By Nick Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
“Libertarians regard the state as the supreme, the eternal, the best organized aggressor against the persons and property of the mass of the public”
“In Reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another.”
So a Marxist walks into the DMV and joins the Libertarian Party… No, that’s not the set up to an impossibly wonky dad joke, that’s the the story of my life, or at least it was last summer. It was a simpler time. A time before COVID, when the cops were only brazenly shooting Black children in the back every other week. That sunny day in July, I put on my best crack-whore-red lipstick and my biggest Jackie-O sunglasses and made my way down to the local Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my license with a special side mission motivating me to actually show up before the last possible second this time. After strutting past the usual throngs of sullen teens and sexy foreigners with the riff from “Rebel Rebel” on repeat in my skull, I approached an angry little man in a clip-on tie, took a horrific picture, swallowed a mouth full of stomach acid when the little prick misgendered me, and became the first self-declared Marxist in Pennsylvania history to join the Libertarian Party. I got a bumper sticker and everything, and I have every intention of voting for Jo Jorgensen this November.
Notice that the Voice of the CIA/Deep State/Bezos is arguing that the problem with Trump is that he is a bad manager of the state and the empire, which somehow imperials “democracy” (the official euphemism for domestic oligarchic rule and global imperialism). In other words, what they actually dislike are the beneficial things about Trump, i.e. the fact that he undermines the perceived legitimacy of the state.
After he is nominated at a pared-down Republican convention next week, President Trump will make this argument to the American people: Things were great until China loosed the novel coronavirus on the world. If you reelect me, I will make things great again.
Seeking reelection in the midst of the worst public health crisis and sharpest economic downturn of our lifetimes, this may, realistically, be the only argument left to him. But, fittingly for a president who has spoken more than 20,000 lies during his presidency, it rests on two huge falsehoods.
I don’t consider myself to be a “progressive.” My outlook transcends the progressive/reactionary and/or socialism/capitalism false dichotomies. But Kim is always such a refreshingly rational and lucid commentator. This analysis is spot on.
The main disagreement that I have with Kim is the same one that I have with all reformists, which is their view that the electoral system is a real political contest as opposed to a mere theatrical production that’s intended to convey an aura of legitimacy on an oligarchy.
Yep. The great thing about the Trump presidency is that The Donald portrays the state as it ought to be portrayed, as the “mafia with a flag.”
By Jennifer Steinhauer and
New York Times
WASHINGTON — Senior Pentagon leaders have a lot to worry about — Afghanistan, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, China, Somalia, the Korean Peninsula. But chief among those concerns is whether their commander in chief might order American troops into any chaos around the coming elections.
President Trump gave officials no solace on Wednesday when he again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power no matter who wins the election. On Thursday he doubled down by saying he was not sure the election could be “honest.”
Krystal has a pretty good analysis of Trump in this.
More and more people are realizing the futility of trying to work “within the system.”
This data is very interesting. People of all races generally reject race war politics and embrace class war politics, albeit is a rather moderate form.
At the beginning of this segment, Krystal refers to Hillary Clinton as “Hitlerly.”
By Barton Gellman
There is a cohort of close observers of our presidential elections, scholars and lawyers and political strategists, who find themselves in the uneasy position of intelligence analysts in the months before 9/11. As November 3 approaches, their screens are blinking red, alight with warnings that the political system does not know how to absorb. They see the obvious signs that we all see, but they also know subtle things that most of us do not. Something dangerous has hove into view, and the nation is lurching into its path.
The danger is not merely that the 2020 election will bring discord. Those who fear something worse take turbulence and controversy for granted. The coronavirus pandemic, a reckless incumbent, a deluge of mail-in ballots, a vandalized Postal Service, a resurgent effort to suppress votes, and a trainload of lawsuits are bearing down on the nation’s creaky electoral machinery.
Something has to give, and many things will, when the time comes for casting, canvassing, and certifying the ballots. Anything is possible, including a landslide that leaves no doubt on Election Night. But even if one side takes a commanding early lead, tabulation and litigation of the “overtime count”—millions of mail-in and provisional ballots—could keep the outcome unsettled for days or weeks.
The folks at Anarchist News are attempting to initiate a discussion.
It’s that time of year again, on repeat every four years; where in a little more than a month, the spectacle of the USA presidential election will take place live over the virtual stream of 2020. This week we’re taking a look at elections, politics, and their impact on anarchist ideas.
Do you have a hot take about the upcoming election? What happens after the election? What does the future of anarchist ideas and actions look like under the same / new president? In your anarchist practice, do you feel strongly about any situations over the years, where anarchists have successfully inserted themselves into politics? Or, is it more based to consider how anarchists can liberate themselves from politics and what that may look like?
By Hannah Murphy
Facebook has said it will take aggressive and exceptional measures to “restrict the circulation of content” on its platform if November’s presidential election descends into chaos or violent civic unrest.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Nick Clegg, the company’s head of global affairs, said it had drawn up plans for how to handle a range of outcomes, including widespread civic unrest or “the political dilemmas” of having in-person votes counted more rapidly than mail-in ballots, which will play a larger role in this election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The WaPo, the voice of the CIA/Bezos axis, is more or less advocating that the Democrats use David Faris’ suggestions to create a one-party state like Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party during most of the 20th century. I suspect that if the “right-wing” were completely shut out of any meaningful participation in the electoral system an increase in right-wing terrorism would result, which would then be used by the state as a pretext for expanding state power in the name of homeland security.
By Amber Phillips
The Washington Post
Senate Republicans have coalesced around voting on President Trump’s eventual nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, infuriating Democrats, who don’t have any procedural tools to stop them.
What they do have is a strong chance of regaining the majority in November, and they are threatening consequences then for what they see as Republican hypocrisy on taking up a nomination in an election year. They are talking about using that power to enact dramatic changes to the rules of how the Senate and the Supreme Court operate, and even the methodology for who wins the presidency.
The election in six weeks is definitely going to be a beer and popcorn moment.
If I had to identify any way in which my views have shifted over the years, it would probably be that I have largely moved away from the idea of a far-left/far-right “third position” type of tactical framework toward more of a revolutionary centrist one. The far-right and far-left are not alternatives to the duopoly as much as mere caricatures or parodies of the duopoly. The far-right and far-left typically either have totalitarian ambitions of their own or merely get absorbed in lesser evilism. I also underestimated the entrenchment of culture war politics and overestimated the commitment of radicals to actually overthrowing the system. Though I think recent events have certainly confirmed my long-held view that the urban lumpenproletariat is the vanguard class of a modern revolution.
The main problem I see with Bret’s idea, aside from the technical issues and sectarian conflict, is that the elected officials are merely managers and the electoral system is merely a front for the oligarchy. Unity 2020 is not entirely dissimilar to the “pan-secessionist meta-party” idea I’ve written about in the past but the PSMP would only be an afterthought once a dual power system has already been developed, which would require not only large scale organization but also much higher levels of political education than what currently exists by a huge margin. Nor would the PSMP be a means of taking state power but merely the political propaganda arm of a movement to abolish the state, which can only be achieved through dislodging the oligarchy.
As milquetoast as Bret Weinstein’s politics are, his Unity 2020 idea is probably the best one out there at present, as far as anything that is relatively mainstream. Obviously, the ruling class parties are corrupt and incompetent. The minor opposition parties like the Libertarians and Greens are ideological sects with limited appeal to most people, and the “far-right” and “far-left” are overrun with odious extremists (the Freikorps/Falangist wannabes vs the Red Guard wannabes/left-Khomeinists).
By Anthony L. Fisher
- The “intellectual dark web” star Bret Weinstein sees certain disaster for the US if Trump or Biden wins in 2020.
- Weinstein launched “Unity 2020” — a “patriotic” bipartisan ticket with the president and vice president determined by coin flip — in the hopes of uniting the country.
- Unity 2020 has chosen Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw for its ticket. But both have already endorsed their respective parties’ nominees.
- Weinstein wants the Libertarian and Green parties to give Unity 2020 their ballot access as a demonstration of their patriotism.
- The Libertarian Party’s executive director told Business Insider that Unity 2020 “feels like snake oil” sold by “people who should know better.”
- “Instead of as spoilers, [third parties] would be understood as heroes,” Weinstein told Business Insider.
By Mike Selinker
I’m a wargame designer. I co-developed the first reboot of Axis & Allies and its D-Day edition, made a mythological Risk game called Risk Godstorm, and burned down both the Roman Empire in Gloria Mundi and medieval France in Veritas. I write about game theory learned from simulating war outcomes. Like many people, I’m stuck on this as the likely outcome of our situation:
We’re facing a civil war.
Up until yesterday, I wasn’t thinking a civil war was probable. But then Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. With her likely went the last chance the 2020 election will end peacefully. She told her granddaughter:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
It seems unlikely that wish will be heeded, though with everything this year you never know. Republicans now have a three-and-a-half-month window to install an unbreakable 6–3 majority on the Supreme Court. If they do, abortion rights, voting rights, and gay rights—actually, just all civil rights in general—are doomed.
But it’s worse than that, because we expect this election to be contested. If they have that majority before then, it doesn’t matter who wins the election, because a 6–3 court will kit-bash some reason to hand Trump a second term. So the Democrats are threatening that filling Ginsburg’s seat means they will create two to four more seats right after they win the Senate, if that happens. They might add D.C. and Puerto Rico as states, or even change the rule of apportionment. They might, as my friend Cyndi calls it, “act Ruthlessly.” This is the stuff that wars are made of.
We find ourselves in a country where both sides can’t imagine their loss would be legitimate. If Biden loses, his supporters will blame GOP trickery and voter disenfranchisement. If Trump loses, his supporters will blame voter fraud and riots. It doesn’t matter that the first one of those is real and the second isn’t. We are heading toward a reckoning.
The ongoing leftward shift of US culture combined with an increasingly solid Republican control of the courts should make for an interesting political future.
This is funny. Brainwashed idiots taking the state’s coronation ceremony seriously.
By Tommy Beer
In a wide-ranging speech at a campaign rally Saturday night, President Donald Trump ramped up attacks against his opponent, Joe Biden, calling Biden the “dumbest of all candidates,” and went so far as to declare, “maybe I’ll sign an executive order that you cannot have him as your president.”
I agree with Domhoff’s analysis of the party system, and why third parties can’t win, though I disagree with his solutions. None of the minor parties are qualified to run the state because no one is qualified the state. The purpose of minor parties should be merely propagandistic, i.e. running electoral campaigns merely to spread ideas and not to “win.” However, any one of the minor parties might be a basis for an intentional communities, startup societies, or radical decentralist movement, which does not require ideological uniformity. Actual political activism should only have two purposes, devolving power and repealing laws.
By G. William Domhoff
This document first explains why third parties cannot work in the United States. Then it explains how and why it would now be possible to transform the Democratic Party into a nationwide liberal-labor-left coalition, thanks to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, which forced the southern white racists who previously controlled the party into the Republican Party.
To understand how the electoral rules shape the number of parties, consider this brief example from a different country in a different century:
In the late nineteenth century, Belgium elected its parliament from geographical districts and had two stable political parties, with the Catholic Party usually defeating the Liberal Party. But in the 1890s a Socialist Party came on strong, and the Liberal Party was in danger of extinction. The Catholic Party quickly changed the electoral system because it did not want to end up in a one-on-one battle with the socialists.