C4SS Media Coordinator Update, 02/18/11

Dear C4SS supporters,

This week, I submitted 8,374 C4SS commentary pieces to 2,792 publications on six continents. That’s a little fewer than usual — I was “out of the office” a bit tending to family medical affairs — but I think we got a pretty good geographical spread of submissions and that we’ll see some “pickups” in the next week from those submissions.

Our “pickups” have been moving up and down from week to week, after a month or so of double digit results. This week I found six:

  • Kevin Carson’s “For the State Blowback is a Feature, Not a Bug,” ran in the Daily Star and on Al Arabiya, and Antiwar.com on Feb. 12. I’m sure most of you are familiar with Antiwar.com, the world’s premier site on non-interventionism. The Daily Star may be the Middle East’s most widely circulated newspaper, published in Lebanon but distributed in eight countries including Egypt. Al Arabiya is a popular television news network operating out of the United Arab Emirates and reaching much of the Middle East through satellite TV. Right now, we’re definitely angling our “media center” work toward making the anarchist argument in that part of the world (see our new sister site, blackcrescent.info), so we consider these pickups an important success.
  • David D’Amato’s “All Aboard the Money Train ran in the Carroll County, Maryland Standard on Feb. 11.
  • Darian Worden’s “Build Counter-Power, Create an Authority Vacuum” ran (as “Anarchy is order, whereas capitalistocratic government is civil war”) in The Canadian on Feb. 13.
  • Kevin Carson’s “Is the Environment a Public Good?” ran in Urban Tulsa Weekly on Feb. 16.

I’d like to address part of this update to C4SS’s mission, to how that mission is understood — and misunderstood — within the larger libertarian and anarchist movements, and to how my work at C4SS relates to that mission. I get emails now and again (they seem to come in spurts based on this or that argument taking place elsewhere) covering all three of these topics, and talking about it here should make it easier for me to respond to those emails.

It’s a given that there will always be “inside baseball” arguments in the larger anti-state movement. That’s just the nature of philosophy, politics (and anti-politics) and activism, and it’s not a bad thing. When we argue various issues, we hopefully enlighten each other and make our arguments better as they are eventually presented to those not yet part of the movement.

My job as media coordinator here at C4SS isn’t to involve myself in those arguments, or to referee them. I occasionally do both, but I try to keep those activities separate from C4SS, because I take a very narrow view of what C4SS does, or should do, through my work.

Long ago, Cato the Elder was known for ending every speech before the Roman Senate with the sentence “Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam” (“Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed”). Regardless of what topic he was addressing himself to — taxes, farm policy, endorsement of a state holiday, whatever — he always brought his speech back to that one topic.

In my role as media coordinator at C4SS, my goal is to ensure that our op-ed submissions to mainstream media convey, at all times and as powerfully as possible, a single message: “Furthermore, we think that the state must be destroyed.”

That message is the “payload” of every C4SS “rocket.” Whether we’re opining on the revolution in Egypt, or the persecution of Wikileaks, or the latest tax proposal in the US Congress, or whatever, those topics are just the fuel we use to bring that payload to its target (newspaper readers around the globe).

I don’t mean to be glib when I say that everything beyond the core message — “furthermore, we think that the state must be destroyed” — is just details. Details are important, and it’s right and good that we should incessantly argue those details amongst ourselves so that we have the best chance of getting those details right.

But, when you’re considering whether or not to support C4SS, I hope that you’ll put less weight on those details that you may disagree with one or more of our authors on, and more weight on whether or not we’re effectively getting out that core message that you almost certainly do agree with and want to see widely broadcast.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory