kevin carson

kevin carson

[nw arkansas]


intro’d to Kevin via this suggestion of his:

David de Ugarte/Las Indias work on phyles []:

Las Indias is the result of the Spanish-speaking cyberpunk movement. Originally a civil rights group, during the late 90s it became strongly influenced by Juan Urrutia’s “Economics of Abundance” theory. Very soon, we linked “abundance” with the idea of empowerment in distributed networks. We are very clear on this point: it is not the Internet by itself, it is the distributed P2P architecture that allows the new commons. As one of our old slogans put it: “Under every informational architechture lays a structure of power.” Re-centralizing structures – as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Megaupload, etc. do around their servers – weakens us all. The blogosphere, torrents, freenet, etc. are tools of empowerment.

& John Robb’s Economies as a Social Software Service. The module-platform… []:

The adjacent possible is essentially the set potential futures that diverge from the current path of social development or biological evolution, that can be exploited at any specific time.

shoot – both David & John reference competition.. in this first little intro to them. ugh.


[so much on kevin’s page.. trying to clean up a bit.. adding links.. moving around.. might take a while]

desktop reg state

thermidor of progressives


center for stateless society

mutual exchange symposium

carson laziness law

kevin pages: 


via Kevin 2014:

the anarchist thought of Colin Ward:

Ward’s description of anarchism…

Anarchism (the origin of the word is the Greek phrase meaning contrary to authority) seeks a self-organising society: a network of autonomous free associations for the satisfaction of human needs. Inevitably this makes anarchists advocates of social revolution, for the means of satisfying these needs are in the hands of capitalists, bureaucratic, private or governmental monopolies.

have/need ness – as govt

Much like David Graeber, Ward can be said to have taken an anthropological approach to anarchism. Ward’s approach to anarchism, and his understanding of its basic concepts, is a direct outgrowth of his experience of everyday life as a working person, and his personal observation of others going about their normal business.

As David Goodway describes it: “It is Ward’s vision of anarchism, along with his many years of working in architecture and planning, that account for his concentration on ‘anarchist applications’ or ‘anarchist solutions’ to ‘immediate issues in which people are actually likely to get involved….”

deep enough, simple enough, open enough.. ness for the 99. and 1.

[kevin’s insights have resonated so much over the years.. but perhaps even moreso.. intro’d me to david.. grazie]

Ward is primarily concerned with the forms of direct action, in the world of the here-and-now, which are “liberating the great network of human co-operation.” Back in 1973 he considered that “the very growth of the state and its bureaucracy, the giant corporation and its privileged hierarchy… are… giving rise to parallel organisations, counter organisations, alternative organisations, which exemplify the anarchist method”; and he proceeded to itemise the revived demand for workers’ control, the de-schooling movement, self-help therapeutic groups, squatter movements and tenants’ co-operatives, food co-operatives, claimants’ unions, and community organisations of every conceivable kind. During the following thirty years he additionally drew attention to self-build activities (he was been [sic] particularly impressed by achievements in the shanty towns in the poor countries of Latin America, Africa, and Asia), co-operatives of all types, the informal economy, and LETS….

This set him apart from the rest of the writers in the Freedom Press Group; his preoccupation with everyday life and ordinary people solving practical problems didn’t fit in with their conception of anarchism at all.

Ward had no use for an anarchism that didn’t grow from the practical experience of everyday life:

anarchism ness



find/follow Kevin:

link twitter

no longer

now: @CPostcapitalism

New Municipalism Commons-based local economies Systemic Transition

kevin writes for center for stateless society

wikipedia small


Kevin Carson describes his politics as on “the outer fringes of both free market libertarianism and socialism.” He has identified the work of Benjamin Tucker,Thomas Hodgskin, Ralph Borsodi, Paul Goodman, Lewis Mumford, and Ivan Illich as sources of inspiration for his approach to politics and economics. In addition to individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker’s “big four” monopolies (land, money, tariffs, and patents), Carson argues that the state has also transferred wealth to the wealthy by subsidizing organizational centralization, in the form of transportation and communication subsidies. He believes that Tucker overlooked this issue due to Tucker’s focus on individual market transactions, whereas Carson also focuses on organizational issues. The theoretical sections of Studies in Mutualist Political Economy are presented as an attempt to integrate marginalist critiques into the labor theory of value. Carson has also been highly critical of intellectual property. The primary focus of his most recent work has been decentralized manufacturing and the informal and household economies. In response to claims that he uses the term “capitalism” incorrectly, Carson says he is deliberately choosing to resurrect what he claims to be an old definition of the term in order to “make a point.” He claims that “the term “capitalism,” as it was originally used, did not refer to a free market, but to a type of statist class system in which capitalists controlled the state and the state intervened in the market on their behalf.” Carson holds that “Capitalism, arising as a new class society directly from the old class society of the Middle Ages, was founded on an act of robbery as massive as the earlier feudal conquest of the land. It has been sustained to the present by continual state intervention to protect its system of privilege without which its survival is unimaginable.” Carson argues that in a truly laissez-faire system, the ability to extract a profit from labor and capital would be negligible. Carson coined the pejorative term “vulgar libertarianism,” a phrase that describes the use of a free market rhetoric in defense of corporate capitalism and economic inequality. According to Carson, the term is derived from the phrase “vulgar political economy,” which Karl Marx described as an economic order that “deliberately becomes increasingly apologetic and makes strenuous attempts to talk out of existence the ideas which contain the contradictions [existing in economic life].”

and now 

wikipedia small

Kevin Carson is an American political writer and blogger. While he originally identified as a mutualist, he now describes himself as an anarchist without adjectives. He works as a Senior Fellow and Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory at the Center for a Stateless Society. Carson coined the pejorative term “vulgar libertarianism” to describe the use of free market rhetoric in defense of corporate capitalism and economic inequality

kevin on anarchism w/o adj

center for stateless society


interview april 2013:

Tech Against the State

both books are about of ephemerialization (short termed) of tech, reduction of productive scale, and decentralization and distribution  – The Homebrew Industrial Revolution – as applied to physical manufacturing of tangible goods   and  -The Desktop Regulatory State –  as appliced to the ways network organization empowers individuals to take on large institutions in ways that previous required counterveiling power of other large institutions

11 min – stygmergic organization – doesn’t require organization by any central authority, or any social negotiation to come to agreement before they can act. each person is free to act w/o waiting for permission. wikipedia’s editing process a good example. any individual contribution immediately becomes the property of the entire community/network.

16:45 – sounds like school – and fried’s rework – in order to get anything done – people have to wait till they get home and use open source…

17:30 – bitcoin.. main function of good local alternative currency is to be a denominator of value for exchange not a store of value. a way of putting people in touch w/each other when not much money around. bitcoin is a stored value. bitcoin is good for artificially building trust.. but for a local economy.. need a way for people who don’t have money to turn their skills into a source of consumption

LETS systems – not very good at facilitating exchange either.. you have to start out with federal reserve and exchange for local berchshire dollars, etc, so basically a green/yuppified green stamp program. the whole pt of a good alt currency is to transform skills into purchasing powers for people who don’t already have money.

opposed to thomas greco – system.. set up like checking acct.. advances credit to people participating in the system.. so could start out with no money. system sets limit on neg balance. requires productive activity to reduce that neg balance before you can further participate in system..

22:50 – open source national security (chapter title) – a georgest style arrangement..

29 – carl hess – neighborhood power.. community technology – small scale technology (david morris)

30 min – agorism – skeptical about the value of large scale infrastructure. some would need long distant rail/highway.. but much lower in volume. we have so much now.. because all the state’s infrastructures made it artificially cheap. from 20′-30’s. basically a parasitic growth that sprung up because all this was there. most stuff in our economy doesn’t require long distance travel.

37 min – good thing of all this (ephemeral – short termed) tech is they make all this capitalist intensive production obsolete right here and now..

42 min – anarcho communism – only thing against – is its focus on macro

45 min – progressivism.. sort of direct ancestor of 20th cent liberalism.. ideology of managerial/professional classes..

books suggested – Kevin said most all of Colin Ward’s…



Speaking On Liberty

from 11 min – do we have to own property?

13 min – philosophy of mutualism.. i learned anarchy – basically – from being a human being, people who encounter problems are fairly smart at coming up with solutions.. if their mind hasn’t been distracted. people are basically cooperative and agreeable to one another. liars and outliers – bruce sneider – majority of people are honest and cooperative. insurance policy is built from relationships. influenced by Colin Ward – and talk of cooperativism.. and that’s what i call mutualism.. horizontal vs vertical. it’s not – who will prevent people from selling bad goods, it’s how will we help each other from doing that.

36 min – (thomas hodgekin, benjamin tucker, perdon) socialism – an economic system in which labor receives its full product.. in which the economy is based primarily on labor and the cooperatisation of labor.. removing state enforced monopolies.. and allowing free market to distribute full market back to labor.

47 min – cost is so low – for health care – because they’ve done away with insurance – mooney in ny – $88/mo

[haven’t listened to whole thing yet]


reading of Kevin’s writing 2013:

Authority is the Enemy of Rationality

sounds much like Illich – conviviality ness


Kevin shared this.. he’s listed as author on p2p site for ed commons:

8:45 – salvatore – we build multiple possible future narratives – transmedia – using a knowledge common w/k coins as currency

33 min – ajay – connecting students to struggles.. india.. work/study at camp sites..

37 min – penny – creativity as a commons – using collaborative ethnography – open field notes

39 min – naveed – pakistan – pharmaceutical co

43 min – salvatore – knowledge coins – reputation is assigned to you – you don’t produce.. each course/project produces 2 things: knowledge and project. all knowledge goes back into commons.. make their own recipes (curriculums) picking and choosing courses..

49 min – don – from hong kong – montreal – ny city – seoul – prof for 20 yrs; area of interest – benefit that mobile media/internet has contributed to ed. there is a potential for digital media to enhance ed, but i don’t think it’s happening.. i think the reverse is happening.. esp over the last 5 yrs. more of an interest of young people in social life as opposed to using tech for ed purposes. so i’m critical of new tech.. thinking it’s harming ed. being used to promote consumption. but digital media has a significant potential..

53 min – Bert saying – people here are trying to work toward good – but agrees there is a lot of noise

54 min – salvatore – where tech and large companies are taking us – almost enforcement of consumerism

1:04 – jon – it’s going to be absolutely necessary to create curiosity in people

yup – let’s simplify to that.. cut through the noise and do that..

1:08 = don brings up turkle – that we are no longer able to face to face talk – consumption and mediated culture feeds into this – also brought up present shock – rushkoff

so much danah boyd‘s it’s complicated – and it’s what we’re creating rather than what we’re capable of

1:16 – salvatore – so – don’t start with tech – start with human, ie: when we say ubiquitous – we don’t mean ubiquitous tech.. but simply ubiquitous..

1:27 – jon – practical learning different than ed.. i’m not that optimistic.. thinking alone together et al is pointing the way

whoa – a bit depressing..


Kevin on David Graeber‘s utopia of rules:


city ness


money ness


thermidor of progressives


jan 2016 – on capitalism

Corporate Capitalism As a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege | P2P Foundation…

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.

may 2016 – who’s confused about capitalism

This history of conquest, robbery and enslavement is in the basic genetic code of contemporary corporate capitalism.


But “capitalism” and “socialism” are terms with long, nuanced histories, and the conventional dictionary definitions are — at best — extremely time- and perspective-bound. And treating the dictionary definition of “socialism” as though it trumped the actual history of the socialist movement is — if you’ll excuse me — the very definition of “dumb.”


Socialism” was a system in which all political and economic power was in the hands of the working class. Nationalization and state control of the economy might be part of the transition process to socialism — if the state came under working class control. On the other hand, increasing state control of the economy when the state was controlled by capitalists would simply be a new stage in the evolution of capitalism in which the capitalists managed the system through the state in their own interest

Today the most interesting subcurrents in the socialist movement are those like the autonomism of Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, which sees the path to post-capitalism as “Exodus” — the creation of a new society around counter-institutions like commons-based peer production.

As capitalism evolves into socialism, new democratic social institutions will become the hegemonic form, and the state and business will be reduced to niches in a system characterized by the dominance of the new democratic institution


Things like local currencies, land trusts, cooperatives and commons-based peer production exist under capitalism today. But as capitalism reaches the limits of growth and confronts its terminal crises, these new socialist institutions will expand and knit together into a coherent whole that will form the basis of the successor system, and the remains of corporate and state institutions will be integrated into a system defined by its post-capitalist core.

not so sure
thinking shirky transaction law..

can we shift local currencies.. to no measuring…?.


building — has been at the heart of many versions of socialism and anarchism since their first appearance as organized movements two hundred years ago.

perhaps our problem….
transformation based on prefigurative ness… ie: adj possible
and counter-institution building… ie: r in r... like David sees multitude.. once famed/defined.. we not new…
begs system that regenerates self minute-ly [ie: cure ios city]

ie : break away from even …reverse ness.. interpretive labor ness


So maybe when Millennials say they hate capitalism and like socialism, but oppose state control of the economy, it’s not they who are confused. Maybe they have a better idea of what “capitalism” and “socialism” mean than people like Frauenfelder and Ekins.



on Paul Mason‘s postcapitalism.. but also Michel‘s p2p and also Douglas..

Artificial Abundance and Artificial Scarcity


1) The creation of non-monetary value is exponential

2) The monetization of such value is linear

In other words, we have a growing discrepancy between the direct creation of use value through social relationships and collective intelligence …but only a fraction of that value can actually be captured by business and money. Innovation is becoming social and diffuse, an emergent property of the networks rather than an internal R & D affair within corporations; capital is becoming an a posteriori intervention in the realization of innovation, rather than a condition for its occurrence; more and more positive externalizations are created from the social field.

What this announces is a crisis of value, most such value is beyond measure, but also essentially a crisis of accumulation of capital. Furthermore, we lack a mechanism for the existing institutional world to re-fund what it receives from the social world. So on top of all of that, we have a crisis of social reproduction: peer production is collective sustainable, but not individually.

perhaps a mechanism.. that values each person.. rather than measuring/refunding..

For all of this, we will need new policies, major reforms and restructurations in our economy and society.

we need naked streets

But one thing is sure: we will have markets, but the core logic of the emerging experience economy, operating as it does in the world of non-rival exchange, is unlikely to have capitalism as its core logic.

It can no longer grow extensively, but it cannot replace it by intensive growth. The history of slave empires and their transition to feudal structures is about to repeat itself, but in a different form.



What’s a bank to do when its money is no longer needed?…

back to Mason

(kevin on mason’s thinking – i think) These new social forms amount to a new system arising “within the shell of the old,” that will build a new system within the interstices of capitalism, coalesce and finally supplant it.

within the shell of the old..? why would we do that..? today?

(mason) Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swathes of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Parallel currencies, time banks, cooperatives and self-managed spaces have proliferated, and often as a direct result of the shattering of old structures after the 2008 crisis.

New forms of ownership, new forms of lending, new legal contracts: a whole business subculture has emerged over the past ten years, which the media has dubbed the ‘sharing economy’. Buzz-terms such as the ‘commons’ and ‘peer-production’ are thrown around, but few have bothered to ask what this means for capitalism itself.

this is only perpetuating broken cycles.. this is what perhaps looks good/inviting.. but what we have to resist most.. ie: bold enough to say..good bye cycle … good bye irrelevants

(kevin) And the stigmergic, horizontal forms of organization facilitated by networked communications have drastically reduced the transaction costs of coordinating action outside of traditional institutional hierarchy

we haven’t seen this anywhere yet.. have we…? true stigmergy..?

Like Bauwens and Holloway, he sees post-capitalism as something emerging primarily through an evolutionary process similar to the emergence of the feudal from the classical political economy and the capitalist from the feudal, rather than the revolutionary models of the twentieth century.

i think we won’t get to where we want.. to authentic stigmergy ness et al.. unless we leap.. (rather than evolve through stages).. for (blank)’s sake

(mason) – The most courageous thing an adaptive left could do is to abandon that conviction. It is entirely possible to build the elements of the new system molecularly within the old. In the cooperatives, the credit unions, the peer-networks, the unmanaged enterprises and the parallel, subcultural economies, these elements already exist.

entirely possible to build a new system.. but i’m thinking it will be more spiral than new system..

In fact what Mason calls the “wiki-state” is a lot like the “Partner State” that Bauwens advocates. It’s in keeping with a long line of visions that fall under the general heading of (in Comte’s phrase) “replacing the domination of man over man with the administration of things.” The wiki-state, much like the Partner State, is more a support platform than an issuer of commands.


Nevertheless I think Mason’s idea of the state’s role, at least in his ideal transition model, has all the faults of Negri’s recent detente with verticalism and his attempt to incorporate at least a partial verticalist element into his thought.

what is Negri‘s recent detente with verticalism…?

In short, a genuine free market would mean the near-total elimination of subsidized waste, a drastic shortening of industrial supply and distribution chains, a relocalization of industry, and a return to mixed-use communities built around walking, bicycling and public transit. In practical terms, that could well mean the reduction of energy use to a fraction of present levels.

i believe this is what Minsky was referring to when he said.. people would get smaller and more efficient..

(mason) The lesson is: a market-led strategy on climate change is utopian thinking.

(kevin) Well, no. First of all, the value of global oil and gas companies reflects massive up-front subsidies to unsustainable levels of extraction. The unsustainability of the current energy output bubble is suggested by the rapid dropoff in output from fracking wells after the first year, and the drastic downgrading of previous wild overestimates of energy reserves in places like the Bakken shale formation


what if all we’re doing.. trying to fix.. restore.. is off base.. ie: upcycle/use less rather than efficientize extractions.. i don’t know..


on carbon emissions et al

from fb michel:

studies report that transforming even a small part of industrial agriculture land to healthier, regenerative methods can lead to sequestering more than 100% of current CO2 emissions in just three years. And everything the soil sequesters that’s above what we’re currently emitting will come from — you guessed it — the excess in the atmosphere. That means we are literally beginning to reverse climate change in just a few years.


apr 2016 – techno utopianism

Techno-Utopianism, Counterfeit and Real 6: Accelerationism — Other Non-Capitalist…

Original Tweet:

wondering how techno-utopianism ness is coming.. and thinking on writing.. and you.. and vinay (esp his ref to reading cyberpunks if want to know what tech was made for – coupled w g satell? hack intended purpose ie: wash machine motor in developing countries..).. and thinking of yochai and paul.. and all.. saying we have to imagine better.. be bold enough better.. to get to a nother way… so perhaps.. thinking of a more sophis version of a nother way book.. partly because of ycombinator’s choice of researcher – only looking at phd research.. to research stuff that’s already been researched.. no..? whoa. and ugh.

imagining .. we can’t write about what already is.. (i mean we can.. much of what p2p is about.. right..? but will that get us to something diff.. looking at .. spending so much time looking at.. what already is.. i mean if it worked.. such have equity by now.. so to me.. all the ie’s are partial. and i’m not sure we can increment/partial ourselves to equity. well.. probably can.. over long period of time.. or with some sort of flukey luck of a sync)

so .. can we combine the two.. and write what m yunus (and countless others i’m sure) refers to as social fiction.. but it would simultaneously be ongoing.. and it would be the now and the future and the past… ever emergent.. et al.

beginning w pen name writer (that is doing/prototyping/experimenting with what writing is about.. but they are things not yet done/tried.. but written by someone else.. perhaps you).. ie: hosting life bits (long list there of details ie: blockchain, decision making, et al).. via self-talk as data. so like a more sophisticate/readable version of the site.. somewhere in the inbetween ness of what i’ve been doing.. and jerry’s brain.. and maria’s brainpickings.. et al

latest.. community of 150 (dunbar) w in same town as community of 1000 win town of 90 000

so we write it into being.. but the writing is prototyping the app.. ie: it’s self talk as data.. it’s what would ongoingly happens.. if we live this nother way

perhaps in regard to roger‘s latest – on cognition and ai – maybe word rec  (or our self talk) is enough for a(augmented)i – to do..


I wish somebody would do a thorough content analysis of Nazi German propaganda, searching for instances of “fighting for our freedoms.”

Original Tweet:



New material added to draft Ch. 1 of Exodus

Original Tweet:

(what used to be here.. ) added to exodus page

may 2014 – Class, “Identity Politics” and Stigmergy: Why We Don’t Need “One Big Movement” by kevin

Everything is done by the individual or small group most interested and motivated to do it, most qualified to do it, without waiting for anyone’s permission

a means that disengages from on hold-ness


All this means that it is totally unnecessary — not that it ever was necessary — for those seeking gender or racial justice to throw themselves under the bus and support the common economic-class agenda “Until After the Revolution” or “For the Good of the Party.” In fact it is counterproductive. The kind of forced unity and subordination to “important” issues that Ruper advocates is, paradoxically, the one way guaranteed to foster discord and division.


The practice of intersectionality — that is, taking into account the way different forms of oppression like class, race, gender, etc. oppression mutually reinforce each other and differentially affect different subgroups within activist movements — was not developed for the sake of a “more oppressed than you” competition. It was developed precisely in order to prevent internal fracturing of racial justice movements along class and gender lines, feminism along class and race lines, etc., by being mindful of the special needs of the least privileged within each movement.


via dave gray on fb.. reading.. seeing like a state.. for 2nd time

urban planners backed by state power are rather like tailors who are not only free to invent whatever suit of clothes they wish but also free to trim the customer so that he fits the measure
alex ryan (from words: cadastral usufruct interstripping)
words in kevin‘s communal property (2011):

(adding what used to be below to communal property page)


.@davidgraeber I wrote this. Not so much a different set of numbers as challenging the assumptions behind theirs:

Original Tweet:

Yes, computers, smart phones and big screen TVs are getting a lot cheaper. But a lot of much more fundamental stuff is not. “Since 1996, the prices of food and housing have increased by close to 60 percent, faster than the pace of inflation. Costs of health care and child care have more than doubled.


And for a rapidly growing segment of the working class, job security is becoming a thing of the past.


The things which are most essential to life and basic material security also happen to be the things which capitalists, in alliance with the state, have been most successful at enclosing with artificial property rights and extracting rents from. The landlord monopoly — by which vacant land is engrossed and enclosed and then either held out of use altogether, or opened to use only in exchange for tribute — is the obvious example.

bruce pascoe

But the healthcare industry is riddled with things like drug patents, licensing monopolies that restrict the number of practitioners, and corporate hospital chains protected by all kinds of government entry barriers and accreditation rackets that drive up overhead with enormously wasteful and irrational capital spending outlays and bloated senior management salaries. The health insurance industry is a racket in its own right.


College education has become a necessity mainly because of cooperative efforts by the state, employers and the higher education industry itself to inflate credentialing requirements for employment. And given this artificially created necessity, and the willingness of the student loan industry to ensnare new victims, higher education takes advantage of the ever higher tributes flowing in from its captive clientele to pour billions into wasteful building projects and grow the numbers and salaries of administrators at several times those of faculty and support staff. Students, meanwhile, incur a lifetime of debt peonage to pay this inflated tuition, with the likelihood of years of unpaid internships before they can finally get into a bottom-rung paid white collar position.


No, Henry VIII could never have obtained an air conditioner or computer. But Henry VIII didn’t spend half his month’s income on rent, or live a single paycheck away from eviction.



PRIMO NUTMEG #70: Kevin Carson – YouTube…

18 min – (?)’s defn; state replaced by voluntary associations of people..

19 min – i don’t think state is going to be overthrown by any single coherent ideology.. emerge spontaneously from a lot of diff building blocks..

21 min – if you don’t have a state picking up that enforcement cost on taxpayers dime (to keep out squatters/homesteaders).. under any varieties of anarchism.. there wouldn’t be large scale absentee landlordism.. and there wouldn’t be a state to enforce things.. like copyrights and patents.. so basically the things i consider the structural defining features of capitalism couldn’t exist w/o the state there..

23 min – i’m not that big on any unified ideology… getting back to that.. (i consider myself an)..

anarchist w/o the adjectives

kevin on anarchism w/o adj

thing..  (original authors): anarchism is united by desire to abolish state and capital w/o defining any particular post state economic model… basically just..

peaceful co existence and local experimentation..

once we get rid of the state.. and i’m all for that..

24 min – my main diff with the anarcho capitalists their analysis of the present system.. and features of it that they define as free market rather than state.. i think they’re currently in a position of defending concentrations of econ power that are status to their core .. and passing it off as anarchist or free market thought.. and that’s totally illegitimate.. if anything it’s destroying the potential appeal of anarchism.. and re enforcing the idea.. held by many on the statist left .. that if you abolished the state.. you would wind up with a world controlled by big business.. that’s basically chomsky’s argument for working w/in the state for the time being..

25 min – i’d say my labor theory of value is a minority within the kind of left libertarianism that c4ss reps.. but beyond that.. i actually think the material/concrete differences between classical labor theory of value and the marginalists and subjectivists.. is a lot less significant than the advocates of a subjective theory of value treat it as.. that was the point of studies in mutualist political economy

value report

26 min – in my first book i argued that in reality.. people like smith and ricardo and mill and the subjectivist thinkers like the austrians.. were actually saying a lot of the same things.. it was more of the.. blind men and the elephant .. where they were stressing diff aspects of the same reality

27 min – what the classical political economists noted.. and it’s totally true/valid.. that in a free market the natural tendency of market price is to gravitate towards production cost.. and as i understand it.. marginalism didn’t repudiate that..

28 min – early marginalists and other austrians served a big propaganda for capitalism in claiming to have disproved the labor theory of value.. and they were really touted and played up for having done that.. but if you look at the material issues between them.. in the classical/political economists.. they were actually providing what could have been a useful mech for refining classical/political econ and describing how its theory of value works

29 min – i think the federal reserve.. more than anything else.. is a state enforced bankers’ *cartel.. that delegates to banks the power to issue the medium of exchange.. and.. like any monopoly.. the main function of the monopoly is to enable the people who hold it to perform the function at an artificially high price..

*cartel: an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.

30 min – so we’ve got a system where the *money supply is lent into existence by interest.. and given that the fed reserve is a fundamentally statused system and empowering bankers to lend money supply into existence at interest is a fundamentally statused privilege.. i don’t think it would be any more statused to have a diff system.. where the **money supply was created by some means like social credit or.. bi.. that was simply deposited into existence.. in people’s bank accounts

*making up money

**why..? why do we need money?.. it’s only messing with us.. 10 day care style.. perpetuating the thinking that we have to measure/compare things..

31 min -it would be the exact same function of creating money out of thin air..*only it would be done without producing an automatic profit for bankers.. who aren’t actually lending their own money.. or undergoing any sacrifice.. or.. running a deficit by printing a green bag instead of selling govt bonds that bear interest.. would be another way to create money w/o interest being involved in creating the money supply..what it gets down to is.. money is artificially expensive for everyone that needs to borrow it but actually cheap for the bankers to create

*nice.. but still leaving a man made tech (made up money) in existence.. that is  perpetuate/ing not-us ness.. via broken feedback loop..

32 min – gold and silver about the same.. really another form of *fiat money.. the an caps are really big on the idea that the use of species money.. somehow evolved naturally out of barter because of the mutual **coincidence of wants problems.. people hit on some kind of artificially valuable commodity that they could use as a medium of ***exchange

*fiat – a formal authorization or proposition; a decree. .. an arbitrary order

**coincidence of wants


33 min – if you look at david graeber’s argument in debt.. that is just a total.. ahistorical nonsense.. there’s not historical evidence whatsover that that sort of thing actually existed… economies where most forms of productive activity have been driven into the cash nexus and market exchange governed by specie currency have only come into existence in highly statused situations.. like the early modern period when capitalism came about and the global european empires were looting the gold and silver of s america

david – debt

34 min – the existence of societies governed primarily by the cash nexus..using specie currency has always been associated with highly militarized empires..slavery .. and so forth.. it’s never something that originated spontaneously… *as a more natural state of affairs.. he looks at the kind of local credit clearing systems that existed in a lot of medieval villages in europe where there was no hard currency circulating so.. all the peasants producing food and all the artisans/craftsman and so forth would just run **continuous open tabs with each other.. keep a floating balance acct .. and if they ever settled up at all.. the only hard currency that would be involved would just be to settle the difference at the end of the year.. ***which would be a very tiny fraction of the amount of value exchanged.. and that’s similar to what thomas greco advocates today in a more digitized form..

*let’s look at .. no exchange thinking.. just a have/need ness.. a one ness.. w/o strings/measuring/comparing.. – again free people up to do their art and while you’re assuming good.. godin art law flows..

**nice.. but don’t even need that.. (in fact that’s messing with our minds/hearts).. if we’re all free.. has to be all of us..

***exactly.. so imagine.. if all are free .. in luxury free.. and in (10 day care) mindset free.. we’d take that tiny fraction to the limit of zero..

36 min – on getting rid of banks and having local currencies: that’s fine.. when i talked about alts like bi or citizen’s dividend.. that’s just under the assumption that as long as we do have a state regulated money supply.. that would be a much less onerous way of doing it.. but.. i’m an anarchist.. so yeah.. i’d definitely like to eliminate the role of the state altogether.. and if the an caps want to have their hard money based currencies.. and allow other people to *compete with unbacked currencies.. that’s fine.. as long as they have no state mech to enforce the gold standard .. i’m fine with whatever they want to do in their little enclaves..


37 min – on agreeing with the non-aggression principle: i don’t know about the language specifically.. because it’s become such a parody of the stereotypical an cap.. where someone on the left just has to say.. you’re violating my non-aggression.. and everybody snorts.. but i think there are a lot of diff concepts on the left.. like the right of equal liberty.. and so forth.. that do a lot of the same heavy lifting.. and i think.. at least something analogous to that is indispensable

38 min – the main flaw in it is.. is that it’s not self-applied.. there are other primary questions that have to be dealt with first in order to define even who the aggressor and who the defender are.. depending on the local property rights.. they system in land esp.. if it’s a mutualist or an comm system.. any attempt by an absentee landlord to collect rent from the people occupying/using the land would be.. an act of aggression against their possession rights.. whereas by an caps standards.. anyone occupying a piece of land within an area under their legal regime and refusing to pay rent would be committing an act of aggression against the landlord.. so you’ve got to settle that prior question before you can even agree on who the aggressor is

40 min – on proudhon’s property is theft: it’s something that can be read do many ways.. and a lot of the disagreement over it is semantic.. but i will say this.. any system whatsoever that has any set of principled rules regulating priority of access to land and who’s the rightful possessor and so forth.. will have some sort of distinction between natural and artificial property rights.. proudhon and what is property.. used the term property itself to refer to artificial property rights and used possession to refer to natural property rights…


41 min – other people use diff terminology.. even the rothbardian an caps would say.. property in land not derived from initial legit homesteading by actually putting the land to use is theft.. and that any absentee property claims and unoccupied and undeveloped land should be considered illegitimate and opened up to homesteading.. so .. there’s at least some very loose analogies of principle between diff anarchist schools that would overlap to a considerable extent on a venn diagram.. that affirm the principle that property in proudhon’s sense is theft even if they don’t agree on the details of defn

42 min – what proudhon was primarily writing about as property was the absentee property of the french land of nobility

do you believe in private property: again comes down to semantics.. i definitely believe in a right of possession by people of the land that they’re occupying and putting to use. . and of their own labor products.. a lot of people on the left wouldn’t refer to that as property at all.. they’d refer to it as possessory right.. and i absolutely do not believe in any kind of property founded on enclosure of unused land or absentee.. or of natural resources.. or of imposing feudal rents on the pre existing population of an area.. and i don’t believe in property claims like intellectual property either.. so..

43 min – if you want to call the forms of possession i do support private property.. then.. that’s fine.. i also believe in a lot of forms of collective/communal property that have been.. actually.. the predominate model of ownership historically.. like the open field.. village agriculture.. that has existed over most of the world until recently.. like the *mer system in russia that existed into the 20th cent

*mer – Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems

45 min – (on saying if you don’t wear your suit.. give away): straw man.. mutualism uses natural resources completely diff from property in reproducible or immovable items..  one is a product of individual labor and other is not.. there’s not a finite supply of suits that date back to when earth first came into existence.. people who want additional suits can labor to produce them or exchange their labor w someone else working to produce them.. whereas taking land out of the common and enclosing it .. is fundamentally different.. you shouldn’t be able to permanently take land out of use with no intention of using it.. when there’s a fixed supply

46 min – should people be allowed to own homes: i think so.. just as a matter of personal possession.. that’s perfectly legit.. i think the main diff with the an caps comes in .. esp with absentee property and agricultural land.. other kinds of large scale property like that.. what point should individual property be construed abandoned when it hasn’t been used for a certain period of time.. and the mutualist would definitely allow some standard of constructive abandonment after a period of years.. and there’s some an caps who i think would also do so.. but their threshold is probably a lot higher.. their standard of evidence is higher

48 min – so if possession is fluid in this way.. doesn’t it ultimately create a *tragedy of the commons: no.. for one thing i don’t really think much of that tragedy of the commons argument to begin with.. garret hardin himself repudiated it later.. wishing he’d titled it.. tragedy of the unregulated commons.. because he was totally unaware of the actual history of commons ownership.. and **elinor ostrom’s book.. governing the commons.. was written primarily as a repudiation of hardin ..based on actual/historical ie’s.. but no.. if you’ve got a system of local judicial norms enforced by the juries of the missionoge(?) applying an objective standard to when property’s been abandoned and is open for homesteading.. that’s not an unregulated commons.. if anything.. we’ve got a tragedy of the commons when people are permitted to withdraw unlimited quantities of land out of the common pool and fence it off and then hold it out of use.. as a matter of fact.. if you look at historically how common pastures were destroyed in england when the commons system did break down.. it was because the biggest/richest.. and most politically powerful landowners.. would put more their share of sheep/livestock on the common pasture in direct violation of the regulations that everybody else followed.. so it was the people who went on to enclose the commons and destroy them.. who were the main source of instability in the earlier system..

*tragedy of the commons


51 min – (on voluntaryism): i think it is screwing over future generations.. but if it’s something supported by the cultural norms of the majority of people.. it’s not worth neighboring communities going to war with them over.. i think things would work out to peaceful co existence.. because i think it would be too costly for any particular community to try to enforce its norms in a neighboring community with diff norms.. so they would just agree to disagree.. the main area of commonality i think.. is that there wouldn’t be any large scale enforceable ownership claims to unused/vacant lands simply because the enforcement costs would be so high.. even w/in an anomaly an cap society.. the absentee landlords wouldn’t be able to afford to hold the land out of use simply because the guard labor would be so expensive compared to whatever likely revenue the land could produce.. so it would be de facto taken over by squatters..

52 min – how would roads operate between these communities.. who would maintain them: i don’t have any one model that i would advocate.. obviously… the rights of way themselves.. are public/social property or whatever you want to call them.. and the work of maintaining the road infrastructure could be handled under any number of possible arrangement.. getting back to that.. anarchist w/o adjectives thing.. it might be undertaken by org’d syndicates of road repair crews operating on a networked basis and charging user fees or might be undertaken on a more communal basis w local communities providing vouchers for whatever their needs were on an in kind basis..might be carried out by business firms.. on a contractual basis for federations of local communities..


54 min – no prob with a non capitalist market for a toll road – as long as understood they didn’t own road/right of way.. just paying them for maintaining road

55 min – on others attacking if create a peaceful society ie: another country: historically doesn’t happen.. native americans.. was a huge mismatch of military tech.. and if you look today at trends of military tech.. the defensive/offensive arms race.. defensive techs that are cheap and small scale..enabling small countries afford america’s power projection.. render carrier groups obsolete..

59 min – tech in post state world: very high tech.. but also very localized and crafts oriented.. because the main drift toward tech production today is towards high tech craft production using garage scale or table top..i wrote about a lot of the maker movement – in my book – homebrew.. and the open source hardware hacker movement..  for thousand dollars in parts using free labor.. garage w/20 000 worth of tools and turn out what used to require mass production mn dollar factory.. ideal for re localized craft production.. shop full of gen purpose machinery.. switching from one product to another on a demand/pull basis.. like local agro industrial villages in fields/factories/workshops – kropotkin..

1:01 – what caused 2008 crisis: under capitalism .. there’s a chronic tendency towards over accumulation/production.. got a lot of surplus investment capital that can’t find profitable outlet for investment.. because not enough general demand to keep existing industry operating at full speed.. so bubble econ after another looking for artificial ways to absorb that capital.. chronic tendency worse over time because production so much cheaper

1:03 – caused by capitalism in sense of all capitalist monopolies that state enforces that transfer income from producing classes w high propensity to consume to property classes w high propensity to save.. i don’t think that’s a natural tendency of the market.. keynes: consumptionist theory didn’t get into causes just took for granted as a natural tendency of the econ.. but if look at john a hobson’s book on imperialism.. he argued that it was specifically an effective of capitalism in the sense i use it.. when you have a state enforcing rents derived from artificial property rights .. you have an enormous state-enabled upward transfer of income from producing to property classes and that automatically to problems of underconsumption and excess investment capital that can’t find an outlet.. so look for artificial outlets.. the more we head towards low cost production tech.. that take less capital.. worse problem becomes.. and more state pushed into fiscal crisis

1:19 – how do you see transition happening: i think it’s going to be a more gradualist thing..  2-3 generations total.. as networks and small scale production keep growing and corp/state become more exhausted/weaker.. kind of a prolonged phased transition

1:20 – any dystopia: i don’t think the enforcement means for any kind of dystopia will be viable.. techs of circumvention and producing outside system are becoming so powerful.. short of a nuclear war.. or something of that sort.. i don’t see any stopping it.. global warming.. even there.. if you look at worse.. that still something taking place over 80 yr period… not a lot of chaos at local levels.. refugee’s having horrible experiences.. but at a systemic level i don’t think it will stop the transition..

1:23 – karl hess – came originally from old right libertarian perspective.. book: community technology..  about experiments with small scale neighborhood tech

1:26 – 2004 – such an era of good feelings between parties.. talking areas of agreement..



Wealth is Concentrating Too Fast to Keep Up | P2P Foundation…

Remember the Oxfam report early last year that found sixty-two individuals owned as much wealth as the entire bottom half of humanity put together? It’s gone down to only six — that’s right, six  in the past year: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, and Carlos Slim Helu. The total wealth held by those individuals increased in that time from $343 billion to $412 billion — a 20% increase in one year — bringing their total wealth to an amount equivalent to the total wealth of the bottom 50% of the whole human race.

From sixty-two to six


Sociologist Robert Merton coined the term “Matthew Effect” — “unto every one that hath shall be given” —…

Six people who could carry on an intimate living room conversation are as rich as almost four billion people.


where is the determining function, the factor that controls the other variables…? Privilege…- Robert Shea and R.A. Wilson


If you look at the richest people and largest corporations in the world, you will find that

their wealth comes not primarily from producing things, but from controlling the conditions under which other people are allowed to produce.

That’s right — they collect rents for the “productive service” of not obstructing productive activity by other people.

made up money.. ?

a nother way

for all of us


anarchism (notes here)

This is my chapter for the Brill Companion to Anarchism

Original Tweet:


networked cities

RT @maria_fm: Libertarian Municipalism: Networked Cities as Resilient Platforms for Post-Capitalist Transition by @KevinCarson1, with insights from Murray Bookchin, mbauwens, @NaomiAKlein, and others.

#Municipalism #Cooperativism #AlternativeEconomies

Original Tweet:

p 33 (of 83)

David Graeber: We have to figure out a way for those who want to preserve a prefigurative space where they can *experiment with what a free society might actually be like—which necessarily means not having any systematic relation with political parties, funding bodies, anything like that—to actually work with those who are trying to create more modest and immediate changes within the system, which is beneficial to both of them. So one piece of advice would be: think hard about how to do this

short bp.. leaping is both systemic-deep and immediate


michel fb share – from exodus

chapter 2 draft of the upcoming Kevin Carson book:

“To the extent that the old mass-based, insurrectionist model had any valid basis in material conditions, it ended with the mass production age. We no longer need to storm the ramparts of those old state and industrial hierarchies because they no longer perform any socially necessary function.
Ephemeral production technologies and distributed, stigmergic coordination mechanisms have made it possible to build a society entirely outside the old institutional framework, and leave the old institutions to crumble. The original material rationale for both the wage system and the factory system, as they emerged in the Industrial Revolution, was a technological transition from artisan production with general-purpose craft tools that were individually affordable, to factory production with extremely expensive specialized machinery acquired by one or more rich absentee owners, who then hired laborers to work it. Large capital outlays for industrial machinery, and the large scale of production, meant that organizational
mass was necessary to undertake modern forms of production.Technological change is radically cheapening and ephemeralizing physical production.”

10 pg pdf:

p 5

Permissionlessness is a central characteristic of stigmergic organization. David de Ugarte quotes the
Rand theorists John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, in “Swarming and the Future of Conflict.” In Netwar,
many small units “already know what they must do”, and are aware that “they must
communicate with each other not in order to prepare for action, but only as a consequence
of action, and, above all, through action.”16

meadows undisturbed ecosystem: in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole.

Every individual is free to formulate any
innovation she sees fit, without any need for permission from the collective.


this ideal can only
be fully attained when the unit of governance is the individual. So majority rule was the lesser evil, a
way to approximate as closely as possible to the spirit of unanimous consent in cases where an entire
group of people had to be bound by a single decision. Stigmergy removes the need for any individual to
be bound by the group will.

public consensus always oppresses someone (s)


Pirate Party co-founder Rick Falkvinge (@Falkvinge) also regards permissionlessness—the ability to act without
first getting everybody on the same page—as a major advantage of stigmergic organization:

..The recipe is ridiculously simple: communicate your vision to everybody, and let the
thousands of activists translate your vision into words that fit their specific social context.

Don’t make a one-size-fits-all message that everybody has to learn. It will be a one-size-fits-

idio-jargon ness


(Rick Falkvinge): a Swarm can change the world: it runs
in circles around traditional organizations, in terms of


Listen to @KevinCarson1 discuss the nature of capitalism and the possibility of a post-capitalist world with @DrLocoFoco on @LibChron:
Original Tweet:

25 min – big influence.. the autonomous marxists.. ie: nick dier-witheford, negri, hardt, their idea is that the production process is becoming less the means of production owned by capitalists and more production process co extensive w/society as whole.. *main source of productivity is human relationships and social capital.. and model they promote is exodus..t..  where workers pick up social capital and vote w feet.. and cut the capitalists out as superfluous parasites from social econ that’s already in process of formation

hardt and negri‘s

*eudaimoniative surplus

these writers don’t really address very much from what i’ve seen.. the cheapening of physical production tech or the ability to produce directly for use w/in social econ or commons..t..  though that is something mossimo de angelis has written about on his work on the commons


27 min – another thing that’s influenced me a lot is the framework of michel bauwens.. two major crisis tendencies in late capitalism.. until present capitalist business models and rent extractions have depended on the artificial abundance of material resources that have been looted and enclosed w the help of the able to pursue growth model based on extensive addition of material inputs rather than more intensively/efficiently using existing inputs.. and that depends on free access to these looted resources..t and the other thing capitalism is dependent on is artificial scarcity of info thru intellectual property laws et al.. and more in recent years as means of production become cheaper and smaller in scale..


30 min – so capitalism depends increasingly on ..not capitalist ownership but the means of production ..but in legal monopolies over the right to produce .. like patents.. and bauwens argued that both of these pillars of capitalism are becoming eroded the case of artificial abundance of resources.. thru peak resource crises.. inability to continue to providing subsidies on scale.. in case of info.. growing enforceability of intellectual property law

31 min – so that state no longer able to prevent people from producing for self or commons.. capitalism reached its limits of ability to grow and in process of decay.. t


Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 6:29 AM – 29 Dec 2018 :
Kevin Carson on vulgar libertarianism and the P2P Revolution | P2P Foundation (

33 min audio:

10 min – articles in defense of sweatshop labor saying sweatshops are good because best available option for people who work there and they completely ignore the fact that the options are deliberately restricted by the state acting in collusion w employers.. so they’re defending .. actually existing capitalism as if it were a free market

27 min – on alts.. and commons.. and framework of michel.. both pillars of capitalism eroded to artificial abundance.. state no longer able to prevent people from producing .. capitalism reached its limits and in process of decay


kevin on professionalism

Kevin Carson (@KevinCarson1) tweeted at 5:38 AM – 17 Aug 2019 :
Today “professionalism” simply means adopting a smarmy persona of compliance and respectability, like someone who has a “nice job” where they get to wear “nice clothes,” and not talking back or standing up for ourselves like one of those “low-class” blue collar workers. 5/5 (


kevin on 100 flowers bloom

jun 2020 – Decentralized Economic Coordination: Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom

in conclusion, I’ll just say I don’t know if an economy could function without money prices and exchange. I don’t know if non-money coordination would be as efficient as money exchange. I don’t know what mix between money and non-money forms of coordination would sort itself out, if people and groups of producers were free to sort it out among themselves.

only if truly free.. everyone.. otherwise.. yeah.. need the measures.. but then the 100 flowers turn into 100 weeds/cancers et al.. (ie: start thinking we need/want resources we don’t really need/want)

What we do know is that *authority, hierarchy, power differentials, and artificial property rights create irrationality. They create conflicts of interest. They incentivize information hoarding and conservation of effort.  So let’s abolish those things, and let people work out for themselves what they want to replace it with. **Whatever works will be good.

*red flags

**as long as it legit works for all.. which i don’t think we’ll see until all are legit free.. begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening so that all people get back/to knowing what enough is

so.. yeah.. abolish all those things and let them work for themselves.. but let’s provide at least a temporary/initial org/detox to set/keep free enough to get to the deeper needs/wants


rai on math optimization – and other essays from mutual exchange symposium


kevin on anarchism w/o adj

kevin on 100 flowers

kevin on justifiers of ineq

ruptures vs interstices

[full list of kevin break-out pages on top of page]