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The Desktop Regulatory State (2016)

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 … Continue reading

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Toward Natural Society (1858)

This “Appendix” was printed with “The Inherent Evils of All State Govern­ments Demonstrated,” a special reprint of the “Vindication of Natural Society” (ACS # 6) cir­cul­at­ed by early English mutualists in 1858. The editors, while defending the philo­soph­ic­al Anarchism of the Vindication, viewed it as incomplete, con­demn­ing “Arti­fic­ial Society” without offering guidance on how it might be ended, or “Nat­ur­al Society” brought into practical being. They added this “Appendix,” to “briefly [enunciate] the principles through which ‘Natural Society’ may be gradually realized,” draw­ing on the work of the American individualists Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. The result was a fascinating commentary and document of early English mutualism.

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Socialism Without Statism (1887)

This booklet contains three provocative letters on socialism, government and property by the French mutualist journalist and historian Ernest Lesigne; three letters which constitute theses on freed-market anti-capitalism, and three defenses of a smallholder, co-operative economy as the only liberating … Continue reading

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The Homebrew Industrial Revolution (2010)

Published in 2010, by the author. 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, … Continue reading

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Organization Theory (2008)

Published in 2008 by the author. 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 … Continue reading

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Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (2005, 2007)

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.

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The Practicability of Mutualism (1926–1927)

“The Practicability of Mutualism,” a classic statement of Mutualist theory and practice by Clarence Lee Swartz, first appeared as a two-part serialized essay in one of Edward H. Fulton’s many anarchist newspapers, The Mutualist, published from Clinton, Iowa, in December … Continue reading

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The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand (2001)

The ground-breaking essay on contemporary mutualist economics by Kevin A. Carson. 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. . . .

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The Network Economy as New Mutualism (2013)

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.

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To Grow a Free Society (1902)

This booklet brings together a short conversation on Anarchism and Socialism, Liberty and Equality that appeared in the pages of the anarchist-communist newspaper FREE SOCIETY in early 1902. Ross Winn and A. LeRoy Loubal open with intriguing developments of the ideal of individual liberty, individual economic independence and common, co-operative wealth without voting, elections, the “central hand” of institutional machinery, or political government. In the central essay, the state-socialist and feminist Celia B. Whitehead challenges them for their plans for achieving equality without institutionalized government, asking, “How Will a Free Society Come, and How Will It Operate?” In replies, Winn, Loubal, and the feminist-Anarchist writer Albina L. Washburn each offer a different vision, one rooted in education and voluntary cooperation, one in resistance and decentralization, and one in mutualism and a strategy of counter-economics.