Sunday, November 11, 2012


Here I have a list of neo-proudhonian theories which I am going to dedicate a paper to each. I can't promise that I'll finish it quickly but it will get done.

Theory of:

Collective Force
Division of Labor

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"A New Mutualist Manifesto"

My friend David over at the "Blazing Truth" blog posted "A New Mutualist Manifesto"  that definitely has some good work in there. Give it a read.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Letter to Communists and Capitalists of the Libertarian Form

Mutualists don't argue that possession is alone enough of a precondition for property because that approach ignores the accounts of what social context possession occurs, whether shared or exclusive, nor does it have regard for occupancy and use, and therefore denies the principle of equality. The equality of property is important to federations and preventing the development of hierarchy, centralism and monopoly, the State which described by the governmental principle is a state reliant and subservient to a fictitious "external constitution of social power", standing in opposition to a state of self-government. Equality can only be realized alongside property if the form of property is allodial and not fiefdom, and if there is the potential for mobility, division and exchange since that creates the tendency towards equality. The constituents of a federation require comprehension of property rights, ie information of boundaries necessary for progress in mutual respect, and the mechanism of exchange and gift for mutual-aid. This letter is not an attack towards libertarian communists and libertarian capitalists personally, but a critique of libertarian capitalist and libertarian communist ideology, even though they tend to vary considerably.

Mutualists theorize that from the application of reciprocity that property would develop the norms of possession, occupancy and use. Mutualists also comprehend the antinomic dimensions of property, such as the fact-right antinomy. Property is factually the "ownness" that progressively culminates within the individual, or between individuals and collectives, and property rights are the rights of force, mechanisms determining boundaries for social order, that institutionally serve a conscious system of self-government. There is also an antinomy between "property in person" and "property by extension", a seeming contradiction between personality and external resources, which if gone unresolved ultimately reproduces injustice in appropriation, misappropriation that conventionally takes the form of capitalist property. The factuality is that we compose a social being that has its own law organization, and while individuals may harmonize to determine its logic, they have their own logic that may conflict and threaten social laws of organization. The normativity of property aims to materialize through the process of justice, or the justification of rights, the approximation of the harmony between individualities and collectivities, facts and rights. Property may be regulated by prvilege of the State, but if we apply reciprocity to property outside of the governmental principle of the state we can see possession becoming the trend, but not Slavic possession or fief, rather possession that is also allodial an exchangeable in character.  

Mutualism is both individualism and socialism. Reciprocity, or the Golden Rule, is our ethical principle which the individual and group must apply to the institution, or any institution, if they desire respect of their own because if practiced the resulting property rights and approximation of property forms will tend to correspond to justly individual and social contexts and therefore realizes individualism and socialism where its appropriate. The application of reciprocity can approximate the harmony of property forms and peace between collective forces such as persons, group, and environment in order to approximate justice, equality and anarchy.

According to mutualists property rights emerge in a social context of rivalry because we as individuals and groups cannot absolutely attain mutual respect for each others uniqueness and the properties that implies. Absolute social equilibrium and factually perfect property relations don't exist, we can only approximate them by means of justifying reciprocal property rights. Historically speaking, capitalism is the encroachment of ones space or property over another's space, the encroachment of private norms over social realms which happens to directly invade and negate social life and indirectly invade our private life, since both private and social life are interrelated according to mutualists as both individualists and socialists, but this is the process of capitalist appropriation we've all experienced. If we share this planet, we must give each other our own exclusive space without it constituting a lack of space for another person or group, but this is why property as a right is also a right of invasion, not just exclusion, that forms a counter-force to exclusion that so happens to be invasive. 

Libertarian capitalists, with non-Proviso Lockeanism coupled with the theory of self-ownership, on the flip side, propose that property rights are non-rivalrous because they are inalienable, a priori, self-evident and natural. This is why their property as an emergent norm or institution is generally treated individually until there is some explicit contract otherwise to treat it cooperatively or communally. To them as natural rights theorists of sorts, the fact-right antinomy of property doesn't exist, which is partially why they radicalize individualism to the point of capitalism and smother any sort of revolutionary ideas and forces in the process in support of crypto-fascism, intentionally or not.

Given the complexity and scale of material properties in modern capitalist societies since industrialization, treating property norms as de facto individual norms tends to centralize them into capitalist norms, and non-Proviso Lockean natural rights theorists such as Rothbard don't fail to see that as a theoretical contradiction, whether ethically, socio-politically, socio-economically, etc. This is why they would reestablish those capitalist contradictions in practice. Non-Proviso Lockeanism technically doesn't even exist, it was just a halfway point from Locke's early work to his complete work. The complexity and scale of material properties cause individual norms to centralize into capitalist norms in present social situations because we no longer have the reason, knowledge, organization or will to reproduce such material on our own since the complexity of the division of labor and the artificial scarcity of information is too great, ultimately making our own possession in particular a problem, since we obviously use and occupy capital.

Capitalists currently possess a gross portion of the means of production, and some of it isn't even actively possessed by them but rather lays idle in their bank accounts maintaining a status of potential possession. Not only do we currently have a possession problem but the use of this material in it's current form is clearly causing harm to the people and our environment, which is part of our discouragement in repossessing these materials I'm sure, but is why Sate and Capital coerce us to use and maintain it through their constructed, implemented and administered social structures with given systemic purposes so we can't even recycle or transform the material if we wanted to. The lack of possession we maintain should theoretically lead to some lack of use as a result, but since private proprietors possess the means of production and manipulate the state to violently enforce their possession, we are forced to use said capital out of necessity because we no longer have means of subsistence of our own. I'm speaking very generally, but many use material properties yet are currently incapable of possessing them because of this lack of reason, knowledge, organization and will, hence why these individual, societal, material and ecological properties reciprocate with each other in a way that we cannot justify in good conscience. The material and social structures as they currently exist, regardless of which created which, as its mutually causal now, is hard for anyone to justify on a systemic level when we have the technology and information just waiting to manifest into something of use-value but will not because of the level of bureaucracy and system of patents blocking its development.

Non-Proviso Lokeanism practiced would reproduce similar if not worse capitalist norms because there is no adherence to the Proviso's or any account that nature un-mixes labor as properties therefore permitting absenteeism, waste, and pollution to subsume within the subtext of a capitalist system that thrives on these externalities. If you think that absenteeism, waste and pollution doesn't sound too bad, look at the extent of how this occurs today and tell me that wasting a revolution to approximately reinstate false principles like these wouldn't waste one of the few chances humanity may have left. I'm assuming we manage to actually acquire the faculties, organization and will to possess the material given the extensive division of labor and information problem, but I cannot logically make this assumption in the first place. I can't even make this assumption because in approximately applying non-Proviso Lockeanism as a principle, we embrace and apply its flaws in practice, making the manifestation of the faculties and organization for possession in aforementioned appropriate social contexts impossible for the people since the possession of those trust worthy capitalists is good enough. When you think that the means of production are too complicated and large-scale to control, and you have the assumption in your mind that the capitalist has the right to this knowledge and control, no one is even going to bother learning about the whole production process in order to effectively possess the means of production making the whole struggle against authority the mere act of empowering another. In other words, people applying these principles wouldn't seek possession of the means of production because they preconceive their lives as subservient users of capital waiting for a pittance of their product that is a wage. This is probably why libertarian capitalists will never have their revolution let alone a movement.

If communism was practiced I have a similar feeling property would become a destructive institution, not only because possession is communally organized and use individually actualized by subjective interpretations of "ability and need" that are likely to be dictated by the inter-subjective pressures of social status within the democratic institution of the commune, therefore leaving little or no control to the individual at all ignoring the political role of occupancy, but because libertarian communism does not theoretically embrace organizational forms other than the commune causing that particular problem of social status to manifest. I believe that communal domain and communal organizations should expand drastically but that doesn't make me a communist per se. There are alternative organizational structures and property forms that can be considered non-exploitative without adhering to the "need principle", which is why applying the need principle uniformly in all social contexts for all people is probably not the best idea if we want to stay true to anarchism.

I get that the commune is an amorphous stake in the capital and product of associated labor wherein each individual maintains an unhindered contribution to production that implies an unhindered stake in the use of capital and consumption of product. This mode of organization is great, but like all organizations it has its potential problems. Implicit social pressures of a quid pro quo nature are essential to an organizational balance of ability and need since explicit social pressures of price within a market regulate supply and demand, but those implicit social forces have the potential to be abused for the purpose of externalizing costs and promoting structural privilege just like market forces. Social forces of a market manage to reinforce structures of privilege if appropriation is invasive and therefore manages to skew price from cost as a means to extract surplus value. The same truth about property norms applies to the social forces of an organization. Communal organization has its costs and benefits depending on the nature of production but to have it applied to every imaginable association would definitely ignore the particular nature of production and what level and mode of organization if any at all is necessary causing those social pressures containing cost externalities to interlock and snowball into an authoritarian hierarchy. Similar to the reality that imposing private norms in all social organizations negates social life and reproduce state-capitalism, imposing communal norms in all social organizations would negate private life and produce state-communism.

The commune would remain autonomous while the individual submissive if there can be no individual stake in its means of production because people would be coerced to associate with established communes with established capital. The social and cultural status associated with joining the largest commune emerge and free association would be suppressed in the long-run leading federal and regional delegates to represent suppression of rather than responsibility to the workers. If you think gift within the federations will be enough to counter that, because gifts would redistribute capital in an equitable manner, I just question at what point a commune would feel no point in gifting once it large enough to create some illusion of increased productivity and a false sense of entitlement in relation to other communes, similar the the economies of scale argument for the corporate form, or whether gifting necessarily promotes decentralization. The socio-political structure of an organization that size would be immensely hierarchical and I feel by that time the largest communes would have already indirectly appropriated all others within the federation. They won't have to give to you, because if you don't give to them, the largest commune, you'll be blacklisted because you no longer recognize their "too big to fail" social status. Just as inequitable conditions distort the function of exchange, it also distorts the function of gift. No change in social organization or wealth transmission can escape that if there is no engagement with property.

In dividing the political responsibility associated with possession and the political responsibility associated with use in such an opposing manner by means of centralizing the moral responsibility of possession to a single democratic institution and decentralizing the moral responsibility of use to the many individuals as such ignores the moral/political relationship between possession and use and therefore fails to recognize the moral/political role of occupancy within the institutions of organization and property. Libertarian communists essentially forget the inherent relationship between possession and use in the same way libertarian capitalists deny the fact-right antinomy of property, which communists also deny, and is why both end up implementing individualism and socialism in an antagonistic way. The key to balancing individualism and socialism is not radicalizing either one to the point of capitalism and communism after all.

Libertarian communists forget that in using the means of production one possesses them to some extent, and in possessing the means of production one also uses them in a certain manner. The capitalist, despite the fact that s/he is only productive by title and perceptually blind to the actual production process, still manages to contribute to the abstract production process, albeit through a structure of privileged control, because they are part of the reason the final product exists and manages to change hands. The wage-laborer, despite the fact that s/he lacks any privately or legally recognized control over the production process still manages to extend their personality over means of production and possess the productive process because use happens to imply labor. The capitalist class now delegates possession to their own wage-laborers through the managerial class. Wage-laborers, with the implied possession they have by their permission to labor within contractual terms of access and use of the capital provided by the privilege of the capitalist is now further concentrated to specific wage-laborers who desire possession remain centralized in the hands of the capitalists, ie the managerial class. In misunderstanding the relation between possession and use, and often failing to theoretically account for the dynamics of the managerial class in relation to these concepts, the moral and political responsibility of occupancy. This is why federal and regional delegates are pointless and can form a new bureaucratic ruling class. Communists may not prefer delegates in a scenario of "full communism", but our ends follow from our means. Communism, similar to capitalism, divorces benefit from cost, capital from labor, fact from right, and socialism from individualism but in the name of "The Commune" rather than "The Market", Federation rather than State.

There needs to be a way to prevent the productive and consumptive relations of use into a politically democratic game of state as opposed to a similar politically competitive game of proprietorship. There needs to be a system of institutional control that is directly bound to perception, valuation and action in a way that is fluid and responsive, not in a way that is conflicting and potentially bureaucratic. This requires a conscious engagement with the institutions of property, organization, market and federation by mutualist anarchist principles.

Property with its polycentric control and federation with its equal unity manages to create a social equilibrium between individualities and collectivities that share the association of markets and organizations. Organizations, rather than being static things or glorified abstractions, are social structures for the purpose of actively organizing the production of goods which happen to be an example of a more planned order/explicit association. Markets, rather than being a static thing or glorified abstraction like "the market", are social institutions for the purpose of actively circulating the allocation of goods whether by means of exchange, barter, gift, or skill-share which happens to be a more spontaneous order/implicit association. Property as a polycentric institution would decentralize/localize organizational structures and reinforce the decentralization/localization of market structures in effect. Federation as a unifying institution promotes equality and stability between the associations/orders/structures of market and organization since the terms of mutual-aid and mutual-coordination institutionalizes a culture of solidarity which enables future decentralism and localism of markets and organizations along with the polycentrism of property. However, if antinomies are ignored and reciprocity not applied, then the institutions of property, organization, market, and federation are unlikely to function or interrelate with each other in this way.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Note on Slavery and the Origins of Property:

The first link explains why the collective consciousness of humanity is not ready to abandon the concept of property, and that rather than ignoring the matter we should rather update the theory of property and move forward.

Private property initially aimed and actually served to reward the laborer with his product. Unfortunately as industrial capitalism developed the theory of non-Proviso Lockeanism (the historically theoretical background for most legalistic forms of private property) essentially failed to account for the particularly destructive material relations and exploitative social forms of industrialism and is how the revolutionary aims of private property were eventually dialectically inverted to instead divorce the laborer from his product. Since the development of industrial capitalism neither the complete theory of Proudhon or Locke (Proviso Lockeanism) have been practiced, and I believe it's safe to say that both theories would have positive social and ecological implications especially within the context of global corporate capitalism.

A Tale of Three Proviso's:

The second link beautifully ties together the intersection of both Proudhon, Stirner, and Locke's theories of property. Locke's Proviso's are likely the emergent norms of Proudhon's theory, the norms that Stirner considered somewhat unnecessary for a "Union of Egoists" and Proudhon left to persons practicing of reciprocity or the Golden Rule.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Property-State Antinomy & the Failures of Anti-State Reductionism

The state is not the only socio-political institution that has created the "subsidy of history" (1) that is to blame for the current economic structure of society, as many left-libertarians argue. Private property is an institution that has as much dirt on its name as the state since conventional property norms promote "privatization" over social realms as opposed to what is falsely conveyed by politicians, corporate media, capitalist proprietors, and managers as individual ownership involving purely individual concerns and responsibilities. Private property has historically and existentially dictated the movement has created an inproportionat amount of exclusive control over material, principles, rights, and general institutions and consequently is what defines and reinforces the state since the state defines the institution of property (or that’s what they would prefer us to have us think) in the form of legal right (even though moral right is something different). The relation between state and private property implies deviation and a degree of independence among them. This means institutional analysis should focus on them both in relation and isolation. I will focus on the relation and implied deviation between these institutions.

Due to the fact that state and private property are two territorial monopolies on force that overlap in principle there exists a contradiction and inherent antagonism in practice that can only be resolved if those who control the institutions (via the hierarchies within the organizations that the institutions have formed) concede each other a given amount of autonomy over what their classes control thereby legitimizing their roles in society. This way the relative but conflicting functions of private property and state don't contradict each other in a mutually detrimental way since there exists the potential that politicians, managers and proprietors of the ruling class work against each other at times. However, their net cooperation as a class will exceed their net conflict if said structures manage to effectively synchronize, otherwise the ruling class wouldn't be coherent enough to justify their own institutions and they definitely don't want that. Hopefully the current lack of structural synchronicity is what destabilizes the ruling class in this process of globalization, but our efforts to consciously approximate reciprocity within and beyond the system that exists definitely wouldn't hurt, in fact it would insure a way forward for those engaged at least if not insure a true end to this oppressive system on increasing scales or dimensions at best. Either way their cooperation as a coherent ruling class essentially externalizes their antagonistic social forces onto the public by means of only letting each other share their exclusive domain in the name of preserving their institutions and its failures which are associated benefits for them.

Even though though these institutions manage to deviate they are currently necessary for each others existence. Private property contributes to the definition of a state in the sense that what the state has a territorial monopoly over is constituted by many things including what the institution of property happens to maintain control over. Private property operates somewhat independently from the state, but usually in benefit thereof because the manifested centralization of private property, by means of capitalist appropriation and the resulting yields from unequal exchange that reinforces *future* capitalist appropriation, makes private property more legible for the state to control. The state also functions to benefit the proprietors of the ruling class. Every time the state constructs a law, regulation, tax, or subsidy it is essentially drawing lines on where and how state property in its various forms is "justly" distributed among "us", or more realistically the elite. Furthermore any manifestation of property in the hands of a given class over a given industry has more say in the operation and decision making of the state than any non-proprietor, making the state as much a proprietary entity as proprietary entities are mini-states. This is not to say that we ought to seek the power of the state, since its principle invalid and its aims unethical, but that's how it currently works.

This property-state antinomy needs to be confronted, but blaming the state for everything that existing private property has also contributed to is disingenuous and is not a way to confront it. Realizing what the state has done is one thing but reducing every social problem to the state is something completely different and ends up aiding the problem. While the state has often historically defined the institution of property within its legal constructs, property theoretically can and historically has formed as a counter-institution in negation to the state in practice, not only as simple deviation deviation but as social revolution. Therefore the solution to the property-state antinomy is to construct reciprocal property norms that negates private property and the state.

The legally absolute imposition of private norms in social realms has produced the negation of social life and the direct empowerment of nominally private powers over social forms and therefore the indirect empowerment of nominally private powers over actual private life. I think non-Proviso Lockeanism if implemented would recreate a similar form of authoritarianism in the realm of property, and I'll explain why in my next paper. On the other hand I'm afraid the libertarian communist solution of negating property and its absolutism is no answer either because social norms could logically be imposed in actual private life that isn't nominally private by legalistic or capitalistic norms. As Jules Leroux once said,

"And property necessarily finds itself defined in these terms: The possession and use of an object to satisfy a need. Suppress the word possession, and property disappears. Suppress the word use, and property becomes an immoral, anti-human thing: it is monopoly; it is theft."

The suppression of use as justification of a moral right amounts to the property we have today, and it surely is monopoly and theft. The suppression of possession would cause property to disappear, as Jules Leroux claims, but in my mind amounts to nearly as anti-human a thing as we have today because without possession (that control and law of organization extended by our personality) use becomes negated for the worst. The answer appears to approximate a property form established by an ethic that embraces possession on a basis of occupancy and use in contexts appropriately correspondent to individualism (private life) and socialism (social contexts), ie reciprocity. This way property as it "necessarily finds itself defined" can be realized.

We must realize that the state is playing an increasingly expansive and important role in the survival of capitalism (which is probably why this tendency of anti-state reductionism has emerged, ie blind reaction to a police state, surveilance state, etc) because it is suffering from constant crises and increasing risk of collapse that’s been inherent to the internal logic of private property from the beginning (legitimization crises, input crises, fiscal crises, over-accumulation/over-production/over-population crises). Furthermore in the last one-hundred years or so, with the development of corporate and global corporate capitalism from the initial mercantile and industrial capitalist interests, the state as a political institution has served to both increasingly rationalize and preserve these economic contradictions to the extent that the system doesn't collapse or that the people revolt, which is a sign that capitalism in general is running out of time, space and energy because the state is a principle of persistence in a reality of constant change (2) (state stems from the word "stare" or to persist). This is why the state as a principle is invalid, and why the state is serving to stall the decay of capitalism when we obviously should just move on.

Property as a legal right and moral right contradict. The conscious realization of property as a fact, or as a complex matrix of "ownness", and the justification of property as a socially or individually exclusive moral right in correspondance to reciprocity (as the principle that describes this matrix of "ownness" and prescribes respect for "ownness" where groups and individuals identify and justify their "own" in this matrix) should approximately establish us on a road towards alternative actions and institutions that will practically dissolve private property relations in social contexts, establish personal property that's not unjustly appropriated, and the promote the active emergence of social property in social contexts. This revolution in property ought to promote the very resolution of the economic contradictions (since a counter-economy will coalesce around these altnerative/counter-institutions) that helped promote the false necessity for a state to "reconcile" such contradictions by its principled illusion of persistence and in turn its actual forces of taxation, regulation, subsidization, and legalization. This will eventually form a “counter-weight”, just as Proudhon said, to the state itself. In essence, constructing a reciprocal property norms among ourselves can dissolve private property and the existing state, giving us a chance to educate against any state from ever re-emerging.

In terms of strategy we ought not focus our energy entirely on the state in a direct manner, but that which defines the state, ie private property, even if we oppose both equally. Directly confronting the state will just get you hurt, and the most ethical and strategic manner to get rid of your masters is to cut the leash, not bite the hand. If you detach yourself from private property as a social institution, that which defines the state, by means of constructing our own reciprocal property norms, that leash that permits the accumulation of private property (in material, intellect, organization) which is essentially extracted from the social realms that reinforces your *own* private life will disappear, and so will the state as it no longer has that leash to rely on. However this can only occur by the approximate proccess of learning how and proving we can care for ourselves through means of prefigurative politics guided by sound ethics and principles, then a successful dual-power can form.