Monday, February 28, 2005

2 essays added to the sidebar

For those who may be interested, I have added 2 essays to the sidebar section aimed toward people of a leftie statist persuasion.

The first is Anthony Gregory's latest contribution to LRC, called Corporatism and Socialism in America. Gregory's piece is a nice overview of the problem that arises when people respond to problems falsely attributed to the "free market" with statist solutions that often cater to big business interests rather than counter them. As Gregory puts it:
Although leftists often misunderstand the fundamental problem plaguing the economy, they at least recognize its symptoms.

The second addition is "Liberalism and Social Control: The New Class' Will to Power", an essay by Kevin Carson that appears over at This extremely informative work details the rise of the "New Class" professionalism that dominated 20th century institutions and public policy and continues to dominate to this day, thanks to the brand of mainstream statists who are often labeled as being "left-liberals". This phenomenom, which actually serves the interests of the political and economic ruling class, has stifled the ability of workers to organize for themselves and improve their lot within society through the rise of professionalism and statism. Here is a telling excerpt from the essay that discusses this in more detail:
Genuine working class unions, built from the bottom up and controlled by workers themselves, aimed at direct workers' control of the production process. Workers' organizations for self-help and mutual aid included collections for charity, and "friendly societies" organized on a subscription basis to insure members against funerals and sickness [They are described in the later chapters of Kropotkin's Mutual Aid and in E. P. Thompson's chapter on "Community"]. So every function of the "progressive" welfare state so beloved of Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was already being attempted by the workers themselves--but organized from the bottom up, instead of handed down from on high by paternalistic liberals.

The main shortcomings of working class self-organization were those imposed from outside--i.e., lack of resources, and active suppression by the state. Had the working class been free to organize without interference by the state--and more importantly, had they had the full product of their labor to dispose of--their provisions for their own health, education and welfare would have been far superior to anything doled out by the state. But goo-goos like Schlesinger ignore the fact that the welfare state was created precisely in order to prevent the working class from organizing to keep the product of their own labor and control their work. The entire "progressive" agenda in the twentieth century was oriented, not toward ending the framework of state policy that supported corporate rule, but increasing state intervention to make corporate rule more bearable.

The New class saw such self-organization as an atavism, to be eliminated with all the other imperfections of the past when society was reorganized under the benevolent rule of "professionals." Working class institutions were either supplanted or destroyed: working class free schools were rendered "obsolete" by state schools, and in the process the New Class ideology achieved hegemony over the minds of children; organs of self-help were encouraged to wither away by the "helping professions"; syndicalist unions controlled by the rank and file, and the vibrant labor press, were liquidated by good "liberals" during Wilson's Red Scare.

A particular strength of both essays is their focus on the types of historical documentation that one will never find discussed in the media, the established school system, or even the supposedly radical texts of people like Howard Zinn.


Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Thanks for the link!

7:41 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Hi Freeman,

I stumbled across your blog and thought you might be interested in an event I'm organizing across the river in Windsor, ON. The Windsor Liberty Seminar is being on March 11 at the University of (you guessed it) Windsor. Registration is free and more info can be found at

Hope to see you there.


9:49 AM  

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