A President Everyone Can Hate?

In many ways, Trump is turning out like I hoped he would. It’s good to have a guy who acts like a total asshole as head of state, because it’s more in keeping with the character of the state. Trump acts and sounds like a New York mafia boss, and this is certainly appropriate given the gangster character of the state as an institution.

It was predictable enough that a perceived racist and sexist would certainly draw the hatred of the Left, but the fact that he’s essentially a New York liberal at heart who doesn’t give a fuck about guns will alienate the populist right, his lack of “morals” in his personal life has got to at least make the religious right uncomfortable, his support for tariffs is likely to alienate Chamber of Commerce Republicans, his perceived pro-Russian stance is offensive to the neocons, and his authoritarianism is alienating to libertarians and libertarian-leaning conservatives as well. It’s great to have a head of state everyone can potentially hate.

Now, when are the supposed “anarchists” going to step up to the plate and start organizing real opposition to the state?

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  1. This is what I wrote back on December 3, 2016 before Trump even took office.

    “Now is the time to start building a serious anti-state movement in the US. 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.”

    • What is the appeal of decentralization when you’re on the leftand ready to ride a demographic wave to the neoliberal future? What is the appeal of decentralized alternatives when you are on the right and hoping against the odds somehow this boor will avert that future or stave it off?

      Anarchists are stepping up in service of neoliberalism. Perhaps you should join them and defeat the hated white prole kulaks.

      • I agree that efforts to develop decentralist movements in North American have thus far failed in large part because even those who claim allegiance to the anti-state cause are more concerned with their own in-group loyalties than they are the broader struggle against the state. Hence, “anarcho-sectarianism” and the kind of factionalist libertarianism that Todd Seavey has written about: https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/thick-libertarians

        For this reason, I have largely become a Gramscian is the sense of recognizing that before political battles can be won the character of the discourse has to be altered. While in the past I was often oriented toward reaching out to radical groups on the fringes, I am increasingly oriented toward the development of an approach that about the “radical center,” i.e. those whose disdain the establishment and mainstream politics as well as the factionalism of the Right and Left.

          • Well, I think I’ve made it clear in many of my past efforts that progressive authoritarianism is genuinely a problem, and has been for at least a century. I even wrote a whole book on that. However, I see progressive authoritarianism as symptomatic of a wider problem, i.e. the all-pervasive statism that has come to dominate modern life. Now that the cultural left has become increasingly influential, it is not surprising that it has become co-opted by the state as part of its self-legitimating ideology. In fact, one of my main criticisms of the cultural left is that by itself it constitutes no barrier to ruling class or state power. The power elite can survive with or without gay rights, legal abortion, civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, etc. In fact, the power elite have been able to co-opt those things very easily. Most Western leftists treat capitalism as merely a side issue, and statism as not an issue at all and instead tend to be oriented towards cultural leftism, which threatens the establishment in no significant way at all. Look how easily the power elite have made Martin Luther King Jr. into a national icon like George Washington. Meanwhile, the system has survived just fine.

            I agree that as cultural leftism is increasingly incorporated into the state ideology, there will be more state actions that are offensive to conservatives, traditionalists, reactionaries, etc. e.g. attacks on gun rights, excessive “public interest” regulation, lawsuits over gay wedding cakes, removal of “offensive” monuments, plenty of other things. However, I see that as no more objectionable than the kinds of statism that have existed in the past, but just as a variation of the same thing. For instance, I see “Social Justice Warriors” as merely being another species of social conservatives, only one where “Faith, Family, and Country” is replaced by “Race, Gender, and Sexuality” or “Health, Equality, and Ecology.” The “politically correct” types are just the “moral majority” of the Left, and the antifa are just the skinheads or KKK of the Left.

            What I am personally interested in, of course, is the development of a movement that rejects all of this in favor of state abolitionism. The model that I tend to draw on is the historic battle for separation of church and state. Religious persecution had been the norm in the West since time immemorial, but thanks to the Radical Reformation and the Enlightenment, church and state were finally separated. There are still conflicts over how church/state separation should be applied, with pro-choicers comparing pro-lifers to Torquemada, and the religious right comparing restrictions on school prayer to Stalinism, but these conflicts exist only on the margins. In the modern West, you can belong or not belong to almost any religion or non-religion you want. I want to extend this to the realm of politics as well.

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