Psoriasis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic


In most cases, diagnosis of psoriasis is fairly straightforward.

Psoriasis treatments reduce inflammation and clear the skin. Treatments can be divided into three main types: topical treatments, light therapy and systemic medications.

Used alone, creams and ointments that you apply to your skin can effectively treat mild to moderate psoriasis. When the disease is more severe, creams are likely to be combined with oral medications or light therapy. Topical psoriasis treatments include:

Topical corticosteroids. These drugs are the most frequently prescribed medications for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. They reduce inflammation and relieve itching and may be used with other treatments.

Mild corticosteroid ointments are usually recommended for sensitive areas, such as your face or skin folds, and for treating widespread patches of damaged skin.

Your doctor may prescribe stronger corticosteroid ointment for smaller, less sensitive or tougher-to-treat areas.

Long-term use or overuse of strong corticosteroids can cause thinning of the skin. Topical corticosteroids may stop working over time. It’s usually best to use topical corticosteroids as a short-term treatment during flares.

Topical retinoids. These are vitamin A derivatives that may decrease inflammation. The most common side effect is skin irritation. These medications may also increase sensitivity to sunlight, so while using the medication apply sunscreen before going outdoors.

The risk of birth defects is far lower for topical retinoids than for oral retinoids. But tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage) isn’t recommended when you’re pregnant or breast-feeding or if you intend to become pregnant.

Calcineurin inhibitors. Calcineurin inhibitors tacrolimus (Prograf) and pimecrolimus (Elidel) reduce inflammation and plaque buildup.

Calcineurin inhibitors are not recommended for long-term or continuous use because of a potential increased risk of skin cancer and lymphoma. They may be especially helpful in areas of thin skin, such as around the eyes, where steroid creams or retinoids are too irritating or may cause harmful effects.

Coal tar. Derived from coal, coal tar reduces scaling, itching and inflammation. Coal tar can irritate the skin. It’s also messy, stains clothing and bedding, and has a strong odor.

Coal tar is available in over-the-counter shampoos, creams and oils. It’s also available in higher concentrations by prescription. This treatment isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

This treatment uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light. The simplest and easiest form of phototherapy involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight.

Other forms of light therapy include the use of artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) light, either alone or in combination with medications.

Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA). This form of photochemotherapy involves taking a light-sensitizing medication (psoralen) before exposure to UVA light. UVA light penetrates deeper into the skin than does UVB light, and psoralen makes the skin more responsive to UVA exposure.

This more aggressive treatment consistently improves skin and is often used for more-severe cases of psoriasis. Short-term side effects include nausea, headache, burning and itching. Long-term side effects include dry and wrinkled skin, freckles, increased sun sensitivity, and increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.

If you have severe psoriasis or it’s resistant to other types of treatment, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected drugs. This is known as systemic treatment. Because of severe side effects, some of these medications are used for only brief periods and may be alternated with other forms of treatment.

Although doctors choose treatments based on the type and severity of psoriasis and the areas of skin affected, the traditional approach is to start with the mildest treatments topical creams and ultraviolet light therapy (phototherapy) in those patients with typical skin lesions (plaques) and then progress to stronger ones only if necessary. Patients with pustular or erythrodermic psoriasis or associated arthritis usually need systemic therapy from the beginning of treatment. The goal is to find the most effective way to slow cell turnover with the fewest possible side effects.

There are a number of new medications currently being researched that have the potential to improve psoriasis treatment. These treatments target different proteins that work with the immune system.

A number of alternative therapies claim to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, including special diets, creams, dietary supplements and herbs. None have definitively been proved effective. But some alternative therapies are deemed generally safe, and they may be helpful to some people in reducing signs and symptoms, such as itching and scaling. These treatments would be most appropriate for those with milder, plaque disease and not for those with pustules, erythroderma or arthritis.

If you’re considering dietary supplements or other alternative therapy to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, consult your doctor. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of specific alternative therapies.

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Although self-help measures won’t cure psoriasis, they may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin. These measures may benefit you:

Coping with psoriasis can be a challenge, especially if the disease covers large areas of your body or is in places readily seen by other people, such as your face or hands. The ongoing, persistent nature of the disease and the treatment challenges only add to the burden.

Here are some ways to help you cope and to feel more in control:

You’ll likely first see your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases, you may be referred directly to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).

Here’s some information to help you prepare for your appointment and to know what to expect from your doctor.

Make a list of the following:

For psoriasis, some basic questions you might ask your doctor include:

Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, such as:

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Psoriasis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic

List of Psoriasis Medications (207 Compared) –

clobetasol Rx C N 57reviews


Generic name:clobetasol topical

Brand names: Clobex, Temovate, Olux, Dermovate, Clobevate, Clodan, Cormax, Cormax Scalp, Embeline, Embeline E, Impoyz, Olux-E, Olux / Olux-E Kit, Temovate E showall

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:adalimumab systemic

Drug class: antirheumatics, TNF alfa inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:methotrexate systemic

Brand names: Otrexup, Trexall, Rasuvo

Drug class: antimetabolites, antirheumatics, antipsoriatics, other immunosuppressants

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:ustekinumab systemic

Drug class: interleukin inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:triamcinolone topical

Brand names: Kenalog, Aristocort A, Aristocort R, Cinolar, Pediaderm TA, Triacet, Trianex, Triderm showall

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:mometasone topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:clobetasol topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information


Generic name:fluocinonide topical

Brand names: Fluocinonide-E, Vanos

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information


Generic name:calcipotriene topical

Drug class: topical antipsoriatics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:tazarotene topical

Drug class: topical antipsoriatics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information


Generic name:triamcinolone systemic

Brand names: Kenalog-40, Kenalog-10, Aristospan, Clinacort showall

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:mometasone topical

Brand name: Elocon

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:acitretin systemic

Drug class: antipsoriatics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:calcipotriene topical

Brand names: Dovonex, Calcitrene, Sorilux

Drug class: topical antipsoriatics

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:betamethasone / calcipotriene topical

Drug class: topical antipsoriatics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information


Generic name:clobetasol topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information


Generic name:desonide topical

Brand names: Desonate, DesOwen, LoKara, Verdeso showall

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


Generic name:prednisone systemic

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information


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List of Psoriasis Medications (207 Compared) –

What Is Plaque Psoriasis | Otezla (apremilast)

*Certain restrictions apply. *Certain restrictions apply; eligibility not based on income.

Otezla (apremilast) is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate.

Otezla is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis.

You must not take Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla.

Otezla can cause severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, especially within the first few weeks of treatment. Use in elderly patients and the use of certain medications with Otezla appears to increase the risk of having diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Tell your doctor if any of these conditions occur.

Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression, or suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.

Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla.

Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.

Side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, upper respiratory tract infection, runny nose, sneezing, or congestion, abdominal pain, tension headache, and headache. These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-332-1088.

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information.

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What Is Plaque Psoriasis | Otezla (apremilast)

Plaque Psoriasis Causes, Treatment, Symptoms & Diet


Armstrong, April W., et al. “From the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation: Treatment Targets for Plaque Psoriasis.” J Am Acad Dermatol Nov. 22, 2016: 1-9.

Burden, A.D. “Management of psoriasis in childhood.” Clin Exp Dermatol 24.5 Sept. 1999: 341-5.

Feely, M.A., B.L. Smith, and J.M. Weinberg. “Novel psoriasis therapies and patient outcomes, part 1: topical medications.” Cutis 95.3 Mar. 2015: 164-8, 170.

Greb, Jacqueline E., et al. “Psoriasis.” Nature Reviews: Disease Primers 2 Nov. 24, 2016: 1-17.

Jensen, J.D., M.R. Delcambre, G. Nguyen, and N. Sami. “Biologic therapy with or without topical treatment in psoriasis: What does the current evidence say?” Am J Clin Dermatol 15.5 Oct. 2014: 379-85.

Kim, Whan B., Dana Jerome, and Jensen Yeung. “Diagnosis and Management of Psoriasis.” Canadian Family Physician 63 April 2017: 278-285.

Mansouri, B., M. Patel, and A. Menter. “Biological therapies for psoriasis.” Expert Opin Biol Ther 13.13 Dec. 2013: 1715-30.

Maza, A, et al. “Oral cyclosporin in psoriasis: a systematic review on treatment modalities, risk of kidney toxicity and evidence for use in non-plaque psoriasis.” J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 25 Suppl 2 May 2011: 19-27.

Michalek, I.M., B. Loring, and S.M. John. “A Systematic Review of Worldwide Epidemiology of Psoriasis.” JEADV 2016: 1-8.

Paul, C., et al. “Evidence-based recommendations on conventional systemic treatments in psoriasis: systematic review and expert opinion of a panel of dermatologists.”J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 25 Suppl 2 May 2011: 2-11.

Sbidian, E., et al. “Efficacy and safety of oral retinoids in different psoriasis subtypes: a systematic literature review.” J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 25 Suppl 2 May 2011: 28-33.

van de Kerkhof, P.C. “An update on topical therapies for mild-moderate psoriasis.” Dermatol Clin 33.1 Jan. 2015: 73-7.

Villaseor-Park, Jennifer, David Wheeler, and Lisa Grandinetti. “Psoriasis: Evolving Treatment for a Complex Disease.”Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 79.6 June 2012: 413-423.

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Plaque Psoriasis Causes, Treatment, Symptoms & Diet

What Is Psoriasis |

It’s easy to think of psoriasis as just a “skin condition.” But psoriasis actually starts underneath the skin. It is a chronic (long-lasting) disease of the immune system that can range from mild to severe.

Like most chronic illnesses, psoriasis may be associated with other health conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that there are available treatment options and strategies that can help you live well with psoriasis. Start here by learning as much as you can about psoriasis and exploring it from the inside out.

To fully understand psoriasis, you need to see whats happening underneath the skin.

What you’re watching is an example of what happens underneath your skin when you have plaque psoriasis.

While symptoms may appear on the surface of the skin, what you can see is only part of the story.

With normal skin, your body takes about 28 to 30 days to produce new skin cells and shed the old ones.

When your body has plaque psoriasis, your immune system is overactive, triggering skin inflammation and causing skin cells to be produced faster than normal. New skin cells are pushed to the skin’s surface in 3 to 4 days instead of the usual 28 to 30.

But your body can’t shed the new skin cells at that fast of a rate. So while new skin cells are being produced, the old, dead skin cells pile up on top of each other.

As more and more new skin cells are produced rapidly, the old skin cells are pushed to the surface, forming the thick, red, itchy, flaky patches known as plaques.

The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown.

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What Is Psoriasis |

Psoriasis Signs and Symptoms – Health

Psoriasis is a disease that kicks skin-cell production into overdrive. New cells surface in a matter of days, instead of weeks, piling up faster than theyre shed. With plaque psoriasis, the most common type of this skin condition, rapid skin-cell renewal creates scaly, raised patches, called plaques, on the skins surface.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the bodys own immune system is somehow tricked into attacking healthy cells. In the case of psoriasis, this process causes the skin to become scaly and inflamed.

Why does this happen? Its clear that the genes you inherit play a role, since psoriasis tends to run in families. But even if you have a genetic predisposition, it doesnt mean you will develop the skin condition. Scientists think something in your environmentbe it stress, injury, infection, medication, or weather (particularly extremely cold or dry air)must trigger or worsen symptoms.

RELATED: 18 Famous People With Psoriasis

Every persons psoriasis experience is unique, explains Brian Keegan, MD, PhD, of Windsor Dermatology and the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey. Psoriasis can start slow and can even be difficult to diagnose in its early or limited stages or can present full-blown, affecting more than 20% of the body in a few weeks, he says. Theres no standard or predictable way that this skin condition occurs.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of psoriasis in its many forms may help you recognize this common skin disorder. Dr. Keegan urges psoriasis sufferers to start treatment as soon as possiblebecause ignoring your condition can lead to more serious complications. Left untreated, psoriasis may contribute to issues with your heart, liver, blood vessels, and more, he says. Heres what to look for.

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Psoriasis Signs and Symptoms – Health

Psoriasis Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Medically reviewed on May 14, 2018

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that causes scaling and inflammation.

Psoriasis may develop as a result of an abnormality in the body’s immune system. The immune system normally fights infection and allergic reactions.

Psoriasis probably has a genetic component. Nearly half of patients have family members with psoriasis.

Certain medications may trigger psoriasis. Other medications seem to make psoriasis worse in people who have the disease.

Psoriasis causes skin scaling and inflammation. It may or may not cause itching. There are several types of psoriasis:

Plaque psoriasis. In plaque psoriasis, there are rounded or oval patches (plaques) of affected skin. These are usually red and covered with a thick silvery scale. The plaques often occur on the elbows, knees, scalp or near the buttocks. They may also appear on the trunk, arms and legs.

Inverse psoriasis. Inverse psoriasis is a plaque type of psoriasis that tends to affect skin creases. Creases in the underarm, groin, buttocks, genital areas or under the breast are particularly affected. The red patches may be moist rather than scaling.

Pustular psoriasis. The skin patches are studded with pimples or pustules.

Guttate psoriasis. In guttate psoriasis, many small, red, scaly patches develop suddenly and simultaneously. Guttate psoriasis often occurs in a young person who has recently had strep throat or a viral upper respiratory infection.

About half of people with skin symptoms of psoriasis also have abnormal fingernails. Their nails are often thick and have small indentations, called pitting.

A type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis affects some people with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis may occur before skin changes appear.

Your doctor will look for the typical skin and nail changes of this disorder. He or she can frequently diagnose psoriasis based on your physical examination.

When skin symptoms are not typical of the disorder, your doctor may recommend a skin biopsy. In a biopsy, a small sample of skin is removed and examined in a laboratory. The biopsy can confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible skin disorders.

Psoriasis is a long-term disorder. However, symptoms may come and go.

There is no way to prevent psoriasis.

Treatment for psoriasis varies depending on the:

Treatments for psoriasis include:

Topical treatments. These are treatments applied directly to the skin.

Daily skin care with emollients for lubrication. These include petroleum jelly or unscented moisturizers.

Corticosteroid creams, lotions and ointments. These may be prescribed in medium and high-strength forms for stubborn plaques on the hands, feet, arms, legs and trunk. They may be prescribed in low-strength forms for areas of delicate skin such as the face.

Calcipotriol (Dovonex) slows production of skin scales.

Tazarotene (Tazorac) is a synthetic vitamin A derivative.

Coal tar

Salicylic acid to remove scales

Phototherapy. Extensive or widespread psoriasis may be treated with light. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet B or ultraviolet A, alone or in combination with coal tar.

A treatment called PUVA combines ultraviolet A light treatment with an oral medication that improves the effectiveness of the light treatment.

Laser treatment also can be used. It allows treatment to be more focused so that higher amounts of UV light can be used.

Vitamin A derivatives. These are used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis involving large areas of the body. These treatments are very powerful. Some have the potential to cause severe side effects. It’s essential to understand the risks and be monitored closely.

Immunosuppressants. These drugs work by suppressing the immune system. They are used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis involving large areas of the body.

Antineoplastic agents. More rarely, these drugs (which are most often used to treat cancer cells) may be prescribed for severe psoriasis.

Biologic therapies. Biologics are newer agents used for psoriasis that has not responded to other treatments. Psoriasis is caused, in part, by substances made by the immune system that cause inflammation. Biologics act against these substances. Biologic treatments tend to be quite expensive.

If you are unsure whether you have psoriasis, contact your doctor. Also contact your doctor if you have psoriasis and are not doing well with over-the-counter treatment.

For most patients, psoriasis is a long-term condition.

There is no cure. But there are many effective treatments.

In some patients, doctors may switch treatments every 12 to 24 months. This prevents the treatments from losing their effectiveness and decreases the risk of side effects.

National Psoriasis Foundation6600 SW 92nd Ave.Suite 300Portland, OR 97223-7195Phone: 503-244-7404Toll-Free: 1-800-723-9166Fax: 503-245-0626

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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Psoriasis Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Psoriasis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

The goal of treatment is to control your symptoms and prevent infection.

Three treatment options are available:


Most of the time, psoriasis is treated with medicines that are placed directly on the skin or scalp. These may include:


If you have very severe psoriasis, your provider will likely recommend medicines that suppress the immune system’s faulty response. These medicines include methotrexate or cyclosporine. Retinoids, such as acetretin, can also be used.

Newer drugs, called biologics, are used when other treatments do not work. Biologics approved for the treatment of psoriasis include:


Some people may choose to have phototherapy, which is safe and can be very effective:


If you have an infection, your provider will prescribe antibiotics.


Following these tips at home may help:

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Psoriasis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Psoriasis: Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology

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[Guideline] Menter A, Korman NJ, Elmets CA, Feldman SR, Gelfand JM, Gordon KB, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: Section 5. Guidelines of care for the treatment of psoriasis with phototherapy and photochemotherapy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jan. 62(1):114-35. [Medline].

[Guideline] Menter A, Korman NJ, Elmets CA, Feldman SR, Gelfand JM, Gordon KB, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis Section 6. Guidelines of care for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: Case-based presentations and evidence-based conclusions. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Feb 7. [Medline].

Mason AR, Mason J, Cork M, Dooley G, Edwards G. Topical treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15. CD005028. [Medline].

Stern RS. The risk of squamous cell and basal cell cancer associated with psoralen and ultraviolet Atherapy: A30-year prospective study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Jan 18. [Medline].

Carrascosa JM, Plana A, Ferrandiz C. Effectiveness and Safety of Psoralen-UVA (PUVA) Topical Therapy in Palmoplantar Psoriasis: A Report on 48 Patients. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2013 Mar 6. [Medline].

Mehta D, Lim HW. Ultraviolet B Phototherapy for Psoriasis: Review of Practical Guidelines. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2016 Feb 12. [Medline].

Stern DK, Creasey AA, Quijije J, Lebwohl MG. UV-A and UV-B Penetration of Normal Human Cadaveric Fingernail Plate. Arch Dermatol. 2011 Apr. 147(4):439-41. [Medline].

Brown T. Fingernail Psoriasis Data Added to Humira Prescribing Info. Medscape News & Perspective. Available at March 30, 2017; Accessed: April 6, 2017.

Mantovani A, Gisondi P, Lonardo A, Targher G. Relationship between Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Psoriasis: A Novel Hepato-Dermal Axis?. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Feb 5. 17 (2):[Medline].

Salvi M, Macaluso L, Luci C, Mattozzi C, Paolino G, Aprea Y, et al. Safety and efficacy of anti-tumor necrosis factors in patients with psoriasis and chronic hepatitis C. World J Clin Cases. 2016 Feb 16. 4 (2):49-55. [Medline].

Komrokji RS, Kulasekararaj A, Al Ali NH, Kordasti S, Bart-Smith E, Craig BM, et al. Autoimmune Diseases and Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Am J Hematol. 2016 Feb 13. [Medline].

Sorensen EP, Algzlan H, Au SC, Garber C, Fanucci K, Nguyen MB, et al. Lower Socioeconomic Status is Associated With Decreased Therapeutic Response to the Biologic Agents in Psoriasis Patients. J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Feb 1. 15 (2):147-53. [Medline].

Castaldo G, Galdo G, Rotondi Aufiero F, Cereda E. Very low-calorie ketogenic diet may allow restoring response to systemic therapy in relapsing plaque psoriasis. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2015 Nov 8. [Medline].

Barrea L, Balato N, Di Somma C, Macchia PE, Napolitano M, Savanelli MC, et al. Nutrition and psoriasis: is there any association between the severity of the disease and adherence to the Mediterranean diet?. J Transl Med. 2015 Jan 27. 13:18. [Medline].

Millsop JW, Bhatia BK, Debbaneh M, Koo J, Liao W. Diet and psoriasis, part III: role of nutritional supplements. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Sep. 71 (3):561-9. [Medline].

Finamor DC, Sinigaglia-Coimbra R, Neves LC, Gutierrez M, Silva JJ, Torres LD, et al. A pilot study assessing the effect of prolonged administration of high daily doses of vitamin D on the clinical course of vitiligo and psoriasis. Dermatoendocrinol. 2013 Jan 1. 5 (1):222-34. [Medline].

Hackethal V. Guidelines on Psoriasis Comorbidity Screening in Kids Issued. Medscape News & Perspective. Available at May 23, 2017; Accessed: May 31, 2017.

Kui R, Gl B, Gal M, Kiss M, Kemny L, Gyulai R. Presence of antidrug antibodies correlates inversely with the plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- level and the efficacy of TNF-inhibitor therapy in psoriasis. J Dermatol. 2016 Feb 19. [Medline].

Di Lernia V, Bardazzi F. Profile of tofacitinib citrate and its potential in the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016. 10:533-9. [Medline].

[Guideline] Smith CH, Jabbar-Lopez ZK, Yiu ZZ, Bale T, Burden AD, Coates LC, et al. British Association of Dermatologists guidelines for biologic therapy for psoriasis 2017. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Sep. 177 (3):628-636. [Medline].

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Psoriasis: Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology

Posthumanism – Wikipedia

This article is about a critique of anthropocentrism. For the futurist ideology and movement, see transhumanism.

Posthumanism or post-humanism (meaning “after humanism” or “beyond humanism”) is a term with at least seven definitions according to philosopher Francesca Ferrando:[1]

Philosopher Ted Schatzki suggests there are two varieties of posthumanism of the philosophical kind:[12]

One, which he calls ‘objectivism’, tries to counter the overemphasis of the subjective or intersubjective that pervades humanism, and emphasises the role of the nonhuman agents, whether they be animals and plants, or computers or other things.[12]

A second prioritizes practices, especially social practices, over individuals (or individual subjects) which, they say, constitute the individual.[12]

There may be a third kind of posthumanism, propounded by the philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. Though he did not label it as ‘posthumanism’, he made an extensive and penetrating immanent critique of Humanism, and then constructed a philosophy that presupposed neither Humanist, nor Scholastic, nor Greek thought but started with a different religious ground motive.[13] Dooyeweerd prioritized law and meaningfulness as that which enables humanity and all else to exist, behave, live, occur, etc. “Meaning is the being of all that has been created,” Dooyeweerd wrote, “and the nature even of our selfhood.”[14] Both human and nonhuman alike function subject to a common ‘law-side’, which is diverse, composed of a number of distinct law-spheres or aspects.[15] The temporal being of both human and non-human is multi-aspectual; for example, both plants and humans are bodies, functioning in the biotic aspect, and both computers and humans function in the formative and lingual aspect, but humans function in the aesthetic, juridical, ethical and faith aspects too. The Dooyeweerdian version is able to incorporate and integrate both the objectivist version and the practices version, because it allows nonhuman agents their own subject-functioning in various aspects and places emphasis on aspectual functioning.[16]

Ihab Hassan, theorist in the academic study of literature, once stated:

Humanism may be coming to an end as humanism transforms itself into something one must helplessly call posthumanism.[17]

This view predates most currents of posthumanism which have developed over the late 20th century in somewhat diverse, but complementary, domains of thought and practice. For example, Hassan is a known scholar whose theoretical writings expressly address postmodernity in society.[citation needed] Beyond postmodernist studies, posthumanism has been developed and deployed by various cultural theorists, often in reaction to problematic inherent assumptions within humanistic and enlightenment thought.[4]

Theorists who both complement and contrast Hassan include Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, cyberneticists such as Gregory Bateson, Warren McCullouch, Norbert Wiener, Bruno Latour, Cary Wolfe, Elaine Graham, N. Katherine Hayles, Benjamin H. Bratton, Donna Haraway, Peter Sloterdijk, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, Evan Thompson, Francisco Varela, Humberto Maturana and Douglas Kellner. Among the theorists are philosophers, such as Robert Pepperell, who have written about a “posthuman condition”, which is often substituted for the term “posthumanism”.[5][6]

Posthumanism differs from classical humanism by relegating humanity back to one of many natural species, thereby rejecting any claims founded on anthropocentric dominance.[18] According to this claim, humans have no inherent rights to destroy nature or set themselves above it in ethical considerations a priori. Human knowledge is also reduced to a less controlling position, previously seen as the defining aspect of the world. Human rights exist on a spectrum with animal rights and posthuman rights.[19] The limitations and fallibility of human intelligence are confessed, even though it does not imply abandoning the rational tradition of humanism.[citation needed]

Proponents of a posthuman discourse, suggest that innovative advancements and emerging technologies have transcended the traditional model of the human, as proposed by Descartes among others associated with philosophy of the Enlightenment period.[20] In contrast to humanism, the discourse of posthumanism seeks to redefine the boundaries surrounding modern philosophical understanding of the human. Posthumanism represents an evolution of thought beyond that of the contemporary social boundaries and is predicated on the seeking of truth within a postmodern context. In so doing, it rejects previous attempts to establish ‘anthropological universals’ that are imbued with anthropocentric assumptions.[18]

The philosopher Michel Foucault placed posthumanism within a context that differentiated humanism from enlightenment thought. According to Foucault, the two existed in a state of tension: as humanism sought to establish norms while Enlightenment thought attempted to transcend all that is material, including the boundaries that are constructed by humanistic thought.[18] Drawing on the Enlightenments challenges to the boundaries of humanism, posthumanism rejects the various assumptions of human dogmas (anthropological, political, scientific) and takes the next step by attempting to change the nature of thought about what it means to be human. This requires not only decentering the human in multiple discourses (evolutionary, ecological, technological) but also examining those discourses to uncover inherent humanistic, anthropocentric, normative notions of humanness and the concept of the human.[4]

Posthumanistic discourse aims to open up spaces to examine what it means to be human and critically question the concept of “the human” in light of current cultural and historical contexts[4] In her book How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles, writes about the struggle between different versions of the posthuman as it continually co-evolves alongside intelligent machines.[21] Such coevolution, according to some strands of the posthuman discourse, allows one to extend their subjective understandings of real experiences beyond the boundaries of embodied existence. According to Hayles’s view of posthuman, often referred to as technological posthumanism, visual perception and digital representations thus paradoxically become ever more salient. Even as one seeks to extend knowledge by deconstructing perceived boundaries, it is these same boundaries that make knowledge acquisition possible. The use of technology in a contemporary society is thought to complicate this relationship.

Hayles discusses the translation of human bodies into information (as suggested by Hans Moravec) in order to illuminate how the boundaries of our embodied reality have been compromised in the current age and how narrow definitions of humanness no longer apply. Because of this, according to Hayles, posthumanism is characterized by a loss of subjectivity based on bodily boundaries.[4] This strand of posthumanism, including the changing notion of subjectivity and the disruption of ideas concerning what it means to be human, is often associated with Donna Haraways concept of the cyborg.[4] However, Haraway has distanced herself from posthumanistic discourse due to other theorists use of the term to promote utopian views of technological innovation to extend the human biological capacity[22] (even though these notions would more correctly fall into the realm of transhumanism[4]).

While posthumanism is a broad and complex ideology, it has relevant implications today and for the future. It attempts to redefine social structures without inherently humanly or even biological origins, but rather in terms of social and psychological systems where consciousness and communication could potentially exist as unique disembodied entities. Questions subsequently emerge with respect to the current use and the future of technology in shaping human existence,[18] as do new concerns with regards to language, symbolism, subjectivity, phenomenology, ethics, justice and creativity.[23]

Sociologist James Hughes comments that there is considerable confusion between the two terms.[24][25] In the introduction to their book on post- and transhumanism, Robert Ranisch and Stefan Sorgner address the source of this confusion, stating that posthumanism is often used as an umbrella term that includes both transhumanism and critical posthumanism.[24]

Although both subjects relate to the future of humanity, they differ in their view of anthropocentrism. Pramod Nayar, author of Posthumanism, states that posthumanism has two main branches: ontological and critical.[26] Ontological posthumanism is synonymous with transhumanism. The subject is regarded as an intensification of humanism.[27] Transhumanism retains humanisms focus on the homo sapien as the center of the world but also considers technology to be an integral aid to human progression. Critical posthumanism, however, is opposed to these views. Critical posthumanism rejects both human exceptionalism (the idea that humans are unique creatures) and human instrumentalism (that humans have a right to control the natural world).[26] These contrasting views on the importance of human beings are the main distinctions between the two subjects.

Transhumanism is also more ingrained in popular culture than critical posthumanism, especially in science fiction. The term is referred to by Pramod Nayar as “the pop posthumanism of cinema and pop culture.”[26]

Some critics have argued that all forms of posthumanism, including transhumanism, have more in common than their respective proponents realize.[28] Linking these different approaches, Paul James suggests that ‘the key political problem is that, in effect, the position allows the human as a category of being to flow down the plughole of history’:

This is ontologically critical. Unlike the naming of postmodernism where the post does not infer the end of what it previously meant to be human (just the passing of the dominance of the modern) the posthumanists are playing a serious game where the human, in all its ontological variability, disappears in the name of saving something unspecified about us as merely a motley co-location of individuals and communities.[29]

However, some posthumanists in the humanities and the arts are critical of transhumanism (the brunt of Paul James’s criticism), in part, because they argue that it incorporates and extends many of the values of Enlightenment humanism and classical liberalism, namely scientism, according to performance philosopher Shannon Bell:[30]

Altruism, mutualism, humanism are the soft and slimy virtues that underpin liberal capitalism. Humanism has always been integrated into discourses of exploitation: colonialism, imperialism, neoimperialism, democracy, and of course, American democratization. One of the serious flaws in transhumanism is the importation of liberal-human values to the biotechno enhancement of the human. Posthumanism has a much stronger critical edge attempting to develop through enactment new understandings of the self and others, essence, consciousness, intelligence, reason, agency, intimacy, life, embodiment, identity and the body.[30]

While many modern leaders of thought are accepting of nature of ideologies described by posthumanism, some are more skeptical of the term. Donna Haraway, the author of A Cyborg Manifesto, has outspokenly rejected the term, though acknowledges a philosophical alignment with posthumanism. Haraway opts instead for the term of companion species, referring to nonhuman entities with which humans coexist.[22]

Questions of race, some argue, are suspiciously elided within the “turn” to posthumanism. Noting that the terms “post” and “human” are already loaded with racial meaning, critical theorist Zakiyyah Iman Jackson argues that the impulse to move “beyond” the human within posthumanism too often ignores “praxes of humanity and critiques produced by black people”, including Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire to Hortense Spillers and Fred Moten. Interrogating the conceptual grounds in which such a mode of beyond is rendered legible and viable, Jackson argues that it is important to observe that “blackness conditions and constitutes the very nonhuman disruption and/or disruption” which posthumanists invite. In other words, given that race in general and blackness in particular constitutes the very terms through which human/nonhuman distinctions are made, for example in enduring legacies of scientific racism, a gesture toward a beyond actually returns us to a Eurocentric transcendentalism long challenged.

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Posthumanism – Wikipedia

What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

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Beyond humanism and anthropocentrism

Can a new kind of humanitiesposthumanitiesrespond to the redefinition of humanity’s place in the world by both the technological and the biological or “green” continuum in which the “human” is but one life form among many? Exploring this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfe ranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world.

What Is Posthumanism? is an original, thoroughly argued, fundamental redefinition and refocusing of posthumanism. Firmly distinguishing posthumanism from discourses of the posthuman or transhumanism, this book will be at the center of discussion for a long time to come.

Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanitiesposthumanitiesrespond to the redefinition of humanitys place in the world by both the technological and the biological or green continuum in which the human is but one life form among many?

Exploring how both critical thought along with cultural practice have reacted to this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfeone of the founding figures in the field of animal studies and posthumanist theoryranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world. Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandins writings, Wallace Stevenss poetry, Lars von Triers Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Enos My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture.

For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.

Cary Wolfe holds the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Chair in English at Rice University. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside, Observing Complexity: Systems Theory and Postmodernity, and Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal, all published by the University of Minnesota Press.

What Is Posthumanism? is an original, thoroughly argued, fundamental redefinition and refocusing of posthumanism. Firmly distinguishing posthumanism from discourses of the posthuman or transhumanism, this book will be at the center of discussion for a long time to come.

Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

Wolfe offers a smart, provocative account of posthumanism as an idea and as a way of thinking that has consequences extending from the way universities are organized to decisions regarding public policy bioethics. Although his writing is complex and demanding, the ethical and ecological urgency with which he frames his readings combines with the wide, diversified scope of his scholarship to make this a work to be reckoned with.

Wolfes book, without a doubt, supplies important insights.

Wolfe has created an incredibly useful primer on posthumanist theory. For anyone attempting to engage in academic work relating to these theories, this book is a highly recommended starting point.

Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley

It is one of those books that sucks you in almost immediately.

ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

Readers . . . will find Wolfes analysis of both visual and audio culture to be thought-provoking.

Science Fiction Film and Television

It is a profound, thoroughly researched study with far-reaching consequences for public policy, bioethics, education, and the arts.

Science, Culture, Integrated Yoga

What Is Posthumanism? is an intelligent, extensively argued and challenging work.

Wolfes work shifts the tired terms of the debate in new and needed directions, offering strength and strategies to all those for whom simplistic, technophilic accounts of the posthuman condition are a smooth road to nowhere different.

Electronic Book Review

Tremendous intellectual, scholarly, and artistic breadth.

As a blueprint for where a posthumanist approach could take cultural theory, his book is conceptually invaluable.

Wolfes posthumanism is brilliant in the way it allows us to realize that each of these species might have different forms of perception, different ways of being in the world, and that those differences are actually analogous with otherness among human beings.

Wolfe deserves credit for a rich set of discussions that, taken together, bring out the interest of the intellectual trend that he calls posthumanism.

UMP blog: Discovering the HUMAN

3/24/2010Part of the unfortunate fallout of the conceptual apparatus of humanism is that it gives us an overly simple picturea fantasy, reallyof what the human is. Consider, for example, the rise of what is often called transhumanism, often taken to be a defining discourse of posthumanism (as in Ray Kurzweils work on the singularitythe historical moment at which engineering developments such as nanotechnology enable us to transcend our physical and biological limitations as embodied beings, ushering in a new phase of evolution). As many of its proponents freely admit, the philosophical ideals of transhumanism are quite identifiably humanistnot only in their dream of transcending the life of the body and our animal origins but also in their investment in the ideals of human perfectibility, rationality, autonomy, and agency. Read more …

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What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

posthumanism | Definition of posthumanism in English by …

nounScience Fiction

The idea that humanity can be transformed, transcended, or eliminated either by technological advances or the evolutionary process; artistic, scientific, or philosophical practice which reflects this belief.

1970s. From post-human + -ism. Compare earlier post-humanism.


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posthumanism | Definition of posthumanism in English by …

What is Posthumanism? The Curator

Perhaps you have had a nightmare in which you fell through the bottom of your known universe into a vortex of mutated children, talking animals, mental illness, freakish art, and clamoring gibberish. There, you were subjected to the gaze of creatures of indeterminate nature and questionable intelligence. Your position as the subject of your own dream was called into question while voices outside your sight commented upon your tenuous identity. When you woke, you were relieved to find that it was only a dream-version of the book you were reading when you fell asleep. Maybe that book was Alice in Wonderland; maybe it was What is Posthumanism?

Now, it is not quite fair to compare Cary Wolfes sober, thoughtful scholarship with either a nightmare or a work of (childrens?) fantasy. It is a profound, thoroughly researched study with far-reaching consequences for public policy, bioethics, education, and the arts. However, it does present a rather odd dramatis personae, including a glow-in-the-dark rabbit, a woman who feels most at ease in a cattle chute, an artist of Jewish descent who implants an ID-chip in his own leg, researchers who count the words in a dogs vocabulary, and horses who exhibit more intelligence than the average human toddler. The settings, too, are often wildly different from those you might expect in an academic work: a manufactured cloud hovering over a lake in Switzerland, a tree park in Canada where landscape and architecture blend and redefine one another, recording studios, photographic laboratories, slaughterhouses, and (most of all) the putative minds of animals and the deconstructed minds of the very humans whose ontological existence it seeks to problematize.

But that is another exaggeration. Wolfes goal is not to undermine the existence or value of human beings. Rather, it is to call into question the universal ethics, assumed rationality, and species-specific self-determination of humanism. That is a mouthful.

Indeed, Wolfes book is a mouthful, and a headful. It is in fact a book by a specialist, for specialists. While Wolfe is an English professor (at Rice University) and identifies himself with literary and cultural studies (p. 100), this is first of all a work of philosophy. Its ideal audience is very small, consisting of English and Philosophy professors who came of age in the 70s, earned their Ph.D.s during the hey-day of Derridean Deconstruction, and have spent the intervening decades keeping up with trends in systems theory, cultural studies, science, bioethics, and information technology. It is rigorous and demanding, especially in its first five chapters, which lay the conceptual groundwork for the specific analyses of the second section.

In these first five chapters, Wolfe describes his perspective and purpose by interaction with many other great minds and influential texts, primarily those of Jacques Derrida. Here, the fundamental meaning and purpose of Posthumanism becomes clear. Wolfe wants his readers to rethink their relationship to animals (what he calls nonhuman animals). His goal is a new and more inclusive form of ethical pluralism (137). That sound innocuous enough, but he is not talking about racial, religious, or other human pluralisms. He is postulating a pluralism that transcends species. In other words, he is promoting the ethical treatment of animals based on a fundamental re-evaluation of what it means to be human, to be able to speak, and even to think. He does this by discussing studies that reveal the language capacities of animals (a dog apparently has about a 200-word vocabulary and can learn new words as quickly as a human three-year-old; pp. 32-33), by recounting the story of a woman whose Aspergers syndrome enables her to empathize with cows and sense the world the way they do (chapter five), and by pointing out the ways in which we value disabled people who do not possess the standard traits that (supposedly) make us human.

But Wolfe goes further than a simple suggestion that we should be nice to animals (and the unspoken plug for universal veganism). He is proposing a radical disruption of liberal humanism and a rigorous interrogation of what he sees as an arrogant complacency about our species. He respects any variety of philosophy that challenges anthropocentrism and speciesism (62)anthropocentrism, of course, means viewing the world as if homo sapiens is the center (or, more accurately, viewing the world from the position of occupying that center) and specisism is the term he uses to replace racism. We used to feel and enact prejudice against people of different ethnic backgrounds, he suggests, but we now know that is morally wrong. The time has come, then, to realize that we are feeling and enacting prejudice against people of different species.

Although Wolfe suggests many epistemological and empirical reasons for rethinking the personhood of animals, he comes to the conclusion that our relationship with them is based on our shared embodiment. Humans and animals have a shared finitude (139); we can both feel pain, suffer, and die. On the basis of our mutual mortality, then, we should have an emphasis on compassion (77). He is not out to denigrate his own species far from it. Indeed, he goes out of his way to spend time discussing infants (who have not yet developed rationality and language), people with disabilities (especially those that prevent them from participating in fully rational thought and/or communication), and the elderly (who may lose some of those rational capacities, especially if racked by such ailments as Alzheimers). Indeed, he claims: It is not by denying the special status of human being[s] but by intensifying it that we can come to think of nonhuman animalsasfellow creatures (77).

This joint focus on the special status of all human beings along with the other living creatures roaming (or swimming, flying, crawling, slithering) the globe has far-reaching consequences for public policy, especially bioethics. Wolfe says that, currently, bioethics is riddled with prejudices: Of these prejudices, none is more symptomatic of the current state of bioethics than prejudice based on species difference, and an incapacity to address the ethical issues raised by dramatic changes over the past thirty years in our knowledge about the lives, communication, emotions, and consciousnesses of a number of nonhuman species (56). One of the goals of his book, then, is to reiterate that knowledge and promote awareness of those issues that he sees as ethical.

If you read Wolfes book, or even parts of it, you will suddenly see posthumanism everywhere. You can trace its influence in the enormously fast-growing pet industry. From the blog Pawsible Marketing: As in recent and past years, there is no doubt that pets continue to become more and more a part of the family, even to the extent of becoming, in some cases, humanized.

You will see it in bring-your-pet-to-work or bring-your-pet-to-school days. You might think it is responsible for the recent introduction of a piece of legislation called H.R. 3501, The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years, know as the HAPPY Act, which proposes a tax deduction for pet owners. You will find it in childrens books about talking animals. You will see it on Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and a PBS series entitled Inside the Animal Mind. You will find it in films, such as the brand-new documentary The Cove, which records the brutal slaughter of dolphins for food. And you will see it in works of art.

Following this reasoning, section two of Wolfes book (chapters six through eleven) veers off from the strictly philosophical approach into the more traditional terrain of cultural studies: he examines specific works of art in light of the philosophical basis that is now firmly in place. Interestingly, he does not choose all works of art that depict animals, nor those that displace humans. He begins with works that depict animals (Sue Coes paintings of slaughterhouses) and that use animals (Eduardo Kacs creation of genetically engineered animals that glow in the dark), but then moves on to discuss film, architecture, poetry, and music. In each of these examinations, he works to destabilize traditional binaries such as nature/culture, landscape/architecture, viewer/viewed, presence/absence, organic/inorganic, natural/artificial, and, really, human/nonhuman. This second section, then, is a subtle application of the theory of posthumanism itself to the arts, [our] environment, and [our] identity.

What is perhaps most important about What is Posthumanism remains latent in the text. This is its current and (especially) future prevalence. By tracing the history of posthumanism back through systems theory into deconstruction, Wolfe implies a future trajectory, too. I would venture to suggest that he believes posthumanism is the worldview that will soon come to dominate Western thought. And this is important for academics specifically and thinkers in general to realize.

Whether you agree with Cary Wolfe or not, it would be wise to understand posthumanism. It appears that your only choice will be either to align yourself with this perspective or to fight against it. If you agree, you should know with what. If you fight, you should know against what.

What, then, is the central thesis of posthumanism? Wolfes entire project might be summed up in his bold claim that, thanks to his own work and that of the theorists and artists he discusses, the human occupies a new place in the universe, a universe now populated by what I am prepared to call nonhuman subjects (47)such subjects as talking rabbits, six-inch people, and mythical monsters?

Well, maybe not the mythical monsters.


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What is Posthumanism? The Curator

Gene therapy – Wikipedia

In the medicine field, gene therapy (also called human gene transfer) is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient’s cells as a drug to treat disease.[1][2] The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful nuclear gene transfer in humans, approved by the National Institutes of Health, was performed in May 1989.[3] The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990.

Between 1989 and February 2016, over 2,300 clinical trials had been conducted, more than half of them in phase I.[4]

Not all medical procedures that introduce alterations to a patient’s genetic makeup can be considered gene therapy. Bone marrow transplantation and organ transplants in general have been found to introduce foreign DNA into patients.[5] Gene therapy is defined by the precision of the procedure and the intention of direct therapeutic effect.

Gene therapy was conceptualized in 1972, by authors who urged caution before commencing human gene therapy studies.

The first attempt, an unsuccessful one, at gene therapy (as well as the first case of medical transfer of foreign genes into humans not counting organ transplantation) was performed by Martin Cline on 10 July 1980.[6][7] Cline claimed that one of the genes in his patients was active six months later, though he never published this data or had it verified[8] and even if he is correct, it’s unlikely it produced any significant beneficial effects treating beta-thalassemia.

After extensive research on animals throughout the 1980s and a 1989 bacterial gene tagging trial on humans, the first gene therapy widely accepted as a success was demonstrated in a trial that started on 14 September 1990, when Ashi DeSilva was treated for ADA-SCID.[9]

The first somatic treatment that produced a permanent genetic change was performed in 1993.[citation needed]

Gene therapy is a way to fix a genetic problem at its source. The polymers are either translated into proteins, interfere with target gene expression, or possibly correct genetic mutations.

The most common form uses DNA that encodes a functional, therapeutic gene to replace a mutated gene. The polymer molecule is packaged within a “vector”, which carries the molecule inside cells.

Early clinical failures led to dismissals of gene therapy. Clinical successes since 2006 regained researchers’ attention, although as of 2014[update], it was still largely an experimental technique.[10] These include treatment of retinal diseases Leber’s congenital amaurosis[11][12][13][14] and choroideremia,[15] X-linked SCID,[16] ADA-SCID,[17][18] adrenoleukodystrophy,[19] chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL),[20] acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),[21] multiple myeloma,[22] haemophilia,[18] and Parkinson’s disease.[23] Between 2013 and April 2014, US companies invested over $600 million in the field.[24]

The first commercial gene therapy, Gendicine, was approved in China in 2003 for the treatment of certain cancers.[25] In 2011 Neovasculgen was registered in Russia as the first-in-class gene-therapy drug for treatment of peripheral artery disease, including critical limb ischemia.[26]In 2012 Glybera, a treatment for a rare inherited disorder, became the first treatment to be approved for clinical use in either Europe or the United States after its endorsement by the European Commission.[10][27]

Following early advances in genetic engineering of bacteria, cells, and small animals, scientists started considering how to apply it to medicine. Two main approaches were considered replacing or disrupting defective genes.[28] Scientists focused on diseases caused by single-gene defects, such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, thalassemia, and sickle cell anemia. Glybera treats one such disease, caused by a defect in lipoprotein lipase.[27]

DNA must be administered, reach the damaged cells, enter the cell and either express or disrupt a protein.[29] Multiple delivery techniques have been explored. The initial approach incorporated DNA into an engineered virus to deliver the DNA into a chromosome.[30][31] Naked DNA approaches have also been explored, especially in the context of vaccine development.[32]

Generally, efforts focused on administering a gene that causes a needed protein to be expressed. More recently, increased understanding of nuclease function has led to more direct DNA editing, using techniques such as zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR. The vector incorporates genes into chromosomes. The expressed nucleases then knock out and replace genes in the chromosome. As of 2014[update] these approaches involve removing cells from patients, editing a chromosome and returning the transformed cells to patients.[33]

Gene editing is a potential approach to alter the human genome to treat genetic diseases,[34] viral diseases,[35] and cancer.[36] As of 2016[update] these approaches were still years from being medicine.[37][38]

Gene therapy may be classified into two types:

In somatic cell gene therapy (SCGT), the therapeutic genes are transferred into any cell other than a gamete, germ cell, gametocyte, or undifferentiated stem cell. Any such modifications affect the individual patient only, and are not inherited by offspring. Somatic gene therapy represents mainstream basic and clinical research, in which therapeutic DNA (either integrated in the genome or as an external episome or plasmid) is used to treat disease.

Over 600 clinical trials utilizing SCGT are underway[when?] in the US. Most focus on severe genetic disorders, including immunodeficiencies, haemophilia, thalassaemia, and cystic fibrosis. Such single gene disorders are good candidates for somatic cell therapy. The complete correction of a genetic disorder or the replacement of multiple genes is not yet possible. Only a few of the trials are in the advanced stages.[39]

In germline gene therapy (GGT), germ cells (sperm or egg cells) are modified by the introduction of functional genes into their genomes. Modifying a germ cell causes all the organism’s cells to contain the modified gene. The change is therefore heritable and passed on to later generations. Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, and the Netherlands[40] prohibit GGT for application in human beings, for technical and ethical reasons, including insufficient knowledge about possible risks to future generations[40] and higher risks versus SCGT.[41] The US has no federal controls specifically addressing human genetic modification (beyond FDA regulations for therapies in general).[40][42][43][44]

The delivery of DNA into cells can be accomplished by multiple methods. The two major classes are recombinant viruses (sometimes called biological nanoparticles or viral vectors) and naked DNA or DNA complexes (non-viral methods).

In order to replicate, viruses introduce their genetic material into the host cell, tricking the host’s cellular machinery into using it as blueprints for viral proteins. Retroviruses go a stage further by having their genetic material copied into the genome of the host cell. Scientists exploit this by substituting a virus’s genetic material with therapeutic DNA. (The term ‘DNA’ may be an oversimplification, as some viruses contain RNA, and gene therapy could take this form as well.) A number of viruses have been used for human gene therapy, including retroviruses, adenoviruses, herpes simplex, vaccinia, and adeno-associated virus.[4] Like the genetic material (DNA or RNA) in viruses, therapeutic DNA can be designed to simply serve as a temporary blueprint that is degraded naturally or (at least theoretically) to enter the host’s genome, becoming a permanent part of the host’s DNA in infected cells.

Non-viral methods present certain advantages over viral methods, such as large scale production and low host immunogenicity. However, non-viral methods initially produced lower levels of transfection and gene expression, and thus lower therapeutic efficacy. Later technology remedied this deficiency.[citation needed]

Methods for non-viral gene therapy include the injection of naked DNA, electroporation, the gene gun, sonoporation, magnetofection, the use of oligonucleotides, lipoplexes, dendrimers, and inorganic nanoparticles.

Some of the unsolved problems include:

Three patients’ deaths have been reported in gene therapy trials, putting the field under close scrutiny. The first was that of Jesse Gelsinger, who died in 1999 because of immune rejection response.[51] One X-SCID patient died of leukemia in 2003.[9] In 2007, a rheumatoid arthritis patient died from an infection; the subsequent investigation concluded that the death was not related to gene therapy.[52]

In 1972 Friedmann and Roblin authored a paper in Science titled “Gene therapy for human genetic disease?”[53] Rogers (1970) was cited for proposing that exogenous good DNA be used to replace the defective DNA in those who suffer from genetic defects.[54]

In 1984 a retrovirus vector system was designed that could efficiently insert foreign genes into mammalian chromosomes.[55]

The first approved gene therapy clinical research in the US took place on 14 September 1990, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the direction of William French Anderson.[56] Four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva received treatment for a genetic defect that left her with ADA-SCID, a severe immune system deficiency. The defective gene of the patient’s blood cells was replaced by the functional variant. Ashantis immune system was partially restored by the therapy. Production of the missing enzyme was temporarily stimulated, but the new cells with functional genes were not generated. She led a normal life only with the regular injections performed every two months. The effects were successful, but temporary.[57]

Cancer gene therapy was introduced in 1992/93 (Trojan et al. 1993).[58] The treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, the malignant brain tumor whose outcome is always fatal, was done using a vector expressing antisense IGF-I RNA (clinical trial approved by NIH protocolno.1602 November 24, 1993,[59] and by the FDA in 1994). This therapy also represents the beginning of cancer immunogene therapy, a treatment which proves to be effective due to the anti-tumor mechanism of IGF-I antisense, which is related to strong immune and apoptotic phenomena.

In 1992 Claudio Bordignon, working at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, performed the first gene therapy procedure using hematopoietic stem cells as vectors to deliver genes intended to correct hereditary diseases.[60] In 2002 this work led to the publication of the first successful gene therapy treatment for adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID). The success of a multi-center trial for treating children with SCID (severe combined immune deficiency or “bubble boy” disease) from 2000 and 2002, was questioned when two of the ten children treated at the trial’s Paris center developed a leukemia-like condition. Clinical trials were halted temporarily in 2002, but resumed after regulatory review of the protocol in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.[61]

In 1993 Andrew Gobea was born with SCID following prenatal genetic screening. Blood was removed from his mother’s placenta and umbilical cord immediately after birth, to acquire stem cells. The allele that codes for adenosine deaminase (ADA) was obtained and inserted into a retrovirus. Retroviruses and stem cells were mixed, after which the viruses inserted the gene into the stem cell chromosomes. Stem cells containing the working ADA gene were injected into Andrew’s blood. Injections of the ADA enzyme were also given weekly. For four years T cells (white blood cells), produced by stem cells, made ADA enzymes using the ADA gene. After four years more treatment was needed.[62]

Jesse Gelsinger’s death in 1999 impeded gene therapy research in the US.[63][64] As a result, the FDA suspended several clinical trials pending the reevaluation of ethical and procedural practices.[65]

The modified cancer gene therapy strategy of antisense IGF-I RNA (NIH n 1602)[59] using antisense / triple helix anti-IGF-I approach was registered in 2002 by Wiley gene therapy clinical trial – n 635 and 636. The approach has shown promising results in the treatment of six different malignant tumors: glioblastoma, cancers of liver, colon, prostate, uterus, and ovary (Collaborative NATO Science Programme on Gene Therapy USA, France, Poland n LST 980517 conducted by J. Trojan) (Trojan et al., 2012). This anti-gene antisense/triple helix therapy has proven to be efficient, due to the mechanism stopping simultaneously IGF-I expression on translation and transcription levels, strengthening anti-tumor immune and apoptotic phenomena.

Sickle-cell disease can be treated in mice.[66] The mice which have essentially the same defect that causes human cases used a viral vector to induce production of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), which normally ceases to be produced shortly after birth. In humans, the use of hydroxyurea to stimulate the production of HbF temporarily alleviates sickle cell symptoms. The researchers demonstrated this treatment to be a more permanent means to increase therapeutic HbF production.[67]

A new gene therapy approach repaired errors in messenger RNA derived from defective genes. This technique has the potential to treat thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis and some cancers.[68]

Researchers created liposomes 25 nanometers across that can carry therapeutic DNA through pores in the nuclear membrane.[69]

In 2003 a research team inserted genes into the brain for the first time. They used liposomes coated in a polymer called polyethylene glycol, which unlike viral vectors, are small enough to cross the bloodbrain barrier.[70]

Short pieces of double-stranded RNA (short, interfering RNAs or siRNAs) are used by cells to degrade RNA of a particular sequence. If a siRNA is designed to match the RNA copied from a faulty gene, then the abnormal protein product of that gene will not be produced.[71]

Gendicine is a cancer gene therapy that delivers the tumor suppressor gene p53 using an engineered adenovirus. In 2003, it was approved in China for the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.[25]

In March researchers announced the successful use of gene therapy to treat two adult patients for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease, a disease which affects myeloid cells and damages the immune system. The study is the first to show that gene therapy can treat the myeloid system.[72]

In May a team reported a way to prevent the immune system from rejecting a newly delivered gene.[73] Similar to organ transplantation, gene therapy has been plagued by this problem. The immune system normally recognizes the new gene as foreign and rejects the cells carrying it. The research utilized a newly uncovered network of genes regulated by molecules known as microRNAs. This natural function selectively obscured their therapeutic gene in immune system cells and protected it from discovery. Mice infected with the gene containing an immune-cell microRNA target sequence did not reject the gene.

In August scientists successfully treated metastatic melanoma in two patients using killer T cells genetically retargeted to attack the cancer cells.[74]

In November researchers reported on the use of VRX496, a gene-based immunotherapy for the treatment of HIV that uses a lentiviral vector to deliver an antisense gene against the HIV envelope. In a phase I clinical trial, five subjects with chronic HIV infection who had failed to respond to at least two antiretroviral regimens were treated. A single intravenous infusion of autologous CD4 T cells genetically modified with VRX496 was well tolerated. All patients had stable or decreased viral load; four of the five patients had stable or increased CD4 T cell counts. All five patients had stable or increased immune response to HIV antigens and other pathogens. This was the first evaluation of a lentiviral vector administered in a US human clinical trial.[75][76]

In May researchers announced the first gene therapy trial for inherited retinal disease. The first operation was carried out on a 23-year-old British male, Robert Johnson, in early 2007.[77]

Leber’s congenital amaurosis is an inherited blinding disease caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. The results of a small clinical trial in children were published in April.[11] Delivery of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying RPE65 yielded positive results. In May two more groups reported positive results in independent clinical trials using gene therapy to treat the condition. In all three clinical trials, patients recovered functional vision without apparent side-effects.[11][12][13][14]

In September researchers were able to give trichromatic vision to squirrel monkeys.[78] In November 2009, researchers halted a fatal genetic disorder called adrenoleukodystrophy in two children using a lentivirus vector to deliver a functioning version of ABCD1, the gene that is mutated in the disorder.[79]

An April paper reported that gene therapy addressed achromatopsia (color blindness) in dogs by targeting cone photoreceptors. Cone function and day vision were restored for at least 33 months in two young specimens. The therapy was less efficient for older dogs.[80]

In September it was announced that an 18-year-old male patient in France with beta-thalassemia major had been successfully treated.[81] Beta-thalassemia major is an inherited blood disease in which beta haemoglobin is missing and patients are dependent on regular lifelong blood transfusions.[82] The technique used a lentiviral vector to transduce the human -globin gene into purified blood and marrow cells obtained from the patient in June 2007.[83] The patient’s haemoglobin levels were stable at 9 to 10 g/dL. About a third of the hemoglobin contained the form introduced by the viral vector and blood transfusions were not needed.[83][84] Further clinical trials were planned.[85] Bone marrow transplants are the only cure for thalassemia, but 75% of patients do not find a matching donor.[84]

Cancer immunogene therapy using modified antigene, antisense/triple helix approach was introduced in South America in 2010/11 in La Sabana University, Bogota (Ethical Committee 14 December 2010, no P-004-10). Considering the ethical aspect of gene diagnostic and gene therapy targeting IGF-I, the IGF-I expressing tumors i.e. lung and epidermis cancers were treated (Trojan et al. 2016).[86][87]

In 2007 and 2008, a man (Timothy Ray Brown) was cured of HIV by repeated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (see also allogeneic stem cell transplantation, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, allotransplantation) with double-delta-32 mutation which disables the CCR5 receptor. This cure was accepted by the medical community in 2011.[88] It required complete ablation of existing bone marrow, which is very debilitating.

In August two of three subjects of a pilot study were confirmed to have been cured from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The therapy used genetically modified T cells to attack cells that expressed the CD19 protein to fight the disease.[20] In 2013, the researchers announced that 26 of 59 patients had achieved complete remission and the original patient had remained tumor-free.[89]

Human HGF plasmid DNA therapy of cardiomyocytes is being examined as a potential treatment for coronary artery disease as well as treatment for the damage that occurs to the heart after myocardial infarction.[90][91]

In 2011 Neovasculgen was registered in Russia as the first-in-class gene-therapy drug for treatment of peripheral artery disease, including critical limb ischemia; it delivers the gene encoding for VEGF.[92][26] Neovasculogen is a plasmid encoding the CMV promoter and the 165 amino acid form of VEGF.[93][94]

The FDA approved Phase 1 clinical trials on thalassemia major patients in the US for 10 participants in July.[95] The study was expected to continue until 2015.[85]

In July 2012, the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of a gene therapy treatment for the first time in either Europe or the United States. The treatment used Alipogene tiparvovec (Glybera) to compensate for lipoprotein lipase deficiency, which can cause severe pancreatitis.[96] The recommendation was endorsed by the European Commission in November 2012[10][27][97][98] and commercial rollout began in late 2014.[99] Alipogene tiparvovec was expected to cost around $1.6 million per treatment in 2012,[100] revised to $1 million in 2015,[101] making it the most expensive medicine in the world at the time.[102] As of 2016[update], only one person had been treated with drug.[103]

In December 2012, it was reported that 10 of 13 patients with multiple myeloma were in remission “or very close to it” three months after being injected with a treatment involving genetically engineered T cells to target proteins NY-ESO-1 and LAGE-1, which exist only on cancerous myeloma cells.[22]

In March researchers reported that three of five adult subjects who had acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) had been in remission for five months to two years after being treated with genetically modified T cells which attacked cells with CD19 genes on their surface, i.e. all B-cells, cancerous or not. The researchers believed that the patients’ immune systems would make normal T-cells and B-cells after a couple of months. They were also given bone marrow. One patient relapsed and died and one died of a blood clot unrelated to the disease.[21]

Following encouraging Phase 1 trials, in April, researchers announced they were starting Phase 2 clinical trials (called CUPID2 and SERCA-LVAD) on 250 patients[104] at several hospitals to combat heart disease. The therapy was designed to increase the levels of SERCA2, a protein in heart muscles, improving muscle function.[105] The FDA granted this a Breakthrough Therapy Designation to accelerate the trial and approval process.[106] In 2016 it was reported that no improvement was found from the CUPID 2 trial.[107]

In July researchers reported promising results for six children with two severe hereditary diseases had been treated with a partially deactivated lentivirus to replace a faulty gene and after 732 months. Three of the children had metachromatic leukodystrophy, which causes children to lose cognitive and motor skills.[108] The other children had Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, which leaves them to open to infection, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.[109] Follow up trials with gene therapy on another six children with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome were also reported as promising.[110][111]

In October researchers reported that two children born with adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency disease (ADA-SCID) had been treated with genetically engineered stem cells 18 months previously and that their immune systems were showing signs of full recovery. Another three children were making progress.[18] In 2014 a further 18 children with ADA-SCID were cured by gene therapy.[112] ADA-SCID children have no functioning immune system and are sometimes known as “bubble children.”[18]

Also in October researchers reported that they had treated six hemophilia sufferers in early 2011 using an adeno-associated virus. Over two years later all six were producing clotting factor.[18][113]

In January researchers reported that six choroideremia patients had been treated with adeno-associated virus with a copy of REP1. Over a six-month to two-year period all had improved their sight.[114][115] By 2016, 32 patients had been treated with positive results and researchers were hopeful the treatment would be long-lasting.[15] Choroideremia is an inherited genetic eye disease with no approved treatment, leading to loss of sight.

In March researchers reported that 12 HIV patients had been treated since 2009 in a trial with a genetically engineered virus with a rare mutation (CCR5 deficiency) known to protect against HIV with promising results.[116][117]

Clinical trials of gene therapy for sickle cell disease were started in 2014.[118][119] There is a need for high quality randomised controlled trials assessing the risks and benefits involved with gene therapy for people with sickle cell disease.[120]

In February LentiGlobin BB305, a gene therapy treatment undergoing clinical trials for treatment of beta thalassemia gained FDA “breakthrough” status after several patients were able to forgo the frequent blood transfusions usually required to treat the disease.[121]

In March researchers delivered a recombinant gene encoding a broadly neutralizing antibody into monkeys infected with simian HIV; the monkeys’ cells produced the antibody, which cleared them of HIV. The technique is named immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer (IGT). Animal tests for antibodies to ebola, malaria, influenza, and hepatitis were underway.[122][123]

In March, scientists, including an inventor of CRISPR, Jennifer Doudna, urged a worldwide moratorium on germline gene therapy, writing “scientists should avoid even attempting, in lax jurisdictions, germline genome modification for clinical application in humans” until the full implications “are discussed among scientific and governmental organizations”.[124][125][126][127]

In October, researchers announced that they had treated a baby girl, Layla Richards, with an experimental treatment using donor T-cells genetically engineered using TALEN to attack cancer cells. One year after the treatment she was still free of her cancer (a highly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia [ALL]).[128] Children with highly aggressive ALL normally have a very poor prognosis and Layla’s disease had been regarded as terminal before the treatment.[129]

In December, scientists of major world academies called for a moratorium on inheritable human genome edits, including those related to CRISPR-Cas9 technologies[130] but that basic research including embryo gene editing should continue.[131]

In April the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency endorsed a gene therapy treatment called Strimvelis[132][133] and the European Commission approved it in June.[134] This treats children born with adenosine deaminase deficiency and who have no functioning immune system. This was the second gene therapy treatment to be approved in Europe.[135]

In October, Chinese scientists reported they had started a trial to genetically modify T-cells from 10 adult patients with lung cancer and reinject the modified T-cells back into their bodies to attack the cancer cells. The T-cells had the PD-1 protein (which stops or slows the immune response) removed using CRISPR-Cas9.[136][137]

A 2016 Cochrane systematic review looking at data from four trials on topical cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene therapy does not support its clinical use as a mist inhaled into the lungs to treat cystic fibrosis patients with lung infections. One of the four trials did find weak evidence that liposome-based CFTR gene transfer therapy may lead to a small respiratory improvement for people with CF. This weak evidence is not enough to make a clinical recommendation for routine CFTR gene therapy.[138]

In February Kite Pharma announced results from a clinical trial of CAR-T cells in around a hundred people with advanced Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[139]

In March, French scientists reported on clinical research of gene therapy to treat sickle-cell disease.[140]

In August, the FDA approved tisagenlecleucel for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.[141] Tisagenlecleucel is an adoptive cell transfer therapy for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; T cells from a person with cancer are removed, genetically engineered to make a specific T-cell receptor (a chimeric T cell receptor, or “CAR-T”) that reacts to the cancer, and are administered back to the person. The T cells are engineered to target a protein called CD19 that is common on B cells. This is the first form of gene therapy to be approved in the United States. In October, a similar therapy called axicabtagene ciloleucel was approved for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[142]

In December the results of using an adeno-associated virus with blood clotting factor VIII to treat nine haemophilia A patients were published. Six of the seven patients on the high dose regime increased the level of the blood clotting VIII to normal levels. The low and medium dose regimes had no effect on the patient’s blood clotting levels.[143][144]

In December, the FDA approved Luxturna, the first in vivo gene therapy, for the treatment of blindness due to Leber’s congenital amaurosis.[145] The price of this treatment was 850,000 US dollars for both eyes.[146][147]

Speculated uses for gene therapy include:

Athletes might adopt gene therapy technologies to improve their performance.[148] Gene doping is not known to occur, but multiple gene therapies may have such effects. Kayser et al. argue that gene doping could level the playing field if all athletes receive equal access. Critics claim that any therapeutic intervention for non-therapeutic/enhancement purposes compromises the ethical foundations of medicine and sports.[149]

Genetic engineering could be used to cure diseases, but also to change physical appearance, metabolism, and even improve physical capabilities and mental faculties such as memory and intelligence. Ethical claims about germline engineering include beliefs that every fetus has a right to remain genetically unmodified, that parents hold the right to genetically modify their offspring, and that every child has the right to be born free of preventable diseases.[150][151][152] For parents, genetic engineering could be seen as another child enhancement technique to add to diet, exercise, education, training, cosmetics, and plastic surgery.[153][154] Another theorist claims that moral concerns limit but do not prohibit germline engineering.[155]

Possible regulatory schemes include a complete ban, provision to everyone, or professional self-regulation. The American Medical Associations Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs stated that “genetic interventions to enhance traits should be considered permissible only in severely restricted situations: (1) clear and meaningful benefits to the fetus or child; (2) no trade-off with other characteristics or traits; and (3) equal access to the genetic technology, irrespective of income or other socioeconomic characteristics.”[156]

As early in the history of biotechnology as 1990, there have been scientists opposed to attempts to modify the human germline using these new tools,[157] and such concerns have continued as technology progressed.[158][159] With the advent of new techniques like CRISPR, in March 2015 a group of scientists urged a worldwide moratorium on clinical use of gene editing technologies to edit the human genome in a way that can be inherited.[124][125][126][127] In April 2015, researchers sparked controversy when they reported results of basic research to edit the DNA of non-viable human embryos using CRISPR.[160][161] A committee of the American National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine gave qualified support to human genome editing in 2017[162][163] once answers have been found to safety and efficiency problems “but only for serious conditions under stringent oversight.”[164]

Regulations covering genetic modification are part of general guidelines about human-involved biomedical research. There are no international treaties which are legally binding in this area, but there are recommendations for national laws from various bodies.

The Helsinki Declaration (Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects) was amended by the World Medical Association’s General Assembly in 2008. This document provides principles physicians and researchers must consider when involving humans as research subjects. The Statement on Gene Therapy Research initiated by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) in 2001 provides a legal baseline for all countries. HUGOs document emphasizes human freedom and adherence to human rights, and offers recommendations for somatic gene therapy, including the importance of recognizing public concerns about such research.[165]

No federal legislation lays out protocols or restrictions about human genetic engineering. This subject is governed by overlapping regulations from local and federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA and NIH’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. Researchers seeking federal funds for an investigational new drug application, (commonly the case for somatic human genetic engineering,) must obey international and federal guidelines for the protection of human subjects.[166]

NIH serves as the main gene therapy regulator for federally funded research. Privately funded research is advised to follow these regulations. NIH provides funding for research that develops or enhances genetic engineering techniques and to evaluate the ethics and quality in current research. The NIH maintains a mandatory registry of human genetic engineering research protocols that includes all federally funded projects.

An NIH advisory committee published a set of guidelines on gene manipulation.[167] The guidelines discuss lab safety as well as human test subjects and various experimental types that involve genetic changes. Several sections specifically pertain to human genetic engineering, including Section III-C-1. This section describes required review processes and other aspects when seeking approval to begin clinical research involving genetic transfer into a human patient.[168] The protocol for a gene therapy clinical trial must be approved by the NIH’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee prior to any clinical trial beginning; this is different from any other kind of clinical trial.[167]

As with other kinds of drugs, the FDA regulates the quality and safety of gene therapy products and supervises how these products are used clinically. Therapeutic alteration of the human genome falls under the same regulatory requirements as any other medical treatment. Research involving human subjects, such as clinical trials, must be reviewed and approved by the FDA and an Institutional Review Board.[169][170]

Gene therapy is the basis for the plotline of the film I Am Legend[171] and the TV show Will Gene Therapy Change the Human Race?.[172] In 1994, gene therapy was a plot element in The Erlenmeyer Flask, The X-Files’ first-season finale. It is also used in Stargate as a means of allowing humans to use Ancient technology.[173]

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Human Genetic Engineering Effects

Some people can think of Human Genetic Engineering as a thing that makes them live a healthier life for a long time. People can think of it as a something straight from the heaven or a programmed human being. Genetic engineering is a concept that can be used for enhancing the life of human beings.

However, Human Genetic Engineering Effects are also there that can harm humans. A lot of doctors or scientists involved in gene engineering believe that if the research produces accurate and effective manipulation of DNA in the humans, then they can make medicines for diseases that have no cure. This will also enable the doctors to make changes in the genes of a child before the birth of that child, so there will be no defects on a child from birth.

This process can also be applied on curing hereditary disease. It will prevent the disease from carrying forward to other coming generations. This research primarily focused on being applied on families that have a history of suffering from diseases. It will fix the wrong positioning of the genes. TheHuman Genetic Engineering Effects are in its application towards animals and plants that have been modified genetically. When farmers make use of gene-engineering for breeding plants, then this will result in fast production of food items. Fast and increased production will also put down the prices of several food items. Human Genetic Engineering can also add taste and nutrition to different food items.

Human Genetic Engineering Effects can also help in fighting with severe uncured diseases. Those who suffer from life threatening diseases like cancer or AIDS can have a better idea about maintaining their lives according to the circumstances. This can only be done with the help of Human Genetic Engineering.

Hereditary diseases will not trouble any person, and nor there will be any fear of deadly virus taking place in people on all corners of the world. Human Genetic Engineering can achieve all these things in a theoretical way. Human Genetic Engineering Effects can also be seen in societies concerning health. It has tremendous benefits on health.

Human Genetic Engineering can help people in fighting with cystic fibrosis problems. It also helps to fight against diabetes, and many other specific diseases. Bubble boy is also a disease that can be treated successfully with the help Human Genetic Engineering. It is also termed as Severe Combined Immune efficiency.

Gene mutation is the only thing responsible for the characterization of this deadly disease. This mutation causes ADA deficiencies that later result in destroying the immune system cells. Human Genetic Engineering Effects include ecological problems that might be present in organisms developed or generated by Human Genetic Engineering. However, it can leave positive impacts on a lot of diseases.

One cannot predict the changes that can occur with the use of species that generates with the help of Human Genetic Engineering Effects. A newly generated species creates ecology imbalances due to Human Genetic Engineering Effects. This is a similar case with exotic or natural species.

Human Genetic Engineering Effects

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Human Genetic Engineering Effects

Human Genetic Engineering: Wrong | [site:name] | National …

(Ralwel/Dreamstime)Conservatives and progressives both have reasons for opposing it.

The genetic engineering of human beings has been a dream and a nightmare since scientists first speculated about it a century ago. Futurists and transhumanists have long thought that genetic engineering could radically improve the human race, extending our lifespans or boosting our intelligence, while more responsible scientists have suggested that genetic modification could be used to cure diseases like Huntingtons, Tay-Sachs, and other deadly inherited conditions.

Over the past few years, a new technology has emerged that seems to finally make precise genetic modifications of human beings possible. This week, scientists, ethicists, and policy experts from the American, Chinese, and British national academies of science are gathered for a conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the prospects of editing human genes.

The new technology that has brought questions about genetically modifying humans back on the agenda is called CRISPR-Cas9. It stands above previous methods for genetic engineering in both its precision and its simplicity. CRISPR-Cas9 relies on a single enzyme system that can be guided by small strings of RNA molecules to any site in the genome. Older methods for genetic engineering required scientists to find or design new proteins to target different sites in the genome, a technically demanding and labor-intensive task. The RNA molecules that CRISPR-Cas9 relies on, on the other hand, can simply be ordered from any number of biotechnology companies.

What makes this new technology especially controversial is the prospect that it could be used to modify the human germline that is, that it could be used to make changes that would not only affect a particular patient but would also be passed on to that patients children, and so on through the generations. Modifying genes in a human embryo is one way to accomplish this, and speakers at the meeting also discussed a different form of germline engineering, one that involves modifying the stem cells that produce sperm. This can be done either by performing gene therapy on men directly or by extracting their stem cells and then genetically modifying them in the lab to produce genetically modified sperm that could be used for in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination.

RELATED: U.S. Prepares to Push Human Genetic Engineering

All too often, deliberations about new biotechnologies seem to focus on managing public opinion so that scientists wont have to worry about the pesky obstructions of democratic oversight or moral arguments. Those who take a strong moral stance against the manipulation of human genetics or the destruction of human embryos are generally not welcome at these kinds of meetings. After all, the suggestion that we should not pursue some scientific avenues because they represent the unjust exploitation of human beings spoils the whole idea of coming to a consensus about how best to move forward.

Deliberations about new biotechnologies seem to focus on managing public opinion so that scientists wont have to worry about the pesky obstructions of democratic oversight or moral arguments.

This consensus-based approach was well on display in the statement released by the meetings organizers recommending that modification of the germline not be done until the technology can be made safe and there is broad societal consensus about the appropriateness of the proposed application, and furthermore that as scientific knowledge advances and societal views evolve, the clinical use of germline editing should be revisited on a regular basis. Recommendations like these ignore the possibility that there might be some wisdom in the view that it is morally wrong to genetically design our children, or that some future consensus that we come to hold as our societal views evolve might be foolish and misguided. Whats more, the organizers recommended allowing the genetic modification of human embryos, on the condition that the modified cells should not be used to establish a pregnancy.

There were unfortunately no conservative or pro-life scholars at this meeting who might have pushed back against this technological boosterism and callous disregard for unborn human life. Yet the absence thus far of conservative and pro-life voices does not mean that everyone at the conference was resolutely in favor of genetic engineering. There were a number of liberal critics of biotechnology, notably Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society, who made a compelling case against using gene editing to modify the human germline. On the other side were ethicists like John Harris, a utilitarian philosopher at Manchester University, who demanded that genetic engineering be made available with only minimal restrictions. Many of the scientists were very excited about what this technology might enable us to do, though some, like Eric Lander, a geneticist at MIT, expressed skepticism about whether the genetic modification of human embryos would have much practical use.

#share#The scientists speaking at the conference tend to see the moral issues in terms of individual patients. Their focus is on whether these new technologies can be safe and effective ways of treating disease and satisfying the preferences and desires of individuals. But progressive critics argue that these scientists are missing the broader social context in which the technologies would be implemented, and the ways in which biotechnology might contribute to the oppression of marginalized groups.

Both these perspectives can be valuable. Focusing on what is good for individual patients can be an important corrective to the tyrannical impulse to use medicine and public-health measures not for actual human beings, but for whatPaul Ramsey calledthat celebrated non-patient, the human species. But the progressives are also right that medical procedures, especially those dealing with reproduction, are not simply about the patient and the doctor: The child must also be considered, and we should remember as well the kinds of social and economic pressures that might be driving individuals to seek medical interventions to prevent the birth of a child with disabilities.

Conservatives and todays progressives ought to share a concern about the risks of a potential new type of eugenics to harm minorities and the disabled.

Both the scientists, with their emphasis on individuals, and the progressives, with their emphasis on group oppression, draw lessons from the dark history of eugenics, the Progressive Era movement to sterilize the unfit that had a baleful influence on the laws of many nations, including the United States, in the early 20th century. At the conference, science historian Daniel J. Kevles gave a presentation on the origins of eugenics in the sciences of genetics and statistics and discussed the crude racial stereotypes and prejudices held by many Americans in the early 1900s. He described how the eugenics movement harmed and oppressed racial minorities and people with disabilities. (Kevless bookIn the Name of Eugenicsis an excellent introduction to this dark chapter in our history.) Conservatives and todays progressives ought to share a concern about the risks of a potential new type of eugenics to harm minorities and the disabled.

But conservatives are uniquely suited to point out that gene editing unites two errors characteristic of our age: genetic perfectionism and an overemphasis on individual autonomy. First, we conservatives understand that the family is the foundational unit of society, and that its basic structure a married man and woman having children whom they love and care for unconditionally should not be tinkered with by social or biological engineers. The eugenics movement put an abstraction, the human gene pool, above that fundamental unit of society, the family.

Second, biotechnologies like gene editing risk combining the problem of genetic perfectionism with an extreme emphasis on individual autonomy. Gene editing is thought to offer a way for parents to maximize their control over the properties of their offspring, transforming a relationship that should be characterized by unconditional love and acceptance into one in which children are seen as products of their parents desires and wishes, to be provisionally accepted and molded in accord with parental preferences.

This is how we should look at the debates over emerging biotechnologies: by focusing on the relationship between parents and children, and on how that relationship might be undermined by increasing the power of parents to control the biological properties of their offspring. That this conservative insight has been largely absent from these debates over gene editing is unfortunate. Conservatives should be doing more to make their voices heard on this issue.


Human Genetic Engineering: Wrong | [site:name] | National …

Fourth Amendment | United States Constitution |

Fourth Amendment, amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, that forbids unreasonable searches and seizures of individuals and property. For the text of the Fourth Amendment, see below.

Introduced in 1789, what became the Fourth Amendment struck at the heart of a matter central to the early American experience: the principle that, within reason, Every mans house is his castle, and that any citizen may fall into the category of the criminally accused and ought to be provided protections accordingly. In U.S. constitutional law, the Fourth Amendment is the foundation of criminal law jurisprudence, articulating both the rights of persons and the responsibilities of law-enforcement officials. The balance between these two forces has undergone considerable public, political, and judicial debate. Are the amendments two clauses meant to be applied independently or taken as a whole? Is the expectation of privacy diminished depending on where and what is suspected, sought, and seized? What constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure?

The protections contained in the amendment have been determined less on the basis of what the Constitution says than according to what it has been interpreted to mean, and, as such, its constitutional meaning has inherently been fluid. The protections granted by the U.S. Supreme Court have expanded during periods when the court was dominated by liberals (e.g., during the tenure of Chief Justice Earl Warren [195369]), beginning particularly with Mapp v. Ohio (1961), in which the court extended the exclusionary rule to all criminal proceedings; by contrast, during the tenure of the conservative William Rehnquist (19862005) as chief justice, the court contracted the rights afforded to the criminally accused, allowing law-enforcement officials latitude to search in instances when they reasonably believed that the property in question harboured presumably dangerous persons.

The full text of the amendment is:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Continued here:

Fourth Amendment | United States Constitution |

What Does the Fourth Amendment Mean? | United States Courts

Whether a particular type of search is considered reasonablein the eyes of the law,is determined by balancing two important interests. On one side of the scale is the intrusion on an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights. On the other side of the scale are legitimate government interests, such as public safety.

The extent to which an individual is protected by the Fourth Amendment depends, in part, on the location of the search or seizure.Minnesota v. Carter, 525 U.S. 83 (1998).

Searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable.Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980).

However, there are some exceptions. A warrantless search may be lawful:

If an officer is given consent to search;Davis v. United States, 328 U.S. 582 (1946)If the search is incident to a lawful arrest;United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218 (1973)If there is probable cause to search and exigent circumstances;Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980)If the items are in plain view;Maryland v. Macon, 472 U.S. 463 (1985).

When an officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude that criminal activity may be afoot, the officer may briefly stop the suspicious person and make reasonable inquiries aimed at confirming or dispelling the officer’s suspicions.Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)Minnesota v. Dickerson, 508 U.S. 366 (1993)

School officials need not obtain a warrant before searching a student who is under their authority; rather, a search of a student need only be reasonable under all the circumstances.New Jersey v. TLO, 469 U.S. 325 (1985)

Where there is probable cause to believe that a vehicle contains evidence of a criminal activity, an officer may lawfully search any area of the vehicle in which the evidence might be found.Arizona v. Gant, 129 S. Ct. 1710 (2009),

An officer may conduct a traffic stop if he has reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation has occurred or that criminal activity is afoot.Berekmer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984),United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266 (2002).

An officer may conduct a pat-down of the driver and passengers during a lawful traffic stop; the police need not believe that any occupant of the vehicle is involved in a criminal activity.Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323 (2009).

The use of a narcotics detection dog to walk around the exterior of a car subject to a valid traffic stop does not require reasonable, explainable suspicion.Illinois v. Cabales, 543 U.S. 405 (2005).

Special law enforcement concerns will sometimes justify highway stops without any individualized suspicion.Illinois v. Lidster, 540 U.S. 419 (2004).

An officer at an international border may conduct routine stops and searches.United States v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531 (1985).

A state may use highway sobriety checkpoints for the purpose of combating drunk driving.Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990).

A state may set up highway checkpoints where the stops are brief and seek voluntary cooperation in the investigation of a recent crime that has occurred on that highway.Illinois v. Lidster, 540 U.S. 419 (2004).

However, a state may not use a highway checkpoint program whose primary purpose is the discovery and interdiction of illegal narcotics.City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000).


What Does the Fourth Amendment Mean? | United States Courts

Libertarianism – Wikipedia

“Libertarians” redirects here. For political parties that may go by this name, see Libertarian Party.

Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning “freedom”) is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, and individual judgment.[2][3][4] Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions.[5]

Traditionally, libertarianism was a term for a form of left-wing politics; such left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty.[6][7][8][9] In the United States, modern right-libertarian ideologies, such as minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, co-opted the term in the mid-20th century to instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights, such as in land, infrastructure, and natural resources.[10][11][12]

The first recorded use of the term “libertarian” was in 1789, when William Belsham wrote about libertarianism in the context of metaphysics.[13]

“Libertarian” came to mean an advocate or defender of liberty, especially in the political and social spheres, as early as 1796, when the London Packet printed on 12 February: “Lately marched out of the Prison at Bristol, 450 of the French Libertarians”.[14] The word was again used in a political sense in 1802 in a short piece critiquing a poem by “the author of Gebir” and has since been used with this meaning.[15][16][17]

The use of the word “libertarian” to describe a new set of political positions has been traced to the French cognate, libertaire, coined in a letter French libertarian communist Joseph Djacque wrote to mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1857.[18][19][20] Djacque also used the term for his anarchist publication Le Libertaire: Journal du Mouvement Social, which was printed from 9 June 1858 to 4 February 1861 in New York City.[21][22]

In the mid-1890s, Sbastien Faure began publishing a new Le Libertaire while France’s Third Republic enacted the lois sclrates (“villainous laws”), which banned anarchist publications in France. Libertarianism has frequently been used as a synonym for anarchism since this time.[23][24][25]

The term “libertarianism” was first used in the United States as a synonym for classical liberalism in May 1955 by writer Dean Russell, a colleague of Leonard Read and a classical liberal himself.

He justified the choice of the word as follows: “Many of us call ourselves ‘liberals.’ And it is true that the word ‘liberal’ once described persons who respected the individual and feared the use of mass compulsions. But the leftists have now corrupted that once-proud term to identify themselves and their program of more government ownership of property and more controls over persons. As a result, those of us who believe in freedom must explain that when we call ourselves liberals, we mean liberals in the uncorrupted classical sense. At best, this is awkward and subject to misunderstanding. Here is a suggestion: Let those of us who love liberty trade-mark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word ‘libertarian'”.[26]

Subsequently, a growing number of Americans with classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as “libertarian”. One person responsible for popularizing the term “libertarian” in this sense was Murray Rothbard,[27] who started publishing libertarian works in the 1960s. Rothbard describes this modern use of the words overtly as a ‘capture’ from his enemies, saying that “…for the first time in my memory, we, ‘our side,’ had captured a crucial word from the enemy… ‘Libertarians’… had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over…”[12][11]

Libertarianism in the United States has been described as conservative on economic issues and liberal on personal freedom[28] (for common meanings of conservative and liberal in the United States) and it is also often associated with a foreign policy of non-interventionism.[29][30]

There is contention about whether left and right libertarianism “represent distinct ideologies as opposed to variations on a theme”.[31] All libertarians begin with a conception of personal autonomy from which they argue in favor of civil liberties and a reduction or elimination of the state.

Left-libertarianism encompasses those libertarian beliefs that claim the Earth’s natural resources belong to everyone in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Contemporary left-libertarians such as Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne, Philippe Van Parijs, Michael Otsuka and David Ellerman believe the appropriation of land must leave “enough and as good” for others or be taxed by society to compensate for the exclusionary effects of private property. Libertarian socialists (social and individualist anarchists, libertarian Marxists, council communists, Luxemburgists and DeLeonists) promote usufruct and socialist economic theories, including communism, collectivism, syndicalism and mutualism. They criticize the state for being the defender of private property and believe capitalism entails wage slavery.

Right-libertarianism[32] developed in the United States in the mid-20th century and is the most popular conception of libertarianism in that region.[33] It is commonly referred to as a continuation or radicalization of classical liberalism.[34][35] Right-libertarians, while often sharing left-libertarians’ advocacy for social freedom, also value the social institutions that enforce conditions of capitalism, while rejecting institutions that function in opposition to these on the grounds that such interventions represent unnecessary coercion of individuals and abrogation of their economic freedom.[36] Anarcho-capitalists[37][38] seek complete elimination of the state in favor of privately funded security services while minarchists defend “night-watchman states”, which maintain only those functions of government necessary to maintain conditions of capitalism and personal security.

Anarchism envisages freedom as a form of autonomy,[39] which Paul Goodman describes as “the ability to initiate a task and do it one’s own way, without orders from authorities who do not know the actual problem and the available means”.[40] All anarchists oppose political and legal authority, but collectivist strains also oppose the economic authority of private property.[41] These social anarchists emphasize mutual aid, whereas individualist anarchists extol individual sovereignty.[42]

Some right-libertarians consider the non-aggression principle (NAP) to be a core part of their beliefs.[43][44]

Libertarians have been advocates and activists of civil liberties, including free love and free thought.[45][46] Advocates of free love viewed sexual freedom as a clear, direct expression of individual sovereignty and they particularly stressed women’s rights as most sexual laws discriminated against women: for example, marriage laws and anti-birth control measures.[47]

Free love appeared alongside anarcha-feminism and advocacy of LGBT rights. Anarcha-feminism developed as a synthesis of radical feminism and anarchism and views patriarchy as a fundamental manifestation of compulsory government. It was inspired by the late-19th-century writings of early feminist anarchists such as Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre and Virginia Bolten.

Anarcha-feminists, like other radical feminists, criticize and advocate the abolition of traditional conceptions of family, education and gender roles. Free Society (18951897 as The Firebrand, 18971904 as Free Society) was an anarchist newspaper in the United States that staunchly advocated free love and women’s rights, while criticizing “comstockery”, the censorship of sexual information.[48] In recent times, anarchism has also voiced opinions and taken action around certain sex-related subjects such as pornography,[49] BDSM[50] and the sex industry.[50]

Free thought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic and reason in contrast with authority, tradition or other dogmas.[51][52] In the United States, free thought was an anti-Christian, anti-clerical movement whose purpose was to make the individual politically and spiritually free to decide on religious matters. A number of contributors to Liberty were prominent figures in both free thought and anarchism.

In 1901, Catalan anarchist and free-thinker Francesc Ferrer i Gurdia established “modern” or progressive schools in Barcelona in defiance of an educational system controlled by the Catholic Church.[53] Fiercely anti-clerical, Ferrer believed in “freedom in education”, i.e. education free from the authority of the church and state.[54] The schools’ stated goal was to “educate the working class in a rational, secular and non-coercive setting”.

Later in the 20th century, Austrian Freudo-Marxist Wilhelm Reich became a consistent propagandist for sexual freedom going as far as opening free sex-counseling clinics in Vienna for working-class patients[55] as well as coining the phrase “sexual revolution” in one of his books from the 1940s.[56] During the early 1970s, the English anarchist and pacifist Alex Comfort achieved international celebrity for writing the sex manuals The Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex.

Many left-libertarians are anarchists and believe the state inherently violates personal autonomy: “As Robert Paul Wolff has argued, since ‘the state is authority, the right to rule’, anarchism which rejects the State is the only political doctrine consistent with autonomy in which the individual alone is the judge of his moral constraints”.[41] Social anarchists believe the state defends private property, which they view as intrinsically harmful, while market-oriented left-libertarians argue that so-called free markets actually consist of economic privileges granted by the state. These latter libertarians advocate instead for freed markets, which are freed from these privileges.[57]

There is a debate amongst right-libertarians as to whether or not the state is legitimate: while anarcho-capitalists advocate its abolition, minarchists support minimal states, often referred to as night-watchman states. Libertarians take a skeptical view of government authority.[58][unreliable source?] Minarchists maintain that the state is necessary for the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud. They believe the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police and courts, though some expand this list to include fire departments, prisons and the executive and legislative branches.[59]

They justify the state on the grounds that it is the logical consequence of adhering to the non-aggression principle and argue that anarchism is immoral because it implies that the non-aggression principle is optional, that the enforcement of laws under anarchism is open to competition.[citation needed] Another common justification is that private defense agencies and court firms would tend to represent the interests of those who pay them enough.[60]

Anarcho-capitalists argue that the state violates the non-aggression principle (NAP) by its nature because governments use force against those who have not stolen or vandalized private property, assaulted anyone or committed fraud.[61][62] Linda & Morris Tannehill argue that no coercive monopoly of force can arise on a truly free market and that a government’s citizenry can not desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency.[63]

Left-libertarians believe that neither claiming nor mixing one’s labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights[64][65] and maintain that natural resources ought to be held in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively.[66]

Right-libertarians maintain that unowned natural resources “may be appropriated by the first person who discovers them, mixes his labor with them, or merely claims themwithout the consent of others, and with little or no payment to them”. They believe that natural resources are originally unowned and therefore private parties may appropriate them at will without the consent of, or owing to, others.[67]

Left-libertarians (social and individualist anarchists, libertarian Marxists and left-wing market anarchists) argue in favor of socialist theories such as communism, syndicalism and mutualism (anarchist economics). Daniel Gurin writes that “anarchism is really a synonym for socialism. The anarchist is primarily a socialist whose aim is to abolish the exploitation of man by man. Anarchism is only one of the streams of socialist thought, that stream whose main components are concern for liberty and haste to abolish the State”.[68]

Right-libertarians are economic liberals of either the Austrian School or Chicago school and support laissez-faire capitalism.[69]

Wage labor has long been compared by socialists and anarcho-syndicalists to slavery.[70][71][72][73] As a result, the term “wage slavery” is often utilized as a pejorative for wage labor.[74] Advocates of slavery looked upon the “comparative evils of Slave Society and of Free Society, of slavery to human Masters and slavery to Capital”[75] and proceeded to argue that wage slavery was actually worse than chattel slavery.[76] Slavery apologists like George Fitzhugh contended that workers only accepted wage labor with the passage of time, as they became “familiarized and inattentive to the infected social atmosphere they continually inhale[d]”.[75]

According to Noam Chomsky, analysis of the psychological implications of wage slavery goes back to the Enlightenment era. In his 1791 book On the Limits of State Action, classical liberal thinker Wilhelm von Humboldt explained how “whatever does not spring from a man’s free choice, or is only the result of instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very nature; he does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness” and so when the laborer works under external control “we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is”.[77]

For Marxists, labour-as-commodity, which is how they regard wage labor,[78] provides an absolutely fundamental point of attack against capitalism.[79] “It can be persuasively argued”, noted philosopher John Nelson, “that the conception of the worker’s labor as a commodity confirms Marx’s stigmatization of the wage system of private capitalism as ‘wage-slavery;’ that is, as an instrument of the capitalist’s for reducing the worker’s condition to that of a slave, if not below it”.[80]

That this objection is fundamental follows immediately from Marx’s conclusion that wage labor is the very foundation of capitalism: “Without a class dependent on wages, the moment individuals confront each other as free persons, there can be no production of surplus value; without the production of surplus-value there can be no capitalist production, and hence no capital and no capitalist!”.[81]

Left-libertarianism (or left-wing libertarianism) names several related, but distinct approaches to political and social theory which stresses both individual freedom and social equality. In its classical usage, left-libertarianism is a synonym for anti-authoritarian varieties of left-wing politics, i.e. libertarian socialism, which includes anarchism and libertarian Marxism, among others.[82][83] Left-libertarianism can also refer to political positions associated with academic philosophers Hillel Steiner, Philippe Van Parijs and Peter Vallentyne that combine self-ownership with an egalitarian approach to natural resources.[84]

While maintaining full respect for personal property, left-libertarians are skeptical of or fully against private property, arguing that neither claiming nor mixing one’s labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights[85][86] and maintain that natural resources (land, oil, gold and vegetation) should be held in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Those left-libertarians who support private property do so under the condition that recompense is offered to the local community.[86] Many left-libertarian schools of thought are communist, advocating the eventual replacement of money with labor vouchers or decentralized planning.

On the other hand, left-wing market anarchism, which includes Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s mutualism and Samuel Edward Konkin III’s agorism, appeals to left-wing concerns such as egalitarianism, gender and sexuality, class, immigration and environmentalism within the paradigm of a socialist free market.[82]

Right-libertarianism (or right-wing libertarianism) refers to libertarian political philosophies that advocate negative rights, natural law and a major reversal of the modern welfare state.[87] Right-libertarians strongly support private property rights and defend market distribution of natural resources and private property.[88] This position is contrasted with that of some versions of left-libertarianism, which maintain that natural resources belong to everyone in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively.[89] Right-libertarianism includes anarcho-capitalism and laissez-faire, minarchist liberalism.[note 1]

Elements of libertarianism can be traced as far back as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu and the higher-law concepts of the Greeks and the Israelites.[90][91] In 17th-century England, libertarian ideas began to take modern form in the writings of the Levellers and John Locke. In the middle of that century, opponents of royal power began to be called Whigs, or sometimes simply “opposition” or “country” (as opposed to Court) writers.[92]

During the 18th century, classical liberal ideas flourished in Europe and North America.[93][94] Libertarians of various schools were influenced by classical liberal ideas.[95] For libertarian philosopher Roderick T. Long, both libertarian socialists and libertarian capitalists “share a commonor at least an overlapping intellectual ancestry… both claim the seventeenth century English Levellers and the eighteenth century French encyclopedists among their ideological forebears; and (also)… usually share an admiration for Thomas Jefferson[96][97][98] and Thomas Paine”.[99]

John Locke greatly influenced both libertarianism and the modern world in his writings published before and after the English Revolution of 1688, especially A Letter Concerning Toleration (1667), Two Treatises of Government (1689) and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). In the text of 1689, he established the basis of liberal political theory: that people’s rights existed before government; that the purpose of government is to protect personal and property rights; that people may dissolve governments that do not do so; and that representative government is the best form to protect rights.[100]

The United States Declaration of Independence was inspired by Locke in its statement: “[T]o secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it”.[101] Nevertheless scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood says that “there are doctrines of individualism that are opposed to Lockean individualism… and non-Lockean individualism may encompass socialism”.[102]

According to Murray Rothbard, the libertarian creed emerged from the classical liberal challenges to an “absolute central State and a king ruling by divine right on top of an older, restrictive web of feudal land monopolies and urban guild controls and restrictions”, the mercantilism of a bureaucratic warfaring state allied with privileged merchants. The object of classical liberals was individual liberty in the economy, in personal freedoms and civil liberty, separation of state and religion, and peace as an alternative to imperial aggrandizement. He cites Locke’s contemporaries, the Levellers, who held similar views. Also influential were the English “Cato’s Letters” during the early 1700s, reprinted eagerly by American colonists who already were free of European aristocracy and feudal land monopolies.[101]

In January of 1776, only two years after coming to America from England, Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense calling for independence for the colonies.[103] Paine promoted classical liberal ideas in clear, concise language that allowed the general public to understand the debates among the political elites.[104] Common Sense was immensely popular in disseminating these ideas,[105] selling hundreds of thousands of copies.[106] Paine later would write the Rights of Man and The Age of Reason and participate in the French Revolution.[103] Paine’s theory of property showed a “libertarian concern” with the redistribution of resources.[107]

In 1793, William Godwin wrote a libertarian philosophical treatise, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness, which criticized ideas of human rights and of society by contract based on vague promises. He took classical liberalism to its logical anarchic conclusion by rejecting all political institutions, law, government and apparatus of coercion as well as all political protest and insurrection. Instead of institutionalized justice, Godwin proposed that people influence one another to moral goodness through informal reasoned persuasion, including in the associations they joined as this would facilitate happiness.[108][109]

Modern anarchism sprang from the secular or religious thought of the Enlightenment, particularly Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s arguments for the moral centrality of freedom.[110]

As part of the political turmoil of the 1790s in the wake of the French Revolution, William Godwin developed the first expression of modern anarchist thought.[111][112] According to Peter Kropotkin, Godwin was “the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his work”,[113] while Godwin attached his anarchist ideas to an early Edmund Burke.[114]

Godwin is generally regarded as the founder of the school of thought known as philosophical anarchism. He argued in Political Justice (1793)[112][115] that government has an inherently malevolent influence on society and that it perpetuates dependency and ignorance. He thought that the spread of the use of reason to the masses would eventually cause government to wither away as an unnecessary force. Although he did not accord the state with moral legitimacy, he was against the use of revolutionary tactics for removing the government from power. Rather, Godwin advocated for its replacement through a process of peaceful evolution.[112][116]

His aversion to the imposition of a rules-based society led him to denounce, as a manifestation of the people’s “mental enslavement”, the foundations of law, property rights and even the institution of marriage. Godwin considered the basic foundations of society as constraining the natural development of individuals to use their powers of reasoning to arrive at a mutually beneficial method of social organization. In each case, government and its institutions are shown to constrain the development of our capacity to live wholly in accordance with the full and free exercise of private judgment.

In France, various anarchist currents were present during the Revolutionary period, with some revolutionaries using the term anarchiste in a positive light as early as September 1793.[117] The enrags opposed revolutionary government as a contradiction in terms. Denouncing the Jacobin dictatorship, Jean Varlet wrote in 1794 that “government and revolution are incompatible, unless the people wishes to set its constituted authorities in permanent insurrection against itself”.[118] In his “Manifesto of the Equals”, Sylvain Marchal looked forward to the disappearance, once and for all, of “the revolting distinction between rich and poor, of great and small, of masters and valets, of governors and governed”.[118]

Libertarian socialism, libertarian communism and libertarian Marxism are all phrases which activists with a variety of perspectives have applied to their views.[119]

Anarchist communist philosopher Joseph Djacque was the first person to describe himself as a libertarian.[120] Unlike mutualist anarchist philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, he argued that “it is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature”.[121][122]

According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the first use of the term “libertarian communism” was in November 1880, when a French anarchist congress employed it to more clearly identify its doctrines.[123] The French anarchist journalist Sbastien Faure started the weekly paper Le Libertaire (The Libertarian) in 1895.[124]

Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and their will over any kinds of external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems.[125][126] An influential form of individualist anarchism called egoism[127] or egoist anarchism was expounded by one of the earliest and best-known proponents of individualist anarchism, the German Max Stirner.[128] Stirner’s The Ego and Its Own, published in 1844, is a founding text of the philosophy.[128] According to Stirner, the only limitation on the rights of the individual is their power to obtain what they desire,[129] without regard for God, state or morality.[130]

Stirner advocated self-assertion and foresaw unions of egoists, non-systematic associations continually renewed by all parties’ support through an act of will,[131] which Stirner proposed as a form of organisation in place of the state.[132] Egoist anarchists argue that egoism will foster genuine and spontaneous union between individuals.[133] Egoism has inspired many interpretations of Stirner’s philosophy.

It was re-discovered and promoted by German philosophical anarchist and LGBT activist John Henry Mackay. Josiah Warren is widely regarded as the first American anarchist,[134] and the four-page weekly paper he edited during 1833, The Peaceful Revolutionist, was the first anarchist periodical published.[135] For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, “[i]t is apparent… that Proudhonian Anarchism was to be found in the United States at least as early as 1848 and that it was not conscious of its affinity to the Individualist Anarchism of Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews… William B. Greene presented this Proudhonian Mutualism in its purest and most systematic form.”.[136]

Later, Benjamin Tucker fused Stirner’s egoism with the economics of Warren and Proudhon in his eclectic influential publication Liberty. From these early influences, individualist anarchism in different countries attracted a small yet diverse following of bohemian artists and intellectuals,[137] free love and birth control advocates (anarchism and issues related to love and sex),[138][139] individualist naturists nudists (anarcho-naturism),[140][141][142] free thought and anti-clerical activists[143][144] as well as young anarchist outlaws in what became known as illegalism and individual reclamation[145][146] (European individualist anarchism and individualist anarchism in France). These authors and activists included Emile Armand, Han Ryner, Henri Zisly, Renzo Novatore, Miguel Gimenez Igualada, Adolf Brand and Lev Chernyi.

In 1873, the follower and translator of Proudhon, the Catalan Francesc Pi i Margall, became President of Spain with a program which wanted “to establish a decentralized, or “cantonalist,” political system on Proudhonian lines”,[147] who according to Rudolf Rocker had “political ideas…much in common with those of Richard Price, Joseph Priestly [sic], Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and other representatives of the Anglo-American liberalism of the first period. He wanted to limit the power of the state to a minimum and gradually replace it by a Socialist economic order”.[148]

On the other hand, Fermn Salvochea was a mayor of the city of Cdiz and a president of the province of Cdiz. He was one of the main propagators of anarchist thought in that area in the late 19th century and is considered to be “perhaps the most beloved figure in the Spanish Anarchist movement of the 19th century”.[149][150] Ideologically, he was influenced by Bradlaugh, Owen and Paine, whose works he had studied during his stay in England and Kropotkin, whom he read later.[149] The revolutionary wave of 19171923 saw the active participation of anarchists in Russia and Europe. Russian anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both the February and October 1917 revolutions.

However, Bolsheviks in central Russia quickly began to imprison or drive underground the libertarian anarchists. Many fled to the Ukraine.[151] There, in the Ukrainian Free Territory they fought in the Russian Civil War against the White movement, monarchists and other opponents of revolution and then against Bolsheviks as part of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine led by Nestor Makhno, who established an anarchist society in the region for a number of months. Expelled American anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman protested Bolshevik policy before they left Russia.[152]

The victory of the Bolsheviks damaged anarchist movements internationally as workers and activists joined Communist parties. In France and the United States, for example, members of the major syndicalist movements of the CGT and IWW joined the Communist International.[153] In Paris, the Dielo Truda group of Russian anarchist exiles, which included Nestor Makhno, issued a 1926 manifesto, the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft), calling for new anarchist organizing structures.[154][155]

The Bavarian Soviet Republic of 19181919 had libertarian socialist characteristics.[156][157] In Italy, from 1918 to 1921 the anarcho-syndicalist trade union Unione Sindacale Italiana grew to 800,000 members.[158]

In the 1920s and 1930s, with the rise of fascism in Europe, anarchists began to fight fascists in Italy,[159] in France during the February 1934 riots[160] and in Spain where the CNT (Confederacin Nacional del Trabajo) boycott of elections led to a right-wing victory and its later participation in voting in 1936 helped bring the popular front back to power. This led to a ruling class attempted coup and the Spanish Civil War (19361939).[161] Gruppo Comunista Anarchico di Firenze held that the during early twentieth century, the terms libertarian communism and anarchist communism became synonymous within the international anarchist movement as a result of the close connection they had in Spain (anarchism in Spain) (with libertarian communism becoming the prevalent term).[162]

Murray Bookchin wrote that the Spanish libertarian movement of the mid-1930s was unique because its workers’ control and collectiveswhich came out of a three-generation “massive libertarian movement”divided the republican camp and challenged the Marxists. “Urban anarchists” created libertarian communist forms of organization which evolved into the CNT, a syndicalist union providing the infrastructure for a libertarian society. Also formed were local bodies to administer social and economic life on a decentralized libertarian basis. Much of the infrastructure was destroyed during the 1930s Spanish Civil War against authoritarian and fascist forces.[163]

The Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth[164] (FIJL, Spanish: Federacin Ibrica de Juventudes Libertarias), sometimes abbreviated as Libertarian Youth (Juventudes Libertarias), was a libertarian socialist[165] organization created in 1932 in Madrid.[166]

In February 1937, the FIJL organized a plenum of regional organizations (second congress of FIJL). In October 1938, from the 16th through the 30th in Barcelona the FIJL participated in a national plenum of the libertarian movement, also attended by members of the CNT and the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI).[167] The FIJL exists until today. When the republican forces lost the Spanish Civil War, the city of Madrid was turned over to the Francoist forces in 1939 by the last non-Francoist mayor of the city, the anarchist Melchor Rodrguez Garca.[168] During autumn of 1931, the “Manifesto of the 30” was published by militants of the anarchist trade union CNT and among those who signed it there was the CNT General Secretary (19221923) Joan Peiro, Angel Pestaa CNT (General Secretary in 1929) and Juan Lopez Sanchez.

They were called treintismo and they were calling for “libertarian possibilism” which advocated achieving libertarian socialist ends with participation inside structures of contemporary parliamentary democracy.[169] In 1932, they establish the Syndicalist Party which participates in the 1936 Spanish general elections and proceed to be a part of the leftist coalition of parties known as the Popular Front obtaining 2 congressmen (Pestaa and Benito Pabon). In 1938, Horacio Prieto, general secretary of the CNT, proposes that the Iberian Anarchist Federation transforms itself into a “Libertarian Socialist Party” and that it participates in the national elections.[170]

The Manifesto of Libertarian Communism was written in 1953 by Georges Fontenis for the Federation Communiste Libertaire of France. It is one of the key texts of the anarchist-communist current known as platformism.[171] In 1968, in Carrara, Italy the International of Anarchist Federations was founded during an international anarchist conference to advance libertarian solidarity.

It wanted to form “a strong and organized workers movement, agreeing with the libertarian ideas”.[172][173] In the United States, the Libertarian League was founded in New York City in 1954 as a left-libertarian political organization building on the Libertarian Book Club.[174][175] Members included Sam Dolgoff,[176] Russell Blackwell, Dave Van Ronk, Enrico Arrigoni[177] and Murray Bookchin.

In Australia, the Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual subculture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s which became associated with the label “Sydney libertarianism”. Well known associates of the Push include Jim Baker, John Flaus, Harry Hooton, Margaret Fink, Sasha Soldatow,[178] Lex Banning, Eva Cox, Richard Appleton, Paddy McGuinness, David Makinson, Germaine Greer, Clive James, Robert Hughes, Frank Moorhouse and Lillian Roxon.

Amongst the key intellectual figures in Push debates were philosophers David J. Ivison, George Molnar, Roelof Smilde, Darcy Waters and Jim Baker, as recorded in Baker’s memoir Sydney Libertarians and the Push, published in the libertarian Broadsheet in 1975.[179] An understanding of libertarian values and social theory can be obtained from their publications, a few of which are available online.[180][181]

In 1969, French platformist anarcho-communist Daniel Gurin published an essay in 1969 called “Libertarian Marxism?” in which he dealt with the debate between Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin at the First International and afterwards suggested that “[L]ibertarian Marxism rejects determinism and fatalism, giving the greater place to individual will, intuition, imagination, reflex speeds, and to the deep instincts of the masses, which are more far-seeing in hours of crisis than the reasonings of the ‘elites’; libertarian Marxism thinks of the effects of surprise, provocation and boldness, refuses to be cluttered and paralyzed by a heavy ‘scientific’ apparatus, doesn’t equivocate or bluff, and guards itself from adventurism as much as from fear of the unknown”.[182]

Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels’ later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France.[183] They emphasize the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state.[184] Libertarian Marxism includes such currents as council communism, left communism, Socialisme ou Barbarie, Lettrism/Situationism and operaismo/autonomism and New Left.[185][unreliable source?]

In the United States, from 1970 to 1981 there existed the publication Root & Branch[186] which had as a subtitle “A Libertarian Marxist Journal”.[187] In 1974, the Libertarian Communism journal was started in the United Kingdom by a group inside the Socialist Party of Great Britain.[188] In 1986, the anarcho-syndicalist Sam Dolgoff started and led the publication Libertarian Labor Review in the United States[189] which decided to rename itself as Anarcho-Syndicalist Review in order to avoid confusion with right-libertarian views.[190]

The indigenous anarchist tradition in the United States was largely individualist.[191] In 1825, Josiah Warren became aware of the social system of utopian socialist Robert Owen and began to talk with others in Cincinnati about founding a communist colony.[192]

When this group failed to come to an agreement about the form and goals of their proposed community, Warren “sold his factory after only two years of operation, packed up his young family, and took his place as one of 900 or so Owenites who had decided to become part of the founding population of New Harmony, Indiana”.[193] Warren termed the phrase “cost the limit of price”[194] and “proposed a system to pay people with certificates indicating how many hours of work they did. They could exchange the notes at local time stores for goods that took the same amount of time to produce”.[195] He put his theories to the test by establishing an experimental labor-for-labor store called the Cincinnati Time Store where trade was facilitated by labor notes.

The store proved successful and operated for three years, after which it was closed so that Warren could pursue establishing colonies based on mutualism, including Utopia and Modern Times. “After New Harmony failed, Warren shifted his ideological loyalties from socialism to anarchism (which was no great leap, given that Owen’s socialism had been predicated on Godwin’s anarchism)”.[196] Warren is widely regarded as the first American anarchist[195] and the four-page weekly paper The Peaceful Revolutionist he edited during 1833 was the first anarchist periodical published,[135] an enterprise for which he built his own printing press, cast his own type and made his own printing plates.[135]

Catalan historian Xavier Diez reports that the intentional communal experiments pioneered by Warren were influential in European individualist anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as mile Armand and the intentional communities started by them.[197] Warren said that Stephen Pearl Andrews, individualist anarchist and close associate, wrote the most lucid and complete exposition of Warren’s own theories in The Science of Society, published in 1852.[198] Andrews was formerly associated with the Fourierist movement, but converted to radical individualism after becoming acquainted with the work of Warren. Like Warren, he held the principle of “individual sovereignty” as being of paramount importance. Contemporary American anarchist Hakim Bey reports:

Steven Pearl Andrews… was not a Fourierist, but he lived through the brief craze for phalansteries in America and adopted a lot of Fourierist principles and practices… a maker of worlds out of words. He syncretized abolitionism in the United States, free love, spiritual universalism, Warren, and Fourier into a grand utopian scheme he called the Universal Pantarchy… He was instrumental in founding several ‘intentional communities,’ including the ‘Brownstone Utopia’ on 14th St. in New York, and ‘Modern Times’ in Brentwood, Long Island. The latter became as famous as the best-known Fourierist communes (Brook Farm in Massachusetts & the North American Phalanx in New Jersey)in fact, Modern Times became downright notorious (for ‘Free Love’) and finally foundered under a wave of scandalous publicity. Andrews (and Victoria Woodhull) were members of the infamous Section 12 of the 1st International, expelled by Marx for its anarchist, feminist, and spiritualist tendencies.[199]

For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, “[it is apparent… that Proudhonian Anarchism was to be found in the United States at least as early as 1848 and that it was not conscious of its affinity to the Individualist Anarchism of Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. William B. Greene presented this Proudhonian Mutualism in its purest and most systematic form”.[200] William Batchelder Greene was a 19th-century mutualist individualist anarchist, Unitarian minister, soldier and promoter of free banking in the United States. Greene is best known for the works Mutual Banking, which proposed an interest-free banking system; and Transcendentalism, a critique of the New England philosophical school.

After 1850, he became active in labor reform.[200] “He was elected vice-president of the New England Labor Reform League, the majority of the members holding to Proudhon’s scheme of mutual banking, and in 1869 president of the Massachusetts Labor Union”.[200] Greene then published Socialistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments (1875).[200] He saw mutualism as the synthesis of “liberty and order”.[200] His “associationism… is checked by individualism… ‘Mind your own business,’ ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’ Over matters which are purely personal, as for example, moral conduct, the individual is sovereign, as well as over that which he himself produces. For this reason he demands ‘mutuality’ in marriagethe equal right of a woman to her own personal freedom and property”.[200]

Poet, naturalist and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau was an important early influence in individualist anarchist thought in the United States and Europe. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings; and his essay Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government), an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. In Walden, Thoreau advocates simple living and self-sufficiency among natural surroundings in resistance to the advancement of industrial civilization.[201]

Civil Disobedience, first published in 1849, argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. These works influenced green anarchism, anarcho-primitivism and anarcho-pacifism,[202] as well as figures including Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Martin Buber and Leo Tolstoy.[202] “Many have seen in Thoreau one of the precursors of ecologism and anarcho-primitivism represented today in John Zerzan.

For George Woodcock this attitude can be also motivated by certain idea of resistance to progress and of rejection of the growing materialism which is the nature of American society in the mid-19th century”.[201] Zerzan included Thoreau’s “Excursions” in his edited compilation of anti-civilization writings, Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections.[203] Individualist anarchists such as Thoreau[204][205] do not speak of economics, but simply the right of disunion from the state and foresee the gradual elimination of the state through social evolution. Agorist author J. Neil Schulman cites Thoreau as a primary inspiration.[206]

Many economists since Adam Smith have argued thatunlike other taxesa land value tax would not cause economic inefficiency.[207] It would be a progressive tax[208]primarily paid by the wealthyand increase wages, reduce economic inequality, remove incentives to misuse real estate and reduce the vulnerability that economies face from credit and property bubbles.[209][210]

Early proponents of this view include Thomas Paine, Herbert Spencer, and Hugo Grotius,[84] but the concept was widely popularized by the economist and social reformer Henry George.[211] George believed that people ought to own the fruits of their labor and the value of the improvements they make, thus he was opposed to income taxes, sales taxes, taxes on improvements and all other taxes on production, labor, trade or commerce.

George was among the staunchest defenders of free markets and his book Protection or Free Trade was read into the U.S. Congressional Record.[212] Yet he did support direct management of natural monopolies as a last resort, such as right-of-way monopolies necessary for railroads. George advocated for elimination of intellectual property arrangements in favor of government sponsored prizes for inventors.[213][not in citation given]

Early followers of George’s philosophy called themselves single taxers because they believed that the only legitimate, broad-based tax was land rent. The term Georgism was coined later, though some modern proponents prefer the term Geoism instead,[214] leaving the meaning of “geo” (Earth in Greek) deliberately ambiguous. The terms “Earth Sharing”,[215] “geonomics”[216] and “geolibertarianism”[217] are used by some Georgists to represent a difference of emphasis, or real differences about how land rent should be spent, but all agree that land rent should be recovered from its private owners.

Individualist anarchism found in the United States an important space for discussion and development within the group known as the “Boston anarchists”.[218] Even among the 19th-century American individualists there was no monolithic doctrine and they disagreed amongst each other on various issues including intellectual property rights and possession versus property in land.[219][220][221] Some Boston anarchists, including Benjamin Tucker, identified as socialists, which in the 19th century was often used in the sense of a commitment to improving conditions of the working class (i.e. “the labor problem”).[222]

Lysander Spooner, besides his individualist anarchist activism, was also an anti-slavery activist and member of the First International.[223] Tucker argued that the elimination of what he called “the four monopolies”the land monopoly, the money and banking monopoly, the monopoly powers conferred by patents and the quasi-monopolistic effects of tariffswould undermine the power of the wealthy and big business, making possible widespread property ownership and higher incomes for ordinary people, while minimizing the power of would-be bosses and achieving socialist goals without state action. Tucker’s anarchist periodical, Liberty, was published from August 1881 to April 1908.

The publication, emblazoned with Proudhon’s quote that liberty is “Not the Daughter But the Mother of Order” was instrumental in developing and formalizing the individualist anarchist philosophy through publishing essays and serving as a forum for debate. Contributors included Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Auberon Herbert, Dyer Lum, Joshua K. Ingalls, John Henry Mackay, Victor Yarros, Wordsworth Donisthorpe, James L. Walker, J. William Lloyd, Florence Finch Kelly, Voltairine de Cleyre, Steven T. Byington, John Beverley Robinson, Jo Labadie, Lillian Harman and Henry Appleton.[224] Later, Tucker and others abandoned their traditional support of natural rights and converted to an egoism modeled upon the philosophy of Max Stirner.[220]

A number of natural rights proponents stopped contributing in protest and “[t]hereafter, Liberty championed egoism, although its general content did not change significantly”.[225] Several publications “were undoubtedly influenced by Liberty’s presentation of egoism. They included: I published by C.L. Swartz, edited by W.E. Gordak and J.W. Lloyd (all associates of Liberty); The Ego and The Egoist, both of which were edited by Edward H. Fulton. Among the egoist papers that Tucker followed were the German Der Eigene, edited by Adolf Brand, and The Eagle and The Serpent, issued from London. The latter, the most prominent English-language egoist journal, was published from 1898 to 1900 with the subtitle ‘A Journal of Egoistic Philosophy and Sociology'”.[225]

By around the start of the 20th century, the heyday of individualist anarchism had passed.[226] H. L. Mencken and Albert Jay Nock were the first prominent figures in the United States to describe themselves as libertarians;[227] they believed Franklin D. Roosevelt had co-opted the word “liberal” for his New Deal policies which they opposed and used “libertarian” to signify their allegiance to individualism.[citation needed] In 1914, Nock joined the staff of The Nation magazine, which at the time was supportive of liberal capitalism.

A lifelong admirer of Henry George, Nock went on to become co-editor of The Freeman from 1920 to 1924, a publication initially conceived as a vehicle for the single tax movement, financed by the wealthy wife of the magazine’s other editor, Francis Neilson.[228] Critic H.L. Mencken wrote that “[h]is editorials during the three brief years of the Freeman set a mark that no other man of his trade has ever quite managed to reach. They were well-informed and sometimes even learned, but there was never the slightest trace of pedantry in them”.[229]

Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, David Boaz, writes: “In 1943, at one of the lowest points for liberty and humanity in history, three remarkable women published books that could be said to have given birth to the modern libertarian movement”.[230] Isabel Paterson’s The God of the Machine, Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom and Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead each promoted individualism and capitalism. None of the three used the term libertarianism to describe their beliefs and Rand specifically rejected the label, criticizing the burgeoning American libertarian movement as the “hippies of the right”.[231] Rand’s own philosophy, Objectivism, is notedly similar to libertarianism and she accused libertarians of plagiarizing her ideas.[231] Rand stated:

All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies who are anarchists instead of leftist collectivists; but anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet libertarians combine capitalism and anarchism. That’s worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. Anarchists are the scum of the intellectual world of the Left, which has given them up. So the Right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the libertarian movement.[232]

In 1946, Leonard E. Read founded the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), an American nonprofit educational organization which promotes the principles of laissez-faire economics, private property, and limited government.[233] According to Gary North, former FEE director of seminars and a current Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar, FEE is the “granddaddy of all libertarian organizations”.[234] The initial officers of FEE were Leonard E. Read as President, Austrian School economist Henry Hazlitt as Vice-President and Chairman David Goodrich of B. F. Goodrich. Other trustees on the FEE board have included wealthy industrialist Jasper Crane of DuPont, H. W. Luhnow of William Volker & Co. and Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society.[236][237]

Austrian school economist Murray Rothbard was initially an enthusiastic partisan of the Old Right, particularly because of its general opposition to war and imperialism,[238] but long embraced a reading of American history that emphasized the role of elite privilege in shaping legal and political institutions. He was part of Ayn Rand’s circle for a brief period, but later harshly criticized Objectivism.[239] He praised Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and wrote that she “introduced me to the whole field of natural rights and natural law philosophy”, prompting him to learn “the glorious natural rights tradition”.[240](pp121, 132134) He soon broke with Rand over various differences, including his defense of anarchism. Rothbard was influenced by the work of the 19th-century American individualist anarchists[241] and sought to meld their advocacy of free markets and private defense with the principles of Austrian economics.[242] This new philosophy he called anarcho-capitalism.

Karl Hess, a speechwriter for Barry Goldwater and primary author of the Republican Party’s 1960 and 1964 platforms, became disillusioned with traditional politics following the 1964 presidential campaign in which Goldwater lost to Lyndon B. Johnson. He parted with the Republicans altogether after being rejected for employment with the party, and began work as a heavy-duty welder. Hess began reading American anarchists largely due to the recommendations of his friend Murray Rothbard and said that upon reading the works of communist anarchist Emma Goldman, he discovered that anarchists believed everything he had hoped the Republican Party would represent. For Hess, Goldman was the source for the best and most essential theories of Ayn Rand without any of the “crazy solipsism that Rand was so fond of”.[243] Hess and Rothbard founded the journal Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought, which was published from 1965 to 1968, with George Resch and Leonard P. Liggio. In 1969, they edited The Libertarian Forum 1969, which Hess left in 1971. Hess eventually put his focus on the small scale, stating that “Society is: people together making culture”. He deemed two of his cardinal social principles to be “opposition to central political authority” and “concern for people as individuals”. His rejection of standard American party politics was reflected in a lecture he gave during which he said: “The Democrats or liberals think that everybody is stupid and therefore they need somebody… to tell them how to behave themselves. The Republicans think everybody is lazy”.[244]

The Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of American libertarians and conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements, as well as organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In 1969 and 1970, Hess joined with others, including Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, Dana Rohrabacher, Samuel Edward Konkin III and former SDS leader Carl Oglesby to speak at two “left-right” conferences which brought together activists from both the Old Right and the New Left in what was emerging as a nascent libertarian movement.[245] As part of his effort to unite right and left-libertarianism, Hess would join the SDS as well as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), of which he explained: “We used to have a labor movement in this country, until I.W.W. leaders were killed or imprisoned. You could tell labor unions had become captive when business and government began to praise them. They’re destroying the militant black leaders the same way now. If the slaughter continues, before long liberals will be asking, ‘What happened to the blacks? Why aren’t they militant anymore?'”.[246] Rothbard ultimately broke with the left, allying himself instead with the burgeoning paleoconservative movement.[247] He criticized the tendency of these left-libertarians to appeal to “‘free spirits,’ to people who don’t want to push other people around, and who don’t want to be pushed around themselves” in contrast to “the bulk of Americans,” who “might well be tight-assed conformists, who want to stamp out drugs in their vicinity, kick out people with strange dress habits, etc”.[248] This left-libertarian tradition has been carried to the present day by Samuel Edward Konkin III’s agorists, contemporary mutualists such as Kevin Carson and Roderick T. Long and other left-wing market anarchists.[249]

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Libertarianism – Wikipedia

Libertarian Feminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved …

Libertarian Feminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved?: Roderick Long and Charles Johnson (2005)

I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not ourclaim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feetfrom off our necks and permit us to stand upright on the ground which Goddesigned us to occupy

Sarah Moore Grimk,Letters on the Equality of the Sexes

There is not a feminist alive who could possibly look to the malelegal system for real protection from the systemized sadism of men. Women fightto reform male law, in the areas of rape and battery for instance, becausesomething is better than nothing. In general, we fight to force the law torecognize us as the victims of the crimes committed against us, but the resultsso far have been paltry and pathetic.

Andrea Dworkin,Letters from a War Zone

Lets start with what this essay will do, and what it will not. We are bothconvinced of, and this essay will take more or less for granted, that thepolitical traditions of libertarianism and feminism are both in the maincorrect, insightful, and of the first importance in any struggle to build ajust, free, and compassionate society. We do not intend to try tojustify the import of either tradition on the others terms, norprove the correctness or insightfulness of the non-aggressionprinciple, the libertarian critique of state coercion, the reality andpervasiveness of male violence and discrimination against women, or the feministcritique of patriarchy. Those are important conversations to have, but we wonthave them here; they are better found in the foundational works that havealready been written within the feminist and libertarian traditions. The aimhere is not to set down doctrine or refute heresy; its to get clear on how toreconcile commitments to both libertarianism andfeminismalthough in reconciling them we may remove some of the reasonsthat people have had for resisting libertarian or feminist conclusions.Libertarianism and feminism, when they have encountered each other, have mostoften taken each other for polar opposites. Many 20th centurylibertarians have dismissed or attacked feminismwhen they have addressedit at allas just another wing of Left-wing statism; many feminists havedismissed or attacked libertarianismwhen they have addressed it atallas either Angry White Male reaction or an extreme faction of theideology of the liberal capitalist state. But we hold that both judgments areunjust; many of the problems in combining libertarianism with feminism turn outto be little more than terminological conflicts that arose from shiftingpolitical alliances in the course of the 20th century; and most ifnot all of the substantive disagreements can be negotiated within positionsalready clearly established within the feminist and libertarian traditions. Whatwe hope to do, then, is not to present the case for libertarianism and forfeminism, but rather to clear the ground a bit so that libertarianism andfeminism can recognize the important insights that each has to offer the other,and can work together on terms that allow each to do their work withoutslighting either.

We are not the first to cover this ground. Contemporary libertarian feministssuch as Joan Kennedy Taylor and Wendy McElroy have written extensively on therelationship between libertarianism and feminism, and they have worked withinthe libertarian movement to encourage appeals to feminist concerns andengagement with feminist efforts. But as valuable as the 20th centurylibertarian feminists scholarship has been, we find many elements of thelibertarian feminism they propose to be both limited and limiting;the conceptual framework behind their synthesis all too often marginalizes orignores large and essential parts of the feminist critique of patriarchy, and asa result they all too often keep really existing feminist efforts at armslength, and counsel indifference or sharply criticize activism on key feministissues. In the marriage that they propose, libertarianism and feminism are one,and that one is libertarianism; we, on the other hand, aver that if counselingcannot help libertarianism form a more respectful union, then we could hardlyblame feminists for dumping it.

But we think that there is a better path forward. McElroy and othershave rightly called attention to a tradition of libertarian feminismthat mostly been forgotten by both libertarians and feminists in the20th century: the 19th century radical individualists,including Voltairine de Cleyre, Angela Heywood, Herbert Spencer, and BenjaminTucker, among others. The individualists endorsed both radical anti-statism andalso radical feminism (as well as, inter alia,allying with abolitionism and the labor movement), because they understood bothstatism and patriarchy as components of an interlocking system ofoppression. An examination of the methods and thought of theseindividualistsand of Second Wave feminism in light of the individualisttraditiondoes show what McElroy and Taylor have argued it doesbutin a way very different from what they might have expected, andwearguewith very different implications for the terms on whichlibertarianism and feminism can work together.

The parallels between libertarian and feminist insights are striking.The state is male in the feminist sense, MacKinnon argues, in thatthe law sees and treats women the way men see and treat women(MacKinnon1989, Chapter 8 11). The libertarian completion of this thought is thatthe state sees and treats everybodythough not in equaldegreethe way men see and treat women. The ideal of a womanswilling surrender to a benevolent male protector both feeds and is fed by theideal of the citizenrys willing surrender to a benevolent governmentalprotector. We are not among wild beasts; from whom, then, does woman needprotection? From her protectors, Ezra Heywood remarked (McElroy 1991, p.227); in the same way, libertarians have often described the state as an entitythat protects people primarily from harms caused or exacerbated by the state inthe first place. Just as, under patriarchy, forced sex is not recognized asreal or fully serious rape unless the perpetrator is a stranger ratherthan ones husband or boyfriend, so, under statism, governmental coercionis not recognized as real or fully serious tyranny unless it happensunder a non-democratic government, a dictatorship. The marriagevow, as a rape license, has its parallel in the electoral ballot, as a tyrannylicense. Those who seek to withhold consent from their countrysgovernmental apparatus altogether get asked the same question that batteredwomen get asked: If you dont like it, why dont youleave? the mans rightful jurisdiction over the home, andthe states over the country, being taken for granted. Its alwaysthe woman, not the abusive man, who needs to vacate the home (to gowhere?); its likewise the citizen, not the abusive state, thatneeds to vacate the territory (to go where?).

Despite these parallels, however, many libertarians libertarianfeminists definitely included seems surprisingly unsympathetic to mostof what feminists have to say. (And vice versa, of course, but the vice versa isnot our present topic.) When feminists say that gender and sexuality aresocially constructed, libertarians often dismiss this as metaphysicalsubjectivism or nihilism. But libertarians do not call their own Friedrich Hayeka subjectivist or nihilist when he says that the objects of economicactivity, such as a commodity or an economicgood, nor food or money, cannot bedefined in objective terms [CRS I. 3], and morebroadly that tools, medicine, weapons, words, sentences, communications,and acts of production, and generally all the objects of humanactivity which constantly occur in the social sciences, are not such invirtue of some objective properties possessed by the things, or which theobserver can find out about them [IEO III. 2], but insteadare defined in terms of human attitudes toward them.[IEO II. 9]

Libertarians are often unimpressed by feminist worries about social normsthat disable anything a woman says from counting as declining consent to sexualaccess, but they are indignant at theories of tacit or hypothetical consent thatdisable anything a citizen says from counting as declining consent togovernmental authority. Libertariansoften conclude that gender roles must not be oppressive since many women acceptthem; but they do not analogously treat the fact that most citizens accept thelegitimacy of governmental compulsion as a reason to question its oppressivecharacter; on the contrary, they see their task as one of consciousness-raisingand demystification, or, in the Marxian phrase, plucking the flowers from thechains to expose their character as chains.

When radical feminists say that male supremacy rests in large part on thefact of rapeas when Susan Brownmiller characterizes rape as aconscious process of intimidation by which all men keep allwomen in a state of fear (Against Our Will, p.15)libertarians often dismiss this on the grounds that not all men areliteral rapists and not all women are literally raped. But when their ownLudwig von Mises says that government interference always means eitherviolent action or the threat of such action, that it rests in thelast resort on the employment of armed men, of policemen,gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen, and that itsessential feature is the enforcement of its decrees bybeating, killing, and imprisoning [HA VI.27.2], libertariansapplaud this as a welcome demystification of the state. Libertarians rightlyrecognize that legally enacted violence is the means by which allrulers keep all citizens in a state of fear, even though not allgovernment functionaries personally beat, kill, or imprison anybody, and eventhough not all citizens are beaten, killed, or imprisoned; the same interpretivecharity towards the radical feminist analysis of rape is not too much toask.

Brownmillers and other feminists insights into the pervasiveness ofbattery, incest, and other forms of male violence against women, present both acrisis and an opportunity for libertarians. Libertarianism professes to be acomprehensive theory of human freedom; what is supposed to be distinctive aboutthe libertarian theory of justice is that we concern ourselves with violentcoercion no matter who is practicing iteven if he has agovernment uniform on. But what feminists have forced into the public eye in thelast 30 years is that, in a society where one out of every four women faces rapeor battery by an intimate partner, andwhere women are threatened or attacked by men who profess to love them, becausethe men who attack them believe that being a man means you have the authority tocontrol women, male violence against women is nominally illegal but neverthelesssystematic, motivated by the desire for control, culturally excused, andhideously ordinary. For libertarians, this should sound eerily familiar;confronting the full reality of male violence means nothing less thanrecognizing the existence of a violent political order working alongside, andindependently of, the violent political order of statism. As radical feministCatharine MacKinnon writes, Unlike the ways in which men systematicallyenslave, violate, dehumanize, and exterminate other men, expressing politicalinequalities among men, mens forms of dominance over women have beenaccomplished socially as well as economically, prior to the operation of thelaw, without express state acts, often in intimate contexts, as everydaylife (1989,p. 161). Male supremacy has its own ideologicalrationalizations, its own propaganda, its own expropriation, and its own violentenforcement; although it is often in league with the male-dominated state, maleviolence is older, more invasive, closer to home, and harder to escape than mostforms of statism. This means that libertarians who are serious about ending allforms of political violence need to fight, at least, a two-front war, againstboth statism and male supremacy; an adequate discussion of what this insightmeans for libertarian politics requires much more time than we have here. But itis important to note how the writings of some libertarians on thefamilyespecially those who identify with thepaleolibertarian political and cultural projecthaveamounted to little more than outright denial of male violence. Hans HermannHoppe, for example, goes so far as to indulge in the conservative fantasy thatthe traditional internal layers and ranks of authority in thefamily are actually bulwarks of resistance vis-a-vis the state (Secession, the State,and the Immigration Problem IV). The ranks of authorityin the family, of course, means the pater familias,and whether father-right is, at a given moment in history, mostly in league withor somewhat at odds with state prerogatives, the fact that it is so widelyenforced by the threat or practice of male violence means that trying to enlistit in the struggle against statism is much like enlisting Stalin in order tofight Hitlerno matter who wins, we all lose.

Some of libertarians sharpest jabs at feminism have been directed againstfeminist criticisms of sexual harassment, misogynist pornography, orsadomasochism. Feminists in particular are targeted as the leading crusaders forpolitical correctness, and characterized as killjoys, censors, orman-haters for criticising speech or consensual sex acts in which women aredenigrated or dominated; it is apparently claimed that since theharassment or the portrayal doesnt (directly) involve violence, therearent any grounds for taking political exception to it. But the popularity inlibertarian circles of Ayn Rands novel The Fountainhead (a deeplyproblematic novel from a feminist standpoint, but instructive on the present point) indicates thatlibertarians know better when it comes to, say, conformity and collectivism.Although its political implications are fairly clear, TheFountainhead pays relatively little attention to governmental oppressionper se; its main focus is on social pressures thatencourage conformity and penalize independence. Rand traces how such pressuresoperate through predominantly non-governmental and (in the libertariansense) non-coercive means, in the business world, the media, andsociety generally. Some of the novels characters give in, swiftly orslowly, and sell their souls for social advancement; others resist but end upmarginalized, impoverished, and psychologically debilitated as a result. Onlythe novels hero succeeds, eventually, in achieving worldly successwithout sacrificing his integrity but only after a painful andsuperhuman struggle. It would be hard to imagine libertariansdescribing fans of The Fountainhead as puritans or censors becauseof their objections to the Ellsworth Tooheys of the worldeven thoughTooheys malign influence is mainly exercised through rhetorical and socialmeans rather than by legal force. An uncharitable reading that the situationunfortunately suggests is that libertarians can recognize non-governmentaloppression in principle, but in practice seem unable to grasp any form ofoppression other than the ones that well-educated white men may have experiencedfor themselves.

A more charitable reading of libertarian attitudes might be this: while thecollectivist boycott of independent minds and stifling of creative excellence inThe Fountainhead is not itself enacted through government means,collectivism clearly is associated with the mass psychology thatsupports statism. So is patriarchy, actually, but it is most closely associatedwith a non-governmental form of oppressionthat is, male supremacy andviolence against women. All this makes it seem, at times, thatlibertariansincluding libertarian feministsare suffering from asort of willful conceptual blindness; perhaps because they are afraid to grantthe existence of serious and systematic forms of political oppression that arenot connected solely or mainly with the state. Its as though, if theygranted any political critique of the outcomes of voluntaryassociation, they would thereby be granting that voluntary association as suchis oppressive, and that government regulation is the solution. But such a phobicreaction only makes sense if you first accept (either tacitly or explicitly) thepremise that all politics is exclusively the domain of thegovernment, and as such (given Misess insights into the nature ofgovernment) all political action is essentially violentaction. This is, as it were, a problem that has no name; but we might call itthe authoritarian theory of politics, since it amounts to thepremise that any political question is a question resolved by violence;many 20th century libertarians simply grant the premise and then,because they hold that no question is worth resolving by (initiatory)violence, they call for the death of politics in human affairs.

At least one libertarian theorist, the late Don Lavoie, makes our point whenhe observes that there is

much more to politics than government. Wherever human beingsengage in direct discourse with one another about their mutual rights andresponsibilities, there is a politics. I mean politics in the sense of thepublic sphere in which discourse over rights and responsibilities is carried on,much in the way Hannah Arendt discusses it. . The force of public opinion,like that of markets, is not best conceived as a concentrated will representingthe public, but as the distributed influence of political discoursesthroughout society. Inside the firm, in business lunches, at street corners,interpersonal discourses are constantly going on in markets. In all those placesthere is a politics going on, a politics that can be more or less democratic. Leaving a service to the forces of supply and demand doesnot remove it from human decision making, since everything will depend onexactly what it is that the suppliers and demanders are trying to achieve. What makes a legal culture, any legal system, work is a sharedsystem of belief in the rules of justice a political culture. Theculture is, in turn, an evolving process, a tradition which is continually beingreappropriated in creative ways in the interpersonal and public discoursesthrough which social individuals communicate. Everything depends hereon what is considered an acceptable social behavior, that is, on the constraintsimposed by a particular political culture. To say we should leaveeverything to be decided by markets does not, as [libertarians]suppose, relieve liberalism of the need to deal with the whole realms ofpolitics. And to severely limit or even abolish government does not necessarilyremove the need for democratic processes in nongovernmental institutions.

Its true that a libertarian could (as Karl Hess, for example, does) simplyinsist on a definition of politics in terms of the authoritariantheory, and stick consistently to the stipulation, while also doing work on asystemic critique of forms of oppression that arent (by their definition)enacted through the political means; they would simply have tohold that a full appreciation of oppressive conditions requires a thoroughunderstanding of what the economic means or action in themarket or civil society can include. But given thecurious misunderstandings that many libertarians seem to have of feministcritiques, it seems likely that the issue here isnt merelyterminologicalit may be that the real nature of typical feminist concernsand activism is rendered incomprehensible by sticking to stipulations about theuse of politics and the market when the ordinary useof those terms wont bear them. You could, if you insisted, look at streetharassment as a matter of psychic costs that women face in theirdaily affairs, and the feminist tactic of womens Ogle-Ins on WallStreet as a means of reducing the supply of male leering bydriving up the psychic costs to the producers (usingshame and awareness of what its like to face harassment). In this sense, theOgle-In resembles, in some salient respects, a picket or aboycott. But no-one actually thinks of an Ogle-In as a marketactivity, even if you can make up some attenuated way of analyzing itunder economic categories; it clearly fails to meet a number of conditions (suchas the voluntary exchange of goods or services between actors) that are part ofour routine, pre-analytic use of terms such as market,producer, and economic. Just as clearly, anOgle-In has something importantly in common with legislation,court proceedings, and even market activities such as boycotts or pickets thatappeals to our pre-analytic use of politicaleven thoughneither the Ogle-In nor the market protests are violent, or in anyway connected with the State: they are all trying to address a question ofsocial coordination through conscious action, and they work bycalling on people to make choices with the intent of addressing thesocial issueas opposed to actions in which the intent is somemore narrowly economic form of satisfaction, and any effects on socialcoordination (for good or for ill) are unintended consequences.

Libertarian temptations to the contrary notwithstanding, it makes no sense toregard the state as the root of all social evil, for there is at leastone social evil that cannot be blamed on the state and that is the stateitself. If no social evil can arise or be sustained except by the state, howdoes the state arise, and how is it sustained? As libertarians from LaBotie to Rothbard have rightly insisted, since rulers are generallyoutnumbered by those they rule, the state itself cannot survive exceptthrough popular acceptance which the state lacks the power to compel; hencestate power is always part of an interlocking system of mutually reinforcingsocial practices and structures, not all of which are violations of thenonaggression axiom. There is nothing un-libertarian, then, in recognizing theexistence of economic and/or cultural forms of oppression which, while they maydraw sustenance from the state (and vice versa), are notreducible to state power. One can see statism and patriarchy asmutually reinforcing systems (thus ruling out both the option of fightingstatism while leaving patriarchy intact, and the option of fighting patriarchyby means of statism) without being thereby committed to seeing either as a mereepiphenomenon of the other (thus ruling out the option of fighting patriarchysolely indirectly by fighting statism).

The relationship between libertarianism and feminism has not always been sochilly. 19th-century libertarians a group which includesclassical liberals in the tradition of Jean-Baptiste Say and Herbert Spencer, aswell as individualist anarchists in the tradition of Josiah Warren generally belonged to what Chris Sciabarra has characterized as theradical or dialectical tradition in libertarianism,in which the political institutions and practices that libertarians condemn asoppressive are seen as part of a larger interlocking system of mutuallyreinforcing political, economic, and cultural structures. Libertarian sociologist Charles Dunoyer, for example,observed:

The first mistake, and to my mind the most serious, is notsufficiently seeing difficulties where they are not recognizing themexcept in governments. Since it is indeed there that the greatest obstaclesordinarily make themselves felt, it is assumed that that is where they exist,and that alone is where one endeavors to attack them. One is unwillingto see that nations are the material from which governments are made; that it isfrom their bosom that governments emerge . One wants to see only thegovernment; it is against the government that all the complaints, all thecensures are directed .

From this point of view, narrowly directing ones efforts towardpurely political reform without addressing the broader social context isunlikely to be effective.

Contrary to their reputation, then, 19th-century libertariansrejected atomistic conceptions of human life. Herbert Spencer, for example,insisted that society is an organism, and that the actions of individualsaccordingly cannot be understood except in relation to the social relations inwhich they participate. Just as, he explained, the process of loading agun is meaningless unless the subsequent actions performed with the gun areknown, and a fragment of a sentence, if not unintelligible, iswrongly interpreted in the absence of its remainder, so any part, ifconceived without any reference to the whole, can be comprehendedonly in a distorted manner. But Spencersaw no conflict between his organismic view of society and his politicalindividualism; in fact Spencer saw the undirected, uncoerced, spontaneous orderof organic processes such as growth and nutrition as strengthening the caseagainst, rather than for, the subordination of its individual membersto the commands of a central authority. In the same way, American libertarian Stephen Pearl Andrewscharacterized the libertarian method as trinismal, meaning that ittranscended the false opposition between unismal collectiveaggregation and duismal fragmented diversity. Even the egoist-anarchist BenjaminTucker insisted that society is a concrete organism irreducible toits aggregated individual members.

While the 19th-century libertarians social holism andattention to broader context have been shared by many 20th-centurylibertarians as well, 19th-century libertarians were far more likelythan their 20th-century counterparts to recognize the subordinationof women as a component in the constellation of interlocking structuresmaintaining and maintained by statism. Dunoyer and Spencer, for example, saw patriarchy as theoriginal form of class oppression, the model for and origin of all subsequentforms of class rule. For Dunoyer,primitive patriarchy constituted a system in which a parasitic governmentallite, the men, made their living primarily by taxing, regulating, andconscripting a productive and industrious laboring class, the women. HerbertSpencer concurred:

The slave-class in a primitive society consists of the women; andthe earliest division of labour is that which arises between them and theirmasters. For a long time no other division of labour exists.

Moreover, Spencer saw an intimate connection between the rise of patriarchyand the rise of militarism:

The primary political differentiation originates from the primaryfamily differentiation. Men and women being by the unlikeness of their functionsin life, exposed to unlike influences, begin from the first to assume unlikepositions in the community as they do in the family: very early theyrespectively form the two political classes of rulers and ruled. [In]ordinary cases the men, solely occupied in war and the chase, have unlimitedauthority, while the women, occupied in gathering miscellaneous small food andcarrying burdens, are abject slaves . [whereas in] those few uncivilizedsocieties which are habitually peaceful in which the occupations are not, orwere not, broadly divided into fighting and working, and severally assigned tothe two sexes along with a comparatively small difference between theactivities of the sexes, there goes, or went, small difference of social status. Where the life is permanently peaceful, definite class-divisions do notexist. [T]he domestic relation between the sexes passes into a politicalrelation, such that men and women become, in militant groups, the ruling classand the subject class .

Accordingly, Spencer likewisesaw the replacement of militarized hierarchical societies by moremarket-oriented societies based on commerce andmutual exchange as closely allied with the decline of patriarchy infavor of increasing sexual equality; changing power relationswithin the family and changing power relations within the broadersociety stood in relations of interdependence:

The domestic despotism which polygyny involves, is congruous withthe political despotism proper to predominant militancy; and the diminishingpolitical coercion which naturally follows development of the industrial type,is congruous with the diminishing domestic coercion which naturally follows theaccompanying development of monogamy.

The truth that among peoples otherwise inferior, the position ofwomen is relatively good where their occupations are nearly the same as those ofmen, seems allied to the wider truth that their position becomes good inproportion as warlike activities are replaced by industrial activities .Where all men are warriors and the work is done entirely by women, militancy isthe greatest. [T]he despotism distinguishing a community organized for war,is essentially connected with despotism in the household; while, conversely, thefreedom which characterizes public life in an industrial community, naturallycharacterizes also the accompanying private life. Habitual antagonism with,and destruction of, foes, sears the sympathies; while daily exchange of productsand services among citizens, puts no obstacle to increase of fellow-feeling.

In Spencers view, the mutual reinforcement between statism,militarism, and patriarchy continued to characterize 19th-centurycapitalist society:

To the same extent that the triumph of might over right is seenin a nations political institutions, it is seen in its domestic ones.Despotism in the state is necessarily associated with despotism in the family. [I]n as far as our laws and customs violate the rights of humanity by givingthe richer classes power over the poorer, in so far do they similarly violatethose rights by giving the stronger sex power over the weaker. To the sameextent that the old leaven of tyranny shows itself in the transactions of thesenate, it will creep out in the doings of the household. If injustice swaysmens public acts, it will inevitably sway their private ones also. Themere fact, therefore, that oppression marks the relationships of out-door life,is ample proof that it exists in the relationships of the fireside.

This analysis of the relation between militarism and patriarchy from thefantastically-maligned but seldom-actually-read radical libertarian HerbertSpencer is strikingly similar to that offered by the fantastically-maligned butseldom-actually-read radical feminist Andrea Dworkin:

I mean that there is a relationship between the way that womenare raped and your socialization to rape and the war machine that grinds you upand spits you out: the war machine that you go through just like that woman wentthrough Larry Flynts meat grinder on the cover of Hustler.You damn well better believe that youre involved in this tragedy and thatits your tragedy too. Because youre turned into little soldierboys from the day that you are born and everything that you learn about how toavoid the humanity of women becomes part of the militarism of the country inwhich you live and the world in which you live. It is also part of the economythat you frequently claim to protest.

And the problem is that you think its out there: and its notout there. Its in you. The pimps and the warmongers speak for you. Rapeand war are not so different. And what the pimps and the warmongers do is thatthey make you so proud of being men who can get it up and give it hard. And theytake that acculturated sexuality and they put you in little uniforms and theysend you out to kill and to die. (I Want aTwenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape)

Spencer, for his part, did not confine attention to those forms ofpatriarchal oppression that were literally violent or coercive in the sense ofviolating libertarian rights; he denounced not only the legal provision thata husband may justly take possession of his wifes earnings againsther will or the statute, which permits a man to beat his wife inmoderation and to imprison her in any room in his house, but the entire system of economic andcultural expectations and institutions within which violent forms of oppressionwere embedded. He complained, for example, of a variety of factorsmoreoften cultural than legalthat systematically stunted womens educationand intellectual development, including such facts as that women are notadmissible to the academies and universities in which men get theirtraining, that the kind of life they have to look forward to, doesnot present so great a range of ambitions, that they are rarelyexposed to that most powerful of all stimuli necessity, thatthe education custom dictates for them is one that leaves uncultivatedmany of the higher faculties, and that the prejudice againstblue-stockings, hitherto so prevalent amongst men, has greatly tended to deterwomen from the pursuit of literary honours. In the same way he protested against the obstacles towomens physical health and well-being deriving from patriarchal norms offeminine attractiveness and propriety that promoted in the training of girlsa certain delicacy, a strength not competent to more than a mile ortwos walk, an appetite fastidious and easily satisfied, joined with thattimidity which commonly accompanies feebleness.

The 19th-century libertarians attitude toward (what wascalled) the woman question has much in common with their attitudetoward the (analogously labeled) labor question.19th-century libertarians generally saw the existing capitalist orderas a denial, rather than as an expression, of the free market. For most of thesethinkers, capitalism meant, not economic laissez-faire (which as libertarians they favored), butrather government intervention in the marketplace on behalf of capitalistsat the expense of laborers and consumers, and they condemned it accordinglyas the chief prop of plutocratic class oppression. But rather than simply calling for an end to pro-businesslegislation, they also favored private cooperative action by workers to improvetheir bargaining power vis–vis employers orindeed to transcend the wage system altogether; hence their support for thelabor movement, workers cooperatives, and the like. Similarly, while calling for an end to legislation thatdiscriminated against women, 19th-century libertarians like Spencerdid not confine themselves to that task, but also, as weve seen,addressed the economic and cultural barriers to gender equality,private barriers which they saw as operating in coordination withthe governmental barriers.

Such problems as domestic violence and crimes of jealousy, for example,derive, Stephen Pearl Andrews taught, primarily from the inculcation ofpatriarchal values, which encourage a man to suppose that the womanbelongs, not to herself, but to him. Although the best immediatesolution to this problem may be to knock the man on the head, or tocommit him to Sing-Sing, the superior longterm solution isa public sentiment, based on the recognition of the Sovereignty of theIndividual. The ultimate cure for domestic violence thus lies incultural rather than in legal reform: Let the idea be completelyrepudiated from the mans mind that that woman, or any woman, could, bypossibility, belong to him, or was to be true to him, or owed him anything,farther than as she might choose to bestow herself. (Andrews 1889, p. 70)But Andrews solution was not solely cultural but also economic, stressingthe need for women to achieve financial independence. Andrews criticized thesystem by which the husband and father earns all the money, and doles itout in charitable pittances to wife and daughters, who are kept as helplessdependents, in ignorance of business and the responsibilities of life,and liable at any time to be thrown upon their own resources, with noresources to be thrown upon. (p. 42) One key to womens economicindependence would be to have children reared in Unitary Nurseries(p. 41), i.e., day care (funded ofcourse by voluntarily pooled resources rather than by the State, which Andrewssought to abolish). Andrews looked forward to a future in which with suchprovision for the care of children, Women find it as easy to earn anindependent living as Men, and thus freed by these changes fromthe care of the nursery and the household, Woman is enabled, even while amother, to select whatever calling or profession suits her tastes.

So the individualists libertarianism was not cashed out in ignoringnon-governmental forms of oppression, but in their refusal to endorse governmentintervention as a long-term means of combating them. At first glance,contemporary liberals might find all this puzzling: So the 19th centurylibertarians recognized these problems, but they didnt want to doanything effective about them? But effective politicalaction only means government force if you buy into theauthoritarian theory of politics; and there are good reasonsbothhistorical and theoreticalfor contemporary feminists to reject it.Feminists such as Kate Millett and Catharine MacKinnon have directly criticized conceptions of politics that areexclusively tied to the the exercise of State power, and throughout the late1960s and 1970s, radical feminists continually fought against the patronizingresponse to their program by male Leftists who could not recognize womenspersonal circumstances as a political issue, or theactions and institutions suggested by Womens Liberation as a politicalprogram, precisely because they were outside of the realm of male public debateand government action. And as historians of second-wave feminism such as SusanBrownmiller have shown, many ofradical feminisms most striking achievements were brought about through effortsthat were both clearly political in nature but alsoindependent of State political processessuch asconsciousness-raising groups, ogle-ins and WITCHhexes against street harassment and sexist businesses, and the creation of autonomouswomen-run institutions such as cooperative day-care centers, womens healthcollectives, and the first battered womens shelters and rape crisis centers.

Nineteenth century libertarians would hardly have beensurprised that these efforts have been as effective as they have without thesupport of government coercion; in fact, they might very well argue that it isprecisely because they have avoided the quagmire of the bureaucraticState that they have been so effective. If libertarian social and economic theory is correct, thennon-libertarians typically overestimate the efficacy of governmental solutions,and underestimate the efficacy of non-governmental solutions. The19th-century libertarian feminists opposed state action not onlybecause of their moral objections to state coercion but also because theyunderstood the state what Ezra Heywood called the booted, spurredand whiskered thing called government (in McElroy 1991, p. 226) as itself a patriarchal institution, whose very existence helped toreinforce patriarchy (or what Angela Heywood called he-ism) in theprivate sector; using the state to fight male supremacy would thus be likeattempting to douse a fire with kerosene. As Voltairine de Cleyre put it:

Today you go to arepresentative of that power which has robbed you of the earth, of the right offree contract of the means of exchange, taxes you for everything you eat or wear(the meanest form of robbery), you go to him for redress from a thief!It is about as logical as the Christian lady whose husband had beenremoved by Divine Providence, and who thereupon prayed to saidProvidence to comfort the widow and the fatherless. In freedom wewould not institute a wholesale robber to protect us from petty larceny. (Economic Tendency of Freethought 35)

The 19th-century libertarians would thus not have been surprisedto learn that, in our day, anti-pornography law written with feministintentions has been applied by male police and male judges to censor feministpublications, or that sex discrimination law has, in the hands of malelegislators and judges, been used to reverse 19th century feministgains in custody and divorce law.Hand the he-ist state a club, and you can be sure the club will be used in ahe-ist manner.

While adverse power relations in the private sector whether betweenlabor and capital or between men and women were seen as drawing much oftheir strength from the support given to them by corresponding power relationsin the political sector, these thinkers did not conclude that it would besufficient to direct all their energies against the sins of government in thehope that the private forms of oppression would fall as soon as political formsdid. On the contrary, if private oppression drew strength from politicaloppression, the converse was true as well; 19th-centurylibertarians saw themselves as facing an interlocking system of privateand public oppression, and thus recognized that political liberation could notbe achieved except via a thoroughgoing transformation of society as a whole.While such libertarians would have been gratified by the extent to which overtgovernmental discrimination against women has been diminished in present-dayWestern societies, they would not have been willing to treat that sortof discrimination as the sole index of gender-based oppression in society.

Moses Harman, for example, maintained not only that the family waspatriarchal because it was regulated by the patriarchal state, but also that thestate was patriarchal because it was founded on the patriarchal family: Irecognize that the government of the United States is exclusive, jealous,partialistic, narrowly selfish, despotic, invasive, paternalistic, monopolistic,and cruel logically and legitimately so because the unit and basis ofthat government is the family whose chief corner stone is institutionalmarriage. (In McElroy 199, p. 104) Harman saw the non-governmentalsources of patriarchy as analogous to the non-governmental sources of chattelslavery (another social evil against which libertarians were especially activein fighting):

The crystals that hardened and solidified chattel slavery were partly religious; partly economic or industrial, and partlysocietary . And so likewise it is with the enslavement ofwoman. The control of sex, of reproduction, is claimed by the priestand clergy man as pre-eminently their own province. Marriage is also aneconomic institution. Women have an industrial value, a financial value.Orthodox marriage makes man ruler of the house, while the wife is an upper servant without wages. The husband holds thecommon purse and spends the common earnings, as he sees fit. Marriageis a societary institution pre-eminently so. [A woman] must notonly be strictly virtuous, but clearly above suspicion, elsesocial damnation is her life sentence. (In McElroy 1991, pp.113-4)

Hence the fight against patriarchy would likewise require challenging notonly governmental but also religious, economico-industrial, and societaryobstacles (such as the social sanctions against divorce, birth control, andcareers for women, coordinate with the legal sanctions).

While the non-governmental obstacles drew strength from the governmentalones, Victor Yarros stressed that they also had an independent force of theirown. In addition to their burden of economic servitude, whichYarros optimistically opined would not outlive the State and legality fora single day, for it has no other root to depend upon for continuedexistence, women are also subjected to the misery of being theproperty, tool, and plaything of man, and have neither power to protest againstthe use, nor remedies against abuse, of their persons by their malemasters and this form of subjugation, he thought, couldnot be abolished overnight simply by abolishing the state, since it wassanctioned by custom, prejudice, tradition, and prevailing notions ofmorality and purity; its abolition must thus await further economic andintellectual progress.

Among the private power relations sanctioned by custom, prejudice, andtradition, Yarros included those so-called privileges and specialhomage accorded by the bourgeois world to women, which the Marxist writerE. Belfort Bax had denounced as tyranny exercised by women overmen. Anticipating contemporary feminist critiques ofchivalry, Yarros responded:

Not denying that such tyranny exists, I assert thatMr. Bax entirely misunderstands its real nature. Mans condescension hemistakes for submission; marks of womans degradation and slavery hisobliquity of vision transforms into properties of sovereignty. Tchernychewskytakes the correct view upon this matter when he makes Vera Pavlovna say;Men should not kiss womens hands, since that ought to be offensiveto women, for it means that men do not consider them as human beings likethemselves, but believe that they can in no way lower their dignity before awoman, so inferior to them is she, and that no marks of affected respect for hercan lessen their superiority. What to Mr. Bax appears to be servility onthe part of men is really but insult added to injury.

And Voltairine de Cleyres list of libertarian feminist grievancesincludes legal and cultural factors equally:

Let Woman ask herself, Why am I the slave of Man? Why ismy brain said not to be the equal of his brain? Why is my work not paid equallywith his? Why must my body be controlled by my husband? Why may he take my laborin the household, giving me in exchange what he deems fit? Why may he take mychildren from me? Will them away while yet unborn? (Sex Slavery 11)

19th-century libertarians, especially in the English-speakingworld (French libertarians tended to be more socially conservative), were deeplyskeptical of the institution of marriage. Marriage is unjust towoman, Moses Harman declared, depriving her of her right ofownership and control of her person, of her children, her name, her time and herlabor. I oppose marriage because marriage legalized rape. (InMcElroy **, pp100-102) A woman takes the last name first of her father, then ofher husband, just as, traditionally, a slave has taken the last name of hismaster, changing names every time he changed owners. (** p. 112)Some, like Harman and Spencer, thought the solution lay in reconstitutingmarriage as a purely private relation, neither sanctioned nor regulated by theState, and thus involving no legal privileges for the husband. Others wentfarther and rejected marriage in any form, public or private, as a legacy ofpatriarchy; de Cleyre, for example, maintained that the permanentrelation of a man and a woman, sexual and economical, whereby the present homeand family life is maintained, is a dependent relationshipand detrimental to the growth of individual character, regardlessof whether it is blessed by a priest, permitted by a magistrate,contracted publicly or privately, or not contracted at all. (TheyWho Marry Do Ill **) Victor Yarros and Anselme Bellegarrigue neverthelessadvised women to exploit existing gender conventions in order to get themselvessupported by a man; Benjamin Tucker and Sarah Holmes, by contrast, insisted thatevery individual, whether man or woman, shall be self-supporting,and have an independent home of his or her own.

19th-century libertarian feminists are not easily classifiable interms of the contemporary division between (or the stereotypes of)liberal feminists and radical feminists. Wevealready seen that they recognized no conflict between the liberalvalue of individualism and the radical claim that the self issocially constituted. They were also liberal in taking individualsrather than groups as their primary unit of analysis butradical in their contextualizing methodology; they would haveagreed with MacKinnons remark that thoughts and ideas areconstituent participants in conditions more than mere reflections[ la Marxism] but less than unilineral causes [ la liberalism]of life settings. (MacKinnon 1989, p. 46) They were liberalin their stress on negative freedom and their respect for the actual choicespeople make, but they were also radical in their recognition thatoutward acquiescence may not express genuine consent since, inAndrews words, wives have the same motives that slaves have forprofessing contentment, and smile deceitfully while the heart swellsindignantly. (Andrews ***) Unlike some radical feminists (such as MaryDaly), they did not treat patriarchy as the root cause of all otherforms of oppression; for them patriarchy was simply one component (though thechronologically first component) of a larger oppressive system, and to theextent that they recognized one of this systems components as causallyprimary, they were more likely to assign that role to the state. Butlike radical and unlike liberal feminists, they did not treat sexism as aseparable aberration in a basically equitable socio-economic order; they arguedthat male supremacy was a fundamental principle of a social order thatrequired radical changes in society and culture, as well as law and personalattitudes. Thus they would gladly endorse MacKinnons statement thatpowerlessness is a problem but redistribution of power as currentlydefined is not its ultimate solution (MacKinnon 1989, p. 46).19th century libertarian feminists vigorously debated the degree towhich participation in electoral politics was a legitimate means and end forwomens liberation; they also offeredradical critiques of the traditional family, and were willing to issue the kindsof shocking and extreme condemnations for which todays radical feministsare often criticized as when Andrews and de Cleyre described thewhole existing marital system as the house of bondage andthe slaughter-house of the female sex (Andrews 1889, **), a prison whose corridors radiate over all the earth, and with so many cells,that none may count them (de Cleyre, Sex Slavery **), orwhen Bellegarrigue demystified romantic love by noting that [t]he personwhom one loves passes into the state of property and has no right; the more oneloves her, the more one annihilates her; being itself is denied her, for shedoes not act from her own action, nor, moreover, does she think from her ownthought; she does and thinks what is done and thought for her and despiteher, and finally concluded that Love is Hate. As abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison(also a libertarian and a feminist) remarked, in another context, in defense ofwhat some considered his extremist rhetoric: I have need to be all onfire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt. (**)19th-century libertarian feminism was simultaneously liberal andradical, perhaps because libertarianism precisely is liberalismradicalized.

Since the 19th century, libertarianism and feminism have largelyparted ways perhaps, in part, because libertarians allowed the advanceof state socialism in the early 20th century to drive them into analliance with conservatives, an alliance from which libertarians could not hopeto emerge unmarked. (Few libertarians today even remember that their19th-century predecessors often called their positionvoluntary socialism socialism to contrast it, not with the free market, butwith actually existing capitalism, and voluntary to contrast itboth with state socialism and with anti-market versions of anarchistsocialism.)

Since this parting of ways, feminists have developed increasinglysophisticated analyses and demystifications of patriarchy, but theirunderstanding of statism has grown correspondingly blurred; libertarians havedeveloped increasingly sophisticated analyses and demystifications of statism,but their understanding of patriarchy has grown correspondingly blurred. A19th-century libertarian feminist, if resurrected today, might thushave much to learn from todays libertarians about how statism works, andfrom todays feminists about how patriarchy works; but she or he woulddoubtless also see present-day feminists as, all too often, extraordinarilyinsensitive to the pervasive and inherently destructive effects of statehegemony per se, and present-day libertarians as, alltoo often, extraordinarily insensitive to the pervasive and inherentlydestructive effects of male hegemony per se. Acontemporary marriage, or remarriage, of feminism with libertarianism thus seemsa consummation devoutly to be wished but not if it is now to bea patriarchal marriage, one in which the feminism is subordinated to orabsorbed into or muffled by the libertarianism, a marriage in which one partyretains, while the other renounces, its radical edge. Our concern about thenature of libertarian feminism in its contemporary form is precisely that ittends to represent this sort of unequal union.

Libertarian feminist Joan Kennedy Taylor has written extensively on the needfor a more libertarian feminism and a more feminist libertarianism. While herwork has been admirable in highlighting the importance of synthesizinglibertarian insights with feminist insights, and in her willingness to callfellow libertarians to task when it is needed, we worry that her attempt at asynthesis often recapitulates antifeminist themes, and hobbles her feministprogram in the process.

Many of the most frustrating elements of Taylors attempt at libertarianfeminism are connected with what you might call her dialectical strategy:throughout Taylors work she attempts to position herself, and her libertarianfeminism, mainly by means of oppositionby her insistent efforts toally it with mainstream, liberal feminism and thus to distance it from extreme, radicalfeminism. The positioning strategywhich we might call Radical Menacepoliticscomes uncomfortably close to classical anti-feministdivide-and-conquer politics, in which the feminist world is divided into thereasonable (that is, unthreatening) feminists and the feminists who arehysterical or man-hating (so, presumably, not worthy of rational response).In antifeminist hands the strategy comes uncomfortably close to abarely-intellectualized repetition of old antifeminist standbys such as thehairy-legged man-hater or the hysterical lesbian. Unfortunately, feministsaiming in good faith at the success of the movement have also responded toradical-baiting by falling into the trap of defining themselves primarily byopposition to the extreme positions of other feminists. In both cases, the specter of That Kind ofFeminist is invoked to give feminists the Hobsons Choice between beingmarginalized and ignored, or being bullied into dulling the feminist edge oftheir politics wherever it is threatening enough to offend the mainstream.

While Taylors work shows a great deal more understanding of, and sympathywith, classical feminist concerns than antifeminist radical-baiters, hertreatment of issues pioneered by radical feministssuch as sexual harassment inthe workplacedo seem to combine the authoritarian theory of politics withRadical Menace rhetoric in ways that leave it limited and frustrating. Her bookon sexual harassment, oxymoronicallysubtitled A Non-Adversarial Approach to Sexual Harassment, much of what womenexperience as harassment in the workplace is simply a misunderstanding betweenthe male and female subcultures, a misperception by women of such practicesamong men in traditionally all-male environments as hazing newcomers or tellingsexist jokes. For Taylor, male behavior that may seem directed at women in ahostile way may just be treating them as women often say they wish to be treated like men. (p. 7) Because women are the ones who are seeking to enter maleworkplaces that are permeated by male culture, Taylor concludes that it shouldbe the woman, and not the man, whose behavior is modified. (p. 200)

But why, then, doesnt it equally follow that libertarians living in apredominantly statist culture should stop complaining about governmentalcoercion and instead adapt themselves to the statusquo? After all, statists dont just tax and regulate libertarians;they tax and regulate each other. This is how statists have, for centuries,behaved toward one another in traditionally all-statist environments, and, onemight argue, theyre just innocently treating libertarians the same way.If Taylor and other libertarians are nevertheless unwilling take such statistbehavior for granted, why should women follow her advice to take the analogousmale behavior for granted? As Elizabeth Brake writes:

But why is part of mens culture to tell dirty andanti-female jokes, as Taylor claims? She writes that women should shrugoff such joking . Would the workplace situation that Taylor describesseem as harmless if she wrote, Whites tell dirty and anti-black jokesamong themselves? Would she still counsel that the targets of such jokesshould toughen up, rather than advocating a behavioral change on the part of thejokers? It is staggering that Taylor forgets to ask why thesejokes target women. And why does the hazing or teasing of women take a sexualform? I take it that men do not grope each other as part of their hazingrituals.

To this we may add: and why are these still traditionally all-maleor mostly-male environments, long after most purely legislativebarriers to workplace equality have fallen? Is the behavior Taylor describesmerely an effect, and not also in part a sustaining cause, of such workplaceinequality?

Taylor has much to say about the harmful effects of power relations in thepolitical sphere, but she seems oddly blind to harmful power relations in theprivate sphere; and much of her advice strikes us as counselingwomen to adapt themselves docilely to existing patriarchal power structures solong as those structures are not literally coercive in the strict libertariansense. This sort of advice draws its entire force from the authoritarian theoryof politicsin assuming that state violence is the only politicallyeffective means for combating patriarchy. Taylor effectively renounces combatingpatriarchy; in so doing she not only undermines feminism, but also reinforcesthe very idea that drives some contemporary feminists towards a statistprogram.

We have similar concerns about many of the writings of Wendy McElroy, anotherof todays foremost libertarian feminists. We greatly admire much that shehas to say, including her radical analyses of state power; and her historicalresearch uncovering the neglected radical individualist tradition of the19th century is invaluable. But, as with Taylor, we find hertreatment of present-day feminism problematic. Perhaps even more so than Taylor,McElroys efforts at forging a libertarian feminism are limited by her tendencytowards Radical Menace politicsa tendency which seems to haveintensified over the course of her career. In some of her earlier writingsMcElroy treats libertarian feminism and socialist feminism as two branches ofradical feminism, and contrasts both with mainstreamfeminism. Thus in a 1982 article she writes:

Throughout most of its history, American mainstream feminismconsidered equality to mean equal treatment under existing laws and equalrepresentation within existing institutions. The focus was not to change thestatus quo in a basic sense, but rather to be included within it. The moreradical feminists protested that the existing laws and institutions were thesource of injustice and, thus, could not be reformed. These feminists sawsomething fundamentally wrong with society beyond discrimination against women,and their concepts of equality reflected this. To the individualist, equalitywas a political term referring to the protection of individual rights; that is,protection of the moral jurisdiction every human being has over his or her ownbody. To socialist-feminists, it was a socioeconomic term. Women could be equalonly after private property and the family relationships it encouraged wereeliminated. (McElroy 1991, p. 3)

On this understanding,mainstream feminists seek equality in the weak sense ofinclusion in whatever the existing power structure is. If there aremale rulers, there should be female rulers; if there are male slaves,there should be female slaves. Radical feminists seeka more radical form of equality socioeconomic for thesocialist form of radicalism, and political for the libertarian orindividualist form of radicalism. By political equality McElroy doesnot mean equal access to the franchise; indeed, as a voluntaryistanarchist she regards voting as a fundamentally immoral andcounterproductive form of political activity. Rather, she means theabsence of any and all political subordination of one person toanother, where political is understood explicitlyin terms of the authoritarian theory of politics:

Society is divided into two classes: those who use the politicalmeans, which is force, to acquire wealth or power and those who use the economicmeans, which requires voluntary interaction. The former is the ruling classwhich lives off the labor and wealth of the latter. (McElroy 1991, p.23)

For McElroy, then, the sort of gender inequality that feminism needs toaddress is simply a specific instance of the broader kind of inequality thatlibertarianism per se addresses thesubordination of some people to others by means of political force:

The libertarian theory of justice applies to all human beingsregardless of secondary characteristics such as sex and color. To theextent that laws infringe upon self-ownership, they are unjust. To the extentthat such violation is based upon sex, there is room for a libertarian feministmovement. (p. 22)

Notice how restrictive this recommendation is. The basis for a libertarianfeminist movement is the existence of laws that (a) infringeupon self-ownership, and (b) do so based upon sex.Libertarian feminism is thus conceived as narrowly political in scope, andpolitics is conceived of exclusively in terms of the authoritarian theory. Buton what grounds? Why is there no room in McElroys classification for aversion of feminism that seeks to combat both legal and socioeconomicinequality, say? And why wouldnt the concerns of this feminism have a perfectlygood claim to the adjective political? McElroys answer isthat [a]lthough most women have experienced the uncomfortable and oftenpainful discrimination that is a part of our culture, this is not a politicalmatter. Peaceful discrimination is not a violation of rights. (p. 23)Hence such discrimination is not a subject that libertarianism as apolitical philosophy addresses except to state that all remedies for it must bepeaceful. (p. 23)

Now it is certainly true that no libertarian feminist can consistentlyadvocate the use of political force to combat forms of discrimination that dontinvolve the use of violence. But how should we classify a feminist who seeks toalter not only political institutions but also pervasive private forms ofdiscrimination but combats the latter through non-violent means only?What sort of feminist would she be? Suppose, moreover, that libertarian socialtheory tells us, as it arguably does, that governmental injustice is likely toreflect and draw sustenance from the prevailing economic and culturalconditions. Wont it follow that libertarianism does havesomething to say, qua libertarian politicaltheory, about those conditions?

McElroy is certainly not blind to the existence of pervasive butnon-governmental discrimination against women; she writes that ourculture heavily influences sex-based behavior and even so intimatea matter as how we view ourselves as individuals.

Many of the societal cues aimed at women carry messages that, iftaken to heart, naturally produce feelings of intellectual insecurity andinadequacy. The list is long. Women should not compete with men. Women becomeirrational when menstruating. Women do not argue fairly. Women not men must balance career and family. A wife should relocate to accommodateher husbands job transfer. A clean house is the womansresponsibility: a good living is the mans. A wife who earnsmore than her husband is looking for trouble. Women are bad at math. Girls takehome economics while boys take car repair. If a man sexually strays, itsbecause his wife is no longer savvy enough to keep him satisfied. Women gossip;men discuss. Whenever they stand up for themselves, women risk beinglabeled everything from cute to a bitch. Almost every woman I know feels some degree of intellectual inadequacy.

So isnt this sort of thing a problem that feminists need to combat?McElroys answer is puzzling here. She writes: Althoughdiscrimination may always occur on an individual level, it is only through thepolitical means that such discrimination can be institutionalized and maintainedby force. (p. 23) This statement can be read as saying that sexualdiscrimination becomes a systematic problem, rather than an occasionalnuisance, only as a result of state action. Yet she does not, strictly speaking,say that only through state action can discrimination be institutionalized(though the phrase on an individual level certainly invites thatinterpretation). What she says is that only through the political meanscan discrimination be institutionalized by force. Since, on theauthoritarian theory that McElroy employs, the political meansjust is force, the statement is a tautology. But it leaves unansweredthe questions: (a) can discrimination be institutionalized and maintained bymeans other than force? and (b) can discrimination be institutionalized andmaintained by force but not by the state? Systematic non-governmental maleviolence would be an instance of institutionalizing patriarchy through meansthat are political, in McElroys sense, but not governmental; variousnon-violent forms of social pressure would be a means of institutionalizingpatriarchy through non-political means. McElroy is right to say that, forlibertarians, discrimination that does not violate rights cannot be apolitical issue (in her sense of political); but itdoes not follow that feminism must be no more than a response to thelegal discrimination women have suffered from the state.

In her more recent writings, McElroy seems to have grown more committed andmore wide-reaching in her use of Radical Menace politics. Rather thancategorizing libertarian feminism as a tendency within radical feminism (albeitone in opposition to what is usually called radical feminism), shenow typically treats radical feminists per se as theenemy, adopting Christina Hoff Sommers terminology of genderfeminism for her analytical purposes. But while Sommers opposesequity feminism to gender feminism, and has beenunderstood as aligning the latter with radical feminism, McElroy now clearlylumps liberal and radical feminists together as gender feminists,and opposes libertarian feminism (individualist feminism, ifeminism) to thisaggregation. At least she seems to treat liberal feminism as a form of genderfeminism when she writes:

While libertarians focus on legal restrictions, liberals (thosefractious, left-of-center feminists) are apt to focus additionally onrestrictive social and cultural norms), which an individual woman is deemedhelpless to combat. If the left-of-center feminists (sometimes calledgender feminists) are correct in their view that cultural biases against womenare stronger than the formal rights extended equally to both sexes, then justicefor women depends on collective, not individual action, and on a regulatedmarketplace. (McElroy 2002, pp. ix-x.)

Apart from the non sequitur in this last, noticethat liberal feminism, left-of-center feminism, andgender feminism are all apparently being treated as equivalent. Onthe other hand, in her book Sexual Correctness: The Gender-Feminist Attackon Women (a frustrating mix oflegitimate and illegitimate criticisms of non-libertarian feminism), McElroydistinguishes the two. Gender feminism views women as separate andantagonistic classes and holds that men oppress womenthrough the twin evils of the patriarchal state and the free-marketsystem. The goal is not equality but gender (class)justice for women. Liberal feminism is instead defined as anideology in transition from a watered-down version of individualistfeminism to a watered-down version of gender feminism. (McElroy 1996, p. ix) Sopresumably gender feminism here becomes roughly equivalent toradical feminism. But McElroys definitions seem to leave noroom for any version of feminism that agrees that women are oppressed by men notonly through the state but through non-political means, but is also pro-market.Yet why isnt McElroy herself precisely that sort of feminist?

The implicit suggestion is that to regard something as a legitimate object offeminist concern is ipso facto to regard it as anappropriate object of legislation. On this view, those feminists who see lots ofissues as meriting feminist attention will naturally favour lots of legislation,while those feminists who prefer minimal legislation will be led to suppose thatrelatively few issues merit feminist attention. But without the conceptualconfusions that all too often accompany the authoritarian theory of politics,its hard to see any reason for accepting the shared premise. CertainlyMcElroys 19th-century libertarian feminist predecessors didnot accept it.

It may seem odd to hold up 19th-century libertarian feminism as amodel against which to criticize McElroy. For no one has done more than McElroyto popularize and defend 19th-century libertarian feminism,particularly in its American version. McElroys career has been a steadystream of books and articles documenting, and urging a return to, the ideas ofthe 19th-century libertarian feminists. Yet we know and it islargely owing to McElroys own efforts that we know that if thereare any gender feminists lurking out there, the 19thcentury individualists, while libertarian, would certainly be found among theirranks.

As weve seen, McElroy contrasts the libertarian version of classanalysis, that assigns individuals to classes based on their access to politicalpower, with both the Marxist version (based on access to the means ofproduction) and the radical feminist (based, as she thinks, on biology).

Classes within ifeminist analysis are fluid. This is not true ofradical feminist analysis that is based on biology. To radical feminism, biologyis the factor that fixes an individual into a class. To ifeminism, the use offorce is the salient factor and an individual can cross class lines at anypoint.

There is a double confusion here. First, radical feminist analysis isnot based on biology. On the contrary, a central theme ofradical feminism has been precisely that gender differences are sociallyconstructed, and that women are constituted as a politically relevant class bysocial institutions, practices, and imputed meanings, not by pre-socialbiological facts beyond anyones control. MacKinnon, for example, notesthat while those actions on the part of women that serve the function ofmaintaining and constantly reaffirming the structure of male supremacy attheir expense are not freely willed, they areactions nonetheless, and once it is seen that these relationsrequire daily acquiescence, acting on different principles seems notquite so impossible (MacKinnon 1989, pp. 101-2). Second, libertarian analysis traditionally understands theruling class not just as those who make use of the political means(i.e., force) is a muggerthereby a member of the ruling class? but as those who control thestate, the hegemonic and institutionalized organization of thepolitical means. The membership of that ruling class may not bestrictly fixed at birth, but one cannot exactly move into it at will either.Hence McElroys description simultaneously overstates the rigidity ofclass as radical feminists see it and understates the rigidity of class aslibertarians see it.

In her hostility to the so-called gender feminist version ofclass analysis, McElroy is momentarily led into a rejection of class analysisper se, forgetting that she herself accepts a versionof class analysis: Self-ownership is the foundation ofindividualism, she writes; it is the death knell of classanalysis. This is because self-ownership reduces all social struggle to thelevel of individual rights, where every woman claims autonomy and choice, not asthe member of an oppressed subclass, but as a full and free member of the humanrace. (p. 147) As McElroy remembers perfectly well in other contexts,there is nothing incongruous in upholding a doctrine of individual autonomy andat the same time pointing to the existing class structure of society to helpexplain why that autonomy is being systematically undermined. PerhapsMcElroys attachment to the authoritarian theory of politics makes hersuspect that a state solution must be in the offing as soon as a politicalconcept like class is introduced.

This hypothesis gains support from McElroys discussion of the problemof domestic violence. McElroy distinguishes between liberalfeminist and gender feminist responses to the problem.According to McElroy, liberal feminists favour a sociocultural approachthat examines the reasons why aggression against women is tolerated by oursociety, as well as a psychological approach that examines theemotional reasons why men are abusive and why women accept it. Genderfeminists, by contrast, are said to take an entirely politicalview in favouring a class analysis approach, by which men are saidto beat women to retain their place in the patriarchal power structure[Sexual Correctness, p. 110]. But this false dichotomy is puzzling;surely those who favour the political approach are not offering itas an alternative to psychological andsociocultural approaches. Does McElroy assume that anypolitical problem must have a governmental solution?

McElroys discussion of prostitution [Sexual Correctness,chs. 9-10] is likewise frustrating. On the one hand, she makes a good case forthe claims that (a) many feminists have been condescendingly dismissive of thevoices of prostitutes themselves, and (b) legal restrictions on prostitution domore harm than benefit for the women they are allegedly designed to help. ButMcElroy neglects the degree to which critiques of prostitution by radicalfeminists such as Diana Russell and Andrea Dworkin (who prostituted herself tosurvive early in her adulthood) have drawn on the (negative) testimony of womenin prostitution; she often seems unwilling to acceptin spite of what issaid by the very women in prostitution that she citesthat the choices women can make might beconstrained by pervasive economic, sexual, and cultural realities in a waythats worth challenging, even if the outcomes are ultimatelychosen. When McElroy urges that feminist discussions ofprostitution need to take seriously what women in prostitution say about it, sheis making a point that every feminist ought to keep firmly in mind; but her zealto defend the choices of prostitutes, McElroy comes close to claiming thatany critical attention to the authenticity of someone elses choices,or to the cultural or material circumstances that constrain, them is tantamountto treating that person as a child or a mentally incompetentperson (p. 124)a claim that no-one in the world ought to believe,and one that no-one earnestly does.

Catharine MacKinnons discussion of consent in male supremacyoffers a useful counterpoint to McElroys limited discussion ofchoicealbeit from a source that is sure to provoke McElroy and many otherlibertarians. MacKinnons work suggests that consent whether tointercourse specifically or traditional sex roles generally is in largepart a structural fiction to legitimize the real coercion built into thenormal social definitions of heterosexual intercourse, and concludes thatto the extent that this is so, it makes no sense to define rape asdifferent in kind. Liberal andlibertarian feminists have often complained against radical feminists that suchassimilation of social and institutional influence to literal compulsion slightswomen by underestimating their capacity for autonomous choice even under adversecircumstances; from this standpoint, the radical feminist tendency to view allintercourse through rape-colored spectacles is open to some of the sameobjections as the patriarchal tendency to view all intercourse throughconsent-colored spectacles.

But MacKinnon and other radical feminists are best interpreted, not asclaiming a literal equivalence between rape and ordinary intercourse, but onlyas claiming that the two are a good deal less different than they seem objecting not so much to the distinction as to the exaggeration of thedifferences extent and significance. Even this more moderate claim,however, strikes many liberal and libertarian feminists as trivializingrape. This is a fair complaint; but the charge of trivialization is alsoa two-edged sword. If understating the difference between two evils trivializesthe worse one, overstating the differences trivializes the less bad one. (Andeven calling the understating kind of trivializationtrivialization may understandably strike some feminists as aninstance of, or at least an invitation to, the overstating kind oftrivialization.)

Now the distinction between literal compulsion and other forms of externalpressure is absolutely central to libertarianism, and so a libertarian feminist,to be a libertarian, must arguably resist the literal effacing of thesedifferences. But it does not follow that libertarian feminists need to deny thebroader radical feminist points that (a) patriarchal power structures, even whennot coercive in the strict libertarian sense, are relevantly and disturbinglylike literal coercion in certain ways, or that (b) the influence ofsuch patriarchal power structures partly rests on and partly bolsters literallyviolent expressions of male dominance. Libertarians have never had any problemsaying these things about statist ideology; such ideology, libertariansoften complain, is socially pervasive and difficult to resist, it both serves tolegitimate state coercion and receives patronage from state coercion, and itfunctions to render the states exploitative nature invisible and itscritics inaudible. In saying these things, libertarians do not efface thedistinction between coercion and ideological advocacy; hence no libertarianfavors the compulsory suppression of statist ideology.

Why not follow the 19th-century libertarians, who neither deniedthe existence and importance of private discrimination, nor assimilated it tolegal compulsion? There is nothing inconsistent or un-libertarian in holdingthat womens choices under patriarchal social structures can besufficiently voluntary, in the libertarian sense, to be entitledto immunity from coercive legislative interference, while at the same time beingsufficiently involuntary, in a broader sense, to be recognized asmorally problematic and as a legitimate target of social activism. Inferringbroad voluntariness from strict voluntariness, as many libertarians seem temptedto do, is no obvious improvement over inferring strict involuntariness frombroad involuntariness, as many feminists seem tempted to do; and libertariansare ill-placed to accuse feminists of blurring distinctions if they themselvesare blurring the same distinctions, albeit in the opposite direction.

If we dispense with the limitations imposed by Radical Menace rhetoric andthe authoritarian theory of politics, then what sort of a synthesis betweenfeminism and libertarianism might be possible? We do not intend, here, to try toset out a completed picture; we only hope to help with providing the frame. Butwhile it can certainly draw from the insights of 20th centurylibertarian feminists, it will likely be something very different from what aJoan Kennedy Taylor or a Wendy McElroy seems to expect. Taylor, for example,envisions libertarian feminism as a synthesis of libertarian insights with thespirit and concerns of mainstream liberal feminism; but if what we have arguedis correct, then its not at all clear that mainstream liberal feminism is themost natural place for libertarians to look. Liberal feminists have madeinvaluable contributions to the struggle for womens equalitywe dontintend to engage in a reverse Radical Menace rhetoric here. But nevertheless,the 19th century libertarian feminists, and the 21stcentury libertarian feminists that learn from their example, may find themselvesfar closer to Second Wave radical feminism than to liberalism. As wehave argued, radical feminist history and theory offer a welcomechallenge to the authoritarian theory of politics; radical feminists are alsofar more suspicious of the state as an institution, and as a means to sexequality in particular, than liberal feminists. While liberal feminists havebought into to bureaucratic state action through mechanisms such as the EEOCand the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, Catharine MacKinnon has criticized theway in which feminist campaigns for sex equality [have] been caughtbetween giving more power to the state in each attempt to claim it for women andleaving unchecked power in the society to men (MacKinnon 1989, Chapter 8 10),and R. Amy Elman argues in Sexual Subordination and StateIntervention that feminist activism against rape and battery has met withconsiderably more success in the United States than in progressiveSweden because of the (relative) decentralization of politicalauthority in the U.S. These are remarks that would not be out of place in theworks of radical libertarians such as Tom Bell or Murray Rothbard; there is goodreason to think that an explicitly libertarian feminism will have much to sayto, and much to learn from, the radical feminist tradition.

Its true that in spite of their suspicions of the state as a tool of classprivilege, radical feminists are sometimes willing to grant the State powersthat liberal feminists would withholdfor example, to penalizepornographers for the misogynist content of their works. To libertarians thismay seem paradoxical: shouldnt distrusting an institution make oneless willing to augment its powers, rather than more? But this apparentdisconnect is less paradoxical than it seems; if state neutrality is a myth, ifthe state is by nature a tool in the struggle between sexes or classes or both,then it can seem as though the only sensible response is to employ it as justthat, rather than trusting to its faade of juridical impartiality. Tolibertarians, of course, this strategy is as self-defeating as donning the ringof Sauron; but it is certainly understandable. Moreover, if radical feministsare suspicious of the state, they are equally suspicious of society, especiallymarket society, and so are disinclined to view as entitled to immunity fromstate interference. The underlying assumption of judicialneutrality, MacKinnon writes, is that a status quo exists which ispreferable to judicial intervention. (MacKinnon1989, Chapter 8 23) HenceMacKinnons ambivalence about special legal protections for women; suchprotections treat women as marginal and second-class members of theworkforce (Chapter8 20), but since market society does that already, such lawsmay offer women some concrete benefits. Here of course libertarians have reasonto be less suspicious of market society, since on their theoretical andhistorical understanding, most of the evils conventionally attributed to marketsociety are actually the product of state intervention itself. Here, however, itwould be a mistake for libertarians to assume that any persisting social evil,once shown not to be an inherent product of market society per se, must then be either a pure artefact ofstate intervention, or else not importantly bad after all.

Libertarian feminism, then, should seek to shift the radical feministconsensus away from state action as much as possible; but the shift shouldnot be the shift away from radicalism that libertarian feminists suchas McElroy and Taylor have envisioned. In an important sense, putting thelibertarian in libertarian feminism will not beimporting anything new into radical feminism at all; if anything, it ismore a matter of urging feminists to radicalize the insights into malepower and state power that they have already developed, and to expandthe state-free politics that they have already put into practice. Similarly, aradical libertarianism aligned with a radical feminism may confront manyconcerns that are new to 20th century libertarians; but inconfronting them they will only be returning to their 19th centuryroots, and radicalizing the individualist critique of systemicpolitical violence and its cultural preconditions to encompass those forms facedby female individuals as well as male.

Libertarianism and feminism are, then, two traditionsand, at theirbest, two radical traditionswith much in common, and much tooffer one another. We applaud the efforts of those who have sought to bring themback together; but too often, in our judgment, such efforts have proceeded onthe assumption that the libertarian tradition has everything to teach thefeminist tradition and nothing to learn from it. Feminists have no reason toembrace a union on such unequal terms. Happily, they need not. If libertarianfeminists have resisted some of the central insights of the feminist tradition,it is in large part because they have feared that acknowledging those insightswould mean abandoning some of the central insights of the libertarian tradition.But what the example of the 19th century libertarian feminists shouldshow usand should help to illuminate (to both libertarians and feminists)in the history of Second Wave feminismis that the libertarian critique ofstate power and the feminist critique of patriarchy are complementary, notcontradictory. The desire to bring together libertarianism and feminism neednot, and should not, involve calling on either movement to surrender itsidentity for the sake of decorum. This marriage can be saved: as itshould be, a marriage of self-confident, strong-willed, compassionateequals.

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Libertarian Feminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved …