Commentary
Darknet Markets as Political Activism
Ross Ulbricht’s life has become a nightmare. In 2013 he was given a life sentence with no chance of parole; he was charged with being the suspected founder and operator of the online drug market Silk Road. The operator of this site was previously only known as Dread Pirate Roberts- a name one might recall…
Ending Gun Violence by Defunding the Police
Anarchists and many others in the radical left and libertarian movements are rightly skeptical of gun control due to the history of state power, including gun laws, being weaponized to directly target and oppress marginalized communities while simultaneously maintaining a state monopoly on violence. Despite the dangers of gun control, gun violence is still a…
Is “Anarchy” Inherent to Anarchism?
The political vocabulary of the average modern western “civilian” is quite limited. There are lexical gaps everywhere, and certainly when talking about meta-political concepts. And with anarchism, this is even greater, as it is a unique paradigm, and a shift towards a new way of conceiving human nature. Anarchism, for a lot of people who…
The Concentration of Capital
The Concentration of Capital: The Benefits of Non-Capitalist Markets An inherent problem of capitalism (and maybe its greatest) is the concentration of capital. Let us look at it in a critical light. The concentration of capital is a direct result of the capitalist construction of legal property: contrary to (for example) freedom of expression, which…
“Checkmate Anarchists”
“Checkmate Anarchists: Humans Will Always Create Structures and Laws” One objection the anarchist will often hear is that a general set of anarchist principles is appealing in theory, but in practice human affairs seem to always lead to organized decision-making, the establishment of rules and laws and, consequently, the creation of hierarchy and institutional power….
A Reminder on Unionism
A Reminder on Unionism, for the Economically and Historically Illiterate  Recently, former Libertarian Party presidential contender Vermin Supreme posted in support of the Pepsico strike on Facebook. It got the sort of response I expected, given the prevailing culture in the Libertarian Party. Some right-winger commented in the replies:    Being able to strike IS a…
How NOT to Argue Against the Existence of Monopoly
Liz Wolfe, in recent weeks, seems to have displaced Elizabeth Nolan Brown as the chief tech platform apologist at Reason. In her most recent article on this theme, “Google CEO Sundar Pichai Is Right: Companies That Dominate Today May Be Gone Tomorrow” (July 26), the general lines of her argument are simple: “Today’s Big Tech…
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…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory