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 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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Support C4SS With Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?”

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 Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?

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The short fragment reprinted in this booklet, one of the most famous passages from Bakunin’s pen, is a widely quoted excerpt from his best-known essay, God and the State, which was itself an excerpt, written as Part II of a much longer planned book, to be entitled The Knouto-Germanic Empire. The incomplete manuscript was dis­covered in Bakun­in’s papers after his death, by his close friends and fellow anarchists Carlo Cafiero and Élisée Reclus, who translated the text into French and published what they could in 1882. English translations were later circulated by Anarchist publishers in the U.S. and England, including Benjamin Tucker, Henry Seymour and Emma Goldman.

“It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privi­leg­ed position to kill the mind and heart of men. The privi­leg­ed man, whether practically or economically, is a man de­prav­ed in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception, and is as applicable to entire nations as to clas­s­es, corporations and individuals. It is the law of equality, the supreme condition of liberty and humanity. . . . Con­sequ­ent­ly, no external legislation and no author­ity — one, for that matter, being inseparable from the other, and both tending to the servitude of society and the de­grad­at­ion of the legislators themselves. . . .”

“Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the author­ity of the bootmakers; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their know­ledge, re­ser­v­ing always my in­con­test­able right of criticism and censure. But I recognise no infall­ible authority; I have no absolute faith in any per­son. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my under­takings; it would im­med­iately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others. . . .”

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (1814–1876) was a Russian-born anarchist revolutionary, speaker, traveler and phi­l­o­sopher. Born into a noble family in Prya­mukh­ino, he was later stripped of his titles, imprisoned, condemned at differ­ent times to death, to life imprisonment, to hard labor, and exiled from France, Prussia, Saxony, Austria, Russia, and the First International for his radical speeches and rev­ol­ut­ion­ary activities. One of the founders of collect­iv­ist anarchism, a leading theorist of liber­tarian social­ism, a friend and student of Proudhon, an enemy of Marx and a fierce critic of auth­or­i­tar­ian social­ism, Bakunin was in­volved in revolution­ary up­ris­ings in Paris, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Lyon. An enor­m­ous influence on radicals throughout Russia, Eur­ope, and the Americas, he and his comrades in the anarchist faction of the Inter­nat­ion­al Working Men’s Association (1868–1872) are often credited as the principle founders of the social anarchist move­ment. Although constantly writing fiery pam­ph­lets, letters, short works and radical jour­nals, Bakunin never completed his ambitious plans for longer works on Anarchist philosophy, often re­mark­ing to his friends, “My life is but a fragment.”

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Support C4SS With Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?”

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 Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?

authority

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

The short fragment reprinted in this booklet, one of the most famous passages from Bakunin’s pen, is a widely quoted excerpt from his best-known essay, God and the State, which was itself an excerpt, written as Part II of a much longer planned book, to be entitled The Knouto-Germanic Empire. The incomplete manuscript was dis­covered in Bakun­in’s papers after his death, by his close friends and fellow anarchists Carlo Cafiero and Élisée Reclus, who translated the text into French and published what they could in 1882. English translations were later circulated by Anarchist publishers in the U.S. and England, including Benjamin Tucker, Henry Seymour and Emma Goldman.

“It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privi­leg­ed position to kill the mind and heart of men. The privi­leg­ed man, whether practically or economically, is a man de­prav­ed in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception, and is as applicable to entire nations as to clas­s­es, corporations and individuals. It is the law of equality, the supreme condition of liberty and humanity. . . . Con­sequ­ent­ly, no external legislation and no author­ity — one, for that matter, being inseparable from the other, and both tending to the servitude of society and the de­grad­at­ion of the legislators themselves. . . .”

“Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the author­ity of the bootmakers; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their know­ledge, re­ser­v­ing always my in­con­test­able right of criticism and censure. But I recognise no infall­ible authority; I have no absolute faith in any per­son. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my under­takings; it would im­med­iately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others. . . .”

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (1814–1876) was a Russian-born anarchist revolutionary, speaker, traveler and phi­l­o­sopher. Born into a noble family in Prya­mukh­ino, he was later stripped of his titles, imprisoned, condemned at differ­ent times to death, to life imprisonment, to hard labor, and exiled from France, Prussia, Saxony, Austria, Russia, and the First International for his radical speeches and rev­ol­ut­ion­ary activities. One of the founders of collect­iv­ist anarchism, a leading theorist of liber­tarian social­ism, a friend and student of Proudhon, an enemy of Marx and a fierce critic of auth­or­i­tar­ian social­ism, Bakunin was in­volved in revolution­ary up­ris­ings in Paris, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Lyon. An enor­m­ous influence on radicals throughout Russia, Eur­ope, and the Americas, he and his comrades in the anarchist faction of the Inter­nat­ion­al Working Men’s Association (1868–1872) are often credited as the principle founders of the social anarchist move­ment. Although constantly writing fiery pam­ph­lets, letters, short works and radical jour­nals, Bakunin never completed his ambitious plans for longer works on Anarchist philosophy, often re­mark­ing to his friends, “My life is but a fragment.”

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What is Authority? (1871)

The short fragment reprinted in this booklet, one of the most famous passages from Bakunin’s pen, is a widely quoted excerpt from his best-known essay, God and the State, which was itself an excerpt, written as Part II of a … Continue reading

Support C4SS with Nathan Goodman’s “The Knowledge Problem of Privilege”

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 Nathan Goodman‘s “The Knowledge Problem of Privilege“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Nathan Goodman‘s “The Knowledge Problem of Privilege“.

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

In this essay, Nathan Goodman (Center for a Stateless Society) discusses how the Knowledge Problems facing elites, “experts” or “representat­ives” recur not only in economics, but also in cultural conflicts over gender, disability, and other systems of structural social privilege. The danger of trying to make decisions for others, when cut off from the dispersed, tacit or local knowledge that they have, show how Hayekian limits on what we can know also apply to the the struggles and the challenges of other oppressed and marginalized people.

“IN HIS CLASSIC ESSAY, “THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE IN SOCIETY,” F. A. Hayek explains the concept of dis tributed knowledge. Every individual has unique knowledge shaped by their experiences and preferences, knowledge that may not be accessible to others, no matter how well educated they may be. But Hayek’s point about distributed knowledge applies to more than just economic issues. It also applies to social issues. . . .

“JUST AS WITH ECONOMICS, THESE SOCIAL PROBLEMS of epistemological hubris become bigger when government gets involved. By definition, politicians do not have the knowledge of everyone their policies will impact. But often, when marginalized groups are impacted, politicians become extra prone to ignore those from an affected population. . . .

“ULTIMATELY CALLS FOR PEOPLE TO CHECK THEIR PRIVILEGE are not an attempt to silence. Rather, they
are an attempt to get people to recognize the limits of their knowledge. Libertarians should have the humility to check our privilege, to listen to oppressed people who discuss their experiences, and to respect oppressed peoples’ rights to direct their own struggles for liberation. . . .”

Nathan Goodman is a writer and activist living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been involved in LGBT, feminist, anti-war, and prisoner solidarity organizing. He writes frequent commentaries for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org) and keeps a blog, Dissenting Leftist (dissentingleftist.blogspot.com).

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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 “Organization Theory

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 “Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective“.

$25.00 for the first copy. $20.00 for every additional copy.

This book applies the economic principles of individualist anarchism, as developed in Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, to the study of the large organization. It integrates the insights of mainstream organization theory into that framework, along with those of more radical thinkers like Ivan Illich, Paul Goodman, and R.A. Wilson. Part One examines the ways in which state intervention in the market, including subsidies to the inefficiency costs of large size and regulatory protection against the competitive consequences of inefficiency, skews the size of the predominant business artificially upward to an extent that simply could not prevail in a free market. Part Two examines the effects of such large organizational size on the character of the system as a whole. Part Three examines the internal pathologies and contradictions of organizations larger than a free market could support. And Part Four surveys the potential building blocks of an alternative, decentralized and libertarian economic order.

As long as free-market advocates continue to embrace a theory of the firm that is contradicted by the daily experience of millions of ordinary people, they will continue to be regarded as apologists for big business – and deservedly so. Carson does a brilliant job of showing how the swollen, hierarchical, exploitative firms that dominate our economy are the product not of the free market but of systematic government intervention on behalf of the corporate elite. Carson’s work offers a compelling alternative to both the right-wing package deal (embrace predatory capitalism in order to get the benefits of free markets) and the left-wing package deal (reject free markets in order to avoid the evils of predatory capitalism), and lays out an inspiring blueprint for workers and consumers to take back power from the bureaucrats and plutocrats. – Roderick T. Long, professor of philosophy, Auburn University

Kevin Carson’s book touches many of the key subjects regarding the transformation of our political economy into a post-capitalist, ‘peer to peer’ logic, examining not just the organisational logic of productive organizations, but also the transformation in the nature of machinery and capital goods (which are becoming more and more distributed and miniaturized) and the new culture of cooperation that is taking root in open design communities. I don’t think there is an equivalent book that look so seriously and deeply into the real potential of social and economic transformation, anchored in a detailed study of contemporary productive capacities. – Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation

Carson brings so-called ‘economies of scale’ down from the clouds so that we can compare them with different economies of different scales we might otherwise have enjoyed of states and corporations had not so helpfully inflicted a particular pattern of artificial bigness on us for nearly 200 years. He analyzes in great detail the top-down bossism of large-scale organizations. Conversant with a wide range of literature on management questions, he applies the Austrian theorem on economic calculation to a critique of corporate capitalism – an area where Austrians fear to tread. At the same time, Carson sketches out an alternate set of arrangements – without large-scale accumulations of political-economic power. All who have followed this book’s emergence will be very happy to see it in its final form; not least because of the work’s systematic and synoptic vision, which brings empirical reality into focus in reltion with the relevant theory. – Joseph Stromberg, Independent Institute

Kevin Carson’s new book offers another remarkable contribution to the theory of the freed market, and his defense of cottage industry and cooperative organization strikes a powerful blow against the ideological underpinnings of Progressive managerialism and state capitalism – an ideology shared by the statist Left and Right, and by all too many libertarian apologists for actually-existing capitalism. In the individualist tradition we have written a great deal about the need for consensual and respectful free association, but not nearly enough about just what our organizations, networks, and cooperative projects might look like in a world free from the coercion of the State; Carson argues exhaustively and persuasively for a vision of a cooperative, localized, green and durable economy – a vision which calls libertarians back to our historical roots in the radical (anarchistic Left), while prodding us forward to a new and fuller understanding of the full social and economic implications of radical freed-market ideas. – Charles Johnson, Molinari Institute

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: State Capitalist Intervention in the Market

  • A Critical Survey of Orthodox Views on Economy of Scale
    • Cross-Ideological Affinity for Large-Scale Organization
    • Chandler, Galbraith, and Push Distribution
    • Williamson on Asset-Specificity
    • Appendix A. Economy of Scale in Development Economics
  • A Literature Survey on Economies of Scale
    • Economies of Firm Size
    • Economies of Plant Size
    • The Comparative Significance of Scale Economies and Organizational Efficiency
    • Increased Distribution Costs
    • The Link Between Size and Innovation
    • Economy of Scale in Agriculture
    • Conclusion
  • State Policies Promoting Centralization and Large Organizational Size
    • The Corporate Transformation of Capitalism in the Nineteenth Century
      • The Nineteenth Century Corporate Legal Revolution
      • Subsidies to Transportation and Communication Infrastructure
      • Patents and Copyrights
      • Tariffs
    • Twentieth Century State Capitalism
      • Cartelizing Regulations
      • Tax Policy
      • The Corporate Liberal Pact With Labor
      • The Socialization of Corporate Cost
      • State Action to Absorb Surplus Output
      • Neoliberal Foreign Policy

Part Two: Systemic Effects of Centralization and Excessive Organizational Size

  • Systemic Effects of State-Induced Economic Centralization and Large Organizational Size
    • Radical Monopoly and Its Effects on the Individual
    • Systemic Effects on Institutional Culture
    • The Large Organization and Conscript Clienteles
    • The New Middle Class and the Professional – Managerial Revolution
    • Postscript: Crisis Tendencies
    • Appendix. Journalism as Stenography
      1. Scott Cutlip
      2. Justin Lewis
      3. Sam Smith
      4. Harry Jaffe
      5. The Daily Show
      6. Brent Cunningham
      7. Avedon Carol

Part Three: Internal Effects of Organizational Size Above That Required for Optimum Efficiency

  • Knowledge and Information Problems in the Large Organization
    • The Volume of Data
    • The Distortion of Information Flow by Power
    • Conclusion and Segue to Chapter Six
    • Appendix. The NHS’s IT Program as an Example of Systematic Stupidity
  • Agency and Incentive Problems within the Large Organization
    • Introduction
    • Mainstream Agency Theory
    • Radical Agency Theory
    • Summary
    • Toilet Paper as Paradigm
  • Economic Calculation in the Corporate Commonwealth (the Corporation as Planned Economy)
    • The Divorce of Entrepreneurial from Technical Knowledge
    • Hayek vs. Mises on Distributed Knowledge
    • Rothbard’s Application of the Calculation Argument to the Private Sector
    • Conclusion
    • Appendix. “The End of the Quarter Shuffle”
  • Managerialism, Irrationality and Authoritarianism in the Large Organization
    • The Corporate Form and Managerialism
    • Self-Serving Policies for “Cost-Cutting,” “Quality” and “Efficiency”
    • The Authoritarian Workplace: Increased Hierarchy and Surveillance
    • Authoritarianism: Contract Feudalism
    • Authoritarianism : The Hegemony of “Professionalism”
    • Motivational Propaganda as a Substitute for Real Incentives
    • Appendix A. Blaming Workers for the Results of Mismanagement
      1. Senators Were Warned of Lexington Air Controller Understaffing
      2. Dian Hardison. “I F—ing Warned Them!”
      3. MSHA Makes The “Wrong Decision” To Blame Workers For Accidents
      4. Labor Relations in the Health Care Industry for Nurses
    • Appendix B. Corporate Rhetoric vs. Corporate Reality: The Case of “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap
  • Special Agency Problems of Labor (Internal Crisis Tendencies of the Large Organization)
    • Introduction
    • The Special Agency Problems of Labor
    • Labor Struggle as Asymmetric Warfare
    • The Growing Importance of Huma n Capital : Peer Production vs . the Corporate Gatekeepers
    • Austrian Criticism of the Usefulness of Unions
    • Appendix A. Sabotage in a London Nightclub: A Case Study
    • Appendix B. Yochai Benkler on Open – Mouth Sabotage : Diebold and Sinclair Media as Case Studies in Media Swarming
    • Appendix C. DeCSS as an Example of Media Swarming
    • Appendix D. Open-Mouth Sabotage, Cont.: Alisher Usmanov as a Case Study in Media Swarming
    • Appendix E. Open Mouth Sabotage, Cont.: Wikileaks as a Case Study in Media Swarming
    • Appendix F. Stupid White Men as a Case Study in Media Swarming
  • Attempts at Reform from Within: Management Fads
    • New Wine in Old Bottles
    • Lip Service and Business as Usual
    • Management by Stress
    • Dumbing Down
    • Conclusion and Segue to Part Four
    • Appendix. The Military Origins of Quality Control

Part Four: Conjectures on Decentralist Free Market Alternatives

  • The Abolition of Privilege
    • Reciprocity
    • Privilege and Inequality
    • Specific Forms of Privilege, and the Effect of Their Abolition
      1. The Credit Monopoly
      2. Artificial Property Rights in Land
      3. Patents and Copyrights
      4. Occupational Licensing and Safety Codes
    • Appendix. Reciprocity and Thick Libertarianism
  • Structural Changes: The Cost Principle
    • Introduction
    • Peak Oil and the “Long Emergency”
    • The Scale of Possible Savings on Energy Inputs
    • Path Dependency and Other Barriers to Increased Efficiency
    • The Cost Principle and the Work-Week
    • The Cost Principle and Local Autonomy
  • Dissolution of the State in Society
    • Revolution vs. Evolution
    • Dialectical Libertarianism and the Order of Attack
    • The “Free Market” as Hegemonic Ideology
    • Gradualism and the “Magic Button”
    • “Dissolving the State in the Economy”
    • Counter-Institutions
    • Counter-Institutions and Counter-Economics
    • The Two Economies and the Shifting Correlation of Forces
    • Privatizing State Property
  • Decentralized Production Technology
    • Introduction
    • Multiple-Purpose Production Technology
    • The Transition to Decentralized Manufacturing
    • Desktop Manufacturing Technology
    • Polytechnic
    • Eotechnic, Paleotechnic, and Neotechnic
    • Decentralized Agriculture
    • A Soft Development Path
  • Social Organization of Production: Cooperatives and Peer Production
    • Introduction
    • Self-Employment: Increased Productive Efficiency
    • Cooperatives: Increased Productive Efficiency
    • Innovation Under Worker Self-Management
    • Social Benefits of Worker Empowerment
    • Peer Production
    • The Social Economy and the Crisis of Capitalism
  • The Social Organization of Distribution, Exchange and Services
    • Demand-Pull Distribution
    • Local Exchange Systems: Household and Informal Economies
    • Certification, Licensing and Trust
    • Social Services
    • Mutual Aid and the Voluntary Welfare State
    • Education
    • Healthcare

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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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