Talk:Mutualism (economic theory)

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Collectivism is not mutualism, but a significant departure from it, so there is probably no need to include any material on it here. There is certainly no need to include such extraneous material in the introductory paragraphs. Libertatia 20:48, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

The MS Encarta paragraph on mutualism in the Anarchism articles discusses collectivism. It's very related because Bakunin modified mutualism. Collectivism can be seen as a form of mutualism because it's based in the same concept of payment for time worked, etc, etc. I disagree with you that shouldnt be any material on it. Illegal editor 03:28, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
There is a progression. There was Proudhonism which supported private ownership of means of production and wages for labor. Then from that evolved collectivism, which kept the idea of wages for labor but wanted to collectivize all means of production. Then from that evolved anarcho-communism which collectized the products of labor and abolishes wage labor, which is the ultimate collectivized utopia. I disagree that there should be a wall between the philosophies where there is no discussion of what they evolved from or evolved to. Especially given that it is sourced, I think you're wrong to delete it. Illegal editor 03:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Ahem. Virtually all anarchist schools "modified mutualism," primarily by rejecting various of its major assumptions. That doesn't mean that we need to discuss them all in the intro to this article. There are entries that cover anarchism and its history generally, and information on the development of the tradition is relevant there. Libertatia 16:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
You weren't talking about just the intro earlier. You said "there is probably no need to include any material on it here." I'm going to put it in the article. It helps to know what differentiates different forms of anarchism to really get a grasp on them. Illegal editor 18:00, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Allow me to say it again: there is probably no need to include any material on collectivist anarchism here. The inclusion of the material in the intro was simply even more inappropriate. As virtually all forms of anarchism are "related" to mutualism in the sense of being departures from Proudhon's theories, it is hard to justify the inclusion of one departure. You have already pressed this point on the collectivist anarchism page, and that material is included there. There is no need for duplication. This article already contains too much material not directly related to mutualism. If we expand it, it should be to cover the topic to which it is dedicated. Libertatia 20:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with you. Illegal editor 20:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Really? You don't think the mutualism article should be about mutualism? Libertatia 21:02, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The fact that sources say Bakunin modified mutualism to come up with collectivism is directly relevant to mutualism. That is something about mutualism. Illegal editor 21:08, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
If the wage labor aspect of mutualism influenced the development of collectivism, that's very relevant. Illegal editor 21:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Wait, let me guess. This is a POV issue for you. You suspect that I'm trying to push a POV, without being able to put your finger on it, and that's the real reason you're opposing it isn't it? Illegal editor 21:14, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
No. Libertatia 21:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I would appreciate it if other interested editors would express their opinions on inclusion of this material on collectivism. Libertatia 21:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

A small paragraph on mutualism's relationship to mise en anarchism is appropriate but anything more is not; information relating to how collectivist anarchism was modified from mutualism clearly belongs in a history section of the Collectivist anarchism article. ~ Switch () 01:43, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If the fact that collectivism received a direct branch from mutualist economics belongs in the collectivism article, then why wouldn't the fact that mutualist economics lended that branch to collectivism belong in this article? Illegal editor 02:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Mutualism (economic theory) should provide enough information about mutualist, and collectivist anarchism should provide enough information about collectivist, anarchism that readers who read both articles can identify the differences. But this article need not go on about collectivist anarchism.
Should classical liberalism describe all the theories derived from it? I think collectivist anarchism should discuss its origins, but mutualism (economic theory) need not discuss its influences in such depth. Bakunin's reasoning may belong in the criticisms section. Jacob Haller 04:12, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it shouldn't go into depth about anarcho-collectivism. That wouldn't make any sense. That's why I put only this: "Michael Bakunin modified Proudhon's economic philosophy, arguing that individual possession rights of the means of production that Proudhon supported were impractical and advocated collectivization of all means of production, but retained the idea that individuals would be paid according to the amount of work performed. This philosophy came to be called "collectivism."" Illegal editor 04:30, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
A short discussion of derivatives seems appropriate - but not in the intro. - N1h1l 00:49, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

What the article actually needs[edit]

Perhaps the best way to deal with what should be included in this article is to focus on the mutualist tradition itself. If, in the context of an adequate article on mutualism, we can include useful links to related school of anarchist thought, all the better. But, as it stands, the article is extremely weak on details, and a number of incorrect categorical statements about mutualist theory have been imposed on the article. The way to tackle the problem is undoubtedly by including specifics. Fortunately, there is an increasing amount of mutualist literature available online. All of Liberty should be online within about a month, and the first volume or two are already available in pdf form. Some obvious problems and omissions:

  • some treatment of subjective valuation of labor under Warren's equitable commerce scheme
  • a short history of the equitable commerce movement
  • a short history of the mutual bank movement
  • a survey of major mutualists
  • discussion of the dialectical/antinomic element of mutualist theory

We've got an article with lots of adversarial commentary, and side-trips into other schools, but little or no mention of figures like Ingalls, Kuehn and Westrup, no indication of the breadth of the equitable commerce and mutual banking movements. Most of the "representative theory" comes from one late source, Tandy's Voluntary Socialism, that is largely unknown and never seems to have been influential. That's fine, as long as it is balanced by other perspectives. I'll start try to work some of the details into the "history" section, and we can tackle the questionable generalizations as we go. Libertatia 21:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Subjective valuation of labor under Warren's equitable commerce scheme? He was against that. Equal labor for equal labor was his principle. Illegal editor 22:24, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Allow me to respectfully refer you to the primary sources, where all is clear. Libertatia 22:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to see that. Where does Warren say that labor should be valued by anything other than equal quantities of labor? Illegal editor 23:38, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
In Equitable Commerce, as well as in several of his shorter writings, he so subjectivizes "cost" that labor is traded "value for value" but with value set by the laborer. William Pare's "Equitable Villages in America" gets it right. Warren's "Brief Outline..." also includes much of the subjective valuation material. Libertatia 00:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Where are you seeing that in there? I see the opposite. Warren clearly says there in Brief Outline that subjective worth or value should not the basis of price: "The value or worth of a thing being made the basis of its price, is the root of all speculations, all the fluctuations in business, the scrambling for gain, the insecurity of person and property, the continuous round of bankruptcies, and all the ruin, confusion, and suffering arising from these causes." Illegal editor 01:14, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If there's anything clear about Warren it's that he believed that labor "cost should be the limit of price." Illegal editor 01:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
So far, so good. Now you need to understand what Warren meant by "cost." The cost principle + subjective valuation of the "quantity of labor" gives you Warren's system. Libertatia 17:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I know what he meant by cost. He meant how much labor something was required to produce something. I think I see what you're getting at though now. I think you're bringing up the fact that individuals would have to decide by consensus which kind of labor would be equal to another kind of labor, based in difficulty or repugnance. That was a problem for Warren. This bothered him that there was no objective way to determine this. There was simply no way of getting around it that he could figure out. Illegal editor 17:29, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
That would not be "value for value" though. It's still labor for labor. It's just that the people involved in the trade are trying their best to objectively determine what kind of X labor takes the same amount of what kind of Y labor. They're not determining the VALUE of that labor, that is, how much it's worth, but simply attemping to calculate how much labor it is. Illegal editor 17:33, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
In other words, before you make a trade with someone that performs a different kind of labor, you're not going to ask yourself how much you're willing to pay for his labor. You're going to ask yourself how much effort is behind one hour of your labor and how much effort is behind one hour of his labor, and come up with a ratio. Illegal editor 17:50, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Let's say the consensus is that the effort required for 1 hours of hammering nails = the effort required for 2 hours of sweeping the floor. The ratio is 1 to 2. In that case, if you want someone to hammer nails for you for 30 minutes, you give him a labor check for 1 hour of sweeping. If you're willing to pay him with more than 1 hour of sweeping, he would be immoral to require that of you; he would be stealing your labor or exploiting you. Illegal editor 18:02, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I suppose we'll have to go through this all as I start to edit, but you are in fact entirely incorrect about the process which Warren proposed for valuation of labor "cost." Don't be tripped up by the language used. There is, quite logically, a difference between a laborer assigning a particular cost-value to his own labor, and raising the price of food to a starving man. It's all right there in the sources. Libertatia 19:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not incorrect. Labor cost is labor itself. The cost of building anything is the labor itself that you exerted to build it. If you charge more labor for something that took less labor to build, then you're not being equitable according to Warren. It's very simple and straightforward. In Warren's labor exchange where the public traded with each other, people were not supposed to negotiate how much they were willing to pay for each other's labor but to negotiate how much labor was entailed in different types of tasks.Illegal editor 19:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
What they're supposed to pay for labor never changes. What they're supposed to pay for any given amount of labor is the same amount of labor. Illegal editor 20:00, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If I'm willing to pay you 10 hours of nail hammering for 1 hour of floor sweeping, and you won't sweep my floor for the true labor cost (which is 2/1) then that would be "cannibalism." " "If a priest is required to get a soul out of purgatory, he sets his price according to the value which the relatives set upon his prayers, instead of their cost to the priest. This, again, is cannibalism. The same amount of labor equally disagreeable, with equal wear and tear, performed by his customers, would be a just remuneration." -Equitable Commerce Illegal editor 20:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I suggest you read the passage again, and compare it to your "analogy." Libertatia 20:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with what I've said. I suggest you read all his material. "Cost is the limit of price." Cost refers to labor. Illegal editor 21:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
You've read all his material? Really? Impressive. (Here's a still incomplete listing.) Shall we chat about the Western Tiller articles, or his contributions to the London Co-operator. Were there one or two contributions to The March of Mind? I can never remember. Libertatia 22:22, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I never said I've read all of Warren. I'm suggesting that YOU read all of Warren. It doesn't take that much reading of him to realize that he thought that labor should be the limit of price. Since you're not able to comprehend this, it going to take A LOT more reading. I'm hard pressed to believe that you've even read Equitable Commerce. I don't know how anyone that has, could miss this. Illegal editor 04:24, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
We're not talking rocket science here. Even a child can understand Warren's system. Illegal editor 21:21, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Feedback on the general plan of expansion for the article would be appreciated. I don't intend to quibble more about this stuff until I start to edit. Libertatia 19:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that the areas you outline in your plan are excellent. I hope that you will begin pushing things forward because you seem very knowledgeable on the topic. That being said, I think that you are being unnecessarily curt with Illegal editor. S/he is asking questions that appear reasonable. If you have a more nuanced perspective on Warren, it would be great to share that. - N1h1l 01:03, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I am going to adhere as closely as possible to the "wikipedia is not a forum" principle from now on. The points raised by Illegal editor have been both raised and addressed here recently. His claim to have read "all" of Warren is pretty obvious hyperbole, as it is likely that it will be a long time, if ever, before we can be entirely sure all of what Warren wrote. The analogy above is seriously flawed. All this will come up again, and again, as the edits progress. There will be time enough when there are real edits on the table to debate. Libertatia 04:01, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I gave no "analogy." I gave what's called an "example." If you were a hammerer of nails and I were a floor sweeper, we would have to determine how much time of nail hammering contains the same quantity of exertion in one hour of floor sweeping. Once we did that, we would be able to trade "labor for labor." We would not, under Warren's system, decide the most each other were willing to pay. That would be irrelevant. That would be everything that Warren was against. That would just be a normal market. Go ahead and say that I'm wrong again, but all you're able to do is say I'm wrong with no explanation whatsoever and no statements from Warren that disagree with it. Illegal editor 04:17, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
"The politico-economic doctrine of Mr. Warren and his pupil Mr. Andrews, was very simple. They had but one axiom - "COST THE LIMIT OF PRICE." A thing is worth, not what it will fetch, but what it has cost to produce. This is the actual value of every article of commerce, and the sole rule of exchange. The price of a hat is the labour it has taken to produce and place it in the hands of the wearer; and it has to be paid for by an equivalent amount of labour, thought, repugnance, &c., ultimated in some other article." Thomas Low Nichols; Forty Years of American Life; 1874; Oxford University; page 258 Illegal editor 04:36, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad you noticed. Here I am trying to offer some help understanding Warren and he blows me off. It's like he's taking offense that I might know more than he does. Insecurity, maybe. Illegal editor 02:47, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
You are the editor who advocates "mindlessness." Nuff said, I think. Libertatia 04:01, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
By that, I was referring to what goes in an article. There should be as little our own synthesizing of information as possible, preferably none at all. Wikipedia editors should simply add sourced information to articles in an orderly fashion. Everything you or I discuss here is irrelevant (and as I've come to realize by my discussion with you, also a waste or time) other than discussing whether statements in the article are backed up by the sources. Illegal editor 04:17, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

OK. It looks like the identity of Illegal editor as a sockpuppet has been established. I have indeed been "curt," but this disruptive debate has been going on for pretty much as long as I have been editing here, with the same group of sockpuppets. They have a tendency to try to do their OR on the talk pages, and to introduce POV in the articles by playing with definitions. They will undoubtedly be back, but I'm hoping that we will be able to finally get most of the POV nonsense (mostly unsupportable generalizations) out of this article and some actual history into it. Libertatia 14:58, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Sounds fabulous. - N1h1l 22:34, 23 June 2007 (UTC)


I've checked some issues of Liberty, and Tucker spells labor L-A-B-O-R, not L-A-B-O-U-R. I haven't checked the passages quoted here, but I'm fairly confident that Tucker, and probably Greene, used the former spelling everywhere. Jacob Haller 03:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Variation of a lexical item's expression in graphemes, when causing the (potential) occurrence of a misquote, is indeed a dire travesty which ought to be ardently scrutinized.—Aaagmnr (talk) 21:24, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Should we move this to Mutualist anarchism? Jacob Haller 15:27, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, there is a strong movement in the UK relating to "New Mutualism" as a political doctrine. It might do well to have this article moved and replaced with one describing Mutualism in general withlarge references to both this mutualism and the "New Mutualism" in England. Joel.a.davis (talk) 22:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Merges and Moves decided? Or time to revisit?[edit]

By the look of it, other merges and moves have been proposed here and the consensus has opted against such measures. Personally, I'd like to see a master page on mutualism/mutual aid, with articles branched off. Thus, if I'm looking in to foraging and want to find out more about social mutualism, I come to the main page. Right now, it feels like a person gets here and, instead of learning about, say, how humans all around the world share with/invest in/benefit from one another ("primitive communism", to quote Marx), we get thrown into the middle of esoteric ideas from Proudhon. No offense to Proudhon! But I think there should be more general info on a social mutualism page, with branches to the mutualism of Proudhon, Kropotkin, etc. I just think we need to redesign a bit, to make this more useful (and attractive, and politically alluring) to the casual interloper. In solidarity, --Smilo Don 01:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

It's hard to see how calling the anarchist communism of Kropotkin "mutualism" clarifies anything. The same goes for conflating the specific tradition of mutualism with Kropotkin's mutual aid work. Kropotkin defined himself in many ways against the explicit mutualism of the earlier anarchist movement. Whether or not Proudhon is "esoteric" (and it's almost certainly the case that Kropotkin's mutual aid work is just as esoteric to most "casual interloper,") it is "mutualism," was explicitly called that, is remembered under that name in the histories of anarchism, and the name is maintained by those contemporary anarchists who take their cues from Proudhon (and Warren, Greene, Ingalls, Tucker, etc.) Libertatia 14:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

L'impôt sur le revenu[edit]

I have removed the following:

Proudhon advocated funding the mutual banking scheme through a government-imposed income tax, with some tax brackets reaching as high as 50 percent.<ref>Anderson, Edwin Robert. 1911. The Income Tax: A Study of the History, Theory and Practice of Income Taxation at Home and Abroad. The MacMillan Company. p. 279</ref>

The secondary source does indeed claim this, but the claim does not seem to be supported by the sources it cites. Proudhon's "L'impôt sur le revenu" is a short piece, presented to the Provisional Government's Committee on Finances in July, 1848. It does not mention either of Proudhon's bank projects. Nor, that I can see, does it mention income taxes at rates as high as 50%. In fact, most of the proposal regards decreases in taxation, some of those down to 50% from rates that were higher. Proudhon clearly preferred income taxes to other taxes in 1848, but the source gives several impressions which are not justified. First, it makes it appear that taxation was to be the primary means of funding the bank, when there doesn't seem to be any evidence that it was considered as a means at all, except to the extent that reduced taxes on the mass of workers would enable them to engage more easily in mutual credit. Government funding is not mentioned in either of the actual bank proposals, both of which are translated and available online. So we have at least a case of undue weight, but probably simply a mistaken claim. Libertatia (talk) 17:42, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Whatever reason you state above, it's not a good reason to remove the information. It's cited and that's all that matters. Wikipedia:Verifiability: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source." Operation Spooner (talk) 17:45, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I think, if Libertaria's analysis of Proudhon's text is correct, Anderson's book must be regarded as an unreliable source. скоморохъ 17:47, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Whether Libertaria's analysis is correct has no bearing on whether the source is reliable. That's not the standard of reliability. Operation Spooner (talk) 17:49, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
A source which makes two easily verifiable claims not supported by the cited source is, well, iffy at best. Libertatia (talk) 17:51, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
If you have sources that say something else, what you're supposed to do is add the information. You don't delete information that is sourced because you think there are conflicting sources. Who is to say which sources are correct or incorrect? Editors aren't supposed to make that judgement. As Wikpiedia policiy says, truth is not the criteria for inclusion. Operation Spooner (talk) 17:54, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Anderson's claim is an unusual interpretation of Proudhon's project. It can hardly carry more weight than Proudhon's own statements, particularly when the first claims the second as a source. A no-brainer, really. Libertatia (talk) 18:06, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Right, but this isn't a difference of opinion between sources as in the usual case; it's an accusation of bad research. Per WP:RS, a reliable source is one with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Does the claim that Anderson did not cite his claim properly impact his accuracy credentials? скоморохъ 17:59, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The policy says: "In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers." Macmillian is a respected publisher isn't it? Operation Spooner (talk) 18:06, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
You are gaming the system. There will hardly be secondary sources to state that Proudhon did not make a proposal that he did not make. If I say that Proudhon advocated the massacre of all brown dogs in the city of Paris, cite an irrelevant source and get it published, it doesn't make me a reliable source. Anderson has his facts backwards on some matters of fact, and makes the relevant claim (funding of the bank) with no evidence at all. I'm sure it was an honest mistake, but it is a mistake nonetheless. It doesn't belong in the article. Anyone who looks at the primary source can see that. It's like the case of incorrect birthdates. We are under no obligation to include incorrect information simply because it has been published, when correct information is available and uncontroversial. Libertatia (talk) 18:03, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand that it doesn't matter whether the information is correct. I think it's correct, and you don't. That's not the issue. If there were reliable sources indicated two different birthdates, there would be nothing at all wrong with pointing out that there are conflicting birth dates being reported. Operation Spooner (talk) 18:05, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
But, in that case, one would correspond to actual birth records and one wouldn't. Including the wrong would would simply be stupid. This is the same sort of case. Including information that is obviously incorrect is stupid. Libertatia (talk) 18:11, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
It may be obvious to you that it's incorrect, but I think it's correct. I would include information I thought was incorrect as well, if it was in a reliable source. This is because I do not consider myself infallible. Operation Spooner (talk) 18:14, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Please see the discussion here. Murderbike (talk) 20:09, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. A little attention to WP:IAR does a world of good sometimes. Glad to have that confirmed. Libertatia (talk) 20:43, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Is there an English translation of this text out there so that Operation Spooner can convince us that Proudhon said what this reliable source says he said? Murderbike (talk) 21:40, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I encourage anyone who is actually concerned about truth, as Operation Spooner obviously is not, to look at the "sources" that he is amassing. Partisan accounts from political opponents, and hearsay accounts based on them, together with secondary sources so ham-handed that the author can't tell the difference between tax increases and decreases in salaries, makes for no reliable sources at all. Libertatia (talk) 20:28, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Sure thing buddy. Operation Spooner (talk) 20:30, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
By the way what's the difference between a government-imposed tax increase and a government-imposed "reduction in salary" in order to bring income to the government, other than doublespeak? Operation Spooner (talk) 20:33, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Are you really asking me to explain the difference between a tax increase and a decrease in government spending is? Your source quite simply misidentified what the 50% referred to. That's absolutely clear. You might have more serious problems. You can try to spin this one, but until you actually deal with what the primary sources propose—on balance, a reduction of taxes on most people—you're just blowing POV smoke. Enjoy yourself. Libertatia (talk) 17:54, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm not asking that. I'm asking what the difference is between increasing someone's income tax and decreasing their salary and taking was subtracted from it. I'm not talking about government spending. Operation Spooner (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The primary source was talking about government spending. Weird, huh? Libertatia (talk) 19:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
What primary source? Operation Spooner (talk) 19:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
And what are you talking about a tax reduction? Where are you getting this? Ah, just "blowing POV smoke" I guess. Operation Spooner (talk) 18:13, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Check the primary source. Your source was as clueless as the day is long. Libertatia (talk) 19:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
If you want to communicate with me, you need to be less vague. Do you have anything substantial to say? I haven't seen anything meaningful from you yet. Operation Spooner (talk) 19:53, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
If you have a source that says all these sources that say Proudhon proposed an income tax to fund the bank are wrong, then by all means put it in. I'm not stopping you. Just don't put in any original research. Operation Spooner (talk) 20:00, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
You're on your own, son. But don't think I won't get a good laugh out of watching you ball things up. Libertatia (talk) 20:07, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Stop trolling and go run along to your little labyrinth, son. Operation Spooner (talk) 20:10, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm loath to get in to this, but the civility level is severely lacking here. Can we please stop attacking editors and address sources themselves? I still want to know if there is an English translation of this text that can be consulted to prove that OS's source is wrong. It would really ease things up. Murderbike (talk) 02:01, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
There is no English translation. I could easily provide one, but that would be "against the rules." Anyone could confirm that "banques" and "crédit" are not discussed in the French text, but that appears to be too "original" a move. There appear to be no secondary sources to rebut the claim, precisely because it was originally a partisan claim, made without citation. You can follow the misinformation back, as we have in other cases, but this will be called "original research." If you are willing to accept the sources that Operation Spooner is providing, I don't see that there's any problem. Accept the "Wikipedia doesn't care about truth" thesis, and roll merrily along. Anyway, there's really no need to "get into" a more-or-less final spat between old adversaries. I suspect we both got a smile out of the exchange. Libertatia (talk) 21:05, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Categorisation edit war[edit]

There's been revert back and forth over the past week concerning whether or not Category:Mutualism should be placed on this page. This is not a productive use of anyone's time, so how about we discuss the scope of the category and whether or not this article belongs in it here, and abide by whatever consensus emerges. I'd rather the page not need to be protected.  Skomorokh  04:31, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I doubt that there would be any need for protection of the page based on this conflict anyway, but I opened a discussion on the talk page for Mutualism, the disambiguation page. My concern is that the category is being defined by one editor in terms of a "mutualism" which does not even have its own page. The distinction itself is still unsourced. Libertatia (talk) 06:52, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The thing that I proposed over on Talk:Mutualism that needs to be considered here is expanding this article beyond anarchist mutualism, with perhaps a specific Anarchist Mutualism article. I've got some sources on request that might help broaden the picture a bit. That would almost necessarily mean a shift in emphasis here, from the relationship between mutualist anarchism and other forms of anarchism to the general principles of mutual organization, but that would probably be a good shift in the long run. The current article is much too driven by presentist concerns about what it is not, or what it resembles in non-mutualist thought. Libertatia (talk) 18:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Making distinction between Mutualism and Anarchist Economic Theory[edit]

It might be a good idea to not direct searches for "mutualism" to this page. This article gives the false appearance that the term "mutualism" literally means an anarchist economic theory, whereas the anarchist economic theory is one interpretive use of the term "mutualism." I altered the first line to account for this distinction without any further alterations for now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I slightly altered the first sentence again. The reason for this, is that the first sentence weasels suggestion that mutualism is only an anarchist school of thought, and there needs to be made a distinction that this is only the case sometimes, and not always. The goal here is clarity. If someone wants to change this further to include that Proudhon coined the term (that is, he attached the -ism to mutual), that might be a good idea also. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I also added the redirect at the top of the page to further make distinction. I don't know why it was removed originally. This is standard on Wikipedia articles to have where there are more than one use for a word. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

No Social Order?[edit]

Thus, anarchists and others contrast the capitalist order as a form of parasitism with forms of mutualism calling for revolutionary action to restore/establish a different (or in some cases no) social order.

What's with the part "or in some cases no social order"? That's silly... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rastapunk (talkcontribs) 05:25, 8 September 2011 (UTC)


Why is this article noted as part of a series on libertarIANism? Or does the word mean something different in english from what it means in romance languages (say, a right-extreme ideology around absolutely unregulated capitalism)? -- denis "spir" (talk) 17:14, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Libertarianism has always been a synonym for anarchism in Europe, and it is still considered a left-wing philosophy. Anarcho-capitalists and Minarchists do not really exist in Europe, and the statists are just referred to as liberals (classical liberals, neo-liberals,...). Claiming it is a right-wing ideology is us-centrism. --Sharangir (talk) 14:01, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Mutualism (economic theory)[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Mutualism (economic theory)'s orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Graham-2005":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 05:45, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Mutualism today subsection[edit]

The relevance of this subsection is questionable given its only content is the promotion of a single author's own works without any neutral viewpoint on that author. This would appear to violate Wikipedia standards on self-promotion and neutral viewpoint. Unless someone can come up with neutral scholarly references discussing this author, I nominate this subsection for removal. ProfGiles (talk) 21:29, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Proudhon and Labour Notes[edit]

I have removed this:

Proudhon also held that the "real value of products was determined by labour time, and that all kinds of labour should be regarded as equally effective in the value-creating process, and he advocated therefore equality of wages and salaries."

While this is undoubtedly a commonly held position (thanks to Marx), this is not true. He thought -- along with Smith and Ricardo -- that the price of commodities were regulated in the market by labour, he did not argue that they should be priced in terms of labour-time. This is an invention by Marx.

In terms of "equality of wages and salaries", he argued that salary should be equal to product (i.e., the price for whatever good you produced sold on the market). This would be an approximate equality rather than an actual equality -- his earlier comments on "equality of wages" in "What is Property?" being rejected later. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Mutualist flags and colors[edit]

Since the question of flags and colors has become divisive here, perhaps it is time to submit the matter to normal sourcing rules. I find it hard to believe that anything other than original research will answer the question of what "mutualists" (of the various sub-sects "typically" use as flags—or even that mutualists typically use flags at all. Libertatia (talk) 21:22, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. My only retort is that Googling "Mutualist flag" will yeld orange and black flags as the majority of results. However, what the other user insists on uploading is completely inaccurate. Red and black are and have historically been the colors of Anarchist communism, and have no relation to Mutualism. However, I do think it's better for the time being not to have any flags up at all until they can be properly sourced. --Lux ex Tenebris (talk) 22:28, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
There's quite a bit of sometimes heated discussion among mutualists about the orange-and-black flag. More traditional mutualists are naturally not all that interested in appearing like some fusion between socialism and capitalism. If you take an example like Facebook groups and pages, they are about equally split between "red" and "orange" color schemes. Reddit's r/mutualism had a red-and-black scheme until recently (and will probably end up with something emphasizing neither red nor orange.) Also, if we were to base our decision on actual mutualists who actually flew flags, I expect that historically we would still find more red flags (for socialism and revolution) than orange (which is mostly a very recent, internet thing.) Libertatia (talk) 22:44, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Mutualism is an economic branch of Libertarian Socialism, the colors of which are Red and Black. Anarcho-Communists are most associated with these colors because they are the most popular branch of Libertarian Socialism but the color scheme applies to all branches (i.e. Mutualism, Anarcho-Socialism, Anarcho-Collectivism, Anarcho-Syndicalism, Anarcho-Communism). There is no historical backing for orange and black as the mutualist flag before its recent appearance online as what appears to be an attempt to conflate libertarian socialist colors (red and black) with liberal/capitalist economics (yellow). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cyrus Freedman (talkcontribs) 00:40, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Mutualist Flag as Red and Black[edit]

Every economic branch of Libertarian Socialism (Anarchism) is represented by the red of socialism and the black of anti-nation-statism. This includes Mutualism, Anarcho-Socialism, Anarcho-Collectivism, Anarcho-Syndicalism, Anarcho-Communism, etc. It is not beholden to Anarcho-Communism alone, though Anarcho-Communists are the most visible group to use the colors since they are the most popular form of Libertarian Socialism (Anarchism). There is no historical precedence for the recently posted Orange and Black flag (first appearance seems to be around 2007) and may be an effort to mix the colors of Libertarian Socialist economics (Red and Black) with the color of Liberal economics (Yellow). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cyrus Freedman (talkcontribs) 00:33, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

As a mutualist, I personally prefer the red-and-black flag, but since nobody has produced any appropriate citations suggesting that *any* flag is particularly important to mutualism, perhaps it makes best sense just to leave the flags out of the entry. Libertatia (talk)