“I have no idea whether this is enough to appease the communists, the mutualists, the uber-left libertarians. I hope it would be, primarily because I’m simply not sold on the idea that individuals shouldn’t have the right to own and acquire productive assets, at least not on any moral grounds.”
Well, sure, but which anarchists are trying to sell that idea? Maybe some of the commies (although, remember, most anarcho-communists do believe in, or at least nod at a principle which declares, the right of individuals to withdraw from communist arrangements if they desire; the idea is usually that they imagine communist arrangements would be so obviously superior that nobody but a few lone weirdos would want to, and that even if those lone weirdos somehow amassed enough resources to build a factory under private proprietorship, that nobody would want to toil in it). But in any case, I certainly don’t know of any mutualists or “uber-left libertarians” who think that individual people shouldn’t have the right to own and acquire productive assets. If you do, I’d like to hear some names and quotations.
Of course, there is a separate question, as to what forms of organization and what levels of centralization of control over machinery and technology, would be most likely to flourish within a market freed from government privileges and increasingly distant from the shadow of past government subsidies. That question is interesting and important, but separate from the moral question of what individual people ought to have the right to do or not to do. For what it’s worth, though, I think it would be absolutely wrong to claim that, on the predictive (as opposed to the normative) question, mutualists ad “uber-left libertarians” somehow imagine that there wouldn’t be any individual ownership of capital in a freed market. Actually, the position is generally that individual ownership of capital would become much more widespread than it currently is, because forms of collective ownership that currently dominate the market (e.g. large centralized corporations) would be undermined by the collapse of state privilege. To take an example, as I understand it, Carson’s view (for example) is that vastly more productive assets would be owned individually in a free society than are today, because he envisions that, absent government intervention in favor of large centralized operations, a much larger portion of production would be carried out within households and small family shops.