Support C4SS with M. George van der Meer’s “The Network Economy as New Mutualism”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of M. George van der Meer‘s “The Network Economy as New Mutualism” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with M. George van der Meer‘s “The Network Economy as New Mutualism”.

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

Free exchange would look nothing like the rigidly hierarchical state capitalism we see around us. Facilitated by horizontally networked organization and peer-to-peer exchange, new decentralized economies will look like Occupations, not Corporations. Economic experimentation is the most dangerous threat to the status quo, and the organizations that hope to perpetuate it.

“The nature of distributed systems themselves have brought with them their own culture or ideology. . . . Our new peer-to-peer reality has changed the way we think about everything from exchange to personal relationships. And we can perceive the ways that technology informs culture (and vice versa) all around us, back through history. The work of the Center for a Stateless Society’s Kevin Carson has demonstrated the effects of a subsidized American car culture on the overall economy, suffusing everything from suburban sprawl to distribution paths or consumer goods. Nothing about the present system was simply a foregone conclusion. Authority has impacted the technological ecosystem at every step of development, suppressed alternatives, and obliged the established economic powers.

“Contrast authoritarian capitalism with the decentralized, horizontally-networked-and-ordered free market presently materializing, one in which the effective exercise of power through hierarchy is less and less possible. . . . The individualist anarchists’ was the ultimate ‘open source’ economy, enabling each individual to enter into any economic endeavor she pleased, to contribute in any way, thereby occupying the margins on which capitalist profits rested. The Internet has thrown open those margins to the benefit of
individuals and at the expense of established corporations who have used legislative and regulatory means to keep them closed. . . . The individualists, from Josiah Warren onward, shared amongst one another an enthusiasm for and desire to undertake experimentations within the economic realm, eschewing uniformity and doctrinaire declarations about what a free economy must be. Experimentation of the kinds they esteemed is of course a threat to the status quo, and thus to the organizations that depend upon and hope to perpetuate it.”

M. George van der Meer is a mutualist and decentralist. Formerly a curator of fine art, his interests include social philosophy, antiquing and film.

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Support C4SS with Emma Goldman’s “Minorities versus Majorities”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Emma Goldman’s “Minorities versus Majorities” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Emma Goldman’s “Minorities versus Majorities”!

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

This provocative essay on the compacting function of majority-rules politics, and the importance and creative role of minority ideas, unpopular actions and individual dissent, began as a lecture on Emma Goldman’s speaking tours; in 1910 she incorporated it into her collection of essays, Anarchism and Other Essays (Mother Earth Publishing Association). In the Preface of the collection, Goldman wrote of this essay, “No doubt, I shall be excommunicated as an enemy of the people, because I repudiate the mass as a creative factor. I shall prefer that rather than be guilty of the demagogic platitudes so commonly in vogue as a bait for the people. . . . My lack of faith in the majority is dictated by my faith in the potentialities of the individual. Only when the latter becomes free to choose his associates for a common purpose, can we hope for order and equality out of this world of chaos and inequality. . .” (50­–51).

“The oft repeated slogan of our time is that ours is an era of individualism, of the minority. Only those who do not probe beneath the surface have been led to entertain this view. Have not the few accumulated the wealth of the world? Are they not the masters, the absolute kings of the situation? Their success, however, is due not to individualism, but to the inertia . . . of the mass. . . . As to individualism, at no time in human history did it have less chance of expression, less opportunity to assert itself in a normal, healthy manner. . . .

“Not because I do not feel with the oppressed, the disinherited of the earth; not because I do not know the shame, the horror, the indignity of the lives the people lead, do I repudiate the majority as a creative force for good. Oh, no, no! But because I know so well that as a compact mass it has never stood for justice or equality. It has suppressed the human voice, subdued the human spirit, chained the human body. . . . As a mass it will always be the annihilator of individuality, of free initiative, of originality. I therefore believe with Emerson that ‘the masses are crude, lame, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them. . . .’ In other words, the living, vital truth of social and economic well-being will be­come a reality only through the zeal, courage, the non-com­prom­is­ing determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass.”

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