Support C4SS With ALL Distro’s “CAPITALISM”

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 ALL Distro’s “CAPITALISM” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with ALL Distro’s “CAPITALISM“.

cap

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

Three provocative libertarian perspectives on the liberation, corporation, and the Big C.Charles Davis writes that libertarians are very confused about capitalism, and that a radical re-appraisal of the debate shows that libertarian principles should go a lot further than mainstream libertarians have been willing to take them. David S. D’Amato argues, against business reformists, that inclusive capitalism is a contradiction in terms. And while many more libertarians are beginning to wake up to the structural problems in the corporate economy,Kevin Carson points out it’s the capitalism, not the cronyism that’s at the root of the problem.

“Let’s start over. The wealthy elite are too tainted by the current system of state capitalism for us to rely on a “good” and “bad” distinction when it comes enormous wealth. No one worth more than $10 million is able to get that much money without systemic state violence. There is no reason they should get a head start in Liberty Land. . . . no matter what one replaces it with, dismantling an unjust system requires addressing the injustices that system created. If you don’t, then your idea of “freedom” will be attacked as the freedom to be exploited by the same people running the world today. And with good reason.” — Charles Davis.

“The political-economic reality in this country, confirmed by recent studies as well as well-nigh everything we can observe about the political process, is that big capital keeps American policy­makers comfortably and securely in its pockets. And, sad to say, an ‘in­clusive’ kind of capitalism — oxymoron that it is — is not and never has been the order of the day. . . . In conditions of economic freedom — mean­ing circumstances in which land and opportunities are no co­erc­iv­e­ly monopolized — labor would simply enjoy far more bar­gain­ing pow­er, able to maintain self-sufficiency apart from the Big Business economy. In­deed, the way to fabricate a system wherein the vast majority of indiv­id­u­als are inclined to work for a pittance of a wage at huge, face­less org­an­iz­a­t­ion is to use the power of legal and regulatory authority to fore­close other options. . . .” — David S. D’Amato.

“Conservatives & rightwing libertarians drastically under­est­i­mate the extent to which state intervention has been struct­ur­al­ly central to capit­al­ism as a historical system since its very beginnings. The en­clos­ure of open fields for sheep pasture in late medieval and early modern times, the Parliamentary Enclosures of common woods, waste and past­ure in the 18th century, the colonial enclosure of land in the Third World and eviction of native cultivators, the engrossment of Third World mines and mineral resources, the enslavement of nonwhite populations – no­thing remotely resembling the contemporary concentration of economic pow­er and wealth, or the model of corporate capitalism most people think of as ‘normal’ . . .” — Kevin Carson.

“Libertarians Are Very Confused About Capitalism” was written by Charles Davis and published in November 2013 by the online magazine Salon.com. Charles Davis is a radical columnist, producer and researcher in Los Angeles, California. His work regularly appears in publications such as VICE, Salon, AlterNet, and Al Jazeera English. He keeps a website at charliedavis.blogspot.com

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Support C4SS With Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?”

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 Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?

authority

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

The short fragment reprinted in this booklet, one of the most famous passages from Bakunin’s pen, is a widely quoted excerpt from his best-known essay, God and the State, which was itself an excerpt, written as Part II of a much longer planned book, to be entitled The Knouto-Germanic Empire. The incomplete manuscript was dis­covered in Bakun­in’s papers after his death, by his close friends and fellow anarchists Carlo Cafiero and Élisée Reclus, who translated the text into French and published what they could in 1882. English translations were later circulated by Anarchist publishers in the U.S. and England, including Benjamin Tucker, Henry Seymour and Emma Goldman.

“It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privi­leg­ed position to kill the mind and heart of men. The privi­leg­ed man, whether practically or economically, is a man de­prav­ed in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception, and is as applicable to entire nations as to clas­s­es, corporations and individuals. It is the law of equality, the supreme condition of liberty and humanity. . . . Con­sequ­ent­ly, no external legislation and no author­ity — one, for that matter, being inseparable from the other, and both tending to the servitude of society and the de­grad­at­ion of the legislators themselves. . . .”

“Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the author­ity of the bootmakers; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their know­ledge, re­ser­v­ing always my in­con­test­able right of criticism and censure. But I recognise no infall­ible authority; I have no absolute faith in any per­son. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my under­takings; it would im­med­iately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others. . . .”

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (1814–1876) was a Russian-born anarchist revolutionary, speaker, traveler and phi­l­o­sopher. Born into a noble family in Prya­mukh­ino, he was later stripped of his titles, imprisoned, condemned at differ­ent times to death, to life imprisonment, to hard labor, and exiled from France, Prussia, Saxony, Austria, Russia, and the First International for his radical speeches and rev­ol­ut­ion­ary activities. One of the founders of collect­iv­ist anarchism, a leading theorist of liber­tarian social­ism, a friend and student of Proudhon, an enemy of Marx and a fierce critic of auth­or­i­tar­ian social­ism, Bakunin was in­volved in revolution­ary up­ris­ings in Paris, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Lyon. An enor­m­ous influence on radicals throughout Russia, Eur­ope, and the Americas, he and his comrades in the anarchist faction of the Inter­nat­ion­al Working Men’s Association (1868–1872) are often credited as the principle founders of the social anarchist move­ment. Although constantly writing fiery pam­ph­lets, letters, short works and radical jour­nals, Bakunin never completed his ambitious plans for longer works on Anarchist philosophy, often re­mark­ing to his friends, “My life is but a fragment.”

Support C4SS With Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?”

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 Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Mikhail Bakunin’s “What is Authority?

authority

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.75 for every additional copy.

The short fragment reprinted in this booklet, one of the most famous passages from Bakunin’s pen, is a widely quoted excerpt from his best-known essay, God and the State, which was itself an excerpt, written as Part II of a much longer planned book, to be entitled The Knouto-Germanic Empire. The incomplete manuscript was dis­covered in Bakun­in’s papers after his death, by his close friends and fellow anarchists Carlo Cafiero and Élisée Reclus, who translated the text into French and published what they could in 1882. English translations were later circulated by Anarchist publishers in the U.S. and England, including Benjamin Tucker, Henry Seymour and Emma Goldman.

“It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privi­leg­ed position to kill the mind and heart of men. The privi­leg­ed man, whether practically or economically, is a man de­prav­ed in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception, and is as applicable to entire nations as to clas­s­es, corporations and individuals. It is the law of equality, the supreme condition of liberty and humanity. . . . Con­sequ­ent­ly, no external legislation and no author­ity — one, for that matter, being inseparable from the other, and both tending to the servitude of society and the de­grad­at­ion of the legislators themselves. . . .”

“Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the author­ity of the bootmakers; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their know­ledge, re­ser­v­ing always my in­con­test­able right of criticism and censure. But I recognise no infall­ible authority; I have no absolute faith in any per­son. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my under­takings; it would im­med­iately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others. . . .”

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (1814–1876) was a Russian-born anarchist revolutionary, speaker, traveler and phi­l­o­sopher. Born into a noble family in Prya­mukh­ino, he was later stripped of his titles, imprisoned, condemned at differ­ent times to death, to life imprisonment, to hard labor, and exiled from France, Prussia, Saxony, Austria, Russia, and the First International for his radical speeches and rev­ol­ut­ion­ary activities. One of the founders of collect­iv­ist anarchism, a leading theorist of liber­tarian social­ism, a friend and student of Proudhon, an enemy of Marx and a fierce critic of auth­or­i­tar­ian social­ism, Bakunin was in­volved in revolution­ary up­ris­ings in Paris, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Lyon. An enor­m­ous influence on radicals throughout Russia, Eur­ope, and the Americas, he and his comrades in the anarchist faction of the Inter­nat­ion­al Working Men’s Association (1868–1872) are often credited as the principle founders of the social anarchist move­ment. Although constantly writing fiery pam­ph­lets, letters, short works and radical jour­nals, Bakunin never completed his ambitious plans for longer works on Anarchist philosophy, often re­mark­ing to his friends, “My life is but a fragment.”

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Support C4SS With Kevin Carson’s “‘Privatization’ or Privateering?”

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 Kevin Carson’s “‘Privatization’ or Privateering?“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “‘Privatization’ or Privateering?

porp

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

“A free market is not a society in which all of soc­i­ety’s functions are performed by private, for-profit business corporations. It’s a society where all fun­c­t­ions are performed by free, voluntary assoc­iat­ions. That means people get whatever services they need by organiz­ing them cooperatively with other willing partici­p­ants, or persuading someone to volunt­ar­ily supply them. And nobody is forced to pay for services they don’t want. . . .

“Capitalists don’t get rich by actually making things or providing services. They get rich by controlling – with the help of the state – the circumstances under which people are allowed to make things or provide services. If they do actually make things or provide services, they do so under carefully con­trolled circumstances where they get their money from involuntary customers who are conscripted into pay­ing by the state, or the state limits the ability of other firms to compete with them. You know, like Halli­b­urton and those military con­tractors. Or the private health insurance people have to buy under Obama­care. Under cap­i­tal­ism, privileged businesses make mon­ey by doing stuff on other people’s nickel. Big busi­ness gets its profits by external­iz­ing its operating expenses on the taxpayer. . . .

“Who cares if a corporation like Halliburton is nominally ‘private’ or ‘public?’ If it makes its money through force, it’s really just a part of the state. . . .”

This article was originally published as “‘Privatization’ or Cor­poratism?” in December 2013, as a syndicated column for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

Kevin A. Carson is a mutualist writer living and working in northwest Arkansas, and the author of several incredibly influential works on contemporary mutualist anarchism, including “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand,” Studies in Mutualist Political Economy,Organization Theory: A Libertarian Per­spect­iveThe Homebrew Industrial Revolution, and numerous articles and research reports for the Center for a Stateless Society.

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Support C4SS With S. E. Parker’s “My Anarchism”

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 S. E. Parker’s “My Anarchism“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with S. E. Parker’s “My Anarchism“.

parker

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

anarchism is not a form of society it is the cutting edge of individualism…

Originally published as an article in Free Life, the journal of the Libertarian Alliance (U.K.), in Vol. II, No. 2 (Spring 1981), “My Anarchism” defends a bracing individualism, and opens up a challenge to communist theories of ownership: if access to the means of production is mediated entirely through social relationships and communal connections, does this mean social liberation? Or does it just mean a new social capitalism, with the individual finding herself at the mercy of new monopolies, administered “horizontally” by the majority?

“The common ownership of the means of production would confront me with the choice: integrate or perish. Any group, or federation of groups, can be as powerful as any state if it monopolises in any given area the potentialities of action and realisation. The result would be social totalitarianism. . . .”

“What power could I exercise for example if I were stuck at the base of the pyramid of workers’ councils proposed as the administrative structure for indus­tries in the communist society? At best, and in its purest form, such a system might produce an ‘anarchism’ of groups. It would not produce an anarchism of individuals…”

“There is no vertical authority exercised by a State, but there is horizontal authority exercised by ‘soc­iety’ in the form of customs that are often more ubi­quit­ous and despotic than modern governments. . . . All col­lec­t­i­v­ities need norms to which their members must conform if they are to function. And these norms need sanctions to ensure that they are obeyed. Anarchism has never existed as a form of society, nor is it ever likely to. Indeed, I consider it a grave mistake to conceive of anarchism as asocial theory. Anarchism is not a form of society. It is the cutting edge of individualism. . . .”

Sidney Parker was a prolific individualist anarchist writer and editor best known for his long-running egoist journal Minus One, later retitled The Egoist and Ego, which ran from 1963–1993.

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Support C4SS With Oscar Wilde’s “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”

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 Oscar Wilde’s “The Soul of Man Under Socialism“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Oscar Wilde’s “The Soul of Man Under Socialism“.

wilde

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Originally circulated in 1891 as a privately printed book, by the world-renowned gay Anglo-Irish Aesth­et­icist poet, play­wright and critic Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Wilde declared himself an anarchist following his encounter with the Russian expatriate anarchist Peter Kropotkin. His artistic work, and his later persecution, trial and imprisonment for his sexual relationships with male lovers were widely and sympathetically discussed in the Anarchist press during the 1890s, and his Anarchist writings were later reprinted by Emma Goldman and Alex­ander Berkman’s Mother Earth publishing company. The essay offers a fascinating exploration of the cultural impacts of anarchistic socialism and individualism — not as a tearing-down of all in the name of rigidly formal equality, but rather a liberating opportunity for all to fully express what makes them unique, and and flourish in their idiosyncrasy.

“We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are un­grate­ful, dis­con­tent­ed, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculous­ly in­ade­qu­ate mode of partial rest­it­ut­ion, or a sentimental dole, usually ac­com­panied by some im­pert­i­n­ent attempt of the senti­mentalist to tyrannise over their private lives. Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table? Dis­obe­d­ience is man’s original virtue. It is through dis­obed­ience that pro­gress has been made, through dis­obed­ience and through rebellion. . . .

“It is clear, then, that no Authoritarian Socialism will do. . . . Under an industrial bar­rack sys­tem, or a system of economic tyranny, nobody would be able to have any such freedom at all. Every man must be left quite free to choose his own work. No form of compulsion must he ex­er­c­is­ed over him. . . . All association must be quite voluntary. It is only in vol­unt­ary associations that man is fine. . . . Socialism itself will be of value simply because it will lead to Individualism.

“Art is Individualism, and Individ­u­alism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. Therein lies its immense val­ue. For what it seeks to disturb is monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyr­an­ny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine. . . . Self­ish­ness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness re­cog­nises infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.”

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Support C4SS With SEK3′s “Counter-Economics Our Means”

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 SEK3′s “Counter-Economics Our Means“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with SEK3′s “Counter-Economics Our Means“.

agorism

$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

Counter-Economics is the practice of direct action in economic life — the cultivation of economic relationships that evade, avoid, and defy both the State and the legally-compliant, corporate dominated white-market economy. “Counter-Economics: Our Means” is the classic presentation of Counter-Economics by the man who first coined the concept and developed the theory, Samuel Edward Konkin III of the Movement of the Libertarian Left. The essay reprinted here was originally published as Chapter 3 of the New Libertarian Manifesto (1980), first published by Anarcho­sam­is­dat Press, then in later editions by Koman Publishing Co. / KoPubCo.

“The function of the pseudo-science of Establishment economics, even more than making predictions . . . for the ruling class, is to mystify and confuse the ruled class as to where their wealth is going and how it is taken. An explanation of how people keep their wealth and property from the State is then Counter-Est­ab­lish­ment economics, or Counter-Economics for short. The actual practice of human actions that evade, avoid and defy the State is counter-economic activity. . . .”

“Now we can see clearly what is needed to create a libertarian society. One the one hand we need the edu­cat­ion of the libertarian activists and the consciousness-rais­ing of counter-economists to liber­tar­ian understanding and mutual sup­portiveness. . . . On the other hand, we must defend our­selves against the vested interests or at the very least lower their oppression as much as pos­sible. If we eschew reformist activity as counter-productive, how will we achi­eve that?

“One way is to bring more and more people into the counter-eco­n­omy and lower the plunder available to the State. . . Slowly but steadily we will move to the free society turning more counter-economists onto libertarianism and more libertarians onto counter-economics, finally integrating theory and practice. The counter-economy will grow and spread to the next step we saw in our trip backward, with an ever-larger agorist sub-society embedded in the statist society. . .”

Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947–2004) was an anarchist libertarian active from the late 1960s until his untimely death in 2004. Founder of the Movement of the Libertarian Left and editor of several irregularly published movement papers (New Libertarian Notes, New Libertarian Weekly, New Libertarian), he became an influential critic of smaller-government reform­ism, electoral politics, and the “Libertarian” Party. He is best known for his role in developing the philosophy of agorism, a direct-action movement of revolutionary market anarchism, to be achieved through the conscious practice black and grey market activities to grow the ‘counter-economy.’

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Support C4SS With Ernest Lesigne’s “Socialism Without Statism”

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 Ernest Lesigne’s “Socialism Without Statism“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Ernest Lesigne’s “Socialism Without Statism“.

letters

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This booklet contains three provocative letters on socialism, government and property by the French mutualist journalist and historian Ernest Lesigne; three letters which constitute theses on freed-market anti-capitalism, and three defenses of a smallholder, co-operative economy as the only liberating solution to the social problem. The three letters in this collection are:

“There are two socialisms. . .”

“Property is liberty. . .”

“Socialism is the opposite of governmentalism. . .”

These “Socialistic Letters” are selections from a series of twelve letters published by Lesigne in the French paper Le Radical during 1887. The three appearing here in English were translated by the American individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker, and re-printed in his newspaper Liberty in the same year.

“The entire code of law is the book of guarantees imposed to prevent property, the means of production, the instru­ment of liberty, dignity, equality, from passing out of the hands of the primitive monopolist into those of the con­tem­p­o­r­ary producer; the Code is the isolation of servants con­front­ed with the coalition of masters; it is the pro­hib­it­ion of real con­tract between employer and employee; it is the constraint of the latter to accept from the former exactly the minimum of wages indispensable to sub­sist­ence; and in any case where all these guarantees may have been vain, where a few laborers, by a fortunate stroke, may have succeeded in accumulating a little cap­it­al, the Code is a trap set to catch these little savings, the canal­iz­ation ingeniously organized so that all that has tem­por­ar­ily left the hands of the monopolist may return to them by an adroit system of drainage, — so that the water, as the saying is in the villages, may always go to the river. . . .”

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Support C4SS With Barbara Sostaita & Judith Ayers’s “Liberty Beyond White Privilege”

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 Barbara Sostaita & Judith Ayers’s “Liberty Beyond White Privilege“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Barbara Sostaita & Judith Ayers’s “Liberty Beyond White Privilege

beyondprivilege

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This article was originally published under the title “What Would Libertarianism Look Like, If It Wasn’t Just White People?” in August 2013 at policymic.com.

“Within today’s libertarianism, topics like racism and classismoften take the back burner, or are ignored entirely. Is­sues of in­equality and poverty, solitary con­fine­ment and prison reform, women’s rights, queer and trans* abuse . . . are often met with hostility. But Black com­mun­i­t­ies, and other com­mun­it­ies of color, have long traditions of struggling for freedom. Those trad­it­ions, when acknowledged by and com­bin­ed with libertarianism, could create an em­pow­er­ing and radical message. . . .

“Atrue, ideological, libertarian re­nai­s­sance can, and will only, hap­pen if we learn to list­en to those who have lived under gov­ern­ment oc­cup­at­ion: those who live in poverty, are iso­lated, and lack access to resources; those who have suffered in soli­tary confinement; those of different sexual identities; those who are vict­ims of the drug war, political prisoners, sex work­ers, domestic work­ers, or undocumented per­sons. Libertar­ians need to talk, and listen to, the survivors, the ‘others,’ the voiceless and the ignored.”

Judith Ayers is a student pursuing double major in Mass Communications and Political Science at York College in Pennsylvania, who specializes in issues of education, poverty, and immigration policy, women’s and children’s issues, race, and culture and hip-hop. Barbara Sostaita is a student at Salem College focusing on International Relations and Religion. As an immigrant from Argentina, she has witnessed her parents struggle for political, social and economic freedom. Both co-authors are active within Students for Liberty, a growing worldwide network of campus groups for young libertarians.

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Support C4SS With Voltairine de Cleyre’s “to try all strange sensations…”

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 Voltairine de Cleyre’s “to try all strange sensations…“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Voltairine de Cleyre’s “to try all strange sensations…

to try

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

The essay reprinted in this booklet was originally published as “Anarchism,” in the October 13, 1901 edition of the Anarchist movement newspaper FREE SOCIETY (ed. Abe Isaak). I’ve retitled it because that’s a boring title for an essay about Anarchism in an Anarchist newspaper, or in an Anarchist pamphlet series.

But the content is anything but: A startling, provocative, and moving statement of de Cleyre’s emerging re-conception of anarchy herself as “an Anarchist, simply, without economic label attached,” — and of anarchy as a pluralistic process of social experimentation and self-exploration, — the essay has been retitled with two of the most striking phrases appearing in the text, speaking of the freedom “to try. . .” and of the anarchic, un-ruly self as a bottomless depth of “all strange sensations.”

“I have now presented the rough skeleton of four different economic schemes entertained by Anarch­ists. Re­mem­ber that the point of agreement in all is: no com­puls­ion. Those who favor one method have no intention of forcing it upon those who favor another, so long as equal tolerance is exercised toward them­selves. . . . For myself, I believe that all these and many more could be advantageously tried in different localities; I would see the habits of the people express them­selves in a free choice in every com­mun­ity; and I am sure that distinct envi­on­ments would call out distinct adaptations. My ideal would be a con­di­t­ion in which all natural re­sources would be forever free to all, and the work­er individually able to produce for him­self sufficient for all his vital needs, if he so chose, so that he need not govern his working or not work­ing by the times and sea­s­ons of his fellows. I think that time may come; but it will only be through the dev­el­op­ment of the modes of pro­duc­t­ion and the taste of the people. Meanwhile we all cry with one voice for the free­dom to try. . . .”

“Are these all the aims of Anarchism? They are just the beginning. They outline what is demanded for the material producer. Immeasurably deeper, immeasurably higher, dips and soars the soul which has come out of its case­ment of custom and cow­ardice, and dared to claim its Self. Ah, once to stand unflinchingly on the brink of that dark gulf of passions and desires, once at last to send a bold, straight-driven gaze down into the volcanic Me, once, and in that once forever, to throw off the command to cover and flee from the knowledge of that abyss, – . . . to realize that one is. . . a bottomless, bottomless depth of all strange sensations . . . quakings and shud­der­ings of love that drives to madness and will not be controlled, hunger­ings and meanings and sobbing that smite upon the inner ear . . . To look down into that, to know the blackness, the midnight, the dead ages in oneself, to feel the jungle and the beast within, . . . — to see, to know, to feel the uttermost, – and then to look at one’s fellow, sitting across from one in the street-car, . . . and to wonder what lies beneath that commonplace exterior — to picture the cavern in him which somewhere far below has a narrow gallery running into your own. . . . Letting oneself go free, go free beyond the bounds of what fear and custom call the ‘possible,’ — this too Anarchism may mean to you, if you dare to apply it so.”

Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) was a popular Anarchist and feminist writer, speaker and activist. Her contemporary and friend Emma Goldman called her “the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced.” She published articles in Liberty, Twentieth Century, Free Society and Mother Earth, and worked closely with libertarian communists, market anarchists, and mutualists within the Philadelphia social anarchist movement, but refused to commit herself to economic blueprints, adopting a pluralistic view of economic arrangements in any future free society.

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