A "Maoist" Analysis of Alex Jones and the "NWO" Conspiracy 13

Watch the video.

This is an interesting analysis of “right-wing” conspiracy theories from a Marxist perspective.  I think this guy is correct in the sense of criticizing conspiracists for their narrow focus on individual personalities, unsubstantiated myths, and exaggerated roles for particular institutions and ideological factions they especially detest rather than trying to develop a System-wide institutional, structural, cultural, and ideological analysis.  That said, this guy’s own analysis once again demonstrates the weakness of the economic determinism of the Left as well as the irreconcilability of anti-capitalism and cultural hyper-liberalism.

Case in point: He actually tries to argue that capitalism opposes open borders which flies completely in the face of the historic practice of capitalism. The growth of commercial economies has always had the effect of breaking down traditional institutions and boundaries. All of the major mouthpieces for capitalist interests support the relaxing of border controls (see the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, et. al.) Whether one favors open or closed borders is beside the point. Clearly, the bulk of capitalist opinion and interest is on the side of open borders, which makes sense considering the interest of capitalism in growing and maintaining the global economy.

Also, as Pareto pointed out, while class conflict certainly exists, it is hardly the only or even most significant form of conflict. Conflicts between civilizations are far more important than class conflicts within individual civilizations. Conflicts between states and national entities are more significant in terms of their impact on the world and on history than conflicts between class interests within a state. Arguably, even conflicts between elites and counter-elites within a particular society, or even conflict between rival factions among the  institutionalized elites, are just as or more important than class conflict.

The Left’s emphasis on race/class/gender analysis is a dramatic illustration of the weakness of the Left’s general outlook. If the race/class/gender determinism of the Left were accurate and factual, then one would have to argue that ethnic conflict between German-Americans and Anglo-Americans within the US during WWI was just as historically significant as the war itself, which pitted the Old World against the New World, and traditional aristocratic Europe against Jacobinism, or that post WW2 cultural liberation movements in the West were just as significant as the Cold War or the Sino-Soviet split. But this is what the Left actually believes, which is why, among other things, textbooks put out by leftist publishers treat American history in such a way that, for example, a speech by Elizabeth Cady Stanton is considered more significant to American history than a speech by George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, and the founding of the Sierra Club or the Stonewall Rebellion is considered on par with the invention of the airplane or the moon landing.

 

13 comments

  1. The break down of commercial economies didn’t break down barriers of living standards. It broke down barriers of trade, trading became easier. the boarders are more open to trade not migration. that;s called neo-liberalism. The corporations fight for ease of capital movement, not movement of people. If you took down the boarders physically were people could move across without restriction the living standards would equalize. You’re ignoring that fact there has to be cheap labour to make things and expensive labour to buy things.

    Also you’re ignoring that class is a very important part of war. the wealth fight over control of resources, its just the working and poor class who always have to do the physical fighting. That is something you cannot deny, the rich do not send their sons to die in wars. you’re completely misunderstood the entire leftist position.

    The Left has a race/class/gender analysis because these things exist and are determining factors in society. Nothing short of an ignorant hate monger could deny the disparity between the rights, living standards and income between whites and blacks, men and women. that’s why its an issue with us, because its a problem. Denial doesn’t make problems go away.

    BTW it wasn’t a “Maoist” analysis of the NWO chicken little-ism. it was Marxist analysis. You’re unable to tell the difference.

  2. (I posted this comment over at the original post)

    I appreciate the materialist analysis, but I think this gentleman’s version might take itself too seriously.

    First, policy makers get shit wrong all the time. Isn’t it at least possible that these elites might see the dissolution of the Mexico/US border as desirable – even though, as Mr. Rebel explains, this would harm the integrity of the low wage labor pool they cherish? One problem I have with so-called materialist analysis is that it often seems to use class theory as a neat and tidy way to tie up loose ends, without seeing that the nature of these institutions calling the shots is sloppy and often built on excessively abstract and, therefore, often dead wrong models. In other words, materialists often use these kinds of pat sociological theories in the same way other conspiracists use hidden history or elite theory. It all makes sense now!

    And I agree with you, Keith, that clearly capitalists want fewer borders for the reasons you cite. That said, I’d agree with Mr. Rebel that class definitely matters in all respects – in fact I’d say nationalist / civilizational chauvinism is stoked by the state for precisely the reason that class is so problematic to their ends. I think the Left is better suited to understand these conflicts, but they have to drop their own excessively abstract models and become more realist about these situations.

    Second, I don’t dismiss the secret society and occult overtones of these styles of conspiracy theory so easily. There’s plenty of evidence to show that, whether or not these ideas actually “work” in any way or not, many powerful people –believe– they do. In fact, a lot of the esoteric knowledge in these occult philosophies looks a lot like ritualized psychology, as Robert Anton Wilson used to comment on quite a bit. In the same way that industrial psychology is used to attempt to manipulate, say, workplace or institutional behavior, rituals might be used to attempt to organize and rationalize dispersed actors under a common set of concerns and ideations necessary to conspire.

    I consider those minor critiques, however, and I appreciate the video. I hope a lot of Alex Jones viewers watch it.

  3. “The break down of commercial economies didn’t break down barriers of living standards.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what you meant to say here is that the breakdown of traditional institutions through the expansion of commercial economies did not break down barriers of living standards. That’s simply not true on a lot of levels. The Marxist analysis that the working class would become increasingly impoverished over time leading to class revolution simply did not pan out. Instead, living standards among the working classes rose significantly within the industrialized capitalist nations of the West during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the point that many workers were able to join the ranks of the middle class. Indeed, the industrial proletariat to a large degree became the new middle class in those countries. Further, the growth of the commercial economy had the effect of breaking down social barriers, not only between classes, but also among other groups. For instance, Jews started coming out of their European ghettos and integrating into the broader society as the market economy grew. It was only when post-WW2 affluence was well-established in Europe and America that the movements for civil rights, womens’ lib, gay lib, kiddie lib, animal lib, etc. started to become prevalent or prominent. It all goes back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Only in a society where basic material and survival needs are first met can concerns about social discrimination or whatever become a primary issue.

    “It broke down barriers of trade, trading became easier. the boarders are more open to trade not migration. that;s called neo-liberalism.”

    The growth of globalization and immigration expansion go hand in hand. It’s rather difficult to have the former without the latter.

    “The corporations fight for ease of capital movement, not movement of people.”

    So how do you explain the fact that one of the leading neoliberal regimes of recent times, Tony Blair’s England, opened the door to mass immigration?: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

    How do you explain capitalist support for open borders?

    http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2011-01-25/big-biz-worried-about-immigration-reaction#.TighNWFVXPw

    http://www.numbersusa.com/content/action/business-immigration-lobby-tips-hand-private-washington-meeting.html

    I think Noam Chomsky actually has it right on this question:

    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=41485

    And the socialist Neil Clark as well: http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2008/04/mass-immigration-why-left-should-oppose.html

    “If you took down the boarders physically were people could move across without restriction the living standards would equalize.”

    Nonsense. What we are seeing now is the Brasillianization of the U.S. economy whereby the plutocracy is being strengthened, the middle class is deteriorating, the working class is being reproletarianized, and a huge underclass is growing. Mass immigration is one of the contributing factors to this. Mass Immigration greatly increases the labor pool, thereby increasingly the ranks of the unemployed and allowing employers to pay less for labor. The only “equalization” going on is that workers in the advanced countries are being allowed to join the ranks of workers in the Third World in terms of conditions and living standards.

    “You’re ignoring that fact there has to be cheap labour to make things and expensive labour to buy things.”

    You are ignoring one of the core features of the global economy. Have you ever heard of export markets? U.S. capitalism no longer depends in part on a large domestic market for its products. The expansion of capitalism to the traditionally feudal societies outside the West has brought with it the expansion of the domestic middle classes that normally accompanies the introduction of a commercial economy. The growing middle classes and consolidated plutocracies in those countries provide Western capital with international markets to replace their domestic markets. This is a big part of what globalization and “Americanization” are all about. It’s why we are now seeing McDonald’s popping up in India and China.
    Lawrence Dennis’ “frontier thesis” explained and foresaw this situation way back in the 1930s.

    “Also you’re ignoring that class is a very important part of war. the wealth fight over control of resources, its just the working and poor class who always have to do the physical fighting. That is something you cannot deny, the rich do not send their sons to die in wars. you’re completely misunderstood the entire leftist position.”

    States make war for all kinds of reasons: territorial expansion, powerlust, the personalities of individual leaders, ideology, the economic interests of powerful domestic plutocratic forces, ethnic interests, “honor,” revenge, and lots of other things. I agree it’s the rich who profit from war and the poor who do the fighting. But this in no way legitimizes Marxist class determinism. The working classes are often more zealously nationalistic and war-happy than their plutocratic overlords. The experiences of WWI where the working classes of their respective countries came out in support of their national governments during the war completely debunked the Marxist view that “the workers have no country.” A lot of labor union types were gung ho on the Vietnam war in the 60s. Most people identify with their herd and their tribe, no matter how malevolent their particular leaders may be.

    “The Left has a race/class/gender analysis because these things exist and are determining factors in society.”

    Well, many leftists will argue that race and gender do not exist but are merely social constructs that have no intrinsic meaning. I do not deny that race, gender, and class conflict exists or that oppression based on these things is real. What I disagree with is the view that the course of civilization can be explained in terms of these things. As I said before, conflicts between civilizations and rival states and nations within civilizations are far more significant than ethnic or economic conflict within a particular society. For instance, class conflict in interwar Germany was certainly significant, but the rivalry between Germany and other European states was obviously far more significant. Social conflict involving race and gender in the postwar US certainly existed but it was certainly less significant to the world as a whole or to human history than the Cold War. In the contemporary world, the rivalry between Western capitalism and Islamic traditionalism is certainly more important that social conflict in the US over issues like abortion or gay marriage.

    “Nothing short of an ignorant hate monger could deny the disparity between the rights, living standards and income between whites and blacks, men and women.”

    Ah, the “H” word again. Ad hominem does not an argument make. I think there’s more nuance and grey area to these issues than what you would likely acknowledge. But it’s not a question of either/or. Once can certainly recognize forms of oppression or “injustice” to which, for instance, women or blacks or poor people are disproportionately subjected while disagreeing that race, class, and gender conflict are the driving forces that shape history, civilization, statecraft, political economy, and international relations per se.

    “BTW it wasn’t a “Maoist” analysis of the NWO chicken little-ism. it was Marxist analysis. You’re unable to tell the difference.”

    I understand that yours is a general Marxist analysis and not a specifically Maoist one, which is why I put the word “Maoist” in scare quotes in the blog post title. I used the term only because you call yourself “Maoist Rebel.”

    “Also, in a further debunking of your idea that capitalism “takes down boarders”, the Obama administration has deported more illegals than any US administration in history. (see New York Post)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/25/AR2010072501790.html

    It’s true the Obama regime has deported more illegals than the Bush regime. The latter was more concerned about consolidating the North American Union and didn’t want border protection to get in the way of that. Obama is considerably more politically savvy and understands that illegal immigration is very unpopular with the public at large, including people of all ethnic groups. So he likely doesn’t want to be seen as “soft on illegal immigration” when re-election time comes. Such a perception didn’t do anything to help McCain before. The Obama administration has straddled the fence on this question and attempted to work both ends against the middle. They’ve escalated federal deportation of illegals, but they’ve obstructed efforts by states like Arizona to curb immigration. They’ve also sought eventual amnesty for 11 million illegals.

    While Obama may have deported more illegals than any of his successors, it’s also true that illegal immigration is at an all time high, though the numbers seem to have level a bit over the past year or so:

    http://www.newser.com/story/12867/immigration-hits-all-time-high.html

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-02-illegal02_ST_N.htm

    Deportations aside, we also have to consider the number of illegals on state assistance programs: http://www.socialissues.us/16301.html Some have argued this is offset by the number of illegals who actually pay taxes: http://reason.org/news/show/122411.html But these situations collectively serve to strengthen the state and the plutocracy as the state has both more taxpayers to extract revenue from and more client-dependents for its bureaucratic agencies. Further, it strengthens the plutocracy in two ways. First, by importing unskilled or general “proletarian” labor to increase the labor pool resulting in wage suppression in the service industries and fields that employ manual labor like construction. Second, by importing high-skilled or medium skilled labor to work in professional or high tech sectors thereby increasing the labor pool and suppression wages in these sectors as well.

    While something of an immigration skeptic myself, I think immigration is here to stay. That said, we need to look at it on a factual and empirical level, and not on a contrived ideological level.

  4. Jeremy,

    “That said, I’d agree with Mr. Rebel that class definitely matters in all respects – in fact I’d say nationalist / civilizational chauvinism is stoked by the state for precisely the reason that class is so problematic to their ends.”

    The standard leftist view is that the ruling class diverts the attention of subjects away from class conflict by identifying an enemy Other that supposedly presents a common threat. The enemy Other can either be a domestic scapegoat or some sort of foreign enemy. One on hand, I think this kind of analysis has much to be said for it. The U.S. has been at perpetual war for decades now and justified it by holding up perpetual, exaggerated threats presented by communism, terrorism, narco-trafficking, Islamo-fascism, etc. The US has also used supposed threats presented by drugs, crime, guns, gangs, terrorism, illegal immigrants, and so forth to justify the expansion of the police state domestically. In all of these instances, the state is saying: “Follow and obey us and we will protect you from the enemy out there.”

    However, where the Marxist rendition of this outlook goes wrong is with its crude economic determinism, materialism, and class reductionism. The assumption is that it is by definition in the workers self-interest to support “socialism” and that any other kinds of interests, concerns, issues, are merely a manifestation of “false consciousness.” For instance, we hear a lot rhetoric from the Left about the working class in America voting against their own economic interests, meaning voting Republican because of conservative views on abortion, gay rights, religion, or whatever. That’s not even an accurate analysis of class voting patterns in the US, but a deeper problem is that it assumes all “working class” people have the same interests, or that material considerations alone are what drives peoples values and ideas, or that the Left by definition is the champion of working people. There are certainly a lot of working people who disagree with that. The Marxists who say that what working people really need and want is a socialist state is on the level of the neocons who say that what the typical Muslim really needs is to vote in primary elections, eat at McDonald’s and watch internet porn. Obviously, many Muslims do not feel that way.

    People obviously value their material interests, but they also value what gives them a sense of centeredness, rootedness, identity, safety, and security. It all gets back to the tribal nature of human beings and the sheep/wolf/owl notion of a stratification of personalities. When we consider that most people are herd creatures it should not surprise us that people come up with idiotic slogans like “My Country Right or Wrong.”

  5. However, where the Marxist rendition of this outlook goes wrong is with its crude economic determinism, materialism, and class reductionism.

    Right. That’s kind of what I was saying to Mr. Rebel. The reductionism is analogous to the NWO reductionism – *everything* we dislike is rooted in a single evil. But just because the (Marxist) Left overextends class into the only authentic identity (or class + race + gender + sexual orientation) doesn’t mean it’s not AN authentic identity.

    The Marxists who say that what working people really need and want is a socialist state is on the level of the neocons who say that what the typical Muslim really needs is to vote in primary elections, eat at McDonald’s and watch internet porn.

    Right, I’d agree with that. Isn’t this more a problem with ideology in general, however, than particular ideologies? There’s simply no way to account for the multiplicity of human values.

    People obviously value their material interests, but they also value what gives them a sense of centeredness, rootedness, identity, safety, and security.

    Sure, but it’s important to remember: Marxism (and the Left more broadly) didn’t emerge until capitalism did. Capitalism was already whittling away at old centers of identity and social place. It didn’t just shuffle the deck of “tribalism” – it threw the cards up in the air. We’re all trying to put the cards back in place, and yes, the Left often leaves the card with those more pre-rational elements out of the deck. I agree with you that you can’t leave that card out of the deck, but you can place that card anywhere in the deck, to stretch the analogy to breaking.

    If anything, I think the failure of the modern Left is not in abandoning these pre-rational aspects but pretending they don’t exist or aren’t important. Maybe “My Country Right or Wrong” is moronic but “My appetites and comfort right or wrong” that modern society pushes on people is just vapid.

  6. Might I also add for Maoist Rebel News that Keith, Jeremy, and myself, hell, probably the majority of people who post here for all I know, all have no problem with openly identifying as a socialist in the tradition of at least Proudhon, if not even sometimes going farther left to Bakunin and Kropotkin. We obviously have many significant breaks with Marxism, although we are all influenced by Marx somewhat here, and this is acknowledged, such as our disagreement with Marxist class theory in favour of something you might read in James Burnham or C Wright Mills, the latter has actually already been referenced by the response to your blog, and as been said before we obviously percieve historical materialism as being unrealistic. Of course I think any person interested in economic theory, especially so called socialists should read the books of the man who commented on your blog, Kevin Carson, also a “socialist” in the way of Proudhon.

  7. “People obviously value their material interests, but they also value what gives them a sense of centeredness, rootedness, identity, safety, and security. It all gets back to the tribal nature of human beings and the sheep/wolf/owl notion of a stratification of personalities. When we consider that most people are herd creatures it should not surprise us that people come up with idiotic slogans like “My Country Right or Wrong.”

    I heartily concur with this, with the caveat that the same psychological drive is expressed in different ways specific to ideology. For instance, the sort of low watt patriotism indicated by the slogan you mention is obviously a byproduct of Sean Hannity drilling their country’s supposed exceptionalism into their heads via the idiot box on a nightly basis. Meanwhile, the goo-ey universalism espoused by the Left, expressed in such equally idiotic slogans as “One Planet, One People Please”, declarations of “global citizenship” etc. expresses and satisfies the same drive, albeit from a different direction. My chief interest is in determnining, not so much why people adopt such platitudes to satisfy these tendencies, but why they choose the specific ones they do. Why does patriotism suffice as a conduit for identity stroking for some and abstract universalism for others?

  8. “It was only when post-WW2 affluence was well-established in Europe and America that the movements for civil rights, womens’ lib, gay lib, kiddie lib, animal lib, etc. started to become prevalent or prominent. It all goes back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Only in a society where basic material and survival needs are first met can concerns about social discrimination or whatever become a primary issue.”

    Yes and what exactly is wrong with that? Obviously when basic needs are taken care of, other things will come to the forefront, just as it would be impossible to make scientific discoveries, do philosophy, history, music, or anything else if everybody has to spend all their time labouring just to put food in their mouths. Anyhow, I find that this is a common conservative whining point against the last few generations, complaining about how they actually have time to themselves instead of living lives consumed by work because of course leisure should only be the prerogative of the elite philosopher kings that these conservatives imagine themselves to be. Anyhow, this is not even entirely true, as I’m sure you are aware, many classical anarchists also began to focus on other issues beyond just the labour issue, in the late 19th and early 20 century, Goldman, de Cleyre and others advocated for “womens lib” with conclusions just as radical as those in the 60’s.

    “And the socialist Neil Clark as well:”

    I coudn’t resist quoting Mr. Clark

    “If fanatical, pro-big business globalists like Philippe Legrain want mass immigration- it must by definition, be a bad thing.”

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

    “What we are seeing now is the Brasillianization of the U.S. economy whereby the plutocracy is being strengthened, the middle class is deteriorating, the working class is being reproletarianized, and a huge underclass is growing. Mass immigration is one of the contributing factors to this. Mass Immigration greatly increases the labor pool, thereby increasingly the ranks of the unemployed and allowing employers to pay less for labor. The only “equalization” going on is that workers in the advanced countries are being allowed to join the ranks of workers in the Third World in terms of conditions and living standards.”

    Whether he realizes it or not, I think that Keith here has accepted the assumptions of hardcore anti-liberal statism here. Fundamentally what I mean by this is that the idea that people must lock out other people from the labour market in order to keep a bigger chunk of the finite pie is fundamentally an authoritarian notion in my view. The sad reality was that many unions in the US thought this way and still do while in the past some unions in the US deliberately used their power to keep non-whites from competing in the market. I recall reading something by Walter Williams pointing out how the same thing occurred in South Africa during the days of apartheid.

    This is of course in contrast to the true liberal view that does not see this conflict between people but rather sees progress through innovation and technology via the market as allowing the continual raising of living standards even for that matter with a increase in population as what happened in Europe where with the industrial revolution and everything that came with it there was population growth coupled with higher living standards for the population putting the lie to the Malthusian doctrine. Notice that I’m not even talking about immigration here, just the whole idea that the labour pool expanding would be in the long run detrimental to the population here. I happen to think that if the ideas that I mentioned before are true than it would not be bad in the long run even if there was a temporary decrease in the lives of some if their artificially enhanced living standards were deflated somewhat by the expansion of the division of labour. There is more that could be said about this but I admit I am terrible at writing and it takes me forever to write something so I will leave it at that.

    To add one other point though, something caught me eye in an article posted here, “South Africa Today, America Tomorrow?” by Paul Gottfried where Gottfried in talking about the future of America writes that, “What may be more likely is a power struggle among Hispanics, Asians, and those whites who have been awakened from political niceness and democratic universalism.” Now here is an example of the fundamental anti-liberal mindset that I was referring to, the idea is that different groups must fight it out in a battle over resources, it’s sad that many on the left who are supposed to be in favour of progress have bought into this fundamentally conservative view. The interesting thing I would point out is that people who think like Gottfried (and probably Gottfried himself) accuse the current generation of being narcissists who only care about themselves and have a screw everyone else attitude. The thing here is that even if that assessment is correct, all these youths are doing is taking the attitude that these paleos have and taking it to its logical conclusion. Instead of my race, tribe comes first and screw everyone else, the young’s approach (if the characterization of this current generation is correct) is I come first and I alone matter while everyone else is simply there to serve my interests. I would also add that if these right-winger’s characterization of the unchangeable brutal nature of existence is correct, what is wrong about that approach? My own individualism, btw, is a social one, I don’t believe that the interests of individuals are inherently in opposition, but rather that ultimately that cooperation with others is the way for everyone to gain themselves without gaining at the expense of others. I think this positive view (call it deluded, naive, romantic what you will) is at the root of true liberalism, libertarianism, anarchism and that to repudiate it is to take away a major justification for liberty and a free society.

  9. “It was only when post-WW2 affluence was well-established in Europe and America that the movements for civil rights, womens’ lib, gay lib, kiddie lib, animal lib, etc. started to become prevalent or prominent. It all goes back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Only in a society where basic material and survival needs are first met can concerns about social discrimination or whatever become a primary issue.”

    Yes and what exactly is wrong with that? Obviously when basic needs are taken care of, other things will come to the forefront, just as it would be impossible to make scientific discoveries, do philosophy, history, music, or anything else if everybody has to spend all their time labouring just to put food in their mouths. Anyhow, I find that this is a common conservative whining point against the last few generations, complaining about how they actually have time to themselves instead of living lives consumed by work because of course leisure should only be the prerogative of the elite philosopher kings that these conservatives imagine themselves to be. Anyhow, this is not even entirely true, as I’m sure you are aware, many classical anarchists also began to focus on other issues beyond just the labour issue, in the late 19th and early 20 century, Goldman, de Cleyre and others advocated for “womens lib” with conclusions just as radical as those in the 60’s.

    “And the socialist Neil Clark as well: http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2008/04/mass-immigration-why-left-should-oppose.html

    I could not resist quoting Mr. Clark

    “If fanatical, pro-big business globalists like Philippe Legrain want mass immigration- it must by definition, be a bad thing.”

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

    “What we are seeing now is the Brasillianization of the U.S. economy whereby the plutocracy is being strengthened, the middle class is deteriorating, the working class is being reproletarianized, and a huge underclass is growing. Mass immigration is one of the contributing factors to this. Mass Immigration greatly increases the labor pool, thereby increasingly the ranks of the unemployed and allowing employers to pay less for labor. The only “equalization” going on is that workers in the advanced countries are being allowed to join the ranks of workers in the Third World in terms of conditions and living standards.”

    Whether he realizes it or not, I think that Keith here has accepted the assumptions of hardcore anti-liberal statism here. Fundamentally what I mean by this is that the idea that people must lock out other people from the labour market in order to keep a bigger chunk of the finite pie is fundamentally an authoritarian notion in my view. The sad reality was that many unions in the US thought this way and still do while in the past some unions in the US deliberately used their power to keep non-whites from competing in the market. I recall reading something by Walter Williams pointing out how the same thing occurred in South Africa during the days of apartheid.

    This is of course in contrast to the true liberal view that does not see this conflict between people but rather sees progress through innovation and technology via the market as allowing the continual raising of living standards even for that matter with a increase in population as what happened in Europe where with the industrial revolution and everything that came with it there was population growth coupled with higher living standards for the population putting the lie to the Malthusian doctrine. Notice that I’m not even talking about immigration here, just the whole idea that the labour pool expanding would be in the long run detrimental to the population here. I happen to think that if the ideas that I mentioned before are true than it would not be bad in the long run even if there was a temporary decrease in the lives of some if their artificially enhanced living standards were deflated somewhat by the expansion of the division of labour. There is more that could be said about this but I admit I am terrible at writing and it takes me forever to write something so I will leave it at that.

  10. Sorry about the duplicate comment there, I was having trouble posting and I didn’t know that my comment had gone through.

  11. “Yes and what exactly is wrong with that? Obviously when basic needs are taken care of, other things will come to the forefront, just as it would be impossible to make scientific discoveries, do philosophy, history, music, or anything else if everybody has to spend all their time labouring just to put food in their mouths.”

    I wasn’t saying there is anything wrong with it. I was simply arguing against the Marxist view that the market economy by nature depends on systems of class, race, gender, yadda, yadda exploitation. I was also attacking the idea that capitalism is an inherently conservative force that bolsters traditional institutions. Of course, I would differentiate between the market economy and capitalism, and argue that the latter is a creation of the state rather than the market. I would argue that markets per se do not depend on class exploitation, and even good old fashioned classist capitalism is “un-conservative” in the sense that the commercial economy, even in a statist form, tends to have the effect of breaking down traditional static institutions and social boundaries. Even Marx himself recognized that. I was further arguing, contra Maoist Rebel, that it was the growth of the commercial economy and consequent expansion of the middle class, rising living standards, etc. that opened the door for the “social liberation” movements of the 60s and 70s.

    “I’m sure you are aware, many classical anarchists also began to focus on other issues beyond just the labour issue, in the late 19th and early 20 century, Goldman, de Cleyre and others advocated for “womens lib” with conclusions just as radical as those in the 60′s.”

    Right. If this were still the 1960s and 1970s, I would be a New Leftist. Case in point: http://europidmusings.com/2010/06/22/feminism-women-national-anarchism-an-interview-with-keith-preston/ A big part of my critique of the Left is that it’s core ideas have now become institutionalized and have become the basis of a new kind of authoritarianism and illiberalism. Being anti-totalitarian humanism doesn’t mean you have to be anti-women, or anti-gay, or anti-black or anything like that just like being anti-Communist doesn’t mean you have to be anti-worker or being anti-Nazi doesn’t mean you have to be anti-white.

    ““If fanatical, pro-big business globalists like Philippe Legrain want mass immigration- it must by definition, be a bad thing.”

    “Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.”

    I agree that statement from Clark is by itself a logical fallacy rooted in hyperbole. But I think his general point still stands. Once again, I was arguing against Maoist Rebel’s view that the plutocratic class somehow opposes open borders. Clearly, open borders is more consistent with the expansion of the global economy and the bulk of globalist and capitalist opinion supports open borders even if other factions of the state do not (e.g. nativist politicians, border enforcement agencies, etc.)

    My critique of mass immigration is rooted in an effort to simply understand the role it plays in relationship to existing institutions like the state, the plutocracy, the existing ideological superstructure of the ruling class, totalitarian humanism, therapeutic liberalism, and all that. I am also concerned about its implications for the future of Western liberal civilization. Immigrant populations do not come as a blank state but bring with them the cultural, political, and religious values of their native cultures. While there are certainly individual immigrants and subgroupings among immigrant populations that are an exception to this rule, I think it’s pretty clear that most immigrants originate from cultures where statism in both the economic and social realm is generally accepted as a cultural norm, where social conservatism (and extreme social conservatism in some cases) is certainly more prevalent than in the West, and where ethnic/racial tribalism is also the norm. Beyond that, there is the question of preserving civil peace. The proponents of mass immigration at present typically reject both assimilationism and separatism. In other words, they want immigrant populations to essentially set up alien or even hostile subnations within the host nation which the host nation will then be obligated to accommodate and subsidize. I can’t see how that would lead to anything other than a civil war in the long run. This is a question that is far more serious than anything regarding the economic dimensions of mass immigration.

    “Whether he realizes it or not, I think that Keith here has accepted the assumptions of hardcore anti-liberal statism here. Fundamentally what I mean by this is that the idea that people must lock out other people from the labour market in order to keep a bigger chunk of the finite pie is fundamentally an authoritarian notion in my view. The sad reality was that many unions in the US thought this way and still do while in the past some unions in the US deliberately used their power to keep non-whites from competing in the market. I recall reading something by Walter Williams pointing out how the same thing occurred in South Africa during the days of apartheid.”

    But if you accept the Carsonian analysis that a genuinely “liberal” (i.e. free market, non-statist, anti-capitalist) economy would be one ordered on the basis of localized systems of production for local markets, then it follows that the present day neoliberal global corporate plutocratic economy (of which mass immigration is a feature) is as far removed from a genuinely liberal economy as anything could be. In such a context, mass immigration utilized by plutocrats as a means towards class subjugation is comparable to the older practice of using scab labor as a union-busting tactic. While at times critical of organized labor myself, the problem I have with anti-union libertarians is their presumption that the position of the capitalist class is legitimate in the first place. If indeed capitalism is a system dominated by plutocrats who are artificially privileged by the state, then unions should normally be seen as resisting plutocratic privilege. That’s not to say that unions cannot seek state privilege of their own (the South African example you cite is a case in point) and I’ve typically looked askance at things like using violence against scab workers as un-libertarian. But the broader classical anarchist analysis of the worker-boss relationship still holds up.

    I could turn your argument around and say you’re starting to sound like Rush Limbaugh’s refrain that the idea should be to grow the pie rather than redistribute pieces of the pie. Of course, Rush is just a plutocratic apologist and gets paid handsomely for it. What he wants is for people to forget about attacking systems of artificial privilege and just let capitalism do its thing with the hope it will give everyone a bigger piece of pie. That might even have some partial truth to it in the sense that, even with plutocratic privilege, capitalism has generally raised the overall standard of living beyond what it was in feudal societies. But it’s still only a half-truth and also ignores the process of re-proletarianization going on in the US today which is a direct result of economic policies generated by Rush’s Republican cronies.

    While I certainly wouldn’t compare you to Rush Limbaugh in that I think your own ideas and motives are honest and sincere and Rush’s are not, it sounds like you’re basically saying that mass immigration is no big deal because the solution is to simply grow the economic pie and let everyone have a bigger slice, immigrants included. That’s the standard Reason/CATO line as I understand it. Some would argue that is indeed economically viable. Others would say, no, there are limits to growth, and unlimited mass immigration would result in the U.S. having a population the size of China’s and the resulting demographic, ecological, and economic problems. I tend to lean towards the latter view, having been influenced by Garrett Hardin on this question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3wr4raYeHc and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1Nfe7zJi58&feature=related

    Aside from the issues I’ve raised thus far, we have to also consider the ways in which the rising forces of totalitarian humanism are using mass immigration to advance their own political position. I’m actually going to be speaking about that at an upcoming conference: https://www.npiconferences.com/

    All this said, I’ve never really endorsed a specific immigration policy beyond the level of simply throwing out ideas for discussion. My presumption is that in anarcho-pluralism/pan-secessionism there would be multiple immigration policies that would vary according to cultural and ideological norms of local, regional or private communities and institutions. I’m willing to have a cease fire with the left-anarchists and left-libertarians on this question. But here’s the question I would put to you, Jared: In your libertine separatist homeland full of Asian hookers and S$M specialists with legalized consensual cannibalism, are you going to allow unlimited immigration by Bible-bangers to the point of demographic overrun?

  12. Keith,

    I actually don’t disagree with you really when it comes to the immigration issue as I certainly understand and I agree with you that
    “most immigrants originate from cultures where statism in both the economic and social realm is generally accepted as a cultural norm, where social conservatism (and extreme social conservatism in some cases) is certainly more prevalent than in the West, and where ethnic/racial tribalism is also the norm.” ;

    Furthermore, nothing that I wrote there was meant to be an apologetic for mass immigration or even smaller level immigration, I certainly have no stake in the immigration debate one way or the other. The point I was getting it was that I am a little concerned with some of the assumptions behind the anti-immigration rhetoric, most notably as I mentioned the idea that humans are, to use Jim Goad’s analogy, from the article where he reviewed Jared Taylor’s book, goldfish fighting over a finite amount of resources in a desperate competition for survival.

    As for Rush Limbaugh, actually who I was thinking of when I was writing those things about scarcity in my last comment was something I had read of Mises a while back, hardly a Rush Limbaugh type by in measure. I also don’t think that mass immigration is no big deal because the pie can be grown at this point, obviously at any given time there is a finite amount of resources available and as well, I also agree with you on the cultural impact of immigration from illiberal societies.

    As for whether the pie can be grown indefinitely, literally no, there cannot be technically no scarcity assuming there is not an infinite amount of material existing, but in terms of practical elimination of scarcity, I think whether that can be achieved or not will depend upon whehter the claims made for certain future technologies pan out. I don’t presume that they will, I tend to be pessimistic, more so than in the past, but I think that the optimistic scenario for such developments may be the best chance of truly having a liberated society. If we consider that a large amount of conflicts in the world including those from the individual level up the level of nation states are over resources and the control of them, I think that it becomes clear why I believe that the reduction of scarcity is essential to achieving a non-authoritarian society. Don’t get me wrong, there are other sources of discontent in the world, ethic, racial, religious etc. but I think that even those have a large basis in the conflict over resources. I could go in to this more, but I don’t want to write a whole damn essay in a comment. I also think that insofar as the market, including plutocratic capitalism breaks down traditional institutions, I would say that it is mostly a good thing, even if it is the result of an unjust system. I find it unfortunate that some libertarian types, the paleos in particular, well being the staunchest defenders of capitalism are absolutely opposed to many of it’s results. e.g. social liberation including the ability to reject “traditional lifestyles” increased leisure and decreased working time, think Bob Black in “The libertarian as Conservative” was correct in his assessment of such types.

    As for right-wing libertarians anti-unionism, I certainly do not agree, and it was not my intention to bash them, however
    “The working classes are often more zealously nationalistic and war-happy than their plutocratic overlords. The experiences of WWI where the working classes of their respective countries came out in support of their national governments during the war completely debunked the Marxist view that “the workers have no country.” A lot of labor union types were gung ho on the Vietnam war in the 60s. Most people identify with their herd and their tribe, no matter how malevolent their particular leaders may be.”

    This is one of the reasons that I am tired of this lionization of working class whites by many including libertarians and even some anarchists. To be fair, I am also equally sick of this being done to ethnic minorities in the west (and the rest of the globe) by the anarchist left as well as the whole left in general including some left libertarians. As you know, the working class have some of the worst views on civil liberties, are often as cop loving law and order types as can be, and as you pointed out in past articles documenting your own personal experience with strike support, they have little interest in advancing their own interests except for their immediate gratification (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    I also think that the ethnic minorties that are the darlings of the left are that any better lest I be accused of having some left bias here. For one thing, I’m getting a little tired about hearing about how horrible it is in their ghettos with all the killing and stuff as if they are being forced to do that. If these people really are being screwed by the system, why don’t millions of these people march to the White House and/or congress and scare all those politicians into changing things instead of killing one another.

    This brings me to a larger point, which is that I’m tired of people whining about the downtrodden and how so-called privileged people should feel sympathy and/or at least guilt for not being so. This comes not only from whiny liberals, but also from conservatives a lot as well, the latter will always whine about people’s sense of entitlement and how narcissitic , selfish, and spoiled people (mostly the young) people are for not being grateful (to whom?) for what they have when they are people who have so much less. The thing is that these idiots both conservative and liberal will also argue against radical libertarians by saying how hierarchy is natural, how some people must be ranked above others, and that the whole social structure on that basis, pecking orders and all, are just natural and to go against them is just a childish desire to go against the very fabric of reality itself (I have seen liberals make these exact arguments before, here is an extreme case in point from a “social democrat” http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/sean-prophet-on-man-is-innately-evil/ ) They also argue that human beings are innately violent and predatory as well, with an absolute need to be controlled. Well fine then, but my response would be that if that is natural than so is the unequal nature of resource distribution with the consequences of that being some people will have lots and some will have nothing and starve, it’s just natural after all. If you’re born in the right place at the right time (US, Canada, Australia etc.) you’ve hit jackpot, but if you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time (e.g. Ethiopia, Bangladesh etc.) than you’re screwed but tough shit that’s just life. All the downtrodden play the same domination game that everyone else does, the only difference is that they are among the losers. All of these people that are oppressed would do the exact same thing to their enemies if they could, and I think this is demonstrable because usually in ethnic conflicts both sides kill each other equally from what I understand. Let me say though that I could be entirely wrong about this assessment and if I am, nobody will be happier than myself. The point that I am making though is a reject the idea of universal love and benevolence regardless of the kind of person someone is. The thing is most conservative will agree, and will use that to justify the brutalization of “criminals” but then will be inconsistent by demanding concern for the welfare of others regardless of the affect on one’s self-interest, despite the fact that conservatives consider everyone to be rotten (as do most liberals as well).

    “But here’s the question I would put to you, Jared: In your libertine separatist homeland full of Asian hookers and S$M specialists with legalized consensual cannibalism, are you going to allow unlimited immigration by Bible-bangers to the point of demographic overrun?”

    Well, the whole idea of embracing libertinism was that it was a ‘second best option” if a truly free non-coercive society was not possible.. Anyhow why on earth would Bible-bangers ever want to immigrate to anything like that in the first place? (but I understand the point you were trying to make)

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