Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Books & Reviews
Debt: The Possibilities Ignored
It’s no secret that economists and libertarians have developed a bad habit of assuming things about history and other societies on first principle without actually checking archaeological or anthropological findings. On occasion the divide can be quite stark. David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years gets a lot of momentum by attacking a widely circulated…
New Wine in Old Bottles
Big is not beautiful when it comes to economics. This is the key message of Kevin Carson’s “Industrial Policy: New Wine in Old Bottles“. His essay makes compelling arguments in favour of an anarchist society based on small-scale community manufacturing, peer-to-peer production and decentralised production. Carson sets out the ways in which the state concentrates economic…
George Reisman — Piketty’s Capital
George Reisman. Piketty’s Capital: Wrong Theory, Destructive Program (TJS Books, 2014). Reisman’s critique of Piketty, from beginning to end, is nothing but pronouncements of a priori Austrian dogma from Böhm-Bawerk and Mises, with no direct contact with reality outside the pages of their work at any point in the process. He makes dogmatic pronouncements about…
Bringing an Unfortunately Obscure Educational Movement to Life
It is a testament to Paul Avrich’s talents as a historian and writer that his book on the Modern School Movement, a libertarian educational movement of the early twentieth century, remains not only the essential text on an unfortunately obscure topic, but also a worthwhile resource for understanding the various currents of American radicalism and…
Two Foundational Elements of Statelessness
The book I will discuss below develops and defends the idea of law without a state. The book’s blurb tells us the following: This book elaborates and defends the idea of law without the state. Animated by a vision of peaceful, voluntary cooperation as a social ideal and building on a careful account of non-aggression,…
Noontime Songs of Freedom
The Collected Writings of Renzo Novatore (2012, Ardent Press), edited by Wolfi Landstriecher is split up chronologically and features most of Novatore’s known work at the time. It most notably features his longest and relatively best known work “Towards the Creative Nothing” which takes up a big portion of the book at thirty-five pages. In…
New Forms of Worker Organization
Immanuel Ness, ed. New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class-Struggle Unionism (Oakland: PM Press, 2014) (Amazon link). In his foreword to the book, Staughton Lynd describes the official model of unionism in the United States, first pioneered by the company unions under the American Plan (especially by the company union…
Markets Not Capitalism: A Review
Markets not Capitalism is a wonderfully compiled set of readings spanning 150 years of the market anarchist tradition. We must first commend Gary Chartier and Charles Johnson on their work in bringing all this great literature together and bundling it in a fantastic book for those interested in what market anarchism truly has to offer, as…
Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book
With Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, coauthors Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon provide a balanced biography — thorough, yet a concise 300 pages; sympathetic yet markedly non-hagiographic — of not only the titular comics stalwart, shown punching through the comics page like one of his larger-than-life creations in the playful cover illustration; not even just…
Playboy Interview: Karl Hess
At first glance, a no-holds-barred conversation with an anarchist might seem the most inappropriate centerpiece imaginable for a magazine issue marking the bicentennial of the United States of America. But then again, Karl Hess was no ordinary “anarchist.” For all its brazen anti-statism, Hess’s “red-white-and-blue anarchy” fits like a glove with a cover that proclaims “Happy…
Lincoln-Worship Overlays the Corporatist Agenda
Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream — and How We Can Do It Again by Rich Lowry (HarperCollins 2013), 390 pages. One of the central themes in James Scott’s Seeing Like a State is the ideology he calls “authoritarian high modernism”: It is best conceived as a strong (one might even say muscle-bound)…
Geography and Anarchy: A Libertarian Social Order As Goal
The earth’s surface, the natural environment, human, animal and plant life, but also the culture, have all been mapped out for centuries. Old cartography and engravings often show this with striking images. How one understands and interprets this mapping and imaging will depend largely upon the state of scientific development at the time. The reasons why people begin this…
Psychology for Anarchists
Robert Anton Wilson’s 203-page mindbender, Quantum Psychology: How Your Brain Software Programs You and Your World, is more than meets the eye. The subtitle suggests a self-help book, and it appears to be just that in many respects. But twenty pages in, one realizes that there is no labeling this one. It is a psychedelic…
The Conscience of an Anarchist: A Review
If I had to describe “The Conscience of an Anarchist” in one word, it would be beautiful. Gary Chartier’s 100 page anarchist manifesto concisely and elegantly explains the way anarchists analyze public policy discussions, such as foreign policy, the drug war, regulation, subsidies, education, the two party system, infrastructure, the criminal justice system, police violence,…
A Pox on the King
Of all the complex wicked problems addressed by the current environmental movement, perhaps the most urgent is climate change.  The scientific community overwhelmingly agrees that ecosystems are rather vulnerable to changing climates, with a large number of species (upwards of 40%) at risk of extinction if current warming trends continue. It is well noted in…
The Great Writ
Among libertarians generally, there is a somewhat dependable tendency to hark back to the halcyon days of a supposed free age somewhere in the past, and to spotlight certain related features of Anglo-American legal history in service to that narrative. As those features are romanticized, they become totemic symbols of the classical-liberal tradition and its…
Managing the Anthropocene
In this age of the Anthropocene natural resource management is incredibly important. There currently exists a true human dominance over the biosphere. This dominance effects a range of topics from human health to the politics we address. Our dominance raises an important question: How, and perhaps more importantly, by whom, did this dominance arise and how,…
Avowals of Selfhood: Review of Egoism
As the radical, insurrectionary affirmation of self, egoism is a direct and hostile challenge to politics, society, civilization, and economics. Unlike the various philosophical identifications and ideologies that it challenges, it is no pretender to the thrones of any mode of thought based upon duty or obligation, no attempt to place itself above or outside…
Voices from the Mills
Now is very different from then. Over the last two hundred or so years, the most dramatic shift in human history since the adoption of agriculture has swept the world, as chemical energy released from coal and oil supplanted human and animal muscle as the primary source of productive power. For the first time since…
Neighborhood Power: The New Localism by David Morris and Karl Hess
In 1975, two leftists, one of whom had been a top GOP insider and a founder of the American libertarian movement, collaborated on a book published by a leading Washington, D.C. left-wing think tank and the Unitarian Universalist Association advocating devolution of political power from the federal, state and city levels to self-sufficient local neighborhoods,…