Benjamin Tucker: American Mutualist Part 2: A Brief Introduction to the Freedoms in the Individualist Society
Benjamin Tucker: American Mutualist Part 2: A Brief Introduction to the Freedoms in the Individualist Society by Nicholas Evans
The article titled 'Benjamin Tucker: American Mutualist', dealt with the economics of American Mutualists like Benjamin Tucker and Josiah Warren. (An introduction to William Greene's Mutualism [which is much the same as Proudhon's views on co-op businesses] will be Part 3 coming eventually) As a recap to Part 1, Tucker wanted a competitive market system based on the labor theory of value rather than capitalism which is a market based on the subjective theory of value. Tucker wanted a free market with non-exploitive employers. Economic exploitation is when employees are paid less than the full value of their labor which is called surplus value. 1. In a capitalist economy the average going rate of a job on the market is distorted because workers are forced to accept lower wages just to survive. If the workers had the option to go into business for themselves with relative ease through Mutual Banks, most workers would not accept employers who offer low wages. Therefore wages would go up as employers would offer more to entice workers to work for them rather than the workers going into business for themselves. This way workers would be in position to dictate their own wages and the wages would reflect the true value of their occupation on the market and therefore not be exploited. Employers that pay their workers less than that general value on the market of that occupation would be exploiting the worker. 2.
Tucker also believed in occupancy and use in land, meaning only those who lived or worked on the land could own it. Tucker also believed in non-exploitive landlords that would get paid by their tenants but only for the work the landlords did on the land. If the landlords did not do any work on the land used by the tenant, the tenant would not have to pay.3.
Tucker also believed in Mutual Banks offering 1 percent or less of interest to their customers so they could go into business for themselves if they are economically exploited by employers.4.
This article very briefly discusses the freedoms in the Individualist Mutualist society of Tucker, Warren, and Andrews.
Tucker's individualist society is based solely on contract so the associations or 'governments' in the individualist society could be any way people choose. The society would be organized in any way people wished and those who did not wish to take part would not have too. For example the society could be extremely democratic or extremely hierarchical, extremely religious or extremely atheist, or anything in between ect ect.. and those who disagreed would not have to live by the society rules as long as they do not forcefully impose their views on others. The only rule is everyone is to 'mind their own business' and the only time the voluntary defense associations (which are companies based on protecting the freedom of their customers as such voluntary defense associations that function like the police) would interfere in someone's life is if an individual or groups of people try to prevent people from living life as they see fit. 5.
Government as it is now could exist including with military, jails, police (ie. Voluntary defense association) ect ect but with voluntary taxation 6. and those who do not wish to pay for the voluntary taxation will not be forced too but may not get the benefits of the government they choose not to pay for. A more accurate name for this voluntary government is called voluntary association because those who do not wish to support the voluntary association ('government') will not likely get any of it benefits. Those who did not wish to live in a society where the majority of people are Individualists could also leave if they wished. Since they would receive the full value of their labor most people would have an easier time to leave and could afford to do so much more than under capitalism which pays people less than the full value of their labor. The main rule in an individualist mutualist anarchist society of Tucker would be everyone can live and do as they wish as long as they respect the same freedom for all others and society would be based on free markets and non-exploitive wage labor and all agreements would be made by contract. 7. Tucker. So of course he believed in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, ect ect. (William Greene and J K Ingalls were involved in Christian ministry * as well as being Individualist Mutualists and influential in the Individualist Anarchist movement) Even though Tucker disagreed with usury he still believed people should have the freedom to do so in the Individualist society. 8.
*Please see Men Against the State by Martin. This author personally agrees far more closely with the Christian religious views of Greene and Ingalls over Tucker's Egoism.
1. Please see Capital Volume 1 by Marx.
2. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012. Pg 12
3. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012. Pg 303
4. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012. Pg 11
5. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012. Pg 14
6. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012. Pg 32 and Martin, James. Men Against the State. Ralph Myles Publisher, Inc. Colorado Springs. 1970. pg. 96.
7. Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012. Pg 25
8. Please see: Tucker, Benjamin. Instead of A Book. Forgotten Books. 2012.