Thinkers Against Modernity: A New Book from Keith Preston Reply

Available from Black House Publishing.

The prevailing sentiment of contemporary intellectuals is that the human condition has never been better. History is regarded as lengthy episode of oppression that human beings have gradually but steadily fought to overcome with considerable success. Evidence of these successes that are commonly offered include increased material consumption, better health and longer life expectancy, technological development and, above all, the ongoing triumph of “democracy” and “human rights.”

However, the nineteenth and twentieth century produced an array of dissident thinkers that expressed a great skepticism of modern civilization. Their individual critiques were often vastly different from one another. Yet the common idea that emerges from work of these genuine intellectual mavericks is one that laments the loss of traditional societies, and pessimism about the new world that modernity has brought. Instead, the modern project has been regarded by thinkers as different as Nietzsche, G.K. Chesterton and Alain De Benoist to have been a cultural and spiritual degeneration that diminished rather than elevated the nobility of man.

This work by Keith Preston examines the ideas of these thinkers, and considers the potential relevance of their insights in the postmodern age.

The Failure of Anarchism: A New Book from Keith Preston 2

Available from Black House Publishing.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, anarchism was the most feared revolutionary movement in the world. However, in the century anarchism was eclipsed by the rise of the modern totalitarian states, world wars, and the emergence of technocratic managerial economies. Meanwhile, anarchists have failed to provide alternatives to this dominant form of political economy.

In this work, the anarchist theoretician Keith Preston places the blame for these failures on the shoulders of his fellow anarchists. He criticizes the contemporary anarchist movement for having degenerated into a fashionable youth culture that has lost the ferocity of historic anarchism. Instead, present day anarchists are more likely to serve as the lackeys of political correctness than the vanguard of revolution.

Preston discusses the possibility of new directions for modern anarchists. These include the formation of strategic alliances for the purpose of overthrowing states, ruling classes, and empires by means of the visionary concept of pan-secessionism. He recognizes that anti-state revolutionaries will eventually need to achieve victory through “fourth generation warfare” i.e. an insurgency on the model of groups like Hezbollah or the Peoples War Group.

Further, Preston argues that the social base of anarchism should not be fanciful intellectuals or privileged-class university students. Instead, the foundation of revolutionary struggle should be the “lumpenproletariat” of the permanently unemployed, the dispossessed, the prisoner, the prostitute, and the homeless. Preston subsequently surveys a plethora of trends that provide a basis for anarchist optimism.

Iceland, a land of Vikings, braces for a Pirate Party takeover 3

We need a Pirate Party in the US.

By Griff Witte

Washington Post

The party that could be on the cusp of winning Iceland’s national elections on Saturday didn’t exist four years ago.

Its members are a collection of anarchists, hackers, libertarians and Web geeks. It sets policy through online polls — and thinks the government should do the same. It wants to make Iceland “a Switzerland of bits,” free of digital snooping. It has offered Edward Snowden a new place to call home.

And then there’s the name: In this land of Vikings, the Pirate Party may soon be king.

The rise of the Pirates — from radical fringe to focal point of Icelandic politics — has astonished even the party’s founder, a poet, Web programmer and former WikiLeaks activist.

“No way,” said 49-year-old Birgitta Jónsdóttir when asked whether she could have envisioned her party governing the country so soon after its launch.


How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul 4

A must read for anyone that wants to understand present days economics and politics. The article, appearing in a leading liberal journal, acknowledges what I have been saying for years, i.e. that what passes for the “Left” in today’s world is simply the left-wing of capitalism allied with the cultural Left that has repudiated whatever populist, libertarian, decentralist, or anti-capitalist tradition the U.S. Left would have ever had. This writer even acknowledges the role of the Dutton strategy in bringing about this state of affairs.

By Matt Stoller

The Atlantic

t was January 1975, and the Watergate Babies had arrived in Washington looking for blood. The Watergate Babies—as the recently elected Democratic congressmen were known—were young, idealistic liberals who had been swept into office on a promise to clean up government, end the war in Vietnam, and rid the nation’s capital of the kind of corruption and dirty politics the Nixon White House had wrought. Richard Nixon himself had resigned just a few months earlier in August. But the Watergate Babies didn’t just campaign against Nixon; they took on the Democratic establishment, too. Newly elected Representative George Miller of California, then just 29 years old, announced, “We came here to take the Bastille.”


The Rich Vote Republican? Maybe Not This Election. Reply

The left-wing of capitalism, the newly rich, the rising upper middle class, the managerial elite, and the new class are eclipsing the traditional WASP elites and the Sunbelt insurgency of postwar era as the dominant factions of the US state, ruling class, and power elite.

By Robert Frank

New York Times

For the first time in decades, the wealthy are set to deliver a landslide victory for a Democratic presidential candidate.

While polling data on the rich is imprecise given their small population, polls of the top-earning households favor Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump two to one. The July Affluent Barometer survey by Ipsos found that among voters earning more than $100,000 a year — roughly the top 25 percent of households — 45 percent said they planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton, while 28 percent planned to vote for Mr. Trump. The rest were undecided or planned to vote for another candidate.

The spread was even wider among the highest earners. For those earning $250,000 or more — roughly the top 5 percent of households — 53 percent planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton while 25 percent favored Mr. Trump. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus four points.


Keith Preston: Interview with Iranian Television on the Election Reply

Watch here.

The television audience for the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump fell sharply from their first record-breaking debate. It is estimated that some 66.5 million Americans tuned in to the 90-minute debate on October 9 across a number of networks, well below the record 84 million who watched the first debate om September 27.

The vicious attacks that Clinton and Trump aimed at each other, and lack of policy discussion led to the fall in viewers for the second presidential debate. Some debate viewers had mentioned that it was difficult for them to answer their children’s questions regarding the attacks that were made by the candidates.

In the second debate not only did the attacks not decline, rather they became more vicious. Donald Trump brought women in the audience that had accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. He had even invited rape victim Kathy Shelton. When Shelton was 12 years old she was raped by Hillary Clinton’s client. Clinton helped her rapist client get off on a technicality, and was latter seen laughing about it. At the end of this vicious debate maybe the biggest losers were the millions of Americans who watched it.

ACLU Wants 23 Secret Surveillance Laws Made Public Reply

By Alex Emmons

The Intercept

The ACLU has identified 23 legal opinions that contain new or significant interpretations of surveillance law — affecting the government’s use of malware, its attempts to compel technology companies to circumvent encryption, and the CIA’s bulk collection of financial records under the Patriot Act — all of which remain secret to this day, despite an ostensible push for greater transparency following Edward Snowden’s disclosures.

The opinions were written by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. On Wednesday, the ACLU and the Yale Law School Media Freedom Clinic filed a motion with the court requesting that those opinions be released.

“The people of this country can’t hold the government accountable for its surveillance activities unless they know what our laws allow,” said Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “These secret court opinions define the limits of the government’s spying powers. Their disclosure is essential for meaningful public oversight in our democracy.”

Some of the opinions identified by the ACLU offer interpretations of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a controversial provision that allows the government to conduct mass surveillance on American’s transnational communications. The authority is set to expire in December 2017.

Disclosure of the opinions would shed light on how the government understands the boundaries of its spying power. Earlier this month, for example, after Reuters reported that Yahoo is secretly scanning every customer’s incoming email, anonymous officials told the New York Times that that action was based on an individualized order from the secret court. Disclosure of the order would offer insight into why the government thinks that is legal. Yahoo, for its part, on Wednesday urged the Director of National Intelligence to release and explain the court order in question.

The ACLU identified the 23 still-secret opinions by combing through press clippings and publicly released opinions. A report released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice, which was based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, similarly found that the government has kept classified 25 to 30 significant court opinions and orders dating from 2003 to 2013.

Congress established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in 1978 to approve warrants against foreign agents and spies. But after the attacks of September 11, 2001, it took on a dramatically expanded role, secretly interpreting surveillance laws for law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The court meets in secret, and until the recent inclusion of specially designated “friends of the court,” only the government was represented before it. Critics of the FISC argue that its opinions amount to “secret law” that is not approved by Congress, and cannot be appealed.

In 2013, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the FISC had authorized the bulk collection of American’s phone records, despite the fact that the law only allowed the collection of records “relevant to an authorized investigation.”


Trump is Not a “Fascist,” and Hillary is not a “Liberal” Reply

Image result for rainbow fascism

An interesting comment from William Gillis, the director of Center for a Stateless Society.

“There’s a number of folk celebrating the collapse of the legitimacy of US civic institutions, but regrettably it’s not so simple as de-legitimize the state and presto anarchism. Liberal democracy is an incoherent, ultimately unstable and unsustainable system, but there are many more stable configurations of society and a lot of them are far more dystopian.

Our strongest critique against liberalism is not that its founded upon horrific, unnecessary and intolerable violence — although it is — but that it is insecure against slow rolls or sudden descents towards outright authoritarianism and fractious civil war.

When the civic religion of a country withers and the treaty of liberal democracy is revealed as nothing more than paper, smoke and mirrors, what is most often released is the mass of fascistic predators who have grown fat slowly nibbling the democracy’s flesh from within. The collapse of a democracy is most usually a reconfiguration of power, hardly ever its abolition.

That is not remotely to suggest that anarchists stop or show timidity in our efforts to delegitimize the state, but rather that we must stay steely-eyed about the incredibly hard work to prepare for such a collapse and survive it, much less guide it.

When the president of the Second Spanish Republic called his ministers, his assistants and secretaries and found that they had all abandoned their posts — his government de facto dissolved like a silly dream — the people of Spain were already building barricades and raiding the armories. Either for the fascists or for the anarchists.

We lost that war.

In part because we did not get to choose its outset. And were not ready for its vicissitudes.

There are far far far more Trump brownshirts in this country than there are anarchists.”

This body of comments contains some interesting insights, and some ideas that I certainly agree with. However, I think it is also an example of some of the limitations I have seen coming from various anarchist and leftist analyses of the present political situation. It is not uncommon to find commentary portraying Donald Trump as some unique threat to the established system of “liberal democracy” who is hell bent on moving the United States towards some kind of more overt authoritarianism if not outright fascism. This kind of analysis is common not only among the usual left-wing and left-liberal crazies, but also among many level headed people, and even some people on the right (such as the writers at National Review).


Green Party’s Jill Stein on “Donald Trump’s Psychosis and Hillary Clinton’s Distortions” 1

After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee. She and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Green Party: A Party for Working People Reply

Jill Stein is the only candidate in this election that comes close to being an actual radical, or even an actual liberal. The Trump movement is a parallel to France’s National Front. The normal Republicans are even further to the right (more like El Salvador’s ARENA or Israel’s Likud). Hillary is a center-right politician in the vein of Richard Nixon (or the Christian Democratic Parties in Europe or Latin America). Even Bernie ran as a recycled New Deal Democrat (we used to have tons of guys like that in Congress, even representing Southern states like Fritz Hollings from SC or Al Gore when he as a senator from TN). Gary Johnson is just a moderate-liberal Republican like John Anderson or Mark Hatfield. Jill doesn’t even strike me as being that far left. Her politics are similar to 1970s McGovern Democrats, and many of her views would be entirely mainstream in Europe and even Latin America, perhaps even in India.. US politics is like something you would find in the most retrograde Third World countries that still manage to practice formal democracy (like El Salvador or Bangladesh).


Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed Reply

Regardless of who the next President is, I suspect we are going to miss Obama eventually. Whatever his limitations, his performance on foreign policy has probably been as good as any US President’s is going to be.

By Greg Jaffe

Washington Post

There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

It is not unusual for Washington’s establishment to launch major studies in the final months of an administration to correct the perceived mistakes of a president or influence his successor. But the bipartisan nature of the recent recommendations, coming at a time when the country has never been more polarized, reflects a remarkable consensus among the foreign policy elite.

This consensus is driven by a broad-based backlash against a president who has repeatedly stressed the dangers of overreach and the need for restraint, especially in the Middle East. “There’s a widespread perception that not being active enough or recognizing the limits of American power has costs,” said Philip Gordon, a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama until 2015. “So the normal swing is to be more interventionist.”


“Black Lives Matter has a plantation mentality” 1

So says former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown. Here’s the money quote:

“When it first formed, armed BPP members patrolled Oakland neighbourhoods – in their iconic blue-shirt, leather jacket, black beret combo – to keep an eye on the police. They were caricatured as violent militants, but they were standing up for rights as old as the Constitution itself. Newton, a law student, made himself an expert on gun law. Whenever the cops piped up, he’d blast them with the Second Amendment, Supreme Court judgements, chapter and verse: ‘I will observe you carrying out your duties whether you like it or not!’

By Tom Slater

Spiked Online

“I don’t know what Black Lives Matter does, so I can’t tell you how it compares to what the Black Panther Party was. I know what the BPP was. I know the lives we lost, the struggle we put into place, the efforts we made, the assaults on us by the police and government – I know all that. I don’t know what Black Lives Matter does. So if you can tell me, I’ll give you my thoughts.’

So says Elaine Brown, activist, singer and former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party, talking to me from her home in Oakland, California. She doesn’t like my question. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary, socialist, black-power organisation formed in Oakland by then college students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. And, as journalists scrabble to pen pieces about ‘what’s changed’, cack-handed comparisons abound.

I ask Brown about Black Lives Matter, the movement that erupted in the wake of the shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. This nebulous hashtag-come-protest movement has been compared – both by its supporters and detractors – with the BPP; it’s either hailed as a continuation of the struggle or slammed as a resurgence in ‘divisive’, ‘militant’ black nationalism. Talking to Brown it becomes clear that both sides give BLM too much credit.

‘There is no comparison’, she says. ‘The next wave of young people running out here, who are complaining and protesting about the murders of young black men and women by the police all over the country, they will protest but they will not rise up in an organised fashion, with an agenda, to create revolutionary change… We advocated community self-defence organisations to be formed, so that we would not be assaulted by the police, so that we would bear arms and assume our human rights.’


The last to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it 1

This is an interesting question to reflection on: What does it mean for the future of anarchist movements given that the center of world power is slowly shifting from the US-NATO-Israeli-Saudi-Sunni axis to the BRICS-Shia-Mercosur axis?

By Jeff Thomas
Ron Paul Liberty Report

Throughout history, political, financial, and military leaders have sought to create empires. Westerners often think of ancient Rome as the first empire. Later, other empires formed for a time. Spain became an empire, courtesy of its Armada, its conquest of the New World, and the gold and silver extracted from the West. Great Britain owned the 19th century but lost its empire due largely to costly wars. The US took over in the 20th century and, like Rome, rose as a republic, with minimal central control, but is now crumbling under its own governmental weight.

Invariably, the last people to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it. As a British subject, I remember my younger years, when, even though the British Empire was well and truly over, many of my fellow Brits were still behaving in a pompous manner as though British “superiority” still existed. Not so, today. (You can only pretend for so long.)

But this does suggest that those who live within the present empire—the US—will be the last to truly understand that the game is all but over. Americans seem to be hopeful that the dramatic decline is a temporary setback from which they will rebound.



Robert Stark interviews Alt Left Blogger Ryan Englund Reply

Listen Here!


Robert Stark, Alex von Goldstein, Rabbit and Alt Left founder Robert Lindsay, talk to Ryan Englund. Ryan is from Alberta Canada, and blogs at Samizdat Chronicles

Topics include:

Ryan’s political journey, and his early experiences with censorship from both the right and left
The political situation in Canada
How Ryan’s interest has always been in labor and economic issues rather than identity politics
Ryan discovered the Alt-Left through Rabbit’s Alt Left Manifesto and Robert Lindsay‘s blog
Ryan’s manifesto The Alternative Left – What it is
Sub Types on the Alternative Left
The Left Wing of the Alt Right, who are most open to race realism, and opposed to mass immigration, but are also inclined towards some kind of economic socialism or social democracy
The Red Enlightenment which includes Transhumanist, Fututirst, and an outlook based on science and reason
The brocialistRyan’s article on on Warren Farrell‘s book The Myth of Male Power, and how it relates to Marxist theory
The Gammergate left including The Amazing Atheist and Sargon of Akkad
The new Alt Left entriest who are trying to impose political correctness and purge some of the original members
Life of Brian – The People’s Front of Judea
The Regressive Left and how SJWs are the new fascists
The effects of mass immigration on workers, and how the labor movement was historically for immigration restriction
How Corporations have no loyalty to their nations
Ryan points out a Quote from the Communist Manifesto



Andy Nowicki grabs himself a front-row seat at the Circus Maximus. I sure hope popcorn isn’t part of the psy-op!


Three Presidential elections ago, I wrote an article for The Last Ditch entitled “I Loathe Democracy.”

In that piece, composed just days prior to the W. vs. Kerry throw-down of ’04, I noted the “elementary error in logic in the very notion of trusting the majority,” which is after all the principle upon which democracy is predicated. But, I added, the dimensions of my vitriol wasn’t limited to a mere quibble over an unsound calculation:


NO CONFIDENCE: Vote for Yourself Reply


In the face of a particularly pitiful election selection, Ann Sterzinger makes the case for giving oneself the first and final vote.

Personally, were I American, I’d either just stay home or turn up only to draw a cock on the ballot paper, in line with my anti-democratic precedent (#Brexit exempted). Still, I suppose voting for oneself, or “no confidence”, works as another way to inoculate oneself from the pozz of the team-sport/herd-animal mentality undergirding electoral politics.

Also: Hurhur…she said “minge”….



Saudi Arabia: No country is more committed to fighting terrorism than us Reply


Joke of the Week Award goes to Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir for this knee-slapping declaration:

“We are doing everything we can to fight extremism.

“I don’t believe there is any country in the world that is more committed or more determined or has expended more resources and more effort to do this than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “We cannot allow people to hijack our faith. We cannot allow people to take a peaceful religion — all religions are peaceful — and turn it into a way to justify violence.

“At the end of the day, Saudi Arabia is at the cross hairs of these extremist organisations because Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the Two Holy Mosques.”

And here I was thinking that the best way for the House of Saud to fight terrorism would be to collectively choke on a dick!



The left’s dilemma on Syria and Putin 1

By Joe Gill

Middle East Eye

Owen Jones’ call for the left to oppose Putin did not address the most serious charge that the Russian president is escalating the war in Syria

Owen Jones recently implored the British left to take their fight to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. As a leading voice on the left, his piece was interesting more for what he left out.

Jones points out that Putin has many fans on the right in the US and Europe, including Donald Trump and Ukip’s Nigel Farage. Amongst the reasons he suggests the left should put Putin in its crosshairs are his close ties to the far right in Europe, the dreadful toll among journalists who have opposed his rule, his homophobic policies and his links to oligarchs.

But in the entire critique he did not once mention the Russian president’s war in Syria.

Putin’s current bombing campaign and involvement in ground actions is the biggest military action by Russia outside its borders since Brezhnev sent tanks into Afghanistan. Since 30 September, the bombing in Syria has killed more than 1,000 civilians and twice as many IS and al-Nusra fighters. It has radically improved the survival chances of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which until Russia’s intervention was teetering towards disaster.

The left’s hollow anti-imperialism over Syria Reply

By Joey Ayoub

Middle East Eye

The inability of many leftists to see past outdated narratives on Syria has galvanised the rise of reactionary nativism in the West

Over the last week, some members of the Twitter bubble argued over the left’s response to the ongoing Syrian crisis. I took part in it, if only briefly and hesitantly, knowing in advance that it would most likely not bear any fruit. Here, I will try and explain why I think it’s important that such discussions continue.

The heated exchange was not between anti-imperialists and pro-imperialists but between those who can’t see past one form of imperialism and those who are struggling against all imperialisms (or strive to). Crucially for our purposes, the former typically underestimates, or willingly ignores, Russian and Iranian imperialism in Syria and it does the same with regards to the regime’s daily atrocities. The latter sees it as its mission to remind the former of what countless Syrians have been repeating for nearly four years now, namely that it is utterly meaningless to speak of struggling for equality and justice when a fascist, neoliberal and imperialist-friendly dictatorship is overpowering anyone who wishes to fight against it. As long as this balance of powers remains unchanged, the rest is wishful thinking, with very serious repercussions on the ground.