The State of the Resistance Two Years Into the Age of Obama Reply

During the reign of George W. Bush, I generally argued that the foundational issues for the construction of a genuine resistance movement in the USA should be the growth of the police state and the increasingly aggressive nature of American foreign policy, and that the primary method of resistance should be, at least in the long run, secession by regions and communities. I based this view in large part on the fact that over 400 American localities had issued resolutions denouncing both the war in Iraq and the provisions of the Patriot Act. Further, towards the end of the reign of Bush, there was a proliferation of blogs, websites, and local groups oriented towards the prospect of secession. At least three dozen such efforts were in operation at one time.

Two years into the Age of Obama, it appears that such efforts have either stagnated or dried up completely. For instance, a North American secessionist conference was held three years in a row between 2006-2008, but no new conferences have been held since Obama has ascended to power. Likewise, the Second Vermont Republic, by far the best organized of any present regionalist movement, fielded a secessionist gubernatorial candidate in the election of 2010, with their candidate receiving only less than one percent of the vote. Furthermore, the antiwar movement which was already quite pale during the Bush years, has nearly completely disappeared, and the Obama regime has continued the police state policies of the Bush era with very little challenge. As Justin Raimondo observes, the reasons for this shift can be explained in two words: The Left. The antiwar or anti-Patriot Act left was always more motivated by opposition to Bush or opposition to the Republicans than by opposition to imperialism or police statism themselves. As John Whitehead explains:

Unfortunately,even many of those civil libertarians who took Bush to task and vocally criticized his civil liberties abuses have been virtually silent in face of President Obama’s continuation of Bush programs that undermine the Bill of Rights. For example, The Public Record, a nonprofit news organization based in California, asked prominent civil and human rights leaders “to explain their relatively passive position on the renewal of the Patriot Act. Most did not respond. One who did requested that his name not be used because he is still hoping to energize some of the silent voices.” Here’s what he had to say:

Many of my colleagues have just given up on the Patriot Act, either expressly or implicitly (in terms of the mindshare, energy, and resources dedicated to the issue). They don’t seem to understand or recall just how foundational this supposedly ‘emergency’ law was in setting the stage for the infringements that came later. Sheer exhaustion plays a role, but the fact that it’s been nearly a decade means that generational change is even starting to have an impact, as have all the other irons in the fire – so many other traumatizing events have come up to distract and rightfully demand attention (torture, even broader surveillance, illegal war, assassinations), and a corrosive new so-called realism (cynicism, actually) about the politics of terrorism and the complicity of our fear-driven media and political class, combined of course with a reluctance to undermine our first black president and whatever incremental progressive achievements he can make. So the situation’s pretty bleak out there, and will only turn around, in my view, if there is much greater bottom-up, local, and peer-to-peer, community-to-community activism.

In other words, now that the Left has “their guy” is power, they can forget about all this antiwar and civil liberties stuff and get on with the really important business, like repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, expanding the welfare state, or promoting draconian environmental regulations. This likewise explains the stagnation of the secessionist movement, which was clearly fueled in large part by hostility to Bush. Contrary to popular stereotype, the sympathizers for secession during the 2000s were largely drawn from those constituencies that normally lean leftward, as this 2008 Zogby poll indicated. Likewise, because Vermont is one of the bluest of the blue states, the rise of Obama likely explains Dennis Steele’s poor electoral performance as well as anything. At the same time, interest in ideas like nullification have actually grown, and these have of course been fueled by right-wing opposition to certain Obama policies, particularly “Obamacare.” Not surprisingly, nullification seems to right now be the most popular in Idaho, the reddest of red states.

All of this follows a predicable pattern, of course. During the Reagan years of the 1980s, “right-wing” political dissent was virtually unheard of, as the entire array of the Right signed on to Reagan’s Cold War policies. All political opposition in the U.S. in those years came from the Left (I know, I was there). During the Clinton era, the Left really started to become the neo-Victorian bores they are now, while it was the Right that moved into the hard-core opposition camp as evidenced by such phenomenon as the militia movement of the period. During the Bush years, the Left adopted a predictable oppositional stance, and now that Obama is here the pendulum has for obvious reasons swung back in the other direction.

In terms of what this means for the future of U.S. politics, we can safely predict that these patterns will continue. If, for instance, Sarah Palin or some other Republican favorite becomes president in 2012 or 2016, we can be sure that the Left will likely go back to its old ways of calling for resistance to Republican fascism and entertaining thoughts like secession in some instances. Likewise, during the times that the Democrats will be dominant, the Right will assume its present oppositional stance. I have previously explained why the Democrats will be the dominant party in American politics over the next few decades due to generational, cultural, demographic, and economic trends, along with the lessons of past partisan cycles. Therefore, we can expect that “right-wing” opposition will grow more rapidly in the decades ahead as opposed to its counterparts from the Left.

However, two unique situations have arisen in recent years that comprise an anomaly in the standard left/right paradigm.  The first of these is the emergence of a “permanent opposition Right” that opposes the establishment irrespective of what party is in power and fervently rejects so-called “movement conservatism” or the Republican Party. The paleoconservative Right first adopted this stance during the Bush regime with its dominance by the hated neoconservatives, and the paleo movement has since evolved into the far more radical Alternative Right. The second of these is that the number of affiliates of ARV/ATS along with the number of affiliates for allied tendencies have grown significantly since the beginning of the Obama era. Because we are perceived by our enemies and critics as “right-wing,” it might be easy to dismiss this as part of the general growth of opposition from the Right due to the Obama ascendency. However, it is particularly important to note that the growth of our own tendencies has been within the context of the demographics of the Left. Most of the  ARV/ATS,  National-Anarchist, and other affiliates have appeared in areas that are solidly blue, such as New York City, San Francisco, southern California, Ohio, Boston, Ontario, Washington state, Wisconsin, and other places that are conventionally “blue” (i.e. left-leaning) geographical regions. Further, we have experienced growth among conventionally blue  demographics such as African-Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Gays/Queers, Muslims, and others not generally thought of as being part of the American right-wing. While this growth is far too embryonic at this point to draw too many solid conclusions, a number of initial observations are in order.

First, this process seems to validate the totalitarian humanism theory. The Left has zero interest in acting as any kind of serious opposition force when the left-liberals are in power. This shows that the Left has largely abandoned its pretenses of opposition to war, militarism, imperialism, capitalism, statism, fascism, etc. and now regards seizing control of the state for the sake of advancing race/gender/gay/eco/welfarist/therapeutist politics as its real agenda.

Second, the rise of a permanent opposition Right, the interest of the mainstream right-wing in ideas like nullification, and the likely future dominance of the Democrats indicates that the majority of opposition politics in future decades will originate from the Right, with increasingly large numbers of adherents of the Right giving up on the System altogether, and adopting a permanent oppositional or even revolutionary stance.

Third, the growth of the most cutting edge forms of contemporary radicalism, such as ARV/ATS, National-Anarchism, third positionism, the most radical forms of libertarianism, alternative anarchism, etc.  generally, and among demographics generally considered “progressive” specifically, indicates that the real foundation of the future resistance to totalitarian humanism and the institutions which it controls will be some kind of yet to be defined libertarian-third position synthesis with its principal base being among genuine dissidents in large American cities, densely populated areas, and nominally “progressive” communities.

Fourth, the growing interest of dissident sectors of the Left in genuinely cutting edge radicalism and in rejection of the left establishment, the expanded interest in the libertarian-third position synthesis among “blue” demographics,the growth of a permanent opposition Right, the likely dominance of the Right in opposition politics generally over the next few decades, and the declining economic fortunes of the middle class would all seem to vindicate the “ten core demographics” theory advanced by this blogsite.

All of this is in line with the stated ARV/ATS strategy of identifying the relevant future political struggles as a kind of intra-Left civil war between the totalitarian humanist establishment and an anarchistic opposition that rejects the left-right paradigm, adopts a populist outlook, organizes among the lumpen elements of urban areas, is primarily though by no means exclusively youth oriented, and is allied politically with more conventionally right-wing populist sectors originating from more conservative or sparsely populated regions, and with revolutionary right-wing elements who have rejected this system in favor of a “post-America” of more decentralized politics and seceded regions. Of course, none of this is going to happen overnight. Hence, my previously outlined “Forty Years in the Wilderness” plan.

True Radicalism vs Totalitarian Humanism 1

Rarely do I find a single article that illustrates the immensely sharp and important differences between genuine radicalism and the totalitarian humanist outlook of the Left establishment. But this article by Thaddeus Russell illustrates the difference very clearly.

The content of this article illustrates as well as anything why American Revolutionary Vanguard and AttacktheSystem.Com are so hated by the proponents of PC Leftism, from the left-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center all the way over to the anarcho-leftoids who are the product of the brainwashing of the left-wing educational establishment that this article laments. Thaddeus Russell’s interpretation of history illustrates very well the historic conflict between the lumpenproletariat on one hand (which Bakunin regarded in part as the vanguard class of anarchism) and the left-wing of the middle class from which liberals and Marxists (or their anarcho-leftoid dupes) are typically drawn. This passage in particular sums things up pretty well:

College students are normally taught a history that is the story of struggles between capitalists and workers, whites and blacks, men and women. But history is also driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires — the “respectable” versus the “degenerate,” the moral versus the immoral, “good citizens” versus the “bad.” I wanted to show that the more that “bad” people existed, resisted, and won, the greater was what I called “the margin of freedom” for all of us.

My students were most troubled by the evidence that the “good” enemies of “bad” freedoms were not just traditional icons like presidents and business leaders, but that many of the most revered abolitionists, progressives, and leaders of the feminist, labor, civil rights, and gay rights movements worked to suppress the cultures of working-class women, immigrants, African Americans, and the flamboyant gays who brought homosexuality out of the closet.

Reagan at 100 6

by Jack Ross

The need to finally blog about something other than Egypt moves me to acknowledge the gathering out of the TAC vault to acknowledge the Reagan centennial.  Dan came closest to nailing it of anyone in this review for Reason, that he was an enormously complex figure whose complexity we would only come to properly appreciate with time.

In an unapologetic militant anarchist personal memoir of the Reagan years (unfortunately can’t find it online), my friend Keith Preston made an argument that has stuck with me ever since – that Reagan was Hindenburg to the neocons’ Nazis.  Outrageous though this may sound, we should remember that in spite of everything, Hindenburg was an honorable conservative, that the neocons did indeed exploit Reagan’s early onset dementia in Iran-Contra, and that what both figures had in common was that they were the perfect symbol for an anxious country.

The fortunate thing, however, is that we are likely to be spared the degree of tragedy that marred the similar complexities of, say, Pierre Laval.  My impeccably liberal family background also forces me to acknowledge the line of Bill Kauffman, that Reagan was nothing but a Cold War liberal who didn’t want to pay the tax rates associated with the Hollywood lifestyle.

Yet one irony about Reagan that gets far too little attention is that he likely had the most progressive foreign policy of any Cold War President.  This was, to be sure, a double-edged sword.  Whereas support for anti-Communist authoritarians peaked under the liberal idol JFK, it was under Reagan that these regimes largely met their end and were supplanted by democracies right alongside the fall of Communism.

I remember it being said around the time of Reagan’s death that with respect to the then-raging controversy over the Iraq War, if his instincts would have led him toward the neocons on the one hand, one thing that would have absolutely appalled him was how Bush had shattered America’s good name in the world.  One can extend this further to say that however much the present reality would have confused and angered him, Reagan would have no trouble at all recognizing that in the Arab world today, it is the protesters on the side of democracy with the US in the role of the Soviet Union.

This instinctive and unschooled empathy with the cause of democracy, double-edged sword at best and putty in the hands of the neocons at worst, gets to the heart of what makes Reagan stand out even now.  Whatever his failings, and they were no doubt legion, Ronald Reagan was a decent human being who had not spent his whole life preparing to be President, a contrast in sharp relief to the decadent political class of the present day.

Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt Reply

Justin Raimondo summarizes what’s going on there.

Jesse Walker offers some thoughts as Reason.

Paul Pillar of The National Interest argues that fears of an Islamic fundamentalist seizure of power in Egypt are overblown. David Lindsay at The American Conservative offers a similar analysis.

John Glaser weighs in on American political discourse. This passage sums things up nicely:

Events in Egypt have revealed something incredible about American political discourse. Most of the time, most Americans – and even most of the media pundits – operate under the assumption that America is a force for good in the world. They glean and grin and comfort themselves in “knowing” that America has a tradition of democracy promotion and the spreading of freedom and free markets. Most Joe-six-packs aren’t sitting around the dinner table discussing America’s most time honored international tradition: supporting fascist dictators all over the world. They’re not discussing it, because they mostly don’t know about it.

But now that revitalized discourse on Egypt is front and center, the newspapers and media pundits and dinner tables have been forced to focus on this dark, sinister underbelly of American foreign policy. Even the flag waving jingoists at Fox News and other networks, where they typically omit any facts from the discussion that might expose America’s dirty hands, are talking openly about it.

What is remarkable about this new slice of honesty in our political discourse is that nobody seems to care. The pundits, the talking heads, who were seemingly ignorant about America’s near constant support of tyranny, simply mention it and accept it as part of the analysis for “what this means for us.” The newspapers gloss over the details where the devil lies, but openly report on the steadfast U.S. support for the Egyptian dictator. Political analysts understand it as business-as-usual, and present it as such. And Joe-six-pack, previously unaware that his internal notions of innate American goodness were a sham, simply nods in a docile, accepting manner.

Here’s my take on the present uprisings in the Middle East:

As a staunch opponent of American imperialism and an advocate of self-determination for all peoples, obviously I’m happy to see U.S. puppets like Mubarak under attack.  That said, I’m also inclined towards the view that a popular revolution in virtually any Muslim country would produce a regime that is more retrograde than what any of those countries have at present. This is true of both pro- and anti-American regimes in the Middle East. Ahmadinejad in Iran and Assad in Syria are likely preferable to any probable alternatives in those countries, just as Saddam Hussein was likely preferable to a Shiite ruled Iraq. As archaic as the Saudi monarchy is, its overthrow would likely produce a regime more comparable to the Taliban of Afghanistan. Remember that when democracy was introduced in Algeria in the early 1990s, a theocratic Islamic party was voted into power and removed only when the military nullified the election results. The situation in Egypt might be a bit more hopeful, and a democratic Egypt might come to resemble Turkey rather than Iran, but that’s still a roll of the dice. Bottom line: The United States and the other Western countries should simply butt out and let other nations and cultures organize themselves however they will and evolve at their own pace and in their own way.

Jim Goad offers an analysis similar to mine at Taki’s Magazine.

So exactly how progressive and moderate is Egypt’s Muslim population? A Pew survey released in December showed that a trifling 95% of Egyptian Muslims thought it a “good” thing for Islam to play a “large” role in politics. Roughly four out of five said they favored stoning adulterers, whipping and dismembering thieves, and the death penalty for any believer who dares to abandon Islam. Yeah, they sound like just the sort of snarky kids who’d fit right in at a Huffington Post editorial pool party.

The Scourge of Civilization, The State Reply

History is not an uninterrupted natural development. Again and again development has stopped in one particular territory only to emerge somewhere else. Egypt, the Near East, the Mediterranean shores and Central Europe have all in turn been centers of historical development. But every time the pattern has been the same: beginning with the phase of the primitive tribe followed by the village commune; then by the free city, finally to die with the advent of the State.

In Egypt, civilization begins with the primitive tribe. It advances to the village commune and later to the period of the free cities; later still to the State which, after a period in which it flourished, leads to death.

Development starts afresh in Syria, in Persia and in Palestine. It follows the same pattern: the tribe, the village commune, the free city, the all-powerful State and…death!

A new civilization then comes to life in Greece. Always through the tribe. Slowly it reaches the level of the village commune and then to the republican cities. In these cities civilization reaches its zenith. But the East communicates its poisonous breath, its traditions of despotism. Wars and conquests create the Empire of Alexander of Macedonia. The State asserts itself, grows, destroys all culture and…it is death.

Rome in its turn restarts civilization. Once more one finds at the beginning the primitive tribe, then the village commune followed by the city. At this phase Rome was at the height of its civilization. But then come the State and the Empire and then…death!

On the ruins of the Roman Empire, Celtic, Germanic, Slavonic and Scandanavian tribes once more take up the threads of civilization. Slowly the primitive tribe develops its institutions and manages to build up the village commune. It lingers in this phase until the twelfth century when the republican city arises, and this brings with it the blossoming of the human spirit, proof of which are the masterpieces of architecture, the grandiose development of the arts, the discoveries which lay the foundations of natural sciences…But then the State emerges…Death? Yes: death – or renewal!

Either the State for ever, crushing individual and local life, taking over in all fields of human activity, bringing with it all its wars and domestic struggles for power, its palace revolutions which only replace one tyrant by another, and inevitably at the end of this development there is…death!

Or the destruction of States, and new life starting again in thousands of centers on the principles of the lively initiative of the individual and groups and that of free agreement.

The choice lies with you!

-Peter Kropotkin, “The State: Its Historic Role,” 1896

Americans Are Oppressed, Too Reply

Paul Craig Roberts discusses the American police state.

Considering the data, one might conclude that the police are a greater danger to the public than are criminals.

Indeed, the trauma from police assault can be worse than from assault by criminals. The public thinks the police are there to protect them. Thus, the emotional and psychological shock from assault by police is greater than the trauma from being mugged because you stupidly wandered into the wrong part of town.

Why are the police so aggressive toward the public?

In part because their ranks attract bullies, sociopaths and psychopaths. Even normal cops are proud of their authority and expect deference. Even cops who are not primed to be set off can turn nasty in a heartbeat.

In part because police are not accountable. The effort decades ago to have civilian police review boards was beat back by “law and order” conservatives.

In part because the police have been militarized by the federal government, equipped with military weapons, and trained to view the public as the enemy.

In part because the Bush/Cheney/Obama regimes have made every American a suspect. The only civil liberty that has any force in the U.S. today is the law against racial discrimination. This law requires that every American citizen be treated as if he were a Muslim terrorist. The Transportation Security Administration rigorously enforces the refusal to discriminate between terrorist and citizen at airports and is now taking its gestapo violations of privacy into every form of travel and congregation: trucking, bus and train travel, sports events, and, without doubt, shopping centers and automobile traffic.

Rothbard Had It Right in 1970 5

Said Murray Rothbard of what the New Left had become at the end of the 1960s:

To contemplate America in the grip of the Weathermen or Women’s Lib is to envision a truly nightmare world. Not only does Dick Nixon shine in comparison; I would venture to predict that a Rudd or a Morgan reign would make even Joe Stalin seem like Albert Schweitzer. For make no mistake: the Left is now in the grip, not just of Marxists-Stalinists, but also,  for the first time in the history of Marxism, it is a movement that is Marxist in ideology but totally nihilist in attitude, worldview, and lifestyle. There have been few more repellent blends in the history of social thought than the current one of the goals of Stalin blended with the attitude and tactics of the nihilist Nechayev. For at least the Marxism of Stalin’s day tried its best to be rational, to pursue the goals of science and reason; they did not pursue insanity almost for its own sake, or as a “liberating” force. If, then, we have nothing in common with either the means or the purposes of the current Left, then we must cease thinking of ourselves, in the current political and ideological context, as “Leftists”. We must bid farewell to the Left.

Murray Rothbard, “Farewell to the Left,” Libertarian Forum, May 1, 1970

Cultural Enrichment? Reply

This is a hilarious take down of the PC hypocrites. Read the whole thing at Counter-Currents.

The main proponents of multiculturalism as a means of enrichment are usually leftist college professors and other pundits. They speak of culture, but the majority of them actually know very little about the cultures they claim to want to see more of in America. In reality, they want to see a soulless, multiracial mass that embraces Marxism as its sole culture; the traditional folkways of Hindus, Muslims, African aborigines, and others mean nothing to them.

After all, most cultures are the outgrowths of religious worldviews, and the spiritual has no place in society according to leftists, who are generally secularists. The only thing about these alien cultures that they truly embrace is their food, but this does not a cultured man make. Any simpleton can eat fried rice or falafels. It doesn’t mean that he’s walking away with anything added to his soul.

Now a TRUE multiculturalist would, as the label suggests, be very familiar with the various literatures, religious texts, folk customs, and history of the plethora of races whose presence they find so enriching. This is simply not the case.

While the multiculty has read the Communist Manifesto, The Authoritarian Personality, and The Mismeasure of Man from front to back, I guarantee you that he has not read the Bhagavad-Gita or the Upanishads of Hindu culture, the Zend-Avesta or Koran of Middle Eastern culture, the Popol-Vuh or other codices from Native American culture, or the writings of Lao-Tzu or Confucius from the Far East.

I will bet the farm that he has not studied Farsi, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Roma, Turkish, Swahili, Chinese, or Japanese for any great length of time.

I’m certain that he has not sat and observed an Islamic service in a mosque, a Buddhist service in a temple, a Zoroastrian service in a fire temple, or a Jewish Sabbath in a synagogue. (I would even surmise that he sees their religious views as primitive superstitions.)

I’d wager my spleen that he has not been an audience to a traditional folk concert of non-European origin.

No. I’m quite positive that the average multiculty’s “enrichment” does not go beyond a fetish for Puerto-Rican girls, an enjoyment of horrendous rap music, and a taste for egg rolls. These Leftists are really condescending cultural chauvinists themselves, as they really just want to see all peoples crushed under the yoke of technocratic totalitarianism.

Lessons of the Iranian Revolution Reply

An ominous example of what happens when a revolution goes awry. Watch it here. Read the timeline of events on Wikipedia.

Some of the more obvious lessons of the failed Iranian revolution:

1. a revolution must have intelligent and competent leadership.

2. counter-institutional structures capable of filling a power vacuum when it arises must already be firmly in place before the revolutionary moment.

3. there must organization and a thoroughly developed plan of action on the part of the revolutionaries.

4. conflicting interests among different revolutionary factions must be resolved within the context of negotiated settlements and tactical alliances prior to the revolutionary action.

5. there must be provision for the separation of powers among the contending revolutionary forces before, during, and after the revolutionary struggle.

6. revolutionary action must be firmly rooted in popular cultural, historical, and political traditions.

7. the sacred beliefs of common people (e.g. religion, “traditional values”) must be respected.

8. the revolutionary forces must be organized on the basis of decentralized networks and confederations.

9. plans to maintain the operation of essential services and economic productivity must be thoroughly formulated so as to ease the revolutionary transition.

10. upon the disappearance of the state’s armed forces and police, a militia confederation must already be in place with well-established internal checks and balances and with the capability of repelling both regime loyalists or renegade elements among the revolutionary factions.

Within the context of North American politics at least, pan-secessionism would seem to be the most viable framework for implementation of the necessary principles listed above.

On Occupancy and Use Reply

A discussion of the mutualist/Proudhonian theory of property rights from Shawn Wilbur’s blog.

This is actually an issue that I’m personally agnostic on. I think a case can be made for this position (generally) but I have some reservations about it as well, certainly enough reservations to prevent me from being a full-on advocate of this position. I would prefer to simply get on with the business of scrapping the state and allowing a multiplicity of property systems to flourish.