Keith Preston: Who Am I? 7

This is the transcript of an interview I recently did with a Swiss journal.

1-In your book “Attack the System” you describe the current ideology of the West as a “totalitarian humanism,” yet you claim to be to the left of Marx (I am referring to a statement you made on the Tom Woods Show). You describe yourself as an anarchist, yet you hold speeches at Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. Please tell us: Who is Keith Preston?

I am to the left of Marx in the sense that anarchism was always the left-wing opposition to Marxism. This was true even in the period before the First International when anarchists such as Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Max Stirner would voice their opposition to state-socialism of the kind championed by Marx and his predecessors like Louis Blanc. Marx was so incensed by these attacks from anarchists that he devoted considerable effort to his own counterattacks. For example, much of Marx’s The German Ideology is an attack on Stirner, and Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy is an attack on Proudhon. It was anarchists such as Mikhail Bakunin that led the opposition to the influence of Marxism in the First International, for which the Bakuninists were expelled. Bakunin was a prophetic opponent of state-socialism and predicted that if the Russian socialist revolutionaries ever gained state power they would become as tyrannical as the czars ever were. Bakunin essentially predicted much of the course of the twentieth century when state-socialist regimes ruled one third of the world’s nations. The anarchists were not only critics of the state, including state-socialism, but were also early critics of imperialism and colonialism during the heyday of these in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Marx and Engels, on the other hand, were champions of imperialism and colonialism, believing these to be historically progressive forces. All of these questions are examples of why I, as an anarchist, am to the left of Karl Marx.

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An Interview with Keith Preston Reply

This is an interview I recently gave to a journalist who is writing a book on political undercurrents in the U.S.

Can you tell me a little bit about the American Revolutionary Vanguard and what it stands for?

American Revolutionary Vanguard was founded in the late 1990s by a coalition of anarchists in the North American anarchist movement who wished to pursue a different direction from what was the norm among anarchists in North America at the time. The rest of the anarchist movement was usually oriented towards promoting one of three perspectives: countercultural lifestyle concerns (ranging from veganism to alternative sexuality to squatting to punk music and bicycling), or a kind of clichéd ultra-leftism of the kind that had been developed by Marxist-Leninist and Maoist tendencies within the New Left (such as an emphasis on “white skin privilege” and radical feminism), or old-guard anarcho-syndicalism that had been influenced by early twentieth century syndicalist tendencies such as the Industrial Workers of the World.

We wished to pursue an entirely new direction which would be oriented towards uniting all forms of anarchist, decentralist, libertarian, anti-state, and anti-authoritarian thought around the common purpose of abolishing the state and decentralizing power towards the level of the natural community, and forging a society-wide consensus for this purpose. Much of what we did at the time was a bit tongue in cheek as well. For example, our original name, American Revolutionary Vanguard, doesn’t really mean anything. The word “vanguard” is something of a taboo in anarchist circles because of its association with the Marxist-Leninist idea of the “vanguard party.” So we always claimed we were trying to reclaim the good name of the word “vanguard.” Ironically, back then many in the anarchist milieu were suspicious of us and thought we were Communists, but now we’re more likely to be mislabeled as fascists. But the original purpose of American Revolutionary Vanguard was the same as it is now: the formation of an anti-state front.

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Where Are You as an Anarchist? Reply

Guide to anyone confused (left to right, top row):
– Anarcho-Capitalists
– Anarcho-Communists
– Anarcho-Syndicalists
– Anarcho-Primitivists
– Mutualists
– Agorists
– Anarcho-Transhumanists
– Queer-Anarchists
– Anarcha-Feminists
– Anarcho-Pacifists
– Egoist-Anarchists
– Individualist-Anarchists
– Anarchists Without Adjectives

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This chart would be an overview of interaction between various N-AM communities, which serves as an umbrella for, sometimes mutually exclusive, ways of life.“- Zbigniew Boguslawski

The chart is also very atheistic/materialistic in that it leaves out a vast multitude of Anarchist variations centred on spirituality. Think of all the Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Occult groups, for example. And there is always room for thematic Anarchists, too, who may base their communities on sexual (beyond homosexuality), musical, dietary, historical, fictional or cinematic themes. The list is endless and the N-AM is the only movement on the planet that caters for such diversity.” -Troy Southgate

Anarcho-capitalism (AKA actually believing that absentee property exists without a state despite having 0 historical examples of this)

Anarcho-primitivism (AKA my utopia requires billions of people to die)
Mutualist (AKA obsolete political economy)
Post-left anarchism (AKA people who have given up on their dreams)
Egoist anarchism (AKA thinking that watching Ghostbusters is praxis)
Anarcho-transhumanism (AKA Elon Musk daddy please solve my problems)
Anarcho-communism (AKA thinking direct democracy prevents tyranny of the majority)

Anarchism without adjectives (AKA the radical centrism of the libertarian left)

Anarcho-syndicalism (AKA Catalonians stealing cows from innocent peasants)
Neo-Mutualist/LWMAs in general (AKA jerking off Kevin Carson)
Anarcho-pacifism (AKA Smash the Fash in the euphemistic sense)
Anarcha-feminism (AKA just an unspoken part of almost everything on this list, why should it get it’s own option)
Religious anarchism (AKA I hate hierarchy but have you heard of this God guy? he’s my lord)
Communalism (AKA REEEEEEEE LIFESTYLISTS GET OUT)
Egoist Communism (AKA dr bones believes in magic so I do too)
Collectivist anarchist (AKA still butthurt about the 1st international)

Keith Preston: Trump’s willingness to abide by peace agreement with North Korea unclear Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The government of North Korea is determined to establishing peaceful relations with the United States and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but President Donald Trump’s willingness to abide by any agreement is unclear, says an American political analyst in Virginia.

“The regime of [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un is serious about wanting to make some sort of international peace with the United States for a variety of reasons,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“The evidence is that they are indeed sincere about wanting to pursue some sort of agreement with the United States; the question how much the United States going to be willing to give,” Preston told Press TV on Thursday.

Trump said Tuesday Washington was stopping “very provocative” and “very expensive” military exercises with South Korea to facilitate denuclearization negotiations with North Korea.

The United States and South Korea hold regular military drills to the fury of North Korea, which has long seen the drills as preparations to invade it.

“The war games are very expensive, we pay for the majority of them,” Trump told a news conference on in Singapore after a historic summit with Kim.

Trump’s announcement was a surprise even to the government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which worked in recent months to help bring about the Trump-Kim summit.

“We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should. But we’ll be saving a tremendous amount of money, plus I think it’s very provocative,” Trump said.

Pentagon officials were not immediately able to provide any details about Trump’s remarks about suspending military drills, a step the US military has long resisted.

Trump and Kim promised in a joint statement to work toward the “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, and the United States promised its Cold War foe security guarantees.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday to hold the first ever face-to-face meeting between leaders of the two countries, which have remained enemies since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

While the summit is seen as a test for diplomacy that could end the long-running nuclear standoff, foreign policy experts say the stakes are high if it does not result in a nuclear agreement.

The Future of the American Political Landscape 3

In a few decades, perhaps sooner, the American political landscape will likely look something like the following:

The “intellectual dark web” circle around Dave Rubin will be considered the “far right” (the way Richard Spencer is considered “far right” at present).

Someone with the views of Hillary Clinton will be considered a conservative, and National Review will be running articles praising Samantha Power for having been a foreign policy visionary.

Someone with the views of Bernie Sanders will be considered center-right, i.e. a boring old Rooseveltian who just didn’t get genuinely progressive politics.

Someone with the views of Al Sharpton or Maxine Waters will be the Democratic Party standard, i.e. race hustling as the foundation of authentically American values.

The gender feminist/LGBTGIA configuration will be the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, persistently lamenting that the party’s  TERF leadership just can’t seem to get the pronouns correct.

The “far Left” will be those who want to extend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include pedophiles, zoophiles, and farm animals, although there will be a major split between opponents of zoophobia and those who consider zoophilia to be animal rape.

And Wall Street will still reign supreme, the bombs will still drop on other nations, client states will still engage in ethnic cleansing with American arms, while the arms merchants continue to rake in the bucks.

Image result for rainbow fascism

Image result for rainbow fascism

There is Nothing Better than a Self-Defeating Enemy 1

Characters like Spencer Sunshine and Alexander Reid-Ross are considered to be the intellectual leadership of the Antifa. For this reason, it is a great thing that the likes of Sunshine and Reid-Ross are currently steering the “antifascist” left toward the Democratic National Committee line on most issues: i.e. anti-Trump hysteria, anti-Russian hysteria, anti-Syrian hysteria, watering down criticisms of Israel, upgrading criticisms of Iran, bashing Israel critics like Norman Finkelstein while ignoring Saudi apologists like Linda Sarsour, and creating a wedge on the far Left between the “antifascists” and the “anti-imperialists” like Workers World, Party of Liberation and Socialism, Caleb Maupin, and the Green Party. The long term effect of this will likely be to discredit the Antifa as any kind of genuine opposition force in US politics. That will be of tremendous benefit to those of us who wish to see this neo-Maoist element purged from far Left politics. No doubt there will eventually be an Antifa Caucus in the Democratic Party, and maybe Sunshine and Reid-Ross can eventually become contributors to the New Republic as well. Keep up the good work, guys.

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Henry Kissinger has ‘advised Donald Trump to accept’ Crimea as part of Russia Reply

Kissinger represents a ruling class faction that wants to extend the olive branch to Russia in order to create conflict within the BRIICS axis. Tillerson was also associated with that faction, and that’s why Tillerson was initially chosen as Sec of State. When Tillerson was forced out it was a sign that the Deep State faction was gaining the upper hand in the Trump administration. The Deep State is more concerned with protecting the cash flow and power base of the military-industrial-intelligence apparatus, so they always need an official enemy to be at war with. Reviving the Cold War with Russia is a good means to that end. Kissinger represents the uber-globalist faction of the elite that ‘s more about consolidating the empire on the international level by subsuming unruly provinces and bringing them into the fold, or dividing and conquering them when that doesn’t work. See here.

By Andrew Buncombe

The Independent

Is the veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger working to secure a rapprochement between the US and Moscow by pushing for an end to sanctions in exchange for the removal of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine?

A flurry of reports suggest the 93-year-old diplomat is positioning himself as a intermediary between Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump. He has publicly praised Mr Trump, and traveled to Trump Tower in New York to offer his counsel built on decades of lobbying and diplomacy.

A report in the German tabloid Der Bild headlined ‘Kissinger to prevent new Cold War’, claimed the former envoy was working towards a new relationship with Russia.

This would involve the US accepting that Crimea, a Ukrainian territory that Russia seized in March 2014, now belongs to Moscow. In exchange, Russia would remove troops and military supplies to rebels in eastern Ukraine which have fighting a war against the Ukrainian government.

The report did not provide details, but claimed that “sources” said that Mr Kissinger was drawing up a “master plan” for Ukraine.

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The Rise of the Authoritarian Left Reply

I am seeing more and more articles like this from leftists who are starting to get it. This is an interesting and entirely accurate statement from the comments thread that follows this article on Medium:

“As I’ve said before, this is the first time I’ve encountered authoritarians as self-identified anarchists. Absolutely nuts. They’re Maoists and the worst thing about them being Maoists is that they don’t know they are Maoists. Actually, it’s a kind of weird amalgamation of hyper-individualised neoliberalism and authoritarian Maoism. How it’s taken such hold when the whole thing is a self-contradictory house of cards completely baffles me. (I too, am in that nice, green bottom left quadrant of the political compass. In today’s climate, that means I have no political home.)”

By Harvey Jeni

Medium

The Political Compass is a model of two axes, one running horizontally from left to right, the other vertically down through the middle. One represents a spectrum of ideas concerning economic organisation: the far left of tightly controlled state economics running across to the deregulation and free markets of the right; the other of social control: a hard, top line of extreme authoritarianism sliding down into anarchy.

It is useful, this compass, in that it highlights well our preoccupation with left and right, to the extent that we tend not only to lose sight of the equally important vertical axis, but also to confuse the two; leading, among other things, to the often lazy conflation of the socially liberal with the left. It was in this way that a neo-liberal free marketeer such as Emmanuel Macron, was able in the French presidential election to be presented as somehow a candidate of the left, when in fact it was his libertarian, not leftist, values that held him in such stark contrast to Le Pen’s hateful authoritarianism.

Recent times have witnessed a frightening rise in political violence and intimidation, particularly towards women, and as one whose compass point sticks squarely in the centre of the libertarian left, I have become increasingly alarmed by what I view as a sharp spike in authoritarianism amongst those who would claim to be my kin. In what now seems a constant state of political panic, the rhetoric and hyperbole continually escalate, carrying with it a new breed of leftists whose ideas seep already deep into the mainstream, influencing policy and steering social change.

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The Role of the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East Reply

By Keith Preston

Press TV.

A handout image made available by the Emirati WAM news agency on September 5, 2015 shows Emirati armed forces carrying the bodies of comrades killed the previous day in Yemen.

The United Arab Emirates is rapidly emerging as an influential player in Middle Eastern politics, and geopolitical relationships in the region. The UAE has experienced a remarkable rise in influence over the course of the past few decades. However, for much of its history as an independent nation, the UAE maintained a stance on international relations that was largely one of neutrality. Under the leadership of the former president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the country often served as a mediating force in conflicts between Arab or Islamic nations. Because of the UAE’s neutral stance, it was often referred to as the “Switzerland of the Middle East.” However, the foreign policy of the UAE underwent an abrupt change following the death of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan in 2004, and the ascension to power of his son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Under the leadership of Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE has rapidly abandoned its former neutral stance, and moved into an alliance with the American-Israeli-Saudi triangle, serving as an aggressive, disruptive, and destructive force in the Middle East in the process.

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In Search for Fool’s Gold 2

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Academic Composition

 From Kindergarten to High School, America’s youngsters are taught that education is the key to success in life. The underlying explanation is simple and straight-forward. In order to land a high-paying job, you must be able to think critically and display a good deal of mental agility. After all, if you want to work in a STEM field, you must have a solid grasp of science and mathematics. Similarly, if you want to be a lawyer, you must excel at verbal communication and logical reasoning. What about all of the other, less intellectually rigorous professions?

 As for that, our guidance counselors would say that a degree makes you stand out. If you want to be a book-keeper or a financier, you’d have a much higher chance of getting hired with a degree. Today, more people have academic credentials than they did decades before. Previously, a degree offered one a way of standing out from the crowd, today, it has become the new norm. In other words, a Bachelor’s degree is the equivalent of a High School degree in the 70s.

 As appealing as this comparison may seem, it is a false equivalency. In the 70s, employers had considerable confidence in the quality of education High Schools offer. As such, they were able to justify their preference for applicants who finished High School over those who did not. At that point, it seemed clear that High School graduates displayed superior intellectual, practical and interpersonal skills to those of Middle School graduates. Yet, can one say that today’s graduates are superior to High School graduates in these respects?

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Trevor Noah thinks Kim Kardashian would make a better president than Donald Trump 1

Kanye and Kim 2024. Make it happen.

By Eileen Rivers

USA Today

Is America going to cheer for Kim Kardashian for president in 2020?

After the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality TV star took a photo with another reality TV star in the Oval Office, late-night comic Trevor Noah couldn’t help but think about who appeared more presidential. His conclusion? The Kardashian beat the Donald.

Kardashian met with President Trump at the White House this week to talk about prison reform and to request that the president pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother in her 60s who was sentenced to life after a first-time nonviolent drug offense.

Noah also takes a look at various Oval Office photos and deems several others more presidential than Trump. Take a look at today’s Best of Late Night, above, to find out who they are.

Jimmy Kimmel isn’t ready to accept that the meeting between Kardashian and Trump actually happened. He’s wondering if we’ve all been Ambiened.

Take a look at our favorite jokes from last night’s late-night lineup, then vote for yours in the poll below.

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Image result for kim and kanye  2024

Image result for kim and kanye  2024

Bill Lind on International Geopolitics Reply

Leading fourth generation warfare theorist Bill Lind has a number of important new posts on international relations/foreign policy up on the Traditional Right blog.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

A Disastrous Decision-Or is it? (on Trump, Iran and North Korea)

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Israel, Gaza, and Fourth Generation Warfare

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Another Strategic Blunder (on Syria)

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Solving the China Trade Problem

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The Worst Possible Choice (On John Bolton)

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If we’re headed for regime change in Iran, get ready for a military draft. We’ll need one. 2

A reminder of why the anti-Vietnam War movement was one of the most important, if not the most important, movements in US history, and why the movement never really receives the level of commemoration of other past movements. Notice that there are no schools or streets named after the leading figures in the anti-Vietnam War movement The American Revolution was a landmark historical event, but one that provides the founding myths of the system. The victory of the Union in the Civil War consolidated the foundation for the American empire. Movements like abolition, women’s suffrage, labor, civil rights, gay rights and environmentalism can be pointed out as examples of social progress, and incorporated into the System. The two World Wars helped the USA become a world empire. The US got an Asian satellite state out of the Korean War. But the Vietnam War was a major defeat, a major victory for the anti-colonial movements of the postwar period, and an embarrassment to the establishment that the power elite would prefer to sweep under the rug.

It is because of the legacy of the anti-Vietnam War movement that the draft is no longer politically feasible, and that Americans will not accept imperialist war if its requires any sacrifices on their side. The Vietnam War was also the last major interstate conflict between wars between states began giving way to fourth generation warfare.

By Gil Barndollar

USA Today

With U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the installation of John Bolton as national security adviser, new sanctions and demands on Iran and a White House that appears committed to doing the heavy lifting for our friends and allies, regime change in Iran may well be back on the menu.

Should a serious public relations campaign for regime change begin, we will assuredly hear some familiar songs: the mullahs’ theocracy is weak and will swiftly collapse; our “man in Tehran” will be embraced by the people; the war will practically pay for itself; and most important, we won’t need to put any American “boots on the ground.”

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Revisiting a Transformational Speech: The Culture War Scorecard Reply

Michael Barone assesses the state of the culture war 26 years after Pat Buchanan’s famous speech at the 1992 Republican convention where the term “culture war” entered public discourse. I tend to concur with Barone’s analysis. The Left has won on sexual and religious issues, and for the most part on abortion (with some exceptions). But the Right has done better on guns, welfare, education and crime.

By Michael Barone

The American Conservative

On Monday, August 17, 1992, Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Houston. Buchanan had run against incumbent President George H. W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination and in the first primary, in New Hampshire in February, had won 37 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent. That turned out to be Buchanan’s high point: overall he won just 23 percent of primary votes to Bush’s 73 percent, and under Republicans’ winner-take-all delegate allocation rules he had only a handful of delegates at the convention—the official roll call credited him with just 18. In contrast, the last challenger of an incumbent Democratic president, Edward Kennedy, held the loyalty of about 40 percent of the delegates at the party’s 1980 national convention.

Buchanan, unlike Kennedy, warmly endorsed the president who defeated him. He credited Ronald Reagan, not Bush, with “leading America to victory in the Cold War,” but noted that “under President George Bush more human beings escaped from the prison house of tyranny to freedom than in any other four-year period in history.” But he had little else to say about foreign policy. And on the economy—thought then to be in a recession which, the official arbiters ruled later, had bottomed out in March 1991—Buchanan was emphatically downbeat, devoting long stretches of his speech to people he’d met on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Georgia, and California who were terrified of losing their jobs. This was hardly helpful to an incumbent seeking a second term.

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How the Internet Has Created a Swamp of Very Loud Sheep Reply

Losers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose because you’re already losers.

By Ann Sterzinger

If you’re a digital native, you probably have no idea what genuine loneliness is. Before you get off my lawn, let me finesse that (oh, god, Ann, finessing anything on the Internet is always your first mistake): back during the analog age, if you were a freak or a weirdo, you were a freak or a weirdo. Period. That was it. No way out. No online community of equally gothy souls. Even if you went to some big nice suburban high school, you weren’t going to do much better than being Duckie from Pretty in Pink.

The downside of this is that you were sad.

The upside of this is that you learned to live with the various feelings you get when no one else will back up or even understand your thoughts and opinions.

Weirdos got used to being weirdos. And after a while, we liked it. When we finally escaped home and found the other oddballs in a slightly larger town, we tended to cobble punk rock scenes or the like out of whomever happened to be in the immediate area. Which meant that restricting your social life to people with your own politics or taste or thoughts was fucking impossible; you settled for hanging out with anyone who thought anything at all instead of shuffling through life like quiet sheep.

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The Real Revolution Has Nothing To Do With Donald Trump 1

Like all presidents, Trump is just an administrative manager for the power elite (much to his own frustration, I would imagine).

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

It’s been a weird last couple of days. I wrote an article about WikiLeaks’ dismissal of “QAnon”, the anonymous 8chan poster that hundreds of thousands of conspiracy newbies believe is sharing secret, coded information about Donald Trump’s heroic war against the US deep state.

Ever since I hit publish I’ve been getting a bunch of angry Q enthusiasts in my social media notifications accusing me of being a shill for the establishment. Because I don’t believe someone who says that we should all trust the President of the United States. Blind faith in the executive branch of the US government is anti-establishment now.

As bizarre as these interactions have been, they are still vastly more pleasant than my typical interactions with the faction I see as QAnon’s mirror image, the Russiagaters. Though enthusiasts of the Russiagate conspiracy theory are far more nasty and vituperative than the Q crowd, there are many similarities. Like QAnon, Russiagate is fueled by about ten percent information and ninety percent desperate need to believe. Like QAnon, Russiagate is so thinly substantiated it doesn’t begin to look legitimate until you’ve spent weeks crawling down the rabbit holes of its bulletproof echo chambers and squinting just right at everything you see until it feels true. Like QAnon, the evangelists of Russiagate center their revolutionary sentiment around President Donald Trump. Like QAnon, they shouldn’t.

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Forget the Russophobia/Russophilia: There is Only One System 6

In recent times, there has been a great deal of concentration on Russia as either the embodiment of evil, or as humankind’s last best hope. Russia is being portrayed by Democrats as the puppetmasters behind Trumpism, by the “antifascists” as the new headquarters of world fascism, and by some on the Right as the saviors of (pick one) the white man, traditional values, Christianity, etc. Meanwhile, some on the far Left have assumed a Cold War-era stance by proclaiming Russia to be the leadership of the global anti-imperialist resistance.

All of these points of view are wrong. The reality is that Russia is merely another player in the global-super-capitalist empire. How can a nation that is a member of the G20, and which holds a permanent seat on the UN Security Council be anything else? It is true that Russia has become increasingly resurgent in recent years after the dismal period of the 1990s. But Russia is still a long way from having the power it had even during the Soviet era (which was only made possible by Western aid in the first place), much less presenting a credible threat to American hegemony.

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Trans Mountain pipeline opponents vow to keep fighting Reply

Apparently, this is what “progressive” government looks like under Justin Trudeau’s totalitarian humanist regime.

By Justine Calma

Grist.Org

Canada is coughing up $3.5 billion to buy the floundering Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project from Kinder Morgan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had vowed “to get that pipeline built,” but pipeline resistance groups aren’t backing down, either.

“This is a declaration of war against indigenous people because they’re not recognizing our own sovereignty,” says Kanahus Manuel, a Secwepemc midwife and mother of four. “So we are putting on our war paint and we are putting on our battle gear and we’re going to fight.”

The Houston-based company had stopped all non-essential spending on the project last month after facing broad opposition from environmental groups, indigenous communities, and the province of British Columbia. Canada says it plans to fund construction of the project until it can find another buyer to take over. If completed, it would nearly triple the pipeline’s capacity to transport crude and refined oil from Alberta to B.C.

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National Prison Rate Continues to Decline Amid Sentencing, Re-Entry Reforms 2

It is interesting to consider that both liberals and conservatives are constantly claiming that society is going completely down the tubes, with liberals insisting this is due to the availability of guns or the proliferation of hate crimes and public shootings, and conservatives insisting the problem is family breakdown and lack of morals. In reality, crime rates have been declining for decades.

By Adam Gelb and Jacob Denny

Pew Research Center

After peaking in 2008, the nation’s imprisonment rate fell 11 percent over eight years, reaching its lowest level since 1997, according to an analysis of new federal statistics by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The decline from 2015-16 was 2 percent, much of which was due to a drop in the number of federal prisoners. The rate at which black adults are imprisoned fell 4 percent from 2015-16 and has declined 29 percent over the past decade. The ongoing decrease in imprisonment has occurred alongside long-term reductions in crime. Since 2008, the combined national violent and property crime rate dropped 23 percent, Pew’s analysis shows.

Also since that 2008 peak, 36 states reduced their imprisonment rates, including declines of 15 percent or more in 20 states from diverse regions of the country, such as Alaska, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Connecticut. During the same period, almost every state recorded a decrease in crime with no apparent correlation to imprisonment.

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Review: Srnicek and Williams, Inventing the Future Reply

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (London and New York: Verso, 2015, 2016).

I approached this book with considerable eagerness and predisposed to like it. It belongs to a broad milieu of -isms for which I have strong sympathies (postcapitalism, autonomism, left-accelerationism, “fully automated luxury communism,” etc.). So I was dismayed by how quickly my eager anticipation turned to anger when I started reading it. Through the first third of the book, I fully expected to open my review with “I read this book so you don’t have to.” But having read through all of it, I actually want you to read it.

There is a great deal of value in the book, once you get past all the strawman ranting about “folk politics” in the first part. There is a lot to appreciate in the rest of the book if you can ignore the recurring gratuitous gibes at horizontalism and localism along the way. The only other author I can think of who similarly combines brilliant analysis with bad faith caricatures of his perceived adversaries is Murray Bookchin.

I quote at length from their discussion of folk politics:

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The Last Communist City Reply

What class relations really look like under Stalinism.

By Michael J. Totten

City-Journal

Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 science-fiction film Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, takes place in Los Angeles, circa 2154. The wealthy have moved into an orbiting luxury satellite—the Elysium of the title—while the wretched majority of humans remain in squalor on Earth. The film works passably as an allegory for its director’s native South Africa, where racial apartheid was enforced for nearly 50 years, but it’s a rather cartoonish vision of the American future. Some critics panned the film for pushing a socialist message. Elysium’s dystopian world, however, is a near-perfect metaphor for an actually existing socialist nation just 90 miles from Florida.

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