The New Reaction
by Rachel Haywire
Arktos Media, 66 pages
Available for purchase from Amazon here
Reviewed by Keith Preston
Rachel Haywire’s The New Reaction is a collection of fifteen relatively short writings offering amusingly iconoclastic bits of cultural criticism from the perspective of someone with a well-developed taste for pushing the limits.
With an interesting forward by Mark Dyal, this book is not a work of political philosophy, although it could reasonably be classified as a work of political psychology. Rachel Haywire is principally concerned with questions that involve perception, specifically, how people perceive themselves and others in relation to their social circumstances. Her principal aim is to dispossess of their own self-image conformist fools who fancy themselves smart and enlightened while pursuing political and cultural fads.
A great deal of much deserved bile is directed towards the politically correct “progressives” who have achieved the remarkable feat of engaging in mindless conformity, while considering themselves to be some kind of avante-garde elite. Indeed, this is the central theme that runs through most of the book. More…
No word has done more to spark both disgust and delight than the word “revolution.” For libertarians, this is no exception. Oftentimes, the word conjures up memories of storming the Bastille, the Jacobin Terror, the firing squads and gulags of the Soviet Union, the anti-Western Third World revolutionary movements, and other pejorative images. For many libertarians, revolutionaries are statists who want to switch to a new way of screwing Peter to pay Paul. For them, revolutionaries are ineffective at fostering change for the better and are stupid demagogues whom any sane person ought to hate. Likewise, advocates of revolution are seen as agent provocateurs sent out to destroy the liberty movement and catch unsuspecting listeners into the web of the state’s fiery wrath. To them, it is almost axiomatic that revolutionary change will always make things worse than what they were before such change occurred, and considering the historical examples one can pick of how revolutionary change failed to bring about lasting change for liberty, it would be natural for them to blanch at my clarion call for a revolutionary movement. More…
Delivered by Professor Denis McManus (Head of Philosophy, Head of Research)
Anarchism has taken many different forms over the centuries but this talk will look at one way in which modern anarchists can be seen as falling into two broad camps: individualistic and communal anarchists. While sharing some views about what is wrong with the state, these different camps base their alternative visions of life without a state on different conceptions of human flourishing. They also have different resources available to them when it comes to trying to meet the objections that come their way. For example, what are we going to do about that ‘anti-social’ individual who doesn’t want to play by our anarchist ‘rules’ …?
This fits with The American Conservative‘s description Obama as a Nixon Republican.
By Paul R. Pillar
President Obama is what might be called a “closet realist” who often pounds his fists upon the table while shaking hands under the table. He has to pull off this trick because of America’s ugly partisan realities, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Edward Luce in the Financial Times has a take on Barack Obama’s foreign policy that is accurate and should be evident to all. But given the state of foreign policy discourse within American politics, perhaps it is not surprising that it falls to a longtime foreign observer of American policy and politics to make this particular observation.
Luce states that as Mr. Obama’s presidency “matures,” he “is showing qualities one would normally associate with Henry Kissinger—the arch-realist of U.S. diplomacy.” Luce points to Obama’s handling of relations with both Iran and Cuba as evidence that he “is grasping the essence of diplomacy — when adversaries come to terms, neither achieves everything they want,” and that he realizes that “the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.”
In this edition of the BoilingFrogsPost.com Roundtable, James Corbett, Sibel Edmonds and Peter B. Collins welcome Andrew Gavin Marshall for a discussion of his recent podcast on “Anarchy, Socialism and Free Markets.” We talk about anarchism as a philosophy and what it really entails, as well as how it links to socialism, libertarianism and other political philosophies. We also delve into some of the questions and critiques that many raise to the idea of anarchism.
This is an interesting critique of the neo-reactionary movement by social scientist Scott Alexander, who also postulates the emergence of a libertarian “Grey Tribe” as a third force beyond the “conservative” Red Tribe and the “liberal” Blue Tribe. Alexander is very much in the progressive camp, although not in a rigid or doctrinaire way. For example, he criticizes the excesses of the”social justice” milieu.
While my own views are often polar opposite of those of the neo-reactionaries, I frequently find their no-holds-barred criticism the Left, liberalism, and mainstream conservatism contains interesting and sometimes important insights.
By Scott Alexander
Slate Star Codex
Neoreaction is a political ideology supporting a return to traditional ideas of government and society, especially traditional monarchy and an ethno-nationalist state. It sees itself opposed to modern ideas like democracy, human rights, multiculturalism, and secularism. I tried to give a more complete summary of its beliefs in Reactionary Philosophy In An Enormous, Planet Sized Nutshell.
An interesting new work by Carson.
By Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society
Center for a Stateless Society Paper No. 19 (Winter 2015) [PDF]
The Cult of Mass, Lionization of Protest Culture & Other Industrial Age Holdovers
Protest Culture. The so-called “cargo cults” of New Guinea, Micronesia and Melanesia evolved in response to the influx of American manufactured goods during World War II. Native islanders identified the goods – at least in the received version of the story – not with any material process of production in the countries it came from, but with the proliferation of air bases and air fields in their own countries. The cargo cults, accordingly, operated on the principle of sympathetic magic to stimulate the further delivery of Western manufactured goods by building airplanes and air control centers out of woven bamboo.
Richard Feynman later applied this phenomenon, by analogy, to what he called “cargo cult science.” Cargo cult science equates “science” to incidental features of science like test tubes and lab coats, with no understanding of what constitutes real science: the experimental method.
More generally, a “cargo cult” in any field of human endeavor is an attempt to generate a social phenomenon by replicating all the incidents and stage props commonly identified with it in the public mind.
There’s a danger, in a period of upheavals like the Arab Spring, Occupy, M15, Syntagma, and subsequent networked movements, of our being led astray by a revolutionary cargo cult. The danger is that we will identify “revolution” with incidental things like demonstrations, barricades, slogans and posters.
And we’ll never ditch foreign intervention as long as we have this government.
By Justin Raimondo
Why should advocates of limited government support a non-interventionist foreign policy?
This web site was founded some 20 years ago by libertarians perplexed and disturbed at the sight of ever-expanding government power over every aspect of our lives. Why, when government expansion has been proved again and again to be detrimental to society, has its growth continued and even escalated? Indeed, I asked this question in the first sentence of my 1991 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [second edition 2008]: “After a decade in power,” I wrote, as the Reagan era ended, “why has the conservative movement failed to make a dent in the growth of big government?” The revered Reagan, whose sacred memory is ritually invoked by Republicans – even by libertarians such as Sen. Rand Paul – actually increased the size and scope of the federal government, and expenditures went through the roof. There was little consolation to be found in the fact that the rate of increase merely slowed.
Another “ally” that needs to go.
By Justin Raimondo
While the Israel lobby is blanketing the US media with propaganda to the effect that Iran cannot be trusted to adhere to the terms of any agreement limiting its nuclear research and development, back in Tel Aviv Bibi and his government know better. Ha’aretz has the story:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a recent meeting of the security cabinet that if a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers is indeed signed by the June 30 deadline, the greatest concern is that Tehran will fully implement it without violations, two senior Israeli officials said.”
The problem for the Israelis isn’t that the Iranians can’t be trusted to keep the agreement. Quite the opposite:
“According to the two senior officials, Netanyahu said during the meeting that he feared that the ‘Iranians will keep to every letter in the agreement if indeed one is signed at the end of June.’
“One official said: ‘Netanyahu said at the meeting that it would be impossible to catch the Iranians cheating simply because they will not break the agreement.’”
Hey, wait a minute – so what about the much touted Second Holocaust that’s supposed to happen if our Secret Muslim of a President succeeds in getting the agreement past a hostile Congress? What about all the kvetching and gnashing of teeth over the “existential threat” supposedly looming over Israel?
It’s time the US gave these Bronze Age douchebags the toss.
By Justin Raimondo
Let’s get this straight: Saudi Arabia is Al Qaeda. If there was any doubt about that, the Kingdom’s invasion of Yemen makes it plain as day.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
“A brazen territorial grab by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen – together with a $1-million bank heist, a prison break and capture of a military base – has given the terrorist group fundraising and recruitment tools that suggest it is following the brutal path blazed by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which was long forced into the shadows by US drone strikes and commando raids, has taken advantage of the growing chaos in Yemen’s multi-sided war to carve out a potential haven that counter-terrorism experts say could help it launch terrorist attacks.”
The Times piece confirms that the Saudis, who have never lifted a finger to strike at Al Qaeda, are now enabling their mutant offspring to seize and hold territory:
While approximately 70% of the world’s nations have abolished the death penalty, the “freest nation on earth” and “symbol of democracy” remains one of the world’s leading executioner states along with China, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, North Korea, Cuba, Indonesia, the oil fiefdoms of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, the Sudan, the Congo, Uganda, and other humanitarian paradises.
Death Penalty Information Center
In other words, the largest corporations basically have the same amount of power as the world’s 200 or so individual nation-states. So saith that great commie magazine, Forbes.
Three systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have taken a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide and analyzed all 43,060 transnational corporations and share ownerships linking them. They built a model of who owns what and what their revenues are and mapped the whole edifice of economic power.
They discovered that global corporate control has a distinct bow-tie shape, with a dominant core of 147 firms radiating out from the middle. Each of these 147 own interlocking stakes of one another and together they control 40% of the wealth in the network. A total of 737 control 80% of it all. The top 20 are at the bottom of the post. This is, say the paper’s authors, the first map of the structure of global corporate control.
Realistically speaking, is this not a more apt description of “actually existing capitalism” than the idyllic Randian kind pushed by the “vulgar libertarians”?
“A “choice” between:
> Scumbags R’ Us
> Criminals Incorporated
> The Devil Himself Ltd.
> Worldwide Sociopathic Enterprises, LLC.
> Evil Scum Industries
> Ted Bundy’s Spawn Corporation”
“Libertarians argue that if you are a consumer and some business is screwing you via their product, you can simply vote with your wallet and take your business to a more consumer-friendly business. If enough consumers are angry at consumer-hostile businesses in some industry, consumer-friendly businesses will spring up to lasso all of that demand. Consumers will flock to the consumer-friendly businesses and abandon the consumer-hostile ones.”
“Problem is it doesn’t happen. Instead you get whole industries where all of the businesses, or maybe 95% of them, are fraudulent ripoffs run by the scum of the Earth. Where are you supposed to go? In many industries, it seems that the worst, most consumer-hostile businesses drive out the better, more consumer-friendly ones, presumably because the more you rip off and screw the consumer, the more money you make. And this doesn’t work in industries where every business is run by a crook.”
By Robert Lindsay
I am not saying that all corporations are evil. Personally I think there are many good businesses in the US and elsewhere. But you end up with the diabolical list above when you refuse to regulate an industry. Look at the Internet. Totally unregulated. A very large % of for-pay Internet sites are apparently run by criminals. I have never seen so many criminal businesses as I have seen on the Internet. Obviously there is nothing inherent about the Net that causes criminals to flock to it to run their ugly enterprises. So many Net businesses are evil because the Net is totally unregulated. The % of raw, naked fraudulent businesses on the Net would blow you away.
Contrary to the claims of this vulgar libertarian piece, yes, they do.
This article is a reminder of why libertarians need a better to economics than Ayn Rand’s recycling of Social Darwinism.
“A key claim of the partisans of this view–who originally called themselves Progressives–is that large corporations not only dominate capitalist society economically, essentially abolishing market competition, but also dominate the political system. So most, if not all legislation, serves the wealthy corporate interests. Karl Marx may have originated this argument, but to this day, shorn of its Marxist metaphysics, it is the majority perspective among the intellectual and political classes in America. Even many conservatives, and a few libertarians, adhere to this perspective.”
In other words, corporate dominance of the state is recognized by all serious political scientists and economists, except those who are Randian lunatics.
“Since about 1980, however, the ideological and political grip of statism has begun to loosen. Statist policies of regulation and income redistribution have visibly failed. Slowly, some of the statist fetters have been lifted from the economy, allowing entrepreneurship and economic growth to continue.”
The author of that piece fails to point out that “since about 1980″ has been precisely the time that the US had degenerated into a Third World plutocracy and semi-fascist police state.
By James Rolph Edwards
Foundation for Economic Education
Since the mid-eighteenth century the development of market-based societies in America and elsewhere, with constitutional protections of property and freedom, has had startling effects. Well over 90 percent of the improvement in the material living standards of ordinary persons that has occurred in the 6,000 years of recorded human history has occurred in that last 250 years and in those nations. Mean life expectancy in the United States rose from 35 years in 1800 to 50 in 1900, and around 76 in 2000. Famine in such nations disappeared and many diseases were conquered. All this resulted from replacing the caste and status relationships of medieval society with contract relationships between mutually consenting adults, while restricting the power of government to enforcing contracts, providing national defense, preventing crime, and a few other basic functions.
By Mark Lutter
Foundation for Economic Education
The 20th century was an era defined by the clash of ideologies. Fascism. Communism. Democracy. As adherents mobilized armies, the implicit assumption was that to be correct was to be universalized — by force if necessary. My ideology is the best, they thought, and we are so sure of it that we are willing to impose it on everyone.
Luckily, we’re moving away from such ideological crusades. By the end of the twentieth century, it seemed social-democratic liberalism had won, but history has not ended.
Instead of ideological battles, the 21st century will be defined by political decentralization. Rather than enforcing a single political model as ideal for all of humanity, people will instead choose from a sort of political menu. Political decisions will be made on a more localized level, encouraging experimentation and innovation.
The economist Albert Hirschman differentiated between “voice” and “exit.” In any given system or organization, voice is essentially about expression: protesting, voting, speaking out, or otherwise raising your concerns and hoping the organization responds to them. Exit is about leaving the system to join — or maybe even to create — a new one.
By Christoph Reuter
An Iraqi officer planned Islamic State’s takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. They portray an organization that, while seemingly driven by religious fanaticism, is actually coldly calculating.
Aloof. Polite. Cajoling. Extremely attentive. Restrained. Dishonest. Inscrutable. Malicious. The rebels from northern Syria, remembering encounters with him months later, recall completely different facets of the man. But they agree on one thing: “We never knew exactly who we were sitting across from.”
The Big Think Editors
Don’t get Slavoj Žižek wrong. The famous philosopher, featured on Big Think last week in an interview about political correctness, doesn’t find fault in being polite or respecting people who are different. He does not advocate for hate. He agrees a state of political correctness is better than open racism or discrimination.
That said, Žižek decries political correctness for two main reasons. First, that it’s entirely and transparently fake, an artificial cover enforced by totalitarian social pressures. Second, that political correctness manifests itself as a form of behavior control rather than a collective effort to remedy the problems it ostensibly seeks to address. Racial and social harmony cannot sprout from this sort of situation. In fact, Žižek argues that political correctness gets in the way of mutual understanding.
Is a split emerging among the Anglo-American-Zionist-Wahabist axis between the Atlanticist wing and the Israeli-Saudi wing?
By Pat Buchanan
At the Summit of the Americas where he met with Raul Castro, the 83-year-old younger brother of Fidel, President Obama provided an insight into where he is taking us, and why:
“The United States will not be imprisoned by the past—we’re looking to the future. I’m not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.”
Obama was not yet born when Fidel rolled into Havana, Jan. 1, 1959. He was 1 year old during the missile crisis. His mother belonged to a 1960s generation that welcomed the Cuban Revolution. His father came from an African generation that won independence from the European empires.
Churchill’s bust may have resided in the Oval Office of George Bush. Obama sent it back to the British Embassy. His hero is Nelson Mandela, who overthrew centuries of white rule in South Africa.
Obama is as rooted in the Third World as in the West, and his goal is to sweep out the clutter of a Cold War that “has been over a long time.”
He lifted sanctions on Burma, is recognizing Castro’s Cuba, and hopes to seal a nuclear deal with Iran and normalize relations.
“Obama is in that tradition of ruthless American pragmatism.”
Uninhibited by old friendships, untethered to old allies, Barack Obama is grounding his Middle East policy on what he sees as the new realities.
And the policy shifts he is making are unlikely to be reversed, for the discarding of old friends in altered circumstances is an American tradition.
By Jesse Rosenfeld
The Daily Beast
The U.S. relationship is informal amid a tangled roster of Kurdish warriors, but the PKK troops are too good to ignore.
MATARA, Iraq — On the volatile front lines facing the so-called Islamic State outside the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, American military personnel have been coordinating with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), according to a local commander from the left-wing guerrilla group that is still on the U.S. State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Ageed Kalary commands a unit of about 30 PKK fighters positioned some 500 meters from the front. He claims that he has met with U.S. military personnel accompanying commanders from Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government, whose soldiers are known as the Peshmerga, and which has strong, open American support. The last direct encounter, he said, was in December. But the coordination does not have to be face to face.
“The Americans tell us what they need and share information but there is no formal agreement,” he says about the U.S. military’s interaction with a group that earned its “terrorist” label for the tactics it employed in its 29-year armed struggle against Turkish rule.
Robert Stark interviews The Truth Will Live
The Truth Will Live is a Blonde Jewish, Neoreactionary, Iconoclast, Youtuber from the Midwest.
The Torah Talk Show she co-host with Luke Ford that relates modern day issues to Jewish Religious Texts
How she grew up in the Conservative Denomination of Judaism
Her interest in converting to Orthodox Judaism and the aspects that appeal to her and the aspects that don’t
Whether she should create her own religion
How she went from an Atheist Feminist Liberal to a Reactionary
How her exposure to censorship and intellectual and moral hypocrisy caused her to adandon the left
How her views on Race and Gender Changed
The concept of an in-group vs. out-group identity and whether there should be a balance
Her interest in Neoreactionary and Dark Enlightenment Politics and how those movement’s attract creative types and former leftist who do not fit into the stereotypical conservative mold
Caity and Dan welcome MK Lords to the show. We begin by chatting about Tumblr (and how scary it can be) and the crazy feminists that Caity and MK found there, feminism, anarcha-feminists, Emma Goldman, prostitution, South Park, female quotas and how to get women in the military so they can kill people with drones too!
We talk about ‘white guilt’ and the nonsense of why people should have to bear the sins of their ancestors. MK tells us what ‘micro aggressions’ and ‘man spreading’ are and putting women’s rights in the west in context in regards to some other countries.
Caity tells us about her time working with women in Sri Lanka, how the media tells us of what they have “done for women” in countries like Afghanistan but women’s rights in other places such as Saudi Arabia are ignored. Dan can’t help himself and brings in strong women characters in old European folk and fairy tales and theories of matriarchal society in ancient Egypt and what matriarchal societies may have existed.
…The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.
—The quote is credited to Ecclesiastes, but the words do not occur there. It can be seen as an addition, a paraphrase and an endorsement of Ecclesiastes’ condemnation of the pursuit of wisdom as folly and a ‘chasing after wind’—see for example Ecclesiastes 1.16.(taken from Simulacra and simulation, by Jean Baudrillard)
Simulacrum : A simulation that takes the place of something that is supposed to be real.
Hyper Real : The reality that the simulacrum has now become.
American psycho, both the book and the movie were extremely controversial for the time periods in which they came out. Both times, it was for the gratuitous amount of violence displayed primarily against women, with rampant sexism included. The book of course is far more brutal and describes in detail Patrick’s affinity for rape and murder, while the movie, hampered by American standards on obscenity can only go so far. Both however are effective at displaying the character’s fight to both be accepted in the liberal-capitalist elite order, and his violent lashing out at society for making him forced to do so. More…