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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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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Friday, November 26, 2010

C4SS: Help!

I just found out from the latest C4SS fundraising update that, although I recently got payment for my writing in September, Thomas Knapp is still waiting to be paid for his work as media coordinator back in September. That really makes me feel like shit. At last count they still needed about $400 to pay Tom before September before they even think about paying all of us for our work in October.

Tom has given back a bunch of his pay out of goodwill for the C4SS's mission. I'm not as generous as Tom (this income is my "go to hell" money for my current job), but I'm subscribed myself for a recurring $20 monthly contribution out of my $425 pay.

A lot of us will probably keep doing this stuff -- at least to some extent -- even if C4SS doesn't collect enough to pay us in full. But if you enjoy reading C4SS material and can afford it, please give some thought to helping us out. This isn't like PBS, which gets some taxpayer money; all the money we get is from you.

And the more people who sign up for monthly subscription payments and increase our regular revenue stream, the less you have to put up with these beg-a-thons -- and the less those of us who are anxiously waiting to be paid have to go through this white knuckle crap.


Blogger Tom Wayburn said...

I think we all know that capitalism requires economic growth to provide incentive for the stock market, to provide new jobs for workers displaced by technological improvements in productivity, to allow loans made by banks in excess of their deposits to be repaid, and to make inequality tolerable by increasing the standards of living of workers albeit not to the degree that the rich get richer. Also, it is easy to see that ultimately economic growth means increased energy degradation; that is, without an increase in consumption of energy there can't be economic growth. I wonder how any free market system manages to avoid these difficulties. How does free market anti-capitalism avoid the tendencies toward economic growth I have just described?

Tom Wayburn

December 05, 2010 8:10 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Tom: There are two kinds of "growth," as Juliet Schor pointed out in her latest book: growth in measured GDP, which reflects largely extensive growth in the value of inputs consumed, and growth in utility or standard of living, which may well correlate with negative GDP numbers if progress results from using inputs more intensively.

The way to deal with reduced need for labor resulting from increased productivity, I think, is 1) to eliminate artificial scarcity rents so it takes less work to obtain the necessities of life, 2) to shift as much production as possible to the household/informal sector (which is increasingly feasible because of the imploding capital outlays required to undertake independent production, and the growing share of stuff which can be produced with machinery affordable to the average person), and 3) to distribute the hours reductions fairly through a reduced work week.

Re your email question concerning "...the way in which a mutualist would prevent unacceptable inequality. What prevents people from becoming rich at the expense of everyone else by buying cheap and selling dear?"

I wouldn't prevent anyone from buying cheap and selling dear -- provided they could find willing sellers and buyers. The problem isn't what they're allowed to do, but what the people they're currently buying from and selling to AREN'T allowed to do. I.e., the problem is state-enforced monopolies and artificial scarcities that put the privileged in a monopsonist or oligopsonist position when buying, and a monopolist or oligolist position when selling. Remove the artificial property rights and artificial scarcities that restrict the terms on which others are allowed to compete with them, and I think they'd be hard pressed to FIND willing cheap sellers and dear buyers.

December 06, 2010 11:32 AM  

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