The New Anarchists Reply

Thanks to Jeremy for digging up this piece from David Graeber.

As an anthropologist and active participant—particularly in the more radical, direct-action end of the movement—I may be able to clear up some common points of misunderstanding; but the news may not be gratefully received. Much of the hesitation, I suspect, lies in the reluctance of those who have long fancied themselves radicals of some sort to come to terms with the fact that they are really liberals: interested in expanding individual freedoms and pursuing social justice, but not in ways that would seriously challenge the existence of reigning institutions like capital or state. And even many of those who would like to see revolutionary change might not feel entirely happy about having to accept that most of the creative energy for radical politics is now coming from anarchism—a tradition that they have hitherto mostly dismissed—and that taking this movement seriously will necessarily also mean a respectful engagement with it.

Afghanistan: The Last Hurrah of the American Empire Reply

Eric Margolis sums up the situation very well.

For the entire twenty-five years of my political activism and writing, I have considered the defeat of the American empire to be the most pressing political question. Now, it finally seems to be happening. The empire is essentially bankrupt, and is incapable of pacifying the indigenous resistance on the periphery. The post-WW2 alliances that formed the structure of the empire during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods seem to be falling apart as Europe is becoming more assertive of its own interests independently of the U.S. and the BRIC axis is rising as a potent economic force. Perhaps we can refer to this situation as “Noam Chomsky’s Revenge.”

The Health Tyrants Reply

Walter Williams on the latest manifestation of the therapeutic state.

Notice that the proponents of the therapeutic state seem to be the most extreme and deeply entrenched in those regions of the U.S. where the general totalitarian humanist ideology is also the most influential. As totalitarian humanism advances, this kind of thing is likely to spread to other regions and localities and into the federal government with much greater ferocity.

The Revolutionary Dictatorship of Bush and Obama Reply

Paul Craig Roberts provides a concise but comprehensive overview of the authoritarian legal revolution that has transpired under the Bush and Obama regimes.

Last February Cheney said on ABC’s This Week that “I was a big supporter of waterboarding.” US law has always regarded waterboarding as torture. The US government executed WW II Japanese for waterboarding American POWs.  But Cheney has escaped accountability, which means that there is no rule of law.

Vice president Cheney’s office also presided over the outing of a covert CIA agent, a felony. Yet, nothing happened to Cheney, and the underling who took the fall had his sentence commuted by President Bush.

President Obama has made himself complicit in the crimes of his predecessor by refusing to enforce the rule of law. In his criminality, Obama has actually surpassed Bush. Bush is the president of extra-judicial torture, extra-judicial detention, extra-judicial spying and invasions of privacy, but Obama has one-upped Bush.  Obama is the president of extra-judicial murder.

Not only is Obama violating the sovereignty of an American ally, Pakistan, by sending in drones and Special Forces teams to murder Pakistani civilians, but in addition Obama has a list of American citizens whom he intends to murder without arrest, presentation of evidence, trial and conviction.

An additional curiosity is that this system of outright elective dictatorship that consolidated itself in the 2000s fits perfectly with the “seventy year cycle” theory of American history discussed in this article by Steven Yates. Notice that Yates is writing in the year 2000, and predicting a crisis and major political change is on the way. This was just before Bush was elected, before September 11, 2001,  before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, before the beginnings of the terror war and the subsequent legal revolution that Roberts describes.

The PC Assault on the Gingerbread Man 1

The Gingerbread Person?

The good news is that the more ridiculous this PC shit gets, the quicker people will turn against it, and the sooner it will fall. I look for this to be the major political fault line in the future: a rising new elite committed to PC ideology, and a growing class of the economically declining against whom PC is used as a weapon of political, economic, and social control.

The Tea Parties Will Not Turn Antiwar Reply

Good stuff on the neocon nature of the Tea Partiers from my friend Jack Ross at the American Conservative.

But even he seems to take a misguidedly benighted view of the tea parties, as implied by the notion that they have been merely co-opted by the neocons.  I would argue, to the contrary, that the Tea Party movement is in fact fundamentally neocon in its first principles.

What else needs to be said about the Tea Party?

Harlem Minister Says Boycott Gentrication 5

This article is a couple of years old, but this guy is on the right track. Gentrification usually brings with it higher rents, more laws, and more police repression, not to much attacks on economic and cultural activities that don’t jibe with the yuppie lifestyle.

Mr. Manning, who has been the church’s pastor for 27 years, said the intent of the boycott was to return Harlem to its pregentrification days of 1990, without the crack, crime and boarded-up buildings. His hope, he says, is that declining property values will make housing affordable for those he believes are the neighborhood’s rightful owners: black people.

“It is our homeland. It is our Mecca. It is the only place we have,” he said, his voice rising. “It ought not to be overrun the way that’s happening. We are an endangered species.” But many of the new residents of Harlem are in fact middle-class African-Americans.

Mr. Manning’s many critics say his call for a boycott is irresponsible and would devastate a neighborhood that has only recently showed signs of even modest economic well-being.

Raimondo on the Joke That the Left Has Become 11

Justin sums it up pretty well in this one.

Now that Bush’s wars are Obama’s wars, the antiwar left is silent. Oh, they still maintain they oppose the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, but that’s only in theory. In practice, they seek to subordinate the antiwar issue to the long litany of progressive causes. Their so-called “strategy” is to channel antiwar activism into building whatever rally or candidate the union bosses are sponsoring that day.

What galls me most of all is the lack of urgency, the complacency with which these self-proclaimed leaders of the antiwar movement approach the question of how to stop the US war machine. I find it galling that people who are so quick to accuse others of racism would be so focused on the trials and tribulations of an American auto worker who makes fifty bucks an hour over that of a dirt-poor Pakistani villager whose family has just been decimated by a US drone attack.

The great downfall of the US antiwar movement has been its dogged insistence on a multi-issue approach. It’s gotten to the point where these rallies all have the same character and tone: the whole litany of grievances is laid out, and every victim group gets to lodge its particular complaint. Opposition to our foreign policy of global intervention is just a single note in a symphony of protest. No wonder there are no more antiwar protests coming from the left – they’ve bored themselves to death!

And us, too, I might add.

Paul Craig Roberts on the State of the System Reply

America’s Devolution Into Dictatorship

The fact remains that Nixon was driven from office because of the Watergate burglary.  No one was harmed. Nixon did not kill anyone or claim the right to kill, without proof or accountability, American citizens.  If the dastardly President Nixon had a Justice (sic) Department like the present one, he simply would have declared Woodward, Bernstein, and the Washington Post to be a threat and murdered them by merely exercising the power that the Obama administration is claiming.

Nixon might be too far in the past for most Americans, so let’s look at Ronald Reagan.

The neoconservatives’ Iran/Contra scandal almost brought down President Reagan. It is unclear whether President Reagan knew about the neocon operation and, if he did, whether he was kept in the loop. But all of this aside, what do you think would have been President Reagan’s fate if he, or his Justice (sic) Department, had declared that Reagan had the power as commander in chief to murder anyone he considered to be a threat?

Instantly, the media would have been in an uproar, law schools and university faculties would have been in an uproar, the Democrats would have been demanding Reagan’s impeachment, and his impeachment would have occurred with the speed of light.

Today in Amerika, approximately 25 years later, the ACLU has to go to federal court in order to attempt to affirm that “if the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the president does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state.”

In reply, the Justice (sic) Department told the court that murdering American citizens is a “political question” that is not subject to judicial review. The “freedom and democracy” government then invoked the “state secrets privilege” and declared that the case against the government’s power to commit murder must be dismissed in order to avoid “the disclosure of sensitive information”

If the Obama Regime wins this case, the US will have become a dictatorship.

Big Lies, Little Lies

In short, there is no employment data, and none in the works, unless gimmicked, that supports the recovery myth. The US rate of unemployment, if measured according to the methodology used in 1980, is 22.5%.  Even the government’s broader measure of unemployment stands at 17%. The 9.6% reported rate is a concocted measure that does not include discouraged workers who have been unable to find a job after 6 months and workers who want full time jobs but can only find part-time work.

Another fact that is seldom, if ever, reported, is that the payroll jobs data reports the number of jobs, not the number of people with jobs. Some people hold two jobs; thus, the payroll report does not give the number of employed people.

The BLS household survey measures the number of people with jobs. The same October that reported 151,000 new payroll jobs reported, according to the household survey, a loss of 330,000 jobs.

The American working class has been destroyed.  The American middle class is in its final stages of destruction. Soon the bottom rungs of the rich themselves will be destroyed.

The entire way through this process the government will lie and the media will lie.

The Impotence of Elections

Quantitatively, Republicans will be more inclined to more rapidly dismantle more of the social safety net than Democrats and more inclined to finish off the remnants of civil liberties. But the powerful private oligarchs will continue to write the legislation that Congress passes and the President signs. New members of Congress will quickly discover that achieving re-election requires bending to the oligarchs’ will.

This might sound harsh and pessimistic. But look at the factual record. In his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush criticized President Clinton’s foreign adventures and vowed to curtail America’s role as the policeman of the world. Once in office, Bush pursued the neoconservatives’ policy of US world hegemony via military means, occupation of countries, setting up puppet governments, and financial intervention in other countries’ elections.

Obama promised change. He vowed to close Guantanamo prison and to bring the troops home. Instead, he restarted the war in Afghanistan and started new wars in Pakistan and Yemen, while continuing Bush’s policy of threatening Iran and encircling Russia with military bases.

Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes and prospects, and out of hope for

their children’s careers are angry. But the political system offers them no way of bringing about change. They can change the elected servants of the oligarchs, but they cannot change the policies or the oligarchs.

Can’t We All Just Not Get Along? Reply

Kevin Carson on the real Obama.

Yeah, Obama’s been imposing a regular Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution on the country, all right.  A continuation of the Bush version of TARP, a doubling down on the war in Afghanistan, a scorched earth battle to defend Bush era war criminals against their rightful punishment, new claims of plenary Executive power….  The most “progressive” thing he’s done is a national version of Romneycare (you can almost hear the insurance CEOs crying “Please don’t fling me in that briar patch!”).

Obama’s even more of a managerial centrist than he let on during the campaign.  He was entirely truthful when he called himself a moderate. The real lie is the ideology of  moderation itself.

Obama lied when he said, “There is not a rich America, and a poor America….  We are one nation, one people.”

No, we’re not.  As Howard Zinn said, the U.S. political leadership talks as if there was some single “national interest” that “applied equally to all of us, colored or white, rich or poor, as if General Motors and Halliburton have the same interests as the rest of us, as if George Bush has the same interest as the young man or woman he sends to war.”  But it’s a lie…

…The idea that Obama is “hard-Left” is utterly laughable.  There is no Left in mainstream American politics.  Nancy Pelosi’s husband is an investment banker.  Joe Biden was the Senator from MBNA, and now he’s the Vice President from the MPAA.

The genuine Left was virtually destroyed, as a major political force, during Woodrow Wilson’s War Hysteria and Red Scare.  Since then, popular anger has been pretty effectively distorted and channeled by the myth of America as a “middle class country” with a common “national interest.”