The End of Zionism Reply

Article by Andrew Hamilton.

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Zionism’s days are numbered. The probability of its ultimate demise seems high, though the timing is unpredictable.

Zionism was the project to create a homeland for the Jewish ethnic group by having world Jewry and what were then (c. WW I) still arguably Western elites steal the land of Palestine and ethnically cleanse it of non-Jews. In 1880, Arab Palestinians constituted about 95 percent of the population.

Zionism was a racial, not a religious enterprise. It did not emerge until Jewish life had become secularized to some extent. Secularization began in the 18th century with the Haskalah (Hebrew, “enlightenment”) movement inspired by the European Enlightenment and initiated by German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn.

The Haskalah marked the beginning of a move away from traditional religious orthodoxy and its replacement by Jewish national feeling as a unifying force.

Later, German Jewish socialist Moses Hess, the prophet of Communism and Zionism and friend of Karl Marx, urged in Rome and Jerusalem (1862) the founding of a Jewish state in Arab Palestine.

In 1897, Hungarian Jew Theodor Herzl, author of The Jewish State (1896), founded the World Zionist Organization to solve Europe’s Jewish problem. Thereafter, Jewish immigration, land purchase, and claims to Palestine increased.

No one gave serious thought to the question of whether all the world’s Jews would reside in Palestine, or only those who chose to or could be compelled to do so.

The upshot was that only a fraction of the world’s Jews ever made Israel their home. The US, not Israel, became the “headquarters” of world Jewry. Jews dominated the governments and societies of post-WW II Europe as well.

There was never a realistic prospect that Israel could become the home of all Jews.

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Cop car of the future – more eyes and ears Reply

From CNN Money.

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Hi-tech pursuit

These days, even small town police officers have a lot to do besides driving the car, switching on the lights and writing tickets. With so much going on inside a typical police car, an extra pair of hands, a few extra pairs of eyes and an extra brain or two might be helpful.

That’s the pitch behind Motorola Solution’s latest batch of hi-tech police equipment, which they brought to CNNMoney’s New York offices packed inside a Chevrolet Caprice “police car.”

Modern police cars are already capable of a lot more than most civilians are probably aware — like the ability to instantly, and continuously, scan license plates — but Motorola wants to take things further. Basically, this technology can tie police cars together into a sort of giant cop brain that can think fast, remember everything and ask for help before the officer can reach for his radio.

The Modernism of Race 1

Article by Jonson Miller.

The implicit religiosity of this article aside, its seems this writer’s ideas would be more befitting of a genuine anarchism as opposed to racial reductionism and leftist universalism. A welcome contribution.

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Human Biological Diversity (HBD), as a concept, is inimical to the radical traditionalism identified as the core orientation of Alternative Right. The use of HBD does stand as a challenge to the egalitarianism of Liberalism and, more generally, of modernity. However, the abstraction, materialism, and quantification upon which HBD is predicated are in fact more characteristic of Liberalism than of anything called traditionalism. We should not give ourselves over to the scientists’ materialist conceptions of man. We need, instead, an organic conception of man that recognizes the transcendent.

It was in the development of eugenics that we gained a clear crystallization of the “nature versus nurture” conflict, as well as the idea of races as statistical populations that is so important for HBD. And it was the Left that gave us eugenics. It was driven by a Progressive desire for an increasingly powerful state that could intervene to manage populations perceived as troublesome in order to promote the improvement of society. Eugenists believed in the perfectibility of man. But, instead of perfecting individuals through education and the creation of free societies, as was the desire of eighteenth-century proponents of the Enlightenment, eugenists sought to rationally manipulate the very materials of inheritance to produce long-term improvements in populations.

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Occupied with conspiracies? The Occupy Movement, Populist Anti-Elitism, and the Conspiracy Theorists Reply

Article by Spencer Sunshine.

Notice how these critics never say a word about the participation of Stalinsts, Maoists, Trots, Castroites, or pro-North Korean groups in these movements. This article even seems to have some favorable words for the Popular Front.

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Rightists woo the Occupy Wall Street movement 26

Article by Matthew Lyons.

This is a howler. This reads like some of kind fundamentalist cleric or theologian who wishes to purge all of the impure or heretical tendencies from the faith and insure that all of the believers remain unblemished in their allegiance and adherence to the catechism.

Really, Matthew is too smart for this kind of silliness. Abstract philosophical or theoretical differences aside, the only practical dispute he raises with my outlook is that I don’t make the universalization of “cultural ultra-leftism” or whatever it might be called into a primary issue, as if that’s all that matters.

It’s also interesting that he never offers any precise definition of what “oppression” actually involves, in spite of his frequent invocation of the concept, nor does he ever lay out any criteria as to what should get on the laundry list of “oppression” and what shouldn’t. What ever problems libertarians may have, they at least have a coherent ideology. Lyons’ variety of leftism just seems to be completely reactive in nature. This lack of any kind of vision is why the Left has sunk to its present level.

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Most right-wing responses to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement have ranged from patronizing to hostile. Rightists have variously criticized the Occupy forces for–supposedly–copying the Tea Party; failing to target big government; being dirty, lazy lawbreakersbeing orchestrated by pro-Obama union bosses and community organizers; having ties with radical Islamists; fomenting antisemitism; or failing to address Jewish dominance of Wall Street. (On the Jewish Question, the John Birch Society wants to have it both ways–arguing that antisemitic attacks are integral to the Occupy movement’s leftist ideology, but also that the movement is bankrolled by Jewish financier George Soros, who is backed by “the unimaginably vast Rothschild banking empire.”)

At the same time, some right-wingers have joined or endorsed Occupy events, causing some leftists and liberals to raise warning flags.Neonazis have shown up at Occupy Phoenix and been kicked out of Occupy Seattle, where leftists formed an antifascist working group to keep them out. The Liberty Lamp, an anti-racist website, has identified a number of right-wing groups that have sought to “capitalize on the success” of OWS, including several neonazi organizations, Oath Keepers (a Patriot movement group for police and military personnel), libertarian supporters of Texas congressmember Ron Paul, and even the neoconservative American Spectator magazine. Lenny Zeskind’s Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has warned against Tea Party supporters “who want to be friends with the Occupiers,” including FedUpUSA, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, and conspiracist talk show host Alex Jones. The International Socialist Organization has focused on Ron Paul libertarians as a particular threat to the Occupy movement. In a related vein, the socialist journal Links reposteda detailed expose of Zeitgeist (aka the Venus Project), a conspiracist cult that has been involved in Occupy movement events, many of whose ideas are rooted in antisemitism or other right-wing ideology.

There is always a danger that some rightists will come to Occupy movement events to harass or attack leftists, or act as spies or provocateurs. More commonly, rightists see the movement as an opportunity to gain credibility, win new recruits, or build coalitions with leftists. When pitching to left-leaning activists, these right-wingers emphasize their opposition to the U.S. economic and political establishment–but downplay their own oppressive politics. In place of systemic critiques of power, rightists promote distorted forms of anti-elitism, such as conspiracy theories or the belief that government is the root of economic tyranny. We’ve seen this “Right Woos Left” dynamic over and over, for example in the anti-war, environmental, and anti-globalization movements.

Neo-fascists against financial elites

Rightists who support the Occupy movement aim to redefine and redirect Occupiers’ discontent. Hoosier Nation (Indiana chapter of American Third Position) pledged to join Occupy Indianapolis as a “popular uprising against the financial elites” but criticized the rally organizers’ call for human unity as “muddled thinking”: “Not to quibble, but our races, religions, and identities do matter. Our identities aren’t the problem, they’re the solution…. The notion that we don’t exist as families and nations but rather as autonomous individuals is a fiction perpetuated by our financial elites to topple the barriers standing in the way of exploiting us.”

A cruder style of rhetoric comes from Rocky Suhayda’s American Nazi Party, which champions the “White working class” against “this evil corrupt, decadent JUDEO-CAPITALIST SYSTEM.” The ANP praised the Occupy movement as “a breath of cleansing air” and urged its supporters to get involved. “Produce some flyers EXPLAINING the ‘JEW BANKER’ influence–DON’T wear anything marking you as an ‘evil racist’–and GET OUT THERE and SPREAD the WORD!” (Another fascist grouplet, the National Socialist American Labor Party, immediatelyrepudiated the ANP’s stance and denounced Occupy Wall Street as a Jewish Communist movement.)

The Lyndon LaRouche network, which offers a more esoteric version of fascist politics, has a long history of attaching itself to popular movements–as well as violence, spying, and dirty tricks against political opponents. LaRouchites have always denounced finance capital as one of the world’s main evils, so it is no surprise that they have joined Occupy events in several cities. True to their current attempt to package themselves as Franklin Roosevelt liberals, the LaRouchites are pushing for reinstatement of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act’s wall between investment banking and commercial banking, which was repealed in 1999. The LaRouchites take credit for supposedly making Glass-Steagall reinstatement “a leading demand” of the Occupy movement.

Attack the System’s “Message to Occupy Wall Street”

A more sophisticated rightist overture to the Occupy movement comes from Keith Preston’s Attack the System (ATS) network. Two ATS associate editors, RJ Jacob and Miles Joyner, have produced a YouTube video titled “Message to Occupy Wall Street: Power to the Neighborhoods.” The 13-minute video is explicitly “tailored to the mainstream left” and contains many elements designed to appeal to leftists. Jacob and Joyner call for OWS to develop into a revolutionary insurgency against the American Empire and highlight their opposition to U.S. military aggression, state repression, global capitalist institutions, corporate welfare, gentrification, and other standard leftist targets. They also advocate a strategy of “pan-secessionism” to help bring about “a system of decentralized cities, towns and neighborhoods where all colors, genders, and political groups can achieve self-determination.”

What Jacob and Joyner’s video doesn’t tell us is that their organization’s vision of revolution would not dismantle oppression but simply decentralize it. ATS founder and leader Keith Preston believes that most people are herd-like “sheep” who will inevitably be dominated by a few power hungry “wolves.” Although Preston calls himself an anarchist, he has no problem with authoritarianism on a small scale and has made it a priority to “collaborate with racialists and theocrats” against the left. White nationalists and Christian rightists are major players in the pan-secessionist movement that ATS and the Jacob/Joyner video promote. (For details on Preston and ATS, see my article “Rising Above the Herd.”)

ATS elitism is reflected in “Message to Occupy Wall Street.” In explaining what’s needed to move toward revolution, the video puts a big emphasis on the development of “an intellectual and philosophical counter-elite.” It is this counter-elite that develops revolutionary ideas, which then “trickle down into the ranks of the masses.” No hint that “the masses” might develop a few ideas of their own.

“Message” also calls for a revolutionary movement that transcends left/right divisions. This is a standard theme for ATS (and many other far rightists), but the approach to it here is different from what I have seen in Preston’s work. Jacob and Joyner argue that “counter-elites” on both the left and the right have contributed to developing a revolutionary movement–but in very different ways. The leftist counter-elites “have served as leaders of systems disruption, networked resistance, informational warfare, communications, and public intelligence.” Meanwhile, “it is the counter-elites of the right who are developing an entirely new political paradigm in opposition to the state ideologies of the system.” In other words, leftists are good at developing the technologies of revolution, but rightists are the ones with the actual vision for society.

Jacob and Joyner’s list of important rightist counter-elites includes anarcho-capitalist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, paleoconservative Paul Gottfried, European New Rightist Alain de Benoist, and the ever-popular Ron Paul, among others. Their list of “leftists” who have influenced the Occupy movement is heavily weighted toward the technology/info-guerrilla side, with figures such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, digital currency developer Satoshi Nakamoto, the Chaos Computer Club, and the hacker network Anonymous. The list also includes Ralph Nader and Kirkpatrick Sale, who among liberals have been two of the leading practitioners of left-right collaboration–Salethrough the pan-secessionist movement, and Nader through the anti-globalization movement.

John Robb, open-source technocrat

The counter-elite figure who gets the most coverage in “Message” is John Robb, who runs the Global Guerrillas website, and he deserves attention here because of his murky politics and his interest in OWS. Robb is a former U.S. counter-terrorism mission commander turned independent military theorist and technology analyst. He has written about the rise of “open-source warfare“–characterized by decentralized networks of terrorists, criminals, and other non-state actors acting with a high degree of innovation and flexibility–and the hollowing out of traditional nation-states. In response to these and other trends–including economic and environmental crises–Robb promotes the development of “resilient communities,” which are autonomous and largely self-sufficient in terms of energy, food, security, and other basic needs. Robb has praised the Occupy Wall Street movement as a pioneering example of “open-source protest” that is “constructing the outlines of resilient communities in the heart of many of our most dense urban areas.”

Jacob and Joyner’s video characterizes Robb as a leftist, and indeed many of his ideas, such as his belief that both capitalism and the nation state are breaking down and his emphasis on decentralized solutions, sound radical. But while I don’t claim to fully understand where Robb is coming from, I am deeply wary. Robb himself avoids political labels, and Thomas Barnett has characterized him as “a serious technocrat who distrusts politics.” According to his online bio, Robb has consulted extensively for government agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and Defense Department. And his anti-establishment friends seem to be found mainly on the right. For example, he has archived the former blog of fellow military theorist William Lind and features it prominently on the Global Guerrillas home page. Lind, whose theory of “fourth generation war” has a lot in common with Robb’s ideas, is a hardline traditionalist conservative who spent many years at Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation.

Robb’s writings are often reposted on right-wing websites such as AlternativeRight.com, The Occidental Quarterly, Occidental Dissent, and Attack the System. As far as I know, he has never tried to dissociate himself from these organs. Intentionally or unintentionally, his own work often resonates with rightist themes without invoking them directly, as when he writes about “the decline of the West” (echoing Oswald Spengler) or the virtues of building a “tribe” (echoing national-anarchists, among others). John Robb’s relationship with the right merits more in-depth study, but he is no leftist.

So far, the effect of right-wing groups on the Occupy Wall Street movement has been limited. Yet the lack of clear anti-capitalist and anti-fascist analysis in much of the movement opens the door for rightists to spread radical-sounding propaganda rooted in oppressive politics. It is important for us to understand and expose this danger, in the Occupy movement and others that may follow.

The Impact of OWS on Foreign Policy 1

Article by Stuart Bramhall.

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The American political landscape is undergoing rapid change. A book I published seven weeks ago on political change (Revolutionary Change: An Expatriate View) is already out of date, and I’m hard at work on a second edition. No one dared hope that the simple anti-greed message of five hundred demonstrators camped out in a Wall Street park could instantly overcome decades of political apathy in the US. Moreover there are already small signs that #OccupyWallStreet is impacting US foreign policy.

The first major accomplishment of the antiglobalization movement was in empowering the third world WTO delegates who attended the 1999 Seattle Ministerial to refuse, for the first time, to submit to major concessions the US was trying to ram down their throats. There is already evidence – from Iraq, Palestine, and Pakistan – that OWS is having similar repercussions in the Middle East. This can be seen both in new boldness on the part of Iraq and Pakistan, and a major concessionary move on the part of the US and Israel.

The Iraqi Parliament Pushes Back

In October the mainstream media widely reported that Obama will withdraw all US troops from Iraq by the end of December. Only a few outlets reported the back story – that both the Pentagon and State Department have been pushing for 10,000 US troops to remain past the December withdrawal deadline. The response, in early October, by the Iraqi government and all opposition parties was unanimous: a decision in the Iraqi parliament to withdraw legal immunity (for war crimes) for any US troops who remained after December 2011. This left Obama no choice but to withdraw them. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/iraq-pm-immunity-issue-scuttled-us-troop-deal/2011/10/22/gIQAX6k26L_video.html).

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Can the Occupy Movement Fail Forward? Reply

Article by Thomas Knapp.

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The New Republic‘s Michael Kazin detects the influence of a “throwback” ideology — anarchism — on the Occupy movement. He’s right, of course: We’re there. And refreshingly, Kazin doesn’t just arrogantly write our influence off as a bad thing.

“[T]here is something both bracing and even rational about the anarchist revival. …” Kazin writes. “Anti-authoritarianism can be a useful corrective to authorities who have lost the confidence of the citizenry, if not their legitimacy to rule.”

It’s nice to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, Kazin misses the point. He’s not alone.

Love it or hate it, virtually every observer of the Occupy movement puts a “throwback” spin on things, usually referring to America’s social and political convulsions of the late 1960s (the latest conservative mantras invariably reference “those smelly hippies”) or to the 2009-2010 “Tea Party” movement. Those comparisons aren’t wholly without merit, but they fail to capture the essentials.

As a mostly unknown ideal, anarchism doesn’t fit into the old boxes. As it always has, anarchism represents the way forward to a society unencumbered by political government and the class warfare which inevitably accompanies it. If the Occupiers hope to accomplish anything worthwhile, they must likewise reject conformity to past patterns. Even if the movement fails, let it “fail forward,” revealing worthwhile lessons and creating the template for a mass movement come not to praise Caesar, but to bury him.

If we seek “throwback ideologies,” we need look no further than Occupy’s opponents — the Westphalian nation-states and their symbiotic corporate partners, responsible for the enslavement of billions and the murder of hundreds of millions in the last century alone.

“The confidence of the citizenry” be damned — their claim of “legitimacy to rule” is balderdash. They’ve had their day in the sun and then some, and at its best the Occupiers represent a force which loosens their grip on power. Which, of course, explains why the statist right is so eager to dismiss them and the statist left so intent on co-opting them.

I count myself among the movement’s most pessimistic supporters. The odds were long to begin with. They grow longer as the days get shorter and colder (autumn is a bad time to launch an “American Spring”), as the establishment and the political class marshal their astroturf and co-option efforts, as ideological fault-lines and just plain human nature (e.g. the Occupy Wall Street “women’s tents” to protect female occupiers from the preying element) begin to emerge, and as the media just plain gets bored with the whole thing and decides to move on to the next sensation.

If, as I expect, the Occupy movement drifts gently away into the good night of “old news,” dispersing dandelion-like on multiple winds, its most valuable and enduring legacy will be those who go into it believing that the existing system can and should be “reformed” and saved, but come out holding aloft the black flag on which nothing is written.

Sweatshops, Exploitation, and Neglect 1

Article by Matt Zwolinski.

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Ari Kohen responds to my recent post on sweatshops with a few lingering concerns.  Among other things, he raises important questions about whether the evils of sweatshop labor can be compensated for by increased charitable giving, and about whether we shouldn’t recognize that American companies have (the same?) obligations toward foreign workers that they do to domestic ones.

These questions are worthwhile, and I have some thoughts about how I might respond to them.  But in order to keep things manageable, I want to focus in this post on just one issue: whether sweatshops who hire workers in the developing world are morally worse than other companies that don’t.  Consider these two cases:

Domestic Labor: US-based Company A wants to maximize its profit, and will do whatever is necessary (within the law) to do so.  After surveying its various options, it decides that it can achieve greater profit by hiring domestic workers than by outsourcing its production to a sweatshop overseas.  The US workers it hires, who are already wealthy by global standards, are made slightly better off (relative to their next best alternative employment opportunities).

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Praise for Market Anarchism from Italy Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

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Domenico Letizia of biblioteca dell’egoista had some nice things about Larry Gambone, market anarchism and me in an article entitled “le Cooperative e la cultura americana.”  He earlier mentioned Roderick long, free market anticapitalism, and me in an article at Anarchismo Liberale.

When I contacted him by email, Domenico had further positive comments about C4SS. He mentioned the persistence of a cooperative tradition in his country (most C4SS readers, I assume, are somewhat familiar with the Emilia-Romagna economic model by now), and suggested I post links to the Italian articles, in hopes that it would “spark a discussion of the spread of anti-statism in Italy.”  May it be so!

Greetings to our newfound comrades in Italy.

Secession in Italy? Reply

Article by Pat Buchanan.

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(Editor’s Note: Northern Italy wants to secede from the rest of Italy. Quebec wants to secede from the rest of Canada. Germany is making noises about leaving the European Union. Texas wants to be independent again. It seems that it’s the producers that want to shed the parasites. Ayn Rand featured this phenomenon in “Atlas Shrugged.” Galt’s Gulch is a powerful draw for lovers of individual liberty and property rights.)

Will popular democracy bring down the New World Order?

A fair question. For Western peoples are growing increasingly reluctant to accept the sacrifices that the elites are imposing upon them to preserve that New World Order.

Political support for TARP, to rescue the financial system after the Lehman Brothers collapse, is being held against any Republican candidate who backed it. Germans and Northern Europeans are balking at any more bailouts of Club Med deadbeats.

Eighty-one members of David Cameron’s party voted against him to demand a referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union altogether, the worst Tory revolt ever against the EU.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou imperiled the grand bargain to save the eurozone by announcing a popular vote on whether to accept the austerity imposed on Greece, or default, and let the bank dominoes begin to fall. The threat faded only when Papandreou cancelled the referendum.

But the real peril is Italy, No. 3 economy in the eurozone, with a national debt at 120 percent of gross domestic product.

After the plan to save the eurozone was announced, interest rates on new Italian debt surged above 6 percent, with 6.5 regarded as unsustainable.

When Papandreou announced his referendum, the cost of Italian debt surged again. Should buyers of Italy’s debt go on strike, fearing a Rome default or write-down, that is the end of the eurozone and potentially the end of the EU.

But an even larger question hangs over Rome.

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Have We Raised An Entire Generation Of Young Men That Do Not Know How To Be Men? 2

From The American Dream.

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Have we completely and totally failed an entire generation of young men?  Have we failed to equip them with the tools that they need?  Have we raised an entire generation of young men that do not know how to be men?  Today, young adult men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young adult women are, and young adult men are much less likely to go to college than young adult women are.  Now I want to make something perfectly clear before we proceed.  The point of this article is not to slam women or drag them down.  Not at all.  Rather, the goal of this article is to point out that we have a real problem with our young men and that they are lagging way behind.  Vast numbers of them don’t want to go to college, don’t want to pursue careers, don’t want to get married and don’t want to take on any serious responsibilities.  Of course there are always exceptions.  In fact, there are some young men out there that are absolutely outstanding.  However, what this article is trying to say is that the overall trends all point to the fact that our system has raised up a crop of young men that are generally weak, directionless, wimpified and unwilling to take responsibility.  This is not a good thing.

What comes to your mind when you think of men under the age of 30 in America today?  Does an image of an irresponsible, sex crazed, beer swilling slacker come to mind?

Unfortunately, that stereotype is way too true.  We have failed our young men.  We did not teach them how to be men.  Yes, as I noted earlier, there are definitely exceptions to this, but in general we have a real problem on our hands.

Let take a look at some of the hard numbers.

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Why Secession is the only solution for Liberty 1

Article by Russell Longcore.

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I have a fellow traveler on the Liberty Road named Kerodin. He blogs very thoughtfully at Memento Mori and Three Percent Patriots. Recently he wrote about secession and Balkanization and that got my attention.

What is a “Three Percent Patriot”?

(from Sipsey Street Irregulars)

”During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King’s tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.

Three Percenters today do not claim that we represent 3% of the American people, although we might. That theory has not yet been tested. We DO claim that we represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority. So too are the current enemies of the Founders’ Republic. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.

The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any further circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given Unalienable Rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders’ Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.

 

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Carl Schmitt and the Nomos of the Earth 1

This is the full text of my lecture to the H. L. Mencken Club on November 5 in Baltimore.

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Carl Schmitt was without question one of the most important political philosophers and legal theorists of the 20th century. During his extraordinarily long life, Schmitt wrote on public affairs over a period of about 70 years. He began writing during the period before WWI , and went on to observe the events of the First World War, the interwar period, WW2, the postwar and Cold War eras, and he eventually died the same year that Mikhail Gorbachev became the last Soviet head of state. It was through the process of observing the unfolding of all of these events, that Schmitt developed his very comprehensive system of thought.

 

Given the length of Schmitt’s career as a political writer as well as the scope and depth of his thought, it would of course be impossible to do justice to the ideas of Carl Schmitt in a brief presentation here today. So what I want to focus on primarily are those aspects of Schmitt’s thinking that are most relevant to our current political situation and the questions and issues that many of us are the most concerned with.

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Can the Foreign Policy Establishment Be Defended? Reply

Hell, no.

Article by John Schuessler. 

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November 3, 2011

The author’s views are his own and do not represent those of the Air War College, the Air Force, or the Department of Defense.

Dan Drezner, one of my mentors while at the University of Chicago, asks an excellent questionon his blog at Foreign Policy: Can the foreign policy establishment be defended? Dan’s core argument is captured in these lines: “There are…many areas where the foreign policy consensus seems unsatisfying at best or catastrophic at worst. That said, it’s far from clear to me that populist foreign policy responses would necessarily be all that much better.” As Dan goes on to explain, if given the choice between a flawed elite consensus and the cacophony of voices that would fill the vacuum “if the foreign policy community was winked out of existence,” better to go with the devil you know.

On the one hand, as someone who writes and talks about international politics for a living, I have a hard time disagreeing. Of course the country is well served by having an establishment that thinks deeply about foreign affairs and provides some discipline to what could be an unruly debate. On the other hand, Dan himself concedes that the foreign policy establishment has made some “Very Big Mistakes” lately, most glaringly the Iraq War. I would side with another mentor, John Mearsheimer, in arguing that these mistakes are by no means accidental: since the end of the Cold War, if not before, the foreign policy establishment has bought into a grand strategy of global dominance that is imperial at its core. It is this grand strategy that has led the United States to fall into a familiar pattern for hegemonic powers: “overconsumption, overextension, and overoptimism,” in the words of Joseph Parent and Paul MacDonald.

To go to Dan’s question, do we have any reason to believe that the United States would adopt a more restrained grand strategy, like the offshore balancing option supported by Mearsheimer, Christopher Layne, Stephen Walt, and other realists, if the public had more of a direct say in the foreign policy process? My hunch is that the answer is “yes,” for two reasons.

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Why Governments Make War Reply

Article by Justin Raimondo.

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Why is the US involved in endless war around the world? Why, for that matter, do nations – or, rather, their governments – act the way they do? The number of answers is no doubt nearly equal to the number of questioners. It’s all about economics, say the Marxists (and the Hamiltonians): imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. No, say the “realists,” it’s all about the objective “interests” of various nations, and the interplay of those “interests” in the international arena. The neoconshave a different explanation: it’s all a matter of “will” and “national purpose,” or a lack of same: imbued with a sense of our “national greatness,” America will spread democracy all over the world – or else go into a shameful decline in which spiritual loss precedes the loss of the war-making spirit.

Yet none of these supposedly overarching theories provides an adequate explanation for how and why we find ourselves in our present predicament. America hasbankrupted itself building a global empire with basesprotectorates, and colonies onevery continent – and yet still we persist in pursuing a policy that is taking us to the brink of the financial abyss. Our social safety net is in serious disrepair, and shows every sign of failing: our banking system is a rickety house of cards, and the nationalhousing crisis – the latest manifestation of the financial bubble – is dragging the middle class down into penury. Yet still we send billions – nay, trillions – overseas to prop up a precarious overseas empire. How is this possible –and why is it happening?

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Tackling Wall Street Criminality Reply

Article by Stuart Bramhall.

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Inside Job

Produced, written and directed by Charles Ferguson (2010)

Film Review

The 2010 film Inside Job should be required viewing for Fox pundits and other media skeptics who still question the rationale behind the #OccupyWallStreet movement. The film lays to rest once and for all the myth that the 2008 economic collapse was merely a “perfect storm” of regulatory failure, greed, conflict of interest and general stupidity. Not only does our current epidemic of unemployment, bankruptcies, foreclosures and homelessness stem from blatant criminality on the part of investment banks and credit rating agencies, but from 2005 on, the IMF warned both the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve that urgent intervention was needed to prevent a major economic meltdown. Yet, as with 9-11, it seems decisions were made at the highest levels of government to let it happen.

A Longstanding Pattern of Criminal Behavior

It’s extremely ironic to watch the violent police attacks on peaceful OWS protestors, when the blatant criminality that caused the current global economic crisis goes unpunished. In addition to explaining the technical intricacies of the derivatives bubble and the regulatory failure (owing to blatant, possibly criminal, conflicts of interests of Federal Reserve and Bush Treasury officials) that was the immediate cause of the 2008 collapse, Inside Job reveals the extensive pattern of pre-2007 Wall Street criminality uncovered and prosecuted by New York attorney general Elliott Spitzer. This includes

  • Successful prosecutions of investment banks for promoting dot com stock they knew was worthless (the main cause of the 2001 dot com crash).
  • Successful prosecutions of all major investment banks for money laundering, linked to drugs and/or arms trafficking, in one case (Credit Suisse) to Iran.
  • Multiple prosecutions for accounting fraud, which included non-wall street companies Fannie Mae and AIG.

Unfortunately Spitzer, who became New York’s governor in 2007, was forced out by his own sex scandal (which may have been a set-up), before anyone got around to prosecuting Wall Street banksters for allowing account executives to bill their $1,500 an hour call girl services as a business expense. Inside Job interviews a Park Avenue prostitute who talks about entertaining account executives from all the major investment banks. She reveals that they provided special letterhead to use for her invoices, which enabled the charges to be disguised as “business development.”

The Systematic Demonization of Honest Regulators

 

The film also shows how officials in the Clinton and Bush administration were systematically demonized when they attempted to regulate the criminal side of derivatives speculation. One example is Brooksley Borne, the Clinton appointee who ran the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). She ran afoul of Bill Clinton in 1998 when she attempted to bring financial derivatives under CFTC regulatory control. Bourne’s most outspoken critics, Senator Graham and Treasury Secretary Larry Summers were subsequently rewarded with lucrative jobs in the financial services industry: Graham with UBS (an international Swiss-owned financial services company) and Summers with the major hedge fund D.E. Shaw.

Making Out Like Bandits

The film outlines how most of the bankers directly responsible for the 2008 collapse – even those who ran the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers – walked away with their fortunes intact. Many remain in their jobs and thanks to taxpayer-funded bailouts, continue to receive multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses. Others have been appointed, by Obama, to run the US Treasury and Federal Reserve.

The film poo-poos the argument that these banks are too big and powerful to be criminal prosecuted. Robert Gnaizda, co-founder of the California-based Greenlining Institute, believes the Justice Department (or the New York attorney general) should begin by going after banks where evidence of criminal is the most blatant – Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Countrywide. Evidence uncovered during formal prosecution is certain to incriminate other investment banks; credit ratings agencies; Clinton, Bush and Obama regulators; and economics professors at Harvard, Columbia and elsewhere who serve as “neutral” federal advisers, despite the millions of dollars of income they rake in from Wall Street interests.

As Inside Job points out, Wall Street prostitutes who charge $1,500 an hour have to keep impeccable records. These could prove invaluable in persuading a few low level banking executives to turn on their superiors.

Narrated by Matt Damon, the film is available from most public libraries. It can also be viewed free at the online site “Stop Foreclosure Fraud” at http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2011/04/03/inside-job-oscar-winning-documentary-now-online-free/

To OWS: Withdraw Consent and Starve the System Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

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In my last column, I argued that the real significance of Occupy Together is not its effectiveness in pressuring the 1%’s state to enact reforms, but rather in showing the 99% our own strength. We’re an entire society in ourselves, the producers, and we don’t need the 1% — it’s they who would starve without us.

Those involved in developing the building blocks of a counter-economy outside the corporate state — the free software movement, the crypto and digital currency movements, the micromanufacturing and permaculture movements — should engage in educational outreach on the possibilities for meeting our own needs without paying tribute to the 1%.

I’d like to expand on that. Dave Pollard of How to Save the World blog has written of “incapacitation — rendering the old order unable to function by sapping what it needs to survive.” (“All About Power and the Three Ways to Topple it,” February 18, 2005). As Matt Taibbi famously described Goldman-Sachs, the corporate system is “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Far more important than anything Occupy Wall Street achieves as a pressure movement, is what it will achieve as an educational movement, teaching people ways to sustain themselves through peaceful production, cooperation, sharing and trade with other producers — all outside the corporate system. Far more important than what the demonstrators brought with them to Zuccotti Park will be what they take back home with them — a toolkit for fighting the system from where they live. Or as I put it in my previous column, “a general strike producing for ourselves.”

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Big Business: Good for America? Reply

Article by David D’Amato.

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Writing at Fareed Zakaria’s GPS blog at CNN.com, the Peterson Institute’s Gary Hufbauer and Martin Vieiro undertake to defend big business as “good for America,” contending that the recent backlash against it is “based on three common misconceptions about major U.S. corporations.”

Hufbauer and Vieiro argue that Americans misunderstand the importance of big business in innovation, that Americans’ ideas about “small places with big ideas” are a bit too sentimental.

Their case, a fairly standard and oft-repeated one among apologists for neoliberalism (i.e., neocolonialism) and corporate globalization, maintains that innovation and technological advancement require huge amalgamations of capital and worldwide scale. As the story goes, big business — ostensibly “better placed to capture economies of scale and scope” — are more capable of efficiently integrating all of the moving parts necessary to compete in the global economy.

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The Drip, The Perv, and Their Dog-and-Pony Show Reply

Article by Becky Akers.

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Let me count the ways I love the English language, with its depth and breadth and height, its “feeling out of sight/For the ends of Being and ideal Grace,” its precision, flexibility and color. But we exhaust even its pejorative riches when describing the cowards, cretins and con-men of the US Senate.

These sociopaths recently convened another farce in their continuing series entitled “TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11: THE NEXT WAVE IN AVIATION SECURITY.” Yes, they are so immature and so contemptuous of us that they not only title but sub-title their silly “hearings.” Among the other volumes in the set were September 13’s “TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11: ARE WE SAFER?” – altogether now: “NO! Thanks to you clowns and your totalitarian war on freedom, we’ve descended into a police-state that murders missionaries disembarking from airline flights andsexually molests little kids” – and “TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11 AND THE ANTHRAX ATTACKS: PROTECTING AGAINST BIOLOGICAL THREATS” on October 18. Alas, the schedule reflects no upcoming “TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11: PROTECTING AGAINST GOVERNMENTAL THREATS.”

 

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Amerika Uber Alles: Our Zionazi Nation Reply

Article by Captain Eric H. May.

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By Captain Eric H. May

 

 

While I always hope to be wrong in my worst-case analysis, my Wednesday article,Nuclear November, is supported by a cascade of alarming indicators that make it certain that Israel is about to prove Europeans right in their opinion that it’s the world’s most dangerous nation. Armed with one of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, they cry out to humanity that they are history’s greatest victims; but more and more of humanity is crying out that they are history’s greatest victimizers.

Recent events support the Judeophobes over the Judeophiles, and warrant the coining of a new word,Judeopathic, to describe the actions of the self-proclaimed Jewish Nation. They either are preparing to start a war with Iran, or are running a bluff to push the West into a stronger anti-Iran position to avert war. Look to Adolf Hitler’s 1936 Rhineland, 1938 Czechoslovakia and 1939 Poland threats for a close parallel. In the first and second cases he was bluffing; in the third he wasn’t. Then as now, informed insiders thought hard about it all, and misinformed masses hardly thought at all.

The coming third world war demands reflection on the second. In my abbreviated but adventurous life, I have enjoyed the friendship and mentoring of U.S. World War Two veterans from both European and Pacific theaters, as well as Russians and Germans from both sides of the front. With Veterans Day, 11/11/11, fast approaching, I dedicate this edition of Amerika Uber Alles, first published by The Lone Star Iconoclast in 2007, to them. I offer it to my readers without updates, believing that what I posted four years ago has stood the test of time.

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America’s Death Pornography Culture: Celebrating brutal deaths of Qaddafi and Saddam Reply

Article by Wayne Madsen.

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The United States government and military revels in death and pornographic intimidation. The videos and photographs of howling Iraqis celebrating the hanging of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein after his U.S.-administered kangaroo court trial in Iraq and the physical abuse, alleged sodomizing, and execution of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi by NATO-armed and directed rebels after his convoy in Sirte was reportedly struck by a U.S. drone-launched missile, exemplify America’s fixation with pornographic death scenes…

The George Walker Bush and Barack Hussein Obama administrations share a fascination for displaying the dead bodies of their vanquished enemies. For Bush, it was the gruesome stone-slabbed corpses of Qusay and Uday Hussein, Saddam’s sons, after they were killed in a firefight with U.S. troops in. That was followed by the body of Sadaam after his hanging in.

Of course, it did not suit President Obama to broadcast a photograph of Osama Bin Laden, allegedly killed while resisting arrest in Abbotabad, Pakistan. In the case of Bin Laden, there is a strong reason to believe that Osama’s body could not be shown because there was no body of Osama. Whether an Osama Bin Laden look-a-like was killed or not may never be known, but what is certain is that the Obama administration’s explanation for ”Osama’s” burial at sea from a U.S. aircraft carrier appears dubious.