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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

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day--Four Months Late

As Kehlkopfmikrofon says, "Happy fake labor day." The real one is now called Law Day, or Loyalty Day, or some other such filthy thing. A labor holiday that originated in America with a general strike for the 8-hour day movement, as American as baseball and jazz, is now identified as a holiday for parades of tanks in the capitals of communist regimes. Why? A police state crackdown by St. Woodrow and his pet secret policeman, A. Mitchell Palmer, and a concerted propaganda effort during the War Hysteria and Red Scare to tag the worker's movement with "disloyalty" and "un-Americanism." That's pretty remarkable in itself, identifying "loyalty" with "Americanism," in a country founded by a bunch of guys telling their own government to go to hell. But as you know, the first rule after every revolution is "OK, no more revolutions, starting.... Now!"

Jesse Walker got a really good Labor Day thread going at Reason Hit&Run, based on the largely buried history of nineteenth century classical liberalism's surprisingly pro-labor stance.

Around the left-Rothbardian blogosphere, some other attempts to rehabilitate unionism and reclaim labor from its four-letter word status among right-libertarians: Brad Spangler, Wally Conger, Roderick Long, and Rad Geek.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you think mutualism, as a "political" or social movement, will become bigger during next years?

Why is there not any kind of real presence of mutualism -as a political movement- in today┬┤s society?

And what about anarchism or libertarianism over all?

September 03, 2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger camelCase said...

Oh wow, thanks for the link!

September 03, 2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

No prob, Camelcase--esp. when I found your blog through a trackback from a post you linked to!

Foreign mutualist,

Mutualism (and other forms of left-wing free market thought) seems to have grown from a tiny and almost invisible fringe of the libertarian movement, to a small fringe of the libertarian movement, in the past several years. I suspect a lot of it has to do with the effects of the Web in general, putting isolated members of such movements in easy communication with each other for the first time, and creating an increasingly cohesive and self-conscious community. That's true of many such small movements. The Web has created a sort of "long tail" of alternative movements: previously, there were probably many thousands of people who shared such ideas; but their influence was limited almost entirely to letters to the editor in their local paper, and maybe a few photocopied 'zines with very high transaction costs for collecting a mailing list and distributing them. In short, they were almost entirely unaware of each other. That's changed, and (in the case of mutualism and related ideologies) created a sufficient base to publicize our ideas in the libertarian mainstream and also promote areas of agreement with Greens and others on the decentralist left.

I don't know how much more it will grow numerically. I expect there's probably a great deal of potential for a "petty bourgeois" movement opposed to both big govt. and big business, and friendly to worker-ownership and other forms of economic democracy. There's also a great deal of potential for the spread of cooperative forms of organization. But I'd guess that "if mutualism ever comes to America, it will be under some other name."

September 03, 2007 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amusingly, keeping it in september in Canada still keeps labour day within the local history of labour disputes - namely the 54-hours week movement whic managed to also force the hand of government to repeal the anti-union laws.

Otherwise, I periodically enjoy your blog. Quite informative, well written.

September 05, 2007 4:40 AM  

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