The Panthers Were Right and Reagan Was Wrong on Gun Control 1

By Anthony Gregory

I suppose it takes a true radical these days to question the progressive’s sacred cow: Ronald Reagan. You read that right. This paradigm of modern conservatism was one of the most important American champions of gun control in recent decades, and so he has become a convenient talking point for liberals who want to argue that even Ronald Reagan favored strict gun laws.

And indeed, he did—all throughout his political career. As president he used executive order to ban the importation of certain shotguns, and later he threw his weight behind the Brady Bill and 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.

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Keith Preston Still Doesn’t Get It: A Reply to a Reply Reply

By Todd Lewis

Read the original critique by Mr. Lewis and the responding podcast here.

Mr. Preston, thank you for wrestling with my work and giving me a voice, as well as for being open-minded in dealing with these subjects. However, I believe that your response was misdirected in many respects. I will first begin with what I agreed with in your podcast and then explain why I think your arguments were misdirected.

I do agree that Lincoln’s Republican Party and today’s Republican Party are leftist, and in Lincoln’s day the Democrats were actually conservative. I agree that Marx’s heaven on earth shares similarities with Christian postmillennialism. Yet I fail to see the point of connecting Marxism with Christianity. On the one hand, Communism is a form of godless apostate Christianity, positing a heaven on earth without God; but Communism’s stated goal was the destruction of Christianity, so they really are not similar in any important sense. Marxism preaches hate, genocide and oppression, whereas Christ preached love, peace and righteousness. I also agree that universalism comes out of Christianity, but what does that prove? Even liberalism, which you also endorse, has universalist tendencies. Liberalism and Totalitarianism are both universalist in scope and both have roots in Christianity, yet in and of itself this proves little.

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What Happened to the Anti-War Movement? Reply

This is what I have been saying for the past 15 years.

By  David Sirota

A mere 72 hours after President Obama delivered an encomium honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, he announced his intention to pound yet another country with bombs. The oxymoron last week was noteworthy for how little attention it received. Yes, a president memorialized an anti-war activist who derided the U.S. government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” Then that same president quickly proposed yet more violence—this time in Syria.

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Progressives, Tea Party United to Oppose Syria War Reply

By Jason Ditz

Congressional war votes are usually secured by support from both parties’ leadership and their ability to coax the rank-and-file to go along with them. This time, that seems set to fail, as the leadership has jumped on the war bandwagon but failed to get much of anything in the way of support.

It’s not coincidental that the failure of the war rhetoric is happening in both parties, but rather reflects a growing unity among Progressive Democrats and the Tea Party Republicans, each of which is more than willing to stand up to the party’s leadership, and stand with an American public that polls show is also opposed to war.

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The Neocons in a Nutshell Reply

Larry Gambone had the neocons figured out in this article from 2003.

By Larry Gambone

DEMOCRACY

There is much braying about “democracy” in the neocon press. The reality is however, that this ideology is founded upon   the idea of restricting democracy and not increasing it. Samuel Huntington’s statement in  1976 to the Trilateral Commission, that there was “too much democracy”  and that it needed to be reigned in to allow the elites a freer hand, can be seen as a
seminal neocon concept of “democracy”.

In practice the neocons limit democracy in the following ways: a. through centralization of governmental power at the federal level b. concentration of local government into larger units c. curbing  the power of juries d. replacement of common law with statute law e. weakening of constitutional rights through “special legislation”  (i.e. drug laws(“search and seizure”)
anti-terrorism laws etc. f. making participation in elections too expensive for anyone other than elite g. restricting political choice to two parties with   the same ideology and marginalizing alternative viewpoints. h. centralizing and controlling mass media. i. Continual propaganda against democratic reforms like proportionality, recall, referendum and decentralization.

The Neocon concept of democracy is the unrestricted rule of contending elite factions. Everything beyond the interests of the elite is marginalized. Their concept of democracy is Jacobin in  the sense that state power is unlimited, unrestricted by tradition, common law, or constitutional limits. The state may do anything the elite wishes.

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Neocons Are Back—But Not in the GOP Reply

I have long suspected the neoconservatives would move leftward as the GOP’s electoral fortunes declined. As they are in the process of being eclipsed by the liberal internationalist/cultural Marxist alliance, they’re looking towards the Democrats and saying, “Hey, wait for us!”

By Kelley Vlahos

Gage Skidmore / cc

After years of what seemed to be a self-imposed dormancy, the war hawks Barack Obama repudiated as a candidate are suddenly the biggest supporters of his Syrian intervention, proving there might be a second act for the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party after all.

But the new friendship comes with a catch: Obama’s Republican spear points, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, want an extended American intervention in Syria—beginning with the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. So far, the administration is only asking Congress to pursue limited air strikes in Syria: no regime change.

The question is whether the hawks have the clout to push the issue, or whether this time they’ll be sidelined by a growing anti-interventionism within the GOP. Either way, their surrogates are pulling out the stops, warning that anything less than a fatal blow to Assad would embolden Iran, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda, and cripple American credibility throughout the rest of the world.

“They’re kind of like the terminator, they just don’t die,” says Michael Lofgren, who worked on Capitol Hill as a defense budget analyst for 30 years before retiring and writing The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted in 2012.

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The Foreign Policy of Totalitarian Humanism Reply

By Sean Scallon

In a telling anecdote from President Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993, one attending Democrat looked up to watch the Air Force’s fighter jet fly-over and remarked: “Those are our F-15s now.” There was hardly a nationalist Left back then, as many liberals and those even further Left had spent the better part of two decades alienated from the institutions, symbols, and instruments of U.S. power and influence. Over the succeeding two decades, however, we have seen a muscular Left nationalism rise to set liberal foreign policy, and begin to set the Democratic agenda here at home.

Nationalism and patriotism were hard sells to a generation of the disenchanted Left, thanks to the Vietnam War and revelations of assassinations both attempted and successful, coups, and more nefarious activities carried out by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. There was “Cold War liberalism” for a time, but it rarely if ever made vulgar attempts at jingoism to sell its policies to the wider public. Cold War liberalism always argued to work in concert with the international system that it had helped create. Such jingoism was instead often used by the Right, especially after the Liberal crack-up of the late 1960s when the Cold War liberals became isolated in the halls of the liberal power elite, cut off and opposed to their party’s activists on the Vietnam War, the size of military budget, nuclear weapons, U.S involvement in Central and South America, direct military action in placed like Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the first Gulf War and other foreign policy issues.

What changed the American Left was power, pure and simple.

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Where Right-Libertarianism Goes Wrong Reply

Article by Andrew Kerr.

Libertarianism is, in theory, no defender of the rich and powerful who must always be subject to market competition. As a libertarian who has engaged in countless classroom and online debates, I’ve often asked myself why other people cannot see that. However, I’ve come to understand the reasoning behind the intuitive criticism from the Left that libertarianism is about maintaining current power structures. Libertarianism should not be an apologia for the rich and the status quo – but, on reflection, I have to concede that it is. The issue is not with the theory and ideology of a free market, but problems arise when we deem current economic structures to be reflective of a genuine free-market (and therefore legitimate) when in reality our market economy is rigged by the state on many levels. This is what Roderick Long refers to as ‘conflationism.’ Libertarianism is based upon solid intellectual and theoretical foundations of how a free-market society should operate, but when these free-market arguments are applied to defend the corrupt, cronyist, corporate state rigged market capitalism we have at present, the effect is not to support a free market, it is merely to excuse rent-seeking corporations that are beholden to state power.

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Why Is the U.S. More Divided Today Than It’s Been In 80 Years? Reply

Let the division continue.

By Robert Reich

Why is the nation more bitterly divided today than it’s been in 80 years? Why is there more anger, vituperation, and political polarization now than even during Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the tempestuous struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the divisive Vietnam war, or the Watergate scandal?

If anything, you’d think this would be an era of relative calm. The Soviet Union has disappeared and the Cold War is over. The Civil Rights struggle continues, but at least we now have a black middle class and even a black president. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been controversial, the all-volunteer army means young Americans aren’t being dragged off to war against their will. And although politicians continue to generate scandals, the transgressions don’t threaten the integrity of our government as did Watergate.

And yet, by almost every measure, Americans are angrier today. They’re more contemptuous of almost every major institution — government, business, the media. They’re more convinced the nation is on the wrong track. And they are far more polarized.

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What is “Fascism”? Reply

This is an interesting discussion of what the intellectual foundations of fascism actually are from Matthew Lyons’ blog. For those who don’t know, Lyons is very critical of ARV-ATS but this is good stuff. I’m sure our linking to a far left anti-fascist site will also increase accusations of fascism against ourselves for some reason or other.

Read the discussion at Three Way Fight.

I guess you could say ARV-ATS is involved in a four-way fight: Against the liberal-democratic state-capitalist system but also against fascism and communism to the degree these present a credible threat, possess the military capabilities to impose a worse system than we have now, or hold actual state power.

Of course, anarcho-pluralism, anarcho-populism, pan-anarchism, etc have nothing to do with fascism, communism, or capitalism, but are about decentralizing political and economic power in a way that moves beyond all of these older ideologies.

Kill All Neocons Now! Reply

Article by Kelley B. Vlahos

In most Hollywood horror franchises we know that the villains – take your Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, or your rakish Freddy Krueger – always come back. No matter what painful death or injury felled them in the previous romp, an endless string of potential victims means room for one more film. Make that 17 more.

The neoconservative war doctrine of aggressive military force and self-serving regime change did not die after the failed wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, which proponents pushed with an enthusiasm not equaled since the world tilted on its axis and Freddy met Jason in an epic hack-off.  No, the neocons went nearly dormant (there is a Bram Stoker trope here, somewhere), reduced really, to sniping at Obama, but more or less biding their time until the next opportunity to manipulate global affairs in the Middle East.

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Rothbard and the Libertarian Populists 1

By David D’Amato

Recent weeks have seen much speculation by pundits about the nature of “libertarian populism.” For those who regard all of libertarianism as an ideological whitewash for plutocracy, libertarian populism is clearly a matter of pulling the wool over the eyes of the common man. To those on the other side of the debate, who are no less chronically obsessed with electoral politics, libertarian populism is the GOP’s pathway back to relevance and viability. Here, however, I would like to offer a compendious introduction to a libertarian populism very different from both of these variants, and one informed instead by the insights of Austrian School libertarians such as Murray Rothbard.

The pivot point of libertarian populism is its hostility toward the cronyism that presently characterizes the political economy of the United States. Relationships between powerful elites in government and industry have, libertarian populists argue, cemented into an immovable and perennial force that creates privilege for the few at the expense of the many — hence, libertarian populism. More…

Why They Hate Rand Paul Reply

By Justin Raimondo

The rise of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) as an alternative to Bush era GOP dead-enders has the two principal anti-libertarian factions in American politics snarling and spitting in fury – and real fear.

The progressives – in the drivers’ seat at the moment – are especially miffed that this upstart ophthalmologist, and son of Ron Paul, has become a pole of attraction not only for libertarians and their conservative fellow-travelers, but for a growing number of their own liberal-leftie base. More…

The Party of Wilson, Wiretaps, and War Reply

By John R. MacArthur

merican democracy now seems to be dead. Yet while party bosses backed by billionaires and corporate lobbyists snuff out any effort at serious reform, and President Obama prevaricates on all the great issues of the day, two vital national arguments have erupted that might force our political elites and somnolent Congress into a genuine debate.

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The Farm Bill & ‘Libertarian Populism’: Can the GOP be pro-worker and anti-government? Reply

No, they can’t. But we can. It looks like some folks at The American Conservative have been reading AttacktheSystem.Com.

By W. James Antle III

One step forward, two steps back. The Republican Party is like an alcoholic in recovery, with periods of sobriety punctuated by long, destructive benders as it once again falls off the wagon.

In June, a critical mass of House conservatives helped vote down a nearly $1 trillion farm bill that merged all the protectionism and cronyism that dominates modern agriculture policy with the worst excesses of the food stamp program.

Republican leaders were reportedly very unhappy, but the sweetheart deals for the sugar industry and federal crop insurance program are two corporate welfare programs that are totally counterproductive for the taxpayer. Moreover, while it may make political sense to link food stamps and farm subsidies, the economic justification is less obvious.

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Where Keith Preston Falls Short: A Critique from the Right 31

What follows is a letter I received from a reader, Mr. Todd Lewis. I believe this to be the most accurate yet thorough critique of my own work issued to date. It is certainly the most thorough critique I have received from the Right, and makes an excellent counterpart to Matthew Lyons’ critique from the Left which was issued a couple years ago. While the Lyons critique was quite good,  I believe Mr. Lewis has surpassed Lyons is his level of comprehension of my own ideas and level of penetrating analysis. I take my hat off to him.

Mr. Preston,

I have kept track of your work for a couple of years, and while I respect certain aspects of your work, which I will list, I have found a certain level of hypocrisy and irrationality in your work. You spend a fair amount of your time criticizing the contradictions and hypocrisy of the so-called Neo-Conservatives and Socialist Democrats and their so-called political disputes, when both are really just state socialists; one wanting socialism for corporations and the other socialism for special interest groups. Such criticism is justified and valid. However I see a similar hypocrisy and inconsistency in some of your work.

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Young self-described ‘conservatives’ underestimate their liberalism Reply

By Eric W. Dolan

Public polls and voter registrations may be underestimating the number of liberals and independents in the United States. Young conservatives believe they are more conservative than they actually are, according to a study published June 13 in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Ethan Zell of the University of North Carolina and Michael J. Bernstein of Pennsylvania State University, the authors of the study, said conservatives could be more prone to biased self-perceptions because they tend to exhibit higher levels of in-group loyalty.

“Conservatives value group loyalty more than liberals,” Zell told PsyPost. “We assumed that this desire for loyalty might lead conservatives to see themselves as more representative members of the Republican Party than would be reflected by their attitudes on specific issues. Thus, conservative young adults might want to see themselves as typical or true Republicans, when their attitudes suggest that they are really only slightly conservative or even independent.”

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Blue State Fascism Reply

By Justin Raimondo

Amid all the drama over Edward Snowden‘s flight from “justice” – the media stakeout at a Moscow airport, the smear campaign aimed not only at Snowden but at Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke the PRISM/eavesdropping story, and the obsessive media focus on Snowden as a personality – the really interesting aspect of all this is how it will impact our politics.

This is what made the Sunday talk shows illuminating, for a change – aside from the fact that neither John McCain nor Lindsey Graham was to be seen or heard that morning. While Greenwald’s appearance on “Meet the Press,” and his priceless smackdown of regimist spokesman David Gregory, has gotten all the attention, that same day over at ABC, George Stephanopoulos was giving the neocons their turn at bat in the person of Dan Senor, former spokesman for George W. Bush and now a big wazoo over a the Foreign Policy Initiative, successor to Bill Kristol’s infamous Project for a New American Century.

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The left turns compliant on violating civil liberties Reply

By Dana Milbank

Where have all the liberals gone?

President Obama, who as a Democratic senator accused the Bush administration of violating civil liberties in the name of security, now vigorously defends his own administration’s collection of Americans’ phone records and Internet activities.

Hundreds of people marched to the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong on Saturday in support of Edward Snowden, an American citizen who leaked top-secret information about U.S. surveillance programs.

Hundreds of people marched to the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong on Saturday in support of Edward Snowden, an American citizen who leaked top-secret information about U.S. surveillance programs.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he thinks Congress has done sufficient intelligence oversight. His evidence? Opinion polls.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi defended the programs’ legality and said she wants Edward Snowden prosecuted for leaking details of the secret operations.

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