Marketplace (May 9, 2013): Does fair trade clothing help the consumer and the retailer?: NPR’s Marketplace features a short story on
Fair Tradecertification for clothing, and efforts to address the working conditions in Bangladesh sweatshops. Along the way, there’s a couple quotes from my co-editor on Markets Not Capitalism, Gary Chartier, about the supply-chain practices that many clothing-industry TNCs use to displace responsibility and insulate themselves from accountability for lethal working conditions in their factories.
Cathy Reisenwitz @ Sex And The State (May 15, 2013): Fighting Sexism, Sexily
I’ve long contended that libertarians have a habit of downplaying or denying certain problems when they don’t like the proposed solutions. For example, when people talk about sexism, or the wage gap, it’s common for a libertarian to retort that the wage gap isn’t real, or can be explained by individual choices. I understand this desire to avoid the coercive solutions many people suggest for fighting sexism The thing is, Rothbard was super bothered by a state monopoly on force. We libertarians need to get really bothered by sexism. And then we need to come up with cultural, and not state, solutions.(With an example of creative thinking and guerrilla theater, featuring a cheesecake pin-up poster of Bro-sie the Riveter.)
Marja Erwin (May 2, 2013): Trans Politics and Colonialism: A Few Questions?. Read the whole thing.
Marja Erwin (April 23, 2013): I still think market anarchism has a lot to contribute to the rest of anarchism. This too.
I think it’s important to have a system where people can communicate what they need, and what they want, and what they don’t need, and what they can do to help, and I think it’s important to have systems where people can work things among themselves, if for some reason they can’t work things out through the community or union or federation orgs.(Against all monopolizations of social capital.)
Mark Stoval @ On the Mark (May 7, 2013) claims that he is going to take
A look at Mutualism. In comments, Roderick Long points out that he ought to have looked harder. Or, really, tried looking at any mutualist writing at all, rather than just doing what he seems to have done, which was to scan ahead until he reached a fixed phrase (
labor theory of value,
occupancy and use) that convinced him that he already knows everything that he needs to know about the rest of the book. Nearly everything that Mark claims about Mutualists is a ridiculous travesty of Kevin Carson’s views; and evidence that he knows nothing about Mutualists other than Kevin Carson. But Roderick’s intervention in the comments section is right-on.
Forbes (May 15, 2013): Suit Alleges IRS Improperly Seized 60 Million Personal Medical Records. You know what the worst part of this story is? The part about having an Internal Revenue Service, to surveill daily expenses and seize personal data, all in order to investigate and police tax payments. Seriously, there is no possible way to square that with basic civil liberties, and it ought to be abolished.
BBC (May 6, 2013): Lauryn Hill jailed for tax evasion. Partly this is a story about the government’s tax-policing. Partly it’s a story about the financial traps that are imposed by the structure of state capitalism, and the ways in which tax structures systemically confine people — both very wealthy people, like Hill, and very poor people as well — to high-liquidity, cash-producing business and employment.
The Grammy-winning singer, 37, also faces three months of home confinement, after pleading guilty last year. Hill failed to pay taxes on about $1.8m (£1.2m) of earnings between 2005-07. In a statement to the judge, Hill said she had intended to pay the taxes but could not after withdrawing from public life and ending her music career to raise her children.Free Lauryn Hill and all political prisoners.
I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them,Hill said in court.
I had an economic system imposed on me.
Dominic Gover, International Business Times (May 7, 2013): Lauryn Hill Blames Slavery as She’s Jailed for $500,000 Unpaid Tax Bill. Oh by the way, did I mention that the judge is also forcing Lauryn Hill
to undergo counselling because of her conspiracy theories [sic]as a condition of her plea? Where
political dissent from the status quo.
Jim Epstein @ reason.com (May 7, 2013): Government Assault on the Chinatown Bus Industry Fueled By Bogus Federal Study. In which the government takes care of Greyhound’s competitors for them, using an error-ridden bogus safety study, which uses Greyhound’s own crashes to
provethat their curbside competitors are less safe. The study is like a matryoshka doll of clumsy errors and statistical malpractice; every time you spot them one error and set it aside for the sake of argument, you find another error, just as atrocious as the last one, nested inside of it.
Home School Legal Defense Association (May 14, 2013): German Family Denied Asylum, HSLDA Appeals. The judge’s decision to deny asylum is appalling. From the press release:
The court said that the Romeikes had not made a sufficient case, and that the United States has not opened its doors to every victim of unfair treatment.Well no, no they haven’t. But they say that like it ought to be a problem for the victims of unfair treatment. Actually, it is a problem with the United States, which needs to stop acting as a gatekeeper and get out of the way. It is appalling that any peaceful immigrant should be turned away, for any reason. Solidarity with all people without papers, and all immigrants without status.
Free Adam Kokesh (May 20, 2013): Adam Kokesh Accused of Felony Assault on Federal Officer — No Bail Yet: It looks pretty clearly like he is being held on a vacuous detained-by-will-of-the-cop charge — in this case,
assault on a federal officer— for getting himself shoved by a Federal Officer and then grabbing the arm of the dude who was physically attacking him. His hearing is set for Thursday; in the meantime he is in contact with his attorney but has been denied the opportunity to make phone calls (content warning: Alex Jones links, feh).
DinoGoss (May 11, 2013): The Validity of Lambeosaurus — Anybody Know A Good Lawyer? I Am Not A Taxonomist, but I’m inclined to think that if your system would throw out Lambeosaurus at this point in favor of Didanodon altidens that’s probably a problem with your naming system not a problem with current use of Lambeosaurus.
Lucy Cooke @ Vimeo (February 8, 2013): BUCKET OF SLOTHS. Exactly what it says on the tin.
I am happy to announce that I have been invited to speak at three sessions at the upcoming Libertopia convention, October 11-14, in San Diego, California. In particular, I’m going to be doing:
Part of a panel on so-called Intellectual Property, together with Stephan Kinsella (Saturday October 13, 2012, 2pm-3pm), on the Main Stage.
A breakout session on Ask an Anti-Capitalist! A Freewheeling Q&A on Markets Not Capitalism, Left-Libertarianism, and Mutualist Ends Through Free-Market Means (Sunday October 14, 2012, 9:45am-10:30am).
Part of a panel discussion on Markets Not Capitalism, together with my co-editor Gary Chartier, and contributors Roderick Long and Sheldon Richman. (Sunday October 14, 2012, 3pm-4pm), on the Main Stage.
Tabling in the exhibition area for Markets Not Capitalism, the ALL Distro, and Center for a Stateless Society. We’ll have copies of the book, booklets, pamphlets, buttons, and more; and we’ll be there to talk to convention-goers about free-market anticapitalism and left-libertarian ideas. I’m going to enjoy the talks but in all honesty the person-to-person contact and the tabling is the kind of groundwork that I see as by far the most important stuff, and which I’m most looking forward to doing.
I should mention that the Ask an Anti-Capitalist! session is being held in the John Galt Room, which I’m choosing to take as one of the more hilarious culture-clash moments I’ve had since I started doing this gig. The bad news is that this is scheduled opposite breakout sessions by Gary Chartier on war, and Sharon Presley on libertarian feminism (?!?). I guess the good news is that by packing us in like this, they’ve ensured that no matter what breakout session you go to during that block, you are going to get some lefty libertarian stuff to hear. Anyway, there’s going to be a veritable mob of left-libertarians, free-market anticapitalists, C4SSers and other lefty-friendly commentators there throughout the event, including Gary Chartier, Sheldon Richman, Roderick Long, Stephanie Murphy, not to mention presentations by Angela Keaton, Sharon Presley and Anthony Gregory. You can check out the whole schedule here.
We’re doing our best to do all this on as thin a shoestring budget as possible. I’ve arranged for couch-surfing and carpooling to help keep the travel and lodging expenses as minimal as possible, but there’s still a couple of hefty charges that we’re paying out of pocket to get Markets Not Capitalism and a rambunctious left-libertarian presence out to California. So if you want to help out, you can toss a few coins into the hat with the ChipIn widget below. Donations go to the Molinari Institute, so any proceeds above reimburseable expenses will go to support the production and distribution of market anarchist literature, and towards supporting future speaking gigs for Markets Not Capitalism. Anyway, here’s the shoestring, for reference. (This may be revised as other arrangements get nailed down.)
|$440||Travel. Rental car to ferry me, L., and a friend across the continent to San Diego|
|~$0~||Lodging en route (2 nights there, 2 back; crash space secured!)|
|$400||Tabling space expenses. To reimburse Roderick Long for the expense of securing a table in exhibition space for C4SS, ALL, and Markets Not Capitalism|
(he will otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket)
|$840||Total costs (estimate as of 23 Sep 2012)|
Chip In to get Markets Not Capitalism to Libertopia!
Thanks! And I hope I’ll see y’ALL there!
Here’s some things that have come across my desk this week that I’ve been meaning to post a note about.
Shawn P. Wilbur, La Frondeuse Issues #3 and #4. From Shawn Wilbur:
The Black and Red Feminism zine has been reborn as La Frondeuse [The Troublemaker, or The Anti-Authoritarian.] The name is borrowed from one of Séverine’s collections. Issue 3 features works by Louise Michel, Paule Mink and Séverine. Issue 4 contains works by Jenny d’Héricourt under various pen-names. The name-change comes with a bit of fancy repackaging, and will be retroactive. With just a little luck, the paper edition of La Frondeuse will become the first monthly subscription title from Corvus Editions, starting this fall….
Roderick Long, Three from The Liberator. From Roderick Long:
William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator was the premier abolitionist journal of the antebellum u.s. I’ve just posted three pieces from The Liberator: an anti-voting piece by Garrison, an anti-slavery piece by Lysander Spooner, and a report on an 1858 reform convention.
Fair Use Repository, Now available: The Relation of Anarchism to Organization (1899), by Fred Schulder OK, this one’s by me, so the path of
communicationwas a relatively short one. Still, check it out: a rare individualist anarchist pamphlet from Cleveland, Ohio, printed in 1899. By Fred Schulder, an individualist anarchist noticeably influenced by Tucker, Clarence Swartz, and Henry George. From the Fair Use Blog:
Schulder’s essay is, in any case, an interesting attempt at discussing the possibilities of consensual social organization, and the anti-social, anti-coordinative features of State force, from a framework based on Spencerian evolutionary theory.[More here.]
CAL Press, Modern Slavery #1: From CAL Press:
The first full issue of this journal has now taken half a decade to come to fruition. It’s been a struggle on many fronts to turn the original impulse and idea into reality. But from here on there’s no turning back and we refuse to be stopped! The Modern Slavery project is a direct successor to previous C.A.L. Press projects. These include the magazine Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (published since 1980, and now produced by an independent collective since 2006), the North American Anarchist Review (published for a few years in the ’80s), the Alternative Press Review , and the C.A.L. Press book publishing project . The original idea for this new journal was to provide a space within the libertarian and anarchist milieu for the publication of some of the really important, critical and creative material that has too often fallen into the cracks between what will fit into the inadequate spaces available in libertarian periodicals and what has been publishable in book form. The original concept for Modern Slavery included a roughly 200-page, perfect-bound oversize journal format oriented towards people who enjoy reading and who aren’t afraid to dive into longer texts that are exciting, intelligent and well-written. In order to remove any possibility or appearance of competition with the now separate and independent Anarchy magazine project, the intention was to avoid newsstand distribution, keep the graphic design simple, severely limit artwork and photos, and avoid publishing any material on the shorter side. The planned format was actually intended to be something not yet too far from what you’ll find in this first full issue. However, since the Anarchy collective has recently decided to end its newsstand distribution and shrink its circulation, Modern Slavery will instead seek (limited) newsstand distribution, include more complex graphic design and more artwork and photos, while attempting something more of a balance between longer and shorter contributions in future issues. The changes in direction will probably become more clear as future issues appear.Issue #1 includes articles by Paul Simons, François Gardyn, Henry David Thoreau, Ron Sakolsky, Voltairine de Cleyre, Massimo Passamani, Jason McQuinn, Émile Armand, and the first parts of serialized works by Karen Goaman, Wolfi Landstreicher, and Lang Gore. [More here.]
- InterOccupy: Science & Society Accepting Papers on Anarchism: Theory, Practice, Roots, Current Trends. From andrea @ InterOccupy:
Science & Society is planning a special issue on the broad theme of anarchism, as appearing in both past and present-day political movements. While we expect contributors to innovate and shape their papers according to specific interests and views, we encourage them to contact the Guest Editors (email parameters provided below), so that completeness of coverage can be achieved, and duplication avoided, to the greatest extent possible. We are looking for articles in the 7,000-8,000 word range. Projected publication is Spring 2014, so we would like to have manuscripts in hand by January 2013. Discussion about the project overall, and suggestions concerning content, should begin immediately.Note that, this being Science & Society, the top two suggested topics for contributions are, essentially,
What is it that an understanding of Anarchism can contribute to the confirmation or theoretical development of Marxism?But there are a bunch of other topics that they’re throwing out for consideration in the CFP, and it may well turn out to be an interesting issue. (This being a CFP, whether it’s
interestingfor good, or for ill, is partly up to you….)
DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left, Black Cat Collective’s HQ Taking Shape. From Justin at DFW ALL:
The newly acquired headquarters for the Fort Worth-based mutual aid group the Black Cat Collective is under development. Will Schnack has been helping to organize construction of the group’s headquarters and infoshop in recent weeks. He has also posted photos (pictured above and below) on the group’s Facebook page of the recent progress. This past week, Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry was scheduled to give a workshop at the remodeled premises on the topic of consensus-based decision making.[More here.]
Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair, September 8, 2012. To be held at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, Cali. I’m glad to hear that they are back at Barnsdall Park; this is an absolutely gorgeous location to spend an afternoon. Booksellers and Organizations attending this year have been announced here.
I’ve seen this note that I wrote a while back at ThinkProgress.org popping up here and there on the Internet. I’m glad that people have found it useful. Since it is currently locked up in a horrible Facebook-based dynamically transcluded comment thread thingy, I figured that I would re-copy and re-print here, so that the point, if it was worth making, can have a something of a real home on the Internet. The comment was in reply to a reply to Matt Yglesias’s reply to Roderick Long’s reply to a conversation between Wolf Blitzer and Ron Paul about healthcare policy. Roderick (rightly) thought that Paul’s answer to the questions betrayed a serious mistake about how to think about free-market healthcare. Yglesias (wrongly) thought that Roderick was encouraging libertarians to avoid the important question. A commentator called
ds_at_yglesias chimed in:
If you oppose universal health care, you by definition support letting people who can’t afford health care die.
Most conservatives are socialized to not say such things in public, but of course they believe it.
—ds_at_yglesias, 15 September 2011, 7:39pm
Of course, I don’t give a tinker’s cuss about saving the reputation of political conservatives. But there’s an important conceptual issue for anti-authoritarians. So I replied (emphasis added):
Maybe so. (Certainly, there are plenty of conservatives who are all too comfortable with — or even enthusiastic about — a lot of needless suffering in the world.)
But I hope that you realize that not everyone who supports universal healthcare supports government healthcare, and not everyone who opposes government healthcare opposes universal healthcare. The one might follow from the other if the only way to get universal coverage were by means of a political guarantee of coverage. But that’s not so: there are folks who oppose government healthcare because they think corporate healthcare is awesome and they don’t mind if people die; but there are also folks who oppose government healthcare because they support non-governmental, non-corporate universal coverage through grassroots social organization and community mutual aid. (See for example http://radgeek.com/gt/2007/10/25/radical_healthcare/ or the closing sections of http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/health-care-debate-meaningful/.)
Of course, that leaves open the question of whether they (we — I’m one of ‘em) are right about the best means for getting universal coverage. Maybe social means are inadequate; or maybe there is some reason, which has yet to be mentioned, why governmental control is preferable, as a means for getting it, to voluntary associations for mutual aid. But whether the position is right or wrong, it’s certainly not one that can be answered simply by defining it out of existence, as you do when you pretend that the only alternatives available are (1) corporate coverage of only those who can afford it; or else (2) universal coverage by means of government mandates; as if there were no (3) universal coverage by non-governmental means.
—Charles Johnson, 16 September 2011, 10:32pm