Enough with the blue-baiting: The biggest threat on campus has nothing to do with free speech Reply

There are plenty of examples of universities and colleges imposing de facto censorship on leftists as well as rightists. Some cases in point can be found here, here, and here.

I think the problem is more of one where today we have mega-institutions like universities and corporations that are essentially states unto themselves, and yet are considered legally exempt from constitutional restrictions intended to restrain state conduct. Originally, when the Constitution was written, it only applied to the feds and not the states and localities. However, as the power of the feds has expanded and the states and localities have become more like administrative units the Supreme Court has established jurisprudence that has expanded the Bill of Rights to the states and localities as well. Today, we have a situation where corporations are merely the economic arm of the state and universities (along with the media) are the educational/ideological arm and yet these de facto states or state institutions claim exemption from the Constitution. Therefore, we need a new jurisprudence that extends the constitution to the corporations and universities.

By Sophia A. McClennen

Salon

One of the most disturbing and most predictable outcomes of the Charlottesville, Va., attacks earlier this month was that rather than lead to a reasoned and careful conversation about the rise of hate groups in our nation, it led to debates about whether the white supremacist neo-Nazis on display were the victims of discrimination. In Trumpland everything is on its head. Thus we have become desensitized to its dangerous combination of absurdity and malice.

But Charlottesville is not only a story about the mainstreaming of hate and fascism in the Trump era; it’s also a story about how the right has engaged in an all-out war to dismantle our public universities. As we have watched the rising public displays of fascism and bigotry sweep across the nation, it has been easy to overlook the fact that many of these rallies have been purposefully staged on college campuses. The decision to hold these rallies on campuses and to thereby provoke counter-protests also on campuses is a deliberate move by the right: one designed to allow them to further their narrative that college campuses are places that are hostile to free speech.

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The Dark Side of Empathy Reply

I’ve often been accused of lacking “empathy,” “sensitivity,” and all the other usual pieties. To which my response is “Guilty, but Proud.” Here’s why.

By Paul Bloom

The Atlantic

I’m not usually in favor of killing, but I’d make an exception for the leaders of ISIS. I’d feel a certain satisfaction if they were wiped off the face of the Earth. This is a pretty typical attitude, shared even by many of my more liberal friends, even though, intellectually, it’s not something that we’re comfortable with or proud of.Where does this malice come from? Psychologists have standard explanations for murderous feelings towards groups of strangers, but none of them apply here. I don’t think ISIS is a threat to me or my family or my way of life; I’m not driven by disgust and contempt; I don’t dehumanize them; I don’t think of them as vermin or dogs.

Rather, I am motivated by more respectable sentiments, by compassion, love, and empathy. Not for ISIS, of course, but for their victims. I have seen the videos of decapitations and crucifixions and have read accounts of rape, slavery, and torture. If I were less invested in the suffering of their victims, I would be more receptive to a balanced discussion of different options. But because I care, I really just want them to pay.

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, published in 1759, Adam Smith observes that when we see someone harmed by another, we feed off his desire for vengeance: “We are rejoiced to see him attack his adversary in his turn, and eager and ready to assist him.” Even if he dies, our imagination does the trick: “We enter, as it were, into his body, and in our imaginations, in some measure, animate anew the deformed and mangled carcass of the slain, [and] bring home in this manner his case to our bosoms.”

You can see this process at work in research published last year by the psychologists Anneke Buffone and Michael Poulin. Subjects were told about a competition between two students in another room of the lab. Half of the subjects read an essay in which one of the students described herself as being in distress (“I’ve never been this low on funds and it really scares me”); the others read an essay in which she was mellow (“I’ve never been this low on funds, but it doesn’t really bother me”). The subjects were then told that they were going to help out in a study of pain and performance, wherein they would get to choose how much hot sauce the student’s competitor would have to consume.

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Two (or More) Sides to Every Story 1

A Facebook friend has this to say about North Korea:

HOW IS IT THAT WE DO NOT FIND IT OBSCENE AND REVOLTING that the USA media openly talk about a murderous military invasion of North Korea, for the sole asserted reason that North Korea wants to develop a credible (and obviously needed) nuclear deterrent?

In many decades the most militarily aggressive nations that have nuclear weapons have clearly been the USA and Israel. What country that is in the sights of these two violent nations would not want nuclear weapons as freaking soon as possible? I sure would. This is especially true in light of North Korea’s history (below). Yet we don’t find it obscene that the USA and its media openly talk about murdering the entire nation with a military invasion because it dares to want to have the only military deterrent that could work against USA madness. Insane.

Michael Mac Aodha: “It is some Orwellian “Two Minutes Hate” for us to be freaking out about North Korea. Super brief history: Korea was colonized in 1910 by Japan, liberated by Moscow in August 1945, and went to war with US and the US-backed forces in South Korea in 1951. By 1953 the US Air Force ran out of military targets and started bombing dams to flood rice fields and cause starvation. North Korea has never forgotten, and formally the war has never ended. Until very recently both countries have claimed ALL of Korea. Both countries didn’t join UN until1991. In 1994 NK signed on to the Agreed Framework with US, but Washington dragged its feet while NK upheld their end of the bargain. They gave our government a chance to make peace and we blew it. They know, just like we claim for ourselves, that they have to have nukes to deter and to compel others to have dialog. US opposes banning nukes every year because we don’t want to get rid of our leverage, yet we can’t see that with North Korea, a much weaker and vulnerable country really facing existential threats. We depict them as irrational, hostile boogeymen bent on world domination—an image that more reflects our own government. We are being jingoistic about North Korea. We misunderstand them and are thirsty for blood. US and South Korea just held major military exercises running through plans of overthrowing the North, and Japan’s prime minister is trying to get their constitution rewritten so they can go to war again North Korea. But even USA Today, a conservative newspaper, admits that all they want is (1) guarantees from the US that we want try and overthrow them; (2) to keep their nukes for assurances; (3) lifting of sanctions; (4) removal of US troops from South Korea; and (5) a peace treaty with South Korea. That last one is a significant concession. The North is foregoing their claim to ALL of Korea and is willing to formally recognize them as a sovereign country that they want to have normalized peace relations with. All very reasonable stuff, but look how we’re acting.”

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Ideology as Addiction Reply

There are an awful lot of people nowadays, many of our “anarchists” as much as anyone, who need to take the message of this piece to heart. What we witnessing today is the proliferation of cults committed to one or another fanatical ideology.

Of Two Minds

Solutions abound, but they aren’t one size fits all ideologies.

It isn’t just coincidental that ideology shares so many dynamics with addiction. Though ideology is a faith-belief dynamic rather than a chemical process, both require constant reinforcement/renewal and both demand a painful withdrawal procedure of those who decide to free themselves of the monkey on their back.

The individual addicted to an ideology needs a constant drip of confirmation that the ideological belief is both correct and ethically superior to competing belief systems. The ideology-addict gets a much-needed hit of confirmation by reading, watching or listening to other believers’ justifications and defenses of the ideology.

Ideology fills two basic human needs: certainty and purpose. a constant state of uncertainty places a corrosive burden on the mind, emotions and spirit; the solution is a decision or resolution that resolves the uncertainy.

Humans need purpose to guide their life; aimlessness is debilitating and unnatural.

Addiction provides purpose, as the life of the addict is guided by the need to satisfy the addiction.

Ideology also provides purpose: the believer is called upon to defend and evangelize the ideology as an abstraction, and support its manifestations in the real world.

Addiction is an all-or-nothing state of being. If an individual can abandon the addiction at will and feel no deprivation, it isn’t an addiction; if sporadic half-measures suffice, it isn’t an addiction.

Ideology is also an all-or-nothing state of being. One doesn’t believe in capitalism or socialism, for example, in half-measure or occasionally when the whim strikes; one is convinced of the rightness of one’s ideology as a permanent state of certainty.

There is a sense of belonging and betrayal implicit in ideological beliefs that mirrors addiction. The sex addict, for example, feels only fellow sex addicts can possibly understand the compulsion and satisfaction of that particular monkey on one’s back.

In the state of ideological certainty/ addiction, only fellow believers can possibly grasp the perfection and rightness of the ideology. Thus this certainty is not just a state of being; it is also a state of belonging, hence the similarity of belonging to a cult and addiction.

To cease believing is heresy and an abject betrayal of the brethen/sisterhood. Hell hath no fury like a membership scorned or abandoned.

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Fascists of the Left Reply

Some comments from a Facebook friend on Antifa:

Just because a group claims to oppose fascism, that doesn’t make their fascistic behavior any less fascistic.

Black bloc so-called anarchists train in organized street fighting, wear uniforms which simultaneously shield them from accountability and mark them as an organized group intent on using violence and intimidation to shut down points of view they deem objectionable.

How is this anarchism? Anarchism is supposed to mean life without rulers, but the people who dress in black, assault those who criticize their tactics and threaten journalists who attempt to document their actions are instituting an alternative rule, replacing rule of law with the rule of paramilitary violence.

“Paramilitary?” Say what?

In my view, the people who train to use violence against the proponents of an enemy ideology, who travel to the places where they expect to find people publically professing enemy viewpoints, and who seem to receive deferential treatment from the authorities qualify as a paramilitary.

As Timothy Snyder warned in On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century, “Be wary of paramilitaries.”

I think Snyder was thinking about Trump supporters as the paramilitaries to watch out for, but the Antifa groups who use Black Bloc tactics are the mirror image of the violent wing of the white nationalist movement. Each depends upon and validates the other.

In the case of Antifa, I regard them as part half-assed paramilitary and part useful idiots. Their actions strengthen the position of the Oligarchs, who delight in seeing working class people at each other’s throats.

I also see them as drug addicts who are addicted to self-righteousness and the adrenaline rush of paramilitary violence. In this respect, they are much akin to yobs who assault people and damage property in support of their favorite sports team. Like so many drug addicts, they pursue their high at the expense of things that most people think of as important. The opiate addict will choose their high over the respect of the friends and family to whom they lie and from whom they steal. The black-clad hooligans prioritize their violence-induced high over the safety of innocents and over the democratic values of free speech and a free press.

The Ugly Side of Antifa Reply

By Leighton Woodhouse

The Ugly Side of Antifa

Yesterday, at the anti-Alt-Right rally in Berkeley, I watched groups of masked Antifa members in Black Bloc formation swarm individuals who were apparently antagonizing them, and pummel them with their fists, feet, and flagpoles. When the victims tried to escape, they were run down, and in at least one case, cut off by the Antifa mob and beaten down some more. In the incidents I witnessed, about five or six Antifa members at a time participated in the attacks, while perhaps 50 others stood behind them, forming an impenetrable wall that blocked bystanders from intervening, or documenting the violence on camera. Those people would also help chase the victims when they fled.

In one case, as a crowd of non-Black Bloc protesters yelled at the assailants to let their victim go, an Antifa activist yelled, “He’s a Nazi!” over and over again, justifying the assault. Then, abruptly, maybe after realizing that the victim was not, in fact, a white nationalist, he changed his mantra. “He doesn’t have to be a Nazi!” he now shouted. The suggestion was that even if the victim wasn’t a fascist, he still deserved to be beaten. For what was unclear. Maybe because he supported Trump? Or he objected to Antifa’s tactics? Or refused to do something they ordered him to do? Who knew? The only thing those of us watching from a few yards away could tell was that a man, by himself, was on the ground, with a bloodied face, covering his head with his arms, being kicked and punched by a group of masked people, who were shielded by dozens of their comrades. My guess is that a lot of the Antifa people in the crowd who were passively assisting in the violence, including the guy yelling that he was a Nazi, didn’t know anything more than that, either.

Last week, Mark Bray, a historian of Antifa, said on Trumpcast, Slate’s podcast on all things Trump, that Antifa members are “some of the most caring and compassionate people I’ve met.” I just finished directing a short documentary about the online origins of the Alt Right, for which we interviewed several Antifa members, and I can affirm his depiction. To a person, our interviewees cared deeply about egalitarianism and anti-racism, and spent much of their day-to-day lives either working professionally or volunteering for organizations and in activist groups that fought for the social and economic rights of the disenfranchised. They gave eloquent and persuasive explanations for why fascism must be confronted head-on, with tactics up to and including violence.

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Anarcho-fascism: Nature Reborn Reply

It had to happen, although I’ve actually written about “anarcho-fascism” in the past myself. In some ways, “anarcho-fascism” may be a useful counterpart to actual Fascism just as anarcho-communism is a useful counterpart to actual Communism, and just as Antifa may be a useful counterpart to the neo-Nazis with the Alt-Right being a useful counterpart to the Antifa, with Black Lives Matter being a useful counterpart to the Alt-Right, and the patriot/militia movement being a useful counterpart to Black Lives Matter, and the Bloods being a useful counterpart to the Crips and the Outlaws being a useful counterpart to the Hell’s Angels…

Red Ice Radio

Jonas Nilsson is a political analyst, graduate student, and martial arts expert. He is the author of Anarcho-fascism: Nature Reborn, a book that endeavors to synthesize two seemingly contradictory ideologies.

A video version of this show is available here.

Jonas joins us to discuss his work, tribalism, Sweden, and much more. First, we talk about his book, Anarcho-fascism, including what inspired him to write it. We then discuss the role tribalism plays in politics, and how the Left is unprepared to deal with ethnic conflict. Later, we consider the future of Sweden. Jonas reminds us that non-Swedes do not constitute a cohesive political unit, meaning native Swedes will retain political dominance for the foreseeable future. The first hour also covers demographics, attempts to integrate ISIS fighters, and the effect geography can have on political philosophy.

In the members’ hour, we begin by discussing violence. Jonas talks about his experience teaching martial arts, explaining that many Swedish men feel compelled to learn self-defense in these troubled times. Switching gears, we ponder how Sweden can be saved from its current predicament. Jonas argues that electing the Sweden Democrats would be a step in the right direction, but ultimately not enough. The members’ hour touches on much more, including the importance of masculinity, the notion of “privilege”, and a few relevant bits of Swedish history.

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An Aesthetic of Liberty Reply

I have my differences with Jeffrey Tucker, but this is a timely article calling for the need to develop an anti-statist centrism in response to the present day polarization and without falling into the various right-wing and left-wing deviations.

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

Foundation for Economic Education

Liberty-minded people are doing a lot of soul-searching these days. It’s probably needed.

In case you haven’t heard, many academic and media observers are on a hunt to discover the origin of the bizarre and violent alt-right (Klan, Nazi, and so on) marchers and protesters who appeared in Charlottesville, Virginia, shouting genocidal slogans. Every day new stories appear. To the horror of many dedicated intellectuals and activists in the liberty space, some journalists have tried to link this movement backward in time to the libertarian political movement as it developed over the last decade.

It should be obvious that, in theory and contrary to what the socialist left has long claimed, there is no connection whatsoever between what we call libertarianism and any species of rightist totalitarian ideology. One negates the other. As Leonard Read wrote in 1956, “Liberty has no horizontal relationship to authoritarianism. Libertarianism’s relationship to authoritarianism is vertical; it is up from the muck of men enslaving man…”

And yet today, there does indeed appear to be a social, institutional, and even intellectual connection, and migration, between what is called the liberty movement and the alt-right. Some of the most prominent alt-right voices in Charlottesville once identified as libertarians. This fact has been widely covered. It’s a fair question to ask: did these individuals ever really believe in a liberal worldview? Were they trolling all along? Were they just deeply confused?

Brutalism

I’ve been interviewed many times on these questions. How did this come to be? The answer is complex.

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Squaring off against Fascism Critical Reflections from the Front Lines: An Interview Reply

An interesting interview with an Antifa who was present in Charlottesville. This also makes for an interesting counterpart to the account of the Charlottesville conflagration by Matt Parrott of Traditionalist Workers Party that I posted previously. Yet another interesting observation is that both sides are claiming victory in this battle.

Crimethinc

In the three weeks since anarchists helped shut down the largest fascist rally the US has seen in decades, the pendulum has swung back and forth between new public support for anti-fascist organizing and a dishonest, fearmongering reaction spearheaded by the extreme center that plays right into the hands of far-right elements in the police and FBI. Now, fascists are shifting towards a strategy of decentralized attacks while the Trump administration prepares a new racist offensive against nearly a million residents of the United States. It’s more pressing than ever to learn from our victories in order to strategize for the next round. We spoke with a participant in the front lines of the clashes in Charlottesville about why an under-equipped anti-fascist contingent was able to defeat a more numerous body of fascists, how to halt the creep towards authoritarianism, and what courage means in these struggles.

In Charlottesville, on Friday night, August 11, if the torchlit march had not encountered any protesters around the monument or elsewhere—if it had been able to proceed without meeting any opposition—what do you think the consequences would have been?

Well, it’s easy to be doctrinaire when you’re speculating. I mean, any time fascists do something provocative without opposition, it sets a new baseline for them. It’s like, “Oh, marching with torches and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ is a pretty low-key thing to do, let’s always do that at our gatherings from now on. It’s fun and easy!” But I think it strengthens their movement even more when they encounter opposition that they can easily defeat, which is what actually happened on Friday. If that had been the only event in Charlottesville, or if the rest of the weekend had gone the same way, it would have been a gift to their movement.

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State Censorship, Corporate Censorship: A Libertarian View Reply

Sean Gabb has a timely article on the problem of censorship being outsourced from the state to state-allied institutions in present day society. This should motivate many right-leaning libertarians to rethink the overly neat and tidy “public vs. private” dichotomy that right-libertarians frequently embrace. Instead, we need to apply the insights of elite theory and recognize that governments, corporations, universities, and the mass media are all part of the same state/ruling class/power elite apparatus.

By Sean Gabb

Every age we have so far known has been one of censorship. This is not to say that opinion has been equally constrained in all times and places. Sometimes, as in the Soviet Union, it has been oppressive and omnipresent – even extending to an imposition of orthodoxy on the natural sciences. More often, it has been focussed on perceived criticisms of the established political and religious order. Sometimes, dissent has been permitted among the intellectual classes – especially when expressed in a language unknown to the people at large, and only punished when communicated to the people at large. Sometimes, a diversity of political orders has limited any particular censorship to an area of just a few square hundreds of miles. Sometimes it has been limited by a general belief in the right of free expression. But I can think of no time or place where publication has been absolutely unconstrained.

If I look at modern England, I cannot say that censorship is as oppressive and omnipresent as it was in the Soviet Union. I cannot think of any opinion that cannot somehow be expressed. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not wish to do any of these things. However, if I want to deny the holocaust, I can. If I want to argue for sex with children, I can. If I want to claim that the coloured races are intellectually or morally inferior, I can. If I want to say that homosexuality is a dreadful sin that will be punished by everlasting torments, I can. If I want to argue – in the abstract – for the rightness of shooting politicians, I can. The law punishes what are regarded as inflammatory expressions of such belief. It punishes expressions of such belief when they are regarded as affecting known individuals. But I am not aware of a law that makes it a crime to publish sober and abstract expressions of any opinion.

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‘Designating’ Antifa a Terrorist Organization Is a Bad Idea Reply

As I predicted, state repression against both the Alt-Right and Antifa is on the way.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

National Review

Image result for antifa

State and local police, not the feds, are the best protection we have against domestic terror. And we need the feds to fight foreign terror. The violent radical leftist group that goes by the Orwellian name “Antifa” (anti-fascist) “is thuggish in its tactics and totalitarian in its sensibility,” as Rich Lowry forcefully put it in a column on Tuesday. It also engages in terrorism. The eye-test leaves no doubt about that. Neither does federal law. Section 2331(5) of the U.S. penal code defines domestic terrorism as activities that occur primarily within the United States; that “involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State”; and that “appear to be intended” to accomplish at least one of the following three objectives:

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The Red/Blue Tribal Civil War: Weimar Republic or Star Trek vs. Star Wars? Reply

By Keith Preston

The statistical data that has been gathered on present political divisions in the United States indicates that the divide between Democrats and Republicans is the highest it’s been at any point since the Civil War. In addition to the mainstream partisan divide, there has also been growing violence between extremist groups on the margins of the Right and Left. Some have invoked comparisons with the violence between the Nazis and Communists during the period of the German Weimar Republic between the two world wars. Others have compared the election of Donald Trump with the rise of the Third Reich after the failure of Weimar.

Image result for star trek vs star wars

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A Blue Texas? Keep Dreaming Reply

This article is from 2012 but it raises an important issue that was largely ignored in the 2016 election, and that is the fact that even though Texas is now a “majority-minority” state, Trump still beat Clinton by nine percentage points. A standard presumption on both the Left and Right is that as the US becomes more diverse and integrated, the Democrats will have a distinct advantage because minorities typically vote Democrat. However, there may be room for caution. As American society becomes more diverse, the white vote in red states may become even more red, and the Republicans may gain an increased number of minority voters.

Minorities, whether ethnic minorities, women, gays, etc. may feel more comfortable voting for the GOP if they hold conservative views on issues such as economics, foreign policy, social issues, and if they feel that the the wider society is tolerant enough that they do not need to feel personally threatened. Additionally, class divisions within minority communities are likely to widen to an even greater degree in the future. There is also evidence that immigrants may well be inclined to assimilate into the political culture of the community they immigrate into. This would mean that immigrants who migrate to Texas are likely to be more conservative than immigrants who migrate to California.

By Nate Cohn

New Republic

Not only did the huge Hispanic turnout on Election Day help return President Obama to the White House; it has also lifted Democratic hopes about what just a few years ago was inconceivable: a blue Texas. Even Eva Longoria decided to pen a piece about Texas’ emerging swing state status and some Texas Republicans are getting nervous too— Jeb Bush asserted that Texas would be a blue state in 2016—but the talk is premature. Despite having the second largest Latino population in the country, Texas won’t be purple, let alone blue, for a long time.

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A Beating in Berkeley Reply

What I find most interesting about this article is that the “right-wingers” being described would have qualified as being on the Left, even the far Left, only 10-20 years ago. This is in keeping with my general theory that American society has shifted far to the left culturally over the past decade, and that the demographic components of the Right and Left will be increasingly blurred over time. Yes, most conservatives are still “old, affluent, straight, white, Christian males” and, yes, the majority of minorities are liberals, but this distinction is slowly become less predictable. I attribute this to the fact that US society is becoming increasingly integrated along racial, gender, and sexual lines while political and socioeconomic divisions are rising.

By Matt Labash

The Weekly Standard

As white supremacists go, Joey Gibson makes for a lousy one. For starters, he’s half Japanese. “I don’t feel like I’m Caucasian at all,” he says. Not to be a stickler for the rules, but this kind of talk could get you sent to Master Race remedial school.

And it gets worse. The founder of Patriot Prayer—a Vancouver, Wash.-based operation that sponsors rallies and marches promoting freedom and First Amendment rights along with all-purpose unity—also spews hippie-dippie rhetoric like “moderates have to come together” and “love and peace [are] the only way to heal this country.” Joey tends to sound less like an alt-right bully boy than a conflict-resolution facilitator or a Unitarian Sunday school teacher.

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They Staged a Bum Fight…and They Lost Reply

This is an interesting account of Charlottesville by Matt Parrot of the Traditionalist Worker Party, one of the right-wing groups involved in the melee. As a caveat, I know Matt personally, I met him at a National Policy Institute event in 2011, and he produced some of my podcasts when I was on the old Voice of Reason network. He is critical of my anarchist philosophy, and I am critical of his white nationalist/national socialist ideology, and I have become very critical of the direction the Alt-Right has taken in recent years.

However, I had an interesting exchange with Matt on Facebook in the days before Charlottesville. I suggested that if the Alt-Right and Antifa were real radicals, they would be fighting the cops rather than other fringe groups. Matt objected, arguing that the fights start when the Left seeks to use force to prevent white nationalists and other right-wingers from having a presence in the public space. This is a valid point since the stated objective of the hard Left is to prevent right-wing gatherings from happening “by any means necessary” ranging from physical violence against persons, to vandalism, to bomb threats, etc.

I largely agree with the narrative that Matt outlines in this article in the sense that, while there were no doubt neo-Nazis on the Alt-Right side who were picking fights with counterprotestors on an individual basis, there is not yet any evidence that the Alt-Rightists who planned and organized the event intended for a riot to occur. However, there is evidence that the Antifa and other hard leftists (which did not include a majority of the counterprotestors) specifically wanted a riot to take place (see Faith Goldy’s interview with Stefan Molyneux I posted today), and that the serious violence started when the police shut down the rally and dispersed the Alt-Rightists into the crowd of counterprotestors. There is also room for speculation that the mayor and vice mayor of city government of Charlottesville, and possibly the governor of Virginia, quite possibly intended for a riot to occur for the sake of scoring partisan advantages. The Charlottesville police had been criticized for the way they handled counterprotestors during an earlier KKK rally in Charlottesville a month earlier, and it is entirely plausible that the decision was made to take the opposite approach in August by having the police stand down after shutting down the rally, pushing the Alt-Righists into the crowd, and allowing the leftists to “have at” the right-wingers (probably very much to the regret of most of the counter protestors). I am certainly willing to be persuaded by evidence to the contrary, but that’s how it looks at present.

By Matt Parrott

Traditionalist Worker Party

As foreshadowed by pretty much every altright voice who was actually there, and many of the anarchist voices who are being completely honest, Charlottesville was a premeditated attempt by the leftist city government to host the Alt Right’s paramilitary defeat at the hands of their antifa allies. It didn’t play out like that, but slowly and surely, piece by piece, what actually happened is making its way out from behind the wall of hysterical media-driven bullshit.

As predicted, documents are leaking and the objective truth is coming into focus. The Narrative Collapse is happening in cascading stages:

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Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say Reply

The Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet that I could find that made any reasonable effort to understand what actually happened in Charlottesville without moralistic grandstanding, and by including the alt-right perspective. The Los Angeles Times has been the only mainstream media outlet that has bothered to ask the question, “What actually happened?” rather than simply spin the “Official Bad People Did Bad Things” party line. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet to predict Trump’s electoral victory.

By Matt Pearce

Los Angeles Times

The clashes that broke out over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., have become a new touchstone in the nation’s long-running debate over racism, free speech and violence.

One woman was killed and many more injured when a car, allegedly driven by a rally participant, sped into a crowd of anti-racism protesters. Two state troopers monitoring the action died in a helicopter crash later in the day, though no foul play was suspected.

The event quickly took on enormous political importance as Democrats and Republicans alike denounced the violence and the white supremacist views espoused at the far-right rally. President Trump has also denounced the racist groups, but he suggests that anti-racism counter-demonstrators share some of the blame. On Tuesday, he said “both sides” were responsible for the bloodshed.

Charlottesville: Violence in the Streets | Faith Goldy and Stefan Molyneux Reply

Faith Goldy along with Ford Fischer provided some of the best on the ground coverage of Charlottesville of any independent media sources. Faith Goldy is apparently some kind of Lauren Southern-like “alt-lite” figure that was associated with Rebel Media. Apparently, she was recently fired for giving an interview to Daily Stormer, which is an overt neo-Nazi site. She was present during the car ramming incident, and nearly hit by the car herself apparently.

This is an interview that Ford Fischer did with Luke Rodowski on the day of the incident.

Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here Reply

This feature from CNN is fairly representative of the mainstream media narrative on Charlottesville.

By Eliot McLauglin

(CNN)Despite the outrage and uproar, everyone had to know the protests were coming to Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — and that they would get out of hand.

This is how we got here.

It began in February when the City Council voted to rechristen two parks named for Confederate generals and to remove a bronze statue of one of those generals, Robert E. Lee, from an eponymous downtown park.

This came on the heels of several Southern cities removing dozens of Confederate monuments from public property after a self-described white supremacist massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

The Charlottesville move met with resistance, as some residents sued, and a judge blocked the statue’s removal for six months as the matter was litigated.

The City Council voted again in April, this time agreeing to sell the statue and let the buyer remove it, CNN affiliate WVIR reported.

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The complete story of what happened in Charlottesville, according to the alt-right Reply

This is an article from Quartz, a left-leaning publication, that describes the general set of narratives that have developed in alt-right circles concerning what actually happened in Charlottesville. While this article is obviously meant as as a “look at how these assholes are trying to spin things” expose, the author makes no effort to refute the claims made by the alt-right (some of which I would agree with and some I wouldn’t). Instead, the author simply links to the article on Buzzfeed I posted today, along with a feature from CNN, as supposed evidence of “the real story.” As I have said before, the media coverage of Charlottesville some of the sloppiest I have ever seen.

By Gwynn Guilford

Quartz

The mainstream media account of the Unite the Right rally and the alt-narrative ultimately diverge regarding the weekend’s violence: Who started it, what kind occurred, who let it happen. Both tell roughly similar stories, with the perpetrator roles inverted. According to alt-right commentators, the white nationalist protesters were thrust defenseless into crowds of armed thugs, beaten, and forced to defend themselves to the extent that one of their ranks killed in self-defense.

This isn’t surprising. The theme of Unite the Right and the surrounding commentary wasn’t the superiority of whites as much as it was their victimhood. While some Unite the Right attendees certainly came armed to the teeth, many others stood just as vigilantly clutching their smartphones and selfie sticks, as if poised to capture leftist evils rained upon them.

This matters because the alt-right audience isn’t exactly tiny—Breitbart News, the most popular site of its stripe, clocked 11 million unique visitors in May, after peaking at around 45 million in 2016. Nor is it disempowered: after all, the man the alt-right sees at its most prominent ally occupies the Oval Office. But perhaps because the alt-right (a term that encompasses those with anti-establishment views to racist extremists) readership is still small compared to more mainstream outletsCNN’s monthly traffic exceeds 100 millionwriters have fostered a David-versus-Goliath solidarity with readers around a shared conviction that politicians and the mainstream media aim to take power and rights away from whites.

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Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville Reply

This article from Buzzfeed, published two days after the Charlottesville incident, remains the best account of the timeline of events that I have seen to date by a) someone who was actually there, and b) someone who is liberal to left leaning in their political biases. The principal problem I see with this article is that it starts off with the line “Yes, you can blame the Nazis,” and the proceeds to describe what sounds like a great deal of mutual combat with no clear aggressor being identified, except on the basis of ideological affiliation, i.e. the standard “Official Bad People” vs. “People with Good Intentions” narrative. In other words, a variation of the “there is no moral equivalence between a dictatorship and a democracy” argument I used to get from right-wing Reaganite hawks when I would point out how US foreign policy during the Cold War was at least as aggressive as that of the USSR, and often more so given the superior wealth and military power of the US.

By Blake Montgomery

Buzzfeed

Yes, you can blame the Nazis.

The race-fueled chaos that wracked Charlottesville, Virginia, finally came to rest on Sunday night. And the hundreds of people who spent the weekend fighting in streets — and the millions who watched them — began what has become a new American ritual: arguing about what really happened, and what a spasm of localized political violence means.

Was this an assault by racist extremists on innocent, rightly outraged Americans? Was it a clash between “many sides,” as President Trump notoriously said? Was the scale of the white supremacist threat blown out of proportion? Was the violence of the black-hooded “antifa” understated?

The answers are clearer on the ground than they are in the filter bubbles driven by fierce partisan argument on social media and cable news. They are complicated but not ambiguous. Here are a few:

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Why Left and Right Are Not Enough 5

This is a map of the present state of U.S. politics designed by a well-known antifa intellectual apologist.

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With the exception of the dubious claim that the Alt-Right and neo-Nazis are a genuine part of the Republican Party, I generally agree with this map. In reality, the leadership of the Alt-Right has for years gone out of its way to denounce the Republican Party and “movement conservatism” (whom they constantly refer to as “cucks’) even if it has opportunistically tried to attach itself to Trumpism at times, with the favor hardly being returned. Sorry, my Alt-Right friends, but a billionaire Zionist plutocrat and New York liberal who became a Republican only for opportunistic reasons doesn’t give a damn about your white ethnostate.

However, another interesting feature of this map is that there is no distinction made between “anarchists” and “revolutionary Marxists.” Once again, anarchists are falling into the same trap that has plagued anarchists since the time of the First International, and that is this chronic inability to avoid aligning itself with the hard Left. While some Antifa types might fancy themselves as “anarchists” or “libertarian communists” their movement is already heavily infiltrated by Maoists and other “red fascists.”

As I have been saying for decades now, anarchists need to position themselves as a revolutionary center that is totally opposed to the liberal-capitalist status quo while at the same time zealously safeguarding against authoritarian extremes from both the Left and Right. If neo-Nazis or neo-Communists (whose ranks include many anarcho-leftoids) posed a genuine threat to the wider society, then anarchist militias similar to Antifa or the right-wing militiamen (or the YPG/YPJ units in Rojava) might indeed be a legitimate response. However, at this point many if not most anarchists, libertarians, anti-statists, decentralists, and anti-authoritarians are regrettably oriented towards arguing and fighting with other fringe groups, or taking sides in the wider red/blue dispute that is presently going on within the ranks of the state, ruling class and power elite.

Instead, anarchists need to be developing a revolutionary center that rejects all of the aforementioned nonsense and instead seeks to cultivate all enemies of the system as allies and constituents to the degree that these enemies of the system reject statism, authoritarianism, and centralism (while recognizing that most groups are lukewarm or hit and miss on these questions). If anything, anarchists should strive to play the role of peacemakers, mediators, and negotiators between rival political, cultural, and economic factions rather than acting as partisan fanatics that engage in provocative actions that invite state repression.

Image result for a map of the anarchist spectrum

Image result for a map of the anarchist spectrum

Yes, the Left and Right Mirror Each Other Reply

I found this description of the right-wing patriot movement on a Facebook page associated with a far left “anti-fascist,” “watchdog” type. What is interesting about this is that if you changes the names and terminology a bit, this could just as easily be a conservative or right-winger talking about the Left.

“The Patriot movement is more-or-less genuine in its attempts to distinguish itself from avowed White Supremacists (despite their own movement’s origins in the 70s white power movement). but what this means is that they are politically on the furtherist rightmost wing of the Trump coalition without advocating a white ethnostate.

There are a diversity of views in the movement, but in general its run by a lot of conspiracy theories (often derived from antisemitism), total hostility to Black Lives Matter and the Left, and deep and open Islamophobia and immigration. they want to use guns to intimidate their political opponents and believe in a lot of crackpot legal theories. only a small fraction (maybe a quarter) are “merely” libertarian gun nuts. so any “dialogue” with them is a dialogue with someone who SURJ would generally consider to have openly white supremacist views – whether the member is a person of color (they have a few, like Sheriff David Clarke) or white. letting them off the hook when they don’t want to be associated with Nazis is a cheap way to kosher their racism.

I think the best way to dialogue with them is to challenge their views of the Constitution – to ask why if they believe in 1A they are suppressing freedom of religion; to show that there is nowhere in the Constitution that it says that the county sheriffs can decide which laws to enforce; to argue that the NRA and Oath Keepers refuse over and over to back the rights of POC to own guns and open carry. They will listen to these arguments, but you’ll have to learn about some of this stuff (which most leftists don’t know anything about – i had to learn even the rudiments).

They also stereotype everyone from the RCP to Obama as a “Marxist” and in their world, we’re out to seize their guns, so groups like Redneck Revolt confuse them because they don’t fit cleanly into their narrative. There is some begruding respect, i think, so also getting guns and learning about gun culture will build a kind of bridge of common ground because you are doing something they valorize – kinda like if they studied white privilege theory and black history and racism in America and had a knowledgeable discussion with you about it (even if they didn’t agree with our take on these things) – you would respect them more that they are actually learning about this and engaging in these questions which are important to you and that you want people to delve into.”