Market Anti-Capitalism: A conversation with Charles W. Johnson

  • Posted on: 6 March 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href=" FM</a>

Market Anti-Capitalism: A conversation with Charles W. Johnson <

This week's show features an interview with Charles W. Johnson, an editor and contributor to the new edition "Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty", just out from Autonomedia Press.

Charles is a market anarchist writer from Auburn, Alabama. He is a member of Occupy Auburn, a Research Associate at the Molinari Institute and an alumnus of Auburn University. He has published the Rad Geek People's Daily weblog at since 2001, and is a frequent speaker and columnist on radical responses to the economic crises, stateless social activism and the philosophy of anarchism.</td><td><img title="I hope this actually starts a good conversation about prefiguration and not just trolling ancaps" src=""></td></tr></...

We discuss definitions of Capitalism, critiques from Left Libertarians and possible market alternatives. We also touch on racism, regulation, and class struggle.

Charles will be speaking about this new compilation at Firestorm Books and Cafe, 48 Commerce St in Asheville at 6pm on Thursday, March 15 (Tyrannicide Day).

This show can be found at through 3/12, then downloadable from by searching the show title


Glad he's speaking in Asheville. There are plenty of actual anarchists there to respond.

seriously. i know that one or two of the people at firestorm flirt with this kind of BS, but really? market anarchism? come on........

dang uh I ain't really see why we got to talk about prefiguration or 'market anarchism' - these concepts seem to me to be completely impractical, contradictory, and irrelevant to my politics

although I guess by saying that I am talking about them, fuck

And of course don't forget the marketplace of ideas, upon which sites like @N are implicitly based.


Pretty much. Yes.

Markets aren't anarchist! Only a centrally planned economy is anarchist!

right, cause those are the only two options.

pathetic for Autonomedia to have published this.

and who runs this Molinari Institute that Johnson is a research associate at?

"Roderick Tracy Long (born February 4, 1964) is a professor of philosophy at Auburn University and libertarian blogger. He also serves as a senior scholar for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, an editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, director and president of the Molinari Institute, and an advisory panel member for the Center for a Stateless Society."

fuck the Randists, fuck von Mises, and fuck the libertarians.

and fuck bothering to think critically about anything they say!

we know what they're saying; we calling bullshit on their attempt to disguise it as 'anarchist'

Autonomedia jumped the shark a long time ago. Sad.

to be fair, once in a while they do a good book that otherwise would be buried in Pluto's list.

Private property is the problem. Down with markets.

How are markets and private property mutually inclusive, jackass? Markets apply to possessions as well.. you know, that thing is NOT considered private property! Derp derp.

wait possessions Do not equal private property? What, prey tell, would they be then?

Most capitalists view one as a subset of the other (i.e. possessions are a subset of private property). Those who ascribe to various left philosophies, be it classical mutualism, libertarian socialism, etc... generally view the two categories as quite substantively distinct in terms of their legitimacy to such an extent that it necessitates two different labels to describe each category, in contrast to the capitalist who views both as forms of private property, and so may use the terms as somewhat interchangeable when loosely speaking, or who may view the term "possession" in the traditional legal sense, when speaking more precisely.

Possessions being legitimate when that possession comports with some standard (e.g. typically the "use" criterion), and the term private property being reserved for property which is considered capital, and which is used in an exploitative manner (this may include property in the form of means of production, absentee ownership claim on land for which rent is sought [as it fails the 'use' litmus test], usurious dispensation of money in the form of interest bearing loans, etc...), etc...

Addendum to prior reply: Many people in the past made the aforementioned prior distinction as being between "personal property" versus "private property." However, the use of the word "possession" is now being very commonly used as fairly interchangeable term for personal property. Arguably, possession is now the dominant term, but this may depend what circle of ethics one tends to hang out in. Among mutualists, possession seems to be the most common term. Some in other schools still prefer the term "personal property."

Ok thank you responders for those replies. I understand the term "personal property" and having use value or being "non-exploitive" but I don't find the distinction too convincing, or really justifiable, intuitively (i.e. without actually researching it). Not that Johnson seems to decry private property anyhow. However, still, if I put something on the market, how can I in any way not be surrendering any claim to use value or non-exploitation? In other words, if it's on a market, how can a posession NOT instantly become private property (in the sense of I no longer am using it if I am selling it, and the problem of the LTV for human exploitation, let alone exploitation of the biosphere?)

Market "anarchism? Creepy bad writer Ayn Rand? Wanna buy some fucking heroin!?/wanna buy soem fucking dust!?/Dust!Dust! Dust! Dust!

it's all cecil b. demille's fault.

worker, why u be trollin us wit dis bulllllllllshit?

charles johnson’s basic idea is something that systems scientists have suggested within their language game. the idea is that dysfunction derives from dividing the world up into parts called ‘sovereign states’ [or 'organizations' in general] and having each state work to plans that aim to optimize their own parameters. as the systems scientists say, this makes no sense in the presence of ‘global interconnectedness and mutual interdependence’ of the systems that are being optimized in themselves. e.g. wildgeese do not try to optimize their individual flying performance when they fly together because each of them generates turbulence that makes flying through it difficult; i.e. their individual behaviour influences the behaviour of the common airspace which is at the same time influencing their individual behaviour [Mach’s principle].

it follows that they should let the dynamics of the airspace orchestrate their individual assertive behaviours. ‘resonance’ is set up in this manner and resonance is, in effect, the avoidance of conflict/turbulence [this manifests as the 'V' flying formation]. but such resonances are not the sum of the parts and to get into resonance mode, individuals have to ‘back off’ optimizing their own performance. this is true at any/all levels (e.g. state, corporation, team etc.). johnson, in his language game, puts it like this;

“The social relationships that market anarchists explicitly defend, and hope to free from all forms of government control, are relationships based on: [skipping to the 5th out of 5 ].. “spontaneous order, recognized as a significant and positive coordinating force — in which decentralized negotiations, exchanges, and entrepreneurship converge to produce large-scale coordination without, or beyond the capacity of, any deliberate plans or explicit common blueprints for social or economic development.

‘spontaneous order’ where many ‘things’ operate in a mutually interdependent space, is ‘resonance’ and it clearly does exist in general in nature and it is what lamarck and nietzsche [and rolph and roux et al] chose as the ‘evolutionary force’; i.e. wherein endosmosis is in conjugate relation with exosmosis. ‘resonance’ is also ‘what matter is made of’ in the shrödingerian world view.

systems scientists use the following language;

Abstract: The Name of the Devil is Suboptimization [Martine Dodds and György Jaros]

“The above aphorism, attributed to Kenneth Boulding, points to the inherent weakness characterizing the mindset and socio-economic, political, educational and managerial practices of Western Industrial society as it developed over the past 300 years. It has its basis in the analytic-reductionist scientific paradigm, which, despite the remarkable technological applications it spawned, is inappropriate, conflict-generating and dysfunctional in a world characterized by global interconnectedness and mutual interdependence, complexity, different levels of economic and political sophistication and accelerating change. The authors explore the manifestations of suboptimization within our world-views, mental models, value systems, organizational assumptions and practices, management of society and social dynamics. Although this debate, initiated by the systems sciences in the 1950s, has gone a considerable way within sections of the academic community, it is yet to transform the obsolete institutional forms of social, political and economic power which currently still obstruct human, organizational and social development. The authors concur with those thinkers who, like Jamshid Gharajedaghi, feel that “more of the same is not going to swing it in the world today.” We need to change what we do, how we do it as well as how we think about reality. To paraphrase Russell Ackoff on this topic: what we need is revolution, not reform. The challenge is to make it and make it bloodless.”

the prerequisite of having to change ‘how we think about reality’ is why none of these ideas have not, to this point, achieved popular implementation. mach, nietzsche, poincaré, bohm, schrödinger all changed ‘how they thought about reality’, in this sort of context, but they didn’t bring many others along with them. the need to engage like the wildgeese, or like a natural ecosystem participant (i.e. letting our individual and collective behaviour be orchestrated by the cultivating of resonances in the conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation), is the implication here.

charles johnson’s version of this doesn’t ring too many bells, however, since one has to let go of one’s sense of personal responsibility for achieving a particular result since the system behaviour, in resonance mode, transcends the sum of the parts [the geese get uplift of up to 20% reduction of energy expenditure and since they fly faster in resonance mode than they could in solo mode, they get a larger foraging range as well.] the whole system starts to look like an ‘open source’ dynamic where no-one owns or controls the overall system, but everyone chooses to depend on it and contribute to it. it is like the pure form of a japanese ‘keiretsu’, based on trust and a recognition/acceptance of mutual interdependency; i.e. it is more about a different way of looking at reality where optimization by parts [competition, suboptimization] looks stupid and where optimization shifts to the cultivating of resonances through trust-based relations as feels natural.



When did having an opinion and arguing for it become a bad thing that needs to be mocked? You market "anarchists" sure have thin skin...

That's what the klans says about people of color.

Yeah, I hear there's a real problem with people being racist against markets.

springer loves to bring out "the klan" a hallmark of his style.

just downloaded the book pdf from and took a look..

- i found interesting that the book is dedicated to the memory of Karl Hess. Did you watch the documentary "anarchism in America"? There was an interviews with Karl Hess, wich at the begining made me a bit surprised. Karl hess started as a republican, moved to anarcho-capitalism and ended up praisng Emma Goldman!

making a synthesis of anarchy in practice i could not say which economic system would work better or wich one would be a choice for other people. Anarchy means the absence of state or institutionalized authority, so the result would be a struggle of different forces in different directions, against the cristalysed power of the state or other institutions imposed on individuals. I do not get scared with the right libertarians claiming capitalism would work without the state, only the leftists do.. let's try it and see what happens.. i do not envision any answer for the social question nor a think we woul have a beatufull peacefull world where everybody cooperate and respect each other..

anarchy, and capitalism, at base, are about 'order' and 'organization'. the aristotelian/newtonian view of order in terms of notional 'things-in-themselves' and 'what things-in-themselves do', leads to organization that optimizes by parts; i.e. free market capitalism, sovereigntism, corporatism etc. in medicine, biology, economics, history (zinn), linguistics, psychology, the realization continues to surface that the overall dynamic is never the 'sum of the dynamics of the parts'. this implies that dynamics in the 'real world' are all about 'transformation' of spatial-relations, wherein mutual interdependence prevails. anarchy could [should] therefore be defined as the ecosystem form of organization, the only 'real' form of organization in nature, if relativity and quantum physics are better descriptors of dynamics than 'cause-and-effect' perpetrated by 'things-in-themselves'.

anarchy is a natural form of organization, while the deterministic form of organization that seeks optimization by parts (by states, corporations etc.) is 'appearances' based on idealization [absolutely existing 'things-in-themselves' interacting in absolute space and absolute time] that can only lead to conflict and dysfunction in the real world of our experience.

A defining element of anarchist thought and practice for the last 150 years (in particular when it has emerged as a social force beyond the writings of a old men, writing in the abstract) has been an understanding of the inherently connected, integrated nature of state and capiputal. The two cannot be separated in contemporary social life, either as physical realities (flows of power and wealth), social groups (politicians and capitalists), or even as abstract ideas. Indeed it is difficult to even tell where state starts and capital ends these days. A free market economist might also point this out, hoping for an impossible divorce, for deregulation, and de-taxation to free up the hands of the capitalist masters their theories are loyal to. But few of these free market theorists are so stupid as to actually advocate a truly stateless society, precisely because they understand what these silly "anarchocapitalists," "free market anarchists," or whatever, do not: the State and class societies co-evolved this way FOR A REASON. The State is a defining feature of class society, and vice versa. Rich people, people who have a disproportionate control over resources and power, CAPITALISTS, need an army of cops to protect their shit, to stabilize regions and markets, etc. However much ron paul s army of nitwits may hate on welfare recipients and other state programs, they realize that for capitalists to preserve their privilege they NEED a state. Otherwise, you can bet your ass this commenter and about 3 billion other people are gonna be coming for whats ours. And when its all free, why the hell would we bother bartering or selling it for money?

People can play some level of semantics with the word "capital" if they like - they can be like kevin carson and say, "This isnt actually capitalism." They remind me more of the state communist apologists in the last days the soviet empire - desperately pleading that "but this isnt real (state)communism" that if only their beloved bureaucrats and commissars were freed up to do what they really wanna do state communism would be great. Right.

Fortunately, its more simple for us anarchists actually struggling on the ground than it is for doublethinking academics holed up scribbling convoluted jibberish about "free market anti capitalism (?!?!)" in auburn alabama. The fact is that the system we encounter every day when we go to work is called capitalism; it is a systems of semi-free markets by which through the extraction of surplus value and the drive for profit, the flow of capital creates an ever more exploitative strain on us and the earth, which we feel in REAL FUCKING WAYS every time we have to pay for rent or food or childcare or whatever; that the motherfuckers who protect this system are cops and politicians and lawyers and judges, and they are part of of we is called the State. These systems interact inherently, they NEED each other, as do they need other systems of oppression like patriarchy and white supremacy.

Writers like this johnson fellow and kevin carson can try to define their way out of this reality of struggle, by renaming things to say "no, this isnt capitalism, this is actually something else" - but it doesnt change my goal as an anarchist, which is to steal back everything that has been stolen from us and the earth, by violence, for the past few hundred or thousand years, topple the hierarchies that preserve this status quo, and find a way to leave in decency and peace with each other without reverting back to old ways (buying and selling, only if they have the "cash"), policing, bossing around, raping, exploiting, and generally having claim to more than i need.

*"leave" should read "live." oops!

let me say something provocative. let's abolish the state and see how long capitalism would last..

let's struggle for anarchy, so no place for imposed laws of the markets, or councils or assemblies. In the end anarchy will spread against institutionalized forms of politics and economics.

hah to your point, id give it about 5 days!

But humor aside, really it just doesnt work like that. Who actually thinks you could attack one and not the other? What does that even look like? Even if it was a good idea, the anarchocapitalists dream of divorcing state from capital in order to keep one and get rid of the other MAKES NO SENSE. A struggle against private property necessitates a struggle against the state; a struggle against the state necessitates (even just pragmatically if not ideologically) the seiqure of property of the capitalist class....where would we get the guns, the territory, the resources from which to fight the state, if not expropriated from the capitalists who support it?

The reason this whole market "anarchy" crap only ever remains in the realm of fantasy and abstraction is because it runs up against common sense. Capitalists and the State are in bed together, and theyre not getting a divorce....

Whose ‘shit’ are you going to ‘steal back’?

you say; “Rich people, people who have a disproportionate control over resources and power, CAPITALISTS, need an army of cops to protect their shit”

your ‘analysis’ and ‘put down’ of johnson and the anarcho-capitalists [btw. i am not one], whose views raise interesting questions about the splitting apart of ‘state’ and ‘capital’, ... passes over the core issue that is key to the dysfunction that is going on and the way out of it, namely, ‘what we take to be ‘reality’’ [as the systems sciences in my separate comment pointed out in regard to ‘suboptimization’]

the sovereign state did not arise for the ‘reason’ you are stating;

“the State and class societies co-evolved this way FOR A REASON. The State is a defining feature of class society, and vice versa.”

the state [absolute central control over everthing/everyone residing in a claimed ‘state-owned’ area of land and control over what they can do] arose NOT IN ABORIGINAL SOCIETY which sustained highly effective STATELESS societies [the world of ‘les sauvages’ as even the Iroquois Five [people-] nation Confederation was seen], but in the ‘civilized world’ of Europe where conflict between the Church and the Kings of Europe over 'who had authority over what', was resolved in an agreement which gave the Kings and politicians authority over the ‘temporal realm’ while the Church retained authority over the ‘spiritual realm’.

that’s why ‘sovereigntism’ is referred to by law historians as a ‘secularized theological concept’. that is, it is a ‘belief system’ in which people believe that nature/land is putty-in-their-hands, that their ‘god-given’ ‘intellectual creativity’ is the source of the production of wealth as in ‘Ayn Randism’, of which george monbiot says Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats

“Rand's is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed. Yet, as Gary Weiss shows in his new book, Ayn Rand Nation, she has become to the new right what Karl Marx once was to the left: a demigod at the head of a chiliastic cult. Almost one third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas Shrugged, and it now sells hundreds of thousands of copies every year. / Ignoring Rand's evangelical atheism, the Tea Party movement has taken her to its heart. No rally of theirs is complete without placards reading "Who is John Galt?" and "Rand was right". Rand, Weiss argues, provides the unifying ideology which has "distilled vague anger and unhappiness into a sense of purpose". She is energetically promoted by the broadcasters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. She is the guiding spirit of the Republicans in Congress.”

this is ‘belief’-based stuff aka ‘religious’ stuff. many people if not 'most' in 'the civilized world'‘really believe’ that production derives FIRSTLY from ideas, hence the creative intellect is BELIEVED to be the ‘fountainhead’ of wealth production.

in this way of thinking, ‘capital’ is not what comes first, creative intellect comes first. the natives credit the natural capital of a ‘river’ as coming before their idea to use the river for transportation and irrigation/agriculture, but those like ayn rand, see the ‘idea of using the river’ in a man-made system of irrigation ['creative intellect'], as in precedence over 'capital' [natural and human].

so, it is not just a case of stealing things back, it is about people’s view of reality, about how theys see THEMSELVES relating to ‘production’, and this goes back to science’s idealized, over-simplistic model of the organism as a thing-in-itself whose behaviour derives from its intellect and purpose. [mainstream science, not the science of mach, poincare, bohm, schroedinger].

therefore, if we credit the individual's wealth-producing behaviour as the source of produced wealth, our inquiry into the sourcing of this wealth dead-ends in the intellect and purpose of the individual. therefore, the ‘individual’ is the 'first-cause' ‘source of the produced wealth’. natural capital as in 'land' and 'human resources' doesn’t come into it except as a resource, something 'secondary' that is ‘exploitable’ by the intellect of the individual wealth-producer.

recall what ayn rand said of native americans, and winston churchill as well; i.e. they do not deserve to own the land because they are unable to make productive use of it. that is, the production of wealth from the land derives, in her view, firstly and foremostly from the intellect of the wealth-producer, not from the land as natural capital nor from 'human resources' as natural capital [these are seen as secondary to the production of wealth].

monbiot is right Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats

but more than this. this deluded understanding is pervasive in modern 'civilization', not only in capitalist circles but in anarchist circles as well. many anarchists believe it and then temper it with altruism as leftists do, but that ain’t gonna work because so long as people believe ‘they created the wealth’ by way of 'their creative genius' rather than nature's, they are going to feel possessive about 'what they believe THEY produced', and altruism is only a synthetic antidote that may alleviate the symptoms of the psychopathology. what has to go is the psychopathology which permeates the anarchist camp as well as the capitalist camp. 'stealing wealth back' and 'eliminating the state' is playing around at the level of 'symptoms' without addressing the root source psychopathology.

That's probably true! But there came a point for me, where, after years of reading and speculating as to exactly WHY I find the current socio-economic climate insufferable and WHY it developed this way and where to assign blame, blah blah blah.

I reached the so-called "fuck it" moment and rolled up my sleeves. When you start to look at practical ways to interact with the world around you, war cries like EAT THE RICH are much more useful than endless philosophizing about their psychology.

Stealing resources from those that have an excess and redistributing is a hell of a lot easier than trying to address all the psychological damage of 6 thousand years of civilization.

“a hell of lot easier to steal back and redistribute resources”? i don’t see it, even though robin hood has always been a hero in my books. that is, we are up against a lot more than ‘the sheriff of nottingham’ and his band of mercenary deputies today. we are up against ourselves, our own brothers and sisters who have 'signed up' believing that they are protecting ‘democracy and freedom’.

the psychopathology that has had us all hooked is one in which we let ourselves be ‘made prisoner’ [or worse, a ‘resource’] of an ‘idea’ or ‘ideology’. we are told that this or that ‘idea’ or ‘ism’ is SOOO good that it deserves to become the regulator of our lives, our collective organizing principle. such ideas or isms must be implemented through a centralized regulatory authority that is counselled by those 'expert' in its ‘theory’ [high priests and politicians].

as you say; “Rich people, people who have a disproportionate control over resources and power, CAPITALISTS, need an army of cops to protect their shit”

but what’s in it for the cops and the military recruits? they are being used as a resource that keeps the psychopathology alive and well. they have been taught to believe in the ‘idea’ that enslaves us, ... e.g. ‘democracy’, ‘a free country’ and other ‘half-truths’.

they have become enslavers of their own brothers and sisters as well as themselves and we all pay their salaries, ... thank you very much, ... mmm, a bit more of that pepper spray if you can spare it, please officer.

the warrior tradition serves, as well, in robin hood mode, and many of those that feel they have a warrior vocation must be feeling, at this juncture, that they are in the service of the ‘wrong ideology’, or rather, that to put ‘protection of an ideology’ [that is arguably in a state of collapse] before ‘the protection of their brothers and sisters from enslavement and abuse by that ideology’, has things ‘upside-down’.

robin hood actions [stealing back and redistributing] in the modern era need to move others with the natural vocation of warrior back from ‘protecting some idealization’ to ‘protecting their brothers and sisters’ from enslavement and abuse from that idealization. whether or not they are collecting paychecks signed by the high priests of the protected idealization, the money flow to pay for them comes from everyone.

i am not knocking the value of the pioneering ‘jihadist’ robin hood, just suggesting that there is no need for an ‘either/or’ decision on how to bring about needed transformation, --- what is teamwork for? the doors must be kept open, particularly, for ‘warrior types’, to defect from their own enslavement-by-idealization [each defecting warrior type is a ‘two-pointer’; a reduction in the force holding up the walls of idea-enslaving oppression and a potential strengthening in the force that is collapsing them.

I see what you're saying and I don't completely shut the door on such things.

Obviously I have a lot of skepticism around the idea of cops and soldiers defecting en masse which comes from years of interacting with them. For every grunt that sees the light, there's a thousand mindless automatons lining up to collect the paycheque.

The exception to this is once they're being ordered to massacre people in the streets (that they can readily identify with) but the modern police state has a wide array of alternatives to what you're seeing in Syria right now so that's unlikely barring some massive economic disruptions or geopolitical event.

You have considered that "warrior types" don't have to come from defections right?
It's just another set of skills to learn.

Also I'm not the guy you were originally arguing with. That happens a lot here ;)

you re doing a great job talking completely around the point i was bringing up. I think its pretty obvious what we re talking about when we talk generally about expropriation and communization. It dont take a genuis.

I'm not "talking around your point", I'm saying that when we've reduced all the institutions of oppression to smouldering ruins, then we have the luxury of sitting around saying "Here's why I think those assholes were assholes."

(Note the past tense when referring to said assholes)

im sorry - i was directing that comment to the person you were responding to - the person basically trying to psychologize around things. youre on point keep it up!

heh! My bad, should have noticed when you're post was a reasonable size


It should be noted that Proudhon one of the founders did advocate the market as a means to what he saw as anarchism, for this reason I think that the market aspect will always be a part of any anarchism that doesn't go into the Stirner paradigm, also capital and capitalism are not the same thing, the critique of capital as such came about mostly in the 2nd half of the 20th century.

So what, Kropotkin, Malatesta, Berkman, Rocker, Goldman etc weren't anarchists (communists)?

Capital is the means of production within capitalism, and can also be used interchangeably with capitalism in certain contexts.

They were indeed but their interactions with mutualists and other similar strains of thought were more cordial back then, I'm not saying go back, I'm just saying that the bulk of classical anarchism does not have an anti market view of the world perse,some see capital as a 2ndary means others see it as a primary end, there is a difference between ideologies that express either the former or the latter, in that regards I don't care to go around calling everyone who espouses market ideas a capitalist. Eventually you have evolutions toward post leftism and that kind of discourse, but that also tends toward critiques of use value just as much as exchange value, for me the problems are the same either way. It was Novatore who set the standard when he said 'to communalize material wealth, to individualize spiritual wealth' non of the leftist strands of anarchism ever hit that level of sophistication.

Whether you believe in use or exchange value, its all the same to me as any value system is alienating. If you're going to critique value as such then I don't see why the people in the market terrain deserve special attention via critique compared to their use value counterparts. I accept both strains in anarchist history, and if there is a century of revolutionary economic experimentation, the market exchange approach will make an appearance alongside the workers councils, whether we can novelize ourselves and go beyond both remains to be seen.

I for one happen to subscribe to the notion that communist production should be based on use-value, and am entirely oblivious as to why this would be a form of alienation, other than the fact that the products of my labor would satisfy another's needs just the same as mine were satisfied.

Keep in mind that I am much more of a Marxist than I am an 'Illegalist.' I don't happen to think that Mutalists are capitalists, but they may as well be so as far as I'm concerned. I concede that communism and Mutualism have the possibility to co-exist, but I have absolutely no idea as to why any individual would not willingly participate in communism.

Use value is still a non human-scale productionist process, for that reason it is in the same paradigm as exchange value, not all marketeers believe in exchange as a principle, some who go in more leftist possession based directions then propertarian see exchange value as a last default when it comes to valuating more complex things outside of human scale, someone like tucker had a bit more of a liking to the market then prodhon did for instance in these regards, I do have to admit that use value only thinkers might have a problem or 2 valuating certain complexities, you have ideologies like syndicalism for example that in practice would-as bob black said here some time ago-probably lead to a worse system then we have now. At worst communist discourse does end up being too prescriptive when it fails for scale, it ends up generalizing human needs which leads to all kinds of bad things when wants and needs are unique.

Having said all this I would like a world beyond alienated valuation, but it will not happen through a general exclusive prescriptive prone use value economy, as Hakim Bey argued in his last essay on inter activist exchange it might be good idea to start off with mutualism if only for familiarity and practicality. Also a post value discourse is not just illigalist, its something that can be found in the finer internally consistent directions of Stirnerian thought among others, as Albert Libertad said all productionist prescriptions violate the unique wants and needs of me and mine. I suspect that the solutions to these qualms are outside of current human habituated discourse anyway as Dupont and others argue, it will probably be a combination of new forms of technological postulates(this includes the human body) combined with some kind of dislocation of the current human habit, an enframing of being that we cannot comprehend at this time.


There were disagreements, but the classical anarchocommies still considered mutualists to be anarchists(Goldman/early de Cleyre for example)

If the revolution happens to be Mutualist, I don't want it, as I'm an advocate for positive liberties, including economic equality. I've never read Bey (and probably never will; PEDOPHILE who most likely would love to create a TAZ for his sick fantasies) and very little of Stirner; I've always been partial to social anarchism.

I think that communism has the ability to satisfy the needs and desires of humans on the scale of which is required, and we can determine through democracy as to what goods it is that we absolutely require. This is of course what you're positing as the generalization of production, and therefore 'alienation,' but if 10,000,000 people find that producing AOL CDs is imperative, and 6,990,000,000 people find them to have no use of humanity, majority rules. It's possible that these 10,000,000 people would have the ability to produce these CDs themselves if they were to efficiently utilize resources, but I'm positive that the goods which have been of most use to humanity would still be manufactured. I mean, do we really need to produce flashlight keychains or new 'iPhones' every year?

Syndicalism is a strategy, not a static mode of production. Mutualists aren't anarchists, they're an anachronism that embodies an abhorrent conservatism masquerading as anarchism, with a fixation in the complexities of the market. Fucking nerds.

Also, if the revolution manifests itself as anything other than communism or barbarism, it would most likely be that of collectivism attempting to implement communist principles. Catalonia is an example of anarchist praxis, despite its flaws and temporality.

How are mutualists not anarchists, the first mutualist was also the first declared anarchist, you could see it as the first model that needs redoing, you can see it as conservative, but it is basically anarchism, the anti-market stuff which I happen to agree with came later, but that doesn't undue the mutualist contribution to the discourse.

As far as revolutions go, I don't want any leftist revolution mutualism or otherwise to be the be all end all singular event, revolutions in general are just power players anyway,they don't represent what I want. Besides I'm sure these novel events will take different forms in different places, the north east and PnW of turtle island might be closer to you models then say the middle american heartland and other such places. As for your positive positions, positive and negative are both problematic, negative liberties ignore the problems at hand and positive liberties create new ones, over all the way out of the capital epoch will require a generally negative tone, only individuals should posit things as far as I'm concerned, things like justice and equality essentially turn into bureaucratic nightmares.

As for the satisfied general human condition, that is something that will have to be beyond any prescription and planning, if there is something that can absorb our visions of excess into a workable general economy then the solutions will have to be technological and not political in nature, anything other then that and you begin to sound like the venus project types in terms of idealized projections and forced material unions just like every other civilization to exist.

Sure, Proudhon contributed to anti-capitalist theory, but there has been a dialectical relationship amongst anti-capitalist theorists for quite some time; Mutualism is archaic. Mutualists aren't anarchists because they don't address the economic and political imbalances that would be intrinsic to it as a productive arrangement; COMMUNISM IS THE CULMINATION OF ANARCHISM. Furthermore, Proudhon wasn't necessarily consistent with his 'anarchist' position, nor was his theory a coherent solution to capitalism; Mondragon Corporation.

I agree that the content of revolutions will vary from the historical economic and political conditions specific to their regions, but I highly doubt that 'Mutualism' will significantly materialize itself spontaneously. Personally, I want WORKING CLASS POWER, and in the context of this, what you desire may just as well be irrelevant.

Also, I think that it's outright dishonest to claim that the maintenance of positive liberties would eventually necessitate a bureaucratic apparatus, and I fail to realize as to how emancipatory liberties would be a barrier to communism.

Production should be automated to the greatest extent possible, something that in capitalism or even Mutualism would detract from the mechanics of production; society is interdependent, something of which is not 'forced' but necessary.

You're an individualist, we can't vibe.


you said you are pro "equality," and "democracy" (majority rules). you also say things like "humanity."


sometimes i forget why i hate many @s

Yeah, I did. Do you have a viable solution other than some utopia which you imagine can function with 7 billion individuals acting independently from each other?

And ha, I'm a Marxist ;)

and yours isn't a utopia?

Not like yours, I don't think my 'ideal' society would be perfect, but on the other hand, I don't think your society would be able to exist without degrading into a neo-tribalism.

1. wtf is this 'society' that i supposedly have?
2. wtf is neo-tribalism?

The society in which extreme individualism is dominant? Otherwise, for what other reasons would you be opposed to democracy?

weird, actually i am not in favor of such a society.

thanks for the link. neo-tribalism sounds closer to what i'm into than your wackiness.

* i have to take that back. the wiki says it's a sociologist's ideology and projection for what will naturally happen in the progression of the future of society. which is total bullshit.

nah man, its mad max shit, it'll b awesum

I mean hey, in certain instances, democracy could be flawed, but it's better than outright chaos. If you don't like your commune, relocate.

How else could we preside over production? Spontaneous exchange? Please.

you're right, comrade, what we need is a better way to preside over production.

not only that, but the same political system that we have right now sounds like a great way to do it!

I'm not speaking of a Republic, rather DIRECT DEMOCRACY with immediately recallable delegates that are subject to rotation.

okay so the people who are inclined toward boring meetings will rotate among themselves and make decisions for the rest of us?

No, the assembly of which you are a member of will mandate that these delegates execute your policies. We don't have to have meetings as to what music we want to listen to, or what gum we want to chew, but we will have to have meetings as to what goods we want to produce, and how to properly distribute them, and how exactly to deal with a serial rapist.

Look, this is breaking down to social or anti-social, communism isn't anti-social.

oh, okay, so the assembly whose meetings me and my friends don't go to will mandate that the delegates execute policies in my name concerning things like whether or not i will be able to eat, whether i have to work in a factory, and whether me and my anti-social friends have to be put in reeducation camps or simply killed.

Yeah, now you're just trolling.

If you choose to not partake in the assembly or whatever other form of democratic participation exists in said society, you abdicate your input in the decision that may directly impact you.

Let me ask you, how exactly do you envisage a communist society functioning?

Who is this directed to?

on the contrary, i was trolling at first, and that was my most serious comment. it had just dawned on me precisely what kind of scum you are.

Nah, you're still trolling.

so the choice is between lots of boring meetings or the reeducation camp, right? this is a hard one...

Or choose not to participate and hope for the best? If you're kicking it with friends, and they decide to order a pizza which you will certainly be consuming, but you decide to take off and not vocalize your opinion as to what type of pizza should be ordered, can you complain that they ordered it without your input? By the way, this doesn't apply to bourgeois democracy, because we don't have any form of meaningful or direct participation in it.

oh, i forgot to mention:
i am opposed to democracy for several reasons. it is boring, it involves a lot of long boring meetings, it means majority rule, which is a form of domination, it involves representation, it involves mediation, it involves the separation of politics from life, it has been the political system that i have lived under my entire fucking life and i want to destroy the fuck out of it.

You've never existed within democracy. Yeah, it's majority rule, so if you don't vibe with your commune, MOVE! I would imagine that on the global level, most decisions determined through democracy would be in the productive sphere.

the productive sphere... so let me guess does this involve the majority deciding to do things like make great leaps forward?

Jesus, what, have you been indoctrinated to believe that communism is Maoism? I would think that I could give posters on this site much more credibility than that.

i don't know what you're talking about, i'm just wondering if it involves taking great leaps forward.

If by great leap forward you mean developed regions assisting undeveloped regions, yes.


jesus god.
you are serious?


Communism isn't every person for themselves, I don't know what kind of shit posters here have been reading, but damn.

you are really fucking creepy.

it started off funny and then it wasn't anymore :(

Thanks. So what, you don't have a coherent response? I would think that many ANewsers would have drawn off the traditions of both Kropotkin and Malatesta, and nothing of which I'm advocating would have been completely incongruent with their vision of communism. I can cite them, if you like?

ok i will give you a coherent response. you are my enemy. i have never read kropotkin or malatesta, nor do i know if your claims regarding them are accurate, nor do i particularly care. but your development and your democracy and your society and your economy are disgusting. choke on them.

Okay, fair enough. You have no idea whatsoever of what communism actually is if you're that same poster spouting off bullshit about rage against 'communists,' your 'indignation' should be with that of Leninists. I think it would be safe to say that ALL anarchists are communists, and while they may not have put much thought into how this society would function, democracy is an inextricable component of it. Maybe you'd prefer some form of managerial hierarchy?

i have a good enough idea of what communism is to know that it's meaningless beyond the negative aspects of its definition (abolition of class society, etc), since there is plenty of disagreement on the positive aspects and they are entirely speculative.

what rage against communists? cite?

it is not safe to say that all anarchists are communists.

democracy is not the only alternative to a managerial hierarchy.

Abolition of class society entails abolition of the state. If society cannot cooperate in *both* the political and economic spheres, which are *united* in communism, how exactly could it function?

Sure, it's speculative, as it has yet to occur in anything other than *primitive forms,* but unless you're a nihilist against authority for the sake of itself in class society, and lack an overall solution to it, then what's the point in being an anarchist at all?

oh but i am a nihilist.

And you don't have a viable proposal as to how to facilitate production in a communist society, that's okay. Also, I need to clarify that no, you would not be killed, or be forced to work in a factory, or deprived from sustenance or 'luxury' products. I mean, communism presuppose abundance, and for the most part, we clearly live in a society that has transcended scarcity, yet this scarcity is imposed upon us through the capitalist social relation.

Assisting undeveloped regions isn't killing them, it's the practice of mutual aid. You're the scum.

'From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs' is an indubitable tenet of communism, in the positive or not.

Furthermore, as I previously stated, interdependence of global society is *not* forced but necessary; capitalism has structured this in such a manner that it would be regressive to degrade into territorial modes of 'communism.' Self-sufficiency is a bourgeois myth for the majority of humanity, unless you're a primitivist.

ok well good luck explaining to everyone who doesnt want to be part of your global communist society that you're not forcing but rather necessitating them into your productive sphere, since they obviously can't fend for themselves.

Good luck obtaining resources which aren't available to your region, especially if a specific commune is claiming exclusive ownership over them; this is exactly why society is interdependent, and that communism needs to be the overall framework for the world. Certain regions in Africa will need water and other resources which are scarce in desert terrains imported to them if they choose not to relocate, and likewise they have plenty of salt and other minerals which other regions could use; this is just a minor example.

I'm not forcing anyone to do anything, I believe in the spontaneous revolutionary activity of the working class, and the next true social revolution that manifests itself will probably be the rev to end all revs if it doesn't fail, thereby igniting revolution in other regions. Terrible and beautiful indeed.

And since we could only presume that the revolution will be *social,* and therefore the working class acting in its material interests; it would be that of communism fighting against capitalist reaction.

Same place tomorrow? ;)

how about not having a single unified system for every single human being on the fucking planet to politic and economize together?

How about communism being the framework for global society? Unless you're just some 'market anarchist'?

i am not a market anarchist, nor opposed to communism per se, but definitely not behind your communist global society program.

Communism is international, not confined to one territory. LIFESTYLISTS, THE ALL OF YOU!

no, no, comrade, you've got it all wrong.

communism if it is defined purely negatively as the end of capitalism and class society and all the rest must be total or else it is not communism. communism if it means your new society and economic system that you've planned out from within your place in this society will probably not be international, nor even confined to one territory, but simply will not be.

Communism can't exist within one country, it needs access to resources which aren't available to it.

Not wrong, comrade. We can't adjust reality to our ideals, I agree, but we can sure as hell try when the material conditions are propitious enough for it; we've come close throughout history, there's no reason as to why it can't take place again. International revolution? Absolutely necessary.

what you fail to understand is that if you continue this way you will always be waiting for the material conditions, for the international revolution, until it happens, and then when it does, it will be entirely beyond you, and will be absolutely beautiful and terrifying and so much more than that, and in the end nothing will remain the same, and nothing will change, but either way, your little program will not have been executed the way you intended.

Well, that may be so, but good luck organizing in stable economic conditions for revolution, or breaking windows to provide for inspiration to those who aren't frustrated with the status quo.

I would think that if revolution were to ignite in a developed nation, capitalism would have already been in decline in many others, given globalization and all.

that's not at all what i'm doing with my life, but thanks for the well wishes.

and good luck to you with your waiting!

stupid americans, they not have willages or undertsand trains and they always talking to be afraid of the quiet


This isn't really accurate. Kropotkin said "The revolution will be communist or it will be drowned in blood and have to be begun over again." Berkman had similar sentiments in his "What is Communist Anarchism"? and the same is true in passages from Glodman's work.

Unless by "cordial," you mean that they were nice to the few mutualists who still existed among anarchists by their time. But they were utterly opposed to the idea.

Who's Glodman?


here is a piece of dialogue that seems to have 'gone missing' from this thread, ...

the english language is
emile - Fri, 2012-03-09 11:42

the english language is designed for doer-deed expression, and noun, verb and predicate constructs make it appear as if somebody or something is the author of the observed ‘effect’. in this form of discussion we do not talk how the space we live in is ‘transforming’ in a relational sense. not only nietzsche described this ‘omission’ but others such as mcluhan [‘the medium is the message’]. we ‘know what we are doing’ when we develop producing machinery such as cadillac and cornflakes factories; i.e. it is our intellect and purpose that deterministically authors the production. the production is ‘sequential’. the products (cornflakes or cadillacs) are seen as ‘independent objects’ that come off the production line one after the other [sequential in time]. as poincaré noted, this ‘view’ of dynamics is thanks to the assumptions of ‘absolute space’ and ‘absolute time’.

this whole view of production is ‘idealization’ that, however useful, should not be confused for ‘reality’. as mcluhan said, the reality is in how our relations with one another and the land are transforming is the more comprehensive view of ‘what is really going on’. e.g. the farmer workers are pulled off the farms into the factories, new roads, rails, traffic patterns, movements of people evolve as sources of inputs to the factories and new roads, rails etc. evolve between the factory outputs and product consumers. every rational intellection and purpose determined operation has this ‘deeper view’ in terms of how it transforms the relational dynamics of the space we are all included in. we have thousands of these rational intellection and purpose driven production activities going on AT THE SAME TIME, and in each one of them we ‘know what we are doing’, but we don’t have a clue as to how ‘what we are doing’ is influencing the continually transforming space we are doing it in. out assumptions of absolute space and absolute time put us on the track of explaining everything in terms of ‘what things do’ where ‘space’ is a notional absolute emptiness delineated by a x,y,z,t reference box, a ‘non-participant’. the ‘producers’ of cadillacs and cornflakes therefore ‘do’ and ‘do not know’ what they are doing. they haven’t a clue as to how their operations are influencing the transformation of the living space they are doing them in because not just their actions but everyone’s are ‘conditioning’ the space they are doing them in, at the same time as the dynamics of space are conditioning their activities. that is mach’s principle that applies generally in the universe.

the point is that ‘no-one-is-in-charge of the ‘transformation of space that we are included in’, though everyone is helping to condition the relational dynamics that characterize it, and those relational dynamics orchestrate the rational plans of those included within it. as e.m. forster says in ‘the machine stops’;

“To attribute these two great developments to the Central Committee, is to take a very narrow view of civilization. The Central Committee announced the developments, it is true, but they were no more the cause of them than were the kings of the imperialistic period the cause of war. Rather did they yield to some invincible pressure, which came no one knew whither, and which, when gratified, was succeeded by some new pressure equally invincible. To such a state of affairs it is convenient to give the name of progress. No one confessed the Machine was out of hand. Year by year it was served with increased efficiency and decreased intelligence. The better a man knew his own duties upon it, the less he understood the duties of his neighbour, and in all the world there was not one who understood the monster as a whole. Those master brains had perished. They had left full directions, it is true, and their successors had each of them mastered a portion of those directions. But Humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. It had exploited the riches of nature too far. Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence, and progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine.” E.M. Forster, ‘The Machine Stops’, 1909

so, to speak of ‘production’ is to speak of a deterministic, sequential-in-time model which fails to capture ‘what is really going on’ [the transformation of our living space]. that is what heraclitus intended by ‘everything is in flux’ and ‘you can’t step into the same river twice’; i.e. change is not sequential as in ‘what things do’, an action that plays out ‘over time’, but change is simultaneous in that ‘the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat.’ this is the description of a ‘fluid-dynamic’ wherein there are no ‘fixed identities’ and every dynamic form [every inhabitant] is included in the relational transformation. as in lamarckian/nietzschean evolution, the source of the development of the ‘thing’ is not simply resident in the interior of the thing as in ‘genetics’ but is ‘simultaneously’ depending on the dynamics of the habitat as in ‘epigenetics’. ‘genetics’ and ‘epigenetics’ are simultaneous; i.e. they are conjugate aspects of one dynamic, ‘transformation’ within a relational space.

marx models the problem in doer-deed terms (dialectic which comes from absolutist idealization) while nietzsche models the problem as in the statement by forster, where ‘who is doing what’ is only ‘appearances’ and the sourcing lies deeper that the notional local, material authors of the production enterprise.


The Forster quote is great.
anon - Fri, 2012-03-09 14:38

The Forster quote is great. "Progress" is progress of the machine, okay. However, Emile's repetitive fixations in specialized language are proof enough that there is very little actual transformation in the 'continuous present', and that part of the unveiling of the appearances will be to recognise the authors who are doing the deeds which impact 'the environment'. You say there is in fact 'a source'. What do you suppose that source to be, if it is not 'actors" doing "deeds"? Does the Idea of Chaos stop the chaos? Are you a Buddhist?


you speak of ‘repetitive
emile - Fri, 2012-03-09 18:15

you speak of ‘repetitive fixations in specialized language’, how about you? you continue to express your understandings in english. english (or german for that matter) is a highly specialized language that uses the idealizations of absolute space and absolute time [x,y,z,t reference framing] to reduce the relational dynamics of nature to terms of ‘subject, verb and predicate’. in other words, the language you are using reduces ‘transformation in the continuing present’ to ‘subject-object interactions’ that transpire ‘over time’, as if such doer-deed events are responsible for having converted what existed in the immediate past into what exists in the present.

that is pure ‘idealization’ based on ‘appearances’ as poincaré points out where we assume that the present depends only on the immediate past.

a moment ago, there were ten loaves of bread on the bakery counter and presently there are only nine, so, someone must be responsible for removing a loaf. oh yes, it was jean valjean. he was the doer of the deed, and that is ‘a fact’. but we all know that the source of his action has roots that go deeper and without limit into spacetime, the condition of space by taxation, by wars and many other things, leading to the situation where valjean could not longer bear to hear the crying of starving children being put to bed hungry. in the doer-deed world view, which is what the english language is design-optimized for, we lift the doer-deed event out of the fluid continuum of transformation of the relational space we live in.

we impute causal agent sourcing to ‘the thief’. that is, we see what we call a ‘theft’ as in ‘the thief thieves’. the continually unfolding dynamic in which 'thieving' [could be 're-balancing'] is an emergent activity cell, like the convection cell emerging in a fluid flow induced by ‘thermal energy imbalance’. what language does to our experience based understanding here is called ‘petitio principii’ or what nietzsche calls ‘double error’, and that is how we start from a much more comprehensive ‘understanding’ and reduce it to a language-based ‘doer-deed event’;

“Our judgement has us conclude that every change must have an author”;–but this conclusion is already mythology: it separates that which effects from the effecting. If I say “lightning flashes,” I have posited the flash once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, “is” and does not “become.”–To regard an event as an “effecting,” and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we are guilty.” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’, 531

whether you are speaking of jean valjean, the bourgeoisie, or lightning, imputing doer-deed ‘causal agency’ to the ‘word’ [valjean, bourgeoisie, lightning] does NOT conform to our experience.

the robin hood act of jean valjean emerged in a dynamic continuum sourced by growing imbalances in the access to nourishment. the growing imbalances were the deeper source of the emergent action, not only in the case of the language-based doer-deed expressions such as ‘jean valjean was the one who stole the loaf of bread’, or ‘the bourgeoisie were the ones who monopolized the supplies of nourishment’, or ‘lightning was the cause of the massive release of electrical energy’. the imbalances are the deeper source of the doer-deed events.
so, you say;

“You say there is in fact 'a source'. What do you suppose that source to be, if it is not 'actors" doing "deeds"?

in a relational space such as the one we live in, ‘imbalance’ is the animating source [the ‘evolutionary force’]. the outside-inward accommodating influence and the inside-outward asserting action are in continuing ‘coniunctio’, and language reduces this conjugate dynamic to one-sided, inside-outward asserting doer-deed actions [thanks to the idealized notions of absolute space and absolute time]. why? because that is what is notionally ‘local, visible and material’ while the outside-inward orchestrating influence is ‘nonlocal, non-visible and non-material’. if you are fixated by language such as english [noun-verb-predicate language that facilitates idealized doer-deed constructs based on ‘appearances’], then you are only playing with half a deck. [what i intend by 'fixated' is 'to confuse language, which is essentially idealization based constructs, for reality']

that’s why mcluhan blamed gutenberg and the printing press for the dysfunction we are in today. 'experience-based understanding' was never like the reduced idealized shit we pass around in word based constructs. one can use language constructs as ‘wittgenstein ladders’ to get us to a vantage point where we can make the 'leap' to some or other ‘understanding’. but when one uses language, taking it literally and simply using look-up tables for word definitions, it leads to over-simplified ‘understanding’ as in the case of doer-deed re-renderings of dynamics [where the doer-deed visual appearance is taken out of the continuing web-of-relations context].

if you understood what jean valjean was going through and how the habitat dynamic was an outside-inward influence on his inside-outward asserting behaviour, then before you ever uttered language constructs such as ‘jean valjean stole a loaf of bread’, you would have the whole continually unfolding dynamic in your ‘understanding’, within which, valjean’s act of stealing a loaf of bread was a visual sequence which did not show how he and others were being ‘robbed blind’ by the bourgeoisie and the taxman. not only language but justice systems are based on the doer-deed world view, so no judge and prosecutor wants to hear you testify about the history of the living space dynamic and the emergence of imbalances and how these imbalances are exerting an outside-inward orchestrating influence on the inside-outward asserting actions of jean valjean. jean valjean cannot cite mach’s principle as proof that the one-sided doer-deed modeling of dynamics is radically ‘incomplete’ because the justice system is founded on the doer-deed model and so is the architecture of the legal language that supports it.

p.s. this does not 'let the bourgeoisie 'off the hook'', it simply says that there is much more to it than that; e.g. the justice system is fucked too, by its dependence on the doer-deed model. the bourgeoisie uses the fact that the nonlocal, nonvisible, nonmaterial outside-inward influence on behaviours of jean valjean coming from their greedy monopolization is not admissible in our doer-deed based justice system. therefore the bourgeoisie's role in creating imbalance, because the behaviour-influencing force of imbalance is non-visible and non-admissible in court, fails to link the bourgeoisie's actions to jean valjean's actions, but the two are related [as in mach's principle]. therefore, the missing relational linkage [it is there in our common understanding, but is trumped by the doer-deed modeling of dynamics that makes it into our language constructs] is responsible for both the unjust conviction of jean valjean and the unjust untouchability of the bourgeoisie.

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