The Pitfalls of Rationalism 3

New essay from Michael Parish.

The basic tenants of liberalism are not, ironically, arrived at through deductive logic but through an arduous process of mental abstraction. What is presented to us by rationalists as a realist assessment of the world is in truth a vague conceptualization produced by a reductionist thought process. By abstracting thoroughly all essential properties from particulars it reduces them all objects in the world to mere mental concepts. These concepts are then presented to us as objective facts to be factored into account when it comes to socio-political organization. When reality negates these supposed facts the rationalist has no answer sufficient to negate reality.

See Michael’s “The Agony of the American Right” as well:

Now, all this drivel would in a perfect world would dissipate in mid-air. Sadly for us, we live not in the perfect world but in the modern world, where it gets beamed into Middle-American ears by the fluorescence of Faux News. That it spills from the mouth of an adult convert to Mormonism who indulges in played up tears on air apparently puts no dent in its credibility.

Anarchism, Prescription, and Prediction Reply

Good piece from Jeremy.

As an anarchist, I believe that distributed systems of decision making like the market are the best ways for processing information and organizing society. Central planning doesn’t work, and my ideology seeks to better understand the way humans relate rather than making them turn into something they’re not. Therefore, since I don’t wish to impose a plan on anybody, I really have none to offer – just ideas, reflections, and some theories. This often cripples me rhetorically, though – people don’t seem to understand why I can’t just “give them a plan” for how anarchism would work. It just goes to show you how deeply ingrained politics and central, top-down managerialism really is in our society.

Karl Hess and the IRS Reply

From Lila Rajiva’s blog. Hess really was one of the all-time greats.

“I am in total opposition to any institutional power. I favor a world of neighborhoods in which all social organization is voluntary and the ways of life are
established in small, consenting groups. These groups could cooperate with other groups as they saw fit. But all cooperation would be on a voluntary basis. As the French anarchist Proudhon said, “Liberty is not the daughter but the Mother of Order.” The precedents I look to are the participatory democracies of the Greek city-states, many Irish cities up until the British occupation, some Indian villages under Mahatma Gandhi and the town meetings right here in America. Each of those
anarchist societies produced great and honorable cultures. There is no way to achieve a free society that is national. The concept of a nation requires the subordination of the citizen because you must let someone else represent you. So your freedom is being exercised by another person. In a truly free society, there is no subordination of any citizen. Every citizen represents himself. The
nation-state is an abomination.”

–    Karl Hess 1976

The IRS story:

“Karl was a speech writer for Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign and was
credited with the famous, “Extremism in defense of Liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of freedom is no virtue”, from Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the 1964 convention. Actually it was given to him by Harry Jaffa and although he thought it was provocative, he did not expect
it would induce the spontaneous hemorrhaging in the body politic it did.

After Johnson was elected Karl was slapped with an IRS audit. When he asked the auditor/robber who was handling his case/theft if a certain perfectly legitimate deduction was right, he replied it didn’t matter if it was right because it was the law. Karl said he had never before met an American who thought there was a difference between right and law. The perfect Nazi soldier. He then notified them he wasn’t going to pay taxes anymore–ever and by way of explanation enclosed a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The IRS confiscated all his property except tools and clothing and
slapped a 100 percent government lien on all future earnings. He and his wife moved to West Virginia where he became a non union welder and sculptor living on barter.

Karl said, “It is curious to note that when, for reasons of conscience, people refuse to kill, they are often exempted from active military duty. But there are no exemptions for people who, for reasons of conscience, refuse to financially support the bureaucracy that actually does the killing. Apparently the state takes money more seriously than life”.

How to Identify a National-Anarchist 1

Here’s how.

A National Anarchist in America may exhibit the following stereotypical characteristics. They will often claim to have a staunch independent streak and critical thinking skills. They are also:

White Americans (not always, but at the present time 99 times out of 100 this is the case), they only speak one language, they have an affinity for wearing black, they are supportive of DIY culture and projects, they like punk music, they ride bikes as a form of transportation as a political statement, they are opposed to drug laws, taxes, and the primacy of money in society, they are opposed to working for the government or the military, they are college educated, they are very mobile and are rarely found in the area where they are from, they speak with respect towards other cultures and may know more about others than their own.

This finishes the list.

Oh, those evil National-Anarchists!

On Counter-Infiltration of Enemy Institutions Reply

Some thoughtful comments from David Heleniak:

I don’t think “our side” should give up on trying a counter-infiltration of the key institutions taken over by the PC Left. Many lawyers, for example, are committed to civil liberties, ye olde English traditions, etc.
They can be allies in someone’s bid to get a significant spot in the American Bar Association. I’m sure I’ve told you that the commission on domestic violence of the ABA is completely controlled by the PC feminists: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Myths-of-ABA-Commission-on-DV-Summary.pdf A coup attempt for that ABA section might be in order, or for some other key position, from which the DV section can be discredited and marginalized. Another area is the Catholic Church. There’s been some infiltration by the PC left, but it is not complete by any means. It probably is a waste of time to try to take over the mainline Methodist church, but with the Catholics you have the natural law tradition, an anti-government streak which I observed while in Catholic high school, splinter groups like Tom Woods and the Latin Mass crowd, homeschoolers. This is off the top of my head–there are other reasons too I think the Catholic Church is promising.

Imagine the Pope making a speech in which he denounces Cultural Marxism, or the family courts, or local dioceses’ support of local battered women’s shelters (this is common, in part because battered women’s shelters superficially seem like a good cause). That would set some gears in motion for sure. Of course, “our side” should join Mens Rights organizations. Check out the main writer at Spearhead’s story:

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2010/09/03/coming-out-of-the-closet/

I really do believe that when middle to upper-middle class men get
screwed by the State and their illusions of a just State are shattered,
they can cause the State more problems than screwed over members of the underclass, who (1) are used to getting screwed over, so don’t get as outraged by the treatment of the PC State; (2) tend to be dumb; and (3) have few resources.

On the issue of the masses, there’s a group that are between contented masses and the enlightened few, and they are the conspiracy Alex Jones types. One thing I’ve noticed, and this was pointed out at Lew Rockwell’s blog, is that these guys have a naive faith in the rule of law. They think the State is a demon that can be controlled by magical incantations. If only they can chant the right spell, the State will be compelled to do their bidding. E.g., some tax avoiders really think that with the right legal argument argument, the State, as manifested in the form of a tax judge, will see the light and agree they don’t have to pay taxes (wait, that sounds like me with my challenges of the DV system). Some birthers think that if they can just prove Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, he’ll have to be removed from office (fat chance). Anyway, these guys, also as pointed out at Lew Rockwell’s site, are despite their flaws closer to our brand of enlightenment than is the typical sheeple.

Getting back to your article on legal theory, I’m guessing you probably
have this, but if not, be sure to get Paul Craig Robert’s The Tyranny of
Good Intentions.
On your efforts to discredit democracy, a book I’ve been leafing through that looks promising–not dead on, mind you–is The Trouble With Democracy, by William Gairdner.

Some Points to Consider 4

Here are some points we need to be thinking about:

-Past partisan cycles indicate that the Democratic Party will be the dominant political party for the next few decades.

-Research on public opinion regarding controversial issues along with prevailing cultural, demographic, economic, and generational trends indicates that the Left will be the winning side in the “culture war” conflict.

-Past times in American history where the gap between socio-economic classes has been extremely wide have been followed by subsequent periods of intensified class struggle resulting in a new settlement and altering of relations between the social classes. Therefore, given the present economic situation, class issues should soon enough surpass culture war issues as the dominant conflict in American society.

-Major conflicts in American society are usually played out within the context of the dominant party, e.g. the civil rights conflict within the Democratic Party during the 1950s and 60s. That means conflict over class issues should emerge not only within the wider society but especially within the Democratic Party at some point in the future.

I’m not a historical determinist, and any number of variables could alter these trends or cycles. But this seems to be as good a model as any to base future predictions on, so long as the model remains flexible and subject to modification or re-evaluation. The question: What does this mean for the future of alternative anarchism?

Interesting Reading 1

Jesse Walker on Angelo Codevilla’s The Ruling Class as well as its weakness.

Christians, Tell Me How I’m Wrong by James Leroy Wilson

Police Secrecy by Radley Balko

Against the Current Court System by Francois Tremblay

An Ultra-Left Case Against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Charles Johnson

Amusement Parks and Private Property by Stacy Litz

The Growing Pains of the Mexican Drug War by Gavin McInnes

We Need a Revolution, Not a Movement by Chuck Baldwin

The Nazification of the United States by Paul Craig Roberts

Gay Marriage: Who Cares? by Jim Goad

Netherlands to Close Prisons, Not Enough Criminals Reply

Let’s bring Holland to America.

For years prohibitionists, including our own Drug Enforcement Administration, have claimed — falsely — that the tolerant marijuana policies of the Netherlands have made that nation a nest of crime and drug abuse. They may have trouble wrapping their little brains around this:

The Dutch government is getting ready to close eight prisons because they don’t have enough criminals to fill them. Officials attribute the shortage of prisoners to a declining crime rate.

Just for fun, let’s compare the Netherlands to California. With a population of 16.6 million, the Dutch prison population is about 12,000. With its population of 36.7 million, California should have a bit more than double the Dutch prison population. California’s actual prison population is 171,000.

So, whose drug policies are keeping the streets safer?

The True Costs of the War Reply

Paul Craig Roberts shines once again.

Do Americans see the irony in the “saving Iraq from tyranny” excuse? The greatest price of the neoconservative war against Iraq is not the $3 trillion or the dead and maimed American soldiers and their broken families. The greatest price of this evil war is the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and American civil liberties.

The Bush/Cheney/Obama National Security State has eviscerated the Constitution and civil liberty. Nothing remains. The fascist Republican Federalist Society has put enough federal judges in the judiciary to rule that the president is above the law. The president doesn’t have to obey the law against spying on American citizens without warrants. The president doesn’t have to obey U.S. and international laws against torture. The president doesn’t have to obey the Constitution that mandates that only Congress can declare war. The president can do whatever he wants as long as he justifies it as “national security.”

The president’s part of the government, the unaccountable executive branch, is supreme. The president can announce, without being impeached, his decision to murder Americans abroad and at home if someone somewhere in the unaccountable executive branch regards such American citizens as “threats.”

Murder first. No accountability later.

I generally consider so-called “right-wing conservatism” to be a dead force in American politics. I suspect Iraq and Afghanistan will be American imperialism’s last great hurrahs. Americans clearly will not accept war if it involves any genuine sacrifices on their side such as high casualites, a direct war tax, the draft, rationing, etc. The U.S. has not fought a war of that kind since Vietnam. America’s imploding economy and mounting fiscal liabilities for entitlements and public debt will render future military adventures like Iraq cost prohibitive. It’s also obvious enough that in domestic American politics social conservatism is a dead dog as well. Organized religion continues to lose its influence, and the old WASP culture continues to disappear. Even the US prison population declined in 2009 for the first time in four decades. There’s also evidence the war on drugs is starting to very slowly recede with initiatives like the marijuana decriminalization referendum in California. Clearly, American culture is now more liberal than ever before with regard to virtually every issue including race, religion, cultural values, sexuality, the environment, and just about everything else. The greatest danger to liberty in the future will not come from reactionary theocratic Christians or right-wing racial supremacists (contrary to what the left-hysterics claims) or even ordinary conservatives, but from the rising forces of totalitarian humanism, the overlords of the managerial-therapuetic state, and the massive police state apparatus and authoritarian legal structures that have been created under the guise of the wars on drugs, crime, and terrorism. It is this apparatus that the totalitarian humanists will inherit and use to advance their own preferred form of tyranny. Thanks a lot for leaving us such a legacy, conservatives. May you all rot in Hell.

The Economy Keeps Going Down Reply

Some good economic analysis.

Check out this article on class analysis in particular.

The economic decline is going to be a permanent state of affairs. There’s not going to be any “recovery.” Look for some serious class struggle politics to emerge in the future, and look for it to come from the dissident forces on the Right (no, not the Tea Party idiots, who are basically the older, more right-wing faction of the upper middle class that is on it’s way out politically, culturally, and economically).

Class War 2

Another home run from Scott Locklin.

As an opening foray into social class as right wing concept, I offer a tentative battle plan. The job of the alternative right, as I see it, is to destroy the present upper middle class, and eventually replace it with something better. I’m not advocating feeding them to the wood chipper, though I’m only opposed to that idea on logistical and hygienic grounds. Destroying a social class is a lot easier than it sounds. The counterculture did this to the old upper middle class, and replaced it with … themselves.

Damn! This could be Bakunin or even Marx speaking in the 1860s. The real class enemy is not the inherited aristocracy, but the liberal bourgeoisie upper middle class (e.g. the New Class and David Brooks’ “bourgeois bohemians). This is what I’ve been saying for the last fifteen years. It’s the so-called “radical right” that understands this nowadays, which is why I’ve more or less moved into their camp despite my background and previous associations. The plutocracy proper is not numerous enough to subjugate the entire society all by their lonesome. They require their army of corporate stooges, managerial bureaucrats and, I might add, police, courts, and prisons. I suspect some of these paleoconservative guys would be disturbed to know just how close they are to being full-on classical anarchists.