the right-wing,…” radical Capitalists. However, the term Libertarian has been used for over 150 years before to describe a direct democratic society that is economically socialist {ie. Market socialism, collectivism, Gift Economy ect.} as noted in the above article.) {also please see footnote 8}

Bibliography and Footnotes:

1. “The economic principles of Modern Socialism are a logical deduction from the principle laid down by Adam Smith in the early chapters of his "Wealth of Nations," - namely, that labor is the true measure of price.” and “…it will make no difference whether men work for themselves, or are employed, or employ others. In any case they can get nothing but that wage for their labor…” Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of a Book: By a Man too Busy to Write One. New York: Gordon Press. (1972) pp 5 and pp 475 ‘State Socialism and Anarchism’ and http://fair-use.org/benjamin-tucker/instead-of-a-book/solutions-of-the-l...

2.Vernon, Richard (editor) Proudhon, Joseph-Pierre The Principle of Federation. Canada: University of Toronto Press., 1979 pp 70 and 72

“The agro-industrial federation, on the other hand, will tend to foster increasing equality, by organizing all public services in an economical fashion…industries are sisters; they are part of the same body… They should therefore federate… in order to guarantee mutually the conditions of common prosperity…”
And Edwards, Stewart (Editor) Selected Writings of P.-J. Proudhon. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books., 1969 pp 70

“The advocates of mutualism are as familiar as anyone with the laws of supply and demand and they will be careful not to infringe them. Detailed and frequently reviewed statistics, precise information about needs and living standards, an honest breakdown of cost prices, the forseeing of all eventualities, the fixing after amicable discussion of a maximum and minimum profit margin, taking into account the risks involved, the organization of regulating societies: these things, roughly speaking, constitute all the measures by means of which they hope to regulate the market.”

3. Marx states “The driving motive and determining purpose of capitalist production is the self-valorization of capital to the greatest possible extent ie. The greatest possible production of surplus value,…” Marx, Karl. Capital Volume 1 England: Penguin Classics (reprint) 1990 pp. 449

Marx, Karl. Capital Volume 1 England: Penguin Classics (reprint) 1990 pp. 676.
"The working day of 12 hours is represented in a monetary value of, for example, 6 shillings. There are two alternatives. Either equivalents are exchanged, and then the worker receives 6 shillings for 12 hours of labour; the price of his labour would be equal to the price of his product. In that case he produces no surplus-value for the buyer of his labour, the 6 shillings are not transformed in to capital, and the basis of capitalist production vanishes."

As does Kropotkin:

“…the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production…” Kropotkin, Peter., Anarchism (1910) Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved Feb. 10, 2009 from:
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/britanniaanarchy...
Also please see: What is Surplus Value? McKay, Iain. The Anarchist FAQ Oakland: AK Press., 2008 pp 229 Also available online at: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secC2.html#secc21

4. Marx, Karl. Capital Volume 1 England: Penguin Classics (reprint) 1990 pp. 676.
"The working day of 12 hours is represented in a monetary value of, for example, 6 shillings. There are two alternatives. Either equivalents are exchanged, and then the worker receives 6 shillings for 12 hours of labour; the price of his labour would be equal to the price of his product. In that case he produces no surplus-value for the buyer of his labour, the 6 shillings are not transformed in to capital, and the basis of capitalist production vanishes."

And Proudhon states:

Edwards, Stewart (Editor) Selected Writings of P.-J. Proudhon. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books., 1969 pp 64

“I will place a condition upon my service: the man who wishes to employ me as a servant must pay me fifty per cent of his income. Without this we are beyond the bounds of fraternity, equality, and mutuality.”
Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Cosmo Classics., 2007 pp 217

“Anybody who is capable of cutting out and sewing up a pair of shoes can get a license, open a shop, and hang out a sign, ‘So and So, Manufacturing Shoe Merchant’ although it may only be himself behind his counter.”

And Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Cosmo Classics., 2007 pp 217

“By participating in the loss and gains, by the graded scale of pay, and successive promotion to all grades, the collective force, which is a product of the community, ceases to be a source of profit to a small number of managers and speculators: it becomes the property of all workers. At the same time, by a broad education, by the obligation of apprenticeship, and by the co-operation of all who take part in the collective work, the division of labor can no longer be a cause of degredation for the workman: it is on the contrary…” ibid. pp 213

And Marx states:

"Political economy confuses, on principle, two very different kinds of private property, one of which rests on the labour of the producer himself, and the other on the exploitation of the labour of others. It forgets that the latter is not only the direct antithesis of the former, but grows on the former's tomb and nowhere else . . . the capitalist regime constantly comes up against the obstacle presented by the producer, who, as owner of his own conditions of labour, employs that labour to enrich himself instead of the capitalist. The contradiction of these two diametrically opposed economic systems has its practical manifestation here in the struggle between them." Ibid. Marx. pp 931

5. Marx, Karl. Capital Volume 1 England: Penguin Classics (reprint) 1990 pp. 676.
"The working day of 12 hours is represented in a monetary value of, for example, 6 shillings. There are two alternatives. Either equivalents are exchanged, and then the worker receives 6 shillings for 12 hours of labour; the price of his labour would be equal to the price of his product. In that case he produces no surplus-value for the buyer of his labour, the 6 shillings are not transformed in to capital, and the basis of capitalist production vanishes."

And "Political economy confuses, on principle, two very different kinds of private property, one of which rests on the labour of the producer himself, and the other on the exploitation of the labour of others. It forgets that the latter is not only the direct antithesis of the former, but grows on the former's tomb and nowhere else . . . the capitalist regime constantly comes up against the obstacle presented by the producer, who, as owner of his own conditions of labour, employs that labour to enrich himself instead of the capitalist. The contradiction of these two diametrically opposed economic systems has its practical manifestation here in the struggle between them." Ibid. Marx. pp 931

And Edwards, Stewart (Editor) Selected Writings of P.-J. Proudhon. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books., 1969 pp 64

“I will place a condition upon my service: the man who wishes to employ me as a servant must pay me fifty per cent of his income. Without this we are beyond the bounds of fraternity, equality, and mutuality.” and Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Cosmo Classics., 2007 pp 217
“Anybody who is capable of cutting out and sewing up a pair of shoes can get a license, open a shop, and hang out a sign, ‘So and So, Manufacturing Shoe Merchant’ although it may only be himself behind his counter.” and Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Cosmo Classics., 2007 pp 217

“By participating in the loss and gains, by the graded scale of pay, and successive promotion to all grades, the collective force, which is a product of the community, ceases to be a source of profit to a small number of managers and speculators: it becomes the property of all workers. At the same time, by a broad education, by the obligation of apprenticeship, and by the co-operation of all who take part in the collective work, the division of labor can no longer be a cause of degredation for the workman: it is on the contrary…” ibid. pp 213

6. Stanford, Jim. Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism. Ann Arbor: MI., Pluto Press. 2008. Pp. 36

7. “We want the mines, canals, railways handed over to democratically organised workers' associations" which would be the start of a "vast federation of companies and societies woven into the common cloth of the democratic social Republic." [No Gods, No Masters, vol. 1, p. 62 and p. 105]

Mackay, Iain; Elkin, Gary; Neal, Dave; Boraas, Ed., An Anarchist FAQ. Section H.3.13

“Why is State Socialism Just State Capitalism?” An Anarchist FAQ Collective: International (1996-present) Retrieved 8-10-2009 from: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secH3.html#sech313 Also please see: Section I.5.1: What are participatory communities?
http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secI5.html#seci51

“The key to that change, from the anarchist standpoint, is the creation of a network of participatory communities based on self-government through direct, face-to-face democracy in grassroots neighbourhood and community assemblies.”
I.3.2 What is workers' self-management?
http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secI3.html#seci32

“Quite simply, workers' self-management (sometimes called "workers' control") means that all workers affected by a decision have an equal voice in making it, on the principle of "one worker, one vote." That is, workers "ought to be the real managers of industries." [Peter Kropotkin, Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow, p. 157]”

8. AFAQ Blog. 150 Years of Libertarian. Anarchist Writers: AFAQ’s Blog (12/11/2008) Retrieved July 27, 2009 from: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/150-years-of-libertarian The AFAQ has been regarded as “…very comprehensive…” by Graham, Paul; Hoffman, John. Introduction to Political Ideologies London: Pearson/Longman. (2006) pp 109

And as an "exemplar of the principles…” of community governing by Harvard resident fellow Joseph Reagle in: Why the Internet is Good - Community governance that works well Berkman Center for Internet and Society: Harvard Law School
(1998) Retrieved June 20, 2009 from: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/archived_content/people/reagle/regulation-1...

9. Please see: Kropotkin, Peter., Anarchism (1910) Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved July 27, 2009 from: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/britanniaanarchy...

10. Rothbard, Murray. Man, Economy, and State. Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute. (2001) Pp 588 Available on-line at: http://mises.org/rothbard/mes/chap10b.asp#2F._One_Big_Cartel

11. Market power: “The ability of a single, or group of buyer(s) or seller(s) to influence the price or service in which it is trading.” Pearce, David. The MIT Dictionary of Modern Economics. Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press (1992) pp 268 While the this dictionary is nice, it unintentionally has some misinformation about anarchism. Contrary to what it states as the definition of anarchism, anarchism has always been and is a socialist movement. It is socialist for reasons stated in this article among other reasons.

12. Edwards, Stewart (Editor) Selected Writings of P.-J. Proudhon. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books., 1969 pp 195 Proudhon the Libertarian Mutualist (Market Socialist) states: “…I am a socialist…”,

As does the Libertarian Collectivist Bakunin: “Liberty without socialism is …injustice…” Dolgoff, Sam (editor) Bakunin On Anarchy. New York: Vintage Books., (1972) front page. and Tucker: "liberty insists on Socialism. . . - true Socialism, Anarchistic Socialism: the prevalence on earth of Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity." Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of a Book: By a Man too Busy to Write One. New York: Gordon Press. (1972) pp 363
And Kropotkin: “As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility.”

Kropotkin, Peter., Anarchism (1910) Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved July 27, 2009 from: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/britanniaanarchy...

13. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of a Book: By a Man too Busy to Write One. New York: Gordon Press. (1972) pp 475 and available online at: http://fair-use.org/benjamin-tucker/instead-of-a-book/solutions-of-the-l...

14. Please see footnote: 1. and 4.

15.“But the very reasonable and just criticisms of the individualists of this stripe upon State Socialism, when analyzed, are found to be directed, not against the Socialism, but against the State. So far Liberty is with them. But Liberty insists on Socialism, nevertheless,- on true Socialism, Anarchistic Socialism: the prevalence on earth of Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity.” Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of a Book: By a Man too Busy to Write One. New York: Gordon Press. (1972) pp 363

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Comments

Returned as a baseline form of libertarian thought within the anglosphere and turfed the current post WW2 born Rand-Rothtardation that currently serves as the US cultural plumline of liberty. This was the norm of the pre-WW1-and to a lessee degree pre-WW2-epoch. It would be a further sign that anarchism is turfing marxism as default radicalism.

I definitely think the old american individualists have a vision that appeals to a lot of people the standard american anarchy doesn't so much, without being antagonistic to it. The writing style seems way more archaic than most though but the ideas are usually what i fall back on when i come into contact with poor libertarians or rural right populists and it tends to at least make em think a little even though i have no idea what they really take to heart.
Spooner is miles above Tucker though. I feel like he cuts through spooks on a level up there with Stirner, though with completely different methods. His lack of grounding in pure philosophy makes his shit a little less consistent but also way more accessible.

Do Individualist anarchists buy into this market socialism stuff? It's not impossible to be both a communist and individualist. Everyone should know that.

As the whole idea of it has roots in planned intention societies going back to Plato is ends up degenerating into fascism(the conservative reactionary backwater countryside form of communism). Also the fact that in practice and meaning communism is pretty much damaged goods. My idea of individualism certainly does not value the market as the market entails some planned mediation of desire. The market maybe a descriptive consequence of complexity and complications that one has to accept but it is certainly not something to be seen as anarchic or immediate. The market and the community are both spooks to neither live or die for.

Anti-Monopolism is one of the quintessential ingredients for all non-authoritative social gatherings and Tucker nailed it.

(5 if you include infrastructure as Kevin Carson does)would be a good way to start any basic anarchist experiment market or not. Hell modern liberalism could make itself more interesting in these unraveling times if it simply repackaged itself as a modern minarchized state form of Tucker, Proudhon and company. They could call it a post/neo Jeffersonian political economy minus his absurd(even for the late 18th early 19th century) expansionist ideas. He was all about checking the growth of industry along with championing the self determining agrarian yeomen. So was Proudhon but with better anarchist logic to back it up.

Yeah its such a simple model and infrastructure is where to start, which wasn't such a visible and comprehensible entity in the 19th C, may explain Tucker's exclusion of this.Fordism, Keynes and the copying machine/telephone exploded the market exponentially beyond the agrarian vision. Carson really nailed it.

just as the study of material dynamics is still constrained by being dependent on the concept of atomic/fundamental particles, ... so is the discussion of socio-economic theories (socialism, capitalism, libertarianism) constrained by being dependent on the concept of 'productive elements' ('independent human beings' that are notionally equipped with the 'power to produce actions and results'). How many different ways can one manage a collection of productive elements and which is better? Settling this argument is what political debates are all about.

The more fundamental question that arose with atomic theory in the 20th century was, ... "what if our assumption that the genesis of material reality derives from particles is wrong?" that is, what if 'field' is primary and particles are secondary? in other words, what if epigenetic influence is inductively actualizing the genesis of material dynamics?

The same question arises with respect to the existence/role of 'productive elements'. Do productive elements exist, or are they secondary to the relational dynamics they are included in? In the view of indigenous anarchists, the dynamics of the land/habitat are inductively actualizing the dynamics of the inhabitants. The lives of the people of the salmon are organized by the cycles of the salmon runs, just as the lives of the people of the reindeer are organized by the migration of the reindeer. Epigenetic influence inductively actualizes and orchestrates genetic expression.

Unlike indigenous anarchists, Western colonizer people impose scientific and logical frames over things which obscures the epigenetic influence so that indigenous anarchists such as 'the people of the salmon' appear to be a collection of independent 'productive elements' whose fishing 'operations' are intention-driven. In reality, their community dynamics are 'relational situation-induced' and the impression that they are 'intention-driven' is what you get when you look at activities through a viewing frame or play back a video on a rectangular screen. The narrator may say; "see these men paddling their canoes to the reef, they are intent on catching some fish". But the where and whens of the actions of these indigenous inhabitants are inductively actualized and orchestrated by the relational dynamics of the habitat.

Noun-and-verb language-and-grammar, together with visual image capture, gives a flat, positivist representation in terms of 'independent human beings' that are driven and directed by their own internal processes; i.e. by their knowledge, intelligence and intentions.

But anyone moving through the rich salmon fishing areas and experiencing a good catch will be 'induced' to stay on and fish, and may come back again, season after season. In other words, their actions are inductively orchestrated by epigenetic influences that they are situationally included in, that are greater than them; i.e. that inductively actualize and orchestrate their actions.

The people of the salmon are indigenous anarchists who have known what it feels like to be 'free' of 'having to do this' or 'having to do that' as in 'managing oneself' as a 'productive element' or as a group of 'productive elements'. It is not the same to be a 'productive element', a labour commodity, and to sit in a union hall or in an employment services wait area, for a chance to slot into some or other machine-like productive element managing structure.

socialism, capitalism and libertarianism are all systems that deal with the management of humans as 'productive elements'. debating the respective merits of these systems and speaking of 'anarchism', as well, as an organizing scheme for a collection of 'productive elements' lacks the requisite scope to come up with an organizing scheme in which relational situation prevails over 'genetic intention'.

In other words, debating the relative merits of socialism, capitalism, libertarianism and anarchism, in the context of different ways of managing and directing ourselves as 'productive elements', has its ladder up the wrong wall. What's needed is to strip away the Euclidian frame that reduces us to independently-existing 'productive elements' so as to allow relational-situational [epigenetic] influence to inductively actualize and orchestrate our creative potentials and genetic expression, as in 'indigenous anarchism'.

Yeah and even still to this day anthropologists and David Attenborough-esque naturalists apply a neo-colonialist methodology when studying indigenous values and animal psychology.

Like once David Attenborough said that squirrels horde acorns because they have a common desire to accumulate wealth as most species will do, and cuts to a scene of affluent overweight humans sun bathing on a beach,,,,never once does he assume that affluence is an unnatural political tendency which only humans pursue.

a basin forms by subsidence, by the inductive influence of gravity, which also INDUCTIVELY ORCHESTRATES the confluence of runoff water, giving rise to a powerful flux called "a river", which we then credit, ass-backwardly, with carving out the valley/canyon. in nature, situational influence (epigenetic influence) is the mother of genetic expression, but because Western humans see ourselves as intention-driven 'productive elements', we invent 'intention' to explain all manner of dynamics in nature.

in fact, noun-and-verb language-and-grammar inverts the natural order where epigenetic influence inductively actualizes and orchestrates genetic expression, and it does so by imputing 'intention' to 'things' [reified activities such as mannings]. this is anthropomorphism, as in the case of attenborough's imputing of an 'intent to accumulate wealth' to a squirrel because Western humans 'do it' [humans also do binary logical 'win/lose competition' and claim this to be inherent in nature rather than 'mutual support']..

REPRESENTATION of valley dynamics [epigenetic inductive influence] and river dynamics [genetic expression] is conveniently achieved with a 'noun-and-verb' representational approach wherein we impute 'being' to 'relational activities' and 'recast them' as 'internal-intention-driven genetic agents', hiding the inherent precedence in nature, of epigenetic inductive influence over genetic expression, by imputing 'the internal intention of the notional independent intelligent being' to be the primary driving force.

That is, Western humans are culturally conditioned to believe that we are each 'productive elements' ['workers'] whose internal intentions are the driving source of our actions and results, as if the relational dynamics we are situationally included in had 'nothing to do with' OUR 'actions' and OUR 'accomplishments'.

As Nietzsche says, this is the 'human ego talking'; i.e. constructing semantic representations wherein epigenetically induced relational forms are re-cast as independently-existing, intention-driven, jumpstart agents of genetic expression.

“In its origin language belongs in the age of the most rudimentary form of psychology. We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language, in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere it sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things — only thereby does it first create the concept of “thing.” Everywhere “being” is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a faculty. Today we know that it is only a word.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

And so it is thanks to Attenborough's incorporating of human ego-based anthropomorphisms in his semantic representations that he depicts squirrels as having an inbuilt INTENTION aka WILL to accumulate wealth.

If the tide went out and exposed a bed of oysters, would such a RELATIONAL SITUATION not inductively actualize and orchestrate our actions in collecting these edibles? Or should we drop a fixed Euclidian frame over top of this scenario so we can portray the inhabitants as 'independent' with 'absolute motion' that is driven and directed fully and solely by 'internal intentions', excusing us from being animated 'inductively', by the relational situations that unfold with us in them and instead having us walk like Gods upon the Earth.

Just to follow up on your Attenborough observation, ... Western culture with its noun-and-verb language-and-grammar conditions us to;

1. model ourselves and our actions in logical and mathematical terms,

2. assume that this logical model applies to relational forms in general

3. constructs a 'semantic reality' based on logical anthropomorphisms.

We do this, even though;

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." - Albert Einstein

example "competition"

win/lose competition is a binary logical structure which does not exist in the physical reality of our actual experience, ... nevertheless, we;

4. search through our observational databanks for physical phenomena that 'correlate' with this binary logical structure we label 'competition'.

5. complete this anthropomorphism by assuming that the activities of animals, plants, cells, genes, nations, corporations [any old noun-subjects you want to throw into this anthropomorphism] constitute 'competition'.

* * *

What we are doing here is constructing a 'semantic reality' that is logic and mathematics based which we use as our 'operative reality' to direct our actions. there is no such thing in the physically real natural world of our actual experience as win/lose competition, it is 'pragmatic idealization', but we nevertheless project it onto all manner of things from nations to neurons, thus developing a logical 'semantic reality' that become our 'in effect' reality, a "map which is not the territory" as the Korzybski-Whorf-Sapir hypothesis suggests.

The logical truth based 'semantic reality' that we use as our 'map' or 'operative reality' that is shaped by the media, by politicians, television and filmed 'documentaries', is in a state of collapse in the current 'post-truth' era.

It is not that too many people are using their own 'alternative facts' to construct the popular public 'operative reality', ... it is, instead, that there was never any base-case of 'true reality' to begin with. Our personal experience is unique and original and everyone's is different. There is no point in debating with one another so as to remove all the noise and reveal, with clarity and certainty, a 'reality' constituted by an 'objective truth' that is the same for all, since no such universal 'reality' exists. the view that the 9/11 terrorists are courageous warriors is 'logically true' from the perspective of colonized people who have been abused for generations by the colonizer culture they bravely pushed back against. the contrary view from the perspective of the colonizer people who are being terrorized is also 'logically true';

"an action in itself is quite devoid of value ; the whole question is this: who performed it? One and the same ” crime ” may, in one case, be the greatest privilege, in the other infamy. As a matter of fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets an action (in regard to its author) according as to whether it was useful or harmful to themselves (or in relation to its degree of likeness or unlikeness to them).”— Nietzsche on ‘Morality’ and ‘Herd Behaviour’ in ‘The Will to Power’

the popular 'semantic realities' promoted by the politics of the right, left and centre are melanges of personal perspectives. there is no underlying 'true reality' or 'bedrock' that lies just beneath the noisy/dirty surface of the various 'semantic reality' versions. all there are, are melanges of personal perspectives. That's why Trump's 'playing around' with the 'truth' is so unsettling; i.e. see 'The post truth era of Trump is just what Nietzsche predicted'

Please do not generalize. Please do NOT generalize. Please do not GENERALIZE. Every time you do, a specificity is lost, LOST. I say!!! So cut it out.

the 'competition' among different political theories is essentially a competition that seeks to establish who has the best handle on 'the objective truth'.

we've seen it all before, someone's opinion about 'the truth' becomes popular, goes viral even, and the herd forms and stampedes in the direction pointed to by the popular opinion.

often, we are carried along with the herd because it is just too powerful to resist. did germans in the wehrmacht really want to go to war against france and england? did americans in the US military really want to go to war against the north vietnamese?

what becomes the popular, 'operative reality' is full of conjectures and threats that shape behaviours, like sea-levels rising because of our emissions of CO2, ... supposedly. for hitler and for anders breivik, the threat of racial contamination was a primary motivator, as it clearly is for the rising right wing racist factions in Europe and America.

'threats and the sense that we need to respond as a group and 'take control' so as to nip the threats in the bud figure large in our popular 'semantic realities'.

the discomfort that comes with waking up to the 'reality' that there is no 'objectively true reality' is not in itself a major problem [lovers can bask in the reality of their own love].

what's discomforting is that the popular 'operative reality' that we hold to be the 'objective truth', is what we use to orchestrate 'herd behaviour' [no objective truth, no herd behaviour].

people submit to being 'herded' because they believe that herd behaviour has the power to overcome threats and establish 'control' over what unfolds in the future.

but 'herding traction' derives from establishing a popularly perceived 'objective reality'.

lovers don't care if the news gets out that there is no 'objective truth', and neither do the Pirahã or indigenous anarchists because they ground themselves in the transforming-in-the-now relational continuum, and are thus not captives of visions of a horrific future [as comes bundled in with the 'objective truth'] that reaches back from the future to steal their experiencing of the 'now'.

the 'shock' of waking up to the 'reality' that there is no universal objective truth (we have always known that different countries, cultures, religions, genders have their own truths and their own 'semantic realities', yet we have still held on to the belief that our reality is not arbitrary like those of the others but is much closer to the objective truth). The shock comes because our ability to come together as a 'herd' is inherently dependent on common belief in an 'objective truth'.

how can we control and shape the unfolding of the future and make it 'come out right' if there is no 'objective truth' that we can use to rally herd behaviour?

we could look to indigenous anarchists who have never, in the first place, believed in 'objective truth' and the 'herding' and impression of 'control' and shaping of the future that goes with it. their approach is; 'don't sweat the search for 'objective truth' that can rally the herd and control the unfolding future, ... their approach is to trust in their own personal experience even if their experiences are all unique and different, ... an approach that Nietzsche has endorsed;

At the end of his 1887 book On the Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche writes:
.
The more eyes, different eyes, we know how to bring to bear on one and the same matter, that much more complete will our “concept” of this matter, our “objectivity” be."

That is, the 'learning circle' where everyone gets chance to hold the talking piece, speak from the heart [put the heart-voice in precedence over the head-voice] of their own actual experience and respectfully listen to one another, is the path to the holographic or 'synoptic' view that avoids the search for [competition for] a 'universal objective truth' that attracts nothing but subjective personally biased 'truths' that may be amplified or not by the echo-chambers of media, internet, social media and political orators.

After one has sat in healing circles where indigenous peoples use their heart-voices to share their residential school experiences, the 'head-voice' 'objective truth' of politicians, government administrators and church officials that speaks of rescuing indigenous people from their savage and primitive existence; i.e. 'killing the indian in the child to save the man', becomes 'suspect' truth even if it enjoys majority endorsement by the herd.

bottom line: the shock, in even the fleeting reflection of there being no 'objective truth' is only a shock to people who believe we can, and must, employ herd behaviour to control and shape the unfolding future, since the manufacturing of a popular [herd-wide] 'objective truth' is the requisite orchestrator of herd behaviour [whether the herd is a herd of revolutionaries or orthodoxy-protectors].

Where the collapse in belief in 'objective truth' leads, ... is to the collapse of traction to rally herd behaviour, ... and thus to the collapse of initiatives aimed at controlling and shaping the state of the future.

cultivating a large scale intellectual belief that there is a common 'objective reality' never happened in the indigenous aboriginal cultures, not only because communications technologies were not there for them on a global support scale basis, but because indigenous peoples ground their world view firstly in personal experience and only secondarily in intellectual conceptualizing and modelling.

while communications technologies have in the past been used to cultivate a common 'semantic reality', which in turn is used to rally herd behaviour, ... which seeks to control and shape the unfolding future, ... these technologies seem, now, to be serving as echo chambers for all manner of personal views making it difficult for politicians and journalists to continue to cultivate the impression of the existence of an 'objective reality', and in the same stroke, opening the way for the 'holographic view'.

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