How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism Reply

The Never Trumpers need not have worried. As I have always said, the US President is merely a celebrity-administrator whose only genuine function is to preside over the implementation of policies that reflect the general consensus of the dominant factions of the elite. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO THE PRESIDENT IS. Trump governs as a moderate Republican, not as any kind of right-wing revolutionary, much less as “fascist.” President Hillary Clinton would have pursued similar policies as would President Oprah Winfrey, President Mark Zuckerberg, or President Kim Kardashian. Any US President that seriously tried to defy ruling class consensus or undermine ruling class interests would be removed from office, possibly imprisoned, potentially murdered. Participation in presidential politics is an absolute waste of time (except for purposes of mockery and propaganda, hence the value of campaigns such as those of Adam Kokesh and Cherie DeVille).

By Ilana Mercer

Ludwig von Mises Centre

It’s fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump’s foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

“… for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. ‘The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,’ Trump said. ‘We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.’”

“For a moment,” swooned Lake, “I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting.”

Onward to Venezuela!

Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with “American exceptionalism.”

It’s not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country’s founding. They’re more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State.

That’s just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in “a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war,” Riyadh’s ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake.

After a campaign of “America First,” the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369!

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they’re currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency—its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump’s original “America First” plank—is to “undermine American democracy.”

Besides, “good” Americans know that only the Russians “meddle.”

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When Will Trump Supporters in The Freedom Movement Realize They Were Duped? 3

By Derrick Broze

The Activist Post

What will it take for Trump supporters to admit they were duped like Obama supporters before them?

One of the most surprising (and disappointing) effects of the Trump presidency has been the shift of certain “independent” and ” alternative” media outlets from truth seekers to establishment supporters.

We have seen several once great outlets become part of the divide and conquer put forth by the powers-that-wish-they-were. It’s been one year of the Trump administration and I think it’s quite clear that any perceived benefits are vastly outweighed by the negative actions of the administration. Some indy and alt outlets saw that Trump was a deceiver from the get go, but others somehow fell prey to the deception. Some have since abandoned the Trump train, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and rejoined the fight for liberty.

Now, of course, there are the diehards who will inevitably stick with Trump through his entire presidential career no matter what policy he takes, even when in contradiction with not only his own words, but with the principles previously espoused by these die hard followers. Just as with Obama (and Bush, Clinton, etc. before him) some of the supporters have such a level of cognitive dissonance that they are literally incapable of having a rational discussion without a flood of emotion and panic which shuts down all reason and critical thinking. It’s best to walk away when you recognize this stage.

However, if you are a Trump supporter and you’re still reading this, I’d like to offer four pieces of evidence showing where Trump has displayed authoritarian behavior. Let me preface this by stating that attempts at defending Trump by claiming “he is only carrying on what Obama did”, or, “it’s not his fault”, etc. will be dismissed outright. However, if you have something substantial – a legitimate reason you can put forth for supporting him – I will consider it. I won’t support him by any means (he needs some serious help), but perhaps I’ll have a more full understanding of my fellow human. So here you go…

The Border is turning into a Surveillance and Police State

Under the guise of “border security” and “fighting illegal immigration” the Trump administration has granted the Customs and Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement wide ranging powers which violate constitutionally guaranteed protections (and rights that all people should have). The expansion is not about catching illegal immigrants, but establishing a “biometric wall” with facial and retinal scanning for ALL people leaving and entering, armed surveillance towers, automatic license plate readers, and other forms of surveillance.

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President Trump’s 2017 Report Card (first draft) 2

When Trump was running for President, I predicted that he would govern about like a moderate Republican in the Nixon-Rockefeller tradition, or as a centrist Democrat in the style of Bill Clinton. Apparently, I was right. It’s rather embarrassing that so many in the various “anarchist” camps have bought into the anti-Trump hysteria. Trumpism is an enemy, but only a peripheral one. The real enemy is the establishment center. Serious anarchists should be just as opposed to neoliberal and progressive Democrats as they are to conservative or populist Republicans.

By Scott Adams

As we approach the holiday season there will be much debate on how President Trump has performed for his first calendar year. As a populist president, I think the best way to judge his performance is by focusing on the issues voters say are their top priorities. Pew Research polled voters to determine their political priorities for 2017. Let’s see how President Trump is doing so far on the top ten priorities according to the public.

Terrorism (76% rated top priority)

ISIS is on the run, thanks in part to President Trump’s loosening of the rules of military engagement, as well as pivoting from a Whack-a-Mole strategy to a total annihilation strategy with no withdrawal date. Both moves are good persuasion. And while President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is unpopular with many citizens, it has probably reduced risk to the homeland. And General Mattis is widely considered to be a strong hire.

     Grade: A

Economy (73% rated top priority)

I’ll give President Obama 75% credit for the strong economy. But I think consumer confidence and the stock market tell us there is optimism about the current administration. That confidence is buoyed by Trump’s reduction in regulations via executive orders, his tough talk on trade, and his persuasion toward a higher GDP that is already becoming self-fulfilling. If people believe the economy will be better next year than this year, they invest this year, thus making next year better. We might see something good come out of tax reform, but I don’t think it will matter as much as people assume.

     Grade: A

 

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8 numbers out of Alabama that should terrify Republicans Reply

This is an interesting analysis of Roy Moore’s defeat from CNN.

Some of this polling data would seem to bear out what I have been saying for quite some time. For around 15 years, I have been arguing that conventional “right-wing” politics of the kind associated with racism, religious fundamentalism, social conservatism, Chamber of Commerce types, or traditional WASP social norms is slowly being killed off by cultural, demographic, and generational changes. Instead, this older form of “conservatism” is being replaced by a new kind of “conservatism” rooted in newer, high-tech industries and a rising upper middle class that is ostensibly “liberal” or cosmopolitan in its cultural outlook but no less to committed imperialism, statism, and capitalism than its “right-wing” predecessors. Obviously, this rising class of New Elites is already dominant in the Blue Zones. However, the influence of the Blue Tribe continues to expand, even in surprising ways. My own state of Virginia was once one of the reddest of the Red Zones, but has now turned Blue.

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Radicalism is on the rise in American politics 1

Another article by Kotkin that is consistent with my own analysis of domestic US politics as well. Domestic US politics at present can be divided into four basic factions:

The Dominant Faction. Centrist neoliberals representing the rising techno-oligarchy, Wall Street and Kotkin’s “new clerisy” embedded in the managerial class, academia, and the media, and represented by politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The Rising Left-Progressive Faction. The left-leaning sectors that are a rising force in the Democratic Party as described by Kotkin in the article below.

The Declining Republican Establishment. The odd alliance of the traditional WASP American plutocracy, right-wing Zionist billionaires, and right-wing Trokskyist neocons that dominated US politics during the George W. Bush era.

Trumpian Populist-Nationalists. Elements within the elite who oppose both the dominant faction and the Republican establishment, and who prefer a more Reaganesque approach to economic policy and a Nixonian/Kissingerian realist approach to foreign policy, that is primarily interested in countering the rise of the Eastern axis in international relations. To understand the populist-nationalist “base” that supports this faction, one need only read Marx’s 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon or my own critiques of “movement conservatism” (see here and here).

By Joel Kotkin

Orange County Register

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Porn Star Cherie DeVille and Rapper Coolio Announce White House 2020 Bid 2

Our time has come. It’s time to start building the coalition against consensual crimes.

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Reason

Frustrated with the state of American politics, porn star and physical therapist Cherie DeVille says she’s running for president in 2020 with the rapper Coolio as her running mate.

“If our criteria now for becoming a political official is minor celebrity, I have that,” DeVille told The Hill on Tuesday. “I feel like I can be [what] the American people—for better or for worse—want, which is interesting news, scandalous news, you know, not ‘boring’ political news. But at the same time [I can] do what the American people really need” by being “a person with integrity, and having someone listen to the people.”

DeVille said she sobbed when Donald Trump won the 2016 election, not necessarily because of his personality or politics but because of what she felt it “meant for the direction the country was going in. We’re voting for people as if we’re on a reality television show.”

But if you can’t beat ’em…well, you know the saying. By August 2017, DeVille had enlisted porn actress Alix Lynx as her press secretary and musician Coolio—who “is primed to bring the nation CoolioCare“—as her vice-presidential partner.

Their campaign slogan: “Make American Fucking Awesome Again.”

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Keith Preston: Trump’s presidency has galvanized Democrats 2

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s election victory has galvanized the US Democratic Party, resulting in recent Republican defeats in gubernatorial and mayoral elections, according to an American analyst.

Despite enjoying direct support from Trump, Republican contenders this week lost three major head to head battles with their Democratic rivals in the gubernatorial and mayoral elections of New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

Trump put much effort into getting Republican Ed Gillespie elected as Virginia’s next governor but his hopes were crushed after Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee, emerged as the winner in the Tuesday vote.

The other major defeat for the Trump camp on Tuesday happened in New York City, where Democrat Bill de Blasio was comfortably re-elected as the mayor of Trump’s hometown.

Elaborating on Northam’s win over his Republican rival in Virginia, Keith Preston chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, told Press TV that two trends have influenced the outcome of the race. The first is the general backlash against Trump’s presidency that has galvanized progressive political forces. The second is the changing demographics of the region in favor of immigrants and multi-culturalism.

Preston said that although Trump’s presidential victory was a shock to many, Democrats were in an overall superior position compared to their conservative rivals, and therefore the gubernatorial victories of Democrats would carry on and influence future elections in favor of Democrats.

“What happened in this particular election is a backlash against the Donald Trump election last year,” Preston said.

“The Democrats and Democratic Party voters were particularly galvanized to get out the vote and try to win as many seats as possible,” he added.  

President Trump’s Fateful Choice 1

The Trump administration is Republican business as usual, as virtually all serious observers predicted it would be. The great thing about the Trump presidency is not only is Trump generally unpopular outside of his dying right-wing of the WASP middle class “base,” but he is demonstrating that Presidents are simply CEOs of America, Inc., and the state-capitalist oligarchs who serve as the de facto Board of Directors.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

President Trump ran as a Republican, but he did not win as a Republican.  He won as a populist.  If he is to be a successful president and win re-election, he needs to make a fateful choice: will he govern as a populist or as a Republican?  If he chooses the latter, he will fail.

Unfortunately, the president seems to be leaning more and more towards governing as a Republican.  The tax reform proposal he recently offered is classic Republican:  it may benefit the middle class indirectly by creating more jobs, but its direct beneficiaries are high-income people.  One simple change would transform it into a populist measure: a high tax rate, say 75%, on earned incomes over $1,000,000 annually (indexed for inflation).  The people who elected Mr. Trump would cheer.

On the vexing problem of health insurance, the president’s latest action, cutting government subsidies to insurance companies to subsidize low income people, may hurt Trump voters.  Many of his supporters have modest incomes. They are not Republicans with money to burn.  The populist answer to health care is Medicare for all, with Medicare’s ability to control prices.  The origin of the health care affordability problem is grossly excessive prices for anything labelled “medical”. Any policy that does not deal with those prices is a band-aid.

In foreign and defense policy, Trump voters do not want more unnecessary wars halfway around the world that kill our kids and waste our money.  That is the populist position: America first.  If we are attacked, we fight, but why should young Americans die in the centuries-old war between Sunni and Shiite Islamics?  Here again, President Trump seems to be governing as a Republican, not a populist.  Continuing the futile war in Afghanistan, re-involving ourselves on the ground in Iraq, putting “advisors” in Syria, spooling up the long-standing and strategically meaningless war of words with North Korea—none of this is populist.  It all comes from the playbook of Republicans such as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who cannot stand the thought that there is a quarrel somewhere in the world in which the U.S. is not involved.

I suspect President Trump knows the Republicans have taken over his administration and pushed the populism that elected him to the side.  Unfortunately, he seems not to know what to do about it.  There are sources of ideas and people from which he could assemble a different, populist-conservative agenda and set of advisors.  I write for one of them, The American Conservative magazine.

What the Republicans in and around the White House do not understand, in addition to the bankruptcy of the Republican “we serve the rich” agenda, is that populism is the wave of the future, both here and in Europe and on the Left as well as the Right.  Establishment Republicans and Democrats alike fear populism.  But to a president elected because he was seen as a populist, the populist wave of the future is one he should seek to ride.  If not President Trump then someone else will combine the Trump and Sanders voters into a new, enduring political majority that will shape America’s future agenda.  In the end, it is not President Trump or Senator Sanders who is important.  It is the people who voted for both.

 

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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