Paul Gottfried gives his take on the subject.
Given the PC attack on Twain, one would never know that he was both a staunch abolitionist and militant opponent of Christianity.
Interesting article from Alternet on the utopian communities during the Age of Aquarius.
Shawn Wilbur on the C4SS symposium. Wilbur has done some great work making Proudhon’s stuff more accessible.
Achieving economic self-determination in one of America’s most depressed cities. Read the article.
by James Leroy Wilson
It was to be expected, right from the day of Barack Obama’s election as Presdient. As the Tea Party grew, it became not a question of “if” but of “when.”
Some lunatic was going to shoot a Democratic (or even moderate Republican) politician, and the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and right-wing talk show hosts would get blamed.
Well, this past Saturday a lunatic did shoot a Democratic Congresswoman, killed six others,and wounded many more. And conservatives were blamed even before the smoke cleared.
It appears that this particular murderer is too weird to be pigeon-holed ideologically.
But I admit that, upon hearing the news that a Democratic Congresswoman was shot (and before I heard that it was a much larger spree), my first thought was that it was a far-right nut job.
I suspect even many conservatives suspected the same thing. They understand there are violent, unbalanced nut jobs on The Right. It’s also true that a movement like the Tea Party would also attract fringe elements, and the media tends to blur the distinctions between the reasonable and extreme.
That said, why do we tend to assume that someone on the Right is more likely to do this kind of deed than someone on the Left?
Because the Far Right tends to invite it. Rumors of generals wanting to overthrow JFK for being “soft on communism,” KKK violence, and death threats against gays and atheists all tend to give the public the impression that the “fascistic” Far Right is inherently violent.
Likewise, because of people like Timothy McVeigh, they associate the “anti-government” Far Right with violence.
By anti-government, I do not mean libertarian. Libertarianism is a political philosophy, whereas “anti-governmentalism” is just a series of grievances, resentments and hatreds without a coherent philosophy.
It’s the domestic equivalent of foreign anti-Americanism.
And as many fear that foreign anti-Americans will commit terror, for the same reasons they fear that anti-government Americans may commit terror or assassination. Homeland Security has helped fuel this notion, and has smeared supporters of Ron Paul, the Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party because of it.
In any case, it is disingenuous to say that “anti-government” rhetoric by a talk show host will push some violent wacko over the edge. It is far more likely that it is the government’s actions that will push him over the edge.
On Saturday, my first thought was that this shooter may be from the anti-government Tea Party fringe who may have been angry over something like last year’s vote on Obamacare.
But why would someone want to commit violence like that?
Probably because he’s crazy. One can be anti-government without resorting to violence, just as one can be anti-American without becoming a terrorist.
The violence is wrong. Everyone understands that. But when the grievances are deeply-felt, and when they are legitimate, a violent response by an already-unstable person is unsurprising.
I imagine that if I was born and raised in the Middle East, North Africa, or Central Asia, I would come to believe that the American government was on a Crusade to stamp out Islam and rule the world. I would be anti-American.
That doesn’t mean I would commit acts of terror. It does mean that I would at least understand why some people would fall off the deep end because of American foreign policy. It’s known as blowback.
That same thinking applies within America as well. Healthcare reforms such as the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is totalitarian. The IRS has ruined a lot of innocent people. Gun laws and drug laws do violate our very rights to life and to control our own bodies. Instead of protecting our rights and property, the Federal State attacks them with impunity.
It’s enough to push marginally stable people over the edge. Yes, their violence must always be condemned. The terrorist – foreign or home-grown – should be punished to the full extent of the law.
But let’s never forget that their grievances are often rational and legitimate, even as their viiolent responses are irrational and evil.
If the U.S. government stopped meddling in other nations, and reduced its size, scope, and power at home, we would be far more secure from both foreign and domestic terrorism.
Paul Gottfried offers some possible explanations of the bizarre attempt to lay the blame on an irrelevant scapegoat.
Here are some potential projects I would like to see ARV/ATS develop in the years and decades ahead:
1) An independent radio network which would feature a variety of programs aimed at targeted demographics. Some might be in the right-wing populist Alex Jones mode, some might be oriented towards anti-New World Order Christians, others might be geared towards the dissident left, while still others might have a black nationalist flavor. The different programs would focus on issues relevant to the targeted demographics, but with the common themes of opposition to the empire, community autonomy, class struggle rooted in the vanguard classes, critiquing totalitarian humanism, and the pan-secessionist outlook.
2) A network of dissident student organizations to be organized on campuses (like Youth for Western Civilization is doing). The most likely purpose of the student groups would be to challenge the domination of the academic world by totalitarian humanism, demonstrate critiques of this from both the left and right, and bridge the gap between the varying opponents of totalitarian liberalism, e.g. dissident leftists, alternative rightists, black nationalists, libertarians, etc.
3) The development of independent self-sufficient communities like the Twin Oaks community mentioned in a previous post, and the networking of our communities with similar communities.
4) The development of alternative social service projects by ATS affiliates and allied groups (like BANA, NATA-NY, and and AI/AN-ATS have been doing).
5) The creation of a speaker’s bureau so that our representatives and allied others will be available to speak to other groups, with an emphasis on student groups.
6) The creation of single-issue activist organizations affiliated with ATS for the purpose of bringing issues related to the pan-secessionist struggle under the umbrella of ourselves and our allies. These groups would then work within and seek leadership positions in other, larger groups that focus on the same issues. For instance, I want “our people” to someday work their way into leadership positions within both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association, and work to turn both of these away from their left-liberal and reactionary conservative orientations, respectively.
7) Conducting mayoral campaigns in dozens of American cities simultaneously that are oriented towards local issues and local culture, but share the common thread of the radical decentralist/pan-secessionist idea, and modeled on what Norman Mailer did in NYC in 1969. The purpose of such an effort would not so much be to take electoral politics seriously as much as a publicity stunt that was large-scale, well-coordinated, and geared to generate media attention.
1 Christianity: 2.1 billion
2 Islam: 1.5 billion
3 Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
4 Hinduism: 900 million
5 Chinese religion: 394 million
6 Buddhism: 376 million
7 Primal-indigenous: 300 million
8 African Traditional: 100 million
9 Sikhism: 23 million
10 Juche: 19 million
11 Spiritism: 15 million
12 Judaism: 14 million
13 Baha’i: 7 million
14 Jainism: 4.2 million
15 Shinto: 4 million
16 Cao Dai: 4 million
17 Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
18 Tenrikyo: 2 million
19 Neo-Paganism: 1 million
20 Unitarian: 800 thousand
21 Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
22 Scientology: 500 thousand
“Most the people who knew the AZ shooter called him a “nut” and a “Left wing pothead”. It’s interesting to watch all the Left TV shows and read the Leftist blogs, They are all trying to blame this kid’s actions on the “Right wing” and gun ownership. It’s amazing how every time there’s a tragedy like this hacks try and use it to take way everyone’s rights.
She had a lot very good stands. She was pro-gun ownership and wanted to secure the borders. She called herself a Blue Dog Democrat. She started out as a Republican. She is to the Right of most of the Democrats.”
Interesting article from The Atlantic on Saudi Arabia’s gay subculture.
A symposium on property and ownership theory at the Center for a Stateless Society. Looks interesting,
…is under attack by the usual suspects. Figures.
I quitting smoking pot, for the most part, years ago and stoner culture itself never really appealed to me. That said, of all the separatist groups I’ve ever encountered, this is one of my personal favorites.
Read it all here. So far as I can tell, there is nothing in these principles that are inherently incompatible with anarcho-pluralism or pan-secessionism. The kinds of communities the NOI might create internally would not exactly please our left-libertarian rivals, but so what? Just don’t go there.
Who would’ve thought? This place is about an hour from my residence, and I’ve had a number of friends who lived there for varying periods of time. See more here and here. Apparently, there are about 2000 such communities in the USA. The fact that such communities can exist even within the context of the capitalist system (and so can much larger communities like Mondragon, the Israeli Kibbutzim, or Emilia-Romagna) ought to help flesh out some of the differences between left and right libertarians, anarcho-communists and anarcho-capitalists.
Craig Bodeker interviews Jared Taylor. Predictability, Taylor says no.
Jared Taylor makes the most articulate and compelling case for the legitimate concerns of white nationalists of anyone I am familiar with, but that’s not really the source of my interest in him. Rather, I am much more interested in his emphasis on decentralization and free associationism. He discusses that in this interview with John Derbyshire.
Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late evangelical Christian theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer, talks about how the “religious right” actually came into being in an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. See Part One and Part Two. See also these detailed interviews with John Whitehead and with NPR.
I was a part of the subculture Schaeffer is discussing during the 70s when all of these events were unfolding, and the story he’s telling is accurate. His father was theologian in the same Reformed/Calvinist tradition that I grew up in and was affiliated with the same church denominations and seminary. The pastors of my church were all graduates of the same seminary as Francis Schaeffer, and in 1976 and 1977 my church used to hold special services in the evenings just to show Schaeffer’s films. His books were used a teaching materials in Sunday School classes for adults and older adolescents. Frank Schaeffer mentions Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin carrying around a copy of one of his father’s books, “Escape from Reason,” which was the book my former pastor sent me in 1987 in an obviously failed effort to convince me to return to the faith. Francis Schaeffer’s book, “A Christian Manifesto,” was also hugely popular in the subculture I originated from.
Like Frank Schaeffer, I no longer subscribe to the ideas of that subculture, and haven’t for 30 years. Though I was never a mainstream pro-Democratic Party “liberal” or “progressive” like Frank is today, what he says about the religious right subculture today is basically what I would have said during my conventional leftist days in the 80s. But what I now find interesting about Frank’s discussion of the religious right in these interviews is his claiming that they are essentially a secessionist movement that has already seceded culturally and institutionally if not politically and geographically. Frank observes how they already have their own schools, universities, media outlets, publishing firms, entertainment, and other parts of a huge subculture that is really something of a parallel society. Writers like Bill Bishop in “The Big Sort” have suggested that Americans are in the process of self-separation along cultural, religious, and political lines. It would seem that formal political secession would be the next step. Frank observes that about 20 million Americans belong to this subculture, which is about six or seven percent of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, research shows that while the evangelical subculture grew substantially in the 70s and 80s, its growth leveled off about 20 years ago and has remained static ever since. Meanwhile, membership in mainline church denominations has actually declined and unbelievers are the fastest growing religious perspective in the U.S.
What this means is that as the evangelical/fundamentalist subculture remains static (and as its younger members even move leftward), its adherents will increasingly come to understand that “taking back America” is something they will never achieve. Meanwhile, as totalitarian humanism becomes more deeply entrenched the evangelical subculture will come under increasing attacks from the state, thereby heightening their sense of alienation from the mainstream society and from the state in particular. This would seem to indicate that the evangelicals may well be ideal constituents for a pan-secessionist movement at some point in the decades ahead. A subculture of 20 million people that rejects the existing state and simply walks away would certainly be of significance to our own struggle. Their static growth rate and declining numbers indicate they will likely pose no significant threat of re-imposing a tyrannical state of their own. Rather, it is more likely they would isolate themselves in their own sectarian enclaves and counter-institutions.
This possibility presents us with a real opportunity. The difficulties and obstacles we face would be the obvious ones. Most of us are not Christians of any kind, much less their kind, and many of us clearly hold to ideas they would find appalling (with yours truly probably being at the top of the list). That said, if the secular, atheist, Jewish, neo-Jacobin, Trotsky-influenced neoconservatives could cultivate these people as constituents, it might not be so difficult for us. The biggest issue would probably be the question of Christian Zionism. Most of us are anti-Israel, either out of sympathy of the Palestinians, or opposition to Zionist influence over American foreign policy, or out of opposition to the American empire generally. An important part of the anarcho-pluralist/pan-secessionist struggle would probably include attacking the US-Israel alliance, which would not play well with the evangelicals. Therefore, a crucial question will be the way in which the evangelical subculture balances it support for Israel (which does not include all fundamentalists, btw) versus its sense of alienation from the political establishment from which it will be the recipient of increasingly strident political attacks.
by Steven Saragian
Our Glenn Beck?: http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/zeitgeist/our-glenn-beck/
Recently Keith Preston of AttackTheSystem.com authored an article on the Austin radio show host and documentary film maker Alex Jones. As a fellow, for lack of a better term, Conservative Anarchist that has actually been involved with what, for the lack of a better term, we will call the “Conspiracy Community” I would feel remiss if I did not give my comment.
The first aspect of Mr Preston’s analysis that I would like to address is that of Mr Jones as an intellectual, namely that he is not an intellectual. This I would not contest and, I would be bold enough to guess, Jones himself would not deny this. In fact he has said as much in the past. Preston rightly notes the telling statement by Jones that “If the globalists are for it, we have to be against it.” A statement which exemplifies the approach he takes to his work. He is an reactionary in the most literal sense of the word, Jones has the intellectual weakness of allowing his enemies (or perceived enemies) to set the permitters for battle. That being said, the only right-wing intellectual with a radio show (of a political nature) that I am aware of is Tom Sunic, so this fact should not bother us.
Yet, I would contest what Preston asserts about Jones’s fans based on this fact is not accurate, not logically or empirically. I am referring to the idea that intellectual discussions are of no interest to Jones fans, or even that they are incapable of understanding such arguments. Within any cross section of a society you will find great differences in intellectual ability, as well as other abilities. I can only comment on what I has seen in my own region (New England), but I would say that Preston and myself are in agreement that Jones is popular with a large cross section of society. To quote Preston:
We know that most people are not capable of being intellectuals, and that most people are indeed more motivated by habit, custom, myth, cues taken from peers and perceived authority figures, or the norms of their community or culture of origin than by a thoughtful contemplation of ideas. For instance, our discussions of Nietzsche, Evola, Schmitt, Hobbes, Heidegger, or Benoist would no doubt be either uninteresting or incomprehensible to many hard-core Alex Jones fans.
It may be that I misunderstand Preston, so I will try to make myself clear. Firstly that I have met a fare share of Jones fans that attend or are alumni of prestigious colleges in the Boston area. I can assure you that many Jones fans are well versed in the work of Nietzsche, Hobbes, and even Heidegger. I am the only person in these circles that had even the lest bit of interest in more marginal figures like Evola, Schmitt, or Benoist. Still, Benoist never came up in any conversation and I myself had not heard anyone champion the name of Schmitt until I came across Preston’s blog. It is true that many disagree with the methodology Jones often utilizes and sometimes disagree with his interpretation of the facts, but the general view is that he is close enough. After all Preston does not disparage Evola despite Evola’s…let us say, questionable interpretations of notable mystics and theological figures.
It is possible that Preston has a different idea of what qualifies as a “hard-core Alex Jones fan”. What he might be referring to is the breed of Jones Cult members that abound on the web and that can characterize a few found on the street as well. Cult members abound in the contemporary world and a meaningful examination of why lies outside of the purview of this comment. What I will say is that a media figure with the animal magnetism of Jones is going to attract such people regardless of what he talks about. He has a particular power over some do to the fact that he and his show are activist in nature. Jones’s show is geared toward activists and his films are geared toward creating new activists. In this he is among the best of his generation. To his credit Jones works to bring a wide range of anti-authoritarian guests on his show, but I am afraid that nothing Jones could every do would remove the cult like sway of the lower-IQ Alex Jones clones, if you need an example of such a person lookup “The Infowarrior with Jason Bermas”.
On the subject of Alex Jones and the Conspiracy Community I could say many more things, but to constrain myself in this short comment I would like to finish by turning my attention to the community of alternativeright.com. Preston is clearly pandering to his audience. If you would like to see the level of discourse that the typical alt-right reader is capable of you can read the comments denouncing the wife of Alex Jones as a reverse Jezebel. If on the other hand Preston is only speaking of the writers on alt-right he is on a better grounding to speak of intellectual standards. Still, alt-right is far from what I think could be categorized as a site for high-discourse one would expect from an intellectual vanguard. I can not find any articles discussing the differences in metaphysic ideas of Plato and Heidegger. The site focuses on items like Race-IQ difference, a difficult area for leftist to compete. One has to wonder if Preston is simply trying to play into his audience’s own projections that seek to displace on to others there own sense of being marginalized by pretending to be intellectually superior to the general population.