America Is a Sham Reply

By Dan Kois

Slate

A long line of passengers wait to enter security screening at an airport.

Maybe it will be the hand sanitizer that finally exposes the sham.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s waiving the familiar 3.4-ounce limit for liquids and gels—for hand sanitizer only.* You may now bring a bottle of Purell as large as 12 ounces onto the plane to assist in your constant sanitizing of yourself, your family, your seat, your bag of peanuts, and everything else. All other liquids and gels, however, are still restricted to 3.4 ounces.

Among many shocks of the past week—school closures, Tom Hanks, the shuttering of one sports league after another—this rule change registers as major. The liquid restriction has been a key component of air travel ever since 2006. If people are now allowed to bring 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer onto planes, won’t the planes blow up?

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The Great Purge: The Deformation of the Conservative Movement Reply

I have a chapter in this book where I argued that the postwar conservative movement was nothing other than a front for the military-industrial complex and right-wing of the US ruling class (the Sunbelt industries that were in conflict with the “northeastern establishment”). The other authors were all veterans of the conservative movement who realized that William F. Buckley functioned as a gatekeeper whose purpose was to ensure that the actual US right-wing did not interfere with corporate and CIA objectives, leading to the eventual alliance between the Buckleyites and neoconservatives (right-wing social democrats/Trotskyists). The thrust of my argument is that the anti-“big government” rhetoric of what the paleocons called “Conservativism, Inc.” was never anything more than a ruse whose purpose was to recruit the old bourgeoisie, the petite bourgeoisie, and what Sam Francis calls the “post-bourgeois proletariat” as useful idiots for the Empire. An earlier draft of my contribution is available here. Another article where I make essentially the same argument is available here. As I concluded the latter article:

“Indeed, given the phenomenal success of the ‘conservatives’ in expanding military spending and military interventionism, and their phenomenal failure everything else, one might be tempted to argue that the former was the only issue that ever really mattered all along, and that the grassroots economic, fiscal, social, cultural, religious and patriotic conservatives who comprised the activist base and key voting blocks were, to use an ironic Leninist term, nothing more than “useful idiots.”

Available at Amazon.

A central crucible in the evolution of the American Right has been “the purge”-that is, the expulsion, often in an explicit fashion, of views or individuals deemed outside the bounds of “respectability.” Victims include the John Birch Society, Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire, Sam Francis, Revilo P. Oliver, Murray Rothbard, foreign-policy makers deemed “isolationists,” immigration reformers, and many others. This essay collection is an attempt to better understand conservative ideology (often euphemized as “timeless principles”) and how it functioned within its historic context and responded to power, shifting conceptions of authority, and societal changes. Through the purges, we can glimpse what conservatism is not, those aspects of itself it has attempted to deny, mask, leave behind, and forget, and the ways in which memories can be reconstructed around new orthodoxies. Contributors include Peter Brimelow, Lee Congdon, John Derbyshire, Samuel T. Francis, Paul Gottfried, James Kalb, Keith Preston, William Regnery, and Richard Spencer.

 

Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion 2

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

As a practice, I despise both major parties with a passion usually reserved for religious zealotry. But I’m not ashamed, even as a lifelong leftist, to admit that I hate the Democrats most of all. In fact, it’s precisely because I’m a leftist that I hate the Democrats most of all. The only thing worse than a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires is a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires who try to pass them selves off as the high handed voice of egalitarianism. It’s like having Strom Thurmond throw on a Rasta wig and wax poetic about how he understands why the n*ggers feel cold and the slum’s got so much soul (compliments to Jello Biafra). It doesn’t exactly make me feel better that I use to be a member of that limp-wristed blackface fraternity.

But it was 2008, the scoundrels of the Bush junta were on their way out the revolving door to cushy no-show jobs in the defense industry and there was one candidate left in that party that I still believed in, and I’m not talking about Joe Lieberman’s designated black dauphin. Dennis Kucinich was the last of a dying breed. He seemed to have stepped out from a different era, like the long lost munchkin lovechild of George McGovern and Joan Baez. He didn’t just want peace, he wanted revenge against the war machine; 50% cuts in defense spending, shuttering all foreign bases, Nuremberg Tribunals for the retreating Bush junta. He didn’t have a chance in hell and I didn’t give a shit. He was on a crusade that was bigger than any election, and I was willing to swallow my vomit and leave the Green Party to join him.

I look at the ten clown car pileup that is the 2020 Democratic primaries and there is no Dennis Kucinich to be found. Just a multicultural graveyard of hyper-statist partisan corpses. For five fucking minutes we had Mike Gravel’s beautiful crusty old ass, but the glorified carnies who rig the debates quickly erased all signs of his existence until his shallow well ran dry. What we have now is a contest largely between two separate but equally deceptive cliques of creeps. The “Moderates” or, as I call them, the Obama Revivalists, and the “Revolutionaries” who are really little more than blood and butter social democrats (to quote the late Dr. Thompson, “You people voted for Humphrey… and you killed Jesus!)

The Obama Revivalists have to be the most comically delusional conglomeration of convoluted cunts since Obama himself sold half my generation on an 8 year extension of the Bush regime with Hopelandic gobbledygook lifted straight from a Chicken Noodle Soup paperback he found at the airport. The basic pitch of these neoliberal imbeciles, who only the Clinton News Network would have the gal to call “Realists”, can be summed up by Cher’s tattooed ass on a battleship, ‘If we could just turn back time. If we could just find a way…’ They seem to all suffer under the grand-mal delusion that all of America’s woes began in February 2017, and just 8 more years of Obama (or 24 of Bush) can cure the American Empire of an authoritarian collapse that has been a longtime coming. Donald Trump is not the problem, he is the symptom. Voting for one of these mass media approved Obama Revivalists would be the equivalent of treating a brain tumor with a shotgun blow to the head.

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The Conservative Anarchist Solution 3

This is the transcript of a talk I gave to the H.L. Mencken Club on November 9, 2019.

By Keith Preston

When it comes to questions of strategy, it is important to base one’s approach on a reasonable estimation of the probable circumstances one will be facing in the future.

I constantly hear claims that there will be a civil war at some point, or an apocalyptic revolution, or a coup, or the election of a populist leader that will set everything straight.

But the probable future of the United States will be something more like what is actually happening on the West Coast at present. In the future, the United States will increasingly start to resemble a Latin American nation in terms of demographics, socioeconomic class structures, and political characteristics.

Many people on the Right tend to focus on the demographic angle, and it is certainly true that the US is experiencing a demographic transformation in the sense that in the future there will be no ethnic majority, but merely a collection of minorities.

However, just as important is the fact that class divisions continue to widen in the US. The gap between rich and poor is the widest it has been since the 1920s, and there is no evidence this will change in the foreseeable future. I would argue that the widening class divisions probably have dozens of causes rather than any singular cause, but it is an issue that is just as important as the demographic issue.

At present, California is starting to look like what a traditional so-called “Third World” model society looks like. In Third World societies, and traditional societies generally, class structures are such that the very rich live in opulent luxury, with a relatively small middle class of ruling class functionaries, and masses of workers and poor people. That is the picture that is emerging in California.

Certain areas of California are among the wealthiest in the nation. There is also a middle class and upper middle class of professionals, tech workers, public sector workers, bureaucrats, and corporate managerial personnel, but what Americans traditionally think of as the conventional working to middle class is shrinking in size, and the ranks of the poor, including those experiencing Third World or Fourth World levels of poverty, are growing. For example, some areas of California have poverty levels that approximate those of the Congo. California cities have a massive homeless population of the kind normally associated with Latin America or South Asia. Certain medieval diseases like typhus and leprosy are making a comeback among the poor in California as well.

It has been said in the past that California is the bellwether of the nation, and I suspect that will prove to be true in this scenario as well. Increasingly, US politics is starting to resemble Third World politics with openly demagogic figures on both the left and right beginning to appear. In Third World politics, it is not uncommon for open socialists and communists as well as right-wing extremists to get elected to parliaments. Corruption, nepotism, ethnic spoils systems, institutionalized bribery, and flagrant incompetence are not exceptions but the expected norm.  We see plenty of examples of this happening in the United States as well.

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Are these viable predictions for the future? 2

-North, Central, and South America will become increasingly integrated into a Schengen-like borderless trade zone.

-US international hegemony will begin to recede due to imperial overstretch with international power increasingly being ceded to transnational institutions.

-Class relations in the US will increasingly resemble the “Third World” (traditional) model, highly stratified and polarized with a small middle class.

-The US will become an ever more diverse society but at the cost of increased domestic conflict.

-Civil unrest caused by increased political, class, and demographic conflict will lead to increased state repression.

-The police state apparatus that was created in the 70s and 80s with the “war on drugs,” the 90s war on crime, and the 2000 war on terrorism, combined with surveillance technology, will be increasingly used for political repression.

-Political divisions will make democratic government virtually impossible leading to de fact executive/administrative dictatorship.

-The emerging ruling class of tech-oligarchs, Wall Street financiers, the “newly rich,” bourgeois bohemians, and “woke capitalism” will increasingly adopt the multicultural/rainbow/diversity framework as its self-legitimating ideology, with a parallel eradication of the cultural framework of the historic WASP culture, e.g. replacing Washington/Jefferson commemorations with icons of civil rights, feminism, gay rights, etc.

-Technological developments will cause further socioeconomic dislocations leading to even wider class divisions.

-Increased incidents of extreme weather will cause additional dislocations and civil unrest leading to further state repression.

This seems to be the way trends are pointing.

The Gap Between Rich and Poor Americans’ Health Is Widening Reply

NPR
by Susie Neilson

Researchers compared Americans’ health status today with that of 25 years ago and found that health is worsening among lower-income Americans.

Orbon Alija/Getty Images

 

Income inequality in the U.S. has grown over the past several decades. And as the gap between rich and poor yawns, so does the gap in their health, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open Friday. More…

Rising US Inequality: How We Got Here, Where We’re Going 1

Stanford Business
Shana Lynch

An economist and a business advisor discuss what might happen if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow.

A tent is seen next to Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Reuters/Lucy NicholsonInequality is on the rise in the United States. Stanford experts discuss possible solutions. | Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

The U.S. economy hit a historic high in 2018, and today unemployment is at its lowest rate in five decades. Yet wage growth for the vast majority of Americans has stalled, and more people are struggling to afford housing, health care, education, and other basics.

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Pledging Allegiance to the Divided States of America 4

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will-Antonio Gramsci

When the individual’s behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be reborn. Time to “drop out”, “turn on”, and “tune in.”-Timothy Leary

America, the indispensable nation. That old jingoistic canard gets tossed around like confetti in this country, while the rest of the world rolls their collective eyes and crack their collective knuckles. According to patriotic lore, America is some beige, color-blind, miracle designed by the greatest white philosophers since Socrates to free the world from its backwards indigenous ways with the magic of global capitalism. Naturally, this is all bullshit. The kind of sad pep-talk a date-rapist gives himself in the mirror before showering his glamour muscles in Axe body spray. There is absolutely nothing miraculous about America but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t exceptional.

America is an exceptionally cruel experiment in the outer reaches of colonial social engineering. We are a nation defined by the two greatest holocausts in recorded history, spanning three continents and an entire hemisphere. America as we know it was founded by an ambitious collection of European super-colonialists who found themselves and their nations increasingly depleted of the wealth they accumulated from the Crusades. So they traveled the seas in search of greener pastures to irrigate with more dark-skinned blood. They found their sainted killing fields of Shangri-La in the New World and with the superiority of their steel, they decided to take the Americas by force and slaughter anyone who stood in their way. But with an entire hemisphere half empty of its indigenous inhabitants, these European overlords found themselves with too much work for their feeble bourgeois fingers to handle, so they filled their new colonies with shiploads of slaves pilfered from the jungles of Africa to build a nation on their scarred shoulders, murdering millions more in the process and permanently hobbling another entire continent.

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Getting It Reply

This piece by Lind could almost be a left-libertarian or left-anarchist analysis EXCEPT the cultural divide is so vast as to be unbridgeable.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

The Left has adopted the word “woke” to describe people who have accepted the ideology of cultural Marxism and are willing to act on it.  The equivalent I hear most often for the Right is “getting it”.  What does it mean to “get it”?

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A False God Fails 1

Apparently, Bill Lind has become an anarcho-Monarchist in the tradition of Tolkien, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, or Hans Hermann Hoppe.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

As Great Britain moves towards its independence day, i.e., Brexit, a false god is failing: the god named “democracy”.  Prime Minister Theresa May, who should have gone back to her kitchen long ago, has made such a bloody mess of it that Britons are questioning the system that put her in office.  The March 31 New York Times says it bluntly:

It has amounted to a hollowing out of confidence in democracy itself.

“I don’t think the central institutions of government have been discredited like this in the postwar period,” said William Davies, who teaches political economy at Goldsmiths, University of London. . . “the political elites–people just want them to get off the stage.  I don’t know who they want to replace them.  But there’s a sense a reboot would be something people would be in favor of. . .”

“I think people have totally lost confidence in democracy, in British democracy and the way it’s run,” said Tommy Turner, 32, a firefighter.

Fortunately for Britain, democracy, in the form of the House of Commons, does not rule at all.  There is still the House of Lords, which is usually more sensible than Commons, and there is the real sovereign, Queen Elizabeth.  If all else fails, the Queen can rule as well as reign.  Evelyn Waugh put British democracy in its place; when asked why he did not vote, he replied, “I do not aspire to advise my Sovereign on her choice of servants.”

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Studying the demise of historic civilizations 1

Must read.

**

By Luke Kemp
19 February 2019

Studying the demise of historic civilisations can tell us how much risk we face today, says collapse expert Luke Kemp. Worryingly, the signs are worsening.

Great civilisations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives.

DEEP CIVILISATION

This article is part of a new BBC Future series about the long view of humanity, which aims to stand back from the daily news cycle and widen the lens of our current place in time. Modern society is suffering from “temporal exhaustion”, the sociologist Elise Boulding once said. “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future,” she wrote.

That’s why the Deep Civilisation season will explore what really matters in the broader arc of human history and what it means for us and our descendants.

So concluded the historian Arnold Toynbee in his 12-volume magnum opus A Study of History. It was an exploration of the rise and fall of 28 different civilisations. More…

The United City-States of America, Mapped Reply

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

Medium

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.

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The End of Our World Order Is Imminent Reply


A writer at The Nation points out how more than 200 empires have risen and fallen in world history, and the US empire will eventually fall as well. I think this author likely overstates the prospects for future Chinese dominance, and his environmental alarmism may be overstated as well. Most likely what will replace US hegemony is the system that the author describes the US as having a pivotal role in creating, i.e. the system of global capitalism. As the US recedes, international organizations will increasingly come to dominate, e.g. the UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO, G20, transnational corporations, NGOs, foundations, international media conglomerates, etc. US military power will likely retreat as various European and Asia powers come to dominate their particular regions, but within the wide framework of global capitalism.

By Alfred McCoy

The Nation

Once upon a time in America, we could all argue about whether or not US global power was declining. Now, most observers have little doubt that the end is just a matter of timing and circumstance. Ten years ago, I predicted that, by 2025, it would be all over for American power, a then-controversial comment that’s commonplace today. Under President Donald Trump, the once “indispensable nation” that won World War II and built a new world order has become dispensable indeed.

The decline and fall of American global power is, of course, nothing special in the great sweep of history. After all, in the 4,000 years since humanity’s first empire formed in the Fertile Crescent, at least 200 empires have risen, collided with other imperial powers, and in time collapsed. In the past century alone, two dozen modern imperial states have fallen and the world has managed just fine in the wake of their demise.

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