You are here

The Geo-Distributist and Neo-Republican Nature of Libertarian Social Democracy

What distinguishes my model of libertarian social democracy from conventional social democracy is that it is neither capitalist nor socialist but geo-distributist. It uses land value tax to fund a citizen's dividend (or basic income) that makes all people co-owners of land and natural resources.

Distributism, contra socialism and capitalism, wants widespread ownership of productive property, such that all people own some—not the abolition of private ownership but the universalization of it. The idea of a citizen's dividend funded by land value tax (tantamount to giving all citizens a share of ownership in all land and natural resources) is the ultimate distributist policy. I call this geo-distributism. Georgism and distributism need each other!

Geo-distributism—universal basic income funded by land value tax—is also the ultimate neo-republican policy. (Cf. Philip Pettit) It expands liberty as non-domination by giving everyone access to sufficient income to survive on. It is just basic income, not luxury communism—the minimum, not the maximum. Yet, it ends domination by bosses and landlords and lenders. This is why I say libertarian social democracy, because this geo-distributist aspect that is missing from conventional social democracy greatly increases republican liberty (i.e. liberty as non-domination).

As a neo-republican in the tradition of Thomas Paine, I advocate social democracy with its republican form of government, single-payer healthcare, and its focus on social welfare. A man is not free if getting sick means he can lose his job and end up with massive medical debt that enslaved him and ruins his life. Universal healthcare is necessary for any libertarian society. Furthermore, the maintenance of a libertarian republic requires an educated populace. In monarchist systems, the princes were afforded the highest quality of education. In a republic, every child is a prince and every adult a king. There is nothing worse than having idiot rulers. Thus, a libertarian republic needs not only standard public education but free access to higher education.

Geo-distributism, republicanism, universal free education, and single-payer healthcare are indispensable aspects of libertarian social democracy as I conceive it.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on December 21, 2018.