Quality Editions of Anarchist Classics. Provocative Perspectives on Today’s Radicalism.

Featured

Welcome to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Distro. (Formerly a project of the Las Vegas Alliance of the Libertarian Left, we have now moved into the cosmos, or Alabama, however you prefer to look at it.)

We produce and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation.

You can order any of our zines and booklets, either as individual purchases for your own reference, or in larger print runs for ALL locals or other Anarchist groups to distribute in your community, through infoshops, distros, tabling events, or bookfairs. If you’d like to order one or more of the items in bulk, we can customize the print run to include custom covers and contact information specific to your local group. Contact us for details if you have any questions.

Libertarianism Through Thick and Thin on Feed 44

C4SS Feed 44 presents “Libertarianism Through Thick and Thin” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Sheldon Richman, read by Charles Johnson and edited by Nick Ford.

Abstracting from the numerous, often mutually exclusive details of specific cultural projects that have been recommended or condemned in the name of libertarianism, the question of general principle has to do with whether libertarianism should be seen as a “thin” commitment, which can be happily joined to absolutely any non-coercive set of values and projects, or whether it should instead be seen as one strand among others in a “thick” bundle of intertwined social commitments. These disputes are often intimately connected with other disputes concerning the specifics of libertarian rights theory, or class analysis and the mechanisms of social power. In order to better get a grip on what’s at stake, it will be necessary to make the question more precise, and to tease out the distinctions between some of the different possible relationships between libertarianism and thicker bundles of social, cultural, religious, or philosophical commitments, which might recommend integrating the two on some level or another.

Feed 44:

Bitcoin tips welcome:

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Director’s Report

August has been wonderfully productive month for C4SS. We have published more commentaries, features, book reviews, blog posts, and translations, across the board and by a wide margin, than previous months. And we even, finally, published our version of Colin Ward’s edited Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow by Pyotr Kropotkin – complete with an original introduction by Kevin Carson.

All of this output is the result of our love for the ideas and our desire to see them realized, but this level of output can only be attributed to the generosity and support of our donors. We are thankful for every penny and bitcoin decimal. Your enthusiasm and support is our proof that anarchism is not only possible and practical, but humbling and emboldening.

If C4SS, as an organization and an idea, is something you like having around or you would like to see it do more things (like funding more studies, publishing more books, helping with travel expenses for writers to speak at events, updating the youtube graphics, etc), then please donate $5 today.

What will $5 a month get you from C4SS? Well let’s see,

For the month of August, C4SS published:

29 Commentaries (5 more than July)
14 Features (4 more than July),
Weekly Abolitionists (1 more than July),
Life, Love and Liberty (2 more than July),
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews (1 more than July),
Missing Commas,
1 Republished Book: Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow,
3 Book Reviews (2 more than July), and
19 C4SS Media uploads (7 more than July) to the C4SS youtube channel.

And, thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators, C4SS translated and published:

Italian translations,
Spanish translations,
26 Portuguese translations!

I would also like to take a moment to point of that Brazil really likes C4SS. Supporters in Brazil visit our site more than supporters any other country, besides the US, and, in only two months since we reported the C4SS Portuguese facebook reaching 1,000 “likes”, it has already surpassed 2,000!

Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow

It took more than a couple of months, but we were finally able to complete the C4SS Edition of Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow. This is a special edition that includes an introduction by Kevin Carson, a running extended commentary by Colin Ward and rounded out with Murray Bookchin’s essay Towards a Liberatory Technology.

Pyotr Kropotkin and Colin Ward have long been important figures to the C4SS approach and articulation of a stateless society. Showcasing the ability of individuals to work together in such a way as to provide abundance and autonomy, without the connected nightmares of centralized governance or centralized production, is at the heart of both their work and our very own Kevin Carson. As Carson describes,

I read Kropotkin’s original version, the Ward commentaries, and Bookchin’s essay all around roughly the same time, along with other writings by Ward on neighborhood workshops as a means of communal self-provisioning by the unemployed and underemployed, and similar ideas by Karl Hess in his and Morris’s book Neighborhood Government. Their ideas all clicked together for me and produced the conceptual framework that I expressed first in Chapter 14 of my book Organization Theory, and then grew into a book of its own with the publication of The Homebrew Industrial Revolution.

Autonomy is regarded as possible within all anarchist conversations, but, for some, this possibility is at the expense of technologically produced abundance. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to make the sacrificial concession that reduced autonomy is the price of industrial capacity and capital abundance. Freed Market Anti-capitalists or Laissez-faire Socialists see no necessary conflict between autonomy or abundance; both, in the absence of a state, can be mutually determining, supporting or enhancing. It is this spirit of universal autonomy and abundance that we are proud to offer you Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow.

Please Welcome Our Newest Intern

We are four months into our test of a paid internship program. Cory Massimino has been doing amazing things with C4SS and we look forward to helping his career along. Since we began talking about an intern program for C4SS we have received notes from interested supporters curious about how they might apply. We are still figuring out what such a program requires, how best to support and prepare our interns for the curious world of writing about anarchism for a general audience. To help us answer these questions we have included Daniel Pryor to our roster of interns. Pryor’s internship officially begins September 1, but he has already begun writing for C4SS. His “The Culture of Anarchism” gives a taste of what we can expect form his work,

The anarchist culture of scepticism towards power structures is key to human flourishing. On an individual level, this manifests in critically examining our everyday habits. Samuel Beckett reminds us that “the pernicious devotion of habit paralyses our attention, drugs those handmaidens of perception whose co-operation is not absolutely essential”. Our unwavering collective devotion to entrenched power structures paralyses society, and blinds us to the evils that plague it. Embrace change and the possibility it provides.

It is our hope that we will have the bugs worked out and the rubrics in place to make our internship program supportive, challenging and fruitful. We are currently limited by funding, but we feel confident that we can sustain, at current donation levels, two interns a year. We hope to begin deciding on our next intern December 1, 2014. But you don’t have to wait, you can always start writing for C4SS now. If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact us:

  • General inquiries: admin@c4ss.org
  • Media inquiries: media@c4ss.org

Book Reviews

August was a great month for books; we were able to publish three original reviews:

1. Joel Schlosberg reviewed Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book just in time for Guardians of the Galaxy. Schlosberg has a slow-burn writing style like a fuse attached to a powder keg. It takes its time, bringing all the background details into focus, before concluding with lines like,

The shift of power back towards artists paralleled the shift towards viable post-mass-market economic alternatives. When in the 1980s the main point of sale of comics moved from newsstands to specialty stores, the decreasing capital-intensiveness of distribution opened the field for creator-controlled independents, many formed by Marvel walkouts who took their experience with them.

and,

The reverberations from Lee’s quickly-forgotten Comix Book, a fleeting effort treating underground comix just like any other fad to be co-opted, shows the disruptive power of alternatives. The contributing underground artists demanded and got rights to their work as a condition of their participation, leading artists at Marvel to agitate for creator rights as well.

2. Cory Massimino, C4SS’s first intern, offered a review of Markets Not Capitalism. Massimino’s review uses selections with themes that challenge libertarian preconceptions about what is or is not possible with a freed market critique of political economy.

For example:

  • Massimino begins with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s “General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century” and his discussion of the liberatory effects of universal competition.
  • Next is Gary Chartier’s “Advocates of Freed Markets Should Oppose Capitalism”. Chartier disentangles the three dominate referents of the term “Capitalism” and offers a case for why advocates of freed markets are, or ought to be, thorough anti-capitalists.
  • Roderick Long’s “A Plea for Public Property” considers the validity and necessity of public property for the defense of individual autonomy and community development.
  • Kevin Carson’s classic “Economic Calculation in the Corporate Commonwealth” applies the classic Austrian calculation argument, with withering effect, against the “corporate commonwealth”.
  • Murray Rothbard’s challenging “Confiscation and the Homestead Principle” asks the question, “what is to be done with all this stolen property known as state complex industry and compromised education?” Rothbard answers, in the absence of clear and identifiable beneficiaries, “it belongs to the workers and the students – the first or discernible homesteaders of the property.”
  • Jeremy Weiland’s radical “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich: Economic Entropy as Revolutionary Redistribution” thesis is that mass accumulation of wealth can be described as a byproduct of centralized monopoly authority which subsidizes its maintenance, liability and protection against the centrifugal tendencies of freed markets or the spontaneous institutional arrangements possible in a stateless society.
  • Charles Johnson’s “Scratching By” calls into question the state-based progressive plans designed to ameliorate poverty while maintaining the very barriers to subsistence and raised access to capital that created the poverty in the first place.
  • Massimino concludes with Roderick Long’s “Platonic Productivity”. Long challenges some of the accepted notions within certain circles of Austrian economic theory regarding “marginal revenue product” and the power of social change given a passive social context.

Massimino’s parthian shot is a quote by Long,

Once we see why the productivity theory of wages, though correct as far as it goes, goes less far than its proponents often suppose, it does not seem implausible to suppose that this sexism plays some role in explaining the wage gap, and such sexism needs to be combated… But that’s no reason to gripe about “market failure.” Such failure is merely our failure. Instead, we need to fight the power – peacefully, but not quietly.

3. Kevin Carson, while doing research for his latest book The Desktop Regulatory State, received a review copy of New Forms of Worker Organization from PM Press. New Forms… begins by detailing the historical and radical differences between domesticated “Wagner-style business unions” and the horizontal direct action union “descendants of the socialist and anarchist labor formations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” Carson comments,

Since then, employers have decided the New Deal labor accord no longer serves their interests. They have instead shifted to a labor model based on union-busting, offshoring and precarious labor (part-timers and temporary workers). Outside of a handful of dying industries, the New Deal model is increasingly irrelevant to today’s workers.

But the pre-Wagner model is becoming quite relevant. It includes such things as minority unionism (in which a minority of workers acts as a union without certification, as the Jimmy Johns workers did), which former IWW Secretary-Treasurer Alexis Buss wrote extensively about in her “Minority Report” columns. It includes the forms of on-the-job direct action described in the pamphlet “How to Fire Your Boss [PDF]” (all of which are prohibited during the duration of union contracts under the Wagner model): slowdowns, sick-ins, random unannounced one-day wildcat strikes, working to rule, “good work” strikes and (perhaps most relevant) “open mouth sabotage,” which is simply public whistleblowing about internal working conditions and the kinds of shoddy goods and services that result from management policy.

Krugman on Libertarianism?

Paul Krugman, rightly, regards the various strands of libertarianism as a challenge worthy of comment. Unfortunately his ready response is dismissal; libertarianism is fanciful or utopian. Joel Schlosberg and David D’Amato both responded to Krugman for C4SS.

Schlosberg points out Krugman’s unfamiliarity not only of libertarian literature on various subjects like pollution, but of allied corporate reformers as well:

Krugman waves a single word at libertarian economics like a vampire hunter’s crucifix: “phosphorous”. (Not “phlogiston“?) The chemical’s contamination of Lake Erie is treated as a prime example of a problem which self-evidently can be fixed only by the regulatory apparatus of a benevolent government. … No mention is made of the decades of substantial libertarian literature dealing with pollution, much of it specifically about water pollution. … Krugman’s entire rejoinder to Milton Friedman’s proposal that tort law could effectively replace the regulatory state as a check on corporate power (only one of enough such examples to fill a book) — and his only actual attempt at addressing free-market proposals at all — is: “Really?” Really. Never mind that exactly that approach has been championed by no less of a foe of corporate power than Ralph Nader, much to the chagrin of more statist leftists like Doug Henwood, who chides Nader that tort “[l]itigation is an individualized solution to broad economic and social conflicts whose proper arena is politics, not the courtroom.”

D’Amato focuses on Krugman’s unbalanced suspicion of business yet resilient faith in bureaucrats. Suspicion, perhaps even uncharitable suspicion, is appropriate towards all with access to power:

Paul Krugman, unconsciously I’m sure, makes an interesting move whenever he articulates his view of what it is that drives the acts of government agents as opposed to market actors. When he’s talking about the latter group, he assumes, perhaps quite rightly, that they are motivated by unalloyed self-interest, by greed and the bottom line, regardless of who gets trampled on, whether it means polluting cherished, shared natural resources or hawking unsafe products to consumers. Well, all right, so when we’re considering the motivations of DC bureaucrats, the same assumptions ought to hold, right? Not exactly. You see, in the Krugman worldview, there is just no reason to fear that the public choice scholars actually made a meaningful contribution to our understanding of political machinations, that we should look at politics “without romance” and consider the motivations of the powerful in government just as we do the powerful in business. Never mind the work of people like Butler Shaffer, who has shown that big business has long agitated for regulation as a way “to obtain benefits it has been unable to secure by its own efforts.” For a firm or any other market actor, lack of flexibility and responsiveness to changing conditions means entropy.

Ferguson: The Tactics of Occupation

As a participant in the Occupy movement, I was able to experience, up close and personal, the default positions of the American Police State: deference and zero-discretion. This is what Kevin Carson refers to as “the Prussianization of American Culture,”

One of the peculiarities of the increasingly militarized culture of Prussia/Germany under Bismarck’s reich was that civilians became second-class citizens. It was common practice for citizens to step off the sidewalk and into the gutter to make way for anyone in uniform. We’re seeing the same tendency in the United States, as the respective rights of officials and ordinary citizens becomes increasingly a matter of status or caste rather than universal law.

In Tulsa, OK, November 2, 2011, the Tulsa PD pepper-sprayed and arrested 10 Occupiers after 1. being made aware that this measured and strategic act of disobedience was civil, 2. making the Occupiers, attendant Media and on-lookers aware that the Officers had two options available to them: citation or arrest, and 3. deploying over 50 Officers to make it abundantly clear what the rules of the game were. Where did they get all of these Officers to accomplish such a task? The training academy. They looked upon that event as a training opportunity in how to deal with a disaffected population.

This was my experience, but it doesn’t even register when compared to Ferguson. Needless to say, we at C4SS have a lot to say on the situation specifically and in general:

Grant Mincy offer a good summation of the situation,

No more can we look to vertical power structures. We need a polycentric approach. How liberating it will be to embrace the idea that we can manage ourselves! Is this not the very essence of the “hands up, don’t shoot!” movement? Is it not the idea that social power is the answer to police violence, racism within the justice system and class warfare? I think it is, we are looking at systems of power, noting how they are all related and seeking our individual and collective liberation. As we walk into this period of revolution, once we really start talking to one another, we will scale these problems up to all institutions — damn right a change is going to come!

Left Wing Individualism

David D’Amato wrote a wonderful feature detailing the historical tradition he calls Left Wing Individualism and its importance to us now,

The individualist anarchists were sticklers about consistency; if labor was made to come under the law of competition, of supply and demand, then so too should capital. As Schuster points out, the “scientific anarchism” of people like Benjamin Tucker thus “did not appeal to the Capitalist because it demanded not ‘rugged individualism’ but universal individualism” (emphasis added). Because the individualists regarded them as the proximate results of coercive privilege, rent, interest, and profit — the “trinity of usury” — were treated as akin to taxes, allowing the owners of capital the stolen difference between prices under a regime of privilege and prices as they would be under true, open competition.

Agri-terrorism

Kevin Carson’s “Agri-Terrorists Accuse Seed Bank of Agri-Terrorism” has done very well at calling attention to yet another method of the state for the defense of privileged Big Agibusiness,

Since their beginnings, the USDA and state departments of agriculture have heavily subsidized, and acted as the enforcement arm of, the corporate agribusiness crime syndicate, terrorizing people who presume to feed themselves without paying tribute to their corporate crime lords. If, as the late Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler said, the US Marines were the overseas strongarm operation for the big US banks, then the USDA and Pennsylvania DA are strongarm operations for Monsanto, Cargill and ADM.

Carson followed up his op-ed with a feature, “Seed Libraries: Treat Law as Damage, Route Around It,” where he discusses what can be done to route around this damage now that it has been identified,

Lobbying against draconian copyright laws like the IP chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ACTA has done a lot of good, but encryption, proxies and improvements in file-sharing technology have done far more. Before ACTA had even come to a vote, several Firefox extensions became available that can simply bypass domain names seized by the federal government and go straight to their numeric IP address. That’s how people access Wikileaks’ various national sites and mirrors around the world.

In other words, to paraphrase a famous quote, treat the law as damage and route around it.

We Haven’t Forgotten

We still have our David Graeber Symposium on Debt: the first 5,000 years. There is only one article to be finished; it should be ready soon. Thank you for your patience.

Please Support Today!

All of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition of left libertarian market anarchist, freed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please donate $5, today. Keep C4SS going and growing.

ALL the best!

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Director’s Report

July has been a busy month for a lot of our writers: there was the World Cup coverage, AltExpo, Freedom Fest and the Students for Liberty Campus Coordinator’s Retreat all vying for their attention. Yet, even with all that, we were still able to publish twenty-four commentaries and ten original features.

C4SS pays the writers that work with us, we pay our interns and we pay our bloggers. From what I hear, around the blogoshpere, this is on the unique side. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our site, also, only features one relevant advertisement, Markets Not Capitalism, which supports the site and our message. In other words we are funded by supporters. Our supporters donate small amounts, the average being $5 to $10 a month, and this is perfect. C4SS wants small donations from lots of people; we want the swarm and all the information is contains. If C4SS, as an organization and an idea, is something you like having around or you would like to see it do more things (like funding more studies, publishing more books, helping with travel expenses for writers to speak at events, updating the youtube graphics, etc), then please donate $5 today.

What will $5 a month get you from C4SS? Well let’s see,

For the month of July, C4SS published:

24 Commentaries,
10 original Features,
Weekly Abolitionists,
Life, Love and Liberty,
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
Missing Commas (2 more than June),
Entrepreneurial Anti-Capitalism,
1 original Review, and
12 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel.

Thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators, C4SS translated and published:

Italian translations,
2 Spanish translations,
11 Portuguese translations.

Tor Success

For over three years, C4SS has maintained a dedicated Tor relay node. This node operates 24 hours a day. This node is one of the ways that we contribute to the various technologies devoted to identifying the damage of state and routing around it. The state will never relent or be sated with anything less then total awareness for total control. Maintaining your own Tor node is encouraged, but for whatever reason this is not possible for you, you can help us maintain ours.

On that note, we are happy to declare another successful fundraiser for another four months of continuous operation. Thank you to everyone that donated through the site and bitcoin. We haven’t started next quarter’s fundraiser, but, if you would like to start early, feel free to donate today (just leave the note: For Tor), bitcoin is, as always, welcome too: 1N1pF6fLKAGg4nH7XuqYQbKYXNxCnHBWLB

 

c4ssbiggerTor

Entrepreneurial Anti-capitalism

Entrepreneurial Anti-capitalism has been a C4SS project since November 2013. Its primary goal, to seek out and support the those anarchist projects that desperately need or can make full immediate use of a $200 to $400 donation. One of these projects that we have recently donated to is the Anarchist Black Cross. The prison state and its prison economy are two interlocking threats that Nathan Goodman’s The Weekly Abolitionist is devoted to abolishingNathan Goodman summarizes the situation and our enemy,

Prisons are the antithesis of all we stand for as anarchists. While we seek a society built around peace and bodily autonomy, prisons are violent institutions that trap inmates at gunpoint and make them vulnerable to rape and murder. Where we seek justice through restitution, reconciliation, and self-defense, prisons are based on punitive vengeance. While we seek a society free from oppression based on race, gender, class, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation, prisons systematically brutalize the most marginalized among us.

As anarchists, we admire those who resist oppression.

One of the crucial parts of a prison abolitionist strategy is supporting those that have been captured in its black iron jaws. The Anarchist Black Cross has been doing this for over a hundred years. We implore everyone to find (or start) a local chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross and help out however you can.

The New Leveller Volume 1, Issue 3 online now!

The New Leveller is the publishing side of the Students for a Stateless Society (S4SS). If you are a student and desire a stateless society, S4SS just might be a perfect fit for you.

newnewnewleveller
“Are you interested in individualist anarchism, or at least so frightened by it that you want to keep an eye on its progress? Are you frustrated by capitalism’s love for central planning and communism’s conservative view of human potential? Do you suspect that abolishing the institution responsible for war, police brutality, and mass incarceration might not be so dangerous after all?

Then The New Leveller is for you!”

The third issue of the Students for a Stateless Society‘s newsletter, The New Leveller is now online.

For a link to a PDF of the entire issue (recommended!), click here.
For links to an HTML version of each individual article, click here.

New Book(s)

C4SS’s first book, a collection of articles discussing the notion, possibility and necessity of common pool resources and “public” property spaces for a flourishing stateless society, The Anatomy of Escape: A Defense of the Commons, is near completion. We have finished the cover, beautifully designed by Benjamin Godwin, for both English and Portuguese. Work on the next book in our collection series, The Iron Fist: Capitalism, the Economy of the State, has already begun. We hope to complete three more books covering the topics: the psychopathology of hierarchy, ecology and environment, and strategy and tactics. After that we will begin the massive task of creating full author collections – Kevin Carson’s will, most likely, need multiple volumes.

New Book Review

Missing Comma‘s Juliana Perciavalle has agreed to review Matt Hern’s Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn’t Always Better for C4SS.

Karl Hess

Of all the individuals that have contributed to the development and presence of Left Libertarian thought, Karl Hess is easily one of the most important. All are essential, but Karl Hess set the temperament and tone – radical, active, experimental and kind. Hess gave us our conception of the left/right spectrum, helped solidify our appreciation for the weird, gave us an example of heartfelt patience for old friends (that will probably never get us), and reaffirmed our commitment that concentrated economic and cultural power is just as dangerous and worthy of open vigilant opposition as concentrated political power.

Kevin Carson currently holds our first academic position, The Karl Hess Scholar in Social Theory and Markets Not Capitalism is dedicated to the memory of Karl Hess. Gary Chartier and Charles Johnson wrote, in Markets Not Capitalism, about Karl Hess,

We’ve dedicated Markets Not Capitalism to Karl Hess – a gentle, insightful, graceful, articulate, and passionate believer in freedom, decentralization, and peaceful, voluntary cooperation. Karl bridged the gap between the Old Right and the New Left, powerfully indicted the political status quo, and provided a compelling and unsettling model of life outside the state’s clutches. Flawed like everyone else, he was nonetheless good and decent, embodying the commitment to human liberation we seek to foster with this book.

In March, 1969, Karl Hess had an article published with Playboy magazine; that article would be called The Death of Politics. Joel Schlosberg has published a wonderful and detailed review of Hess’ other appearance in Playboy an interview of his life and politics for C4SS. Schlosberg opens with,

At first glance, a no-holds-barred conversation with an anarchist might seem the most inappropriate centerpiece imaginable for a magazine issue marking the bicentennial of the United States of America. But then again, Karl Hess was no ordinary “anarchist.”

Hobby Lobby

The ability or power to opt-out is one of the Thoreauvian aspects crucial to any meaningful theory of liberty. And many commentators lauded just this spirit in the Hobby Lobby ruling. But this power to opt-out, we must never forget, has been granted to billionaires and corporations, it was never considered or expected to trickle down to us –  the individuals. They will not cite it or stand by it when you decide to opt-out. They will zealously stand against opting-out when it comes to the intellectual property provisions of the DMCA or the provisions against secondary solidarity strikes and boycotts in the Wagner Act. The primary interventions are kept firmly and lovingly in place while the rest of us fight each other for corporate and political scraps. As Brain Nicholson summarizes, “with thought, the ‘culture war’ reveals itself as a prison fight — forced by the guards.” And Kevin Carson concludes,

But we’re never going to get Hobby Lobby, and big corporations and wage employers in general, out of control of our lives by using the state as a weapon. They usually work together, and always will. Ultimately, the only way out is what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri call “exodus” — building our own horizontal institutions outside of both corporation and state, and abandoning the corporate-state nexus to rot.

C4SS has written a lot on this subject for July,

Eric Garner

For those of us that follow and worry about the growing militarization and militancy of the police in the Untied States and around the world, the tragic, needless and unwarranted murder of Eric Garner – live on camera – was not unexpected yet still shocking. There is something strange and terrifying, besides summary executions for loose cigarette entrepreneurship, about the default use of violent arrest when one could just as easily, and with discretion, issue a citation. The question to be asked, “Is this motivated by the desire to set an example for an occupied population or simple bloodlust?” I fear a case can be made for both. Ryan Calhoun‘s “Where’s Eric Garner’s Amargosa?” compares the popular reaction to Garner’s murder with the small Brazilian town of Amargosa,

His crime? Garner was a known holder of contraband, which you might know as loose cigarettes. Despite no evidence that he was selling or even had said contraband on his person, after a brief verbal quarrel between Garner and the police, he was put into a chokehold, held on the ground and pounced on by several more NYPD gang members. His last words, the words of an innocent family man to these “peace officers?” “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” …

In the city of Amargosa in Brazil, citizens took to the streets after a stray bullet fire by a local police officer struck and killed a one-year-old girl. But they didn’t stay in the streets. They quickly took the police station, freeing prisoners, jacking state-owned weaponry and burning the station and police vehicles to the ground.

Millennials

As twilight sets on the Boomers and GenXers begin to find themselves in positions of civic responsibility (whatever that means), all number-crunching and trend-analysis eyes have turned to the Millennials. What makes them tick? What do they want? What will they do to the status quo? Kevin Carson has penned two pieces on the Millennial question: one suggestive of reforms Millennials should be pushing for and a trend-analysis of the Millennial based upon the historical and cultural novelties that have converged during their development. Carson writes,

So based on all this, it stands to reason this generation would be heavily involved in building all the major components of the successor society that’s emerging from the decaying ruins of the corporate-state nexus. There are 20-somethings in the hackerspace, open hardware and micromanufacturing movements, in Permaculture and community gardens, organizing squats into coherent, cooperative communities, developing encrypted counter-currencies and mutual credit systems, creating scholarly communities around open courseware and academic journals liberated from behind paywalls, and developing open meshworks the state can’t shut down and anonymizing darknets the state can’t penetrate.

I have gathered together the all the articles published with C4SS discussing the Millennial question,

We Haven’t Forgotten

We still have our David Graeber Symposium on the horizon, along with our Carson-Ward-Bookchin edition of Kropotkin’s “Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow”.

Please Support Today!

Needless to say, all of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition of left libertarian market anarchist, freed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please donate $5, today. Keep C4SS going and growing.

ALL the best!

flattr this!

Director’s Report

June has been a great month for the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS). We were able to publish more commentaries in June than in the previous three months.

If you are a regular donor, then I would like to thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support. If you are interested in supporting our mission “to explain and defend the idea of vibrant social cooperation without aggression, oppression, or centralized authority” with a monthly $5 donation, then I would like to give you an idea of you can expect from C4SS.

For the month of June, C4SS published:

31 Commentaries (6 more than May),
15 original Features (1 more than May),
Weekly Abolitionists,
Life, Love and Liberty,
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
Missing Commas,
Wars and Rumors of Wars,
Entrepreneurial Anti-Capitalism,
1 academic level study,
2 original Book Review and
12 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel.

Thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators, C4SS translated and published:

Italian translations,
22 Portuguese translations (1 more than May).

Our purchase in Brazil continues to grow. In only three months the Portuguese C4SS facebook “like” page has gone from zero to well over a thousand. To mark the occasion, one of our friends made us this:

10390192_416537568487217_6304102728547622055_n

Missing Comma‘s Trevor Hultner has decided to take a month or two off, and, to your good fortune, Juliana Perciavalle has decided to join the C4SS team with a focus on maintaining the Missing Comma blog. Juliana and Trevor have also recorded C4SS’s Feed 44 media project’s first podcast interview, discussing Juliana’s first two Missing Comma posts. Currently the number of downloads that the C4SS podcast channels have counted stands a little over eighty five hundred. You can follow Feed 44 through one of these outlets:

And as always, Bitcoin tips welcome:

  • 1N1pF6fLKAGg4nH7XuqYQbKYXNxCnHBWLB

The C4SS Tor Node

C4SS maintains, now going on three full years, a Tor Relay Node. We have completed fundraisers to support this node in the past to great success; so successful was the last one that we haven’t needed another one in quite some time. We encourage everyone to consider operating a Tor relay node yourself. If this, for whatever reason, is not an option, you can still support the Tor project and online anonymity with a $5 donation to the C4SS Tor relay node.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

The Point of Privilege Mutual Exchange

Mutual Exchange is the Center’s goal in two senses — we favor a society rooted in peaceful, voluntary cooperation, and we seek to foster understanding through ongoing dialogue. Mutual Exchange will provide opportunities for conversation about issues that matter to the Center’s audience.

The Point of Privilege Mutual Exchange generated eight responses from four contributors, with a possible ninth from Kevin Carson.

Carson’s Graeber Study (No. 17)

Since January 1st, 2009, C4SS has been able to publish nineteen academic level studies on issues important to a left market anarchist critique of the state and conceptions of a stateless society. Our studies, along with our press room with almost fifteen hundred documented C4SS republications around the world, distinguishes us from the humble anarchist blog. Part of your monthly $5 donation will go towards continuing this project.

David Graeber’s Anarchist Thought: A Survey

… Graeber, as we already saw to be the case with Elinor Ostrom, is characterized above all by a faith in human creativity and agency, and an unwillingness to let a priori theoretical formulations either preempt either his perceptions of the particularity and “is-ness” of history, or to interfere with the ability of ordinary, face-to-face groupings of people on the spot to develop workable arrangements—whatever they may be—among themselves. Graeber is one of those anarchist (or anarchist-ish) thinkers who, despite possibly identifying with a particular hyphenated variant of anarchism, have an affection for the variety and particularity of self-organized, human-scale institutions that goes beyond ideological label. These people, likewise, see the relationships between individual human beings in ways that can’t be reduced to simple abstractions like the cash nexus or doctrinaire socialism. …

Entrepreneurial Anti-Capitalism

In June, Net Neutrality, that “unstable equilibrium,” died. I am sure that many open internet advocacy groups will fight valiantly to restore it, or pieces of it, but this is a dead end. The ISPs and the Dingos in the FCC will continue to throw mountains of cash and influence at the internet, until they get – completely – what they want. Capitalism is damage, time to route around it. To this end, the fourth Entrepreneurial Anti-Capitalism project that C4SS has backed are radical mesh networks:

… We at the Center for a Stateless Society believe strongly in the potency and importance of persuasion in building a freed world, but we also know that world won’t be built without hands-on grappling, activist organizing and building commons. That’s why we started the Entrepreneurial Anti-capitalism project, to pay forward the good fortune we’ve received and provide a helping hand to those doing amazing, necessary, frequently thankless work with very little.

It is our hope that others will follow our lead in donating to these great projects. Each one accepts bitcoin at the following addresses:

    • People’s Open Network: 12RxU4DpLpdWcmEBn7Tj325CCXBwt5i9Hc
    • AlterMundi: 12mVSq3NBKTs3tCpWXyJqwdHq8p92ka6fq
    • KC Freedom: 1Jmjmf2hDWsrSfnxiM27GZtNWmWGbPNEQM

Look forward, in July, for our write up on the fifth Entrepreneurial Anti-Capitalism project, and how you can also support, the Anarchist Black Cross in Mexico City and Denver.

What is Left-Libertarianism?

Friedrich Nietzsche councils us, in his The Genealogy of Morals, that “…all ideas, in which a whole process is promiscuously comprehended, elude definition; it is only that which has no history, which can be defined.” This is not to say that these ideas cannot be approached, utilized, valued, defended or understood, only that their status as solid or definitive is, forever, in dispute. They must be approached genealogically, contextually or con-textually, instead of derivatively or positively. Quentin Skinner explains, “the history of thought should be viewed not as a series of attempts to answer a canonical set of questions, but as a sequence of episodes in which the questions as well as the answers have frequently changed.” Or, as Skinner concludes his introduction to his Visions of Politics: Regarding Method,

What the historical record strongly suggests is that no one is above the battle, because the battle is all there is.

If this is true for such all purpose and all powerful words like “liberty,” “consent,” “property,” and “state,” then it is doubly true for the word “libertarian” – triple for “left libertarian.” We have occasionally published, re-published or collected summaries and introductions answering this episode’s question “What is Left-Libertarianism?” as we understand and defend it. But, since, we will never be “above the battle,” Kevin Carson has thrown down a refreshed and (near) three thousand word gauntlet:

We of the Libertarian Left, as we understand it at C4SS, want to take back free market principles from the hirelings of big business and the plutocracy, and put them back to their original use: an all-out assault on the entrenched economic interests and privileged classes of our day. If the classical liberalism of Smith and Ricardo was an attack on the power of the Whig landed oligarchs and the moneyed interests, our left-libertarianism is an attack on the closest thing in our own time: global finance capital and the transnational corporations. We repudiate mainstream libertarianism’s role in defense of corporate capitalism in the 20th century, and its alliance with conservatism.

We of the Libertarian Left also want to demonstrate the relevance of free market principles, free association and voluntary cooperation in addressing the concerns of today’s Left: Economic injustice, the concentration and polarization of wealth, the exploitation of labor, pollution and waste, corporate power, and structural forms of oppression like racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. …

New Book Reviews

We have added to our list of book reviews to expect:

Zines!

C4SS has been a long time partner with Charles Johnson‘s Alliance of the Libertarian Left DistroThis partnership brings with it a little “help the Center” finder’s fee. Just another way you can help support C4SS. The following zine list, highlighted below, has been selected to further showcase the topics discussed in June’s Mutual Exchange and Kevin Carson’s gauntlet.

newmutualism knowprob
DofLL ironfist

We Haven’t Forgotten

We still have our David Graeber Symposium on the horizon, along with our Carson-Ward-Bookchin edition of Kropotkin’s “Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow”.

Please Support Today!

Needless to say, all of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition ofleft libertarian market anarchistfreed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please donate $5, today. Keep C4SS going and growing.

ALL the best!

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Orwell, Orthodoxy and Organization

This summer, I joined the reading group for Kevin A. Carson’s daunting, 600 page tome Organization Theory. In the first section, Carson presents a compelling mass of research and careful criticism of cross-ideological views of economies of scale. He argues that top economists, from Ronald Coase to John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Schumpeter, “accept ‘economies of scale’ as a sufficient explanation for the rise of the large corporation from a supposedly ‘laissez-faire’ economy”, failing to consider the systemic effects state intervention has on the architecture of large firms that would otherwise bow to real market forces.

Five pages in, Carson takes a heavy swing at the Austrians over this issue. “The irony is that the Austrians”, he scolds, “who consider themselves such iconoclasts in savaging so much of the received wisdom of neoclassical economists and liberal managerialism, also accept without critical awareness many of its implicit assumptions… So it’s somewhat jarring to see them… become ardently triumphalist enthusiasts for the sheer Hegelian ‘is-ness’ of things when it comes to Wal-Mart and sweatshops. It’s a bit odd to be so anti-Hamiltonian, and yet so fond of an economy founded on Hamiltonianism.” – Ouch.

Bad theory has an unfortunate tendency to slip between the cracks of active thought and critical inquiry, and Carson is not the first libertarian to bring it up. Henry Hazlitt warns us in the first sentence of the preface to Economics in One Lesson, “This book is an analysis of economic fallacies that are at last so prevalent that they have almost become a new orthodoxy.” Here, Hazlitt uses “orthodoxy” to refer to a generally authorized doctrine that includes both accurate and inaccurate insights, like subjective value theory and the broken window fallacy, respectively.

George Orwell, however, takes the meaning of orthodoxy even further in 1984, defining it to refer strictly to subversive ideas that have become the mainstream via their uncritical reception. In this passage, Winston is speaking with Syme, a dedicated and passionate agent of the state, who is tasked with compiling the latest edition of the Newspeak Dictionary:

Even the literature of the party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking-not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

This sort of Orwellian “unconsciousness” is precisely the state of mind that allows bad ideas to fester. Like a virus, these bogus theories permeate the uncritical mind and feed on passive acceptance, reproducing to latch onto new generations of economists, psychologists, scientists, and all other manner of inquiring minds who seek valid answers to key questions.

This tendency of orthodoxy is important to recognize, because a passive thought process is unlikely to stop after letting just one unchecked notion skate by. Liability to let anything at all past the threshold of intellectual scrutiny could be indicative of a more systematic problem. As William Gillis put it, preferring the term “faith” to orthodoxy,

Faith is innately unethical. Ethics without vigilance is meaningless and faith is defined by an abdication of cognitive vigilance… a mind filled with hardened tumors of faith and the rot of lazy habits is a mind always at risk of more proactive cancers.

Orwellian orthodoxy is a threat to all ideologies and fields of study and a potential menace to the development of inquiring minds, which is precisely why libertarians ought to oppose it most fervently.

As libertarians, we take pride in logical discourse and ethical rigor. We condemn the hypocrisies and failed policies of the statist left and the nationalist right. Turning our gaze inward, we are relentless when discussing matters of what is “truly libertarian”, be that tactics, tastes, culture, and other thick conceptions of liberty. Rational thought led us to our conclusions about free markets and individual liberty, and, if exercised consistently, should keep us on the right track with more complex issues that crop up the further we delve into economic and philosophical theory.

But despite our general steadfastness, Carson’s insight teaches us that we are not even safe from orthodoxy within the borders of libertarian thought. We too are liable to let an unexamined notion pass by unchecked, maybe because it confirms our preexisting feelings about the way something works, or perhaps because an idea simply carries the banner of “libertarian”. Either way, allowing these malignant manifestations of orthodoxy in is thoroughly un-libertarian.

The pursuit of truth for truth’s sake is a constitutive part of libertarianism, and for this reason, libertarians qua libertarians owe it to themselves to form an intellectual climate that promotes perpetual scrutiny of all ideas, regardless of whether those ideas were forged by hand-wringing statists or well-intentioned fellow libertarians. This intellectual climate should resemble important features of the economic arrangements that Jason Lee Byas describes in his essay Toward an Anarchy of Production, Pt. I. Calling for markets and the profit motive as agents of social change, he explains that,

by constantly approaching equilibrium yet never reaching it, unchained economic activity is exactly the kind of social dynamic that radicals desire: permanent revolution.

Market forces are robust because they are unyielding in adaptation and growth. By “constantly approaching equilibrium”, markets continuously reach to perfect allocation of resources both material and immaterial. This profound dynamic, which simultaneously optimizes productive efficiency and social flourishing, must be mirrored by any ideological community that wishes to grow into the best version of itself. Through unforgiving intellectual resilience in the face of propositions both pleasant and precipitous, libertarianism can stand athwart orthodoxy and achieve the kind of intellectual dynamic that the liberty-minded deserve: permanent cognitive revolution.

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Director’s Report

May has been an interesting month for The Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS). We have added some new features and people to the roster and reached a couple of milestones in our development.

If you are a regular donor, then I would like to thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support. If you are interested in supporting our mission “to explain and defend the idea of vibrant social cooperation without aggression, oppression, or centralized authority” with a monthly $5 donation, then I would like to give you an idea of you can expect from C4SS.

Updated C4SS News Widget

NEW! Now in 100% pure javascript! One way you can support C4SS is by placing our news widget on your site. You can customize and create your own version of the C4SS News Widget. Kevin Carson and Mike Gogulski both have standard versions of the widget on their blogs, but they give you an idea of what it will look like on your sidebar.

For the month of May, C4SS published:

25 Commentaries (1 more than April),
14 original Features (4 more than April),
Weekly Abolitionists,
Life, Love and Liberty,
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
Missing Commas,
Wars and Rumors of Wars,
3 Hardly Working,
1 original Book Review and
17 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel.

Thanks to the dedication of our Media Coordinators, C4SS translated and published:

Italian translations,
Spanish translations and
21 Portuguese translations.

For our supporters that have been following C4SS’s extension into South America, Brazilian interest and traffic has continued to best Canada and the United Kingdom combined.

New Features

C4SS has expanded your ability to support our work by joining the GITTIP network.

We have a new blog in our line-up: Nick Ford’s Hardly Working. Ford has been aggressively cataloging classics in the field “work refusal” and criticism of the “cultural of work” or “Puritan Work Ethic” on his site Abolish Work. Now he offers, for C4SS, a weekly to bi-monthly look into this area of criticism:

The goal of this blog is to promote a future where none of us will have to work. And by “work” I don’t mean just giving effort, but labor that we give to others under systematic duress. A good example is the workers who work in retail or low-paying jobs because they have no other good options.

The Students for a Stateless Society (S4SS) has release its second issue of The New Leveller.

newnewnewleveller

“Are you interested in individualist anarchism, or at least so frightened by it that you want to keep an eye on its progress? Are you frustrated by capitalism’s love for central planning and communism’s conservative view of human potential? Do you suspect that abolishing the institution responsible for war, police brutality, and mass incarceration might not be so dangerous after all?

Then The New Leveller is for you!”

New People

C4SS has maintained a Panel of Advisers since mid-2009. Most of the original advisers have departed – leaving for other projects, differences of opinion or moving into other C4SS positions reflecting more responsibility. C4SS continues to grow and expand as an organization increasing a need for more points, or contributors, of information. To handle this organizational growth, we have begun to craft nested and semi-autonomous arrangements with S4SS, the C4SS Media Coordinators, sections of the Stigmergy Blog and the C4SS Media Project. As these projects come into their own, our primary project, “the production and distribution of market anarchist media content, both scholarly and popular” will require more eyes to make our bugs shallow. Our current advisers, Stephan Kinsella and Wendy McElroy, will now be aided by voices that have been either a part of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left discussion for almost a decade or individuals that have challenged us to consider new puzzles or stressed our current solution sets. It is in this spirit, calling our attention to new opportunities and talent as well as helping C4SS craft content and make decisions regarding direction and policy, that we are happy to introduce our new advisers:

Grant Mincy is C4SS’s expert on Appalachian activism and market/direct action based environmentalism. We are proud to announce that Mincy’s proposal for a new C4SS Study has been approved and funded. You can expect its publication within the next six to eight months. The study’s abstract and a sketch of its table of contents have been provided:

A Study Proposal for the Center for a Stateless Society

Coal, along with other fossil fuels, are the primary sources of energy for the United States. To date, fossil fuels provide 85% of the nations energy. Coal is the primary source of energy for the United States, providing over half of the electricity consumed by Americans. On a global scale, the United States has the largest known reserves of bituminous and anthracite coal. Much of the coal that is mined in the United States comes from the Appalachian Mountains. Coal mining in the region has created systemic poverty, untold amounts of human suffering and a precipitous decline in biodiversity in one of the worlds oldest temperate rain-forests.

I propose a study for C4SS that will focus on both the natural and social history of the Appalachian coalfields, followed by a market anarchist path to liberation. The study will be broken into three different parts, laid out as follows:

Preface:

    • General introduction to the study and why I am conducting it.
    • A Brief Analysis of Natural History:
      • Geologic time and the rise of the Appalachians.
      • Geologic time and the formation of coal.
      • Geologic time and biodiversity.
    • Exploitation of coal reserves and its impact on the environment (special regard to water quality and biodiversity).

Social History:

    • Appalachian community life.
    • Initial markets and way of life
    • Appalachia and the British coal connection.
    • Coal and capital.
    • Coal and the state.
    • The first coal barons.
    • The rise of king coal and the community store.
    • The rise of labor – United Mine Workers
    • Systemic Poverty.
    • From pit mining to mountaintop removal.
    • Coals dominance of Appalachian landscapes and both the Appalachian and national economy.

Praxis:

    • Social movements.
    • “Paper wrenching”.
    • Transition economics/Counter economics.
    • Toward democratic energy.
    • The stateless society.

Milestones In Our Development 

Erick Vasconcelos has finally gotten a market anarchist commentary into The Fiji Times Online with his “Police Have Never Guaranteed Order.”

Kevin Carson’s “With ‘Socialists’ Like Lawrence and Wishart, Who Needs Capitalists?” was cited over all other possible commentaries in Ben Mauk, “Steal This E-Book?” blog post on The New YorkerThe Lawence and Wishart controversy also warranted a follow up – and left market anarchist situation summary – with Kevin Carson’s “Lawrence & Wishart: The Stone That The Builders Refused“.

The growing challenge of Uber and Lyft on walled gardens and state dependent models of agitation and organization prompted a series of articles that ran the spectrum of praise to guarded praise to calls for better modes of analysis for the situation and players involved:

‘s “Between Radicalism & Revolution: The Cautionary Tale of Students For a Democratic Society,” over at The Students for Liberty blog kicked off an fruitful conversation regarding movement strategies, asking for greater perspective and refined goals in order to keep the tent of libertarianism big and the movement focused. Though we are sympathetic to the underlying motivations and Erasmian warnings against “enthusiasm”, we, ultimately, part ways in favor of a stigmergic and fractal libertarianism.

Cory Massimino and Joseph Diedrich concluded their Mutual ExchangePrivate Property: How, When and Why” just in time for our newest Mutual Exchange over contested conceptions of privilege. This Mutual Exchange is, unfortunately, not in time to make Roderick T. Long‘s dead line for papers on the same topic: Libertarianism and Privilege. We hope that it will be a welcome parallel discussion with some cross-pollination. The opening article will be Casey Given’s, “What’s the Point of Checking Your Privilege?” with responses and critique from ,  and .

We still have, in the works, reviews from,

We have added to our list of book reviews:

Feed 44, the C4SS Media Project’s working name for our two podcast channels - itunes and sticher - has been performing better than expected.  sent me this update on the projects progress:

For the month of May (one week left until bandwidth reset), C4SS Media podcasts were downloaded a grand total of 8089 times, or approximately 577 downloads per episode. For the first month of podcasting, I would say that “Feed 44,” the unofficial-official name of C4SS’s podcast channel, has been a smash success.

While the only content currently on Feed 44 are recordings of past C4SS articles, in June C4SS Media plans to introduce new, original content to the mix. We’d also like to officially welcome Max LaFave, Juliana Perciavalle, Christopher King and Jason Lee Byas to the roster of content creators and voice talents.

The C4SS Tor Node has successfully been transferred from Mike Gogulski, who is moving on to more interesting projects, to C4SS proper and paid up through July, 2014. You can check out the node’s status here: Tor Network Status – Router Detail. Expect a fundraiser soon to keep this project going, now on its third consecutive year. Find out how you can use Tor or set up your own Tor Node: “Tor: The Onion Router“.  

Another milestone of humbling significance to our diligent social media coordinators is C4SS, finally, becoming Tumblr famous.

famoustumblr

C4SS has been a long time partner with Charles Johnson‘s Alliance of the Libertarian Left Distro and would like to highlight the Distro‘s newest additions to its Market Anarchist and Classic Anarchist zine collections. For every zine that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Another great way to support C4SS and brush up on some classic anarchism.

impossible freed
naturalsociety LumAnarchy

We Haven’t Forgotten

We still have our David Graeber Symposium on the horizon, along with our Carson-Ward-Bookchin edition of Kropotkin’s “Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow”.

Please Support Today!

Needless to say, all of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition ofleft libertarian market anarchistfreed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please donate $5, today. Keep C4SS going and growing.

ALL the best!

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Support C4SS with Dyer D. Lum’s “On Anarchy”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Dyer D. Lum’s “On Anarchy” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Dyer D. Lum’s “On Anarchy“.

LumAnarchy

$1.50 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

This plea for Anarchism by Dyer D. Lum was published as articles in the Chicago revolutionary paper, The Alarm, and then reprinted, in 1887, as part of Albert R. Parson’s anthology, Anarchism: Its Philosophy & Scientific Basis, prepared by Parsons during his imprisonment, and published by his wife, Lucy Parsons, in 1887.

“Modern society, monarchical, parliamentary, and re­pub­lican alike, cries with one voice: Law and order first and foremost, liberty and progress secondary and resul­tant. Anarchy says: Not so; law must not deny liberty, order must not precede progress; they are causes, not results. It proclaims progress first, to which order must adapt itself; liberty at all times, over which law has no control. . . . .”

“Anarchy is freedom from artificial regulation and re­strict­ion; and in freedom, the farmer, as well as the art­isan and all the classes into which society is now div­i­d­ed, will find that wider scope to activity will bring in­creas­ed com­fort; and in freedom to use of land and to org­an­ize credit, rent, interest, and profits will disappear to­gether like bats be­fore the dawning light; and in co-operation find full sec­ur­ity for wealth attained and opportunity for its applicat­ion. . . .”

“In anarchy labor and capital would be merged into one for capital would be without prerogatives and depen­dent upon labor, and owned by it. The laborer would find that to produce was to enjoy and the nightmare of desti­tution ban­ish­ed. The artisan would find in co-operation that nature alone remained to be exploited. . . .”

Dyer D. Lum (1839-1893) was a revolutionary market anarchist, a labor organizer, and a pioneer of mutualist economics. He became involved in the labor movement through his trade as a bookbinder, and came into contact with Anarchists such as Albert Parsons and August Spies in Chicago. He was closely involved with support for the Haymarket martyrs during the 1880s – he took up the editorship of Albert Parson’s newspaper, The Alarm, after Parson’s death, and it was Lum who smuggled a dynamite cap to Louis Lingg in prison (which Lingg used to commit suicide ahead of the noose). A collaborator and lover of Voltairine de Cleyre’s, and a prolific writer of both books and articles for Anarchist papers such as Twentieth CenturyLiberty, and The Alarm, Lum’s Anarchism combined the radical individualism and anti-capitalist market anarchism of the Boston Anarchists, with an emphasis on worker ownership, radical solidarity, and the militant labor organizing of his Chicago revolutionary milieu.

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Support C4SS with Early English Mutualists’ “Toward Natural Society”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Early English Mutualists’ “Toward Natural Society” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Early English Mutualists’ “Toward Natural Society“.

naturalsociety

$1.50 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

This “Appendix” was printed with The Inherent Evils of All State Govern­ments Demonstrated, a special reprint of the Vindication of Natural Society (ACS # 6) circulated by early English mutualists in 1858.

“The law of progress in human society is identical with the tend­en­c­y to individualize. . . . The doctrine of the sovereignty of the individual, the most ultra-radical doctrine in theory and final purpose ever promulgated in the world, teaches, in principle, the pro­spect­ive dis­rupt­ion of every existing institution, utterly at variance with all that has hitherto been prac­tis­ed in the world. . . . State Govern­ments will never give real freedom to their subjects. When a people know what real liberty is, and what it is worth, they will assume it as their natural inheritance; and will resist any at­tempt to rob them of it, under the pretence of ‘gov­ern­ing’ them, as they would resist a band of robbers.”

“But not until the property-relations of man shall be placed on a foundation of Equity, can the sovereignty of the indivi­du­al be realized; nor can any other of the human relations be just or har­mon­ic. . . . With the full recognition of the equality and reciproc­ity of all rights and duties; with the use of land, and all oth­er nat­ur­al wealth, easi­ly attainable; with a circulating medi­um of exchange, expanding and contracting as wealth, or bona fide credit was created or consumed; and with the moral belief current in society that the prices of all com­mod­ities or services should be regulated by their absolute cost — the vicious system of profitism or profit-mongering, which now prevails, would cease; because those who now are compelled to resort to this nefarious mode of getting a living, would have other and more legitimate sources of live­lihood. . . . Equitable Society de­m­ands nothing impossible of humanity. . . . But words, words alone, will no longer suf­fice. And the remedy is, — homes for the homeless — food for the starving — Equity for all!”

Years after publishing the “Vindication” anonymously, after his author­ship of the essay was discovered, Burke claimed publicly that the anarchistic argument of the “Vindication” was really intended as satire, and a reductio ad absurdum of deistic defenses of “Natural Religion.” However, many early mutualists and anarchists were impressed by the argument and took it seriously; in the “Preface” to their reprint, the anonymous editors, English followers of the American individualist anarchist Josiah Warren, argued that Burke’s argument for philosophical anarchism was both convincing and sincerely made, and his attempts to disown it later should be rejected. While defending the philosophical Anarchism of the “Vindication,” they argued that it was incomplete, con­demn­ing “Arti­fic­ial Society” without offering guidance on how it might be ended, or “Nat­ur­al Society” brought into practical being. They added this “Appendix,” to “briefly [enunciate] the principles through which ‘Natural Society’ may be gradually realized,” draw­ing on the work of the American individualists Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. The result was a fascinating commentary and document of early English mutualism.

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Support C4SS with Anna O. Morgenstern’s “Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Anna O. Morgenstern‘s “Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Anna O. Morgenstern‘s “Anarcho-‘Capitalism’ Is Impossible“.

impossible

$1.50 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

“What will happen under anarchy? EVERYTHING.”

This booklet collects three Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) feature articles by left-libertarian writer Anna O. Morgenstern, examining the rel­ation­ship between anarchism, capitalism and pro-capitalist “libertarian­ism,” including: “Anarcho-Capitalism is Im­pos­s­ible,” “Anarchism & Capitalism: A Revisitation,” and “Market Anarchism vs. Market Statism.”

“Goals sometimes lead people toward certain means, but it is the means that determine results, not the goals. And if the anarcho-capitalists follow anarchist means, the results will be anarchy, not some impossible ‘anarcho-capital­ism.’ . . .

“Anarchy does not mean social utopia, it means a soci­e­t­y where there is no privileged authority. There will still be social evils to be dealt with under anarchy. But anarchy is an important step toward fighting those evils with­out giving birth to all new ones. My take on the impossibility of anarcho-capitalism is simply as follows:

  • Under anarchism, mass accumulation and concentration of cap­it­al is impossible.
  • Without concentration of capital, wage slavery is im­poss­ible.
  • Without wage slavery, there’s nothing most people would re­cog­nize as ‘capitalism.’

“Even assuming an ‘anarcho-capitalist’ property re­g­ime, any­thing recognizable as ‘capitalism’ to any­one else could not exist. In fact the society would look a lot like what ‘an­archo-socialists’ think of as ‘social­ism.’ Not ex­act­ly like it, but much closer than anything they’d imagine as capitalism. . . .”

The essays in this collection first appeared in 2010 and 2014, as Featured Articles at the Center for a Stateless Society, a left-wing market anarchist think tank and media center. They appear here in print for the first time.

Anna O. Morgenstern, a Contributing Writer at the Center for a Stateless Society, has been an anarchist of one stripe or another for almost 30 years. Her intellectual interests include economic history, social psychology and volunt­ary organization theory. She writes frequent com­ment­ar­ies for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

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Director’s Report

C4SS has finished another month and we have a lot to talk about.

On May first, the new look for our site will turn one. If you don’t remember our original look, enjoy. As with everything at the Center, the new look is the result of amazing work from friends, volunteers and, especially, donors.

If you are a regular donor, then we would like to thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support. If you are interested in supporting our mission “to explain and defend the idea of vibrant social cooperation without aggression, oppression, or centralized authority” with a monthly $5 donation, then I will give you an idea of you can expect.

For the month of April, C4SS published:

24 Commentaries (6 more than March),
8 original Features,
Weekly Abolitionists,
Life, Love and Liberty,
Weekly Libertarian Leftist Reviews,
Missing Commas (2 more than March),
Wars and Rumors of Wars,
3 original Book Reviews (2 more than March) and
18 C4SS Media uploads to the C4SS youtube channel (10 more than March).

The dedication of our Media Coordinators continues to draw international interest. Thanks to their efforts C4SS published:

14 Italian translations (12 more than March),
Spanish translations and
25 Portuguese translations (8 more than March).

Brazil continues to remain C4SS’s second most popular country; drawing almost more visitors than Canada and the United Kingdom combined.

It is because of this interest that C4SS is excited to have  join our team, writing commentaries and features focusing on and bringing attention to the politics and potential of Brazil to our readers.

And thanks to the effort of our Spanish Media Coordinator, Alan FurthAmérica Economía, a big Argentinean business magazine that is read all over Latin America, has requested that a number of our writers submit two paragraph bylines and author pictures to accompany the articles they anticipate publishing.

Beyond the numbers

I would like to draw your attention to our developing blog community.  and  have both taken a more direct role in their blogs. They have both created, for them, their own social media presences where they can better develop and interact with their respective audiences as well as highlight stories that relate to their focus. If you are interested in following Goodman’s The Weekly Abolitionist on Facebook or Hultner’s Missing Comma on Facebook and Twitter, please do!

 is our newest regular blogger. His Wars and Rumors of Wars is dedicated to exploring “issues of war and peace, ranging from foreign and military affairs through the culture of militarism and the effects of war on soldiers and civilians to the details of anti-war activism.”

We also have in the works two more blogs; one focusing on an critique of work and job culture, and another focusing on the open-source/open-hardware ethos and liberatory technology.

The site has finally been moved, thanks to , to hosting services, recommended by , in Iceland. Our decision to move was promoted by the unwillingness of our previous host to have our back when presented with an insane DMCA takedown and predicated on our new home understanding our mission, situation and impenitence.

The Entrepreneurial Anti-Capitalism project has successfully participated in funding two important projects. We, along with friends, were able to raise $1,000 to support recover and relief efforts in the Philippines through the amazing work of local anarchists, Onsite Infoshop. And we contributed to a fundraiser that will send two amazing wobblies to Taiwan and Hong Kong. While there, they will help in translating the IWW Organizer’s Handbook, participate in direct action labor organizer training and share some “good and welfare” with our fellow workers across the pacific.

Our first project, Dark Wallet, has released a new video and website. They plan to “go dark” this May Day.

The C4SS Internship

We are proud to announce that  has been selected to be C4SS’s first paid intern – more like paid OJT. Massimino is helping us craft a six month program that will develop the anticipated skills, time management and discipline needed to become an effective anarchist writer. The first three months you can expect Massimino to complete a series of book reviews, followed by three months of weekly op-eds. The first day of the internship is May Day, but he is already in the process of settling in with the C4SS crew.

You can also expect a him and  to publish a Mutual Exchange exploring and challenging the arguments found in Diedrich’s recent C4SS Feature, Private Property, the Least Bad Option.

Books and Book Reviews

We still have, in the works, reviews from,

And are happy to announce that we have added,

The first in a series of C4SS books are finally coming together. We are currently in talks with a talented graphic artist to design their covers. The collection is shaping up to look something like,

  • The Anatomy of Escape (A Defense of the Commons)
  • The Economics of States, Capitalism Defined. (A Defense of the Freed Market contra Capitalism)
  • The Psychopathology of Authority (An Attack on Hierarchy)
  • The Decentralized Ecosystem (A Defense of Environment contra the State)

Once these are complete, we hope to begin the massive task of collecting all the published articles of each C4SS writer into their own, respective books – or maybe two or three for Kevin Carson. The first of these will focus on the work of Darian Worden.

C4SS Stuff

Our Zazzle store, Support C4SS, has been doing well. We have been humbled by our supporters and their fan-art. We have recently been granted associate status which offers us more opportunities to earn incremental income through referrals. And our C4SS Lazer Cat of Doom shirt has recently been spotted on facebook:

KittenFound

We haven’t forgotten

We still have our David Graeber Symposium on the horizon, along with our Carson-Ward-Bookchin edition of Kropotkin’s “Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow”.

Please Support Today!

Needless to say, all of this work is only sustainable through your support. If you think the various political and economic debates around the world are enhanced by the addition of left libertarian market anarchistfreed market anti-capitalist or laissez faire socialist solutions, challenges, provocations or participation, please donate $5, today. Keep C4SS going and growing.

ALL the best!

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