Libertarian socialists regard all concentrations of power as sources of oppression that must be continually challenged and justified. Opposition generally first begins with large corporations for inherently being designed as private tyrannies; and secondly the state, because citizens can vote for their state's representatives and often have some means of democratic participation, even if a nation state is violating its social contract.
In lieu of corporations and states, libertarian socialists seek to organize themselves into voluntary associations (usually collectives, communes, municipalities, cooperatives, commons, or syndicates) that use direct democracy or consensus for their decision-making process. Some libertarian socialists advocate combining these institutions using rotating, recallable delegates to higher-level federations. Spanish anarchism is a major example of such federations in practice.
Contemporary examples of libertarian socialist organizational and decision-making models in practice include a number of anti-capitalist and global justice movements including Zapatista Councils of Good Government and the Global Indymedia network (which covers 45 countries on six continents). There are also many examples of indigenous societies around the world whose political and economic systems can be accurately described as anarchist or libertarian socialist, each of which is unique and uniquely suited to the culture that birthed it. For libertarians, that diversity of practice within a framework of common principles is proof of the vitality of those principles and of their flexibility and strength.
Contrary to popular opinion, libertarian socialism has not traditionally been a utopian movement, tending to avoid dense theoretical analysis or prediction of what a future society would or should look like. The tradition instead has been that such decisions cannot be made now, and must be made through struggle and experimentation, so that the best solution can be arrived at democratically and organically, and to base the direction for struggle on established historical example. Supporters often suggest that this focus on exploration over predetermination is one of their great strengths. They point out that the success of the scientific method comes from its adherence to open rational exploration, not its conclusions, rather than dogma and predetermined predictions.
Although critics claim that they are avoiding questions they cannot answer, libertarian socialists believe that a methodological approach to exploration is the best way to achieve their social goals. To them, dogmatic approaches to social organization are doomed to failure; and thus reject Marxist notions of linear and inevitable historical progression. Noted anarchist Rudolf Rocker once stated, "I am an anarchist not because I believe anarchism is the final goal, but because there is no such thing as a final goal" (The London Years, 1956).
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