‘Something will crack’: supposed prophecy of Donald Trump goes viral Reply

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.)

Richard Rorty wrote in 1998: ‘The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for.’


Richard Rorty wrote in 1998: ‘The nonsuburban=electorate will decide that the system has failedand start looking around for a strongman to vote for.’ Photograph: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

Americans trying to unpick the phenomenon of Donald Trump have turned to a late left-leaning academic, who predicted that old industrializeddemocracies were heading into a Weimar-like period in which populist movements could overturn constitutional governments.

In 1998, the late Stanford philosopher Richard Rorty published a small volume, Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America, that described a fracturing of the leftwing coalition that rendered the movement so dispirited and cynical that it invited its own collapse.


In the days after Trump’s electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton, passages from Rorty’s book went viral, shared thousands of times on social media. Rorty’s theories were then echoed by the New Yorker editor David Remnick in an interview with Barack Obama and essay on his presidency, and taken up across the internet as an explanation for Trump’s success.
In the book, Rorty predicted that what he called the left would come to give “cultural politics preference over real politics”. This movement would contribute to a tidal wave of resentment, he wrote, that would ricochet back as the kind of rancor that the left had tried to eradicate.
Rorty suggested that so long as “the proles can be distracted from their own despair by media-created pseudo-events, including the brief and bloody war, the super-rich will have little to fear”.
But as democratic institutions began to fail, workers would begin to realize that governments were “not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or jobs from being exported”, Rorty wrote. They would also realize that the middle classes – themselves desperately afraid of being downsized – would not come to their rescue.
“At that point,” Rorty wrote, “something will crack.”

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Anarchy Bang: Episode Four – Capitalism 2

Aragorn Bang’s podcast. Also, check out Little Black Cart.

A great program discussing many pertinent issues.

Listen here.

Anarchists have largely agreed on the big two. Central to our politics is opposition to the State, or as we discussed last week the monopoly on violence (or corrected by some as the monopoly on the legitament use of violece) and opposition to Capitalism. This week let’s discuss what that means. Unlike the State, that we can largely ignore outside of paying taxes, being corraled at protests, and a brief hesitation prior to committing murder and the like, capitalism is largely something we “do” or at least experience every single day. So we both despise and participate in this system of organizing exchange relationships.

What does this mean for anarchists? Largely it means that we sound crazy when we discuss alternatives to the existing order. Being in this world and of another means that we discuss moral, ethical, and philosophical topics rather than practical or “reasonable” ones. We have very little to say, and less to offer, poor people. We argue the destiny that we are sure of like lunatics and mostly argue these points with some of the only other people who identify as anarchists who we insist are not.

And our natural allies are among the largest mass murderers of the twentieth century in Russia, China, and Vietnam. For some reason that has something to do with marketing and the way that the Internet makes people either lose their mind or forget the past Old Fashion Red Communism has come back into some sort of vogue. And closer to home one of the largest leaks in this little rowboat we call Anarchism is the even more obscure communisms of Pannekok, Luxemburg, and Theory Communiste from Holland, Germany, and France respectively. Europe is back baby as if it every went away.

This week our challenge is to stake our position on Capitalism. Great oppositional system against human self-expression and self-worth or greatest system? Call in and let us discuss capitalism, it’s strength’s, which are many, and its weaknesses.

Against Anarcho-Liberalism and the curse of identity politics 12

At last, some anarchists who get it.

Woke Anarchists

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.

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Alexander Reid-Ross-Podhoretz-Kristol: State Department Anarchist 10

Mr. Antifa Intellectual serves up the “Anarcho-MSNBC” line. This kind of stuff is why I started attacking anarcho-social democrats and totalitarian humanists so vehemently 20 years ago. Regrettably, a substantial tendency has developed among “anarchists” that opposes regional or localized illiberalism more than it opposes imperialism, opposes marginal right-wing extremists more than it opposes the power elite, opposes redneck ruckus makers like the Bundys more than it opposes the FBI and ATF, opposes social conservatives more than it opposes the state itself, and (probably) opposes the reality show president more than it opposes the actual national security state.

I suppose they’re entitled to their opinion. Unlike many anarchists, I consider freedom of opinion and freedom of association to be paramount. But, seriously, how are these kinds of folks any different from the Democratic Party?

 

Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality 1

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.

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The Brilliant: What is Anarchism in 2018 with Bellamy 15

For those who are interested in the philosophies of anarchism, this is a damn good episode of The Brilliant. Myself and ATS are mentioned at various times as well.

The Brilliant-Episode 90. Listen here.

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This is the last episode of 2018. In 2019 along with the Brilliant I’ll be working on a weekly call in show called Anarchy Bang that you should check out on Sundays at noon (PST).

Bellamy and I have another conversation that I’ll release next week about Corrosive Consciousness but for now we discuss anarchism in 2018 (http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-65-what-is-anarchism-in-2018/ and text here http://thebrilliant.org/2018/11/19/season-3-of-the-brilliant/) and where we agree and where BF is wrong (joke!). We discuss whether we are in a third wave of anarchism and what it’s boundary is compared to second wave. Should we fight for the word anarchism, the loyal opposition to anarcho-liberalism, or should we go another direction?

If you haven’t you should check out Bellamy’s article from Backwoods #1 you should. An Invitation to Desertion to understand some of BF’s position in this conversation.

Finally we gossip about Dr. Bones, anarchist nationalism, and spirituality.

Contact us at thebrilliant@thebrilliant.org

Anarchism and the Mentally Ill 1

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Like many of my posts, I’m writing this piece from the clerical unit of my local psych rehab. There are all kinds of people here around me; black, white, old, young. But the one thing we all have in common, the one thing that brings us all together here, is that, for lack of a better word, we’re all fucking nuts. Schizophrenia, bipolar, a vast rainbow across the autism spectrum, I personally enjoy a zesty melange of depression, social anxiety, gender dysphoria, and agoraphobia that have plagued me for most of my life and my family for generations. We come here for a lot of reasons, for work, for recovery, but mostly we come here to belong. Because it’s the one place where we can be who we are without fear of being censured by a society that has deemed us defective.

I am mentally ill, dearest motherfuckers. But what does that really mean in this day and age. In the modern world, a mentally ill person is essentially someone who is pathologically ill equipped to take part in society. But considering the state of society, is that really a disability? We live in a country that prizes mindless obedience to authority and no holds barred consumption to the point of ecological genocide. If you ask me, the people who aren’t freaked out are the fucking sickos.

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Which Way for Anarchists? Revolutionary Struggle or Moral Crusading? 10

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.

How Not to Do Anarchism: An Editorial 4

One of the primary purposes of Attack the System is to reform the anarchist movement so that it will be more capable of further growth and expansion, and to prevent the seeds of future authoritarianism from continuing to spread within the movement. The most immediately problematic aspect of the anarchist movement at present is a pervasive and excessive amount of histrionic leftist extremism (Links to the websites and Twitter feeds of a handful groups and individuals that serve as examples of this difficulty are provided at the bottom of the page).

For some years, Attack the System has promoted pluralistic and non-sectarian forms of anarchism that could have the effect of functioning as an umbrella for many different kinds of sub-tendencies within anarchism or hyphenated forms of anarchism. Many such ideas have been proposed by others as well under such labels as pan-anarchism, panarchism, black flag coalitioning, anarcho-coalitioning, anarchism without adjectives, anarchism without hyphens, synthesist anarchism, bioregional anarchism, anarcho-secessionism, independencia anarchism, enclave anarchism, municipal anarchism, anarcho-federalism, village anarchism, decentralist anarchism, anarcho-ecumenicalism, national-anarchism, tribal anarchism, exitarian anarchism, bolo bolo anarchism, anarcho-populism, alternative anarchism, umbrella anarchism, and big tent anarchism.

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