The Libertarian Moment That Never Was Reply

I’ve always argue that the last thing libertarians who want to achieve political success should ever do is position themselves as just another branch of “free market conservatives” preaching bourgeois economics. The failure Rand Paul indicates that, for better or worse, I was probably right. Case in point:

“Libertarians, however, can take heart from the fact that political sentiment is moving their way in some areas. Gay rights, drug decriminalization, increasing outrage over heavy-handed police tactics, growing concern over an unjust legal system, disgust over crony capitalism, and opposition to military deployments abroad all suggest that libertarian arguments can have political force. But just because people buy libertarian arguments when it comes to civil liberties or foreign policy does not mean they are more likely to buy them on taxes, spending, or regulation. If they were, then Bernie Sanders Democrats would be Rand Paul Republicans.”

The thing is “civil liberties and foreign policy” is what matters about libertarianism. We’ve got conventional Republicans for the other stuff.

By Jerry Taylor

Niskanen Center

The libertarian moment in American politics—foretold just last year in the New York Times Magazine—is like the horizon; always retreating as we advance upon it.


Why Socialists Can’t Wait for Bernie to Lose Reply

What actual socialists think of New Dealer Bernie Sanders.

Bill Scher


erhaps the most astonishing aspect of the 2016 presidential race is that Bernie Sanders, somehow, has made “socialism” a safe word in American politics. Nearly 100 years ago Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs had to campaign from prison; today, Sanders campaigns on socialism in broad daylight. For eight years, Democrats winced when Republicans hurled the “socialist” slur at President Barack Obama; now, 43 percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants, many inspired by Sanders, embrace the label.

But the real socialists? They can’t wait for him to lose.

If you think Sanders’s candidacy has divided the Democratic party, that’s nothing compared to what he’s done to American socialists, a complex network of rival fringe parties united by a belief in overturning the economic order, but divided by almost everything else: strategy, personality, and what they think of their suddenly famous associate.


Anarchism, justice and a vision for the future Reply

An interesting reply to an earlier article by yours truly.

By Neil Lock

Libertarian Alliance

This essay began as a comment on Keith Preston’s “The New Anarchist Movement is Growing,” published here[1]. Soon, though, as I explored some of the ideas of various anarchist sects, it turned into something much wider. It became an attempt to answer, from my own highly individual perspective, four questions:

  1. In what sense or senses am I an anarchist?
  2. Which anarchist groups could I comfortably work with?
  3. Is the idea of an anarchist movement a sensible one?
  4. What might the world look like, if anarchist ideas were to be put into practice?

Am I an anarchist? – Part One


Contra the Self-Ownership Principle: The Nightmare of Libertopia 18

By Todd Lewis

Praise of Folly

Recently I have been reading Ed Feser’s blog entries on Murary Rothbard here:                  

With Feser’s insights, along with my own separate inquiries facilitated by my friend Brock Bellerive, I have found Rothbard to be a very shoddy philosopher and anarcho-capitalism in general bereft of any serious intellectual firepower. The specific point that Feser was critiquing was Rothbard’s concept of self-ownership, which Feser handily disposes of with rigorous use of logic. This in turn facilitated some of my own thoughts on the self-ownership principle and found it wanting both intellectually and morally. The thrust of this paper is to show that self-ownership is both intellectually and morally bankrupt.


Army and Marine Corps chiefs: It’s time for women to register for the draft 1

Because gender equality means that everyone must be obligated to serve the empire. The latest in totalitarian humanism.

By Dan Lamonthe

Washington Post

The top officers in the Army and Marine Corps testified on Tuesday that they believe it is time for women to register for future military drafts, following the Pentagon’s recent decision to open all jobs in combat units to female service members.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army, and Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, both said they were in favor of the change during an occasionally contentious Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the full integration of women in the military. The generals, both infantry officers, offered their opinions in response to a question from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who said that she also is in favor of the change.

“Senator, I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft,” said Milley, echoing the remarks of Neller.


Left and right should stop demonizing people they don’t understand Reply

A must read.

By Andrew Walker

Peruse your Facebook or Twitter feed over the last couple of days and you’ll probably find a liberal friend or two snickering about “#YallQaeda.”

Dig a little deeper and you’ll even find people muttering about domestic terrorism, sedition, and the need to use brutal force to crush the occupation of a tiny building on a remote wildlife preserve by armed protesters.

Think that’s ridiculous and over the top? Before liberals were eagerly attacking the small band of armed men holed up in a federal building in Oregon, it wasn’t that long ago that some conservatives were calling demonstrators in Ferguson terrorists who might even be in league with ISIS.

What’s up with this? Are armed militias and ISIS-inspired rioters coming to get us? Or is a polarized America getting distracted by the fringes of legitimate movements and losing sight of the big picture?

Irresponsible demonization of one’s perceived opponents on the other side of the red state vs. blue state dichotomy is a hallmark of contemporary American political and cultural discourse.

It’s also getting really old. Isn’t it about time we moved beyond it?



Keith Preston: US using Daesh as cover to stay in Iraq, Afghanistan Reply

Press TV. Listen here:

The expanding US military campaign against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in Afghanistan is a cover for Washington to restart the wars in the region and maintain its military presence, a political analyst in Virginia says.

The fact that the US is broadening its operations from Iraq and Syria into Afghanistan also indicates that it is losing the war against Daesh, said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of

“This war against Daesh provides the United States with an excellent cover for returning to Iraq and Afghanistan and the other nations where they were waging war some years ago,” Preston told Press TV on Monday.

The battle against Daesh is not the chief priority for the US in the region, Preston noted. “Far more important to them than fighting Daesh is maintaining control over Iraq and eliminating the Syrian government, and I think that is true in Afghanistan as well.”

“The American strategy seems to be to contain Daesh but not eliminate them because they can use them as a tool against some of their other enemies in the region,” he added.

The US military has conducted at least a dozen operations in the past three weeks against militants aligned with Daesh in Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The operations followed a decision by the administration of President Barack Obama last month to broaden the authority of American commanders to attack Daesh’s new branch in Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

The Obama administration is revamping plans for how it fights the terrorist organization in regions where it has developed affiliates. The administration has been accused by Republicans in Congress of not having a strategy to defeat the group.

While Obama has declared an end to combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the supposed campaign against ISIL is part of an ongoing and potentially expanding American military presence in the Middle East, south-central Asia and Africa.

“When President Obama declared the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be over, he wasn’t really telling the truth; those wars have really continued on a much lower level of intensity,” Preston said.

Is a Split in U.S. Liberalism Emerging? (and a side note on Rand Paul) 1

Everyone is talking about the split that has emerged among the Repugnicans between the neoconservative and corporatist elites and the populist-nationalist “base.” But it appears an interesting split is emerging among Democraps as well. These two articles by Matt Fortney on his recent visits to a Sanders rally and a Clinton rally respectively are interesting in terms of the differences that are described between the attendees at the two rallies. According to Matt’s descriptions, the attendees at the Sanders rally were similar to what you might find at a Green Party rally, e.g. a collection of college students and old hippies. But the attendees at the Clinton rally were more in the center-left Daily Kos/Huffington Post race/gender/gay identitarian vein. It’s also interesting that Sanders spoke mostly about economics and Clinton spoke mostly about gay rights, transgender rights, et al. This may indicate an emerging split within liberalism between those who are mostly concerned with bread and butter issues, and those of a higher socioeconomic demographic mostly concerned with identitarian issues (i.e. the proletariat versus the left-wing of the middle class.

If You’re Feeling the Bern, There’s a Cream for That by Matt Fortney

“Bernie Sanders is a dime-store Marxist whose policies will bring ruin to America and the West if ever implemented. However, his support among young people is driven by an economic disaster that society needs to address.”


Donald Trump is the least favorably viewed presidential candidate since at least 1992 2

This latest poll from Gallup is consistent with what one would expect given the prevailing demographic, generational, cultural, economic and partisan trends in the wider society, as this recent article by Peter Beinart indicates. Contrary to the hysteria of the Left, Donald Trump is not ushering in a fascist revolution in America. Instead, he is emerging as the candidate of a dying demographic that regards him as their last hope. Donald Trump resembles Ross Perot more closely than any previous presidential candidate, but his fans more closely resemble George Wallace supporters in 1968 who regarded him as their last hope to overturn the civil rights revolution. Sorry, folks, it ain’t gonna happen.

By Philip Bump

Washington Post


Augustus Invictus’ Letter to the People of Europe 7

Here’s the transcript.

To the People of Europe,
Fate lays upon me the task of writing you from distant shores. My name is Augustus Invictus, and I am a candidate for the United States Senate. Though I am an American, I am by blood a son of Europe. My ancestry is British, my name Roman, my religion pan-European. I am trained in Anglo-American law, educated in continental philosophy and politics, steeped in Western aesthetic. Though Florida may be a great distance from my ancestral land of Scotland, I am in blood and in soul your brother.
And though I am an American politician, the issues I raise in my campaign for the Senate here affect every man, woman, and child of the West. I write to you today not to condescend or to advertise my American arrogance, but to call for the unity of all Westerners against the powers that would destroy our people.
From New Zealand & Australia to the United States & Canada, and even to South Africa, we share a common civilization, born of Europe. This is impolitic to say in any country, and it is now evidence of “hate speech” in several. We must ask ourselves why the self-described elites in our respective countries would keep us divided, why they would insist that we have no common culture, why they would insist that we take literally countless immigrants into countries callously neglecting their rightful sons and daughters.
I hope that we may come to see each other as fellows. I pray that we may come to cherish what we share more than we might lament the differences between us. Though we have warred, though we have viewed each other with great suspicion, these misfortunes are, I hope, passed. We share a common bond that the millions of immigrants recently recruited to our ancestral land will never share. We, as Westerners, are brothers, though long-separated; they are foreigners being imported by your own governments to destroy the proud heritage and people of Europe.
Your officials have betrayed you.

Anarchist Shawn Wilbur on the Malheur refuge occupation Reply

I don’t personally have a dog in this fight. I sympathize with anyone who is in revolt against the U.S. federal system, left, right, or center. Other than that, it’s none of my business how Oregonians organize their own economy or approach to ecological issues.

Here’s another piece on this topic by “anti-fascist” Alexander Reid Ross.

Like I said, I don’t begrudge anyone their perspective on this topic, though I do wish these circles would show as much interest in overthrowing the U.S. empire as they do in opposing “the fascists” (whoever they are).

By Shawn Wilbur

Libertarian Labyrinth

I don’t do a lot of current events commentary here, but there are occasions where it seems both useful and necessary. What follows is notes drawn from my responses to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, outside Burns, OR. They range from quips to more extended analysis and draw on my family connections to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, including a stint living on refuges much like Malheur in my extreme youth. I have tried not to rely on information that is not available elsewhere online.

I’m posting the material because it has garnered interest on social media, but also because I think that the question of anarchist alternatives to the federal lands is one worth taking up. An extension of my C4SS comments on “mutual extrication” and the “gift economy of property” is already in the works.

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and all the problems of Harney County, are fifty miles from the middle of nowhere, but the issues that are really driving the conflict are the sort of things that we can examine much closer to home. Nearly all of us have experienced uncertain climate conditions and many of us have had very recent occasions to think about floodwater management. Given the very slow acceptance of decentralized methods of flood and storm-water management, I expect most of us think of these things as a responsibility of the government, when we think of the responsibility at all. Most of us don’t have to go too far to find clear evidence of the massive public works projects that have made agriculture and grazing possible in its present forms, but we also don’t have to go far to see clear evidence of the failures and limitations of our resource-management efforts to date. Agencies like BLM and USFWS have seldom sacrificed commercial interests to environmental ones, and when they have opposed immediate commercial interests, it has almost always been in the interest of preserving them in the long term.


The Story of the Korean Anarchists and the Anarchist Revolution in Manchuria, 1929-1931 Reply

One of the greatest misconceptions about anarchism is that it is a exclusively or inherently Western ideology. Not so. Historically, there have been anarchist movements in Latin America and in Asia that were as large as parallel movements in Europe and the Anglosphere. Anarchism is able to travel well because it is often able to connect with the communal, federal, or local practices of many traditional societies.


The Korean anarchist movement wanted to build an independent self-governing anarchist society, a cooperative system of the masses of the Korean people. They wanted to take civilisation from the capitalist class, and return it to the popular classes. By doing so, the capitalist and colonial society that existed in Korea (as elsewhere in Africa and Asia and east Europe) would be replaced with a new society. This new society would be based on the principles of freedom and equality, that guarantee the independent self-rule of the producing classes: the working class and the peasantry.

Who was Kim Joa-Jin, Korean Anarchist Revolutionary?

by Eric Every (Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

Kim Jao-jin was born in 1889 to a wealthy family. Like many of his generation, his life was shaped by the Japanese imperial government’s colonisation of Korea. This began formally in 1910, but key aspects of Japanese control dated to 1895. The year 1919 saw a massive wave of struggle against colonialism: the March 1st Movement. This was part of a global series of uprisings.


Utopias in America Reply

An interesting discussion of the many utopian colonies that appeared in the U.S. in the 19th century from the National Park Service website.

National Park Service

The Amana Colonies were one of many utopian colonies established on American soil during the 18th and 19th centuries. There were hundreds of communal utopian experiments in the early United States, and the Shakers alone founded around 20 settlements. While great differences existed between the various utopian communities or colonies, each society shared a common bond in a vision of communal living in a utopian society. The definition of a utopian colony, according to Robert V. Hine, author of California’s Utopian Colonies, “consists of a group of people who are attempting to establish a new social pattern based upon a vision of the ideal society and who have withdrawn themselves from the community at large to embody that vision in experimental form.” These colonies can, by definition, be composed of either religious or secular members, the former stressing (in the western tradition) a community life inspired by religion while the latter may express the idealism of a utilitarian creed expedient to establishing human happiness, with a belief in the cooperative way of life. The more familiar non-monastic religious communal movements typical in Western society have generally originated from a deliberate attempt among various Christian sects to revive the structure of the primitive Christian community of first-century Jerusalem, which “held all things in common” (Acts 2.44; 4.32). This essay explores the origins and development of the Utopian idea and its arrival in the United States before giving examples of nineteenth century utopian colonies and some organizations on their ultimate demise. The Shaker, Rappite and Amana experiments, as well as the Oneida community and Brook Farm, find their origins in the European Protestant Reformation and the later Enlightenment.


Vox Day – Social Justice Warriors Always Lie Reply

An interesting interview from Red Ice Radio. Listen here.

Vox Day is a writer, a professional game designer and a three-time Billboard top 40 recording artist. He is the author of “SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.”

We’ll discuss how Social Justice Warriors have plagued mankind for more than 150 years, but only in the last 30 years has their ideology become dominant in the West. Having invaded one institution of the cultural high ground after another, from corporations and churches to video games and government, there is nowhere that remains entirely free of their intolerant thought and speech policing. Vox explains how the SJW agenda of diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, and equality flies in the face of both science and observable reality. We also anticipate the new frontier for SJW’s and talk about Salon’s piece by a self-confessed pedophile to explain his urges in sympathetic terms, “I’m a Pedophile, But Not A Monster.”

Later, Vox gives the 3 laws of a SJW and lays out their operating system: always lie, always double down and always project. He gives advice on what to do when SJW’s attack, usually hoping it will result in social ostracism and the loss of employment for the attackee. Vox provides the keys to counterattack.


Keith Preston: Muslims chiefly targeted in US counter terrorism effort Reply

Press TV. Listen here:

“Muslims or people of Middle Eastern ancestry are being verily targeted in” the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program, Preston says.

Muslims and people of Middle Eastern origin are mainly targeted by a US government program to “counter terrorism,” says a political commentator from Virginia.

Keith Preston, chief editor and director of told Press TV on Saturday that there are “concerns about what in the United States is called racial profiling or ethnic profiling in the sense that Muslims or people of Middle Eastern ancestry are being verily targeted in this program.”

He made the remarks after rights group, the Brennan Center for Justice, brought a lawsuit against the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security largely over the issue of surveillance of supposed terrorism suspects from the United States.

What the rights center is concerned about is “the fact that the government is actually trying to pressure internet companies to impose a type of the fact those censorship on the internet in order to prevent communication by so-called extremist organizations, or by the individuals,” Preston said.

“They have been pressuring internet companies to collect surveillance data on individuals that are labeled extremist or might somehow be suspected of terrorism and this is something that’s been going on for a while,” he added.

The journalist further noted, “The government has been exercising a great deal of pressure, not just on internet companies but also on communications companies of different types, telephone companies and all that, to collect data of this type and they are trying to essentially form out this data collection process to the private sector, but they are doing it in a way that’s rather coercive.”


Why America Is Moving Left 1

This article by Peter Beinart confirms what I’ve been saying for some years now. Beinart’s argument is consistent with just about every demographic, cultural, generational, economic, and partisan trend.

By Peter Beinart

The Atlantic

Republicans may have a lock on Congress and the nation’s statehouses—and could well win the presidency—but the liberal era ushered in by Barack Obama is only just beginning.

ver roughly the past 18 months, the following events have transfixed the nation.

In July 2014, Eric Garner, an African American man reportedly selling loose cigarettes illegally, was choked to death by a New York City policeman.

That August, a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed an African American teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. For close to two weeks, protesters battled police clad in military gear. Missouri’s governor said the city looked like a war zone.

In December, an African American man with a criminal record avenged Garner’s and Brown’s deaths by murdering two New York City police officers. At the officers’ funerals, hundreds of police turned their backs on New York’s liberal mayor, Bill de Blasio.


Has Trump Killed the GOP? Reply



Nothing like Donald Trump has ever hit a major American political party: A blow-dried celebrity gleefully smashing one modern Republican certainty after the other. As he defies his own party on tax orthodoxy, on healthcare and on bending a knee to Roger Ailes, he’s exposed the GOP establishment as virtually powerless over its own nominating process.

His rise has now created a split so deep that it’s not clear how the party is going to recover. Some conservatives are trying to crush his candidacy, others are finally embracing him, and they’re all lobbing grenades at each other. So is this the end of the GOP as we know it? And what’s next?

National Interest editor Jacob Heilbrunn sees Trump’s disruption as just the reboot the party needs; Republican strategist Rick Wilson sees a possible “murder-suicide” between Trump and Cruz that opens the door for moderates. Former Senate operative Jim Manley sees a party civil war that will sow chaos far beyond the GOP.

Here, for Politico Magazine, 12 political gurus put their minds to the most unexpectedly urgent big-picture question in American politics.




Sedition, Subversion, Sabotage: A Long-War Strategy for the Left Reply

By William T. Hathaway

As the viciousness of capitalism engulfs ever more of us, our yearnings for change are approaching desperation. The system’s current leader, Barack Obama, has shown us that the only change we can believe in is what we ourselves create.

To do that, we need to know what is possible in our times and what isn’t. The bitter probability is that none of us will see a society in which we’d actually want to live. Even the youngest of us will most likely have to endure an increasingly unpleasant form of capitalism. Despite its recurring crises, this system is still too strong, too adaptable, and has too many supporters in all classes for it to be overthrown any time soon. We’re probably not going to be the ones to create a new society.

But we can now lay the groundwork for that, first by exposing the hoax that liberal reforms will lead to basic changes. People need to see that the purpose of liberalism is to defuse discontent with promises of the future and thus prevent mass opposition from coalescing. It diverts potentially revolutionary energy into superficial dead ends. Bernie Sanders’ “long game” campaign is really only a game similar to that of his reformist predecessor, Dennis Kucinich, designed to keep us in the “big tent” of the Democratic Party. Capitalism, although resilient, is willing to change only in ways that shore it up, so before anything truly different can be built, we have to bring it down.

What we are experiencing now is the long war the ruling elite is fighting to maintain its grip on the world. The current phase began with the collapse of Keynesian capitalism, which flourished from the 1950s into the ’70s, when the primary consumer market was in the capitalist headquarter countries of North America and Western Europe. Corporations were able to stimulate domestic consumption and quell worker discontent there by acceding to labor’s demands for better wages and conditions. That led to a 30-year bubble of improvement for unionized workers, predominantly male and white, that began to collapse in the ’80s as capitalism gradually became globalized.