One thing that many of my critics on the Left have failed to recognize is that the day will eventually come when the entire spectrum of “right-wing” opinion eventually realizes that there is no hope for using the conventional political system to “reclaim America” for “real Americans,” the working to middle classes, white people, Christians, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, etc. When that happens, they will start to shed their conventional patriotism and start thinking in revolutionary terms. That could go in different ways. The Right could develop a perspective that favors secession, decentralization, localism, regionalism, and mutual self-separation between contending groups. They could come to favor a full-blown civil war. Or they could come to prefer the seizure of power by a Saddam Hussein-like strongman that ostensibly represents their interests. Which of these scenarios do lefties think would actually be most compatible with their own interests?
By Wayne Allensworth
President Trump has taken significant criticism for his recent comments on low-income government housing from a speech in Texas late last month:
You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home… There will be no more low-income housing forced into the suburbs.… It’s been going on for years. I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia.
These comments speak to the current state and local dynamic. Americans, in the past, would move to rural or suburban areas in order to separate from hostile persons, be near those more like themselves, and protect their rights. However, this time-honored American tradition is now threatened by the anti-America forces. For a glimpse into America’s post-2020 future, look no further than the Old Dominion.
Whether or not people are actually oppressed may not be as important politically as whether they think they are oppressed. Some on the right have insisted that many of those involved in the recent uprising “aren’t really oppressed.” Maybe so, maybe not. But they have certainly acted as though they are, which is what has real-world impact. The left may say that those on the right who claim to be oppressed really aren’t. Maybe so, maybe not. But if they act as though they are, consequences will result.
By William S. Lind
The cultural Marxists prate endlessly about “oppressed minorities”. A cynic might reply that it is in the nature of minorities to be oppressed. In reality, this country’s “oppressed” minorities profit mightily from their “victim” status. They get preferential treatment in hiring, boatloads of free money, and rules that allow them to behave badly while paying no penalty. It’s a pretty good racket.
One of the strangest things about early-21st century America is that not minorities, but the White, Christian majority is oppressed–and puts up with it. “Affirmative action” gives places in high-prestige universities, as well as cushy jobs, to blacks and women instead of better-qualified White males. Bakers, florists, and photographers are sued out of business by gays for refusing to violate their religious beliefs and help celebrate gay “weddings”, which are an impossibility. The entertainment industry portrays White Christians in ways that, were blacks so type-cast, would bring howls of outrage. Yet the oppressed White majority just sits there and takes it. Why?
This article provides a pretty good overview of the actual role of ideology in higher education. Noam Chomsky created a minor stir sometime back when he argued that universities are actually “far-right” in reply to the usual complaints about universities being dominated by liberal and left ideologues. However, in the context that Chomsky was speaking, he wasn’t entirely wrong. Universities function basically like this: Science and technology departments conduct the research that is necessary for the maintenance of the military-industrial-complex and the high-tech economy. That is particularly true of schools like MIT where Noam spent most of his career.
Business schools and economics departments generally teach from a neoliberal perspective, which reflects the dominant ruling class ideology, the occasional token libertarians, Marxists, or unreconstructed Keynesians notwithstanding. Technical and professional schools are mostly about churning out skilled workers and technocratic managers. It is only in the humanities and liberal arts departments that liberal and left opinion flourishes. Political science and international relations professors tend to be mostly technocratic centrists, mainstream liberals, left-of-center progressives, with a minority of neocons and occasional libertarians. Traditional humanities fields like history tend to be dominated by left-of-center types (the kinds of folks who would be enthusiastic Obama voters). Education, social work, and social sciences departments tend to be further left, often functioning as seminaries for “progressive activists.”
The craziest SJW types tend to be in “fringe” departments that didn’t exist a few decades ago like gender studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, etc. Some English departments, mass communications programs, and art schools have a large number of these types (mostly because many creative types often have far-left political and social views). “Diversity mania” is found in a wide range of fields, including seeming non-ideological ones like healthcare, although this is more about technocratic management than an ideology per se.
By Jon A. Shields
When concerns over the homogeneity of university faculty are raised, conservatives and liberals tend to hunker down into a battle of grievances. Conservatives point to instances of political bias and the need for “real” diversity in higher education, while liberals remind their conservative opponents of the still-low number of minority professors and the importance of their perspectives. It should be possible to overcome this impasse. Both the right and left tend to define diversity too narrowly and inconsistently, and both would benefit from broadening their appreciation for the value of diversity in higher education.
I suppose Pelosi and Biden might seem to be “far-left” to a Likudnik with Randian economic views like Shapiro, but the reality is that the “far-left” has virtually no influence in US politics. The Democrats are far-right (imperialist) on foreign policy, although they prefer a thicker gloss of liberal internationalism than the neocons’ unilateral militarism. The Democrats are center-right neo-liberals on economics (and on the further right end of neoliberalism, often way to the right of the neoliberal parties in most democratic countries). The Democrats are largely centrist on social issues, and their embrace of “diversity” is merely about meeting the needs of a sophisticated, technocratic state in a technologically-driven, globalized economy. The Democrats embrace diversity for the same reasons Singapore embraces multiculturalism or that Saddam Hussein was a feminist by Middle Eastern standards.
I don’t particularly care for Kyle’s milquetoast social democracy (“the present system but with more free stuff”) but I appreciate his rejection of “culture war” extremism.
This is an interesting scholarly work, although I disagree with it in certain places. It certainly should ruffle a few feathers. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
Although it is mostly accepted that the ideologies of conservatism and anarchism are at the very opposite sides of the political thought spectrum, this paper is based on its own speculation that conservatism and anarchism are based on the same grounds. In fact, apart from sharing same philosophical roots, these two ideologies are establishing a neutral alliance spontaneously on the basis of anarcho-capitalism. As a matter of fact, one step further than alliance, conservatism and anarchism are becoming two sides of the same coin and this new ideology can be labelled as anarchist conservatism. This essay aims to reveal and highlight the characteristics of this new ideology in a critical manner.
The list of overlapping ideas between anarchism and traditional European conservative that the article presents is interesting. I’ve often been asked how anarchist like myself became associated with tendencies like the European New Right or the American paleoconservatives (a friend once called me a “synthesist-anarchist paleoconservative”). Here is the answer:
The Similarities of Anarchism and Conservatism:
• Attack on Modernism
• Resistance to human progress
• Attack on Enlightenment
• Attack on Nation States
• Attack on modern state
The main problem with the Left is that it always becomes the Right once in power. This article by Matt Taibbi illustrates very well why I am completely indifferent to domestic American politics. The Red Tribe and the Blue Tribe deserve each other every bit as much as the competing teams of Salafists in the Middle East or the various combatants in the English Civil War or the Thirty Years War. And virtually all of what passes for the “radical left” or “radical right” is merely a parody of one or the other major tribe.
By Matt Taibbi
In August, 2005, Rolling Stone sent me to cover a freak show. In a small Pennsylvania town called Dover, residents contrived to insert a sentence about teaching “intelligent design” into the curriculum, and fought for its right to do so in an extravagantly-covered trial in the “big city” capital of Harrisburg.
Dover’s school board president, Alan Bonsell, was a fundamentalist who believed God shaped man from dust. It was said Bonsell would stand at his window at night, wondering, as he gazed at the stars, at the intervening hand of God. “If you can’t see that, you’re just not thinking clearly,” he said. His wife supposedly told him he looked like Chuck Norris.
The bureaucratic atmosphere Bonsell presided over was not kind to the eggheads trying to teach. When the head of the district’s science department, Bertha Spahr, begged the board not to promote “intelligent design,” listing past Supreme Court decisions about religion in classrooms, another fundamentalist board member named Bill Buckingham – an ex-cop who wore a lapel pin in the shape of both a Christian cross and an American flag – shouted her down. “Where did you get your law degree?” he snapped. Author Laurie Lebo in the book The Devil in Dover described what happened next:
What does Socialism even mean at this point? Socialism has gone through various reinventions of meaning and their is no canonical agreed upon meaning of the word today. Todd Lewish is joined by Keith Preston, Swithun Dobson and Terminal Philosophy to discuss what does Socialism even mean?
A small fringe leftist party provided the bowels in which the neocons were originally spawned. The story of how former socialists achieved ideological hegemony in the American political class with the assistance of right-wing plutocrats is a rather interesting one to say the least. Only sectors of the paleo-right and some far-leftists are aware of this.
Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA) is a small political association of democratic socialists and social democrats founded in 1972. The Socialist Party of America (SPA) had stopped running independent presidential candidates and consequently the term party in the SPA’s name had confused the public. Replacing Socialist with Social Democrats, SDUSA clarified its vision to Americans who confused social democracy with the ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which SDUSA opposes.
The Wikipedia profile of our ultimate enemies, or at least a major faction of them.
Neoconservatism is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among liberal hawks who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party, and the growing New Left and counterculture, in particular the Vietnam protests. Some also began to question their liberal beliefs regarding domestic policies such as the Great Society.
Neoconservatives typically advocate the promotion of democracy and interventionism in international affairs, including peace through strength (by means of military force) and are known for espousing disdain for communism and political radicalism. Critics of neoconservatism have used the term to describe foreign policy and war hawks who support aggressive militarism or neo-imperialism.
This is an old document that was prepared by the California state government back in the 1950s during the height of the Cold War. It predictably contains the usual hysteria of the time but the description it provides of Marxist-Leninist organizational strategies and tactics is largely accurate. Take out the word “Communist” and put in “neocon” and much of US politics can be explained.
Calisphere, University of California
The front tactic was conceived by Lenin and implemented by Willi Muenzenberg. In 1902 Lenin advocated the use of this device, calling the non-Communist groups “transmission belts” through which the Party will was adroitly imposed upon the masses without their knowledge. Stalin carried on the idea, and in 1926 the Executive Committee of the Comintern encouraged the establishment of fronts throughout the world.
A New Republic article from January 2020 following the Suleimani assassination. Probably the most important thing that is happening in US politics right now is something that almost no one is aware of which is the present effort by the neocons to put themselves back in charge of US foreign policy. In recent times, I have noticed that the neocons seem to be waging an “all-fronts” war to reclaim the ideological hegemony they achieved during the George W. Bush administration. They are successfully embedding themselves in the Trump administration’s foreign policy apparatus. Bolton may have been fired for being too uppity. If there is one thing Trump can’t stand it is someone with an ego bigger than his own. But inner-circle neocons like Elliot Abrams have now successfully achieved important positions in the administration and neocon allies like Pompeo hold the highest level positions.
Both Marxists and radical libertarians like Antony Sutton pointed out how Roosevelt was not a “traitor to his class” but a friend of the power elite who wished to preserve the position of the ruling class against insurgent populist, labor, farmer, socialist, communist, and fascist movements that were developing on the margins of US politics at the time. He merely represented the reformist and nascent managerialist wing of the capitalist class. Roosevelt is generally disliked by Marxists because he blocked the achievement of socialism in the US, by reactionary conservatives because he presided over the overthrow of the old bourgeoisie by managerial capitalism, and by libertarians because he was a statist.
It’s interesting that the neocons are now waging a multi-front battle to regain the control they had during the Bush years: colonizing the Democrats and Never Trumpers, while embedding themselves in Trumpism at the same time, and simultaneously creating a Rainbow Right while continuing to pander to the evangelical and nativist right. Irving Kristol’s son William and long time Kristol family associate George Will are the de facto intellectual leaders of the neocon Never Trumpers who are colonizing the Democrats, with Norman Podhoretz and Midge Dector’s son-in-law Elliot Abrams running Trump’s Iran and Venezuela policies. The neocon-backed #WalkAway movement is being pushed by neocons like Dennis Prager, Ben Shapiro and David Horowitz, and neocon toadies like Dave Rubin and Charlie Kirk, while Dinesh S’zouza and the FAUX New types continue to work the evangelical and/or nativist angle.
Krystal Ball and Emily Jashinsky react to President Trump’s decision to name Elliott Abrams as the administration’s special representative to Iran. Abrams, who serves as the special representative to Venezuela, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 as part of the Iran-Contra affair.
Many people are regrettably confused about what gets passed off as “leftism” in the USA. Historically, the original “left” were the classical liberals of the 18th century who favored republicanism over absolute monarchies. In this sense, virtually all Americans are “leftists” even Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. In the 19th century, “leftism” came to be associated with European socialism, communism, and left-anarchism in their various forms. Very, very few Americans actually subscribe to these ideologies in any serious way and never have. America has always been the epitome of a “liberal” nation and still is.
What gets called “leftism” today in the US is progressivism (or, alternately, progressive-liberalism or reform-liberalism), which has nothing to do with historic socialism except in the incidental sense of simply being interested in “social reform.” American-style progressivism is about using the public administration state (see the post adjacent to this one) as a means of achieving social ends. An exploration of the ideas of classical progressives from 100 years ago shows that they have essentially the same ideology as today’s progressives, except they have done an about-face on race and immigration by shedding the eugenics-influenced pathological racism of the past and embracing pathological anti-racism (which often ends up resembling traditional racism) in its place.
FOX News “conservatives” have a habit of referring to everything they don’t like as “socialism” (usually taken to mean any kind of government involvement in the economy, particularly if it is supposedly intended to help the disadvantaged). But the American public administration state has nothing to do with socialism, whether the historic 19th-century kind or the 20th-century totalitarian kind. The concept of the modern public administration state has its roots in the Prussian bureaucracy that was developed at the onset of modernity, and which was imported into the United States by Progressive Era intellectuals like Herbert Croly and politicians like Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
Historically, “socialism” was largely just a euphemism for “social reform” and included middle-class do-gooders, proponents of utopian communes, labor union organizers, and, in its more radical version, an economy based on worker, community, municipal, or cooperative ownership or control of the means of production (like libertarian socialism, guild socialism, syndicalism, or left-anarchism, broadly defined). An extremist version of classical socialism was based on the idea of a revolutionary dictatorship modeled on the French Revolution. This was the socialism of figures like Louis Blanc and, later, Lenin.
Given that the Republican “base” of older white evangelicals and nativists is rapidly shrinking, I’ve often wondered where the GOP would get their replacement constituency from. It appears this #WalkAway movement may be part of their effort to “elect a new people” (Bertolt Brecht). #WalkAway seems to be an effort to recruit liberals, leftists, moderates, left-libertarians, minorities, women, LGBTQs, Jews, immigrants, Muslims, and atheists (all of the usual Democratic constituencies) away from “leftism” (defined as the “Democratic Party”) toward Republicanism. What I find most interesting about this movement is that it seems to be trying to create a “Rainbow Right” which embraces the standard American Horatio Alger mythology and American exceptionalism (with paeons to the “special relationship” with “the only democracy in the Middle East”). In other words, it’s the perfect neocon scam to steer liberals and leftists discouraged by SJWism and totalitarian humanism toward the Republicans as opposed to an actual anti-System perspective. This is just recycled David Horowitzism, Dennis Pragerism, Dave Rubinism, and Dinesh D’Souzaism. Watch out for this stuff.
Fragmentation among the ruling class parties is a good thing. More “squad” folks, please.
A classic work featuring essays by ex-Communists that was originally published in the 1950s. Today’s totalitarian humanists are going to produce a whole new generation of “god that failed” types and already appears to be doing so. The danger is that they will go the Sidney Hook, Frank Meyer, Irving Kristol, Arthur Koestler, etc. route and become right-wing reactionaries or stooges for state-capitalism and imperialism from the “right” rather than from the “left.” Pathetically, many of these types were even supporting the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
Former SJWs are interviewed by Gavin McInness. What I find most interesting about this is how closely it resembles the various atheist podcasts featuring former religious fundamentalists and cult members talking about how they “walked away.” In fact, years ago, there was a newsletter for former evangelicals called “Walk Away.”Although what I find troubling and unfortunate is that many of these people seem to be embracing Republicanism or neoliberalism in some form, just like many former religious fundamentalists will ironically become fanatical SJWs, and just as many former Communists during the Stalin era because ultra-right-wing reactionaries and/or neocons. I don’t really consider SJWism to be “Marxism” per se, but what we need is to emphasize the writings of Stirner, Proudhon, Bakunin, Goldman, Berkman, and other anarchist critics of authoritarian leftism, as an antidote to both SJWism and its counterparts on the right.
This is an excellent interview. Chomsky really puts the phenomenon of Trumpism in context in this interview. In recent years, Chomsky has at times gone off the deep end with hyperbolic comments but he doesn’t drop the ball in this one. It is good to hear Chomsky distinguishing Trump’s pro-plutocratic authoritarianism from fascism’s cult of the state, and Sanders’ New Dealism from Marxism.
Imagine if Israel’s Likud Party and El Salvador’s ARENA relocated to America, united as a single party, and then adopted Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi as their leader, and you have a near-perfect picture of what the Republicans actually are. The Republic Party ultimately cares about only three things: the class interests of the right-wing of the ruling class, the profit margins of the arms merchants, and the expansionist agendas of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
It’s interesting to see (comparatively) fringe people being elected to Congress. Look for more of this in the future from both Left and Right. A Congress full of social democrats and QAnon types would be hilarious, although the ruling class would still control things from the top.
PragerU more or less epitomizes what gets passed off as contemporary American “conservatism,” which is basically a defense of the hegemony of the remnants of the 19th-century industrial bourgeoisie, American exceptionalism, the traditional American civil religion, and a defense of the American empire, plus paeons to the American know-nothing tradition and low church evangelicalism, with postwar right-wing Zionism being added into the mix. There is much of intellectual value in the European conservative tradition and within aspects of the American conservative tradition (e.g. Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Albert Jay Nock, Richard Weaver, etc.) even if one ultimately rejects its conclusions. But this crap isn’t it. The Chomsky video at the bottom of this post gets it right. This is the kind of popular-level “conservatism” that gets passed off among reasonably intelligent people at the lay level, who are largely dupes for the right-wing of the ruling class.