PAMPHLET: Anarchism Without Hyphens & The Left/Right Spectrum (by Karl Hess)

A new pamphlet featuring two classic short essays is now available for download thanks to the efforts of the Tulsa Alliance of the Libertarian Left — [PDF] Anarchism Without Hyphens & The Left/Right Spectrum (by Karl Hess).

Please note that the format of the PDF file features a staggered page order layout intended to facilitate printing and folding booklets.

“The far left, as far as you can get away from the right, would logically represent the opposite tendency and, in fact, has done just that throughout history. The left has been the side of politics and economics that opposes the concentration of power and wealth and, instead, advocates and works toward the distribution of power into the maximum number of hands.” —Karl Hess

the Left/Right spectrum
My own notion of politics is that it follows a straight line rather than a circle. The straight line stretches from the far right where (historically) we find monarchy, absolute dictatorships, and other forms of absolutely authoritarian rule. On the far right, law and order means the law of the ruler and the order that serves the interest of that ruler, usually the orderliness of drone workers, submissive students, elders either totally cowed into loyalty or totally indoctrinated and trained into that loyalty. Both Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler operated right-wing regimes, politically, despite the trappings of socialism with which both adorned their regimes. Huey Long, when governor-boss of Louisiana, was moving toward a truly right-wing regime, also adorned with many trappings of socialism (particularly public works and welfare) but held together not by social benefits but by a strong police force and a steady flow of money to subsidize and befriend businessmen.

An American President could be said to move toward the right to the extent that he tended to make absolutely unilateral political decisions, with no reference to Congress, for instance, or to the people generally, and when the legitimacy of the regime was supported or made real more by sheer force, say of police power, than by voluntary allegiance from the people generally. Such a regime, also, would be likely to suppress or to swallow up potentially competing centers of power such as trade unions. Major financial interests, however, if Adolf Hitler’s relations with industry, for example, can be considered instructive, would be bought off, rather than fought off, with fat contracts and a continuing opportunity to enrich their owners. Joseph Stalin, of course, had no problem with anything such as independent trade unions or business, since both had been killed off earlier.

The overall characteristic of a right-wing regime, no matter the details of difference between this one and that one, is that it reflects the concentration of power in the fewest practical hands.

Power, concentrated in few hands, is the dominant historic characteristic of what most people, in most times, have considered the political and economic right wing.

The far left, as far as you can get away from the right, would logically represent the opposite tendency and, in fact, has done just that throughout history. The left has been the side of politics and economics that opposes the concentration of power and wealth and, instead, advocates and works toward the distribution of power into the maximum number of hands.

Just as the scale along this line would show gradations of the right, so would it show gradations of the left.

Before getting to a far-right monarchy or dictatorship, there are many intermediate right-wing positions. Some are called conservative.

Somewhere along the line, for instance, a certain concentration of power, particularly economic power, would be acceptable in the name of tradition. The children of the rich, characteristically, are accorded very special places in the regimes of the right, or of conservatives. Also, there is a great deference to stability and a preference for it rather than change — all other things being equal. Caution might be the watchword toward the center of this right-wing scale, simply a go-slow attitude. That is, admittedly, a long way from the far right and dictatorship, but it is a way that can and should be measured on a straight line. The natural preference for law and order that seems such a worthwhile and innocent conservative preference is from a political tradition that came to us from kings and emperors, not from ancient democracy.

This hardly means that every conservative, if pressed, will go farther and farther right until embracing absolute dictatorship or monarchy. Far from it. It does mean to suggest only that the ghosts of royal power whisper in the conservative tradition.

The left shows similar gradations. The farthest left you can go, historically at any rate, is anarchism — the total opposition to any institutionalized power, a state of completely voluntary social organization in which people would establish their ways of life in small, consenting groups, and cooperate with others as they see fit.

The attitude on that farthest left toward law and order was summed up by an early French anarchist, Proudhon, who said that ‘order is the daughter of and not the mother of liberty.’ Let people be absolutely free, says this farthest of the far, far left (the left that Communism regularly denounces as too left; Lenin called it ‘infantile left’). If they are free they will be decent, but they never can be decent until they are free. Concentrated power, bureaucracy, et cetera, will doom that decency. A bit further along the left line there might be some agreement or at least sympathy with this left libertarianism but, it would be said, there are practical and immediate reasons for putting off that sort of liberty. People just aren’t quite ready for it. Roughly, that’s the position of the Communist Party today…

At any rate, at some point on the spectrum there is the great modern American liberal position. Through a series of unfortunate but certainly understandable distortions of political terminology, the liberal position has come to be known as a left-wing position. Actually, it lies right alongside the conservative tradition, down toward the middle of the line, but decidedly, I think, to the right of its center. Liberals believe in concentrated power — in the hands of liberals, the supposedly educated and genteel elite. They believe in concentrating that power as heavily and effectively as possible. They believe in great size of enterprise, whether corporate or political, and have a great and profound disdain for the homely and the local. They think nationally but they also think globally and now even intergalactically. Actually, because they believe in far more authoritarian rule than a lot of conservatives, it probably would be best to say that liberals lie next to but actually to the right of many conservatives. —Dear America (1975) by Karl Hess

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PAMPHLET: Socialist Ends, Market Means (Five Essays by Gary Chartier)

Thanks to efforts by the Tulsa Alliance of the Libertarian Left, we present a new pamphlet featuring five essays by C4SS Advisory Panel member and contributing writer Gary Chartier — Socialist Ends, Market Means.

Please note that the format of the PDF file features a staggered page order layout intended to facilitate printing and folding booklets.

If the notion of left libertarianism is going to make sense, we need to be clear on what is and isn’t left.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong-headed about other recent characterizations of the central concern of the left as anti-authoritarianism, openness to the future, or opposition to privilege. I want, though, to offer a different proposal regarding what I take to be the central elements of a leftist agenda and to suggest what may be a thread capable unifying these elements. 

An authentically leftist position, I suggest, is marked by opposition to subordinationexclusion, and deprivation.” —Gary Chartier

C4SS Fourth Quarter Fundraising Drive Launch

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

August is drawing to a close and it’s time to start the C4SS fourth quarter 2009 fundraising drive. Between today and the end of September, we need to raise the money to fund our operations from October 1st through December 31st, 2009.

Although we didn’t meet our goal last quarter, that goal was set very high. In terms of results, actual money raised, it was our most successful fundraising drive to date. We were able to expand our production efforts, adding Alex Knight as a second News Analyst and funding additional research studies by Kevin Carson.

Coming up short of the third quarter goal hit our lowest priority proposed new expenses — adding a social media promotional specialist and some modest promotional advertising. I’ve chosen to interpret the shortfall as partly indicating supporters may believe we need to get production up to a higher level before putting money into promotional efforts would make sense. As a result, those plans have been shelved for this quarter. The funding proposal I’m bringing to you, our supporters, focuses on funding existing core production expenses, taking on new expenses to solidify support for current operations and adding some new content production.

I’m asking you to help us reach a goal of $4,025 for the fourth quarter of 2009.

I propose to pay Kevin Carson as Research Associate and both Thomas Knapp and Alex Knight as News Analysts at the same level and for the same duties as last quarter. We also have a yearly web hosting bill due in November.

Additionally, I’m bringing to you a proposal from our currently volunteer web administrator, Mike Gogulski, to provide paid support. He currently helps out where he can. Paying Mike would allow him to devote the time to doing a lot more of what ought to be done to keep our online presence in good shape. Mike’s full proposal is attached below on the original copy of this message, published at c4ss.org.

Additionally, if you fund it, Mike Gogulski will also voice and publish regular short audio commentary using scripts written by myself. In addition to writing scripts for the audio spots, I also hope to be writing an additional weekly commentary piece.

Here is a detailed listing of these proposed expenses, shown in descending order of priority.

  • Research Associate: Carson — $1225 [$900, 3 monthly research studies @ $300 each; $325, 13 weekly columns @ $25 each]
  • News Analyst: Knapp — $650 [26 twice-weekly columns @ $25 each]
  • News Analyst: Knight — $475 [$325, 13 weekly columns @25 each; $150, 3 monthly magazine-length feature articles @ $50 each]
  • Web Hosting — $100 [our yearly web hosting bill is due in November 2009]
  • Web Administrator: Gogulski — $645 [EUR150 or $215/month for 3 months]
  • Audio Commentator: Gogulski — $280 [13 weeks of 3 ninety second audio spots per week = 39 spots @ EUR5 per spot = EUR195 or $280)
  • Additional writing: Spangler — $650 ($50 weekly for 13 weeks; one commentary piece and three audio spot scripts per week)
    This is the plan. I’ve brought it to you. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make it happen.

    Below, you will find a ChipIn widget to use when donating. You can also copy the HTML code for that widget to republish it on your own web sites to help us raise money. Just click the tab marked “Copy” on the widget.

    Please support our work. Then get your friends to support our work.

    Regards,

    Brad Spangler,
    Director, Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS)

    http://widget.chipin.com/widget/id/7180244e0809b600

    http://widget.chipin.com/widget/id/7180244e0809b600

    Mike Gogulski’s IT Support Proposal

    General IT support services: €150/month

    • Maintenance of Google Apps, including Gmail account setup, new-user assistance, Google Sites help, etc.
    • c4ss.org WordPress blog maintenence, including:
      • WordPress updates (security and performance fixes, mostly)
      • WordPress upgrades (when new release stable enough to deploy)
      • Plugin updates, upgrades, search and deployment
      • Ongoing tweaking of search engine optimization
      • Minor theme enhancements as required
      • Daily database backups emailed to xxxxxxxx@c4ss.org Gmail account
      • Daily filesystem backups emailed as above, or stored on server if too large
      • Twice-monthly offshore full backup of databases and filesystem
      • Deployment of foreign-language sites as we find translators (pt.c4ss.org and es.c4ss.org up already)
      • Database/filesystem restore in the event of failure/intrustion/etc.
      • Emergency support on an as-soon-as-I-can-get-to-a-PC basis
      • Regular support via email, skype, etc.
      • Deployment of new site functionality, review of existing functions, etc.
      • Maintenance of change/maintenance log via the Google Sites “wiki” page
    • Consultation on other IT services for the Center as needed.

C4SS Advisory Panel Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Market anarchist media center names advisory panel.

AUBURN, ALABAMA — August 19, 2009 — Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) — Center for a Stateless Society Director Brad Spangler today announced formation of an advisory panel for the market anarchist media center.

“As we gradually build our base of supporters and step up the operations their dedicated support enables, we want to ensure that first rate ideological and operational oversight is in place from prominent fellow advocates of market anarchism who are not otherwise affiliated with us organizationally,” remarked Spangler.

Named to the C4SS Advisory Panel were Stephan Kinsella, Wendy McElroy, Shawn Wilbur, Sheldon Richman and Gary Chartier.

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ORGANIZATIONAL SUMMARY
The Center for a Stateless Society is the Molinari Institute’s media center. The mission of the Molinari Institute is to promote understanding of the philosophy of Market Anarchism as a sane, consensual alternative to the hypertrophic violence of the State. The Institute takes its name from Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912), originator of the theory of Market Anarchism.

CONTACT
Brad Spangler
Center for a Stateless Society
media@c4ss.org
http://www.c4ss.org/