Cost-Plus: The Waste Production Economy

•December 1, 2011 • 1 Comment

“Cost-Plus: The Waste Production Economy”

by Kevin Carson

“Mass production requires running machinery at full speed to minimize unit costs, without regard to preexisting demand. This large batch production model carries with it, in turn, the imperative of controlling the outside society to guarantee demand for the product, so the economy is not glutted with unsold inventory. This is accomplished, in part, by mechanisms of push distribution: high-pressure marketing and planned obsolescence. It is accomplished as well, at the macro level, by the existence of entire sectors of the economy whose primary function is to absorb surplus capital and production capacity.”

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Desktop Manufacturing: A Homebrew Industrial Revolution

•November 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Desktop Manufacturing: A Homebrew Industrial Revolution”

by Kevin Carson

“The crushing costs of formal business and the implosion of the debt-bubble economy is driving millions into the informal economy of barter, trade and ‘underground’ work. As small businesses close their doors and corporations lay off thousands, the unemployed will of necessity shift their focus from finding a new formal job (essentially impossible for most) to fashioning new livelihoods…”

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Just A Downturn: The Decline and Fall of Sloanist Mass Production

•November 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Just A Downturn: The Decline and Fall of Sloanist Mass Production”

by Kevin Carson

“The truth of the matter is, the present economic crisis is not cyclical, but structural. There is excess industrial capacity that will be rust in a few years because we are entering a period of permanently low consumer demand. As Peter Kirwan at Wired puts it, the mainstream talking heads are mistaking for a cyclical downturn what is really “permanent structural change” and “industrial collapse.” …a better way of stating it would be “a structural shift toward a less-work, less-output, less-planned-obsolescence, and less-embedded-rents-on-IP-and-ephemera dynamic, with no reduction in material standard of living. A structural dynamic toward working fewer hours to produce less stuff because it lasts longer instead of going to the landfill after a brief detour in our living rooms, would indeed be a good thing.”

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Healthcare: A Crisis of Artificial Scarcity

•November 4, 2011 • 1 Comment

“Heathcare: A Crisis of Artificial Scarcity”

by Kevin Carson

“In healthcare, subsidies to the most costly and high-tech forms of medicine crowd out cheaper and decentralized alternatives, so that cheaper forms of treatment—even when perfectly adequate from the consumer’s standpoint—become less and less available. There are powerful institutional pressures for ever more radical monopoly. At the commanding heights of the centralized state and centralized corporate economy–so interlocked as to be barely distinguishable–problems are analyzed and solutions prescribed from the perspective of those who benefit from radical monopoly.”

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Moloch

•October 25, 2011 • 2 Comments

“Moloch: Mass-Production Industry as a Statist Construct”

by Kevin Carson

“The decentralizing potential of small-scale, electrically powered machinery was a common theme among many writers from the late 19th century on. That, and the merging of town and village it made possible, were the central themes of Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories and Workshops. With electricity “distributed in the houses for bringing into motion small motors of from one-quarter to twelve horse-power,” it was possible to produce in small workshops and even homes. Freeing machinery up from a single prime mover ended all limits on the location of machine production. The primary justification for economy of scale, as it existed in the nineteenth  century—the need to economize on horsepower—vanished when the distribution of electrical power eliminated reliance on a single source of power.”

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A Cypherpunk Manifesto

•October 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“A Cypherpunk Manifesto”

by Eric Hughes

We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy out of their beneficence. It is to their advantage to speak of us, and we should expect that they will speak. To try to prevent their speech is to fight against the realities of information. Information does not just want to be free, it longs to be free. Information expands to fill the available storage space. Information is Rumor’s younger, stronger cousin; Information is fleeter of foot, has more eyes, knows more, and understands less than Rumor. We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any. We must come together and create systems which allow anonymous transactions to take place. People have been defending their own privacy for centuries with whispers, darkness, envelopes, closed doors, secret handshakes, and couriers. The technologies of the past did not allow for strong privacy, but electronic technologies do.

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Well, Fuck Them: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

•October 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”

by John Perry Barlow

Yesterday, that great invertebrate in the White House signed into the law the Telecom “Reform” Act of 1996 … It attempts to place more restrictive constraints on the conversation in Cyberspace than presently exist in the Senate cafeteria, where I have dined and heard colorful indecencies spoken by United States senators on every occasion I did. This bill was enacted upon us by people who haven’t the slightest idea who we are or where our conversation is being conducted. It is, as my good friend and Wired Editor Louis Rossetto put it, as though “the illiterate could tell you what to read.”  Well, fuck them. Or, more to the point, let us now take our leave of them. They have declared war on Cyberspace. Let us show them how cunning, baffling, and powerful we can be in our own defense.

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