Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
STIGMERGY: The C4SS Blog
English Language Media Coordinator Update, February 2015

Dear C4SS Supporters,

It’s been a great month at the Center!

In February, I made 37,311 submissions of op-eds by our authors to 2,588 media outlets worldwide. That’s a little off my current goal of 40,000 submissions, but not for lack of content. It’s just that most of our op-eds were “US-centric” rather than of global interest. I’ll be encouraging our authors to cast a wider net across those imaginary lines that politicians draw on the ground to look for commentary topics.

My usual goal (for the last year or so) for pickups and mentions is 50. Last month we hit 60. This month, 70!

Of those, 68 were pickups of our material by “mainstream” or popular political media. The other two were mentions on Bloomberg — per Alexa, the 345th most popular web site in the world and ranked 135th most popular in the US — by David Weigel, who covered the 2015 International Students for Liberty Conference: “Edward Snowden and Ron Paul Kick Off Libertarian Student Conference With a Little Kerfuffle About Russia,” and “Bow Ties and Slam Poetry: This Is Libertarianism in 2015.”

Of course there’s been some controversy about the presence and actions of people associated (and in some cases not associated) with C4SS at that conference. If you haven’t read all about it yet and want to, Google is your friend.

I tend to focus my activities at C4SS on audiences outside the movement, so I’m not going to opine here on the details of the intra-movement arguments about this. But what strikes me about the whole thing is the old saying attributed to Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

We just got name-checked in major media as libertarian thought leaders, at least among the student activist crowd, and the follow-up ruckus hasn’t been humorous. So to the extent that left market anarchism is competing with other schools of thought for mindshare both within the libertarian movement and outside it, it looks like we’re at the “fight” stage.  And to the extent that that second article reflects the views and interests of younger libertarians,  it looks like we’re winning the fight for the minds of the movement’s next generation (who will be the ones taking libertarian ideas out into the world at large for the next 50 years or so).

So, like I said, great month. With your support, we are shifting the debate both inside and outside the movement. And with your support, we’ll continue to do so.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

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 they are a part, and from their function within that whole.

This means it is a mistake to consider any particular form of state intervention in isolation, without regard to the role it plays in the overall system. (See Sciabarra’s “Dialectics and Liberty, The Freeman, September 2005.)

Another libertarian, blogger Arthur Silber, contrasts dialectical libertarianism with what he calls “atomistic libertarianism,” whose approach is to “focus on the basic principles involved, but with scant (or no) attention paid to the overall context in which the principles are being analyzed. In this manner, this approach treats principles like Plato’s Forms. . . .” Atomistic libertarians argue “as if the society in which one lives is completely irrelevant to an analysis of any problem at all.”

To determine the function a particular form of state intervention serves in the structure of state power, we must first ask what has been the historical objective of the state. This is where libertarian class analysis comes in.

The single greatest work I’m aware of on libertarian class theory is Roderick Long’s article, “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Class” (Social Philosophy & Policy, Summer 1998). Long categorizes ruling-class theories as either “statocratic” or “plutocratic,” based on the respective emphasis they place on the state apparatus and the plutocracy (the wealthy “private-sector” beneficiaries of government intervention) as components of the ruling class.

The default tendency in mainstream libertarianism is a high degree of statocracy, to the point not only of (quite properly) emphasizing the necessary role of state coercion in enabling “legal plunder” (Frédéric Bastiat’s term) by the plutocracy, but of downplaying the significance of the plutocracy even as beneficiaries of statism. This means treating the class interests associated with the state as ad hoc and fortuitous. Although statocratic theory treats the state (in Franz Oppenheimer’s phrase) as the organized political means to wealth, it still tends to view government as merely serving the exploitative interests of whatever assortment of political factions happens to control it at any given time. This picture of how the state works does not require any organic relation between the various interest groups controlling it at any time, or between them and the state. It might be controlled by a disparate array of interest groups, including licensed professionals, rent-seeking corporations, farmers, regulated utilities, and big labor; the only thing they have in common is that they happen to be currently the best at latching onto the state.

Murray Rothbard’s position was far different. Rothbard, Long argues, saw the state as controlled by “a primary group that has achieved a position of structural hegemony, a group central to class consolidation and crisis in contemporary political economy. Rothbard’s approach to this problem is, in fact, highly dialectical in its comprehension of the historical, political, economic, and social dynamics of class.”

I have argued in the past that the corporate economy is so closely bound up with the power of the state, that it makes more sense to think of the corporate ruling class as a component of the state, in the same way that landlords were a component of the state under the Old Regime. Blogger Brad Spangler used the analogy of a gunman and bagman to illustrate the relationship:

Let’s postulate two sorts of robbery scenarios.

In one, a lone robber points a gun at you and takes your cash. All libertarians would recognize this as a micro-example of any kind of government at work, resembling most closely State Socialism.

In the second, depicting State Capitalism, one robber (the literal apparatus of government) keeps you covered with a pistol while the second (representing State allied corporations) just holds the bag that you have to drop your wristwatch, wallet and car keys in. To say that your interaction with the bagman was a “voluntary transaction” is an absurdity. Such nonsense should be condemned by all libertarians. Both gunman and bagman together are the true State.

Given this perspective, it doesn’t make much sense to consider particular proposals for deregulating or cutting taxes without regard to the role the taxes and regulations play in the overall structure of state capitalism. That’s especially true considering that most mainstream proposals for “free market reform” are generated by the very class interests that benefit from the corporate state.

No politico-economic system has ever approximated total statism, in the sense that “everything not forbidden is compulsory.” In every system there is a mixture of compulsory and discretionary behavior. The ruling class allows some amount of voluntary market exchange within the interstices of a system whose overall structure is defined by coercive state intervention. The choice of what areas to leave to voluntary exchange, just as much as of what to subject to compulsory regulation, reflects the overall strategic picture of the ruling class. The total mixture of statism and market activity will be chosen as most likely, in the estimation of the ruling class, to maximize net exploitation by the political means.

Primary and Secondary Interventions

Some forms of state intervention are primary. They involve the privileges, subsidies, and other structural bases of economic exploitation through the political system. This has been the primary purpose of the state: the organized political means to wealth, exercised by and for a particular class of people. Some forms of intervention, however, are secondary. Their purpose is stabilizing, or ameliorative. They include welfare-state measures, Keynesian demand management, and the like, whose purpose is to limit the most destabilizing side-effects of privilege and to secure the long-term survival of the system.

Unfortunately, the typical “free market reform” issuing from corporate interests involves eliminating only the ameliorative or regulatory forms of intervention, while leaving intact the primary structure of privilege and exploitation.

The strategic priorities of principled libertarians should be just the opposite: first to dismantle the fundamental, structural forms of state intervention, whose primary effect is to enable exploitation, and only then to dismantle the secondary, ameliorative forms of intervention that serve to make life bearable for the average person living under a system of state-enabled exploitation. As blogger Jim Henley put it, remove the shackles before the crutches.

To welcome the typical “free market” proposals as “steps in the right direction,” without regard to their effect on the overall functioning of the system, is comparable to the Romans welcoming the withdrawal of the Punic center at Cannae as “a step in the right direction.” Hannibal’s battle formation was not the first step in a general Carthaginian withdrawal from Italy, and you can be sure the piecemeal “privatizations,” “deregulations,” and “tax cuts” proposed are not intended to reduce the amount of wealth extracted by the political means.

Regulations and Increasing Statism

Moreover, regulations that limit and constrain the exercise of privilege do not involve, properly speaking, a net increase in statism at all. They are simply the corporate state’s stabilizing restrictions on its own more fundamental forms of intervention.

Silber illustrated the dialectical nature of such restrictions with reference to the question of whether pharmacists ought to be able to refuse to sell items (such as “morning after” pills) that violate their conscience. The atomistic-libertarian response is, “Of course. The right to sell, or not sell, is a fundamental free-market liberty.” The implicit assumption here, as Silber pointed out, is “that this dispute arises in a society which is essentially free.” But pharmacists are in fact direct beneficiaries of compulsory occupational licensing, a statist racket whose central purpose is to restrict competition and enable them to charge a monopoly price for their services. Silber wrote:

The major point is a very simple one: the pharmacy profession is a state-enforced monopoly. In other words: the consumer and the pharmacist are not equal competitors on the playing field. The state has placed its thumb firmly on the scales — and on one side only. That is the crucial point, from which all further analysis must flow. . . .

. . . [T]he state has created a government-enforced monopoly for licensed pharmacists. Given that central fact, the least the state can do is ensure that everyone has access to the drugs they require — and whether a particular pill is of life and death importance is for the individual who wants it to decide, not the pharmacist and most certainly not the government.

When the state confers a special privilege on an occupation, a business firm, or an industry, and then sets regulatory limits on the use of that privilege, the regulation is not a new intrusion of statism into a free market. It is, rather, the state’s limitation and qualification of its own underlying statism. The secondary regulation is not a net increase, but a net reduction in statism.

On the other hand, repeal of the secondary regulation, without an accompanying repeal of the primary privilege, would be a net increase in statism. Since the beneficiaries of privilege are a de facto branch of the state, the elimination of regulatory constraints on their abuse of privilege has the same practical effect as repealing a constitutional restriction on the state’s exercise of its own powers.

To expand Spangler’s bagman analogy, a great deal of alleged statism amounts to the gunman telling the bagman, after the victim has handed his wallet over at gunpoint, to give the victim back enough money for cab fare so he can get safely back home and keep on earning money to be robbed of.

When the state is controlled by “legal plunderers” and every decision for or against state intervention in a particular circumstance reflects their strategic assessment of the ideal mixture of intervention and non-intervention, it’s a mistake for a genuine anti-state movement to allow the priorities for “free market reform” to be set by the plunderers’ estimation of what forms of intervention no longer serve their purpose. If the corporate representatives in government are proposing a particular “free market reform,” you can bet your bottom dollar it’s because they believe it will increase the net political extraction of wealth.

The corporate ruling class’s approach to “free market reform” is a sort of mirror-image of “lemon socialism.” Under lemon socialism, the political capitalists (acting through the state) choose to nationalize those industries that corporate capital will most benefit from having taken off its hands, and to socialize those functions the cost of which capital would most prefer the state to bear. They shift functions from the private to the state sector when they are perceived as necessary for the functioning of the system, but not sufficiently profitable to justify the bother of running them under “private sector” auspices. Under “lemon market reform,” on the other hand, the political capitalists liquidate interventionist policies after they have squeezed all the benefit out of state action.

A good example: British industrialists felt it was safe to adopt “free trade” in the mid-nineteenth century, after mercantilism had served its purpose. Half the world had been hammered into a unified market by British force of arms and was held together by a British merchant fleet. Britain had stamped out competing industry in the colonial world. It had reenacted the Enclosures on a global scale, stealing enormous amounts of land from native populations and converting it to cash crops for the imperial market. The commanding position of British capital was the direct result of past mercantilism; having established this commanding position, it could afford “free trade.”

The so-called “free trade” movement in the contemporary United States follows the same pattern. A century ago, high tariff barriers served the interests of American political capitalists. Today, when the dominant corporate interests in America are transnational, tariffs are no longer useful to them. They actually impede the transfer of goods and partially finished products between the national subdivisions of a single global corporation.

On the other hand, so-called “intellectual property” today serves exactly the same protectionist function for transnational corporations that tariffs used to serve for the old national corporations a century ago. So the political capitalists promote a version of “free trade” that involves doing away with outmoded tariff barriers while greatly strengthening the new protectionism of “intellectual property” law.

We must remember that the measure of statism inheres in the functioning of the overall system, not in the formal statism of its separate parts. A reduction in the formal statism of some separate parts, chosen in accordance with the strategic priorities of the statists, may actually result in a net increase in the overall level of statism. Our strategic agenda as libertarians, in dismantling the state, must reflect our understanding of the overall nature of the system.

Director’s Report: January and February 2015

The Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) has had a bumpy start to 2015, tragedy in January and controversy (of sorts) in February. But not all of those bumps were bad or stressful, most of them were just our crew, shoulder to the wheel, cranking out thousands of words of content. The past couple of months has been very busy and extremely successful for us — we have already cleared 2,400 commentary pick-ups and are on track to easily break 3,000 by 2016.

To reach these goals and more, we need your help. C4SS has steadily built itself on a micro-donation model. We prefer the sustainability, resiliency and information found in swarms of micro-donations, instead of relying on two or three primary mega-donors or institutions. This keeps us lean, but it keeps us independent and robust. We are in love with these ideas and committed to getting them out to a wider audience and you can participate in this project by sharing, debating, contributing or donating. It all helps and we appreciate the support.

If C4SS, as an organization and an idea, is something you like having around or would like to see do more things (like funding more studies, publishing more books, helping with travel expenses for writers to speak at events, updating the youtube graphics, etc), then, please, donate $5 today.

What will $5 a month get you from C4SS? Well let’s see,

For the month of January, C4SS published:

21 Commentaries,
Features,
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
Life, Love and Liberty,
Reviews, and
17 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel.

And, thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators and translators, C4SS translated and published:

Italian translations,
Spanish translations,
12 Portuguese translations.

For the month of February, C4SS published:

31 Commentaries (10 more than January; more Op-eds than days in the month),
13 Features (7 more than January),
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
2 Blog posts,
Reviews (4 more than January), and
18 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel.

And, again, thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators and translators, C4SS translated and published:

Italian translations,
Spanish translations,
10 Portuguese translations.

Our totals, so far, for 2015:

52 Commentaries,
19 Features,
10 Reviews, and
35 C4SS Media uploads.
Spanish translations,
22 Portuguese translations.

New Interns for a New Year!

A new year brings new opportunities to challenge and test new writers for a life as an anarchist writing op-eds for mainstream media audiences. This is the primary mission of C4SS: “to explain and defend the idea of vibrant social cooperation without aggression, oppression, or centralized authority” and “enlarge public understanding and transform public perceptions of anarchism”. So far we have identified and cataloged over 2,400 successes. This brings us to our internship program, for C4SS to continue to bare fruit we must tend to our root systems. C4SS would like to introduce you to our two latest rhizomes:

John C. Wilson is a blogger, activist, anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment and feminist with pro-labor leanings. After exploring a wide range of ideologies he has found individualist anarchism to be the philosophy that best combines his dislike of coercive authority with a concern for the well being of marginalized people as well as the desire to see a more prosperous world.

***

Dylan Delikta is a Philosophy major at Eastern Michigan University. He is a mutualist anarchist and involved with many campus organizations such as Students for Liberty, Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education, and Feminists for Change.

Help C4SS Promote Prison Abolition

The Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) holds a prominent annual interdisciplinary academic conference featuring free-market-oriented research.

C4SS has had a panel at every APEE program since 2010. This year’s meeting will be in Cancún, April 12-14, and C4SS is sending Nathan Goodman (C4SS’s Lysander Spooner Research Scholar in Abolitionist Studies), Jason Lee Byas (C4SS Fellow), and Roderick T. Long (C4SS Senior Fellow) to speak at a C4SS-organised panel on the topic “Prisons: Reform or Abolition?

If you’d like to help us bring the radical libertarian message of prison abolition to the APEE, any contribution would be appreciated; check out our GoFundMe page “Send C4SS to the 2015 APEE.”

The New Brazil

C4SS’s Portuguese Media Coordinator, , reviewed Raúl Zibechi’s The New Brazil: Regional Integration and the New Democracy from AK Press and brought to us, finally, a new history of social and economic development beyond the stale stories from Europe and North America. With access to new stories and the improved sensitivities that comes from the increased number of data points, we are presented with novel opportunities to stress-test our models and discover the technical-debt hidden within our theories. The eventual pay-off of all this work will be better tactics for routing around the social damage know as authority and greater ability to identify and preempt that institutional apex predator know as the state.

The New Brazil is not the only, but it’s certainly one of the most important, recent books that overviews Brazil’s new state capitalism. And in talking about the history of power in the country, Zibechi is certainly much better than most because he sees continuity instead of disruptions. However, despite having the right instincts, and knowing how to identify the key points of contemporary politics in Brazil and in Latin America, doesn’t present a theoretical apparatus capable of challenging the ideological hegemony of corporate capitalism.

The structural weaknesses of the current model can only be challenged by the idea of a radical and descentralized free market. The logical consequence of the horizontalization of our political culture is anarchy.

The Anarchism of Despair

C4SS’s Benjamin R. Tucker Distinguished Research Scholar in Anarchist Economic Theory, , has reviewed Ardent Press’ Anarcho-Pessimism: The Collected Writings of Laurence [sic] Labadie. Labadie’s pessimism helps us deal with some dominate tropes within Leftist (not just the left) notions of action and organization, the preoccupation with mass: mass-movements and mass-meetings. It is certainly true that the goal of freedom is not fully realized until everyone has access to its full expression (a good reason for the mass-movement proposal), and collective decision making — the opportunity to give input or debate — are important counters to and a key experience absent from capitalist life (an important insight of any mass-meeting proposal). But both of these are strategies — means to an end, not the end or a good-enough substitution for the end of anarchism. “Mass” lacks the ability to scale indefinitely and, even within micro- to meso- size examples, restricts or streamlines the number and ways individuals can communicate to each other and to the group. They are in our tool kit, for sure, but if they are all we can expect or hope for from anarchism, then count me, with Labadie, pessimistic.

Anarcho-Pessimism will come as an astounding revelation to anyone interested in an anarchism that, rather than offering another recital of workerist bromides, presents a caustic indictment of modern politics and society. With a contempt and audacity all his own, this one of a kind autodidact savaged the status quo like no one before or since, and in doing so gave us what is one of the last links in the chain that is American individualist anarchism.

The Right Didn’t Steal Our Future — We Gave It Away

Kevin Carson deals some of the mistaken narratives for and against technology. Technology allows for incalculable prosperity, individuation and power distribution; this is why it is, at every turn, bottle-necked, enclosed, outlawed, overpriced or even destroyed — to keep power concentrated and centralized where it is and out of our radical hands.

The implication is that any technology that increases the efficiency of production at the margin, in terms of land-intensiveness or capital-intensiveness (that is, anything that makes more production possible from smaller quantities of land and capital), will reduce the rents on land and capital accruing to incumbent producers with large stockpiles of accumulated land and capital. From this it follows that the profits of rich capitalists depend on things like patent law that criminalize the diffusion of new technologies for cheaper, more efficient production. Technological diffusion is the friend of workers and consumers, and the enemy of capitalists.

The End of Libertarians

Kevin Carson draws parallels between the Gaming Industry and Libertarianism, in his “The End of Libertarianism”. Demographics will shift and change as new groups of people are understandably drawn in and to those technologies and ideologies that promise more agency. Increased agency is good description for liberty — to have more ways to act and more opportunities to act. Interactive media and libertarianism both promise open-ended levels of agency for more and more people. Fighting for greater, meaningful and active access to both should be regarded as clear and glowing evidence that liberty is magnetic and our desire for more of it is wonderfully insatiable. We live in an abundance hidden or broken by artificial scarcity and power bottle-necks, but not for long. We want maximal agency and you can’t stop us.

Stop and think about this for a minute: These are people who actually call themselves libertarians — advocates of human liberty — and who presumably want to spread these ideas in society at large and attract new adherents to them. Hoppe’s prerequisite for a “libertarian society,” if you want to call it that, is for the minority of rich property-owning paterfamiliases who have appropriated all the land in a society to round up all the people with beliefs or lifestyles they disagree with, and forcibly evict them.

Fellows on Patreon

Kevin Carson and Thomas Knapp have both popped up on the creator supporting site: Patreon. Patreon allows individual to directly support their favorite creators, or in this case, left-libertarian writers. You can pledge any amount that fits your budget or enjoyment of their work, and, for certain pledged amounts, they offer bonuses.

Please Support Today!

All of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition of left libertarian market anarchist, freed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please, donate $5 today. Keep C4SS going and growing.

ALL the best!

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 70

Justin Raimondo discusses the proposed AUMF to wage war on ISIS.

Michael Uhl discusses a documentary on the Vietnam War and Bobby Kennedy.

George H. Smith discusses persecution of freethinkers.

Nick Alexandrov discusses Obama’s legacy in Honduras.

Shane Smith discusses Tom Cotton.

Doug Bandow discusses six allies worth divorcing.

Jan Jarboe Russell discusses five surprises about WW2 internment.

Andy Piascik discusses Vietnam and unpleasant truth.

Gareth Porter discusses U.S. – Iranian negotiations.

Sheldon Richman discusses the humble libertarian.

Matt Peppe discusses Israeli abuse of children from Palestine and U.S. complicity.

Teun van Dongen discusses drone strikes and the sanitization of violence.

Elizabeth R. Beavers discusses curbing Obama’s endless war power.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses whether America is on the road to serfdom.

Marjorie Cohn discusses Obama’s request for a Congressional rubber stamp for his perpetual war on ISIS.

Andrew Bacevich discusses how Congress can use Obama’s AUMF request to debate the premises behind the War on Terror.

Michael Horton discusses setting the stage for a new proxy war in Yemen.

Patrick Cockburn discusses the potential fight for Mosul.

Abby Martin discusses word games.

Ajamu Baraka discusses Obama’s legacy of war and liberal accommodation.

Trevor Timm discusses Obama, the media, and the GOP concurring on war against ISIS.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses conservative blindness to principle.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses whether the U.S. invasion of Iraq brought freedom to Iraqis.

Sheldon Richman discusses healthcare and the economic way of thinking.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses the case for optimism in the realm of foreign policy.

W. James Antle the Third discusses Jeb Bush’s foreign policy.

Michael Welton discusses the propagandists of empire.

Uri Avnery discusses the fallacy of rising anti-semitism.

Luciana Bohne discusses the logic of the imperial security state.

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 and Postman [1949] asked experimental subjects to identify on short and controlled exposure a series of playing cards. Many of the cards were normal, but some were made anomalous, e.g., a red six of spades and a black four of hearts. Each experimental run was constituted by the display of a single card to a single subject in a series of gradually increased exposures. After each exposure the subject was asked what he had seen, and the run was terminated by two successive correct identifications.

Even on the shortest exposures many subjects identified most of the cards, and after a small increase all the subjects identified them all. For the normal cards these identifications were usually correct, but the anomalous cards were almost always identified, without apparent hesitation or puzzlement, as normal. The black four of hearts might, for example, be identified as the four of either spades or hearts. Without any awareness of trouble, it was immediately fitted to one of the conceptual categories prepared by prior experience. One would not even like to say that the subjects had seen something different from what they had identified.

With a further increase of exposure to the anomalous cards, subjects did begin to hesitate and to display awareness of anomaly. Exposed, for example to the red six of spades, some would say: That’s the six of spades, but there’s something wrong with it – the black has a red border. Further increase of exposure resulted in still more hesitation and confusion until finally, and sometimes quite suddenly, most subjects would produce the correct identification without hesitation. Moreover, after doing this with two or three of the anomalous cards, they would have little further difficulty with the others.

A few subjects, however, were never able to make the requisite adjustment of their categories. Even at forty times the average exposure required to recognize normal cards for what they were, more than 10% of the anomalous cards were not correctly identified. And the subjects who then failed often experienced acute personal distress. One of them exclaimed: ‘I can’t make the suit out, whatever it is. It didn’t even look like a card that time. I don’t know what color it is now or whether it’s a spade or a heart. I’m not even sure now what a spade looks like. My God!’ … My colleague Postman tells me that, though knowing all about the apparatus and display in advance, he nevertheless found looking at the incongruous cards acutely uncomfortable.

In short, people have enormous difficulty with, and often a strong aversion to, recognising something that doesn’t fit their established categories. And this helps, I think, to explain why as libertarians, and in particular as left-libertarians, we have so much trouble getting our message across; for in the mainstream political realm we are black hearts and red spades. Most people’s first impulse is to assimilate us to some familiar category – and since we talk so much about the virtues of free markets and the evils of government, we tend to get lumped with conservatives, since they make similar noises. When more prolonged exposure persuades people that we’re not quite conservatives after all, they then tend to become convinced that we’re black spades with red borders — conventionally conservative on some issues, conventionally liberal on others (a tendency we ourselves encourage with our in part useful, in part misleading Nolan Charts) — as opposed to representing a radical alternative to existing ideologies.

The moral, I think, is that libertarians, and especially left-libertarians, need to focus more on simply getting our position recognised. Getting it recognised is of course not enough — one then has to argue that the position is correct – but I think such argument and defense are to a large extent pointless if people can’t see what the position being defended even is.

Our vital task, then, is to get the word out that there is a position out there that includes the following theses:

  1. Big business and big government are (for the most part) natural allies.
  2. Although conservative politicians pretend to hate big government, and liberal politicians pretend to hate big business, most mainstream policies — both liberal and conservative — involve (slightly different versions of) massive intervention on behalf of the big-business/big-government elite at the expense of ordinary people.
  3. Liberal politicians cloak their intervention on behalf of the strong in the rhetoric of intervention on behalf of the weak; conservative politicians cloak their intervention on behalf of the strong in the rhetoric of non-intervention and free markets – but in both cases the rhetoric is belied by the reality.
  4. A genuine policy of intervention on behalf of the weak, if liberals actually tried it, wouldn’t work either, since the nature of government power would automatically warp it toward the interests of the elite.
  5. A genuine policy of non-intervention and free markets, if conservatives actually tried it, would work, since free competition would empower ordinary people at the expense of the elite.
  6. Since conservative policies, despite their associated free-market rhetoric, are mostly the diametrical opposite of free-market policies, the failures of conservative policies do not constitute an objection to (but rather, if anything, a vindication of) free-market policies.

Of course we should be prepared to defend these theses through economic reasoning and historical evidence, but the main goal at this point, I think, should be not so much to defend them as simply to advertise their existence. We need to make our red spades and black hearts a sufficiently familiar feature of the intellectual landscape that people will be able to see them for what they are rather than misclassifying them – at which point we’ll be in a better position to defend them. (Though admittedly point 6 is already beginning to slide from description to defense; still, I think 6 is crucial to getting our position so much as a hearing.)

What I advocate, then, is to make the constant repetition of (some equivalent of) points 1 through 6 a constant feature of our propagandising. In conversation, in articles, in letters to the editor, we should hit points 1 through 6 over and over again. The cure for resistance to the unfamiliar is to make it familiar.

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 and folding booklets.

“The far left, as far as you can get away from the right, would logically represent the opposite tendency and, in fact, has done just that throughout history. The left has been the side of politics and economics that opposes the concentration of power and wealth and, instead, advocates and works toward the distribution of power into the maximum number of hands.” —Karl Hess

The Left/Right Spectrum

My own notion of politics is that it follows a straight line rather than a circle. The straight line stretches from the far right where (historically) we find monarchy, absolute dictatorships, and other forms of absolutely authoritarian rule. On the far right, law and order means the law of the ruler and the order that serves the interest of that ruler, usually the orderliness of drone workers, submissive students, elders either totally cowed into loyalty or totally indoctrinated and trained into that loyalty. Both Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler operated right-wing regimes, politically, despite the trappings of socialism with which both adorned their regimes. Huey Long, when governor-boss of Louisiana, was moving toward a truly right-wing regime, also adorned with many trappings of socialism (particularly public works and welfare) but held together not by social benefits but by a strong police force and a steady flow of money to subsidize and befriend businessmen.

An American President could be said to move toward the right to the extent that he tended to make absolutely unilateral political decisions, with no reference to Congress, for instance, or to the people generally, and when the legitimacy of the regime was supported or made real more by sheer force, say of police power, than by voluntary allegiance from the people generally. Such a regime, also, would be likely to suppress or to swallow up potentially competing centers of power such as trade unions. Major financial interests, however, if Adolf Hitler’s relations with industry, for example, can be considered instructive, would be bought off, rather than fought off, with fat contracts and a continuing opportunity to enrich their owners. Joseph Stalin, of course, had no problem with anything such as independent trade unions or business, since both had been killed off earlier.

The overall characteristic of a right-wing regime, no matter the details of difference between this one and that one, is that it reflects the concentration of power in the fewest practical hands.

Power, concentrated in few hands, is the dominant historic characteristic of what most people, in most times, have considered the political and economic right wing.

The far left, as far as you can get away from the right, would logically represent the opposite tendency and, in fact, has done just that throughout history. The left has been the side of politics and economics that opposes the concentration of power and wealth and, instead, advocates and works toward the distribution of power into the maximum number of hands.

Just as the scale along this line would show gradations of the right, so would it show gradations of the left.

Before getting to a far-right monarchy or dictatorship, there are many intermediate right-wing positions. Some are called conservative.

Somewhere along the line, for instance, a certain concentration of power, particularly economic power, would be acceptable in the name of tradition. The children of the rich, characteristically, are accorded very special places in the regimes of the right, or of conservatives. Also, there is a great deference to stability and a preference for it rather than change — all other things being equal. Caution might be the watchword toward the center of this right-wing scale, simply a go-slow attitude. That is, admittedly, a long way from the far right and dictatorship, but it is a way that can and should be measured on a straight line. The natural preference for law and order that seems such a worthwhile and innocent conservative preference is from a political tradition that came to us from kings and emperors, not from ancient democracy.

This hardly means that every conservative, if pressed, will go farther and farther right until embracing absolute dictatorship or monarchy. Far from it. It does mean to suggest only that the ghosts of royal power whisper in the conservative tradition.

The left shows similar gradations. The farthest left you can go, historically at any rate, is anarchism — the total opposition to any institutionalized power, a state of completely voluntary social organization in which people would establish their ways of life in small, consenting groups, and cooperate with others as they see fit.

The attitude on that farthest left toward law and order was summed up by an early French anarchist, Proudhon, who said that ‘order is the daughter of and not the mother of liberty.’ Let people be absolutely free, says this farthest of the far, far left (the left that Communism regularly denounces as too left; Lenin called it ‘infantile left’). If they are free they will be decent, but they never can be decent until they are free. Concentrated power, bureaucracy, et cetera, will doom that decency. A bit further along the left line there might be some agreement or at least sympathy with this left libertarianism but, it would be said, there are practical and immediate reasons for putting off that sort of liberty. People just aren’t quite ready for it. Roughly, that’s the position of the Communist Party today…

At any rate, at some point on the spectrum there is the great modern American liberal position. Through a series of unfortunate but certainly understandable distortions of political terminology, the liberal position has come to be known as a left-wing position. Actually, it lies right alongside the conservative tradition, down toward the middle of the line, but decidedly, I think, to the right of its center. Liberals believe in concentrated power — in the hands of liberals, the supposedly educated and genteel elite. They believe in concentrating that power as heavily and effectively as possible. They believe in great size of enterprise, whether corporate or political, and have a great and profound disdain for the homely and the local. They think nationally but they also think globally and now even intergalactically. Actually, because they believe in far more authoritarian rule than a lot of conservatives, it probably would be best to say that liberals lie next to but actually to the right of many conservatives. –Dear America (1975) by Karl Hess

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 69

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the marriage of government schooling and the national security state.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the fears surrounding ISIS.

Ivan Eland discusses oil, U.S. policy with respect to Saudi Arabia, and U.S. policy towards Israel.

George H. Smith discusses freethought and freedom.

David Boaz discusses the parasite economy in Washington.

Jacob Sullum discusses Bill Bennett’s take on pot.

Alex Henderson discusses seven fascist regimes the U.S. has supported.

Ivan Eland discusses how unauthorized government attacks are murder.

Thomas Knapp discusses Biden’s dangerous game.

Conor Friedersdorf discusses Scott Walker’s take on foreign policy.

Laurence M. Vance discusses the libertarian view on taxes.

James Bovard discusses the people driven out to make room for Shenandoah National Park.

Jeffrey Tucker discusses eugneics and the minimum wage.

Rebecca Gordon discusses 6 people who said no to torture.

Sheldon Richman discusses Brian Williams and war.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses the morality of capitalism.

Thomas Larson discusses Dick Cheney and torture.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses whether Cuban embargo supporters and the Castro brothers are on the same page.

Glenn Greenwald discusses the death of a 13 year old Yemeni in a drone strike.

Gary Leupp discusses Hilary Clinton’s record as a warmongerer.

Mikayla Novak discusses gender hierarchy during the Progressive Era.

Laurence M. Vance discusses government maximums and minimums.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses Oliver Stone and the hypocrisy of libertarian conservatives.

Jacob Sullum discusses the right to die.

Danny Postel discusses a book claiming that oil wasn’t the reason for the Iraq War.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses the vague suggestions of the War Powers Resolution.

Dan Sanchez discusses state approved mass killers.

David S D’Amato discusses a book on paranoia and conspiracy theories.

Charles Pierson discusses why U.S. war criminals walk free.

Peter Certo discusses 5 reasons to reject Obama’s request for war against ISIS.

Help C4SS Promote Prison Abolition

The Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) holds a prominent annual interdisciplinary academic conference featuring free-market-oriented research.

C4SS has had a panel at every APEE program since 2010. This year’s meeting will be in Cancún, April 12-14, and C4SS is sending Nathan Goodman (C4SS’s Lysander Spooner Research Scholar in Abolitionist Studies), Jason Lee Byas (C4SS Fellow), and Roderick T. Long (C4SS Senior Fellow) to speak at a C4SS-organised panel on the topic “Prisons: Reform or Abolition?

If you’d like to help us bring the radical libertarian message of prison abolition to the APEE, any contribution would be appreciated; check out our GoFundMe page “Send C4SS to the 2015 APEE.”

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 68

Justin Raimondo discusses Hilary’s war in Libya.

William Astore discusses seven reasons why American war persists.

David Swanson discusses the exporting of Sherman’s march.

W. James Antle III discusses the last chance for peace with Iran.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses aggression and the American Sniper movie.

B.K. Marcus discusses the history of African-American self-defense.

Laurence M. Vance discusses drug warriors.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses why troops in Iraq and Vietnam were not defending our freedom.

Joshua Keating discusses whether Obama’s drone war helped cause Yemen’s collapse.

Chris Hedges discusses the American Sniper movie.

Paul Edwards discusses the sociopath as hero.

Sheldon Richman discusses the U.S. as James Bond.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses how Yalta still haunts us.

Mateo Pimentel discusses Washingtion’s war on Cuba.

Ramzy Baroud discusses how to lose a ‘War on Terror’.

Gerald Celente discusses Chris Kyle as model American.

Omar Kassem discusses the nightmare that is Egypt.

Ronald Bailey discusses abolishing the intelligence-industrial complex.

Sarah Lazare discuses how to end the ISIS war.

Arthur Silber discusses embalmed dissent.

Sheldon Richman discusses nationalism.

Glenn Greenwald discusses how the American military burns people alive.

William Norman Grigg discusses Chris Kyle.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses whether ISIS atrocity videos teach us anything.

Andy Piascik discusses Henry Kissinger and war crimes.

Kelly Vlahos discusses a Blackwater world order.

Brian Cloughley discusses uprooting peace in Palestine.

Justin Raimondo discusses the lies of Brian Williams.

Paul Von Blum discusses violent self-defense in the Civil Rights movement.

Noah Beriatsky discusses the root of the problem that sex workers face.

Relatório da Coordenação de Mídias em Português: Janeiro de 2015

Dos 14 textos que publicamos em janeiro em português, 4 deles foram originais — dois escritos por mim e dois por Valdenor Júnior. Minha coluna falando da hipocrisia política após o ataque contra o jornal Charlie Hebdo foi a mais republicada durante o mês (10). Republicamos também a resenha de um livro muito interessante feita por Anthony Ling de Um país chamado favela, traduzindo-a também para o inglês.

Os números de janeiro foram os seguintes:

  • 14 textos publicados em português
  • 9114 envios para sites e jornais
  • 43 republicações
  • 3999 curtidas no Facebook (+381)
  • 106 seguidores no Twitter (+4)
  • 14 seguidores no Tumblr (+14)

Neste momento, precisamos muito de sua ajuda para continuar atuando no Brasil e em outros países de língua portuguesa. Sua doação é o que mantém o C4SS em funcionamento. Portanto, se puder, doe R$ 10 mensalmente e dê suporte ao nosso trabalho!

Erick Vasconcelos
Coordenador de mídias
Centro por uma Sociedade Sem Estado

Portuguese Media Coordinator Update: Janeiro de 2015

Out of the 14 articles we published in January in Portuguese, 4 of them were originals — two mine, two written by Valdenor Júnior. The article that was picked up the most (10) was my own column on the political reactions to the Charlie Hebdo shooting. We also republished a very fine review by Anthony Ling of the book Um país chamado favela (“A Country Called Favela”), which I translated into English.

January numbers our Portuguese embassy were as follows:

  • 14 articles published
  • 9114 submissions
  • 43 pick-ups
  • 3999 likes on Facebook (+381)
  • 106 followers on Twitter (+4)
  • 14 followers on Tumblr (+14)

At this moment, we really need your help to continue our actions in Brazil and in other Portuguese-speaking countries. Your donation is what makes C4SS possible. So, please do make a recurring $5 donation and support our work!

Erick Vasconcelos
Portuguese Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

C4SS at ISFLC!

The Center for a Stateless Society would like to formally thank all of our supporters for their generous donations and staunch vocal backing over the last month or so. The Center has had a rough last few weeks but the future looks brighter than ever thanks to you.

The International Students For Liberty Conference is the world’s largest gathering of liberty minded people and for the first time in history the Center for a Stateless Society will be represented at the annual get together. Thanks to dozens of charitable and passionate donators, we were able to reach our Go Fund Me goal of $500 and afford a sponsorship at the ISFLC. This means there will be a C4SS table with all sorts of pamphlets, books, pins, and other goodies in the exhibit hall all weekend!

In addition, a C4SS social is being held on Saturday, to be determined, at Medaterra where over a 100 students are joining together for fun, friends, and free stuff! Every attendee will get a free pamphlet and free pin just for showing up. Furthermore, there will be a raffle to give away a copy of “Markets Not Capitalism” signed by one of its editors, Charles Johnson. Join the Facebook event for the social here! If you have any questions about the event, don’t hesitate to email cmassimino@studentsforliberty.org.

The left market anarchist presence at this year’s ISFLC will be bigger than ever and I can’t thank C4SS supporters enough. Y’all are truly the epitome of a community rooted in common understanding and mutual aid. The Center is unbelievably grateful for all your support, monetary or otherwise, and wants to give back! So join us at the International Students For Liberty Conference and make left libertarianism a force to be reckoned with! We already know the support is there – our existence and increased success is proof of it. Let’s show everyone else!

Sincerely and For Left Liberty,

Cory

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist and Chess Review 67

Sheldon Richman discusses why Chris Kyle is not a hero.

Michael Brendan Dougherty discusses Hilary and Libya.

Michael Dickinson discusses Winston Churchill.

Arthur Silber discusses the American Sniper movie and Chris Kyle.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown discusses libertarian feminism as an alternative to carceral feminism.

Medea Benjamin discusses why Cuba should be taken off the terrorist list.

Lew Rockwell discusses the libertarian principle of secession.

Sheldon Richman discusses the consequences of liberty.

David Rosen discusses the changing role of the U.S. military.

George H. Smith discusses the relation between religious skepticism and libertarianism.

Michael S. Rozeff discusses the possibility of U.S.escalation in the Ukraine.

Jeff Deist discusses how secession begins at home.

Tom H. Hastings discusses the military’s honoring of the late Saudi king.

Hunter Hastings discusses how free markets increase freedom of choice.

Janet Weil discusses American Sniper

Katherine Hawkins discusses the torture report and memos.

Andrew J. Bacevich discusses Obama’s foreign policy.

Robert Parry discusses the propaganda surrounding Ukraine.

Graham Peebles discusses the danger of being a girl in India.

Mark Davis discusses libertarians, selfishness, and progressives.

Glen Allport discusses the coercive state.

Paul Bonneau discusses xenophobes.

Veselin Topalov defeats Francisco Vallejo Pons.

Veselin Topalov draws with Vishy Anand.

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist and Chess Review 66

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses U.S. empire and blowback.

Philip A. Reboli discusses Robert Gates memoir.

Stephen Kinzer discusses the consequences of imperialism in the Middle East.

Benjmain Dangl discusses why the U.S. government is the world’s greatest threat to peace.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the film, American Sniper.

Ivan Eland discusses the media coverage of the Paris attacks.

Laurence M. Vance discusses the statism of the GOP.

David Boaz discusses Obama’s recent State of the Union address.

Sheldon Richman discusses two kinds of equality.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses how the troops are destroying our country.

Wendy McElroy discusses America’s growth industry based on parole and probation.

James Bovard discusses America’s fading love of freedom.

William Blum discusses the murder of journalists.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses the U.S. military.

Ramzy Baroud discusses George W. Bush’s plunders.

Nick Turse discusses American shadow wars.

Murtaza Hussain discusses the recent death of the Saudi king.

Sheldon Richman discusses Nathaniel Branden’s advice to libertarians.

Neve Gordon discusses drone warfare.

Sam Husseini discusses Saudi myths.

John Chuckman discusses the origin of terror and crumbling Western values.

Jeffrey Roger Hummel discusses a new book on Lincoln’s critics.

Informe del coordinador de medios hispanos, enero de 2015

Durante el mes de enero traduje al español “Escape de la bahía de Guantánamo” de Joel Schlosberg, “En memoria de las víctimas de Charlie Hebdo” de Sheldon Richman, “Solo se le llama censura cuando ellos la implementan” de Erick Vasconcelos y “El FBI es excelente para frustrar (sus propios) ‘complots terroristas’” de Kevin Carson.

Como de constumbre, aprovecho para invitarte a hacer una donación de US $5 para C4SS. Con ella nos ayudarías a seguir con nuestro esfuerzo por reflexionar seriamente sobre la idea de una sociedad organizada en base a la cooperación voluntaria y cómo hacerla realidad.

¡Salud y Libertad!

Spanish Media Coordinator Report, January 2015

During January I translated into Spanish “Escape from Guantanamo Bay” by Joel Schlosberg, “In Memory of the Charlie Hebdo Victims” by Sheldon Richman, “It’s Only Censorship When They Do It” by Erick Vasconcelos, and “The FBI is Great at Disrupting (Its Own) ‘Terror Plots’” by Kevin Carson.

As always, I seize the opportunity to invite you to donate $5 for C4SS: your contribution is what allows us to keep reflecting upon and promoting the idea of a society based on voluntary cooperation. Please donate $5 today!

¡Salud y libertad!

Libertarian Socialist Rants: My Thoughts on Feminism

Via the Association of Libertarian Feminists discussion group (natch) I found this video by up-and-coming YouTube star Cameron Watt (on Facebook anyway), from his channel Libertarian Socialist Rants (LSR).

His title is “My Thoughts on Feminism”, but as my Tweet on it explains, it’s really about why the hierarchy analysis of anarchism necessitates feminism. The embed is below, but first, to more fully introduce him to the C4SS crowd, I reached out to him via his Facebook page to ask a few questions, which he was kind enough to answer.

C4SS: So first question would be (and I do this too and I’m considering not doing it anymore), “why do you say you’re a libertarian when you’re more accurately an anarchist?”

Also, what got you into libertarianism in the first place, then what got you into socialist libertarianism? Or was it the other way around?

LSR: “Libertarian socialist” tends to evoke a bit of curiosity, whereas saying I’m an anarchist usually causes a lot of eye rolling and comments about chaos and whatnot.

In terms of how I came to libertarian socialism, I started off as a right-wing bastard, then became more liberal, then a social democrat, and then the phenomenon of student debt radicalised me into an anarchist.

So I came from the left.

C4SS: Why did you start your show? Why should people subscribe?

LSR: I started my channel ages ago, not for political reasons but just because I was an angry teenager just looking to let off steam (this was when I was a right-wing bastard). After being radicalised I want to commit my channel to promoting social change of various sorts, by giving theoretical analysis, and in the future I’d like to offer practical advice for people.

As for why people should subscribe, I think the arguments are worth listening to and they need to be spread around rather than be obscured and isolated in a corner of the political debate.

Freedom of Disassociation: Regarding Brad Spangler

At roughly 5 pm CST (January 22, 2015), Brad Spangler confessed in a Facebook post to the 2004 molestation of a child and expressed his intention to turn himself in to the police. He has not posted anything, nor, so far as we know, otherwise communicated — to the contrary, or for that matter at all — in the intervening time. No other evidence or circumstances have come to light to suggest that his confession was false, fake or coerced.

The Center For A Stateless Society (C4SS) finds his monstrous actions and the way in which he admitted them utterly abhorrent and completely counter to the values C4SS stands for.

There is absolutely no avoiding the elephant in the room: Spangler co-founded C4SS. He was a key builder of its infrastructure. But he has not been a part of C4SS for a long time, either publicly or behind the scenes. His biography on the website erroneously listed him as a Senior Fellow until yesterday; that description should have been changed long ago simply for accuracy’s sake. Due to this oversight, C4SS is working on approving a proposal for identifying and removing associates who have “abandoned” C4SS due to lack of communication or participation.

C4SS has changed substantially over the years as we’ve grown and Spangler does not represent us. Rather than continue to host the writing of a child molester and to make clear our strenuous disassociation we’ve removed his historical posts from our site. At the same time we do not mean to disingenuously “memoryhole” Spangler’s unfortunate legacy and will be archiving his historical content on another site, the Spangler Pensieve.

Spangler’s admission was a heavy blow to us, but whatever discomfort our organization experiences over the coming months is nothing in comparison to the pain the survivor of Spangler’s actions has suffered for a decade, nor the pain that survivor is surely being forced to relive as a result of his selfishness. The survivor deserves the chance to heal. We will respect the survivor’s space, and offer our assistance should it ever be needed or wanted. To further this end, C4SS will be donating $200 from our Entrepreneurial Anti-capitalism fund to generationFive. [G]enerationFive “works to interrupt and mend the intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on individuals, families, and communities. It is our belief that meaningful community response is the key to effective prevention.”

We would like to close with some quotes from Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements:

Time and again heterosexual men in radical movements have been allowed to assert their privilege and subordinate others. Despite all that we say to the contrary, the fact is that radical social movements and organizations in the United States have refused to seriously address gender violence [1] as a threat to the survival of our struggles. We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved. There are serious consequences for choosing ignorance. Misogyny and homophobia are central to the reproduction of violence in radical activist communities. Scratch a misogynist and you’ll find a homophobe. Scratch a little deeper and you might find the makings of a future informant (or someone who just destabilizes movements like informants do). …

As angry as gender violence on the Left makes me, I am hopeful. I believe we have the capacity to change and create more justice in our movements. We don’t have to start witch hunts to reveal misogynists and informants. They out themselves every time they refuse to apologize, take ownership of their actions, start conflicts and refuse to work them out through consensus, mistreat their compañer@s. We don’t have to look for them, but when we are presented with their destructive behaviors we have to hold them accountable. Our strategies don’t have to be punitive; people are entitled to their mistakes. But we should expect that people will own those actions and not allow them to become a pattern.

We have a right to be angry when the communities we build that are supposed to be the model for a better, more just world harbor the same kinds of antiqueer, antiwoman, racist violence that pervades society. As radical organizers we must hold each other accountable and not enable misogynists to assert so much power in these spaces. Not allow them to be the faces, voices, and leaders of these movements. Not allow them to rape a compañera and then be on the fucking five o’ clock news. […] By not allowing misogyny to take root in our communities and movements, we not only protect ourselves from the efforts of the state to destroy our work but also create stronger movements that cannot be destroyed from within.

[1] I use the term gender violence to refer to the ways in which homophobia and misogyny are rooted in heteronormative understandings of gender identity and gender roles. Heterosexism not only polices non-normative sexualities but also reproduces normative gender roles and identities that reinforce the logic of patriarchy and male privilege.

Translations for this blog post:

Dear Supporters,

Yesterday, a statement was posted to the facebook wall of Brad Spangler, co-founder and former fellow of C4SS. It admitted to molesting a child.

We are floored, dismayed and horrified by this post. If it is genuine, we utterly condemn Spangler’s actions.

We are in the process of confirming facts and composing a more detailed statement.

Grant A. Mincy Named C4SS’s Elinor Ostrom Chair in Environmental Studies and Commons Governance

The Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) has named Grant A. Mincy its first Elinor Ostrom Chair in Environmental Studies and Commons Governance.

Mincy holds a chair on the Energy & Environment Advisory Council for the Our America Initiative and an Associate editor of the Molinari Review. He earned his Masters degree in Earth and Planetary Science from the University of Tennessee in the summer of 2012. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee where he teaches both Biology and Geology at area colleges.

Mincy is a fellow of C4SS and has been writing with C4SS for almost two years. He has had commentaries published in many countries and in several languages. He has already published one academic study, Power and Property: A Corollary, with C4SS and is currently working on his second. His work has focused on issues of environment, ecology, commons governance, power of place, climate change, education, communication technology, resilient communities and the importance of anarchism to any social theory claiming justice, peace and prosperity as its values.

This chair is named in honor of the brilliant, prolific and passionate economist and political scientist Elinor Ostrom. Ostrom’s life, work, Workshop (research databases and libraries) and “a 50 year legacy of nurturing young scholars focused on solutions oriented research” demonstrates a powerful commitment to describing a a world beyond states and capitalism. A world where people are not at the mercy of the scarcity facts of the universe or the monocentric institutions desperately presumed as our only means of salvation. A world where people, communities, environments and resources are all important parts of governance problems and their quick-fix “Faustian Bargain” solutions are kept in view, in check, impossible and irrelevant.

We look forward to seeing how Mincy’s research and writing develops and enriches our understanding of Environmental Studies and Commons Governance for a stateless society.

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist and Chess Review 65

Charles Sevilla reviews a book on drone killing.

Ludwig Watzal reviews a book on dissent in Palestine and Israel.

Wendy McElroy discusses Louis Bromfield.

Peter Bistoletti discusses the state as crime.

Muhammad Sahimi discusses how Western foreign policy empowers Islamists.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses lessons for winning liberty in a world of statism.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses how the U.S. embargo on Cuba came about.

Patrick Cockburn discusses the cause of the Paris attacks.

James Bovard discusses Obama and censorship.

Chris Floyd discusses airstrikes in Syria that killed civilians.

Bionic Mosquito discusses violent extremism and governments.

Kevin Carson discusses the Koch Brothers and libertarianism.

Cindybiondigobrecht discusses how Obamacare forced her to be dependent on the state.

Chase Madar discusses seven incomplete essays on torture.

Sheldon Richman discusses the motivation behind the Paris attacks.

John V. Walsh discusses the Paris terrorist attacks and colonialism.

David S D’Amato discusses decentralism.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses how victims of war and terrorism lose their individuality.

John V. Denson discusses war revisionism, fascism, and the CIA.

Arthur Silber discusses the Paris attacks and violence.

Sheldon Richman discusses the open society and its worst enemies.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the presidential authority to assassinate.

W. James Antle III discusses the GOP becoming libertarian.

Dana Goldstein discusses how liberals helped build prison America.

Conor Friedersdorf discusses how the Iraq War empowered the Iranian regime.

Stanton Peele discusses drug addiction.

Relatório da Coordenação de Mídias em Português: Dezembro de 2014

Já vínhamos passando da metade de janeiro de 2015 e eu ainda não havia apresentado o relatório referente a dezembro. Então, para remediar essa situação, decidi ir um pouco além e falar um pouco do trabalho que nós desenvolvemos para atingir o público em português durante todo o ano de 2014.

Até eu assumir como coordenador de mídias, o C4SS já trazia textos para português, mas não de modo sistemático e não havia uma tentativa de chegar aos veículos de mídia. O C4SS pediu para que eu fizesse especificamente isso quando comecei no meu posto.

A partir de março, chamei Valdenor Júnior para o nosso time. Eu e Valdenor fomos a cara do C4SS durante 2014, escrevendo a maior parte dos nossos textos originais. Com o tempo, eu também compilei uma grande lista de editores para quem passei a mandar nossos editoriais e alguns de nossos artigos feature (artigos geralmente mais longos que tratam de temas que não necessariamente comentam fatos do cotidiano). A resposta foi extremamente positiva e nós conseguimos ser publicados em diversos veículos da internet e em alguns jornais impressos.

Segue um gráfico que detalha a evolução do nosso trabalho em português, contando quantos artigos originais em português nós produzimos em cada mês, o total de artigos publicados (entre originais e traduzidos do inglês) e o total de republicações em outros veículos:

c4ss2014pt

Os números totais do ano são os seguintes:

  • Total de artigos originais em português: 54
  • Total de artigos publicados (originais e traduzidos): 207
  • Total de republicações: 593

Além disso, começamos uma campanha agressiva de divulgação no Facebook. Todos os artigos que publicamos são divulgados em vários grupos de discussão, o que nos ajudou a atingir uma popularidade moderada em nossa página, que foi criada em 17/02. Os números da nossa página do Facebook são os seguintes:

  • Total de curtidas na página até 31/12/2014: 3619
  • Média de curtidas por mês: 329
  • Total de curtidas na página até 15/01/2015: 3855

Também estabelecemos uma presença no Twitter para o C4SS (@c4sspt) a partir de 31 de março. Nossos números, mais modestos que os do Facebook, são os seguintes:

  • Total de seguidores até 15/01/2015: 103
  • Média de seguidores por mês: 10,84
  • Total de tweets até 15/01/2015: 324
  • Média de tweets por mês: 34,10

Neste mês, comecei também alimentar de conteúdo no blog do Tumblr do C4SS em português, interagindo com os usuários, postando nossos textos diários e republicando nossos textos antigos, para atingir novos leitores. Até o momento, já há 28 republicações em nosso blog, com 7 seguidores e mais 21 posts na fila (republicando alguns de nossas centenas de textos de 2014 na plataforma).

Para mim, em particular, tem sido um prazer trabalhar com o C4SS em prol do ideal da anarquia e de um livre mercado radical e revolucionário

2015 será melhor e para isso contamos com sua ajuda! O C4SS só é possível através das doações daqueles que acreditam nas nossas ideias. Então, se você sente que nosso trabalho é importante, não deixe de nos apoiar e faça uma doação hoje mesmo.

Erick Vasconcelos
Coordenador de mídias
Centro por uma Sociedade Sem Estado

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Portuguese Media Coordinator Update: December 2014

We’re almost past halfway through January and I still haven’t presented the December Portuguese Media Report. So, to remedy that situation, I decided to go further and talk a little about the work we developed in 2014 to reach the Portuguese-speaking public.

Before I started as media coordinator, C4SS already brought articles into Portuguese, but it wasn’t a very systematic endeavor and there wasn’t an attempt to reach media outlets. When I started collaborating with the Center, I was specifically asked to do that and try to sprinkle our content everywhere I could.

From March on, I asked Valdenor Júnior to join our team. Valdenor and I were the face of C4SS during 2014, writing most of our content in Portuguese. Over time, I was able to compile a large list of editors to whom I would send our op-eds and selected long form features. We got an extremely positive feedback and we were able to get published in several internet outlets as well as a handful of printed newspapers.

Below I show you a graph I prepared detailing the evolution of our work in Portuguese, counting how many original Portuguese articles we published each month, the total number of articles we published (both translated from English and original pieces), and total pickups from media outlets:

c4ss2014

The total numbers from 2014 are the following:

  • Total original Portuguese articles published: 54
  • Total published articles (translated and original): 207
  • Total pickups: 593

I started a rather agressive campaign to spread out our articles. Every article we publish is shared in several discussion groups, something that helped our Facebook page — created on 02/17 — achieve a respectable popularity. Our Facebook numbers are the following:

  • Total page “likes” until 12/31/2014: 3619
  • Average number of “likes” per month: 329
  • Total page “likes” until 01/15/2015: 3855

On 03/31, we opened a Twitter account for the Portuguese C4SS (@c4sspt). The respectable, albeit more modest numbers, are as follows:

  • Total followers until 01/15/2015: 103
  • Average number of followers per month: 10,84
  • Total tweets until 15/01/2015:
  • Average number of tweets per month: 34,10

I have also started this month to feed content to the Portuguese C4SS Tumblr blog, interacting with other users, posting our daily articles and republishing our older pieces to reach new readers. Up to this moment, the blog has 28 posts, 7 followers and 21 posts in queue — republishing a few of the hundreds of articles that we ran in 2014 on the newer platform.

To me, in particular, it’s been a pleasure to work with C4SS in promoting the ideas of anarchy and a radical and revolutionary free market.

2015 should be even better, and for that we hope to get your help and donation! C4SS is made possible through the donations from those who believe in our ideas. So, if you feel our work is important, do not hesitate to help us out and send $5 our way today!

Erick Vasconcelos
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society