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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

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

At C4SS: Democracy(TM) -- Coming Soon to a Corporate Welfare State Near You


Blogger Τζούλια Ρήμπερ Πιτ said...

I hear a lot of people denounce "democracy" on the basis that they only see it as "51% of the population controlling the use of force against the 49%" and imply that this particular scenario is the *only* form of democracy (and hence want to do away with "democracy" all together). The problem with this is, democracy comes in all sorts of forms and is found in every single kind of political and economic system. For example, when you go to the store and you buy a particular product from a particular company, you are technically voting for that company and that company's product. The whole notion that supply and demand in a free market system is supposed to weed out crappy companies is based on the idea that enough people will buy from (vote) for the good companies so that the crappy ones lose business and thus no longer exist.

So in all, I don't really think the right question people should be asking in regards to the role of democracy in the political and economic system should be "how can we get rid of democracy?" or "how can we muzzle democracy?" but rather "what *kind* of democracy do we want the future political/economic system to advance?". I personally wouldn't like a system where 51% of a city can tell the rest what to do (centralized democracy), but I would very much favor consensus decision-making within freely associated and horizontally-organized groups.

August 03, 2011 8:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

In my view the ideal of democracy is Jefferson's "consent of the governed," and democracy is maximized the more consent approaches unanimity. So the smaller the unit of government and the smaller the electorate, the closer we are to governance by unanimous consent.

Majoritarianism is a way to simulate unanimous consent in situations where a binding decision needs to be made for a group of people even if they disagree among themselves.

But in face-to-face units, where direct persuasion and discussion are possible, consent is a way to overcome the lack of unanimity.

This is another reason I am so enthusiastic about stigmergic organization where individual contributions are modular, as in Wikipedia and other networked projects. All actions reflect the unanimous will of those who decide to take them.

August 03, 2011 9:37 PM  
Blogger KPres said...

@ First Commenter

A free market is not exactly like voting with you dollars, the major difference being that if I choose a particular product, it doesn't remove the alternative product from the market as you imply. Both products can exist at the same time. Only the worst producers go out of business, which really means they weren't able to provide a valuable product for virtually ANYONE. Some company may only have 1% market share, that doesn't mean they go out of business, it means their product only appeals to a small portion of the population. But at least that small portion is still satisfied.

A Democracy, OTOH is winner take all. The irony is that the reason Democracy has been successful is because in some small way, it does mimic the market, in that there is at least some form of competition, and thus innovation. The other forms of government don't even have that.

But its still the state, which means it still has monopoly control, and a democracy itself isn't enough to mitigate the damaging effects of said monopoly.

August 04, 2011 7:08 AM  

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