Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism on Feed 44

C4SS Feed 44 presents “Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Kevin Carson, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford.

The default tendency in mainstream libertarianism is a high degree of statocracy, to the point not only of (quite properly) emphasizing the necessary role of state coercion in enabling “legal plunder” (Frédéric Bastiat’s term) by the plutocracy, but of downplaying the significance of the plutocracy even as beneficiaries of statism. This means treating the class interests associated with the state as ad hoc and fortuitous.

Although statocratic theory treats the state (in Franz Oppenheimer’s phrase) as the organized political means to wealth, it still tends to view government as merely serving the exploitative interests of whatever assortment of political factions happens to control it at any given time. This picture of how the state works does not require any organic relation between the various interest groups controlling it at any time, or between them and the state. It might be controlled by a disparate array of interest groups, including licensed professionals, rent-seeking corporations, farmers, regulated utilities, and big labor; the only thing they have in common is that they happen to be currently the best at latching onto the state.

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