Am I A Fascist?: An Open Letter to the Left-Wing Anarchist Movement 42

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence…”

-John Adams

“Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.”

-Bertrand Russell

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Fascist Party?”

-Senator Joseph McCarthy (paraphrase)

 

Roughly fourteen years ago, I created a very minor stir in the anarchist milieu in North America with an “Open Letter to the Anarchist Movement” that was printed in some of the leading anarchist publications of the day: Ideas and Action, Fifth Estate, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed and others. That article strongly criticized the then-nascent anarchist tabloid “Love and Rage” and argued that an authoritarian presence was taking root in the anarchist movement as a result of the influx of refugees from authoritarian tendencies within the New Left including ex-Trotskyists, ex-Maoists, ex-Weatherpeople and others. I argued that the modern anarchist movement was in the process of abandoning classical anarchist values such a mutual aid, voluntary association, individual autonomy, decentralization, secession and tolerance in favor of welfare statism, identity politics, race-baiting and race-hatred, misanthropic variations of “environmentalism” and cultural Marxism. I no longer have a copy of that article, but readers who have access to back issues of anarchist publications from the late ’89/early ’90 period may be able to locate it.

Now I return with another “Open Letter”. I recently came across a rather crude and semi-literate web site called Anti-Fascism.Org where I found I had been categorized as one of the great fascist writers of the post-WWII era. Some of my more recent articles and the platform of my organization, American Revolutionary Vanguard, were classified as leading documents of contemporary fascism. This scenario from the Theatre of the Absurd continues a trend that has been developing in the past few years whereby a certain number of monumentally ignorant people within the anarchist milieu, chief among them “Reverend Chucko” Munson of Infoshop.Org, have attempted to defame me with the antiquated slur, favored left-wing epithet and broad brush libel of “fascist”. Some have even gone so far as to hurl death threats in my direction. Ordinarily, I would ignore such petulance and childishness. I was once a teenager incarcerated in a maximum security facility with multiple murderers and child rapists. I used to hang with the Pagans and Hell’s Angels. Some of my closest friends have been life-long members of the urban gang culture. I care nothing for throwaways from exurbia who think they are doing their part to bring down the System by renouncing deoderant, gorging themselves with tofu and calling their bourgeois parents Nazis for voting Republican.

It is for two purposes that I reluctantly write this piece. One is my horror at the desecration of the legacy of classical anarchism being purveyed by many in the so-called “anarchist” movement of today. Anarchism was an ideological system created by some of history’s greatest thinkers-William Godwin, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. Anarchism is the logical heir to the revolutionary liberal movements of the Enlightenment. Past generations of anarchists have endured murder, torture, imprisonment, exile and ridicule for the very basic rights that people in modern societies take for granted like free speech and the freedom of workers to organize unions. Anarchists were once a fierce revolutionary movement that struck terror in the hearts of despots worldwide. The valiant anarchists of Spain fought a two-front war against the twin totalitarianisms of Fascism and Communism and, in the midst of a war, carried out economic experiments that might still prove to be a prototype for the liberation of working people from the modern manorial system of corporatism. It is sickening to see such a noble past being defiled by the nutjobs, freaks, dysfunctional personalities, punks, brats, crackpots, thugs, crybabies, mediocrities, Peter Pans, cultists, ignoramuses, sociopaths, reactionaries, authoritarians, totalitarians, Communist dupes, left-wing fascists, liberal butt-lickers, tree-huggers, intellectual incompetents and stooges for the left-wing of state-capitalism that comprise the bulk of today’s “anarchist” movement.

Second, there are indeed honorable and decent people in the contemporary anarchist milieu who engage in much self-sacrifice for their ideals. I know a young man and young woman from the anarchist scene in my own community who not long ago put themselves on the line by traveling to the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel to work on behalf of the beleagured Palestinian people. People whom they do not know and who have never heard of them. They could have very well ended up like Rachel Corrie. This same young woman recently endured arrest at the hands of my city’s stormtrooper police force for protesting the current murderous US assault on the people of Iraq. There are other anarchists in my community who have engaged in direct confrontation with the police and openly defied the notoriously corrupt municipal government on behalf of people whom most others would never give a second thought-the homeless, the poor, the mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts and others. Some have engaged in candlelight vigils outside the jail on behalf on drug war prisoners and distributed copies of my anti-police state pamphlets to the families of inmates. Some have gone to city council meetings and attacked the city government for its destructive policies towards the community’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Some will gladly work long hours with no pay distributing food to the local poor. One very astute fellow from the local anarchist scene tells me he believes the local anarchist movement is much superior to that of other cities. I suspect he is correct. Yet I have no doubt that there are anarchists of similar dedication in other places. It is to these people that I address the bulk of my comments here.

Am I now, or have I ever been, a fascist? In a word, no. I have been instinctively anti-authoritarian all of my life and anti-statist for all of my political life. I was involved in the anti-apartheid and anti-Central American war movements in the 1980s. I support self-determination for blacks and other captive nationalities within the US. I have met Lorenzo Komboa Erving and agree with the general outlook of his book “Anarchism and the Black Revolution”. I favor the creation of self-defense organizations for the homeless, drug addicts, prostitutes, runaway kids and other street populations. I favor prisoner organizing and the eventual elimination of prisons. The majority of my current political interests involve opposition to US imperialism abroad and creeping police statism domestically. I also favor cooperatives, anarcho-syndicalist unions and worker-run industries as an antidote to state-capitalism. I have no beef with sexual minorities and favor the full participation of women on an equitable basis in the struggle against the System.

Most of the people reading this will know me primarily from my web site Attackthesystem.Com. I invite you to read my articles on the Commentary page. From these you can get a very thorough look at my actual beliefs, background, objectives, etc. Those with questions, disagreements or concerns are invited to contact me for personal discussion or debate. My home phone number, e-mail address and postal address are provided on my Contact page. I ask or expect nothing other than civility and a fair hearing for my point of view.

What are my motivations and ambitions? Simply put, I believe the United States is rapidly degenerating into a full blown fascist country domestically under the guise of the wars on terrorism, drugs, crime, et.al. and developing an international empire comparable to that of Britain of two hundred years ago or Rome of two thousand years ago in both its breadth and its vileness. Over the years, I have noticed that there are reasonable and thoughtful people from across the political and cultural spectrum who recognize these problems and have many similar ideas on how to combat them. My current project, American Revolutionary Vanguard, has as its principal aim the establishment of a decentralized alliance against the US ruling class that transcends traditional ideological, cultural or national boundaries. Anarchists, properly defined, are uniquely qualified to serve as the leadership corps of such an alliance. We have what other tendencies do not-a complete rejection of the institution of the state and any sort of legitimacy it may claim for itself. Our venerable traditions of decentralization, voluntary association, free federation, autonomy, individualism, community, mutual aid, solidarity and the like provide us with the tools necessary to accommodate the political and cultural diversity likely to be found in an authentically revolutionary movement within the US.

During the course of the current crisis, we have seen resistance movements develop at the grassroots level at an unprecedented pace. Individual cities, towns and regions have issued resolutions condemning US aggression against Iraq and expanding internal repression in the form of the USA PATRIOT Act. The course of the Iraq war thus far has exposed the claims of the Big Oil-Israeli-Fundamentalist cabal controlling the foreign policy of the US for the farce that they are. Meanwhile, egg-faced charlatans like Donald Rumsfeld have been hinting at the expansion of the war to other nations like Iran and Syria. The emergence of large-scale discontent and resistance to the regime is now a very real possibility. Anarchists may soon find themselves looking a gift horse in the mouth. Right now, we need to work to develop an anarchist movement of intellectually competent and ethically solid persons that advances an agenda appropriate to the current situation at hand.

What would such an agenda involve? First, we need to develop a critique of the current crisis and arguments for ending the war that are coherent and understandable to most people. The bourgeios liberals, commie cults and anarcho-nihlists that comprise the base of the antiwar movement are unqualified in this area. Instead, we need to look to scholars and commentators on the antiwar right who have actually developed such arguments. These include Justin Raimondo, Eric Margolis, Charley Reese, Patrick Buchanan, Lew Rockwell, Taki Theodoracopulos, Joseph Stromberg, Paul Craig Roberts and others. The works of these writers and others can be found at sites like antiwar.com, lewrockwell.com and amconmag.com. We can combine the critique of these analysts with that of competent left-wing commentators like Howard Zinn, Alexander Cockburn, Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal. Second, there needs to be peaceful and, as much as possible, legal demonstrations against the US regime. Forget about foolishness like blockading traffic, throwing rocks, etc. This only alienates more moderate or mainstream persons and invites increased repression. Local resolutions condemning the actions of the regime cannot be supported strongly enough. We should rally behind local leaders who advance such resolutions. We also need to reach out to US military personnel who may have doubts about the war and, where possible, encourage disobedience, desertion or mutiny. Virtually all religious denominations in the US, excepting Zionist Jews and pro-Israel dispensationalist Christians, oppose the war. With this in mind, churches and mosques may be a source of grassroots opposition to the government’s actions.

The primary task that anarchists should currently devote themselves to is the development of an infrastructure that could potentially replace the US regime as its credibility diminishes. A revolution similar to those that occurred behind the Iron Curtain at the end of the Cold War is what I have in mind. This best strategy for achieving this end would be the emergence of secessionist movements at the local level. This is what is most compatible with American history and political and cultural traditions. This is also what is most consistent with the manner in which the resistance movement has evolved thus far. Individual cities, towns, communities and regions should simply declare themselves independent of the US regime, abrogate the laws and committments of the regime and form a confederation for the purpose of mutual defense against central power. The militia movement of the 1990s was on the right track in this regard. An essential lesson of the Iraq war is that even the US military machine, with its unprecedented power, is vulnerable to guerrilla warfare waged by decentralized militia and paramilitary forces. What should replace the US regime when it collapses? For practical purposes, we might look to Norman Mailer’s 1969 campaign for mayor of New York City. Says Mailer:

“I ran for mayor of New York in the hope that a Left-Right coalition could be formed and this Left-Right pincers could make a dent in the entrenched power in the center. The best to be said for that campaign is that it had its charm. I am not so certain, however, that this idea must remain eternally without wings. It may yet take an alchemy of the Left and Right to confound the corporate center. Our notion was built on the premise that we did not really know the elements of a good, viable society. We all had our differing ideals, morals, and political ethics, but rarely found a way to practice them directly. So, we called for Power to the Neighborhoods. We suggested that New York City become a state itself, the fifty-first. Its citizens would then have the power to create a variety of new neighborhoods, new townships, all built on separate concepts, core neighborhoods founded on one or another of our cherished notions from the Left or the Right. One could have egalitarian towns and privileged places, or, for those who did not wish to be bothered with living in so detailed (and demanding) a society, there would be the more familiar and old way of doing things-the City of the State of New York-a government for those who did not care-just like old times.”

Would such a system be “true” anarchism? Obviously not. Would this be an enormous step in the right direction? Hell, yes! As the British publication “Voice of the Resistance” puts it:

“Consider the ancient Greek polis or city state. Here was an institution that truly allowed for diversity of government. Although no overarching state structure existed, a variety of communities thrived across ancient Greece, often with very different systems of government ranging from the quasi-democracies of Athens to the more communistic regimes of Sparta. It is not too difficult to envisage an adapted form of such a system as an alternative to the American imperialism of the modern age. This, surely, must be anarchism at its most practicable and useful.”

Precisely. Let those who prefer anarcho-syndicalism or anarcho-communism or anarcho-capitalism do as they wish. Let Christians, Muslims, Jews or racial separatists, whatever their race, have their own communities. Let those who wish to live by the US Constitution, the Magna Carta, the Articles of Confederation, the Confederate Constitution or old English common law have their own sovereign townships. Let anarchists of all stripes
form communities based on the teachings of Proudhon, Santillan, Bookchin, Chomsky, Zerzan or Rothbard, depending on whose version of anarchy they prefer. Let those who want Communism or municipal socialism go their own way. Let those who want to worship David Koresh or the Rev. Moon as the messiah do so. Let urban gangs run their own turf. Let drug dealers and prostitutes form red light districts similar to those found in Europe. Let even those who are so foolish as to wish to keep the present system do as they wish to themselves so as long as they don’t inflict themselves on the rest of us.

The struggle against the state is now an international struggle. There is really only one government nowadays and that is the imperial empire of the US ruling class and their junior partners in Britain, Israel and the EU. Let us struggle for self-determination for all cultures regardless of their beliefs. “Voice of the Resistance” continues:

“The alternative to the imperialism of America and the New World Order is not some different and new form of imperialism-it is not some other globalizing dogma, to be imposed at gun point upon the world. The alternative is the creation of a new and beautiful world of a million different communities and homelands, each seeking its own destiny in its own way. Let communist homelands flourish alongside racial nationalist homelands! Let Islamic homelands live in peace with Christian homelands! And let them all unite in the principled struggle against the bland and murderous American capitalist neoliberal imperialim that threatens to destroy so much that is noble and good.”

Certainly, such a system would be the ultimate in tolerance, diversity, inclusivity and multiculturalism. These are, of course, the values that should be the essence of an authentic anarchism. A while back, I met a young woman from Portugal who told me that at one point in her life she had been hanging out with neo-nazi skinheads and then, at a later point, started hanging out with “anarchists” and along the way noticed that the two groups were largely interchangeable in the degree of their intolerance and dogmatism. Is this what anarchists should aspire to? I have nothing but the utmost respect for those anarchists who are putting themselves on the line in a genuine fight against the System. But I want nothing to do with those anarcho-losers for whom “anarchy” is simply a world where they actually have friends, get laid and don’t get beaten up for their lunch money.

I suggest that every anarchist reading this ask themselves this question: Would you want to go into battle during a revolutionary civil war, such as that fought by the anarchists of Spain, with the likes of Chuck Munson or any of the other raving, incoherent nut cases who post to the typical anarchist discussion list at your side? I didn’t think so. We need an anarchist movement that emphasizes quality over quantity. Many of those currently in the movement are a liability. Let them go join the RCP or some other loser outfit. Meanwhile, let the rest of us take anarchy to a whole new level. Death to the State! Death to the US Empire! Above all, Death to Cultic-Leftoid Anarcho-Totalitarianism! And for those readers who are by now calling me a Nazi, remember that no one ever fantasized about being sexually ravaged by someone dressed as a leftist!

42 comments

  1. You sound like the megalomaniac “cult of personality” delusional syndrome, Trevor Goodchild, the treacherously Nihilistic, would be “Liberator” or leader of a “liberated” confederate seceded city-state of “Bregna”, from the “Aeon Flux” cartoon narrative, from MTv’s “Liquid Television”, who subscribes to “the Strong should survive but the Weak must die” Social Darwinistic heartless pseudo-thinking, pretending to be a benevolent revolutionary.
    He says, “My perfect dream is a dream to awaken our world to my way of thinking!”

    But just like Aeon Flux says to Trevor Goodchild, “You’re out of your mind and out of control.”
    Trevor says, “I Take control!” “Who’s side are you on?!”
    Aeon Flux says, “I take no side, besides compassion for the helpless, alleviating suffering & strengthening the weak, instead of letting them die”
    Trevor says, “You’re skating the edge!”
    Aeon Flux says, “I am the edge…”
    Trevor says, “What you need only I can give!!”
    Aeon Flux says, “You can’t give it, you can’t even buy it!” and finishes, “And, you just “don’t get it”!”

  2. To me, it sounds like that right-wing rhetoric that’s popular these days, disguising itself as “neither left nor right”, but’s really all about building a shiny new America, or at least some new vision of it. All the anti-war, “we oppose the culture wars” stuff sounds great, but I can’t tell the difference between that and “let’s keep all the foreigners out”.

    Look at the people your message attracts. It’s not the Rainbow Coalition, or even one where a leftist has anywhere to stand. Would an Asian Marxist feel very comfortable in a party of your editors? So if it looks like a dog and barks like a dog…well you know the rest of the story.

  3. “All the anti-war, “we oppose the culture wars” stuff sounds great, but I can’t tell the difference between that and “let’s keep all the foreigners out”.”

    Maybe you should look harder.

  4. Come on Keith, that’s not much of an answer. Look at the people you have around you. Who cares what your rhetoric sounds like. Where you are right now, it’s so far to the right, that only naive kids would be fooled by it. Maybe this is just the start. Maybe there’s something you’re saying that might appeal to someone not already lined up so far right that Glenn Beck can’t even see them…maybe. But maybe not. And you know as well as I do that those ‘other’ anarchists – the bad ones – they’re telling everyone this is what’s going on – out there fishing for naive kids who still don’t know what’s up. So tell me why there’s anything for the left when you’re surrounded by the most extreme right-wing and their message is really clear. Why wouldn’t anyone except the most confused – and don’t forget white – leftists want anything to do with your crew?

  5. Meh. It’s a debate I’ve already had with plenty of others and not one I care to continue. Anyone who agrees with the general ideas expressed in the 25 pt program and statement of purpose is welcome in our circles as an honest survey of our editorial board will reveal. We certainly do attract a large audience on the “far right” which is not surprising since they are the ones furthest removed from power at present. Of course, the “anarcho-Bolsheviks” are opposed to us as we aim to take anarchism in a totally different direction from where they’re going. Remember, we’re not just any set of anarchists or the son of Infoshop but dissident anarchists forging a new direction. Of course, the anarchist establishment is opposed to us. Based on the communication we get, I’d say we draw about evenly from the left, right, and libertarian camps and we’re probably split down the middle between conventional minorities of different backgrounds and whiteys. All of this tends to get obscured by the fact that our far right supporters and far left critics both tend to be so vocal. It is what it is.

  6. I should probably add that if we do indeed have a shortage of leftists it might well be because the Left seems to have dried up in the Age of Obama. Where is the antiwar movement? Where is the labor movement? Where is the defense of civil liberties? The Left today is largely a cultural movement oriented towards issues like same-sex marriage. It’s not like most leftists are going to be drawn to a hard-core revolutionary movement when the regime that is in power is mostly on their side.

  7. You have me wrong on the debate part. But you are right on about the current condition of the Left. I’ve made the same comment myself many times. My question is not one that reading your beliefs and opinions will answer. The Left as a political movement is as you describe, “largely a cultural movement oriented towards issues like same-sex marriage”, although there are many Leftists who are concerned with much more than that. My question is, when I look at the people who are affiliated with your blog, Attack the System, I see racists, ultra-nationalists, conspiracy theorists. I have talked with some of these people before, and I don’t see any way for someone like me to talk with them about the things I think are important. They are people I see as dangerous, and their ideas are bizarre. And it’s all of them. There is no exception to this description. There is no room for a dialogue.

    • Scott Sommers, the Left movement has not “dried up” anyway nor is it destroyed. The Left movement has just been weakened by Right-wing orchestrated catastrophic turbulence the last few decades. The actual reasons the Left movement appeared to be defeated, irrelevant, or destroyed, is because the individuals and groups that have constituted the Left movement have been subjected to demoralizing, traumatic, agonizing social, financial and economic suffering, interruption, disorientation, dislocation, dehumanization, weakening, disheartening, discouraging and traumatizing destabilization, that’s severely broken spirits, shattered the will to keep fighting, so millions of previously passionate Left supporting activists seriously are just too busy trying to barely survive instead of putting attention towards fighting against the Right-wing Top 2% Rich and powerful white anglo-saxonish privileged inheritance people who are in control of 92% of the wealth & properties in society,
      They’re suffering the results of Naomi Klein’s diagnosed “Shock Doctrine” techniques imposed aggressively against them for decades the “economic shock therapy of Neo-liberal policies, Neo-Conservative diverting of government funding away from the Sick and the Poor towards needless defense financing, exacerbated stratification of economic classes and austerity measures to weaken the Sick and the Poor so drastically that they either die or suffering psychological traumas equivalent to if not worse than the C.I.A. interrogation handbook’s torture measures used to break political prisoners to say anything just to make the suffering and pain to stop.

      • The Left movement has just been weakened by Right-wing orchestrated catastrophic turbulence the last few decades.

        Well, the Left as a political force emerged in a political environment that in some ways was even more hostile than any we’ve experienced in the 20th century. Let’s also remember that many of its best ideas were co-opted pretty successfully by the capitalist establishment. Much of the Left’s demise was a result of its actual “success”, but realized on less-than-revolutionary terms.

        This is the reason ATS orients towards political outgroups; not because it’s good to be an outgroup in and of itself, but because these are the groups that are the least digestible by the system, most loyal to an authentically, thoroughly anti-statist agenda. The history of the Left shows that anybody who has anything to gain by allying with the system will almost certainly eventually betray the struggle.

        A revitalized Left along the lines of the 19th century radical socialists is simply impossible. The world has changed too much; capitalism has morphed into something much more consolidated and leviathan. Capturing the means of production has long ceased to be a sufficient end. We must attack the consolidation itself, the regularity, predictability, and regimentation that the system relies on to create this veneer of stability and progress. The world is so saturated with marketing, advertising, and other propaganda that material deeds are the only propaganda left to us.

    • Scott Sommers, The Right-wing have effectively weakened the specific social, political and economic groups traditionally comprising the Left movement, through “Economic Warfare” attacking the particular groups in a seriously cowardly way instead of attacking them directly in the streets and at protests.
      But hey now that the Left is so fragmented, and softened up, the slaughtering in the streets, at protests, AND at athletic activities, like the Boston Marathon, ahem ahem ahem, will be a next measure to incinerate the remaining fragments.
      But my associates + I have got a strategy to resist this blitzkrieg and not frightened to take this fight to the next level and the next and so on till we accomplish a street war, counter-revolution or civil war if necessary to protect the defenseless innocents who certainly will be targeted for slaughter by the Right-wing “Pan-Anarchists” in a Right-wing faux-revolutionary paramilitary coup against the government and government assistance recipients targeted for slaughter because they’re “weaklings”.

      My associates intend to be in the thick of it wielding whatever weapons necessary to protect citizens from marauding Right-wing shooting squads.

    • “My question is, when I look at the people who are affiliated with your blog, Attack the System, I see racists…”

      How are you defining racism? That’s a term that’s thrown around so loosely that it’s meaning has become diluted and unclear.

      “ultra-nationalists,”

      I’m not sure what you mean by that but one thing you won’t find here are flag-waving patriotic Americans. Most of us probably have as much love for the American empire as the Islamic fundamentalists do.

      “conspiracy theorists.”

      Examples?

      “I don’t see any way for someone like me to talk with them about the things I think are important.”

      Okay. What are the things that you think are important? What I think is important is overturning the Leviathan state and the international plutocracy by decentralizing political and economic power. How about you?

      “They are people I see as dangerous, and their ideas are bizarre. And it’s all of them. There is no exception to this description.”

      So you’ve personally communicated with all of our co-editors and contributors or allied individuals and groups? I doubt that.

      • But my associates + I have got a strategy to resist this blitzkrieg and not frightened to take this fight to the next level and the next and so on till we accomplish a street war.

        My associates intend to be in the thick of it wielding whatever weapons necessary to protect citizens from marauding Right-wing shooting squads.
        Yeah,sure you do. Spout your shit on 4chan. You’re just like those tough-as-fuck loudmouths there who are really 14 yr old wannabes.

    • I think our core documents, the statement of purpose, the 25 point program, and the podcasts have outlined the philosophy, analysis, strategy, and objectives of ARV-ATS as thoroughly and clearly as anyone could reasonably expect. The core idea we promote is attacking the state and state-allied institutions by decentralizing political and economic power down to the regional, municipal, village, neighborhood, and individual level to the greatest degree possible. Most of the rest of what we do is about strategy and tactics towards that objective.

      And, yes, we try to promote this idea to as many different kinds of population or political groups as possible including the entire spectrum of opinion on other issues. That includes Randian businessmen and anarcho-syndicalists, middle America types and outlandish counterculturalists, far right racialists and inner city black street gangs, native American tribes and evangelical Christians, eco-terrorists and gun nuts, vegans and survivalists, et. al. ad nauseum. The majority of our senior editors and contributors including myself, Jeremy, RJ, Vince, and Miles are or have their roots on the Left.

      This is a movement for anyone who advocates the radical decentralization of power, for whatever reason and regardless of what their views on other issues are. This is part of the necessary process of anti-state coalition building. I don’t know anything about your personal views, Scott, but our critics from the Left almost 100% percent of the time regurgitate the same basic point: They don’t want anything to do with us because we recognize that an effective anti-state movement must include everyone with grievances against the state and who regards themselves as having something to gain from the decentralization of power. Instead, leftists want to add on all sorts of litmus tests regarding other issues, particularly social and cultural issues like those involving the usual laundry list of Isms, Archies, and Phobias that leftists criticize. To that I say, no, that has the effect of weakening and dividing the broader anti-state movement. Plus, it allows for easier co-optation by the system. And it’s not necessary. There can be secondary organizations that address other issues outside the core struggle for decentralization.

      I agree that there are certainly leftists who are exceptions, but as a general rule the contemporary left is more of a cultural movement than a political one. Almost to a person, what I have found is that leftists could not care less about overthrowing the system. Instead, what they’re concerned about is making sure no one ever expresses bigotry along taboo lines, promoting same-sex marriage and advancing the sexual revolution generally, therapeutic values (“my parents didn’t love me enough”) and essentially using politics as a form of group therapy, falling over themselves to the point of self-parody to show how inclusive or non-racist they are, lifestyle issues like vegetarianism, narrow self-interest issues like crying about student loan debts, etc. All of that is fine if that’s what they’re into but it’s hardly going to bring down the state. If anything, I’ve noticed these people often have a strong fear of political upheaval (“destabilization will bring fascism!!!”) and have in many ways become cautious conservatives. They regard the real enemy not as the state or even the corporate class but church-going Middle Americans or poor uneducated, rural white southerners. They don’t seem particularly concerned about even the police state so long as it stays out of their sex lives and lets them have all the abortions they want.

      The general attitude I’ve gotten from leftists is “I don’t want anything to do with fighting the state if it means ever having to sit next to those icky un-PC folks!” which basically means anyone outside their own narrow subculture. What exactly are we supposed to do to appeal to people like that? And why should we even bother?

    • I am a leftist who finds much objectionable about many of my colleagues here. I’m not colleagues with them because I would choose to be in a perfect world, but because of necessity–including the lack of revolutionary potential on the contemporary Left.

      We should talk.

  8. Keith Preston, you just go right ahead and take note of one of your enemies immediately, and somebody you’ll be fighting in the streets someday when you ignite your faux revolution. Remember this interaction and burn into your psychosis afflicted brain, that the person you just talked with is just one from hundreds who are resparking the Left movement like a wildfire everyday with every contact we make to counteract your programming.
    And the strategy is brilliantly synthesized so responding to whatever the strategy possibly is, will just play right into our hands regardless how you respond or what countermeasures, all reactions will play perfectly to our advantage so the best response is to do nothing. or is it?
    But please do respond against before or during the future ignited fax revolution. Not responding or responding, actually doesn’t mean anything. Either will play to our advantage. I sincerely wish you fortune on your future faux revolution. -Vive la Resistance -Vive la Solidaritie -Bela Ciao

      • Keith Preston, how do you not disagree with my economic analysis? You don’t even know my economic philosophy.
        “start taking my meds”? Brilliant “pretending to be the rational adult in the room” demeaning, wannabe hipster retort. lolz.
        The Right-wing or Anti-Left are incapable by definition, of ever being authentic hipsters. Just wannabees or faux “hipsters”. Because authentic hipsters, by universal definition, are always anti-Capitalist stratification sincerely compassionate, relentlessly passionate activists who have gone through real economic struggle or know good fiends who went through real economic struggles & have a variety of life experiences that have taught them how the world really works, how the world used to work, and how it’s supposed to work or just how it should work and these capabilities, cultivated for several years through a few generations of families knowing these struggles very well though generations of struggles.

        A Right-wing wannabee Johnny came lately suburban gated community, spoiled brat brought up without very serious struggle tangibly, nor a realizing the agonizing multilevel suffering involved in such struggling people, nor a reasonable understanding of specifically how realtime economics in practice traumatizes people who used to have financial security, stability and financial independence to be carefree, catastrophically torn from them by no fault of theirs so they’ve lost their life savings, valuables, home, car, income, healthcare, job, etc.
        or people who’ve suffering financial suffering for many generations without reasonable opportunity coming around to rescue them in all those years, a Right-wing wannabe activist cannot accurately grasp the sheer complexity of such multilayered frightening suffering, which isn’t seen by the public but these unfortunates suffering in silence because they’re too ashamed to show their personal suffering they undergo daily, the routine indignities that nobody sees but are tormenting these people unnecessarily. These are real legitimate struggles you don’t diminish by attacking the seriousness of these struggles.
        I and my friends have volunteered at organizations to help struggling people. But a Right-wing wannabe automatically blames the victims of suffering to be “irresponsible”, “incompetent”, “weak”, “lazy”, “unambitious”, “bad lifestyle”, “impulsive”, “underachievers”, “slackers”, and so on. The Right-wing wannabe blames the suffering victims for not doing something correctly instead of acknowledging the society legitimately has wronged these people, and I do mean mostly White people or less significant ethnic minorities, i don’t mean Black or Latino people per se. ,

        This is precisely why Right-wing reactionaries are by definition inapplicable to anything resembling a “hipster” and are incapable of being a hipster in any meaningful way. But put a really good fake performance of artificially playing a hipster, just like suburban White kids are incapable of good hip-hip or rap.
        Right-wing Nationalists, honestly cannot comprehend the character cultivated through struggle needed to express such authentic passions

        The one White artist capable of authentic hip-hip rap is Eminem, but remember that he had been brought up in the projects, struggling financially, living with Black people all his life so he understood struggle.

        He’s a very passionate Left-wing activist too, consequently.

        You guys are not Eminem and you never will become the Right-wing Nationalist political equivalent of Eminem or Rufus Wainwright or Ashley Judd or Matt Damon or Bono, and so on.

        The Right-wing Reactionaries just cannot pull-of sincerely authentic “hipster”, just sarcastic cutesy faux-jaded, Nihilistic, bad tempered, Misanthrope, faux-heretic, whining spoiled brat, “rebellious” tantrums or mimicking the authentic cultivated sincere passions of the Left-wing or Underclasses or seriously manufactured sarcastic supposedly snarky-fied witty insulting comment performances, on websites or blogsites.

        • hahaha holy fuck this has to be one of the most hilarious things I have ever read. You are such a massive faggot. Are you seriously try to argue that there’s a thing as “real” hipsters and that they’re all kind, caring, compassionate anti-capitalists (that have iPhones, drink starbucks, and pay for expensive tickets while drinking their PBR)?

          Also, Eminem is the only authentic white rapper? And you call yourself a fucking hipster expert! How the fuck is Eminem a leftist? He’s a moron and a thug. There are plenty of underground hip-hop artists that could certainly be called anti-capitalist, and I even know of explicitly anti-leftist half-black rappers (PAYDAY MONSANTO).

          take your self-righteous, sanctimonious nonsense and shove it up your gender-fluid hole.

          #blacklivesdontmatter

          • Not to be pc, I agree with everything else but, what’s bad about gender fluidness? It’s a friggin personal preference, not necessarily having to to with gender identity (cis, trans etc), but the way of expressing it.

            • “What’s bad about gender fluidness?”

              Nothing at all. I have criticized sectors of the anarchist milieu for what I regard as an overemphasis on such issues to the detriment or exclusion of other issue, but there’s nothing wrong with “gender fluidness” by itself.

              • Hi, that’s perfectly ok and clear and didn’t doubt it :). It was not toward you indeed.
                (If you see this same message below – wrong reply target :D)

  9. This is a joke, right? Battle in the streets? I wish you your “associates” the best of luck.

    But seriously Keith, I look at your list of editors and I see a who’s who of racism, ultra-nationalism, and conspiracy theory. I don’t see anything else. I can’t even imagine where I could begin dialogue with a group like this. It’s hard to imagine that a group like this wants dialogue with someone like me. So tell me where I could begin a dialogue with a group of provincial homophobic White men who believe these are all redeeming features.

    • I can’t even imagine where I could begin dialogue with a group like this. It’s hard to imagine that a group like this wants dialogue with someone like me. So tell me where I could begin a dialogue with a group of provincial homophobic White men who believe these are all redeeming features.

      Sounds to me like your imagination is standing in the way; maybe start there. In all seriousness, I’m a leftist egalitarian occupier libertarian socialist anarchist who finds more serious discussion of praxis here than in any leftist social justice group I’ve ever been involved in. But I don’t see group membership or dialogue as some kind of rigid act of identity, but one of imagining new conditions in which new identities or possibilities for identity could emerge.

      That courage to break through the rusty gates of old, confining barriers and to trust your own moral conscience rather than a prescriptive identity group is what Attack the System is all about. Is it dangerous to even consider working with people who disagree with you on just about everything, people who subscribe to politics you consider backwards and evil? Yes, it is. Is it more dangerous than the state? That’s where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it?

    • I dislike being anyone’s token minority, but with such statements as:

      “But seriously Keith, I look at your list of editors and I see a who’s who of racism, ultra-nationalism, and conspiracy theory. I don’t see anything else.”

      Well…. then I have to say something. Vince Rinehart, here. Bonafide minority; born and raised in my Native homelands; anarchist; enemy of the system; and Attack the System Senior Editor. I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify as a white, a homophobic, ultra-nationalist, right winger or conspiracy theorist. I think an honest perusal of our editors would reveal few, if any, of the above. With such lazy attacks it makes it really difficult to take anything you say seriously.

      • Fascists don’t need to white. Not in the beginning, anyway. When they’re done with you… well, that’s another story entirely.

    • You could start with, “Hey, what do you believe and why?”, instead of just putting your fingers in your ears and waiting for the bad men to go away.

  10. Keith, thank you for addressing my questions. I’ll address yours shortly. I think your words are worth considering. Would you mind if I posted these on my Facebook for friends to privately comment on?

  11. Well, our assortment of “provincial homophobic white men” includes among its leadership and contributers an African-American anarchist, an Arab-American, a native American, a gay gentleman who edits our queer affiliate site, a left-libertarian, a Hindu convert, a black Englishman, a Bangladeshi immigrant and others who don’t really fit the model you’re describing.

    “So tell me where I could begin a dialogue with a group…”

    Where do you want to begin?

    • So a bunch of fascists conned a few people of color into supporting a white nationalist hootenanny. Nothing new under the sun.

  12. Ladies and gentlemen its time for a change weather its peaceful or violent. Its our time and our given right by our great founders of this now corrupted country to demolish it. People lose their jobs and our military members are asked to take pay cuts while the rich get richer and the government sits on their butts and eats steak and caviar. Why is it that the ones that sacrifice the most lose the most and the ones that sacrifice the least gain the most? Our government was formed because of corruption and greed. But its turned into what our fore fathers faught so hard to turn against. Brothers and sisters its time for us to take back our country. Will you stand behind me on January 1st 2015 to publicly denounce our corrupt government in front of the gates of the house that were once called the peoples house?

    • You con artists might present your plan to the general public, rather than lie to them:) And no, you don’t have the right to dismantle Western democracies for the benefit of your corporate sponsors. Which is what this is about. Why so you assume that everyone is as deranged as you people are?

  13. I see why what you’re trying to do is such a struggle Keith. Whether you call yourself right or left, you have to make it work.No matter what you route you take, you’ll be wiping people’s arses who don’t really get what real community entails. We are all anarchists where we are not inflicted by authoritarianism. Workers need entrepreneurial, entrepreneurs need to be community minded. Anarchism means you have to be able to rule over yourself, there is no arse wiping service at your ready. What Keith is clearly proposing is ‘go for it, do it your way, let go of your opinions of how everyone else should do things. If you believe in gay marriage and want to get married in a church, go to one that is down with it. Stop whingeing and get on with cultivating your own version of things. Don’t send your pollution downstream and you should be ok. Just make sure the whites only and blacks only aren’t next to each other!! If you believe in dominating over others, you are not an anarchist, so think your anarchy through.

  14. I’d love to hear more from Aeonflux Shannabarrista Djinniyah. That “faux hipster” rant is one of the funniest bits of high concept comedy that I have ever encountered. I figure he/she was around 13 or 14 years old in 2013 when his/her comment was published; I think the world needs to learn how those views have evolved since then. Also, an update on the “street war” would be appreciated. One would be tempted to believe that it never materialized, but that conclusion is most likely the result of the corporate media covering it up. Whatever happens, when the street war reaches my neck of the woods, I hope Aeonflux Shannabarrista Djinniyah and his/her “associates” consider me an “Eminem” and not a Bono or Rufus Wainwright, or, god forbid, a Matt Damon.

  15. Well said for the most part Keith. However, I definitely disagree with your belief that anarchism or radical centrifugalism is only the logical onset of the so called enlightenment revolutions. In my sight, anarchism could just as well be understood as the continuity of Christian/Hebrew (as distinct from second temple Jews) beliefs followed to logical conclusion (something that I admit sadly, most Christians do not follow to a logical vantage) even if the term anarchism was used to describe the kind of society that Christians thrived in prior to being given legal status by Constantine. Christ was quite clearly an anarchist (at least in an ephemeral sense) as He insisted upon persuasion in place of coercion (preach and if rejected kick the dust off your feet and move on to the next opportunity for witness) and never even suggested [as has been detailed by Joseph Sobran] that His followers should enlist the state on their sides for rectification of man’s sin based estrangement from God, i.e. that which all Christians view as the source evil and the human condition. This methodological theme is revisited by the consensus of the great Church fathers ad naseaum:

    “God never draws anyone to Himself by force and violence. He wishes all men to be saved, but forces no one.” – St. John Chrysostom

    “God knocks, but waits for the man to open the door – he does not break it down.”-Bishop Kallistos Ware

    “All virtue is a voluntary thing, subject to no dominion. That which is the result of compulsion and force cannot be virtue.” -St. Gregory of Nyssa

    “Take from us the power of free choice, and we shall be neither images of God or rational and intelligent souls, and our nature will be corrupted indeed.”
    -St. Maximus The Confessor

    (this could go on for a very long time)

    Moreover, the old testament Hebrews were vituperated by God for wanting to be rid of the stateless Judges order (a system eerily similar to what prevailed in Brehon law Ireland up until 1603, many of those years in a Christian condition). That you insist upon ignoring the influence these precedents and directives had in favor of Godwin’s somewhat amorphous and atheistic vision I must take issue respectfully. He may have accelerated the issue of what allegiance man has to the state a bit but he was certainly not the first to do so. The Christ was very direct in bringing to existential issue what duty man had to the eternal and what the eternal.

    I must also dissent with regard to your position on “gender fluidity.” Not only is the one of the most idiotic notions ever to gain traction, but ignoring psychological illness so as not to be depicted as controlling is quite cruel. A man who claims and earnestly believes himself to be a woman, despite the immutability of chromosomal designation, is a mentally disfigured creature and should not be told that his condition is conducive to well being, not should children be lead to believe that his condition denotes normalcy. Saying this does not mean that I want to bring the state into the matter so that it can maintain a standard by force or threats.

    I not mean to quibble and I thank you for your efforts in the name of obliterating the state as we know it.

  16. Well said for the most part Keith. However, I definitely disagree with your belief that anarchism or radical centrifugalism is only the logical onset of the so called enlightenment revolutions. In my sight, anarchism could just as well be understood as the continuity of Christian/Hebrew (as distinct from second temple Jews) beliefs followed to logical conclusion (something that I admit sadly, most Christians do not follow to a logical vantage) even if the term anarchism was not used at that time to describe the kind of society that Christians thrived in prior to being given legal status by Constantine. Christ was quite clearly an anarchist (at least in an ephemeral sense. In a cosmic sense He was a thoroughgoing Monarchist) as He insisted upon persuasion in place of coercion (preach and if rejected kick the dust off your feet and move on to the next opportunity for witness) and never even suggested [as has been detailed by Joseph Sobran] that His followers should enlist the state on their sides for rectification of man’s sin based estrangement from God, i.e. that which all Christians view as the source evil and the human condition. This methodological theme is revisited by the consensus of the great Church fathers ad naseaum:

    “God never draws anyone to Himself by force and violence. He wishes all men to be saved, but forces no one.” – St. John Chrysostom

    “God knocks, but waits for the man to open the door – he does not break it down.”-Bishop Kallistos Ware

    “All virtue is a voluntary thing, subject to no dominion. That which is the result of compulsion and force cannot be virtue.” -St. Gregory of Nyssa

    “Take from us the power of free choice, and we shall be neither images of God or rational and intelligent souls, and our nature will be corrupted indeed.”
    -St. Maximus The Confessor

    (this could go on for a very long time)

    Moreover, the old testament Hebrews were vituperated by God for wanting to be rid of the stateless Judges order (a system eerily similar to what prevailed in anarchic Brehon law Ireland up until 1603, many of those years in a Christian condition). That you insist upon ignoring the influence these precedents and directives had in favor of Godwin’s somewhat amorphous and atheistic vision I must protest respectfully. He may have accelerated the issue of what allegiance man has to the state a bit but he was certainly not the first to do so. The Christ was very direct in bringing to existential issue of what duty man had to the ephemeral powers and what the eternal, to the fore.

    I must also dissent with regard to your position on “gender fluidity.” Not only is the one of the most idiotic notions ever to gain traction, but ignoring psychological illness so as not to be depicted as controlling is quite cruel. A man who claims and earnestly believes himself to be a woman, despite the immutability of chromosomal designation, is a mentally disfigured creature and should not be told that his condition is conducive to well being, not should children be lead to believe that his condition denotes normalcy. Saying this does not mean that I want to bring the state into the matter so that it can maintain a standard by force or threats.

    I do not mean to quibble and I thank you sincerely for your efforts in the name of obliterating the great prevailing criminal enterprise (state) as we know it.

    God bless you

    M

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