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The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 148

Bonnie Kristian discusses the folly of U.S. interventionism around the world.

William Seabolt discusses tax avoidance as an American tradition.

Laurence M. Vance discusses what Trump shouldn’t do as president.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the War on Drugs and Trump.

Sheldon Richman discusses a new book on love, marriage, and the state.

Peter Van Buren discusses the war on the first amendment.

Chris Floyd discusses the new scare around Russia.

Neve Gordon discusses right-wing Israeli political figures who ignore anti-semites in the Trump admin.

Andrew Levine discusses Jewishness and Trump.

Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton discuss accusations of pro-Russia media bias.

David Gordon discusses a book on Bernie Sanders and crony capitalism.

Eric Margolis discusses the 1956 Israeli invasion of Egypt.

David Swanson discusses truths uttered by Trump’s national security advisor.

Stanley L. Cohen discusses Israel.

Dave Lindorff discusses accusations that he writes pro-Russia propaganda.

Brian Cloughley discusses Trump’s potential secretary of defense.

Patrick Cockburn discusses Trump and torture.

Robert Fisk discusses Anne Frank.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses Castro’s end and the national security state.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses Adam Ferguson.

Ivan Eland discusses presidential war as unconstitutional.

Andrew J. Bacevich discusses why Americans war are not being won.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the War on Terror and Islam.

Wendy McElroy discusses the difference between republic and empire.

Doug Bandow discusses U.S. policy towards Cuba.

Rebecca Gould discusses how U.S. interventionism gave us Trump.

Trevor Timm discusses the war powers Trump will inherit from Obama.

Daniel Larison discusses Trump’s national security advisor’s take on Yemen.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses a book on a man who helped save Jews in WW2.

Doug Bandow discusses handing over NATO to Europe.

Burn a flag for Donald Trump

It seems silly to continue harping on the incoming tidal wave of fascism, but if there’s one thing C4SS – and the anarchist tradition in general – is good at, it’s making sure you don’t forget that we’re in for a long god damn ride.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-1-05-18-pm

Earlier today, Trump tweeted that anyone who burns the American flag should face “consequences,” including up to a year in prison, loss of citizenship or both. Flag burning is, by the way, a constitutionally-protected act of symbolic speech, which is something that would normally be important to this discussion but since we’re dealing with fascism-as-a-ruling-party it’s suddenly just an interesting sort of factoid.

Meaningless legalism aside, what Trump means when he says that flag-burners should be imprisoned and stripped of their citizenship is that dissenters and protesters should be imprisoned and stripped of their citizenship. (At the very least, the mental hop you need to take to go from one to the other is fantastically tiny.)

I’ve heard a lot of folks say that we should ignore the wacky things Donald Trump says in public and on Twitter. Their justifications usually revolve around two main planks: that Trump is a richer, now-more-powerful version of an internet troll in that if you ignore him he’ll find something else to focus on and stop saying bonkers things about freedom of speech, dissent, etc.; and that he’s saying this stuff because he knows the media will focus more on his wild proclamations than on his failed business empire, his myriad conflicts of interest and his general myopia about becoming president.

At this point I think the evidence bears itself out nicely that internet trolls don’t just go away if you starve them of attention. More importantly I think we’re finally presented with the proof that there’s a marked fucking difference between your garden variety, annoying internet trolls and the assortment of neo-fascists, cultural conservatives and thugs Trump now represents on an international stage.

If there has ever been any doubt that resistance to Trump is necessary, here’s your moment of clarity: even if he can’t do a quarter of the things he says he wants to do, even if he ends up becoming a mockery of fascism, a modern-day Charlie Chaplain-in-the Great Dictator, it’s still too fucking much. He’s still making proclamations that show us where he wants to take the country. It’s absolutely right to assert that we can’t ignore his failures and missteps – but we can’t ignore this, either. We can’t ignore what he says, or allow it to become normal in our ears and eyes and thoughts.

 

 

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 147

Ray McGovern discusses the installation of a pro-torture head at the CIA.

Murtaza Hussain discusses the drone program and a new documentary on it.

Christopher A. Preble discusses funding state sponsers of terroism.

Yasmeen Elkhoudary discusses why people in Gaza aren’t mourning HRC’s loss.

David Swanson discusses the use of camps during WW2 for enemy aliens.

Binoy Kampmark discusses undocumented migrants and Trump’s plans for them.

Charles R. Larson discusses a book called War Porn.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses a precursor to Adam Smith.

Patrick Cockburn discusses how Trump will launch new U.S. wars in the Middle East.

William Hartung discusses Trump’s military spending plans.

Glenn Greenwald discusses a meeting between the press and Trump.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses non-interventionism in foreign policy.

Laurence M. Vance discusses occupational licensing and the libertarian alternative.

Peter Van Buren discusses the powers Trump will have as president.

Doug Bandow discusses Trump’s foreign policy appointments.

Bruce Fein discusses American foreign policy’s focus on global dominance.

David Swanson discusses one of Trump’s national security state appointees.

Conn Hallinan discusses the War on Terror.

Alex Kane discusses Trump’s pick for national security advisor.

Lara Friedman discusses Jewish values and Israel.

Alan Grayson discusses the U.S. war in Iraq.

Ramzy Baroud discusses the Israel-Palestine issue.

Michael Brendan Dougherty discusses what the U.S. should do to end the war in Yemen.

David Swanson discusses U.S. foreign policy and healthy relationships.

Melvin Goodman discusses Trump’s campaign of militarization.

Matt Peppe discusses why we shouldn’t respect the presidency.

Paul Edwards discusses national genocide day.

Binoy Kampmark discusses refugees and the Australian govt.

Gareth Porter discusses Trump’s national security advisor’s role in creating a system of mass murder in Afghanistan.

William J. Astore discusses the notion that the U.S. is an indispenable nation.

Riseup’s Canary Has Died

UPDATE: Riseup has sent out a tweet asking people not to panic, asserting that they still have full control over their servers, and saying more information will come at some future date. Their studious failure to refute having a gag order basically certifies the existence of one. But again, don’t panic. A gag order doesn’t mean their servers are compromised. We have every reason to trust that Riseup would rather pull the plug.

Popular provider of web tools for activists and anarchists and backbone of much infrastructure for internet freedom, Riseup.net has almost certainly been issued a gag order by the US government.

Riseup regularly updates a canary located here certifying that they haven’t received a gag order, court orders or the like. That canary has gone dead (ie has not been updated). In addition just before it expired Riseup posted a tweet with Cohen lyrics “listen to the hummingbird, whose wings you cannot see, listen to the hummingbird, don’t listen to me” and a tweet saying “we have no plans on pulling the plug” with a screencap of the segment of their FAQ that says they’d rather pull the plug on services than comply with surveillance. Of course this entry in their FAQ also says you should back up email in preparation for such a shutdown.

My read is that Riseup is complying with the gag order while fighting the surveillance demanded in court. Riseup is made up of long-time anarchist activists who would feel obliged to go to prison rather than collaborate in snitching out others. However there is a small chance someone could crack from threats of decades in prison. Additionally there’s a much more substantive chance that regardless of their optimism Riseup may soon be forced to close everything down.

This is an incredibly unfortunate development given the Riseup collective’s longstanding role for many activists and radicals in providing email, listservs, VPNs, and assorted tools like Etherpad. However this should serve as a stark wakeup call about the dangers of relying on centralized services. The last decade has seen a collapse of the once varied and widely networked internet into a number of centralized services (like Facebook and Gmail, but also Riseup and Signal).

If you currently use Riseup you shouldn’t panic, but there are a number of productive steps you can take:

1) Backup all your emails on your Riseup account locally. This may require you to (install and) connect Thunderbird to your email account rather than just using the webmail through your browser. See this array of options for backing up while using IMAP.  (Additionally it’s a good idea to enable full disk encryption or separately encrypt your email back up. The EFF has guides for full disk encryption for Windows. For Macs see this. Ubuntu, Linux Mint and several other Linux variants provide full disk encryption as an option when first installing the operating system.)

2) Get another email address that you can use as a fallback. Riseup maintains a list of other server services run by radicals. Protonmail is based in Switzerland, although be a bit suspicious about the “encryption” claims they make, there are problems. There are many other email providers. Gandi is popular. Time to shop around or — if you’re a confident sysadmin — roll up your sleeves and run your own email server.

3) Set up another listserv with another provider if your group currently uses riseup for listservs.

4) You can set up email forwarding with Riseup. Either to pipe emails to your Riseup account to your new account or pipe emails to your new account to Riseup (if say you want to start popularizing a new email address but continue primarily answering through Riseup for the time being).

5) Remember that while some providers may encrypt emails once received on their server, all email is basically sent unencrypted between servers and often stored unencrypted. Every email is a postcard, readable by nearly everyone. Unless you and the person you’re corresponding with use PGP. So use PGP. It can be daunting to set up and to get a handle on using (the user interface is infamously non intuitive), however PGP is very useful and provides a good baseline. Email is a federated (moderately decentralized) protocol in wide use that will thus be one of the last services shut down by authoritarians (unlike encryption services that use centralized servers like Signal). The EFF has good guides to setting up PGP for Linux, Windows, and Mac. And Micah Lee has a good overview of it.

iRad II.1 in Print, iRad I.4 Online

After a couple of years’ hiatus (for financial reasons), The Industrial Radical is back! The fifth issue of the Molinari Institute’s left-libertarian market-anarchist magazine goes in the mail to subscribers this week. (The Molinari Institute is the parent organisation of the Center for a Stateless Society.)

The page files for this issue have been ready to go for a while, being originally intended for our Autumn 2013 issue – which means that some of the references to current events are a bit dated. (The next issue will be up to date, with all new content.) But the theoretical content remains timeless.

Issue II.1 features articles by Sebastian A.B., John Ahrens, Paul Buchheit, Kevin Carson, Dawie Coetzee, Nathan Goodman, Charles Johnson, Irfan Khawaja, Thomas Knapp, Jennifer McKitrick, Skyler Miller, Grant Mincy, and Sheldon Richman, on topics ranging from border security, technological design, prison abolition, jury nullification, police misconduct, overpopulation, and the Keystone XL pipeline, to the persecution of whistleblowers, feminist and antifeminist censorship, civil strife in Egypt and Syria, torture, necrophilia, and the economic structure of state capitalism.

Industrial Radical II.1 (Autumn 2016)

With each new issue published, we post the immediately preceding issue online. Hence a free pdf file of our previous issue (I.4, Summer 2013) is now available here. (See the first, second, and third issues also.)

Want to write for The Industrial Radical? See our information for authors and copyright policy (which, incidentally, will change from CC BY-SA to the less restrictive CC BY starting with the next issue).

Want to subscribe to The Industrial Radical? Visit our online shop.

Want to give an additional donation to the Molinari Institute (and help to prevent a future hiatus)? Contribute to our General Fund.

The Origins of Fascism In Democracy

People are quick to criticize the labeling of authoritarian political movements as fascist, saying it minimizes the term’s significance. This is both the right and wrong approach. This views sees fascism as a rare and exceptional mode of political rule, but democracy is shot through with the logic of fascism. Fascism is the absolute of all absorption of all private interests and power structures into the state. All within the state. Nothing outside the state. Democracy on the other hand says: All through the state. Nothing without the state. We see democracy as a method for solving all problems and as something we all take part in. Democracy is just a more diffuse valorization of power.

Many often advertise it simply as the best means to direct the activities of the state, but what could be presented as evidence against this ability? We’ve seen now the religious regard our society has for democracy by its mass celebration over our military “liberation” of foreign nations. They too need the practical sense inherent to democratic order, and damn the consequences!

Democracy prepares us for fascism. It teaches us to identify ourselves with political power by arming us with the illusion that we too possess it. All interests are at least political. Then that political power quickly becomes what is seen as unifying us. Through the state we are one and we are nothing without it. Then when someone comes to us, offering us nothing but the strength to harness that power, to do away with the state’s inefficiencies and its disloyalty to the people, its foreign influences, the people will clamor for it. National greatness becomes the measure and the source of all value.

The Emergence Of Collectibles & Money In The Paleolithic

Nick Szabo, a famous theorist of money and possible inventor of Bitcoin, returned this year with this post eviscerating the theory that the beads collected by early man were about conveying symbolic information. Instead Szabo argues compellingly that the critical component of the shell-bead technology that was so central to human existence for a hundred thousand years was its unforgeable costliness and thus constrained supply curve. Szabo’s post — and the rest of his work — is highly recommended.

In this far more persuasive picture than Graeber’s, money is arguably the technology that initially set humans apart from other animals and allowed us to scale up our social collaboration and calculation of altruism beyond our shitty memories. As such there is no primitive and fully communist man, distinctly innocent of money, to be returned to, rather humans have always been deeply enmeshed with markets and technology.

See this lengthy review of Graeber’s Debt for more analysis into why his account of the emergence of money is incomplete and problematic.

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 146

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses whether Trump will follow in the footsteps of Bush-Obama or not.

Sharon Presely discusses political correctness.

Trevor Timm discusses Trump being handed the keys to the warfare state.

Ramona Wadi discusses the Letelier assassination.

David Swanson discusses building a movement.

Radley Balko discusses criminal justice reform and the recent election.

Joshua Frank discusses why we shouldn’t mourn Hilary’s loss.

Ramzy Baroud discusses a power struggle in Palestine.

Arun Gupta discusses Trump and racism.

Brian Cloughley discusses U.S. polucy with respect to China and Russia.

Emma Ashford discusses Trump’s possible foreign policy.

Rev. Chris J. Antal discusses learning from veterans.

Lucy Steigerwald discusses the Trump presidency.

Jim Babka discusses loss and military personnel.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses indifference to death and destruction in American foreign policy.

Jon Basil Utley discusses Trump and the neoconservatives.

Tom Englehardt discusses the end of the American experiment and Trump.

Murtaza Hussian discusses the fears of Muslim Americans in the aftermath of Trump’s victory.

Glenn Greenwald discusses the importance of whistleblowing in the Trump era.

Ted Galen Carpenter discusses what Trump’s foreign policy will be like.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses whether Trump will give us another 4 years of Bush-Obama style foreign policy.

Phyllis Bennis discusses how to end the war in Syria.

Daniel L. Davis discusses the direction American foreign policy should go.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses the Fable of the Bees.

Laurence M. Vance discusses why he didn’t vote.

David Max Korzen discusses being thanked for his service.

George H. Smith discusses how to argue on behalf of libertarianism.

David S. D’Amato discusses property rights as the basis of freedom.

David Swanson discusses a new request for war funds.

Uri Avnery discusses Trump.

Richman Interview on Anarchism

Sheldon Richman recently visited Amherst College to speak at the Amherst Political Union. Tommy Raskin caught up with Richman for a brief discussion about anarchism. Here’s the video.

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 145

Derek Royden discusses the U.S. backed Saudi war in Yemen.

David Swanson discusses slavery.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the empire and the Philipines.

Uri Avnery discusses the cultural minister of Israel.

George H. Smith discusses the virtue of reasonableness.

Jason Kuznicki discusses the label libertarian.

Sheldon Richman discusses how Hilary and Trump both oppose liberty.

Sheldon Richman discusses Obamacare.

Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton discuss the Center for American Progress and the UAE.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the U.S. govt’s power to assassinate.

Shlomi Eldar discusses the Israeli banning of entry to some cancer patients from Palestine.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses abolishing the FBI.

Stephen Kinzer discusses diplomacy and U.S. power.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses buying loyalty with foreign aid.

Belen Fernandez discusses the horrors in the Middle East caused by U.S. interventionism.

Jeffrey Sachs discusses imperial overload.

Ramzy Baroud discusses Palestine and the Balfour Declaration.

Bruce Fein discusses Hilary’s foreign policy.

George H. Smith discusses authorities and fallibility

Uri Avnery discusses voting for the lesser evil in the upcoming American presidential elections.

Doug Bandow discusses national service proposals.

Charles V Pena discusses U.S. foreign policy.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses another U.S. massacre in Afghanistan.

Glenn Greenwald discusses mass surveilliance schemes in the West.

Jason Kuznicki discusses democracy and political radicalism.

Michael Leon discusses Waco.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair discuss the police state.

Thomas Knapp discusses the death of Janet Reno.

James Bovard discusses 20 years of dictatorial democracy.

Media Coordinator Weekly Update, Nov. 13, 2016

<sigh…>

Welp, it’s Sunday. The first Sunday of the Trump era, T-minus 67 days until Donald goddamn Trump takes over the White House and has access to all of the murderous toys the Bush and Obama administrations devised for their damn fool “war on terrorism,” gets to deport and imprison and persecute as many people as he wants, and offers legitimacy to fascism.

With that in mind and weighing heavily, I guess we gotta talk about what the Center for a Stateless Society has been doing this past week.

Luckily, what we’ve been up to includes a lot of prep work in anticipation of God Emperor Butthair.

So that’s nice.

The Week in Commentary

Grant Mincy has been wowing us all in the commentary category lately. His latest piece is a spiritual sequel to last week’s feature, “Song of Minerva,” titled “Owl of Athena.”

Clip:

The Owl of Athena awakes from her slumber to view a sea of ominous clouds stretching bleakly across the horizon. As dusk falls she contemplates the current era of human civilization. Her thoughts are tragic, questions abound.

Who are the masters of humankind?  Who owns the Earth and all her wildness, order, breath, and water? Who will defend her and uphold the rights of nature? Will the masters of humankind continue their dominance and lay waste to the commons?

Impending environmental calamity and the prospects of state violence should be clear today to any rationale person. Climate continues to shift as greenhouse gases are continually pumped into the atmosphere to secure the economic interests of power. Global air pollution is responsible for one in eight total deaths across the Earth. Water resources are on the decline as carcinogens leech into the public water supply and as plastics fill the ocean. The soil is worn, acidic and over utilized by powerful industries. Entire species are going extinct, on par with the extinction rate that terminated the Mesozoic. These are just a few examples of environmental calamity, yet all expose the fact that human life and ecological communities are viewed as disposable. But, pay no attention — these environmental issues are non issues, environmental calamity is simply hyperbole.

God damn.

This has been picked up by the Augusta Free Press.

As we’re still in our op-ed slump, let’s move on to the features and blog sections.

The Week Everywhere Else

Chris Shaw’s got an interesting piece about markets viewed through the lens of dialectics.

Clip:

Between markets and capitalism, there then exists an antagonistic tension, as the dynamics of markets play a materially peripheral role in the relations of capitalism. The ideational market and capitalist reality act together in a dialectic. In the same way that labour is subordinated to capital, the ideational qualities of markets are subordinated to a capitalist construct which favours particular power relations and interests, with markets ideational qualities structured around capitalism.

Here’s a clip from Grant’s “Song of Minerva” piece:

In the very cradle of human civilization an endless war rages. The United States and allied forces have long flexed military might over the Middle East. The 2003 invasion of Iraq is unique, though, as this military engagement is now active in six different countries with no end in sight. As a result of Western invasion the terrible ISIS regime is spreading calamity, uncertainty and fear across the war-torn region. Furthermore, most obvious in Syria, the Middle East is grounds for a strategic chess match between the West and powerful states in the East. Notably, tensions between the United States and Russia are at their highest since the Cold War. This demands pause; as tensions rise it is important to remember that the United States and Russia control 93% of the world’s nuclear arsenal. This chess match between powerful nation-states exacerbates instability in the region. As a result the frequency of regional skirmishes, between Pakistan and India (two nuclear states) for instance, are on the rise and this too enhances the nuclear threat.

This horizon of war is linked to the idea that life is disposable. Systems of power and domination organize violence and lay waste to “others” to secure their status in the world. If need be their own citizens will be sacrificed for the cause.

Finally, both William Gillis and I released our takes on the election.

Here’s a clip from Gillis:

In 71 days Trump will begin turning the ICE into a military operation capable of the industrial-scale ethnic cleansing he promised repeatedly. He will certainly shirk on some promises, but even if his effectiveness at getting all the millions he targets falls short, he will not miss the opportunity to demonstrate power, even if that means something as obscene as the national guard standing openly in sanctuary cities.

And mine:

Whatever we have to do, it’s going to be a lot of work. We can’t rest on our laurels or just wait for the end; we have friends to protect and lives to save. In 71 days we can teach each other better information security, begin building support structures that don’t rely on centralized hubs and can be run off the grid, and organize resistance to whatever war and/or power grab President Trump attempts in his first months.

Housekeeping

One major thing I forgot last week was the Essay Contest. I have officially extended it until the end of November, and people can include their takes on what a Trump state is going to look like. Email me at trevor@c4ss.org by November 27, 2016 to have your essay considered. Remember: 500 words or longer.

Other than that, we’ve really not had anything else going on. Right now, C4SS is in a transition period, and we’re not only working on some cool stuff but some necessary stuff given our collective circumstances.

We’ll keep you posted.

–@trevor_c4ss

Don’t give up.

So, Donald Trump won the presidency. This is a mandate for fascism. If Trump is able to do even a quarter of what he promised, we’re in for a wild ride in the next four years.

However, that doesn’t start today. If Trump cares even a little bit about keeping up the appearances of “Democracy” he’ll wait like a good boy until Inauguration Day to take power. That gives us 71 days.

Seventy-one days to cry. Seventy-one days to have a panic attack. Seventy-one days to scramble for a way out. Seventy-one days to figure out what the hell to do with any of this. Last night was not a night for women, people of color, queer people or the radical libertarian left, but that doesn’t mean that today can’t be. Or tomorrow. Or the next day.

Whatever we have to do, it’s going to be a lot of work. We can’t rest on our laurels or just wait for the end; we have friends to protect and lives to save. In 71 days we can teach each other better information security, begin building support structures that don’t rely on centralized hubs and can be run off the grid, and organize resistance to whatever war and/or power grab President Trump attempts in his first months.

We have the technology. We have the expertise. This is the time to use it, or else we should just fade away.

Media Coordinator Weekly Update, November 6, 2016

Howdy folks! It’s late, late Sunday, which means it’s time for your scoop on everything the Center for a Stateless Society has been doing.

Not gonna lie, I have been running around Norman, OK with the rest of the C4SS crew for the 2016 Students for Liberty Regional Conference all weekend (starting Friday), so, I’m a lil’ tired. I know I usually lie when I say these are going to be short, but I really am gonna make this short this time you guys I need to sleep. 

The Week(-ish) in Commentary

Kevin Carson’s latest piece, “Open Source Revolution Circumvents Capitalist Monopoly,” is super great and delves into the open source community’s fight to free MRIs and epipens from the corporate stranglehold. Go give it a read!

Chad Nelson wrote an article on the Animal Liberation Front’s campaign against Missoula, MT non-profit Garden City Harvest at the end of last month. Check that out here as well.

The Week Everywhere Else

Kevin Carson wrote a book review of Peter Frase’s book, Four Futures. Check it out here.

Carson also wrote a feature on the Dakota Access Pipeline protest outlining where he believes the protest can go. Check that out here.

Trevor Hultner (me, sorry) wrote a short blog post about keeping hope in the future, no matter how dark it is. Check it out here.

James C. Wilson wrote a book review of Nick Ford’s book, Abolish Work, which you can find here.

Finally, Roderick Long has announced the publication of the paperback and e-book version of his 2008 collection of essays with the late Tibor Machan, Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? You can find that announcement here.

Housekeeping

See? I can keep it short when I need to.

Anyway, the only thing I want to say is a huuuuuge* thank you to everyone who came out to the University of Oklahoma this weekend for the Oklahoma SFL Regional Conference, “Exploring Anarchism.” Thanks to Students for Liberty, the organization running the show, for inviting us, letting us table and even giving us a panel where I, Kelly Vee, Grant Mincy, James Tuttle and William Gillis held forth on our differing views of anarchism for nearly an hour. I’d also like to thank Angela Keaton from Antiwar.com for being rad as hell and calling for the destruction of libertarianism as we know it, Maggie McNeill for an illuminating presentation on the hell sex workers face at the hands of the state, and Gary Chartier for showing us how we can remove crime from a stateless society.

I’m going to have a much more in-depth blog post later this week (probably Wednesday at the latest), but right now I have to sleeeeeep. Follow us on Twitter, @c4ssdotorg, and go here to support us. Bye!

Anarchism/Minarchism Anthology Now in Paperback

Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?

I’m pleased to announce that the 2008 anthology Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?, edited by the late Tibor Machan and myself, is about to be released in paperback from Routledge (formerly Ashgate). It’s scheduled for the end of November, but can be pre-ordered now at Amazon (US here, Canada here, UK here).

At $55 it’s still a hefty pricetag, but it beats the hardback cost, which varies between $100 and $150.

The contents:

  • Lester Hunt: “Why the State Needs a Justification”

  • Roger Lee: “Libertarianism, Limited Government, and Anarchy”

  • Adam Reed: “Rationality, History, and Inductive Politics”

  • William Thomas: “Objectivism Against Anarchy”

  • Tibor Machan: “Reconciling Anarchism and Minarchism”

  • Aeon Skoble: “Radical Freedom and Social Living”

  • Jan Narveson: “The State: From Minarchy to Anarchy”

  • John Hasnas: “The Obviousness of Anarchy”

  • Roderick Long: “Market Anarchism As Constitutionalism”

  • Charles Johnson: “Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism”

Here are a couple of reviews of the original hardback edition:

This volume is a much needed revival of a debate critical to Libertarians, but also of significance to political theorists generally. The issue itself goes to the heart of what it means to do political philosophy, and the contributions found here skillfully keep those basic concerns in sight. In addition, I found the writing lucid and fair minded – something often missing in scholarly debate anthologies. I have no doubt that this volume will become a standard reference source for those interested in this particular debate and among the sources one consults when considering the foundations of the state generally.
                   – Douglas J. Den Uyl, Liberty Fund

The forceful philosophical and historical challenges to the state presented in this volume should be read not just by libertarians, but by everyone who believes that government is either necessary or legitimate.
                   – Elaine Sternberg, London School of Economics

I’m glad the essays in this volume will now be likely to reach at least a slightly larger audience.

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 144

Ron Jacobs discusses the possibility of World War 3.

David Swanson discusses war, video, and police murders.

Thomas L. Knapp discusses war crimes and the U.S. govt.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses U.S. interventionism in foreign policy.

Trevor Thrall discusses the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Sandy Tolan discusses Israel-Palestine.

Ashley Smith discusses the left and the conflict in Syria.

Laurence M. Vance discusses govt holidays worth abolishing.

Damon Linker discusses the fact that the U.S. govt is waging war in 5 places.

Stephen Kinzer discusses our war in Yemen.

Nick Turse discusses the fighting in South Sudan.

Neil MacDonald discusses how Canada is in the war business too.

Sheldon Richman discusses the anarchy inherent in the system.

Daniel Larison discusses foreign policy and the third presidential debate.

Justin Raimondo discusses Julian Assange.

Neve Gordon discusses the hypocrisy of the Israeli right.

William Hartung discusses the doctrine of American military exceptionalism.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses Hilary Clinton and the killing of women.

Ivan Eland discusses U.S. alliances.

CJ Werleman discusses the roots of terrorism directed against the U.S.

Doug Bandow discusses why the U.S. shouldn’t back the Saudi war in Yemen.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses why the national security state needs a pardon.

Richard M. Ebeling discusses the ethics of the free market and human betterment.

Ricahrd M. Elebing dicusses monarchy and mercantilism.

Jonathan Cook discusses the Israeli govt’s attempt to erase history.

Hannah Gais discusses how think tanks are pushing for war in Syria.

Derek Davison discusses Islamophobia in the West.

Robert Higgs discusses taxation and renting your own body.

Bruce Fein discusses Obama’s dumb Iraq policy.

Mike Merryman-Lotze discusses the Israel-Palestine conflict.

We are ungovernable

Listen. I’m genuinely afraid of a Trump presidency, and I’m really not looking forward to a Clinton presidency either. Do I think one is more-or-less “preferable” to the other? Yeah I do. Ultimately, though: the next president will have just as much blood on their hands as, if not more than, the last 44 have.

But on late nights, when I feel destructive nihilism creep up on me, I remind myself that anarchism has no time for despair. Anarchism is about getting shit done, not stewing in misery over electoral politics and its dis- and malcontents.

And I remember the slogan:

“No matter who they vote for, we are ungovernable.”

Anarchism has a lot to offer freedom-loving people. Anarchists have proven time and again that they can create vestiges of the new world in the infected, but still-breathing body of the old. Capitalists are not the only people who find opportunities in crises. It’s *been* high time for us to engage our emergency hearts and build institutions of counterpower strong enough to fight fascist characters like Donald Trump and his brownshirts, but it still isn’t too late.

We are rarely in a position to win, but keep in mind that the State has been trying to kill us for at least three centuries, and we’re still fucking here.

I have hope for our future yet.

The Weekly Libertarian Leftist Review 143

Daniel Larison discusses the U.S. backed Saudi war in Yemen.

Daniel Larison discusses questions should that have been asked at the second presidential debate.

Daniel Larison discusses the missing media coverage of the U.S. backed Saudi war in Yemen.

Daniel Larison discusses U.S. excuses for Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

Daniel Larison discusses reckless U.S. interventionism in the Yemen.

Daniel Larison discusses a misleading Wall Street Journal editorial.

Jordan Michael Smith discusses a book on U.S. dominance in the world.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the similiarity between the Russian national security state and the U.S. one.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses the libertarian position on U.S. interventionism.

Howard Lisnoff discusses the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Ramzy Baroud discusses the Israeli govt’s response to threats to it.

Yves Engler discusses the alleged Israel obssession of the left.

Ryan J. Suto discusses the importance of mental health treatment for making progress in the Arab world.

Maya Schenwar discusses the War on Drugs.

Ryan Conard discusses why he is an anarchist who votes.

Nicolas J S Davies discusses the American warfare state.

Mitchell Plitnick discusses the Israel-Palestine issue.

Edward Hunt discusses the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

George H. Smith discusses whether beliefs can be moral or immoral.

Jacob G. Hornberger discusses potential blowback from U.S. intervention in Yemen.

Uri Avnery discusses the 1973 Yom Kippur Arab-Israeli war and Henry Kissinger.

Robert Koehler discusses nuclear weapons and their possible abolition.

Rami G Khouri discusses the cost of war.

Ted Galen Carpenter discusses Russian concerns over NATO expansion.

Dalal Erakat discusses her family and children from Palestine.

David Gordon discusses a book debating gun control.

Daniel Larison discusses why increasing support for the Saudi war in Yemen is insane.

Sheldon Richman discusses Trump as a hawk.

Daniel Larison discusses the recent strikes by the Pentagon in Syria.

Media Coordinator Weekly Update, October 23, 2016

Howdy, folks! It’s yet another Sunday, which means we’re due for a look at what C4SS has been up to since last week! LESSGO

The Week in… uh…

So, we didn’t publish any commentaries this week. Right now, we seem to be going through one of our longer dry spells on the op-ed side of things. I’ll be honest: my work trip to Austin, while fun, was exhausting, so I’m kiiiiind of okay with that. I do believe we’ve got some good stuff coming up soon. That being said, we did get a few bangers in the barrel in our other sections this week. Let’s take a look!

Features and Blog Posts

Logan Glitterbomb started our week out strong with a pretty detailed guide on how to create an anarchist justice system. She goes systematically through the how and why on filming cops, holding “Know Your Rights” trainings, what to do if you’re ever in front of a judge, how to avoid the courts and cops, and so on. It’s a really good read, and you should check it out here!

Kevin Carson and Gary Chartier both got their C4SS 10th Anniversary games on. From Kevin’s piece:

But more importantly, our readership has expanded by many thousands and we’ve become one of the more visible libertarian commentary sites on the Internet. And we’re the single biggest voice out there challenging the mainstream narrative that “free markets” mean corporate rule and that government is a “progressive” restraint on the exploitative power of big business. Every day, we inform people of the fact — or rather, rub their noses in it — that the state is the primary force by which propertied classes, bureaucratic institutions and privileged groups exploit, oppress or extract rents from everybody else:  employers from workers, landlords from tenants, transnational corporations from the Global South, extractive corporations at the expense of environmental degradation, etc. And we show how people are fighting these things (and other things like police abuses) not through the state, but by building the kind of society we want to replace the present regime of exploitation and oppression. These include not just non-capitalist markets but peer-production, natural resource commons, open-source micromanufacturing, Permaculture, alternative currencies, squats and other intentional communities, and networked insurgencies like Occupy, Black Lives Matter and NoDAPL.

We’re accomplishing all this despite our donations being only enough to fund our writers and staff at a fraction of our budgeted pay, because we’re all dedicated to what we do. But with more funding, we could do a lot more. We’d like to get our ideas to a lot more readers. And we’d like to piss off a lot more awful people.

And Gary’s piece:

For ten years, the Center has powerfully and passionately kept alive the radical libertarian tradition. It has sought to emphasize that figures as diverse as Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Henry George, Herbert Spencer, Voltairine de Cleyre, Albert Jay Nock, and Karl Hess were not, as many of them are today naively taken to be, partisans of the right but rather standard-bearers for the radical left. The Center has given new life to a vibrant strand of social critique linking support for markets and robust property rights with radical opposition to rather than support for the status quo.

The oddities of New Deal and Cold War American politics led, regrettably, to an unnatural association between American libertarianism and the political right. When figures like Hess sought instead to link libertarianism with the New Left (itself at its best an expression of the anti-authoritarian strand of the American political tradition), they were simply reemphasizing what had been true of libertarianism all along. The Center has done a remarkable job of keeping the perspective embodied in Hess’s radicalism front and center.

Go check both of those pieces out in their entirety. It’s definitely worth it.

We’ve also got a rare blog post from William Gillis on the delegitimization of democracy. It is also very good, and to prove it here’s an excerpt:

When one morning in 1936 the president of the Second Spanish Republic called his ministers, his assistants and secretaries and found that they had all abandoned their posts — his government de facto dissolved like a silly dream — the people of Spain were already building barricades and raiding the armories. Either for the fascists or for the anarchists.

We lost that war.

In part because we did not get to choose its outset. And were not ready for its vicissitudes.

There are presently far far far more Trump brownshirts in this country than there are anarchists. An insurrection by white supremacists and populist authoritarians against a thoroughly corrupt and totalitarian establishment looking for any excuse to suppress all dissent is a conflict we are ill-prepared to leverage to our advantage. This is a plain and uncontestable truth.

Obviously our state must fall. Democracy must be revealed as illegitimate. But these goals must happen on our terms. And they are nowhere near sufficient conditions for anarchy to flourish. When they are brought about on someone else’s timetable we should be concerned.

And to round out the week, Sheldon Richman has a new crossposted feature up with his new project, the Libertarian Institute:

Thus the much-touted peaceful transfer of power in the United States, which Trump is now said to jeopardize, is not the result of force or the threat thereof, but of ideology and custom.

Why bring this up now? It’s relevant to the case for anarchism. Most people who reject anarchism do so largely because they believe (like Thomas Hobbes and to a lesser extent John Locke) that without the state as an enforcer of at least last resort, internally generatedcooperation would be inadequate to sustain a peaceful and efficient society. Thus an ostensibly external agency — the state — is necessary to impose the minimum degree of cooperation required for society to run smoothly.

We’ve seen, however, that government also supposes internal cooperation — there is no superstate to police relations between the government and the people, or among the many individuals who constitute the government. Government is not external agency to society. The standard objection to anarchism is thus blunted by the fact that it applies equally to statism, including minimum statism (minarchism). Ideology and custom are immensely powerful in both contexts. If the public’s implicit or explicit ideology can sustain a state, we have no reason to believe it could not sustain a stateless society. If the real constitution of a society is its widely accepted code of conduct and resulting incentives (regardless of words on a piece of parchment, if that even exists), then a stateless society has a constitution fully as much as any other society with a state. The pertinent question, then, is not whether a society has a constitution, but whether the constitution is grounded in natural justice.

Check out his post here.

Housekeeping

Alright, folks! Let’s get some announcements out of the way. First, you still have one more week to submit your essay for our Anniversary essay contest! Submissions are closed as of November 1, and we’ll announce the winners on November 6. As always, submit your stuff to trevor@c4ss.org for a chance to be one of our three!

Last week I announced (very loosely) that C4SS is going to have a panel discussion on anarchisms at the Oklahoma SFL Regional Conference on November 5. Well, we have some new information on that, including some EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS to share!

First (BREAKING), Grant Mincy, The Elinor Ostrom Chair in Environmental Studies and Commons Governance here at C4SS, has been added to the panel! He’ll be taking part in the discussion and hitting us all with his radical ecolibertarian awesomeness. Check out the breakout session page for more info.

Second, you still have time to register for the conference! In fact, you can register right up to the day before the conference! Come see C4SS, including main speaker Gary Chartier, as well as AntiWar’s Angela Keaton, at the most fun anarchist academic conference of the year.

Also, Nick Manley will be on We The Individuals tonight to debate left-libertarianism. Check that out here.

Roderick Long has been contributing to a series on Kant and libertarianism over at Cato Unbound. Check out his latest post.

Finally, Chad Nelson has passed along a call for contributions for a volume of essays over animal liberation and pedagogy. From the poster:

Vegan educators are invited to contribute to this volume of essays on animal liberation and pedagogy. For the purposes of this book, the term ‘educator’ is very loosely defined and does not only refer to professionals in teaching positions. This project invites anybody who sees themselves as a facilitator of knowledge, be they teachers, authors, artists, activists or anybody else who is in a position to offer a platform for knowledge exchange in a private or public setting (including parents and guardians, key workers, public speakers, etc.).

The book hopes to serve as a platform for the exchange of practical tools, including revolutionary communication skills and radical approaches to pedagogy, all of which should incorporate a thematization of animal liberation, speciesism or animalisation/dehumanisation amongst humans. Through this, it shall serve as a critique of and counterbalance to neoliberal education and its adherence to a mostly binaristic, white, heteronormative, masculinist, Euro- and anthropocentric curriculum.

Contributions could address, but are not restricted to, the following areas:

  • teachers as activists and activists as teachers
  • pedagogical approaches to communicating animal suffering
  • the ethics of teaching animal liberation (e.g., to children or when using imagery of animal suffering)
  • animal oppression as part of a larger system of injustice (e.g., discussions of kyriarchy, or intersectionality if not appropriated by white contributors)
  • teaching animal liberation (antispeciesism, veganism) as resistance to imperialism, racism, misogyny, genders, heteronormativity, ableism, classism etc.
  • animal liberation in an indigenous and anti colonialist/decolonialisation context
  • teaching animal liberation in an interdisciplinary context (e.g., through a combination of science and art)
  • making animal liberation relevant in specific subjects (e.g., Food Technology; Critical Food Studies; Media Studies; International Relations; Gender Studies; Disability Studies etc.
  • introducing veganism into non-animal-centered movements (e.g., doing vegan outreach in some form or another within feminism, queer communities, Antifa, BLM, occupy, environmentalism etc.)
  • being a vegan pedagogue in a context that is hostile towards vegans
  • teaching animal liberation under government repression (i.e., anti-terror laws, military regime, etc.)
  • teaching animal liberation from a marginalized position

Please outline your proposed work in 500 words and add a few lines about yourself to the proposal email. Contributions will be chosen in January and the final pieces should have a word count between 2500 and 7000 (please include a roughly estimated word count in your outline).

Preference will be given to essays that critique the predominantly Eurocentric neoliberal, white, masculinist approach to (teaching) animal liberation, and/or to essays that present or imagine alternatives to dominant approaches in animal liberation in an educational context.

The English used in the essays should be as accessible as possible. Personal accounts, letters, diary entries, are welcome as are critical and academic analyses, however when theory and/or jargon is used it should be explained in the text itself or a glossary. If footnotes are used, please include them on the page they refer to.

If that sounds interesting to you, please email Dr. Agnes Trzak (a.trzak@gmail.com) with your outline and biography by December 31, 2016.

Finally, if you like all the other stuff everyone else is doing or has done, I have a way for you to help them out.

Donate! It’s how we get paid!

C4SS is an official non-profit, recognized by the State and the IRS, so that means you can give us your money and you get to pay the state less in taxes at the end of the year. This helps us out AND it helps you out! No, but seriously – we have a lot of great writers in our stable right now and we like being able to pay them for their effort. We do that with your help each month. Head on over to the Support page to learn more!

The Delegitimization of Democracy

There’s a number of folk celebrating the collapse of the legitimacy of US civil institutions in this election, but regrettably it’s not so simple as de-legitimize the state and presto anarchism. Liberal democracy is an incoherent, ultimately unstable and unsustainable system, but there are many more stable configurations of society and a lot of them are far more dystopian.

Our strongest critique against liberalism is not that its founded upon horrific, unnecessary and intolerable violence — although it is — but that it is insecure against slow rolls or sudden descents towards greater authoritarianism and fractious civil war.

When the civic religion of a country withers and the treaty of liberal democracy is revealed as nothing more than paper, what is most often released is the mass of fascistic predators who have grown fat slowly nibbling the democracy’s flesh from within. The state survives on top of a much broader ecosystem of sociopathic power-seeking that it encourages. It powers itself on the fuel of constructed tensions and contestants for power, forces that can burst out of its control explosively. The collapse of a democracy is most usually a reconfiguration of power, hardly ever its abolition.

That is not remotely to suggest that anarchists stop or show timidity in our efforts to delegitimize our current state, but rather that we must stay steely-eyed about the incredibly hard work to prepare for such a collapse and survive it, much less guide it.

When one morning in 1936 the president of the Second Spanish Republic called his ministers, his assistants and secretaries and found that they had all abandoned their posts — his government de facto dissolved like a silly dream — the people of Spain were already building barricades and raiding the armories. Either for the fascists or for the anarchists.

We lost that war.

In part because we did not get to choose its outset. And were not ready for its vicissitudes.

There are presently far far far more Trump brownshirts in this country than there are anarchists. An insurrection by white supremacists and populist authoritarians against a thoroughly corrupt and totalitarian establishment looking for any excuse to suppress all dissent is a conflict we are ill-prepared to leverage to our advantage. This is a plain and uncontestable truth.

Obviously our state must fall. Democracy must be revealed as illegitimate. But these goals must happen on our terms. And they are nowhere near sufficient conditions for anarchy to flourish. When they are brought about on someone else’s timetable we should be concerned.

Media Coordinator Weekly Update, October 16, 2016

Howdy, folks. It’s Sunday, which means I’m in a rental car hurtling toward Austin, Texas and not really in a position to do a full-blown media coordinator update, but I love y’all so I have a couple of points of business we can attend to anyway!

The Week in Commentary, Features, Blogs…

Luckily (for me), this week we didn’t do much in terms of publishing commentaries. Logan Glitterbomb published her “Revolution Through Art” piece on Monday, and Sheldon Richman got his piece on the Donald’s warmongering, “Donald Trump, Hawk,” out on Friday.

Between then and now we got a couple of anniversary blog posts and features up from myself and C4SS Coordinating Director William “Globalist” Gillis (he asked me to refer to him as such from now on). Gillis’ blog post in particular is very good. Also, part two of that bananas interview with Robert Anton Wilson went live! Check that out. 

Past that? It was a very quiet week here at the Center.

Anarchy Elsewhere

Since this has been such a quiet week, I’d like to take us back to the end of last month/beginning of this month (so long ago, I know). I wrote a little polemic piece in reaction to the extrajudicial killing of Tulsa resident Terence Crutcher. Like all of our commentary pieces, this one (eventually) got sent out to the various newspapers and websites we distribute to.

One of our former recipient publications took… hmm, umbrage with the piece. Now, they insisted (publicly) that we not mention them by name in this space, so I will respect that request. However, I feel that some of the content of their rebuttal to my piece deserves discussing.

“I do not like the national discourse about police right now. I don’t like that people have to die, and I don’t like that police are targeted within minutes of a tragedy for being out of control. I don’t like anarchists who seek political (and funding) gain by trying to capitalize on tragedy, and I don’t like media who will swarm to the scene of a tragedy, only to pack up their vans and head to the next tragedy because the ratings suggest they do so,” the paper’s editor writes.

“I can’t say anything to solve the concerns of millions of Americans through a column in a small newspaper like ours, and I have no intention of doing so. But what I do know is that dismantling a police department, or having our officers all turn in their badges and guns is the worst form of solution because it is not one.”

For just a moment, I’d like to turn your attention to that noted anarchist rag, The Washington Post, with a local-section column from October 4 titled, “Policing doesn’t need reforming. It needs to be abolished and created anew.

The column was written by raucous rabblerouser and longtime Washington Post metro reporter Courtland Milloy. Honestly the whole thing is so good, so I recommend giving it a read, but I want to highlight this big ol’ chunk:

An organization called Communities United for Police Reform offers a model for re-creating the concept of policing. The group treats violence as a public health issue. Every human resource a community can muster — including ex-offenders and former gang members — takes on the role of a physician tasked with stopping the spread of an epidemic.

The organizers encourage residents to take more responsibility for policing themselves. No repressive “stop and frisk” police tactics are required. They advocate putting an end to the deadly practice of having armed cops stop motorists because of minor traffic issues, such as a busted taillight.

Why not limit police to investigating major crimes?

Instead of having cops respond to every 911 call, have a list of other service providers to draw on — social workers, ministers, psychiatrists, for instance.

Such changes would certainly meet resistance. Not just from police but from those in wealthier and majority-white neighborhoods for whom police operate as advertised: “to serve and protect.” For those in poor and minority communities, the slogan might as well read: to confine and control.

“Cop culture, historically rooted deeper in racism than in justice, simply cannot be ‘reformed.’ It must be abolished; the institution where it festers must be dismantled and created anew,” Milloy writes.

Uproot that bush.

Indeed.

Housekeeping

As mentioned last week, I’ll be in Austin for the week. Work will still get done around here, but I’ll probably be even less active on Twitter than I am currently, so that’s nice.

The essay contest is in full swing! Three writers will have a chance to get published and get $25 a piece if they turn in a standout essay on elections by Nov 1! Email me at trevor@c4ss.org for more information and to submit your work.

More information has yet to be released, but this week Students For Liberty announced that I’ll be speaking on a panel with co-discussants and fellow C4SS folks William Gillis, James Tuttle and Kelly Vee at “Exploring Anarchism,” the 2016 SFL Oklahoma Regional Conference!

I went to last year’s regional conference at the University of Oklahoma, and it was a blast. This year, Gary Chartier, Edward Peter Stringham and Angela Keaton from Antiwar.com will be speaking, so honestly I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

If you think you can make it, go ahead and register while you still can! And come say hi! I’ll also be tabling, which is rad.

All of this is made possible in one way. You guessed it –

Donate! It’s how we get paid!

Y’all know the drill. C4SS is an official non-profit, recognized by the State and the IRS, so that means you can give us your money and you get to pay the state less in taxes at the end of the year. This helps us out AND it helps you out! No, but seriously – we have a lot of great writers in our stable right now and we like being able to pay them for their effort. We do that with your help each month. Head on over to the Support page to learn more!

Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist