Archive for the 'libertarianism' Category

Yet another wignut pundit claims Bush is a “socialist”

Yet another right-wing pundit last week claimed that Bush’ fascistic move to preserve the power and wealth of capitalists was actually “socialist.”

I can see that some people are having a difficult time understanding this, so let’s spell this out as clearly as I can:

Since we socialists can’t seem to agree on even the colour of shit, there are about as many different interpretations of socialism as there are socialists.  But the one thing that we have in common (along with some anarchists such as Noam Chomsky) is that we believe that the state can (and should) be used for a time to curtail the power of capitalists, to remove them from their position of ridiculous power and to redress the gross imbalance in wealth that they have accumulated for themselves while 18 million people (3 times 9/11) die globally every year due to poverty.

Fascists on the other hand believe in using the power of the state to preserve and enhance the power of capitalists (see, for instance, the collusion between Nazi Germany and the infamous Krupp family or Mussolini’s Corporatist régime) at the expense of workers.

I know, I know, it’s hard.  They both deal with the state AND capitalists!  It’s so confusing.  But here’s an easy mnemonic device to help remember the difference between the two for next time.

Saying that Bush’s fascist move this week is actually the same thing as “socialism” just because it involves the state and capitalists is a bit like saying that cancer-causing cigarettes are the same thing as chemotherapy because they both involve cancer and its spread.

~

See Also:

More proof that liberal economics is a radical right-wing ideology

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words”

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”   -Orwell, 1984


I know I’ve been bringing up Orwell a lot more frequently as of late (see here, here, here and here), but when I came across this comment on reddit.com yesterday, my mind just screamed to me: “NEWSPEAK!  NEWSPEAK!  NEWSPEAK!”

The comment is:

“Progressives like to blame the greed of corporations. Libertarians like to blame the coercion of government. Progressives want democratic action to solve corporations, and end up giving a ton of power to the government.  Libertarians want the market to solve problems, and give a ton of power to corporations.

We need to get together and realize that elite power sucks regardless of where it originates. Progressives need to stop looking at the government as a benevolent solver of problems. Substitute libertarians for progressives and the market for the government.

What we need is a third way. I don’t even mean a third party, but a political consensus that acknowledges we need to be ever vigilant against elite power.  I think this consensus can be forged and maintained on the internet. I hope that the campaign of Ron Paul is only the start.” (source)

It isn’t that this particular writer is attempting to manipulate somebody.  Indeed, on the contrary,  think it is obvious that this writer is genuinely interested in progressing beyond the existing state of politics.  The reason why this comment is indicative of Newspeak, though, is that this person is writing as if he has just discovered for himself a ‘new’ idea for a political viewpoint when in fact, the idea for what he is talking about has existed for hundreds of years since at least the time of the so-called ‘Diggers’ in mid-17th Century England. The only problem is that, because of ‘Newspeak’ (for lack of a better word), the very essence and meaning of the word he seeks has been removed from political discourse and to the extent that it can be found in political discourse it is, just as Orwell predicted, taken to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means.

Orwell writes:

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

So let’s see here: this writer is looking for some new ‘third way’ forward away from Conservatism and authoritarianism other than libertarianism and what the U.S. laughably considers to be ‘progressivism’.

Here is a graphical view of a standard 2-axis political orientation chart with the left-right economic spectrum horizontally and a vertical axis demarcating statism and state control versus anti-statism.  This is nothing new or revolutionary, but it is in a way, precisely its simplicity and commonality that illustrates the point I am trying to make better than anything else.

As you can see, there is a huge gaping hole in one quadrant.

For ease of reference and clarity, I’ve superimposed the position of various people onto this grid according to politicalcompass.org and other sources.

new-left-right-spectrum-people-2.png

While it is clear that every other ideology in the political compass grid is easily labeled (i.e., I could have easily gone into more detail and labeled the bottom right corner ‘Anarcho-Capitalism” and the top edge from roughly the centre to the far right as “fascism” and so on and so forth), it is true that, unlike all other quadrants on this grid, there is no one agreed upon word describing the bottom left quadrant (where Chomsky and I reside).

Chomsky himself alternates between calling it broadly “libertarian socialist” and “anarcho-syndicalist” (yes, I’m aware those are technically two different things, but I’m just talking insofar as a broad name for the quadrant goes).  I call it “True Marxism” or “True Progressivism”.  But there are also any number of other names for it:

-Anti-statist Communism (a redundant phrase as far as I’m concerned)
-Anarchist-Communism
-Trotskyism
-Post-Marxism (a term popularized by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe)

So, in essence, Orwell’s fear of the ‘destruction of words’ has been realized.  Not only does the general populace not have a universally agreed-upon word to describe our ideas, but we ourselves can’t agree on a word for ourselves.  We are, quite literally, they who are without name.  We can no longer use the word Marxism — although it would quite technically be an accurate label for the quadrant broadly understood — because, just as Orwell predicted, it’s meaning in modern parlance has been inverted into its exact opposite.

In a world without a nomial label attached to these ideas, the consequences of which are illustrated beautifully by the comment above, it has become nearly impossible for people to even think revolutionary thoughts because the person has to derive them from scratch themselves without the advantage of their long and rich history.  And, even if they do derive these ideas from scratch, the problem remains about how to express these ideas to others without further cluttering up the nomenclature for such ideas.  Thus, I would argue that it has come to the point where our very existence, our very presence as individuals holding these ideas, has itself become a revolutionary act.

While I am crushed by capitalism,
I continue to breathe.  And so long as
I breathe, I continue to hope.  And it
is this hope that animates my struggle.

See Also:

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

Our entire existence summed up in one cartoon

All that glitters is not golden

When does it start?

U.S. Presidential Candidates compared to Canadian political parties

Conspiracy theories, a North American Union, and other B.S.

My mother enjoys torturing me by e-mailing me the incoherent rants of right-wing malcontents from time to time.  I suppose it’s part of a game she plays with me which I claim to hate but actually in reality secretly don’t mind.  But I guess, on the other hand it could also be because maybe she believes that angering up the blood and having your face turn red with frustration periodically is somehow therapeutic.

Either way, she stumbled across this gem of a video and decided that I should have to share in her pain and so she passed it along to me today. (And I’m in an apparently sadistic mood today and thus feel that you, my reader, should also suffer along with me as well… it’s a vicious cycle, it really is.)


(The original link to the video was here on this 9/11 truth blog)

Now, at first, I was beguiled by the “Impeach Bush” banner at the top of the blog she linked to and thought that this would actually be a reputable video on media distortion.  Perhaps, I thought, it might be a joint interview with Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman discussing new data on their Propaganda Model?  Perhaps an interview with Robert McChesney, author of Rich Media: Poor Democracy?  Perhaps an interview with Chomsky, Herman AND McChesney, I foolishly thought as I got comfortable and settled into my chair to enjoy the show.

“Oh, goodie,” I found myself thinking “59 minutes and 49 seconds.  This is going to be a full length feature.”

… And then the conspiracies came a-comin’.

For instance, did you know that everything which is reported in the media is controlled by the Freemasons and other secret, shadowy organizations who are all either associated with communism or who are at least sympathetic to it?  

I know, I was surprised too. 

Peter Jennings was a communist sympathizer.  Dan Rather was a communist sympathizer.  In fact the video even goes so far as to claim that William Buckley Jr. was a communist sympathizer.  Seriously?  William Buckley Jr.! The same conservative pompous right-winger who was fond of arguing that the U.S. engages in benign imperialism?

Or, did you know that everybody in a position of authority in the U.S. Government is actually working secretively to abolish the U.S. Government itself and to destroy U.S. Sovereignty so that it can — depending on who you talk to — establish either a North American Union or a New World Order where the U.S. will be emasculated?

Continue reading ‘Conspiracy theories, a North American Union, and other B.S.’

The kiss of death for Ron Paul’s Presidential run

Those of you who know me are aware that I’m no fan of Ron Paul’s parochial brand of right-wing libertarianism.  However, to be fair, there was a time when what he had to say on foreign policy issues really spoke to much of the issues which matter to me.

Now, obviously, as a socialist, it’s never been exceptionally important to me that a candidate be the most popular candidate in a given race.

So, given that, I didn’t really consider it a strike against the candidate that his supporters had deluded themselves into thinking that their own spam was evidence of a widespread, grassroots movement despite the fact that polls show Ron Paul within the margin of error of having zero support at all

But afterwards, I started to suspect that Ron Paul didn’t have what it took to win the nomination when his supporters tried (unsuccessfully) to spam my blog.  One day I opened up my spam box and *BAM* right there in between a post informing me about a revolutionary new discovery to make my erections harder than Chinese algebra and another offering free, young, and barely legal porn, there was Ron Paul spam.

Since then I’ve never really been able to divorce him in my mind from the two items of spam which served as bookends for his supporter’s little morsel of spam.

But despite this, it wasn’t until today when I opened up digg.com that I truly realized that Ron Paul has just received the political kiss of death.

Robert, “Duchebag”, Novak himself has just come out and endorsed Ron Paul.

Behold, Jon Stewart at his best:

(opens in new window)


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