How Long Can Americans Go on Hating the President and Each Other? Reply

The money quote, and the main reason why most US political factions are worthless:

“Unfortunately, most Americans do not bat an eye at the worst offenses committed by the presidency, namely the killing of millions in undeclared wars of choice with nations who have never attacked the United States.”

By Tom Mullen

Foundation for Economic Education

Trump Derangement Syndrome rages on, the latest symptoms flaring equally based on causes both legitimate and ridiculous. A key characteristic of the syndrome is its ability to evoke the same outrage over the president retweeting a harmless (and let’s admit it, funny) meme as threatening to destroy an entire nation. The breathless apoplexy over absolutely everything Trump-related, down to the shoes his wife wears while traveling, has desensitized Trump’s supporters to behavior even they should be concerned about.

It is true Trump has inspired new levels of hostility — even for politics — but Americans have been hating the president for this entire century, which is no longer in its infancy. Bush may not have been “literally Hitler,” but he was Hitler nonetheless to the Democrats, just as Obama was “literally Mao” to conservatives. But the proud American tradition of hurling invectives at the president isn’t nearly as ominous as the trend towards violence. Both the right and the left have mobilized armed groups, not just carrying signs but ready for violence. In fact, violent resistance is the far-left Antifa’s stated raison d’etre.

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Moore’s win conjures 2018 nightmare — for both parties 1

Here’s the money quote:

“Unlike the tea party candidates of 2010 and 2012, these candidates and potential candidates are not united by any coherent ideological vision. Moore, a devout Christian who believes the dictates of the Bible supersede court orders, and Kid Rock, a vulgarian broadly opposed to federal entitlements, share little in common.”

By Eliana Johnson

Politico.Com

Roy Moore is pictured. | Getty Images

Roy Moore’s win in Alabama’s Senate primary has raised the specter of a nightmare scenario for Democrats and Republicans: The GOP picks up a handful of seats next year, padding its Senate majority, but with candidates like Moore, who buck party leadership as often as they fall in line.

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More signs point to Mark Zuckerberg possibly running for president in 2020 1

It could be that Trump has started a trend where the political class, corporate class, and celebrity class are increasingly blended into each other. Also, a Zuckerberg presidential candidacy would be significant in that he represents social and economic forces outside the traditional WASP plutocracy to a much greater degree than Trump in that he is both a minority (Jewish) and part of the rising class of the “newly rich” (i.e. those from outside the traditional elite who have acquired enormous amounts of wealth in newer, high-tech industries.)My suspicion is that Trump’s upset victory in 2016 largely represents “WASP America’s last stand” and that the trend begun by Obama of political leaders increasingly being drawn from the ranks of those outside the traditional elite (e.g. ethnic minorities or the newly rich from outside the traditional plutocracy) will continue in the future.

By Shawn M. Carter

CNBC

There’s increasing speculation that Mark Zuckerberg, the self-made billionaire chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, may one day run for office. And though it’s unclear that he will make a bid for to be the next U.S. President in 2020, he could certainly afford it.

The clues

According to Politico, some of the signs that he does plan to run are there.

Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have hired Joel Benenson, a Democratic pollster, adviser to former President Barack Obama and chief strategist of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant for their joint philanthropic project, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The pair also hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run; Amy Dudley, former communications adviser for Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Ken Mehlman, who directed President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Zuckerberg is on a yearlong “listening tour,” where he is traveling to all 50 states and meeting with leaders and constituents in each — and, to document the trip, he has hired Charles Ommanney, a photographer for both the Bush and Obama presidential campaigns.

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Ungovernable, Thank God Reply

I am inclined to agree with this author’s assessment of the present state of the American political system. Within the context of the existing US state system, it is probably a good thing that the political class is fragmented into a polarized partisan divide. It is probably good that the two parties rotate the presidency roughly every 8 years, that control over Congress vacillates, that the Supreme Court is split down the middle, that Republicans control a majority of the states while Democrats control the large cities. Within the context of the liberal-democratic-state-capitalist plutocratic oligarchy that we currently have, it is best that power is dispersed among liberals, conservatives, and moderates. It is also probably a good thing that the two-party system has the effect of marginalizing the most dangerous extremists like fascists, Communists, Islamists, Nazis, Antifa, white supermacists, and black supremacists. I am increasingly leaning towards the view that anarchists, libertarians, anti-statists, anti-authoritarians and decentralists need to focus on building their own movements in a way that is completely independent of not only the existing state, but also the far right and far left as well, in order that an agglomeration of such movements can eventually emerge as a kind of revolutionary center.

By Bill Schneider

Huffington Post

The United States has become increasingly ungovernable. Thank God. Because when you have a megalomaniacal president, ungovernability is a blessing.

The U.S. system was designed to be difficult to govern. The framers of the Constitution had just waged a revolution against a king. To them, strong government meant despotism. The Constitution replaced an earlier document, the Articles of Confederation, which created a government so weak it was unworkable.

The Founders set up a complex and ungainly system, with two houses of Congress, three branches of government and competing centers of power in the federal government and the states. The idea was to limit power. The result is a constitutional system that works exactly as intended. Which is to say, it doesn’t usually work very well at all.

 

As President after President has discovered, there are innumerable ways opponents can stop things from getting done, even if the President’s party holds a majority in Congress. Look at what happened to President Clinton’s health care plan in 1994, when Democrats controlled Congress. And to President Trump’s health care plan this year, with Republicans in charge.

 

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Robert Stark talks to Zoltan Istvan about his Proposal for a California State Basic Income Reply

The Stark Truth. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and co-host Sam Kevorkian talk to Zoltan Istvan about his proposal for a California State Basic Income. Zoltan is a Trans-Humanist and futurist writer, philosopher, and journalist. He was the Transhumanist Party’s candidate for president in 2016, has written for Vice, Newsweek, the Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, was a reporter for the National Geographic Channel, and is the author of The Transhumanist Wager.

Topics:

Zoltan’s campaign for President
Zoltan’s Run for California Governor as a Libertarian in 2018
Zoltan’s proposal for a California state-wide Basic Income
How Automation and Artificial Intelligence will make a Basic Income Necessary
The estimated proposal of $56k per household in California
Residency restrictions on the Basic Income
How the Basic Income would replace existing social programs
Is monetizing federal land the way to pay for a basic income
The environmental concerns in monetizing Public Lands, how no National Parks would be touched, and the clause that says the land must be maintained
How Gene Editing will impact wildlife conservation in the future
Using drones to track non-violence criminals in lieu of incarceration
Liberty Might Be Better Served by Doing Away with Privacy
The California High Speed Rail and Driverless Cars

Kid Rock for the Senate? 1

I am very much in favor of this. Perhaps the most important precedent that Trump has set is the increased blending of celebrity culture with politics and government. This has the effect of delegitmizing the state by making affairs of state look ridiculous. The objective should be to have the most ridiculous people possible running for and winning offices. For instance, an ideal presidential election might pit Kanye West and Kim Kardashian the Democratic ticket, and Ted Nugent and Phil Robertson on the Republican ticket.

By John Henrickson

Esquire

couple weeks ago I was talking to my boss about the 1998 summer blockbuster Deep Impact. I saw it in the theater with my dad maybe a month after I turned 10. At one point in the movie, it is revealed that the climactic meteor strike will be but the first layer of destruction. The second and far more consequential form of annihilation, we’re told, will come from a wave that will form in the Atlantic Ocean after “impact,” wiping out New York City and much of the East Coast before the waters finally recede somewhere in the Midwest. In retrospect, this chain of carnage seems both obvious and logical, but at the time, it blew my 10-year-old mind.

Trump is the meteor and we’re still waiting for the wave. Trump’s fiery alien presence started zooming toward us just over two years ago, his perceivable distance narrowing by the day. The vast majority of commentators diminished Trump as but a singular, errant event, forgetting about the wave. Those using apocalyptic phrases or adjectives were denigrated as alarmists. And then it came, and we all became nostalgic for normalcy, and the wave still hasn’t wiped out New York City but it’s growing in strength by the day, the hour, the tweet.

Trump is the meteor and we’re still waiting for the wave.

So Kid Rock in the senate makes sense. Just like Congressman Buddy Carter’s Wednesday plea for somebody to “go over there to that senate and snatch a knot in their ass” makes sense. Just like Congressman Greg Gianforte’s body slam of reporter Ben Jacobs makes sense. Trump’s impact with the earth was the catalyst, but all these other elements are rising in unison to create the wave, and, as waves do, it will get bigger before it gets smaller.

Kid Rock’s blog post this morning assures us that kidrockforsenate.com is both real and spectacular. However, Kid Rock wants us to know that his primary motivation, at the moment, is to help people.

We have over a year left until an actual election, so my first order of business is to get people engaged and registered to vote while continuing to put out my ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America all while still calling out these jackass lawyers who call themselves politicians.

(He does not elaborate on his “ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America.”)

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National-Anarchist Movement Conference 2017: A Summary Reply

Image result for national anarchist movement

By Keith Preston

Special thanks to Peter Topfer, Adam Ormes, Thom Forester, and Sean Jobst for their assistance in the writing of this summary.

On June 17 and 18, the first ever conference of the National-Anarchist Movement (N-AM) took place in Madrid. The process of arranging this conference was certainly not without its difficulties, and the organizers deserve much praise for their diligence in this regard. Originally, the conference was supposed to be hosted by the Madrid section of N-AM, who dropped out of the project shortly (and out of N-AM altogether) before the conference took place. This led to the irony of a conference being held in Spain where no actual Spanish people were among the attendees. Because National-Anarchists are widely despised by leftists who mistakenly regard N-A as a “fascist” tendency, security was a paramount concern.

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Politics and Anarchist Ideals Reply

By Jessica Flanagan

Center for a Stateless Society

A fundamental difference between anarchism and statism is that anarchists do not assume that public officials are any more morally entitled to use force or to threaten people with violence than anyone else1. Anarchists therefore argue that officials are not entitled to enforce borders that prevent people with different birthplaces from associating with each other, for example. Or that officials are not entitled to force everyone to participate in a particular collective project that some may reject. In this sense, as Grayson English notes in this symposium, anarchism and democracy have a similar spirit, to the extent that democracy also denies that certain people have a greater entitlement to participate in political rule than others.

Another fundamental difference between anarchism and statism is that anarchists generally think that it is very difficult to justify the violation of a non-liable person’s natural rights, such as rights against force and coercion. For this reason, anarchists think that all people are equally required to refrain from using violence or coercing their compatriots. It is on this point that democrats and anarchists part ways. Democrats think that all people are equally entitled to determine how political acts of violence will be used and whether and when they and their compatriots will be coerced.

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Anarchism as Radical Liberalism: Radicalizing Markets, Radicalizing Democracy 1

By Nathan Goodman

Center for a Stateless Society

Classical liberalism emerged as a radical ideology, challenging the status quo of monarchy, mercantilism, religious tyranny, and the ancien regime. The liberals promoted two ideals, markets and democracy, as alternatives to the old despotisms.

Yet markets and democracy seemed to be at odds, leaving liberals advocating a middle of the road compromise between the two. Left-liberals favored a broader role for democracy and a narrower role for markets, while right-liberals (more often called conservatives or libertarians) favored a broader role for markets and a narrower role for democracy. Across the spectrum, they agreed that democracy and markets were at odds to at least some extent.

This left an opening for radicals to propose radicalizing the commitment to one liberal ideal by abolishing the other. Most famously, socialists proposed abolishing the market and replacing it with radical democratic control over the economy. Anarchists joined in as well. Many anarcho-communists joined the call to embrace radical democracy by jettisoning markets. On the opposite extreme, many anarcho-capitalists proposed radicalizing our commitment to markets by abolishing democracy.

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Demolish the Demos Reply

By Grayson English

Center for a Stateless Society

There has long been a certain kind of democratic spirit in anarchism. Of course when we bring forth the imagery of statist and authoritarian injustice, we feel the rhetorical pull to illustrate it as a collective issue: one that is relevant and applicable to all and as such in the interest of all to take to heart. When we wish to persuade people that the interests of the elites are distinct and separate from theirs, we talk of general violations of, and opposition to, popular visions and desires. And of course we must do this, because to speak about anarchism publicly requires speaking to public interests, and calling for the severance of society from the state in public language fits most naturally with calls for democracy, the independent self-government of society.

It is probably easy to understand, then, why so eminent an anarchist thinker as David Graeber would content himself with the conclusion that “anarchism and democracy are—or should be—largely identical (Possibilities, 330).” If we wish to maintain society without the state, isn’t self-organization and self-governance the obvious solution?

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The Regime of Liberty Reply

By Gabriel Amadej

Center for a Stateless Society

The relationship between democracy and anarchism is undoubtedly a contentious one.

In his work The Principle of Federation1, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon makes it clear that democracy has an important legacy to respect. Because Proudhon declared that Universal Suffrage was above The Republic, he had to evaluate the character of democracy in ideal terms. Proudhon categorized democracy as a “regime of liberty” related to its evolutionary successor — anarchy:

“We know the two fundamental and antithetical principles of all governments: authority and liberty.

Regime of Authority:

A) Government of all by one — monarchy or patriarchy;

B) Government of all by all — panarchy or communism.

The essential feature of this regime, in both its varieties, is the non-division of power.

Regime of Liberty:

A) Government of all by each — democracy;

B) Government of each by each — an-archy or self-government.

The essential feature of this regime, in both its varieties, is the division of power.”2

Oppression comes in all forms. Any exercise of liberty can, in certain conditions, succumb to tyranny. Even if we, as anarchists, stand in opposition to democracy, it would be a mistake to consider it tyrannical in its own right. Compared to monarchy and communism, democracy stands firmly on the side of liberty. Proudhon was keen to emphasize this point. Far from advocating democracy, however, he held his ground and asserted the principles of anarchy. While anarchy and democracy share important characteristics, Proudhon was careful not to reduce anarchy to democracy.

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On Democracy as a Necessary Anarchist Value Reply

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

As a working definition of democracy, I think about the best we can do is this description of anarchy in Pyotr Kropotkin’s 1911 Britannica article on anarchism — the attainment of harmony:

“…not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free arrangements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being.”

To elaborate on this working definition, I would add that a democracy, understood in this way, attempts to maximize the agency of individual people, and their degree of perceived control over the decisions that affect their daily lives. In keeping with the principle of equal liberty, democracy seeks to maximize the individual’s control over the forces shaping her life, to the extent that such a control is compatible with a like degree of control by others over their own lives.

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Anarchy and Democracy: Examining the Divide Reply

By Shawn Wilbur

Center for a Stateless Society

This piece is the fifth essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.”

Philosophical Considerations

If we had the luxury of sticking to the philosophical terrain, the question of distinguishing anarchy and democracy would, it seems to me, pose very few problems. Certainly, it would be unlikely to pose the persistent, seemingly intractable problems that it does at present. Anarchy describes the absence of rule, while democracy describes rule by “the people,” and it seems fairly uncontroversial to maintain that the two concepts fall on opposite sides of a divide marked by the existence of rule, of archy, however narrow that divide might sometimes appear. On the two sides of that divide, relations are structured according to two distinct, opposing principles of social organization. On the one side, there is the principle of authority or governmental principle, which provides the rationale for hierarchical institutions like the State, capitalism, the patriarchal family, etc. On the other, there is an anti-authoritarian or anarchic principle, perhaps still only vaguely understood, which might form the basis of social relations free from hierarchy, claims of authority, and the various forms of exploitation that seem to inevitably arise from them.

Still, even this terrain can be difficult to navigate when we attempt to clarify the relationship between these two concepts, and their underlying principles, as we inevitably must do when we turn back to the very practical aspirations of anarchists: the transformation of relations based on the principle of authority into anarchic relations.

 

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The Linguistics of Democracy Reply

By Alexander Reid Ross

Center for a Stateless Society

This piece is the fourth essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.”

Democracy is a word that evokes an array of affective responses depending on time, place, and people involved. For the Patriot movement, democracy stimulates a constellation of ideals, values, and principles. People who view the Patriot movement’s adherence to such forms as hypocritical might attempt to recuperate the term or abandon it entirely. To decipher the usage of democracy in everyday discourse, we must first plunge into the phenomena of words, concepts, and ideas in efforts to understand and properly define it. The following admission must be made: I use terms for practical purposes but with intent, recognizing that their meanings as defined in this essay cannot be seen as universally understood. Suffice it to say that they are adequate to the facts of this piece but should not be seen as their only conceivable usage. Words are useful in context and must not be made into altars. This is, perhaps, the first principle of understanding the word “democracy.”

Most people will agree that the world exists to us insofar as we can perceive it. That it is not a formless soup of undifferentiated matter, existential phenomenology tells us, is due to our ability as a species to discern one thing from another. Such discernment can be driven largely by the evolutionary form our species has taken. For example, I cannot keep my eyes open or breathe underwater. At the same time, discernment can be intentionally conditioned through cultural practice and repetition, like “acquired tastes” such as wine.

 

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Shitocracy: Rule by Excrement Reply

By Keir Martland

Proudboy Mag

What is the difference between our political setup in the West and that of, say, Iran? Why, we are “democracies”! In the countries of the West, we rule ourselves, whether directly through plebiscites or indirectly through electing deputies. This, any constitutional textbook will have you believe, is what makes us in the West free, and everyone else unfree.

So what are these freedoms that we hold dear in the West? Trial by jury, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom from mutilation, habeas corpus, free markets, private property rights, limited government generally. These rights, and others as articulated by the classical liberal, conservative, and Natural Law traditions, are what make us who we are.

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Democracy Isn’t Working 1

By Rik Storey

AltRight.Com

Democracy is failing citizens across the West, society is polarising, and the achievement of your goals in the future is becoming increasingly uncertain. No, ‘the people’ cannot be trusted to make the right decisions.

Since Trump gloriously restricted CNN and the BBC’s press access,  The Washington Post, The New York Times and other rags have come out boohooing the fact that democracy isn’t working for them.  Rather like when a child accuses another of cheating when they are losing, the lugenpresse would have us believe that a democracy which doesn’t work in favour of their leftist ideology isn’t democracy at all.  So, after Brexit and Trump, drowning in leftist tears, and with nationalists doing so well in European polls, I must be head over heels with democracy, right?  How wrong you are!

The bien pensants are so ingratiating when they not only defend democracy but do so because ‘the people can be trusted to make the right decisions’.  Setting the majority of people aside for one moment (bless them), democracy is, even on paper, the worst political system there is.  Churchill (also grossly overrated) was wrong when he said that it was the worst, except for all the others – chortle, chortle.  No, Aristotle was right – democracy is simply the corrupted form of a republic, just as tyranny and oligarchy are, monarchy and aristocracy.  Except, with the rule of many, indeed the rule of a majority, there are greater and more plentiful opportunities for corruption.

As celebrated as it is, democracy pits every conceivable group against the other, destroying trust in whole nations, let alone communities.  Classes are divided as the political class offer the working class more of what the middle class are producing, all the while introducing yet another competing group of immigrants to replace a now dependent working class in the labour force.  At least if a king becomes corrupt, you can assassinate the rascal; aristocrats can potentially hold others in check; but, democracy is the cancer of political corruption.

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Democracy is for the Dogs Reply

By Ilana Mercer

A succinct distinction between a republic and a democracy shows that the American republic rests in peace and that voting in the Unites States is undeniably democratic, not republican. In “Does Democracy Promote Peace,” legal scholar James Ostrowski does just that:

Democracy is nothing more than the numerous and their manipulators bullying the less numerous. It is an elaborate and deceptive rationalization for the strong in numbers to impose their will on the electorally weak by means of centralized state coercion … Both forms of government feature voting by the people to select officials. The primary difference between them is that while republican voting is done for the purpose of choosing officials to administer the government in the pursuit of its narrowly defined functions, democratic voting is done, not only to select officials but also to determine the functions and goals and powers of the government … The guiding principle of republics is that they exercise narrow powers delegated to them by the people, who themselves, as individuals, possess such powers.

The allusion to “narrow powers” is far removed from the realities of the American social democracy, particularly in light of the welter of new powers Washington has grabbed since September 11. With the governed exerting so few controls over those doing the governing, the original notion of the people having the same powers as their elected officials is now positively quaint.

The powers available to power wielders in a democracy are, by definition, exceedingly broad and broaden with almost every bit of legislation passed. That we were once a republic and are now a social democracy makes clear that the Constitution has not halted this progression. The Constitution has, for all intents and purposes, been destroyed.

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Anarchists, It is Our Duty to Vote in Elections 1

I can’t say I agree with this, but I’m always amazed at the diversity of anarchist thought.

By Paddy Vipond

Trouble and Squeak

As election fever reaches its sweaty, unbearable heights in both the UK with the coming General Election, and in the US as Hilary Clinton officially announces her campaign to run for Presidency, we are faced with the age old anarchist dilemma: To vote or not to vote.

I do not expect this article to answer this question once and for all, but I do expect it to change a few people’s perceptions on the issue. As anarchists it is our duty to question everything, even our own decisions, and as with any set of political beliefs if they remain unchallenged they become dogma.

As I grew up and discovered the principles and key thinkers of anarchism I slowly began to turn my back on mainstream politics and their parties. Once I had read what I had, the seed had been planted, and it was a seed that did not need chemical fertiliser in the form of propaganda in order to develop. It grew naturally because what I had read and discovered made sense. I did not need to be coerced and persuaded, or attacked and threatened. Quite simply, anarchy was logical.

Within this logic, time and again I encountered one moot point. It was a point that every anarchist had written about, and it was a point that was at odds with the logic inherent in anarchism. What frustrated me about it was that rather than question it, as we are told to do with every other belief and system, we must instead accept it. An anarchist has no place voting in an election.

Great writers and thinkers of the past have argued it, posters plastered on the walls of buildings around Brighton were stating it, and fellow anarchists online were writing about it. Anarchists should not vote, and they should be proud of not doing so.

As you may have guessed by the title of this article, I disagree. It has taken me a few years to reach this decision, but now that I am here I am wondering why I ever opposed the idea. Voting in elections is not only a duty of anarchists, it is the single easiest weapon at our disposal.

Before I continue discussing why voting is beneficial for anarchists, let’s challenge the arguments as to why we should oppose it.

Democracy, Anarchism, & Freedom Reply

By Wayne Price

Center for a Stateless Society

This piece is the second essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.”

“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.”
—Abraham Lincoln

“Democracy” and “anarchism” are broad, vague, and hotly contested terms. Even if we stick to specific definitions, there are still arguments about what these definitions mean in practice. (Lincoln’s quotation, above, seems to be about the preconditions for democracy.) This is not just a linguistic dispute. The argument is not just over “democracy” but over democracy, not just over “anarchism” but over anarchism. Still more controversial is the relationship between these two broad terms.

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The Abolition Of Rulership Or The Rule Of All Over All Reply

By William Gillis

Center for a Stateless Society

This piece is the opening essay in the June C4SS Mutual Exchange Symposium: “Anarchy and Democracy.”

Fighting over the definitions of words can sometimes seem like a futile and irrelevant undertaking. However it’s important to note that whatever language gets standardized in our communities shapes what we can talk and think about. So much of radical politics often boils down to acrimonious dictionary-pounding over words like “capitalism,” “markets,” “socialism,” “communism,” “nihilism,” etc. Each side is usually engaged in bravado rather than substance. Radical debates turn into preemptive declarations of “everyone knows X” or “surely Y,” backed by nothing more than the social pressure we can bring to bear against one another. And yet — to some degree — we’re trapped in this game because acquiescing to the supposed authority of our adversaries’ definitions would put us at an unspeakable disadvantage. The stakes of debates over “mere semantics” can be quite high, determining what’s easy to describe and what’s awkward or laborious.

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Anarchy and Democracy Reply

By Cory Massimino

Center for a Stateless Society

Mutual Exchange is the Center for a Stateless Society’s effort to achieve mutual understanding through dialogue. Following one of the most divisive Presidential elections in recent American history and a dangerous victor’s contested ascension to power, the political climate is one of intense ideological strife and disagreement. There is no better time to refocus at least some of our efforts on respectful and mutually beneficial discourse. Periodically delving into the weeds of complex theoretical topics to collaboratively experiment with ideas is not only necessary for individual and collective intellectual progress, but is part and parcel of anarchist praxis itself.

“Fighting over the definitions of words can sometimes seem like a futile and irrelevant undertaking. However, it’s important to note that whatever language gets standardized in our communities shapes what we can talk and think about,” says William Gillis in his lead essay of our June symposium. Indeed, rather than pointless “infighting” and social posturing, the Center for a Stateless Society hopes to create a platform for free expression that benefits authors and readers alike by productively clarifying our values and principles.

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Voting Isn’t a Civic Duty 2

By Chris Shaw

Image result for don't vote

With the recent election here in the UK, we see the barrage of comments that regularly follow it. It entails saying something along the lines of “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”. A statement so stupid and banal that it doesn’t deserve the credit it is given. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t vote. Frankly I don’t care either way, and I’ll only vote if there is a candidate in my constituency worth voting for. But what frustrates me about this statement is the equivocation of voting with some kind of existential meaning, as if voting is the apotheosis of civic or political engagement.

In the current political context, voting is a relatively trivial affair. Unless you truly believe in the messages and policies of the major political parties, which with the levels of voter disengagement and the prevalence of tribal/generational voting patterns suggests many people don’t, voting is a meaningless task. If you live in a safe seat and don’t agree with the holding party, voting would be a waste. If you live in a marginal seat, and aren’t interested in the duopolistic choices, again voting is a waste. The fact that political engagement seems to have been stoked by the stupidities of the EU referendum should tell you everything about the supposed importance of voting.

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