Mass, the totality of people, goods and information, defines the modern world. Mass production, big data, the masses. Modern politics is focusing more on the masses than ever before, yet contradictorily polarisation increases and the masses become ever more fragmented and decentral. While production is nominally decentralised into global production networks, mass production continues in all facets, from material resources to consumer goods. Everything is total and categorisable, with any diminution seen as an aberration in the move to homogeneity. Continue reading
I did a talk for the Libertarian Alliance where I outline the problems with libertarian political engagement and potential solutions that allow for libertarianism to be relevant and radical.
Here is the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLmlUylfIOQ
And this is the transcript:
The aim of this talk is to look into the idea of a libertarian moment, whereby there will be a particular turning point in the political environment that will provide a pathway for libertarian policies and forms of governance. This idea is encapsulated in the statement, “many people are libertarians, they just don’t know it yet”. Looking in particular at the UK and its political context, as well as parts of the US political makeup, I hope to show why this moment has probably passed on by, and how libertarianism in its current guise has failed to mobilise on a social, economic or political front. From that, I hope to offer ideas and questions that may push forth newer conceptions of libertarianism that can address these failures. Continue reading
by Vince Garton
In the runup to the year 2000, a curious phenomenon emerged on the adolescent Internet. While public media spread hysteria over the impending ‘Y2K bug’, competing groups of chronodissidents emerged to embrace what they saw as the impending overthrow of the Gregorian temporal order. Continue reading
by Bob Layson
When this philosophy student eventually encountered the writings of Ayn Rand, circa 1977, he was immune to her, how should it be put, banalysis of the central problems of philosophy and her Mr Toad like dismissal of ‘those gentlemen up at Oxford’. Indeed, I felt rather embarrassed on her behalf. Rather as one feels when watching someone in a karaoke bar putting on a great show and never hitting a note in the middle. With Mises the experience was quite different. Admittedly, his claims for the ‘apodeictic certainty’ and empirical content of a priori reasoning in economics seemed so much to run full tilt into the arguments of Hume that – even with the aid of Kantian philosophy, neo and otherwise – he seemed certain only to choke on what he had bitten off. Nevertheless, the house that von Mises built struck me as an imposing one with or without its so-called foundations. I even had a suspicion that what Mises regarded as truths synthetic, empiric and a priori would prove more palatable to philosophers and others if taken to be analytic, tautological and, in all practice, indispensable. Continue reading
The original intent of my website was to simply talk about libertarian theory, applying it to my interests and ideas as they evolved. There was no necessary coherence apart from what I was thinking about at the time. However as my ideas have developed further, delving into libertarian and non-libertarian concepts and coalescing around particular points that can be considered a general ideology, I think it would be best to provide a foundational document for my website that best explains its reasoning and understanding in short form. Continue reading
The post-politics of consensus infects the modern world of discourse, even with the recent rises of populism and the increasing inability to see legitimation flowing from a wide variety of peoples caught up in these post-political processes. Post-politics is the regimentation of democracy and the incrementalism of centralisation, constantly moving toward higher degrees of authority while trying to mask the naked political power that lies beneath. It is political violence wrapped in a velvet glove, that talks of the beneficence of taxation and the humanism of the state, anthropomorphising such structures as the innate figures of progress. When one questions the coercive nature of statism, a supporter of post-politics (normally self-identifying with the tribe of centrism) responds with the idea that consent is found through the ballot box. Continue reading
by Keith Preston
The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels. Continue reading
This study examines the ideational construction of independent central banks, understanding them as ideologically constituted socio-economic variables that are not some form natural progression toward a neoliberal economy. The concept of central bank independence (CBI) receives legitimation through a number of discourses and academic conceptions, combining with particular distributional coalitions and interest groups that form an integrated epistemic community of policy production and governmental regulation. Such an epistemic community does not develop naturally, but is constructed through particular historical understandings of the economy and polity, that promote a general framework favourable for CBI to grow and hegemonically stabilise.
This study looks at the issues surrounding the organisation of home-based workers, and how through new ideational and ideological lenses home-based workers can construct a household political economy that rivals the dominant hegemonic positions of neoliberalism and its discourses of marketisation, privatisation and precariatisation.
In the modern world, the existing structures of the state and capitalism are presented as the inevitable result of history and progress. A narrative is constructed which proffers one thing: there is no alternative (TINA). An unregulated “borderless global economy in which markets would no longer be locked into nation-states, but nation-states into markets”. An environment of global governance and nominal deregulation which produces a discourse of economic statelessness, where the state is there only to facilitate exchange and production through a legal regime of private property rights. TINA acts as a universalisable narrative where “no one must be allowed to escape from ‘global competition’” and the processes of commodification and marketisation must go unhindered. “Globalized capitalism, so called free-markets and free trade were the best ways to build wealth, distribute services and grow a society’s economy”. Thus a naturalness is given to the processes and structures of neoliberalism, suggesting they are processes inherent to human nature and the best means to achieve growth and economic stability. Continue reading