Conference Call — October 10th, 2009

On Saturday October 10th, 2009 at 9:00 AM Central time, please join us for our monthly morning Conference Call. The informal agenda is simply open chat on the Center, current events and anarchism.

Conference Dial-in Number: (712) 432-0600 Participant Access Code: 525118#

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C4SS Fundraiser: Time Is Running Out!

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

Time is running out! Just barely over 24 hours remain in the C4SS fundraising drive for the fourth quarter of 2009. We’ve raised $3,340 so far. That’s 82% of our goal of $4,025 — only $685 short. Please donate online NOW using the ChipIn widget on any page of our web site at:

http://c4ss.org/

Your generous support has already funded for the fourth quarter of 2009:

  • the work of C4SS Research Analyst Kevin Carson — 2 op-ed length commentaries per week and two longer research studies;
  • the work of C4SS News Analyst Thomas L. Knapp — 2 op-ed length commentaries per week;
  • the work of C4SS News Analyst Alex R. Knight III — 1 weekly op-ed length commentary and one monthly magazine-article length feature article;
  • professional web administration and support from Mike Gogulski;

Besides maintaining our current level of operations, we’re already funded for more new content just by shifting Kevin Carson’s quarterly workload from three studies and one weekly commentary to two studies and two weekly commentaries — for the same cost. No matter what, you’re already going to be seeing Carson’s writing nearly twice as frequently.

Besides that, we’re already going to be getting our less visible but absolutely crucial web administration and related technical jobs bumped up to the next level.

That’s all DONE, already — thanks to YOU.

But that remaining $685 that we’re still short of our goal is absolutely essential. In radical politics, just like all politics, perceptions matter. We want to expand our operations consistently EVERY quarter — because that paves the way for more expansion the next quarter after that. Only YOU can create the sense of excitement, of greater and greater things to come — until we’ve built an unstoppable and fearsome media juggernaut.

It just takes doing things one step at a time. The step for this quarter is adding three weekly short audio commentaries and an additional weekly op-ed length written commentary. That’s what that remaining $685 is for, as can be seen from the listing of proposed expenses that went into picking that $4,025 goal (which I showed you in the supporter update letter that launched this drive).

We can do this. YOU can do this. Out of the hundreds this message will be reaching, only 45 have donated so far. If the current average of about $87 per donation holds true, we only need about 10 or so more donors.

Please, donate online NOW using the ChipIn widget on any page of our web site at:

http://c4ss.org/

Regards,

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

C4SS Fundraiser: Revolution Is Not A Spectator Sport

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

Have YOU donated yet to the C4SS fundraising drive for the coming fourth quarter of 2009?

Out of:

  • the hundreds of people who subscribe to our supporter updates via Feedburner/Google…
  • and the several hundred more who subscribe to our material via our direct RSS feed…
  • and the several hundred more who follow @c4ssdotorg on Twitter…
  • and the (at present) 368 more people who our appeals reach through the C4SS Supporters group on Facebook
  • and the (at present) 91 more people who subscribe to everything we publish (including our fundraising appeals) through the Networked Blogs application on Facebook…
  • and the thousands more casual web site visitors driven to our web site by dedicated social media activists who share links to our content online in their own spheres of influence…
  • and the thousands more web site visitors who discover us via copies of our articles republished elsewhere on sites like Freedom’s Phoenix and Revolution Radio…

…we’ve received donations from a grand total of 35 people.

Those thirty-five people are magnificent comrades. As, between them, they’ve contributed over three thousand dollars (for an average donation in excess of $87 each), they have provided a tremendously gratifying validation of the value we provide. More importantly, though, they’re enabling the ongoing provision of value back to themselves and everyone else that wants to make use of the content we produce.

There is an issue, here, though, in terms of the number of people contributing versus the number of fans and apparent popularity we enjoy. I believe this might be a result of the way attitudes toward political struggle are shaped by the statist system we’re all trapped in currently, even among those of us who oppose that system. That attitude can perhaps be summarized as the expectation of political professionalism. In other words, engagement with the political system isn’t something ordinary people DO, but a vicariously experienced form of entertainment.

I’m asking you to get some skin in the game. We’re not trying to provide free entertainment. Don’t just watch us. Use us as your tool.

Now, mainstream criticism of political violence invariably neglect to consider that the existing statist system is itself systematic, institutionalized violence. It’s only called “violence” when the victims fight back. There’s a word for what would be a war except that only one side is fighting and the other is just dying. That word is “massacre”. The state daily massacres people bodily, economically and in terms of the basic human dignity lost when we suffer the degrading denial of liberty rightfully ours.

Resistance demands first “killing the cop in your own head” or removing (as Ayn Rand put it) “the sanction of the victim”. More precisely, the purpose of radical libertarian propaganda must always be understood as development of a “revolutionary class consciousness” among the productive class victimized by the statist elite.

The role of the radical libertarian activist — that’s YOU — is to advance such advocacy across the playing field of public discourse.

I’m not just asking you for money. I’m asking you to become, if you’re not already, a guerilla fighter in the information war for your own freedom and the flourishing of the society that is (broadly speaking) your home. For such info-guerillas, we want to be your intellectual ammunition factory. Or one of them, anyway.

We’re not entertainment. Revolution is not a spectator sport. Get some skin in the game. Give us the money to reach our goal of producing more ammunition for your own use. Then use it. Don’t just lie down and take the abuse the state dishes out to you. Fight back — intelligently.

Please, donate today using the ChipIn widget on any page of our web site at:

http://c4ss.org/

Regards,

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

Can We Pull This Off?

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

I have some good news and a request for help with the challenges ahead.

On Monday, September 14th, I asked you to help us reach a partial goal of raising $2,450 by a week from that day. Just barely, you did so. Thank you. As a result, we now know our core writers will be paid and web hosting expenses will be covered.

That’s not our full fundraising goal for the upcoming fourth quarter, though. We’re asking for a total of $4,025 this quarter — $1,575 more than what we’ve already raised. In short, what you will get for the additional money will be 1) “insurance” in the form of better technical admin/support and 2) additional new content — three audio commentary spots and one regular written commentary per week throughout the quarter. You can review the original expense request here. Mike Gogulski’s IT support proposal is attached below the main letter.

At this point, I should add that by patronizing Mike Gogulski’s professional services, we are also incidentally supporting his own work in online social media activism as well as reinforcing his ability to support other freedom movement clients, such as the FR33 Agents Network and LOLA.

In some other news, Kevin Carson has requested, and I’ve approved, a slight modification to his work duties this coming quarter. Instead of doing three monthly research studies and one weekly commentary piece in the fourth quarter, Kevin wants to put out only two studies but write two commentaries weekly for the same cost to C4SS. I suspect his fans will welcome seeing new writing from him more frequently, even though we’re still supporting his weightier work.

With only a week left in this fundraising drive, it’s only natural to ask “Can we do it?”

Let’s find out.

Please, donate today using the ChipIn widget on any page of our web site at:

http://c4ss.org/

Regards,

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

Let’s keep the fundraising momentum growing!

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

On August 24th, I asked for your financial support as I laid out proposed fourth quarter 2009 expenses for the Center. Generous and dedicated supporters responded, getting us off to a good start.

This past Friday, I again asked for your support as I noted that donations had slowed and were not on track to reach our goal by the end of the fundraising drive on September 30th. I also let you know that one anonymous donor had offered to provide a matching donation of $150 if at least two new donors donated at least $50 before midnight Sunday.

You again responded, meeting the terms for the match offer and bringing our raised funds to a total of $1,170 from 20 contributors (not counting the $150 match coming later in the month). I asked for some new momentum and you have provided it, but it has to keep building! We are still behind. We still need to pick up the pace if we’re going to raise the money required to fund our fourth quarter operations.

When I first asked for your support for the fourth quarter fundraising drive, I listed exactly what our expenses would be to show exactly why our very modest goal for the quarter is $4,025. You can see for yourself exactly what the money will be spent on and look at prior quarters to confirm those funds were also spent accordingly.

With C4SS, what you see is what you get. If you want more from us, we require more support.

Of our goal for this quarter, $2450 is earmarked for simply maintaining our current level of operations — paying our writers starvation wages and keeping the web hosting bill paid.

The remainder, as you can see from the expense request, is dedicated to:

1) improving our IT support for sake of preserving the current and future value we create, and

2) directly expanding the amount of content we create — 3 short audio spots and one written commentary per week throughout the quarter.

I don’t believe that’s to much to ask for, but let’s take this one step at a time. Today is September 14th. Let’s first try to just get our core expenses covered by raising the $2450 mentioned above. Let’s try to do that by a week from today — September 21st. That will leave a little over a week for last minute potential contributors to decide if they want to get on board with expanding the content we offer or not.

Can we get to the $2450 mark in seven days? Sure. As noted above, we’ve raised $1,170 from only 20 people so far. This message is going out via Facebook, email, RSS feeds and Twitter links to several hundred fans of the Center and many thousands more casual web site visitors. The amount remaining to get to the $2,450 total is only $1,280. If only 20 additional people kick in an average of $65 each, we’re there.

We can do this.

And we can keep doing this.

And by doing so, we will keep building our base of support.

We’re not going away. It’s up to you to determine how quickly we move forward.

Please, donate today using the ChipIn widget on any page of our web site at:

http://c4ss.org/

Regards,

Brad Spangler
Director, Center for a Stateless Society

C4SS Needs Your Support!

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

It’s the middle of September and we only have nineteen days left in the C4SS fourth quarter 2009 fundraising drive.

As of the time I’m writing this on Friday morning, progress on raising money has been slow this quarter. Thirteen donors have so far contributed $850 towards our goal of $4,025. One of those donors was particulary generous, doubling the amount raised.

We can’t count on unpredictable big donations like that, though. If you value our work, please send us your support today, regardless of whether it’s big or small. If only 400 people reading this kicked in a mere $10 each, we would burst past our goal.

This morning, an anonymous donor contacted me with a matching offer to share with you. He also has noticed we need to get some momentum going right away. It can’t wait for the end of the month. His offer: if at least two NEW donors contribute at least $50 each this weekend, between now and 11:59 PM Central time on Sunday the 13th, he’ll match that with $100 and an additional $50 at the end of September.

We need your support. With it, all things are possible. Without it, nothing is.

Please, donate today using the ChipIn widget on any page of our web site at:

http://c4ss.org/

Regards,

Brad Spangler
Director, Center for a Stateless Society

Six Theses of Libertarian Rhetoric

In a blog post discussing why many people fail to even recognize things that don’t fit their expectations, Molinari Institute President Roderick Long lists six theses that he asserts ought to be followed when crafting radical libertarian / left libertarian / market anarchist rhetoric.

[L]ibertarians, and especially left-libertarians, need to focus more on simply getting our position recognised. Getting it recognised is of course not enough – one then has to argue that the position is correct – but I think such argument and defense are to a large extent pointless if people can’t see what the position being defended even is.

Our vital task, then, is to get the word out that there is a position out there that includes the following theses:

1. Big business and big government are (for the most part) natural allies.


2. Although conservative politicians pretend to hate big government, and liberal politicians pretend to hate big business, most mainstream policies – both liberal and conservative – involve (slightly different versions of) massive intervention on behalf of the big-business/big-government elite at the expense of ordinary people.


3. Liberal politicians cloak their intervention on behalf of the strong in the rhetoric of intervention on behalf of the weak; conservative politicians cloak their intervention on behalf of the strong in the rhetoric of non-intervention and free markets – but in both cases the rhetoric is belied by the reality.


4. A genuine policy of intervention on behalf of the weak, if liberals actually tried it, wouldn’t work either, since the nature of government power would automatically warp it toward the interests of the elite.


5. A genuine policy of non-intervention and free markets, if conservatives actually tried it, would work, since free competition would empower ordinary people at the expense of the elite.


6. Since conservative policies, despite their associated free-market rhetoric, are mostly the diametrical opposite of free-market policies, the failures of conservative policies do not constitute an objection to (but rather, if anything, a vindication of) free-market policies.

Of course we should be prepared to defend these theses through economic reasoning and historical evidence, but the main goal at this point, I think, should be not so much to defend them as simply to advertise their existence.

Translations for this article:

Can partisan politics advance the de-institutionalization of the state?

It remains a matter of debate within the libertarian movement whether or not partisan politics can advance the de-institutionalization of the state. After many years as a Libertarian Party activist, my own position now is that such an approach is the wrong approach. Terry Hulsey, however, asserts that (with some changes) the Libertarian Party can be an effective tool for reaching that goal. Read: How the Libertarian Party Will Come to Power.