I saw Chartier speak in LA last summer. I like him. I like a lot of what he says. I thought Chartier’s “Conscience of an Anarchist” was pretty good. But that was an earlier Chartier and this book is not just Chartier; it’s a collection of essays by many of the bigger names in mutualism, agorism, and “left-libertarianism.” Think of it as C4SS in print. (You can always tell when the adjective free becomes the adverb freed.)
And while “Markets not Capitalism” is couched in the language of, as Dustin suggests, “anarchy without hyphens,” it looks to achieve this by playing with [fairly] agreeable rhetoric so as to push “left-libertarianism” generally and mutualism specifically.
So the press to unify anti-statists by dropping hyphens only works, then, if said anti-statists adopt mutualist ideas of rejecting wage labor in toto, rejecting all hierarchy (even voluntary hierarchy), rejecting subjective theory of value (favoring Labor Theory of Value), and rejecting Lockean/Austrian understandings of property rights - among other things. Which is fine. Every book pushes its own point of view. Just don’t think that this book is about universal principles or that it’s about understanding the differences between anti-statists and cultivating the common ground.
The authors are smart people, to be sure. And there are certainly a number of insights to be gained in understanding their arguments (which are often extremely thoughtful). Just don’t be confused about what it is.
(Incidentally, I thought Rollback was excellent.)
I think it’s more than a bit of a stretch to say that a book including essays from Murray Rothbard, Karl Hess, Roy Childs, Roderick Long, Brad Spangler, Sheldon Richman, and Mary Ruwart —- six Rothbardians* plus Rothbard himself —- promotes “specifically mutualism.”
There is nothing in the freed market anti-capitalism position that indicates specifically mutualism (as you acknowledge in the previous ask box question that you link to.) In fact (as I indicate there), it seems that the majority of those at the C4SS (and I’d agree that the book is roughly “C4SS in print”) are themselves left-Rothbardian agorists. Rather, left-Rothbardians, mutualists, and left-agorists are all included within that broad tent. And the general superstructure of that kind of an anarchism would allow for smaller social anarchist communities within such a stateless society (hence the anarchism without hyphens).
Also, I have to disagree with your claim that: “So the press to unify anti-statists by dropping hyphens only works, then, if said anti-statists adopt mutualist ideas of rejecting wage labor in toto, rejecting all hierarchy (even voluntary hierarchy), rejecting subjective theory of value (favoring Labor Theory of Value), and rejecting Lockean/Austrian understandings of property rights - among other things.”
As stated earlier, there are several decidedly non-mutualist authors in the book. Not only that, rejection of wage labor isn’t a specifically mutualist idea (after all, both SEK3 and David Friedman reject wage labor as well), and it seems like you’ve over-simplified the actual account given of wage labor by most contemporary freed market anti-capitalists (including that given by contemporary mutualists). It’s certainly not clear (to say the least) that the book represents a rejection of “all hierarchy” (in the way that you seem to mean it), but rather a rejection of all unjust and oppressive forms of hierarchy. Long, Spangler, and Richman are all Austrians (and thus favor a subjective theory of value). Similarly, they favor the contemporary neo-Lockean account of land property rights (in fact, Long’s piece on public property is specifically framed from that perspective). The sole Rothbard piece, also, works specifically under the framework of neo-Lockean property rights.
Point being, you’re correct to note a strong presence of mutualism (especially with the nineteenth-century pieces) in the book, but to imply that the book itself is exclusively mutualist is inaccurate.
*Hess is a little complicated, but at the time the writing from him was written, he was solidly left-Rothbardian.
Throw a few banana slices in a bowl of cereal and it’d still be a bowl of cereal.
Long, Spangler, Richman and the others you list are all (save for Rothbard himself) considered “left-libertarian,” yes? (Long even counts himself as a mutualist.) When I emphasize mutualism it is precisely in the way it deviates with traditional libertarian thought (in those ways that I list) that makes it what is “specifically” pushed, even if most are agorists. The reason I note mutualists in this way and not agorists is that while all agorists promote the same strategy (e.g. non-cooperation with the state, including not voting and actively seeking grey and black market options), there is a philosophical split between those who may be considered austrian agorists on one side and mutualist agorists on the other. The mutualist side is what is featured in this book because although, as you mention, there are authors who fall on the austrian side, their selected essays are not about those opinions. While Richamn, as one example, may adhere to subjective property rights, he also believes wage labor would become non-existent in a “freed” market. And in this book, if I remember correctly, he never wrote on any topic in a way that would be counter to mutualist thought.
You’re right. This is not specifically a book about mutualism. And I decidedly did not “imply that the book itself is exclusively mutualist.” The crucial point is that when this book reaches an area of disagreement, it falls (I think exclusively, though I don’t remember every single essay) on the side of mutualism.
hatredismymuse asked: 1. Why would "freed market" necessarily be mutualist? Do you think we're living under a free market right now? 2. Why would something being from C4SS "confirm" it being mutualist? Last I checked, the vast majority of the posters there are left-Rothbardian agorists.
1a. A “freed market,” in theory, is of course not necessarily mutualist, as it - as I understand it - is ostensibly another way of expressing the free and voluntary exchange of consenting individuals. However, I was commenting on the rhetoric, meaning the language used. Generally speaking, using the adverb “freed” instead of the adjective “free” seems to be a practice more commonly employed by mutualists. No judgment was intended on using “free” or “freed,” mind you (in fact, I may have used the adverb at times when appropriate), merely making an observation that helped explain why agreement may not be as universal as Logan implied.
1b. The United States’ economy is decidedly not free, though certainly moreso than the economies of some of the more totalitarian countries. (Of course, there are countless free market exchanges daily in the micro sense, as any exchange between consenting individuals without the state’s interference represents a free market exchange.) With the state’s taxes and tax breaks, tariffs and subsidies, regulations and protections, fees and licensing, interest-free loans, wage and price controls, bailouts, and worst of all, its printing press - the U.S. is at best a corporatist state.
2. I intended to write “mutualist/agorist" and it has since been corrected.