[p2p-research] Building Alliances (state and commons)

Kevin Carson free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com
Mon Nov 9 05:12:13 CET 2009

On 11/8/09, Paul D. Fernhout <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

>  There's another way the analogy fails. A country is not a house. :-)
>  More seriously, in a country one has lots of places to go where the state
> (in a democracy, in theory) is mostly not supposed to intrude, like your own
> house. So, it's like a house where you have your own private room the owner
> agrees not to usually come into.
>  Also, in a country, in theory, citizens help define the laws. So, it's like
> a house with a rules committee, not a single dictator/owner.

But the social contract theory still assumes some entity with
jurisdiction over a geographical area with authority analogous to that
of a homeowner, to set conditions regarding what you must do to be
allowed to stay.  And there's a burden of proof to demonstrate the
origins of that authority.   Simply claiming it and then taking
continued residence as ipso facto consent isn't enough.  If I come
into your house and say "your decision to stay here amounts to
consenting to abide by my rules," the proper response is "who gave you
the right issue such ultimatums?"  That a contiguous geographical area
constitutes a body politic, with some entity having authority to set
rules for the entire area, is something to be proved, and your
argument takes it as a given.  I don't believe such an authority could
ever come about in the first place, without the free, explicit, and
unanimous consent of every single individual in society.

>  But with all that said, can state power in some areas of life be too strong
> to be healthy? Sure. It's that Manuel de Landa meshwork hierarchy balance
> thing.
>   http://www.t0.or.at/delanda/meshwork.htm

Again, though, it gets back to the question of whether the state even
has any business judging what is a "healthy" balance of political
power exercised in my house, and whether the state has the right to
issue commands and take my continued residence as "consent."

>  There are other forms of libertarianism though. Noam Chomsky identifies
> himself as a libertarian socialist.
>   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism
>  "Libertarian socialism (sometimes called socialist anarchism,[1][2] and
> sometimes left libertarianism[3][4]) is a group of political philosophies
> that aspire to create a society without political, economic, or social
> hierarchies, i.e. a society in which all violent or coercive institutions
> would be dissolved, and in their place every person would have free, equal
> access to the tools of information and production.[5]"

>  But, based on Manuel de Landa, that's seems like a theoretical
> impossibility. A shared culture is itself a sort of hierarchical
> institution, as is a constitution, as is shared standards, and so on. Even
> informal agreements about the commons are a sort of hierarchical thing in
> some sense. Socially it may not feel like a hierarchy; Manuel de Landa is
> talking more conceptually.

But the existence of some legal standard for distinguishing aggression
from self-defense is not the same as the existence of an entity with
the authority to initiate force on behalf of the "public good" or
"general  welfare."

And while libertarian socialists of the anarcho-communist,
-syndicalist, etc., varieties posit different sets of legal rules for
identifying the rightful owner of a given parcel of land or workplace,
the framework is only adopted from the necessity of having some common
legal standard for distinguishing legitimate self-defense from
aggression.  They don't vest any agency with a police power (i.e., the
power to initiate force on behalf of the community).

Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
Studies in Mutualist Political Economy
Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective

More information about the p2presearch mailing list