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Class Struggle Rightly Conceived (2007)

“In light of Marx’s words, it’s worth exploring ‘the historical development of this class struggle’ as seen from the perspective of the classical liberals. At first this analysis of class may seem paradoxical. Free-market advocates have long emphasized that trade … Continue reading

Support C4SS with Jason Lee Byas’ “Toward an Anarchy of Production”

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 Jason Lee Byas‘ “Toward an Anarchy of Production” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Jason Lee Byas‘ “Toward an Anarchy of Production“.

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“Any society worth calling “anarchist” is going to be one that can continually adapt to the needs and desires of the individuals within that society. This adaptation must also be to the interests of the entire community, not toward the limited aims of a specific class of people. There must be ceaseless social experimentation, and incentives toward developing institutions that benefit everyone and weeding out those that don’t. This requires markets . . . .

“While face-to-face deliberation is likely to render more equitable arrangements than some Leninist model of overt command and control, it is also exactly the situation in which the more subtle aspects of privilege and oppression are most at play. Whatever more limited social evolution occurs will be tampered by the implicit biases that influence us in more direct forms of communication. Those who are skeptical of this claim should think back on all the meetings and face-to-face deliberations of which they’ve ever been a part. People with more charismatic personalities are likely to have their views taken much more seriously. This is especially true when the person in question is white, male, cisgender, heterosexual. . .     By contrast, two of the most important features of markets are radically decentralized decision-making based on distributed knowledge, and the availability of alternatives. In market transactions, one does not have to convince the community at large of the goodness behind one’s use of a given resource in order to use it. . . .

“By constantly approaching equilibrium yet never reaching it, unchained economic activity is exactly the kind of social dynamic that radicals desire: permanent revolution. A market society is a society built on continuous self-creation, whose institutions are always kept in check by the looming threat of creative destruction. In so far as anarchism is the abolition of hierarchy, the production of anarchy requires the anarchy of production. . . .”

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Support C4SS with Roderick T. Long’s “Beyond Patriarchy”

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 Roderick T. Long‘s “Beyond Patriarchy” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Roderick T. Long‘s “Beyond Patriarchy“.

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“Historically, human families have often been oppressive and exploitative institutions, in a way that animal families do not seem to be. The purest example of this is the Roman family, in which the male head of household (the paterfamilias) was legally entitled to put his wife and children (even grown children) to death. This aspect of family relationships is called patriarchy (‘father-rule’), signifying the subordination of wives to husbands and of children to parents. Those who defend patriarchy as ‘natural’ often point to the animal kingdom as a model; but traditionally, parental authority and sexual inequality have been far more pronounced in human societies than in most animal societies. Recent political developments — springing in part from the libertarian urge to subordinate patriarchal authority to individual rights, and in part from the welfare-liberal urge to subordinate patriarchal authority to that of the state — have weakened the institution of patriarchy, but not eliminated it entirely. . . How might families in a truly free society develop beyond this patriarchal paradigm?

“The family is an institution of paramount value and importance, both in its own right and as a bulwark against the encroachments of the state. The family has often served as a sphere of oppression and exploitation, thanks to the tradition of patriarchy, in which women are unjustly subordinated to men, and children are unjustly subordinated to parents. The proper libertarian response to both concerns is to see how, consistent with our anti-interventionist principles, we can foster a family structure free of patriarchal influence. . . .”

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Support C4SS with William Gillis’ “15 Anti-Primitivist Theses”

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 William Gillis‘ “15 Anti-Primitivist Theses” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with William Gillis’ “15 Anti-Primitivist Theses“.

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The past has no monopoly on the possibilities of the future. . . . I am anti-primitivism because I am a primitivist, or, that is to say, because I come from the tradition of primitivism. I no longer believe the limitations of primitivism are reconcilable with any true drive towards rewilding. –William Gillis.

15 THESES:

  1. Biology’s constructs and dichotomies are not useful.
  2. The biosphere is not inherently good or superior, just very dynamic.
  3. Humans can choose their dynamics.
  4. Role­-filling is moral nihilism.
  5. Individuals flourish with increase of dynamic connections.
  6. Understanding is not dependent on process but capacity to experience.
  7. Physical limitation inspires social oppression.
  8. Spatial limitation ingrains social hierarchy.
  9. Freedom of information is necessary for free societies.
  10. It’s impossible to speak of regional liberty.
  11. Any society that embraces death will embrace oppression.
  12. Technology can be applied dynamically.
  13. We do not live in a closed system.
  14. Hard though the struggle may be, the ease of partial victories will always cost us more.
  15. The new is possible.

This provocative perspective, from long­time anarchist org­anizer William Gillis, offers a radical reconsideration of the implications of anti-civilization anarchism, showing that a wilder, more fluid and more engaged contact with the world means an anti-­primitive, technological anarchy, a society where we are no more ruled by the force of ‘Nature’ and biological limitations than by the force of human rulers.

Fifteen Anti-Primitivist Theses was first pub­lished on the web in 2006 as a series of posts to William Gillis’s Human Iterations weblog, at williamgillis.blogspot.com

William Gillis is a left­-wing market anarchist writer, social theorist and long-time radical activist. He studies high-­energy physics, de­signs web pages, publishes radical literature and has been a core member of countless anarchist projects and mobilizations, including the RNC Welcoming Committee convergence of anarchists and anti-­authoritarian direct ­act­ion activists to confront the Republican Nat­ional Convention in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota in 2008. Originally from Portland, he now works with a radical web design col­lective in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Toward an Anarchy of Production (2014)

“Any society worth calling “anarchist” is going to be one that can continually adapt to the needs and desires of the individuals within that society. This adaptation must also be to the interests of the entire community, not toward the … Continue reading

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Beyond Patriarchy (1997)

“Historically, human families have often been oppressive and exploitative institutions, in a way that animal families do not seem to be. The purest example of this is the Roman family, in which the male head of household (the paterfamilias) was … Continue reading

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Anarchy is Order (1850)

“WHOEVER SAYS ANARCHY SAYS DENIAL OF GOVERNMENT; whoever says denial of government says affirmation of the people; whoever says affirmation of the people says individual liberty; whoever says individual liberty says the sovereignty of each; whoever says the sovereignty of … Continue reading

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Competition or Stagnation (1964)

“From the individualist point of view, competition is synonymous with emulation, or stimulation. . . For individualists, then, the expression ‘freedom of competition’ means the complete possibility for individual affirmation in all fields. In other words, full opportunity for every … Continue reading

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Malatesta – the anarchy. (1891)

“Even if we pursue our hypothesis of the ideal government of the authoritarian socialists, far from resulting in an increase in the productive, organising and protective forces in society, it would greatly reduce them, limiting initiative to a few, and … Continue reading

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.

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