Donald Trump is the ill spoken, boorish, graceless version of every American president in modern history. He differs from them only in his unconcealed appeals to white nationalism. But Democrats aren’t much better. They pretend to work on behalf of human, civil and economic rights but those claims are lies. They are meant to hide their partnerships with corporate America, very wealthy individuals and the worldwide imperialist project.
If Trump is a fascist then he will fit in nicely with the pantheon of horrific men we are told to respect and venerate. Barack Obama charges and convicts whistle blowers with the little used espionage act from the era of Woodrow Wilson. He claims and has exercised an invented right to kill Americans. His predecessor invaded and occupied Iraq but he continues the dirty deed there and in Afghanistan. He tries to fool the public by assassinating “al Qaeda number two,” over and over again. Al Qaeda certainly doesn’t lack for plan B staffers.
My guess is that Kristol is hoping for one of two outcomes with this. Either his candidate will throw the election to Hillary and his own neocon camp will defect to her side and try to puppet master her. Some neocons like the Kagans and Max Boot are already doing that. Or no candidate will get 270 electoral votes, and the election will go to the GOP controlled House where they will pick the winner. I’m not even sure the House would be constitutionally bound to select one of the actual candidates. They could potentially appoint Paul Ryan, Shitty Mitty or McInsane as Prez if they wanted. What Kristol is essentially trying to do is organize a coup by neocons and unreconstructed Reaganites.
The upside would be the exposure of the system for the sham that it is, and the entire range of political camps- alt right, Trumpians, libertarians, centrists, Democrats, far left-would be calling for the neocons’ heads.
A good critique of the presidential race by a left-anarchist. The Trump-Mussolini comparison is standard leftist hyperbole (see today’s other post). Trump is probably more comparable to a figure like Nelson Rockefeller, although comparing Hillary to Nixon is reasonably accurate as is a comparison of Obama and Nixon. If anything, Hillary is arguably to the right of Nixon. As leftist “anti-fascist” Matthew Lyons has said:
“Imagine a president who expands affirmative action, actively promotes school desegregation, enacts important new laws in social welfare, environmental protection, occupational health and safety, and consumer protection, supports comprehensive health insurance and a system of guaranteed income for all citizens, and whose Justice Department opposes the RICO Act on the grounds that it gives the government powers that are much too broad and sweeping for prosecuting criminals. In 2011, such a president would be considered far to left of Barack Obama and far to the left of almost everyone in Congress. Forty years ago, such a president was called Richard Nixon.”
By William Gillis
Center for a Stateless Society
The next President of the United States will be one of the worst.
Is Donald Trump a fascist? Several commentators in America, my adoptive country, on both the left and right, have essentially compared “The Donald” to Mussolini, the fascist strongman who destroyed my old country Italy for a time, leaving behind half a million dead and the lingering poison of civil war.
As I have previously said, Hillary is now the most right-wing candidate on foreign policy and trade, with Trump in the center, and Sanders moving the conversation to the left of the Democrats. A number of important articles have recently emerged documenting this.
In a fully-Trumpized G.O.P., Reagan’s ideological coalition would crack up, with hawks drifting toward the Democrats, supply-siders fading into crankery, religious conservatives entering semi-permanent exile. And in its place a Trumpized Republican intelligentsia would arise, with as little interest in Reaganism as today’s conservatives have in the ideas of Nelson Rockefeller or Jacob Javits.
The article below is an interesting critique of the alleged failures of the Alternative Right from Eugene Montsalvat, who holds to an “anti-capitalist nationalist” perspective. I agree with some of this critique, and disagree with other parts, though I generally share Eugene’s view that the the alt right’s trajectory from the European New Right to Galtonite eugenicism to Howard Stern-like racial/sexual humor to Trumpism has been a negative one, though perhaps one that is inevitable.
A few years ago, I speculated that the Alt Right would have to “dumb it down” a bit in order to reach a larger audience, and suggested that an Alt Right intelligentsia that constituted the intellectual elites of a kind of Alex Jones-like right-wing populism might be the means by which the alt right could break into the mainstream, and that seems to have partially occurred with the Trump movement, although Trumpism is much more than either the Alt Right or the populist right. Instead, Trumpism has become, at least on the cosmetic level, a kind of left-right-center hybrid of the kind that I always thought would have to develop if the neoconservative/neoliberal hybrid were to ever be challenged in any meaningful way. However, the claim that Trumpism represents a “meaningful challenge” present ruling class and power elite is at least debatable, and more likely highly dubious. The alt right’s attachment to Trump seems to be a mirror image repeat of the religious right’s attachment to Reagan, i.e. the case of an insurgent, somewhat reactionary, populist movement being taken for a ride by a thoroughly pro-ruling class centrist politician motivated primarily by personal ambition.
One of the problems with the so called “alt right” is that it is founded on the “left/right” political paradigm and assumes an argumentative political stance as its starting point. Though conservatism as a worldview is ultimately tied to the subject of political philosophy, I would generally see the pet causes of conservative politicians and political “activists” (to use the term generously) as accidental rather than essential properties of the conservative ethos. The term conservatism—in the broadest sense of the word—can be used to encompass any social, cultural, or moral position that regards the truths which we live by as in some way fixed. If there is any unifying praxis that results from this viewpoint, it is criticism of the notion of progress, and thus modernism.
The Amish, followers of various monastic traditions, and traditional Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass could all be seen as people embodying this ideal in their religious life. People of First Nations ancestry who choose to live by their old customs in spite of the fact that modern options are now readily accessible to them would be a good example of how this ideology can extend to the way people prepare food, wear their clothes, or earn their living. In education, it might mean an adherence to a particular canon or method of teaching, a skepticism toward modern or post-modern critical approaches, and a general tendency to create an intellectual milieu that resists commenting on issues of the day in favor of perennial truths that stand outside of time.
The poor social conservatives. They’ve gone from being useful idiots for Nixon, to useful idiots for Reagan, to useful idiots for the neocons, to useful idiots for Trump. They’re kind of like a woman that gets taken advantage of by one abusive husband or boyfriend after another. “We’ll get those Supreme Court Justices this time, we really will!”
By Jeremy Peters
New York Times
Activists and leaders in the social conservative movement, after spending most of the past year opposing and condemning Donald J. Trump, are now moving to embrace his candidacy and are joining the growing number of mainstream Republicans who appear ready to coalesce around the party’s presumptive nominee.
Though their support for Mr. Trump is often qualified, this change of heart is one of the more remarkable turns in an erratic and precedent-defying Republican campaign. It reflects the sense among many Republicans that, flawed as they may see him, the thrice-married billionaire is preferable to the alternative.
“Oh, my, it’s difficult,” said Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, a group that has openly campaigned against Mr. Trump. “He’s not my first choice. He’s not my second choice,” she added. “But any concerns I have about him pale in contrast to Hillary Clinton.”
Whoa! Apparently, there has been a split among the neocons as the most far-right wing of the neocons, the circle around David Horowitz, has gone over to the Trump camp. Bill Kristol, whose father Irving was actually the one who coined the term “neoconservatism” and was one of the founders of the movement, is in the standard neocon tradition of former left-liberals gone Reaganite gone radical imperialist, but Horowitz more closely resembles the counter-jihad movement in Europe and its American proponents like Pamela Geller. This may have the effect of pushing the Kristol circle closer to Hillary, and as the right-wing of the neocons form a Geert Wilders like faction in the Trump camp.
By Ben Shapiro
On Sunday, Breitbart News posted an article by conservative thinker David Horowitz. The headline: “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew Prepares Third Party Effort To Block Trump’s Path To White House.”
This is surprising coming from Horowitz.
It’s unsurprising coming from Breitbart News.
I am a former employee of both Breitbart News and David Horowitz. I left Breitbart under rather public circumstances thanks to their overweening allegiance to Donald Trump, which led to them treating decent people like trash. I founded the website TruthRevolt under the auspices of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and I consider David both a mentor and a friend.
A more viable strategy for the progressives might be for someone like Jill Stein to enter the Democratic contest in 2020 and build on the Sanders legacy. Sanders has pulled a Ron Paul in the Democratic Party (though more successfully than what Paul achieved in the GOP), and someone like Stein could subsequently pull a Donald Trump, i.e. build on the legacy of the previous maverick candidate and actually win.
By Geoff Gilbert
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders during a campaign rally at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, New York, April 12, 2016. (Photo: Alexandra Hootnick / The New York Times)
Please suspend your skepticism for a couple of minutes to consider that Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination has managed to create, intentionally or not, the possibility of achieving the holy grail of progressive US politics: a third political party independent of the Democrats and Republicans.
A new, independently financed political party could make Sanders’ call for “political revolution” and his claim that he is trying to build a movement more than a dream boldly proclaimed by an inspiring, if not quixotic, leader. It could deliberately seek to unify our currently fragmented movement cultures and operate as a vehicle for the substantive promise of Sanders’ “political revolution”: deep institutional and cultural reform. Doing so, it could begin to fulfill our country’s lofty aspirations: a society truly ruled by the people with meaningful input available to everyone, absent discrimination on any basis — race, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion.
The host of this show discusses me in some detail from the predictable perspective of a far left hysteric. Listen here.
Some good music on this podcast. I don’t recall my conversation with this guy, but I’d say he has me about 80% correct. I’m definitely about overthrowing the “plutocratic imperialist police state.” I also agree, as I said at NPI in 2011, that mass immigration serves the interests of the power elite across the spectrum at the expense of the domestic working class and potentially threatens traditional liberal values (I suppose you could recognize this and still be for mass immigration anyway, but it seems that such concerns ought to at least be heard and considered).
In this series of columns, we are exploring The Next Conservatism, the last book Paul Weyrich and I wrote together. It offers something this election year needs, namely a conservatism that addresses the issues of today and tomorrow, not yesterday. Ronald Reagan’s agenda was great for the 1980s, but that was some time ago (Paul Ryan, take note).
The Next Conservatism begins by asking the question, “What is conservatism?” It is an important question because the word “conservatism” has been stolen. It is now applies to many things that historically have been conservatism’s opposites, including spreading democracy world-wide (that was known first as Jacobinism, then Wilsonianism, and conservatives have always opposed both), demanding an American world empire (which means the end of liberty at home, as the Founding Fathers warned us), and a reduction of life to nothing but getting and spending. Conservatives used to know the difference between value and price.
At first blush, the anti-political correctness crusaders that make up Donald Trump’s online army have little in common with the so-called “social justice warriors” they claim to abhor. Some will even argue that trigger-warning-happy, intolerance-intolerant campus activists and their digital counterparts are actually driving otherwise level-headed and mild-mannered young folk straight into the arms of the Donald. But as well as these two millennial cohorts work as political foils on the surface, they’re really better understood as two sides of the same authoritarian coin.
This article originally published in the Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 1994. It is republished with permission; formatted for the web by North Star.
Bird and Fish, Jackson Beardy1This paper will deal, in a preliminary way, with one of the least studied areas in Marxist thought, the “Aboriginal question.” It is becoming increasingly clear that the desire of Aboriginal peoples for self-determination, expressed in the agitation for self-government, will not disappear. It is unlikely that the desire to preserve culture, and to resist any further encroachment by industry or by the modern state, will be articulated in any other political form than self-government. The overwhelming rejection of the Charlottetown proposals for self-government by Aboriginal peoples,1 in the face of their acceptance by the leadership of four major Aboriginal organizations (the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Council of Canada, the Métis and the Inuit Tapirisat) indicates that there is little agreement over what self-government should entail. However, despite these powerful disagreements, few in the various Aboriginal communities located in the northern half of that land mass which many Aboriginal people call Turtle Island dispute the need for self-determination.
While my economic views put me on the trajectory of left-libertarianism, with my belief in wider, distributed ownership and the return of mutual aid associations and voluntary, even democratic, structures, I’ve always maintained a cultural conservatism in my outlook, coming from the ideas of Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk. In combining the two, I come to an idea of left-wing Paleolibertarianism, rejecting the cultural libertinism of elements of the libertarian left and supporting pastoral, paternal structures which are voluntary and decentralist. I respect the multitude of different communities and respective traditions that exist, desiring their maintained existence, and have no inherent problem with hierarchy so long as mutuality is maintained.
In line with National-Anarchists, I see a world consisting of multiple tribes, which contain in-groups and out-groups and many different forms of economic and political organisation. Culture and settled relations are important, as are voluntary customs and grassroots legal institutions, such as those present in feudal England. Tradition, and its preservation amongst generations, should be one of the paramount practices of individual communities and nations (not nation-states). Creating little platoons of maintained culture and tradition that act as discursive spaces of resistance against the forces of empire. Further, I don’t limit such constructs to homogeneous Western communities. Homosexual communities and minorities should be able to construct their own in-groups, much like the Nation of Islam has done in Chicago and the Black Panthers did the 60s and 70s. Globalisation and modern capitalism act as the enemy of this conception, commodifying social relations and gleefully internationalising capital and wealth while crushing solidarity and labour under its boot. This is where the left and right should unite, in creating new economic alternatives that tackle the domination of capitalist discourse, as I’ve discussed before.
This is an interesting analysis of the Sanders campaign and related issues from a hard-left perspective that I believe is largely accurate. Read it here. The same author has a couple of follow up posts here and here.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump(Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)
There are perhaps no three words more jarring to liberals than “President Donald Trump.” The GOP front-runner and presumptive nominee has undoubtedly made enemies with his nativist rhetoric and bellicose persona. That said, now that the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is effectively over, with the former secretary of state essentially guaranteed the nomination, many liberals and progressives are preparing, once again, to vote for the lesser of two evils. The choice may not be as clear as some Democrats believe — especially if Democrats can take back the Senate and assure themselves of a check on a GOP House.
Once you’ve let that sink in, try this: There is a liberal case to be made for Donald Trump. The prospect of Trump defeating Clinton this November is not necessarily the apocalypse that some would lead you to believe. Here are some of the reasons why.