Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: corporate
“I Don’t See Class”
I hear expressions like “I don’t see race” or “I’m color-blind” a lot from people who want to ignore the issues of structural power imbalance or privilege in race issues. The same people are fond of equating racism to simple bigotry; by this standard, white bigotry against blacks and black bigotry against whites are equally…
The End of [Capitalism]
James R. Otteson. The End of Socialism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Otteson’s book is an eloquent defense of an economic system which maximizes decentralism and autonomy; it’s just not, as he supposes, a defense of capitalism. Likewise, it’s a good critique of centralized planning and top-down authority — but not of “socialism.” Otteson…
La FIFA e il suo Complice: lo Stato Brasiliano
Un articolo pubblicato nello stato di San Paolo in Brasile (“Brasil que se vire com arenas vazias, diz FIFA. ‘O problema é de vocês’”, Estadão Esportes, 21 marzo) nota come la Fifa abbia perso interesse per il Brasile: gli inutili stadi costruiti per la Coppa del Mondo del 2014 non sono un problema loro; ad…
Radical Potential: Our Blatant Opposition to the Status Quo
This election cycle’s crop of uninspiring presidential hopefuls, now including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, must be a relief to those favoring mass disillusionment with electoral politics. No candidate, Rand Paul included, represents a convincing alternative to the status quo. Contrast this with the current president, whose appeals to “hope” and “change” convinced many Americans of…
The Utopia of Rules
David Graeber. The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (Brooklyn and London: Melville House, 2015). This book is, properly speaking, not a book at all, but a collection of essays loosely clustered around the common theme of bureaucracy. Of the material in the book, only the long introductory essay…
FIFA and Its Accomplice: The Brazilian State
A story over at Estado de S. Paulo (“Brasil que se vire com arenas vazias, diz FIFA. ‘O problema é de vocês’”, Estadão Esportes, March 21) notes that FIFA isn’t at all interested in Brazil anymore, and that the useless stadiums the 2014 World Cup left us are not their problem and should be dealt…
Jeff Riggenbach Reads: Those Who Control the Past Control the Future
C4SS Feed 44 presents Roderick Long‘s “Those Who Control the Past Control the Future” read by Jeff Riggenbach and edited by Nick Ford. To begin with, there never was anything remotely like a period of laissez-faire in American history (at least not if “laissez-faire” means “let the market operate freely” as opposed to “let the rich and powerful…
Against All Bosses: Government AND Corporate
I keep resolving not to comment on any more of Alternet‘s by-the-numbers anti-libertarian puff pieces, but a recent one from David Masciotra (“You’re Not the Boss of Me: Why Libertarianism is a Childish Sham,” February 26) is in its own category of wretchedness. Masciotra’s commentary includes two seemingly contradictory lines of argument. In the first,…
A Theoretically Incoherent Critique of the Free Market
As a libertarian masochist who keeps up with the regular by-the-numbers attacks on libertarianism at Alternet and Salon, I almost dared to hope for something at least marginally better from Robert Kuttner at The American Prospect (“The Libertarian Delusion,” Winter 2015). I was disappointed. “The stubborn appeal of the libertarian idea persists,” Kuttner writes, “despite…
È Ora di Distruggere il DRM
Il venti gennaio, la Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ha annunciato il progetto Apollo 1201, un tentativo di sradicare le barriere digitali (DRM) dal mondo del commercio in rete. Guidato dal ben noto Cory Doctorow, il progetto punta ad “accelerare il cammino verso l’abrogazione delle leggi che proteggono il DRM” e “dare subito inizio ad un…
Edward Snowden e la Grande Rimozione
L’informatore dell’Nsa Edward Snowden continua a gettare la sua ombra sul mondo dell’informazione mondiale. Quasi ogni settimana arrivano nuove rivelazioni dalla montagna di informazioni in suo possesso, rivelazioni che vengono passate a giornalisti e che sono seguite dalle negazioni e tentativi di giustificazione da parte di politici e burocrati, messi a nudo come responsabili di…
“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…
Russell Brand’s Revolution
We’ll get to the book in a bit, but first I have to say a few things about the phenomenon of Russell Brand himself. Frankly, I’m a bit worried for Russell Brand. He has shown tremendous personal courage in recent years, transforming himself from a bad-boy British comedian/celebrity, whose comedy revolved around his own dionysian…
Edward Snowden and the Great Removal
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continues to loom large in the world’s daily news. Revelations from the trove of data he disclosed to journalists roll out on a near-weekly basis, followed by denials and excuses from politicians and bureaucrats he exposes as responsible for rights violations around the world. Citizenfour, a documentary covering his heroic actions on behalf…
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…
Three Tales of the DRM Curtain
These three short stories all come from the same Cory Doctorow collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2007). Free download here. The three are all set against a background of what I call the “DRM Curtain,” a transnational corporate Empire based on artificial scarcities enforced through a maximalist version “intellectual…
Obama: The Bosses’ Friend
“Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen,” Adam Smith noted in The Wealth of Nations, “its counsellors are always the masters.” US president Barack Obama reaffirms this insight with his intervention in the dispute between shipping industry employers and longshore workers on the west coast. That intervention comes at the behest of…
At Alternet, Every Day is Liberal Self-Parody Day
How to write an Alternet criticism of libertarianism: 1) Cite an unpleasant aspect of Ayn Rand’s philosophy; 2) use the news topic of the day as an exemplar of that unpleasantness; and 3) treat it as somehow symbolic of the fundamental nature of the entire libertarian movement. In this case, I’m not so much interested in…
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…
It’s Time to Destroy DRM
On January 20, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced the Apollo 1201 project, an effort to eradicate digital rights management (DRM) schemes from the world of Internet commerce. Led by well-known activist Cory Doctorow, the project aims to “accelerate the movement to repeal laws protecting DRM” and “kick-start a vibrant market in viable, legal alternatives to…