Commentary
On Work Abolition: Rejecting the Alien Hermeneutics of the Oppressor
Advocating work abolition, I encounter one specific objection very often. “Work,” they say, does not refer to, nor imply, coerced labour. An authoritarian Marxist I recently encountered made the claim that to speak of work abolition is the language of “empty” radicalism. They went on to claim that such “empty” radical language is confined to…
Deconstructing the Supervillain Fallacy
When we think of post-capitalist societies, there’s often a nagging impulse to solve current social ills. Anti-statists are asked how they would deal with billionaires without taxation, anti-capitalists get grilled on how cities would get built without workplace hierarchy, and police abolitionists get asked how they would respond to high crime rates without prisons –…
On the Cuba Embargo, and Free Trade — Real and Imagined
The degree to which the US trade embargo on Cuba has affected the economy of that country has been a matter of recent debate. I’m not concerned directly with Cuba here, but with the nature of what neoliberal ideology calls “free trade” more generally — of which an interesting discussion erupted as an offshoot of…
There Are No “Anarchist Systems” without Anarchist Fundamentals
Discussions about anarchy and anarchism too often jump right into talking points about competing ways to organize economic or political structures. This doesn’t seem to happen only when skeptics and cynics are present — it also tends to be a pitfall for those who value a stateless future. But it’s putting the cart before the…
Bailouts: Racism and Classism in a Billion Dollar Package
The New York Times recently published an article mentioning the failures of the government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a COVID-relief program meant to keep businesses afloat and people employed. The article noted that the PPP was not distributed fairly, with the lion’s share of funds going to White-owned businesses, while minorities got less. Coupled with…
The Real Threat of Sectarianism
In a recent interview, economist Bryan Caplan gave his usual right-libertarian spiel about the wonders of the free labor market (something that definitely exists under capitalism), complete with a bizarre praise of entrepreneurial schemes like Uber mixed with his own particular enthusiasm for open borders. At one point he’s asked to comment on Hans-Hermann Hoppe…
The Statist Assault on Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are not having a good time right now.  An estimated half trillion dollars has been erased with the recent market crash, ending the mania we’ve seen in the space since late last year. As stunning as the numbers are, this is nothing new for the infamously volatile crypto industry. More worryingly for cryptocurrency, and…
How Cost-Benefit Considerations Produced “Progressive” Governance in Pirate Societies
Peter Leeson’s book The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates explores yet another fascinating account of how governance is possible under anarchy. Leeson distinguishes between the invisible hand (the “hidden order” present in metaphorical market anarchy) and the invisible hook (the “hidden order” in the literal anarchy of pirate societies). The main argument being…
Imagining State-Capitalism
People from all ideological angles will agree that we don’t live with truly free markets in the West, or anything close to it. “Capitalist” societies, or ones regarded as driven by “markets” are actually mixed economies where sectors of industry and economic activity are either overtly planned and directed by the state, or at least…
Gender Anarchism: Tearing Down the Gender Hierarchy
The Anarcha-Genderist Manifesto The gender hierarchy is a pervasive system of social control across times and cultures. Like other unjust hierarchies perpetuated by state and nation, this system of social control has dramatically restricted the acceptable range of human expression and behavior. To look around and see the current state of gender relations — places…
The Attacks on Trans Children
Politicians in several states, notably including Arkansas, North Carolina, and Texas, have introduced new laws to attack trans children. In Arkansas, they’ve already passed several of these laws. It’s hard to keep up with each new bill. As of mid-April 2021, much of the attention focuses on sports and the NCAA’s responses, but some of…
Different Kinds and Degrees of Private Censorship Matter
Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and speech can be controlled and regulated by private forces in certain ways. In a previous piece, I presented some thoughts on that, and how private power can tilt the marketplace of ideas. However, my primary focus wasn’t to differentiate between degrees of private censorship. As a complement to the…
Vulgar Anarcho-Communism: What Left Unity Conceals
If you work on any project — political or otherwise — you’re going to be collaborating with folks you don’t agree with. Marxists, democratic socialists, and left-leaning liberals might have your back on a picket line or protest, and in some cases you might be joined by libertarians, conservatives, and even single issue republicans on…
Should Today’s 193 Nations Divide into 1,600?
Interview of Dr. Chris Hables Gray by Hank Pellissier Should California, Scotland, Catalonia, Hawaii, Kurdistan and other regions secede for independence? Should today’s 193 nations divide into 1,600? “Yes (sort of),” says Chris Hables Gray, a “pragmatic anarchist feminist revolutionary” who works as a lecturer of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz….
Gamestop, Capitalism, and Freedom
[This article was originally published February 12, 2021 at Counterpunch.org] Wall Street strategists have called it one of the most extreme of the “sharp short squeezes” in recent decades: at the end of January, shares of video game retailer GameStop skyrocketed, as users of Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum rallied around the stock, which had been a target of…
Words Beyond the Market and the State, Pt. II
An Interview With Kevin Carson Here we bring the second part of the interview with Kevin Carson, made by Diego Avila and Luis R. Vera. To access the first part click here. In this part, we finish with the questions related to the counter-economy and Venezuela as other parts of Latin America, as well as…
Words Beyond the Market and the State, Pt. I
​An Interview With Kevin Carson Today, as you can see from the title, we bring you the first of two parts of an interview with Kevin Carson, a senior fellow at C4SS who holds the Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. Recently there has been a translation of both his first book into Spanish, Studies…
Some Thoughts on Private Censorship, Power, and Control of Speech
As far as speech is concerned, the rule-of-thumb view we should adopt is that any individual or private group has the right to determine who is allowed in their space, and what can be said and done in it, without government interference or a legal obligation to adhere to public opinion. This also means they should…
What is Justice?
If you listen to a protest, you will more than likely hear phrases related to realizing justice, like “no justice, no peace.” However, what is meant by the term ‘justice’ isn’t defined. Some assume the term means direct reparations from the state should be made to an aggrieved group. Others assume it warrants some form…
Some Social Challenges That Won’t Magically Go Away With a Biden Presidency
2020 will be remembered for a lot, and one of the obvious low points is the start of a global pandemic. However, for many this will be offset (at least partly) by an incredible high point: The election that unseated Donald Trump. At least symbolically, this was (and still is) celebrated as a sizable blow…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory