Feature Articles
Chile and the Limits of Neoliberalism
Photo credit: Susana Hidalgo, Instagram There are many protests throughout Latin America and the world right now, but the revolt in Chile is a particularly sharp rejection of neoliberalism. Chile has been sold as a model economy in the region that allegedly promotes the “free market” while constructing solid institutions. The reality is that Chile’s…
Status Hierarchies: Tacit Consent and Performance Expectations
What keeps all different types of libertarian socialists together is the belief that minimizing hierarchy generates more freedom and equality. Nonetheless, hierarchy is a word etched in ambiguity. The terms power and status are used carelessly. Historically, libertarian socialists, with some notable exceptions, have tended to only be critical of power hierarchies. Feminists and race…
Black Cat Crossing
I’ve always been told to avoid crossing paths with a black cat, seven years bad luck and all that, but this one crossed mine. It’s not on me.  A local anarchist writer that goes by the pseudonym “Black Cat” recently wrote a piece attacking indigenous elders, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front (PNWYLF), and “the…
Rights, Privilege, and Power
What do we speak of when we discuss the concept of rights? There exists the philosophical concept, the notion that all human beings are embodied with certain inalienable rights, simply by consequence of their being human. This notion refers to human rights as they are commonly understood. Then there exists the legalistic understanding, that of…
Money Without the State
Graeber, in his Debt, attacks what he refers to as ‘the myth of barter’ — the idea that money is a communal invention and agreed-upon standard to avoid the problem of having to barter. He’s entirely correct — such a myth is false. However, some of his overzealous fans are incorrect — he at no…
Postmodern Discourse in the Corporate Boardroom
During a recent business meeting, I noticed some ways in which corporate hierarchy leads to negative sum competition and distortions of reality. At my current job in data analytics, I build live business “dashboards” to provide actionable insights to upper management; this includes working with different departments to create new data pipelines and ensure the…
“Under Capitalism”?
In a couple of earlier pieces, C4SS writers Frank Miroslav and Black Cat argued, respectively, that the frequently stated principle “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism” is a “thought-stopping cliche,” and — in response — that “there really is no ethical (individual) consumption under capitalism.” As I read it, the disagreement between them is…
No Citizens: Abolishing Borders Beyond the Nation-State
The very existence of borders is one of the founding injustices of this world. Most of us recognize this implicitly, and I won’t spend too much time here trying to argue what’s been clearly argued by generations of anarchists: Borders and citizenship are constitutive elements of the nation-state, and as such must be overturned and…
Anti-State Responses to Terrorism
Another week, another misogynist and/or white nationalist terrorist attack. They’re urging each other on, they’re forming broad movements, ecosystems, networks of cells. The Base. Atomwaffen. The Rise Above Movement. American Identity Movement. Hammerskin Nation. Wolves of Vinland. European Kindred. Proud Boys. The names and factions proliferate. Hordes congregate online to cheer the latest atrocity and…
“Economic Calculation,” “Strong Property Rights,” and Other Lies Koch-Funded Libertarian Commentators Told Me
A common cliche among conservatives and those on the libertarian Right is that “strong property rights” are an incentive to create wealth and are necessary for progress. Closely related is Ludwig von Mises’ critique of the Oskar Lange model of market socialism, namely that it would result in irrationality because factor input pricing by non-market…
Sex Work, After the Revolution
It will always remain astounding how the authoritarian left shares so much archaic morality with the right-wing when we talk about the idea of fucking for pay. The most deeply devoted members of the alt-right, the centrist core, and left-wing radicals all turn into pearl-clutching suburban soccer moms when the subject of sex-work is broached….
There Really Is No Ethical (Individual) Consumption Under Capitalism
This piece is partially written as a rebuttal to “No Ethical Consumption Under Capitalism” is a Thought-Stopping Cliche and Only Anarchists Are Pretty: An Anarchist Guide to Fashion.  Anarchists, particularly AnComs, are fond of saying that ‘there is no ethical consumption under capitalism’ in response to any and all calls to change our consumption choices…
The Dual Legacy of the Declaration of Independence
No one should raise the stars and stripes on the 4th. The proper flag to raise on the 4th of July is the black flag of anarchy. – Nick Manley The Fourth of July commemorates the anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence, a document which the anarchist must view with mixed emotions. The document’s…
Marxist Economist Paul Cockshott Is a Reactionary
Paul Cockshott, the author of Towards a New Socialism, is essentially a NazBol. Everyone seems to ignore this, and I have no idea why. He is quite open about his hatred of gay men, sex workers, immigrants, and trans women — and his policy proposals are filled with horrific implications and unworkable ideas.  This isn’t…
A Cop, a Dog, and a Computer Walk into a Bar: Personhood & Moral Subjectivity
I’m mostly writing about morality because I would very much like to stop writing about morality. I say this because morality is, ultimately, a social construct — which isn’t to say that it’s nothing, but is to say that it’s malleable. It’s a feeling. You can’t whip out a morality-o-meter and measure morality. Even further,…
Reputation Markets: Reality, Dangers, and Possibility
Trust is the backbone of not just economies, but also the social fabric more broadly. With it, new worlds are possible, and without it, collapse is inevitable. Trust is built on dynamic and complexly layered reputations. We each have our own methods of building trust, and different communities have their own systems for developing reputation….
How Anarchist Theory Explains the Death of the ISO, the Defeat of the Red Guards, and the Struggles of the DSA
American vanguard parties have not been doing well lately. The International Socialist Organization (ISO) voted to dissolve itself, over what would once have been nothing but a “routine” rape scandal — though, hilariously, a splinter of a splinter of their party continues to try to run their newspaper. The LA Red Guards started a fight…
Pigs on the Beat
 Thanks to everyone who participated in our May Poetry Feature. We’ll be moving away from poems for a bit, but look out for future special features and poetry projects!    The breadth of corruption has eclipsed the surreal arms of enforcement and tendons of steel    Enforcers are charged with societies care and they stomp…
Goodbye, Cascadia: A Retrospective on a Political Mistake
Cascadia, Cascadia. What is there to say about this complicated movement? I suppose I should start by explaining what it is, and what it isn’t. After all, there are quite a lot misconceptions out there. Bioregionalism is not, on paper, nationalism in a green hat. Cascadia was originally largely an anarchist project, coming out of…
Only Anarchists Are Pretty: An Anarchist Guide to Fashion
In the 90’s, the anti-(corporate) globalization movement was at the forefront of the conversation in radical political circles. From the Carnival Against Capital to the Zapatistas to the Battle in Seattle, the fight against global capitalism raged on. This battle raged on side-by-side with the fight against sweatshop labor with protesters targeting companies like Gap…
The Anatomy of Escape
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
Free Markets & Capitalism?
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist