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

Kevin Carson free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com
Mon Nov 9 20:31:00 CET 2009

On 11/9/09, Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM, Kevin Carson
> <free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > This ignores the extent to which human societies can function in a
> > solidaristic manner through voluntary cooperation and mutual aid,
> > without acting through a state.

> What I think tends to militate against this position, Kevin, is that most
> people could give lots of examples of co-ops and mutualist organizations
> de-mutualizing (insurance companies, e.g.) but very few where
> statist/corporate bodies go mutual.  Correct me here, but I can't think of
> any...
> I am always interested in A-->B in social studies.  It is always overlooked.
>  People visualize end states, but can't give a convincing account of the
> transition...and then seem to act is if that is an OK thing to ignore.

The problem is that all these forms of demutualization have taken
place within an overall state capitalist framework defined by massive
subsidies to large corporations, and protections against market
competition.   The result is that mutuals and cooperatives are
swimming against the current, and in many cases are an expensive
consumption good for greenwashed yuppies.

What I referred to above was the natural tendency in a society absent
such privilege, subsidy, and artificial scarcity, when
self-organization was not crowded out, constrained or preempted by
state action.

I believe we're in a transition state in which the corporate state is
reaching the limit of its resources to provide such subsidies and
protections (thanks, among other things, to the kind of fiscal crisis
described by James O'Connor, Michel's crisis of realization in the
cognitive realm, and Peak Oil).  When this perfect storm of crises has
passed, what we'll be left with is Robb's resilient communities.  In
the transition period, I think we'll see that it's the large
hierarchical organizations that are swimming against a hostile tide,
and will eventually be eaten alive.

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

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