Is C4SS a Lethal Product of Greed?

François Reisman, I mean Tremblay, has finally seen through our evil plans. Though Neverfox makes a valiant but futile effort to disguise our true perfidy, it’s all to no avail – we stand exposed as the pack of lying, thieving capitalists we are.

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74 Responses to Is C4SS a Lethal Product of Greed?

  1. Mike Gogulski May 1, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

    Oh nuts! And we would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!

    • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

      Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

      Waaah waaaah. Kicked any vagrants lately, Mr. “Citizen of the world, as long as you’re rich”?

  2. Brainpolice May 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    MSIE 7.0 Windows Vista

    LMAO.

  3. Bob Kaercher May 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.3 MacIntosh

    “François Reisman.” HA! Though in all seriousness I think you’d have to agree that George Reisman demonstrates a billion times the rationality and intelligence of Tremblay.

    Is any ranting screed by Tremblay even worth mentioning? We’re talking about someone who advocates voluntary extinction of the human race.

    • Roderick May 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

      Safari MacIntosh

      Is any ranting screed by Tremblay even worth mentioning?

      I like some of his ranting screeds… :-)

      • Brad Spangler May 1, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

        Firefox 3.5.9 Ubuntu 9.10

        Yes, well, stopped clock… twice a day… yada, yada, yada.

        I’m just glad that I lost Franc forever back in 2007…

        http://bradspangler.com/blog/archives/520

        • Roderick May 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          The lyrics change, but the tune remains the same ….

        • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

          What do you mean Brad? You are the perfect example of the stopped clock phenomenon. I can only be a humble imitator at best.

    • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

      Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

      And what the hell is wrong with the voluntary extinction movement? Did you bring it up solely to evoke agreement with your friends? What herd animals you people are! And you wonder why I don’t want to be in your little groups?

    • David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

      Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

      No no no no no! Bob, I can’t accept this piece of shit! François advocates that the humans should cease to reproduce themselves right now, and all anarchists should embrace this philosophy about procreation.

      What’s your problem about this, dumb ass?

      • Bob Kaercher May 7, 2010 at 11:40 am #

        MSIE 6.0 Windows XP

        My problem, Mr. Gendron, is that if we actually heeded this clarion call to die off, some group of human beings at some future point in time would be condemned to a new nasty and brutish stage of existence, such as our ancestors endured when the world was much less populated. We would be guaranteeing our descendants similar lives of misery. You’re such a smart guy, I’m sure you can figure out the logic behind that.

        By the way, you need to clean up your manners. Don’t ever address someone online in a way that you wouldn’t address them face to face. Simple courtesy goes a long way toward intelligent dialogue.

  4. James May 2, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    MSIE 6.0 Windows 2000

    Lol!

    Of course we must remember Francois Tremblay is currently suspected of being a capitalist double agent himself:

    http://www.stephankinsella.com/2010/03/22/leftist-only-capitalists-believe-in-self-ownership/

    • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

      Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

      Funny how you trust a self-professed pro-property, anti-socialist “Libertarian” more than you trust actual libertarians. Wonder why that is.

      • James May 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

        MSIE 6.0 Windows 2000

        I was just pointing out the irony

        • Stephan Kinsella May 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.4GTB7.0.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          Apparently this poor confused kid thinks libertarians are not pro-property and are pro-socialist. Wow.

        • David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          Stephen, are you in favor of capitalist property rights and profits?

        • Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

          Kinsella, you can stop pretending you’re a libertarian now. You are the only one who still thinks you are.

        • Brandon May 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

          Chromium 5.0.391.0 Linux

          Stephen, are you in favor of capitalist property rights and profits?

          If you’re against private ownership of the means of production, you’re not a libertarian, you’re a commie. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, be what you are.

        • Stephan Kinsella May 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.1 MacIntosh

          David, sure, of course, if by “capitalist” you mean an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society. How could one not be in favor of property rights and profit? Profit is just the outcome of successful action. How can one be opposed to that?

        • Roderick May 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Just a reminder: the two sides of this debate do not mean the same thing by the terms “property” and “profit.”

          I don’t mean that the disagreements here are purely terminological; they’re not. But getting hung up on the terminological disagreements tends to obscure where the substantive disagreements actually lie.

        • Stephan Kinsella May 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.0 MacIntosh

          Roderick–I agree. That’s why it’s frustrating to have people coming in trying to change terms–use “socialist” to mean libertarian, “capitalist” to mean “corporatist,” etc.

        • Roderick May 4, 2010 at 2:18 am #

          Safari MacIntosh

          But the uses of “property” and “profit” you’re objecting to aren’t exactly recent.

        • Stephan Kinsella May 4, 2010 at 7:25 am #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.1 MacIntosh

          Roderick, I wasn’t really objecting to any usage. I was just clarifying my own terms. Property in the austro-libertarian way, profit a la Austrianism.

          With all the attempts in recent years to obfuscate, to re-define, to co-opt terms, it’s become more necessary to keep setting out one’s own lexicon before speaking. I feel like an MPEG video-encoding routine.

        • Rad Geek May 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

          Chromium 5.0.386.0 Linux

          Kinsella: David, sure, of course, if by “capitalist” you mean an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society. How could one not be in favor of property rights and profit?

          In other words: “David, sure, of course, if by ‘capitalist’ you mean something that I already know you don’t mean by it, then in that other sense of the word, which has nothing to do with your question, how could one not be in favor of property rights and profit?”

          I agree that it’s important in these conversations to clarify the meaning of one’s terms. But can I suggest that this approach to clarification is perhaps not the most productive one?

        • Stephan Kinsella May 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.1 MacIntosh

          Rad, I disagree. If we are talking semantics, a reasonable approach is to look at the dictionary, not to argue tendentiously about the origin of a term. The dictionary gives one widespread definition of capitalism as meaning private ownership of the means of production–and we Austro-libertarians have good reason to think that this is exactly what would characterize a significant aspect of the economy of a libertarian society. We can have discussion about whether this is right or not, but to do so we need to have understood language to convey concepts.

          That said, I’ve agreed that the word capitalism has baggage and other connotations ( http://www.libertarianstandard.com/2010/04/16/capitalism-socialism-and-libertarianism/ ), so we should not use it as a synonym for libertarianism and when we use it in a narrow way we have to be careful. Which is what i tried to do here.

          The word capitalism has been widely used for some time in the laissez-fair meaning by libertarians. Some of the left-libs are coming in beating the drums to change the meaning. The conduct of some in this respect is, in my view, helping to cause confusion here.

        • Rad Geek May 4, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

          Chromium 5.0.386.0 Linux

          Kinsella: If we are talking semantics,

          But David Gendron didn’t ask a question about semantics. He asked a question about your position on “capitalist property rights and profits.” You tried to change the subject and make it about semantics by disregarding what he meant, and inserting a meaning of “capitalism” which you already know (from conversational context) is not the meaning that he had in mind, because that other meaning makes it easier on you rhetorically. That seems to me counterproductive. If you think his meaning wasn’t precise enough, in any case, can I suggest that a better approach would be to ask him what he means?

          Kinsella: a reasonable approach is to look at the dictionary, not to argue tendentiously about the origin of a term.

          Come on, pull the other one. You obviously don’t follow the dictionary approach when it comes to terms like “Anarchy;” I don’t know why you expect everyone to revert back to grade-school level tertiary sources when it comes to “capitalism.”

          But this is, in any case, beside the point. Nobody here is arguing, tendentiously or otherwise, about “the origin of a term,” except for you. You’re the one who has spent time in these comments repeatedly asserting that “some of the left-libs” are trying to “change the meaning” of the term “capitalism,” as if the preferred right-libertarian usage were the original baseline usage. Which is factually absurd, but not the point of my comment above. The point is that when you start responding to what somebody else said, your understanding of the claim ought to be based on what they seem to mean by the terms they use, not what you’d like to mean by them. And if you don’t know well enough what they do mean, that the end of developing an “understood language to convey concepts” is better served by asking people what they mean, and working from there, than it is by pretending as if they really meant by the terms what you mean by them, and expecting everyone else to play along. “Clarification” by means of ignoring your interlocutor and substituting a question you find easier to answer is cheap rhetoric, and wildly uncharitable.

        • Stephan Kinsella May 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.0 MacIntosh

          Rad, in fact it is you guys who are bringing up the origin of the term. You have a good point about “anarchy” but re capitalism, I think reasonable people can disagree on this. I’ve been a libertarian for 25 years and all this time–and the literature I started reading was not all brand new–capitalism has always been used by our movement more or less synonymously with “libertarian.” So I think it’s disingenuous to suggest it was just a few Austrian economists. It was and is widespread in the whole libertarian movement. That’s long enough for the term to have acquired a certain usage, IMO. So it seems quite clear that there has in fact been a concerted effort in recent years on the part of left-libertarians to fight this and to push back, and try to restore the word to what they see as its original, non-libertarian meaning. That might be a reasonable thing to try to do, but it’s not unfair of me to note that this is in fact what they are trying to do.

          But I conceded it should not be used as a synonym, and that it has baggage, so if used at all, should be used carefully, and narrowly.

          What exactly do you disagree with in my position?

        • Roderick May 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          But Stephan, you weren’t arguing with “us guys” (folks like me or RadGeek, who have one foot in each of two different terminological traditions and so “speak jive,” as it were); you were arguing with David Gendron, who comes from a tradition that has been using the terms “capitalism,” “profit,” “property,” etc. in a particular way for over a century, so Rad’s point was that it was counterproductive for you to simply reinterpret his words as though they meant what you mean by them — or to suggest that Gendron was using the terms in nonstandard ways. (Of course this advice applies mutatis mutandis to Gendron too in his argument with you. My original comment was aimed in both directions.)

        • Stephan Kinsella May 4, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.1 MacIntosh

          Roderick, this Gendron guy said: “Stephen, are you in favor of capitalist property rights and profits?”

          I would never put “capitalist” as an adjective and don’t know what it adds. I’m really not sure what he means. I know what property rights and profits are, in the Austro-libertarian sense, and I am also aware that some of the left-libs have some more negative things in mind by “capitalist.” So I answered honestly:

          “sure, of course, if by “capitalist” you mean an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society. How could one not be in favor of property rights and profit? Profit is just the outcome of successful action. How can one be opposed to that?”

          Since there is legitimate debate among libertarians about what “capitalism” means semantically, I believe I am justified in not conceding the ground to him, and since I defined what I meant, I was not underhanded or disingenuous. If he means something by “capitalist” here as an adjective other than the way I defined it, I don’t know if I am “in favor of” it. I know I’m in “favor” of profit and property rights. He is welcome to clarify what he meant by his cryptic adjective.

        • Rad Geek May 5, 2010 at 9:33 am #

          Chromium 5.0.386.0 Linux

          Kinsella: Rad, in fact it is you guys who are bringing up the origin of the term.

          Not in this thread. We’ve had more than one discussion about it elsewhere, of course. Nobody else except you has been arguing about the origin of the term in this thread, either — not David Gendron, not Francois Tremblay, and not Roderick Long. But my point above has nothing to do with that debate. So why do you keep trying to change the subject from what my comment was about (your attempt to “clarify” by ignoring your interlocutor’s speaker meaning) to some other debate that I didn’t so much as mention (the provenance of the term “capitalism”)?

          Kinsella: So I think it’s disingenuous to suggest it was just a few Austrian economists.

          Who said it was? Not me. My point didn’t have anything to do with this kind of philological question. It had to do with your non-responsive “answer” to David Gendron’s question.

          Kinsella: What exactly do you disagree with in my position?

          What I’m disagreeing with at the moment is your rhetorical approach to Gendron’s question. As I said:

          The point is that when you start responding to what somebody else said, your understanding of the claim ought to be based on what they seem to mean by the terms they use, not what you’d like to mean by them. … “Clarification” by means of ignoring your interlocutor and substituting a question you find easier to answer is cheap rhetoric, and wildly uncharitable.

          This has nothing to do with the details of the philological question about the different meanings of the word “capitalism.” That’s another debate for another day. It has to do with how you’re responding, or rather not responding, to your conversation partner in this specific conversation.

        • Stephan Kinsella May 5, 2010 at 9:41 am #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.1 MacIntosh

          Rad, I think I’ve given all I can answer to him, and to you. I support profit and property, of course. I only support capitalism if it means non-corporatist private ownership of the means of productions as an aspect of a free society. If Gendron or you mean something else by “capitalist” as an adjective you’ll have to spell it out. Otherwise, all this meta-talk and confusion is in my view exactly what you get when you start focusing on semantics and trying to change accepted terminology in a somewhat equivocating way.

        • Francois Tremblay May 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

          And this is the end result of trying to have a cogent conversation with Kingseller. I’ve never, ever seen him confront any issue but semantics.

        • martin May 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

          Opera 10.53 Windows Vista

          Rad Geek:

          In other words: “David, sure, of course, if by ‘capitalist’ you mean something that I already know you don’t mean by it, then in that other sense of the word, which has nothing to do with your question, how could one not be in favor of property rights and profit?”

          Could you perhaps explain why it’s supposed to be obvious that David means something entirely different by ‘capitalist property rights and profits’ than Stephan does?

        • Roderick May 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

          Firefox 3.0.19.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          Could you perhaps explain why it’s supposed to be obvious that David means something entirely different by ‘capitalist property rights and profits’ than Stephan does?

          Because I mentioned that I thought so, and he said yes?

        • martin May 7, 2010 at 9:35 am #

          Opera 10.53 Windows Vista

          No, you mentioned to David that Chartier might mean something else by “property rights” than David does. This something else would then be “Carsonian property rights”. David replied that in that case he has no problem with Chartiers description of capitalism and anti-capitalism.

          Are we somehow to conclude from this that henceforth David means “Carsonian property rights” when he writes “capitalist property rights”? If so, why? If not, what are we to conclude from this? (Why do you bring it up?)

          Back to the original question:

          “are you in favor of capitalist property rights and profits?”

          The question seems pretty clear to me: do you support the property rights of a capitalist with respect to the capital and the profits that come from it?

          To which Stephan gave an affirmative reply, with some further clarification.

          So I really (still) have no idea what Rad Geek is on about when he writes:

          In other words: “David, sure, of course, if by ‘capitalist’ you mean something that I already know you don’t mean by it, then in that other sense of the word, which has nothing to do with your question, how could one not be in favor of property rights and profit?”

        • Stephan Kinsella May 7, 2010 at 10:32 am #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.1 MacIntosh

          Martin, you make some good points. I think we have given the LL’s a hearing with their strained arguments against “capitalism.” But in the end, it’s just not that persuasive. Leftists should learn from us. We have properly rejected the left-right political spectrum. We reject the crankish Marxian ideas and economic notions. Rejecting leftism does not mean one is a “paleo” or right-libertarian. The non-prefix libertarians will simply continue to work for liberty–in terms of a more or less Lockean conception of property rights–and use terminology that seems suitable to communicate with others, including the word “capitalism”; they will continue to work for liberty, more and more informed by individualist and Austrian economic principles, without being mired in hoary Marxian economic notions. Fellow travelers will no doubt continue to dabble in these things on the fringes. All is well.

          (BTW see the comments of one Javier here: http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/06/19/the-new-libertarianism-anti-capitalist-and-socialist/#comment-40423 )

        • Roderick May 7, 2010 at 11:26 am #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Martin writes:

          Are we somehow to conclude from this that henceforth David means “Carsonian property rights” when he writes “capitalist property rights”?

          Huh?

          No, obviously (I’d thought), the point was precisely the opposite.

        • martin May 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

          Opera 10.53 Windows Vista

          So the point was that he *doesn’t* mean “Carsonian property rights”?

          Then what else could he mean (by using the term “capitalist property rights (and profits)”) than a notion of property rights which is very similar to what Stephan describes in his answer?

        • Roderick May 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

          Firefox 3.0.19.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          Why on earth would that be the likeliest alternative?

          I thought it was pretty well known to all parties in this debate that “capitalism,” in the sense usually condemned by mutualists, is not synonymous with “capitalism” in the sense usually lauded by Austrians.

        • martin May 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

          Opera 10.53 Windows Vista

          Why on earth would that be the likeliest alternative?

          What other alternatives are there? (Aside from “mutualist-style holdings” as you call them, but surely he didn’t mean *that*.)

          I thought it was pretty well known to all parties in this debate that “capitalism,” in the sense usually condemned by mutualists, is not synonymous with “capitalism” in the sense usually lauded by Austrians.

          First of all I think that’s beside the point, because the question David asked Stephan was about capitalist property rights, not about capitalism as such.

          Second I don’t think it’s true. If only. “Capitalism” in the sense lauded by Austrians permits an employer-employee relationship which is something mutualists object to (at least that’s how I understand it). Sure there are other aspects to “capitalism” in the mutualist sense to which mutualists object, but which Austrians don’t consider part of “capitalism”, but at the end of the day, “capitalism” in the purest Austrian sense is – as far as I know – still objectionable to mutualists.

        • Roderick May 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

          Firefox 3.0.19.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          “Capitalism” in the sense lauded by Austrians permits an employer-employee relationship which is something mutualists object to (at least that’s how I understand it).

          Some mutualists (like François) regard the employer-employee relationship as inherently contrary to rights; others (like Kevin) don’t, but think it would tend to be much less common in a freed market (i.e. they think the dominance of the employer-employee relationship is the result of rights-violations, rather than thinking it is itself a rights-violation). But in either case, mutualists use “capitalism” to mean something that inherently involves the employer-employee relationship as the dominant form. In other words, a freed market that was dominated by cooperatives would not count as “capitalist” as mutualists use the term; but it might well (depending on details) count as “capitalist”in Stephan’s sense (whether or not Stephan thinks this a likely outcome of freed markets).

          If a situation can count as capitalist by Stephan’s standards but not count as capitalist by mutualist standards, then they would seem to mean different things by the term, no?

        • martin May 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

          Opera 10.53 Windows Vista

          Some mutualists (like François) regard the employer-employee relationship as inherently contrary to rights; others (like Kevin) don’t

          That surprises me, because I thought that in Kevin’s view on property rights you can not – for instance – own a factory while others work in it.

          But in either case, mutualists use “capitalism” to mean something that inherently involves the employer-employee relationship as the dominant form.

          So when a mutualist (assuming David is a mutualist) askes wether someone supports “capitalist property rights and profits”, he is likely to mean it the way I put it before: do you support the property rights of a capitalist with respect to the capital and the profits that come from it?

          To which as I noted before, Stephan gave an affirmative reply, with some further clarification.

          So I say again, I really (still) have no idea what Rad Geek is on about when he writes:

          In other words: “David, sure, of course, if by ‘capitalist’ you mean something that I already know you don’t mean by it, then in that other sense of the word, which has nothing to do with your question, how could one not be in favor of property rights and profit?”

          If a situation can count as capitalist by Stephan’s standards but not count as capitalist by mutualist standards, then they would seem to mean different things by the term, no?

          Well, if that’s really the case (see above, I’m not yet convinced) then yes, there is a difference, but it’s not like it’s something entirely different. It’s not like capitalist the way Stephan describes it is something that has “nothing to do with your [Davids] question”, is it?

        • Rad Geek May 8, 2010 at 3:31 am #

          Firefox 3.6.3 Ubuntu 10.04

          Kinsella: If Gendron or you mean something else by “capitalist” as an adjective you’ll have to spell it out.

          As you already know, Stephan, I’ve already spelled out several different things that “capitalism” can mean, depending on context, on several different occasions. I don’t know precisely what David Gendron means by it. But I do know that he doesn’t mean “an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society” by it. How do I know? Because David Gendron already said that that’s not what he’s complaining about when he complains about “capitalism.” Presumably you know this too, because you already made a one-line reply in that thread, just below where he says that that’s not what he has a problem with.

          Of course, knowing what he does not mean only goes so far. But if I needed to know just what he meant to answer his question, then I think I might consider asking him what he means, instead of ignoring context entirely and offering a non-responsive “answer” based on a question you know he wasn’t asking.

          Kinsella: Otherwise, all this meta-talk and confusion is in my view exactly what you get when you start focusing on semantics …

          Don’t be disingenuous. You keep trying to tell me that I’m “focusing on semantics” here, Stephan, but, again, you’re the one who began your answer with ‘if by “capitalist” you mean ….’ My complaint in this thread has nothing to do with an argument about the right meaning of the word “capitalism.” It has to do with your treatment of your interlocutor.

          Kinsella: and trying to change accepted terminology

          The discussion has nothing to do with trying to “change accepted terminology.” It has to do with responding to the question that was asked, not a different question that you find easier to discuss. That sort of thing may be a nice lawyer’s trick, but it doesn’t help much if the aim to actually get closer to truth, or even mutual comprehension.

          martin: So the point was that he *doesn’t* mean “Carsonian property rights” [by "capitalist property rights"]?

          Obviously not, because he already said he has no problem with Carsonian property rights, whereas he does apparently have a problem with capitalist property rights.

          The point is that he already explicitly stated that he doesn’t have a problem with “an economic system that features Carsonian property rights and voluntary exchanges of goods and services,” whereas he does have a problem with Chartier’s capitalism-2 and capitalism-3. So when Gendron makes it clear that he has a problem with “capitalist property rights and profits,” it’s pretty clear that he is probably referring to institutions connected with capitalism-2 or capitalism-3, not with capitalism-1. Yet when he asks Kinsella a question about it, Kinsella proceeds to try and answer a question about capitalism-1, “an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society.” That makes it pretty clear that Kinsella is choosing to interpret “capitalism” to mean what he customarily uses it to mean, rather than what Gendron might be using it to mean.

          What does Gendron mean by it? Capitalism-2? Capitalism-3? Something else in the neighborhood? I dunno. If it mattered to me to find out what he meant by his question, then the thing to do would be for me to ask him what he means. Rather than shoving ahead with a completely non-responsive “answer” based on something that he’s already told you he doesn’t mean by the term.

          Unfortunately, this cheap rhetorical trick (as well as related cheap tricks, such as constantly changing the subject to his preferred hobby horses, or pissing and moaning about people “changing the accepted meanings of terms,” and then pissing and moaning, if they should take the bait and try to respond to this claim, about how they are “focusing on semantics” (!) rather than substance) is all too indicative of how Stephan chooses to approach this particular issue. I don’t know what he thinks it accomplishes, but I guess he gets to throw around the word “obfuscate” a lot.

          Martin: That surprises me, because I thought that in Kevin’s view on property rights you can not – for instance – own a factory while others work in it.

          That’s absolutely not Kevin’s view. (Or Tucker’s, from whom Kevin draws a lot of his analysis and critique.)

          His view is that workplace hierarchy will be much less common absent the state, because it’s currently supported by state invasions against the property rights of poor people, and state subsidies to the employing class. This is of course a very different claim from the claim that you simply have no right to hire on labor at a factory.

          Martin: assuming David is a mutualist

          I can’t speak for Gendron, but I don’t think it’s safe to assume that he’s a mutualist. Lots of non-mutualist Anarchists have no basic problem with mutualist economic arrangements (that is, they don’t consider them anti-Anarchistic), but do personally prefer some other kind of arrangement (communistic, collectivistic, social ecology, whatever) over mutualism.

          martin: do you support the property rights of a capitalist with respect to the capital and the profits that come from it?

          That’s an interesting interpretation of the question. I don’t know whether it’s the right interpretation of the question. I do know that it wasn’t Kinsella’s interpretation of the question — since Kinsella already said that he was taking “capitalist” to refer to “an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society.” Not to the particular occupation of somebody in the business of renting out capital.

        • Stephan Kinsella May 8, 2010 at 8:48 am #

          Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.0 MacIntosh

          Rad,

          “As you already know, Stephan, I’ve already spelled out several different things that “capitalism” can mean, depending on context, on several different occasions. I don’t know precisely what David Gendron means by it.”

          Me neithers.

          “But I do know that he doesn’t mean “an advanced free market of a libertarian, property-rights respecting society” by it.”

          Well, I do, which is why I spelled it out.

          “if I needed to know just what he meant to answer his question, then I think I might consider asking him what he means, instead of ignoring context entirely and offering a non-responsive “answer” based on a question you know he wasn’t asking.”

          Well, I gather you didn’t like my answer, but I am not sure how you would have had me answer. Neither of us know what he means, so I guess I could have asked him to clarify. Instead of answering. But i figured I would state my position and clarify my own terms (something he failed to do), and then he could figure out whether my own clearly laid out position was or was not compatible with whatever internal leftish framework is swimming around in his head.

          Or I could have assumed some leftish understanding of the market and capitalism and answered “no”–thus conceding a substantive debate in the guise of a semantic one–which is one motivation, I think, for the slippery way many left-types discuss this issue, refusing to define, saying its semantic only, then saying it’s not, and on and on.

          In my view, the leftists have clearly lost in their campaign to demonize the use of the word “capitalism.” They gave it a yeoman’s effort, but alas, it fizzled.

          “Don’t be disingenuous. You keep trying to tell me that I’m “focusing on semantics” here, Stephan, but, again, you’re the one who began your answer with ‘if by “capitalist” you mean ….’ My complaint in this thread has nothing to do with an argument about the right meaning of the word “capitalism.” It has to do with your treatment of your interlocutor.”

          My interlocutor received what he deserves. If he is going to use crankish or loaded or undefined terms, there is nothing wrong with me specifying exactly what I believe–and doing this requires, unfortunately, that I define what I meant by “capitalism,” due to the confusion spawned by the left-semantic campaign–and then he can figure out how to map my substantive views to his own terminology. There is nothing wrong with this at all. I used capitalism in MY sense, he is using it in HIS sense. Except that I explained what mine is.

          “The discussion has nothing to do with trying to “change accepted terminology.” It has to do with responding to the question that was asked, not a different question that you find easier to discuss.”

          I did respond. I could not answer yes or no since his meaning is not clear. And even if it was I could not answer yes or no alone, without endorsing his own usage (which is I guess the trick/trap LL’s want us to fall into?). So I laid out my own position very clearly, and defined my terms. That you criticize this is extremely perplexing.

          ” That sort of thing may be a nice lawyer’s trick, but it doesn’t help much if the aim to actually get closer to truth, or even mutual comprehension.”

          Well his failure to define terms and/or attempt to trick me into subtly adopting the leftish semantic-substantive points doesn’t seem to either. My defining my own position does.

          “What does Gendron mean by it? Capitalism-2? Capitalism-3? Something else in the neighborhood? I dunno. If it mattered to me to find out what he meant by his question, then the thing to do would be for me to ask him what he means. Rather than shoving ahead with a completely non-responsive “answer” based on something that he’s already told you he doesn’t mean by the term.”

          Anyone with half a lick of sense can figure out what my own view is based on my answer. How he maps it to his own internal language is a separate matter.

          “Unfortunately, this cheap rhetorical trick (as well as related cheap tricks, such as constantly changing the subject to his preferred hobby horses, or pissing and moaning about people “changing the accepted meanings of terms,” and then pissing and moaning, if they should take the bait and try to respond to this claim, about how they are “focusing on semantics” (!) rather than substance) is all too indicative of how Stephan chooses to approach this particular issue. I don’t know what he thinks it accomplishes, but I guess he gets to throw around the word “obfuscate” a lot.”

          Nevertheless, none of this meta-talk changes the fact that in an advanced libertarian society there will be private ownership of the means of production, and that intelligent people will have various concepts associated therewith, and even words to use to denote those concepts.

          “His view is that workplace hierarchy will be much less common absent the state, because it’s currently supported by state invasions against the property rights of poor people, and state subsidies to the employing class. This is of course a very different claim from the claim that you simply have no right to hire on labor at a factory.”

          right. And Carson may be right that it would be less common. Who knows. Carson is right that the state distorts things greatly. I happen to think that the state harms firms more than it helps them (on the whole), and that without the state we’d have a large degree of hierarchical firms, even large multinational firms than now, but also perhaps more diversity in the same of more opportunities to have self-sufficiency, avocational work, localism, etc. I think it is completely unjustified to say that the dominant model would be a non-hiearchical, non-employment based one. But I’d love to have a free society so we can try it out.

        • Brandon May 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

          Chromium 6.0.398.0 Linux

          It’s a damned good thing libertarians don’t waste time arguing about absolutely nothing at all.

        • Roderick May 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          No it isn’t!

  5. John H. May 2, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    Opera 10.51 Windows 7

    The funny thing is, Franc will eventually argue himself out of anything he currently believes. He always does.

    That being said, I think he’s being hyperbolic here, and I don’t think we should be so ready to marginalize him within the libertarian movement because of one (possibly facetious) post.

    Most significantly, he represents basically the furthest-left milestone on the “market anarchist” spectrum – I mean, the man subscribes to a prescriptive labor theory of value. So keeping him around and answering his objections can certainly help define the core philosophy and zeitgeist of the movement.

    • Andrew Taranto May 2, 2010 at 11:45 am #

      Safari MacIntosh

      A perfectly legitimate reason for marginalizing someone is extreme boorishness. I see boorishness all too often (and definitely in FT’s case, in as far as I’ve followed him) to be a manifestation of a hyper-orthodox mindset… and I pretty well despise orthodoxy.

      Frankly (!), I find him considerably more insightful than a broken clock, and interesting even when I think he misses the mark by a wide margin (his attempt to negate the very concept of self is the main example of this in my mind), perhaps because I put a certain premium on heterodoxy as such. I’ve just found paying attention to him to be well past the point of diminishing returns.

      • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

        What do you mean marginalize me? I’m already self-marginalized. Any group that would have me as a member would have to be fucking insane.

  6. Tristan Band May 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.3 Ubuntu 10.04

    He’s left a long trail of websites, each of these websites show a definite change in his perspective.

    Do I read his blog? No. Do I agree with whatever snatches that come around? No. But, as has been said, he keeps life interesting. We need our kooks and nuts; political philosophies cannot survive without them.

  7. David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

    Is Chartier a proprietarian, or not?

    http://c4ss.org/content/1738

    capitalism-1
    an economic system that features PROPERTY RIGHTS and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.
    capitalism-2
    an economic system that features a symbiotic relationship between big business and government.
    capitalism-3
    rule — of workplaces, society, and (if there is one) the state — by capitalists (that is, by a relatively small number of people who control investable wealth and the means of production).[3]

    Capitalism-1 just is a freed market; so if “anti-capitalism” meant opposition to capitalism-1, “free-market anti-capitalism” would be oxymoronic. But proponents of free-market anti-capitalism aren’t opposed to capitalism-1; instead, they object either to capitalism-2 or to both capitalism-2 and capitalism-3.[4]

    My comment:

    I agree with the position against capitalism-2 and capitalism-3, but what about the Carson-type of Free-Market Anti-capitalism? Capitalism-1 is anarcho-capitalism, so mutualists and libsocs are against that.

    You should define “Free Market Anti-capitalism” like this;

    Free market anti-capitalism: an economic system that features POSSESSION rights (not property!) and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.

    http://c4ss.org/content/1738#comment-1494

    • Roderick May 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

      Firefox 3.0.19.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

      Not everyone uses the terms “property” and “possession” the way you do. It’s quite common to use the term “property” broadly, to cover both Lockean-style holdings and mutualist-style holdings. (Proudhon arguably did this himself in his later writings. Kevin Carson certainly does it.) And C4SS is, of course, part of an alliance between more-or-less Lockean anarchists and more-or-less mutualist anarchists.

      • David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

        If Chartier uses this term in this Carsonian meaning, I have not much problem with this, and this debate is purely semantic.

      • Stephan Kinsella May 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.4GTB7.0.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

        “And C4SS is, of course, part of an alliance between more-or-less Lockean anarchists and more-or-less mutualist anarchists”

        My ears are burning!

        • David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          Why? I think Roderick’s description is accurate, not you?

  8. David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

    “We are not reading a sacred text; we are exploring one illustrative proposal.”

    If François thinks that this text is a piece of shit, I can understand his reaction. I’m not sure this is a great “illustrative proposal”…

    Maybe François could think that this text is not anti-capitalist, and that they should not focus on this text to promote anarchism, no?

    Note: I don’t exclude the possibility that maybe François overreacted but I see some justification for his reaction here.

    • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

      Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

      I admit the possibility of a very slight overreaction, but not nearly as much as the overreaction of all the C4SS boys freaking out over me daring to say something against their movement. As if I was a threat to anyone… *rolls eyes* All I did was give my personal opinion on my personal blog. And they can’t stand it!

      • Francois Tremblay May 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

        As demonstrated on this thread, these “anarchists” are herd animals, nothing more. They bleat to the sound of the master’s call.

        • David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          Yeah, and I’m not surprised by this.

        • Rorshak (1313) May 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.3.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows Vista

          Yes, just following the heard that’s all. I certainly didn’t see your post and think that you were full of shit before anyone even responded.

      • David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

        “the overreaction of all the C4SS boys freaking out over me daring to say something against their movement. ”

        Maybe that’s the main problem in this debate.

        • Roderick May 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

          Firefox 3.0.19.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows XP

          The real problem is androids! Androids!

    • Miko May 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

      Chrome 4.1.249.1064 Windows Vista

      This text is a good example of why I’m uncomfortable with the term “market anarchist.” It gives the impression that market anarchists think that the primary thing wrong with the state is that it isn’t efficient and that everything will be great once we have replaced the state with private competitive police and military forces that are more efficient at bringing about death and destruction. To the extent that that’s true of their views, I don’t want to have anything to do with market anarchists (despite my supporting markets and being an anarchist).

      As Chartier’s intro. lecture noted, the Tannehills are right-wing nuts. I’d think those who have a conception of a left-wing market anarchism would want to do everything they could to distance themselves from them and to make that distance obvious to all observers.

      • Rad Geek May 3, 2010 at 1:14 am #

        Firefox 3.6.3 Ubuntu 10.04

        Miko: It gives the impression that market anarchists think that the primary thing wrong with the state is that it isn’t efficient and that everything will be great once we have replaced the state with private competitive police and military forces that are more efficient at bringing about death and destruction.

        I’d be interested to hear more about why the term “market anarchist” leaves you with that impression. There have been other terms that have been used in market anarchist literature which might give off the kind of impression you’re worried about (e.g. Bruce Benson’s “Enterprise of Law” or Molinari’s argument that what was needed is “competition” in government — which is true in a sense, but, let us say, potentially misleading). But I don’t see why you think “market anarchism”, as a phrase, is among them. At a linguistic level, “market anarchist” leaves me with the impression of “an anarchist who is for markets” (of course, a lot of the interesting stuff is in how you precisify the fuzzy terms “is for” and “markets”). With the contrast point being an anarchist who isn’t for markets (say, someone who believes in thoroughgoing gift economies without commodity exchange, or something along those lines).

        At the level of actual examples, it’d be hard for me to think of any actually existing market anarchist who endorses the view that you’re suggest. The most right-wing anarchocapitalists (Hans-Hermann Hoppe, say, or Lew Rockwell) are certainly clear that the last thing on their mind is replacing the state with something “more efficient at bringing about death and destruction.” For them the point of anarchy just is that the state is far too efficient at bringing about death and destruction. I have my problems with them, to be sure, but I really don’t know who would qualify as having the kind of problem you’re worried about here.

        I’d think those who have a conception of a left-wing market anarchism would want to do everything they could to distance themselves from them and to make that distance obvious to all observers.

        I dunno; I think Gary’s aim is to teach a course in anarchist political theory. Selecting a text for a course is not always based primarily on how much you agree with the authors. Or on how much you want or don’t want people looking in from the outside to “associate” you with the authors. If he finds the Tannehills’ book a useful starting-point for the conversations he wants to have with the people actually following the course, I don’t think that he should chuck out a text he finds useful in the interest of PR.

      • Jeremy Weiland May 5, 2010 at 10:28 am #

        Safari MacIntosh

        I agree. I don’t like to use the term “market anarchism” because I’ve found it often leaves the impression that these anarchists either (A) believe that markets are so important that they should be emphasized above all other modes of voluntary society, or (B) even worse, that voluntary society can be reduced to merely a series of market transactions. I harbor no ill will towards those who use the term, having had the opportunity to confer with many of them at length about their views and knowing that we agree on the important points. I do wonder, though, whether C4SS alienates potential anarchist allies and supporters by insisting on describing itself as “market anarchist” rather than something more ecumenical (whatever happened to “anarchism without adjectives”?).

  9. Stephan Kinsella May 3, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.3GTB7.0 MacIntosh

    here’s what I’d like. Whatever are the people who hold views similar to Rothbard, what can we call ourselves? Is Rothbard a libertarian, even, by the standards of the more virulent anti-property “left-libertarians”? If I wasn’t tired of giving up our terminology to interlopers by now, I’d just agree to be called Rothbardians and move on, but damnit I refuse to give up libertarian to the likes of “Franc”.

    • Roderick May 4, 2010 at 2:22 am #

      Safari MacIntosh

      Well, among the mutualist types there’s a spectrum from Kevin (who thinks Rothbard is a libertarian) to François (who thinks he isn’t) — just as among Rothbardians some regard mutualists as libertarians and some don’t. Alas, there’s no central authority to settle these things.

      • James May 4, 2010 at 5:13 am #

        MSIE 6.0 Windows 2000

        Is it time we hired some freed-market dispute resoloution? :)

        I’m quite happy to call anyone from lib-socialist to lib-conservative a libertarian, I just make it clear that I consider both extremes to be inconsistant/flawed libertarianism. Personally I like Rothbardian, we’re all clear on what shared premises he have and we can add left, paleo or whatever else to it to distinguish our individual position.

        • MBH May 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

          Firefox 3.0.19 Ubuntu 9.04

          James, how is “conservative libertarianism” libertarian? I would think we could reach consensus that any “ism” that ignores the likelihood of industry capturing regulators is not “libertarian.” Can’t we categorize “conservative libertarianism” more along the lines of “unintended fascism?” Please?

        • James May 5, 2010 at 7:06 am #

          MSIE 6.0 Windows 2000

          I was meaning someone who a strict adherent to the NAP but thought it needed to be integrated with conservative social values could be described as a libertarian conservative. I still wouldn’t support them and but there is a difference between conservatives who like to talk about free markets and right-libertarians.

    • Rad Geek May 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

      Chromium 5.0.386.0 Linux

      Kinsella: Is Rothbard a libertarian, even, by the standards of the more virulent anti-property “left-libertarians”?

      Well, I think that he obviously is, but you know, this is not necessarily a question that can be resolved simply by definition of the term “libertarian.”

      If you’re using the word “libertarian” the way that many anarchists have historically used it — not referring to some particular political movement, but rather using it as a term meaning the opposite of “authoritarian” — then the question about whether or not somebody like Rothbard is “a libertarian” is not just going to depend on semantic considerations about what to call anti-statism. Part of why (say) anarcho-communists object to calling Rothbard a “libertarian” is because they think that some of his core commitments (e.g. to for-profit commodity exchange) are authoritarian forms of social organization. I happen to think that they are wrong about some of that — in particular, that market exchange and private property rights are actually radically libertarian, not authoritarian, forms of social organization. Which is just to say that I’m an individualist and a mutualist, not a communist. And which is part of the reason I’m happy to call Rothbard a “libertarian” without qualification, in spite of my disagreements with him about other things. But the underlying debate about whether markets and property are liberatory or authoritarian forms of social organization is a substantive debate that market Anarchists have with other Anarchists, not just a semantic quibble that we can distinguish and define our way out of.

      • Mike Gogulski May 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.3 Windows XP

        Kinsella: Is Rothbard a libertarian [...] ?

        Rad Geek: Well, I think that he obviously is [...]

        I disagree. Rothbard is nothing except dead.

        • Rad Geek May 13, 2010 at 12:06 am #

          Firefox 3.6.3 Ubuntu 10.04

          Hey man, don’t get so tense. Live in the literary present.

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