Truth! Reply

By Vince Rinehart

What legitimizes a ruler or ruling class hasn’t changed a whole lot over time. In antiquity the emperor was supposed to be God on earth. And he was supported by true believers and those that he could bribe into following him in a mutually beneficial relationship. Any internal dissent was murdered or politically repressed and any external threats were fought off or eliminated.

Image result for roman state cult

Under feudalism the King was God’s representative on earth. He was supported by true believers and those he could bribe into following him in a mutually beneficial relationship. Any internal dissent was murdered or politically repressed into submission and any external threats were fought off or eliminated.

Image result for divine right of kings

Under modern nation states there are variations on the same theme. The state claims to represent “the people” whether it’s the revolutionary parties of communist states or the elected figure heads of capitalist democracies. This rule is supported by true believers and those that are bribed into following the system in a mutually beneficial relationship. Any internal dissenters are murdered or politically repressed and external threats are fought off or eliminated. Put a conservative-approved Trump as the figurehead, or a liberal-approved Obama. Whichever maintains power the most effectively will be chosen.

Image result for totalitarianism

Image result for totalitarianism democracy

 

What’s the Point of this Pan-Anarchist Revolution Thing, Anyway? 11

A reader on Facebook offers the following comments, and asks the following questions.

I’m not so sure how realistic sustained statelessness is without severe technological regression and economic collapse, but the obvious answer is that the vast majority of people would rather bask in the lazy comforts of delegated responsibility than take on the burdens and risks of freedom. The mantle of anarchism is often taken up as an immature pose that is rationalized after the fact, usually quite badly, before being discarded with age for whatever underlying tribal affiliation existed in the first place. It’s a knee-jerk rebellion against constraints on the self, for good or ill, and a justification for engaging in unreasonable or criminal behaviors whose motives are ultimately more personal than political.

More…

Where is the Anarchist Vanguard Standing for “Anarchy First”? Reply

It has been interesting to see how many predictions I made years ago have come into being.

I predicted that the Eastern powers and “rogue states” would eventually rise to form an axis of resistance to the hegemony of the American empire.

I predicted that populist-nationalist movements would continue to grow in Europe in opposition to the hegemony of neoliberalism.

I predicted that as the right-wing in the United States continued to lose ground politically, culturally, and demographically, it would adopt a more militant stance than what has previously been observed among “normal” conservatives. This has also happened in the form of the rise of Trumpism in the mainstream, the Alt-Right on the far fringes, and the Alt-Lite as a middle of the road position between the two.

I predicted that the right-wing would fail in its efforts to counteract the hegemony of neoliberalism and the cultural Left. This has happened by means of the cooptation of Trumpism by the Republican Party establishment, the cooptation of the Alt-Lite by Trumpism, and the internal implosion and marginalization of the Alt-Right.

I predicted that as totalitarian humanism continues to be a rising force in Western societies that opposition would emerge in response, not only from the right-wing, but also from centrist liberals, dissenters on the Left, minorities, and those on the Left mostly concerned about anti-imperialist, antiwar, economic, or civil libertarian issues as opposed to identity politics. Visible opposition to totalitarian humanism is now emerging in all of these corners.

I predicted that as class divisions continued to widen that class-based politics would make a return.

I predicted that as traditional minorities became increasingly integrated, and as class divisions continues to widen among minority communities, that minority conservatives would grow in number.

I predicted that individual cities and states might engage in resistance to the federal government’s policies in numerous areas.

Many other examples could be identified. See here and here. Some of these things have happened more rapidly than I thought they would.

However, one thing that I not so much predicted as much as called for was the formation of an “anarchist vanguard” that would be the foundation of anti-state front oriented towards the principles of “Anarchy First.”

As I wrote in the mid-2000s:

More…

Actual Anarchy with Keith Preston Reply

On Scottish Liberty Podcast episode 83 with Antony Sammeroff and Tom Laird. Two Scottish Libertarians talk to Keith Preston of http://www.attackthesystem.com about really existing examples of anarchism in practice including anarchic Ireland, anarchy in Iceland, the American West, the Spanish Civil War, Somalia, Marinaleda, Christiania, Monaco, Lichtenstein, Liberland and more.

The Brilliant: Episode 65 – What is anarchism in 2018? Reply

This is a great episode.

Listen here.

—————————————————

In this season three opener we review what the intention is for the 2018 season. This initial set of four conversations (of which this first is more of a presentation) cover four themes. Second Wave Anarchy, Indigenous anarchism, the (im)possibility of social change, and Earth centeredness. This is to set the stage for an anarchism without limits, without the left, and without sounding so doom & gloom.

For further information on these themes

Links

Second Wave Anarchy
John Moore
Desert
or LBC physical book link
Dark Mountain Manifesto
Russell Means
2017 BASTARD Chronicles –
Boom!

Normalizing Anarchism in an Age of “Populism” and “Nationalist Strongmen” 7

Much ado has been made in the centrist liberal press regarding the supposed decline of liberal democracy and the rise of supposed nationalist strongmen such as Trump, Putin, Duterte, Modi, Erdogan, Xi (who recently declared himself president for life) or, after the recent elections in Italy, Salvini. This supposed rise of strongmen is alleged to be accompanied by the growth of right-wing populist movements motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and opposition to All Good Things. Not only the Left but even many mainstream conservatives have engaged in considerable hand-wringing over these trends.

A more realistic view recognizes that the rise of populism and nationalism represents a backlash against the centralization of wealth and political power on an international scale, and on an unprecedented level, and the fact that the political classes of most nations have been complicit in this. Additionally, societies around the world are experiencing unprecedented levels of cultural, social, and demographic change due to technological advancements and the emergence of the global economy. Naturally, when periods of rapid change emerge, a predictable and parallel opposition to such change develops as well. For example, the anti-immigration movements of the West are acting in response to the radical and unprecedented demographic change that is taking place in Western societies. The rise of populist and/or nationalist leaders in other regions of the world is a response to the hegemony of neoliberalism. That most of these leaders are actually accomplices to the global plutocratic class is less significant than the perception of these as somehow being mavericks defying globalist elites. That some of these figures have cultivated a strongman image for themselves reflects an effort to play to popular frustration with the inertia of the centrist political classes.

More…

Panarchies/Polyarchies Reply

By John Zube

Panarchy.Org

All individual rights & liberties, clearly declared and widely appreciated and respected vs. governmental bills of rights, human rights declarations like that of the UN, including wrongful but legalized claims against others, in “Welfare States”, as if they were basic rights or liberties.

All individual rights and liberties for all peaceful volunteers, all practiced to any freely chosen extent vs. any imposed territorial uniformity and obedience to majority supported territorial legislation, regulations and institutions, government orders, programs, methods and actions, all at best somewhat restrained through government legislation and court decisions and its bill of rights, including many mere claims against other people as if they were genuine rights.

Bottoms up organizations vs. top down organizations. However, volunteers might also organize themselves – not others – in totalitarian ways. Compare the restrictions monks and nuns imposed upon their lives.

Choosing and freely doing the own things vs. being under the orders and threats of others, mostly power addicts, their legislation and institutions, commands and penalties for disobedience, i.e. enforced obedience to others and their preferences, as tax slaves, forced laborers or conscripts.

More…

Nihilist Hedonism; or Cyberpunk as Eutopia 9

An interesting application of Stirnerite principles.

Anarcho-Dictator

Instead of a Blog

I do not believe in objective standards, norms, ends, means or values; but I have a strong preference for the combination of hardass and self-indulgent traits one finds in the mercenary reaver cultures of places like medieval Burgundy. Essentially, I care about what I care about and consider anything else a means to that end. But I don’t really believe in ‘muhTroof’ or anything; I do not (for example) believe in ‘natural law’, I just believe in shooting thieves on sight. But if you can get away with stealing from defenseless peasants or the fat-asses of the power elite, good for you.

I have a lot in common with LaVeyan Satanism, but more through a sympathy of attitude than any fake-occultist stuff. I tend to favor the most extreme and materialistic aspects of civilization and barbarism, my ‘ideal society’ would be a bunch of heavily armed autistic stock jobbers who obey and disobey the law entirely based on sociopathic cost-benefit analysis.

More…

An Omnidirectional Approach to Anti-Authoritarianism Reply

Secret Transmissions

“Certitude belongs exclusively to those who only own one encyclopedia.” ― Robert Anton Wilson 

I can think of no better term to describe my political philosophy than anti-authoritarian. That simple term encapsulates my most consistently held beliefs concerning the nature of relations between individual, society and state. That I above all oppose authoritarian policies, aggressions and values is the firm bedrock from which I evaluate any and all action. That I favor liberty over tyranny is an absolute principle.

There are many factions of formal and loose-knit tribes of anti-authoritarians. I sympathize in varying degrees with all of them. On the other hand, I have found that the very moment I’ve identified myself with a specific subset of anti-authoritarianism, I begin talking myself out of such a commitment.

More…

The Fear of the State Reply

Author’s note: This is not an attempt to debunk a Harvard professor’s 800 page book with a 900 word article from an underground WordPress Blog. The decline in violence is obvious, and it is over centuries, but the causes of violence are still with us.

1CBDB358-F736-4AC7-A8BE-4F9E8B6DFEF1Most research shows that we live in a far more peaceful time than previous periods in human history. It’s a complicated topic with a lot of incomplete data for a massively huge period of examination, but the current conventional wisdom follows from Dr. Pinker’s study of the long decline in violence, “The Better Angels of Our Nature.” I agree with Pinker’s specific argument that violence has declined generally, and Pinker does save for a break from the typical 10 o’clock news run about how you might get stabbed to death by some Sureños while walking to your car at night.

More…

Neither Statism Nor Corporatism Reply

A big debate exists between “free market” conservatives and libertarians, and leftists, socialists, progressives, etc. over “Who is worse? Governments or corporations?”

I am somewhere between the Marxists and the Libertarians on this. I agree with Libertarians that states have powers that private institutions typically do not have, like raising mass armies through conscription and taxes, police, prisons, capital punishment, nuclear weapons,etc. Even the largest, scummiest corporations like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Pepsi, etc. do not have that kind of power generally. However, corporations have power that normal “private institutions” do not have. Amazon is not the same thing as a Star Wars Fan Club.

Corporations do not have the direct coercive powers of states, like the power of arrest and incarceration, but they do have the means of economic compulsion. The choice of whether or not to eat, have a roof over your head, or have healthcare is not on the level of whether to go to the Baptist or Methodist church, or join a chess club or the Cub Scouts. Corporations and banks are the economic arm of the state. The two can’t be separated as easily as both leftists and rightists seem to believe. The president, Congress, courts, state and city governments, corporations, banks, military, police, prison, media, educational system, NGOs, think tanks, foundations,etc are all part of the same ruling class/power elite apparatus.

Again, both leftists and rightists seem to miss this point, which demonstrates, IMO, a serious lack of knowledge and education about how “our system” actually works. My first year sociology students are more informed about this after reading the chapter on political sociology in the textbook and listening to my lecture on the topic (assuming they are in class, awake, sober and paying attention which is an awfully big and generally unreasonable assumption) than many seemingly serious political thinkers are.

Without the laws protecting the currency monopoly, we would not have the loansharking operations known as banks in their present form. Without eminent domain, transportation subsidies, and a range of other things, superstores like Wal-Fart would not be able to undercut local business on the level they do. Without transportation subsidies eo-commerce firms like Amazon would not be able to undercut conventional book sellers as easily. Without military protection of Coke’s and Pepsi’s mining operation in Latin America and Africa, they would have been expropriated by locals decades ago. Without intellectual property law, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Microsoft would be toast. Without imperialist, mercantilist “free trade” being imposed on the developing word, not to mention subsidies to agribusiness plantations, the fast food giants like McDonald’s would be less able to compete with local farmers and traditional restaurants. There are many other examples but the point has been made.

The State: History’s Greatest Scam Reply

One of the most successful scams in history is the way that states and ruling classes have been able to persuade ordinary people that their own overlords are their friends rather than their enemies. The truth is that if you’re an American, the American state is your worst enemy, not some foreign state. If you’re British, the British state is your worst enemy. If you’re Chinese, the Chinese state is your worst enemy. If you’re Russian, the Russian state is your worst enemy. There might be rare historical exceptions to this (the occupation of surrounding nations by the Third Reich and USSR in the 20th century is an obvious example), but those are the exceptions rather than the rule. There can also be situations where a foreign state is more your friend than your own state. Vietnam’s liberation of Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge in 1979 is an obvious example. Herman Goering got it right:

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

— Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

I have long believed that the most important political questions is actually a matter of social psychology. Why are people so susceptible to the promptings of authority figures, leaders, and groupthink? There have been some interesting studies on this (Milgram, Zimbardo, Asch, Jones, etc). As Arthur Koesler said:

“…a series of fundamental misconceptions…which prevented (man) from learning the lessons of the past, and…now put his survival in question. The first of these..is putting the blame for man’s predicament on his selfishness, greed, etc.; in a word, on the aggressive, self-assertive tendencies of the individual…I would like to suggest that the integrative tendencies of the individual are incomparably more dangerous than his self-assertive tendencies.”

–Arthur Koestler

Hobbes had it backward. The problem is not how to control the assertive human ego, but how to overcome the overdeveloped human tendency towards subservience, obedience, and gullibility to scams perpetrated by power elites.

MISES UK Conference 2018 – Libertarian Toryism, Dr Sean Gabb Reply

Though ultimately about the future, this will also be a speech that dwells on the past. The first past event that I wish to discuss is what happened in June 2017. When I stood down as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, I was asked if I had taken leave of my senses. I was not visibly broken down by age and ill health. I had evidently not run out of things to say. Why, then, was I steeping aside in favour of a young man who was nearly forty years my junior?…