Sunday, December 2, 2007

Robert Lindsay is the Coolest Commie Ever

I happened on Robert Lindsay's blog from a link on Entitled to an Opinion last night and then spent the next 4 or 5 hours reading fascinated until I had to knock off because my eyes hurt. I read about half of the site and I don't think I've ever been so excited about someone who's P.O.V I really can't determine.  He describes himself as "Independent Left journalist in California. Revolutionary, Christian, liberation theology, replacement theology, civil libertarian, mixed economy. BA Journalism, MA Linguistics, Green Party, Communist Party USA, Democratic Party. Generally, topics focused through a progressive (Old Left), though heterodox, lens. Pan-humanist universalist, yet despises the PC, Cultural Marxist, Identity Politics, Western New Left." Man, there sure are a lot of different flavors; sounds like a circular firing squad. 

   His stuff reads like a cross between Steve Sailor and Jared Taylor, but he is anti-racialist and considers Sailor a "lab-coat racist".  I used to read a lot of that sort of thing, but it mostly seems to go nowhere; on-the-one-hand-but-on-other-hand speculation, more Aristotle than Plato, but it's possible that its all just over my head.    His links list is broken down into a lot of categories, and he seems to hate the same people I do, such as Christopher Hitchens, whom he regards as a traitor to progressivism, rather than as traitor to the human race, as I believe.
Most importantly, he dislikes libertarians in the same way we're seeing the left attack Ron Paul; a gooey conglomerate of negative definitions of first principles (it's based on greed and fear), selective ignorance (e.g. Hayek couldn't get tenure in Germany) and guilt by association (many jerks and assholes are "libertarian-types"), circular reasoning and non-sequetor .  Since the guy is obviously smart, you have to believe, it's willful distortion, but in many other ways he's quite good and often hilarious.

   I was lucky I came to the site from a link, otherwise I would have not gotten beyond the "left journalist" description. I realize I'm somewhat closed-minded about it, but I lost interest in "the left" about 30 years ago when I finished college. I wasn't negative about it, just not willing to learn enough to challenge my own ignorance. Pre-internet, one had to actually work at research and it was difficult to find informed peers, especially among my lumpen associates drinking beer around the teevee.

I majored in poli sci so I had a rudimentary grasp of dialectics, but I never experienced anything close to the kind of thing that happens in an open internet thread where a thesis is kicked around in a multi-dimensional matrix of opinion and facts. Until recently I would form an opinion and hold it until something might dislodge it, which was unlikely since I would tend to filter out anything contrary to my half-formed view. I think most people do the same. I'm sure an informed Marxist would scorn the nebulous end-product as worse than simple ignorance, but I felt a need to stand somewhere, and wherever I was would have to do. Needless to say, this approach does not lead to setting the world on fire and I never even worked up to failure, but a middle-class white guy can usually muddle along if he doesn't make any major mistakes.

I think I consciously avoided exposure to Marxism out of fear that it might well lead to some sort of social awareness when I only wanted to preserve my self. This was strongly re-enforced when I became eligible for the draft after I dropped out in 1969 and moved to Boston, where the anti-war movement was very strong, to try to beat it. I lived with some movement people (Hi Jan and Carmen, wherever you are), but was never committed although I knew I was just a hippie parasite (as they constantly reminded me) but I also didn't want to risk going to jail to avoid going in the Army, where I would be more afraid of my compatriots than the Viet Cong. (see Full Metal Jacket - Pvt. Pyle) I just want you to know where I'm starting from.
Which brings me to his dismissal of Libertarianism (a word I hate because it sounds really dorky which I would prefer to be called Liberalism, but let it lie).

"Libertarianism is heavily made up of of healthy young men in the 20's and 30's making very good incomes."

Ignoring the income part he is generally correct, and we can stipulate that it is based on selfishness, but not affirmatively. It is generally defensive - we fear the government and will never trust it; if government is strong enough to give you what you want, it is strong enough to take it away, and it has reached the point where not only takes but can no longer deliver the services promised. I believe it now harms the vulnerable more than it helps them(e.g. Katrina), and at enormous cost in misallocated resources, corruption, and inefficiency. I think we can agree that what was sold with (possibly) good intentions, has degenerated into fascism; public means of control - private profit, and is actually destroying the very means of production to reward those best able to manipulate it. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his rank". It's true that we may not care enough about the needy, but we should be able to work with progressives at least as far as ending this bullshit, and I think a lot of the left is coming around.

"Saying that almost all US racists and racialists are libertarian types is not the same as saying the obverse, and I would not be so wicked as to suggest that."

This was key for me in taking his arguments seriously on this subject, because, many on the left are saying that libertarians are objectively racist, and I just don't see it. I see an exact parallel in distinguishing between anti-semitic and anti-zionist. We would like to see an end to state support for the needy, principally because of moral hazard (the safety net was not meant to be a hammock), but we realize this may never come about; howevert we are determined to end welfare for the rich, whatever the consequences, because it never should have been allowed to begin in the first place and has become a runaway feedback loop, again due to moral hazard. The free market does not exist. When the wealthy make money, they keep it, when they lose money, we loan them more, and this is sold as protecting the vulnerable who would suffer in an economic downturn. "Give me money or I'll shoot this dog", it seems to me. This must end or there will literally be no wealth to redistribute, short of violent revolution, which tends to be a crapshoot for the aformentioned vulnerable.

It's funny that he mentions Steve Sailor, because before I got a good fix on his viewpoint, I thought the stuff on I.Q. and race was very similar to Sailors. I used to read him a lot, but got tired of it because I'm kind of skeptical of the whole I.Q. thing. Even if it's legitimate, which I doubt but am not qualified to argue about, it is only a matter of potential and most people don't use but some small fraction of it, and many bright people only use it to avoid being organized and hard-working; some even "too smart for their own good" or brought down by emotional problems of various sorts. I like Sailor's use of statistics, though, but I wish he'd move on to something less boring. In any case, there is no racial component to orthodox libertarianism that I've ever seen beyond "I am not my brother's keeper, nor is he mine". If someone wants to help Peter, that's great but don't use the government to rob Paul. I read libertarian stuff all day every day and I've never heard of Stastny or Lapite, and if they weren't squids I'm sure someone would have linked to them.  The only reason I even care about the racial aspect is because the Dems are going to try to paint Ron Paul as a racist when he runs against Hillary and I have to point out that it's not true. Ron Paul is bending over backwards (unnecessarily, imo) to assure people he will not destroy social programs; that his priority is ending the Empire. I hope progressives of good will (if there are any) will allow him to do that, and then fight him domestically, which shouldn't be too hard since the next congress should be almost 100% Dem (Inshallah). I have to say, I detested Bill, but Bush makes him seem like Thomas Jefferson.

"White Men Can't Bang"

You probably won't be surprised that I believe the questions posed in this piece are answerable by "It's the governments fault". Let me lay it out: To start with, there will never be full employment at the bottom of the ladder. With manufacturing gone from America there really isn't that much to be done anymore and almost all that's left are service jobs and mostly crappy low-paying ones at that. I can't find the quote but I think he said something like first generation immigrants are happy to have them compared to what was available at home. But second (I think he referred to them as anchor babies, but I still can't find the damned quote) and resident blacks have seen the good life and don't want the shit jobs, but do want the jack. Plus, one unintended consequence of welfare is that working for taxable income pays less than starting a family and living off of ADC moms, That leaves crime as the only alternative.

 Lumpen white guys are in the same situation, but really don't want to go to jail, which means selling powder or weed and being much more discrete, as I believe he pointed out. But minorities don't care as much, because they can survive in the joint much more easily if they're tuff enough and hang with their own. It's common to have the street dealers use newbies and kids do the hustling, because judges are more lenient on youthful first offenders. It's like apprenticing, and the older and/or previously convicted guys move up to management. Guns are just tools and the whole thing wouldn't happen if drugs weren't illegal, plus prisons are privatizing more and more and need clients. 

   On the other side is a similar hierarchy where lawyers start their careers as prosecutors and move into the big bucks as defense attorneys and only successful and organized dealers can afford them because their families sure can't. Most white families can afford these vultures one or two times after which the chump is on his own and better go hardcore and affiliate or do time solo, not a good choice. If prohibition were ended this whole sick system comes down, which is the main reason I'm a libertarian. Originally, I just wanted to smoke some weed without risking my world; now I want to jam a wrench in the wheels. That asshat William Bennett said that druggies would be criminals even if drugs were legal and now I kind of see his point, because the underlying poverty would still be there, but this little scam would end because the vertical monopoly would be broken.

This is a good explanation of the white crime in the 30's. Those guys got their start during prohibition and needed something to replace the liquor trade during the depression and the newly empowered FBI needed a new scam as well which Hoover cemented by PR campaign against the real but highly glorified wave of amateur bank robberies and kidnapping by Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde Not to mention Anslinger and the wholly fictitious evil marijuana curse. This tided all the parasites over until the mob moved into gambling and prostitution and the feds followed their PR noses into busting the dreaded communists and nazis. Symbiotic, symmetric consolidation of respective turfs.

Finally (you may hope), I have to say he totally convinced me about Mugabe. I don't pay much attention to Africa at all anymore. It's too depressing to contemplate. I think the original and on-going problem was tribalism, which was greatly responsible in allowing slavery and colonialism to flourish there, but the lingering damage from colonialism, and especially sanctions which always and only hurt the most vulnerable, can only be described as tragedy and a crime. It's difficult to think of whites as other than a malignant tumor on the earth.


TGGP said...

Glad my blog made a difference with regard to instinctive dismissal of Mr. Lindsay. I just find it odd that you say he convinced you on Mugabe. That seemed to me quite possibly the dumbest thing he's written, and he's written some quite out-there things.

Regarding lousy anti-Ron Paul arguments, even libertarians are guilty. See here and here.

racketmensch said...

I'm afraid I'm too easy to convince... all you have to mention is that our gubmint is up to something and I'm automatically against it, Sanctions always hurt the innocent the most, I believe as a matter of faith and logic. Also, I only know what I read, but I've never travelled or studied enough to comment intelligently on Africa. (or just about any other subject, ftm).

I especially enjoy reading people I can't get a good fix on, because I can't anticipate their conclusions. I read a lot of people I don't agree with, some just for their style. That guy rocks.

Mirra said...

Keep up the good work.