Sunday, December 04, 2016

Labour Vouchers or Money-free

For free access socialists and anarcho-communists we struggle to create a society where people have accepted socially mutual obligations and the realisation of universal interdependency and we understand that this would profoundly affect people’s choices, perceptions, attitudes, and greatly influence their behavior, economically or otherwise. Many socialist organisations such as the DeLeonists advocate labour vouchers as a means of distribution. There use raises questions which you can answer. Marx describes labour vouchers as equivalent of a theatre ticket

1. How are labour vouchers apportioned? Is it
a. Each worker gets the same quantity for each hour worked. If the agreed upon rate is 100 labour vouchers for 1 hour, everyone who works for one hour gets 100 labour vouchers.
b. The number of labour vouchers paid per hour depends upon the difficulty or desirability of the work performed.

2. Temporary or Permanent? Is it
a. Labour vouchers are a temporary measure. The general feeling seems to be that people are used to money now and need time to wean themselves from it.
b. Labour vouchers will be permanent. There are those who say that society needs some method to restrict access to goods, and/or that without them there is no way to determine what items should be produced in what quantity when there are conflicting desires for goods.

3. What about those who do not or cannot work? Is it
a. Basic necessities should be free to all.
b. Enough labour vouchers should be given out to those who do not work (or don't work enough) to ensure that they can afford basic necessities (and perhaps more).
c. Enough labour vouchers should be given out to those determined (by someone or some group) to be needy, or justifiably unable to work, to ensure that they can afford basic necessities (and perhaps more).

4. What about non-traditional work, or work not paid today? (housework, art, etc.)  Likewise will it be
a. Pay for housework, art etc. on an hourly basis like any other work. (possibly, including difficulty factors, etc.)
b. Pay for art based upon desirability: how many people go to see it or some such measure.
c. Straight exchange: art is purchased with labour vouchers for whatever the buyer and seller agree upon. Will there exist a committee deciding what is valid art or piee of literature and what is not?

If "labour vouchers" circulate, they are money, no different from today and should be called money. Labour vouchers cannot circulate. If used as originally intended, to account for hours worked, and goods taken, they are not money as meant in the broader capitalist sense. Although for workers the everyday use of labour vouchers would be very similar, labour vouchers could not be used to accumulate the means of producing wealth, which is a very important difference. Their only purpose would be to limit consumption and enforce work.

Proponents of a money-free society argue that the technical ability exists today to produce, in an ecologically responsible manner, more than enough to satisfy the self-defined needs of the world's population. There will not be a shortage of goods and therefore, artificial access limitations—labour vouchers—will not be required.

If everyone decided that they needed everything, free access could not work. If people want socialism to work, they must decide that they will not work to destroy it. Common sense will prevent outrageous over-consumption.

Labour vouchers are undesirable because Labour vouchers would tend to maintain the idea that our human worth is determined by how much or how many goods we can own (or produce).
Labour vouchers require administration. People must spend time administering the labour vouchers themselves—who gets them (and how many), how they are re-used or destroyed.

Labour vouchers imply that someone must police who takes the goods produced by society. In other words there must be people who spend their time ensuring that other people do not take things without paying for them. That is normal in a profit oriented society, but a waste of human labour in socialism - policemen, lawyers, judges, courts, jails and gaolers since fraud and cheating and of course plain and simple theft of goods will remain

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