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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NO TREASON (1867, 1870)

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 … Continue reading

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A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery (1858)

THIS RARE, INCENDIARY CLASSIC OF RADICAL ABOLITIONISM, printed at Boston in 1858, was circulated in secret by the Abolitionist lawyer and radical libertarian, Lysander Spooner (1808-1887). Spooner defended the natural right of revolution against slaveholders and detailed a plan to destroy the slave system by overturning Southern society from the bottom up: emancipation brought about not by government wars, invasions or occupations; and not by legislative authority and political compromises; but with slave rebellions and sabotage, with slaves rising up to defend and free themselves from enslavement and to render the South ungovernable by the slavemasters.

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Letters to Thomas F. Bayard (1882, 1884)

Lysander Spooner’s first and second letters to Congressman Thomas F. Bayard (D-DE,) challenging all government with the standard of natural law and natural liberty. The first letter is one of Spooner’s best known works; the second letter is a lost treasure recovered from the archives, otherwise very difficult to find in print.

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Vices Are Not Crimes (1875)

This classic attack on political prohibition and moralistic law-making, first published anonymously in 1875, was revealed as the work of the radical legal theorist Lysander Spooner soon after his death in 1887. After the essay was rediscovered and circulated by Carl Watner in 1977, it quickly became one of Spooner’s most popular essays — but remained notoriously difficult to find in print. Until now.

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 … .

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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/)