I'm reading a book at the minute called Socialism and Personal Liberty by someone called Robert Edward Dell, I've not heard of him although the book is much better than a great many contemporary political books I've read.
In the final chapter the author talks about something he calls libertarian socialism, he suggests its an hypothesis to be tested, that whether a community spends on education or health should be its own decision and that whether or not people produce individually, with anyone who volunteers to work for them, or in association with others in a co-operative or producer group. The emphasis is upon adaptation and personal choice or voluntarism, that is freedom.
What interests me though is the means to facilitating this, its an idea which I've read about online, also labelled "single taxers" or steming from the ideas of an early economic polemicist called Henry George.
The idea that is as a natural monopoly land should be exclusively owned by the state, rents would replace taxes and a social dividend dispensed to all citizens or to parents or legal guardians in the case of children.
From what I can gather there is not any welfarist measure accompanying this social dividend, it is not proposed that the state own, completely or in part (like a majority share) any other business, including public utilities, health services or education/schooling but it is suggested that individuals or communities with their social dividend can decide to spend a portion of it on these things if they want. Spending therefore isnt carried out by the state but by citizens themselves.
He writes about how the problem with statism, which would be shared by many of the left and right wing substitutes or alternatives, and I think he is pretty fair about this considering boardrooms or entrepreneurs and syndicates or equivalents alike is that it institutes a government by an elect or elite of one sort of another.
Is anyone else interested in these ideas or have anyone heard anything like them? What do you think of them if you have heard of them?
I think that they date from a time before the welfare state and also a time of perhaps greater objective individualism or individual or household independence and also lower expectations. So I think that perhaps the money raised from land rents wouldnt cover the expenses of everyone these days and leave a surplus to mutually plan and cover essential services provision in any locality.