Will Free Markets Recreate Corporate Capitalism? on Feed 44

C4SS Feed 44 presents Kevin Carson‘s “Will Free Markets Recreate Corporate Capitalism?” read and edited by Tony Dreher.

And when I say “free markets,” I am not referring to a society in which the majority of economic functions are organized through money exchange (the “cash nexus”) or business firms. By “free market” I mean only a society in which money exchange is allowed as part of the mix, not any particular specification as to how big a component of the mix it might be. In fact I think it’s quite likely that a far greater share of economic needs than at present would be met, in a free society, through non-market activities like direct production for use within the informal and household sector, direct subsistence production in larger co-housing units and neighborhood multi-family collectives, or networked “commons-based peer production”; and a major share of natural resources would be owned under the kinds of commons governance regimes Elinor Ostrom devoted so much analysis to. As both employer-based and government-based safety nets erode and corporations and governments retreat from the social sphere, I expect a growing share of economic life to be governed through voluntary, communal organizations for pooling risk, costs and income on models similar to the guilds and fraternal societies and the open field villages of the later Middle Ages (which figured so prominently in Kropotkin’s historical work). In this regard I refuse to include Siefkes’s stipulation of exchange as the main way of organizing production, as part of the definition of “market economy.”

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