A good discussion of how the corporate imperialists circle the wagons around anyone with even moderately anti-interventionist views. US foreign policy is essentially a Roman-like imperialism that is committed to large-scale massacres as a matter of policy. The Democrats and Republicans are fine with this, and committed to preserving it. Most progressive liberals and SJWs consider anti-imperialism to be just another issue, or a matter of indifference. Even a supposed “far leftist” like Alexander Reid-Ross-Podhoretz-Kristol is more concerned about Russo-Assadist conspiracies on behalf of the Learned Elders of Thule than opposing the US empire of corpses.
Yep. This is a pretty good analysis. It’s also important to recognize that political correctness/totalitarian humanism is not just a Left/Right conflict. It’s also an intra-Left conflict as well, with all kinds of left-wing factors shitting all over themselves to out-PC each other, or to accuse each other of some kind of heresy. ATS is a revolutionary left perspective for those who don’t give a flying fuck about this stuff, and refuse to play along with it.
I’m not a fan of Tucker Carlson’s Trumpism, but a “no apologies, no capitulation” policy is how you handle the SJWs.
Given that Trumpism seems to represent dying WASP America’s last stand, I think it is pretty safe to say that we are now moving into a time where the circle of neocons, right-libertarians, exiled social democrats, frustrated centrists, heterodox academics around Dave Rubin constitute the far right, the Clinton/Biden corporate liberals constitute conservatism, the Sanders/AOC progressives constitute liberalism, and the SJWs/Antifa constitute the far left. I guess that would make ATS the far, far left or “ultra-left.”
It is true that the neoconservative/neoliberal/deep state/power elite ruling class doesn’t like populists. Not Trump from the right or AOC from the left. They’ve mostly been able to co-opt or at least control Trump, who was always (at best) a hit and miss anyway. They seem to promote AOC as an acceptable “celebrity leftist” (probably because she’s also anti-Trump and doesn’t talk much about foreign policy, and her message isn’t immediately threatening to basic ruling class interests) while attacking her at the same time, as opposed to Tulsi whom they try to sweep under the rug and Omar whom they’re totally flipping out over. But ultimately the political class itself is a problem and anyone who enters the state should automatically be viewed with suspicion.
Here’s the basic deal: They can co-opt or control anyone who goes along with the general foreign policy and state/corporatist paradigm, but someone who steps out of that box like Tulsi Gabbard is a real threat, particularly if they are Israel-critical, like Ilhan Omar. In which case, they will immediately move against such an individual.
They can concede free colleges, single-payer healthcare, transgender restrooms, gay marriage, etc. None of that threatens ruling class power itself. The EU countries have all that and the European ruling classes get by just fine. It may even be helpful as it is a means of expanding the state while co-opting new constituencies and paying off politically connected private interests. I’m sure there are lots of capitalist interests looking to get in on AOC’s Green New Deal. But attacking the empire itself is a big no-no as would be a genuinely radical domestic policy (like abolishing intellectual property law, free banking, or repealing laws of incorporation).
This is the kind of political program that would be genuinely threatening to ruling class interests.
For decades, I have considered Democratic Party neoliberals to be the future conservatives, and SJW leftists to be the future liberals, and that seems to be finally coming into fruition nowadays. What ATS has always been intended to be is a blueprint for a far left anarchist movement that’s so far left that is crosses over with the right (horseshoe theory and all that) on issues that are or ought to be within the anarchist paradigm but are rejected by many liberals and leftists (right to bear arms/self defense, anti-Zionism, freedom of association, anti-PC/free speech, secession, authentic economic freedom, etc) plus authentic anti-imperialism and class struggle so that an-coms and sovereign citizens end up under the same umbrella.
The word “socialism” is constantly being thrown about by supposed supporters and detractors alike, most of whom are people who have no clue as to what socialism actually is.
I am opposed to conventional socialism, which I actually consider to be a conservative philosophy (see Murray Rothbard’s essay “Left and Right” on this). Historically, socialist societies have been very conservative. There is no developed, “First World” country that practices socialism, and there never has been. The supposed “socialist” countries in Northern Europe practice a kind of “welfare capitalism” that is often more “free market” than the United States (where the market is subordinated to a kind of corporatist-financier-plutocratic-military-command economy, like an industrial-technological version of the economy of the Roman Empire).
Historically, socialism has appealed primarily to middle-class intellectuals and professionals in colonial societies and feudal countries whose national, political or class ambitions were being frustrated by either external colonialist/imperialist powers, or their own entrenched/inert ruling classes. Socialism was regarded as means of seizing the wealth of external colonial overlords, their colonial puppet rulers, and feudal elites, and utilizing this wealth for internal development (which is why Western colonial powers have been so opposed to socialism). Most of these countries eventually convert to capitalism (or simply stagnate or fall apart).
This Wikipedia entry listing socialist countries that have actually existed is pretty thorough. Notice that not a one of them is or has even been a Westernized industrial democracy. The “socialism” of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, etc is standard welfare capitalism of the kind that developed in the late 19th and early 20th century through philosophies like progressivism, Fabianism, social democracy and reform liberalism.
Modern industrial economies are hybrids of market relations, and bureaucratic-managerial-administrative systems, with interlocking public, private, and independent sectors. Check out James Burnham’s work on the “managerial revolution” from the 1940s. He was an early observer of how classical bourgeois capitalism was being replaced with the modern, corporate, administrative kind. In a historical context socialism means either a nationalized economy that is directed by the state, or a worker run cooperative/syndicalist system, or some kind of New Harmony like utopian commune. However, the latter two examples are a fringe tendency within socialism (or have been during the past century), were denounced by Lenin as an “infantile disorder,” and are not what most people think of when they think of socialism.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Watching the news lately, you get the impression that the world is being ripped in two by the scourge of the far-right and the far-left. Populism they call it. Warring tribes in a binary war for the soul of the free world. In the US, Our dear orange Pericles is scheming mightily to manipulate the already unconstitutional powers of executive privilege to follow through with his promise to militarize the commons at the boarder. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is in virtual upheaval over how to contain a 5-foot-2 congresswoman for making the “antisemitic” observation that perhaps Israel has too much influence over Washington while the rest of the party keep McCarthyism alive with their own Russophobic “tropes”.
Across Europe and many other parts of the world, you here a similar tale of the populist left and/or the populist right going too far in one direction or the other, many times both simultaneously in an act of sociopolitical fission. You also hear a great collective wail from the established order who still maintain control over the press and the permanent government, lamenting the untimely demise of globalism and an ill-defined sense of pragmatism among the holy Neos, both liberal and conservative. These heavily microphoned scions of the status quo would have you believe that the world was in perfect harmony before the 2008 financial crash that they and their order precipitated with the bipartisan pillage of the world’s financial resources. In times like these the Ivy League appointed intellectual hierarchy of corporate thinktankland like to blow the dust off that old time honored canard of Jean-Pierre Faye’s Horseshoe Theory. The idea that, when push comes to shove, the far-right and the far-left are like two ends of a horseshoe, nearly meeting each other ideologically in the middle.
A reader writes:
Regarding your piece today on the First World Left (as well as the Truthout article you shared re: Ilhan Omar), one silver lining to the ascendance of progressives — whatever their many fundamental shortcomings, as you rightly note — is the current opening up of dialogue surrounding (previously unquestioned) bipartisan support for Israel. Something that was long-verboten a few months ago has suddenly been forced into mainstream discussion.
From what I’ve seen just hopping around online, this is indeed a huge rift that’s developing within the Democratic Party. I see progressives shocked at and creeped out by the Democratic establishment’s thuggish attempt to silence dissent, with some clearly beginning to regard them not simply as a stodgy old guard to be dragged into becoming more progressive, but as just as monstrous as the Republicans. This is purely anecdotal of course, but I’ve seen some ostensibly progressive commenters use words like psychotic and evil to describe them.
Irrespective of anything else that may happen, this seems like an important development, and something that perhaps had to come from the Left. It’s easy to dismiss paleocons and far right figures as anti-Semites (especially since some of them obviously are); it’s a lot harder to get away with the same accusations here. I imagine this will ultimately combine with the growing sentiment to throw Saudi Arabia under the bus as well. It’s only natural after all, if they are indeed serious about opposing authoritarian, right-wing governments as a matter of foreign policy.
Press TV. Listen here.
A political analyst says that Saudi Arabia has become “something of a liability to the United States in terms of international standing.”
Keith Preston made the remarks in an interview with Press TV when was asked about a bipartisan group of US senators in Congress who have warned against growing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.
At the confirmation hearing of new US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid on Wednesday, Republican and Democratic US senators censured the kingdom over its devastating war on Yemen and other rights abuses, including the detention and torture of women’s rights activists and the grisly murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Saudi Arabia was the “most difficult” US ally “because it almost asks us to agree to stay silent on grotesque violations of human rights both domestically and abroad.”
PressTV-US senators slam Saudi crown prince as ‘full gangster’A bipartisan group of US senators in Congress have warned against growing human rights violations under Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom.
Charleston, West Virginia (March 8th, 2019) — Sound money advocates rejoiced today as the West Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 502 and sent it to Governor Jim Justice for his signature.
First passed in the West Virginia senate unanimously last month, the measure removes state sales taxation of precious metals, specifically on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins.
State Senator Craig Blair (R-District 15) introduced SB 502 with the goal of encouraging precious metals purchasers to keep their investment dollars in the state rather making investments elsewhere. The bill impacts purchases of platinum, gold, palladium, or silver bullion valued upon its precious metal content, whether in coin, bar, or ingot form.
The Sound Money Defense League helped make the case to West Virginia legislators, explaining why charging sales taxes on money itself is beyond the pale. In effect, those states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.
“West Virginia’s legislature has taken a huge step forward with the passage of SB 502. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Blair and other groups, Governor Justice can sign a measure eliminating obstacles in the way of West Virginia citizens to protect themselves from the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve,” said Jp Cortez, Policy Director of the Sound Money Defense League.
By Luke Kemp
19 February 2019
Studying the demise of historic civilisations can tell us how much risk we face today, says collapse expert Luke Kemp. Worryingly, the signs are worsening.
Great civilisations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives.
This article is part of a new BBC Future series about the long view of humanity, which aims to stand back from the daily news cycle and widen the lens of our current place in time. Modern society is suffering from “temporal exhaustion”, the sociologist Elise Boulding once said. “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future,” she wrote.
That’s why the Deep Civilisation season will explore what really matters in the broader arc of human history and what it means for us and our descendants.
So concluded the historian Arnold Toynbee in his 12-volume magnum opus A Study of History. It was an exploration of the rise and fall of 28 different civilisations. More…
By Tom Williams
At a time of heightened anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred, the Democratic establishment has taken unprecedented steps to single out a Muslim representative for her criticisms of AIPAC and the U.S.’s relationship with Israel. After first publicly rebuking Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Democratic establishment, led by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, began drafting a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, amounting to an indirect censure.
Anyone who is hated by Bill Kristol, Howard Dean, Meghan McCain, and Alexander Reid-Ross all at the same time must be doing something right.
The problem I have with figures like Bernie and Alexandria is that they’re not radicals. They’re simply representatives of the left-wing of the First World middle/upper middle class, pushing issues that are important that socioeconomic demographic. Unlike the traditional American middle class (now the right-wing of the middle class) they don’t necessarily see the state as impeding their upward mobility by means of taxes, business regulations, etc. Instead, the left-wing of the middle class represents upwardly mobile members of traditional outgroups like ethnic minorities, feminist women, gays, etc (hence, the fanatical emphasis on idpol), their aesthetic interests (hence, their interest in environmentalism), their desire to be protected from the “dangerous classes” (hence, their fanatical emphasis on gun control, and their fear of guns in the hands of icky rural rednecks and inner-city brothas). They see the state as a means of upward mobility by means of public sector employment, social security, free schools and healthcare, anti-discrimination laws, etc.
I have no time for any of this. I am (generally speaking) anti-imperialist, Third Worldist, and pro-indigenous in international relations, and pro-lumpenproletarian in First World class relations. Historically, the Right was the party of the traditional elite, the Center was the party of the middle class, the Left was the party of the respectable working class, and the Anarchists were the party of the lumpenproletariat. I stand with the latter.
A great discussion of where libertarianism and the traditional Right differ and where they agree. The discussion of the work of Hans Hermann Hoppe is also quite good.
ATS friend Antony Sammeroff will be debating Presidential candidate Andrew Yang on the question of the UBI in New York City on September 19. Tickets available here.
Andrew Yang is running for president in 2020 and believes the only solution to the speeding onset of Automation and AI is a Universal Basic Income. Antony Sammeroff examines his ideas in episode 123 of the Scottish Liberty Podcast. Listen here.
Monday, September 9, 2019
Andrew Yang vs. Antony Sammeroff
Robotics will soon lead to widespread joblessness and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.
A reader offers the following observations on Tulsi Gabbard, the crime of retroactive wrongthink, and liberal imperialism.
As someone who grew up deeply enmeshed in the Fox News Republican / “Christian conservative” milieu of the 90s/00s — and who then doubled down on the belief in war and American hegemony as a solution to the world’s problems as an explicit, self-described neocon in my mid-teens (I read Irving Kristol, Douglas Murray, Robert Kagan, etc.) — there are few (maybe no) things in contemporary American politics more disappointing to me than the lack of a principled anti-war left.
Imagine my dismay as I slowly realized over the course of Obama’s first term — as a newly-minted libertarian/anarchist, now strongly anti-war — that the idealistic, wimpy peacenik Left I had heard so much about and made fun of as a little Republican shit, didn’t really exist in America anymore, and that the anti-war protests I remembered from the Bush years were basically its last gasps of relevancy in the American political scene.
Everything since then (from Obama, etc.) has been lip-service to an inherited legacy they no longer deserve to be associated with.
Of the current crop of 2020 Dem candidates, it’s nice to hear Sanders speaking out against intervention in Venezuela (bringing up the history of American intervention in Latin America during the CNN town hall recently) or to speak out against America’s support of the Saudi regime’s war in Yemen. But can we really trust Sanders not to buckle if he were to become President, like Obama (and now Trump) before him?
And the one candidate who actually makes a less interventionist (not even completely non-interventionist) foreign policy a central plank of her campaign platform, Gabbard, faces either media criticism or blackout for those views (from the establishment Left) — or, perhaps even more crippling to her chances — absolute hatred and disavowal over anti-LGBT baggage from her past — such as her support for conversion therapy, and her calling civil union (not even gay marriage) advocates “homosexual extremists”.
Despite Gabbard’s views changing since then, it is telling that that cannot be forgiven (despite her totally reasonable excuse that she grew up in a very socially conservative household and, several steps further, was the daughter of a loony family values-type activist father). Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton style warmongering is not even something that needs to be forgiven or given much thought at all; in fact, liberal interventionism is now the default, respectable position of the Democratic mainstream.
Anyway. It’s a real shame. And it makes me sad.
Maybe something unexpected will happen once the debates start, and war will end up becoming a central question of the race as a whole (similar to how Trump essentially forced the topic of illegal immigration into center focus for the 2016 Republican primaries, which then forced the other candidates to either differentiate themselves from Trump’s anti-immigrant positions, or become more Trump-like themselves on that issue). I’m not going to hold my breath though.
Press TV. Listen here.
A growing number of Americans are becoming aware of the destructive influence of the Israeli and Saudi lobby in the United States, which has led to anti-Muslim sentiment in some sectors of the country, an American analyst in Virginia says.
“More and more people in the United States are becoming increasingly critical of American foreign policy and these policies involving constant wars to overthrow the governments of other countries,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“Also, more and more Americans are becoming aware of the role that the Israeli lobby has over American foreign policy and over the American government … and more people are becoming aware of the influence that the Saudi Arabians have over the American government, particularly after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.
“So what seems to be happening is that there are various elements in the United States that are aligned with Israel and that are aligned with Saudi Arabia and ironically they’re trying to fan the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment to justify the kind of imperialist foreign policy paradigm that the United State has traditionally adhered to,” he added.
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has condemned Republicans for linking her to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, saying it’s “no wonder” she is on the “hit list” of a domestic terrorist.
Recently, a poster linking the Muslim lawmaker to the 9/11 attack was reportedly hung in West Virginia’s state legislature by Republican lawmakers.
Omar, is a Democrat member of the US House of Representatives who represents Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the lower chamber of Congress. Along with Rashida Tlaib, she was one of the first two Muslim women elected to the lower chamber of Congress and the first woman of color elected from Minnesota.
Some pro-Israel US politicians have accused Omar of anti-Semitic comments because she has been a staunch critic of Israel and its anti-Muslim policies in the Middle East. She has also repeatedly slammed the main Israeli lobby in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Speaking on Wednesday night at an event in Washington, DC with fellow Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Omar dismissed anti-Semitic charges against her, saying everything they say about Israel is interpreted as anti-Semitic because they are Muslim.
This is a fantastic discussion that gets to the heart of the problem with PC/SJWs/totalitarian humanism. The discussion of “corporate leftism” is particularly important. There’s a surprisingly high level of anti-capitalism in this, which is unusual coming from an orthodox libertarian program. This comes close to my own perspective.
The story of one of the most infamous books ever written, “The Anarchist Cookbook,” and the role it’s played in the life of its author, now 65, who wrote it at 19 in the midst of the counterculture upheaval of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
U.S. cancels large scale military exercises in South Korea, Trump’s defense of Kim Jong Un leads to discord with parents of Otto Warmbier, the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath, federal lawsuit takes aim at Nevada’s brothels, lawmakers push to legalize prostitution in New York, federal officials won’t pursue charges against cop who shot unarmed black man, 200 empires have come and gone in world history the US will be the same, the United City-States of America, man delivering food arrested after dipping his testicles in salsa over low tip, Florida man threw old toilet through window of school board building in East St. Louis, lobbying powerhouse Ron Book charged with DUI after Lamborghini crash, Starbucks’ music is driving employees nuts, nudists plan roller-coaster world record attempt, person shot after stealing a leaf blower, Walmart Is eliminating greeters and so workers with disabilities feel targeted.