Mutualism (economic theory)
Mutualism is an economic theory and anarchist school of thought that advocates a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market. Integral to the scheme was the establishment of a mutual-credit bank that would lend to producers at a minimal interest rate, just high enough to cover administration. Mutualism is based on a labor theory of value that holds that when labor or its product is sold, in exchange, it ought to receive goods or services embodying ""the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility"". Mutualism originated from the writings of philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.Mutualists oppose the idea of individuals receiving an income through loans, investments, and rent, as they believe these individuals are not laboring. Though Proudhon opposed this type of income, he expressed that he had never intended ""...to forbid or suppress, by sovereign decree, ground rent and interest on capital. I think that all these manifestations of human activity should remain free and voluntary for all: I ask for them no modifications, restrictions or suppressions, other than those which result naturally and of necessity from the universalization of the principle of reciprocity which I propose."" Insofar as they ensure the worker's right to the full product of their labor, mutualists support markets (or artificial markets) and property in the product of labor. However, they argue for conditional titles to land, whose ownership is legitimate only so long as it remains in use or occupation (which Proudhon called ""possession""); thus advocating personal property, but not private property.Although mutualism is similar to the economic doctrines of the 19th-century American individualist anarchists, unlike them, mutualism is in favor of large industries. Therefore, mutualism has been retrospectively characterized sometimes as being a form of individualist anarchism, and as ideologically situated between individualist and collectivist forms of anarchism as well. Proudhon himself described the ""liberty"" he pursued as ""the synthesis of communism and property.""Mutualists have distinguished mutualism from state socialism, and do not advocate state control over the means of production. Benjamin Tucker said of Proudhon, that ""though opposed to socializing the ownership of capital, [Proudhon] aimed nevertheless to socialize its effects by making its use beneficial to all instead of a means of impoverishing the many to enrich the few...by subjecting capital to the natural law of competition, thus bringing the price of its own use down to cost.""