Misandry in the Media Reply

From RADAR.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Misandry, simply defined, is the pathological hatred of men and boys. It is the analog to misogyny, but with the bigotry and rage targeted at males.

Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young, two scholars in the field of religious studies at McGill University in Montreal, popularized the word “misandry” in a series of books on the topic: Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (2001); Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men (2006); Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man (2010).

Nathanson and Young describe misandry as “a form of prejudice and discrimination that has become institutionalized in North American society, ‘a collectively shared and culturally propagated worldview, not a personal emotion such as dislike or anger'”1.

More…

Anders Breivik, Mainstream Islamophobia, and the Far Right Reply

Article by Matthew Lyons.

This is a very good analysis of all the subtle ideological variations of the Right with regards their attitudes towards Islam.

——————————————————————————————-

Anders Behring Breivik has been called a neonazi and a Christian fundamentalist. Both of these labels are misleading, although both contain elements of truth. Breivik is an Islamophobe and a right-wing conspiracy monger, but he does not promote Nazi-style Jew-hatred or call for imposing Biblical doctrines on society. His strongest political influences appear to be pro-Zionist, largely secular “counter-jihadists” who disavow traditional racism and maintain significant ties with political elites.

Understanding Breivik’s politics not only helps us understand the July 22 massacre in Norway for which he has accepted responsibility, but also highlights important trends and interconnections in right-wing politics in Europe, the U.S., and beyond. This is a difficult task given the size and complexity of Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto/compilation 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, not to mention his other writings. His work draws on many different political sources, which do not always agree with each other. For these reasons, any summation of Breivik’s politics at this point needs to be tentative. So far I have only read bits and pieces of Breivik’s writings and am relying here primarily on others’ excerpts and interpretations. I hope that my efforts to pull the pieces together are useful.

More…

Tolerance: Not a Two-Way Street? Reply

Article by Jim Goad.

—————————————————————————————————————————————

The rabidly politicized, mad-as-hell, accept-us-or-die quotient of gay Americans—at last count, somewhere between 97 to 99 percent of them—seem determined to prove that they can get just as offended as your average hillbilly breeder mountaineer, if not more so.

It’s as if they’re taking it to the streets, up into the hills, and down into the hollers to spread a simple message—“You think you can get offended, you stupid, hateful, one-toothed, inbred, Christ-worshiping rednecks? You ain’t seen an uptight bunch of whiny wah-wah emotionally retarded walking fetuses until you’ve tangled with us!”

Exhibit A: The highly publicized story of butch cunnilinguists Jennifer Tipton and Olivier Odom, the latter of whom on Tuesday apparently didn’t deem it an act of cultural provocation to attend Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Splash Country up in the generally Christian, generally conservative, generally heterosexual Appalachian Mountains while clad in a “[marriage is so gay]” sleeveless T-shirt that showcased Odom’s rippling biceps and tribal forearm tattoo.

At the entrance, a park official requested that Odom turn his her T-shirt inside-out in compliance with a park policy that bans potentially “offensive” apparel and body adornments. Odom complied, then filed a complaint with the park, and then apparently went crying to a receptive and empathetic press. Her partner Jennifer Tipton, whose voice isn’t nearly as deep nor her hair quite as short, said she found it “so offensive” that park officials found Odom’s muscle shirt so offensive. She also accused Splash Country of hypocrisy for not banning “rebel flags” and “offensive tattoos” among its other patrons.

“Clearly, offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. So is the concept of whether acting like a barbarian when in Rome makes one an asshole.”

Pitchforks and Torches in Orlando Reply

Article by Joe Bob Briggs.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

NEW YORK—I tried. I really tried. I wanted to be the only person in America who didn’t know anything about the Caylee Anthony murder case.

I intentionally avoided it whenever it would come on cable TV. I have such an aversion to that caterwauling condescending public scold of a schoolmarm named Nancy Grace that I took Headline News Network off my remote control so that it automatically skipped to the next channel anytime I was surfing. Sometime in the past year they apparently gave Nasal Nancy a 24-hour show dedicated to the reinstatement of flesh-flaying, foot-roasting, and iron-maiden impalement for all criminal defendants. Her acolytes spread Nancy Graceisms all over the Internet through articles predicated on the idea that innocent victims’ blood has morphed into vengeance-blogging directed by the Almighty. But as I said, I managed to step aside. Whenever someone would post a photo of Casey Anthony with some slogan like, “Look at this slut partying while her baby is dead,” I would move onto the next subject or delete the email without answering.

And then when they finally got through the investigation, the arrest, the years of pre-trial hearings, the actual trial, and the verdict, I thought I was finally safe.

How wrong I was.

More…

Between Thought and Action in Norway Reply

Article by Jim Goad.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

When I first read Ted Kaczynski’s Industrial Society and its Future, better known as The Unabomber Manifesto, I was impressed with how logically dispassionate it was, especially its devastating dissection of leftist masochism and hostility. Each paragraph—sequentially numbered as if they were biblical verses—built upon the previous one with mathematical precision, and I found myself nodding along with Kaczynski’s premise that technology was potentially the biggest threat to personal freedom in world history.

And then, walking placidly through all that ice-cold logic, I stubbed my toe on this line: “In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.”

A Norwegian police officer who assisted in Friday’s arrest of Anders Behring Breivik described Breivik’s demeanor as “cold as ice,” an especially disquieting observation when one considers he was talking about a man who’d just claimed the Spree Killing World Record by piling up at least 76 bodies—eight via a fertilizer car bomb in downtown Oslo and 68 using automatic weapons at a Labour Party youth camp on Utøya Island.

More…

Ten Things I Hate About the Right Reply

Article by Gavin McInnes.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The left gets a serious going-over on this site. Not that they don’t deserve it. If you come screaming into the room with an aluminum water bottle on your backpack and start ridiculing everyone for being ignorant, people are going to make fun of you. It’s fun to expose liberal hypocrisy, but the downside is that you get lumped in with Republican tight-asses. They can be just as irritating. For example…

1. THEY EXPECT DONATIONS
Conservative intellectual Bill Whittle recently did a great video called Walking Into Mordor where he explains how naïve it is to assume the rich can solve all our problems. He blames Hollywood for this assumption—which is fine—and then says he’s going to make his own pro-free-market movie. That’s even better. Then the guy puts a link up asking for donations to make this movie. What? Socialists such as Michael Moore may employ non-union workers, but at least they use real money to criticize America. Ever heard of an ad? I love me some VDARE, and Steve Sailer is brilliant, but both of them also ask for donations. If you can’t sell ads for your company, find someone who can and put them to work. That’s what I’ve done for every company I’ve started, and that’s why I can afford to be such a pedantic prick about it. You can’t mock liberals for assuming everyone who disagrees with them is on the Koch payroll and then quietly ask strangers to bankroll you. It’s bad manners to scoff at the very notion of political donations and then openly solicit them.

“Youth may be wasted on the young, but never really being wasted at all is just as bad.”

2. THEY TAKE CATHOLICISM SERIOUSLY
Hearing atheists rant is enough to make you wish you were in a foxhole. They are self-righteous and cruel and have no respect for the fact that we are living in a country that is 75% Christian. I’m not saying the believers are as irritating as the nonbelievers, they’re just…weird. You actually believe all that stuff with the guy in the gigantic hat and the jewel-encrusted robe shaking the thing with the water in it at everybody? What are you, Haitian? Hearing smart conservatives seamlessly lapse into a discussion about how they met the archdiocesan coordinator at the annual Vatican congregation of the Holy Spirit vows of the papal Christ throne, etc., is like someone pushed a Star Trek button on the conversation and turned it into bullshit. I don’t get how someone could call themselves pragmatic and rational and then talk about all this ancient astrology with a straight face.

3. THEY THINK IT’S BAD TO LET VEGETABLES DIE
I’m sure there are plenty of cases where someone has been at death’s door and just as people were giving up on them, they came back. That’s nice, but we all know the difference between murder and euthanasia is like the difference between porn and erotica—you can tell merely by looking. If they’re in a coma and it’s been a few months, let’s stop kidding ourselves and pull the plug. If grandpa is so old he can’t watch TV because he can’t follow the plot, it’s time to stop wiping his ass and let him go. The fact that most conservatives seem so averse to this makes me think they’re capable of brainwashing themselves into ignoring what’s right in front of their eyes.

More…

A Reply to Matthew Lyons, Part Two: The Subjectivity of Authoritarianism and Special Pleading as Ideology 28

This is the second in a series of essays in response to Matthew Lyons’ critique “Rising Above the Herd: Keith Preston’s Authoritarian Anti-Statism.” And here is the transcript of a recent lecture by Lyons where yours truly gets a couple of mentions. Part One may be viewed here.

by Keith Preston

“If the individual cannot get along with the community, and the community cannot tolerate the individual, what real good will state intervention produce—wouldn’t separation be, in any world, the rational, noncoercive, nonviolent solution? Yes, it might be possible to contrive a state process that would force a Jewish Community to accept the Nazi Individual, or a White Community the despised Black, or a Fundamentalist Community the threatening Atheist. But it needs only for the principle of free travel to be observed—to the advantage of both the leavers and the stayers—and the Nazi, the Black, the Atheist can all find congenial communities of their own. The virtue of a multi-communitied world would be precisely that there would be within its multitude of varieties a home for everyone.”

Kirkpatrick Sale

“Adolf Hitler as chancellor of Germany is a horror; Adolf Hitler at a town meeting would be an asshole.”

–Karl Hess

“When a previously disadvantaged group rises to power, it exploits its new position just as did the group or groups it has displaced.”

-Mark A. Schneider, American sociologist

“The ultimate aim of multiculturalism is the creation of a totalitarian state ordered as a type of caste system where individual privilege is assigned on the basis of group identity and group privilege is assigned on the basis of the position of the group in the pantheon of the oppressed.”

-Keith Preston

The core aspects of Lyons’ objections to my own outlook are fairly well summarized in the following passages from his critique, and these comments from Lyons are also fairly representative of the most common arguments against my views offered by Leftists:

Preston only acknowledges oppression along lines of race, gender, sexuality, or other factors to the extent that these are directly promoted by the state, particularly through formal, legal discrimination against specific groups of people. Arguing that “the state is a unique force for destruction,” Preston ignores or trivializes the dense network of oppressive institutions and relationships that exist outside of, and sometimes in opposition to, the state. It is these societally based systems of oppression, not state intervention, that perpetuate dramatic wealth disparities between whites and people of color, widespread domestic violence that overwhelmingly target women, and suicide rates much higher among LGBT teens than heterosexual teens, among many other examples.

Preston portrays secession as a voluntary process, in which many varied groups of people decide to go their own separate ways and coexist peaceably side by side. But what does “voluntary” mean in a context where wives are expected to submit to the authority of their husbands, workers to obey their bosses, or homosexuality is regarded as a perversion and a crime? And how long would peaceable coexistence last in the face of absolutist ideologies that are inherently expansionist? The leaders of a Christian Right statelet would believe that homosexuality and feminism are wrong not only within the statelet’s borders, but everywhere, and they would feel a religious duty to enforce this belief as widely as possible.

The bottom line is that the primary objection to anarcho-pluralism, pan-secessionism, national-anarchism, anarcho-libertarianism and overlapping perspectives raised by leftists such as Lyons is their fear that some individuals, institutions, organizations, or communities is such a meta-political framework will practice values disapproved of by leftists or engage in discrimination against groups favored by leftists. The selective and arbitrary nature of such criticism is easy enough to identify. Imagine if a right-wing critic of anarcho-pluralism were to make comments such as the following:

Preston only acknowledges oppression resulting from liberalism and the Left to the extent that these are directly promoted by the state, particularly through formal, legal discrimination against specific groups of people. Arguing that “the state is a unique force for destruction,” Preston ignores or trivializes the dense network of oppressive institutions and relationships that exist outside of, and sometimes in opposition to, the state. It is these societally based systems of oppression, not state intervention, that perpetuate dramatic disparities in  the rate of violent crimes perpetrated against whites by blacks and Hispanics, widespread dissemination of pornography that contributes to sex crimes and social decay, and the promotion of drug use, sexual promiscuity and homosexuality leading to teen pregnancy, illegitimacy, drug abuse, broken families, child neglect, venereal diseases, crime, welfare dependency and other social pathologies .

Preston portrays secession as a voluntary process, in which many varied groups of people decide to go their own separate ways and coexist peaceably side by side. But what does “voluntary” mean in a context where leftist localities have the option of banning private firearms and private property, where urban white families have to live among and send their children to schools with violent black youth, or where Christianity is regarded as a backward superstition and a dangerous threat to freedom and progress? And how long would peaceable coexistence last in the face of absolutist ideologies that are inherently expansionist? The leaders of a Marxist statelet would believe that Christianity and private property are wrong not only within the statelet’s borders, but everywhere, and they would feel an ideological duty to enforce this belief as widely as possible.

Such criticisms would correctly be dismissed as special pleading on behalf of right-wing ideological values, political interest groups and favorite causes. One of the principal ideas behind anarcho-pluralism is the recognition that irreconcilable differences between different political factions and population groups will always exist, and the need to establish societal institutions that are capable of accommodating such differences in a way that avoids both bloodshed and the subjugation of some groups by others. With regards to the “authoritarianism” question, it is necessary to point out that abstract notions like “freedom,” “liberty,” and so forth are understood in radically different ways by different kinds of people. Lyons gives no evidence that his own ideological preferences are somehow decreed by the cosmos, by some divine creator, or by natural law. The bottom line is that the political and social preferences of leftists like Lyons reflect the subjective value judgments of individuals and groups in the same manner as any other kind of assertion of ideological principles. Leftism is ultimately just another tribe like Christianity, Islam, fascism, libertarianism, Satanism, or veganism.

The selectivity of Lyons’ criticisms is further illustrated by his choice of which groups to attack from the list of potential constituents for anarcho-pluralism that I have identified. He focuses on three of these: the League of the South, Christian Exodus, and believers in Christian Identity. He chooses not offer any criticism of “Marxist-Leninists,” “Islamic rightists,” “people of color nationalist movements,” “militant environmentalists,” and so forth. It is only those tendencies that claim to speak for the interests of white Christians that he seems particularly concerned about. This raises the question of whether it is really “authoritarianism” that Lyons is worried about or whether it is merely white Christians as a general population group whom he regards as the problem with political “authoritarianism” not really being all that important if it is controlled by leftists and their allies or constituents.

More…

Left and Right Contrasted: A Reply to Larry Gambone 4

I recently commented on Larry Gambone’s explanation for “conservative support among ordinary people.” See the earlier post which includes a link to Larry’s initial comments. Larry’s critique of the Right provoked a lot of negative comments from our readers, even among those who lean leftward in many ways. I was actually somewhat surprised by that. Larry has since added some follow up comments to his original post, in particular a response to our colleague Quagmire. Read the thread here. Here are some observations of my own in reply to some of Larry’s arguments:

Working people have been under attack from right-wing and right-wing ideology-influenced governments for the past 30 years. Living standards and working conditions have declined because of this.

No disagreement here. Neoliberalism is a class war against the bottom layers.

Right-wingers don’t believe in freedom from the government, they are hypocrites in this regard. State capitalism is fine as long as it serves THEIR interests. The biggest aspect of out of control government spending is the military, but they are not for cutting that. The biggest form of government interference on the populace has to do with the War For Drugs, they are not for abolishing this and ceasing to treat addiction as a crime. The contrary here in Canada, they wish to do away with the previous government’s baby steps toward a rational policy re drugs.

This is certainly true of the mainstream neocon-led, Republican-oriented Right. I’ve written a substantial amount of material over the years attacking all of this. But these criticisms do not necessarily apply to all factions of the Right. There are plenty of dissident rightists-libertarians, palecons, alternative rightists-who oppose some or all of these.

The left does not wish to force people to have an abortion, or to make everyone smoke pot, nor does it try to stuff religion down everyones throat – but the right does.

I’ve encountered plenty of liberals and leftists, at least in the U.S., who support drug prohibition, though I agree such sentiments are more prevalent among “conservatives.” But it’s also true that liberals and leftists have plenty of statist preferences of their own. They may favor legal abortion, but they want to ban private firearms. Many of them wish to ban smoking in pubs and other forms of statist intrusiveness. In areas of the US that are the most leftward leaning, there have been efforts to ban foods not conforming to the therapeutic values of the Left. San Francisco tried to enact a ban on giving away toys with fast food. There are plenty of feminists who wish to censor pornography and criminalize sex workers or their clients. There are plenty of leftists who wish to ban literature or other forms of media deemed racist or sexist. In areas of the US where secularism is the strongest, children can be punished in school for saying a prayer before a meal or possessing a Bible, crucifix or other religious artifacts.

Jemmy Hope said: And they have Fox News and the rest of Murdoch’s propaganda machine to do it. What have we got? Money talks, spouts lies.

Neocon mouthpieces like FOX and talk radio are a minority  among the mainstream US media. The bulk of the American media reflects the standard corporate liberal outlook, e.g. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.

Take the economic effects of immigration – they are minimal and if people were really interested in having people stay home rather than immigrate they would be front and centre in helping to overcome the problems that cause the immigration in the first place.

If the economic effects of mass immigration are minimal, why do neoliberal mouthpieces like the Wall Street Journal push open borders so fervently? Mass immigration is about creating a helot class in North America that replaces the traditional working class in the emerging Brasillianized/McDonaldized economy. The Left goes along with this because they see immigrants as prospective political constituents and  allies in the culture/race war.

Where are the right-wingers fighting against NAFTA or the US meddling in the affairs of Mexico and Central America? No, they blame and attack the immigrants instead.

Again, that’s true of the mainstream Right, not necessarily the dissident Right. I’ve been attacking corporate imperialism and US military interventionism for twenty-five years.

As for abortion, the anti-abortion types cry copiously over a match-head size fetus, but 20,000,000 REAL children dying every year of malnutrition and lack of potable water?

That’s true of some pro-lifers, but not all. You find a greater interest in “social justice,” for lack of a better term, among younger pro-lifers and evangelical Christians, for instance.

And it IS sexism to deny a woman’s right to chose. If anti-abortionists were only against abortions for themselves, no one would complain, yet they wish to impose their views on other women. Also the anti-abortionist ideology stems from patriarchal religion, which by its very nature is misogynist.

The problem with this is that there are plenty of women, probably as many as there are men, in the pro-life movement. And conservative religious denominations, at least in the US, typically have more female participants than male ones.

In other words, even though some leftists might be a bit extreme with these claims from time to time, in general the analysis bears up, and thus the left is rational and the right based upon prejudice and fear.

That’s a fairly presumptuous statement. What about the lengthy history of bloody terrorism and repression sponsored by leftist movements and regimes?

The left has been successful in changing the language, but not necessarily the underlying feelings. At one time people were proud to declare themselves racists and spiced their conversation with racial and ethnic slurs. Same goes with women or gays. Few men would declare that women are inferior or that gays are criminal and should be persecuted.

Well, nowadays people can be criminally prosecuted for criticizing Islam or homosexuality. So things have come full circle. In a nation where only 13% of the population is black, a black man was elected head of state. That would have been unthinkable back in the 1950s. The bottom line is that the culture war is over, and the Left has scored a knock out victory.

One attempts to cover ones prejudices with seeming rational or moral claims. Code words are used, such as “crime”, which refers to Blacks. It now becomes the task of the critical thinker to extricate the prejudice from within the mass of polite verbiage and supposed economic and moral reasons.

In some instances, but violent street crime among minority groups is a genuinely serious problem in US society. It’s not just racist whites who are concerned about this. Blacks and other racial minorities are among the primary victims of this kind of crime. For instance, many blacks who wish to live in a white neighborhood will cite fear of crime in black neighborhoods as their motivation.

A standard principle of conflict theory is that former outgroups become just as abusive and oppressive as whatever they replaced upon gaining power. We’re seeing that now with the Left that has gained power since the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

The Tribal Bubble Reply

Article by Jack Donovan.
————————————————————————————————-

We cannot really love ‘in the abstract;’ we can love only those whom we know. Thus the appeal even to our best emotions, love and compassion, can only tend to divide mankind into different categories. And this will be more true if the appeal is made to lesser emotions and passions. Our ‘natural’ reaction will be to divide mankind into friend and foe; into those who belong to our tribe, to our emotional community, and those who stand outside it; into believers and unbelievers; into compatriots and aliens; into class comrades and class enemies; and into leaders and led.
Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies (1945)

MoveOn.org President Eli Pariser recently gave a TED talk based on his book, The Filter Bubble.

Pariser has discovered that search engines, social networks and various content providers are filtering out news and ideas that may not appeal to us, based on our individual search histories. This is happening and it is not making us more “well rounded.”

Interestingly, Pariser is concerned that partly because we are becoming more isolated within these “filter bubbles” of friendly data, we are losing our sense of national identity, our sense of civic responsibility and our connection to each other. We only see the kind of information we “like,” and we aren’t likely to be challenged. He says we’re back in the early 20th century again, back when newspapers were the gatekeepers of information and they slanted the news as they saw fit.

For a moment, somewhere in the mid-20th, journalists appointed themselves as guardians of Truth and Objectivity—but they were never truly objective. Who ever is?

Pariser appeals naively to Google and other companies to engineer a new kind of “journalistic integrity” into their search engines, for the national good. The problem is that these massive companies have a global clientele, with global interests. They are not rooted in blood or soil or culture. Globocorp’s sole responsibility is to its bottom line, and it must follow profit wherever it may lead. A company like IKEA, Panasonic, or Coca-Cola takes an interest in many, many nations, and is loyal to no people or place. Corporations make calculated gestures when necessary, but Pariser is not appealing to a Hearst, he’s appealing to an international legal machine.

In lieu of corporate benevolence, Pariser offers 10 ways for concerned readers to control their filter bubbles. Most people won’t bother. Most people simply don’t care. As Mark Zuckerberg said, “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”

Pariser mentioned in passing that the Internet’s “founding mythology” promised a world of people who were more connected to one another, but he complained that this hasn’t actually happened.  It hasn’t happened because that’s only what people publicly say they want. What they privately, or subconsciously, desire is what these companies are giving them: new ways to separate themselves from others and form competing identity groups. Marketing people are better psychologists than psychologists.

Like Patrick Bateman, people say they care about “ending hunger” and genocide and so forth, but they don’t really care about people dying in Africa. Not in any personal, emotionally connected way. The concern they express is a social affectation. If Robin Dunbar is to be believed,we can’t care about people in Africa. Not really. It’s been found that, even on Facebook, most of us can only maintain a meaningful friendship with 150 or so people. Everyone else is a virtual friend—or a virtual stranger. Our brains are wired for small communities, not “one world tribe.”

We seek out ways to create in-groups and out-groups. Sometimes we do this playfully, as with sporting rivalries, though it is not unusual for sports fans to become violent or angry on behalf of their teams. Often we do it politically, ideologically, socially, racially, nationally. We form philosophical cliques and movements. East coast vs. West coast, South side vs. North side, Greeks vs.Trojans, boys against the girls, Democrats vs. Republicans, MoveOn vs. The Tea Party, Christians vs. Muslims vs. Jews, hip-hop vs. punk rock vs. emo, dog lovers vs. cat lovers, Ford vs. Chevy, and Mac vs. PC.

Online social networks have also created a pathway for otherwise average people to separate themselves from the social norms of their geographical location. The chubby check-out girl with the dark eyeliner at a Midwestern Wal-Mart is a Wiccan priestess by night. The guy stocking shoes is “kind of a big deal” on a video game message board. The Mexican buying wife-beaters is an illegal immigrant who “likes” La Raza on Facebook. The guy buying bullets is in a militia, or at least he wants to be. The couple buying soda might be furries.

The growth of the Internet has given heterodox ideologies a far bigger platform than a soap box, and it has spared the haranguing man a face full of rotten tomatoes—and a punch in the nose.

People want to feel different and special, but they also want to feel embattled. They want a compelling conflict narrative that gives their lives meaning, whether they are standing up for the “oppressed” or standing against the tide of unwanted change. Few want what Pariser called a “balanced diet” of information. They may not want junk food, but they know what they “like.” And they know what they “dislike.” They know who and what they want to “hide.”

It’s not just companies who create filter bubbles. We create them ourselves. We pick sides, we exclude, and we do it on purpose.

We choose to read news that appeals to our interests, caters to our biases and reaffirms our sense of group belonging. The carefully pruned newsfeed can become a self-reinforcing reality. A recent Fast Company article called it the “Balkanization of information.” Most of us want to hear voices that “sound very much like our own.” We want to hear the refrains, we want to recite The Law. (Are we not men?) When we venture outside our tribal bubbles on patrol, we don’t go to learn—like chimpanzees, we look for weak, easy targets to pick off. No one on the far right reads The Huffington Post to learn. People on the far left don’t read Alternative Right to understand.

The “uniters” of the world wring their hands because they think this divisiveness is dangerous. They’re right. It is dangerous. They think it robs us of our “humanity.” I disagree. I say it reveals our humanity. It reveals what we are and what we have always been—competing contingents of naked apes with interests of our own.

The mechanized slaughter of the world wars and the advent of the atomic age inspired the hymns of multiculturalists who believed that we could all live together as noble savages in peace and harmony. We sung the hymns, but nothing happened. It’s the same as it ever was. Multiculturalism has failed.

The future is tribal. The time has come to start choosing sides again. And with our allies, far and wide, we will live in our information bubbles, and we will bump against others who are living in theirs.

What is culture, anyway, if not a tribal bubble?

Tips for Big Babies 9

Article by Scott Locklin. I like number twelve the best.
——————————————————————————————————-

While I’m all for increased awareness of modern America’s sexual dimorphism crisis, we face a much more serious problem—one from which all other social problems emanate like a nasty bathroom smell. I’m talking about the lack of adults in America today. The concept of adolescence was popularized in the 1950s. (It was only discovered in 1904; adolescence didn’t exist at all before then.) The first generation of adolescents liked it so much, they made it the cultural norm for everybody for all time. Marketers love adolescents, adult and otherwise. They’re a perfect helot class in a democracy: People with no self-control are easily led to purchase their identities through consumer products on credit. Totalitarian nanny states love adolescents, because someone has to take care of such people after their parents get sick of them. Big Brother loves ruling over a population of adolescents. You think acting like a superannuated teenager makes you a rebel? It doesn’t; it makes you a conformist. Act like an adult for a day to find out what rebellion against the modern age is.

Being a creature of my time, I was an adolescent until 34, at which point I immediately molted into a very grouchy and hung-over adult, complete with Cap Toe Oxford shoes and a disapproving look. As such, I have experience in these matters and am thus uniquely qualified to offer a Unisex 12-Step Plan to Wrench Americans Into Adulthood:

1) Be discriminating and judgmental. It’s presently considered rude and possibly illegal to be discriminating against things that people can’t help, but it is important to be discriminating and judgmental about things over which people do have power. Do they have good manners? Are they slobs? Do they have facial tattoos? Do they live in Berkeley? You are not only allowed to judge people for such things—it is a fundamental duty of adulthood.

“Act like an adult for a day to find out what rebellion against the modern age is.”

2) Dress like you have self-respect. Your ironic T-shirt wasn’t funny or fashionable when you were young, sleek, and seventeen; it’s even worse now that you’re wrinkly, fat, and forty. This may seem frivolous, but it isn’t: Fake it until you make it. Wearing a grey flannel suit and rep tie for a day will bring you more spiritual enlightenment than fifty years in an ashram. This has been proven by science.

3) I know it’s been said, but stop wearing your fucking backpack. If you’re not a soldier or otherwise hiking through the wilds looking for a remote campground, you are not allowed to wear a backpack as an adult. Travel is no excuse, nor is bicycle riding. Whatever you have in your backpack, you don’t need to have it with you. Corollary: If you’re not deplaning or a homeless person, you’re also not allowed to drag a wheeled suitcase more than 100 yards. If I had my way, all urban adult backpack-wearers and suitcase-draggers should be pressed into agricultural servitude until they are capable of leaving the house without 40 pounds of junk.

More…

How Europe Lost Faith in Its Own Civilization Reply

Article by Fritz Bolkestein. Interesting to find something like this in the Wall Street Journal.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Europeans weren’t always so self-hating. The 19th century saw the high tide of imperialism, and Europe was brimming with self-confidence. What has happened? The past century witnessed the cataclysm of World War I, the rise of collectivist dictatorships during the interbellum, World War II and the Holocaust, Stalinism and the societal chaos of 1968. These events eroded our cultural certainties and ushered in the era of multiculturalism, which enjoins us “not to judge” that which is different.

David Gothard

bolkstein

bolkstein

The other foundation of our current masochism is, ironically, the very Christianity that modern generations have been so eager to cast off. Whether we like it or not, our civilization remains deeply marked by Christianity. Consider the Gospel of Saint Matthew, which states that “whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (23:12). Friedrich Nietzsche characterized this as “slave morality.” But one does not have to go that far to realize that this saying, along with instructions to “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile,” do not exactly prod people to stick up for their own.

If Islamic civilization may be described as a shame culture, Christianity is a guilt culture. Listen to Bach’s “Passion According to Saint Matthew.” The chorus—that is to say the people—sings, “I shall be punished for what you [Christ] have suffered,” and, “You are no sinner, like we and our children.” Pride joined guilt and we in Europe soon came to believe that the mote in our eye was heavier than the beam abroad.

This would not be a problem if the burden of a bad conscience came with atonement, forgiveness, confession, expiation or any of the other theological or liturgical forms for purging guilt from the sinner. Formerly, Catholicism and Lutheranism provided for the atonement of guilt. But these traditions no longer have credibility in Europe. Feelings of guilt are not sublimated. This also goes for Calvinism, which in its purest form knows no remission of guilt in this life. Its effects have been deep in Europe and outlast the doctrine.

Thus in 1996 the Dutch government declared that its “debate about multiculturalism must be conducted on the principle that cultures are of equal merit.” And so it has gone, for years. In 2002 right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated during national elections, three months after he had called to remove an anti-discrimination clause from the Dutch constitution.

The day after his murder, the editor in chief of the NRC-Handelsblad, a leading Dutch newspaper, wrote that “The pride of the Netherlands is precisely that we do not find one culture better than the other.” The writer apparently did not realize that his pride exalted Dutch culture over others—supposedly against national values.

And in 2009, when Utrecht University theologian Pieter van der Horst wanted to devote his valedictory address to “the Islamization of European Anti-Semitism,” the institution forbade it, letting its fear of Islamic displeasure take precedence over another ostensibly protected right in Holland: free speech.

Asserting Taste As Truth Reply

From MRDA’s Inferno.
——————————————————————————————————
Now, I don’t deny that certain faces ‘n’ figures elicit more—sometimes many more—raised cocks and/or moistened cunts than others; neither will I contest that some folks inspire forlorn gazes and filthy fantasies wherever on the globe they go.

However such popularity, even on a universal scale, differs considerably from the chimerical “objectivity” Kanazawa pulls out of his arse.

Does the overwhelming popularity of chart-oriented pop across age groups and nations render it “objectively” superior to heavy metal? The blues? Opera? Classical?

As far as the printed page goes, do the superior sales of Heat magazine, tabloids, Twilight novels, and Dan Brown books make them more “objectively” pleasurable and worthwhile reads than the works of Stirner, Nietzsche, the Marquis De Sade, and Robert Anton Wilson?

I expect a connoisseur of said popular tastes would take issue with my choices, substituting “critical acclaim” and “influence” for “popularity” and “sales” in their counterarguments.

As the old adage goes: there’s no accounting for taste.

However, from reading his article, I see Kanazawa repeating the same error/deception with aesthetics that religious and secular moralists love to indulge in the ethical realm: asserting taste as Truth.

Jared Taylor’s White Identity 14

Review by Greg Johnson.
——————————————————————————————————–
Reading through Jared Taylor’s splendid new book White Identity, I found myself thinking again and again of Allan Bloom’s 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students. In content, the books could hardly be more different, even though both take aim at reigning liberal illusions. But The Closing of the American Mind surprised everyone by becoming a best-seller, in spite of its intellectually challenging style and serious, politically incorrect message. White Identity is a similarly weighty and sobering book, and if America has any hope of survival, it should enjoy a similar popularity.

The aim of White Identity is to convince intelligent whites that racial “integration” and “diversity” are not sources of strength and enrichment but of inevitable conflict and suffering, because racial consciousness and preferring one’s own race over others are rooted in human nature. Thus they cannot be eradicated, and they can be ignored only at one’s own risk. Whites, however, have made a cult of ignoring and suppressing their racial consciousness, based on the belief that white “racism” (and only white racism) is the source of racial conflict and the suffering and backwardness of other races. Thus the eradication of white racism (and only white racism) will be sufficient to create a society in which all the different races and cultures can mingle in an atmosphere of tolerance and harmony.

Taylor’s audience and source materials are primarily American, but his lessons apply to all white nations where such notions have become prevalent since the Second World War.

The 12-Step Plan to Restore American Machismo 16

Gavin McInnes explains how.
—————————————————————————————————
While getting drunk last night, I noticed a young man had plonked his sports bottle down on the bar like it was a gun and we were in the Wild West. I asked him what the fuck was up with that, and he explained he’d brought it with him to stay hydrated. “What you’re carrying is pussy kryptonite,” I said as Gran Torino-esquely as possible before adding, “Not only will you not get laid tonight, but you just blew it for your two friends there.” The bartender told me to mind my own business as I tried to explain the difference between bullying (picking on physical traits) and benevolence (telling someone what to throw in the garbage). Before the debate could be settled, his friend ordered a gin and tonic with lime, and I walked away in disgust.

I’m no Übermensch. I don’t know where the transmission is on a car and I’m not sure I’ve ever won a fight, but I have laid my fair share of fair ladies and can tell you that the American male’s infantilization has gone so far, it’s basically back in the womb.

Here are twelve essential tips to help get our nation’s testosterone levels back above sea level:

On Saving America from the Horrors of Liberty and Community 10

“Preston’s vision emphasizes individuals choosing the communities they want and not bothering other people…”

A “watchdog” critic from the Left wants to save America from such a horrifying fate.  Read the whole thing at the New Politics site.

This critique by Lyons is actually quite good, and is light years ahead of previous efforts by leftists to critique my own work. I get the impression he is making an honest, serious, and intelligent effort to understand my own views and interpret them correctly. This is considerably different from the usual habit of my critics of either misrepresenting my work in a seemingly deliberate manner, or of simply lacking the level of skill, knowledge, or ability required to interpret my work correctly. There are not many actual quibbles I would have with this piece regarding facts alone, ideological differences aside. I do see some problems with matters of focus, emphasis, or proportionality. These problems affect the “big picture” analysis of my work by zeroing in on peripheral matters that are inconsequential to the most substantive aspects of my work. Lyons’ interpretation of the broader philosophical framework I adhere to is a bit crude, and he greatly oversimplifies some of my economic views. There are a few seeming contradictions in places. But all in all, it’s a good effort. I’ll have a thorough reply forthcoming relatively soon.

In Praise of Hypocrisy 2

Article by Scott Locklin.
——————————————————————————————————
I admire hypocrisy: the more brazen, the better. It makes people strive toward something better than what they are. Hypocrisy is just faking it until you make it. The anti-hypocrites would prefer that everyone wallow in their vices rather than attempting to become better people. But virtue of any kind is impossible without some hypocrisy. Being against hypocrisy is moral nihilism.

The way the rhetorical game works for the hypocrite-hunters, you can be an extremely bad person as long as you’re consistent about it: sort of like Barney Frank. You’re not allowed to encourage people to be good or even vaguely sensible without being saintlike in your perfection. In fact, if you’re a big enough hypocrite, your opinions don’t count at all. Hypocrites are often considered nonpersons, much like racists, believers in sexual dimorphism, and other modern thought criminals.

A few years ago, media ding-dongs went into foaming paroxysms of ecstasy when it turned out that former American “Drug Czar” William Bennett likes to gamble. Or that like many rich people, Al Gore is a fat guy who, despite preaching the virtues of living small, owns large houses, a private jet, and boats with hot tubs in them. Or that Rush Limbaugh was addicted to drugs. Why is any of that interesting? Drugs are still bad and you should avoid them, lest you end up muttering to yourself like Charlie Sheen or a Berkeley City Council member. Gambling…so what? Bennett may be an annoying neocon gasbag, but he is right that people should have more virtues such as self-discipline. Apparently he had enough personal restraint that gambling was never a problem in his personal life. Sure, Al Gore has giant houses and a jet; that doesn’t mean folks shouldn’t be frugal and modest, even if the fat moron can’t manage a halfway decent hair-shirt routine to impress the rubes. Personally, I find Al Gore contemptible because the man can’t even cadge a handjob from a paid middle-aged masseuse, but I don’t mind that he has boats with hot tubs yet wants other liberals to eat gruel. The inventor of the Internet can apparently use all the help he can get with the ladies. The fact that Rush Limbaugh has no self-control with his pill stash doesn’t mean you should start shooting heroin or cut any slack for people who do, or that none of his other opinions have merit. Laugh at Rush for his melodramatic rants or his portly figure, but he obviously knows something about drug problems.

Sex and the Shibboleth Reply

Article by MRDA.
——————————————————————————————————
A week or three back, a Guardian article on gerontophiliac serial rapist Delroy Grant came to my attention (hat-tip to my Facefuck friend, Miss TC); written by the uniquely monikered Hadley Freeman, the article, titled “Rape is not a compliment”, employs binary thinking and a few other fallacies in the service of the following argument:

Once again, in the case of Delroy Grant, the public seems unable to accept the idea that rape has nothing to do with desirability.

Rolling my eyes, I remembered the ever so popular slab of sloganeering her argument alluded to:

Rape is not about sex: it’s about power.

So succinct.

So snappy.

So stupid.

At least if we’re talking about the prime motive of the perpetrator.

However, as ridiculous as I find the “Rape…power” shibboleth, I think I understand how it came to be and why people so frequently and fervently throw it around. No one (beyond some kinky fucker or two, perhaps) enjoys being thwarted and overpowered; no one enjoys having their wishes ignored; their will overridden; or being used and discarded like cheap loo roll. All such experiences, however, will be painfully and intimately familiar to a victim of violation.

Thinking About Murder and Suicide, Part One Reply

by Keith Preston

The title of this review essay may well serve to get my name placed in yet another official file somewhere, but two works recently published by Andy Nowicki, a Catholic traditionalist author and one of my colleagues at AlternativeRight.Com, prompts one to give a little thought to these two literal matters of life and death. The first of these is a work that was issued in 2009 titled Considering Suicide. This work was previously reviewed by my colleague “MRDA” from AttacktheSystem.Com, and MRDA says much of what I would likewise be inclined to say about this book. MRDA and I share a similar philosophical outlook in that we largely embrace the Nietzschean nihilism that traditionalists despair of and simultaneously cannot help but appreciate the penetrating irreverence of the attacks offered by traditionalists like Nowicki on the pieties of the faithful worshippers in the church of the postmodern Left.

Nowicki’s novella is essentially an effort to answer Albert Camus’s suggestion that the most profound philosophical question is whether one should or should not commit suicide. In other words, is life worth the trouble of bothering to live it? The book has two parts. The first half contains the fictional diaries of a man contemplating his own upcoming suicide and his observations about the world of post-modernity. It is a world he ultimately rejects to the point of taking his own life. As MRDA and other reviewers have pointed out, there is some remarkably frank language in this work considering that its message is an appeal to faith. One thing that is remarkably refreshing about traditionalists like Nowicki is their recognition that the self-styled social and political rebels among the ranks of the piously politically correct are rebels in their own minds only. Nowicki’s soon to be suicide “victim” offers the following observation of the present day intellectual elite:

Is this what those highfalutin’ faggots mean when they talk about “postmodernism”? What a fucking bore. To them, it’s just parlor talk. A way to score in academia. A way to show yourself to be a thoughtful person. Faggot poseurs with goatees and black sweaters and cushy jobs sitting in an office jacking off during “office hours” and teaching useless beer-swilling bong-smoking brats another two hours a week. Faggot intellectuals. Smug, mediocre pussies. Fuck your postmodern ethos, with your futuristic architecture at your galleries and your unreadable academic essays about “semio” this and “meta” that. Fuck your trendy post-structuralist, solipsistic, opportunistic, sycophantic so-called theories. You all think you’re wild-eyed nihilists out to stick your dicks up the asses of Middle America, don’t you? You’re pathetic. You’re far more pathetic than the bourgeosie, the object of your ridicule. Their lives may be dull, and they may be stupid, but they aren’t full of themselves the way you are.

One has to admire a writer who boldly throws around the two “F-words” most likely to get bleeped on American network television. Conservatives are offended by one and liberals are offended by the other, so I of course prefer to see an avalanche of both terms in popular media and common language. Nowicki may be a devout Christian of the Catholic persuasion, but he panders to no one’s sensitivities whether puritanical religionists or equally puritanically secular egalitarians. Of the latter group, the future suicide says:

So “God is Not a Republican,” as you like to lecture us via your bumper stickers. Guess what, He ain’t a Democrat either; He’s nothing. He’s not on the side of your enemies, but He’s not on your side either; please don’t bother trying to find Him-He’s not there! So “Hate is Not a Family Value,” you declare, again via the rear of your fancy foreign cars. Well, dig this, hepcats, fudge-packing is not a noble endeavor either. If God doesn’t hate fags, He doesn’t stand in solidarity with cornholing, cunt-shunning, HIV-chasing, limpwristers either. God’s not going to help the fruits turned into vegetables thanks to the miracle of AIDS. He doesn’t care about you; He’s not around; He’s not your buddy; He’s not secretly and ironically your cultural ally against those close-minded meanies from Middle America who invoke His name while all the while hating you, boo hoo. God doesn’t care about them, but He cares even less about you. You have to exist to care and He just ain’t there. Face the music of your trendy nihilism, you smug, angry, little clones. Suck down your own HIV-positive spooge. Shut up and die.

And of modern egalitarian ideologies, the character remarks:

Where everyone invokes “the people,” in order to show how egalitarian and enlightened their thinking is-as if “the people” give a fuck. As if “the people” were a proper object of admiration-those drooling masses who sit around reading People magazine, watching reality TV and doing what they’re told; or worse, those drooling shitbrained elitist intellectuals, who sit around reading the Jew York Times and listening to NPR, and…doing what they’re told.

These magnificently Jim Goadian lines are as refreshingly close to blasphemy as one can get in a secular state with a prevailing secular ethos. Bravo!

In the second part of the book, Nowicki provides a very contemplative account of his own worldview, informed as it is by his Catholic traditionalist faith. I am often asked how I as an anarchist, atheist, and libertarian socialist with a Nietzschean philosophical bent, an admirer of Bakunin and H.L. Mencken and Bertrand Russell, can find so much of value in the works of reactionaries and anti-modernists ranging from traditionalists like Nowicki to old-school monarchists to the conservative revolutionaries of Weimar to even the writings of Islamists. I approach such works with appreciation or even enthusiasm as none are so adept at exposing the hypocrisies and idiocies of modern liberals than those reject who their values across the board. Consider the following gem concerning the “War on Hate”:

Of all bootless modern crusades, this “war” is perhaps the most pernicious because crusaders for “tolerance” are the most vicious and the most disingenuous of all cultural revolutionists. No one hates the way hate-haters hate; no one is more dishonest about his intentions or in his overall self-representation than one who loudly proclaims that his goal is to rid the world of “hate.” Those who profess to hate “hate,” who cannot tolerate “intolerance,” seem capable of anything. More on point, they are capable of justifying anything. If they are harsh, shrill, and mean, if they make accusations or commit outrageous slanders, if they ruin or destroy lives, they feel no shame or guilt. After all, even if they go too far sometimes or make mistakes, they can fall back on the noble crutch. Their hearts are in the right place. “We only want to stamp out hate!” they scream.

Of the nature of modern tyranny, Nowicki observes:

The tyrant need not be a disagreeable or unpopular person. Indeed, he may enjoy the support of the vast majority of the population. Most tyrants are not hated, but adored. After all, the tyrant had to have done something good for somebody in order to reach a position of ultimate power. Julius Caesar is said to have been fondly regarded by the commoners. This is unsurprising. The ascent of tyrants is nurtured through careful appeal to the resentments of the lower classes.

I cannot abide Nowicki’s conclusion that an embrace of traditional faith is the answer to the “question” posed by modern nihilism. Either Christianity is true or it is not. Every advancement in human knowledge and discovery over the past five centuries has detracted from the classical Christian worldview of the medieval era. Christians claim that all religions but one are false. We atheists agree with the first part of this but add one more religion to the list of those that are untrue. As for myself, I think that the Greeks had it right: If anything comes close to being a true religion, it is philosophy itself. When we look at the magnificent civilization created by our forebears from antiquity, why would we think we need anything more? Human beings engaged in cultural, military, religious, intellectual, athletic, scientific, artistic, philanthropic and other such pursuits long before Abrahamic monotheism came to dominate Western civilization. We will continue to do so even if the Abrahamic faiths eventually become no more than a distant memory, like the gods of Olympus.

Does the “crisis of faith” presented to modern people by the eclipsing of traditional Christianity by modernity really present any more intellectual or cultural challenges than those faced by the great thinkers of the classical world? For them, mankind was the measure of all things, and the civilization they established was decimated in part by the ascension to political and cultural dominance of the view of the Abrahamic faiths that mankind exists merely to function as slaves to a divine Other. Nowicki raises an interesting point regarding the seeming inability of modern people to sacrifice for anything beyond themselves. We may look around us in our Western nations and observe a population of slobs but it doesn’t have to be that way and, indeed, it wasn’t that way only a couple of generations ago. If the realization that one is the measure of all things is not reason enough for the embrace of life, then what would be? And if the pagan warrior ethos of an Ernst Junger is not an example of self-overcoming, an ethos where one finds self-actualization in mortal combat, then what would be? Nihilism may be a state of existence imposed on us by modern man’s discovery of the truth that there is no truth, at least with regard to the question of values, but despair is simply a state of mind. Those who despair about the ambiguity of the moral condition of modern man do so because that is what they choose for themselves. Yet some of us may indeed choose to boldly and courageously embrace the challenges presented by that ambiguity. That will be our choice.

But enough about suicide. Let’s think a bit about murder….Stayed tuned for Part Two

Reply to a Cultural Marxist Critic 8

A Leftist who uses the name of “Equus” has posted a limited critique of ATS on Royce Christian’s blog. Read it here.

My response:

Equus begins his rebuttal by offering a concise and helpful summary of the points of his refutation. I repeat it in full:

My objection to Third Positionism is that it first and foremost has an ahistorical approach inasmuch as it is leftist and only retroactively places itself there, using ideas and attitudes not formulated at the time of the conception of the left/right political spectrum. It claims to be neither left nor right and claims to be a synthesis of right and left ideas while rejecting the sole premise of left-wing ideology. Furthermore, it understands being anti-state as an ideological characteristic instead of a tactical characteristic; it would claim Anarchists and anti-government fascists are ideologically similar instead of correctly placing Anarchism as an ideology that opposes the state in the context of leftist politics. While it co-opts much of Anarchist rhetoric, it dismisses two key concepts: solidarity and community. Finally, it may not be an exclusively right-wing idea, but it provides an arena for people who oppose what Anarchists stand for to enter the conversation as legitimate actors and gives nothing back. I know little of Preston’s personal political background, and it is both irrelevant and hard to make the case that he is knowingly undermining Anarchism with his support of the Third Position. Regardless, his ideas have only provided a dangerous utility to the right that must be understood.

More…

Paul Gottfried and Me: An Exchange on Left and Right and Anarchism 10

Recently, there was an interesting exchange between Paul Gottfried and myself at AlternativeRight.Com. It began when I posted a  recommended reading list in response to similar lists posted by James Kalb and Richard Spencer. Paul Gottfried expressed puzzlement regarding the eclectic nature of the collection of readings I suggested as well as the incongruity of some of the influences I claim. I posted a response here and here.  Gottfried responded briefly here.

An understandable mistake that Gottfried continues to make is to presume that I am an orthodox modern libertarian of the kind identified with the Mises-Hayek-Rand-Friedman-Rothbard axis. While modern American libertarianism of this type is certainly an influence on my thinking, and I agree with libertarians of both the right and left variety on a good number of issues, this hardly represents the full body of my outlook. Gottfried also continues to be perplexed that I can be an admirer of right-wing critics of liberal democratic states like Carl Schmitt and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn without endorsing the full body of their work, and taking their criticisms of the liberal democratic state in a radically different direction from what they intended (at least with Schmitt, Kuehnelt-Leddihn is more ambiguous).  The best analogy I can think of right now to explain this intellectual dilemma is to point out that many, probably most, leftists implicitly or explicitly endorse the Marxist critique of capitalism, without necessarily endorsing Marx’s prescription of communist revolution, much less outright Bolshevism. Likewise, it is possible to recognize the validity of Schmitt’s insights into the contradictions and theoretical errors in liberal democratic theory and the inadequacies of its practice, or Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s characterization of mass democracy as a prelude to totalitarianism, without endorsing their specific prescriptions of a Hobbesian state in the case of Schmitt or a traditional monarchy in the case of Kuehnelt-Leddihn.

This gets us to the question of the relationship of political anarchism to wider philosophical and metapolitical concepts.  I generally regard a Nietzschean general philosophical framework, a metapolitical outlook of the kind developed by the European New Right (while recognizing the multiple tendencies to be found within the ENR-see here), and a philosophical conservatism regarding human nature and the nature of society to be the best intellectual foundation for a modern political anarchism. On the latter question,  I described this particular type of philosophical conservatism at AltRight: ” natural inequality of persons at both the individual and collective levels, the inevitability and legitimacy of otherness, the superiority of organic forms of human organization over social engineering, rejection of vulgar economism, and a tragic view of life.”

However, I do not consider such an intellectual framework to be mandatory or necessary for a viable political anarchism, only preferable. Indeed, most anarchists at present would no doubt reject such an outlook. One could likewise be a committed anarchist revolutionary and hold to a Lockean natural rights position, a utilitarian outlook, a simple pragmatic philosophy in the style of William James, some kind of religious outlook, or even a Rousseau-inspired utopian-egalitarian-humanism. After all, I was an anarchist long before I developed the broader intellectual framework to which I now subscribe. Whatever the broader philosophical beliefs we may subscribe to, it remains true that one of the most important of all human questions is the matter of how society is to be organized, and the first question regarding social organization is the matter of statecraft, or the political question.

Until a few centuries ago, political rule was justified and legitimized by religion in virtually all societies. This outlook was demolished by the Enlightenment, and this particular aspect of Enlightenment thinking which began as a European project has now spread to much of the world.  Modern political philosophy is derivative of the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Hegel, Mill, Marx, and some others. All of these systems would seem to be efforts to legitimize and retain the state while denying its traditional source of legitimization, i.e. its supposed divine origin. As I’ve mentioned recently, anarchism is to political theory what atheism is to theology (not that political anarchism necessitates atheism per se as there are also religious anarchists). There is in the anarchist canon a huge body of literature that demolishes the conventional intellectual arguments used to justify the state, and from a wide range of philosophical or theoretical perspectives, including socialists and individualists, religionists and atheists, philosophical liberals and philosophical conservatives, utilitarians, rights-theorists, moral skeptics, and nihilists. I regard all of these approaches as complementary rather than contradictory with one another.

The question that I have for anarchists is this: If we reject the legitimacy of the state, then how exactly do we go about getting rid of the damn thing? I have focused much of my own efforts on the question of anarchist strategy for the reason that I consider this to be one of the most important yet most neglected aspects of anarchist thinking. How can anarchism come to dominate Western civilization (or other civilizations for that matter) in the same way that Christianity was dominant for 1500 years and in the same way that Enlightenment liberalism has dominated for two centuries?

A major problem for anarchists is the one has also been a problem for Christians, particularly Protestants, and that is the question of sectarianism. Most anarchists have held to some kind of hyphenated brand of anarchism, e.g. anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism, anarcho-capitalism, anarcha-feminism, national-anarchism, etc. Many of these sects of anarchism do not recognize many of the others as legitimate. I have tried to compensate for this problem by developing an “anarcho-pluralist” (a term I lifted from the late Sam Dolgoff) framework, and which is really just a re-working of older ideas like “anarchism without adjectives” and the “synthesist” outlook developed by the French anarchist movement in the pre-World War Two period. What would be the irreducible minimum of ideas one would have to accept to be reasonably considered to be an anarchist? I’d suggest that one would have to advocate abolition of the present system of rule by corporative entities commonly described as “the state” that hold a monopoly on the legal use of violence, rule-making, and physical coercion within a geographical territory, and whose members collectively form an identifiable political class who social role is differentiated from that of other people, e.g., whose purpose is simply “to rule.” This would mean opposing not only the corporative form of the state familiar to modern societies, but also systems of personal rule that were common in older societies, e.g. emperors, kings, etc.

It is also necessary to have an irreducible minimum of ideas concerning what the state is to be replaced with. The guiding principles for anarchists on this question have been voluntarism, mutualism, decentralism, and federalism. In other words, the state is to be replaced with federations of autonomous or semi-autonomous communities with a strong emphasis on voluntary associations and mutual aid, i.e., the general framework outlined by Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin (the “holy trinity” of the founding fathers of modern anarchism).  Presumably, the economic and cultural variations of such arrangements could be immensely different from one another. This seems to be where most of the difficulty concerning sectarianism among anarchists emerges. Conflicts regarding different economic and cultural values lead to different sects of anarchists attempting to exclude one another. A historic example of this was the rivalry between the anarcho-communist Johann Most and the individualist-anarchist Benjamin Tucker.

If we take political anarchism as our starting point, we can then branch out into other areas of political philosophy and identify tendencies, ideologies, and movements with which we have considerable overlap. These include paleoconservatism, populism, Catholic distributism, the traditional Jeffersonian philosophy that American political theory is ostensibly rooted in, and modern libertarianism from the Right. These also include varying strands of socialism, the various Green philosophies, black nationalism, indigenous peoples’ movements, neotribalism, and the anti-globalization movement from the Left. These are the areas where we can branch out into other movements and form strategic alliances and an enhanced theoretical framework.  At present, I would identify the main weaknesses in the anarchist milieu as these:

1) A failure to recognize that the absence of a centralized coercive authority in the form of the state automatically suggests pluralism in all sorts of matters, including perspectives that radically disagree with one another, even among self-proclaimed anarchists. This necessitates that anarchists recognize the inevitability and legitimacy of “otherness,” as opposed to some kind of abstract universalism. One reason why I endorse a Nietzschean philosophical framework for anarchism is its ethical subjectivism. Moral objectivism strikes me at least as holding the door open for authoritarianism of the kind associated with both traditional theocracy and modern forms of statism. There is no greater tyrant than one who possesses moral certainty. As H.L. Mencken said: ” The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.

2) A failure to develop a viable strategic outlook concerning how the state is to be abolished. Ideas are worthless if they can’t be translated into real-world action. If other anarchists don’t like my ideas on this question, then they are welcome to come up with their own, of course. But the question of strategy is one that is severely neglected among anarchists.

3) The tendency of anarchists to get sucked into “culture war” politics that serve as a distraction from the broader struggle against the forces of State, Capital, and Empire. I’ve said plenty about this in the past and my views on this question are already well-known.

4) A failure to identify who the enemy actually is. In the Western world today, the primary enemy is the state’s legitimating ideology of totalitarian humanism (whether in its neoconservative or conventional left-liberal variations). The failure of anarchists to recognize totalitarian humanism for what it is severely limits their ability to form a viable movement of any kind. One of the most pathetic activities anarchists engage in at present is to waste time focusing on irrelevant fringe groups like the neo-Nazis or the Fred Phelps cult. The real enemy is those who actually hold state power, not exotic cults despised by the wider society. As for movements that are currently out of power, the greatest potential threat in posed by an insurgent Islam made possible by demographic change in the West. This the primary reason why I endorse the European New Right as the best available metapolitical framework for present day anarchists. More than any other contemporary intellectual current, the ENR has developed a critique of the philosophical underpinnings of totalitarian humanism, as well as a rational response to the question of threats posed by demographic transformation.

Until contemporary anarchists develop a serious and concentrated effort to overcome the weaknesses I have identified here, I regrettably see no prospects for anarchists to become an effective or even relevant movement.