Anarchism

Anarchism's Royal Couple

The lives and ideas of Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.

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Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, by Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 528 pages, $35.

If anarchism had a royal couple (an unlikely idea, I know), it would be Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman. Radicals adored them; immigrant Jews admired them; early civil libertarians, including American Civil Liberites Union founder Roger Baldwin, were influenced by them. Cops hated and harassed them, and they made future FBI director J. Edgar Hoover froth at the mouth. As special assistant to Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, Hoover initiated a vicious campaign against Berkman and Goldman, leading to their deportation in 1919. This only added to their luster in the eyes of both American and European radicals.

Goldman and Berkman were the two most prominent anarcho-communists of late 19th and early 20th century America. (That is, they thought the state should be abolished but believed in communal ownership of the means of production.) Individualist libertarians may not agree with their economic views, nor their early interest in revolutionary violence. (Berkman himself attempted to assassinate the industrialist Henry Clay Frick, after the Homestead Steel Mill manager had Pinkerton detectives open fire on striking workers.) But their ideas about the importance of individual liberty, their suspicion of the state, and a great deal of their activism should resonate. During the early months of 1914, for example, the pair created the Anti-Militarist League of Greater New York. When the war actually broke out in August, Mother Earth, their journal, published an anti-war issue with a striking cover illustration by the famed surrealist Man Ray, proclaiming "Down with Militarism! Up with the Rights of Man!" Goldman's birth control activism with Margaret Sanger, future founder of Planned Parenthood, got her two weeks jail time for violating the Comstock Law. Under this legislation, any mention of birth control sent through the U.S. mail was legally "obscene."

They also were early foes of the Marxist dictatorship in Moscow. After their deportation in 1919, they returned to Russia, and at first they were enthralled with the fledging revolution. But as they toured the country, it didn't take long for their excitement to turn to dismay. As Paul and Karen Avrich report in Sasha and Emma, their new biography of the duo, "What they learned from trusted sources and observed firsthand did not match up with the idealistic vision they had nurtured while in the United States." The censorship and repression, the lack of food and medicine, and the ruling party's callous control assailed them. An aghast Emma was horrified, crying that she had seen "the best human values betrayed, the very spirit of the revolution daily crucified." The Kronstadt massacre, in which the Bolshevik government slaughtered rebelling sailors and soldiers, was the final blow. Goldman and Berkman began to plot their departure from Soviet Russia. Yet when they returned to Europe, giddy socialists enamored with the Soviet revolution didn't want to hear what they had to say. One European communist activist even suggested that Goldman be burned in effigy.

Much has been written by and about Goldman. Her emotionally candid two-volume memoir, Living My Life, is fascinating, and biographies of her proliferate. Some, such as Candice Falk's racy Love, Anarchy, and Emma Goldman or Alice Wexler's Emma Goldman: An Intimate Life, are excellent. Others, such as Vivian Gornick's recent Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life, are less successful. Gornick doesn't understand Goldman's belief system, at one point declaring that anarchists don't really have theories.

Oddly, no full-length biography of Berkman has been written until now. But no one was better-equipped to take on this task than the late Paul Avrich. Avrich was the preeminent historian of anarchism, with more than 11 scholarly books on the subject to his credit. Though Avrich was not an anarchist himself, he once confided to me that he was sympathetic with the philosophy's ideals. This sympathy shines through in the way he treats his subject matter: He is always fair and never displays a hint of derogation.

The Berkman biography was to be Avrich's crowning achievement, and he worked on it for many years. He died in 2006, before the book was finished, but he was able to ask his daughter Karen to complete it. We are in her debt for doing so.

The decision to make the book a double biography was inspired. The duo's lives were so closely intertwined that it is difficult to discuss one without mentioning the other. Though starting in the duo's native Russia, the book picks up steam upon their arrivals in America. We see how Sasha and Emma meet, both drawn to the heady radical intellectual climate of the Lower East Side in New York. Though very different in temperament, they quickly became lovers, in a menage-a-trois that also included Sasha's cousin Modska (known as Fedya in Emma's autobiography). Their devotion to and love for each other was destined to last throughout their lives, even when they were no longer physically intimate.

But this is more than a love story. Berkman and Goldman were intellectual collaborators and partners in their activism for more than 30 years. The book details their work together, including their time co-editing Mother Earth from 1901 to 1915, the anti-draft activities that earned both of them prison sentences, their banishment to Russia and subsequent disillusionment, and, early on, Sasha's bumbling attempt to kill Frick. I have read many accounts of that attempted assassination, but none come close to the detail of this book. We not only learn about the rash idealism that made Sasha feel compelled to act out this attentat; we learn of the details of the planning, the failed attempts to make a bomb, who besides Goldman helped him, how the helpers covered their tracks, and much more. Berkman's rash act led to a 14-year prison sentence, where he mastered English, matured without giving up his principles, and learned to be more reflective. His Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, though written several years after his release, is done in the style of a first-person diary, but it is more of an emotional and intellectual coming of age account that shows not only the horrors of prison life but the development of Berkman's thought.

Since this is the first book-length biography of Berkman, the details of his life are especially welcome. We learn, for example, about his part in founding the Ferrer Association, named after a martyred Spanish anarchist educator whose ideas about how children learn were not unlike Maria Montessori's. We learn about Berkman's friendship with the anarchist feminist Voltairine de Cleyre, and how he benefited from her advice as he wrote Prison Memoirs. We learn that Jack London agreed to write the introduction to Prison Memoirs but that Berkman didn't like it because it was not sympathetic to Berkman's attempted attentat. No publisher would touch the book, so it was finally published by Mother Earth in 1912, with the prominent lawyer Gilbert Roe and the journalist Lincoln Steffens raising money to pay for the printing.

At the end, Goldman and Berkman finally relinquished their dream that anarchism would be achieved in their lifetime. But as Karen Avrich recently told an interviewer, they "were fortified by the hope that anarchism might someday be hailed as the one true path to human fulfillment." As the American government gallops down the path to social and economic tyranny, we can only hope that we will persevere as well as these two remarkable and admirable activists.

NEXT: Egypt's President Blamed for Violent Response to Protests

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  1. Individualist libertarians may not agree with their economic views,

    What the fuck is wrong with magazine? These two douchebags were communists.

    1. Come on, Dave. They wanted to abolish the state but still somehow believed we could share the means of production without a government.

      They’re too stupid to be communists.

    2. You aren’t kidding bro. I’m beginning to wonder if Reason is angling to get bought out by General Electric or something, because this place is sliding further and further down the crapper by the day.

      1. It was way better when Postrel was in charge.

        1. As a matter of fact it was.

          1. It’s never too early to start drinking.

      1. So Reason publishes one article, which the commentariat roundly attacks, and you think this is proof that libertarians are secret marxists?

        Okay…

        1. I think that his point in that post was that some libertarians are useful idiots for marxists.

          A point that this article validates.

          1. Thank you.

          2. But Goldman and Berkman were opposed to Marxism and witnesses to its brutality. How exactly is that apologia for Marxism?

            1. ant1sthenes, yep, sadly, many so called proponents for “reason” on this comment board aren’t likely to be persuaded by historical evidence or ideological facts such as Goldman and Berkman being opposed to Marxism.

  2. THIS magazine

    1. No, no… pseudo-Russian accent very appropriate, da?

  3. Communal ownership seems plausibly workable as long as you take human nature out of the equation. All true believers in Communism are idiots.

    1. ‘Communal ownership’, of anything, is diametrically opposed to individual liberty.

      Communists being right about anything only demonstrates that a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.

      The fact that they fundamentally misunderstood the nature of collective ownership and the ultimate end of their belief system makes them idiots to be scorned, not idealists to be praised.

      1. What’s so wonderful about idealists? Nothing is easier than imagining a perfect world. An actual accomplishment would be learning how to deal rationally with the one that you actually have to live in. No admirer of idealists am I.

        1. your fantasy (rationally dealing with reality) does not reflect reality either.

          you lambast idealism without realizing you are an ideologue yourself.

          your fantasy is the exception to the rule, not the norm. so who is really dancing on the head of pins with angels and crying over spilled milk? YOU

          1. Exactly. I love when people think that they have a monopoly on knowing what is “realistic” and what is “rational” or what is “human nature” for that matter. Never realizing that their opponents are likewise convinced that they also have a monopoly on such things.

    2. It depends on the size of the unit. A family is technically a very tiny communal unit, and probably an extended family or self-selected group of close friends could function well enough over an area without resorting to formal property rights. Not in every case, of course, but a fair percentage of the time.

      Villages or even larger or less closely knit groups? Not likely.

  4. Koch bros are going cut you fools off. Try antiwar.com as your next place of employment.

    1. A substantial portion of the Koch’s fortune comes from helping the Russian commies develop their oil industry.

      1. And watching their Russian employees face the wonders of Stalin’s terror machine. Somehow that made them anticommunists, I’m not sure why.

        But I doubt they’d cut Reason off for saying some nice things about *anticommunist* anarchists – who saw through the lies of the Soviets a few years before the Kochs, and for the same reason (personal experience).

  5. That is, they thought the state should be abolished but believed in communal ownership of the means of production.

    Sorry, stopped reading at the retardness here. How exactly do you stop individuals from starting their own businesses using the resources at hand without a government?

    For example, if a woman starts renting her body for sexual acts in exchange for money, how exactly might a stateless anarchy gain communal ownership of the call girl’s body, short of enslaving her?

    Slavery and freedom are mutually incompatible.

    1. How exactly do you stop individuals from starting their own businesses using the resources at hand without a government?

      You simply don’t give them any legal recourse when their employees make off with the goods or with the means of their prod’n.

      1. Re: Robert,

        You simply don’t give them any legal recourse when their employees make off with the goods or with the means of their prod’n.

        Legal recourse? Listen, boy! That’s why we have them posses for them darn thieves!

        1. How is a posse not an instrument of government?

          1. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 3:27PM |#
            “How is a posse not an instrument of government?”
            Uh, why is purple?
            WHAT government, you idiot

            1. The government that you formed when you decided to make a posse and use your pooled violence to force your will on others.

              1. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 3:34PM |#
                “The government that you formed when you decided to make a posse”
                You idiot, that’s a mob, not a government.

                1. The difference between a posse and a mob is that a posse intends to enforce the law, in this example, private property law.

                  Having laws implies having a government. A posse is just the enforcement arm of government.

                  1. Wrong. A government is a legal MONOPOLY on violence. If there’s no government, then conflicting posses would exist, none of which have a monopoly on the use of violence. Eventually the winner might become the government when the take over the region, but a posse is not in and of itself a government.

                    1. Then the distinction between a “posse” and a “government” is completely arbitrary, and only depends on how you define the “region”. If I define the region as the Earth, there are no governments, just competing posses with different sets of laws they seek to enforce.

                    2. I’d argue that a government must have some defined area which it has control over and there must not be some overriding control of the same area. In other words, if a bunch of random gangs in an anarchistic scenario are just fighting each other, that certainly doesn’t make those gangs a government, any more than it makes a posse a government.

                    3. I’d say that argument leads you to awkward conclusions, like that the US government stopped existing during the civil war. Or that all the occupied areas around Israel don’t have governments.

                      And in the “posse” scenario, there are no competing groups of people. It’s law enforcement, not war.

                    4. Shorter Derider: might makes right

                    5. Shorter Sarcasmic: I am illiterate.

                    6. Even shorter Derider: derp

                    7. The difference between a posse and a mob is that a posse intends to enforce the law, in this example, private property law.

                      Having laws implies having a government.

                      The first part is correct, but the second is a non sequitur. Government did not invent Law, and the fact that you think that the knowledge of law implies a government makes one think that your realizations and conclusions are child-like: The fact that there are presents in the Christmas tree implies a Santa Claus, for instance.

                  2. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 3:56PM |#
                    “The difference between a posse and a mob is that a posse intends to enforce the law, in this example, private property law.”

                    What sort of brain damage is indicated here?

          2. Re: The Derider,

            How is a posse not an instrument of government?

            Are you in the habit of calling everything that exists on earth an “instrument of government”, Joe?

            I just want to know, because it may explain the stupidity behind the question you posit. A posse is a group of citizen volunteers raised for the purpose of persecuting ruffians when there’s precisely NO government instrument to do so (e.g. cops or marshals.)

            1. imo posse does imply govt. without govt sanction, its just a mob.

              gangs exist as quasi govts also.

              the us govt might say their authority is invalid, but to those within the gang, they follow their code according to a sense of right and wrong and feel its right to present themselves for punishment for infractions, inasmuch as they feel the hierarchy has validity.

              the constitution enumerates powers and states these just powers are derived by consent of governed.

              same stuff as a willing gang member.

              posse is not as thoroughly defined to be exclusively govt or more broad, but to me the connotation is govt based, but i dont object to someone using it differently, it just needs clarification if they do.

    2. How exactly do you stop individuals from starting their own businesses using the resources at hand without a government?

      By changing customs and applying moral pressure to support communal ownership and suppress private ownership. That is, persuade people to accept communal control of resources rather than diverse, individual control. Just as we try to convince people to respect individual control over political control.

      There are, I think, good reasons to expect our “liberal” conception of property to win out over communistic customs, but the latter is still a possibility, even without state enforcement.

      1. That’s not what Goldman and crew intended. They wanted to take everyones private property away, then redistribute it equally. The intention was always to have workers concils or something be the subsitute for the government.

    3. You seriously stopped reading an article the moment you disagree with a sentence. Wow. And you no doubt like to think that you are “reasonable”.

  6. Darn, until I got to the part about “the late Paul Avrich”, I thought this was good news, because I thought he’d died.

  7. Paul Avrich was a good writer on this subject. I’ve enjoyed many of his books. They are well-written and compelling tales of people I have absolutely NO sympathy for. Most of them espoused what is essentially a different path to communism, wrapped up in fairy tale of the disappearing state. And they both advocated and participated in violence and terrorism. The only one who evokes any sympathy is Benjamin Tucker, who was probably closer to anarcho-capitalism than the communist-anarchism that most of these people practiced.

    I once wrote a letter to Paul Avrich after reading his book on Sacco and Vanzetti. I asked, “But did they do it? Were they guilty?” He replied, “Yes, they did it.” He said they would not have hesitated to commit the robbery, shoot the guard, and do whatever else they thought necessary to support the anarchist cause.

    Take that, Joan Baez, you pinko bitch!

    1. I should have said “And they advocated OR participated in violence and terrorism.”

      I don’t know if Emma ever taped a couple sticks of dynamite together. But she was definitely a fanatic, which is why their commitment to non-coercion is a joke.

  8. Opposing people based on what they want to do once we get the government out of our way is absurd–until we get the government out of the way.

    We have so much government to get out of the way and so many people who oppose us getting government out of the way, we need all the help we can get.

    1. Ken, these turds were commies, I know you live in Cali, but come on….

      1. They were anarchists.

        Read the paragraph from the piece that starts with “They also were early foes of the Marxist dictatorship in Moscow. and ends with “One European communist activist even suggested that Goldman be burned in effigy.”

        Hell, Orwell was a socialist, and he once wrote:

        “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

        http://www.goodreads.com/quote…..naries-but

        I think Orwell was right then and it’s still true today. And if we can’t make cause with fellow libertarians (as the opposite of authoritarians as Orwell described them) then we’re just gonna keep getting raped by the authoritarians over and over again.

        What people advocate doing once we’ve replaced much of the government with something better isn’t as important as getting more people to advocate that we replace the government with something better.

      2. Hell, where’s Kevin Carson when you need him? I haven’t seen him around here in years. I’d much rather make common cause with people who see things like Kevin Carson and want to whittle down the government–than adamantly insist people see things my way while continuing to suffer Progressivism and whatever new flavor of socialism.

        Do you know anything about mutualism?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_ (economic_theory)

        If we libertarians are going to have more influence in the future than we have now, it’ll only happen becasue we have more people and more support than we have now. You just don’t have to agree with me about what Libertopia will look like to help us start whittling down on authoritarianism in government.

        Our backs are up against the wall. We need all the help we can get. We are in no position to be exclusive. To only accept anti-authoritarians–if they already agree with us on everything? Why don’t we just threaten to hold our breath until we turn blue?

        1. Ken, early 20th century anarchists were leftist authoritarians.

          1. err, no:
            Voltairine de Cleyre
            Albert J. Nock
            Rose Wilder Lane
            Isabel Paterson
            H.L. Mencken

        2. IOW, since we’re crippled by our own principles from committing acts of violence and terrorism, we should outsource it to experts who believe our property should be subjugated to the collective, but “agree” with us that there shouldn’t be a state.

          And I thought Tony was a smarmy fuck. You, sir, take the cake.

          1. Anarchists who think property will disappear once the state disappears are wrong. That wouldn’t bring about the end of property–no matter what they say.

            Meanwhile, we have so few people who want a small government; making unnecessary divisions between us is a profoundly stupid strategy for actually achieving small government.

            We libertarians could use a big dose of anarchism in our thinking anyway–Ron Paul seems to have blown some of us way off course. To the point that some imagine that politicians (like Paul) or elections are the solution to our problems.

            Libertarianism isn’t a cultural identity–it isn’t an us vs. them thing. I don’t really care WHY people want small government. I’m not about to kick them out of bed becasue they don’t want it for the same reasons I want small government.

            If they want a small government, then we’re fellow travelers. There isn’t anything stupid about that. Setting the cause of smaller government back for insufficient reason is stupid.

            To the extent that we have the same goal of delegitimatizing the authority of the state, to the extent that we both want to make the government as small as possible, we share common goals.

            We’ve already got libertarians, Libertarians, free state people, Paultards, objectivists–throwing some anarchists into the mix isn’t about to ruin the group hug.

            1. Dude, these last four posts are full on retarded.

              1. If you’re having problems thinking for yourself or understanding what other people write? That doesn’t make them retarded.

                What’s retarded is conflating people who hated a communist state for its statism with statists.

                What’s retarded is excluding anarchist thought from libertarian thought–something Rothbard sure didn’t do.

                If libertarianism is about minimizing the role of government, and the job of libertarians is to make more libertarians, then excluding whole groups of people from libertarianism becasue they come to the same conclusions we do about the size of the government–just from a different angle? That’s retarded.

                Maybe the problem is the people who can’t tell the difference between anarchists and communists?

                I don’t know. You explain it to me. Small state libertarians making common cause with people who want to minimize the size of the state–why is that retarded?

                1. The problem, Ken, is that for left-anarchists freedom is a talismanic word and not an understood or treasured concept. The only reduction in state power that is in practice worked for is in cases where it can immediately be replaced by coercive “workers’ councils” or other cooperatives. There is nowhere in the world where left-anarchists work to reduce state power in a non-revolutionary context, and the few examples of their successes in revolution have left behind historical oddities which libertarians should not help them achieve, to put it mildly. Left-anarchists do not have our same political goals or conception of freedom, hence the contradiction of a self-proclaimed “anarchist” demanding laws on minimum wage or for larger welfare states.

                  I’m all for a big tent, but at some point you have to recognize that a certain size tent is more likely to bring a wolf into the fold than another goat into the herd.

                  1. “The problem, Ken, is that for left-anarchists freedom is a talismanic word and not an understood or treasured concept.”

                    I know what you mean–to a certain extent.

                    Their preferences aren’t necessarily my preferences–some of the evidence suggests they might not share my preferences at all.

                    Ever been to or looked at Zapatistas in Chiapas?

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..ZLN.01.jpg

                    They’re still autonomous–thoroughly anarchist-socialist, but then I suspect indigenous cultures probably lean socialist sans any formal political ideology.

                    If the federal government were smaller here in the U.S., and local communities ruled themselves, I suspect some of them would have harsher definitions of freedom than others. I’d personally argue for or move to a community that had a definition more like mine. Anyway, I think it unlikely that very many small cities would come up with systems of justice, etc. that were just like the indigenous people’s of Central America.

                    1. Regardless, we’re never going to shrink the size of the government unless we find ways to appeal to more people–people who aren’t on board right now. When I look at mutualists like Kevin Carson…

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Carson

                      …I don’t see a communist at all. If I’m not mistaken, that was the same Kevin Carson that used to be a regular around here at Hit & Run. I guess we chased him away?

                      I know I keep pounding on the same drum around here, but the same thing is still true–we have to find ways to be more inclusive as libertarians and strive to stop driving people away who might be our allies.

                      I’d like to see small government (for one reason) because it might let us eliminate the corporate tax. But If somebody else wants less government because government makes it easy for corporations to prey on the weak and the poor, I don’t have any problem with that at all.

                      It’s hard enough to get our fellow Americans to think about legalizing marijuana, getting rid of Social Security, etc.–much harder to get them to imagine a world with a truly small government. If there are groups of people out there who already subscribe to the idea of really small government, then we should be sending them engraved invitations.

                    2. “If there are groups of people out there who already subscribe to the idea of really small government, then we should be sending them engraved invitations.”

                      Not chasing them away because they care about the poor and the downtrodden or becasue they’re anarchists and not official libertarians.

                2. Um,

                  They’re fucking communists that want to kill the bad people take their property and give power to the right people to reorder human nature.

                  Would you make common cause with racists that wanted to eliminate the state, so that they could kill the inferior races and thereby perfect the human genome?

                  There’s no real difference between two. The only difference is in who they want to kill and what they think is the human ideal.

                  1. “They’re fucking communists that want to kill the bad people take their property and give power to the right people to reorder human nature.”

                    There are more kinds of Anarchists than there are kinds of libertarians. It is not a monolithic movement. There are even Anarchists who believe in capitalism!

                    Have you heard of Murray Rothbard?

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Rothbard

                    Individualist anarchists are generally not communists–no matter what you may have heard. And even the “communist” Anarchists didn’t really support the government taking over and shoving communism down everybody’s throats like The Soviet Union, China, the Khmer Rouge, and Cuba did…

                    From up top:

                    Goldman and Berkman were the two most prominent anarcho-communists of late 19th and early 20th century America. (That is, they thought the state should be abolished but believed in communal ownership of the means of production.)”

                    If a bunch of people want to get together and set up a commune and own everything communally like a bunch of Hutterites, why should the people of Libertopia stop them? So long as everything is done voluntarily, you get to do what you want in Libertopia–that’s what Libertopia is all about. But first we have to get the government as small as possible. …and we’re gonna need some help to do that. All the help we can get.

                    1. “External control are you gonna let them get you?
                      Do you wanna be a prisoner in the boundaries they set you?
                      You say you want to be yourself, by Christ, do you think they’ll let you?
                      They’re out to get you get you get you get you get you get you get you!

                      Be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do
                      I am he and she is she but you’re the only you.
                      No one else has got your eyes, can see the things you see.
                      It’s up to you to change your life and my life’s up to me.
                      The problems that you suffer from are problems that you make.
                      The shit we have to climb through is the shit we choose to take.
                      If you don’t like the life you live, change it now it’s yours.

                      …”

                      —-Big A, Little a, Bouncing B
                      Crass

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIdcDL64KCE

                      The lyrics to the whole song are on that YouTube page. Just click “Show More”.

                      Read them and tell me which part’s the Communist part.

                      It could have been written by a Libertarian, but it was written by an Anarchist.

                    2. Goldman and Berkman were the two most prominent anarcho-communists of late 19th and early 20th century America. (That is, they thought the state should be abolished but believed in communal ownership of the means of production.)”

                      Both actually existed outside of the libertarian movement.

                      And Goldman especially was the worst sort of murdering communist asshole. Maybe you think Beria would be a good ascot because his name and image are kinda cool and no one remembers any of the shit that he wrote or did anyway.

                      For me, libertarianism has enough real heros and has no need to “re habilitate” the reputations of degenerate assholes. YMMVV.

                      If a bunch of people want to get together and set up a commune and own everything communally like a bunch of Hutterites, why should the people of Libertopia stop them? So long as everything is done voluntarily, you get to do what you want in Libertopia–that’s what Libertopia is all about. But first we have to get the government as small as possible. …and we’re gonna need some help to do that. All the help we can get.

                      Yeah, except that is about the opposite of what Goldman advocated and expressing thoughts like that during her catalonian revolutionary days would earn you a couple ounces of lead thought your right eye.

                    3. indentured servitude is voluntary.

                      so is adoption for $.

                      there are human bargains that are crimes against basic rights.

                      this is the same stuff as outlawing high usury rates. the rates arent outlawed because noone would take the loan. they are outlawed because its exploitive, even tho voluntarily entered.

              2. When a person can merely remark that something is “retarded”, it usually means that they do not have any other intellectual recourse to deal with something but mentally empty rhetoric.

  9. “Berkman himself attempted to assassinate the industrialist Henry Clay Frick, after the Homestead Steel Mill manager had Pinkerton detectives open fire on striking workers.”

    So, we accept the standard, left wing version of that story? Innocent, peaceful workers gunned down by capitalism’s hired goons? The reason I ask is that much of the left’s “history” has been proven false. Joe Hill? Probably guilty. Sacco and Vanzetti? Even their lawyer thought one of the two absolutely guilty of the murder charge. Rosenbergs? We now know Julius was a Soviet spy. Alger Hiss? Guilty as charged. And recently we have Mumia…

    Christopher Hitchens once said (even before he leaned in the neocon direction) that he wanted to write a book titled, “Guilty: a Revised History of the Left.”

    How about a sympathetic bio of Henry Clay Frick? The two I remember are something like “Gospel of Greed” and “Meet you in Hell.”

    1. “So, we accept the standard, left wing version of that story? Innocent, peaceful workers gunned down by capitalism’s hired goons?”

      No, it’s a lie. See “Meet You in Hell”; the union thugs tried to prevent the Pinkertons from occupying the mill. With guns.

      1. Do you see how your reflexive disgust for unions has caused you to defend one of the most aggressively anti-liberty police forces in US history?

        1. We’re not defending the Pinkerton police force writ large, just arguing that in this instance the unions were complicit in the violence and were not the kind-hearted peaceful protesters that leftists pretend they were. I don’t like cops, but if someone shoots at one I’ll defend his right to shoot back.

          Do you see how your reflexive disgust for libertarians has caused you to argue with positions that were never actually advocated?

          1. “the unions were complicit”

            Read the book. The unions were not “complicit”, they were the instigators of violence against people hired to protect the property.
            They, and no one else, are to blame for the Homestead deaths.

            1. Read the book. The unions were not “complicit”, they were the instigators of violence against people hired to protect the property.

              Yep.

              The ability of union goons to get away with private violence has seriously diminished in the post WWII era, I think it’s the major reason that union membership has been in a steady decline.

              And it’s only going to get worse for unions now that video cameras are everywhere.

              Union action like what happened at Homestead would be viewed around the world within days, kills the union organizing efforts and most likely lead to criminal charges.

        2. Re: The Dehydrated,

          Do you see how your reflexive disgust for unions has caused you to defend one of the most aggressively anti-liberty police forces in US history?

          Pointing out a fact =/= “defending”

          The fact is that the Unions did not own the factories. Case closed.

        3. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 4:07PM |#
          “Do you see how your reflexive disgust for unions has caused you to defend one of the most aggressively anti-liberty police forces in US history?”

          You stupid asswipe, read the book I referenced.
          Standiford is no friend of capitalists, but he is at least honest enough to make you a liar.

  10. Wow.

    Next time Sharon, write about someone interesting. Hoover should have put them in front of a firing squad instead of deporting them.

    “…..they thought the state should be abolished but believed in communal ownership of the means of production.”

    Isnt that the stated end of Marxism? Then these two fuckwits bumble around the USSR and see their philosophy in reality…I assume they then saw the light and became staunch supporters of the free market, yes? Nah, no doubt they decided it was the wrong people. I hope they both died of colon cancer.

  11. The only good communist is a dead communist. Leaning a little to the left there, S.

    1. I am unrepentant in my hate for communists and the left in general.

      1. It’s kind of disheartening that this sort of bullshit gets published here.

        1. I am reading about Sharon Presley now, not sure what to make of her yet.

          1. From her interview with Reason;

            What is Libertarian Feminism?

            ” That women should be judged as individuals and not on the basis of their gender.”

            So how is that different from Libertarianism? Hanging the Feminism tag on there makes me think she sees everything in terms of gender.

            Still not sure what to make of her.

            1. I can get on board with that as a response to left-wing, “give us free shit” feminism.

            2. Feminism REQUIRES the state. To the vast majority of feminists a capitalistic society is a society where they have to be reliant on men to help them take care of their children. They want a society where the government always supports them, they can divorce their husband and go on welfare, they can have sex with whoever makes them feel good without having to ask the man to pay for their birth control, and if they ever get pregnant they don’t have to drop 1,000$ for an abortion. Essentially, it’s about free sex with no consequences. That’s what the feminists mean when they talk about ‘gender equality.’

              1. Funny thing is that macho men call a place with women that want consequence free sex paradise.

        2. Either the Koch boys have absolutely no idea what the hell is going at their magazine anymore, they’re getting ready to sell it off to some left wing entity, or Obama has threatened to throw them in prison.

          I can’t think of any other rational explanations for the rather disturbing turn this place has been taking lately.

          1. Your story has become tiresome.

            1. Not nearly as tiresome as fawning admiration for terrorists and Vanguard communists.

              Maybe that sort of thing is your bag, but not mine.

            2. Jealous of someone with a well-reasoned arguement, are we?

          2. A substantial portion of the Koch’s fortune comes from helping the Russian commies develop their oil industry.

  12. But their ideas about the importance of individual liberty, their suspicion of the state, and a great deal of their activism should resonate.

    Something resonates, all right, and that would be the contradiction between espousing individual freedom while, at the same time, advocate for communal property, which is anathema to the principle of self-ownership from whence property rights stem.

    1. I find your lack of faith disturbing OM. Why once the state is abolished we’ll just need to give dictatorial powers to a Worker’s Committee to ensure a smoothe transition to a communal worker’s utopia. Any people who resist the collectivization of their property will surely be reasoned with in a non-violent fashion by the Committee.

      1. And if that shit don’t work, off to the death camps with ’em!

      2. If you take the time to read the article, you’d know that they vehemently disagreed with exactly the series of events you describe.

        1. …but not with what happened in anarchist Catalonia, which Goldman endorsed with enthusiasm.

          1. The first quote I found from Goldman on Catalonia was this: “With Franco at the gate of Madrid, I could hardly blame the CNT-FAI for choosing a lesser evil: participation in government rather than dictatorship, the most deadly evil.

            Which hardly sounds like enthusiastic endorsement.

            But I’m no expert on this period or topic of history, so if I should be looking at another piece of evidence I happily will.

            1. This is a source sympathetic to Goldman and revolutionary anarchism which should nonetheless make clear how partisan her support for revolutionary Catalonia was: http://books.google.com/books?…..q&f;=false

              As far as the atrocities in revolutionary Catalonia go, George Orwell and Sam Dolgoff (both sources sympathetic to the movement) should correct your ignorance on the subject. A general history of the Spanish Civil War would be an even better corrective.

              Goldman’s copious writings, speeches, and visits to Catalonia are hardly a secret, and the Reason contributor responsible for the article surely knew about this and other execrable movements which were fully supported by the anarchist duo.

              1. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but can you point me to the section of that 300 page book that I should be paying attention to?

                I’m willing to believe there’s a smoking gun in there, but I’m not going to spend all afternoon looking for it.

                1. There’s no “smoking gun”; the entire book is based on a commonly-regarded sympathy held by a well-known anarchist at the time. She wasn’t exactly shy about her views, and was a representative of the CNT-FAI in London.

                  From Berkeley’s Emma Goldman Papers site (a site dedicated to the preservation of Goldman’s polemics):

                  “Goldman thought the Spanish Civil War was not only crucial to the international struggle against fascism, but also a great moment in the history of Spain and the world. It was in her view the only peasant and working-class revolution ever to be inspired by anarchist ideals. Building on more than a half-century of agitation and organization, the Spanish anarchists by the mid-1930’s had won popular support in parts of Spain–with Catalonia their strongest base. When Emma visited collectivized towns and farms in Aragon in 1936 and the Levante in 1937, she was electrified by what seemed to her to be the beginnings of a Spanish anarchist revolution.”

                  As for why that’s a Bad Thing, that will take more than a simple cite but you can start with Prof Caplan’s discussion on the subject: http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/spain.txt

                  Suffice it to say it’s about as bad as you’d expect a “working class revolutionary movement” from the 30s to have been, and maybe worse in some respects.

                  1. I think the violence had less to do with a “working class revolutionary movement” and more to do with “a brutal civil war”. The Orwell quote at the beginning of that paper is:

                    In “Looking Back on the Spanish War,” George Orwell writes, “I have little
                    direct evidence about the atrocities in the Spanish civil war. I know that
                    some were committed by the Republicans, and far more (they are still
                    continuing) by the Fascists. But what impressed me then, and has impressed
                    me ever since, is that atrocities are believed in or disbelieved in solely
                    on grounds of political predilection. Everyone believes in the atrocities
                    of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever
                    bothering to examine the evidence.”

                    1. Fuck off if you’re not going to read the rest of the paper. Atrocities from the fascist Nationalists are (rightly) contextualized in the Civil War and appropriately condemned as horrific. The governance, redistribution, and creation of a “classless” and religion-free society on the part of the Catalonian anarchists through violence was unnecessary (and in fact counterproductive) in the fighting of a civil war; it *was* necessary for the establishment of the type of governance that anarchists desired.

                      And if it in fact the violence was not necessary, then what does it say about Goldman that she continued to praise the barbaric movement as the most perfect embodiment of her philosophy yet?

                    2. I’m saying that viewing atrocities committed by the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War without the context of the atrocities committed by the fascists causes you to reach a spurious conclusion about the goals and ideas of those Republicans.

                      Maybe ghandi-like passive resistance would have brought Franco and his goons to their knees. I doubt it.

                    3. Hilarious. The person who tells me that he is “no expert” on the subject matter in question proceeds to make broad categorical judgements on the participants — to the point where he can dismiss the violence on the part of Republicans as within the context of civil war, while characterizing those of the fascists as inappropriate within that same exact context.

                      Here’s some news for you, buddy: gathering your revolutionary posse and heading to the next Republican-controlled town to start killing people without a political affiliation does nada for your cause in a revolution and is at any rate horrific to anyone with a conscience. Committing violence and theft to establish and organize an anarcho-syndicalist utopia in territory that is firmly under Republican control has *nothing* to do with civil war-related violence — and if you justify that sort of violence, then you’re a shitty excuse for a human being and certainly don’t deserve any praise. I hope that your statements stem from ignorance rather than a lack of moral fiber.

                    4. I’m no expert about the Spanish Civil War, but from what I’ve read in the last 2 hours, the anarchists fought with the Republicans against Franco and the Fascists.

                      I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

                    5. That’s my point, idiot. Anarchists made a point of going town-to-town in areas they already controlled to root out people who weren’t sufficiently committed to their revolutionary ideal, including moderate Republicans and/or working class types who were deemed such. These events would lead to the execution of hundreds of people over the course of a couple of hours after a series of Potemkin “revolutionary trials”. IOW, this had *nothing* to do with fighting a civil war and *everything* to do with killing and oppressing people that didn’t fit.

                      No one takes the face value claim of fascists that every union leader or secularist that they killed was purely a result of having to fight a civil war. Why are you doing the same in the case of the Republicans?

                    6. I’m not defending those pogroms. I doubt very much Emma Goldman did, either. Unless you have a quote where she defended the practice?

                      I think you can simultaneously think those executions are evil and understand the political and social context in which they arose– killing civilians for political reasons in a war where all sides are killing civilians for political reasons is different than a one-sided genocide, even if it’s still evil.

                    7. Go jerk off somewhere else.

                    8. So you have absolutely no evidence that Goldman supported those pogroms?

                      Oh, ok.

                    9. I have evidence that she was a card-carrying member, representative, propagandist, and polemicist for the exact political group (CNT-FAI) responsible for perpetrating these atrocities in the upper and lower ranks.

                      Fuck off, midget.

                    10. One has to ask oneself: Would a republican vitory have been preferable to nationalist victory? The nationalists were bad people, sure, but when compared to the atrocities of the Soviet Union and the republicans in Spain, are they really any worse?

                    11. Yes and no. The Republicans were somewhat ideologically diverse at the very beginning of the conflict and might have been the better horse to back at that point, but as the war progressed the two main forces became the Goldman-style anarchists in Catalonia, Valencia, and Aragon, and the more “moderate” Communist party (which was effectively an arm of the USSR). At that point it was probable that a Republican Spain would have become a Stalinist USSR client state in the mold of Cuba and the nations of the Warsaw Pact, which if nothing else would have made for a much more repressed Spain and much more of a pain in the ass for the US during the Cold War.

    2. This contradiction is why the practical end of their philosophy is is the inverse of what they say they want.

      It has been demonstrated over and over again and yet they keep railing for the same. This is why I dont think they are naive idealists. They are simply dressing up their calls for the enslavement of all in rhetoric. Slavery is what they want. They are lying fucks. ( speaking of which, where is our resident commie T o d a y?)

      It is stunning to me that we elected and then re-elected a man to the presidency who has been vomiting that very rhetoric for the entirety of his career.

  13. WTF WITH THIS SITE??

    THIS IS A LIBERTARIAN SITE,not an anarcho-communist(wtf,oxymoron) totalitarian bullshit

    and only good leftist is the death leftist, I hope bitch like Emma Goldman,Naomi Klein,Hillary Clinton get raped by a band of n*****s,so they learn to share their body ahahah

    1. Tell us what you really think.

    2. I’m going to go right ahead an assume there is something seriously wrong with you. You should probably get some mental help.

      1. WTF….this is a typical leftard response,so I’m going to assume you are a leftard:no logic and all emotion

        1)communists don’t believe in private property
        2)If they don’t believe in private property they don’t own their body
        3)if they don’t own their body they can get raped

        IS IS STRAIGHT-FORWARD LOGIC

        you leftard should drop your sociology/philosophy/soft science class and start learning some fucking ECONOMICS

        1. You said you wish Hillary Clinton would be raped and used a racial slur. The fact that I have a problem with that doesn’t mean I’m a ‘leftard’ you nutjob.

    3. Say Jack, I am with you on the good leftist, but perhaps you could lay off the n*****s bit.

      1. At least he used asterisks.

        1. I, for one, actually have slightly more respect for racists who have the balls to openly let us know what pieces of shit they are.

          Jack, on the other hand, is not only a racist piece of shit, but a coward and pussy as well.

          1. I suspect this is a false flag operator.

    4. Jack, you have that medication for a reason. Take it.

    5. Trollin’, trollin’, trolling’,
      keep them posts a rollin’

    6. I’m sure that some people might draw a distinction between legal/moral rights regarding one’s body, and legal rights regarding external objects a person might find useful. Some people might even draw further distinctions between different sorts of external objects; land, air, capital, or goods, for example.

    7. why would it be rape? a gang of horny guys is a collective. she would voluntarily comply for the good of the many.

  14. Jack, you are a fucking shithead. It’s probably Shreik in disguise.

    1. Wasted…..You? Your time? Space on the internet?

      Hmmm that reminds me….it is after 2 on the weekend, I think I will pour a drink.

      1. Anyone playing the Reason drinking game during this thread would most likely be dead.

        1. I’m not quite dead yet….

          1. Well, you’re a pro. I’m talking about your everyday Average Joe, only on plays on weekends, Reason drinking game noob.

  15. Do we have to trot out the “strange new respect” whenever it seems like an authoritarian leftist pantomimes a love of individual liberty?

    I don’t think that anarcho-capitalism is terribly feasible, but it does a great disservice to lump thugs and their supporters — Emma Goldman and her ilk in case that wasn’t clear — with individualist anarchists. Individualist anarchists, whatever the flaws in their approach, have no longstanding record of violence and certainly no record of authoritarianism. Early 20th century left-anarchism, OTOH, is littered with the corpses of people who dissented — from Makhnoist Ukraine to anarchist Catalonia to the terrorism and thievery done in the name of the cause, left-wing anarchy has always been a cover for different forms of oppression, and should not be praised by lovers of liberty for wanting that violence to emerge from a more distributed network.

  16. These comments have been predictable, but hilarious nonetheless.

    A Reason article has strayed from party orthodoxy! Where are the Koch brothers when you need them?

    1. Go fuck yourself midget.

      1. What is with the hatred for midgets in this thread? Seriously.

        And for readers of “reason” it is the climax of hilarity that a few of them 9don’t let trolling confuse you) become frothing insane if orthodoxy isn’t strictly adhered to.

    2. Do you agree with this statement:

      “their ideas about the importance of individual liberty, their suspicion of the state, and a great deal of their activism should resonate.”

      Or with the characterization of the duo as “remarkable and admirable activists”?

      AFAIK, libertarians are far from the only people who should be repelled by those descriptors used for unrepentant communists who believed wholeheartedly in bloody communist revolution, the dictatorial anarchist project in Catalonia, and unrepentant used violence against civilians to achieve their goals.

      FFS, this is like putting Jefferson Davis on a pedestal and talking about him like he was a pioneer of human liberty.

      1. Plenty of people have put Jefferson Davis on a pedestal and talked about him like he was a pioneer of human liberty in the form of Federalism.

        1. Oh? So I guess if I criticize a post on Reason with that view, what I’m really doing is screaming about a stray from party orthodoxy? Why don’t you go find out exactly what sorts of wonderful things Goldman and Berkman committed or excused violence for. Those things are why it is fucking offensive to see these thugs feted for their completely non-existent contributions to human liberty, and it is beyond tiresome to see Reason contributors give them and other apologists for authoritarianism and bloody-mindedness a stamp of approval.

        2. Yeah, who? Anyone around here derprider?

          1. Plenty of people around here think Federalism is awesome, all the time.

            I think saying “Oh yeah well guess who else was fighting for states rights” would be stupid.

            Similarly, I don’t think that every person who advocated against private property was a Marxist, nor do I think all Marxists advocated the same things.

            1. Advocating for federalism is not putting jeff davis on a pedestal.

              Do you ever get the urge to say something that isnt completely retarded? Do you ever get the urge to be anything other than obtuse? If so, you should stop suppressing those urges.

              1. I completely agree that you can advocate for federalism and yet have different views from Jefferson Davis.

                Why can’t you understand that you can advocate against private property rights without having the same views as Karl Marx?

                1. Discussion regarding generalizations is irrelevant, since Goldman’s views and life are extremely well-documented both by herself and historians.

                  Those views are repellent, and her words and actions were employed to advocate for violence on behalf of execrable movements.

                  1. Which views were repellant? Her anarchism? Or her anti-property views?

                    1. Her advocacy of violence against non-combatants opposed to both of those things in various capacities, and her support for movements which in practice were merely decentralized variants of the totalitarianism they claimed to be opposed to.

                2. See below. Advocating against private property rights is a pretense for theft. It has always proved to be so, and is so now. That different people rationalize theft in different ways does not change the fact that they are all thieves.

                  They can blather on all they want, but when they come for my property I am going to shoot their sorry asses.

                  1. I agree that property rights are critical for the functioning of a modern economy, and that the goal of anti-property movements is massive redistribution of wealth.

                    I don’t agree that those views necessarily entail advocacy of pogroms, genocide and dictatorship.

                    Minarchists believe that there is a very small role for the state, including the protection of property rights, correct?

                    How can you be an anarchist without attacking that function of the state?

                    1. “…the goal of anti-property movements is massive redistribution of wealth.

                      I don’t agree that those views necessarily entail advocacy of pogroms, genocide and dictatorship.”

                      If you want to actually achieve massive redistribution of wealth, those are the practical tools of doing so.

                3. I completely agree that you can advocate for federalism and yet have different views from Jefferson Davis.

                  Why can’t you understand that you can advocate against private property rights without having the same views as Karl Marx?

                  Because, the central point of Jeff Davis’s ideology was racism and slavery not federalism. And any number of assholes since Jeff Davis have argued for non federated racist political systems, all the way up to centralized socialist systems of government.

                  Likewise, the central evil ideological point of Goldman and Berkman is the repudiation of private property and collectivism, not the elimination of the state.

        3. For example, here are some examples of Jefferson Davis literally on a pedestal.

          http://commons.wikimedia.org/w…..ew_Orleans

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_Avenue

          1. Yeah, I remember that.

            All of us commenters, the Reason staff, and the Koch brothers pitched in for those. I gave two dollars.

            1. I agree that it would be dishonest to assert that Reason was the same as Jefferson Davis because they both support Federalism.

              I wonder why you cannot extend that principle to people who reject private property rights.

              1. Mr. Generalization generalizes. Big surprise.

                1. Generalization is a good thing unless it’s a fallacious (hasty) generalization.

                  I’m taking that as a compliment. Thank you.

                  1. I could shit on a plate and you could take that as a steak, but it don’t make it true.

                    1. It was a charitable assumption.

                      The alternative is that you’re anti-human-cognition.

                    2. You have no idea what’s going on here, do you?

                    3. I’m making you look stupid.

                    4. Yep, joe, without a doubt.

        4. Plenty of people? Here? Or are you paying too much attention to the voices in your head?

    3. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 3:23PM |#
      “A Reason article has strayed from party orthodoxy!”

      I’m not surprised you find having principles worthy of sarcasm.

      1. Apparently one of your principles is “do not publish anything I disagree with”.

        1. They have the right to publish and we have the right to vehemently disagree if we think they’re wrong. I don’t understand why you have a problem with people speaking up against something they disagree with.

        2. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 5:34PM |#
          “Apparently one of your principles is “do not publish anything I disagree with”.”

          Apparently you can’t read, asswipe.

        3. A libertarian magizine shouldn’t speak with approval on communists. Revolutionary idea, isn’t it?

      2. Derider, like Tony and the rest of his ilk, does indeed have guiding principles.

        One principle anyway: Might makes right.

        They worship violence.

        1. If this is the best summary you can provide, I’ve got to significantly lower the reading level required for my posts.

          1. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 6:40PM |#
            “If this is the best summary you can provide, I’ve got to significantly lower the reading level required for my posts.”

            Not possible, asswipe

          2. If this is the best summary you can provide, I’ve got to significantly lower the reading level required for my posts.

            Or you could be honest. Then again, those who worship violence are also known to worship deceit and deception. After all, the end justifies the means. Am I right?

    4. A substantial portion of the Koch’s fortune comes from helping the Russian commies develop their oil industry.

  17. They also were early foes of the Marxist dictatorship in Moscow. After their deportation in 1919, they returned to Russia, and at first they were enthralled with the fledging revolution. But as they toured the country, it didn’t take long for their excitement to turn to dismay. As Paul and Karen Avrich report in Sasha and Emma, their new biography of the duo, “What they learned from trusted sources and observed firsthand did not match up with the idealistic vision they had nurtured while in the United States.” The censorship and repression, the lack of food and medicine, and the ruling party’s callous control assailed them. An aghast Emma was horrified, crying that she had seen “the best human values betrayed, the very spirit of the revolution daily crucified.” The Kronstadt massacre, in which the Bolshevik government slaughtered rebelling sailors and soldiers, was the final blow. Goldman and Berkman began to plot their departure from Soviet Russia. Yet when they returned to Europe, giddy socialists enamored with the Soviet revolution didn’t want to hear what they had to say. One European communist activist even suggested that Goldman be burned in effigy.

    All this, and they still called themselves communists? “If only we can get Top. Men., we’ll get it right next time”? WTF?

    1. It was the capitalist impulses of the unenlightened proletariat that forced the leaders’ heavy handedness in communist countries.

      I learned that in college so it must be true.

    2. All that, and Goldman was right back on the horse praising the revolutionary militias of Catalonia for shooting on sight anyone in Catalonia who had money or “hoarded” food for their families.

      Goldman and Berkman were not just stupid, they were evil propagandists for murder and divestment of liberty on a grand scale.

      1. Didn’t Berkman commit suicide before the Civil War started?

        And if you have a quote from Goldman praising shooting civilians on sight, I’d love to read it.

        1. You don’t think that uncritical support of a group that did just that is repellent enough?

          C’mon dude, if a contemporary of Jefferson Davis stumps for the guy as President of the CSA, speaks fondly of the political system in the CSA, propagandizes for them in London, and does so while things like Dred Scott and Bloody Kansas are ongoing nearby where he lives, you wouldn’t let that pass. At best, that contemporary would be blitheringly naive; at worst, he would know that those things are wrong and be engaging in a cover-up so as to not make Davis look bad in front of people with a certain sensibility. Goldman lived in Barcelona during the wiretappings, the replacement of courts with revolutionary councils, the burnings of churches with their occupants inside, and the tortures and killings of civilians who were insufficiently in favor of revolutionary anarchy. Don’t give me that bullshit.

          1. Milton Friedman gave uncritical support to Pinochet, even though he didn’t agree with Pinochet’s atrocities.

            1. 1) That’s completely untrue. In many sources, including his PBS documentary Free To Choose (published in the 80’s during the Pinochet rule and undoubtedly his most well-publicized work), Friedman said the following:

              “Chile is not a politically free system, and I do not condone the system. But the people there are freer than the people in Communist societies because government plays a smaller role. … The conditions of the people in the past few years has been getting better and not worse. They would be still better to get rid of the junta and to be able to have a free democratic system.”

              So, besides not condoning the junta and advocating for its replacement with a democratic system on his most-watched program and elsewhere, I guess you’re entirely right.

              2) Friedman never, ever held out Pinochet’s regime as the best form of what he advocated. Goldman did hold out Catalonia as the closest region to her ideals.

              3) The death toll of Pinochet’s regime over 20 years is around 3000. That is less than half the estimated number of political murders in Catalonia during the first month of anarchist rule. I think both regimes were repellent. You, however, seem to favor a party with many more political murders on its hands. Interesting, that.

              1. https://reason.com/archives/200…..e-dictator

                Even Friedman’s staunch libertarian fans can wonder about the ultimate propriety of his association, however brief or tenuous, with the dictator. As Austrian economist Peter Boettke once told me, many economists in his tradition?most of whom are hardcore libertarians?find the notion of working in even something as innocuous as public finance distasteful?like “bean counting for the mafia.” Friedman didn’t harbor such visceral disgust for government or those who govern. He was a policy realist, and tried to deal with the world as it was–to mesh his policy radicalism with the gears of power as they existed.

                1. Fuck off, midget.

                2. All he did was give the man advice on how to run the economy. He said the same things to communist leaders, the difference was that pinochet listened.

                  1. Friedman did not “give the man advice on how to run the economy”. He met with Pinochet once during a visit to Chile to give a lecture to a private institution.

                    The meeting was the same courtesy he extended to heads of state in countries he visited all over the world, including as noted the leaders of China ans other communist regimes.

                    These meetings were more a matter of those leaders wanting to meet Milton Friedman, the Nobel Laureate than they were of Friedman wanting to meet them.

                3. Friedman’s “association” with Pinochet was so brief and tenuous that it consisted of a single meeting with the dictator while Friedman was visiting the country to give a lecture at a private institution.

                  He also refused honorary degrees from two universities to avoid the appearance of supporting Pinochet’s government.

              2. Friedman also refused honorary degrees from two Clean state universities with specific statements that he did not want to even appear to support the Pinochet regime.

                But leftists like The Derider will continue to repeat the old lie that “Milton Friedman gave uncritical support to Pinochet”, no matter how many times it is repudiated.

                1. “…Chilean state universities…”

                2. Because joe is an unrepentant liar.

            2. Re: The Derider,

              Milton Friedman gave uncritical support to Pinochet, even though he didn’t agree with Pinochet’s atrocities.

              If the guy did not agree with the atrocities, then how could his supposed “support” for Pinochet be “uncritical”?

              Your perfunctory attempt at defaming the man made you commit a logical contradiction.

            3. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 6:12PM |#
              “Milton Friedman gave uncritical support to Pinochet,”

              What asswipe means is that Friedman answered the questions the Pinochet government asked.
              Asswipe uses that fact to invent asswipe’s claim.

            4. You’re a liar.

        2. You’re right about Berkman dying before the revolution, but you’ll note that The Immaculate Trouser only said Goldman praised the revolution.

          Goldman did say that if Berkman had lived longer the Spanish revolution would have ‘rejuvenated’ him and ‘given him new strength, new hope.’ That’s a pretty clear endorsement of the revolution. If I said positive things about Nazi Germany but never mentioned the holocaust, you could still make certain inferences about my opinions.

          1. If you said positive things about Nazis in 1933, I wouldn’t necessarily think you supported the Holocaust in 1945.

            1. You would have had very little reason not to think that, other than assuming that “iggy” did not read Hitler’s book.

    3. I pointed this out earlier in the thread. I am tempted to say that this happens commonly with lefties. The truth is that it always happens with them, as lefty bullshit always goes to the same place. They advocate for it precisely because they know exactly where it will lead.

      I postulate that these two hated what happened in the USSR because they werent the ones doing it.

  18. Anyone notice that any early 20th century monster will be celebrated in hagiographical articles as long as they believed in birth control?

    No one ever mentions that most of them didn’t believe in birth control as a liberty issue for women, but as an easy eugenic method for keeping the poor and minorities from ovberbreeding.

    1. Don’t say that! Reasonites love to think of themselves as being hip and cool and “culturally liberal.” If that means celebrating communist murderers, well then so be it!

  19. Really thought those who read Reason Magazine would also actually use reason when they think things through… Anarchism is the logical conclusion of everything that libertarians believe in, if they would finally take all their beliefs to their logical end. This is also why anarchists, especially in the U.S., were originally called libertarians. And it wasn’t until (the time of) Murray Rothbard, who purposely set out to coop the name libertarian for his own version of capitalism, was the name libertarian separated from anarchism. (This must also be around the time when libertarians lost their reason.) An anarchist, including Goldman and Berkman, has the main goal of freedom for all, just like current-day libertarians. But unlike what passes for libertarian today, anarchists take that freedom into all aspects of life. This is why anarchists do not equate freedom with capitalism because for them capitalism is structurally inherently hierarchical. This is also why they would ultimately disagree with current-day libertarians. For instance, the anarchist does not understand why libertarians claim freedom but still believe in having a boss and why they would believe in being a boss. So that is one of the questions anarchists have for the current-day libertarians: If you believe in freedom so much, why do you still believe in having or being a boss, which is inevitable within the inherently hierarchical relationship that is capitalism?

  20. Really thought those who read Reason Magazine would also actually use reason when they think things through… Anarchism is the logical conclusion of everything that libertarians believe in, if they would finally take all their beliefs to their logical end. This is also why anarchists, especially in the U.S., were originally called libertarians. And it wasn’t until (the time of) Murray Rothbard, who purposely set out to coop the name libertarian for his own version of capitalism, was the name libertarian separated from anarchism. (This must also be around the time when libertarians lost their reason.) An anarchist, including Goldman and Berkman, has the main goal of freedom for all, just like current-day libertarians. But unlike what passes for libertarian today, anarchists take that freedom into all aspects of life. This is why anarchists do not equate freedom with capitalism because for them capitalism is structurally inherently hierarchical. This is also why they would ultimately disagree with current-day libertarians. For instance, the anarchist does not understand why libertarians claim freedom but still believe in having a boss and why they would believe in being a boss. So that is one of the questions anarchists have for the current-day libertarians: If you believe in freedom so much, why do you still believe in having or being a boss, which is inevitable within the inherently hierarchical relationship that is capitalism?

    1. Why do you still believe in a boss being able to own the fruits of others’ labor, which is very much one of the definitions of a Master? Why do you stop your critique of hierarchies and bureaucracies, in order to achieve freedom for all, at the doorsteps of only the State?

      1. “Boss” is a shorthand for one of the participants in the vast network of exchanges of goods and labor informally called “labor markets”. They are not a master nor owner of their employees; merely beneficiaries of their employees’ labor just as employees are beneficiaries of the compensation that their “boss” is providing in exchange for said labor.

        There is nothing inherently wrong with hierarchical relationships, provided that they are mutual and voluntary. If they are in fact mutual and voluntary, then forcibly ending such hierarchical relationships is an imposition on my freedom to establish relationships as I choose. That is why libertarians are opposed to the forms of anarchy advocated by Goldman et al, and frankly even a cursory overview of the history of anarchism should reveal exactly why employing violence to end hierarchical forms of organization should be repellent to any moral individual.

      2. You do realize that a boss ‘being able to own the fruits of others’ labor’ is generally because the boss put up capital for whatever business you’re talking about, right? Capital is the real source of economic growth, not labor. More importantly, a boss is not a ‘master’ since you have to agree to work for him in the first place.

        More importantly, how in the hell do you plan to redistribute wealth in your glorious workers’ paradise without a government to do the redistributing? Notice how unsustainable your political philosophy becomes when you actually think about it?

      3. It’s called freedom of association, you stupid prick.

      4. Why do you still believe in a boss being able to own the fruits of others’ labor…?

        In my emotional youth, before I learned to think, I often wondered that myself.

        What good is the laborer’s labor without the boss taking a risk and investing in some means of production?

      5. Because the laborers agreed to sell said fruits, in exchange for wages. Why do you believe in interfering with this presumably peaceful interaction? Such interference is more like that of a Master to me…

      6. Why do you still believe in a boss being able to own the fruits of others’ labor…

        I’m s merchant. I buy personal property from people; transport, rearrange and market the same property to other buyers for a higher price.

        Am I stealing the fruits of others’ labor? And if so, why do they voluntarily sell to me?

      7. “Why do you still believe in a boss being able to own the fruits of others’ labor”

        The boss (ie, management) does the work of organizing and coordinating the efforts of the actual labor, and ensuring that they’re all contributing to the group goal. An anarchist society would still have leaders and organizers.

        As for the capitalist, he sacrificed some of the fruits of his own labor (at some point in time) to provide others with ability to labor more productively, rather than using them for his own consumption. His profit is compensation for that sacrifice. You may argue that it’s not fair that he reaps those gains forever, but if a worker built himself tools to increase his productivity, he would continue reaping those same gains “forever” (until they broke), so it seems like a double standard to me.

    2. I dont know who you think you are jerking off there Anarcha, but anyone who eschews private property rights is trying to concoct a pretense for theft. I have seen it too many times.

    3. Anarchists are not about redistributing wealth, which can only makes sense within the capitalist logic, but for giving workers what they are worth to begin with so it doesn’t even have the chance to be redistributed, so that everyone can actually take responsibility for their own lives, et cetera. But the way capitalism is structured, the only way for it to continue is to give workers less then they are worth and to continue growing for the sake of growth. This is how one makes profit, and why profit, in the capitalist sense, is the actual primary theft within the system. So anarchists would question the “beneficiary” aspect of this relationship when we are not getting what we are actually worth. This is also why the only way we can maintain cheap commodities is by paying workers, whether here in the U.S. or in other countries, an extremely cheap wage, which undermines our abilities to pay rent or a mortgage, buy decent food, buy our children warm clothes, health insurance, et cetera…

    4. Anarchists are not about redistributing wealth, which can only makes sense within the capitalist logic, but for giving workers what they are worth to begin with so it doesn’t even have the chance to be redistributed, so that everyone can actually take responsibility for their own lives, et cetera. But the way capitalism is structured, the only way for it to continue is to give workers less then they are worth and to continue growing for the sake of growth. This is how one makes profit, and why profit, in the capitalist sense, is the actual primary theft within the system. So anarchists would question the “beneficiary” aspect of this relationship when we are not getting what we are actually worth. This is also why the only way we can maintain cheap commodities is by paying workers, whether here in the U.S. or in other countries, an extremely cheap wage, which undermines our abilities to pay rent or a mortgage, buy decent food, buy our children warm clothes, health insurance, et cetera…

      1. Capitalism also creates a permanent unemployment that has to be constantly shifted around, even to other countries (which is a huge part of our so-called “free-trade” agreements: to basically shift the unemployment unto others by flooding their markets). Unemployment comes from, for instance, when robotics started to do more work in the factories, and continue to do so more and more, and we didn’t use these technological advancements to liberate ourselves, because only the elite few get to own the technology. So instead of all getting to work less and enjoy time with family, for example, they get fired, no work at all. This creates a permanent unemployment because those jobs will not be coming back unless we de-technologize, which would be pointless when we should be utilizing our intelligence and technology for liberation… And plus we are a global economy now. So we really have to start thinking of unemployment in a global way. For better or worse, the workers in China and India, for example, are also now part of the American workforce and economy. This is a consequence of globalization. In a globalized economy we have to really start thinking in a global way about what all the structures of our lives are doing to humanity, as a whole, to its detriment…

        1. “only the elite few get to own the technology”
          Gee, wonder why? Maybe because the eltite few created the technology.

        2. Capitalism Governments also creates a permanent unemployment that has to be constantly shifted around

          FIFY

        3. Geez, you aren’t even coming up with original stupid ideas. All of your stupid ideas are discredited beliefs from like 1857. Let’s do a point by point rebuttal.

          1. You believe unemployment comes from technological advances, such as robotics taking over factory work. People have been saying this for centuries, yet until the market crash in 2008 unemployment had been at historic lows for 20 years. Why did the technological advances of the 1940s not make more unemployment relative to the 1930s? Technology doesn’t create unemployment.

          2. You claim people ‘don’t get to work less and enjoy time with family.’ Bullshit. People work fewer hours now than they have in virtually the entire history of mankind. Try again.

          3. ‘We didn’t use technological advances to liberate ourselves.’ I don’t know about you but I just spent Black Friday buying presents online and listening to music, instead of standing in line and getting trampled by middle aged women. Technology has been astonishingly liberating, it’s just that we shift our expectations every time technology improves our lives. This results in nimrods like you not realizing how good you have it relative to 99% of all human beings throughout time.

      2. To say that hierarchical relationships are mutual seems to entirely ignore what power relationships are, which also seems to be a problem with current-day libertarianism: it ignores the structure of power itself in all its forms. Volterine de Cleyre, an anarchist of Goldman’s time, wrote exactly what The Immaculate Trouser states above concerning choosing what relationships one enters, which is also the same view of Goldman and all other anarchists. The difference seems to be then, the anarchist would question how much this “hierarchical” relationship can actually be mutual or voluntary. For instance, if we start questioning the boss or our government elites, figuring out better ways to do things or exposing their abuses, we can very easily be reprimanded, fired, imprisoned, tortured, et cetera. So it is really “mutual” and “voluntary” when one side has affectively all the power? So the anarchist view of hierarchy is also an attempt to understand and confront how power itself is distributed. It would seem then we need to start thinking of how relationships of power are structured inherently in order to create relationships that give the maximal liberty for all right from the start…

        1. So, until you have the particulars of a case, you must rely on a presumption. Is a hierarchical relationship to be oppressive until proven legitimate, or legitimate until proven oppressive? Why the former rather than the latter? What about the problem that the former relies on subjective opinion rather than fact to permit relationships? What you consider unequal power may be different from what anyone else considers it to be. Who will make these judgments? What is the lesser party (the supposedly to-be-oppressed) to do while it waits for judgment, as he expects to benefit by the deal? By delaying the arrangement, you’re presumably keeping the party at its lower position.

          And, obviously, what about the employer’s side of the equation? Is it really “mutual” if the employer can’t dismiss an employee without your approval? If the business goes under, and the employer is left at a worse position while the employees at least have their paid wages, does the employer deserve reparations from the employees? If it’s operating a loss, are the employees obligated to take a pay cut, so that both parties can continue to benefit? Or is it simply impossible for the ‘boss’ to ever be the weaker party?

        2. The difference seems to be then, the anarchist would question how much this “hierarchical” relationship can actually be mutual or voluntary.

          Demonstrating that communal anarchists are liars and fools.

      3. And to leave off for now, capital within capitalism funds growth, because that’s how capitalism is structured, sure. But it is labor which makes anything happen. Of course without any labor nothing will get done no matter how much money you can throw around. And the idea that the labor is affectively worthless in the equation is already the mindset of a Master and the whole problem of capitalism.

        1. Without capital then laborers would be able to produce practically nothing, no matter how many laborers you throw around. And without land, neither capital nor labor will be able to do anything, etc.

          1. MJGreen| 11.25.12 @ 7:30PM |#
            “Without capital then laborers would be able to produce practically nothing”

            Even digging those famous holes in the ground needs shovels.

        2. But it is labor which makes anything happen.

          Did “labor” cause the sun or the earth to form? Does labor move the continents or make algae grow?

      4. Anarchism is impossible. There will always be a gang of strongmen with the monopoly on violence that gives them license to steal. That’s just life. To ignore or deny it is naive.

        In absence of government there will be groups of violent men competing for the power to steal without consequence, and the winner will become government.

        Life sucks.

      5. Re: Anarcha,

        for giving workers what they are worth

        Workers are always paid what they THEMSELVES feel are worth, otherwise they would be doing something else.

        with so it doesn’t even have the chance to be redistributed

        Are you talking about extortion, then? Is that the system you want to advocate?

      6. the reason the poor dont share in the rewards in a way that seems fair is due to negotiation and opportunity.

        a group of halfwit serfs cant start their own business. you have to be on the grid, you can only obtain resources from the grid.

        they have a grid monopoly, and govt stands at the entrance of pretty much every substantial profit vehicle, granting 1) education credentials 2) licenses to operate without which you are screwed.

        this is why halfwits who cant negotiate are indigent.

        has nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with govt sanctioning commerce.

  21. Jeez, folks, calm down. It’s just a book review. I’d agree that Goldman and Berkman aren’t entirely “admirable,” but the review makes a decent case that there’s some overlap with libertarian thought.

    I would like to know exactly what they meant by “communal ownership of the means of production.” Did it mean Communist-style everyone-owns-everything, or did it mean many different worker collectives owning their own individual businesses or farms or whatever?

    1. Everyone-owns-everything, if we’re going by the writings of Goldman.

      1. I cannot understand how that could ever be made to work, even a little bit, under any form of anarchy. Are Goldman and Berkman poster children for Orwell’s remark that some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals will believe them?

    2. NO! We must get worked up about the tepid appreciation of people who died nearly a century ago!!

      1. Stalin, Hitler, there were admirable things about their ideologies. They both opposed British imperialism. We oppose British imperialsm.(sarcasm)

  22. What Papaya said. Jesus Fucking Antichrist, it’s a review. God forbid Reason present views other than…whatever your little niche is.

    Fuck off, trollers. Drink, arse, girls!

    Also, fried chicken.

    1. I dunno. I’d want and expect a strong response if there were a sympathetic review of, say, Walter Duranty or the Rosenbergs. At best the review paints its subject in an overly flattering light — and if it is representative of contents of the book being reviewed, then are libertarians not well-served by being told that the book is inaccurate or at best incomplete in its treatment of the subject before purchase?

    2. I do tend to get a little worked up when the subject of leftiness/authoritarianism comes up.

      I have had a vodka now, so I will calm down and be my usual smiling self.

    3. What Papaya said. Jesus Fucking Antichrist, it’s a review. God forbid Reason present views other than…whatever your little niche is.

      I dunno, it seems around the time the editors of Reason saw it fit to publish Sheldon Richman’s weekly “Allahu Akbar Death to the Jews!” screed, the magazine’s editorial stance has gradually bent toward that antiwar.com “left-libertarian/liberaltarian” hipsterish bullshit.

      I swear, if Scott Shackford shits up Hit ‘n Run with another wearechange.org video where the narrator ambushes someone in government and harasses them with the narrator’s paranoid delusions about how the Zionist Bilderberg Lizard People killed Whitney Houston for some Illuminati ritual, I’ll hunt Shackford down and beat him until he loses control of his bowels either from fear and/or neurological damage due to massive head trauma.

    4. I had thought the same thing, Almanian until I read the last sentence of the review.

      I read half of the review and though, “What’s the big deal?” I then made some snarky comments before finishing the entire article.

      But these were people that would kill to get their way, hell they even tried. Murders, especially murdering commies are in no way, shape, or form “admirable.”

      Oh never mind, they believed in access to birth control, where do I mail my check for the memorial wall?

    5. Also, fried chicken.

      Only if it was soaked in buttermilk overnight.

    6. You aren’t kidding us. Reason has been gradually drifting in a leftward direction for quite some time now. It starts with supporting Obama and knifing Ron Paul in the back, then they’re ignoring and/or rationalizing many of the awful things he does, and now they’re starting to show admiration for bloodthirsty terrorists, murderers, and communists. Many of us see exactly what’s going on here; you don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    7. “God forbid Reason present views other than…whatever your little niche is.”
      It’s called capitalism, troll. We have disagreemeants about how far we want to go, but it’s safe to say that very few of would see as “admirable” people who try to murder others simply because they don’t like the “state.”

      1. Are you high?

        I’ve been actively reading and commenting here for over four years and I can’t name a single article that rationalized an Obama policy.

        (I’ll be happy to eat my hat if proven wrong.)

        1. Are you fucking kidding me?? Either you’re high on crack, or you somehow have missed everything Steven Chapman has written here over the last couple of years; practically everything the dude writes is a world class Obama dick-sucker.

          1. Whenever I see a Chapman article I just skip it. Maybe they if notice a lack of page hits, they’ll drop him.

  23. PS Also, the Browns beat the Yinzers, and Darth Vader beat Michigan, so sloopy, Warty et al had a good weekend sportswise. Here’s mud in yer collective individual eyes, ya dinny bastards!

  24. No, it did not start with Rothbard at all. As I posted above, Voltairine de Cleyre, Albert J. Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, H.L. Mencken, and earlier like Benjamin Tucker and his partner Lysander Spooner, all had the right, more consistent and more coherent form of anarchism. Libertarianism taken to its logical conclusion means anarchism, but you have to have a right understanding of what the word means. The whole reason for the coinage of the moniker anarcho-capitalism is because of such a misunderstanding (although now, that term is itself hijacked, sometimes alternatives like agorism and voluntarism is used instead)

    1. ^ reply to Anarcha

  25. Why do you still believe in a boss being able to own the fruits of others’ labor

    Why are you such an idiot?

    1. Shouldn’t that be someone’s dissertation?

  26. That is, they thought the state should be abolished but believed in communal ownership of the means of production.

    But interestingly, though she never completely converted over,

    But in the last 20 years of her life, during her 50s and 60s, Emma’s commitment to communism began to lose its edge, too. John Chalberg, whose nearly 20-year-old short biography, Emma Goldman: American Individualist, was recently republished in an expanded second edition, writes that “the more Goldman read ? and the older she got, the less convinced she was that personal happiness could be achieved through communal living.” And let there be no mistake about this: Emma Goldman was firmly in favor of personal happiness. “A revolution without dancing,” she is widely quoted as having said, “is not a revolution worth having.” She took very seriously indeed Thomas Jefferson’s idea that human beings have a natural right to “the pursuit of happiness.”

    For by this time, when she was in her 50s and 60s, Emma had been reading the American founding fathers for some years.

  27. “the more Goldman read ? and the older she got, the less convinced she was that personal happiness could be achieved through communal living.”

    A slow learner, but not completely impervious to reality, it seems.

  28. Berkman’s rash act led to a 14-year prison sentence, where he mastered English, matured without giving up his principles, and learned to be more reflective. His Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, though written several years after his release, is done in the style of a first-person diary, but it is more of an emotional and intellectual coming of age account that shows not only the horrors of prison life but the development of Berkman’s thought.

    Memoirs of an Imbecile sounds more accurate.

  29. I named my dog Emma Goldman.

  30. Anarchists are not about redistributing wealth, which can only makes sense within the capitalist logic, but for giving workers what they are worth to begin with so it doesn’t even have the chance to be redistributed, so that everyone can actually take responsibility for their own lives, et cetera.

    Also, fairy dust.

  31. But their ideas about the importance of individual liberty…

    “So aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

    1. And who was it that made the trains run on time?

  32. The Derider| 11.25.12 @ 4:07PM |#
    “Do you see how your reflexive disgust for unions has caused you to defend one of the most aggressively anti-liberty police forces in US history?”

    Read the book “Meet You in Hell”; the author is no friend of capitalism, but is honest enough to make a liar of asswipe.
    Here’s what happened: Frick hired the Pinkertons to protect the works against union thuggery. The Pinkertons tried to land on the shore of the river a couple of places to avoid the union mob and take possession of the works. The union mob chased the Pinkertons and fired on them; the Pinkertons fired back.
    It was a union mob riot; nothing more or less.

    1. Gee, joe lied, whoda thunkit?

  33. Anarcha| 11.25.12 @ 4:13PM |#
    “Why do you still believe in a boss being able to own the fruits of others’ labor, which is very much one of the definitions of a Master?”

    Well, Since your comment is a lie, it’s hard to answer; no one owns the fruits of others’ labor unless the work occurs under communism or socialism. In all other cases, voluntary trade is involved.
    ————————————
    “Why do you stop your critique of hierarchies and bureaucracies, in order to achieve freedom for all, at the doorsteps of only the State?”

    Hierarchies /= bureaucracies, so you’re starting with a false equivalence.
    And then, there is nothing in a libertarian view that rejects hierarchies; just the initiation of force.

  34. OK. I think it’s safe to come out again.

    I still think it’s just a review, and not worth getting worked up over. YMMV.

    Also, MaryAnn was always better than Ginger.

    That is all.

    1. And just to piss in sloopy’s cornflakes, the Irish are undefeated and playing in the BCS championship while OSU is done for the season.

      So what bowl should Florida and Oregon be matched up in?

  35. These people oppose the government AND private property. Not just ideologically, they advocated private proerty being siezed from people, and redistributed to “workers concils, who would make the state unnesacery. Why Reason has any simpathy for these criminals I have no idea. Ayn Rand understood the danger of anarchism.

    1. Ayn Rand understood the danger of anarchism.

      She was more anti-communist than anything, regardless of what form the revolution took (anarchy, violent overthrow, democracy, etc). Growing up in revolutionary Russia will do that for you.

  36. I must say, this:

    we can only hope that we will persevere as well as these two remarkable and admirable activists.

    makes me think Sharon Presley should stick to reviewing Lady Gaga shows.

    1. Here’s her web site: http://www.sharonpresley.com/

      I’m left with the feeling the only use for Sharon Presley is to pot her, water her, and put her on the window sill.

      1. You folks are way, way too harsh. Among many other things she co-founded a libertarian group in Berkeley in 1966, and Laissez Faire Books in 1972. I’ll bet she’s got more libertarian cred and accomplishments than the entire peanut gallery in this thread put together.

        Getting all “People’s Front of Judea” because of deviations from your particular orthodoxy just sabotages to effort to advance common goals.

        Besides, she’s easy on the eyes and lives across the bridge….

        1. Dude, that’s not just a deviation, that’s a 90 degree turn. Thinking two fucktards that advocated violence against their fellow man in order to set up their anarchist communist (total oxymoron) society are admirable because they supported getting rid of the state (and replacing it with “workers councils” or whatever) is insane.

          I mean, if you’re gonna write a book review just write the review.

  37. It’s wierd how advocating birth control excuses you from mudering people in the minds of this “libertarian feminist.” To the vast majority of feminists a capitalistic society is a society where they have to be reliant on men to help them take care of their children. They want a society where the government always supports them, they can divorce their husband and go on welfare, they can have sex with whoever makes them feel good without having to ask the man to pay for their birth control, and if they ever get pregnant they don’t have to drop 1,000$ for an abortion. Essentially, it’s about free sex with no consequences. That’s feminism. Libertarianism is incompatable with it.

  38. In case anyone is actually interested, I read a lot of anarchist stuff when I was younger and it’s probably why I read an “anti-authoritarian” online magazine sometimes now. (That, and it’s free–suck it, capitalism.)

    The anarcho-communists were mostly deluded twats, IMHO. Their philosophy boils down to thinking that communism is the natural state of humankind, so you just eliminate the government forcing people not to act that way and then it’s all gravy. (FWIW, Kropotkin was an ‘an-com’ but hated the idea of violent revolution–he just thought humanity would naturally evolve in that direction.)

    I found anarcho-syndicalists like Bakunin and Mutualists like Proudhon a bit more interesting, and if you wanted to research “left-libertarian” philosophies (I don’t know–for shits and giggles) those might be better places to look. Bakunin was Karl Marx’s arch-enemy in the 1840’s, so he had a lot to say about how stupid Marxism was, and he more or less predicted what would later happen in Russia. (He eviscerated the “proletarian dictatorship” idea, pointing ot that dictatorship is dictatorship is dictatorship, regardless of who the dictator is.) Proudhon wrote about property rights, and emphasized that individuals most certainly do have the right to own what they produce and freely trade it.

    1. I believe Hayek wrote that socialism was atavistic, a longing for a return to a primitive hunter-gatherer economic model in which everyone’s food-gathering efforts were divvied up back at the encampment.

  39. The major issue in 19th-century anarchist thought is the question of who owns the things that no one produced–the hot-button issue back then was mostly about land. The English classical liberals like Locke and Smith believed in land ownership based on legal deeds to land, and the rights of the owners to use the land however they wanted, but this is complicated because those deeds came out of the Middle Ages, when being a landowner and being the government in charge of a piece of land were basically the same thing. You “owned” a piece of land if you could equip an army to force everyone to either stay off of it or pay you rent/taxes. If your family had been living somewhere for centuries, but you weren’t politically connected enough to get a deed to the land once there was a central government in place, then the person who WAS connected enough to get a deed and legally “own” it could boot you off of it at will.

  40. (This started happening en masse in England in the early 17th century, leading to increased vagrancy and rioting among evicted peasants, and when the king tried to tamp down the chaos by banning evictions and enclosures, the landlords fought back–in the process they created the modern doctrines of a natural right to “life, liberty, and property” as well as limited government. Their critics on the “left” of the day, the Diggers and Levellers, starting saying the enclosures were state-sanctioned theft. This is likely where later leftists got the notion that “property is theft.”)

    I think Proudhon would say you own what you build, so if you plant a garden no one can come and take your vegetables or force you to stop planting the land you’ve already planted, but you have no moral right to tell that person they can’t build their own garden on an unused piece of land next to yours. It gets more complicated from there, in fact you could sum up a lot of Proudhon’s writing by saying “property is complicated.”

  41. Regardless of the nefarious and infamous trolling which the Internet sadly seems to foster, I applaud Reason magazine for running this article. I also applaud for the intellectual integrity of avoiding rigid sectarianism and refusal to address the contributions of those which don’t fit one’s personal criteria of thought. This is the first time I have been so moved to leave a comment despite following Reason magazine for some time now. Well done, Reason magazine, well done!

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