Support C4SS with Jeremy Weiland’s “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich”

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 Jeremy Weiland‘s “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Jeremy Weiland‘s “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich“.

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

“Along running debate among anarchists, especially between the individualist and collectivist schools, centers around the justice of wealth disparities. Certainly the existence of the State serves to enrich particular interests at the expense of others, but in anarchy would the rich dominate society–just as they do with the State? Even if we could immediately switch off the institutions that forcibly manipulate society, there is danger that the legacy of privilege and accumulated wealth could persist for some time, distorting markets and continuing to frustrate the balance of power between individuals . . . .

“The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how large scale aggregations of wealth require an outside stabilizing force and defensive agency to maintain, and how in a free, dynamic market there are entropies that move imbalances back to equilibrium. . . .”

“Let the Free Market Eat the Rich!” was written in May 2007 at the 6th Density blog. This revised version (2011) appeared as # 33 in Charles Johnson and Gary Chartier’s Markets Not Capitalism: individualist anarchism against bosses, inequality, corporate power and structural poverty (pp. 301–308), and online at socialmemorycomplex.net

Jeremy Weiland is a software developer, writer and left-libertarian activist. He maintains the website Social Mem­ory Complex: a political economy of the soul, and lives with his wife in Richmond, Virginia.

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Homebrew Industrial Revolution”

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 Homebrew Industrial Revolution“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “The Homebrew Industrial Revolution“.

$20.00 for the first copy. $15.00 for every additional copy.

This book explores the impact of dramatic technological and social changes on work and manufacturing. Kevin Carson uses real-world examples and theoretical insights to illuminate the conflict between two economies: one a highly-capitalized, high-overhead, and bureaucratically ossified conventional economy, the subsidized and protected product of sustained collusion between big government and big business; the other a low capital, low-overhead, agile and resilient alternative economy, outperforming the state capitalist economy despite being hobbled and driven underground. The Homebrew Industrial Revolution explains clearly and powerfully why the alternative economy is winning–and why we should welcome its victory.

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 EconomyOrganization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution. 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).

CONTENTS

  • Preface
  • 1. A Wrong Turn
  • 2. Moloch: The Sloanist Mass Production Model
  • 3. Babylon is Fallen
  • 4. Back to the Future
  • 5. The Small Workshop, Desktop Manufacturing, and Household Production
  • 6. Resilient Communities and Local Economies
  • 7. The Alternative Economy as a Singularity

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy”

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 “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy“.

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

First published in 2005 by the author. Second edition published in 2007.

When describing his book, Kevin says: This book is an attempt to revive individualist anarchist political economy, to incorporate the useful developments of the last hundred years, and to make it relevant to the problems of the twenty-first century. We hope this work will go at least part of the way to providing a new theoretical and practical foundation for free market socialist economics. Speaking for the Distro, I think Kevin is much too modest. This is Kevin Carson’s first big book, an immensely important document in the contemporary revival of left-libertarianism and anti-capitalist individualist anarchism, and one of the most significant developments in the last century for both libertarian politics and radical economic thinking.

Anarchists tend to look embarrassed when the subject of economics comes up. Or we mumble something about Proudhon and then sheepishly borrow ideas from Karl Marx… A specifically anarchistic approach to economic analysis has lain dormant for the last 130 years. However, with the publication of Kevin A. Carson’s STUDIES IN MUTUALIST POLITICAL ECONOMY this period of dormancy has finally come to an end. –Larry Gambone, Red Lion Press.

I highly recommend Carson’s book… That doesn’t mean I agree with everything in the book… But where I agree with it I think it is an excellent defense of the sort of anti-corporatist, pro-labour, left-libertarianism I embrace; and where I disagree with it I think it makes intelligent arguments that deserve consideration. –Roderick Long, editor, JOURNAL OF LIBERTARIAN STUDIES

Overall it is a valuable contribution to political economy and a timely reminder… to libertarians of how radical their creed actually is. In my view, one cannot overstate the importance of Carson’s asking libertarians: what are you defending, the free market or the political-economic system we currently live in? –Sheldon Richman, editor, THE FREEMAN

… his remarkable STUDIES IN MUTUALIST POLITICAL ECONOMY… displays an admirable range of reading and the style invests the driest economic questions with a certain peculiar charm. –Ken MacLeod, author, FALL REVOLUTIONtrilogy

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 EconomyOrganization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution. 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).

CONTENTS

  • Preface

Part One–Theoretical Foundations: Value Theory

  • Chapter One–The Marginalist Assault on Classical Political Economy: An Assessment and Counter-Attack.
    • A. Statement of the Classical Labor Theory of Value
    • B. Vulgar Political Economy, Marginalism, and the Issue of Ideological Motivation
    • C. The Marginalists versus Ricardo
    • D. Exceptions to the Cost-Principle: The Classicals in Their Own Defense
    • E. The Marshallian Synthesis
    • F. Rothbard versus the Marshallian Synthesis
  • Chapter Two–A Subjective Recasting of the Labor Theory of Value
  • Chapter Three–Time-Preference and the Labor Theory of Value

Part Two–Capitalism and the State: Past, Present and Future

  • Chapter Four–Primitive Accumulation and the Rise of Capitalism
    • Introduction
    • A. The Expropriation of Land in the Old World
    • B. Political Preemption of Land in Settler Societies
    • C. Political Repression and Social Control in the Industrial Revolution
    • D. Mercantilism, Colonialism, and the Creation of the World Market
    • Conclusion: The World We Have Lost–And Will Regain
    • Appendix: On the Necessity of Primitive Accumulation
  • Chapter Five–The State and Capitalism in the Laissez-Faire Era
    • A. Tucker’s Big Four: The Land Monopoly
    • B. Tucker’s Big Four: The Money Monopoly
    • C. Tucker’s Big Four: Patents
    • D. Tucker’s Big Four: Tariffs
    • E. Infrastructure
  • Chapter Six–The Rise of Monopoly Capitalism
    • Introduction
    • A. Liberal Corporatism, Regulatory Cartelization, and the Permanent Warfare State
    • B. Power Elite Theory
    • C. Monopoly Capital and Super-Profits
    • D. Socialization of Costs as a Form of Cartelization
  • Chapter Seven–Monopoly Capitalism and Imperialism
    • Introduction: Elite Reaction to Crisis (With Digression on Maldristribution of Income)
    • A. Open Door Imperialism Through the 1930s.
    • B. The Bretton Woods System: Culmination of Open Door Empire
    • C. Export-Dependent Monopoly Capitalism (with Digression on Economy of Scale)
  • Chapter Eight–Crisis Tendencies
    • Introduction
    • A. Accumulation Crisis
    • B. Fiscal and Input Crises
    • C. Legitimation Crisis
    • D. Neoliberal Reaction and Political Repression
    • E. Built-In Limits to Effectiveness of Neoliberal Reaction
    • F. Neoconservatism as Attempted Defense Against Legitimation Crisis
    • G. The Frankfurt School: Fascism and the Abandonment of the Law of Value
    • H. Global Political Crisis of Imperialism

    Part Three–Praxis

    • Chapter Nine–Ends and Means
      • A. Organizing Principles
      • B. Getting There

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand”

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 Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand”.

$2.00 for the first copy. $1.50 for every additional copy.

This essay, originally pub­lish­ed by Red Lion Press in 2001, was one of Carson’s first ground-breaking contributions to the revival of Mutualist ideas within today’s anarchist and libertarian milieus. It has been re-issued in a beautiful new printing by ALL Distro.

“Manorialism commonly, is recognized to have been founded by robbery and usurpation; a rul­ing class established itself by force, and then com­pel­led the peasantry to work for the profit of their lords. But no system of exploitation, including cap­it­al­ism, has ever been created by the action of a free market. Capitalism was founded on an act of rob­bery as massive as feudalism. It has been sus­tain­ed to the present by continual state inter­ven­tion to protect its system of privilege, with­out which its survival is unimaginable.

“The current structure of capital ownership and org­an­iz­ation of production in our so-called ‘market’ eco­n­omy, re­flects coercive state intervention prior to and ex­tra­n­e­ous to the market. From the outset of the industrial re­vol­ut­ion, what is nostalgically called ‘laissez-faire’ was in fact a sys­t­em of continuing state intervention to sub­sid­ize ac­cum­ulation, guar­ant­ee privilege, and maintain work discipline.

“Aworld in which peas­ants had held onto their land and property was widely distributed, capital was freely available to laborers through mutual banks, productive tech­nology was freely avail­able in every country without pat­ents, and every people was free to develop locally without col­on­ial robbery, is beyond our imagination. But it would have been a world of decentralized, small-scale production for local use, own­ed and controlled by those who did the work — as dif­fer­ent from our world as day from night, or freedom from slav­ery. . . .”

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 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).

Mutualism, as a variety of anarchism, goes back to P.-J. Proudhon in france and Josiah Warren in the u.s. It favors, to the extent possible, an evolutionary approach to creating a new society. It emphasizes the importance of peaceful activity in building alternative social institutions within the existing society, and strengthening those insti­tut­ions until they finally replace the existing statist system; doing whatever is possible (in the words of the Wobbly slogan) to “build the structure of the new society within the shell of the old” before we try to break the shell.

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The Network Economy as New Mutualism

What kinds of economic arrangements does anarchism, as such, want? An old question given new vitality in an age in which networks of autonomous individuals and groups have become more and more relevant and difficult for overlords in capital and in the state to control. In many ways, the new economy of networks, horizontal and decentralized, is the quintessence of the ideas of anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker, who thought that free competition would be “perfect” enough to wipe out profit in exchange, rent on land, and interest on lent credit. That is because monopolization, the source of these kinds of exploitative income, is rendered impossible (or nearly so) by an economy in which a PC and relatively little capital can make each individual her own capitalist business (See Kevin Carson‘s The Homebrew Industrial Revolution and The Desktop Regulatory State). We simply no longer need our overseers. We can employ Josiah Warren’s Cost Principle as a tool for analyzing the network economy and the kinds of hopes we may have for it as libertarians.

Tucker in particular constantly reiterated his position that if the Cost Principle (which he regarded as the definitive principle of socialism and which would necessarily mean the absence of usury) could not be realized by libertarian means, by free competition and the demise of privilege, that it was not to be realized at all. In the individualist anarchist free market, people, credit and resources would move so freely and fluidly, price signals would become so timely and clear, that before long selling goods or services significantly above cost would be rendered impossible. (Few free market libertarians of today share Tucker’s antipathy to “usury,” as such, but many now share his view of capitalism, placing it in opposition to free markets and competition.) It was thus privilege, restrictions on competition of all kinds, that allowed a capitalist/monopolist class to underpay labor and to overcharge for their products. But new technologies and the networked economy they yield are making the monopolies of old impossible by leaving regulatory and legislative attempts to limit competition powerless.

As Yochai Benkler observes of “the effects of [the] networked information economy on individual autonomy,” individuals are more free to operate without the permission of the “powers that be,” outside of the proper channels — be they licensing boards, regulatory bodies, or established corporations. The effects on competition will be sweeping; for where once starting a new business, producing a product, etc., required an appeal to tribute-takers in government and in formalized, capitalist institutions, it has today become easier than ever to evade the reaches of those tollways. Similarly, Siva Vaidhyanathan argues that the emergence of the Internet and “the nature of distributed systems” themselves have brought with them their own culture or ideology. He invokes John Dewey’s notion of “habits of thought” to suggest that 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 for 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. Law professor Butler Shaffer uses the metaphor of “a giant centrifuge” to describe the current trend toward decentralization and away from the pyramidal structures of corporate and government power that we’ve had to date. With “vertically-structured” institutions in decline, being replaced by networks, society is “spinning increased decision-making authority and control into the hands of individuals.” Such was the vision of the individualist anarchists — if everyone had the ability to become a capitalist, that is, had equal access to the means of production, then exploitation would cease to be a significant source of individual wealth. Everyone would have to work for his keep, but since no one could exert the power of the state to create “class laws,” limiting competition, relatively equal exchange would obtain as the general rule. If the individualists criticized vulgar proponents of “laissez faire” for their inconsistencies, then they also (and even more strenuously) excoriated vulgar socialists for prescribing an absolute equality of material conditions, to be reached through the absolute authority of a central state. Remove coercive privilege, they argued, and whatever result prevailed would necessarily be the most just. Theirs 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. This is among the chief reasons why the propaganda of largeness, vertical integration and hierarchy have all but completely overtaken the conversation surrounding efficiency. Anarchists like Benjamin Tucker certainly were not hostile or opposed to largeness per se, in and of itself, and neither should we anarchists of today be. Still, Tucker gainsaid the claim that large scale production for a modern society would required huge accumulations and concentrations of capital. Anticipating the emancipation and empowerment of individuals that we’re witnessing today, Tucker wrote, “Processes are expected to become cheaper, more compact, and more easily manageable, until they shall come again within the capacity of individuals and small combinations.” He confidently looked forward to a reversal of the centralization and hierarchy he saw in his own day, which has arguably only been compounded in the hundred plus years since.

With the digitization of the economy generally, and its attending vulnerability and breakdown of monopoly rents, intellectual property has become increasingly important for the monopolist class as a safeguard of those rents. Pitted against the development of the new economy, intellectual property will be a last-ditch effort both for entrenched models in domestic economies and for established, developed nations in the global economy. Expansions of technology have made a post-scarcity world of abundance not only possible, but very likely to come to fruition at some stage in the future. Standing in the way, however, is the capitalist attempt to pen in that technology, which as an abstract thing contained in ideas must rely on increasingly draconian intellectual property measures. Scholars such as C. Ford Runge and Edi Defrancesco have done a great service in observing the analogy between the enclosure of common lands and the attempt to subject ideas — specifically “relating to genomics, computer software, and scientific data” — to monopoly ownership standards.

We are now approaching a breaking point, a culmination of long-unfolding trends that will witness the old forces of rigid hierarchy and centrality collide with the dynamism of the networked, freed market. Outcomes, wins and losses, will turn upon the fulcrum of the steps that we take as free, autonomous individuals to leverage and pry ever more open the cracks that we find in the old infrastructure. New currencies (giving life to the mutualistic notions of our anarchist forebears), new organization models, new definitions of liberty and community — all are issuing forth from technological developments of only very recent vintage. Because of its defining flexibility, anarchism is the thing to rise and meet what’s next.

You can help support C4SS by purchasing a zine copy of M. George van der Meer’s “The Network Economy as New Mutualism“.

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Support C4SS by subscribing to the “Market Anarchy Zine Series”

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 subscription or bundle of the “Market Anarchy Zine Series“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS by subscribing to the ”Market Anarchy Zine Series“.

$9.00 for 6 months.  $18.00 for one year.

The Market Anarchy series was created to republish and showcase historical and contemporary articles that highlight our relation to the revolutionary left and explain Market Anarchist theory in general terms.

  • Purchase titles at individual prices, typically about $1.00 / ea.
  • Or get our full print run: 36 Market Anarchy zines for $$25.00 (or only $$20.00 when you order multiples).

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Support C4SS with “The Industrial Radical”

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 “The Industrial Radical: Liberty the Mother not the Daughter of Order“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with ”The Industrial Radical: Liberty the Mother not the Daughter of Order“.

$7.00 for one issue. $4 for every additional issue. $14.00 for six months. $28.00 for a year.

The Industrial Radical is devoted to radical libertarian political and social analysis in the tradition of Benjamin Tucker’s 1881-1908 Liberty, Emma Goldman’s 1906-1917 Mother Earth, and Murray Rothbard’s 1965-1968 Left & Right.

For too long libertarians have treated market anarchism almost the way Scientologists treat Xenu, as an “esoteric doctrine” to which one is introduced only after one has thoroughly assimilated some more moderate form of libertarianism — as though anarchism were an impediment rather than an asset in making the case for liberty.

Of course this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: potential converts find anarchism off-putting because they don’t know what it is, and they don’t know what it is because we avoid explaining it. In fact market anarchism can and should be one of libertarianism’s greatest selling-points, highlighting a radical and inspiring alternative to the present system rather than some variant of economic conservatism. It’s time to put market anarchism front and center in our educational efforts, time to start making it a familiar and recognizable position — while at the same time continuing to educate ourselves and exploring new horizons in market anarchist thought.

The Industrial Radical does not impose a party line; we welcome discussion and vigorous debate from all quarters, and in particular from other anarchists and radical libertarians from the left and from the right.

  • Purchase titles at individual prices, $7.00 per issue.
  • Or get our full print run: 1 Anarchist Classics zines for $7.00 (or only $4.00 when you order multiples).

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Subsidy of History”

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 Subsidy of History“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Subsidy of History“.

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

This article — excerpted from Kevin Carson’s groundbreaking essay “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand” (2001) — examines capitalist eco­nom­ic privilege through the lens of the historical dispossession of workers and peasants, and the radically deformed markets dynamics struct­ur­ed by these systematic, consolidating transfers of wealth — opening up discussions on the role of the state in forging and shaping cor­porate power and in driving workers into sweat­shop labor; as well as the trans­formative possibilities of decentral­iz­ed, liberated markets freed from state-capitalist exploit­ation.

“Manorialism, commonly, is recognized to have been founded by robbery and usurpation; a rul­ing class established itself by force, and then com­pel­led the peasantry to work for the profit of their lords. But no system of exploitation, in­clud­ing cap­it­al­ism, has ever been created by the action of a free market. Capitalism was founded on an act of rob­bery as mass­ive as feudalism. It has been sus­tain­ed to the present by contin­u­al state inter­ven­tion to protect its system of privilege, without which its survival is unimaginable. The current structure of capital own­er­ship and org­an­iz­ation of production in our so-called ‘market’ eco­n­omy, re­flects coercive state intervention prior to and ex­trane­ous to the market. From the outset of the industrial re­vol­ut­ion, what is nostalgically called “laissez-faire” was in fact a system of continuing state intervention to sub­sid­ize ac­cum­ulation, guarantee privilege, and maintain work disci­pline. . . .”

“A world in which peas­ants had held onto their land and property was widely distributed, capital was free­ly available to laborers through mutual banks, productive tech­n­ology was freely avail­able in every country without pat­ents, and every people was free to develop locally without col­on­ial robbery, is beyond our imagination. But it would have been a world of decentralized, small-scale production for local use, own­ed and controlled by those who did the work — as dif­fer­ent from our world as day from night, or freedom from slavery. . . .”

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 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).

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Free Market as Full Communism”

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 Free Market as Full Communism: Two Essays on Mutual Ownership & Post-Scarcity Market Anarchism“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Free Market as Full Communism: Two Essays on Mutual Ownership & Post-Scarcity Market Anarchism“.

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

This collection includes two provocative essays by contemporary mutualist writer Kevin Carson. “Who Owns the Benefit? The Free Market as Full Communism,” explores the radical possibilities for market exchange and competition freed from capitalistic privilege and the burdens of artificial scarcity. “Capitalism Without Capitalists?” asks whether mutualistic markets will be driven to recreate the capitalist model by competitive logic, or whether peer production, decentralized ownership and unprivileged market exchange can bring about alternative incentives, and dynamics that disperse, rather than concentrating, wealth and progress.

“Just about everything we identify as problematic about corporate capitalism . . . results from the socialization of cost and risk and the privatization of profit. Why haven’t the cybernetic revolution and the vast increases in productivity from technological progress resulted in fifteen-hour work weeks, or many necessities of life becoming too cheap to meter? The answer is that economic progress is enclosed as a source of rent and profit. . . .

“As surprising as it might seem, there’s a strong parallel between this free market vision of abundance and the Marxist vision of full communism. Commons-based peer production is the core around which the post-capitalist economy will eventually crystallize. . . .”

“Bill also underestimates the different competitive dynamic that would result from a radically decentralized market. We are currently at one extreme of the pole: a centralized economy with production for large, anonymous commodity markets. A mutualist free market would be much closer to the other pole: a decentralized market of production for local use. . . .”

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 keeps a blog at mutualist.blogspot.com.

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