There is a little too much “law talk” in this segment for my tastes. The ideal situation would be for the center-right, center-left, far-right, and far-left to fight, both in the electoral system/political institutions and in the streets, to the point that none of these can achieve anything approaching a monopoly of state power. The enemy is all around. The objective is for them to keep fighting each other to a permanent stalemate.
Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti weigh in on the controversial comments made by Attorney General Bill Barr advocating for criminally charging certain protesters with sedition.
Opinion has been sharply divided about Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in what many say was an act of self-defense. In this episode I’m joined by Kristan Harris, the man whose footage from that night has become the standard footage used in the mainstream media
The former UK ambassador in Washington, Kim Darroch, has warned of a “genuine risk” of violence in the aftermath of a close-run US election in November.
Darroch noted that although Joe Biden is maintaining a significant lead nationwide, the margins in some battleground states are shrinking, and he suggested pollsters could be systematically undercounting Donald Trump supporters.
“I’m not sure the pollsters really know how to count Trump voters,” Darroch said in an interview.
He pointed to the recent violence in Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of police shooting of unarmed Black Americans, and the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a fervent police supporter facing homicide charges after a shooting incident in Kenosha that left two people dead and a third seriously injured. Rittenhouse has since been hailed as a vigilante hero by the far right.
It is never a good thing when people in a society start killing each other with a greater degree of frequency. But incidents of this type are the natural consequence of 50 years of economic and social policies that have turned the USA into a Third World society with First World technology. We now have the class relations and governmental incompetence of Latin America and the number of Americans who have had unpleasant encounters with members of state security forces is now approaching that found in traditional oligarchies and dictatorships as well.
The world-historical norm is stratified societies in which periodic mass rebellions and ongoing localized rebellions take place. Terrorist/guerrilla/lone wolf violence against members of state security forces are common in many societies. During the Roman occupation of the Judaic region, Zealots would engage in knife attacks on Roman soldiers. Medieval peasants would attack the king’s knights. Many Latin American, African, Middle Eastern, Pacific, and Asian countries experience this all the time, including regions within major powers like Russia, China, and India. Americans are used to living in a predominantly middle-class affluent society where political violence rare. Now that’s starting to change.
“The most interesting political questions throughout history have been whether or not humans will be ruled or free, whether they will be responsible for their actions as individuals or left irresponsible as members of society, and whether they can live in peace by volitional agreements alone.”
“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
Solidarity is a bitch when everyone who can afford a knife is slitting each other’s throat. That’s the nasty little limerick that keeps playing on repeat in my skull like a mantra as populist grassroots uprisings devolve into bitter proxy wars between roaming tribes of bitter proles, killing each other over which oligarch’s name they have scrawled across their battle flags. Everyone wants to pick sides. Everyone is trolling for convenient scapegoats. I just see poor people killing poor people while two sick rich candidates arrange their corpses into clever platforms to stand on and promote more war from. The splintering of the George Floyd Uprisings into partisan turf warfare doesn’t just rip up my already bleeding heart because I had so much hope for the revolutionary potential now being squandered. It kills me because I have people on both sides of these gorey shenanigans and they should both be on the same damn team. All poor people should be, regardless of race or even politics.
What I find most interesting about this piece is how it illustrates that the various factions of the “Left” and “Right,” broadly defined, not only have different philosophies and political preferences but different realities as well. Can people who have totally different ideas on what reality even is co-exist in the same society? I tend to think not.
By William S. Lind
The Left is wrong, but it is not stupid. If we are to defeat it, we must study and understand its tactics. Three are of special importance.
From other totalitarian ideologies the American Left has adopted the tactic of telling a big lie fast, immediately after or during an event, and figuring the truth, which usually comes out more slowly, will never catch up. We’ve seen this both in Minneapolis and in Kenosha. In Minneapolis, the lie is that a cop killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck so he could not breathe. The Wall Street Journal subsequently reported the facts:
In an ideal situation, right-wing vigilantes would provide protection to residential neighborhoods, mom and pop shops, and the general public, while left-wing vigilantes burned down police stations and the lumpenproletariat looted Wal-Mart. But I’ve noticed that many situations tend to be less than ideal.
There’s a scene in Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin where the author goes to visit Bernhard Landauer, the owner of a prosperous department store in Germany. The year is 1933 and Bernhard shows Christopher a vicious message he’s received, threatening to kill him and all his fellow Jews. Bernhard shrugs this off but Christopher insists he go to the police: “The Nazis may write like schoolboys,” he says, “but they’re capable of anything. That’s why they’re so dangerous. People laugh at them, right up to the last moment…”
Here in America, it’s been easy to laugh at those who have threatened political violence over the past four years, and even at those who have carried it out. Their rogue’s gallery can look like something out of a campy video game: ninja-like black masks who run through the streets LARPing revolution? Mostly white college students screaming “black lives matter”? I still haven’t figured out exactly what a boogaloo boy is supposed to be. Even after the horror in Charlottesville, the white supremacists yodeling about “the Jew” on their way back from the latest Wolves of Vinland potluck come off as more sad than dangerous. It’s easy to laugh at these people, to dismiss them as dorks and thumbsuckers; it’s easy to laugh until it isn’t, until your cities are burning, until you look down and realize you’ve been dancing on a volcano.
From what I can tell, there is literally no one in any of the factions of US politics that has the slightest interest in anti-authoritarian values of any kind, except for isolated individuals. Obviously, this is true of the ruling class parties, but it is apparent enough that none of the “fringe” factions would create a less authoritarian society than the one we have now. Not Proud Boys, Boogaloos, Patriot Prayer, Antifa, SJWs, “anarcho”-Marxists, Alt-Right/Lite, commies, fascists, WNs, Nazis, BLM, etc. Most of these would create a worse society than the one we have now. The best we can hope for is either an ongoing balance of power between contending factions or the collapse of the United States into localized enclaves.
By Jason Wilson
Over the last three months in Portland, mass protests against police violence and racism gradually gave way to nightly often violent standoffs between a core of pro-Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters and law enforcement.
But in the past week the city has fallen back into a pattern of more politically polarized street violence which has marked the city throughout the Trump era, with broadly leftwing and anti-fascist activists sometimes facing off against far-right groups.
Last weekend a rightwing “Say no to Marxism in America” rally saw serious, widespread violence. Much of it came from rally attendees – who included members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys – and was directed not only at leftist counter-protesters, but also reporters.
The US Marshals said a task force was attempting to arrest Michael Forest Reinoehl in Washington state. He was wanted by the Multnomah County Circuit Court on a charge of murder.
“Reinoehl was allegedly involved in an August 29 shooting incident in Portland, Oregon, that resulted in a death,” US Marshals said.
The task force located him in Olympia and attempted to arrest him peacefully.
“Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers. Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene,” the statement said.
Ever since a member of the right-wing “Patriot Prayer” group was shot and killed during a violent rally in downtown Portland August 29, the police investigation has reportedly focused on 48-year-old Michael Forest Reinoehl, an Army veteran and father of two who has provided what he called “security” at Black Lives Matter protests.
The Wall Steet Journal reported earlier that Reinoehl was a person of interest in the killing of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was taking part in a massive pro-Trump caravan that began in Clackamas earlier in the day.
In a conversation with freelance journalist Donovan Farley shared with VICE News, Reinoehl said he believed he and a friend were about to be stabbed, and that he acted in self defense. VICE News has not independently verified details of his story.
If only it were true. We need many CHAZs, and for the CHAZs to become Cherons, and for the Cherons to become MAREZs, and for the MAREZs to become Rojavas, and for the Rojavas to become Hezbollahs.
By Matthew Choi
President Donald Trump ordered a review of cities’ treatment of law enforcement Wednesday, potentially holding back federal funds if the administration finds a jurisdiction “disempowers” or “defunds” its police department.
In a memorandum released Wednesday, Trump directed the White House Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance for federal agencies on curtailing funds to areas the memo calls “anarchist jurisdictions” within the next 30 days. The memo also directs Attorney General William Barr to publish on the Department of Justice website a list of jurisdictions that have “permitted violence and the destruction of property.” Federal agencies will also receive guidance on reporting on federal funds they distribute to several Democrat-led cities.
Too much cop-loving on the right, too much managerial state-loving on the left.
By Christopher Mathias
Before Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly opened fire on anti-racist protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night — killing two and severely injuring another — a video showed police essentially deputizing the 17-year-old.
Rittenhouse had been walking the streets of Kenosha carrying an assault rifle alongside other armed white men, a local self-styled militia formed for the purported purpose of protecting property from protesters.
“We appreciate you guys, we really do,” a cop can be heard telling the group over a loudspeaker before tossing Rittenhouse a bottle of water.
It was a scene familiar in American history: agents of the state conscripting armed white vigilantes to help violently suppress movements for racial justice and liberation. (“Cops and the Klan go hand in hand,” the common protest chant goes.)
So it wasn’t surprising to see Rittenhouse, in another video published Tuesday, walk toward police after allegedly killing the two protesters — or for him not to be apprehended until the following day, when he was arrested at his home in Illinois.