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.
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.
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
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
||Bulk Distribution Packets
|No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
|Anarchist Classics Zine Series
Delivered each month
||Bulk Distribution Packets
|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!