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Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism: by way of introduction, or apology

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 14 years ago, in 2010, on the World Wide Web.

It’s been a while since the APEE panel on Free Market Anti-Capitalism. I said, a few Sundays ago, that I’d have more to say, soon. I’ve been meaning to publish my remarks, but it’s taken me a while to think about how I want to present them. I have a prepared text that I used for most of the talk (with the usual ad-libbing and skipping), and then a minimal set of notes that I used to speak off the cuff at the end of the talk. But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to post the whole text as a long blob of text on the general topic of Free Market Anti-Capitalism. I’m happy with how the talk turned out — but talks are one thing, and blogs are another. There’s something to be said for the long essay (at least, given my own output, I sure hope that there is), but there’s already a number of long essays and lectures on left-libertarian economics and free-market anti-capitalism that are already out there. And looking back over my talk, as a general thing, what I was aiming to do was to anchor on the (really excellent) overviews of the salient issues which were provided by Steve, Gary, and Sheldon in their (excellent) earlier talks, and then drill down a bit — to get into some specifics about the mechanisms of political economy that free market anti-capitalists want to call attention to when they say that they are against actually-existing capitalism, and also to get into some moderate meta-discussion about why we feel the need to take the approach we do, and what the important upshot of a seemingly semantic point (like whether to use the letters c-a-p-i-t-a-l-i-s-m to identify what you’re for, or what you’re against) might really be. The points that I made along these lines were structured in such a way that, while a lecture is all of a piece, the material easily divides into a series of smaller, interrelated, but distinct remarks on a series of smaller, interrelated, but distinct questions. Smaller questions which might help separate out issues in the telling; smaller questions which might be a bit more digestible for reading and a bit more useful for referencing in future discussions; and, perhaps most importantly, smaller questions which might do more to help inspire some conversations in the comments.

So instead of simply posting my prepared text, or a reconstruction of my talk from the notes, as one big blob, what I’m going to do over the next several days is to split things up a bit, and publish a series of bits & pieces, ad seriatim. I’ll be covering ground that a lot of us have scouted before; some of the pieces (or bits?) will be nothing more than a quick attempt to clearly mark out something that just about every left-libertarian already knows or has read or has written herself. I can only say that I’m trying to accurately represent the ground that I covered in my talk, even if I am serializing and subdividing it. And I do also think there’s something to be said for clear maps, even if the territory has already been surveyed elsewhere. I hope that a survey of the landscape might help to make some journeys more pleasant, to help collect some thoughts, and to move along some conversations.

After I’ve finished serializing the remarks that I made at the panel itself, I hope also to follow up with a few remarks on points that were raised by my co-panelists, which I didn’t have the time to get into at the event itself. And I look forward to seeing how the conversation goes on from there.

Anyway, all this is by way of introduction, or apology, and that’s enough of that.

The first bit (or piece) will be coming out tomorrow.

14 replies to Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism: by way of introduction, or apology Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-05-06 – Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism: With apologies to Shulamith Firestone:

    […] Education on 13 April 2010. More instalments are coming over the next several days. See the introduction/apology for […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-05-09 – Shameless Self-promotion Sunday:

    […] enough that some things long-planned are beginning to come to fruition. You probably know that the Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism are coming out (and will continue to come out over the upcoming week). What you may not know, […]

  3. Discussed at www.nostate.com

    Free Market Anti-Capitalism?:

    […] By way of introduction or apology […]

  4. Discussed at aaeblog.com

    Smashing Capitalism in Caesar’s Palace | Austro-Athenian Empire:

    […] Charles Johnson’s comments, parts one, two, three, four, five, six, and […]

  5. Discussed at darianworden.com

    DarianWorden.com» Blog Archive » Rad Geek: Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism:

    […] Johnson’s Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism is a highly readable and insightful look about how capitalism is opposed to liberty. I highly […]

— 2011 —

  1. Discussed at murphreport.com

    The Murph Report » Blog Archive » Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism:

    […] Here is a wonderful FAQ/Essay webpage on terms like Free Market/Capitalism and Free Market Anti-Capitalism. Thanks to Rad Geek People’s Daily for writing up a wonderful essay on such a hugely misunderstood subject. I hope this essay will help my visitors to distinguish libertarians from republicans, and conservatives. Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism: by way of introduction, or apology […]

— 2012 —

  1. Discussed at www.republicanoperative.com

    Horowitz on the Paul newsletters and the left/progressive roots of libertarianism:

    […] your poor understanding of libertarianism: http://c4ss.org/wp-content/uploads/2…capitalism.pdf Rad Geek People's Daily 2010-05-05 – Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism… Note your qualifier "true" free markets. Libertarians MUST use qualifiers like these […]

— 2013 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People's Daily 2013-08-14 – Karl Hess on anarchocapitalism:

    […] these market forms with capitalistic concentrations of ownership and corporate business practices depends on a series of conceptual confusions, and some flat economic blunders. Moreover, while there are a wide range of views on these things among those who identify […]

— 2014 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People's Daily 2014-01-28 – Welcome, Reasoners:

    […] Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism (May 2010) […]

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