Where Keith Preston Falls Short: A Critique from the Right 31

What follows is a letter I received from a reader, Mr. Todd Lewis. I believe this to be the most accurate yet thorough critique of my own work issued to date. It is certainly the most thorough critique I have received from the Right, and makes an excellent counterpart to Matthew Lyons’ critique from the Left which was issued a couple years ago. While the Lyons critique was quite good,  I believe Mr. Lewis has surpassed Lyons is his level of comprehension of my own ideas and level of penetrating analysis. I take my hat off to him.

Mr. Preston,

I have kept track of your work for a couple of years, and while I respect certain aspects of your work, which I will list, I have found a certain level of hypocrisy and irrationality in your work. You spend a fair amount of your time criticizing the contradictions and hypocrisy of the so-called Neo-Conservatives and Socialist Democrats and their so-called political disputes, when both are really just state socialists; one wanting socialism for corporations and the other socialism for special interest groups. Such criticism is justified and valid. However I see a similar hypocrisy and inconsistency in some of your work.

Before I voice my grievances, I would like to state what I find valuable in your work. Firstly, you are not politically ‘superstitious’, you are not scared off by white nationalists, Nazis, anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-communists, theocrats, traditional societies (such as Aztec, near eastern, Polynesian etc.) and gang culture; you see what each has to offer and take what you like and ignore what you consider invalid; walking the tightrope between ideological dogma of anarcho-capitalism and libertarian-socialism is one few manage; your podcasts interview interesting people representing ‘underground’ alternatives to the present political paradigm.

Having mentioned the strengths I find in your work, I will now voice my grievances. These grievances revolve around two issues 1) your hypocrisy in terms of social criticism and 2) apparent duplicity in terms of pitching ‘big tent’ anarchism or as you put it, anarcho-populism.

In your essay Beyond Conservatism: Reclaiming the Radical Roots of Libertarianism you state that Hoppe’s implementation of a social order identical to the ‘Old Order’ or Ancient Regime, would betray the essence of libertarianism. You argue that Libertarianism was predicated on the destruction of that order. I tend to agree with your assessment or I should rather say Rothbard’s and Russell Kirk’s, that libertarianism and conservatism are incompatible, but your basic arguments against the ‘Old Order’ are hypocritical. You say:

“Whether one likes it or not, ethnic minorities, feminists, gays, environmentalists, immigrants, and other groups of this type are here to stay. Indeed, demographic patterns indicate that ethnic minorities will collectively outnumber whites by the middle of the twenty-first century.”

 

and Ralph Raico’s response to Ernest Van den Haag:

“If he does not, then he has immediately violated the principle of community-right in some very obvious cases, and he has exposed himself as a mere babbler. If he does defend these institutions, then what decent person would want to have anything to do with such a pervert?”

 

In various articles and podcasts you appeal to the relativity of ethics in different cultures. Some cultures practice female circumcision, others cannibalism and yet others monogamy. I don’t remember exactly which podcast you said this in, it was either “For a Libertarian Legal Revolution” or “Rising Above Culture War Psychology” that monogamous marriage is not ‘traditional’ marriage, traditional marriage is polygamy.  Similarly you state that monogamy is not necessarily ‘normative’ given that many different nations practice polygamy, polyandry and bigamy, etc.

You say, “Conservatives your tradition is dying out or maybe evolving, you need to evolve with it.” The problem is that your arguments are pedantic and weak. The very same objections could be raised against you.  As far as rejecting association with Grand Inquisitors and “What decent person would want to have anything to do with such a pervert?”, in regards to your tacit support of abortion (your support is tacit since you see no need to repeal Roe v. Wade) I could just as well say “What decent person would want to have anything to do with such a pervert?” I mean who, wants to work with someone who supports the killing of babies? Your appeal to the current existence of alternative lifestyles as “here to stay” is irrelevant; why do you support anarchism? You might as well get used to Totalitarian Humanism, since it is here to stay. Demographically these alternative lifestyle advocates you are supporting will ensure the survival of the Totalitarian Humanist state, since they vote in favor of it in massive numbers. If you reject conservatives with such flippant hand-waving, then why cannot a Totalitarian Humanist do the same with regard to your project of anarchy? Your argument is essentially fallacious since you are left undefended from a similar charge.

Given that you vociferously argue the incompatibility of conservatism with libertarianism, why do you work and collaborate with conservatives as your article “Why I Choose to Collaborate with Racialists and Theocrats” indicates? In one breath you claim that conservatism is incompatible with libertarianism and then in the next say that in a libertarian society would include Satanist theocracies, Aryan nation enclaves, Black Panther communities and echo Giovanni Baldelli’s praise of traditionalist societies in their resistance to totalitarianism. You just said that theocrats and conservatives cannot be reconciled to libertarianism in Reclaiming the Radical Roots of Libertarianism.

Your rhetorical cheap-shots such as this: “Some of them may defensively adopt the hyper-theocratic outlook of far-out crackpots like the late Rousas John Rushdooney, but very few conservative Christians think they will ever achieve a Saudi-like theocracy for themselves in the United States.” These statements are not an argument, but an expression of an opinion. Why is Rushdoony a crack-pot for advocating theocracy, but you are not, despite tolerating if not advocating abortion, prostitution, drug use etc.? Your standard of judgment is faulty. It seems you are just riding the wave of Totalitarian Humanism as it pertains to social values. You are more liberal than a conservative, but less extreme than say Code Pink or NAMBLA. Yet if conservatism is rendered obsolete by homosexuals and feminists ‘being here to stay’, your principle of anarchy is just as much obsolete since Totalitarian Humanism is here to stay. If you argue that we need to overthrow totalitarianism, but we don’t need to overthrow say Feminism, then why not? What makes you think your anarchism is not just as much obsolete as the conservative’s monogamy? You have no logical reason to exempt yourself from the same obsolescence you accuse the conservatives of. The elevation of your position to such a privileged status is neither warranted nor explained.

You seem to wonder why one should get so worked up over sexual preferences. The reason is obvious: sexual perverts are enemies of freedom. They are incapable of being free and are pawns of tyrants. Aldous Huxley said as much in his forward to Brave New World: “As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.”[1] The so-called freedom of sexual expression is one of the links that forms the chain of tyranny.

John Adams echoes this view: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[2]

When was the last time you saw a free, prosperous, dare I say liberal society that was dominated by prostitutes, pimps, transvestites, homosexuals, pedophiles, drug addicts and gangs? Furthermore these ‘alternative lifestyles’ are not the product of natural social evolution.  These alternative lifestyles are to culture what big business and big labor are to government. Modern homosexual, feminist and the drug culture are as much a product of big government as Wal-Mart and Microsoft. Without welfare subsidies these ‘alternative lifestyles’ would not exist in the numbers they do now. In fact Timothy Leary, the Drug culture Guru, stated this:

“If you look back, many things that we thought were coincidences turned out not to have been accidents. The entire LSD movement itself was sponsored originally by the CIA to who I give great credit. I would not be here today if it were not for the foresight and prestige of the CIA psychologists. So give the CIA credit for being a true intelligence agency.” [3]

 

We see here Huxley’s vision of Soma being implemented through Leary and the CIA. The notion of enslaving people to their passions i.e., drugs, alcohol, sex and one’s pleasures has a very long history. We see in the writings of Herodotus that King Croesus of Lydia actually advocating specific measures for Cyrus to enslave the Lydians:

 

“But pardon the Lydians, and give them this command so that they not revolt or pose a danger to you; send and forbid them to possess weapons of war, and order them to wear tunics under their cloaks and knee-boots on their feet, and to teach their sons lyre-playing and song and dance and shop keeping. And quickly O King, you shall see them become women instead of men, so that you need not fear them, that they might revolt.”[4]

 

We see Croesus arguing that lyre-playing dancing and song will make the people weak and unable to resist the Persians, i.e., enslaving them to foolish and destructive passions. This episode of history serves as a key stone to Etienne Boetie’s warning in Politics of Obedience where he reports, if not entirely accurately the same spirit of Croesus’ advice:

 

This method tyrants use of stultifying their subjects cannot be more clearly observed than in what Cyrus did with the Lydians after he had taken Sardis, their chief city, and had at his mercy the captured Croesus, their fabulously rich king. When news was brought to him that the people of Sardis had rebelled, it would have been easy for him to reduce them by force; but being unwilling either to sack such a fine city or to maintain an army there to police it, he thought of an unusual expedient for reducing it. He established in it brothels, taverns, and public games, and issued the proclamation that the inhabitants were to enjoy them. He found this type of garrison so effective that he never again had to draw the sword against the Lydians. These wretched people enjoyed themselves inventing all kinds of games, so that the Latins have derived the word from them, and what we call pastimes they call ludi, as if they meant to say Lydi. Not all tyrants have manifested so clearly their intention to effeminize their victims; but in fact, what the aforementioned despot publicly proclaimed and put into effect, most of the others have pursued secretly as an end. It is indeed the nature of the populace, whose density is always greater in the cities, to be suspicious toward one who has their welfare at heart, and gullible toward one who fools them. Do not imagine that there is any bird more easily caught by decoy, nor any fish sooner fixed on the hook by wormy bait, than are all these poor fools neatly

tricked into servitude by the slightest feather passed, so to speak, before their mouths. Truly it is a marvelous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy. Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.”[5]

 

In concluding this particular subject of vice and servitude I recommend reading E. Michael Jones’ Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation & Political Control, which to my mind is the most extensive and detailed investigation of the reasons for and methods of using sexual deviancy to render one’s subject’s effeminate and unable to resist tyranny. Jone’s key point is that if one cannot control one’s self than a social vacuum is created which is filled, by intent, by the self-same prophets of ‘sexual freedom’ to control us for ‘our own good’.

If you reject Wal-Mart and Microsoft as government cronies, then you should reject Homosexuality and Feminism as government cronies used to put us to sleep and to kiss our chains.

In Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire you state in footnote 63 “From Mencken, we understand that no totems should be spared attack.” I laughed when I read this. Whenever someone says they embrace skepticism and enjoy eating sacred cow burgers (i.e., Mark Twain), such people are in fact the most dogmatic of the bunch.

Do you criticize your totems of anarchism, secularism, liberalism etc? No. Of course not. You only criticize and doubt the positions of your opponents and never your own. This is the height of intellectual sloth. As I always say: no skeptic is skeptical of his own beliefs, only those of others. Why do you not critically evaluate your anarchism and secularism to the same degree you scrutinize religion and statism?

Furthermore, your endorsement of Nietzsche and Stirner is quite disturbing. If we are going to speak of perverts why do you endorse these two perverts who advocated murder, theft and rape as normatively ethical? I mean if you endorse Nietzsche and Stirner by what right do you criticize Rushdoony, who is tame in comparison?

Marx Stiner in The Ego and His Own states:
“I am entitled to murder if I myself do not forbid it to myself, if I myself do not
fear murder as a “wrong.” … There is no right outside me. If it is right for me,
it is right. Possibly this may not suffice to make it right for the rest; that is
their care, not mine: let them defend themselves. And if for the whole world
something were not right, but it were right for me, that is, I wanted it, then I
would ask nothing about the whole world. So every one does who knows how to value
himself, every one in the degree that he is an egoist; for might goes before right,
and that–with perfect right.” pg 247

“The conflict over the “right of property” wavers in vehement commotion. The
Communists affirm that “the earth belongs rightfully to him who tills it, and its
products to those who bring them out.” I think it belongs to him who knows how to
take it, or who does not let it be taken from him, does not let himself be deprived
of it. If he appropriates it, then not only the earth, but the right to it too,
belongs to him.” The Ego and His Own, ed. James J. Martin (New York: Libertarian
Book Club, 1963), pg 249

 

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states this about Stirner’s thought: “In a world in which “we owe each other nothing” (263), it seems that acts of infanticide, incest, and murder, might all turn out to be justified.”[6]

Nietzsche wrote this:
“To speak of right and wrong per se makes no sense at all. No act of violence, rape,
exploitation, destruction, is intrinsically “unjust,” since life itself is violent,
rapacious, exploitative, and destructive and cannot be conceived as otherwise.”[7]

Holy cruelty. — A man who held a newborn child in his
hands approached a holy man. “What shall I do with this
child?” he asked; “it is wretched, misshapen, and does not have
life enough to die.” “Kill it!” shouted the holy man with a
terrible voice; “and then hold it in your arms for three days
and three nights to create a memory for yourself: never again
will you beget a child this way when it is not time for you to
beget.” — When the man had heard this, he walked away,
disappointed, and many people reproached the holy man because
he had counseled cruelty; for he had counseled the man to
kill the child. “But is it not cruder to let it live?” asked the
holy man.[8]

The biblical prohibition “Thou shalt not kill” is a piece of naïveté compared with the seriousness of Life’s own “Thou shalt not” issued to decadence: “Thou shalt not procreate!”—Life itself recognizes no solidarity, no “equal right,” between the healthy and the degenerate parts of an organism. . . . Sympathy for the decadents, equal rights for the ill-constituted—that would be the profoundest immorality, that would be anti-nature itself as morality![9]

 

The inquisition gives you pause, but this does not? And you think Ernest Van den Haag would be a pervert if he endorsed the inquisition?

In conclusion, I believe you are mature enough to accept such harsh criticism which is why I wrote you in the first place. I do appreciate your perspectives on the modern warfare-welfare state, but found your relativism and uncritical acceptance of your own totems, and quick dismissal of those whom you disagree with as being disingenuous and quite off-putting. I’m just sick and tired of people criticizing what they know nothing about. As Rothbard said: “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a “dismal science, but it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” I would appreciate the same from you in regards to philosophy and religion.

 

PS the citations of Max Stirner and Frederick Nietzsche are found here:

The Ego and His Own: http://books.google.com/books?id=T4SN0M7YSqMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ego+and+his+own&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NbfAUP-aHKnY2A
XzioGADA&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=entitled%20to%20murder&f=false

 

The Birth of Tragedy & The Genealogy of Morals, Issue 677
http://books.google.com/books?id=4Q8lWXlzpdgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=birth+of+tragedy+and+the+genealogy+of+morals&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C6G_ULinHsXErQHBsIHoCQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=birth%20of%20tragedy%20and%20the%20genealogy%20of%20morals&f=false

 

The Gay Science
http://books.google.com/books?id=trakSLk9qt0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+gay+science&hl=en&sa=X&ei=k5n0UL68J7CUigKo0IDYBQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=cruel%20live&f=false
The Will to Power
http://books.google.com/books?id=Magi-iz7kIQC&pg=PA389&dq=will+to+power+%22thou+shalt+not+kill%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mJv0UNLYIrDmiwKo_YCgCw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=will%20to%20power%20%22thou%20shalt%20not%20kill%22&f=false

 

Sincerely,

Todd Lewis

 

 


[2] Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6. There are some differences in the version that appeared in The Works of John Adams (Boston, 1854), vol. 9, pp. 228-9, most notably the words “or gallantry” instead of “and licentiousness”.

[3] Timothy Leary interview, High Times, Feb. 1978 or Revolution From Above: Manufacturing ‘dissent’ in the New World Order, by Kerry Bolton pg 129.

[4] Herodotus of Halicarnassus: The  Histories (An account of great and marvelous deeds through the 1920 translation of A.D. Godly. 155 pg 66  This PDF can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histories_%28Herodotus%29

 

[5] Politics of Obedience pg 64-65 (Though modern historians tend to believe the conection of Ludi to Lydian is inaccurate, it was widely believe to be true throught the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era. Whatever the origins of Ludi, Boetie accutatly describes the methods that the Persian and Roman Emperors used to enslave their subjects to vice to render them unable to revolt against them.

[7] The Birth of Tragedy & The Genealogy of Morals, Issue 677 pg 207

[8] The Gay Science, pg 57

[9] The Will to Power, 389 see also Will to Power pg 141-142, 391-393, Zarathustra pg 183-186, Twilight of the Idols pg 536-538; Genealogy of Morals 120-125.

31 comments

  1. It’s true, conservatives should have a place in the anarchist milieu but conservatism shouldn’t dominate it. Mainstream conservatives often seem to forget that vice has always existed, even in the “best times” so cherished for you. The thing is that, while virtue is something to be upheld, its counterpart shouldn’t be persecuted. I know the “slavery” argument for forbiding drugs but, by that rule, religion should be destroyed because religion, as some people say, concocts people’s liberty. And conservatives complain everytime about “Big Government” and “nanny state” but that same nanny state is in the War on Drugs. You dislike marijuana, gangbanging or dark masses? Perfect. Some people like it and they have all the right to wrong themselves and destroy their lives if they freely decid that. That’s all anarchism is about: Total liberty for liberals, conservatives, communists, nazis and other kinds of people to be themselves and do whatever they please without attacking other people. Trying to transform anarchism in something right-wing or left-wing just screws the wole thing and we have seen it previously.

    • The only (but big) problem I find with that policy recommendation is that usually, the decadentists are like the Shakers: they only reproduce by turning healthy sane people against their families and their own best interests.

      Drug consumption is not exactly healthy nor puts you in the track to success and happiness. Gang lifestyle is not exactly productive, either. Secularized liberal urbanites don’t even reach the fertility substitution level… you see the picture.

      How do they “reproduce”? By their cultural mastery: their overrepresentation in the media, the entertainment industry, the arts, the academia, the political elite.

      They reproduce by turning rightists’ children, brethren and tribe against themselves and their people.

      From the point of view of those rightists, it’s the worst kind of agression.

      That’s why they see that as an agression, because, well, they’re right. It’s an agression against their kin. It’s important that they don’t see individuals as *discrete* atoms, but as related partially-autonomous living beings. They feel the relatedness. They feel personally attacked. And from the point of view of evolutionary biology, they’re pretty much right. They’re being attacked in their ultimate interests.

      This question is one of the most important things that pan-seccesionists have to take into account and address if they want their political template to be acceptable for the cultural underdogs, that is, the Rights, in plural.

  2. I would like to reply to Mr. Lewis’ critique with a defense of Preston by addressing several points in Mr. Lewis’ letter.

    1) Lewis writes: “Demographically these alternative lifestyle advocates you are supporting will ensure the survival of the Totalitarian Humanist state, since they vote in favor of it in massive numbers.”

    Indeed, Preston has addressed the trends here on a number or occasions. But there’s also immense oppression occurring against various “alternative lifestyle advocates.” And Preston sees potential in reaching out to victims of victimless crimes andTotalitarian Humanism (TH): prostitutes; smokers; firearms owners; gangs; etc.–the marginalized, the misfits and social deviants who have committed no crime against another person except that of pursuing their own happiness and pleasure in their own way. The fact that Mr. Lewis may find these other lifestyles “offensive” reminds me of the “progressives” who would whole-heartedly agree with him. Preston argues for tolerance and, thus, egalitarianism in a manner with for more authenticity than your average “egalitarian liberal” would or, it seems, the dying WASP conservatives of Mr. Lewis’ kind would either.

    2) Lewis writes: “Given that you vociferously argue the incompatibility of conservatism with libertarianism, why do you work and collaborate with conservatives as your article ‘Why I Choose to Collaborate with Racialists and Theocrats’ indicates?”

    The American “Right,” in contrast to the American “Left,” is splintered and divided across a vast array of various political/religious spectrums and world-views. And Preston argues, in total consistency with the above point, that a program for pan-anarchism would serve itself well by reaching out to everyone. From the Black Panthers to militia movements to evangelical anti-gay schools to local dive bars–there are many, many, many groups and people out there who would simply like the state to leave them the hell alone. Do they all agree on everything? No. But they don’t have to. We pan-anarchists don’t have to agree with Mr. Lewis’ authoritarian inclinations to repress social and sexual freedom. But we open our hands out to him if he’s interested in helping us undermine, subvert, resist and overthrow the Leviathan American Empire. Then he can create his own space or community of like-minded authoritarians who would like to prohibit people from having sex outside of marriage and what-have-you.

    3) Lewis writes: “John Adams echoes this view: ‘Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.'”…”When was the last time you saw a free, prosperous, dare I say liberal society that was dominated by prostitutes, pimps, transvestites, homosexuals, pedophiles, drug addicts and gangs?”

    John Adams also signed “the land of the free’s” first authoritarian bill into law with the “Alien and Sedition Act.” As a the “Founding Father” of American thought-crimes, he was kind of an asshole. Don’t ya think? I suggest Mr. Lewis consider reading “A Renegade History of the United States,” by a Left-libertarian author named Thaddeus Russell. Just as Martin Luther sparked the first flame for religious freedom by flipping his middle finger to the religious authorities of his day, the “degenerates” whom Lewis denounces do more for social freedom than Lewis would ever admit or acknowledge. And they do so by breaking the law and refusing to recant for their lifestyles, as did Martin Luther. But I imagine that had Mr. Lewis lived among Luther and his associates, he would have denounced him as a heretic and satanist who should be burnt at the stake–to save his own soul, of course.

    4) Mr. Lewis writes: “If you reject Wal-Mart and Microsoft as government cronies, then you should reject Homosexuality and Feminism as government cronies used to put us to sleep and to kiss our chains.”

    Now which wave of Feminism would Mr. Lewis be referring to here? In consideration of the fact that many 2nd Wave Feminist would denounce pornography, strip-clubs and prostitution as exploitive and offensive, Mr. Lewis may want to consider that perhaps he has more in common with them than he’s willing to admit. Like contemporary TH Left-wingers who embrace Rousseau’s dictum that some people must be “forced to be free,” Lewis implies the same principle regarding sexual freedom. Homos? Their sexual freedom is a threat to my freedom! he suggests. Sure thing. Just as TH-Leftists claim that “your rights end where my nose begins!” to justify intolerant, anti-egalitarian smoking bans. Again, Mr. Lewis might have more in common with TH-Leftists than he is willing to admit.

    5) Mr. Lewis writes: “Do you criticize your totems of anarchism, secularism, liberalism etc? No. Of course not. You only criticize and doubt the positions of your opponents and never your own. This is the height of intellectual sloth.”

    Nonsense. Preston has consistently criticized the various anarchist and libertarian movements for their failures to achieve any substantive revolutionary progress. That’s why I found Attack the System so interesting in the first place when I began to read and follow it a year ago. The fact that he published Mr. Lewis’ letter is proof in itself of Preston’s openness to dialogue, debate and self-criticism.

    In conclusion, I suggest to Mr. Lewis that he should try for a more substantive critique of Preston, and then consider the authoritarian implications of his own world-view and its similarities to TH-Leftism. Lastly, I think we anarchists should thank him for having an open mind. And ask for his helping hand in our struggle against the Empire.

  3. “Preston argues for tolerance and, thus, egalitarianism in a manner with for more authenticity than your average “egalitarian liberal” would or, it seems, the dying WASP conservatives of Mr. Lewis’ kind would either.”

    You have wholly missed my critique. If you oppose government subsidized business than you should oppose government subsidized lifestyles as well. This is an internal consistency problem.

    “And Preston argues, in total consistency with the above point, that a program for pan-anarchism would serve itself well by reaching out to everyone.”

    The problem is that Mr. Preston has claimed that 1) conservatism is incompatible with libertarianism and its triumph culturally would lead to the defeat of libertarianism and then 2) he claims that libertarians can collaborate with conservatives. These two statements are incommensurable

    “We pan-anarchists don’t have to agree with Mr. Lewis’ authoritarian inclinations to repress social and sexual freedom.”

    Yet pan-anarchist’s endorse the mass murder of children via abortion, who is the authoritarian one?

    The question is not whether I or anyone else would suppress sexual or social freedom. The point I am making is an empirical one. Political and economic freedom are inversely proportional to sexual freedom, did you even read Huxley? If you want to maintain political and economic freedom you need to maintain sexual circumspection. These are the breaks like them or not.

    “John Adams also signed “the land of the free’s” first authoritarian bill into law with the “Alien and Sedition Act.” As a the “Founding Father” of American thought-crimes, he was kind of an asshole.”

    That is the fallacy of a red herring and ad hominem. The truth of Adam’s statement is not rendered false by his hypocrisy. If Stalin said the sky is blue today, would you say it is green? The truth or falsity of a belief is not dependent on the integrity or internal consistency of the individual, but on logic of the argument or its conformity toward the observable world or to axiomatic truths.

    “But I imagine that had Mr. Lewis lived among Luther and his associates, he would have denounced him as a heretic and satanist who should be burnt at the stake–to save his own soul, of course.”

    What is this blather? I might as well say if you pan-anarchist took over you kill us conservatives of like you did in the Mexico under Zapata, in the Ukraine under Nestor Mahkno and in Spain as under the CNT. This kind of comment is intellectually senseless and morally bankrupt. I would have Daniel can carry on a rational debate without resorting to ad hominem hypotheticals.

    “Now which wave of Feminism would Mr. Lewis be referring to here? In consideration of the fact that many 2nd Wave Feminist would denounce pornography, strip-clubs and prostitution as exploitive and offensive, Mr. Lewis may want to consider that perhaps he has more in common with them than he’s willing to admit.”

    Again you are not actually reading what I said. Modern feminism was heavily subsidized by the government Gloria Steinem even worked for the CIA at one time. Whether or not this or that brand of feminism advocated this or that vice is irrelevant. The relevant point is that feminism in all its state subsidized forms if 1) the social counterpart to Wal-Mart and 2) advocates activities that enslave use to our own passions rendering us important to resist tyranny.

    “Nonsense. Preston has consistently criticized the various anarchist and libertarian movements for their failures to achieve any substantive revolutionary progress.”

    Again you did not read what I wrote. I am not talking about Mr. Preston criticizing other anarchists, but criticizing his ‘own commitment’ to anarchism; which to my knowledge he has not done.

    “The fact that he published Mr. Lewis’ letter is proof in itself of Preston’s openness to dialogue, debate and self-criticism.”

    I seriously don’t know what you are trying to say it is like you are criticizing a shadow ‘Mr. Lewis’ it seems like your entire response was an excursus on the straw-man fallacy.

    In conclusion, I suggest to Daniel that he should try for a more substantive critique of my work, and then consider the authoritarian implications of his own world-view and its similarities to TH-Leftism. He should also read a little philosophy so he will not commit so many fallacious arguments. Also I ask Daniel to keep an open mind and remind him that the struggle against tyranny cannot be separated from the struggle against they tyrannical passions that beset us all. If you cannot control your self than you will be unable live freely.

  4. I read this feeling a bit vindicated in my criticisms of Keith’s third reply to Lyons. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything Lewis is saying; just that it’s nice to see that somebody else recognizes the arbitrarily chosen essentials of the anarcho-pluralist meta-ethic. Sometimes it’s hard to see Keith arguing for his pluralism in a functional rather than normative manner–for what it’s worth, the podcast lectures have been much better about this than past writings in my opinion.

    But surely there is some normative root to Keith’s prescriptions: minimize power concentrations. At least it can be articulated succinctly, unlike cultural conservativism. One might need to take it as a sacred cow of sorts that only in an absence of domination and coercion can true values arise that are worth forming around, worth conserving, worth appealing to as a totem (which I have no problem with in and of itself).

    While I find the point about using deviant behavior as a pacification scheme fascinating (I want to look into this more) I will point out that Lewis made no argument for why conservatives consider certain practices deviant and certain other ones healthy. I have no doubt that he could answer that question, and I have no doubt that I would be very skeptical of his answer. There’s evidence that other societies have thrived while accepting homosexuality or equal female participation (Greece and Sumer, respectively) but perhaps in those societies monogamy might be used to pacify people. So granting the correctness of his point about the pro-sovereignity characteristics of conservative values, he still has to answer the question of what exactly is being conserved?

    This is where a meta-ethic can be useful. The meta-ethic prescribes that all should conserve those places where they find value and segregate where they differ on this. Not only does this pluralism promote a wide variety of “experiments” in where values can be found and conserved, but it makes sure that those in those societies really believe in and adhere to them. Surely values lead to sovereign and independent cultures, but strongly held values even more so!

    With respect to his criticisms of Stirner and Nietzsche, these fall on rather deaf ears for my part. Whether or not these individuals advocated murder, rape, etc. is neither here nor there. Theirs were not philosophies of murder and rape but of boiling conventions down to their root essences. Anybody interested in a meta-ethic for distributed power and agency on the planet will need to wrestle with the questions those two wrestled with, though they might do it less flamboyantly and mockingly.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Keith.

  5. “I will point out that Lewis made no argument for why conservatives consider certain practices deviant and certain other ones healthy. I have no doubt that he could answer that question, and I have no doubt that I would be very skeptical of his answer.”

    You are correct in that I provided no account for deviant and non-deviant behavior, but I did not think that was the time or place for such matters. As to skepticism of any potential answer I might give the problem resides in this, if one follows philosophical skepticism at what point can someone ever stop being skeptical of any particular belief? I am saying that if you practice skepticism than you cannot stop being skeptical of even your own beliefs and by definition no possible argument could be made to persuade the skeptic since he could always appeal to the uncertainty of human knowledge and say even if such and such a belief appears to be 99% true, that means there is still a 1% chance it is not and I will rest in the that 1%. I know I have talked to such people. If skepticism is used as one’s epistemological foundation then there is no logical reason to ever stop being skeptical, which means there is no logical reason to claim you have found anything to be true. Are you as skeptical of your won totemic assumptions as you would be of my answers to your queries? If skepticism is true, then all truth is equally false and/or equally true or more accurately equally unknowable. It’s a rollercoaster ride you cannot get off.

    “With respect to his criticisms of Stirner and Nietzsche, these fall on rather deaf ears for my part. Whether or not these individuals advocated murder, rape, etc. is neither here nor there. Theirs were not philosophies of murder and rape but of boiling conventions down to their root essences.”

    Actually this is not true; their philosophies were about such abominable acts. During the 19th century a group of men founded a movement called Illegalism. Illegalism was based on the notion that criminality should be the moral foundation of egoism and such work was based on the writings of Max Stirner. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegalism

    We need only see the appropriates on Nietzsche work by the Nazi’s to see a world ‘beyond good and evil’ or for that matter Lenin and Stalin’s as well. We see Nietzsche as prophet of Dostoyevsky’s dictum: “Without God all things are permitted.” Is it just a coincidence that the age of Nietzsche, Darwin and Marx was the bloodiest in human history with over 100 million dead and cultural flowering of Europe from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century was the age of Christian civilization?

    Whether or not a person or group of persons advocates murder, rape and theft is very relevant. Look at Soviet Russia and Communist China; does the fact that Marx advocated murdering the bourgeoisie not matter, given what his followers did? I might not have proven them to be false, but I was not intending to prove them false, but only that if one endorses or derives philosophical sustenance from such men and criticism of the inquisition is muted.

    “those two wrestled with, though they might do it less flamboyantly and mockingly.”

    I might say the same for the whole sale rejection of Europe’s religious tradition from Augustine to Dostoyevsky? I mean if you want you totems to be respected why do pan-anarchists ridicule Hoppe and Rushdoony rather than soberly grappling with their work? I see a double standard here and feel no need to cease my Menckenesque critique of pan-anarchism’s sacred totems if they refuse to treat other people’s totems as they wish their totems to be treated. Furthermore men that advocate murder, rape and theft as normatively ethical do not deserve sober reflection.

  6. As I’ve said elsewhere, Lewis seems to equate cultural liberalism with totalitarian humanism, so his criticism is undermined to the degree he indulges that mistake. His calls to oppose “alternative lifestyles” come across as thinly-veiled conservative special pleading.

    As for his criticisms of Nietzsche and Stirner, he seems to have trouble grasping the amoralist perspective re: ethics. To advocate rape and murder as “normatively ethical” actually defeats the point behind their philosophies. Just as atheism is not devil worship, amoralism is not a moralism of “evil”.

    • Culturefags and moralfags are imbeciles unworthy of serious consideration, really. Right-O’s are starting to piss me off more than Leftards because of their neurotic obsession with cultural atavism and ideological bullshit.

  7. “As I’ve said elsewhere, Lewis seems to equate cultural liberalism with totalitarian humanism, so his criticism is undermined to the degree he indulges that mistake. His calls to oppose “alternative lifestyles” come across as thinly-veiled conservative special pleading.”

    I could just as well say that to the extent pan-anarchists believe that conservatism is equivalent to any degree with TH they indulge in a mistake.

    Cultural liberalism and totalitarian humanism do share the same ethical basis. Both believe any form of non-monogamous sexuality is good or at least is not evil. They just differ on the application of laws relating to such acts. The left does not oppose prostitution because it is ‘immoral’, but because women are selling themselves and hence being ‘exploited’. They want their whores for free.

    The modern 60s revolution was led by men like Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson. Both Leary and Wilson were open followers of Alistair Crowley’s dictum “Do what though wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Kinsey’s research on the Sexuality of the Human male was funded by the Rockefellers and Margaret Sanger’s family planning educational works were supported by the WASP Social Darwinist elite in order to eliminate the inferior races through negative eugenics. The intent was to destroy or enslave. Read HG Well’s “The New World Order”; Bertrand Russell’s The Scientific Outlook, The Impact of Science on Society, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Julian Huxely’s UNESCO. ITS PURPOSE. AND ITS PHILOSOPHY they all out line the rise of a technocratic tyranny and the means by which it will subject its people.

    The kind of vulgar glorification of the ugly that many anarchists support is not a political movement, but nihilism lived out.

    The pan-anarchist criticism of Hoppe and my own work is just a thinly-veiled liberal special pleading.

    History shows use the vice and tyranny are natural bedfellows. Plato, Aristotle, the Greek and Roman intellectual tradition, the Christian tradition and even many Deists and late nineteenth century social Darwinists (Lothrop Stoddard) all opposed this moral degeneracy. When has man ever lived with a modicum of political and economic freedom living as pigs? Whether you think such behavior is moral or not, is immaterial such behavior is not compatible with economic and political freedom Thadeuss Russell even partially admits to his in his interview with Speaking on Liberty see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGQdFGk279o

    He claimed that if everyone live according to Pirates, Prostitues and Drug pushers society a living hell. Or in his own words“But let me make one thing absolutely clear. This booko does not advocate a renegade revolution. Were the heroes of this book to take control of society, it would be a living hell. No one would be safe on the streets, chaos would reign, and the garbage would never be collected.” Yup that is compatible with a robust society of freedom, tolerance and peace. Even Russell doesn’t want to live under such a nightmare, but peddles these social parasites as heroes anyhow. I define social parasite any one person or persons who gradually destroy the ability of society to function at any level and whose triumph would cause society to grind to halt.

    In “A Renegade History of the United States” Thaddeus Russell even states that the freed slaves under the Slave Narrative project longed for the old slave days so they would not have to work.

    “Particularly interesting in this regard is Russell’s chapter on slavery. It is centered around his report that “a majority of [the 2,300] ex-slaves who offered an evaluation of slavery [to interviewers from the Federal Writers' Project in the mid-1930s] — field hands and house slaves, men and women — had a positive view of the institution, and many unabashedly wished to return to their slave days.””

    http://mises.org/daily/5040/

    Yeah that kind of proves my point. Thaddeus Russell is advocating a kind of freedom that is totally compatible with chattel slavery and would turn society into a living hell, his words not mine.

    Even Jack Donovan to some extent gets how perverts are the allies of tyrants see:

    http://alternativeright.com/blog/2013/6/26/gay-marriage-what-the-fuck-ever

    and

    http://altright-archive.net/main/blogs/district-of-corruption/who-will-control-the-guns%3f/

    Jack even says this:

    “Americans today are distracted by superficial ideas about what freedom means. To many, “freedom” means legalizing marijuana and same-sex marriage. None of those “freedoms” threaten the police state.
    By all means—our handlers must snicker—get stoned and marry your gay boyfriend if that makes you feel “free.” Just don’t stand up to our ever-expanding and intrusive authority, or threaten our financial interests. Give us your guns, and never say ENOUGH in any way that matters.
    It’s for the best, you see. We don’t want you to hurt yourselves, or each other.”
    And yes I know Jack is a homosexual I did not say he was perfect.

    The problem with pan-anarchism is that if everything is relative any criticism of my work is just as irrelevant and unfounded as any perceived irrelevance of my criticism of your works.

    “As for his criticisms of Nietzsche and Stirner, he seems to have trouble grasping the amoralist perspective re: ethics. To advocate rape and murder as “normatively ethical” actually defeats the point/i> behind their philosophies. Just as atheism is not devil worship, amoralism is not a moralism of “evil”.”

    Then their works are incoherent. Every worldview has some system of normative ethics, even if it is normatively randomized behavior. A philosophy with non-normative ethics is an impossible myth as is a philosophy of complete ‘objectivity’ as modern scientism would have us believe.

    Marquise de Sade considered rape to be normatively ethical:

    Rape: “The transgressions we are considering in this second class of man’s duties toward
    his fellows include actions.. prostitution, incest, rape and sodomy. Philosophy of the Bedroom Pg 104 see: “easywaytowrite.com/philosophy_in_the_bedroom.pdf”

    What MRDA seems to fail to understand is that moral and intellectual nihilism leaves one with the inability to say anything of value. If nihilism is believed to be true than everything you and I say is meaningless and this conversation is a comedic farce.

    If atheism is not devil worship then explain this:

    Marx:

    “Heaven I would comprehend
    I would draw the world to me;
    Living, hating, I intend
    That my star shine brilliantly …”

    “… Worlds I would destroy forever,
    Since I can create no world;
    Since my call they notice never …”

    “Then I will be able to walk triumphantly,
    Like a god, through the ruins of their kingdom.
    Every word of mine is fire and action.
    My breast is equal to that of the Creator.”

    “I shall build my throne high overhead
    Cold, tremendous shall its summit be.
    For its bulwark — superstitious dread
    For its marshal — blackest agony.”

    “See this sword?
    the prince of darkness
    Sold it to me.”

    “With Satan I have struck my deal,
    He chalks the signs, beats time for me
    I play the death march fast and free.”

    http://mises.org/daily/6179/

    Bakunin:

    “But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.”

    “God admitted that Satan was right; he recognized that the devil did not deceive Adam and Eve in promising them knowledge and liberty as a reward for the act of disobedience which he bad induced them to commit; for, immediately they had eaten of the forbidden fruit, God himself said (see Bible): “Behold, man is become as of the Gods, knowing both good and evil; prevent him, therefore, from eating of the fruit of eternal life, lest he become immortal like Ourselves.”

    http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/godstate/ch01.htm

    Proudhon:

    “The spirit of analysis, that untiring Satan who continually questions and denies, must sooner or later look for proof of religious dogmas.”

    http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/proudhon/philosophy/intro.htm

    Why does Proudhon stop and not reject his own Satanic, given that he appropriates Satan’s mantel, dogmas?

    “Proudhon, when not obsessed with metaphysical doctrine, was a revolutionary by instinct; he adored Satan and proclaimed Anarchy.”

    http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/various/mebio.htm

    I could mention more, but I think this suffices to make my point. At one time I did not believe that Marx, Bakunin and Proudhon ware Satanists, but such language is seems to ooze satanic piety. Or the fact that the Ishutin Society named its inner circle “Hell”. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Karakozov’

    You might say that Marx, Bakunin and Proudhon were just having their ‘fun’ joking around well when millions of people die that is not joke. It must be really funny to all those people who died under the influence of these ideologies?

    Lest we forget anarchists were more than capable of murdering innocents sometimes that is forgotten when compared with their Marxist big brothers; Emiliano Zapata in Mexico, Nestor Mahkno in the Ukraine and the CNT in Spain. They anarchists only killed less because they lacked the coercive power of the state.

    All of these men anarchist or not worshiped destruction; they could not and did not build anything. They only destroyed. Do you really think that going from Mozart to Madonnal; Or from Michelangelo to Picasso is progress?

  8. I’m with Weiland on this. The unique attribute of pan secessionism is that it allows me to be wrong in everything I believe about the nature of our societies’ problems and their causes and their solutions and yet still facilitate better responses to be enacted.

    Maybe homos, abortion and a lack of appreciation for baby Jesus really are causing us more grief than say the complete annihilation of the middle class by wal mart. But that’s kinda irrelevant since what we are aiming to do is allow everyone to try out their solution. From a conservative perspective then that works out pretty well because not only do they get their picket fence utopia but us; the pervs, the degenerates and assorted other scum, get what we deserve.

    That’s the whole point of the extreme and ridged agnosticism which leads pan secessionists to refuse to condemn any political belief what so ever, no matter how retarded or repulsive it might be, other than on the score that it refuses to allow the one liberty we demand for everyone. The freedom to be the architect of ones own misery or success.

    Our problem with “totalitarian humanism” isn’t the humanism, its the totalitarianism. Sure the whole belief system of progressives is shot through with self-contradictions, hypocrisy and misapprehensions, and is based on a historical narrative which is flat out wrong. However it is only the insistence of that orthodoxy that every single person on the planet should, and will inevitably, conform with its demands which causes us to call them out for the cocksuckers they are.

  9. “Maybe homos, abortion and a lack of appreciation for baby Jesus really are causing us more grief than say the complete annihilation of the middle class by wal mart. But that’s kinda irrelevant since what we are aiming to do is allow everyone to try out their solution. From a conservative perspective then that works out pretty well because not only do they get their picket fence utopia but us; the pervs, the degenerates and assorted other scum, get what we deserve.”

    I think I need to reorient this discuss back to the point I was originally trying to make. 1) if you oppose government subsidized business you by the same logical necessity need to oppose government subsidized lifestyles and 2) while I do believe such ‘abnormal’ behavior is aberrant, my intent was not to convince you that said behaviors are or are not aberrant only that such behaviors are incompatible with the libertarian social order of statelessness pan-anarchists seek to produce; if one endorses such behavior one forfeits his right to criticize conservatives or leftist, and 3) if you are relativist agnostics why do you have any moral outrage at anything? This is less a moral judgment, even if I couched it in moral terms, but a descriptive account of the history of human ethical and political action.

    I do agree that in a stateless society ‘abnormal’ society would quickly diminish without the government handouts of free to low cost condoms and health care people would have to take more responsibility for themselves. That is a point that Hoppe and I agree upon. I would prefer to denote my self as a follower of autarchy as defined by Robert Lefevre, as apposed to anarchism, for the much same reasons he does.

    “That’s the whole point of the extreme and ridged agnosticism which leads pan secessionists to refuse to condemn any political belief what so ever, no matter how retarded or repulsive it might be, other than on the score that it refuses to allow the one liberty we demand for everyone. The freedom to be the architect of ones own misery or success.”

    That spirit of agnosticism also prevents one from logically making any moral claims for what is good or bad. I mean why is anarchy good and Totalitarian Humanism bad? Why are you not agnostic of your own commitment to agnosticism or to pan-anarchism? I could just be agnostic and say lets keep TH since it ‘seems’ to be working and avoid the untested model of anarchy? If we are only atoms in the void that cease to exist when we die why the moral outrage against entrenched social privilege? The men in these privileged positions seem to be Nietzschian overmen who have conquered all before them. The people at the top of totalitarian states are the most selfish and narcissistic people imaginable collectivism is merely a mantra for these people.

    Mr. Preston writes this:

    “They don’t like to accept that human beings are basically just another kind of animal whose larger brains give them the capacity for reason, language, art, and science and when you die, that’s all, folk. They don’t like to accept that morals are simply subjective human creations and that even mass murder is wrong only because most people regard it as contrary to their own self-interest. They don’t like that existence is a series of random events in which the individual is responsible for and can control only his own actions.”

    http://attackthesystem.com/2011/07/03/a-reply-to-matthew-lyons-part-three-sheep-wolves-and-owls/#comment-6310

    If Christians and Leftists are seeking escapism in God or the State than I suggest pan-anarchists are seeking escapism in anarchism. I suggest that Mr. Preston is finding the same escapism in a Sorelian myth the millennial hope of an anarchist-stateless future. If we are only smarter animals living in a random world I fail to see how Totalitarianism is bad? Only by smuggling in meaning, in a world you admit is meaningless can you make such a moral judgment. The practice of denying something (objective moral values) in theory and assuming such values in practice (i.e., totalitarianism is bad and we should not commit mass murder) is what is call self-assumptive incoherency. You are assuming to be true what you deny to be true. All skeptics necessarily fall into this logical contradiction.

  10. Thanks for your generous reply, Mr. Lewis.

    If skepticism is used as one’s epistemological foundation then there is no logical reason to ever stop being skeptical, which means there is no logical reason to claim you have found anything to be true.

    I apologize if this comes across as a word game, but for me skepticism and belief are orthogonal, not opposite, concepts. I consider myself an agnostic, a skeptic about everything I possibly can be (though I understand I am grounded in an experience that is not totally of my making, both from a cultural construction perspective and one that acknowledges a transcendent intelligence at work in the world). I don’t believe in things because I’m certain they’re true.

    I believe in them in spite of my uncertainty about their ultimate truth–I believe Christians have a similar concept in faith. I believe because I want to believe, because I think my act of belief realizes something deeper and more subtle than I could ever be certain about, an almost aesthetic realization of my core being a I best understand it. So when I believe, I understand that what I’m doing is believing, not knowing. You believe because it’s absurd, and if it weren’t absurd then belief wouldn’t be the required activity.

    That doesn’t mean you mustn’t question your beliefs, examine their rational basis, and challenge yourself to explore the ways in which your belief is an imperfect representation of that in which you believe. It means that, as Preston once said, since all knowledge is tentative, you understand the role you play in it, so that you don’t allow it to be distorted out from under you, or to sweep you up in thinking that turns the essence of the belief around on you. That’s just my approach for what it’s worth.

    Are you as skeptical of your won totemic assumptions as you would be of my answers to your queries?

    Yes. But since I suspect “truth” is unknowable, this doesn’t bother me. I have strong faith in a universal, transcendent truth, but it’s nothing I can demonstrate to you, so why bother shoving it down your throat? The best I can do is pay attention to the small inner voice and see if it validates the truth or falsity of my beliefs and actions for one judge: myself. This is the flip side of the egoism you decry: that my actions are mine, that I own them in the deepest and most creative way possible, instead of outsourcing conscience to a set of alien mores passed down from who knows where.

    I admire illegalism not because murder and rape are illegal but because their wrongness is not a matter of law. That’s how I construe it (although I wrote an article arguing that property crime is a market mechanism, so take that for what it’s worth). I actually think Stirner’s position is thoroughly moral and conservative, since he demands that restraints on behavior come from within, not without. This is the essence of the totalitarian-fighting values you explained earlier that preserve sovereignty. A person who understands his morals are chosen as an expression of his highest self or his Creator will be far more virtuous than somebody who is moral only to avoid shame or sanction, IMHO. I actually think this is a very, very conservative strain of thought, and I’m working on an essay that argues for an anarchism based in this kind of inward-directed foundry of values. In fact, I’d really like to hear what you think about the point I made in my initial reply about how the libertarian meta-ethic is required to find and realize genuine values through human experience and not simply prop up extant cultural values via force.

    Whether or not a person or group of persons advocates murder, rape and theft is very relevant.

    I’m the first to denounce egoist excesses [not on moral grounds but on the grounds that an exaltation of the ego demands more analysis than just "what one wants"], but while I agree that it would be relevant, I disagree that it’s actually the case here. Murder, rape, and theft are examples of the license we have as human beings. They are not examples of duties we somehow have as egoists.

    I mean if you want you totems to be respected why do pan-anarchists ridicule Hoppe and Rushdoony rather than soberly grappling with their work?

    Well, I think Preston grapples very soberly with Hoppe. I’m not certain why you think otherwise. I for one have no problem with anybody adhering to those worldviews except to the extent they force them on me. Preston thrives on finding extreme examples to make points, and I think to the extent he lets any personal bias through it’s just unfortunate and perhaps unavoidable. I don’t think it’s intentional: substitute “Rushdooney” for whatever worldview you find extreme and objectionable, I say. It’s immaterial.

  11. Mr. Weiland,

    I must thank you as well for your charitable response.

    “I believe because I want to believe, because I think my act of belief realizes something deeper and more subtle than I could ever be certain about, an almost aesthetic realization of my core being a I best understand it. So when I believe, I understand that what I’m doing is believing, not knowing. You believe because it’s absurd, and if it weren’t absurd then belief wouldn’t be the required activity.”

    It appears to me that what you are advocating is a form of fideism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy endorses Plantinga’s definition of fideism: “Correspondingly, Plantinga writes, a fideist is someone who “urges reliance on faith rather than reason, in matters philosophical and religious” and who “may go on to disparage and denigrate reason””

    In your case read experience or desiring to be true.

    I believe your statement “You believe because it’s absurd, and if it weren’t absurd then belief wouldn’t be the required activity.” comes from what some have claimed the church father Tertullian stated: credo quia absurdum, but in reality he stated credible est quia ineptum est. Tertullian did not advocate Fideism see: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fideism/ 2.1

    The problem is that while some Christians do support their faith through fideism, something that became popular during the renaissance with the rediscovery of the Pyrrhonian skepticism. I don’t subscribe to this epistemology since it proves nothing leaves man without anything valuable to say. Epistemically I believe in three kinds of knowledge apriori synthetic, a priori analytic and a posteriori synthetic. Analytic truth is a statement whose predicate is contained in the subject example: All bachelors are unmarried males. Synthetic knowledge is not analytic or everything else. A priori knowledge is knowledge possessed prior to experience and a posteriori knowledge is gained after experience. I believe Chomsky’s work in linguistics, among other things, provides strong evidence for aprior knowledge. A posteriori knowledge is akin to scientific knowledge and a priori synthetic knowledge would be the parallel line postulate in geometry or the notion that 2 + 2 = 4. You seldom meet people who doubt mathematical or geometric truths. Kant showed us that ethical and moral truths are of the same epistemic nature as mathematical or geometric truths.

    I believe that knowledge is certain if it is a priori and experiential knowledge based on such a foundation has a very high probability of being true. I take my ques from Kant and his Critique of Practical Knowledge see the summary in SEP: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-religion/

    I don’t doubt the Cosmological or Teleological arguments for God’s existence which Kant seems to, but I believe his moral argument based on a priori axioms is sound and compatible with the aforementioned methods.

    I also accept the general proofs for God’s existence such as the Cosmological; Teleological; and Aquinas’ five arguments for God’s existence.

    So to say as sufficiently as possible I am not a fideist, but a rationalist in the tradition of Descartes, Leibniz, and Kant. All with reservations in some areas of course. I believe we differ fundamentally on knowing and believing as it pertains to truth.

    “I have strong faith in a universal, transcendent truth, but it’s nothing I can demonstrate to you, so why bother shoving it down your throat?”

    This is less a matter of ‘shoving ideas down peoples throats’ than find what sets of behavior are compatible with a economically and politically free society.

    “I actually think Stirner’s position is thoroughly moral and conservative, since he demands that restraints on behavior come from within, not without.”

    The problem I see here is that any purely man made ethical system will be arbitrary. I mean if we have three egoists in a room they might all be ‘internally’ directed to different incommensurable ends. Inner directness is all well in good, but the egoist has to decide what law to obey. If he just wills a law into existence it is of necessity arbitrary and subject to revision. Why should the egoist choose any, of the vast number, of possible behavior patterns man is capable of? What can he appeal to to adjudicate his conundrum. By what standard does he judge which behavior is acceptable and which is not? What every he chooses it will be arbitrary.

    “Well, I think Preston grapples very soberly with Hoppe.”

    If you read Why I Am Not a Cultural Conservative you see that Mr. Preston gets pretty flippant.

    “What is this? Anarcho-Stalinism?”

    “One can easily imagine comparable rhetoric spewing from the pages of PRAVDA circa 1938.”

    “A similar policy was advocated by the late George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. God knows no intelligent, virtuous or industrious person could ever originate from the mongrel hordes of Asia, Africa or Latin America. Hoppe insists that it is not enough to simply deny non-citizens access to entitlement programs or coverage under antidiscrimination laws for “(e)ven if no welfare-handouts were available to immigrants, this does not mean that they would actually have to work, since even life on and off the the public streets and parks…is comfortable as compared to “real” life in many other areas of the world.””

    Really I see a teleological drive toward a stateless society in anarchist work, but they overtly deny teleos and yet implicitly affirm it. If you deny man has a telos than there is no acceptable behavior you can rationalize yourself to perform it just does not exist. If there is not goal for man or no agreed upon set of shared values, force the only arbiter. As Stiner said “for might goes before right,
    and that–with perfect right.”

  12. Mr Lewis, you make some interesting points. Obviously I can’t speak for anyone other than myself but I would offer these thoughts in relation to the questions you pose.

    “1) if you oppose government subsidized business you by the same logical necessity need to oppose government subsidized lifestyles”

    Personally I don’t oppose government subsidies to business because I have some moral objection to the practice. Like all anarchists what I oppose is the element of compulsion here in that no-one has formally agreed to the state taking resources and reallocating them to X or Y. It is irrelevant whether that be some project obviously for the common good like providing a functional sewerage system or some obviously unjust and wasteful scheme such as building a gold plated palace for some favoured individual. I’m quite happy for communities to decide to subsidise businesses or place themselves under the rule of some-one who would do that, or enact any other measure what so ever so long as they do so by consent.

    In so far as I do oppose government subsidies to “big business” I do so merely because it is a method by which the elite use to state to cement their own power, or maybe visa versa, or both.

    If I somewhat more relaxed about the state and elites promotion its favoured groups and subcultures, then it is largely because I regard this as a less effective method of reinforcing the tactical and strategic advantages of the state and elite. If they want an Army full of queers and disabled women, then I can see a considerable silver lining. Personally I see this as evidence of my belief that the elites of the West are effectively senile, or some collective version of that condition. I would expect that the elite and state would attempt to “buy” the support of certain elements of society, by bestowing favours on them; all states do this. That some groups in our society have been happy to do a deal, as far as I’m concerned, is no reflection on those group’s value or essential qualities. All groups have been happy to make this trade at some time or some place and it seems to me that most of the groups complaining about it today in the West are complaining not that the practice is wrong, but that the wrong groups, i.e. not theirs, have been chosen.

    “2) while I do believe such ‘abnormal’ behavior is aberrant, my intent was not to convince you that said behaviors are or are not aberrant only that such behaviors are incompatible with the libertarian social order of statelessness pan-anarchists seek to produce; if one endorses such behavior one forfeits his right to criticize conservatives or leftist”

    IIRC your argument was that pussies are easier to control. I don’t think that is the case, my own culture is noted in the historical record as being exceptionally bellicose but for all its belligerence when pointed at the “enemy” it has failed to challenge it’s rulers, in the face of considerable provocation, in any serious way for three hundred and fifty years. There are many ways to control a population, but the most common and effective is simply to convince it that it needs to be controlled.

    What separates homos and drug fiends from conventional leftists and conservatives is that the former do not generally presume that they have the right to demand everyone conforms to their commands. Certainly they generally recognize that they definitely don’t have that ability. That’s why, as anarchists, we tend to be more down on authoritarian political movements than lifestyle choices.

    “3) if you are relativist agnostics why do you have any moral outrage at anything? This is less a moral judgment, even if I couched it in moral terms, but a descriptive account of the history of human ethical and political action.”

    Like I say I can’t speak for everyone in the ATS fraternity but if I would say that the most common motivation for the relativist agnosticism to be found here is simply pragmatic. Certainly I think that is Mr Preston’s primary justification. Which is to say that we generally recognize that the only viable, or at least the most viable, way of breaking the state is to form the widest possible coalition against it. And the most effective way to do that is to dump any superfluous BS which might alienate anyone.

    However for my own part, although I agree with that sentiment, there is an additional philosophic motivation. Since I come from a “right wing” tradition I tend to advocate “organic” systems. I refuse to take responsibility for the salvation of others, though I recognize them as my own people, from their own mistakes. I believe that the best way to optimize the condition of the nation (and therefore humanity as a whole) is to let nature take its course and discover what works and what doesn’t through experimentation and subjecting people to the consequences of their own actions and beliefs. That kind of morality translates as a political program which is identical to the one proposed by Mr Preston.

    “I mean why is anarchy good and Totalitarian Humanism bad? Why are you not agnostic of your own commitment to agnosticism or to pan-anarchism?”

    Simple, as I alluded to above. Pan anarchism is agnosticism given a practical political form. I do have my own beliefs above what would make a successful community, but I have no wish to impose them on others. I only ask they accord me the same right. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong; all I ask is that we find out and natural justice be done. You could argue that that is a moral argument, but as far as I can see it would be a tough one to refute.

  13. Interesting points S E Pearson.

    “What separates homos and drug fiends from conventional leftists and conservatives is that the former do not generally presume that they have the right to demand everyone conforms to their commands.”

    I don’t think that is entirely true. I mean most homosexuals expect me to pay for their condoms via taxes. Most druggies expect me to pay for the healthcare bills through taxes. Even Jack Donovan admits that most homosexuals are ‘faggots’.

    Let me give you an example if you have a homo and he is offered one of two choices 1) I offer you a vision of the future where the state is abolished, no one pays for your lifestyle choices and you have to take responsibility for yourself or 2) I am from the government vote for candidate X and you will get free condoms, free healthcare, free housing and guaranteed employment. Which option are most homos likely to take?

    “I’m quite happy for communities to decide to subsidise businesses or place themselves under the rule of some-one who would do that, or enact any other measure what so ever so long as they do so by consent.”

    This is a good point. I get exasperated by the anarcho-capitalists who always harp on the evils of subsidies qua ‘subsidies’ and then I think to my self what if a community voluntarily subsidizes some business? By an-cap standards that should be ok, since it is voluntary.

    “IIRC your argument was that pussies are easier to control. I don’t think that is the case, my own culture is noted in the historical record as being exceptionally bellicose but for all its belligerence when pointed at the “enemy” it has failed to challenge it’s rulers, in the face of considerable provocation, in any serious way for three hundred and fifty years.”

    My claim was not that ‘alternative lifestyle’ advocates were pussies, but that their vices make them easy to control. I mean gang bangers and the Spartans were not weak, but merely easily controlled. Sure many homos are weak and effeminate, but even the Butch Spartans were meek and mild before the Ephors and the council of elders (Gerousia). The Romans, who after all conquered the known world, were reduced to children via bread and circus. Even during the dying days of the Western Empire manly men fought the Teutonic barbarians and won.

    Either a man is internally controlled (i.e., self-controlled) or he is externally controlled. People who exhibit impulsive behavior and short-time preferences are not reliable allies in the struggle against tyranny. Men who are internally controlled conform more to the notions of the ideal self controlled man or rational man of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas and even John Adams. Men who seek pleasure pleonexia (as the Greeks called it) are outward controlled and easily manipulated. Tarquin did not fear effeminate men, but Brutus and his compatriots. I doubt Brutus was a man tyrannized by his passions. When was the last time effeminate, dissipated and washed out men revolted against a tyrant? This is not to say that men who have self-control will always resist or overthrow tyrants, but they are the only men who have done so. This is the fundament deficit in the modern understanding of freedom. One passions are just as tyrannical as a human despot and even more difficult to remove.

    • Where do you get your BS, Todd? I never ask the government for condoms…

      Anyways you’re being incongruent because dictatorships are rarely moral no matter what controls on behavior against the masses they have. You probably think Pinochet is a good model. I say you should look up Colonia Dignidad. As I see it, dictatorships will use torture and any sick act to assert their control on people. And anyways it’s also that in any dictatorship those who are higher up in the elite will more likely get away with depravity than the underclass, and I think you know this. Besides which I’ll just quote Jim Goad and say good intentions taste sweet, but are dangerous when mistaken for reality…

  14. The trouble as I see it, and as Mr. Lewis himself likely sees it, is that Anarchism as a “system,” so to speak, is burdened by philosophical contradictions that inherently limit its practicality or even realization for that matter. I would dive right in here, but it is worthy to make note of this monumental task – If I say that Anarchism is contradictory because it is a value system whose proponents claim to adhere to no value system (the Nihilists), there will surely arise a chorus of “Anarchists” who claim to hold values (such as An-Cap’s property rights and Non-Aggression Axiom). If I say that Anarchism is contradictory because it rejects physical subjugation but tacitly ignores economic subjugation (An-Caps), another chorus will surely arise who claim to oppose said economic subjugation (such as the Syndicalists). As Mr. Lewis has discerned by experience, it is hard to pin-down an “Anarchist” in a debate because no one really knows what an Anarchist is – scarcely can even two or more anarchists agree let alone the baffled masses to whom they attempt to proselytize. The idea of a pan-anarchist movement is an amusing notion, only because even if the said enemy, the “Empire,” were defeated tomorrow by a surprisingly resurgent anarchist movement, the Anarchists would find that the next battlefield would be under the feet of their own footsoldiers, and the enemy their former comrades.

  15. “Where do you get your BS, Todd?”

    Where do you get yours ljp711? Don’t you know most homos are Totalitarian humanists and most do what me to pay for their lifestyle.

    • Well I’m not ‘most homos’ Mr Lewis. Frankly I don’t see what you see. The only money I get now is for a disability. As far as I know I never asked the government for money to support my lifestyle, nor did anyone in the government offer me such a thing. Actually I lost interest in the gay scene in general anyhow. I don’t see how I’m otherwise depleting your wallet by simply existing, unless I do something stupid and catch AIDS, which hasn’t happened so far.

      I think the real story is you have some kind of psychotic picture of what ‘faggots’ do, when most of them these days do nothing but sit at the bar and have a cavalier attitude to each other…

      • I highly doubt that Mr. Lewis’ picture is at all “psychotic;” rather it is the natural product of witnessing the most numerous and vociferous members of your “disposition.” You have done nothing to debunk the totalitarian tendencies of your fellow homos by singling yourself out from among them. Who gives a crap if a handful of crack-heads live normal lives when most of them are parasites and garbage? No one really, and just because one homo in a thousand isn’t a humanist totalitarian (i.e. Jack Donovan), it scarcely proves that most homosexuals aren’t anything more than sexual deviants whose deviant lifestyle demands subsidization, since it can bear no fruit for its own survival.

        • Well if you’re gonna stoop to ad hominem stuff, I just know by experience many of you con-tards or WNs aren’t anything more than losers whose concern about their own race is secondary to just being violent.

          You don’t know a thing about me so I think you should stop your hate-projection and your broad assumptions of what I or any other ‘faggot’ must be like or must represent. Then again I really don’t give a shit and I’m gonna carry on my life regardless of what asshats like you think.

          • ljp711,
            I in no way projected anything about you as an individual, as you are free to defy what members of your disposition typically engage in. However, you have certainly hate-projected unfortunate labels against me. I merely defended Mr. Lewis’ assertion about a broader category of individuals expressing a common disposition. It’s pure sociology. But no one is saying that you have to behave in a particular way just because you share that disposition. You might not behave in that manner, but my experiences suggest to me that your numbers would be few. Degenerate tendencies, which manifest themselves in many forms of intemperance, are never conducive to the flourishing of any society – be it statist or anarchist. Rather than call me names (which I have afforded you the respect of not doing), perhaps you ought to consider more seriously the history upon which we base our claims.

            I sincerely apologize if I came across harshly initially and presently; I only wish to further the dialogue at hand and attempt to maintain civility.

            • Well alright although I’m rarely sorry for anything I post in general. What I’m saying is you may not like what I do for fun or may see it as degenerate, but then what do you have to say about the degeneracy and decadence that tyrannical governments secretly or brazenly commit on their own people in the name of exerting their power? Anything I purportedly do is probably less sick than whatever the police or military are ordered/obliged to do against people who don’t fall in line politically. Or that’s how I see it. And you really don’t have any business poking your nose at my private life, which you admit are sickened by anyways and I don’t know why you’d ever even want to take a look…

  16. Mr. Lewis,

    Thank you for your reply to my original comments. I agree that no one should be forced to pay for anyone else’s lifestyle choice.

    But why should I be forced to pay for the subjugation and repression of certain lifestyle choices? I’m not hot on utilitarianism, so I’m not interested in whether or not it costs more to throw “degenerates” in jail or to hospitalize them for the consequences of their lifestyle choices. Many “progressives” view smokers and firearms owners in the same light as WASP conservatives view gays and (illegal) narcotics-users. Leftists believe that smokers (of tobacco, but magically not marijuana) and firearms owners–and anyone else who disagrees with their “health and safety” worldview–are a threat to the “common good” and “general welfare” of society. I believe most progressives would have very little trouble with legislation that would enact full prohibition of these items (along with violent video games, motorcycles, fast food restaurants and anything else deemed “unsafe” by their standards). Their utilitarian reasoning is usually stated as “Why should I have to pay for their lifestyle choices!?!” Really, it’s just an excuse and rationalization for repression and intolerance of things, cultures and people they don’t like.

    But here’s my question: if I’m paying for the state repression of various lifestyles–whether they be effeminate or masculine–does that not, in itself, expand state power?

    The “Right” and the “Left” have consistency problems here regarding tolerance and freedom, which is why I’ve always been a libertarian. I culturally come from the Right, and my own biases will probably always lean that way.

    But I’ve never identified myself as “conservative” specifically for the sort of arguments you make above. If we want to expand freedom and tolerance (and thus, authentic equality) in the world, the answer is not through more repression. Repression of sexuality or effeminate men or whatever will do nothing but expand state power, and I’m not sure why I should be forced to pay for the cost of imprisoning sexual “deviants” or other “degenerates” who, say, sell firearms on the black market where they are prohibited or (god forbid!) smoke a cigarette in a bar.

    Why should I be forced to pay for the lifestyle, education and healthcare of people who serve or served in the military to fight unjust wars that I, personally, support in no way whatsoever?

    Why should I be forced to pay for the cushy pensions of strong, masculine pigs who enforce myriad laws that I absolutely support in no way whatsoever?

    Or for the lifestyles of the NSA bureaucrats who spy upon the American people? Or the IRS? Or prison wardens and other staff workers who take employment through the state incarceration business? (A very large business indeed in the “land of the free”.)

    I suppose if you’re going to make the argument that effeminate men and gays and homos and “degenerates” like Oscar Wilde (or whatever) are a threat to freedom because they’re too weak and can’t control themselves, I would counter that state oppression of these evil, filthy weaklings does nothing but swell the growth of the nation-state into one throbbing hard-on whose sole purpose is to beat down the pussies of the world with nothing less than brute force and violence. (Put simply: rape, en masse, is the general policy and political program of most modern nation-states.)

    Really, who’s the greater threat to society? The homos and dopers? Or the the vast numbers of police employed by the state? To the “progressives” I would ask, Are smokers and “drunk” drivers as dangerous to society as a massive, imperial surveillance state? Both sides seem to hesitate. Both seem to waver when the answer, to us libertarians and anarchists, is quite obvious. Unfortunately, both sides usually agree that “deviance” (however they define it) is a more pressing concern than the overwhelming authoritarian powers of the state itself.

    And, yes, I’ve read plenty of Huxley. I love him. Brave New World inspired my early libertarian leanings when I was 16. And I’ve read the essay you mentioned that denounces sexual freedom. So, you know, he wasn’t perfect. Here he was simply wrong. I agree instead with Thaddeus Russell (and Thomas Paine) that bad, unjust laws or social norms which violate or repress the rights and creativity of human beings should simply be ignored or broken. Edward Snowden understands the importance of Russell’s point. As did Rosa Parks. I tend to believe that, unfortunately, it flies over the heads of most contemporary “progressives” and conservatives.

    (Oh, I know my writing here is somewhat flippant. That’s not directed at you. Again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern about these ideas. I just write like a contentious ass in general.)

  17. Daniel,
    You ask a lot of “Why”s in your comment. But what kind of answer does “Why?” demand? To ask “Why?” is to demand a justification, and justifications are always and everywhere normative statements. But from where do the Anarchists derive their normative claims? The Nihilists, who believe that normative claims are but shadows and dust? The An-Caps, who either adhere to praxeology or natural right theory? The An-Coms, who cleve to the labor theory of value? In order to answer your question of “Why?” it would seem fair to understand from which normative foundations you are drawing – because it is readily apparent that not all anarchists beneath the pan-anarchist umbrella are suited to agree. If there is no normative basis, as the Nihilists within this community assert, the question is easily reformed to “How?” And that is an easy question to answer indeed – How are you forced to pay for another person’s lifestyle, such as those in the military-industrial complex? Because, they can make you. Whether or not State power is inherently evil is squarely contingent upon the normative basis for the claim.

  18. 1. I don’t think that is entirely true. I mean most homosexuals expect me to pay for their condoms via taxes. Most druggies expect me to pay for the healthcare bills through taxes. Even Jack Donovan admits that most homosexuals are ‘faggots’.
    Let me give you an example if you have a homo and he is offered one of two choices 1) I offer you a vision of the future where the state is abolished, no one pays for your lifestyle choices and you have to take responsibility for yourself or 2) I am from the government vote for candidate X and you will get free condoms, free healthcare, free housing and guaranteed employment. Which option are most homos likely to take?

    Well yeah, but the provision of a few rubbers hardly put’s homosexuals in the big league of groups being bought off by the state. I would hazard an educated guess that the USA’s Federal Government gives more to religious groups than it does queers, mainly Christian ones. As far as I know the US State does not provide preferential free housing, health care and guaranteed employment for homosexuals. Sure it is the tool used by the elite to bring about an environment in which homos can do better than they otherwise might expect, but is only one aspect of that process. The cultural methods used to “normalise” and indeed favour homosexuals is far more significant that the actual “hard power” used to achieve the same.

    The problem here is that the choice you present is not specific to homosexuals, it is the same choice every group in society is asked and all of them go for option 2. In my society it’s the middle class of state employees who are easily the biggest beneficiaries of the states largesse.

    “ “I’m quite happy for communities to decide to subsidise businesses or place themselves under the rule of some-one who would do that, or enact any other measure what so ever so long as they do so by consent.”
    This is a good point. I get exasperated by the anarcho-capitalists who always harp on the evils of subsidies qua ‘subsidies’ and then I think to my self what if a community voluntarily subsidizes some business? By an-cap standards that should be ok, since it is voluntary.”
    Well this is exactly our point here at ATS. Most “anarchists” demand freedom and liberty for all but only within certain limits. These limitations vary from group to group but almost all of them have them. Moreover these people when faced with a choice between their impositions on the rest of society being exceeded or having them maintained by a state would go for the latter and have no qualms about it. Noam C has admitted this himself.

    “My claim was not that ‘alternative lifestyle’ advocates were pussies, but that their vices make them easy to control. I mean gang bangers and the Spartans were not weak, but merely easily controlled. Sure many homos are weak and effeminate, but even the Butch Spartans were meek and mild before the Ephors and the council of elders (Gerousia). The Romans, who after all conquered the known world, were reduced to children via bread and circus. Even during the dying days of the Western Empire manly men fought the Teutonic barbarians and won.”

    With regard to the last point, errrrr, no they didn’t; hence the fall of the Empire. And as the the Spartans. Well the cold hard fact is that ultimately they lost out to the “effeminate” Athenians. And all of them were homos, at least to some degree. Which kinda undermines your assumption do you not think?

    We are assuming that some kind of macho culture is the best way to defeat the elite. Well, is it? Even if we accept the “camp” subculture among homos as representative of all of them, which is ludicrous since we all know that the kind of queer we might encounter in a fed pen is hardly likely to be into cross stitch for a start, then do we not have to admit their political success? Maybe we don’t need testosterone charged meathead psychos to achieve liberation, but rather people who can string a couple ideas and maybe a sentence together? Maybe groups which have a proven track record of political organization and successful agitation are to be preferred to despised out groups who are so politically ineffective as to be the last groups openly persecuted by the state?

    It’s time to question our assumptions here because what we are doing is obviously not working out for us.

    • “With regard to the last point, errrrr, no they didn’t; hence the fall of the Empire.”

      You missed the point. Of course Rome fell, but its armies did not loose of the battles, which was my point. Example Battle of Strasbourg 357 AD, Stilicho vs Alaric 402-408 AD, and under Aetius from 435-453 AD, Battle Chalons 452 AD.

      “And as the the Spartans. Well the cold hard fact is that ultimately they lost out to the “effeminate” Athenians.”

      Actually the cold hard facts are that they lost out to the Thebans who, in the Sacred Band, copied their discipline (i.e. more macho) and with Epaminondas developed new innovative tactics like the echelon (i.e. more intelligent). The Thebans smashed Sparta with brains and brawn. Athens was defeated in the Peloponnesian War by Sparta your history is a little off.

  19. I suggest that Mr. Preston is finding the same escapism in a Sorelian myth the millennial hope of an anarchist-stateless future.

    I think this is a valid criticism of anarchism as an orientation. The figure of the anarch that Ernst Juenger paints is an instructive counterpoint, though, and one that Keith embraces expressly. This is anarchism as a temperament rather than as a political orientation.

    If any brand of anarchism minimizes the eschatology, the “one day we’ll be free” mindset, it’s Keith’s brand. Since I’ve found he has a tendency to view society as a “war of all against all”, there’s no particular end point to achieve or vision to realize other than to tip the scales towards anarchy and away from centralized power (this relates to the “teleos” argument you were making in your reply to me). In fact, I’d say it’s precisely the kind of cultural values you see as contributing to sovereignty that he would admire as a functional bulwark against centralization — but without necessarily reifying them into values that are good in and of themselves.

    I’m very sympathetic to your critiques. They feel very similar to the ones I was articulating a few years ago from the left, when Keith was particularly in the crosshairs of the left libertarians (where I came from) and he was heaping disdain on them. I had a lot of respect for Keith’s strategic outlook and ecumenical ethics, but I often had the feeling of “why is he picking on me?” That’s the feeling I get from your critique: that this is about an undue hostility towards those conservative tenets you prize.

    Whether or not I’m correct in the above, I hope you’ll stick around and continue to help us find a balanced approach towards this project.

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