Quote of the Day: Difference of the two capitalist systems

Either as a welll-treated slave or as a worked-to-death animal, your options are not very good under currently existing capitalism.

Kevin Carson spot on as usual

The main difference between the social democratic or New Deal corporate liberal model, and the Reagan-Thatcher model, is that the faction of organized capital that controls the former is like a humane farmer who thinks he’ll get more work out of his animals in the long run from taking good care of them; the faction that controls the latter is like Jones in Animal Farm, thinking it’s more profitable to work them to death and replace them.


A prime example of AnCap "monolithy"

“Anarcho”-Capitalists wasted no time in showing how truly rigidly their beliefs are stuck in a shallow dualistic “Our way or statism” idea.

Monolith and Mini
Image by brian glanz via Flickr

Remember my previous quote of the day where a commenter was pointing out how rigid the “anarcho”-capitalists are and end up seeing everything in duality: “Our way” or Statism? Not even a week passed and here I am, reading the comment field of a C4SS post where the most perfect example of “Monolithy” decides to get into a flame war with Kevin Carson of all people. The whole thing really starts going around here:

And it’s no surprise that Kevin Carson — who has been trying to convince anarchists and libertarians that labor theory of value wasn’t trashed by Ludwig von Mises — supports junk science. He’s a practitioner of it. If Thomas Hodgskin, Benjamin Tucker Dyer Lum, or Voltairine de Cleyre, for that matter, had lived long enough to read Human Action they would have understood why labor theory of value is the refuted nonsensical notion that a thousand hours of labor to make a grandfather clock makes it worth more than a jug of water to a man dying of thirst.

But the statement that Kevin Carson makes that he’d like to see every carrier group of the U.S. Navy on the bottom of the Indian Ocean shows what a vulgar radical Kevin Carson is. Kill thousands of men and women merely to satisfy his radical flash? Perhaps Mr. Carson isn’t aware that hard-core libertarians like Brian Singer — who commented on Carson’s post to Brad Spangler on Facebook — is currently serving in Iraq as a volunteer member of the United States Army, and might have caught a ride on an aircraft carrier. Is Brian Singer someone you want on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, Mr. Carson?

It really takes talent to be able to both show how horribly you misunderstand the LTV and how much you fail to understand the words of others. Needless to say that JNS was thoroughly skewered by Kevin in the comments in a fairly enjoyable manner which I urge you all to read for the lulz.

However, when this is exactly the kind of people LibSocs have to argue against online all the goddamn time, is it any wonder when our patience for this nonsense starts to fray around the edges? It seems that lately you can’t make half a step in any area relating to economics, anarchism or US politics without some self styled “Anarcho”-Capitalism who has taken Rothbard, Mises and Hayek as his personal messiahs and has only a half-arsed (mis)understanding of all the rest of the libertarian movement, start to foam at the mouth at the mere mention of the dreaded words of “Socialism”.  You get comments such as this:

It comes down to this. I believe Kevin Carson is an outcome-based rationalizer. He wants to bring back labor theory of value not because there is any actual reason to do so now that we understand how value is really arrived at but because it allows him to bring back all sorts of outdated arguments from people who were really good for their time and because we venerate these people as forward-thinkers we have to listen to them debate ideas that were wrong but they didn’t know any better.He does this because in his heart it’s not state capitalism he has a problem with but the actual free-market which has the nasty outcome of winners and losers, and no soft fuzzy blankets which he can use to remain popular among the socialists and communists who are looking to deny the reality that libertarian economics means they have lost.

He hates the United States not because it’s statist and imperialist but because — at least for another few hours — morally superior to the socialist sewer.

Other than that, I will only point out that Kevin Carson is wrong to believe the Global Warming denial crowd which seems to be trying to make the recent email hacking and spreading to be a practical coup d’etat of the AGW theory even though actually doing a thorough analysis shows that there’s little meat to the hysteria.

Of course it’s only to be expected to see that the more rightwing-leaning of the C4SS crowd like Kinsella, to immediately jump and proclaim their unwavering denial of AGW with the same junk science they claim to oppose. A prime example of Selective Skepticism. I would like to say that I am surprised by it, but I’m not. As I’ve explained before, I fully expect the right-libertarians to deny reality when it ends up throwing a spanner in their ideology as their economic gurus are and were so fond of doing. Kevin says it best.

The reasoning process goes something like this:

If global warming is real, all is lost for libertarians, because the need for statism follows as a direct implication.  If global warming is real, it will prove the liberal Democrats are right:   the free market has led to disastrous results at least in one particular, and the state is necessary in at least this one case to correct market failure.  In other words, given the premise of global warming, libertarians of this stripe see the big government argument as something that follows legitimately from it, as a matter of course.  So global warming cannot be happening.  QED.

Of course the internal reasoning of Right-“Libertarians” does not consciously go like this but rather they desperately look for all sources that can confirm their bias, which is formed subconsciously by the above process.

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The Propertarian Double Standard

Kevin Carson in one quote expresses the reason why arguing with propertarians can be so frustrating, so often.

Image Unrelated via Wikipedia

From a reddit discussion I ended up discovering a post from Kevin Carson who expresses amazingly well the reason why I keep getting annoyed when discussing with propertarians of various forms. It’s the implicit double standard that is implied every time I’m accused of wanting to steal stuff, of having no respect for the capitalist’s “labour”, of being authoritarian. I’ll let Carson put it best.

Here’s an opposing case for you: Imagine I’m renting a house under a Lockean property system, and get permission to plant a garden on it. I invest a lot of effort in composting and green manuring, and even spend money on granite dust, greensand, rock phosphate and the like to improve the soil. When I get done with it, what was hardpan clay has been transformed into rich, black, friable soil. And when I cease renting, I lose the value of all the improvements I made. That’s the sort of thing that happens all the time under Lockeanism. But I suspect that Reisman would say that I made the improvements with my eyes open, and am entitled to no sympathy because I knew what the rules were. I certainly doubt that he’s shedding any tears over the invested labor that the South Central Farmers are in danger of losing.

The difference is, when it happens under the system he’s defending, it’s just life; when it happens under the system he’s demonizing, it’s an outrage.

And this here above is exactly the thing you get to hear all the goddamn time!

The wage-worker not keeping the full value of his labour or his labour not being enough to ensure his subsistence? That’s just life. A wannabe-capitalist not being able to extract a profit from his workers? Outrage!

A tenant-farmer’s labour not being enough to homestead the land he’s working on because a landlord has already a claim to it? That’s just life. Someone not being able to claim ownership on more land than he can possibly use himself? Outrage!

Capitalists requiring a special class of wealthy judges to interpret the “libertarian law” and a private defense complex to enforce them? That’s not a state, just life. Workers banding together and using means such as peer pressure and ostracism to enforce that nobody exploits and dominates anyone else? Outrage! Statism!

I could go on and on but you get the idea. It would be funny if it wasn’t depressing to have to argue against this so often.

This whole thing starts from the classic error of the propertarians taking their chosen system of ownership as given and a “natural law”. Once you start by assuming that Private Property is an objective rule set then it’s not difficult to jump to the conclusion that act that violates those rights is an outrage. The fact that it is not a violation when the whole system has been rejected simply does not cross one’s mind. It reminds me of some Liberal lawyers arguing that a violation of copyrights was wrong because it’s the law and not being able to grasp that we challenged the validity of the law in the first place.

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Quote of the Day: The "Free Market" Recipe

Kevin Carson adequately explains how the “free market” of vulgar-libertarians really works.

Quoth Kevin Carson

The time-honored “free market” recipe, among the ruling classes, goes like this: 1) rob the producing classes of their traditional property rights in the land, and turn them into tenants at-will of the plutocracy; 2) through coercive controls on the population, like the Combination Laws and Law of Settlement, make it impossible for the producing classes to bargain effectively in the wage market; 3) when the process is complete, talk a lot about how great the free market works, and justify the existing concentration of capital ownership as a result of the superior efficiency of those who came out on top.

So yeah, I’ve been reading his vulgar-libertarianism watch series which is excellent as a general rule, but I just couldn’t avoid quoting this particular part.

Go and read the rest of the pwnage.

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