Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Kevin Carson attacks 'vulgar libertarians' again

Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism: Review: The Mind of the Market, by Michael Shermer The elements Kevin Carson describes as "vulgar" in "right-libertarianism" seem to me the essense of that doctrine.

Its a noble effort to "reform it from within" and I wish Carson all success in that endeavour but I would simply abandon "right-libertarianism" in favour of geo-libertarianism, left-libertarianism, libertarian socialism and elements of classical liberalism.

In my view "right-libertarianism" is a purely reactionary doctrine - classical liberalism sans single tax. You have to fight it tooth and nail and send it back to where it came from. It's particularly insidious because it induces well-intentioned people who might otherwise be radicals to veer from the left and ally with the right. Try and convince me that's not the whole point of it.

I agree the dogma of the 'free market' and the 'invisible hand' is vastly overstated as well. Yes, the 'invisible hand' is a correct and valuable insight, but in general people should be banned from (ab)using this phrase. The popular understanding is now such that to critique the system you do indeed have to dissociate yourself from the 'free market'.

1 comment:

Kevin Carson said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Bernard.

For the very reason that "free market" is used as a god-term in American politics, and yet has been so abused by the bad guys, I tend to think of it as a potentially overwhelming weapon of ideological warfare if it's turned against corporate interests. "Using the master's tools to tear down the master's house," and all that.