Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
The Gnosticism of Power
Those in power regularly reveal themselves to be oblivious to conditions in the real world, and to material constraints on transforming their commands into reality. There’s good reason for this: Their power insulates them from direct experience of the material world, and from direct experience of the constraints offered by material reality. For example, earlier…
A Libertarian Earth Day
The United States has a varied history with environmentalism. Americans have always taken pride in their natural heritage. The conservation movement of the 1890s, championed by the likes of John Muir, gave rise to civic, public and private sector institutions dedicated to conservation. The industrial revolution, however, coupled with the rise of modern capitalism, the…
Little Girls Don’t Need the State to Protect Them from Photoshop
Well, give Miss Representation credit. The inescapable “It’s for the children!” is right there in their petition’s name: Join Our Family To Stop Advertising Hurting Our Kids; Support the Truth In Advertising Act. The proposed bill would require the Federal Trade Commission to regulate advertisers’ use of image alteration, as well as create and maintain…
Identification Totalitarianism
People who did not turn up for the “biometric relisting,” which ocurred in several Brazilian cities, summoning about 14 million voters, will lose their voter registration cards, their ability to enroll in public education institutions, to benefit from welfare programs or to apply for public jobs. They will not even be able to do such…
Bundy, the Senecas and Fighting for Sovereignty
In 1997, New York state declared war on the Seneca Nation reservations located upstate near Tonawanda. The war was over a declared power of the state to impose taxes on goods sold on native reservations. As enforcement, New York saw fit to shut down native businesses, cutting off petroleum and cigarette supplies to the Senecas.…
Who are The Poor Going to Ask for Restitution?
Last Friday (04/11), a piece of land property in Rio’s suburbia was reinstated to telecom giant Oi. The area was known as “favela da Telerj” and had been occupied by 5,000 people, mostly from Mandela, Manguinhos, and Jacarezinho favelas, who built improvised homes there. There were serious confrontations with the Military Police in the enforcement…
Draw the Pirate and Become a Reason-Approved “Free Market Think-Tank!”
If you thought the standards of the Famous Artists’ School (“Can You Draw the Pirate?”) on old matchbook covers were lax, wait till you see Reason magazine’s criteria for recognition as a “free market think-tank.” The American Federation of Teachers blacklists asset managers who manage public sector employees’ defined benefit pension funds, but have contributed…
Tax Day: What Kind of “Civilization” Are We Paying For?
April 15 seems to be a holiday of sorts for progressives, who inevitably trot out Oliver Wendell Holmes’s quote about taxes being “the price we pay for civilization,” and reminding us of all the great stuff — roads, schools, etc. — that they pay for. But on closer examination, tax day really isn’t a very…
April 15: Funding the Empire
Tax day, April 15th, is a day of celebration in the United States. On this day we citizens of the great republic take pride in the fact that we can come together in a democratic society and make decisions cooperatively with one another. The fruits of our labor, beholden to the IRS, will now be…
Working Three Jobs to Make Ends Meet? This Might be Why
The US Center for Medicare Services recently published a database of physician Medicare billing histories. One interesting bit of information from data release is the fact that a leading source of expenditures for big billers is drugs. As it turns out, Medicare incentivizes physicians to choose the most expensive drugs by reimbursing them for the…
A Mother vs. an Abusive Nanny
What would you do if your daughter had an incurable disease? A daughter destined to spend the rest of her life having frequent seizures, uncontrollable by any medicine available in your country? Or, worse: whose only medicine could be acquired abroad, but your country forbids it and labels you a criminal if you do that?…
Campaign Finance Reform is Small Change
Here we go again: The US Supreme Court has relaxed some political contribution limits. Cue the hype. Last year, 2013, was the first year of the 2014 campaign cycle. Question #1: How much did federal elected officials spend on their 2014 campaigns last year? Answer:  At least $3.45 trillion — a little over $6.4 billion…
Charles Koch Clutches Pearls, Dies of Moral Rectitude
Charles Koch of Koch Industries, wounded to the core of his being by allegations from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others that his championing of the “free market” conceals lobbying efforts to rig the system in his favor, sufficiently recovered his composure to respond in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (“I”m Fighting to Restore…
Did Somebody Say McThor’s?
The analogy in the headline “Thor 2 is a Cinematic McDonald’s Cheeseburger” (Eileen Jones, Jacobin) is apt. There is indeed a strong parallel between the predominance in comics-to-film adaptations and diner-food restaurants: A few homogenous, formulaic products aimed at broad mass-market appeal. But far from Jones’s “perfect example of how market competition does not actually provide us with the…
With “Kenyan Anti-Colonialists” Like This, Who Needs Imperialists?
Back in 2010 Newt Gingrich explained that US president Barack Obama lies “outside our comprehension” unless we use his “Kenyan, anti-colonial” ideological orientation as a reference point for understanding his bizarre actions. Obama has been amazingly successful at concealing his deep-seated hatred of colonialism — to the point of praising Europe, in a speech last…
Can the State Pardon Itself?
A retired colonel was heard on March 25th by Brazil’s National Truth Commission (Comissão Nacional da Verdade) to clarify how “political prisoners were tortured” and identify “who was alive when they arrived, who died and who is still missing, as well as the torturers” from Casa da Morte (“Death House”), an underground center for repression located…
How Not to Respond to Charges of Hypocrisy
More than a decade ago, neoconservative bloggers coined the term “Fisking” for the polemical device (originally demonstrated against left-leaning journalist Robert Fisk) of taking apart a commentary, sentence by sentence,  analytically ripping each part to shreds. Although the neocon positions in this debate range from misguided to repugnant, the technique itself is a good one.…
“Free Flow of Information Act” is Bad for Journalism
US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believes the Senate has enough votes to pass the Free Flow of Information Act, creating a federal “shield law” for the first time. The bill was ostensibly written to address the Justice Department’s unprecedented acquisition of Associated Press phone records, as well as several other high-profile cases where journalists might…
Net Neutrality and Its Lies
I tried to find a one simple case of censorship or content discrimination in Internet services in Brazil. I looked for cases in which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) blocked access to specific websites or offered more expensive plans that afforded access to more content. As incredible as it may sound, I found nothing. I thought…
Net Neutrality is a Distraction, not the Real Problem
The so-called Civil Landmark for the Internet, approved by Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies on March 25, now proceeds to the Senate. One of the main selling points of the bill is “net neutrality,” a legal device to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from offering various Internet access plans — for instance, a cheaper price for just…