By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
It was the kind of story that always seems to fly just beneath the radar. You probably missed it. I nearly did. Somewhere between the Pride parades and the Fourth of July, while the country was busy hyperventilating over the latest Coronavirus spike and I was busy scrubbing the glitter and gunpowder from my crack, a memo from Attorney General and Melvin Purvis impersonator William Barr was published by those fine parasites at the Washington Post. In this memo, Barr directed the Justice Department to form a task force devoted to combating the vague scourge of “Anti-Government Extremists.” The task force was to be led by a junta of state attorneys and would gather information on individuals and organizations deemed to be a threat by the same Attorney General who brought us Ruby Ridge.
My biographical article on Burham for Chronicles which includes a discussion of the managerial revolution and power elite theory. Burham is a must-read for those who want to know how modern states actually work.
By Keith Preston
The ideological trajectory followed by the first generation of neoconservatives, from their early fascination with Marxism during the Great Depression to their embrace of Cold War anti-communism and subsequent takeover of the Conservative movement, is by now a well-known chapter in American political history. The life and career of James Burnham followed a similar trajectory, provoking British academic Binoy Kampmark to label Burnham as “the first neoconservative.”
Burnham, however, was a thinker who bore only an incidental resemblance to the neoconservatives. Indeed, Burnham was something of an enigmatic figure within the wider spectrum of the American Right. Most importantly, it is from Burnham that we acquired an understanding of what he termed the “managerial revolution,” a concept that continues to shed a penetrating light on our social and political life today.
Keith Preston and Todd Lewis interview Agir Cudi a Kurdish anarchist and pacifist who has resists the tyranny of the Turkish regime.
By Don Fitz
If you look at a US $20 bill, you might notice Andrew Jackson nervously watching statues of Columbus and Robert E. Lee coming down and wondering if his face is going to disappear from currency. As Democrats ponder which militarist they wish to glorify in the next round of monuments, it is critical to realize that statues which go up are at least as important as the ones that come down. Perhaps the best nominee for a new statue is Hatuey.
A few years ago, while visiting my daughter and grandson in Havana, I learned that his favorite playmate was Hatuey. “I recognize a lot of Spanish names,” I told my daughter. “But I’ve never heard that one.”
A summary and review of Cuban Health Care; The Ongoing Revolution, by Don Fitz, Monthly Review Press, 2020.
This book gives an excellent account of the nature, history and achievements of the Cuban health system. It is fairly lengthy, quite detailed, heavily documented, and easy to read. It has implications and lessons that go well beyond the health of people, to the nature of healthy social systems, dramatically evident in the comparison the book gives between Cuba and the USA. (This outline/review draws heavily on quotes from the book.)
Immediately after the 1959 revolution almost half of the doctors in Cuba left for the US. This had good and bad effects, firstly in plunging the health system into great difficulties, but also in jolting those remaining into recognizing the need for radical reconstruction of the system … and getting rid of those doctors most likely to obstruct change. The previous system had been largely made up of entrepreneurial doctors within an uncoordinated system, mainly serving richer regions and clients, and leaving rural areas with almost no medical services at all.
This is important stuff.
I recently put a couple of questions concerning current events to a well-known intellectual historian, a Jewish man whose parents fled Hungary during the rise of Hitler, and who is a specialist in the history of 20th-century totalitarian movements. His responses confirmed my suspicion that both the bizarre de facto alliance of the far-left, liberals, neocons, and Bush Republicans which has emerged in opposition to the Trumpists, and the seeming acquiescence of the state to both the iconoclasm spree of the far left and the lumpenproletarian insurrection, represents efforts by the capitalist class, the new clerisy, and the Deep State to weaponize both the far left and the insurrectionists against the Trumpists, subsequently purging or co-opting both, while restoring neocon dominance of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. In other words, it’s all about putting the neocons back in charge of US foreign policy. Remember that the neocons started out as Trots, and this is exactly how Bolshies do things.
The main question I have about this is about the degree to which these numbers are fake. It makes sense that Trump would be trailing because of the pandemic, depression, uprising, and because Trump is Trump. But power elite opinion is overwhelmingly pro-Biden so who knows how accurate the polling data is.
People will put up with a lot, but when there is no more food and shelter, the shit is going to hit the fan. These are “Third World” economic conditions. A class sector without housing or jobs is not a proletariat, it is a lumpenproletariat. A society with tens of millions, perhaps a hundred million, unemployed and/or homeless people is unprecedented in industrialized societies. The “let them eat cake” attitude the ruling class is taking will be the shovel that digs their graveyard.
Bidenism will be about marginalizing the Trumpists, co-opting the Left, and strengthening repression, while consolidating the position of the neoliberal/neoconservative ruling class. Styx greatly underestimates how serious the economic situation is. He’s listening to too much ruling class propaganda about how well the stock market is doing.
Excellent. Conflicts between the states and the feds are always welcome.
Chris Cuomo interviews the pink-shirted rifle guy. What is most interesting is to compare this interview with Cuomo with the Carlson interview and observe how Red Tribe and Blue Tribe really do live in two different realities and regard each other as existential enemies. An authentic anti-state, anti-ruling class revolutionary movement would be looking to exploit these cleavages and divide the constituent factions of the ruling class, rather than taking sides with this-or-that system-manipulated group.
Carlson has another interview with the “Straight Outta Applebee’s” guy.
If the revolutionary “far-left” was tactically shrewd, they would come out in opposition to any arrest or legal prosecution of this guy on “we’re against the pigs no matter who they come after” grounds, or “we’re for the right to bear arms for everyone” grounds. Such a stance would win the sympathy of the extremist and/or libertarian sectors of the right while driving a wedge between these sectors and the more authoritarian and/or “respectable” right while forcing bourgie liberals into an awkward position as well. Though I doubt most far-left activists are sophisticated enough to think on this kind of tactical level.
One of the most interesting aspects of the present state-induced depression is that in addition to the fact that 1 in 3 ordinary Americans are now half an inch away from homelessness, even medium level-sectors of the capitalist class are collapsing as well while the upper strata of the capitalist class (e.g. Amazon) are cleaning up. Neo-feudalism is here, folks.
By Saundra Latham
Retailers had a brutal 2019, and while predictions for 2020 were similarly grim, they didn’t include the coronavirus. Now a growing number of companies are waving a white flag as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on not just retail, but other parts of the global economy. Here are some of the most prominent companies to file for bankruptcy since mid-March, including one announced Monday, and a slew of big names that are at risk of following.
Some folks have to learn the hard way, I guess. Perhaps police departments should realize eliminating applicants for having too high an IQ wasn’t a good plan.
By Michael Rubinkam
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Activists against police brutality expressed outrage and demanded accountability Monday after video emerged over the weekend of an officer placing his knee on a man’s head and neck area outside a Pennsylvania hospital.
Allentown police violated their own policy against neck restraints when an officer used his knee to bear down on the man’s head, the activists said, while the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania called it an illegal use of force.
Hundreds of people marched in downtown Allentown on Monday night, calling for the officer to be fired and police funds to be reallocated to education, mental health and other social services.
“These police officers should not have been restraining him. He needed help,” said protester Maegan Llerena. “Not even two months after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, there was a knee on the neck of a man in front of a hospital. What is that? Can someone explain that to me?”
It would be tactically advantageous for leaders and organizations within the protest movement to openly memorialize cops who experience “line of duty” deaths in situations like this. Whether such sentiments would be sincere or not is beside the point. Psywar is crucial in the advancement of fourth-generation warfare struggles.
By Joel Shannon
Two police officers who were responding to a disturbance call were killed Saturday in a South Texas town after a suspect met the officers at the door and shot them, police say. The shooting happened so quickly that “our officers did not draw their weapons, did not fire, never stood a chance – never had a chance,” McAllen, Texas, Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said in a statement to the media. The police department learned about the fatal shooting when other officers stopped by the scene to do a routine check, Rodriguez said. The officers were responding to reports of a violent disturbance, Rodriguez said. “They were doing their job. That is what we are supposed to do.” The officers approached the door of the residence after meeting people outside the house who reported that a disturbance or assaults were occurring inside, Rodriguez said.
When things like this happen, opinion leaders among BLM need to immediately denounce such incidents and characterize responsible parties as rogue elements that are unrepresentative of the movement. At least that would be the smart way to do it. Incidents like this will escalate fourth-generation warfare among tribes.
By Theresa Braine
New York Daily News
A young mother was fatally shot earlier this month in Indiana and may have been targeted for saying “all lives matter,” the 24-year-old’s family said Sunday. Jessica Doty Whitaker and three friends were hanging out along the Indianapolis Canal Walk at about 3 a.m. on July 5, WXIN-TV reported. They argued with another group after one of the people Whitaker was with used a racial slur, her bereaved fiancé, Jose Ramirez, told WXIN. A racially charged confrontation ensued with the other group, during which the suspect’s group shouted, “Black Lives Matter,” and someone in Whitaker’s group — possibly her — said, “all lives matter,” Ramirez said. Guns were whipped out, and both sides, seeing that all were armed, backed off, he said. “It was squashed, and they went up the hill and left, we thought, but they were sitting on St. Clair waiting for us to come under the bridge, and that’s when she got shot,” Ramirez told WXIN.
Smart tacticians from the Left could exploit this issue to fuel hostility to the feds among liberal and left opinion, and in a way that also wins sympathy from the anti-establishment Right who see the feds as the folks who are going to take their guns and massacre them like they did the folks at Waco. War is about winning, folks.
By Jonathan Levinson
UPDATE (9 p.m. PT) — Federal law enforcement shot and severely injured a protester Saturday night during demonstrations in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
Donavan LaBella, 26, was shot in the head by what friends and witnesses said was an impact munition.
Videos of the incident posted online brought swift condemnation from some local leaders, including both of Oregon’s U.S. Senators, who demanded answers from the federal government, and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who asked that federal troops leave Portland immediately.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, in a statement released just before 9 p.m. Sunday, called on federal law enforcement to abide by the same standards as Portland officers in using less-lethal weapons against protesters.
In one video, LaBella is seen pushing a canister of smoke or tear gas away from his feet across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse. Moments later, LaBella returns to holding a speaker over his head with both hands. Shots of impact munitions can be heard, and LaBella collapses to the ground, dropping the speaker.
This article, by no less than leading fourth-generation warfare theorist and paleoconservative strategist Bill Lind, is a perfect example of why I have been telling the Left that making every problem into a cultural/racial/tribal civil war is a remarkably bad idea. Some people on the cultural right are instinctive authoritarians who will “back the blue no matter what they do” but others are lumpen and working-class folks who have had run-ins with the pigs of their own, and are suspicious of the state and the capitalist class for a range of reasons. It is a tactically horrible idea to push these sectors toward reaction. I don’t think that would turn out well for the Left (or for any of the groups the Left claims to represent) in the long run. Learn the lesson of the Spanish Civil War where burning churches and shooting priests only fueled Franco’s forces.
By William S. Lind
The Left’s seeming triumph is a momentary affair. In fact, with idiocy such as abolishing the police it is discrediting itself massively. But conservatives are frustrated. They want to strike back but aren’t sure how. Here are a few ideas that might help.
First, before we strike back at anyone we need to know who the enemy is. It is not black people. They are just tools being used by the real enemy. Who are they? The cultural Marxists, the purveyors of political correctness, multiculturalism, and white guilt. Just like the economic Marxists who ruled the Soviet Union, they are ideologues who want to establish a totalitarian state based on their ideology. They couldn’t care less about the blacks they use, damage, and then discard.
Journalist Zaid Jilani gives his take on the growing backlash over a letter defending free speech. Published in Harper’s Magazine, the document was signed by more than 150 writers, journalists, academics and artists.
Todd Lewis is joined by Right Ruminations, Keith Preston, and Swithun Dobson to discuss the decline of the alt-right.
It will be hilarious if a literal dementia/early-stage Alzheimer’s patient wins the presidency by a landslide.
The right-wing of the ruling class is fracturing. The neoliberal/neocon right clearly wants to purge the Trumpist insurgency within their own class.
By Scotty Hendricks
When most people hear the word “anarchy”, they think of chaos. It brings to mind images of gangs fighting in the streets, looting and rioting, without a police force to help end the madness. It can be hard to grasp why anybody would ever declare themselves to be an “anarchist.” After all, most of the news about anarchists in the United States focuses on their violent demonstrations.
During the Spanish civil war, a brutal conflict between Franco’s Nationalists and the Republicans, eight million people in Catalonia engaged in their own revolution. Based on anarcho-syndicalism, organized by trade unionists, and briefly very successful, the revolutionaries offer us a possible image of what happens when anarchy reigns.
And there is still six more months to go!
By James West Davidson
History never ends. But history textbooks must. As deadlines for new editions loom, every textbook writer lurches to a sudden stop. The last chapter always ends in uncertainty: unfinished and unresolved. I’ve experienced this many times myself, as a co-author on several history textbooks.
By now it seems clear that we are all living through a major turning point in history, one that will be studied for years to come. Future textbook authors will write entries on the year 2020, revise them, and revise them some more with each new edition. What follows is an attempt at—literally—a first draft of history: what I might write if I were wrapping up the last chapter of a high-school history textbook right now.
If the predicted future scenario outlined in this article is correct, and I suspect it probably is, the Democrats will be the dominant party in the future, with its leadership being a neoliberal/neoconservative pro-ruling class coalition. The Republicans will be a token Tucker Carlsonized right-wing opposition party, mostly comprised of middle-aged and elderly white voters in the South, Midwest, and rural areas. The Left will be in thrall to the Democrats, paralyzed by fear of the “fascist” Republicans. The Democratic leadership will placate the Left will a constant barrage of symbolic and substanceless “woke” social policies that do not threaten the Empire or class interests of the power elite. Meanwhile, class relations will continue to deteriorate with more and more people being driven toward “extremist” viewpoints. The power elite’s position seems to be that they don’t need to care about class issues because they’ve got too much wealth, power, and technology to ever be threatened by a class-based insurgency. We’ll see. The ranks of the lumpenproletariat are growing. About 1 in 3 Americans are on the verge of homelessness. That’s “Third World” levels of poverty.
The next wave of “class struggle” is not going to be about unions when most of the workforce works in transient service industry part-time jobs or the gig economy. Third World poverty is going to produce a Third World model of class struggle, i.e. full-blown terrorism against a political system that is obviously indifferent and intransigent. What is most interesting is that almost no commentators, whether in the mainstream or on the fringes, have recognized what actually happened in May-June 2020.