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Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand

Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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4/23/2010 9:44:35 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
by Kevin Carson

Introduction

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.

Most such intervention is tacitly assumed by mainstream right-libertarians as part of a "market" system. Although a few intellectually honest ones like Rothbard and Hess were willing to look into the role of coercion in creating capitalism, the Chicago school and Randroids take existing property relations and class power as a given. Their ideal "free market" is merely the current system minus the progressive regulatory and welfare state--i.e., nineteenth century robber baron capitalism.

But genuine markets have a value for the libertarian left, and we shouldn't concede the term to our enemies. In fact, capitalism--a system of power in which ownership and control are divorced from labor--could not survive in a free market. As a mutualist anarchist, I believe that expropriation of surplus value--i.e., capitalism--cannot occur without state coercion to maintain the privilege of usurer, landlord, and capitalist. It was for this reason that the free market anarchist Benjamin Tucker--from whom right-libertarians selectively borrow--regarded himself as a libertarian socialist.

It is beyond my ability or purpose here to describe a world where a true market system could have developed without such state intervention. 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.

You can read the rest here: http://www.mutualist.org...
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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4/23/2010 9:51:43 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I won't respond because anything I say will just be reincorporated into what Ragnar says, especially in regards to this. It's amazing how much I can agree with an Objectivist sometimes.

But, I do have a question: do you ever have original thoughts, Reasoning? Why do you copypasta entire arguments? Don't you have your own spin and ideas about things? I'm sick of responding to Rothbard - I'd like to debate Reasoning for once.
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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4/23/2010 9:56:04 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/23/2010 9:51:43 AM, Volkov wrote:
I won't respond because anything I say will just be reincorporated into what Ragnar says, especially in regards to this. It's amazing how much I can agree with an Objectivist sometimes.

But, I do have a question: do you ever have original thoughts, Reasoning? Why do you copypasta entire arguments? Don't you have your own spin and ideas about things? I'm sick of responding to Rothbard - I'd like to debate Reasoning for once.

This is a main concern I have with you, also, Reasoning. At least paraphrase for us ;)
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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4/23/2010 11:54:11 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
It is not a "privilege" to own land that one has mixed their labor with or bought, so there goes landlord. It is a right. And state protection, under capitalism, is paid for or does not occur, it is not subsidized.

It is not a "privilege" to loan out one's own money at interest under a contract with specific penalties for defaulting. It is a right. And state protection, under capitalism, is paid for or does not occur, it is not subsidized.

It is not a privilege to own one's invention. It is a right. And state protection, under capitalism, is paid for or does not occur, it is not subsidized.

The sins of systems that come before capitalism are none of capitalism's responsibility (and the 19th century was not capitalism, though it was close). Property rights however cannot be secured without adverse possession laws. Someone who has been mixing their labor all their life with land that they themselves stole from no one has a better claim to it than the products of the loins of some crime victim centuries ago. The possibility of someone discovering they were such a product and taking your land is a disincentive to important investments.

Under capitalism, workers cooperatives are not illegal. They tend to fail, but this is because they are inefficient, not because of any state interventions (Interventionists tend to love the idea of such models incidentally, they are probably helped by the state's rules just like privileged unions are permitted to cripple the property rights of businessmen). Scratch that, definitely helped at least in the case of medical marijuana, many states have laws forbidding all models except the "coop" model for dispensaries.

I do not recall ever having selectively borrowed anything from Benjamin Tucker.

It is not a "true market system" in which so-called "peasants" do not retain the ability to trade away "their land," nor in which they are permitted to attempt original acquisition on land that is presently owned by someone else in order to make such land "theirs," nor in which someone else is permitted to use my property, intellectual or otherwise, without my permission, nor in which no one is permitted to contract with a businessmen to centralize their labor for larger-scale production under a proprietary model.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.