Eric Fleischmann: From Marx to Markets

My dear friend, Eric Fleischmann, whose work and music I’ve spotlighted on Notablog, is interviewed on Non Serviam by host Lucy Steigerwald. The Podcast (#48), “From Marx to Markets: Materialism, Agorism, and Laurance Labadie“, exhibits how well Eric has benefited from the “cross pollination” of ideas, integrating lessons from communist and continental traditions as well as mutualism, North American individualist anarchism, and modern left-libertarianism. This constellation leads Eric to celebrate the brilliance of markets in creating a multiplicity of humane communal relations, in a context free of state violence, radically different from current markets under capitalism.

Much of Eric’s work can be found on the website of the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS). In fact, he hosts an interview program at C4SS, The Enragés—which is why the current podcast was such a pleasant turnaround.

In it, Eric explores theories of historical materialism and agorism, as well as his own distinctive reclamation project: “The Laurance Labadie Archival Project.” Labadie was a progenitor of left-wing market anarchist and freed market anti-capitalist ideas.

While some on both the right and the left have heralded the rise of localism in American politics as a way of checking federal encroachments on basic freedoms, Eric reminds us that even “localism can be a means for greater oppression.” Indeed, it’s not acceptable to be “okay with state oppression as long as it’s on a lower scale”. Eric points to provocative parallels between those who favor state building through secessionism on the right and those who seek to establish a top-down ‘worker’s state’ on the left.

Another nice theme to emerge from this interview is Eric’s emphasis on the need for greater attention to praxis, that is, to the practical means by which to create ‘on-the-ground’ parallel institutions that replace currently operative coercive structures. His own recently completed undergraduate thesis at Bates College, “Patience and Time: Timebanking and Self-Organizing Networks of Eldercare in Greater Portland, ME“, documents some of those bottom-up community practices.

This is a nice interview and I highly recommend it.

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