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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, June 11, 2008

Reciprocity and Privilege

I've got a two-part guest post at the P2P Foundation on reciprocity and privilege.

Kevin Carson on reciprocity in an (un)free market (1)
Kevin Carson reciprocity in an (un)free market (2): the problem of artificial scarcity

Check it out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compliments on your article. I have some difficulties though with calling it a zero sum game. Under most egalitarian, communist or socialist systems the total utility and the utilty of a vast majority will be much lower than in the current kapitalistic status quo. Or do you mean to say Zimbabwe is doing bad compared to its neighbours only due to external conditions? I am pretty sure you don't. simularly will total utility probably go up under what you call vulgar libertarianism even though the difference between rich and poor might even become bigger than it allready is now. Finaly, I think total utility is probably the highest under a true free market as well as a reduced unfare difference between powerful and powerless. So maybe you could elaborate on what you mean by zero sum game.

June 12, 2008 7:09 AM  
Blogger B. Dewhirst said...

I'm pretty sure he means 'zero sum' in the general sense. No gain by one party can come without an equal loss by another party or parties.

June 13, 2008 7:20 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

By zero-sum, I mean that whatever slice of the pie goes to income from privilege comes at the expense of producers. That's not inconsistent with the producer keeping a large enough slice of the pie to have an incentive to make the pie bigger. But even though the system allows for some growth, it's still suboptimal. The diversion of part of the pie to non-producers reduces the incentive to productivity. Arguably the transition from chattel slavery to feudalism, or to wage labor, was a way of increasing the size of the pie by letting the producer keep more of his product, thus increasing the productivity of the host organism the privilege classes fed off of; the parasites themselves still stand in a zero-sum relationship to the host organism, though.

June 13, 2008 11:13 AM  

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