Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “What Is Left-Libertarianism?”

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 “What Is Left-Libertarianism?” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “What Is Left-Libertarianism?“.

wll

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

“We on the Libertarian Left consider it utterly perverse that free market libertaria­n­ism, a doctrine which had its origins as an attack on the economic privilege of landlords and merchants, should ever have been coopted in de­fense of the entrenched power of the plutocracy and big busi­ness. The use of the ‘free market’ as a legitimizing ideology for triumph­ant corporate cap­i­tal­ism, and the growth of a community of ‘libertarian’ propagandists, is as much a perversion of free market principles as Stalinist regimes’ co­opt­at­ion of rhetoric and symbols from the historic socialist movement was a perversion of the working class movement. . . .

“The industrial capitalist system that the libertarian mainstream has been defending since the mid-19th century has never even remotely approx­im­at­ed a free market. Capi­t­al­ism, as the historic system that emerged in early mod­ern times, was founded on the dissolution of the open fields, en­closure of the commons and other mass­ive ex­propri­ations of the peas­antry. Capitalism evolved into a world system through the col­on­ial occupation, expropriation and enslavement of the glob­al South. We of the Libertarian Left want to take back free mark­et principles from the hirelings of big business and the pluto­cracy and put them back to their original use: all-out assault on the en­trenched economic interests and privileged class­es of our day.

“We of the Libertarian Left also want to de­mon­strate the relevance of free market princ­iples, free assoc­i­at­ion and volunt­ary cooperation in ad­dres­s­ing structural forms of oppression like rac­ism, sexism, homo­phobia and trans­phobia. As libertarians we oppose all legal re­strictions but we should enthusiastically support direct act­ion to combat in­jus­tice in the social realm, like bus boycotts, lunch counter sit-ins and the Stonewall riots. In addressing all forms of injustice, we should take an intersectional ap­proach. . . .”

flattr this!

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

flattr this!

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.”

flattr this!

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.”

Order It!

$1.00
$1.00

Or In Bulk:

1st @ $1.00

Rest $0.75/ea.

$0.75

What is Authority? (1871)

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 … Continue reading

Support C4SS with Nathan Goodman’s “The Knowledge Problem of 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 Nathan Goodman‘s “The Knowledge Problem of Privilege“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Nathan Goodman‘s “The Knowledge Problem of Privilege“.

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

In this essay, Nathan Goodman (Center for a Stateless Society) discusses how the Knowledge Problems facing elites, “experts” or “representat­ives” recur not only in economics, but also in cultural conflicts over gender, disability, and other systems of structural social privilege. The danger of trying to make decisions for others, when cut off from the dispersed, tacit or local knowledge that they have, show how Hayekian limits on what we can know also apply to the the struggles and the challenges of other oppressed and marginalized people.

“IN HIS CLASSIC ESSAY, “THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE IN SOCIETY,” F. A. Hayek explains the concept of dis tributed knowledge. Every individual has unique knowledge shaped by their experiences and preferences, knowledge that may not be accessible to others, no matter how well educated they may be. But Hayek’s point about distributed knowledge applies to more than just economic issues. It also applies to social issues. . . .

“JUST AS WITH ECONOMICS, THESE SOCIAL PROBLEMS of epistemological hubris become bigger when government gets involved. By definition, politicians do not have the knowledge of everyone their policies will impact. But often, when marginalized groups are impacted, politicians become extra prone to ignore those from an affected population. . . .

“ULTIMATELY CALLS FOR PEOPLE TO CHECK THEIR PRIVILEGE are not an attempt to silence. Rather, they
are an attempt to get people to recognize the limits of their knowledge. Libertarians should have the humility to check our privilege, to listen to oppressed people who discuss their experiences, and to respect oppressed peoples’ rights to direct their own struggles for liberation. . . .”

Nathan Goodman is a writer and activist living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been involved in LGBT, feminist, anti-war, and prisoner solidarity organizing. He writes frequent commentaries for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org) and keeps a blog, Dissenting Leftist (dissentingleftist.blogspot.com).

flattr this!

Support C4SS with Lysander Spooner’s “NO TREASON”

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 Lysander Spooner’s “NO TREASON” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Lysander Spooner’s “NO TREASON”.

$2.00 for the first copy. $1.50 for every additional copy.

Perhaps Lysander Spooner’s most famous, and most provocative essays, “NO TREASON” first appeared as a series of three self-published pamphlets in Boston, appearing in 1867 and 1870. In NO TREASON Spooner argues, with sharp insight and relentless detail, against any binding obligation to obey the U.S. Constitution, and against all forms of non-consensual government. Rejecting paper constitutions as a failed strategy for the protection of liberty, and skewering the rationalizations for state power and forced obedience, Spooner defends a politics of pure consent and individual liberty, based in the rights and resistance of the oppressed, not on empty appeals to law, tradition, or state guarantees. In the process, he offers one of the strongest early statements of American individualist anarchism.

“Of all these swindles, the treason swindle is the most flagitious.It is the most flagitious, because it is equally flagitious, in principle, with any; and it includ­es all the others. It is the instrumentality by which all the others are mode effective. A government that can at pleasure accuse, shoot, and hang men, as traitors, for the one gen­eral offence of refusing to surrender themselves and their property unreservedly to its arbitrary will, can practice any and all special and particular oppressions it pleases. . .

“The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. . . . Neither voting, nor payment of taxes proves anybody’s consent, or obligation, to support the Constitution. Consequently we have no evidence at all that the Constitution is binding upon anybody, or that any­ body is under any contract or obligation whatever to sup­port it. And nobody is under any obligation to support it. . . .

“Whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain: that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

This edition collects all three pamphlets in the NO TREASON series: the introductory pamphlet No. 1, No. 2 on The Constitution, and No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority.(The collection is complete: in spite of the numbering, Spooner never published pamphlets 3, 4 or 5.)

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) was a labor activist and a radical abolitionist who came out in opposition to the Civil War. (He believed that the slavery should be ended by arming the slaves and supporting their rebellion, rather than by means of invading and occupying the South.) After the war, he wrote this series of essays, entitled “NO TREASON,” arguing against the U.S. Constitution and all forms of non-consensual government. His writing on natural law in the 1880s, for example in the “Letter to Bayard,” “Natural Law,” and the “Letter to Grover Cleveland,” made him an incredibly influential figure in the emerging individualist Anarchist movement, and he became close friends with the radical individualist writer and editor Benjamin Tucker. Spooner’s essays are today widely reprinted and read throughout the libertarian and anarchist movements, and his work played a major role in the intellectual revival of individualist anarchism during the 1960s.

flattr this!

Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand”

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 “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand”.

$2.00 for the first copy. $1.50 for every additional copy.

This essay, originally pub­lish­ed by Red Lion Press in 2001, was one of Carson’s first ground-breaking contributions to the revival of Mutualist ideas within today’s anarchist and libertarian milieus. It has been re-issued in a beautiful new printing by ALL Distro.

“Manorialism commonly, is recognized to have been founded by robbery and usurpation; a rul­ing class established itself by force, and then com­pel­led the peasantry to work for the profit of their lords. But no system of exploitation, including cap­it­al­ism, has ever been created by the action of a free market. Capitalism was founded on an act of rob­bery as massive as feudalism. It has been sus­tain­ed to the present by continual state inter­ven­tion to protect its system of privilege, with­out which its survival is unimaginable.

“The current structure of capital ownership and org­an­iz­ation of production in our so-called ‘market’ eco­n­omy, re­flects coercive state intervention prior to and ex­tra­n­e­ous to the market. From the outset of the industrial re­vol­ut­ion, what is nostalgically called ‘laissez-faire’ was in fact a sys­t­em of continuing state intervention to sub­sid­ize ac­cum­ulation, guar­ant­ee privilege, and maintain work discipline.

“Aworld in which peas­ants had held onto their land and property was widely distributed, capital was freely available to laborers through mutual banks, productive tech­nology was freely avail­able in every country without pat­ents, and every people was free to develop locally without col­on­ial robbery, is beyond our imagination. But it would have been a world of decentralized, small-scale production for local use, own­ed and controlled by those who did the work — as dif­fer­ent from our world as day from night, or freedom from slav­ery. . . .”

Kevin A. Carson is a contemporary mutualist author and a prolific writer on subjects including free-market anti-cap­it­al­ism, the in­div­idualist anarchist tradition, grassroots technology and radical unionism. He keeps a blog at mutualist.blogspot.com and frequently publishes short columns and longer research reports for the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

Mutualism, as a variety of anarchism, goes back to P.-J. Proudhon in france and Josiah Warren in the u.s. It favors, to the extent possible, an evolutionary approach to creating a new society. It emphasizes the importance of peaceful activity in building alternative social institutions within the existing society, and strengthening those insti­tut­ions until they finally replace the existing statist system; doing whatever is possible (in the words of the Wobbly slogan) to “build the structure of the new society within the shell of the old” before we try to break the shell.

flattr this!