Posts tagged Labortarian

Welcome, Reasoners

Since my article on the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Walmart, and alt-labor is appearing this morning at Reason.com, a fair number of y’all passing by may be readers who are more or less new to the blog.

Shared Article from Reason.com

Free-Market Labor Wins Wage-Boost Victory

Economic liberty shouldn’t simply assume a pro-business stance, or discuss only the privileges government extends to unions.

Charles W. Johnson @ reason.com


So–welcome! I’m Charles W. Johnson; often, I write online under the handle Rad Geek. (Not because I’m trying to hide who I am, but because it suits me, and because sometimes it helps me avoid being confused with some folks I am not.) I’m an individualist anarchist, living in Alabama. I write this blog, I co-edited (together with Gary Chartier) the left-wing market anarchist anthology, Markets Not Capitalism (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia: 2011). I write occasional columns for libertarian and anarchist outlets including The Freeman, Reason.com, Free Voices, and The Industrial Radical. I publish a lot of small-press anarchist and left-libertarian literature through the Distro of the Libertarian Left. If you’re new to the blog here, and trying to get oriented, here’s some things you might find interesting to read, which will give you some broad idea of where I’m coming from, and what I care about.

I’ve written a lot over the years about the C.I.W., both basic event coverage of some of their main campaigns, and also a fair amount of my own commentary on what I take to be the significance of their use of social protest and state-free, market-based methods in their activism.[1] If you’ve come here from the article and you want to read more about the C.I.W. or the context of its campaigns, I have some links, both to my own writing and also to a number of other sources that I consulted while preparing the column on the recent Walmart victory. Those are at the bottom of the post, though, so feel free to scroll right down past the following, which is mostly just orientation on me and where I’m coming from.

Speaking generally, I am a market anarchist: I am radically opposed to any invasion of economic liberty and to the state as such, and I am in favor of freed markets, free exchange, voluntary association, open competition and individual ownership of property. But, unlike many pro-capitalist libertarians, I argue that one of the likely and important features of freed markets is their tendency to cut against socioeconomic inequalities, to provide a space for economic alternatives to status-quo corporate capitalism, and to undermine and replace traditional top-down firms or employer-employee relationships. The kind of things I believe are often called free market anticapitalism or left-wing market anarchism. For more on what I mean by all that, and why I believe it:

I also think that rambunctious nonviolent social activism, worker-owned enterprises and radical labor unions, based on voluntary association without government privilege, and an anti-authoritarian culture of worker solidarity, are all an important part of a flourishing free market.

Since Walmart is at the center of the story, I should say that, while I am immensely pleased to see Walmart signing an agreement for the Fair Food Program, I think that many of the common criticisms of Walmart’s business model, exploitative labor practices, and economic dominance are justified, and that I would be quite happy in general to see Walmart constantly confronted and challenged with some really vigorous and uncompromising competition, social criticism and alt-labor organizing and activism. I say this not because I object to business, or to low prices, or whatever, but because I object to highly centralized state-capitalist business models that depend on, and heavily exploit, corporate welfare, eminent domain, and other favors from corporatist local governments.

More broadly, much of my writing on economic questions aims to focus attention on the relationship between the economic privileges granted by the State, class, poverty, and corporate power.

I am an Anarchist. I don’t care about smaller government, or limited government, or about Constitutions, or about electing libertarian candidates to political office. I am the farthest thing possible from a conservative. I believe in abolishing the State as such, and in doing so through the practice of education, solidarity, and direct action.

As an Anarchist, and as a human being, I am utterly and irreconcilably opposed to all forms of government warfare.

I believe that the nationalistic violence of the warfare State is closely linked with the paramilitary patrols, police state, and nationalistic violence of government border controls — which are nothing other than international apartheid. See for example:

I also believe that the violence of the U.S. government’s imperial military abroad is closely linked with the repressive violence of (increasingly militarized) paramilitary police forces within the U.S. See for example:

And as a feminist I think that the violence of men’s wars and of men’s law enforcement are closely linked with the violent ideals of masculinity and patriarchy that men are brought up with in our society. For more, see:

I’m against all forms of Intellectual Property restrictions, which represent not genuine forms of property, but a grant of monopoly privileges over the minds of other people — which I view both as tyrannical in themselves and also as immensely, lethally destructive in the effects of the coercive monopolies that they grant:

Thanks for coming on down; I hope you stay a while, do some reading, and enjoy the blog. So, come, let us Reason together . . . .

Further reading on C.I.W., the Fair Food Program and Alt-Labor

As I mentioned, I’ve been following the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Fair Food Program for over a decade now. Here are some other articles that I’ve written on C.I.W.:

And here are a bunch of things that other people have written, which I consulted at some point or another recently while preparing my column, and which you might find useful as elaboration, context or backdrop about C.I.W., the Fair Food campaign and the creative activism used to win it, or the development and direction of alt-labor groups in general.

  1. [1]Full disclosure: besides having written frequently about the C.I.W., many years ago I was also indirectly involved in setting up an organizing workshop for C.I.W. that led to an impromptu radical cheerleading picket at our local Taco Bell in Auburn.

Monday Lazy Linking

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<li><p><a href="http://aaeblog.com/2011/05/28/groves-of-luxury-and-idleness/">Groves of Luxury and Idleness? Roderick, <cite>Austro-Athenian Empire</cite> (2011-05-28)</a>. <q>As is so often the case with right-wing critics of academia – even, or perhaps especially, those who are academics themselves (and so, perhaps, often brimming with resentment against their mostly left-wing colleagues?) – retiring sociology professor David Rubinstein, in his recent piece in The Weekly Standard, offers what I...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-05-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://aaeblog.com/2011/05/26/imagine-no-taxation/">Imagine No Taxation. Roderick, <cite>Austro-Athenian Empire</cite> (2011-05-26)</a>. <q>The following letter appeared in today’s Opelika-Auburn News: To the Editor: Charlotte Ward asks us to imagine a world without taxes. (“Don’t like taxes? Imagine a world without these services,” Tuesday.) Okay, let’s try. What would it be like? True, the government wouldn’t be able to provide its services any...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-05-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://aaeblog.com/2011/05/24/the-atrocity-of-hope-part-15-toward-a-new-radicalism/">The Atrocity of Hope, Part 15: Toward a New Radicalism. Roderick, <cite>Austro-Athenian Empire</cite> (2011-05-23)</a>. <q>Chris Hedges on corporate liberalism: The pillars of the liberal establishment – the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party – all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-05-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://libertarian-labyrinth.blogspot.com/2011/05/manifesto-of-sixteen-1916.html">The Manifesto of the Sixteen (1916) Shawn P. Wilbur, <cite>Two-Gun Mutualism &amp; the Golden Rule</cite> (2011-05-25)</a>. <q>[Here is a translation of the controversial "Manifesto of the Sixteen," the document issued by Peter Kropotkin, Jean Grave and others, advocating support for the Allies and opposition to Germany in World War I. I had promised this to members of the Anarchist Task Force on Wikipedia quite awhile back,...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-05-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://cyganeria-masha.blogspot.com/2011/05/whoever-does-not-affirm-at-some-time.html">*&quot;Whoever does not affirm at some time the. Masha, <cite>Cyganeria</cite> (2011-05-23)</a>. <q>"Whoever does not affirm at some time the definite..terribleness of life, never takes possession of the unutterable powers of our existence; he merely walks at the edge; and when the decision is made eventually, he will have been neither one of the living nor one of the dead."~RilkeI know many...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-05-29.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://act.credoaction.com/comics/2011/05/the-slow-boil/">The slow boil. admin, <cite>This Modern World</cite> (2011-05-26)</a>.  <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-05-29.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/16/food-nullification-the-sequel">Food Nullification: The Sequel. <cite>Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts.</cite> (2011-05-29)</a>. The War on the Informal Sector (Cont'd). <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-05-29.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2011/05/revisionist-history-day-2011.html">Revisionist History Day, 2011. Sheldon Richman, <cite>Free Association</cite> (2011-05-29)</a>. <q>Today is Revisionist History Day, what others call Memorial Day. Americans are supposed to remember the country's war dead while being thankful that they protected our freedom and served our country. However, reading revisionist history (see a sampling below) or alternative news sites (start with Antiwar.com and don't forget to...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-05-29.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1969">alternatively, why would i add you after only meeting you once?  what sort of dark magic is this. <cite>Dinosaur Comics</cite> (2011-05-27)</a>. <q>archive - contact - sexy exciting merchandise - cute - search - about← previousMay 27th, 2011nextMay 27th, 2011: This weekend I'm getting my first tattoo. Which tattoo? I'll give you a hint: it's one of the tattoos mentioned here. :0– Ryan</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-05-29.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.copblock.org/4850/columbia-swat-team-kills-dog-during-drug-raid-again/">Columbia SWAT team kills dog during drug raid — again. Dr. Q, <cite>Gangsters in Blue</cite> (2011-05-28)</a>. <q>One of the most widely watched police brutality videos from last year showed members of the Columbia Police Department’s SWAT team breaking into a man’s home in the middle of the night, shooting his two dogs, terrorizing him and his family, and finally arresting him for a tiny amount of...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-05-29.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.copblock.org/4813/d-mccarthy-stalks-libertyontour-com-again/">D. McCarthy Stalks LibertyOnTour.com – Again. Ademo Freeman, <cite>Gangsters in Blue</cite> (2011-05-27)</a>. <q>Originally posted at LibertyOnTour.com On our last day in Greenfield Beau and I headed to the local gas station to pick up a few things. On our way there we witnessed Daniel McCarthy, a member of the Greenfield police, make an illegal U-turn and park near our location. As we...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2011-05-30.)</em></p></li>

Friday Lazy Linking

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<li><p><a href="http://aaeblog.com/2011/03/16/class-dismissed/">Class Dismissed? Roderick, <cite>Austro-Athenian Empire</cite> (2011-03-16)</a>. <q>David Friedman writes: Looking through your essay “Left-Libertarianism, Class Conflict, and Historical Theories of Distributive Justice,” I was struck by what seems to me to be a problem with what you describe as “libertarian class theory.” You write: “Recipients of tax-funded welfare won’t be assigned to the parasitic class either,...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Wednesday 2011-03-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comments/g4udc/at_the_end_of_the_day_who_the_fuck_cares_if/">At the end of the day who the fuck cares if Intellectual Property encourages creativity or not? Censorship is censorship, full stop. You don't get to own my thoughts, experiences, memories or communications. <cite>reddit: the voice of the internet -- news before it happens</cite> (2011-03-15)</a>. <q>I'm so pissed at the rhetorical retreating we've done over the last decade. I'm sick of every argument over IP immediately turning into a debate over methods of remuneration. Is there anything on earth more infuriatingly privileged than a technocrat or bourgeois artist whining that no price is too small...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Wednesday 2011-03-16.)</em></p></li>

Monday Lazy Linking

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<li><p><a href="http://aaeblog.com/2010/11/26/lanes-forgotten-writings-on-race/">Lane’s Forgotten Writings on Race. Roderick, <cite>Austro-Athenian Empire</cite> (2010-11-25)</a>. <q>Among libertarians, Rose Wilder Lane is best known as the author of the libertarian classics The Discovery of Freedom and Give Me Liberty. Outside of the libertarian movement, she is known – if at all – as the at least partial ghostwriter of her mother Laura Ingalls Wilder’s popular Little...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Friday 2010-11-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://twitter.com/diveintomark/statuses/7411135338782722">Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, &quot;I know, I&#39;ll give up Freedom 0.&quot; Now they have two problems. Mark Pilgrim, <cite>Mark&#39;s Firehose</cite> (2010-11-24)</a>.  <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Friday 2010-11-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=8e6c1bdb45a2c2e4e89fccf3fc3f9ba1">Protecting Your Home From Afar With a Robot. By PETER WAYNER, <cite>NYT &gt; Personal Tech</cite> (2010-11-10)</a>. <q>Wi-Fi-equipped robots can be operated remotely to protect a home. Some can even be modified to detect fire and carry an extinguisher.</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-11-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/the-therapeutic-state/the-illegitimacy-of-the-%E2%80%9Cpsychiatric-bible%E2%80%9D/">The Illegitimacy of the “Psychiatric Bible” Thomas S. Szasz M.D., <cite>The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty</cite> (2010-11-24)</a>. <q>“Mental health experts ask: Will anyone be normal?” So read the title of a July 27 Reuters report. The “experts” warned that the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), scheduled for publication in 2013, “could mean that soon no-one will be classed as normal....</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-11-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://darianworden.com/blog/2010/11/ge-the-tsa-by-the-balls/">Get The TSA By The Balls. DarianW, <cite>DarianWorden.com</cite> (2010-11-25)</a>. <q>I participated in a WeWontFly pamphlet distribution event at Newark Airport last night. It was organized by NJ Libertarian Party activists. Although everything went smoothly the terminal we were at was not very busy at the time of the event. TSA is engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to discredit...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-11-28.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://permakent.com/2010/11/24/jay-snelson-at-khctf-in-oc/">Jay Stuart Snelson in OC at KHCTF. PermaKent, <cite>PermaKent Permaculture Ideas of J. Kent Hastings</cite> (2010-11-24)</a>. <q>A NEW Orange County, CA Supperclub! THE Karl Hess Community Technology Forum A PROJECT OF THE RESILIENT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION The Resilient Community Foundation (“Rescomm.org”) is pleased to present Jay Stuart Snelson at the inaugural meeting of the Karl Hess Community Technology Forum. Mr. Snelson is a California native, UCLA graduate...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2010-11-29.)</em></p></li>

Friday Lazy Linking

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<li><p><a href="http://aaeblog.com/2010/09/30/how-inequality-shapes-our-lives-part-3/">How Inequality Shapes Our Lives, Part 3. Roderick, <cite>Austro-Athenian Empire</cite> (2010-09-30)</a>. <q>Bryan Caplan has replied to my reply to his reply to my inequality post. Others have weighed in as well; see David Heinrich, Jason Sorens, and Libérale et libertaire. I plan to address those too; but let me focus on Bryan’s latest reply for now. In his first reply, Bryan...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-09-30.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://eyeofthestorm.blogs.com/eye_of_the_storm/2010/09/so-msnbc-is-doing-their-little-educational-summit-so-that-everyone-can-come-and-express-their-agreement-with-arne-dun.html">so msnbc is doing their little educational summit so that. Captain Capitulation, <cite>eye of the storm</cite> (2010-09-28)</a>. <q>so msnbc is doing their little educational summit so that everyone can come and express their agreement with arne duncan, showing our commitment to america&#39;s future by uttering the same cliches in unison. colin and alma powell were on, and expressed the basic insight that the key to education in a...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-09-30.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://eyeofthestorm.blogs.com/eye_of_the_storm/2010/09/if-i-were-going-to-seewaiting-for-supermani-think-i-would-need-to-see-it-alonemy-reaction-is-likely-to-be-severe-and-no-on.html">if i were going to see waiting for superman, i think i would. Captain Capitulation, <cite>eye of the storm</cite> (2010-09-30)</a>. <q>if i were going to see waiting for superman, i think i would need to see it alone. my reaction is likely to be severe, and no one i know even vaguely agrees with any of my positions on these things. everyone operates from within the same set of assumptions. barack and bush&#39;s positions...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-09-30.)</em></p></li>