The Many Faces of Bernie Derangement Syndrome 1

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

It’s getting pretty damn near impossible, even for a vengeful anarcho-cynic like myself, to deny that the system clearly despises Bernie Sanders. Both the DNC and their moronic B-team in the so called mainstream media seem to be downright apoplectic over the fact that the grizzled old buzzard is leading the presidential pack in all the ways that count. Not that you’d ever know it by watching the news. Based on the coverage, you would think Bernie was trailing behind the Yang Gang in the polls. Even at the debates, they avoid his perpetually pontificating old ass like the drunk chick at a wedding party, while they softball grounder after grounder to poll-fucked centrist losers like Amy Klobuchar.

CNN’s January surprise, a totally toothless collection of anonymous accusations about a single hypothetical sexist comment made years ago to progressive rival and pathological opportunist, Elizabeth Warren, is just further proof of this prejudice. The sheer absurdity of the idea that Bernie just randomly went all Archie Bunker all over Warren’s ass and everyone, including her, just happens to remember the event just in time for the last debates before the Iowa Caucus, is downright dumbfounding. The only thing more bugfuck nuts in my mind is the fact that any suite-and-tie wearing member of the status quo actually considers this asshole a threat. He’s a fucking poseur and he’s their best hope for taking back the White House. Clintonism has officially become a mental illness. Call it Bernie Derangement Syndrome and call those TERF’s at the DSM.

In case you missed it, I’ve never liked Bernie Sanders. It’s not the pie in the sky welfare spending or the tiresome FDR (founding father of the modern American concentration camp) worship. I could begrudgingly live with all that. But it’s the simple fact that the motherfucker, a self-proclaimed Eugene Debs loving leftist, just isn’t antiwar. It’s the one issue I vote on as an anti-imperialist syndicalist vehemently apposed to any mockery of “democracy” that doesn’t begin and end on the factory floor. Oh sure, Bernie says all the right shit and voted No on a couple bloodbaths, but when push comes to shove, he’ll vote for any atrocity sanctioned by the Democratic Party, whether it’s starving half a million children to death in Iraq under Clinton or sending half of Africa to hell through the black hole of that rapist’s wife’s Libyan no-fly-zone. And this is largely what defines Bernie’s absolute lack of character. In spite of his populist pleasing Independent pedigree, like all social democrats, Bernie is a creature of the party. The party, the party, the party, all else falls beneath the godlike benevolence of the party, including the peasants, fuck, especially the peasants. If the party wants a war, the party gets a war. If the party deems it necessary, they’ll feed the war-shy proletariat to the Freikorps dogs like puppy-chow, and Bernie will loosen the leashes.

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Not on Our Side: On Bernie Sanders and Imperialism Reply

By Doug Enaa Greene

Left Voice

n February 19, 2019, Vermont Senator and “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders announced his plans to run for the Democratic Party nomination for President. The announcement was met with cheers from large swaths of the American left who identify with his support for expanded labor rights, Medicare for All, free college, and a litany of other  progressive issues. Those appear to be very compelling reasons to back the Sanders’ campaign. However, when it comes to American imperialism and war, Sanders may offer slightly different rhetoric than other Democratic candidates or Donald Trump, but his record proves him to be no alternative at all.

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One Cheer — More or Less — For the Green New Deal 3

This seems to be a serious, thoughtful critique of the “Green New Deal” idea from a fairly conventional left-anarchist perspective (although Carson is an individualist/mutualist/AWA, not an an-com).

The ATS theoretical model and strategic paradigm is oriented toward global revolutionary struggle against the new Rome (i.e. the global capitalist empire), with an emphasis on indigenous people everywhere, and bottom-up anti-imperialist struggle. I’d say my own geopolitical outlook approximates that of the Shining Path (minus the Maoist fundamentalism).

What Carson describes here is more or less what I would envision the reformist wing of the left-wing of pan-anarchism in First World countries doing, but it’s only that. Notice that the examples Carson provides are all First World places (“the new municipalist movements in Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, and Jackson”) I see the ATS vision of global revolutionary struggle as transcending the left/right reformist/radical First World/Third World (core/periphery) dichotomies. A similar analysis could be made of Carson’s ideas on “privilege theory,” which would likewise be appropriate for the social/cultural wing of the left-wing of pan-anarchism in First World countries (in a way that potentially networks with similar tendencies in the Third World).

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

In critiquing and analyzing a state policy proposal like the Green New Deal from an anarchist perspective, I should throw in the usual disclaimers about my working assumptions. I’m not an insurrectionist and I don’t believe the post-capitalist/post-state transition will be primarily what Erik Olin Wright called a “ruptural” process. Although the final transition may involve some ruptural events, it will mostly be the ratification after the fact of a cumulative transformation that’s taken place interstitially.

Most of that transformation will come from the efforts of ordinary people at creating the building blocks of the successor society on the ground, and from those building blocks replicating laterally and coalescing into an ecosystem of counter-institutions that expands until it supplants the previous order.

Some of it will come from political engagement to run interference for the new society developing within the shell of the old, and pressuring the state from outside to behave in more benign ways. Some of it will come from using some parts of the state against other parts, and using the state’s own internal procedural rules to sabotage it.

Some of it will come from attempts to engage friendly forces within the belly of the beast. Individuals here and there on the inside of corporate or state institutions who are friendly to our efforts and willing to engage informally with us can pass along information and take advantage of their inside positions to nudge things in a favorable direction. As was the case with the transition from feudalism and capitalism, some organizational entities — now nominally within state bodies or corporations — will persist in a post-state and post-capitalist society, but with their character fundamentally changed along with their relationship to the surrounding system.  If you want to see some interesting examples of attempts at “belly of the beast” grantsmanship and institutional politics, take a look at the appendices to some of Paul Goodman’s books.

A great deal, I predict, will come from efforts — particularly at the local level — to transform the state in a less statelike direction: a general principle first framed by Saint-Simon as “replacing legislation over people with the administration of things,” and since recycled under a long series of labels ranging from “dissolution of the state within the social body” to “the Wikified State” to “the Partner State.” The primary examples I have in mind today are the new municipalist movements in Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, and Jackson and the dozens and hundreds of cities replicating that model around the world, as well as particular institutional forms like community land trusts and other commons-based local economic models.

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Burlington’s Foreign Policy Reply

A writer at National Review (Neocon Central) inadvertently points out how Sanders has been a complete sell-out on foreign policy as his career has advanced.

“Burlington has changed over the past three and a half decades; progressives have moved up in the world. And Sanders’ foreign policy vision reflects the appetites and prejudices of a class that is moving up in the world.”

By Michael Brendan Dougherty

National Review

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in Emeryville, Calif., during his 2016 presidential campaign. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

In the 1980s Bernie Sanders cozied up to dictators from around the world. Now, his updated foreign policy reflects a certain gentrification.

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US Senator Bernie Sanders could have defeated Trump: Poll Reply

Press TV.

Former Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as rival and US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a presidential primary debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Former Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as rival and US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a presidential primary debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

US Senator Bernie Sanders would have defeated Donald Trump in the presidential election by a large margin if he had been the Democratic presidential nominee instead of Hillary Clinton, according to a pre-election poll.

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Sanders’ Potential Foreign Policy: An Ignored Strength? Reply

Sanders voted against the Iraq War and has criticized efforts to use NATO to encircle Russia.

By Walter Ross

LA Progressive

Progressives like LA Progressive editor Dick Price have indicated many domestic reasons why progressives prefer Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton. A recent New York Times editorial also emphasizes his domestic stances but concedes that “Mrs. Clinton outflanks him on both knowledge and practice of foreign policy.” This essay, however, will argue that we voters should pay more attention to Sanders’ dovish approach to foreign policy, as contrasted to the more hawkish and belligerent positions of Clinton and Trump. As president, he would be less likely than Clinton or Trump to involve us in foreign entanglements that would cause more human and economic pain and divert attention and resources from important domestic problems.

Before making this case, however, it must be acknowledged that as a former secretary of state, Clinton has far more foreign-policy experience and knowledge than Sanders. Moreover, such experience is significant, but it does not necessarily make her more qualified.

Where Sanders has a great advantage over her is that he is less hawkish, less inclined to pursue foolish policies that are extremely costly, both in human lives and financially. In short, he exercises better judgment. Two prime examples come readily to mind where his stances have opposed Clinton’s: his opposition to NATO expansion and his voting, as a congressman in 2002, against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq.

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Is There a Libertarian Case for Bernie Sanders? Reply

This article is two months old, so some of its discussion of the presidential contest is a bit dated. But I tend to agree with the author’s general argument, i.e. that Sanders is actually the least state-centric of the presidential candidates (a very low standard, to be sure). All things considered, Sanders’ Vermont Liberalism Party is likely to be less authoritarian domestically and less overtly imperialist internationally than the Insane Party (Cruz), the Megalomania Party (Trump), or the Sociopath Party (Clinton).

By Andrew Kirell

The Daily Beast

With the only remotely libertarian GOP candidate out of the 2016 race, should the liberty movement start feeling the Bern?

Now that Rand Paul has exited the race, who should libertarians consider throwing their support behind? It might be the last candidate you’d ever think libertarians would support.

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Did dodging foreign policy doom Bernie Sanders? Reply

Predictably, foreign policy is not a major area of concern to the Left. The article by Ta-Neshi Coates linked to in this piece by Peter Feld posted below also provides evidence of a cleavage between minorities and Sanders supporters who are mostly white (the “liberal gentry” as John Derbyshire has called them).

By Peter Feld

Mondweiss.Net

For a few magic weeks, Bernie Sanders was taken seriously as a presidential candidate with a chance to win – a huge watershed for a self-avowed socialist. But after falling short (even if slightly) in Iowa and Nevada, and with no friendly states on the horizon, Sanders is back in protest candidacy territory.

Could taking on Hillary Clinton’s warlike foreign policy, which Sanders stubbornly refused to do, have changed the game?

Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that Sanders’s avoidance of racial justice issues says a lot about “how the left prioritizes its various radicalisms.” (It astounded me that a progressive would launch a presidential campaign in April 2015 without one reference to Black Lives Matter, the year’s most animating issue on the left.) The same can be said of Sanders’s refusal to seriously critique Hillary’s hawkishness, or her support for Israel.

Though Sanders opposed both Iraq invasions and has a clearly dovish record (except, of course, on Israel), his campaign is a potential setback to the movement to stop America’s repeated drift toward war in the Middle East. His success suggests that war and Palestine aren’t vital issues to the left, and that a progressive challenge can thrive while avoiding them entirely.