The Anarcho-Statists of Spain

31 12 2006

The Spanish fascists used barbaric methods throughout the Spanish Civil War in order to establish a brutal dictatorship.[1] The Spanish Communists used similar wartime measures in their failed effort to give birth to an even more totalitarian regime.[2] But many discussions of the Spanish Civil War overlook, minimize, or apologize for the atrocious behavior and tyrannical aspirations of perhaps the most powerful faction of the Spanish Republicans: the Anarchist movement.

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Why Abolishing Government Would Not Bring Chaos

31 12 2006

I wrote recently that government should be abolished. Among the responses to the article were objections of the sort shared by most who encounter for the first time the prospect of living without forcible government. The most common objections are fundamentally similar to each other: Violence would rule the day; corporations would run over us little people; foreign governments would invade; big neighborhoods would pillage small neighborhoods; etc. The books I linked in the previous article answer these objections, but since most of us (myself included) might not buy a book online – and then be sure to read it – every single time we surf the net, I’ll address those objections briefly here, and provide links to online articles wherever possible.

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A libertarian as conservative

31 12 2006

I agreed to come here today to speak on some such subject as “The Libertarian as Conservative.” To me this is so obvious that I am hard put to find something to say to people who still think libertarianism has something to do with liberty. A libertarian is just a Republican who takes drugs. I’d have preferred a more controversial topic like “The Myth of the Penile Orgasm.” But since my attendance here is subsidized by the esteemed distributor of a veritable reference library on mayhem and dirty tricks, I can’t just take the conch and go rogue. I will indeed mutilate the sacred cow which is libertarianism, as ordered, but I’ll administer a few hard lefts to the right in my own way. And I don’t mean the easy way. I could just point to the laissez-faire Trilateralism of the Libertarian Party, then leave and go look for a party. It doesn’t take long to say that if you fight fire with fire, you’ll get burned.

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Natural and Artificial Aristocracy

30 12 2006

The passage you quote from Theognis, I think has an Ethical, rather than a political object. The whole piece is a moral “exhortation”, {parainesis}, and this passage particularly seems to be a reproof to man, who, while with his domestic animals he is curious to improve the race by employing always the finest male, pays no attention to the improvement of his own race, but intermarries with the vicious, the ugly, or the old, for considerations of wealth or ambition. It is in conformity with the principle adopted afterwards by the Pythagoreans, and expressed by Ocellus in another form. {Peri de tes ek ton allelon anthropon geneseos} etc. — {oych edones eneka e} {mixis}. Which, as literally as intelligibility will admit, may be thus translated:

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Society without a State

28 12 2006

In attempting to outline how a “society without a state” — that is, an anarchist society — might function successfully, I would first like to defuse two common but mistaken criticisms of this approach. First, is the argument that in providing for such defense of or protection services as courts, police, or even law itself, I am simply smuggling the state back into society in another form, and that therefore the system I am both analyzing and advocating is not “really” anarchism. This sort of criticism can only involve us in an endless and arid dispute over semantics. Let me say from the beginning that I define the state as that institution which possesses one or both (almost always both) of the following properties: (1) it acquires its income by the physical coercion known as “taxation”; and (2) it asserts and usually obtains a coerced monopoly of the provision of defense service (police and courts) over a given territorial area. An institution not possessing either of these properties is not and cannot be, in accordance with my definition, a state.

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The Utopia of Liberty

28 12 2006

We are adversaries, and yet the goal which we both pursue is the same. What is the common goal of economists and socialists? Is it not a society where the production of all the goods necessary to the maintenance and embellishment of life shall be as abundant as possible, and where the distribution of these same goods among those who have created them through their labour shall be as just as possible? May not our common ideal, apart from all distinction of schools, be summarised in these two words: abundance and justice?

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An Introduction to Value Theory

25 12 2006

With interest in the “Austrian School” of economics increasing, it may be helpful to indicate some of the aspects of the value-concept which is so central to the theories of this group. The term “School” as used here refers, not to any institution or corporate set of buildings, but to a body of economic theory developed largely in Austria during the 1870s and 1880s. This term can be misleading, however, because similar concepts of value had been developed earlier and other individuals were coming to similar views at the same time as the Austrians. Preceding the “Austrian” concept of marginal utility analysis — the basis for saying that price determines cost rather than vice versa or that they are mutually determined — much the same idea had been formulated in the 1600s and 1700s in an elementary form by some French and Italian economists. Subsequently, leading English economists wandered off on bypaths of theory until the “Austrian School” brought it back again.

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