Center for a Stateless Society: what a bunch of traitors…

UPDATE: Roderick Long and Roman Pearah reply, followed by each and every person who doesn’t like me coming out of the woodwork to say how crrrrrrazy I am. If I have to fit in with these morons (not Rockwell and Pereah, who are by and large mostly good people) to be considered an anarchist in good standing, or whatever, then I’m afraid you’re gonna have to keep me off the mailing list.

***

I’ve always had my doubts about the Center for a Stateless Society, although other Anarchists tried to talk me out of it. But now it seems that my suspicions were in fact warranted. Look at this page advertising their first online course. You’re going to double-take when you see this:

The focus of the course will be on the text The Market for Liberty

Now keep in mind, this course is called AN INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHISM. And their main text is a book written by two Objectivists to promote capitalism! There is absolutely no indication that the text will be used to show our enemies’ intentions, or anything critical like that. In fact, it will be the FOCUS of the course. Can anyone now doubt of their evil intentions, to propagate capitalism and portray it as Anarchism?

44 thoughts on “Center for a Stateless Society: what a bunch of traitors…

  1. Dr. Q May 1, 2010 at 20:22

    Watch some of Gary Chartier’s lectures. He constantly disagrees with the authors.

  2. AnarchoJesse May 1, 2010 at 20:29

    I think you’re kind of overreacting about how bad it is and their intent, but I did think the idea of having such a course is ridiculous.

  3. James Tuttle May 1, 2010 at 20:51

    I am in the course along with Chris Lempa and Roman Pearah. We have all expressed our disagreements with the text and have had a fun time tearing it apart as much as possible.

    Overall the class experience has been enjoyable.

  4. […] tried to talk me out of it. But now it seems that my suspicions were in fact warranted. Look at this page criticizing C4SS’ first online course. You’re going to double-take when you see this: Can […]

  5. […] Reisman, I mean Tremblay, has finally seen through our evil plans. Though Neverfox makes a valiant but futile effort to disguise our true perfidy, it’s all to […]

  6. Vic Populi May 2, 2010 at 00:20

    You’re being far too harsh. Although I agree the book is an oddly narrow choice for what should be a more broadly-based course, you go far too far when you say the book “propagate[s] capitalism and portray[s] it as Anarchism”. Say what you like about them, the Tannehills are serious thinkers who have proven their anarchist bona fides. (For the record, although I am a fan of THE MARKET FOR LIBERTY, I admit I am put off by the Tannehills’ market-anarchist and Randian sympathies against them. But you will not find a better, more succinct, more visceral critique of the state than in THE MARKET FOR LIBERTY.)

    To my mind, the real question here: Does anybody have a better alternative? I’m not saying THE MARKET FOR LIBERTY can or even should have been chosen . . . but you’re kidding yourself if you think you are going to find an introductory guide to anarchism acceptable to all its schools. Bakuninite and Rothbardian anarchists are never going to agree on the essentials of what an anarchist society would look like. The only things they WILL agree on are (i) there will be no monopoly state to impose its own uniform brand of “order” and (ii) all arrangements and institutions in such a society would be voluntary and consensual (or, in the language of our libertarian brothers, “contractual”).

    Open question to anyone who wants to take on this (admittedly hazardous) challenge: If you had to choose one book as an “introduction” to anarchism (one which, presumably, would be acceptable or neutral to its various schools and factions), which would it be? Despite the fact that I like the book, I agree that THE MARKET FOR LIBERTY is not it. That said, I really can’t say I have an idea of what WOULD be “it”. This may be why it’s a mistake to make a single book the “focus” of the course.

    It may tell all of us all something (disturbing?) about anarchism that, unless someone can prove me wrong, any book suggested as acceptable/neutral to all schools of anarchism will tend to be overwhelmingly negative (anti-State) in its focus. Not that’s there anything wrong with that – this is the core of our belief system – but even I, as exceptionally negative and pessimistic as I am, find it saddening that all schools of anarchism really can’t get together and agree on at least one substantive feature of what constitutes the “ideal society”.

    And, lest I be accused of ducking the question of what I would choose if I had to pick one book as the focus of an “Introduction to Anarchism” course: Because my adherence to anarchism and rebellion against organized coercion has always been intesely personal, my – I’m sure – controversial choice would actually be Stirner’s THE EGO AND HIS OWN. I await the brickbats and name-calling.

  7. Matthieu May 2, 2010 at 01:18

    I’m in agreement with Vic Populi. C4SS is a market anarchist center. I was also put off by the book, but I kinda knew it would be like that. That’s the way they work. People are already anarchists, there’s no converting to be done. Consequently, one book or another, you know, doesn’t really matter. People will read what they want, and put aside what they don’t. Anarchy depending on the correct providing of books sounds really stupid. Finally, couldn’t care less that someone fuels market anarchism. Let capitalists have capitalism and leave the rest alone.

  8. James Tuttle May 2, 2010 at 02:46

    @Vic Populi

    My choices for introductory texts:

    Anarchism. by George Woodcock.
    A Short History of Anarchism. by Max Nettlau
    Demanding the Impossible. by Peter Marshall
    Anarchy in Action. by Colin Ward

  9. James May 2, 2010 at 06:50

    “There is absolutely no indication that the text will be used to show our enemies’ intentions, or anything critical like that.”

    Well the instructor is Gary Chartier, that should be an indication in itself, and he says in the course introduction that the book was chosen not because it’s perfect but because it’s clear and provocative. How did you make the leap from “it’s a useful conversation starter and is readily available” to “their evil intentions, to propagate capitalism and portray it as Anarchism”?

    Watch this, I hope you feel silly

    Besides aren’t you still suspected of being a capitalist double agent yourself?

  10. David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 15:45

    “the FOCUS of the course. ”

    Focus to criticize this book or to promote “anarcho”-capitalism?

  11. David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 16:25

    Is Chartier a proprietarian, or not?

    http://c4ss.org/content/1738

    capitalism-1
    an economic system that features PROPERTY RIGHTS and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.
    capitalism-2
    an economic system that features a symbiotic relationship between big business and government.
    capitalism-3
    rule — of workplaces, society, and (if there is one) the state — by capitalists (that is, by a relatively small number of people who control investable wealth and the means of production).[3]

    Capitalism-1 just is a freed market; so if “anti-capitalism” meant opposition to capitalism-1, “free-market anti-capitalism” would be oxymoronic. But proponents of free-market anti-capitalism aren’t opposed to capitalism-1; instead, they object either to capitalism-2 or to both capitalism-2 and capitalism-3.[4]

    My comment:

    I agree with the position against capitalism-2 and capitalism-3, but what about the Carson-type of Free-Market Anti-capitalism? Capitalism-1 is anarcho-capitalism, so mutualists and libsocs are against that.

    You should define “Free Market Anti-capitalism” like this;

    Free market anti-capitalism: an economic system that features POSSESSION rights (not property!) and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.

    “http://c4ss.org/content/1738#comment-1494″

  12. David Gendron May 2, 2010 at 16:33

    “Lew Rockwell and Roman Pereah reply”

    Really funny! ;)

  13. Jock Coats May 2, 2010 at 17:09

    Actually I think that The Market for Liberty could be “It” at least at the moment. It’s available in enough formats to be accessible to all, and, whilst it was the first “comprehensive introduction” I read and listened to, at the time I was not aware of Objectivism and did not even pick up on those bits that are Objectivist. What I think is important is the amount of time it spends on a core issue that stops most people even countenancing anarchism as a possibility – the whole are of law and order, restitution and so on, and it does it very well.

    I find Konkin for example skips too much and Rothbard “For a New Liberty” is in less accessible language than the Tannehills – though I prefer it ideologically.

  14. Jock Coats May 2, 2010 at 17:13

    “Anarchy depending on the correct providing of books sounds really stupid.”

    Excellent, a new sect: “Librarian-Anarchist” :)

  15. Neverfox May 2, 2010 at 19:13

    “Is Chartier a proprietarian, or not?”
    As I use the term, not. As Brainpolice defines the term, it is used “to refer to libertarian ideologies that tend to treat property as a primary value, as an absolute, or as some sort of starting point or the basis for defining everything. For example, Murray Rothbard’s declaration that all rights are property rights is an example of a form of propertarianism. More generally, propertarians tends to view freedom as reducible to a question of property and have a deontological view of property rights.”

    Gary does not, in my judgment, fit into this definition in the least, which is clear from his books and other publications. His view of property is not primary, absolute or a foundational to his theory of libertarian ethics.

    “Capitalism-1 is anarcho-capitalism, so mutualists and libsocs are against that.”

    I consider myself a mutualist/libsoc and I am not against what Gary here calls “capitalism-1”. Where Gary and I differ slightly is that I wouldn’t even call it capitalism when reduced to that level. The free market and a conception of property do not capital-ism make, as I argue here. So from that perspective, anarcho-capitalism is very much oriented towards capitalism-3, in that they would not oppose it and often argue that such an outcome is best.

  16. Neverfox May 2, 2010 at 19:36

    It’s spelled Pearah.

  17. Rad Geek May 3, 2010 at 02:13

    David Gendron:

    Is Chartier a proprietarian, or not?

    Depends on what you mean by the term.

    In response to Gary’s distinction of three different meanings of the term “capitalism”:

    I agree with the position against capitalism-2 and capitalism-3, but what about the Carson-type of Free-Market Anti-capitalism?

    What about it? Kevin is explicit that his objection is to capitalism-2 and capitalism-3, not to “an economic system that features PROPERTY RIGHTS and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.” That last is the work that “Free Market” is supposed to be doing in that phrase.

    Capitalism-1 is anarcho-capitalism,

    No it’s not. It’s a free market. When anarcho-capitalists fight with mutualists and other anticapitalist market anarchists about “capitalism,” the fight is about whether or not free markets ought to be accompanied by capitalism-3 (or something else kind of like capitalism-3). Anarcho-capitalists say yes; anticapitalist market anarchists say no.

    Anyway, did you read the rest of Gary’s paper? The whole point of the paper is that free-marketeers should think of themselves as being opposed to capitalism, in an important sense of that term.

    Tremblay:

    Now keep in mind, this course is called AN INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHISM. And their main text is a book written by two Objectivists to promote capitalism! –Francois Tremblay, at Check Your Premises

    Right. Because it’s obvious that nobody could ever learn anything from anybody who was influenced by Objectivism at some point in their intellectual career.

    So, Francois, tell me again how you came up with the name “Check Your Premises” for this blog of yours?

  18. Rad Geek May 3, 2010 at 02:18

    P.S.: You seem to have confused Roderick Long (the dude who blogs at Austro-Athenian Empire) with Lew Rockwell (head of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, LewRockwell.com, etc.). Roderick is the guy who linked to your post, not Lew.

    HTH.

  19. absurdsequitur May 3, 2010 at 16:15

    “Excellent, a new sect: “Librarian-Anarchist” ”

    C’mon, everyone knows a Librarian-Anarchist is someone who actively works to negate the authoritarian Dewey decimal system in favor of a decentralized ad-hoc non-system.

    **as for the rest of the controversy here, it seems to me that we should be saving the kind of energy put into this infighting by working towards moving more STATISTS to NON-STATIST viewpoints – regardless of how they qualify themselves as NON-STATISTS. I personally tend towards a mutualist viewpoint, but have learned a ton from reading everyone from Proudhon to Rothbard.

    If the objection that Francois is raising is that Objectivist literature is being taught WITHOUT REFERRING TO IT as Objectivist literature, then fine, that’s a sustainable objection, given that Objectivism as I understand it is explicitly a Statist (minarchist) system. (caveat: I’ve never read the lit in question, nor do I claim to know much about Objectivism, beyond the fact that most of my Philosophy prof’s regarded Ayn Rand as an incoherent quack, which probably means that she has some substance to her since most of THEM were incoherent quack’s themselves).

    But Francois, I think most people’s objection here is that you COMPLETELY jumped the gun as to the intent of this course, simply ‘judging the book by it’s cover’, or in this case by it’s authors. I read Mein Kampf as a focus of a political science course in pursuing my degree – that doesn’t mean that the Prof was a Nazi, or even a Nazi sympathizer, but simply was teaching the book as a useful tool for discussion. Similar classes focused on Das Kapital in much the same way, without being explicitly marxist classes.

    In the end though, we all agree the State is the problem, right? Maybe that should be the focus.

    Am I being too much of a ‘peace for all’ hippy here? C’mon.

    • Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 16:23

      “In the end though, we all agree the State is the problem, right?”

      No buddy, we don’t. Actual Anarchists agree that hierarchies are the problem, no matter what they are. The whole “anti-state”/”stateless society” expression is used by wannabe-anarchists to pretend that they’re radicals while supporting the most rank forms of capitalism.

  20. David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 16:41

    The State is A major problem, not THE problem!

    @Rad Geek

    François Tremblay was called François Reisman by Roderick Long. That’s why François called him Lew Rockwell.

    “The whole point of the paper is that free-marketeers should think of themselves as being opposed to capitalism, in an important sense of that term.”

    I have no problem with the rest of his paper. But the more I read about this debate, the more I see a semantic debate.

  21. Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 16:42

    No, actually that whole Lew Rockwell thing is because I actually can’t remember the difference. I already changed it.

  22. absurdsequitur May 3, 2010 at 16:42

    Francois:

    Ah, the whole ‘real anarchists’ bit. OK, would you agree then that the State, as a form of hierarchy, is one of the MAIN problems?

    Or would you rather just refuse to engage entirely, and fall back on the whole ‘my anarchy is more real than your anarchy’ shtick?

    You do realize that by classifying yourself, and your way of thinking as ‘real anarchy’, you are then creating an us vs. them mentality, which basically says ‘only folks who fall in X camp are real anarchists, everyone else is just pretending’ – and that by creating and perpetuating that mentality you are in fact, wait for it, perpetuating a hierarchy of whose ideas are acceptable and whose are not?

    And yes, yes, I know you will attack that as ‘not understanding hierarchy’ as you mean it, it’s a joke.

    Trust me, I tend to agree LARGELY with the ideas you so copiously parrot from db0 regarding hierarchy, and I agree LARGELY with db0’s critiques of ‘anarcho’-capitalism and propertarianism – but the difference between you and db0 (besides original thought) is that he is willing to engage with and debate with anyone who calls themselves an anarchist, using that as a starting point, regardless of whether he agrees with their position or not; whereas you, BUDDY, are not.

    Maybe I WAS too quick to jump on the ‘can’t we all just get along’ bandwagon – because what I should have said was ‘can’t we all just respect that we have different viewpoints?’.

    I respect that you have a different, much harsher view, on what a ‘real’ anarchist is (even though I don’t agree with it) – but I don’t really respect that you are often an asshole in your execution of that view.

    Suppose I should have unsubscribed a while ago, but I guess now is as good of time as any. Thanks for introducing me to modern anarchist thought, back in the Goosing the Antithesis days a few years ago, see ya ’round the web.

  23. Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 16:45

    I am not interested in discussing what is or is not anarchism. It should be obvious enough to anyone who looks at the definitions available and can make up his own mind.

  24. David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 16:55

    Why not changing Pearah, too? Because there is some difference here? ;)

    @absurdsequitur

    “Ah, the whole ‘real anarchists’ bit. OK, would you agree then that the State, as a form of hierarchy, is one of the MAIN problems?

    Yes, but some ancaps seems to think that State is THE problem.

  25. Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 16:56

    I did change Pearah. That’s what his name really is.

  26. David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 16:57

    There’s no unique category of “Real anarchism” but there are some values that anarchists should all have.

  27. David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 16:57

    Oh sorry, I understand now!

  28. absurdsequitur May 3, 2010 at 17:07

    @Francois: I’m not telling you to argue about what ‘is’ and ‘isn’t real anarchism – I’m not telling you to do anything really, just saying you’re being an asshole in your presentation, and I’ve been reading your stuff long enough to know that you don’t care that you are – what I AM saying is that by only deigning to talk to those you consider ‘real anarchists’, you are no different than the HuffPo liberals that only read the HuffPo, and only watch the Daily Show, etc. You are no different than the Tea Bagger Fox News-ites that only read/watch Fox News.

    Take that critique how you will, but in the end if you refuse to look outside of your own camp, look outside of your own viewpoint, and just get stuck on a cycle of eating what your own view regurgitates – well, I guess I just think it’s your loss. Again, do what you will, I just don’t see the point in you saying anything at all if you aren’t willing to stop naval gazing long enough to look around at other views.

    @David Gendron: I agree that many people see the ‘State’ as the only problem (I have fallen into that trap many times myself), my point was that at least there is common ground to start from there, as opposed to people who blindly see the State as the ANSWER. As for whether it’s worth engaging those folks… see my response to Francois above.

  29. Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 17:15

    You’re asking ME to look outside my own perspective? That I’M an asshole? Dude, have you ever been on an anarchist forum? I am downright open-minded and angelic compared to most anarchists, who would basically shoot any ancap on sight. All I’m doing is keeping ancaps honest, and they need plenty of it.

    Besides, faction-sniping IS the official anarchist sport.

  30. absurdsequitur May 3, 2010 at 17:25

    I’d hardly call jumping to the conclusion that C4SS are in fact ‘a bunch of traitors’ based on one book being chose for a class ‘keeping ancaps honest’, and being ‘open-minded’.

    So was this post written for cred in those very forums? Is that why?

    Or perhaps you were simply being sensationalistic by titling your post “a bunch of traitors”?

    Again, if you had critiqued their choice after learning more about WHY they made that choice, then perhaps people would take you seriously.

    Or perhaps, you really are trying to ‘prove’ to these forums that you’ve truly repented your old Ancap ways.

    I don’t know, nor do I really care – the only thing that made me comment in the first place is that I’ve been reading you almost from the inception of my own journey into anarchism, and was trying to bridge the fact that your comments were thoughtless with what you perhaps were really trying to say.

    Anyway…

  31. Francois Tremblay May 3, 2010 at 17:26

    I no longer post in any anarchist forums except my own. You are still stabbing in the dark. Give up while you’re ahead.

  32. David Gendron May 3, 2010 at 18:00

    “I agree that many people see the ‘State’ as the only problem (I have fallen into that trap many times myself), my point was that at least there is common ground to start from there, as opposed to people who blindly see the State as the ANSWER. As for whether it’s worth engaging those folks… see my response to Francois above.”

    In some particular issues, maybe. But if you try to smash the State without convincing yourself that all hierarchies are problematic, it will never work.

  33. Rad Geek May 4, 2010 at 14:52

    absurdsequitur: If the objection that Francois is raising is that Objectivist literature is being taught WITHOUT REFERRING TO IT as Objectivist literature, then fine, that’s a sustainable objection, given that Objectivism as I understand it is explicitly a Statist (minarchist) system. … I think most people’s objection here is that you COMPLETELY jumped the gun as to the intent of this course, simply ‘judging the book by it’s cover’, or in this case by it’s authors

    Ayn Rand’s position (and hence the orthodox Objectivist position) is minimal-statist, but The Market for Liberty is a market anarchist book, not a minimal-statist book. The Tannehills were deeply influenced by Objectivism, but (like some other Rand-influenced libertarians, e.g. Roy Childs) they disagreed with the orthodox Objectivist position on the State, and wrote The Market for Liberty as an elaboration of why the state should be abolished and how a peaceful stateless society might work.

    Anyway, while it’s not a minimal-statist text, Gary has plenty to say about the background of the book, and plenty of disagreements with the text, which anyone who listens to the lectures rather than flipping the fuck out over minimal course descriptions will hear all about. Personally, I haven’t spent much time dwelling on the caveats that Gary offers, though, because, like you said, Tremblay’s being an asshole, and what I really object to is the intellectual Stalinism on display from Tremblay when he condemns a course based solely on their use of a disapproved textbook — which, in turn, is based on the (bizarre, but revealing) tacit premise that someone teaching a course would obviously only pick a textbook that she agrees with. In a non-totalitarian intellectual climate, teachers aren’t expected to offer up a defense of the texts they choose or prove their ideological correctness to avoid being called “a traitor” to The Movement.

    David Gendron: I have no problem with the rest of his paper. But the more I read about this debate, the more I see a semantic debate.

    Well, it clearly has something to do with the meaning of words — that’s why Gary leads off his paper by distinguishing three different senses of the word “capitalism.” The debate Gary is having in that paper is actually more than a purely semantic debate — but the important point I want you to see is that it’s not a debate where he and Carson (say) are on opposite sides, not even semantically. It’s a debate where he and conventionally pro-capitalist “libertarians” are on opposite sides.

    The point of the paper is to explain why he sides with Carson and against the capitalists. (Hence, he first explains the capitalism-1 usage, and then explains why he doesn’t use the term “capitalism” that way — because it’s potentially confusing, and tends to confuse a position he accepts — market anarchism — with a position he rejects — support for the practices of actually-existing capitalists.)

    Tremblay: Dude, have you ever been on an anarchist forum? I am downright open-minded and angelic compared to most anarchists, who would basically shoot any ancap on sight.

    Dude, I’ve been actively involved in the Anarchist movement for 9 years now (not “forums,” on-the-ground organizing), and I don’t know where these “most anarchists” are, but I sure haven’t met them. From what I can see, there are a handful of screamers on those Internet forums, who piss and moan anytime something that vaguely reminds them of “anarchocapitalism” comes up — most of them people who were directly involved in the Usenet Wars at alt.anarchism in the 1990s. But the consensus opinion among a handful of screamers on the Internet is not “most anarchists.” Offline in the scene or in organizing spaces, that kind of kneejerk hostility is hardly ever seen. (While I’m not an anarcho-capitalist, I am sometimes mistaken for one, because I do sit around at Anarchist bookfairs with stuff by Rothbard and Hess included among the items on my table. And yet I haven’t been “shot on sight” yet.)

    All I’m doing is keeping ancaps honest, and they need plenty of it.

    As you please. But Gary Chartier’s not an anarchocapitalist. Neither is Brad Spangler, or most of the other people affiliated with C4SS.

  34. David Gendron May 4, 2010 at 16:19

    “But Gary Chartier’s not an anarchocapitalist. Neither is Brad Spangler, or most of the other people affiliated with C4SS.”

    I agree.

  35. David Gendron May 4, 2010 at 16:22

    But maybe François thinks that they’re too much close to baseline mutualists, and François is not a baseline mutualist.

  36. Francois Tremblay May 5, 2010 at 00:16

    Glad to know I’m a Stalinist for no particular reason except criticizing the choice of a book.

  37. AnarchoJesse May 7, 2010 at 11:45

    @Rad Geek, Absurd, et. al.:

    I think Francois has a pretty good point, even if he isn’t delivering it very well; The Market For Liberty is not a very good book at all and this isn’t even speaking from a strictly ideological standpoint– philosophically questionable concepts such as self-ownership are embedded in the text. Choosing it because it is “provacative” is a horseshit excuse; there are plenty of “provacative” anarchist texts available, and they actually explain a baseline theory of what anarchism is, which the Tannehills don’t actually describe in their book. They don’t explain the underpinnings of anarchism, they barely touch on the history of the movement, and it is specfically a book against anti-Statism– not Anarchism.

    Perhaps what has me so opposed to this course is that it claims to be an introduction, but the material used in the course is pretty incomplete and hardly touches on the concept of anarchism itself. Roman and all of you folks who are in this course: you were robbed. You could have had the same education and discussions for free, with better material.

  38. Rad Geek May 11, 2010 at 02:28

    Tremblay: Glad to know I’m a Stalinist for no particular reason except criticizing the choice of a book.

    Of course, the reason I gave for describing your attitude as “intellectual Stalinism” has nothing to do with the mere fact of “criticizing the choice of a book.” I’d elaborate, but I already said why I did describe it as that: what I really object to is the intellectual Stalinism on display from Tremblay when he condemns a course based solely on their use of a disapproved textbook — which, in turn, is based on the (bizarre, but revealing) tacit premise that someone teaching a course would obviously only pick a textbook that she agrees with. In a non-totalitarian intellectual climate, teachers aren’t expected to offer up a defense of the texts they choose or prove their ideological correctness to avoid being called “a traitor” to The Movement.

    AnarchoJesse: philosophically questionable concepts such as self-ownership are embedded in the text.

    Well, heavens, if it contains philosophically controversial concepts, then obviously there’s no point in reading it.

    AnarchoJesse: They don’t explain the underpinnings of anarchism, they barely touch on the history of the movement, and it is specfically a book against anti-Statism– not Anarchism.

    If the purpose of selecting a reading for a course were to ensure that you have a book that details every single thing you might possibly want to cover in that course, without any need of lectures or discussions from the teacher or independent research from the participants, then I agree that all this might be a problem.

    But it’s not.

    AnarchoJesse: Perhaps what has me so opposed to this course is that it claims to be an introduction, but the material used in the course is pretty incomplete and hardly touches on the concept of anarchism itself.

    The fact that a text doesn’t cover topic X doesn’t mean that a course using the text won’t cover topic X. All texts are “incomplete;” fortunately, classes also have teachers.

    Of course, even with the teacher, the course will also be incomplete. All courses are incomplete, and introductory courses especially. That’s OK: the purpose of an introductory course is to introduce you to a topic, not to exhaust it. Or even necessarily to outline it. A “survey” course, which does attempt to touch on most everything very briefly, is one way of introducing a subject. But it’s not the only way. (I doubt it’s even a particularly good way, most of the time.)

    AnarchoJesse: Roman and all of you folks who are in this course: you were robbed.

    Jesus, man, you’re talking to adults, not to children. And generally to adults who already know quite a bit about Anarchism, actually, but are interested in the course because they’re interested in Gary’s take on things. They’re capable of deciding for themselves whether or not the course is worth taking. On which subject, have you actually listened to any of the lectures in the course? Or are you just guessing on what’s covered, based on a glance at the reading list?

  39. AnarchoJesse May 11, 2010 at 12:21

    @Rad Geek: [i]Well, heavens, if it contains philosophically controversial concepts, then obviously there’s no point in reading it.[/i]

    I never suggested any such thing, but it does beg the question of why on earth would you include material that is contentious in a 101 course, when there are myriad other texts which could be selected that would do just as well– if not better! It is analogous to adding a section on homeopathy to a pharmaceuticals text, or alchemy to a chemists text, and saying “it is controversial and questionable, but we would be wrong to not include it”.

    [i]If the purpose of selecting a reading for a course were to ensure that you have a book that details every single thing you might possibly want to cover in that course, without any need of lectures or discussions from the teacher or independent research from the participants, then I agree that all this might be a problem.

    But it’s not.[/i]

    Building a 101 course around the “anarchist” (I’m using the word loosely here) version of “Yertle the Turtle” is not my idea of sound education, but then, I suppose that is all begging question of what makes up a sound education.

    [i]Jesus, man, you’re talking to adults, not to children. And generally to adults who already know quite a bit about Anarchism, actually, but are interested in the course because they’re interested in Gary’s take on things. They’re capable of deciding for themselves whether or not the course is worth taking. On which subject, have you actually listened to any of the lectures in the course? Or are you just guessing on what’s covered, based on a glance at the reading list?[/i]

    Are you suggesting that because I have not participated in the course I have no basis to be critical of it? Each of the participants dropped 25 bucks for… what… a certification that says they know “the basics of anarchism”? Because that is all they are getting– all of these discussions could have been had for free on Stickam, Skype, and any number of the plethora mediums available on the internet. Knowledge and the exchange thereof ought to be free– so as far as I can tell, these guys were robbed by profiteering intellectuals.

  40. Rad Geek May 12, 2010 at 04:00

    AnarchoJesse: why on earth would you include material that is contentious in a 101 course

    Because contention can be educationally useful.

    Come on, man, back when I was taking Intro to Philosophy courses (to take one example), we spent the whole course reading a lot of very contentious articles that all contradicted each other, and then arguing about the points they raised in class.

    You’re talking about this as if you thought that Gary’s approach to the text were to have students just read and recite the received wisdom, like some Maoist “study group” working through Quotations from Chairman Mao. I don’t know why you would think that, but I know Gary, and this has nothing to do with how he relates to any text. Especially not the Tannehills’ book.

    AnarchoJesse: Are you suggesting that because I have not participated in the course I have no basis to be critical of it?

    I’m suggesting that if you haven’t so much as listened to one of the lectures (which would be easy to remedy — they are available for free on YouTube), if you don’t know Gary, and if you’re just riffing on what you think has to be true about the course based solely on the selection of a particular text as reading material, then you probably don’t have enough information to make an intelligent judgment about what the course is like.

    Of course, if you’re satisfied with making unintelligent judgments, you can criticize whatever you want, even in complete ignorance of what the object of your criticism is like.

    AnarchoJesse: Because that is all they are getting– all of these discussions could have been had for free on Stickam, Skype, and any number of the plethora mediums available on the internet. Knowledge and the exchange thereof ought to be free– so as far as I can tell, these guys were robbed by profiteering intellectuals.

    That sounds like a complaint against the notion of any course at all being taught for pay, not a complaint about this course in particular. If so, I’m not sure what the claim that the people who willingly paid for the course were “robbed” actually has to do with the Tannehills’ book. If Gary were taking fees in order to teach a course based around “The Coming Insurrection,” would that make him less of a “profiteering intellectual”?

    Of course, I am all for free discussions and inquiring together in settings outside of classrooms or online courses. So do the folks at C4SS. In fact, if you want to do all this for free, you can do so — the book’s online; the lectures are all freely available on YouTube; etc. But the reason that some people have chosen to pay the fee of $25 (which is not a hell of a lot to pay for a class in anything), instead of just checking out all the free stuff, is because paying in for the class means that you’ll be participating in discussions with a particular group of people (who may not be able to assemble at other times just for the fun of it), and also it means that you’ll be getting quite a bit of labor and some detailed, hopefully useful feedback on a number of written essays. I don’t know if you’ve spent much time providing written feedback on student essays before, but I have, and it’s a lot of work. The better you hope to make the feedback, the more work it is. It’s work which, as a matter of fact, very few people on the Internet or anywhere else would commit to doing reliably and repeatedly and frequently for things you are writing every single week — unless you do offer them something in exchange to help them make the time and take the trouble that they are making and taking for your benefit.

    That’s work which I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect to be paid for, when you’ve got bills to pay and other shit to do. Maybe that makes me a “profiteering intellectual,” what with being unwilling to provide very labor-intensive help to just anybody who happens to ask for it, without any consideration of my own time or trouble. But if so, I’m not sure what’s supposed to be wrong with the “profiteering.” I don’t dig ditches for free, either.

  41. Jesse Priest May 14, 2010 at 20:54

    The first chapter for the market for liberty is about how all rights stem from and how not having absolute property rights is anti-life.

    Then it goes on to explain homesteading…

    Every problem is solved by private business like DRO and insurance.

    Plus they rely on the special pleading of “the market will self-correct”.

    Franc, I think you should take the course and rip it to shreds.

  42. Daniel Patrick Ⓐ February 1, 2012 at 15:45

    LOL @ the advertisement video inserted into the middle of the page. Currently it’s a Volkswagen commercial. Very anarchist!

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