The Desktop Regulatory State: The Countervailing Power of Individuals and Networks

The Desktop Regulatory State: The Countervailing Power of Individuals and Networks

by Kevin A. Carson


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Defenders of the modern state often claim that it's needed to protect us-from terrorists, invaders, bullies, and rapacious corporations. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, for instance, famously argued that the state was a source of "countervailing power" that kept other social institutions in check.
But what if those "countervailing" institution-corporations, government agencies and domesticated labor unions-in practice collude more than they "countervail" each other? And what if network communications technology and digital platforms now enable us to take on all those dinosaur hierarchies as equals-and more than equals. In The Desktop Regulatory State, Kevin Carson shows how the power of self-regulation, which people engaged in social cooperation have always possessed, has been amplified and intensifed by changes in consciousness-as people have become aware of their own power and of their ability to care for themselves without the state-and in technology-especially information technology.
Drawing as usual on a wide array of insights from diverse disciplines, Carson paints an inspiring, challenging, and optimistic portrait of a humane future without the state, and points provocatively toward the steps we need to take in order to achieve it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523275595
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/04/2016
Pages: 462
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kevin Carson is a Senior Fellow and holds the Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory at Center for a Stateless Society (, where he writes news commentary and research papers. He is the author of three previous books: Studies in Mutualist Political Economy; Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective; and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto.

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