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What do other anarchists think of Kevin Carson, the Center for a Stateless Society, and related fields?

+1 vote
I'm curious about other anarchist critiques and opinions surrounding the ideas espoused by Kevin Carson, his writings for "The Center for a Stateless Society", and the related fields of anarchism, Marxism, and capitalism.

It would seem that some anarchists consider the ideas of Carson to be towing the line of anarcho-capitalism, appearing to have notoriety amongst @caps. Are these mutualist-individualist ideas / writings useful and relevant for anarchist thinkers? Or are they a misinterpretation of anarchist thought?
asked Mar 12, 2014 by rocinante (1,320 points)
My level of interest in anarchist economics is as low as my interest in Marxist economics. Carson, like other pro-property anarchists, is just not that interesting.

Just a quick FYI: one toes a line rather than towing it.
tangent - i am actually very interested in something that could be called an "anarchist economics", but have only found anything that could even begin down that road (at least in my estimation) in science fiction. for example tanith lee has a society in which people emote into machines for currency (drinking sapphire wine & don't bite the sun). cory doctorow has a book (don't remember the title), in which currency is social trustworthiness (ie if you do things that people like, you get credit). neither of these are utopian, but they're certainly not marxist. :)
Those both sound infinitely more interesting than anything coming from the CSS...
Dot : have you heard about "parecon" ?

I heard that many anarchists were interested by the theory, but always being very critic to many aspects. Like the fact that retribution (with or without money) would organize the production, and that it would be given according to the principle of "how much you work". Which is highly problematic and in contradiction with the anarchist-communist principle of "to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability". I never red much about parecon. But, at least they are not marxists and against private property. So it's maybe interesting.
Actually, Albert comes from a Marxist background, and he says something like "I'm a Marxist when it comes to economics and an anarchist when it comes to the State." And neither is particularly convincing. He's not against the state; in his book "Looking Forward" he calls for the creation of institutions of adjudication. His economics are even stupider than most mainstream Marxists; his idea of rewards according to effort is even more mystical than the Labor Theory of Value.
i have heard of parecon, and it's been all bad. (i'm sure there's some bias in there, but it's probably my bias too, so i've accepted it.)

1 Answer

0 votes
Markets imply work, compulsory labor that is done at the dictate of something outside of myself. Therefore, I reject them, and don't bother with anything that even closely resembles capitalism, despite the anarcho label in front of it.
answered Mar 12, 2014 by flip (3,980 points)
A market, to me, implies a voluntary exchange of goods and services. I don't get the compulsory part. Can you elaborate? BTW, I'm not suggesting that we currently have a free market.
Producing things or services for reasons other than ones own, ie. because the market dictates its need, means that one is alienated from this process. 'Alienated' in that the labor being exerted does not come from oneself and ones own desires, but from an external 'alien' source: the market.

A market implies that one cannot satisfies ones own needs or the needs of those they care about just by living, and instead need to have separate 'economic' activities. You are forced into it. Hence, compulsory.
Flip, your argument presumes the market has the power to agress and somehow coerce, or dictate, as you say. Government does this. Mobs do this. A market does not. You can choose to participate or not. If you can provide for yourself and family independent of a market, good for you. The market cannot kick down your door at night and make you buy a Big Mac. Or, shares in Facebook.

Your second sentence starting w Alienated, does not make sense to me. If , as you say, the labor comes from the market, so what? It's not coming from you. Right? Why is the market "alien"? The market, is other "yous". Are you an alien?  Like I said, this does not make sense to me as stated.

Last paragraph- also, well, illogical. Markets do not imply anything. When you say "satisfy your needs just by living" do you really feel you are that entitled?
No one is entitled to having their "needs" satisfied just by living. Where does this notion come from? What are needs anyway? Btw, I need a new car. Satisfaction, please! I even asked nicely. Damn, Guess I have step up the economic activities.
What do you mean by your statement other than wishful thinking?  Ie. I don't want to work, but I got needs!
forewarned, you are using a different definition of market than most people here, and one that is in synch with the anarcho-capitalists. this site has had plenty of exposure to those folks, and the conversations mostly have not been interesting or useful. so, i will attempt the following clarification, but probably not more after this.
the market - as a construct that is philosophical, economic, and social - does have the capacity to aggress, coerce, and dictate.
simply put, groups are different from individuals, and have a different impact on us, whether we want that to be the case or not.
markets do indeed imply things (just as personal computers imply mining, cheap labor, etc.).
i don't expect you to agree with any of the above, but if you are actually interested in learning about the difference between what you think and what anarchists think, then perhaps this is helpful in that regard.