Freak Friendly 2

http://www.takimag.com/article/freak_friendly/

by Gavin McInnes

“You know, despite it all, it’s still really a miracle America elected a black man as president,” my 60-something neighbor said to me over beers recently. You get this a lot from people born before 1965. Apparently, America is a racist hellhole and the fact that they overcame this deep-seated hatred for blacks to allow one into the White House is physics defied. Um, as far as I can tell, a seemingly smart and in-control Democrat proceeded the most hated Republican president of all time. That’s not a “miracle.” It’s a “normal.”

I get insulted when Boomers tell me how racist my country is. I understand where they’re coming from, I guess. They grew up with survivors of the Great Depression: Grumpy old traditionalists that worked their fingers to the bone in isolation and never tried anything weird. That was then however, so please shut up about it. There is not a gigantic ogre of racism controlling our brains that took time off during the election but rears its ugly head every time we have a problem with, say, unprecedented taxation.

“When someone under 40 hears boomer anthems like, “There’s a land where the children are free,” we go, “What the hell is this song about? Where are the children NOT free?”’
Now, I’m sure you can dig up some redneck who still says nigger or half a dozen skinheads in the middle of nowhere but hate crimes are a miniscule percentage of total crimes in America and if you get into per capita, all races get it about equally. I heard some horrible stories about drinking fountains from forever ago and I saw a video where dogs were attacking some dude but that was a different universe than my generation’s America. We don’t care if people aren’t like us anymore. We don’t even get what you’re talking about.

When someone under 40 hears boomer anthems like, “There’s a land where the children are free,” we go, “What the hell is this song about? Where are the children NOT free?” Old people grew up in a climate where nuns gave the strap if you wrote with your left hand and young boys were verboten from going near dolls. Our generation yawns at such superstitious claptrap. If my son turns out to be gay, I will go into a deep depression for about seven minutes and then I’ll get over it. The boomers grew up in a world where their parents dry-heaved at the thought of a black man breathing the same air as them. Even the boomers, I’m told, were occasionally mocked for not being exactly like the majority. My American Indian mother-in-law was nicknamed jungle bunny in college. Not only do we find that hard to comprehend. We think it’s funny. As Harmony Korine said, “I crack up at the race riots.”

We never would have made fun of this guy.

It seems like every children’s book I’m forced to read to my kid is about some freak that everyone learned isn’t a freak after all. We never thought he was a freak in the first place you ancient babies. If Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were born today, the other reindeers would high-five him and ask him what reindeer games they think he should play. In my school, the kid with Down Syndrome was the school hero and the football team adopted him as their favorite fan without a trace of irony. The pre-1970 people are unable to grasp this. They created movies like Mask where a boy with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, is mocked for his circus-like disfigurements. Or the show Square Pegs where the quirky, unusual kids were relegated to the bottom rung of the high school hierarchy. In my Secondary Education, all these people would have been rock stars.

The same goes with sexism. Why Men Earn More pointed out the obvious error with assuming women get paid less for the same work. Namely: Why wouldn’t corporations hire them in droves? They’re cheap labor, right? Turns out they earn less because they tend to be more committed to family events than staying up all night preparing proposals. In other words, they choose to earn less. After waves of famine, a great depression, and a free-for-all orgy of whining, we’ve figured a lot of it out and the old wive’s tales no longer make any sense to us.

We are the information generation. We know you’re born gay and there’s nothing you can do about it. We googled it. We know women can be just as capable at any job and we hire accordingly. We know freaks are not cursed by the almighty but just statistical inevitablilites. We are way too well-adjusted to push someone out of our life just because they don’t meet some strange parameters someone else invented so please stop doing a spit take when we don’t behave exactly like our grandfathers.

Anarchism is not absolution Reply

The Apostasy of the Anarchist Vote

by Jeremy Weiland

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal,” declared Emma Goldman in a ringing indictment of the feeble mechanism by which the state claims to be restrained and directed. Of course, in invoking this quote anarchists argue against counting upon elections to change the status quo. We aren’t going to bring about the voluntary society by listening to politicians, casting votes for them, and pressuring them to abolish their own offices. The statist means and the anarchist ends are clearly opposed.

But there’s another argument against voting: that by casting a ballot, one registers endorsement of the state and its violence. Advocates of this argument do not hold that you must have chosen the politician who wields power. They disregard personal intent, interests, and any issues at hand. The argument is quite simple: by participating in the election, one is bound to its results. Given the anarchist view of those results – violence, fraud, and lies – one can only conclude that voting makes one an accessory to the crime.

This constitutes a body blow for those who define themselves by their rejection of the authoritarianism so intrinsic in the state. It’s one thing for voting to be a silly ritual. But a decidedly different attitude must be adopted if pulling the voting lever leaves one with blood-stained hands. Faced with such an awful truth, the task becomes one of avoiding complicity with the system. An absolute break with the state is the only path of conscience.

In theory, this break seems reasonable to achieve: one simply ceases to cooperate with its agents and directives. But the state reaches far into the world we live in. It doesn’t just direct the police, military, teachers, judges, and other bureaucrats that intervenes in obvious ways. The very civil society we seek to unleash through the spirit of voluntarism, mutual aid, freedom, and solidarity seems hopelessly bound up in the state.

Anarchism is not absolution

The biggest statist distortion lies in the minds of people – the very people so foundational to our dream of a voluntary society. They are conditioned to behave in ways congruent with governance, to think of themselves in terms that reinforce the primacy of governance, and therefore too often to mistake their largely voluntary lives as a gift from authority. Allegiance to the state and allegiance to one’s country, locality, and neighbors are seen as not merely connected but rather the same idea.

It is the behavior of these people that provides the underlying legitimacy to the state. After all, were it not for the people, there could be no power to rule. It is the people who elect the politicians, pay the taxes, enforce the laws, fight the wars, and more. As Étienne de la Boétie argued centuries ago in the Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, inciting the masses to organized resistance is totally unnecessary. Rather, all that is required is for the people to stop obeying. So to address the problem of the state, we must address the people’s obedience. Sociologically, psychologically, spiritually – why do they obey?

This leads one to wonder whether mere withdrawal of consent is even sufficient. Symbolic micro-secession by an individual does little to address the behaviors inherent in statist society. Where does the state end and civil society begin? For that matter, what’s so fundamental about the individual that its removal from the equation affects the problem of authoritarian society? How does one isolate oneself from the crimes and violence of the state when its institutions pervade our society – especially when it is in that very society the seeds of voluntary association must be planted? A break is impossible without at least an implicit answer to these questions.

This is not to say that personal reflection and a critical review of one’s choices is not necessary. The example of one’s own life and actions is likely more effective persuasion than the most articulate thesis. What I object to is a pseudo-christian guilt that demands an absolute purge of statist sin. To focus on distinguishing oneself from statist society can only detract from the task of engaging with that statist society. We must resist adopting an anarchist identity so foolishly consistent and exacting that it destroys our connection to the people in whom we hope to realize a free society.

Our goal cannot be simply to free our persons of perceived statist taint. Anarchism is not some sort of political puritanism. We are not seeking some form of absolution for the “sin” of being born in a statist society. To view the state as this intelligent, malignant entity out there influencing people to initiate force and fraud is to invoke the Christian’s concept of war with a malevolent Satan. This conception of the state is also an unfounded superstition, since we understand that it is people’s actions that reinforce its perceived legitimacy.

The state is an abstraction; an institution formed out of ancient patterns of behavior. But it doesn’t exist as an independent thing, so rejecting it qua the state avoids understanding what one is rejecting. There is no state per se: there are only people – people enforcing laws, people obeying laws, people paying taxes, people going to schools, people believing that the guy sitting in the oval office is special. The question is surely not how to isolate oneself from these people, but how to influence them to change their mindset and thereby their behavior. The only “state” we will ever apprehend is an apparition formed from the inertia of people’s habits of thinking and acting.

From this point of view, one can hardly ascribe to voting the degree of evil anarchists often do. It’s just another abstraction. Pulling a lever, writing words on a piece of paper, or pushing buttons on a screen do not in and of themselves do anything. In fact, even if you accept the significance of an electoral outcome, it’s hard to assign responsibility when the odds of an individual affecting it are so astronomical.

A double standard

So what does the vote mean in real, concrete terms, divorced from the popular myths of state legitimacy? It merely influences the way other people will behave. That behavior will influence the way yet other people will behave, just as we all have an effect on everybody else in small but indeterminate ways. Some of these people will assign a title to one person instead of the other. They will treat the one person’s words as “official”, unlike the other’s. They will do what the one person says, but not the other. Who can fathom the will of government employees and other interested affiliates?

After all, it is those people materially prosecuting the agenda resulting from the election of a public figure who inflict the real damage. The President doesn’t do anything; it is those agents of the state who arrest, tax, jail, and kill. The behavior of legions of bureaucrats define the agenda, the interests, the nature of what we lament as “the state”. We should worry less about whose orders they’re following and worry more about what they’re actually choosing to do.

If this seems like splitting hairs, consider that one of the best anarchist arguments against the state lies in the behavior of its agents. A robber is a clear menace, and yet we let these state actors confiscate our wealth with hardly a peep. Nobody would gladly accept the help of a mafia-style protection racket, and yet we allow state racketeers into our neighborhoods constantly simply because they sport a badge. We look down on those who indiscriminately kill in our society, and yet we fund state bureaucrats with rifles to go out and commit these crimes against humans – so long as they’re “our troops” and not “theirs”. Our society has internalized a blind spot far more systemic and significant than the election cycle, and it crucially underwrites the state agenda.

Anarchists point out the inconsistency between how we regard normal crime and how we regard state crime to illustrate a core value: what people actually do, not their institutional affiliation or authority, is what matters. Murder is murder, theft is theft, and kidnapping is kidnapping. Only a double standard prevents people from judging such actions as less objectionable merely because they are performed in an “official” capacity. The anarchist proposes a radical consistency: people are responsible for their own actions, regardless of their position in some organizational hierarchy, governmental or otherwise.

And yet, many anarchists themselves apply this maddening double standard to those who do nothing more than write words on a piece of paper. They call them enablers of the state, as if they were responsible for the crimes of the state’s actors. This ascribes to the state precisely the mythical legitimacy we claim to reject – as if there could exist a magical transfer of permission from one person to another making crime acceptable. We can combat this double standard only by maintaining a consistent position on it.

Understanding civil society

At the same time, anarchists must acknowledge how integral the political order, including elections, are perceived to be to the majority of the social body. Because people conflate the state with civil society, they often view its institutions as portals to engagement with their neighbors. As anarchists, we can either secede from this engagement on puritan grounds, or we can risk the taint of the state by meeting them in the world we jointly occupy, warts and all.

It is a sad fact that the social deliberative functions necessary for true community occur within the trappings of government; yet to reject interaction because the state is involved divorces us from important opportunities to influence others. And it is in convincing our brothers and sisters to change their mindset and behavior – not in breathless denunciations of formless institutions – that we genuinely oppose “the state”.

Remember that voting for politicians has about the same direct physical effect as an online survey: it has no power or authority but what people attribute to it. An election may convince certain individuals to commit (or abstain from committing) violations of rights, but since we hold that those individuals are solely responsible for their own actions, and nothing can absolve them of that responsibility, are the results of that election relevant? In the end, it is the behavior, not the myths and abstractions, that matter. So if by voting, you can engage with your neighbors to influence them within this mixed society, or possibly influence state actors to behave more peaceably, why would you insist on abstaining?

None of this is to say an obligation exists to participate in every election; only that we should not blow these rituals out of proportion and turn them into boogeymen. Every situation is unique, and every election is a singular moment in the social body. Only an individual can decide the right course of action in a given scenario; indeed, it is highly authoritarian to dictate rules to the individual. The danger is not in voting or not voting, but in tilting at windmills out of ideological self-importance or moralistic high-handedness.

Blaming voters for state-sponsored crime is only meaningful in the sense that the voters stand by while the crimes are committed – not in the sense that we somehow sanction it via some mystical bestowing of power. The problem lies not in the ballot, but in our patterns of thinking and behavior that lead us to treat the vote’s outcome as anything more substantive than an internet poll. We allow state actors to engage in activities we all know are deeply wrong; it is that habit of complacency towards authority which we must address in ourselves and others.

Voting may be many things, but it is not abject complacency. In fact, most people see it as a form of civic engagement. Given that, should we not start from where they are, rather than washing our hands and demanding they make the long and difficult mental transitions we’ve already achieved? Whether or not we vote, we must engage these enabling attitudes where they are, whether in political parties, city council meetings, the lines at the polls, or at family dinner tables. To abandon this society because it doesn’t meet our standards is to surrender the anarchist project totally. Anarchism as a movement is concerned with this society, like it or not.

If we fear accusations of hypocrisy by participating in institutions tied to the state, perhaps we should take a harder look at our agenda. What are we in this struggle to accomplish? To be seen rejecting the state loudly and publicly? To have an impeccably consistent argument that no debater can assail? To shield ourselves from any chance of statist entanglement? To maintain a black and white moral superiority that makes it easy to judge the world?

Or does our project transcend the immediate political realities by posing a deeper question about human relationships and individual responsibility? Are we comfortable enough with ourselves and our principles to entertain doubt, to risk making mistakes, to remain vulnerable to misunderstanding and grey areas – all for a chance at reaching our brothers and sisters within institutional statism? Can the message of mutual liberation be heard if it is not taken into the mire of authoritarian culture in which most people find themselves, on terms they can grasp?

It has never been enough for anarchists to win debates; we must win the hearts of our fellow man, wherever they are found. We do this by engaging with them where they are, not where we’d have them be. The vote is a meaningless, superstitious ritual that masks deeper social issues and sanctions nothing. It does not bolster our argument to agree with statists that elections matter. Instead, we should treat them as what they are: the trivial rites of a false religion.

Written by Jeremy Weiland on Sunday, January 24, 2010 for Social Memory Complex

It's Not About Free Speech 2

[Keith: A timely essay on a major issue. Questions of this type are an illustration of why the critique of state-capitalism as a system of big business/big government alliance is essential, and why we need Carson’s critique of “vulgar libertarianism.”]

by Jeremy Weiland

On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down several key restrictions on corporate campaign contributions. While many lament the expected influx of yet more corporate cash into an already compliant political system, does anybody really think McCain-Feingold had accomplished much of an improvement? These regulations only affect those who cannot afford the lawyers, accountants, and other professionals who spend their careers finding ways to circumvent the spirit of the laws.

There are two key elements to the court’s conclusion: the constitutional prohibition of free speech restrictions and the status of the corporation as a person. Libertarians should not complain about the court’s conclusions with respect to the first element. The government must abstain from interfering with any person’s political contributions, monetary or polemical.

In the past the court has seen fit to abridge first amendment rights in cases where the government has a compelling interest. Campaign finance laws have usually rested on this basis, relying on the court’s acknowledgement of the need for balancing a variety of interests. In throwing out McCain-Feingold, the Supreme Court can be seen as effectively reining in these deviations from the letter of the law. A strictly defined freedom of speech should certainly be defended.

But as Glenn Greenwald notes in his excellent commentary on the issue, the justices approached the case solely from the perspective of first amendment applicability and scope. No justice, dissenting or otherwise, objected to the premise that corporations are persons with constitutional protections. The focus remained fixed on narrow questions of money as a form of free speech as well as the proper applicability of free speech to the corporate campaign contributions. The nature of the activity was examined; the nature of the actor, neglected.

The real issue here is not whether corporations should be involved in the political process. It’s also not whether they should have first amendment protections. Regarding monetary contributions from anybody to any candidate for public office as free speech is entirely beside the point. The most important and pressing matter is whether these artificial persons called corporations can speak; whether legal fictions can spend money. It’s whether the Constitution protects what doesn’t actually exist.

The court simply let stand the fantastic notion that an abstraction composed of contracts and assets, a figment that can do or say nothing without human beings doing for it, can engage in anything qua a corporation. As such, an opportunity to overturn a century of erroneous precedent was squandered. Once again, in spite of an improvement in the consistency of its approach to the narrow free speech issue, the court preserved a much more fundamental complexity. The ruling and dissent reflect a labored reasoning stemming from unquestioned premises.

What do we mean when we say a corporation can donate money to campaigns freely? Do we mean that its officers do so on behalf of the shareholders or partners? If so, can’t we talk about free speech in terms of those individuals’ rights and responsibilities? Do we mean that this agreement between stakeholders has some sort of capacity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that justifies every other limit on governmental power? All these questions and more beg for a real legal analysis. They were ignored precisely because they expose an inconsistency, the underbelly of the elite consensus.

Corporate personhood necessitates muddled, sloppy balancing acts by the court. And in complicated rulings, the rich and powerful have the same legal upper hand they had when McCain-Feingold stood: they can afford the expenses required to make sense of the precedent and twist it in their own favor. To ask whether corporations even have free speech rights would be too profound and simple a question to preserve the advantage of the powers that be. We little folk might recognize what is at stake were the matter made so plain.

Of course we should not water down the first amendment just to punish corporations. What we should do is challenge the status of the corporation as a person. The majority’s impulse to streamline the interpretation of the first amendment is fine, but they passed on the real case.

Written by Jeremy Weiland on Saturday, January 23, 2010 for Social Memory Complex

Ten Reasons Why I Am an Anarchist 10

1. I agree with the Augustinian view of the state as a robber band writ large.
2. I agree with the Stirnerite view of political obligation. Why should I obey this guy just because he’s the president, king, mayor, etc.?
3. I agree that democracy is a system where five wolves and sheep vote on what to have for lunch.
4. I agree that the death and destruction perpetrated by states make that of individual criminals look trivial by comparison.
5. I agree with George Bernard Shaw that democracy replaces the rule of the corrupt few with the rule of the incompetent many.
6. I agree that the state exists to monopolize territory and resources, protect an artificially privileged ruling class, expand its own power and subjugate and exploit subjects.
7. I agree with Hayek that the worst gets to the top.
8. I agree that the insights of social psychology show that most people are creatures of the herd.
9. I agree that the herd is the permanent enemy of the superior individual.
10. I agree that values are subjective, that life is ultimately a war of each against all, and that survival of the fittest and the will to power are the only true laws.

Updated News Digest January 24, 2010 6

Why Read the Sunday Papers When You Can Read AttacktheSystem.Com!

Community Organizing and National-Anarchism presentation by Andrew Yeoman

Tribal Anarchism Video Series Parts One, Two, Three, Four

United Anarchism Vs United Nationism 

Quotes of the Week:

“A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.”

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

“Be that self which one truly is.”

“How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech. ”

                                                                                             -Soren Kierkegaard 

The Rule of Law Has Been Lost by Paul Craig Roberts

Obama to Indefinitely Imprison Detainees Without Charges by Glenn Greenwald

The Two Faces of Interventionism by Justin Raimondo

MLK as 20th Century Jesus by Paul Gottfried

Lawyers, Guns, and Money by Kevin Carson

How America Makes Its Enemies Disappear by Petra Bartosiewicz

Prisoner Power: Organize the Ex-Cons! by Eduard Limonov

Privatizing Everything  by Ralph Nader

Will the Tea Partiers Become a Third Party? by James Ostrowski

Big Brother Barack: Enough Hope and Change, Already! by Anthony Gregory

The Anatomy of Blue State Fascism by Anthony Gregory

Terrorism Defined: Bill Clinton Lights Our Way to Truth by Chris Floyd

The Return of the Neocons by David Margolick

Petraeus Gets It Wrong by Robert Dreyfuss

Is America Moving Right? by Pat Buchanan

Say No to “Humanitarian Intervention” in Haiti by Ron Paul

Haiti’s Avoidable Death Toll by Walter Williams

Haiti: An Unwelcome Katrina Redux by Cynthia McKinney

The Supremes Have Opened the Floodgates by Russell Feingold

Freedom of Speech for a Fiction by Christopher Ketcham

Corporate Personhood and Political Free Speech by Manuel Garcia, Jr

How Wall Street Destroyed Healthcare by Paul Craig Roberts

Just Walk Away from the Democrats by Ron Jacobs

Death to the Dictator by Charles Glass

Israel Finds a New Way to Play the Victim by Ira Chernus

The Terrorism Conundrum by Philip Giraldi

Torture: Where’s the Conservative Skepticism? by A. Barton Hinkle

A New Dictator in Iraq? by Ted Galen Carpenter

The Next Crisis for Obama? by Ivan Eland

Fascism Needs an Enemy by Ran HaCohen

FBI Says It Violated the Fourth Amendment by Thomas R. Eddlem

To Help Hait, End Foreign Aid by Bret Stephens

Anarcho-Leftoids Rally Against Free Speech from Infoshop.Org

New Frontiers in PC by Lew Rockwell

Students and Prisoners, Unite! from Infoshop.Org

U.S. Military Weapons with Bible References on Them by Bill Anderson

The Power Elite Is Worried by Lew Rockwell

Demented TSA Brings Charges Against Man for Walking Through the Wrong Door by Mike Rozeff

U.S. Military Diverts Food Flights to Haiti by Mike Rozeff

Government to Teach Parents How to Raise Children by David Kramer

How to Popularize Freedom Tom Woods interviewed by Scott Smith

Who Is Left Holding the Bag on U.S. Debt? by Bill Sardi

U.K. Bans Drinking Contests by Raphael G. Satter

1,000 Rally for Guns, States’ Rights in Virginia Capital by Olympia Meola

The Coming Euro Rupture by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Texans Are Ready for Nullification by Mike Ward

The Banks Are Going Down by Karen De Coster

The Blind Law of State Violence by Jeff Knaebel

Tortured Unto Death by Glenn Greenwald

Obama’s Garrison State by Tom Burghardt

In Defense of Rothbard by Walter Block

The Needless U.S. War with Japan-Courtesy of Stalin and FDR by Michael Kreca

Eco-Fascism by James Delingpole

Nullify the Federal Government by Norvell Rose

The Militia Question Resolved  by Michael Kreca

Hurting People for a Living: The Role of the State by William Norman Grigg

Books on War: The Worst Aspect of the State by David Gordon

Why Africa Has Gone to Hell by James Jackson

Freak-Friendly by Gavin McInnes

Yes, Africa Must Go to Hell by Alex Kurtagic

Tea Party Convention Bars Campaign for Liberty by Patroon

Endorsements of Dennis Steele for Governor of Vermont by Thomas Naylor

A Richly Deserved Humiliation by Alexander Cockburn

How the Patriot Act Perpetuates Official Robberies by James Bovard

Class and Party Difference in Massachusetts by Mary Lynn Cramer

Making the Banks Pay by Dean Baker

Revolution, Not a Tea Party by Ron Jacobs

Why I Voted for the Republican in Massachusetts by John V. Walsh

The State vs The Rule of Law by James Leroy Wilson

My Life as a Politician by Justin Raimondo

How Open Manufacturing Is Related to the End of Neoliberal Globalization by Michel Bauwens

The Establishment Is in Crisis by Butler Shaffer

Obamanomics: Big Government, Big Business, Big Rip-Offs by Michael Brendan Dougherty

Top Ten Passions of Ancient Rome: Sounds like America by Ray Laurence

Cleaning Up Government Messes by Lew Rockwell

The U.S. of Kafka from Lew Rockwell

“My God Is Bigger Than Your God” by Lew Rockwell

But If You Did This to a TSA Thug… by David Kramer

Coulter Slimes the Anti-State Wave by Christopher Manion

May I Pour You Some Neocon Tea? by Lew Rockwell

Has Obama Lost White America? by Pat Buchanan

Anarchistan in Athens by Aya Burweila

Could a Woman Who Posed Nude Get Elected? by Missy Comley Beattie

Weimar Democrats by Harvey Wasserman

New Radical Queer Zine Focuses on Gentrification from Infoshop.Org

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in Haiti from Infoshop.Org

How Life Has Suddenly Changed in America by Bill Sardi

The Final Crisis of Central Banking by Gary North

There Is No Freedom of Choice in America by Don Cooper

Christian Concentration Camp Guards by Stephen Carson

PIGS Infiltrate Anti-PIG March  from Infoshop.Org

The Great Leap Sideways by Alexander Cockburn

Society Verses the State by Kevin Carson

The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low Overhead Manifesto by Brad Spangler

“The Italians were called wops, the Jews were called hymies, I was of course a greaseball, and every Hispanic was a spic. Well, we all got along famously! It was rough, but it was fine.”

                                                                -Taki Theodoracopulos

Interview with Alain De Benoist, Part One by Tomislav Sunic

The Empire’s Fall Ron Paul interviewed by Scott Horton

The Relevance of Lysander Spooner to Our Times Sheldon Richman interviewed by Scott Horton

Anarchy Radio with John Zerzan and Kathan Z

I Was a Guard at Guantanamo by Brandon Neely interviewed by Scott Horton

Murder-Gate: 3 Tortured to Death at Guantanamo Scott Horton interviewed by Scott Horton

The Ghost Prisoners of Bagram Andy Worthington interviewed by Scott Horton

Reclaiming the American Right Christopher Manion interviewed by Scott Horton

“The “clash of civilizations” is, in a very literal sense, a clash of God and Mammon. The Islamic revolutionaries are driven by a fanatical devotion to their god and the promises they believe he has made to them if only they take up arms on his behalf. The nations of the West are driven by an almost as fanatical devotion to Mammon, that is, to wealth, luxury, power, pleasure and privilege. Further, the culture of the West combines this unabashedly materialist ethos with rejection of strength and discipline in favor of a maternalistic emphasis on health, safety, “sensitivity”, “self-esteem”, “potential”, “personal growth”, “getting in touch with one’s inner child”, “feelings” and other concepts common to pop culture psychobabble. Of course, the socio-cultural ramifications of this is to create a society of weaklings, mediocrities and crybabies.”

                                                                                                   -Keith Preston

(hat tip to Taylor Somers)

Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

I Put a Spell on You by Screaming Jay Hawkins

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge by Coven

Satanic Mass Part 1 Part 2 by Coven

Dignataries of Hell by Coven

Attack of the Demon  by Black Widow

God of Darkness by Iron Maiden (no, not that Iron Maiden)

Lucifer’s Friend by Lucifer’s Friend

Beautiful Dream by Uriah Heep

Sorcerers by Angel Witch

(hat tip to Chris Donnellan for the following links)

Why Men Use Prostitutes by Julie Bindel

Pan-African Solidarity: Senegal Offers Land to Haitians 

Haitians May Go Extinct 

The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition by Adam Kirsch

Rabbit Rapist Convicted of Cruelty 

National Bolshevik Party 

Corporate Branding Has Taken Over America by Naomi Klein

Traditionalist, New Right, Conservationist, and Integralist Thought 

The Soft Tyranny of Liberalism by Alexander Dugin

Secession Without Blinders 

Hamas Ready to Cancel Charter 

Republican Savior’s Wife Starred in Half-Naked Music Video About Handjobs 

Voodoo Brings Solace to Grieving Haitians 

Tea Party Movement Getting Hosed 

John Lennon on Monday Night Football in 1974 with Howard Cosell 

European Males Descend From Ancient Farmers 

Curious Myths of the Middle Ages 

The Democrats are the Darlings of Wall Street

Racist Cameras 

(hat tip to Andrew Yeoman for the following links)

Milestones on Minorites and Poverty in Southern Schools 

11-Yr-Old Shot Defending His Mom Against Home Invaders 

South African Woman Killed Over Birth Control 

Is Al-Qaeda Winning? 

Moron Brought to Tears by Republican Seizure of Teddy Kennedy’s Senate Seat 

U.S. Mercenaries Set Sights On Haiti 

Lone Shooter Kills 8 in Central Virginia

Netanyahu: Illegal Immigration a Threat to Israel 

Ron Paul: After CIA Coup, Agency Runs Military 

Fake Cop Arrested During Prostitution Sting 

The Coming Urban Terror by John Robb

Taliban Overhaul Image to Win Allies 

Haiti Homeless Reach Two Million 

Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Direct Corporate Spending on Elections 

A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The Revolution Within Anarchism 

Forty Years in the Wilderness? 

Liberty and Populism: Building An Effective Resistance Movement for North America

Organizing the Urban Lumpenproletariat

National Anarchy and the American Idea

“The king is most wounded by ridicule.” -Thomas Hobbes

(hat tip to Taylor Somers)

Can a Libertarian Also Be a Conservative? 8

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin195.htm

by Antoine Clarke

“At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has sometimes been disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition.”

Lord Acton, cited by F.A. Hayek1

INTRODUCTION: THE COLD WAR ALLIANCE

An informal alliance between conservatives and libertarians, especially in the United Kingdom, can be said to have started with Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in March 1946, and ended with the abolition of the Federation of Conservative Students in 1986 because of its take over by libertarian activists and the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1989 to 1991.  The abolition of the FCS marked the moment when the Thatcherite part of the Conservative Party preferred to abort its own intellectual future, rather than continue what had been a fairly successful alliance against the idea of big government, at home and abroad.

The alliance, as often in history, was based on the perception of a common external enemy, Soviet imperialism, as well as the internal threat of socialist economic policies of nationalization and central planning.  There was also the sense in the United Kingdom at least, that the social engineering experiment of the welfare state was an assault on freedom, whether liberty was valued for being ancient and traditional, or for being the expression of individual freedom of self-actualisation.

There was some disagreement on what to do about the Cold War.  The British Conservatives were often more opposed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation because of the subservient position that the UK was placed in relation to the United States of America.  British libertarians, in stark contrast with most of their US counterparts, tended to be more favourable to fighting a global crusade against communism.

On the welfare state, conservative paternalism was reluctant to “abandon” the poor to their own initiative.  Chris R Tame, the Libertarian Alliance’s founder put the conservative view of libertarianism thus:

“The average classical-liberal sympathising conservative puts our ideology in a liberty versus order straightjacket, where freedom is seen to be achieved at a cost in social order and security, and where those values can only be achieved at the price of liberty.  This is a typically conservative viewpoint in which freedom and order are in tension with one another, and the remedy for social chaos is the state.”  2

In the USA, the experiences of isolationism, the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7th 1941 and the Vietnam War exerted diverging pressures on any libertarian/conservative alliance on foreign policy.  However, a coalition of what two British commentators termed “Sun Belt conservatism” and a religious opposition to the secularist/welfarist “liberalism” from the 1930s’ New Deal to the 1960s’ Great Society, gathered pace from the dynamic but electorally unsuccessful 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign, to what became known as “The Right Nation.”3

GOD, THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND HOBBES: IS THERE COMMON GROUND FOR LIBERTARIANS AND CONSERVATIVES?

The modern libertarian movement is a fusion of several historic intellectual traditions, with a style that generally embraces human progress and the liberating aspects of technology.  Traditionally, conservatism could be seen as the long struggle against the enlightenment, taking a sceptical view of human nature which is either explained in terms of Original Sin or a distrust of rationalism.  Dr Tame, in an interview with the current LA President, Tim Evans, expressed the optimism of the libertarian position as: “We’re extreme rationalists…  Death and Taxes, we’re against BOTH of them!”4  The libertarian tends to oppose God’s plan, sees the Enlightenment and its economic outcome—the Industrial Revolution—as the most tremendous liberating force in 2,000 years, and flatly rejects Thomas Hobbes’ scepticism about what free individuals will get up to without a night-watchman state to keep them in line.

Roger Scruton, formerly the editor of the Salisbury Review and Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, the University of London, set out the conservative objection to the Enlightenment’s humanism in a Wall Street Journal article in 1996, titled “Godless Conservatism.”5

Professor Scruton wrote:

“There is a growing tendency among American conservatives to blame society’s present condition not merely on liberals but on the secular and skeptical philosophy of the Enlightenment, from which modern liberalism descends.  As conservatives see it, the constant questioning of established beliefs and authorities has set us upon a path that has anarchy as its only destination.  Many conservatives therefore suggest that we must repudiate the Enlightenment and reaffirm the thing against which the Enlightenment stood: organized religion.”

He added:

“it is not hard to sympathize.  Religious belief fills our world with an authority that cannot be questioned and from which all our duties flow.  Yet there is something despondent in the search for a religious solution to the problems of secular society.  All too often the search is conducted in a spirit of despair by people who are as infected by the surrounding nihilism as those whose behavior they wish to rectify.  Their message is simple: ‘God is dead—but don’t spread it around.’  Such words can be whispered among friends but not broadcast to the multitude.”6

Professor Scruton and Dr Tame would have agreed on almost every issue of significance during the 1970s and 1980s: the economy, the harm caused by socialism, the Cold War, the “battle of ideas,” yet the philosophical underpinning of their positions was almost entirely opposite.  This would not matter so long as the target for their attention was the same and the solution, if only by coincidence, was broadly the same: to support the underground civil society of Soviet colonies, to oppose socialism performed by Conservative politicians, the importance of the statement of ideas and their debate.

Yet as with such coalition projects as the French Revolution, harmonious relations would struggle to  last beyond the achievement of power or the disappearance of the common enemy.  Here, one of the striking differences between the British and US coalitions can be found.  According to John Micklethwait and Adrian Woolridge, in philosophical terms, classical conservatism, as formulated by Edmund Burke, “might be crudely reduced to six principles.”

These are:

  • a deep suspicion of the power of the state;
  • a preference for liberty over equality;
  • patriotism;
  • a belief in established institutions and hierarchies;
  • scepticism about the idea of progress; and
  • elitism.

Micklethwait and Woolbridge argue that:

“to simplify a little, the exceptionalism of modern American conservatism lies in its exaggeration of the first three of Burke’s principles and contradiction of the last three.  The American Right exhibits a far deeper hostility toward the state than any other modern conservative party.  How many European conservatives would display bumper stickers saying ‘I love my country but I hate my government’?”7

The result is that American conservatives tend to display more openness to human progress, making an alliance with some libertarians possible (it may also help to explain the poor performance of the US Libertarian Party since 1972).  The American conservative movement tends to take a classical liberal approach to Burke’s last three principles: hierarchy, pessimism and elitism.  The heroes of modern American conservatism tend to be the same as for libertarians: rugged individualists who don’t know their place and defer to class status, the self-made businessman, or settlers on the Western frontier.

As Mickeltwait and Woolbridge put it:

“the geography of conservatism also helps to explain its optimism rather than pessimism.  In the war between the Dynamo and the Virgin, as Henry Adams characterized the battle between progress and tradition, most American conservatives are on the side of the Dynamo.  They think that the world offers all sorts of wonderful possibilities.  And they feel that the only thing that is preventing people from attaining these possibilities is the dead liberal hand of the past.”8

A more modern representation of this cleavage can be found in the writings of Virginia Postrel, especially her best-selling work, The Future and Its Enemies.9  She replaces the left-right cleavage with one based on the notions of people as either “dynamists” or “stasists.”

Sean Gabb, the Libertarian Alliance’s Director, is perhaps the best known British advocate of “libertarian conservatism,” a body of beliefs that consists of harking back to the days when a British subject could spend virtually his or her entire life with no contact with government or its services except when visiting a Post Office.  Although he did not use the term in his 1974 book, The Offshore Islanders,10 Paul Johnson remarked that English history can be seen as a succession of conservative revolutions, largely attempting to restore ancient liberties, in marked contrast with the French Revolution of 1789 for example, which aimed to create a new order, to the point of creating a decimal calendar with 10-day weeks and 10-hour days with new names for the months.11  The contrast between the ancient liberties of Englishmen (a near approximation of the libertarian ideal) is defended in the name of both its liberalism and its rooting in history.

One example of how these forces are fused in Dr Gabb’s activism has been the 15-year campaign against national identity cards, which has in no way been deflected according to which political party (Conservative or Labour) has held office in the UK.12

Dr Gabb wrote:

“I believe, however, that there is more to ‘rolling back the frontiers of the State’ than paying regard to economic indicators alone.  It is not enough to control the money supply and deregulate the unemployed back into work.  It is necessary to roll back the frontiers in social and political matters as well.  My ideal England—the England that largely existed before 1914—is one in which individuals and groups of individuals are free to pursue their ends, constrained only by a minimal framework of laws.”

“I have no doubt that an identity card scheme would be absolutely fatal to the realising of this ideal—even the ‘voluntary’ scheme that Mr [Michael] Howard proposes for the moment.  It would undermine the half-open society in which we now live.  Given the technology that will soon be available, it would allow the erection of the most complete despotism that ever existed in these islands.  I am astonished that such a scheme could be put forward by a government that dares call itself Conservative.  It is a betrayal not merely of the libertarian and classical liberal wings of the Party, but also of the most reactionary High Toryism.  I will not argue whether this is socialism by other means.  But it is undoubtedly collectivist.”

The problem appears to be that there is a type of modern Conservative who really does not believe in God, natural rights, the virtue of ancient customs, or spontaneous order.  I came across this position in 2002, in a series of discussions on-line with Peter Cuthbertson, who at least has the credit of being one the very early pioneers of conservative blogging in the UK.  One could argue that this was a continuation of the debate between a Lockean and a Hobbesian in the 17th century.  Under the title ‘Is there an Act of Parliament for Table Manners?’13  I wrote:

“I don’t normally respond publicly to comments, but I will make an exception.  Peter Cutbertson has a blog called Conservative Commentary, it is certainly better than the Conservative Party’s website.  He thinks that this conclusion I made makes me insane:

‘The problem for British libertarians is that they aren’t really used to the idea that the state really is our enemy.  This is one reason why I don’t think that the UK withdrawing from the European Union is an automatic recipe for joy.’

In the exchange which follows he appears to believe that ‘without law or government’ society cannot function, and those who disagree with him are ‘insane’ or follow ‘an incoherent, warped political philosophy’.”

I continued

“However, it amazes me that Mr Cuthbertson cannot see that law doesn’t necessarily derive from government.  For a start, any conservative who believes in God ought to consider the possibility that there is a higher authority than the State.  Assuming atheism (which isn’t very conservative, but hey, who’s being coherent?), I should have hoped that a conservative might believe in the organic, spontaneous order of common law.  Assuming God doesn’t exist, and the common law is a fiction (sounds more like a French Jacobin!), what has Mr Cuthbertson done with civil society?  Is it true that members of the Carlton Club only behave because of the fear of being arrested by the police?  Does the members’ code of conduct depend on the State for its existence and enforcement?  Is there an Act of Parliament for table manners?”

TRIBAL POLITICS: IS THERE COMMON GROUND FOR LIBERTARIANS OR CONSERVATIVES?

In presenting the major philosophical differences between conservatism and libertarianism, I am conscious of one potential fallacy to the negative prognosis: a marriage doesn’t have to be perfect to be successful.  Within each of the tribes, conservative and libertarian, there are numerous differences of opinion, often underpinned by a complete opposite fundamental principle.

There is the obvious problem of abortion.  To one school of libertarian, the woman’s right to choose is absolute and rooted in the idea of self-ownership of our bodies.  Surely no one could argue against that!  But other libertarians argue that there is a point at which a foetus is more than merely a type of cancer tumour, to be charged rent or evicted.  They may root their argument in the concept of a natural right to life from the moment or conception, or 10 weeks, or 20 weeks of pregnancy.  If it is wrong to kill someone who is in a temporary coma, or remove their organs without consent, and also wrong to do the same to a mute or a child who has not yet developed speech, why is it acceptable for a being that has some degree of consciousness and would surely develop all the human attributes of sentience and free will?

Another issue is the transitional state.  Even if all libertarians were anarchists, and many are not, what of the national debt?  Should it be defaulted in full at once?  Should government promises of pensions be treated as the promises of extortionists and therefore have no contractual force?  Are Bank of England notes to be rejected in the Libertarian Year Zero?  Or collaborators with the “bureaucrato-feudalist régime”shot?

One starts doubting whether one can even properly speak of a libertarian position, given the multitude of factions (which have a tendency to denounce each other as “deviant” in a not always deliberate self-parody of the Popular Judean Front of Monty Python’s Life of Brian).  However, it should be noted that the same cleavages exist in any ideological school, whether it be socialism, conservatism or liberalism, so it would be wrong to worry too much about libertarianism’s diverse origins and blueprints for a good society.

Conservatism can mean the support of a theocratic society, the restoration of absolutist monarchy, opposition to post-Leninist reforms in the Soviet Union, support for the use of tanks against student protestors, opposition to homosexuality, the support for free trade, protectionism, the abolition of drug prohibition or its resolute enforcement.  Conservatives are split on abortion, taxes, the National Health Service and whether London should have got the 2012 Olympic Games.

CONCLUSIONS

Libertarians and conservatives have many vehement (not violent) disagreements and it is fair to say that each side’s vision of heaven on Earth could be considered hellish to the other.  Yet within each tribe, there are people who have as much in common with each other as with their own tribes.  One thinks of prostitution, abortion and the death penalty, to name just three examples.

Because both a conservative and a libertarian have a degree of scepticism about the power of the State “to make things right,” it is very likely that opportunities for defensive joint action will emerge from time to time.  Conservatives will tend to see their role as reigning in the enthusiasm of libertarians for technology as a liberating force for humanity.  Libertarians will see their role as giving the conservatives a kick up the backside for their passive acceptance of inevitable defeat.

However, it is probably worth keeping in mind the words of Lord Acton, concerning the challenge of ideological alliances which opened this essay:

“At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has sometimes been disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition.”

Each party to the alliance, libertarian and conservative, regards the other as a sometimes embarrassing auxiliary.

NOTES

(1)F.A. Hayek, ‘Why I Am Not a Conservative’, in The Constitution of Liberty, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1960.

(2) Chris Tame & Gerry Frost, Libertarianism Versus Conservatism: A Debate, Libertarian Alliance Pamphlet No. 14, 1989, retrieved 1st December 2009, http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/lapam/lapam014.pdf

(3)John Micklethwait & Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Why America is Different, Penguin, 2005.

(4)Tim Evans, Maggies’s Militants, video produced as part of a PhD thesis, published as Conservative radicalism: A Sociology of Conservative Party Youth Structures and Libertarianism 1970-1992, Berghahn Books, Oxford, 1995.

(5)Roger Scruton, ‘Godless Conservatism’, The Wall Street Journal, Friday, April 5th 1996, p. 8.

(6)Ibid.

(7)Micklethwait & Woodridge, op cit.

(8)Ibid.

(9)Virginia Postrel, The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress, The Free Press, 1998.

(10)Paul Johnson, The Offshore Islanders: England’s People from Roman Occupation to the Present, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1972.

(11) ‘French Republican Calendar’, 26th November 2009, retrieved 2nd December 2009, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_Calendar

(12)Sean Gabb, A Libertarian Conservative Case

Against identity Cards, Libertarian Alliance Political Notes No. 98, 1994, http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin098.htm

(13)Antoine Clarke, ‘Is there an Act of Parliament for Table Manners?’, Samizdata blog, 30th November 2002, retrieved 1st December 2009, http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2002/11/is_there_an_act_of_parliament.html

Audio interview with Alain De Benoist Reply

Listen to it here.

In Part 1, Tom and Mr. de Benoist discuss the awkward label, the European “New Right”, and the confusion that this label creates, particularly in the USA. They also reflect on the present cultural climate in Europe and America along with its political implications. The show includes:

  • A description of the New Right; its origins and its current perspectives. Alain eloquently explains how “New” is more important than “Right”, and emphasizes the importance of ideas over insignificant political categories.
  • The semantic distortions connected with the labels “Liberal” and “Conservative”; how the terms “Left” and “Right” were born out of modernity and have since lost their meaning as we step fully into postmodernity.
  • Alain elaborates on the major themes in his book On Being a Pagan. Among these are the polytheistic mindset versus its monotheistic counterpart, and the advocacy of cultural pluralism as opposed to multiculturalized “sameness.”

About Alain de Benoist

Alain de Benoist.jpg

Alain de Benoist was born on 11 December 1943. He is married and has two children. He has studied law, philosophy, sociology, and the history of religions in Paris, France. A journalist and a writer, he is the editor of two journals: Nouvelle Ecole (since 1968) and Krisis (since 1988). His main fields of interest include the history of ideas, political philosophy, classical philosophy, and archaeology. He has published more than fifty books and three thousand articles. He is also a regular contributor to many French and European publications, journals, and papers (including Valeurs Actuelles, Le Spectacle du Monde, Magazine-Hebdo, Le Figaro-Magazine, in France, Telos in the United States, and Junge Freiheit in Germany). In 1978 he received the Grand Prix de l’Essai from the Academie Francaise for his book Vu de droite: Anthologie critique des idees contemporaines (Copernic, 1977). He has also been a regular contributor to the radio program France-Culture and has appeared in numerous television debates.

To learn more about Alain de Benoist, read his insightful articles at his personal website and at The Alain De Benoist Collection.

Problems of Revolutionary Strategy Reply

(thanks, Peter!)

http://red-anti-state.blogspot.com/2010/01/assessment-of-uruguayan-tupamaros.html

This is an excerpt from Problems of Revolutionary Strategy by Abraham Guillen

To the credit of the Uruguayan Guerillas, they were the first to operate in the cement jungles of a capitalist metropolis, to endure during the first phase of a revolutionary war thanks to an efficient organization and tactics, and to confound the police and armed forces for a considerable period… With its failures as well as successes, the Movement of National Liberation (Tupamaros) has contributed a model of urban guerrilla warfare that has already made a mark on contemporary history – the scene of a struggle between capitalism and socialism with its epicenter in the great cities. The lessons that can be learned from the Tupamaros can be summarized in the following ten points.

(1) Fixed or Mobile Front? When urban guerrillas lack widespread support because of revolutionary impatience or because their actions do not directly represent popular demands, they have to provide their own clandestine infrastructure by renting houses and apartments. By tying themselves to a fixed terrain in this way, the Tupamaros have lost both mobility and security: two prerequisites of guerrilla strategy. In order to avoid encirclement and annihilation through house-to-house searches, the guerrillas can best survive not by establishing fixed urban bases, but by living apart (from each other) and fighting together.

(2) Mobility and Security. If urban guerrillas rent houses for their commandos, they are in danger of leaving a trail that may be followed by the police who review monthly all registered rentals. Should most of their houses be loaned instead of leased, then the guerrillas should refrain as a general rule from building underground vaults or hideouts which would increase their dependence on the terrain. To retain their mobility and a high margin of security they must spread out among a favourable population. Guerrillas who fight together and then disperse throughout a great city are not easily detected by the police. When dragnets are applied to one neighborhood or zone, guerrillas without a fixed base can shift to another neighborhood. Such mobility is precluded by a reliance on rented houses or hideouts in the homes of sympathizers, heretofore a major strategical error of the Tupamaros.

(3) Heavy or Light Rearguard? Urban guerrillas who develop a heavy infrastructure in many rented houses commit not only a military error, but also an economic and logistical one. For a heavy rearguard requires a comparatively large monthly budget in which economic and financial motives tend to overshadow political considerations. Lacking enough houses, the guerrillas tend to upgrade to positions of command those willing to lend their own. Among the Tupamaros detained in 1972 was the owner of the hacienda “Spartacus,” which housed an armory in an underground vault. At about the same time the president of the frigorific plant of Cerro Largo was detained and sentenced for aiding the Tupamaros. He may well have embraced the cause of the Tupamaros with loyalty and sincerity; but as a businessman he responded as any other bourgeois would to his workers’ demands for higher wages. Thus when promotion through the ranks is facilitated by owning a big house, a large farm or enterprise, the guerrillas become open to bourgeois tendencies. When guerrillas rely on cover not on a people in arms but on people of property, then urban guerrilla warfare becomes the business of an armed minority, which will never succeed in mobilising in this manner the majority of the population.

(4) Logistical Infrastructure. Although a mobile front is preferable to a fixed one, there are circumstances in which a fixed front is unavoidable, e.g., in the assembly, adjustment and adaptation of arms. These fixed fronts, few a far between, must be concealed from the guerrillas themselves; they should be known only to the few who work there, preferably one person in each, in order to avoid discovery by the repressive forces. In the interest of security it is advisable not to manufacture arms, but to have the parts made separately by various legal establishments, after which they can be assembled in the secret workshops of the guerrillas.

It is dangerous to rely on a fixed front for housing, food, medical supplies and armaments. If the guerrillas are regularly employed, they should live as everybody else does; they should come together only at a designated times and places. Houses that serve as barracks or hideouts tend to immobilise the guerrillas and to expose them to the possibility of encirclement and anihilation. Because the Tupamaros immobilised many of their commandos in fixed quarters, they were exposed in 1972 to mass detentions; they lost a large part of their armaments and related equipment and were compelled to transfer military supplies to the countryside for hiding.

In abusing control over their sympathisers and keeping them under strict military discipline, the Tupamaros had to house them together. But they were seldom used in military operations at a single place or in several simultaneously, indicating the absence of a strategical preparation. If urban guerrillas cannot continually disappear and reappear among the population of a great city, then they lack the political prerequisites for making a revolution, for creating the conditions of a social crisis through the breakdown of “law and order.” Despite their proficiency during the first hit-and-run phase of revolutionary war, the Tupamaros have failed to escalate their operations by using larger units at more frequent intervals for the purpose of paralysing the existing regime.

(5) Heroes, Martyrs and Avengers. In revolutionary war any guerrilla action that needs explaining to the people is politically useless: it should be meaningful and convincing by itself. To kill an ordinary soldier in reprisal for the assassination of a guerrilla is to descend to the same political level as a reactionary army. Far better to create a martyr and thereby attract mass sympathy than to lose or neutralise popular support by senseless killings without an evident political goal. To be victorious in a people’s war one has to act in conformity with the interests, sentiments and will of the people. A military victory is worthless if it fails to be politically convincing.

In a country where the bourgeoisie has abolished the death penalty, it is self-defeating to condemn to death even the most hated enemies of the people. Oppressors, traitors and informers have condemned themselves before the guerrillas; it is impolitic to make a public show of their crimes for the purpose of creating a climate of terror, insecurity and disregard for basic human rights. A popular army that resorts to unnecessary violence, that is not a symbol of justice, equity, liberty and security, cannot win popular support in the struggle against a dehumanised tyranny.

The Tupamaraos’ “prisons of the people” do more harm than benefit to the cause of national liberation. Taking hostages for the purpose of exchanging them for political prisoners has an immediate popular appeal; but informing the world of the existence of “people’s prisons” is to focus unnecessarily on a parallel system of oppression. No useful purpose can be served by such politically alienating language. Morover, it is intolerable to keep anyone hostage for a long time. To achieve a political or propaganda victory through this kind of tactic, the ransom terms must be moderate and capable of being met; in no event should the guerrillas be pressed into executing a prisoner because their demands are excessive and accordingly rejected. A hostage may b usefully executed only when a government refused to negotiate on any terms after popular pressure has been applied; for then it is evident to everyone that the government is ultimately responsible for the outcome.

So-called people’s prisons are harmful for other reasons: they require several men to stand guard and care for the prisoners; they distract guerrillas frmo carrying out alternative actions more directly useful to the population; and they presuppose a fixed front and corresponding loss of mobility. At most it is convenient to have a secure place to detain for shore periods a single hostage.

To establish people’s prisons, to condemn to death various enemies of the people to house guerrillas in secret barracks of underground hideouts is to create an infrastructure supporting a miniature state rather than a revolutionary army. To win the support of the population, arms must be used directly on its behalf. Whoever uses violence against subordinates in the course of building a miniature counter-state should be removed from his command. Surely there is little point in defating one despotism only to erect another in its place!

(6) Delegated Commands. In a professional army the leadership is recruited from the military academies within a hierachical order of command. In a guerrilla organisation the leaders emerge in actual revolutionary struggles, elected because of their capacity, responsibility, combativity, initiative, political understanding and deeds rather than words. However, at pain of forfeiting the democratic character of a revolutionary army and the function of authority as a delegated power, not even the best guerrilla commander can be allowed to remain long at the helm. A rotating leadership is necessary to avoid the “cult of personality”; powers should be alternately exercised by those commanders with the most victories, by those most popular with their soldiers and most respected by the people. Inasmuch as guerrilla warfare takes the form of self-dense, tis success depends on the exercise of direct democracy, on guerrilla self-management and self-discipline – a far cry from the barracks discipline typical of a bureaucratic or professional army…

The people have more need of many revolutionary heroes than of a single outstanding leader like Julius Casesar or Napoleon Bonaparte. Epominondas, the Theban general who defeated the Spartan, held a command that lasted only two years. Although the greatest strategist of his time, he became and ordinary soldier when his command expired. Only because of his extraordinary skill was he made a military adviser to the new commander-in-chief. Guerrillas can benefit by his example.

A delegated command is unlimited except for the time determining its delegation. The responsibility of subordinates is to discuss in advance each operation, to make recommendations, etc. But the discussion ends when the supreme command assumes responsibility for the outcome of a particular battle or engagement. If the commander is mistaken in his judgment, if the result is defeat rather than victory, his duty is to resign. Should he succeed in a vote of confidence he may retain his command; but to successive defeats should make his resignation irrevocable.

One of the most common errors of Latin American guerrillas is to make legends of their leaders as they did of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. The resulting messianism conceals the incapacity of many guerrilla commanders who take their troops into the countryside – like the Tupamaros in 1972 – without revising mistaken strategies. Perhaps the leaders of the Uruguayan guerrillas have come to believe in their providential powers, thereby reducing the ordinary guerrilla to a political and military zero, to the status of a soldier in a conventional army.

(7) Revolution: Which Revolution? Youthful Leftists without a proletarian praxis, without having suffered directly the effects of capitalist exploitation, aspire to liberate the workers without the workers’ own revolutionary intervention. When revolutionary action is limited to a series of military engagements between guerrillas and a repressive army, armaments ar of little use in mobilising the people for national liberation. The corresponding foquismo [exaggerated reliance on guerrilla focos, armed encounters and military tactics to spark a mass insurrection] is petty bourgeois in origin as well as outlook – evident in the token number of workers and peasants in the guerilllas’ ranks. Actually it is an insurrectional movement of piling up cadavers, for giving easy victories to the repressive generals trained by the Pentagon.

In the case of the Tupamaros the commanding cadres and the greater part of the rank and file have come from the universities, the liberal professions and the rebellious petty–bourgeois youth who have learned how to disobey. They long for a revolution. But what kind of revolution? Since there are few workers or peasants in the columns of the Tupamaros, it is understandable that the struggle is limited mainly to engagements between the guerrillas on one side and the army and police on the other. In these encounters the people are caught in the middle, leaving a political vacuum which only a different kind of guerrilla movement can fill: one providing support for all popular acts of protest, strikes, demonstrations, student rebellions, etc. Only through the intermediary of the people, in other words, can urban guerrillas pass from the first phase of revolutionary war to a generalised state of subversion leading to a social revolution.

In their endeavor to create a state within the state through highly disciplined guerrilla columns, secret barracks, “prisons of the people,” underground arsenals and a heavy logistical infrastructure, the Tupamaros have become overly professionalised, militarised and isolated from the urban masses. Their organisation is closer to resembling a parallel power contesting the legally established one, a microstate, rather than movement of the masses.

(8) Strategy, Tactics and Politics. If the tactics adopted are successful but the corresponding strategy and politics mistaken, the guerrillas cannot win. Should a succession of tactical victories encourage a strategical objective that is impossible to attain, then a great tactical victory can culminate in an even greater strategical defeat.

The kidnappings of the Brazilian consul Dias Gomide and the CIA agent Dan Mitrione are instances of tactical successes by the Tupamaros. But in demanding in exchange a hundred detained guerrillas, the Tupamaros found the Uruguayan government obstinate, in order not to lose face altogether. Here a successful tactic contributed to an impossible strategical objective. In having to execute Mitrione because the government failed to comply to their demands, the Tuparamaros not only failed to accomplish a political objective, but also suffered a political reversal in their newly acquired role of assassins – the image they acquired through hostile mass media.

The Tupamaros would have done better by taping Mitrione’s declarations and giving the story to the press. The population would have followed the incidents of his confession with more interest than the interminable serials. Mitrione’s confessed links with the CIA should have been fully documented and sent to Washington in care of Senator Fulbright. With this incident brought to the attention of Congress, the operation against the CIA would have won world support of the Tupamaros. Once the Uruguayan government had lost prestige through this publicity, the Uruguayan press might be asked to publish a manifesto of the Tupamaros explaining their objectives in the Mitrione case. Afterwards his death sentence should have been commuted out of respect for his eight sons, but on condition that he leave the country. Such a solution to the government’s refusal to negotiate with the guerrillas would have captured the sympathies of many in favour of the Tupamaros. Even more than conventional war, revolutionary war is a form of politics carried out by violent means.

With respect to Dias Gomide the Tupamaros lost an opportunity to embarrass politically the Brazilian government. They should never have allowed matters to read the point at which his wife could appear as an international heroine of love and marital fidelity by collecting sums for his release. Every cruzerio she collected was a vote against the Tupamaros and indirectly against the Brazilian guerrillas. In exchange for Dias Gomide, a man of considerable importance to the military regime, the Tupamaros should have demanded the publication of a manifesto in the Brazilian press. Its contents might have covered the following items: a denunciation of the “death squad” as an informal instrument of the |Brazilian dictatorship; a demand for free, secret and direct elections; the legalisation of all political parties dissolved by the military regime; the restitution of political rights to Brazil’s former leaders and exiles including Quadros, Kubitschek, Brizola, Goular and even reactionaries like Lacerda; the denunciation of government censorship of the press; and a demand that popular priests be est free. With such a political response the revolutionary war might have been exported to Brazil. Guerrilla actions should not be narrowly circumscribed when they can have regional and international repercussions…

The Tupamaros are perilously close to resembling a political Mafia. In demanding large sums of money in ransom for political hostages they have sometimes appeared to be self-serving. It matters little to the average citizen whether bank deposits pass into the hands of “expropriators” who do little directly to lighten the public burden – not because they do not want to but because they cannot do so in isolation from the people and without popular support. There is an historical irony about these would-be liberators who indirectly live off the surplus of the people the liberate.

(9) OPR-33 and the Tupamaros. Enormous losses were suffered by the Tupamaros in 1972 through more than 3000 detentions, including those of persons guilty by association. Popular hatred against the government has intensified because of its house-to-house searches and disregard for fundamental rights. If the Tupamaros had as much political and strategical sense as they have tactical skill, they might have achieved in 1972 a new polarization of forces culminating in a truce, a virtual recognition by the government of a situation of dual powers.

But the political and startegical mistakes of the Tupamaros, their rigorous centralism and hierarchy of authority led instead to internal divisions and split-offs that further weakeneed the organisation. The deliberately mislabeled “Microfaction” broke with the movement. This group politically responseive to the Urguayan Revolutionary WOrkers’ Party (PRT) – a political affiliate of the Argentine People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP) – would hardly have been permitted to split peacefully were it not for the ERP. The “22nd of December” guerrillas likewise split with the leadership: a group concentrating on operations designed to mobilise the trade unions and other mass organisations without the military centralism of the Tupamaros’ general staff..

Politically the Tupamaros follow an ambiguous line promising something of interest to everybody. On the other hand, the Tupamaro Courier, a bulletin of the organisation, has carried in its pages extracts from the speeches of conservative nationalists like Aparicio Saravia. On the other hand the Tupamaros’ leadership forobids its cadres from criticising the pro-Moscow Communists. This political irresolution, indefiniteness and ambivalence have hurt the Tupamaros in their efforts to gain a foothold in the Communist-controlled trade unions. Although they penetrated and won over the leadership of the Union of Sugar Workers (UTA) and the workers of the Frigorifico Fray Bentos, they have been unsuccessful in pressing for immediate reforms because they anticipate that seizing political power will resolve everything.

Unlike the Tupamaros, the anarcho-syndicalist Revolutionary Popular Organisation (OPR-33) uses armed struggle to support the workers’ immediate demands without directly challenging the government and armed forces. Neither OPR-33 nor the “22nd of December” contributed to the 1971 electoral struggles of the Broad Front against the established political parties. While the Tupamaros supported the Broad Front, OPR-33 used its armed units to win the strike at the Portland Cement Company, where workers with anarcho-syndicalist tendencies demanded higher wages. Rodney Arismendi, secretary-general of the Communist Party, denounced the anarcho-syndicalists as adventurers for allegedly playing into the hands of reactionaries and ignoring the principal task of electing a new president, senators and deputies. But the Broad Front lost the elections, while the workers at Portland Cement won the strike. Moreover, the railroad workers also triumphed against the bosses, thanks to the armed backing of OPR-33 with the support of the Workers-Student Resistance (ROE) and the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU).

OPR-33 and ROE also spurred a series of successful strikes in the metallurgical, rubber and clothing industries. The strike at SERAL, a footwear manufacturer, lasted more than a year. Where the Communist-controlled unions failed, OPR-33 and ROE succeeded. The anarcho-syndicalists initiated the strike at SERAL: they endured in hunger, asked for collections in the streets of Montevideo and mobilised popular support. But the owner, an ex-worker, could not be moved. Finally his son disappeared. OPR-33 was apparently behind the operation but, unlike the Tupamaros, admitted to nothing. No ransom was asked; words were unnecessary. In view of the circumstances it was tacitly understood that the owner, Malguero, could recover his son by negotiating with the workers. In this way the most difficult strike in Uruguay was won: the workers were compensated for lost pay; their union was recognised as the only legal bargaining agent. Thus during the first six months of 1972, when the Tupamaros were being detained by the hundreds, Malaguero’s son was lost but reappeared with the resolution of the strike at SERAL. Despite the success of the repressive forces in uncovering the people’s prisons and hideouts of the Tupamaros, the boy could not be found. Here was an altogether different style of guerrilla warfare from that of the Tupamaros’ – and also more effective.

The strike against the Frigorifico Modelo was won through a similar operation. In the midst of the strike the firm’s president Fernandez Llado, disappeared. Thus a second company was coipelled to negotiate. In no instance has OPR-33 been pressured to execute hostages. For it has not made demands of its own, but has applied force only to obtain what hundreds of exploited workers have already been asking for. In this way, little by little, it may continue to win support from the workers until even the reformist trade unions fall into revolutionary hands. Once revolutionaries are in command of their own house, then they are ready for revolutionary action in depth: the occupation of factories that operate at less than full capacity; the transformation of these into producer’s cooperatives or self-managed enterprises;p and a preparation for the seizure of political power. For what purpose? To establish a new kind of socialist society in which the people rather than bureaucrats or guerrilla leaders are the beneficiaries.

(10) MIR, ERP and the Tupamaros. The Tupamaros were the first group of urban guerrillas to teach the world how to initiate an insurrection in the cities with few supporters and modest means. But their superb tactics have been nullified by a mediocre strategy and a questionable politics.

Like OPR-33, the Chilean Movement of the Revolutioanry Left (MIR) and the Argenitine People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP) offer new models of urban guerrilla warfare in which strategy and politics combine to reinforce the Tupamaros’ tactics. The Chilean and Argentine organisations show great initiative in combat, a clar-cut program of national a social liberation, the capacity to mobilise large masses and a virtual absence of petty-bourgeois tendencies. They are openly critical of Right-wing nationalism and the opportunism of Social Democrats and Communists. Without such criticism, without liberating themselves from a naroow professional outlook, urban guerrillas can succeed in tactical engagements; but they cannot develop a revolutionary movement capable of winning power, if not for themselvs as bureaucrats, then for the people they represent.

In 1972 MIR had the most effective revolutionary organisation in Latin America. Its leading cadres are directly responsible to the rank and file through a system of direct democracy; its politics are clear and unambiguous; it proposes at any moment only what it can actually accomplish. Nothing escapes the political analysis and synthesis of the MIR cadres. They are Chile’s major revolutionary reserve. In the event Allende’s government is overthrown, only they are presently equipped to fight for liberation under conditions of repression. They are acid critics of demagogy and adventurism. Their proposals are well reasoned and concrete with respect both to immediate issues and the future.

The ERP is another model worth imitating. In Rosario it seized the British consul and the manager of Swift for the purpose of settling a major strike. IT has prepared the ground for surmounting the traditional trade-union tactics of the Peronist labor bureaucracy, the pro-Moscow Communists and genteel socialists. Even the tragic finale of Sallustro, president of Argentine Fiat, is an example of blood spilled not so much by the ERP as by the Argentine military. For the dictatorship countermanded the negotiations between the Fiat managment and workers as the price of his release.

The Tupamaros faced their gravest crisis during the first havelf of 1972, when the repressive forces detained several hundred of them. That so many fell was due not to lack of secrecy, but to absence of autonomy. Their supreme command is centralised: it knows all, says all, does lal. Nothing can be more fatal to a guerrilla organisation than lack of self-direction under conditions in which the guerrillas cannot be continually united and in which each group or command has to adapt to the tactical situation at hand without waiting, as a conventional army does, for orders from above. Excessive centralisation of authority makes an organisation rigid and vulnerable: once the repressive forces discover a single thread they can begin looking for the spool.

The Tupamaros acted precipitately in attacking the newly elected government of President Bordaberry. They provoked the as yet untested government to declare a state of war. Repression was escalated in the crudest forms: punitive expeditions, legalised terrorism, physical tortures. A formal democracy gave way to dissimulated dictatorship. Far better had the Tupamaros waited for the economic and social crisis to discredit the new regime. The prime necessities are in scarce supply; there is not enough meat, milk, sugar, kerosene to satisfy demand. Nonetheless, the government is strong because the revolutionaries’ rhetoric is weak, and they have not mastered the art of mobilising popular discontent on these basic issues.

A revolutionary organisation must demonstrate that it knows more that its bourgeois rivals in power. To displace the bourgeoisie and bureaucracy, it must convince the public of their incompetence, a task which cannot be done overnight. It must show how greater levels of productivity can be achieved compatible with human freedom, how the scientific-technological revolution can be advanced, how agriculture can be fully mechanised and electrified, how industrial integration can be achieved, how culture can be made to serve economic and technological growth, how atomic energy can be utilised, how the socialism of self-management can be introduced. If a revolutionary leadership fails to demonstrate humane qualities, scientific knowledge and social, political and economic skills, it may commit blunders by initiating an insurrection before fully mobilising popular support. Then is the time for military intervention. Thus in Peru the guerrillas were exterminated by the developmentalist generals who now pass for revolutionaries; and in Brazil the military waged a preventative coup, mortgaged their country to foreign capital, reduced corporate taxes, outlawed industrial unrest and depressed real wages in order to stimulate economic growth.

From the Tupamaros we can learn from both their exploits and mistakes – magnifying their strengths and concealing their weaknesses can be of service to dogmatists and sectarians, not revolutionaries. The Tupamaros have served as the best revolutionary academy in the world on the subject of urban guerrilla warfare; they have taught more through actions than all the revolutionary theories abstracted from concrete situations. But their brilliance in matters of tactics has not been matched by their strategy and politics. Thus the revolutionary ideal must combine the tactical proficiency of the Tupamaros with the mass strategy of OPR-33 and the politics of Chilean MIR – a synthesis most nearly approximated by the Argentine ERP.

Updated News Digest January 17, 2009 Reply

Why Read the Sunday Papers When You Can Read AttacktheSystem.Com!

Community Organizing and National-Anarchism presentation by Andrew Yeoman

Tribal Anarchism Video Series Parts One, Two, Three, Four

United Anarchism Vs United Nationism 

Quote of the Week:

“A writer’s ambition should be to trade a hundred contemporary readers for ten readers in ten years’ time and for one reader in a hundred years’ time.”

                                                                                                    -Arthur Koestler

Picking Apart Washington’s Scum by Paul Gottfried

PC Purists by Paul Gottfried

The Stupid, Evil Party by Paul Gottfried

Could Self-Defense Send You to Prison? by Scott Mayer

Should the U.S. Military Go to Haiti? Of Course Not!! by Laurence Vance

Is Obama a Republican? by Steve Chapman

George W. Obama by Nat Hentoff

Osama Bin Laden Is Winning by Eric Margolis

Is a U.S. Default Inevitable? by Pat Buchanan 

The Lessons of Revisionism by Murray Rothbard

Why Are They at War with Us? by Pat Buchanan

George Will Turns to Robert Taft by W. James Antle III

Left and Right Against the Empire by David Spero

Too Many Dots, Too Many Enemies by Jon Basil Utley

Yemen: The Back Story by Stephen Zunes

Appeals Court Extends President’s Wartime Powers by Andy Worthington

The Neo-Wilsonian Worldview by Jack Hunter

Obama’s Alternate Universe by Scott Ritter

Why Journalist Gary Webb Died by Robert Parry

Green Guilt by Steven T. Asma

Obama and Afghanistan: America’s Drug-Corrupted War by Peter Dale Scott

Will Blackwater Be Banned? by Jeremy Scahill

Are You Ready for a Fascist America? by Amy Judd

All the Reich Moves: Stepping Up the Police State by William Norman Grigg

Obama and the Global Police by John Whitehead

The Empire Discovers Yemen by Philip Giraldi

Conservative Hatred for America by Jacob Hornberger

Only Psychiatrists Can Explain Israel’s Behavior by Gideon Levy

National Security: The Big Fraud by Sheldon Richman

The Secret Police and the Digital Revolution by Brian Doherty

Only Fools Rush Into Yemen by Patrick Cockburn

The Last of the Prairie Populists by Ralph Nader

The Maine Redemption: Bill Seeks to Restrict the Use of Solitary In Prisons by James Ridgeway

Anarchists in Berlin Turn Anger on “New Bourgeoisie” from Infoshop.Org

Trust the Tale, Not the Teller by Ray Mangum

PIGS Arrest People Who Record Them Without Permission by Radley Balko

Why a Resilient Community Network? by John Robb

Big Government, Big Business: Cojoined Twins Part 2, by Thomas Knapp

The People Making “The Rules” Are Dumber Than You Are by Kevin Carson

Government Is No Friend of Peace by Darian Worden

The Randroid Worship of Power by Kevin Carson

Long Term Unemployment Rate Highest Since 1948 from Progressive Review

Corporatism in the Richmond City Council  by Jeremy Weiland

Dick Cheney: Creature from the Conservative Id by William Norman Grigg

America Slides Deeper Into Depression by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

It’s Like the Great Depression by Robert Higgs

Can the Government Keep Us Safe? What a joke! by Judge Andrew Napolitano

Song Lands Soldier in Jail by Dave Lindorff

Guantanamo Guard Meets Ex-Prisoners by Gavin Lee

Battered Jackboot Syndrome by William Norman Grigg

Fight the Nanny State! My Food, My Choice-Sign the Petition!

Totalitarian “Synchronization” -Germany 1933 and America 2010 by William Norman Grigg

The Fourthworldization of the U.S.A. by Manuel Lora

TSA Lies About Its Porno-Scanners by Lew Rockwell

Journalist Accosted by PIGS by Lew Rockwell

“First They Came for the Iranians…” by David Kramer

Video of Market Street, San Francisco from 1905 from Lew Rockwell

Is the PC Grip of Terror Loosening? by Lew Rockwell

The U.S. Police State Is Getting More Ruthless and Vicious by Lew Rockwell

Obama or Hoppe? by Laurence Vance

The Patriotic Idea by G. K. Chesterton

Anti-Feminist League 

Failure as a Strategy by John Robb

The Stupid and Evil Party by Paul Gottfried

New Jersey Defies Feds on Medical Marijuana by Michael Boldin

End the Korean War by Justin Raimondo

Social Morality, Political Immorality by James Leroy Wilson

Tribal Opportunity Space by John Robb

Free Vermont From D.C. Oppression by John Curran

The Despicable Las Vegas PIGS by Vin Suprynowicz

Nixon and the 1969 Vietnam Moratorium by Jon Wiener

Her Crime: Sex Work in New Orleans by Jordan Flaherty

The Americanization of Mental Illness by Makhno

Anarchist Bloc at Anti-Arpaio Rally from Infoshop.Org

The Great Liberal Fallacy  by Richard Spencer

2009 in Retrospect by Dixie Flatline

Global Warming Is a Religion by Walter Williams

Secession and State Governors by Russell Longcore

Americans Are Arming Themselves as Never Before by Tim Case

PIGS Extend “Professional Courtesy”: Captured on Video by William Norman Grigg

Blow It Out Your Ass, Cass Sunstein by Glenn Greenwald

U.S. Army Suicides a Record in 2009 from David Kramer

Poking the Bear by Doug Bandow

Just What We Need: More Pentagon Spending by Winslow T. Wheeler

The Bogus Anti-Terrorist Crackdown on Financial Freedom by James Bovard

Were Afghan Children Executed by U.S.-Led Forces? by David Cromwell

Who Killed Massoud Ali Mohammedi? by Justin Raimondo

Mass Hunger Strike in Greek Prisons from Infoshop.Org

Bum Rap for Harry, But Not for Bubba Bill by Alexander Cockburn

Crushing Haiti, Now As Always by Patrick Cockburn

Big Greens and Real Greens by Michael Donnelly

Democrats Going Down In Flames by Russell Mokhiber

Bass Boats and Queer Marriage by Joe Bageant

A Black Panther in Beirut by Daniel Drennan

“The Italians were called wops, the Jews were called hymies, I was of course a greaseball, and every Hispanic was a spic. Well, we all got along famously! It was rough, but it was fine.”

                                                                -Taki Theodoracopulos

Centralization Leaves the People at the Mercy of the Elite Rob Freeman interviewed by Tom Sunic

Why They Hate Us: Israel and Foreign Policy Ray McGovern interviewed by Scott Horton

Don’t Let Your Kid Join the Military Elaine Brower interviewed by Scott Horton

Empire Is Cannibalism Will Grigg interviewed by Scott Horton

The Oathkeepers Stewart Rhodes interviewed by Angela Keaton

“The “clash of civilizations” is, in a very literal sense, a clash of God and Mammon. The Islamic revolutionaries are driven by a fanatical devotion to their god and the promises they believe he has made to them if only they take up arms on his behalf. The nations of the West are driven by an almost as fanatical devotion to Mammon, that is, to wealth, luxury, power, pleasure and privilege. Further, the culture of the West combines this unabashedly materialist ethos with rejection of strength and discipline in favor of a maternalistic emphasis on health, safety, “sensitivity”, “self-esteem”, “potential”, “personal growth”, “getting in touch with one’s inner child”, “feelings” and other concepts common to pop culture psychobabble. Of course, the socio-cultural ramifications of this is to create a society of weaklings, mediocrities and crybabies.”

                                                                                                   -Keith Preston

Beyond the Realm of Death by Judas Priest

Melinda (More or Less) by Curved Air

Carpet on the Sun by Renaissance

(hat tip to Chris Donnellan for the following links)

Global Warming: Miami’s First Cold Weather Death Confirmed 

Obama Wants $33 Billion More for War 

For Sale on the Internet…Ukraine’s Elections Vote 

The National Bolshevik Party-Some Pointers 

Myths of the American Revolution 

Global Warming…or Cooling? 

Mikey Hicks: 8 Year Old Terrorist 

Britain Is No Place for the White Working Class Male 

Christopher Hitchens on Gore Vidal 

Detroiter Said He Dismembered His Dead Friend in Panic 

The Difference Between National Socialism and Fascism 

Defending the West on Campus

What Dogs Tell Us About Humans 

George H.W. Bush Yelled at in Texas Restaurant 

(hat tip to Andrew Yeoman for the following links)

How to Make a Fake Credit Card 

New York City Homicides Map 

“Kill a Tourist Day in South Africa” 

More of Today’s Youth Have Serious Mental Health Issues Than Previous Generations 

Congo Approves Stimulus Package of AK-47 for Every Citizen 

Where Is the White Male Violence and Hatred When We Need It Most? by John Paul Cupp

Obama Signs Executive Order Establishing Council of Governors 

It is Now Illegal to Fortify a Private Home 

A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The Revolution Within Anarchism 

Forty Years in the Wilderness? 

Liberty and Populism: Building An Effective Resistance Movement for North America

Organizing the Urban Lumpenproletariat

National Anarchy and the American Idea

“The king is most wounded by ridicule.” -Thomas Hobbes

On Being Inclusive 6

My critic suggests:

“…my problem with Keith Preston’s approach is not that he suggests identifying and allying with criminalized, marginalized, or lumpen people. My problem is, first, that he has what I consider a disastrously selective view of whose criminalization and marginalization counts as legitimate libertarian concern (=). And, secondly, that he has the wrong idea about what the process of building such an alliance, and the terms on which allies might ally themselves with each other, looks like.

How “selective” am I? These are some the planks in the American Revolutionary Vanguard Twenty-Five Point Program:

1. Recognizing that the United States of America is rapidly degenerating into a totalitarian police state domestically and steadily being brought under the rule of a global corporate state internationally, American Revolutionary Vanguard is established for building a unified resistance front among all groups, organizations and movements opposed to the common enemies.

2. American Revolutionary Vanguard is non-partisan, non-ideological, non-racial and non-denominational. Our allies and supporters may come from any political party, ideological background, ethnic group or religion. We make no distinction on the basis of gender, nationality, sexual identity, physical disabilities, cultural identity, age or class origins.

4. American Revolutionary Vanguard seeks to network with and form alliances with all groups and individuals engaged in active resistance including decentralists, non-supremacist separatists, constitutionalists, autonomists, patriots, populists, anti-corporate libertarians, anarchists, sovereigns, common law advocates, regionalists, anti-state conservatives, non-statist nationalists, agorists, mutualists, syndicalists, individualists, guild socialists, council communists, individualist anarchists, collectivist anarchists, national anarchists, municipalists, Georgists, farmer liberationists, agrarians, radical traditionalists, micronationalists, Luddites, radical environmentalists, deep ecologists, non-reactionary third postionists, geonomists, geolibertarians, libertarian socialists, non-racist militias, anarcha-feminists, libertarian feminists, queer activists, anti-globalists and non-statist class struggle advocates of every kind.

10. American Revolutionary Vanguard supports the development of cooperatives and guilds for the provision of affordable health care to the poor and workers, care for the sick and elderly, provision of reliable information to consumers and the organizing of tenants in opposition to slumlords and public housing authorities without reliance on statist, classist “zoning” laws, “building codes”, “land use” regulations and other forms of government interference.

14. American Revolutionary Vanguard works for the creation of special organizations for the defense and protection of youth, students, runaways, the homeless, the mentally ill, street vendors and other small-time enteprenuers, prisoners, addicts and prostitutes. These classes of persons are the most victimized and brutalized by the present system and are therefore in need of special assistance and recognition of their plight.

15. American Revolutionary Vanguard works for the abolition of all laws criminalizing consensual adult behaviors including drug laws, gun laws, sex laws, prohibition of alternative medical treatments, prohibition of suicide, seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws, zoning laws, involuntary civil committment and drinking ages. Only acts of physical aggression against other people and their possessions can justly be considered crimes.

16. American Revolutionary Vanguard supports the abolition of jails and prisons which are simply the modern version of slavery. Persons who do minor harms to others should be required to compensate the victims in some way with economic sanctions being the primary means of enforcement. Serious criminals should be sent to separate, penal communities where they will work ordinary jobs, live in ordinary housing, wear ordinary clothes, etc. but pay restitution to compensate victims and finance whatever supervision they may require.

22. American Revolutionary Vanguard seeks dialogue and mutually advantageous cooperation with non-political outlaw organizations including street gangs, motorcycle clubs and prison gangs. We applaud those organizations of this type who have negotiated truces among themselves and who have sought to take up political struggle. We seek similar dialogue and cooperation with non-political, non-governmental clubs, leagues, orders, guilds, unions, fraternities and sororities of every kind.

24.American Revolutionary Vanguard opposes all military aggression by the government of the United States against other nations. The natural allies of American revolutionaries are nationalist, separatist, anti-globalist, populist, anarchist, libertarian and class struggle movements throughout the world. The peoples of the earth who desire sovereignty for themselves are asked to support the struggle of domestic American revolutionaries, whether they be Arabic or Islamic nationalists, European separatists, anarchists or anti-globalists, indigenous peoples everwhere and Latin American rebel forces.

It’s a little hard to imagine what could be more inclusive than this. In the essay “Liberty and Populism” I wrote:

“…our core creed must be “Anarchy First!” applied within context of decentralism, populism and libertarianism. Here is a set of potential “first principles” for an anarchist-led libertarian-populism:

  1. Minimal and decentralized government organized on the basis of community sovereignty and federalism.
  2. A worker-based, cooperative economy functioning independently of the state, the corporate infrastructure and central banking.
  3. A radically civil libertarian legal system ordered on the basis of individual sovereignty, individual rights and restitutive justice.
  4. A neutralist, non-interventionist foreign policy and a military defense system composed of decentralized, voluntary militia confederations.
  5. A system of cultural pluralism organized on the basis of voluntary association, civil society, localism, regionalism, decentralism and mutual aid.
  6. The achievement of the above through an all-fronts strategy of grassroots local organizing, local electoral action, secession, civil disobedience, militant strikes and boycotts, organized tax resistance, alternative infrastructure and armed struggle.”

“…we have not even begun to touch on the possibilities for building a radical movement rooted in part in marginalized social groups ignored, despised or persecuted by the establishment. These elements include the handicapped, the mentally ill, students, youth, prostitutes and other sex workers, prisoners, prisoner’s rights activists, advocates for the rights of the criminally accused, the homeless and homeless activists, anti-police activists, advocates of alternative medicine, drug users, the families of drug war prisoners, immigrants, lumpen economic elements (jitney cab drivers, peddlers, street vendors), gang members and many others too numerous to name. On these and other similar issues, our positions should be to the left of the ACLU. Adopting this approach will bring with it the opportunity to politically penetrate the rather large lumpenproletarian class that exists in the US with little or no political representation. At the same time, the last thing we should wish to do is emulate the mistakes of the new left by adopting an ideology of victimology and positioning ourselves as antagonists of the broader working masses. Nothing could be more self-defeating. The defense of marginal populations way beyond any efforts in this area offered by the left establishment should be part of our program, but only part. Our main focus should be on the working class itself, the kinds of folks who work in the vast array of service industries that comprise the bulk of the US economy.”

“…It is of the utmost importance that the working masses view us as the champions of their economic interests. Nothing less will be sufficient. Our populist coalition must include rank and file blue collar workers, working class taxpayers, union members, small businessmen, farmers, the self-employed, the urban poor, single moms and the homeless. We do this not by promising entitlement rights to all, but by eliminating state-imposed obstacles to economic self-determination and self-sufficiency, placing state or state-corporate industries and services directly into the hands of the workers and consumers, developing alternative economic arrangements independently of the state, eliminating taxes from the bottom up and gradually phasing out archaic state-assistance programs, with poverty relief and social security programs being the last to go once the corporate state has been fully dismantled. This is precisely the opposite of the “cut taxes and regulations at the top, eliminate subsidies to the bottom” approach favored by the right-wing corporatists. Our approach should be “cut taxes and regulations at the bottom, eliminate subsidies to the top”. On these matters, authentic fiscal conservatives and authentic class war militants should be able to agree. We should describe our economic program as neither “conservative” nor “socialist” but as simple “economic justice”.

“There are indeed many areas where the radical Left and the radical Right have much in common. One obvious area of possible collaboration would be opposition to imperialist warfare and military interventionism on behalf of ruling class interests. Another is on libertarian-populist economic issues of the type mentioned above. There is certainly no reason why the libertarian-left cannot endorse the civil liberties issues of the right such as freedom of religious practice, the right to have homeschools, Second Amendment rights against the gun-grabbers, personal property rights against eminent domain and asset forfeiture laws, opposition to the use of anti-racketeering laws to harass anti-abortion activists, abusively anti-male “child support” and other divorce-related laws, speech codes, self-defense rights, tax resistance, intrusive zoning, licensing, or environmental laws and so on.

Once again, it is difficult to imagine what could possibly be more inclusive than what is outlined above. Racism?

The matter of implementing such a settlement to America’s historic ethnic divides brings with it certain complications. The “pro-white” aspects of the settlement proposed above would be simple enough to enact. It is merely a matter of repealing particular laws (like antidiscrimination statutes) and policies (like affirmative action) and ending subsidies to particular interests (like “minority set asides”). The “pro-black” aspects of the settlement are a little more difficult. On the question of sovereignty, various black nationalist factions have proposed widely divergent ideas. It would seem that the best approach would be one that involved the least amount of disruption possible. Some years ago, the Peoples’ Democratic Uhuru Movement proposed that the majority black section of St. Petersburg, Florida be separated from the rest of the city into a sovereign municipality. There is no reason why such an arrangement could not be put into place in all American cities with sizable black sections. The only serious criticism of this approach is that the disconnected black communities might degenerate into Bantustans of the type the former South Africa was famous for. At least a partial solution to this problem would be for sovereign black muncipalities and their satellite towns and villages to be federated into larger “black nationalist” states on a national or regional basis. There is certainly sufficient precedent for such a territorially disconnected nation. One need only think of the United Kingdom at its height with its scattered island states and protectorates.

Civil liberties, police powers, and incarcerated persons?

It is well-known that the United States maintains the world’s largest prison population. More than one quarter of all the world’s prisoners reside in US prisons. A grossly disproportionate number of these are blacks or other minorities. A comprehensive amnesty program is essential to any serious effort to dismantle the US Leviathan state. As a model for amnesty, we might look to that implemented by Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, prior to the commencement of the current war. Most prisoners were given full amnesty, foreign spies excepted. Thieves were pardoned on the condition of victim restitution. Even violent criminals had their sentences communted if the victim or the victim’s mother agreed to a pardon. If this was good enough for Saddam Hussein, it ought to be good enough for anti-state radicals in North America. Under such a general amnesty, the only remaining prisoners would be those who refused to compensate victims or whose crimes were serious enough to discourage the victim from granting a pardon. The rest of the prison population, from tax evaders to drug vendors to owners of “illegal” firearms to those convicted of violations of arcane regulatory statutes, would simply be cleared out. Likewise, those imprisoned for self-defense, whether against common criminals or the government (for example, Leonard Peltier, the surviving Branch Davidians or those resisting “no-knock” raids) should also be granted amnesty. Additionally, panels of legal experts should be commissioned to review the cases of those convicted of even the most serious crimes. Given the notorious incompetence of the US legal system, it is likely a significant number of these are innocent.

On crime, I propose the following approach: We should be tough on crime, but equally tough on cops, courts and laws. On the issues of legal restrictions on the investigative and arrest powers of the police, the powers of the courts to prosecute the accused and impose sentences, and the powers of penal institutions to hold incarcerated persons and the conditions they are held under, we should take positions as “liberal” as those of the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild and beyond. However, when it comes to the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms, to use them in defense against criminals and to form private organizations (neighborhood watches, militias, posses, private security guard services, vigilance committees and common law courts) for the purpose of mutual self-protection against crime (including government crime), we should take positions as “conservative” as the Gun Owners of America, the Michigan Militia and beyond.

Now, we would not want to interfere with general free speech rights by prohibiting panhandling. Nor would we want to interfere with geuninely poor or disabled people, runaways kids or others who wish to be peaceful beggars. Nor do we want to kowtow to bourgeoise elements who object to the presence of such lumpen elements as an “eyesore”, “blight” or, more specifically, a perceived threat to real estate values. We certainly do not want to turn public streets into “Official Police Property”.

The perspective offered here is far more “liberal” than anything put forth by the Democratic Party or even the Green Party in many instances. Indeed, this outlook could be classified as “rightist” only in the sense that it rejects univeralism, utopianism, and radical egalitarianism, and the necessarily and inevitably totalitarian nature of these. As for the question of “what the process of building such an alliance, and the terms on which allies might ally themselves with each other, looks like”, this is from “Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire“:

Indeed, domestic American politics tends to be driven by single-issue movements and organizations rather than ideological ones. Raw ideology pushers tend to find little success in US politics. With this consideration in mind, the question becomes one of how to best formulate a successful single-issue anti-state movement. Several possible constituents for such a movement have already been discussed. The emergence of a single issue anti-state party or organization that included the agendas of each of the various localist and regionalist movements would likely be a good start. There is no reason why there cannot be a party, or alliance of parties, that simultaneously favors the independence of Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Texas, the South, numerous local communities, and religion/ethnicity based separatists like the Nation of Islam, Christian Identity, Aztlan, indigneous peoples and others. Such advocacy of regional/local autonomy should be accompanied by an emphasis on populist structural changes. Norman Mailer’s suggestion of decentralizing the governments of large metropolitan areas down to the neighborhood level coincides nicely with the objective of sovereign townships or county supremacy found in the patriot/constitutionalist milieu.

The efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union to defend the civil rights of all sorts of groups who come under attack from the state, ranging from neo-nazis to pornographers, might also be emulated. There are many such groups who are currently ignored by mainstream political organizations. These include home schoolers, “cults” or marginal religious denominations, intentional communities, so-called “hate” groups, prisoners and their families, opponents of the war on drugs, gun rights militants, tax resisters and many others. It is important to remember that a movement for political decentralization should employ a decentralized strategy. This means that the same tactics will not be appropriate in all situations. For example, anarchists working in urban or metropolitan areas should naturally take a political line that is considerable further to the left than anarchists working in rural areas or among more conservative population groups. The anti-racist/feminist/gay rights cultural paradigm that dominates the modern left might well be applicable in those communities that it is suited for, such as large cities with huge minority populations and where the prevailing values are cosmospolitan in nature. However, this would clearly not be an appropriate model for rural Kansas. For anarchists to persistently push “the right to bear arms” in liberal Connecticutt would probably be a waste of time. For anarchists to agitate for gay causes in small Tennessee towns would likewise be rather futile. So-called “extremists” from all points on the political spectrum might be rallied as the core constituents of the anti-System forces.

It is essential to remember that the anarchist movement itself (properly and constructively organized) is not necessarily a mass movement per se but only the intellectual and activist vanguard of a broader populist movement containing many different tendencies. The role of the anarchists is serve as the coordinating mediators conceived of by Mark Gillespie or the principled militants envisioned by Mikhail Bakunin. The decentralized organizational efforts of the anarchists would necessarily involve a scenario where the character of the anti-System movement varied considerably in its specific ideological, cultural, religious or ethnic orientation on a geographical or institutional basis. Across the American heartland, in the Deep South and in the mountainous regions, the anarchists might assemble a coalition of tax resisters, home schoolers, gun nuts, conspiracy theorists, pro-lifers, Christian fundamentalists, common law enthusiasts, farmers rights advocates, land rights advocates, “cults”, racists, libertarians, militiamen and other elements common to the political culture of rightwing populism. In large metropolitan centers, inner-cities, border areas and coastal regions, a similar coalition might include militants and separatists from the various minority groups, advocates for all sorts of class based social issues (gentrification, housing, environment), gays and other “sexual minorities”, all sorts of countercultural groups, students, street gangs and other official outlaws, communists, left-wing “anarchists” and others.

Among the affluent elements of American society, such as the realm of suburbia, it is probably best if the ranks of the revolutionaries draw heavily from the youth population. Opposition to the great oppressor of youth-the state’s school systems-might be the key issue. It is also important to note that class distinctions in modern liberal democratic states are somewhat more blurred than they may have been in previous times. Any authentic populist revolutionary movement would naturally have to include persons from all class levels. The task of the genuine anarchists, who will always be a small minority, even in Official Anarchist circles, is to coordinate and guide formal and informal alliances among such disparate groups. The kinds of issue and ideology based constituent groups being described here would provide the grassroots base for the broader anarchist agenda. But there remains the question of how to appeal to the broader public. A party/organization that combined local and regional autonomy, defense of social groups under attack by the state, recruited disparate elements from the cultural fringes as its activist/support base and maintained a decentralized infrastructure would also have to develop a populist program for the masses.

What my enemies and critics really object to is my refusal to endorse their program of cultural leftist universalism synthesized with mass immigration (which are incompatible goals anyway, and not particularly radical or anti-establishment goals) and not any lack of “inclusivity.”

Gottfried Smashes the Neocons Head-On Reply

This is great stuff.

Picking Apart Washington’s Scum 

“As everyone and his cousin knows, the neocons are my least favorite “Washington insiders” and they divide generally into two categories, the ill-mannered, touchy Jews and their groveling or adulatory Christian assistants.”

That’s a priceless line there.

The Stupid and Evil Party 

As the “sensitivity” net widens and as unauthorized questions about race, gender, and lifestyle are put outside the limits of “sensitive” dialogue, we will suffer as an already diminished free society. While there is plenty of blame to go around for this situation, the GOP has done its part here, in its desperate hunger for minority votes. As a right-of-center party, which it sometimes claims to be, it should be fighting for economic freedom, distributed governing powers, and an end to the war against discrimination, understood as making us speak like graduates of a multicultural indoctrination session. Now the GOP has moved out in front as an advocate of leftwing thought and speech control.

PC Purists

Presumably being a Republican, no matter what the party leaders say, identifies the party loyalist as a white Southerner. One might also observe, as Lew Rockwell has many times, that the South is full of military installations and disproportionately represented among military forces. Given such a connection, white Southerners with fading historical memories don’t seem to care about supporting a party that condemns the display of Confederate flags and praises the glories of Reconstruction. After all, the GOP is good at providing military build-ups and military engagements.

The GOP may go from waffling into strongly backing affirmative action as well as speech control in the name of sensitivity. Providing it can hold on to the business interests it serves, offer military opportunities for certain constituents, and pacify the Religious Right by allying itself with the Zionist Right and critics of abortion rights, the GOP could possibly move to the left on minority outreach, without incurring any major defections in its ranks.

Every day I run into people who were once Republicans but are now disgusted by how the GOP has betrayed the American heritage of freedom. I trust this disgust will become even more widespread and that it will generate support for an alternative party, one that is serious about a return to small, decentralized government and about opposing the tyranny of Political Correctness. Needless to say, I don’t expect the Republican leadership to help forge such a party. They are the opposition that would have to be dealt with if such an alternative can prevail.

Does Immigration Limitation Require a Police State? 13

Says one of my critics:

“…my problem with Keith Preston’s approach is not that he suggests identifying and allying with criminalized, marginalized, or lumpen people. My problem is, first, that he has what I consider a disastrously selective view of whose criminalization and marginalization counts as legitimate libertarian concern (=). And, secondly, that he has the wrong idea about what the process of building such an alliance, and the terms on which allies might ally themselves with each other, looks like.

(=) Hence, for example, his bizarre efforts coddle pseudo-populist Right-wingers who support the immigration police state and the mass criminalization of people without papers. Whereas on my view, if you’re concerned about identifying with the most criminalized, marginalized, exploited and oppressed, it would be harder to find a better place to start than with standing up for the rights of “illegal alien” workers confronting the border Stasi without government papers.”

The first problem here is the fact that the Stasi were oriented towards keeping people inside the German Democratic Republic, rather than keeping immigrants out, and repressing political dissent among East Germany’s captive native population. Beyond that, however, is the wider question of whether immigration limitation by itself requires a police state. No doubt there are plenty of anti-immigration enthusiasts who would like nothing better than a police state hunt-down of suspected illegal immigrants. No doubt the militarization of U.S. law enforcement generated by the various “Wars on…” (pick one) drugs, crime, guns, gangs, terrorism, vice, cults, racism, sexism, poverty, urban blight, child abuse, animal abuse, et. al. ad nauseum has at times included police state tactics in immigration enforcement as well (see the shenanigans of Uber-PIG Joe Arpaio).

But is a fascist police state essential to the restriction or limitation of immigration? Iceland  and Switzerland are among the most restrictive of the European nations concerning their immigration policies. Yet both of these are widely considered to be among the most progressive and libertarian of all nations anywhere. Iceland has no standing army, and bars nuclear weapons from its territory. Neither of them maintains the death penalty, and neither will extradite fugitives to the U.S. who may face capital punishment. Some years ago, an Icelandic court refused to extradite a fugitive to the U.S. because of the conditions found in U.S prisons. Switzerland is one of the world’s most non-belligerent nations. There are certainly no signs of fascism here.

Does immigration restriction even require a state of any kind? If the Spanish anarchist militias had been triumphant in the civil war, could they not have proceeded to safeguard the borders of the Spanish territory following victory? The Hezbollah militia of Lebanon is a non-state entity, yet it is an effective fighting force. Hezbollah is not only capable of guarding the Lebanese border, but of repelling an actual Israeli occupation. Likewise, the Armed Forces of the Colombian Revolution are a non-state entity, yet they have at times successfully held substantial portions of Colombian territory. Could not the FARC also safeguard its territorial boundaries?

What about all of the different kinds of territories within the United States itself where entry is restricted? These include industrial parks, office complexes, shopping centers, schools and universities, recreational facilities, country clubs, gated communities, stadiums, private neighborhoods, airports, bars and nightclubs, and private homes. All of these territories impose at least some degree of limitations on who may or may not enter. Those who do not buy a ticket are forbidden from entering theaters and stadiums. Those who do not pay a cover charge or have an ID are refused admission to bars. Those without a membership are denied entry to private clubs. Entry into schools is typically restricted to students, parents, employees, and others with authorized business. Even ordinary commercial facilities impose some minimal requirements for entry: “Shirts and Shoes Required”; “No Smoking”; “No Playing Loud Music”; “No Pets or Animals”; “No Rude or Aggressive Behavior.”

Of course, it might be argued that all of the aforementioned are private or semi-private institutions and organizations, as opposed to public streets, sidewalks, thoroughfares, lands, waterways, and airways. Yet most of these things are currently owned not by “the public” but by the state, which anarchists and the most radical libertarians ostensibly consider to be illegitimate. If the state were to disappear, into whose hands would such “public” areas fall? The anarcho-capitalist solution is to place these in the hands of private landowners, whether individual or collective in nature. The geo-anarchists prefer land trusts. Left-anarchists and libertarian-municipalists would prefer community control on the basis of some kind of Athenian model “direct democracy.” Syndicalists might prefer that all public services be put under “workers’ control,” meaning that, for instance, public streets and highways would be under the management of the highway workers’ and street maintenance workers’ unions. Mutualists might prefer “consumer control,” meaning, for instance, airports might be managed by, say, associations of frequent flyers or consumers of airline services. Whatever model or combination of models one prefers, it is quite possible that at least some of these kinds of entities would enact entry requirements at least as restrictive as those currently in existence.

There are other possibilities. Upon the demise of the state, perhaps all public properties and areas could be ceded to “squatters’ rights.” The first person to show up and pitch a tent on a piece of land in Yellowstone Park gets to keep the lot. Perhaps all public areas could simply be declared “No Man’s Lands” akin to present day Antarctica or remote desert or mountainous regions. Perhaps these might be areas where everything is a free-for-all, and where even ordinary criminal laws do not apply. I confess that if such a proposal came up for vote in a national referendum, the nihilist in me might well take over and I might not be able to resist the impulse to vote in favor of it. But how many people really think this would be a desirable state of affairs?

Either way, from where can the principle be deduced that a stateless or near-stateless society, nation, or territory would necessarily maintain unrestricted entry? Even if public areas were “No Man’s Lands” could not a xenophobic militia simply organize and drive away unwanted migrants? In contemporary Western-model societies, much of the mass immigration we presently observe is not simply occurring according to natural patterns of population movement, but is actively encouraged, promoted, and subsidized by the state. See here and here for some examples of how this works. I suspect this trend could be reversed if the support given to mass immigration by state and corporate policies was simply ended. Much of this immigration is economic in nature. Take away the economic incentives, and the overall amount of immigration should diminish. Indeed, there are some signs that the present economic situation is having such an effect.

I’m not going to go into the problems with allowing mass immigration from the Third World into the West. I’ve already written about that in the past and have really said all I have to say about the matter. See here and here. Critics already understand the potentially rather severe consequences of this. Proponents of mass immigration generally make it clear that they don’t care about the consequences. But when Islamic revolutionary parties start becoming competitive in European elections, and there’s a replay of the Mexican War complete with good old fashioned ethnic cleansing in the U.S. Southwest, don’t say us dirty, rotten, fascist, racist, nationalist, right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic bigots didn’t warn you. 

Some interesting articles on immigration:

How Can An Armenian-American Oppose Immigration? It’s Easy! by John Attarian

Liberalism and America’s Immigration Policy by John Attarian

Beyond Open or Closed Borders by Laurence Vance

Immigration Symposium by David Gordon

Nader on Immigration by Matt Welch

An American Indian View of Immigration by David Yeagley

From the Great Society to the Great Betrayal by Rob Freeman

Switzerland: A Model for America on Immigration by Srdja Trifkovic

Updated News Digest January 10, 2010 Reply

Why Read the Sunday Papers When You Can Read AttacktheSystem.Com!

Community Organizing and National-Anarchism presentation by Andrew Yeoman

Tribal Anarchism Video Series Parts One, Two, Three, Four

United Anarchism Vs United Nationism 

Quotes of the Week:

“Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.”

“Governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it.”

“Mere goodness can achieve little against the power of nature.”

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

“Once the state has been founded, there can no longer be any heroes. They come on the scene only in uncivilized conditions.”

                                                                         -Georg Wihelm Friedrich Hegel
 
First Circle: Liberty Has Been Lost by Paul Craig Roberts

Faith in the System is at an All-Time Low by David Brooks

Interview: Taylor Somers of Occident from Amerika.Org

Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary by Stephen Baskerville

The American Elite by William Blum

Small Government Conservatives Who Worship the State by Kevin Carson

Full-Spectrum Civilian Disarmament by William Norman Grigg

Three Cheers for the Swiss by Paul Green

Fake “Journalist” Defends a Forgery by Justin Raimondo

Nuclear Poker With Iran by Pat Buchanan

The War on Terrorism Is About Scaring People, Not Protecting Them by Gary Younge

The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See by Chris Hedges

The Long War: Who’s Winning?…It Ain’t America by Justin Raimondo

Robert Owen: Welsh Radical and Co-operative Pioneer by Troy Southgate

A War We Can’t Afford by Doug Bandow

Serial Catastrophes in Afghanistan Threaten Obama Policy by Juan Cole

The Fear Decade: We’ve Embraced Our Inner Coward by Ted Rall

They Hate Us for Our Freedom by Glenn Greenwald

Gerald Celente’s Predictions for 2010 by Amy Judd

Protect the Children: Shut Down the Schools by Jerome Kohn

Our Prole-Inducing Public Schools by R.C. Murray

Understanding the “Unserious Empire” by Karen Kwiatkowski

New Hampshire Looks to Nullify Federal Gun Laws by Michael Boldin

Stop the Western Left Before It Kills Again by Robert Lindsay

Are U.S. Forces Executing Afghan Kids? by Dave Lindorff

The Ugly Fortress  by Patrick Cockburn

Revenge and Retaliation in Gaza by Lynda Brayer

How China’s Attempts to Censor the Internet Are Failing from Techdirt

Bummer by Cheryl Cline

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves by Thomas Knapp

You Are In Control by John Robb

Presidential Lunacy by Walter Williams

Yet Another Reason to Secede by Patrick Samuels

The CIA, Narcotics, and the Underworld Doug Valentine interviewed by Susan Mazur

The Food Crisis for Dummies by Eric deCarbonnel

CIA Killings Spell Defeat in Afghanistan by Doug Valentine

First It Was Cigarettes, Now It’s Food by J.H. Huebert

Your Kids Belong to Us by William Norman Grigg

France to Ban “Psychological Violence” by David Kramer

Marijuana Reform for Czechs by Manuel Lora

Drones to Patrol the Skies Above American Cities by Charles Featherstone

Joan Rivers Barred from Flying by David Kramer

More Than 40,000 New Laws by Manuel Lora

Old Blackwater Keeps On Rollin’ by Jeff Huber

Where’s the Beef, Mr. Murdoch? by Philip Giraldi

Counterterrorism in Shambles; Why? by Ray McGovern and Coleen Howley

A Dual System of Justice by Jacob Hornberger

Good Morning, Yemen? by Leon Hadar

Another Iranian Revolution? Not Likely by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

Bodyscanning Captain Underpants by Julian Sanchez

Civilian Trials and the So-Called Rule of Law by Glenn Greenwald

History Will Judge War on Terror Architects by Olivia Ward

Getting Away With Torture by David Cole

Vanunu: Our Duty to Speak Up by Duncan Campbell

Peter Hitchens and the British National Party by Bede

Ron Paul Slaps Down Dick Cheney by Red Phillips

Steve Forbes to Endorse Rand Paul by Red Phillips

The War on Afghanistan’s Environment by Josh Frank

The Media Vultures by Ramzy Baroud

Panic in Needle Park: Return of the Fear Mongers by Anthony Papa

When Does It Become Genocide? by Nadia Hijab

Dennis Steele for Vermont Governor in 2010 by Matthew Cropp

More Than Left and Right by James Leroy Wilson

Rapists on Patrol by Rad Geek

From Anarcho-Capitalist to Libertarian Socialist by Francois Tremblay

The Sheriff is Coming! The Sheriff is Coming! by Katherine Mangu-Ward

That’ll Show ‘Em by Kevin Carson

Ben Franklin on Patents  by Sheldon Richman

The Backfiring of the Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald

The Collapse of Elite Authority from Armed and Dangerous

Only the Guilty Need Fear-But We’re All Guilty by Kevin Carson

Anarchy 2010: The Time Is Now by Alex R. Knight III

The Coming Food Shortage by Arthur Sim

It’s Illegal Not to Be a Government Victim by Bill Sardi

33 Conspiracy Stories That Turned Out to Be True by Jonathan Elinoff

The CIA, AFL-CIO, and Drug Smuggling by Doug Valentine

The Big Blue Crime Wave by William Norman Grigg

Heroin High School by James Ostrowski

Perverted Police by William Norman Grigg

John Stockwell vs the CIA by Lew Rockwell

Anarcho-Africa by John James

Yet Again: Don’t Call 911 and Don’t Help the PIGS by William Norman Grigg

Our Stupid Foreign Policy by Jack Hunter

More Cause and Effect In Our Ever Expanding War by Glenn Greenwald

The Naked Truth About Airport Scanners by Steve Chapman

What’s the Difference Between Obama’s Anti-Terrorism Policies and Bush’s? by Jacob Sullum

Afghan Nobody Faces Trial By Military Commission by Andy Worthington

Acting Responsible  by Alexander Cockburn

How the Teamsters Beat Goldman-Sachs by Andrew Cockburn

Giving the Homeless the Cold Shoulder by Walter Brasch

Pakistan and the Afghan Insurgency by Brian M. Downing

Naked Empire by Saul Landau

Officer Involvement from Rad Geek

Chomsky’s Augustinian Anarchism by Roderick Long

Conservatism vs the Past from Rad Geek

The Broken Logic of Statism by Don Cooper

Resistance Is Not Futile by Josh Eboch

Big Government and Big Business: Cojoined Twins by Thomas Knapp

Why Africa Has Gone to Hell by James Jackson

Democracy: Another God That Failed by Pat Buchanan

“The Italians were called wops, the Jews were called hymies, I was of course a greaseball, and every Hispanic was a spic. Well, we all got along famously! It was rough, but it was fine.”

                                                                -Taki Theodoracopulos

They Hate Us for Our Foreign Policy Michael Scheuer interviewed by Scott Horton

Afghanistan and Vietnam Daniel Ellsberg interviewed by Scott Horton

The Permanent Crisis Eric Margolis interviewed by Scott Horton

The Forged Iranian Nuclear Documents George Maschke interviewed by Scott Horton

America, Get It Together Cindy Sheehan interviewed by Scott Horton

How Not to Run a World Empire Philip Giraldi interviewed by Scott Horton

Hastert and Heroin Sibel Edmonds interviewed by Scott Horton

PIGS Will Be PIGS  

How To Flex Your Rights During Police Encounters 

“The “clash of civilizations” is, in a very literal sense, a clash of God and Mammon. The Islamic revolutionaries are driven by a fanatical devotion to their god and the promises they believe he has made to them if only they take up arms on his behalf. The nations of the West are driven by an almost as fanatical devotion to Mammon, that is, to wealth, luxury, power, pleasure and privilege. Further, the culture of the West combines this unabashedly materialist ethos with rejection of strength and discipline in favor of a maternalistic emphasis on health, safety, “sensitivity”, “self-esteem”, “potential”, “personal growth”, “getting in touch with one’s inner child”, “feelings” and other concepts common to pop culture psychobabble. Of course, the socio-cultural ramifications of this is to create a society of weaklings, mediocrities and crybabies.”

                                                                                                   -Keith Preston

Long Time by Angel

Jet Boy by the New York Dolls

Delilah by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Please Don’t Judas Me  by Nazareth

Strange Band by Family

Lord Have Mercy On My Soul (Halls of Karma) by Black Oak Arkansas with Ruby Starr

Burnin’ Whiskey by Ruby Starr and Grey Ghost

D.O.A.  by Bloodrock

(hat tip to Chris Donnellan for the following links)

Small Town America’s Growing Voice of Rage Is a Force to Be Reckoned With 

Pareto Redux 

“Racist”-A Word Invented by Leon Trotsky

Pray for Michael Brewer 

No, Obama Isn’t a “Far Leftist” 

Hemp Oil and Cancer 

An Introduction to American Third Position 

Window Cleaning Chemical Injected Into Fast Food Hamburger Meat 

Tolkien and Politics 

U.S. Maoist Says Revolution Is Near 

The Mind-Expanding Harvard Psychedelic Club 

Lawrence Welk Meets Velvet Underground 

Americans Job Satisfaction Falls to Record Low

Keeping the Ruling Junta in Power 

Real Video Footage of Custer Veterans 

Obama-Bernanke Recovery Is Actually a Dangerous Bubble

A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The Revolution Within Anarchism 

Forty Years in the Wilderness? 

Liberty and Populism: Building An Effective Resistance Movement for North America

Organizing the Urban Lumpenproletariat

National Anarchy and the American Idea

“The king is most wounded by ridicule.” -Thomas Hobbes

Black Liberation Army (A European's View) 1

http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/shoulders-our-freedom-fighters/3085-black-liberation-army-europeans-view.html

The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was a rare phenomenon in the annals of modern American terrorism: a group that intended to kill and did kill multiple times, and that killed with guns rather than bombs. Beginning in 1971 the BLA went to war against the police in several big cities across the country. Its members ambushed patrolmen and assaulted police stations in an effort to expel the “pigs” from their communities. In turn the BLA guerrillas were intensively hunted, and many were killed or wounded in shoot-outs with the authorities. Even from jail they continued the war, organizing escape attempts and freeing captured comrades. In later years remnants of the BLA robbed banks and armored cars, shooting guards and police officers who resisted. Their last job left a bloody mess at an on-ramp to the New York State Thruway on October 21, 1981.

Origins

Rule number six of the Black Panther Party (BPP) stated that “No party member can join any other army force, other than the Black Liberation Army.” The rules were drawn up in 1968, about two years after the founding of the Panthers, and BLA clandestine units were probably first established in that year. But these were self-defense squads; they did not engage in offensive actions at the start or issue communiqués. While some Black Panthers were involved in police shootings by the late 1960s, or engaged in crime or fought with rival groups, this violence did not rise to the level of terrorism. The BLA only turned to terrorism when the Black Panther Party was coming apart, in the first months of 1971.  The split occurred when Huey Newton, Minister of Defense of the BPP, expelled Eldridge Cleaver and his followers in the New York branch of the party. The rift in part reflected philosophical differences — Newton was pulling back from armed struggle in 1971 while Cleaver believed that the war had already begun. But the clash also stemmed from personal jealousies, and it was intensified by government manipulation. The FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counter-Intelligence Program) initiative spread false rumors within the party and inflamed the suspicions of the two camps. Newton ousted the Cleaver faction on February 26, 1971, and the two groupings soon drew blood from one another. On March 9 the West Coast Panthers assassinated Robert Webb, a Cleaver loyalist. The East Coast Panthers retaliated on April 17, killing Samuel Napier, the circulation manager of Newton’s paper. Napier was bound, shot, and then set on fire by men who would begin a war with the police a few weeks later in the name of the BLA.

These men were loyal to Cleaver, but Cleaver did not direct the BLA or participate in its actions. At the time he was living in exile in Algeria as head of the International Section of the Panthers. He would return to the United States in 1975, become a born-again Christian a year later, and eventually join the Republican Party. But in 1971 Cleaver and his allies believed that “we have to fight a revolutionary struggle for the violent overthrow of the United States government and the total destruction of the racist, capitalist, imperialist, neo-colonialist power structure.” Blacks were living in Babylon, slaves to a fascist despot bent on the genocidal destruction of peoples of color across the globe. They had to fight back, “forcing all those responsible for oppression to realize that they too can bleed, they too can feel our pain. Only when this is realized … will we be conceded our right to self-determination.”  A prison poem by one of the captured BLA guerrillas suggests the logic of armed struggle:

i believe a people wronged
are duty bound to make it right
valid claims long gone unanswered
justifies the fight.
“Liberation and Land”
is my slogan
war without terms
on the ruling class
no pie for me, you see
i want some ass
Off the Pigs!

War without terms commenced on May 19, 1971, the birth date of Malcolm X. Two officers guarding the residence of the prosecutor in the Panther 21 trial were lured into a trap. A car drove the wrong way down the street and the squad car gave chase. A few blocks away someone in the fleeing vehicle opened fire with an automatic weapon, seriously wounding both officers. Two days later the press received the first communiqué from the BLA:

The armed goons of the racist government will again meet the guns of oppressed third world peoples as long as they occupy our community and murder our brothers and sisters in the name of American law and order. Just as the fascist marines and Army occupy Vietnam in the name of democracy and murder Vietnamese people in the name of American imperialism are confronted with the guns of the Vietnamese liberation army, the domestic armed forces of racism and oppression will be confronted with the guns of the black liberation army, who will meet out in the tradition of Malcolm and all true revolutionaries real justice.

That very day, May 21, the BLA struck again. Two patrolmen were ambushed outside a public housing development in Harlem, struck from behind and at close range with automatic-weapons fire. Both were killed. One of the officers was black — a traitor to his people according to the BLA.
Two weeks later, on June 5, there was a break in the case. Four men were arrested during an armed robbery at a private social club in the Bronx. Three of the men were BLA members and had been indicted for the murder of Sam Napier. Ballistic tests on their submachine gun revealed that it had been used in the May 19 shooting. The next attacks claimed by the BLA came in late August, after the death of “Soledad Brother” George Jackson during a prison breakout. Jackson was an articulate and fiery advocate of armed struggle, revered by far-left revolutionaries. Although three guards had their throats slit during Jackson’s escape attempt, his advocates insisted that Jackson had been set up or killed in cold blood.

Weatherman bombed the California State Department of Corrections after Jackson’s slaying, harming no one, but the BLA wanted blood. Several BLA members belonged to the Panther 21, and the Panther 21 had chastised Weatherman for its bloodless terrorism. The Panther defendants insisted that “just to be ready to die does not make a revolutionist.” Militants “MUST be ready to KILL to change conditions. Revolution is ARMED STRUGGLE — revolution is VIOLENCE — revolution is WAR — revolution is BLOODSHED.”

Acting on this philosophy, a black man walked into the Ingleside police station in San Francisco on the night of August 29, 1971, and fired a shot-gun blast into the chest of the desk sergeant, killing him instantly. Outside, his accomplices peppered the station with gun fire, wounding a female clerk. Two days later the authorities received a note claiming the assault in the name of the BLA. A communiqué published in Cleaver’s journal Right On warned that “if one drop of Black Blood is shed, the sons and daughters of Malcolm will rise and pig blood will flow like a river wherever pigs exist. Woe unto those who cannot swim.”

But it is not clear whether the San Francisco assailants were connected with the New York BLA. The Black Liberation Army was not a disciplined and hierarchical unit able to coordinate attacks across the country. Rather, it was a concept and a name which black militants could employ to communicate their agenda and express solidarity with other African Americans engaged in armed struggle. The label was not trade-marked and the BLA issued no membership cards. You were in the BLA if you took up the gun and used it in the name of the organization.

The San Francisco BLA perpetrated other attacks during the last week in August. It fired a 66 mm. anti-tank gun at the Mission police station and firebombed a branch of Bank of America. Two militants pulled alongside a squad car and tried to spray it with an automatic weapon, but the gun jammed. They were captured and the pistol of one of the officers killed on May 21 in New York was found in their possession. Meanwhile the New York section of the BLA fled the city in late summer to escape the intense manhunt. They rented two houses in Atlanta, stockpiled weapons and explosives, produced false identification, and trained daily in the yards. They also robbed banks and stores to raise funds for the war. Three of them were captured on November 7 during a holdup in a supermarket; they were suspected of having killed an Atlanta police officer four days earlier. But before the investigation was concluded the three managed to escape from the DeKalb County jail on December 12.

After the arrests in Georgia, the Atlanta cell scattered. On November 11, several were stopped by a sheriff’s deputy in Catawba County, North Carolina. The deputy was shot and killed but four BLA suspects were captured after a chase. On December 20, a patrol car in Queens was demolished by a grenade as it pursued a BLA vehicle. The officers were not injured by the explosion but the suspects escaped. On the last day of December another BLA member was cornered by FBI agents at a Florida motel and gunned down in an exchange of fire.

But on January 28, 1972, the BLA once again took the offensive. Two NYPD officers were ambushed on the Lower East Side, cut down by submachine-gun fire. The assailants stood over the fallen officers and emptied their magazines into the bodies. Shortly thereafter the authorities received a communication from the George Jackson Squad of the Black Liberation Army:

No longer will black people tolerate Attica and oppression and exploitation and rape of our black community. This is the start of our spring offensive. There is more to come. We also dealt with the pigs in Brooklyn.

The last sentenced referred to two recent incidents in which officers had been wounded by unknown attackers. The BLA next showed up in St. Louis on February 15. A gun battle erupted during a routine traffic stop and one officer was wounded. Others returned fire, killing one suspect and wounding two more. A search of the car turned up one of the pistols taken from the officers who were ambushed on January 28.

But then the trail went cold for almost a year. January 1973, however, was a bloody month. On the twelfth a BLA suspect wounded two off-duty housing detectives in New York. Twelve days later the NYPD cornered three BLA members at a bar, killing two in the shoot-out. In retaliation, the BLA ambushed patrol cars on January 25 and 28, wounding four officers. In its communiqué the BLA urged black cops “not to take arms against us and refuse to be pitted in mortal combat against their own people, defending a system which has enslaved, still exploits, brutalizes and murders black people.”

Another huge manhunt followed, but suspects were only captured after a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike on May 2, 1973. The BLA fugitives opened fire, killing one state trooper and wounding another. Other troopers returned fire, killing one man and wounding a woman. A third suspect escaped. The woman was a reputed leader of the BLA, Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur). The authorities dubbed her “the soul of the Black Liberation Army.” But the organization was not broken yet. On June 5, 1973, a BLA member was chased by transit authority police in the Bronx for jumping the turnstile. He drew a gun, killing one patrolman and wounding the other. But the dying officer returned fire and hit the suspect, who was captured shortly thereafter.

The first phase in the life of the BLA came to an end on November 15, 1973, when one of the last BLA fugitives was gunned down on a street in the Bronx. During the arrest he pulled a gun and wounded an FBI agent, two police officers, and a bystander before being killed in a hail of bullets. He was the seventh BLA member to be killed by the authorities. Nineteen others had been apprehended by then, including the only white associate of the group, Marilyn Buck. She purchased weapons and ammunition for the BLA at gun shows but was arrested in March 1973.

In 1974 a group in Jacksonville, Florida, began abducting and murdering white youths. The group took credit for the killings in the name of the Black Liberation Army, declaring that the victims were “executed and made to pay for the political crimes that have been perpetrated upon black people.” But this BLA was not connected with the New York BLA and the four members were caught and convicted for the murders in 1975.

Busting Out

The second phase in the BLA’s war was fought in courtrooms, jails, and prisons. Several BLA members were acquitted or had charges dismissed or reduced, but most were convicted and received long sentences. Many did not resign themselves to this new Babylonian captivity, however. They plotted with comrades on the outside and made numerous attempts to escape. Several were successful. One BLA prisoner escaped from a county hospital on September 27, 1973, but he was recaptured a week later. On December 27, four BLA sympathizers were caught trying to break into the Tombs through the sewer system. Another four tried again on April 17, 1974, using a small blow torch to cut through a steel partition in a visitor’s booth. The attempt failed and the four fled. Several were tracked to New Haven and captured on May 4 after a shoot-out in which two police officers were wounded. On August 5, 1974, a woman was caught trying to sneak a hacksaw blade in her shoe to a BLA convict. A week later that convict and two other prisoners overpowered their guards and tried to scale a fence at the Brooklyn House of Detention. The BLA prisoner was shot and recaptured.

On February 17, 1975, BLA commandos in wet suits paddled rafts to Rikers Island and tried to free 11 comrades held there, but the attempt failed. On May 12 sympathizers smuggled explosives, mace, knives, wrenches, and lock picks to three BLA members on trial in the New York Criminal Courts Building. The materials were hidden in large envelopes and sat on a courtroom table all day before being discovered in the holding pen. Two weeks later two more BLA members broke free from their cell and tried to climb down a wall at the Brooklyn House of Detention. The improvised rope broke and one escapee plunged 100 feet to his death. The other inmate was recaptured at the outer fence.

There were other attempts too. A prison uprising in New Jersey was organized by a BLA convict. Marilyn Buck walked away from a prison furlough and went back underground. But the most famous escape attempt liberated “the soul of the BLA,” Joanne Chesimard. Several armed men forced their way into the minimum security facility where she was being held and led her out safely. The getaway vehicles were driven by Buck and another white woman from the M-19 organization. Chesimard was then spirited out of the country and into exile in Cuba. Her escape was a media sensation.

The Family

The final phase of the BLA story involves the Family, a mixed group of BLA members, white revolutionaries, and ordinary criminals. They were not an assassination team, as the earlier BLA had been, but instead robbed banks and armored cars. Some of the proceeds from the robberies were funneled to black nationalist groups, but the rest of the money was distributed within the Family.

The Family was headed by Nathanael Burns (Sekou Odinga), one of the Panther 21, who had fled underground in 1969. He was involved in a plot to bomb a police station in New York that summer but the plan was foiled by an undercover agent, who replaced the plastic explosives with an oatmeal concoction. Burns joined Eldridge Cleaver in exile in Algiers. When Cleaver fell out of favor with the Algerians, Burns returned to the United States in January 1974, after most BLA members had been captured. But he remained committed to the cause and helped organize the liberation of Chesimard.
The Family began its robbery spree in December 1976. Its attempts were not always successful, but with practice the sophistication of its attacks grew. The Family recruited a small, white revolutionary organization into its operation. M-19 (May 19 Communist Organization) was formed by a handful of ex-Weathermen (David Gilbert, Kathy Boudin, Susan Rosenberg, and Judith Clark) who remained underground after that organization disintegrated in 1976. M-19 provided cover for the BLA core of the Family; the whites drove the getaway vehicles to fool the authorities, who would be looking for black men.

On June 2, 1981, the Family netted nearly $300,000 from an armored car in the Bronx. But they killed one guard during the robbery and wounded another. The carnage was even greater, however, in their last job. The plan was to rob an armored car at a mall in upstate New York. Some of the proceeds were to be used to bomb a Brooklyn police precinct where one of the BLA members had been held. The robbery started well but ended badly. The gang made off with $1.6 million in cash but killed a guard and wounded two others in the process. A few minutes later the getaway truck was stopped at a roadblock. The white radicals were driving and the blacks burst from the back of the truck with guns blazing. They killed two police officers and wounded another. One of their own was mortally wounded by the return fire, and Marilyn Buck shot herself while pulling a pistol from her boot. The team then piled into several cars, but the one with the cash crashed during the chase and four members of the Family were apprehended. Others were captured in the days to come. The Black Liberation Army had come to an end in a hail of bullets.

Aftermath

Over the course of a decade BLA members killed at least 14 guards or law enforcement officers and wounded more than 20. Nine of their own died in action and more than two dozen were convicted of various crimes. At its height the police believed that the BLA (or at least its New York branch) consisted of 25 or 30 hard-core activists and another 75 sympathizers. Sixteen people belonged to the Family, including the M-19 associates.
Although they had no faith in the criminal justice system, several BLA members were acquitted at trial. Joanne Chesimard’s first trial ended in a hung jury; in the second she was acquitted of bank robbery; but in the third she was convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting of the New Jersey State Trooper. Henry Brown was acquitted for the murder of two police officers in January 1972 but convicted of several other charges. Richard Moore was found guilty in 1973 for the first BLA shooting, but eventually his conviction was thrown out and he was paid a large cash settlement by the government.

All of those involved in the October 1981 Brinks armored car robbery received long prison sentences. A few in the second tier of the Family have been released in recent years, but many participants will not be eligible for parole for several more decades.

__________________
Nov 2, 2009 “Assata Shakur Liberation Day” marks 30 yrs of freedom for our Comrade Assata Shakur, Our Warrior was liberated from a NJ prison by Comrades In The Black Liberation Army click here to read more or here www.assatashakur.com

No One True Culture of Liberty 2

Tolerance is important but difficult to define and easily subverted.

Daniel McCarthy

Libertarians ought to support a culture of liberty. But what does that mean?

Many scholars of liberty—the sociologist Rodney Stark, to name one—have argued that Western Christianity is the original culture of liberty. It ended classical slavery, improved the status of women, recognized the sanctity of the individual soul, and set the stage for a proliferation of private property rights and the spirit of enterprise throughout Europe as nowhere else. From all that, it may not follow that Christian culture is still the womb of liberty today. But conservatives and culturally right-wing libertarians believe it is.

Progressives and culturally left-leaning libertarians tell another story, in which Christianity is a seedbed of intolerance and repression—often violent repression. Libertarians of all stripes are comfortable enough condemning aggressive violence categorically. (Though even here questions arise: Who defines aggression? Is violence against a fetus in the womb aggression, or is it a defense of your right to your own body?) What kind of culture leads to minimal aggression and maximum freedom is a matter of contention. Tolerance is probably an important attribute of any culture of liberty, but tolerance is harder to define than liberty itself.

Consider: If McCorp fires John Doe because he voices support for gay marriage, a libertarian who subscribes to a progressive view of the world might say McCorp has committed an act of intolerance against Doe. But if Cold Harbor Laboratory fires a molecular biologist (let’s call him “James Watson”) because he states a belief that Africans have weak cognitive abilities, the same progressive libertarian may not believe any act of intolerance has occurred—or, if one has, that Watson is the guilty party. After all, can you foster a culture of liberty in a society polluted by views like Watson’s? If that example seems too easy, consider the case of an otherwise qualified professor denied tenure because he’s a creationist, or because he’s a Republican.

Must a free society treat those who hold irrational or bigoted opinions the same way it treats those who have enlightened views? To do so, Herbert Marcuse warned, amounts to “repressive tolerance,” a kind of tolerance that allows fascist personality types to flourish and thereby undermines freedom. Right-wingers have their own list of views that must be suppressed (by force or by social stigma) in the name of freedom. Willmoore Kendall, for example, believed that public orthodoxy ought to trump free speech, since all liberties rest upon a cultural consensus. Thus, according to Kendall, Athens was right to execute Socrates, and 1950s America ought not to tolerate Communists. For disciples of Marcuse and Kendall, freedom really isn’t free.

Maybe a true culture of liberty has nothing to do with left-wing or right-wing orthodoxies. Rather than taking sides in culture wars over race, religion, sex, and subversion, libertarians —so this line of thinking goes—ought just to affirm a culture that supports property rights. In this case, the libertarian position regarding John Doe or James Watson should be to support employers whenever they fire anyone, since (unless a contract specifies otherwise) an em-ployer always has a right to dismiss subordinates. But even this culturally neutral standpoint does not have an uncontested claim to be the pure libertarian view. Those who take their cues from John Stuart Mill will argue that expressive liberty is at least as important as property rights. We therefore ought to defend employees with unpopular views against arbitrary dismissal, regardless of whether we find their opinions righteous or repugnant.

If Mill is patron saint of the expressive libertarians, Murray Rothbard is the champion of the propertarians. Kerry Howley’s essay makes the case for a substantive left-libertarianism. She suggests the Ed Feser of 2001 as spokesman for the culturally right-wing libertarians. Today Feser, who has continued to move rightward, or at least stateward, is not a libertarian at all, which might seem to prove Howley’s point. But I held views not far from Feser’s in 2001, and I have followed a different trajectory. That Feser and I can move in different directions from similar cultural presuppositions might prove the point I want to make: that there is no one true culture of liberty.

The idea that only traditional attitudes, never progressive ones, can be oppressive strikes me as naive. Cultural progressives are as apt as anyone to make the leap from stigmatizing to persecuting their enemies. Scapegoating has been as useful for the authoritarian left as for the authoritarian right: Witness the hysteria about white separatists and right-wing militias that recurs every time a tolerant Democratic administration succeeds an intolerant Republican one. Randy Weaver, no less than Matthew Shepard, can attest to the consequences of demonizing misfits.

Nor do progressive attitudes toward sex and race necessarily lead to a culture of liberty. In the 1920s the Soviet Union was less racist and more sexually open than the United States. Divorce and abortion were legal and readily available, and more than a few Bolsheviks practiced as well as preached free love. Yet that did not make Russia a more fertile soil for liberty. Workers’ orgies were no defense against the power of the Soviet state, which soon revoked the moral license it had granted.

To point out the inadequacies of cultural progressivism is not to excuse the flaws of cultural conservatives. Either side may be more or less libertarian in practice. Paradoxically, the nonlibertarian qualities of the mutually antagonistic left and right sometimes entail unexpected benefits for freedom. Some of the most effective centers of resistance to state power over the centuries, after all, have been nonindividualistic institutions such as labor unions, churches, guilds, and extended families. Conversely, when libertarians attack these organs of civil society in the name of freedom, they may only succeed in empowering the state—not always, but sometimes.

If some libertarians won’t tell you what freedom should look like beyond the absence of the state, don’t assume that these people must subscribe to a crabbed idea of liberty or else are smuggling their values behind a veil of cultural neutrality. These anti-statists may refuse to define the cultural content of libertopia because they believe deeply in the pluripotentiality of freedom—that freedom can mean the freedom to be a Mormon housewife as well as to be a postgendered television personality. Freedom, they realize, may even mean the freedom not to be free. Libertarianism does not demand that everyone subscribe to the same idea of the good life. By extension, libertarianism also should not demand that everyone subscribe to the same idea of liberty.

Thoroughgoing anti-statists understand that politics is not culture, even if culture—that is, how people live their lives—shapes politics. What follows from this is that in letting culture remain diverse, anti-statists accept that politics will be diverse too and will not always lead to outcomes that all libertarians like. The political theorist Chandran Kukathas explains this well in his paper “Two Constructions of Libertarianism.” In what he calls the “Union of Liberty,” everybody has to interpret the rules in the same way, under one centralized libertarian government. In the “Federation of Liberty,” there is a “meta-tolerance” toward different understandings of tolerance and liberty because it is understood that other people interpret political rules, including the fundamental libertarian rule of nonaggression, in different ways.

The danger of the Federation of Liberty is that it permits violations of liberty, perhaps even outright slavery. The danger of the Union of Liberty, however, is much worse. The trouble is not only a universal state but a universal orthodoxy, a tyranny of the supermajority that threatens to destroy the individual personality. In culture, even tolerance, justice, and liberty can be carried too far. One must be permitted some room for error, psychological space for entertaining thoughts other than “libertarian” thoughts.

Consider the plight of Alex in the Anthony Burgess novel and Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange. By any standard—left, right, Millian, or Rothbardian—Alex is no libertarian. He’s a vandal, a murderer, a rapist (ipso facto a misogynist). He’s guilty of every crime. So why do so many of us sympathize with him? Our feeling for Alex derives from something deeper than mere horror at his eyes being pried open in the film’s famous torture scene. We have a right to, or better still a love for, what is inside our own skulls. If mental content, even good values like nonaggression, can be poured into Alex’s conscience as if he were nothing more than a vessel, the same could happen to any of us. Not only the state but also our culture must not press its demands so far into the individual conscience, whether by “justified” coercion (in the case of the killer Alex) or by any other means.

Our moral imperfections are our last guarantee of liberty against the benevolent system builders who would have all men and women speak with one voice and assent to one idea. Cultures of liberty tend to be bric-a-brac, full of unresolved tensions between competing ideas. Freedom does not depend upon universalizing the “right”—or left—values. It’s the other way around: A clash of values is what makes even mental liberty possible.

Daniel McCarthy (mccarthydp@gmail.com) is senior editor of The American Conservative.

Updated News Digest January 3, 2010 1

Why Read the Sunday Papers When You Can Read AttacktheSystem.Com!

Community Organizing and National-Anarchism presentation by Andrew Yeoman

Tribal Anarchism Video Series Parts One, Two, Three, Four

United Anarchism Vs United Nationism 

Quotes of the Week:

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.”

“Intolerance is evidence of impotence.

“In the absence of will-power the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.

“Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.

“Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

                                                                                         -Aleister Crowley 

Against the Power Elite by Lew Rockwell

Obama Destroyed the Peace Scene by Ian Huyett

Obama’s Civil Liberties Failures by Robyn Blumner

The Case for Doing Nothing In Iran by Stephen M. Walt

Obama: Imperialist and Ultimate Jihadi Hero by Michael Scheuer

Why a Resister Chose Canada Over the War in Iraq by Rodney Watson

The Lap Bomber Mystery by Justin Raimondo

Blue in the Face? Take a Breath by Ian Huyett

Next Stop: Yemen by Justin Raimondo

Obama, Tell Me How This Ends by Andrew Bacevich

A Lawless Presidency by Stephen Green

One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists by Chris Hedges

Iran Nuke Document Was Forged by Gareth Porter

A Decade of Self-Delusion by Pat Buchanan

Israel Rules by Paul Craig Roberts

Terrorism Is the Cost of Empire by Jacob Hornberger

Another Surging Safari by Jeff Huber

Abandoning the Interventionist Temptation in Afghanistan by Doug Bandow

2009: The Year the Iraq War Was Lost for Good by Kelley B. Vlahos

Still Not Home for the Holidays by Charles Pena

What’s Next for Flyers? Underwear Checks? by Ron Holland

The Underpants Bomber and the Keystone Cops by Becky Akers

Terrible Arguments for Climate Change Legislation by Xon Hostetter

The Joys of Airstrikes and Anonymity by Glenn Greenwald

Christians United for War by Philip Giraldi

The U.S. Military Is Exhausted by Sarah Lazare

What the Soviets Learned in Afghanistan About Assumptions by Jordan Michael Smith

Bombs Without Borders  by John Laughland

Et Tu, Jimmy Carter? by John Tabin (and more from Ranni Amiri)

Obama, Progressives, and the Press Cindy Sheehan interviewed by Mike Whitney

Christians Against Christmas? by Tom Piatak

Tea Party: The Documentary Film by Greg Johnson

The John Birch Society Was Right by TGGP

The Double Standard on Race by John Smith

Holiday HomoCon Series One: Noel Coward, Mad About the Right by James O’Meara

Is There a Constituency for Liberty in the U.S. Media? by Bill Anderson

Worse Than Weimar or Zimbabwe by Doug Casey

American Justice? by James Ostrowski

Secession: The Hope for Humanity by Russell Longcore

Health Care Nullification by Michael Boldin

Decriminalize Political Speech by Jayne Lyn Stahl

Ben Stein Is a Scumbag by Thomas Eddlem

America’s Looming Class War by Mark Crovelli

Some Things We Learned in 2009 by Eric Margolis

The Old False Flag Trick by William Norman Grigg

PIGS Assault Man in Diabetic Seizure by Matt Welch

Public-Private Co-Dependence by Jeremy Weiland

This Berlin Wall Is Going Up in Smoke by Alex R. Knight

Failure As a Strategy by John Robb

Underpants Bomber: Israeli Intelligence Black Op? from Brad Spangler

Have You Got a Form 27B/6? by Kevin Carson

Way to Miss the Point by Kevin Carson

 2010: Welcome to Orwell’s World by John Pilger

Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Attempted Bombing by Ivan Eland

AIPAC Celebrates 47th Birthday in Court by Grant Smith

Joe Lieberman: How About Another War by John Nichols

Israel Resembles a Failed State by Ali Abunimah

Dog Hanger as Model Citizen? by Walter Brasch and Rosemary Brasch

Ivan Illich: The Peoples’ Priest by Chase Madar

The Neocon/Evangelical Alliance by Jeff Taylor

Stick It to the Banksters by Gary North

The Health Care System Is a Mess by Per Bylund

2010: U.S. to Wage War Throughout the World by Rick Rozoff

Secession and the 2nd Amendment  by Russ Longcore

The Ironic Flaw in Obamaite Healthcare Arguments by Saul Weiner

The State-AMA Complex by Steven West

The Road Ahead  by Justin Raimondo

Changing the Narrative for War by Philip Giraldi

Five Myths About Keeping America Safe from Terrorism by Stephen Flynn

Yemen: Yet Another Al-Qaeda Trap by Patrick Cockburn

Let’s Not Invade Yemen by Leon Hadar

U.S. Kicks Hornets Nest in Yemen by Eric Margolis

The Degrading Effects of Terrorism Fears by Glenn Greenwald

Get Naked to Defeat Terrorists by Becky Akers

The God That Fails by David Brooks

The Criminalization of Protest by Radley Balko

Denial on Terrorism and Foreign Policy by Jacob Hornberger

Honest Men by Taki Theodoracopulos

Richard Spencer Is Leaving Taki’s Magazine by Richard Spencer

The Real War by Pat Buchanan

Anarchists and HOAs by Gary Chartier

Don’t Go There, Heritage by Kevin Carson

The Year of the Tiger  by Alexander Cockburn

The Awful Truth by Ralph Nader

Terror Suspects and U.S. Courts by Joanne Mariner

Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old by Bob Sommer

 Taking Liberties by John Kampfner

“The Italians were called wops, the Jews were called hymies, I was of course a greaseball, and every Hispanic was a spic. Well, we all got along famously! It was rough, but it was fine.”

                                                                -Taki Theodoracopulos

On Being a Medic in the Iraq War Michael Anthony interviewed by Scott Horton

PIGS Will Be PIGS  

How To Flex Your Rights During Police Encounters 

Police State Tyrants: PIGS Will Be PIGS, Again 

“The “clash of civilizations” is, in a very literal sense, a clash of God and Mammon. The Islamic revolutionaries are driven by a fanatical devotion to their god and the promises they believe he has made to them if only they take up arms on his behalf. The nations of the West are driven by an almost as fanatical devotion to Mammon, that is, to wealth, luxury, power, pleasure and privilege. Further, the culture of the West combines this unabashedly materialist ethos with rejection of strength and discipline in favor of a maternalistic emphasis on health, safety, “sensitivity”, “self-esteem”, “potential”, “personal growth”, “getting in touch with one’s inner child”, “feelings” and other concepts common to pop culture psychobabble. Of course, the socio-cultural ramifications of this is to create a society of weaklings, mediocrities and crybabies.”

                                                                                                   -Keith Preston

Ride the Sky by Lucifer’s Friend

Death Walks Behind You by Atomic Rooster

Black Blade by Blue Oyster Cult

The Hunter by Blue Cheer

Silver Machine by Hawkwind

Breadfan by Budgie

Teaser by Tommy Bolin

Gypsy by Uriah Heep

(hat tip to Chris Donnellan for the following links)

Berkeley May Cut Out Science Labs in the Name of Anti-Racism 

Anti-Equality 

The Geography of a Recession 

Afghanistan Will Never Be a Western Democracy 

Iraq Is Still in Chaos After Six Years of War 

The GOP’s Three-Headed Monster 

Evil Exists, Or At Least Destructive Does 

Governments vs The People: Replacing the Population With Another One 

Bishop Fulton Sheen on Cooperative Ownership 

Distributism    Part Two       Part Three 

Islamic Banking Resists the Financial Crisis 

The Mondragon Cooperatives

Southern California Shanty Town/Tent City 

The Scam of Social Conservatism by the Southern Avenger

Karl Marx: Racist and the Ancestor of Modern Genocide

Pakistan Supreme Court Recognizes Third Gender 

As the West Looks Elsewhere, the East Becomes More Autocratic 

Edgar Julius Jung: Conservative Revolutionary 

A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The Revolution Within Anarchism 

Forty Years in the Wilderness? 

Liberty and Populism: Building An Effective Resistance Movement for North America

Organizing the Urban Lumpenproletariat

National Anarchy and the American Idea

“The king is most wounded by ridicule.” -Thomas Hobbes

The Bong and the Rifle Reply

The Bong and the Rifle

This article is way too heavy for many people.

Not all stoners are passive in their loathing of the War on Drugs–the pot-loving Green Panthers are preparing for armed struggle and the possibility of a separate stoner nation. Sound like the plot of Kurt Russel’s next post-apocalyptic flick? Read on

By Cletus Nelson

The tactics used by activists to voice their dissent against the prohibition of marijuana have changed very little since the 1960s. Despite the fact that the drive to legalize cannabis began in an environment that spawned such violent, armed groups as the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), today’s hemp advocates are firm adherents to the peaceful protest.

Each year a myriad of non-threatening marches, candle-light vigils, demonstrations, and sit-ins are held in the hope of ending the herb’s illegal status. Although the tireless efforts of these many tie-dyed warriors are to be commended, the war against America’s pot smokers keeps escalating.

Casualties of war

The government’s own statistics betray this fact. Consider the FBI’s 1995 Uniform Crime Report, which shows a record 600,000 Americans arrested on marijuana charges. Of these, 86 percent were charged with the simple possession of a substance that has caused far fewer fatalities–zero, to be exact–than alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, or aspirin.

Will Foster is a living example of a victim of the hysterical anti-pot crusade popular among politicians. The father of three and successful owner of his own software company sits in an Oklahoma prison after being handed a 93-year sentence for the “crime” of growing a few plants to help assuage his painful arthritic condition. High Times magazine reports that over 25 percent of the 1,630,000 prisoners in America’s prisons and jails are doing time for drug crimes, with the majority of these non-violent offenders serving sentences for growing or possessing marijuana.

“In 1994, at least 25 marijuana users were killed by police officers or died while in custody,” hemp activist Ed Rosenthal notes in “Why Marijuana Should be Legal.” This statistic alone gives evidence that these laws which were originally intended to protect the health of the public have long since strayed from their dubious goal. As the criminal prohibition of a herb that has yet to be linked to a single death continues, those who aren’t arrested (or dead) often live in constant fear of anonymous tips, urine tests, asset forfeiture, and other components of the “zero tolerance” juggernaut that continues to victimize law-abiding citizens.

Fighting the police state

Today, many a casual smoker must fearfully wonder if a paramilitary team of black clad “no-knock ninjas” brandishing semi-automatic weapons will break down their door in a dramatic pre-dawn raid. Out of this miasma of fear, oppression, and intolerance emerge the Green Panthers.

Shifting their focus from protest to resistance, the Panthers–referred to as the “fanged mouthpiece” of the hemp movement–are adjusting their tactics to a drug policy they predict will one day devolve into outright bloodshed on the cannabis using community. They openly reject the posture of non-violence and pacifism adopted by their ideological peers and have given up trying to “change the system.” This loosely based cadre of activists is boldly choosing to move in a different direction.

When a militia … isn’t a militia

Fiercely asserting their Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Panthers represent an interesting social phenomenon: They are the first marijuana group preparing to openly espouse armed rebellion against federal drug policy. Their strong defensive position is not unlike today’s burgeoning patriot movement. Although the two may share a common mistrust of the federal government and a firm belief in the right to own and bear arms, Terry Mitchell, one of the founding members of the Panthers, finds the comparison inaccurate.

“We found with very few exceptions–[members of] the militia movement think the drug war is a good idea,” he scoffs. The WACO siege, a rallying cry for militia groups, registers little with these new-model pot heads who have a strident dislike of drug war supporters. “As a group the Panthers have very little sympathy for them [Branch Davidians] because they were anti-druggies–Heaven’s Gate, too,” Mitchell says. Opinions such as these have not endeared him to local patriot groups and he says they have threatened his life on four different occasions.

However, they aren’t dealing with your typical bong-toking peacenik. “I can shoot the asshole out of a rat at a thousand yards,” snaps the native Texan.

Pipe bombers?

Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, these hard-liners are mainly recognized by drug policy activists for their incendiary publication Revolutionary Times. However, if events occur as they predict, they may be the forward guard in a revolution among the nation’s tokers. The Panthers foresee a time when stoners will be forced to take up arms for their right to use what they call the holy herb.

“The actual dynamics of an armed struggle haven’t formed up yet,” says the 47-year-old activist. Articulate, well-read, and politically astute, Mitchell is emblematic of a growing segment of society who at one time “played by the rules,” but now view the Washington establishment as corrupt, and any attempts to change the system futile. Far from a backwoods political neophyte, the ex-’60s radical carries extensive experience as National Director of the Libertarian Party and in 1988 served as Assistant Director for the Washington, D.C. office of the National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Armed pot-riots

The Panther finds no ethical dilemma in activists arming themselves. “We think an armed society is a polite society,” he says in his rich Texas twang which crackles over the phone like machine-gun fire. Mitchell believes the virulent anti-gun stance found among the modern left is unrealistic in the post-WACO 1990s.

“That actually is some hangover politics from the ’60s,” he observes. Above all, Mitchell says the Panthers hope to sound a much needed wake-up call to those who still believe these pernicious laws can be reformed.

“What we’re trying to convey to the pot movement is that the system isn’t the one we grew up with. ..the Tenth Amendment is a myth,” he says bitterly.

Birth of a movement

The genesis of the Panther weltanschaung began ironically in the backyard of the nation’s most powerful drug war hawks. Some eight years ago, a small core of firebrands gathered in Washington, D.C., hoping to provide a “new wrinkle” to end the senseless criminalization and harassment of America’s estimated 10,000,000 pot smokers.

Seeking to provide tools, strategy and political focus to other groups across the nation, they began to study the tactics used by fellow dissidents with other agendas.

“We had to get out the narrow focus of the pot movement,” Mitchell says. Analyzing the methods of such successful political factions as Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP), Queer Nation, and Earth First!, Panther experts came to an interesting conclusion: The entrenched powers had quickly learned how to nullify these confrontational tactics, which the Panthers are convinced have become obsolete.

“Our enemies learn real fast–you try these methods of direct action now and you’ll get zilch,” he says heatedly.

Birth of a nation?

Their continued studies led the Panthers to come upon what Mitchell calls an “endgame strategy”: secession. “Once the US starts to rumble like the old Soviet Union did, that is when our people have the biggest opportunity in our cultural history,” Mitchell says enthusiastically.

He envisions a day when a repressive federal government will declare martial law, and the nation will be plunged into civil war–not unlike the post-Cold War conflicts that arose in many nations, such as the former Yugoslavia. When this time comes, the Panthers plan to be prepared.

The armed pot smokers and their supporters hope to stake out a coastal strip of land 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean beginning due north of San Francisco and extending 10 miles south of Portland. If they succeed, they will create what they call the first “Stoner Homeland.”

The nation will be based on libertarian values, community-based government and the Gross National Product will be high quality marijuana, and the many other products which can be produced with the versatile Cannabis sativa plant. Mitchell is a fatalist who is convinced this is the only choice left for the pot community.

“If we don’t win, nothing is lost. We were marked for extermination anyway,” he says.

A trend toward secession

Today’s post-modern mindset may find such an idea laughable, but a number of similar movements already dot the national landscape. The Nation of Islam, the Aryan Nations, and the well-publicized Republic of Texas are the most visible examples of the many divergent factions who view secession within America’s borders as the only antidote to an oppressive federal government.

The national Libertarian Party has noted this growing trend; their 1998 platform includes a plank calling for the “right to political secession–by political entities, private groups, or individuals.”

The Panther’s designated homeland was chosen for a number of reasons other than the high-quality buds indigenous to the region. Mitchell’s previous experience with NORML and the Libertarian party gave him insight into the marijuana-sympathetic demographics of the Pacific Northwest. While examining databases for both organizations, he found that the majority of the nation’s libertarians and card-carrying members of the pot legalization lobby reside in this small section of the country.

There is already a steady flow of bud smokers who have been relocating to the Pacific Northwest since the 1960s to escape draconian marijuana laws in their respective states. Terry believes the recent increase in arrests has exacerbated this trend.

“According to our sources in the areas, the migration has sped up considerably over the past five years due to the Drug War– with property seizures being the way they are, they have fewer things to move anyway,” he comments.

The new prospective country already has its own set of by-laws based on the U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and other landmark documents.

“Some of the best forward thinking minds came up with the by-laws,” he says.

Will the armed Panthers expect resistance from the government when they declare their sovereignty? Mitchell doesn’t expect it to be an obstacle.

“When our roadblocks go up on the highways and our voices start coming over the radios and televisions … we expect most of the cops and National Guard will have left their non-paying jobs and there won’t be much trouble with them,” he says optimistically. Those who choose to remain and possibly obstruct the new homeland will be promptly asked to leave.

“This will probably not be pretty,” Mitchell says. “But it is a political imperative. This calls for leadership that has nerves of steel and an iron determination not to be stopped,” he adds.

Maintaining the network

Currently, the Panthers believe the first step in achieving their homeland is providing vital intelligence to other dissident groups who stand opposed to the War on Pot. Their efforts include their unique “diagram of the war on drugs.”

Posted on their website, the chart tracks major anti-drug policy from the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy in Vienna, Austria all the way down to what they term “snitch groups,” like the Girl Scouts of America and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Mitchell says the schematic that alleges the United Nation micro-manages US anti-narcotic policy was originally met with skepticism by the reform community.

However, Terry points out that Global Days, a series of demonstrations held worldwide in June to protest the UN’s role in drug prohibition, was directly influenced by their efforts. ”

“A lot of people thought we had made it up–now we’re starting to see a real focus,” he says.

The information war

Gleaning information from teachers, scientists, police officers, military veterans, prisoners, and others, the Panthers publish Revolutionary Times (formerly the Revolutionary Toker), providing excellent coverage of the drug war. The small periodical scooped Time magazine and their non-mainstream competition last year when it reported on experiments conducted on behalf of law enforcement in the use of allegedly “non lethal” weapons, such as infra-sound technology.

Their publishing house, Panther Press, sells important survival materials for the ’90s pot smoker. Like a pot-focused Paladin Press, the Panthers distribute publications on building resistance groups, surviving police encounters, “guerrilla growing,” cold weather survival, and other vital resources for renegade bud smokers. They also furnish free legal referrals for busted potheads, and their POW support project raises the awareness of the prison population by sending free copies of Revolutionary Times to inmates.

On toward a “Stoner Homeland

These many activities lend credibility to a group of activists who appear to take themselves and their mission seriously. Could we one day see a stoner homeland enriched by hemp-related commerce flying their own flag–a white field bearing a large green pot leaf?

Mitchell hopes that if enough people get involved, America’s “last outcasts” will join them in fighting for their “light at the end of the tunnel.”

“I believe that the odds for the pot culture are better now than they ever have been for the formation of an independent Homeland,” he says. Mitchell grimly foretells a day when many will be faced with the choice of joining the Panthers or death.

“It’s either gonna be a Stoner Homeland or a stoners last stand,” he warns.