A review of “The Unique and Its Property” by Max Stirner. Translated with a new introduction by Wolfi Landstreicher. Underworld Amusements.
By Keith Preston
An apparently controversial publisher has issued a new translation of a controversial book. The original work in question is Max Stirner’s egoist classic, originally published in Germany in 1844 under the title Der Einzige und sein Eigentum. This book was later translated into English by the American individualist-anarchist writer Steven T. Byington, and published in 1907 by Benjamin R. Tucker, the most prominent of the American individualist-anarchists of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, under the title The Ego and His Own. All subsequent English editions of Stirner’s work have essentially been reprints of the 1907 translation. However, Underworld Amusements has released a new translation by Wolfi Landstreicher under the title The Unique and Its Property. Landstreicher has also provided an interesting introduction of his own to this new translation that touches on many of the most salient aspects of Stirner’s thought.
An interesting new study.
By Peter Wagner and Bernadette Rabuy
Prison Policy Initiative
Wait, does the United States have 1.3 million or more than 2 million people in prison? Are most people in state and federal prisons locked up for drug offenses? Frustrating questions like these abound because our systems of confinement are so fragmented and controlled by various entities. There is a lot of interesting and valuable research out there, but varying definitions make it hard — for both people new to criminal justice and for experienced policy wonks — to get the big picture.
This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s disparate systems of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 901 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 76 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories. And we go deeper to provide further detail on why people are locked up in all of those different types of facilities.
By Nafeez Ahmad
An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the U.S.-backed international order established after World War 2 is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing”, leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs.
The solution proposed to protect U.S. power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism.
The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling.
Having lost its past status of “pre-eminence”, the U.S. now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable “post-primacy” world, whose defining feature is “resistance to authority”.
Danger comes not just from great power rivals like Russia and China, both portrayed as rapidly growing threats to American interests, but also from the increasing risk of “Arab Spring”-style events. These will erupt not just in the Middle East, but all over the world, potentially undermining trust in incumbent governments for the foreseeable future.
By Jason Wilson
Lately on the right, a sense has been developing that the American project is heading for a profound, perhaps bloody crisis. More and more, we hear talk of “civil war” – some say we have already embarked on a “cold” one.
From David Cole Stein:
SJW leftist: “The solution to police violence is to hire MORE MINORITIES as cops! Whites are incurably racist and violent. Get some DIVERSITY on the force, and the senseless killings of civilians will END!”
[Somali Muslim cop sits in his car and blows away an unarmed mom and bride-to-be who was on her own property in her pajamas after calling 911 to report a disturbance behind her house]
White nationalist: “Whites must BAND TOGETHER as brothers against those with whom we are genetically and culturally incompatible! WHITE HOMELAND! All whites unite, as we are ONE!”
[Spends the entire year feuding with and piling hatred upon fellow white nationalists, who he accuses of being pedophiles, homos, race-mixers, Jew-sympathizers, frauds, liars, slanderers, and losers]
SJW: “Hey, white nationalist, is it possible that we’re BOTH fucking idiots with sweeping, nonsensical racial theories that don’t work in the real world?”
White nationalist: “Dang, you know what, I think you’re right! Maybe WE’RE the ones who oughta start our own homeland together!”
SJW: “We’ll call it Moronville!”
White Nationalist: “Buddy, you got a deal!”
My recent lecture at the conference of the National-Anarchist Movement in Madrid.
By Carne Ross
wrote Independent Diplomat shortly after resigning from the Foreign Office. I had worked on Iraq and WMD for more than four years at the UN security council, but resigned in 2004 after giving secret testimony to the Butler review on the Iraq war. It was a difficult time for me. My future was unclear; I had thought I would be a diplomat all my life.
Presents an interesting argument that claims of drastic demographic change are overstated.
By Helena Celestino
Celena Celestino: How do you explain the Brexit vote? What must Europe must to avoid losing more members states?
Zygmunt Bauman: Starting from the second sub-question: let’s hope that the mess that the Brexit adventure has cast and will be casting further on the (no longer…)United Kingdom may (just may) prove to be the best imaginable sobering concoction for those intoxicated enough to support the tribal “Euro-skeptics” in other member states of the EU.
But now to your first and fundamental question: for the millions of Britons left behind or fearing to be left at any moment without warning; for the victims of deregulated labour markets and financial forces, which have been let off the leash; of the reckless rising of inequality; of the fast shrinking of the ranks of the beneficiaries of the Ronald Reagan/Margaret Thatcher inheritance and equally fast multiplication of the mass of their losers; of the on-going descent of the once self-confident middle-classes into the condition of a frightened, disabled and unsure of itself “precariat” – the British referendum was the rare, well-nigh unique chance to unload their long accumulated, blistering/festering anger against the establishment as a whole: the system notorious for failing to deliver on its promises. In normal parliamentary elections, such a chance is severely constrained: rejecting one party, one part of the establishment, only to willy-nilly admit other to the same establishment who eager to manage it but who are willing to do very little to change it. In the British referendum, however, all major parties of the establishment were on one side: the voters could manifest their indignation, disgust, resentment with and refusal to trust the whole establishment in one go: to the “order (or rather disorder) of things” as such.
The Stark Truth. Listen here.
Robert Stark and co-host Sam Kevorkian talk to Yan Pagh. Yan is based in Denmark and runs the Alt-Center Facebook Group
The basic definition of the Alt-Center as rejecting the far left, the far right, and the establishment
The Alt-Center as non-aligned; a new movement that is flexible and evolving
How the left and the right have become merely reactions to one another
The importance of debate and an open exchange of ideas
How political polarization has lead to a rise in censorship
How the Alt-Right and Alt-Left emerged
Top Hats and Champaign: The original alt-centrism
Yan’s observation that the Hippie Culture he grew up with was much more free than today’s left
The immigration debate, the left’s suppression of debate, and the right’s monopoly on the opposition
European immigration restriction parties adopting left and center positions
Naser Khader and his book “Honor and Shame”
By Frances Lee
There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our commitments are manifested over time. Beliefs and actions are too often conflated with each other, yet questioning the latter should not renege the former. As a Cultural Studies scholar, I am interested in the ways that culture does the work of power. What then, is the culture of activism, and in what ways are activists restrained by it? To be clear, I’m only one person who is trying to figure things out, and I’m open to revisions and learning. But as someone who has spent the last decade recovering from a forced conversion to evangelical Christianity, I’m seeing a disturbing parallel between religion and activism in the presence of dogma:
1. Seeking purity
There is an underlying current of fear in my activist communities, and it is separate from the daily fear of police brutality, eviction, discrimination, and street harassment. It is the fear of appearing impure. Social death follows when being labeled a “bad” activist or simply “problematic” enough times. I’ve had countless hushed conversations with friends about this anxiety, and how it has led us to refrain from participation in activist events, conversations, and spaces because we feel inadequately radical. I actually don’t prefer to call myself an activist, because I don’t fit the traditional mold of the public figure marching in the streets and interrupting business as usual. When I was a Christian, all I could think about was being good, showing goodness, and proving to my parents and my spiritual leaders that I was on the right path to God. All the while, I believed I would never be good enough, so I had to strain for the rest of my life towards an impossible destination of perfection.
A veteran anarcho-communist questions the Marcusean approach appropriated by the Antifa and SJWs.
By Wayne Price
There has recently been controversy on the Left over “free speech” for right-wingers (not necessarily fascists). Should it be supported or physically opposed? Some leftists have revived interest in the ideas of Herbert Marcuse on “repressive tolerance” and why it should be opposed. Marcuse’s theory is reviewed and arguments are raised against it from a revolutionary anti-authoritarian perspective.
There has been, recently, controversy on the Left over “free speech.” Should radical leftists and anti-fascists disrupt speeches by right-wingers? Should leftists break up such meetings, charge the stage, and smash windows? Or should the leftists limit themselves to counter-demonstrations, boycotts, protest leaflets, and, perhaps, heckling? The controversy is not so much over public events by fascists—U.S. Nazis or Klan members, for example—but over right wingers who claim to not be fascists but “conservatives” who value free speech.
In working out an approach to this issue, a number of leftist thinkers—anarchists and Marxists—have revived interest in the ideas of Herbert Marcuse (1969). In 1965 (updated 1968), Marcuse wrote an influential essay, “Repressive Tolerance” (which appeared with essays by two others in the little book, Critique of Pure Tolerance). Marcuse (1898—1979) was one of the most influential Left theorists of the ‘sixties and ‘seventies. A member of the Frankfort School, he was a scholar of Marx, Hegel, and Freud. Marcuse had an enormous impact and following. Given the general ignorance and muddle of much of today’s radical thinking, it is not surprising that there has been an attempt to revive Marcuse’s ideas about free speech and the limits of “pure tolerance.”
By Wayne Price
Center for a Stateless Society
Shawn Wilbur argues that “anarchy” and “democracy” are completely distinct principles—philosophically. Philosophically, there is “no middle ground.” However, in actual living, there is “the likelihood that we might continue to have recourse to practices that we think of as ‘democratic.’ It is difficult to imagine a society in which we are not at times forced to…engage in practices like voting.” How often will these times happen? Perhaps a lot during the “transition” from statism to anarchy.
Shawn seems to want to have his cake and eat it too. He fiercely rejects even the most decentralized, direct, participatory, democracy in the name of anarchism (philosophically). This is combined with a willingness to support actual democratic procedures in solving collective problems (practically).
Let us leave aside philosophical definitions, as well as considerations of what Proudhon and Bakunin really meant (although Bakunin’s anarchist association called itself the Alliance of Socialist Democracy). Does Shawn really disagree with me and other democratic anarchists, in praxis (integrating theory and practice)? He and I are both for as much freedom as possible, both individual and collective—rejecting the state and any other institution of oppression. We both want collective decisions to be as free and uncoerced as is possible. We both accept that there have to be some conflicts in which everyone is not satisfied with the outcome, conflicts which must be managed through democratic procedures of some sort (even if he compares this to cannibalism!). If we can agree on this much, then I am willing to accept that we have differences in philosophy.
Gabriel Amadej also bases her argument on principles developed by Proudhon. Unlike Shawn Wilbur, her solution to collective decisionmaking is not through democratic procedures but through “the market.” But our societies are so intertwined and interconnected, economically and otherwise, that even decentralization will not end the need for working and living together collectively—and making collective decisions in our workplaces and communities—democracy.
By William Gillis
Center for a Stateless Society
Personally, I don’t think “the left” ultimately represents much of anything coherent, but rather constitutes a historically contingent coalition of ideological positions. Bastiat and other free market folks sat on the left of the french assembly, and while we might try to claim that as part of a consistent leftist market tradition, we should be honest that one’s position in that particular revolution — much less revolution in general — is hardly indicative of very much. There are always revolutionaries who desire systems far worse than our own, and similarly there have been many broadly recognized “leftists” whose desires were utterly anathema to liberation.
It’s popular these days to paint the left and right as egalitarian versus hierarchical. But not only is this an imposed read on a far messier historical and sociological reality, but it’s honestly quite philosophically contentless. No one is particularly clear on what egalitarianism means, or even hierarchy, and many interpretations are not only mutually exclusive, they reveal supposedly identical claims as actually deeply antagonistic. Does egalitarianism mean everyone gets precisely the same wealth (however that’s supposed to be measured)? Does it mean mere legal or social equality in the abstract realm of relations before The People or The State’s legal system? Does it mean equal opportunity for economic striving or does it mean equal access to the people’s grain stores? Does equality supersede all other virtues like liberty? Is it better to all be oppressed equally than to have some achieve greater freedom? I’m not being facetious. We paper over these deep issues with “well but common sense” and the wishful assumption that our comrades will come down on the minutia the same way we would, sharing our intuitions on various tradeoffs, but that’s empirically not the case. We constantly differ.
People talk about “collective direct democracy” as if something being the near unanimous will of some social body constitutes an egalitarian condition. And, sure, it does under some definitions. But the moment I see some collective body trying to vote on my life I don’t want to “participate,” I want to chuck a bomb at it. Leftists use both the slogans “power to the people” and “abolish power” — this should be an intense red flag to everyone that completely different conceptual systems and values are at play. It’s delusional in the extreme to suppose that if we sat down and talked about things we’d all end up on the same page. The assumption of pan-leftist solidarity or a shared common goal is a comforting lie.
By Keith Preston
Any discussion of the relationship between Zionism and the “power elite” in Western countries must inevitably begin with a qualification of meanings, as these terms have been used in ways as to imply multiple definitions. For purposes of this discussion, the term “Zionism” is meant to describe an outlook that prioritizes the defense and promotion of the state of Israel as a bastion of Jewish nationalism, and which more broadly and implicitly favors a Jewish ethno-nationalism that spans the spectrum of the Jewish diaspora. The term “power elite” is being utilized in the manner suggested by the sociologist C. Wright Mills, who coined the term in order to describe those holding the dominant positions in the dominant institutions in society, such as government, business, industry, finance, military, education, religion, and the mass media. The central question involved in the analysis of this relationship is the matter of to what degree political decisions are shaped by the influence of Zionist sympathies. The evidence indicates that Zionists exercise considerable influence over the process of political decision-making in many Western countries, and particularly in the United States.
By Keith Preston
It is fashionable in many of the political circles that I travel in to attribute a range of problems involving international relations, along with other concerns, to “Zionism.” Used in these contexts, Zionism has two meanings, i.e. the state-nationalism of the Israeli regime itself, and the network of Jewish ethno-nationalist supporters of Israel throughout the Jewish diaspora. At times, the critiques of Zionist power represented by these perspectives overlap with traditional anti-Semitic views concerning a supposed “Jewish conspiracy” to undermine civilization by doing all kinds of bad things (The Daily Stormer, Stormfront, and, more articulately, Counter-Currents perspective).
It’s interesting to compare this article with the Caleb Maupin piece. Maupin represents the authoritarian Stalinist Left, while Draister and Reid-Ross represent the authoritarian neo-Marxist/SJW/Antifa Left that is presently being coopted by hammer and sicklers (predominantly Maoists and Trotskyists). The principal different between the two camps seems to be that the Maupin circle continues to hold to the pro-Russian line of Western Communists during the Cold War, which means they have largely and ironically adopted the Duginist narrative regarding international relations, and have maintained a more authentically pro-working class orientation, which means they are less dismissive of the concerns raised by the populist right. The neo-Marxists have adopted an anti-Russian line, which puts them in the middle between neoliberalism and Eurasianism, and continues to emphasize identity politics in opposition to working class populism.
By Yoav Mitvin
Mint Press News
NEW YORK (Interview) —Neoliberal capitalism has failed the vast majority of Americans. It has increased inequality, fostered austerity, destroyed the environment and fomented wars.
Reactionary right-wing politics have largely succeeded in filling this ideological vacuum, embodied by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America.
Caleb Maupin is a Stalinist associated with the Workers World Party, but I agree with every word of this. I could have written this article. It’s refreshing to see a leftist who takes their anti-imperialism seriously.
By Caleb Maupin
Mint Press News
For many people in the west, the traditional political compass seems broken, and “left” and “right” are almost indistinguishable in a confused political mess. The controversy surrounding the Arab-American figure now embraced by the Democratic Party, Linda Sarsour, illustrates this perfectly.
In Syria, it is very clear who the “right” and the “left” are. The “right” is the group of Wahabbi fanatics that seek to overthrow the Syrian government. The stated goal of many, if not all, of the different groups working to overthrow the Syrian government, is to end religious freedom and establish a government in Syria similar to that of Saudi Arabia.
Fanatics from across the region and the world are pouring in for a fanatical crusade to bring the Syrian government down. The western capitalist powers, the USA, France, Britain, etc. have all enthusiastically backed this campaign, which would replace a Baath Socialist government rooted in the region’s anti-imperialist struggles, with a pro-western, Saudi-style regime. Weapons, funding, supplies, and propaganda from the western capitalist powers are all being unleashed to support the right-wing anti-government forces in Syria.
I am increasingly of the opinion that if anarchist, libertarian, and anti-state movement are to grow, expand and achieve influence in the future, it will be due to opinion leaders such as this, i.e. former members of the state who have “seen the light,” just as some of the most effective leaders in the atheist movement are former religious professionals, and some of the most effective people in the opposition to the “war on drugs” are former law enforcement. A prototype might be the way in which Ron Paul spurred the growth of the libertarian movement in the US.
By Andrew Anthony
If you were to play a game of word association with the term “anarchism” what would be the likely responses? Perhaps the anarchy sign, with the capital A over a circle. Black flags. The turn-of-the-century bombers immortalised by Joseph Conrad in The Secret Agent. Or maybe Johnny Rotten singing Anarchy in the UK.
What it would be unlikely to evoke is the image of an English diplomat, a veteran of the Foreign Office and the United Nations, a man schooled in the subtle arts of negotiation and persuasion. But that is the profile of Carne Ross, a former Middle East expert in the UK’s delegation to the UN, who is said to be the inspiration for a character in John le Carré’s novel A Delicate Truth. For Ross, as a new film shows, is now of one of world’s most active proselytisers for the virtues of an anarchist revolution.
With anarchism hardly top of the political agenda, that may sound like a limited claim to fame, akin to being the world’s tallest pygmy. In fact, anarchist ideas are taking root everywhere from Grenfell Tower to Rojava, the Kurd-run area of northern Syria.
Anarchism as a political outlook is rooted in the notion of direct democracy, a polity in which power moves from the bottom upwards. Many of those protesting at the Grenfell Tower fire argue that it was a symptom of a politics that goes in the other direction, from the uncaring top down to the unheard bottom. Ross not only wants to reverse what he sees as a failed kind of democracy, but believes the crisis of “neoliberalism” has created the conditions in which people are beginning to voice their disapproval of the status quo.
An usually fair discussion of the European right-wing from a liberal source. The populist-nationalist movements of the present day are the contemporary equivalent of the Luddites, i.e. common people who understandably regret their way of life is passing due to globalization, immigration, multiculturalism, technology, economics, and cultural change, but who are ultimately swimming against the tides.
By Sumi Somaskanda
SCHNELLRODA, Germany—In the waning weeks of 2014, an astonishing right-wing fervor swept Germany. Tens of thousands of demonstrators, stirred by anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment, staged protests under the banner of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or Pegida. People streamed through the streets, waving German flags and chanting: “We are the people!” and “Resistance.”
That Pegida erupted in former East Germany, where a stubborn far-right scene persists to this day, was little surprise. But the make-up of these seething masses was far broader than the region had ever seen. Beyond the hardened core of right-wing extremists, there were thousands of “concerned citizens” and disillusioned Germans, fueled by frustration with the government’s immigration and economic policies.
For Götz Kubitschek, a leading figure in Germany’s right-wing scene, the extraordinary turnout at Pegida rallies represented a personal triumph. “It’s what we had waited for,” he told me at his home in Schnellroda, a sparse two-street village in the eastern state of Saxony Anhalt. He had joined the movement in its beginnings as both a protester and a speaker, and likened its early days to a volcanic eruption of wrath. “They had the dynamism and masses and we knew the path to take, we knew the adversary—we could give it shape.” Pegida’s rise mirrored his own life pursuit: to shift Germany’s left-leaning social and political culture to deeply conservative, nationalist values.