In case anyone is wondering what I mean when I talk about “totalitarian humanism,” here it is:
My Takimag debut. The responses pretty much reinforce what I said in the piece about the demos.
I noticed a fair few mentions of the phrase “death penalty” from UK news outlets last fortnight; little surprise, given that the antepenultimate Wednesday marked the half-century since this Sceptered Isle’s last execution. No doubt, papers and petabytes were packed with philippics decrying the dead and deadly practice (at least the broadsheet-based brands). Can’t say I paused to check, agreement aside.
That said, one editorial succeeded at snagging my attention two weekends ago. Written by no less than the notorious Nigel Farage, the Independent Voices piece put forward the perspective of the UKIP leader in terms both clear and concise; whilst personally opposed to capital punishment, he wishes to see it put to a vote in the name of “sovereignty” and “direct democracy.” To buttress his point, he cited public opinion polls, as well as the words of fellow UKIPer Louise Bours.
I first and last saw Bours back in May on BBC’s Question Time, where she castigated “brains in [his] feet” footballer Joey Barton for his “offensive” likening of British political parties to “four really ugly girls” (thereby making a point of missing the point—and the joke—in tragicomic fashion). Bours’ boorishness found fresh vent on the aforementioned Wednesday, with her calls for the culling of cop and kiddy-killers along with the heads of those who severed that of Fusilier Lee Rigby. In a recent YouGov poll, 45 percent of respondents echoed her bilious bloodlust, outstripping the 39 percent opposed to such measures.
For me, such outcries do nothing beyond reinforcing my already low opinion of demagogues and demos alike.
It looks like some more “right-opportunism” is on the way. The upside is that this opens the door for those with more radical views to come in.
The convergence of the progressive left and libertarian right over police demilitarization is yielding a liberal-tarian moment—and it’s brought to you by the Koch brothers.
Groups on the left have been among the loudest voices condemning police actions in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown this month. But the Koch brothers, boogeymen of national Democrats, have long funded libertarian groups that laid the intellectual groundwork for opposing police militarization, a phenomenon that now has been discussed and denounced much more widely.
These two guys, who headed the Libertarian Party ticket in 2012, are perfect illustrations of what I call “system libertarians.” By “system libertarians,” I don’t mean “right-opportunists” who are simply trying to hijack libertarianism towards other ends like Rand Paul, Bob Barr, the Kochs, etc. By all accounts, these two are sincere libertarians so far as one can be within a pro-system framework. When Johnson was governor of New Mexico, he was a fairly outspoken and maverick critic of the war on drugs. I have no reason to doubt his sincerity, BUT he explicitly rejected the use of executive pardon to release drug war prisoners on grounds that doing so would be “un-democratic.” In other words, his libertarian values are subordinated to his democratist values.
Gray is a former prosecutor and judge who is also a maverick judicial critic of the war on drugs. Yet in his otherwise excellent book on the drug war, he strongly criticized the use of jury nullification to obstruct drug war prosecutions on the grounds that doing so would undermine the legal system and the “rule of law.” In other words, his legal positivist values take priority over his libertarian values.
I have nothing against these guys personally. They fill a necessary role. But they illustrate the difficulties associated with individuals who claim the mantle of “libertarian” without fully rejecting the system. This is one of the reasons why I have always preferred to call myself an “anarchist” rather than a “libertarian.” The label of “anarchist” is one that most people are uncomfortable adopting. But the importance of accepting this label is that it signifies one’s willingness to completely turn one’s back on the system, and adopt an explicitly revolutionary stance, which “system libertarians” won’t do.
This past weekend, the Libertarian Party celebrated its 40th birthday by choosing its candidates for President and Vice President. The Libertarians selected former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for President, and retired judge James Gray of California for Vice President. The convention was broadcast nationally on C-SPAN, and received coverage on National Public Radio.
What are these candidates like, and how do they compare to their opponents?
By Aleksey Bashtavenko
Suppose you’re back in school and I discover that you have several college papers to write. When I solicit you offering my services, you promptly turn me down because you do not need my help. Instead of respecting your wishes, I employ hackers to gain access to all of your virtual accounts and complete several assignments for you. In return, I’ll withdraw twice as much money from your bank account as was necessary to cover the market fee for the service I’ve rendered. Since I now know that I will always have you as a client, I’ll have no incentive to meet your deadlines or make an honest effort to fully maximize the quality of my work. In this case, you would be justifiably aggrieved, yet this still seems insufficient to show that the government is culpable of the same moral transgression.
I agree with the analysis in this piece by Robert Lindsay if we stick to defining the Left as “advocating state intervention in the economy on behalf of objectives sought by reform liberals, progressives, and socialists.” Over the past thirty years, US economic policy has mostly been about dismantling the New Deal/Vital Center compact in favor of neoliberalism, and the resulting growth of class divisions and poverty. I would agree that the Democratic Party is a center-right neoliberal party on economic questions.
But if we define “conservatism” in the popular American sense of “limited government,” then government has continued to grow even in the face of neoliberal hegemony, although I would attribute this to the perpetual expansion of the military-industrial complex, bureaucratic profligacy, and fiscal hemorrhaging generally rather than “socialism” (as “conservatives” claim).
Also, I’d really have to disagree that the reactionary-populist, “movement conservative” Republican “base” represents either the mainstream society or the political establishment. It’s true that this sector of the Right has gotten more militant and adopted ever more shrill rhetoric over the years, but this is largely due to its desperation driven by its ongoing marginalization and dwindling numbers. It represents a perspective that was arguably mainstream forty years ago, and now seems extremist only because the wider society has moved so far leftward (in a cultural sense) in the meantime. For instance, same-sex marriage would have been considered a fringe issue only a decade ago, but it’s now well on its way to becoming normalized.
What we have is a situation where U.S. politics has moved towards ever greater corporatism, militarism, and statism for decades, even as the culture itself has made a dramatic leftward shift. Much of the responsibility for this can be laid at the feet of the Left who somewhere along the line decided that class-based, anti-imperialist, or civil libertarian politics was no longer worth the bother or at least needed to take a backseat to cultural extremism to the point that transexuality is rapidly becoming the Left’s flagship issue.
A principal difficulty with the Randian “let them eat cake” model of libertarianism is that extreme inequality of wealth, whatever one thinks of it from the perspective of “social justice,” normally produces abhorrent political outcomes. It invites either the ascension of the demagogue promising to uplift the poor, or the rule of the elite through sheer brute force and repression. Historically, anarchists have debating the relative merits of laissez-faire and individualism versus non-state socialism and anarcho-communism, and that debate should continue, but the plutocratic apology that mainstream libertarianism often falls into is a non-starter.
By Jeffrey Cavanaugh
A few days before the dramatic events in Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrated so dramatically what decades of institutionalized inequality can do to a population, the economists at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Servicesissued a report highlighting the dangers growing inequality holds for America’s long-term economic growth.
More a research note summarizing findings on the topic than the presentation of new scholarship, the economists working for one of the premier institutions of American financial capitalism undoubtedly state that inequality is a clear and present danger to both the health of American society and the U.S. economy.
Update on the riots in Ferguson Riots
Similarities and differences between the Ferguson Riots and past
Why the incident itself is not the key issue
Why police brutality has historically affected groups such as poor inner city blacks
How police brutality is spreading to the white middle class
How people on both the left and the right fall back on their conventional narratives
How the public views unsympathetic victims of police brutality
The militarization of the police
Sunil Dutta’s Washington Post article I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me
The different types of individuals who become Cops
Political opposition to the police state from unlikely groups such as mainline conservatives
Whether opposition to the police state will affect future political coalitions
Why groups that riots such as poor blacks have little to loose
Whether former members of the white middle class will become radicalized or riot in the future
How the Patriot movement in the 90′s was a reaction to small farms being destroyed during the Reagan Administration
Vince Rinehart’s article Predictable responses to resistance against the system
Matt’s Takimag article Twit Planet about the Millennial generation, social media addiction, and sexual dysfunction
Roosh’s new book Poosy Paradise
How Millennials are the least adventurous generation in recent history due to helicopter parenting and their economic situation
How the Millennial’s asset is that they have no memory of a functional society
How younger Millennials born in the 90′s have no memory of a world without social media
The Fourth Turning Theory on generations
Matt’s thoughts on the riots in Ferguson, Missouri
How the left and the right are equally intellectually bankrupt
The class war between the white Brahmins and white Vaishiyas
Matt’s thought on Living in the Philippines
How the Philippines is a much freer and socially open society than America
Matt’s observations on dating in the Philippines
Matt’s review of Some Thoughts on Hitler and Other Essays by Irmin Vinson
How politically correct taboos are declining
Andy Nowicki’s video LET’S TALK ABOUT JEWS! about his rejection of obsessive anti-Semitism
Matt’s review of the film Are All Men Pedophiles?
America’s totalitarian laws about sex
This is somewhat interesting. Each of the three guests are like a parody of their respective ideologies. But the host seems to understand the need to move past sectarian left/right silliness in favor of a greater unity against the system. It would have been nice to have seen someone from N-AM, NATA, or ATS come on after the first three and pull all of it together: “Governments, corporations, imperialism, and the establishment parties are all the enemy. Left and Right unite against the system. Anarchist communities for anarchist, libertarian communities for libertarians, socialist communities for socialists.”
Check this out. Pretty soon we’re going to have to start paying publicists’ fees to these “watchdog” people.
“People seem good while they are oppressed, but they only wish to become oppressors in their turn: life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.” – Bertrand Russell, Letter to Ottoline Morrell, 17 December, 1920
h/t J. Ryan Moore
Even America’s smallest towns can be instantly turned into occupied territories as local police agencies quickly transform themselves from peacekeepers intooccupying military forces. The small town of Ferguson, Missouri, is living proof of that.
The London Guardian covers the story:
“Michael Brown was shot dead by an officer from a police force of 53, serving a population of just 21,000. But the police response to a series of protests over his death has been something more akin to the deployment of an army in a miniature warzone.
“Ferguson police have deployed stun grenades, rubber bullets and what appear to be 40mm wooden baton rounds to quell the protests in a show of force that is a stark illustration of the militarization of police forces in the US.
“‘I’m a soldier, I’m a military officer and I know when there’s a need for such thing, but I don’t think in a small town of 22,000 people you need up-armor vehicles,’ Cristian Balan, a communications officer in the US army, who was not speaking on behalf of the US military, told the Guardian. ‘Even if there’s an active shooter–are you really going to use an up-armor vehicle? Do you really need it?’
A domestic police state is the logical outcome of imperialism.
The facts surrounding the murder of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old resident of Ferguson, Missouri, gunned down by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer, are not entirely known – but enough is known that it’s quite justified to characterize it as cold-blooded murder. Thanks to Brown’s family, an autopsy has revealed that of the six shots fired by Wilson, five were survivable, but the sixth – which entered through the top of his head – was not. Although the evidence is not yet conclusive, the forensics – and the testimony of eyewitnesses – point to the fatal shot being fired as he was falling to the ground with his hands up in the classic posture of surrender.
Yet regardless of the circumstances surrounding his death, the significance of this event lies in the reaction to it – from the people of Ferguson, and, most importantly, from local, state, and federal authorities. From the former – anger: from the latter – repression.
Last week, Gavin McInnes, CCO of Rooster and co-founder of VICE, was forced to take an indefinite leave of absence (a.k.a. getting fired) for posting an offensive article in Thought Catalog titled, “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural”. In this article, he argues that transgender men and women are mentally ill individuals who mutilate their bodies. He then goes on to condemn society for supporting them, which he perceives as “enabling” their behaviour.
Clearly this article was intended to elicit a reaction, rather than present a cogent scientific argument. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see from a rabble-rousing troll, perched beneath a murky bridge, feeding on liberal outrage. I’ve read stuff like it a thousand times before on websites like Reddit. It’s an unfortunately common point of view. So common that when I see it, I’ll normally just roll mine eyes and continue along with my day.
Great interview with Dr. Gabb by Dan and Caitie Greene.
This interview is spot on in terms of identifying what is wrong with the mainstream libertarian movement.
The Huey P. Newton Gun Club protested against police shootings with an armed march in Dallas on Wednesday. Dallas-Fortworth Fox News reports:
Earlier Wednesday, other demonstrators held an open carry gun march through South Dallas to protest against police shootings.
Organizers there said the show of force served as a reminder of the right to bear arms to protect themselves from criminals and from police.
About 30 men and women with the Huey P. Newton Gun Club rallied through the streets, focusing on deadly police shootings from the Ferguson, MO shooting death of teen Michael Brown to shootings by local police.
Some carried long guns, rifles, shotguns and AR-15s, while others carried signs others and wore messages.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Reginald Cofer with Mothers Against Teen Violence.
“They are trying to protect the community,” said Jacey Cofer with Mothers Against Teen Violence. “At the city hall meeting the other day, we got no answers. It’s been a bunch of murders, the cops are not being accountable for it, and we want answers.”
August 3, 2014
ATS contributors discuss their spiritual and theological perspectives, and the relationship of these to history, ethics, and politics. Features conservative Christians Brock Bellerive and Todd Lewis, pagan Rodney Huber, and atheists Spencer Pearson and Keith Preston.
- The unfortunate history of mutual persecution between Christians, pagans, and secularists.
- The question of which religious or philosophical traditions have the most blood on their hands.
- How political decentralization and cultural separation help to foster peaceful co-existence
File type: MP3
Bitrate: 32kb/s CBR
Download (right click, ‘save as’)
“One of the common driving forces behind Nietzsche’s thinking was the desire to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” he wrote in 1888, but the UCL students’ union wasn’t taking any chances.”
UCL was cool with this however.
“The arrest of Mr Abdulmutallab, a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London (UCL), for allegedly trying to blow up a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, meant he was the sixth member of a UK student Islamic Society to be arrested for suspected terrorism offences.”
How Charles defeated the Insurance companies in Texas when he was a lawyer
How Insurance companies made Tort claims profitable for themselves through their advertising campaign
How Insurance companies lobbied for Tort Reform once they received a monopoly on Tort
How the advent of technology increased the need for Tort
How insurance started as a self protection strategy
How Tort is neither the absolute purity of criminal law or the absolute freedom of contract law
How Tort Law enforces standards known as social obligations
How Tort is entirely compatible with economic freedom while upholding some of the ethical concerns that have driven people towards socialism
How Texas has historically had liberal Tort Laws but recently passed Tort Reform
The Conservative myth that pro Corporate policies have improved Texas’s economy
How Tort Reform is pro Corporate and lacks a social responsibility
How advocates of Tort Reform advocate Caps on damages and oppose damages based on emotional harm
How Tort Reform is class warfare and makes it nearly impossible for the poor to sue corporations
How Tort Law can protect Freedom of Speech and protect political dissidents
Whether Tort could be used to dismantle corrupt corporations
How Tort is needed since one cannot depend on the Government for protection
Max Marco is the Chairman of the American Branch of the Renaissance Party of North America. http://rpnamerica.com/
How the Renaissance Party was originally recreated in Canada by Sebastian Ronin
The need to reject the left right paradigm
Why they reject reactionary right wing movement’s such as white nationalism
Why they reject Americanism and symbols of America
The differences between ethno nationalism and white nationalism
Secessionist Movements such as the League of the South and the Second Vermont Republic
Peak Oil and how it will recreate localized economies
Ecological based economics
Position of Social Issues
Colin Liddell is co-editor of the Alternative Right.
The European New Right and the barriers of identity that the American version faces
His article VERMINOCRACY II: THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE
The Secular Baathist Parties in Iraq and Syria
The current power vacuum in the Middle East left by the demise of the Baath Party
How the Cold War impacted the Middle East
How Israel and the Arab Gulf Monarchies have opposed the Baath Party as well as Shia Iran
Whether ISIS posses a threat to Israel and the Gulf States
Why Colin does not think we should be emotionally invested in the Middle East