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.

Radical Tradition: Philosophy, Metapolitics & Revolution in the Twenty-First Century 1

A new title that Troy Southgate has coming out soon through New Zealand’s Primordial Traditions.

This book includes articles on Heidegger, cultural pessimism, Schopenhauer, conservative revolution, Trotskyism and Western art, alternative businesses, Murnau’s ‘Nosferatu’, national identity, Nietzsche and nihilism, Sufism, human rights and Christian anarchism. Contributors include:
  • 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?

Amen to the Iman Reply

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.

Why is the Antiwar Movement Stalled? 9

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?

Some Home Runs from the Paleos Reply

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.

The Essence of Totalitarian Humanism 6

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.

Because Killing Them All is Not an Option 5

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:

  1. 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,
  2. 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,
  3. 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,
  4. we benefit from the lessons of their experiment, and they from the lessons of ours, and finally
  5. 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?

Articles on Economic Crisis/America's Decline 2

A Revolution in Song 7

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.