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Monday Lazy Linking

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 14 years ago, in 2010, on the World Wide Web.

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  1. MBH

    Hey Charles, I understand that and why you think my perspective is idiosyncratic with your overall ends. I wonder though if you think concurrent currency could be a bridge between minarchy and anarchy… or do you see that as a permanent gap?

  2. Rad Geek


    From your comment, I’m not sure whether or not you intended this as a reply in a different thread …? In any case, I’m happy to work with minarchists (or anybody else — there’s a number of decentralist Progressives also interested in things like LETS and community currencies) on community currency projects and other efforts to undermine the banking monopoly. But I think that’s a good reason to work together in loose networks or single-issue coalitions, but not a reason to start building open-ended permanent political organizations together with minimal-statists, and not a reason to see minimal-statists as any closer allies than any other bunch of statists with whom you might agree on one or two isolated points.

    Cf. GT 2008-01-25: Take the A-Train and GT 2008-01-26: In which I fail to be reassured for an extended discussion of (1) why I think there’s a permanent gap, and (2) what I think that means for market anarchist strategy.

  3. MBH

    I replied here cause my question didn’t really fit anywhere.

    Thanks to a lot of your work and a book I just read — The Culture of Narcissism, written in 1979, but reads like it was written yesterday — I don’t want anything to do with “progressivism.”

    Do you distinguish between minimal-statists who believes in the necessity of the state vs. activists who believe in cures — like community currency — irrespective of the state?

  4. Rad Geek


    O.K., no problem; I think I misread the grammatical role of the that above, and thought it was a pronoun. (Hence, I was wondering where the antecedent was.) My bad.

    Of course, as you know, I want very little to do with Progressivism, and refuse to identify my own view with it in any sense. I also think that the legacy Progressivism is a big problem on the Left, and the sooner it is exorcised, the better. But the scare-quotes above are intended to indicate that these are people who call themselves Progressives, not necessarily Progressives in the way I understand the term. I think that the fact that the term is so popular on the Left these days is lamentable, but a lot of basically decent people do call themselves Progressives when they really mean something more like Leftist, generally because they know the term is used to mean Leftist, and (for various reasons) calling yourself a Leftist is unpopular these days in the U.S., and they have little if anything beyond the civics-text education that passes for American history in official schooling, and so know very little about what the historical Progressive movement actually was.

    Those who actually demonstrate that they are interested in something other than government managerialism — e.g. by trying out forms of direct action and grassroots social experimentation, like alternative currencies, LETS, etc. — rather than spending all their time trying to elect the next Democrat or enact giant giveaways to health insurance corporations or whatever electoral Progressives are up to these days, are generally the folks that I have something to say to.

    Do you distinguish between minimal-statists who believes in the necessity of the state vs. activists who believe in cures — like community currency — irrespective of the state?

    I’m not sure what you mean here by the distinction. I presume that somebody could be an instance of both, depending on circumstances, topic or mood. If so, how productive I think it’s going to be to ally with that person is going to depend on which register they are speaking in in a given instance — whether they are talking legal reform and ballot-boxing and running candidates and such, or whether they are talking direct action, grassroots organizing, etc. If the latter, that’s when I can work with them. If the former, that’s when I can’t; there’s little to be gained practically, and a lot to be lost, by accepting the restraints that come with speaking in the electoralist voice.

    If all those minimal-statists who keep telling me how important it is for all the libertarians to get together and cooperate would actually come over and pitch in on a few non-electoral projects — if I saw significant numbers of them getting into CopWatch or community currencies or counter-economic trading networks broadly or what have you — then I’d be happy to work together with them on those projects. It’s when they start talking about the alleged need to hitch ourselves up to electoral politics, and to posse up in open-ended, multifaceted, effectively or explicitly governmentalist political organizations like the Libertarian Party or the Campaign for Liberty, that I switch off.

  5. MBH

    Will you tell me about — or point me in the direction of — some uses of concurrent currency or social experimentation?

    I’m not sure what you mean here by the distinction.

    I’m trying to describe the difference between the position that the state = civil war and the position that the state = irrelevant.

    I think there is a substantial position which is not anti-state, but is not pro-state in any register. While there isn’t a word for that — that I know of — it would seem to be virtually aligned with a good bit of the activism you’re familiar with. (Is there a word for that?)

    I’ve done a good bit of spontaneous culture jamming and social experimentation. I’ve never been part of a coordinated effort to do so though. I’d love to know what sort of things you do in this regard. And I’d love to know about ongoing efforts at concurrent currency.

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