It seems Detroit can no longer afford to provide even routine services to the whole city. No cops, no garbage collection, no schools, no street lights, nothing. Anarchy in the USA begins.
Great discussion between Lew Rockwell and Naomi Wolf. This the kind of thing that a Left/Right anarchist coalition should be about.
So says a new study. Good for the kids. Weed is less bad for you than alcohol.
Some interesting data on race and class in America.
This caught my attention:
Amid swirling congressional debate over taxing the wealthy, three localities in Virginia had median household income of more than $100,000 – Falls Church, and Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
Those three localities are just outside of Washington, D.C. in northern Virginia, about two hours north of my residence. They are populated mostly by civil servants and other federal employees, government officials, military personnel, professional bureaucrats, employees of welfare-corporations (particularly defense contractors), and lawyers whose business is government-related. In other words, northern Virginia is predictably a haven for the parasite class. Not surprisingly, the area has the most stable, prosperous, and affluent economy in the country.
In their critique of the influence of the Israel lobby over US foreign policy, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer identified Mortimer Zuckerman as a leading figure in the media wing of organized Zionism in the US. Zuckerman’s reply?: “”I would just say this: The allegations of this disproportionate influence of the Jewish community reminds me of the 92-year-old man sued in a paternity suit. He said he was so proud; he pleaded guilty.”
Now Zuckerman has turned his sights on Anarchists in the wake of the Wikileaks controversy.
A reader recently posted these comments on a left-libertarian discussion board. These are very encouraging words (and not just because it includes praise for Yours Truly). This is the kind of genuine independent thinking we need for anarchists to engage in, rather than just being drones for this or that sectarian ideology, whether PC left-anarchism or anarcho-capitalism.
I proudly say that I vascillate between anarchist schools, though I have serious problems with ancom and REALLY really right-wing Heathian-style ancap. My biggest old-school anarchist influences though, would definitely be Tucker, Proudhon, and Carson, so you could say I’m center-left on the anarcho-spectrum. I started being politically active as a communist, I thought things like money and paying to get basic services were unjust before ever reading Marx, and then I discovered communism.
I always knew it to be the classless, stateless kind though, but I went along with all the Soviet Union stuff and Lenin and Trotsky and all that anyway. I was raised liberal but my parents were and are just Democrats, nothing ideological or even opinionated at all, they never talked about welfare like most liberals and state-socialists do. I still have an emotional attachment to the old Left and some of the Leninist tracts I used to read, unfortunately, even though they’re pigheaded nonsense to me now.
What got me into anarchism was somehow coming across libertarian socialism on Wikipedia. I read stuff on ancom from there, and finally anarchism itself. It was the Anarchist FAQ that really “made me an anarchist”, still, its rhetoric is the fieriest of any writing on anarchy I’ve seen, even though it has pretty bad arguments against markets and capitalism and stuff looking at it from where I am now. And obviously I had no problems with “freedom” and “libertarianism” , obviously, I was more for that after I read alot of the FAQ. What really got me “against the State” and totally in the camp that all governments today were illegitimate parasites that have got to die, was Spooner’s No Treason and Stefan Molyneux. And I still think wage labour is slavery and money is coercive, and am a big fan of Parecon and decentralised planned economies, just think they’re economically untenable. And communism in general is untenable.
Ended up watching Brainpolice, Laughingman0x and all the important stuff by all the important people on Youtube, I guess you could say it was Jacob Spinney, thorsmitersaw, and Kevin Carson that really made my “rightward” shift talking about how all the concentrations in capitalism were due to state priveleges and stuff. Though I’ve never really READ Carson, his books are just too huge. Also never really read the big Austrians like Mises as they’re stuff is heavy too, but I’m still pretty much an Austrian. And a socialist too, imagine that.
I really don’t have a huge problem with ancap believe it or not, and I’m really surprised to see them under-represented here, even though this is for the “libertarian left”. I like Molyneux’s book and I like For a New Liberty, actually, the biggest problems I think ancap has really recent Youtube critics have brought up. And I’m a huge fan of Fringelements’s videos too. Other than those guys, the biggest influence on my ideologies is die definitely Keith Preston. Voluntary segregation, decentralized governments of all shapes and sizes co-existing in my desired American Confederation, all that stuff. Pretty much all of his articles are some of my favourite stuff. He’s why I’m a voluntarist first and foremost.
Which leads me to the two things that will probably piss alot of people off here, even though you seem like an even-headed crowd. First off, I have a reactionary side. I agree with the “totalitarian humanism” idea Preston has and I dabble in white nationalism, and like alot of the stuff on Alternative Right. I like Burke, Kirk, the national-anarchists, Carl Schmitt, Jurgen Habernas, Julius Evola, Alan de Benoist, Paul Gottfried, Joseph Sobran, all those guys. I even admire the aims and mythology of fascism a little bit. Hell of alot better than Stalinism. I’m still a liberal and want to see liberal values triumph, gays empowered in their own identities, women empowered, destructive hateful practices between races worked through, I just take these conservatives as influences. And I’m only a white nationalist in a broad sense, if you can understand that, I have no wish to create a USA for white people or even live in a homogenous territory, but in a broad sense of racial and cultural feeling and expression. The same should be for every other race. I’m not a Christian either, I hate conservative Christians’ morality. I often call my view “liberal traditionalism” in that its still individualist and liberal but so different from the way liberals and Marxists want to do it. Unless your into this stuff, especially if you’ve never read or understood people like Evola, you probably wouldn’t understand any of this so, please, if your far-left, don’t bother inquiring, if your a traditionalist, I’d be happy to discuss my unique take on all this.
Secondly, if you know who Evola is, you’d probably’ve guessed it: I’m a theist. A pretty unabashed New Ager and pantheist on the “religious” side, with some more serious Hegelianism, Bergsonian and Schopenhaurian idealism, Buddhism and Taoism on the “philosophical” side. Plus most of the modern writers you would associate with that kind of thing that aren’t really New Agey in any way people would think of it now, like Ken Wilber. Although I obviously depart from all of those in places. This’ll summarize the closest things to my views on “philosophy” right now, although it obviously changes constantly, as it should, especially if your into Zen LOL.
Alright, all the politics and philosophy done with, personal stuff. Rural Upstate New Yorker, posit myself somewhere between British and American as I have an affinity for the old Spirit of ’76 Yankee rugged individualist New England forests kind of thing, but I’ve always held a deeper spiritual connection with Britain and Europe and speak with something of a cross between a Northern England and Canadian dialect. Strict PC gamer all my life, mostly RPG’s and RTS’s, but some FPS’s. Dress anachronistically and love 60’s and 70’s culture, love Celtic, British and European culture, as well as Far Eastern and Native American culture. Very European in my mannerisms. Watch association football when I can, root for the Munster team, Irish nationals, and a few English clubs, Chelsea in the big British leagues, and even the English team when Ireland isn’t playing LOL. My sn is my best friend’s nickname first, and aointas a cead, which is very badly done Irish for “union of a hundred”. I sing and I’m learning to play guitar. Music nerd, love every music genre except radio pop and rock. The big stuff is underground metal like doom, black, power, and tech death metal, classic metal, huge into classic rock and even more into psychedelic rock. I need to hear more indie stuff. And I especially love acoustic folk, probably more than anything else right now. Even like some underground and classic hip hop and rap. I try to put fun into everything I do which is why I’ll be nine times more joking and funny than everyone else on serious forum discussions, just so you know xD. And I try to be emotionally open and happy most of the time. I love my friends more than anything else in the world.
All in all, I’m probably the most “dialectical” person on here philosophically. I belong to no school of thought, am an ardent revolutionary, and try to be the most unique person I can when it comes to these things, cheers!
Jack Ross assesses the Left-Neoconservatives of the Euston Manifesto persuasion. The Euston Manifesto is particularly important because it outlines what will be the ideological future of the Western ruling classes, i.e. neoconservative foreign policy views, the Zionist/Islamophobic paradigm, neoliberal economics, and the social agenda of the far Left. Therefore, look for the grassroots right-wing to increasingly resemble the English Defense League, which is essentially the Euston Manifesto ideology for the commoners.
I’ve blogged about the EDL here before, as I find it to be a fascinating synthesis of neoconservatism and the far Left. The EDL seems to be oriented towards deplorable ends (support for the neocon international agenda while using Islamophobia as a smokescreen), but it also has a casual resemblance to what we do here, which is in some ways a synthesis of the far Left and paleoconservativism. For some time, I have predicted that the real political dividing lines in the future will be between a far Left that supports the neocon foreign policy and economic paradigm as a means of advancing social Leftism and views cultural conservatives and the far Right as its foremost enemy, and a more radical Left that zealously opposes the neocon program of permanent war abroad, re-proletarianization of the US economy, and expansion of the police state, and is more open to strategic alliances with dissident sectors on the Right in opposition to common enemies, and recognizes the necessity of such. As I’ve said before, I see this in some ways analogous to the historic rivalry between the Anarchists and the Communists. The political battles of the future may well pit a revolutionary Left/paleconservative dissident alliance against an establishment Left/neoconservative ruling class alliance.
An Army officer is refusing service in Afghanistan because Obama is ineligible to be commander-in-chief. I salute anyone who refuses to serve the Empire, regardless of their motivations or ideology. (hat tip to RavenWarrior)
Murray Rothbard asked the crucial question.
Tom Paine’s radical hatred of the State and statism was and is far more important to the cause of liberty than the fact that he never crossed the divide between laissez-faire and anarchism.
And closer to our own day, such early influences on me as Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and Frank Chodorov were magnificently and superbly radical. Hatred of “Our Enemy, the State” (Nock’s title) and all of its works shone through all of their writings like a beacon star. So what if they never quite made it all the way to explicit anarchism? Far better one Albert Nock than a hundred anarcho-capitalists who are all too comfortable with the existing status quo.
Where are the Paines and Cobdens and Nocks of today? Why are almost all of our laissez-faire limited governmentalists plonky conservatives and patriots? If the opposite of “radical” is “conservative,” where are our radical laissez-fairists? If our limited statists were truly radical, there would be virtually no splits between us. What divides the movement now, the true division, is not anarchist vs. minarchist, but radical vs. conservative. Lord, give us radicals, be they anarchists or no. To carry our analysis further, radical anti-statists are extremely valuable even if they could scarcely be considered libertarians in any comprehensive sense. Thus, many people admire the work of columnists Mike Royko and Nick von Hoffman because they consider these men libertarian sympathizers and fellow-travelers. That they are, but this does not begin to comprehend their true importance. For throughout the writings of Royko and von Hoffman, as inconsistent as they undoubtedly are, there runs an all-pervasive hatred of the State, of all politicians, bureaucrats, and their clients which, in its genuine radicalism, is far truer to the underlying spirit of liberty than someone who will coolly go along with the letter of every syllogism and every lemma down to the “model” of competing courts.
The dissident Left speaks. Other than the managerial-welfare state enthusiasms expressed in this, it’s a pretty good statement of opposition to the liberal-left.
Jim Goad hits another home run. Maybe the Assange case will awaken progressives to the dangers posed by radical feminist misandry. A reasonable feminist, Naomi Wolf, weighs in on the case here and ATS contributor MRDA comes up with an appropriate term for the situation with Assange and his accusers.
Recently, there was an interesting exchange between Paul Gottfried and myself at AlternativeRight.Com. It began when I posted a recommended reading list in response to similar lists posted by James Kalb and Richard Spencer. Paul Gottfried expressed puzzlement regarding the eclectic nature of the collection of readings I suggested as well as the incongruity of some of the influences I claim. I posted a response here and here. Gottfried responded briefly here.
An understandable mistake that Gottfried continues to make is to presume that I am an orthodox modern libertarian of the kind identified with the Mises-Hayek-Rand-Friedman-Rothbard axis. While modern American libertarianism of this type is certainly an influence on my thinking, and I agree with libertarians of both the right and left variety on a good number of issues, this hardly represents the full body of my outlook. Gottfried also continues to be perplexed that I can be an admirer of right-wing critics of liberal democratic states like Carl Schmitt and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn without endorsing the full body of their work, and taking their criticisms of the liberal democratic state in a radically different direction from what they intended (at least with Schmitt, Kuehnelt-Leddihn is more ambiguous). The best analogy I can think of right now to explain this intellectual dilemma is to point out that many, probably most, leftists implicitly or explicitly endorse the Marxist critique of capitalism, without necessarily endorsing Marx’s prescription of communist revolution, much less outright Bolshevism. Likewise, it is possible to recognize the validity of Schmitt’s insights into the contradictions and theoretical errors in liberal democratic theory and the inadequacies of its practice, or Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s characterization of mass democracy as a prelude to totalitarianism, without endorsing their specific prescriptions of a Hobbesian state in the case of Schmitt or a traditional monarchy in the case of Kuehnelt-Leddihn.
This gets us to the question of the relationship of political anarchism to wider philosophical and metapolitical concepts. I generally regard a Nietzschean general philosophical framework, a metapolitical outlook of the kind developed by the European New Right (while recognizing the multiple tendencies to be found within the ENR-see here), and a philosophical conservatism regarding human nature and the nature of society to be the best intellectual foundation for a modern political anarchism. On the latter question, I described this particular type of philosophical conservatism at AltRight: ” natural inequality of persons at both the individual and collective levels, the inevitability and legitimacy of otherness, the superiority of organic forms of human organization over social engineering, rejection of vulgar economism, and a tragic view of life.”
However, I do not consider such an intellectual framework to be mandatory or necessary for a viable political anarchism, only preferable. Indeed, most anarchists at present would no doubt reject such an outlook. One could likewise be a committed anarchist revolutionary and hold to a Lockean natural rights position, a utilitarian outlook, a simple pragmatic philosophy in the style of William James, some kind of religious outlook, or even a Rousseau-inspired utopian-egalitarian-humanism. After all, I was an anarchist long before I developed the broader intellectual framework to which I now subscribe. Whatever the broader philosophical beliefs we may subscribe to, it remains true that one of the most important of all human questions is the matter of how society is to be organized, and the first question regarding social organization is the matter of statecraft, or the political question.
Until a few centuries ago, political rule was justified and legitimized by religion in virtually all societies. This outlook was demolished by the Enlightenment, and this particular aspect of Enlightenment thinking which began as a European project has now spread to much of the world. Modern political philosophy is derivative of the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Hegel, Mill, Marx, and some others. All of these systems would seem to be efforts to legitimize and retain the state while denying its traditional source of legitimization, i.e. its supposed divine origin. As I’ve mentioned recently, anarchism is to political theory what atheism is to theology (not that political anarchism necessitates atheism per se as there are also religious anarchists). There is in the anarchist canon a huge body of literature that demolishes the conventional intellectual arguments used to justify the state, and from a wide range of philosophical or theoretical perspectives, including socialists and individualists, religionists and atheists, philosophical liberals and philosophical conservatives, utilitarians, rights-theorists, moral skeptics, and nihilists. I regard all of these approaches as complementary rather than contradictory with one another.
The question that I have for anarchists is this: If we reject the legitimacy of the state, then how exactly do we go about getting rid of the damn thing? I have focused much of my own efforts on the question of anarchist strategy for the reason that I consider this to be one of the most important yet most neglected aspects of anarchist thinking. How can anarchism come to dominate Western civilization (or other civilizations for that matter) in the same way that Christianity was dominant for 1500 years and in the same way that Enlightenment liberalism has dominated for two centuries?
A major problem for anarchists is the one has also been a problem for Christians, particularly Protestants, and that is the question of sectarianism. Most anarchists have held to some kind of hyphenated brand of anarchism, e.g. anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism, anarcho-capitalism, anarcha-feminism, national-anarchism, etc. Many of these sects of anarchism do not recognize many of the others as legitimate. I have tried to compensate for this problem by developing an “anarcho-pluralist” (a term I lifted from the late Sam Dolgoff) framework, and which is really just a re-working of older ideas like “anarchism without adjectives” and the “synthesist” outlook developed by the French anarchist movement in the pre-World War Two period. What would be the irreducible minimum of ideas one would have to accept to be reasonably considered to be an anarchist? I’d suggest that one would have to advocate abolition of the present system of rule by corporative entities commonly described as “the state” that hold a monopoly on the legal use of violence, rule-making, and physical coercion within a geographical territory, and whose members collectively form an identifiable political class who social role is differentiated from that of other people, e.g., whose purpose is simply “to rule.” This would mean opposing not only the corporative form of the state familiar to modern societies, but also systems of personal rule that were common in older societies, e.g. emperors, kings, etc.
It is also necessary to have an irreducible minimum of ideas concerning what the state is to be replaced with. The guiding principles for anarchists on this question have been voluntarism, mutualism, decentralism, and federalism. In other words, the state is to be replaced with federations of autonomous or semi-autonomous communities with a strong emphasis on voluntary associations and mutual aid, i.e., the general framework outlined by Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin (the “holy trinity” of the founding fathers of modern anarchism). Presumably, the economic and cultural variations of such arrangements could be immensely different from one another. This seems to be where most of the difficulty concerning sectarianism among anarchists emerges. Conflicts regarding different economic and cultural values lead to different sects of anarchists attempting to exclude one another. A historic example of this was the rivalry between the anarcho-communist Johann Most and the individualist-anarchist Benjamin Tucker.
If we take political anarchism as our starting point, we can then branch out into other areas of political philosophy and identify tendencies, ideologies, and movements with which we have considerable overlap. These include paleoconservatism, populism, Catholic distributism, the traditional Jeffersonian philosophy that American political theory is ostensibly rooted in, and modern libertarianism from the Right. These also include varying strands of socialism, the various Green philosophies, black nationalism, indigenous peoples’ movements, neotribalism, and the anti-globalization movement from the Left. These are the areas where we can branch out into other movements and form strategic alliances and an enhanced theoretical framework. At present, I would identify the main weaknesses in the anarchist milieu as these:
1) A failure to recognize that the absence of a centralized coercive authority in the form of the state automatically suggests pluralism in all sorts of matters, including perspectives that radically disagree with one another, even among self-proclaimed anarchists. This necessitates that anarchists recognize the inevitability and legitimacy of “otherness,” as opposed to some kind of abstract universalism. One reason why I endorse a Nietzschean philosophical framework for anarchism is its ethical subjectivism. Moral objectivism strikes me at least as holding the door open for authoritarianism of the kind associated with both traditional theocracy and modern forms of statism. There is no greater tyrant than one who possesses moral certainty. As H.L. Mencken said: ” The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression. ”
2) A failure to develop a viable strategic outlook concerning how the state is to be abolished. Ideas are worthless if they can’t be translated into real-world action. If other anarchists don’t like my ideas on this question, then they are welcome to come up with their own, of course. But the question of strategy is one that is severely neglected among anarchists.
3) The tendency of anarchists to get sucked into “culture war” politics that serve as a distraction from the broader struggle against the forces of State, Capital, and Empire. I’ve said plenty about this in the past and my views on this question are already well-known.
4) A failure to identify who the enemy actually is. In the Western world today, the primary enemy is the state’s legitimating ideology of totalitarian humanism (whether in its neoconservative or conventional left-liberal variations). The failure of anarchists to recognize totalitarian humanism for what it is severely limits their ability to form a viable movement of any kind. One of the most pathetic activities anarchists engage in at present is to waste time focusing on irrelevant fringe groups like the neo-Nazis or the Fred Phelps cult. The real enemy is those who actually hold state power, not exotic cults despised by the wider society. As for movements that are currently out of power, the greatest potential threat in posed by an insurgent Islam made possible by demographic change in the West. This the primary reason why I endorse the European New Right as the best available metapolitical framework for present day anarchists. More than any other contemporary intellectual current, the ENR has developed a critique of the philosophical underpinnings of totalitarian humanism, as well as a rational response to the question of threats posed by demographic transformation.
Until contemporary anarchists develop a serious and concentrated effort to overcome the weaknesses I have identified here, I regrettably see no prospects for anarchists to become an effective or even relevant movement.
Read the full interview here. This part is particularly relevant:
On the League’s website, you said that you seek a peaceful means to Southern secession. Suppose The American Empire collapsed under its own weight tomorrow and the United States of America was an entity only on paper. There are many people in The South who would rage against the birth of a new Southern nation. It’s true that many of the idle among them would vote with their feet and leave when they stopped getting paid to be idle, but still, the Deep South is facing ever-accelerating and ever more dire demographic changes right now. Would it not be wise for the theoretical Southern homeland to relocate itself in, say, southern Appalachia? Not that that would be easy, but wouldn’t it be easier?
I certainly see what you’re saying, and with the demographic revolution that’s taking place right now, I would never completely rule something like that out.
This has long been a principal criticism of mine concerning these Southern secession groups. I do not regard a unified Southern secession under one flag (much less the Confederate flag) to be viable. The South is far too culturally and political diverse for that. Instead, a more radical decentralist outlook is needed.
Paul Gottfried is skeptical. I say it depends on which groups and individuals on the Left or Right we’re talking about.
Glad to see Lew Rockwell is promoting the work of William Domhoff.
Some publisher somewhere needs to put out a volume (or multiple volumes) of Roberts’ columns over the past years. There is arguably no greater critic of the U.S. empire around nowadays (his closest rival is probably Eric Margolis), and nobody cuts to the chase like Roberts. Plus, his status of having once been a federal official and a Reaganite gives him a credibility in a lot of corners that he otherwise would not have.