Todd Lewis is joined by Keith Preston to discuss the relevance of non-violent resistance for Utopian, Anarchist and Libertarian communities.
Todd Lewis is joined by Keith Preston to discuss the relevance of non-violent resistance for Utopian, Anarchist and Libertarian communities.
Two Stanford historians discuss how the United States’ Declaration of Independence became one of the pillars of American civic life and other lesser-known historical facts about what happened on July 4, 1776.
On the historic day of July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress, Thomas Jefferson, its primary author, went on a small shopping spree and bought seven pairs of women’s gloves.
This needs to become a global trend, like McDonald’s.
By Harry Stewart
The culture trip.
We’ve all heard of places like Liechtenstein and the Vatican, tiny European nations with minuscule populations. Yet these are internationally recognized states—actual countries, if you will. Even more bizarre are Europe’s micronations: quirky little self-proclaimed lands which have come into existence for the strangest of reasons. Here are the most unusual on the continent.
This tiny slice of eastern France actually formed as a state in jest back in 1947. The owner of a restaurant of the same name jokingly asked a visiting government prefect if they had permission to enter his kingdom. Upon further interrogation, the sharp-witted proprietor invented details of his kingdom on the spot, and was somehow officially appointed president of the new republic. Primarily made up of good-humored retirees, Saugeais once elected one of its many presidents after the latter received a particularly vigorous round of applause.
By Joe Quirk
If you’d like to live in a country that caters to your values and lifestyle, why not build your own? Nearly half the earth’s surface is a blue frontier over which no country holds sovereignty, and startup cities that float permanently in international waters will soon be economically feasible as construction materials get cheaper, greener and printable in 3D form. These will be homesteads on the high seas — or seasteads.
Joe QuirkBy 2020, Blue Frontiers, our for-profit spinoff from The Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, plans to provide fresh jurisdictions on floating sustainable islands designed to adapt organically to sea level change. These will be privately financed and built by local maritime construction firms employing the latest in sustainable blue tech.We’ve already raised our seed round of investments to perform research and secure legislation, so get ready for the next wave of nations.Of course, the need for seasteads could not be greater. Americans are fed up with their government — in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans reported that they trust neither the Democratic or Republican establishment to represent them.But this isn’t a new sentiment. America’s founders were also fed up with their government. The New World served as a platform where political innovators could experiment with unconventional ideas. As new states and territories were established piecemeal across the frontier, they became incubators for novel ideas of governance — eventually shaping the country we have today.
If there is one point that I have tried to make clear during the entire 20 years or so that I have been doing ATS, it is that the solution to globalization/globalism/imperialism/whatever one wants to call it is global revolutionary struggle, which is a struggle that (obviously) transcends most other boundaries and conflicts.
Opponents of the Empire may vary infinitely in their specific tribal affiliations: ideological, economic, religious, ethnic, cultural, moral, technological, etc. Yet the first question that has to be asked involves the issue of how the scattered tribes of resistance can collectively fight the common enemy. If one were living in 100 A.D. and trying to determine how to best resist the Roman Empire, the question would obviously be “How can the many tribes that are subject to the Empire engage in effective resistance?” The situation is essentially the same in 2019.
Leading fourth generation warfare theorist Bill Lind, a paleconservative, discusses the possibility of a Red Tribe revolt as the Blue Tribe increasingly achieves national hegemony. Some highlights:
“…But something far more powerful than any issue is motivating the base: an ever-stronger feeling that it’s us against them. “Us” is average people who work for a living, follow the rules, go to church on Sunday, and try to be good fathers, mothers, and neighbors. “Them” is a mix of elites who despise average people, blacks and immigrants who live on working Americans’ tax payments while committing violent crimes and the Globalist 1% who get rich by exporting average peoples’ jobs….I don’t think it will accept that outcome, not when a radically Left Democratic president starts opening the borders, turning the White House into a LGBTQ wedding chapel and lets millions of black criminals out of jail while giving them the vote. At that point, there is going to be a rebellion.
In much of the South, the rebellion could take an old/new form: nullification. That issue seemed to be settled before the Civil War, when the Supreme Court ruled that states could not nullify acts of the federal government. But in recent years, nullification has come back, not from the Right but from the Left, and, because it is coming from the Left, it has been accepted by the Establishment. Two clear cases are laws regarding marijuana and enforcement of federal laws against illegal immigration. On the former, state after state has legalized marijuana despite federal law that makes its sale or use illegal. It is as clear a case of state-level nullification as I can imagine. With regard to illegal immigrants, many Left-ruled cities have proclaimed themselves “sanctuary cities” where local police will not enforce federal immigration laws.
This is more or less the same argument I have been making for decades. The Blue Tribe (“progressives”) have largely won the “culture wars” on most issues, and the “Blue zones” (large cities and coasts) are where most of the US population lives, with the Red Tribe located in the territorially large but sparsely populated rural areas. Decentralization involving urban-surburban-rural separation would largely have the effect of achieving self-determination for most cultural factions while underming the state/ruling class/power elite at the same found. An anarchist-led revolutionary populism with a far-left/radical-center/far-right “base” against the neoliberal/establishment is clearly the way to achieve such an objective. Think something like Italy’s Five Star Movement or the Pirate Parties on steroids.
One of the objections that is often raised to my perspective is that people will still be oppressed by authoritarian rightists in the Blue zones, or by authoritarian leftists in Red zones. But that is why pan-anarchism is necessary. There will not merely be Blue and Red zones, but purple, green, pink, lavendar, black, white, brown, yellow, and polka-dotted zones as well. This is not science fiction. Ancient Greece was a collection of thousands of cities with hundreds of different political systems. The Holy Roman Empire was a collection of hundreds of kingdoms and thousands of unique territories. The prototypes are already there. There are thousands of autonomous communities and startup societies around the world today.
Read the entire article here.
By Will Schnack
Even if we were to vote, where is the line drawn? We all know that Ralph Nader gave Bush the election, and we know that Bernie and the Greens and Libertarians did the same thing. So, what are we to do? Press that even the exposure of these people is a good thing? That they put pressure on the others to bend their policies a bit, to appeal to more people? Or are we just supposed to run into the pen that the sheepdog leads us into every time we realize that the sheepdog was never going to win in the first place? And if we’re voting for people who aren’t going to win, why aren’t we all just writing in our disparate but favorite candidates, and our friends and neighbors? Where is the line drawn with useless voting?
The working class often votes Right-wing, because some of the working class is composed of the small property-owner or the owner-operator and sole-proprietor of their business, or are working to get there. Others are white trailer trash who see affirmative action and other programs as privileges that they themselves don’t have but are being punished for. Some are just rural folks. There are tons of demographics among the working class, and not all of them white, that supported Donald Trump.
This seems to be a serious, thoughtful critique of the “Green New Deal” idea from a fairly conventional left-anarchist perspective (although Carson is an individualist/mutualist/AWA, not an an-com).
The ATS theoretical model and strategic paradigm is oriented toward global revolutionary struggle against the new Rome (i.e. the global capitalist empire), with an emphasis on indigenous people everywhere, and bottom-up anti-imperialist struggle. I’d say my own geopolitical outlook approximates that of the Shining Path (minus the Maoist fundamentalism).
What Carson describes here is more or less what I would envision the reformist wing of the left-wing of pan-anarchism in First World countries doing, but it’s only that. Notice that the examples Carson provides are all First World places (“the new municipalist movements in Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, and Jackson”) I see the ATS vision of global revolutionary struggle as transcending the left/right reformist/radical First World/Third World (core/periphery) dichotomies. A similar analysis could be made of Carson’s ideas on “privilege theory,” which would likewise be appropriate for the social/cultural wing of the left-wing of pan-anarchism in First World countries (in a way that potentially networks with similar tendencies in the Third World).
By Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society
In critiquing and analyzing a state policy proposal like the Green New Deal from an anarchist perspective, I should throw in the usual disclaimers about my working assumptions. I’m not an insurrectionist and I don’t believe the post-capitalist/post-state transition will be primarily what Erik Olin Wright called a “ruptural” process. Although the final transition may involve some ruptural events, it will mostly be the ratification after the fact of a cumulative transformation that’s taken place interstitially.
Most of that transformation will come from the efforts of ordinary people at creating the building blocks of the successor society on the ground, and from those building blocks replicating laterally and coalescing into an ecosystem of counter-institutions that expands until it supplants the previous order.
Some of it will come from political engagement to run interference for the new society developing within the shell of the old, and pressuring the state from outside to behave in more benign ways. Some of it will come from using some parts of the state against other parts, and using the state’s own internal procedural rules to sabotage it.
Some of it will come from attempts to engage friendly forces within the belly of the beast. Individuals here and there on the inside of corporate or state institutions who are friendly to our efforts and willing to engage informally with us can pass along information and take advantage of their inside positions to nudge things in a favorable direction. As was the case with the transition from feudalism and capitalism, some organizational entities — now nominally within state bodies or corporations — will persist in a post-state and post-capitalist society, but with their character fundamentally changed along with their relationship to the surrounding system. If you want to see some interesting examples of attempts at “belly of the beast” grantsmanship and institutional politics, take a look at the appendices to some of Paul Goodman’s books.
A great deal, I predict, will come from efforts — particularly at the local level — to transform the state in a less statelike direction: a general principle first framed by Saint-Simon as “replacing legislation over people with the administration of things,” and since recycled under a long series of labels ranging from “dissolution of the state within the social body” to “the Wikified State” to “the Partner State.” The primary examples I have in mind today are the new municipalist movements in Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, and Jackson and the dozens and hundreds of cities replicating that model around the world, as well as particular institutional forms like community land trusts and other commons-based local economic models.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Watching the news lately, you get the impression that the world is being ripped in two by the scourge of the far-right and the far-left. Populism they call it. Warring tribes in a binary war for the soul of the free world. In the US, Our dear orange Pericles is scheming mightily to manipulate the already unconstitutional powers of executive privilege to follow through with his promise to militarize the commons at the boarder. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is in virtual upheaval over how to contain a 5-foot-2 congresswoman for making the “antisemitic” observation that perhaps Israel has too much influence over Washington while the rest of the party keep McCarthyism alive with their own Russophobic “tropes”.
Across Europe and many other parts of the world, you here a similar tale of the populist left and/or the populist right going too far in one direction or the other, many times both simultaneously in an act of sociopolitical fission. You also hear a great collective wail from the established order who still maintain control over the press and the permanent government, lamenting the untimely demise of globalism and an ill-defined sense of pragmatism among the holy Neos, both liberal and conservative. These heavily microphoned scions of the status quo would have you believe that the world was in perfect harmony before the 2008 financial crash that they and their order precipitated with the bipartisan pillage of the world’s financial resources. In times like these the Ivy League appointed intellectual hierarchy of corporate thinktankland like to blow the dust off that old time honored canard of Jean-Pierre Faye’s Horseshoe Theory. The idea that, when push comes to shove, the far-right and the far-left are like two ends of a horseshoe, nearly meeting each other ideologically in the middle.
The future infrastructure of pan-anarchism? The city-states should only be the meta-structures for thousands of local communities, intentional communites, neighborhoods, districts, and autonomous zones. And why only 100? Ancient Greece was comprised of nearly 1100 autonomous cities. The Holy Roman Empire included hundreds of kingdoms intersecting with many more free cities and territories.
By Nolan Gray
From ancient Greece to Renaissance Italy to the Four Asian Tigers, city-states have always punched above their weight. They’ve driven culture forward, facilitated global commerce, and charged ahead of their nation-bound peers.
Indeed, cities — and the metropolitan regions that orbit around them — make sense as a political and economic unit. The key services we depend on government to do, from building infrastructure to ensuring public safety, are mostly handled by cities. And contrary to earlier predictions, the forces of globalization and the rise of the information economy have only made cities more important as economic engines and innovation hubs. It’s no surprise, then, that cities — and their mayors — are increasingly finding their voices in a world previously dominated by nations and international entities.
Unfortunately, the way the United States is structured today undermines this trend by privileging states as the key political entity. State boundaries in these modern times are typically arbitrary and often no longer reflect any meaningful political, cultural, or economic reality. Some U.S. cities, both big and small, manage to straddle state borders (think Texarkana or Bristol) while others run right up to the state edge but sharply hug the border (think Cincinnati or St. Louis). And a number of states are inexplicably fragmented because their seat of government is very different from their most populous town (think New York City/Albany and Chicago/Springfield). This often results in excessive fragmentation, unproductive competition, and a near total lack of regional land-use and transportation planning. We all suffer as a result.
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Orange Street News
The OSN was working on a story in Patagonia, Arizona when a law enforcement officer threatened the reporter with arrest unless she stopped reporting the news.
The OSN was biking down Roadrunner Lane investigating the tip at about 1:30 pm on February 18th when the reporter was stopped by Patagonia Marshal Joseph Patterson and asked for identification.
The Orange Street News identified herself as a member of the media, including name and phone number.
“I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” said Patterson.
The Marshal continued “I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvey. “
The Marshal didn’t have his lights on and passed several people who were on the streets without stopping them or questioning them.
“I can have you arrested, do you understand?” the Marshal answered.
Asked what he could arrested for, the officer first said it was for “disobeying his command,” then said it was for riding on the wrong side of the road. Finally, the officer said a Mountain Lion was spotted in the area despite their being other people in the area who were not kicked off the road.
“I’m worried about your safety, the area you were in we were dealing with a mountain lion,” said Patterson.”
“I gave you a lawful order and if you disobey a law enforcement officer….Lying to me and saying you were going to your friends house wasn’t acceptable.”
“If you paste my face on the internet it’s against the law so I’m not giving you permission to use my picture or my face on the internet, do you understand all that?”
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Orange Street News
There is an unspoken menace facing those of us under fifteen years old.
No, it’s not disgustingly low expectations. Or lice (which sucks).
I call it youthism.
You haven’t heard of youthism?
Youthism is the discrimination against a human being for no other reason than being young.
I recently had a first hand experience with youthism while shopping for Christmas presents for my sisters in my downtown. I was at a local Antique shop looking through some CD’s when I felt a bony hand on my shoulder. I turned around to see a kind looking old lady.
“Excuse me dear, but is you Mommy or Daddy with you?”
My face turned bright red with anger.
I knew where this was going.
There was a lot of things I wanted to say.
This is an interesting article from 2016, published immediately after the Trump election, which references some of the criticisms of the Left that were raised by the postmodernist philosopher Richard Rorty in the 1990s. Rorty’s prediction was that by abandoning class politics in favor of cultural politics, the Left would push the working classes to the Right, as the working classes would come to recognize the Left as cultural enemies, and as unwilling to defend their economic interests.
I started noticing the same thing during the 1990s as well. But my “solution” was the polar opposite of Rorty’s. Rorty wanted to turn back the clock to old-fashioned liberalism of the New Deal era. Whereas I, then and now, wanted to move to a much further left position, i.e. a revolutionary left that recognizes neoliberals as the primary enemy, that understands that the “right-wing” represents a dying traditional elite and traditional culture, that rejects the statism of the Marxist Left, and that recognizes PC as a “left-wing of the middle class” ideology that is a fundamentally anti-working class and anti-revolutionary position.
An authentic revolutionary libertarian-left would not be about demanding more favors from the state or creating or more state activities (such as “single-payer healthcare” or “Green New Deal”). Instead, it would be about eliminating all state actions (from the county level to the international level) that undermine the self-determination of the poor and working classes (from zoning laws to the IMF and World Bank). Further, an authentic revolutionary libertarian-left would be unreservedly anti-imperialist (including opposition to so-called “humanitarian intervention” or “human rights imperialism”). The appropriate position on “social issues” for a revolutionary libertarian-left is the traditional anarchist one, i.e. individual sovereignty, free associations, voluntary communities, decentralized pluralism, bottom-up federalism and mutual aid (and not “political correctness,” “cultural Marxism,” “totalitarian humanism,” “progressive stacking,” or other crap.)
An interview with survivalist Piero San Giorgio.
At last, some anarchists who get it.
Anarchism in the UK is a joke. Once symbolising hard-fought struggles for freedom, the word has been stripped bare to make way for narrow-minded, separatist and hateful identity politics by middle class activists keen to protect their own privileges. We write this leaflet to reclaim anarchism from these identity politicians.
We write as self-identified anarchists who see our roots in the political struggles of the past. We are anti-fascists, anti-racists, feminists. We want to see an end to all oppressions and we take an active part in those fights. Our starting point though is not the dense language of lefty liberal academics, but anarchism and its principles: freedom, cooperation, mutual aid, solidarity and equality for all regardless. Hierarchies of power, however they manifest, are our enemies.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile In Happy Valley
Solidarity is the guiding principle for any egalitarian philosophy. The basic idea is that all oppressed people face the same enemy and the only way any of us can defeat our collective oppressor is with the collective force of a diverse people united against it in all its demonic manifestations. Today they call this principle intersectionality. The uncivil union of big government and big business that calls itself the state murders black people, rapes trans folks, objectifies women, dehumanizes workers, and bombs the third world into, well, the third world. Separated we are weak, impoverished, crippled. But united we are dangerous, we are a force to be reckoned with.
In my mind, the natural objective of solidarity and intersectionality should be anarchy in one form or the other and only the concept of panarchy allows for one form or another to be properly explored. In spite of their once lofty ambitions and their recent rise in trendiness, state socialism and communism don’t destroy the class system, they just replace it. Ultimately the only difference between a bureaucrat and an oligarch is a title. The Bolshevik interpretation of the Marxist Dictatorship of the Proletariat is just asinine.
His Goofiness William Gillis, Chairman of the Central Committee of the People’s Revolutionary Antifascist Transhumanist Party (Market-Anarchist), says building self-determination movements that people all over the world can actually relate to is the wrong way to go. No, what we need is a “Moral Majority of the Left” or a SJW version of the “Legion of Decency” conducting bluenose campaigns to sniff out moral deviance wherever it might arise. Apparently, His Goofiness is paralyzed by fear of the thought that many anarchists and libertarians actually agree with tendencies like ATS and N-AM, but just don’t realize it, or just can’t get past the “liberal” programming they’ve gotten from the “ideas and technology” industries.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, anarchists were the world’s largest revolutionary movement, both in the industrialized (or industrializing) West, in much of the East, and in the colonies, until the rise of Bolshevism, the emergence of the Soviet Union, the achievement of hegemony by Communism, and the rise of fascism as a counterpart to Communism by the revolutionary right.
The question is how can anarchists reclaim their legacy from a century ago. A global revolutionary movement against the global capitalist empire that regards capitalism, communism, and fascism as different points on the same triangle, that embraces the full range of anti-authoritarian philosophies and an infinite variety of “identities,” and that favors decentralized societies based on the principles of voluntary associations, voluntary communities, localism, federalism, and mutual aid would be the way to go.
This is how it needs to be. One thing this article doesn’t mention is that the Rainbow Coalition was also oriented toward building relationships with Chicago gangs like the Blackstone Rangers. Both the Nixon-Hoover FBI and the Chicago police thought this idea was so dangerous and threatening that they literally assassinated the project’s leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.
“In his short time as a Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton wanted to advance the group’s goals by forming a “Rainbow Coalition” of working class and poor people of all races…
Former members of the Chicago Panthers and YPO tell different versions of the same story of how the groups connected: Each attended the other’s organizing meetings and decided to work together on their common issues. Over time, the Black Panthers learned to tolerate Confederate flags as intransigent signs for rebellion. Their only stipulation was that the white Young Patriots denounce racism…
In the end, the Illinois Panthers brought together various elements of the black community, Confederate flag-waving southern white migrants (Young Patriots), Puerto Ricans (Young Lords), poor white ethnic groups (Rising Up Angry, JOIN Community Union, and the Intercommunal Survival Committee), students and the women’s movement. The disparate groups under the coalition’s umbrella pooled resources and shared strategies for providing community services and aid that the government and private sector would not. Initiatives included health clinics, feeding homeless and hungry people, and legal advice for those dealing with unethical landlords and police brutality.”
Interestingly, it only seems to be tendencies like Attack the System and National-Anarchist Movement that have any interest in going this route today.
Recently, this meme was posted on an N-A page:
And these were some of the comments in response by leading N-As:
Whenever a Republican president is in office, I see articles like this coming from the liberal side, and when a Democrat is in office, I see similar articles coming from conservatives. But these ideas never seem to gain any traction. Too many on the right are attached to nationalism (“USA! USA!”) and imperialism (what is euphemistically called “a strong national defense”). Too many on the left are attached to the idea of a global social democracy and “human rights imperialism,” or simply paralyzed by fear of the idea that some backwoods counties might do something un-progressive.
New York Mag
The year is 2019. California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, recently elected on a platform that included support for the creation of a single-payer health-care system, now must figure out how to enact it. A prior nonpartisan analysis priced it at $400 billion per year — twice the state’s current budget. There appears to be no way to finance such a plan without staggering new taxes, making California a magnet for those with chronic illnesses just as its tax rates send younger, healthier Californians house-hunting in Nevada and big tech employers consider leaving the state.
But Newsom is not alone. Other governors have made similar promises, and Newsom calls together the executives of the most ideologically like-minded states — Oregon, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland. What if they banded to create a sole unified single-payer health-care system, spreading risk around a much larger pool of potential patients while creating uniformity across some of the country’s wealthiest states?