Commentary
Political Realism vs Apoliticism
The concepts of political realism and apoliticism are often conflated, but merit owed to the former is often incorrectly assigned to the latter. Generally, political realists maintain a practical attitude toward the politicians, governments, institutions and other political factors that create laws, and regulate societies and economies. Instead of keeping a faith in people in…
Malicious Faux-Individualism and Market Anti-Capitalism
There is an odd side to the American Dream. One deemed worthless long ago, by the Soviets, by the Maoists, by the BPP. There exists a culture of greed. Though most people lack an in-depth understanding of economic terms of the eighteenth century, a lot of young people are coming to grow issues with the…
Libraries Offer a Model for the Sharing Economy
When the term “sharing economy” is heard nowadays, it often conjures up thoughts of apps such as Uber, Lyft, or AirBNB, but such apps are little more than attempts at coopting the branding of the sharing economy while not actually operating on those principles at all. Sharing economies are truly peer-to-peer, whereas these apps act…
Right to Repair
The Automotive Free Clinic is starting a right to repair campaign in Alabama in coalition with a number of different organizations. Modern equipment such as passenger vehicles, semi trucks, and farm equipment are controlled electronically by proprietary software. Often, this software is not made available to the public, meaning that only dealerships and authorized repair…
On “Living Proof” and Anarchism
On a long trawl through Youtube out of boredom, I came across a video from HBomberGuy, titled “Vaccines: A Measured Response.” I usually watch him because he has decent takes on current events, but the messaging at the end of the video I think hits home in the realm of “radical politics:” There is another…
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…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory