Robert has some very interesting interviews available featuring cutting edge political dissidents and topics that rarely get discussed elsewhere. Check some of these out:
2014 has thus far proved to be an interesting year for American Revolutionary Vanguard and AttacktheSystem.Com.
After many years of laboring in the trenches on the fringe of the fringe of the world of dissident politics, the ideas we have long promoted here at ATS are starting to get some serious traction.
We have long criticized the mainstream anarchist movement for its clinging to the archaic left/right model of the political spectrum, and its failure to turn anarchism into an effective resistance force. Meanwhile, we have encouraged the growth and development of dissident anarchist tendencies. A crucial development has now begun to take place in the mainstream anarchist milieu. The bitterness, divisiveness, factionalism, and excessive political correctness that we have criticized and rejected in anarchist circles has come to a head. More…
Americans are more divided than ever by political ideology, as a recent Pew Research Center study makes clear. About a third of people on each side say of the other that its proponents “are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being.” They’re both right about that.
My prescription isn’t civility or dialogue, which though admirable are boring and in this case evidently impossible. Rather, my approach is “philosophical”: to try to confront both sides with the fact that their positions are incoherent. The left-right divide might be a division between social identities based on class or region or race or gender, but it is certainly not a clash between different political ideas.
Decolonial monarchism! This jives well with Bioregionalism and indigenous clan/band/village level sovereignty. A fellow member of my tribe commented that “sovereignty should not be defined at the whim of U.S. congressional mood swings.” I agree entirely but would add that the US would never allow for any genuine, self defined sovereignty for indigenous nations within it’s borders. I theorize that the only conditions under which that might happen are when the US is weak and badly in need of winning the support of indigenous peoples, Native Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and First Nations to maintain its legitimacy. But at that point why would we need such a weak ally? Until then, the only acceptable level of “sovereignty” will be that of a client state at best, but more likely we’ll remain as just another colonial administrative unit of the bureaucratic empire.
Kanaka Maoli to Feds: ‘Get Out of Our House! Go Home!’
by Chad Blair
To help the U.S. Department of the Interior understand how some Native Hawaiians view federal recognition, DeMont R. D. Conner offered this analogy:
Your car is stolen. The person who stole the car later apologizes and offers you a bicycle.
The only proper response to such an offer, said Connor, is to insist that the stolen property be returned to its rightful owner.
“Go back and tell your boss, ‘Give ’em back da car!’” he told a panel of Interior officials as the audience that packed the Hawaii State Capitol Monday morning erupted into laughter and hearty applause.
Connor’s point was that the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 was a theft.
For federal officials to offer recognition, a 121 years later, to Kanaka Maoli as an indigenous people entitled to government-to-government status with the United States is like giving them a bike. Not just any bike, either, said Conner: a Schwinn.
He was one of 143 people who testified — and shouted, cried, pleaded, prayed, chanted and sang — for more than three hours Monday before Interior officials. It was the first of 15 public meetings in the islands scheduled over the next two weeks.
The hearings are part of a “listening tour” being conducted by Interior to solicit comments and feedback on “whether and how” the process of reestablishing a government-to-government relationship should proceed.
The answer from nearly everyone who testified Monday was that it should not. In their view, Hawaii is still a nation and the Americans are occupiers — like the U.S. military — who should leave.
Slate’s write up characterizes these as rules for terrorists. It seems that they are more like rules for effective insurgency against Middle East States. Original documents can be found here. A brief fun down of the rules:
- Don’t fight civil wars.
As for the local enemy, such as if the Yemenis were to begin a long battle against the security services, this is a matter that will weigh on the people. As time goes by, they will begin to feel that some of them have been killed and they will start to want to stop the fighting. This would promote the ideology of secular governments that raise the motto of pleasing all sides.
- Don’t kill civilians.
- Don’t flaunt your bloodlust.
- Don’t rule harshly.
- Don’t claim territory unless you can feed the people.
The issue of providing for basic needs is a matter that must be taken into consideration before taking control of nations or cities. If a controlling force, that enjoys the support of the majority where it has taken control, fails to provide for the basic needs of the people, it will lose their support and will find itself in a difficult position that will grow increasingly difficult with each passing day. People will not bear seeing their children die as a consequence of a lack of food or medicine.
- Don’t fight with your allies.
- Don’t alarm your enemies prematurely.
Many Iraqis joined the mujahidin against the Americans until some mistakes happened when some of al-Anbar tribe’s children were attacked without a reason of self-defense (they were not a threat to the mujahidin), but they were registering in the security force compound. This attack resulted in the tribe working against the mujahidin.
The entire write up at Slate is worth a read.
This drawing was inspired by reading historical accounts of Russian and Tlingit conflicts in Southeast Alaska in the late 1700’s and early 1800s. It intended primarily as a study of the incredible carved wooden war helmets and intricate body armor that Tlingit warriors of high status wore into battle.
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(i wrote this as a response to the above CBC news segment. i’ll skip the obligatory denunciation of “white, flag-waving soccer fans” as that is a cheap-shot stereotype of our movement, and/or the only damn thing they’ll put on TV.)
In light of the growing popularity of a movement that I believe will only be gaining momentum in the years to come, I want to be clear and unambiguous about why I am a Cascadian.
Let me first state that I am a bioregionalist, as opposed to what may be termed as a ‘nationalist.’ It’s a somewhat complicated, yet desperately important distinction to be made up front. I won’t give an in-depth explanation here, but suffice it to say, “voting to secede” and/or “creating a new nation-state” are not the particular strategies that I embrace towards emancipating this place from the unsavory gamut of impositions placed upon us…
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Jason Hurley, an acquaintance from maverick anarchist circles, offers the following insights concerning this article by Matt Walsh. Read Walsh’s article here. Says Jason:
“Matt Walsh, your entire premise is based in medicalized morality. It’s no secret that early doctors and scientists of the developing western world carried their Abrahamic biases with them as they made discoveries and observations. They effectively synthesized their own moral prejudices into the taxonomy of disease they were building, and lacked the properly equipped mind or methodology to ask the much more important and responsible question, “Is it even a disease at all?”
Your premise assumes that sex possesses an intrinsically sinister or dirty underpinning, and that certain types of sexual relationships are universally traumatic to all human beings. But just as many people do not become squeamish in the face of blood or viscera, not every person thinks of public sex or even monetized sex as being a painful, exploitative invasion of their sacred pee-pee temple. Many people who aren’t repulsed by blood become surgeons. We value surgeons in our crypto-Abrahamic, nominally secular society. People who are not affected adversely by promiscuity or public displays of orgy become porno stars. We don’t value porno stars or prostitutes in our society. That is the only difference. More…
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!
Since its inception, NATA-NY has been grossly misunderstood and vehemently attacked for being so-called “racists.” Despite repeatedly demonstrating the ways in which we are anti-racist, we continue to be labeled “nazis” and “fascists.” At the same time, our critics are referring to the people of color in NATA-NY as “tokens” who “only get called when the group is accused of racism.” We find this to be incredibly offensive and much more racist than anything we’ve ever said or done. In response to this continual misunderstanding, we have reiterated our positions on racism and anti-racism below. We welcome intelligent dialogue!
According to the Mao-Maos, what’s being described in this essay is already happening.
Anarchy’s greatest feature is also its greatest weakness. Anarchy is a world without rulers which means no organized hierarchical violence. This lack of violence is not necessarily a weakness but it has been in the past. Just look at the past examples of anarchy and how quickly they were overcome by the state. One example was the Barcelona Revolution in the 1930’s after the anarchists had liberated Barcelona it had no state no police and a faction who was their ally; the communist backed Republic of Spain had attacked the city, funds were cut off from the Anarchists. The new republic eventually took Barcelona and later Francisco Franco won the Civil war. If there was no government globally than Anarchy would stand a better chance at lasting because no outside government could threaten anyone’s freedom. Is this possible? No.
If only it were true.
This is an interesting though rather bizarre article from a Maoist webzine, bits of which are re-posted on Matthew Lyons’ “anti-fascist” blog with additional commentary from Lyons himself (some of which is also rather interesting). Apparently, these Maoists think there are cadres of national-anarchists out there leading and organizing subversive movements worldwide, from the Ukraine to Thailand. However, there’s no real mention of what exactly these alleged national-anarchists are doing that is supposedly so awful. Check it out at this link. The hysteria that national-anarchism generates among leftists is really rather fascinating.
ARV-ATS would not be nearly as well-known as we are if it were not for the fact that so many leftists believe that we are a front for National-Anarchism, which is in turn a front for the neo-Nazis, which is in turn trying to infiltrate and co-opt the Left. If it were not for the prevalence of this conspiracy theory, ARV-ATS would likely be regarded as just another obscure but somewhat usual anarchist tendency (which is actually closer to the truth concerning both us and the national-anarchists alike). It is really is fascinating how the “anti-fascists” have made both ARV-ATS and the N-As into such larger than life bogeymen. In the process, they’ve become the de facto marketing division for both tendencies. Now they’re giving N-A credit for being supposed major players in significant world events. That’s far more credit than what is actually merited (to say the least). The truth is actually a lot more boring.
The likely future of American society over the next half century will include the following:
1. An ongoing widening of class divisions driven by a complex convergence of a variety of economic, political, technological, and demographic forces.
2. Growing poverty and the expansion of the underclass, the shrinking of the middle class, and the concentration of wealth into the hands of a super-plutocratic elite (the kind of system that has traditionally existed in most of the world).
3. Rising social unrest due to economic frustration, class conflict, cultural and demographic conflict, social anomie, and political alienation.
4. Increased state repression as a means of curbing unrest, including the use of both the police state created by the previous generations’ wars on drugs, crime, and terrorism, and the military-industrial-complex controlled by a regime that can no longer afford to fight imperialist wars but needs a reason to keep its job(s).
5. Ongoing technological innovations that allow for increasingly sophisticated surveillance and population control methods.
Within the context of all of this, a number of potential scenarios are possible:
1. The slow but progressively steady stagnation of American society to the point where America begins to resemble a traditional Latin American country in terms of its levels of poverty, repression, class polarization, and political strife.
2. The failure and collapse of America’s traditional liberal democracy combined with the rise of authoritarian radical movements from both the Left and Right in a Weimar-like situation.
3. The turning of the military inward in a civil war against the domestic population in the style of a number of Latin American countries in the 1970s and 1980s.
4. The collapse of civil society into a civil war with dozens of factions in a manner resembling Lebanon in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
5. The emergence of a global super-state in which the traditional American state is just a component part, and one which possesses weapons and surveillance technology of the kind traditionally found only in science fiction.
So the question is what are anarchists, libertarians, and associated others doing to build movements that will be capable of facing any of these possible scenarios in ways where victory of any kind or on any level is even a remote possibility?
As much as I criticize it, I’m actually glad to see the rather significant growth of the different anarchist, libertarian, and overlapping tendencies in recent years even if most of them are still at the training wheels phase. It used to be much worse. When I started this, there were maybe half a dozen anarchist fan mags that came out semi-regularly in North America. If they could manage to consistently publish three or four issues a year on a semi-regular schedule (February, June, August, December) it was considered an accomplishment. The most popular was a pro-pedophile situationist primitivist (yes, you read that right) mag from St Louis. There was another primmie zine from the Detroit area, a couple of old guard syndicalist mags that looked like they were printed in 1910, another published by a feminazi group that used to bomb porno bookstores, and another hard-left Weathermen-like paper with a “womyn and people of color against Amerikkka” orientation (led by a guy who later tried to turn them into a Maoist group from what I’m told). There were also some occasional newsletters published by equally deranged individuals.
The Libertarian Party was around back then but was arguably even less important than it is today. Other than that, libertarianism was two monthly magazines, a few small think thanks no one had ever heard of, and a few newsletters promoting crank economic theories.
I guess the main criticism I have all of the different libertarian undercurrents that exist today is that most of them don’t seem to be any different from mainstream politics. They seem to spend much of their time arguing about the same shit Democrats and Republicans argue about: the “who’s most oppressed?” pissing contest, which arcane economic theory is best, whether or not gay folks should get married, whether climate change is real, etc. Many if not most right-leaning libertarians often sound the same as Republicans: “What’s really wrong with the state is that is gives food stamps and housing vouchers to poor people and marriage licenses to queers.” Those are actually the least important things libertarians need to worry about. Many if not most left-leaning libertarians sound more or less like any ordinary “progressive”: “Your rights end where my feelings begin, and while the state is a threat to liberty, much more important is the imminent danger of Bible thumping gay-haters and grubby rednecks with retrograde views of black folks and Mexicans.” As if theocratic Christians and rednecks are the most powerful groups in society.
For libertarianism/anarchism/whatever to matter politically, there still needs to be many more of us than there are now, obviously. Plus, we need much better organization, a better focus, more clearly defined goals, better leaders, a more thorough critique of the existing societies and civilization, better spokespeople, more mentally and emotionally stable leaders and organizers, more emphasis on specific strategic and tactical aims, a more realistic assessment of prospects and possibilities, a more reasonable and intelligent assessment of competing ideologies and movements, a greater emphasis on geopolitics and international issues, and a more rational hierarchy of priorities. LOL, a while back a left-anarchist friend suggested I try to distribute copies of my book as far and wide among anarchists as possible, but I really think most of them need to check out some very basic political theory (like Machiavelli’s “The Prince”) before they’re ready to tackle the stuff I write about.
I don’t personally see myself as having a dog in this fight. I post this exchange between Given and Carson here out of recognition that this is a controversial issue among anarchists and libertarians, and one that many of them care a great deal about, even if I don’t. As a pluralist, my presumption is that within the context of a pan-anarchist mass movement there would be “privilege-checking” and “non-privilege-checking” factions and tendencies, and the same would be true of post-revolutionary systems. By this point, anyone who cares is familiar with my general critique of these kinds of arguments.
Center for a Stateless Society
In “Why Privilege Theory is Necessary,” Kevin Carson highlights three points of disagreement with my initial article. First, he claims that the point of the privilege framework is “not about feeling guilt.” Second, he believes that the privilege framework can “foster solidarity” among various socioeconomic groups. Third, he asserts that focusing on policy reform to eliminate oppression will only “make other forms of oppression function more smoothly and efficiently.” It is my point of privilege to respond in disagreement on all three points.
Regarding guilt, Kevin may not perceive the privilege framework as serving to shame individuals of supposedly privileged socioeconomic classes. Nevertheless, many reasonable people see it as such, especially students required to undergo sensitivity trainings on college campuses. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has documented this academic trend over the past two decades, challenging the often bizarre exercises that students are forced to participate in to be made aware of their so-called privileges. One infamous case at the University of Delaware involved an exercise in which students were made to stuff marshmallows in their mouth if they have a societal disadvantage and then talk to each other, symbolizing the supposed privilege that straight white males enjoy since they were the only ones in the class without a muffled mouth. More…
Center for a Stateless Society
Casey Given, in “What’s the Point of Checking Your Privilege?”, questions the relevance or usefulness of the concept of privilege. Not that he questions the existence of racial and gender oppression — far from it. He simply argues that privilege theory is irrelevant to — or actually detracts from — fighting oppression. The “privilege framework” has the effect of
sweeping oppression under the rug by emphasizing white guilt over political action to end socioeconomic inequality. What, after all, is the point of checking one’s privilege if not followed by action? Libertarians should pay heed by ignoring the privilege framework to instead focus on addressing racial injustice through market-based policy reform….
If awareness of one’s privilege is not sufficient to end oppression, then the framework itself seems little more than an exercise to alleviate white guilt. But, what good can that do? White guilt will not stop cops from racially profiling black people. White guilt will not help a family escape the cycle of poverty their ancestors have been stuck in for centuries…
Here Given displays a failure to grasp what privilege theory is about. It’s not about feeling guilt. People are born into privileged groups through no fault of their own; no culpability is involved. Rather, privilege theory is simply about awareness — about an accurate perception of the reality we must work within — as Occupy activist and medic Oakland Elle (@OaklandElle) succinctly explained in a series of tweets on May 25:
This piece by Carson is a good discussion of the varying shades of “left-libertarian” philosophy but it also provides a good illustration of the ghettoized thinking many radicals fall into. Take this statement:
“To the general public these days, “left-libertarian” is more apt to call to mind a school of thought exemplified within the past twenty years by Hillel Steiner and Peter Vallentyne, among others.”
Umm, excuse me, but the “general public” has never heard of the names of those individuals, and probably couldn’t pronounce them or understand their ideas if they had. And most of the “general public” has never heard the term “left-libertarian” and wouldn’t give a flying fuck about it if they had.
Left-libertarianism has been getting a lot of buzz recently in the broader American libertarian community. The term “left-libertarian” has been used many ways in American politics, and there seems to be some confusion within the libertarian community itself as to who left-libertarians actually are.
The basic ideas of left-libertarianism, as we at the Alliance of the Libertarian Left (ALL) and Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) identify with that label, are broader than our organizations alone. The 1990s were a sort of Steam Engine Time for the general idea of libertarianism with a left-wing orientation, and the use of free market ideas as a weapon against the evils of corporate capitalism; a number of thinkers have developed parallel lines of analysis independently of one another, and it has grown into a large and loose-knit ideological tendency. But considering the disproportionate role ALL and C4SS have played in the growing prominence of this tendency, it’s only appropriate to explain where we’re coming from and what we mean by left-libertarianism.
Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times, yes!
By Dan Sanchez
Left-libertarians who espouse “thick libertarianism” especially like to lump anti-“bigotry” (I’ll explain the scare quotes later) into libertarianism: e.g., anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, etc. The more principled ones are careful to insert the proviso that “libertarian” efforts to combat bigotry must never violate the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP); e.g., laws against “hate speech,” business discrimination, etc, are out of the question. Instead, they favor non-state, non-coercive social harassment, including especially what they call “BOP,” which stands for “Boycott, Ostracize, Protest.”
One of the chief reasons left-thick-libertarians think anti-“bigotry” should be subsumed within libertarianism has to do with what is called “strategic thickness.” They argue that “bigotry” favors statism, and a more bigoted population will tend to be more statist. Therefore a good libertarian should combat bigotry as part of his war against statism.
There are three big dangers with this position.
The first one is a danger with “thick thinking” in general (which I discuss at length in “The Perils of Thick Thinking”). Even though more principled left-thick-libertarians cleave to the NAP proviso themselves, broadening “libertarianism” to include commitments that are potential rivals to the NAP linguistically makes it easier for other less-principled folk to sacrifice the NAP for those ends, and still call oneself a “libertarian.”
The second big danger with this position is how easy it is for the State to take advantage of it.
I agree with Dr. Gabb’s comments concerning this advertisement 100%. The discuss that follows on the Libertarian Alliance blog is also interesting.
By Dr. Sean Gabb
I suspect that many of our regulars will need to pause when they see this, to wipe the vomit off their monitors. But I suggest the following:
1. It is not our business what consenting adults do in bed together;
2. It is mean-spirited to pass even non-coercive hostile judgement on what they do;
3. So long as no one who disagrees with the above is persecuted, there is nothing objectionable about gay marriage;
4. While the ideal is for children to be brought up in a stable union of both their biological parents, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the sort of family shown in the picture – it looks better than many defective versions of the ideal;
5. Though no hotelier should be forced to offer accommodation to such families, it is praiseworthy if one does.
I should, therefore, regard the advertisement as one of the few good things about the modern world. For some reason, however, I don’t. Is this because I am secretly as intolerant of homosexuality as Stephen Green? Or is it because the advertisement has an agenda that goes beyond liberal tolerance? Or am I now inclined to see Enemy Class propaganda in everything I look at?
All I can say for sure is that both men look like lefties.
I was so ahead of my time. 🙂