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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You Will Be Assimilated: Resistance is Futile

Via Iain McKay on the anarchy list: Tony Blair compares globalization to a process of nature:

Complaining about globalization is as pointless as trying to turn back the tide. There are, I notice, no such debates in China.

McKay quips: "Could that be because, perhaps, it is a Stalinist dictatorship?" Actually, there are some "debates" on globalization, in the form of attempts to organize independent unions or fight the seizure of communal lands for industrial parks. They just don't last long. Maybe the globalists need a good Tiananmen Square incident in this country to shut us all up.

Since Blair presumably believes in "intellectual property," he ought to be paying Tom Friedman royalties on this "globalization as inevitable process" meme.

The last I heard, though, the tide didn't require an international bureaucracy and endless government-enforced subsidies and privileges to keep advancing.

16 Comments:

Blogger Joel Schlosberg said...

It's remniscent (to choose an example from the opposite end of the political spectrum) of Rothbard's quip that since socialists were always saying that one couldn't "turn back the clock" of social democracy, the paleos would have to "break that clock".

Just went through the archives of anarchy-list (and I keep wondering how many political mailing lists you're on, you've referred to so many on your blog, far more than I could keep up with) and saw a bunch of debates between dedicated "anarcho"-capitalist opponent McKay on the one hand, and you and Shawn Wilbur on the other, including Roderick T. Long's response to McKay's attack on Molinari (McKay seems to be increasing his references to Molinari recently in his attacks on "anarcho"-capitalism; it would be amusing if this is a response to Roderick's Molinari Institute).

August 09, 2006 5:51 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

I'm on way more lists than I can keep up with, to tell the truth. I'm often as much as two weeks even answering private emails.

August 09, 2006 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't McKay that non-american dude who writes the Anarchist FAQ and thinks that anarcho-capitalism is by definition not anarchism?

August 09, 2006 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Isn't McKay that non-american dude who writes the Anarchist FAQ and thinks that anarcho-capitalism is by definition not anarchism?"

Like almost all anarchists...

Molinari himself rejected the term anarchist and opposed Proudhon's ideas. That is extremely significant and shows the distance between anarchism and "private state" capitalism.

August 10, 2006 2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those damned non-Americans... who do they think they are?!?

Anarchism has always explicitly opposed both capitalism and statism. One can call oneself an "anarcho-capitalist", but it makes about as much sense as calling onself an "anarcho-statist".

Cheers,
WES

August 10, 2006 4:46 AM  
Anonymous jaś ("ś" like sh... i think :) skoczowski said...

that shows just nothing. for example Konkin was, ideologicaly, straight ancap, radical Rothbardian (thought he didn't call himself a anarchocapitalist...), but he never rejected the "social" kind of anarchism... i think, that all arguing about that "is anacapism is or isn't anarchism?" is plainly stupid, and shows, how sectarian both sides are sometimes...

sorry for incompetent use of english language. greetings from Poland

August 10, 2006 4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"how sectarian both sides are sometimes..."

You can only be sectarian to someone on the same side as yourself. As "anarcho"-capitalists are not anarchists, anarchists pointing this out is not sectarian. Just like anarchists pointing out that Leninism is state capitalism is not sectarian.

Significantly, few social anarchists would deny that individualist anarchists were not anarchists. The difference being, of course, that they both seek the end of capitalist exploitation.

August 10, 2006 6:49 AM  
Anonymous jaś skoczowski said...

you, of course, forgot, that, for example, agorists (radical rothbardians, anarchocapitalists by any other name) have almost this same set of ideas about property rights or capitalism (they call it state capitalism. a matter of lexicon) etc as @ind. and what you forgot also, most ansoc aren't... of course, if you don't think about the kind of anarchoindividualsm that is presented in anarchyFAQ - the anarchoindividualism interpreted by bunch of @colectivists...

August 10, 2006 12:41 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Yeah, it's the same Iain McKay, but I didn't realize quoting him would get that old "who's a real anarchist" pissing match going again.

I agree with McKay that mainstream anarcho-capitalism is a pretty radical departure from classical anarchism, but I wouldn't take it so far as to say an-caps can't be anarchists by definition.

For one thing, anarcho-capitalism isn't a hard and fast category. The boundaries between an-caps and other anarchists are pretty blurry. As Shawn Wilbur once argued, there are "anarcho"-capitalists, and there are anarcho-"capitalists," both of whom use the same label. And a good many leftish-leaning anarcho-caps are more influenced by anti-capitalist strands of classical liberalism (like Georgism and individualist anarchism) than by Rand and Friedman.

August 10, 2006 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As "anarcho"-capitalists are not anarchists, anarchists pointing this out is not sectarian.

It's the anarcho-capitalists who are the real anarchists here and you guys are just a bunch of pretenders and crypto-statists.

August 10, 2006 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's the anarcho-capitalists who are the real anarchists here and you guys are just a bunch of pretenders and crypto-statists."

Sure, that is why anarchism dates back to 1840s and the first person to call themselves anarchists in a positive light while "anarcho"-capitalism dates back to the 1950s when the term was invented by Rothbard. As for Molinari, he never called himself an anarchist -- for good reason, he was not one.

Life would have been so much easier if Rothbard has called his private statism something else -- but he did not, so we are left with propertarians trying to steal the anarchist name.

As for "pretenders and crypto-statists," well, let me quote Rothbard from "The Ethics of Liberty":

the state "arrogates to itself a monopoly of force, of ultimate decision-making power, over a given area territorial area."

"Obviously, in a free society, Smith has the ultimate decision-making power over his own just property, Jones over his, etc."

Opps! Shot your own ideology in the foot there, Murray!

"Anarcho"-capitalism? Makes as much sense as "anarcho"-statism...

August 11, 2006 1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, compare Rothbard to Proudhon in What is Property?:

"The Proprietor . . . and the sovereign (for [they] are synonymous) each imposes his will as law and suffers neither contradiction nor control; that is, he pretends to be at once the legislative and the executive power . . . property necessarily engenders despotism, the government of arbitrary will."

Or from The General Idea:

"either the workman. . . will be simply the employee of the proprietor-capitalist-promoter; or he will participate. . . he will become an associate . . in the first case the workman is subordinated, exploited: his permanent condition is one of obedience . . . in the second case he resumes his dignity as a man and citizen. . . he forms part of the producing organisation, of which he was before but the slave; as, in the town, he forms part of the sovereign power, of which he was before but the subject . . . we need not hesitate, for we have no choice. . . it is necessary to form an ASSOCIATION among workers . . . because without that, they would remain related as subordinates and superiors, and there would ensue two . . . castes of masters and wage-workers, which is repugnant to a free and democratic society."

Enough said, I think...

August 11, 2006 2:48 AM  
Anonymous jaś skoczowski said...

"Yeah, it's the same Iain McKay, but I didn't realize quoting him would get that old "who's a real anarchist" pissing match going again."

sorry about mess, Kevin...

August 11, 2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Ah, well, it's an interesting debate, Jas, for those who've missed it the previous times around.

August 11, 2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life would have been so much easier if Rothbard has called his private statism something else -- but he did not, so we are left with propertarians trying to steal the anarchist name.

If you want to call us "propertarians" then go ahead - I don't see anything wrong with the label, or the Rothbard quote you gave above. Individuals have a just right to the fruits of their labor, the state is the institution that appropriates unjustly the fruits of people's labor; it's the difference between night and day.

August 11, 2006 12:00 PM  
Anonymous jaś skoczowski said...

"It's the anarcho-capitalists who are the real anarchists here and you guys are just a bunch of pretenders and crypto-statists."

and you of course had a paper, and i this paper someone wrote you guarantee that you are 100% god damm f*cking anarchist? i thin that division is nto between real and fake anarchist, but between stupid and wise...

August 12, 2006 11:25 PM  

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