I invite any system-lovers who may be reading to explain exactly how it is that we don’t live in a police state.
By Josh Barnabel
A team of New York City law-enforcement officers swarmed a Manhattan condominium last month, issuing 27 notices of violations for illegal hotel use in one of the largest crackdowns on short-term rentals such as those listed on Airbnb.
The raid at the Atelier, a 46-story Midtown luxury tower, may be a sign of what’s to come. New York and other cities are seeking to limit short-term rentals that can run afoul of local laws designed to limit hotel-style stays in residential buildings.
This is a pretty good episode of A-News, which includes a discussion of the diversity of anarchist thought, populism, rural anarchist activism, and yours truly even gets a mention at one point. Listen here.
Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 88 for November 2, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week on anarchistnews.org.
Editorial: No one wants to see parents dance, by chisel
TOTW: No Fly Zones, with Aragorn! and Sport
The Brilliant continues its series on national-anarchism with an interview Gregor Eugen Elliott. Listen here.
The description of the interview from The Brilliant.
This is an interview with Gregor of Tribes magazine. His story (and article in Tribes) is about the move from “left anarchism” to national anarchism. The discussion is about WTF is left anarchism, National anarchism, and a kindred.
By Brandon Smith
Over a decade ago, critics of the liberty movement would often argue that it was not enough to simply point out all the problems plaguing our economy — we needed to also offer solutions. Of course, a common Alinsky tactic is to demand your opponents solve all the world’s ailments before they can earn the right to complain. “If you can’t give us a solution, then stop going on and on about the problem,” they would squawk incessantly like parrots.
I don’t agree that our right to analyze the instabilities of our financial system is predicated on our ability to fix the issue outright. In fact, that sounds rather insane. How can we fix the problem if we don’t educate the public on the problem first? However, I do think that the only people who have the drive and the knowledge to ultimately come up with a solution are those in the liberty movement. Who else is going to try? Who else is even qualified?
I have seen many ideas come and go over the years. The thing about fixing what is broken is that while you might get most people to agree on the problem, getting a majority of them to agree on a solution is a nightmare. Once enough people agree on a solution, you then have to find a way to motivate them to act on it. The masses often want desperately to help themselves, they just don’t like it when a lot of effort or sacrifice is required.
This is why we only tend to see organized activism and a push toward self-sufficiency AFTER a crisis has already struck. Most human beings require obvious incentive before they become motivated. They need immediate gratification. The people that can see the long game, who can see the incentives years or generations down the road, we call “leaders.” The hope is that one day every individual can be educated to the point that they can self-lead; that each individual will become an innovator and problem solver in their own right.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
When I first learned that I had been published on Attack the System, a site notorious for being something of a safe space for national anarchists, I was both confused and intrigued. Intrigued because the national anarchists have a rather unsavory rep among their fellow anti-statists as being a kooky breed of quasi white supremacists. And confused because I happen to be an aggressively queer Marxian syndicalist. But also being a hard-luck, technologically challenged, writer who’s shit is often too radical even for the fringe, I decided I could hardly look a gift horse in the mouth. So I said fuck it, why not?
Then something very strange happened. The national anarchists turned out to be human beings and they seemed to legitimately dig my shit. So I put them to the test. I sent them all of my posts, not just the ones I thought wouldn’t offend their traditionalist sensibilities. I sent them candid posts about my own complex gender identity. I sent them posts referencing my past dalliances with communism and my continued admiration for the Black Panthers. I sent them posts in which I openly and gleefully derided the very notions of biological race and gender. I didn’t write these posts with the national anarchists in mind, it just happened to be the kind of shit I write about and I made zero attempt to shield my new audience from it. To my surprise, not only did every single one of those posts get published, they were a hit. Attack the System even went so far as to make me an editor, which was particularly kind considering that I can barely edit my own work, let alone anyone else’s.
Recently, AttacktheSystem.Com has generated a surge of traffic due to a range of projects we have been associated with. For those who are unfamiliar with ATS, I would suggest reading our Statement of Purpose, along the following three articles first in order to find out what we’re about.
Anarchism or Anarcho-Social Democracy?
Liberty and Populism: Building an Effective Resistance Movement for North America
Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire
The first article was written circa 2000/2001 during the peak of the anti-globalization movement. The other two were written circa 2003/2004 following the beginning of the Iraq War. While some of the content may be slightly dated, these core ideas remain the foundation of our outlook.
Many of our newer readers are coming to us from the anarchist movement. Let’s just say we offer an alternative perspective to the “anarcho-MSNBC” line that is presently dominant in the North American anarchist milieu. Make up your own mind.
Listen to the podcast from The Brilliant here.
The host’s comments:
“I have been wanting to talk about the line between tribalism and nationalism for years but it is a challenge. All sides take the conversation very seriously ON THE INTERNET whereas my experience IRL isn’t quite the same. I’ve found people willing to joke and tease each other about the categories that do and don’t exist and our participation in them. I’ve found the hyperbole of tough guys, banning, gatekeeping, and racist bullshit to be quite rare in the corporal world. Not as much in the ether.
Right-anarchist Keith Preston sent me a copy of a very interesting (and disturbing) magazine called Tribes that points straight at the issue calling itself a “National Anarchist magazine.” I did a conversation with KP where I tried to tease out the issue of how you can discuss nation in any meaningful way without discussing race (or the nation state tbh) and here is what he had to say about it.
I simply described myself as a “racial atheist,” meaning I have no racial beliefs. And then he was like “But these folks do….” and I simply said that there are many people who do not have racial/ethnic beliefs in the N-A milieu, and those who do are very diverse in terms of their perspective on those issues, and that people of color were among the N-A milieu as well.
To which I’d respond, why call yourself a national anarchist at all? How is a nation defined (especially if you use it in the sense that the Tribes editorial does as in nation = tribes)? I’d then laugh at the use of the term atheist in the same breath as race. You can claim all humans are of the same biological race (and I’d agree) but to say that “Race does not exist” is laughably stupid.
But let’s not get distracted. If the post-modern definition of a nation, or a tribe, is possible, which I’m not sure it is, the place where it was articulated best was in the 80’s by the (not)anarchist, (not)utopian book bolo’bolo. Filled with a world where alco-bolos and les-bolos live together in perfect harmony. Let’s talk about this body of ideas in a context we share… which obviously doesn’t involve KP.
In this two episode block we discuss our discomfort with KP’s approach (the first two episodes focus on the nationalism question in the context of bolo’bolo, the third on the context of bolo’bolo itself) and ask how to discuss nationalism at all in a modern (ie dramaful) context.”
Do the ideas of thinkers like James Corbett represent the way forward for an anarchist-led/informed revolutionary center that identifies the global power elite as the true enemy?
Two, three, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, one million Cherans.
I recently gave an interview to a left-anarchist podcast. While they decided not to post it, there is a discussion of it on this podcast. The relevant part starts around 19:30 and the part about our interview starts around 26 minutes in.
Welcome to the Anews podcast. This is episode 77 for August 17, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.
By Iain McKay
Anarchism is generally not associated with economics — and Iain McKay argues that perhaps it’s time the field got more attention.
There is no “anarchist” school of economics as there are “Marxist,” “Keynesian” and so on. This does not mean there are no anarchist texts on economics. Proudhon springs to mind here, with his numerous works on the subject — the three Memoirs on property (most famous being the first, What is Property?) and the two volumes of System of Economic Contradictions (of which, only the first has been translated) — as does Kropotkin, with his Fields, Factories and Workshops. However, in spite of various (important) works there is no well-established body of work.
There are various reasons for this. Partly, it is due to the typical isolation of the English-speaking movement: many works which could be used to create an anarchist economics have never been translated into English. Partly, it is due to an undeserved sense of inferiority: too many anarchists have followed Marxists by taking Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy as an accurate account and honest critique of Proudhon’s ideas (it is neither, as I show in “The Poverty of (Marx’s) Philosophy,” Anarcho-Syndicalist Review 70).
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I haven’t always been an anarchist but I’ve always been a radical. After being raised in the pro-life movement I discovered the Communist Manifesto as a 14 year old lapsed malcontent. I didn’t understand every word of it but the inflammatory anti-clerical rhetoric lit a fire in me that never went out. After spending several years as a teenage anarchist, influenced in equal measure by Subcomandante Marcos and Johnny Rotten, I turned to state socialism, inspired by the bold anti-imperialist antics of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution. It was also around this time that I became enamored by tales of the Bolsheviks, Che Guevara, and those dastardly Castro brothers. Marxist-Leninism and Democratic Centralism made sense to a twenty-something closeted agoraphobic. Like my life it felt preserved in formaldehyde. It felt safe.
But there’s nothing radical about safe and when I came out of the closet to take my life back from mental illness and gender tyranny, I was ready to dream dangerously again. The suspiciously early demise of Hugo Chavez followed shortly by the cataclysmic failure of his signature revolution was the final straw. Chavez did everything right but when he dropped dead the revolution dropped dead with him. For me, that was the last nail in the coffin for state socialism or state anything for that matter. I was drawn back to anarchism by the unexpected triumph of the Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria and the prison writings of the man who inspired it, another post-Marxist anti-statist named Abdullah Ocalan. But I’ve remained both conscious and unapologetic of my tangled radical roots and my objectives have always remained the same, the creation of a classless post-capitalist society.
“Periodic crises and wars are used to whip up support for other plunder-reward cycles which in effect tighten the noose around our individual liberties. And of course we have hordes of academic sponges, amoral businessmen, and just plain hangers-on, to act as non-productive recipients for the plunder.
Stop the circle of plunder and immoral reward and elitist structures collapse. But not until a majority finds the moral courage and the internal fortitude to reject the something-for-nothing con game and replace it by voluntary associations, voluntary communes, or local rule and decentralized societies, will the killing and the plunder cease.”
The late American paleoconservative columnist Samuel T. Francis on the phenomenon of “anarcho-tyranny”, a useful term for describing much of the systematic legalist bullshit plaguing the West today, particularly the U.K. and mainland Europe.
By Samuel Francis
If, as Bill Clinton tells us, the “era of Big Government is over,” somebody needs to tell the state of Maryland (not to mention Bill Clinton). Earlier this month the Maryland legislature had itself a small orgy of swelling the powers of the state government, and apparently it helped give Mr. Clinton some ideas of his own (orgies seem to have that effect on him).
Just before the end of this year’s legislative session, the Maryland lawmakers passed several new laws that (a) allow policemen to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts, (b) authorize hidden cameras at red lights to take secret photographs of the license plates of cars that run the lights, (c) ban loud car stereos on state roads, (d) forbid minors from buying butane lighters because they might inhale the gas, and (e) require drivers whose windshield wipers are running to keep their headlights on. The lawmakers seem to have missed outlawing cooking breakfast in your underwear, but of course there’s always another session next year.
The citizens of Maryland will no doubt be thrilled to learn that law enforcement in their state has now so mastered violent crime that the cops have little else to do but round up non-seat-belt wearers and butane-sniffers. As a matter of fact, Maryland’s Prince George’s County has just announced that rapes and homicides increased in the first three months of 1997. Nevertheless, you can be certain that no one will be raped or murdered without wearing a seat belt.
The new Maryland laws are rather perfect instances of what I have previously called “anarcho-tyranny” – a form of government that seems to be unknown in history until recently. Anarcho-tyranny is a combination of the worst features of anarchy and tyranny at the same time.
Under anarchy, crime is permitted and criminals are not apprehended or punished. Under tyranny, innocent citizens are punished. Most societies in the past have succumbed to either one or the other, but never as far as I know to both at once.
Hilariously, an article about anarchism appears in teen vogue magazine. It’s actually a pretty good article so far it goes. My one criticism is that it only focused on the leftist-activist version of anarchism, and not the wider range of anarchist thought. But nothing’s perfect.
By Kim Kelly
Writer Kim Kelly is an anarchist based in New York City and an organizer with the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC).
In a pop-cultural sense, at least, the idea of anarchy has been characterized by either a middle-fingers-up, no-parents-no-rules punk attitude, or a panicky, more conservative outlook used by national and state sources to represent violent chaos and disorder. Today, we can see an extremely serious, radical leftist political philosophy on T-shirts at Hot Topic.
So what is anarchism? What do those people raising black flags and circling A’s really want? Here’s what you need to know:
What is anarchism?
Anarchism is a radical, revolutionary leftist political philosophy that advocates for the abolition of government, hierarchy, and all other unequal systems of power. It seeks to replace what its proponents view as inherently oppressive institutions — like a capitalist society or the prison industrial complex — with nonhierarchical, horizontal structures powered by voluntary associations between people. Anarchists organize around a key set of principles, including horizontalism, mutual aid, autonomy, solidarity, direct action, and direct democracy, a form of democracy in which the people make decisions themselves via consensus (as opposed to representative democracy, of which the United States government is an example).
Todd Lewis is joined by Chris Shaw to discuss his favorable review of Todd’s essay Contra the Self-Ownership Principle: The Nightmare of Libertopia and other topics related to anarchism and libertarianism.
Joe Kopsick comments on Tom Woods’s August 18th, 2018 interview of Joshua Smith, at large delegate of the Libertarian National Committee. I talk about the efforts of Smith and right-libertarians to attempt to silence the debate on libertarian socialism which is happening within the Libertarian Party.
Tom Woods interviews Joshua Smith on the libertarian capitalist vs libertarian socialist conflict in the Libertarian Party. Listen here.
Joshua Smith, who secured a spot on the Libertarian National Committee at the party’s recent convention, joins me to discuss the party’s present and future, the controversy with “libertarian socialists,” and much more.