Support C4SS with a Copy of “The Desktop Regulatory State”

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 Kevin Carson’s “The Desktop Regulatory State” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Desktop Regulatory State“.

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$15.00 for the first copy. $13.00 for every additional copy.

Defenders of the modern state often claim that it’s needed to protect us — from terrorists, invaders, bullies, and rapacious corporations. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, for instance, famously argued that the state was a source of “countervailing power” that kept other social institutions in check. But what if those “countervailing” institution — corporations, government agencies and domesticated labor unions — in practice collude more than they “countervail” each other? And what if network communications technology and digital platforms now enable us to take on all those dinosaur hierarchies as equals — and more than equals. In The Desktop Regulatory State, Kevin Carson shows how the power of self-regulation, which people engaged in social cooperation have always possessed, has been amplified and intensifed by changes in consciousness — as people have become aware of their own power and of their ability to care for themselves without the state — and in technology — especially information technology. Drawing as usual on a wide array of insights from diverse disciplines, Carson paints an inspiring, challenging, and optimistic portrait of a humane future without the state, and points provocatively toward the steps we need to take in order to achieve it.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE–THE STIGMERGIC REVOLUTION

  • Reduced Capital Outlays
  • Distributed Infrastructure
  • Network Culture
  • Stigmergy

CHAPTER TWO–NETWORKS VS. HIERARCHIES

  • The Systematic Stupidity of Hierarchies
  • Hierarchies vs. Networks
  • Networks vs. Hierarchies
  • Systems Disruption

CHAPTER THREE–NETWORKS VS. HIERARCHIES: END GAME

  • Transition from Hierarchies to Networks
  • The Question of Repression
  • The Question of Collapse
  • Conclusion

CHAPTER FOUR–THE DESKTOP REVOLUTION IN REGULATION

  • The Regulatory State: Myth and Reality
  • Individual Super-empowerment
  • The “Long Tail” in Regulation
  • Networked Resistance as an Example of Distributed Infrastructure
  • Informational Warfare (or Open-Mouth Sabotage)
  • A Narrowcast Model of Open Mouth Sabotage
  • Attempts to Suppress or Counter Open Mouth Sabotage
  • Who Regulates the Regulators?
  • Networked, Distributed Successors to the State: Saint-Simon, Proudhon and “the Administration of Things”
  • Monitory Democracy
  • “Open Everything”
  • Panarchy
  • Collective Contracts
  • Heather Marsh’s “Proposal for Governance
  • Michel Bauwens’ Partner State

CHAPTER FIVE–FUNDAMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURES: NETWORKED SUPPORT PLATFORMS

  • Bruce Sterling: Islands in the Net
  • Phyles: Neal Stephenson
  • Phyles: Las Indias and David de Ugarte
  • Bruce Sterling: The Caryatids
  • Daniel Suarez
  • John Robb: Economies as a Social Software Service
  • File Aesir
  • Venture Communism
  • Medieval Guilds as Predecessors of the Phyle
  • Transition Towns and Global Villages
  • Modern Networked Labor Unions and Guilds as Examples of Phyles
  • Virtual States as Phyles: Hamas, Etc.
  • Eugene Holland: Nomad Citizenship
  • Producism/Producia
  • Emergent Cities
  • The Incubator Function
  • Mix & Match

CHAPTER SIX–FUNDAMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURES: MONEY

  • What Money’s For and What it Isn’t
  • The Adoption of Networked Money Systems
  • Examples of Networked Money Systems

CHAPTER SEVEN–FUNDAMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURES: EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALING

  • Introduction: Whom Do Present-Day Schools Really Serve
  • Alternative Models
  • Potential Building Blocks for an Open Alternative
  • Open Course Materials
  • Open Textbooks
  • Open Learning Platforms
  • Credentialing

CHAPTER EIGHT–THE ASSURANCE COMMONS

  • Introduction
  • Legibility: Vertical and Horizontal. Graeber, Scott, etc.
  • Networked Certification, Reputational and Verification Mechanisms
  • Ostrom, Commons Governance and Vernacular Law

CHAPTER NINE–THE OPEN SOURCE LABOR BOARD

  • Historic Models
  • Networked Labor Struggle
  • Open-Mouth Sabotage

CHAPTER TEN–OPEN SOURCE CIVIL LIBERTIES ENFORCEMENT

  • Protection Against Non-State Civil Rights Violations
  • When the State is the Civil Liberties Violator
  • Circumventing the Law
  • Circumvention: Privacy vs. Surveillance
  • Seeing Like a State, and the Art of Not Being Governed
  • Exposure and Embarrassment
  • Networked Activism and the Growth of Civil Society

CHAPTER ELEVEN–THE OPEN SOURCE FOURTH ESTATE

  • The Industrial Model
  • Open Source Journalism

CHAPTER TWELVE–OPEN SOURCE NATIONAL SECURITY

  • The State as Cause of the Problem: Blowback
  • Meta-Organization
  • Active Defense, Counter-Terrorism, and Other Security Measures
  • Passive Defense
  • The Stateless Society as the Ultimate in Passive Defense
  • Disaster Relief

Kevin A. Carson is a contemporary mutualist author and a prolific writer on subjects including free-market anti-cap­it­al­ism, the in­div­idualist anarchist tradition, grassroots technology and radical unionism. He is the author of ”The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand”, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, The Homebrew Industrial Revolution, and The Desktop Regulatory State. He keeps a blog at mutualist.blogspot.com and frequently publishes short columns and longer research reports for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “Millennial Liberty”

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 Kevin Carson‘s “Millennial Liberty” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “Millennial Liberty“.

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This article was originally published as “Five Libertarian Re­forms Millennials Should Be Fighting For” in January 2014, as a Feature for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

“Millennials are disgruntled and it’s no won­der. In 2008 they turned out in record numbers in sup­port of a presidential candidate who used the most leftish sounding rhetoric of any Democratic candidate since Mc­Govern. In­stead he governed as a moderate Repub­lic­an, continuing the Paulson TARP program, bailing out the larg­est ‘too big to fail’ industrial corporation in America, and implementing a national healthcare ‘reform’ proposed by Rich­ard Nixon. In the meantime, twenty-somethings face a situ­ation where half of recent college graduates are un­em­ploy­ed or underemployed. They were the backbone of the Occupy movement, founded on the assumption that repre­s­ent­ative democracy and the political process were worth­less, and the only alternative was to build a new system outside the existing one.

“The reforms I propose below are all free market libertarian reforms, but they’re also essentially soc­ial­ist or anti-capitalist in that they shift wealth from rent­ier classes to the people who actually produce it, break the power of giant corporations, and create a fairer sys­tem with a more egalitarian distribution of wealth. End the credit monopoly. End the land monopoly. End the ‘in­t­el­lect­u­al property’ monopoly. End the minimum wage for plu­tocrats. Cut welfare from the top down. Start by elim­i­n­ating eliminating all the forms of artificial property, artificial scarcity and subsidies that concentrate wealth in a few hands. Let free com­pet­it­ion destroy enor­mous con­cen­trat­ions of wealth and redistribute it downward. . . .”

Kevin A. Carson is a mutualist writer living and working in northwest Arkansas, and the author of several incredibly influ­ential works on contemporary mutualist anarchism, including “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand,” Studies in Mutualist Political Economy,Organization Theory: A Libertarian Per­spect­ive, The Homebrew Industrial Revolution, and numerous articles and research reports for the Center for a Stateless Society.

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Support C4SS with Sheldon Richman’s “Class Struggle Rightly Conceived”

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 Sheldon Richman‘s “Class Struggle Rightly Conceived” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Sheldon Richman‘s “Class Struggle Rightly Conceived“.

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“In light of Marx’s words, it’s worth exploring ‘the historical development of this class struggle’ as seen from the perspective of the classical liberals. At first this analysis of class may seem paradoxical. Free-market advocates have long emphasized that trade brings increasingly elaborate forms social cooperation through the division of labor and free exchange. As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, the realization that specialization and trade allow unlimited mutual benefits induces people to put aside their differences and to cooperate in the productive process. How could the classical liberals of the early nineteenth century have been interested in class struggle . . .?”

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “What Is Left-Libertarianism?”

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 Kevin Carson‘s “What Is Left-Libertarianism?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “What Is Left-Libertarianism?“.

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“We on the Libertarian Left consider it utterly perverse that free market libertaria­n­ism, a doctrine which had its origins as an attack on the economic privilege of landlords and merchants, should ever have been coopted in de­fense of the entrenched power of the plutocracy and big busi­ness. The use of the ‘free market’ as a legitimizing ideology for triumph­ant corporate cap­i­tal­ism, and the growth of a community of ‘libertarian’ propagandists, is as much a perversion of free market principles as Stalinist regimes’ co­opt­at­ion of rhetoric and symbols from the historic socialist movement was a perversion of the working class movement. . . .

“The industrial capitalist system that the libertarian mainstream has been defending since the mid-19th century has never even remotely approx­im­at­ed a free market. Capi­t­al­ism, as the historic system that emerged in early mod­ern times, was founded on the dissolution of the open fields, en­closure of the commons and other mass­ive ex­propri­ations of the peas­antry. Capitalism evolved into a world system through the col­on­ial occupation, expropriation and enslavement of the glob­al South. We of the Libertarian Left want to take back free mark­et principles from the hirelings of big business and the pluto­cracy and put them back to their original use: all-out assault on the en­trenched economic interests and privileged class­es of our day.

“We of the Libertarian Left also want to de­mon­strate the relevance of free market princ­iples, free assoc­i­at­ion and volunt­ary cooperation in ad­dres­s­ing structural forms of oppression like rac­ism, sexism, homo­phobia and trans­phobia. As libertarians we oppose all legal re­strictions but we should enthusiastically support direct act­ion to combat in­jus­tice in the social realm, like bus boycotts, lunch counter sit-ins and the Stonewall riots. In addressing all forms of injustice, we should take an intersectional ap­proach. . . .”

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Support C4SS with Anna O. Morgenstern’s “Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible”

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 Anna O. Morgenstern‘s “Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Anna O. Morgenstern‘s “Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible“.

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“What will happen under anarchy? EVERYTHING.”

This booklet collects three Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) feature articles by left-libertarian writer Anna O. Morgenstern, examining the rel­ation­ship between anarchism, capitalism and pro-capitalist “libertarian­ism,” including: “Anarcho-Capitalism is Im­pos­s­ible,” “Anarchism & Capitalism: A Revisitation,” and “Market Anarchism vs. Market Statism.”

“Goals sometimes lead people toward certain means, but it is the means that determine results, not the goals. And if the anarcho-capitalists follow anarchist means, the results will be anarchy, not some impossible ‘anarcho-capital­ism.’ . . .

“Anarchy does not mean social utopia, it means a soci­e­t­y where there is no privileged authority. There will still be social evils to be dealt with under anarchy. But anarchy is an important step toward fighting those evils with­out giving birth to all new ones. My take on the impossibility of anarcho-capitalism is simply as follows:

  • Under anarchism, mass accumulation and concentration of cap­it­al is impossible.
  • Without concentration of capital, wage slavery is im­poss­ible.
  • Without wage slavery, there’s nothing most people would re­cog­nize as ‘capitalism.’

“Even assuming an ‘anarcho-capitalist’ property re­g­ime, any­thing recognizable as ‘capitalism’ to any­one else could not exist. In fact the society would look a lot like what ‘an­archo-socialists’ think of as ‘social­ism.’ Not ex­act­ly like it, but much closer than anything they’d imagine as capitalism. . . .”

The essays in this collection first appeared in 2010 and 2014, as Featured Articles at the Center for a Stateless Society, a left-wing market anarchist think tank and media center. They appear here in print for the first time.

Anna O. Morgenstern, a Contributing Writer at the Center for a Stateless Society, has been an anarchist of one stripe or another for almost 30 years. Her intellectual interests include economic history, social psychology and volunt­ary organization theory. She writes frequent com­ment­ar­ies for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

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Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible (2010-2014)

This booklet collects three Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) feature articles by left-libertarian writer Anna O. Morgenstern, examining the rel­ation­ship between anarchism, capitalism and pro-capitalist “libertarian­ism,” including: “Anarcho-Capitalism is Im­pos­s­ible,” “Anarchism & Capitalism: A Revisitation,” and “Market Anarchism vs. Market Statism.”

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Markets Freed from Capitalism (2011)

This essay, first appearing as Chapter 4 of Markets Not Capitalism (eds. Charles W. Johnson and Gary Chartier), is an examination of the mechanisms of state capitalism and the monopolistic privileges that sustain it, as well as a close and … Continue reading

Support C4SS With ALL Distro’s “CAPITALISM”

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 ALL Distro’s “CAPITALISM” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with ALL Distro’s “CAPITALISM“.

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Three provocative libertarian perspectives on the liberation, corporation, and the Big C.Charles Davis writes that libertarians are very confused about capitalism, and that a radical re-appraisal of the debate shows that libertarian principles should go a lot further than mainstream libertarians have been willing to take them. David S. D’Amato argues, against business reformists, that inclusive capitalism is a contradiction in terms. And while many more libertarians are beginning to wake up to the structural problems in the corporate economy,Kevin Carson points out it’s the capitalism, not the cronyism that’s at the root of the problem.

“Let’s start over. The wealthy elite are too tainted by the current system of state capitalism for us to rely on a “good” and “bad” distinction when it comes enormous wealth. No one worth more than $10 million is able to get that much money without systemic state violence. There is no reason they should get a head start in Liberty Land. . . . no matter what one replaces it with, dismantling an unjust system requires addressing the injustices that system created. If you don’t, then your idea of “freedom” will be attacked as the freedom to be exploited by the same people running the world today. And with good reason.” — Charles Davis.

“The political-economic reality in this country, confirmed by recent studies as well as well-nigh everything we can observe about the political process, is that big capital keeps American policy­makers comfortably and securely in its pockets. And, sad to say, an ‘in­clusive’ kind of capitalism — oxymoron that it is — is not and never has been the order of the day. . . . In conditions of economic freedom — mean­ing circumstances in which land and opportunities are no co­erc­iv­e­ly monopolized — labor would simply enjoy far more bar­gain­ing pow­er, able to maintain self-sufficiency apart from the Big Business economy. In­deed, the way to fabricate a system wherein the vast majority of indiv­id­u­als are inclined to work for a pittance of a wage at huge, face­less org­an­iz­a­t­ion is to use the power of legal and regulatory authority to fore­close other options. . . .” — David S. D’Amato.

“Conservatives & rightwing libertarians drastically under­est­i­mate the extent to which state intervention has been struct­ur­al­ly central to capit­al­ism as a historical system since its very beginnings. The en­clos­ure of open fields for sheep pasture in late medieval and early modern times, the Parliamentary Enclosures of common woods, waste and past­ure in the 18th century, the colonial enclosure of land in the Third World and eviction of native cultivators, the engrossment of Third World mines and mineral resources, the enslavement of nonwhite populations – no­thing remotely resembling the contemporary concentration of economic pow­er and wealth, or the model of corporate capitalism most people think of as ‘normal’ . . .” — Kevin Carson.

“Libertarians Are Very Confused About Capitalism” was written by Charles Davis and published in November 2013 by the online magazine Salon.com. Charles Davis is a radical columnist, producer and researcher in Los Angeles, California. His work regularly appears in publications such as VICE, Salon, AlterNet, and Al Jazeera English. He keeps a website at charliedavis.blogspot.com

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‘Privatization’ or Privateering? (2013)

“A free market is not a society in which all of soc­i­ety’s functions are performed by private, for-profit business corporations. It’s a society where all fun­c­t­ions are performed by free, voluntary assoc­iat­ions. That means people get whatever services they need … Continue reading

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CAPITALISM (2012, 2013)

Three provocative libertarian perspectives on the liberation, corporation, and the Big C. Charles Davis writes that libertarians are very confused about capitalism, and that a radical re-appraisal of the debate shows that libertarian principles should go a lot further than … Continue reading