Kropotkin, Self-Valorization and the Crisis of Marxism

by Harry Cleaver

https://libcom.org/library/kropotkin-self-valorization-crisis-marxism

Kropotkin, Self-valorization And The Crisis Of Marxism Options
Abstract The collapse of the socialist states and the ongoing crisis of Western capitalism -both brought on by pervasive grassroots opposition- demands a reconsideration of the issue of the transcendance of contemporary society by anarchists and Marxists of all stripes. Such a reconsideration should include a reexamination of the thinking of earlier revolutionaries as well as of their experiences within past social upheavals. Continue reading

Degrees of Complexity

This article is a follow on from my previous essay on the false narratives of Brexit and the wider meta-political discourses that it has shrouded. It also looks to add to some of the arguments Chris Dillow presents in his article on plebiscitary politics.

The world as it currently exists, despite the attempts at universalisable discourses and the production of narratives that are black and white in their dichotomies, is extremely complex and full of varying degrees of socio-economic knowledge. A full calculatory system that can aggregate these variable forms of knowledge and processes is practically impossible, as was seen in the failures of state socialism and in the many failures of capitalism (which requires continual subsidy to exist). These are the most important lessons of Hayek and Mises, but also the most ignored. Utopian thinking of a top-down kind continues to exist, with everyone from neoliberals to modern leftists believing that everyone is rational or believers in the universal. Things like parochialism, gaps in knowledge and complexity are tacitly ignored. Continue reading

The Paradoxes of Plebiscites

by Chris Dillow

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2017/04/the-paradoxes-of-plebiscites.html

In pointing out that re-joining the EU will be damnably difficult, Simon reminds us of the massive difference between representative democracy and plebiscitary politics.

One great virtue of representative democracy is that it allows for mistakes to be corrected. Wrong’uns can be booted out of office and bad policies can usually be reversed*. Under plebiscites, it is not so. These reveal the “will of the people” which must be obeyed. Whereas representative democracy is a system of checks and balances, plebiscites are battles of wills in which the victor wins permanently. As Mrs Thatcher said, plebiscites are “a device of dictators and demagogues.” Continue reading

Forming an Organic Right-Wing Social Order

by Vincent John

http://www.libertymachinenews.com/forming-an-organic-right-wing-social-order.html

The historic election of Donald Trump has changed the course of American politics for many years to come. There are not many people who predicted Donald Trump would win the presidency against what seemed to be impossible odds. Donald Trump did not just have to campaign against the Clinton Machine and all of her donors. He also had to defeat establishment Republicans, which include political hacks like John McCain and Paul Ryan, the Never Trumpers, a mixed bag of neocons and cuckservative losers like Glenn Beck, the regressive left and the Bernie Bots throwing infantile tantrums in the streets, the corporatist far left media who cover for leftist demagogues like Obama and Crooked Hillary, big business who want cheap labor imported into America who lobby for illegal aliens from the third world to pour across the US border. There were many other individuals and groups of people who were vehemently against the idea of a Trump presidency, a presidency where a right-wing populist agenda would be front and center for the direction of the nation.  But things are seldom what they seem. Even though the corporatist far left media were the ones who gave the false impression that Trump would lose and Crooked Hillary would be the first female president, they underestimated the right wing populist movement sweeping across Europe and America. The corporate shills also covered up all of Hillary’s scandals and lies while painting a false picture of how Middle America would vote in the 2016 election by falsely claiming Democrats and Independents in the Rust Belt would vote for Crooked Hillary. This was of course wrong. Continue reading

The Full Extent of Subjective Valuation

Nominal libertarians regularly invalidate their own claims to support the socio-economic understanding of subjective valuation when they focus simplistically on profit (in the capitalist context) as the main axiomatic goal of economic exchanges, and talk of systems of private property as pure enclaves of individuality. These two systems, which seemingly define modern libertarian thought, are taken to be foundational and static in their conceptual makeup, rather than as constituted systems which involve political and social wrangling. They become conceptually conceived as positively anti-state, which is nonsensical rubbish when looking at the historic developments of these systems. Private property is not just simply protected by the state, but also created through processes of enclosure and the purposeful privatisation of ground rent. That is not to say private property cannot exist in a stateless society, but that it cannot exist outside a social context. Similarly, profit can be something developed through generally consensual means as the product of one’s labours, but its existence as a subjective axiom means it is realisable via the state. Our modern rentier economy is a testament to this inconvenient truth. Continue reading

Corporatism and Capitalism

Libertarians seem to believe that the semantic debate over capitalism is settled by the use of one term, corporatism. The highly complex nature of capital accumulation, based around different structures that involve both competitive and planned dynamics, is made simple by differentiating between corporatism, a bastardised form of crony capitalism where monopoly dominates and the state’s regulatory apparatuses are at their most coercive, and a pure capitalism, “a world of perfect competition among enterprises who are all market price takers (none has the power or size to shape markets), where no advertising enables producers to shape the desires of consumers, where all workers bargain individually for their wages, and so on”[1]. Continue reading

The Centralising Axiom

The multiple debates surrounding ideology constantly devolve into simplistic concepts like capitalism and socialism, referring to each other as opposing axiomatic systems that proffer significantly different visions of the world. However, both are fundamentally centralist systems. They understand society, economy and politics as universalisable wholes that need to be integrated into a full structure of production and decision-making. For capitalism, the main axiomatic point is the profit-motive achieved through multiple avenues of capital accumulation. Markets and states are the main entry and exit points through which capital is accumulated and profit is achieved. For socialism, it is the production of value for the meeting of basic needs and necessities, providing a society of equality where political and economic cohesiveness is supposedly developed. Economic planning  and social provisioning through centralised structures (usually the state but forms of global democratic planning have been theorised) are the mechanisms for this accumulation. Continue reading

Is Anarchism Worth It?

This question comes as a result of the lack of cohesiveness amongst the adherents of anarchism. Anarchists, while professing a common universality of values and beliefs, act as roving tribes when it comes to meetings between their different ideological sects. None seem to coalesce around any unifying concept, with each trying to outdo the other in how left-wing, anti-racist or intersectional they are. That’s all well and good for debate stages and internet forums, but it hardly builds a movement that can be politically and socially strong and that can challenge prevailing power structures. It leads to the question of whether anarchism, as the according ideology to so many beliefs, is really worth the time, the activism, the commitment that it is given. Continue reading

Why I Am an Anarcho-Pluralist

by Keith Preston

Why I Am an Anarcho-Pluralist

Over the last few days, there’s been an interesting discussion going on over at the blog of left-libertarian philosopher Charles Johnson (also known as “Rad Geek“). I’ve avoided posting there, due to the presence of an individual who has declared themself my mortal enemy (a role I’m happy to assume), but the subject matter of the discussion provides a very good illustration of why any sort of libertarian philosophy that demands a rigid universalism cannot work in practice. Continue reading

Basic Income’s Role in a Traditional Society

The idea of basic income is that work is not the centre of one’s life. While laziness is not meant to be encouraged, there is a tacit recognition that under an unconditional system it may well be, leading to a potential system where the productive are subsidising those who choose to be unproductive. While problematic under most understandings of political philosophy, this precedent is particularly problematic in the concept of a traditional society (that shaped by Burke’s little platoons of local and parochial institutions). Without a work obligation, one is receiving a right without reciprocating with duties. They’re receiving something for nothing. Continue reading