Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Feature Articles
“Net Neutrality”: a Net Increase in Statism, or a Net Reduction?
In an article I wrote several years ago (“Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism,” The Freeman, Sept. 1, 2008), I stated some principles that are relevant to the current debate on “net neutrality”: Some forms of state intervention are primary. They involve the privileges, subsidies, and other structural bases of economic exploitation through…
Against Celebritarianism
The week before last, at the International Students For Liberty Conference (ISFLC), Ron Paul once again misgendered and deadnamed whistleblower and hero, to libertarians everywhere, Chelsea Manning in a speech. Though his words otherwise sounded supportive, they indicate someone who at best hasn’t paid attention to any news pertaining to her. More likely, he and…
Ideologies and Idols
With all the hub-bub surrounding the International Students for Liberty Conference, Ron Paul, and “second-wave libertarianism,” I am reminded of a passage in Simone de Beauvoir’s Ethics of Ambiguity about the “sub-man.” This is quite reflective of any of us who deal with ideologies, but those who specifically follow libertarianism and or anarchism may want…
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Idols
If you’re outside the liberty movement social media universe, you might not have known that The Happening was absolutely happening last weekend. What was The Happening, you ask as I admire your ignorance of the affair? Well, the International Students For Liberty Conference (ISFLC) was kicking off with movement darlings Ron Paul and Andrew Napolitano….
The End of Libertarians
One of the grievances of the so-called GamerGate movement last August was an article by Dan Golding titled “The End of Gamers” (August 28, 2014). The title referred, not to the literal extinction of gamers as individuals, but of the “gamer” cultural identity as it had previously existed. Golding argued that the previously dominant gamer…
Wildness as Praxis: Evolving the Urban Corridor
In the November of 1859, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, thus changing the way natural scientists viewed the world forever. In this text, Darwin describes the idea of descent with modification and brilliantly illustrates the concept of natural selection: The gradual process by which heritable traits express themselves, if at all,…
Reason Goes to Bat for the NPR Liberals
Usually when we see right-wing commentary on the upper-middle-class (“NPR/limousine/Whole Foods liberals,” “boho bougies,” or take your pick of other trendy labels), it’s a fake populist attack on their “cultural elite” tastes like brown mustard or wind-surfing, to divert attention from genuine populist attacks on the super-rich. So I guess it’s a sort of man-bites-dog…
Defending the Commons from both Corporation and State
For policy elites in most nations, there are only two alternatives for the provision of public services: State ownership and management (the preferred model of Social Democrats and liberals/progressives) or corporate “privatization” (pushed by neoliberal heirs of Reagan and Thatcher). Commons governance (about which more later) isn’t even on the radar. There’s little practical difference…
How Not to Criticize Spontaneous Order
The first thing I saw on Twitter this morning, when I sat down with my coffee, was Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) linking to a David Edwards piece at RawStory with the remarkably asinine comment “‘Spontaneous order’ is not a thing, libertarians.” The article (“Fox host: FEMA is unnecessary because Walmart will ‘spontaneously’ save us all in…
Building a Movement with Less Hiding Space for Foulness
Two weeks ago we all learned that Brad Spangler, a professed libertarian and anarchist once of some prominence, is a child molester. There have always been hidden monsters and no movement, community or culture is entirely immune. But while we’ve spent the last two weeks recoiling in horror and crushed under the sadness of these…
On Manufactured Loyalties: My Experience
My radio alarm woke me with a perky voice announcing “Northwest Arkansas! We’re all growing together as a region — and so is our newspaper!” I hear that tone of breathless enthusiasm a lot from local elites trying to secure public buy-in on actions they were never consulted on to begin with. By way of…
Anarchism Without Adjectives
Schematic designs for a new society seem to be really popular among self-described anarchists of all stripes. On the Right, we have Rothbard’s model for an entire society modelled whole-cloth on a “libertarian law code” deduced from axioms like self-ownership and the non-aggression principle. Within the historic anarchist movement of the Left, we have uniform…
The New Oligarchs
If America has any characteristic that does not so much define it as it is, but defines it as it aspires to be, it’s offering upward mobility. Class struggle which gets anyone anywhere could be understood as meritocracy against a permanent oligarchy. Beginning with the rise of the merchant class and ending with the rise…
The American Sniper was No Hero
Despite what some people think, hero is not a synonym for competent government-hired killer. If Clint Eastwood’s record-breaking movie, American Sniper, launches a frank public conversation about war and heroism, the great director will have performed a badly needed service for the country and the world. This is neither a movie review nor a review of the late…
Constitutional Law Under Anarchy
One of the biggest challenges to the complete decoupling of the provision of law from the state, with a free market of security and adjudication, is the possibility that these entities would collude against their customers. Economically, it is noted that consumers would lose some money while the collusion in the supply of goods and…
Espousing Individual Liberty Using Quotes From Slavemasters?
I recently poked a stick at a hornet’s nest of self-proclaimed Southern Nationalists on Twitter who truly believed they were celebrating individual liberty by quoting Jefferson Davis. The meme that was posted featured a stately profile picture of Davis accompanied by a quote from a famous Davis speech which said, “All we ask is to…
What are Libertarians Out to Accomplish?
When I was researching my recent article on Nathaniel Branden, who died last month, I came across an audio file of a talk Branden gave at the 1979 Libertarian Party national convention in Los Angeles. I was at the convention, but I don’t remember attending the talk. I might have been busy with other things;…
V isn’t Just for Vagina: The Vagina Monologues and Feminism
Recently, the all-woman’s college Mount Holyoke in South Hadley Massachusetts decided to cancel the play production The Vagina Monologues. This, in turn stopped a tradition of having the play performed on Valentine’s day to raise awareness of violence against women. They cited the play as, among other things, transphobic and having an overly narrow and reductionist view…
The Open Society and its Worst Enemies
Last week’s bloody events in Paris demonstrate yet again that a noninterventionist foreign policy, far from being a luxury, is an urgent necessity — literally a matter of life and death. A government that repeatedly wages wars of aggression — the most extreme form of extremism — endangers the society it ostensibly protects by gratuitously making enemies, some…
Violence and Euphemism
I hate when people support violence, but claim to advocate non-violence. We see it when a liberal condemns protesters for rioting but then advocates laws that enable armed police officers to arrest and armed guards to cage people for possessing firearms. We see it when presidents who use cluster bombs against civilians condemn violence by protesters and…