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Today: Mon, November 24 2014  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Libertarian Theory
11 October 2014
 
 
Time to stop hiding, take control
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» Anarchism

People who want to have power to control you need you to believe their control is better than the alternative of you controlling, and being responsible for, your own life. If they can keep you fearful, you’ll allow them to do things to you that you’d never otherwise permit.

They also depend on pitting you against your neighbors. If they can get you to beg someone else to control your neighbor, through limiting his choices of what to do with his own body or his own property, they gain power. And never forget they are encouraging your neighbor to seek protection from you, too.

 more» 
20 April 2014
 
 
Forty Years in the Wilderness? - Part 2
by Keith Preston
 sub-topic» Anarchism

The center-left will eventually collapse as it begins to fracture along various lines. As political correctness becomes more deeply entrenched in American society, it will have fewer and fewer inhibitions about showing its fangs. As the role of the Israel lobby in U.S. foreign policy becomes increasingly exposed, the center-left will fracture along pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist lines. As the immigrant and non-white population expands and becomes more powerful, racial and ethnic divisions on the Left will become more obvious. Other contributing factors to the eventual demise of the center-left ruling coalition will be growing class divisions, ideological differences among the left (multicultural vs universalism), the incompatibility of some of the left’s constituent groups (socially conservative blacks and homosexuals, for instance), the decline of the traditional Right as a common enemy and unifying force for the center-left, and the economic bankruptcy of the welfare state. Ultimately, the greatest fault line will be between upper middle class, white, liberals mostly concerned with social issues like gay rights, abortion rights, environmentalism and secularism, and lower class, mostly black and Hispanic, radicals concerned with class and economic issues, framed as racial and ethnic issues.

 more» 
18 April 2014
 
 
Forty Years in the Wilderness? - Part 1
by Keith Preston
 sub-topic» Anarchism

I submit that anarchists in North America should strive to break the grip that the “60s model” of radicalism has on their own milieu and begin looking for new directions. In my previous writings, I have called for the development of an anarchist-led pan-secessionist movement with a strong populist orientation, and oriented towards the lower socio-economic orders, e.g., the lumpenproletariat, neo-peasantry, declasse’ sectors, lower petite bourgeoisie, respectable poor, sinking middle and so forth. Such a movement would champion “third way” economic tendencies beyond socialism or capitalism, with an emphasis on decentralization and the voluntary sector. There would be an across-the-board defense of civil liberties (defending both drug decriminalization and the right to bear arms, for instance) and irreconcilable cultural differences would be handled according to the model of “peace through separatism,” meaning groups like the feminist/gay Left or the Religious Right would have their own separate institutions, associations, communities, and, if necessary, entirely separate regions, with explosive cultural matters like the definition of marriage, abortion, capital punishment, the rights of children against their parents, educational practices, and immigration being determined according to local community standards. The emergence of such a movement would involve a situation where the independent Left, populist Right, radical Middle, underclass, lumpenproletariat, declasse’ sectors, radical ecologists, and racial-nationalists among the minority groups would naturally bend towards one another against the neoconservative/left-liberal establishment.

 more» 
11 April 2014
 
 
Libertarianism: No Threat to the Ruling Class
by Keith Preston
 sub-topic» Anarchism

Our first order of business at present is to grow a better crop of anarchists, libertarians, allies, and constituents. We need a new generation of anarchist and libertarian leaders and activists to emerge who throw off all the old baggage, and start pushing things in a more radical direction, towards hard core revolutionary extremism. Most libertarians and anarchists nowadays are just a variation of liberals or conservatives. That’s the first thing that has to change, and that’s what most of my work has been about. Ultimately we need the development of an pan-anarchist revolutionary front that is committed to organizing radical coalitions against the state, ruling class, and empire for the purpose of decentralizing power to the lowest possible level.

 more» 
24 January 2014
 
 
Of Fantasy or History
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

The state of fantasy is in point of fact what we look forward to as proponents of a free society, a condition in which free, sovereign individuals in genuine community provide for one another through consensual trading and giving. The historical state is the foremost enemy and impediment to the emergence of this kind of society. It is interesting, therefore, to see so many apologies for the state from those whose interest in the poor and underprivileged is sincere, those who actually care about wealth inequality and social justice. But these defenses of the state make perfect sense once we understand that the state of fantasy is the one liberals see.

 more» 
15 December 2013
 
 
Against the Police
by Jeremy Weiland
 sub-topic» Anarchism

In the same way all eligble members must vote in order for a democracy to be most legitimate and authentic, being a member of a free, self-governing, non-authoritarian community necessarily entails policing on the part of every community member. After all, more is implied by “community” than mere proximity of domiciles. Rather, communities should comprise a population unit bound by shared values, a coherent body brought together and made distinct by the identity emerging from individual lives. When you surrender using coercion as an organizing principle, what other basis is there for collectivity?

 more» 
25 September 2013
 
 
Who Are the Real Anarchists?
by Ryan McMaken
 sub-topic» Anarchism

Anarchists and others may debate the value of such institutions, but the libertarian anarchist does not by force oppose a person’s membership in any such institution or organization. What is opposed by the anarchist libertarian is the type of civil government known as “the state” which exercises a monopoly on the means of coercion. It is this monopoly, perhaps more than anything else, which characterizes the state, its lack of voluntary association, and its claim of a right to employ unchallenged force over all individuals who just happen to live within a certain geographical area.

Indeed, anarchists do not even necessarily oppose the use of coercion, for certainly a criminal who has stolen from someone else could rightly be forced to pay restitution.

 more» 
16 September 2013
 
 
No War but Class War
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

Market anarchists do not imagine that a perfect, utopian equality of material conditions is possible, or that in practice it could be anything other than dystopian. But neither do we regard the economic status quo, the realities and deprivations of political capitalism, as inevitable or unalterable. Whether or not current economic conditions give rise to a revolt, something certainly has to give. There’s only so long that a political-economic system can function where most people live in destitution while a tiny sliver live in garish opulence.

 more» 
08 April 2013
 
 
Crazy Equilibria: From Democracy to Anarcho-Capitalism
by Bryan Caplan
 sub-topic» Anarchism

My explanation begins with a thought experiment. Picture a defeated incumbent in, say, Sweden. He summons his cronies to say, "So we lost a stupid election. Big deal! I say we refuse to cede power. If anyone protests, let's kill them." How would his cronies respond?

At first, the cronies would think their leader was joking. A bad joke, but a joke. If he persisted, though, the cronies would deem their leader crazy. The only help they'd offer would be to call his family... or a psychiatrist. If the Swedish leader pulled out a pistol and said, "If you're not with me, you're against me," his cronies would summon the police. If he kept waving his pistol around, the Swedish police would arrest him. End of coup.

 more» 
24 March 2013
 
 
You Are An Anarchist.The Question Is: How Often?
by Benjamin Powell
 sub-topic» Anarchism

Reasonable classical liberals can digest this scholarship and disagree about how well an “ordered anarchy” might work. But whether you cling to Hobbesian notions of a nasty, brutish, and short life in anarchy, or believe anarchy would be libertarian paradise, you have answered only half of the question about anarchy’s desirability. The other half of the question is, “Compared to what government”?

The usual debate involves contrasting a set of beliefs about what anarchy would be like with some version of a minimal state. But nowhere in the world do we observe a pure classical-liberal minimal state. So comparing a belief about anarchy to an unrealized ideal leaves us in the land of irrelevance.

 more» 
25 October 2012
 
 
The Elements of Empire
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

The suggestions, heard often, that the U.N. has promoted peace, pluralism and opportunities for diplomacy are belied at every turn by the institution’s complicity, indeed active fostering, of a new colonialism.

 more» 
27 September 2012
 
 
Reconsidering Redistribution: One Libertarian's View
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

Market anarchists hold what is perhaps a unique perspective on “redistribution,” as it were, one that leans less on easy rhetorical distinctions and rather more on the substantive facts of the relationship between the state and powerful corporate actors. Attacks on individual liberty and free competition actually do translate into an enormous overall redistribution of wealth — yet the redistribution is “upward,” that is, from the vast majority of people, who incidentally produce the vast majority of wealth, to the small few who benefit from American capitalism.

 more» 
18 July 2012
 
 
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governing and from Justice
by John Kindley
 sub-topic» Anarchism

There is no law other than natural law. There is no law other than Justice. There is no law other than the moral law of Right and Wrong, which applies equally to all, whether they purport to represent the People or the State or not, whether they join with a thousand or a million others to do some act or act alone. Anarchism is the rejection of the Divine Right of Kings. Even those who think we should obey the “laws” dictated by the U.S. government think we should do so because it is Right to do so. (Those who think this are of course Wrong, but this is what they think.)

 more» 
11 July 2012
 
 
Power Doesn't Just Attract Mean and Stupid People - It Makes Them That Way
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» Anarchism

So if you wonder why your CEO has no qualms about collecting a $20 million bonus while downsizing half the workforce and increasing the workloads of everyone else, the answer is simple. On an emotional level, she’s long ago convinced herself that you aren’t even human. People in authority, in their organizational roles, tend to experience the functional equivalent of a psychotic break with reality, and to act like sociopaths toward their subordinates.

Power over others, by its very nature, degrades those who wield it, turns them into monsters, and poisons their every relationship with their fellow human beings. There’s no “reform” that can change that, short of abolishing authority itself. And that’s what we anarchists want to do.

 more» 
26 June 2012
 
 
One-sided Contracts
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» Anarchism

The right wing of the free market movement sees nothing problematic in this. It takes such contracts at face value, treating them as genuine examples of the free, uncoerced contracts between equals so dear to libertarianism. That every aspect of our lives is dominated by giant, powerful, hierarchical institutions is just how things turned out in the “free market;” such institutions are more efficient, see?

Those of us on the left who advocate freed markets beg to differ. The power of these giant authoritarian institutions, whether nominally “private” or not, didn’t “just happen.” It results from a rigged game, an unholy corporatist alliance between big business and the state dating back 150 years or more. Our society and economy came to be dominated by an interlocking directorate of government and corporate oligarchies through the deliberate use of power.

 more» 
07 May 2012
 
 
Musings on May Day
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

This May Day, take a moment to reflect upon the questions of who actually benefits from the game of politics and what kind of economy we actually have. Have ordinary people seen most of the benefits of state involvement in the economy? Do we have a free market, or a very unfree one?

The answers may surprise many of those in both the mainstream labor and libertarian movements. They may even bring new meaning to the phrase, “workers of the world unite!”

 more» 
25 February 2012
 
 
Anarchy Not Apathy
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

Our rejection of politics is not a product of acedia, but of a careful and deliberate observation of events; we actively, as opposed to passively, abstain from engaging with the “proper channels” of the political process.

 more» 
01 January 2012
 
 
A New Year of Global Protest
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Anarchism

The protests materializing around the world in this moment are a reaction, consciously or not, to the chaos bred by political authority. If the state is in fact meant to build the conditions of law and order, then we have to wonder why we live in a world covered by states like Yemen and China, ruled by people like Vladimir Putin.

Though depicted as utopians, obsessed with pie in the sky daydreams, or as bomb-throwing provocateurs of pandemonium, anarchists petition simply for a society in which freedom is the guiding principle. Granted, on its own, that doesn’t mean much, but without aggression against innocents, the state could not exist.

 more»