Rob Reiner: Funny as Ever Reply

By Kevin Carson

Rob Reiner, in a recent interview with Chris Matthews, showed that while he may have moved on to directing and producing, he’s still a comedic actor at heart. Reiner, best known as Archie’s son-in-law “Meathead” on “All in the Family,” told Matthews — with a straight face — that “the Hollywood community is the only donor base … that has no quid pro quo. … We don’t … support a candidate because … he might be able to do something for us.” Oh, Rob — you’ve still got it!

But on the off chance that this was really intended as a serious factual claim, rather than a liberal version of Stephen Colbert’s shtik, I’d like to point out a few things: Digital Millennium Copyright Act. SOPA. ACTA. The FBI seizing dozens upon dozens of torrent download sites and issuing press releases from Disney headquarters. There, that should do it.

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The Government Lying to Us — What Else is New? Reply

By Kevin Carson

A Twitter friend of mine recently recounted a conversation with another friend — not a self-described anarchist — who spontaneously concluded that voting was useless. “I think it’s insane to think that people who are in the kind of power that only government and capitalism provide would willingly allow their stability to be up to CHANCE.”

Exactly! You might be forgiven for thinking “the enemy” our ruling circles always talk about is somebody with a strange language and religion on the other side of the world. But in fact “the enemy,” for the ruling class, is anyone capable of disrupting its goals or undermining its power — including us. The American people are potentially a far greater threat to their power than any foreign government.

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Burger and chips off the menu: Fast food crackdown as council limits take-aways in poor areas ‘to increase life expectancy’ Reply

Fast food outlets such as KFC could soon be a far less common sight on the high streets of Haringey, north London

From the Mail.

Looks like the Healthstapo are invading the London Borough of Haringey…

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By Tom Goodenough

They have long been linked with an unhealthy lifestyle and causing damage to people’s health.

But now one London council is taking drastic measures to try and stop its residents from indulging in fast food.

Haringey Council is set to become the first in the country to limit the number of pizza, burger and kebab shops on its streets in an attempt to improve the health of its poorest residents.

It is hoped the scheme could even help to increase life expectancy in the area – with research suggesting that those living in a neighbouring area of London with less junk food outlets could live up to nine years longer.

In Tottenham Green where there are 14 fast food takeaways life expectancy is 72.5 years while in Fortis Green there are just three and life expectancy is 81.5.

A draft scheme is in place for the restrictions which would see planning applications for venues considered alongside the need to keep the number of takeaway’s strictly limited.

New outlets could also be banned from within 400 metres of schools, youth clubs, or parks.

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Has the Bell Begun to Toll for the GOP? Reply

Note: If anarchists and libertarians are serious about attacking and destroying the U.S. state, then we need to begin targeting the center-left establishment given that it will be the ruling party in the decades ahead as the Republicans begin to go the way of the Whigs.

By Pat Buchanan

Among the more controversial chapters in Suicide of a Superpower, my book published last fall, was the one titled, “The End of White America.”

It dealt with the demographic decline of the white majority and what it portends for education, the U.S. economy, politics and national unity.

That book and chapter proved the proximate cause of my departure from MSNBC, where the network president declared that subjects such as these are inappropriate for “the national dialogue.”

Apparently, the mainstream media are reassessing that.

For, in rare unanimity, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today all led yesterday with the same story.

“Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S.,” blared the Times headline. “Minority Babies Majority in U.S.,” echoed the Post. “Minorities Are Now a Majority of Births,” proclaimed USA Today.

The USA Today story continued, “The nation’s growing diversity has huge implications for education, economics and politics.”

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The Administrative State vs. the Social Insurance State Reply

By Jason Brennan

In Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, I examine the question of which country is the most libertarian. I argue briefly that while the United States has the highest percentage of self-identified libertarians and uses the most libertarian rhetoric, it is not the most libertarian country in terms of its actual policies. Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and some others are much more libertarian (especially classical liberal-libertarian) than the United States.

Here’s a brief excerpt from an earlier draft:

The Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation produce an annual Index of Economic Freedom. They rate countries for their respect for property rights, freedom from corruption, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, fiscal freedom, and government spending. Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, and Ireland have higher scores than the United States. The United States ranks only 10th overall.

This index may understate how anti-libertarian the United States is. After all, the index penalizes countries if their governments spend large amounts on social insurance. Yet classical liberals and neoclassical liberals are not in principle opposed to government social insurance. [That is, they will accept it under certain conditions.]

Thus, suppose we separate the idea of the administrative state—which tries to control, regulate, manipulate, and manage the economy—from the social insurance state—which provides tax-financed education, healthcare, or unemployment insurance. On the Index of Economic Freedom, many countries that rank lower than the US have far less extensive administrative states than the US. For instance, Denmark ranks much higher than the United States on property rights, freedom from corruption, business freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and many other countries beat the US on these measures as well. Thus, many other European countries might reasonably be considered more economically libertarian than the US.

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Occupy: Nucleus of the New Society? Reply

By Kevin Carson

Many Occupy supporters on the Left express concern that it could be coopted by the mainstream institutional Left and harnessed to a political agenda of NPR liberalism. The recent prominence of Van Johnson’s Rebuild the Dream and MoveOn.org seems to provide at least superficial justification for such fears. But those fears are groundless — mainly because there’s no official Occupy “movement” to be coopted.

Sure, liberals are free to use the Occupy label to promote their agenda. That is, after all, what Occupy’s all about: A brand, or platform, ready-made for adoption on a modular basis by anyone who sees fit to use it. The more different groups using the Occupy brand, each with its own anti-corporate agenda, the better. It’s not a zero sum game.

The beauty of Occupy is that its module/platform architecture, and its openness to anyone who wants to create a new node for their own purposes, make it an ideal laboratory for experimentation in revolutionary praxis. Any local node is free to try out new ways of doing things, and to share its experience with others; the new techniques are freely available to any other node in the network that finds them useful. No permission, no administrative coordination to make sure everybody’s on the same page, is needed at any step in the process.

It’s the same kind of stigmergic platform as Wikipedia, a Linux developer group … or Al Qaeda Iraq. Self-selected individuals and local groups make contributions to praxis entirely on their own initiative, the smallest contribution can be leveraged with no transaction cost, and all contributions immediately become the common property of the entire movement.

I’ve hoped for some time that Occupy would cease to be mainly a protest movement and instead become mainly a school of living. That is, that — like the neighborhood assemblies in Argentina ten years ago — it would become a venue for local communities to disseminate the skills and technologies for building counter-institutions and a counter-economy that could flourish outside the decaying neoliberal system.

Some early signs in this direction were teach-ins like those of Juliet Schor (author of Plenitude) and Michel Bauwens of the Foundation for P2P Alternatives. Another was the “Occupy Our Homes” campaign, which offered some promise of evolving into a nationwide squatter movement to reclaim vacant housing. The term for things like this is “prefigurative politics”: That is, rather than attempting to pressure the power structure of the existing society for reforms, they exemplify the successor society in formation.

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Paul Craig Roberts: The Elite Are Digging Their Own Grave Reply

Infowars.com
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alex welcomes long-time returning guest and contributing writer Dr. Paul Craig Roberts to discuss the impact of the Euro’s instability on world markets amidst looming fears of Greece’s departure. They’ll also touch on why governments feel compelled to blame events like 9/11, the Euro decline, and other manufactured crises on scapegoats.

Why America is Doomed to One Disaster After Another 1

By Gabriel Kolko

Both Europe and the United States confront great crises; while they are different in certain regards they have important similarities too.  America’s crisis is both military and economic; they are interrelated because America has a huge deficit, in large part because it has the chimerical ambition to be the world’s dominating military power, which costs it immense sums of money, which its deficit spending largely funds.  At the same time it has lost most of its major conflicts militarily, politically—or both. Europe is at the threshold of crucial economic decisions, and they also have grave political implications, whose effects are likely to last for many years. In essence, in Europe the question is whether or not German power or domination of the continental economy will be revived under the guise of pan-Europeanism.

The United States has been on the wrong track in terms of what it can attain. It still regards itself as having abilities which the events of the past century–wars, political crisis, and the like— have shown are beyond its or any country’s– power to control. America is having a very hard time being a “normal” nation that recognizes the limits and nature of its power.  It is spending immense sums of money to be able to attain goals beyond its capacity.  The German government under Angela Merkel is using pan-European methods to resurrect German power, but in ways that is developing important resistance.  In their own ways both the United States and most of Europe are at important turning points—and they will affect each other.

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European Nationalism: Golden Dawn or Old and Gone? Reply

By Jim Goad

Greece, the cradle of Western Civilization, seems destined to become either the West’s coffin or the site of its rebirth. The nation’s debt crisis, combined with the fact that it’s a primary entry point for illegal immigration into Europe—in 2010, nine of every ten “migrant” outlaws sashayed into the EU zone through Greece—have helped fuel violent street clashes between far-left (i.e., internationalist) and far-right (i.e., nationalist) factions for years.

Last week’s elections were largely a repudiation of the political center, specifically the EU’s financial stranglehold on Greece. Although unashamedly pro-communist parties won a far higher quotient of the votes, most media outrage was predictably focused on the fact that the nationalist party Golden Dawn received 7% of the total. Pundits referred to Golden Dawn’s minor victory as “absurd and repugnant,” “a dark day for Greece,” “a scary development,” “a political horror,” and all the other histrionic scare terms typically spewed by compliant media lapdogs trained to establish an immediate—although immediately fallacious—connection between the merest squib of nationalist sentiment and the Holocaust.

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The Life of Julia Under Anarchy Reply

By Kevin Carson

As a toddler Julia will begin a twenty-odd-year sentence in institutions designed to process her into a “human resource”: Someone encultured to view the existing institutional framework and power structure as natural and inevitable, who trusts and obeys the state and takes its self-justifications at face value. Someone who takes orders from authority figures behind desks, and has been trained — at taxpayer expense — in the skills employers want in their human resources. Both Obama and Romney enthusiastically support the need for this school-to-HR treadmill to “maintain global competitiveness.”

Once Julia comes off the human resources assembly line, she’ll look for work in an economy where most employment opportunities are controlled by hierarchical, authoritarian institutions. She’ll spend her work life selling her labor in a system designed to minimize the competition employers face from self-employment — in which the state’s avowed macroeconomic policy is to keep the bargaining power of labor (aka “inflationary pressure”) within manageable bounds.

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Dump the Statist Monkey Off Your Back Reply

By Kevin Carson

The state’s main function has always been to set up tollgates between labor and consumption, between our skills and the ability to transform them into use-value for ourselves, so that a privileged minority could live off the rents on artificial scarcity. Under chattel slavery, that meant “owning” the actual producers themselves with legal title to all their labor, and providing them with bare subsistence out of their labor product, while their owners appropriated the surplus.

Over time the privileged classes have experimented with various expedients for determining the share of the product left to the laborer in order to maximize the rentiers’ total income in absolute terms. They’ve been quite willing, for the most part, to increase the producers’ relative share and with it the incentives for making a larger pie — so long as the absolute size of the slice appropriated by the rentiers didn’t decline. But when increasing the size of the pie has meant a smaller slice for them, they’ve never wavered in choosing productive inefficiency as a condition of efficient exploitation.

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Rochdale, We Have a Problem! Reply

Defendants in Rochdale grooming trial

The folks at Spiked weigh in on the Rochdale sex slavers.

First, Brendan O’Neill

Indeed, it seems it is now virtually impossible to have a serious discussion about problematic cultural attitudes, because to do so would apparently offend minorities and, even worse, stir up the passions of the latently racist white masses. And so, in the name of protecting Muslim communities’ sensitivities and dampening down white working-class people’s alleged savagery, we keep quiet about certain things; we gag ourselves.

The truth is that there is something specific going on here, something which is more prevalent among Asian communities, particularly Muslim ones, than among other communities. For a variety of reasons – mainly because the attitudes and behaviour of white working-class women are so profoundly at odds with the outlook of conservative Muslim communities – there is a tendency among many Muslims to look upon such women as inferior, as “sluts”.

…and then, Tim Black

So while there is definitely a specific problem in specific areas in specific communities, is it really a problem common to British Pakistani culture as a whole? Yes, some Pakistani men – in Rochdale or Burnley or Derby or wherever – no doubt do view British white women through the prism of their particular culture, one still dominated by conservative traditions. And given the enthusiasm with which sections of the British establishment have used Islam to denigrate native British culture (including the Tory MPs who once wrote to the Spectator claiming to agree with an Islamist’s claim that Britain was decadent), no doubt a fair few Muslim men do feel superior to white Brits. But the moment the crimes of individuals are translated into the crimes of a culture, in which every person is then rendered suspect, all perspective is lost.

Yet perspective is the one thing that is difficult to obtain when it comes to viewing a crime that, in its specifics, does seem to have an ethno-cultural dimension. And the reason for this is that the real object of fear, the white working-class Brit, obscures the view. Here we come to the second flight of fancy. Because to state baldly that a racial demographic is present in this peculiar type of sex crime is seen as too risky, too inflammatory. It could, in short, turn a white Brit racist.

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Free Markets vs.Capitalism 1

By Jamie O’Hara and Craig Fitzgerald.

National Anarchist Tribal Alliance – NY
Anarchists with socialist leanings associate the terms “free market” and “capitalism” with oppression and exploitation.  To anarcho-capitalists, the absence of state intervention in the market is the ultimate form of liberty.  In both the underground and mainstream political worlds, free enterprise is virtually synonymous with capitalism.  But these expressions are not one and the same.  The etymology of the word “capitalism” reveals characteristics that are completely antithetical to the concept of a free market, as well as the philosophy of anarchism.
In English, the word “capital” dates back to the thirteenth century, when it was used to mean “primary,” “chief,” or “head.”  These words all necessarily imply the existence of hierarchy; “capitalism” as an organized economic system is inherently hierarchical.  Rather than describe free markets, the word is synonymous with plutocracy, which comes from the Greek for “rule or power of the wealthy or of wealth.”  When “capital” received its financial definition in the sixteenth century, its now double meaning—“money” and “head”—began to solidify this comparison to plutocracy.  No evidence exists of the word “capitalism” until 1854 when it meant the “condition of having capital.”  In 1861, French anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon coined the word “capitalism” and described it as a plutocratic economic system.

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State-Capitalist Plutocracy or Free Market Prosperity? Reply

Article by Darian Worden.

While today’s states are very powerful, cracks in their power can open as they adapt to a changing world. Recession is not the only force of change. Economic and social practices and pressures that develop through increasing global contact will have a massive impact on the power and role of the state. Global commerce and communications continue to make the world more interconnected and interdependent.

Possible courses for the changing role of the state in an era of globalization can be represented by three general tendencies, keeping in mind that politics in reality will often be characterized by tensions between them.

The first possible course is reactionary nationalism.

The second is global corporate rule.

The third is global distributed power.

Reactionary nationalism involves the cultivation of local or national chauvinism, the closing of borders to people, products, and capital, and the suspicion of those perceived as “others” or “outsiders.”

Though this tendency does have the potential to inflict significant damage to life and prosperity, it probably will not see much success unless economic trouble becomes significantly more serious – which is of course possible. Regional spheres of influence and trade established in opposition to globalism can arise but they will still be connected to the global economy.

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"Who Were the Anarchists?" Part 1 (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon) Reply

Watch the video.

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Intro and Outro themes: http://www.youtube.com/user/Grindermetalhead

Relevant books: “Marx, Proudhon and European Socialism” – by J.Hampden Jackson
“Demanding the Impossible, A History of Anarchism” – by Peter Marshall
“What is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government” – by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Blog Mentioned: http://www.mutualist.org

Attack the System: Alternative Economics 6

Listen to the podcast.

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economic alternatives

Keith Preston discusses the present economic decline and the need for a new economic paradigm. Topics include:

  • Widening class divisions in the United States and the ongoing shift towards towards a two-tiered Third World model economy;
  • Aristotle’s observation that a healthy society needs to avoid extremes towards either plutocracy or egalitarianism in favor of a large middle class;
  • The writings of Paul Craig Roberts as a guide to the ongoing destruction of the working and middle classes;
  • How movements like the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and the Ron Paul campaign represent rising economic frustrations;
  • The need for a new crop of political leaders who are able to pull discontented economic currents together towards the goal of attacking the system of corporate and state sponsored economic oppression;
  • How the conventional wisdom that portrays economic policy as a choice between only big government from the Left or corporate exploitation from the Right sets up a false dichotomy;
  • How big government and big business work hand in hand to protect ruling class privilege at the expense of ordinary working people;
  • The original aims of the classical socialist movement of the 19th century and how these have been corrupted and perverted by the state over time;
  • The ideas of several contemporary writers who have produced interesting works on alternative economics.

Anarchism and Confederate-Flag Culture: One Man’s Journey from Southern Heritage to Libertarian Socialism 11

Interesting.

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If you are someone who displays a Confederate flag out of overt racism, this text is not for you. In fact, we will fight you in the streets.

If, however, you are someone who insists that he is not racist, but you have at some point in your life displayed a Confederate Flag out of a general sense of rebellion against the government, the boss, parents, pompous Yankee liberals, or just against modern society in general, then this text is addressed to you. Especially, if you are a working class southerner who flies the Cross of St. Andrew as an in-your-face act of protest against the mass production of national “culture,” a McDonaldized product that has the effect of smothering and burying authentic local cultures that (some feel) are symbolized by the Confederate flag… especially, then, this brief sketch of one man’s odyssey from the glorification of southern heritage to an appreciation of anarchist ideas and values, may have something to say to you.

As a child I was raised by the school, television, church, and my parents, in roughly that order of importance. All of these authorities told me what it was appropriate for me to think, do and feel at any given moment. I was supposed to love and obey a God who never bothered to show his face to me, and in a similar vein I was supposed to love and obey a familial father who didn’t have time for me, either. Parents and teachers were to be respected, and for children who failed in that endeavor the “policeman would come and get you” (which proved to be all too true.)

But at least I had the television… Mr. TV was my buddy, my fellow sufferer in the face of all this authority. Mr. TV was the coolest kid on the block, the guy who knew his way around the social pit-falls of school, the ultimate arbiter of what was cool and what was, gasp, “lame” (can you imagine a crueler, more horrible expression?)

The problem was, it was all a bunch of lies, and I knew it. (Or at least, once I got old enough to think for myself, I knew it.) The meaning-of-it-all that the church offered meant, in fact, nothing at all. It was illogical, but served the purpose of telling me to be a good servant, because I would get my reward after I was dead from an invisible person in the sky. (I don’t think the unlikelihood of THAT little scenario requires too much commentary.) The school, with its sports programs and detention halls, which claimed to be opening my mind to the mysteries of the universe and the joys of great art, was in fact training to me to become a cog in the great corporate machine. And my parents were too much in the thrall of this corporate religion themselves, to do anything but reinforce it.

Even my best friend, the TV, turned against me. He begin to say that if I was born a white southerner, then I was to blame for all the racial ills of mankind. That’s right, I, little ole southern white boy, had done it all, from the Grecian slave societies of antiquity to the Boston busing riots, from the rape of Nanking to the Holocaust, all the racial ills of mankind could be laid at my doorstep. By this point in time the church (and my parents) had stuffed me so full of irrational guilt that I was inclined to believe it… but somehow, it just didn’t add up.

So I took a big horn from a bottle of (Kentucky) bourbon, hung a Confederate flag in the window, and told the world to kiss my ass. I was through apologizing for being born…

Here is the summary version: the American corporate titans that control the TV, newspapers, and grammar school textbooks have declared all things southern to be racist, and all things racist to be southern, in order to confuse the issue and evade their own responsibilities. They portray slavery as having been a purely southern institution, instead of as a single component of a universally oppressive white/Anglo economic system (that happened to find its worst excesses in the cotton fields of the southern United States in the 1800’s).

By painting slavery and racism as a uniquely southern phenomenon, the CEO’s manage to divert attention from the racist legacy that remains. When they falsely imply that racism is uniquely southern, and then correctly add that the racial situation in the south now mirrors that of the rest of the country, they declare the problem solved. Implicitly this has the effect of encouraging such reactionary nonsense as charges of “reverse discrimination.”

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The problem of white supremacy in America is anything but resolved. In fact, police officers all over America target people of color for searches and beatings, while the nation’s jails, prisons and housing projects are littered with the dark-skinned human refuse of the ultimate soulless commodity system, the great American labor market. In the 1850’s most blacks were subject to whips and chains, but a small portion were relatively “free”. In modern society, most people of color are impoverished or imprisoned, while a similarly small portion are middle-class, or relatively “well-off”. Very little has changed, other than the means of the enslavement.

These facts are what the “racism is a southern thing” myth is intended to obscure. Blacks, Latinos, and to a lesser extent, working-class southern whites are all harmed by this myth. It is time to place the responsibility for American racism and poverty squarely where it belongs, at the doorstep of the business class, and at the foot of the American flag (and all other Anglo-nationalist flags) which provide the business class with aid and comfort.

So, burn your Confederate flag — give it a respectful ceremony if you must, but really, get rid of it — and join the anarchist movement as we set out to combat, defeat and replace the racist, classist, patriarchal society that bores us with political speeches, numbs us with television, scares us with the superstitions of religion, hypnotizes us with the banalities of commercial advertising, and threatens us with the state-religion of patriotism. We are the “rebels” of the modern corporate-techno-nightmare age, and our ultimate goal is to replace the businesses, government and churches with a society of free equals, in which all live at peace with nature and each other.

Join us as we set out to build a new world, a world in which every man, woman and, yes, child is viewed and treated as a valuable part of the great whole of larger humanity, instead of as a competitor for money, sex, and power. Join us as we set out to build a world based on sharing and mutual respect, where local idiosyncrasies (that are supportive of human dignity) are respected, even celebrated. Join us, and be proud of the human being that you are, the community in which you live, and the planet on which you stand.

Down with McDonalds, Wal-Mart, ADM and the rest of the corporations! Up with your neighbors, and yourself!

Prole Cat

September, in the year of our store, 2003

Occupy Wall Street Revisited: Who Is Being Occupied By Whom? 1

Article by Thomas N. Naylor.

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From the very outset I was an enthusiastic supporter of Occupy Wall Street. To me it represented the reawakening of the political left after four decades of uninterrupted slumber.  Maybe the radicalization of America had finally begun.  Americans might soon opt for jobs, health insurance, social security, better education, and a cleaner environment rather than drones, Navy Seals, and Delta Force death squads.

One could not help but be struck by the amount of energy emanating from tiny Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and how this energy had spread to hundreds of towns and cities in dozens of countries worldwide providing the foundation for an international revolt against Wall Street, Corporate America, and the American Empire.  Perhaps a window of opportunity would be opened which would allow consideration of heretofore unimaginable political paradigms such as radical decentralization, direct democracy, secession, or even peaceful dissolution of the American Empire.  But it has not happened.  Why not?  Most of OWS’s proposals for dealing with the American Empire are neither very radical nor likely to see the light of day.  The fundamental premise underlying OWS is that the U.S. Government is still fixable.  But what if that is not true?

Below we outline eight reasons why OWS is doomed to failure.

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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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How the Working Class Vanished from Progressive Politics Reply

Yes!

Article by Stuart Bramhall.

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If OWS comes to be seen as a movement run predominantly by and for the working class, it will be the first grassroots movement to do so since the Great Depression. The last major mass movement during the Vietnam War was mainly a student-led movement. The working class, which in the sixties was represented by organized labor, was cleverly manipulated through a variety of strategies to throw their support behind the Vietnam War and other reactionary pro-corporate policies.

How Organized Labor Came to Represent Corporate Interests

The anti-union restrictions of the 1948 Taft-Hartley Act and extensive red-baiting during the McCarthy Era laid the groundwork for turning organized labor into the reactionary servant of corporate interests. After red-baiting caused the expulsion of militant rank and file unionists who previously held union officials to account, unions became largely toothless in addressing workplace grievances outside of wage demands. It also gave rise to a trade union bureaucracy that felt closer to management than the workers they supposedly represented. Corporate managers rewarded union officials with all manner of perks for delivering “labor discipline” (i.e. preventing rank and file workers from participating in disruptive industrial action). As former CIA officer Tom Braden bragged in the Saturday Evening Post in 1967, many AFL-CIO leaders were also on the CIA payroll. See http://revitalisinglabour.blogspot.com/2009/04/lenny-brenner-on-tom-braden.htmlhttp://www.laboreducator.org/darkpast2.htm andhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Braden

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