Saturday, March 30, 2013
Market Anarchism: Economists vs. Socialists
Introduction: Economists vs. Socialists
The costs of involuntary subjugation to political association are literally impossible to calculate.
A major problem addressed by market anarchism may be best summarized in the context of the socialist economic calculation problem (and of the debate thereof), which was addressed by Ludwig von Mises in Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, and by Friedrich Hayek in “The Use of Knowledge in Society”; namely, whether economic planning or market-based tactics should determine the allocation of the factors of production (the three classical factors being land, labor, and capital). Another important and related issue is whether the primary concern of “economic science” should be society or households.
Because States wield – as Max Weber put it – “successful... claim[s on] monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”, they wield the exclusive right to initiate coercion against producers and owners for refraining from complying with the various permits, license requirements, zoning regulations, incorporation rules, and taxation demanded by government, such that governments wield the predominant authority (and more authority than producers and owners) to calculate prices, and to allocate the right to own property and to produce. That whenever a legitimate (read: legitimized) firm fails financially or victimizes persons, there are always one or more State behind it with the aforementioned favors, is essential to understanding the pro-market, anti-“capitalist” position.
Some theorists of political economy – such as Gustave de Molinari, and some of the Austrian School – draw a distinction between economists [an early term for those who became known as "classical liberals"] and socialists. In "Letter to Socialists", Molinari wrote, "What is the common goal of economists and socialists? [...] a society where the production of all the goods necessary to the maintenance and embellishment of life shall be as abundant as possible, and where the distribution of these same goods among those who have created them through their labor shall be just as possible [... o]nly we approach this goal by different paths."
Those who sympathize with Molinari's view contend that when governments have the ultimate choice concerning which businesses and individuals win or lose – and when they intervene in the “economy” by legalizing, sponsoring, protecting, and financially securing the right to accumulate capital (in and as a consequence of property and production privileges) in the hands of a select few – the combined costs of allocating and planning the allocation of public-resource capital (i.e., administrative and bureaucratic costs) are so high and influential on markets that they lead to the distortion of prices, because prices are more or less dictated, thereby making competition practically impossible outside of uniform, government-sponsored “competition”.
Market anarchists view “economics” as intrinsically oriented towards the subjective determination (under rational expectations) of the interests of the individual, the family, and the household; they reject the notion that societies and citizenries should be perceived as possessing a singular economy. On the contrary, they reject the idea of a socialist economic order, endorsing a dynamic order called “catallaxy”, which Hayek defined as “the order brought about by the mutual adjustment of many individual economies in a market”. This view on economics is informed by the fact that the Greek "oikonomia" means "rule, custom, law, administration, or management of the household".
The Market for a Just System of Property Rights
Being that the modern American libertarian and Republican political climates have increased the popularity of perceiving governments as businesses – market-anarchists should think it critical that the public maintain this conception. After all, government is a firm – an organization involved in the trade of goods and / or services to consumers – and the privileges and “rights” it affords us (including security of person and property) exist in markets.
In “The Production of Security”, Molinari wrote “…no government should have the right to prevent another government from going into competition with it, [n]or to require consumers of security to come exclusively to it for this commodity.” What little “privacy” remains in modern government-protected private property rights must become as independent as possible from the influence of government, so that competition of independent agents and agencies with existing governments to allocate goods to the public may result in diminution of the distortive effects of “legitimate coercion“ on trade.
While to increase the independence of property and the “private sector” from States requires that owners come to evade government regulations, it also requires that they come to adopt a more personalized form of property than the State-sponsored “privatized” property rights they enjoy; they must reject, eschew, renounce, abandon, and disown all utility- and exchange-value (subjectively determined) which resulted from States’ assistance in the protection and securitization of the property which they possess.
Essentially, to justify personal property, a person or firm must work – and must have worked – to maintain the rights and value of possession, assisted by only those who do so of their own free will, and never by police or military agents of governance agencies claiming territorial monopolies on legitimate initiatory force, nor by State-licensed “private” security providers who essentially act as mercenaries in a controlled “economy” featuring a reserve army of labor.
The resemblance of this idea to the legitimate-property requirements set by the likes of John Locke, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Henry George, and Kevin Carson (namely, that one may only appropriate resources through one’s own labor) leads us to question to what extent “market-anarchism” is “anarchist” with an orientation towards social anarchism (the author of this article, at least at the moment, prefers the term “market-oriented social-anarchism” to describe his philosophy). Much due to the influence of Karl Marx, the aforementioned philosophers, and others, the notions and nomenclatures of private property, capitalism, entrepreneurialism, and especially “anarcho-capitalism” have been rejected by many self-described anarchists.
Is Market Anarchism “Capitalist”?
While the mere fact of the widespread rejection of the aforementioned terms requires that the ideas evolve, the most common argument against the “anarcho-capitalist” nomenclature – i.e., that “anarchy” is anti-hierarchical, hierarchy being perhaps the most objectionable practice in so-called “capitalism” – is not invalid. Critics of “anarcho-capitalism” often argue that anarchism and capitalism are mutually-exclusive opposites, and that all anarchism is social anarchism, as well as anti-capitalist.
While Murray Rothbard’s introduction to Molinari’s “The Production of Security” appears to admonish C. Frederic Bastiat for failing to antagonize Statism as thoroughly as Molinari did (“[…] Bastiat declared that justice and security can only be guaranteed by force, and that force can only be the attribute of a [‘]supreme power,[‘] the State.”), Rothbard’s own admission that he did not perceive himself as an anarchist (in his unpublished article “Are Libertarians ‘Anarchist’?”) makes one wonder why Rothbard would describe Molinari’s market-anarchism as “anarcho-capitalism”.
Nevermind Rothbard’s concession that Molinari would have balked at the use of that term; awareness of this cognitive dissonance gives rise to consciousness of a disagreement: “market-anarchism” is not “anarcho-capitalism”, and should not (ahem) market itself as such, being that it would be critical for the reconciliation of the disparate anarchist schools of political economy for radical anti-Statism to accompany radical anti-hierarchialization.
Market-anarchism is neither Statist, nor socialist, nor chaotic; it is market-oriented social-anarchism based on dynamic order, and voluntary, independent, and consensus-based decision-making in the absence of intervention by States (and their beneficiaries) in the determination of the prices of public goods through the mutual adjustment of individual economies to one-another.
That the “private” Federal Reserve Bank is called “independent” from the government, yet participates in governance, shows that a personalization of “private property” is necessary, and so does the American populist right’s increasing show of attention to defending the possession rights of the State-privileged billionaire corporate-welfare cases – who can bend laws so as to be made exempt from them – who wield most of the right-leaning public’s political clout.
The right should accept that to punish and demand compensation from the guilty – just like to defend oneself against an aggressor – is not a violation of the Non-Aggression Principle. They should also realize that they share with libertarians the belief that government funding should be collected – and government services distributed – through voluntary and charitable means.
Voluntary provision of governance is to market anarchism as voluntary protection of possessions is to social anarchism; bureaucratic costs (including as political-association transaction-costs) would be cut; allocation of resources based on natural, mutually-adjusted price determinations would function without undue intervention; and there would emerge a catallactic market for governance.
Specialization and Independence in the Justice Market
Molinari asked, “What special reason is there that the production of security cannot be relegated to free competition? Why should it be subjected to a different principle and organized according to a different system?” The provision of security of person and property is to be performed by the firm(s) with the optimal combination of efficiency, and specialization of skills, as determined through the mutual adjustment of ostensibly rational and informed consumers to one-another’s interests.
In the Anglo-American legal tradition, accused persons have the right to represent themselves in court, the right to refrain from understanding – and to contest – the charges against them, with a provided or independently-chosen attorney, the right to interact with independent and impartial judges and prosecutors, the right to be tried by a jury of their peers, and the right to face their accuser in court.
However, the independence of juries, attorneys, prosecutors, district attorneys, and judges has been eroded through the administration of statute law and ordinances, tort reform, regulations undermining the obligation of contracts; through the politicization of the judiciary; through attorneys’ degrees of unquestioned freedom to discriminate on the basis of bias due to legal knowledge in jury selection pools; and through the pervasiveness of the darkness of legal knowledge in which legislatures, bar associations, and public education administrators have colluded to keep the public.
It is imperative to market-anarchists that innocent individuals be free to represent themselves, to defend themselves and their properties, and to choose who assists them in doing so. This entails that political representatives not require citizens to surrender too much of their powers of attorney; and that individuals remain willing and able to assert their rights to represent themselves, and to defend their own persons and properties.
Market-anarchism builds upon the Anglo-American legal tradition by endorsing the notion that ostensibly independent judiciaries are “not last because they are right, but right because they are last”, rejecting the Lockean idea that certain agencies should wield the exclusive right to aggress against suspects.
Similarly, Samuel E. Konkin III endorsed independence of personal security and defense, detention and arrest, detective and investigative, dispute-resolution (arbitration and adjudication), restitution and compensation, and property protection and insurance. Indeed, in the Middle Ages, Iceland’s criminal justice system involved the independence of bounty hunters.
So what results when the independence of the various branches and sub-branches of modern government increases until they no longer require charter nor accreditation by firms which have openly admitted the intention to oligopolize and oligopsonize on trade of political services and consumer goods?
Many market-anarchists distinguish “government” from “governance”, preferring to perceive of “political association” as an action, rather than “political associations” as potentially tangible things. As for what “governments” would be called, often found in market-anarchist literature are terms such as “dispute-resolution organization” and “private defense agency”. To the extent to which these industries become increasingly independent on State control – and independent from one-another – their production will be more specialized and efficient.
This is an important issue in the legal debate between minarchists and market-anarchists: Should there be monopoly-government-sponsored “independent” judiciaries whose decisions are final, or can legal tradition regarding the appeals process be fundamentally transformed, such that persons are free to exercise independent choice over who represents and defends them, in a manner that results in potentially infinite appeals to new arbitration agents.
Any real finality in judicial decision-making would come only through jurisprudential precedent, arrived at through agreement of all involved parties that a voluntary-acceded-to arbiter would pronounce a particular decision which all parties would have to accept as final. Aside from this, a semblance of finality would affect precedent as a slowly shifting cartelized catallaxy, imposed by contemporary, recent, and sustained trends in economic, social, and civic ethics.
That such a system fails to materialize, risks that death penalty sentences are carried out (and that no further appeals in such cases may be made), and that persons have no legal recourse against agencies which have defrauded them; especially when that agency is a government, or an appendage or beneficiary thereof. Examples include various forms of contract fraud, including limitations on accession to contractual political association, indirect representation and voting secrecy in public elections, fraud by lack of disclosure of important information regarding civil-justice rights in military service contract renewals, codes complicated with legalese past the point of citizen comprehension, and limitation of the rights of – and aggression against – agencies seeking to compete to provide political association services).
This is why the rights to defend and represent oneself, to compete against the government to do so, and to provide the same rights and securities to one’s compatriots and loved ones, are imperative; States cannot be trusted not to rule in their own interests any more than appropriate, nor any more than judges can be trusted to recuse themselves when the outcome of the decision would directly affect their own personal, familial, and financial (i.e., economic) interests.
The Private and the Common
Lysander Spooner argued that the solution to the problems of the “privacy” of voter secrecy was voter privity (the right to be privy to information in contractual agreements); that representative should be required to sign authentic and verifiable written oaths to support the Constitution, and that the voters authorize candidates to represent them by signing their ballots. Spooner contended that the tradition of contract law required that the legitimacy of contracts of surety – oaths included – requires that more evidence exists supporting continued mutual fidelity to the agreement; the spoken oath, the voice-vote, and the robotic pen which are typical of today’s American federal legislature would not have passed Spooner’s muster.
Proudhon’s Mutualism aimed to be “the synthesis of communism and property”. His philosophy has been pejoratively referred to as “market syndicalism”, alluding instead to a synthesis of egalitarian management by labor with markets in a system of property. Perhaps – rather than communism and property – what we market-anarchists desire is a synthesis of community with privity (“privy-ness”).
That is, perhaps we desire knowledge and awareness of – and modest influence on – one-another’s affairs, so as to ensure that the individual and the community (whether individual refers to a person, or to an individual governmental jurisdiction within a community of governments) retain their own sets of inalienable, negotiable, and revocable authorities over certain subject-matter spheres. The individual and the community must respect one-another more than they bow to one-another.
Ensuring impartial and independent arbitration of disputes between individuals and communities requires that the right to revoke consent to be represented by an individual – or by one’s community, to a centralized or foreign governing authority – be exercised routinely. This is the only way to guard against the monopolization, oligarchialization, and geographic concentration of decision-making authority in the hands of adjudicators and arbitrators, who have it in the interests to hoard legal information from accused persons and juries.
Finding common ground on which individuals, individualistic communities, and societies can build a foundation for synthesizing disparate strains and schools of anarchist political economy would resolve an important issue in panarchism; namely, the issue of whether the individual person or the community should choose which competing governance agency provides them with protections and securities. This is especially significant considering that market-anarchism, individualist anarchism, Anarchism Without Adjectives / synthesis anarchism, direct-democratic federalism, Austrian Marxism, and national-anarchism have all articulated formulations of panarchism, a radical anti-Statist theory endorsing the “rule by all”.
In addition to the synthesis of community with privity, and the personalization of private (privatized) property might best be accompanied by a communization of the public sphere, and by a synthesis of common law with private law in the legal tradition of contractual surety obligations in the economic and political realms.
Market-anarchist activity must be directed towards providing for the voluntary, informed, and subjectively evaluated accession to contractual political association (i.e., personalization and privity in private law). Endorsing compromise in the issue of competition against monopoly breeds oligarchialization; this is an enemy of those who oppose both monopoly and hierarchy.
Market-anarchist activity must also be directed towards resolving disputes between individuals and collectives without undue interventions by – or wrongfully-assumed default “authority” (without authorization) to issue final adjudication of – agencies wielding disproportionate influence on the calculation of prices and costs of political services, so as to severely limit the ability of non-State-assisted market participants to trade, and to “compete” against State-sponsored and State-permitted “private competitors” to assist in the allocation of resources.
Evaluation and Theory of Value
To paraphrase Henry Hazlitt, the private sector is the voluntary sector, and the public sector is the coercive (or forceful, or violent) sector. Of course, the private sector is not as voluntary, independent, subjective, personalized, or oriented towards privity as it could be. Really, all “privatization” is of the “public-private partnership” variety. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in regard to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act confirms that not only is crony capitalism a problem in terms of every-day corruption, but that that problem is compounded when citizens may be ordered to purchase a good from (or through) an oligopolized (or oligopsonized) set of firms, justified as a constitutional “tax”.
In struggling to provide for the subjective individual determination of whether – and at what price – to buy a good or service, market-anarchists must take into account the subjective determination of one’s own labor-value; the right to evaluate for oneself the costs of working under given quality and safety conditions and for given quantities of compensation.
The reconciliation of the Subjective Theory of Value and the Labor Theory of Value presents itself as a possibility in light of this idea, provided that the interests of the worker and the workplace can be aligned; that a meritocratic system of opportunity to earn stake in the production of the workplace by demonstrating that alignment of interests may be fostered; and that an optimal balance between specialization of task skills and substitutability between employees can be found organically.
Also, workers must increasingly perceive the representation of – and negotiation on behalf of – organized labor, as existing in markets; and perceive of their unions and the parties for whose candidates they vote as behaving like cartels. Additionally, the interests of the unions and their members must be aligned, and directed towards the reconciliation of the interests of the individual and the syndicalization of the workplace.
If market-anarchism’s focus on subjective evaluation may be construed to indicate that it is a school of individualist anarchism, then the “Anarchism Without Adjectives” school of anarchist political economy – which aims to unite Mutualists, syndicalists, collectivists / communalists, and individualists – should include market anarchists among their ranks.
This is provided that market-anarchists do not promote, endorse, or sponsor the accumulation of utility- and exchange-value deriving from the assistance of States in providing for protection and security of person and property. Market-anarchists should see themselves as existing in a “market for liberty” (as Linda and Morris Tannehill put it), and as “free[ing] the market to abolish capitalism”; they and the aforementioned schools exist in a market to redress State theft in order to compensate those who have been made States’ victims.
The prospect of synthesizing market-anarchism, Anarchism Without Adjectives, and panarchism, with synthesis-anarchism itself – not to mention the prospects of synthesizing community with privity, common law with private law, and the subjective and labor theories of value – should excite anarchists of all schools valuing solidarity against corporatism and crony capitalism.
For the aforementioned schools to unite, would result in an alignment of tactics. In Gary Chartier’s “Bleeding-Heart Libertarians for Redistribution”, he promotes five market-oriented approaches to redistribution: radical rectification of State theft (as discussed above), elimination of privilege (i.e., State privilege), radical homesteading, acts of solidarity and mutual aid, and freeing the market.
Although direct-action and counter-economics may appear to have been left out of the list, each point embodies both direct-action and counter-economics; that a market for anarchism should express itself as an amicable diversity in competition to not only evade State regulations for the benefit of themselves, but also to redress the wrongs perpetrated by States and their beneficiaries, for the benefit of victims.
Just as we should not consider tolerating States which do not appear sufficiently humanitarian, we should not join the ranks of those who hoard State resources unless we deem it in our subjective interests – and / or the interests of our communities (those not lacking solidarity) – that some benefit will result.
However, this is the problem that individual workers and entrepreneurs face when it comes to State assistance of protecting their persons, properties, and rights; while the laborer is at-odds with the union and / or the government, the entrepreneur is at-odds with chambers of commerce and lobbying groups and / or the government. Anti-Statist laborers (and entrepreneurs) find it necessary for survival to subordinate the terms of contracts between themselves and their organized-labor (and organized-capital) representatives to the whims of statute law created by legislatures.
The significance of this is that each worker (and entrepreneur) has his own method of ranking preferences concerning whether the union (or the organized-capital representative) represents his interests better than the government. When not promoting solidarity-unionism against (or irrespective of) State intervention, market-anarchists should promote members-only collective bargaining and minority-unionism in their workplaces; this would aid in the alignment of the interests of laborers, workplaces, and entrepreneurs.
If this alignment could lead to antagonism of – and independence on – the State, if laborers and entrepreneurs could cease to disparage one-another for having sought State assistance and privilege to protect their rights and properties, and if each school of anarchist political economy agreed to engage in its own specialized tactics in order to rectify State theft (in order to provide resources to persons), we could accentuate the starkness of the contrast between compromising with syndicalism versus Statist capitalism, without contesting the subjective determination of workers and entrepreneurs that the State did not help them increase productivity or earn their wealth; i.e., without abandoning State-aided and State-permitted gains.
Essentially, the best way to guard against the ill effects posed to the ostensible interests of society at large – risked by an inappropriately selfish defense of subjectively-evaluated decisions in a market for liberty – is to refrain from formally addressing or attempting to reconcile discrepancies in personal standards regarding compensation and rights affecting one’s interests through organized negotiation with governments. Given the ubiquity of irrationality in a Statist society, no commercial exchanges – however voluntary, mutual, or reciprocal they may seem – can be ethical or moral; they can only be immoral, or – at best – amoral.
Being that, unfortunately, (through their respective writings, and through the actions and advocacies of their respected readerships) Marx inadvertently abstracted labor-value from laborers; Stirner inadvertently abstracted uniqueness and individuality from unique individuals; and Rand inadvertently abstracted objectivity from Objectivist individuals, and (seemingly) intentionally abstracted rationality from rational persons – through the mere acknowledgement of (and focus on) the commodification of labor-value, individuality, rationality, and objectivity – market-anarchists should be careful not to aggrandize or exalt any one principle or thing (for example, “the Subjective” or “the Subjective One”) over other non-idealized principles and things. This is so that such things do not come to be - in Marx’s language - held over and against us.
Market-anarchists should promote diversity through competition; in the markets for liberty, for political representation, for the abolition of capitalism, and for the negotiation by organized labor and capital on the behalf of individual labor-market agents. Additionally, the standards we have about how much freedom we have in our workplaces and our political associations should be discussed in the context of whether to boycott not only agencies representing organized capital, but also governments and agencies of organized labor, as firms; because they are too oligopolistic, hierarchical, or against polyopoly and polyopsony (the states of there being many buyers and many sellers, respectively).
Too many self-described anarchists focus on direct-action tactics such as stealing from large businesses. Since the financial detriment of any theft can easily be guarded against through planning and insurance – or covered-up through decreasing compensation to laboring producers – not only is this type of direct-action unsuccessful in punishing its target, but it may actually do more harm to laboring compatriots than good, because the costs of the risks of theft can be externalized away from the board members and managers (the intended victims of theft), so as to diminish worker compensation.
This failure of this direct-action “re-appropriation” tactic shows that it is imperative for market-anarchists – as radical anti-Statists, and as radical anti-hierarchists – to be focused and deliberate in choosing their targets and tactics in attempting to provide formerly publicly-provided goods to persons through the radical rectification of State theft.
After all, anarchists must deal in a world of practice and consensus, and not of theory, idealism, and compromise; we must deconstruct governments, not their philosophies. This truth – and the truth that economists often find themselves disagreeing with the States and politicians they advise (sometimes with potentially life-and-death consequences) – prompts us to question why economists give advice to States in the first place.
Rationality and Radicalism
After all, States are irrational; they claim to be able to “compete” in ostensibly “capitalist”, individualist, and market-oriented environments in which they are able to condition the right – and to deny permission – to compete, all competitors having to adopt similar standards to that of the State, which upholds a credible claim on the monopoly to aggress against others (within its claimed jurisdiction) to enforce its own order on other firms. This holds true even if those firms aim to peacefully and amicably compete, in a manner which promotes diversity, and promotes liberating from property any utility-value and exchange-value which has been unduly derived and accumulated through assistance by State-sponsored and State-permitted purveyors of organized violence.
Not only are States not rational; they are also not radical. The manner in which they attempt to solve problems does not go to the radical root of things (for to be radical is to go to the root of a problem), and in that they reject the specialization and the specialty – as well as the particularity and the peculiarity, and the individual (i.e., undividable) particulates of the Stirnerian “thought-world” (“I am not a mere thought, but at the same time I am full of thoughts, a thought-world") of the human mind, thought process, and thoughts – involved in making decisions. The special and the peculiar are cast by the wayside in the name of ensuring that nobody be an “exception to the rule”.
But States are no more irrational than the subjects from whom they withhold legal information, and against whose enterprises the States largely refrain from sanctioning and permitting truly independent competition. If individual persons – consumers of public goods and services – are not free to be informed when they consent to engage in financial and political transactions, then the expectation that they are “rational” serves only to excuse their study and inadvertent manipulation by voodoo-economists, bent on allocating all of “society’s resources”, even at the risk of overburdening – and over-arming the employees of – the bureaucracies, distorting prices and spreading violence and ill will in the process.
This is why Mises and Hayek promoted the mutual adjustment of many individual economies to one-another’s interests, rather than allocation and distribution planned and administered by various legislative and bureaucratic arms of monopolistic socialist States (which Molinari would describe as practicing communism as an extension of monopoly); only individuals make truly independent decisions.
Only individuals participate in negotiations between representatives of labor and capital, only individuals make evaluations and construct standards concerning the compensation and authorities they receive in their workplaces and their governments, and only individuals provide other individuals with political services.
Another reason to support catallaxy against socialist order is that choice according to individual self-interest leads to the most efficient utilization - and the least waste - of the pertinent resource. In "The Four Ways to Spend Money", Milton Friedman says, "[...] very few people spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own."
These ideas should not be construed to suggest that individuals should discourage solidarity; on the contrary, Max Stirner’s idea of a “union of egoists” is quite compatible with market-anarchism. An “egoist unionism” which is practical and adaptable to current trends in the labor market might encourage workers to make their own interests known in the workplace, and impart to their fellow laborers thoughts and subjective values regarding the diverse and distinct manners in which deferences to individualism and solidarity might be made in a manner which leads to the most optimal form of deténte with non-stigmergic government and with the agencies of organized labor and capital which it charters.
These ideas should also not be construed to suggest that there is anything inherently unethical or anti-individualistic about collective bargaining or democratic processes in political and business management. Problems therein only arise when agencies using democratic processes externalize the responsibility to provide for the funding of the planning and administration of public service provision programs and systems, and when such agencies refrain from allowing individuals and individualistic communities to revoke their consent to delegate their decision-making authority in timely and routine fashions.
This is especially significant in light of the debate between gradualism and revolution: we find both classical liberals in the American tradition and followers of Marx endorsing the right to frequently-changing representation as a form of peaceful “permanent” revolution.
Similarly, we find Soviet revolutionaries, the insurrectionary-anarchist Illegalists, proponents of counter-economics (such as Agorists and market-anarchists), the commercial-capitalist tradition of the Jewish diaspora (as discussed by Milton Friedman) and Tea Party tax-dodgers, all sharing similar interests; to take advantage of State permission, and to find loopholes in State laws in order to provide for minimally-taxed and untaxed accumulation of capital, to promote the interests of family economies and / or to finance revolutionary market, social, and political activity.
Although it is in the interest of extremists to provide themselves, their compatriots, and their loved ones with the most efficient forms of defense of person and security of property, it is in the interests of others to protect themselves and their (subjectively-evaluated) duly-earned possessions, against aggression by those seeking to externalize the costs of protection onto others (including adherents of alternate political and anarchist factions).
To the extent that capitalism, hierarchy, and oligopoly are conducive to providing for the independent production of security and defense – and the impartial provision of justice and arbitration – given the technologies currently available in the marketplace which enable us to do so, a synthesis of “anarchism” with these anti-principles is made, taking the form of a dynamic order (or state, as in “state of being”, as contrasted against the violent State); the sum of the outcome of all mutual adjustment of independent temporary economic preference-setting systems.
Boycotting States and competing against States are viable tactics that all anarchists should consider as options; this would make it unnecessary and irrelevant for social-anarchists to ridicule a libertarian who considers that “charitable giving” can result in an optimal allocation of resources. After all, donated capital gets lost in the planning, administration, and delivery bureaucracies of charity organizations and governments alike.
Anarchism in Practice
Socialists and libertarians still participating in politics should agree that people could help guard against these problems by instituting legislative and bureaucratic pay cuts, increasing government efficiency through the elimination of waste and fraud, increasing and reviving tax credits for charitable contributions, and the operation of financial security firms on models endorsing minimal justifiable transaction costs, should all be reforms on which American socialists and American libertarians still participating in politics can agree.
Additionally, social-Democratic support of antitrust laws could be paired with libertarian support of a quasi-panarchist interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, leading to the invocation of antitrust laws as prohibiting the territorial monopolization of States over the industry of governance – as commerce – being that travel is essential to the delivery of many political goods and services.
This would achieve the oft-extolled panarchist and market-anarchist imperative that people be free to choose who provides them with political services, regardless of where they live, and without having to move from their current location in order to receive such benefits. Of course, this delivery would be limited to – and conditioned by – the range of available governance-providers agreeing to compete with others (including former territory-monopolizing state and local governments) in the same territory.
Socialists and libertarians still intent on finding a solution and a synthesis in the context of anarchism, however, need look no further than the Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics: any competitive equilibrium leads to a Pareto-efficient allocation of resources; and any given Pareto-efficient allocation outcome can be achieved by enacting a lump-sum wealth redistribution, followed by allowing market forces to take over.
The tendency of the socialists is to cite the Theory of the Second Best; to defend market interventions to guard against market failure when one or more optimality conditions fails to be satisfied, and to promote interventionism and gradual international economic integration as alternatives to – but, unfortunately, often instead of and as opposed to – free trade and free markets.
While Statists, interventionists, market-abolitionists, socialists, and participatory-democrats profess to oppose trade and markets on anti-capitalist grounds; the State in facts fears any increased “socialism” or “capitalism” which it cannot control, and the State is the polluting effect on the reputation of trade and markets. Market-anarchists reject the Statist- and socialist-promoted lump-sum wealth redistribution followed by catallaxy; they instead ask why not let market forces perform the redistribution, so that society and markets at no point have to be fundamentally changed practically overnight, which risks disruption of society and markets themselves.
Market-anarchists – and, to some extent, “free-trade” proponents – do not want Tripartism (the neo-corporatist / neo-liberal joint State-capital-labor intervention in economic and political markets). Market-anarchists do not want Statism; they want not to compromise with States to aggress less against enterprises, but to instead associate and align themselves with the agora – the open-marketplace societies – of the various nations of people of the planet, to compete against the violent States (which control and limit their access to productive capital) to provide at least somewhat charitably-provided capital to families and compatriots.
Furthermore, market-anarchists do not desire a total lack of governance; they do not desire a “chaos of markets”, but a lack of hierarchy, domination, and coercion therein. Mitt Romney’s admission that “you can’t have a free market work if you don’t have regulation” would ring oddly true in the views of market-anarchists’; markets have to be self-regulating, they have to allow for regulations by consumers, and they have to give rise to dynamic “order”.
In welfare economics, any competitive equilibrium leads to a Pareto-efficient allocation of resources, a state in which no person may be made better off without causing detriment to at least one other person. This is a fundamental rule having to do with how to align people’s economic interests in such a way that trade can benefit all parties to mutually voluntary transactions.
To sustain a competitive equilibrium capable of providing for a Pareto-efficient allocation of resources, customers of political services must credibly demand from their providers that intentional detriment (i.e., malice; aggression against person and property) be defended against. Additionally, governance agencies must intend to punish and extract compensation from those who hoard information, suppress independent evaluation, retard the adjustment of prices, assist in the concentration of market influence, risk of accidental harm (such as moral-hazard and social-cost problems), risk of undue inadvertent benefit (such as free-rider problems), impose unreasonable costs of transaction.
Of course, what is assumed in all this – as stated earlier – is that the market actor is presumed to subjectively rank his or her (or its) preferences according to rational expectations. This is assumed for the purposes of science and study; of making “economic” (individual; household) calculations for society as a whole through socialist and Statist planning.
That the fact of the irrationality of firms and persons under Statism is ignored only serves to entrench the very causes of irrationality; under-education, misinformation, and disinformation. The evaluation of (i.e., the process of ascribing value to) resources – and of political and economic ideas – is manipulated through public education, government-provided consumer advocacy, and public relations agents.
The socialists’ folly is that information-hoarding “public” agencies do not “compete”; they use their information to slow the adjustment of market prices and to create inhibitions to access to capital and to the right to trade, thereby appearing to successfully distribute resources when “private” agencies or markets appear to fail. This makes truly independent competition impossible – as mentioned earlier - outside of uniform, government-sponsored “competition”.
The problem of the economists, however, is that it is assumed that local non-satiation (i.e., non-satisfaction) of preferences and desire is insufficient. Unlike the assumption of rationality, the scientific assumption that many people in many places are dissatisfied happens to be true.
Economists must insist to regimes that it is primarily the fault of the States and their interventions and beneficiaries that people’s desires and needs are under-satisfied, especially considering the hoarding of information by States, and the hoarding of resources by State-sponsored “enterprises”, both hoarding away from the people they supposedly represent to the remainder of the world and towards the elite. Otherwise, they should fear that the regime they advise may turn against and pursue them and those who agree with them.
The problem of market-socialism is how to allocate all of “society’s resources” without breaking the bank, overburdening and overwhelming the bureaucracies, and excusing too much initiation of force on producers. The problem of market-anarchists (and economists) is how to relieve the suffering and dissatisfaction of our compatriots and loved ones (caused primarily through the hoarding of resources in the hands of government corporate-welfare cases), while all this expensive, professional, non-charitably-provided planning, administration, and delivery of political goods and services at gun-barrel-politics prices, goes on, and at progressively faster rates.
The costs of involuntary subjugation to political association are literally impossible to calculate.
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