More Anarchistic Than Thou 3

A reply to “Anti-Fascist News“:

An uninformed lay person reading the pathetically ignorant and barely literate bromide against Attack the System recently issued by “Anti-Fascist News” would hardly know anarchism is a vast tradition in modern political philosophy with roots in the radical Enlightenment more than two centuries ago. Further, history provides examples of many anarchist prototypes extending back for thousands of years (Peter Marshall’s magisterial work “Demanding the Impossible” ably demonstrates this point). However, our critics at “Anti-Fascist News” would have everyone believe that the sum total of anarchist traditions have never been more than a sectarian brand of anarcho-communism derived from the left-wing of anarchism as it was in the 1930s. This is akin to a modern Protestant fundamentalist insisting that the entire Christian tradition consists of nothing more than seventeenth century English Puritanism (no offense to Puritans).

While I am an admirer of the anarcho-communist tendency within classical anarchism of the early twentieth century, there is certainly no reason why anarchism should be exclusively and forever defined within the confines of these limited parameters. As a reading of even the most elementary level book on anarchism will indicate, anarchism is in fact a collection of many varied and diverse currents just as, to use the Christian analogy once again, the Christian faith consists of many thousands of traditions, sects, and denominations that have existed throughout history and throughout the world today. As John Zube has ably demonstrated, there are indeed many readily identifiable traditions within anarchism, some of which maintain a paradoxical relationship to each other. Of course, it is true that there will always likely remain sects within anarchism that refuse to recognize one another as “true” anarchists, just as there are sects of Protestants and Catholics, Sunni and Shiites, who refuse to recognize each other as “true” Christians or Muslims.

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That’s Dr. Nazi to You Reply

I tell you, this Keith Preston guy is bad ass, whoever he is.

Says professional “anti-fascist” Mike Issacson:

“Another NPI speaker Keith Preston, also ends up largely in the same place as Faye and the others, but in his own fake anarchist way. For Preston, the end result of nationalism is increasingly specific overlapping forms of identitarian chauvinism. Preston, who holds an MA in history from VCU, advocates for the seemingly contradictory ideology pioneered by Troy Southgate called National-Anarchism.

In the National-Anarchist tradition, building popularity for such an absurd ideology requires entryism — attempts to co-opt the power of existing social movements for the purpose of ethnic strife and clannish tribalism. Preston manages the online zine AttackTheSystem and directs the pan-secessionist something-or-other American Revolutionary Vanguard.

He has written several articles on LewRockwell.com defending Ron Paul and arguing against immigration. He has also held important positions within the anarchist Industrial Workers of the World union and International Workers Association, things he still proudly puts on his resume.”

It’s looks like this “me as anti-Latino guy” theme is catching on and becoming the latest narrative: https://twitter.com/smashracismdc/status/641649511744598016

These things seem to go in phases. It used to be I was labeled the anti-Semite guy because I used to do a lot of Zionist bashing during the Bush-neocon era: https://attackthesystem.com/…/do-i-believe-jews-control…/

Then I became the homophobe guy because I called out some folks in the left-libertarian milieu for being a bunch of special pleading crybabies. http://mutualist.blogspot.com/…/open-letter-to-keith…

Then I became the elitist unbermenschen guy who endorses warlordism and “anarcho-slavery”: http://newpol.org/…/rising-above-herd-keith-prestons…

It must have been this speech to NPI in 2011 that got me the anti-Latino label: http://www.npiamerica.org/…/mass-immigration-and…

Here’s a selective summary of what I actually said at the NPI conference from Claus Brinker:

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Masking Oppression as Free Speech: An Anarchist Take 1

Here we have the edifying spectacle of an anarchist equating Hollywood liberal and militant atheist Bill Maher with General Franco. My take? This insults the memory of the many anarchists (and many others) who died or suffered horribly for resisting the totalitarian regimes, left and right, of the twentieth century.

By Tariq Khan

Hampton Institute

Out of necessity as much as out of conviction, anarchists in the United States have long been champions of the right to freely express uncomfortable and controversial ideas. At the same time, while championing the right to express unconventional ideas, anarchists have not allowed a liberal notion of free speech as an excuse to sit idly by while fascists spew hate speech. The Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti – who died while serving in an anti-fascist militia in the 1930s – famously said, “Fascism is not to be debated, it is to be destroyed.” This reflects a sensibility that not all ideas are merely “points of view” that deserve respect or space. There is a difference between speech that is “offensive” and speech that is “oppressive.” For example, during the Jim Crow era in US history; newspaper articles, songs, books, plays, political cartoons, and speeches that characterized Black men as hypersexual and violent beasts were far more than merely offensive. Such expressions reinforced and perpetuated a violent white supremacist system, justifying and fueling legal oppression such as Jim Crow laws and extralegal oppression such as lynching.

In the present-day United States, a shallow idea of “free speech” is often wielded by the privileged as a way to direct attention away from critiques of existing conditions and systems; particularly critiques of capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy. For example, two years ago when UC Berkeley students organized to keep comedian Bill Maher from speaking on their campus, leading media outlets framed it as a controversy about free speech rather than engaging with the much deeper critiques the students had about Maher’s perpetuation of US imperialist, Orientalist discourse which fuels militarism abroad and racist violence at home. [1]

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Can We Take A Joke? Standup Comedy vs. Political Correctness Reply

By Nick Gillespie

Reason

“If you think you have the right not to be offended,” says comedian Jim Norton, “either change the parameters of what offends you or realize you’re wrong. Those are your two choices.”

Can We Take a Joke?, a new documentary about standup comedy and the policing of speech, debuts on Friday, November 13 at DOC NYC, one of the country’s biggest film festivals.

“Why is comedy the only form of the arts where people think they have to agree with or approve the content?” Norton asks in a live-peformance clip. “You don’t walk through a museum with a towel and throw it over paintings you don’t like.”

Comedians and performers such as Norton are joined in the film by Greg Lukianoff of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), who talks about the growing attacks on the First Amendment, especially those on college campuses which once prided themselves as bastions of free speech.

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How to Write a “Political Correctness Run Amok” Article Reply

A Social Justice Warrior makes her case. Theoretically, one could be a full and committed Social Justice Warrior and simultaneously be a pan-anarchist or tactical pan-secessionist, as I have previously articulated elsewhere. However, as we know, it usually doesn’t work that way. Yet an interesting development that I have observed in some corners is that some radical PC Leftists have actually begun to recognize the merits of the ARV-ATS approach, even if they reject the messenger.

By Julia Serrano

I know why you’re here. Something has happened that has pushed you over the edge. You know, with regards to “political correctness.” Or “call-out culture,” or the “Internet outrage machine,” or whatever you want to call it.

It’s been a lot of little things up until now — you know, comments that you’ve seen on social media, or protests that you’ve heard about, all condemning people for supposedly “bad” things they may have said or done. But something recently happened to someone famous, or someone you respect — for anonymity’s sake, let’s just call them the Person of Stature. And as an example, let’s pretend the Person of Stature was invited to speak at a University, but then some students started complaining about supposedly “bigoted” things that this Person of Stature has said about some minority group in the past. Or present. And these students started protesting. They even passed a petition around. The nerve of them!

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The New Intolerance of Student Activism Reply

By Conor Friedersdorf

The Atlantic

Professor Nicholas Christakis lives at Yale, where he presides over one of its undergraduate colleges. His wife Erika, a lecturer in early childhood education, shares that duty. They reside among students and are responsible for shaping residential life. And before Halloween, some students complained to them that Yale administrators were offering heavy-handed advice on what Halloween costumes to avoid.

Erika Christakis reflected on the frustrations of the students, drew on her scholarship and career experience, and composed an email inviting the community to think about the controversy through an intellectual lens that few if any had considered. Her message was a model of relevant, thoughtful, civil engagement.

For her trouble, a faction of students are now trying to get the couple removed from their residential positions, which is to say, censured and ousted from their home on campus. Hundreds of Yale students are attacking them, some with hateful insults, shouted epithets, and a campaign of public shaming. In doing so, they have shown an illiberal streak that flows from flaws in their well-intentioned ideology.

Those who purport to speak for marginalized students at elite colleges sometimes expose serious shortcomings in the way that their black, brown, or Asian classmates are treated, and would expose flaws in the way that religious students and ideological conservatives are treated too if they cared to speak up for those groups. I’ve known many Californians who found it hard to adjust to life in the Ivy League, where a faction of highly privileged kids acculturated at elite prep schools still set the tone of a decidedly East Coast culture. All else being equal, outsiders who also feel like racial or ethnic “others” typically walk the roughest road of all.

That may well be true at Yale.

But none of that excuses the Yale activists who’ve bullied these particular faculty in recent days. They’re behaving more like Reddit parodies of “social-justice warriors” than coherent activists, and I suspect they will look back on their behavior with chagrin. The purpose of writing about their missteps now is not to condemn these students. Their young lives are tremendously impressive by any reasonable measure. They are unfortunate to live in an era in which the normal mistakes of youth are unusually visible. To keep the focus where it belongs I won’t be naming any of them here.

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Cody Wilson – 3D Printed Guns, PC Hacktivism & Cultural Terrorism Reply

An great interview of Cody Wilson by Lana Lokteff.

Radio 3Fourteen. Listen here.

Cody Rutledge Wilson, a student of law, political philosophy, and social theory, is a USA crypto and free-market anarchist. He is best known as a founder/director of Defense Distributed, a non-profit organization that develops and publishes open source gun designs, so-called “Wiki Weapons,” suitable for 3D printing. USA Carry named Wilson one of America’s “30 Influential Pro-Gun Rights Advocates,” and Wired Magazine’s “Danger Room” has named him one of “The 15 Most Dangerous People in the World.”

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Can We Start Taking Political Correctness Seriously Now? Reply

By Jonathan Chait

New York Magazine

The student protest at the University of Missouri began as a response to a serious problem — outbursts of vile racism on campus — and quickly devolved into an expression of a renewed left-wing hostility to freedom of expression. At the protest on Missouri’s campus yesterday, on a space that is expressly open to free expression, protesters barred journalists from covering the demonstrations. In one scene, protesters surrounded and harassed Tim Tai, a photographer with the student newspaper, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, journalists have got to go.” The scene is captured on a video here, which rewards close watching until the end, where Melissa Click, a professor of mass media working with the protest movement, calls out, “Help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.”

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Cards Against Humanitarians Reply

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An end-of-September piece from Foreign Policy.


By Ilya Lozovsky

On Friday, heads of state — along with Nobel Prize winners, Pope Francis, and Beyoncé — convened at the United Nations in New York to inaugurate a grand new agenda to improve human welfare. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals (or, supposedly catchier, the “Global Goals”), the scheme consists of seventeen objectives — from “ending poverty in all its forms” to “conserving and sustainably using the oceans” — that are supposed to be achieved by 2030. As is de rigueur for grandiose United Nations summits, the formal festivities were accompanied by a bewildering array of over a hundred side events hosted by national governments, U.N. bodies, and NGOs large and small. If there’s a nerve center for the hive mind that is the international development industry, this was it.

Needless to say, this very serious industry has its very serious critics. But few are as creative (or as hilarious) as three young development professionals who, in the last few weeks, have chosen to express their discontent by self-publishing a satirical card game. JadedAid is modeled on the popular millennial game, Cards Against Humanity, in which players compete to select the funniest (or most vulgar) answers to a set of “fill-in-the-blank” questions. Just a week since its opening, the JadedAid KickStarter campaign has collected nearly twenty thousand dollars — far ahead of its creators’ targets — and the game is well on its way to completion. As an example of the kind of decidedly un-pc satire the game provides, here is one possible combination of cards:

ja_cards_horz_4

Some of the card ideas were developed by the game’s inventors, who, all in their thirties, have extensive experience in the technology and communication side of the development industry. But the vast majority of the suggestions (nearly 800 at last count) were submitted by friends, colleagues, and anonymous development workers. One of the game’s co-founders, Jessica Heinzelman, 36, attributes the game’s immediate appeal to the need for development workers to “let off some steam” by subjecting their experiences in the field to mockery.

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This is the best South Park season in a decade Reply

 

south-park

From Entertainment Weekly. I knew I wasn’t hallucinating Parker ‘n’ Stone’s sudden discovery of the narrative arc!


by Darren Franich

It’s been a long time since we talked about South Park as a TV show. As an institution, sure. Trey Parker and Matt Stone took Comedy Central mainstream in 1997, and they’ve outlasted all the network’s ensuing zeitgeists: Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, Stephen Colbert, Key & Peele, soon Amy Schumer, maybe Tosh someday. In 2013, the show downshifted to a 10-episode-yearly schedule: a shorter season, but also maybe just the new normal for cable. They’re contracted through 2019.

Why would they stop? Parker and Stone have time for extracurriculars — an Oscar nomination here, a videogame there, the occasional raft of Tony awards. In their public statements, they sound perfectly willing to keep the show going until Comedy Central cancels them. Comedy Central, in turn, seems perfectly willing to keep the show going until they quit. The show’s ratings aren’t what they used to be, but then again, our perspective on TV ratings isn’t what it used to be. Sure, South Park’s first season finale had 6.4 million viewers; sure, last week’s episode had just 1.2. But that first season finale was 17 years ago. Saying less people watch South Park is like saying someone invented Netflix.

Because South Park has lasted so long, because of its uniquely privileged position beyond the usual ratings race, and because it has been and always will be a relatively low-budget cartoon, starring lookalike soundalikes, we don’t think of it as a TV show because it’s not really like any other TV show. We treat it more like an animated op-ed column. And, to be fair, the timeliness of South Park was always one of its central virtues. As memorialized in the documentary Six Days to Air, the complete production schedule for a single episode is insanely rapid: Weeks shorter than the typical scripted show, months shorter than the typical animated series. “What does South Park think about this topical event?” became a thing right around the moment that the rise of social media demanded loud, frequent opinions about topical events.

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Horizontal Collaboration 1

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A raunchily revisionist review by Ann Sterzinger. Sheds more light on the Conflict Without Heroes that was World War II.

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Is present-day Paris more puritanical than it was under the Nazis?

I’d love to simply dwell on the jaunty visual attractiveness—not to mention the entertainment and historical value—of author Mel Gordon’s recent coffee table book from Feral House press, Horizontal Collaboration: The Erotic World of Paris 1920-1946. It’s by turns a joyful and critical account of the legal sex industry in Paris before, during, and after the two world wars.

I’d also prefer to avoid painting myself into a corner as “That one lady who spends weeks at a time wondering aloud about what the French are going to do with all their enthused new Muslims.”

But as the EU brass continue prying national borders open to everyone who can fit on a boat, it’s almost impossible to read an account of Paris, sex, and the Nazi occupation without one’s mind wandering to Paris, sex, and the new theocrappation.

…Although the extent of said theocrappation depends on how you interpret some viscerally shocking poll data. For instance: does 3 percent of a sample of the French population responding “very favorably” to ISIS while 13 percent respond “rather favorably” add up to 15 percent of the electorate backing ISIS? You parse the adverbs.

But in any case, as my dear departed friend Lisa Falour used to say: Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. (An influx of radical Muslims is comedy gold, in fact; just as France was running out of humorless Catholics, here comes the new boss…)

I am, however, aware that reductio ad Hitlerum is a running gag with all the kids these days; therefore, I shall drive straight on to reductio praeter Hitlerum.

Because if the research in this book is anything like accurate—and Feral House’s longtime reputation might imply that it is—it sounds like the Nazis were more tolerant of, if not titillated by, Parisian sexual culture than our new friends the jihadis.

Then again, the Nazis were also more fun, sexually speaking, than the native French feminists in all apparent likelihood, so there’s that to chew on as well… Not to mention the fact that the Nazi stormtroopers supposedly acted less rapey in gay Paree than the heroic American GIs who came to chase them away.

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J’accuse: Leftist intellectuals turn right 3

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From Politico.

Onfray’s book on atheism lies half-read on my print-pile; maybe one day, I’ll actually lay hands on it again.

~MRDA~

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Unusual ideological bedfellows in France are uniting against globalization and the euro.

By Pierre Briançon

10/16/15, 5:30 AM CET

Updated 10/16/15, 7:14 PM CET

PARIS — When the newspaper Libération last month accused self-professed “left of the left” philosopher and best-selling author Michel Onfray of “doing the [far-right party] Front National’s bidding,” French intellectuals circled the wagons.

Riding to the rescue from the left and right to defend Onfray, they did what intellectuals do in these cases: organize a public debate. The headline of the event, to be hosted at the Maison de la Mutualité on October 20 by political weekly magazine Marianne in support of its sometime contributor Onfray, sets a new standard for navel-gazing: “Can we still debate in France?”

Spoiler alert: The fury stirred up by the controversy offers a good clue to the answer.

Onfray is only the latest French thinker whom government-friendly media and Socialist party officials accuse of pushing ideas similar to those of the far-right — on immigration, the role of Islam in society and the need to restore France’s battered sense of self.

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Either Way, It’s American Displacement Day 1

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The Infernal take on “Columbus Day”.

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Yesterday yielded another round of commotion regarding the infamous Christopher Columbus, designated “discoverer” of the so-called “New World” (Leif Erikson moans from Midgard!). No doubt, the less-than-vocal majority of Statesiders were simply thrilled to get a day off from work; the more vocal, however, reheated their rancour over the late Double-C’s conquering, raping, enslaving ways, wishing instead for an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to displace the dastard. Not surprisingly, this generated a bit of an uproar from the more reactionary elements of the World Wide Web, who predictably countersignalled in favour of Columbus.

Now, on October 13th, 2015, I sit here typing this whilst high (or, rather, low) on my favourite empathy-suppressant. Clearly, it’s a shitty batch, what with me feeling somewhat sympathetic to the prog pouting over this issue. Going by several accounts of his exploits, Columbus and his crew were certified cunts, engaging in kidnapping, murder, rape, and kiddy sex slavery, amongst other fun activities; all this after being, by CC’s own account, warmly welcomed by the Amerindian tribes who would become their all-purpose prey. Taking that into account (plus the fact he never actually set foot on the North American mainland) it does seems rather grotesque of Statesiders to dedicate a day of pomp and pageantry to his “discovery”; kinda like “Good War” enthusiasts fellating Bomber Harris for raining down death on civilian populations.

That said, I find the desired (and partially realised) replacement of the occasion with an Indigenous Peoples Day to be sublimely silly and short-sighted. For all the shit suitably slung the way of Columbus, Cortez, and all the other Christians who murdered Indians, they were but the most proximate of predators on the calendar of conquest. A decade ago, I stumbled upon a rather illuminating piece of historical revisionism on the late and lamented Loompanics site; its author, Bill Wilson, made the case that those favoured by the IPD-endorsers had encountered and erased a preceding population of decidedly different descent:

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Against Identity Politics: Spectres, Joylessness, & the Contours of Ressentiment Reply

Free Radical Radio.

Click on these words to listen to the audio book/audio essay

Lupus Dragonowl’s “Against Identity Politics: Spectres, Joylessness, & the Contours of Ressentiment,” originally publishd in AJODA, is read aloud by Arabella Story Tella.

This essay discusses and critiques identity politics and identity politicians and offers a different way of seeing and viewing the identities forced upon us by society and its structures. Using a Stirnerian critique, Dragonowl breaks down the thoughts, actions, and ideas of identity politics, defining them as another iteration of leftism. Full of anecdotes from the anarchist and radical milleu, this essay attempts to shed light on the workings of identity politicians.
Click here to check out AJODA Magazine, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed

The written version can be found here: click on these words

Author: Chris Combe from York, UK, who does not endorse this use of the work

Beyond Social Justice 8

A discussion with Ian Mayes, Nexus X Humectress, and Keith Preston about how social justice activism has led anarchist movements astray and lots of other stuff.

Topics include:

  • Anarcho-pacifism
  • Intentional communities
  • Beyond Social Justice: how historical opposition to valid injustices has now evolved into something absurd.
  • How totalitarian humanism’s focus on privilege and microaggressions forestalls social revolution.
  • Is feminism necessary in the West?
  • Radical gender equality.
  • How the men’s rights movement fits the dictionary definition of feminism.
  • MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way, the new subculture of anti-marriage relationship nihilists.
  • No “hope” for revolution.
  • “Anarchist” as an identity.

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Trojan Horde Reply

An unapologetically Nietzschean take on the refugee crisis.

By Dr. Robert M. Price

Thus Spake Zarathustra

I have read two books that turned out to be truly prophetic. Not clairvoyant, mind you, just prescient. The authors were like Isaac Asimov’s futurologist Hari Seldon in his Foundation epic: they had a far-reaching grasp of how present trends would turn out. One of these books was Andrei Amalric’s Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? It was published in English in 1970 and already foresaw that the USSR must unravel because of irreconcilable ethnic tensions between the disparate Soviet “republics.” Okay, he was just a few years early.

The other book was Jean Raspail’s novel, The Camp of the Saints (English publication in 1975),camp of the saints book cover whose title comes from Revelation 20:7-9: “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” It suddenly occurred to the author one day as he relaxed at the beach: what if the inexhaustible hordes of the scarecrow poor from all over the Third World were to show up on the shores of affluent Europe? Would the survivor guilt of the liberal West sap any and all resistance to the invading army whose only weapon was their terrible neediness? Would Europe throw open its doors, welcoming the destruction of their culture with the famous last words, “Give me your tired, your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores”? You know they would. And now, in 2015, they have.

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So Where Are the Feminists? Reply

wherearefeminists

Ann Sterzinger asks the question at RightOn, spotlighting how the clash in the feminist worldview between “Enlightenment Person” and “Mommy Goddess” curtails any meaningful criticism of the more predatory and illiberal residents of Dar al-Islam. I notice the bifurcation a lot in abortion debates, where feminists talk about personal autonomy with one breath only to endorse the subjugation of unwilling fathers to the wombocracy with the next; and let’s not get into the decidedly maternalist bent of feminist anti-sex-industry campaigns.

Of course, the mistake made here is taking the feminist “equality” spiel at face value, instead of simply acknowledging the special pleading that forms the backbone of the ideology. On a related note, I’m somewhat wary of the reports of a “rape epidemic” in Scandinavia, given not only the prevalence of feminist dogma, but also expanded definitions of “rape”, the possibility of false/mistaken reports, and questionable reporting procedures (particularly in Sweden); it certainly raises the question of how embellished the “epidemic” is by such factors.


Why do radical feminists remain silent on the issue of mass immigration into Europe, in spite of the fact that the statistics show that European women are among its primary victims?

I’m not the first to ask this, but the more times it gets asked, the better.

During this debate on just how we’re going to get millions of Muslim migrants settled in Europe—since Europe’s politicians apparently have never seriously considered the option of actually securing their borders—where the hell are the feminists?

Because rape is bad, right?

Have they read the rape statistics regarding the millions of devout Muslims who are already ensconced in the Land of the Unbeliever?

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Sylvanian Families being stalked by ISIS banned from art gallery Reply

 

Sylvanian Families being stalked by ISIS banned from art gallery

From The Metro. The tragicomedy writes itself!

Also, this is the most media coverage I’ve seen Sylvanian Families receive in decades.

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An exhibition celebrating freedom of expression has become the unlikely victim of censorship – after an artwork which showed Sylvanian Families being terrorised by ISIS was banned from the display.

The Passion for Freedom exhibition is currently being held at London’s Mall galleries – and features work such as ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’ – an eight foot long wall cast from the genitals of 400 women.

But the ‘Isis Threat Sylvania’ piece was removed after police became concerned that it was ‘potentially inflammatory’ and told organisers that they would have to pay £36,000 for security if the piece was displayed.

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Tyranny of the Weak Reply

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

“There is no progress in human history. Democracy is a fraud. Human nature is primitive, emotional, unyielding. The smarter, abler, stronger, and shrewder take the lion’s share. The weak starve, lest society become degenerate: One can compare the social body to the human body, which will promptly perish if prevented from eliminating toxins” Vilfredo Pareto

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

The debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke is widely regarded as the foundational difference between the left and the right. Thomas Paine regarded politics as similar to any other intellectual endeavor that requires the capacity for deep thought, critical analysis and creative synthesis. Resembling Plato’s Philosopher King, the politician regards the problems of society as that of “applied metaphysics” where solutions to all social ailments can be obtained through the exercise of reason alone. In line with Aristotle’s distinction between episteme and techne, Burke regarded politics as a practical rather than an intellectual endeavor. He rejected the doctrine of Socratic intellectualism that underpinned the Philosopher King thesis, asserting that people who know what constitutes the good are capable of acting in an evil manner.

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The Ruling Class Hissy Fit Reply

This includes an interesting discussion of Angelo Codevilla’s theory of the ruling class. I have my differences with Codevilla (mostly because he’s too partisan right-leaning and not nearly radical enough), but his perspective is worth checking out, although I would suggest doing so within the context of a wider examination of elite theory generally.

By Dan Phillips

Traditional Right

The reaction of the ruling elite and their minions in official conservadom to the Donald Trump surge is best characterized as a hissy fit, an extended temper tantrum that the GOP base isn’t doing what they want them to. The elite and their gatekeepers can’t seem to figure out why Trump is surging and why the peons who support him won’t listen to their betters. What is more puzzling is why they didn’t see this coming and why it hasn’t happen sooner. The writing has been on the wall for a while.

Anyone who wants to understand the Trump phenomenon should read the book The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It by Angelo Codevilla. It was first published as a rather longish essay in the American Spectator magazine. It was so well received that American Spectator updated it, added an introduction by Rush Limbaugh and published it as a book.

At first glance, Codevilla perhaps seems like an unlikely candidate to write such a book. Arguably a member of the ruling class himself, he was first an influential government employee before moving on to the Hover Institute think tank and then to Boston University as a professor of international relations. With a Ph.D from the Claremont Graduate School and a history of foreign policy hawkishness, he was also perceived as at least somewhat neoconish. My impression is that he may have backed away from his hawkishness a bit in the last few years, but where exactly Codevilla stands on foreign policy is beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say that regardless of Codevilla’s own shaky credentials as a pitchfork-wielding man of the people, his insights in the book ring true and are much appreciated.

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Bernie Sanders and his enemies to the left Reply

It looks like the Sanders campaign might actually be exposing some cracks in the PC coalition, i.e. between the neo-liberal but culturally leftist Hillaryites, the social democratic labor leftist Sandersites, and the identify politics-intersectionality oriented far Left.

By Jack Ross

The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) historic socialist identity has been seen as anomalous and exotic by the media and worn as a badge of radical daring by his supporters. Yet the historic American socialist movement, however limited its political influence, played a vital role in the debates that shaped American liberalism throughout the 20th century.

The Socialist Party, in its Progressive Era heyday, offered a vital small-d democratic alternative to Roosevelt’s corporatism and Wilson’s war regime. Even after imploding in the 1930s, the party’s sainted leader Norman Thomas was still revered by many leading Cold War liberals who had been his youthful partisans as “America’s conscience” – referring far less to any economic program than Thomas’ well-earned reputation as a devout civil libertarian and anti-Communist. So it is only natural that a stalwart and (even by historic standards) unusually successful democratic socialist politician such as Bernie Sanders should play a starring role as such a debate is beginning anew.

Most consequential of all was the longtime party stalwart and godfather of the civil rights movement, A. Philip Randolph. Indeed, Bernie Sanders arrived in Vermont in 1964, just a short time after graduating from the University of Chicago, where he led the fight to integrate campus housing several years before Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement north. At Chicago, he was in the orbit of the Young People’s Socialist League, and in the wilds of Vermont preserved the more radical strain of the original egalitarian idealism of the civil rights movement, typified by the legion of fellow Freedom Riders from his native Brooklyn, untainted by black power or the Vietcong.

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