Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: monopoly
The Biggest Baddest Gang in Town on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents David S. D’Amato‘s “The Biggest Baddest Gang in Town” read by Ryan Calhoun and edited by Nick Ford. Police departments do exactly what monopolies always do — abuse and cheat consumers and, in the words of Benjamin Tucker, “furnish poison instead of nutriment.” As monopolies, police departments are exempt by law from any competitive…
“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…
A Riot Broke Out and No One was Surprised
A riot broke out on February 20 at Willacy Correctional Facility, a Texas prison for “illegal immigrants.” 2,000 inmates demonstrated against their subjection to neglect and overwork. The situation quickly escalated as inmates armed themselves with blunt instruments, swarming the yard and dismantling and setting fire to the structures they’d been shackled to for too long. As the…
I Don’t Love America Either, Rudy
In his ongoing quest to remain relevant, Rudy Giuliani recently accused president Barack Obama of not loving America. In the ensuing outrage, Giuliani quickly backpedaled, clarifying that he doesn’t doubt Obama’s love of country, but instead believes Obama’s policies are wrongheaded, representative of someone who doesn’t know what’s in America’s best interests, as set forth in the Rudy…
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…
Don’t Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol — Keep Government Out!
On February 20, US Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced two new bills for federal marijuana legalization. The US government’s practice of imprisoning, fining, harassing and stigmatizing marijuana users is tragic and has damaged many lives. Ending prohibition is a welcome change, but these bills have severe problems. If passed, they would turn marijuana…
Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents “Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Kevin Carson, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford. 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…
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…
Selective Hearing in the War on Terror
Watching Fox News’s recent coverage of the Islamic State’s Twitter-hack left me shaking my head in disbelief, as usual. The latest act alleged to have been carried out by IS is the group’s takeover of several Twitter accounts belonging to the wives of US military servicemen. Among the threatening tweets issued by IS through the hacked…
“Homeland Security”: Please, Br’er Conservatives, Don’t Throw Us Into the Briar Patch!
“Hardline House GOP conservatives aren’t worried about a looming Department of Homeland Security shutdown,” reports Cristina Marcos at The Hill. They’d rather let DHS’s funding lapse than give up a provision in its new appropriation reversing president Barack Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration. Is it just me, or does this sound more like the promise of ice…
Reason Goes to Bat for the NPR Liberals
Usually when we see right-wing commentary on the upper-middle-class (“NPR/limousine/Whole Foods liberals,” “boho bougies,” or take your pick of other trendy labels), it’s a fake populist attack on their “cultural elite” tastes like brown mustard or wind-surfing, to divert attention from genuine populist attacks on the super-rich. So I guess it’s a sort of man-bites-dog…
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…
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…
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…
Compulsory Vaccinations for Freedom?
The prospect of compulsory vaccination (“Should Obama make vaccines mandatory for all children,” Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News, January 30) should trouble even those who think the practice can be defended in principle as a kind of self-defense. The burgeoning women’s liberation movement of the 1960s emphasized a theme with a prominent American pedigree, powerfully expressed…
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…