Commentary
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…
The End of Work (As We Know It) Part 2: The RICH Economy
In my previous essay Bullshit Jobs and the End of Work (As We Know It) I discussed the economic phenomenon that David Graeber coined as “bullshit jobs,” how the (transitionary) solution he suggested was to establish a universal basic income (UBI) and embrace automation leading to the end of work as we know it, and how this mirrors the…
John Locke and the Supposedly Metaphysical Reality of Property Rights
Even though manifold characterisations of labour have been put forward, be it Adam Smith who regards it as a source of wealth, or Karl Marx’s claim that labour constitutes humanity, it is John Locke who uniquely among them regards labour as the source of legitimate property claims. Modern libertarians often refer to Lockean conceptions of…
The Myth of the Libertarian Constitution
The original Constitution, as designed by the framers in Philadelphia, has often been seen as guaranteeing individual freedom from government repression. Many of Donald Trump’s critics see him as undermining our nation’s foundational constitutional principles, and people and groups from Joe Biden to Black Lives Matter are often seen as trying to restore them. But…
Political Intellectuals Discouraging Political Intellect
Many intellectuals[1] lament the supposed apathy, stupidity, or ignorance of the average person. Some start from a charitable idea: e.g., people don’t care about issues of greater political implication for rational (economic) reasons. However, an end point for many is to conclude that it’s better if the idiots around them don’t engage in political activities…
Against the Criminal Justice System, Pt. IV: Free All Prisoners
The last three posts of this series have been focused on the injustice of punishment and criminal law, and the justice of a tort-based pure restitution system. Even if punishment itself were legitimate, however, we would still have reason to reject the main form of punishment that exists today.Prisons– especially as they exist in the United States–…
An Open Letter to Anti-Racists on Global Poverty
Dear Anti-racists,  Cheers to the earth-shattering defeat of Donald Trump, in whose electoral demise you played no small part. Your jubilation as this nightmare of a presidency nears its apparent end is every bit warranted. Joe Biden’s presidency will be far from perfect, but we can reasonably expect it to be better than the (primary)…
Should We Give to Morally Imperfect People?
Suppose that we endorse something like this moral principle: The most moral way to live is to prevent as much suffering as possible.  This principle is quite demanding, as it means (for example) that spending six dollars on an expensive cup of coffee—when those six dollars could more effectively relieve suffering in the hands of…
Against the Criminal Justice System, Pt. III: For Actual Justice
In the previous couple of posts of this series, I argued that the practice of punishment and the institution of criminal law are inherently unjust. As an alternative, I proposed that we replaced them with a purely civil system, with no law but tort law. All cases would then be cases of dispute resolution, where…
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…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory