A reply to “Capitalist Praise For Anarcho-Syndicalism” Reply

This is an old piece by a left-anarchist from probably the early 2000s discussing the differences between left-anarchist economics and anarcho-capitalism. It’s a bit sectarian leftist, as might be predicted, but some of the discussion of economic concepts is interesting.

The most obvious weakness of this piece is its fanatical universalism:

Given that anarchism (what he calls “left-anarchism”) aims to create a social revolution from below, after which people would create communities based on their own preferences, then he simply is saying that anarchists are just anarchists.

The difference between anarchists and “anarcho”-capitalists is, of course, how they view communities so formed. For the anarchist, the nature of these communities determine whether they are anarchists, not their voluntary nature by themselves. After all, a community run on Fascist lines is hardly anarchist. Equally, the current system of competing nation states are also voluntary (no one forces Jeremy to life in the USA). That does not mean that the current system is anarchist.

Expecting every community, region, institution, or organization everywhere in the world to be organized along strict syndicalist or anarcho-communist lines is, well, rather unrealistic.

Flag.Blackened.Net

Jeremy Sapienza, an “anarcho”-capitalist, wrote an essay on anarcho-syndicalism. This is a reply to it and a critique of his main assumptions and arguments.

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Rothbard’s Time on the Left 8

Murray Rothbard was arguably the leading anarchist theoretician of the second half of the twentieth century. The classical anarchist movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries included a number of prominent and innovative thinkers: Stirner, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tucker, Tolstoy, Spooner, and others. Yet the revival of interest in anarchism during the uprisings of the 1960s and 1970s failed to produce many new thinkers of this stature. An exception is Noam Chomsky, but Chomsky is primarily a critic of U.S. foreign policy and neoliberalism who functions as a left-liberal, social-democratic fellow traveler of anarcho-syndicalism. He’s added very little to the actual anarchist canon. Another exception is Murray Bookchin, who attempted to fuse the insights of classical anarchism with the ideas of the New Left, particularly the ecology movement, and eventually abandoned anarchism in favor of a new philosophy he simply called “communalism.” So it was ultimately Bookchin’s rival Rothbard (the two men regrettably didn’t get along) who ended up creating the most innovative and comprehensive body of anarchist theory in the postwar/late 20th century era. Virtually all other “anarcho-libertarian” thinkers of the time mostly copied Rothbard’s system, occasionally adding some ideas of their own: Morris and Linda Tannehill, David Friedman, Sam Konkin, George Smith, Karl Hess, etc.

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Murray Rothbard was Right on Libertarian Strategy Reply

Murray Rothbard was one of the few modern libertarian or anarchist thinkers to give any serious thought to strategic questions. Not coincidentally, the growing libertarian movement of the present day is to a large degree the result of Rothbard’s visionary thinking in the area of strategy. In the early 90s, while the neolibertarian corporate apologists around groups like the CATO Institute were brown nosing the Republicans and other libertarians were similarly brown nosing the cultural Left, Rothbard and his circle recognized that a serious libertarian movement would have to be populist in nature, and not one that was oriented towards either the elites (like CATO) or towards the cultural far fringes and hard left (like the left-libertarians). Hence, the “paleo strategy” of Rothbard, Rockwell, and Raimondo. It was the paleo strategy (i.e. a fusion of libertarian anti-statism, right-wing populism, and neo-isolationist foreign policy views) that became the foundation for the Ron Paul campaigns, which were the spark for the growth of libertarian movement over the past five or six years. To be sure, the growing libertarian movement has veered off into multiple directions, right, left, and center, but its overall growth positively correlates with the (relative) popularity of Ron Paul as a public figure.

By Robert Wenzel

Economic Policy Journal

I have been seeing a lot of negative commentary recently, advanced by the usual suspects, on the strategy that Murray Rothbard called for in advancing the libertarian cause. Some of these commentators have, clearly, not even read Rothbard on strategy.  They certainly have no understanding of how Rothbard viewed alliances. I urge anyone interested in the topic to read the Rothbard memo What Is To Be Done?, which can be found in the collection of Rothbard written private Volker Fund memos, compiled by David Gordon and published as Strictly Confidential.

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Anarchism and Spirituality Reply

Attack the System
Anarchism and Spirituality: An Interview with Jay Cypher

February 22, 2014

Keith Preston interviews Jay Cypher, anarchist anthropologist and scholar of the relationship between spirituality, religion, and social movements. Topics include:

Topics include:

  • Her recent lecture “Anarchy and Spiritual Practice.”
  • Libertarian tendencies within various religious traditions.
  • Her involvement with the National-Anarchist Tribal Alliance of New York.
  • Do-It-Yourself activism and intentional communities.
  • Anarchism on the macro-level and micro-level.
  • The human instinct for freedom and resistance to oppression.
  • The importance of alternative sources of food production.
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Murray Rothbard: Libertarian Socialist Reply

By Murray Rothbard

Karl Hess’s brilliant and challenging article in this issue raises a problem of specifics that ranges further than the libertarian movement. For example, there must be hundreds of thousands of “professional” anti-Communists in this country. Yet not one of these gentry, in the course of their fulminations, has come up with a specific plan for de-Communization. Suppose, for example, that Messers. Brezhnev and Co. become converted to the principles of a free society; they than [sic] ask our anti-Communists, all right, how do we go about de-socializing? What could our anti-Communists offer them?

This question has been essentially answered by the exciting developments of Tito’s Yugoslavia. Beginning in 1952, Yugoslavia has been de-socializing at a remarkable rate. The principle the Yugoslavs have used is the libertarian “homesteading” one: the state-owned factories to the workers that work in them! The nationalized plants in the “public” sector have all been transferred in virtual ownership to the specific workers who work in the particular plants, thus making them producers’ coops, and moving rapidly in the direction of individual shares of virtual ownership to the individual worker. What other practicable route toward destatization could there be? The principle in the Communist countries should be: land to the peasants and the factories to the workers, thereby getting the property out of the hands of the State and into private, homesteading hands.

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Hoppe, Carson, and Me Reply

I have found that the two other thinkers within the current anti-state milieu to whom I am most often compared are Hans Hermann Hoppe and Kevin Carson. These associations are made by both sympathizers and critics regarding my own work. So perhaps if might be of interest to point out both similarities and differences between these two men and myself.

I very much respect and am influenced by the work of both gentlemen. I have written praises to the high heavens on behalf of both of them in the past.

Hoppe is an anarcho-capitalist in the vein of Murray Rothbard, and it would probably be appropriate to characterize Hoppe as a full-fledged Rothbardian. The system developed by Rothbard was an amalgam of Thomistic natural law theory, Lockean natural rights, Austrian economics, foreign policy isolationism, and individualist-anarchism. Rothbard’s outlook in many ways resembles that of the Marxists: rationalist and atheist in philosophy, extreme political and economic radicalism, and staunch social conservatism. Rothbard also considered his brand of libertarianism to be a branch of the far Left, with socialism being a middle of the road ideology between libertarianism and traditional conservatism.

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The White-Knight Wombocracy: A State of Special Pleading 8

From the Inferno. Been getting quite the backlash from this one from (other) “pro-choicers” (who seem to miss the point entirely).

________________

Of all the court cases the press have pored over recently, none have fascinated me more than that of John Welden, who recently started a 14-year prison sentence for drugging his girlfriend into a miscarriage. If memory serves me well, I first heard about the case last spring, when Welden first entered the dock on a charge of no less than murder.

According to the Mail (emphasis mine):

[Remee Jo Lee] was six or seven weeks pregnant when she miscarried.

Welden pleaded guilty in September to tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He had faced a possible life sentence if convicted of his original charge, killing an unborn child.

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Ukraine: the protest movement and the fascists 1

Dreams Deferred

November. Kiev’s main square has been occupied, there have been dramatic scenes of heavy fighting between militant protestors and police, and government buildings have been stormed and occupied too.

But it was the fascist flags that first caught my eye when the protests escalated suddenly to draw in hundreds of thousands in the first days of December.

Many reports were accompanied by pictures like the one above, an AP photo that appeared on the top of a Guardian piece (where it has since been replaced) and in this BBC report.

They didn’t mention that the flags with the three-fingered logo are those of the fascist Svoboda party.

This does not mean that all or most of the protestors are fascists. But it was clear from pictures coming out of Ukraine that the fascists had an open and sizeable presence in the protest, and this was accepted by the mass of the movement.

Since then, the fascists have gained alarmingly in strength and influence, by taking the lead in some of the most militant actions. Hard-core fascists have been at the heart of the occupation of Kiev city hall and the heavy fighting against the police at the barricades of Hrushevskoho street.

What’s happening?

So what is going on? There have been differing interpretations on offer.

• Much of the mainstream coverage in the Western media, in line with EU and US politicians, has been sympathetic to the “Euromaidan” protests which began when Ukraine’s president Victor Yanukovych pulled out of signing an association agreement with the EU at the eleventh hour.

EU ministers, including British foreign secretary William Hague have backed the pro-EU protestors as fighters for democracy against Yanukovych’s pro-Russian government. US Secretary of State John Kerry has weighed in too.

• Not all commentators have fallen in behind this line, however. In a Guardian column Seumas Milne pours scorn on these arguments, pointing to the strategic interests of the EU and Nato in the Ukraine, as well as the presence of the fascists.

Milne is not uncritical of Yanukovych and speaks out against the government’s repression. He does not ignore the anger and frustration in Ukraine at poverty, inequality and political corruption.

But his piece concentrates its fire on Euromaidan and its western backers. He concludes with a warning about the dangers of “outside interference” in Ukraine, a warning clearly directed at the Western powers rather than Russia. In this he echoes Russian president Putin.

• Elsewhere, some on the left have identified the protests as part of the anti-capitalist movement. The huge protests in the main square of the capital and the fighting with police look familiar.

I disagree with all three of these positions. Here’s why…

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Notes for Revolutionaries Reply

A lot of these “far right” writers are pretty good at criticizing the excesses of the Left/PC, which is why I draw on a lot of their material. The book by Jim Kalb that’s being reviewed in this piece is actually quite good. I know both Jim and Jared Taylor personally, and they have a lot of valuable insights into many things that are certainly worth hearing. But “right-wing” analysis of this type only goes so far. PC is the manifestation of the rise of a newly rich, new left-wing of the capitalist class, and the the left-wing of the upper middle class of technocrats, urban professionals, public sector workers, and elites among traditional outgroups. But the traditional system of class exploitation remains in place for the bottom socioeconomic layers of the traditional outgroups, and there are a wide assortment of traditional outgroups that were never incorporated into the Left’s pantheon of the oppressed. And on an international level, the dynamics of imperialism remain the same. Where this kind of right-wing analysis becomes helpful is in its recognition of the shift in power dynamics that has occurred in Western nations over the last half century as traditional elites have been slowly eclipsed by the rise of this newer, more cosmopolitan, more multicultural upper middle class. It’s a similar scenario to what happened when the historic bourgeois began to displace the traditional aristocracies. This shift in power dynamics has also created a new assortment of outgroups draw variously from majoritarian or traditional cultural milieus. It’s on this latter point that right-wing critiques of PC and the Left have much merit.

By Jared Taylor

American Renaissance

Sunrise
Why the regime must fall.

James Kalb, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It, Angelico Press, 2013, 203 pp., $19.95 (soft cover).

Against Inclusiveness, by independent scholar James Kalb, is one of the most quietly subversive books to be published in many years. It is perhaps most remarkable for what it takes for granted: Of course race, nation, family, sex, erotic orientation, and religion are fundamental aspects of human identity, and of course healthy people discriminate. The “inclusivist” orthodoxy of our times, which commands us to pretend these things do not matter, is therefore inhuman and tyrannical.

AgainstInclusiveness

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The Politics of Denunciation 5

In The Politics of Denunciation, Kristian Williams nicely articulates the authoritarian nature of political correctness on the Left and lays out a way past it:

A year ago, on February 28, 2013, at an event titled “Patriarchy and the Movement,” I watched as a friend of mine attempted to pose several questions based on her experience trying to address domestic violence and other abuse in the context of radical organizing.

“Why have the forms of accountability processes that we’ve seen in radical subcultures so regularly failed?” she asked. “Is there a tension between supporting a survivor’s healing and holding perpetrators accountable?”

At that point she was, quite literally, shouted down. An angry roar came up from the crowd, from both the audience and the panelists. It quickly became impossible to hear her and, after a few seconds, she simply stopped trying to speak.

Keith Preston: Commie-Fascist? 2

“Left-libertarian” Craig Bolton on Keith Preston; February 17, 2014

“In short, this is a very peculiar view you have. It would appear to be probigot White Guy Leftism. It certainly not plain vanilla antistatism, since that is my view, and while I recognize a couple of the slogans, they seem to be embedded in sympathy for the despicable. Perhaps you and Walter Block should talk?”

“Right-libertarian” Paul Marks on Keith Preston; February 21, 2014

“As for whether “Keith Preston” is a real person or not. I suspect he properly is some creature found when one lets up an “Occupy” rock and sees the things crawling about underneath.”

Who Am I? Left, Right, or Center? 6

As one who has been very critical of many aspects of the conventional left/right model of the political spectrum, I always find it interesting to observe how my own work is perceived by sympathizers and critics alike, and from both the Left and the Right. What I often find is that more conventional leftists will regard me a right-wing, while rightists while consider me to be a part of the Left.  Perhaps this is still another piece of evidence as to why the left/right model is flawed. Consider the various positions I normally take on contentious matters:

I have always considered myself to be a part of the far Left on the question of U.S. foreign policy, and my influences in this area were thinkers like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, and Alexander Cockburn. Yet, the standard far left critique of U.S. imperialism often overlaps with that of the paleoconservatives, not too mention rightist thinkers in Europe and Russia, such as Alain De Benoist and Alexander Dugin.

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Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU (Autonomous Workers Union) Reply

I have no position on the situation in the Ukraine, as it’s an internal matter for the Ukrainians to work out for themselves, but it’s worth observing from those who are interested in political movements and upheavals.

Avtonomia/Anarchist Dot News

Civil war began in Ukraine yesterday. A less than peaceful demonstration clashed with state defense forces and divisions formed by the adherents of the current government near the Vekhovna Rada (Parliament). On February 18, police, together with the paramilitaries, arranged a bloodbath in the governmental quarters during which numerous demonstrators were killed. Butchers from the special divisions finished off arrestees. Deputies of the ruling Party of Regions and their bourgeois lackeys from the “Communist” Party of Ukraine fled from the Parliament through an underground tunnel. The vote for constitutional amendments, intended to limit presidential power, did not take place after all. After their defeat in the governmental quarters, demonstrators retreated to the Maidan. At 6 P.M., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Security Bureau (SBU) declared an ultimatum to the protesters, demanding their dispersal. At 8:00 P.M., special police forces and paramilitaries, equipped with water cannons and armored vehicles, began their raid on the barricades. Police, the special divisions of SBU, as well as pro-governmental troopers made use of their firearms. However, the protesters managed to burn down one of the armored police vehicles, and it turned out that governmental forces were not the only ones in possession of guns. According to the data released by the police (on February, 19, 4 p.m.), 24 people were killed: 14 protesters and 10 policemen. Thirty-one policemen received gunshot wounds. Even if their estimate of losses on the side of the police is accurate, the number of victims among the protesters was definitely diminished. Maidan’s medics cite at least 30 killed.

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Role reversal: Left establishment vs Right counter-culture 1

Southern nationalist secessionists vs Leftist educator/businessman

Southern nationalist secessionists vs liberal educator/businessman

Those of us who weren’t alive in the 1960s have likely seen clips from television and movies showing Right-wingers chastising hippies and liberals over their long hair, casual demeanor and less-than-formal dress. Conservatives also often used rhetoric about how liberals were traitors and should leave the United States. Pro-Vietnam War veterans complaining about how Jane Fonda was an enemy of America immediately comes to mind. The Left was then the rising counter-culture, which went on to be destroyed in the 1972 US presidential election but take over the Democratic Party and progressively acquire more influence and power in society.

My how things have changed from the days when The Beatles’ haircuts scandalized establishment conservatives and delighted counter-culture liberals!

Recently, the League of the South, a Southern nationalist organisation, unveiled a billboard with the message of ‘secede’ in front of the State capital building in Tallahassee, Florida. Dr Michael Hill, League president, described the motivation for Southern independence, writing in a recent article, ‘If the South is going to survive, especially against a flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy her very cultural and political foundations, she is going to have to seek her independence and govern herself.’ On the day it was unveiled, League members recorded a short video in front of the billboard to promote the effort.

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The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military 1

By Robert Johnson

Business Insider

The FBI has released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the US, a 40 percent increase since 2009, and that many of these members are getting inside the military (via Stars and Stripes).

The report says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.

From the report:

Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.

The report notes that while gang members have been reported in every branch of service, they are concentrated in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard.

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Keith Preston – 21st Century Anarchism: Anarcho – Pluralism, Radical Localism & Effective Resistance Reply

Check out my interview with Radio3Fourteen

He is the author of Attack the System: A New Anarchist Perspective for the 21st Century. His website attackthesystem.com is full of well written, interesting and insightful essays. We’ll discuss what Keith calls Anarcho-Pluralism and Pan-Secessionism. He’ll talk about the core strategic efforts for the pan-anarchist movement. The idea is to work to abolish the central state and give every political interest group its own territory to create whatever kind of society it wishes. How do we go about dissolving the state? What are the methodologies for practical implementation of anarchism? What are the problems perceived in the mainstream of the anarchist milieu? How has mainstream Libertarianism failed? Keith explains how various types of anarchists can work together to crush the state and become an effective resistance. He will explain the real threat currently facing anarchism: totalitarian humanists, liberal humanism, progressive imperialism, cultural authoritarianism, tolerance of repression and political correctness have waged war on freedom. We speak more on how “radical localism” is the best possible method of avoiding tyrannies and abuses of Leviathan states. Anti-statism sentiments in America are becoming the norm. Will 21st century anarchists succeed in their efforts, or are we destined for tyranny?

Our Sinister Dual State Reply

By Chris Hedges

President Barack Obama announces James Clapper, left, as director of national intelligence during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 5, 2010. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

On Thursday the former National Security Agency official and whistle-blower William E. Binney and I will debate Stewart A. Baker, a former general counsel for the NSA, P.J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesman, and the media pundit Jeffrey Toobin. The debate, at Oxford University, will center on whether Edward Snowden’s leaks helped or harmed the public good. The proposition asks: “Is Edward Snowden a Hero?” But, on a deeper level, the debate will revolve around our nation’s loss of liberty.

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Why we on the Left made an epic mistake on immigration 1

By David Goodhart

Church and State

Members of the Bangladshi community photographed in Whitechapel Market, in east London, 7 September 2010. (Photo: Rebecca Reid)

Among Left-leaning ‘Hampstead’ liberals like me, there has long been what you might call a ‘discrimination assumption’ when it comes to the highly charged issue of immigration.

Our instinctive reaction has been that Britain is a relentlessly racist country bent on thwarting the lives of ethnic minorities, that the only decent policy is to throw open our doors to all and that those with doubts about how we run our multi-racial society are guilty of prejudice.

And that view — echoed in Whitehall, Westminster and town halls around the country — has been the prevailing ideology, setting the tone for the immigration debate.

But for some years, this has troubled me and, gradually, I have changed my mind.

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Is the left forgetting how evil communism was? 4

By W. James Antle

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 12.27.10 PM

Is communism making a comeback? On its face, the question seems more than a little absurd. The Berlin Wall came down over 24 years ago. We are more than 22 years removed from the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

All that remains are the Stalinist museum pieces of North Korea and Cuba, the former an isolated country known mainly for its absurd dictator and starving population, the latter a beautiful island stuck in a 1950s time warp due to backwards economic and social policies.

Even China, the one major power still ruled by a Communist Party, is so far removed from the strict economic teachings of Marx and Engels as to nearly constitute some other political system entirely (albeit one that is still tyrannical).

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Global Capitalism Has Written Off The Human Race 1

By Paul Craig Roberts

Economic theory teaches that free price and profit movements ensure that capitalism produces the greatest welfare for the greatest number. Losses indicate economic activities where costs exceed the value of production, thus investment in these activities is curtailed. Profits indicate economic activities where the value of output exceeds its cost, thus investment increases. Prices indicate the relative scarcity and value of inputs and outputs, thus serving to organize production most efficiently.

This theory doesn’t work when the US government socializes cost and privatizes profits as it has been doing with the Federal Reserve’s support of “banks too big to fail” and when a handful of financial institutions have concentrated much economic activity. Subsidized “private” banks are no different from the former publicly subsidized socialized industries of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the former communist countries. The banks have imposed the costs of their incompetence, greed, and corruption on taxpayers. Indeed, the socialized firms in England and France were more efficiently run and never threatened the national economies, much less the entire world, with ruin as do the private US “banks too big to fail.” The English, French, and communists never had to print $1,000 billion dollars annually to save a handful of corrupt and incompetent financial enterprises.

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Vulgar Libertarian vs Uber-Marxist in a Steel Cage Match Reply

A rather spirited debate between a socialist and a free-market libertarian on the McDonaldized economy. The problem I see with this discussion is that it’s a pissing contest between two polarized extremes, without any give and take, and without more moderate voices being heard. But it makes for good television.

Of course, I’d say that both governments and corporations suck, and the point of view that needs to be heard is the traditional anarchist one: The state and the plutocracy are mutual partners in exploitation, and the alternative is a stateless economy with decentralized production for local use. But that’s just me.

Watch the video

Has the American dream come to an end? What does the recent McDonald’s minimum wage guide say about the nature of labor in the US? And, is there a way to improve income disparity? CrossTalking with Austin Petersen and Eric Draitser.