STIGMERGY: The C4SS Blog
Big Developments in Nathan Goodman’s Work on War

Our former Lysander Spooner Research Scholar in Abolitionist Studies, Nathan Goodman — now a PhD candidate at George Mason University — has been producing some great work on the costs of war, the abuses of empire, and the possibility of non-state defense projects. His work critiques the massive cost of the US military empire, as well as the standard economic rationales for centralized defense provided by the nation-state. He builds on the work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom and other pioneers of polycentric legal theory to make the case for a less costly, safer, and more humane approach to defense.

In particular, his work on war, peace, and the cost of the US military was recently highlighted at the Ron Paul Institute’s 2019 Washington Conference. You can hear his remarks below:

For a more in-depth study around the possibility of polycentric defense systems, though, check out his new paper “Polycentric Defense” which is up on SSRN and was co-authored with Christopher Coyne. The abstract for the paper reads:

Orthodox economics models defense as a public good provided by a central nation state. This approach abstracts away from the diverse institutions and processes individuals use to provide defense in the actual world. This paper frames defense as a polycentric system whereby dispersed groups of people find context-specific solutions to collective action problems. We explore what polycentric defense looks like, both theoretically and through historical illustrations.

You can also hear Nathan discuss this paper — and some of his other work — on a recent episode of Mutual Exchange Radio, the official C4SS podcast. As we build a new and freer world, working out the specifics on complicated problems such as regional defense is an immensely important pursuit.

Nathan’s groundbreaking work on this subject and others helps both to advance anarchist theory in its own right and improves the consideration of anarchist theory in mainstream academic landscapes. Keep an eye out for more great work on polycentric defense, the costs of imperialism, and anarchist economics from Nathan Goodman soon!

Mutual Exchange Radio: Jahed Momand on Epistemological Anarchism

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

This month, we interrupt our scheduled episodes to bring you a special episode from the Please Try This at Home transhumanism conference. In this episode, podcast producer Alex McHugh interviews Jahed Momand on autonomous medicine.

Jahed is a PNW-based anarchist interested in epistemological anarchism and radical approaches to science. He writes long-form essays and a newsletter at againstutopia.com. In the episode, we get into the problems caused by hierarchy and authority in scientific discovery, and specifically the limitations this system has placed on treatment options for mental health issues. Jahed’s research focuses on depression, but we also dig into other mental health issues, such as psychotic disorders and personality disorders. It’s a bit science-heavy, but Jahed explains the terms well and anyone with a basic understanding of biology should be able to keep up.

The episode with Kim Kelly has been rescheduled to next month, so if you were looking forward to that, don’t worry, it’s still happening! We’ll talk about some of the history of pro-gun groups on the left and the anarchist opposition to gun control, but we’ll also cover what it’s like to be a radical writer in today’s media landscape. This also means you have more time to submit questions for Kim over at Patreon! Look out for tips on navigating submissions to non-radical publications as well as a discussion on the world of radical media.

As always, none of this would be possible without our patrons and listeners, thank you so much! 

Molinari Review I.1 Now Free Online, Molinari Review I.2 Heading to Print

In celebration of the 17th anniversary of the Molinari Institute, we’re happy to announce:

a) The long-awaited second issue of the Molinari Review will be published later this month. More details soon!

b) In the meantime, the entire first issue is now available for free online on the journal’s archive page. You can download either individual articles or the whole thing. Contents include:

  • “The Right to Privacy Is Tocquevillean, Not Lockean: Why It Matters” by Julio Rodman
  • “Libertarianism and Privilege” by Billy Christmas
  • “Capitalism, Free Enterprise, and Progress: Partners or Adversaries?” by Darian Nayfeld Worden
  • “Turning the Tables: The Pathologies and Unrealized Promise of Libertarianism” by Gus diZerega
  • Review of C. B. Daring, J. Rogue, Deric Shannon, and Abbey Volcano’s Queering Anarchism: Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire by Nathan Goodman

Enjoy!

Mutual Exchange Radio: Nathan Goodman on the Provision of Public Goods and Welfare in a Stateless Society

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

 

This month, Nathan Goodman joined us on Mutual Exchange Radio to discuss the provision of public goods and welfare in a stateless society. Nathan is a PhD student in economics at George Mason University. Previously, he was the Lysander Spooner Research Scholar in Abolitionist Studies here at the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS), and you can read his contributions here.

His research interests include defense and peace economics, Austrian economics, public choice, Bloomington school institutional analysis, self-governance, and analytical anarchism. Our discussion centers around his research on why national defense might not always be a public good and how the Mormon church has found ways around game theoretic problems that arise in mutual aid. He also gives a really helpful introduction to polycentricity and some key economic concepts.

Our next episode will feature Kim Kelly, an anarchist writer whose piece on leftist gun culture enjoyed some popularity recently. We’ll talk about some of the history of pro-gun groups on the left and the anarchist opposition to gun control, but we’ll also cover what it’s like to be a radical writer in today’s media landscape. Look out for tips on navigating submissions to non-radical publications as well as a discussion on the world of radical media.

As always, none of this would be possible without our patrons. You can become a supporter of Mutual Exchange Radio — and gain access to bonus content, great C4SS merch, and more — on Patreon. Tune in next month for another perspective in anarchist thought, and always feel free to reach out on Patreon, ask questions, and suggest guests or bonus content you’d like to see!

Statement on the P2P Foundation

It grieves me to write this, but I feel I have no choice but to do so if I want to be able to live with myself in good conscience.

I remember some time ago that Michel Bauwens posted something on the P2P Foundation email list reflecting the mindset of Jordan Peterson and/or Quillette (I forget the details) and expressed my negative reaction to it, and didn’t think any more about it afterward because I didn’t notice anything further along those lines on-list and the Blog has also apparently steered clear of such issues.

But earlier this year a comrade at C4SS informed me that such material — alt-right or “Intellectual Dark Web”-adjacent — was appearing on the P2PF Facebook group, which I don’t follow because I’m not on Facebook. They suggested I might want to think about how closely I associated myself with the Foundation, and avoid any public interviews or guest articles that promoted them. That made me uneasy enough that I minimized the amount of P2PF material I shared on Twitter and limited it to the stuff I considered genuinely indispensable, and any material I saw on the Blog I shared from the original source rather than the P2PF Blog reprint as I would have earlier.

I still wasn’t prepared to make a sharp, public break because I had no idea just how toxic things had gotten.

But in the past couple of days, it’s come to my attention that the Facebook group is rife with tropes from the Intellectual Dark Web, along with explicit promotions of Quillette, Aero and the like as antidotes to “Political Correctness” and “identity politics.” Michel and others have also explicitly iterated common alt-right “reverse hierarchies” tropes suggestive that those in movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too, as the common bar room refrain puts it, “don’t just want to be equal, they want to be superior!” The wrong-headed (and just plain incorrect) assessment that “identity politics” promotes disunity in economic- or class-based movements also makes a predictable appearance, as does the spurious claim that these things “push people farther right.”

On top of everything else, those who have called out Michel and others for the direction they are taking have been banned from the Facebook group, and have been subjected behind the scenes to campaigns harassing and attempting to discredit them. This is despicable.

As I noted at the outset, this is very hard for me. Michel has shown me great kindness in the past and promoted my work on the P2PF Blog in ways that have been invaluable. Aside from such personal considerations, a great deal of earlier work by Michel, Franco Iacomella, and others is still of monumental importance, and I will continue to cite it in my own work when appropriate.

Nevertheless, I cannot continue to associate myself with an organization whose internal culture has been overrun and contaminated with such ideas, and where such ideas are actively promoted by the leadership. You are giving aid and comfort to a toxic ideology that came to prominence thanks to utterly wretched movements, hatched in the bowels of 8chan, like GamerGate and ComicsGate, which proliferated on social media and in turn gave birth to the alt-right, and are now being mainstreamed by Quillette, the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and pundits ranging from Reason’s Robby Soave and Cathy Young on the right to people like Aimee Terese, Jimmy Dore, and Michael Tracey on the “Dirtbag Left.”

For this reason, I publicly disassociate myself from the Peer-to-Peer Foundation, Michel Bauwens and anyone else engaged in the activities I described above. I will unsubscribe from the Foundation’s email list and no longer promote its content on social media. When I do cite their valuable older work in future publications, I will always add a footnoted disclaimer stating my views on the course they have chosen to take.

I urge Michel and others sharing his views to strongly rethink the direction in which they are headed. The possibilities of Wikileaks, and its accomplishments in 2010-11 in helping to launch the Arab Spring, M15 and Occupy, were of inestimable value. Julian Assange chose to undermine and compromise Wikileaks by hijacking it as a personal marketing and propaganda vehicle, using it to promote his anti-“SJW” agenda and his alt-right allies, and pursuing a personal grudge by intervening in support of the GOP in the American 2016 election. This was an act of utter selfishness and amounted to sabotage of Wikileaks’ potential. I believe that Michel’s embrace and promotion of the ideas he has chosen to identify with have discredited and sabotaged the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives, and seriously undermined its mission.

To repeat, I beg you to rethink this and take action to restore your credibility. If nothing else, this is required by the P2P ethos itself, and by the stake many people and groups not represented in your inner circle have had in the success in your original mission.

If anyone still affiliated with the P2P Foundation shares my concerns, I ask you to make your voice heard and use your influence to the best of your ability within the organization, to rescue it from this cancer.

Mutual Exchange Radio: William Gillis on Positive and Negative Liberty

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, and SoundCloud

Our guest this month was someone familiar to many in the audience, Will Gillis. Will is the director of the Center for a Stateless Society and is a second-generation anarchist who’s worked as an activist in countless projects since getting involved in the lead-up to N30. He studies physics and writes regularly on the egalitarian potential of markets. His writing can be found on his website, humaniterations.net, as well as on C4SS.org.

Today’s discussion centers around a technical topic in political philosophy that has utmost importance for real-world political movements and many ideological debates: the distinction between positive and negative liberty. Will positions himself as defending a universalist conception of positive liberty as primary, against neo-Lockean libertarian views that place negative liberty as fundamental. He also discusses how a heavy priority on negative liberty has led many American libertarians to alt-right and fascist perspectives.

This is a fun, philosophically exciting conversation and I hope it is as thought-provoking for you as it was for me. Be warned though, it is a long one which was necessary since we covered a lot of ground and Will takes a lot of great philosophical sophistication and thoughtfulness into his views, which I hope comes across here.

Beyond this most recent episode, big things are happening over at the Mutual Exchange Radio Patreon! We’ve added new swag for supporters, including pins, buttons, stickers, and zines. Bonus content is going up more slowly than planned, but lookout for more soon! And if you have ideas for episodes, questions for upcoming guests, or anything else, reach out on Patreon and let us know!

Mutual Exchange Radio: Kelly Wright on Grand Juries and How the State Attempts to Control Information

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, and SoundCloud

Today we are joined by Kelly Wright. Kelly has written for the Center on topics ranging from the history of anarchist thought, transgender liberation, and police militarization. Kelly also served as Chelsea Manning’s Campaign Manager for her run for U.S. Senate in the Democratic Primary in Maryland in 2018 and is a member of Chelsea’s support committee providing material support for Chelsea as she defies a federal grand jury.

Our topic today is on the legal tools the US Government has to target whistleblowers and dissenters and restrict the civil liberties of every day Americans. Today we cover the legal ground surrounding grand juries, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and other examples of legal overreach by the state. Kelly is able to draw from a wide variety of examples from the history of state overreach.

Beyond this most recent episode, big things are happening over at the Mutual Exhcnage Radio Patreon! In addition to the release of our first bonus episode — in which host Zachary Woodman, producer Tony Dreher, and C4SS editing coordinator Alex McHugh discuss increasing tensions with Iran and the politics of pride month — we’ve also updated our patron tiers.

Now, in addition to pledging at the $20 and $10 level, supporters can help this project for as little as $2 per month. Plus, we’ve added new swag for supporters, including pins, buttons, stickers, and zines. We’ve even made it easier to get an Associate Producer credit on each episode, which is now available to supporters at the $10 level. Thanks so much for all your support! And if you have ideas for episodes, questions for upcoming guests, or anything else, reach out on Patreon and we’ll consider it.

Russia Targets Journalists in New Wave of Repression

In a concerning development for radicals everywhere, Russian officials have been cracking down on journalists with renewed vigor. In particular, journalist Ivan Golunov was recently arrested on fabricated drug charges and help for six days. While Golunov was released on June 11th, following a massive outpouring of support from journalists and citizens alike, there remains a great danger to the free flow of information.

Police arrested hundreds of protestors during a Moscow march in support of Golunov, and have been generally responding with violence to the spread of the #FreeGolunov movement and related anti-repression demonstrations. Thankfully, though, there does seem to be some response to the public pressure in support of journalists. Two police officers have been fired for Golunov’s arrest, in what appears to be a direct response to mass protests and public pressure over the incident. It goes to show how important public pressure can be for fighting back against repression, but the important thing to remember is that this is not over.

Like many governments, Putin’s Russia goes through cycles of repression, backing off when the pressure at home and internationally becomes too much, but maintaining a position of opposition to journalists and other political types. It’s important to stay aware of the obstacles facing radicals around the world, and Russia’s recent attempt to target journalists should worry us greatly. We can help keep the pressure on internationally by keeping abreast of the issue, and supporting journalists like Golunov when they are targeted with arrest and other repressive tactics. An injury to one is an injury to us all.

Mutual Exchange Radio: Fabio Rojas on Common Objections to Open Borders

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. SoundCloud distribution is coming soon! 

Sorry for the delay! May’s episode is out now and features Fabio Rojas, a professor of sociology at Indiana University. Dr. Rojas is an expert who works on the sociology of political movements and social theory. We are exploring what a world with little to no immigration restrictions might look like and Dr. Rojas’ case for why it would be preferable, both on economic and on ethical grounds. Dr. Rojas addresses some of the most common objections to open borders from the left and the right. He is a very knowledgeable expert on the sociology of immigration as well as a passionate advocate for immigrant rights and that really comes through in our conversation.

Next month, we welcome Kelly Wright, a writer at C4SS and due process advocate, to discuss the targeting of whistleblowers, activists, and journalists through the application of legislation like the Espionage Act and the CFAA, as well as the problem of prosecutorial abuse and other methods of quashing dissent. Grand juries and other legal tools have been used with increasing aggression in recent years to target and silence American dissenters. Tune in next month to learn more about these methods of state repression, and how people are resisting.

One reason for the delayed release this month was the addition of our first bonus episode to the production schedule. To hear this first bonus episode, you’ll need to be a patron of C4SS and Mutual Exhcnage Radio. In it, host Zachary Woodman, producer Tony Dreher, and C4SS editing coordinator Alex McHugh discuss the US ban of Huawei telecommunications equipment and increasing tensions with Iran. We end with a discussion of Impossible Burgers and other green meat alternatives.

May Day Poetry Feature

First off, I want to thank everyone who answered the call and submitted poems for our first ever May poetry feature! I’ll admit I was a little scared about going off the beaten path here, but you all delivered, and it’s been a real pleasure to review the poems we’ve received. I also want to give a special thanks to those of you who chose to donate your writer’s fee to Chelsea Manning’s personal support fund. It’s going to do a lot of good! You can read more about her continued resistance to state intimidation here.

This is just a quick update to say that we’ll be publishing the accepted poems (ten in total) throughout the month. The first will be published next Monday, May 6th, and we’ll go from there with the last poem wrapping things up on Thursday, May 30th. I’m happy to report there’s a lot of variety in the style and subjects, so it should be an exciting few weeks.

Finally, with May Day yesterday, I want to note that this project was partially inspired by the anarchist tradition of May Day remembrance. That tradition both celebrates and mourns the lives of those who came before us, and who have sacrificed much for the cause of anarchism. Such occasions can stir intense and complicated emotions, so I wanted to give people a space in which to express these feelings and a reminder that intensity of emotion is not a weakness, it is a reflection of our strength. I hope those who submitted poems felt some release in writing them, and that we all continue to embrace our own emotional depth. Look out for that first poem on Monday!

Mutual Exchange Radio: Lyn Ulbricht on Due Process

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

 

 

Today’s guest is Lyn Ulbricht. For those unfamiliar with the Silk Road case, Lyn is Ross Ulbricht’s mother and she became a crusader for due process after his 2013 arrest for developing the dark net trading site. In this episode, we consider issues of due process, the precedents set by the Silk Road case, and the right to privacy. An important conversation for anyone living in the Internet age!

Next month, we’ll cover the issue of immigration rights and reform. With so much talk of immigration issues in the current political cycle, it’s important to think about how we can help and support our neighbors who have moved from somewhere else. From ICE blockades to providing safe houses and advocating for sanctuary cities, there is a lot to be done. But we also have to win the ideological battle here, and next week, we’ll get deep into the weeds on the right to free movement and anarchist positions on immigration. 

In the meantime, head over to the C4SS Patreon and consider supporting this project. From there, you can support this podcast and other C4SS projects by making a monthly pledge of $5 or more. We’ll be updating our Patreon tiers next month as well, and offering more cool prizes and opportunities for our supporters. We appreciate all you do and look forward to continuing the growth the podcast has seen so far. 

Cory Massimino on SiriusXM

Following his recent publication in The Independent, C4SS coordinator Cory Massimino was again in the news on the issue of immigration. Speaking with Tim Farley on SiriusXM’s morning show yesterday, Cory once again outlined the case for open borders, using El Paso, Texas as a model of success.

You can listen to the full segment here or below:

Cory Massimino in The Independent

C4SS coordinator Cory Massimino has been published in The Indpendent on the realities of immigration to the United States. Despite the repeated claims of President Trump, the fact remains that immigrants commit less crime than native-born Americans. Trump has recently threatened to close down the border with Mexico, maintaining his line that immigration across that border constitutes a “state of emergency” and a threat to the United States. Cory explains just how ridiculous this is:

The idea that closed borders and more fencing will increase border security isn’t supported by the facts. In his State of the Union address, Trump made this argument when he credited the decline in El Paso’s violent crime rate to the local border wall. But El Paso’s violent crime rate had already fallen 34 per cent from 1993 to 2006 — the year George W Bush authorised the wall.

Meanwhile, welcoming immigration works.

In 2009, only a year after the local border wall began construction, journalist Radley Balko explained how El Paso — then the third safest city in the country and currently the seventh safest city— proves common stereotypes wrong. To immigration restrictionists, El Paso could look like a recipe for violence and anarchy: it has the seventh largest immigrant population of any American city. Its population is over 75 per cent Hispanic and over 25 per cent foreign-born and its poverty rate is twice the national average. Many residents are likely undocumented. Yet Balko found that “El Paso’s embrace of its immigrants might be a big reason why the low-income border town has remained one of the safest places in the country.”

Read the full piece here.

Mutual Exchange Radio: Maggie McNeill on Sex Work

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Today’s guest is Maggie McNeil, an author, journalist, blogger, sex worker, and expert on sex work. Maggie has written a series of short stories on sex work, Ladies of the Night,  runs her own blog, The Honest Courtesan, and has had her writings featured in outlets such as The Washington Post, Reason Magazine and Cato Unbound.

Most recently, she was featured prominently in the documentary The War on Whores, which you can rent on Vimeo. Today we discussed the legal and moral issues surrounding sex work in which Maggie gave her strongest case for decriminalization and responded to some common objections, as well as the social and moral implications of its decriminalization and normalization. You can tell that Maggie really knows the empirical literature on this topic and that made this an especially informative conversation. I hope you learned as much as I did.

Next month, tune in to hear our interview with Lyn Ulbricht. For those unfamiliar with the Silk Road case, Lyn is Ross Ulbricht’s mother and she became a crusader for due process after his 2013 arrest for developing the dark net trading site. In this episode, we consider issues of due process, the precedents set by the Silk Road case, and the right to privacy. An important conversation for anyone living in the Internet age! 

In the meantime, head over to the C4SS Patreon  and consider supporting this project. From there, you can support this podcast and other C4SS projects by making a monthly pledge of $5 or more. And we’ve extended the opportunity to be listed as an Associate Producer on the show! Anyone who pledges $10 per month or more will get a shout out in the credits of Episode 4 — and those who pledge $20 or more will gain access to additional content from our guests and scholars.

Thank you for your support, and look out for more fun prizes for our patrons coming soon!

C4SS Thinkers in Upcoming Anthology on Dialectical Libertarianism

Several C4SS people (Jason Lee Byas, Kevin Carson, Gary Chartier, Billy Christmas, Nathan Goodman, and Roderick T. Long) are among the contributors to a forthcoming anthology, Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom, edited by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Roger Bissell, and Edward Younkins.

Other contributors, from a variety of libertarian traditions, include Robert Campbell, Troy Camplin, Douglas Den Uyl, Robert Higgs, Steven Horwitz, Stephan Kinsella, Deirdre McCloskey, David Prychitko, Douglas Rasmussen, John Welsh, and the editors themselves (Sciabarra, Bissell, and Younkins).

In Sciabarra’s words: “These essays explore ways that liberty can be better defended using a dialectical approach, a mode of analysis that grasps the full context of philosophical, cultural, and social factors requisite to the sustenance of human freedom.” Sciabarra notes that while “some of the authors associated with the volume may very well not associate themselves with the views of other authors herein represented,” a “context-sensitive dialectical approach” is a “living research program” that “will necessarily generate a variety of perspectives, united only in their ideological commitment to freedom and their methodological commitment to a dialectical sensibility.”

Sciabarra has devoted his career to exploring such an approach, as for example in his book Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism.

Check out Sciabarra’s announcement of the Dialectics of Liberty anthology here, and the abstracts of chapters here.

Mutual Exchange Radio: Kevin Carson on Libertarian Municipalism

You can now subscribe to Mutual Exchange Radio on Stitcher, and Spotify.

Today’s guest is Kevin Carson, a senior fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society who holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. He has written books such as Studies in Mutualist Political EconomyOrganization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available on C4SS’ website — or, in print at the C4SS store.

Today, we discussed a study he published last year for the Center on New Libertarian Municipalism. Libertarian Municipalism is an idea that has its roots in one of the most famous social anarchist thinkers of the twentieth century, Murray Bookchin. However, Kevin is more interested in modern movements focusing on a more decentralized model of a market economy based on common ownership of certain resources, drawing from thinkers such as Elinor Ostrom.

Next month, tune in for a conversation with Maggie McNeil, an expert on sex workers’ rights and the decriminalization of sex work. Maggie writes for publications such as Reason magazine, her own blog The Honest Courtesan, and was recently featured in the documentary The War on Whores. Our conversation will focus on the legal and ethical issues surrounding the criminalization of sex work and the impact of prohibition on society at large. I’m sure it will be a fun and enlightening conversation.

In the meantime, if you liked this episode, head over to the C4SS Patreon  and consider supporting this project. From there, you can support this podcast and other C4SS projects by making a monthly pledge of $5 or more. And we’ve extended the opportunity to be listed as an Associate Producer on the show! Anyone who pledges $10 per month or more before March 15th will get a shout out in the credits of Episode 3 — and those who pledge $20 or more will gain access to additional content from our guests and scholars.

Thank you for your support, and look out for more fun prizes for our patrons coming soon!

 

Roderick Long on Bullshit Jobs

This month, C4SS Senior Fellow Roderick Long was featured in Reason magazine with a review of David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.

“Bullshit jobs” are defined by Graeber as “so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify [their] existence.” The book discusses the rise of such jobs in the modern economy, pointing fingers squarely at private industry, rather than public largesse. Long’s response considers how Graeber handles two sets of libertarian objections, and identifies a few blind spots in his arguments.

Here are his closing thoughts:

On Graeber’s analysis, unneeded jobs are protected by the perception that eliminating them would throw people out of work. That Jetsons vision of reduced working hours was supposed to benefit the workers, not impoverish them. Graeber notes that while, as an anarchist, he generally prefers bottom-up grassroots solutions to social problems rather than top-down public policy solutions, he nevertheless favors a tax-funded universal basic income as a way to relieve the working class’s reliance on bullshit jobs. But calling upon the state for assistance is always a risky strategy for anarchists; those who subsidize the piper call the tune.

Whatever the blind spots in his analysis, Graeber’s liberatory vision of a de-bullshitized future of work should serve as a useful corrective for those who are too quick to take the case for free enterprise as a validation of the perversities of the existing employment market.

Read all of “Why Do So Many Modern Jobs Seem Pointless?: An investigation into why people are working more without accomplishing more” here.

C4SS Featured in Two Podcasts

C4SS scholars were recently featured in two different podcasts. As a philosophy, left-wing market anarchism sometimes has a hard time finding a home — but the flip side is that our ideas are relevant to discussions in a few different political contexts. Recently, C4SS scholars were featured in two seperate podcasts — William Nava’s “Who Shaves the Barber” and the relatively new “Non Serviam Podcast” on anarchism.

First, C4SS director William Gillis was featured in William Nava’s “Who Shaves the Barber.” Episode 52 explores anarchism as a concept and covers many applications and experiences of anarchism. Central to the discussion is the difference between horizontal organization and hierarchy, and a few different conceptions of freedom are discussed as well. You can listen to this episode below:

On “Non Serviam,” C4SS fellow Jason Lee Byas discusses radical liberalism, ethics, and more with host Joel Williamson. Jason discusses these ideas as they relate to anarchist politics, radical liberalism, and the anti-war philosophy. Listen below for more:

 

Mutual Exchange Radio: Gary Chartier on Liberal Anarchism

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new project from the Center for a Stateless Society: Mutual Exchange Radio. This new podcast on anarchist thought, hosted by Zachary Woodman, brings together a wide variety of guests, from academics, to on-the-ground activists, to Center scholars, to entrepreneurs to discuss the latest developments in the philosophy and practice of market anarchism.

Our inaugural guest for this show is Gary Chartier, a distinguished professor of law and business ethics at La Sierra University, a leading anarchist philosopher, and a Center Senior Fellow. He’s the author of such books as Anarchy and Legal Order: Law and Politics in a Stateless Society, The Consciousness of an Anarchist, and Radicalizing Rawls: Global Justice and the Foundations of International Law.

In this conversation we cover a broad range of issues from the evolution of the liberal tradition, to the relationship between liberalism and anarchism, to the limits of ethical theory for politics. We discuss how to handle deep religious and moral disagreements in a stateless society, and the relationship between state and corporate power. This is a conversation about what liberalism, the philosophical tradition rather than the existing centrist political movement, could be as a potentially liberating force in politics that it perhaps might not yet be in practice. But this is not just a conversation about liberalism—it’s a conversation about how moral and cultural discourse and practice proceeds in the absence of the state.

You can listen to the first episode of Mutual Exchange Radio here or below:

Stay tuned for next month’s episode with C4SS scholar and the author of Studies in Mutualist Political Economy and The Desktop Regulatory State, Kevin Carson. We’ll be releasing that episode on the last Tuesday of this month — Tuesday, February 26th — In the meantime, if you liked this episode, head over to the C4SS Patreon account and consider supporting this project. From there, you can support this podcast and other C4SS projects by making a monthly pledge of $5 or more.

Any new donors who pledge more than $10 per month before Feb. 15th, 2019 will get a shout out in the credits of Episode 3 — and those who pledge $20 or more will gain access to additional content from our guests and scholars. Thank you in advance for your support, and look out for a new episode every month with guests from across the anarchist community.

Update: Queer Defense in Brazil

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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 grisly: one was a gay male professor who was followed home from a bar and killed, another transmasculine friend and his partner committed suicide following prolonged financial struggles. Especially appalling is the murder of a travesti (a Latin-American identity in the transfeminine spectrum) who was accused of being a demon and had her heart removed by an evangelical man. This sequence of events demonstrates the increased hostility towards LGBTQIA people in Brazil following the election of right-wing president Jair Bolsanaro in January, 2019.

This increase in hostility was easily predicted by those most likely to be affected by it. As an activist stated in the Guardian’s documentary Marielle and Monica, “By the time Bolsanaro rises to power, even if we still don’t know how his government will be, there’s already a legacy of violence and hate [by him]. Dissemination of hate between people.” Bolsanaro legitimizes violence against LGBTQIA people by being “explicity homophobic, biphobic and transphobic,” according to Salomão Cunha Lima, from GAMES, an LGBTQ employment organization in São Paulo. Bolsanaro’s words, Lima stresses, “have empowered fascist, homophobic and racist people, who started feeling free to commit hate crimes against this population.” Such increase in hate crimes has been seen in the United States, where, in the year following the election of right-wing president Donald Trump– and the visibility of white supremacist groups his election endorsed– reported hate crimes increased by 17%.

Bolsanaro has then followed up on his promises. In the first 48 hours of his presidency, he enacted executive orders to the Minister of Human Rights to ignore all complaints and violations involving lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and queer Brazilians. The Minister of Human Rights herself is an evangelical pastor quoted saying, “Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes. There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.” In addition, a guide to STIs for transmasculine people was taken off a government website. This initial flurry of homophobic and transphobic policies were accompanied by threats to indigenous lands and undercutting funding for public art, youth fitness programs, and programs that address hunger.

Recall that this increase in violence against LGBTQIA people is happening in what is already the country with the highest rate of travesti/trans* murders in the world, even before Bolsanaro was elected. Also, those numbers have already been increasing: in 2017, a record 387 murders of people who identified as LGBTQ+ were recorded; there were 346 as of October 2018, with 167 of them trans, according to Grupo Gay de Bahia.

The Center for a Stateless Society, acting in response to this alarming uptick in violence against LGBTQIA people in the wake of right-wing fascism, has decided to double its commitment to match donations made to our fundraiser for “Extravasa: Defesa Pessoal,” a self-defense project serving LGBTT people in Florianópolis, Brazil.

C4SS will donate an additional $250 match to donations in this round of fundraising for a total of $500 made to the GoFundMe.

Acknowledging that Self Defense is Self Care, C4SS moves to empower those struggling to survive under fascism all over the world, and encourages you to do the same. Please donate if you can, and share among your networks.

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