Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: democracy
Neither Democracy nor Elitism
Whenever we libertarians point out democracy’s perverse incentives (as I do here) we risk being accused of elitism. However, those who assume that the only alternative to rule by the people is rule by an aristocracy reveal a tragically incomplete awareness of the choices before us. Rather than choose among rulers, we should ask why anyone…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Public Good or Public Bad?
If you ask an economist to suggest areas where the state should be involved, one answer you’re likely to hear is that states should provide “public goods.” A public good is a good that is both non-excludable and non-rival. By non-excludable, economists mean that once the good is produced individuals cannot be excluded from consuming…
Time to Opt Out
This November, don’t vote. As difficult as it may be to accept, you don’t have to, and it isn’t somehow morally wrong not to. Sometimes the single most powerful political statement you can make, your best option for expressing your preferences for the future of our country, is simply to lodge a conscientious objection by…
Questions and Answers on Workplace Democracy
My BHL colleague Chris Freiman has three questions for left-libertarians concerning how we reconcile our “commitment to workplace democracy” with the “other commitments that libertarians are inclined to have.” Here I suggest some answers. Does workplace democracy really eliminate bosses? Most libertarians, Chris notes, “would deny that granting all citizens a vote in a political…
Who’s Confused About Capitalism?
A new Harvard poll shows 51 percent of Millennials do not support capitalism (compared to 42 percent who do). An older Reason-Rupe poll found “socialism” beat “capitalism” in popularity 58 to 56%, but the “free market” was overwhelmingly more popular than a “government-managed economy.” The spin-meisters are quick to frame this as Millennial confusion about…
How Politics Empowers Remorseless Killers
According to a recent interview with White House advisor Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama “has not had a second thought about drones.” Yet the president’s drone strikes have more often killed civilians than intended targets.  Drones have struck weddings, funerals, and rescuers. One drone strike even killed a 16-year old American citizen, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. How can…
Proudhon on Democracy
P-J Proudhon’s understanding of democracy is a classic example of the concerns about the representative democratic process which many classical liberals expressed. The following was written a few weeks after the February (1848) Revolution in Paris had replaced the constitutional monarchy of King Louise-Phillipe with that of a nominally democratic republic. The illusion of democracy…
State Cannot Seperate From Church
Classical liberalism recommends, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “a wall of separation” between church and state. In his case for religious toleration, John Locke argued that separation protects people from the “compulsive force” of individuals trying to inculcate “certain doctrines” through “fire and sword.” Robert Audi later added that “if the state prefers one or more…
Disaster Capitalism in Flint
Naomi Klein coined the term “disaster capitalism” to describe what is virtually the only kind of “market reform” that ever takes place in the real world. In the event of collapse or emergency, capitalist elites seize uncontested control of a state and — in collusion with global corporations — force their agenda through without opposition….
Will Truly Free Markets be Truly Different? on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Steve Horwitz‘s “Will Truly Free Markets be Truly Different?” read and edited by Tony Dreher. As I have argued before, I find it a very convenient coincidence that the left-libertarian picture of a free market society just happens to line up almost exactly with the world that many on the traditional…
Will Truly Free Markets be Truly Different?
Steven Horwitz’s Response to Kevin Carson. There is much to like in Kevin Carson’s lead essay and even where I think he goes astray, he performs a valuable service by reminding us of the ways in which the state has affected the evolution of really-existing capitalism and he thereby challenges us to think more critically…
Rebel Governance: In Defense of the Common Sector
Life is pretty good here in the Volunteer State. As an East Tennessean I am particularly fond of the great Smoky Mountains, my scruffy little city of Knoxville, the University of Tennessee and surrounding colleges, a multitude of markets (including a rising craft beer scene) and an array of state parks. Just the other weekend…
Scalia’s Anti-Enlightenment Anti-Individualism
Conservatives warn that the so-called liberals on the Supreme Court endanger our liberties. This is certainly true, although not exactly as the conservatives mean it. Now it’s time for them to acknowledge that the court’s conservatives do the same. Case in point: Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges (PDF), the case that declared…
Queer Liberation and Jury Nullification
It’s June, and for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, that means it’s Pride month. All around the world throughout June, pride parades and pride festivals celebrate our identities, our lives, our culture, our progress in smashing stigmas, and our resistance to oppression. That last part, resistance, is absolutely crucial. Pride is…
Power Thrives in Complexity
In a democracy citizens prevent the government from abusing them by staying informed and exercising their “rights” under the system. They monitor the politicians’ and bureaucrats’ conduct, and when citizens see what they consider misbehavior, they act to stop it either by communicating to their “representatives” or by voting for better people at the next…
A Market Anarchist Critique of Marx’s Views on the State
“That government is best which governs not at all…” –Henry David Thoreau In this essay, I will contend that the role of the state is to prevent competition to its “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”. In order to substantiate this argument, I will first compare Marx’s definition of…
Rhode Island’s Pot Prohibitionists
With marijuana legalization efforts finding success in scattered parts of the United States, Rhode Island stands as a potential trailblazer. A new attempt at legalization put forth by its state legislature looms as a modest victory in 2015 for proponents of liberty and sane drug policy. Modest, because unfortunately the state would still maintain a…
Reclaiming the Public on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Grant A. Mincy‘s “Reclaiming the Public” read by James Tuttle and edited by Nick Ford. Common governance awards all members of a given community equal rights — power is equally distributed. There is no coercive body delegating policy. Common governance is rooted in liberty, not enclosed by a monopoly of force and violence. For…
Individual Autonomy and Self-Determination
Wayne Price. “Kevin Carson’s Revival of Individualist Anarchist Economic Theory” Anarkismo.net, November 30, 2014. Wayne Price’s overall summary of my approach in Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (also available online) is quite even-handed and fair (unlike some others, e.g. the critique of Markets Not Capitalism, ed. by Charles Johnson and Gary Chartier, by Crimethinc’s Magpie…
Venture Communism
Dmytri Kleiner. The Telekommunist Manifesto. Network Notebook Series (Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2010). Kleiner starts with a materialist analysis of class relations quite similar to Marx’s. Through their access to the wealth that results from the continuous capture of surplus value, capitalists offer each generation of innovators a chance to become a junior partner…
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist