Taking sides on the right to be a complete jackass

21 May 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in people | 68 Comments »

It was suggested to me some time ago that my blogroll linkage to Keith Preston, of the Attack the System blog, placed me in the uncomfortable position of endorsing someone whose values I do not share.

More than anything else, Keith pushes a sort of meta-strategy for anarchism which aims at pluralism and ecumenicalism and which suggests that all anti-state tendencies ought to unite against the principal enemy of liberty, the state itself, in preference to choosing lesser targets of activist action such as sexism, racism, homophobia and so on. The biggest tent possible, in other words, for the advance of anarchism as anti-statism, absent the baggage of a myriad of other issues.

Of itself, I believe this has great strategic value.

In his posting yesterday, though, Keith unambiguously betrays his own ugly prejudices in a bilious piece entitled “Is Extremism in the Defense of Sodomy No Vice?“:

Do we really attract more people into our ranks by having so many self-hating whites, bearded ladies, cock-ringed queers, or persons of one or another surgically altered “gender identity” in our midst? Is this really something the average rebellious young person wants to be associated with? Could we not actually attract more young rebels into our ranks if all of this stuff was absent? I believe we could.

Suffice it to say this I find this offensive on many levels.

Now, I’m all for Keith’s right to free speech. But I find that I don’t really care about Keith’s strategy.

The anarchist tent may, indeed, need to be bigger in order to achieve strategic goals. But here I see one arguing for a big-tent strategy giddily pushing marginalized groups out of the tent and encouraging others to do the same.

Not only is this a contradiction of the big-tent strategy itself, but it also pushes away all those who sympathize with those marginalized, traditionally hated out-groups. I, for one, am not going to be found standing up for the rights of bigoted assholes to be bigoted assholes, let alone lending them whatever credibility might attach in a given reader’s mind to finding such linked to at my own website.

And so today Keith disappears from my blogroll, and good riddance. For the moment he remains in my RSS reader, since I recognize that there is a fine mind at work in Keith, and one often worth reading, despite what I view as a clear deficit of empathy.

Without substantial work at repentance, Keith will not be welcome at my table, nor in my tent.

  1. 68 Responses to “Taking sides on the right to be a complete jackass”

  2. By Aster on 26 May 2009


    I’ve come to respect you as an honest thinker, if one with whom I have the most deep of disagreements.

    But I think you need to recognise that you’re asking for left-libertarianism to embrace conclusions contrary to its ideals and interests on grounds of a relativism which are not a part of its politics. I think it’s clear that most left-libertarians believe that certain ideals- logically, leftish and libertarian ideals, are true. This is a different thing than the claim that all ideals are equally subjective or relative. I think this much-needed debate clearly shows that the logic of the left-libertarian position and philosophies of most of its ALLies embraces individual liberation in ways incompatible with an absolute pluralism.

    This doesn’t mean one can’t be a relativist and a consistent left-libertarian in good standing; logically, a relativist can advocate any politics with internal consistency. And given your clear libertarianism, and what I understand as your background in cultural anthropology, and the undeniable centrality of much discourse within that field to the shape of the contemporary Left, I see no grounds upon which I shouldn’t recognise you as a comrade.

    I think there’s another issue lurking in the background here , which we might call ‘spirituality’. Please understand that I’m not criticisng your personal religious commitments, which I don’t know what are precisely, but much of your life and writing appears to be deeply touched by the value which Christians refer to as agape or selfless love. You certainly practice this ideal with an integrity far beyond what most Christians ask of themselves. I haven’t forgotten that I treated you nastily back on the salon, and you’ve returned nothing but kindness. And, while I still disagree with you today for all the reasons I disagreed with you then, I can only appreciate this rare courage of convictions, and the demonstration you’ve given me as to the efficacy of kindness.

    But agape isn’t a value all of us share. I do not, at least in the Christian or Platonic sense of the term. And I think you are, with the best of intentions, asking for something unreasonable if you expect others to share or abide by this practice, which is not implicit in left-libertarian politics. Certainly, Marja can be a very serious Christian and be a great left-libertarian, but she’s never asked the movement to sacrifice its ideals or interests in the name of her personal morality of universal love. And in doing so, she’s shown me that Christians are capable of putting their own deepest faith outside the door when dealing with matters of public politics. This has increased my possibility for finding happiness and broadened my world, because now I can have Christian friends.

    But I think you are asking the humanly impossible. Please remember that even Jesus once turned to scourged the moneychangers from the temple. Anarchists and libertarians, and of course LGBT people, would have to be more Christlike than Christ to accept the national anarchists, who are fascists, into their sanctum sanctorum.

    I admire your loyal defense of your friend, even if I do not understand your friendship with a person who I do not admire. But there’s nothing you can do any more for him here. His call for a pogrom was a very deep offense to the LGBT members of the left-libertarian community and to all who consider us friends and allies. It’s over. Continuing your advocacy for Keith can only delay the time when wounds may begin to heal and senselessly prolong a conflict which has already taken too much of that most precious human resource: time.

    As I’ve said, you’ve been a good friend to Keith. I think you should continue to be a good friend to him; he almost certainly deeply needs one now, and his own code of honour may make it difficult for him to ask for kindness. I see no reason why you can’t be both a friend to him and a comrade to left-libertarianism, if you wish to be. Fact is, I think your forum would be an excellent place where people of both ALL and ARV political philosophies can publically exchange their views on neutral ground. And that’s a good thing- as any hard-boiled realist will tell you, even those with the most irreconcilable differences can find value in the ability to keep a means dialogue with those with whom they irresolvably differ. If you wish to speak with us, and also speak to the national anarchists, then it’s your human right to do so.

    This does not mean that I in any way repudiate my call for left-libertarians to openly and permanently repudiate national anarchism, or my great gratitude for what is now my own community for the stand they have taken.

    Carson has asked as a friend for Keith to publically repudiate his bigotry. I have suggested that if he wishes to find welcome in the left-libertarian movement ever again he should explicitly repudiate his bigotry in a way which clearly demonstrates an understanding as to why his tactics have been so hurtful and wrong. If he were to do so, I would not continue this quarrel with him, and were he to recognise the value of his own individuality and develop that empathy with oneself which is so crucially neccesary if one is to recognise pain in others, I will defend his right to be welcome here. My understanding of his life overwhelmingly suggests that he has been through more abuse and pain than any of us. He could use someone who cares about that, and about him.

  3. By Jeremy on 26 May 2009

    But I think you need to recognise that you’re asking for left-libertarianism to embrace conclusions contrary to its ideals and interests on grounds of a relativism which are not a part of its politics.

    Hmm. I don’t feel I’m asking anybody to embrace ideas contrary to left libertarianism. I am perhaps suggesting a different attitude with which one may approach this issue, hopefully staking out a middle ground.

    This isn’t the first time that I’ve been vigorously opposed for my lack of moral universalism. What intrigues me is that I see this question of philosophical universalism as having a much greater impact on strategy than I would have thought necessary – which, I suppose, is what you and S.O. have been trying to point out. I never realized how skeptical many left libertarians are of secession.

    I think this much-needed debate clearly shows that the logic of the left-libertarian position and philosophies of most of its ALLies embraces individual liberation in ways incompatible with an absolute pluralism.

    Undoubtedly. I’m fine being a dissident on that issue. I have no problem serving as a synthesizer of a practical pan-secessionist agenda and a thoroughgoing leftist agenda smashing privilege and bigotry. I’m aware that there are people in ALL who disagree that I *can* do this, and that’s OK; there’s only so much trust we can achieve online.

    You’re quite perceptive in mentioning my spirituality, Aster. I think it does more to separate me from other anarchists than anything else, which surprises me as I would have thought it irrelevant before how I construct my passion for these values and struggles. It’s a very recent thing that I even bring it up around those I know to be pretty strongly atheist. But more fundamentally, I maintain that “The Ego and Its Own” is one of the most spiritually articulate and foundational works of philosophy I’ve ever read (though I am slogging through some Kierkegaard presently).

    I’ve seen this as a gigantic learning experience, and I appreciate everybody’s push back.

  4. By Jeremy on 26 May 2009

    I left that mention of Stirner’s masterpiece hanging without explanation. It’s funny that, though Preston and I are pretty different kinds of people, and we have TOTALLY different views on human nature and the meaning of life and all that noise, we find ourselves on similar sides of these debates. I long since abandoned any concern about whether people think I’m an anarcho-fascist or not, but it is interesting how we segregate ourselves into dueling sides based, ultimately, on extremely subtle differences on philosophy and not on actual political positions. I have much reflection to do on this.

  5. By Aster on 26 May 2009

    I believe with, Rand, that those subtle differences of philosophy are the essential issues behind all politics; the issue of what kind of universe we are living in, what kind of beings we are, and what we ought to do with ourselves, show their manifestations as the political issues we make strife over. First principles matter.

  6. By Aster on 26 May 2009


    Thank you for your willingness to put these issues to serious thought. I hope you will excuse me if I now take my leave of this conversation.

  7. By Jeremy on 27 May 2009

    I predict that at some point in the future there will be a major split on the Left between the egalitarian-humanist-universalist wing and the radical post-modernist/radical multicultural/cultural relativist/overtly Third Worldist wing, as these two are obviously incompatible with one another.

    Keith Preston

  8. By blanconnier on 31 May 2009

    Hi there

    Geoffrey Transom is a complete conman.
    If you want to know who is REALLY Transom, let me know.


  9. By Mike Gogulski on 31 May 2009

    @blanconnier: spill the beans, let the cat outta the bag here? You know how we all love these internecine conflicts. More drama!!!

  10. By blanconnier on 22 June 2009

    He is an assassin who killed his other soldiers and people without caring. He is a false anarchist who thinks that anarcists are always to be obsessed with watching stock market. He was even in the finance industry, sohe can not be anarch.

    He kills people to make money and he think that to do so is good.


  11. By blanconnier on 4 April 2010

    The post “by Blanconnier” of 22 June 2009, is not from me.
    Guess who it is from ?
    That is exactly what Transom does all the time with everyone, about everything.

    The real daniel Blanconnier

    Hey! TranScum ! Why don’t you show the Judgement of July 23rd 2008, the Police Reports, The Officer Reports you received ?
    Poor conman. Don’t worry…. You’ll see that what goes around comes around.

  12. By Echo on 16 May 2010

    “Without substantial work at repentance, Keith will not be welcome at my table, nor in my tent.”

    Everything is rent.

  13. By Russ on 19 June 2010

    I know I’m a little late to the party on this (hopefully this means, I’ll get the last word), but I just stumbled across this blog entry. Two patterns leap from the article and its comments.

    The first is the atavistic hatred most of you feel for heterosexual, White men. The second is the fact that most of you see yourselves as “good” rebels fighting some evil empire, when in fact you are merely pawns of that empire, used by the empire to advance its goals.

    I think these are related. You hate heterosexual, White men because you believe they are the masters of the empire and you fight the empire because you believe that, by doing so, you are fighting these White men.

    The fact is that the empire is a Jewish (or more accurately, a Khabbalist) construct. The Khabbalistic Jews that rule the empire are able do so because of their ability to create and assign identity. 3000+ years ago they convinced a group of Egyptians from the slave caste that they were God’s chosen people and that – as long as they did as the Khabbalists told them – they would be favored by God and as a group they would come to rule the world.

    Later, the spiritual descendants of these same Khabbalists would move into Europe where they would use these same techniques to create and assign identities to other groups. They first created the identity of the people that would come to think of themselves as the “natural aristocracy.” In Europe the members of this group populated the aristocracy and the royal houses. In America that would mean families like the Rockerfellers, Bushes, Kennedys, et. al.

    Then with the advent of new means of mass communication (film, radio, television) they were able to create more identities, such as; African-American, Feminist, Queer, etc. They use their control over the flow of both capital and information to keep these identity groups in-line.

    They then pitted these various identity groups against the one group whom they fear will be able to stop them from achieving world dominion – heterosexual, White men. (This group is, of course, the one group that is stripped of identity and not allowed to form one.)

    Although Mr. Preston has been steeped in leftist BS for most of his adult life his genetic code (or instinct) is telling him the truth and he is wise to separate himself from you.

    You see, you are not the rebels you pretend to be, in fact, you are the tools of empire (the shock troops, if you will) fighting the real rebels – heterosexual, White men of the working class. Not to put too fine a point on it but, your identities were created by the Jews in their image. Ultimately you are as greedy, power-hungry, fear-fueled, and hate-filled as they. You are the problem and until/unless you recognize this basic fact and change your evil ways, you can never be a part of the solution.

  14. By Mike Gogulski on 22 June 2010

    @Russ: Speaking as a heterosexual white man here, you’re a loony.

  15. By Russ on 22 June 2010

    Thanks for the well-reasoned response Mike.

    Do you imagine that your rejoinder is original. If I only had that proverbial nickel for every time some White man, like you, imagined he was trumping my argument by announcing that he too was a White man and since he agreed with the aggressors in the ongoing genocide against the White Nations that it couldn’t be a Jewish-dominated cabal.

    It’s commonly believed that guys like you are “self-hating.” The truth is that people like you tend to have vastly inflated egos. You are the closest thing to a “White Supremacist” that exists.

    Your motivation isn’t to prove yourself worthy of the love and admiration of those poor wretched (black, brown, red, yellow, female, Jew, queer, et. al) “victims of White Supremacy.”

    You’re simply realists that crave power. You understand, instinctively (if unconsciously), that the corrupt coalition of Jews, queers, feminists, non-Whites; and greedy, sociopathic, corporate managerial elites (with the Jews forming the head of the beast) I mentioned above that really run the show and if you want your piece-of-the-pie, you had better convince them that you side with them.

    You simply lack the courage and personal integrity it takes to take on the real enemies of freedom.

  16. By Mike Gogulski on 22 June 2010

    I make no claim to originality, Russ, but I will repeat my statement, with emphasis: you’re a fucking loony.

  1. 3 Trackback(s)

  2. 28 May 2009: Attack the System » Blog Archive » The “Purge” Revisted: Anarcho-Leftoids Unite in Hatred Against Keith Preston
  3. 11 June 2009: How to Convert a Big Tent Into a Small One | Austro-Athenian Empire
  4. 21 June 2009: On rejecting Keith Preston | No Treason

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