Today seems to be quite the day for anniversaries! Not only is this day, the 13th of February 2020, the half-century anniversary of Black Sabbath’s self-titled album—and, by extension, the whole heavy metal genre—it’s also the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, one of the least salutary acts in the Conflict Without Heroes otherwise known as World War II (or “the good war” by those with a blind belief in the victors who wrote the history books). With the latter in mind, here’s a resharable repost of a searing ‘n’ savage 2016 piece by Affirmative Right co-editor and permazucked Facebook thoughtcriminal Andy Nowicki, castigating the celebrators of said civilian conflagration. Enjoy!
Pete invited Keith Preston to return to the show to talk about his 30+ year journey through anarchism.
Keith has devoted much of that time to anarchism’s historical study and hosts the largest pan-archist site on the web, Attack The System. Listen here.
A great interview that covers many topics that are relevant to ATS such as the value of “pan-secessionism” as opposed to “world domination anarchism,”and left-wing authoritarianism. Listen here.
“Since Bellamy was here at the start of The Brilliant project it is great to check in where he is at regarding the things we are talking and thinking about. Obviously Bellamy and I have been having similar experiences in the Anarchist Space over the past few years. This episode is about some dissimilar experiences and what is next with each of us and our respective media projects.”
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
eing a mouthy genderfuck internet personality, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing some pretty caustic shit online and I’ve generally come to except it. After the sixth or seventh time being threatened with gang rape by yet another alt-right troglodyte, the shock runs a little thin. I’ve actually become rather skilled at the digital-jujitsu that’s become a necessity for existing as an openly trans person online. I’ve even made a few hideous friends on the far-right in the process. Generally speaking, most trolls are either childish pranksters or sadistic psychopaths. If you keep a razor sharp tongue and a sense of humor, either one can be handled with relative ease. This isn’t to say that they aren’t despicable human garbage or that words don’t hurt, but there are things far worse than hate speech online and I personally have never felt more dehumanized or offended as a queer person than I have by the way Facebook treated me this past week, all in the name of policing hate speech and patronizing marginalized creatures like myself.
It began as a pretty typical week for a mildly agoraphobic gonzo visionary. Writing, volunteering, therapy, more writing, hyperventilating, more therapy. All through out this literary basket-case existence, I try to keep the handful of my very dearest motherfuckers who follow me online informed and entertained with a withering barrage of foul mouthed snark and incendiary rants. After coming home from an extra soul digging, come-to-Jesus, round of group therapy, still basking in the teary-eyed afterglow of cathartic trans sisterhood, I went to log offline for the night, only to discover that Facebook had banned me for 24 hours. Now usually this kind of authoritarian negative reinforcement would be reason for celebration. I work very hard to upset the normies in the straight world and if you haven’t been suspended from Facebook in this line of work, you’re probably not doing it right. Right? But it wasn’t simply being banned that disgusted me. What really drove the proverbial screws into my thumbs was their excuse. You guessed it, ‘hate speech’. And what heinous thing did I dare post to be deserving of such virtue signalling corporate censorship? I can’t remember the exact words because they dutifully expunged them from my permanent record, but it was something to the effect of-
By Michael Liccione
Religious believers sometimes say that atheism is a “faith,” and in that sense a religion. That’s debatable because they’re using the word ‘faith’ ambiguously, and trading on that ambiguity. But according to NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, there is a scientific sense in which a relatively new, secular “religion” of “social justice” is entrenching itself among students on America’s campuses.
He’s got a cogent point.
ITO has run several pieces about Haidt’s ideas before. He’s not a conservative or even religious; he self-identifies as a liberal Democrat. Yet he’s alarmed by “the lack of ideological diversity” among faculty and students, which he sees as causing a “breakdown of discourse.” As he sees it, such stifling orthodoxy can never be good for higher education, which thrives when opposing views are permitted and given a fair hearing.
But, suggests Haidt, it appears that many colleges and universities are hosting what is not merely a stifling orthodoxy, but also one that exhibits a few key characteristics of religious orthodoxy.
That’s the thesis of a lecture he gave a few weeks ago: “The American University’s New Assault on Free Speech,” organized by the Manhattan Institute in New York City. It’s summed up in an article with the provocative title: “This New Religion Is Causing an Existential Crisis at American Colleges and Universities, NYU Prof Says.” The article includes a podcast link to the lecture.
Thus: “There is an extremely intense, fundamental social justice religion that’s taking over, not all students, but a very strong [space] of it, at all our colleges and universities. They are prosecuting blasphemy and this is where we are.”
What does he mean by “a very strong space”?
An interesting take on First World/bourgeois identity politics. This is more or less my long-held position on these questions as well.
A great takedown of victimology and the oppression olympics, Left and Right.
Yep. This is a pretty good analysis. It’s also important to recognize that political correctness/totalitarian humanism is not just a Left/Right conflict. It’s also an intra-Left conflict as well, with all kinds of left-wing factors shitting all over themselves to out-PC each other, or to accuse each other of some kind of heresy. ATS is a revolutionary left perspective for those who don’t give a flying fuck about this stuff, and refuse to play along with it.
I’m not a fan of Tucker Carlson’s Trumpism, but a “no apologies, no capitulation” policy is how you handle the SJWs.
This is a fantastic discussion that gets to the heart of the problem with PC/SJWs/totalitarian humanism. The discussion of “corporate leftism” is particularly important. There’s a surprisingly high level of anti-capitalism in this, which is unusual coming from an orthodox libertarian program. This comes close to my own perspective.
Apparently, my critique of the SJW ideology as a kind of theocratic religion is now becoming mainstream. The long term effects of the SJW ideology will likely be the following: centrist Democrats will be pushed rightward (thereby liberalizing the Right in the process), the traditional working class will also be pushed increasingly rightward (i.e. the ones who care about gun rights, free speech, taxes, religious liberty, etc) and more receptive to right-wing populist messages, and the Left will become more fractured among contending factions claiming victimological status, or claiming to be more ideologically pure than others.
Ultimately, my position is that the ATS approach constitutes the “true far left,” i.e. a form of far-left anarchism that embraces the panoply of anti-authoritarian ideas and movements, and rejecting Communism as the Eastern world’s version of National Socialism, rejecting social democracy as a middle class oriented managerial statist ideology, rejecting SJWs as quasi-theocratic social conservatives, and rejecting Antifa as a mere variation of the skinhead street thugs.
In an article I wrote for LewRockwell.Com 12 years ago, I introduced my theory of “totalitarian humanism” (i.e., the co-optation of cultural leftism by the state and capitalism) as the emerging ideology of the ruling class. Read the original article here. These were the core precepts of “totalitarian humanism” that I identified:
- Militarism, Imperialism and Empire in the guise of ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, modernity, universalism, feminism and other leftist shibboleths.
- Corporate Mercantilism (or ‘state-capitalism’) under the guise of ‘free trade’.
- In domestic policy, what I call ‘totalitarian humanism’ whereby an all-encompassing and unaccountable bureaucracy peers into every corner of society to make sure no one anywhere, anyplace, anytime ever practices ‘racism, sexism, homophobia’, smoking, ‘sex abuse’ or other such leftist sins.
- In the realm of law, a police state ostensibly designed to protect everyone from terrorism, crime, drugs, guns, gangs or some other bogeyman of the month.
The reception that Tulsi Gabbard received during her appearance on “The View” is a shining example of totalitarian humanism human being applied to the foreign policy realm. An authentic cultural leftism would be more in the vein of Thaddeus Russell or Abbie Hoffman, not this crap.
For 25-30 years, I have said that the main political issues in the USA are imperialism, widening class divisions, and use of the wars on drugs, crime, and (later) terrorism to create a domestic police state. Regrettably, most of liberal and left opinion during this time has been more focused on “identity” issues and (to a lesser degree) environmentalism or expanding the welfare state instead.
We are seeing the consequences of that now. The US has killed millions of people in …the past 20 years with wars of aggression. Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century, and incarceration rates are setting world records. In fact, it’s often been the far right (paleocons, libertarians, sovereign citizens, isolationist xenophobes) who are more in tune on many of these issues than liberal and left opinion.
At last, some anarchists who get it.
Anarchism in the UK is a joke. Once symbolising hard-fought struggles for freedom, the word has been stripped bare to make way for narrow-minded, separatist and hateful identity politics by middle class activists keen to protect their own privileges. We write this leaflet to reclaim anarchism from these identity politicians.
We write as self-identified anarchists who see our roots in the political struggles of the past. We are anti-fascists, anti-racists, feminists. We want to see an end to all oppressions and we take an active part in those fights. Our starting point though is not the dense language of lefty liberal academics, but anarchism and its principles: freedom, cooperation, mutual aid, solidarity and equality for all regardless. Hierarchies of power, however they manifest, are our enemies.
The 21st century inquisition.
As I have said many times. And as Max Stirner observed, “Our atheists are very pious people.”
Will the rise of Generation Z mark the death of SJWism? Is the PC/SJW/Antifa phenomenon simply the final stage in the backlash against the “old world” that existed before the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and which has now become status quo?
It is necessary for anarchists and libertarians to oppose authoritarianism wherever it emerges. In the 1950s, it was racism and McCarthyism. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the draft and the Vietnam War, Nixonism, and COINTELPRO. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was Reaganism, the War on Drugs, the “Satanic panic,” the religious right, Clintonism, and the “war on crime.” In the 2000s, it was the neconservatives and the War on Terrorism. In the past decade or so, left-wing authoritarianism of the SJW variety has become pervasive. In the future, it could become something else. For instance, “anti-sex trafficking” hysteria seems to be on the rise, or perhaps SJWism could create a right-wing backlash of the kind that has already been partially observed by the emergence of Trumpism, the Alt-Right/Lite, etc. Eternal vigilance.
Far Left Media Is Dying Because Gen-Z Is Too Conservative. Study after study shows the trend, generation z is becoming conservative and mostly resembles libertarians or moderate Republicans. This is a dramatic shift from Millennials who are overwhelmingly progressive. What happens then is that these companies cannot grow or attract new readers because young people do not want far left media. The outcome is obvious, these companies are laying people off and collapsing. While social justice is something most people agree with, the regressive left is too authoritarian and off putting.
History repeating itself as a tragedy and a farce. The principal weakness of most contemporary anarchists is their failure to recognize that any set of values can be turned toward authoritarian ends, not just conservative ones, and any kind of group can act in an authoritarian manner, not just traditionally hegemonic ones. Here’s the money quote from this article:
“And if all the volumes of scholarship are not enough, the parallels between Marxism-Leninism and cultural Marxism are obvious:
- Both eliminate freedom of thought and expression and attempt to impose totalitarianism on their suffering subjects, as we see on too many American university campuses. Stalin’s and Mao’s tyranny was more oppressive than Hitler’s or Mussolini’s and killed far more people, probably at least ten times as many.
- Both see history as a product of only one factor, in Marxism-Leninism ownership of the means of production and in cultural Marxism which groups, defined by race and gender, have power over which other groups.
- Both define some groups of people as good and others as evil regardless of what individuals do. Marxism-Leninism defines workers and peasants as good and capitalists and members of the middle class (the hated bourgeoisie) as evil, while cultural Marxism says whites, males, heterosexuals, and non-feminist women are evil while blacks, third world immigrants, gays, and feminists are good.
An interesting M-L-M critique of the critical theory oriented “Left.” I don’t agree with his general ideology but I agree with his assessment of “identity politics” as having no real value other than to create divisiveness that will have the effect of undermining the system (“destabilizing the imperialist core”), thereby making anti-imperialist victory more likely. That’s why I have spent so much time promoting all kinds of fringe, freakazoid movements and ideologies, and favor the most extreme, ridiculous or insane political candidates. Weaken the system at its core. Another thing I like about Jason is that he recognizes that the “revolutionary potential” of the First World is minimal to non-existent. I agree with his assessment of the Third World at the focus of anti-imperialist revolution, even if I don’t share his Marxism.
Political correctness is the ideological superstructure of the left-wing of capital, and the technology, ideas, and information industries are its substructure/materialist base.
By Keith Preston
The Myth of the Open Society
One of the pervasive myths of our time is that we live in an open society where contentious issues, and serious questions of public policy, are supposedly addressed by means of Socratic dialogue, or open discourse reflecting the principles of Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson or John Stuart Mill. For reasons that I will explain, this claim of an open society is false. I could certainly discuss multiple ways in which the open society claim is problematic. For example, I could examine many parallel difficulties such as over criminalization, overregulation, increasingly greater centralization, and ever pervasive bureaucratization. However, for the purpose of this discussion, I want to focus on ideological conformity, and the way in which ideological conformity is enforced in liberal democratic societies.