Blogs > Liberty and Power > JLS 20.1: What Lies Within? -- Mutualist Admiration Society, or Mutualist Assured Destruction?

Apr 6, 2006 5:09 pm

JLS 20.1: What Lies Within? -- Mutualist Admiration Society, or Mutualist Assured Destruction?

[cross-posted at Austro-Athenian Empire]

I’m back from Vegas, but a bit under the weather; I’ll blog about the conference and other matters later. But while I was away, the latest issue (20.1) of the Journal of Libertarian Studies came out, and as is my wont I’m writing a brief plug.

Kevin Carson (check out his website and blog) is one of the most interesting thinkers on the contemporary libertarian left, and his book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy is a fascinating read. While I’m not convinced by two of Carson’s major theses – the impermissibility of absentee landownership and the superiority of (a subjectivised version of) the labour theory of value – his case for them is subtle and sophisticated, and deserves grappling with. Moreover, the book is filled with extremely valuable material – including a trenchant analysis of what Carson calls “vulgar libertarianism,” meaning the error of sliding from a defense of genuine free markets to a defense of present-day neomercantilist corporatism – that one can largely appreciate whether or not one buys into the two aforementioned theses.

Anyway, I figure Carson’s claims deserve a hearing to whatever extent they are right, and deserve a rebuttal to whatever extent they are wrong; accordingly, this symposium issue of the JLS is devoted to examining Carson’s work from an Austrian perspective (or, as it turns out, several Austrian perspectives); it includes critiques by Bob Murphy, Walter Block, George Reisman, and myself, and a reply by Carson. You can read my summary of the contents here; and the articles themselves are already online here.

For some of the discussion this issue is already generating, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Read summaries of previous issues under my editorship here.

Read back issues online here.

Subscribe here.

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