This is a pretty good episode of A-News, which includes a discussion of the diversity of anarchist thought, populism, rural anarchist activism, and yours truly even gets a mention at one point. Listen here.
Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 88 for November 2, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week on anarchistnews.org.
Editorial: No one wants to see parents dance, by chisel
TOTW: No Fly Zones, with Aragorn! and Sport
By Ava Caradonna and Yves Smith
Yves here. Further confirmation that the gig economy is not what it is cracked up to be. Sex workers in the UK have less privacy, lower returns, and much less safety in the days of online platforms than they did when brothels dominated the profession.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Has the government declared war on trans people? That’s the million dollar question and its one I still don’t have a clear answer to. As some of you may already know, several weeks ago a memo being circulated by the Department of Health and Human Services was leaked exposing a plan by the Trump administration in league with their supposed enemies in the Deep State to officially establish gender as being defined exclusively by ones genitalia at birth. This would essentially erase people like me and leave us at the mercy of a bevy of bureaucratic tyrants from the prison industrial complex to its child abusing cousins in the tenured snake pits of the public school system.
When I first heard about the memo, released by the New York Times, I was skeptical for a number of reasons, most of them having to do with the foul circus of the midterms. Was the memo leaked by Trump’s frenemies in the Steady State in an attempt to use identity politics to shore up the youth vote for their allies in the Democratic Party? Or did Trump leak the memo himself to excite those fun-policing tranny-bashers, the Evangelicals, knowing they’d need the Spanish Fly of state sanctioned child abuse to get hard enough to vote for their local philandering whore-mongers in the GOP and, by proxy, our own philandering whore-monger in chief? Was this memo for real or was it just more hot air to fill Trump’s leaky balloon?
I agree with this analysis. The Democrats were the primary winners in this election by a significant margin. They flipped the House, multiple governorships, and multiple state legislatures. Votes on referendums like weed legalization and felon voting rights generally went liberal (although abortion related issues in some red states were an exception). The diversity count increased as well with the number of female Congress people increasing, record numbers of ethnic minorities, women, gays, Muslims, the youngest ever Congressperson, etc. all being elected. The Senate has always been one of the more conservative institutions, and that’s true today because the “red zones” get a sum total greater amount representation there. The left/liberal/progressive/whatever side is definitely winning as a far as the big picture is concerned.
Plus, I see Trump as far more liberal than his predecessors. He was a Democrat for most of his life, married a former Playboy model, bangs porn stars, seems to have no problem with legalizing weed or gay marriage, pardoned some black drug offenders, hangs out with rappers and Hollywood celebrities,etc. If he had been the President 20 years ago the religious right types would be going ape shit insane over his lack of morals and character. His actual instincts on a lot of foreign policy and economic issues seem more “liberal” than the normal Republicans and many Democrats. His stance on immigration was “normal” 20 years ago. He’s no stricter on “law and order” than Bill Clinton was. Nowadays, liberals don’t seem to appreciate just how good they’ve got it.
In a Special Report, Ari Melber breaks down how Democrats had a decisive victory in the 2018 midterm elections, winning more House seats than they have in 40 years. Melber examines the myth of divided Government and shows how Americans have not been going back-and-forth in deciding which party should win the White House, but have in fact, by popular vote, preferred a Democrat for President in 6 of the last 7 Presidential races.
Amidst all the pious, hypocritical mourning of the end of World War One commemorations, Rosa Luxemburg’s words from 1916 are more relevant than ever:
Another discussion of the mid-terms featuring yours truly.
My discussion of the mid-term elections with Press TV.
The Brilliant continues its series on national-anarchism with an interview Gregor Eugen Elliott. Listen here.
The description of the interview from The Brilliant.
This is an interview with Gregor of Tribes magazine. His story (and article in Tribes) is about the move from “left anarchism” to national anarchism. The discussion is about WTF is left anarchism, National anarchism, and a kindred.
Far too many people on the center left and center right have bought into the idea that nations such as Russia or China are genuine enemies of the global system, and far too many people on the far left and far right have bought into the idea that these nations represent credible alternatives to the global system. While it is certainly true that the Washington-London-Brussels-Berlin-Tel Aviv-Riyadh axis is the real international ruling class, the Asian powers are merely backwater provinces in the global system that are occasionally unruly.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Like any twilight empire, America has some strange and perverse rituals that are generally excepted as normal by our unblinking masses. There’s the fascist war prayer of the National Anthem, which you can lose your livelihood for betraying with a knee. There’s the Kidz Bop chant version known as the Pledge of Allegiance, my own childhood protest of which had my archdiocese contacting the nearest exorcist. Then of coarse there’s the incessant soldier worship which mandates us all to repeatedly thank everyone who has ever served in our colossal armed services for preserving our “freedoms”, regardless of whether they launched drone strikes from Las Vegas cubicles or shot Cuban gardeners on golf courses in Grenada. But all of that jingle brained jingoism pales in comparison to the peer-pressure-palooza that is the right to vote.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Halloween is quite easily my favorite holiday. A heathen celebration the Christians failed to conquer, it’s a time of joyful chaos and youth rebellion decorated by skeletons, scattered leaves, flickering jack-o-lanterns, and bonfire smoke. A holiday where serial killers are lionized and everyone dresses in drag, betraying conformity to expose their darkest desires to be whores and outlaws. It’s the one time of year when a genderfuck malcontent like me can feel halfway normal without having to sell out. It’s also arguably this stupid countries only truly anarchist holiday, or at least it was and it still should be.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Halloween meant one night a year when kids owned the streets, wandering unsupervised from house to house dressed in disguise like demons and monsters, appropriating candy from random strangers under the threat of vandalism like tiny unions of egoists. Trick or Treat began as a threat. You could hand over the good stuff (and it better be good) or you could get your house fucked up in a toilet paper draped act of propaganda of the deed, letting the whole neighborhood and any other passing horde of hoodlums know who fucked up and why. In certain parts of the country there was a completely separate holiday called Hell Night, when children engaged in mass acts of gleeful sabotage against the parents, teachers, clergy, and cops who made them feel powerless during the rest of the year. Windows were broken, tires were slashed, and a sense of justice was returned to the universe.
Halloween and Hell Night weren’t like Christmas or Easter. The only gifts you got where the gifts you took, the gifts you earned. It was an empowering event that celebrated lawlessness and the collective power of us against them. So it should come as little surprise that the thems of this world have conspired to neuter this heathen celebration of unfettered youth power, by badge, bible, or checkbook. Over the last couple decades Halloween has been transformed into something truly monstrous, the worst kind of monster, a fascistically vanilla monster called “normal”. A pejorative so hideously fowl that it could have only been created by an adult, dead from the heart up.
A timely article from Caitlin.
By Caitlin Johnstone
Today a gunman attacked a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while shouting the words “All Jews must die”. The suspect, Robert Bowers, reportedly had a history of making antisemitic posts on social media, and was taken into custody alive with multiple gunshot wounds. As of this writing, eleven people were killed in the attack.
I don’t have anything interesting or insightful to say about America’s mass shootings, other than to repeat the point I always make that the effects of modern war propaganda on American psychology are wildly under-appreciated and ignored by scientific research. I believe the subject of US gun control is a bit outside my sovereign boundaries as an Australian writer as it only affects Americans, so I don’t really have anything to contribute in the primary debate surrounding the attack. It’s a debate for Americans to have with one another, so I tend to avoid it.
What I do have to offer is a brief description of my experience with conspiracy theories about Judaism and Jewish people as a fringe blogger who writes a lot about conspiracies, and the impression those encounters have left me with. To be clear, when I talk about antisemites I mean the actual bigots who promote hatred of Jewish people, paranoia about Jewishness, or any type of violence against or mistreatment of Jews as a race. I do not mean people who voice legitimate criticisms of Israel and its government, I do not mean people who criticize the way Zionism is used as a tool of manipulation to advance geopolitical agendas, I do not mean people who question the justification for the creation of Israel in the first place, I do not mean people who defend Palestinians, and I do not mean people who voice valid, factual criticisms of George Soros or any other billionaire who happens to be Jewish.
By Paul Gottfried
The American Conservative
Mark Bray is in his early thirties and the recipient of a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers in 2016. He is also rapidly becoming antifa’s chief ideologue. Among his works describing or advocating for the often violent demonstrators are Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook and Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street.
Bray has yet to find a major commercial press for his tracts and, so far as I can tell, remains a lowly lecturer at Dartmouth College. But he has presented his case for antifa’s protest activities and the disruptive forms they have taken in, among other venues, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, and Boston Review. Bray was also invited to voice his views at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., an honor usually reserved for intellectual and political celebrities. It was after watching Bray’s Politics and Prose address and the remarks it elicited from the mostly “antifascist” audience that my editor at Northern Illinois University Press arrived at the idea that I should write a book on antifa’s worldview.
A leading Marxist philosopher says what I have been saying for (at least) 20 years. Interesting.
By Stephen Johnson
“The first time I walked up on some really, honest to God dead soldiers, I must have jumped back six feet. Burnt, charred, frozen in time at the moment of death & look of shock & horror upon their faces.” — J J in Comments
Even if a day of reckoning arrives it’s unlikely to be one of our choosing. Like everything else of actual importance, it will burst on us like a sudden downpour, unbidden and unexpected. The list of survivors will be lengthy if not all inclusive. Specifics of how it all went down will be uncovered and argued generations later, to the interest of no one save antiquarians. — OlRemus @ Woodpile Report
Everybody needs to just Chill. Out. Needs to sit down. Needs to take a breath and say the Serenity Prayer. And mean it.
Independent journalist Randi Nord (Geopolitics Alert, Mint Press News) spoke out this afternoon on the situation in Yemen, and America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
By Brandon Smith
Over a decade ago, critics of the liberty movement would often argue that it was not enough to simply point out all the problems plaguing our economy — we needed to also offer solutions. Of course, a common Alinsky tactic is to demand your opponents solve all the world’s ailments before they can earn the right to complain. “If you can’t give us a solution, then stop going on and on about the problem,” they would squawk incessantly like parrots.
I don’t agree that our right to analyze the instabilities of our financial system is predicated on our ability to fix the issue outright. In fact, that sounds rather insane. How can we fix the problem if we don’t educate the public on the problem first? However, I do think that the only people who have the drive and the knowledge to ultimately come up with a solution are those in the liberty movement. Who else is going to try? Who else is even qualified?
I have seen many ideas come and go over the years. The thing about fixing what is broken is that while you might get most people to agree on the problem, getting a majority of them to agree on a solution is a nightmare. Once enough people agree on a solution, you then have to find a way to motivate them to act on it. The masses often want desperately to help themselves, they just don’t like it when a lot of effort or sacrifice is required.
This is why we only tend to see organized activism and a push toward self-sufficiency AFTER a crisis has already struck. Most human beings require obvious incentive before they become motivated. They need immediate gratification. The people that can see the long game, who can see the incentives years or generations down the road, we call “leaders.” The hope is that one day every individual can be educated to the point that they can self-lead; that each individual will become an innovator and problem solver in their own right.
A Facebook reader comments in response to this article:
“It is really interesting how disconnected these people are from ordinary human beings, even liberal Americans. I was trying to think of how to differentiate, and it’s this: there is High Church Liberalism and Low Church Liberalism. Low churchers are still in the mindset that being mean to homosexuals isn’t nice, that rich people have too much money, and that you should give extra help to brown people. High Church liberalism takes their egalitarianism to newfound heights, where having a white baby is racist. Since these people almost never church together they are not aware of how out of sync they are. As the High Church is gaining more and more ascendance, becoming a major faction within the State Church of America they are bringing regular Sunday liberals into contact with their theological psychosis and are actually alienating people who would – if they didn’t hear them speak – they would consider to be Brothers in the Lord.”
By Leah McDonald
The Daily Mail
Animal Welfare Group PETA has bizarrely claimed that cow’s milk is a symbol of white supremacy.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) originally published a blog post titled ‘Why cow’s milk is the perfect drink for white supremacists’ last year.
The animal rights group renewed that claim on Friday when it tweeted a link to its post again.
The group urged people to drink dairy-free alternatives, as dairy products are ‘linked to developing heart disease as well as prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer’.
Sargon vs the techno-oligarchs.
“In episode 13 of Unraveling Political Theory, Tim and Keith will be discussing 5 different political debates that are false dichotomies. To understand the world of politics and change it for the better, it’s paramount that people begin to study political theory and the ways in which it has manifest throughout history up into the present day. By bringing light to the origins of political and philosophical thought, the present day becomes all the more explainable because one is now able to see the logical progression of such manifestations.”
Recently, AttacktheSystem.Com has generated a surge of traffic due to a range of projects we have been associated with. For those who are unfamiliar with ATS, I would suggest reading our Statement of Purpose, along the following three articles first in order to find out what we’re about.
Anarchism or Anarcho-Social Democracy?
Liberty and Populism: Building an Effective Resistance Movement for North America
Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire
The first article was written circa 2000/2001 during the peak of the anti-globalization movement. The other two were written circa 2003/2004 following the beginning of the Iraq War. While some of the content may be slightly dated, these core ideas remain the foundation of our outlook.
Many of our newer readers are coming to us from the anarchist movement. Let’s just say we offer an alternative perspective to the “anarcho-MSNBC” line that is presently dominant in the North American anarchist milieu. Make up your own mind.