Unity sounds nice, but truth is we need freedom to go our own ways Reply

This guy gets it.

By David McElroy

I disagree with you

We do a very poor job of disagreeing in this country. You’d think we would be experts at it, because we do so much of it. But we’ve developed a culture in which most people are far more eager to tell everyone else why he’s wrong than to understand why there’s a disagreement — much less what to do about it.

I’m never sure whether to be amused or frustrated at the extent to which some people are outraged when I outline a position on a controversial issue that doesn’t stick to the accepted framing of the issue. Some of the nasty email I received about my Monday article concerning the moral right to make your own choices — even if they’re the “wrong” choices — are perfect examples.

Look at comments from two different emails and tell me whether you think these folks read the same article:


The Libertarian Guide To Feminism Reply

A good discussion of the variety of feminist thinking from an anti-state perspective.

Is feminism all about hating men? MK Lords and Carlos Morales breakdown the history of feminism, MRA’s, MGTOW’s and a host of other issues in the libertarian atheist podcast.
For some examples of MRA misogny and other fun hate check out the links below
And of course, everything at redpill

A Practical Solution: Run Police Departments Like Fire Departments Reply

Now, this is a reform that the far right and the far left should unite on behalf of.

By Tom Mullen

Huffington Post

Do you lie awake at night in constant fear a fire will break out and nothing will be done to put it out?

For the 99% of the population not suffering from pyrophobia or a similar neurosis, the answer to that question is “no,” even though firefighters aren’t patrolling the streets in their big red trucks. They still manage to arrive at the scene of a fire within minutes of an emergency call.

Why can’t police departments be run the same way?

If they were, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland would be alive today. All three encountered police doing what would be considered outlandish for any other institution charged with public safety: roaming the streets, looking for trouble.

No one had called 911 asking for protection from Scott, Gray or Bland. No judges had issued warrants for their arrests. All three were, at least at the time of their arrests, just walking or driving down the street, minding their own business. They were detained in what are generally considered “routine” but are in reality wholly unnecessary encounters with police.

There has been a lot of digital ink and warm air expended on whether these victims of tragedy were treated differently because of their race. There are compelling arguments on both sides of that question, but no practical solutions offered by anyone. At the end of these discussions there is invariably some vague reference to “more training” or bland platitudes. Everyone knows nothing will change.

I’m going to suggest a solution that will sound radical, even in a country that styles itself “the land of free.” Let’s get cops off the streets, unless responding to a 911 call or serving a warrant issued by a judge. Everyone would be freer and safer, including the police officers themselves.

This is by no means an anti-cop argument. The problem isn’t how they do their jobs; it’s the job we ask them to do. A free society shouldn’t be asking armed agents of the state to patrol the streets, keeping its citizens under 24/7 surveillance.

I haven’t seen any surveys, but I have a feeling that if you asked cops at random why they joined the force, very few would say it was to protect the public from broken tail lights or untaxed cigarettes. The men and women we want on this job join to protect the public from real crimes, like murder, assault, rape and robbery.


Bernie Sanders is in with the enemy, some old allies say Reply

The value of the popularity of maverick campaigns such as those of Sanders and Donald Trump is not that either candidate is particularly wonderful, but that political dissent is growing and people are hungry for alternatives.

By David A. Fahrenthold

Washington Post

It was one of the first political events Bernie Sanders ever went to in Vermont: a 1971 discussion by a small group of left-wingers, the Liberty Union Party.

These people were not winners, in the electoral sense. The closest they had come to winning a statewide race, at that point, was losing by 56 points. So someone in the audience asked: Why don’t you become Democrats? Why not sacrifice third-party purity for a chance at actual power?

Sanders — a transplanted Brooklynite, known in Vermont for his overheated writing and underwhelming carpentry — spoke up from the crowd. The sacrifice wasn’t worth it.

“He felt strongly that you worked outside the Democratic Party,” said Jim Rader, a longtime friend who took Sanders to the meeting. “He felt there were too many compromises that had to be made, too many compromises of political principles.”

Last week, 44 years later, a group of socialists gathered in a Vermont library to have a strikingly similar debate. This time, they were deciding whether they could support Bernie Sanders himself.

Meet the Most Important Socialist in America Not Named Bernie Sanders Reply

As a decentralist and pan-separatist, I am fine with progressive-left leaning localities like Seattle electing Marxists to their city council. I suspect this woman and I would agree on what I consider to be the big issues, i.e. U.S. imperialism, corporate governance, and the police state. That’s good enough for me. I’m sure I’d like her better than Rand Paul.

By Zeeshan Aleem


Bernie Sanders is sparking a new dawn for socialism in America.

The fast-talking Vermont senator has reveled in every opportunity to brandish his self-description as a “democratic socialist” and has electrified millions across the country with his message about ending inequality. He has prompted a wide-ranging conversation on the left about how to move beyond conventional Democratic politics. Along the way, he’s also inspired a debate over what socialism truly means.

But Sanders isn’t the only socialist in the United States making a splash.

Kshama Sawant, a member of Seattle’s city council since her election in 2013, has a tiny fraction of the name recognition of Sanders. But she’s quietly been making an impact that is arguably just as important, having led the charge for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, which in turn sparked a national movement and has become a major litmus test for Democratic politicians.

Mic spoke on the phone with Sawant about her experience and aspirations as a proud socialist in a two-party-dominated political system. Last year at a panel in New York, she urged Sanders to run for the White House as a third party candidate and has been disappointed that he hasn’t. But she thinks his campaign is hugely important nonetheless. “This is not about Bernie Sanders,” she says, “It’s about those tens of millions of people who are now electrified by his message.” For Sawant, it’s always about the people.

The fight for $15: Just three years after becoming an American citizen, Sawant dethroned a four-term Democratic incumbent, becoming the first socialist to hold a citywide office in Seattle in decades, and the only declared socialist sitting in the legislature of a major U.S. city.


Secrets Of the Extreme Religious Right: Inside the Frightening World Of Christian Reconstructionism 1

I was associated with a Christian Reconstructionist church for a short time in the early 80s, and while this article is written from a fairly doctrinaire liberal-left perspective, I’d argue that it’s a fairly accurate representation of the movement’s philosophy and ideology. This is probably the closest thing the United States has to something like Wahhabism. I do not consider this movement to be a political threat, in terms of actually being able to turn the U.S.A. into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia. In fact, it’s decentralist inclinations and vehement hostility to the mainstream society make it into yet another stitch in the patchwork of “System resisters” that represents the entire body of alternative political philosophies, alternative economics, and oppositional subcultures. By Paul Rosenberg Alternet As an unprecedented shift in public opinion brought about the legalization of gay marriage, a vigorous counter-current has been intensifying under the banner of “religious freedom”—an incredibly slippery term. Perhaps the most radical definition of such freedom comes out of the relatively obscure tradition of Christian Reconstructionism, the subject of a new book by religious studies scholar Julie Ingersoll, Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstructionism.  As Ingersoll explains, Reconstructionists basically reject the entire framework of secular political thought in which individual rights have meaning, so “freedom” as most Americans understand the term is not the issue at all. Indeed, they argue that such “freedom” is actually slavery—slavery to sin, that is. Reconstructionists aim to establish a theocracy, though most would no doubt bristle at that description. They do not want to “take over the government” so much as they want to dismantle it. But the end result would be a social order based on biblical law—including all those Old Testament goodies like stoning gay people to death, while at the same time justifying “biblical slavery.”  These extreme views are accurate, Ingersoll explained, but at the same time quite misleading in suggesting that Reconstructionism is a fringe movement with little influence on the culture. ‘If someone wants to understand these people, I think the smart thing to do is to take those really inflammatory things, acknowledge that they are there, and set them aside,” Ingersoll advised. “And then look at the stuff that’s less inflammatory, but therefore, I think, more important. I think the Christian schooling, homeschooling, creationism, the approach to economics, I think those kinds of things are far more important.


Noam Chomsky: The Kind of Anarchism I Believe in, and What’s Wrong with Libertarians Reply

I would hope that by now everyone realizes that within the pan-anarchist paradigm favored by ATS there is room for Chomskyites and Rothbardians alike.

Noam Chomsky is interviewed by Michael Wilson.


he following is the adapted text of an interview that first appeared in Modern Success magazine.

So many things have been written about, and discussed by, Professor Chomsky, it was a challenge to think of anything new to ask him:  like the grandparent you can’t think of what to get for Christmas because they already have everything.

So I chose to be a bit selfish and ask him what I’ve always wanted to ask him.  As an out-spoken, actual, live-and-breathing anarchist, I wanted to know how he could align himself with such a controversial and marginal position.

Michael S. Wilson: You are, among many other things, a self-described anarchist — an anarcho-syndicalist, specifically.  Most people think of anarchists as disenfranchised punks throwing rocks at store windows, or masked men tossing ball-shaped bombs at fat industrialists.  Is this an accurate view?  What is anarchy to you?

Noam Chomsky: Well, anarchism is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some leading characteristics.  Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy.  It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified.


Rand Paul: Fraud, Failure, Liar Reply

By Justin Raimondo


As the smoke wafted up into the already smoggy Los Angeles air, a group of young libertarians watched as Jayel Aheram burned his “Stand With Rand” t-shirts. He had two of them, a token of his former esteem for the “libertarian-ish” presidential candidate and Senator from Kentucky, whose father had inspired young Jayel to identify as a libertarian and become active in the movement. A former Marine and Iraq war veteran, the now 31-year-old Aheram had phone-banked for Rand, and enthusiastically retweeted the Senator’s pronouncements on Twitter. He had even forked out $35 for those T-shirts – and now they were going up in flames as he and a group of young libertarians sat on the roof of Jayel’s Los Angeles apartment, drinking beer and glumly contemplating what had brought them – all former supporters of Rand Paul’s presidential campaign – to this point. As Charles Davis writes over at MondoWeiss:

“So what prompted such a fiery stunt on a Saturday night? Simple: The son of Ron opposes the deal with Iran over its nuclear program, faulting the agreement for lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic before ‘evidence of compliance.’ Paul still insists he prefers peace to war – who doesn’t? – and that he favors a negotiated settlement to the West’s standoff with the Islamic Republic, he just doesn’t support the only one that will ever happen, functionally making him pro-war. Worst of all: He’s lying to do it.”

Aheram and his friends had stood by the Kentucky Senator for many months, even as Rand occasionally waffled and made some statements that didn’t sit well with them by any means: the military budget proposal that actually called for an increase in what is laughingly referred to as “defense” spending, and his signing of an “open letter” to the Iranian government authored by neoconservative warmonger Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Strauss), who made no bones about his determination to scotch the looming deal with Iran. These things had disturbed them, but not enough to extinguish all hope that Sen. Paul – who had, after all, been brought up by a father whose dedication to liberty and peace is unquestioned – could and would serve as an admirable spokesman for their cause.

But it was the lie that vanquished that hope.


Illuminati: Fact or Fantasy Reply

By Charles Burris


Because of the particular nature of some of my articles and blogs at LRC, many readers over the years have inquired concerning my personal views and scholarly assessment of the Bavarian Illuminati and its genuine impact on world history. Did such an organization really exist? Does it exist today? What role did it play in the French Revolution of 1789? The Revolutions of 1848? The Russian Revolutions of 1917? etc. Since its founding on May 1, 1776, the Illuminati has been the subject of more controversy, disinformation and fear-mongering than almost any other topic analyzed by historians. But today, from impeccable archival research compiled over the past several decades, we now have an almost complete true picture of this clandestine organization and its nexus of influence. Here are the seminal primary and secondary documents I recommend which present that historical portrait: Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, by James H. Billington; Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati, by Terry Melanson; The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Ritual and Doctrines of the Illuminati, edited by Josef Wäges, Reinhard Markner and translated to English by Jeva Singh-Anand; Philo’s Reply To Questions Concerning His Association With the Illuminati, by Adolph Freiherr Knigge and translated to English by Jeva Singh-Anand; Illuminati Manifesto of World Revolution (1792): L’Esprit des Religions, by Nicholas Bonneville and translated to English by Marco di Luchetti Esq.; Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism: A Translation from the French of the Abbe Barruel, by Augustin Barruel; The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, by Robert Darnton; The Literary Underground of the Old Regime, by Robert Darnton; Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France, by Robert Darnton; Critique and Crises: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society, by Reinhart Koselleck; and The First Professional Revolutionist: Filippo Michele Buonarroti, 1761-1837, by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein.

(The fictional works of Robert Anton Wilson are in a whole separate category or parallel universe.)

Their Malcolm… and Mine Reply

Murray Rothbard on Malcolm X.

By Murray Rothbard


This originally appeared in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report, February 1993.

Why Malcolm X? Why the sudden rage, replete with baseball caps inscribed with X’s, for a man assassinated nearly thirty years ago? Partly it’s media hype, centered around the new hagiographic movie made by our Most Politically Correct Movie Director, Black Division. More seriously, the nostalgia for Malcolm is part of America’s permanent Jacobin Celebration Project, in which new politically correct birthdays and anniversaries are dug up and compulsorily celebrated (Earth Day, Earth Week, “Dr.” Martin Luther King Day, etc.), while others are overlooked or dumped altogether (Washington’s Birthday, Columbus Day – you should forgive the expression). To paraphrase LBJ, seize control of a nation’s celebrations, and their hearts and minds will follow.

OK, but why specifically Malcolm? Isn’t “Dr.” King for Heaven’s sake, enough? Are we now to boycott any state that doesn’t give a paid holiday or two in honor of Malcolm? The Authorized Version holds that Dr. King is indeed not quite enough, that restless black youth need a more militant and less “Christian” icon and “role model,” someone who was at least willing to flirt with violence, someone therefore more in tune with their own proclivities.

It’s true that Malcolm was more militant than King; he was a black nationalist rather than an integrationist. Yet, the emphasis on Malcolm’s ideas in the Received Version doesn’t begin to explain the Malcolm phenomenon. In the first place, Malcolm’s original nationalism in the form of the Black Muslims still lingers on in the person of “Minister” Louis Farrakhan. Yet, who really cares about Farrakhan? Surely he is scarcely the figure cut by Malcolm, Farrakhan’s original mentor. In fact, Malcolm made most of his impact in the scant few months after he had broken with the Black Muslims and before his assassination. And it was then that his ideology was in a state of severe flux. Groping his way out of the Nation of Islam, he had a conversion experience toward genuine Islam when he traveled to Mecca. Furthermore, ideologically, he was courted and pulled at by groups ranging through a wide ideological spectrum, from the Trotskyites of the Socialist Workers Party, over to free-market economist and Fortune journalist Charles Silberman, who was trying to make Malcolm into a free-marketeer. Indeed, Malcolm’s Black Muslim emphasis on black self-help, his attacks on drugs and going on welfare, were an attempt to bring ghetto blacks over to a Protestant Ethic, and it had a limited success in what could have developed into an ideology of Black Capitalism. But it is impossible to say where Malcolm would have headed had he not been gunned down in Harlem’s Hotel Theresa Ballroom in February 1965.

There is no question that black nationalism is a lot more libertarian than the compulsory integration pushed by King, the NAACP, and white liberals. But there are deep problems with black nationalism, which Malcolm never had a chance to explore. The most fundamental: black nationalism in what territory? A nation has to have territory, and blacks are only one-fifth of the American nation. “Black nationalism” within the United States is then only a phony nationalism, and beginning to look like a drive for an aggravated form of coerced parasitism over the white population. The territorial question was at least faced by the Black Belt thesis of the Communist Party of the USA during the 1920s: Black Belt slave counties of the South. There were two grave problems with this doctrine: (a) what do you do with the existing usually majority white population in these areas, and (b) as time has gone on since 1865, more and more blacks have moved out of the historic Black Belt, and have taken over various inner cities in the North.

A second, and more plausible, form of black nationalism is for a separate black nation in currently existing black areas: a New Africa comprised of Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Detroit, Watts, et al. with its capital the old Washington, D.C., and President Jesse Jackson sitting in the Black House. But then more problems arise. Apart from all the problems of enclaves and access, does anyone really believe that this New Africa would be content to strike out on its own, with no massive “foreign aid” from the U.S.A., and strictly limited migration between the two nations? In a pig’s eye. More…

Anarchism, Decentralism, and Human Rights Reply

A poster in an online forum comments:

A case can be made for non-intervention where such practices occur in isolated, traditional tribes, though I think most of us instinctively recoil from the allowance of some practices, child sexual abuse perhaps nore than anything else. In any case, if we were to begin now with setting up a new society based on free and autonomous communities, those communities would not emerge in total isolation or without knowledge of each other. Would it really be acceptable for members of one community to turn their backs whilst knowing that the community in the next village are ritually slaying every first-born baby? For me, I would favour a minimal, checking state where representatives of the various communities would define what is and isn’t acceptable. The parameters would be wide but not all permissive.

And my response:

I think it comes down to matters of degree, along with degrees of separation. In some of the more backward parts of the world, they still practice witch hunting, human sacrifice, albino killing, clitoridectomony, etc. In places like the southern Sudan and Mauritania they still practice slavery. While I’m against all this, I don’t advocate sending military forces to oppose it. That’s part of the System’s outlook, not ours. I’d argue that different societies need to evolve in their own way and according to their own pace (kind of like the “prime directive” idea in Star Trek). It’s fine to criticize all that from a distance. I have no problem with humanitarian groups that work to oppose this kind of stuff on a social and cultural level. But shit on ideas like the late Christopher Hitchens’ argument for “bombing out of the Stone Age” any society deemed insufficiently progressive.

When it comes to communities that are closer to one’s self, it’s a somewhat different issue. One of the main reasons I’m interested in ideas like N-A is that it seems to me to be a way of working around the cultural conflicts that exist in various societies, while working to oppose the System at the same time. In the USA, for example, I’m all for the religious right and countercultural left, blacks and whites, socialists and libertarians, etc. going their own way and doing their own thing. When I mention this idea to some leftists, it seems like their worst fear is that some conservative regions would disallow abortion and gay marriage as if that’s all that matters. However, there are certain things I’d personally want to draw the line at. Setting up a slave trading colony would be one. If, say, Ohio legalized pedophilia I don’t know that I’d take direct action against them, but I’d recommend no one take their kids there for a visit. When it comes to things like honor killings or forced marriages, I suppose my attitude would be, “Keep it over there. Not in my backyard.”

However, it is also possible to have federations of anarchist, national-anarchist, or separatist communities where there are common standards for individual rights, human rights, minority rights, etc. For instance, a federation could have a common rule that all member communities have to allow exit by their individual members along with their honestly acquired property, guarantees for the rights of children, protection of the environment, provisions for the management of joint resources like waterways, highways, airspace, etc., limitations on the punishment of criminals (e.g., no torture, detention without trial, rights of appeal, etc).

Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” Reply

I like Jimmy a lot better out of power than in power.

By Jon Schwartz


Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”

Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United.



Robert Price & Chris Mooney – Must Atheists Also Be Liberals? Reply

This is an interesting discussion. I happen to disagree with Price’s hawkish foreign policy views, which don’t seem very informed beyond the level of FOX News, and Mooney’s Democratic Party-friendly liberalism.

Listen here.

Recently in Amherst, New York, two of Point of Inquiry’s hosts sat down for a special in-studio episode of the show. One was a conservative (Robert Price), one a liberal (Chris Mooney)—and both were atheists.

The topic they tackled: Is there any necessary correlation between one’s disbelief in God and one’s place on the political spectrum?

The result was a fascinating—and notably civil, and frequently entertaining—conversation ranging across foreign policy, abortion, stem cell research, animal rights, and many other topics. In the end, the discussants actually found not only much disagreement, but also some common ground.


White House Unsurprisingly Will Not Pardon Edward Snowden Reply

No surprise here.

By Scott Shackford


At the White House’s “We the People” online petition system, 167,954 people demanded that the administration give domestic surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden a “full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.”

Hope he's not too homesick.

The petition was filed in June 2013 and the White House has finally gotten around to responding, more than two years later. The short answer: LOL, NOPE! Here’s the long answer:


Anarchism Without Adjectives Reply

By Kevin Carson

Schematic designs for a new society seem to be really popular among self-described anarchists of all stripes. On the Right, we have Rothbard’s model for an entire society modelled whole-cloth on a “libertarian law code” deduced from axioms like self-ownership and the non-aggression principle. Within the historic anarchist movement of the Left, we have uniform templates like syndicalism or Kropotkinist communism. And the same tendency can be found among quasi-anarchistic libertarian socialist models like De Leonism and the World Socialist Movement; the latter assumes the creation of a communist society by persuading all the countries in the world to vote in their precise model of social organization through the political process, within a short time frame. And if all this isn’t bad enough there’s Parecon, for god’s sake.

The “anarchism without adjectives” position was a reaction to this kind of doctrinaire model-building, and the resulting conflicts between the proponents of various totalizing blueprints for society — most notably the late-19th century conflict between individualists, represented by Benjamin Tucker, and communists, represented by Johann Most. Although the term was first used by a couple of Spanish anarchists, Ricardo Mella and Fernando Terrida del Marmol (whom Voltairine de Cleyre met in London in 1897). Errico Malatesta and Max Nettlau adopted the position, and de Cleyre and Dyer Lum became its most visible American proponents. The basic idea was that anarchists should stop feuding over the specific economic model of a future anarchist society, and leave that for people to work out for themselves as they saw fit. Economic ideas like Proudhon’s mutualism, Tucker’s individualist free enterprise and Kropotkin’s communism were complementary, and in a post-state society a hundred flowers would bloom from one locality, one social grouping, to the next.

David Graeber has argued for something like this. He expresses skepticism that anything like anarcho-capitalism could exist for very long on a significant scale, with a large number of people willingly working as wage laborers for a minority, so long as access to the means of production is relatively easy and there are no cops to exclude people from vacant land. After all, Robinson Crusoe’s “master” relationship over Friday depended on him having already “appropriated” the entire island and having a gun. But so long as economic arrangements are a matter of negotiation between equals, and nobody’s in a position to call in men with guns to enforce their will on others, he’s happy to just wait and see what happens.

So what can we say about the general outlines of a stateless society? First, it will emerge as a result of the ongoing exhaustion, hollowing out and retreat of large hierarchical institutions like state, corporation, large bureaucratic university, etc. It will generally be based on some kind of horizontalism (prefigured by movements like the Arab Spring, M15 and Occupy) combined with self-managed local institutions. Second, its building blocks will be the counter-institutions cropping up everywhere even now to fill the void left as state and corporation erode: Community gardens, permaculture, squats, hackerspaces, alternative currency systems, commons-based peer production, the sharing economy, and in general all forms of social organization based on voluntary cooperation and new ultra-efficient technologies of small-scale production. And third, to the extent that it reflects any common ideology at all, it will be an attachment to values like personal autonomy, freedom, cooperation and social solidarity. But the specifics will be worked out in a thousand particular ways, far too diverse to be encompassed by any verbal model like “communism” or “markets” (in the sense of the cash nexus).

I expect a wide variation in small-scale institutions, both within and between communities: workers’ collectives, business firms, cooperatives, p2p networks, etc. Multi-family social units like squats, cohousing projects and extended family compounds may take practice autarkic communism internally and take advantage of small-scale machinery to meet most of their needs through direct production, while obtaining the rest through exchange on the market. Property rules in land and enterprise ownership will vary from one community to the next.

Even if we stipulate starting from basic assumptions like the broadest understanding of self-ownership and the nonaggression principle (not that even a majority of the anarchist movement actually comes from the philosophical tradition which regards these as words to conjure with), that means very little in terms of the practical rules that can be deduced from them. There is simply no way, starting from basic axioms like self-ownership and nonaggression, to deduce any particular rules that are both obvious and necessary on issues like (for example) whether I have the right to intervene to stop an animal being tortured by its “owner,” or what the specific rules should be for squatters’ rights and constructive abandonment of a property long left idle.

Even the definition of physical aggression against an individual is, to a large extent, culturally defined. The surrounding environment impinges on the physical body in a million different ways, and the boundary between those that are considered aggressive and those not (like photons or sound waves that physically affect the sensory organs and subsequently the nervous system and internal mental state) is somewhat arbitrary. The same is true for varying cultural definitions of the boundary between person and environment, and how much of the surrounding physical environment not actually part of the human body can be regarded as an extension of the self or an envelope of “personal space.” Bear in mind that common law definitions of assault assume such a spatial envelope, and include actions short of physically touching another person’s body with one’s own.

Any post-state society will include both individuals and communities adhering to many conflicting ideas of just what “freedom,” “autonomy” and “rights” entail. Whatever “law code” communities operate by will be worked out, not as obvious logical deductions from axioms, but through constant interaction between individuals and groups asserting their different understandings of what rights and freedom entail. And it will be worked out after the fact of such conflicts, through the practical negotiations of the mediating and adjudicating bodies within communities.

In other words, we need to spend less time like Thomas More drafting out all the details of a future libertarian utopia, right down to the food and architecture, and spend more time talking to our neighbors and figuring out ways of cooperating and getting along without the state telling us what to do.

News Digest July 30, 2015 Reply

Cop Indicted, Arrested in Sam Dubose Shooting by Steve Bittenbender

Prosecutors Release Video of Sam Dubose Shooting by Adam Johnson

Police Chief on the Video of Sam Dubose Shooting: “It’s Not Good” WCPO

Cincinnati is Preparing for Riots Over Sam Dubose Murder by Shaun King

SWAT Pig Indicted in Maiming of Toddler with Explosive During Botched Raid by Taylor Wofford

Cops Shot Unarmed Man in the Face, But He’s the One Going to Prison CounterCurrents News

Crowd Becomes Angry as Crowd Jumps Man in a Target Store by Eva Decesare

U.S. Attorneys Fight Sentencing Reform by Scott Shackford

Do Prosecutors Have an Unfair Advantage in the Criminal Justice System? Duh! by Steven Greenhut

Police Ignored Native American Woman’s Pleas Before She Died in Jail by David Ferguson

A Practical Solution: Run Police Departments Like Fire Departments by Tom Mullen

Sex Worker Kills Serial Killer by Mary Emily O’Hara

Is America Undergoing a Major Political Sea Change? The Rise of Sanders and Trump by Steven R.

Bernie Sanders and Racial Inclusion: Advice from the Left by Joseph W. Schwartz

Trump Leads GOP Among Hispanics with a 34% Favorability by The Right Scoop

Bernie Sanders: The Vox Conservation by Ezra Klein

Hillary Clinton’s Role in the 2009 Honduras Coup by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez

Creating the Horror Chambers by Noam Chomsky

Obviously, Mrs. Clinton Must be Indicted by Michael Scheuer

Leon Leow on Africa, Capitalism and the Elimination of Poverty by Zach Weissmueller

“The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered forms, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation, distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away; all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.”
― Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

On Immigration Bernie Sanders Sounds Like Donald Trump by Robby Soave

“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors,’ and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous ‘cash payment.’ It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.”
― Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Who the Jewish Billionaires Are Backing for 2016 by Nathan Guttman

Is World War Three Possible? by Roger Cohen

Noam Chomsky: What Exactly is the Threat of Iran? Al-Jazeera America

Iran’s Aggressive Act of Defense Lethal Truth

Iran and America: The Big Picture by Peter Van Buren

U.S. Department of State / Flickr

Christie to Colorado: Pot Party Ends When I’m President by Jesse Byrnes

Evidence Emerges on Jimmy Hoffa’s Fate by John Marzulli

Kentucky Man Shoots Down Drone Hovering Over His Backyard by Cyrus Farivar

In Wyoming, Shooting Highlights a Divide Between a City and a Reservation by Jack Healy

Los Angeles Union Wants to be Exempt from $15 Minium Wage It Fought For by Jana Kasperkevic

Gaza: Israeli War Crimes Followed Soldier’s Capture BBC

The Man Behind a Massive Meth Empire Vice News

Female Gang Beats Lady for Wearing a Bikini in French Park by Victoria Taft

Jimmy Kimmel to Lion-Slaying Dentist: “Is it That Difficult for You to Get an Erection?” by Travis Gettys

Insurrection News's photo.
The Man Who Hears Color by Greg Brunkalla

Follow Keith Preston and Attack the System on Facebook

Keith Preston and Revolutionary Strategy Reply

A poster on Reddit’s Anarcho-Capitalism discussion forum describes my views as follows:

Here are some things to know of Keith Preston:

A. He’s a strong revolutionary voice within the anarchist circles.

B. He’s a panarchist and pan-secessionist.

C. He is pretty much equivalent to a classical anarchist, like Spooner, Tucker, Bakunin, Tolstoy; etc. He does like anarchocapitalists and Murray Rothbard, though

D. He believes in Bakunin’s idea of revolutionary strategy, where a professional vanguard is dedicated to making Revolution (not quite the Leninist variant, btw, which emphasizes party line and military dictatorship)

E. He likes the left libertarians and has left libertarian views himself. However, I think he, like Roderick Long and Gary Chartier, is one of the few great left-libertarians and scholars. Keith Preston himself is strongly anti-PC and, by logic, anti-SJW

F. He has plenty of good material on his site, particularly on the issue of Revolution.

As for the article itself, the basic gist is forming an effective anti-statist resistance in North America, which would involve a vanguard of professionals leading various coalitions of anti-leftist, anti-statist forces, from libertarian and non-libertarian sides. That means putting the people against the Establishment, the ruled against the ruled.

So that’s that.

A reader comments:

It is very interesting that he has some appreciation for Rothbard. I bet he really hates Hoppe, even though in practical and political terms, Hoppe’s decentralization, regionalist and local secessionism is the closest thing in Anarcho-capitalism to what Keith Preston might be proposing. And everyone in the LvMI, especially the ones with affinity for Hoppe’s ideas, are strongly anti-PC. Just look at the titles of Woods and Murphy’s books. Not to mention, Higgs, Salerno, Block and Rockwell.

Everything Preston writes about, I can immediately translate in my mind to Anarcho-capitalist strategy and implementation, in one way or another. It makes me very curious to know more, but I would say I own a lot to learning Rockwell, Hoppe and Rothbard’s approach to be able to see that value in Preston’s work.

I would generally concur with much of this with the following qualifications:


A Day in the Life in the Newest Leader of the White Nationalists Reply

Give this guy a fair hearing. His idea of scrapping the American empire and embracing decentralized, self-determination for all has much merit.

By Vegas Tenold

ate at night on June 17, after he and his wife had gone to bed, Matthew Heimbach’s phone rang on his nightstand. On the other end of the line was a man from the South Carolina field office of the FBI. The man asked Heimbach if he knew a man called Dylann Roof and, if so, if he knew where Roof was. Heimbach told the officer that he had never heard of Roof and wondered what the call was about. Without explaining further, the officer thanked him and hung up.

“That’s when things got weird,” Heimbach says. Soon calls were coming in from associates who had all gotten similar calls from the FBI, and they were all now wondering the same thing: Who was Dylann Roof, and why hadn’t any of them heard of him until tonight?

“None of us had ever even heard the name Dylann Roof before,” Heimbach says. “Now he was all anyone was talking about.”

Heimbach is the leader and founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a nationalist high school and college organization that, according to its website, aims to speak against “the united voices of decadence, individualism, Marxism and modernity.” While the group claims to accept members from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, he and his comrades have been called Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists. The Southern Poverty Law Center once labeled him the Little Fuhrer, a charge he found ridiculous because he is not a National Socialist. This, presumably, was why, when a white supremacist gunned down nine congregants in a historically black church in Charleston, the FBI called him.

In the days after the massacre, everyone was trying to figure out why no one had heard of Roof before. The incident sent shockwaves through American far right communities, in which everyone seemed completely baffled as to who Roof was. To many, that fact alone was proof enough of a false flag operation: an operation orchestrated by the federal government to either — depending on whom you ask — malign and break the far right movement in America or provide an excuse to disarm American patriots in order to bring about a Barack Obama–led socialist Islamic police state. Heimbach wondered how he could have missed Roof’s online presence and, had he known about him, if there was something he could have done to channel his violent impulses into political action.

“We need to use the tools that we have,” he says from behind the wheel of his silver 2001 Toyota Corolla, which he named Serenity after the spaceship in the sci-fi TV show “Firefly.” It was mid-July, a couple of weeks after he returned from Charleston, where he laid down flowers at the site of the massacre. “We live in a political system, and if you want to effect change, the way to go about that needs to be political. Violence is never right.”


Rednecks with Guns and other anti-racist stories and strategies Reply

An interview with anarchist Dave Strano about anarchist tabling at gun shows.

This guy is head and shoulders above most left-anarchists on these questions, but he still falls back on leftist moralizing to a great degree. The best approach is to forget moralism and merely focus on commonalities from a pragmatic perspective. The tendency of too many anarchists to engage in racial/cultural/ideological/socioeconomic finger-pointing is the greatest obstacle we face when it comes to building a larger, more unified, and more effective movement.

By Juan Conatz


An interview with Dave Strano about the white working class, rural America and anarchist tabling at gun shows.

Following the election of Obama, many folks involved with a spectrum of different anti-racist work were left dumbfounded by the rise of the aggressive and often explicitly racist white Tea Party movement. Though the Tea Party Movement had been funded in the millions, enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of Fox News and was being manipulated by powerful forces on the right, it was also clear that the right was comfortably engaging with a sector of the North American working class largely abandoned by the broader left. In the throes of economic crisis many formerly enfranchised whites were looking at serious setbacks. In response the left for the most part smugly responded by dismissing the crazy tea baggers while white supremacists and conservatives moved into largely uncontested territory. In looking for exceptions, I decided to check out the John Brown Gun Club, a group of white working class anarchists who before the emergence of the Tea Party movement, had been sowing class struggle and anti-racist solidarity amongst mostly white gun enthusiasts in Kansas. Here Dave Onion interviews long time anti-racist gun slinger Dave Strano.

You were part of the John Brown Gun Club in Kansas and now are involved with Redneck Revolt in Denver. What are these groups are about? What sort of folks were involved and are you coming from politically?

The John Brown Gun Club was a working group of Kansas Mutual Aid, an anarchist collective active in Northeast Kansas from 2002 until early 2009. Kansas Mutual Aid focused on a variety of organizing initiatives and social programs including free food distributions, support for political prisoners and prisoners of war, copwatch and legal support, anti-military recruitment, and firearms and self defense trainings.


How Do We Bring Rojava to America? Reply

That is the question.

By Anonymous


While there have been some headlines and first person accounts of the Rojava region and the politics therein, there has been little analysis that is explicitly anarchist. That is grounded in the big modern questions about how can international solidarity occur in a space where most anarchists feel powerless (at home) and where ISIS, NATO, Turkey, and the PKK are all propagandizing.

The topic this week is explictly how can North American anarchists get involved in what is happening in Rojava (should they?). Does it involve traditional left techniques like protest at consulates, sending money (to whom?), and partisan soldiers? Does the Internet change what solidarity could look like today?

The recent murder of anarchists (among others) in Turkey is a reminder of some things.

First, it reminds us that anarchists in different parts of the world have very different experiences. This might be a stupidly obvious but it’s easy to forget. Ideally, these differences in experience would be places of learning and exploration, goads to people in different places to try different things—while keeping firmly in mind that things that work in one place work differently (if at all) in another.

Next, that most of us get our news from resources that are either insufficient or quite biased, or both, frequently without realizing or acknowledging it.

How can people from far away, with (usually) little reliable information, assist appropriately?

And finally, what do anarchist perspectives, both local and international, have to offer struggles that are local and site- and cultural-specific? If solidarity means attack, how does that manifest in this situation?

Related links
Rojave: A sincere revolution https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=28&v=CcLPyfgXBAk

Can the U.S. governing elite not know how deeply it’s hated? Reply

And this is just the Red Tribe’s list of grievances. Add to this the grievances of the Blue Tribe, Grey Tribe, the “Far Right,” minorities, the “Far Left,” etc. and the list would be five times as long.

By Michael Scheuer


“History will teach us … that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their careers by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” Alexander Hamilton, 22 October 1787

The frenzied attacks on Donald Trump by the U.S. governing elite and their slavish media/academic mouthpieces for his harsh but entirely truthful assessment of Senator McCain must leave you wondering if there is a possibility the America’s governing elite does not know how deeply and savagely it is hated by the citizenry?

This seems too much to believe, but the attacks on Trump surely suggest that the elite’s collective authoritarian head is thicker and dumber than stone. If these men and women need a starting point to learn why most Americans would prefer to see their pictures on a bull’s eye at point-blank range, rather than on a grinning-like- Hillary selfie, they could consider the following dozen items.

–1.) The elite’s shredding of the 4th Amendment via the use of a national government agency to monitor the private electronic communications of all Americans.

–2.) The elite’s crippling of the 1st Amendment by using hate-speech laws and the doctrine of political correctness to silence dissent and force Americans to submit to the insanity of accepting its demand that they believe all forms of sexual deviancy; legal, educational, and employment preferment for non-whites; same-sex marriage; and nearly sixty million murdered-for-profit infants are simply legitimate, alternative kinds of normal behavior for human beings and a supposedly rule-of-law society.

–3.) The elite-inflicted tragedy for so many parents who see their qualified children unable to get into colleges of their choice because seats are reserved for the elite’s preferred categories: women, several score of ethnic, sexual, and racial minorities, and foreigners who are brought in to further disunite the country.

–4.) The elite’s eagerness to keep the United States involved in an endless and losing war with Islam because members of both parties are being bought off by U.S. weapons makers; the U.S.-citizen advocates of Israel; and/or wealthy Arab princes.

–5.) The elite’s fanatic support for unlimited and illegal immigration and destructive free-trade deals, which (a) have destroyed U.S. manufacturing and thereby largely closed access to an ever-narrowing middle class, and (b) have created the income inequality the elite weeps and prates about, but which its trade and immigration policies have caused.

–6.) The elite’s war on the U.S. constitution by supinely allowing presidents to illegally exercise powers they do not possess, such as going to war without a congressional declaration of war; choosing which laws will be enforced and which will not; refusing to cooperate in investigations of obvious governmental corruption; using government agencies for partisan political purposes; and unilaterally altering laws passed by Congress.

–7.) The elite’s lust for starting unnecessary wars it does not intend to win, but which will please their corporate, pro-Israel, and pro-Arab benefactors at what the elite views as the perfectly acceptable cost of killing or maiming many thousands of America’s soldier-children and creating a nation-killing debt.

–8.) The elite’s endless attack on U.S. history which extends from the recent demise of the Army of Northern Virginia’s battle flag and the ongoing scourging of the South; to the denigration of the Founders as dead white men and of their work as outdated, sexist, and racist; to the national-government imposed Common-Core history lessons that teach not what happened and why, but the lies, distortions, omissions, and ahistorical presentism of the political left; to the creation of an inane President’s Day that lumps together for same-day honoring the greats, Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, the bigots, Wilson and Obama, and the perpetually adolescent philanderers, Clinton and Kennedy.

–9.) The elite’s ongoing war against Christianity, which includes the banning of public displays of some Christian symbols; renaming holidays like Christmas and Easter so they will not offend atheists and members of other faiths; and establishing “rights” that clearly make, and are meant to make, a mockery of the Christian God and his word — while constantly racing to protect the symbols and honor the holidays of the small numbers of Americans who are members of other faiths.



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