Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Feature Articles
Ownership and Ideas
Like many libertarians, I’ve learned a lot from Murray Rothbard on a wide variety of subjects. Of course, no one gets everything right, especially someone as intellectually ambitious, multidisciplinary, and prolific as Rothbard. Nevertheless, reading the work of the man who left such a mark on the modern libertarian movement is as profitable as it…
Anarchy as the Golden Mean
My Center for a Stateless Society colleague Roderick Long once described full anarchy as the golden mean, not a form of zealotry or extremism, but a middle way “between mandating what should be optional and prohibiting what should be optional.” Professor Long’s point is not mere framing or spin, attempting to pitch anarchism to an…
How Privatizations Created New State Companies in Brazil
In July 2014, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s Facebook page celebrated the record production of iron ore by Vale. According to the page, the mining company “broke a record for iron ore production in the second quarter,” representing a “12.6% increase compared to the same time frame in 2013.” Several pages quickly pointed out Rousseff’s “mistake,”…
Smarter Red-Baiters, Please!
When I saw A. Barton Hinkle’s hit job on the Wobblies (“Meet the Left-Wing Extremist Running for U.S. Senate,” Reason, September 3), I had to double-check to make sure I was on the right website. Was it FrontPage Magazine? Breitbart? Nope — it was Reason! Reason prints some fairly right-leaning stuff, but seldom anything like…
Does Freedom Require Empire?
In a startling article, Daniel McCarthy, the admirable editor of The American Conservative magazine (TAC), writes, “Successive British and American empires created and upheld the world order in which [classical] liberalism could flourish.” In other words, as he writes in “Why Liberalism Means Empire,” “Liberalism and empire reinforced one another in manifold ways.” Therefore, if…
Possession of Liberty: The Political Economy of Benjamin R. Tucker
The political economy of Benjamin Tucker represents an alloy of its major influences, synthesizing the work of radical thinkers such as Josiah Warren, William B. Greene, Ezra Heywood, and Lysander Spooner to create a mature, comprehensive individualist anarchism. From Heywood came Tucker’s trademark analysis of the wrongs of rent, interest, and profit, “follow[ing] closely the…
“Gamergate” and Media Ethics in Trade Writing
It is occasionally, when I’m not having to defend colleagues from “anti-PC” crusaders terrified that they’re losing “muh libertarianism” or when I’m not writing joke articles making fun of Mark Ames, the mission of this blog series to engage in media criticism. Truth be told, there’s a lot to criticize about the media these days….
The Labor Politics of Prisons
Today is Labor Day, a federal holiday in the United States designed to promote a sanitized history of labor organizing. As Charles Johnson puts it, “the federal holiday known as Labor Day is actually a Gilded Age bait-and-switch from 1894. It was crafted and promoted in an effort to throw a bone to labor while erasing the radicalism implicit in May…
Individualist Anarchism and Hierarchy
Anarchism and hierarchy have a tricky and messy relationship. Some anarchists proclaim to be against all hierarchy (sometimes even defining anarchism as such) and others proclaim they are simply against the state and don’t care about hierarchy itself. I believe individualist anarchism, rightly understood falls somewhere in between these extremes. Individualist anarchism, in short, is…
It’s too Difficult to be a Dirtbag Anymore, Unfortunately
I love to backpack, surf, hike and climb. When I’m not able to engage in these pursuits, I sometimes find myself watching video of others adventuring in beautiful, remote locales. It helps me to hold on to some of those joyous and motivating travel feelings. I enjoy footage from decades past, when things were wilder,…
The Role of Commons in a Free Market
The term “market anarchism” may give some people the mistaken impression that market anarchists envision a society organized primarily around the cash nexus. In part this is because one definition of the term “market” itself equates to the market as an institution: The sphere of exchange. It may also reflect the fact that many anarcho-capitalists,…
A Revolution is Needed
It is easy to criticise a government. Apologists and supporters defend it by claiming that they are doing the best they can, and they point to small token victories as evidence of progress. “Look at what this government has done for you”, they say, but my response is always, “is that it?” The ease of…
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!
A Teenager Slain On Saturday, August 9, eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was walking with a friend on the 2900 block of Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri. He was on his way home on the hot, humid afternoon, walking down the middle of the street when the two were approached by Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. Reports of what…
The Individualization of Labor Problems
Lysander Spooner wraps up his 1875 pamphlet Vices Are Not Crimes with, [T]he poverty of the great body of mankind, the world over, is the great problem of the world. That such extreme and nearly universal poverty exists all over the world, and has existed through all past generations, proves that it originates in causes which the…
Let Chaos Reign in Ferguson
This week, as a result of the murder of Michael Brown by cop occupiers, the suburb of Ferguson saw a confrontation between the citizens of and the police who claim the right of ruler over them. It wasn’t long before this breakdown in the police’s order led to looting and other acts of unfocused violence…
Capitalism, Not Technological Unemployment, is the Problem
At Slate, Will Oremus raises the question “What if technological innovation is a job-killer after all?” (“The New Luddites,” August 6). Rather than being “the cure for economic doldrums,” he writes, automation “may destroy more jobs than it creates”: Tomorrow’s software will diagnose your diseases, write your news stories, and even drive your car. When…
Seed Libraries: Treat Law as Damage, Route Around It
Recently the story went viral of the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture threatening a Mechanicsburg seed library on the grounds that it was in violation of regulations intended to thwart the danger of (ahem) “agri-terrorism.” To comply with the regulations, the library would have to confine itself to distributing only store-bought seeds and not distributing…
Left Wing Individualism
Perhaps because I live in Chicago, perhaps because I work with other attorneys, in my day-to-day life I’m surrounded almost exclusively by people who identify with the mainstream, American left, centrist Democrats for whom mere mention of the word “libertarian” calls forth nightmarish imaginings of the Tea Party right. Regrettably, identifying myself as a libertarian…
The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the four-year bloody nightmare that claimed 16 million lives — 7 million of them noncombatants — and wounded over 20 million people. That would have been bad enough, but the conflict was merely Act One in a much bigger war. The…
Smash the State, Eat the Rich
In Why the Rich Tolerate Being Looted Jeffrey Tucker argues the rich today act differently than they used to. They wear common clothing, avoid luxurious houses and cars, and even call for higher taxes on themselves. Tucker explains this new phenomenon by drawing upon an essay by Peter Leeson and says, “Property rights are weak today… The…