Feature Articles
The Mall or the Agora? Revitalizing the Anarchist Bookfair
Anarchist bookfairs are one of the most interesting features of anarchist life. A bookfair is immediately recognizable as hierarchical. There are the booksellers and there are the consumers. What separates the two is not merely the physicality of a table, but the capital investment it represents. Those distroing have usually been required to purchase space…
General Intellect as a Vanguard: Keeping the Pigs from Grazing in the Knowledge Commons
It is not a coincidence that when patents and copyrights are described in formal documents or discussions they are always labeled as “intellectual property” and virtually never as the simple term “property.” Calling it simply property would generate confusion with actually existing forms of private property, such as land, cars, and stocks. Such private property…
Chelsea Manning is a Hero and Needs Our Support
You can donate to Chelsea Manning’s legal fund here.  “[I] will accept whatever you bring upon me,” Chelsea Manning told a judge before being jailed for refusing to testify to a grand jury, mostly likely concerning her heroic efforts at leaking American war crimes almost a decade ago. Grand juries are secret hearings designed to…
Don’t Let Reality Catch You Slippin’
Many would-be radicals mistake throwing the baby out with the bath water for radical inquiry. “Abolish X thing” has been a useful frame for the moral immediatism we espouse. If it is cruel and unjust, our goal must be its abolition. However, after identifying X thing as Bad, we may, in our haste, obscure the…
One Cheer — More or Less — For the Green New Deal
In critiquing and analyzing a state policy proposal like the Green New Deal from an anarchist perspective, I should throw in the usual disclaimers about my working assumptions. I’m not an insurrectionist and I don’t believe the post-capitalist/post-state transition will be primarily what Erik Olin Wright called a “ruptural” process. Although the final transition may…
The Importance of Quentin Meillassoux for Radicals
Quentin Meillassoux is a contemporary French philosopher and a teacher at Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris. He is also part of the movement that Ray Brassier, a fellow philosopher and translator of some of Meillassoux’s work, christened “speculative realism.” This disparate group is connected almost solely by a rejection of correlationism—which is the notion that we…
Update: Queer Defense in Brazil
Click here to donate now. cw: skip first paragraph for mentions of graphic anti-LGBTQIA violence It has been a brutal week for LGBTQIA communities in Brazil. A queer Brazilian friend is heartbroken over the murders and suicides of 3 people close to him in just the last 4 days. The stories of these deaths are…
You Are Not Alone!: Stigmergic Parity and Revolt
Burn the Black Flag In nearly every major city and most small towns, there are anarchists, or people with unlabeled anarchist values, plotting ways to create space for our radical projects promoting positive freedom. In most cities, our efforts are duly encumbered with the toil of filling in the abyss of gaps in state services:…
Beneath The Institutional — Response To Gelderloos
Gelderloos complains at length about perceived small misreadings and misrepresentations in my piece warning about skews to “Diagnostic of the Future” but then he engages in a number of such himself. “They say I claim that fascism should only be critiqued at the institutional level, and never at the ideological level.” But note that I…
In Memoriam: William Blum (1933-2018)
William Blum began his adult life as an anti-communist liberal working as a technical functionary in the US State Department, until he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War and went on to a career in radical journalism. Among other things, he covered the Pinochet coup from Chile and worked with renegade CIA officer Philip Agee…
The Megamachines Are False Specters — A Response To Gelderloos
I think it’s a shame that anarchists don’t write more on either geopolitics or analyses of the future; over the last two centuries our greatest successes have come from our imagination and foresight. For this reason I applaud Peter Gelderloos’ recent attempted forecast, published in a variety of forms by Crimethinc. There’s much to agree…
The Man Who Changed Superheroes Forever
Even if you’ve never read a comic book or seen a superhero movie, Stan Lee has affected your life. His storytelling. His approach to heroism. His moral lessons. His ethos, embodied in the catchphrase “Excelsior!” The Mount Rushmore of modern pop culture surely has a spot for him. His imagination permeates humanity’s modern collective imagination….
The Future of Digital Proudhonism
Gavin Mueller’s recent article for the boundary 2 online journal, “Digital Proudhonism” is a Marxist critique of what Mueller describes as “Digital Proudhonism,” a catchall term for those who believe that technology is lowering class barriers. Digital Proudhonism is not a formal ideology but rather an undercurrent expressed by a variety of individuals from all…
Looking for Daylight: Minarchist Strategy’s Missteps
Reason magazine editors Nick Gillespie and Katherine Mangu-Ward have recently debated the question of minarchism (i.e., minimal government) vs. free-market anarchism. As an anarchist, I’m obviously on Mangu-Ward’s side of the debate. But both writers make some assumptions about strategy that I find problematic. I’ll start with Gillespie, who expresses impatience with “boring, tedious, and…
A Simple Reform
If the problem with taxation is the coercion, then surely the priority of any coherent and consistent libertarian reformism on taxes should be to minimize the number of people who are robbed at all. Of course this would mean entirely abolishing taxes on the poorest. By the non-aggression principle, a mugger drawing a gun on…
The Discourse Is Not the Territory
When evaluations of reality become seen entirely in terms of their utility as rhetorical weapons it ruins a group’s capacity to get an accurate lay of the land and efficiently strategize. Everything becomes about winning debates, not about ultimately winning ground. One of the main things the social media age has done is collapse divides…
Defying Power: Different Views on How Best to Understand the Evolution of the State (Part II)
In Part I of this article, I responded to William Gillis’ review of Worshiping Power: An Anarchist Vision of Early State Formation. I wanted to give special attention to what I found to be his most interesting critique. Gillis takes me to task for focusing too much on the anthropological definition of the state, analyzing…
The Last Person in the Room Must Close the Door: Hayek in the Age of Computing
There is a common joke in computing circles to announce at the beginning of a course that “The last person in the room must close the door.” Though at first blush the request seems reasonable, this is an example of an uncomputable function. The last person to enter the room has no way of knowing…
The Failure of Soviet Privatization
When “The Market” Is Just Money Laundering the Bloodsoaked Riches of Statism When the USSR fell one of the “privatization” schemes was to just hand workers stock certificates in the companies they worked at. The problem of course was that the economy was seized up and everyone was starving. So gangsters and the children of…
The Status Quo Bias Of Libertarians
By definition no consistently anti-statist libertarian believes that government property is legitimate. The state, by its very nature, cannot be meaningfully consented to; its claims to ownership are the claims of a ranting madman armed to the teeth and soaked in blood. It is also broadly recognized that, because the state is aggression at its…
Free Markets & Capitalism?
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist