An discussion of yours truly by a reviewer from the far-right American Renaissance. This is by far the most accurate review of my work that has appeared outside of ATS circles.
By Ronald Neff
Despite its title, only a few of the essays in this new collection by Keith Preston deal specifically with political correctness, an expression of an ideology that, as he puts it, “regards any limits on the pursuit of power in the name of equality and progress to be intolerable.” [p. 2] Mr. Preston is an academic, speaker, and writer, who runs the website attackthesystem.com. He calls himself an anarchist, but one quite different from Hans Hermann Hoppe, whose book Democracy: The God That Failed was reviewed in American Renaissance in January 2002. Mr. Preston is a left-wing anarchist, so race realists will tend to view him with suspicion, but he is well worth reading.
According to Hillary Clinton, her defeat was caused by two interventions by James Comey, Director of the FBI. The first, eleven days before the election, announced the discovery of a new trove of emails. The second, two days before it, stated that they did not change his original view that Clinton should not be indicted. This explanation is reminiscent of historians who say that World War One would not have occurred if the Serbian carriage driver had continued past the pub in which the Archduke’s assassin was sitting. It erects a minor factoid into an explanation, at the cost of thinking historically and structurally about an epochal event.
Clinton’s shallow, instrumental, and non-reflective response exemplifies the thinking of American elites and intellectuals at the present time. It is not only that every columnist or so-called expert predicted the election incorrectly. More importantly, they had no idea of what was going on in the country. Paul Krugman described the Obama Presidency as a smashing success that had eliminated poverty and saved the economy. Charles Blow and Frank Bruni described the country as moving toward a multicultural, multiracial democracy, white people as an out-of-fashion retrograde minority. In general, all the commentators on the so-called progressive side seconded Obama and Clinton’s theory of “baby steps,” constantly repeating that the President can’t do much. Now just wait and see how much the President can do.
The fact that a fairly ignorant amateur like Donald Trump had a better sense of where the country was at than columnists and reporters reflects the dramatic weakness of the public sphere. Most striking is the absence of any critical or historical perspective — any understanding of where the US is at in terms of the history of the twentieth century and the dynamics of world capitalism. The New York Times — supposedly the national paper — has done many terrible things before, such as legitimating the war in Iraq, but they set a new low in their coverage of this election. They simply functioned as a mouthpiece for Clinton; nearly every headline for a year was a putdown of Trump’s personality or business record, in terms quite similar to those of her campaign, based on the idea that Trump had a bad temperament. This tactic, which proved dramatically ineffective, replicated the news coverage provided by MSNBC — supposedly the progressive answer to right wing talk radio and FOX news — which invariably spun its coverage of any news into a moral lesson of how stupid the right was.
The ignorance of the supposedly progressive elites reflected the transformation of American intellectuals in the 1970s. Earlier organic intellectuals, to use Gramsci’s phrase for intellectuals who performed a function within the capitalist system, had been critics of capitalism from within the system. But the rise of identity politics was associated with a rejection of the tradition of the left and an embrace of an essentially moralistic emphasis on language and behavior to the neglect of impersonal, structural forces. The leading force in the new emphasis on identity was the women’s movement. To be sure, the emergence of women’s liberation and gay liberation has been a signal advance of our time, but these movements are no substitute for a left. Naomi Klein has observed brilliantly that the defeat of Hillary Clinton should not be taken as a defeat of feminism, since Clinton was a Davos-centered neoliberal to whom most women could not relate. Yet the marriage of 70s feminism to neoliberalism was no accident and is only now beginning to be effectively undone by socialist-feminist women.
I’m beginning to think that Trump may end up being the best of all possible worlds for the causes of anarchism, libertarianism, or pan-secessionism. Keep in mind that Trump was only elected by about 26% of eligible voters, and about 19% of the residents of the US. A Trump administration will be perceived as a “right-wing, racist, reactionary, fascist” regime by the Left. I don’t think that’s an accurate perception of Trump. But the Left now has the cultural and political majority. Trump will have the majority of elite opinion against him, the majority of the educated classes, the majority of the poor and working class (only a minority of these voted for Trump), a super majority of young people, a super majority of racial minorities, state and local governments in the most populated areas and, apparently, even some law enforcement agencies. I’ve seen where the LAPD and Denver PD might refuse to assist if Trump tries to carry out the deportation of illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, while Trump is not a fascist, he is a big government, big spending Republican, so he’s not likely to be popular with the libertarian, decentralist, states’ rights, fiscal conservative, etc. branches of the Right in the long run. I think he will also be a disappointment to social conservatives and religious conservatives since he obviously doesn’t give a shit about any of that. I also think the alt-right will be disappointed with him in that he’s just going to be a moderate Republican president, not a white nationalist. For example, whatever he ends up doing on immigration policy, he’s going to be to the left of Eisenhower on that issue.
So having a federal administration that the Left regards as fascist, that the right regards as “liberal,” and that much of the center regards as headed by an uncouth boor will be the best set of conditions we could expect to with which to build anti-state or decentralist movements. Meanwhile, I’m hoping Trump actually does some good like pursuing a Nixon-like detente with Russia and China, taking a generally hands off approach to the Middle East and Latin America, and some economic policies that reverse or at least slow down the slide of the US towards a Third World class system. And if Trump ends up engaging in a lot of banana republic style abuses of executive power, then it will be that much easier to make a case against the U.S. presidential system.
By Peter Van Buren
The American Conservative
The dangers many are now predicting under the Trump administration did not start on November 8. The near-unrestrained executive power claimed by the Obama administration, and issues left unresolved from the Bush administration, will be handed to the president-elect. Here’s what that means.
Obama did not prosecute or discipline anyone for torturing people on behalf of the people of the United States.
He did not hold any truth commissions, and ensured almost all of the significant government documents on the torture program remain classified. He did not prosecute the Central Intelligence Agency official who willfully destroyed video tapes of the torture scenes. The president has not specifically outlawed secret prisons and renditions, just suspended their use.
As with the continued hunting down of Nazis some 70 years after their evil acts, the message that individual responsibility exists should stalk those who would do evil on behalf of our government. “I was only following orders” is not a defense against inhuman acts. The point of tracking down the guilty is partially to punish, but more to discourage the next person from doing evil; the purpose is to morally immunize a nation-state. Never again.
Given the mainstream media’s constant sensationalized reporting on terror and Muslims in the Western world, the utter lack of coverage of Arbaeen’s march on Sunday and Monday revealed the double standard that exists in reporting on peaceful Muslims.
Monday marked the final day of the mourning for Imam Hussein who was martyred in a battle with the massive army of Yazid after refusing allegiance to the tyrant caliph. Yazid the caliph of Umayyad dynasty was promoting the same type of Islam as ISIS and Wahhabist preach today.
Millions of marchers participated in the annual Arbaeen Procession in Karbala. The marchers are said to come from over 60 countries, and most of them have marched all the way to Karbala from other Iraqi cities like Najaf and Baghdad in a show of devotion. Each year, Sunni Muslims and followers of other religious groups such as Christians join the journey to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.
Arbaeen, or mourning, is a Shia Muslim tradition to mark the anniversary of seventh-century social justice leader Imam Husain. Arbaeen is commemorated 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions in 680 AD. However, in light of ISIS terror attacks globally, several people took the controversial step of turning their march political in order to denounce terror in all forms.
Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed and displaced by ISIS’s declared caliphate, an exponentially larger number than those killed in attacks in the West.
The occasion has found additional significance in recent years as it has become a rallying cry for the campaign against ISIS terrorists who have frequently targeted the pilgrims.
Iraqi troops have been deployed to ensure security for the pilgrims. The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since ISIS terrorists began a campaign of terror in the country in June 2014.
The terrorist campaign, however, has not dissuaded pilgrims from around the world from making the journey.
It is noteworthy to mention the mainstream media blackout of the millions people marched gathering in war torn Iraq, battling the ISIS, as a clear sign of biased reporting.
S President-elect Donald Trump is “moderating” the rhetoric he had adopted during the course of his campaign before he won the election, an analyst says.
During his long meeting with editors of The New York Times on Tuesday, Trump distanced himself away from some of the incendiary statements he had made before defeating his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on November 8.
The billionaire businessman had described the Electoral College “a disaster for a democracy,” but told The Times that it was “actually genius.”
He had called President Barack Obama “the worst president in US history,” but now he said he “liked him a lot” after meeting the president at the White House.
On Clinton’s email server scandal, Trump has vowed to put her in “jail,” calling her “guilty as hell,” however, he told The Times he has no intention of prosecuting the former secretary of state over her use of a private email server.
“It’s clear what Donald Trump is trying to do is moderate his rhetoric considerably,” Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, told Press TV on Wednesday.
“Because during the course of the campaign when he was running in the primaries particularly he would say a lot of inflammatory things, things that were clearly designed to appeal for the particular base that he was trying to reach, he was obviously trying to reach the rank-and-file voters of the Republican Party and a lot of the rhetoric that he was using during that period worked very well for him,” he continued.
“This is entirely predictable, if we go back and we look at Trump’s entire career as a public figure going back for decades, we see that he has always pretty much had the same kind of stances on key issues,” Preston added.
“He’s always been irrelatively liberal, he’s certainly more liberal than the normal Republican and in many ways he’s much more liberal than Hillary Clinton,” he noted.
In his interview with The Times, Trump did not rule out the possibility of man-made climate change, unlike in the past when he dismissed climate change as an expensive, money-making hoax.
He had previously vowed to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to which about 200 countries will work to reduce global carbon emissions.
This airing we have Keith Preston joining us. Keith is the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com and the host of the “Attack the System” online podcast series. He is the founder and director of American Revolutionary Vanguard, a contributing editor at AlternativeRight.com, and a former instructor of sociology. Keith is also a former regional delegate for the Industrial Workers of the World and a former member of the National Committee of the Workers Solidarity Alliance. We will be discussing the Election Aftermath. Beyond the Matrix with Richard Kary on Truth Cat Radio – November 14, 2016 ~
This is the text of a lecture delivered to the H.L. Mencken Club on November 5, 2016.
The topic that I was given for this presentation is “Anarcho-Fascism” which I am sure on the surface sounds like a contradiction in terms. In popular language, the term “fascism” is normally used as a synonym for the totalitarian state. Indeed, in a speech to the Italian Chamber of Deputies on December 9, 1928 Mussolini describe totalitarianism as an ideology that was characterized by the principle of “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
However, the most commonly recognized ideological meaning of the term “anarchism” implies the abolition of the state, and the term “anarchy” can either be used in the idealistic sense of total freedom, or in the pejorative sense of chaos and disorder.
Anarchism and fascism are both ideologies that I began to develop an interest in about thirty years ago, when I was a young anarchist militant who spent a great deal of time in the university library reading about the history of classical anarchism. It was during this time that I also became interested in understanding the ideology of fascism, mostly from my readings on the Spanish Civil War, including the works of Dr. Payne, whom I am honored to be on this panel with. And I have also looked into some of these ideas a little more since then. One of the things that I find to be the most fascinating about anarchism as a body of political philosophy is the diversity of anarchist thought. And the more that I have studied right-wing political thought, the more I am amazed by the diversity of opinion to be found there as well. It is consequently very interesting to consider the ways in which anarchism and right-wing political ideologies might intersect.
A New York Times article from last September that went viral only recently: Crying Wolf, Then Confronting Trump. It asks whether Democrats have “cried wolf” so many times that nobody believes them anymore. And so:
When “honorable and decent men” like McCain and Romney “are reflexively dubbed racists simply for opposing Democratic policies, the result is a G.O.P. electorate that doesn’t listen to admonitions when the genuine article is in their midst”.
I have a different perspective. Back in October 2015, I wrote that the picture of Trump as “the white power candidate” and “the first openly white supremacist candidate to have a shot at the Presidency in the modern era” was overblown. I said that “the media narrative that Trump is doing some kind of special appeal-to-white-voters voodoo is unsupported by any polling data”, and predicted that:
If Trump were the Republican nominee, he could probably count on equal or greater support from minorities as Romney or McCain before him.
Trump made gains among blacks. He made gains among Latinos. He made gains among Asians. The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people. I want to repeat that: the group where Trump’s message resonated least over what we would predict from a generic Republican was the white population.
So says long time leftist activist and professor James Petras.
By James Petras
Information Clearing House
November 18, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – Every aspect of this year’s US Presidential election has been fraught with myths, distortions, fabrications, wishful thinking and invented fears.
We will proceed to discuss facts and fictions.
The mass media, parties and candidates emphasized the ‘unprecedented voter turnout’ in the elections. In fact, 48% of the eligible voters abstained.
In other words, nearly half of the electorate did not vote. There were many reasons, including widespread disgust at both major party candidates and the weakness of ‘third parties’. This includes disappointed Bernie Sanders supporters angry over the Democratic Party’s cynical manipulation of the primary nomination process. Others were unable to vote in their neighborhoods because US elections are held on a regular workday, unlike in other countries. Others cast protest votes against economic programs or candidates reflecting their distrust and sense of impotence over policy. Eligible voters generally expressed reservations over the gap between campaign promises and post campaign policies. These political attitudes toward elections and candidates are deep-seated among those who ‘stayed home’.
Over the last few days, many people have been panicking about what Donald Trump might do as president. There is a lot of fear. Because most commentators and academics are deeply hostile to Trump, many people writing about this are still deeply emotionally shaken by the result. This has tended to color the analysis and produce polemics. So today I want to take a step back and try to calmly, rationally assess what kind of threat Trump poses and what opportunities he creates. In this post we’ll focus on the threats, and in the next one we’ll talk about the opportunities
On the internet, many Trump supporters like to refer to him as “God Emperor”. They depict him as a heroic imperial figure:
Trump is a right nationalist, and during the campaign he said many things that seemed to evoke troubling periods in recent human history. This created a running narrative among Trump critics in which Trump is depicted as a Hitler figure. This peaked after he announced support for a ban on Muslims entering the country and asked an audience to raise their hands in a pledge of loyalty to him, creating a visual that reminded people of the Roman salute:
In a shocking upset, Donald Trump has defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, marking the end of a bitter and divisive battle that has left the American political landscape shattered. What will the victory of the maverick candidate mean for the Washington establishment? And how will Trump transform the American society? Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus at Princeton University, author and contributing editor at “The Nation” magazine is on SophieCo to discuss this.
I grew up a block away from the 7-train, where I’d take a short ride from the 90th Street station to the Willets Point—Shea Stadium station to watch my favorite team, the New York Mets.
Sitting in the stands as a young child, I learned quickly that there were a number of ways to obtain and interpret information. I could watch the umpire and immediately have known whether Al Leiter threw a strike or a ball. Another option was to watch the scoreboard and, with some delay, have known whether Derek Bell safely stole second base. I could listen to the cheers (or jeers) of the rowdy, biased people around me and know whether or not Mike Piazza had just hit another home run.
In baseball, there are efficient and inefficient ways to obtain information. There are also false signals. The same is true in financial markets and presidential elections.
Even before the Iraq War, John Bolton was a leading brain behind the neoconservatives’ war-and-conquest agenda. Long ago I wrote about him, in “John Bolton and U.S. Lawlessness,” “The Bush administration’s international lawlessness did not come from nowhere. Its intellectual foundations were laid long before 9/11 by neoconservatives.” I quoted Bolton, “It is a big mistake to for us to grant any validity to international law … because over the long term, the goal of those who think that it really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States.” In fact I set up a web page, the John Bolton File, containing various links about him and the neocons.
Nearly all of Donald Trump’s appointments to his transition team are very encouraging. Indeed, I have known many of them for years. But he could undermine his whole agenda by allowing neocons back into their former staffing and leadership role over Republican foreign policy. The New York Times reported how many are now scrambling to get back into their old dominant positions. And now National Review, which supported all the disasters in Iraq, has come out to promote Bolton for secretary of state.
On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump managed to pull the biggest upset in US politics by tapping successfully into the anger of white voters and appealing to the lowest inclinations of people in a manner that would have probably impressed Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself.
But what exactly does Trump’s victory mean, and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on January 20, 2017? What is Trump’s political ideology, if any, and is “Trumpism” a movement? Will US foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration?
Some years ago, public intellectual Noam Chomsky warned that the political climate in the US was ripe for the rise of an authoritarian figure. Now, he shares his thoughts on the aftermath of this election, the moribund state of the US political system and why Trump is a real threat to the world and the planet in general.
US Senator Bernie Sanders would have defeated Donald Trump in the presidential electionby a large margin if he had been the Democratic presidentialnominee instead of Hillary Clinton, according to a pre-election poll.