I always thought that as the “right-wing” in its various forms continued to shrink in size and lose power politically, it would move in two directions. Some would be co-opted by totalitarian humanism (like the neocons, corporate Republicans, and Never Trumpers). Others would become more militant and even terroristic, which seems to be happening, and at a more rapid pace than I would have thought.
By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
House Democrats on Monday were briefed by the U.S. Capitol Police on several disturbing potential armed demonstrations and assassination plots planned in the coming days by supporters of President Donald Trump, an indication that the deadly invasion of the halls of Congress last week may have been just the start of a broader wave of right-wing violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
HuffPost reported that on a private call late Monday, “new leaders of the Capitol Police told House Democrats they were closely monitoring three separate plans that could pose serious threats to members of Congress as Washington prepares for Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.”
According to HuffPost:
My general take on this question, which is completely unscientific and based merely on observation, is that police are more likely to use violence against the Left than the Right at demonstrations, although the Left is also more likely to engage in violence. However, left-wing violence tends to be more minor league (like simple assaults and petty vandalism) while right-wing violence, when it occurs, tends to be the real deal, like actual murders.
By Sharon Zhang, Truthout
Police in the United States are more likely to use force against left-wing protesters than they are against right-wing protesters, according to new data analyzed by The Guardian, corroborating observations repeatedly made by the left.
The data is based on over 13,000 protests since April of last year and was gathered by researchers for the U.S. Crisis Monitor project. “Force” in the data includes use of tactics like tear gas and rubber bullets.
The Guardian’s analysis showed that police used force at 4.7 percent of left-wing protests versus 1.4 percent of right-wing protests — 511 left-wing protests and 33 right-wing. When looking at protests that didn’t involve looting or vandalism, the disparity grew: Police were about 3.5 times more likely to use force at left-wing protests than right-wing protests, 1.8 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
The report also found that police were more than doubly likely to intervene or break up a left-wing protest than a right-wing one, using tactics like arrests. A similar analysis of the same data by FiveThirtyEight found the same thing.
By Andrew Korybko, One World
The Trump-inspired “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) movement must either rehabilitate or purge the QAnon cultists in its ranks because they’re discrediting and potentially even dangerous, to say nothing of the fact that their very association with MAGA provides the “deep state” with the seemingly “plausible pretext” to push forward with its dystopian efforts to criminalize the movement as a so-called “domestic terrorist” organization and potentially even intensify its censorship of alternative and social media.
“The Master Plan”
The whole world is talking about QAnon, the mysterious network of supposedly high-placed pro-Trump supporters that’s allegedly been leaking secret information about the outgoing leader’s “deep state” enemies for the past few years, after some of the Capitol Hill invaders pledged their loyalty to it before and during the events of that fateful day last week. There’s little doubt that many of them were influenced by QAnon’s narrative that Trump has hatched a “master plan” of epic proportions to take down traitorous elements in America’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) as well as their academia, media, political, and religious (specifically Roman Catholic) allies that most mere mortals are unable to comprehend since it involves the playing of so-called “5D chess”. Having deluded themselves into mistakenly thinking that the President would support their storming of America’s seat of government, they raided the building after police suspiciously removed barricades and even opened the doors for them to do so.
Politicians have come together across the aisle to decry the storming of the Capitol on January 6 as “lawless,” “anti-democratic,” and “extremist,” going so far as to misrepresent the result as “anarchy.” But the problem with the invasion of the Capitol was not that it was unlawful, undemocratic, or extremist, per se, but that it was an effort to concentrate oppressive power in the hands of an autocrat—which is precisely the opposite of anarchy. Direct action, militant tactics, and a critique of electoral politics will remain essential to movements against fascism and state violence. We must not let the far right associate them with tyranny, nor permit centrists to muddy the waters.
It’s Going Down
A critical anarchist analysis and critique of the recent events in Washington DC and the response from the political Center and mass media.
So much could be said about the spectacle recently witnessed at Washington, DC’s federal capitol building, however we will write a quick statement, hoping to further understand the situation as well as to assert a need on behalf of comrades in the States who face both imminent and ongoing grassroots violence and parallel state repression. Essentially, what we saw was not an insurrection or revolt; what the world witnessed was a permitted fascist temper tantrum.
It’s only been a week so it’s still a bit early to fully assess what the long-term effects of the “Beer Belly Putsch” are going to be, but so far it’s looking like these will be among the outcomes.
- The legitimacy of the present state will be undermined. Nothing makes a state look weaker than a violent attack on its capital by a mob that manages to terrorize and humiliate the political class. Maintaining an appearance of strength and stability is fundamental to state legitimacy. January 6 was a case study in fourth-generation warfare where non-state actors managed to expose the weakness of a state.
By Mike Giglio, The Intercept
I spent the last year talking with people from militant groups on the American right and always driving toward the same question: And then what? You’re armed and trained and linked up with your outfit. And then what? You’re ready to stand up to the leftist mob or defend Donald Trump from the inevitable attempt to steal the election. And then what? You’ll fight if you have to. OK, and then what?
I keep pushing down this path because in the end, it leads to war and I want to have a discussion about what that means. Because I hope that behind all the prepping and posturing from that side — and the level 11 hysteria that pervades America generally — we all realize that we’re comfortable and fat and free, and that real war means your house will get wrecked and your kids or your neighbor or the cashier you trade hellos with at your fully stocked supermarket will die.
On this edition of Parallax Views, C. Derick Varn of Zero Books makes his triumphant return to the program by providing a history lesson on the idea that “politics is downstream from culture” from the idea of cultural hegemony by the Italian Communist thinker Antonio Gramsci to its usage today. In addition, we delve into the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters last week and attempt to tie together all the threads that lead us back to the “politics is downstream from culture” end of our conversation. Needless to say, this is an in-depth discussion that’s a tour-de-force of thoughtful historical information, political conversation, and current events that you won’t want to miss.
So maybe the “new normal” will be that the summer season is for baseball and left-wing riots, and the winter season is for basketball and right-wing riots. Fair enough.
By Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams
By Juan Dal Mosa and Warren Montag, Left Voices
Some people argue that the far Right is small. Should we be reassured that “only” 45 percent of Republicans, that is, 30 million people, support the riot at the Capitol? We must reject facile economism to understand the Trump phenomenon. This is more than a simple contradiction between base and superstructure.
A fairly interesting analysis of the split between the pigs and the “far-right” from a semi-far-left perspective.
On January 6th a determined mob from across the United States descended on Washington, D.C. They rumbled with police, overturned barricades, breached the perimeter of the United States Capitol, and smashed their way into the building itself – all while both houses were in session. Inside, the insurgents played cat and mouse with police and federal agents, gleefully traipsing the evacuated halls of Congress and the Senate, and marauded through the offices of high-level politicians, who escaped a direct confrontation by a matter of minutes. The scene at the Capitol was replicated in miniature across the US, with large crowds menacing state houses in Washington state, Georgia, Arizona, Oklahoma, and others. But nothing compared to the spectacle playing out in the nation’s capital.
Keith, Emma & RJ
01/09/21 – Mob assault on the Capital, 5 dead, nice photo op, police weren’t prepared, political assassinations, most were peaceful, two-party existential crisis, American Democracy, the Five Crises of the American Regime, “why the wealthiest Americans should prepare for revolt against unprecedented inequality,” Rothbard on zipcodes, the McCloskeys, homes of McConnell and Pelosi vandalized over money, the UK denies Julian Assange’s extradition citing suicide risk, the mental and physical health of whistle blowers, why Winston Churchill started painting, RJ thinks solitary confinement is torture, Yale releases manual for psilocybin-assisted therapy, drugs and western civilization, More…
As a consequence of Donald Trump’s supporters occupying the Capitol building in Washington, DC after a rally promoting his baseless claims of election fraud, the Republican Party is fracturing, setting the stage for the consolidation of a new bipartisan political center—albeit much further to the right than before. Yet this also paves the way for massive sections of Trump’s base to break away from representative democracy altogether, embracing an explicitly fascist alternative. The events of January 6 offer them martyrs and a revanchist narrative that will serve them for years to come, providing an internal mythos for recruitment and a justification whenever they need to use force.
The events of January 6 will discredit Trump supporters in the eyes of centrists and force some Republicans to shift their allegiances to the center, but they will also push the envelope regarding what is acceptable. This may help the far-right recruit locally countrywide and could normalize similar actions in the future.
But this is not the only danger ahead. In the name of a war against extremism, centrists are going to demand to expand the same machinery of state repression that the next Trump will inevitably use against us. This is essentially what happened in Weimar Germany, setting the stage for the rise of the Third Reich.
Increasingly, the Trump diehards resemble something more like Scientology than a political movement. I started noticing back in the 90s that there was a cultural undercurrent that was combining anti-establishment politics with conspiracies, religion, the occult, pseudo-science, science fiction, pseudo-history, mythology, crank economic and legal theories, crank medicine, (sometimes) racism, and all kinds of other general weirdness. This kind of stuff was normally considered to be “far-right” but it seemed to me at the time that it couldn’t really be categorized as any traditional ideology, and it also included some people with a leftist, libertarian, or minority background as well as the usual right-wing subcultures. It seems to have worked its way into the mainstream nowadays with QAnon and other comparable tendencies.
While I certainly don’t agree with the conventional Trumpism=fascism thesis, I agree that a serious demagogue who was actually competent could manipulate this for nefarious ends. On one hand, such radically anti-system attitudes are necessary, and attacks on the Capitol are just as legitimate from a revolutionary perspective as attacks on local police stations, but the direction they are taken in matters as well. What needs to happen is increasing fragmentation that prevents any one faction from gaining concentrated power, whether Trumpists, the far-left, or anyone else. We don’t want the insurrection of the urban lumpenproletariat to be usurped by the far-left and turned toward actual Jacobinism, Marxism, or Maoism, and we don’t want rebellions by the rural/suburban lumpenproletariat to be usurped by the far-right and turned toward actual fascism or right-wing authoritarianism.
Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski interview the founder of The Jacobin. These folks’ politics sound pretty milquetoast for people who claim the Jacobin tradition. It’s like calling your magazine The Bolshevik and then placing all your emphasis on expanding welfare as opposed to full-blown terrorism, which is what the real Jacobin tradition is. And the “government can be your friend” rhetoric in this is annoying as hell. Their entire program seems to be building the left-wing of the Democratic Party (the Squad types). Lame. At one point, this Jacobin guy actually cites Ted Kennedy’s challenge to Jimmy Carter in the 1980s primaries as a model for a progressive challenge to an establishment Democrat (remember, AOC is a former Kennedy staffer). Puke.
The problem I have with these people is they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the state, and they essentially accept the self-legitimating mythology that is maintained by modern states e.g. Hobbes’ social contract theory, Locke’s idea of the “protective state,” Rousseau’s “general will,” the Prussian public administration state, Jacobin mass democracy, the Marxist view of the state as an instrument of class power, the Progressive ideal of a regulatory public interest state, the therapeutic state of the white coat priesthood, scientism, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. I don’t view any of this stuff as any more legitimate than the idea that the state is sacred because it was founded by the demigod Romulus.
These folks are the equivalent of professional class Romans (scribes, artisans, priests, etc.) complaining about how the Emperor is too mean, doesn’t do enough for the starving peasants and lepers, and gets too carried away with the crucifixion thing, while begging for a kinder, gentler Emperor. We need more Spartacuses and Gauls and Etruscans and Zealots, and fewer Emperor-beggars.
The Little League Falange wannabes make their move. I generally favor anti-system violence regardless of where it comes from or what foolish cause it’s attached to. Decades ago, I predicted that while the struggle against the US state/ruling class/power elite would cut across ordinary ideological, cultural, and class boundaries, the primary classes of interest would be the urban lumpenproletariat, de classes sectors, sinking middle, and rural “neo-peasants.” I also predicted the rise of a “rural lumpenproletariat” (e.g. gun nuts inclined towards conspiracy theories) and a “suburban lumpenproletariat” (basically rebellious youth from the privileged classes who are inclined toward violence). Here they are.
By Zack Budryk, Mike Lillis and Justine Coleman, The Hill
The U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday locked down the Capitol building and evacuated multiple congressional buildings amid increasingly violent protests outside.
Buildings being evacuated included the Library of Congress’s Madison Building across from the Capitol as well as the Cannon House office building. In an alert sent to Hill staffers, police ordered occupants of the Madison building to “move in a safe manner to the exists” and “close doors behind you but do not lock.”
Capitol police also told those in the Cannon House building to “take visitors, escape hoods, and Go Kits” and report to a tunnel connected to a nearby building.
A Capitol Police officer told a reporter, “If you want to go between the buildings, use the tunnels.”
Asked how long the lock-down might last, the officer said it will depend on the behavior of the protestors.
Excellent. I generally have a favorable view of all who fight pigs in the street, irrespective of who they are or how idiotic their cause is.
By Sinead Baker, Business Insider
- Supporters of President Trump clashed with police and at least six were arrested on Tuesday night.
- The supporters gathered to protest the results of the presidential election ahead of Wednesday’s vote in Congress to certify those results.
- The protests took place ahead of a larger rally planned on Wednesday, where Trump is scheduled to speak.
- Trump has told his supporters that the vote in Congress is a chance to overturn the results, even though it is not.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with police, leading to the arrest of at least six of them, as they protested the results of the US presidential election ahead of a Congressional vote to certify the outcome.
By Nick Hardinges, LBC
Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio has been arrested in Washington DC on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter (BLM) flag last month.
The banner was torn down from a historic church in downtown Washington during a pro-Trump rally that ended in violent clashes between the group and BLM supporters.
Police arrested Mr Tarrio, 36, after he arrived in the capital ahead of planned demonstrations by Donald Trump supporters in response to the congressional vote expected on Wednesday to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory.
The far-right activist was taken into custody by the city’s Metropolitan Police Department after a warrant was issued for his arrest for the destruction of property.
Mr Tarrio is also facing weapons charges after he was found with two high-capacity firearm magazines upon his arrest, a police spokesman said.
By Jordan Alexander Hill, Quillette
In mid-November, just two weeks after one of the most contentious elections in American history, Democratic National Committee member David Atkins took to Twitter. “No seriously… how *do* you deprogram 75 million people?” he wondered, sounding more like a member of the Politburo than the DNC. “Where do you start? Fox? Facebook? We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan.” He continued: “This is not your standard partisan policy disagreement. This is a conspiracy theory fueled belligerent death cult… the only actual policy debates of note are happening within the dem coalition between left and center left.” As the comments flooded in, Atkins doubled down: “You can’t run on a civil war footing hopped up on conspiracy theories… without people trying to figure out how to reverse the brainwashing.”
What is most striking about Atkins’s comments is not his evident belief that 75 million Americans are conspiracy theorists, nor his suggestion that we re-educate citizens for wrongthink—in the world of Left-Twitter, this is comparatively mild fare—but rather his insistence that the Democratic party is a uniquely heterodox space, a forum for robust policy debates, while the GOP is some kind of monolith. A “cult,” as he called it. And yet, the Republican Party possesses more viewpoint diversity and is more internally factional than its competitor by a wide margin. Of all the exhausted canards one hears from liberals and never-Trumpers alike, the one that most needs retirement is the notion that Trump bent conservatism to his will, or, as Tim Alberta put it in 2017, “The conservative movement is Donald Trump.”
This is the Wikipedia description of the Powell Memorandum described in the Sam Sedar video in the post adjacent to this one. It is particularly interesting to compare the Powell Memorandum with the Dutton Strategy that was developed at precisely the same time. In many ways, Powell defined the future of “conservatism” while Dutton defined the future of “liberalism.” What we are seeing now is a convergence of the two in the form of the digital revolution, the rise of the tech-oligarchy, and the emergence of the new clerisy.
On August 23, 1971, prior to accepting Nixon’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Powell was commissioned by his neighbor, Eugene B. Sydnor Jr., a close friend and education director of the US Chamber of Commerce, to write a confidential memorandum for the chamber entitled “Attack on the American Free Enterprise System,” an anti-Communist and anti-New Deal blueprint for conservative business interests to retake America. It was based in part on Powell’s reaction to the work of activist Ralph Nader, whose 1965 exposé on General Motors, Unsafe at Any Speed, put a focus on the auto industry putting profit ahead of safety, which triggered the American consumer movement. Powell saw it as an undermining of the power of private business and an ostensible step towards socialism. His experiences as a corporate lawyer and a director on the board of Phillip Morris from 1964 until his appointment to the Supreme Court made him a champion of the tobacco industry who railed against the growing scientific evidence linking smoking to cancer deaths. He argued, unsuccessfully, that tobacco companies’ First Amendment rights were being infringed when news organizations were not giving credence to the cancer denials of the industry.
The memo called for corporate America to become more aggressive in molding society’s thinking about business, government, politics and law in the US. It inspired wealthy heirs of earlier American industrialists such as Richard Mellon Scaife, the Earhart Foundation (whose money came from an oil fortune), and the Smith Richardson Foundation (from the cough medicine dynasty) to use their private charitable foundations (which did not have to report their political activities) to join the Carthage Foundation (founded by Scaife in 1964) to fund Powell’s vision of a pro-business, anti-socialist, minimally government-regulated America based on what he thought America had been in the heyday of early American industrialism, before the Great Depression and the rise of Franklin Roosevelt‘s New Deal.
Some fairly interesting commentary on modern American cultural history in this. One thing I often find interesting is the way in which the rhetoric of the socially conservative “right” and the progressive liberal “left” frequently mirror each other. Social conservatives tend to be nostalgic for the social mores of the 1950s and lamenting the corrupting impact of 1960s individualism, the media, and the entertainment industry on public/personal morality. Progressives tend to be nostalgic for the economic mores of the 1950s and lament the corrupting impact of 1960s individualism, the media, and the entertainment industry on economic morality. This is consistent with Murray Rothbard’s observation in the 1960s that the “true left” would be a kind of “free market cultural leftism” (which is what much though not all of modern libertarianism is) and Sam Francis’ observation in the 1990s that the “true right” would a kind of “socially conservative economic populism” (which is what much of what Trumpism in the mainstream and the alt-right on the margins is). There are some problems with such a paradigm but it fits in other ways.
On this Best of 2020: Sam hosts author, radio host, and Spy Magazine founder Kurt Andersen to discuss his latest book Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History and how the last 50 years have turned the clock back on economic equality and progress in America. Andersen and Sam begin their conversation discussing the power of nostalgia and how it took such a hold in American culture after the 60s counterrevolution and civil rights movement. The two continue their conversation discussing the Lewis Powell memo and how corporate leaders wanted to change public sentiment towards corporate capitalism. Sam also explains his appreciation of Andersen’s novel Turn of the Century and Andersen shares how his political attitudes changed during that period at the beginning of the 21st century. Andersen and Sam conclude the conversation as to what lies ahead for younger generations of Americans and how does Joe Biden help usher in change, maybe.