Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Carson’s Rejoinders
1. “Rejoinder” to Murray Rothbard This is not, properly speaking, a rejoinder — obviously, since Rothbard’s article predates my book. But since it was chosen to set the tone for this symposium issue, and includes some comments on individualist anarchism in general, I’ll make a few remarks anyway. On the land issue, I reserve comment, since that is also…
Land-Locked: A Critique of Carson on Property Rights
In 1888, France’s leading libertarian periodical, Gustave de Molinari’s Journal des Économistes (stronghold of Lockean property theory and proto-Austrian economics) published a largely favourable and appreciative (if somewhat condescending) review of the United States’s leading libertarian periodical, Benjamin Tucker’s Liberty (stronghold of Mutualist property theory and Proudhonian economics). [1] Tucker’s journal returned the favor in…
Freedom is Slavery?
Freedom is Slavery: Laissez-Faire Capitalism is Government Intervention: A Critique of Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy By George Reisman [1] Kevin Carson’s new book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy centers on the incredible claim, self-contradictory on its face, that capitalism, including laissez-faire capitalism, is a system based on state intervention, in violation of…
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Kevin Carson as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde By Walter Block [1] Kevin Carson’s (2004) Studies in Mutualist Political Economy is an infuriating book. On the one hand, its author shows great familiarity with many of the most important libertarian [2] contributors to the field of political economy. Taking them in alphabetical order, they include:…
Spooner on Rent
Benjamin Tucker famously held that property in real estate depends on continued personal occupancy, so that when a landlord undertakes to rent out a plot of land or a building to a tenant, the “landlord” actually surrenders ownership to the “tenant,” who — despite whatever contract she may have signed — has no obligation, enforceable…
The Labor Theory of Value
The Labor Theory of Value: A Critique of Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy By Robert P. Murphy [1] Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (2004) is an impressive work. It first attempts to rehabilitate the classical labor theory of value (by giving it a subjectivist spin), and then traces the history of capitalism to…
The Spooner-Tucker Doctrine: An Economist’s View
First, I [1] must begin by affirming my conviction that Lysander Spooner and Benjamin R. Tucker were unsurpassed as political philosophers and that nothing is more needed today than a revival and development of the largely forgotten legacy that they left to political philosophy. By the mid-nineteenth century, the libertarian individualist doctrine had reached the point…
Rothbard versus the Marshallian Synthesis
Murray Rothbard rejected, in the strongest terms, this Marshallian attempt at a synthesis of marginalist innovations with the legacy of Ricardo. And with it, he rejected Marshall’s attempted synthesis of labor and waiting as elements of “real cost.” To understand why, we must start with Rothbard’s distinction between the judging of actions ex ante and ex post….
The Marshallian Synthesis
Alfred Marshall, the founder of the so-called neoclassical school, was also the first prominent economist to attempt a reconciliation of Ricardo with the marginalists. Following the Senior-Longfield school, as interpreted by Mill, Marshall treated the “abstinence” of capital (or “waiting”) as another form of disutility alongside labor. He thus fused them into a unified subjective…
Studies in Carsonian Mutualism
For the next few weeks, C4SS will be publishing and hosting copies of Volume 20, Number 1, of the Journal of Libertarian Studies. This particular volume contains the Symposium on Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy. The articles on and selections from Carson’s book you can look forward to: “Editorial to Symposium on Mutualist…
Symposium on Mutualist Political Economy
Many of the nineteenth-century individualist anarchists, and in particular those thinkers associated with Benjamin Tucker’s journal Liberty, sought to combine a political theory based on individual sovereignty and self-ownership with an economic theory based on the labor theory of value. Like Marxists, they tended to condemn the wage system as oppressive, and interpreted profit, rent,…
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist