The Religion of Civility

(For Subversion News)

Two weeks after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the geniuses of sacred non-action are still at it.

Between “an-tee-fuh”, the “alt-left” and “violence on both sides“, we’re back to J20 and Pikeville as everyone crawls out of the woodwork to talk about the “violence on the left” and circulate their ready-made expertise on anti-fascism, all while dodging what lit a fire under them, or fighting the actual philosophical meat of it and broader anarchism with condescending outrage.

I’ve been focused on this since I got back, since this was my first major action since being physically involved in such things. Not only that, but the discussion has been going on for longer than expected. Charlottesville was the tamest anti-fascist demonstration I’ve ever seen. We came into a small town and ruined a white nationalist rally before it can even start, without many arrests and without much trouble from the cops, and yet this might be the one event of this decade’s anti-fascist activity that garners the most commentary from the right and center.

Those in the combination of their sheltered media chambers and traditional social litanies, instead of being on the ground in front of struggles, always get the loudest mic to speak into. Not like this is surprising: They get to be pampered by the social byproducts of others’ subordination, and simultaneously defend their legitimacy in all corners of life. Nonetheless, it peeves me when we continue encountering the same angry questions under a different name, and someone is expecting a new answer.

I think, along with someone being killed, the legalistics of permits and free speech coming into this really set the popular stage, allowing the white panic of preserving the current structures to coming into conflict with the larger goals of anti-fascism. Beyond that playing out as usual, I certainly think we’re on track toward a civil conflict for better or worse. Thats precisely why anti-fascists are going all out, we intend to win.

And with the “why” absolutely cleared just now, the heavier baggage of attacking assembly and working outside the perimeters of the law remains. Particularly, the use of violence.

We are always denying ourselves the reality of violence when talking about disrupting social systems. For Industrial Society 101, violence has been monopolized for generations through the state. This is the crux of the issue when looking at how smashing a corporation’s window stacks up to letting thousands of people go uninsured each year, and so on. People have an instinctive way of judging those scenarios with a set of obfuscated, reproduced norms that totally demonize one act while not paying a second glance to another.

Getting to where people see that and understand why its like this involves rediscovering history through a different lens, one that demonstrates how people then and now are affected and repressed. Even trickier is explaining why civility in these conditions is instantly surrender, and how developing our own strategies and coming together on our own terms is the best way to win a better world.

Civility, in how society is presently arranged, is the effect of the privileged accumulating the complacency of the ruled. Alternative social patterns are simply unthinkable or collectively hammered into our skulls as impractical and dangerous, so generations typically reproduce an atmosphere of things being stable the way they are, or disseminating spirituality as a coping mechanism for life being unbearable. Coupled with familial castes and popular media, we have the central nervous system of capitalist state society: a populous that is comfortable and obedient in the limits they were told are the infinite expanses of life.

Resistance happens when the requirements for capital and privilege (subordination, stratification) build up into distinct social groups. With what freedom of thought the ruled have to themselves, there is capacity to design alternatives and nourish its growth while in bondage. Cultures that solidify around exploitation always secure their dreams with a rich and resonating community. Slavery in North America and a class of African descendants carried on a particular consciousness that lives in the changing face of racism and white supremacy. From Nat Turner in 1830s Virginia plantations, to the Black Panthers in 1960s Harlem, to Black Lives Matter in contemporary liberal America, the consciousness that intersects with other struggles (workers’ and queer struggle, etc.) finds the very channels that mediate or propagate oppression and grow beneath them.

Over time, however, incremental reformism has proven to be the most hypnotizing buffer between the dissolving of bondage and the securing of privilege. After trade unionism was legalized, participation in social movements became increasingly perfunctory and symbolic, crystallizing the aversion to direct action in favor of seeking legitimacy from higher authorities. People’s self-confidence in their own actions were, and have increasingly become, disarmed and filtered into a singular, designated political sphere that was reinforced by the doctrines of civility.

Those who cling to this model do so for varying reasons. Commonly in the United States, its liberals whose political identity was forged solely out of this model and know nothing beyond it, or its conservative-right people who find this model to always be a stepping stone toward a real instance of their ideals. The sanctity of what they’re familiar with, the desperation in avoiding what requires fundamental restructuring and demonizing the interests of the exploited always play a synchronized part in propping up a confused warning of danger to further influence civility.

What makes for an obvious double-standard but a opportune entryway is how people who declare that life is savage and that things like markets and speculation are rooted in a human instinct toward savagery can’t at least reconcile this with anti-fascists acting in such a way. The doctrine of “tough shit” is always hammered into those with social grievances, but suddenly the lecturers are shaking in their boots when the act of brutality expands inward on the whole framework.

Undoing this ritual requires understanding violence and the relationships around it: whats is considered violent, how it is regulated, how it is ultimately relative and where to go with that understanding.

Violence is a character of life, a means of dispensing power. But more deeply, violence as a social phenomena isn’t a defined, tangible thing as we might envision it. The underpinnings of force are typically applied to an inherently political situation and manipulated depending on the actor. This covers everything from breaking the windows of a bank that evicts people from their houses, the police arresting protesters, to any form of speech that resonates in society.

Expression has long been painted in the light of reducing the consequences of what people say. On one hand, people today seem to allow racists as well as far-left radicals to say what they please in equal measure. But on the other, they reserve their rights to “disagree” with whomever. These reactions are the modifications to consequences in the light of mediation. They acknowledge an idea of consequences of speech, but only in the form of their own reaction and its relationship to discourse. The possibility of any consequences outside of this are left up to pacifying or quelling forces, like the police. So long as an authority rests on top of these transactions, and as long as they are imbued with trust in stopping anything that deviates from civility, there can only be popular displacement from the genuine consequences outside of upper middle class communities. So while a racist spreading lies about marginalized communities means little to a well-off liberal, it means a hell of a lot to those who will see and live through the consequences of that speech right in front of them.

This is probably the summary for why free speech isn’t so much “opposed” by anti-fascists and anarchists as much as its just a terrible reduction of what language is. Language is a tool as powerful as cutting individuals off from your life or starting rumors. Such things have intention and weight, they accomplish things whether explicit or not. If we can imagine what such things mean for tight-knit social groups of single-digit amounts of people, think of its impact on anything from towns, to cities, to whole continent populations. But again, as long as quelling authorities rest on top of these intimately human transactions, they will always be reduced down to the ins and outs of politics while the genuine consequences play out unaccounted for. Disconnected from any social importance.

So in this framing, the features and levels of violence are anything but unanimously agreed on. Political actions are commonly measured by the weight they carry and how forceful or affective they are, but the affiliation the action is bound to is always the deciding factor for whether its violent.

But the relativity of violence doesn’t imply a disregard for what it accomplishes. For anti-fascists, it isn’t unitary violence that is examined as much as whats behind the violence, who is doing it and to what ends. Violence is expected from the opposition as much as it is from the bindings of today’s society, and so which violence we oppose is made clear because it enforces what we want destroyed. Regardless of seeing the word violence and knowing that people will imagine vastly different examples, it describes an emotional reality underneath the vagueness, and it can be used to align our intentions properly.

Denouncing violence is like denouncing the force required in tackling anything that works against you, but we cannot take this to just mean “in self-defense.” Reducing all of self-defense down to immediate physical protection neglects what violence and preserving oneself entails, especially in a setting where the lifeblood of society is constant threat. The end goal is to eliminate structures of violence: coercion, domination and the like, which comprise forces decidedly not relative, and perform concrete functions such as capitalism, state repression and social bigotry that build a reality of suffering.

The instinctual disregard for criticism from the right and center comes from their dependence on what social emancipation requires destroying. By relying on “its not that bad”, “haven’t you learned anything from Stalin?” or “you hate free speech”, we meet at the same starting point over and over. All that time wasted trying to explain our case just for it to be thrown out could be spent organizing and arming around worthwhile goals.

Obedience to currently acceptable ideals has driven the left away from debate, because the requirement to be taken seriously is to lie down and submit or risk being named “alt”. And every time a glimpse of our case is made, the reaction is simply angry defense of political essentialism or flipping the narrative.

So speaking calmly and acting how we’re told has been proven fruitless, a spectacle for the media facade and self-service repression. We’re over playing pretend. As spontaneous action finds its way in the streets and communities, as the structures of privilege and coercion are discredited, we’re reaching a trying time of discovering our strength and wielding it together, or once again rebranding the game of domination.

Non-violence can only persuade authority to take a new shape or expand appeasement, but it can never mend the relations of exploitation and violence that anarchists will always oppose. Autonomy and dignity in our lives will always be sacrificed so long as we act obediently in the shadow of power.

We might have landed on a particularly stubborn generational spot for the next social transition to happen, as most people still don’t see how we went from Kings and Surfs to Bosses and Employees. Its always difficult to attack the conscience of the population without seemingly devaluing the whole of their character. In doing the latter, we become just as bad as our enemies in allowing material mechanisms to segment us from the whole of humanity. It takes reminding oneself of the values they inherited and the vessel that expresses them, seeking only to revise one of them for everyone’s wellness.

We don’t desire or get anything out of talking down to everyday people, but the frustration and outrage that is perpetuated through popular channels creates the only audible tone. As much as we would prefer diverse and colorful images of anarchy and vanquished white supremacy as a gift to all, a rich connection between the individual, the world, and what fills the space between them, those would be dismissed as utopian in a heartbeat.

The monotone black [and red] of militant negation appears to set the stage well enough for what we have to deal with presently. We appear to be assholes because we’re backed into such a corner where we only have so much to work with. And with what is available to us, we consistently build up our conclusion.

Nazis are for shutting down and putting down, not assimilating and regulating as you would anyone else. Free speech is a political right afforded to you by the same class of elites who arrange the wages of starvation, mandate ritualistic appeals to higher-ups and draw out who suffers and who dispenses. When people aren’t separated from consequences, it isn’t a social axiom that anybody abides by even in their most intimate setting.

We’ll soon be forced out of our screen-lit rooms and into the world we’ve abandoned, reeling at what we left to fester. Popular conscience will experience a thermal shock of reality when people understand that mediating fascism, whether by trademarked Rational Centrism over twitter or the holiness of legislation, is a joke when the bodies start piling up.

So, whats the solution? Social revolution.

The Religion of Civility

National Socialist Movement to join “Unite the Right” in Virginia

(For Subversion NewsIts Going Down)

After the American Renaissance conference in Tennessee, its seems clear what to expect from the Unite the Right event in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is due in one week.

We anticipated the conference to be a sort of ideological warm-up for the alt-right’s journey through the Upper South and Appalachia, met with moderate opposition outside the Montgomery Bell Park Inn. Despite the predictable impressions of the attendees and the laughable enticement of minor physical violence from the far-right side, it remains a far cry from a simple disconnected meeting of nazis.

While international figures convened in Tennessee, the gathering in Charlottesville has its sights set for a very real goal in the communities of those in the US: To preserve the commemoration of genocide, slavery and the prevailing sentiments of white domination over the marginalized, wrapped in the myth of “preserving history”. Even then, there seems to be a deeper goal considering the nature of the right coming together in such a time.

Along with figureheads Milo Yiannopoulos, Richard Spencer, Neo-Confederates League of the South, Strasserists Traditionalist Worker Party and assorted kekistanis wielding stale memes and embarrassment, the National Socialist Movement, led by Jeff Schoep, has announced their partnership with the attendance.

The NSM joining more or less summarizes the drive of the entire event. Yes, whether in swastika’ed bomber jackets or suits and ties, they’re advocating white supremacy. But while Spencer and those like him will definitely make attempts at keeping a civic profile, the attraction of the out-and-loud white supremacists is not as innocent or unintentional as it appears.

Uniting the right is pointless without a good reason. There isn’t much purpose if the right historically has always been divided into their own subcultures ranging from neocons enforcing poverty, to disenchanted rural militiamen defending the constitution; or something. The right in all their incoherence always finds ways to isolate their own strands while fighting for the same side of the spectrum. E.g., an attack on a neo-nazi is an attack on the first amendment, and therefore the constitution and the values of America. Undermining whiteness is a perpetuation of a literal white genocide, and equally an attack on white christian property owners that conservatives bend over backwards for. The outline of similar interests becomes more shared when framed just right.

It takes a big issue, or a bright shining abstraction, to bring together such interests.

The major media scare of anti-fascist resistance and ground-up community action has no doubt played a role in drumming up emotions from all corners of the right and center. The typical suburban household to the local red-lace chapter has adopted and customized the outrage as a political wedge. The pox of white defensiveness has become the current paradigm — a delicate bridge separating the ways this tension will conclude. Opportunism hasn’t been this stirred up since the 1960s.

It seems to come down to lines becoming more and more visible, sides becoming more one or the otherWith us, or against us in the desperation of the political base abandoning party lines. The far-left has always held the line, encouraged crossing it, in the face of growing polarization and instability. But like routine, its often the right that quickly steps up to the plate ready to see how this particular game will go. Our culture wars coming out of our isolated social media chambers and into the streets signifies a very uncertain round of society reconfiguring itself, liberals playing insufferable mediator.

Its time to get fucking real. For those who haven’t already, its time to shake off party-based activism and legislation and look to our own potential: in our own towns and backyards. Its time to subvert the state buffer between the marginalized and the smirking scourge of white supremacy and defeat it where it stalks closest to home.

The fascists must not have the streets. We call on all anarchist, anti-fascist and anti-authoritarian groups in Appalachia and East South Central North America to converge at Lee Park on August 12th at 3:00 PM EST, and carry on the active resistance against white supremacy. We intend to win.

National Socialist Movement to join “Unite the Right” in Virginia

Who are the real “Cucks”?

Perhaps a slightly dated subject considering its assimilation into expectation, but certainly overdue in the wake of recent events, the components that make up the discourse around the Trump presidency, its offspring movements and the resistance to them are new instances of how overall society views existing power and notions of counterpower.

In sum, we are talking about the competition between contentions, and the nature of why people hold them. All past decades have experienced this same thing, even past centuries. The only questions are whether the closest thing to a side’s demand is reached, or if the spectacle itself will shift society onto a different course. Right now is the specific debate around who is more justified to oppose a contention that opposes something relating to the first opposition in question; e.g., anti-fascism.

In conjunction is the present nature of the means to carry on this conversation, specifically, of course, the way its carried on through the Internet. At this point, we’re all familiar with the Internet’s historical and often times much needed cynicism towards big ideas and pandering. This attitude has often been responsible for more good than harm as seen in pre-2010 mobilization against private malice (the occupy movement) and secretive institutions ruining people’s lives (Scientology).

This cynicism was used with a goal, normally with an idea of correcting a specific institutional wrong, in mind. It wasn’t a set of full-fledged social justice causes, but simple action against blatant assholes getting away with whatever they were doing. A yearning among teens and young adults to make a difference and organize over the Internet became a force no longer scoffed at as it was before web 2.0 was effectively in place. People were taking on activities that people across the moderate political spectrum could unite on, and in a sense this moderate normalization set the stage for what was to come when we reached the mid to late 2010s.

A considerable portion of online communities, mainly those who grossed over 10,000 active participants, have at that time been farther right than center-right at worst, farther left than center-left at best. Niche corners of full right and left-wing could be unearthed with a little effort in finding them, but they wouldn’t be discovered right away. Eventually one side (invested in broader social justice) showed their colors in proposals to explicitly tackle bigotry, universally crude behavior and economic inequality for the betterment of all. This was met with reaction by those committed to the moderate section of online politics as they jumped to the other side in an effort to balance the scales, seeing it as a departure from centrism and moreover an attack on those a little more to the right.

Without completely rehashing the story everyone’s already seen play out, this festered and grew into the present centrist outcry against a principled and detailed political fort, and because it was the left that spoke up first, to balance those imaginary scales, they allied with the enemy of the newly found enemy. In the name of that moderate section — in the neo-classical liberal fashion, they sided with the right against the evil left, who apparently sought to take away straight, white men’s free speech and oust them from society.

This raged on for a short while. Gamergate, safe spaces, video essay battles, “alt” online communities, Terabytes worth of twitter arguments and people monetizing the whole show were logs on the fire. It was the left versus the right, with centrist Rationals™️ backing the right and so the two blurred together. As they saw it, the right was the victim: If the left had simply stayed complacent with everyone being committed to non-involvement in substantive issues beyond what they were used to, everyone would be happy. If they had sat quietly as prejudice and wage slavery was as casual an occurrence online as in everyday life, everything would be just fine. Dissent was okay; as long as it was an approved sort of dissent.

And in time, Trump happened. It was probably the succession of what the online conflict had been building up to, no doubt influencing the outcome, but more so it was confirmation of a fearful reactionary response to impotent liberal ventures. The delirium among tragically deluded working class white men angry at basically nothing propelled itself, or provided a reason to keep going. For a response to further drive the cycle. If only we had known what it was at the time; we may have been relieved of that fad before it came to this.

Enter the “cuck”, derived from cuckold, wherein one remains committed to a promiscuous lover. Although in Internet socio-political banter, it’s used to illustrate one who sacrifices all self-respect in the name of a political ideal and its related tendencies. It had been formed prior to Trump in the reactions to isolated cases of left activity, eventually becoming a mainstay in the “alt-right” cadre that took form in the midst of the 2016 election.

The phrase is used as a sort of intellectual weapon with the intent to weaken the drive behind an argument. In its use against the left, it asserts that the person speaking is simply whoring himself out to a cause which would satisfy him emotionally through a commitment to an idea of justice and equality, even if it means his own destruction. Stripping this down more simply, it refers to any individual with a sophisticated involvement in a set of ideas and practices.

What ignites the cuck argument is the proportion between the wellness of the individual and the wellness of the cause: to the rightist, the leftist is destroying himself to raise up the minority, the migrant, etc., and while he is being destroyed (by what they think is white genocide, degeneracy and so on), he will still be emotionally satisfied because that idea of justice was realized.

It becomes apparent that the end is self-sacrifice for an idea, or that the idea demands it. This state of affairs, it seems, cannot be set out solely on reason, but requires an emotional push to make it possible. To enable the passion and sense of meaning in the individual and make the goal viable. But when approached from this angle, we already know that the right isn’t except from this. We understand that all political contentions have varied measures of reason and emotion to build their character.

Due to the history of the right, their emotional push is self-approved as opposed to ethically approved. There was only its own set of institutions to approve anything. Being the political alignment associated with historically imposing power and economic arrangements, their reactions are mechanisms for defending what is and has been the dominant features of society, and not for any seriously needed relief from oppression. The opposition has merely shown themselves, which alone offended the dominant character of society who immediately declared war on an army without soldiers, initiating the aforementioned chain of events.

The right’s commonest insult to the left is that they pursue ideas with only “feelings” driving them. No acknowledgement of oppression based on race, gender and sexuality being integral to class struggle (our boldest concern). No mention of any elementary concepts in social theory (and even when there is mention, its reduced to it being incomprehensible or just not true). No mention of inclusion in building organizations to be what makes them sizable and effective. No distinction between liberal and leftist (which is always amusing). Simply feelings, as abstract as that is.

The ideas that the right uphold have already been applied and studied — maybe more than they should have. All their principles have been taken into account, what they advocate has not only been heard but has played out in the world for well over several centuries. There is no more room for us to debate “fairly”, their argument has already won before two sides could even meet.

Because the ideas that begot the present structures have been around long enough to study a hundred times over, we have deduced that they are not only inefficient, malicious and coercive, but obsolete. The dogma behind them has been proven to be composed of emotion, myth, speculation. The very properties they assert the left of having, all which serves emotion than practical human needs and capacity.

The arbitrary ownership over private property around which hierarchy is created. The downfall of economic competition that drives the ecosystem into disrepair and workers into perpetual servitude. The existence of police forces imbued with protecting the people while simultaneously protecting the property relations which enslave them. All this follows down to nothing. There is no end to one component that hands off to another.

How this cluster is sustained relies solely on who perpetuates it. There really is no viable justification for capitalism or state-society any longer, and whatever is done to support it is done through people continually insisting that anything else is not an option, in the name of the ingrained fantasy.

There is only a large bundle of logical facades for the comfort of the people who are born into them, and die by them. It’s what leftism serves to correct; to make a coherent body of political practice that exists only to nourish free will and well-being as one. The one tragedy is the stigma fastened to such an idea by the ruling class.

By being chained to baseless feelings, and furthermore defending baseless notions of property rights and always letting anyone say anything they want (without actually doing so), they are acting out the very thing they warn against. In this ideological relationship, there is nothing to gain but their own emotional satisfaction. Their success in making these ideas rule can only build the prison for them. For the pro-capitalist worker, to do one of two things: to build a life as an exploited pawn, or to create the property-hoarding ruling class to steal into; the so-called American dream. For the white supremacist, to forfeit limitless community and mutual cooperation for abstract ideas of racial purity, nationhood and a totalitarian apparatus to impose theses fanciful passions.

Lets not confuse ourselves here. It isn’t any passion that deludes an individual, but it rests on the passion to highlight the depth and structure to give it purpose. When an idea encompasses an individual, that will determine what actions the person takes and what they accomplish. If there is no depth, and no end to tie into another idea (to operate on a step-by-step function), the idea is simply conjecture without conclusion.

With the rightists, because it’s what they’re used to, there is no conclusion. There was never anything to strive for other than to keep the tradition and the fantasies valid in the public eye. It paid lip service to reason with such big ideas as fostering innovation, keeping the family together and obeying a deity, but it couldn’t promise any of this and indeed failed the majority when the economy tanked, drowned everyone in poverty and there was no god to save them. The only semblance of a goal then is to guard the status quo with the empires they inherited, and continue reciting the litanies of capital.

It’s through this delusion, this incoherent fantasy that oppression has been exercised. In the name of institutions that manufacture success for the boss and plastic, paper hope for working people, precious moments of our lives have been dissolved for a magnificent charade of opportunity and what they call “freedom”. Lives and dignities are tarnished for the traditional feelings of the champions of such institutions, and the ingraining of subservience and desperation into daily life has brought all these tragedies home into one reality.

Because of all this, looking at who is responsible for it and who protects it, an enemy of liberty has been defined. We are breaking down and dying because of the empty passions of a collective class of forces, and to resist them is to pursue survival.

By identifying as a rightist, [white] nationalist, capitalist or liberal sympathetic to the guardians of the status quo, one is giving consent to regular beatings from the workers: those who built the very platform from which their enemies shout off the dialog of exploitation. It’s by logical succession, in defending the cohorts of political fantasy, that they are declaring to the world that the meek and the innocents deserve to whither and die for the sake of fantasies. In this, they will get what they give.

By adhering to the narratives which casually perpetuate social hierarchy, they are agreeing to killing themselves, their class, and their own potential for the sake of the father-figure bosses whom they will never be, and the cops who keep a gun to their heads at all times, “just in case”.

Both sides can’t pursue survival when only one is in chains. When one moves, the other counters it. Conflict becomes inevitable as one force fights against the other.

The feeling is mutual, and the radical left knows this. We understand that by adhering to an idea of disjointing social coercion and moving toward united, self-managed communities as the only reality, we are painting the target on our chests. We’re on watchlists of some sort right now because we vocally advocate coordinated insurrection against state-society, the capitalist market economy and the diverse enslavement that fuels it all. We are in favor of destroying everything that intelligence agencies exist to defend, as well as subverting their grasp in the here and now. This doesn’t deter me from following this, and I don’t expect it to be different for fascists in their own goals.

With this made clear, I am not here to submit to the Rationals® by humoring their idea of balanced discussion in the name of coming to a middle point of nothingness. I am not here to respect assholes’ feelings at the expense of institutionally oppressed people. I am here to dismantle your warped idea of private property and civility, and physically transform the relations between person and society. I am here to fuck up everything you love which has caused me pain and wasted precious moments of my life and the lives of my comrades.

So I ask sincerely who we should consider the ones destroying themselves for an idea driven by emotions. Do we mock and scold the movements fighting for their lives after centuries under the boot of violent fantasy? Or do we beckon the right to explain why I and billions more must agree to feeble conventions for their passion from nowhere?

Who is really committing self-sacrifice when it’s the left who have had limits for destruction imposedon them, while all stops have been pulled out for the imposer?

Who are the real “Cucks”?

What The Election Taught Me

The 2016 presidential race was the first I could fully bear witness to with all faculties and a proper reserve of cynicism intact, having been far too young to know of or care about any details of politics during Obama’s initial run (knowing only from relatives that he would be the worst thing to the country since Osama Bin Laden), let alone Bush’s quest for a second term and his initial race after Bill Clinton’s time in office. But now its over, and frankly its too painful to go into at length and too cruel to make you read another one of these. I want only to compact everything I’ve observed during this election cycle into a few key highlights, and be done with this as best as every sensory origin around me will allow for the next year or so.

Going into it

  • Election season comes on slowly, looming over everyone’s head as the final year of a presidential term arrives, but its official kick-off drops on everyone like a stone in shallow water when we learn about people starting campaigns and listing their crucial issues for the next president. A lot like waking up from a slumber you forgot you settled in for. We have to elect a new president? Oh, right.
  • There are those imbued with faith in the system to some degree who think the whole event is critical to sustaining a legacy of sorts of a past president, those new voters who see an opportunity to contribute to American history with obscure hopes, and those veterans to politics who know the matter to be 20% appearance, 20% pandering, 40% money, 10% logistics of money, 9% sensational drama and 1% repetition.
  • All campaigns preface their own failure, a kind of Schroedinger’s Cat of politics. Modesty, such as that with Sanders, foreshadows this. Mainly because of the expressed weakness seen by the whole game, like in prison. Once you see that, you know it will turn into an only the good die young situation.
  • Learned campaign bystanders will imply the above axiom, letting it germinate and sink in, bursting into a magnificent weed of disappointment and misery for new voters in the election’s progress.
  • Support in a campaign done with intent of “engaging in your future” while having no direct means of any real engagement is the outstanding oxymoron of elections. Moreover, it is active disengagement in reclaiming your future than engaging in a predetermined caricature of it.
  • The hunt for a new president is the search for a new American social period. Bush’s time in office encompassed a period of questioning war, interventionism, nation-building, the historic causes of extremism and the US’s blindness to digging itself in a hole. Obama’s time revolved around accountability, civil rights progression, the simultaneous invasion of them, acts condemned elsewhere done under a different title, and finally the drive to do better all over again. All this propagated by a great shift in media, information and activism.
  • With a lot happening in four to eight years, it isn’t wrong to say that the election cycle is the actual New Year’s Day for the United States. We’re met again with what will define our time, the matter of wading through the waters and scrounging up what we will make of this next era, and how the powers at the top will be affected those.

Halfway through

  • Eugene Debs’ vision of Socialism in the United States has perished, having been reduced to the red-headed step-child of The New Deal in fighting for more comfortable chains than their abolition.
  • Good intentions and a following around them won’t amount to anything in a system built on bureaucracy and fluctuating cash. The system rewards playing by its own rules and then some, along with it being incompatible with human concepts. Humanitarian campaigns in American politics are like charity under capitalism.
  • Issues are just the vehicles for narratives. The two may appear linked in the course of politics, but in the grand scheme its only narratives and support around them than issues that count. Single-issue campaigns contrast by having a steady singular velocity, due to (1) a lack of a figure or personality for things to center around (“We need to elect Hillary to get equal pay”), and (2) the lack of a narrative around this personality (“Hillary said she will get us equal pay”). This furthermore shows that narratives can only drive politics, not issues nor pressing needs for change. There needs to be a political vehicle and occupant; a candidate is elected and a mere facade of hope in an issue is achieved. But this isn’t to say that single-issue campaigns are any better, because they lack the power to break through the barriers set up by the state, otherwise there would be no politics to begin with. The results are narratives carried by the supporters profitable only to the administration’s appearance, and impotent campaigns of singular reform taken up independently.
  • The farther the margin of impossibility and absurdity is set, the more it will be surpassed.

In the end

  • Every young adult too basic, disengaged and happily stupid (wielded as down-to-earth) to get into politics will contribute to the death of urgently needed movements of direct action in favor of the most immediate and comfortable “best of two evils”, wherefore the contingency for freedom against tyranny, agreed to be “not practical”, will be charged back to the social squalor once more.
  • Every reduction of greater concepts in the course of campaign narratives will not only bolster the ignorant support of voters, but contribute to the distance between people’s autonomy and deeper entrenching a public state directed by private interests.
  • Defeat, like the start of it all, comes on slow, but hits harder than anticipated. And when its over the whole picture becomes clear.
  • All things accounted for, pandering coupled with aggression and absorption, giant reserves of money and holding on that fowl inflection in speaking hollow promises, mixed with some side-drama for publicity is the key to it all.
  • The greater hubris, name and bank account yields the greater outcome, or at least a more worthwhile political spectacle.
  • Any ignorant orange blowhard with a capital empire and a name synonymous with everything loathed in the American people will make it in the United States. Truly the American dream.
  • There can be no doubt that politicians are as ineffective in countering competition as they are bound to be the people’s downfall universally. Lousiness wins as intelligence loses, desperation worsened. Every time.

Onward, every American generation is going to have one of these, every new child with a heart and mind to grow into only for it to work itself into a frenzy of political hope in a hopeless machinery of cogs that work against what they claim to provide for. Thats about the last sad truth every child will learn: After the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and life purpose, they figure out for themselves, wishing that it could have been wrapped in that innocent parental sugar coating so it isn’t as tragic, “Candidates are puppets to greater evil, and merge with it quickly”.

Even those hopeless maladjusted citizens stumbling behind Trump will find either in his success or failure in what resembles policy that a candidate can only meet below the minimum expectation for better or worse, whether they take him as the second coming of Bush, or a certain leader of a historic German political party, or not.

Ultimately, on the death bed, the final dying lesson learned in the realm of politics is that the state itself is the biggest sham and far from the necessity we were so convinced it was. We always catch glimpses of this, seeing our elders scoff at big brother or Uncle Sam, but always opting instead to battle for a few months every four or eight years in defense of it, and continually missing a world managed solely by the good will and unfettered power of the people alone. Persuasion so deep into the physiology compels them to answer to the call of a new almighty overseer, that the exit door stretches farther away from them every passing season, looking back at it only before the final moment of perishing.

The greatest misfortune to me was the sheer conviction, the angry strife to be aligned in something where everything is crooked and sad. The entire time I spent watching Hillary apologists lecturing people to get out and vote, rewriting sexism to mean not agreeing with her or questioning her record, alongside hollow calls for justice for working people being spewed by an orange madman billionaire wrapped in unapologetic self-absorption and prejudice, I genuinely could only feel hopelessness. A very real sadness was awakened in me that hearkens back to personal times of an emotional sinkingfeeling at the inertia of the world too powerful for me to overcome. I felt almost precisely that in regard to politics in 2016. It wasn’t the actual words that struck me like that, but the nature of the fervor in something so basically stupid and repetitive as an election, mounting at it becoming one between a war criminal opportunist and a Trump.

Coming back onto myself and others, even the despair culture of this election season provided little, but equally so did the demands for mobilizing around a third-party candidate, recurring back to narratives and issues. The third party side blended with the despair side and canceled each other out as the inevitable raged on. If anything, it cemented that Mars colonization can’t happen any sooner. But I think deeper still, it awakened just enough people, a minuscule minority nonetheless, to a lesson in approaching politics and holding out hope for some people bound to hold ultimate coercion over you, if not the sum of what it means to partake in the electoral performance and to be free.

There are no necessary evils, there is no best of two evils. There is tyranny and freedom. Any in between ultimately sides with an exception to freedom, and thus nullifies it. Any president however Utopian or benevolent can never do justice. The tyranny is not in any action, but in the very place of power. The very seat and foundation where they sit. They cannot grant freedom because it is innate and not bestowed. It springs from the bottom-up and is chained and mutilated as an oppressor needs, taking generations to regain its roots and grow anew attempting to reach us after being vanquished once again.

There are no good presidents. A president distinguishes your ultimate place at the bottom rung in the ladder of power, and submission and humoring of that structure by telling people to participate in asking for a new slavemaster emphasizes your assimilation on every human front, devoid of greater features and realms of thinking. You choose between freedom and tyranny. Tyranny is a deep and jagged chasm described by its pawns with the sweetest words refreshed to call on the newest generation, functioning in varied complex loopholes and convincing gimmicks, stumbled onto by countless agreements, fees and terms. All this coated in fine-trimmed promises that you grow to hate but still serve out of dependence, up until the very end.

Freedom is not the freedom we know. It is the lightness of the heart in the worst of calamities and the grin during tragedy. Freedom is not an allowance or a pardon, it is the holistic envelopment of self in every shade of life outside the confines of state and master. Its sustains itself solely from enjoyment of it. It holds one singular request in the face of its corruption and needing to be bestowed: Revolt in the spirit of unfettered self-determination.

For the final time, I will let Thoreau’s words, often exaggerated and bludgeoned into intellectual jamais vu, make their attempt to sway the heart for approximately the eight thousandth time. Not in the spirit of commentary or angst, but in the spirit of their actual meaning and the hope to see them made real in the world. I feel his ghost weep in this hour.

“Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.”

What The Election Taught Me

Kentucky Workers must Unite

The recent Jim Beam strike in Clermont, though a passive and contained frustration, is a reminder that the working class in the core cultural pillars of the Bluegrass state such as bourbon manufacturing still hold some semblance of engagement in their trade and consciousness against the structures of capital. It has defeated my sorrow at the late void of working class voices in the commonwealth, and as usual, presents an opportunity to reach out to the strikers to push their grievances into wider political and economic aspects. While the walkout like many is simply a frustration against contract offers, staff shortages and work hours, in these times of mere regulation and deterrence against direct collective action, no angry worker can be left without a hand of unity. It tends to be a signal to leftists to fuel the flames wherever they emerge, that the opportunity is constantly presenting itself but always trampled by the discourse around the conditions the worker relies on.

The obstacles in re-enriching proletarian power are daunting and seem to expand increasingly each passing day of this election season’s ins and outs, complementary to the habitual attack on the labor movement and the ingrained shutter from the power structures against the present serfs organizing for their own interests. And even within the more radical left we stumble onto copious internal differences of approaches and viewpoints to wade through until a solid point of solidarity can be reached, moving on to the next hundred or so obstacles of actually getting to what we believe. The entire process has possibly been one of the most boom and bust formations of action in American history, whose resolve depends on the health of the current labor organization getting to the next point, all without tampering by neoliberal establishment. Now is one of those crucial points in time we need to foster.

But strikes and unity alone can’t hold up against the forces which dictate the status of human well-being and exploit the resulting desperation. The provisional means of outcry can’t carry us into a better way, nor can they last forever in serving our best interests. Like all scenarios in history a need to unite under new order arises when the battle changes form. The working class in all regions must acknowledge itself as the non-possessing entity in a possessing and non-possessing dichotomy of material conditions upheld by the laws of the state, and hence the recipient of all ill burdens of social life. They need to know they fall under a specially designated class of exploited people for the benefit of the possessing class, rewarded, like a treat to an obedient dog, with hardly a quarter of their value for their services and no further. From this understanding of the abusive relationship of concentrated power, working people of all backgrounds must overcome their boundaries and unite as an autonomous, democratic force against capitalism, the state and the emerging hierarchical divides of persons.

For Kentucky and other Red-states, the pressure put on everyone by local governments and their celebration of Right to Work policy, designed to ensnare workers in an unrestrained labor market, more recently in Kentucky with Matt Bevin’s governorship, has created the divide on policy among the workers guaranteed to quench any and all flames regardless of the vote’s outcome. False and hollow reform distracts class energy from revolution into the bourgeois honeypot where it dies instantly. Otherwise, the ills of working people are revised by the bosses and politicians to scapegoat ethnic minorities and eliminate the very idea of class and its effects.

Disengagement due to political dissatisfaction is either the break from the crushing world around everyone or the innate nihilism in those who want to work a job and come home to their families or breaks from reality, and nothing more. Life itself for the worker is a burden of routine and not a matter of being the master of ones own existence in the company of other self-masters united to build a greater world. Life’s purpose becomes suffering for the vague hope of an offspring’s suffering to grow less and less over a hundred years, with no substance to guarantee this.

Appalachia is caught between a tense historic antagonism against the left, and being one of the most impoverished working class areas in the country because of this. Towns and neighborhoods lack maintenance, families go without medical care, go starving, unemployed and homeless. Drug use skyrockets and laws combating individual choices create broken families. Meanwhile the course of hollow reform leaves Republican and Democratic workers alike chasing their tails leading them right back where they started. Hope placed in presidential candidates proves the gross lack of people’s autonomy in a state society. The union men and women are laughed off and told to accept the imposed changes of the workspaces, let alone seen as the growing potential of a labor revolt in a southern state.

This needs to change, and the change must start with bolstering the spirits of the strikers and organizing them, but not in basic contained unions. Their ambition needs to be influenced for a long-term efficiency of liberation from compromises and desperation. A broad inclusive platform of workers needs to be situated in the region. A dedicated, armed socialist-anarchist federation built on free groups stationed in the states composing Appalachia needs to be arranged and managed horizontally. The group representing Kentucky should begin with engaging with similar workers in the essential cultural productions of the commonwealth. This would gain volume more than any other area to strike in. Kentucky’s bourbon industry, which makes up 90% of the world’s whiskey, being uprooted and reclaimed by those who develop it would get the world’s attention by a thousand times the scope of Clermont’s strike. Gradually; ideally, this would apply to places beyond the lower Midwest area, and include Pittsburgh’s steel and Oregon’s timber, etc.

The opportunities for better organization come and go in all circles, but something in the revolt involving such things as an area’s cultural legacy illuminates the image. The trademark symbols of cultural regions should be appropriated during revolt for the benefit and happiness of working people than for the excess intake of industry. The crafts and trades enjoyed by generations taken out of an exploiter class’s hands and put under a new social system is a hallmark of our endeavor: Our sources of happiness situated next to universal well-being. Freedom and expressive outlets being integral to one another. Mountain-men shiners under black-and-red flags, drinking happily with their family and friends in a better life. This can only be accomplished with organizing under this idea, and acted on in unity with other states and groups. Kentucky, and Appalachia, must unite.

Kentucky Workers must Unite

Class Consciousness Lite

With Bernie Sanders caving and endorsing Clinton, effectively neutering his social democratic platform for wanna be socialist youths to ride, Donald Trump securing a vice presidential nominee and Jill Stein of the Green party apparently taking the reigns of the progressive movement, the fallout of American political drama is proved to be as chaotic and sadly amusing as it ever could be. We have a living fascist meme almost guaranteed to be running the nation for four, possibly eight, years thanks to the moron and bigot vote, a repeat war criminal capitalist as the primary contender, a faded beacon of some actual change, and a sub par replacement for the progressive movement edging into the arena.

When Bernie was going strong and winning a considerable amount of states, we still couldn’t quite see him getting the Democratic nomination. The people slowly coming to the understanding that they are being screwed by the porky shams of “democratic” candidates looked to this worn Vermont senator as he said what nobody else would say and what the working class wanted to hear, but we knew that the dirtiest and most detestable tricks of the DNC hegemony would be put into full effect to sabotage the campaign before it could really get off the ground to secure the profitability of the common ins and outs. I can now fully agree with Chris Hedges on this and admit that I was wrong.

Even before it was over, it was on life support as it was dripping with the expected impotency of liberal action barely grasping the actual solution to the problems. Raise wages, hold class criminals accountable, reform the police, legalize marijuana. How revolutionary.

This is among the most tragic pursuits of those who would follow someone like Sanders. Dependency is placed on a pedestal-mounted figure and their campaign rather than assuming direct action as a collective force, all the while liberal instances of “getting money out of politics”, “demanding change” and “fighting with non-violence” intended to simply give the self-assuring illusion of power and a say in a “democracy” tremendously overshadows the dust-gathering weapons of the grand old left of organizing and acting in solidarity, regardless of consequence to oneself. The noxious sensation of comfortable, safe outcry online and family-friendly activism is the replacement. An appropriate extension of how everything has really become in our society. Every emergence of desperation to collapse the decay of this abusive relationship and live momentarily in hardship to secure well being for all is struck down with pacifying reassurances that things will get better with votes and donations.

But the problem is not simply laziness or fear of making noise, its misdirection and failing to see the point. Change contextual to the existing state of affairs is not the end solution. Its not the ideal to remain committed to each step of the way. It is to decommission the capitalist ownership of production and the state bound up in its function with the acknowledgment of its innate exploitation and malice. Its not that wages are low, its that we have them as the only means of survival in the first place. Its not that we simply hate working hard for nothing, its that we hate being “employees” instead of owning our work in common. Its not that business is big or rigging the system, its that private ownership exists predominantly as the ruling class that alienates you as an individual from autonomy of labor, backed by the police, military and wealthy political figures. There is no Bernie for you now, neither here nor there. Find what you can and mobilize.

They’re just so close to coming to this realization, but always far enough from it. Organizations such as SocialistAlternative seem to perpetuate this under the flag of Trotskyism while mainly pandering to the reformist crowd. Almost a hybrid, and I can’t exactly determine where they’re leaning.

But this isn’t a look back and laugh kind of frame I’m holding up. We will continue to see this attitude desperately retried. The political upholstery refurbished and declared the new “revolution”. New fools found and self-righteous as the veteran activists look over in pity.

Now I’ll say gladly, I supported Sanders as a reformist who had the potential to make the present system less terrible, and was very saddened to see him submit to the Clinton monopoly on the party. But now we simply have the confirmation that this idea of obtaining some kind of utopia, at least in the United States, where capitalism is reformed through telling bad people to stop is an unforgivable silent enemy of radical progress. Progress in such a form that is merciless to the decades of misinformation and sabotage of how things could be right now. Progress that eliminates any left or right spectrum, and leaves only the common sense of anarchist communism.

But this can’t happen without a great disappointment by the proletariat from the coming reforms’ immense shortcomings, that all the working class have a chance at a unified aggression against the bourgeois state and an effective flurry of rage at learning how deep they’ve lived in lies, settled for a life of necessity and dependency on dollars and cents, uprightness and submission to unjustified authority and defense of the thieves of their work’s value if freed from capital.

The greatest, most obvious form of oppression in the entire history of man is thriving and living happily in the faces of all subservient individuals to its internal workings. Those who most suffer the injuries by capitalism rush to the defense of private owners, in knee-jerk fashion outlining their indoctrination by reactionary state control. As Marx refers, the cuckolds of the working class who are encouraged to pride themselves as men of good moral standing. The human race after centuries of slavery and work under the whip of necessity has still not bound together to subdue the most malicious complexities of capitalism which constrain and eliminate the purest manifestations of freedom, which would rid the world of vast physical, mental and emotional turmoil in all who know their purpose in social life to be determined on the amount of surplus value they produce for their bosses. And so the quelling of the most glorious liberation of humanity lives on in the young, naive, surface-level liberals who understand a problem but cannot grasp its inherit cause and corresponding resolve. Who believe that these problems are new and aren’t appendages of any greater construct of contemporary feudal servitude that has taken root ages ago. That working people hold all the autonomy tangible, ignorant that they feed the very system preventing their fullest liberty beyond state allowance.

We live with heavy hearts to see the concepts of worker self-emancipation and horizontal organization of society replaced with applying padding to the rough and cold chains we are born into and die in. This is not to say that things will never change, that hope is lost, but that we now understand that the words which barely meet us half way are just as harmful as the darlings of the right. The rerouting techniques of party politics aligned in any spectrum will continually fulfill their role to the ruling class until the whole and undivided people dethrone them. We knew this from the start, but now we see it laugh in our faces as it wins once again in this American presidential cycle.

Class Consciousness Lite

Report: Lexington Rally for Bernie Sanders

Upon crossing West Main Street at 3:30 in the afternoon and getting in proximity to the crowds of eager supporters, the scent of strawberry vape and industrial paint on Feel The Bern buttons fills the air outside Heritage Hall in downtown Lexington. Faint chatter about finals and getting out of work early to see their favorite presidential hopeful is distinguishable from the noise of the city. I reach the masses, and my eye immediately catches a gentleman in a suit and tie holding a large sign among everyone else, which reads CLINTON IS A WAR CRIMINAL.

The attendees are mostly young, college-aged people. Most of the people are with dyed hair, May the Fourth be with you items and creative, meme-ish scenarios involving Bernie Sanders printed on shirts and stickers. They wait outside and in the food court in large crowds. Families and enthusiastic older adults with Bernie pins and signs are sprinkled among their younger counterparts. People seem to be confused about whether you wait in line for the event or just be prepared to make your way to the security screening to enter. This does well for a few little bazaars of merchandise outside the building’s front entrance. Theres about 3 hours to spare. I start mingling to get a general sense of everyone’s attitude and expectations.

“Absolutely man, I’m a fan of Bernie”, a young man in a University of Kentucky hoodie says. “Ever since he came on the scene where you had John Stewart kinda cracking on him about his crazy hair and how he doesn’t really have a shot, month by month you began to see it progress and more people get into it, and everyone blowin’ up over him, and its just awesome, man.” I ask about his outlook on UK’s political demographic this year. “Yeah, a pretty good amount [prefer Sanders], I’d say probably 75 percent maybe. Most of my friends are like military guys and more on the Republican side, but I’d say a good 75 percent are probably Democratic. Nobody’s voting for Hillary, so yeah.” Finally, I ask about what his chances might be in the Bluegrass state. “I wish that I could say yes [that he will win the primary], but honestly I think this state won’t really pick him up. I think he’ll get some votes, but I don’t think he’ll win it. But, I don’t know; you never know. People thought he was done before Indiana, and we saw what happened there. But its a bible-belt state and there are so many people stuck in their ways, not getting the right education. So I guess we’ll have to see.” An hour passes. The crowds augment.

“I like Bernie because of his stance where you can’t buy politics, that was probably my turning point on why I like him more than I like Hillary or all the other ones”, another guy explains. “He shows that there are still good people who hold power in this country, and Bernie is one of them who will use it to make this country much better as president”, a young woman says.

At about 20 ‘till 5, the lines outside start moseying inside through the food court. This can only mean its time. After going through security I enter the convention room where the actual rally will take place. Immediately, I hear cheering and shouting, whooping and chuckling. Everyone getting hyped for their main man. A gentleman walking next to me shouts “Dump Trump!” as we all make our way into the half-full room where basically anything goes for right now, and I join in with vigor. “Fuck the fascists!” The wide open room contains three small stages. One spare one which a lot of people are sitting on, one for camera crews and the other for Sanders to deliver his speech on. A vendor near the entrance is selling hotdogs and drinks while we wait. After about two hours of waiting, the room is filled. I would estimate around 5,000 people got in while a few hundred weren’t so lucky, and would watch the rally from the food court TV. Prince’s Lets Go Crazy and The Trammps’ Disco Inferno is playing in the meantime. People begin to take their seat on the main stage in the background of the podium. The people on stage begin doing “the wave” with their A future to believe in signs, and the audience below them does the same.

Finally, the Senator is introduced and greeted by thousands of cheering, screaming Kentuckians as he walks the stage. All smartphones go up, taking pictures and snapchatting the event. I stand on my toes trying to get a better view as official campaign signs and banners wave across my field of view. “Are you guys ready for a Political revolution?” the distinctive voice asks. The response is collective applause and then chanting. Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!

The senator transitions into his speech adapted for the state he’s speaking in. He mentions the thousands of manufacturing jobs lost in Kentucky due to NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with china and the thousands of families in Kentucky who struggle with affordable child care. He stresses thinking outside the box in regard to bringing about change in the nation  —  that the ideas perceived as radical and out of the question are the actual solutions to the issues, ones which the GOP has suppressed time and again.

Sanders concluded in declaring that diversity is our strength. That we are unique in being black, white, Latino, Asian, native American, gay, straight, men, women, some born here, some immigrants  —  and furthermore that love and selflessness is what drives us forward, that love trumps hatred, that when families and individuals are there for each other in their time of need, this is what comprises the strength of the American people. That this is evident in the political revolution, that the campaign is about thinking big, not small.

At the end of the night, crowds dispersed and faded out into the corners of the city, in bars and restaurants, where whole segments of 10 to 20 people still remained with their pins and signs. As I walk down the sidewalk after getting all I came for from the event, I can hear distant “Feel The Bern!”s and cars honking followed by cheering. Legions of empowered college students and wise elders made their way to their cars and buses from Triangle Park, still teaming and glowing with political fire.

The question now is if this event will have enough effect on the campaign’s chances in Kentucky, which I was most concerned about while planning out this report. In my opinion, if every one of the people who attended the event would go out on the 17th and vote for Sanders with the same energy they had on this night, there isn’t much of a doubt that he would have a huge chance of winning the primary in Kentucky. In the end, its another stone in the road. This one happened to be the fair city of Lexington in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Report: Lexington Rally for Bernie Sanders

The Scope of Modern Greed

There needs to be a crystal-clear layout for why issues stemming from corrupt money interests should be a concern for everyone across the political spectrum. Far too often when criticism of the rich and corporatism arises, those in the ideologically differing side descend to character assassination and dismissal of that person as a radical instead of examining the actual  grievances to engage in a rational manner. We see this with the older and younger generations, the caricature of an old-timer telling those damn hippies to stop protesting the crimes committed on Wall Street and by Goldman Sachs and get a job.

People who are vocally critical of overreaching authority cannot rationally defend capitalism and massive establishments built on money at all times. Wealth forms a separate power. One that political philosophers on all fronts have acknowledged and warned of their potential dangers for centuries, and formed theories on dealing with them along with government powers. In a statement in an 1802 letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, most attributed to Thomas Jefferson, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered… I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

In the United States, this isn’t a question of “How will Democrats and Liberals benefit from Wall Street regulation and campaign finance reform?”, or “Why should Republicans and Conservatives defend the idea of Laissez-faire”. This is a matter of a nation whose political process and sense of right and wrong has been gutted by special interests to establish an oligarchy and a rigged economy to benefit them at the expense of the people.

Because of this simple fact that is far underrepresented in the media and political dialog, I want to look at the overall situation in a simple set of observations from the bottom-up: the root of money, to greed, to the establishment of industry and corporate entities, to legalized bribery and how it hinders democratic policy action and thus the progress of society in the people’s favor.

First, lets consider some of the influence and effects of money itself on a basic level. We have a model (The Dollar, The Euro, etc.) at the disposal of people and enterprises which is used to obtain goods, services and labor. Naturally, this model is going to be prioritized since everyone depends on it, and over time we see desperation for it as the levels of money coming in and out shift, either due to larger competition, lower productivity, etc. This is where compromises and methods are put into action by businesses to correct these negative outcomes. Some are less ethical than others. These include cutting wages and benefits and moving effort into earning more through a certain period than making sure workers are getting what they deserve. In more harsher circumstances, the offshoring of jobs for cheap labor. This is where the scales are tipped to accumulate more money at a certain expense of workers — one example of desperation arising from money being what decides the actions of an enterprise, which in turn decides the conditions for workers and people who need things from centers of production. From this, its easy to understand that its money and the value system around which things like greed and the unethical compromises of industry revolve around.

But this is simply a function of large businesses when faced with economic challenges, not the individual seduction by the green which branches into other, more severe societal issues. This is the fault of human nature rather than (entirely) the system which we’ve accepted. And in exchanging material satisfaction and its unfettered domination for the good in the human spirit, we see it flourish more rapidly over time.

The nature of money collides with the impulse to hoard, cloaked as sustaining massive businesses when they’re already too big to fail; which creates immense wealth disparity, not obtained meritocratically as the defenders would claim, something poisonous to the bottom 90 percent of American citizens and to equal opportunity. Even worse when the crimes which arise from this formula are defended and largely ignored by the press when they are catastrophic to the global economy. This is greed in the modern era — its as simple as barbarism in a nice suit and tie gets. Those who got to the top, through nepotism or previous criminal activity, follow this compulsion which leads them to pillaging the underclass through a rigged economy and raking in the dough in the most incredible fashion, all in a trail of cover-ups and paying off corporate media outlets to defend them.

Knowing that business shouldn’t be generalized as unethical or greedy simply in nature, those wich are and deserve regulation (or prosecution) are seldom given so. Most of the largest industries that exist as they are now rely on abysmal means of maintaining production in compliance with a quota of supply and demand. Outsourcing and feeding off the fruits of cheap, third-world labor seems to have become too commonplace for comfort, leaving some to wonder if the moral standards for enterprises has changed, and what the next over the top will look like.

Disastrous ‘free trade’ deals are endorsed by the heads of global economic superpowers as the champions of labor and business, while transparency groups release their texts locked away from the public, revealing their racket of malice and domination over the world.

As the very rich become richer and the poor become poorer, we aren’t living in a fair, sustainable society where necessary regulation is in place to balance monetary distribution, as we continue seeing socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., through the years of corporate welfare being made a priority as thousands go starving and unemployed. Adam Smith remarks in The Wealth of Nations that “it is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion”, and yet attempts to implement effective progressive taxation and other such resolutions have been shot down on sight by politicians on the right, major media outlets and by the base of unfettered industry who bought them.

When this recklessness is ignored for what it is in public discourse, it lacks treatment and infects more of society. The rise in wealth inequality and corporatist crimes are the fault of us not collectively calling it to task, and even worse, the funded blockade of policy solutions: when money has control over the internal function of the state.

The stereotype of incompetency and corruption does not exist within the political realm for no good reason. The very simple function of returning the favor unfortunately exists where it shouldn’t. Where private funders of political campaigns get what they want through endorsing a politician, the politician has an incentive to endorse the interest of the funder and not of the people. This being a major reason for the irregular ratio between the polling numbers on issues and the actual policies that remain. Take for instance the majority of Americans who support Marijuana legalization and the reaction from the pharmaceutical industry and the politicians who have been known to accept money from them. The same scenario applies to universal background checks for firearms, and gun manufacturers pandering to public servants with money. One can’t reasonably conclude that this doesn’t turn democracy on its head.

In the most basic sense, people are critical of the wealthy because their fortunes afford them significant power and influence in all manners of the world, only half as similar to the prudence of being critical of your cops, military and government. Wealth and the concept of money should be the foremost thing to question, as it is now what dominates the whole tangible space of the earth instead of the simplicity of living and doing as you please without the constraints and demands of business.

Like I said before, wealth buys power; not in the manner which you and I need to go in accomplishing things. The myth of meritocracy playing out in the world has been one such thing that has repressed bringing this subject to light. The immediate response from the defense is that people aren’t working as hard, as if a poor family in Harlem could amass a similar amount of wealth as the current top one percent of people in a reasonable amount of time by working multiple, honest jobs and not eating on some nights. It simply isn’t possible for one regular person, family or generation.

Its incredibly frustrating to people who see these things as what they are when genuine evaluations of them are dodged with cop-outs like “Well, you just don’t understand economics”, or “Well, you’re just a left-wing lunatic”. Neverminding that this is horrible, careless reasoning — it isn’t correct. If anything, leftists policies are the last resort for the integrity of the working class and American democracy. Social democratic policies such as those articulated by Bernie Sanders in his presidential campaign are centrist or center-left and socially and economically stabilizing across the board in many European nations, particularly in the case of Scandinavia. But because of the United States’ political spectrum being biased in favor of the right and the unwavering love of capitalism, the second that these proposals reach the ears of the resolute public of this bias, the palpable snark and dismissal of the very thought as crazy ensues immediately. Luckily, the new generations are awakening to the fact that they’ve accepted a crumbling society owned by the few, robbing the many, and they are eager to resolve that quickly.

The most basic solution, in my opinion, which would open the way for the gradual resolve overall is to remove the influence of money from the United States political system. To mandate public funding of elections and abolish SuperPACs, ingraining the message that the government will not be privately owned into the heart of Congress. From here, when the people are far more likely to have the actual say in elections, we will begin to see their desires springing up from the renewed democratic process and thus the much-needed socioeconomic balances.

We need a division between money and humanity to define the direction of ourselves as a society. And for this to happen, we need to acknowledge the crimes and injustices of industry just as we would those of our government, reject those who serve dollars and cents and not the people, ammend what has been planted by private interests within democracy, and not be afraid to challenge capitalism and corporatism in favor of either the equilibrium of public and private forces, or complete elimination of their grasp on life. Moreover, people just need to know the simple reason why we are critical of the rich so we can progress in the conversation. Thats all I really hope for out of this article.

The Scope of Modern Greed

Bernie Sanders and Socialism

The Bernie Sanders campaign has obtained an immense deal of support from the grassroots corners of the United States as well as a considerable majority overall. Sanders’ platform of moving the nation forward in the fashion of more Liberal Scandinavian nations has resonated significantly with people in the past year. His record for being a consistent and principled Vermont Senator in the fight for equality and the working class has established his character as an exemplary public servant in American Democracy. His tough approach to banking establishments and corporate greed has won the hearts of those seeking economic justice and stability, his refusal to run a SuperPAC has proven to be a beacon of hope for those seeking a man for the people and not one in the pockets of private donors, and his faith in a brighter future for the United States has given a revolution for the people to strive for.

As a supporter of Bernie, as one of the most likely candidates to make it to the nomination, theres a lot I could go on about him and the discussion surrounding him: how his core policies like Medicare for all, Tuition-Free public college and a living wage are largely centrist ideals in other modern, developed nations; how the political spectrum in the Untied States being in favor of the right grants him the burden of being labeled as a crazy person when he introduced these otherwise centrist policies to the US; what his campaign means for everyone across the board, and so on.

In this instance, however, I want to give my comments on his self-identification as a Democratic Socialist, what that means in contrast to simply “Socialism”, if its the correct term when compared to his actual policies, and the responses to this aspect of the presidential candidate.

Bernie has described himself as a democratic socialist for quite sometime in the light of the public, and this has unsurprisingly garnered him mixed commentary. He has defined in recent speeches and interviews his vision of democratic socialism. “It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1968, when he stated that, ‘This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.’ It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor.” He goes on, “I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families of this country who produce the wealth of this country deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down.” [motherjones]

Hearing Bernie talk about his aspirations as President, its evident to me and others on the left where he stands in the socialist spectrum, and its a place not uncommon in history or to the rest of the current, modern world. A place in political thought that has the great potential to bring America into where it should be in 2016.

Understanding the historical and ideological background of the actual term is important in identifying his political alignment correctly. Firstly, understanding socialism itself, it is a socioeconomic system in which the working class collectively own the means of production and the distribution of the fruits of labor, as opposed to the hierarchical, private ownership of production and distribution which is the basis of capitalism. This system has historically been applied through transforming a previously centralized and private economy into the social ownership of the workers, in some instances through reform, but historically through revolution. This is where people get scared that socialism immediately equals revolutionary disruption of their lives, but only through the fault of not taking into consideration the basic function of the system itself (social ownership) and only thinking of an implementation method. However, because of the transformative principle of socialism as expressed by the early notable writers on the subject, socialism cannot be reconciled easily with capitalism, as it is by nature opposed to its operation and wage system. Democratic socialism in its true form is the exact same way: It is the social and economic system of socialism with a political democracy of a sort, as opposed to something like the Soviet Union, the dictatorship of the proletariat or essentially state capitalism.

It seems that Bernie has used democratic socialism interchangeably with Social Democracy, as the two are quite different. We understand that he is more of a social democrat than a democratic socialist based simply on his policy proposals. Social Democracy is a democratic political system with hybrid economic systems, where capitalism is retained and regulated through social and economic interventions, and welfare state provisions, collective bargaining and progressive taxation is upheld. This is where his admiration of Scandinavian nations comes in, where countries like Denmark and Norway have expanded on this in prioritizing single-payer health care, free education, infrastructure, green technology and a sustainable tax system. We also see that the private sector is alive and well in these countries, within reason to where the working class is equally well. This is the overall vision Bernie has for America, where everything is evened out with socialism, welfare provisions, and a more humanized capitalism.

Keeping these things in mind about Social Democracy and Bernie’s actual policies, it isn’t at all equal to Marxism-Leninism, the form of Socialist thought that influenced Soviet Russia and what many on the right have come to incorrectly think of Bernie as the subscriber to. Not like the commentators actually give a shit about substance and policy; they’d rather resort to slinging labels and the Red Scare around like it means anything to those other than their old, Regan-worshipping audience, incapable of logical independent thought. I have far more respect for people with legitimate concern over Bernie’s actual policies than those who simply call him a Communist. I say simply to them that if the Socialist Party USA and CPUSA doesn’t endorse him, and that fully fledged American socialists call him a sellout, there isn’t much you can argue with.

In terms of the supporters of Bernie, there is nothing more pleasant to see in the course of American politics than people of various backgrounds and even political associations coming together over issues which most of us can agree on. In regard to the label of democratic socialism, this is really my only concern for the support, as one who aligns with actual socialism.

I think some — particularly young — people are just eager to call themselves socialists, without entirely understanding socialism at the root. The nature of socialism is the opposition to capitalism, not the mere support of its regulation. The attitude among Bernie supporters comes back to people simply adopting controversial labels as publicity for something going on, relying on the reaction from the public to fit the name in somewhere, in this case Bernie. I’m not saying this is a bad thing as much as its just not accurate of him. You’re not supporting actual democratic socialism if you’re supporting Bernie Sanders, you’re supporting social democracy — something more realistic and sustainable for the current developed condition of the United States. So I prefer that the supporters would acknowledge themselves as social democrats rather than vanilla socialists, simply for logical correctness. Sharing these distinctions of socialism within the community should be a responsibility for all of us. I would even urge Bernie himself to drop the democratic socialism label and explain Scandinavian social democracy to people more than anything.

But I think this is exactly Bernie’s formula for gaining support and recognition, otherwise the media would only be able to rage on about how he’s a crazy liberal old man who should head a retirement home or a neighborhood watch group instead of a nation, without the word ‘socialist’ appearing anywhere based off his own words.

Honestly, how do you get as much commentary and mixed coverage on yourself than by going out into the Democractic presidential race as a proud ‘socialist’? To stand out in the humdrum election cycle of the United States requires something new in a candidate. Something bold and exciting to the people. A self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ couldn’t fit that bill any better, especially when he clearly speaks for the people as his policies resonate with them significantly.

Call it a branding for his campaign, a genuine bemusement of democratic socialism, or somewhere in between — it certainly appears to be working. I guess as a stickler for terms and etymology, this gets under my skin more than it should.

Either way, the man has my vote. We have time and again been presented with numerous opportunities in the modern era to set the nation on the course of a reformist, subutopian reconstruction. Alas, we have settled in the current time for the private ownership of our democracy through a horrendous campaign finance system, which has in turn desolated the conditions of the working class as corporate industry expands disproportionately, undermined civil liberties in the veil of security, spread bitterness and tribalism in public discourse to divide us as a people, and secured the citizens in a pacified conscience to the wrongs of the powerful. The policies of Bernie Sanders have stood gleaming as the solution to these ills of our society, and the people are rising to this call. This moment in history we are witnessing is the rift between the progression of developed society, and all its potential resting in the wrong hands, very unlikely to be given back to the people. Do we cross that rift in time to move forward, or remain idle as we elect yet another pawn of the deep-seeded cancer of our democracy?

Perhaps thats one interpretation of Bernie’s meaning of democratic socialism. Not simply economic, but to restore this democracy to the people — the workers, the families, the youth, the ambitious, the kind, the noble, all of us. Its ours.

Bernie Sanders and Socialism