Posts Tagged ‘ALL’

M@MM for July 2011 — Coming attractions; a real announcement to arrive soon.

Hey y’ALL,

So, this is just a brief note — a sort of placeholder — to mention that July 2011’s new Market Anarchy and Anarchist Classics Series booklets (No. 21 and No. 9, respectively) were finished on time and mailed out to subscribers on July 27. The official announcement has been delayed because the end of July also happened to be the exact time at which I, and with me the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Distro, went on a cross-country move from Las Vegas, Nevada to Auburn, Alabama. L. and I arrived safely in Alabama and we are in the process of getting settled in, but my print shop, the advance copies I’d already prepared, and all the rest of my office are not arriving for about a week. So, in the meantime, here’s a preview of what will soon be up for orders and available to the general public through the Distro website. Enjoy!

Coming Soon to an ALL Distro (Virtually) Near You…

Market Anarchy #21: Market Anarchy vs. Corporate Power

or: “The Attitude of Anarchism Toward Industrial Combinations,” by Benjamin Tucker (1899)

Anarchist Classics Series #9: Problems of Anarchism: Property, Labor & Competition

selected articles by William Bailie (1893)

See you all again when the dust settles….

An official announcement and links for non-subscribers to order the new booklets will be up in about a week.

M@ Mailed Monthly (June 2011): Free Market Public Property and Bomb-Throwing Revolutionary Mutualism

tl;dr. Two beautiful new booklets are available for ordering to-day from the ALL Distro — this month’s Market Anarchy, with an article on truly public property — public property, that is, without state control — and this month’s Anarchist Classic, with a Spencerian-Mutualist take on the Economics of Anarchy, by the insurrectionary mutualist Dyer D. Lum. 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 raindrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

To-day, I am happy to announce this month’s two additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Artwork & Agitprop Distro. They debuted on Saturday at this year’s Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair, and now, gentle reader, they come to you. Issue #20 (June 2011) of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series is a formulation by Roderick Long, on the right to public property in a stateless society. Issue #8 of the Anarchist Classics Zine Series is an edition of Dyer D. Lum’s The Economics of Anarchy, a fascinating Spencerian-Mutualist account of ownership and labor in a free society.

Here we are:

Market Anarchy #20 (Jun’11). Reclaim the Commons!

Public Property Without the State

Roderick T. Long (1998)

An individualist anarchist analysis and defense of rights to public property — not property that belongs to government, but property that belongs to the public — you and me and our neighbors.

Libertarians often assume that a free society will be one in which all (or nearly all) property is private…. To most people, ‘public property’ means ‘government property.’ As an anarchist, I do not advocate government property of any sort. But this is not the only kind of public property. Throughout history, legal doctrine has recognized, alongside property owned by the the public as organized into a state and represented by government officials, an additional category of property owned by the unorganized public. This was property that the public at large was deemed to have a right of access to, but without any presumption that government would be involved in the matter at all. It is public property in this sense that I am defending….

It is true that private property provides a protected sphere of free decision-making – for the property’s owners. But what is the position of those who are not property owners? A system of exclusively private property certainly does not guarantee them ‘a place to stand.’ Far from providing a sphere of independence, a society in which all property is private thus renders the propertyless completely dependent on those who own property…. It is true that users of public property face a somewhat greater risk from their fellow users than users of private property do. By the same token, however, public property allows more freedom. That is why the best option is a society that makes room for both public and private property. Those who place a high value on security, and are willing to put up with burdensome restrictions in order to get it, will be free to patronize private property, while those who seek self-expression, are averse to restrictions, and are willing to put up with more risk from others will likewise be free to patronize public property….

$1.25 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

Anarchist Classics #8 (Jun’11). The Economics of Anarchy

A Study of the Industrial Type

Dyer D. Lum (1890)

I have repeatedly been asked to write a brief summary of the aims sought by Anarchists which could be read and discussed in the various clubs that are studying economic questions. With this end in view the following pages are submitted, trusting that they may be a help to those who are earnestly seeking the rationale of the Labor Question….

FREE EXCHANGE … would break the monopoly now possessed by currency, the instrument of exchange, and also could open full use of the possession of land…. Has the workman equal freedom to compete with the employer of labor? … But why not? Because behind the capitalist, as we now find him, privilege lends support which transforms the result of honest industry into a hideous Moloch standing with outstretched arms to receive as sacrificial victims the toilers who have made that capital possible…. Capital itself is man’s best friend, the true social savior that opens the march of progress and that has transformed society from warlike to peaceful pursuits. But under the crucifying hands of legalization, where prerogative mocks at penury, its mission is thwarted and it becomes a ravenous beast…. Reliance upon militant measures, trying to curb indus­ trial discontent by legislative coercion, is reactionary in character. However disguised in twilight mixtures it is the spirit of the old regime seeking to dominate the new; as vain as seeking to check an exhaustless flow of water by damming the stream. The remedy cannot lie in enactments, in the organ­ization of systems, in return to simplicity of structure, for industrial civilization demands plasticity of forms … while organization, on the other hand, ever tends to rigidity….

Dyer Lum was among the most labor-oriented of the American mutualists, working actively as a labor organizer and maintaining close working ties with August Spies, Albert Parsons, and many of the other Chicago Communists — he actually took over publishing The Alarm after Parsons and the other Haymarket martyrs were hanged. Unlike Tucker, who officially rejected any concern with questions of ownership and employment, so long as workers were fully freed from monopolistic constraints on their bargaining power, Lum’s book is a defense of mutual enterprise and worker ownership. But he also explicitly rejects communism and defends private property and free exchange — which Lum approaches with a fascinating appropriation of Herbert Spencer’s distinction between the militant type and the industrial type of society, characterized respectively by violence, domination and rigidity, on the one hand; and peace, productivity, equality and plasticity on the other.[1] Lum is also notable as an insurrectionist — a sort of bomb throwing revolutionary Mutualist. There’s a common, and really grossly mistaken, stereotype that the Collectivist and Communist Anarchists in America were the revolutionaries, and the Individualists and the Mutualists were Philosophical Anarchists who had no immediate plan to overthrow government, and for the time being counseled only education and moral agitation.[2] But this is wrong, as a general thing,[3] and Lum in particular is a huge, obvious counterexample — a defender of revolutionary politics and of the Chicago martyrs, who smuggled the dynmite caps to the imprisoned Louis Lingg. In Economics the issue appears mostly in the background — with the occasional adversions to, e.g., the relationship between Garrison’s agitation and Brown’s insurrection — but it is approached directly in an extended discussion in the final chapter, a Digression on Methods.

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

As I’ve mentioned in past months, 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 normally announced during the first week of each month, and mailed out during the third week of the month. (This month, as you can see, the announcement has been deferred in order to focus on preparing the new issues, and other wares, for the Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. But we should be returning to our regular schedule in July.) You can order individual copies online or contact me to sign up for a regular subscription, 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 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.

Prices include shipping & handling costs. 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, you can look forward to some free-market environmentalism and the long-lost problems of an individualist. Until then—read and enjoy!

See also:

  1. [1] His use of the Spencerian distinction, and especially his opposition of militant rigidity to industrial plasticity is, I think, importantly connected with the common Mutualist emphasis on the character of markets as spaces for social experimentation and discovery; as Lum writes, The remedy cannot lie in enactments, in the organization of systems, in return to simplicity of structure, for industrial civilization demands plasticity of forms which the law of equal freedom alone gives, while organization, on the other hand, ever tends to rigidity….
  2. [2] In another, and even more grossly mistaken oversimplification, it is often claimed that the former, allegedly Communist and revolutionary, kind of Anarchism was mainly or exclusively European, or imported to America by European immigrants, while the latter, allegedly Mutualist and philosophical, was a native American tradition, which allegedly derived from peculiarly American traditions, which had little or nothing to do with the European insurrectionism, and which was fundamentally different because it grew in a different soil. It’s another topic for another day, but for now suffice it to say that this whole attempted dichotomy is a farrago of nonsense, promoted on the one hand by Communists, who intended to discredit Mutualism as conservative, quietist, parochial and outmoded; and by later defenders of Mutualism, especially during the mid-20th century, who attempted to defend the tradition, by dissociating it from the charges of foreignness and violence directed against all forms of Anarchism in an age of red-baiting and nationalism. But the Communists are wrong about Mutualism, and the would-be friends of Mutualism would have done better to push back against belligerently idiotic 100%-Americanism than to try to pander to it. The reality is far more complicated, and Lum is as good a place as any to start if you want to get into it.
  3. [3] Tucker counseled more or less strict adherence to non-violent forms of struggle, like rent strikes and tax resistance. But any observer of the 20th century should be aware that non-violent struggle is not the same thing as non-struggle. In any case, beyond Tucker, American individualists had a wide range of views. The authors of A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery and In Defense of Emma Goldmann and the Right of Appropriation would be very surprised to learn that they were philosophical Anarchists who foreswore any kind of revolutionizing or violence.

M@ Mailed Monthly (May 2011): Ideas and Letters, Natural Liberty and Artificial Scarcity

tl;dr. Two beautiful new booklets are available for ordering to-day from the ALL 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.

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. 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, 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 or contact me to sign up for a regular subscription, 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 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.

Prices include shipping & handling costs. 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, 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:

Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly April 2011. Five Theses and a Vindication.

tl;dr. There’s two beautiful new booklets available for ordering from the ALL Distro. This month’s Market Anarchy is a collection of five contemporary pieces on spontaneous order and freed-market social movements. This month’s Anarchist Classic is a sleek new edition of the oldest known English-language Anarchist tract. 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. Also, we have some new ALL buttons, now available through the distro page.

Scatter tracts, like raindrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

Two things.

1. The Lit

First, I’m 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. Issue #18 of the now-monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series is a collection of five contemporary pieces on spontaneous order and freed-market social movements. Issue #6 of the Anarchist Classics Zine Series is as classic as it gets — the earliest known extended defense of philosophical Anarchism in the English language.

Market Anarchy #18 (Apr’11). Spontaneous Order.

Five Theses on Freed-Market Social Movements and Self-Regulating Anarchy

Sheldon Richman, Charles Johnson, and David D’Amato (2011)

In “Five Theses on Freed-Market Social Movements and Self-Regulating Anarchy,” Sheldon Richman, Charles Johnson, and David D’Amato look at the social and economic possibilities for social order to emerge without the need to impose social control – for spontaneous order and people-powered social movements against capitalism, racism, and ecocide within an anarchic freed market. Richman’s “Regulation Red Herring” discusses the demand for “regulation” and the power of unplanned spontan- eous order; Johnson’s “We Are Market Forces” considers the meaning of “market forces” and the possibilities for DIY social change in a self-regulating market anarchy; and in “I Oppose Civil Rights Acts because I Support Civil Rights Movements,” “The Free Market’s Regulatory Model,” and “The Clean Water Act vs. Clean Water,” Johnson and D’Amato apply the analysis to freed-market social activism against racism and environmental destruction.

In a freed market, who will stop markets from running riot and doing crazy things? And who will stop the rich and powerful from running roughshod over everyone else? We will.

In a freed market, if someone in the market exploits workers or chisels customers, if she produces things that are degrading or dangerous or uses methods that are environmentally destructive, it’s vital to remember that you do not have to just let the market take its course — because the market is not something outside of us; we are market forces…. When liberals or Progressives wonder who will check the power of the capitalists and the bureaucratic corporations, their answer is—a politically-appointed, even less accountable bureaucracy. The libertarian answer is—the power of the people, organized with our fellow workers into fighting unions, strikes and slow-downs, organized boycotts, and… alternative institutions…. [I]f you want regulations that check destructive corporate power, that put a stop to abuse or exploitation or the trashing of the environment, don’t lobby—organize!

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

The “Vindication of Natural Society,” published anonymously in 1756, is the earliest known English-language tract to offer an extended defense of philosophical Anarchism – arguing for a peaceful social order based upon individual conscience and mutual agreement, without legal constraint or political authority. It was later discovered to have been written by Edmund Burke, then a radical Anglo-Irish journalist. This booklet is based on the original edition of the Vindication, which appeared anonymously and without further explanation. In later editions, after his authorship was discovered, Burke, who had retreated from his earlier views and begun a new career as a member of Parliament, added a new Preface, in which he disowned his anarchistic conclusions and stated that the entire argument was originally intended as satire. Many Anarchist readers, however, point out that the vigorous, coherent argument of the “Vindication” does not read like satire, and take Burke’s later disavowal as careerist damage control.[1] In any case, whatever the authorial intent, the “Vindication” went on to become a major influence on early English-speaking Anarchists such as William Godwin and the mutualist followers of Josiah Warren.

To prove, that these Sort of policed Societies are a Violation offered to Nature, and a Constraint upon the human Mind, it needs only to look upon the sanguinary Measures, and Instruments of Violence which are every where used to support them. Let us take a Review of the Dungeons, Whips, Chains, Racks, Gibbets, with which every Society is abundantly stored, by which hundreds of Victims are annually offered up to support a dozen or two in Pride and Madness, and Millions in an abject Servitude, and Dependence…. I acknowledge indeed, the Necessity of such a Proceeding in such Institutions; but I must have a very mean Opinion of Institutions where such Proceedings are necessary….

I now plead for Natural Society against Politicians, and for Natural Reason against all…. My Antagonists have already done as much as I could desire…. The Monarchic, Aristocratical, and Popular Parti­zans have been jointly laying their Axes to the Root of all Government, and have in their Turns proved each other absurd and inconvenient. In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!

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

As I mentioned last month, 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. I’ve been working out the publication schedules, and from here on out, new issues will be announced (and made available for pre-order) around the first Friday of every month. Issues will be mailed out to subscribers and pre-orderers during the third week of the month.

As before, 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.)

As always, you can order individual copies, sampler packs, or bulk orders for tabling, infoshop-stocking, and other special events. You can also set up a monthly subscription for individual copies, or for bulk packets for distributing through your ALL local, at outreach tables, or through local radical libraries and infoshops. If you’re considering subscribing, you can 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:

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.

Prices include shipping & handling costs. 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.

2. The Buttons

Second, I am also happy to announce that we have three big new 2.25″ ALL buttons available for order through the Distro. One is a revised version of a button we’ve had since 2009; the other two are brand new designs.

ALL (Libertarian Left).

2.25″

$1.50 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk

No War No State (think anarchy for peaceful alternatives)

2.25″

$1.50 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk

Enjoy!

See also:

  1. [1] See, for example, the preface and appendix added by English Warrenites in their edition of the Vindication, The Inherent Evils of All State Governments Demonstrated (1850), or Rothbard’s Note on Burke’s Vindication of the Natural Society (sic). Radical readers of the Vindication have tended to conclude that Burke simply was a proto-Anarchist in 1756, and that he then abandoned the position in the interests of political power. For a convincing argument that the author of the Vindication was really using the anonymous tract as a space to explore ideas that he found compelling, but was not ready to embrace, see Roderick Long’s discussion in Burke’s Semi-Serious Anarchism part the first and part the second.

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.

Rad Geek Speaks: “Ask An Anarchist!” THURSDAY, at the Vegas Anarchist Cafe. Las Vegas, Nevada, 1 April 2010, 6:00pm

This week, at the Vegas Anarchist Cafe — specifically, THURSDAY, 1 April 2010Vegas ALL will be sponsoring a special Ask An Anarchist! event with ALLy Charles Johnson. Ask An Anarchist! is a freewheeling Q&A session, where A-Cafers, guests, the anarcho-curious and anyone interested in a conversation about the idea of a stateless society, all get the chance to fire away with any question they care to ask about Anarchy, Anarchism, or Anarchists. As our handbill puts it:

re you curious to learn more about Anarchy, Anarchism, or Anarchists? Have you got questions about Anarchist ideas, the history of Anarchism, how Anarchism has affected mainstream culture, Anarchist solutions to contemporary social problems, or how Anarchists believe that a free society would work without government? Want to know whether the picture of Anarchism that you’ve gotten from the mainstream culture is accurate or based on misconceptions? Want to try and stump an Anarchist? Bring all your burning questions this Thursday, and our speaker will do his best to answer any question you care to ask. Come on in and fire away!

This event is for anyone curious about the ideas of philosophical Anarchism, or interested in conversation. All are welcome to attend.

The Q&A session will run from 6–7pm. An informal meet-up and discussion will follow from 7–8pm. f you’re in the Vegas area (or even if you’re not), it’d be great to see you there. If you know anyone around abouts who might be interested in a talk about Anarchism, or a chance to find out more, then please do forward the announcement on to them.

  • WHAT: Ask An Anarchist! Q&A with Vegas ALLy Charles Johnson.

  • WHERE: Weekly Anarchist Cafe at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Running Rebel Plaza (4550 S. Maryland Pkwy, right across the street from UNLV), Las Vegas, Nevada

  • WHEN: This Thursday, 1 April 2010, 6:00pm – 7:00pm. The regular A-Cafe informal meet-up and discussion will continue after the talk, from about 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

  • WHO: Anyone curious about the ideas of Anarchism, or interested in conversation.

Hope to see y’ALL there!

See also:

The Revolution Will Be On YouTube (Cont’d): Darian Worden, “Libertarians Are Left” at Alternatives Expo

The Alternatives Expo is an agorist confab, marketplace, and series of workshops that’s held in parallel to Liberty Forum. (It’s actually where I spent the majority of time while I was in New Hampshire.) Here’s one of the talks I had the pleasure to attend, from New Jersey ALLy (and all-around rad dude) Darian Worden, talking about libertarianism as a form of radical Leftism:

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 1)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 2)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 3)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 4)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 5)

Limited-time offer

(Via a private correspondent.)

If you hope to be officially recognized as an enemy of the state of South Carolina (as per South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29), you’d best move quick and make sure you send in your notice that you directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina, or any political division thereof. You may be running out of time.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In South Carolina, any group that plans to overthrow the federal government — or any other government in the U.S. — must register its activities.

It’s the law.

Now some state legislators are looking to repeal it.

State Sen. Larry Martin said Monday the 1951 McCarthy-era statute that’s meant to deter communists is one more thing making South Carolina look bad, since bloggers and talk radio picked up on it last month. A misconception spread that the statute, on the books for nearly six decades, had only recently become law.

[…] His bill to repeal it comes up for debate this week in a Senate panel.

The “subversive activities registration act” requires any group that advocates overthrowing local, state or federal governments to pay $5 and register the group’s name, its leader’s address, beliefs, all members living in South Carolina and check yes or no to the following: “Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government?”

[…] Until February, no one had registered, said Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

Now, about 10 have filed, apparently in jest, as political commentary. Two actually paid the fee, according to his office.

Seanna Adcox, Associated Press (2010-03-01): SC bill would get rid of filing law for terrorists

I’m glad to be one of the 10, but if they think that my letter was meant in jest, then they have certainly misunderstood my intent. I certainly do intend to overthrow the government of South Carolina by means that are against the so-called laws passed by that government. For real. And I really don’t mind if they know it; hence the letter. (If it had any ulterior intent, it was not primarily to make a joke; it was to encourage other people to speak and act like that there’s nothing really wrong with saying that you want to overthrow tyrannical governments. Because there’s not. Tyrannical governments ought to be overthrown.)

In any case: I expect it’s likely that they are going to try to move quickly to save face, and go back to simply presuming popular acquiescence to their rule. If you want to be honored with official recognition as an enemy of the arbitrary governments over the state of South Carolina, the United States of America, and all the local political regiments that they have inflicted without consent on the people of South Carolina, you’d best get those letters sent in quickly, before the opportunity passes.

While we’re on the subject:

Our organization is in fact so dastardly that we have refused to remit the fee, writes someone claiming to represent the Las Vegas-based Alliance of the Libertarian Left.

Seanna Adcox, Associated Press (2010-03-01): SC bill would get rid of filing law for terrorists

Speaking as the someone in question, I’d like to say for the record that the Alliance of the Libertarian Left is not based in Las Vegas. I’m based in Las Vegas, but A.L.L. is all over the place, and has no Politburo and no national or international office to be based anywhere.

Hope this helps.

See also:

The present anarchy of our commerce (cont’d)

So, here is the latest on the Alliance of the Libertarian Left at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair.

First — I’d like to give a big shout-out to the three very generous donors who chipped in to cover all of the costs for the table registration fee and the shoestring-budget travel expenses from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Thank you! You’re awesome. Seriously.

Second. Along with the selection of booklets and buttons that we had at last year’s Bay Area bookfair, and last month’s bookfair in L.A., James Tuttle from Tulsa ALL will be bringing along some new literature from ALL and from Corvus. And Southern Nevada ALL will be bringing along a passle of new literature, including four new Market Anarchy Series zines and several new button designs. If you’re curious, or interested, we’ve added the new items to our distro page. If you need some literature and merchandise for your ALL local, or just want to pick some up for yourself, check it out — everything’s available either as an individual item or for discounted bulk orders. It’s a great way to get the word out; also a way that you can pick up some solid left-libertarian materials while helping us defray the costs of supplies and printing for the Bookfair.

Here’s a sampler of the new booklets and buttons we’ve got in at the Distro.

Market Anarchy #13: Libertarianism Through Thick and Thin

Charles Johnson (2008)

(Specially commissioned by James Tuttle of Tulsa ALL.)

Government is Violence / think Anarchy for consensual alternatives [ALL] (1.5″)

Market Anarchy #14: Libertarian Feminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved

Roderick Long and Charles Johnson (2005)

(Specially commissioned by James Tuttle of Tulsa ALL.)

Deporten a La Migra! [ALL] (1.5″)

The Best of BAD Press: Tracts in Individualist Anarchism 1986–1999

BAD Press (2001)

i don’t pay war taxes [ALL] (1.5″)

MA15: Property to the People! Expropriate the Expropriators!

Where Are The Specifics? Karl Hess (1969)

NO BORDERS / NO STATE [ALL] (1.5″)

MA16: Liberty, Equality, Solidarity

Charles Johnson (2008)

(Specially commissioned by James Tuttle of Tulsa ALL. Ships on or after March 1, 2010.)

The General Strike

Ralph Chaplin 1933)

(Produced and distributed by Southern Nevada ALL for an ad hoc organizing committee of the IWW in Las Vegas.)

Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities

Timothy C. May (1994)

Market Anarchy Zine Series: full print run

16 Market Anarchy zines for $1500

I’d like to take special note of a couple new items in the Market Anarchy series . There is, first, the most recent issue (#15), which is a reprinting of Karl Hess’s Where Are The Specifics?. For those of you familiar with Rothbard’s (in)famous Confiscation and the Homestead Principle (already part of the Market Anarchy series, as Market Anarchy #1: All Power to the Soviets!), this is the article by Hess that Rothbard was riffing on when he wrote that essay. (The two were first published together in a single issue of Libertarian Forum, along with a polemic against the government assault on People’s Park.) Since the two are of a set, to go along with All Power to the Soviets! I gave the Hess booklet the title Property to the People! Expropriate the Expropriators! Hess’s article is shorter than Rothbard’s, and raises a lot more questions where Rothbard aims for a specific answer (Hess asks what would become of General Motors in a free society; Rothbard tries to answer the question). But it’s notable, among other things, for Hess’s shout-out to militant reclaim-the-land movements in the Southwest U.S. / northeast Aztlan, and for the really excellent programmatic statements at the beginning, on the difference between the defense of individual property and freed-markets, on the one hand, and apologetics for actually-existing property claims and the typical business practices of state capitalists, on the other.

And, second, there is the upcoming issue (#16), which is — at long last — a reprint of my essay Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism, which will be freely available for reprinting with attribution at the end of February 2010. (As a result, the booklet ships on March 1 at the earliest.) It used to cost somewhere between $60 and $80 to get a printed copy of the essay; come March, it can be yours in an attractive booklet edition for only $1.75. The essay ranges pretty widely, from the anarchist case against limited government to radical equality to the interconnection of struggles and thick conceptions of libertarianism to individualist anarchist engagements with radical feminism, the labor movement, and the great capitalist conflation controversy. Thus: The purpose of this essay is political revolution. And I don’t mean a “revolution” in libertarian political theory, or a revolutionary new political strategy, or the kind of “revolution” that consists in electing a cadre of new and better politicians to the existing seats of power. When I say a “revolution,” I mean the real thing: I hope that this essay will contribute to the overthrow of the United States government, and indeed all governments everywhere in the world. You might think that the argument of an academic essay is a pretty slender reed to lean on; but then, every revolution has to start somewhere, and in any case what I have in mind may be somewhat different from what you imagine. For now, it will be enough to say that I intend to give you some reasons to become an individualist anarchist, and undermine some of the arguments for preferring minimalist government to anarchy. In the process, I will argue that the form of anarchism I defend is best understood from what Chris Sciabarra has described as a dialectical orientation in social theory, as part of a larger effort to understand and to challenge interlocking, mutually reinforcing systems of oppression, of which statism is an integral part—but only one part among others. Not only is libertarianism part of a radical politics of human liberation, it is in fact the natural companion of revolutionary Leftism and radical feminism.

(This booklet edition of Liberty, Equality, Solidarity was, incidentally, made possible by a generous commission from James Tuttle of Tulsa ALL.)

Anyway. If you’re there at the Bookfair, these items and some others will be out on the table for you to check out. If circumstances force you to be square rather than there, they are all available now through the Southern Nevada ALL Agitprop & Artwork Distro.

Enjoy!

Civic duties

In which I write a letter to elected officials.

So by now you may be familiar with South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29, the state law that requires all organizations who directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing, or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina, or any political division thereof, to register their activities with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Now that I’ve been informed of the law, here are the contents of the letter that I wrote and dropped in the U.S. postal service today, addressed to Mark Hammond, arbitrary Secretary of State over South Carolina.

Secretary of State Mark Hammond
P.O. Box 11350
Columbia, SC 29211

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you today as a member of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left, a subversive organization advocating the duty, the necessity, and the propriety of overthrowing the governments of the United States and of the state of South Carolina by unlawful means – as we advocate the duty, the necessity, and the propriety of overthrowing all forms of government at every level throughout the world. As advocates of the doctrine of Anarchism and the strategy of counter-economics, we specifically reject legalized methods of changing government policy, such as government elections and legislative lobbying, and we advocate the deliberate use of illegal tactics such as civil disobedience, and nonviolent direct action in defiance of unjust laws, as our preferred means of bringing about the dissolution of all government into the economic organism.

Members of the A.L.L., both anonymous and open, operate in many states, including in South Carolina. We are actively engaged in attempts to influence political action in the state of South Carolina – specifically, by aiming to stop any political action at all from being inflicted upon the people of South Carolina. We reside and transact business within the territorial boundaries claimed by the state of South Carolina; we are in your neighborhoods and we are in your business districts. We may even be in your homes; have you checked under the beds and in the closets?

I believe that our doctrines and activities qualify us as an officially recognized subversive organization, as described in South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29.

Please consider this our notice of subversive activities; I would be honored if you would add our organization to your registry of organizations working for the overthrow of government in South Carolina. All government is, after all, nothing more than an absurdity, a usurpation, and a crime, inflicted on the vast majority of peaceful people, without their consent, by the dictation of a select few men who have neither the wisdom, nor the virtue, nor the right to presume to rule over anyone other than themselves. It has always been the most deadly tool of oppressors and exploiters, as the past victims of South Carolina’s government, from the Stono rebels to Denmark Vesey to the 35 victims of the Orangeburg Massacre have known all to well. When belligerence and inhumanity prevail, the peaceful and the humane must find honor in being categorized as the enemies of the prevailing order. Please keep me updated as to the status of our registration. I look forward to hearing back from you as to our official recognition as enemies of your state and its government.

Sincerely,
Charles Johnson

PS. I am told that there is a processing fee in the amount of $5.00 for the registration of a subversive organization. Our organization is in fact so dastardly that we have refused to remit the fee.

All the great governments of the world - those now existing, as well as those that have passed away - have been of this character. They have been mere bands of robbers, who have associated for purposes of plunder, conquest, and the enslavement of their fellow men. And their laws, as they have called them, have been only such agreements as they have found it necessary to enter into, in order to maintain their organizations, and act together in plundering and enslaving others, and in securing to each his agreed share of the spoils. All these laws have had no more real obligation than have the agreements which brigands, bandits, and pirates find it necessary to enter into with each other, for the more successful accomplishment of their crimes, and the more peaceable division of their spoils. – Mr. Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, or the Science of Justice.

I’ll keep you advised as to how the process goes.