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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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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS)

I'm considerably behind the times announcing this, because I've been preoccupied with getting my org theory manuscript into shape for the publisher, but I've got a great new gig writing for Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS).

C4SS, run by Brad Spangler, is a market anarchy policy think tank affiliated with Roderick Long's Molinari Institute. I'll be writing major issue papers on a quarterly basis, as well as shorter weekly commentary pieces.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The first explicit defender of Market Anarchism was the 19th-century economist and social theorist Gustave de Molinari."

Not Proudhon? Nice to know!

And it is a shame that Molinari never considered himself an anarchist so how was he "explicitly" a defender of Market Anarchism? Perhaps "implicitly", given how he avoided the dreaded term "anarchist" (too associated with Proudhon and other socialists, I guess).

"The terms “anarcho-capitalism” and “voluntary socialism” have both been associated with the Market Anarchist tradition."

Which suggests that the "tradition" really is made up of two distinct traditions, the anarchist and the capitalist. Not sure whether such a (con)fusion is remotely viable.

All in all, not sure if congratulations are called for...

December 03, 2008 6:29 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Again, congratulations.

So how can we best support your work at the C4SS to ensure that you have a long and rewarding tenure there?

December 03, 2008 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seconding Mouse 1, I don't think these two terms can really be put together without seriously mutilating their definitions.

What can I do, as an individual and anarcho-capitalist, to help the free market crush the state?

I've never seen an anarcho-capitalist at a Food Not Bombs meeting, nor at a protest rally, nor even at coops. More often than not I see them online, defending unhealthy and unnecessary artificial food additives (HFCS, PHOs, etc), trade with state-oppressed China (Wal-Mart), large and successful corporations (Starbucks), moronic and authoritarian bosses, etc.

No, no, the term anarcho-capitalism is an Orwellian contradiction, perhaps a dastardly plot to drown anarchism in subterfuge and Newspeak.

I congratulate your attempt to expound on an erroneous hyphenation, and won't hold it against you, Mr. Carson.

December 03, 2008 10:09 AM  
Blogger Soviet Onion said...

Iain,

Gee, I could never have anticipated that you would show up and wag your finger at this post.

"Not Proudhon? Nice to know!"

Molinari was the first anarchist to describe how competing service providers could produce the "essential public goods" of protection and dispute resolution, before Tucker and Yarros, making him the first complete market anarchist as opposed to just a market-friendly anarchist like Proudhon and Anselme Bellagarigue (who did call himself an anarchist, even though his views were much closer to Molinari's than Proudhon's, whose ideas he lambasted in his writings).

. . .given how he avoided the dreaded term "anarchist" (too associated with Proudhon and other socialists, I guess).

Actually, he avoided the because of its popular association with violence and chaos. Same as Tolstoy, yet I don't see you making assumptions about him. Why the double standard, Iain?

Of course, if failure to call yourself an anarchist is grounds for excommunication, then Greene, Spooner and Robert Anton Wilson weren't anarchists either.

Which suggests that the "tradition" really is made up of two distinct traditions, the anarchist and the capitalist

No, two somewhat fluid traditions with a high degree of friendly intermingling, exchange of ideas, and mutual acknowledgment as anarchists. That's certainly more than either group got from the communitarian micro-state "anarchists" that they both (rightly) rejected. At least now those people just view us as second-class anarchists.

Since you brought him up, Molinari was hailed as an anarchist in Tucker's Liberty, just like Kevin is writing for C4SS. This "fusion" is a matter of historical reality, however much that pains you.

Also, to my recollection Molinari never called himself a capitalist, which is REALLY REALLY important, since self identification means so much to you!

In the meantime, I recommend you this essay

And congratulations Kevin! I look forward to reading you.

December 04, 2008 3:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Thanks to all for the comments.

Jeremy:
the main thing you can do is read my output as long as it keeps your interest, and pass it along when you think it's worth doing--IOW, what we all do anyway.

Iain(?) and Soviet Onion:
I'm about midway between your positions, perhaps a bit toward SO's side. I agree with Iain that Roderick's "Column 1" and "Column 2" are "distinct traditions" (in the sense of identifiable ideal types), but I think SO is right that their actual membership sets are quite fluid and permeable.

I think Shawn Wilbur has the right approach to this: there are "anarcho"-capitalists, and then there are anarcho-"capitalists." The c-word doesn't mean much, in and of itself. And even in the most important distinguishing features of the two traditions (Lockean land ownership), I think the boundary is quite fluid. Even radical non-proviso Lockeanism, consistently applied, has more in common with the Ingalls-Tucker doctrine in its revolutionary potential, than either does with the utilitarian/de jure property rights system now in place (e.g., in nullifying title to vacant and unimproved land, or to feudal property in the TW). And from the other side, Tucker's apparent acceptance at times of house-rent makes it unclear just how far his occupancy-based system would differ in practice from Lockeanism.

So I think congratulations are probably called for. Whatever the grounds on which you disagree with Roderick and Brad, I think both their desire for common ground with the Left and their friendliness to many things that would act as dynamite at the foundations of corporate capitalism are genuine--and there's certainly no subterfuge involved. It certainly seems to be giving Block, Reisman, and Kinsella fits. If we don't achieve a "fusion," there is at least plenty of room for an entente.

December 04, 2008 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Araglin said...

Hey Kevin,

Congrats again on this appointment. I'm very much looking forward to reading your C4SS work...

More generally, can we expect you to be more regularly updating this blog now that (apparently) tAotP is "dead"?

Thanks,
Araglin

December 04, 2008 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Josh Rhodes said...

I suspected that that's Iain also... it kind of has his style.

It's funny, I've always thought that the whole "Are 'Anarcho'-Capitalists Anarchists or Are They Just Dumb, Sick, Evil Bastards?" section of An Anarchist FAQ was the weakest part of an otherwise mostly excellent document, but apparently that section was the genesis of the whole thing in the first place, according to the AK Press announcement of the recently released print version. Oh, internet, you make arguments so fun...

As someone who's also sort of a middle-of-the-roader on economics (I despise capitalism and would personally like to try out libertarian communism yet I understand the necessity of some kind of market system cuz of that whole "Iron Law of Oligarchy" thing) the mention of Roderick Long's article on this topic made me think of William Gillis' response to it. I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to computers so I don't know how to make it link directly, but here it is:
http://williamgillis.blogspot.com/2007/04/calling-all-haters-of-anarcho.html

Anyway, hey, congratulations Kevin. As I tried to say on the Art of the Possible blog (like four times but it wouldn't post it for some reason) if I had any money, I'd wanna pay you to do research and publish too. I mean, you're pretty much the leading modern anarchist economist like twice over.

Speaking of tAotP, anyone know why that's dead now? I always thought it was a good idea...

December 04, 2008 5:51 PM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

Here is Josh Rhodes's link directly, and here's how to provide one: paste in left-angle-bracket A HREF="your link" right-angle-bracket your text left-angle-bracket /A right-angle-bracket. Run the angle brackets up to what they enclose, i.e. get rid of spaces by left or right justifying.

December 05, 2008 4:06 PM  
Anonymous smally said...

Kevin, you linked to Roderick's old "unblog". His new one is at praxeology.net/blog.

December 05, 2008 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Soviet Onion said...

I wonder if the troll actually plans on coming back and addressing his critics, instead of just sniping and running.

He's probably hiding behind the Anarchist FAQ right now, like a cockroach behind the refrigerator.

December 07, 2008 7:13 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Araglin: I stopped blogging there about four months ago, so this won't make any difference to my writing. But having the book finished means I'll probably be blogging a bit more, although C4SS will probably take top priority. I also tentatively to ease myself into working up a second edition of MPE.

Josh Rhodes: AOTP was a good idea, but it went under primarily for financial reasons. And thanks for the kind words.

Soviet Onion: Iain's a lot of things, but he's not a cockroach. We just disagree on the potential for alliance with left-Rothbardians (a sujbect on which he has some pretty strong feelings). But I think Roderick's recent free-for-all with Klein, Block and Caplan should make it pretty clear where he falls, on balance, on matters affecting corporate capitalism.

December 07, 2008 11:19 PM  

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