mes on decentralization and econ coord

intro’d via:

via kevin fb share – lead essays in the C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium

This is a lead essay in the C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Decentralization and Economic Coordination.” The related readings and list of all other articles can be found in the introduction here.


by rai on math optimization


by emmi bevensee


from another lead essay in the C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium (20 pg pdf)

by aurora apolito

“The problem of scale is perhaps the most fundamental problem of anarchism.” – Aurora Apolito
Original Tweet:

‘one needs to develop the correct mathematical model to be used to solve the scale problem’ – Aurora Apolito

we don’t need to do the/more/better math.. we need to create the conditions for people to know what enough is

ie: cure ios city.. with 2 convers as infra

hari rat park law et al

kevin fb response: There’s still a need for some kind of coordination mechanism that involves math to determine the relative amounts of inputs if we’re going to produce anything at all tho, IMO

yeah.. i don’t know.. coord mech: yeah.. relative amts of inputs to produce: i think we’re constraining/compromising ourselves.. sucking energy for some unsolvable/unnecessary math problem


by logan marie

C4SS (@c4ssdotorg) tweeted at 2:13 PM on Mon, Jul 13, 2020:
“We need to include the voices affected in order to adequately meet their needs, whether through a freed market or directly democratic decision making.” – @MakhnoTits

The problem of economic calculation is that of a problem of hierarchical authority and the knowledge problem. Those removed from a situation cannot adequately make decisions for that particular situation and will in all likelihood make inadequate or misguided decisions. We need to include the voices affected in order to adequately meet their needs, whether through a freed market or directly democratic decision making.

we need to include all the voices.. (undo our hierarchical listening) .. in order to know the deeper needs.. making market and decision making irrelevant to coordination..

To quote Errico Malatesta – on imposed/voluntary communism

Free markets keep communism truly free which is why they are so important. Full stateless communism needs the free market to maintain its voluntary nature, not so much because it is subjected to the calculation problem.


Markets are impossible to get rid of, especially in a free society. Even if most model their transactions in a completely communistic fashion, there would be enough experimentation at the fringes that would inevitably come with some sort of competition to fulfill a purpose and need, even if those purposes and needs are largely non-essential in nature and completely arbitrary. People will still trade, even if based on gifting and that free trade will make up the present market activity regardless of ideology or necessity. Markets are a description, and in no way have to function as a prescription for how we engage in economic activity. A truly free market allows economic exploration of the fullest extent.

yeah.. i think that’s all based on whales in sea world.. tragedy of the non common .. et al

we have no idea how free people would be

So we as anarchists, have no need to base our market theories on the calculation problem.

i would hope you would have no need to have market theories.. (if truly want free people.. 10 day cares et al)

The calculation problem is irrelevant to anarchist economics. We can recognize and use the calculation problem as a means of disproving the effectiveness of state socialism to fellow anti-capitalists and win them over to anarchist ideals but using it to advocate for markets within anarchism is a stretch, and not to mention unnecessary when markets can’t be squashed without the force of the state.


 let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money..people forget about measuring


by kevin on 100 flowers


by Frank Miroslav | @mutual_ayyde 

The fluidity that decentralization and individual empowerment creates means that society can better react to changes in the environment and avoid danger or exploit opportunities more effectively.” – @mutual_ayyde

Original Tweet:

the dichotomy between Apolito’s brilliant articulation of what I see as the core problem for any functional anarchist political order (coordination at scale) and their critique of markets is maddening

human scale ness – not needing us to coord it..

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

Instead of simple arguments about whether markets will inevitably lead us right back to capitalism or not. More communistically minded folk could still retain a highly critical attitude, but could instead talk about how unexamined tendencies within markets that might result in pathological inequality or how strategy around how we go about engaging with capitalist markets without becoming corrupted.

same song man.. seen it all before

The critical eye of communists can be of significant value in ferreting out concerning aspects or tendencies of markets that more market friendly anarchists shy away from or have  overlooked. Going forward, this would make for a *far more healthy and productive discourse than rehashing a century old argument that helps obscure some of the most important political questions for our world today.

? depends how you define productive/healthy discourse.. imagining it would be more about people feeling productive when actually .. the product is just that they’re able to talk about things.. rather than do/be things..

Thankfully there is a *significant difference between markets and capitalism and we have good reason to think that the arguments against economic planning also cut sharply against **runaway accumulation, especially under conditions of broader environmental dynamism and individual empowerment. These make the runaway accumulation that we have seen under capitalism is contingent on systemic state intervention since the beginning.

*not so much

**curbing runaway accumulation would come from 8b people knowing what enough is.. not from any form of measuring/accounting

Likewise if markets do corrupt the values of the people who engage in them, the wealth they create can be used to create spaces outside of markets that encourage better values

that’s a case for markets?

Markets with low barriers to entry give *incentives for people to reimagine how the world around them could be different, as well as to try to **convince others of their vision. Such incenti

so many red flags in this essay.. ie: *incentives; **people telling people what to do

As the *set of choices available to each individual expands, society overall becomes increasingly more complex which makes the **control necessary for ***accumulation ever more difficult. 

we need to let go of thinking we need to have only some *finite set of choices.. and that we could/should control live beings.. and that we should be ***accumulating things

As such we have good reason to suspect that markets are not machines for generating inequality and devouring anything that isn’t profitable, but rather are an integral part of a free society. To be sure, we cannot know this with absolute certainty ahead of time. But the evidence I’ve put forward should entail at worst a critical view towards markets, not dismissing them out of hand.

? free society? i think not.. ie: black science of people/whales law – we have no idea

Getting over the outright rejection of markets and moving towards a discourse in which markets were seen as a tool for economic coordination (i.e. something with a lot of power but potential downsides) *would be a fantastic development because it would open up a far more interesting set of conversations.

yeah – *i don’t see that.. i think it just perpetuates the same old convos

it’s a bummer we can’t seem to let go of thinking we need to manage the dance – we’re just perpetuating tragedy of the non common





1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people


oh my math

of math and men et al


mutual exchange symposium: mes on anarchy and democracy; mes on decentralization and econ coord; ..

center for stateless society