Commentary
“Commercial Society” Is a Myth
Progressive and conservative critics of open migration frequently dismiss calls for freedom of movement as rooted in narrowly economic concerns. Proponents of freedom point out that, despite what you might hear on TV, immigration yields widespread benefits for both the societies to which immigrants go and those from which they come. And they emphasize the…
Is Elon Musk an Anarchist? More like a Libertarian Lenin
Elon Musk is trolling on twitter. A celebrity billionaire wasting his time making inane provocations would hardly be worthy of note but in the process Musk has declared that his politics are in line with Iain Banks’ anarcho-transhumanist utopia and that he aspires to see a world of direct democracy. There’s few spectacles like a…
Reprint: Welcome to Chillville, a Police-Free Community
The following is republished from Beyond the Badge. The following is an entirely hypothetical representation of a community which uses entirely new ways to address issues that are usually handled by police. This model should in no way be construed as complete, but as a sketch from which we can build upon these ideas and…
The J20 Story We Should Have Told
Just recently, on May 31st, Judge Robert Morin dismissed charges against one group of J20 defendants on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. This is, of course, excellent news, but this isn’t what I’m interested in. See, this is the first time that I’ve seen the J20 victims in the news since January 20, when there…
The Repeal of the Eighth and the Withering of the State in Ireland
Last Friday, the people of the Republic of Ireland voted decisively to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. Such a vote was historic; ‘the Eighth’ as the amendment had increasingly become known equated the life of the mother with that of the unborn, effectively preventing any form of abortion – including in cases…
Racial Bias in America
Recently, there has been a myriad of news stories where racial bias lead to the police being called on innocent black people. It’s important that these stories be heard, and that the black men and women who lived through them are given the opportunity to tell them. Additionally, it’s imperative moving forward that we, as…
Organizing Beyond Organizations: Good News Stories from Spain and Taiwan
C4SS Director William Gillis recently gave this talk in Austin, TX using the lenses of sociology, psychology, and information theory to explore the fundamental limitations of organizations. In other words, it’s a thorough explanation of why meetings suck. Gillis presents a compelling explanation for the ineffectiveness of many political organizations, focused on some of the…
The Economic Bandwidth Problem
In the last three decades, we’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of left wing, non-market approaches to economic organizing. The rise results from a confluence of factors, one part of the story being that the economic left has largely been freed of material reality since the ubiquity of capitalism after the fall of the…
Sterilization and the Supreme Court: Buck v. Bell
One week from the moment I am writing this, the 91st anniversary of the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell will come and pass. Ninety-one is admittedly not the nicest or roundest number for a remembrance, but this is not exactly the nicest subject matter, so perhaps it is fitting. I feel that there…
May Day is Ours!
It’s that time of year once again. It’s the time of year where anarchists, communists, and various other labor radicals flood the streets in celebration of the labor movement, in remembrance of the Haymarket affair, and in protest of the oppression we still face as working class people. This May Day comes during the recent…
The Failures of Constitutionalism
The first time I heard the term libertarian outside of a leftist anarchist context, it was in reference to the kind of paleo-conservative constitutionalism of the early Tea Party and the Ron Paul “Rɘvolution”. While I was impressed by their strong anti-war stance, as well as their opposition to the bank bailouts among other things,…
4/20: A Retrospective Meditation on Legalization
Another 4/20 has come and gone, following behind Bicycle Day (April 19th), which commemorates Dr. Albert Hoffman’s first LSD trip. This two-day celebration of acid and cannabis culture comes bittersweet, celebrating the culture and substances many love while we’re still in the midst of the ongoing conflict known as the War on Drugs. In recent…
Two (Libertarian) Reasons Conservatives Should Oppose Trump’s Wall
As the debate around immigration has escalated in the United States, one of the focal points — and a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — has been the proposed wall along the nation’s southern border. As a libertarian I believe in the free-market, and a truly free-market entails movement of people, not simply products…
Three Cheers for the Cop Watchers at the Starbucks in Philadelphia
Though stories of every day police brutality and racist policing permeate the news, let’s take a minute to cheer on cop-watching and all forms of direct action to resist this ugly element of US civil society. In particular, witness the nearly perfect Cop Watch technique on display in the recent Starbucks racially-motivated arrest that sparked…
The Sick and the Damned
Postliberal and neoliberal thought views the individual as totally cut off from a social body, simply a biological unit in which malfunctions can be addressed through medical or pharmacological interventions. The tragicomic result of this simultaneous pretense toward empathy (capitalism with a human face) and individualism is “self-care culture.” “Self care” becomes both an industry and a deflection from the very real problems that capitalism causes.
The Need For International Radical Solidarity With Rojava
On the northern edge of Syria, the de facto autonomous region known as Rojava has set the example for the future of radical democracy and economic autonomy in the Middle East. The region is structured by a secular model of democratic confederalism put into place by its constitution in 2014, a constitution that makes law…
Don’t Protect Their Secrets!: Whisper Networks and Manipulation
Even as we nurture beautiful futures and tender solidarity, our networks are struggling. As Bobby London wrote, “The state cannot destroy us the ways we destroy ourselves.” In addition to the threats that freedom faces from outside, we have threats inside that we need to deal with in real-time. We regularly fail to address them…
Everything Wrong with the Parkland Students’ Manifesto
On Saturday, March 24, survivors of the Parkland School Shooting led hundreds of thousands of people in a “March for Our Lives” to protest gun violence. The day prior, they published their “manifesto,” a listing of policy recommendations intended to prevent future gun violence. Gun violence is scary, and living through a school shooting is…
The Conservatism of Gun Control
On March 24, hundreds of thousands of students and other activists against gun violence participated in the March for Our Lives, an event meant to spur action to put an end to mass shootings in the United States. Ten days earlier, many of the same people participated in a school walkout with the same purpose….
Why I Hate the Word Terrorism (But Don’t Regret Using It)
I have no interest in learning about the Austin bomber. What their politics were, where they were raised, what groups they were part of. Whether he was nice, or even what motivated him to commit terrorism. He voided my empathy and understanding the moment he placed the first bomb down.
Free Markets & Capitalism?
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist