Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Commentary
I Thought Monopoly Was the Whole Point of “Intellectual Property”
In one of the weirdest permutations of “intellectual property” ever (Mike Masnick, “Apple Facing Trial Over Whether Its Use Of DRM Violated Antitrust Laws,” Techdirt, October 6), Apple may end up in court for anti-trust violations because its iTunes Digital Rights Management code gave it monopoly power back in the day. The US District Court for…
If You Vote — or Don’t Vote — Complain
So here we go again. Another biennial US election season draws to a close and here come the solemn multi-partisan invocations of civic duty: Exercise that franchise. Pull that lever, push that button, mark that box. The future of western civilization depends on you. And if you don’t vote, don’t complain. Question: If I don’t drive around…
12 out of 13 Ain’t Bad
Twelve past Nobel Peace Prize winners are asking a 13th member of their club to ensure that the Central Intelligence Agency’s upcoming report includes information about harsh interrogation US government tactics following 9/11. While these 12 Nobel laureates seem to understand the moral imperative of transparency and simple human decency, even during the so-called “war on terror,” the 13th…
“Intellectual Property” is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
I came late to the news of Twitpic‘s impending (and thankfully partial) closure and even later to an explanation for it. My initial assumption was that the service had failed to turn a profit and become financially insolvent. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is, in the worst way, all about “intellectual property.” And it significantly and negatively impacts…
To Paul Krugman: Thou Art the Man
Paul Krugman, in denouncing the excessive market power of Amazon (“Amazon’s Monopsony is Not OK,” New York Times, October 19), proclaims that the Robber Baron Era ended when “we as a nation” put an end to it. There’s a powerful story in the book of 2 Samuel about the prophet Nathan confronting King David after…
Paul Krugman Stops Worrying About Income Inequality
Paul Krugman’s titling of his case against Amazon.com (“Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not OK,” New York Times, October 19) immediately rings alarm bells. The Nobel laureate economist surely understands that monopsony entails a sole buyer, not merely “a dominant buyer with the power to push prices down” in a particular market. Whatever its other faults, Amazon…
Let the Market Contain Ebola
American politicians’ attempts to create panic over a potential Ebola outbreak in the United States seem to have failed. Family and other contacts of US “patient zero” Thomas Eric Duncan completed a 21-day quarantine with no new cases appearing in that pool. Two nurses who treated Duncan are now symptomatic, but this seems to be…
Obama to GOP: Our Billionaires are Better Than Yours!
Speaking at a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser hosted by Democratic billionaire Rich Richman, President Obama denounced the GOP as — wait for it — the “party of billionaires” (Douglas Barclay, “Obama blasts Republican billionaires at home of Democratic billionaire,” Rare, Oct. 9). “If Republicans win, we know who they’ll be fighting for. Once again, the interests of billionaires…
The Slavish Partisanship of Brazil’s Socialists
The second campaign round of Brazil’s presidential election between Worker’s Party (PT) candidate and president Dilma Rousseff and Brazilian Social Democratic Party candidate Aecio Neves has started and a large portion of the electorate and the politicians connected to leftist parties have decided to take a stance. The Liberty and Socialism Party (PSOL), for instance, drafted…
There is no “CR” in “ISIS”
Federal officials are warning “U.S. law enforcement about the threat of Islamic State-inspired terror attacks against police officers, government workers and ‘media figures’ in the U.S.” Unfortunately many Americans will buy into the state propaganda, spurring even more authoritarian increases in police and military power. But what reasons are there to think that Islamic terrorists are…
Paul Krugman: “Leave Obama Alone”
In his recent Rolling Stone cover story (“In Defense of Obama,” October 8), Nobel Prize-winning economist,  peak liberal and New York Times commentator Paul Krugman lays out what he believes is a qualified defense of Barack Obama’s presidency: A sycophantic love letter from a man who surely must know better, but either has chosen to ignore six years of…
Blue or Red, They’re All About the Green
American political dialogue often overlooks the difference between “pro-business” and “pro-market.” Failure to observe the implications of this difference leads both pundits and voters to believe that if a candidate is pro-business, naturally he is a zealous crusader for free markets. Lately this oversimplified narrative finds itself challenged as business groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce increasingly…
It Ain’t Illegal — I Oughta Know, I’m the Sheriff!
At the Washington Post‘s Wonkblog, Jason Millman argues that expensive drugs are often worth the cost (“Why extremely expensive drugs are often worth the cost,” October 6). Although expensive specialty drugs like Sovaldi for Hepatitis C cost thousands of dollars a month, they may provide significantly greater benefits than traditional drugs — including “treatments for complex diseases…
Jeff Madrick’s Misplaced Criticism of Free Trade
If you accept your enemy’s conceptual categories, you’re apt to wind up with a badly framed debate in which both sides are unsatisfactory. Jeff Madrick’s article “Our Misplaced Faith in Free Trade” (New York Times, October 3) clearly demonstrates this. The corporate state and its stooges in both major political parties and the commentariat are heavily…
Pandemics: A Networked Approach to Crisis Management Needed
In recent weeks the Ebola virus has dominated media headlines. Fueling global interest, the AP reports a nurse in Spain is the first person known to catch Ebola outside the outbreak zone in West Africa. The nurse treated two missionaries who traveled to the plagued region and contracted the virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of October…
The Punitive Left and the Criminalization of Homophobia
In the now classic article “A esquerda punitiva” (“The Punitive Left”), Maria Lucia Karam criticizes the Brazilian left for forsaking their deeply held beliefs on social change and uniting with those who wish to strengthen criminal law as the principal means of solving society’s conflicts and guarantee social peace. Karam notes that the left seems to have forgotten that…
Open Competition as “Competition Law”
A recent story in the Wall Street Journal highlights the “growing roster of countries” that now want a say in the world’s major corporate mergers. Given the interconnectedness of today’s global economy, it is no wonder that more than 100 international jurisdictions now claim antitrust authority to examine deals, all “embracing different approaches for evaluating…
If it Yelps, Let it Go
Crowd-sourcing is a novel way of organizing our society these days. Whether we’re trying to fund projects through Kickstarter or GoFundMe or editing the next big Wikipedia article, crowd-sourcing is a big part of what makes the internet great and a potential source of freedom for everyone. But just because something is largely peer-to-peer orientated doesn’t…
End the Fed: The Economics of Liberty
The Federal Reserve is responsible for implementing US monetary policy. As it directs the world’s largest economy, the Fed earns top rank among powerful institutions. Though the central bank guides state monetary policy, the Fed is largely a private institution. As such, bank operations move in secrecy, absent of oversight from the public arena. Thanks…
The Stupidity of the Elites
Sergio Malbergier writes (“E a estupidez, estupido!,” Folha de S. Paulo, September 11) about what marks, according to him, the current Brazilian presidential campaign: The utter ignorance of the voters. Malbergier believes that candidates and their marketers are so convinced of the electorate’s stupidity (Malbergier does not seem willing to differentiate between stupidity and ignorance) that they will always…