NBC/WSJ Poll: GOP Approval Rating At All Time Low 1

Talking Points Memo


AP Photo / Harry Hamburg
Caitlin MacNeal – October 10, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT36015

Just 24 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of the Republican party, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday.

The survey reflects a record low in approval for the GOP for NBC/WSJ poll, which dates back to 1989.


The tea party is giving anarchism a bad name 1

Washington Post

(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)


In a recent impassioned speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren used the word “anarchy” repeatedly to describe the tea party’s role in the ongoing government shutdown. So did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said on the Senate floor that “anarchists have taken over.”

If only that were true.


Why Golden Dawn is the only Anti-Fascist Party in Greece 1

Excellent article by Greg Palast. I agree with every word.

On September 18, hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas, a.k.a. Killah P, was stabbed outside a bar in Keratsini, Greece. Larry Summers has an air-tight alibi.  But I don’t believe it. Larry didn’t hold the knife: The confessed killer is some twisted member of Golden Dawn, a political party made up of skin-head freaks, anti-immigrant fear-mongers, anti-Muslim/ anti-Semitic/ anti-Albanian sociopaths and ultra-patriot fruitcakes. Think of it as the Tea Party goes Greek.


Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatista Movement: Land, Nationhood, and Autonomy Reply

By Jamie O’Hara and Craig Fitzgerald

 This essay is included in the recently released NATIONAL-ANARCHISM: HEROES AND VILLAINS, edited by Troy Southgate and available from Black Front Press.
By Jamie O’Hara and Craig FitzGerald
In order for decentralized autonomy to flourish, independent communities must be internally cohesive. This tribal unity is the essence of nationalism, and indigenous groups have lived in accordance with the principle for millennia. However, people who are products of a globalized corporate state easily misunderstand this organic nationalism and therefore attack it. But this comes from the confusion of nations with states. The distinction between these two entities cannot be emphasized enough. Ward Churchill successfully expresses this difference, and the indigenous perspective within which he contextualizes his point only elucidates things further:


Leopold Kohr: The first anarcho-pluralist/pan-secessionist? Reply

By Paul Kingsnorth


Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it’s a collapse. The results of half a century of debt-fuelled “growth” are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Neocons in a Nutshell Reply

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

By Larry Gambone


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…