Feature Articles
Comments on the Other Lead Essays
In “The Regime of Liberty,” Gabriel Amadej advocates the Proudhonian ideal – reflected in the dictum “property is liberty” – of some individual sphere of last resort where means of subsistence are secure from the will of the majority: “Democracy disrupts this balance and places society under the unaccountable domain of community.
Individualist Anarchism vs. Social Anarchism
This C4SS discussion about anarchism and democracy has been intriguing—even though I am one of only two writers who have regarded them as compatible concepts. The brief essay by Grayson, “Demolish the Demos,” is especially useful. It clarifies what is at the root of the disagreement among anarchists about democracy. The basic issue, I believe, is not what…
Response to Wittorff
I should clarify for Derek Wittorff that I wasn’t embracing, for example, calling all collective decisionmaking “democracy.” Rather, I was entertaining the more extreme definitions out there. I was attempting to point out how some kernel of “the rule of all over all” lies within each of these alternative definitions.
Formality, Collectivity and Anarchy
I found William Gillis’ essay “The Abolition of Rulership Or The Rule Of All Over All” to be a very interesting read. It covered many of the same points as my essay without much disagreement, and in a much less compressed manner. However, there was one notable difference, and a couple of slight disagreements.
Embracing the Antinomies
It should be clear that one of the key conflicts in these debates about anarchy and democracy is a struggle over the nature of anarchism. And it is probably safe to say that nearly all anarchists wrestle with the difficulties of defining that term.
Response to Goodman
Nathan Goodman brings an interesting definition of “democracy” to the conversation — and one that I didn’t preemptively critique — openness. Seeking to bridge the oft-stated dichotomy of markets and democracy, Nathan cites Don Lavoie’s conception which essentially posits markets as the truest expression of democracy.
Politics and Anarchist Ideals
This piece is the tenth essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.” A fundamental difference between anarchism and statism is that anarchists do not assume that public officials are any more morally entitled to use force or to threaten people with violence than anyone else.
Anarchism as Radical Liberalism: Radicalizing Markets, Radicalizing Democracy
Classical liberalism emerged as a radical ideology, challenging the status quo of monarchy, mercantilism, religious tyranny, and the ancien regime. The liberals promoted two ideals, markets and democracy, as alternatives to the old despotisms. Yet markets and democracy seemed to be at odds.
Demolish the Demos
There has long been a certain kind of democratic spirit in anarchism. Of course when we bring forth the imagery of statist and authoritarian injustice, we feel the rhetorical pull to illustrate it as a collective issue, one that is relevant and applicable to all.
The Regime of Liberty
The relationship between democracy and anarchism is undoubtedly a contentious one. In his work The Principle of Federation1, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon makes it clear that democracy has an important legacy to respect. Because Proudhon declared that Universal Suffrage was above The Republic, he had to evaluate the character of democracy in ideal terms. Proudhon categorized democracy…
On Democracy as a Necessary Anarchist Value
As a working definition of democracy, I think about the best we can do is this description of anarchy in Pyotr Kropotkin’s 1911 Britannica article on anarchism — the attainment of harmony: “…not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free arrangements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional,…
Anarchy and Democracy: Examining the Divide
Philosophical Considerations If we had the luxury of sticking to the philosophical terrain, the question of distinguishing anarchy and democracy would, it seems to me, pose very few problems. Certainly, it would be unlikely to pose the persistent, seemingly intractable problems that it does at present. Anarchy describes the absence of rule, while democracy describes…
The Linguistics of Democracy
This piece is the fourth essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.” Democracy is a word that evokes an array of affective responses depending on time, place, and people involved. For the Patriot movement, democracy stimulates a constellation of ideals, values, and principles.
The Common ‘Logic’ of Compulsory Education, Homophobia, and Transphobia
Anyone arguing against compulsory education will inevitably encounter (a variant of) this objection: “but a child cannot possibly know what is good for them and what they need to function well in society, we need some basic standards that everyone can conform to.”
Democracy: Self-Government or Systemic Powerlessness?
This piece is the third essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.” Democracy: the universal war cry of justice. We’re told by the left — both moderate and radical — that all socio-political problems almost always arise from a pure lack of democracy.
Democracy, Anarchism, & Freedom
This piece is the second essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.” “Democracy” and “anarchism” are broad, vague, and hotly contested terms. Even if we stick to specific definitions, there are still arguments about what these definitions mean in practice.
The Abolition Of Rulership Or The Rule Of All Over All
This piece is the opening essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.” Fighting over the definitions of words can sometimes seem like a futile and irrelevant undertaking. However, it’s important to note that whatever language gets standardized in our communities shapes what we can talk and think about.
June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: Anarchy and Democracy
Mutual Exchange is the Center for a Stateless Society’s effort to achieve mutual understanding through dialogue. Following one of the most divisive Presidential elections in recent American history and a dangerous victor’s contested ascension to power, the political climate is one of intense ideological strife and disagreement.
“Nice Cops”
I am of the ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) and FTP (Fuck The Police) ideological lineages: even though, as a blameless bastard child, I resent the comparison. However, many who engage in this critique of state-backed mercenaries fall into rhetorical traps at the simplest rebuttal.
When Concerns Of Cultural Appropriation Risk Supporting Intellectual Property
The latest entry in panics over social justice comes from my hometown, where some folks have created a list shaming restaurants and foodcarts that were owned by white people but sold “non-European international cuisine.” One of the more annoying restaurants on that list has now closed as a result of hate mail.
Free Markets & Capitalism?
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist