A writer named Don Hamerquist, who appears to be a Marxist-Leninist with left-communist or autonomous Marxist leanings, has a new three part essay on the “antifascist” blog Three Way Fight that is considerably more insightful that what I usually find coming from that milieu. The essay is available here, here, and here.
The essay makes the following arguments.
1) The difficulties that global capitalism has experienced over the past decade have generated a backlash against neoliberalism in the forms of populist movements from both the left and right.
2) The “capitalist class” in the Western nations has attempted to co-opt left-wing populism by pitting it against right-wing populism in a supposed battle for “democracy” and “liberalism” against “authoritarianism” or “fascism.” Hamerquist also recognizes that Russia is a player within the framework of global capitalism, not a genuine opposition nation, but one that is being used as a scapegoat or whipping boy by Western liberals.
Mass shooting in California, Thousand Oaks was ranked third safest city in America, “we don’t know how to stop mass shootings,” overnight celebrity, midterm elections, how great the U.S. economy is doing, the Antifa at Tucker Carlson’s home, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she can’t afford to move to DC before job in Congress starts, Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts over name change, dueling culture, gangsters and librarians, all U.S. National Parks free to enter on Sunday, Bring Your Own Knife, surgery students losing dexterity to stitch patients, kids’ apps are crammed with ads, government workers, cryptocurrency millionaire wants to build a utopia in Nevada, thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips under their skin, cashless world.
Domestic terrorism, mental illness in radical politics, mental illness in mainstream politics, blow back against Saudi Arabia, Soft Bank serves as a front for Saudi monarchs, beacon of bullshit against Iran, US-Middle East geopolitical alignment, migrant caravan story is hyped to death, Pirate Party leader to become mayor of Prague, Trump has three phones, Silicon Valley elites keep their kids away from their own tech, the population seems to be getting stupider, what a civil war would look like, Dem candidate says dogs are smarter than cops, Michigan moves to ban crunk juice, when politicians settled disputes with pistols.
When I first learned that I had been published on Attack the System, a site notorious for being something of a safe space for national anarchists, I was both confused and intrigued. Intrigued because the national anarchists have a rather unsavory rep among their fellow anti-statists as being a kooky breed of quasi white supremacists. And confused because I happen to be an aggressively queer Marxian syndicalist. But also being a hard-luck, technologically challenged, writer who’s shit is often too radical even for the fringe, I decided I could hardly look a gift horse in the mouth. So I said fuck it, why not?
Then something very strange happened. The national anarchists turned out to be human beings and they seemed to legitimately dig my shit. So I put them to the test. I sent them all of my posts, not just the ones I thought wouldn’t offend their traditionalist sensibilities. I sent them candid posts about my own complex gender identity. I sent them posts referencing my past dalliances with communism and my continued admiration for the Black Panthers. I sent them posts in which I openly and gleefully derided the very notions of biological race and gender. I didn’t write these posts with the national anarchists in mind, it just happened to be the kind of shit I write about and I made zero attempt to shield my new audience from it. To my surprise, not only did every single one of those posts get published, they were a hit. Attack the System even went so far as to make me an editor, which was particularly kind considering that I can barely edit my own work, let alone anyone else’s.
Whenever a Republican president is in office, I see articles like this coming from the liberal side, and when a Democrat is in office, I see similar articles coming from conservatives. But these ideas never seem to gain any traction. Too many on the right are attached to nationalism (“USA! USA!”) and imperialism (what is euphemistically called “a strong national defense”). Too many on the left are attached to the idea of a global social democracy and “human rights imperialism,” or simply paralyzed by fear of the idea that some backwoods counties might do something un-progressive.
New York Mag
The year is 2019. California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, recently elected on a platform that included support for the creation of a single-payer health-care system, now must figure out how to enact it. A prior nonpartisan analysis priced it at $400 billion per year — twice the state’s current budget. There appears to be no way to finance such a plan without staggering new taxes, making California a magnet for those with chronic illnesses just as its tax rates send younger, healthier Californians house-hunting in Nevada and big tech employers consider leaving the state.
But Newsom is not alone. Other governors have made similar promises, and Newsom calls together the executives of the most ideologically like-minded states — Oregon, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland. What if they banded to create a sole unified single-payer health-care system, spreading risk around a much larger pool of potential patients while creating uniformity across some of the country’s wealthiest states?
This legislation is a very important step forward, though not nearly as bold as it needs to be. Although undoing the police state that has been built up over the past 50 years will certainly take time and require a great deal of comprehensive reform. Not exactly the fascism Trump was supposed to bring. Apparently, a ruling class consensus is developing that the prison-industrial complex has become too much of a cost liability (even if a few Know-Nothings are still dragging their feet).
By Seung Min Kim
President Trump threw his support Wednesday behind legislation that would loosen some mandatory minimum sentencing laws — a measure backed by powerful Senate Republicans and Democrats, but which could run into opposition from some tough-on-crime conservatives.
At an afternoon event at the White House, Trump officially endorsed the First Step Act, which he said included “reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets.” He urged lawmakers to send him a bill, saying: “I’ll be waiting with a pen.”
“Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible,” Trump said. “This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. . . . They’ve been talking about this for many, many years.”
The compromise criminal justice measure, which was hammered out in principle over the summer by a bipartisan group of senators, adds four provisions to a House-passed bill that focused on reducing prisoner recidivism.
I am inclined toward the view that much of the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy can be understood in terms of the traditional elite, with their Hamiltonian perspective, attempting to reassert themselves against the Wilsonian view of the liberal internationalists and neoconservatives that has been dominant in recent decades. Of course, my own approach would be more in the Jeffersonian vein.
Given President Obama’s speech at the UN this morning, today seems like a good day to pass this article around. WRM has a nice summary of the four schools of thought in American foreign policy over at Via Meadia (I’ve bolded his description of the four approaches) :
I invite any system-lovers who may be reading to explain exactly how it is that we don’t live in a police state.
By Josh Barnabel
A team of New York City law-enforcement officers swarmed a Manhattan condominium last month, issuing 27 notices of violations for illegal hotel use in one of the largest crackdowns on short-term rentals such as those listed on Airbnb.
The raid at the Atelier, a 46-story Midtown luxury tower, may be a sign of what’s to come. New York and other cities are seeking to limit short-term rentals that can run afoul of local laws designed to limit hotel-style stays in residential buildings.
This is a pretty good episode of A-News, which includes a discussion of the diversity of anarchist thought, populism, rural anarchist activism, and yours truly even gets a mention at one point. Listen here.
Yves here. Further confirmation that the gig economy is not what it is cracked up to be. Sex workers in the UK have less privacy, lower returns, and much less safety in the days of online platforms than they did when brothels dominated the profession.
Has the government declared war on trans people? That’s the million dollar question and its one I still don’t have a clear answer to. As some of you may already know, several weeks ago a memo being circulated by the Department of Health and Human Services was leaked exposing a plan by the Trump administration in league with their supposed enemies in the Deep State to officially establish gender as being defined exclusively by ones genitalia at birth. This would essentially erase people like me and leave us at the mercy of a bevy of bureaucratic tyrants from the prison industrial complex to its child abusing cousins in the tenured snake pits of the public school system.
When I first heard about the memo, released by the New York Times, I was skeptical for a number of reasons, most of them having to do with the foul circus of the midterms. Was the memo leaked by Trump’s frenemies in the Steady State in an attempt to use identity politics to shore up the youth vote for their allies in the Democratic Party? Or did Trump leak the memo himself to excite those fun-policing tranny-bashers, the Evangelicals, knowing they’d need the Spanish Fly of state sanctioned child abuse to get hard enough to vote for their local philandering whore-mongers in the GOP and, by proxy, our own philandering whore-monger in chief? Was this memo for real or was it just more hot air to fill Trump’s leaky balloon?
Only 7? Sounds a bit moderate. It’s interesting how these ideas keep getting circulated but never really catch on beyond the margins. Are that many people really that unhappy with the system? Or are political partisans really just equivalents of sports fans (with “extremists” like the Antifa and Alt-Right merely assuming the role of the football hooligans)?.
By Bonnie Kristian
Look, we had a good run.
Well, maybe “good” isn’t quite the right word … but certainly it’s been interesting. These United States were a grand experiment. But the experiment has gotten out of hand. It’s time to peacefully dissolve the union.
I know, I know. This is not what good Americans are supposed to suggest. “Four score and seven years ago” and all that. But to borrow a lesser-known phrase from that brief address, it seems to me we have tested whether this nation “can long endure,” and increasingly it is clear it cannot. It’s just not working. Do you really disagree? Do you like the way things are?
The repression of dissenters continues. It’s also interesting how the System has zero regard for any of these “extremist” groups who constantly hate on each other. In the ruling class’ perfect world, every one of them would be dead. Yet, if you point this out to sectarians, partisans, tribalists, and cultists on the Left and Right, they usually respond with “moral equivalence” arguments (i..e special pleading) which usually amount to “We’re not assholes like THOSE people…” (even if they usually are).
By Colin Lecher
PayPal said today that it will cancel accounts used by far-right group the Proud Boys as well as multiple accounts from anti-fascist groups.
The move will make it much harder for the groups to raise money online. The decision is the latest act of “de-platforming” by the tech industry, which has been grappling with how to effectively handle users that promote hateful or violent ideologies. The news was first reported by BuzzFeed News’s Blake Montgomery.
The ban will include the Proud Boys account as well as an account used by its founder, Gavin McInnes, PayPal said. The company is also canceling accounts for Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network. PayPal had previously canceled accounts for Antifa Philadelphia, Antifa Arkansas, Belfast Antifa, and Rose City Antifa. The company also canceled an account used by Tommy Robinson, former leader of the far-right group the English Defence League.
I agree with this analysis. The Democrats were the primary winners in this election by a significant margin. They flipped the House, multiple governorships, and multiple state legislatures. Votes on referendums like weed legalization and felon voting rights generally went liberal (although abortion related issues in some red states were an exception). The diversity count increased as well with the number of female Congress people increasing, record numbers of ethnic minorities, women, gays, Muslims, the youngest ever Congressperson, etc. all being elected. The Senate has always been one of the more conservative institutions, and that’s true today because the “red zones” get a sum total greater amount representation there. The left/liberal/progressive/whatever side is definitely winning as a far as the big picture is concerned.
Plus, I see Trump as far more liberal than his predecessors. He was a Democrat for most of his life, married a former Playboy model, bangs porn stars, seems to have no problem with legalizing weed or gay marriage, pardoned some black drug offenders, hangs out with rappers and Hollywood celebrities,etc. If he had been the President 20 years ago the religious right types would be going ape shit insane over his lack of morals and character. His actual instincts on a lot of foreign policy and economic issues seem more “liberal” than the normal Republicans and many Democrats. His stance on immigration was “normal” 20 years ago. He’s no stricter on “law and order” than Bill Clinton was. Nowadays, liberals don’t seem to appreciate just how good they’ve got it.
In a Special Report, Ari Melber breaks down how Democrats had a decisive victory in the 2018 midterm elections, winning more House seats than they have in 40 years. Melber examines the myth of divided Government and shows how Americans have not been going back-and-forth in deciding which party should win the White House, but have in fact, by popular vote, preferred a Democrat for President in 6 of the last 7 Presidential races.
The Brilliant continues its series on national-anarchism with an interview Gregor Eugen Elliott. Listen here.
The description of the interview from The Brilliant.
This is an interview with Gregor of Tribes magazine. His story (and article in Tribes) is about the move from “left anarchism” to national anarchism. The discussion is about WTF is left anarchism, National anarchism, and a kindred.
Americans will be headed to the polls to cast ballots in the midterm elections. Polling suggests that Democrats will return to power in the House of Representatives. Republicans are favored to hold on to the Senate.
However, political polls have proven less than reliable. There are plenty of people expecting a surprise once the votes are counted.
But there are many policies that won’t change regardless of who holds Congressional power come Wednesday.
For starters, we can count on the continuation of huge deficits. The Treasury Department’s most recent estimate is that government borrowing will double in 2018 versus last year. The bureaucracy is going to blow through $1.34 trillion more than this year’s record tax revenue.
That deficit will be the highest since 2010, back when the U.S. economy was mired in deep recession. Today, the IRS stands in high cotton. Imagine what deficit would look like if tax receipts were at recessionary levels and/or Congress was launching a major stimulus program.
Far too many people on the center left and center right have bought into the idea that nations such as Russia or China are genuine enemies of the global system, and far too many people on the far left and far right have bought into the idea that these nations represent credible alternatives to the global system. While it is certainly true that the Washington-London-Brussels-Berlin-Tel Aviv-Riyadh axis is the real international ruling class, the Asian powers are merely backwater provinces in the global system that are occasionally unruly.
Like any twilight empire, America has some strange and perverse rituals that are generally excepted as normal by our unblinking masses. There’s the fascist war prayer of the National Anthem, which you can lose your livelihood for betraying with a knee. There’s the Kidz Bop chant version known as the Pledge of Allegiance, my own childhood protest of which had my archdiocese contacting the nearest exorcist. Then of coarse there’s the incessant soldier worship which mandates us all to repeatedly thank everyone who has ever served in our colossal armed services for preserving our “freedoms”, regardless of whether they launched drone strikes from Las Vegas cubicles or shot Cuban gardeners on golf courses in Grenada. But all of that jingle brained jingoism pales in comparison to the peer-pressure-palooza that is the right to vote.
Matthew VanDyke is the founder of Sons of Liberty International, a security firm that advises, trains, and supplies vulnerable populations to defend themselves against terrorists. He is preparing for an independent mission to Iraq during which he’ll train Iraqis to fight back against the Islamic State.
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Anyone familiar with the neoreactionary movement or “Dark Enlightenment”— the strange alliance of corporate techno-capitalists, ethnonationalists, and throne-and-altar traditionalists—will certainly have heard of Curtis Yarvin or, as he is better known, Mencius Moldbug. His blog, Unqualified Reservations, has served as a central resource upon which the neoreactionary movement has built their bizarre far-right school of thought. Moldbug himself specifically proposes a self-made ideology he has branded “neocameralism”, named for an administrative ideology originating in 16th century Germany. Murray N. Rothbard writes in An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought that “cameralists, named after the German royal treasure chamber, the Kammer, propounded an extreme form of mercantilism, concentrating even more than their confreres in the West on building up state power, and subordinating all parts of the economy and polity to the state and its bureaucracy.” Moldbug’s new form of cameralism advocates for the privatization the nation state into a collection of joint-stock companies headed by CEOs forming many separate corporate city-states, collectively referred to by Moldbug as a “patchwork.”