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Ron Paul: Only a 15% Reduction in Military Spending? Hmm….

This article is an excellent illustration of why reformist politics fails.

If Paul plans to cut military spending by only 15% then by the time all of the usual political wrangling and negotiations are done the figure would be much smaller than 15%. A reduction in the U.S. military budget of, say, 8% would be largely meaningless. A 50% reduction might be substantive, while an 80-90% reduction might be more appropriate. (Interestingly, Rand Paul, never quite the match for his father, endorses only a 6.5% reduction in the military budget.)

Paul is a good man with good intentions, and I continue to endorse him as someone who is opening the door for a much, much more radical anti-state movement in the future. But this token reduction in military spending proposed by Paul, who is no doubt a sincere man who wants to see imperialist war ended, clearly indicates the impossibility of meaningful reform by working within the system, at least not on a monumental issue like this.

The standard modus operandi of the U.S. state throughout its history has been to repress real opposition to itself through lethal violence while coopting those opposition forces that are cooptable. Mass democracy is the tool through which the state pursues this strategy. That’s what happened in the 1960. Real revolutionary movements like the Black Panthers and AIM were essentially defeated by military means, while reformist movements like civil rights, women’s lib, gay rights, environmentalism, etc. were coopted by the state by means of cultivating these as constituencies for the state.

That’s one reason why pan-secessionism is a strategic necessity. Pan-secessionism cannot be coopted as it means the death of the state’s authority. No state that is capable of putting up resistance ever allows any of its territories to walk away without a fight. The British crown didn’t allow it in 1776. The Lincoln regime didn’t allow it in 1861. The regimes of LBJ and Richard M. Nixon did not allow it in the 1960s and 1970s.

Interestingly, the U.S. Civil War is a classic illustration of the anarchist principle that the state is a specially privileged class unto itself, over and above mere economic elites like aristocrats, plutocrats, or capitalists. The Civil War can be interpreted either as an intra-mural war among the U.S. capitalist class pitting southern agrarian capitalism against northern industrial capitalism (the standard Marxist interpretation) or as a class war between northern industrial capitalism and what was essentially a form of remnant feudalism in the South akin to the French Revolution (I lean towards the latter view). Either way, the U.S. state acted without mercy when its sovereignty was challenged. To achieve victory, the anarchist movement must achieve what Hezbollah (and I of course recognize that Hezbollah is in no way an anarchist movement) has accomplished in Lebanon, i.e. replacement of the state as the guardian of the nation and the principal armed force in the society.

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