Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Commentary
Keystone East: Not as Reasonable as Reason Thinks
The Keystone XL pipeline is something no libertarian can support if consistency with free market principles matters. But that doesn’t stop a lot of right-leaning self-proclaimed libertarians from instinctively defending it — after all, anything that promotes fossil fuel use and gets environmentalists bent out of shape has to be “libertarian,” right? Thus A. Barton Hinkle’s “Get…
You Had One Job, UN
The UN is back in the news with preparations for the opening of the 69th General Assembly session. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlights the importance of the UN’s mission in this “time of turmoil.” But maybe we should take a closer look at what that “mission” is. The avowed purpose of the UN is to maintain…
The Conquest of the United Kingdom by Scotland
The “No” outcome of the referendum asking Scotland’s voters the question “should Scotland be an independent country?” is a Pyrrhic victory for the United Kingdom. “Yes” netting 44.7% of the tally undermines a 300-year consensus and the devolution of substantial political power to Scotland is already conceded. Such a near-tie is far more problematic for an existing political system struggling…
Time to Jailbreak Online Education
Dan Friedman (“The MOOC Revolution That Wasn’t,” TechCrunch, September 11),  expresses no little disappointment over the way online college courses measure up to initial hopes over the past few years. In terms of course completion and even viewing entire lectures, he says, “that revolution fizzled.” But it fizzled for good reason. The predominant online course model has…
The Feds: A Fox in Home Depot’s Henhouse
According to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera (“Criminal Card Games,” September 16), Home Depot’s security breach – the latest in an ongoing series of extensive exposures of customer financial information from large retailers — explains “why the federal government needs to get involved. With the banks and retailers at loggerheads, only the government has the ability to…
Challenging the Motives Behind War
American criminal law takes a nuanced view of murder, creating several punishable degrees of it. First degree murder is generally defined as premeditated. The murderer has a plan to kill and takes sufficient time to map out his crime. Second degree murder involves the killer who hasn’t necessarily taken the time to plan out his crime,…
The Vampire of Practical Politics
With another fall election season picking up steam, The New Yorker’s Sam Wang wonders whether the 2014 election will “be a wave or a ripple.” A wave, Wang says, occurs when “one party makes massive gains and overturns the existing power dynamic.” But notwithstanding Wang’s intended point, the “existing power dynamic” in the United States…
Barack Obama: Terrorist
National Public Radio (NPR) led its “Week in Politics” program of September 12 off with analysis of US president Barack Obama’s address to the nation on the Islamic State. Various journalists and talking heads discussed the fundamentals of Obama’s speech — was it strong enough, will it get the job done, just who is ISIS anyway? Afterward, I realized the United…
The Burger King Controversy: A Call for Regicide
Burger King’s announced purchase of Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons, and its plans to relocate its headquarters to Canada to take advantage of the lower corporate income tax rate, were followed by predictable liberal cries of outrage over BK’s lack of “patriotism.” It’s “unpatriotic,” critics say, for the company to take advantage of taxpayer-funded…
The Black Hole of the American Injustice System
Though many Americans know that prisoners often work while behind bars, the conditions under which they toil may be less than clear. Fortune magazine made waves this summer when it reported that “[p]rison labor has gone artisanal,” revealing a multimillion dollar business that puts convicts to work making everything from specialty motorcycles to goat cheese sold at…
Victims of Abortion Criminalization
Jandira Magdalena dos Santos vanished after having an illegal abortion on August 26. She could feel the danger as it approached. Her last text message to her husband Leandro Brito Reis read: “Honey, they asked me to turn off my phone, I’m panicking, pray for me!” Two hours after getting the message, Leandro sent one…
ISIS and Ukraine: They’ll Say Anything
When I tuned in to US president Barack Obama’s televised speech on his plans for war against the so-called “Islamic State,” I expected exactly what we got — a bland sundae of pseudo-patriotic drivel topped off with some whipped cream of big bucks for the military-industrial complex and the cherry of regime change in Syria. What I didn’t expect was…
The Root of Inequality: The Free Market or the State?
In early September, Reuters reported on a new Federal Reserve survey showing widening wealth and income gaps in the United States. “All of the income growth,” Reuters reports, “was concentrated among the top earners …  with the top 3 percent accounting for 30.5 percent of all income.” The Fed survey will no doubt disconcert those…
Elizabeth Warren’s War on Students
On the liberal wing of American politics, US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) success in capturing the love of millions is astounding. Her image as savior of indebted workers and unheard voices in America strikes a note with those concerned about reduced class mobility, and rightly so. Consider Warren’s speech introducing emergency legislation to allow refinancing of student loans….
Political Governance and Natural Boundaries
The vast Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest lies in the political territories of California and Arizona and reaches south into Mexico. Its arid landscape is home to human industry and a complex ecosystem full of unique flora and fauna, mesas, canyons, arched rocks and other processes of deep time. It is thus governed by two competing forces: Political…
Elections and the Technocratic Ideology
People who vote for politicians such as Brazilian presidential candidate Aecio Neves, as well as many of his party’s supporters (the Social Democracy Brazilian Party, PSDB), are often dumbfounded when they find out how unappealing ideas of “efficiency” in the public sector, “management shock,” and “professionalization” in government are to a large sector of the population. It’s…
Why Electoral Debates are a Circus
Televised presidential debates are once again the center of commentary in Brazil. And once again we are left with “no clear winner” and very little idea of what kind of discussion we watched between would-be rulers. Why is that? Modern journalism – Walter Lippman’s ideal of the intermediation of facts between the public and the elites – is specially adapted…
Cyber-Libertarian Activism: The People’s Defense
On July 28, Aragon Alexandre of Folha de S. Paulo reported that eleven of Brazil’s federal government computers were used to modify Wikipedia pages between 2008 and 2014. The IPs indicate that Serpro (the Federal Data Processing Service) and the Presidency edited articles on both allies and opposition to the current government, adding compliments, suppressing criticism and so on. More…
Public Transportation for the People
On July 11, the Brazilian federal government decided against selling monopolies on interstate mass transportation to selected companies. The government was trying to pick companies to operate along several routes, but the procedure, started in August 2013 and supposed to finish in January 2014, was suspended by several judicial injunctions and predictably marred by bureaucracy. It might not…
Threat Level: Pointless
“Man the terror alert for London has just been upped I don’t wanna go out now :(”, the text from my friend read. The recent news that Britain’s government has raised its terrorism alert level to “severe” unsurprisingly prompted a renewed climate of fear, reflected on social media and in major news outlets. Yet even…