The Dark Side of Empathy Reply

I’ve often been accused of lacking “empathy,” “sensitivity,” and all the other usual pieties. To which my response is “Guilty, but Proud.” Here’s why.

By Paul Bloom

The Atlantic

I’m not usually in favor of killing, but I’d make an exception for the leaders of ISIS. I’d feel a certain satisfaction if they were wiped off the face of the Earth. This is a pretty typical attitude, shared even by many of my more liberal friends, even though, intellectually, it’s not something that we’re comfortable with or proud of.Where does this malice come from? Psychologists have standard explanations for murderous feelings towards groups of strangers, but none of them apply here. I don’t think ISIS is a threat to me or my family or my way of life; I’m not driven by disgust and contempt; I don’t dehumanize them; I don’t think of them as vermin or dogs.

Rather, I am motivated by more respectable sentiments, by compassion, love, and empathy. Not for ISIS, of course, but for their victims. I have seen the videos of decapitations and crucifixions and have read accounts of rape, slavery, and torture. If I were less invested in the suffering of their victims, I would be more receptive to a balanced discussion of different options. But because I care, I really just want them to pay.

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, published in 1759, Adam Smith observes that when we see someone harmed by another, we feed off his desire for vengeance: “We are rejoiced to see him attack his adversary in his turn, and eager and ready to assist him.” Even if he dies, our imagination does the trick: “We enter, as it were, into his body, and in our imaginations, in some measure, animate anew the deformed and mangled carcass of the slain, [and] bring home in this manner his case to our bosoms.”

You can see this process at work in research published last year by the psychologists Anneke Buffone and Michael Poulin. Subjects were told about a competition between two students in another room of the lab. Half of the subjects read an essay in which one of the students described herself as being in distress (“I’ve never been this low on funds and it really scares me”); the others read an essay in which she was mellow (“I’ve never been this low on funds, but it doesn’t really bother me”). The subjects were then told that they were going to help out in a study of pain and performance, wherein they would get to choose how much hot sauce the student’s competitor would have to consume.

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Ideology as Addiction Reply

There are an awful lot of people nowadays, many of our “anarchists” as much as anyone, who need to take the message of this piece to heart. What we witnessing today is the proliferation of cults committed to one or another fanatical ideology.

Of Two Minds

Solutions abound, but they aren’t one size fits all ideologies.

It isn’t just coincidental that ideology shares so many dynamics with addiction. Though ideology is a faith-belief dynamic rather than a chemical process, both require constant reinforcement/renewal and both demand a painful withdrawal procedure of those who decide to free themselves of the monkey on their back.

The individual addicted to an ideology needs a constant drip of confirmation that the ideological belief is both correct and ethically superior to competing belief systems. The ideology-addict gets a much-needed hit of confirmation by reading, watching or listening to other believers’ justifications and defenses of the ideology.

Ideology fills two basic human needs: certainty and purpose. a constant state of uncertainty places a corrosive burden on the mind, emotions and spirit; the solution is a decision or resolution that resolves the uncertainy.

Humans need purpose to guide their life; aimlessness is debilitating and unnatural.

Addiction provides purpose, as the life of the addict is guided by the need to satisfy the addiction.

Ideology also provides purpose: the believer is called upon to defend and evangelize the ideology as an abstraction, and support its manifestations in the real world.

Addiction is an all-or-nothing state of being. If an individual can abandon the addiction at will and feel no deprivation, it isn’t an addiction; if sporadic half-measures suffice, it isn’t an addiction.

Ideology is also an all-or-nothing state of being. One doesn’t believe in capitalism or socialism, for example, in half-measure or occasionally when the whim strikes; one is convinced of the rightness of one’s ideology as a permanent state of certainty.

There is a sense of belonging and betrayal implicit in ideological beliefs that mirrors addiction. The sex addict, for example, feels only fellow sex addicts can possibly understand the compulsion and satisfaction of that particular monkey on one’s back.

In the state of ideological certainty/ addiction, only fellow believers can possibly grasp the perfection and rightness of the ideology. Thus this certainty is not just a state of being; it is also a state of belonging, hence the similarity of belonging to a cult and addiction.

To cease believing is heresy and an abject betrayal of the brethen/sisterhood. Hell hath no fury like a membership scorned or abandoned.

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State Censorship, Corporate Censorship: A Libertarian View Reply

Sean Gabb has a timely article on the problem of censorship being outsourced from the state to state-allied institutions in present day society. This should motivate many right-leaning libertarians to rethink the overly neat and tidy “public vs. private” dichotomy that right-libertarians frequently embrace. Instead, we need to apply the insights of elite theory and recognize that governments, corporations, universities, and the mass media are all part of the same state/ruling class/power elite apparatus.

By Sean Gabb

Every age we have so far known has been one of censorship. This is not to say that opinion has been equally constrained in all times and places. Sometimes, as in the Soviet Union, it has been oppressive and omnipresent – even extending to an imposition of orthodoxy on the natural sciences. More often, it has been focussed on perceived criticisms of the established political and religious order. Sometimes, dissent has been permitted among the intellectual classes – especially when expressed in a language unknown to the people at large, and only punished when communicated to the people at large. Sometimes, a diversity of political orders has limited any particular censorship to an area of just a few square hundreds of miles. Sometimes it has been limited by a general belief in the right of free expression. But I can think of no time or place where publication has been absolutely unconstrained.

If I look at modern England, I cannot say that censorship is as oppressive and omnipresent as it was in the Soviet Union. I cannot think of any opinion that cannot somehow be expressed. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not wish to do any of these things. However, if I want to deny the holocaust, I can. If I want to argue for sex with children, I can. If I want to claim that the coloured races are intellectually or morally inferior, I can. If I want to say that homosexuality is a dreadful sin that will be punished by everlasting torments, I can. If I want to argue – in the abstract – for the rightness of shooting politicians, I can. The law punishes what are regarded as inflammatory expressions of such belief. It punishes expressions of such belief when they are regarded as affecting known individuals. But I am not aware of a law that makes it a crime to publish sober and abstract expressions of any opinion.

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‘Designating’ Antifa a Terrorist Organization Is a Bad Idea Reply

As I predicted, state repression against both the Alt-Right and Antifa is on the way.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

National Review

Image result for antifa

State and local police, not the feds, are the best protection we have against domestic terror. And we need the feds to fight foreign terror. The violent radical leftist group that goes by the Orwellian name “Antifa” (anti-fascist) “is thuggish in its tactics and totalitarian in its sensibility,” as Rich Lowry forcefully put it in a column on Tuesday. It also engages in terrorism. The eye-test leaves no doubt about that. Neither does federal law. Section 2331(5) of the U.S. penal code defines domestic terrorism as activities that occur primarily within the United States; that “involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State”; and that “appear to be intended” to accomplish at least one of the following three objectives:

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A Blue Texas? Keep Dreaming Reply

This article is from 2012 but it raises an important issue that was largely ignored in the 2016 election, and that is the fact that even though Texas is now a “majority-minority” state, Trump still beat Clinton by nine percentage points. A standard presumption on both the Left and Right is that as the US becomes more diverse and integrated, the Democrats will have a distinct advantage because minorities typically vote Democrat. However, there may be room for caution. As American society becomes more diverse, the white vote in red states may become even more red, and the Republicans may gain an increased number of minority voters.

Minorities, whether ethnic minorities, women, gays, etc. may feel more comfortable voting for the GOP if they hold conservative views on issues such as economics, foreign policy, social issues, and if they feel that the the wider society is tolerant enough that they do not need to feel personally threatened. Additionally, class divisions within minority communities are likely to widen to an even greater degree in the future. There is also evidence that immigrants may well be inclined to assimilate into the political culture of the community they immigrate into. This would mean that immigrants who migrate to Texas are likely to be more conservative than immigrants who migrate to California.

By Nate Cohn

New Republic

Not only did the huge Hispanic turnout on Election Day help return President Obama to the White House; it has also lifted Democratic hopes about what just a few years ago was inconceivable: a blue Texas. Even Eva Longoria decided to pen a piece about Texas’ emerging swing state status and some Texas Republicans are getting nervous too— Jeb Bush asserted that Texas would be a blue state in 2016—but the talk is premature. Despite having the second largest Latino population in the country, Texas won’t be purple, let alone blue, for a long time.

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A Beating in Berkeley Reply

What I find most interesting about this article is that the “right-wingers” being described would have qualified as being on the Left, even the far Left, only 10-20 years ago. This is in keeping with my general theory that American society has shifted far to the left culturally over the past decade, and that the demographic components of the Right and Left will be increasingly blurred over time. Yes, most conservatives are still “old, affluent, straight, white, Christian males” and, yes, the majority of minorities are liberals, but this distinction is slowly become less predictable. I attribute this to the fact that US society is becoming increasingly integrated along racial, gender, and sexual lines while political and socioeconomic divisions are rising.

By Matt Labash

The Weekly Standard

As white supremacists go, Joey Gibson makes for a lousy one. For starters, he’s half Japanese. “I don’t feel like I’m Caucasian at all,” he says. Not to be a stickler for the rules, but this kind of talk could get you sent to Master Race remedial school.

And it gets worse. The founder of Patriot Prayer—a Vancouver, Wash.-based operation that sponsors rallies and marches promoting freedom and First Amendment rights along with all-purpose unity—also spews hippie-dippie rhetoric like “moderates have to come together” and “love and peace [are] the only way to heal this country.” Joey tends to sound less like an alt-right bully boy than a conflict-resolution facilitator or a Unitarian Sunday school teacher.

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They Staged a Bum Fight…and They Lost Reply

This is an interesting account of Charlottesville by Matt Parrot of the Traditionalist Worker Party, one of the right-wing groups involved in the melee. As a caveat, I know Matt personally, I met him at a National Policy Institute event in 2011, and he produced some of my podcasts when I was on the old Voice of Reason network. He is critical of my anarchist philosophy, and I am critical of his white nationalist/national socialist ideology, and I have become very critical of the direction the Alt-Right has taken in recent years.

However, I had an interesting exchange with Matt on Facebook in the days before Charlottesville. I suggested that if the Alt-Right and Antifa were real radicals, they would be fighting the cops rather than other fringe groups. Matt objected, arguing that the fights start when the Left seeks to use force to prevent white nationalists and other right-wingers from having a presence in the public space. This is a valid point since the stated objective of the hard Left is to prevent right-wing gatherings from happening “by any means necessary” ranging from physical violence against persons, to vandalism, to bomb threats, etc.

I largely agree with the narrative that Matt outlines in this article in the sense that, while there were no doubt neo-Nazis on the Alt-Right side who were picking fights with counterprotestors on an individual basis, there is not yet any evidence that the Alt-Rightists who planned and organized the event intended for a riot to occur. However, there is evidence that the Antifa and other hard leftists (which did not include a majority of the counterprotestors) specifically wanted a riot to take place (see Faith Goldy’s interview with Stefan Molyneux I posted today), and that the serious violence started when the police shut down the rally and dispersed the Alt-Rightists into the crowd of counterprotestors. There is also room for speculation that the mayor and vice mayor of city government of Charlottesville, and possibly the governor of Virginia, quite possibly intended for a riot to occur for the sake of scoring partisan advantages. The Charlottesville police had been criticized for the way they handled counterprotestors during an earlier KKK rally in Charlottesville a month earlier, and it is entirely plausible that the decision was made to take the opposite approach in August by having the police stand down after shutting down the rally, pushing the Alt-Righists into the crowd, and allowing the leftists to “have at” the right-wingers (probably very much to the regret of most of the counter protestors). I am certainly willing to be persuaded by evidence to the contrary, but that’s how it looks at present.

By Matt Parrott

Traditionalist Worker Party

As foreshadowed by pretty much every altright voice who was actually there, and many of the anarchist voices who are being completely honest, Charlottesville was a premeditated attempt by the leftist city government to host the Alt Right’s paramilitary defeat at the hands of their antifa allies. It didn’t play out like that, but slowly and surely, piece by piece, what actually happened is making its way out from behind the wall of hysterical media-driven bullshit.

As predicted, documents are leaking and the objective truth is coming into focus. The Narrative Collapse is happening in cascading stages:

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Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say Reply

The Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet that I could find that made any reasonable effort to understand what actually happened in Charlottesville without moralistic grandstanding, and by including the alt-right perspective. The Los Angeles Times has been the only mainstream media outlet that has bothered to ask the question, “What actually happened?” rather than simply spin the “Official Bad People Did Bad Things” party line. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet to predict Trump’s electoral victory.

By Matt Pearce

Los Angeles Times

The clashes that broke out over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., have become a new touchstone in the nation’s long-running debate over racism, free speech and violence.

One woman was killed and many more injured when a car, allegedly driven by a rally participant, sped into a crowd of anti-racism protesters. Two state troopers monitoring the action died in a helicopter crash later in the day, though no foul play was suspected.

The event quickly took on enormous political importance as Democrats and Republicans alike denounced the violence and the white supremacist views espoused at the far-right rally. President Trump has also denounced the racist groups, but he suggests that anti-racism counter-demonstrators share some of the blame. On Tuesday, he said “both sides” were responsible for the bloodshed.

Charlottesville: Violence in the Streets | Faith Goldy and Stefan Molyneux Reply

Faith Goldy along with Ford Fischer provided some of the best on the ground coverage of Charlottesville of any independent media sources. Faith Goldy is apparently some kind of Lauren Southern-like “alt-lite” figure that was associated with Rebel Media. Apparently, she was recently fired for giving an interview to Daily Stormer, which is an overt neo-Nazi site. She was present during the car ramming incident, and nearly hit by the car herself apparently.

This is an interview that Ford Fischer did with Luke Rodowski on the day of the incident.

Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here Reply

This feature from CNN is fairly representative of the mainstream media narrative on Charlottesville.

By Eliot McLauglin

(CNN)Despite the outrage and uproar, everyone had to know the protests were coming to Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — and that they would get out of hand.

This is how we got here.

It began in February when the City Council voted to rechristen two parks named for Confederate generals and to remove a bronze statue of one of those generals, Robert E. Lee, from an eponymous downtown park.

This came on the heels of several Southern cities removing dozens of Confederate monuments from public property after a self-described white supremacist massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

The Charlottesville move met with resistance, as some residents sued, and a judge blocked the statue’s removal for six months as the matter was litigated.

The City Council voted again in April, this time agreeing to sell the statue and let the buyer remove it, CNN affiliate WVIR reported.

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The complete story of what happened in Charlottesville, according to the alt-right Reply

This is an article from Quartz, a left-leaning publication, that describes the general set of narratives that have developed in alt-right circles concerning what actually happened in Charlottesville. While this article is obviously meant as as a “look at how these assholes are trying to spin things” expose, the author makes no effort to refute the claims made by the alt-right (some of which I would agree with and some I wouldn’t). Instead, the author simply links to the article on Buzzfeed I posted today, along with a feature from CNN, as supposed evidence of “the real story.” As I have said before, the media coverage of Charlottesville some of the sloppiest I have ever seen.

By Gwynn Guilford

Quartz

The mainstream media account of the Unite the Right rally and the alt-narrative ultimately diverge regarding the weekend’s violence: Who started it, what kind occurred, who let it happen. Both tell roughly similar stories, with the perpetrator roles inverted. According to alt-right commentators, the white nationalist protesters were thrust defenseless into crowds of armed thugs, beaten, and forced to defend themselves to the extent that one of their ranks killed in self-defense.

This isn’t surprising. The theme of Unite the Right and the surrounding commentary wasn’t the superiority of whites as much as it was their victimhood. While some Unite the Right attendees certainly came armed to the teeth, many others stood just as vigilantly clutching their smartphones and selfie sticks, as if poised to capture leftist evils rained upon them.

This matters because the alt-right audience isn’t exactly tiny—Breitbart News, the most popular site of its stripe, clocked 11 million unique visitors in May, after peaking at around 45 million in 2016. Nor is it disempowered: after all, the man the alt-right sees at its most prominent ally occupies the Oval Office. But perhaps because the alt-right (a term that encompasses those with anti-establishment views to racist extremists) readership is still small compared to more mainstream outletsCNN’s monthly traffic exceeds 100 millionwriters have fostered a David-versus-Goliath solidarity with readers around a shared conviction that politicians and the mainstream media aim to take power and rights away from whites.

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Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville Reply

This article from Buzzfeed, published two days after the Charlottesville incident, remains the best account of the timeline of events that I have seen to date by a) someone who was actually there, and b) someone who is liberal to left leaning in their political biases. The principal problem I see with this article is that it starts off with the line “Yes, you can blame the Nazis,” and the proceeds to describe what sounds like a great deal of mutual combat with no clear aggressor being identified, except on the basis of ideological affiliation, i.e. the standard “Official Bad People” vs. “People with Good Intentions” narrative. In other words, a variation of the “there is no moral equivalence between a dictatorship and a democracy” argument I used to get from right-wing Reaganite hawks when I would point out how US foreign policy during the Cold War was at least as aggressive as that of the USSR, and often more so given the superior wealth and military power of the US.

By Blake Montgomery

Buzzfeed

Yes, you can blame the Nazis.

The race-fueled chaos that wracked Charlottesville, Virginia, finally came to rest on Sunday night. And the hundreds of people who spent the weekend fighting in streets — and the millions who watched them — began what has become a new American ritual: arguing about what really happened, and what a spasm of localized political violence means.

Was this an assault by racist extremists on innocent, rightly outraged Americans? Was it a clash between “many sides,” as President Trump notoriously said? Was the scale of the white supremacist threat blown out of proportion? Was the violence of the black-hooded “antifa” understated?

The answers are clearer on the ground than they are in the filter bubbles driven by fierce partisan argument on social media and cable news. They are complicated but not ambiguous. Here are a few:

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Yes, the Left and Right Mirror Each Other Reply

I found this description of the right-wing patriot movement on a Facebook page associated with a far left “anti-fascist,” “watchdog” type. What is interesting about this is that if you changes the names and terminology a bit, this could just as easily be a conservative or right-winger talking about the Left.

“The Patriot movement is more-or-less genuine in its attempts to distinguish itself from avowed White Supremacists (despite their own movement’s origins in the 70s white power movement). but what this means is that they are politically on the furtherist rightmost wing of the Trump coalition without advocating a white ethnostate.

There are a diversity of views in the movement, but in general its run by a lot of conspiracy theories (often derived from antisemitism), total hostility to Black Lives Matter and the Left, and deep and open Islamophobia and immigration. they want to use guns to intimidate their political opponents and believe in a lot of crackpot legal theories. only a small fraction (maybe a quarter) are “merely” libertarian gun nuts. so any “dialogue” with them is a dialogue with someone who SURJ would generally consider to have openly white supremacist views – whether the member is a person of color (they have a few, like Sheriff David Clarke) or white. letting them off the hook when they don’t want to be associated with Nazis is a cheap way to kosher their racism.

I think the best way to dialogue with them is to challenge their views of the Constitution – to ask why if they believe in 1A they are suppressing freedom of religion; to show that there is nowhere in the Constitution that it says that the county sheriffs can decide which laws to enforce; to argue that the NRA and Oath Keepers refuse over and over to back the rights of POC to own guns and open carry. They will listen to these arguments, but you’ll have to learn about some of this stuff (which most leftists don’t know anything about – i had to learn even the rudiments).

They also stereotype everyone from the RCP to Obama as a “Marxist” and in their world, we’re out to seize their guns, so groups like Redneck Revolt confuse them because they don’t fit cleanly into their narrative. There is some begruding respect, i think, so also getting guns and learning about gun culture will build a kind of bridge of common ground because you are doing something they valorize – kinda like if they studied white privilege theory and black history and racism in America and had a knowledgeable discussion with you about it (even if they didn’t agree with our take on these things) – you would respect them more that they are actually learning about this and engaging in these questions which are important to you and that you want people to delve into.”

Centrism: A Moderate Manifesto Reply

There is much to admire in this article although, like centrist thought generally, there is a little too much comfort with the status quo. Of the seven principles that are outlined in this piece, I can only accept 2, 3, 4, and 5 wholeheartedly. While 1, 6, and 7 make valid points, they gloss over the crimes of liberal-capitalist nation-states.

Critics of Communism and Fascism correctly point out the body counts that have been generated by these ideologies. However, Capitalism’s body count is pretty high as well. Perhaps even higher given that Capitalism has existed on a much larger scale and over a longer period of time than either Fascism or Communism. The Third Reich only lasted for 12 years, the Mussolini regime for 23 years, and the Franco regime for 36 years. Communism’s entire history extends over a period of about 75 years even if it controlled half the world’s population at one point. But Capitalism extends back for centuries, and has dominated most of the world since, and continues to do so today.

The body count produced by the US regime alone over the past two centuries probably numbers in the tens of millions, and when we add up the body count produced by all of the capitalist empires and regimes combined extending back for 400 years it numbers well into the hundreds of millions, thereby rivaling the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.

By Bo Winegard

Quillette.Com

Centrism. It’s a decidedly wimpy and unexciting word and it often inspires derision as a kind of pallid purgatory for those afraid to take bold action or propound creative political ideas. Worse, it is less a coherent philosophy than a potpourri of concerns, complaints, and anxieties about other philosophies. The center is where those who can’t quite commit to something better land. And the centrist is that staid friend who orders vanilla pudding for fear that anything unique might offend his delicate palette.

These common complaints might contain more than a kernel of truth, but centrism doesn’t need to be dull or incoherent. Understood properly, centrism is a consistent philosophical system that attempts to guide political and cultural systems through change without paroxysms of revolution and violence. The centrist, in this sense, believes that political and cultural progress is best achieved by caution, temperance, and compromise, not extremism, radicalism, or violence.

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Both Lincoln and the Confederacy Were Awful Reply

Yes, yes, yes. Finally, a commentator with the perspicacity to inject some actual common sense into this argument. Most of the arguments that are made against Confederate monuments could be made against other monuments commemorating US history as well. Many of the founders of the USA were slaveholders. Where do people think Grant’s armies went after the Confederate secession was put down? They went westward and continued the conquest of the Indian territories. Most nations have a similar or comparable history because all states are ultimately founded on conquest. That’s just how the world works. You could complain about someone flying a Chinese flag outside a Chinese restaurant by pointing out the body count generated by Maoism.

By Tom Mullen

Foundation for Economic Education

We’re fighting the Civil War again. Whenever both major parties drop any pretense of addressing the real problems facing American taxpayers, their constituents revert to having at each other in “the culture wars.” And no culture war would be complete without relitigating what should now be settled history: the reasons for the Civil War.

Americans sympathetic to the Union generally believe the war was fought to end slavery or to “rescue the slaves” from political kidnapping by the slave states, that seceded from the Union to avoid impending abolition.

“No,” say those sympathetic to the Confederacy. The states seceded over states’ rights, particularly their right not to be victimized by high protectionist tariffs, paid mostly by southern states, but spent mostly on what we’d now call corporate welfare and infrastructure projects in the north.

That the states seceded for a different reason than the war was fought seems to elude everyone.

There is plenty of secondary literature presenting evidence on both sides, which is why Americans are still arguing this tired point over 150 years after the war ended. But there is a pretty simple way to clear the air. Just read the primary sources and take everyone at his word.

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Antifa Organizers Announce Plans To Disrupt Neo-Nazi Rally Or Whatever Else Going On That Day Reply

The Onion is generally a left-leaning site. Fortunately, they’re smart enough not to fall for the “anti-facism” hysteria Kool-Aid.

BERKELEY, CA—Vowing to derail whichever event it is by any means necessary, local Antifa organizers announced plans Monday to disrupt an upcoming neo-Nazi rally or whatever else is going on that day. “We will stop at nothing to prevent these vile fucking neo-Nazi hatemongers from gathering, or, if not them, someone else,” said Sarah Jackson, 26, adding that the only way to end the spread of fascism is to physically confront Nazis, peaceful right-wing protesters, or just random people going about their daily lives. “We need to tell these Hitler-loving fucks or whoever else is standing there, ‘Get out of our city!’ Remember, we’re talking about white supremacist terrorists, people running errands on their lunch breaks, or a group of tourists, so if we have to throw a punch or two, then so fucking be it.” At press time, black-clad Antifa demonstrators screaming “Fascists, go home!” had swarmed a Scandinavian street festival.

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Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis Reply

As any Eastern European can tell you, neo-Communists are just as dangerous as neo-Nazis.

By Marc A. Thiessen

Washington Post

Last weekend in Berkeley, Calif., a group of neo-communist antifa — “anti-fascist” — thugs attacked peaceful protesters at a “No to Marxism in America” rally, wielding sticks and pepper spray, and beating people with homemade shields that read (I kid you not) “No Hate.” The Post reports how one peaceful protester “was attacked by five black-clad antifa members, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself.” Members of the Berkeley College Republicans were then stalked by antifa goons who followed them to a gas station and demanded they “get the [expletive] out” of their car, warning, “We are real hungry for supremacists and there is more of us.”

The organizer of the anti-Marxism protest is not a white supremacist. Amber Cummings is a self-described “transsexual female who embraces diversity” and had announced on Facebook that “any racist groups like the KKK [and] Neo Nazis . . . are not welcome.” The protest was needed, Cummings said, because “Berkeley is a ground zero for the Marxist Movement.”

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Was Jewish Antifa Caught Off Guard By Charlottesville White Supremacists? 2

By Sam Kestenbaum

Forward

For Jewish protesters gathered at this month’s far-right rally in Charlottesville, facing off with white nationalists meant coming face to face with groups that call openly for their murder.

“First stop Charlottesville, next stop Auschwitz!” white supremacists shouted, brandishing swastika flags and hoisting their arms in the Nazi salute. “Get in the showers!”

“For weeks, I was debating whether or not anti-Semitism was central to the American formation of white supremacy,” said Bethany Koval, a Jewish college student and activist from New Jersey. “I was emotionally unprepared for many of those traditional Nazi chants in Charlottesville.”

Koval said that before Charlottesville she saw white supremacy as primarily targeting or exploiting African Americans and other people of color. “I struggled to see how Jewishness fit into that equation,” Koval said. “Then came the tiki torches.”

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Has the “Alt-Right” Met Its Gettysburg? 4

Poor Spencer Sunshine need not have worried. The Alt-Right ended up self-destructing largely on its own initiative. When I became involved in the Alt-Right during its initial phase, it was a high brow neo-Nietzschean movement influenced by European conservatives such as Ernst Junger, Carl Schmitt, and Alain De Benoist. At the time, I was hoping the Alt-Right would move in the direction of something like ATS or National-Anarchism. However, things went in precisely the opposite direction, and the Alt-Right eventually drifted into reactionary 1920s style white nationalism, then into Alex Jones-like cartoonish behavior, then into Trumpism, and finally into neo-Nazism. Charlottesville was the worst possible publicity stunt the Alt-Right could have staged, i.e. failure on all counts. R.I.P., Alt-Right. Death by suicide.

By Spencer Sunshine

Truth-Out

Counter-protesters gather in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11, 2017.

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The Establishment in PANIC; They Ditch Antifa; Massive Shift in the Last 48 Hours 2

For a time the Republicans (except Trump) appeared hesitant to criticize the Antifa, possibly out of fear of being called racist (or maybe they just didn’t know who Antifa are). The Democrats did likewise, probably out of fear of alienating potential constituents (or maybe due to a “never punch to the left” mentality). However, the Antifa did the establishment’s work for them by becoming so outrageous and brazen and that the Republicans naturally had an opportunity to get in a shot at “left-wing terrorist, socialist, blah, blah, blah…” and the Democrats immediately had to take action against Antifa as a potential electoral liability.

By Robert Wenzel

Target Liberty

The establishment has apparently just gotten word to take down Antifa, a group they were singing the praises of as recently as two weeks ago.

This is big. Only weeks ago after Charlottesville, MSM and aligned cronies were supporting Antifa against Trump’s whataboutism in deflecting away from the neo-Nazis.

Even Paul Ryan wouldn’t condemn Antifa. From Dailywire:

And neither would Elizabeth Warren:

 

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The Alt-Right Is Not Who You Think They Are 1

This is relatively consistent with my own observations of the Alt-Right.

By George Hawley

The American Conservative

In tweets following the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, former President Barack Obama quoted words from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The sentiment has resonated with millions of Americans and garnered some of the most “likes” in the history of Twitter. It also offered a stark contrast to the reaction of President Trump.

Yet while a moving sentiment, Mr. Obama’s comments, if taken literally, represent an incorrect interpretation of today’s racial challenges and the nature of the so-called alt-right. The statements imply an outdated theory of racism. Among many anti-racists, there has long been a naïve hope that racism is handed down from one generation to the next. If that cycle is broken, this view goes, then racial harmony can finally prevail.

Although scholarly literature provides some evidence for this argument, the alt-right shows that it does not tell nearly the entire story.

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Charlottesville and the Politics of Left Hysteria 7

Spot on analysis.

The Current Momemt

The murder of an anti-fascist protestor (and the less-noted deaths of two National Guardsmen) at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has gripped the United States and many observers elsewhere. It has revived claims about the rise of a “fascist” threat in the West. This is simply hysterical, and symbolises the US left’s incapacity for reasoned political analysis, particularly since the election of Donald Trump.

The most striking aspect of the left’s hysteria over Charlottesville is its failure to understand that it won the US culture wars, not the right. By any reasonable measure, American attitudes have become steadily more liberal over time. A summary of opinion polling since the 1970s shows a “sweeping, fundamental change in norms regarding race”, with steady declines on practically every key measure of racism. Surveys on attitudes towards women reveal an identical decline in sexism. More belatedly, a similar transformation happened in attitudes towards LGBT people. Two-thirds of Americans now support gay marriage, up from just 40 percent in 2009, suggesting that campaigners for equal rights now find themselves kicking at a largely open door. The membership of vile organisations like the Ku Klux Klan has collapsed, from a peak of three to six million in the 1920s to around 6,000 today. Only 10 percent of the US public admit to supporting the “alt right” (only 4 percent “strongly”, while 83 percent say it is “unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views”. Too high and not high enough, one might say. But the fact is that the far-right is a lunatic fringe.

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