I’ve always (since waking up) held the position that in a free and voluntary society, people are welcome to form their own voluntary communities based on private property and their own preferences. A single-family homestead would meet this definition. So would a community centered around a factory. Or a decentralized network online. Or a network of a company and its customers. Or an actual communist commune. As long as it’s voluntary!
I define libertarianism generally as the belief in freedom and freedom as what you have when no one is forcing their will on you in any way. This is a message of morality and ethics, (based in love) not social organization. It only prescribes the moral ground rules for social organization. Of course, if capitalism is defined as an economic system based on ownership of the means of production, it would still be capitalism to have a communist commune if it was based on legitimate owners choosing to give up certain property claims voluntarily and/or by contract.
Most philosophical communists who I’ve met with have described their ideal society as voluntary, but with a different concept of property rights that everyone buys into. I would describe this as contrary to the reality of the human condition. But imagine that suddenly everyone said, “I don’t want to claim any property outside of my body,” and voluntarily gave up all such claims. It would seem that in this scenario, we have BOTH a communist world, and a libertarian world. Now, I don’t believe that this world is possible, but if everyone else in the world went communist like this, but respected my right to own property, I couldn’t object morally, only aesthetically. (As in, I would aesthetically prefer that people own things outside of themselves because it will lead to more productivity. Which may be irrelevant soon with AI and automation anyway.)
One of the reasons I’m writing this is to bridge what I think is an important philosophical divide, and a dangerous and unnecessary one. Everyone who is an ethical person should understand that whatever your preference for social organization, you are a libertarian! So if you’re a communist, but not one who advocates violence or theft but just wants to be a part of a peaceful community that operates a certain way, you’re a libertarian! If you’re a conservative who can let “the gays” do what they want in their own home, you’re a libertarian! If you’re a liberal who wants to help people but doesn’t want to steal from others to do it, you’re a libertarian!
I’m using the most offensive ideology possible to make my point. (Yes, I know: Nazism, Klanism, Satanism, Racism, Sexism, and Scientology are all more offensive, if somewhat less relevant here.) Libertarianism is about respecting the free will of people to live and relate to each other without violent interference. It’s not a political ideology so much as an anti-political ideology. Sadly, modern politicians have lead us to confuse aesthetics and politics so that we are fooled into thinking that we need to use government to force our aesthetic preferences on others. When humanity is ready to put down the guns of government and embrace freedom, you will be free to have a liberal, conservative, socialist, communist, corporatist, artist, polygamist, Scientologist, Satanist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, secularist, nudist, escapist, or individualist community – or no community at all! What unites us is that we all love freedom. (Which means we’re all libertarians, even if some of us haven’t figured that out yet.)