Books & Reviews
Wonder Woman: How to Save the World
Spoiler alert: Contains plot information about the recent Wonder Woman movie   In director Patty Jenkins’ new DC Comics movie, Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot portrays our heroine, Diana, with grace, strength, and utter conviction.  As a child, Diana yearns to train in the ways of the warrior. Her mother, the Queen of the Amazons, warns…
Book Review: Things That Can & Cannot Be Said
With all the attention given to last month’s release of Chelsea Manning, whose sentence was only commuted by the Obama administration after it became politically convenient, we must not overlook the fact that the Obama administration also had the opportunity to pardon another famous whistle-blower.
Book Review: The Diamond Age
Neal Stephenson. The Diamond Age: or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (1995). In Four Futures Peter Frase poses, as a thought experiment, an “anti-Star Trek”: a world that shares the same technologies as Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s post-scarcity communist society, but in which those technologies of abundance are enclosed with “intellectual property” barriers so…
Film Review: Bitter Harvest
Bitter Harvest is a recently released wartime romance, set during the state-induced Ukrainian famine of 1932-33: otherwise known as the Holodomor. Directed, written, and funded by members of the Ukrainian diaspora, it was filmed on location in Ukraine during the Euromaidan protests, which some of the crew participated in.
Against The Pull Of Simplicity & Disconnect
Alexander Reid Ross. Against The Fascist Creep (AK Press, 2017). Despite the right’s stereotype of antifascist activists as close-minded thugs or paid protesters, in reality the majority have long been quite geeky, prone to lining their bookshelves with obscure fascist screeds and abstruse historical tomes. This comes with its own problems. Fascism is a multifaceted phenomenon to say…
Review: Journey to Earthland, by Paul Raskin
Paul Raskin. Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization (Boston: Tellus Institute, 2016). The idea of a new, humane global civilization emerging from a mid-21st century “Time of Troubles” is a common theme in near-future science fiction. Probably the most notable example is the post-scarcity moneyless communism of Star Trek: The Next Generation,…
Lessons from the Practice of Basic Income
Marcus Brancaglione. Lessons from the Practice of Basic Income: A Compendium of Writings and Data. Edited by Bruna Augusto. Translated by Monica Puntel, Leonardo Puntel, Carolina Fisher (São Paulo, 2016). This is a collection of writings by Marcus Brancaglione. Brancaglione is President of ReCivitas (Institute for the Revitalization of Citizenship); Bruna Augusto, who edited the…
Review: The Corruption of Capitalism, by Guy Standing
Guy Standing. The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (London: Biteback Press, 2016). I looked forward to reading this book based on previous readings of Guy Standing’s work, based on his status as both a labor organizer and a theorist of the precariat’s role in the economy. I wasn’t disappointed….
The State Doesn’t Conserve, It Only Destroys
A Review of Janay Brun’s Cloak and Jaguar: Following a Cat From Desert to Courtroom If you’ve never heard of the now deceased Macho B, you’re not alone. Most people outside of Arizona (and perhaps New Mexico) probably haven’t. Macho B was a wild jaguar who roamed the borderlands between Mexico and the southwestern United…
Steal This Film Review: See it, Share it, Copy it!!
If you are interested enough to read this, you might as well just watch the movie. Steal This Film is available for free on Youtube and other locations on the internet and is less than an hour and twenty minutes in length. The film was created by a group calling itself the League of Noble Peers, for the…
Review: Envisioning Real Utopias, by Erik Olin Wright
Erik Olin Wright. Envisioning Real Utopias (London and New York: Verso, 2010). Although this book covers much of the same ground, and does much of the same work, as autonomist and post-capitalist theories like Hardt and Negri’s Commonwealth and Mason’s Postcapitalism, Olin-Wright comes from the entirely different tradition of analytical Marxism. This school approaches Marxist…
Abolish Work: A Lazy Review of a Lazy Exposition of Philosophical Ergophobia
Abolish Work: A Lazy Exposition of Philosophical Ergophobia (LBC Books 2016), by Nick Ford It’s “no class but the leisure class” in Nick Ford’s new book: Abolish Work: A Lazy Exposition of Philosophical Ergophobia. Before continuing, I must acknowledge that this book includes two essays written by yours truly, which are credited to “Mr. Wilson”. Both…
A Review of Peter Frase’s Four Futures
 Peter Frase. Four Futures: Life After Capitalism (London and New York: Verso, 2016). Frase’s book builds on Rosa Luxemburg’s prediction a hundred years ago in the Junius Pamphlets that “[b]ourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism.” Specifically, he sketches — in very broad strokes — two versions of…
Licensed Larceny
Nicholas Hildyard. Licensed Larceny: Infrastructure, financial extraction and the Global South (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016). I discovered Nicholas Hildyard’s work at Corner House in 2005, and was heavily influenced by it. thecornerhouse.org.uk He’s one of the best writers around on the false pretensions of so-called “free market” policies like privatization and deregulation in the…
Steal This Book Review
Steal This Book, by Abbie Hoffman. Pirate Editions/Grove Press. 1971 If you are looking for an in-depth collection of arguments about the evils of the current system, this is not the book you are looking for. In fact it assumes in the intro that readers have already reached their ideological conclusions and are prepared to…
The Communard Manifesto
The Communard Manifesto (Las Indias, May 9, 2016). Translated by Level Translation. By way of background, the Communard Manifesto comes out of the Las Indias Cooperative Group, which is a real-world venture in establishing a phyle — a non-territorial networked economic support platform — of the kind that Las Indias’s David de Ugarte described theoretically…
America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited
“America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited” by Sheldon Richman. 2016.   The American abolitionist, and pioneering individualist anarchist Lysander Spooner once wrote of the US Constitution “…this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit…
The Desktop Regulatory State
With his latest book, C4SS senior fellow and regular contributor, Kevin Carson, shares a radical vision of a not-too-distant future where networks replace hierarchies, and co-operation and self-regulation make both the state other forms of authority obsolete.  The Desktop Regulatory State: The Countervailing Power of Individuals and Networks is the fourth in a series of…
Balthazar. The Discrete Charm of Economic Growth.
Robert Balthazar. The Discrete Charm of Economic Growth. Part I: The Bilinguals; Part II: The Making of an Overriding Collective Preference (2016). At the outset Balthazar briefly summarizes his own intellectual journey as an economist, looking back on his earlier assumption that the economy as a whole was the spontaneous result of innumerable interacting trends…
Eugene Holland. Nomad Citizenship.
Eugene W. Holland. Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2011). Holland’s work is in the same general autonomist tradition of analysis as Dyer-Witheford’s Cyber-Marx, and the concept of “Exodus” as developed in Negri’s and Hardt’s Commonwealth. The general idea of Exodus is that, when technology…
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