Caity and Dan welcome Keith Preston back to the show for a very interesting conversation about anarchist activist and writer Emma Goldman. We begin by chatting about Emma’s life and ideas and why they are still relevant today, the Haymarket affair, Alexander Berkman, if anarchists are born and not made, the difference between activists and theorists, the type of person who can popularize unpopular ideas, feminism and the suffragette movement, why the state is the real problem, working conditions in the early 20th century and the differences between relative and absolute poverty and the expansion of the nanny state.
We move on to what one has to give up to be a full time activist and why many of the anarchist women of Emma’s time gave up the norms of marriage and motherhood to be full time activists, Emma’s opposition to war, the assassination of president William McKinley, genuine anarchist terrorism and police infiltration in the radical political movements and how they love to divide rival factions.
We go on to talk about free speech, how it was under threat then as it is now and what Emma may have made of the modern world.
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Originally published @ http://www.greeningoutpodcast.co.uk
This is how you do it.
Once again, the election results in Greece represent what I have been pushing for years, i.e. the creation of a radical left that eclipses the center-left and then builds a coalition with the populist right against the establishment center, the global elites and the transnational ruling class.
The primary obstacle to replication the Greek model in Western Europe and North America is totalitarian humanism, i.e. the fact that the radical left in the West is dominated by the cultural left (the “pink and green” left) rather than the traditional economic left and is usually more than happy to back the center-left establishment against the cultural right. The solution is to build a “new radical left” of the kind for which ATS is a prototype, and that subsequently pushes the cultural left towards the center and eclipses it.
Of course, I am neither a conventional socialist nor any kind of right-winger. I am considerably to the left of Syriza on most questions. I regard the cultivation of a radical left/populist-right convergence as merely a transitional stage towards the development of a popular base for a revolutionary anarchism.
Rightwing party differs on many issues with radical leftist Syriza, but they are united by a mutual hatred for bailout programme.
Syriza just missed out on the 151 MPs it needed to govern alone after Greece’s election, winning 149 seats with a 36.3% share of the vote. The party has formed a coalition government with Independent Greeks, who took 13 seats.
The populist, rightwing Independent Greeks (Anel) would at first sight make for a strange bedfellow for the radical leftists Syriza and the deal makes an unusual alliance, but they are brought together by a mutual hatred for the bailout programme keeping Greece afloat.
The two parties have vastly diverging world views, standing well apart on issues such as illegal migration, Greece’s ever-fractious relationship with Nato rival Turkey, gay marriage and the role of the Greek Orthodox church.
Some observations about the recent election in Greece.
First, I am hesitant base any general assessment of Western politics on domestic Greek politics, which is still very much in the mode of mid-twentieth century models of Left and Right. Greek’s communists are Old Leftists, not New Leftists. Their fascists, Golden Dawn, are classical fascists. And their anarchists are “black and red” anarchists, not “pink and green” anarchists of the kind found in Western Europe and North America. Still, this model of the radical left and populist right coming together to oppose the transnational neoliberal ruling class is the model I have pushed for since the late 1990s.
Syriza’s election is rather extraordinary.
“This is the first time since the Spanish revolution of 1936 that a left party wins general elections in Europe. In this weekend’s national elections in Greece the leftist SYRIZA took 149 out of 300 seats and will now form a coalition government with a small right-wing anti-austerity party to run the country.”
From the late 70s until the economic crisis of 2007-2008, Greece essentially had a standard brand two-party system with a center-right and a center-left party. However, Syriza (which means “coalition of the radical left”) has emerged now not only to become the largest party in parliament but has marginalized and replaced the center-left party, and rendering it to minor party status. It is comparable to what would happen if a coalition of the far left third parties in the US replaced the Democrats and held half of the seats in Congress.
“After seven years of neoliberal overkill the Greek people overthrew the two-party regime that has been governing the country for the past 40 years with socially catastrophic results. The populist-right New Democracy (ND) party took 27,8% and the ex-socialist (now turned neoliberal) PASOK received a petty 4,6% of the votes. SYRIZA has increased its electoral base by 10% since the 2012 elections, by amassing the votes of the underclasses and the violently proletarianized lower middle class.”
The Greek working class has always been more proletarianized than the working classes of Western Europe and, especially, the “working middle class” of the United States. However, the Western working classes are undergoing a process of reproletarianization, particularly the American working middle class.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that the decades ahead will witness the unfolding of a golden age of anarchism. What is the evidence for this?
-The most powerful state in the world, the United States, the mother country of the empire, is slowly losing its internal legitimacy and serious political discontent is beginning to rise.
-Antiwar sentiment in the United States is at an all time high. War fever could rise again in the event of a war with ISIS or Iran, an intervention in Syria, or a confrontation with Russia. But none of these scenarios would turn out well for the United States in the long run. Instead, the state would continue to lose its legitimacy and antiwar and anti-imperialist feeling would come back on an even stronger level.
-Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century in the United States. This all but guarantees the re-emergence of class-based politics at some point in the future. Proponents of alternative forms of decentralist economics will then begin to find a ripe audience for their ideas.
-Public opinion is slowly turning against the police state, prison-industrial complex, and the war on drugs. Sentiment of this kind will likely begin to grow exponentially in the future. It is likely that resistance to domestic American fascism will be the civil rights movement of the 21st century.
-One in four Americans are now sympathetic to secession by their region or community, and these sympathies will probably increase as the system begins to deteriorate.
-One in four American adults now has a criminal record due to overcriminalization. This can only have the effect of undermining respect for the state and its legal decrees.
-The idea of the state as the savior of humanity is an idea that is coming under increasing disrepute. The fiscal debts alone of modern welfare states likely guarantee their ultimate demise.
It seems rather odd in this day and age to deny the existence of Cultural Marxism as an intellectual movement. But it seems that this meme has been gaining traction lately on the left. It was recently the subject of a rather low quality, but nonetheless enlightening, editorial in the Guardian by one Jason Wilson.
So what does Wilson mean when he says that “the theory of cultural Marxism is integral to the fantasy life of the contemporary right.”? The first question I would ask anyone making this claim is “What do you mean when you say Cultural Marxism?” Wilson has an explanation for that, and it’s not entirely bad.
It begins in the 1910s and 1920s. When the socialist revolution failed to materialise beyond the Soviet Union, Marxist thinkers like Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs tried to explain why. Their answer was that culture and religion blunted the proletariat’s desire to revolt, and the solution was that Marxists should carry out a “long march through the institutions” – universities and schools, government bureaucracies and the media – so that cultural values could be progressively changed from above.
I generally agree with Michael Enoch’s article, with several qualifications.
First, it is indeed problematic to identify as Marxism a theory that is not rooted in economic determinism and the view of class conflict as the defining element of capitalist society. Marx and Engels themselves had many ideas that would be considered “far right” today, particularly their views on racism and imperialism. Leftist anti-racism really doesn’t take off until the post-WW2 era (mostly as a backlash against Nazism, in my view). Marx and Engels were essentially Germanic or at least Nordic supremacists, viewed indigenous peoples as non-historical, and regarded Western imperialism as a historically progressive force (they had the same view of capitalism). The early anarchists took an anti-imperialist position but Marxist anti-imperialism really begins with Lenin. At best, the Frankfurt School’s “cultural Marxism” is a revision of orthodox Marxism…at the very best. These are among the reasons I prefer the term totalitarian humanism for PC rather than cultural Marxism.
Neoliberalism and totalitarian humanism converge.
“Feminism: Originally a necessary and progressive movement. Today it’s a crowd of attention-starved, hysterical totalitarians masking themselves as progressives, and whose continued screaming existence shows that the movement has destroyed itself with its success.
Multiculturalism: All dandy, as long as it is not a smokescreen for the right’s industrial magnates importing cheap labor, and the left’s power brokers importing voting-cattle.
Gay rights: Whatever that is. Gays have, or should have, the same rights as any other human in a somewhat enlightened society.
Atheism: Far preferable to dressed-up theocrazy, especially (but not limited to) since the rise of theocratic tendencies tends to drag down scientific and technological advances with it.
Summary of the activist central bank policies since 2008 in the US: These have remarkably enriched the top1%, while keeping the US warfare state afloat.”
-Peter Bjorn Hansen
By Batidan Bantu
Alexander Dugin’s The Fourth Political Theory is a highly-inventive and relevant work; its renouncement of Liberalism and, more importantly, its advocacy of a new syncretic framework –a fourth political theory to challenge the premises of liberalism, fascism, and communism– is nothing short of radical. However, Dugin’s analysis is crippled by a series of grave category errors and historical inaccuracies that need to be addressed if serious opposition to the reigning Liberal ideology is to occur.
Dugin’s failure to accurately identify the nature of the principal enemy of today –Liberals (as distinguished from classical liberals) and “progressives” (an Orwellian term that many swallow without a hint of irony) –is one of the foundational errors in his well-intentioned attack on modernity. More…
The Wikipedia entry on the different schools of economic thought gives a pretty good overview of all of these different methods of economic analysis.
Many of the various hyphenated forms of anarchism and libertarianism involve sectarian differences between proponents of different economic theories and proposed alternative economic arrangements. That’s fine by itself. But anarchists need to abandon fanatical views of economic questions. Economics should be approached as a science through the use of empirical methodology. The core question concerning economic analysis should be, “What will be the result of this economic proposal and how will it impact the primary aim of economic activity: the meeting of human needs?”
Her Catholic upbringing and how she lost faith in religion
Her career in Journalism as a proofreader and freelance writer
The upper middle class women who dominate the journalism industry and why Ann finds them alienating
The modern left and how it has become dominated by upper class boutique issues as opposed to class issues
Why introvert writers develop dark alter egos in their work
Anti-Natalism and the tragedy of the human existence.
Her response to arguments against Anti-Natalism (ex. “Idiocracy” and ethno nationalism)
Her book NVSQVAM (Nowhere)
Her book The Talkative Corpse: A Love Letter
The concept of loserdom; Genuine losers vs. situation losers and those in between
By Keith Preston
Some historians make the credible argument that major historical cycles tend to turn every seventy years or so. For an example of this kind of analysis, see this piece that was written by Steven Yates after the events of September 11, 2001. What this particular model of historical interpretation argues is that every seven decades an older political, economic, cultural, or social paradigm will yield to a new paradigm.
Applied to American history, this method of interpretation might go something like this:
Moyers has a very good interview with the author of this book here.
The following excerpt is from the introduction to Steve Fraser’s new book, The Age of Acquiescence.
Marx once described high finance as “the Vatican of capitalism,” its diktat to be obeyed without question. Several decades have come and gone during which we’ve learned not to mention Marx in polite company. Our vocabulary went through a kind of linguistic cleansing, exiling suspect and nasty phrases like “class warfare” or “the reserve army of labor” or even something as apparently innocuous as “working class.”
In times past, however, such language and the ideas they conjured up struck our forebears as useful, even sometimes as accurate depictions of reality. They used them regularly along with words and phrases like “plutocracy,” “robber baron,” and “ruling class” to identify the sources of economic exploitation and inequality that oppressed them, as well as to describe the political disenfranchisement they suffered and the subversion of democracy they experienced. Never before, however, has the Vatican of capitalism captured quite so perfectly the specific nature of the oligarchy that recently ran the country for a long generation and ended up running it into the ground. Even political consultant and pundit James Carville (no Marxist he), confessed as much during the Clinton years, when he said the bond market “intimidates everybody.”
Occupy Wall Street, even bereft of strategy, program, and specific demands as many lamented when it was a newborn, nonetheless opened up space again for our political imagination by confronting this elemental, determining feature of our society’s predicament. It rediscovered something that, beneath thickets of political verbiage about tax this and cut that, about end‑of‑the world deficits and missionary-minded “job creators,” had been hiding in plain sight: namely, what our ancestors once called “the street of torments.” It achieved a giant leap backward, so to speak, summoning up a history of opposition that had mysteriously withered away.
By William S. Lind
Just as Germany had its V weapons, the V-1 and V-2, so Washington now has its S weapon. If another country does something we don’t like, Washington hits it with economic sanctions.
As Iran’s economy shows, sanctions can do a country quite a bit of damage. The burden falls mainly on the middle class; just as in Washington, the elites know how to protect themselves. From Washington’s perspective, sanctions are an ideal weapon, in that they seem to cost us little or nothing.
In fact, they may end up costing us a great deal. All around the world, a state’s legitimacy now depends in no small part on ensuring a growing economy. A state that cannot do that may fail. Because Washington has no understanding of Fourth Generation war, it thinks the result will be merely a new government, one that will bend to Washington’s (and Globalism’s) will. In reality, in a 4GW world, the consequence may be another failed state and the effective conquest of another region by non-state elements.
More, whenever a state thinks it has discovered a new weapon to which there is no reply, its opponents surprise it by coming up with one or several. Other countries are growing tired of Washington dictating to them and threatening sanctions if they do not obey. At least two are not little countries Washington can easily step on. I refer to China and, especially, Russia.
It should be clear to everyone that the economic and political system that replaced feudal agriculture is starting to fall apart.
It’s also pretty clear we need a new system, one that can operate at a global scale and fully embrace the potential of new technologies without turning us all into slaves (or killing us).
What does that system look like? Obviously, it’s very hard to see what is going to replace industrial capitalism and the nation-state while we are still inside of the system.
Despite that, it’s possible to get a sense of where it is going by looking at where technology is taking us. I recently did some scifi writing on a short book I’m writing and this is some thinking that came out of it.
What I’ve been saying all along. The money quote:
“The current trends in America, Wall Street getting richer, everyone else getting poorer, politicians of both parties feeding brazenly at Wall Street’s trough, the party of the Left in full blown attack gear not on inequality, which it has done nothing to address, but picking at and rubbing raw the scabs of identity politics—this can’t keep going on indefinitely without something really bad happening.”
The American Conservative
One reason for the continued vital role for TAC is that the left makes itself so difficult to identify with. Here is a personal example: white male, late middle age, Christian background, Obama supporter (volunteered in both campaigns) believes that major problems facing this country and the world are global warming, accelerating inequality, the outsourcing and general drying up of middle class jobs. Opposed the Iraq war from the moment the neocons began to push for it (September 12, 2001?); opposes the militarized war-as-first-or-second-resort mindset so dominant within the Beltway; supports Obama’s effort to explore detente with Iran. Supports a reduction in defense expenditures–the savings could be spent on infrastructure, debt reduction, education, health care subsidies. Pretty much a portrait of a 100 percent liberal Democrat, no?
This event that took place this past June is a prototype for what there needs to be more of. There needs to be mass protests all over the world against the U.S. and U.N.-led War on Drugs that ties all of the relevant issues together: police militarization, civil liberties, the U.S. prison industrial complex, prisoners rights, race and class disparities in criminal justice, medical freedom, mandatory sentencing, police brutality, institutional corruption, Third World poverty, and U.S. imperialism. Such a movement needs to be organized on the level of the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s, the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s, and the Palestinian solidarity movement today.
This is also the idea issue for anarchists, libertarians, and radical anti-statists to asset themselves and become frontline leaders of radical and revolutionary movements all over the world. Anarchists and libertarians, where are you?
June 26, 2014
By Marya Pasciuto
For decades, government policies against drugs have created problematic situations in virtually every corner of the world, from cartel warfare to rampant incarceration. For many citizens and advocacy organizations, the war on drugs has created more problems than solutions.
On June 26, 2014, citizens of 80 cities across the globe will take to social media, press rooms, and the streets in a joint day of protest declared by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) against the war on drugs. From Nairobi to Rome, hundreds of individual organizations and cities have stepped up to plan their own demonstrations.
As each nation has its own nuanced perspective and experience with the war on drugs, each protest has its own focus and reasons for participating. By participating in a worldwide protest, however, all of the organizations stand as one and become a formidable force against outdated government drug policies gone awry.
World Policy Journal reached out to leaders of war on drugs protests on three continents to provide a sampling of the different campaigns around the world:
A Facebook reader posted a response to this critique of Libertarianism in Salon by Michael Lind. Says the reader:
To me, libertarianism represents the time in old England-portrayed by Charles Dickens, where the poor completely had to fend for themselves when they could not find work. They could go to the “work houses” or live on the streets. And, going to the “work houses” was a fate where most people would rather die than wind up there. But as Scrooge said-in response to that statement: “Well, let ’em die and decrease the surplus population” as his way of refusing to make a charitable donation (to feed the destitute at Christmas) when asked. Yeah, like relying purely on private charities will fill the gap of crucial social services being cut. This is what Libertarianism represents to me; a time that I thought we left behind in the early 20th Century. But now its creeping back and people don’t seem to notice. It may take a revolution to stop this. I hope it does not.
Libertarianism is a pretty broad body of thought: Libertarianism
Anarchism even more so: Anarchism
Then there’s Libertarian Socialism
I read the Salon piece, and I generally agree with it. The U.S. in its early developmental stage practiced economic nationalism, not any kind of libertarianism, not even the vulgar kind associated with people like the Kochs or the followers of Ayn Rand. Looking to any past period of American history as some kind of libertarian model is highly problematic to say the least. The closest might be the colonial period when different religious communities were forming utopian colonies on the east coast, and the British king was far enough away to not be all that important. The American Revolution had the effect of actually increasing rather than decreasing state power in the 13 colonies. Late 18th/early 19th century England under the monarchy was arguably a more libertarian society than what existed in America at the time. England’s class system during the early industrial revolution was awful as the above commenter pointed out but England was still a lot quicker to abolish slavery than America. Also, the 19th century was the period when America’s continued westward expansion was defined in large part by outright imperial aggression to the point of genocide. The only thing that’s “libertarian” among American history is the cultural mythology derived from founding documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. But even the original Constitution was structured in such a way as to deliberately create a plutocratic oligarchy, and it was done that way deliberately (read the Federalist Papers).
eblog.com | Original Post Date: May 20, 2014 –
If you believe that the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction, you really need to read this article. As we look toward the second half of 2014, there are economic red flags all over the place. Industrial production is down. Home sales are way down. Retail stores are closing at the fastest pace since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. U.S. household debt is up substantially, and in 20 percent of all U.S. families everyone is unemployed. In so many ways, what we are witnessing right now is so similar to what we experienced during the build up to the last great financial crisis. We are making so many of the very same mistakes that we made the last time, and yet our “leaders” seem completely oblivious to what is happening. But the warning signs are very clear. All you have to do is open your eyes and look at them. The following are 27 huge red flags for the U.S. economy…
By Keith Preston
When the future history of the former United States of America is written, the pivotal turning point that likely marked the downfall of the USA will be the events of September 11, 2001.
The United States emerged from World War Two as the most powerful nation-state in the world, rivaled only by the second-rate Soviet Union. American hegemony and dominance spread throughout the world as Western Europe became protectorates of the USA, and the colonies of the former European colonial empires in Asia, Africa, and Latin America became U.S. client states. However the postwar era and the late 20th century were also a time of anti-colonial insurgency, leading the U.S. to get bogged down in the anti-colonial war in Indochina and eventually experience defeat. This had the effect of de-legitimizing U.S. militarism to a great degree. More…
Read this classic lecture from 2000 by Professor Van Creveld, and then read my “Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire” from 2003. Van Creveld’s lecture describes the emerging world order, and my essay outlines a new paradigm for the “worldwide Grey Tribe” as it might be called.
This is an excerpt from the keynote lecture given at the Mises Institute conference on the themes in Professor van Creveld’s talk.
The background of the state as we know it today is formed by civil war, although at that time, of course, it was not yet called civil. The endless wars between the various principalities, some of them Christian and others Moslem, that took place in the Iberian Peninsula during the fifteenth century; the English Wars of the Roses; the French guerres de religion; and the Thirty Years War which devastated much of Germany and Central Europe–all these resulted in so much death and destruction that, to end them, people were even prepared to have their appetites controlled. As figures such as Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes argued, the only way to bring about peace and quiet was absolute government invested in a single person. And peace and quiet, more than anything else, was what people wanted and what history seemed to demand.