Regular Anarchist (photo: The Happy Robot)

Raf had successfully infiltrated six Yankee mercs from the little-known but extremely violent American anarcho-rightist underground.

The Littlest Jackal, by Bruce Sterling, collected in Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling.

Writing in 1995, Bruce Sterling identified the threat posed by the anarchists on the right. Unlike the wanna-bes on the left, who march in the streets with giant puppets and throw bricks through windows, the right-wing anarchists are destroying the institutions that created our society, and building something closer to their anarchic hearts. Maybe it’s a Theocracy, maybe it’s some kind of Randian paradise, but whatever it is, they are well on their way.

The seeds were planted years ago. B.C. Forbes, Malcolm’s dad and Steve’s granddad hated FDR and raised a family devoted to undoing the New Deal. Richard Nixon’s ratfucking. Lee Atwater using dogwhistles, deceit and lies to destroy opposing politicians for the first George Bush. The crude video tactics of Andrew Breitbart The violence and murders of the right-to-life movement. The open-carry tactics used to frighten people in public parks. Caging voters. These tactics are far from the free and open discussion of political matters that is the hallmark of a democracy.

It isn’t just tactics. Republicans are busy destroying the institutions that for decades controlled the merciless drive for power. Tom Delay changed centuries of practice by redistricting Texas a second time [.pdf] after the 2000 census, causing a swing of six seats from Democrats to Republicans in a state already controlled by Republicans.

In the same vein, Republican-controlled legislatures passed bills requiring ID as a condition to voting and scores of other bills designed to restrict the poor and the middle class damaged by the Great Crash from voting. Kevin Drum has a list here. Here’s one in Florida.

The anarcho-rightists also hate expertise when it doesn’t agree with their world view. William Buckley loathed John Maynard Keynes, and so do all of the anarcho-rightists, so they throw away the only tools we have to deal with the Little Depression. Wealthy anarcho-rightists funded the creation of economics departments at famous schools, and pushed states to require high schools to teach the glories of capitalism, without mentioning Keynes or any of the history of economics. The entire field has been debased by ideology. You can write an economics paper allegedly showing that minimum wage hikes cost the economy 800,000 jobs without mentioning the studies that show the opposite, and not even trying to show how they were wrong. (A big tip of the hat to commenter lbjdem.) Then you get to publish that in the New York Times, with no rebuttal from anyone who knows better.

And here’s a story. My dad was a doctor, so our house was full of medical journals which he read every night I can remember. Some time in1963, he showed me an article on lung studies of smokers. I don’t remember the exact point, but I vividly remember the picture of a lung of a smoker, a blackish green, compared with a bright pinkish-red of a non-smoker’s lung [warning: graphic]. It was intuitively obvious that smoking made the difference. Of course, the article deepened that intuition, but anyone could see the danger. My dad quit smoking around that time, convinced that he was killing himself. He told me that it was the hardest thing he ever did. The liars who denied the science were responsible for the misery and deaths of thousands of people who started smoking around then and couldn’t make themselves quit.

The same tactics are at work in the discussions of global warming. Deny, delay and obfuscate, all in the name of preventing rational political discourse. I mean, standard light bulbs want to be free? Look at the idiots who assault teaching evolution in public schools. Is that going to change the underlying reality?

The anarcho-rightists are undermining the conditions that created our society. Respect for institutions. Respect for the spirit of the law. Respect for expertise. Not blind slavish obedience, but respect. They want to replace expertise with their own power and authority. They want to create an alternate reality that conforms to their bizarre notions. They hate democracy because it gets in the way of achieving their goals.

President Obama thinks he can do business with these people. Nonsense. These people don’t do business. These people are wreckers.



I read a lot of books.