Feature Articles
2020 September 13
Reminder I am Trump America Master Card Guantanamo I will janitor my retirement cleaning churches I attend and pretend belief in their services I use to shine mine, fooling no one on intent winning tolerance with kind Precariously, Word! Out of my mouth I get a five syllable word cha-cha heelingly hooked. Allusion? Most won’t…
Another Lost Comrade
Another death, Another dearly departed friend, Another memory where a comrade once stood. Another breath, When will it end? Why I’m still here, I’ve never understood. Why this time? Lack of healthcare? Overdose? Hate crime? Refusal to share? Beaten by police? Choked or shot? Or maybe just left In prison to rot? The questions dance…
Untitled I
Brown uniforms are real. Rifles are real. Soldiers are a social fiction. Blue uniforms exist and so do their guns. Policemen, my brothers and sisters, are a social fiction. So many primitive ways to keep us in check. Or is that too Budddhistic a view for you? Building a new world in the shell of the old Begins in your head. If you’re…
Two Limericks
As our flag was raised up the mast A feeling of hope at long last Arose in my breast Only to be suppressed As the half-way point was surpassed Of Hitler, one thing can be said: He raised the bar high over head Antifascists are sure To remain premature Til six million and one are…
The Myth of the Private Sector, Part I: Why Big-Small and Vertical-Horizontal Trumps “Public-Private”
Today (Oct. 28) Rachel McKinney, a friend who works as professor of philosophy, complained on Twitter that she was trying to create a midterm exam and “blackboard is complete fucking garbage. No intuitive way to break up questions into sections, can’t give instructions for specific sections, can’t modulate to require answers for e.g. 10 of…
Recasting the Theory of Natural Law
Proudhon (1809-1865) is generally remembered for remarking, “Property is theft” and “I am an anarchist.” However, behind both of those well-known statements lies his conception of  justice, which pervades all of his works. Justice is the central concept to Proudhon’s framework, yet it is not something for which he appears to be well-known. Partially to…
An Anarchist Take on Antitrust Laws: Dangers and Possibilities
Monopolies are pretty much universally bad. This is an uncontroversial position amongst anarchists who principally define themselves in opposition to the state, which Max Weber, in “Politics as Vocation,” defines as the monopoly upon force and the approval of the use of force in a geographic area. Benjamin Tucker, the great American individualist anarchist, defines…
Only Anarchists Are Pretty: An Anarchist Guide to Fashion Part 2: Dressing for Anonymity
Whether you’re at a protest, engaging in direct action of questionable legality, or just trying to avoid detection in everyday life by police, fascists, or surveillance systems such as facial recognition technology, there are numerous reasons for anarchists to be concerned with maintaining anonymity, and the way one dresses can be one of the most…
Effective Altruists as Anarchist Subversives
Most Effective Altruists don’t look like anarchists. The latter have a (charmingly) grungy flavor, the aura of half-dazed rebels perennially stumbling their way out of Woodstock reunions. By contrast, Effective Altruists have the trappings of recent MIT and Tufts graduates, lanky tech nerds and philosophy majors with an incomprehensible infatuation with “Pi Day” and something…
Micro Monopolies: When Exit Fails
Although monopolies typically evoke images of large corporations and governments, the concept of monopoly power is relative. That is, even a small entity can benefit at the expense of others depending on how individuals relate to it and the power it holds over them. Having numerous choices does not matter if an individual only cares…
Liberal Patriotism and the Trust Crisis That Isn’t
Pete Buttigieg is a fascinating figure. This isn’t to say that his policies or beliefs are unique, but his popularity among Democrats is something I’ve had a passive awareness of for the past year. This intrigues me, because I see very few things in Mayor Pete that make him stand out among other reformist liberals;…
Protocols of the Elders of Zion, QAnon, and the Cult of Statism
In the early 1900s, an anonymous book known as The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion more commonly known simply as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion began circulating. It was a blatantly antisemitic publication falsely claiming to be written by the “elders of Zion” themselves and detailing their alleged plans…
The Internet was always anarchist, so anarchists must learn to become responsible for operating it
The fundamental tenet of anarchism is the resistance to an Archos, Greek for “master.” To advocate for anarchism is to position oneself in opposition to a master, i.e., to claim the fundamental right of self-determination, autonomy, and freedom from a centralized system of (especially coercive) control. To act anarchically simply means to act independently of…
Towards Methodological Situationism
While anarchists have incorporated insights from economics, anthropology, psychology, and some macro-sociology, there is a notable absence when it comes to micro-sociology. This is puzzling as the very core of anarchist thought is about hierarchy, a sociological phenomenon. The standard anarchist conception of hierarchy focuses almost exclusively on structural power. Generally speaking, anarchists claim to…
The Beauty of Nationalism
We all have biases, and for many people nationalism (even the smallest degree of it) is one of them. However, if your goal is to understand the world, nationalist sentiments won’t give you the sturdiest foundation to do so. Nationalism shortcuts our thinking about the world. It awards a disproportionate amount of virtue points to…
Seriously, What Is Mark Thornton Talking About?
Someone dear to me (who I’ll leave unnamed) has a rule that before you say anything, you should consider these three questions: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? And if two of the three criteria are met then you can go ahead and speak your mind. I’m afraid what I have to…
Response to Aurora Apolito
In “The Problem of Scale in Anarchism and the Case for Cybernetic Communism,” Aurora Apolito writes: I don’t believe that markets can be “liberated” from capitalism, nor that they can do anything good anyway, regardless of their liberated status. In essence, this is because I view the market mechanism as running on a steepest descent…
Relitigating Decentralization: Response to M Black
I must confess no small horror on reading M Black’s contribution to this Mutual Exchange. A self-professed anarchist, defending centralization? I would normally let such arguments fall on their face alone, but if we are to platform them in this exchange I feel a moral obligation to reiterate basic reality. My response will be divided…
Modern Money Theory: Using Authoritarians’ Tools Against Them
For a few years now, Modern Money Theory, or MMT, has been the hottest buzzword in economics. The insights of MMT regarding our nation’s spending debate have been simultaneously misunderstood, disregarded, and celebrated. In this essay I will explain the central argument of MMT. I will explore why its conclusions are dangerous in the wrong…
In Memoriam: David Graeber, 1961-2020
It’s conventional to start an obituary article with a brief biographical summary, so here it is. One of David’s pet peeves was being referred to as an anarchist anthropologist, so I’ll say that David Graeber, an anarchist and an anthropologist, died at age 59 Wednesday, September 3rd in Venice of as yet unreported causes.  He…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory