Why Are People Rioting in the Middle East? 3

Because they’re hungry. See this very good analysis from Richard Spencer.

As David Hacket Fischer demonstrated in his monumental work The Great Wave (1996), commodity-price spikes—and related governmental interventions—regularly coincide with political violence and “regime change.” The 18th century, for instance, was an era of higher prices and political revolutions, most prominently in America (1776), France (1789), Switzerland (1792), Belgium (1794), the Netherlands (1794), Poland (1794), and Ireland (1798). In the French example, the Bastille Day riot (14 July, 1789) coincided almost exactly with a cyclical peak in grain prices. In turn, Robespierre fell from power when a public riot ensued after he had instituted wage controls. The whole era of instability in France was inaugurated by John Law’s infamous “Mississippi Bubble” inflation of 1719-20, which led to the destruction of the market for royal billets d’état and a near total economic collapse.


Ron Paul and Ralph Nader on Corporatism and War Reply

by Sheldon Richman

http://www.fff.org/comment/com1101o.asp

What is American politics coming to? I just watched a joint interview with Ralph Nader and Rep. Ron Paul — and they were mostly on the same side! Nader has spent his life promoting government intervention in the economy. Paul has spent his life promoting the free market and minimal government. For the two of them to discuss making common cause is something extraordinary.

And yet it makes total sense. What’s so exciting is that their common cause shines the spotlight right where it’s needed: on corporatism — the constellation of government policies that primarily benefit wealthy and well-connected business and banking interests at the expense of the rest of us. While much of the Right Wing sees the danger of the Obama administration in Marxism and state socialism, Paul and Nader realize that that makes no sense. Bill Daley, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Paul Volcker, and Jeff Immelt are not the men a Marxist would pick as advisors. But they are the picks of a president who believes that economic stability can exist only if government and major businesses manage the economy together. Corporatism is the opposite of free markets, competition, and full individual liberty.

Paul and Nader are also united in their opposition to America’s imperialist policies and perpetual overt and covert wars, which, in truth, is also part of the corporate state. Foreign wars and world policing may not be solely motivated by economic interests, but they play a big role. Writer Nick Turse documents that the military-industrial complex is more pervasive than ever. The “defense” budget is a gigantic trough at which American companies can feast at taxpayer expense. Why take risks on new and better products for consumers, when the government will pay top tax dollar to pay for you make bombs, rockets, and Humvees?

Along with the imperial state come domestic surveillance and other destruction of civil liberties — all of which Paul and Nader despise. The horrendous USA PATRIOT Act is a prime target for both men.

Paul and Nader have many differences, of course, especially relating to welfare-state and regulatory programs. But they agree that spending hundreds of billions of dollars on military adventures, bailouts, and other forms of subsidies is contrary to the interest of most Americans.

Paul and Nader also don’t like the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank. While they have different ultimate wishes for the Fed — Paul would abolish it; Nader would make it an “accountable” cabinet department — both object to its having the autocratic power to bail out banks and other corporate interests. Moreover, both understand that fighting imperial wars would be impossible if the government couldn’t manipulate the currency through the Fed. Besides the killing abroad and regimentation at home, we also get a destruction of our purchasing power through inflation.

That Paul and Nader understand all this and are talking about it in joint appearances is exciting. Who knows where it could go from here? Yes, Progressives and libertarians have serious differences, just as they both have with conservatives. But all people of good faith who oppose America’s corporate welfare-warfare state — whether Progressives, conservatives, or libertarians — have an interest in moving America in a different direction.

The Revolutionary Wave 2

Raimondo reflects on the events transpiring in the Middle East.

The revolutionary wave now sweeping the world will not exempt America, in spite of the myth of “American exceptionalism.” We cannot and will not be excepted from the iron laws of economics, which mandate that you can’t consume more than you produce – no matter how many Federal Reserve notes (otherwise known as “money”) you print.

The implications for US foreign policy are radical, and unsettling. While the decline and fall of the Roman Empire occurred over centuries of decay and degeneration, the process as it unfolds in America is likely to occur with what, in terms of human history, appears to be lightning speed. As our allies and satraps fall, one by one, across the Middle East and Europe, their fate prefigures our own.

Before we start cheering this world revolution as the salvation of us all, however, it ought to be remembered that revolutionary regimes often turn out to be worse than the tyrannies they’ve overthrown. There’s no telling what direction these political insurgencies will take, either in the Middle  East or in America. As a negative example,  recall the ideologies that arose in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression — German National Socialism, Italian Fascism, and Eurasian Bolshevism – and be forewarned. On a more positive note, here in the United States, at least, the possibilities are more balanced, although the dangers should not be underestimated.

What we are in for, finally, is a radical realignment of power, a vast shift that will break up the political landscape of every country on earth and shatter all the old assumptions. That old Chinese fortune-cookie curse, “May you live in interesting times,” is about to come true.

Renewing the PATRIOT Act: The Police State Continues to Grow Reply

Analysis by civil liberties attorney John Whitehead.

Most Americans have been lulled into thinking that the pressing issues are voting in the next election or repealing health care. This is largely due to the media hoopla over the Tea Party, the recent elections and the health care law, and the continuous noise from television news’ talking heads. But the real issue is simply this – the freedoms in the Bill of Rights are being eviscerated, and if they are not restored and soon, freedom as we have known it in America will be lost. Thus, Congress should not renew the USA Patriot Act, nor should President Obama sign it into law. If he does so, he might just be putting the final nail in our coffin.

Unfortunately, even many of those civil libertarians who took Bush to task and vocally criticized his civil liberties abuses have been virtually silent in face of President Obama’s continuation of Bush programs that undermine the Bill of Rights. For example, The Public Record, a nonprofit news organization based in California, asked prominent civil and human rights leaders “to explain their relatively passive position on the renewal of the Patriot Act. Most did not respond. One who did requested that his name not be used because he is still hoping to energize some of the silent voices.” Here’s what he had to say:

Many of my colleagues have just given up on the Patriot Act, either expressly or implicitly (in terms of the mindshare, energy, and resources dedicated to the issue). They don’t seem to understand or recall just how foundational this supposedly ‘emergency’ law was in setting the stage for the infringements that came later.

Sheer exhaustion plays a role, but the fact that it’s been nearly a decade means that generational change is even starting to have an impact, as have all the other irons in the fire – so many other traumatizing events have come up to distract and rightfully demand attention (torture, even broader surveillance, illegal war, assassinations), and a corrosive new so-called realism (cynicism, actually) about the politics of terrorism and the complicity of our fear-driven media and political class, combined of course with a reluctance to undermine our first black president and whatever incremental progressive achievements he can make.

So the situation’s pretty bleak out there, and will only turn around, in my view, if there is much greater bottom-up, local, and peer-to-peer, community-to-community activism.

It’s time to wake up, America.

The Condition of the Left-Anarchist Movement in North America Reply

An Irish Anarcho-Syndicalist shares his impression of the left-wing anarchist movement in North America. See the interview here. What he describes is pretty much the same thing that I observed during my time in that movement during the 80s. Some highlights with my comments:

In total I spoke in 44 North American cities scattered across 2 Canadian provinces and 18 US states. These were on the east and west coasts and from the east coast across the mid-west as far as Minneapolis-St Paul’s. There were lots of organizations, infoshops and organizations in formation involved on putting on the dates. Around one third were organized through the North East Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC) while some local groups just organized a meeting in the one city they were active in. In the vast majority of cases I’d never met any of the organizers, everything was done over email, the entire Florida tour for instance was initated by one student who was on the Crimthinc mailing list and saw an announcement for my tour which was apparently posted there.

Strike One. NEFAC is a quasi-commie group that’s an outgrowth of the old Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation which was an outgrowth of the combining of two other primary groups, a Trotskyite sect called Revolutionary Socialist League which experienced a mass conversion to anarcho-communism and a group from Minneapolis called the Revolutionary Anarchist Bowling League (RABL) whose sketchy leader later converted to full-on Marxism-Leninism and, I think, became some kind of self-styled Maoist. See this critique of NEFAC from a left-anarchist perspective. Looking over NEFAC’s website, 99% of its content is just run of the mill left-wing cultural politics dressed up in hoary hard leftist rhetoric that was already a cliche in 1972. Meanwhile, Crimethinc is a group for middle class drop out white kids who aspire to be professional vagrants. The self-description of these “ex-workers” says its all: “CrimethInc. is the black market where we trade in this precious contraband. Here, the secret worlds of shoplifters, rioters, dropouts, deserters, adulterers, vandals, daydreamers—that is to say, of all of us, in those moments when, wanting more, we indulge in little revolts—converge to form gateways to new worlds where theft, cheating, warfare, boredom, and so on are simply obsolete.” The Anarchist People of Color group had the right idea of what to do with these idiots.

I think on arrival in North America I shared any of the prejudices that you find in the British anarchist movement towards North America, prejudices that are often based on a failure to try and understand conditions there. I expected a lot of North American anarchists to be liberal idiots but the reality I found was huge numbers of people doing quite solid local organizing, in particular when you considered their weak numbers and relative lack of experience. And a good few of the positions that seem a little odd from Europe make a lot more sense when you can put them in the contest of local conditions and North American history.

That’s one thing that I’ve always found particularly frustrating about the left-anarchists. They do much good work that I very much admire, such as their homeless feeding, anti-police, prisoner rights, antiwar, pro-Palestinian, civil liberties, and poverty activism. But they just can’t seem to break out of their sectarian ideological ghetto in any way that would make them relevant to the wider society. Instead, they dismiss most ordinary people as “the enemy,” even people who are as critical of the system as they are in many ways, and paint themselves into corner where they seem to almost deliberately make themselves as unappealing to other people as they can. It’s like they put themselves on top of a hill, surround themselves with an ideological moat and a banner that says, “The Revolution is Our Private Property. All Others Keep Out.”

My tour coincided with and fed into a wave of anarchist communist organizing across many of the regions I was visiting which meant I got to play some role in the formation process of five or six new organizations. But I wouldn’t overstate this, as is true of the North America in general these organizations are tiny in comparison with the population of the areas they operate in.

Duh?

The IWW remains by far the largest network for anti-authoritarians in the US but it didn’t really strike me as having any real existence as a union outside of what were pretty small struggles in a couple of cities. Many social anarchists join it as a way of meeting up with like minded folk and of distancing themselves from the nuttier end of the local anarchist scene.

That’s rather depressing. The IWW was also the best thing going when I was in the left-anarchist movement, and in those days the IWW sucked. Mostly it was a collection of leftist ideologues fighting over control of the organization’s money. From what I’m told by present day insiders, the same crap is still going on, often involving the same individuals. Yawn. Lesson: Membership organizations that collect dues are a trap, particularly if they are democratically run.

Internally issues like the high rate of transience which means its hard to accumulate collective experience in any city as people are always moving in, in particular when organizational problems are encountered. Related to this is the very low level of intergenerational contact which means the movement today which is mostly under 30, if not 25 doesn’t easily benefit from the lessons learned the hard way by the movement in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Amen, say it again! Same old, same old.

Externally the North American cult of the rugged individual and the American dream not only make popular organizing difficult but seeps into the anarchist movement like a poison. Couple this with the historic success of the US state in smashing radical oppositional movements in all their forms and the current high degree of repression of anything that steps over the limited boundaries of protest allowed and you have a very difficult atmosphere in which to build anything that goes beyond lobbying. The number of police are extraordinary, their constant use against the ‘civilian population’ is striking, I saw more people being arrested on the streets in the 16 weeks of my tour as I have in nearly 40 years outside North America. And finally in the US in particular there is an extraordinary level of state infiltration and the use of agent provocateurs to tempt fresh young activists into doing stupid stuff that can lead them to very long jail sentences.

Yes. A lot of people don’t realize what a police state the USA actually is until they’ve spent time in other places where that kind of thing is less present. I really didn’t even feel it myself until I starting spending time overseas and I had been studying the issue for years by that time.

Class divisions, although sometimes camouflaged by race are very, very visible in the USA and almost as visible in Canada. Workers, particularly outside the coastal cities, are being fucked over in a very, very visible way. So ‘rugged individualism’ aside North America should be fertile ground for class struggle politics, it certainly has been in the past. Also the left does not really exist, the few far left groups that exist are much smaller than their equivalents in Britain despite the much greater population, they don’t really exist outside a few colleges in a few towns. With the exception of Canada there is no social democracy and no viable green party. In short it would not that hard for anarchists to become ‘the’ opposition.

This will be particularly true in the future as the economy crumbles and class divisions widen. I actually think America’s Jeffersonian libertarian heritage makes it the ideal country for the growth of a serious and influential anarchist movment. To the degree that this has not happened, I blame it on the anarchists more than I blame it on the culture. My prediction is that if there’s ever an enduring anarchist revolution in a Western country, it will take place in either America or in one of the southern European countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece).

The US and Britain are very similar in that most anarchists are not part of region wide organizations or often even local organizations. The region wide organizations in reality really only exist as more than isolated individuals in a very small number of cities although they often have a scattering of individual members outside of these. This means that in terms of struggle the vast majority of activity is around individual anarchists involved in local community, environmental or workplace struggle as militant individuals who happen to be anarchists rather than as part of a collective anarchist effort. From time to time there are a variety of social / political gatherings at which people can exchange experiences but which apart from the occasional spectacular event like summit protests these don’t formulate collective action. As with Britain the biggest of these are bookfairs but the sheer scale of North America means there is no single equivalent to the London bookfair but rather a range of bookfair and conference events across the continent.

Yes. This is a very accurate summary of the situation.

There is no equivalent to the anarchist influenced revolutionary unions on the European mainland. The IWW would like to be that but the reality is that its membership density is less than that of the WSM in Ireland so its more of a network of anti-authoritarian workplace militants that occasionally tries to act as a union when the opportunity arises at a particular location or at a particular time. There are no also equivalents of the sort of regional anarchist political organizations that are found in some countries that have a real presence across a large number of cities but this is a product of the small size of the movement as well as not talking the organizational question seriously enough.

Anarcho-syndicalism was an outgrowth of the historic labor movement. It belongs to history now. Anarchists need to familiarize themselves with Martin Van Creveld’s thesis on the decline of the state and John Robb’s ideas on fourth generation warfare if they want to know how to proceed.

Q. Do American anarchists really smell that much?

Nope – I only hit that smell once, in DC. There is a fringe of lifestylist types, very often students, for whom smelling is something occasionally adopted to give them kudos. It’s really not very important even if on that one occasion it was annoying. Most of the anarchists I met were ordinary folks that only differered from the people around them by their politics.

YES!!!. Get your filthy paws off me, you damn dirty anarchist!

Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal Reply

Murray Rothbard’s classic.

Twenty years ago I was an extreme right-wing Republican, a young and lone “Neanderthal” (as the liberals used to call us) who believed, as one friend pungently put it, that “Senator Taft had sold out to the socialists.” Today, I am most likely to be called an extreme leftist, since I favor immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, denounce U.S. imperialism, advocate Black Power and have just joined the new Peace and Freedom Party. And yet my basic political views have not changed by a single iota in these two decades!

It is obvious that something is very wrong with the old labels, with the categories of “left” and “right,” and with the ways in which we customarily apply these categories to American political life. My personal odyssey is unimportant; the important point is that if I can move from “extreme right” to “extreme left” merely by standing in one place, drastic though unrecognized changes must have taken place throughout the American political spectrum over the last generation.

Youth Are More Radically Opposed to the Government Than the Tea Parties Reply

The youth are the future.

A statistic from PPP that got little play from liberal commentaries showed that American youths — not the tea parties — are more inclined to think of violence against the US government as acceptable.

tunisiariots afp Youth more radically opposed to present government than tea parties, poll findsA full 17 percent of those ages 18-29 said yes, that violence would be justified, while a further 15 percent were not “not sure.” Granted, while those figures come out to a clear majority of young people — 68 percent — saying violence is not justified, it also means that 32 percent either disagree or haven’t made up their minds.

Another statistic sure to surprise some beltway liberals were the responses of poor people, who tied with tea partiers at 13 percent in saying violence would be justified. A further 24 percent said they weren’t sure, bringing their level of certainty against violence down to just 63 percent.

Compounding the potential for civil unrest, the poor and the tea parties, according to prior statistics, were two very different, separate groups with virtually no cross-over.

In a survey of Americans who voted in 2008, the nonpartisan group Project Vote found that, by and large, those sympathetic to the tea parties were white, wealthy and affluent people, whose political views represented approximately 29 percent of the electorate.

By comparison, blacks, youths and low-income voters, who turned out in record numbers to support President Obama, make up 32 percent of the electorate — and their views could not be any more different than their conservative counterparts.

The poll, published last Sept., described tea party participants as “overwhelmingly white” and “universally dissatisfied,” even though having “the least reason for dissatisfaction.”

tunisiaprotests afp Youth more radically opposed to present government than tea parties, poll finds“Only six percent [of tea party participants] reported having to worry about buying food for their families in the past year, compared to 14 percent of voters nationwide, 37 percent of blacks, 21 percent of youths, and 39 percent of low-income voters,” they added.

Discussing the partisan rhetorical fray on MSNBC last night, liberal news anchor Keith Olbermann failed to mention these figures, focusing instead on tea partiers and violent rhetoric prevalent in many Republicans’ public discourse.

Against Anti-Semitism 13

by Andrew Yeoman

http://www.bayareanationalanarchists.com/?p=273

There is a distinction to be made between a principled anti-Zionism, and legitimate critique of Jewish influence, political & economic power, and the Judeo-Obsessiveness of many ‘Rightists’ and Nationalists who trace everything and anything back to the Great Jewish Conspiracy, unbroken and relentless, going back 4000 years.”

-C. D. (comment in response to this much needed critique of the Judeophobes)

“It is a matter of honor to me to be absolutely clean and unequivocal regarding anti-Semitism, namely opposed, as I am in my writings.”

“…the anti-Semites…are…men of resentment, these physiologically impaired and worm-eaten men, a totally quivering earthly kingdom of subterranean revenge, inexhaustible, insatiable in its outbursts against the fortunate.” Nietzsche

A recent discussion on Facebook has inspired me to write some thoughts about anti-Semitism and the relationship anti-Semites have within the nationalist movement.

Here is a typical example of anti-Semitic reasoning:

“I can prove to you that JEWS started World War II. I can prove to you that JEWS created and controlled communism. I can prove to you that JEWS are controlling every aspect of our lives today. I can prove to you that JEWS were expelled 109 times for repeating this same pattern of behavior throughout history.”

If that wasn’t enough to get you upset at these wily Jews, the supposed resistance to Jewry is also dominated by Jews:

“You’d be a damn fool to assume that the White Nationalist movement or ANY other movement was not INFESTED by Jews. Should we ignore them in the name of “unity”? Should we allow them to continue misguiding our people? Just sit back silently while they control the dissent? Why? Because you want to have a sense of “unity” just for the sake of maintaining the illusion? “

I can collaborate that some of the most outspoken and dedicated critics of Israel, Zionism, and other Jews, are Jews themselves. This is not merely for full blooded ethnic or religious Jews but for half Jews and even apparently, “a quarter Jew.” However, a persons actual relationship to Jews is not necessary to become a “Jew,” anyone an anti-Semite does not like can also become “Jewish by proxy.” Life is not easy with Jews behind every calamity and insidious plot in the world.

What nutty fringes of nationalist scenes don’t seem to realize, is that Jews are no more a monolithic entity any more than ‘White People’ are. Hence the anti-Semites are not presenting ‘facts,’ merely rehashing conspiracy theories which have been floating around the radical right and nationalist scenes for the past century or so. They offer nothing concrete nor anything which can be verified or historically substantiated merely flaky theories, conjecture, smears, guilt by association tactics, etc. Anyone who holds a differing opinion is ‘using Jewish tactics’ or is simply Jewish himself… The anti-Semite does not want a discussion or debate on the topic, just a platform to obsess over his favorite tribe and all their supposed misdeeds throughout history. There is no dialogue, the anti-Semitic screed is like a broken-record and is essentially one-dimensional. Engaging him is really a waste of time. Over the years I know of a few guys like him in the nationalist scene and they are all the same ‘type.’

Not obsessing over Jews 24/7 nor holding them solely responsible for every disastrous event in world history squarely places one in the ‘Jew Sympathizer’ camp.

Anti-semites exhibit behavior of being mentally unhinged and obsessive compulsive about their favorite tribe they love to hate.

From the start, BANA’s positions critical to Israel and Zionism are based on Left-wing criticisms of the elite power structure support of their various factors and their disproportionate influence in contemporary American life. This might be called ‘anti-Semitism’ from overzealous groups such as the ADL however it is not unusual for Jews to call each other anti-Semitic as well. Some Jewish and conservative commentators alike even like to credit the Jewish Karl Marx, the attributed father of Communism, as anti-Semitic with quotes likes this from his “On the Jewish Question:”

“Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal self-established value of all things. It has, therefore, robbed the whole world – both the world of men and nature – of its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man’s work and man’s existence, and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it.
The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange.”

The point Marx was trying to make in his essay, which was written in response to an anti-Semitic polemic against Judaism, is that in his opinion any religion, Jew or Christian, cannot provide the economic liberation for the lower classes he was so sympathetic to. It is clear that Jews and non-Jews alike will have a wide variety of opinions on the matter Jewish influence on public life. However just like anything else what is not acceptable is becoming unhinged on the subject. No one can or should deny groups to organize how they want in their own way, as Jews in Crown Heights New York certainly do.

But our issue as tribal separatists is not demonstrating that Jews are all-powerful… it’s our own survival. Our issue is not proving a conspiracy by an elite… it’s our own advancement. Our issue is not explaining how rotten Israel is… it’s our own situation. Our issue is not liberals vs. conservative… it’s decentralist vs. centralist. Our issue is not electing a President… it’s white ethno-genetic survival. Our issue is not opposing amnesty for illegal aliens… it’s protecting our nationality. Our issue is not about moving to one place or another… it’s white survival.

It is time we have learned from the mistakes anti-Semites have made and continue to make and put anti-semitism out to pasture.


Talk About White Privilege 4

I’m not one who buys into the FOX News conspiracy theory about how Obama is a Marxist revolutionary acting as a puppet for Bill Ayers, but this critique of Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn is interesting.

Today, the wily Ayers and his wife sit pretty atop American society: he, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose traveling lectures find him hailed in the press as an “anti-war activist” rather than a terrorist, and who enjoys the fawning attention of the New York Times Magazine’s Deborah Solomon; she, an adjunct professor at Northwestern, one of the most prestigious law schools in the nation, and a former employee of white-shoe law firm Sidley Austin — despite apparently having never been admitted to the bar. (A hiring partner was friends with Bill Ayers’ father, Thomas Ayers, once a CEO of Commonwealth Edison in Chicago. Sidley Austin also employed Michelle Obama as an associate and Barack Obama as a summer associate.)

Bill Ayers, in fact, has been lavished with praise by none other than the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a 1998 edition of its magazine, Teaching Tolerance, he is described as a “civil rights organizer, radical anti-Vietnam War activist, teacher and author.” Ayers, the SPLC tells us, “has developed a rich vision of teaching that interweaves passion, responsibility and self-reflection.”

Talk about white privilege. Ayers and Dohrn — themselves white — committed a slew of criminal acts on the way to persuading most of America that whites are something worse than the devil, but escaped unharmed. Only the occasional pesky journalist from Fox News bothers them now, with Ayers responding by threatening to call the police (apparently the racist pigs are sometimes useful).

This passage from the article reminded me of a conversation I had once with an ex-Black Panther where he mentioned that white radicals in the 60s were typically treated much more leniently by the law than black radicals. For instance, the leadership of the Panthers was targeted for assassination by the FBI and local police, or subject to frame-ups for capital crimes or other serious offenses.  On the other hand, members of groups like the Weathermen could carry out bombings and end up pleading guilty to lesser charges and given lenient sentences or put on probation. This was likely because the authorities saw student rioters and groups like the Weathermen for what they were, i.e. privileged white kids trying to play revolutionary who were more of a nuisance than anything else, whereas groups like the Panthers, AIM, Young Lords, Young Patriots, etc. represented a genuine insurgency by the lower socioeconomic levels, thereby posing a much greater threat to the system.

The Fight for the Fighting Sioux Reply

In 2005, the NCAA began its crusade against universities with racially “hostile or abusive” logos and nicknames.  Among its targets: Florida State’s Seminoles, the University of Illinois’ Chief Illiniwek, and yes, UND’s Fighting Sioux.

Last year, the North Dakota State Board of Education voted to retire the nickname completely, which will happen following the 2010-2011 school year.

But supporters of the Sioux nickname will not let it go without a fight.  Who exactly are these supporters?  Some are UND athletes, some are students, and a number of alumni proud of their university’s tradition.  Among the most vocal proponents of keeping the school’s mascot are, – surprise, surprise – the Sioux.

Two tribes are considered the namesake of UND’s mascot: the Spirit Lake Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux.  From the very beginning, the Spirit Lake Tribe has been supportive of the mascot, voting last year to continue its use.  Tribe member and logo supporter Eunice Davidson told the NCAA that, “the vast majority of all people across our state feel great pride and honor” for the Fighting Sioux mascot.

Read the whole article here.

We Do Not Need a State Reply

Lew Rockwell interviews Roderick Long.

Long articulates the anarchist position very well in this.

Professor Long stresses that the state is just a bunch of people, not supermen. Its power is an illusion, coercing us only because we consent to be ruled. But education about the State, and alternative networks, empower an ever-greater number to withdraw their consent from the power-hungry, tax-eating, violent apparatus whose abuses result in many evils, including piles of dead bodies.

Anarchy, the absence of a ruler, is impossible, say its opponents. In fact, it is becoming ever more possible, and ever more necessary.

The Founding Fathers Were a Bunch of Assholes Reply

Lew Rockwell interviews revisionist historian Thaddeus Russell. This is great stuff.

Professor Russell’s new Renegade History of the United States speaks volumes to the eternal conflict between those who hold power and all the ordinary peoples. The Founding Fathers wanted the British regime without the King. The wonderfully anarchic culture in the colonies alarmed them to the core. The abolitionists, who were deeply Puritanical, felt that slaves were too free in some ways, and Reconstruction was the first Afghanistan – the push of New England to control the entire world. Thad Russell sees Obama as the throwback to the worst of the Progressives, desiring total control over peoples’ lives. Meanwhile, the regular left misses or ignores the dark side.