For anarchists, capitalism is marked by the exploitation of labour by capital. While this is most famously expressed by Proudhon’s “property is theft,” this perspective can be found in all forms of anarchism. For Bakunin, capitalism was marked by an “economic relationship between the exploiter and exploited” as it meant the few have “the power and right to live by exploiting the labour of someone else, the right to exploit the labour of those who possess neither property nor capital and who thus are forced to sell their productive power to the lucky owners of both.” [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 183] This means that when a worker “sells his labour to an employee … some part of the value of his produce will be unjustly taken by the employer.” [Kropotkin, Anarchism and Anarchist-Communism, p. 52]
At the root this criticism is based, ironically enough, on the capitalist defence of private property as the product of labour. As noted in section B.4.2, Locke defended private property in terms of labour yet allowed that labour to be sold to others. This allowed the buyers of labour (capitalists and landlords) to appropriate the product of other people’s labour (wage workers and tenants) and so, in the words of dissident economist David Ellerman, “capitalist production, i.e. production based on the employment contract denies workers the right to the (positive and negative) fruit of their labour. Yet people’s right to the fruits of their labour has always been the natural basis for private property appropriation. Thus capitalist production, far from being founded on private property, in fact denies the natural basis for private property appropriation.” [The Democratic worker-owned firm, p. 59] This was expressed by Proudhon in the following way:
“Whoever labours becomes a proprietor — this is an inevitable deduction from the principles of political economy and jurisprudence. And when I say proprietor, I do not mean simply (as do our hypocritical economists) proprietor of his allowance, his salary, his wages, — I mean proprietor of the value his creates, and by which the master alone profits … The labourer retains, even after he has received his wages, a natural right in the thing he was produced.” [What is Property?, pp. 123-4]
Max Weber, in Politics as Vocation.
Note: Capitalism entails capitalist control of property by means of violence. The capitalist, or owner, of any given private property claims the monopoly legitimate use of physical force over/within the territory/property he controls. In other words, capitalists are NOT anarchists.
|—||An Anarchist FAQ|
Libertarians often say that they don’t owe anyone anything because they worked hard to get where they are. The thing is, people do not live in a bubble. We are all part of society and all suffer with and gain from what is going on in the world. Libertarians are ignoring reality when they say that they shouldn’t be paying for someone else’s healthcare when that “person hasn’t done anything for them”. No person is self made. Don’t act like you are.
“bootstraps” has been and always will be a terrible argument.