Within the socialist movement, individuals who ascribe to the idea that centralized state ownership of property and control of the economy are harmful to the overall functioning of a society are considered libertarian socialists. They also support workers self-managing their respective workplaces and political groups becoming decentralized. Ultimately, the underlying principle of libertarian socialism is that, through the removal of an authoritarian government that controls means of production, individuals should be able to engage in direct democracy, join unions, and participate fully in workers’ councils.
Libertarian Socialists are staunchly anti-capitalist; they see the privatization of property – in any form – as detrimental to the overall health and functioning of society as a whole. This approach to capitalism sets libertarian socialists apart from right-wing libertarianism or capitalist libertarianism. Additionally, libertarian socialists would see industrial production centralized in the hands of workers themselves. They could feel a greater sense of connection to the finished product and hold their position in a higher esteem; this approach removes one of the most common problems associated with mass production – disinterest on behalf of the workers – and emphasizes the importance of the human element, even when the remainder of production has been mechanized. Any highly stratified system of authority is often the target of libertarian socialists, whether it is social, economic, or political in its purpose.