This article reflects the typical liberal hysteria over a supposed imminent theocratic coup by the Christian Right. It’s the same hysteria the Left has preached for 30 years. The GOP is led by cosmopolitan businessmen motivated by greed and its intellectual leadership comes from mostly Jewish and Catholic neoconservatives. The religious right are their useful idiots. However, this article illustrates fairly well what a pack of dullards the Republicans are.
As I’ve said before, the GOP is the party of the dying WASP elite, the right-wing of the traditional ruling class, and the American culture of the postwar but pre-1960s era. Every demographic, cultural, generation, economic, or partisan trend is working against the Republicans. The Democrats are the party of a rising upper middle class that is well on its way to becoming a ruling class and represents upwardly mobile social and political forces. That’s why it is a strategic necessity for we alternative anarchists and pan-secessionists to focus our attacks on the Left. The Left currently plays to the same role against the dying WASP elites as the historic bourgeoisie did against the traditional aristocracy. We lumpens play the same role against the Left as the historic proletariat played against the classical bourgeoisie: “Let the Cultural Marxist ruling classes tremble in fear of a lumpenproletarian anarchist revolution!” Our battle with the Cultural Marxist/Totalitarian Humanist Left is the continuation of the historic battle between the Anarchists and the Communists. Now, it’s our turn.
As critical as I am of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and its control over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, Israel is actually less of a totalitarian country than the U.S. Case in point: You would never see an article criticizing Israel in this way in the American media. Wonder why that might be?
Anyone who says this is a matter of a few inconsequential laws is leading others astray; anyone who claims a reversible procedure is being deceptive; anyone who states reassuringly that this is a passing phase is trying to put one over. Even the person who thinks it’s just an attempt at regime change is under a delusion. What we are witnessing is w-a-r.
This fall a culture war, no less, broke out in Israel, and it is being waged on many more, and deeper, fronts than are apparent. It is not only the government, as important as that is, that hangs in the balance, but also the very character of the state. Our way of life is about to change, from cradle to grave. For this reason, it could be the most pivotal battle in the country’s history since the War of Independence.
We always knew that a few years without an external threat could strain the delicate seams: When the guns go silent, the demons roar. But no one predicted such an outburst of demons of every kind, all at once. The assault on the existing order is an all-out war, on every front; a political tsunami, a cultural flood and a social and religious earthquake, all still in their infancy. Those who call this an exaggeration are trying to lull you to sleep. The defeats and the victories up to now will determine the course of events: In the end, we will have a different country. The pretension of being an enlightened Western democracy is giving way, with terrifying speed, to a different reality – that of a benighted, racist, religious, ultranationalist, fundamentalist Middle Eastern country. That is not the kind of integration into the region we had hoped for.
The ferocious combined assault is highly effective. It targets women, Arabs, leftists, foreigners, the press, the judicial system, human rights organizations and anyone standing in the way of the cultural revolution. From the music we listen to, to the television we watch, from the buses we ride to the funerals we attend , everything is about to change. The army is changing, the courts are in turmoil, the status of women is being pelted with rocks, the Arabs are being shoved behind a fence and the labor migrants are being forced into concentration camps. Israel is barricading itself behind more and more walls and barbed-wire fences as if to say, to hell with the world.
There is no single guiding hand mixing this boiling, poisonous potion; many hands stir the revolution, but they all have something in common: the aspiration to a different Israel, one that is not Western, not open, not free and not secular. The extreme nationalist hand passes the antidemocratic, neofascist laws; the Haredi hand undermines gender equality and personal freedoms; the racist hand acts against the non-Jews; the settler hand intensifies the hold not only on the occupied territories but also deep into Israel; and another hand interferes in education, culture and the arts.
You can’t see the forest for the trees, and the forest is dark and deep. Take, for example, Friday’s paper. The news pages of Haaretz reported on a few such rotten trees: the managers of dozens of businesses in Sderot have begun requiring their workers to dress modestly; in Mea She’arim, the polling places are gender-segregated; nonobservant Jews in Jerusalem have been asked to wear a kippa at work; Carmiel’s Palmach School has been turned into a religious school; discrimination against Sephardic girls at schools in Jerusalem, Modi’in Ilit, Betar Ilit and Bnei Brak; withdrawal from a physicians’ training program for Palestinians as a condition for tax relief; the government’s new plan to fight illegal immigration. And one final touch: The foreign minister gave his imprimatur to the Putinist election in Russia. All in a single day, one ordinary day.
In 1948 the state was established, and in 2011 a war is being waged for its never-crystallized character. In between these two years, the state has been rocked by waves of immigration, by different governments and by contradictory trends, and throughout loomed the threat of war and other external dangers. Various islands formed, some of them beautiful, and sometimes it seemed as if an open, enlightened country was taking root. Now that belief is on the verge of being shattered. The right has been in power for a long time now, but it lacked the self-confidence to launch this crucial assault. But now, in its 35th year in government, in the 64th year of the state, it has turned to the task of reshaping the country’s character and faces almost no opposition.
We’ll meet again in a few years, in that other Israel, that will be different and distorted beyond recognition.
LOL! Jon is Jewish, so he can get away with this.
I found this interesting post at a blog called Quisling’s Quest.
This is somewhat simplistically stated, but the core vision is correct. Anarchists should be at the forefront of developing a movement like what this blogger describes. In fact, anarchists should be the natural leadership of such an effort. It’s a shame so many anarchist allow their own sectarian rivalries or other cultural and ideological biases to get in the way of building something that might be a real threat to the System.
I find my interests are in both religion (ie. occult and non-traditional faith), politics, and race. I keep coming back to my core belief that tribal City-State communities would be the answer to many of our problems. Different faith communities, different counter cultures, sub cultures, race cultures, could gather together and experiment with the creating of a community, a nation, that works for them.
Our MultiCultural Tyranny is based on one tribe, one perspective being forced down everyone’s throats through media, laws, and education. And this one perspective contradicts what many Americans believe. I think an alliance could even be created between the different subcultures. Imagine White Skinheads and Black Muslims and Old Order Catholics and Scientologists all bonding together to fight and work for the City-State system. They each would like to create their own homogeneous communities where their perspective would be dominant. Tribalism is the wave of the future. But we must get beyond this current tyranny first. And that will be revolutionary, either through dramatic change or through violence or through both. I personally hope the change will be as non violent as possible. Violence is definitely overrated.
This guy has my endorsement. I don’t know how he would feel about pan-secessionism or the idea of decentralizing Philly along the lines of the Mailer model, but he in many ways resembles what I’ve always thought an anarcho-pluralist/pan-secessionist leader in a large, multi-ethnic, urban center with a large lumpenproletarian class would look like. Additionally, he seems to be making his anti-“law enforcement” stance a central focus of his campaign and calls for reducing the police department by 80%. That shows that he knows who the real enemy is. You would never see a mainstream liberal, “civil rights” politician saying that. His endorsement of projects like urban gardening indicates his interest in alternative economics and, his Marxist influences aside, his program seems as much populist as it is leftist.
Olugbala protests police brutality outside City Hall.
Standing next to one of the grand archways that leads to the heart of City Hall, Diop Olugbala presents himself as the face of the masses of Philadelphians he says are being targeted by Mayor Nutter: young, black, mistreated, misunderstood, mischaracterized.
“[Nutter] says we’re all thugs, ‘sperm donors,’ a ‘disgrace to our race,’” Olugbala seethes. The mayor, police and the city’s “ruling elite,” he says, “look at us and simply because of the way we look and dress and talk, they assume we’re criminals. Animals. Inarticulate.”
“But here comes someone who can duke it out with Nutter, and I can defeat all of his ideas,” Olugbala says.
In mid-August, the 34-year-old—flanked by a handful of advisors and supporters—stood outside City Hall and announced his independent candidacy for mayor, taking on Nutter and Republican challenger Karen Brown in a three-way race.
Olugbala says he’s running to stop Nutter’s all-out “war” on the city’s black and Latino populations. An assault that’s been marked, he says, by police brutality and the unfair, disproportionate criminalization of people of color; budget cuts that have decimated programs and services in the most impoverished areas of the city; and the withholding of real economic relief for those neighborhoods in favor of a bloated police “war budget.”
“Michael Nutter’s policies have been far more destructive to black people than [former mayor] Frank Rizzo’s,” says Olugbala. “His regime has stolen resources from us … People want to talk about violence, the so-called ‘flash mobs’? What about the violence of budget cuts? Nutter is responsible for the conditions that give rise to this violence.”
Conditions, Olugbala warns, that make a situation akin to this past summer’s deadly riots in North London a “scientific inevitability” here.
“If the city of Philadelphia goes up in flames, the ashes of this city will be on Michael Nutter’s hands,” he intones.
“I see it as my responsibility as a freedom fighter to step up and challenge Mayor Nutter for leadership of the city,” he continues. “History has shown that whenever we rise up, our demands are met.”
The self-styled revolutionary regards his candidacy not as waging a political campaign so much as leading an uprising of the poor and working-class. He insists he’s not just fighting for people of color, he’s here to pull the city back from the brink of destruction.
“Nutter’s policies are attacking sizable portions of the white community as well,” says Olugbala. “Budget cuts are affecting everyone who wants to go to a rec center, a career training program or a swimming pool.”
As Olugbala speaks, a pair of tattoos on either side of his neck peek out from the collar of his khaki military-style shirt—the kind of ink the mayor believes would prevent young black men from getting a job “cause you look like you’re crazy,” as Nutter said during his infamous speech at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in August.
One tattoo is of a hand clutching a spear, red flames dancing from its tip: The logo of the Uhuru movement, the black liberation crusade to which Olugbala has devoted his life and whose positions inform his current political platform.
The other, in simple script, says “Serve the People”: A loose translation of the African name he adopted when he joined Uhuru a decade ago, leaving his birth name, Wali Rahman, behind.
If he wins on Nov. 8, Olugbala promises to serve the people of Philadelphia with wholesale changes. No stop-and-frisk. No youth curfew. A community control board with the power to fire and hire police. A drastically reduced police force—perhaps by as much as 80 percent—with most of the nearly $1 billion earmarked for police, courts and prisons (roughly one quarter of Philadelphia’s annual budget) reallocated for economic development and social services in poor neighborhoods. Vacant lots turned into urban gardens whereby people would feed themselves and create businesses selling their produce. Funding to charter schools slashed, with that money redirected to strengthening the public school system. Public school curriculum adjusted to provide mainly vocational training. Taxes dramatically increased on corporations and rich people.
Such policies, Olugbala insists, would unite Philly under shared prosperity, not further divide the city along race and class lines. He reasons that his plan will lead to more jobs, less poverty, better education, skilled workers and healthier lifestyles, and therefore less violence and crime (and less need for police or jails). And the haves wouldn’t need to worry about an army of have-nots coming to burn down Center City.
“I’m talking about transforming the entire city,” Olugbala says.
Next week, as the country’s Christmastime frenzy is in full swing, a 24-year-old American Army private will be on trial for his very life.
His supporters say “we are all Bradley Manning,” and perhaps they are right. His first hearing since he was arrested in May 2010 and put in military custody takes place on the heels of a Senate vote last week that would give the military the ability to detain anyone on domestic soil suspected of loosely defined connections to terror — even American citizens — without hearing or trial. Though the president has promised to veto the measure, if it stands, Americans could find themselves sitting in a cell one day on the military’s timetable, their constitutional rights in question.
The difference here is that Manning is a soldier in the U.S. Army and his case is being tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He faces 22 charges for accessing a database of more than 250,000 classified U.S. government documents from a military computer and passing them on to WikiLeaks, which has been publishing the documents for over a year through mainstream media outlets. The most damning and embarrassing documents include the “Collateral Murder” video, the Afghanistan war logs, the Iraq war logs, and the Guantanamo files.
In August 2008, as the world’s leaders gathered in Beijing for the Olympic games, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, hot-headed and erratic, made his gamble for greatness.
It began with a stunning artillery barrage on Tskhinvali, capital of tiny South Ossetia, a province that had broken free of Tbilisi when Tbilisi broke free of Russia. As Ossetians and Russian peacekeepers fell under the Georgian guns, terrified Ossetians fled into Russia.
Saakashvili’s blitzkrieg appeared to have triumphed.
Until, that is, Russian armor, on Vladimir Putin’s orders, came thundering down the Roki Tunnel into Ossetia, sending Saakashvili’s army reeling. The Georgians were driven out of Ossetia and expelled from a second province that had broken free of Tbilisi: Abkhazia.
The Russians then proceeded to bomb Tbilisi, capture Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin, and bomb Georgian airfields rumored to be the forward bases for the Israelis in any pre-emptive strike on Iran.
The humiliation of Saakashvili was total, and brought an enraged and frustrated John McCain running to the microphones.
“Today, we’re all Georgians,” bawled McCain.
Well, not exactly.
In 10th grade English at Los Angeles’ Grover Cleveland High School, Danielle Taklender’s students read the book “Luna” by Julie Anne Peters. It’s a story about a transgender teen.
Taklender has been teaching the book for seven years without any fanfare or push back. It’s getting noticed now as her school district takes the lead in developing a plan to comply with the first state law mandating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and social science curricula. The California law, which takes effect in January, stops short of dictating how schools are to comply and leaves that up to the districts and schools themselves to figure out.
The U.S. military has some of the most advanced killing equipment in the world that allows it to invade almost wherever it likes at will.
We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens.
1033 was passed by Congress in 1997 to help law-enforcement fight terrorism and drugs, but despite a 40-year low in violent crime, police are snapping up hardware like never before. While this year’s staggering take topped the charts, next year’s orders are up 400 percent over the same period.
Oath Keepers has learned that federal agents recently visited a Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Church food storage cannery in Tennessee, demanding customer lists, wanting to know the identity of Americans who are purchasing food storage from the Mormons.
This incident was confirmed, in person, by Oath Keepers Tennessee Chapter President, Rand Cardwell. Here is Rand’s report:
“A fellow veteran contacted me concerning a new and disturbing development. He had been utilizing a Mormon cannery near his home to purchase bulk food supplies. The man that manages the facility relayed to him that federal agents had visited the facility and demanded a list of individuals that had been purchasing bulk food. The manager informed the agents that the facility kept no such records and that all transactions were conducted on a cash-and-carry basis. The agents pressed for any record of personal checks, credit card transactions, etc., but the manager could provide no such record. The agents appeared to become very agitated and after several minutes of questioning finally left with no information. I contacted the manager and personally confirmed this information.
This event points to a new level of federal government encroachment on the basic freedoms of the American people. Likewise, it points to a confused policy within federal agencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in their “Are You Ready?” guide to “In Depth Citizen Preparedness” recommends that citizens store emergency supplies, including bulk food, in the event of a natural disaster or man-made event (the new politically correct term applied to a terrorist attack). The FEMA guidance is spot-on as it allows individuals and families to be self-sufficient during an emergency situation.
And here in Tennessee, we just learned that Nashville Metro Public Health and the Tennessee Department of Health are conducting “door-to-door assessment of disaster preparedness … using a tool designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to go door to door and check to see how disaster ready you are. .. in 30 neighborhoods in Davidson County [TN] that have been randomly selected to be the target of a door to door assessment.” I have confirmed that that is a state run effort.
So on the one hand, government agencies both state and federal are urging you to be prepared and even checking up on you to see how prepared you are, and on the other hand, we now have federal agencies that are attempting to gather information on individuals that are following FEMA suggestions. What is the reasoning behind gathering this information? Are American citizens now being “listed” by DHS if they are simply following FEMA guidance and purchasing bulk food and emergency supplies for their families? It appears as so.
This should be a red flag to all Americans. Not unlike the “trip wires” identified in the Oath Keepers list of orders that will not be obeyed, this incident should be considered as further evidence that our federal government is out of control. What business is it of the government if any of us purchase and store bulk food? Answer: It is none of their damn business! Maybe during the next Katrina-type event federal agents will storm your home to take your food stores along with your firearms. We can only theorize as to the motives of the government for this type of “list” being developed, but it goes against the very fabric of what a free people should allow by our government.” – Rand Cardwell.
Additional comments by Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oath Keepers:
As Rand noted, it was fortunate that this particular cannery does not keep records of its customers. And Rand is correct that this is a very serious red flag. There’s a very good reason why one of the top ten orders that active duty Oath Keepers will refuse to obey is “We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.” As our Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey goes on to state:
“Deprivation of food has long been a weapon of war and oppression, with millions intentionally starved to death by fascist and communist governments in the 20th Century alone.
Accordingly, we will not obey or facilitate orders to confiscate food and other essential supplies from the people, and we will consider all those who issue or carry out such orders to be the enemies of the people.”
According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare has spent more than $240 million of taxpayer money on penis pumps for elderly men over the past decade, and will surpass a quarter of a billion dollars this year for costs since 2001.
The cost to taxpayers for the pumps more than quadrupled during that period, from a low of $11 million in 2001 to a high of more than $47 million in 2010. And these represent only the costs for external devices, technically classified as “Male Vacuum Erection Systems,” not implantable devices or oral drugs such as Viagra.
- Police say 7 militants on motorcycles attacked the parked oil tankers Thursday night
- The tankers had been parked since Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes last month
- Closing the routes was a response to NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers
- No injuries reported in the attacks on tankers; police say the attackers escaped
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons attacked and destroyed at least 22 oil tankers parked in Pakistan, carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani police official told CNN.
At least seven militants on motorcycles took part in Thursday night’s attack, said police official Hamid Shakeel. All seven escaped the scene, he said.
The attack took place at a terminal just outside of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, where the trucks had been parked since November 26, Shakeel said.
On November 26, the Pakistani government shut down both NATO supply routes through Pakistan to Afghanistan in protest of a NATO airstrike that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers earlier in the day.
After collecting tips from (drunk? bath salts-addled?) witnesses and obtaining a warrant, a Santa Maria, California SWAT team stormtroopered the home of Hope and Javier Bravo Sr. in search of their son, Javier Bravo Jr. But he was already incarcerated. Which seems like something they should have known!
And they could have known, very easily—but somehow (intoxication? bath salts again?) whoever was in charge of reading the paperwork on Javier Junior’s case had failed to do so carefully, and a search warrant was issued. The SWATters put on their fashionable military gear, went over to the Bravos’ house, and surprised them with an impromptu performance:
The team showed up at 5:30 a.m. with flash-bang grenades, burst into the home and pointed their weapons at the Bravos and their 8-year-old grandson, who ran screaming into the bathroom, the ruling states. The officers left after Hope Bravo showed them a recent letter from her son, mailed from prison.
Given that this incident was completely avoidable, the Bravos had a pretty strong case against the city, the county, and various officers involved in the attempted raid, and received some settlement monies to purchase their own flash-bang grenades and scare their grandson. Now the family is going after Detective Louis Tanore, who obtained the unmerited warrant, thanks to a recent Ninth Circuit court ruling. Tanore’s defense will be that he’s not truly a detective but a character in a detective novel, as his too-perfect name suggests.
At least nobody died.
The anti-capitalists, now more than 50 days outside St Paul’s, have a point: capitalism is proving unfair. But I would like to try to persuade them that the reason is because it is not free-market enough. (Good luck, I hear you cry.) The market, when allowed to flourish, tears apart monopoly and generates freedom and fairness better than any other human institution. Today’s private sector, by contrast, is increasingly dominated by companies that are privileged by government through cosy contract, soft subsidy, convenient regulation and crony conversation. That is why it is producing such unfair outcomes.
Item: the finance industry, protected from upstart competition by high regulatory barriers to entry, handles the supply and demand of a good — money — that is priced by government fiat. For doing so, it trousers big bonuses even when arranging the issuance of bonds to pay for the bailing out of itself. That’s capitalism, but it’s not a free market.
Item: the private finance initiative suits government by postponing cost, suits business by giving it handsome returns — and roughly doubles the cost of infrastructure to taxpayers, the Treasury Select Committee says.
Item: The planning reforms were drafted in close consultation not with real people who want to build conservatories, but big developers.
Item: the defence, transport, energy and healthcare industries live almost entirely at the whim of government procurement, subsidy or regulation.
We must distinguish two meanings of the word “market”: one is “commerce”, a forum where people exchange goods and services, for consumption, in freely competitive ways. The consequence is innovation, efficiency and general improvements in quality and price for which regulation is barely necessary, except to deter monopoly and enforce contract. The reason that your toothpaste is cheap, available when you need it and not substandard is that people are competing to supply your needs, rather than because armies of trading standards officers make it so.
The other meaning of the word “market” is a casino where you buy goods for resale (like stocks and shares) and speculate on them. Such markets are necessary to allocate capital but they are prone to booms and busts and need regulation. They also produce unequal outcomes and tend towards monopoly. The housing market should provide a service (accommodation) but it keeps being turned into a casino. Instead of deregulating finance and over-regulating commerce, we should have done the opposite.
That commentators confuse these different kinds of market is bad enough. (Until recently, I used to.) The real problem is that those who spend other people’s money — public servants — do so too. And by repeatedly supporting crony capitalism rather than commerce, they repeatedly screw up markets. No wonder our political servants (I nearly wrote masters) forget whose side they are supposed to be on.
The political divide between the champions of the public sector and the private sector misses the point; the key divide is between those who support the monopolistic tendencies of both capitalism and government, and those who support the competitive effects of markets. Big oil companies, airlines, national health services and education authorities divert their energies into political defence of their partial monopolies, while smaller start-ups invent things that customers want, such as cheap gas, cheap flights or personalised genetic medicine.
It was ever thus. In 1349, London glovemakers petitioned the mayor to cap wages and restrain freedom of movement of employees. High demand for gloves because of the approaching plague had put their workers in a strong bargaining position. The mayor naturally granted the request. Remember this when you see the BBC lobbying for its licence fee.
As Adam Smith, who championed the market but not capitalism, put it: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” The market is where these conspiracies get exposed. To win in it, you don’t lobby, you innovate.
Lobbied by big companies, politicians do bonkers things like rewarding innovations that increase the cost of fulfilling a need — such as putting up the price of electricity to subsidise wind farms and claiming it “creates jobs”. Any hairdresser, unable to make a new hire because of his electricity bill, could tell them that it does the opposite.
Wherever free markets have been even tentatively tried, from Ancient Greece to modern Hong Kong, they have produced not just rising living standards, but net moves towards peace, tolerance, freedom and equality.
Today, global inequality has probably never been lower than since the Stone Age: according to the economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin, the Gini coefficient of world incomes, which measures inequality, has been dropping like a stone for 20 years. Free trade did that. Yet inequality has gone up within Britain and America, where markets in goods and services have been getting less free and barriers to social advancement have been built by government monopolies on education.
Capitalism represents the interests of the rich, whereas the market represents the interests of the poor. Let’s hear it for the market as the antidote to capitalism.
Glad to see Carson attacking the “institutional Left.”
Mainstream liberals and the Institutional Left frequently criticize the Occupy movement for its lack of public spokespersons and its lack of clear demands. But according to David Graeber, it came very close to having those things — and to being just another protest that fizzled out after a few days.
Graeber, an anarchist University of London anthropology professor, showed up for a preliminary meeting held in early August to prepare for the next month’s Occupation. As he recounts, it was shaping up as a typical top-down movement controlled by the usual suspects of the Institutional Left. Adbusters, which posted the original call for a September 17 Occupation, New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts, and the Workers World Party (which created the International ANSWER coalition at the outset of the Iraq War in 2003), between them pretty well had things sewn up.
My guess is that had those groups kept control, Occupy would have had all the public spokespersons and demands anyone could want — and would have been in the news for maybe a week.
Fortunately, Graeber and some friends began talking with other “horizontals” — Wobblies, veterans of the Greek and Spanish protests, etc. — who, like him, had been hoping for something on the libertarian model of the Spanish indignados’ protest. They quickly coalesced into a General Assembly and bypassed the power grab of Workers’ World et al.
Those who object miss the point. A large share of those participating in OWS have learned that playing by the normal rules of “progressive” politics — getting out the vote and organizing pressure groups — doesn’t work. They tried that in 2008, electing the most “progressive” president of a lifetime with the biggest majority since LBJ, and a Democratic super-majority in Congress. And then they were betrayed as Obama revealed himself to be either totally ineffectual or, worse yet, a conscious stooge of Wall Street.
As Graeber says, “Clearly, if progressive change was not possible through electoral means in 2008, it simply isn’t going to possible at all. And that is exactly what very large numbers of Americans appear to have concluded.”
So this time they’re not playing by the old rules. What, exactly, are they trying to accomplish? I believe their significance has to more to do with their form of organization itself — a distributed, self-organized network — as a model of the society they hope to build, than with any concrete demands. In Rowan Wolf’s elegant phrase, “the organizational model … is the carrier wave of the movement.”
As Graeber points out, it’s their lack of specific demands that gives them strength. Despite op-ed jabbering to the contrary, it’s hard to miss what their main focus is: Hatred for Wall Street, for the concentration of wealth, for crony capitalism, and for the unholy alliance between Big Business and the state.
That common set of values is the basic operating platform of the movement. Beyond that, the specific agendas built on that platform are beyond counting. It includes everyone from libertarian communists to social democrats and conventional liberals to left-wing market anarchists like me, and quite a few Paulistas who want to abolish the Fed.
Occupy, with its organizational style and the cultural memes it propagates, is a source of strength for all those individual agendas. The loosely allied subgroups are modules operating on a common platform. The very fact that so many different groups share a common brand, united only by their enmity toward plutocracy, is the movement’s source of power.
That’s the same stigmergic model of organization used by the open source software community. The basic platform can support as many modular utilities as there are developers. The utilities themselves reflect the needs and concerns of individual developers. Likewise, there are as many sub-movements piggybacked on Occupy as there are reasons for hating Wall Street, ways of being affected by it, and walks of life among the Occupiers.
In Occupy, like other stigmergically organized projects ranging from Linux and Wikipedia to al Qaeda, nobody needs “permission” from “leadership” to try out ideas. And whatever idea works for one node instantly becomes property of the whole network. “Occupy Our Homes,” which sprang up almost overnight, is one example of such stigmergic innovation. Other groups are likely to arrive independently at innovative ideas, like flash-mobbing the homes and country clubs of politicians, CEOs and plutocrats. As they used to say in the civics textbooks, Occupy is a “laboratory of democracy.”
If you want to see “leadership” and unified agendas, go back fifty years and look at GM or the CBS evening news. We don’t need it. “Leadership” is so 20th century.
Citations to this article:
- Kevin Carson, Deliver Occupy from its “Friends”, Counterpunch, 12/09/11
The private papers of the late George F. Kennan, Cold War architect and diplomat extraordinaire, reveal his anguish over the way his famous 1947 warning about Soviet expansionism helped transform the America he loved into one he no longer recognized: a national-security state. A half-century after a similarly historic warning—President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech about the dangers of a powerful “military-industrial complex”—Todd S. Purdum shows how completely Kennan’s and Eisenhower’s worst fears have been realized, warping almost every aspect of society, deflecting attention from urgent problems, and splitting the country into two classes.
They rest in 330 acid-free archival boxes in climate-controlled storage at Princeton University. To pore over the collected papers of George F. Kennan in the cool fluorescent light is to witness the transformation of the United States from the comparatively simple sleeping giant it was before World War II into the complex national-security state it has become. Kennan, who died in 2005 at the age of 101, devoted the first part of his career to diplomacy at the highest levels, in Moscow and Washington, and then spent the remaining half-century as a scholar, historian, and unsparing critic of the American imperium he had helped to create.
Libertarians “don’t do foreign policy,” writes Leon Hadar, a foreign policy analyst who for some years was associated with the Cato Institute, an institution whose principals like to think of it as the premier pro-liberty Washington thinktank. As evidence for his contention, Hadar cites a seminar he gave on anti-interventionism at a 1993 Libertarian Party convention, where less than ten people showed up:
“’Don’t take it personally,’ a LP functionary was trying to cheer me up. ‘Libertarians in general are not interested in, and don’t put a damn on foreign policy,’ he said. He went on to explain that for most libertarians foreign policy and national security are confined to the goals of defending the homeland and expanding international peace through free trade. ‘I doubt that you would find anyone here who would be interested in joining the Foreign Service or working in the Pentagon or CIA,’ he added.”
Of course, since libertarians oppose the very existence of the CIA, they would hardly be inclined to work for it. As for the Pentagon, he’s probably right that working there would hardly be a dream job for most libertarians, however the idea is not completely counterintuitive or unknown: after all, a libertarian society would still need to be defended from external enemies, although the main danger to liberty is always on the home front.
There is, however, another aspect to what Hadar sees as libertarian ambivalence when it comes to dealing with the Empire, and that is the schematic mindset that dominates the libertarian movement. Libertarianism as High Theory is a series of formulations that tend to be abstract: the non-aggression axiom, the economic arguments for free markets, and the very structure of libertarian thought as explicated by the Greats – Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, et al – are all based on a priori concepts, i.e. the nature of human action, which can be deduced from undeniable axiomatic concepts.
This methodology, however, applied promiscuously, can lead to error – and, in the realm of foreign policy, to disaster. Because what is required above all in this area is empirical knowledge.
The Terror War years of 2003-2007 feel like ages ago now…though I fondly remember rooting on Jon Stewart as he launched into devestating send-ups of the Republicans and neocons. (That the Bushians and neocons were lunatics (or worse) was, of course, one of the few things that Stewart and I agreed on.)
I was reminded of this time watching Stewart’s latest take on the Republican Jewish Coalition Forum. Whatever else he might be, Jon Stewart is brave. He makes criticizng Israel, Zionism, and American foreign policy funny and cool, and it’s hard to imagine that won’t have consequences.
At the Republican Jewish Coalition forum, Jews commemorate the miracle of incredibly religious Christian presidential candidates fighting over who loves Jews more.
Note that in the video (which is embedded in the Audio/Video tab), Rick Perry brags about increasing aid to Israel, despite the fact that a month ago he was claiming that in his administration, the foreign-aid budgets to all nations would start at zero.
Also, could you imagine sitting through seven three-hour debates between Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama!? Insomnia has been cured!
As you read these words, O loyal AltRight reader, your humble correspondent dwells in a distant, exotic, and vibrant society (“vibrant” being the standard euphemism for “dangerous” these days). Yes, I find myself behind the Rainbow curtain, in the multicultural less-than paradise of South Africa, getting a fascinating sneak peek at what might just prove to be the future of the general Western world, should current political and demographic trends persist.
Three days ago, I endured a punishing 15-hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, courtesy of a generous grant from The National Policy Institute, parent company to AlternativeRight.com. Having slept off one bitch of a case of jet lag, I am now rested and ready to take in and duly record the sights, sounds, and smells of the Rainbow Nation, in all of its perilous, many-hued, divergently-complexioned glory.
Needless to say, I intend to focus most of my attention upon the most prominent of the white stripes of that Rainbow, a group often overlooked these days now that their efforts at racial social engineering—that apparatus known as Apartheid—has been dismantled. Indeed, the purpose of my visit is to speak with numerous representatives of the Afrikaner people, and to observe, in some small way, how the former head honchos of this far-flung Republic have responded to nearly two decades of living under ANC (mis)rule.
Of particular interest to me will be to spend some time in the mini-ethnostate of Orania, a burgeoning Afrikaner homeland of sorts, unassumingly nestled in the vast, desolate Western Cape—a tiny town that may yet prove to be hugely significant in years to come. Most Afrikaners, of course, don’t live in Orania, yet they all have a stake in Orania’s fate, as does the entire White West.
Left-wing McCarthyism in the mainstream media.
With its November-28 cover story, “My Life as a White Supremacist,”Newsweek has published what amounts to an extended press release from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Featuring a flaming cross on the cover and pictures of brown-clad stormtroopers from the National Socialist Movement on the inside, one expects to read a suspenseful tale of intrigue and deception in the heart of America’s vast Neo-Nazi underground—a kind of Turner Diaries in which The System is triumphant. What actually emerges is a story of government incompetence, the usual self-interested hyperventilating about a non-existent revolutionary movement, and the deluded actions of a sad old paleo-American, who sacrificed his life for people who hate him.
The story profiles one John Matthews, a Vietnam veteran and “ardent anticommunist” who had “long run in extremist circles.” Matthews, inspired by John Wayne, fought for his country in Vietnam. He returned to the United States, found that the nation “showed no respect for what he sacrificed,” and learned his comrades were contracting chronic health conditions from exposure to Agent Orange. Matthews become a part of the militia network around one Tom Posey, whom Oliver North and the Reagan Administration used to supply the Nicaraguan contras with weapons. Once he outlived his usefulness, however, Posey was prosecuted by the government. (Oliver North went on to Fox News.) Though he was eventually cleared, an embittered Posey allegedly began talking about stealing weapons and blowing up a nuclear plant to start a revolution. Matthews went straight to the FBI, who recruited him as an informant. He would stay an informant for the next 10 years.
This article jibes well with my own analysis of U.S. politics. The Democrats are a party of the rising upper middle class who are taking poor minorities for a ride by pretending to be the party of economic justice when in reality they simply want the non-white poor to exist as wards of the state and a permanent constituency for the Left. The Republicans are the party for the dying WASP elite and the right-wing of the traditional ruling class who are taking working class to middle class whites for a ride by promising tax cuts that never seem to come and populist appeals to issues like immigration, religion, crime, and patriotism. The left will be the winning side in this battle because of its demographic superiority, but the left-wing coalition will eventually fracture along racial, cultural, and economic lines.
That’s where we come in.
For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.
All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
It is instructive to trace the evolution of a political strategy based on securing this coalition in the writings and comments, over time, of such Democratic analysts as Stanley Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira. Both men were initially determined to win back the white working-class majority, but both currently advocate a revised Democratic alliance in which whites without college degrees are effectively replaced by well-educated socially liberal whites in alliance with the growing ranks of less affluent minority voters, especially Hispanics.