Howdy, folks! It’s yet another Sunday, which means we’re due for a look at what C4SS has been up to since last week! LESSGO
The Week in… uh…
So, we didn’t publish any commentaries this week. Right now, we seem to be going through one of our longer dry spells on the op-ed side of things. I’ll be honest: my work trip to Austin, while fun, was exhausting, so I’m kiiiiind of okay with that. I do believe we’ve got some good stuff coming up soon. That being said, we did get a few bangers in the barrel in our other sections this week. Let’s take a look!
Features and Blog Posts
Logan Glitterbomb started our week out strong with a pretty detailed guide on how to create an anarchist justice system. She goes systematically through the how and why on filming cops, holding “Know Your Rights” trainings, what to do if you’re ever in front of a judge, how to avoid the courts and cops, and so on. It’s a really good read, and you should check it out here!
But more importantly, our readership has expanded by many thousands and we’ve become one of the more visible libertarian commentary sites on the Internet. And we’re the single biggest voice out there challenging the mainstream narrative that “free markets” mean corporate rule and that government is a “progressive” restraint on the exploitative power of big business. Every day, we inform people of the fact — or rather, rub their noses in it — that the state is the primary force by which propertied classes, bureaucratic institutions and privileged groups exploit, oppress or extract rents from everybody else: employers from workers, landlords from tenants, transnational corporations from the Global South, extractive corporations at the expense of environmental degradation, etc. And we show how people are fighting these things (and other things like police abuses) not through the state, but by building the kind of society we want to replace the present regime of exploitation and oppression. These include not just non-capitalist markets but peer-production, natural resource commons, open-source micromanufacturing, Permaculture, alternative currencies, squats and other intentional communities, and networked insurgencies like Occupy, Black Lives Matter and NoDAPL.
We’re accomplishing all this despite our donations being only enough to fund our writers and staff at a fraction of our budgeted pay, because we’re all dedicated to what we do. But with more funding, we could do a lot more. We’d like to get our ideas to a lot more readers. And we’d like to piss off a lot more awful people.
And Gary’s piece:
For ten years, the Center has powerfully and passionately kept alive the radical libertarian tradition. It has sought to emphasize that figures as diverse as Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Henry George, Herbert Spencer, Voltairine de Cleyre, Albert Jay Nock, and Karl Hess were not, as many of them are today naively taken to be, partisans of the right but rather standard-bearers for the radical left. The Center has given new life to a vibrant strand of social critique linking support for markets and robust property rights with radical opposition to rather than support for the status quo.
The oddities of New Deal and Cold War American politics led, regrettably, to an unnatural association between American libertarianism and the political right. When figures like Hess sought instead to link libertarianism with the New Left (itself at its best an expression of the anti-authoritarian strand of the American political tradition), they were simply reemphasizing what had been true of libertarianism all along. The Center has done a remarkable job of keeping the perspective embodied in Hess’s radicalism front and center.
Go check both of those pieces out in their entirety. It’s definitely worth it.
We’ve also got a rare blog post from William Gillis on the delegitimization of democracy. It is also very good, and to prove it here’s an excerpt:
When one morning in 1936 the president of the Second Spanish Republic called his ministers, his assistants and secretaries and found that they had all abandoned their posts — his government de facto dissolved like a silly dream — the people of Spain were already building barricades and raiding the armories. Either for the fascists or for the anarchists.
We lost that war.
In part because we did not get to choose its outset. And were not ready for its vicissitudes.
There are presently far far far more Trump brownshirts in this country than there are anarchists. An insurrection by white supremacists and populist authoritarians against a thoroughly corrupt and totalitarian establishment looking for any excuse to suppress all dissent is a conflict we are ill-prepared to leverage to our advantage. This is a plain and uncontestable truth.
Obviously our state must fall. Democracy must be revealed as illegitimate. But these goals must happen on our terms. And they are nowhere near sufficient conditions for anarchy to flourish. When they are brought about on someone else’s timetable we should be concerned.
And to round out the week, Sheldon Richman has a new crossposted feature up with his new project, the Libertarian Institute:
Thus the much-touted peaceful transfer of power in the United States, which Trump is now said to jeopardize, is not the result of force or the threat thereof, but of ideology and custom.
Why bring this up now? It’s relevant to the case for anarchism. Most people who reject anarchism do so largely because they believe (like Thomas Hobbes and to a lesser extent John Locke) that without the state as an enforcer of at least last resort, internally generatedcooperation would be inadequate to sustain a peaceful and efficient society. Thus an ostensibly external agency — the state — is necessary to impose the minimum degree of cooperation required for society to run smoothly.
We’ve seen, however, that government also supposes internal cooperation — there is no superstate to police relations between the government and the people, or among the many individuals who constitute the government. Government is not external agency to society. The standard objection to anarchism is thus blunted by the fact that it applies equally to statism, including minimum statism (minarchism). Ideology and custom are immensely powerful in both contexts. If the public’s implicit or explicit ideology can sustain a state, we have no reason to believe it could not sustain a stateless society. If the real constitution of a society is its widely accepted code of conduct and resulting incentives (regardless of words on a piece of parchment, if that even exists), then a stateless society has a constitution fully as much as any other society with a state. The pertinent question, then, is not whether a society has a constitution, but whether the constitution is grounded in natural justice.
Check out his post here.
Alright, folks! Let’s get some announcements out of the way. First, you still have one more week to submit your essay for our Anniversary essay contest! Submissions are closed as of November 1, and we’ll announce the winners on November 6. As always, submit your stuff to email@example.com for a chance to be one of our three!
Last week I announced (very loosely) that C4SS is going to have a panel discussion on anarchisms at the Oklahoma SFL Regional Conference on November 5. Well, we have some new information on that, including some EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS to share!
First (BREAKING), Grant Mincy, The Elinor Ostrom Chair in Environmental Studies and Commons Governance here at C4SS, has been added to the panel! He’ll be taking part in the discussion and hitting us all with his radical ecolibertarian awesomeness. Check out the breakout session page for more info.
Second, you still have time to register for the conference! In fact, you can register right up to the day before the conference! Come see C4SS, including main speaker Gary Chartier, as well as AntiWar’s Angela Keaton, at the most fun anarchist academic conference of the year.
Also, Nick Manley will be on We The Individuals tonight to debate left-libertarianism. Check that out here.
Roderick Long has been contributing to a series on Kant and libertarianism over at Cato Unbound. Check out his latest post.
Finally, Chad Nelson has passed along a call for contributions for a volume of essays over animal liberation and pedagogy. From the poster:
Vegan educators are invited to contribute to this volume of essays on animal liberation and pedagogy. For the purposes of this book, the term ‘educator’ is very loosely defined and does not only refer to professionals in teaching positions. This project invites anybody who sees themselves as a facilitator of knowledge, be they teachers, authors, artists, activists or anybody else who is in a position to offer a platform for knowledge exchange in a private or public setting (including parents and guardians, key workers, public speakers, etc.).
The book hopes to serve as a platform for the exchange of practical tools, including revolutionary communication skills and radical approaches to pedagogy, all of which should incorporate a thematization of animal liberation, speciesism or animalisation/dehumanisation amongst humans. Through this, it shall serve as a critique of and counterbalance to neoliberal education and its adherence to a mostly binaristic, white, heteronormative, masculinist, Euro- and anthropocentric curriculum.
Contributions could address, but are not restricted to, the following areas:
- teachers as activists and activists as teachers
- pedagogical approaches to communicating animal suffering
- the ethics of teaching animal liberation (e.g., to children or when using imagery of animal suffering)
- animal oppression as part of a larger system of injustice (e.g., discussions of kyriarchy, or intersectionality if not appropriated by white contributors)
- teaching animal liberation (antispeciesism, veganism) as resistance to imperialism, racism, misogyny, genders, heteronormativity, ableism, classism etc.
- animal liberation in an indigenous and anti colonialist/decolonialisation context
- teaching animal liberation in an interdisciplinary context (e.g., through a combination of science and art)
- making animal liberation relevant in specific subjects (e.g., Food Technology; Critical Food Studies; Media Studies; International Relations; Gender Studies; Disability Studies etc.
- introducing veganism into non-animal-centered movements (e.g., doing vegan outreach in some form or another within feminism, queer communities, Antifa, BLM, occupy, environmentalism etc.)
- being a vegan pedagogue in a context that is hostile towards vegans
- teaching animal liberation under government repression (i.e., anti-terror laws, military regime, etc.)
- teaching animal liberation from a marginalized position
Please outline your proposed work in 500 words and add a few lines about yourself to the proposal email. Contributions will be chosen in January and the final pieces should have a word count between 2500 and 7000 (please include a roughly estimated word count in your outline).
Preference will be given to essays that critique the predominantly Eurocentric neoliberal, white, masculinist approach to (teaching) animal liberation, and/or to essays that present or imagine alternatives to dominant approaches in animal liberation in an educational context.
The English used in the essays should be as accessible as possible. Personal accounts, letters, diary entries, are welcome as are critical and academic analyses, however when theory and/or jargon is used it should be explained in the text itself or a glossary. If footnotes are used, please include them on the page they refer to.
If that sounds interesting to you, please email Dr. Agnes Trzak (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your outline and biography by December 31, 2016.
Finally, if you like all the other stuff everyone else is doing or has done, I have a way for you to help them out.
Donate! It’s how we get paid!
C4SS is an official non-profit, recognized by the State and the IRS, so that means you can give us your money and you get to pay the state less in taxes at the end of the year. This helps us out AND it helps you out! No, but seriously – we have a lot of great writers in our stable right now and we like being able to pay them for their effort. We do that with your help each month. Head on over to the Support page to learn more!