M@ Mailed Monthly

tl;dr. Two beautiful new booklets are available for ordering to-day from the ALL Distro — this month’s Market Anarchy, with an article by Sheldon Richman on free-market anticapitalist approaches to privatization, and this month’s Anarchist Classic, an 1899 pamphlet by Fred Schulder on anarchy, evolution, and free social organization. You can get one free sample copy of either series (or both) to check out, if you’re considering a monthly subscription for individual copies or monthly packs to distribute in the radical space of your choice. Sound good? You can contact me for details, or you can order directly from the Market Anarchy Zine Series and Anarchist Classics Series homepages.

Scatter tracts, like raindrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

So it’s been a long time since I last posted an update about the ALL Distro’s monthly series to this website — since I got the new Distro website up and running, I’ve mostly kept up with the updates over there and haven’t been posting notes over here as new issues come out. Sometime soon I hope to put up a catch-up post just to give you an idea of what’s come out through the Distro over the past several months. But in the meantime: To-day, I am happy to announce this past month’s two additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Distro. Let us welcome No. 22 of the monthly Anarchist Classics Series, Fred Schulder’s 1899 lecture / pamphlet on The Relation of Anarchism to Organization. And No. 35 of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series, Sheldon Richman’s recent essay on radical, homesteading-based alternatives to neoliberal privateering, From State to Society: How and How Not to Privatize.

Market Anarchy #35 (Nov’12). From State to Society.

How & How Not To Privatize

Sheldon Richman (2012)

This article by Sheldon Richman explores a radical libertarian, free market anti-capitalist approach to privatization — decentralized, homesteading-based alternatives to neoliberal models of corporate privatization, and a libertarian attack on capitalist privateering and government outsourcing masquerading as free-market reforms.

“It’s not privatization per se, but free competition through voluntary exchange, that is desirable. It matters little whether the government calls people who perform its functions public employees or private contractors. When a company becomes a monopoly government con­tractor, to that extent it is an arm of the state rather than a private firm. For that reason such ersatz ‘privatization᾿ devic­es as contracting out the operation of prisons and charter schools merely blur the line between ‘private’ and ‘public’ sector – in the nature of corporatism – and undermine the case for the genuine divestiture of state­held assets… .

“Since government possession of state assets originated in one form of usurpation or another, the requirement that they be bought back is unjust. It may be argued that the revenue could be used to benefit the general public … but political incentives tend to work in the other direction. Politicians will see the new revenue as an oppor­tunity to launch new programs that offer benefits to well­-organized interest groups…

“Better, then, that state assets be seen as existing in a state of non­ownership … and opened to homesteading … . Government elementary and secondary schools could be turned over to the people who work in them or the students’ parents, or both groups, who would be free to decide how to run them — without tax money. A government university could become the property of its students, mem­bers of its faculty and staff, or both. Some schools might organize as joint stock companies with tradable shares, while others might become consumer or producer coöperatives. Competition would determine which forms best satisfied con­sumers and attracted capable producers … .’

$1.00 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

This odd little classic from Fred Schulder (1874-1961) — the individualist anarchist writer, lecturer, and sometime traveling salesman from Cleveland, Ohio — is a discussion of anarchy, the theory of evolution, the role of free association and property in an anarchic society, and the emergence of positive social organization. The lecture reprinted in this chapbook was originally delivered by Fred Schulder at the Franklin Club, a social and intellectual dis­cuss­ion group in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 18, 1898. The next year, Schulder was per­suad­ed to prepare his club lecture for publication in pamphlet form by his friend, the renowned printer Horace E. Carr.

“Organization has been defined as the taking on of organic structure… . Evolution is a series of changes, under natural law, from a diffused, uniform and indefinite arrangement, to a concentrated, multiform and definite arrangement… . Organ­iz­ation pro­ceeds according to the same inevitable laws, and … constitutes the evolution, not only of living beings, but also of all communities, societies, and society in general … . Organ­iz­ation is the law of life — of development. It is true that in union there is strength, but in organization there is still more strength. . . .

“Anarchism may be defined as the doctrine that the liberty of every individual shall be limited only by the equal liberty of every other… . We can find nothing in organization itself, which is a deni­al of equal liberty. Men [sic] may, and where they find it ad­van­tage­ous, in fact do combine and organize, without being forced to do so. And such org­anization will persist under liberty, so long as the individuals com­pos­ing it find it to their advantage. Society at large is such an org­anization … The organization may be in its incipient stage, but the development is go­ing on as fast as antagonistic forces will permit… Under liberty, how­ever, this difficulty will continue to grow less; men [sic] will ever more realize their mutual dependence, and this must increase with the dev­el­op­ment of the social organ­ism. And realizing this mutual dependence, they will adjust these minor differences according to their intel­lig­ence — an ad­just­ment which government often prevents… .

“What the anarchist objects to in the state is not the Element of org­anization but the element of govern­ment. Through the instrumentality of the state some individuals acquire a mon­o­p­oly of opportunities, some of which are absolutely necessary to the prod­uc­tion of wealth, and others very helpful to it – monopolies which are unthinkable in the absence of government, and which enable their holders to extract from the producer a tribute. Such is the fruit of organized rob­bery. And again, anarchism is opposed, not to the organization, but to the robbery. While any particular government, according to the laws of org­an­iz­at­ion, tends to grow and become stronger until it loses its adaptation to its sur­roundings, government in general is losing the adaptation to its sur­round­ings, and is undergoing a change in the direction of dissolution.”

$2.00 for 1; $1/ea in bulk.

Now as I’ve mentioned before, both the Market Anarchy Zine Series and the Anarchist Classics Zine Series are regular monthly publications, with one issue each being sent out each month. You can always order individual copies online from the Distro page, but if you’d like to save on shipping & handling charges, and to get new orders as soon as they come out, you can always sign up for a regular subscription. Subscriptions can be for personal reading, or for discounted bulk orders of material for distributing, tabling, or for stocking your local infoshop and other radical spaces. I’m happy to say that in the past few months I have added online subscription forms, so that you can set up half-year or full-year subscriptions directly from the Market Anarchy Zine Series and Anarchist Classics Zine Series homepages.

Alternatively, if you’re considering subscribing you can also contact me to request a free sample copy for you to check out, compliments of the Distro; then, if you like it, continue the subscription for the rest of the year at the following rates (all prices already include any shipping and handling costs):

Market Anarchy Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$1.50/issue
(= $18/year)
No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
Anarchist Classics Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$2.25/issue
(= $27/year)
No. of copies ✕ $1.25/issue
(= N ✕ $15/year)

For details on all your options (including ready-to-print electronic versions, customizations of booklets with local contact information for your ALL chapter or local Anarchist activities, discounts for receiving quarterly shipments, etc. etc. etc.), see Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly. If you decide not to continue the subscription, the sample issue is yours to keep. Intrigued? Contact me forthwith, and we’ll get something worked out.

That’s all for now. In December we’ll be dropping some more science; until then—enjoy the Anarchy!

M@MM for July 2011 and August 2011

tl;dr. Four more beautiful new booklets are now available for ordering from the ALL Distro — July and Augst’s Market Anarchy zines, with articles on corporate power and privatization — and July and August’s Anarchist Classics, including a lost classic on Individualist property theory from the pages of Liberty, and a very popular, but very hard to find classic from Lysander Spooner. You can get one free sample copy of either series (or both) to check out, if you’re considering a monthly subscription for individual copies or monthly packs to distribute in the radical space of your choice. Sound good? Contact me for details.

Scatter tracts, like randrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

To-day, I’m happy to announce this month’s two additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Artwork & Agitprop Distro. In fact, to-day’s announcement is a twofer: as I mentioned in my teaser post earlier there are also a couple of important pieces that came out in July, and were shipped on schedule to subscribers; and now, with a cross-country move and some general nonsense with the Distro’s Internet connection all, apparently, behind me, I can also happily put out the full official announcement for those two. So, then, let us welcome No. 21 of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series, the talk that Benjamin Tucker gave before the assembled academics, industrialists, and bigwigs at the Conference on Trusts of the Chicago Civic Federation, on the trust problem, corporate power, and market freedom; No. 22 of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series, a short adaptation of an article by Charles Johnson (yeah, me) on the gap between neoliberal privatization and free-market radicalism; and two hard-to-find (until now) individualist classics: No. 9 in the Anarchist Classics Series being an ambitious definition and defense of Individualist property theory by William Bailie, originally serialized in the pages of Liberty which to my knowledge has never before been collected or made available in pamphlet form; and No. 10 in the Anarchist Classics Series being a classic by an Anonymous author, now known to be our own Lysander Spooner, which — in spite of having become one of Spooner’s most popular essays! — has been almost impossible to find in print. Thus:

Market Anarchy #21 (Jul’11). Market Anarchy vs. Corporate Power

The Attitude of Anarchism Toward Industrial Combinations

Benjamin Tucker (1899)

The classic Market Anarchist take on corporate power and the political privileges that prop it up — Tucker’s talk at the Conference on Trusts by the Chicago Civic Federation in September 1899.

The trusts, instead of growing out of competition, as is so generally supposed, have been made possible only by the absence of competition, only by the difficulty of competition, only by the obstacles placed in the way of competition … by those arbitrary limitations of competition which we find in those law­created privileges and monopolies … . The trusts owe their power to vast accumulation and concentration of wealth … But for interest, rent, and monopolistic profit … trusts would be impossible. Now, what causes interest, rent, and monopolistic profit? For all there is but one cause, – the denial of liberty, the suppression or restriction of competition, the legal creation of monopolies… .

Free access to the world of matter, abolishing land monopoly; free access to the world of mind, abolishing idea monopoly; free access to an untaxed and unprivileged market, abolishing tariff monopoly and money monopoly, – secure these, and all the rest shall be added unto you. For liberty is the remedy of every social evil, and to Anarchy the world must look at last for any enduring guarantee of social order.

$1.25 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

A lost classic rediscovered in the pages of Liberty, this essay – never before collected in pamphlet form since its original serialization – is one of the most ambitious attempts to define and defend the Individualist theory of property, and to provide both an Anarchistic defense of private property and market competition, and an attack on the regime of structural violence and legal privilege that sustains capitalism and subjugates the working class.

Modern industry and the accompanying economic conditions have arisen under the régime of status, — that is, under arbitrary conditions in which equal liberty had no place and law-made privileges held unbounded sway,—it is only to be expected that an equally arbitrary and unjust system of property should prevail. On one side a dependent industrial class of wage-workers and on the other a privileged class of wealth-monopolizers each becoming more and more distinct from the other as capitalism advances, has resulted in a grouping and consolidation of wealth which grows apace by attracting all property, no matter by whom produced, into the hands of the privileged, and hence property becomes a social power, an economic force destructive of rights, a fertile source of injustice, a means of enslaving the dispossessed. Under this system equal liberty cannot obtain… .

Can the millionaire capitalist, the labor-robbing idler who lives on interest, the rich thugs of today and their army of parasites, be taken as the outcome of private property? Surely not. They are the direct result of restrictions and privileges, of legal and governmental origin, — causes that render impossible the growth and diffusion of individual property among the mass of wealth-producers. Inequalities in possession exist not so much because of inequalities in the power of individuals to acquire wealth under free conditions, but because political, social, and economic arrangements have always tended to create artificial inequality, to foster and increase whatever natural inequality did exist … .

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

Market Anarchists should oppose neoliberalism and its so-called privatization schemes because we are for free markets and private property. What they call privatization means only private profit from political power. What we mean is something entirely different, and it’s time to mint some new language in order to talk about the difference.

Left libertarians, like all libertarians, believe that all State control of industry and all State ownership of natural resources should be abolished. In that sense, libertarian Leftists advocate complete and absolute privatization of, well, everything. Governments, or quasi-governmental “public” monopolies, have no business building or running roads, bridges, railroads, airports, parks, housing, libraries, post offices, television stations, electric lines, power plants, water works, oil rigs, gas pipelines, or any­thing else of the sort… . Governments have no business building or running fire departments, police stations, courts, arm­ies, or anything else of the sort, because governments—which are necessarily coerc­ive and necessarily elitist—have no business existing or doing anything at all.

There is something called privatization which has been a hot topic for the past 15-20 years. It has been a big deal in Eastern Europe, in third world countries under the influence of the IMF, and in some cases in the United States, too. Naomi Klein has a new book on the topic, which focuses on the role that natural and artificial crises play in establishing the conditions for what she calls privatization. But privatization, as understood by the IMF, the neoliberal governments, and the robber baron corporations, is a very different beast from privatization as understood by free market radicals… . What we advocate is the devolution of state-confiscated wealth and state-confiscated industries back to civil society … the socialization of the means of production. Government outsourcing, government-backed monopoly capitalism, and government goon squads, might more accurately be described as privateering.

$1.25 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

This classic attack on political prohibition and moralistic law-making, was first published anonymously in 1875, as a chapter in the anthology Prohibition a Failure: or, the True Solution of the Temperance Question. It was revealed as the work of the radical libertarian legal theorist Lysander Spooner soon after his death in 1887, but it was neglected by posthumous collections and not included in the multi-volume Collected Works published in 1971. After Carl Watner rediscovered and recirculated the essay in 1977, it quickly became one of spooner’s most popular and influential works — but, between editions going out of print (e.g. TANSTAAFL’s 1977 edition), and the occasional useless disaster — it has remained notoriously difficult to find in in print.

Until now.

VICES are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property or another… . For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth… .

IT is only those persons who have either little capacity, or little disposition, to enlighten, encourage, or aid mankind, that are possessed of this violent passion for governing, commanding, and punishing them. If, instead of standing by, and giving their consent and sanction to all the laws by which the weak man is first plundered, oppressed, and disheartened, and then punished as a criminal, they would turn their attention to the duty of defending his rights and improving his condition, … enabling him to stand on his own feet, and withstand the temptations that surround him, they would, I think, have little need to talk about laws and prisons for either rum­-sellers or rum­-drinkers, or even any other class of ordinary criminals. If, in short, these men, who are so anxious for the suppression of crime, would suspend, for a while, their calls upon the government to aid in suppressing the crimes of individuals, and would call upon the people for aid in suppressing the crimes of the government, they would show both their sincerity and good sense in a much stronger light than they do now… .

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

As I’ve mentioned before, both the Market Anarchy Zine Series and the Anarchist Classics Zine Series are regular monthly publications, with one issue each being sent out each month. You can always order individual copies online from the Distro page, but if you’d like to save on shipping & handling charges, and to get new orders as soon as they come out, you can always contact me to sign up for a regular subscription. (Subscriptions can be for personal reading, or for bulk orders of material for distributing, tabling, or for stocking your local infoshop and other radical spaces.) If you’re considering subscribing, contact me to request a free sample copy for you to check out, compliments of the Distro; then, if you like it, continue th subscription for the rest of the year at the following rates (all prices already include any shipping and handling costs):

Market Anarchy Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$1.50/issue
(= $18/year)
No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
Anarchist Classics Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$2.25/issue
(= $27/year)
No. of copies ✕ $1.25/issue
(= N ✕ $15/year)

For details on all your options (including ready-to-print electronic versions, customizations of booklets with local contact information for your ALL chapter or local Anarchist activities, discounts for receiving quarterly shipments, etc. etc. etc.), see Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly. If you decide not to continue the subscription, the sample issue is yours to keep. Intrigued? Contact me forthwith, and we’ll get something worked out.

That’s all for now. Next month we’ll be dropping some more science; until then—read and enjoy!

See also:

M@ Mailed Monthly (May 2011)

*tl;dr. Two beautiful new booklets are available for ordering to-day from the [ALL Distro](http://sonv.libertarianleft.org/distro/) — this month’s Market Anarchy, with an article on intellectual property and this month’s Anarchist Classic with two letters from Lysander Spooner to Congressman Thomas F. Bayard. You can get one **free sample copy** of either series (or both) to check out, if you’re considering a monthly subscription for individual copies or monthly packs to distribute in the radical space of your choice. Sound good? [Contact me for details](http://radgeek.com/contact/).*

> Scatter tracts, like raindrops, over the land….
>
> —William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

To-day, I am happy to announce that earlier this week I mailed out [the first orders of this month’s newest additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Artwork & Agitprop Distro](http://sonv.libertarianleft.org/distro/). **Issue #19 (May 2011) of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series** is a tract from Kevin Carson on the authoritarian nature and structural effects of so-called intellectual property rights. **Issue #7 of the Anarchist Classics Zine Series** is a fine little edition of a pair of letters to a Congressman — Congressman Thomas F. Bayard, the chosen recipient of two memorable letters from **Lysander Spooner,** Challenging His Right — and That of All the Other So-Called Senators and Representatives in Congress — to Exercise Any Legislative Power Whatever Over the People of the United States in light of natural justice, natural liberty, and the inalienable equality of every individual person.

Market Anarchy #19 (May’11). Intellectual Property is Theft!

How Copyrights & Patents Impede Competition

Kevin Carson (2009)

In Intellectual Property is Theft! Kevin Carson exposes so-called intellectual property as a law-made monopoly, upholding corporate privilege and consolidating economic control at the expense individual ownership of real, tangible property. Copyrights and patents lock in inefficient, privilege-ridden business models based on command and control, and enable corporations to capture outsize profits from the economic rent on innovations. Copying is not theft. But monopoly is.

Real, tangible property rights result from natural scarcity and follow as
a matter of course from the attempt to maintain occupancy of physical property
that cannot be possessed by more than one person at a time. Intellectual
property,
on the other hand, creates artificial scarcity that does not
naturally exist and can only be enforced by invading real, tangible property
and preventing the owner from using it in ways that violate the supposed
intellectual property rights of others …. Intellectual property also
serves as a bulwark for planned obsolecence and high-overhead production.

Corporations rely on increasingly authoritarian legislation to capture value
from propriety information…. Privileged, state-connected economic interests
are becoming increasingly dependent on such controls. But unfortunately for
them, such controls are becoming increasingly unenforceable thanks to
Bittorrent, strong encryption, and proxy servers…. This has profoundly
weakened corporate hierarchies in the information and entertainment industries.
In this environment, the only thing standing between the old information and media
dinosaurs and their total collapse is their so-called intellectual property
rights.
… Without intellectual property, in any industry where the
basic production equipment is widely affordable, and bottom-up networking renders
management obsolete, it is likely that self-managed, cooperative production will
replace the old managerial hierarchies.

$1.25 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

Anarchist Classics #7 (May’11). Letters to Thomas F. Bayard

in which an Anarchist writes his Congressman, Challenging His Right — and That of All the Other So-Called Senators and Representatives in Congress — to Exercise Any Legislative Power Whatever Over the People of the United States

Lysander Spooner (1882, 1884)

Lysander Spooner’s first and second Letters to Congressman Thomas F.
Bayard (D-DE)
challenge all government with the standard of natural law and
natural liberty. Spooner’s work was widely circulated and admired among
the individualist anarchists in the late 19th and early
20th century. Later, the first letter to Bayard was widely reprinted
and became incredibly influential in the intellectual revival of individualist
anarchism during the 1960s. Whereas the first Letter to Bayard is one of
Spooner’s best known works, the Second Letter to Bayard is a lost
treasure recovered from the archives, until now very difficult to find in
print. Together, they are one of Spooner’s sharpest attacks on the usurpation
of legislators and the fraud of the legal Constitutions that are supposed to
authorize, and yet somehow also limit, the arbitrary dominion of the State and the men who control it.

No man can delegate, or give to another, any right of arbitrary dominion over
himself; for that would be giving himself away as a slave. And this no one can
do. Any contract to do so is necessarily an absurd one, and has no validity. To
call such a contract a Constitution, or by any other high-sounding name,
does not alter its character as an absurd and void contract. No man can delegate,
or give to another, any right of arbitrary dominion over a third person; for that would imply a right in the first person, not only
to make the third person his slave, but also a right to dispose of him as a slave
to still other persons. Any contract to do this is necessarily a criminal one and therefore
invalid. To call such a contract a Constitution does not at all lessen
its criminality, or add to its validity…

All this pretended delegation of legislative powr — that is, of a power,
on the part of the legislators, so-called, to make any laws of their own device,
distinct from the law of nature — is therefore an entire falsehood; a
falsehood whose only purpose is to cover and hide a pure usurpation, by one
body of men, of arbitrary dominion over other men….

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

[As I’ve mentioned in past months](http://radgeek.com/gt/2011/03/31/market-anarchy-mailed-monthly/), **both the Market Anarchy Zine Series and the new Anarchist Classics Zine Series have become regular monthly publications.** One issue in each series is published every month. New issues are announced during the first week of each month, and mailed out during the third week of the month. You can [pre-order individual copies](http://sonv.libertarianleft.org/distro/) or [contact me to sign up for a regular subscription](http://radgeek.com/gt/2011/03/31/market-anarchy-mailed-monthly/), either for personal reading or bulk orders for distributing, tabling, or stocking local infoshops and other radical spaces. If you’re considering subscribing, **you can [contact me](http://radgeek.com/) to request a free sample copy for you to check out, compliments of the Distro;** then, if you like it, continue the subscription for the rest of the year at the following rates:

Market Anarchy Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$1.50/issue
(= $18/year)
No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
Anarchist Classics Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$2.25/issue
(= $27/year)
No. of copies ✕ $1.25/issue
(= N ✕ $15/year)

For details on all your options (including ready-to-print electronic versions, customization with local contact information, and discounts for quarterly shipments), see [Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly](http://radgeek.com/gt/2011/03/31/market-anarchy-mailed-monthly/).

Prices include shipping & handling costs. If you decide not to continue the subscription, the sample issue is yours to keep. Intrigued? [Contact me forthwith](http://radgeek.com/contact/) and we’ll get something worked out.

That’s all for now. Next month, you can look forward to a Market Anarchist defense of the commons, some bomb-throwing revolutionary mutualism, and (I hope?) an appearance by the ALL Distro at the Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. Until then—read and enjoy!

### See also: ###
* [GT 2011-04-21: Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly April 2011: Five Thesis and a Vindication](http://radgeek.com/gt/2011/04/21/market-anarchy-mailed-monthly-april-2011/)
* [GT 2011-03-31: Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly](http://radgeek.com/gt/2011/03/31/market-anarchy-mailed-monthly/)
* [GT 2010-02-17: The present anarchy of our commerce: booklets and buttons for March 2010](http://radgeek.com/gt/2010/02/17/the-present-anarchy-of-our-commerce-contd/)
* [GT 2007-11-23: The present anarchy of our commerce: t-shirts](http://radgeek.com/gt/2007/11/23/the_present/)

Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly!

tl;dr. There’s three beautiful new booklets available for ordering from the ALL Distro, and the Distro is officially launching two regular monthly publications. If you’re interested in subscribing for individual copies or bulk distribution packets, contact me.

I’m happy to announce three new additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Artwork & Agitprop Distro, and some exciting new projects. First, the lit. Issue #17 of the Market Anarchy Zine Series is a classic from Voltairine de Cleyre on the egalitarianism of individual ownership and free competition. Second, the Distro is reorganizing some of its longer historical materials into an ongoing Anarchist Classics Zine Series. I quietly put up ACS#04 last month — an inexpensive, nicely-printed edition of Randolph Bourne’s anti-war, anti-state classic The State.[1] Now I’m noisily putting up ACS#05 — a stand-alone printing of Proudhon’s Third Study from General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, The Principle of Association, which seems to be pretty rarely discussed these days but which really raises a lot of important and interesting issues for people from two rather different camps — those interested in the issues raised by post-Left Anarchy, on the one hand; and those engaged with the market Anarchist tradition, on the other.

The Lit

Market Anarchy #17 (Mar’11). Competition Not Domination.

A Glance at Communism

Voltairine de Cleyre (1893)

A follow-up to de Cleyre and Rosa Slobodinsky’s classic The Individualist and the Communist (Market Anarchy Zine Series #2, Capitalistic Anarchism?), in which de Cleyre looks at the egalitarianism of competition, and the invasiveness and domination involved in Communist attempts to control economic life according to anti-competitive blueprints.

Communism itself has two individuals within its folds known as the State Communist and the Free Communist…. An Anarchist-Communist is a person who is a man first and a Communist afterwards…. He… believes that property and competition must die yet admits he has no authority to kill them, contends for equality and in the same breath denies its possibility, hates charity and yet wishes to make society one vast Sheltering Arms… [But] a free Communist when driven into a corner always holds to freedom first. The State Communist, on the other hand … believes in authority, and says so.

The main thing is, must we be licensed, protected, regulated, labeled, taxed, confis­cated, spied upon, and generally meddled with, in order that correct statistics may be ob­tained and a quantity prescribed; or may we trust to the producers to look out for their own interests sufficiently to avoid under-stocked and over-stocked markets? Whether we may expect provision and order from those concerned, or be condemned to accept a governmental bill of fare from those not concerned….

$1.00 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

The patriot loses all sense of the distinction between State, nation, and government. In our quieter moments, the Nation or Country forms the basic idea of society … we think of our own people merely as living on the earth’s surface along with other groups, pleasant or objectionable as they may be, but fundamentally as sharing the earth with them. … Country is a concept of peace, of tolerance, of living and letting live. But State is essentially a concept of power, of competition: it signifies a group in its aggressive aspects. And we have the misfortune of being born not only into a country but into a State, and as we grow up we learn to mingle the two feelings into a hopeless confusion….

Wartime brings the ideal of the State out into very clear relief, and reveals attitudes and tendencies that were hidden. In times of peace the sense of the State flags in a republic that is not militarized. For war is essentially the health of the State. The ideal of the State is that within its territory its power and influence should be universal. … And it is precisely in war that the urgency for union seems greatest, and the necessity for universality seems most unquestioned.

The State is the last and best-known work of the radical essayist Randolph Bourne (1886-1918). Written during the last days of his life and published posthumously in 1918, this anti-state classic examines the mass psychology of war, and the role of war in the growth of State power and the manufacture of political identity — expressed most famously in Bourne’s aphorism, War is the health of the State!

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

Anarchist Classics #5 (Mar’11). The Principle of Association.

Third Study from General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1851)

In The Principle of Association, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon —the 19th century French radical who became the first political thinker to describe himself as an Anarchist — takes on the revolutionary systems of authoritarian socialism. He questions the forms of authority, obligation, and micromanagement inherent in mass organization; he challenges the dogmatic formulas of From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs, and of social order based on systematic association at all costs. His revolutionary, libertarian socialist alternative: reciprocity and mutual exchange, emerging within a social space of individual initiative and spontaneous cooperation. Proudhon’s argument may be of special interest to those interested in issues raised by post-Left Anarchy or the market Anarchist tradition. From Proudhon’s 1851 masterpiece, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century.

Association, by itself, does not solve the revolutionary problem. Far from that, it presents itself as a problem, the solution of which implies that the associates enjoy all their independence, while preserving all the advantages of union; … the best association is one into which, thanks to a better organization, liberty enters most and devotion least.

Whoever talks of association, necessarily implies obligation, common responsibility, fusion of rights and duties in relation to outsiders…. Association formed without any outside economic consideration, or any leading interest, association for its own sake, as an act of devotion, a family tie, as it were, is an act of pure religion, a supernatural bond, without real value, a myth.

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

The Announcement

Moreover, I’m happy to announce that from here on out, both the Market Anarchy Zine Series and the new Anarchist Classics Zine Series are going to become regular monthly publications. Until now, the Market Anarchy series has been, shall we say, irregularly published — William Gilis prepared the initial 5 issues all in late 2007, and new issues were put out by Southern Nevada ALL at intervals in 2008, 2009, and 2010, often with a couple new issues put out at a time in order to make sure that we had new material for an upcoming outreach event. But, honestly, this stuff is not hard and there is a lot of great material out there to cover; and regular publication offers a more reliable product for ALL locals, distros, infoshops and other radical spaces that might want to offer this stuff. So from here on out, here is the publication schedule:

  • Issues of the Market Anarchy Zine Series will be published each month, with the new issues going out during the third week of the month. Market Anarchy zines are short, punchy items, usually about 4-16pp, with a mix of historical[2] and contemporary[3] writing, usually focused on a single issue or critical question. These zines usually go for about $1.00 or $1.50 at outreach tables; cheaply-printed versions could plausibly be given away for free if your local group has access to free printing or a little money to burn. They are intended as attractive outreach material and should be very useful for people interested in market Anarchism broadly, or for ALL locals.

  • Issues of the Anarchist Classics Zine Series will be published each month, with the new issues going out during the third week of the month. Anarchist Classics zines are somewhat longer (usually about 16-40pp), tend towards more comprehensive overviews, and focus on the Anarchist tradition, not on contemporary writing. They are the kind of thing that could go for $2.00 or $3.00 at an outreach table; they are likely to be most interesting to people who want something less one-off and more comprehensive, or who like collecting and reading some good old texts. The series is intended to recover, republish and showcase classic texts from Anarchist, Individualist, and other radically anti-authoritarian social movements; we aim to introduce ideas, raise questions, and provoke conversations about the radical possibilities of total liberation, consensual politics and DIY social change.

As William said when he first introduced the Market Anarchy series:

The state of Market Anarchist propaganda has been pretty dismal. Despite a ton of resources on the internet, there are few books, pamphlets and articles available in the real world. And—aside from a few glossy and expensive volumes published by the Mises Institute—what there is just isn’t that pretty or appealing…. Anyway, to fill that void and maybe make things easier for the Market Anarchist who wants to go tabling or stock their local infoshop I’ve gone ahead and put together an easy-to-print series of pamphlets/zines on Market Anarchy.

I hope that the new projects and the regular publishing schedule will help out ALL locals, hometown radicals and market anarchists out to make a point. I can provide nicely printed copies at low cost; and for those who want super-low-cost zines to give away for free or just prefer to DIY, I’ll also be providing regular access to ready-to-print electronic copies to anyone who subscribes, orders or donates to the project. (For details on ready-to-print electronic copies, see below.)

Scatter tracts, like raindrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

Subscribe! Table! Stock your local infoshop!

As always, you can order individual copies, sampler packs, or bulk orders for tabling, infoshop-stocking, and other special events. With issues coming out each month, I’d also like to announce that the Distro now offers you the option of setting up subscriptions for individual copies, or for bulk packets for distributing through your ALL local, at outreach tables, or through local radical libraries and infoshops. Here’s the basic break-down of your options. The prices all include any shipping and handling costs.

Market Anarchy Zine Series
Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets

Delivered each month

$1.50/issue
(= $18/year)
No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
Anarchist Classics Zine Series
Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets

Delivered each month

$2.25/issue
(= $27/year)
No. of copies ✕ $1.25/issue
(= N ✕ $15/year)

Finally, a few more helpful perks if you set up a subscription:

  • Electronic copies. In addition to their print copies, if you want it, you’ll also get electronic copies of the documents used to produce each booklet, so that you can make your own print runs, produce ultra-low-cost copies to give away at outreach tables, political events, mobes, radical shin-digs, etc. All the documents are created using open-source software and can easily be viewed, printed, and edited using commonly-available software tools.

  • Customization on my end. Bulk order subscriptions can be localized by me, before they go out, so that your print run will include custom contact information about your hometown, your local group, or the distro/outlet/infoshop whence you send the booklets out.

  • Quarterly shipment packets. If you want, you can opt to get a significant discount (due to lower shipping costs), if you let me know you would rather receive a packet of the 3 most recent issues every 3 months, rather than 1 new issue each month. Mention it when you contact me if this is an option you’d like to consider.

I hope that I’ll get a more automated form for putting in orders for all this in the near future, but it’s going to take a fair amount of PHP monkey-work at the Distro page. For the next few months, if you’d like to set up a regular subscription for either the Market Anarchy Zine Series or the Anarchist Classics Zine series or both, please contact me forthwith and we’ll get something worked out.

See also:

  1. [1] There is already an anarchist small-press edition of The State available from See Sharp Press. Unfortunately there is need of a new edition, because the edition from See Sharp Press includes a serious error — it follows the incorrect page-ordering that was originally published in posthumous anthologies of Bourne’s work. It was later realized that incorrectly located material at the very end of the essay that was supposed to go at the very front, and seriously disrupts Bourne’s closing discussion of the party system, as well as his introductory discussion of the distinction among the Country, the State and the Government. Our edition fixes this error and follows the corrected ordering now used in most editions of Bourne’s work.
  2. [2] Usually material from individualists, mutualists, left-Rothbardians and other less-known radicals in the American libertarian milieu, etc.
  3. [3] Left-libertarians, market anarchists, agorists, and other rad material from the contemporary Anarchist milieu.