Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: democracy
Reclaiming the Public
A new study by Duke University scholars Troy H. Campbell and Aaron C. Kay (“Solution Aversion: On the Relation Between Ideology and Motivated Disbelief,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) suggests that politics is the root of all social ills. The research finds that people evaluate issues based on the desirability of policy implications. If said implications are undesirable…
The Political Sterility of Jon Stewart
Political satire has a long and honorable history: Aristophanes, William Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift; W.S. Gilbert; George Orwell; Tom Lehrer, David Frost, and That Was the Week That Was; George Carlin; Spitting Image, Yes, Minister; the Smothers Brothers; the early Saturday Night Live, Dave Barry, The Onion, South Park, Family Guy, and so many more. Unfortunately,…
Election 2014: The Good News and Bad
The 2014 midterm election delivered both good news and bad. The good news is that the losers lost. The bad news is that the winners won. Journalist Mike Barnicle says he’s never seen an election in which the people feel so distant from the government. I wish his diagnosis were right, but I suspect it…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Prisons and the Myth of Democratic Legitimacy
It’s election day in the USA. The mass incarceration nation is deciding which political opportunists will rule. On the state and local level, citizens are casting their votes on ballot initiatives that will determine the structure, specifics, or application of state coercion. Some of these ballot initiatives probably deserve support from prison abolitionists, specifically initiatives…
A Plea for Public Property on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents “A Plea for Public Property” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Roderick T. Long, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford. For many libertarians, the most important argument for private property is what Garret Hardin has labeled “the tragedy of the commons” (though the basic idea goes back to Aristotle). Most…
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…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Pitfalls and Possibilities
The protests, police violence, and repression in Ferguson have sparked nationwide conversations about police militarization and misconduct. There’s some incredibly promising potential here, as more and more people become aware of the brutality of the modern criminal justice system. However, there are also some potential pitfalls that deserve cautious examination. First, the good. Popular commentators…
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!
A Teenager Slain On Saturday, August 9, eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was walking with a friend on the 2900 block of Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri. He was on his way home on the hot, humid afternoon, walking down the middle of the street when the two were approached by Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. Reports of what…
Sul Governo Inteso Come “Ciò che Decidiamo di Fare Assieme”
Quella fazione del centrosinistra che va in estasi davanti a Elizabeth Warren ama citare la frase di Barney Frank, “stato è il nome che diamo a ciò che decidiamo di fare assieme”. Ora, l’idea secondo cui il governo è la personificazione di ciò che “noi” decidiamo di fare presuppone qualche correlazione significativa tra ciò che…
This Superpower Needs to Be Fired and Forcibly Escorted From the Building
If you want a glimpse into the US bipartisan foreign policy establishment’s Heart of Darkness, you need look no further than Robert Kagan. He, along with his father and brother, was a signatory of the Project for a New American Century’s manifesto “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” — something normally associated with the neoconservative circles around George…
On Government As “The Things We Decide to Do Together,” Part 439
The segment of the center-left who swoon over Elizabeth Warren are fond of quoting Barney Frank’s statement that “government is the name for the things we decide to do together.” Now, the idea that government is the embodiment of things “we” decide to do presupposes some non-trivial correlation between public desires and what government actually…
“Government Is The Things We Do Together”: Perhaps the Stupidest Thing Ever Said
Barney Frank’s statement, “Government is simply a word for the things we decide to do together,” is getting a lot of recirculation lately in goo-goo circles desperate for a glib answer to those who view government as a threat. Anyone who says a damfool thing like this and seriously means it is a gullible idiot…
Michigan’s Minimum Wage — a Victory for Labor?
A call to raise the minimum wage is happening all over the United States, a call Michigan just answered. The way Michigan went about implementing the raise is a different story, which may also shine light on how other states may implement their changes. Michigan’s Public Act 138 of 2014 to raise the minimum wage is…
The Things We Do Together?
“Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” This blithe, sunny-sounding phrase, attributed to former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, is frequently called up in the service of the advancing march of the American state. It sounds very nice. Certainly government is one of the things people do together….
On “Consent of the Governed” and Other Frauds
A couple of recent news items demonstrate once again — if such a demonstration is necessary — that “consent of the governed” as a source of legitimacy for representative democracy is absurd and impossible. In North Carolina, governor Pat McRory signed the Energy Modernization Act, which includes a provision criminalizing (reduced in the final version,…
Every Man a King Juan Carlos
King Juan Carlos I of Spain’s announced abdication has instigated a flurry of commentary contrasting dictatorship and democracy. The consensus views the remaining non-honorary power of the dozen remaining monarchies in Europe, particularly in diminutive monarchies like Liechtenstein and the Vatican, as vestigial holdouts from the relentless trend towards the representative-democratic nation-state as “the end of history.” A beloved monarch’s…
David Graeber’s Anarchist Thought: A Survey
Center for a Stateless Society No. 17 (Winter-Spring 2014), download this study PDF Introduction: The Primacy of Everyday Life David Graeber chose, as the epigraph to his book Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, a quote from Pyotr Kropotkin’s article on Anarchism for the Encyclopedia Britannica. In it Kropotkin stated that, in an anarchist society, harmony…
Response To Al Carroll On Libertarianism: Part One
Al Carroll recently penned a piece titled The Moral and Practical Failures of Libertarianism and Small Government Conservatism. This will be a point by point refutation. Let’s begin. Al writes: In economics, both orthodox Communism and Libertarianism are equally wrong, callous, and dangerous examples of ideological blindness, a set of principles taken to an extreme…
Una Giornata della Terra Libertaria
Gli Stati Uniti hanno una storia variegata con l’ambientalismo. Gli americani sono sempre stati orgogliosi del loro retaggio ambientale. Il conservazionismo di fine ottocento, promosso da persone come John Muir, diede origine ad istituzioni civiche, pubbliche e private dedicate alla conservazione dell’ambiente. La rivoluzione industriale, però, accoppiata all’ascesa del capitalismo moderno, il New Deal e…
The Weekly Libertarian Leftist And Chess Review 27
The second part of Richard Ebeling’s discussion of individual self-determination vs Russian or Ukrainian or Russian nationalism. Andrew J. Bacevich reviews The Education of an Anti-Imperialist: Robert La Follette and U.S. Expansionism. Justin Raimondo compares the American invasion of Afghanistan with the Russian invasion of Crimea. Philip Giraldi discusses Gareth Porter’s new book titled Manufactured…