Berlin Left-wing Market Anarchist Reading Group

A reading group for people interested in learning more about Mutualism or Left-wing Market Anarchism in general. No prior knowledge required, we'll start with some easy intros!

When, where and how?

Because of the corona pandemic, it might be best if we could meet outside while the weather allows. For now I would suggest Volkspark am Weinberg, right off of Ubahn Rosenthaler Platz. We can begin with Kevin Carson's The Iron Fist Behind The Invisible Hand, ~20 pages long.

Our first meeting will be at 14:00 on Saturday August the 28th, 2021

Please register by email, at lwmaberlin [at] protonmail.com, or on our Meetup.com page! Later we can setup a telegram or signal group if people would like.



What does all this market stuff mean?

In short, left-wing market anarchists reject capitalism and embrace markets and property. This may sound counterintuitive as capitalism is understood as a market ideology and our neoliberal era is seen as an expansion of free markets. Market anarchists reject this notion and cite things like borders and police, intellectual property, restrictions on land use and credit as the primary conditions that sustain capitalism. For example a free market that violently extends patent restrictions on the production of medicine and food is obviously not free at all!

As leftists we identify and strongly condemn the state's 'subsidy of history' to big business, the last several hundred years of capitalist violence and robbery that was necessary to compel people into wage labor to begin with. As anarchists we obviously reject all the common "isms" in racism, sexism and transphobia, ableism etc, as well as the communist regimes who preserved privilege and hierarchy under a different colored flag. We see freedom as a meaningful goal for it's own sake.

We also stress the distance between market anarchists and so-called anarcho-capitalists, either for their existing capitalist apologetics or for their tendencies towards regressive social views. Wage labor, rent and usury are not things we favor or expect to see in a world without coercion.

Above all we seek a world of mutually beneficial and voluntary relationships, with exchange freed from capitalism's restrictions.

What kind of texts could we read?

There will be a variety of sources, from historic works by Proudhon and Benjamin Tucker through to today with pieces from Kevin Carson, Elinor Ostrom and compilations like Markets Not Capitalism. In general I'd like to focus on shorter bite-sized pieces rather than full books. All these texts are free online, so no money is required unless you want a physical dead-tree version. There are also frequent articles on Center for Stateless Society's website that cover news worthy topics, could be interesting to read together.

We will be reading in english, though some articles may have german translations available. Because some of these texts use obscure or archaic terminology, I'm happy to spend extra time working through definitions, no one left behind!

Who is invited?

This group welcomes anyone with a genuine interest in learning more about economics and anarchist philosophy, including those with other political labels. If you have little or no experience in reading about political or economic theory don't worry, we're all beginners!

Sadly, it needs to be said explicitly that we do not welcome authortarians or regressives who would deny the agency and humanity of other participants. Zero tolerance for the above mentioned -isms or people being seriously disruptive or argumentative. Secondly, this is not a political action group. While discussing politics and change will surely bring up a lot about tactics, this is not a space for hosting meetings for on-the-ground activities.





Another world is possible!