Secondly, preparations continue for my appearance to present Women and the Invisible Fist, and to represent the Molinari Institute at the the Radical Philosophy Association conference on Violence: Systemic, Symbolic, and Foundational in Eugene, Oregon. I’ve been working over the paper for its final form before the presentation. If you’re interested in seeing a copy when it’s ready, just drop me a line and I’ll make sure you get one. In the meantime, I’d like to send out a big thank you to the folks who have generously contributed $40 to Molinari to help cover the costs of getting me to Oregon. The point is—thanks, y’all are awesome. If you, too, would like to help me reach the Willamette Valley and support libertarian contributions to radical scholarship, check out the announcement post, or toss a few coins into the hat right here:
Anyway, so that’s me. How about you? What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.
 I’m not familiar with Payne’s previous work, but this article is a really nice reminder about government’s direct role in ecologically toxic mass insecticide spraying — often without the consent, or without even informing, property owners whose land was being poisoned from the air. ↩
 Mostly footnote work right now, but if you’ve read one of my papers before, you know that the way I write, damn, the footnotes are a lot of work; once I finish that, next up is a couple timed readings to make sure that I won’t run over. ↩
 That should cover at least the distance from Independence, Missouri to the Kansas River. If the hunting’s good, and we don’t lose anything crossing the river, and nobody dies of dysentery, it may even last us to Fort Kearny. ↩
The RPA, if you’re not familiar with it, publishes Radical Philosophy Review, puts on conferences of its own, and puts on regular panels at the American Philosophical Association Eastern and Pacific Division meetings, on (engaged) radical philosophizing, critical theory, feminism, postcolonialism, academic Marxism, and the like. As RPA would have it, Founded in 1982, RPA members struggle against capitalism, racism, sexism, homophobia, disability discrimination, environmental ruin, and all other forms of domination. We also oppose substituting new forms of authoritarianism for the ones we are now fighting. … We believe that fundamental change requires broad social upheavals but also opposition to intellectual support for exploitative and dehumanizing social structures. Since this conference’s theme is Violence: Systemic, Symbolic, and Foundational, I figured that the Invisible Fist essay was apropos, and might provide a chance for some interesting Left / Left-Libertarian engagement and dialogue. Since the program committee seems to agree, I will be there representing the Molinari Institute. If you happen to be around southern Cascadia next month, here’s my panel. It’d be great to see you there:
University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon Conference Program available online
V-E: A Culture of Violence Against Women
Friday, November 12th 2010, 3:45–5:15pm
Rouge Room, Erb Memorial Union
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Chair: Gertrude Postl, Suffolk County Community College
Christa Hodapp, University of Kentucky. Identity Through Destruction
Charles Johnson, Molinari Institute. Women and the Invisible Fist
Jacob Held, University of Central Arkansas. Revisiting MacKinnon via Rae Langton: Pornography as Illocutionary Disablement and Civil Suits as a Means to Enfranchise the Silent Majority
I can’t speak for the others; but here’s my abstract. (If you’ve read the post with a similar title, you’ll already have a general idea; but there’ve been some changes, and like all academic enterprises, this one needs a tl;dr summary.)
When feminist theorists challenge the common dichotomies of pervasive private crimes from public policy, and of personal problems from political struggles against oppression, antifeminist critics often treat the challenge to this distinction as if it were a simple replacement of the private with a conventional understanding of the political – treating feminist analyses of patriarchy as little different from the use of conspiracy theories to explain the prevalence of male violence. I argue that, contrary to these canonical misunderstandings, the central insights of feminist analysis of patriarchal violence may be articulated with help from a surprising source – the work of radical libertarian social theorists, in particular the Austrian free-market economist Friedrich Hayek. Using philosophical analysis and critique to charitably reconstruct Susan Brownmiller’s “Myrmidon theory” of stranger-rape, as presented in Against Our Will, in light of Hayek’s conception of social order as importantly structured by emergent “spontaneous orders” which are “results of human activity but not of human design,” I argue that the dialogue provides critical terms to articulate the radical feminist critique of rape culture, while also claiming and importantly enriching the concept of “spontaneous order” as a tool for radical social critique. When this analytic reconstruction is supplemented with a discussion of recent empirical data on the pervasiveness of rape, drawn from social-science and public health literature on male violence against women, it reveals a distinctive picture that should be of prime importance both to radical feminists and to serious libertarians: a pervasive, diffuse threat of violence that constrains the liberty of women in everyday life to move and act and live as they want, but which, unlike the kinds of State violence which male radicals are accustomed to discussing — modes of domination handed down according to explicit State policies, ratified through political processes, promulgated from the top down and consciously carried out by officially appointed or deputized agents of the State — expresses itself instead in attitudes, behaviors, and coercive restrictions that are largely produced by bottom-up, decentralized forms of violence without conscious collaboration or conspiracy, sometimes in conflict with the explicit provisions of the law, in which women are battered into the social position they currently occupy as if by an invisible fist. I conclude that this unexpected convergence of Brownmiller and Hayek provides (1) a mutually illuminating dialogue on methodology in radical social theory and analytical understandings of structural violence, (2) a surprising synthesis of radical critiques of the construction of identity with radical critiques of domination through the state, and (3) an opportunity to ramify and radicalize understanding of both the feminist insight that “the personal is political,” and the Hayekian insight that society is structured by emergent orders that are “results of human activity but not of human design.”
Interested? It’d be great to see you there. And, if you’re interested in supporting radical libertarian academic work, left / left-libertarian engagement, and the occasional quixotic effort to repurpose Hayekian economics for the purposes of individualist anarchist and radical feminist social theory, then you may also be interested to know that I’m raising some money on behalf of Molinari to help the Institute cover the costs of getting me out to the conference. The budget is also attached, for the curious.
Round-trip from LAS to EUG
3 nights at conference rate
Transport to & from airport
Meanwhile, I’m going to be in Eugene, Oregon and its immediate environs — I will probably also make at least one trip up to Corvallis, if I have the time — for a few days a month for now. Of course, I’ve been hearing all about Eugene all my damn life as an activist; but I’ve never made it out there yet. So, any suggestions on places to go (bookstores, infoshops, eateries, local sights), or people to meet? (How about you, gentle reader, if you’re in the area?) If so, drop a line in the comments!
 If the Marxians won’t come to Molinari, then I guess Molinari must go to the Marxians. ↩
 All contributions go to the Molinari Institute, with an earmark noting that it’s for the RPA presentation; any proceeds above and beyond actual costs will go towards our slush-fund for future awesome left-libertarian academic engagements. ↩
Michelle Schreiner is a diabetic and her blood sugar was dangerously low, so a friend called 911. For some reason, dispatch sent a police officer as well as paramedics to her Gresham, Oregon, home. When they got there, Schreiner was holding a syringe filled with insulin and drifting in and...
IQSN, L.A. I.M.C. (2009-05-27): Solidarity with Queer Bulgaria on 27 June 2009. A day of international actions in solidarity with the LGBTQ Pride march in Sofia, Bulgaria. Last year’s march was attacked by neo-Nazi groups who decided to Keep Our Children Safe with a campaign of roving basher gangs and by slinging molotov cocktails and small explosives at the marchers. International Queer Solidarity Network calls for a European mobilization, with support from the United States, that will stand in solidarity with Queer Bulgaria for this year’s march.
Underground abortion networks in Chile.Feminist Daily News Wire (2009-05-29): Abortion Hotline Launched in Chile. The Chilean government inflicted a categorical abortion ban in 1989. A coalition of pro-choice feminist groups has now launched a phone hotline which gives women information about how to use Misopristol (usually used in the U.S. together with Mifepristone; in Chile it’s legally available to treat ulcers) to give themselves safe DIY medical abortions in defiance of the law.
On free-market mutualism and open source solutions to the social question.Jesse Walker, Hit & Run (2009-05-27): Mutual Aid: A Factor in Cyberspace. (As for whether the wordsocialism is the best tag for the kind of mutualist projects under discussion, I reckon that it depends on your intended audience. I use it happily, but then, my intent in doing so is deliberately provocative, as is my use of freed market language around anti-authoritarian Leftists: given the right audience, you can pull some philosophical aikido by using a term’s very unpopularity in order to provoke a conversation about some fundamental premises.)
A Loatian American teen protested No Child Left Behind and Won.Mandy Van Deven, ColorLines: She Said No To The Test. In which a second-generation Laotian-American who speaks, reads, and writes fluent English and graduated 7th in her class was declared illiterate by school officials for refusing to retake a basic English-proficiency test that she’d already aced — and how she and her fellow students protested and won.
On neuro-jargon as modern mumbo-jumbo.Crispin Sartwell, eye of the storm (2009-05-31)[…] the problem is that these approaches work backwards from social categories to neurology and enshrine momentary social formations, which are essentially created by power, as inescapable bio-destinies. the entire scientificness of the thing is usually presented in a few phrases - ‘medial prefrontal cortex,’ say - which function essentially as authorities: they’re supposed to show you that you’re too ignorant to assess what’s being said, to put the actual ethical/political/economic conclusions beyond the realm of disagreement, to flummox you into nodding vaguely along. if you don’t, you must be a dolt. they function like phrases from the koran or something. they actually do no work except to assert a kind of prestige. […]
The Conservative (Hive) Mind.Will Wilkinson’s The rise of collectivist conservatives is right-on in almost every respect, particularly in emphasizing how belligerent nationalism (I’d add sadistic law-n-orderism and anti-immigrationism) poison any attempt by the pseudopopulist Right to come out with a consistently individualistic position. Towards the end, Will asks Conservatism must stand for something. But here’s the big question: Can a politics of individual freedom be revived? Can it win elections? As you may know, I’m an optimist about the first question, a pessimist about the second, and mainly concerned that people realize that the two are importantly distinct. If you want to know why the substance of Beck’s politics is so much like the substance of Brooks’s politics, underneath the pseudoindividualist rhetoric, well, part of the answer is the structural limitations that you necessarily accept when you start out hitching the success of your political philosophy to victory in government elections.
ALLiance Issue #2 (Beltaine 2009) is now available. Thanks to awesome editor Chris Lempa. This issue features articles by Chris, Darian Worden, Fred Foldvary, Kevin Carson, Michael Kleen, Sharon Presley and Lynn Kinsky.
From Occupied Cascadia, Kyle Burris recently interviewed Portland ALLies Shawn Wilbur and William Gillis for KBOO-FM’s program Radiozine:
Market Anarchism: Government regulation and the financial crisis.
What roll [sic] did government regulation play in the
current financial crisis? Is more regulation what
we really need? What would a truly free market
look like? And is there hope for radical reform,
beyond the failed Marxist model?
KBOO’s Kyle Burris speaks to local anarchist
activist William Gillis, and historian Shawn Wilbur,
about the theory know as Market Anarchism, or
Left Libertarianism. They discuss the roll [sic]
government plays in the current economy, and also
take a historical look at government’s affect on
unions and health care in the US.
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