Posts tagged The Present Anarchy of Our Commerce

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.