The consequences of mistaking the divisible for the indivisible or Moscow next Tuesday
It’s hard to ignore the blatant contradictions and rank hypocrisy of the “Free World ™” exposed by the Ukrainian Crisis. Indeed if the goal of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation was to demonstrate the gap between the stated values and actions of The West then its difficult to imagine how they might better have succeeded. The spectacle of Western politicians gravely denouncing interference in “sovereign” nation’s affairs, while they themselves are openly engaged in exactly that all over the planet, is sickening to anyone who has any regard for integrity. The horror expressed by the establishment of the West over the use of force to pursue geo-political aims when they have used precisely that routinely and systematically for at least two decades marks them out as the most shameless of hypocrites. What can be said which would do justice to the contradiction between the West’s position on The Crimea’s unalterable status as a Ukrainian province (it was made part of it in 1954) and its actions in “liberating” Kosovo from Serbia (of which it had been an integral part for eight centuries)? How can the recognition of a government established by riot in the capital be determined “legal” while the parliament of the supposedly autonomous Crimea’s decision to hold a democratic referendum is “illegal” possibly be satirised? Never the less I intend to do exactly that and ignore these aspects of the crisis in order to explore one which is of particular interest to ATS’s cause. More…
From the Inferno. Been getting quite the backlash from this one from (other) “pro-choicers” (who seem to miss the point entirely).
Of all the court cases the press have pored over recently, none have fascinated me more than that of John Welden, who recently started a 14-year prison sentence for drugging his girlfriend into a miscarriage. If memory serves me well, I first heard about the case last spring, when Welden first entered the dock on a charge of no less than murder.
According to the Mail (emphasis mine):
[Remee Jo Lee] was six or seven weeks pregnant when she miscarried.
Welden pleaded guilty in September to tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He had faced a possible life sentence if convicted of his original charge, killing an unborn child.
This is a reasonable start, but a bigger question is can a Left-Right coalition bring about the overthrow of the state, the ruling class, and the empire? That’s what ARV-ATS is all about.
By Carla Murphy
There’s not much that Tea Party Republicans and liberal Democrats agree on these days. Surprisingly, one of them happens to be scaling back mass incarceration, the subject of a live-streamed meeting today of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The motives vary among and between key legislative leaders as ideologically disparate as Republican Sens. Mike Lee (UT) and Rand Paul (KY) and Democrats Patrick Leahy (VT) and Dick Durbin (IL). But whether motivated by concern for civil liberties, unsustainable state and federal budgets or a New Testament-inclination for giving second chances, one fact trumps all differences: The US houses by far the largest incarcerated population in the world at 2.2 million people as of year-end 2011. That smudge, as well as unsubtle championing of sentencing reform by attorney general Eric Holder, has galvanized a relatively quiet bipartisan effort over the past five years. Advocates say Congress is taking on mass incarceration one reform at a time. The latest are tucked into the 1,582-page FY2014 omnibus spending bill, and other reforms are coming down the pike. Below, a guide to these new developments.
A good discussion of the growth of the police state and prison-industrial complex in the USA between Michelle Alexander and Bill Moyers.
Watch the video.
After civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander published her book The New Jim Crow in 2010 on our dehumanizing system of incarceration, she ignited a national conversation about justice in America and sparked a movement. In her book, Alexander explores how the war on drugs, “get-tough” sentencing policies and racism has created a caste system similar to that of our segregationist past.
Since then, Alexander has traveled the country to meet advocates and everyday Americans working to end mass incarceration in America — home to 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, despite representing only five percent of the world’s population.
She tells Bill that she has seen a grassroots movement brewing in communities across the country, “There are enormous victories that are being achieved precisely because the people whom we have written off and viewed as disposable are reclaiming their voice, standing up, speaking out, organizing even as they struggle to survive.”
In this interview and in a recent article in Harper’s magazine, leftist-socialist commentator Adolph Reed Jr. says about the center-left in the USA what I’ve been saying for years: That’s they’ve become increasingly fixated on pushing cultural politics and getting more folks from traditional outgroups into the ranks of the establishment, while allowing neoliberalism to push class relations back to the pre-Depression era.
Watch Reed’s interview with Bill Moyers.
In a Web-exclusive interview, political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. talks with Bill Moyers about his new article in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine – a challenge to America’s progressives provocatively titled, “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals.”
In the piece, Reed writes that Democrats and liberals have become too fixated on election results rather than aiming for long term goals that address the issues of economic inequality, and that the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama too often acquiesced to the demands of Wall Street and the right.
As a result, Reed tells Moyers, the left is no longer a significant force in American politics. “If we understand the left to be anchored to our convictions that society can be made better than it actually is, and a commitment to combating economic inequality as a primary one, the left is just gone.”
Neither a sacrament nor a threat to civilization.
Richard Blake Interviewed by by an Irish Gay Magazine that was so shocked by the Attendant Vulgarity that the Magazine Cannot be Named!
You’re a historical novelist, which confuses some people when they come across it first! What does it mean, and how do you blend fact and fiction together through it?
As a specific genre, the historical novel is only about two centuries old. Historical fiction in the wider sense, though, is at least as old as the written word. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Homeric poems, the narrative books of the Old Testament, Beowulf – the earliest literature of every people is historical fiction. The past is interesting. It’s glamorous and exciting. Perspective allows us to forget that the past, like the present, was mostly long patches of boredom or anxiety, mixed in with occasional moments of catastrophe or bliss. Above all, it’s about us.
By Rahul Kanwar
The Conscious Resistance
This essay will focus on the two largest philosophical movements, American libertarianism (or the libertarian right) and European libertarianism (or the libertarian left). This essay will not address any movement to centralize power further, such as Maoism or minarchist capitalism. The importance of solidarity between these movements cannot be emphasized enough. Aside from both philosophies logically necessitating unity, the pragmatic potential for further ensuring the liberty of future generations is also too great to ignore. Panarchism is the movement that seeks to combine all anarchist movements, as the one true anarchist movement. Panarchism seeks to prove to anarchists that both camps are better off uniting rather than shrugging and accepting statist allies.
By David McElroy
by David McElroy
We do a very poor job of disagreeing in this country. You’d think we would be experts at it, because we do so much of it. But we’ve developed a culture in which most people are far more eager to tell everyone else why he’s wrong than to understand why there’s a disagreement — much less what to do about it.
By Pat Buchanan
With Vladimir Putin’s dispatch of Russian troops into Crimea, our war hawks are breathing fire. Russophobia is rampant and the op-ed pages are ablaze here.
Barack Obama should tune them out, and reflect on how Cold War presidents dealt with far graver clashes with Moscow.
When Red Army tank divisions crushed the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, killing 50,000, Eisenhower did not lift a finger. When Khrushchev built the Berlin Wall, JFK went to Berlin and gave a speech.
When Warsaw Pact troops crushed the Prague Spring in 1968, LBJ did nothing. When, Moscow ordered Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski to smash Solidarity, Ronald Reagan refused to put Warsaw in default.
These presidents saw no vital U.S. interest imperiled in these Soviet actions, however brutal. They sensed that time was on our side in the Cold War. And history has proven them right.
What is the U.S. vital interest in Crimea? Zero. From Catherine the Great to Khrushchev, the peninsula belonged to Russia. The people of Crimea are 60 percent ethnic Russians.
“Libertarians arguing over whose libertarianism is best reminds me of the scene from American Psycho where everyone is trying to one-up each other using the colors of their stupid business cards when they all work for the same firm.”
Religious liberty is a deeply radical concept. It was at this country’s founding and it hasn’t become less so. Preserving it has always been a full-time battle. But it’s important, because religion is at the core of people’s identity. A government that tramples religious liberty is not a government that protects economic freedom. It’s certainly not a government that protects conscience rights. A government that tramples religious liberty does not have expansive press freedoms. Can you think of one country with a narrow view of religious liberty but an expansive view of economic freedom, freedom of association, press freedoms or free speech rights? One?
By Rod Dreher
All that’s left to decide is the terms of surrender that will be dictated to conservatives, says Ross Douthat. He says there were two scenarios that might have played out. In the first, after same-sex marriage was achieved, the culture would have settled down, and gays would have gone about their business getting married and divorced like everybody else, and things would have returned to normal. In the second, gay partisans and their supporters would have put constant pressure on any holdouts or pockets of resistance, attempting to crush any opposition. Excerpt:
Now I remember why I didn’t vote in the 2004 election. What kind of deluded moron makes comments like this one?
“It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President Putin to invade another country,’ Kerry said on ‘Face the Nation’ Sunday, adding that Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and several of its obligations under international agreements. ‘You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.’”
Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia Sunday that it should rethink its military intervention in Ukraine, warning of possible economic consequences and embarrassment on the world stage.
Tensions flared over the weekend as Russian President Vladimir Putin sought and received permission from his parliament Saturday to use military force to protect Russian citizens in Ukraine. Troops have already stationed themselves in Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula that is home to one of Moscow’s naval bases.
“It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President Putin to invade another country,” Kerry said on “Face the Nation” Sunday, adding that Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and several of its obligations under international agreements. “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.”
He urged Russia to consider other options, the message pushed by the White House in the wake of a 90-minute call between President Obama and Putin Saturday. The hope is that Putin will have to withdraw after vigorously arguing for the sovereignty rights of states like Syria and Iran on the world stage, inconsistent with Putin’s actions in Ukraine.
Several foreign powers are already preparing a set of economic consequences if Russia does not withdraw its forces. Kerry said he spoke to ten of the foreign ministers of the countries most engaged on the issue, and “all of them, every single one of them are prepared to go to the hilt in order to isolate Russia with respect to this invasion. They’re prepared to put sanctions in place, they’re prepared to isolate Russia economically.”
I see no reason why traditionalists and leftist cannot peacefully co-exist within the context of decentralized political systems and autonomous enclaves. Those who object to such arrangements merely expose themselves for what they are: either aspiring totalitarians or just plain intolerant assholes.
“As I see it, there are two (likely more, though) strands of libertarianism. One could be called left-libertariainsm and the other right or traditionalist libertarianism: right libertarianism seeks to remove the welfare state from areas it should never be involved with: the family, culture, free association, and free trade, and right libertarians want smash the state so that they can experience more traditional ways of life (they want, for example, parents to have authority — not welfare bureaucrats); left-libertarians don’t like authority of any kind and they seek atomization of society.
A right libertarian doesn’t want to the welfare state to dictate gay marriage to them whereas the left libertarian believes that gay marriage is a positive good — that no one has the right to question it. Being a traditionalist is having a respect for the whole, not just the individual. One should recognize that something doesn’t come from nothing. That is, that an individual is a product of a family, an extended family (i.e, race or people) and a shared culture. In that sense, I’m a traditionalist, but that doesn’t mean that I’m an antiquarian or I simply worship old things for the sake of their being old. One could also say that to be a radical is to be a traditionalist; and to be a traditionalist is to be a radical.”
- Richard Spencer, (edited) from interview at The Libertarian last year. —
An open letter to anarchists in Chile and Venezuela, taking a nuanced look at the wave of protests against the Maduro government.
Two weeks ago, Nosotros los Pobres had the good fortune to host a presentation by two members of the Federacion de Estudiantes Libertarias of Chile, with whom we had a very productive exchange of ideas. Soon after that, I saw a statement published by the FEL, commenting on the situation in Venezuela, in which they expressed sympathy for the “Venezuelan people” in their resistance against a coup d’etat. As a member of Nosotros los Pobres, I wanted to share some thoughts about Venezuela and what’s going on there, both now and for the last 15 years, and I hope they will be useful for especifista comrades as well as for concerned and informed people generally.
The first observation, in response to the assertions of my Chilean comrades, is that there isn’t going to be a coup de etat en Venezuela. With what army? The Venezuelan army, part of which was always a stronghold for Chavez, has been thoroughly purged and ideologized—this isn’t the same kind of army as in any other Latin American country. Possibly a sector of the Chavistas themselves would move against Maduro’s faction, but they wouldn’t be doing it in league with Lopez and Machado or the MUD.
A note to my paleo-leaning friends: Immigration restriction is a failed movement, a political dead end. Americans are becoming more immigration-friendly, as they have with marijuana decriminalization and gay marriage. Still, there are alternatives to both compulsory multiculturalism and totalitarian humanism from the Left and old-fashioned nationalism (or fascism) from the Right. The time is now for Pan-Anarchism.
By Elise Foley
WASHINGTON — While most Americans think undocumented immigrants should get a chance to become legal residents, they’re split on whether a recent uptick in deportations is a good or bad thing, according to a poll released Thursday by Pew Research Center.
The report comes at a time when both immigration reform and deportations are being hotly debated. The House GOP is considering whether to move forward with reform, potentially including legal status for currently undocumented immigrants. While advocates push for legislation, there’s a parallel effort to convince President Barack Obama to slow the rate of deportations and provide reprieve to families and communities torn apart by deportations.
The new poll found broad support for allowing some undocumented immigrants to remain in the country legally, which would in effect stem the tide of deportations. Seventy-three percent of those polled support such a measure, while 24 percent oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to stay.
One thing many of my fans and critics alike often have difficulty understanding is that I really don’t care about any of the sectarian intramural in-fighting that goes on between the various tribes of anarchism, the left and right wings of the wider libertarian movement, or even in the broader society between the reds and the blues. Almost none of the issues that are the foundations of those conflicts have any personal meaning to me at all. I only want to see the Empire destroyed and the Death Star explode. I will stand with anyone who takes action towards that goal, and I actually sympathize with and support many political tendencies and individuals who have no use for me personally.
Let’s talk about anarchy for a moment. Which kind of anarchy? Anarcho-capitalism? Anarcho-syndicalism? Anarcho-primitivism? Anarcho-communism? Anarcha-feminism? Gee wilikers, there sure are a buttload of reasons to get rid of the state, huh? Apparently, getting rid of the state will lead to a completely free, environmentally sustainable, feminist, worker-controlled, capitalistic, tribal (yet advanced), communistic land that will organize itself quite nicely. After all, what good does the state ever do? It taxes you (murderously rapes you with a gun to your head), enforces property rights (rapes and steals from you with a gun to your head), enforces a system of capitalistic exploitation (forces you into slavery with a gun to your head), and forces business owners to work within a specific market frame (steals, rapes, and exploits them with a gun to their head).
My take on the question of discrimination law: Genuinely private and voluntary associations (i.e. those with no connection to the state) should be allowed to discriminate against anyone they wish for any reason they wish. However, government agencies (funded by the taxpayers), private cartels allied with the state (crony capitalists) and ostensibly private institutions that receive the majority of the their funding and business from the state (welfare enterprises) should not be allowed to arbitrarily discriminate against racial, religious, or sexual minorities.
By David E. Berstein
Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, a Republican with libertarian leanings, recently questioned the provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans discrimination in restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. Bloggers and editorialists responded with a deluge of negative, and often unfair or inaccurate, commentary about the libertarian position on antidiscrimination laws.
The most serious charge has been that libertarian skepticism of antidiscrimination laws that apply to private entities reflects, at best, insensitivity to race discrimination. One blogger, reflecting a significant swath of progressive sentiment, argued that no matter how committed to racial egalitarianism any individual libertarian claims to be, “Libertarianism is a racist philosophy. Libertarians are racists.”
This is a rather odd criticism. For both philosophical and utilitarian reasons, libertarians are presumptively strongly opposed to any government regulation of the private sector. It naturally follows that libertarians presumptively oppose restrictions on private sector discrimination. It’s hardly an indication of racial animus, or even insensitivity, for libertarians to enunciate the exact same position on antidiscrimination laws that they take in all other contexts.
The progressive libel of libertarians as racial troglodytes for their consistent defense of private-sector autonomy is ironic, given that similar illogic has so frequently been used against modern liberals. When liberals defended Communists’ free speech and employment rights in the 1950s, their critics accused them of being Communist sympathizers, if not outright Communists. More recently, progressives have been accused of being American-hating jihadist sympathizers when they stood up for the rights of terrorism suspects. Critics have even charged civil libertarians with abetting racism for opposing hate speech laws.
In the last couple of years, I have noticed that just as the anti-drug hysteria of past decades has started to wane and the War on Drugs is becoming more unpopular, a corresponding and comparable hysteria over “sex trafficking” has emerged to take its place and repression of sex workers is on the rise. This is entirely predictable. As the perceived credibility of one enemy is diminished, the state must find other enemies to crusade against and legitimize itself.
As H.L. Mencken said, “he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Like the War on Drugs and Prohibition before, the repression of sex workers is being perpetrated by both Left and Right, whether Joe Arpaio’s fascist police state in Phoenix or the totalitarian humanist empire of the European Union.
Project Rose is Arresting Sex Workers in Arizona to Save Their Souls
Nordic Model of Prostitution is Approved by European Parliament