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Rethinking Progress in a Time of Crisis
In the spring of 1888, the great American anarchist and publisher Benjamin R. Tucker wrote of the “till lately undisputed” idea “that the permanent tendency of progress in the production and distribution of wealth is in the direction of more and more complicated and costly processes, requiring greater and greater concentration of capital and labor.” By Tucker’s day, the processes of globalization were already well underway, and with them the growth of the precursors of today’s giant multinational corporations. The decentralist impulse was, as it remains, regarded as quixotic or retrograde. But as in so many other ways, Tucker was a man ahead of his time, predicting that “advances of which we know not” could actually undercut the trends of largeness and centralized power, if we allow them to. Today, the crises of out-of-proportion institutions all around us, we hardly have a choice but to rediscover ways of life that “exist outside of the market and state power.” We hardly have a choice but to meaningfully realign ourselves with the environments we inhabit and with each other in genuine communities.
Read the full article at CounterPunch.