Commentary
Constraining the Night-Watchman State
Many libertarians favor constraining the State to a limited set of powers, typically to the maintenance of police, courts, prisons, and security services designed to protect individual rights. This “protective state” or “Night-watchman” state is seen as the minarchist ideal. However, I think some libertarians forget that even a state only devoted to these protective…
Corporations versus the Market; or, Whip Conflation Now
(Originally published at Cato Unbound on November 10, 2008) Defenders of the free market are often accused of being apologists for big business and shills for the corporate elite. Is this a fair charge? No and yes. Emphatically no—because corporate power and the free market are actually antithetical; genuine competition is big business’s worst nightmare….
Against the Criminal Justice System, Pt. II: The Criminality of Criminal Law
In the first post of this series, I gave some reasons why libertarians ought to reject the practice of punishment. As an alternative, I suggested that the only proper role of law is dispute resolution, and that law’s violence can only be used in either direct defense or the collection of restitution. In effect, this…
Dump the Rentiers Off Your Back
(Originally published by Rad Geek People’s Daily on May 29, 2008) Here’s a great post from a bit more than a year ago at Anomalous Presumptions (2007-02-26), which I just got around to reading: I was responding to this key point: [P]eer production isn’t an assault on the principles of a free society, but an extension of…
Against the Criminal Justice System, Pt. I: No One Should Ever Be Punished
As the pain, suffering, and sheer cost incurred by the criminal justice system in America spirals further and further out of control, more and more people have come to push for reform. Even Texas Governor Rick Perry, who once proudly declared to have never struggled with issues like the death penalty, has begun to advocate…
How the State Enables Ecocide
In the first year of constant quarantine, rocked by worldwide social unrest, extreme tropical weather, and widespread government ineptitude, the complete inability and unwillingness of the ruling classes to make any substantive changes is clear. There will not be any relief and there is no reckoning. Commoditizing living animals has created the perfect conditions for…
No Empathy With Tyranny
I am happy the Trump regime is coming to an end. I am angry the Trump regime happened and isn’t over yet. There may be a path to redemption for most of Trump’s supporters and enablers, but they do not get to tell us how to respond to their choices. Asking for empathy without making…
How we can win back the Internet by creating lowercase internets
In April 2001, five months before 9/11, Bram Cohen began designing a new file sharing protocol that would almost single-handedly change the face of the music, TV, and movie industries for the next two decades. The technology was not in itself a completely new idea. After all, similar technologies like the well-known File Transfer Protocol…
Ross Ulbricht and the Courage to Break the Law
His lawyers say they will try to appeal. The charges for which Ulbricht will likely spend his life in prison all center around the Silk Road marketplace, which allowed users to peacefully trade illegal drugs over the internet. Though he admitted to originally creating the site, Ulbricht has maintained that he quickly handed it off…
Let’s Make 12 Step Programs the New Food Not Bombs
If we believe in the concepts of harm reduction and restorative and transformative justice, then we need to get involved in 12 step advocacy. 12 step programs began with the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) when it was founded in 1935 out of a conversation between Bill Wilson aka Bill W. and Bob Smith. They…
What Is “Left-Libertarianism?”
Just what is “left-libertarianism?” The term (as it’s being used here) points to a broad tradition of intellectual undercurrents that are simultaneously radically libertarian and radically leftist. It includes some of the most radical elements of English liberalism (such as Thomas Hodgskin and the earlier writings of Herbert Spencer), nineteenth-century individualist anarchism, the 1960s alliance…
Harm Reduction, Soapboxing, and Destructive Voting
As anarchists, we obviously reject representative democracy along with the state itself. As such, many anarchists advocate against voting in elections or even participating at all, seeing it as reinforcing and legitimizing the very system we’re fighting so hard to abolish. However, not all anarchists are against participating in the electoral process in the here…
Against Libertarians Who Want to Shrink the State by Capturing It
There is a sentiment among many self-described libertarians that I sympathize with to some degree, but ultimately view as misguided and completely unfavorable. It goes something like this: If we are to have a state, the lesser evil solution is to have only certain groups of people vote.   Net taxpayers are a popular go-to example….
No Really, What is Anarchism?
The terms ‘anarchist’ and ‘anarchism’ are returning to the center stage of political lingo in the twenty-first century. To quote my own article on Center for a Stateless Society: President Donald Trump has repeatedly attempted to associate Black Lives Matter with anarchists and anarchism. He has tweeted such threatening posts as just the phrase “Anarchists, we see…
The Internet Offered Us Freedom, We Chose Corporate Rule
Read any of the classic cypherpunk or crypto-anarchist writings and one thing is clear: the internet offered us freedom. While the open source and peer-to-peer (p2p) movements are still alive and well in certain corners of the internet, most of us have chosen corporate rule instead. While cryptocurrency offered us a medium of exchange that…
And Yet You Use Those Evil Big Tech Platforms. Curious!
It’s common for right-libertarians to attack — with some justification — the stupidity of those who equate opposing a law or government agency with opposing some value or goal in its name. Wanting to abolish the Department of Education, for example, doesn’t mean you’re against education. But right libertarians are guilty of a somewhat related…
Queerness Is Not Collectivist, Reactionaries Are Not Individualists
In case it wasn’t already implied by the title, I’m arguably a follower of the “transgender ideology.” I prefer the term “non- binary” instead of “trans,” but I’m part of the community and I do adhere to the “ideology” of validating peoples’ gender identities by using their preferred pronouns. Much like a fair number of…
It’s Been 19 Years Since 9/11 and We Still Need to Abolish ICE
When people talk about the post-9/11 world in terms of politics, most think of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Department of Homeland Security, unwarranted wiretapping, and forever wars but rarely is ICE mentioned in the same breath despite Immigration and Customs Enforcement being a direct result of the post–9/11 policy of the so-called american government….
A Critical Consideration of Hensley’s Appalachian Anarchism
In his book Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, Chris Matthew Sciabarra makes the astute observation that  “[j]ust as relations of power operate through ethical, psychological, cultural, political, and economic dimensions, so too the struggle for freedom and individualism depends upon a certain constellation of moral, psychological, and cultural factors.” This is something that Dakota…
An Agorist Response to Facebook Banning Anarchists
Facebook is back at it again. In the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville a few years back, and with much pushing from activists, Facebook responded with a wave of bans and censorship of “racial extremists” that was so wide-reaching and simultaneously ineffective that many literal white supremacists were able to continue…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory