Losers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose because you’re already losers.
By Ann Sterzinger
If you’re a digital native, you probably have no idea what genuine loneliness is. Before you get off my lawn, let me finesse that (oh, god, Ann, finessing anything on the Internet is always your first mistake): back during the analog age, if you were a freak or a weirdo, you were a freak or a weirdo. Period. That was it. No way out. No online community of equally gothy souls. Even if you went to some big nice suburban high school, you weren’t going to do much better than being Duckie from Pretty in Pink.
The downside of this is that you were sad.
The upside of this is that you learned to live with the various feelings you get when no one else will back up or even understand your thoughts and opinions.
Weirdos got used to being weirdos. And after a while, we liked it. When we finally escaped home and found the other oddballs in a slightly larger town, we tended to cobble punk rock scenes or the like out of whomever happened to be in the immediate area. Which meant that restricting your social life to people with your own politics or taste or thoughts was fucking impossible; you settled for hanging out with anyone who thought anything at all instead of shuffling through life like quiet sheep.
This speech might have just as well been delivered by a member of the Bloods and titled, “Anti-Cripism and the Bloods’ Fear of Power.” Although it’s probably more appropriate to compare this stuff to “Ghostbusters” than to street gangs. Increasingly, I am leaning toward the view that the key to developing a new kind of radicalism is cultivating the ability to break out of these cultic paradigms.
Neither West nor East. Against all imperialisms. Neither Left nor Right. Against all states. Neither Red nor Blue. Peace between all tribes. Neither State nor Corporation. Against the power elite in all its manifestations. Neither Alt-Right nor Antifa. Against all authoritarians.
By Maximillian Alvarez
This article has been adapted from a talk delivered at Purdue University on April 18, 2018, hosted by the Purdue chapter of the Campus Antifascist Network.
In the United States today people tend to squirm with profound discomfort, if not sneer with outright revulsion, when they hear talk of “antifascism.” It is, by most accounts, a dirty word. That alone should be proof enough that we desperately need it.
It is fascinating to observe the kind of paranoia that is now being disseminated by the Western elites in the face of the rising though very modest challenges that are now being presented by the BRICS-Shia-Global South alliance in international relations, and by left/right populist tendencies within Western nations. It seems the neoliberal ruling classes are working to invent a New Cold War. They tried once before with the “War on Terrorism.” But nobody outside the realm of FOX News junkies was buying that. So they came up with an enemy that wine and cheese liberals and “progressive activists” could hate as well, with Russia as the supposed headquarters of “world fascism,” allegedly sponsoring insurgent fascist regimes, parties, and movements all over the world. Joe McCarthy would be proud.
But while the far-right may be losing influence, the so-called “alt-lite” isn’t. This loosely connected movement of groups and individuals doesn’t outwardly emphasize racism and bigotry in the same way the far-right does. Instead, they focus on the “dangers” posed to free speech, and how political correctness, feminism, and identity politics are destroying the West.
Some hysterical hand-wringing from the ruling class press over Italy. Maybe some of these Antifa guys can start writing for the Financial Times.
By Wolfgang Muchau
Comparing today’s populists and nationalists to the Nazis and fascists of 80 or 90 years ago is pointless. But I see much clearer parallels between the fall of Germany’s Weimar Republic and the vulnerability of Europe’s liberal elites. Some of the current defenders of the liberal order are making the same mistake as, for example, the German Centre party of the early 1930s, by underestimating the scale of the threat that they face. Harold James, a professor of history at Princeton University, has recently given us 10 reasons why our political systems today share some of the self-destructive characteristics of the Weimar Republic. One is the strength of the economic shock. Another is an excessive optimism about the power of constitutions to protect the system. I would like to offer some additional thoughts on the role of complacent narratives — the stories we tell each other that make us feel better. As a commentator on eurozone affairs, for example, I keep hearing that an Italian exit from the euro cannot happen because it is not allowed. Italy’s constitution, for example, makes it impossible for a government to rescind international treaties by referendum. This argument not only overestimates the power of constitutional law to protect us from illegal acts by governments, as Prof James pointed out. It also ignores the circumstances under which a country would leave the eurozone. All its government would need to do is engineer a financial crisis, declare force majeure, and introduce a parallel currency over a long bank holiday weekend. There is nothing in the Italian constitution to prevent a financial crisis or to stop a government from giving people the means to buy food.
Back in the early 2000s, I was writing about how a resurgent Russia might eventually being to lead an alliance of resistance to the Western axis, and how the emergence of populism from both the left and right might challenge the neoliberal Western ruling classes. It seems to be happening, though in a way that is a long way from presenting an real threat to the hegemony of neoliberalism.
By Robert W. Merry
The American Conservative
Italy is wrapped up these days in the efforts of its two strongest political parties to forge a coalition government. Presumably they will succeed, though whether the resulting civic structure will have any staying power remains an open question. But in terms of the broad political trends in Italy, Europe, and the entire West (including the United States), it doesn’t really matter much. Whatever happens with the emerging Italian government, Italy has set itself upon a new course. It’s the path of populism, fueled by many things but primarily by the West’s immigration crisis.
William Galston offered an interesting insight into all this the other day in a piece in The New Republic. Galston, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, wasn’t writing about Italian politics but rather about the turn towards populism in Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orban. But he had a broader point. “The global democratic tide,” he wrote, “which began in 1974 with the end of Portugal’s authoritarian regime, crested in 2006, making way for anti-democratic populists. Many Western leaders have yet to come to terms with this new reality, hoping that anti-immigrant sentiment is just a passing phenomenon.”
Galston derided the tendency of Barack Obama, when he was president, to dismiss ideas and movements he opposed as being “on the wrong side of history.” No, said Galston, history “has no ‘side,’ no ‘end,’ and no immanent tendency to move in a particular direction.”
One of the best articles on the neocons I have seen to date.
By Srdja Trifkovic
Eleven years ago I wrote a column for the print edition of Chronicles under this title. Tom Piatak’s grim reminder of the continued destructive presence of this cabal in what passes for the commentariat in today’s America has prompted me to dig into my old files and recap for our readers the historical and ideological roots of neoconservatism. The 2004 diagnosis, reproduced here in an abbreviated form, still stands.
The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have morphed into a new, closely related life form. It is pointed out that many early neocons—including The Public Interest founder Irving Kristol and coeditor Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, and Albert Wohlstetter—belonged to the anti-Stalinist far left in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that their successors, including Joshua Muravchik and Carl Gershman, came to neoconservatism through the Socialist Party at a time when it was Trotskyite in outlook and politics. As early as 1963 Richard Hofstadter commented on the progression of many ex-Communists from the paranoid left to the paranoid right, clinging all the while to the fundamentally Manichean psychology that underlies both. [Half a century] later the dominant strain of neoconservatism is declared to be a mixture of geopolitical militarism and “inverted socialist internationalism.”
Blanket depictions of neoconservatives as redesigned Trotskyites need to be corrected in favor of a more nuanced analysis. In several important respects the neoconservative world outlook has diverged from the Trotskyite one and acquired some striking similarities with Stalinism and German National Socialism. Today’s neoconservatives share with Stalin and Hitler an ideology of nationalist socialism and internationalist imperialism. The similarities deserve closer scrutiny and may contribute to a better understanding of the most influential group in the U.S. foreign policy-making community.
Paul Gottfried is interviewed by Tom Woods. Listen here. For those who are unfamiliar with Paul Gottfried’s work, he is well worth checking out. Probably the best right-wing critic of the Left out there. You don’t have to be a right-winger to get something out of his work.
Is there such a thing as “cultural Marxism”? If so, what is it? And what was the Frankfurt School, and what was it trying to accomplish? Paul Gottfried, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale and has written extensively on these subjects, joins me to get to the bottom of it all.
About the Guest
Paul Gottfried is professor emeritus of humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.
Ep. 977 Left, Right, and Charlottesville, with Paul Gottfried Ep. 947 Divided Republicans, Unified Democrats, and Our Future Ep. 889 The Biases of Historians, Beneath a Magnifying Glass Ep. 862 The Alt Right Ep. 650 Fascism: The Career of a Concept Ep. 574 Neocon Says Word Neoconservative Is Outdated Now; I Remain Unmoved Ep. 496 Wilsonianism: The Legacy That Won’t Die Ep. 386 What Fascism Is, and Why It Isn’t Just a Name for Everything People May Oppose Ep. 87 World War I: Sleepwalk to Suicide
CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”
Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.
Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.
Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.
A reader on Facebook offers the following comments, and asks the following questions.
I’m not so sure how realistic sustained statelessness is without severe technological regression and economic collapse, but the obvious answer is that the vast majority of people would rather bask in the lazy comforts of delegated responsibility than take on the burdens and risks of freedom. The mantle of anarchism is often taken up as an immature pose that is rationalized after the fact, usually quite badly, before being discarded with age for whatever underlying tribal affiliation existed in the first place. It’s a knee-jerk rebellion against constraints on the self, for good or ill, and a justification for engaging in unreasonable or criminal behaviors whose motives are ultimately more personal than political.
Is “the Left” eating itself? Watch the Unsafe Space Tour panel discussion at New York Law School, featuring Professors Bret Weinstein, Laura Kipnis, Angus Johnston, and author Brendan O’Neill. Moderated by Tom Slater (of Spiked Magazine).
There is quite a bit I disagree with in this article, but it is good to see someone from the Left arguing that anti-imperialism should be a priority issue.
By Noah Berlatsky
“I just feel like I had my best girlfriend break up with me,” Alex Jones declared in a live rant last month during the American bombing of Syria. “I will tell Trump that you really betrayed your family and your name, and everything you stood for with this horse manure.”
Dave goes back and forth with protesters during his entire speech to students at the University of New Hampshire. Due to security threats the University moved the venue from a 300 seat room to a 7500 seat hockey rink – without informing all of the attendees. This event was hosted by Turning Point USA.
f you want to know why the left keeps losing, look no further than the fallout from last Sunday’s ‘Day for Freedom’ march in London. The event was publicised as a protest against the ongoing erosion of free speech in the UK, most notably through the increasingly draconian application of hate-speech laws. The man behind the march was Tommy Robinson, former leader of the EDL, who took umbrage at being permanently banned from Twitter for his incendiary remarks about Islam. Before long, a number of prominent right-wing activists offered their support, and even without mainstream media coverage the attendance figures were in the thousands.
How is it that the principle of free speech, the bedrock of any democratic society, has been claimed by the right? Inevitably, right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart have declared the ‘Day for Freedom’ to be their victory. To an extent, they have a point. In recent years, the left has not only failed to defend freedom of expression, but has been actively hostile to it. Moreover, prominent left-wing voices have continually sought to broaden the scope of terms such as ‘far right’ and ‘alt-right’ to incorporate as many of their ideological opponents as possible. I can think of no strategy less likely to persuade and more likely to engender widespread resentment.
For modern conservatives, a question looms large: Has cultural Marxism or post-modernism done more damage to society? Canada’s Jordan Peterson claims the latter, while Paul Gottfried — one of America’s most most serious paleo-conservative intellectuals, says the opposite. On this week’s episode of ‘The San Francisco Review of Books on Sunday,’ Gottfried explains why he thinks that cultural Marxism is far more serious than post-modernism and what this means not only for America, but Western Civilization.
A first person account of Sunday’s rally in London.
On May 6th, what was purported to be the biggest free speech event the UK has ever seen (a “free speech Woodstock”) took place outside of Whitehall. Far left activists and the mainstream media have labelled the demonstration as “fascist” and “far right” respectively, while alt-right white nationalist figures like Millennial Woes and Richard Spencer have disavowed the event as being “demoralising” and overly-liberal for being too inclusive of non-whites, homosexuals, “freaks” and “trannies.” But how was the view from inside?
The event was triggered by a collision of illiberal decisions made by the British state, especially over the last year. Non-violent right-wing speakers banned from the country on the ludicrous grounds of “anti-terrorism,” a legal crackdown on “offensive” jokes, extremely inconsistent application of “hate speech laws” (that, according to many people associated with the event, is disproportionately invoked to defend Islam from vilification) and what is perceived as a willful ignorance of pressing problems concerning crime, censorship, media bias, immigration and Islam (the last of which was especially prevalent, which we shall return to in due course) by the government and establishment media.
RT UK speaks to author, commentator and self-proclaimed ‘provocateur’ Milo Yiannopoulos ahead of Sunday’s #DayForFreedom rally in London, where many are expected to protest in defence of free speech. Other controverisal figures, such as: Tommy Robinson, Lauren Southern, Gavin McInnes, Count Dankula & more, will be speaking at the event.