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Showing posts from June, 2009

Socialism revisited

I'd like to try to tie together and expand my observations re. the great “socialist”/“capitalist” terminological debate that’s been proceeding at C4SS and AAE . “Socialism” as Genus; “State-Socialism” as Species I think there is good reason to use “socialism” to mean something like opposition to: bossism (that is to subordinative workplace hierarchy); and deprivation (that is, persistent, exclusionary poverty, whether resulting from state-capitalist depredation, private theft, disaster, accident, or other factors . “Socialism” in this sense is the genus; “state-socialism” is the (much-to-be-lamented) species. Indeed, using the “socialist” label provides the occasion for a clear distinction between the genus “socialism” and the species “state-socialism.” Thus, it offers a convenient opportunity to expose and critique the statist assumptions many people reflexively make (assumptions that make it all-too-easy for political theory to take as given the presupposition that its sub

Gabb on Carson

Sean Gabb offers a very thoughtful review of Kevin Carson 's Organization Theory on the Libertarian Alliance blog . I am inclined to disagree with Gabb about copyright and “vulgar libertarianism” alike, and a number of those posting to the comments section seem overly confident that transportation subsidies don't really distort patterns of commercial activity or promote otherwise inefficient organizational sizes. But whatever disagreements I might have with Gabb (and especially with a number of his readers, for whose views he obviously isn’t responsible), this is a great review. What makes it so powerful is its capacity to convey a sense of just how eye-opening Carson's work really is. Gabb has surely read more social, political, and organizational theory than most people, and yet it's clear that engaging with Carson led to a genuine “aha!” moment for him, as it did for me. I encourage readers of this blog to devour, digest, repost, and respond to