Listened Revolutionary Left Radio: Anarchism: Philosophy and History (with Dr. Mark Bray) from

Brett sits down with Dr. Mark Bray to discuss the political philosophy, history, and future of Anarchism.   Topics include: Bakunin and Marx, the first international, the Spanish Civil War, Stalinism, listener questions, the anarchist view of the State, Occupy Wall Street, Antifa, and much more!

Really good interview with Mark Bray covering some history of anarchism, discussion of different tendencies, where it overlaps and differs from Marxism and other revolutionary socialist approaches. Current approaches to organising.


Really interesting, I had not heard of the theory of collective action, another debunkable so-called ‘tragedy’ of the commons.

“Ostrom noted that Olson’s model of collective action[…] is another model which predicts that the commons will be ruined. Olson (1965) examined political and social movements and was critical of the idea that support for a particular ideology or set of policy demands was sufficient to persuade individuals to become politically active in a group.”


“Often it is asserted that human nature shows we are intrinsically competitive by those on the right, or intrinsically cooperative by those on the left. Ostrom’s approach was to reject such broad generalisations and her anti-essentialism made her suspicious of unchanging foundations of human behaviour.” — Derek Wall, #Ostrom‘s Rules for Radicals

Important point. To hope that everyone would be naturally predisposed to cooperation is naive.


Labour’s report on Alternative Models of Ownership.  Not yet read it, but it’s exciting that a major political party is giving such thought to cooperative and municipal models of ownership.

To support the expansion of cooperatives in the UK it is necessary to improve their access to finance, and examples from Italy and Spain point in the direction necessary to achieve this. Cooperatives can further be supported by national legislation and a re-worked government procurement policy.

How can we support the transition to a solar/renewable energy infrastructure?

My energy provider (in the UK) is currently one which guarantees buy back of renewables for all energy used.  I don’t have enough money to invest in renewable companies.  What else should I do?  Petition? Protest?  Get involved with local community? What else?


Had an idea for a cooperatively-run indieweb hosting platform.  We would help set up and / or host WordPress-based indieweb sites.  Preconfigured to interact with both the silos and the fediverse.  For mainly Gen 3/Gen 4 of indieweb, to coincide (/precipitate) the (surely) upcoming exodus from sites like Facebook.
Read Blockchain could reshape the world – and the far right is one step ahead | Josh Hall by Josh Hall (the Guardian)

Crypto technology is coming to a crossroads. Plenty want to use it to radically redistribute wealth – but plenty don’t, says writer Josh Hall


I think the article could explain better what it is specifically that both the left the far-right are doing with cryptocurrency. And in what way the far-right is one step ahead.

without close attention to how to construct new structures, aspiration is unlikely to be translated into effective workable systems.

I do like how Ostrom’s views could be used as a different tack to organising in socialism. Locally focused but also recognises need for institutional superstructures. However, these made through rules and constitutions of diverse groups, not ideology and party apparatus.

Dunno if it’s reformist or revolutionary tho yet. Probs reformist.
#Ostrom #readinggroup

In politics we pick a side; in contrast, for Ostrom the main emphasis was to participate in creating rules and, in effect, constitutions. — Derek Wall

If I’m understanding Ostrom’s views so far, I’d say the emphasis there is on ‘participate in’, such that rule making is at a local level. Rules and constitutions will vary from region to region (and over time too presumably.)

#Ostrom #readinggroup

Questions raised as to why there is a prevailing whiteness in the workers co-ops movement. One suggestion was that those from black and minority ethnic groups are hesitant to enter a suspiciously white space. A bit of a Catch 22 that needs concerted effort to be overcome. Important to do so though especially given the structural potential for coops to empower.
Interesting point made as to the demonization made of the white working class as being the racists in society, when in fact there is much subtle and potentially more damaging racism perpetrated by the white middle class.
Really interesting talks at the Stir to Action event tonight on racial justice and the new economy. Moving to a new socio-economic paradigm won’t automatically remove systemic racial biases. We should address them head on to avoid repeating them in our new structures.
Reposted D Dino on by D DinoD Dino (Toot.Cat)

marshalling resources means making sure your friend hosting that nextcloud instance can eat all month. capital marshals resources with the poverty gun: obey or be fired, if you can get in the door at all. volunteer infrastructure is an alternative but we’ve still got rent and that remains an issue. i think we can subvert capital using software but that’s not the fix either. organizations matter here. logistics matters here. i dream of social infrastructure.

Reposted Bob Mottram on by Bob Mottram

@blankideogram @jbond I think it's useful to support people like Corbyn when he's calling for re-nationalization of the railways, but I think nationalization isn't enough. It's just a first step. There needs to be a commons model where people have a real stake in the services which they're running. Something like running them as coops.

State capitalism has the same kinds of failure modes as private ownership by corporations. We need to make systems public in a way where they can't easily be enclosed and sold off later on. A bit like the fediverse. People could sell off instances, but it would be hard for anyone to sell off the fediverse as a whole because it's "owned" by so many different people.

Interesting to see the links (perhaps only nominal…) between ’s social-ecological systems and #Bookchin’s social ecology.

Bookchin says that environmental degradation is rooted firmly in patterns of society such as hierarchy and domination. Ostrom with SES says that in making environmental policy, we can only do so by taking into account how it will affect groups in society.

Both recognition that ecological problems can’t be resolved without studying social structure. #readinggroup

On cornucopianism vs the Jevons paradox and the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate (love these names) – I’m not a techno-optimist, in the sense of thinking that technology will provide limitless efficiencies and allow for limitless growth, but I am optimistic that given the right societal structure it can be harnessed to bring about abundance.

The Earth was made a common treasury for all!

I grew up in Wigan, and sadly this part of its history was lost on me at the time.  Good to rediscover it.

The Diggers were a group of Protestant radicals in England, sometimes seen as forerunners of modern anarchism, and also associated with agrarian socialism and Georgism. — Wikipedia


Harnessing Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies to empower co-operatives

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018, 6:30 PM

149 Fonthill Rd, 1st Floor, N4 3HF London, GB

75 Members Attending

• What we’ll do During this event we will be discussing the potential of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain to benefit the co-operative movement and social causes, and help us move away from an exploitative economic system. We will have presentations from: Jaya Klara Brekke speaks, writes and does research on authority and power in decentralised syste…

Check out this Meetup →

Chapter 2: The Commons: From Tragedy to Triumph

The chapter starts by outlining Garret Hardin’s tragedy of the commons argument.  In short, my understanding of the argument is that due to the inherent selfishness of individuals the commons are doomed to overuse — unless they are turned into private property, or turned over to the state, and unless the users of a resource are regulated through coercion. Hardin’s paper is more generally about population limits and his views appear quite bluntly Malthusian.

Having seen functioning commons, Ostrom disagreed with Hardin’s analysis.  She studied commons that worked (and also those that didn’t), and captured her analysis of what made a commons sustainable in her work “Governing the Commons.”

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This chapter starts out with a brief biography of Ostrom and her work, providing some context. I think it’s the right amount – the ideas are more important, but it is interesting to get some biographical context. The patriarchal system she faced early on is pretty galling – difficulties in getting where she got to, just by virtue of being a woman.

Ostrom doesn’t slot into a particular predefined school of thought, with some ties to some conservative right thinkers, yet some radical views. I like that Wall approaches it not so much trying to pin her ideas down to any particular ideology, but looking at what practical effects the ideas have had (and can have).

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