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The Desktop Regulatory State (2016)

Defenders of the modern state often claim that it’s needed to protect us — from terrorists, invaders, bullies, and rapacious corporations. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, for instance, famously argued that the state was a source of “countervailing power” that kept … Continue reading

Support C4SS with Timothy C. May’s “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities”

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 Timothy C. May‘s “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Timothy C. May‘s “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities“.

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One of the first extended presentations of the theory and practice of Crypto Anarchism, Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities emerged out of the Bay Area cypherpunks community, and argues for the revolutionary potential for the radical application of emerging technologies to by-pass channels of state surveillance, political control and social domination. The essay is of both historical interest and also ever-growing contemporary significance, whether to cypherpunks, hacktivists, counter-economists, direct-action security culture, or people working to build counter-institutions, dual-power and an alternative economy.

The combination of strong, unbreakable public key cryptography and virtual network communities in cyberspace will produce interesting and profound changes in the nature of economic and social systems. Crypto anarchy is the cyberspatial realization of [anarchism], transcending national boundaries and freeing individuals to make the economic arrangements they wish to make consensually.

Strong cryptography, exemplified by RSA (a public key algorithm) and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), provides encryption that essentially cannot be broken with all the computing power in the universe. This ensures security and privacy. Public key cryptography is rightly considered to be a revolution.

… Governments see their powers eroded by these technologies, and are taking various well-known steps to try to limit the use of strong crypto by their subjects. The U.S. has several well-publicized efforts, including the Clipper chip, the Digital Telephony wiretap law, and proposals for “voluntary” escrow of cryptographic keys. Cypherpunks and others expect these efforts to be bypassed. Technology has let the genie out of the bottle. Crypto anarchy is liberating individuals from coercion by their physical neighbors–who cannot know who they are on the Net–and from governments. For libertarians, strong crypto provides the means by which government will be avoided.

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

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of William Gillis‘ “15 Anti-Primitivist Theses” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with William Gillis’ “15 Anti-Primitivist Theses“.

cr-15-anti-primitivist-theses

$2.00 for the first copy. $0.90 for every additional copy.

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

15 THESES:

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

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

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

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

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15 Anti-Primitivist Theses (2006)

The past has no monopoly on the possibilities of the future. . . . I am anti-primitivism because I am a primitivist, or, that is to say, because I come from the tradition of primitivism. I no longer believe the … Continue reading

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The Homebrew Industrial Revolution (2010)

Published in 2010, by the author. This book explores the impact of dramatic technological and social changes on work and manufacturing. Kevin Carson uses real-world examples and theoretical insights to illuminate the conflict between two economies: one a highly-capitalized, high-overhead, … Continue reading

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Organization Theory (2008)

Published in 2008 by the author. This book applies the economic principles of individualist anarchism, as developed in Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, to the study of the large organization. It integrates the insights of mainstream organization theory into that … Continue reading

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Distributed Technology & Worker Ownership (2006-2012)

This booklet brings together five interconnected conversations on the social and economic aspects of cooperative ownership, worker self-management, and the new possibilities of distributed systems and a distributed form of social ownership of the means of production. “Which model the … Continue reading