The “Vote Blue No Matter Who” Crowd Shows the Ideological Weakness of the Democrats Reply

My political perspective is somewhat different from Styx’s (who is a something of a right-libertarian Trumpist). But I generally agree with his analysis in this. For all practical purposes, the US now has three political parties: Trumpists, neoliberals, and social democrats (all completely lame, of course).

Coronavirus Update: 2.7 Million Cases, Almost 200k Dead, Civil Disobedience Spreads Reply

Many of those who are engaged in civil disobedience regarding the shelter-in-place orders are misguided in a lot of their thinking, but they are still a necessary counterpart to the state. The state must be challenged in all circumstances. It is for this same reason that oppositional subcultures of any kind serve a critically important social role, e.g. cults and sectarian religious communities, gangs, conspiracy theorists (9/11 truthers, JFK assassination revisionists, lizard people or UFO enthusiasts,) scientific heretics (creationists, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, geocentrists, climate change deniers,), historical heretics (ancient astronaut theorists), rebellious youth cultures (punk, heavy metal, goth, emo, gangsta rap), transgressive artists, drug cultures, deviant sex cultures, black market enterprisers, what sociologists call “retreatists” (hermits, dropouts, vagrants), and many others. All enemies of the state must be defended.

Insane Socialist AOC Blames “Late Stage Capitalism” for Coronavirus Unemployment 1

This is actually some pretty good economic commentary. I disagree with bits of this but it’s more than just the standard right-wing rant against “socialism” (although there are elements of that as well). This fellow seems to have a better understanding of the relationship between State and Capital than most right-libertarians.

I Hate Leftist Economics Reply

Like many people, Styx is confused about what “leftist” economics actually is. As Murray Rothbard demonstrated, state-socialism was a reactionary effort that had its intellectual roots in Counter-Enlightenment thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau and G.W.F. Hegel. What Americans think of as “socialism” is really progressivism, i.e. the deification of the public administration state that was developed in Prussia in the 19th century, and imported into the US by intellectuals educated in German universities in opposition to America’s classical liberal tradition. English Fabianism is a comparable tradition, one based on the furtherance of supposed social reform through the enlightened management of the educated classes. As Noam Chomsky and Larry Gambone have argued, the central thrust of historic socialism was always something more like anarchism. It was in the 20th century that socialism came to be identified with statism due to its cooptation by progressives and Fabians (“social democrats”) in the Western countries, and its subversion by Bolshevism in the Eastern countries.

And not to sound like Dinesh D’souza here, but it could be argued that between the 1860s and 1960s, the Republicans were the more left-wing party in the US. Certainly, that was true in the Civil War era when the Republicans were the party of the liberal-capitalist industrial bourgeoisie with the Democrats being the party of the agrarian gentry and semi-feudal slavery.  Beginning in the Progressive Era, the Democrats were a coalition of Southern agrarian racialists and Northern progressives who admired the Prussian model, with the Republicans being a liberal bourgeois party that was often to the left of the Democrats on black civil rights issues, and that’s more or less how it was until the 1960s when the Democrats did an about-face on civil rights, and the Nixon Republicans brought the segregationists into their camp.

Will Anarchism Always Fail? 12

Styx/Tarl is an excellent commentator on many levels but he gets a lot of stuff wrong in this. Although many anarchists portray anarchism in the worst possible light, so it’s not surprising there are so many misconceptions about the philosophy.

As everyone probably knows, I’m anarchist, although I have my own approach and generally distance myself from the “mainstream” anarchist movement. For instance, I reject much of the standard left/right paradigm and I certainly reject the blue tribe/red tribe dichotomy that defines much of US politics.

I reject both the conservative/right-libertarian plutocratic approach as well as the leftist/socialist/progressive statist approach. I’m more about individual liberty, voluntary association, decentralization, bottom-up organization, confederalism, voluntary federalism, localism, cooperativism, autonomism, mutual aid, direct action, self-organization, self-management, direct democracy (contextually), etc.

In a historical context, I am obviously far left, although tactically I would consider myself a radical centrist (or revolutionary centrist) as opposed to establishment centrism (the neoliberal/neocon duopoly). I would distance myself from much of what passes as “left” nowadays. I embrace the full range of anarchist, libertarian, decentralist, anti-state, or anti-authoritarian thinking, with the emphasis being on decentralized, voluntary, pluralism. I see different political and cultural groups as the modern equivalent of religious sects and ethno-cultural tribes (which is what people used to fight over in the past). My main emphasis would be on self-determination for all to the greatest degree possible.

I see my political outlook as basically the same one I would have taken if I were a Native American or African tribesman during the period of colonialism, where you had hundreds or thousands of tribes fighting each other with all of these eventually being overrun by the colonial empires. “Hey, we gotta forget about this petty shit and look at who is coming over the mountain and from the ocean!”

I think the main thing that would set me apart from the mainstream anarchist movement is that I reject the progressive/reactionary dichotomy as being the essence of political conflict. The kinds of social conflicts that leftists emphasize are real (class, race, gender, “culture war,” global North/South, etc) are real but they’re not all that there is. Also, what “constitutes” progress is often debatable. Eugenics and Prohibition were considered progressive in their time. I’m more about power vs anti-power. The problem with most leftist thinking is that it is simply about replacing one ruling class with another. I generally agree with Burke’s critique of the French Revolution, Bakunin’s critique of Marxism, and the left-communist/anarchist critique of Leninism on all that. I think that kind of approach has failed too many times in the past. I’m also opposed to reductionism (for example, the idea that everything can be explained by race or class). I hold to an analysis of power relations that is more like that of Max Weber or the elite theorists.