Attack the System radio

Attack the System: A New Anarchist Perspective for the 21st Century

Attack the System
Attack the System: A New Anarchist Perspective for the 21st Century

November 11, 2013

Keith Preston discusses his new book.

Topics include:

  • The philosophical foundations for a new Western radicalism that can be found in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Stirner, and Ernst Junger.
  • Why the unprecedented concentration of political and economic power on a global scale should be the primary concern of all dissidents and political critics.
  • How the Right’s fixation on lost pasts becomes a self-defeating pessimism.
  • How the Left’s victimology and moral crusading has produced a cautious conservatism.
  • How American society has experienced deterioration in virtually every area of political, economic, and cultural life in recent decades.
  • Why a revolutionary alternative is needed.
  • How the ARV-ATS philosophy of anarcho-pluralism and strategy of pan-secessionism is able to transcend barriers of left and right, centrism and extremism, paternalism and libertarianism, and why such an approach is necessary to prevent American society from suffering the fate of other nations that have fallen into chaos.

File type: MP3
Length: 1:13:32
Bitrate: 32kb/s CBR

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6 replies »

  1. Keith, I do have a question after reading part of your book (still working my way through it) and listening to this and other podcasts. You note that libertarianism is actually a far-Left movement, further Left than socialism (which is middle of the road) and communism. I agree with you on this. And you criticise the Right for looking backwards and being pessimistic. I understand this criticism but I think it can be healthy to be at least somewhat past-oriented. And you urge the Right to become libertarian, essentially. This brings me to my question. I am not an egalitarian. I embrace hierarchy and tradition. I like the pre-Enlightenment model far better than the post-Enlightenment model. What do you have to say to Rightists (such as me) who aren’t very interested in libertarianism? I ask this as someone who is comfortable with my own position of Southern nationalism. I’m not seeing answers for me so much as wondering how ATS will reach Right-wing folks. I mean, if you just tell them that they are past-oriented, negative and they should try libertarianism – that’s probably not going to work with many people. But there is a huge amount of Right-wing people who are against the System. In the South it’s easy because our tradition is decentralist. And as SNs we abhore the US Empire and all its major institutions. But outside of the South you may find it more difficult to reach Right-wing folks if you don’t have an alternative that appeals to their anti-egalitarian, pro-traditionalist values.

  2. The essay from the book you’re referring to was written some years ago in response to efforts by some in the libertarian movement to revive the “fusionist” idea Frank Meyer used to push. I was opposed to that because I thought it was creating an ideological framework for libertarianism to be coopted by the state and the empire (like the fusionists of National Review were similarly coopted in the past). I have no serious beef with honest philosophical conservatism of the kind Richard Weaver, Robert Nisbet, Wendell Berry, the Southern Agrarians, etc. were into. I might personally disagree on a few points, but that’s my problem.

    But the broader ideas that help us move past these divisions are the concepts of decentralization and pan-secessionism themselves. I’m not interested in creating philosophical or cultural unity among dissidents. I think the way to promote these ideas among all political, cultural, or philosophical groupings is through the concept of self-determination. Southern nationalists might want self-determination for entirely different reasons that the Free State Project or Republic of New Afrika or Cascadians or Republic of Lakotah or the guy I know who wants to form a Marxist secessionist movement in Illinois. But the question is who is it that’s preventing self-determination for everyone?

    This is not just a left/right or conservative/libertarian divide. On the right, it may be that southern nationalists, constitutionalists, evangelical fundamentalists, preppers, right-wing libertarians, white nationalists, militiamen, tax resisters, 2nd Amendment activists, black conservatives, and white nationalists all have entirely different primary motivations for opposing the state, the empire, the “system,” etc. But the principle of decentralization and the strategy of pan-secession allows for reasonable levels of self-determination for all of these. And when movements from political, cultural, ethnic, or religious tendencies outside the right are brought into the mix, the revolutionary potential becomes enormous.

    It’s the same concept Alexander Dugin promotes on the international level through the Global Revolutionary Alliance:

    “The Muslims, atheists, Christians, socialists, anarchists, conservatives, libertarians, fundamentalists, sectarians, progressivists, environmentalists, or traditionalists will hardly get along with each other, if they try to spread their vision of the future to their neighbours, and even more so, to all mankind….With diverse and disparate images of the future, we must learn to imagine them in their local, rather than a universal context. Islam for Muslims, Christianity for Christians, socialism for socialists, ecology for environmentalists, fundamentalism for fundamentalists, nation for nationalists, anarchy for anarchists and so on…”

    Obviously, there are many issues and arguments for pan-secession that would appeal to rightists but not to leftists, or to libertarians but not conservatives, or to blacks but not to whites, or the vice versa of any of these dichotomies.

    Also, much of my writing over the years has been intended for audiences of hard-core libertarians and anarchists. If I were writing more specifically for rightists (like I did at Alt Right) or for leftists (like my “Why the Radical Left Should Consider Secession” article), or for the general public, I might frame some of my arguments in a different way.

    Does this answer your question?

  3. Ok, Keith. Thanks for your answer. I better understand where you are coming from now. I like the comparison to the Dugin model on the international level.

    At this point, given the status quo is increasingly militantly egalitarian I actually think it will be harder to recruit opponants of the System from the Left than from the Right. For example, I see lots of US flags in Black neighbourhoods now. That is fairly new. Lots of Blacks I talk with jow sound like middle class Whites always have when it comes to defending the System. While it is easier than ever for me to get White non-Leftists to agree that the System is terrible and that secession is a desirable goal, it is not good to see so many more Blacks now defending the System. I can see that trend continuing until Hispanics reach a point where they transcend the political power of Blacks on the Left.

  4. I’ve noticed over the years that opinion polls continually indicate the number of Americans who favor secession for their region tends to stay static at about 1 in 6, and the number who believe in the right of secession stays at about 1 in 5. But the demographic and political breakdown shifts depending on which party is in power. During the Bush years, a Zogby poll actually showed more liberals and minorities favored secession than whites or conservatives (remember the “Jesusland” maps that used to show up online back then?). But now that the Dems are in power secessionist sentiment has remained the same numerically but taken a rightward turn demographically. I think that will continue to be the case as I suspect the center-left will be dominant for some time to come. I believe you’re quite right about this.

    But I also think secessionist sentiment will continue to grow in corners outside the Right as class divisions grow, as the left’s coalition members turn on one another, as the state tightens its grip, and as the Dems become an increasing disappointment to their rank and file constituents. It may take a while but I think it will happen.

    What you told me about the American flags in the black neighborhoods doesn’t surprise me. The black middle class is growing, and we have the first black president. It’s a case of a long excluded population finally achieving some status. It’s one of the same reasons working class whites tended to be such gung ho American patriots in the postwar era. They finally made it. Plus they had fought for “America” in WW2. Of course, they were going to take a pro-system stance. The same is true of other rising population groups. A friend of mine told me about seeing a lot of American flags in gay neighborhoods in San Francisco after the September 11, 2001 incidents. I remember a friend of mine who was a Students for a Democratic Society activist in the 60s telling me about 25 years ago that substantial sectors of the black middle class would eventually be an obstacle to developing an anti-system movement. Your observation is consistent with that prediction. But class divisions are growing sharply among African-Americans. I would expect upwardly blacks to become increasingly pro-system as their socioeconomic status increases and as the integrationist ideal becomes more status quo. But there’s vast population of poor, politically excluded blacks that I believe will be a ripe audience for revolutionary movements in the future.

  5. The African-American population in the US has really split off into two separate socioeconomic demographics. We have a much larger black middle class, but the conditions among the poor blacks and other racial minorities have arguably worsened in recent decades. The same conditions that gave rise to groups like the Black Panthers in the 60s and 70s-serious poverty and police brutality-are still just as big a deal in poor black communities as they were back then. And I think there will be a big political split along class lines among African-Americans at some point in the future. For instance, look at the increased number of black Republican politicians.

    In fact, I think that will probably happen among all the non-white ethnic populations. The upwardly mobile, politically integrated sectors will become increasingly pro-system while the poor communities within all ethnic groups will become increasingly anti-system. And the arrival of an ever greater variety and number of immigrants will complicate the issue even more.

    I think the entire spectrum of the Right will become increasingly anti-system over time. For instance, the mainstream conservatives of today will be just as politically marginalized in a few decades, perhaps sooner, as the paleocons are at present. The declining condition of the middle class will also hasten that. There’s already a prototypical secession movement for most of the factions of the right: Christian Exodus for the religious right, Free State Project for free-market libertarians, League of the South for southern nationalists, “whitopia” movements among the white nationalists, Texan independence movements for, well, Texans. I think there will be a lot more tendencies of this type in the future.

    I’ve also noticed that sympathy for ideas like secession and decentralization on the Left tends to be more frequently found among the bioregionalist/Green decentralist/E.F. Schumacher left. In fact, most left-decentralists I know of either personally or by reputation tend to come from that tradition. That’s the perspective of both the Cascadians and the Second Vermont Republic tendencies from what I can tell.

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