What is Decentralism?

[This blog will occasionally cover decentralism in politics, culture, business, religion, technology. Some posts may not interest all readers and focus on narrow aspects, so pay attention to tags if some applications do not interest you.]

Decentralism can be thought as an additional philisophical layer on top of libertarianism.  It addresses certain weaknesses that people, particularly liberals, correctly or incorrectly see in libertarianism.

Libertarianism is indifferent to industrial centralization, but industrial centralization is hostile to libertarianism. While libertarianism is indifferent to any outcome that follows from free trade, some of those outcomes oppose continuing free trade. Centralism is a common factor in those anti-free trade outcomes of free trade, and ignorance exploitation and trust exploitation are a common method to centralize. Decentralism is libertarianism that is additionally opposed to things like ignorance exploitation and methods that, even if consistent with the free market, may create vendor lock-in and monopolistic advantages.

Libertarianism (when defined as moral constraints as opposed to economic laws) is an attempt to proscribe only the bottom most minimal layer of moral “oughts” and “ought nots”. It is the most important layer, because any more complex moral framework must be consistent upon it to preserve justice, as opposed to say, liberalism, which argues that the foundational layers of morality can be violated to rectify supposed upper layers of moral injustices. Decentralism, acts only within the libertarian framework, but argues that some ideas within the libertarian movement are actually hostile to making a libertarian society that doesn’t “sell its birthright for porridge”. Decentralism is then related and very similar to Kevin Carson’s Mutualism.


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  1. You don’t mention political decentralism. In libertarianism it means right to form anarchist, minarchist or even a bit more than minarchist communities, as long as they don’t aggress on others.

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