My Positions on Economic Questions

This was originally posted on the Libertarian Alliance blog.

The general theory of political economy I hold to is roughly the same as Carson’s, and I wrote an essay for LA back in 2008 outlining my perspective. Since you don’t like links, I won’t provide one. But it’s available online: “Free Enterprise: The Antidote to Corporate Plutocracy”

I generally favor organizing what I call “People’s Economic Fronts” for the purpose of creating a federation of organizations for the purpose of attacking forms of state intervention in the economy that have the effect of centralizing control over wealth and resources, i..e. the things outlined in Carson’s “A Political Program for Anarchists.”

I am for simultaneously organizing alternative economic enterprises for the purpose of decentralizing economic power on the model advocated by many early socialists before socialism became synonymous with Leninism or the managerial public administration state (“social democracy”). Larry Gambone gives a very good overview of this history in his “The Myth of Socialism as Statism.”

I am for replacing the welfare state with a “negative income tax” as a prelude to abolishing state welfare altogether.

I am generally for race and class reparations on the model Carson advocated in his “Reparations Cui Bono?” though I am generally less committed to this position than those stated above.

I am for forming taxpayer unions for the purpose of engaging in organized tax resistance.

I am for organizing anarcho-syndicalist labor unions for the purpose of staging wildcat strikes against superstores, fast food chains, and other bastions of labor exploitation.

I am for opening all state property to homesteading on (more or less) the model favored by Hans Hermann Hoppe.

I am for homesteading the “property” of welfare corporations on the model favored by Murray Rothbard and Karl Hess.

I don’t adhere to a univeralist theory of property rights. I think these are cultural constructs rooted in particular traditions (like sexual mores and religious beliefs).

I am for repealing regulations of business from the bottom up (see Walter Williams’ “The State Against Blacks”) and cutting taxes from the top down. I’m particularly opposed to economic regulations that diminish the supply and raise the cost of housing, or that hinder the formation of individual and small enterprises (zoning, occupational licensing, land use, building codes, etc).

I am for creation alternative social service organizations for the provision of schools, healthcare, welfare, etc such as workers and professional unions, ethnic fellowship organizations (“Korean-American Association”), consumer cooperatives, stakeholder federations, tenants associations, religious societies, etc, etc, etc.

I am for squatters’ rights and claimants unions.

Where I differ from Carson and the C4SS crowd is not so much on economics as much as their embrace of the neo-Marxist “race, class, gender’ reductionism that you find among the academic Left. I don’t agree with the way they use this as a lead in to special pleading on behalf of leftist pet causes and favorite groups. Worst of all, they ignore a core insight of conflict theory: i.e. that former outgroups are often just as abusive as the ingroups they replace when they become powerful. The latter is what is currently happening with so-called “political correctness” or what I call “totalitarian humanism.”

For instance, I reject the left’s de facto racial determinism that attempts to explain everything in terms of “white privilege.” I actually tend to agree with free-market conservatives like Thomas Sowell on the relationship between race, economics, and discrimination, though I would agree with “anarcho-black nationalists” like Ashanti Alston and Lorenzo Ervin on the police state. I also favor ethnic self-determination based on free association for all ethnic groups, not the silly “white guilt” nonsense you find among leftists.

I’m all for equality of the sexes in terms of social roles. I want to see plenty of female anarchist political leaders, organizers, activists, propagandists, guerrilla fighters, etc, and I’m certainly for “equal opportunity” for jobs and education and all that. In my view, Western societies have more or less achieved the latter objectives. For instances, many U.S. college campuses now have more female students than male ones. What I reject is the lunatic radical feminism that has become state policy in Scandinavia, and that dominates the left-wing of the anarchist and libertarian milieus, I think that form of feminism is best characterized as mental illness.

As for the “LGBT” thing, I see no reason why libertarianism needs to revolve around that stuff anymore than it needs to revolve around Mormons, Scientologists, Tennessee snake handlers, or any other exotic fringe group with a history of outgroup status.

I should probably add that I am not any kind of universalist. I accept that in libertarian/anarchist societies there will be communities, institutions, economic systems, cultural values, regions, provinces, and probably entire nations whose way of doing things is different from my own.

What I am trying to do with projects like AttacktheSystem.Com is create what amounts to a “third wave” of anarchist movements that moves past both the classical proletarian orientation of the “black and red” anarchists and the New Left/neo-Marxist orientation of most contemporary anarchists. Instead, I’m trying to move anarchist towards decentralized pluralism of the kind advocated by thinkers like John Zube or the anti-universalism of the national-anarchists. For instance, I very much support Libertarian Alliance and I support the Bookchinites of the PKK, even thought the political, cultural, and economic orientation of the two groups is very different. I’m interested in anti-state thinkers from Rand to Gandhi. My associates and I a trying to create a strategic paradigm that allows for anti-statists, anarchists, libertarians, decentralists, and anti-authoritarians to achieve real world political influence in spite of their vast differences, and to advocate for institutional and geopolitical arrangement where different factions might achieve some actual success and self-determination.

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  1. “I am for squatters’ rights and claimants unions”

    To the former proposal, my parents together in the 1970’s purchased a small hunting lodge situated in the Blowing Rock area of the North Carolina mountains. They put in some additional money to fix the place up and make it livable, then rented it to a group of three young men who stopped paying them after the first few months. When my parents drove up to confront the trio over their delinquency, they claimed they had “squatters rights” to live there and threatened my father with an axe to get off their property. Law enforcement’s hands were tied. Fortunately, the cabin was built of cinderblocks, but they used the porch, rafters and siding as kindling. Not that there wasn’t plenty of other wood around but, Hell, it wasn’t their property.

    To make a long story short, they eventually abandoned my parent’s house to set off for God knows where–and may he have mercy on the world abroad– leaving one festering shit-hole of a mess for somebody else to clean up. I’m sure mom and Dad were grateful for the opportunity, since they had bills to pay, credit to repair and until then no cabin to show for it. They decided not to rent the place out anymore. Those three young men would probably argue on behalf of concepts like “squatters rights”, but it doesn’t really seem all that fair to me when considering there’s a violated party on the other side of that coin. In fact, I doubt many people, regardless of their views or politics, would enjoy getting home to find somebody else had suddenly called dibs on all their stuff and was telling them to go find another place to crash. They’d probably look on this as theft, but fair is fair, I suppose. Serves them right.

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