California secessionists think their path to independence is easier than Catalonia’s Reply

 By Kate Irby
Sacramento Bee

The world has been watching the play-by-play of Catalonia’s bid for independence from Spain, but one group is tuning in more closely than most: California secessionists.

The California Freedom Coalition, the campaign that has taken the lead in the effort to break California off from the United States, sees similarities with Catalonia’s secessionist movement. But there’s an important caveat: they believe California has more legal tools at its disposal, creating an easier path to secession – if that’s what Californians decide they want.

“There are definitely similarities in the fiscal situation – we both give more than we get back,” said Dave Marin, director of research and policy for the California Freedom Coalition. “But there’s more flexibility in the U.S. Constitution for secession than there is in the Spanish one. California has more tools available to it.”

The Catalan Parliament, together with President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, approved in September a binding referendum to make Catalonia an “independent and sovereign state.” Spain’s constitutional court suspended the process, but Catalan authorities continued with the vote on Oct. 1, prompting violence between voters and Spanish security forces tasked with shutting it down.
After a majority who voted in the referendum cast ballots for independence, Puigdemont issued a symbolic declaration of independence from Spain on Tuesday, but immediately suspended it to ease negotiations with the Madrid government. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday that the Catalan government had eight days to drop the bid or he would suspend Catalonia’s political autonomy and rule the region directly.

Catalonia has approached secession in the best way it could, Marin said. If secession is what Californians want, he says their path to independence will be easier thanks to the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says any powers not explicitly given to the federal government are retained by the states. The states cannot unilaterally declare independence, but Marin argues that the Constitution provides the federal government and the states a sanctioned path toward that negotiation.

The California Freedom Coalition is collecting signatures to get its ballot initiative in front of voters in 2018. It does not definitively say California will declare independence from the United States; it would repeal a provision in the state constitution that says California is “an inseparable part of the United States.” It also directs the governor to negotiate for greater autonomy from the federal government and establishes an advisory commission on California autonomy and independence.

What Would the Ideal Anti-State Leader Be? 6

Adam Kokesh’s plan to seek the Libertarian Party nomination in 2020 on a program of abolishing the federal government would seem to be a move in the correct direction. However, this idea may be incomplete in various ways. This leads to the need for a consideration of what the ideal anti-state leader would be, and what their actual role might be in the development of an anti-state movement.

I would argue that abolition of the US federal government is the most important task that anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists can currently devote themselves to. The US regime is not just another government. It is the most powerful state in history, the de facto government of the world, and, not coincidentally, the world’s most deadly and lethal regime at present in terms of the sheer numbers of casualties generated by its actions. Domestically, the USA is also the world’s leader in mass incarceration, and maintains one of the world’s largest police states. This does not by itself mean that the USA is the worst possible state to live in as a citizen. To the contrary, the US maintains a much higher per capita income level and a much higher level of technological and industrial development than many states, which affords the average person a very high level of comfort by world-historical standards. However, it should be no surprise that one of the world’s most technologically advanced and wealthiest states would also be the most aggressive and imperialistic.

Image result for lysander spooner

More…

How Long Can Americans Go on Hating the President and Each Other? Reply

The money quote, and the main reason why most US political factions are worthless:

“Unfortunately, most Americans do not bat an eye at the worst offenses committed by the presidency, namely the killing of millions in undeclared wars of choice with nations who have never attacked the United States.”

By Tom Mullen

Foundation for Economic Education

Trump Derangement Syndrome rages on, the latest symptoms flaring equally based on causes both legitimate and ridiculous. A key characteristic of the syndrome is its ability to evoke the same outrage over the president retweeting a harmless (and let’s admit it, funny) meme as threatening to destroy an entire nation. The breathless apoplexy over absolutely everything Trump-related, down to the shoes his wife wears while traveling, has desensitized Trump’s supporters to behavior even they should be concerned about.

It is true Trump has inspired new levels of hostility — even for politics — but Americans have been hating the president for this entire century, which is no longer in its infancy. Bush may not have been “literally Hitler,” but he was Hitler nonetheless to the Democrats, just as Obama was “literally Mao” to conservatives. But the proud American tradition of hurling invectives at the president isn’t nearly as ominous as the trend towards violence. Both the right and the left have mobilized armed groups, not just carrying signs but ready for violence. In fact, violent resistance is the far-left Antifa’s stated raison d’etre.

READ MORE

Forced Takeover of Catalan Government Institutions by Spanish Police Reply

Liberal democratic capitalism shows what it really thinks of self-determination and political dissent.

Thomas S. Harrington

Counterpunch

I just got of the phone with Josep Maria Sole Sabaté, my friend and a leading Catalan historian and public intellectual. He was nothing short of breathless as he described the helicopters flying overhead stated flatly that he was in the the midst of a coup being carried out by the Spanish State.

He wanted to get in touch with me and others “out there” because he was not sure how much longer free communication would be available to him and other out in the street protesting against he Spanish central government’s arrest of members of the Catalan Autonomous government.

As of this writing at least six agencies of the Catalan Government have been the object of forced police searches and thirteen, mostly mid-level members of the Catalan government have been arrested.

The homes of two the leading architects of the incipient Catalan state, Carles Viver Pi i Sunyer and ex Spanish judge Santi Vidal, have been searched by police. The headquarters of the far-left CUP, part of the pro-vote coalition in the Catalan Parliament, has been surrounded by police.

The leader of the Catalan National Congress Jordi Sanchez and the head of Omnium, a major Catalan cultural organization, Jordi Cuixart, has called Catalans to come into the streets and they have responded with a massive presence.

READ MORE

Support of the Right of Secession Rises to 40% Among American Reply

By Kirkpatrick Sale

LewRockwell.Com

While division between both political parties has been accepted as a norm for decades, we have witnessed a level of intensity in 2017 that has dwarfed anything remotely similar in recent American history. While it appears to be boiling over, perhaps many are ready to set aside their differences in a way reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence.

Over Labor Day Weekend, a nationwide poll of 800 likely voters, conducted by John Zogby Strategies asked, among other questions, which view is closer to their own on the topic of secession; Statement A: If a majority of residents within a given state prefer to have the final say over their destiny without the control of Washington D.C. then let them have it – it is their right.Statement B: If residents within a given state were to take such a drastic measure and secede from the United States, the federal government would be justified in sending in the military to prevent secession from taking place.

While nearly 1/3 of the public (32%) agree that the federal government should intervene to stop any state movement for secession, nearly four in ten (39%) agree that each state has the ultimate say over their destiny and that secession is a right. Just shy of three in ten were not sure (29%).

READ MORE

Radical Municipalism: The Future We Deserve Reply

By Debbie Bookchin

ROAR Magazine

Only a global confederation of rebel cities can lead us out of the death-spiral of neoliberalism towards a new rational society that delivers on the promise of humankind.

I am the daughter of two longtime municipalists. My mother, Beatrice Bookchin, ran for city council of Burlington, Vermont thirty years ago, in 1987, on an explicitly municipalist platform of building an ecological city, a moral economy and, above all, citizen assemblies that would contest the power of the nation state. My father is the social theorist and libertarian municipalist, Murray Bookchin.

For many years the left has struggled with the question of how to bring our ideas, of equality, economic justice and human rights, to fruition. And my father’s political trajectory is instructive for the argument that I want to make: that municipalism isn’t just one of many ways to bring about social change — it is really the only way that we will successfully transform society. As someone who had grown up as a young communist and been deeply educated in Marxist theory, my father became troubled by the economistic, reductionist modes of thinking that had historically permeated the Marxist left. He was searching for a more expansive notion of freedom — not just freedom from economic exploitation, but freedom that encompassed all manner of oppression: race, class, gender, ethnicity.

READ MORE

Where Technophobia Meets Lenin 2

A review of Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, by Theodore John Kaczynski. Fitch and Madison Publishers, 2016.

Image result for anti-tech revolution why and how

By Keith Preston

Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How is a work by Theodore John”Ted” Kaczynski, otherwise known as the “Unabomber” terrorist, a former mathematics professor who sought to fight what he regarded as the excessive encroachment of technology by blowing up those who invent and market it. Kaczynski has been imprisoned since his 1996 arrest, and this book was completed during the course of his incarceration while serving multiple life sentences.

As the title suggests, this work seeks to provide an answer to two primary questions. Why must the “technological system,” as Kaczynski refers to it, be abolished? And how might such abolition be achieved? Kaczynski devotes a considerable portion of the book to revolutionary strategy. I found this to be the most compelling part of the book, as I am likewise interested in revolutionary theory, even if I cannot abide Kaczynski’s ideological framework. More…

National-Anarchist Movement Conference 2017: A Summary Reply

Image result for national anarchist movement

By Keith Preston

Special thanks to Peter Topfer, Adam Ormes, Thom Forester, and Sean Jobst for their assistance in the writing of this summary.

On June 17 and 18, the first ever conference of the National-Anarchist Movement (N-AM) took place in Madrid. The process of arranging this conference was certainly not without its difficulties, and the organizers deserve much praise for their diligence in this regard. Originally, the conference was supposed to be hosted by the Madrid section of N-AM, who dropped out of the project shortly (and out of N-AM altogether) before the conference took place. This led to the irony of a conference being held in Spain where no actual Spanish people were among the attendees. Because National-Anarchists are widely despised by leftists who mistakenly regard N-A as a “fascist” tendency, security was a paramount concern.

More…

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left 9

The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels.

“The anarchists put the thing upside down. They declare that the proletariat revolution must begin by doing away with the political organization of the state. But after its victory the sole organization which the proletariat finds already in existence is precisely the state. This state may require very considerable alterations before it can fulfill its new functions. But to destroy it at such a moment would be to destroy the only organism by means of which the victorious proletariat can assert its newly conquered power, hold down its capitalist adversaries and carry out that economic revolution of society without which the whole victory must end in a new defeat and in a mass slaughter of the workers similar to those after the Paris Commune.”

– Frederick Engels, “Engels to Philipp Van Patten in New York,” London, April 18, 1883.

More…

Anarchism or Vanguardism? Critique of Guerrilla Ideology of the IRPGF Reply

The Free Online

Guerrilla ideology reduces all revolutionary questions to quantitative problems of military force. Nothing could be more disastrous. – James Carr,

Power does not come any more from the barrel of a gun than it comes from a ballot box. No revolution is peaceful, but its “military” dimension is never central. The question is not whether the proles finally decide to break into the armouries, but whether they unleash what they are: commodified beings who no longer can and no longer want to exist as commodities, and whose revolt explodes capitalist logic. Barricades and machine guns flow from this “weapon”.

The greater the change in social life, the less guns will be needed, and the less casualties there will be. A communist revolution will never resemble a slaughter: not from any nonviolent principle, but because revolution subverts more (soldiers included) than it actually destroys.

To imagine a proletarian front facing off a bourgeois front is to conceive the proletariat in bourgeois terms, on the model of a political revolution or a war (seizing someone’s power, occupying their territory). In so doing, one reintroduces everything that the insurrectionary movement had overwhelmed: hierarchy, a respect for specialists, for knowledge that Knows, and for techniques to solve problems — in short for everything that plays down the role of the common man.Gilles Dauve, When Insurrections Die

 

 

 

READ MORE

Anarchists, It is Our Duty to Vote in Elections 1

I can’t say I agree with this, but I’m always amazed at the diversity of anarchist thought.

By Paddy Vipond

Trouble and Squeak

As election fever reaches its sweaty, unbearable heights in both the UK with the coming General Election, and in the US as Hilary Clinton officially announces her campaign to run for Presidency, we are faced with the age old anarchist dilemma: To vote or not to vote.

I do not expect this article to answer this question once and for all, but I do expect it to change a few people’s perceptions on the issue. As anarchists it is our duty to question everything, even our own decisions, and as with any set of political beliefs if they remain unchallenged they become dogma.

As I grew up and discovered the principles and key thinkers of anarchism I slowly began to turn my back on mainstream politics and their parties. Once I had read what I had, the seed had been planted, and it was a seed that did not need chemical fertiliser in the form of propaganda in order to develop. It grew naturally because what I had read and discovered made sense. I did not need to be coerced and persuaded, or attacked and threatened. Quite simply, anarchy was logical.

Within this logic, time and again I encountered one moot point. It was a point that every anarchist had written about, and it was a point that was at odds with the logic inherent in anarchism. What frustrated me about it was that rather than question it, as we are told to do with every other belief and system, we must instead accept it. An anarchist has no place voting in an election.

Great writers and thinkers of the past have argued it, posters plastered on the walls of buildings around Brighton were stating it, and fellow anarchists online were writing about it. Anarchists should not vote, and they should be proud of not doing so.

As you may have guessed by the title of this article, I disagree. It has taken me a few years to reach this decision, but now that I am here I am wondering why I ever opposed the idea. Voting in elections is not only a duty of anarchists, it is the single easiest weapon at our disposal.

Before I continue discussing why voting is beneficial for anarchists, let’s challenge the arguments as to why we should oppose it.

The Role of Anarchy in Politics Reply

By Nick Pugh

When we are thinking of politics, anarchy is often not the first word that comes to mind in a positive way. For the most part, we think, the political system is put in place to avoid anarchy. But is there more to the idea of anarchy than we are aware of?

In fact, there are many groups that are pro-anarchy. These groups believe that the system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. Here are three roles that anarchy plays in modern politics.

Looking Toward Revolution

Some of the most well-known anarchist movements are social movements, not political ones. Although there are political repercussions, the focus is more on social liberties than on political ones. In the United States, these have included the labor movement (including the International Workers of the World), some parts of the Civil Rights Movement, and more the recent Occupy Wall Street. The idea is to change the existing political system to one that is freer for all the people involved, putting a higher emphasis on liberty than on faith in a federal government.

More…

Why the US Won’t See a Violent Political Revolution Anytime Soon 2

Because we’re a nation of aging, overweight slobs.

By Sam Harris

Business Insider

This post from Sam Harris, an entrepreneur, engineer, and former data scientist at the U.S. Air Force, originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question, “Is the United States on the brink of a political revolution?

No. We don’t have enough teenagers.

When I was an officer in the Air Force, I was a data scientist, and at one point we were tasked with determining what level of violence in Iraq could be considered “normal” so that we could declare victory and leave with dignity.

Obviously, the base level of violence in Iraq would be higher than in Sweden, but precisely how much higher and why? These were the questions.

We did analysis on hundreds of factors across centuries worth of data from hundreds of countries to determine what drove the levels of violence in a society. The worst violence levels are obviously during civil wars and government collapse.

We looked at wealth inequality, famine, disease, number of children per woman, infant mortality, median GDP, average GDP … literally hundreds of factors and their cross-dependencies that numbered in the quadrillions — think average GDP combined with median life expectancy combined with infant mortality combined with … you get the idea.

What we found was that the most significant factor was the number of individuals aged 13–19 relative to the number of individuals aged over 35. If the teenage group ever exceeded the over 35 group, violence increased to the point there was a very high chance of civil war. Furthermore, the opposite was true. If the 35+ year-olds outnumbered the teenagers, there was no chance of civil war.

READ MORE

The Democratic Party seems to have no earthly idea why it is so damn unpopular Reply

Right now is an ideal time for the promotion and cultivation of ATS ideas. Thanks to the bizarre nature of the US electoral system, a perceived “fascist” party is the ruling party, with control over the entire federal government and most of the states, and in opposition to the centrist to center-left cultural and political majority. Meanwhile, the “liberal” opposition party is increasingly being recognized as a band of incompetent crooks even as the wider culture continues to move leftward. The left continues to become more radical, and alienated from the liberal establishment, while the right is moving further rightward after having kicked the neocons and GOP country clubbers to the curb. Probably the ideal future would be for the GOP to maintain control of the state while the culture continues to move leftward and the left becomes more extreme, thereby creating a polarization between the political majority and the state. Hopefully, Trump will be a disappointed to the radical right as well, having the effect of pushing the right in an even more radical direction as well.

By Shaun King

New York Daily News

A troubling new poll was just released showing that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald Trump and Mike Pence. My gut tells me that Democrats will ignore this poll, or blame it on bad polling, and continue down the same course they are currently on: being funded by lobbyists and the 1%, straddling the fence or outright ignoring many of most inspirational issues of the time, and blaming Bernie Sanders for why they aren’t in power right now.

As a general rule the Democratic Party doesn’t listen well and struggles to hear the truth about itself.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Republicans now control the House, the Senate, the presidency, and the overwhelming majority of state legislatures and governorships. This new poll from Suffolk University illustrates just how that’s possible. Here are the base results of the poll with favorable/unfavorable ratings.

READ MORE

Is the Left Moving Towards the ATS Position? 3

My long range vision for ARV-ATS has always been to develop an anarchist-led revolutionary Left that works with the radical Right for the purpose of dismantling the American empire (Rome on the Potomac). Now that Donald Trump has taken the throne as the latest clown-emperor, it would appear that substantial sectors of the Left are starting to realize the merits of the ARV-ATS position. This latest article in The New Republic is one of multiple articles of this kind that has appeared in era of Trump, not to mention the emergence of Calexit. See here, here, here, and here. And influential figures on the radical Right appear to be prepared to embrace the ATS position in at least a moderate form. I was hoping Trump would have this effect on the Left.

By Kevin Baker

The New Republic

Dear Red-State Trump Voter,

Let’s face it, guys: We’re done.

For more than 80 years now, we—the residents of what some people like to call Blue America, but which I prefer to think of as the United States of We Pay Our Own Damn Way—have shelled out far more in federal tax monies than we took in. We have funded massive infrastructure projects in your rural counties, subsidized your schools and your power plants and your nursing homes, sent you entire industries, and simultaneously absorbed the most destitute, unskilled, and oppressed portions of your populations, white and black alike.

All of which, it turns out, only left you more bitter, white, and alt-right than ever.

Some folks here in self-supporting America like to believe that there must be a way to bring you back to your senses and to restore rational government, if not liberal ideals, sometime in the foreseeable future. Everyone seems to have an answer for how to do this. Every day another earnest little homily finds its way to me over my internet transom: “Think locally, act globally,” or “Make art and fight the power,” or the old Joe Hill standby—“Don’t mourn. Organize.”

To which I say: Don’t organize. Pack.

READ MORE

National Futurist Party Platform Reply

National Futurist Party Platform

In Progress:

Banking: Nationalization of the Federal Reserve, and mandate the Fed grant interest free loans. Support for a public infrastructure bank to fund public works projects, and interest free loans for businesses and mortgages.

Debt: Complete Dept Forgiveness for student loans and mortgages.

Taxation: Greatly reduce taxation on labor for the middle class and small businesses. Support for a Tobin Tax on Financial Speculation, and tax on pollution, an income CAP at $100 Million in assets and $1 Million in revenue, with the exception for inventors. Allow Shareholders to vote on Corporate CEO pay. Child Care Tax Credit Reductions.

Trade: Fair Trade over Free Trade. Strict environmental and worker protections must be taken into account. Enforce Tariffs on unbalanced trade.

Social Media: Nationalize Social Media to Mandate Free Speech.

Basic Income: A Basic income for all adult US citizens of at least $1000 per month. Increased income based on voluntary IQ Test, and for artist, writers, and scientist. Income revenue generated from treasury rather than from Taxation, and would replace the existing welfare state.

Automation: Use automation and an alternative to low skilled cheap foreign labor. Mandate that revenue generated from automation go to the public fund and not private corporate interest.

Healthcare: Replace for profit Health Insurance with public utilities, and free healthcare for those who cannot afford it. Mandate pharmaceutical companies provide drugs at low cost, and allow for nurses to provide basic healthcare duties at reduce cost. Break up patent monopolies to reduce cost.

More…

An Unexpected Path to Liberal Revival Reply

By Stephen Yearwood

I saw two maps shown by John King on CNN when he was analyzing the 2012 election. They illustrated with striking clarity the political divide in this nation. Those maps pointed towards a possible path liberals could take to reasert their importance in the political system.

The first map showed the states, colored red or blue, depending on which presidential candidate won a majority in each one. In that election they were pretty evenly divided.

Then he showed a map of each of the individual counties in the nation colored red or blue. On the second map the country was a sea of red, with tiny islands of blue—atolls, really—scattered here and there.

READ MORE

Preventing Civil War in the United States Reply

Bill Lind has a proposal that is very similar to certain ATS positions.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

Low-level Fourth Generation war has been underway in the U.S. for some time, largely in the form of gang activities. That is likely to continue, as will occasional terrorist incidents. This low-level warfare is a problem, but it does not threaten the state.

However, the Left’s reaction to the election of Donald Trump as president points to a far more dangerous kind of 4GW on our own soil. Trump’s election signified, among other things, a direct rejection of the Left’s ideology of cultural Marxism, which condemns Whites, men, family-oriented women, conservative blacks, straights, etc. as inherently evil. Not surprisingly, those people finally rebelled against political correctness and elected someone who represents them.

READ MORE