On Antisemitism, Critical Thinking, And Conspiracy Theories Reply

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.

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The Myth Making of Antifa Intellectuals Reply

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.

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Slavoj Žižek: Trump’s rise is a symptom of a dark and subtle force Reply

A leading Marxist philosopher says what I have been saying for (at least) 20 years. Interesting.

By Stephen Johnson

Big Think

  • Slavoj Žižek and British political writer Owen Jones recently spoke about American politics, the left and global capitalism.
  • Žižek sees the success of President Donald Trump as proof that the left needs a major overhaul.
  • Žižek said one positive aspect of Trump’s presidency could be the rise of a new movement on the left.

The crucial battle in American politics today is what’s happening within the Democratic Party, not what’s happening against President Donald Trump, according to the philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek.

Žižek recently sat down with political commentator Owen Jones for an interview that covered the changing nature of global capitalism, the successes and failures of modern leftist movements, and the best ways to change existing political structures.

Žižek, a frequent critic of both capitalism and the shortcomings of the modern left, said liberals focus too much on social issues, such as LGBT rights and racism, and on new right-leaning factions. The cost? The majority of working-class voters may not hear what’s in it for them.

“The crucial event today is not the rise of the New Right,” he said. “The crucial thing is the disintegration of the central-left welfare consensus. This is why the crucial battle in the U.S. today, it’s not against Trump, it’s what happens within the Democratic Party.”

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Civil War? If It Starts It Will Be Uglier Than Anyone Can Imagine 1

“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.

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Fighting Back Against Globalism Requires An Honest Movement To Decentralize Reply

By Brandon Smith

Alt-Market.Com

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.

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PETA is ridiculed on Twitter for claiming milk is a ‘symbol of white supremacy’ Reply

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’.

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Unraveling Political Theory – 5 Political Debates That Are False Dichotomies Reply

“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.”

Welcome, New Readers! 1

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.

Political Commentators That Are Not Totally Worthless Reply

Some political commentators actually worth reading or listening to:

Jimmy Dore, Chris Hedges, Ben Norton, Caitlin Johnstone, Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson, Brian Becker, Pat Buchanan, Rania Khalek, John Kiriakou, Abby Martin, Robbie Martin, Adam Proctor, Eugene Puryear, Aimee Terese.

From Marxists to paleoconservatives, they offer a range of alternative perspectives to the FOX-CNN-MSNBC axis of bullshit.

Russia-gate as Symptom: The Crisis of American Community Reply

By far the best article on Russia-gate to date.

By Paul Grenier

Telos

Are the divisions that fragment the United States primarily driven by some deep flaw in its political life, or was the United States doing just fine, thank you very much—until Russia came along during the 2016 presidential race and started sowing division and dissension?

Framed that way, the question answers itself. Whatever some state-sanctioned Russian actors may have done to pester the American political process, it is obvious that America’s deep divisions exist for reasons having essentially nothing to do with Russia. They long precede the last election.

Even if Russia’s interventions into American electoral politics turn out to be more significant than they presently appear, this cannot change the more fundamental reality that our confrontational posture, including vis-à-vis Russia, is by no means something external to the United States’ Lockean liberal political concept.

That there is something intrinsically confrontational about that political concept, at least in the sphere of foreign affairs, has been suggested by, among others, Richard Sakwa. For Sakwa, the post-Soviet settlement with Russia was undermined almost from the very start by a monist worldview in both the United States and Brussels that would brook no alternative perspectives. The result has been a de facto monologue between “the West” and post-Soviet Russia rather than a genuine, transformational dialogue.

Similarly, John Mearsheimer calls out ruling elites in the United States for their “liberal intolerance” and their failure to take seriously the possibility that other sovereign states, including Russia, might have a different perspective regarding everything from culture to their own vital interests. This habit of nearly hermetic intellectual self-enclosure on the United States’ part helped precipitate the still-ongoing crisis in Ukraine.[2]

In Russia-gate, this same closed system of confrontation and self-enclosure appears once again in a new form, one rooted in domestic U.S. processes, and with Russia’s relation to the matter being almost wholly instrumental. If there is something novel about Russia-gate, broadly considered, it would appear to be the striking lowering of standards for reasoned argument and proof.

In short, Russia-gate should interest us not for what it can teach us about Russia (almost nothing) but for what it can teach us about ourselves.

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Keith Preston: US has been seeking global hegemony since end of WWll Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The US has long been seeking global domination but some countries won’t allow that to happen, says an American analyst.

Keith Preston, director of the attackthesyestem.org made the remarks while discussing Russia’s jab at Washington that its “dreams” of becoming the world’s sole superpower would never come true.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the US was pulling out of an arms control treaty with Russia, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans ground-based medium-range missiles.

That same day, Russia said there was an ulterior motive.

“The main motive is a dream of a unipolar world. Will it come true? No,” a Russian Foreign Ministry source anonymously told RIA Novosti state news agency.

Preston told Press TV on Sunday that Washington has long sought becoming the world’s sole superpower and failed.

“The trump administration’s efforts to withdraw from the particular treaty in question are simply a manifestation a water pattern, which is this idea of global American hegemony” Preston told Press TV Sunday.

When it came to this grand objective, there was no difference of opinion between America’s both major parties, the analyst noted.

In doing so, Washington prefers utilizing the United Nations and other international organizations “because they think this creates a great revere of legitimacy,” Preston added.

Neoconservatives also sought the same goal through promoting an “assertive nationalism” that required bypassing international organizations and exerting direct control over world affairs.

“There is virtually nothing new about this,” the analyst said, noting the past US administrations had also adopted this policy which dated back to the Cold War era.

But, according to Preston, that goal seems far-fetched as of now because there are countries that would not give in to America’s bullying, the analyst concluded.

Preston vs. Bolton Reply

I bash John Bolton on Iranian television.

US National Security Adviser, John Bolton has tough words for China: adjust your behavior in trade, international, military and political arenas or else! Bolton says President Donald Trump has pledged to ramp up his administration’s pressure on China. He says the president believes China is the major issue of the century and that Beijing has long taken advantage of the international order without objections from the US. Washington and Beijing are currently engaged in a bitter trade war. The Trump administration has also accused China of trying to undermine the president ahead of next month’s congressional elections, something Beijing has denied. The US also accuses China of reckless military actions in the South China Sea.

 

Left/Post-Left Anarchism vs. Keith Preston, Part 2 8

The second part of The Brilliant’s discussion of yours truly. Listen here.

The host’s comments:

“I have been wanting to talk about the line between tribalism and nationalism for years but it is a challenge. All sides take the conversation very seriously ON THE INTERNET whereas my experience IRL isn’t quite the same. I’ve found people willing to joke and tease each other about the categories that do and don’t exist and our participation in them. I’ve found the hyperbole of tough guys, banning, gatekeeping, and racist bullshit to be quite rare in the corporal world. Not as much in the ether.

Right-anarchist Keith Preston sent me a copy of a very interesting (and disturbing) magazine called Tribes that points straight at the issue calling itself a “National Anarchist magazine.” I did a conversation with KP where I tried to tease out the issue of how you can discuss nation in any meaningful way without discussing race (or the nation state tbh) and here is what he had to say about it.

I simply described myself as a “racial atheist,” meaning I have no racial beliefs. And then he was like “But these folks do….” and I simply said that there are many people who do not have racial/ethnic beliefs in the N-A milieu, and those who do are very diverse in terms of their perspective on those issues, and that people of color were among the N-A milieu as well.

To which I’d respond, why call yourself a national anarchist at all? How is a nation defined (especially if you use it in the sense that the Tribes editorial does as in nation = tribes)? I’d then laugh at the use of the term atheist in the same breath as race. You can claim all humans are of the same biological race (and I’d agree) but to say that “Race does not exist” is laughably stupid.

But let’s not get distracted. If the post-modern definition of a nation, or a tribe, is possible, which I’m not sure it is, the place where it was articulated best was in the 80’s by the (not)anarchist, (not)utopian book bolo’bolo. Filled with a world where alco-bolos and les-bolos live together in perfect harmony. Let’s talk about this body of ideas in a context we share… which obviously doesn’t involve KP.

In this two episode block we discuss our discomfort with KP’s approach (the first two episodes focus on the nationalism question in the context of bolo’bolo, the third on the context of bolo’bolo itself) and ask how to discuss nationalism at all in a modern (ie dramaful) context.”

 

Left/Post-Left Anarchism vs. Keith Preston, Part 1 Reply

Listen to the podcast from The Brilliant here.

The host’s comments:

“I have been wanting to talk about the line between tribalism and nationalism for years but it is a challenge. All sides take the conversation very seriously ON THE INTERNET whereas my experience IRL isn’t quite the same. I’ve found people willing to joke and tease each other about the categories that do and don’t exist and our participation in them. I’ve found the hyperbole of tough guys, banning, gatekeeping, and racist bullshit to be quite rare in the corporal world. Not as much in the ether.

Right-anarchist Keith Preston sent me a copy of a very interesting (and disturbing) magazine called Tribes that points straight at the issue calling itself a “National Anarchist magazine.” I did a conversation with KP where I tried to tease out the issue of how you can discuss nation in any meaningful way without discussing race (or the nation state tbh) and here is what he had to say about it.

I simply described myself as a “racial atheist,” meaning I have no racial beliefs. And then he was like “But these folks do….” and I simply said that there are many people who do not have racial/ethnic beliefs in the N-A milieu, and those who do are very diverse in terms of their perspective on those issues, and that people of color were among the N-A milieu as well.

To which I’d respond, why call yourself a national anarchist at all? How is a nation defined (especially if you use it in the sense that the Tribes editorial does as in nation = tribes)? I’d then laugh at the use of the term atheist in the same breath as race. You can claim all humans are of the same biological race (and I’d agree) but to say that “Race does not exist” is laughably stupid.

But let’s not get distracted. If the post-modern definition of a nation, or a tribe, is possible, which I’m not sure it is, the place where it was articulated best was in the 80’s by the (not)anarchist, (not)utopian book bolo’bolo. Filled with a world where alco-bolos and les-bolos live together in perfect harmony. Let’s talk about this body of ideas in a context we share… which obviously doesn’t involve KP.

In this two episode block we discuss our discomfort with KP’s approach (the first two episodes focus on the nationalism question in the context of bolo’bolo, the third on the context of bolo’bolo itself) and ask how to discuss nationalism at all in a modern (ie dramaful) context.”