Books & Reviews
From Stirner to Mussolini
Review: The Anarchist-Individualist Origins of Italian Fascism In 1910 Luigi Fabbri and Armando Borghi abducted an anarchist woman who had shamed their friend by divorcing him. Together, they forced her into a gynecological exam so the doctor could publicly pronounce her deformed and incapable of sex. All three were prominent leaders in the Italian anarchist…
Muammar Gaddafi’s Green Book: The Good, The Bad, and The Weird
Muammar Gaddafi was, is, and always will be a controversial figure. Though his rise from Bedouin nomad to ruler of Libya is impressive, many of the things he did while in control of the country were unquestionably authoritarian and criminal. However, Gaddafi began as a sort of liberator. He joined the Libyan military in the…
Review: From Urbanization to Cities
Review of From Urbanization to Cities: The Politics of Democratic Municipalism by Murray Bookchin From Urbanization to Cities The Politics of Democratic Municipalism by Murray Bookchin (AK Press, 2021)  In this updated version of the late Murray Bookchin’s initial 1987 title The Rise of Urbanization and the Decline of Citizenship, now with an introduction by…
Partition & Entanglement
Partition & Entanglement: Review of Home Rule by Nandita Sharma “The entire, eons-long practice of human  movement  into  new  places  was  pushed  out  of  our  imagination — or,  perhaps more accurately, was reimagined as a national security threat. In the process, stasis was glorified as the normative way of being human.” “Only after the death…
Anti-Engels (or Anti-Anti-Duhring Aktion)
Recent years have seen a resurrection of a Great Man Of History Marxist scholasticism that fixates on some (easily accessible) Original Core Texts of supposed genius and discards all the complicated stuff afterwards, certainly everything in recent decades. This impulse is the product of a mass flocking to radical leftism wherein new recruits have little…
Review: Business as a System of Power
Business as a System of Power (1943) serves as both a great piece of economic history and comparative economics, and as an exploration of timeless principles and observations on the nature and political economy of business power. Robert A. Brady’s extremely informative study establishes how business communities from around the industrialized world began, and continued,…
Review: The Operating System by Eric Laursen
Eric Laursen. The Operating System: An Anarchist Theory of the Modern State. Foreword by Maia Ramnath (AK Press, 2021). Much of the ground Laursen covers in this book is already familiar to most anarchists. He does an adequate job, or better, at all of it. His treatment of the ideological hegemony of the state is…
Review: Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation
Let’s begin this review honestly: despite having referenced her in multiple articles, I—like almost all leftists regardless of ideology—do not like Ayn Rand and am most certainly not an Objectivist. I approach her much like Karl Hess did: seeing her value in comparison to Emma Goldman but rejecting her ostensive, unflattering solipsism. Yet, I consider Chris…
Book Review: Groove is in the Heart: The DisCO Elements
DisCO Coop (primary authors Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel). Groove is in the Heart: The DisCO Elements. Introduction by Ela Kagel and Afterword by Ann Marie Utratel (2020).  As the Introduction explains, the first installment of the DisCO Trilogy — The DisCO Manifesto — was about ” the reasons behind DisCO, its roots and…
Board Game Review: Bloc by Bloc
For better or worse, board games tend to be a popular form of entertainment in radical spaces, and yet there are precious few games that explicitly deal with anarchist ideas. For those exhausted by games glorifying nationalistic conquest, monopoly capitalism, and settler colonialism, Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game may offer a breath of refreshing…
Escaping the Armed Madhouse: Review of Robert Anton Wilson’s “The Starseed Signals”
“To remain in the neuro-semantic insanity of larval society, without laughing hysterically or otherwise giving away the secret of one’s mutation, is the path of the Bodhisattva, who, like Father Demian going to live among the lepers, steels himself against the risk of contagion and returns to the madhouse of Circuit I-IV humanity.” –The Starseed…
Book Review: Ruth Kinna and Clifford Harper. Great Anarchists (London: Dog Section Press, 2020)
Written by anarchist scholar Ruth Kinna (professor of Political Theory at Loughborough University and editor of Anarchist Studies) and illustrated by Ralph Harper (most famous for the illustrations in Radical Technology), this book is a collection of essays on ten anarchists that were originally published as stand-alone pamphlets.  The essays — not presented in chronological…
Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand and the Cult of Productivity
Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged is a work whose reputation precedes it. Some may love and some may hate it, but most readers of this site, including ones who have not read this book, will likely have some knowledge of its major plot points and the ideological views of its author. Therefore this review…
Review: Bourgeois Dignity
Bourgeois Dignity‘s line of inquiry — at least as stated — is into the causes of what Deirdre McCloskey calls “the Fact” — the tenfold or more increase in the average person’s standard of living in a couple centuries’ time. Her thesis that “the Fact” owed its origins to a culture of innovation, of openness…
Review: Libertarian Equality
Fabio Massimo Nicosia, Libertarian Equality, Contradiction, Reconciliation, Maximization. (Amazon.com, 2020) Libertarian Equality, by Italian author Fabio Massimo Nicosia, is a surprising book on left-libertarian political philosophy. It’s not often that left-libertarian thought pops up in Italy, so a brand new book on the topic is a refreshing novelty. In Italy – and probably elsewhere too…
Review: Open Borders
Libertarian economist Bryan Caplan and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal creator Zach Weinersmith have collaborated on a non-fiction graphic novel called Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration. As the title suggests, it’s a fully-illustrated graphic novel making the case for open borders. Caplan and Weinersmith’s partnership is unexpected, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Caplan’s enthusiasm…
Review: A DisCO Manifesto
As stated by Ruth Catlow in the Foreword, DisCOs are an alternative to blockchain-based Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO):  Open Distributed Cooperatives. They’re funded by member investments rather than third party capital, and organized around an infrastructure of “interoperable, open-source legal contracts, with a near zero-cost of organisation creation.” DisCOs differ from the predominant model of…
Review: The Socialist Manifesto
I started this book with some eagerness, expecting to like it, because I’m fond of much of the analysis at Jacobin. The general flavor of the socialist model they promote fits well into the category of libertarian socialism — autonomism, postcapitalism, etc. — that I have an affinity for. And I did like a lot…
Review: Fully Automated Luxury Communism
Aaron Bastani of Novara Media’s recent book Fully Automated Luxury Communism is the latest entry in the burgeoning postcapitalist genre, which includes Peter Frases’ Four Futures, Paul Masons’ Postcapitalism, and Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ Inventing the Future. Reading like a Marxist mirror to the pop tech books that one finds at airport bookstores, it’s…
When Warmed Over Georgism Becomes Neoliberalism
I have a personal rule — I think you should never review a book that you strongly disagree with or strongly agree with. If you entirely agree, then a “review” would be nothing more than an echo. But if you strongly disagree there’s also little point to writing a review, the disagreements cannot be isolated…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory