Btw, I actually think the third and fourth parts of the series are the most interesting. Stay tuned to AltRight for more.
Part two of my Schmitt series is now available on AltRight.
A new title that Troy Southgate has coming out soon through New Zealand’s Primordial Traditions.
- TOMISLAV SUNIC – History and Decadence: Spengler’s Cultural Pessimism Today
- JONATHAN BOWDEN – A Polyp Devours Its Feed, Paracelsus Unzipped: An Analysis of F.W. Murnau’s Film, Nosferatu
- TROY SOUTHGATE – Heidegger: The Application of Meaning in An Increasingly Transient World
- DR. K.R. BOLTON – The Art of Rootless Cosmopolitanism: America’s Offensive Against Civilisation
- VINCE YNZUNZA – The Manifesto of the Psychedelic Conservative
- BEN CRAVEN – Are Human Rights a Fiction of Modern, Western Liberal Democracies That Bring Us No Closer to a Shared Ethical Framework?
- KEITH PRESTON – The Nietzschean Prophecies: Two Hundred Years of Nihilism and the Coming Crisis of Western Civilization
- TROY SOUTHGATE – Schopenhauer and Suffering: Eternal Pessimist or Prophet for our Times?
New article by Christopher Ketcham on the Vermont secessionist movement, and in the Huffington Post, of all places. Hat tip to Jim Duncan.
Common sense from the Southern Avenger.
Rauf specifically cites “the U.S-led sanction against Iraq [that] led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children” in the 1990s, a death toll confirmed by the United Nations, approved of by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright (who said it was “worth it”) and apparently deemed irrelevant by Hannity. Using math over emotion, the Iraqi death toll due to U.S. sanctions equals about 170 9/11s. Despite Hannity’s outrage, the imam is absolutely right.
In two words: the Left, or so says Justin Raimondo.
As long as the organized antiwar movement remains a leftist sandbox, where sectarians get to pontificate – and do little else – it will stay a sideshow. Once we get beyond all that nonsense, however, there are no limits to what we can do: just look at the polls. The American people are with us – and they’re ready to join us in our fight. Indeed, they’ve never been readier. The question is: are we ready to receive them, and lead them?
The first installment of my four-part series on Schmitt for AltRight.
Back to the basics. A classic from Larry Gambone.
Living the Lie by Richard Spencer
That Mehlman and Bill Clinton are my enemies has nothing to do with the fact the one prefers men and the other can’t control himself around bimbos. If a statesman instituted the kind of radical, and currently unfeasible, political change that I desire, I could forgive bestiality.
Adolf Hitler: History’s Angriest Jew? by Jim Goad
One truism I stumbled upon accidentally is that the people who yammer most loudly about all living humans’ fundamental equality never seem to count dead bodies equally, or they’d be far more vicious toward Stalin and Mao than they are toward Hitler.
In Defense of Stoning by Gavin McInnes
The women of Islam are a fantastically beautiful and mysterious force we could never understand. They’re not some gum-chewing piece of NASCAR trash who will exchange sexual favors for a carton of cigarettes. They are more like angels among us. I have seen very few burqa wearers without their burqas but I imagine their outsides to be like Padma Lakshmi and their insides to be like Christiane Amanpour. If we were dealing with that level of babe, hiding her from horny eyes would be a no-brainer.
A very interesting discussion between Paul Gottfried and Richard Spencer. Listen here. About 36 minutes into this, Gottfried describes what I would consider to be the essence of Totalitarian Humanism: A system where the state controls all resources in the name of engineering social equality and ostensibly assisting designated official victim groups.
The development of a solid and comprehensive critique of Totalitarian Humanism is essential to the development of a serious anarchist movement in the advanced industrialized countries of European cultural origins. It is this ideological framework that increasingly provides the legitimizing mythology of the state. It is this ideology that serves as a cover for the continuation of traditional efforts by states to control thought, speech, and association.
I do not regard this as a Left/Right issue. Just as sensible people of every political ideology had serious reason to oppose ideological movements like Bolshevism, so do both sensible leftists and rightists alike have an interest in opposing Totalitarian Humanism. Indeed, I consider this issue to be the contemporary version of the historic battle between Anarchists and Communists.
by Jeremy Weiland
Anarcho-pluralism as the peaceful alternative
Hey, anarchists, or really any reader who believes passionately in your political ideals for changing this world: depart with me on a thought experiment.
Your revolution succeeds. Through whatever means you think it possible, your fellow ________s have defeated the authoritarian/fascist/totalitarian forces and are ascendant. You, of course, know that your side will not rule in the same ruthless manner your enemy did.
Now what do you do with all these enemies whom you haven’t killed or converted yet? The same beliefs that motivated them to oppose you in the past are likely not to be simply cast aside. After all, you didn’t cast yours aside when you were out of power. As somebody experienced with dissidence, you know all too well that such people can take a long term view of their agenda and undermine the society you want to build in countless subtle ways.
Well, if you’re Lenin, you kill as many as you can and install a ruthless regime of your own to deter revolt of the rest. If you’re Washington, you expel as many “loyalists” to the enemy side as possible and, oh yeah, if anybody doesn’t like it you lead the army against them. If you’re Hitler, you kind of just kill them all. If you’re Mao, you kind of just kill them all.
See where I’m heading with this? We’re so used to being dissidents that we don’t even have a plan for success. Not only have we built the assumptions of marginality and defeatism into our politics, but we leave ourselves with a giant, gaping hole in the middle of our view of the world we seek to change. And if we don’t address this hole in the middle of our strategy, our revolution is likely to bring about the same kind of reactionary despotism we sought to overthrow, because there’s always going to be some asshole who’s willing to be the “serious, pragmatic” son-of-a-bitch to get shit done.
The only honest anarchists I know recognize that violent revolution is likely to come only after a large majority of people have rejected the establishment, and that any outward revolution will be, at most, a lagging indicator of the shift in public opinion, not the cause. These activists stress education and outreach. On the face of it, I think this is admirable for reasons I explained in my last post. But what about people who, even in the face of arguments you find compelling, simply do not agree with you? How do you deal with them? You can neither ignore the problem nor resolve to just kill them all, because the latter undermines the legitimacy of your victory and the former just invites somebody in your camp to do the same.
Let me pose a possible solution: yes, outreach and education as much as possible. But not just printing pamphlets and screeching at people; genuine dialogue with people who make you uncomfortable; dialogue that allows you to uncover peacefully what the ill-planned, knee-jerk revolution will uncover violently. You need to understand the strains of belief among your fellow man and not just call them bigoted or evil or stupid, but genuinely address them. We need to reach the hearts of people and not just change the label they attach to themselves, and that is harder work than most people consider when they advocate for propaganda (nothing wrong with propaganda, just that it’s not the end-all-be-all of the task).
But we need a back-up plan, and here’s my suggestion: anarcho-pluralism. Because people hold beliefs that are rigid and often unshakeable in the face of majority or forceful opposition, we need to be able to go our separate ways if we cannot resolve our differences. Of course, every attempt should be made to have as good of a relationship as possible with these people, but we must be ready for their rejection of premises and values we find compelling. If that means the theocrats or the fascists or the racists get their own little territories to be autocrats, well, what’s the alternative? Killing them? Imprisoning them?
Here’s the upside: by not marginalizing them within a majority society they find alien and intolerable, but instead letting them have their own sphere of influence – no matter how despicable we might find its exercise, we keep the door open that someday they will come around of their own accord. The kind of counter-revolutions that darken the history of initially pure revolutions around the world always happen because what was the ruling ideology becomes an insurgent ideology. People can feel like they are victimized and oppressed, even if they were previously oppressors, because their views are not realized – similarly to how we feel now. But by letting them build their own societies and live their own lives:
- we establish a respectful, minimal relationship with them where, at best, genuine dialogue is possible and, at worst, our revolution is not threatened or tainted by violence and counter-revolution,
- we deny them the ability to play their people off against an enemy. Suddenly, these little dictators have to actually demonstrate they can follow through on their utopia. If we believe in our ideals, we should welcome their attempt and eventual failure,
- we establish our society as a haven for their dissidents and a counterexample to their society, undermining them much more thoroughly than by sheer military, political or cultural subjugation,
- we benefit from the lessons of their experiment, and they from the lessons of ours, and finally
- in the case of grossly unacceptable societies, we are much more certain that any violent means we adopt are justified. For example, say one of these splinter societies adopted human slavery. I’d be much more willing to fight to free these slaves than to fight potential slaveholders on mere ideological and moral concepts in the abstract. If “killing them all” is in fact unavoidable, this approach at least provides the basis for genuinely considering an attack as a last resort. It also forces each of us to really take responsibility for our use of violence in a given scenario, instead of justifying it according to some sense of ideological purity.
At the core of this approach is the understanding that none of us have a monopoly on the truth. If we desire freedom in order to express ourselves and our conception of truth better, we must allow others equal freedom – in spite of how distasteful it may seem to us. Finally, if we truly believe in the principles of egalitarianism and liberty, we should expect that the less regimented and controlled the world is, the more likely our ideas are to emerge spontaneously. And nothing will undermine the fascists, the theocrats, the bigots, the petty dictators, and other assholes like having to abandon minority politics and actually govern according to their sad principles.
This approach also forces us to come to terms with the true significance of our agenda. It’s not just about the workers or the productive class or the people rising up; it’s about starting to genuinely address the dark sides of our world, instead of just overcoming it in some outburst of eschatological exuberance. If this causes us to be more careful in how we revolt, well, we should be careful.
Finally, what about the people who would suffer under these other totalitarian societies through no fault of their own? Here we have to be practical: ridding the world of human suffering cannot be our political goal. In any society, even ours, people will suffer. Look at our rich, flush society and how much even privileged people cause themselves grief and heartache. The real question is: do you want to fight a fucking war over it, or do you want to start healing that suffering in the nuanced and personal manner that is required?
Again, we have to face the fact that mere military victory doesn’t solve anything, and that it is a patient, thoughtful, engaging people that truly changes minds. If we are really caring and open-hearted, we will not fool ourselves into thinking evil can be simply vanquished by some faux-end-times conception of revolution. We will remain sympathetic to suffering, willing to continue the unending work of reaching out. Anarcho-pluralism allows the revolution, the transformation to continue even after we win.
Idealists and realists are always juxtaposed as if they represent two unreconcilable approaches. But in looking at these two camps with respect to revolutionary politics, perhaps this is only the case because they both go about their tasks in such a totalitarian manner. Idealists consider the revolution successful only if the ideals are adopted by 100% of the people. On the other hand, pragmatists consider themselves successful if they are able to rule with 100% of the power.
True transformation of society must be more subtle and thoughtful, and anarcho-pluralism provides a framework for ongoing transformation in just this manner. You can be idealistic and realistic by simply living and letting live; all you have to give up is the desire for the shallow smugness of instant moral satisfaction in exchange for a genuine, long-term commitment to your ideals. If these beliefs are worth fighting for, aren’t they worth continuing to work for after the peace accord? Or are you only in it for a final triumph of good over evil?
An interesting analogy for what we are trying to do in the alternative anarchist movement:
Once upon a time, rock music was simply called “rock.” There were different genres to be sure, but they all fit under the “rock” umbrella. During the decade between the late 70s and late 80s, the phenomenon of “alternative” rock developed as a musical and cultural movement (which I was never into, btw). In the early 90s, “alternative rock” displaced what then came to be called “classic rock,” and what was once “alternative” is now simply ordinary rock music.
Today, we have the leftist-dominated anarchist movement, and “anarchism” is identified with this radical leftist ideology. Meanwhile, some of us are developing an “alternative anarchist” movement. Our tendencies continue to grow and more and more people from different backgrounds continue to come into our midst. Most of the National-Anarchists were always in our camp, of course, and more and more anarcho-capitalists or right-wing anarchists are moving in our direction. In more recent times, I’ve noticed more and more interest in our ideas from the left. For instance, proponents of anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism, queer anarchism, individualist-feminism, Native American anarchism, Green anarchists, a minority of left-libertarians are others not typically thought of as right-wing have all expressed in positive interest in our activities in recent months. There are signs there may even be some openings from the world of black anarchism. Of course, our enemies keep shouting, but ultimately we’re going to win. Eventually, alternative anarchism will simply become “anarchism” and the anarcho-leftoids will be recognized for the dinosaurs they are. They are in many ways comparable to a classic rock band with only one or two original members, washed-up has-beens who are obviously only still in it for the money. We will eventually eclipse them.
Michael hits another one out of the park.
So says former Reaganite turned sensible person Paul Craig Roberts.
The empire, the military-industrial complex, and the plutocratic corporate-state are the real enemies.
by Jeremy Weiland
Over the past two to three years, I’ve engaged in many conversations featuring the appeal to moral principles asserted to be held in common. Some who’ve known me for a while may notice that over this period I’ve begun to distance myself from appealing to these moral principles as a basis for my arguments. This has been a rule I’ve adhered to largely from both my own investigations of my beliefs as well as the influence of Max Stirner’s “The Ego and Its Own” (or, as Shawn Wilbur correctly points out is a better translation of the title, “The Unique One and Its Property”).
Stirner taught me that abstractions and concepts (“spooks”) often rule us just as completely and arbitrarily as corporeal authorities, and that true freedom requires one to break free of all preconceived notions of propriety, convention, and duty. This philosophy is often called “egoism” and is treated by many as a form of nihilistic realism culminating in an almost Nietzschean “will to power”. All constraints on the ego are to be discarded in order for the self to express itself fully through its property, its ideas.
This causes understandable concern in many. The search for perfect and complete freedom is framed in terms that are positively anti-social. If adhering to ethical codes or moral laws or legal statutes or social conventions should displease you, why not throw them all out? After all, what makes them all more valuable than your own happiness? And I find this a hard argument to reject without appealing to other spooks.
Indeed, I’ve come to realize that my own moral beliefs are undemonstrable and, therefore, I often have no compelling argument to make. For example, I believe the non-aggression axiom is a valid construct – it makes sense to me and seems to align with my innate sense of justice most of the time. But there’s no way to fashion a logical argument for this position outside of the conventions instilled in us through a lifetime of social experience, the nature we can claim to share (whatever that means), or the rhetorical power with which I can persuade, or make demands on, you.
If I want you to accept the axioms I accept, I don’t know where to begin, other than to presume you’re like me in important ways that allow my sensibilities to transfer over to you. The belief that we share common access to a universal basis for truth is the precondition for any persuasive, rational debate. It underlies the motivation for reaching out to you at all, because I assume you have the innate ability to reach the same conclusion I did – somehow. If I believe my position is true, I believe that you are compelled to accept it if you’re honestly accessing that same store of truth.
The idea that you and I are similar, that there’s an inner truth available to both of us that underlies our common interest in peace and harmony, and that this common truth is mutually accessible, is typically consigned to the domain of the religious, the mystical, the arena of doctrines requiring blind faith (though it has its secular versions, such as the rationalism of the Enlightenment era). And yet, the more deeply I’ve studied the arguments of libertarians (and I certainly believe this applies to any political ideology, or for that matter any belief system, bar none) the more clearly I see that ours is distinguished from others not by our beliefs per se so much as our constructions of that universal truth we expect others to access. Hence our outrage when they appear not to, because they are not simply disagreeing with us; they are challenging our own certainty in the truth at which we’ve arrived. After all, we would not reach out to them in the first place if we did not believe they (A) are honest with themselves and us, and (B) have equal access to that store of universal truth.
What’s weird about the typical construction of Stirner’s argument that appears to predominate in libertarian and anarchist circles is the emphasis on the quest to banish every kind of spook – only to make room for the primacy of another. It typically presumes a particular conception of the individual lying nascent and pure under these layers of spooks (particular at least to the degree that the spook’s restriction of it is identifiable) but never questions whether that conception of the individual as described by Stirner is itself a spook. Stirner advocates for this ego to dominate in exactly as arbitrary a manner as any other ideation can elevate itself within the psyche. In pushing for a radical individualism, Stirner seems to be convincing the reader not to abandon all the chains and limitations of the various spooks so much as to adopt one really powerful spook to rule them all, and let that ascendency be named “freedom”.
But what next? If you follow his ideas to their logical conclusion, a totally different construction can emerge. What if we, as the unique ones, create ourselves – not merely limit ourselves, though that seems to be part of it – through the duties, moral codes, and other constructs we assume? What if that is the character of our creative task? Perhaps casting off the spooks gets us down to the core of our being, but must we stop there? Or do we channel that core to others as an expression, a unique composition of identity and “will to self-definition”?
Perhaps all of us unique ones are defined not simply by our mere uniqueness at the root of it all, but the way in which we fit together as irreplaceable components. The ego as Stirner described it may in fact not be the unique one – it may be the spook we empower to protect ourselves from the inner truths others are constantly counter-demonstrating to us. If we are threatened by others’ constructions of their inner truth, it is only because we rely on the certainty of identification with our own spooks, which stand in for a more honest, rigorous, and continuous exploration of the self.
I maintain that the genuine political act is the quest for self-knowledge, or rather, a continual dedication to increasing honesty with oneself. The rest is arbitrary expressions people choose in order to get at that essential heart in others – indeed, if they didn’t assume the existence of that heart they wouldn’t bother to make the effort! Too often, they mistake the expressions for that which is being expressed, that which is truly being sought by all of us with various degrees of fidelity. You can argue ethics, morality, and logic all day with others and not convince anybody of anything nor discover anything that helps you better understand the human condition, because it is a condition of billions of unique truths, all equally valid.
In the same way that Nietzsche dared the individual to will himself to power, one can dare to create oneself by choosing his spooks, his constraints, his individual expressions of the universal as he understands it. It is an act of consummate creativity to define your own moral and ethical context as an expression of universal truth. The key, however, is to recognize that others do the same, and to see the interpersonal dialogue as a continuation of the meditation on the unique one – not some challenge to your ego. You approach the universal through the individual, not as a rejection of it.
If I express frustration with those who advocate for universal principles, such as particular conceptions of human rights, justice, moral codes, etc. it is not because I reject the reality of a transcendent universal truth. Instead, it has more to do with the manner in which some advocates appeal to it, as if their conception were binding on me. Often such arguments end up coming off more or less as breathless assertions of one’s ego, seeking conformity and not understanding, and certainly not an appeal to the common truth we should share.
In fact, it is precisely because of my firm grasp of what it means for a truth to be universal – that it has no need to be forced on another, either through the brute force of rhetoric or that of violence – that I do not insist on your consent to it. In fact, I welcome your dissent. We are each equally the conduits of the universal if we’re worth convincing at all. In order for me to be assured that I am articulating something “true”, the last thing I want to do is to extract your consent to my position. Above all, I want your honest feedback to help me integrate your unique insight into my search. The earnest seeker of truth places a higher value on testing it than merely believing in it.
Stirner closed his magnum opus with the phrase, “All things are nothing to me,” as if that were the end of the matter. Be that as it may, creativity and freedom end up manifesting most universally as the ability, nay, the daring to make something of that nothing, and to do it in the unique way only you can. That is a magnificent and glorious idea to me – indeed, it is what I believe I am, and what I believe you are.
It is why I will never demand you are compelled by some universal law “out there” to adopt my beliefs. Such arguments amount to hand waving, and no honest person resorts to them knowingly. For the precise reason that I believe some things are universal, I dare to trust you to find it yourself, in your own unique way – and if you can construct it better than I, then the benefits accrue to us both. It is in that manner of unique togetherness we approach a less distorted, more useful conception of the unnameable principle which impels us to associate in the first place.
So says Kevin Carson.
We anarchists don’t believe other people are our property. We don’t believe we have the authority to tell other people what to eat, drink, smoke, or whom to have sex with. We’re not their bosses. We don’t own them. And we have no right to act through government to do things we have no legitimate authority to do as individuals. In other words, we anarchists actually believe the things the authors of your civics texts claimed to believe.