ACCESS ALL AREAS

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 Jim Davidson on 21 May 2009

    I think a better focus than smashing the state would be starving the state. Withdrawing consent and support seems more workable than direct confrontation as an ongoing approach.

    With regard to all these people with different preferences, I think castigating them is old-fashioned. I don’t think younger people care nearly as much about whether someone is gay, or black, or practicing some other religion, compared to whether someone is bigoted. I think intolerance and bigotry are the new pariah-making characteristics.

  3. By William Gillis on 21 May 2009

    Amen.

    I’ve been meaning to remove Keith from my links since what I saw on Charles’ site. Your explanation is sufficient reminder and justification.

    I think we need to have some serious words as a community on the sort of behavior we’ll tolerate. Actually we’ve probably needed to have that conversation for quite some time now. Keith Preston can be a great writer — as part of the Invisible Molotov team I’ll stand by our inclusion of some of his work, and I of course retain the capacity to link to any specifically admirable articles of his just as I might folks like Yglesias or Sullivan… But there are allies and then there are allies.

    At this point I neither want to be seen associating with Keith, nor, on a personal level, would I feel comfortable placing myself in the same boat as him.

  4. By Darian on 21 May 2009

    Yeah, I was going to get into more of Preston’s writing, but then I saw the ATS discussion group and it really left me unmotivated to read what else he has to say. “Hey guys lets build an ubercoalition with everyone except some of America’s most oppressed people then act like it’s their personal problem when they don’t want to be insulted all the time. Hell yeah! I eat queers and shit testosterone.”

  5. By John and Dagny Galt on 21 May 2009

    A wish decision indeed!

  6. By John and Dagny Galt on 21 May 2009

    Wise…darnit…

  7. By Black Bloke on 21 May 2009

    I might’ve missed something that happened on Charles’ site regarding Keith Preston. What happened there?

    I remember a dust-up over at Roderick’s between him and Aster, but I never read through that whole thing.

  8. By Mike Gogulski on 21 May 2009

    @BB: In the interests of keeping things simple, I’m reacting only to Keith’s post from 20 May. There is much more out there to be disappointed with.

  9. By Brad Spangler on 21 May 2009

    Well said, Mike. The observation that Keith is contradicting his own stated strategy would seem to be an important way to keep things in context.

  10. By William Gillis on 21 May 2009

    Indeed, Brad.

    > “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?”

    I think the correct response to this is: do you really think the rest of us — the core diehards of anti-statist ranks — will want to have anything to do with a movement that kick them out?

    You can’t engage in that kind of exclusion and simultaneously keep the rest of us as allies.

    Have fun organizing exclusively with the “race-realists” and national-“anarchists”.

  11. By Keith Preston on 21 May 2009

    As you wish, Mr. Gogulski.

    “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…”

    Thank you, and I very much respect your renunciation of American citizenship, probably to your personal detriment.

    William,

    “Keith Preston can be a great writer — as part of the Invisible Molotov team I’ll stand by our inclusion of some of his work, and I of course retain the capacity to link to any specifically admirable articles of his just as I might folks like Yglesias or Sullivan”

    Thank you as well.

    To clarify: I’m taking the same stance as Rothbard and Rockwell when they broke with the organized libertarian movement twenty years ago to work within the paleoconservative movement. Subsequent events would seem to have proven them right. The LP has become just another failed right-wing populist party. The Cato/Reason libertarians are more or less a single A farm team for the Republicans. The “left-libertarian” milieu that most of the visitors here probably identify with is fairly similar to the libertarian movement as it was in the 70s, and just as marginal and irrelevant. I don’t see that changing because those whose outlook is “cultural leftism first” can be so easily coopted by the liberal establishment, and pulled away from any radical stance they might have once had. This essay from Rothbard discusses that a bit:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch16.html

    Meanwhile, the Rothbardians have developed what are arguably the largest and most influential libertarian outreach projects in the world with LRC and AWC, while retaining a radically anti-statist and anti-imperialist perspective, culminating in the Ron Paul phenomena. So it would appear the shift toward paleoism has been vindicated.

    We have a similar situation today with the advent of the “alternative Right,” “post-paleo” and “left-conservative” tendencies, which are the heirs of paleoconservatism, only more radical. As for national-anarchism, tribal-anarchism, and anarcho-pluralism, I suspect these are the next stages in the development of anarchism past Rothbardian anarcho-libertarianism. You know, it’s funny, because I had developed the views I now hold largely by studying anarcho-capitalism and taking its implications to their logical conclusions, and I did so before I ever heard of national-anarchism.

  12. By Brad Spangler on 21 May 2009

    Kevin Carson has a post on this matter as well:

    “An Open Letter to Keith Preston”

  13. By Marja Erwin on 21 May 2009

    I am a decentralist. But decentralism is not enough.

    Decentralism can help when people find communities where they can thrive. But it does not help when people are born into communities where they cannot live. A few of the boys and most of the girls born into patriarchal communities will bear scars before they find more welcoming communities. Almost all of the queer people born into such communities will bear scars. Who can we turn to? People of color will have parents who are people of color, who have faced the same challenges in the same communities. Womyn will usually have one parent or one close relative who is another womon, who has faced the same challenges. Queer people in patriarchal communities will rarely have anybody. We may have old friends, some of whom disappear, some as they cross into other communities, and others as they are killed in repressive communities.

    Patriarchy is only one of our enemies. But it will never be our ally.

  14. By Jeremy on 21 May 2009

    While I regret the sanctimony and righteous indignation on all sides of this issue, I think this is correct: “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.” I hope he will reconsider his position.

  15. By Aster on 22 May 2009

    Regarding Keith’s words above.

    I can speak with the voice of Saruman too, take care to not split infinitives and such, reach dialectical and dialogical synthesis, and generally act all sweet and pretty and polite and ‘siviled when I wish to. But if I take money for sex, I’m a whore.

    And Keith Preston is a bigot. Keith, we’ve all read your screaming homophobia and gutter hatred stripped naked to the flesh. You wrote it, not me. And those of us who are feminist, of LGBT, or who have ever known what its like to by hit with the stick of hate and injustice, will never, ever be fooled, again, by anything you do or say. You’ve lost the power to manifest in fair form.

    Marja said it right: WORMTONGUE.

    “Hell yeah! I eat queers and shit testosterone.”

    LOL, Darian. I had a male escort friend who lived in San Francisco’s Castro, and I’ve never read anyone in my life so obsessed with graphic depictions of the stereotypical mechanics of gay male sex as is Keith Preston.

    I’d bet a couple of Ben Franklins (or twice the same number of bleached-orange Kiwi equivalents) that Keith may someday find a red sock in the laundry. I contemplate with interest how Keith’s national anarchist and nouvelle droit friends right react to that possibility.

    ~~~~~

    Jeremy, I am sorry that both my ideals and my interest have required this war on your friend. I’ve very wide differences with you in first philosophy, but I like Camus, and I understand if you care more for friendship than for abstract principles. You have a good heart. I hope you will understand that I have done only what I’ve believed to be right, and what I’ve had to do for my own mind and voice to survive.

    I don’t wish to quarrel with you again. Peace.

  16. By Geoffrey Transom on 22 May 2009

    Mr Gogulski has every right to manage his blogroll as he sees fit, and of course has the right not to condone or (even implicitly) support Mr Preston’s views.

    That said, in my experience the groups he identifies (the homosexual lobby, inter alia) are seldom remotely interested in genuine liberty: they are interested in obtaining a seat at the table of power, not in dismantling the table altogether.

    (Also – let’s not be TOO naive: the major GLBT groups in the US are Israeli ‘cut-outs’, as is NAMBLA: they are ‘honeypot’ operations).

    At the end of the day, this storm in a teacup is diversionary: a committed fellow-traveller sensibly (in my view) wants to avoid a dog in the manger. If he is correct (and I think he is) then these organisations have no desire for ‘akrateia’ (the absence of State force): they desire simply that State force be directed in ways that they desire.

    You never hear GLBT types demanding that government reduce funding for their pet projects: quite the opposite.

    As one who advocates extreme violence against the state and its armed goons, (said violence to be ‘contracted out’ via pseudonymous markets à la Jim Bell’s “Assassination Politics”), I have no desire to participate in ‘outreach’ to groups whose plight is driven to a large extent by VOLUNTARY condemnation by the citizenry. After all, people have a right to hate whatever they like, so long as that hate does not result in actual violation of the rights of the object of the hatred.

    For example, I hate the very idea that a racist tribalist occupation of stolen land is ‘justified’ by 3000-year old promises made by an invisible Sky Wizard to a hallucinating Egyptian ex-slave… but I would not bomb Tel Aviv as a result. They are not violating MY rights, and so I have no right to violate theirs. (The Paelstinians, on the other hand, have the right to take any and all action to resist and expel the invading Eastern-European peasantry).

    Note – I am not claiming that the GLBT lobby would use State power to force us all to adopt some or other lifestyle… I am simply saying that, by and large, the GLBT crowd do NOT want to get rid of the State.

    The fact that the GLBT lobby want State recognition of their ‘unions’ as “marriage” is prima facie evidence of this… my Lovely and I will not get married – EVER – because we see no reason to seek validation of our union from either the State or a Church. We’re coming up on 17 years together with zero periods of separation – no government stamp or church ritual would have helped our life together.

    If someone is committed to the abolition of slavery (the State sees us as its livestock), then I do not care if they are homosexual, heterosexual, or where they lie on the continuum between those two ‘tendencies’. But if someone is a GLBT lobbyist first, and an anarchist/akratist/voluntaryist/agorist/panarchist SECOND, then they are a bit like Rahm Emmanuel – their first loyalty os to a group hostile to ours.

    Cherio

    GT

  17. By Geoffrey Transom on 22 May 2009

    @Aster: my red socks are colour-fast. My pink shirts are pink on purpose (and my ‘Testosterone’ t-shirt is black).

    Also, you wrote “if I take money for sex, I’m a whore”… I hope you were being facetious or ironic (I was able to detect a possible use of the sentence as counterpoint to the ‘sweetness’ of the prior sentence, perhaps implying that all women, however sweet, become whores if they take sex for money, whereas men become… he-whores?).

    If not… what if you take a lifetime of income-sharing in exchange for sex and housework? Would you judge hosuewives (err…’home-makers’) so harshly?

    And besides – what on earth is wrong with ‘prostitution’ anyhow? While I am too priggish to have ever made use of their services, they have the untrammelled right to use their human capital as they see fit.

    Judgement of those who provide sex for money voluntarily (even those who do so as a last resort as a result of having obtained a drug addiction) is a vile vestige of the attempts to demonise sexual desire by various Churches… there are a lot of little boys who know what that has led to.

    Anyway – as I was saying, I hope you were making a point that did not seek to demonise women who are sufficiently liberated to have sloughed off the stupid idea that sex is a device whose sole purpose is procreative (or which is a thing of value that a ‘good’ woman uses to pair-bond). That simply prolongs the life of the ‘hairy cheque book’ view of female sexuality.

    Me – I would LOVE to be a whore… but I am too old, chubby and lazy.

    Cheerio

    GT

  18. By Marja Erwin on 22 May 2009

    The hypocrisy of the “Human Rights Campaign” does not justify hatred for the queer community. Period.

    You know, they don’t keep murder stats for people like me. But we do get killed. Maybe ten or twenty times as often as everybody else. We might be forgiven for thinking the hatred has long since resulted in the actual violation of people’s rights. It happens on all levels, public and private; judicial prejudice, firings, rape, the use of tax money to out us, etc.

  19. By Geoffrey Transom on 22 May 2009

    @Marja Erwin:

    It depends on how you define “people like me”. We know that stats are broken down by sex (WHY?), race (WHY?) and religion (WHY?) so I inferred that you’re referencing sexuality. (For me, each death is an equal tragedy, unless it’s a politician or some part of the political machinery of tyranny).

    But on to the shameful lack of disaggregation of statistics…

    I have several gay friends who you would not know were gay – they don’t wear t-shirts proclaiming it, and they don’t go in for the oiled-up gay-pride parades. They – to the outside world – are simply “men, 35-44″. They might not WANT to be indentified as “homosexual men, 35-44″ if they were murdered (although their families are well aware, so it’s not a ‘clandestine’ thing).

    And (before you ‘go there’) it’s not some self-repression or self-hate: these are simply men whose sexual preference dictates that they desire sexual relationships with other men (some are long-standing, loving ones, others simply a sequence of flings… lucky sods).

    They aren’t interested in being ‘movementarians’ and consider their sexuality to be something that the world has no business in prying into.

    And why does it matter if ‘murder stats’ are maintained for ‘your kind’?

    I bet there are no ‘murder stats’ that disaggregate “white college-educated heterosexual freemasons, aged 40-50, 6-feet-2 and – sadly – a tad overweight” either… as I say, it depends how one defines oneself.

    I can think of other ‘self-identified groups’ for whom there are no concrete murder stats: “slim white female lawyers aged 35-44″ (the Lovely), “Tongan economics tutors with a six-pack, aged 45-55″ (my mate Maté) and so forth.

    I read Mr Preston’s entire piece (or ‘screed’ or ‘rant’ if you want to be pejorative) and there was one single sentence in a sea of reasoned argument (the whole ‘cock ring’ bit) upon which people have seized as evidence of some deeper ideological shortcoming. If his history (as self-described) is any guide, then he deserves a great deal of admiration and has earned the right to be as confrontational as he likes.

    I don’t have a blogroll (that’s not how I roll) but I will be adding Mr Preston’s blog to a new set of anarchist links that I will put up on my site. Since Mr Gogulski has also done a concrete thing that merits a great deal of respect (the whole ‘de-nationalisation thing), obviously I will include this site as well. It won’t do a solitary thing for traffic stats, but is a sign of solidarity – the entire point of Mr Preston’s article).

    Cheerio,

    GT

  20. By Marja Erwin on 22 May 2009

    Sigh. I’m not sure how much this overview, by Lisa Harney, of the violence some of us face, will help:

    http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/transphobic-words-and-deeds/

  21. By Rad Geek on 22 May 2009


    That said, in my experience the groups he identifies (the homosexual lobby, inter alia) are seldom remotely interested in genuine liberty: they are interested in obtaining a seat at the table of power, not in dismantling the table altogether. … You never hear GLBT types demanding that government reduce funding for their pet projects: quite the opposite.

    Look, dude, I’m an out bisexual man. I’m also an anarchist. I’m one of those “GLBT types” and I’ve spent the past seven years or so of my life not just calling for defunding this or that project, but in fact calling for, and working for, the immediate, complete and permanent abolition of the State as such. I happen to know a lot of other Gs and Ls and Bs and Ts who have been and are doing the same.

    This conversation is not about “the homosexual lobby,” whatever the hell that is. It’s about me and my friends. The folks that Preston wants “purged” when he talks about holding “a revolution within anarchism itself.” This isn’t about attempts to reach out to statist outfits like Human Rights Campaign (who cares?); it’s about Keith’s explicit intention to run us — that is, people who are anarchists and are also vocal gay liberationists — out of the movement, apparently in the name of better recruiting among angry young white cis straight non-immigrant males. (Not to mention his similar suggestions for running out feminists, vocal anti-racists, trans folks, pissed-off, man-hating, dykes with an excess of body hair [sic! he says that like it’s supposed to be a bad thing…], people who oppose government immigration checkpoints and “papers-please” ID monitoring, etc.).

    I read Mr Preston’s entire piece (or ’screed’ or ‘rant’ if you want to be pejorative) and there was one single sentence in a sea of reasoned argument (the whole ‘cock ring’ bit) upon which people have seized as evidence of some deeper ideological shortcoming.

    Oh, well, we can discuss more than just that one pull-quote, if you want.

    For instance, how about the several paragraphs that he devotes to arguing that anarchists, of all people, ought to be calling for the expansion of government checkpoints, documentation requirements, and prohibitions against immigrant workers? I don’t know about you, but I’d say that there’s some ideological shortcoming going on when a professed anti-statist goes around arguing for the escalation of police state tactics by government border thugs (because, hey, a majority of government-approved voters want it! well, hell, sign me up!).

  22. By Soviet Onion on 22 May 2009


    Also, you wrote “if I take money for sex, I’m a whore”… I hope you were being facetious or ironic (I was able to detect a possible use of the sentence as counterpoint to the ’sweetness’ of the prior sentence, perhaps implying that all women, however sweet, become whores if they take sex for money, whereas men become… he-whores?).

    Interpretation-FAIL

  23. By Geoffrey Transom on 22 May 2009

    Hi there RadGeek,

    As I read Mr Preston’s piece, he – like me – doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether you, or I, or anybody else is gay, bi, bi-curious, or whatever: the thing he is warning about is the futility of efforts to ‘buddy up’ to the GLBT LOBBY (by which, I am sure you know, we mean a militant group who seeks legislative action in its favour).

    Talking about ‘you and your friends’ in lieu of a ‘lobby’ is a tad disingenuous. After all, the leadership of the Soviet Union could have been said to be ‘Lenin and his friends'; there were, I am sure, members of the Supreme Soviet who loved their families dearly… but the nature of their ‘project’ was inimical with anarchy.

    As to ‘purges’ – the Hoppean vision of some sort of anarchist ‘Polite-Buro’ where everyone is heterosexual and always says thank-you and listens to classical music, is frankly something I find sickening.

    For a start, such an idea is predicated on the idea that someone (in this case, Prof Hoppe) is endowed with an infallible knowledge as to how people OUGHT to behave, and the right to use force to evict non-compliers (if they are property owners, what right would Hoppe have to force them to leave an anarchist territory?)

    To (try to) remove this from a specific focus on sexuality, let’s pick another group famed for their cultural sensitivity (but only for perceived ‘inbound’ insults): the people who stole Palestine and established a racist state there.

    There are ‘Israelis’ who do sterling work – Uri Avnery and others. As a supporter of the Palestinian cause I would absolutely work with people like Avnery, despite the fact that the continued presence of his people in Palestine is a travesty.

    But NOTHING – repeat, NOTHING – positive would be achieved by becoming pals with the “Israel” LOBBY.

    That’s how I read it: individual gay people – be they individual gay activists or otherwise – can do sterling work as anarchists, but on the whole, the GLBT LOBBY, being political in nature, will behave like a political entity. As such it is the enemy.

    You mention his views on immigration as some evidence contradicting the overall balance of his piece.

    I didn’t say I AGREED with his views on immigration – quite the opposite. But it was internally consistent.

    I firmly believe that national boundaries are fiction and ‘border control’ is just another means by which the State corrals its livestock. As a result of these beliefs I have spent two periods in a French concentration camp (they call them ‘detention centres’ but I prefer the more evocative term) and been flown back to my ‘home herd’ at French taxpayers’ expense.

    (My CATS, on the other hand, are free to stay in France for the rest of their lives, despite being born in Australia and never, to my knowledge, having been granted French citizenship).

    Under what I believe to be a sound theory of property rights, individuals have a right to exclude people from their privately-owned property, and to contract out that service. But that’s all: land which is not privately owned cannot be ‘deemed owned by the State’ or by any group, and as such nobody can have a right to exclude anybody from it.

    Still, immigration ‘policy’ is one in which even the most ‘with it’ anarchists can disagree; personally I frame EVERYTHING in terms of a permissive framework: any person ought to be free to do anything they want, so long as they don’t aggress against others.

    As such I would argue against Mr Preston’s characterisation of a sensible immigration ‘setup’ (I dislike the word ‘policy’ in an anarchist framework) as being inconsistent with liberty and natural rights.

    It’s straightforward that if there is existing group-owned infrastructure which has been funded by current inhabitants, then immigrants need to ‘buy in’ to that infrastructure if it is not priced on a ‘user pays’ basis. That does not imply any need for a State, nor any right to exclude from non-private property.

    That said, Mr Preston makes no reference to the State monitoring the borders – he leaves that to militia (which at least renders it voluntary, and reduces the likelihood that such enforcement would last long or be very effective). The rest of the stuff he wrote about was predicated on the existence of state benefits, so it seemed clear that he was talking about current conditions, not some future state-free situation.

    One thing about a voluntary society, is that it would permit communities to be formed comprised totally of people whose views we find reprehensible (e.g., the aforementioned Eastern European peasant nutcases who think that a burning shrub can make gifts of land).

    Mr Preston took some pains to point out that he has no objection to homosexuals per se: if that is taken as an honest portrayal of his views, then it is still only the (political-means) LOBBY that he disagrees with.

    If you think he is being disingenuous when he tries to make the ‘general to specific’ distinction (i.e., if you think he’s a homophobe who is lying about his actual views) then it is possible to infer all manner of (hidden) ill-will towards ‘non-Lobby’ GLBT people.

    I prefer not to do that, unless the person making the statement is a politician (or a lobbyist, or any of the other ten layers of bullshit-artists that cling like limpets to the political structure).

    Frankly, I would like to live in a world in which you didn’t feel obliged to mention that you’re ‘an out bisexual man’. I think people waste far too much energy on caring about their – and others’ – sexual orientation, and sex and sexuality in general… it’s just NOT that exciting a part of life. As Johnson said “the expense is damnable, the position is ridiculous, and the pleasure fleeting.”

    If people were simply left ot maximise their own happiness, subject to constraints of time, budget and an obligation not to interfere in other people’s lives, then everybody would be better off. It is nobody’s business who does what to whom (via which orifice), and nobody is helped by organisations that keep harping on about how they’re maligned because of their preference for orifice-interface.

    Finally… although I used the term myself, why do Americans think ‘homophobia’ is the right term? Homo is MAN or SAME, and phobia is FEAR. Surely a better term can be thought up to properly reflect ‘hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality': hate and fear are not the same. We don’t say ‘gynophobe’ for a woman-hater… we say ‘mysogynist’.

    Cheerio

    GT

  24. By Geoffrey Transom on 22 May 2009

    RadGeek –

    An example of a GLBT Lobby group – OutFront.

    @SovietOnion – it would have helped if you had made clear what YOUR interpretation was – it was clear that I was unwilling to condemn the poster in case I was misinterpreting her statement.

    Maybe after your sophomore year is finished you’ll have the confidence to contribute what you think rather than making glib Yankeries (yankery: a smart-ass online comment by an American teenager).

    Cheerio

    GT

  25. By Kregus on 22 May 2009

    I’m also an out bisexual man. I have dissociate myself from LGBT statists.

  26. By Mike Gogulski on 22 May 2009

    Hooo-eeey! Just look at the shitstorm that whipped up here while I slept.

    Huh, I didn’t know Rad Geek was bisexual. *shrug*. If it makes any difference, I kissed a guy once… well, several times all in the same night, while we were both rolling our faces off on MDMA back in 1994. Jim was his name. Beard collisions are funny! I’ve long defined myself as bisexual, though with the perhaps silly qualification that there’s no man on this planet who’s likely to catch my fancy.

    As for the topic, I could care less about the institutional, statist LGBT “agendas” and “lobbies” that are out there. My own agenda is individual(ist) and universal(ist). Where some (typically conservative) person is arguing “they’re trying to normalize homosexuality through the public schools!”, you’ll find me countering with, “abolish the public schools!” And on and on in the same vein.

    I see LGBT people oppressed through the same sorts of mechanisms and justifications which allowed for Jim Crow in the US historically, or which today provide for the treatment of human beings as second-class citizens in places like Israel — or, closer to home, the Roma people in Slovakia.

    And I’m against all of that, and I will side with people who are actually being oppressed, and against those who seem to eagerly employ the language of division, scorn or bigotry on display in Preston’s piece, whatever their perception of the strategic field might be.

  27. By Sheldon Richman on 22 May 2009

    Bravo, Mike. I hope Keith’s attitude is not widespread.

  28. By Soviet Onion on 22 May 2009


    If someone is committed to the abolition of slavery (the State sees us as its livestock), then I do not care if they are homosexual, heterosexual, or where they lie on the continuum between those two ‘tendencies’. But if someone is a GLBT lobbyist first, and an anarchist/akratist/voluntaryist/agorist/panarchist SECOND, then they are a bit like Rahm Emmanuel – their first loyalty os to a group hostile to ours.

    First thing to learn, for those trapped in an implicit and unexamined (but unfortunately not uncommon in politics) tribalist mentality:

    It’s not about belonging to one “team” or another and ranking it in importance to other “teams”. It’s about ideas and how they interrelate.

  29. By Soviet Onion on 22 May 2009


    @SovietOnion – it would have helped if you had made clear what YOUR interpretation was – it was clear that I was unwilling to condemn the poster in case I was misinterpreting her statement.

    If you don’t learn to think for yourself now then you never will.

    In any case I think it would be better to let her explain why your interpretation was way off.

    As for the topic, I could care less about the institutional, statist LGBT “agendas” and “lobbies” that are out there. My own agenda is individual(ist) and universal(ist). Where some (typically conservative) person is arguing “they’re trying to normalize homosexuality through the public schools!”, you’ll find me countering with, “abolish the public schools!” And on and on in the same vein.

    Here here!! Although I would take that last part a step further and also say “fuck normativity”. That’s just emblematic of my personal sensibilities surrounding cultural issues. I don’t expect anyone else to agree with them.

    Regarding the XOXO, in my experience very few people are 100% anything. Kinsey scale and all that.

  30. By Mike Gogulski on 22 May 2009

    “Fuck normativity!”

    Indeed. One bit I forgot to mention is that the line of thinking I’m attacking here also offends my own transhumanist sentiments. Gender and sexual orientation to me are essentially accidental configurations, nothing to be celebrated in and of themselves. We might learn important things, though, from those who intentionally alter them — for whatever reasons.

  31. By Soviet Onion on 22 May 2009


    One bit I forgot to mention is that the line of thinking I’m attacking here also offends my own transhumanist sentiments.

    Mine too, although I’m also opposed to it for reasons that derive from post-leftism (a product of the anarcho-leftoids that Keith so despises) and the better parts of queer theory (a form of “identity politics” that for some reason cares more about universalism and individualism than Keith’s “non-identity based” bigoted tribal separatism). Pretty much every bone in my body is engineered to hate ingrained, inherited mental constraints.

    Re: this Geoffrey fellow, does anyone else think it’s strange that he seems to think he’s agreeing with Keith’s position by claiming that those who care about LGBT people are all hard-core statists, when all Keith did was talk about how many queers there are in the anarchist movement, and how that’s bad PR?

  32. By William Gillis on 22 May 2009

    Frankly, I’ve been using the example of Bash Back with great success as a tool to convert liberals and moderates to state-hating anarchists. Cuz, of course, yay queer terrorists! But also because Bash Back is a perfect example of oppressed people organizing with an admirably absolute refusal to seek power or even tangential complicity in connection to the state as well as effectively confronting and subverting those queer/GBLT folk who do.

  33. By Aster on 22 May 2009

    Geoffrey-

    On whores:

    Please forgive me for failing to introduce myself before speaking to you. Viva la vi boheme, mon ami. I greatly appreciate your defense of the liberty and dignity of sex workers. And please, shop union, to support those of us who ask for the same autonomy and fair working conditions which people in all industries desire.

    I very much disagree with you that sexuality is a trivial or secondary part of life. Some people are asexual by birth, others have different temperaments which result in a high preference for erotic goods. My experience is that most people find sexual and romantic fulfillment to be among the twelve most important things in their life, but a mean isn’t a standard.

    An oppressive social system can unfortunately place one in a position where one can do nothing in life without considerations of the power structures that surrounded you. For many LGBT people, sexuality becomes a focus of life less because of the inherent priority of their sexuality to them, than because society will not leave them alone for it.

    But, more essentially, some find in sexuality a fascinating universe and one of many lenses through which one may view the human condition. And, just as lovers of logic may hope to become computer programmers or mathemeticians, those whose primary love is erotic may find their calling in a sexual profession. I have. A characteristic of a liberal society is that people are permitted to specialise in what they most enjoy and will thus have incentive to become skilled in diverse professions. A consistently liberal society extends this moral and practical principle to human sexuality.

    Now, onto immediate matters:

    1) I think Soviet Onion deserves more respect. I don’t recall if he’s ever mentioned his age to me, but it’s hardly relevant to judging the validity of his political philosophy. Spinoza wrote first philosophy in his 20s, and Mozart began composing at the age of 5. Just as importantly, it’s cross-culturally characteristic for intelligent people to retain youthful personality traits into their adulthood. Einstein and Lewis Carroll are two paradigmatic examples. Artists and scientists both keep cultures where people act like kids, as anyone familiar with geek culture should appreciate. The Romantic poets- dead white guys, the biggies- celebrated adolescence. Maturity doesn’t mean putting away childish things; it means cultivating childlike curiosity and exploration into a form capable of responsibly dealing with reality.

    2) I greatly welcome your strong and principled stand for the rights of immigrants- and, more deeply, your stance against the cruel and irrational division of our world into national fiefdoms. I’m an immigrant myself, and it is atrociously unjust that I’ve been able to a find freedom and tolerance denied to some of my friends for the absurdly stupid reason that my birthmother happened to deliver while my father was stationed at a satellite-tracking facility in New Zealand. The world’s classist immigration laws effectively elevate those with the capital and connexions to be considered desirable immigrants to a world citizen status denied that of poor people denied the same freedom to move as their capitalist masters. They are the primary means which enable the continuation of a colonialist world economy which the history textbooks usually try to pretend ended somewhere between ’45 and the 60s.

    3) Regarding this:

    “You never hear GLBT types demanding that government reduce funding for their pet projects: quite the opposite.”

    When I lived in the States. the only offers for social advancement the system ever made to me were to join precisely the professional nanny state judenrat class of victimological altruists you describe. I refused.

    I will admit that when the same offers were made to me in New Zealand, in a society where discrimination against transgendered women is more annoying than crippling, I came very, very close to making a shameful choice. I’d come to the very edge of declaring myself a social democrat for life precisely out of desperation that libertarianism and individualism would never treat me fairly, and there might be no other way for me to reach the world with my voice or talent.

    That I did better is more the credit of those such as the libertarian Charles Johnson, who proved to me that they really did mean for their principles to apply to me than it is mine. It is because of Soviet Onion and William Gillis, libertarians who insisted, at last, that liberty and individualism are no excuse to tolerate inhumane bigotry or to turn a blind idea to the evil of a society which treats some as less than human because of the way they were born. It is only because of such people, in contrast to ten years of consistently unpleasant experiences with the libertarian and Libertarian movement, that I’ve begun to see the beauty of principled liberty again.

    LGBT people should support liberty for all, and it is unfortunate and wrong that many do support a queer left-liberal establishment which offers social inclusion and mobility at the price of collaboration with an unjust system. But libertarians only have a reasonable moral right to expect better if they prove by their actions that their individualist society applies to everyone, and abhors castes of superior and inferior genders and sexualities. I’m a Randian egoist, and don’t ask you to spend your limited time supporting anyone else’s cause. But please do not expect superhuman standards from those who may sometimes feel as if liberal statists are the only people they can possibly trust. No mortal human will support a movement which will not as a matter of course meet his or her most basic expectations for safety and humane treatment. I hope you would not.

    More importantly, even if in fact every LGBT person on the planet opposed and loathed libertarianism, the next queer person you met would still merit treatment as an individual. I am not a type. I am not a number. I am not a tribe. Please do not fold, spindle, or mutilate me.

    There is no single ‘Queer lobby’, and there are likely LGBT people of every political persuasion. If a plurality of queer people (in those relatively open societies where they are allowed to exist at all) favour statist liberalism, it is largely because statist liberals have shown them the most friendship. Nevertheless, quite a few have contributed substantially to the libertarian movement, as other posters here have proved beyond further need of evidence. Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty and Outright Libertarians (wiki their platform) are politically organised and explicitly queer libertarian groups which likely have 20 years behind them by now. The Independent Gay Forum and Pink Pistols have been reliably libertarian allies. It is possible for LGBT types to consciously organise to change their social condition without implying acceptance of statist methods- in other words, *queer* politics does not in any way imply *statist* politics. And most of the work of the existing LGBT Pride movement- Pride parades, for instance, is nonstatist and nonviolent, a project of changing hearts and minds an confronting and exposing irrational social structures. Libertarians may justly wish that this was entirely the case, but what needs to be condemned is political statism, not any kind of self-conscious social liberation movement. And the absolutely last thing I want is to push the interests of some LGBT collectivist ‘tribe’. Being trapped in such a ghettoised nightmare by outside discrimination was one of the worst experiences of my life, and a major source of my outrage at Keith Preston’s neo-segregationist politics.

    4) On this:

    “….Let’s pick another group famed for their cultural sensitivity (but only for perceived ‘inbound’ insults): the people who stole Palestine and established a racist state there.”

    Dear bleeding goddess in an Easter basket! We’re living in the year 2009. If we haven’t learned the specific object lesson that treating Jewish people as a collective group is a bad idea by this point, we might as well give up, follow John Zerzan, and return to the Stick Age. Which part of ‘never again’ is so hard for us to understand?

    I have very complicated feeling towards the state of Israel. First of all, it’s a state, and I don’t like states. As a specific civilisational project, it is an incompatible mix of liberal civilisation and implicitly racist and theocratic nationalism. The Palestinian tribe is controlled by some of the most viciously antirational collectivist leadership on our unhappy planet, but this does not lessen the vile stench of the collectivist atrocities systematically visited upon them by the Israeli government.

    What Israel proves is the evil and futility of all nationalisms. If there was ever a tribe on Earth one might be tempted to trust *as* a tribe, as a collecitivity, a tradition, a nationalism, it would be the Jewish people. But an attempt to establish a liberal democracy upon a racial and religious unifying principle has resulted in the same bloody atrocities which all tribes have always conducted against outsiders and is destroying the open characteristics of Israeli society. I very strongly believe that context-free and selective deligitimisations of the Jewish state are implicitly tainted by antisemitism and could very easily result in a second Holocaust, and the unreconstructed and genocidal antisemitism of Israel’s political enemies is quite clear. At the same time, what the state of Israel in actually doing to most of the Palestinians is also genocidal in principle and worse than some Medieval ghettoes in practice. And of course, the spectacle of a country founded primarily in response to the Holocaust inflicting a fraction of the crimes committed against Palestinians is enough to make any humanist wish for reassignment to a different species. I welcome our dolphin overlords.

    I believe that Jews, Palestinians have precisely the same human rights. And like the rest of humanity, I know of no way to untie the worst ever Gordion knot that is the Israel-Palestine conflict. Anyone with a better idea is welcome to their Nobel Peace Prize. I’ll let you know of my own brilliant idea after I’ve travelled faster than the speed of light and constructed a perpetual motion machine. In the mean time, one thing I do know is that nothing good is going to come of talking about ‘the Jews’.

    And for the record, I’m not in any way Jewish. But speaking in blatant exception to principle, but in solidarity with most people who wished they’d been taught how to love reading from their first word: I wish. Altho’ being a sex worker ain’t so bad either, and if we can get our own schools together we won’t be too shabby by comparison. That said, if specific Jewish governments or individuals behave viciously, they should of course be condemned, as individuals. The only people who have true reason to speak of ‘the Jews’ or ‘the Queers’ as essentialised entities are nationalists and bigots such as those promoted by the Keith Preston, who talks way too much about Zionism almost as badly as he talks way too much about homosexuality.

  34. By Soviet Onion on 22 May 2009

    Will + Aster,

    Regarding queer anarchism, the most fucking awesome thing in the world just dropped into my inbox today:

    Bash Back! Chicago and the ghost of Emma Goldman get it on to “Love is a Battlefield”

    http://b.static.ak.fbcdn.net/swf/mvp.swf?8%3A152716%3A1&v=84510643574&ev=0

    Now someone explain to me why Voltairine couldn’t get in on that action? Granted, her grave’s not nearly as fancy, but come on!! Her anarcha-feminist credentials are unassailable, despite . . . you know.

  35. By Rad Geek on 22 May 2009

    Geoffrey Transom:

    As I read Mr Preston’s piece, he – like me – doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether you, or I, or anybody else is gay, bi, bi-curious, or whatever:

    I dunno, dude, when someone starts complaining about “cock-ringed queers,” “bearded ladies,” “pissed-off, man-hating, dykes with an excess of body hair,” and “persons of one or another surgically altered ‘gender identity,'” quote-unquote, and states, without any qualification, that fewer such people ought to be “in our midst,” in order to make the kind of person he thinks of as the “average young rebel” (who, we can glean from the textual evidence, is supposed to be white, male, straight, and not an immigrant) more comfortable joining up — well, I get the impression that he does care, and moreover that he expects other people to care. Not so much about the fact of sexuality per se, but more about how far one is open about sex and gender in a way that makes things uncomfortable for those who believe in a very rigid set of gender norms.

    the thing he is warning about is the futility of efforts to ‘buddy up’ to the GLBT LOBBY (by which, I am sure you know, we mean a militant group who seeks legislative action in its favour).

    Geoffrey, I know what lobbying groups are, and I’m aware of several of the different lobbying groups concerned with a legislative “gay rights” agenda (HRC, OutFront, Stand OUT for Equality, ACT UP, etc.). However, I don’t know what “the GLBT lobby” is — there is no such single coordinated group. There are many different groups with many different aims and many different tactics. And I don’t know how “the GLBT lobby” is supposed to encompass who Keith Preston was actually talking about — his post was not about people engaged in lobbying the legislature or attempting to seek “legislative action in [their] favour”; it was about people currently engaged in the anarchist movement, who are calling for non-legislative, non-governmental forms of cultural activism which Keith feels to amount to “reacting to those with un-PC views on ‘gay rights’ with hysteria, shrillness, rudeness, slander, villification, and threats.”

    Talking about ‘you and your friends’ in lieu of a ‘lobby’ is a tad disingenuous. After all, the leadership of the Soviet Union could have been said to be ‘Lenin and his friends’

    Let me repeat this in case there is a chance of your getting it.

    I talk about “me and my friends” in lieu of a “lobby” because I am not part of a fucking lobby, and neither are my friends. I (we) do not attempt to get legislation passed in my (our) favor. I do not attempt to meet with or communicate with legislators in an attempt to influence their opinions. There are groups that do these things. I am not a member of those groups, and I am opposed to both their agenda and their tactics. I am an anarchist, an anti-electoralist, and specifically an advocate of direct action and counter-economics. The people Keith Preston is complaining about in his post are people like me and my friends, not members or supporters of political lobbying groups. The activism that he is complaining about has to do primarily with calling him names and suggesting that people dissocate from him; it doesn’t have to do with attempts to influence the legislature. The people he is calling for a “purge” of are not members of GLBT lobbying groups — you can’t purge people who were never part of the movement to begin with — but rather anarchists who are vocal gay liberationists (which would include not only “me and my friends,” but also, presumably, organized, anti-legislative anarcho groups like Bash Back). If you want to have a conversation about statist GLBT lobbying groups we can have that conversation; it will be a short one: I’m agin’ ‘em, just like I’m agin’ all statist lobbying groups. But you don’t get to rewrite the entire past conversation in order to pretend like Keith’s target is actually something completely different from what he explicitly said it was.

    It’s straightforward that if there is existing group-owned infrastructure which has been funded by current inhabitants, then immigrants need to ‘buy in’ to that infrastructure if it is not priced on a ‘user pays’ basis.

    Immigrants who use the roads pay gas taxes and other sales taxes to support the roads. To the extent that non-immigrants “buy in” to the government roads by funding them, immigrants “buy in” in exactly the same way. I think this kind of argument is nothing more than special pleading in an attempt to find an argument for a predetermined conclusion; for a more detailed discussion, see 1 and 2.

    That said, Mr Preston makes no reference to the State monitoring the borders – he leaves that to militia (which at least renders it voluntary, and reduces the likelihood that such enforcement would last long or be very effective).

    Bull. He calls for the use of Minuteman-style militias in addition to existing government border checkpoints (checkpoints staffed by whom? , screeners, Fugitive Alien courts and immigration enforcement squads (to do the screening of people coming here and the deporting of people already living here), etc., not in place of them. He calls for more government laws, not fewer (e.g. having government further criminalize peaceful labor contracts between immigrants and willing employers — to be policed and enforced by whom, if not by a government immigration bureaucracy much like the present one, with its “papers-please” I-9 form monitoring and its paramilitary workplace raids). There is no honest reading of his expressed position that would suggest any reduction to the intensity or scope of government enforcement of state borders.

    The rest of the stuff he wrote about was predicated on the existence of state benefits, so it seemed clear that he was talking about current conditions, not some future state-free situation.

    It’s true that if you combine something fundamentally moral (free immigration, without government monitoring or control, and without respect for politically-fabricated “borders”) with something completely immoral (a coercive welfare state), you may get bad results from the combination. But when somebody responds to that situation by crusading against the moral part of the combination, and calls for massive saturation deployments of state surveillance and state violence, which target everyone on the basis of a morally irrelevant feature (their nationality) regardless of their intentions or their conduct, to suppress the moral part of the combination, rather than, y’know, focusing on the immoral part — well, then it seems to me that that’s a pretty cracked way of responding to current conditions. One which happens to strengthen the State rather than weakening it, to move us further away from a future state-free situation rather than closer to it, and to guarantee that lots of innocent people are going to get jailed or shot right here and right now, for no good reason at all.

    Still, immigration ‘policy’ is one in which even the most ‘with it’ anarchists can disagree;

    If your idea of a “with it” anarchist includes Anarchists For National Borders And Police States to Enforce Them, well, then, yeah, I suppose you’ll see a lot of disagreements.

    Frankly, I would like to live in a world in which you didn’t feel obliged to mention that you’re ‘an out bisexual man’.

    I’d like to live in such a world too, because the reason I “felt obliged” to mention the fact had to do with the fact that LGBT folks were being rhetorically attacked in the conversation, based on a number of claims that are not actually true of me or of a number of other LGBT folks here, and mentioning that we are present in the conversation is an important part of dealing with such attacks. I’d much rather live in a world without such attacks, and hence without the need to go out of my way to formally declare it.

  36. By Black Bloke on 22 May 2009

    Why is it that almost every thread I read in which Keith Preston is involved, I feel like there’s a sock puppet?

  37. By Sergio Méndez on 22 May 2009

    Well, I think the irony of all this is that Mr Preston says we should excude pro gay or LGTB people from an alliance in the libertarian left, yet his strategy is “big tent” for racists, nationalists and religious fanatics whose OWN ideology (not their sexual preference) is to actually exclude and porsecute people who are not from their own skin colour, nationality or religious credo. In other words it seems to me Keith is not only a biggot, by his own words, but an hypocrite.

  38. By Mike on 24 May 2009

    And I’m against all of that, and I will side with people who are actually being oppressed, and against those who seem to eagerly employ the language of division, scorn or bigotry on display in Preston’s piece, whatever their perception of the strategic field might be.

    Bravo sir…added to my blogroll now, just for that succinct statement (and correcting my 400 Ghz thing…)

    Seems to me that LGBT people would be natural allies and easy converts, since they suffer the most discrimination and restriction on their personal liberty by bigots using the state. They see the raw, naked power of the state.

    Now some may be attracted to that power as a means to effect change in the same fashion they have been oppressed – that isn’t any different than social democrats, liberals or even conservative statists who want to do the same thing.

    But I’m willing to be there would be lots who could easily be convinced that the state is the problem, not the solution.

    Besides, I’d rather associate with them than fascists disguised as anarchists any day (“national anarchism” – bah. White Supremacist thugs).

  39. By Jeremy on 24 May 2009


    Not so much about the fact of sexuality per se, but more about how far one is open about sex and gender in a way that makes things uncomfortable for those who believe in a very rigid set of gender norms.

    Is toppling rigid sets of gender norms more important than preventing violence by the state?

    And, hey, by the same token, is distributing pamphlets about the crimes of the U.S. empire more important than defending a sexual minority from being beaten up right in front of you?

    In the end, I think a lot of this has about zero to do with actual philosophical differences (which undoubtedly exist) and about everything to do with distrusting one another on a very basic level. It’s hard for me to trust people who seem to think their own life stories constitute marching orders for me. On the other hand, I can totally see why people who have felt marginalized their whole lives balk at what Preston has written recently.

    This isn’t much of an alliance if we don’t trust one another minimally. On the other hand, it isn’t much of an alliance if we have to agree with one another on everything. Where’s the middle ground that we all feel comfortable with?

  40. By Jeremy on 24 May 2009

    What have National Anarchists *done* that is so unacceptable?

  41. By Aster on 25 May 2009

    Ideas have consequences.

  42. By Mike Gogulski on 25 May 2009

    Thanks, Mike… all of you, really, for participating here. The internecine really drains me. Back to demystifying the state for me.

  43. By Jeremy on 26 May 2009


    Ideas have consequences.

    This is really where we disagree, Aster. I firmly believe that ideas do *not* have necessary consequences. Only actions do.

    If your goal is to essentially dictate the ideas in my head (sure, through convincing me, fine) so that you may by some transient property control my actions, then I just really do not see why you embrace individualism. Why even care about individuals qua individuals? Why not just view them as instrumental meme-replicators through which you secure a world totally devoted to your own self-interest?

  44. By Mike Gogulski on 26 May 2009

    Jeremy, you make a good and valid point here, but…

    Even though individuals are individuals, a lot of them have very little ability to resist meme-implantation, or to filter out the good from the bad. That you or I or Aster do have such filters is perhaps to our credit, but I think all three of us share a desire to liberate everyone as soon as possible.

    Another part of my reaction to Keith’s text comes from the recognition that where I act to expose people to bad ideas, there is at least a statistical likelihood that some of my audience adopts those ideas as their own, and then acts on them.

    This is not a challenge to volition or individualism in my mind, though perhaps a capitulation to a cold reality. I don’t desire to “protect” anyone from any idea. But between “protect” and “project”, well, we each need to find our own place where we feel like we’re doing right by those around us.

    (Note here, please, that I am reacting now only to your last message, and setting most of the other context aside — even though I mention Keith’s text)

  45. By Black Bloke on 26 May 2009

    Keith Preston characterizes his suggestions and probably his intentions, using the word “pogrom”. I’m not sure I really want to know any more.

  46. By Jeremy on 26 May 2009


    Even though individuals are individuals, a lot of them have very little ability to resist meme-implantation, or to filter out the good from the bad.

    Perhaps. But as R.A. Wilson said paraphrasing de Sade: “…I don’t believe in the ‘noble savage,’ I even doubt that he is ‘inherently good,’ but taking him as he is I still say: Freedom. He deserves liberty because nobody else is good enough to take it away from him.”

    Even if I have “better ideas”, I don’t have enough wisdom or data to centrally plan the thinking of others. If they don’t want to think and take responsibility for their actions, all the memes in the world won’t improve the situation. I’d rather free them than enlighten them.

  47. By Soviet Onion on 26 May 2009


    This is really where we disagree, Aster. I firmly believe that ideas do *not* have necessary consequences. Only actions do.

    Ideas have consequences as to what sort of path a group of people end up taking with regard to action, or what sort of behaviors the general culture is willing to sit by and tolerate blah blah blah etc etc.

    If your goal is to essentially dictate the ideas in my head (sure, through convincing me, fine) so that you may by some transient property control my actions, then I just really do not see why you embrace individualism.

    It’s more about trying to insert ideas into peoples’ heads that ensure they won’t try to control you.

    Individualism isn’t the uncritical embrace of ideas that undermine it. It makes no sense for those who believe “all people are created equal” to affirm some other set of ideas that logically contradict that, such as racial separatism, even if you don’t think it’s right to attack them for it. That’s the difference between pluralism and relativism.

    Why even care about individuals qua individuals?

    It’s precisely for this reason that individualists should oppose ideas that don’t treat people as individuals, both because they’re antithetical to your own ideas and because, left unabated, they will go on to sculpt social environments and promote/enable actions that are hostile to non-conforming individuals.

  48. By Mike Gogulski on 26 May 2009

    You know I’ve read an awful lot of Wilson too, I think, and let his thinking influence my own at a very deep level. I’m nodding strong agreement here, but thinking, eh, we’re not talking about the same thing.

    I’m not interested in trying to plan others’ thinking at all. I would like to present and advocate for ideas that I feel are liberatory, while leaving others to gather dust on dimly-lit bookshelves.

    I don’t need to burn the library to do that. But count me out for casting light into those darknesses.

  49. By Jeremy on 26 May 2009


    It’s more about trying to insert ideas into peoples’ heads that ensure they won’t try to control you.

    That’s not what I’m doing. I’m talking with people to help them understand what it means to be themselves, to be the human being that they are, that freedom is about being themselves and who they want to be completely – not as a defensive maneuver.

    In other words, I absolutely refuse to fear my fellow man. Maybe that’s what really gnaws at me about Aster’s writing – to me it just sounds so terrified. Philosophy and politics is not a desperate act I perform to save myself from being lynched by the mob.

    Individualism isn’t the uncritical embrace of ideas that undermine it.

    Well, gee, if there wasn’t the presence of a critical faculty I probably *would* fear ideas. I never said individualism requires anybody do embrace any idea ever. But can’t I think about all manner of horribleness without it dictating consequences for myself and others?

    It makes no sense for those who believe “all people are created equal” to affirm some other set of ideas that logically contradict that, such as racial separatism, even if you don’t think it’s right to attack them for it.

    That’s true enough. But I guess how that actually plays out depends on what you mean by “believe” and “affirm”. It’s precisely because *I* believe people are inherently equal that I can understand that *other people* hold other beliefs. One arbitrary construct deserves another, no?

    It’s precisely for this reason that individualists should oppose ideas that don’t treat people as individuals, both because they’re antithetical to your own ideas and because, left unabated, they will go on to sculpt social environments and promote/enable actions that are hostile to non-conforming individuals.

    I just don’t find that argument very convincing (jeez, now I really *do* sound like Keith). This is what I was getting at when I half-facetiously mentioned “central planning of ideas”. I defy your belief in the cause and effect implied in your statement. Society is far too complex for you to make those kinds of predictions. “Implanting ideas” just turns them more than likely into *your* automatons.

    I prefer to connect with people – and that is precisely why, as I said in another thread, I no longer seek to cultivate outrage. It’s just where I’m at now, I suppose.

  50. By Soviet Onion on 26 May 2009


    I’m talking with people to help them understand what it means to be themselves, to be the human being that they are

    Bingo. Things other than the United States government stand in the way of that.

    But maybe that’s just not the right set of priorities. I mean, who are you to say that we should care about individuals being themselves when there’s the much more important issue of the Imperial Death Machine? Maybe we should support groups that are not intent on letting people do that if it helps dismantle the USA faster.

    that freedom is about being themselves and who they want to be completely – not as a defensive maneuver.

    *sigh* You just can’t keep the terms of this argument consistent, can you? I was trying to draw a causal connection to formal coercion because it seemed that you were giving priority to that. Yes, the freedom to be yourself is very important, and one of the core reasons for taking the positions that we do. Unfortunately even with you acknowledging that, whenever I try to invoke that argument to encourage a broader set of commitments I become a totalitarian humanist with no sense of priorities trying to push my brand of un-libertarian cultural Marxism because I “don’t trust individuals”.

    Maybe that’s what really gnaws at me about Aster’s writing – to me it just sounds so terrified. Philosophy and politics is not a desperate act I perform to save myself from being lynched by the mob.

    What. The. Hell.

    I don’t even know what to say to this except “When was the last time they lynched white guys in Virginia?”

    Well, gee, if there wasn’t the presence of a critical faculty I probably *would* fear ideas. I never said individualism requires anybody do embrace any idea ever. But can’t I think about all manner of horribleness without it dictating consequences for myself and others?

    There’s a difference between “think about” and “embrace”. I can think about white nationalists as a phenomenon, but being one and promoting the idea is a lot different.

    That’s true enough. But I guess how that actually plays out depends on what you mean by “believe” and “affirm”. It’s precisely because *I* believe people are inherently equal that I can understand that *other people* hold other beliefs. One arbitrary construct deserves another, no?

    This is relativist garbage, and it’s exactly what I was calling absurd in my original statement. The opposite of bigotry is not just another kind of bigotry. Just like liberty doesn’t grant the freedom to curtail someone else’s liberty, individualism doesn’t provide for intellectual support of individuals choosing to be anti-individualist. That’s self-defeating.

    I just don’t find that argument very convincing (jeez, now I really *do* sound like Keith). This is what I was getting at when I half-facetiously mentioned “central planning of ideas”. I defy your belief in the cause and effect implied in your statement. Society is far too complex for you to make those kinds of predictions.

    Yeah, yeah, there are a lot of factors and no social phenomenon is so one-dimensional. The world’s complicated, we get it. All things being equal, are the presence of racialist, nationalist or other kind of separatist or clannish ideas likely to boon or a curse to individualism in a given society?

  51. By Aster on 26 May 2009

    Jeremy-

    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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. By Aster on 26 May 2009

    Jeremy-

    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.

  56. 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

  57. 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.

    DB

  58. 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!!!

  59. 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.

    DB

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. By Mike Gogulski on 22 June 2010

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

  64. 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.

  65. 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. 4 Trackback(s)

  2. 22 May 2009: BradSpangler.com » Blog Archive » Bigotry and Revolution
  3. 28 May 2009: Attack the System » Blog Archive » The “Purge” Revisted: Anarcho-Leftoids Unite in Hatred Against Keith Preston
  4. 11 June 2009: How to Convert a Big Tent Into a Small One | Austro-Athenian Empire
  5. 21 June 2009: On rejecting Keith Preston | No Treason

    comments rss Comments RSS

Post a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Core Dogma