Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: corporate
“Net Neutrality”: a Net Increase in Statism, or a Net Reduction?
In an article I wrote several years ago (“Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism,” The Freeman, Sept. 1, 2008), I stated some principles that are relevant to the current debate on “net neutrality”: Some forms of state intervention are primary. They involve the privileges, subsidies, and other structural bases of economic exploitation through…
Russell Brand’s Revolution
We’ll get to the book in a bit, but first I have to say a few things about the phenomenon of Russell Brand himself. Frankly, I’m a bit worried for Russell Brand. He has shown tremendous personal courage in recent years, transforming himself from a bad-boy British comedian/celebrity, whose comedy revolved around his own dionysian…
Edward Snowden and the Great Removal
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continues to loom large in the world’s daily news. Revelations from the trove of data he disclosed to journalists roll out on a near-weekly basis, followed by denials and excuses from politicians and bureaucrats he exposes as responsible for rights violations around the world. Citizenfour, a documentary covering his heroic actions on behalf…
Wild Cards
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (a book of great virtues and great flaws, but I’m not going to get into either right now), Thomas Kuhn describes an experiment that I think is of tremendous importance to libertarians, particularly left-libertarians: In a psychological experiment that deserves to be far better known outside the trade, Bruner…
Three Tales of the DRM Curtain
These three short stories all come from the same Cory Doctorow collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2007). Free download here. The three are all set against a background of what I call the “DRM Curtain,” a transnational corporate Empire based on artificial scarcities enforced through a maximalist version “intellectual…
Obama: The Bosses’ Friend
“Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen,” Adam Smith noted in The Wealth of Nations, “its counsellors are always the masters.” US president Barack Obama reaffirms this insight with his intervention in the dispute between shipping industry employers and longshore workers on the west coast. That intervention comes at the behest of…
At Alternet, Every Day is Liberal Self-Parody Day
How to write an Alternet criticism of libertarianism: 1) Cite an unpleasant aspect of Ayn Rand’s philosophy; 2) use the news topic of the day as an exemplar of that unpleasantness; and 3) treat it as somehow symbolic of the fundamental nature of the entire libertarian movement. In this case, I’m not so much interested in…
Defending the Commons from both Corporation and State
For policy elites in most nations, there are only two alternatives for the provision of public services: State ownership and management (the preferred model of Social Democrats and liberals/progressives) or corporate “privatization” (pushed by neoliberal heirs of Reagan and Thatcher). Commons governance (about which more later) isn’t even on the radar. There’s little practical difference…
It’s Time to Destroy DRM
On January 20, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced the Apollo 1201 project, an effort to eradicate digital rights management (DRM) schemes from the world of Internet commerce. Led by well-known activist Cory Doctorow, the project aims to “accelerate the movement to repeal laws protecting DRM” and “kick-start a vibrant market in viable, legal alternatives to…
Compulsory Vaccinations for Freedom?
The prospect of compulsory vaccination (“Should Obama make vaccines mandatory for all children,” Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News, January 30) should trouble even those who think the practice can be defended in principle as a kind of self-defense. The burgeoning women’s liberation movement of the 1960s emphasized a theme with a prominent American pedigree, powerfully expressed…
Obama is No Friend of Beer Drinkers
It’s frustrating to hear US president Barack Obama receive kudos from the beer community simply because of his fondness for the beverage. Between his 2009 Beer Summit, his occasional beer in public, and his recent quip that he’s the first president to brew beer at the White House since George Washington, Obama has successfully cultivated a…
On Manufactured Loyalties: My Experience
My radio alarm woke me with a perky voice announcing “Northwest Arkansas! We’re all growing together as a region — and so is our newspaper!” I hear that tone of breathless enthusiasm a lot from local elites trying to secure public buy-in on actions they were never consulted on to begin with. By way of…
The Latest Capitalist Monopoly: Opposition to the State
New corporate enclosures, looting and monopolies are springing up all over the place these days. Watching the news is a lot like watching Robocop or Blade Runner, what with stuff like Detroit’s “Emergency Manager” auctioning off local assets to corporate cronies the same way Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority did in Iraq. Given all that,…
The New Oligarchs
If America has any characteristic that does not so much define it as it is, but defines it as it aspires to be, it’s offering upward mobility. Class struggle which gets anyone anywhere could be understood as meritocracy against a permanent oligarchy. Beginning with the rise of the merchant class and ending with the rise…
“School Choice” is a Stopgap Measure for the Ruling Class
So, January 25-31 is “National School Choice Week.” Break out the bubbly! The event, put on annually by a coalition of lobbying groups, advertises itself as “an unprecedented opportunity, every January, to shine a positive spotlight on the need for effective education options for all children.” I’m sure most “school choice” advocates firmly and honestly support that goal. Unfortunately, their…
The State as Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Kevin Carson‘s “The State as Stay Puft Marshmallow Man” read by James Tuttle and edited by Nick Ford. Sometimes the capitalist state’s internal rules and procedures, created to serve an economic ruling class, in specific cases wind up sabotaging the very interests they were created to serve. Much like the Catholic doctrine of concupiscence…
The Right Didn’t Steal Our Future — We Gave It Away
A persistent theme in popular culture, when it comes to issues of technological progress and the future, is that the super-rich will be the main beneficiaries of new technology. Billionaires with artificially augmented lifespans will retreat into their gated communities and anarcho-capitalist enclaves; the rest of us will live lives nasty, brutish and short, subject…
Wage Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise? on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents David S. D’Amato‘s “Wage Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise?” read by James Tuttle and edited by Nick Ford. The phrase “wage slavery” tends to really pique most free marketeers, who often object that the employer-employee relationship is one of simple voluntary agreement and contract. A legitimate contract, however, assumes that relations, up until…
Labor Struggle in a Free Market on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents “Labor Struggle in a Free Market” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Kevin Carson, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford. The problem is that, to date, bosses have fully capitalized on the potential of the incomplete contract, whereas workers have not. And the only thing preventing workers from doing so…
Labor Struggle in a Free Market
One of the most common questions raised about a hypothetical free market society concerns worker protection laws of various kinds. As Roderick Long puts it, In a free nation, will employees be at the mercy of employers?… Under current law, employers are often forbidden to pay wages lower than a certain amount; to demand that…