Kevin Carson and the Freed Market: Is His Left-Libertarian Vision Plausible?

Libertarian Papers 8:273-292 (2017)

How accurate is Kevin Carson’s characterization of “freed” markets? Carson, a left-libertarian “free market anti-capitalist,” portrays free markets as so radically different from actually-existing markets that they are almost unrecognizable. In The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low Overhead Manifesto, he provides an alternative history of industrialization that argues that large-scale industrial organization and production are largely creatures of state intervention and that truly free markets would be characterized mainly by small-scale production for local markets. This paper evaluates Carson’s narrative in order to determine whether his vision of the freed market is credible. I find that Carson fails to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that, but for government intervention, national markets would only exist for a few goods. Furthermore, many of the features he believes freed markets would possess are based on fallacious views of competition, knowledge, capital, and entrepreneurship.
Keywords left-libertarianism  freed market  anti-capitalist  mutualism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Carson's Rejoinders.Kevin A. Carson - 2006 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 20 (1):97-136.
Kevin Carson as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.Walter Block - 2006 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 20 (1):35-46.
Il Libertarianism: Saggio Bibliografico.Nicola Iannello - 2003 - Etica E Politica 5 (2):1-17.
Land-Locked: A Critique of Carson on Property Rights.Roderick T. Long - 2006 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 20 (1):87-95.
Left-Libertarian Theories of Justice.Peter Vallentyne - 1999 - Revue Economique 50:859-878.
Libertarian Free Will and the Erosion Argument.Gerald Harrison - 2007 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):61-75.
Politics or Scholarship?Jeffrey Friedman - 1992 - Critical Review 6 (2-3):429-445.


Added to PP index

Total views
205 ( #32,421 of 2,249,120 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #19,509 of 2,249,120 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature