A Facebook commentator recently added this response to this debate:
In any polarised debate, seek the excluded middle! What neither position here seems to address is the question of commons, which historically acted as a mediator between private property and collectively owned resources. Meanwhile, the allocation of commons necessitates the definition of those who manage those commons, which will be to the exclusion of those who are not. This is, in a sense, a border, albeit on a much smaller scale than that of a nation state. Here are Elinor Ostrom’s 8 Principles for Managing a Commons (or common-pool resource(s) = CPR) – note the first point.
1. The CPR has clearly-defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external unentitled parties)
2. There is congruence between the resource environment and its governance structure or rules
3. Decisions are made through collective-choice arrangements that allow most resource appropriators to participate
4. Rules are enforced through effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators
5. Violations are punished with graduated sanctions
6. Conflicts and issues are addressed with low-cost and easy-to-access conflict resolution mechanisms
7. Higher-level authorities recognize the right of the resource appropriators to self-govern
8. In the case of larger common-pool resources: rules are organized and enforced through multiple layers of nested enterprises
…and I suppose the reason they fail to mention commons is that as far as I’m aware, in European-American settler culture, they didn’t play the role that they have in most other societies.
US politics is basically just a glorified version of the WWE, and it’s perfectly appropriate that the US head of state is a guy is who actually in the WWE Hall of Fame. And the hardcore partisans (i.e. folks who take all this shit seriously) are like wrestling fans who think it’s all a real sport as a opposed to a theatrical production. In many ways, the blissfully ignorant like the folks in this Mark Dice video are the most sensible (and probably the largest) political faction, because they at least have the inclination to be indifferent to it all.
If you’re horrified by news of families being separated at the borders, here’s a bit of news you can use.
First, the policy: It helps to be incredibly clear on what the law is, and what has and has not changed. When Donald Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders say that the policy of separating children from their parents upon entry is a law passed by Democrats that Democrats will not fix, they are lying.
There are two different policies in play, and both are new.
First is the new policy that any migrant family entering the U.S. without a border inspection will be prosecuted for this minor misdemeanor. The parents get incarcerated and that leaves children to be warehoused. The parents then typically plead guilty to the misdemeanor and are given a sentence of the few days they served waiting for trial. But then when the parents try to reunite with their children, they are given the runaround—and possibly even deported, alone. The children are left in HHS custody, often without family.
Second is a new and apparently unwritten policy that even when the family presents themselves at a border-entry location, seeking asylum—that is, even when the family is complying in all respects with immigration law—the government is snatching the children away from their parents. Here, the government’s excuse seems to be that they want to keep the parents in jaillike immigration detention for a long time, while their asylum cases are adjudicated. The long-standing civil rights case known as Flores dictates that they aren’t allowed to keep kids in that kind of detention, so the Trump administration says they have to break up the families. They do not have to break up families—it is the government’s new choice to jail people with credible asylum claims who haven’t violated any laws that is leading to the heartbreaking separations you’ve been reading about.
Is America going to cheer for Kim Kardashian for president in 2020?
After the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality TV star took a photo with another reality TV star in the Oval Office, late-night comic Trevor Noah couldn’t help but think about who appeared more presidential. His conclusion? The Kardashian beat the Donald.
Kardashian met with President Trump at the White House this week to talk about prison reform and to request that the president pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother in her 60s who was sentenced to life after a first-time nonviolent drug offense.
Noah also takes a look at various Oval Office photos and deems several others more presidential than Trump. Take a look at today’s Best of Late Night, above, to find out who they are.
Jimmy Kimmel isn’t ready to accept that the meeting between Kardashian and Trump actually happened. He’s wondering if we’ve all been Ambiened.
Take a look at our favorite jokes from last night’s late-night lineup, then vote for yours in the poll below.
Michael Barone assesses the state of the culture war 26 years after Pat Buchanan’s famous speech at the 1992 Republican convention where the term “culture war” entered public discourse. I tend to concur with Barone’s analysis. The Left has won on sexual and religious issues, and for the most part on abortion (with some exceptions). But the Right has done better on guns, welfare, education and crime.
By Michael Barone
The American Conservative
On Monday, August 17, 1992, Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Houston. Buchanan had run against incumbent President George H. W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination and in the first primary, in New Hampshire in February, had won 37 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent. That turned out to be Buchanan’s high point: overall he won just 23 percent of primary votes to Bush’s 73 percent, and under Republicans’ winner-take-all delegate allocation rules he had only a handful of delegates at the convention—the official roll call credited him with just 18. In contrast, the last challenger of an incumbent Democratic president, Edward Kennedy, held the loyalty of about 40 percent of the delegates at the party’s 1980 national convention.
Buchanan, unlike Kennedy, warmly endorsed the president who defeated him. He credited Ronald Reagan, not Bush, with “leading America to victory in the Cold War,” but noted that “under President George Bush more human beings escaped from the prison house of tyranny to freedom than in any other four-year period in history.” But he had little else to say about foreign policy. And on the economy—thought then to be in a recession which, the official arbiters ruled later, had bottomed out in March 1991—Buchanan was emphatically downbeat, devoting long stretches of his speech to people he’d met on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Georgia, and California who were terrified of losing their jobs. This was hardly helpful to an incumbent seeking a second term.
Losers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose because you’re already losers.
By Ann Sterzinger
If you’re a digital native, you probably have no idea what genuine loneliness is. Before you get off my lawn, let me finesse that (oh, god, Ann, finessing anything on the Internet is always your first mistake): back during the analog age, if you were a freak or a weirdo, you were a freak or a weirdo. Period. That was it. No way out. No online community of equally gothy souls. Even if you went to some big nice suburban high school, you weren’t going to do much better than being Duckie from Pretty in Pink.
The downside of this is that you were sad.
The upside of this is that you learned to live with the various feelings you get when no one else will back up or even understand your thoughts and opinions.
Weirdos got used to being weirdos. And after a while, we liked it. When we finally escaped home and found the other oddballs in a slightly larger town, we tended to cobble punk rock scenes or the like out of whomever happened to be in the immediate area. Which meant that restricting your social life to people with your own politics or taste or thoughts was fucking impossible; you settled for hanging out with anyone who thought anything at all instead of shuffling through life like quiet sheep.
Like all presidents, Trump is just an administrative manager for the power elite (much to his own frustration, I would imagine).
By Caitlin Johnstone
It’s been a weird last couple of days. I wrote an article about WikiLeaks’ dismissal of “QAnon”, the anonymous 8chan poster that hundreds of thousands of conspiracy newbies believe is sharing secret, coded information about Donald Trump’s heroic war against the US deep state.
Ever since I hit publish I’ve been getting a bunch of angry Q enthusiasts in my social media notifications accusing me of being a shill for the establishment. Because I don’t believe someone who says that we should all trust the President of the United States. Blind faith in the executive branch of the US government is anti-establishment now.
As bizarre as these interactions have been, they are still vastly more pleasant than my typical interactions with the faction I see as QAnon’s mirror image, the Russiagaters. Though enthusiasts of the Russiagate conspiracy theory are far more nasty and vituperative than the Q crowd, there are many similarities. Like QAnon, Russiagate is fueled by about ten percent information and ninety percent desperate need to believe. Like QAnon, Russiagate is so thinly substantiated it doesn’t begin to look legitimate until you’ve spent weeks crawling down the rabbit holes of its bulletproof echo chambers and squinting just right at everything you see until it feels true. Like QAnon, the evangelists of Russiagate center their revolutionary sentiment around President Donald Trump. Like QAnon, they shouldn’t.
Apparently, this is what “progressive” government looks like under Justin Trudeau’s totalitarian humanist regime.
By Justine Calma
Canada is coughing up $3.5 billion to buy the floundering Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project from Kinder Morgan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had vowed “to get that pipeline built,” but pipeline resistance groups aren’t backing down, either.
“This is a declaration of war against indigenous people because they’re not recognizing our own sovereignty,” says Kanahus Manuel, a Secwepemc midwife and mother of four. “So we are putting on our war paint and we are putting on our battle gear and we’re going to fight.”
The Houston-based company had stopped all non-essential spending on the project last month after facing broad opposition from environmental groups, indigenous communities, and the province of British Columbia. Canada says it plans to fund construction of the project until it can find another buyer to take over. If completed, it would nearly triple the pipeline’s capacity to transport crude and refined oil from Alberta to B.C.
This speech might have just as well been delivered by a member of the Bloods and titled, “Anti-Cripism and the Bloods’ Fear of Power.” Although it’s probably more appropriate to compare this stuff to “Ghostbusters” than to street gangs. Increasingly, I am leaning toward the view that the key to developing a new kind of radicalism is cultivating the ability to break out of these cultic paradigms.
Neither West nor East. Against all imperialisms. Neither Left nor Right. Against all states. Neither Red nor Blue. Peace between all tribes. Neither State nor Corporation. Against the power elite in all its manifestations. Neither Alt-Right nor Antifa. Against all authoritarians.
By Maximillian Alvarez
This article has been adapted from a talk delivered at Purdue University on April 18, 2018, hosted by the Purdue chapter of the Campus Antifascist Network.
In the United States today people tend to squirm with profound discomfort, if not sneer with outright revulsion, when they hear talk of “antifascism.” It is, by most accounts, a dirty word. That alone should be proof enough that we desperately need it.
It is fascinating to observe the kind of paranoia that is now being disseminated by the Western elites in the face of the rising though very modest challenges that are now being presented by the BRICS-Shia-Global South alliance in international relations, and by left/right populist tendencies within Western nations. It seems the neoliberal ruling classes are working to invent a New Cold War. They tried once before with the “War on Terrorism.” But nobody outside the realm of FOX News junkies was buying that. So they came up with an enemy that wine and cheese liberals and “progressive activists” could hate as well, with Russia as the supposed headquarters of “world fascism,” allegedly sponsoring insurgent fascist regimes, parties, and movements all over the world. Joe McCarthy would be proud.
But while the far-right may be losing influence, the so-called “alt-lite” isn’t. This loosely connected movement of groups and individuals doesn’t outwardly emphasize racism and bigotry in the same way the far-right does. Instead, they focus on the “dangers” posed to free speech, and how political correctness, feminism, and identity politics are destroying the West.
CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”
Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.
Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.
Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.
Is “the Left” eating itself? Watch the Unsafe Space Tour panel discussion at New York Law School, featuring Professors Bret Weinstein, Laura Kipnis, Angus Johnston, and author Brendan O’Neill. Moderated by Tom Slater (of Spiked Magazine).
There is quite a bit I disagree with in this article, but it is good to see someone from the Left arguing that anti-imperialism should be a priority issue.
By Noah Berlatsky
“I just feel like I had my best girlfriend break up with me,” Alex Jones declared in a live rant last month during the American bombing of Syria. “I will tell Trump that you really betrayed your family and your name, and everything you stood for with this horse manure.”
Dave goes back and forth with protesters during his entire speech to students at the University of New Hampshire. Due to security threats the University moved the venue from a 300 seat room to a 7500 seat hockey rink – without informing all of the attendees. This event was hosted by Turning Point USA.
f you want to know why the left keeps losing, look no further than the fallout from last Sunday’s ‘Day for Freedom’ march in London. The event was publicised as a protest against the ongoing erosion of free speech in the UK, most notably through the increasingly draconian application of hate-speech laws. The man behind the march was Tommy Robinson, former leader of the EDL, who took umbrage at being permanently banned from Twitter for his incendiary remarks about Islam. Before long, a number of prominent right-wing activists offered their support, and even without mainstream media coverage the attendance figures were in the thousands.
How is it that the principle of free speech, the bedrock of any democratic society, has been claimed by the right? Inevitably, right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart have declared the ‘Day for Freedom’ to be their victory. To an extent, they have a point. In recent years, the left has not only failed to defend freedom of expression, but has been actively hostile to it. Moreover, prominent left-wing voices have continually sought to broaden the scope of terms such as ‘far right’ and ‘alt-right’ to incorporate as many of their ideological opponents as possible. I can think of no strategy less likely to persuade and more likely to engender widespread resentment.
For modern conservatives, a question looms large: Has cultural Marxism or post-modernism done more damage to society? Canada’s Jordan Peterson claims the latter, while Paul Gottfried — one of America’s most most serious paleo-conservative intellectuals, says the opposite. On this week’s episode of ‘The San Francisco Review of Books on Sunday,’ Gottfried explains why he thinks that cultural Marxism is far more serious than post-modernism and what this means not only for America, but Western Civilization.