Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “‘Privatization’ or Privateering?”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Kevin Carson’s “‘Privatization’ or Privateering?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “‘Privatization’ or Privateering?


$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

“A free market is not a society in which all of soc­i­ety’s functions are performed by private, for-profit business corporations. It’s a society where all fun­c­t­ions are performed by free, voluntary assoc­iat­ions. That means people get whatever services they need by organiz­ing them cooperatively with other willing partici­p­ants, or persuading someone to volunt­ar­ily supply them. And nobody is forced to pay for services they don’t want. . . .

“Capitalists don’t get rich by actually making things or providing services. They get rich by controlling – with the help of the state – the circumstances under which people are allowed to make things or provide services. If they do actually make things or provide services, they do so under carefully con­trolled circumstances where they get their money from involuntary customers who are conscripted into pay­ing by the state, or the state limits the ability of other firms to compete with them. You know, like Halli­b­urton and those military con­tractors. Or the private health insurance people have to buy under Obama­care. Under cap­i­tal­ism, privileged businesses make mon­ey by doing stuff on other people’s nickel. Big busi­ness gets its profits by external­iz­ing its operating expenses on the taxpayer. . . .

“Who cares if a corporation like Halliburton is nominally ‘private’ or ‘public?’ If it makes its money through force, it’s really just a part of the state. . . .”

This article was originally published as “‘Privatization’ or Cor­poratism?” in December 2013, as a syndicated column for the Center for a Stateless Society (

Kevin A. Carson is a mutualist writer living and working in northwest Arkansas, and the author of several incredibly influential works on contemporary mutualist anarchism, including “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand,” Studies in Mutualist Political Economy,Organization Theory: A Libertarian Per­spect­iveThe Homebrew Industrial Revolution, and numerous articles and research reports for the Center for a Stateless Society.

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory