Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Take Some Time While Strom Gets His

Given the extreme level of work I’m dealing with right now, I’ll be taking some time off from the blog. Until I return, comfort yourself with the knowledge that Kevin Alfred Strom (one time right-hand man of William Pierce and leader of the National Vanguard organization) plead guilty to one count of possession of child porn this week and was sentenced to 23 months in prison. See you later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Politics Of Desire

Let’s say you like to be tied up and whipped. In our permissive culture, that’s all well and good. Sure, some of the old folks might give you some flack, but most of us would say “whatever floats your boat”. OK, so you’re a perv, but you have no reason to feel guilty, right? But what if you’re an anarchist? Does giving another person that kind of power over you violate your libertarian principals? What if you’re a feminist and you like having men do terrible things to you? What if you’re Jewish and you like your lover to wear a Nazi outfit while he “tortures” you? (As I’ve noted before, it’s surprising how many people are sexually attached to what should probably repel them.) In this article Liz Highleyman, being all of the above, attempts to determine if her sexual kinks are in line with her revolutionary and feminist outlook. She ultimately seems to decide that the answer is yes, but is still clearly uncomfortable with some of her own desires. One of the beautiful things about human sexuality in my opinion is its resistance to logical analysis, and its refusal to change itself despite the conscious wishes of the person in question. If all of these silly efforts by right-wing Christians to “rehabilitate” gays have shown us anything, it is that sexual preferences (regardless of if they are genetically or environmentally based) are nearly impossible to change, even if the person desperately wants to do so. So leftists like Highleyman eventually must make a choice: Deny themselves the sexual experiences they most desperately crave, or admit to themselves that desire simply does not respond to political arguments.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Limits Of The Conspiracy Theory

Extremist political ideologies are, at their core, big conspiracy theories. They describe a malevolent movement bent on world domination, which only enlightened members of the group in question can effectively counter. Who is behind the conspiracy differs depending on which group you’re talking about (Jews, capitalists, the anti-Christ, etc.) but the effect is the same. It therefore might surprise some people to know that extremist political groups in the US have for the most part rejected 9/11 conspiracy theories. In this article, lefty folk singer David Rovics describes his irritation at having members of the “9/11 Truth Movement” (who claim the US government was behind the attacks) show up at his concerts. He also notes that this group often targets well-known radicals like Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman and accuses them of being dupes of the system for refusing to see things their way. The neo-Nazis for there part have similarly rejected the claims of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. It would appear even the paranoia of political extremism has its limits.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Standing Tall Before The Man

I recently came across this piece about an Earth Liberation Front (ELF) member who was facing some serious time in federal prison as the result of his teaching others how to make firebombs at an ELF gathering. The defendant explained to the judge that he has moved away from radicalism, has a family, and regrets many of his past actions. His statements impressed the judge, leading him to sentence the man to only one year in prison. In the comments section of the story, one anarchist berates the convicted environmentalist for retracting his previous statements when threatened with prison. Others support his actions, noting it was the only way for him to avoid lengthy incarceration. These arguments often spring up in the white power scene as well, when defendants must renounce their racism in order to curry favor with the judge. The hardliners will always claim this is a sellout of conviction. If you recant in the face of prosecution, how committed were you to the cause in the first place? Of course, it’s these same hardliners who upon conviction will have lots of extra time behind bars to consider the value of their ideological purity.