AnCom Markets

Wow, most so-called leftists genuinely do not understand Marx or capitalism, and do not understand that Marx himself differentiated markets from capitalism (the realm of exchange, to him, was merely irrelevant, not uniquely toxic or determinative). [1]

As Nyx points out: “When accelerationists say this everyone gets mad.”

An interesting thread from @yungneocon on the timeline tonight on capitalism and markets which made me think about old patchwork arguments from last year:

The left wing aversion to markets, including myself in the past, is kind of weird to me, because markets probably emerge [pretty] much every time where people congregate in one place, share metrics & institutions, and have possessions or perform services. [2]

Markets & exchange are conflated with private property, the social division of labor, wage-labor/labor-power, and the class system, and they are not equivalent to, not necessarily entail/entailed by any of those. [3]

What’s more, where information, and goods are given, preferences bounded in scope, & production [with] fixed capital not an issue, it’s probably the case that markets & command produce the same outcomes. [4]

The issue comes with public goods, externalities, and production, specifically reverse capital deepening, reswitching, and the [effects] of money as an autonomous causal factor. That’s where markets & command diverge. [5]

Also where there are markets for information/market exchange generates information, and markets alter institutions endogenously, but this holds for command too. Where command does this it has the same negative outcomes as markets. [6]

Absent the state, and coercive mechanisms of employment & settlement, and with the reestablishment of the commons, temporary, local markets for inadvertent surplus are actually quite good (and more to the point will emerge on their own) [7]

As Ellen Meiskins Wood was wont to point out, markets & arbitrage do not comprise capitalism and have existed since time immemorial. Capitalism is a structure of production, class, property etc [8] Graeber, Polanyi, Ingham, Osterhammel, Carson, Scott, Zelizer & arguably Frederici can be mobilized for much the same argument. [9]

This doesn’t mean I’m pro market either, I’m just no longer a market abolitionist, as I see that as impossible absent intense, inefficient & costly coercion. [10] I’m a class, property, division of labor, wage labor, work, prison, forced settlement, and stratification abolitionist. But once those are removed, if markets emerge they will be temporary, local, socially benign & economically efficient. [11]

I am being ever more increasingly persuaded that actually existing anarcho-communism is patchwork and nothing else — a patchwork understood to be broadly abolitionist whilst retains an understanding of communication as exchange.

Although I don’t think that’s the corner @yungneocon is fighting in…

UPDATE: A comment from Ed from elsewhere. He said this post reminded him of the “Anti-Capital” k-punk post where Mark says:

Just as in the SF flix, it is only by the formation of strong collectivities that the alien can be defeated, or at least subdued. Autonomous collectivies are anti-capitalist not by virtue of ‘organizing against capital’, as if capital were an errant ruler who could be persuaded to mend its ways, but through their production of sustainanble energy systems (in the broadest sense) that are simply indifferent to capital’s incessant injunction to replicate more of itself. Markets and other sorts of trading circuits are of course integral to this process, just as socialist-style Statist macro-organization is, at best, irrelevant, at worst, positively obstructive to it.

Anti-capitalism is not a ‘political movement’, it is a set of practices, many of them still only potentials.


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