Reflections on the 0 to 100 Scale of Authoritarianism/Anti-Authoritarianism Reply

A few years back, I developed what I call the “0 to 100” scale as a means of characterizing the degree of anarchism or anti-authoritarian exhibited by a particular philosophy or organization. A zero would be a full-blown totalitarian regime like those of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim, or Pol Pot. “Total anarchy” would 100. Most ideologies, movements, organizations, institutions, and governments are somewhere in the 30 to 70 range. There are also a lot of paradoxes and contradictions involved. The USA is unusually libertarian when it comes to free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms (at least for the time being), but extremely authoritarian in other ways (war, drug laws, incarceration, to name a few examples).

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You Can’t Fight Fascism with Fascism Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

January 6th was a day that will live on in infamy, or at least so I’m told. Maybe I’ve just become too jaded in my young age, but three weeks later and I still don’t see it. The great Capitol Hill Siege sounds terrifying coming from some breathless dweeb at CNN but the whole thing seemed like a pretty second rate shitshow from where I was sitting. With the last gasp of Orange Man Bad, the Administration Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight whooped up a few thousand devoted MAGA monsters with tall tales of stolen elections and sicked them on a congress playing democracy with the Electoral College. Shit got out of hand and some of the loonier tunes in the bunch invaded the building, chasing off our dear leaders and goofing around the hallways and offices until the pigs who let them in lost their patience. Five people died, which is always tragic, but most of the deaths were freak accidents that could have just as easily occurred if that many out of shape fogeys attended Coachella. I’m sorry if I’m being a dick but I just don’t see this septuagenarian riot as being the new 9/11.

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Is This Revolution Truly Rinky-Dink? Reply

By Don Fitz

During the late 60s, when the US war on Viet Nam was going strong and people were questioning capitalism, I drove from Eugene to Berkeley where my sister was living.  I ran into folks who invited me to a discussion about starting a commune. There, everyone talked about dropping out of consumer society and buying land to get away from it all.  Asking about how you could confront the horrors around us by separating yourself from society, I got a string of denunciations accusing me of buying into what I claimed to oppose.

After telling my sister about the experience, she invited a friend over for dinner the next night from a group called the Progressive Labor Party.  “Great,” I replied. “I’ve heard of them but really don’t know anything except they are supposed to be serious.”

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Twenty Years of Attack the System: Was 2020 a Vindication? 5

By Keith Preston

It was 20 years ago this month, in January of 2001, that AttacktheSystem.Com first appeared.

Previously, I had been involved in radical activities since the late 1980s. For about five years, I was a conventional left-wing anarchist, engaging in strike support (Eastern Airlines, Greyhound Bus, Pittston Coal); antiwar activism (Central America, Indonesia, Cambodia, Persian Gulf War);  joining the IWW and IWA/WSA;  participating in riots in New York, Toronto, Berkeley, and at the Pentagon; creating student anarchist groups, a May Day festival, and homeless benefits; attending left-wing demonstrations (abortion, environment, war, homeless, anti-Klan);  teaching a class on anarchism at an alternative school; attending an anarchist convention San Francisco and the founding gathering of Love and Rage; being distributor/writer for anarchist ‘zines, conducting anti-racism workshops, meeting a range of Left luminaries (Stokely Carmichael, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Philip Agee, Michael Parenti), attending early Green meetings in the US, spending many hours in the HX833 section of the library reading books on anarchist history, and too many other activities to remember. I mention all this merely to point out that I was the real deal.

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Kick the Puppy S2: E3 Reply

Keith, Emma & RJ

01/18/21 – The Beer Belly Putsch, Trump is impeached but not just in the house, what will happen next, counter-elite development, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary leaders, gerontocracy, Uganda and Bobi Wine, a future of celebrity politicians, Reagan was a terrible actor, Facebook suspends Ron Paul following column criticizing big tech, Youtube bans Steve Bannon’s podcast channel, tribalized media, tech elites as the new church, the Capitol rioters weren’t “low class,” the front end of the Beer Belly More…

QAnon’s ‘Great Awakening’ failed to materialize. What’s next could be worse Reply

While I have always rejected, and continue to reject, the view that Trump was a “fascist” (as opposed to a low-rent Nixon), I do see certain potential dangers regarding right-wing authoritarianism. The cult-like sectors of the right-wing could potentially be marshaled in an authoritarian, statist direction by a competent demagogue or effective authoritarian leader (for example, someone comparable to Erdogan, Orban, Bolsonaro, or Duterte). Of course, these “cult-right” groups could also move in an anti-statist, retreatist, separatist direction which could potentially be tactically advantageous. A QAnon version of the Benedict Option is not necessarily undesirable.

A similar, though probably not as immediate, danger exists on the “far-left.” Increasingly widening class divisions, growing poverty, and ongoing cultural and ethnic conflict could potentially produce a US version of Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro (and, no, defacto moderate Republican Barack Obama was no such figure). Check out the works of Ibram X. Kendi (as an example) or James Lindsay (as a critique) if you want to know where the dangers are from the authoritarian left. Of course, a “left-wing extremism” that moves in an anti-state, retreatist, separatist direction (like CHAZ) would potentially be right on the money.

However, the main danger at present comes from the establishment center as the ruling class works to consolidate its position and eliminate opposition. Our main enemies at present are not “fascists” or “communists” but supposed “centrists” (i.e. ruling class overlords).

By Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

Shortly before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Dave Hayes – a longtime QAnon influencer who goes by the name Praying Medic – posted a photo of dark storm clouds gathering over the US Capitol on the rightwing social media platform Gab. “What a beautiful black sky,” he wrote to his 92,000 followers, appending a thunderclap emoji.

The message was clear to those well-versed in QAnon lore: “the Storm” – the day of reckoning when Donald Trump and his faithful allies in the military would declare martial law, round up all their many political enemies, and send them to Guantánamo Bay for execution by hanging – was finally here. 20 January 2021 wouldn’t mark the end of Trump’s presidency, but the beginning of “the Great Awakening”.

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As birth rates fall, animals prowl in our abandoned ‘ghost villages’ Reply

These might be some potential locations for intentional communities.

By Kal Flyn, The Guardian

For many years it seemed that overpopulation was the looming crisis of our age. Back in 1968, the Stanford biologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich infamously predicted that millions would soon starve to death in their bestselling, doom-saying book The Population Bomb; since then, neo-Malthusian rumblings of imminent disaster have been a continual refrain in certain sections of the environmental movement – fears that were recently given voice on David Attenborough’s documentary Life on our Planet.

At the time the Ehrlichs were publishing their dark prophecies, the world was at its peak of population growth, which at that point was increasing at a rate of 2.1% a year. Since then, the global population has ballooned from 3.5 billion to 7.67 billion.

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Leninism as Conservatism: On the Russian Revolution and the Lessons of History Reply

Ben Debney

The centenary of the Russian Revolution of October 1917 represents a unique moment for historical remembrance and celebrated, the event in question a momentous episode in the history of working-class struggle and a beacon of hope for anyone who has ever dared to dream of a basically sane and just world. First and foremost, it represents an opportunity to recall the industrial democracy of factory committees established on the ruins of Tsarism and war, easily the revolution’s greatest achievement. It likewise represents, amongst other things, an opportunity to recall the everyday heroism of the Russian people against Tsarist police state oppression and their creativity in trying to construct the foundations of a better world amidst war and endemic social upheaval.

We’re All ‘White Supremacists’ Now Reply

By Peter R. Quinones

So, part eight ended at the point where the protesters and rioters in response to the George Floyd video were magically deemed immune from COVID 19. And it truly was a “selective,” magical immunity for protesters of “institutional racism” because when another group of protesters marched on the Michigan Capitol in early May to decry the stay-at-home orders, they were deemed not immune. In fact, they may as well have been trying to spread the virus on purpose according to the corporate press (CP). These people who only wanted their lives returned were depicted as heathens wanting to “kill your grandma.”

And, of course, because the Michigan protesters were predominantly white, the CP ran with their go-to in the age of Trump – it was all about white supremacy. This was no more evident than when on August 25th in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a city that was literally on fire, a 17-year-old kid named Kyle Rittenhouse made the decision to tote an AR-15 with the intent to defend businesses that were in danger of being destroyed by “mostly peaceful” protesters. In a scene of utter chaos (listed on Wikipedia as “unrest”) and under assault from multiple individuals, Rittenhouse ended up killing two of his attackers and wounding a third. How did the CP spin this? As expected, Rittenhouse was a white supremacist who traveled to Kenosha to kill black people. The fact that the three people he shot were all white made no difference. The narrative is supreme and if the CP reports it, it is to be accepted as Gospel.

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Politics, power and the state: a Marxist response to postanarchism Reply

By Simon Choat

Recent years have seen the development of a new form of anarchism. Under the label ‘postanarchism’, writers such as Todd May, Saul Newman and Lewis Call have sought to combine the insights of anarchism with those of recent Continental philosophy, in particular post-structuralism. A central but neglected element of postanarchist thought is its critique of Marxism. The main aim of this article is to counter the postanarchist dismissal of Marxism. It will: introduce the key ideas and arguments of postanarchism; locate its critique of Marxism, demonstrating its importance to the postanarchist project; and highlight weaknesses in the postanarchist critique of Marxism. It argues that the postanarchist portrayal of Marxism is reductive and misleading. Contrary to postanarchist claims, many post-structuralists have drawn inspiration from Marxism rather than rejecting it: as such, Marxism anticipates many of the poststructuralist-inflected ideas of postanarchism, in particular their approach to the state, power, subjectivity and politics. In addition, some Marxist criticisms of classical anarchism apply equally to postanarchism, thus raising questions to which postanarchists should respond.

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So, Tell Me, ‘Do You Hate the State?’ Reply

By Peter R. Quinones

This is a simple question. One you should ask yourself often (some of us ask and answer it everyday). Murray Rothbard’s short article quoted in the title is a masterpiece, but was written in 1977. The last remnants of the gold standard had just been done away with and the remaining soldier/diplomats in Vietnam had come home a couple years prior. We are living in a different world but the question is as relevant today as it was in 1977, maybe a little more so.

Afghanistan is the longest war in American history and is responsible for the death, maiming and torture of countless tens of thousands of Afghanis. That number could be over 100,000 and the people who started it, and refuse to end it, will make sure we never know the real total. The Americans who are sent to fight in Afghanistan suffer the same fate – killed, maimed and sometimes tortured. Often times that torture is mental, in some cases caused by “following orders” of the State, and has resulted in 22 veterans a day committing suicide. Of course those veterans not only served in Afghanistan but also Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Ethiopia and on and on. No matter what you’ve been told, soldiers aren’t peacekeepers. They serve one purpose. Expansion of elitists’ power. By defending and supporting the State, you defend what soldiers are sent there to do.

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Meet the Censored: Status Coup Reply

Once again, the media and academia are the new church that is aligned with the ruling class.

By Matt Taibbi

On January 6th, Jon Farina, photographer and videographer for Jordan Chariton’s Status Coup outlet, captured horrifying images. At the Capitol, a pro-Trump mob tried to burst into the building, and a police officer who attempted to intercede was caught in a door. He cried out in pain, but the crowd was indifferent, chanting, “Heave, ho!” as they tried to break in. Farina, in the middle of the physical mayhem as photojournalists often are, caught the scene up close while 30,000 people watched the live feed.

Farina’s footage rocketed around the world, and major press outlets celebrated his work as an example of hard-hitting reporting. CNN did a laudatory story about the freelance photojournalist, with Pamela Brown asking Farina to “bring us inside the mayhem.” Other outlets like USA Today quoted his recollections of that day, and the likes of Steven Colbert on CBS, as well as ABC News, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the New York Post, the Daily Mail, and others used it as fodder for outraged coverage of the riot:

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How To Prepare For Coming Crackdown Reply

By Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

I recently received an e-mail from a reader of Live Not By Lies who said that the book was saying exactly what needed to be said right now, in this extraordinary moment for traditional Christians and political conservatives. I would have normally thanked him, and let that be that, but this was no ordinary reader. This was from an experienced military intelligence officer, now retired.

Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Ret) Alexander Braszko served the country for 22 years as a Military Intelligence and Space Operations officer. He has extensive experience integrating space, cyberspace and information operations capabilities into Army and Joint operations. He deployed to South Korea, Kosovo, and Iraq during his career. After leaving the Army, he became Kansas City, Missouri’s Chief Innovation Officer, where he used his insights into emerging technologies to improve municipal operations. He helped create an Emerging Technology Board in the city, charged with fostering a system of collaboration between city departments, law enforcement, and community representatives on controversial emerging technology initiatives including ShotSpotter, facial recognition software, autonomous drones, and autonomous vehicles.

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Washtenaw County will no longer prosecute consensual sex work Reply

By Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

Washtenaw County’s new prosecutor says his office will no longer pursue charges against adults who engage in consensual sex work, a move that national advocates praised as a win for marginalized people.

The policy directive that Prosecutor Eli Savit issued Thursday applies to both people who sell sex and those who solicit it.

Savit’s policy cites research showing that criminalization forces sex workers to operate in a black market and in isolated areas, exposing them to violence and exploitation. The threat of prosecution makes sex workers and survivors of trafficking less likely to report crimes, he said.

“As with other prohibitionist policies, the criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work-adjacent harm,” Savit said in an announcement on the prosecutor’s office website. “Forcing sex workers to operate in the shadows increases their susceptibility to physical assault, sexual assault and trafficking.

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Progressive Republican Matt Gaetz Calls Out Bought Off GOP Reply

Another interesting trend I’ve noticed lately is a “progressive to Republican” trajectory where folks with “progressive” leanings expressing sympathy for populist figures on the right. A parallel trend is the “walk away” movement which tends to be made of former liberals and leftists who became disgusted with SJWs and moved rightward. But the progressive-to-Republican types seem to be more populist while the anti-SJWs tend to be more libertarian-oriented. Meanwhile, the neocons seem to have largely reconciled with the Democrats.

Class Solidarity or “Deplorables”? — The Left’s Failed Messaging. Reply

This is great stuff here. Dore takes down some Trotskyist moron from some creepy vanguard party. In the past year or so, I have noticed the emergence of folks in the left-anarchist milieu who are willing to embrace, or least entertain, a position not unlike the one that I have long argued for. Increasingly, I have observed sectors of the “general left” moving toward such a position as well even if, like Dore, they continue to hold to the “progressive” welfare statist paradigm.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Is The Highest-Paid Federal Employee Reply

Why not just make him Pope?

By Tristan Justice, The Federalist

Dr. Anthony Fauci raked in $417,608 in compensation from the federal government in 2019, putting the nation’s infectious disease expert at the top of the income chart above the rest of its 4 million federal employees, Forbes Magazine reported Monday.

At an income more than the president’s $400,000 annual salary, Fauci will collect $2.5 million serving as the director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president from 2019 to 2024 if he maintains his role throughout the Biden administration absent a raise. Fauci’s pay, Forbes reported, rose from $335,000 in 2014 to its current level, and he’s brought in $3.6 million over the last 10 years. All data was collected by OpenTheBooks.com through requests under the Freedom of Information Act, according to the paper.

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