Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Feature Articles
Smashing the State for Fun and Profit Since 1969
Smashing the State for Fun and Profit Since 1969 An Interview With the Libertarian Icon Samuel Edward Konkin III (a.k.a. SEK3) (originally published at spaz.org) Samuel Edward Konkin III (SEK3), author of the “New Libertarian Manifesto” coined the term “agorism” to describe his ideology.  Although very similar to anarcho-capitalism, unlike anarcho-capitalism it opposes intellectual property. …
Rebel Governance: In Defense of the Common Sector
Life is pretty good here in the Volunteer State. As an East Tennessean I am particularly fond of the great Smoky Mountains, my scruffy little city of Knoxville, the University of Tennessee and surrounding colleges, a multitude of markets (including a rising craft beer scene) and an array of state parks. Just the other weekend…
Karl Hess on Anarcho-Capitalism
As you may know, I’ve got some opinions about capitalism, and about the idea of “anarcho-capitalism.” I think that anarcho-capitalism is an incoherent goal, and in some ways destructive in practice. Not because I’ve got a problem with property, money, competition or market exchange, but because I think the conflation of these market forms with…
Benjamin Tucker on Anarcho-Capitalism
Well, kind of. Obviously Benjamin Tucker had no direct opinions about “anarcho-capitalism,” because the term was not even coined until many years after his death, and several decades after his retirement from radical politics. But Tucker did have quite a bit to say about the relationships among anarchism, socialism, and capitalism, and it may be…
Carson’s Rejoinders
1. “Rejoinder” to Murray Rothbard This is not, properly speaking, a rejoinder — obviously, since Rothbard’s article predates my book. But since it was chosen to set the tone for this symposium issue, and includes some comments on individualist anarchism in general, I’ll make a few remarks anyway. On the land issue, I reserve comment, since that is also…
Clinton’s College Plan: Reinventing a Very Old Wheel
In the farcical, technocratic future society of Vonnegut’s Player Piano, you have to have at least a bachelor’s degree to do even the most menial service jobs — of which there aren’t a lot left. The great majority of jobs have been automated out of existence, and the ranks of the still employed are dominated…
Land-Locked: A Critique of Carson on Property Rights
In 1888, France’s leading libertarian periodical, Gustave de Molinari’s Journal des Économistes (stronghold of Lockean property theory and proto-Austrian economics) published a largely favourable and appreciative (if somewhat condescending) review of the United States’s leading libertarian periodical, Benjamin Tucker’s Liberty (stronghold of Mutualist property theory and Proudhonian economics). [1] Tucker’s journal returned the favor in…
Freedom is Slavery?
Freedom is Slavery: Laissez-Faire Capitalism is Government Intervention: A Critique of Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy By George Reisman [1] Kevin Carson’s new book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy centers on the incredible claim, self-contradictory on its face, that capitalism, including laissez-faire capitalism, is a system based on state intervention, in violation of…
Abolish Child Protective Services
Standing in an office while two kids beg me to go back to their home, I begin retreating back into my inner-child. I imagine how I would have felt if I was seven years old and a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator told me I couldn’t stay with my mom anymore. Their mother had committed…
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Kevin Carson as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde By Walter Block [1] Kevin Carson’s (2004) Studies in Mutualist Political Economy is an infuriating book. On the one hand, its author shows great familiarity with many of the most important libertarian [2] contributors to the field of political economy. Taking them in alphabetical order, they include:…
Spooner on Rent
Benjamin Tucker famously held that property in real estate depends on continued personal occupancy, so that when a landlord undertakes to rent out a plot of land or a building to a tenant, the “landlord” actually surrenders ownership to the “tenant,” who — despite whatever contract she may have signed — has no obligation, enforceable…
Could Commons-Based Resource Management Have Saved Cecil?
One proposal that periodically resurfaces in debates on managing endangered species is so-called “privatization.” Predictably, it has emerged once again in the context of Cecil the Lion’s death at the hands of a rich safari-hunting dentist. Of course proposals for “privatization” generally come from the Right, and what they mean by it is reorganizing some…
The Labor Theory of Value
The Labor Theory of Value: A Critique of Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy By Robert P. Murphy [1] Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (2004) is an impressive work. It first attempts to rehabilitate the classical labor theory of value (by giving it a subjectivist spin), and then traces the history of capitalism to…
The Spooner-Tucker Doctrine: An Economist’s View
First, I [1] must begin by affirming my conviction that Lysander Spooner and Benjamin R. Tucker were unsurpassed as political philosophers and that nothing is more needed today than a revival and development of the largely forgotten legacy that they left to political philosophy. By the mid-nineteenth century, the libertarian individualist doctrine had reached the point…
Rothbard versus the Marshallian Synthesis
Murray Rothbard rejected, in the strongest terms, this Marshallian attempt at a synthesis of marginalist innovations with the legacy of Ricardo. And with it, he rejected Marshall’s attempted synthesis of labor and waiting as elements of “real cost.” To understand why, we must start with Rothbard’s distinction between the judging of actions ex ante and ex post….
The Marshallian Synthesis
Alfred Marshall, the founder of the so-called neoclassical school, was also the first prominent economist to attempt a reconciliation of Ricardo with the marginalists. Following the Senior-Longfield school, as interpreted by Mill, Marshall treated the “abstinence” of capital (or “waiting”) as another form of disutility alongside labor. He thus fused them into a unified subjective…
Symposium on Mutualist Political Economy
Many of the nineteenth-century individualist anarchists, and in particular those thinkers associated with Benjamin Tucker’s journal Liberty, sought to combine a political theory based on individual sovereignty and self-ownership with an economic theory based on the labor theory of value. Like Marxists, they tended to condemn the wage system as oppressive, and interpreted profit, rent,…
Stop Being Idiots? Only When IP is a Historical Novelty
Over at WIRED, a website I once held more respect for, an article by Jordan Crucchiola called, “Dear Idiots, Stop Leaking Comic-Con Trailers” has drawn some recent attention. For those who (somehow) don’t know, Comic Con is an international event for all things geeky, but especially (or at least, supposedly) related to comic books. The…
Greece: If You’re Taking Out the Trash, Don’t Forget the Garbage
I. The Nonexistent Ethical Dilemma The showdown between Greece and the EU is one of those events that brings out in stark contrast the dividing line between libertarians whose main concern is genuine economic freedom, and the sort of libertarian whose priority is the interests of big business and the propertied classes. In an exchange…
Why Does Ron Bailey Hate Free Markets?
Reason‘s science editor Ron Bailey (“Pope Francis and Naomi Klein Both Hate Free Markets, Technological Progress, and Economic Growth,” Reason, June 29) refers to Naomi Klein as a “prominent hater of free markets,” adding that she also hates “technological progress and economic growth.” But based on my readings of both Klein and Bailey, I think…
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist