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 been very busy and extremely successful for us — we have already cleared 2,400 commentary pick-ups and are on track to easily break 3,000 by 2016.
To reach these goals and more, we need your help. C4SS has steadily built itself on a micro-donation model. We prefer the sustainability, resiliency and information found in swarms of micro-donations, instead of relying on two or three primary mega-donors or institutions. This keeps us lean, but it keeps us independent and robust. We are in love with these ideas and committed to getting them out to a wider audience and you can participate in this project by sharing, debating, contributing or donating. It all helps and we appreciate the support.
If C4SS, as an organization and an idea, is something you like having around or would like to see do more things (like funding more studies, publishing more books, helping with travel expenses for writers to speak at events, updating the youtube graphics, etc), then, please, donate $5 today.
What will $5 a month get you from C4SS? Well let’s see,
For the month of January, C4SS published:
And, thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators and translators, C4SS translated and published:
For the month of February, C4SS published:
31 Commentaries (10 more than January; more Op-eds than days in the month),
13 Features (7 more than January),
4 Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
2 Blog posts,
7 Reviews (4 more than January), and
18 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel.
And, again, thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators and translators, C4SS translated and published:
Our totals, so far, for 2015:
New Interns for a New Year!
A new year brings new opportunities to challenge and test new writers for a life as an anarchist writing op-eds for mainstream media audiences. This is the primary mission of C4SS: “to explain and defend the idea of vibrant social cooperation without aggression, oppression, or centralized authority” and “enlarge public understanding and transform public perceptions of anarchism”. So far we have identified and cataloged over 2,400 successes. This brings us to our internship program, for C4SS to continue to bare fruit we must tend to our root systems. C4SS would like to introduce you to our two latest rhizomes:
John C. Wilson is a blogger, activist, anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment and feminist with pro-labor leanings. After exploring a wide range of ideologies he has found individualist anarchism to be the philosophy that best combines his dislike of coercive authority with a concern for the well being of marginalized people as well as the desire to see a more prosperous world.
Dylan Delikta is a Philosophy major at Eastern Michigan University. He is a mutualist anarchist and involved with many campus organizations such as Students for Liberty, Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education, and Feminists for Change.
Help C4SS Promote Prison Abolition
The Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) holds a prominent annual interdisciplinary academic conference featuring free-market-oriented research.
C4SS has had a panel at every APEE program since 2010. This year’s meeting will be in Cancún, April 12-14, and C4SS is sending Nathan Goodman (C4SS’s Lysander Spooner Research Scholar in Abolitionist Studies), Jason Lee Byas (C4SS Fellow), and Roderick T. Long (C4SS Senior Fellow) to speak at a C4SS-organised panel on the topic “Prisons: Reform or Abolition?”
If you’d like to help us bring the radical libertarian message of prison abolition to the APEE, any contribution would be appreciated; check out our GoFundMe page “Send C4SS to the 2015 APEE.”
The New Brazil
C4SS’s Portuguese Media Coordinator, Erick Vasconcelos, reviewed Raúl Zibechi’s The New Brazil: Regional Integration and the New Democracy from AK Press and brought to us, finally, a new history of social and economic development beyond the stale stories from Europe and North America. With access to new stories and the improved sensitivities that comes from the increased number of data points, we are presented with novel opportunities to stress-test our models and discover the technical-debt hidden within our theories. The eventual pay-off of all this work will be better tactics for routing around the social damage know as authority and greater ability to identify and preempt that institutional apex predator know as the state.
The New Brazil is not the only, but it’s certainly one of the most important, recent books that overviews Brazil’s new state capitalism. And in talking about the history of power in the country, Zibechi is certainly much better than most because he sees continuity instead of disruptions. However, despite having the right instincts, and knowing how to identify the key points of contemporary politics in Brazil and in Latin America, doesn’t present a theoretical apparatus capable of challenging the ideological hegemony of corporate capitalism.
The structural weaknesses of the current model can only be challenged by the idea of a radical and descentralized free market. The logical consequence of the horizontalization of our political culture is anarchy.
The Anarchism of Despair
C4SS’s Benjamin R. Tucker Distinguished Research Scholar in Anarchist Economic Theory, David S. D’Amato, has reviewed Ardent Press’ Anarcho-Pessimism: The Collected Writings of Laurence [sic] Labadie. Labadie’s pessimism helps us deal with some dominate tropes within Leftist (not just the left) notions of action and organization, the preoccupation with mass: mass-movements and mass-meetings. It is certainly true that the goal of freedom is not fully realized until everyone has access to its full expression (a good reason for the mass-movement proposal), and collective decision making — the opportunity to give input or debate — are important counters to and a key experience absent from capitalist life (an important insight of any mass-meeting proposal). But both of these are strategies — means to an end, not the end or a good-enough substitution for the end of anarchism. “Mass” lacks the ability to scale indefinitely and, even within micro- to meso- size examples, restricts or streamlines the number and ways individuals can communicate to each other and to the group. They are in our tool kit, for sure, but if they are all we can expect or hope for from anarchism, then count me, with Labadie, pessimistic.
Anarcho-Pessimism will come as an astounding revelation to anyone interested in an anarchism that, rather than offering another recital of workerist bromides, presents a caustic indictment of modern politics and society. With a contempt and audacity all his own, this one of a kind autodidact savaged the status quo like no one before or since, and in doing so gave us what is one of the last links in the chain that is American individualist anarchism.
The Right Didn’t Steal Our Future — We Gave It Away
Kevin Carson deals some of the mistaken narratives for and against technology. Technology allows for incalculable prosperity, individuation and power distribution; this is why it is, at every turn, bottle-necked, enclosed, outlawed, overpriced or even destroyed — to keep power concentrated and centralized where it is and out of our radical hands.
The implication is that any technology that increases the efficiency of production at the margin, in terms of land-intensiveness or capital-intensiveness (that is, anything that makes more production possible from smaller quantities of land and capital), will reduce the rents on land and capital accruing to incumbent producers with large stockpiles of accumulated land and capital. From this it follows that the profits of rich capitalists depend on things like patent law that criminalize the diffusion of new technologies for cheaper, more efficient production. Technological diffusion is the friend of workers and consumers, and the enemy of capitalists.
The End of Libertarians
Kevin Carson draws parallels between the Gaming Industry and Libertarianism, in his “The End of Libertarianism”. Demographics will shift and change as new groups of people are understandably drawn in and to those technologies and ideologies that promise more agency. Increased agency is good description for liberty — to have more ways to act and more opportunities to act. Interactive media and libertarianism both promise open-ended levels of agency for more and more people. Fighting for greater, meaningful and active access to both should be regarded as clear and glowing evidence that liberty is magnetic and our desire for more of it is wonderfully insatiable. We live in an abundance hidden or broken by artificial scarcity and power bottle-necks, but not for long. We want maximal agency and you can’t stop us.
Stop and think about this for a minute: These are people who actually call themselves libertarians — advocates of human liberty — and who presumably want to spread these ideas in society at large and attract new adherents to them. Hoppe’s prerequisite for a “libertarian society,” if you want to call it that, is for the minority of rich property-owning paterfamiliases who have appropriated all the land in a society to round up all the people with beliefs or lifestyles they disagree with, and forcibly evict them.
Fellows on Patreon
Kevin Carson and Thomas Knapp have both popped up on the creator supporting site: Patreon. Patreon allows individual to directly support their favorite creators, or in this case, left-libertarian writers. You can pledge any amount that fits your budget or enjoyment of their work, and, for certain pledged amounts, they offer bonuses.
Please Support Today!
All of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition of left libertarian market anarchist, freed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please, donate $5 today. Keep C4SS going and growing.
ALL the best!