The Derb is the Word…or is He? Reply

From MRDA’s Inferno.

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Who would’ve thought such a mild-mannered, bourgeois Englishman could ignite such a fibre-optic firestorm?

A few weekends back, all right-thinking Left-leaners united for a hyperextended Two Minutes Hate session against one John Derbyshire, a Brit expat and paleocon pundit who occupies a comfy niche amongst America’s “alternative Right”. Turns out that the round-goggled reprobate saw fit to scribe a rather un-PC survival guide for the melanin-deficient; and, judging from the resultant comments, and the rash of responses from various Lefty haunts, it appears to have left many a pissed-off Progressive in its wake.

Having previously clicked and leafed through Derbyshire’s output, including his musings on multiculturalism, immigration, and racial IQ, I registered little in the way of surprise when I read the article. It struck me as something of a synthesis of his scribblings, citing crime stats and group averages to concretize another slab of “conservative pessimism”.

I must admit that, whilst I’m not down with the paleocon paradigm for a number of reasons, I appreciate their often incisive criticisms of PC equalitarian conceits. Similarly, whatever misgivings I have with Derb’s Taki Mag piece, I admire his refusal to apologize to his detractors for speaking his mind, even in the face of a firing.

That said, “The Talk” left me feeling rather ambivalent upon “hearing” it… More…

Rick Santorum, I Hate Your Face Reply

Article by Jim Goad.

For me, politics isn’t so much about what sort of society I want to live in as much as what sort of people I want to avoid. I consider myself a misanthropic individualist.

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Rick Santorum has been the Republican primary season’s Surprise Moral Warrior. He has already won eleven states, and depending on how he performs in Wisconsin tomorrow, he may continue to battle the icy Mormon cyborg Mitt Romney for the nomination.

Based merely on those who hate Santorum, I suppose I should love him.

After all, he has a rare talent for ruffling progressives’ preening peacock plumage, and that’s usually a good sign. To hear his haters tell the story, he is THE HEART OF EVIL and a DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE who wants to pillage, rape, and divest all of America’s gay anal wombs of their Goddess-given recto-spiritual progeny—or something like that. They say he is a grotesquely bigoted bully whose heartless heart pumps solely on unrefined nitro-powered hatred, a sadistic closet case who is waging a violent Hate Jihad against women, homos, atheists, and every other untouchable pink lamb of modern sensitivities. As is the ironclad rule these days, the Anti-Hate Crusaders employ rhetoric and tactics that ooze far more palpable hatred than the “hate” they’re supposedly fighting, as evidenced in how they deliberately smeared his name with frothy brown anal lube in devising his “Google problem.” Because they took umbrage at the fact he supposedly said SHAME SHAME SHAME at them, they scream SHAME SHAME SHAME back at him, only ten times more loudly. They appear blind to the fact that the problem is hive-brain lynch-mob shaming itself, not which side’s doing it. Shame on all of you!

Last week he was targeted by the Racism Industrial Complex for allegedly calling Obama a “nig-” before correcting himself. I’m not convinced he said “nig-” on that video, but in the past he’s lied about calling people “black,” so it’s possible. Either way, I rate lying as far worse than using forbidden words, but I’m abnormal.

“I can’t muster one positive micron of feeling toward the man.”

But despite the fact that I hate his antagonists’ shriekingly misguided moralism, I can’t muster one positive micron of feeling toward the man. For starters, I have problems with his face. And his personality. And his politics. And his priggishness. And his authoritarian impulses. In politics as in life, the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. In many cases, it’s merely some other jerkoff I dislike for entirely different reasons.

First there’s his face. Sure, it’s unfair to blame him for that incongruous nose jutting out of his lumpy head as if someone jammed a cheese wedge into a potato, so I will not hold him accountable for what is either an act of God or an accident of nature. But he is entirely to blame for that dorky, smug, imperious smirk that his attitude seems to have forever welded onto his visage. His is the mug of a priggish hall monitor who’s forever smelling something unpleasant.

But it’s so much more than his face. At a regrettably low, sad, destitute, and lonely point in my life a few months back, I found myself watching a couple of the Republican primary debates, and his personality rubbed me the wrong way like a Brillo Pad scraping against herpes sores. Both Santorum and I were raised as Pennsylvania papists, and he conjures distant memories of some generically uptight, passive-aggressive, repressed schmoe I would have hated during my dozen years of Catholic school. The fact that he’s Italian doesn’t help, either.

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Can Liberalism Tolerate Islam? 1

Article by Abdal-Hakim Murad.

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Must one be liberal to belong to the West? For all the polite multiculturalist denials, this question is being put to us more and more insistently. The European Union, as it struggles to articulate a common cultural as well as economic vision, regularly toys with grand statements about Europe as a vision of human community, whose success underpins the universal model now being urged upon the rest of humanity. European liberals, with their Enlightenment, civil society, democratic institutions, and human rights codes, sometimes seem to self-define as a secular Messiah, willing and ready to save the world. To resist is, by implication, to align oneself with an unregenerate, sinful humanity.

Yet we Europeans are in fact in the middle of a difficult argument. We are constantly quarrelling with ourselves over definitions of belonging. We can unite to build an Airbus, but will we really unite around a moral or cultural ideal? What, after all, are the exact historic grounds for European cultural unity? And – this now looks like the continent’s greatest concern – how can Muslims fit in?

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The Left Has Won the Culture Wars Reply

So says Pat Buchanan.

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Anyone who believes America’s culture wars are behind her should have started out Friday reading The Washington Times.

The headlines on the three top stories on page one read:

“California judges asked to say if they are gay.”

“‘Tebow Bill’ for home-schoolers dies in Virginia Senate panel.”

“Opt-out on birth control defeated in Senate.”

The California judges story dealt with the lately passed Judicial Appointments Demographic Inclusion Act, which mandates a survey of all of the state’s 1,600 judges—to find out how many are homosexual.

Purpose of the law: “Promote and increase the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the … judicial branch.”

The questionnaire sent to the judges asked each to identify themselves by race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

“The America of Barack Obama that is emerging appears to be a country where civil disobedience may yet become a duty of traditional Christians and devout Catholics.”

Forty percent of the judges balked, refusing to reveal their sexual orientation. One percent said they were gay. One percent said they were lesbian. One judge identified himself as transgendered.

Welcome to 21st century America.

Under the old American ideal, the lawyers who proved the most qualified by wisdom and experience were to be elevated to the bench.

The new ideal is that California’s judiciary should mirror the diversity of the state. Whites, Asians, Hispanics, males, females, blacks, gays, straights and bisexuals are to be represented on the bench in the proportion that they are found in the population.

Yet another triumph of diversity over excellence.

Were an Olympic team or symphony orchestra to be chosen on the basis of this kind of diversity, they would be a joke.

The “Tebow Bill,” named for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who played high school football while being home-schooled, was crafted to allow home-schooled Virginia kids to try out for the tennis, football, baseball and basketball teams at their local high schools.

The Virginia House approved the measure 59-39.

But a Senate panel sank the Tebow Bill on an 8-7 vote, denying 38,000 Virginia home-schoolers their last chance to play high school sports. Every Democrat on the panel voted as the Virginia Education Association dictated.

But it is the top story in the Times, about the 51-48 defeat of the Blunt Amendment, that best reveals the shifting correlation of forces in the religious and cultural wars sundering the country.

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Caught in the crossfire: Should musicians boycott Israel? Reply

Article by Jello Biafra.

Israel’s wall is intended to permanently enclose Palestinians [GALLO/GETTY]
Last summer, punk rock icon Jello Biafra and his band decided to cancel a show they had planned on playing at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. At the time, Biafra wrote that ‘the toll and stress on the band members and myself has been huge, both logistically and as a matter of conscience‘. In August, Biafra decided to travel to Israel and Palestine himself to explore his thoughts on the cultural boycott of Israel.San Francisco, CA – So now I have been to Israel. I have also been to Palestine. I got a taste of the place, but not in the way I’d originally hoped.In many ways I really wish my band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, had played in Tel Aviv. But I also share most of the boycott’s supporters’ feelings about Israel’s government, the occupation and ongoing human rights violations.

I hope people take the time to understand how deeply this has torn at the fabric of our band. The promoter in Tel Aviv lost thousands, and I am eating thousands more in lost and re-booked airfares that I have no idea how I am going to pay, or how I will pay my bills for the rest of the year. Real human beings got hurt here.

This whole controversy has been one of the most intense situations of my life – and I thrive on intense situations. But the rest of the band was not used to this. How fair was it to drag them there in the first place? This is not like fighting Tipper Gore and the Los Angeles Police Department, greedy ex-Dead Kennedys members or more-radical-than-thou thugs who think it’s OK to put someone in the hospital for being a “sellout”. I gradually felt like I had gotten in over my head sticking my nose into one of the longest and nastiest conflicts on earth.

So with the rollercoaster still in my stomach and my head, I flew solo to Israel instead. The mission: to check things out myself and hopefully at least get closer to some kind of conclusion on whether artists boycotting Israel, especially me, was really the best way to help the Palestinian people.

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Keith Preston Denounced as Leftist Hijacker of Libertarianism 4

So says a critic of my article “Should Libertarianism Be Cultural Leftism Minus the State?”

It’s great to be attacked as a neo-nazi entryist and leftist hijacker in the same week.

In the past, I’ve also been criticized for being anti-feminist, pro-feminist, homophobic, pro-homosexual, Marxist, capitalist, an anarchist entryist into white nationalism, a white nationalist entryist into anarchism, supporting Holocaust denial, opposing Holocaust denial, anti-Semitic, philo-Semitic, racist, not racist enough, reformist, pro-terrorist, Islamophobic, pro-Muslim, and too many other labels to remember.

Maybe I just have multiple personalities.

Why America Failed Reply

Article by Thomas N. Naylor.

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With the publication of his courageous new book, Why America Failed (John Wiley, 2012), Morris Berman has become one of the very first well-known, left-wing writers to acknowledge that not only is the American Empire in decline, but that it is completely unfixable.  In Berman’s view there will be no rabbit pulled out of the hat at the eleventh hour to save the nation, because “the hat is coming apart at the seams.”

Unlike most of the liberal pundits such as Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Michael Parenti, Rachel Maddow, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Amy Goodman, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, and Paul Krugman, to mention only a few, Berman has given up on America.

According to Berman the seeds of the Empire’s destruction were sewn in the sixteenth century by the early European settlers who were, above all, into “hustling” – looking out for number one.  Ever since then, “hustling, materialism, and the pursuit of personal gain without regard for its effects on others” have provided the dominant theme of the American culture.  He or she who dies with the most toys wins the game.  Enough never seems to be quite enough.

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Quote of the Day Reply

Hat tip to MRDA. Dain is an old acquaintance of mine from the U.S. libertarian milieu.

“I’m personally interested in the tradition of libertine individualist elitism. The nether region where John Henry Mackay, Max Stirner and HL Mencken meet. These people don’t truck much with liberal pieties and Stirner’s “spooks,” but nor do they give a shit about upholding tradition, conservative or otherwise.”

–Dain Fitzgerald

The above quote describes my own outlook pretty well, with the caveat that such sentiments are not enough to build a movement that is actually subversive to the state for the simple reason that most people are not libertines, individualists, or elites and are not going to be. Such an outlook, I believe, is appropriate if not perfect for the cultural and intellectual leadership of the Anarchist movement, but at the ground and middle levels we need something else. Hence, the ARV/ATS emphasis on populism, anti-globalism, neo-tribalism, rejection of the left/right paradigm, cultivating an array of interest groups who are under attack by the state as constituents, lumpenproletarianism, pan-secessionism, fourth generation warfare, etc.

I Am the Population Problem 3

We need to hook this chick up with Francois Tremblay.

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Population growth tends to get blamed on otherpeople: Africans and Asians who have “more kids than they can feed,” immigrants in our own country with their “large families,” even single mothers in the “inner city.”

But actually the population problem is all about me: white, middle-class, American me. Steer the blame right over here.

Well-meaning people have told me that I’m “just the sort of person who should have kids.” Au contraire. I’m just the sort of person who should not have kids.

Population isn’t just about counting heads. The impact of humanity on the environment is not determined solely by how many of us are around, but by how much stuff we use and how much room we take up. And as a financially comfortable American, I use a lot of stuff and take up a lot of room.

My carbon footprint is more than 200 times bigger than an average Ethiopian’s, and more than 12 times bigger than an average Indian’s, and twice as big as an average Brit’s.

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A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe Reply

Article by Chris Hedges.

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I arrived in Times Square around 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A large crowd was transfixed by the huge Jumbotron screens. Billows of smoke could be seen on the screens above us, pouring out of the two World Trade towers. Two planes, I was told by people in the crowd, had plowed into the towers. I walked quickly into the New York Times newsroom at 229 W. 43rd St., grabbed a handful of reporter’s notebooks, slipped my NYPD press card, which would let me through police roadblocks, around my neck, and started down the West Side Highway to the World Trade Center. The highway was closed to traffic. I walked through knots of emergency workers, police and firemen. Fire trucks, emergency vehicles, ambulances, police cars and rescue trucks idled on the asphalt.

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A Culture in Regression: We Don’t Need No Steenking Books Reply

Article by Fred Reed.

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The night closes in. Read the surveys of what children know, what students in universities know. Approximately nothing. We have become wanton morons. As the intellectual shadows fall again, as literacy declines and minds grow dim in the new twilight, who will copy the parchments this time?

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The Crazy World of Limousine Leftists Reply

The adventures of Jane Fonda.

Actually, I’ve always thought the right-wing is too hard on Hanoi Jane. Whatever her faults, she was right about Nixon’s war crimes in Indochina.

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One day, at the height of her fame in the mid-Seventies, Jane Fonda turned up on the doorstep of her ex-husband, Roger Vadim. She was lugging a bulging sack.

Vadim’s glamorous new girlfriend let her in, thrilled to meet the movie icon at last. But her excitement soon turned to disbelief. The star of Julia, Klute and The China Syndrome had come to do her laundry.

Why? Because her second husband, Tom Hayden, a Left-wing activist with a bulbous nose and acne-scarred cheeks, had forbidden her to have either a washing machine or dishwasher. Far too bourgeois.

Jane Fonda had a turbulent marriage to her second husbandJane Fonda had a turbulent marriage to her second husband

Not only that, but he’d made her sell her comfortable house in Los Angeles and buy a shabby two-bedroom shack in Santa Monica that smelled of mildew, where the couple shared a mattress on the floor. She couldn’t even wear her Cartier wristwatch any more, because Hayden disliked any show of possessions. So she’d replaced it with a cheaper Timex.

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The Clockwork Orange Dilemma! Riots, Reflections and Ramifications… Reply

Article by MRDA. The best analysis yet of the London riots.

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When folk get angry, why do they always piss on their own doorstep? Westminster is only a bus ride away.
– Tunnocks, Guardian Reader.

But this I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful…And when they  call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had—power.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

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It took only two bullets to rupture the relative calm of a whole country…

…and,more than three weeks later, the wound remains sore and exposed.

However I won’t delve too deeply into the circumstances surrounding Mark Duggan’s fatal shooting by the Boys in Blue; nor those of the ensuing protest, two days later. Much remains to be clarified over those two occurrences: did Duggan unwittingly commit “suicide-by-cop”, or receive a summary execution ala Jean Charles de Menezes?  Did the police go on to batter a peaceful protestor, or a pugilist?  The little that has come to light hardly sheds any in return.

Still, I will spout off a few paragraphs concerning the now-infamous riots that springboarded off of those events…

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Misandry in the Media Reply

From RADAR.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tolerance: Not a Two-Way Street? Reply

Article by Jim Goad.

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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.

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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.

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Between Thought and Action in Norway Reply

Article by Jim Goad.

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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.

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Ten Things I Hate About the Right Reply

Article by Gavin McInnes.

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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.

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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.
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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?