Keith Preston Predicts Almost Everything

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Keith Preston at ATS made some interesting predictions which culminated in the current political climate. 

Regrettably, many if not most in the various anarchist, libertarian, anti-state, or anti-authoritarian milieus have moved in precisely the opposite direction. There was an explosive growth in libertarian-like ideas between 2008 and 2012, largely due to the influence of Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns, and the growth of the Tea Party and Occupy movements. However, these growing libertarian tendencies were quickly subsumed by the immersion of many libertarians in the Red/Blue tribal civil war, with many libertarians and anarchists veering off into neoreaction, white nationalism, or the alt-right on one end, or SJWism, Antifa sympathies, or general totalitarian humanism on the other end. Essentially, the North American libertarian milieu became merely a microcosm of the wider society, with constant rivalries for the title of “Most Oppressed” being the norm. Meawhile, the left-wing anarchist movement, which once showed some promise during its anti-globalization, antiwar, and Occupy phases, eventually degenerated into mainstream partisan politics with hysterical anti-Trumpism, protests against center-right public figures outside the state, and ritualistic battles with the tribal enemy (“the fascists”) with seemingly zero interest in opposing the actual power elite.

In recent times, I have seen a number of calls for the development of a left/right anti-authoritarian alliance against such war, imperialism, the surveillance state, police state, censorship, and the corporate/banking. This is precisely the position that I have been advocating for decades. However, many anti-authoritarians do not seem to be capable of formulating such an effort.

So the question remains: Where is the “anarchist vanguard” standing for “Anarchy First”?

It would seem that even our (humans) collective capacity to scapegoat has its limits. If all of these groups are not uniting against a common enemy, it is because the enemy is never exactly common, in the end. The most common an enemy can be is the enemy who actively embodies the threat which directly concerns the respective group's identity. These groups have shown, time and time again, that they do not consider the state an enemy if they suspect that it will act in their interests. Sadly, this is precisely where a lot of them are duped.

As for anarchism, I would posit that you don't ever have anything really resembling 'anarchy' until a collective sense of purpose can somehow be realized. In the event that this happens, it usually lasts for a short blip in history. In that sense, anarchy is less an option as it is a sort of platonic form which can arrive under many different guises. I believe I've heard Keith Preston himself say as much in a podcast (with Todd Lewis, perhaps?) but I don't rightly remember which episode.