Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Books & Reviews
Political Authority with a Good Sense of Huemer (Part One of Two)
The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey, by Michael Huemer (Palgrave McMillan – 2012) Introduction The Problem of Political Authority, by Michael Huemer (2012) was collecting dust on my bookshelf until a month ago. I received it from a friend around a year ago, and…
Highly Derivative: Accelerationism’s Inability to Make a Clean Break
There’s an increasing sense of crisis in the far left today. Having lashed itself to an implicit primitivism over the course of the twentieth century now that that ship is sinking much of the left is desperately looking for a way off. The Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics by Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek is…
Queer Ultraviolence
Queer Ultraviolence: Abridged Bash Back! Anthology by Fray Baroque and Tegan Eanelli (Ardent Press) Little Black Cart. I didn’t know how I was going to begin my review of Fray Baroque’s and Tegan Eanelli’s anthology, Queer Ultraviolence. I’ve read dozens of books on anarchism, but I admit my understanding of insurrection is limited to a few…
Interacting in a Common World: A Reply to Wolfi Landstreicher
Wolfi Landstreicher. “Anarchy on the Market? A critical look at Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy” Modern Slavery 2 (Fall-Winter 2012/2013). Landstreicher begins with a critique of my approach in defending the labor theory of value in terms of Ludwig von Mises’s a priorism: But what if someone doesn’t accept the a priori assumption that there…
A Paradise Built in Hell
If anarchism makes any empirical claim, it is that humans have the capacity, indeed the natural inclination, to organize themselves into networks of mutual aid: we do not need a government holding a gun to our head to compel socially beneficial behaviour. Rarely do we get an opportunity submit this hypothesis to a conclusive test,…
Free Market Fairness or Freed Market Anti-Capitalism?
In Free Market Fairness [1] John Tomasi lays out a way in which the gap between broadly libertarian (or classical liberal) and high liberal (or liberal egalitarian) political philosophies can be bridged. Since F. A. Hayek’s methodologically individualist rejection of the concept of social justice, and Robert Nozick’s liberty-based rejection of egalitarian distributive justice, there…
Beyond the Hellish Choice of Process Documents or Social Capitalism
One of the best things about The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy is that David Graeber finally tackles issues directly relevant to anarchists. While his prior work has had value, it’s also largely been about rather obvious topics and punctuated with a need to apologize for or defend…
Ambiguity and Anarchism
Existentialism, like anarchism, is a philosophy which places the human individual as the starting point of our thoughts about the world. The individual, says the existentialist, is thrown into the world as a free subject along with other free subjects who both came before them and will come after them. Outside of the individual, other…
Q: What do Individualist Anarchists Think of An Anarchist FAQ?
McKay, Iain, 2008 An Anarchist FAQ, Section G: Is Individualist Anarchism Capitalistic? Anarchist Writers, accessed 25 May 2015, McKay, Iain (2012) An Anarchist FAQ: Volume 2 (AK Press) Section G: Is Individualist Anarchism Capitalistic?,   The Anarchist FAQ Collective’s “Anarchist FAQ“ is a massive work, which has been constantly maintained and updated since 1996. The FAQ gives very…
Five Faces of State Oppression
Young, I. M. (1990). Five Faces of Oppression. (E. Hackett, & S. Haslanger, Eds.) Theorizing Feminisms, 3-16. “Five Faces of Oppression” by Iris M. Young (1990) attempts to create an objective criteria by which we can judge the existence and levels of oppression of different groups. Young argues that oppression is a structural concept, preserved…
There is No “Do” Either
Markets and Motivation Guillaume Paoli’s Demotivational Training (2008, Cruel Hospice) is a tough egg to crack. I spent days of my time putting off reviewing this book, partly because I felt demotivated, but also because Paoli’s writing is fairly dense and hard to fully grasp at first. It’s the sort of book that requires a…
Acid Dreams: Where Government and The Drug Culture Collide
Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: the CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain (Grove Press 1985), 268 pages.  In a Playboy interview shortly before his death, Beatles singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lennon was asked to share his thoughts on LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide aka acid). Lennon’s…
Sunflowers in the Concrete
Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective, Second Edition by scott crow (PM Press 2014), 288 pages. Four years ago, anarchist activist and co-founder of the radical humanitarian aid organization Common Ground Relief (formerly the Common Ground Collective) scott crow released his memoir about the nearly three months where he and…
Nothing to Fear from New Technologies if the Market is Free
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (W.W. Norton & Company 2014), 320 pages. The subject of this book is the “second machine age,” in which “computers and other digital advances are doing for mental power — the ability to use our…
Free Speech: Endgame (Batgirl and Beyond)
Origin Story  Those who are not familiar with comic books and the history surrounding them may be confused about the recent kerfuffle over the Batgirl cover and it being pulled. Never fear! For I have in my Utility Belt of Knowledge, the proper gadgets to give some context and offer critique. Batgirl, or Barbara Gordon as she is better…
The End of [Capitalism]
James R. Otteson. The End of Socialism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Otteson’s book is an eloquent defense of an economic system which maximizes decentralism and autonomy; it’s just not, as he supposes, a defense of capitalism. Likewise, it’s a good critique of centralized planning and top-down authority — but not of “socialism.” Otteson…
The Utopia of Rules
David Graeber. The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (Brooklyn and London: Melville House, 2015). This book is, properly speaking, not a book at all, but a collection of essays loosely clustered around the common theme of bureaucracy. Of the material in the book, only the long introductory essay…
Listen Libertarian Municipalist!
Murray Bookchin. The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies & the Promise of Direct Democracy. Foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin (New York and London: Verso, 2015). This book is a collection of Bookchin’s essays on libertarian municipalism and communalism, extending from the period when he still considered himself an anarchist until his final post-anarchist phase. In…
All Power to the Imagination
Various. Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader (AK Press/Dark Star 2002) The people involved with Dark Star Collective sought to provide an introductory anthology to the ideas of anarcha-feminism after numerous visitors to their bookstand wondered if they had anything on the subject. Anarcha-feminism is the radical synthesis of feminism and anarchism, or the idea that destroying…
An Anarchist Reads “The Conservative Nanny State”
It is difficult to take a political work seriously with the word “nanny” in the title, but Dean Baker’s 2006 book the “Conservative Nanny State” is a serious book and a decent introduction to some often overlooked market distortions that benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. It also has the advantage of…
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist