Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
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…
Why I Am a Left Libertarian
Many libertarians say the traditional Left/Right political spectrum has become meaningless and useless. But to the extent that this is true for them, this is only because they have allowed themselves to be befuddled by political fraud and, perhaps, by a weak background in political history. The spectrum is just as useful and meaningful as…
The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand
$2.00 for the first copy. $1.50 for every additional copy. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand” Audio version, read by Mike Gogulski Introduction to the Portuguese Version of Iron Fist << Back to the Market Anarchism FAQ page Introduction Manorialism, commonly, is recognized to have been founded by robbery and…
Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism
Objectivist scholar Chris Sciabarra, in his brilliant book Total Freedom, called for a “dialectical libertarianism.” By dialectical analysis, Sciabarra means to “grasp the nature of a part by viewing it systemically — that is, as an extension of the system within which it is embedded.” Individual parts receive their character from the whole of which…
Wild Cards
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (a book of great virtues and great flaws, but I’m not going to get into either right now), Thomas Kuhn describes an experiment that I think is of tremendous importance to libertarians, particularly left-libertarians: In a psychological experiment that deserves to be far better known outside the trade, Bruner…
Anarchism Without Hyphens & The Left/Right Spectrum
A new pamphlet featuring two classic short essays is now available for download thanks to the efforts of the Tulsa Alliance of the Libertarian Left — [PDF] Anarchism Without Hyphens & The Left/Right Spectrum (by Karl Hess). Please note that the format of the PDF file features a staggered page order layout intended to facilitate printing…
Lessons in Liberty: Left-Libertarianism
Left-libertarianism detours only slightly from the traditional understanding of what it means to be a libertarian, but with some very important nuances. It is necessary to stress some basic moral principles that libertarians share to begin with: 1. No one should be allowed to aggress against peaceful people. 2. Producers should own the immediate fruits…
A University Built by the Invisible Hand
The history of the University of Bologna offers an example of how the spontaneous-order mechanisms underlying market anarchism — mechanisms like mutual-aid surety associations and competing legal jurisdictions — can operate in a university setting. Many mediæval universities were run from the top down. The University of Paris, for example, was founded, organized, and funded…
The Acts of Revolution
Two attitudes, more than any others I have been able to perceive, confuse revolutionary actions in the United States today. First is the demand that revolutionary action have “a goal” and the assumption that, lacking a goal, it must also lack fervor and even practical possibility. Second is the mind-set that says revolutions may not…
Free Market Socialism: An Introduction
My good friend Ciaran, who introduced me to the insights of free market libertarianism (Particularly the works of Frederic Bastiat and Ludwig von Mises), expressed his confusion at the notion of free market socialism. As the concepts are typically considered polar opposites, I figured I would offer some glimpses at various strains of free market…
Debt: The Possibilities Ignored
It’s no secret that economists and libertarians have developed a bad habit of assuming things about history and other societies on first principle without actually checking archaeological or anthropological findings. On occasion the divide can be quite stark. David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years gets a lot of momentum by attacking a widely circulated…
Value, Cost, Marginal Utility, and Böhm-Bawerk
What governs price? Does cost of production determine price or does price determine cost of production? In the world of economic caricatures, the classical economists (Smith, Ricardo, et al.) took the former position, the Austrians the latter. Specifically, the Austrian view supposedly is that that demand driven by marginal utility determines the price of consumer…
Austrian Exploitation Theory
Marx had no monopoly. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1851-1914), the second-generation giant of Austrian economics, famously refuted the theory, most commonly associated with Marx, that the employer-employee relationship is intrinsically exploitative. Less well known is that Böhm-Bawerk had an exploitation theory of his own, which he expressed in his 1889 masterpiece, Positive Theory of Interest, volume…
The Natural Right of Property: Not to be confused with government-created artificial rights
Thomas Hodgskin (1787-1869), the English economics writer I discussed previously, is an enigma — until his philosophy is seen in its entirety. He was an editor at The Economist of London from 1846 to 1855, during the period author Scott Gordon called “the high tide of laissez faire, yet he is considered a Ricardian socialist,…
Real Liberalism and the Law of Nature
“Our leaders invent nothing but new taxes, and conquer nothing but the pockets of their subjects.” — Thomas Hodgskin Is government the source of our rights? I fear that today many people would say yes. Not infrequently it is said that the government or the Constitution grants us freedom of speech or press or the…
Capitalism, Corporatism, and the Freed Market
When a front-running presidential contender tells the country that thanks to Barack Obama, “[w]e are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy,” one is left scratching one’s head. How refreshing it is, then, to hear a prominent establishment economist—a Nobel laureate yet—tell it straight:  The managerial state has assumed responsibility for…
Left-Libertarianism: Its Past, Its Present, Its Prospects
The following is the recently accepted abstract/proposal for a paper I’ll be presenting at the MANCEPT 2014 workshop on “The Current State of Libertarian Philosophy,” 8-10 September 2014, in Manchester UK — appropriately enough, since left-libertarianism of the C4SS variety has been described as consistent Manchesterism. *     *     * Over the past decade a form of thought…
What is Left-Libertarianism?
Left-libertarianism has been getting a lot of buzz recently in the broader American libertarian community. The term “left-libertarian” has been used many ways in American politics, and there seems to be some confusion within the libertarian community itself as to who left-libertarians actually are. The basic ideas of left-libertarianism, as we at the Alliance of…
Strong Words and Large Letters
When a descriptive term carries a negative connotation, there is a widespread tendency to associate the term with its worst referents. When critics of Obamacare call it “fascist,” for example, they are regularly accused of absurdly likening Obamacare to the Nazis’ campaigns of mass slaughter. Yet “fascism” is a word with a meaning, and the…
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist