Todd Lewis joined by Keith Preston and Swithun Dobson to discuss the problems with liberalism.
By Natasha Maria
An awful tragedy occurs, a shooting, a riot, a brawl, and as usual we hear the immediate cry, “Won’t the government do something to stop this?”
Yes, yes it will, in fact it wants you to beg them to.
Whether it be a mass shooting, or a riot in the streets, both are symptoms of a dysfunctional and neurotic society. The causes of such are deserving of multiple papers and discussions. The response though…that is the rub these days, that is what we must reassess.
-To the Right-
Whether an innocent journalist gets beat down, stores get windows broken, or a man gets a metal lock to the skull, the right are quick to call Antifa a ‘terrorist organization’. This is inconvenient for me I assure you. I consider myself to the right, and have done my fair share of talking smack about Antifa and enjoying their many failures. Nonetheless, the right must put their partisan anger aside and look at the bigger picture. Supporting legally categorizing Antifa as a ‘terrorist organization’ is not just shooting yourself in the foot, it is sawing off your whole leg. Of course Trump and the GOP support this, whipping the right into a frenzy, ‘do something to stop these masked thugs!’ Yes, do something alright, place yourself into a circular firing squad, having your enemy shot and you along with him.
-To the Left-
Let’s complete the circle. Mass shootings are horrific and unacceptable. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the myriad of possible things that could be done to prevent or remedy what is causing this psychotic malfunction in society. Many of the shooters have had ‘manifestos’ which have espoused half-done White Nationalist-like thought. Again, Democrats and their constingency cry, “White Nationalism is the new terrorist threat!” And again, people are whipped into a frenzy, preaching that these dissident rightists must be labeled a ‘terrorist organization’ and handled as such. The latest, and most threatening development from this, is the idea of a ‘Red Flag Law’.
How vague, how flexible, how convenient. A man deported over ‘anti-American’ social media posts, or another jailed for social media posts that sounded ‘threatening’. Under such type laws, left or right, dissidence will be deemed a threat to the establishment, categorized as terrorism, and swiftly eliminated. It’s definition of dissidence will be flexible, and why shouldn’t it be? Both left and right have supported this flexibility.
Kim has an interesting take on the immigration question that demonstrates how the way the issue is presented by the political class and the media is an insincere fraud.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
As something of a radical contrarian, I often feel like my life is comprised largely of coming out of an endless procession of closets, often without even realizing I’m stepping through the doorway. What? You didn’t know I was a pro-life feminist? You’ve never heard of a libertarian socialist? I genuinely can’t keep up with all the peccadillos you partisan pussies find indigestible. All in all, with this experience of casually shocking boring people, it’s little wonder I took to being queer like a fish in a frying pan.
But some closet doors are heavier than others and at this hybrid moment of Republicrat hysteria, they don’t get much heavier than the simple fact that I have a great deal of respect for both Ilhan Omar and Tucker Carlson, which is a bit like being a unicorn that everyone hates for a different reason. How could this be possible? Well, for one thing, I’ve long held a soft spot in my bleeding heart for both shocking people and, well, shocking-people. As a kid, I couldn’t seem to decide whether I wanted to be Mother Teresa or Marilyn Manson when I grew up. But more than any idiosyncratic character flaw, my respect for these two highly demonized figures stems from the fact that I am and will always be an anti-imperialist above all else. And regardless of their many many flaws both Ilhan and Tucker have been fairly consistent advocates for world peace.
I never expected to like Tucker Carlson and, for the most part, I still don’t. His demonization of immigrants and trans people like myself is nothing short of revolting. But like most paleocons, with Mr. Carlson you take the good with the disgusting. Regardless of how you or I may feel about the bastard’s social cluelessness, you have to be pathologically apoplectic to deny his post-partisan devotion to anti-interventionism. Where Tucker’s beloved pseudo-isolationist Caesar, Donald Trump, has faltered, Carlson has remained courageously resolute.
Since taking the prime time slot of pandering grope-a-holic Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson has delivered some of the most breathlessly eloquent prose in defense of peace that this country has seen since MSDNC had Phil Donahue fired for speaking out against the war in Iraq, often going against the very president he rebuilt his career on defending in the process, and it’s effect appears to be profound. Donald Trump seems to have only reversed his decision to commit mass murder in Iran after a brief phone call with his favorite Fox News host. With an impetuously impressionable man-child in the Oval Office, this xenophobic, binarist dick may have literally saved lives by sticking to his guns on America’s existential need to drop hers. Hate the fucker for who he is, but game recognizes game, and Tucker is looking pretty damn familiar to this tranny peacenik. Crucify me for being big enough admit it.
Perhaps the only thing more enjoyable than seeing a neocon network hijacked by a modern-day Charles Lindbergh has been watching mighty little Ilhan make those same pigfucking giants sweat. While, as an anarchist, I may find Mrs. Omar’s pseudo-socialist, big-government-solves-everything approach to domestic policy nauseatingly tiresome, she has proven herself to be the Lower House’s most doggedly consistent critic of empire since Ron Paul.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I sympathize with Willem Van Spronsen. Maybe that’s a bad way to start this post but it feels like the most honest way to start this post. A mentally ill anarchist, not unlike myself, Willem wanted to end his life but he wanted to end it for a cause. So he attacked an ICE detention center with pipe bombs and let the cops do the rest. I’ve never made my disdain for Antifa a secret, I’ve befriended too many right-wing anti-imperialists caught in their crossfire, but god help me, this struck me as a move in the right direction for Pacific Northwest anarchists, who have lately been far too busy bombarding alt-right imbeciles to confront our growing police state.
My sympathy is not exclusively political however. My sympathy comes from a place of very personal outrage and my outrage comes from a deeply traumatic childhood. I can usually retain a pretty jaded gonzo snark with my writing, stemming from my misanthropic drag queen sense of humor. But when you’ve been fucked with by role-crazy adults as a child, part of you will always be that child. So when I see kids in fucking cages, I see myself brutally misgendered in a confessional waiting for hell. And that’s when I flip my proverbial shit and get downright histrionic. The only reason why I haven’t gone full Kaczynski like Willem, aside from the fact that my meds are working and I generally appose initiatory violence, is because I’m usually too livid in these moments to handle anarcho-home-ec projects like IED’s. I’m also probably too pissed off to write a completely lucid blog post, so this time I decided to wait a week and take a closer look at the issue of the camps.
It’s very tempting to drop the lion share of the blame on a loud-mouth bully like Trump. He’s certainly made the immigration issue more personal by declaring entire classes of people war criminals and encouraging his beloved gorilla juice-heads in ICE to get their Gestapo on. The harsh reality that the media has chosen to ignore however is that there is nothing particularly new about Orange-Man-Bad’s persecution of pint-sized undocumented line-crossers. In fact, the bastard still comes in fourth behind the last three presidents in mass deportations. The modern militarization of the boarder actually started decades before Trump with another sanction-happy rapist named Bill Clinton (I believe the two may have met once or twice at one of Jeffrey Epstein’s Pretty Baby-Eyes Wide Shut Parties) which was just one small part of his fascistic war on children, the hallmark of which was his draconian Biden-approved crime bill which essentially declared black childhood to be a felony. And this is where we meet the concentration camp question.
Tucker Carlson has a predictable response to the Willem Van Spronsen incident. I disagree with Carlson that the Antifa is inherently connected to the mainstream Democratic Party-oriented left just as I disagree with the often-made claim that the Trumpians are inherently connected to the neo-fascists.
As a general rule, I do not take sides in the usual conflicts between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, and Proudboys/Alt-Right vs. Antifa/Far-Left. I consider all of this to be playing the System’s game, and a “bread and circuses” distraction from the real issues.
I would generally give Willem Van Spronsen an A for attitude and an F for execution. Whatever one’s views on the immigration question, a revolutionary upheaval will certainly involve attacks on state facilities and outposts in various circumstances. It’s the way revolution is done. Any kind of revolutionary upheaval needs folks that will go the distance. However, he strikes me as a mentally ill guy who committed suicide by cop via virtue signaling, which is often the case with these “lone wolf” terrorist types. He did nothing to improve conditions in the detention centers, and likely made them worse by motivating the authorities to increase the level of security in such places.
Nor do I think Van Spronsen’s Antifa associates would create a better society than the one we have now. In fact, they would create a much worse society, basically like Bolshevism, possibly more like Maoism or the Khmer Rouge. Not that they would ever be large enough or functional enough to bring that about. Like their Alt-Right tribal enemies, the only value of these groups is as disruptive virus within the system, and counterforce to each other.
But the outrage over “terrorism” coming from “the other side” also rings hollow. The US federal regime/global empire is the number one terrorist organization in the world today. So-called “federal agents” (the entire alphabet soup of them) are by nature members of a terrorist organization. The Tacoma incident was simply a matter of a mini-terrorist taking on a mega-terrorist. Big deal.
Jun 11, 2019
14 minute read (full)
First let’s decentralize history…
This month’s thematic has been a real challenge for us and raised many questions in our minds. Why? The history of decentralization is complex and non-linear. But most of all, it is difficult to be considered from an objective point of view, stripped of the predominance of the state.
Talking about decentralization leads obviously to discuss about centralization; to find the ghosts of history, to cross-reference the victories and failures of social-political movements; to discover some contemporary alternatives to the generalized centralization of our lives. Unless we consider that a technology is neutral, in the end, we cannot talk about decentralization without talking about governance, suffrage, politics or apoliticism, autonomy, organization… and the dominant model of centralization: the nation-state. Still, if a very vast literature and documentation concerns rise of states, it must be stated that the one granted to the opposite, i. e. the absence of a state, is almost non-existent. More…
This is one of the best analyses I’ve seen to date on what an actual Civil War 2 would look like. It’s political, geographical, and cultural analysis is spot on, although its main weakness is that it largely leaves out social class (which is fragmenting both the Red and Blue Tribe) as well as cultural/social cleavages among the Blue Tribe which are growing exponentially.
An actual Civil War 2 would not be the Red Tribe vs Blue Tribe per se (although that may be an impetus that gets the ball rolling). It would be more like the Lebanese civil war of the late
1970s/early 1980s with dozens of different factions. For example, in some geographical areas showdowns between rival gangs would be just as important as political rivalries. Also, the fragmentation of the state itself would be an issue (or multiple issues).
Caitlin Johnstone on why it is the “centrists” who are the real extremists.
By Caitlin Johnstone
I just watched two mainstream political videos back-to-back from what is conventionally referred to as America’s political “center”, and just by coincidence they happened to completely contradict each other. The first was a Bill Maher segment in which he barely even attempted to tell any jokes, spending the time instead explaining to his viewers why the Republican Party is “the party of Putin.” The second video was a recent CNN interview with Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, who proclaimed that the US needs to be “more aggressive” toward Russia “across the board”, and described his party’s unified efforts to help escalate that aggression.
Royce is a Republican.
I have never recommended that anyone watch a Bill Maher video before, and I don’t expect that I ever will again, but this segment was really extraordinary in the shrillness and seriousness with which Maher advanced his ridiculous argument that the Republican Party loves Russia. I recommend taking a look at it and just noting the near absence of actual jokes and the few pity laughs the audience gives him.
If there is one point that I have tried to make clear during the entire 20 years or so that I have been doing ATS, it is that the solution to globalization/globalism/imperialism/whatever one wants to call it is global revolutionary struggle, which is a struggle that (obviously) transcends most other boundaries and conflicts.
Opponents of the Empire may vary infinitely in their specific tribal affiliations: ideological, economic, religious, ethnic, cultural, moral, technological, etc. Yet the first question that has to be asked involves the issue of how the scattered tribes of resistance can collectively fight the common enemy. If one were living in 100 A.D. and trying to determine how to best resist the Roman Empire, the question would obviously be “How can the many tribes that are subject to the Empire engage in effective resistance?” The situation is essentially the same in 2019.
In my perfect world, there would be nothing but voluntary communities, and particular communities could be as open or closed as their members wanted. I tend to think that for utilitarian reasons within the current state-capitalist system there needs to be at least some limitation on both immigration and discrimination. I don’t know that throwing open the borders and saying, “Come one, come all” would have a happy ending, just like I don’t think anyone’s freedom is being abridged when WalMart can’t put a sign out front saying, “No Coloreds Allowed.” Virtually the entire spectrum of the ruling class and the state benefits from mass immigration, i.e. more scab labor employers, more clients for social services bureaucrats, more constituents for ethnic lobbies, more voters for political parties, more students for the education bureaucracy, new parishioners for organized religion, etc. But immigration enforcement also benefits other state/ruling class interests, i.e. the federal police state, companies that get state contracts to build walls/detention centers, the prison-industrial complex, capitalist corporations that profit from prison labor, retrograde Republican politicians using immigration as political vehicle, etc. It’s a win-win situation for the power elite, and lose-lose for everyone else.
I don’t think it’s a Left/Right issue per se. Immigrant detention centers didn’t start with Trump. They’ve been around for quite a while spanning Democratic and Republican administrations. I’d argue immigrant detention centers are part of the wider apparatus of the police state/state legal racket/prison-industrial complex. So people in immigrant detention centers are in the same boat as people in jails, prisons, places of involuntary psychiatric incarceration, juvenile detention, etc, etc,etc Traditionally, the US prison system has overlapped with the older slave system as well as things like Jim Crow. I’d argue it’s also something that transcends boundaries of race, class, gender, politics, etc even if those categories aren’t irrelevant either. But the same traditional conservative vs traditional progressive dichotomy that defines US politics today has been in place for over a century with swings back and forth in different directions.
Progressives have exercised a great deal of influence over US society since around 1900 (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were Progressives, for God’s sake). Progressives have long been involved in facilitating authoritarian state policies (eugenics, racism, and drug and alcohol prohibition among them). During the course of the 20th century progressives did an about face on race, immigration, homosexuality, the “sexual revolution,” etc. But they’ve still favored authoritarian state policies in many other areas. For example, the modern “war on drugs” has been supported just as zealously by liberal politicians and civil rights leaders as conservative Republicans and the religious right, and the war on drugs is to a large degree the foundation/cornerstone of the modern American police state (though there are obviously many other contributing factors).
Most progressives are not anarchists or libertarians (left or right) and don’t claim to be. They accept the supposed legitimacy of the state, state law, state penal institutions, etc. They just don’t like it when these things are used against people they like (illegal immigrants, environmental protestors, etc) as opposed to people they don’t like (the Bundy clan, corporate executives, gun nuts, racists, etc). But given their acceptance of these things, they don’t really have a principled argument against the statist argument that says, “If you don’t want to go to jail, don’t break the law” or “The law is the law. If you don’t like the law, you can work to change it not break it” or “These people chose to break the law and choices have consequences.” Once the legitimacy of the state, state law, police, prisons, etc. is conceded, I don’t know that there is a principled counterargument that can be raised that doesn’t amount to special pleading.
Of course, my view is that anarchists and libertarians who wish to be consistent should stand in solidarity will ALL persons being held by the police state and prison-industrial complex (and, yes, that includes serial killers on death row, racist hate criminals, scumbag corporate executives, pedos, and every other kind of creep imaginable as well illegal immigrants, drug users/sellers, sex workers, “consensual criminals,” self-defenders, “survival criminals,” vagrants, etc). The struggle against the state/ruling class/power elite/globalism/imperialism/capitalism/Zionism is not a “Nice People Only” club.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
There’s a storm brewing, dearest motherfuckers, or so I’m told. And I’m not talking about climate change. The wild wild world of the world wide web is ablaze with rumors, dark rumors, rumors told of a Fourth Reich, more than seventy years since the last one ran out of gas in the mucklands of Stalingrad. Fash is back and this time it’s coming through the left door. There are reams of hysterical chatter across the mucklands of social media speaking of a diabolical collaboration between the far right and the far left. From Julian Assange robbing Hillary of her throne for Donald Trump, to Steve Bannon and George Galloway exchanging bro-hugs at a Eurasianist summit in Kazakhstan, to Glenn Greenwald getting chummy with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. It’s a deep, dark, twisted, incestuous collaboration built on a shared comradery among crypto-Baathist Russophiles goosestepping their way to overthrowing the blessed post-war order of the Atlanticist brand of globalism we all know and love. And naturally that dastardly Kremlin puppet master, Vladimir Putin, is behind it all with his army of trolls and bots and other assorted shadow people. It’s a dementedly elaborate conspiracy to lynch liberal democracy and here’s the Shyamalan twist, apparently I’m the token tranny holding the noose.
For those of you who are less than familiar with my jagged, lip-smacking brand of drag queen satire, that first paragraph was a joke and so is this whole tired conspiracy theory of a new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Some call it Horseshoe Theory, some call it the Red-Brown or Red-Green-Brown Alliance (Just add Islamaphobia!), but that old feverish canard about a grand plot by the fascist right to infiltrate the far-left or vice versa has long been a favorite scare tactic of neoliberal centrists seeking to keep dissidents separated across their manufactured left-right divide. The desired result of this campaign is to keep conservatives and leftists too frightened of “infiltrators” to think outside of the ideological box while also keeping them dependent on the radical center to protect them from the ominous “other”. Nothing scares the establishment more than working class unity, so the establishment turns this unity into a Polanskiesque horror story. Any leftist open to working with the right (like myself) is in danger of being linked to the worst excesses of white nationalism, while any conservative who refuses to spit on a hippie is blackballed as a dreaded National Bolshevik.
A fan created a montage of audio clips from Kick the Puppy Season One showing how we are moving towards a third world model class system.
By Michael Liccione
Religious believers sometimes say that atheism is a “faith,” and in that sense a religion. That’s debatable because they’re using the word ‘faith’ ambiguously, and trading on that ambiguity. But according to NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, there is a scientific sense in which a relatively new, secular “religion” of “social justice” is entrenching itself among students on America’s campuses.
He’s got a cogent point.
ITO has run several pieces about Haidt’s ideas before. He’s not a conservative or even religious; he self-identifies as a liberal Democrat. Yet he’s alarmed by “the lack of ideological diversity” among faculty and students, which he sees as causing a “breakdown of discourse.” As he sees it, such stifling orthodoxy can never be good for higher education, which thrives when opposing views are permitted and given a fair hearing.
But, suggests Haidt, it appears that many colleges and universities are hosting what is not merely a stifling orthodoxy, but also one that exhibits a few key characteristics of religious orthodoxy.
That’s the thesis of a lecture he gave a few weeks ago: “The American University’s New Assault on Free Speech,” organized by the Manhattan Institute in New York City. It’s summed up in an article with the provocative title: “This New Religion Is Causing an Existential Crisis at American Colleges and Universities, NYU Prof Says.” The article includes a podcast link to the lecture.
Thus: “There is an extremely intense, fundamental social justice religion that’s taking over, not all students, but a very strong [space] of it, at all our colleges and universities. They are prosecuting blasphemy and this is where we are.”
What does he mean by “a very strong space”?
Dr. Richard Wolff debates libertarian Antony Sammeroff on the Labor Theory of Value on the Lions of Liberty Podcast, hosted by Marc Clair. This is a Marxist economist debating a free market libertarian.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will-Antonio Gramsci
When the individual’s behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be reborn. Time to “drop out”, “turn on”, and “tune in.”-Timothy Leary
America, the indispensable nation. That old jingoistic canard gets tossed around like confetti in this country, while the rest of the world rolls their collective eyes and crack their collective knuckles. According to patriotic lore, America is some beige, color-blind, miracle designed by the greatest white philosophers since Socrates to free the world from its backwards indigenous ways with the magic of global capitalism. Naturally, this is all bullshit. The kind of sad pep-talk a date-rapist gives himself in the mirror before showering his glamour muscles in Axe body spray. There is absolutely nothing miraculous about America but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t exceptional.
America is an exceptionally cruel experiment in the outer reaches of colonial social engineering. We are a nation defined by the two greatest holocausts in recorded history, spanning three continents and an entire hemisphere. America as we know it was founded by an ambitious collection of European super-colonialists who found themselves and their nations increasingly depleted of the wealth they accumulated from the Crusades. So they traveled the seas in search of greener pastures to irrigate with more dark-skinned blood. They found their sainted killing fields of Shangri-La in the New World and with the superiority of their steel, they decided to take the Americas by force and slaughter anyone who stood in their way. But with an entire hemisphere half empty of its indigenous inhabitants, these European overlords found themselves with too much work for their feeble bourgeois fingers to handle, so they filled their new colonies with shiploads of slaves pilfered from the jungles of Africa to build a nation on their scarred shoulders, murdering millions more in the process and permanently hobbling another entire continent.
By Keith Preston
Originally published in Tribes Magazine
Perhaps one of the most curious features of modernity is the way in which ideologies have replaced religions as a principal source of contentiousness. During the era of the nineteenth century, when the intellectual revolution of the Enlightenment was being institutionalized, a few perceptive thinkers recognized that the “death of God” did not mean the death of dogma. In 1844, Max Stirner noted that “our atheists are pious people,” an acknowledgment that humanism and liberalism had replaced Christianity as the religion of the intellectual elite. Similarly, Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Parable of the Madman” was rooted in the recognition of the consequences of the loss of faith, its metaphysical underpinnings, and its derivative traditions.
“What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” (Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1882)
The era of the twentieth century revealed that the Age of Faith gave way not to an Age of Reason, as Voltaire or Thomas Paine would have hoped for, but to an Age of Ideology. What were the great conflicts of the twentieth century, whether the two world wars or the Cold War, but wars of ideology that paralleled or exceeded the great wars of religion that had taken place during previous centuries?
Many different ideologies abound in the same manner that many different religious sects can be identified. Ideologies are typically grouped into the categories of Left and Right. The Left is thought to favor equality, progress, and universality, and leftists include liberals, progressives, socialists, social democrats, communists, left-libertarians, and left-anarchists. The Right is thought to favor hierarchy, tradition, and the particular, and rightists include conservatives, reactionaries, traditionalists, monarchists, right-libertarians, fascists, and national socialists. There are also a range of ideologies that defy the left/right model such as nationalism, populism, environmentalism, regionalism, feminism, and third positionism.
This piece by Lind could almost be a left-libertarian or left-anarchist analysis EXCEPT the cultural divide is so vast as to be unbridgeable.
By William S. Lind
The Left has adopted the word “woke” to describe people who have accepted the ideology of cultural Marxism and are willing to act on it. The equivalent I hear most often for the Right is “getting it”. What does it mean to “get it”?
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I like conservatives. Not all conservatives. Not the bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran kind or the endangered white male victim kind. But the Traditionalist kind. The Old Right, Paleolibertarian, fuck-you-mind-your-own-damn-business kind. I like people like Bill Kaufman, Wendell Berry, Ron Paul and H.L. Mencken. I admire the prose and courage of Yukio Mishima. I appreciate the insight of Martin Heidegger. I think Oswald Spengler’s ideas are at least as prophetic as those of Gramsci and Marx. I even think Alain de Benoist has a few good ideas (and about 67 bad ones). Justin Raimondo used to be one of my favorite writers before he mysteriously vanished up Donald Trump’s orange asshole. And I consider antifa-hate-thing Troy Southgate to be a personal friend of mine.
An interesting take on First World/bourgeois identity politics. This is more or less my long-held position on these questions as well.
A great takedown of victimology and the oppression olympics, Left and Right.