Radicalism is on the rise in American politics 1

Another article by Kotkin that is consistent with my own analysis of domestic US politics as well. Domestic US politics at present can be divided into four basic factions:

The Dominant Faction. Centrist neoliberals representing the rising techno-oligarchy, Wall Street and Kotkin’s “new clerisy” embedded in the managerial class, academia, and the media, and represented by politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The Rising Left-Progressive Faction. The left-leaning sectors that are a rising force in the Democratic Party as described by Kotkin in the article below.

The Declining Republican Establishment. The odd alliance of the traditional WASP American plutocracy, right-wing Zionist billionaires, and right-wing Trokskyist neocons that dominated US politics during the George W. Bush era.

Trumpian Populist-Nationalists. Elements within the elite who oppose both the dominant faction and the Republican establishment, and who prefer a more Reaganesque approach to economic policy and a Nixonian/Kissingerian realist approach to foreign policy, that is primarily interested in countering the rise of the Eastern axis in international relations. To understand the populist-nationalist “base” that supports this faction, one need only read Marx’s 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon or my own critiques of “movement conservatism” (see here and here).

By Joel Kotkin

Orange County Register

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Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Towards a Secular Theocracy Reply

A classic from Paul Gottfried and one of the definitive works criticizing totalitarian humanism. Available at Amazon. The important point for anarchists and libertarians is that totalitarian humanists are not amoral, libertine, hedonists as their critics often claim. Instead, they are fanatical moral puritants (“secular theocrats”). They oppose religious fundamentalists, nativists, racists, reactionaries, right-wing authoritarians, etc not because they are pro-freedom but because they want to replace these with authoritarian state-centric  moralisms of their own. Many anarchists and libertarians have trouble understanding this, because they sympathize with the rhetorical values of the totalitarian humanists. Most anarchists and libertarians are not religious conservatives, racists, nativists, etc (though some are). But many anarchists and libertarians do sympathize with leftist causes like anti-racism, anti-sexism, gay liberation, environmentalism, etc, and consequently remained blinkered regarding totalitarian humanism.

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Joel Kotkin’s The New Class Conflict 1

Telos Press published this a few years ago. Joel Kotkin’s approach to class analysis is pretty much the same as my own. Kotkin’s approach to domestic American class analysis makes for an important complement to the international class analysis offered by Hardt and Negri.

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

In ways not seen since the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, America is becoming a nation of increasingly sharply divided classes. Joel Kotkin’s The New Class Conflict breaks down these new divisions for the first time, focusing on the ascendency of two classes: the tech Oligarchy, based in Silicon Valley; and the Clerisy, which includes much of the nation’s policy, media, and academic elites.

The New Class Conflict is written largely from the point of view of those who are, to date, the losers in this class conflict: the middle class. This group, which Kotkin calls the Yeomanry, has been the traditional bulwark of American society, politics, and economy. Yet under pressure from the ascendant Oligarchs and ever more powerful Clerisy, their prospects have diminished the American dream of class mobility that has animated its history and sustained its global appeal.

This book is both a call to arms and a unique piece of analysis about the possible evolution of our society into an increasingly quasi-feudal order. Looking beyond the conventional views of both left and right, conservative and liberal, Kotkin provides a tough but evenhanded analysis of our evolving class system, and suggests some approaches that might restore the middle class to its proper role as the dominant group in the American future.

Against Plutocratic Communism 2

“Plutocratic Communism” is a great term. Communism was one of the biggest scams in history. “Wealth and property are bad! Let’s give it all to the state!” Not even the priestly conjurers of god-emperors or the divine right of kings came up with something that good. Communism was what you would have had if the Jim Jones Peoples’ Temple cult had been in charge of 46 countries  (with Nazi Germany being the equivalent of the Manson Family running an actual state).

Instead of a Blog

Libertarian liberty CAN be totally subsumed under ‘property rights’, but one must also account that the strict interpretation of ‘property rights’ rules out legal monopolies of jurisprudence. The problem with a lot of ‘vulgar’ libertarians is that they still believe in useless garbage like ‘limited government’, the State is and always will be an agent for the wealthy and well-connected, this was true in the 14th century, the 19th century and today. ‘Property rights’ under a system of state-administered ‘justice’ is just a racketeering operation, and its ‘laws’ are nothing more than a pretense for tyranny. There is no such thing as a system of libertarian property rights and contract so long as the State exists, end of story. ‘Libertarians’ who aren’t willing to face up to the need to abolish all centralized states and empires – not ‘reduce’ them, no ‘control them’, not write garbage ‘constitutions’ – are useful idiots for the Plutocratic Communism engendered under state dispensation of the law.

Proudhon was Not a Communist Reply

I first heard of libertarians in 1980 when Ed Clark ran for Prez on the LP ticket. I first heard of anarchists around 1983 when I came across William Godwin in a high school English literature class (which I probably failed). I first became an anarchist by reading Proudhon’s encyclopedia entry around 1987. What started as youthful fancy became a lifelong activity.

Instead of a Blog

Proudhon was not a communist. Proudhon agreed with Bastiat on basically everything, except he was more extreme about it. He wanted to deprive the illegitimately-wealthy of their monopoly of credit. Look into the history of how ‘capitalism’ actually happened, as opposed to the pure theory – the State was involved at every turn, old feudal monopolies were liquidated into state-subsidized and protected industrial monopolies. Proudhon was not a ‘socialist’ in the sense that Marx or Bernie Sanders is.
Libertarians really need to learn more about fucking history, brah. The 19th century was not unfettered laissez-faire, it was the massive expansion of the state and an non-stop incestuous relationship between big capital and big government. That’s how the modern world was born.
Also, the Marxists are right about almost everything except Communism. Marx’s economics are basically rehashed Ricardo with a bunch of nonsense, but the general theme of Marxist work is more or less correct – that a super-elite of politically advantaged banksters and capitalists are funneling resources into their own pockets and levering up global trade with imperial expansionism. Any well-informed libertarian can give you exactly the same story, it’s the dumbasses who think historical capitalism was a ‘free market’ that don’t get it.
Keep in mind that I say all of this as a supporter of unilateral free trade, unlimited property accumulation, joint-stock companies, and heavily armed citizen-militias supplemented by mercenaries as the sole defense force. I ain’t no Red. But I do read.

Early Anarchists, from Godwin to Spooner — What Did They Believe? Reply

A great episode. Glad to see this happening.

Rothbardian anarcho-capitalists, who make up a substantial proportion of my audience, are often confused by non-libertarian anarchists, who don’t seem like real anarchists to them. These anarchists, in turn, feel the same way about anarcho-capitalists. In this episode, Professor Gerard Casey reviews the thought of some of the key thinkers associated with anarchism.

Subversive: Interviews with Radicals Reply

There is an interview with me in this book. Available from Amazon.Com.

Subversive is a book of interviews with fifty-two of the most radical people in the world. From all walks of life, some are famous, while others are almost completely unknown.

These are people different to the rest of us. They want the world to change, and they are doing things to change it. Some are activists, some live in such a way that society has to take notice.

Subversive doesn’t adopt a sensationalist tone. It approaches its subjects with a curiosity about what they believe in and how they lead their lives.

Black Panthers, white nationalists, eco terrorists, unrepentant heroin users, The Cannibal Cop, meth makers, fetish pornographers, war protestors, 9-11 truthers, occultists, political agitators, sungazers, literary imposters, time travellers, flat earthers, anarcho-primitivists, murderers, and beyond.

Exiting Anarchist Politics Reply

By Regan Keely

The Conscious Resistance

What is an Exitarian? Discussing exiting “anarchist politics”, opening up the free market of governance, and implementing it in the real world in an actual framework of free, decentralized communities.

Friends, we are the pioneers of a post-political world.

We seek to accomplish the freeing of humanity from the bounds of a violent, psychopathic elitist dominion, and into a decentralized paradigm of different, yet inter-working communities; achieving a world of peace, prosperity, and onto the next part of our human evolution.

As you know, it is vital that we begin to evolve the one element of physical humanity that has not evolved in centuries and is the central tool of elitist control: governance.

It will involve intelligence, creativity, and compassion-as far as at least understanding and respecting you fellow race as yourself.

In being the pioneers of this, we must continue to develop our ideas effectively. This means we need to be aware of our own weaknesses (as individuals and as the collective movement), and then work towards debugging them. It is without doubt that the infighting of our community is one of, if not the biggest, weakness we have.

 

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“Motivated ignorance” is ruining our political discourse Reply

Listening to a political opponent is almost as bad as getting a tooth pulled

Frimer and his colleagues demonstrated this same effect with several different methodologies in their paper. In another test, they (essentially) asked participants to rate how interested they were in learning about alternative political viewpoints compared to activities like: “watching paint dry,” “sitting quietly,” “going for a walk on a sunny day,” and “having a tooth pulled.”

By Brian Resnick

Vox

Ikon Images / Getty Images

If you ever thought, “You couldn’t pay me to listen to Sean Hannity / Rachael Maddow / insert any television pundit you violently disagree with here” — you are not alone.

A study, recently published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, essentially tested this very question.

Two hundred participants were presented with two options. They could either read and answer questions about an opinion they agreed with — the topic was same-sex marriage — or read the opposing viewpoint.

Here’s the catch: If the participants chose to read the opinion they agreed with, they were entered into a raffle pool to earn $7. If they selected to read opposing opinion, they had a chance to win $10.

You’d think everyone would want to win more money, right?

No.

A majority — 63 percent — of the participants chose to stick with what they already knew, forgoing the chance to win $10. Both people with pro same-sex marriage beliefs and those against it avoided the opinion hostile to their worldview at similar rates.

“They don’t know what’s going on the other side, and they don’t want to know,” Jeremy Frimer, the University of Winnipeg psychologist who led the study, says.

This is a key point that many people miss when discussing the “fake news” or “filter bubble” problem in our online media ecosystems. Avoiding facts inconvenient to our worldview isn’t just some passive, unconscious habit we engage in. We do it because we find these facts to be genuinely unpleasant. And as long as this experience remains unpleasant, and easy to avoid, we’re just going to drift further and further apart.

Listening to a political opponent is almost as bad as getting a tooth pulled

Frimer and his colleagues demonstrated this same effect with several different methodologies in their paper. In another test, they (essentially) asked participants to rate how interested they were in learning about alternative political viewpoints compared to activities like: “watching paint dry,” “sitting quietly,” “going for a walk on a sunny day,” and “having a tooth pulled.”

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Keith Preston: Trump has well-developed capacity for insulting people Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” during a White House ceremony honoring Native American World War II veterans highlights his inclination to insult and abuse people, according to an American analyst.

“Donald Trump has a very well-developed capacity for insulting people; it’s almost what he specializes in,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

Donald Trump is prone to making comments that are vey inflammatory from a racial and ethnic perspective,” Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.

“This reflects the wider divisions in our society,” he added. “We have a very polarized society.”

Trump made a remark on Monday some called racist at a White House event honoring Native American World War II veterans by referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

“We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago,” Trump said. “They call her Pocahontas. But you know what, I like you.”

Warren, a noted legal scholar who taught at Harvard Law School, denounced Trump for stopping to a “disgusting low” by attacking her with a derisive nickname.

“President Trump couldn’t even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur,” Warren told CNN.

Trump started accusing Warren of lying about her heritage and called her “Pocahontas” at a campaign rally in June, 2016, according to the Washington Post, when Warren was campaigning for Trump’s Democratic rival Hilary Clinton.

Warren has been accused of using her Native American Heritage to get ahead in her political career, particularly in the 2012 Massachusetts race for senator, according to the Boston Globe.

Genealogists have found a document stating that she has a great-great-great-grandmother who is Native American, which would make her 1/32 Cherokee, but they say it would take more research to confirm that finding.

Pining for Murderous Dictators is not the Path to Liberty 4

Far too many libertarians and anarchists, left and right, are losing sight of who the real enemy is.

Steven Horwitz

Bleeding Heart Libertarians

You’d think the statement in my title should be obvious, but if you were wondering why it’s been so easy for so many supposed libertarians to flip over to the alt-right, you might consider the recent Facebook post of Lawrence Reed, the president of the Foundation for Economic Education, the oldest of the free-market think tanks. Larry, who I’ve known for decades and have always respected, tagged a story on business closures in Venezuela with the following: “Venezuela desperately needs a Hayek right now. Short of that, how about a Pinochet?”

As I said on Facebook, I don’t even know what to say about this given my long association with FEE and respect for the work they and Larry have done. I deeply want to believe that it’s a really bad attempt at humor, yet nowhere in that original Facebook thread does Larry give any indication that he was making a horrible joke. Given the pushback he’s getting there, it would have been very easy for him to try to back out with that excuse, but it’s not there. Not only that, he explicitly argues for “helicopter dropping” Maduro.  Sure doesn’t sound like someone who is joking.

Even as really misguided humor, Larry’s remark fails in several important ways that are worth noting explicitly:

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The Alt Right Among Other Rights 4

This is the text of a lecture I gave to the H.L. Mencken Club on November 4, 2017.

By Keith Preston

Speaking about the intricacies of different ideological tendencies can often be a bit tedious, and certainly a topic like the Alt-Right can get very complicated because there are so many currents that feed into the Alt-Right. I know that when I spoke here last year I was speaking on the right-wing anarchist tradition, which is a highly esoteric tradition, and one that is often very obscure with many undercurrents. The Alt-Right is similar in the sense of having many sub-tendencies that are fairly obscure in their own way, although some of these have become more familiar now that the Alt-Right has grown in fame, or infamy, in the eyes of its opponents. Some of the speakers we have heard at this conference so far have helped to clarify some of the potential definitions of what the Alt-Right actually is, but given the subject of my presentation I thought I might break it down a bit further, and clarify a few major distinctions.

What is the Alt-Right?

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Anarchism in Makhno’s homeland: adventures of the red-and-black flag Reply

It makes sense that as anarchists movements grow on a worldwide basis anarchist tendencies in countries with a history of tyrannical leftist governments would assume a rightward orientation while anarchist movements in rightward leaning nations would assume a leftist orientation.

By Denys Gorbach

Open Democracy

Anarchism may be a popular political brand in Ukraine today, but it’s not anarchism as we know it. Русский

 

For westerners on the left, including anarchists, the Maidan protests of 2013-2014 turned Ukraine from an unknown quantity into the home of a mass grassroots movement—and one they had to understand. For many on the left, this meant a trip to our country: 2014 was Kyiv’s year of ‘revolutionary tourism’.

But the ‘tourists’ involved in anarchist movements at home were dazed and confused on the streets of Kyiv: why was their red and black flag flying alongside the swastika and Celtic cross? Why was there a portrait of Nestor Makhno, the anarchist revolutionary leader of a century ago, on a tent belonging to a nationalist group? And why were locals who called themselves anarchists one moment calling for the creation of a mono-ethnic state the next? Anarchism occupies a very specific place in the worldview of your average Ukrainian, and their perception of it differs from sympathetic westerners.

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8 Common Misunderstandings About Anarchism Reply

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, text

Apparently, anarchists have been trolling the Return of Kings website. Given the source, this piece has a predictable masculinist bias.

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Few weeks ago, I published an article calling for the political independence of America and I was pleased to see that many people were open to the idea, so I have decided that the readers are ready to explore the source of this philosophy: Anarchism.

Ever since I took the black pill of anarchism, I haven’t been able to see the political world the same way. All that I’ve accepted as normal, all the power structures that I saw as both legitimate and inevitable, and my perception of personal freedom and autonomy were all flipped upside down. I realized that it was either anarchism or slavery—there is no other option.

So for those who are curious, here are eight points to guide you through one of the most misunderstood ideology for freedom.

1. Anarchism isn’t what you think it is.

As soon as the average person hears the word “anarchist,” the first image he conjures in his head is that of unemployed losers dressed in black, who are causing trouble for no good reason. This is unfortunately part true as the anarchist ideology has been hijacked by the leftists who turned it into a movement of their own (Ted Kaczynski made a prescient warning about this in his manifesto, Industrial Society and its Future). This was also the reason why I’ve been reluctant to take anarchism seriously for the longest time.

While I’m not a fan of saying “They’re not real _____!,” the case must be made against the fake anarchists of today who are giving the entire ideology a bad name. The fact is, while anarchism at its core is about the abolition of state power (and all other forms of rule from above) in favor of total freedom and self-determination, these leftists thugs, like the Antifa, are more interested in combating those whom they consider “fascists.”

And who is a fascist? Someone who rejects the ideals of globalism and equalism promoted by the establishment. So what we have with the leftist “anarchists” are bunch of goons who act as the unwitting foot-soldiers of the elites by fighting against the anti-establishment groups who may be more anarchist than they are. These leftists dregs are no more anarchist than some African dictatorship is a “republic.”

2. Anarchism is not about total chaos and disorder.

The best way to think of anarchism is to see it as a push for a total decentralization and full local autonomy rather than some nightmare scenario Thomas Hobbes liked to imagine. Anarchism is not about no rule, but self rule. This means no government interference, no coercion of any sort by the state, and no policing of your innate freedom.

The only rules you abide by are the ones you and your community decided for yourselves and the rule of nature—you are solely responsible for yourself and your tribe. If you can’t protect or support yourselves, or if your system of rule fails in anyway, you’re on your own with no government to bail you out.

One of the main argument against anarchism is that everything will cease to function and everyone will suffer in lawless destitution without the government’s graceful rule. This notion that people would be completely helpless and lost without the the state is a ridiculous one. Are we to believe that people are incapable of working for themselves and being responsible for their own lives? Are we some helpless children who can’t even defend ourselves without the police (as opposed to now where the government restricts weapons for citizens while criminals are free to use them)? Are we to think that the people won’t have any clue as to how to build and maintain roads, water supplies, and establish civic order without some incompetent and wasteful government doing it for them?

With anarchism, you’re simply cutting out the middleman and manager who mishandles your tax money (which they extorted from you). With anarchism, you get to live without the nanny who’s telling you what to think and how to act for the benefit of “progress” and and the good of all.

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Keith Preston: US war on drugs led to opioid epidemic Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The US has been waging a war against drugs for half a century, viewing drug addiction as a criminal phenomenon instead of a health issue, therefore no headway has been made in curbing the US opioid crisis, an American analyst says.

The so-called ‘War on Drugs’ refers to a US government campaign launched during the administration of former President Richard Nixon, which included the prohibition of drugs and military intervention, with the stated aim being to reduce the illegal drug trade.

The United States leads the world in both recreational drug usage and incarceration rates. Many experts believe that the War on Drugs has been costly and ineffective largely because inadequate emphasis is placed on treatment of addiction.

The current opioid epidemic in the United States has multiple reasons, among them the excess prescription of pain killers, which in turn contribute to an increase in pharmaceutical financial gains, said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“People become addicted to pharmaceutical drugs when undergoing medical treatment, and then because of the addiction, they develop they can’t stop the habit, so when their medical treatment is over with, and they are cut off their drug supply then they start buying prescription drugs off the street that are sold on the illegal market and often they will switch to heroin because heroin is actually cheaper than prescription opiods,” Preston said in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday

“So we have now this wave of heroin addicts as well as people who are addicted to prescription opioids as well,” he added.

Preston said the Trump administration’s approach to the drug crisis is encouraging in the sense that it has not recommended the escalation of the war on drugs and instead has taken a non-criminal approach to the crisis recognizing the crisis is more of a health issue.

“There may be some signs of a turning of the tides there,” he said.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers said Monday that the true cost of the opioid epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, more than six times the most recent estimate.

The council said a 2016 private study estimated that prescription opioid overdose, abuse and dependence cost $78.5 billion in the US in 2013.

Most of that expense was attributed to health care and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity.

US President Donald Trump said Monday at a cabinet meeting in the White House that the “opioid epidemic that is ravaging so many American families and communities” would be among topics for discussion.

Last month, Trump declared the US drug crisis a “public health emergency.” He also announced an advertising campaign to combat the epidemic, but did not direct any new federal funding toward the effort.

Opioids are drugs formulated to replicate the pain reducing properties of opium. They include both legal painkillers like morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone prescribed by doctors for acute or chronic pain, as well as illegal drugs like heroin or illicitly made fentanyl.

The word “opioid” is derived from the word “opium.”

US government and healthcare officials have been struggling to stem the epidemic of overdoses, which killed more than 64,000 Americans last year alone, up from 52,000 the previous year. More than half were related to opioids.

3 Unique Benefits of Studying an Online Masters in Software Development Reply

If you are looking at furthering your computer skills, cracking codes and enhancing your career, studying a master’s degree in software development could be the choice for you. With many online universities now offering master’s degrees in software development, regardless of whether you have little or a lot of experience, a degree is right at your fingertips.

You Can Complete It in Your Own Time

Studying an online masters in software development through an institution like Maryville University means you don’t have to attend classes in a university and give up your job or your days. Instead you can still work, and in your free time in-between juggling family and social life you can complete your work and watch online lectures. For this reason and many others, online courses are becoming increasingly popular, as you can gain a master’s degree from the comfort of your bed or your favorite café. It really has never been easier.

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Making sense of the culture war over transgender identity Reply

The Economist

As more people change gender, they are sparking a debate that enrages some and confuses many

A BEAUTIFUL man with high cheekbones, fluttering eyelashes and a galaxy of silver glitter in his hair strides into the room. He is wearing a wedding dress and dirty trainers. The gender-bending at this club night in east London is not new: Shakespeare’s comedies are filled with cross-dressers; Gladys Bentley stomped the boards of 1920s Harlem in a tuxedo; Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s ambiguous interstellar alias, landed in the 1970s. What is new, though, is that convention-defying statements of gender identity are moving from stage and dance floor to everyday life.
The word “gender” is used by prudes to avoid saying “sex”, and restricted by purists (and, until recently, The Economist’s style guide) to speaking about grammar. In the 1970s feminists described the restricted behaviour regarded as proper to men and women as “gender roles”. But in recent years “gender identity” has come to mean how people feel or present themselves, as distinct from biological sex or sexual orientation. Growing numbers of young people describe themselves as “non-binary”. Others say gender is a spectrum, or that they have no gender at all. Facebook offers users a list of over 70 gender identities, from “agender” to “two-spirit”, as well as the option to write in their own.

What the FDA Allows into Food Products May Be Impacting Your Brain Reply

If you believe that the old adage, ‘You are what you eat,’ is passé you may need to think again. The Food and Drug Administration is charged with ensuring that food manufacturers follow certain rules to ensure that what ends up on your dinner plate is indeed safe to eat. Autism rates have been skyrocketing, children are going through puberty at earlier ages, and cancer rates have gone up tremendously. All of these medical factors have been linked directly to what’s going into food products. Students taking an NAACLS accredited medical laboratory scientist program have seen brain scans and medical reports that detail how sick the U.S. population is becoming. So, should you go vegan or start growing your own food? It may be helpful to simply pay attention to FDA protocols and learn what is being allowed into food sources.

The FDA and International Food Sources

More than a decade ago there was a Mad Cow disease scare in the United States that led other nations like China to ban beef imports from the U.S. All of the poultry products that are purchased in the U.S. are domestically manufactured. Although U.S. food manufacturers aren’t always known for having the best practices, they are typically thought to be safer than many third world countries. Sometime in 2018, the U.S. will start accepting poultry from China on a large scale. That means that FDA inspectors won’t be on-site to see how the chickens are fed, raised, or even slaughtered. Even still, those international food products will likely end up with an FDA stamp of approval on the label.

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