Trump’s Border Patrol Defies Judge, U.S. Senator at Dulles Airport as His First Constitutional Crisis Unfolds Reply

Is the state fracturing within itself? I always thought the end of the empire might come when some total nutcase got elected president and essentially ran the system into the ground. Meanwhile, C4SS director and ATS uber-critic Goofy Gillis is going totally off his meds over Trump (although I actually agree with much of what he is proposing).

By Betsy Woodruff

The Daily Beast

Late Saturday night, in the jam-packed baggage terminal for international arrivals at Washington Dulles International Airport, dozens of lawyers and hundreds of protesters watched as the first major Constitutional crisis of the Trump presidency played out. 

The day before, Trump signed an executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. But many people traveling to the U.S. from those countries—including legal permanent residents of the U.S.—were already in the air and couldn’t turn around. As a result, airports across the country turned into lawfare zones, with cadres of volunteer lawyers squaring off against bureaucrats in the Customs and Border Protection agency. Late-night rulings from federal judges made a legally unprecedented situation even more dramatic, with all three branches of the federal government—congressional, executive, and judicial—warring with each other. At stake: the lives and safety of people trying to legally enter the U.S.

At about 7:30 p.m., a boisterous crowd of several hundred pro-refugee protesters had circled around the “International Arrivals” baggage claim at Dulles—flanked by police who cleared a passageway so people getting off planes could get through. Protesters waved signs saying refugees were welcome (some signs read “Welcome” in Arabic), denouncing President Trump, and calling for Christians to show Christlike love to people fleeing terrorism. They carried “Welcome Home” balloons and they sang songs. 

And there were chants, including “Let them see their lawyers now!” 

There were dozens of lawyers, brought together by the International Refugee Assistance Project. A handful actually practiced immigration law, and dozens more with non-immigration backgrounds—bankruptcy, litigation, you name it—showed up to try to help. 

Early in the evening, a huge piece of news broke: Two federal judges, Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York and Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia, had made rulings that would stall the implementation of Trump’s anti-refugee executive order. 

READ MORE

Responding to the Fascist Creep 2

An interesting interview with an “anti-fascist” that references the concept of pan-secessionism. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

Without understanding the way that those ambiguous ideas are applied in different milieus, like with national anarchism and autonomous nationalism and those sorts of things, radicals can fall for easy platitudes. Pan-secessionism is another great example. When radicals start talking about the need for separatism without a clear, cosmopolitan follow-up strategy, they leave ourselves wide open to their influence and the insinuation of fascism and the ability for fascist ideas and movements to gain ground in the radical milieu and also in the broader subcultures and in mainstream cultures. When they start talking about ethnic separatism—particularly white separatism, whether de jure or de facto—they’ve basically given up the field.

I think that people in the radical milieu are very disconnected from the impact and effect that they have and their ideas actually have on the mainstream. People often look to radicals to get a sense of direction, particularly vis-a-vis subcultures, so if fascists are given a pass to influence subcultures then the mainstream is far more likely to accept them piecemeal on the basis of accepted ideas and attitudes which are very deleterious. For example, you’ve probably heard of people who you might have thought of as a left wing or a radical saying things like “I don’t believe in equality” or “equality is nonsense” or “I don’t believe in freedom,” or that kind of thing. These kinds of statements seem geared to impress people or shock them or both, but does all that really work for us?

While pan-secessionism is a tactical concept, not an ideology, and has nothing to do with either fascism or anarchism or even national-anarchism per se, it is interesting to observe how these “anti-fascism” hysterics actually help to build the wider ARV-ATS program, largely by serving as the de facto promotional division for our tendency. We’re easily ten times more “famous” because of these people than we would be without them and, as they say in the entertainment business, “there ain’t no such thing as bad publicity.” These guys are the satanic rock protestors of the present era.

These folks are mostly oriented towards the jihad against “straight white cisgendered Christian male” hegemony, or whatever the latest rendition of this perspective includes while ATS is oriented towards the actual overthrow of states, ruling classes, and empires. However, I am for the building and expansion of all forms of anarchism, and oppositional subcultures generally, including the ones that are non-ATS affiliated and which may even be vehemently anti-ATS. To the degree that these guys are contributing to the delegitimization and fracturing of the system generally, they are contributing to our cause.

An “Open Source Insurgency” Against Trump? Reply

I can’t say I have any problem with any of this either. Much of this article is predictable anti-Trump hysteria. Last night, I asked a long time friend of mine, a lifelong Communist from France in his 60s, what he makes of the US Left’s “Trump is a fascist” hysteria. His response was, “They don’t know what their talking about.” Pretty much. But notion of “Trump as a fascist” may be a useful Sorelian myth or Platonic “noble lie” if it motivates the liberal-Left coalition to go into full oppositional mode on the liberal end and create chaos in the streets on the far left end. Fracture, fracture, fracture…

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

In movements like the struggle for economic justice or against the authoritarian state (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, etc.), we usually see arguments for “diversity of tactics” made by radicals against liberal criticism of black block tactics like smashing windows and things of that sort. There’s still a lot of that kind of criticism, obviously — for example liberal reactions to the smashing of Bank of America windows, torching of limosines and whaling the almighty tar out of neo-Nazi celebrity Richard Spencer. But lately, since Trump’s election, I think there’s been at least as much criticism — much of it quite contemptuous — from Leftists dismissing liberal tactics like peaceful marches, factual corrections of Trump’s lies, denials of legitimacy, etc., as ineffectual (“This is not how you beat fascism”). And I think appeals to diversity of tactics apply just as much to the latter case as to the former.

READ MORE

How to Fix the Left 1

By Alden Braddock

Peoples Post Modernist

Reject liberal(isms). Embrace your will to power.

The Left (even in radical circles)in many respects has failed as a movement. Race baiting, class politics, compromise on top of compromise and a clumsy at best praxis to achieving the ends we strive for are what we have now and accepting this reality is the only what we can now move past it. The old God is dead and we shall lay the groundwork of our stronghold on His grave. In order to do this we must be willing to embrace some new ideas;

1. We must stop pandering to identity politics. Treating people as collectives or even worse as sociological concepts trips individual action of any meaning and obfuscates our shared goal of fostering a world of self sufficiency, unshackled creative expression and freedom from imposed conditions. Yes, we can see the grave injustices levied against minorities by the state but recent events have made it clear that our cure is far worse than the disease. Arguing over who oppresses who, supporting language policing in an effort to hide from open dialogue and stick to our safe spaces have done us all a great disservice. Revolution never happens within a person’ comfort zone.

2. We must be willing to do what the right has done; collaborate with a wide variety of anti-state affinity groups (hard greens, third world nationalists, agorists, gender-nihilist/queer organizations, ext.) in order to crush our opposition and while we’re at it crush everybody’s enemy the neo-liberal/globalist.

3. We must be ruthless but use violence with tact and be willing to organize. Providing aid, organization/mobilization to and radicalizing groups like BLM and focusing on the core idea which motivate dissent (opposition to police brutality)instead of race and gender baiting will take us much further in achieving our long term goals

More…

Commentary: Is America still worth it? Reply

By Will Rahn

CBSNews.Com

Something people will increasingly ask down the road: In a wildly diverse nation of over 300 million people, would it not make more sense to have, say, three countries with a 100 million people each? Or how about 300 countries with a million people?

On the far-right, there are already those who pine for a breakup of the United States akin to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On the far-left, we’re hearing some secession talk too, particularly when it comes to the possibility of CalExit or a Second Vermont Republic.

And it’s not just the far-left, mind you: the Trump-supporting billionaire Peter Thiel, one of the country’s more powerful if eccentric business leaders, recently said he thought the secession of California would be a good thing.

READ MORE

Reinventing Politics via Local Political Parties Reply

These ideas might be particularly relevant to the United States where the two-party duopoly is particularly difficult to crack.

By David Bollier

P2P Foundation

It’s an open secret that political parties and “democratic” governments around the world have become entrenched insider clubs, dedicated to protecting powerful elites and neutralizing popular demands for system change.  How refreshing to learn about Ahora Madrid and other local political parties in Spain!  Could they be a new archetype for the reinvention of politics and government itself?

Instead of trying to use the hierarchical structures of parties and government in the usual ways to “represent” the people, the new local parties in Spain are trying to transform government itself and political norms. Inspired by Occupy-style movements working from the bottom up, local municipal parties want to make all governance more transparent, horizontal, and accessible to newcomers. They want to make politics less closed and proprietary, and more of an enactment of open source principles. It’s all about keeping it real.

READ MORE

America Needs A Network Of Rebel Cities To Stand Up To Trump Reply

Popular Resistance

With Trump in the White House and GOP majorities in the House and Senate, we must look to cities to protect civil liberties and build progressive alternatives from the bottom up.

“I want New Yorkers to know: we have a lot of tools at our disposal; we’re going to use them. And we’re not going to take anything lying down.” On the morning after Donald Trump was declared the victor in the US presidential election, Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, wasted no time in signaling his intention to use the city government as a bulwark against the policy agenda of the President-Elect. The move made one thing very clear; with the Republican Party holding the House and Senate, and at least one Supreme Court nomination in the pipeline, it will fall to America’s cities and local leaders to act as the institutional frontline of resistance against the Trump administration.

However, cities can be more than just a last line of defense against the worst excesses of an authoritarian central government; they have huge, positive potential as spaces from which to radicalize democracy and build alternatives to the neoliberal economic model. The urgent questions that progressive activists in the States are now asking themselves are, not just how to fight back against Trump, but also how to harness the momentum of Bernie Sanders’ primary run to fight for the change he promised. As we consider potential strategies going forward, a look at the global context suggests that local politics may be the best place to start.

The election of Trump has not occurred in a vacuum. Across the West, we are witnessing a wholesale breakdown of the existing political order; the neoliberal project is broken, the center-left is vanishing, and the old left is at a loss for what to do. In many countries, it is the far right that is most successful in harnessing people’s desire to regain a sense of control over their lives. Where progressives have tried to beat the right at its own game by competing on the battleground of the nation state, they have fared extremely poorly, as recent elections and referenda across Europe have shown. Even where a progressive force has managed to win national office, as happened in Greece in 2015, the limits of this strategy have become abundantly clear, with global markets and transnational institutions quickly bullying the Syriza government into compliance.

READ MORE

Calexit: Is Secession the Answer? Reply

By Keith Preston

American Renaissance

American political culture has come to be defined by enormous divisions. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt notes that present day political polarization is wider than at any time since the Civil War. Social science research finds that more Americans would oppose their son or daughter marrying someone of the other political party than would oppose marriage outside of their race, religion, or social class.

The Right and Left are coming to regard one another not merely as competitors, but as threats to the nation or even as personal enemies. Polarization has been sharpened by the election of Donald Trump. Indeed, the reaction of the Left has often been one of panic, hysteria, or terror. One leftist blogger professed to be as terrified on the night of Mr. Trump’s election as he had been when he was once arrested and put in jail. Intense polarization of this kind inevitably leads to talk of secession.

I have a fair amount of personal experience with this question. For nearly 20 years, I have advocated dissolving the US federal system through regional and local secession movements from across the political spectrum. Although I am a left-wing anarchist, I have also tried to build bridges between those opposed to, or under attack by, the US power elite from across the political and cultural spectrum–including racial nationalists.

The Trump victory has been a particular stimulus in California, where progressives have suggested that much of the rest of the nation is so out of touch with the values of their state that California should consider seceding. A group called “Yes California” has formed for the purpose of placing an initiative on the state ballot in 2019 approving California’s exit from the United States. This project has come to be known as “Calexit” as a nod to the “Brexit” referendum.

READ MORE

Is America ready for a municipalist movement? Reply

This is the direction I’ve been saying the Left should be moving is for the past 20 years.

By Alexander Kolokotronis

ROAR Magazine

In the era of Trump, we will need to consolidate counter-power via participatory democracy and economic self-management at the local level.

he mass protests across the United States in response to Donald Trump’s presidential election victory constitute a palpable and growing potential for the formation and constructive utilization of various anti-fascist fronts and coalitions. While these might be limited to protest and survival in typical Trump strongholds, the situation is markedly different in urban settings.

In many cities, anti-Trump demonstrations have included far-left groups, immigration-rights advocates, Black Lives Matter activists, reproductive rights supporters and a number of other political actors. Amidst calls for “people power,” these different movements together chanted “not my president!” and vocalized their support for so many other groups that have been marginalized, ridiculed and discriminated against by the president-elect.

People power need not be confined to a chant. The formation of anti-fascist coalitions provides the opportunity to convert these dreams and aspirations into a concrete and transformative program at the municipal level. What role can anti-fascism play in building this alternative?

READ MORE

Where Do We Go From Here? 2

As with the Gillis article, I find the general tone of this Kevin Carson piece to be overly hysterical. Other than that, these are some damn good ideas. Why can’t the libertarian left exercise this level of revolutionary zeal all the time?

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

I confess my reaction on Election Night, when it first looked like Trump might get in the White House, was sheer panic. It was a bit like Philip K. Dick’s “Black Iron Prison” closing down. On a personal level, I was about as terrified as the night I was arrested and put in jail.

Now, a few weeks after, I still have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach anticipating the next four years. But I’m a lot less terrified (although I never forget that for a lot of less privileged folks it’s always been a Black Iron Prison, and the downside possibilities of a Trump presidency are a lot scarier for them).

For one thing, it looks like there are significant structural constraints on a fascist power grab, no matter how authoritarian Trump is. The biggest single constraint is that (as Benjamin Studebaker points out), unlike Hitler, he can’t take advantage of Article 48 in the German Constitution to declare an emergency, criminalize the Democratic Party and remove court oversight of cases involving civil liberties.

And Trump didn’t get elected because either he, or the white nationalist ideas of his strongest supporters, were especially popular. In fact he’s probably going into office with the highest negatives of any new president in the past century. He got a minority of the popular vote, and was able to beat Clinton mainly because she was such a lousy candidate in her own right that Democratic voters stayed home by the millions.

So Trump’s starting out already as unpopular as Bush was on the eve of 9/11, when he was widely written off as a one-termer. And he’s only likely to drop further in popularity once he enters office. He’s no longer competing against another unpopular politician — he’s only running against himself now. With every gaffe, every display of incompetence or disorganization, every policy failure, he will only become more unpopular.

READ MORE

How Fascism Will Beat Us || How We Will Beat Fascism Reply

If only the libertarian left showed this much zeal for overthrowing the government all the time. Maybe we need to elect “fascist” presidents more often.

By William Gills

Center for a Stateless Society

One of the more annoying things about our norms of discourse is that we tend to collapse our talk of the future into singular predictions rather than arrays of different possibilities each with different probabilities. It’s easier to pretend like we each have one singular future that we’re betting on. We more or less commit to that single possibility and others assume we’re fully committed to that future. Such simplification makes casual discussion more tractable. But it creates distorted incentives. Some try to focus on some kind of median among the possibilities, some vague central cluster. Yet this in turn suppresses the variance and the dangers on the edge. So then you get a second tendency of people who focus on the extreme possibilities, usually highlighting just one concerning outer possibility. The more the centrists cling to their median prediction, the more the extremists double down on emphasizing the things not being considered.

Most of the time the median approach “wins.” But every once in a while their simplified and normalized picture runs aground on a variable unconsidered, an edge-case glossed over, or an assumed context exceeded.

Our political technocrats, with their studious centrism, were just astoundingly wrong about the election of a fascist over the world’s most powerful country. Not just wrong about the final electoral college vote count, but wrong every step of the way. And now the entire world is rapidly reconfiguring itself at an accelerating pace. Many normal folks are clinging on, trying to update our well-worn models of reality with a few studious changes of variables. We don’t have time to trace the ways the changes propagate, so we’re left with quick cartoonish claims. Frantic attempts to fence in unruly anomaly in our reality and dust ourselves off. We want some kind of clear predictive map, with a touch of the familiar, some kind of bounds on the possible, even if it looks dire. Like a “Bush Administration on steroids” or a “Berlusconi with nukes”.

READ MORE

Brexit, Texit, and the Panarchist Case for Panarchy Reply

By DangerNixon

Ancapistan

Flag-cutout-Texas-secede

Jacob Levy recently wrote an essay airing his teary-eyed dismay that so many of his libertarian friends are cheering on Britain’s bow down from EU membership. This comes to no surprise, since BHL seems to be bent on presenting us with the “libertarian case” for anything from a swollen welfare apparatus to mandatory sex-reassignment surgery. There are a few basic theses in this article, for instance, that the EU is not a regulatory monster and that all the all other EU member states are economically freer than Britain (an assertion that not even his own citation really backs up).  One point I would like to extract from Levy’s article and complain about in length, though, is his idea of secession. Namely, Levy claims that secession obviously cannot be a libertarian position, because, uh, like, what if the new country isn’t as libertarian as the parent nation, dude? From the article:

“There’s no reason for us to start with some enthusiastic assumption that secession is always better and that more-local, more-homogenous levels of government are friendlier to freedom than larger and more pluralistic ones. Nor is there any reason to assume that removing a level of government just makes its whole system of regulation stably disappear; we need to think about what’s likely to replace those regulations at the nation-state level.”

READ MORE

 

The Great Divide—and Secession? Reply

By Kirkpatrick Sale

Of all the phenomena the 2016 election year has demonstrated, none is greater than the proof that this nation is deeply and probably irretrievably split into two political camps with very, very little in common.  It is more than blue states and red states, it goes deeper: it is truth, jobs, security, and intelligence on one side and lies, coddling rich, porous borders, and stupidity on the other.  And vice versa.

Perhaps the greatest evidence of this rift at this moment is to be found in Texas.   A Public Policy Polling survey on August 16 found that 61 per cent of the people who support Trump there have vowed that if Hillary Clinton is elected president they will push for Texas to secede from the union.  Nothing less: secession.

And the interesting thing is that Texans have been thinking about secession for a number of years recently, and a Reuters poll in 2014 found that 36 per cent of the population would be for secession and another 18 percent were not sure, making the anti-secession crowd a minority of 46 per cent.  And if anti-Clinton sentiment is real, her victory in November would likely solidify the secession movement further.

More…

Is the realignment happening already? (UK) Reply

Is the realignment happening already?
By Keir Martland
(26th June 2016)

At about midnight, the globalists in the Parliamentary Labour Party began their coup. Blairite Hilary Benn told socialist anti-interventionist Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn that he had no confidence in his leadership and the latter had no option but to give him the sack. Today we have seen a string of resignations, with half the Shadow Cabinet allegedly ready to resign to remove Corbyn. At the moment, Corbyn seems ready to put his own name forward to fight off the leadership challenge, but this may change if it becomes apparent that he doesn’t have the confidence of his Parliamentary Party. You do need the support of your MPs if you are to lead your Party.

The challenge to Corbyn is very interesting. What may be happening is a long overdue realignment in British politics. Of course, all of this is taking place following a vote from the British people to leave the European Union, and following Jeremy Corbyn’s own insistence that this vote should be respected. Since roughly 90 per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party are determined to keep Britain in the European Union, this cannot have been taken well by people like Hilary Benn.  More…

Crossroads 2016: Where do we go from here? 27

By Keith Preston

Last month, I wrote about how many of the predictions that I have been making over the past decade or so have come true during the course of recent events. In particular, the current U.S. presidential election represents the fulfillment of some of these predictions. Hillary Clinton is an almost perfect manifestation of the totalitarian humanist convergence I predicted nearly a decade ago, i.e. the combination of militarism, plutocracy, and police statism with ostensibly liberal and progressive values as an ideological cover (with these enforced by means of an ever more intrusive nanny state). Bill Lind describes the implications of this ideological framework very thoroughly. Jack Ross explains the present day political alignments that have emerged because of the rise of totalitarian humanism. And Vanity Fair describes how a new left-wing of the ruling class has emerged that comes from outside the ranks of the traditional WASP elites and is rooted in newer high-tech industries. I’ve been saying all of these things for years.

Six years ago, I wrote about the ten core demographics that a radical or revolutionary movement in North America would likely need to organize in order to achieve the popular base needed for effective political action. Current events represent the stirring of many of these demographics and in a way that signifies that these cleavages are developing at a much more rapid pace than I thought they would when I wrote that original piece.

The Donald Trump phenomena represents a stirring of the populist right and the sinking middle. The antiwar, civil libertarian, and labor-oriented sections of the Left have become increasingly alienated from both the Democratic Party and the liberal establishment even to the point that some on the antiwar left now favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

More…

Remain: The Left Has Lined Up with the Establishment Reply

By Tom Slater

Spiked Online

“Brexit is a fake revolt’, writes Paul Mason in the Guardian this week: ‘Working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite.’ A withering article in Vice agrees. ‘Brexit is the upper classes in revolt’, writes Sam Kriss. ‘They see an undemocratic and unaccountable EU elite ruling by diktat and an unfounded sense of their own superiority, and they think: hey, that’s our job.’ Among nominally metropolitan, left-wing Remainers – or, in Mason’s case, Abstainers – this has become the overriding narrative: that Brexit is the establishment.

It’s also utter balls. Let’s run through the list of those who back Remain: there’s the prime minister; all the major political parties; every major world leader; the IMF; the Bank of England… Oh and, after this morning, we can add to that the entire British capitalist class. In a letter in The Times, 1,700 of the UK’s leading business leaders back Remain, and prominent among them are the CEOs of JP Morgan, HSBC and Goldman Sachs. You know, those fatcat bankers we hear so much about.

READ MORE

The humanist, futurist, European case for Brexit 1

By Tom Slater

Spiked Online

he Leave campaign is negative. It is anti-immigration, anti-modernity, anti-Europe. Throughout the EU referendum debate, this has been the deadening refrain of the Remain campaign. Despite the fearmongering on both sides, despite the fact that post-Brexit economic catastrophe has been talked up at least as much as EU migrants clogging up NHS waiting lists, Brexiteers are still seen as having the premium on pessimism.

The official Leave campaign has done little to help matters. The dodgy figures emblazoned on battle buses, the appeals to the image of a besieged, overridden island – trampled on by Brussels and bled dry by European peoples on the move – have all too often given ammunition to the critics of leaving. But, more profoundly, the Leave campaign has failed to move beyond being simply anti-EU. It has failed to articulate what it is for.

Neither Remain nor Leave is required to offer a roadmap for the future, a manifesto for life after we vote In or Out. Talk of Australian-style points systems, Tory leadership battles or the future of workers’ rights after 23 June are, to borrow a favourite phrase from this campaign, for the birds. This is not an election; it’s far more important than that. This is a referendum on that most fundamental principle: democracy. And it is for the sake of democracy that spiked wants British voters to reject the EU.

READ MORE

If We Are Going to Take Down the Establishment: Progressives, Libertarians, Anarchists, and Non-Voters Need to Unite 3

It looks like ATS ideas are becoming increasingly closer to the mainstream. I am seeing more and more writing like this all the time.

By Tim Bryant

The Last American Vagabond

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Anyone paying even the slightest attention to the 2016 Presidential Election can see that this election cycle has been marred and corrupted up on a variety of fronts. On one hand, you have Hillary Clinton, a notorious insider and lifelong crook that is currently under criminal investigation by the FBI, and on the other hand you have Donald Trump, a reality TV character that says whatever’s on his mind, making it hard to pinpoint any real fundamentals to his policies, as well as creating polarizing political theatre for the public to eat up. These are the choices we’re given; you really can’t make this stuff up.

For those who have been awake for years, the ridiculousness of this year’s election is not all that shocking, as it has been on display for decades for those who cared to look behind the scenes. However, for a large majority of the population, this year’s election seems to be a major catalyst in waking them up to the obvious illusion that the United States of America is still a free and democratic society, the two supposed cornerstones of the “greatest country in the world.”

More…

Brexit as a Means to True Secession Reply

By Chris Shaw

I’ve made it clear that I don’t see the EU referendum as particularly important. The major economic questions surrounding the modern world, from banking fragility and capital creation, to huge levels of private and sovereign debt and politico-economic centralisation are not remotely addressed within this debate, except maybe on the peripheries. If we leave, economic and political power will simply be moved from unaccountable elites in Brussels to those in Westminster and its parasitical institutions. Democracy is not important in this debate as some have emphasised, as realistically the kind of representative democracy we have has led to many of the ridiculous problems the UK faces today, from failing social systems to a debt-led economy. Representative democracy relies on mass ignorance and the ability to debate non-issues among non-representative parties.

The only important area this debate touches on is the concept of secession. By voting to leave, we are hopefully seceding from the EU. This is more hopeful when the powers that be (Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, etc.) have proposed leaving the Single Market, thus actually decreasing our involvement in the EU instead of simply renegotiating it through EFTA or the EEA. Such proposals are potentially important and even radical, particularly when put in the frame of a “people’s choice” which is currently defining this referendum. This reinterprets what were meant to be the realities of the referendum (that of a debate about how good or bad the EU has supposedly been), and has instead reoriented it toward questions of what constitutes nationality and the character and ownership of a nation.

By doing this, questions of power and where it is held are raised. With this comes the potential for a wider debate over the whole concept of how we shape our polities and economies. Fundamentally, a discussion of this sort allows for a move away from the corporatised economies and centralised governance structures which cast the current paradigm.

More…

Autopsy on a Lost Referendum Reply

By Sean Gabb

Libertarian Alliance

Though we have nearly four weeks yet of campaigning, I find it hard to believe that the European Referendum will end in other than a crushing defeat for the Leave Campaign. For many on our side, this will be the end of their hopes. They have spent twenty five years – sometimes forty – connecting everything bad in this country with membership of the European Union, and pressing for a referendum. They now have their referendum. It will be lost. Age alone will give many of them nowhere to go. Some will pass the rest of their lives complaining that the vote was rigged. Most will drift away into confused silence. My own view is that the Referendum was always a mistaken strategy, and that its loss will bring an end to one of the less valuable chapters in the history of our movement.

READ MORE

What’s the Point of the Libertarian Party? Reply

By Chris Shaw

The concept of a libertarian party should be simple. A collection of multiple strands of libertarian and anarchist ideologues, thinkers and activists coming together to present multiple alternatives to the current statist world. Simple, right? Not so for the modern Libertarian Party of America. It seems, looking at its origins, it had the goal that I’ve just set out. A collection of differing viewpoints but with a core libertarian ideology at the centre of it all. But then came the low tax liberalism, and the lack of radicalism in pushing a message of political and non-political action. That was bad enough. But now it’s gone one step further in diluting more to becoming some Beltway Republican outfit for all those disaffected by Trump and Clinton.

On the surface, this may seem a good strategy. Your spreading the message of libertarianism into more mainstream outlets and individuals like Republican ex-politicians. However, many of these Republicans are only leaving because of Trump. That means that they at least tolerated the Bush era, an era of a massive expansion of state power through the Patriot Act which kickstarted the NSA surveillance program that Snowden revealed in 2013. An era of two imperialistic wars that have led to death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a large increases in homelessness and cases of PTSD among veterans. How can one tolerate this stupidity, yet can’t tolerate the differing stupidity of Trump’s policies.

Let’s look at one of these Republican turned libertarian convert, William Weld, who is now Gary Johnson’s presumptive running mate. This is a man who previously endorsed Mitt Romney and John Kasich, two candidates who have not proposed a libertarian foreign or economic policy but instead want to maintain neoliberal-neoconservative consensus that prevails in America. Again, Weld is a man who could seemingly tolerate the extremely un-libertarian years of the Bush administration, but then can’t tolerate Trump.

More…