Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: Emergent Orders
Jaron Lanier, “Intellectual Property” and Parasitism on the System of Violence
Over-35s seem to love nothing more than being told that the Internet — and the rapid cultural developments that have paralleled it — have been a terrible mistake with huge downsides that will surely doom us. And there’s no end to the opportunistic hacks lining up to dress this generational reactionary spasm as the contrarian…
Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book
With Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, coauthors Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon provide a balanced biography — thorough, yet a concise 300 pages; sympathetic yet markedly non-hagiographic — of not only the titular comics stalwart, shown punching through the comics page like one of his larger-than-life creations in the playful cover illustration; not even just…
Reading Rainbow Soars Free
The extraordinary success of Reading Rainbow‘s Kickstarter campaign — with a record-breaking hundred thousand donors chipping in over $5 million for distributing Reading Rainbow‘s literacy material as widely as possible to children, particularly those in greatest financial need — demonstrates how crowdfunding may shape up as something more than what The New Republic dubs “the world’s No. 1 solver of…
The Libertarian Virtue Of Slack on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Ryan Calhoun‘s “The Libertarian Virtue Of Slack” read and edited by Nick Ford. The common libertarian nowadays is of the same non-interventionist temperament as the Taoists. They endorse individual preference, spontaneity and self-interest. They loathe the State and central planners of all kinds. Most libertarians identify, also, as individualists — both methodologically and…
The New Enclosure: Erecting Gates and Tolls in the Information Age
The widely noted transition from the “old economy,” based in the production of physical commodities, to the “new economy” of the information age—with its capital base concentrated not in heavy machinery and land, but in human beings and in knowledge—has been attended by a concomitant sea change in the legal framework surrounding business. Where ingress…
Hobby Lobby Ruling Falls Short
As far as it went, the Supreme Court generally got it right in the Hobby Lobby-Obamacare-contraception case. Unfortunately it didn’t go nearly far enough. The court ruled that “closely held corporations” whose owners have religious convictions against contraceptives cannot be forced to pay for employee coverage for those products. I wish the court could have…
Hobby Lobby — A Question of Agency
When the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision came out Monday, I had a lot of negative feelings about it, and I’ve been mulling column ideas in my head ever since. But all my attempts to organize my thoughts into a coherent statement and put them in writing — including this one — have been less…
Lincoln-Worship Overlays the Corporatist Agenda
Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream — and How We Can Do It Again by Rich Lowry (HarperCollins 2013), 390 pages. One of the central themes in James Scott’s Seeing Like a State is the ideology he calls “authoritarian high modernism”: It is best conceived as a strong (one might even say muscle-bound)…
There is More to Industrial Enclosure than Patents
Eric Blattberg, writing for VenturBeat, reports (“Tesla Motors: Please infringe on our patents for the greater good,” June 12) that electric car manufacturer Tesla will henceforth permit all comers to exploit its innovations. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” says Tesla CEO Elon Musk. I…
What is Left-Libertarianism?
Left-libertarianism has been getting a lot of buzz recently in the broader American libertarian community. The term “left-libertarian” has been used many ways in American politics, and there seems to be some confusion within the libertarian community itself as to who left-libertarians actually are. The basic ideas of left-libertarianism, as we at the Alliance of…
Access Over Ownership
Among the barrage of selfies, South Korean pop sensations and videos of women twerking, it is easy to forget just how wonderful an invention the internet is. The ways it has been abused and sabotaged should not detract from the fact that it has the potential to bring about incredible change and influence. Since its inception…
Psychology for Anarchists
Robert Anton Wilson’s 203-page mindbender, Quantum Psychology: How Your Brain Software Programs You and Your World, is more than meets the eye. The subtitle suggests a self-help book, and it appears to be just that in many respects. But twenty pages in, one realizes that there is no labeling this one. It is a psychedelic…
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…
The Conscience of an Anarchist: A Review
If I had to describe “The Conscience of an Anarchist” in one word, it would be beautiful. Gary Chartier’s 100 page anarchist manifesto concisely and elegantly explains the way anarchists analyze public policy discussions, such as foreign policy, the drug war, regulation, subsidies, education, the two party system, infrastructure, the criminal justice system, police violence,…
Strong Words and Large Letters
When a descriptive term carries a negative connotation, there is a widespread tendency to associate the term with its worst referents. When critics of Obamacare call it “fascist,” for example, they are regularly accused of absurdly likening Obamacare to the Nazis’ campaigns of mass slaughter. Yet “fascism” is a word with a meaning, and the…
Class, “Identity Politics” and Stigmergy: Why We Don’t Need “One Big Movement”
In a post at the Students For Liberty (SFL) blog, (“Between Radicalism and Revolution: The Cautionary Tale of Students for a Democratic Society,” May 6), Clark Ruper uses the example of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) as a warning against factionalism and division within the libertarian movement. The libertarian movement, he says, should be…
Climate Change and Corporate Welfare
It’s been a pretty bad couple of weeks on the climate front. Two separate teams of climate scientists warn that the collapse of the western Antarctic ice sheet has already begun and is now too late to stop. The six glaciers already in retreat are enough, by themselves to add four feet to global sea…
Radicalism as Revolution: A Call for a Fractal Libertarianism
In this recent post at Students for Liberty (SFL), Clark Ruper calls for libertarians to stop fighting between themselves and to band together in the name of spreading freedom. Using the story of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) as a parallel, he decries going too far down a “rabbit hole” of “reflective thinking.” It is Ruper’s…
Capital Uber Alles?
In Seattle, St. Louis and elsewhere, “ridesharing” services such as Uber and Lyft are causing a kerfuffle. These services, which allow users to submit orders via a smartphone app that are then filled by individuals driving their own cars, run afoul of long-standing regulations requiring the special licensing of taxis by municipal authorities. These licenses,…
One Cheer for Uber and Lyft
A lot of recent libertarian commentary has treated Uber and Lyft as the greatest thing since Bitcoin and 3D-printed guns. On the other hand, a lot of critics — including not only liberals but anarchists who should know better — have demonized it as a corporate gentrification tool straight out of the fever dreams of…