Posts Tagged: Authority

Video

C4SS Media presents 's “Magical Thinking and Authority” read by James Tuttle and edited by Nick Ford.

Anyone who works within a corporate or government hierarchy, and has to do their job despite constant interference and irrationality from higher-ups, will recognize the truth of this phrase from Dilbert: “Bossworld, where the laws of time, space and mathematics don’t apply.”

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This classic text is drawn from the Introduction to individualist anarchist Charles T. Sprading’s anthology Liberty and the Great Libertarians (1913). Sprading’s anthology was a key early source for popularizing the term “libertarian” among American antistatists.

“THE NATURAL LAW OF EVOLUTION, OF DEVELOPMENT, IS VARIATION, DIF­FER­ENT­IA­TION; statute law is intended to produce similarity and uniformity. . . . In the animal world, when the law of variation produces an animal differing somewhat from its kind, whether it be in different physical characteristics, to more perfectly adapt it to its environment, or in the addition of new organs to adapt it to a different environment, it is permitted by others of its species to live and propagate its kind, and often produces an entirely new and higher type of animal. But how do upholders of statute law act towards those who differ from them? Let the treatment accorded a Jesus, a Bruno, a Ferrer, be the answer. Statute law is not based on natural law; they are the antithesis of
each other. . .

“THE DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC OF THE MILITANT CLASS IS PARASITISM: the power and the ability to destroy, to wage war and levy tribute, to impose arbitrary restrictions and collect taxes, to take and to consume; in short to govern. For countless ages the industrial class has been oppressed and despoiled by the militant class, but now it is coming into its own, and holds the future of the race in its hands. The industrial class possesses one power that is distinctively and exclusively its own: it is an economic power: the industrial class produces all, builds all, exchanges all. The realization of its irresistible power and the knowledge of how to use it will bring its emancipation. When the workingman realizes that war does not benefit him, but robs him, the militant class will not be able to hire him or force him to go to war; and if the industrial class refuses to use its economic power for the benefit of militant parasites, one of these classes must disappear—and it will not be the industrial!”

The introductory essay reprinted in this booklet is the Introduction to Charles T. Sprading’s anthology, Liberty and the Great Libertarians: An Anthology on Liberty, a Hand-book of Freedom (1913). The text in this booklet, originally written in 1913, is based on the public-domain copy of Sprading’s first, self-published edition, in the Internet Archive at archive.org. Charles T. Sprading (1871-1959) was a transitional figure in American libertarian writing. Born a generation later than leading individualists and mutualists such as Benjamin R. Tucker (1854-1939) and Dyer D. Lum (1839-1893), it fell to Sprading, along with Clarence L. Swartz (1868-1936), Laurance Labadie (1898-1975), and a few other writers of their cohort to keep the torch of individualist anarchism alight during the dark years of the interwar period. Sprading, working together with Swartz, joined a series of Anarchist discussion groups in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Liberal Club and the Libertarian League. Liberty and the Great Libertarians, one of his earliest books, was an anthology collecting arguments, shorter quotations, and biographies, on about thirty thinkers whose work touched on anarchism, individual liberty, or freethought, including William Lloyd Garrison, Tucker, Spooner, Kropotkin, Josiah Warren, and William Godwin, alongside quotes from Paine, Jefferson, and Lincoln. His book, along with the activity and publishing of the Libertarian League, played a major role in keeping the literature of anti-statism active after the retirement of Tucker and the death or exile of many other leading Anarchist figures; they also played a major role in popularizing the term “libertarian” among American anti-statist writers. Sprading continued writing and publishing until his death in 1959, with works such as Equal Freedom and Its Friends (ca. 1920), Mutual Service and Cooperation (1930), and Real Freedom (1954).

Support C4SS with Charles T. Sprading’s “Liberty Against Authority”

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"Authority is divorced from reality: It does not directly perceive the material impediments to translating its will into action, or receive accurate feedback about difficulties encountered in doing so. The reason for this is simple. As Robert Anton Wilson pointed out, subordinates don’t tell the truth to anyone with a gun — or anyone in a position to fire or punish them."

Link

Michael Huemer, “The Problem of Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

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"On a purely practical level, authority leads to irrationality and inefficiency because it filters and distorts information flow and causes decision-makers to operate in a purely imaginary world. That was true of Gosplan in the old USSR, and every Fortune 500 corporate headquarters is for all intents and purposes just a mini-Gosplan. Authority leads to socially suboptimal outcomes because decision-makers are able to externalize the negative consequences of their decisions on subordinates and appropriate the positive consequences for themselves."

Photo

This classic text is drawn from the Introduction to individualist anarchist Charles T. Sprading’s anthology Liberty and the Great Libertarians (1913). Sprading’s anthology was a key early source for popularizing the term “libertarian” among American antistatists.

“THE NATURAL LAW OF EVOLUTION, OF DEVELOPMENT, IS VARIATION, DIF­FER­ENT­IA­TION; statute law is intended to produce similarity and uniformity. . . . In the animal world, when the law of variation produces an animal differing somewhat from its kind, whether it be in different physical characteristics, to more perfectly adapt it to its environment, or in the addition of new organs to adapt it to a different environment, it is permitted by others of its species to live and propagate its kind, and often produces an entirely new and higher type of animal. But how do upholders of statute law act towards those who differ from them? Let the treatment accorded a Jesus, a Bruno, a Ferrer, be the answer. Statute law is not based on natural law; they are the antithesis of
each other. . .

“THE DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC OF THE MILITANT CLASS IS PARASITISM: the power and the ability to destroy, to wage war and levy tribute, to impose arbitrary restrictions and collect taxes, to take and to consume; in short to govern. For countless ages the industrial class has been oppressed and despoiled by the militant class, but now it is coming into its own, and holds the future of the race in its hands. The industrial class possesses one power that is distinctively and exclusively its own: it is an economic power: the industrial class produces all, builds all, exchanges all. The realization of its irresistible power and the knowledge of how to use it will bring its emancipation. When the workingman realizes that war does not benefit him, but robs him, the militant class will not be able to hire him or force him to go to war; and if the industrial class refuses to use its economic power for the benefit of militant parasites, one of these classes must disappear—and it will not be the industrial!”

The introductory essay reprinted in this booklet is the Introduction to Charles T. Sprading’s anthology, Liberty and the Great Libertarians: An Anthology on Liberty, a Hand-book of Freedom (1913). The text in this booklet, originally written in 1913, is based on the public-domain copy of Sprading’s first, self-published edition, in the Internet Archive at archive.org. Charles T. Sprading (1871-1959) was a transitional figure in American libertarian writing. Born a generation later than leading individualists and mutualists such as Benjamin R. Tucker (1854-1939) and Dyer D. Lum (1839-1893), it fell to Sprading, along with Clarence L. Swartz (1868-1936), Laurance Labadie (1898-1975), and a few other writers of their cohort to keep the torch of individualist anarchism alight during the dark years of the interwar period. Sprading, working together with Swartz, joined a series of Anarchist discussion groups in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Liberal Club and the Libertarian League. Liberty and the Great Libertarians, one of his earliest books, was an anthology collecting arguments, shorter quotations, and biographies, on about thirty thinkers whose work touched on anarchism, individual liberty, or freethought, including William Lloyd Garrison, Tucker, Spooner, Kropotkin, Josiah Warren, and William Godwin, alongside quotes from Paine, Jefferson, and Lincoln. His book, along with the activity and publishing of the Libertarian League, played a major role in keeping the literature of anti-statism active after the retirement of Tucker and the death or exile of many other leading Anarchist figures; they also played a major role in popularizing the term “libertarian” among American anti-statist writers. Sprading continued writing and publishing until his death in 1959, with works such as Equal Freedom and Its Friends (ca. 1920), Mutual Service and Cooperation (1930), and Real Freedom (1954).

Support C4SS with Charles T. Sprading’s “Liberty Against Authority”

Link

Rad Geek People's Daily 2013-07-27 – Ask an Anarchist! — How would anarchists prevent the rise of tyrants?

How, under anarchist principles, do you prevent the rise of tyrants?

To which I replied …

Shoot them. Jesus.

If your objection to anarchism is that it does not provide magic wands for resisting evil, then anarchism stands guilty as charged. But so does statism: magic wands like that don’t exist, and given the abattoir that was the 20th century, I hardly think that the State has a very good historical record of providing people with the means to stop relentless tyrants. …

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"When I say I am an anarchist, I simply mean that, to the extent that I have the power, I refuse to let anyone or anything dominate me. In other words, I refuse to accept the power of any authority, any institution, any existing or would-be ruler, any ruler, etc., over me. This is why I also refuse to choose between potential rulers and rules. Doing so would express a willingness to give up my power to create my life, a willingness to surrender this power to others, and I am not willing to do this. I also am not willing to even temporarily hand my power over to any authority or institution to act for me. This is why I won’t turn to cops or courts to deal with any problem or conflict in my life. To the extent of my power, I avoid dealing with these institutions altogether."

Photo

This classic text is drawn from the Introduction to individualist anarchist Charles T. Sprading’s anthology Liberty and the Great Libertarians (1913). Sprading’s anthology was a key early source for popularizing the term “libertarian” among American antistatists.

“THE NATURAL LAW OF EVOLUTION, OF DEVELOPMENT, IS VARIATION, DIF­FER­ENT­IA­TION; statute law is intended to produce similarity and uniformity. . . . In the animal world, when the law of variation produces an animal differing somewhat from its kind, whether it be in different physical characteristics, to more perfectly adapt it to its environment, or in the addition of new organs to adapt it to a different environment, it is permitted by others of its species to live and propagate its kind, and often produces an entirely new and higher type of animal. But how do upholders of statute law act towards those who differ from them? Let the treatment accorded a Jesus, a Bruno, a Ferrer, be the answer. Statute law is not based on natural law; they are the antithesis of
each other. . .

“THE DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC OF THE MILITANT CLASS IS PARASITISM: the power and the ability to destroy, to wage war and levy tribute, to impose arbitrary restrictions and collect taxes, to take and to consume; in short to govern. For countless ages the industrial class has been oppressed and despoiled by the militant class, but now it is coming into its own, and holds the future of the race in its hands. The industrial class possesses one power that is distinctively and exclusively its own: it is an economic power: the industrial class produces all, builds all, exchanges all. The realization of its irresistible power and the knowledge of how to use it will bring its emancipation. When the workingman realizes that war does not benefit him, but robs him, the militant class will not be able to hire him or force him to go to war; and if the industrial class refuses to use its economic power for the benefit of militant parasites, one of these classes must disappear—and it will not be the industrial!”

The introductory essay reprinted in this booklet is the Introduction to Charles T. Sprading’s anthology, Liberty and the Great Libertarians: An Anthology on Liberty, a Hand-book of Freedom (1913). The text in this booklet, originally written in 1913, is based on the public-domain copy of Sprading’s first, self-published edition, in the Internet Archive at archive.org. Charles T. Sprading (1871-1959) was a transitional figure in American libertarian writing. Born a generation later than leading individualists and mutualists such as Benjamin R. Tucker (1854-1939) and Dyer D. Lum (1839-1893), it fell to Sprading, along with Clarence L. Swartz (1868-1936), Laurance Labadie (1898-1975), and a few other writers of their cohort to keep the torch of individualist anarchism alight during the dark years of the interwar period. Sprading, working together with Swartz, joined a series of Anarchist discussion groups in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Liberal Club and the Libertarian League. Liberty and the Great Libertarians, one of his earliest books, was an anthology collecting arguments, shorter quotations, and biographies, on about thirty thinkers whose work touched on anarchism, individual liberty, or freethought, including William Lloyd Garrison, Tucker, Spooner, Kropotkin, Josiah Warren, and William Godwin, alongside quotes from Paine, Jefferson, and Lincoln. His book, along with the activity and publishing of the Libertarian League, played a major role in keeping the literature of anti-statism active after the retirement of Tucker and the death or exile of many other leading Anarchist figures; they also played a major role in popularizing the term “libertarian” among American anti-statist writers. Sprading continued writing and publishing until his death in 1959, with works such as Equal Freedom and Its Friends (ca. 1920), Mutual Service and Cooperation (1930), and Real Freedom (1954).

Support C4SS with Charles T. Sprading’s “Liberty Against Authority”

Text

When we read in the newspaper that a child in New Jersey has died from neglect from an untreated broken leg, or that a child in Florida’s protective services could just disappear without a trace, or that molestation of children has been covered up in yet another diocese of the Catholic Church, we do not say there is prejudice against children at work. Abuse, neglect, sanctioned pedophilia — we don’t put these together in our minds with stories about child abduction and enslavement, child trafficking, inadequate schooling, malnutrition and junk-food-induced obesity, cigarette advertising to minors, child pornography or the rising numbers of child soldiers worldwide. But we should. …