Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston of Attack the System about the decline of liberalism as an oppositional force in America and its transformation into merely a branch of the plutocratic establishment.
Keith Preston (of Attack the System) is interviewed on the subjects of totalitarian humanism and libertarian strategy by Keir Martland (the Friday page editor). Recorded Monday 5th August.
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…
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.
No, they can’t. But we can. It looks like some folks at The American Conservative have been reading AttacktheSystem.Com.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
The widely noted poll showing Democrats are now the biggest cheerleaders for the Surveillance State has conservatives delightedly calling out the left for “hypocrisy,” noting with glee the leftie pundits who denounced George W. Bush’s administration for trampling on our civil liberties and are now defending the Regime against the Snowden–Greenwald revelations. Their liberal targets come out swinging, however, rightly pointing out that that PRISM and the phone collection program originated under George W. Bush’s watch, back when all these born-again civil libertarians of the right were either silent or supportive of these measures.
Is there a Left in America today?
There is, of course, a Left ideology, a Left of the mind, a Left of theory and critique. But is there a Left movement?
Does the Left exist as an oppositional political, cultural or economic force? Is anyone intimidated or restrained by the Left? Is there a counterforce to the grinding machinery neoliberal capitalism and its political managers?
We can and do at CounterPunch and in similar publications, such as Monthly Review and the New Left Review, publish analyses of capitalism and its inherent vulnerabilities, catalogue its predations and wars of military conquest and imperial exploitation. But where is our capacity to confront the daily horrors of drone strikes, kill lists, mass layoffs, pension raids and the looming nightmare of climate change
It is a bitter reality, brought into vivid focus by five years of Obama, that the Left is an immobilized and politically impotent force at the very moment when the economic inequalities engineered by our overlords at Goldman Sachs who manage the global economy, should have recharged a long-moribund resistance movement back to life.
A violent advocate for the death of his nation
But where mainstream conservatism has failed, the independent right has not. Thanks to the Internet, independent voices can find a platform, and independent thinkers can find numerous sources for information and perspectives that are not sanctioned by the explicit left or the loyal opposition of the approved right.
I do not admire Keith Preston or his friend Kevin Carson. They seem to think in utterly unrealistic Romantic terms, such as class. Maybe the main one that I will criticism below is what seemed to be the most used term in the 80 minute talk that Keith Preston gave, a term I have long since loathed viz. pluralism.
Here, to entertain or instruct, is a fairly complete listing of Libertarian Alliance publications from the past few months.
I am pleased to say that our Blog has now been joined by several other contributors, and that it is now easily the most active and intellectually rigorous libertarian blog in Britain. Persistence aside, we have achieved this in a number of ways. First, we insist on good writing. Second, we insist on writing at length. Third we make a point of not moderating comments unless they seem likely to get us into trouble with the authorities. The result is comfort in diversity.
This can be seen to best effect, perhaps, in our extended symposium on the Legacy of Margaret Thatcher. Here, comments range from the savage to the eulogistic. She was always a divisive figure among libertarians, and it would have been ridiculous not to let this be reflected in our coverage. This drew wide attention. My own essays on her were republished in newspapers all over the world, and one of them was reprinted by The Independent.
I have grouped essays roughly in order of theme, though This should be seen as a very rough grouping.
The New Yorker‘s George Packer can’t decide what to think about 21st-century America.
On the one hand, Packer likes developments that enhance the lifestyles of the educated upper middle class: “marriage equality, Lipitor, a black President, Google searches, airbags, novelistic TV shows, the opportunity for women to be as singlemindedly driven as their male colleagues, good coffee, safer cities, cleaner air, photographs of the kids on my phone, anti-bullying, Daniel Day Lewis, cheap communications, smoke-free airplanes, wheelchair parking, and I could go on.” On the other hand, he’s sorry that these benefits aren’t more broadly shared. Life is pretty good in brownstone Brooklyn and its spiritual counterparts. But it’s gotten harder and harder in “urban cores like Youngstown, Ohio; rural backwaters like Rockingham County, North Carolina; and the exurban slums outside Tampa…”
by Jim Goad
I once read that all societies throughout history were consistent in that they deemed it wrong to kill another human being…but they were wildly inconsistent in how they defined the term “human being.”
Such universal contradictions are compounded by the monotheism under which much of the world’s minds have been yoked for millennia, a strange philosophy that posits a God who says “Thou shalt not kill” yet who kills every creature he creates.
We currently have a culturally dominant and largely atheistic left, who never shut the fuck up about how many people have been killed by religion, Nazis, racists, and guns. Yet they’ll try to shout you into silence if you mention how many people that atheistic communistic egalitarians have killed.
by Spencer Pearson
On the 9th of April 1992 the Conservative Party won a general election and with it absolute control of the British state. A feat they have failed to repeat in four attempts over twenty one years. Recently Tory leader More…