Who’s Going to Do the Footwork? Reply

A highly relevant observation from “Kubrick Guy” at the Libertarian Alliance.

“Where Libertarianism is going wrong IMHO, is that we have many discussing the finer theoretical, economic, academic and philosophical aspects of Libertarianism and few people actually politically active prepared to engage with the electorate, knock on doors and sell Libertarianism to the voting public. Until that happens I fear Libertarianism will not establish itself as a credible alternative to the status quo.”

I envision a time when associates of the the Pan-Secessionist Meta-Party are applying the “Mailer Model” in cities, towns, counties, and states all across North America. But who’s going to do the footwork?

Communist Presidents of the US Reply

In case anyone doesn’t know, this quote is from President Eisenhower. So was Joe McCarthy correct when he accused Ike of being a pawn in the Communist Conspiracy? What turds the Republicans have become under the combined leadership of the arch-imperialist/Israel-first neoconservatives and the militarist/corporatist “movement conservative” ideologues. And they wonder why no one wants to vote for them except for elderly rural white people who don’t know any better.

By Robert Lindsay

Some Communist President of the US said this:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people…This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Can you believe that this Commie was actually a Republican? Incredible. We have even had Communist Republicans as president of our constitutional republic. So you can see now how deep the infiltration has gotten. Even far deep into the recesses of the Republican Party itself.

Lies About the Venezuelan Revolution 1

By Robert Lindsay

Benjamin Maggi, an Argentine, wrote the comments in italics below. I respond after the italics.

Little of what Benjamin says is true.

Chavez himself plotted a coup to overthrown the government in the late 90’s

Now that is true, but he was arrested and put in jail for that and the coup was so popular that he was soon elected afterwards.

Venezuela suffers form one of the worlds more unstable economies with inflation ramping up above 40%

The Venezuelan economy is not unstable at all, and inflation has been high in Venezuela for decades during regimes of the right, left and center.

some basic needs products like toilet paper, baby diapers and condoms are scare

Ok look, the economy is in private hands. All of these products are produced by the private sector. In economics, this is called a market failure. In capitalist economics, market failures signify a failure in the economic system. They do not have often under capitalism, because when demand dramatically exceeds supply, producers simply ramp up demand or others get into the industry to fill the demand and the demand deficit is corrected.

Since the Chavez regime does not produce one condom, roll of toilet paper of diaper, what is the reason for the shortages? The reason is that the private sector fascists, who you support, are not producing enough condoms, rolls of toilet paper and diapers to satisfy demand. Now why would anyone do that? More…

Paul Marks on Libertarians, Left and Right Reply

Paul Marks of the Libertarian Alliance offers these comments in response to my earlier piece, “A Critique of the State of Libertarianism.” :

A bit “inside baseball” – but there is some practical stuff here that interests me.

No – nobody I know regards 19th century Britain or the United States as libertarian. But we do look at the facts – for example the British government (local as well as central) was well under 10% of the economy around 1870 (just about the low point).

And those people who think that economies of scale (i.e. an individual or company employing thousands of people) on “state intervention” are just wrong, flat wrong (they do not know what they are talking about).

As for the United States – slavery can not be ignored and slavery (NOT capitalism) did depend on statism.

As Salmon P. Chase was fond of pointing out – slavery is actually a series of common law offenses (false imprisonment, assault and so on) “legalised” by state statutes and corrupt court judgement.

People in “Bleeding Kansas” (where the killing between the free and slave sides started long before Lincoln was elected President of the United States) knew the two social and legal systems could not live side by side – and that both sides wanted to expand into the West.

This does not mean that Lincoln’s tactics in the Civil War were any good (the North won because it was much bigger and more powerful – not because of his supposedly great leadership) – or that his Henry Clay Whig economic ideas were any good either.

Leaving slavery aside – could America have been a freer society in the 19th century? Of course it could – anything can be improved. More…

The Libertarian Stuff: Anarchy Reply

An interesting critique of anarchism. It’s important for ideologues and ideological writers to fairly acknowledge or confront weaknesses in their own positions.

Btw. TheRightStuff.Biz has a lot of interested, irreverent commentary that’s well worth checking out.

By Ghoul

TheRightStuff.Biz

Let’s talk about anarchy for a moment. Which kind of anarchy? Anarcho-capitalism? Anarcho-syndicalism? Anarcho-primitivism? Anarcho-communism? Anarcha-feminism? Gee wilikers, there sure are a buttload of reasons to get rid of the state, huh? Apparently, getting rid of the state will lead to a completely free, environmentally sustainable, feminist, worker-controlled, capitalistic, tribal (yet advanced), communistic land that will organize itself quite nicely. After all, what good does the state ever do? It taxes you (murderously rapes you with a gun to your head), enforces property rights (rapes and steals from you with a gun to your head), enforces a system of capitalistic exploitation (forces you into slavery with a gun to your head), and forces business owners to work within a specific market frame (steals, rapes, and exploits them with a gun to their head). More…

Christian foreign fighters deserting Kurdish YPG in Syria because they’re ‘damn Reds’ Reply

An example of why it is essential for anarchists to insure that “anarchist rule” will be fair and tolerant.

By Alex McDonald

Middle East Eye

Foreign volunteers fighting the Islamic State (IS) are leaving the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and joining other militia’s due to the group’s left-wing socialist ideology.

According to foreign fighters quoted by AFP, an exodus is currently underway of US and other Western volunteers from the YPG due their left-wing stance, with one US army veteran – referred to as “Scott” – claiming he decided not to join after finding out they were a “bunch of damn Reds.”

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Exclusive: Here is the New Homeland Security Report on ‘Sovereign Citizen Extremist’ Violence Reply

By Jesse Walker

Reason

Click the pic & read the report.

Reason has obtained the federal government’s recent report on the sovereign citizens, a largely unorganized subculture whose elaborate legal theories say they do not have to follow most laws. Members of the movement are infamous for filing nuisance lawsuits, making their own drivers’ licenses and license plates, and sometimes attempting to form their own parallel institutions of government. Some of them are also prone to violence, and it is this hotheaded subgroup that is the subject of the report.

The intelligence assessment, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prepared in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was circulated to law enforcement on February 5 but was not released to the public. (DHS did not respond to repeated requests from Reason for comment.) CNN revealed its existence last Friday, but the network quoted only a couple of lines from it and did not post the full document for everyone to see.

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Local Fox anchor pulled off air for 3 days after using racist ‘jigaboo’ slur during Oscars coverage Reply

An interesting question that no one ever seems to ask is this: How is it that on one hand we are treated to a never ending series of hysterias over someone having said a bad word pertaining to race, gender, homosexuality, or some other inflammatory topic, and yet we continue to have the kind of police state and prison-industrial complex of the kind Michelle Alexander describes in the post adjacent to this one, and with its over the top racial disparities ? The only possible explanation is that as American society has become more liberal, culturally diverse, and socially and political integrated, the actual level of state repression and division between social classes has expanded.

American culture and politics are now more liberal than ever before. Middle class and elite members of traditional outgoups are now reasonably integrated into mainstream society, and even the political class itself. However, as this social and cultural integration has take place, and liberalization has occurred in the cultural realm, the actual level of state repression has exploded, and class divisions are the widest they have been in a century. On one hand a Victorian-like priggishness has developed concerning the expression of illiberal views about traditional outgroups, even casually, inadvertently or in a way that is contextually irrelevant. On the other hand, America’s traditional racial caste system has been resurrected under the cover of the so-called “criminal justice system.”

Unfortunately, the Right looks at this situation and sees only pampered and/or criminal minorities, and the Left sees only “straight white male privilege.”

By David Edwards

Raw Story

Fox 8's Kristi Capel (screen grab)

On Monday, co-anchor anchor Wayne Dawson had been reporting the Oscars when Capel had said that she appreciated Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute because it did not sound like her normal “jigaboo music.”

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The New Jim Crow, the Police State, and the Prison Industrial Complex Reply

Michelle Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture, in honor of the late George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African American professors at the University of Chicago.

The Worrying State of the Anti-Prison Movement Reply

By Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Social Justice Journal

by Ruth Wilson Gilmore*

Gilmore imageAfter declining for three consecutive years, the US prison and jail population increased in 2013. The widely declared victory over mass incarceration was premature at best. Below I raise four areas of particular concern about the state of the anti-prison movement.

(1) A tendency to cozy up to the right wing, as though a superficial overlap in viewpoint meant a unified structural analysis for action.

Nearly 40 years ago, Tony Platt and Paul Takagi (1977) identified as “new realists” the law-and-order intellectuals who purveyed across all media and disciplines the necessity of being hard on the (especially Black) working class. Today’s new “new realists”—the correct name for the “emerging bipartisan consensus”—exude the same stench. However differently calibrated, the mainstream merger depends on shoddy analysis and historical amnesia—most notably the fact that bipartisan consensus built the prison-industrial complex (PIC). The PIC isn’t just the barred building, but the many ways in which un-freedom is enforced and continues to proliferate throughout urban and rural communities: injunction zones and intensive policing, felony jackets and outstanding warrants, as well as school expulsions and job exclusions. Racial justice and economic democracy demand different paths from the one the new “new realists” blazed. Their top-down technocratic tinkering with the system renovates and aggrandizes it for the next generation.

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How ISIS Plans to Sack Rome Reply

PJMedia.Com

An ISIS e-book on how to accomplish their caliphate goal of sacking Rome stresses enlisting “the Islamic State’s secret weapon = secret white converts” to take on Italy.

Much of the book, “Black Flags from Rome,” is dedicated to laying out a case for why Muslims in Europe should rise up and assist ISIS from within, citing justifications for discontent from modern-day anti-immigration protests back to post-Ottoman creation of Muslim “ghettos.”

It uses graphics from Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life to show Muslim distribution throughout Europe. “Starting in the early 90s, a new era would begin for Islam in Europe,” the book states. “A new quality 3rd generation of Muslims would be born who had given up the victim subservient slave mentality the previous generations had. This generation would be emboldened and more confident in their newly (re)discovered beliefs. They would see the world from a new perspective, and unlike the previous generations who only dedicated on earning money for supporting the family ‘back home’, this new generation would see the world through the eyes of a global Ummah (Muslim nation) which transcended all national boundaries.”

It offers the Irish Republican Army attacks of the ’80 and ’90s as an example of a “ruthless” guerrilla campaign in Europe, and the GIA (Group Islamique Army) in France as emblematic of the 1990s “Islamic jihad revival in Europe.” The GIA, notes the text, also trailblazed in Europe with its magazine propaganda and solicitation of donations to smuggle weapons to jihadists in Algeria. More…

‘What ISIS Really Wants': The Response Reply

By Graeme Wood

The Atlantic

Reuters/The Atlantic

My cover story in The Atlantic’s March issue asked, as simply as possible, What does ISIS believe, and what are its ideological roots? I read every ISIS statement I could find, including fatwas and tweets and road signs, and I front-loaded my mornings with execution videos in hopes that by bedtime I’d have forgotten enough of the imagery to sleep without nightmares. I picked through every spoken or written word in search of signals of what ISIS cares about and how its members justify their violence. I also asked a small group of its most doctrinaire overseas supporters for guidance, and they obliged.

At the time, the dominant cliché about ISIS was that it was a thrill-kill group that had hijacked Islam for its own ends, and that these ends were cynical, pathological, and secular. The investigation yielded something like the opposite conclusion: ISIS had hijacked secular sources of power and grievance, and was using them for religious ends—ends that are, at least among some supporters, sincere and carefully thought through. They include a belief in the imminent fulfillment of prophecy, with the group in a key role.

I am grateful for thoughtful reaction from many sources. (I’ll examine separately the pushback to my claim that ISIS is within the Islamic tradition.) Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution emphasized that ideology is deeply embedded in social and political facts, and that ignoring those facts is at least as dangerous as ignoring the ideology. I agree completely: ISIS achieved its successes in a hellish setting where all authority was predatory and nothing was safe; it offered certainty, sincerity, and the promise of reliability; it did this in ways that were antithetical to traditional interpretations of Islam (though not quite as antithetical as some believe).

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My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon Reply

Franks Schaeffer presents an interesting historical narrative, but the question I always have for professional critics of the “religious right” is this: If the religious right is so powerful, why have they never scored any serious victories on any of their major issues in thirty-five years as a movement? Arguably, the movement’s main goals in its early years were repealing Roe v. Wade and restoring school prayer. What progress have they made on those issues? So far as I can tell, none at all. American society is much more liberal, secular, and “diverse” today than it was when the religious right was started. For example, gay marriage would have been considered laughable back then, but is almost normal now. Most people had no idea what a “transgendered” person was back then, but now the “LGBT” movement is more or less mainstream as well.

Richard Nixon ran for re-election in 1972 using rhetoric not unlike what is often used today by the stereotypical religious right politicians Frank describes, and won 49 out of 50 states. Nowadays, Nixon is considered to have been a moderate or even a liberal Republican. The idea of a black man being elected president would have been considered absurd back then. The War on Drugs was not a religious right enterprise, though they were usually staunch supporters of it. Today, support for the drug war is falling all around even as the religious right has supposedly become so powerful.

Views like those held by today’s religious right were normal and mainstream a few decades ago, and the religious right now seems like extremists in comparison only because the wider society has jumped so far leftward in the early twenty-first century. The religious right has only been successful at electing shyster Republican politicians who are merely stooges for Big Capital and neoliberalism (not unlike their “progressive Democrat” counterparts).

By Frank Schaeffer

Salon

My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right iconFrank Schaeffer

I am a white, privileged, well-off, 61-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago. The New York Times profiled my change of heart saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious-right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”

You see, only in the Mafia, the British Royal family and big time American religion is a nepotistic rise to power seen as normal. And I was good at it. And I hated it while hypocritically profiting from it — until, that is, in the mid-1980s, I quit. These days I describe myself as an atheist who believes in God.

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Breaking Away: The Case for Secession Reply

Video from the Mises Institute’s recent conference on secession.

Secession and Liberty

January 24, 2015

Read more

January 24, 2015

What ISIS Really Wants Reply

A good article on ISIS, its ideology, and objectives.

By Graeme Wood

The Atlantic

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. More…

A Critique of the State of Libertarianism Reply

Some thoughts I originally posted in an online discussion concerning the various libertarian by-ways”

There’s a big rivalry right now between the paleolibertarians, left-libertarians and “mainstream” LP/Cato/Reason type libertarians.

The paleos and the leftists view the latter tendencies as establishment brown-nosers, and the mainstreamers view the radicals as utopians, sectarians, or tin foil hatters. The mainstreamers and the paleos views the leftists as communists, and mainstreamers and the leftists view the paleos as fascists.

The way the dynamics of opposition movements always play out is that they tend to split off into reformist and revolutionary camps, and socially conservative and libertine/bohemian/countercultural camps. The historic socialist movement was the same way. More…

Bow Ties and Slam Poetry: This Is Libertarianism in 2015 Reply

Somehow I can’t really picture these folks overthrowing any actual governments.

By David Weigel

“I’m on that f*** Jim Crow flow,” says Matthew La Corte. “I’m Thoreau meets Van Gogh after doing three lines of blow.”

It’s Saturday night—Valentine’s Day, if you want to make an easy joke out of it—at the eighth International Students for Liberty conference. In the bellows of the Marriott Wardman Park, La Corte, a bow-tied Hofstra University senior, is delivering libertarian slam poetry. He is framed by easels of libertarian paintings, varying from pure abstraction to the hammer-head metaphor of “Angel Drone,” a drone that was also an angel. La Corte’s audience, a few dozen libertarian students and organizer Jeffrey Tucker, had chuckled at the curse word, then hushed up.

“I’m melting clocks, I’m listening to Bach, I have visions of Tupac,” says La Corte. “I move people, call me the tire, in Hofstra attire, I aspire to inspire.” Halfway through, after quoting Beyonce, he pivots to “serious shit” and changes up his meter.

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The End of Libertarians Reply

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

One of the grievances of the so-called GamerGate movement last August was an article by Dan Golding titled “The End of Gamers” (August 28, 2014). The title referred, not to the literal extinction of gamers as individuals, but of the “gamer” cultural identity as it had previously existed. Golding argued that the previously dominant gamer demographic of white, middle-class males in their teens and twenties, who played games designed for the desktop, was a dying breed. They would cease to define the gamer demographic, and the industry would evolve to reflect the needs of a larger, more diverse market including women, people of color and players using consoles or mobile devices — in other words, the demographics dismissed as “fake geeks” by “real” white male hardcore gamers. The latter demographic, whether sincerely or disingenuously, denounced the article as a literal threat by the dreaded “Social Justice Warriors” to physically eliminate them.

I write, in similar vein, to predict the end of libertarians.

Libertarianism is frequently perceived by the general public, not entirely without justice, as a movement of mostly white male 20- or 30-somethings, disproportionately from the tech industry or other white collar jobs, who see themselves as victims and everyone unlike themselves — women, LGBT people, people of color — as naturally collectivist barbarians.

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