Recognizing faux private interests that are actually part of the State

Let’s postulate two sorts of robbery scenarios.

In one, a lone robber points a gun at you and takes your cash. All libertarians would recognize this as a micro-example of any kind of government at work, resembling most closely State Socialism.

In the second, depicting State Capitalism, one robber (the literal apparatus of government) keeps you covered with a pistol while the second (representing State-allied corporations) just holds the bag that you have to drop your wristwatch, wallet and car keys in. To say that your interaction with the bagman was a “voluntary transaction” is an absurdity. Such nonsense should be condemned by all libertarians. Both gunman and bagman together are the true State.

Wages versus [Austrian Economics and] Wage Slavery

Wages versus Wage Slavery

One of the ongoing roadblocks to left and libertarian reconciliation, one which deserves more of our attention, is the matter of conflation of context with causality, an intellectual error committed by most on both sides.

Leftists typically blame markets for state-caused injustice that takes place in markets.

Free-market libertarians often apply a shallow analysis that causes them to defend state-caused injustice merely because its visible manifestation is in the marketplace.

Both fail to recognize that the market is the context, the cause is the state.

Let’s look at the topic of wage slavery, for example.

Every marginalized worker viscerally knows wage slavery to be a very real phenomenon — yet libertarians typically bury their heads in the sand and leftists typically fundamentally misunderstand the problem.

Most libertarians deny the existence of wage slavery, seeing only the voluntaristic nature of the concept of wages in principle rather than the real world of state-tainted injustice in practice.

Most radical leftists attack the voluntaristic nature of the concept of wages, assuming there is something inherently evil about wages for reasons that are mirror images of the intellectual errors commonly committed by libertarians.

They’re both right and both wrong.

deeper libertarian analysis, a left libertarian analysis, points to the role of the state in artificially concentrating capital in the hands of state-allied big business — giving statist plutocrats far more bargaining power in the labor market than is their natural due. Injustice happens to play out in the marketplace, but the cause is the state.

I urge, and challenge, free-market libertarians to show their solidarity with labor by supporting radical unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), rather than establishment unions in league with big business and the state. Click here to join the IWW.

Austrian Economics and Wage Slavery

Since the post on wage slavery generated a bit of a stir, perhaps it’s time to introduce a $10 word for the fifty cent concept of “screw the workers“.

That word is oligopsony. Just as the word “oligopoly” is a more dispersed form of the concept of “monopoly”, so to oligopsony complements monopsonyMonopsony, in turn, is a mirror image of monopoly. Where a monopoly indicates only one seller, monopsony indicates one buyer.

The essence of what I had to say about the concept of wage slavery is that the government-induced cartelization of industry creates oligopsony conditions in the labor market. It does this by artificially reducing the number of buyers of labor (businesses), thereby granting the existing ones an unnatural degree of bargaining power.

Austrian economics is quite clear on the cartelizing effects in the business world of statism. By pointing to statism as the cause of resulting oligopsony conditions in the labor market, a compelling case can be made that the completely free market (i.e. anarchy) truly is the proletarian revolution.

Alongside Night Approaches

Agorists, fans of Samuel Edward Konkin III and fans of Konkin’s protege (as well as dear friend) J. Neil Schulman will undoubtedly be delighted learn the latest from Schulman. He’s pioneering an innovative new distribution and production model for independent movies — first with Schulmans’s acclaimed comedy Lady Magdalene’s and, if that is successful, the long-awaited movie version of Schulman’s classic novel of agorist revolution, Alongside Night.

From the news release:

“Most entertainment industry observers are confident that new-media distribution of movies to digital devices will become a major part of film distribution, but until now nobody has demonstrated a business model that creates a revenue stream sufficient to repay film investors. Now one indie film company is trying to create just such a digital-media revenue stream, making independent film-making once again attractive to investors by creating new profitable competition to traditional distribution channels monopolized by the interlocking cartels of movie studios, broadcast/cable/satellite systems & networks, and chain theatrical exhibitors.”

Alongside Night is scheduled to premiere on the campus of George Mason University in Spring 2012.