New FREE Audiobook: “Complete Liberty”

For a couple of years now we’ve been offering 1970’s “The Market for Liberty” in audiobook and .PDF forms for download free at Book.FreeKeene.com. Now, we offer a brand new audiobook, published in 2007 by Wes Bertrand, “Complete Liberty: The Demise of the State and the Rise of Voluntary America”. The book is inspired by many other great liberty-minded works in the past (such as The Market for Liberty) and is an excellent modern day look at what liberty is and how we can achieve it in our lifetimes. Complete Liberty is a highly recommended read for those interested in freedom. Wes also does a podcast which you can listen to on his site, CompleteLiberty.com. Visit that page for his introduction. Here are three ways you can download this book:

  1. 207 MB self-extracting archive (Windows users only) containing ten .mp3 chapters.
  2. 207 MB .ZIP file containing ten .mp3 chapters.
  3. 1.2 MB .PDF – the actual book, which can be ordered in print here.

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26 Comments

  1. Very nice. I'll be sure to give it a listen.

  2. This, like "Market for Liberty", is just overblown atomist "libertarianism". It reduces the morality of actions to whether or not they are "voluntary" (or perhaps more accurately, whether or not it is "aggressive), and this is simply not enough to validate the morality of a situation. While it is certainly true that all aggressive acts are immoral, it does not follow to assume that all non-aggressive acts are moral. Moreover, voluntaryism allows for some incredibly oppressive authoritarianism and authoritarian social relationships, so long as it is "non-aggressive". Racism, neo-feudalism, and all manners of counter-libertarian ideas are justified all because of the atomist world view and attitude that prevails with voluntaryist thought.

    Moreover, the book attempts to defend the idea of self-ownership, when any close observation of the idea would lead one to conclude that "self-ownership" is a concept that is in dire need of saving from itself– the will and the physiological body are not divorced, as the implicit reasoning that self-ownership seems to present.

    The arguments are all circular if you bring in self-ownership as the basis of property, because the concept of self-ownership (which always means property-ownership) cannot exist without the concept of property. So we must ask, which comes first, self-ownership or property?

    If self-ownership comes first, then what justifies self-ownership in the absence of a justification for property-ownership claims, and if property comes first, then what justifies property in the absence of self-ownership as its basis?

  3. Everyone should listen to the podcasts. Wes is brilliant and really conveys the ideas of voluntaryism well.

  4. Jesse,

    Please introduce us to the work you find to be best. Personally I find that Rothbard has addressed your concerns thoroughly, but I would like to read the work you find most complete and thorough.

  5. Hi Jesse,

    How about this? I'm standing on a hill with nothing but a t shirt and a pair of shorts on, and that's all I have in the whole world. Some tyrant comes up to me and says I need to come live with and work for him, since I'm no good otherwise. Now it's obvious that I have nothing in the whole world but a cover for my pee pee and a shirt. So are you saying that I can be owned by anyone, since I have no property of my own? Or could it be that I oqn myself, and can choose where to walk and what to do next? I don't see self-ownership as circular at all, because I can see a situation where it would still exist in the absenceof any other physical property. What is the string that ties me to earthly possessions? I'm not seeing it, man. Help me out here

  6. Before you answer Jesse, and I sincerely I hope that you do: I have a suspicion that you would consider yourself an anarcho-syndicalist. If that's true, I would like to add that Mises's & Rothbard's arguments against syndicalism are far more powerful than any of the points you just raised against voluntaryism or anarcho-capitalism.

    Surely you don't deny an individual the right to justly acquired property. If that's true, would you deny me the right to sell my labor for wages voluntarily? The voluntaryist doesn't deny you the right to start a syndicalist firm.

    Please, give me the most powerful anarcho-Jesseian work so I can truly understand where you're coming from and conceptualize the system that you propose.

  7. "then what justifies self-ownership?"

    The self-contradictory nature of the alternatives.

  8. Then again, that supposes I've heard all of the alternatives (the ones presented in the "Philosophy of Liberty" video.) Perhaps there are others.

    It seems pretty obvious to me, though, that I have, at the very least, de facto ownership of my body.

  9. Gah. It seems my HTML jacked up. If Ian decides to just delete these comments and let me repost them with the fixed HTML within the next hour or so, all should be fine. Otherwise, I'll include the links I gave in another post.

  10. Vince: Self-Ownership is just as contradictory and wrought with problems of legitimacy as the "only alternative" given in the "Philosophy of Liberty"– if anything, the "Philosophy of Liberty" is incredibly misleading, in that it doesn't establish why self-ownership ought to be axiomatic or why it even makes sense. The basic premises state that the mind owns the physical body, as if they are separate entities. This view essentially assumes the existence of a soul-like being that occupies the physical, which is questionable especially from an atheistic or materialistic view. The mind is better viewed as being a function of the body, not a separate entity, and thus "the body owns the body" becomes redundant and meaningless.

    EDIT: Let me be clear, however, that this isn't meant to undermine or reduce the importance of individual sovereignty, but is a critique in effort to create a more logically sound premise while at the same time dodging the bullet of solipsism. To quote Brainpolice "This is a rather simple matter of recognizing the distinction between one's actual self and that which is either external to oneself or non-existant to begin with. If such a distinction is not made, then there will forevermore be a confusing haze with respect to discussions about rights and their derivation. "

  11. Ok, I'll add my two or three cents here, given that AnarchoJesse has provided an assessment of my views that I do not share, as well as raised an epistemological/ownership issue that seems problematic.

    Rothbard, the Tannehills (as well as Jarret Wollstein in Society

    Without Coercion), were all influenced in vital ways by the holistic philosophy of Objectivism. Thus, our promotion of voluntaryism is based on a foundation that encompasses metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, as well as politics (and some would say, esthetics). This is far from the out-of-context libertarianism that AnarchoJesse condemns.

    I do agree that political philosophy doesn't address individual codes of morality beyond the implications of the non-aggression principle. Yet, treating each person as an end in him or her self, which is the essence of voluntaryism, is the opposite of most authoritarian behavior, as I've made made known repeatedly on Complete Liberty Podcast. It's the bare minimum requirement for a civilized society. Btw, although Complete Liberty is mainly a book about political philosophy, it does also cover ethics explicitly: Liberty-Oriented Values and Virtues.

    If you want to explore more of the other philosophical branches as well as psychology in this context, I recommend the works of Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden respectively. While they do harbor the terrible contradiction concerning "limited (monopolistic yet allegedly rights-respecting) government" and various problems stemming from it, their intellectual clarity in most other areas is stellar. My first book, The Psychology Of Liberty, attempted to connect all the logical dots in these matters and is much more philosophically comprehensive than CL. Even though I'll be doing a revised edition soon (correcting some of my past errors, such as IP, as well as converting it to an audiobook!), here is its section dealing with ethics specifically: Freedom—An Ethical Issue.

    Finally, regarding concerns about the term "self-ownership," see here for many lengthy discussions, most of which I view as epistemological hair-splitting. Ownership is a concept only understandable in conceptual terms by human beings, which are volitional creatures of reason (i.e., that identify and integrate reality in conceptual terms). Thus, the query, "Which comes first, 'self-ownership' or 'property'?" isn't quite fundamental enough.

    The concept of ownership presupposes a rational faculty, which is a phenomenon of brain processes; the mind is what the brain does (I endorse logically defined compatibilism, btw, not dualism). To own something is to have jurisdiction to use and/or dispose of that thing, while acknowledging others' jurisdiction to do the same in society, without conflict.

    You have a right to use and/or dispose of your own body (donate a kidney, for instance). However, in line with voluntaryism, it would be contradictory to use and/or dispose of other people (because they're reasoning, volitional organisms too). Now, what about owning–using and/or disposing of–one's own mind–i.e., the very faculty that grasps the concept of ownership and ascribes ownership to various body parts and property rights to things external to it?

    Well, by using one's reasoning faculty, one is assuming volitional control and thus ownership (using one's vocal cords, and more fundamentally, one's neural system). Basically, self-ownership can't be escaped, metaphysically (though people try to deny it all the time politically); rather than being a fallacy of circular reasoning, it's a shorthand way of identifying a basic truth that encapsulates a great deal of logical reasoning. Furthermore, if one embraces an objective code of morality, then doing harm to oneself to the point of suicide (i.e., destroying the very thing that does the owning) would be terribly contradictory. We ought to flourish and be happy, not make sacrifices or, worse still, the ultimate sacrifice, which is what statism seeks.

    Btw, employing the term "sovereign" instead of "self-owner" doesn't alter the nature of the discussion; it simply begs the question. Why is a person sovereign? Well, because a person has a reasoning mind and thus volitional control; slavery is contradictory. The self–the aspect of the brain, in concert with the entire organism sustaining its functioning–doing the owning also decides what to do with his or her own self. We're back to self-ownership, once again.

    W

  12. Repost of adjust posts:

    Comment by Wiles

    Jesse,

    Please introduce us to the work you find to be best. Personally I find that Rothbard has addressed your concerns thoroughly, but I would like to read the work you find most complete and thorough.

    Rothbard hasn't addressed any of the concerns I've listed and explained, and what he has addressed has been thoroughly reduced by Roderick Long, Kevin Carson, Francois Tremblay, and Alex Strekel.

    That all aside, there isn't any one singular all-encompassing body of work in any one place that can fully satisfy the intellectual rigors needed to establish what I think would be most complete and thorough. I would recommend you read Kevin Carson's Organization Theory (available for free http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/studies-in-… Alex Strekel's posts on "http://polycentricorder.blogspot.com/ (he posts under the moniker of Brainpolice), Francois Tremblay's http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ and the http://c4ss.org/ would be good starts.

    Hi Jesse,

    How about this? I’m standing on a hill with nothing but a t shirt and a pair of shorts on, and that’s all I have in the whole world. Some tyrant comes up to me and says I need to come live with and work for him, since I’m no good otherwise. Now it’s obvious that I have nothing in the whole world but a cover for my pee pee and a shirt. So are you saying that I can be owned by anyone, since I have no property of my own?

    Not at all, and I'm honestly unsure on how to even approach the question you've laid out here because it seems to be completely removed from what I was talking about.

    Or could it be that I oqn myself, and can choose where to walk and what to do next? I don’t see self-ownership as circular at all, because I can see a situation where it would still exist in the absence of any other physical property. What is the string that ties me to earthly possessions? I’m not seeing it, man. Help me out here

    I'm not even sure I understand the questions you're asking, but I'm pretty sure that I've just explained why self-ownership is circular right above you! If you can't even bring yourself to explain why the reasoning I've laid out before you is false, and ask instead for another reason because "[you] don't see it", I'm not going to feel particularly inclined to go any further with this.

    Before you answer Jesse, and I sincerely I hope that you do: I have a suspicion that you would consider yourself an anarcho-syndicalist. If that’s true, I would like to add that Mises’s & Rothbard’s arguments against syndicalism are far more powerful than any of the points you just raised against voluntaryism or anarcho-capitalism.

    1. Passing me off to someone else's arguments instead of addressing them here as I am with my objections to your voluntaryist and anarcho-capitalist doesn't do anything to defend the faith– remember what Bastiat said: ""The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."

    2. Mises' criticisms of syndicalism have little to do with actual criticism of syndicalism (which there are many) and more to do with his love for managerialism and the managerial class. Mises, in his wisdom, saw fit to declare that syndicalist organizations would be incapable of calculating; oddly enough, he seems to forget that calculation isn't exclusive to his managerial economy and calculation doesn't presuppose any form of organization, but simply that a pricing mechanism exists.

    3. I am not a syndicalist, I am a mutualist.

    Surely you don’t deny an individual the right to justly acquired property.

    No, I don't deny a right to justly acquired property; rather, I reject the Lockean premises and theory of property, and instead believe that possession and use is a more logically sound concept of property rights.

    If that’s true, would you deny me the right to sell my labor for wages voluntarily? The voluntaryist doesn’t deny you the right to start a syndicalist firm.

    Why on earth you would want to have a right to be exploited is beyond me, but that aside, I don't think one can sell labor in any real sense, and I think it is morally repugnant to do so for wages. As Rothbard himself laid out, it is impossible for the will to be divorced from the self– this means both that the concept of "self"-ownership becomes redundant and even weaker, and at the same time it helps us establish that it simply can't be possible for one to sell themself at all! Indeed, if it is impossible to sell ourselves into a lifetime of servitude, how can we sell ourselves at piecemeal doesn't hold up under the same lens.

    What the "voluntaryist" doesn't "deny" is irrelevant– the core question becomes "what does it permit?" Clearly, it permits all sorts of atrocities and exploitative relationships, so long as it is "voluntary".

    Please, give me the most powerful anarcho-Jesseian work so I can truly understand where you’re coming from and conceptualize the system that you propose.

    You can start with reading the links I gave home-skillet, but I would also recommend some dialog with libertarian socialists and reading of the classical anarchist writings from Bakunin, Kropotkin (Mutual Aid, especially), Tucker, and Proudhon (this might be a bit difficult to understand because most of the translations suck and his penchant for flourishing statements makes it difficult to understand). These aren't enough to establish my own personal framework of belief, but they are a fantastic start.

    ————————————

    Also, one of the opening sections on “The Allure of Communism” conflates Social Democracy, Marxism-Leninism, and various State Socialist ideologies with communism and socialism and fails to even establish a quantifiable definition of what communism is and what its aims are.

    He continues on with the completely fallacious appeal to the tragedy of the commons, and further asserts that without property rights, conflict would inevitably result. The former issue is one that is given an incredible amount of time and credence within the vulgar libertarian framework, despite all evidence to the contrary to what most claim would be the invariable result of common ownership of parcels of land. The problem with the latter idea is that he completely neglects to mention the various other theories of property, which are all possession and use based. In other words, he takes his theory of property to be a given, and he doesn’t bother to explain to you why it is the more just and libertarian theory of property. From here, he goes on to conflate State property systems to be the absence of property, when this couldn’t be further from the truth– the State relies on strongly on a notion of property with a basis in title and privilege, often called “private property”.

    Next, he takes the unsurprising and all to revealing approach of reducing all class theory to nothing more than the conjuration of a bearded leech, clearly oblivious to the well established fact that class struggle has a long history in libertarian theory, and was originally presented by the French School of Economics. You know, all the proto-Austrians and early freedish market-oriented figures like Bastiat, Comte, and Say. Of course, this is the sort of knee-jerk reactionary bullshit you get when you start saying the four letter words “exploitation”, “class struggle”, and “solidarity”, so I suppose it is to be expected.

    After some quoting of Marx and Engels at length as if their words were clearly condemnatory to any reader, he goes on to laud his particularly favorite class– the capitalist class. Oh, where would we be without them to profit from rent and usury, planned obsolescence, irrational managerialism and artificial property strictures! He spares no effort to repeat the bullshit mantra of Reisman that we would all be complete vegetables if it weren’t for the capitalist, who so wisely invests his time so that us insignificant workers can have better lives.

    He continues shooting himself in the foot by further lauding the managerial class, completely oblivious to the extensive body of work which shows that the managerial class exists only as a leech and usurper of productivity and access to productive materials.

    Finally, he wraps it up with a casual wave of the hand as a means to dismiss fascism and socialism both, neglecting the absolutely necessary arguments to provide a clear argument in favor of voluntaryism. That said, I take issue with the word “socialist” being used without context as well. State Socialism is pretty awful, but as it was historically understood socialism was an inherently libertarian method of determining how to solve the labor problem. It wasn’t until Marx took it for a conservative bent was it associated with Statism, and even then, as late as the 1920’s many socialist papers and pamphlets called on people to avoid and resist the national industrial reforms that were used to suppress labor and competition.

  13. So, just to be clear Jesse, suppose my friend builds homes for people, but has too much work on his hands, and so wants to hire me to help. I agree, because I feel he is paying a good wage, which is worth more to me than the time.

    You'd leave us alone in our business, or bust in with gun drawn?

    Suppose later I become tired of working for him. But, instead of simply quitting, I demand to be given part of his savings and his bench saw — despite the fact that I had voluntarily agreed to work for him for another price, which had been paid. I start threatening him in order to take his property.

    Would you support my extortion, or not?

    Suppose a person builds a nice house with their own hands. They then decide that the most important thing to them is a very high priced specialized education for their kid. They trade the house to a world-class PHD for four years of personalized instruction, and agree that they will pay rent to the PHD as they continue to live in what is now his house.

    After the PHD pours thousands of hours into the education of the child, and that education has concluded, they now tell the PHD that they'll be taking the house back whether he likes it or not, and won't be sending him any more rent.

    Would you support them in this?

  14. Wes, have you thought of doing a podcast on some of the left-libertarian, mutualist, libertarian-socialist ideas?

    One thing I haven't seen addressed by mutualists is the issue of time preference. What about people who want a house, car, tool, whatever immediately, and only for a short time? Supposedly a person who rents a car or hotel room is now the owner (or whatever you prefer to call them if you are one that doesn't believe in property at all the way the libertarian-socialists seem to believe). Does this mean that hotels, rental cars, tool renters etc. are incompatible with a mutualist society?

    Tell me what I am missing.

  15. Wes, if you see this, maybe you could invite Jesse to join you for a future podcast. I believe it would be an interesting conversation. If you would both be willing to discuss your differences and air them so listeners can mull it over.

  16. Ok, Jesse, that's fine if you don't bother, I'll just go on thinking that I own myself and let you think about why that may or may not be true.

    This subject is so nebulous and disconnected from everyday reality that it is failing to hold my interest

  17. If y'all follow the links in the above posts, you can find some interesting sites from Slovakian sex clubs…how kewl iz *THAT*???…(Go ahead, be real stupid. Download the Central European language packs…hint: You don't need the language downloads, if you're just gonna look at the pictures!)…(*grin*)…OH!…Ian has a doppelganger in Slovakia!…

  18. @John Delano regarding mutualism and time preference: I would recommend reading Kevin Carson's first book, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy. He spend several chapters discussing how the labor theory of value (LTV) can be reconciled with the insights of the marginalist and the Austrians. He dedicates a chapter to the issue of time preference.

    The entire book can be read for free in html or pdf here: http://mutualist.org/id47.html

    The entire book is well worth reading. I hope you give it a shot.

  19. Jesse, I have a few questions for you and am still waiting to read your direct response t Wes' comments posted here.

    My questions are:

    1. Since you do not believe you own yourself, who owns you?

    2. What rights or priviledges are you exercising by utilizing the capabilities of the body you don't own?

    3. Why and how are you thinking, breathing, expressing your beliefs and existing since you claim to not own yourself?

    4. If another individual commits an act of aggression against you, would it be any of your concern?

    Please excuse my ignorance if "you" denotes self-ownership.

    I read most of the comments here, but if I've repeated anything posted by another, I apologize for doing so.

  20. …….Let me try, Craig…Hey, Anarchojesse! If you're saying you don't own yourself, are you objecting to the *idea* of "self", or the *OWNERSHIP* thereof…..the former sounds very psuedo-proto Buddhist, but the latter sounds dictatorial/fascist/anarchist/agorist/&etc…Not enough room here to do justice to the ideas of Taoism, but I think a reading of the Tao would benefit everybody! "It's my body, and I'll do what I want to, with it." < —Does *THAT* explain it???…

  21. Anarchojesse: Are you saying that you see "ownership" of the self as being a status that can be bought and sold, say, something like that? That "ownership" is a false / wrong idea?…help me out here, ok…I'm not sure that I see "ownership" as being relevant or applicable to living beings. To manifest the concept of ownership w/ a person, is the essence of slavery. So, while I agree that objects can be, and are "owned", persons and animals, etc., can't be "owned", because to do so, (or even to think so) would be a violation of that life forms' right to freedom…Is this close to what you're trying to say? I'm doing my best to be supportive, without sticking my nose in other folks' business. I heard there's been some conflict with others in your life lately. I'm sorry that that's been going on. I truly hope things can be worked out, and ways to move forward can be found.

  22. Anarchojesse: Below is a link to a great article by Per Bylund about the [url =http://mises.org/story/2096]Trouble with Socialist Anarchism[/url]

    Thoughts??

  23. If I may phrase AnarchoJesse's contentions based on his criticisms of CL's first chapter (and some other aspects) in bullet point fashion:

    People don't understand the true meaning of communism

    "Tragedy of the commons" defies the evidence

    Without property rights, there will be harmony

    The possession and use-based property theories of mutualists are preferable to anything else

    The State owns property

    "Title and privilege" to private property exists courtesy of the State

    Class theory should be considered in light of the mutualist class

    Rent and interest are exploitative

    Companies deliberately design shoddy products and services via false management and artificial property strictures

    Entrepreneurs (company owners) who build capital and hire people treat them as "insignificant"

    Anyone who manages a company, large or small, is a leach and usurper of both the productivity and the productive materials that would otherwise have been wisely used by members of the mutualist class

    Fascism and socialism need to be exposed in detail as inferior to freedom and respect for property rights

    Socialism, in bygone days, was devised to solve the "labor problem"

    …and…

    Selling your services to someone is a form of exploitation ("wage slavery") and a relinquishment of self-ownership (which is itself a contradiction)

    All these comments seem to be at odds with a logical understanding of how voluntary trade works, among other things. If a mutualist desires to have a worker-owned shop, a cooperative, that's his prerogative, as long as others' property rights (objectively defined) are respected. However, given the above beliefs, the mutualist will have a difficult time making profits in good conscience. After all, he will be receiving payment for what he produces with his own labor (i.e., work), which would seem to be the very condition of "wage slavery" that he scorns.

    Even when he tries to escape this condition by engaging in barter, the fact of the matter is that he'll be just trading with a different (less universally recognized) commodity. Once fiat currency is no more (after the fall of statism), metal-based currencies will just represent commodities, as gold and silver have been universally accepted in the past.

    From the various writings of mutualists (both new and old) one's gets the impression that they don't mind conflating the present injustices arising from State-capitalism (taxes, subsidies, regulations, privileges, licenses, incorporation, IP laws, nonsensical contracts, etc.), with the nature of a truly capitalistic marketplace. They assume that capitalism, i.e., voluntary trade for profit between property owners, exists mainly via the "support" structure of statism.

    Perhaps the only recourse enabling the mutualist to save his economic soul is to be completely self-sufficient, spurning the various economic gains present in society as righteously as he spurns "wage slavery." Home gardening, local hunting and gathering, and do-it-yourself projects using recycled materials (even dumpster diving) are supposedly preferable to partaking in a capitalistic marketplace. However, the mutualist would no doubt contend that the nature of productivity in a neotechnic age society would be sustainable and much more sensible, unlike what we witness today (much of it reflecting the distortions of statism). Here's a choice quote by Kevin Carson, from Chapter 14 (Decentralized Production Technology) in his book _Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective_:

    "All this is not to say that complete household sufficiency in food, or the elimination of division of labor between town and country, is either necessary or desirable. It only means that it is possible. A return to agriculture based on intensive work with the spade, u-bar and fork would not mean starvation. It would mean greater output per acre than is presently the case."

    Having read the entirety of that chapter as well as 15 (Social Organization of Production: Cooperatives and Peer Production), and having skimmed over other interesting parts in this impressively long and thoughtful book (here's a favorable

    review), I'm of course in large agreement with his views against the statist status quo; he details both the seen and the unseen costs of statism in markets (though some of his speculations on a free market of mutualism I don't endorse). I also appreciate the enlightened perspective presented in chapter 15 of respectful relations among equals in workplaces. In a competitive (and cooperative) marketplace of complete liberty, any and all old school, command-and-control managers would be greatly encouraged to see the error of their ways. People of high self-esteem seek to work with those who don't see them as expendable or mere means to financial ends.

    But Carson, being a mutualist, evidently sees the nature of management and capitalism–and thus the constitution of a stateless society (lacking all the above-mentioned injustices)–in a fundamentally different way than anarcho-capitalists and voluntaryists.

    Mutualism apparently holds that managers are worse than useless, for they live off the work of their employees, aka "wage slaves." The task specialization and efficiency aspects of a larger business (not a corporation, mind you) are disfavored and denied.

    So, what's the reason we don't see cooperatives in place of allegedly exploitative managed companies? Have "capitalists" barred their entry? Or are worker-owned co-ops actually less efficient, and less appealing to most individuals' time preferences? Though Carson offers evidence that co-ops are more productive in various ways, they can't escape the process in which worker-owners must shift focus and manage da bidness at some point; apparently, this entails making decisions "democratically." Of course, mutualism holds that this is way better than a manager making decisions unilaterally (as if being a manager means taking on the role of petty dictator over captive subjects).

    Well, once the State dissolves, we'll see how things shape up in the realm of business and commerce. As long as people are free to live and work as they please, unfettered by any authoritarian sociopaths who operate "governments," I suspect that individuals will flourish in innumerable ways.

    W

    p.s., @John Delano and Fester. Thanks, I will do a podcast or two on the ideas of mutualism, including focus on the problematic property rights issues created by the Georgists, or Geo-libertarians. Strains of Marxism and the labor theory of value are hard for many folks to shake!

    @Robby. Great article by Bylund, as well as many of the blog comments to it!

  24. "So, what’s the reason we don’t see cooperatives in place of allegedly exploitative managed companies? Have “capitalists” barred their entry? Or are worker-owned co-ops actually less efficient, and less appealing to most individuals’ time preferences?"

    I think a response to that might be that the state supports more authoritarian business structures. I would agree that it does, but there would still be a hierarchical order that would emerge as some people specialized in some tasks and were seen as more of an authority. That doesn't mean that there would have to be a top down line of command where every person had a place, but in some areas, a person would be seen as higher in a hierarchy, and in another area, the roles would be shifted.

    Look at how hierarchies emerge on the internet. On Wikis, some people are going to be seen as having more authority, not just admins. With blogs discussion forums and profile pages, levels of ownership shift. Of course people can always make a new space, if they feel that some existing place isn't suiting their goals. Geographically, we can't just make more land if we don't like a state, as states have made a claim to all land, even though they haven't done anything to own it.

    I don't see how there is ever any getting away from hierarchies without becoming a recluse. But it is possible to get away from forced social arrangements. I know that many in the libertarian left don't like to end with voluntaryism.

    I'm sure there are some points of mutualism that I am missing. I hope I am representing it correctly.

Care to comment?