Tag Archives | Anarchy

Have Republicans Learned to Love the Berlin Wall?

[cross-posted at C4SS]

Anderson Cooper recently complained, on his July 22nd CNN show, that presidential candidate Donald Trump has thus far offered “not one shred of proof” for his repeated claim that “the Mexican government is behind the illegal immigration” and are “the ones pushing … these people over the border.” At which point Cooper’s guest Jeffrey Lord, a former White House political director under Ronald Reagan, and currently a Trump supporter, offered a fairly astonishing reply:

“You know, we talked about a wall on the American side in terms of keeping people out of the United States; but we all remember the Berlin Wall. And in the Berlin Wall situation, that was built to keep people in. Now, are we being told here that the Mexican government can’t somehow find a way to keep their own people from leaving the country illegally? I mean, it defies common sense. So I think what he’s saying makes a great deal of common sense, that this is happening repeatedly. The Mexican government is clearly doing nothing to stop it. … I mean, to do it intentionally can mean a lot of things. It’s not like they need to give them information, a slip to leave; it’s that they just don’t guard the border … and know that they’re going to escape, and … so they go.”

Yes, you read that right. A former White House official and Reagan aide is demanding that Mexico maintain a Berlin Wall to keep its own citizens from escaping.

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While restrictions on the right to enter a country are widely accepted, restrictions on the right to exit a country are usually regarded as a tool of dictatorship. Lord’s own former boss, Ronald Reagan, famously gave a speech in front of the Berlin Wall in 1987, condemning the structure as “a gash of barbed wire,” “a restriction on the right to travel,” and “an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state” – and concluding with a rousing cry to “tear down this wall!” But apparently some Republicans are learning to make their peace with the idea of an Iron Curtain.

Oddly enough, though, Jeffrey Lord is actually right on the central point, though he draws the wrong conclusion from it. The assumption of a deep moral difference between restrictions on entry and restrictions on exit is indeed unjustified.

Those who try to distinguish the two often point to the analogy of private property: I have no right to keep you prisoner by forbidding you to exit my property, but I have every right to forbid you to enter.

But the analogy is a bad one. The government of a country, dictatorships aside, is not the owner of all the land within its borders. That land, or most of it, is divided into privately owned parcels. So when the government restricts entry, it is acting as a third party to forbid immigrant A to enter the property of citizen B, even if citizen B wishes to welcome immigrant A as a guest, a customer, an employee, or a tenant. What difference does it make whether this restriction on travel is being imposed by A’s government or by B’s? In either case the restriction is an invasion of the liberty of both A and B.

So Lord is right: immigration restrictions and emigration restrictions are morally on a par. But the right conclusion to draw is not that both are justified, but rather that both are unjustified. A Berlin Wall does not become civilized or tolerable merely because it is run by the government on one side of the wall instead of on the other. National borders are a perpetual human rights violation, and every restriction on migration is one more Berlin Wall.

Mr. Lord, Mr. Trump, tear down this border.

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Anarchy in the U.K.: Two Blasts From the Past

Added to the Molinari Institute’s online library: two 19th-century British individualist anarchist texts – Henry Seymour’s Anarchy: Theory and Practice (1888) and Albert Tarn’s The State: Its Origin, Its Nature, and Its Abolition (1895). Thanks to Jonathan Martindale for locating and transcribing these texts!

Both Seymour and Tarn occasionally appeared in the pages of Benjamin Tucker’s Liberty. Curiously, there’s currently an institute named after Tarn; but its website doesn’t have much information.

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Make Amazon Fund the Revolution!

[cross-posted at C4SS]

Amazon Loves Anarchy

Amazon Loves Anarchy

The Molinari Institute (the parent organization of the Center for a Stateless Society) has registered with Amazon.com for an Amazon Smile account. That means that if you sign up for Amazon’s Smile program and pick The Molinari Institute (EIN 20-3731375) as your preferred charity, from then on every time you make a purchase on Amazon (so long as you access Amazon through the Smile gateway), Amazon will donate – from their funds, not yours – 0.5% of the purchase price to us.

Thus for example if you make $100 worth of purchases from Amazon via Smile, we’ll get 50 cents – paid by Amazon, not by you.

Donations raised through the Smile program will then be split 50/50 between the Center for a Stateless Society and the Molinari Institute’s other projects (including our upcoming publishing line).

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The IRS Loves Anarchy!

The Molinari Institute is delighted to announce that it has been declared by the IRS to be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation; hence donations to the Molinari Institute – and thus to the Institute’s media center, the Center for a Stateless Society – are tax-deductible.

To quote from the IRS’s determination letter, dated 2 April 2015:

We’re pleased to tell you we determined you’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC section 170. You’re also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522. … We determined you’re a public charity under the IRC section [509(a)(2)].

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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 Molinari Institute hosts an online open-access library of rare libertarian classics, including new translations of 19th-century French works, and publishes two periodicals: a magazine, The Industrial Radical, and an academic journal, the Molinari Review. The Molinari Society, a daughter organisation, hosts annual symposia at the Eastern and Pacific Divisions of the American Philosophical Association.

The Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS), an autonomous extension of the Molinari Institute, develops and publishes timely written commentary on current events, research pieces and other content from a market anarchist perspective. Each week the Center submits several op-ed pieces to thousands of newspapers and other media outlets globally, and has received about 2500 mainstream media pickups since 2010. The Center’s student affiliate network, the Students for a Stateless Society (S4SS), offers opportunities for campus outreach and activism.

Future projects for both the Institute and the Center include book publishing (both classic and original works), conferences, courses (online and otherwise), new translation projects, and media presentations.

Both the Institute and the Center are part of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left, which opposes statism, militarism, cultural intolerance, and the prevailing corporatist capitalism falsely called a free market. The Alliance’s Distro, in partnership with the Institute and Center, produces and distributes zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation.

You can donate to support the work of the Molinari Institute here, and the work of the Center for a Stateless Society here.

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Call for Abstracts on Police and Anarchism

[cross-posted at C4SS, BHL, and Public Reason]

Call for Abstracts

for the Molinari Society’s next Eastern Symposium, to be held in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting, January 6-9, 2016, in Washington DC. (Note that this meeting is the week after New Year’s, rather than, as in past years, just before New Year’s. This later time is expected to be the new normal for the Eastern APA henceforth.)

Symposium Topic:
Police Abuse: Solutions Beyond the State

Submission Deadline:
18 May 2015

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Abuses of power by police officers, especially abuses motivated by racial bias, are at last beginning to receive increased public scrutiny. Anarchists have long regarded police misconduct as a deep-rooted and systemic problem, one requiring radical rather than reformist solutions, but have not always agreed about what a radical solution should look like. Some anarchists have advocated a system of private security firms held in check by market competition; others have looked to volunteer and mutual-aid watch groups responsible to the communities they patrol; still others have rejected both models as insufficiently different from the government police system they’re supposed to replace.

Would/should there be police, or something like police, in an anarchist society? If so, how might they be restrained from abuses? If not, what institutions or practices might secure protection from invasive behaviour instead?

Abstracts should be submitted for the 2016 Eastern Symposium by 18 May, 2015. Submissions from any point of view (anarchist or otherwise) are welcome. Please submit an abstract only if you expect to be able to present the paper in person at the Symposium. (Final papers should be of appropriate scope and length to be presented within 15-30 minutes.) Submitting authors will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of their papers by 31 May, 2015.

Submit abstracts as e-mail attachments, in Word .doc or .docx format, PDF, or ODT, to longrob@auburn.edu.

For any questions or information, contact Roderick T. Long at the above email address.


(In other news, the Molinari Symposium originally scheduled for this year’s Pacific APA in Vancouver has been postponed to next year in San Francisco; details to follow in due course.)

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