“In episode 13 of Unraveling Political Theory, Tim and Keith will be discussing 5 different political debates that are false dichotomies. To understand the world of politics and change it for the better, it’s paramount that people begin to study political theory and the ways in which it has manifest throughout history up into the present day. By bringing light to the origins of political and philosophical thought, the present day becomes all the more explainable because one is now able to see the logical progression of such manifestations.”
By R.J. Jacob
Last week on KTP, Keith and I discussed data from a new study by an independent group of researchers showing that 80 percent of Americans see themselves as against political correctness. Shouldn’t surprise you. Most people don’t even pretend to act “shocked” when someone acts racist or sexist in public. It’s the phony rich people on TV who act like we’re supposed to care about another douchebag and his poetic justice or the next racial/gender/sexual/animal equality BS or whatever it is that we’re supposed to care about this time.
I think one of the main reasons why so many Americans dislike PC is because most Americans aren’t that naive and already know that our news broadcasts are full of shit. In fact, the very notion of talking about what the “political people” on TV are talking about has become a hobby for the more educated and comfortable classes. Most people I know are worried about their bread and butter first and foremost followed by their families. The average person who gives way to the daily grind of “succeeding at life” spends most of his free time drinking, going to the bar, talking to girls, or working out at the gym; and worries about things like family, work, sex, love, depression, trying to save money, and Facebook.
I think “progressive activists” who push PC as a central political social religion have too much free time on their hands. PC anxiety is a luxury for sure. The only people I know who act PC in real life are either lawyers or tech experts with upper-middle-class lifestyles with progressive globalist views or graduate students whose current living situation is comfortable enough to allow them to take up PC as an outward feel-good social hobby while other middle-class progressives mimic the upper-middle-class elite by watching their Real Time with Bill Maher/Anderson Cooper/Colbert Report for rich bitches while the rest of the country doesn’t really give a shit.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
When I first learned that I had been published on Attack the System, a site notorious for being something of a safe space for national anarchists, I was both confused and intrigued. Intrigued because the national anarchists have a rather unsavory rep among their fellow anti-statists as being a kooky breed of quasi white supremacists. And confused because I happen to be an aggressively queer Marxian syndicalist. But also being a hard-luck, technologically challenged, writer who’s shit is often too radical even for the fringe, I decided I could hardly look a gift horse in the mouth. So I said fuck it, why not?
Then something very strange happened. The national anarchists turned out to be human beings and they seemed to legitimately dig my shit. So I put them to the test. I sent them all of my posts, not just the ones I thought wouldn’t offend their traditionalist sensibilities. I sent them candid posts about my own complex gender identity. I sent them posts referencing my past dalliances with communism and my continued admiration for the Black Panthers. I sent them posts in which I openly and gleefully derided the very notions of biological race and gender. I didn’t write these posts with the national anarchists in mind, it just happened to be the kind of shit I write about and I made zero attempt to shield my new audience from it. To my surprise, not only did every single one of those posts get published, they were a hit. Attack the System even went so far as to make me an editor, which was particularly kind considering that I can barely edit my own work, let alone anyone else’s.
Some political commentators actually worth reading or listening to:
Jimmy Dore, Chris Hedges, Ben Norton, Caitlin Johnstone, Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson, Brian Becker, Pat Buchanan, Rania Khalek, John Kiriakou, Abby Martin, Robbie Martin, Adam Proctor, Eugene Puryear, Aimee Terese.
From Marxists to paleoconservatives, they offer a range of alternative perspectives to the FOX-CNN-MSNBC axis of bullshit.
This research more or less confirms the findings of the “Hidden Tribes” researchers with some slight variations.
By Carl M. Cannon
Real Clear Politics
“Every difference of opinion,” Thomas Jefferson warned in his first inaugural address, “is not a difference of principle.” Speaking to his countrymen after an election every bit as bitter as the one that put Donald J. Trump in the White House, Jefferson was trying to soothe the reigning animosity between the nation’s two dominant political parties. “We are all Republicans,” he added. “We are all Federalists.”
Not anymore. In 21st century America, any notion that election results end the argument, however temporarily, is an anachronism. So, too, is the conceit that a nation this large and diverse is divided neatly along “50-50” lines, with half of America’s 253 million adults supporting Democrats, and the other half backing Republicans.
Today, slightly more than one-fourth of registered voters in the United States have political views and social attitudes placing them in the camp of the “Resistance” — to President Trump and the Trump-era Republican Party.
This is one of the five American “tribes” identified in a sweeping new public opinion survey conducted by RealClear Opinion Research, a new service offered by RealClearPolitics. The survey of 2,463 registered voters, conducted Sept. 18-28, was overseen by John Della Volpe, co-founder of SocialSphere Inc., a public opinion and analytics firm based in Cambridge, Mass.
The research that is cited in this article, along with the “Hidden Tribes” report that came out recently, seems to confirm what I have long suspected, i.e. that “political correctness” is the ideology of the mostly white, educated, affluent, left-wing of the upper middle class. This is probably one of the more interesting parts of this article:
“In fact, white liberals are well to the left of the black electorate on some racial issues.
Take the issue of discrimination as a factor holding back African-American advancement. White liberals are to the left of black Democrats, placing a much stronger emphasis than African-Americans on the role of discrimination and much less emphasis on the importance of individual effort.
Among white liberals, according to Pew survey data collected in 2017, 79.2 percent agreed that “racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead these days.” 18.8 percent agreed that “blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition,” a 60.4 point difference, according to a detailed analysis of the Pew data provided the Times by Zach Goldberg, a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgia State University.
Among blacks, 59.9 percent identified discrimination as the main deterrent to upward mobility for African-Americans, and 32.0 percent said blacks were responsible for their condition — in other words, blacks are more conservative than white liberals on this issue.?”
By Thomas B. Edsall
New York Times
It seems that the “exhausted majority” would be the natural constituency for ATS…if only the “exhausted majority” had any kind of critique of the state and/or capitalism (and, yes, I’m fine the Karl Hess version of capitalism).
By Michael Sean Winters
National Catholic Reporter
A column by David Brooks this week pointed to an interesting new survey undertaken by the group More in Common. Titled “Hidden Tribes,” the report, as Brooks rightly notes, “understands that American politics is no longer about what health care plan you support. It’s about identity, psychology, moral foundations and the dynamics of tribal resentment.”
Brooks’ central conclusion is correct: He thinks the core problem with American politics is that it is dominated by the two sets of rich white people who inhabit the ideological extremes, groups the report dubs “Progressive Activists” and “Devoted Conservatives.” Unfortunately for those of us on the left, the first group is only 8 percent of the population and while the second group is but 6 percent, the next closest group, “Traditional Conservatives” identifies 19 percent of the nation’s population and tends to side with the “Devoted Conservatives” on almost all issues. These are the “Wings” that set the tone and the parameters of public debate.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
This blog is a lot of things to me. It’s art. It’s therapy. It’s a bullhorn from which I can shout my radical diktats to a small horde of loyal followers whom I lovingly refer to as my dearest motherfuckers. Hopefully it’s a launching pad for a future revolution that will liberate poor people once and for all from the shackles of big government and big business (or do I repeat myself.) But when it all comes down to it, lets face it, I’m here to bitch. That’s why once a year I drop all artistic and political pretenses and simply make a list of all the people who piss me off the most. I call it my shitlist and 2018 has provided me with no shortage of shit. Now if I put everyone that chaps my ass on this list it would be longer than fucking Gravity’s Rainbow, so I’ll just pick a handful in no specific order to roast like pigs on a spit. So here it is, dearest motherfuckers, My Shitlist 2018.
John McCain– After a lifetime as America’s most celebrated war monger, the one thing that John could do for the world, the only act of mercy that that rapacious murder junkie should have been capable of performing is to finally do us all a big goddamn favor and just fucking die already. But no, John McCain even has to die like a fucking dick. Over a week, a goddamn week of funerals and parades and tributes and memorials and animal sacrifices and imperial orgies, all of them carefully planned by that ego-drunken light bulb factory bomber, to celebrate his foul legacy of homicide advocacy like a goddamn pharaoh. By day five of this ordeal, I was screaming at the TV set “Just give me a goddamn shovel! I’ll bury the cunt myself!!” All I have left to say to the first dead man to make this list is bon voyage you putrid butcher of civilians. Tell Satan that Armageddon’s going great.
The recently released study indicating the deep unpopularity of political correctness, as well as the marginal nature of both PC partisans and the hard right, carries certain implications for the ATS strategy and program. First, there is no need whatsoever to capitulate or kowtow to PC, and that the strategy that I have been pursing for years now of bashing PC to the max is a winning strategy (in fact, it’s probably brought me a larger audience than anything else I have ever done). However, a second implication is that the far left and far right are only peripheral and unpopular elements that are soundly rejected by most Americans. But the catch is that the rival ruling class factions attempt to build a loyal base for themselves by pandering to far left and far right extremists. Therefore, those of use who are committed to an authentically revolutionary perspective must necessarily position ourselves as a radical center that not only rejects the ruling class in its entirety, but also rejects the marginal right and marginal left with equal fervor. When it comes to the Antifa, “anarcho”-Marxists, neo-Commies, PC progressives, Alt-Right/Lite, WN/NS, neo-fascists, or religious theocrats, our attitude should simply be, “Fuck ’em. We don’t ’em.” Instead, our target audience should be the “exhausted majority” who are tired of both ruling class malfeasance, and the crap on the margins.
Kyle Kulinski offers a good critique of why right-wing critics of the Left typically fail, but regrettably Kyle merely wants to steer the conversation toward his own Berniebro/neo-Rooseveltian perspective.
These Tucker Carlson-types are pretty good at criticizing the Left. But they regrettably use their critique to steer their audience toward the Republican-oriented right-wing. It’s possible to hate Bolsheviks without wanting to preserve the Tsar.
By Umair Haque
America is ripping itself apart. So much so that I couldn’t help but notice another strange, gruesome, and bizarre turning point in American collapse today. On the heels of Trump mocking Dr Ford, many famous and powerful right-wing extremists were bellowing, for the first time I can remember, in unison, a shared, loud, and explicit support of real, physical violence — “I love fighting!! What kind of man hasn’t been in a fight? Not a real one, I’ll tell you that!” Violence is virtuous, healthy, ennobling, in other words. My friends, this is far, far outside the lines of discourse we should expect from a civilized society. These are the kinds of things the sneering thugs and grandees who become the proud lieutenants and captains in the armies of dictators tend to say just before a democracy collapses. So while all that might strike you as inconsequential, I think it’s indicative of a deeper and truer malaise — because, of course, on the heels of the Kavanaugh debacle, it is a justification for the idea that anything should go. But can anything go in a democracy?
Americans don’t agree on two things anymore. Personhood and violence. They don’t agree that all people are people, or should be, or even can be — and therefore, many Americans appear to believe in many or most of the following things. It’s perfectly acceptable to rape women if you can get away with it, it’s perfectly fine to put children in camps, it’s perfectly desirable to suggest, believe, “know that” some groups are inherently superior to others, it’s quite alright to want to ethnically cleanse a society, it’s perfectly healthy to “debate” ideas like authoritarianism and fascism (as if two world wars hadn’t settled the question). Need I go on?
By J.D. Tuccille
After last week’s hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it became pretty obvious that the questions, answers, tears, and grandstanding had changed few, if any, minds. “Today felt very much like an update of the 1850s: 2 very distinct parts of US that no longer care to even fake that they respect or value the other,” tweeted Ronald Brownstein of CNN and The Atlantic.
The 1850s? We know how that ended: badly. Why not head off continued conflict by letting these “very distinct parts” of the U.S. be even more distinct—so much so that there’s less for them to battle over. We could even break with the past and try political solutions that let people live side by side without submitting to the authority of opponents they neither respect not value.
Brownstein wasn’t the only observer to notice the political breach—a breach that appears to be growing.
“It is hard to believe that Democrats and Republicans were watching the same hearings,” the YouGov polling firm marveled while reporting that Democrats disbelieved Kavanaugh and believed Ford, his accuser, in almost exactly the same numbers that Republicans disbelieved Ford and believed Kavanaugh.
As I have long suspected, PC is primarily the domain of the left-wing of the upper middle class (roughly the same socioeconomic demographic that Jacobinism and Communism came from).
By Yascha Mounk
On social media, the country seems to divide into two neat camps: Call them the woke and the resentful. Team Resentment is manned—pun very much intended—by people who are predominantly old and almost exclusively white. Team Woke is young, likely to be female, and predominantly black, brown, or Asian (though white “allies” do their dutiful part). These teams are roughly equal in number, and they disagree most vehemently, as well as most routinely, about the catchall known as political correctness.
Reality is nothing like this. As scholars Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon argue in a report published Wednesday, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” most Americans don’t fit into either of these camps. They also share more common ground than the daily fights on social media might suggest—including a general aversion to PC culture.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I’ve always found it absurd that white nationalists bitch the loudest about identity politics when they’re the winy snowflakes who fucking invented the goddamn concept. White isn’t even a race for Christ sake. There is no Whitestan. There is no traditional white tribe. It’s a class concept designed to justify an oligarchy without a royal bloodline. I’m pretty sure that the first “white” guys were just a bunch of slave owners who settled on the superiority of their lack of melanin after they finished taking inventory on eye color and penis size and came to the conclusion that skin was the one thing they had in common that the field hands couldn’t lay claim to. In today’s divided states of America identity politics are mostly used to keep different genres of poor people at each others throats while the one percent rapes their wives (often literally) and pollutes their land.
By Yascha Mounk
James A. Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, the scholars behind the hoax.
Over the past 12 months, three scholars—James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian—wrote 20 fake papers using fashionable jargon to argue for ridiculous conclusions, and tried to get them placed in high-profile journals in fields including gender studies, queer studies, and fat studies. Their success rate was remarkable: By the time they took their experiment public late on Tuesday, seven of their articles had been accepted for publication by ostensibly serious peer-reviewed journals. Seven more were still going through various stages of the review process. Only six had been rejected.
We’ve been here before.
The best take on the Kavanaugh mess I’ve seen to date.
By Avens O’Brien
I haven’t commented much on the whole Kavanaugh issue. I have so many thoughts, and they aren’t perfectly organized or suitable for an article. I wrote this rant out last night while really exhausted, I made minor edits this afternoon and I’m just posting it, because it’s burning a hole in my mind and I’m actually like… angry/sad/disappointed, which isn’t very common for me. And yeah, I’m bothered by his confirmation, but more so about the entire process. About how we got here.
Press TV. Watch the interview here.
Trump considering dismissal of Mattis There had been speculations for long that US President Donald Trump does not see eye to eye with his Defense Secretary James Mattis on a series of issues.
They include US ties with NATO, US military presence in South Korea and Trumps decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
The media in Washington are now quoting informed sources as saying that President Trump is considering a decision to fire his defense chief.