Support C4SS with Sheldon Richman’s “Class Struggle Rightly Conceived”

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 Sheldon Richman‘s “Class Struggle Rightly Conceived” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Sheldon Richman‘s “Class Struggle Rightly Conceived“.

class

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

“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 brings increasingly elaborate forms social cooperation through the division of labor and free exchange. As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, the realization that specialization and trade allow unlimited mutual benefits induces people to put aside their differences and to cooperate in the productive process. How could the classical liberals of the early nineteenth century have been interested in class struggle . . .?”

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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

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“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. . . .”

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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“.

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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 Jeremy Weiland’s “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich”

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 Jeremy Weiland‘s “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Jeremy Weiland‘s “Let the Free Market Eat the Rich“.

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

“Along running debate among anarchists, especially between the individualist and collectivist schools, centers around the justice of wealth disparities. Certainly the existence of the State serves to enrich particular interests at the expense of others, but in anarchy would the rich dominate society–just as they do with the State? Even if we could immediately switch off the institutions that forcibly manipulate society, there is danger that the legacy of privilege and accumulated wealth could persist for some time, distorting markets and continuing to frustrate the balance of power between individuals . . . .

“The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how large scale aggregations of wealth require an outside stabilizing force and defensive agency to maintain, and how in a free, dynamic market there are entropies that move imbalances back to equilibrium. . . .”

“Let the Free Market Eat the Rich!” was written in May 2007 at the 6th Density blog. This revised version (2011) appeared as # 33 in Charles Johnson and Gary Chartier’s Markets Not Capitalism: individualist anarchism against bosses, inequality, corporate power and structural poverty (pp. 301–308), and online at socialmemorycomplex.net

Jeremy Weiland is a software developer, writer and left-libertarian activist. He maintains the website Social Mem­ory Complex: a political economy of the soul, and lives with his wife in Richmond, Virginia.

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Support C4SS with Clarence Lee Swartz’s “The Practicability of Mutualism”

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 Clarence Lee Swartz‘s “The Practicability of Mutualism“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Clarence Lee Swartz‘s “The Practicability of Mutualism“.

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

“The Practicability of Mutualism,” a classic statement of Mutualist theory and practice by Clarence Lee Swartz, first appeared as a two-part serialized essay in one of Edward H. Fulton’s many anarchist newspapers, The Mutualist, published from Clinton, Iowa, in December 1926 and January 1927. This is, to our best knowledge, the first time that the entire essay has ever appeared in print since its original publication.

“MUTUALISM IS A SOCIAL SYSTEM BASED ON RECIPROCAL and non-invasive relations among free individuals. The Mutualist standards are:

  • INDIVIDUAL: Equal freedom for each — without invasion of others.
  • ECONOMIC: Untrammeled reciprocity, implying freedom of exchange and contract — without monopoly or privilege.
  • SOCIAL: Complete freedom of voluntary association — without coercive organization. . . .

“THE LIBERTARIAN IDEAL IS THE ONLY CONCEPT THAT PAVES the way for the operation of Mutualism. Perfect Mutualism could not exist under any form of authority. It would be thwarted and emasculated at every turn. Just as today every social and economic evil that serves to enslave humanity is the result of some form of governmental interference with freedom and with natural processes, so would the same or similar forces tend to nullify and counteract, to all extent, the advantages to be derived from the application of the principles of Mutualism. It is a plant that requires the fertile soil of liberty in which to make its unimpeded growth. . . .”

Clarence L. Swartz (1868–1936) was a California mutualist activist, writer and publisher. He was a close friend of the individualist Benjamin Tucker, and contributed frequently Tucker’s paper Liberty, as well as publishing his own anarchist journal, I (1899–1900). After Tucker was forced to retire from publishing by a disastrous fire in his New York book shop, Swartz became a leading figure in preserving, reviving, and carrying forward the tradition of individualist Anarchism and mutualism in America. During the 1920s, he edited an anti-prohibition magazine, The Libertarian, contributed frequently to Edward H. Fulton’s The Mutualist, prepared and published a collection of Tucker’s short articles, entitled Individual Liberty, and published his best-known work, What Is Mutualism? (1927), a new synthesis of individualist and mutualist thought on anarchist economics and strategy.

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Support C4SS with Victor S. Yarros’s “Socialist Economics and the Labor Movement”

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 Victor S. Yarros’s “Socialist Economics and the Labor Movement“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Victor S. Yarros’s “Socialist Economics and the Labor Movement“.

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

A sharp look, from a radical and libertarian socialist perspective, at the limitations of conservative trade-unionism and business union reformism. The essay first appeared as a three-part serialized review of George Gunton’s book Wealth and Progress, written for the Boston radical newspaper Liberty, . This edition collects the serialized articles together in print for the first time.

“FOR A SHORT TIME IT REALLY SEEMED AS IF THE DAY OF conservative ‘labor reform,’ trades-unionism, strikes, and boycotts, was over, and the emptiness of the talk about ‘fair wage,’ ‘harmony between capital and labor,’ arbitration, profit-sharing, and ‘the American way of adjusting difficulties’ demonstrated beyond a doubt. Today the fact which most impresses every student of the labor movement is that nearly all the able and influential leaders and tribunes of organized labor are, if not professedly Anarchistic or Socialistic, at least very pronounced in their tendencies and inclinations to either one or the other of these schools of radical and revolutionary reform . . . . Little is now heard about ‘fair wages,’ but the propositions that labor is entitled to its full natural reward, that usury must be abolished, and that capital must be dethroned, are everywhere being discussed.”

“SOCIALISTS KNOW THAT THE PRESENT CONFLICT BETWEEN capital and capital and capital and labor, this three-cornered fight, is the inevitable and direct effect of the inherent and fundamental vice of usury, which dooms the capitalistic system to an early extinction. Because of this knowledge they pronounce all ‘moderate’ measures futile and ridiculous, and regard eight-hours and kindred remedies as about as efficacious as fasting and prayer. Socialists arrive at the conclusion that usury and equity, capitalism and social order, reward of capital and justice to labor, are mutually exclusive. Consequently they do not flatter, delude, or ‘pacify’ the laborer; neither do they waste any efforts on the humanization of capitalists. They declare that the capitalistic order must be wiped out. And all who desire progress without poverty must prepare to bury the whole system of usury forever. And labor, to secure equity, needs freedom, full freedom, and nothing but freedom. . . .”

Victor S. Yarros (1865–1956) was a Russian-American anarchist, one of the most prolific writers and speakers of the American individualist anarchist milieu. Yarros was originally attracted to communist anarchism but later became an individualist, stressing Spencer’s evolutionary theory and ‘law of equal liberty.’ Yarros was a close friend and co-worker of Benjamin Tucker’s, an editor and popularizer of the works
of Lysander Spooner, and sometime co-editor and frequent contributor to the individualist anarchist newspaper Liberty.

 

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Support C4SS with Kevin Carson’s “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy”

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 “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Kevin Carson‘s “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy“.

$15.00 for the first copy. $13.00 for every additional copy.

First published in 2005 by the author. Second edition published in 2007.

When describing his book, Kevin says: This book is an attempt to revive individualist anarchist political economy, to incorporate the useful developments of the last hundred years, and to make it relevant to the problems of the twenty-first century. We hope this work will go at least part of the way to providing a new theoretical and practical foundation for free market socialist economics. Speaking for the Distro, I think Kevin is much too modest. This is Kevin Carson’s first big book, an immensely important document in the contemporary revival of left-libertarianism and anti-capitalist individualist anarchism, and one of the most significant developments in the last century for both libertarian politics and radical economic thinking.

Anarchists tend to look embarrassed when the subject of economics comes up. Or we mumble something about Proudhon and then sheepishly borrow ideas from Karl Marx… A specifically anarchistic approach to economic analysis has lain dormant for the last 130 years. However, with the publication of Kevin A. Carson’s STUDIES IN MUTUALIST POLITICAL ECONOMY this period of dormancy has finally come to an end. –Larry Gambone, Red Lion Press.

I highly recommend Carson’s book… That doesn’t mean I agree with everything in the book… But where I agree with it I think it is an excellent defense of the sort of anti-corporatist, pro-labour, left-libertarianism I embrace; and where I disagree with it I think it makes intelligent arguments that deserve consideration. –Roderick Long, editor, JOURNAL OF LIBERTARIAN STUDIES

Overall it is a valuable contribution to political economy and a timely reminder… to libertarians of how radical their creed actually is. In my view, one cannot overstate the importance of Carson’s asking libertarians: what are you defending, the free market or the political-economic system we currently live in? –Sheldon Richman, editor, THE FREEMAN

… his remarkable STUDIES IN MUTUALIST POLITICAL ECONOMY… displays an admirable range of reading and the style invests the driest economic questions with a certain peculiar charm. –Ken MacLeod, author, FALL REVOLUTIONtrilogy

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 is the author of ”The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand”Studies in Mutualist Political EconomyOrganization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution. 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).

CONTENTS

  • Preface

Part One–Theoretical Foundations: Value Theory

  • Chapter One–The Marginalist Assault on Classical Political Economy: An Assessment and Counter-Attack.
    • A. Statement of the Classical Labor Theory of Value
    • B. Vulgar Political Economy, Marginalism, and the Issue of Ideological Motivation
    • C. The Marginalists versus Ricardo
    • D. Exceptions to the Cost-Principle: The Classicals in Their Own Defense
    • E. The Marshallian Synthesis
    • F. Rothbard versus the Marshallian Synthesis
  • Chapter Two–A Subjective Recasting of the Labor Theory of Value
  • Chapter Three–Time-Preference and the Labor Theory of Value

Part Two–Capitalism and the State: Past, Present and Future

  • Chapter Four–Primitive Accumulation and the Rise of Capitalism
    • Introduction
    • A. The Expropriation of Land in the Old World
    • B. Political Preemption of Land in Settler Societies
    • C. Political Repression and Social Control in the Industrial Revolution
    • D. Mercantilism, Colonialism, and the Creation of the World Market
    • Conclusion: The World We Have Lost–And Will Regain
    • Appendix: On the Necessity of Primitive Accumulation
  • Chapter Five–The State and Capitalism in the Laissez-Faire Era
    • A. Tucker’s Big Four: The Land Monopoly
    • B. Tucker’s Big Four: The Money Monopoly
    • C. Tucker’s Big Four: Patents
    • D. Tucker’s Big Four: Tariffs
    • E. Infrastructure
  • Chapter Six–The Rise of Monopoly Capitalism
    • Introduction
    • A. Liberal Corporatism, Regulatory Cartelization, and the Permanent Warfare State
    • B. Power Elite Theory
    • C. Monopoly Capital and Super-Profits
    • D. Socialization of Costs as a Form of Cartelization
  • Chapter Seven–Monopoly Capitalism and Imperialism
    • Introduction: Elite Reaction to Crisis (With Digression on Maldristribution of Income)
    • A. Open Door Imperialism Through the 1930s.
    • B. The Bretton Woods System: Culmination of Open Door Empire
    • C. Export-Dependent Monopoly Capitalism (with Digression on Economy of Scale)
  • Chapter Eight–Crisis Tendencies
    • Introduction
    • A. Accumulation Crisis
    • B. Fiscal and Input Crises
    • C. Legitimation Crisis
    • D. Neoliberal Reaction and Political Repression
    • E. Built-In Limits to Effectiveness of Neoliberal Reaction
    • F. Neoconservatism as Attempted Defense Against Legitimation Crisis
    • G. The Frankfurt School: Fascism and the Abandonment of the Law of Value
    • H. Global Political Crisis of Imperialism

    Part Three–Praxis

    • Chapter Nine–Ends and Means
      • A. Organizing Principles
      • B. Getting There

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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.

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Support C4SS with Gary Chartier’s “The Distinctiveness of 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 Gary Chartier‘s “The Distinctiveness of Left-Libertarianism“ that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Gary Chartier‘s “The Distinctiveness of Left-Libertarianism“.

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

This essay from Gary Chartier, originally written for the Bleeding Heart Libertarians symposium on left-libertarianism in November 2012, lays out the distinctive vision of left-libertarian theory and practice: a social struggle to achieve left-wing ends by libertarian means — for a leftism that challenges the authoritarianism and privilege of the state, and a libertarianism that stands for liberation across the board from multidimensional, intersecting forms of oppression. Chartier applies left-libertarian thought to anti-capitalism, class, solidarity, grassroots mutual aid, civil liberties, the drug war, the rights of sex workers, the emancipation of children, challenging police power, resisting social privilege, and resisting war, imperialism and colonialism.

“Left-libertarianism embraces and transforms leftist and libertarian ideals. Many leftists and libertarians al­ready share some commitments: opposition to war, empire, and corporate privilege; support for civil liberties and grass-roots empowerment. However, many leftists and libertarians also embrace, and often share, various mistaken assumptions. Left-libertar­ians challenge these assumptions. . . .

“The ruling class — made up of wealthy people empowered by the state, together with high-level state functionaries — is defined by its relationship with the state, its essential enabler. Opposing this class thus means opposing the state. . . . Left-libertarians share the awareness that racism, sexism, heterosexism, nativism and national chauv­inism are morally repugnant. Suspicious of the state and respectful of just possessory claims, they stress non-aggressive solidar­istic action as the appropriate means of dealing with persistent discrimination.”

Gary Chartier is an American legal scholar and philosopher at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. A left-wing market anarchist and a proponent of New Classical Natural Law theory, Chartier moved from state social-democracy to anarchist views after his contact with the work of left-libertarian authors such as Kevin Carson and Roderick Long, the New Left-inspired decentralism of Karl Hess, and the individualist anarchism of Benjamin Tucker. He is the author of books including The Conscience of an Anarchist and Anarchy and Legal Order. Together with Charles W. Johnson, he is the editor of the free-market anticapitalist collection Markets Not Capitalism.

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