By Paul Taylor
Pew Research Center
Demographic transformations are dramas in slow motion. America is in the midst of two right now. Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.
The Pew Research Center tracks these transformations with public opinion surveys and demographic and economic analyses. Our new book, The Next America, draws on this research to paint a data-rich portrait of the many ways our nation is changing and the challenges we face in the decades ahead.
Let’s start with what demographers call an “age pyramid.”
Here’s the money quote: “It would be a far, far better thing if Harvard and Brandeis and Mozilla would simply say, explicitly, that they are as ideologically progressive as Notre Dame is Catholic or B. Y.U. is Mormon or Chick-fil-A is evangelical, and that they intend to run their institution according to those lights.”
EARLIER this year, a column by a Harvard undergraduate named Sandra Y. L. Korn briefly achieved escape velocity from the Ivy League bubble, thanks to its daring view of how universities should approach academic freedom.
Korn proposed that such freedom was dated and destructive, and that a doctrine of “academic justice” should prevail instead. No more, she wrote, should Harvard permit its faculty to engage in “research promoting or justifying oppression” or produce work tainted by “racism, sexism, and heterosexism.” Instead, academic culture should conform to left-wing ideas of the good, beautiful and true, and decline as a matter of principle “to put up with research that counters our goals.”
Yet another libertarian perspective on the Russia/Ukraine/Crimea situation.
By Roman Skaskiw
The Daily Anarchist
Last August, I met former Belarusian Presidential candidate Yaroslav Romanchuk at a libertarian conference near Lviv, Ukraine. He was somewhat of a Ron Paul figure, a businessman-turned-politician advocating radical free market reforms in Belarus. The consequences for being a libertarian in or near Russia are much more severe than in the United States. In 1994 he faced pressure: to stay in business he’d have to either join the mafia or join the government. He ended up abandoning the import-export business he had spent years building.
We joked about America’s RT (Russia Today) news service — that the United States government should sponsor a Russian language libertarian channel in Russia and Eastern Europe. The joke, which for us needed no explanation, was that governments can invoke principles of freedom when they undermine a rival government, while simultaneously behaving like a savage tyrant at home. This should not be difficult to understand.
Here’s to letting “the other side” have their say.
By Peter Turchin
Two weeks ago I was interviewed by BBC for their show Analysis that was aired on Feb. 3. You can listen to it here. A good summary is on the Equality by Lot blog.
In the show Jeremy Cliffe examines the philosophy of Russell Brand, an English comedian and actor who gave the most watched political interview of 2013, the Brand-Paxman interview. If you want to read what Brand has to say, check out his article in the New Statesman.
By MK Lords
Subtitled: Privilege Checking is Racist, Sexist, Bigoted, and Useless
Privilege exists in this country. There are people who wear fancy suits, nice boots, and black dresses who are given immunity for heinous crimes no one else would get away with. They pass laws restricting commerce between individuals and rape and pillage the people in the streets; their friends in the financial industry regularly launder money to drug cartels and get away with it while kids in Florida get arrested for measly Bitcoin transactions. The elected and unelected government comprises the most privileged class in the US—not even the entertainment class can escape their clutches.
It used to be that homosexuals were subject to criminal prosecution, psychiatric incarceration, and severe professional and economic sanctions. See this old CBS documentary from 1967 for an example what the old order was like. Now, half a century later it seems the homosexual rights movement is bent on inflicting the same treatment on dissenters. This is a classic illustration of how former outgroups become just as abusive as the former ingroups they replace when they become powerful. It may not win me any friends by pointing this out, but that’s too damn bad. The truth is still the truth. The wider question for anarchists and libertarians is what exactly does the gay rights movement contribute to the wider struggle against the state, the ruling class, or the empire at this point in history? So far as I can tell, the answer is nothing. Individual gays, lesbians, LGBTQs, etc. may contribute mightily (see Justin Raimondo, Glen Greenwald, Chelsea Manning, etc.) but the sexual minority rights movement has become institutionalized like labor unions, civil rights, and feminism before it. That’s why it’s time for serious radicals to move on to other things.
By Susan Adams
The ousting of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla seems to be a first in the history of American corporations. After just two weeks in the top job, Eich stepped down as chief of the company that makes the popular Firefox web browser. Though CEOs have taken heat for their positions on controversial issues—Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has said the investment bank lost at least one major client because he holds the opposite view from Eich, in favor of gay marriage—none have ever resigned their posts as a result of public protest over a private political stance.
It is widely believed that the term “anarcho-pluralism” that I give to my own outlook is a derivative of Alain De Benoist’s “ethno-pluralism.” But I actually picked it up from an elderly Jewish anarchist I met in NYC a few times in the 80s, Sam Dolgoff, who had been involved in classical anarchism and the IWW in the heyday of these.
Likewise, it is widely believed that my left/right pan-separatist outlook is a derivative of allegedly “neo-fascist” third position movements. But I actually borrowed much of that from a fellow named Ron Cole, a figure in the militia movement of the 1990s. Here’s his wikipedia entry:
Here’s an old magazine article about him. Sometimes the greatest innovation comes from people who are otherwise absolution fruitbats.
Ron Cole had a revolutionary Web site, a cache of automatic weapons, and a millennialist dream to overthrow the government. He’ll be back out of federal prison any day now.
By Alex Heard
Short-time convicts don’t always have clear plans about what they’ll do when they get out, but Ron Cole isn’t your typical short-time convict. Back in May 1997, Cole was nabbed by the FBI for possession of illegally converted automatic weapons and various materials that were assumed to be the ingredients of a bomb. During the early days of his incarceration, when it looked like he might roost in jail until his hair turned white, one visitor reported that he was “crying uncontrollably” about his likely future. Now, though, as I sit talking to him at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado, he’s crowing uncontrollably – among other things, about feelers he says he’s gotten from powerful anti-American activists living abroad, who supposedly want to help him topple the United States government. More…
This piece is by an old anarchist friend of mine whom I knew in Richmond during the early years of ARV-ATS. It sums up everything that really needs to be said about the current crop of “anarchists” in North America.
” All of these different incidents at big public anarchist events that I mentioned lead me to a conclusion – the anarchist milieu as it exists today is just too immature to be able to have big public events that are meaningful and productive. The basic mutual respect and tolerance that is necessary to be able to successfully pull something like that off is just not there. With things being the way they are now, continuing to organize these kinds of big public events is just providing people a public forum to “act out” their own unexamined personal neuroses and dysfunctional relationships, and essentially it is “enabling” unhealthy patterns to repeat themselves. Maybe this will all change sometime in the future, when the current crop of young anarchists “grows up”, or when most of them eventually burns out and gives up on the anarchy thing, and are then replaced with the next generation of anarchists.
In what way does the actually existing libertarian movement, anarchist or otherwise, threaten the existing political order? If anything, the libertarian movement is a microcosm of the wider society. There are the “right-libertarians” who extol the virtues of capitalism, Christianity, and the American way (kind of like, you know, the Republicans). And there are the “left-libertarians” who jump over the Democrats and even the far left to demonstrate their opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, “bigotry, “brutalism,” etc. There may not be anything inherently wrong with these ideas, but in what way do they threaten the state or the establishment? They don’t. Instead, they just reflect contending factions of the system.
Oh, ruling class, quake in your boots.
The sex worker rights movement is growing at the same time that the anti-sex trafficking hysteria continues to expand. Look for these two to clash on the Left in the future. Another crack in the PC coalition.
By Katha Pollit
On the left, prostitution used to be seen as a bad thing: part of the general degradation of the working class, and the subjugation of women, under capitalism. Women who sold sex were victims, forced by circumstances into a painful and humiliating way of life, and socialism would liberate them. Now, selling sex is sex work—just another service job, with good points and bad—and if you suggest that the women who perform it are anything less than free agents, perhaps even “empowered” if they make enough money, you’re just a prude. Today’s villain is not the pimp or the john—it’s second-wave feminists, with their primitive men-are-the-enemy worldview, and “rescuers” like Nicholas Kristof, who presume to know what’s best for women.
I can’t believe I’m seeing an article criticizing Marcuse’s concept of “repressive tolerance” in The Nation.
By Michelle Goldberg
Stephen Colbert gestures during the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on the National Mall in Washington. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)
Perhaps every political generation is fated to be appalled by the one that succeeds it. In the 1960s, longtime socialist intellectuals were horrified by the anarchic energies of the new left. Then some of those new leftists reached middle age and watched, aghast, as new speech codes proliferated on college campuses during the first iteration of political correctness. I was in college then and am now in my thirties, which means it’s my turn to be dismayed by a growing left-wing tendency towards censoriousness and hair-trigger offense.
By Justin Raimondo
No bombing, no casualties, no armed resistance, no “shock & awe” – Crimea isn’t so much an invasion as it is a hook-up.
If Russia’s retaking of a region it has held since the days of Catherine the Great is an invasion – and it surely is – then it’s an aggression of a new type. Perhaps we can call it a passive aggression, or even a pacific aggression, which might be defined as an invasion that has the tacit consent of those aggressed against. Even the Tatars – noted in every Western news article as opponents of Russia’s annexation – have apparently reconciled themselves to life in the Russian Federation, and are seeking autonomy within Crimea. That wouldn’t even have been an option had they remained within Ukraine.
By Noah Millman
The American Conservative
Well, it all depends on what data you emphasize.
Gallup put out two recent pieces suggesting the answer is: yes. The first demonstrated that, over the course of time, whites as a whole have gotten more Republican, and more reliably so:
In recent years, party preferences have been more polarized than was the case in the 1990s and most of the 2000s. For example, in 2010, nonwhites’ net party identification and leanings showed a 49-point Democratic advantage, and whites were 12 percentage points more Republican than Democratic. The resulting 61-point racial and ethnic gap in party preferences is the largest Gallup has measured in the last 20 years. Since 2008, the racial gaps in party preferences have been 55 points or higher each year; prior to 2008, the gaps reached as high as 55 points only in 1997 and 2000.
By Arthur W. Hunt III
The American Conservative
Late last year, when Pope Francis issued his first apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” much more was made of his utterances on economics and what he branded a globalization of indifference than his vision of evangelism for the Catholic faithful. Sarah Palin, a conservative evangelical, told CNN that the Pope surprised her, that his statements sounded “kind of liberal.” Rush Limbaugh said he was “befuddled” at the Pontiff’s remarks and then added, “This is pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.” R.R. Reno pointed out in First Things that these knee-jerk reactions from the right were as inaccurate as the knee-jerk reaction from the left: The Pope is one of us—thank God!
“It’s always funny when people jump the gun and assume I’m some sort of conspiracy theorist or something like this. I’m interested in that stuff because we have 20 million people in the US who believe the ruling class is trying to kill us. That’s kind of interesting. And while most of them are right-wing Christian nutbags, doomsters, home brewed weirdos, anti-abortion fanatics, homo-under-every-bed anti-gay hysterics and, whatever else, I’m still interested in the trust issue. Once a person learns that their officials are straight up shills, liars, quacks, and self-serving scumbags, then it becomes increasingly difficult not to harbor increasingly-damning suspicions about what else these weasels might be lying about (9/11, moon hoax, “chem-trails,” etc.) I defend those people not because I believe in such conspiracies, but because I believe that if US authorities continue to lie, cheat, and treat certain sectors of the public like shit, whacked out populism against whacked out Officialness is where we’re headed. The rise of bonehead alternative media, insane conspiracy theories, and anti-elite fear mongering serve as an example of what a total collapse in the implicit trust relationships between the upper-middle/ruling classes and the lower/working/middle classes would probably look like. If that kind of stuff weirds you out, you should probably side with the Establishment.”
- R J Jacob
A new book from Alain De Benoist.
Few names, apart from that of Leo Strauss, are invoked more often when discussing the American response to terrorism in recent years than that of Carl Schmitt. Schmitt, who was part of the German school of political thought known as the ‘Conservative Revolution,’ is widely regarded as having been one of the greatest legal minds of the twentieth century. He famously asserted that the most important function of the sovereign of a nation is not the drafting or enforcement of law, but rather his ability to decide when the law should be suspended in an emergency, and likewise his power to declare who the ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ of a community is at any given moment. Alain de Benoist critiques those who claim Schmitt as an inspiration behind the American ‘neoconservative’ movement that held sway during the administration of President George W. Bush, showing that the politics of the ‘war on terror’ do not actually reflect Schmitt’s ideas, in that American lack of respect for the traditional rules of war, and its determination to portray its enemies as embodiments of absolute evil rather than as representatives of legitimate polities, renders contemporary American politics thoroughly un-Schmittian. More…
From the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway
I first met the man we’ll call Trucker in 1970 at a rally against the Vietnam War. Our demo was going to start on the Berkeley campus and continue with a march down Telegraph Avenue. This was shortly after the National Guard and police had murdered six demonstrators at Kent State and Jackson State, so the mood was extremely tense. The Berkeley city government had denied us a permit to march and called in police reinforcements from Oakland. The Oakland cops had a reputation for brutality (based on their treatment of the black population), and we were expecting an ugly and possibly violent confrontation. Out of fear, many people decided not to march, but others of us argued that marching was now more important than ever. We needed to defy the government’s attempts to scare us into silence.
By Ariel Zurilnick
Christian Science Monitor
In a home in a Shiite neighborhood in southern Beirut, images of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah share mantel and wall space with the Virgin Mary. More…
The Warfare Historian
Nestor Makhno: Ukraine’s Anarchist Cossack and the Battle for the Ukraine, 1917-1921
Of the many violent and often grandiose and dramatic revolutionist/reactionary heroes and/or tyrants of the Russian Civil War 1917-1921, perhaps none is as controversial or infamous as the Ukrainian anarchist-peasant turned revolutionary guerrilla warlord, “Batko” (Father) Nestor Makhno (b.1889-1934). Makhno is referred to as “Anarchy’s Cossack” and was called the “bandit who saved Moscow” during the Russian Civil War for the tireless campaign of insurgent and guerrilla activities which he perpetrated against many different enemy combatants between 1917-1921.