By Ryan Ramsey
Recent riots in Berkley, California have brought increasing attention to the global left wing terrorist organizations known collectively as ANTIFA. They justify their violence based on the idea they are fighting fascism. Who is not against fascism, right? Thus, the riots and murders are understandable. This logic holds about as much water as the idea the Patriot act was patriotic because patriot was in the name. You can paint a turd any color, it doesn’t change the taste. Antifa are violent thugs, and the patriot act raped a number of our civil liberties in a very UN-patriotic manner. In the words of John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
This immutable law of nature is a source of neverending irritation to the leftists attempting to hold back the Libertarian Party from its destiny to shift the paradigm of American politics. That destiny is to create a force edging us towards freedom with each election cycle, rather than a constant inch toward Marxism. Nick Sarwark, National Chairman of the Libertarian Party, is the poster boy for the Cultural Marxist idiocy that keeps us relegated to single digit election returns in a country where 25% or more of the population supports our policies. If we took the national platform and removed all the items.
An interesting interview with an “anti-fascist” that references the concept of pan-secessionism. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
Without understanding the way that those ambiguous ideas are applied in different milieus, like with national anarchism and autonomous nationalism and those sorts of things, radicals can fall for easy platitudes. Pan-secessionism is another great example. When radicals start talking about the need for separatism without a clear, cosmopolitan follow-up strategy, they leave ourselves wide open to their influence and the insinuation of fascism and the ability for fascist ideas and movements to gain ground in the radical milieu and also in the broader subcultures and in mainstream cultures. When they start talking about ethnic separatism—particularly white separatism, whether de jure or de facto—they’ve basically given up the field.
I think that people in the radical milieu are very disconnected from the impact and effect that they have and their ideas actually have on the mainstream. People often look to radicals to get a sense of direction, particularly vis-a-vis subcultures, so if fascists are given a pass to influence subcultures then the mainstream is far more likely to accept them piecemeal on the basis of accepted ideas and attitudes which are very deleterious. For example, you’ve probably heard of people who you might have thought of as a left wing or a radical saying things like “I don’t believe in equality” or “equality is nonsense” or “I don’t believe in freedom,” or that kind of thing. These kinds of statements seem geared to impress people or shock them or both, but does all that really work for us?
While pan-secessionism is a tactical concept, not an ideology, and has nothing to do with either fascism or anarchism or even national-anarchism per se, it is interesting to observe how these “anti-fascism” hysterics actually help to build the wider ARV-ATS program, largely by serving as the de facto promotional division for our tendency. We’re easily ten times more “famous” because of these people than we would be without them and, as they say in the entertainment business, “there ain’t no such thing as bad publicity.” These guys are the satanic rock protestors of the present era.
These folks are mostly oriented towards the jihad against “straight white cisgendered Christian male” hegemony, or whatever the latest rendition of this perspective includes while ATS is oriented towards the actual overthrow of states, ruling classes, and empires. However, I am for the building and expansion of all forms of anarchism, and oppositional subcultures generally, including the ones that are non-ATS affiliated and which may even be vehemently anti-ATS. To the degree that these guys are contributing to the delegitimization and fracturing of the system generally, they are contributing to our cause.
I can’t say I have any problem with any of this either. Much of this article is predictable anti-Trump hysteria. Last night, I asked a long time friend of mine, a lifelong Communist from France in his 60s, what he makes of the US Left’s “Trump is a fascist” hysteria. His response was, “They don’t know what their talking about.” Pretty much. But notion of “Trump as a fascist” may be a useful Sorelian myth or Platonic “noble lie” if it motivates the liberal-Left coalition to go into full oppositional mode on the liberal end and create chaos in the streets on the far left end. Fracture, fracture, fracture…
By Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society
In movements like the struggle for economic justice or against the authoritarian state (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, etc.), we usually see arguments for “diversity of tactics” made by radicals against liberal criticism of black block tactics like smashing windows and things of that sort. There’s still a lot of that kind of criticism, obviously — for example liberal reactions to the smashing of Bank of America windows, torching of limosines and whaling the almighty tar out of neo-Nazi celebrity Richard Spencer. But lately, since Trump’s election, I think there’s been at least as much criticism — much of it quite contemptuous — from Leftists dismissing liberal tactics like peaceful marches, factual corrections of Trump’s lies, denials of legitimacy, etc., as ineffectual (“This is not how you beat fascism”). And I think appeals to diversity of tactics apply just as much to the latter case as to the former.
I can’t say I have any particular problem with this. While there’s nothing particularly radical or revolutionary about what is being described in this article (it’s just standard left-liberal, social-democratic reformism with predictably cliched stances on every issue), I’m all for the blue tribe developing a stronger presence in the red zones, just as I am for the development of a stronger red tribe presence in the blue zones, not too mention an insurgency by the urban lumenproletariat against the localized manifestations of the system. Fracture, fracture, fracture…
By Spencer Sunshine
Everyone is familiar with the election map that shows the two Americas: a vast swath of red stretching across the country with a few blue patches clinging mostly to the coasts. This unbroken red block has been the cornerstone of what’s looking like a catastrophic political future for people of color, LGBTQ folks, immigrants, health care, reproductive rights, civil liberties, Social Security, the environment, and the list goes on.
So its no surprise that debate is raging among progressives about the White working class people who voted for Trump. Should these voters be uniformly dismissed as racist deplorables or should progressives try to appeal to them with populism?
By Alden Braddock
Peoples Post Modernist
Reject liberal(isms). Embrace your will to power.
The Left (even in radical circles)in many respects has failed as a movement. Race baiting, class politics, compromise on top of compromise and a clumsy at best praxis to achieving the ends we strive for are what we have now and accepting this reality is the only what we can now move past it. The old God is dead and we shall lay the groundwork of our stronghold on His grave. In order to do this we must be willing to embrace some new ideas;
1. We must stop pandering to identity politics. Treating people as collectives or even worse as sociological concepts trips individual action of any meaning and obfuscates our shared goal of fostering a world of self sufficiency, unshackled creative expression and freedom from imposed conditions. Yes, we can see the grave injustices levied against minorities by the state but recent events have made it clear that our cure is far worse than the disease. Arguing over who oppresses who, supporting language policing in an effort to hide from open dialogue and stick to our safe spaces have done us all a great disservice. Revolution never happens within a person’ comfort zone.
2. We must be willing to do what the right has done; collaborate with a wide variety of anti-state affinity groups (hard greens, third world nationalists, agorists, gender-nihilist/queer organizations, ext.) in order to crush our opposition and while we’re at it crush everybody’s enemy the neo-liberal/globalist.
3. We must be ruthless but use violence with tact and be willing to organize. Providing aid, organization/mobilization to and radicalizing groups like BLM and focusing on the core idea which motivate dissent (opposition to police brutality)instead of race and gender baiting will take us much further in achieving our long term goals
By Colette Gaiter
In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won the white vote across all demographics except for college-educated white women. He did especially well among working class white voters: 67 percent of whites without a college degree voted for him.
Some post-election analysis marveled at how the white working class could vote against its own interests by supporting a billionaire businessman who is likely to support policies that cut taxes for the rich and weaken the country’s social safety net. Since the New Deal, the Democratic Party has been seen as the party of working people, while Republicans were considered the party of the elites. Donald Trump was able to flip this narrative to his advantage. Election 2016 balkanized issues and made it seem impossible to work on racism, sexism, poverty and economic issues all at once. A core question moving forward for social justice advocates and the Democratic Party is how they can move beyond identity politics and attract working-class voters of all races, building stronger coalitions among disparate groups.
One place to look for inspiration and instruction might be 1960s social movements that understood the power of alliances across identities and issues. During this period, a radical coalition formed that might seem impossible today: A group of migrant southerners and working-class white activists called the Young Patriots joined forces with the Black Panthers in Chicago to fight systemic class oppression.
So how did this alliance form? And how can its lessons be applied to today’s political moment?
These ideas might be particularly relevant to the United States where the two-party duopoly is particularly difficult to crack.
By David Bollier
It’s an open secret that political parties and “democratic” governments around the world have become entrenched insider clubs, dedicated to protecting powerful elites and neutralizing popular demands for system change. How refreshing to learn about Ahora Madrid and other local political parties in Spain! Could they be a new archetype for the reinvention of politics and government itself?
Instead of trying to use the hierarchical structures of parties and government in the usual ways to “represent” the people, the new local parties in Spain are trying to transform government itself and political norms. Inspired by Occupy-style movements working from the bottom up, local municipal parties want to make all governance more transparent, horizontal, and accessible to newcomers. They want to make politics less closed and proprietary, and more of an enactment of open source principles. It’s all about keeping it real.
With Trump in the White House and GOP majorities in the House and Senate, we must look to cities to protect civil liberties and build progressive alternatives from the bottom up.
“I want New Yorkers to know: we have a lot of tools at our disposal; we’re going to use them. And we’re not going to take anything lying down.” On the morning after Donald Trump was declared the victor in the US presidential election, Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, wasted no time in signaling his intention to use the city government as a bulwark against the policy agenda of the President-Elect. The move made one thing very clear; with the Republican Party holding the House and Senate, and at least one Supreme Court nomination in the pipeline, it will fall to America’s cities and local leaders to act as the institutional frontline of resistance against the Trump administration.
However, cities can be more than just a last line of defense against the worst excesses of an authoritarian central government; they have huge, positive potential as spaces from which to radicalize democracy and build alternatives to the neoliberal economic model. The urgent questions that progressive activists in the States are now asking themselves are, not just how to fight back against Trump, but also how to harness the momentum of Bernie Sanders’ primary run to fight for the change he promised. As we consider potential strategies going forward, a look at the global context suggests that local politics may be the best place to start.
The election of Trump has not occurred in a vacuum. Across the West, we are witnessing a wholesale breakdown of the existing political order; the neoliberal project is broken, the center-left is vanishing, and the old left is at a loss for what to do. In many countries, it is the far right that is most successful in harnessing people’s desire to regain a sense of control over their lives. Where progressives have tried to beat the right at its own game by competing on the battleground of the nation state, they have fared extremely poorly, as recent elections and referenda across Europe have shown. Even where a progressive force has managed to win national office, as happened in Greece in 2015, the limits of this strategy have become abundantly clear, with global markets and transnational institutions quickly bullying the Syriza government into compliance.
By Keith Preston
American political culture has come to be defined by enormous divisions. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt notes that present day political polarization is wider than at any time since the Civil War. Social science research finds that more Americans would oppose their son or daughter marrying someone of the other political party than would oppose marriage outside of their race, religion, or social class.
The Right and Left are coming to regard one another not merely as competitors, but as threats to the nation or even as personal enemies. Polarization has been sharpened by the election of Donald Trump. Indeed, the reaction of the Left has often been one of panic, hysteria, or terror. One leftist blogger professed to be as terrified on the night of Mr. Trump’s election as he had been when he was once arrested and put in jail. Intense polarization of this kind inevitably leads to talk of secession.
I have a fair amount of personal experience with this question. For nearly 20 years, I have advocated dissolving the US federal system through regional and local secession movements from across the political spectrum. Although I am a left-wing anarchist, I have also tried to build bridges between those opposed to, or under attack by, the US power elite from across the political and cultural spectrum–including racial nationalists.
The Trump victory has been a particular stimulus in California, where progressives have suggested that much of the rest of the nation is so out of touch with the values of their state that California should consider seceding. A group called “Yes California” has formed for the purpose of placing an initiative on the state ballot in 2019 approving California’s exit from the United States. This project has come to be known as “Calexit” as a nod to the “Brexit” referendum.
This is the direction I’ve been saying the Left should be moving is for the past 20 years.
By Alexander Kolokotronis
In the era of Trump, we will need to consolidate counter-power via participatory democracy and economic self-management at the local level.
he mass protests across the United States in response to Donald Trump’s presidential election victory constitute a palpable and growing potential for the formation and constructive utilization of various anti-fascist fronts and coalitions. While these might be limited to protest and survival in typical Trump strongholds, the situation is markedly different in urban settings.
In many cities, anti-Trump demonstrations have included far-left groups, immigration-rights advocates, Black Lives Matter activists, reproductive rights supporters and a number of other political actors. Amidst calls for “people power,” these different movements together chanted “not my president!” and vocalized their support for so many other groups that have been marginalized, ridiculed and discriminated against by the president-elect.
People power need not be confined to a chant. The formation of anti-fascist coalitions provides the opportunity to convert these dreams and aspirations into a concrete and transformative program at the municipal level. What role can anti-fascism play in building this alternative?
By William T. Hathaway
“May you live in interesting times” was a curse the ancient Chinese hurled at their adversaries, wishing them strife, oppression, and struggle. It applies to us now because for all the uncertainties a Trump presidency holds, it will certainly be an interesting time, filled with opportunities for resistance and perhaps revolution.
Big T’s pedal-to-the-metal exploitation of humanity and the planet will accelerate the vicious policies of his two predecessors, poisoning the environment, forcing our financial will around the world, killing thousands of people in imperialist wars, manipulating other nations, modernizing our nuclear weapons, and jailing dissenters at home. Fortress America will continue to expand globally as prison, sweatshop, and fire base.
After all our years trying to change this country, how could we end up with this?
To answer this question and avoid falling into catatonic despondency or self-destructive rage, we need an historical perspective. What we are experiencing now is the long war the ruling elite is fighting to maintain its grip on the world. The current phase began with the collapse of Keynesian capitalism, which flourished from the 1950s into the ’70s, when the primary consumer market was in the capitalist headquarter countries of North America and Western Europe. Corporations were able to stimulate domestic consumption and quell worker discontent there by acceding to labor’s demands for better wages and conditions. That led to a 30-year bubble of improvement for unionized workers, predominantly male and white, that began to collapse in the ’80s as capitalism gradually became globalized.
By William T. Hathaway
Let’s welcome our new Commander in Chief by demonstrating how little he knows about the Constitution of the United States. Each incoming president is required on inauguration day to take the oath of office, affirming to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” But Trump proved his ignorance of this document when he recently wrote, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!” The Supreme Court, however, thinks otherwise. It has twice ruled that burning the national flag is not a crime but a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment, a legal way to protest government policies.
If only the libertarian left showed this much zeal for overthrowing the government all the time. Maybe we need to elect “fascist” presidents more often.
By William Gills
Center for a Stateless Society
One of the more annoying things about our norms of discourse is that we tend to collapse our talk of the future into singular predictions rather than arrays of different possibilities each with different probabilities. It’s easier to pretend like we each have one singular future that we’re betting on. We more or less commit to that single possibility and others assume we’re fully committed to that future. Such simplification makes casual discussion more tractable. But it creates distorted incentives. Some try to focus on some kind of median among the possibilities, some vague central cluster. Yet this in turn suppresses the variance and the dangers on the edge. So then you get a second tendency of people who focus on the extreme possibilities, usually highlighting just one concerning outer possibility. The more the centrists cling to their median prediction, the more the extremists double down on emphasizing the things not being considered.
Most of the time the median approach “wins.” But every once in a while their simplified and normalized picture runs aground on a variable unconsidered, an edge-case glossed over, or an assumed context exceeded.
Our political technocrats, with their studious centrism, were just astoundingly wrong about the election of a fascist over the world’s most powerful country. Not just wrong about the final electoral college vote count, but wrong every step of the way. And now the entire world is rapidly reconfiguring itself at an accelerating pace. Many normal folks are clinging on, trying to update our well-worn models of reality with a few studious changes of variables. We don’t have time to trace the ways the changes propagate, so we’re left with quick cartoonish claims. Frantic attempts to fence in unruly anomaly in our reality and dust ourselves off. We want some kind of clear predictive map, with a touch of the familiar, some kind of bounds on the possible, even if it looks dire. Like a “Bush Administration on steroids” or a “Berlusconi with nukes”.
Some thoughts on what it would take for “anarchist success” to be achieved.
A good point of reference is the history of revolutions.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a wave of revolutions (American, French, 1848, etc) that essentially pitted the Enlightenment against the Ancient Regime, resulting in the growth of democratic republics and science-driven industrial capitalist societies.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the major conflict was between industrial capitalists and proletarian labor, resulting in the eventual growth of modern welfare-managerial states, and the incorporation of the labor parties and trade unions into the system, along with the expansion of the middle class.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the basis of conflict became the traditional in-groups vs traditional out-groups (minorities, women, gays, students, youth, etc). Much of that has subsequently been institutionalized as well with the bourgeois bohemians, newly rich, new class, minority middle class, political correctness, gay marriage, etc.
It seems like that what it would take for anarchists, libertarians, anti-statists, ant-authoritiarians, etc to get their moment in the sun would be a political alignment along the lines of liberty vs. power. Regrettably, things instead seem to be going in the direction of nativism vs globalism (hence, Trump, Farage, Le Pen, etc). More often than not nativism represents state-centric nationalism than anything to do with anarchism, though I agree it’s a double-edged sword. Back in the 1990s I started realizing that right-wing populist nationalism was going to be important in the future as a response to globalization, and I started indicating to anarchists that finding common group with the populist right might be a good idea. However, the majority of anarchists have generally seemed resolutely opposed to this approach. The anarchists of the left for example have generally identified social conservatism rather than the state as their primary enemy. And the right has responded to the growing SJW phenomenon with identity politics of its own. The problem is that the identity politics of the left and right is all there seems to be. All of the different types of anarchists and libertarians argue about that stuff as must as Democrats and Republicans do, and often more intensely so.
The Free Thought Project
Last week, a few dozen Native Americans showed up to protest the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile-long pipeline that would cross right through their sacred land. As word spread, however, the few dozen turned into more than 2,500 native Americans. Because of the large turnout, a brief victory ensued for the people after the developers of the four-state oil pipeline agreed to halt construction until after a federal hearing in the coming week.
In spite of both the company building the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, and the federal government applying pressure, the Native Americans from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have remained resilient.
In honor of the September 9, 1971 Attica prisoner uprising, a nationally coordinated prisoner work stoppage has begun today. Reports say that a full work stoppage has occurred at Holman prison in Alabama. Chelsea Manning has also begun a hunger strike. Other strikes and actions have been reported in prisons in South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas, New York, California, Virginia, Florida and Guantanamo. The Nation has reported that this may turn into the largest prison strike in US history.
Organizers have called this strike to end the slave conditions in US prisons, saying:
They may have replaced the whip with pepper spray, but many of the other torments remain: isolation, restraint positions, stripping off our clothes and investigating our bodies as though we are animals.
The full call to action is republished below.
Prisoners from across the United States have just released this call to action for a nationally coordinated prisoner workstoppage against prison slavery to take place on September 9th, 2016.
Get it as a zine PDF. En Espanol or mailroom friendly
This is a Call to Action Against Slavery in America
By Kirkpatrick Sale
Of all the phenomena the 2016 election year has demonstrated, none is greater than the proof that this nation is deeply and probably irretrievably split into two political camps with very, very little in common. It is more than blue states and red states, it goes deeper: it is truth, jobs, security, and intelligence on one side and lies, coddling rich, porous borders, and stupidity on the other. And vice versa.
Perhaps the greatest evidence of this rift at this moment is to be found in Texas. A Public Policy Polling survey on August 16 found that 61 per cent of the people who support Trump there have vowed that if Hillary Clinton is elected president they will push for Texas to secede from the union. Nothing less: secession.
And the interesting thing is that Texans have been thinking about secession for a number of years recently, and a Reuters poll in 2014 found that 36 per cent of the population would be for secession and another 18 percent were not sure, making the anti-secession crowd a minority of 46 per cent. And if anti-Clinton sentiment is real, her victory in November would likely solidify the secession movement further.
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By Keith Preston
Last month, I wrote about how many of the predictions that I have been making over the past decade or so have come true during the course of recent events. In particular, the current U.S. presidential election represents the fulfillment of some of these predictions. Hillary Clinton is an almost perfect manifestation of the totalitarian humanist convergence I predicted nearly a decade ago, i.e. the combination of militarism, plutocracy, and police statism with ostensibly liberal and progressive values as an ideological cover (with these enforced by means of an ever more intrusive nanny state). Bill Lind describes the implications of this ideological framework very thoroughly. Jack Ross explains the present day political alignments that have emerged because of the rise of totalitarian humanism. And Vanity Fair describes how a new left-wing of the ruling class has emerged that comes from outside the ranks of the traditional WASP elites and is rooted in newer high-tech industries. I’ve been saying all of these things for years.
Six years ago, I wrote about the ten core demographics that a radical or revolutionary movement in North America would likely need to organize in order to achieve the popular base needed for effective political action. Current events represent the stirring of many of these demographics and in a way that signifies that these cleavages are developing at a much more rapid pace than I thought they would when I wrote that original piece.
The Donald Trump phenomena represents a stirring of the populist right and the sinking middle. The antiwar, civil libertarian, and labor-oriented sections of the Left have become increasingly alienated from both the Democratic Party and the liberal establishment even to the point that some on the antiwar left now favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
By Tom Slater
“Brexit is a fake revolt’, writes Paul Mason in the Guardian this week: ‘Working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite.’ A withering article in Vice agrees. ‘Brexit is the upper classes in revolt’, writes Sam Kriss. ‘They see an undemocratic and unaccountable EU elite ruling by diktat and an unfounded sense of their own superiority, and they think: hey, that’s our job.’ Among nominally metropolitan, left-wing Remainers – or, in Mason’s case, Abstainers – this has become the overriding narrative: that Brexit is the establishment.
It’s also utter balls. Let’s run through the list of those who back Remain: there’s the prime minister; all the major political parties; every major world leader; the IMF; the Bank of England… Oh and, after this morning, we can add to that the entire British capitalist class. In a letter in The Times, 1,700 of the UK’s leading business leaders back Remain, and prominent among them are the CEOs of JP Morgan, HSBC and Goldman Sachs. You know, those fatcat bankers we hear so much about.