Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: economic development
“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…
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…
Free Trade is Fair Trade on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents “Free Trade is Fair Trade” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Joe Peacott, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford. “Free” trade agreements and organizations like NAFTA and WTO may alter some of the details of this intervention, but do not challenge the principle that governments are entitled to tell their…
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…
All the Social Structures of Domination
Harriet A. Washington. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Anchor Books, 2006). There has been considerable controversy over the ethics of using knowledge — even to save lives — that was obtained from Nazi medical experimentation on death camp inmates. Unfortunately far…
Jeff Riggenbach Reads: History of an Idea on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Roderick Long‘s “History of an Idea” read by Jeff Riggenbach and edited by Nick Ford. So long as the confusion between free markets and plutocracy persists – so long as libertarians allow their laudable attraction to free markets to fool them into defending plutocracy, and so long as those on the left allow their…
The Keystone Pipeline is Land Theft
The US Congress approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline’s fourth phase on February 11, with the bill scheduled to land on president Barack Obama’s desk for a likely veto sometime after the “President’s Day” recess. Near-unanimous support for Keystone from self-proclaimed “conservatives” and “libertarians” is disappointing but unsurprising. This government land grab is just…
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…
Defending the Commons from both Corporation and State
For policy elites in most nations, there are only two alternatives for the provision of public services: State ownership and management (the preferred model of Social Democrats and liberals/progressives) or corporate “privatization” (pushed by neoliberal heirs of Reagan and Thatcher). Commons governance (about which more later) isn’t even on the radar. There’s little practical difference…
How Not to Criticize Spontaneous Order
The first thing I saw on Twitter this morning, when I sat down with my coffee, was Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) linking to a David Edwards piece at RawStory with the remarkably asinine comment “‘Spontaneous order’ is not a thing, libertarians.” The article (“Fox host: FEMA is unnecessary because Walmart will ‘spontaneously’ save us all in…
Obama is No Friend of Beer Drinkers
It’s frustrating to hear US president Barack Obama receive kudos from the beer community simply because of his fondness for the beverage. Between his 2009 Beer Summit, his occasional beer in public, and his recent quip that he’s the first president to brew beer at the White House since George Washington, Obama has successfully cultivated a…
On Manufactured Loyalties: My Experience
My radio alarm woke me with a perky voice announcing “Northwest Arkansas! We’re all growing together as a region — and so is our newspaper!” I hear that tone of breathless enthusiasm a lot from local elites trying to secure public buy-in on actions they were never consulted on to begin with. By way of…
The Latest Capitalist Monopoly: Opposition to the State
New corporate enclosures, looting and monopolies are springing up all over the place these days. Watching the news is a lot like watching Robocop or Blade Runner, what with stuff like Detroit’s “Emergency Manager” auctioning off local assets to corporate cronies the same way Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority did in Iraq. Given all that,…
Anarchism Without Adjectives
Schematic designs for a new society seem to be really popular among self-described anarchists of all stripes. On the Right, we have Rothbard’s model for an entire society modelled whole-cloth on a “libertarian law code” deduced from axioms like self-ownership and the non-aggression principle. Within the historic anarchist movement of the Left, we have uniform…
The Consequences of Liberty
Consistent free-market advocates — and not just professional economists — are not only enthusiastic about their preferred system of political economy; they are very enthusiastic. At least part of that enthusiasm is fueled by a well-grounded conviction that thegeneral level of prosperity would be unprecedentedly high if people were free to engage in peaceful production…
The New Oligarchs
If America has any characteristic that does not so much define it as it is, but defines it as it aspires to be, it’s offering upward mobility. Class struggle which gets anyone anywhere could be understood as meritocracy against a permanent oligarchy. Beginning with the rise of the merchant class and ending with the rise…
The Best Defense (for the Welfare State) is an Expensive Offense
In late January, the US military-industrial complex reported results for 2014’s fourth quarter and expectations for 2015. Good times! Northrop Grumman knocked down nearly $6 billion in Q4 2014 and expects 2015 sales of around $23.5 billion. Raytheon did about as well last fall and expects a big radar order from the Air Force this year. Meanwhile the…
The Anarchism of Despair
The life of Laurance Labadie appears very much like his anarchism, a deliberate, often anachronistic struggle against the vogues and prevailing winds of his day, a hopeless attempt to revive an energy faded or extinguished entirely. His thought belonged to a libertarian strain regrettably anchored to those of the previous generation or two, to a…
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…