Needless to say, I think Caleb is overly enthusiastic about China (interestingly, I know Libertarians who are Sinophiles as well). But his takedown of the Western Left is refreshing. Caleb is also being overly optimistic about the interest of young people in “socialism.” Yes, there is a growing number of Millennials who identify as “socialists,” but for them that only means the Canadian healthcare system and free college tuition (i.e. neo-Rooseveltian liberalism). Very few young people would have a clue about ideas like nationalization of the means of production and a centrally planned economy or, alternately, workers control of the means of production on the syndicalist model.
By Stefan Gleason, Money Metals Exchange
U.S. government agencies could run out of operating funds starting on midnight this Friday, December 7th. At issue: President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. He wants Congress to commit $5 billion for construction of a wall along portions of the U.S.-Mexico border. The migrant caravan that recently attempted to crash the border near Tijuana has helped rally Republicans to support his request. It may be now or never for Trump’s wall. In the next Congress, presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be able to kill any of Trump’s legislative priorities. At present, Trump faces obstacles in the Senate, where Democrats seem intent on blocking wall funding. If both sides can’t agree to a spending bill by Friday, then a partial government shutdown could ensue.
In episode 15 of Unraveling Political Theory, Tim and Keith will be discussing leaders and vertical hierarchy. To understand the world of politics and change it for the better, it’s paramount that people begin to study political theory and the ways in which it has manifest throughout history up into the present day. By bringing light to the origins of political and philosophical thought, the present day becomes all the more explainable because one is now able to see the logical progression of such manifestations.
American political conflict isn’t quite what it used to be. The American Revolution, the Civil War, the labor wars of the late 19th/early 20th century, and the racial/cultural revolution of the 1960s make today’s “polarization” and “incivility” look pretty tame in comparison. Today’s “political conflict” is Yankees vs. Red Sox, not the Weimar Republic. Even events like Charlottesville are more a gang fight or a riot by sports hooligans than political combat. All across the US, urban street gangs make the Alt-Right/Lite and SJWs/Antifa look like tenth rate amateurs. In 2017, there were 17, 284 homicides in the US. At most, 34 of these were committed by political extremists, only about half of those murders were actually politically motivated. We live in an age of “bourgeois bitchiness” (the rivalry within the upper middle class between Reds and Blues) and “tiddlywinks radicalism” (virgin basement dweller “fascists” vs triggered snowflake “leftists”).
I find it fascinating that Donald Trump, a man who personifies the perfect hybrid of 1960s/70s hedonism and 1980s/90s greed and materialism, would emerge as a conservative hero, with the religious right and social conservatives being his biggest backers. If there are any snowflakes left who still think some right-wing Christian theocracy is on the horizon, they need not worry. Trumpism represents the Latin Americanization of US politics (a high stratified class system where open corruption is the norm in politics) rather than “A Handmaid’s Tale.”
By Rod Dreher
The American Conservative
Ross Douthat has a good column today, about how Trump’s grift has been paradoxically cleansing. He argues that Trump’s claim that he would go to Washington and “drain the swamp,” while only ever plausible to those eager to be a mark, is now impossible for anyone to take seriously:
For several years, the Kurds have been at the forefront of a revolution in Western Kurdistan (Rojava). Their alternative system to capitalism has resonated all over the globe. Their society is organized according to Democratic Confederalism, an ethical form of political organization that brings together ideas from libertarian municipalism, social ecology, and feminism.
Alexander Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory is an attempt to create a new ideology beyond lliberal democracy, fascism, and communism while avoiding “prejudices” against any of these. I would argue that the approach of ATS amounts to a “fifth political theory” which involves establishing the anti-authoritarian paradigm (pan-anarchism) as a “revolutionary center” which opposes liberal democracy, fascism, and communism as existential enemies.
These speakers raise a lot of interesting points, even if the source obviously indicates the discussion is a bit neoconnish at times.
This is an interesting debate. A measured discussion between two serious thinkers (i.e. not an Alt-Right vs. SJW debate).
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Maybe this is evil but I’ve always wanted to start a cult. It just seems like a fun thing to do. The robes, the guns, the girls, the mirrored aviator shades. Death squads, armed compounds, and fireside orgies. There is just something strangely romantic to me about taking over a ghost town in Wyoming, painting all the buildings blood red, and declaring war on the federal government and reality itself. The fact that it’s also a tax exempt way to get laid and loaded doesn’t exactly hurt either. Sure it usually ends badly but to go out in a blaze of glory set by the feds on live television while neck deep in barely legal pussy, oh sweet Jesus, what a way to go! So I figured, after 11 years in Catholic school and another 6 in hermetic self-isolation, why not try my hand at the game. I’m an off-puttingly charismatic and mentally ill gadfly. If Jim Jones, Osho, and Charlie Manson, then why not Comrade Hermit. It’s high time we had ourselves a genderfuck messiah. The idea is very 2019, don’t you think?
His Goofiness William Gillis, Chairman of the Central Committee of the People’s Revolutionary Antifascist Transhumanist Party (Market-Anarchist), says building self-determination movements that people all over the world can actually relate to is the wrong way to go. No, what we need is a “Moral Majority of the Left” or a SJW version of the “Legion of Decency” conducting bluenose campaigns to sniff out moral deviance wherever it might arise. Apparently, His Goofiness is paralyzed by fear of the thought that many anarchists and libertarians actually agree with tendencies like ATS and N-AM, but just don’t realize it, or just can’t get past the “liberal” programming they’ve gotten from the “ideas and technology” industries.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, anarchists were the world’s largest revolutionary movement, both in the industrialized (or industrializing) West, in much of the East, and in the colonies, until the rise of Bolshevism, the emergence of the Soviet Union, the achievement of hegemony by Communism, and the rise of fascism as a counterpart to Communism by the revolutionary right.
The question is how can anarchists reclaim their legacy from a century ago. A global revolutionary movement against the global capitalist empire that regards capitalism, communism, and fascism as different points on the same triangle, that embraces the full range of anti-authoritarian philosophies and an infinite variety of “identities,” and that favors decentralized societies based on the principles of voluntary associations, voluntary communities, localism, federalism, and mutual aid would be the way to go.
This is a really interesting discussion between two Marxist-Leninists that actually gets into a range of important questions. I’m not sure of their specific affiliations. Caleb Maupin is a former member of the Workers Worker Party who is now a journalist for Russia Today, and appears to be a generic Marxist-Leninist who supports the model developed in China by Deng (which many hardliners consider revisionist). Jason Unruhe runs the “Maoist Rebel News” YouTube channel, but he has said he is no longer a Maoist, and describes himself as a Third Worldist. They discuss the difference between actual Marxism and “cultural Marxism,” Soviet economic development, why SJWs aren’t real “socialists,” race relations and economics in South Africa, the various intellectual and historic arguments for socialism over capitalism, the libertarians vs. Marxists debate, neoliberalism, social democracy, how liberals have abandoned the antiwar cause, why the Trumpians are better than McCain and the neocons, the Communist interpretation of the of the demise of the Soviet Union, the role of fascism and how fascists borrowed from Communism, present day Communist countries, the situation in Venezuela, etc.
These guys remind me of the old guard Communists I used to hang out with during my time as an activist against the US war in Central America in the 1980s. I do not and have never subscribed to the Marxist-Leninist ideological framework, but it’s interesting to hear a perspective on the condition of the supposed “Western Left” from actual hard leftists. I could offer my own predictably idiosyncratic interpretation of the Communist experience within a historical perspective. I largely agree with the anarchist or left-Marxist position (and the position of Murray Rothbard during his New Left phase) that the Communist revolutions in the East were the Eastern world’s equivalent of the bourgeois revolutions in the West in the 18th and 19th century. Only these revolutions occurred within a Marxist ideological framework (largely because Marxism had already replaced liberalism as the dominant revolutionary ideology among intellectuals), and within the tradition of Eastern despotism rather than Western liberalism. The Communist revolutions took place in feudal agrarian rather than industrial capitalist societies, so the big question for Communist regimes was the matter of how to achieve industrialization. I tend toward the idea that the surviving Communist states have done so largely by adopting a variant of Lenin’s New Economic Policy, i.e. using capitalism as a means of economic development. This is certainly the route that China, Vietnam and Laos have pursued, and Cuba and the DPRK seem to be headed in that direction. In other words, Communism was largely a historic transitional phase between feudalism and capitalism in Eastern agrarian societies, and a number of places in Asia and the Global South. It might be possible to include non-Leninist forms of socialism from outside the West in this paradigm as well (e.g. Baathism, Nasserism, Third International Theory, African socialism, etc).
This is big news. Apparently, the political class in Congress is siding with the interests of the media class (the left-wing of capitalism) and these have diverged from the priorities of the Trump administration, which is clearly more concerned with the interests of the Israeli and Saudi regimes, and their domestic associates in the United States such as AIPAC, Exxon, and the armaments industry (the right-wing of capitalism).
The US Senate has advanced a measure to withdraw American support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, in a blow to President Donald Trump.
Many senators are unhappy with Mr Trump’s response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had urged senators not to back the motion, saying it would worsen the situation in Yemen.
However, senators voted 63-37 to take forward the bipartisan motion.
Life expectancy is one of the leading indicators of the quality of life that is experienced by any society. This is the effect of reproletarianization taking place.
By Lenny Bernstein
Life expectancy in the United States declined again in 2017, the government said Thursday in a bleak series of reports that showed a nation still in the grip of escalating drug and suicide crises.
The data continued the longest sustained decline in expected life span at birth in a century, an appalling performance not seen in the United States since 1915 through 1918. That four-year period included World War I and a flu pandemic that killed 675,000 people in the United States and perhaps 50 million worldwide.
Public health and demographic experts reacted with alarm to the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual statistics, which are considered a reliable barometer of a society’s health. In most developed nations, life expectancy has marched steadily upward for decades.
In the past, I have tended to think of Rand Paul as a toady and a sellout, or at least as too moderate. But perhaps I was premature.
By Alison Weir
he Free Beacon reports that “pro-Israel groups in America are mobilizing against Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) for blocking the continuation of U.S. aid to Israel.”
Paul has placed a “block” on legislation to give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years – $23,000 per every Jewish Israeli family of four. This is the largest military aid package in U.S. history and amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second. A stack of $38 billion dollar bills would reach ten times beyond the international space station.
A block is a legislative procedure in which a senator calls on the floor leader not to move forward with a bill and indicates that the senator may filibuster against it.
Many older people, or those familiar with Western political history in the 20th century, will remember that 1968, exactly half a century ago, was a revolutionary year in the sense of uprisings that occurred throughout the Western world (and elsewhere). A brief summary can be found here.
The three most significant forces that were associated with the 1960s upheavals were the anti-Vietnam War movement, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Let’s try this thought experiment. Let’s say we could travel back in time and inform a New Left activist (say a protestor at the 1968 Democratic Convention) of what the world of 50 years later was going to be like. What would we say?
-The Cold War would eventually end, as would the arms race between the USA and USSR. In fact, the USSR itself would end, and the former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact nations would become (mostly) liberal democracies, with China becoming the leading international financier of America’s public debt, and America becoming China’s major export market.
Some interesting commentary from Tim Pool.
Social Justice And The Far Left Are Doomed To Collapse due to internal inconsistency within itself. They advocate for the rights of groups at odds with each other and for positions that can’t be brought together. You can’t advocate for Abrahamic fundamentalists while also advocating for the rights of women and other marginalized groups. You can’t support health care for all but also open borders as resources are finite Social justice groups and feminists constantly fight among themselves over issues yet still try to bring in more groups and ideologies. We are left wondering which is the real feminists? Second wave feminism? Third wave? Fourth?
Ann Coulter, as everyone knows, is a staunch conservative and immigration hawk. But she correctly perceives that Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is largely a ruse intended as raw meat to be thrown to his base. Coulter’s examination of electoral politics correctly perceives that the future belongs to the ascending forces represented by the alliance of the techno-oligarchs and the new clerisy (as I have been saying for almost 20 years). By any reasonable standard, Trump is one of the most liberal presidents, if not the most liberal, that America has ever had. Anarchists, libertarians, anti-statists and anti-authoritarians need to get over the “rightwingophobia” that is common in our circles, and start focusing on who the enemy will be in the future.
Every day that Trump does not keep his promises on immigration, thousands of immigrants turn 18 and start block voting for the Democrats, while thousands of traditional Americans die off. Florida and Texas are about five years away from turning solid blue. Trump was our last chance. After this, the country is never going to elect a Republican president again.
Yep. As I am not a conservative, I am not at all unhappy about the prospect of never electing a Republican President again.
This is interesting.
By Zaid Jilani
The American Conservative