Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Feature Articles
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…
How the Government, Businesses and Unions Blame You for Being Unemployed
Zygmunt Bauman, in Postmodernity and Its Discontents, writes that religion, in its traditional form, used to celebrate human insufficiency. With a path more or less outlined for her entire life, the individual found herself powerless to change the conditions she was inserted in. In contrast to what he considers the “postmodern” condition, of uncertainty, premodern…
Nick Gillespie Looks at the Way Things Are, and Asks “Why Not?”
Critics of libertarianism on the Center-Left sometimes depict it as a radical ideology that would turn upside down everything we know — a doctrine of such thorough-going change that the critics are compelled to ask “what society in human history was ever organized along libertarian lines?” Not so! Nick Gillespie (“Why an 1852 Novel by…
Why Market Exchange Doesn’t Have to Lead to Capitalism
An anonymous reader of Center for a Stateless Society‘s Tumblr recently asked: Two questions: 1) How exactly do the theory and practice proposed by free market anti-capitalists challenge the cultural logic of capitalism? 2) Don’t all market institutions — whether a large corporation or a mom and pop shop –  desire a state as part…
The Real Isolationists
Anyone living today only knows the term isolationist as a pejorative. It gained prominence during WWII as a way to slander Americans who opposed U.S. entry into that war. Then, as now, it was said that those who opposed war against (insert foreign enemy) wanted to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the…
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Libertarian?
I am not ashamed to call myself a libertarian anymore. Two years ago this month, a friend of mine suggested that I write an article for the Center for a Stateless Society, a group I had very little knowledge of, aside from said friend posting a few of their writings per week on Facebook. At…
Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father’s Work
Among libertarians and classical liberals, the name Richard Cobden (1804–1865) evokes admiration and applause. His activities — and successes — on behalf of freedom, free markets, and government retrenchment are legendary. Most famously, he cofounded — with John Bright — the Anti–Corn Law League, which successfully campaigned for repeal of the import tariffs on grain….
Market Anarchism for Network Mutualism
Human communication systems offer incredible insight to the creative nature of human beings, spontaneous social order and emerging markets within our societies. For the first time in human history we are sharing ideas from the local to the global in scale. With the advent of the Internet, social media and growing social networks, communication costs are at…