Left and Right

Contra Preston: Defender of the System

Some refreshing criticism from the Right.

By Todd Lewis

Praise of Folly

I was over at Attack the System (ATS) the other day and found Keith Preston’s disclaimer to an article, Why Evangelicals Worship Trump;[1] the disclaimer being: “The evangelical/fundamentalist subculture in the US really is proof that P.T. Barnum was correct when he said a sucker is born every five minutes. When will they realize they’re on the losing end of the culture wars and embrace secession?” This got me thinking: for someone who advocates a system that has failed for over 4,000 years, I think he needs to rethink to whom P.T. Barnum is referring. Why doesn’t Mr. Preston and the ATS gang realize that anarchism will never work and just move on?

But on a more serious note, I began thinking about the fact that, despite his ambitions, Mr. Preston neither directly nor indirectly threatens the system. As an anarchist, Mr. Preston is concerned with police brutality and foreign wars, but is more or less accepting fundamental concepts within the Empire’s established social order. This is demonstrated by the fact that no where on ATS does Mr. Preston deal with the massive and serious revelations about Planned Parenthood by The Center for Medical Progress.  Given that the clearly genocidal nature of Planned Parenthood can no longer be denied, why does he not cover it? Why not bring to light this horrendous institution which, with taxpayer money to boot, has quietly operated veritable extermination camps in our own backyards? I cannot help but think that he does not in fact seriously challenge the Empire, and is thus a tacit defender of the system.

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  1. Wow. Dude is no friend of ATS, but is still kept rather close. Wasn’t all that stuff about the clinics debunked? Or was it explained away as being all legal and agreed upon between the clinics and research institutions? It seemed like a shift away from questioning whether it happened at all, to whether it was done through legal or illegal means.

    • Todd’s “conservative” criticisms of ATS are a refreshing counterpart to the usual stuff we get from the Left about how we aren’t properly enthusiastic for the holy war on homophobia and patriarchy or whatever.

      But I actually get these kinds of criticisms from a lot of different directions. I get criticism from Nazi types for not “naming the Jew” (although I’ve also been accused of anti-Semitism by leftists and neocons), from anarcho-capitalists for being “too socialist,” from law and order types for “not supporting my local police,” from religionists for not being religious, by atheists for ennabling religion, from open borders libertarians for criticizing immigration, from nationalists for not criticizing immigration enough, by anti-racists for ennabling racists, by racists for being non-racist, by anarcho-communists for being too friendly to libertarians, by truthers for not pushing 9-11 revisionism strongly enough, etc.

      At the same time, I’m constantly getting messages from folks ranging from anarcho-communists to fascists saying they’re “a big fan” of my work, so I’m not sure what the common denominator is that separates the anti-ATS and the pro-ATS communities.

      Todd’s basic argument seems to be that I’m supportive or least indifferent to what he regards as the wider decadent moral climate of 21st century American society, which he regards as the equivalent of Rome during the “bread and circuses” phase.

      But whatever the validity of this perspective, I think it’s largely beside the point. My critics from both the Left and Right will often say, “Preston only cares about opposing the American Empire. He doesn’t care about (pick one) social justice, racial preservation, anti-racism, abortion, family values, property rights, gay rights, animal rights, etc etc etc” And to a great degree they are correct. I can offer opinions or ideas on some of that stuff but it’s not what motivates me politically.

      I’m an anti-imperialist first and foremost largely on the grounds of the subjective observation that the independent development of various societies around the world is generally better than killing hundreds of thousands or even millions for the cause of the Empire. While I can see how one can draw a comparison between gay-friendly, hyper sexualized, consumerist, entertainment-obsessed America and Western Europe and Roman decadence, it’s also true that the West’s two greatest accomplices are ethno-nationalist Israel with its Orthodox zealots for Zionism, and Wahhabist Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, which are arguably the most reactionary societies on earth. http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crime/saudi-arabia-execution-beheading/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=CK-VOC-TRF-E01-FB-FBLP-FKW-ENG.W-MED-BO-15a-E07.2

      Also, to the degree that the USA was less imperialist during the Era of Traditional Values before the cultural radicals of the 1960s came along, it was due only to technological, economic, and military constraints, not a higher sense of morality and justice.

      Teddy Roosevelt: ‘I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.’ – See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/tim-stanley/contrarian-teddy-roosevelt-laid-bare#sthash.87yUnQu3.dpuf

      William McKinley: “When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. . . And one night late it came to me this way. . .1) That we could not give them back to Spain- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany-our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we not leave them to themselves-they are unfit for self-government-and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s wars; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.” http://historymatters.gmu.edu/blackboard/mckinley.html

      What prevents a nation from engaging in imperialist aggression is having a state that it too weak to do so. As John Jay said:

      “It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting any thing by it; nay, that absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for purposes and objects merely personal, such as, a thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families, or partisans. These, and a variety of motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctioned by justice, or the voice and interests of his people.” http://files.libertyfund.org/pll/quotes/82.html

      Japan is a relatively conservative, traditional society when compared with the West, yet it is rather pacific when it comes to foreign policy. Why? Because it was stripped of its military power following its defeat it World War Two.

      Singapore is a semi-fascist country, but it is externally non-aggressive. Why? Because it is a small island city-state.

      Indonesia is a large nation with 250 million people, and very conservative compared to the West. It has committed genocide in West Timor. But it doesn’t bother anyone else. Why? Because it lacks the wealth and military power to do so.

      The Scandinavian countries are widely regarded as the archetypes of Western liberal decadence. Yet they are very pacific nations. Why? Because their small size and populations prevent them from being otherwise.

      The Swiss are widely praised by American conservatives and libertarians as a model of republican virtue. Their non-aggressive nature stems from the fact that they are a collection of mountainous provinces historically surrounded by much larger nations.

      The Latin American nations are rather non-aggressive compared to the US. Why? Because they’re too small and too poor to be otherwise.

      Putin’s Russia is relatively non-imperialist outside of its own backyard. Why? Because it lost nearly half of its territory (if you count its former vassal states in Eastern Europe) when the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact collapsed.

      India and China have massive populations but are less internationally aggressive than the US. Like Russia, their imperialism is largely a backyard imperialism. Why? Because historic poverty prevents them from being otherwise (perhaps combined with a xenophobic culture that fears exterior contamination).

      With regards to the role of the CIA in creating LSD, that came about as a result of efforts to invent a truth serum by CIA backed scientists. They got LSD instead. However, it is also true that LSD was banned for popular consumption in the 1960s just when it was becoming popular, and the War on Drugs begun by Richard Nixon in 1970 has been the foundation of the wider police state and prison-industrial complex that has developed in the US over the past half century. The evidence indicates that it is drug prohibition rather than drugs that the state uses as a means of self-expansion and political control.

        • “Todd’s basic argument seems to be that I’m supportive or least indifferent to what he regards as the wider decadent moral climate of 21st century American society, which he regards as the equivalent of Rome during the “bread and circuses” phase.”

          Let me slightly rephrase that. I’m saying that the moral climate we have today is the empire. Since the Rockefeller’s created sex culture we have to ask what did they hope to gain by it? Reading Brave New World would shed some light on that. You cannot be anti-imperialist and sex culture. Since the Empire created sex culture to control us. This is not a moral argument, but an argument of consistency. You cannot fight the empire on foreign policy, but then be neutral on social policy.

          ““Preston only cares about opposing the American Empire. He doesn’t care about (pick one) social justice, racial preservation, anti-racism, abortion, family values, property rights, gay rights, animal rights, etc etc etc” And to a great degree they are correct. I can offer opinions or ideas on some of that stuff but it’s not what motivates me politically.”

          Actually I wish you would focus on attacking all aspects of the Empire not just bits and pieces of the empire. Also why superficially plausible comparing the ancient body of work stemming from both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian sources as something analogous to Social Justice Warriors or Storm Fags is really shallow. Of course those positions are AstroTurf their only a few decades old. Plato, Aristotle, Jesus and Augustine are not.

          Have you read the Republic? In the foundation work of social science in the west we already have the connection between the Commonweal and the soul. The rupture between this vision only occurred after the French Revolution. If all you can say is that the position from Plato to Burke is more of the same old SJW or Storm Fag stuff, you’ll need to do better.

          Marx once said that the war against the clergy is identical to the war against the Bourgeoisie, in like manner the war against 1960s “counter-culture” is identical to the war against the Empire.

          Keith if the culture war is a side show then why did the CIA and the Rockefeller’s subsidize this culture? Because they loved us? Even you admitted in your podcast of Jerry Rubin that the counter culture is more than willing collaborate with the Empire. Clearly it is a dead end in that regard.

          As far as Roosevelt and McKinley go back then we had a really robust bipartisan anti-imperialist moment back then that included Samuel Gompers, Grover Cleveland, William Jennings Bryan, Eugene V. Debs and the general commitment of Americans to isolationism in two word wars, where is a robust anti-war movement in the US today?

          We have already been here before Tsarist Russia vs Soviet Russia which would you prefer? Purely material considerations cannot account for all the differences we see in foreign policy. If we limit our sample to individual countries over periods of time we see that the US and Russia in the 19th century were less imperialist then they were in the twentieth century. That is not to say that your analysis of military power is invalid, only that it is incomplete.

          To day the government barely has to do anything to get people to go to war.

          I will conclude with a quote from Solzhenitsyn’s epic work the Gulag Archipelago we see an arrest of a Tostoyan named Lev. In private the guard says this: The convoy came and led Yev to jail, saying to him: “If everyone was like you, brother, how good it would be! There would be no war, and no Whites and no Reds!” They went back to their barracks and called a Red Army meeting.

          • “Let me slightly rephrase that. I’m saying that the moral climate we have today is the empire.”

            I’m not convinced of that. The Western Europeans have arguably even more liberal sexual mores than America, but with the exception of England they’re almost pacifist. The cultures of Latin America and East Asia are illiberal in certain ways compared to the West, but they’re hardly models of Victorianism or puritanism either, or even 1950s America.

            “Since the Rockefeller’s created sex culture we have to ask what did they hope to gain by it?”

            I’m not convinced of that either. I’m not able to find much information on this claim other than from John Birch Society-type conspiracy websites. The Rockefeller Foundation and other elite philanthropies may have funded Kinsey’s research, and support for Planned Parenthood has come from such circles in the past, but that long preceded the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. For instance, much of that overlapped with the growth of eugenics in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the eugenicist movement often had a very puritanical strand to it (for example, the ambition of sterilizing alcoholics and promiscuous women). Ronald Hamowy had a chapter in this book that described all of that: http://www.amazon.com/Assessing-Criminal-Restitution-Retribution-Process/dp/088410785X

            “Reading Brave New World would shed some light on that. You cannot be anti-imperialist and sex culture. Since the Empire created sex culture to control us. This is not a moral argument, but an argument of consistency. You cannot fight the empire on foreign policy, but then be neutral on social policy.”

            How precisely is anyone being controlled by sex culture, unless you’re talking about the people who have run afoul of gay discrimination laws, which were in turn modeled on other antidiscrimination laws not related to sexuality? To my knowledge, no one is actually required to have sex with anyone else.

            I’m not sure what this has to do with foreign policy, either. While the US empire will use gay rights as a means of taking a swipe at Russia rhetorically, I don’t think this is the real issue the US has with Russia. While I suspect the majority of the US power elite are conventionally liberal, or merely indifferent, when it comes to social and cultural matters, I don’t think that’s what drives the empire, which long predates the cultural revolution of the 1960s. I’m sure the US power elite would be prefer to have the rest of the world act like the Europeans, i.e. culturally liberal, the same liberal corporatist economic paradigm, passive and subservient to the US. But they’re more than happy to collaborate with with the most reactionary states on earth when it serves the interests of the empire. They may use the rhetoric of progressivism to justify other forms of military interventionism, but this is just the latest cover story. There were plenty of others that came before it.

            “Also why superficially plausible comparing the ancient body of work stemming from both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian sources as something analogous to Social Justice Warriors or Storm Fags is really shallow. Of course those positions are AstroTurf their only a few decades old. Plato, Aristotle, Jesus and Augustine are not.”

            Well, even conservatives don’t advocate a complete return to the social practices of ancient Greece, Rome, or Judaism. For example, all of those societies accepted slavery as a norm to be taken for granted, and none of the thinkers mentioned opposed it.

            “Have you read the Republic? In the foundation work of social science in the west we already have the connection between the Commonweal and the soul. The rupture between this vision only occurred after the French Revolution. If all you can say is that the position from Plato to Burke is more of the same old SJW or Storm Fag stuff, you’ll need to do better.”

            The Republic is widely regarded as a prototypical dystopia, not a model for a decent society.

            “Marx once said that the war against the clergy is identical to the war against the Bourgeoisie, in like manner the war against 1960s “counter-culture” is identical to the war against the Empire.”

            Well, the clergy was part of the ruling class back then, as it is in many Islamic nations today.

            “Keith if the culture war is a side show then why did the CIA and the Rockefeller’s subsidize this culture?”

            Again, I don’t buy this line of reasoning. As I said, LSD was banned as soon as it was introduced into popular culture. The war on drugs is a foundation of the police state.

            “Even you admitted in your podcast of Jerry Rubin that the counter culture is more than willing collaborate with the Empire. Clearly it is a dead end in that regard.

            Yes, the system was able to coopt much of that by giving them what they wanted in the social realm. Not surprising, since much of the counterculture involved elite members of traditional outgroups or young people from affluent backgrounds.

            “As far as Roosevelt and McKinley go back then we had a really robust bipartisan anti-imperialist moment back then that included Samuel Gompers, Grover Cleveland, William Jennings Bryan, Eugene V. Debs and the general commitment of Americans to isolationism in two word wars, where is a robust anti-war movement in the US today?”

            Was this more significant than the anti-Vietnam War movement?

            “To day the government barely has to do anything to get people to go to war.”

            Not true. Today, the public will not accept high casualties on their own side, special war taxes or war rations, and certainly not conscription. These were taken for granted in many past wars.

            “If we limit our sample to individual countries over periods of time we see that the US and Russia in the 19th century were less imperialist then they were in the twentieth century.”

            Well, neither nation had the resources to be a superpower back then like the British were. Once the US replaced between as the West’s leading power, it likewise became a world empire. Russia of the 19th century was very imperialistic. That’s how Russia initially acquired the territories in Central Asia that eventually became the Soviet republics.

            • I understand what Todd is saying here, i.e. that for society to function on an optimal level, people need to exercise some degree of self-restraint, self-discipline, personal responsibility, group solidarity and cohesion, etc, and that a society full of drunks, criminals and freeloaders won’t do very well in the long run.

              But that’s partly why I’m a decentralist and a pluralist. Let the best team win. Maybe Todd’s “Mennonite Mayberry” will outshine everyone.

  2. “Wasn’t all that stuff about the clinics debunked?”

    No to my knowledge. The fact we even have to have this debate (i.e. is murdering children legitimate) is proof enough of my point.

  3. In many ways, I suppose I could compare my politics to the “prime directive” idea from Star Trek. It seems like “pan-anarchism” would be a logical outgrowth from that, although I’m also interested in anarchism and related philosophies in a more general sense.

  4. I would also point out that critics of US imperialism span the entire spectrum of political ideologies, from Marxists to paleoconservatives to pacifists to libertarians to Islamic fundamentalists to fascists. So it would seem to me that this is an issue that transcends normal ideological boundaries and certainly transcends differences of opinion on social and cultural issues (like abortion, homosexuality, animal rights, racism, sexism, etc).

    Also, the spectrum of anarchist opinion on these kinds of issues is actually rather varied. You have militantly anti-clerical anarchists, and you have Christian anarchists, Islamic anarchists, Buddhist anarchists, etc. You have militantly anti-racist anarchists who wouldn’t really jibe with some of the earlier anarchists on issues of racism or anti-Semitism. Many anarchists have been committed feminists but others haven’t been (see Proudhon or Johann Most). Many anarchists have been pro-homosexual but that hasn’t always been the case (see some of the trends within Spanish classical anarchism). Many anarchists have been zealously pro-abortion, but not all by any means. For example, if I recall correctly, Murray Bookchin expressed anti-abortion views at one point.

    None of this kind of stuff was ever what interested me in anarchism. If those were the kinds of issues I was motivated by, I’d be a Democrat. What interested me in anarchism was its anti-statism and the various alternative economic ideas associated with different anarchist currents. I consider “socially conservative” anarchists to be a legitimate branch of the anarchist paradigm just as I consider anarcha-feminists, queer anarchists, Panther anarchists, etc to be legitimate forms of anarchism as well.

  5. “The Republic is widely regarded as a prototypical dystopia, not a model for a decent society.”

    Widely by whom? Socialist’s and moral degenerates? You might as well say that Herman Melville is a fascist by citing feminist scholarship on his sexism. That totally misses the point. The point is that Plato began discussion of the ideal state by discussing its relationship to the human soul. Something that was taken for granted by most people until a few centuries ago. The unity of the human psyche and politics is the foundation of PoliSci 101 from Greece, to India, to China. Your interpretation is leaving out half the equation.

    Much of what we see with the rise of material sciences and technology (which you attribute to the rise of empire) and the decline of faith (which I attribute to the rise of empire) overlap and yet again Russia is illustrative of the weakness of your materialist interpretation of history. If material and technical causes alone lead to the horrifying twentieth century why was Lenin worse than the Tsar? In short why did Lenin construct Gulags and Tsar Nicholas II did not? Same time, same country, same level of technology. They both were governing a state which was the result of the forces you speak of? The only real difference was that one believed in God and the other did not.

    • “yet again Russia is illustrative of the weakness of your materialist interpretation of history. ”

      That’s a misreading of my position. My approach to historical interpretation is probably closer to Weber’s than Marx’s.

      “If material and technical causes alone lead to the horrifying twentieth century why was Lenin worse than the Tsar? In short why did Lenin construct Gulags and Tsar Nicholas II did not? Same time, same country, same level of technology.”

      Well, I think that’s a pretty limited presentation of tsarist history, which lasted for centuries. Nicholas II may have been a bit easy going by comparison, but what about Ivan the Terrible? Would he have been any different than the Soviet leaders with 20th century military technology under his control?

  6. “I’m not convinced of that. The Western Europeans have arguably even more liberal sexual mores than America, but with the exception of England they’re almost pacifist.”

    You know the answer to that they have an aging population.

    “While I suspect the majority of the US power elite are conventionally liberal, or merely indifferent, when it comes to social and cultural matters, I don’t think that’s what drives the empire, which long predates the cultural revolution of the 1960s. I’m sure the US power elite would be prefer to have the rest of the world act like the Europeans, i.e. culturally liberal, the same liberal corporatist economic paradigm, passive and subservient to the US. ”

    That depends on how far you want to back it up. Most people date the beginning of US imperialism to the Spanish American war, though others have argued that US imperialism was a continuation manifest destiny. If we start with the Spanish American war we have the rise of progessivism a result of the Radical Republicans. If we start with manifest destiny then most of our Founders were deists and lovers of the French psychopaths in Paris. Remember Jefferson’s Adam and Eve letter. The 1960s was merely a very recent manifestation of this system.

    “Let the best team win. Maybe Todd’s “Mennonite Mayberry” will outshine everyone.”

    I like that Mennonite Mayberry, I hope it does.

  7. “though others have argued that US imperialism was a continuation manifest destiny.”

    That’s my perspective, more or less. US imperialism really starts rolling with the Westward expansion, IMO. Remember Jefferson’s “empire of liberty.”

    “If we start with manifest destiny then most of our Founders were deists and lovers of the French psychopaths in Paris.”

    Now that’s true conservative perspective! Kudos.

  8. “The point is that Plato began discussion of the ideal state by discussing its relationship to the human soul. Something that was taken for granted by most people until a few centuries ago.”

    Okay, I misunderstood your argument. My point was that The Republic’s concept of rule by enlightened philosopher-kings is widely considered by many conservatives to be the prototype for the totalitarian idea that an elite enlightened by ideology are entitled by rule by virtue of their supposed superior knowledge.Maybe you don’t share this interpretation of Plato, or maybe it’s merely beside the point you were trying to make as you said.

  9. “Okay, I misunderstood your argument. My point was that The Republic’s concept of rule by enlightened philosopher-kings is widely considered by many conservatives to be the prototype for the totalitarian idea that an elite enlightened by ideology are entitled by rule by virtue of their supposed superior knowledge.Maybe you don’t share this interpretation of Plato, or maybe it’s merely beside the point you were trying to make as you said.”

    I don’t like Plato’s city any more than you do, it does sound Brave New Worldish. I was pointing out that Plato set a trend of harnessing talk of the commonweal to talk of the soul.

    “That’s a misreading of my position. My approach to historical interpretation is probably closer to Weber’s than Marx’s.”

    If so then my apologies. I very much enjoy Weber as well.

    “Nicholas II may have been a bit easy going by comparison, but what about Ivan the Terrible?”

    There is good reason to believe that Ivan IV went mad from mercury poisoning, which was in a concoction of “medicine” by his doctors, who granted did not know any better.

    See:

    http://www.quirkyscience.com/what-drove-ivan-the-terrible-mad/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1326387/Mercury-poisoned-Ivan-the-Terribles-mother-and-wife.html

    But if wee look at all of Tsarist history according to R.J. Rummel the Tsars killed maybe 2 million people through oppression over nearly 1000 years, Lenin killed anywhere from 10 to 20 million in seven years. This is really stunning.

    Don’t get me wrong I am no fan of the Russian autocracy, but merely pointing out the massive disparity between Tsarist and Red Russia.

  10. “But if wee look at all of Tsarist history according to R.J. Rummel the Tsars killed maybe 2 million people through oppression over nearly 1000 years, Lenin killed anywhere from 10 to 20 million in seven years. This is really stunning.

    Don’t get me wrong I am no fan of the Russian autocracy, but merely pointing out the massive disparity between Tsarist and Red Russia.”

    Well, I think anarchists should be the last people on Earth to have good words to say about Bolshies given the historical relationship between the two, and I have long called out many leftist and anarchist “anti-fascists” for their hypocrisy in failing to criticize atrocities by leftist regimes and movements. I’ve known a number of serious anarchist intellectuals who have argued the Bolshies were worse than than the czars, even pre-Stalin, and I tend to agree with them. If nothing else, they seemed to have developed a more efficient system of state repression.

    But I do think a case can be made that the numbers of deaths under Lenin are sometimes exaggerated. or that state repression alone was the cause of these deaths. The big picture seems to be a bit more multi-factoral than that: http://necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm#RCW I’m not letting Lenin off the hook. While many of the deaths under his reign were the result of the Russian Civil, it was mostly he who caused the civil war by trying to eliminate opposition to Bolshevik rule. And the deaths from famine during that period are partially attributable to the Bolshies’ disastrous “war communism” economic policies.

    I was a huge fan of R. J. Rummel’s work when it first came out over twenty years ago: “Look! Here’s proof that government is evil!” But I’ve noticed over time that Rummel tended to play a bit fast and loose with numbers, and I’m not the only one who comes away from Rummel’s work with this impression: http://www.crappytown.com/2011/12/why-rj-rummel-shouldnt-be-taken.html

    For one thing, it always seemed to me that he was a bit soft on regimes he liked and a bit prone to exaggeration on regimes he didn’t like. For instance, while he didn’t completely ignore the deaths and genocides that occurred under European colonialism, I thought he certainly downplayed this a bit, and he also tended to absolve democratic regimes to too great a degree which in turn led to his “democratic peace theory” which always seemed to me to be a bit dubious. When I first read his work on that theory my first reaction was “Has thing guy ever heard of the American Civil War? World War One? Woodrow Wilson?”

    More and more, I thought he just sounded like a neocon apologist.

    I still think there’s great value in Rummel’s work, but it needs to be approached with some degree of caution.

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