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Class War For Idiots / July 6, 2011


I just came across a massive dump of FBI files on the YIPPIES–the legendary 60′s youth movement led by Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. They declassified and released over 6,600 pages of FBI surveillance and intel on the Yippies—unfiltered, a direct wormhole to that era.

And what an awful fucking era it was. People were either mean or stupid, on a scale that almost makes you appreciate today’s problems. Almost.

I spent a few obsessed hours amazed at the sheer scale of the FBI’s (and other services’) surveillance and infiltration into the Yippies—it’s a lot uglier, a lot more demoralizing and less romantic, than that cartoon movie about The Chicago 10 would have you think. What becomes clear after the first few hundred pages is that they considered the Yippies to be a real threat–and from the material collected, it’s easy to see why the Yippies really were such a serious threat to established power, much more serious than we remember them in our filtered way. They weren’t just against the draft or the Vietnam War or against stuffy old people with short hair; the radicals in the 60’s were against capitalism. The 60′s radicals were nothing at all like the version we get today, which portrays the hippies and revolutionaries as a bunch of spaced-out New Age nudists who just want to be left alone to screw, get high and dance without being bothered by “The Man.”

That’s the current retarded/sanitized “Burning Man” revision of 1960′s radicalism. In reality, the entire 60′s movement was one giant reaction against capitalism and consumerism. That’s how someone as frustratingly half-baked and pretentious yet genuinely radical as Jerry Rubin–whose political tracts are included in these FBI files– wound up in the FBI’s crosshairs; turn against capitalism, and you’ll find the entire weight of state power (which serves private capital power) coming down hard on you: you’ll get beaten, harassed, spied on, jailed, put on trial, and eventually broken and rendered harmless, a museum exhibit at best.


Watch your backs, Yippies!

The Yippies, like most 60′s radicals, fought against the twin evils of capitalism and consumerism, which they fingered as the root cause of everything bad, everything they’d opposed: Capitalism caused the The Vietnam War, Capitalism caused poverty, Capitalism caused racism, Capitalism forced schlock consumerist culture down their throats, etc. The FBI files show that the agents’ were mainly concerned with whatever links the Yippies had to communists, socialists, and radical labor organizations. And this is the reason why the 60’s were so full of mass violence and police action: The leaders of the student protest movement were trying to bring down America’s dominant economic ideology. This is a key point to remember: They were “radicals” and dangerous not because because they smoked pot or had sex or listened to their rock ‘n’ roll– or because, like today’s so-called radicals, they merely applied a brand label “radical” on their pockets and paraded it around; they were dangerous radicals because they threatened to overturn the ruling ideology with slogans like “PROPERTY IS THEFT” & “CAPITALISM IS STEALING.”

From “The Yippie Manifesto” by Jerry Rubin

In the late 60′s and early 70′s, anti-capitalist ideology was so dominant and so broadly accepted that even a vicious rightwing cocaine-addict like CNBC goon Larry Kudlow fell into radical-left line while he was a student at the University of Rochester: Kudlow grew out his hair, traded in the pricey Jag his rich daddy gave him for a beat up VW hippie van, and wound up leading the U. Rochester chapter of the radical-left Students for a Democratic Society, exhorting his fellow students to burn their draft cards and smash the capitalist pigs. According to Kudlow’s college roommate, the reason he went radical left was “to get laid”–you couldn’t screw the legions of gorgeous hippie girls otherwise. (How different the 60′s Left was from the modern, puritanical culture-warrior Left, or the puritanical radical-labor Left of the 30′s.)

[Read Mark Ames’ article on Larry Kudlow: “Less Than Kudlow: Is CNBC Host Suffering Another Cocaine Relapse?“]

And then there’s the other side of the radical-60’s movement that becomes clear after reading through these files: They could be as imbecilic as they were radical. Arrogant, clueless, oversexed, loud-mouthed imbeciles. They claimed they were for economic revolution, but they weren’t interested in actual economics, business, or even labor for that matter. Business and finance wasn’t “creative” or “interesting” enough for them—instead they were about “finding oneself” and “freeing oneself.” Too many of them were in it for the Dionysian joy of it all. Here’s an example of Jerry Rubin at his most embarrassing, from his “Yippie Manifesto”:


…As long as we are in school we are prisoners. Schools are voluntary jails. We must liberate ourselves.

Classrooms are totalitarian environments. The main purpose of school and education in America is to force you to accept and love authority, and to distrust your own spontaneity and emotions.

Sounds, well, just like some libertarians I know: that same whiny, petulant Randroid childishness. More on that later…

But Rubin was just getting warmed up. You have to read this scene to really grasp how profoundly annoying the hippies could be—this is the part of the hippies that I remembered most, the part that I guess the FBI wanted us to hear and read because I don’t remember much of the anti-capitalist ideology, I’m embarrassed to admit– but I sure as Hell remember hippies who blathered on exactly like Rubin does here:

Four of us go into a classroom. We sit in the middle of the class. The lecture is on “thinking.” Thinking!

We take off our shirts, smoke joints, and start French kissing. This goes on for 10-15 minutes, and the professor goes on with his lecture like nothing is happening. Finally, a girl says, “The people there are causing a distraction, and could they either put their shirts back on or could they please leave.”

And the prof says, “Well, I agree with that. I think that if you’re not here to hear what I’m saying…”

We shout: “You can’t separate thinking from loving! We are hard in thought!!”

And the prof says, “Well, in my classroom I give the lesson!”

Scratch a professor deep and you find a cop! Fucking milquetoast! Didn’t have the guts to throw us out, but in his classroom, HE GIVES the lesson. So he sends his teaching assistant to get the cops, and we split.

At this point, you find yourself dreaming of a Taser. By “you” I probably just mean “I.” I’d be lying if I didn’t feel the ol’ reactionary-gastric juices splashing up just reading that passage.

But like I said, I’m over that now.

*     *    *

So the Yippies are gone now, and as the 6,600 pages of declassified FBI files make clear, the Yippies are gone for a reason. Because despite the silly childish blathering about their teachers as oppressors, they threatened to influence an entire generation into turning against capitalism, and therefore turning against the system which justified, and still justifies, America’s ruling class as our ruling class. And nothing is more dangerous than that, as labor activists can tell you going back two centuries.

Before we had “radicals for capitalism” there were “radicals against capitalism.” Ever wonder why only one of them flourished while the other was driven into extinction?

Today, we don’t have real radicals anymore threatening power like that. But in our era of branding and marketing, we do have about a gazillion harmless fools who shamelessly appropriate the “radical” label and affix it to themselves. These people—the only strain to survive the 60’s, the so-called “radicals for capitalism”—make a tiny little guest appearance in the FBI files.

About 40 pages into the 6,600 pages of files targeting all the dozens and dozens of radical revolutionary groups—from the Yippies to the Black Panthers to the SDS, Progressive Labor, the “Crazies,” Weathermen and so on—one group very conspicuously DOESN’T interest the FBI: Libertarians.

Now keep in mind, as I said, the FBI was all over every single radical youth organization in the country, yet for some reason, they go out of their way to give specific instructions to their field agents not to investigate the “Libertarian Alliance” anarchists.

The FBI file that mentions the Libertarians starts with a header page, “Hunter College Libertarian Alliance,” dated April 9, 1974. The file was opened after an FBI informant turned in a leaflet announcing an upcoming “Anarchist Tribal Conference” put on by the Hunter College Libertarian Alliance. The leaflet calls on all Yippies in the area (who knew the Yippies still existed in 1974?) to join the libertarian-anarchists for their annual anarchist conference.



When you read this FBI file on the libertarian “anarchist” conference, two things stand out:

First, the leaflet was either planted with the intention of getting someone in trouble, or else it was thrown together by a colossal fool. The Yippies, as far as I could tell, were never so stupid as to disseminate a leaflet that called for the assassination of the President–that’s why the hippies used their annoying coded language, images and jokes, and camouflaged their radicalism with love and flowers: Otherwise, they knew, they’d all be jailed or shot and never stand a chance.

This particular leaflet in the FBI file features a gun pointed at Richard Nixon’s head and reads, “THE ONLY DOPE WORTH SHOOTING IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE.” The leaflet includes a phone number in New York for Yippies to call, an address for them to go to, and does everything possible to say, “Arrest the Yippies Now! Here’s their phone number, here’s their address!” It’s the sort of thing only a complete moron–or a provocateur–could possibly dream up.


Above: Close-up. Below: The leaflet


As one might expect, the FBI passed the leaflet on to the Secret Service to investigate a possible threat to President Nixon’s life.

Given that this was both a radical conference, an anarchist conference, and a threat to murder the President of the United States—and that the libertarian alliance and libertarian-anarchists were the ones holding the conference—you’d think the paranoiacs in the FBI would be interested in investigating the Libertarian Alliance as well as the Yippies. After all, this is a threat to the President’s life–and America’s law enforcement agencies and security apparatus were all over the place illegally surveilling and keeping files on hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Yet for some reason, the FBI explicitly orders its agents to lay off the libertarians.

And this is the second thing that’s so strange about this particular file: The FBI puts it in writing that the libertarians are not to be subjected to the sorts of FBI surveillance, infiltration, and investigation tactics used on every other radical organization in the country. I repeat: The FBI explicitly gave orders to PROTECT the libertarian “anarchists” from the FBI’s harassing, prying, spying eyes.

The memo states:

No information is desired … concerning persons planning to attend the above conference unless it concerns the YIPNo investigation is being conducted of the Hunter College Libertarian Alliance, which is sponsoring the conference.

In other words, the FBI was not concerned with the “libertarian anarchists.”

Now I ask all you folks in reader-land: Has there ever been an anarchist movement anywhere on earth, in the history of mankind, that government authorities were so profoundly unconcerned about as these anarcho-capitalist libertarians? Is such a grotesquely comical scenario even possible in a world not designed by the Koch family?

Here’s a screenshot of the memo:



Now since I can almost hear the Retard Bleachers screaming like they often do, “Oo, so Mark Ames wants the FBI to investigate the Libertarians! Oo, you see? He’s for the police state, Oo! Nyah! Myeah!”—I guess I have to face the rhetorical reality and go on record saying the obvious here: the FBI shouldn’t be investigating and illegally surveilling any non-violent protest group, whether they’re truly radical and dangerous like the Yippies… or just fake-radical and profoundly un-threatening, like the Libertarian Alliance, or “radicals for capitalism,” or “anarcho-capitalist” or any other fake brand-label they affix to themselves.

Now that that’s out of the way, the real question is this: Why would a vicious law-enforcement outfit as insanely paranoid, right-wing, and surveillance-mad as the FBI of the 60′s and 70′s bend over backwards to tell its agents to back off the libertarian anarchists?

I did a brief check on what sort of “libertarian anarchists” were at Hunter College in the early 1970s, and discovered this: some libertarian hack named J. Neil Schulman waxing nostalgic about his libertarian youth, including some forgettable “libertarian anarchist” lectures at Hunter College in the early 1970s.

As it turns out, Schulman’s story goes a long way towards explaining why the FBI called off the dogs on these early libertarian “radicals.” Because they’re about as radical as the Partridge Family—no, actually, on the “radical” “danger to the system” scale, these Hunter College libertarians were so depressingly harmless and conventional, they made the Partridge Family look like the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Schulman’s reminiscences recount the touching tale of how the young 16-year-old Schulman first met his libertarian hero, one Samuel Konkin III, back in the early 1970′s. In scenes so hilariously banal they could have been taken from those old Chris Elliot Get A Life shows, we learn how Konkin showed the young Schulman the world, to the point that you can almost hear the montage soundtrack accompaniment as they’re, “searching out ‘underground gourmet’ restaurants…catching the latest Woody Allen movie or James Bond movie…[Sam] introduced me to the writings of Ludwig von Mises…[we] ate many of my mom’s homecooked meals at my parents’ apartment of [sic] the West Side of Manhattan…”

Oh, and of course, “Sam took me to my first libertarian conference at Hunter College in New York City.”

It’d all be so sad if it wasn’t a brief description of how the shit world we inherited turned to shit.

In Schulman’s libertarian Bildungsroman, the action goes from his mom’s kitchen and Hunter College anarcho-capitalist lectures to the big highway: Schulman and Konkin hit the road and head west to Southern California, where the libertarian duo go on to Big Things: Konkin joined a notorious Holocaust-denial outfit, the Institute for Historical Review, founded by white supremacist Willis Carto…while his disciple/sidekick Schulman grew up to be a big NRA propagandist, churning out “radical” PR garbage like his book Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns, a book so radical that Charlton Heston’s blurb adorns book’s cover. Hey, if Charlton Heston blurbs your book, then folks, you know you’re stickin’ it to The Man, anarcho-libertarian style!


So now those strange FBI’s instructions ordering their spies to lay off the “libertarian anarchists” make sense. These “anarcho-capitalist” libertarians are the stuff of the old J Edgar Hoover’s wet dreams–“radical” youths who threaten radicals, not the capitalist system. “Anarchists” who suck the air out of anarchism’s threat to capitalism, and replace it with a fierce defense of capitalism; anarchists who grovel for a pat on the head from sleazy old Republicans like Charlton Heston—in J Edgar Hoover’s wildest dreams, could he ever have imagined it? (Actually, to be fair to the folks in the FBI, they must’ve despised these libertarian suck-ups as degenerate scum. Harmless scum, and useful scum, but scum nonetheless.)

This is just another reason why libertarianism is so goddamn offensive. They’ve even managed to turn “radical” into a harmless, meaningless, anti-radical brand—they’ve sucked out everything that was dangerous, and replaced it with its every opposite, the most shameless pro-capitalist, pro-bootlicking ideology imaginable. All they kept from the hippies was the very worst, most imbecilic, self-absorbed, childish nonsense that you can find in that Jerry Rubin manifesto: the whining about teachers, the whining about wanting to smoke pot and grow out his hair.

It’s the worst of all worlds—so naturally, the FBI did everything to coddle and protect it, and make sure it alone emerged unscathed from the counter-revolution crackdown in the 1970s and early 1980s.

A perfect example of this is Rich Fink. You may not know his name, but every libertarian does, from Master Charles Koch at the top, all the way down to the lowliest George Mason University maggot. Everyone owes it all to Fink, who ranks as probably the Kochs’ (and libertarianism’s) top operative over the past four decades: Fink co-founded Americans for Prosperity, set up the outfit (Citizens for a Sound Economy) that became FreedomWorks; Fink founded the Mercatus Center at George Mason U, which you can thank for all the Republican Party deregulation and privatization policies over the past decade or two; Fink is also a board member at Koch Industries, a board member of the Kochs’ youth-recruitment libertarian outfit the Institute for Humane Studies…Fink even edits Koch Industries’ insane Bircher newsletter, which made its way into my article for The Nation on how the Kochs manipulate their employees’ voting habits.

But one thing you didn’t know about Rich Fink is this: He’s a really radical dude, in a libertarian, anarcho-capitalist radical sort of way.

Here’s how one of Fink’s libertarian clones described the radical world of Rich Fink and Austrian economics:

[Fink] gave an orientation to the first year grad students…He used an analogy with the civil rights movement: Before we just wanted to be let on the bus and not raise a ruckus. Now we’re gonna be like Malcolm X, Austrian and proud. In your face with the Austrian economics.

Yeah, Austrian economics is just like Rosa Parks and Malcolm X–leaving aside the fact that libertarian Austrian economics opposes federal Civil Rights legislation, opposes welfare and public housing, opposes labor unions, opposes publicly-funded education, and supports privatizing everything and deregulating everything and shills for whatever enriches the super-rich–if you leave those little things aside, yeah, Austrian economics is just like Malcolm X. Maybe even more radical, who knows? I mean, who knows what the fuck “radical” even means anymore?

Two people who know exactly what libertarians mean by “radical” are Charles Koch and Rich Fink. And here is how the Weekly Standard described that first historical summit meeting between Koch and Rich Fink while Fink was still a young “radical” libertarian in the 1970′s:

There was just one hitch. Fink didn’t own a suit. He was a grad student with long hair and a wild beard and a gold chain, and he had to impress one of the richest men in the country. What to do? He and his wife went to a store in Manhattan that was having a fire sale. He picked out a black polyester suit with white piping, a black and white checkered shirt, and a bright blue tie.

On the day of his trip to Kansas he put on his clothes, appended his Phi Beta Kappa pin to the azure tie, and looked in the mirror: Nice threads! When he got off the plane in Wichita he noticed people staring at him and assumed they were impressed with his outfit. This was the seventies, after all. Fink told me, “I thought I was hot stuff.”

When the man in the black polyester suit arrived at Koch Industries, Charles offered him a drink. Fink turned it down. “Good,” Charles told him, “because we don’t have any alcohol.” Fink asked Charles if he’d read the proposal. Charles said he hadn’t. He picked it up from a pile and read it quickly while Fink sat there. The meeting was brief. Fink spent the plane ride back to New York thinking he’d bombed. But Koch called a few days later: He was willing to fund Fink’s project.

In 1980 academic politics forced Fink to relocate to George Mason University in suburban Virginia. There, with Koch’s support, he founded the Center for the Study of Market Processes. Years later Fink asked Charles why a badly dressed hippie economics Ph.D. had been given all this money. “I like polyester,” Charles told him. “It’s made of petroleum.”

Yeah, it’s a real wonder that the FBI gave explicit orders to leave the “anarchist” Libertarian Alliance alone, and focus on everyone else in the room.

What’s so galling is that, in the libertarians’ revisionist history of themselves, they constantly describe themselves as “radicals”–as in “radicals for capitalism” or “anarcho-capitalists.” For three decades now, they’ve been pumping American history full of free-market mind-smog. In their version of the radical 60’s and 70’s, the libertarians were right there on the front-lines of the revolution, a revolution that was all about smoking their filthy marijuana, growing their filthy hair long, and giving a middle-finger to oppressive school teachers. What’s been airbrushed out is how the libertarians hid themselves far off the radical sidelines, away from the danger. Because they were a joke, a harmless little fucking joke: hippies for corporate capitalism. They could pretend they were as anti-war and pro-marijuana all they wanted, but back then, you were either radical because you were anti-capitalist, or a sad tool who fooled no one.

As the FBI files show, and as my own memory vaguely reminds me, the 60′s was about fighting that very core idea, fighting and banishing it from the world. Drugs, war, racism–everything would be solved if capitalism was overthrown. Whereas the libertarians say: Everything will become great again if only the government is overthrown, collectivism is overthrown, regulation is overthrown, public parks and public schools are privatized, and Social Security and Medicare abolished–then we shall have a peaceful happy world.

And thanks to the FBI’s brutal and successful campaign to destroy the real radicals, we don’t even remember them as they were; we only remember them as the libertarians want us to remember them. As if it was all only about the loud music and the acid and the self-gratification and the funny hair and saying “Fuck You, Teacher!” and the best way to tell off your teacher was by becoming a capitalist. A radical capitalist.


It’s the “Freewheeling” that makes it so truly radical

Saying you’re a “radical for capitalism” is as meaningless and oxymoronic as calling yourself “Dangerously Non-Threatening” or “Radicals For Groveling.”

The real radicals were destroyed by the State: imprisoned, scattered, harassed, surveilled, ruined, even shot to death in their beds, like Fred Hampton. That becomes clear in those FBI files. Today, there’s no Left to speak of. Today, libertarianism is not only the only “choice” that the state allows us to make, but worse, libertarianism’s popularity is growing to record levels (thanks to the billionaire Koch brothers’ investment), according to a recent New York Times article, “Poll Finds Shift Towards More Libertarian Views.”

We’ve been had, folks. In a bad way–so bad, that sometimes I think it’s one of those things that’s so hopeless and so degrading, you almost have to wonder if you’d’ve been better off not knowing what was happening to you.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

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Add your own

  • 1. Soj  |  July 6th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Brilliant article. Just one quibble:

    “The leaders of the student protest movement were trying to bring down America’s dominant economic ideology. ”

    I’d say it was more than just an economic ideology but also a CULTURAL ideology. These guys threatened the prevailing worldview of those in power, not just their wallets.

  • 2. The Dude  |  July 6th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    But…but, our Master’s would never think of deceiving us, would they? How dare you suggest that our Master’s would ever dare dream about turning us into sexless, Randroid, foodtubes.
    You sir, should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t you know that the only real conspiracies that go on in our lives are the ones started by the Gubmint to destroy the poor, weak, feeble transnational corporations, and bring the “rugged individualist” white man down?
    Why, great Galt, would you ever think of slandering poor, defenseless Libertards like that? You’re going to hurt their feelings and lower their self esteem even more.
    Don’t you know that capitalizm has given us the Internet, seatbelts, and the polio vaccine? Why, if the government just let the market work towards its own devices, it could improve the U.S. highway system, public( now privatized) sanitation services, and make the CDC run better by making it a for-profit corporation.
    How dare you, Mark. How dare you suggest libertarians are wrong.


  • 3. Fissile  |  July 6th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Do you believe that the Feds were infiltrating the American radical left back in the 60’s to the exclusion of all other “radical” groups? I have a friend whose late father was a fairly big player in the American neo-Nazi movement back in the 1960′-70’s. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, neither I, nor my friend, are advocating/condoning Nazism. Fact remains that his father was promoting radical right politics, or so the old man thought.

    When the geezer finally kicked off, my friend asked me to help him clean out the old man’s house. We found a huge quantity of items from that time, letters, meeting notes and the like….a lot of it contained info that was quite astonishing. The most fascinating thing we found was a copy of the old man’s FBI file…..Nazi-Dad obtained it a few years prior to his death under FOIA. The file was as thick as the Manhattan phone directory, we had our noses stuck in it for days. Bottom line: The American “Nazi movement” was infiltrated from top to bottom with informants, turncoats, agents provocateurs and the like. The entire American “radical right” movement was run out of an office at FBI headquarters!

    The few legimate radical right leaders from that era all ended up dead or in jail. George Lincoln Rockwell was shot and killed by one of his “followers” who walked soon after. George Wallace…my friend’s father worked on the Wallace presidential campaign…was shot in the guts and spent the rest of his days in a wheelchair playing with his colostomy bag. William Pierce became so hinky, he spent the rest of his days barricaded in trailer in West Virgina.

    There is no right or left in America, I doubt there ever was. America is about Wall Street, banksters and corporations. People who believe in Socialism or Fascism are held in absolute contempt, by the banksters and their buddies. Morons and rubes to be played off against each other….for a profit.

  • 4. josh  |  July 6th, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I find the misappropriation of the term “anarchist” to be rather offensive. In living memory, anarchists have been put up against walls and shot, left to wither away in concentration camps and gulags, and died in the thousands fighting for their beliefs. Little idiot children who claim to be rebels while cashing the checks of concentrated wealth and power do not get to fly that flag or use that label for themselves.

    Worse still, the libertards and teabaggers are so far removed from the real halls of power they aren’t particularly threatening to the radical left either. As the Kochs’ useful idiots, they certainly aren’t allowed to leave the kids table. Durruti and Makhno wouldn’t even waste the fucking bullets.

  • 5. ignorance  |  July 6th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    The genuine, non-rich kid radicals of the 60’s called the posers “hippies.” Sure, most of those idiots have big names but that should tell you all you need to know. The real actors peaced out from the “scene” and got on with their lives. And they had children, and raised them right. If you are struggling for hope understand that there are a bunch of these kids in their early 30’s right now and they are doing their thing under the radar, because their mama’s taught ’em right. Don’t want to get shot in your sleep. That shit’s a bummer.

  • 6. Zirb  |  July 6th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    You make it seem like you’ve discovered some important, unearthed seed of 20th century thought. Both the anti-capitalists and pro-capitalists are just Plato and his Philosopher Kings versus Artistotle’s individualism.

    And Socrates laughing at them both.

  • 7. Anarchy Wolf  |  July 6th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Pretty good article Ames. You are probably one of the best out there for dissecting the pathetic shit these little boot lickers spew. “anarcho-capitalists” what a bunch of little co-opting shills.

    Please please start using the term boot lickers for these turds who all suck up to capital power. I’m really hoping it catches on.

  • 8. JohnFigler  |  July 7th, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Then?… Now what?… Civil War?

  • 9. Rowan Berkeley  |  July 7th, 2011 at 12:19 am

    With a bit of luck, Justin Raimondo will write a witty rejoinder to this.


  • 10. gyges  |  July 7th, 2011 at 1:23 am


    It’s not property per se that is theft but rent without equity. That is, if rent doesn’t buy joint equitable ownership, it’s theft.

  • 11. gyges  |  July 7th, 2011 at 1:43 am

    “The leaflet includes a phone number in New York for Yippies to call, an address for them to go to, and does everything possible to say, “Arrest the Yippies Now! Here’s their phone number, here’s their address!” It’s the sort of thing only a complete moron–or a provocateur–could possibly dream up.”

    Of course, over in Blighty and 35 years later, we still fall for it, Mass arrests over power station protest.

    Note that, if you want to affect power generation in the UK all you have to do is interfere with its distribution. You do this very easily with a hack saw applied to the base of electricity pylons which are usually placed in the middle of a field miles away from the police. Just imagine the damage that 114 people could have done, all spread out with their hack saws and such. Instead they were all concentrated in one place like sitting ducks. Saps.

    Another point: the article by the Guardian is filed under ‘Environmentalism’ and ‘Activism’, mmmmm, what was that you were saying again? Oh yeah, people who “simply appl[y] a brand label “radical” on themselves and parade[…] it around”. The same could be said of the word ‘activist’.

  • 12. Ostap Bender  |  July 7th, 2011 at 5:26 am

    The U.S. is a country of psychopaths. One has to be a phychopath to succeed, especially in the Republican/Libertarian world.

  • 13. Flatulissimo  |  July 7th, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Nice Chris Elliot/Get A Life reference. Since his character on that show was pasty, overweight, unattractive, in his 30’s, and lived in his parent’s garage, he’s the perfect libertarian role model. The only difference is that unlike libertards he was amusing and endearing, and I think he even got laid in a couple of episodes.

  • 14. Mike  |  July 7th, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I hate to sound like one of those wretched, “but the swastika is ancient Hindu symbol for a thunderbolt” people, but “Libertarian” meant “anarchist” from 1857 until the right-wing made off with the term. Still means “anarchist” everywhere but the US.
    Anarchists were very, very marginal in the US during ‘the 60s’ when the Comintern was still alive and kicking.

  • 15. Mike  |  July 7th, 2011 at 6:05 am

    I sometimes use the label “classical libertarian” to annoy the Randroids.

  • 16. Trevor  |  July 7th, 2011 at 7:12 am

    It’s telling that libertarianism has been so widespread on the internet — “A philosophy that says I don’t have to bathe, pay taxes, and can have all the weed and cartoon porn I want? Where do I sign up!?” Yeah, those are the “radicals” of 21st century America. Terminal dweebs.

  • 17. bombed by USA  |  July 7th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    “Equity” is meaningless in that context.

    At last Ron Paul has been consistently against the war, unlike just about anyone else in the mainstream of American politics. I dont see whats the big deal w eliminating income tax if all military spending disappears as well.

    Honestly, I dont see why western maoists are any more worthy of my respects than randroids.

  • 18. derpotism  |  July 7th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Libertarians are even trying to insert their bullshit ideology in every decade of our history. Which senator/rep was it who said the only reason America has been so prosperous is because of 200 years of free market capitalism? What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and tell that fucking joke to John Adams. He’d laugh every time he signed a Tariff law.

  • 19. Tyler Bass  |  July 7th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    It took me a while to get this but now I don’t even take the libertarians at face value when they say that they’re for taking down the state. They are completely oblivious to how the use of money itself is an act on some level that condones state power.

    Yes, we’re seeing the rise of stateless currencies, but the only truly dependable ones depend on the value of a given nation’s goods and services. Using state money is — gasp! — collectivism. Sorry, libertarians.

  • 20. John Drinkwater  |  July 7th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Ames, how much do you know about the Wobblies? Early 20th century anarchists, Marxists, syndicalists workers who were even more interesting than the Yippies. They too were jailed and persecuted for being anarchists – that is to say, for opposing capitalism through radical, uncompromising tactics.

    But your obsession with the term libertarian is blinding you to some obvious things. The equation of “anarcho-capitalists” with “libertarian anarchists” (a term of your own invention) is just silly. For one thing, anarchism means libertarian socialism or socialism without a state. Attaching libertarian before anarchist is redundant, to say the least. And since anarchists are by definition against capitalism, they can obviously have nothing to do with the retarded Murray Rothbard invention “anarcho-capitalism”.

    Some anarchists or borderline anarchists like Noam Chomsky started calling themselves ‘libertarian socialists’ because of the negative connotations associated with the term anarchism. Certainly, Ames, you wouldn’t accuse Chomsky of being associated with the libertards, would you?

    Boy, let’s see you get out of that word-pickle! Cuz you know, it’s all about the words you use. Everybody knows that! Be careful Ames, there are millions of American citizen-word-police like myself who scan articles wearing our word-filters. If your word use doesn’t conform, then you’re through! You hear me? Through, I say!

  • 21. RanDomino  |  July 7th, 2011 at 11:33 am

    @John Drinkwater
    yeah, it’s annoying how these fucking capitalists took “libertarian” and now are trying to take “anarchist”. Every time you see a half-yellow-half-black flag, punch whoever’s using it. In terms of sheer numbers, I think there are still more real anarchists than libertarian capitalists, and the anarchist tradition is still alive and openly hostile to them, at least. Against government and against capitalism, that’s the only way to do it.

  • 22. Victorvalley Villain  |  July 7th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Interesting bit of history about the FBI’s hands off approach to the Libertarian Alliance. Thanks for doing the research.

    Also @3. Fissile’s antidote is a bit interesting.

    Jacques Ellul had some interesting ideas on how the ‘anti-capitalism’ of the hippies was “all in the game” as they would say on The Wire;

  • 23. Tubman Chubaisovich Kompot-y  |  July 7th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I kept waiting for the part where Jerry Rubin sells out —

  • 24. justaguy  |  July 7th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Yeah, Abbie Hoffman called hippies “glass eyed Zombies” or something like that.

  • 25. John Drinkwater  |  July 7th, 2011 at 1:03 pm


    The libertarian right doesn’t have the wit to appreciate that capitalism could not exist without government to prop it up. They imagine this free market paradise of the past that in fact never fucking existed. Capitalism is a creation of the state and the two – private wealthy interests and the government – have always worked together to screw over the majority.

  • 26. Mike  |  July 7th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Maybe real anarchists (that is to say syndicalists, anarchist-communists, etc) deserve some of the blame.

    Anarchism is fundamentally about opposing all oppressive hierarchies: theocracy, capitalism, and the state that enables the former two.

    “Synthesis anarchism” or “anarchism without adjectives” allows just about any rebellious idea to be classified as anarchist. Anarchism’s openness to all kinds of anti-authoritarian ideas allowed it to provide a space for anti-colonialism, gender equality, sexual freedom, racial equality, etc over a century before “identity politics” entered the left. That same openness unfortunately also allowed a bunch of capitalist bootlickers to get away with calling themselves “libertarian” or “anarchist”.

    There is another tendency within proper left anarchism, one that is not so open. Platformists assert that while anarchism is about opposing the dominant oppressive powers, it is not opposed to governance, membership requirements, well codified rules, or violence. Machno would have turned his Tachanka on any “Austrian” that tried to pass their capitalist drivel off as anarchism.

    I also see contemporary “lifestylist anarchists” make all the same mistakes that the yippies did. Dirty, crusty train hopping crimethinc kids are all about personal liberation, but not building any serious, educated, organized threat to power.

  • 27. J. Neil Schulman  |  July 7th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    “Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond, 2005 (ISBN 1-932360-82-4). In this work Ames argues that “killing sprees” at U.S. workplace and schools are acts of political insurgency rather than ordinary crimes or the actions of disturbed individuals.” — Wikipedia

    I just have insufficient blood lust to satisfy this psychotic.

    No seriously, I’m not at all bothered by Ames’ article. That’s why I’m posting these hilarious comments on Ames’s site: Because I’m not bothered at all. Nope, not at all. Not a lick, I say! It’s like what my hero Charlton Heston once said, “You can pry my not-at-all-bothered comments that I’m posting on your comments section as soon as you pry those comments from my lukewarm, retarded brain. Woops! The comment’s up! Oh well, guess you pried it. Dang! Hate when that happens!
    Chuck Heston Fanboy-4-Ever

  • 28. Strelnikov  |  July 7th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    @3 Now you’re catching on; J. Edgar Hoover was one of the most paranoid men ever to have ANY power in the US gov’t. – so he had spies, saboteurs, and undercover men in every political/social organization he could find. Even the UFO investigator groups like MUFON and NICAP were spied on, to see if they were Communist fronts or monitoring classifed USAF aircraft. The Yippies were spied on as part of COINTELPRO, an anti-radical spy and subversion program that (I believe) had ties with Army Intelligence and the CIA. This spying went on from 1956 to 1971, when the thing was blown by the “Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI.” Obviously the spying went on after COINTELPRO’s cover was blown, but you see that sort of thing going on in Intelligence all the time: the New York PD “Red Squad” has had over 20 names, but it still spies on groups it doesn’t like*. What I find intersting with COINTELPRO is that it resembles the CIA/US Army “Phoenix Program” (sans the “tiger cages” and the S. Vietnamese goon squads); it’s all about “neutralizing the enemy”, even if “the enemy” is your own citizens.

    Back to the Radical Right….for the American Nazi movement after 1966-7, everything started turning to shit. George Lincoln Rockwell was killed by one of his own men at that time, and the group fell apart. One of Rockwell’s admirers, a guy named James Mason, tried to re-start the movement multiple times but nothing was working, so mason wound up with the “National Socialist Liberation Front” a weird group run by Joe Tomassi. Tomassi figured correctly that a Nazi movement in the US could never just ape the old NSDAP down to the brown uniforms; instead his men wore their hair long and dressed working class, and modeled their stucture on the Left-Communist groups in Oakland, along with the SDS, the SLA**, and the Weathermen. Once again it all came to nought as Tomassi was assassinated and the NSLF collapsed. Mason later became fascinated with Charles Manson because he dressed like a hippie and yet wanted to begin a race war; James Mason founded the “Universal Order” group with Manson as honorary leader. This is why the modern Nazis are all about “leaderless resistence” and “lone wolf” operations; they can’t trust each other, and they fear the public. This is why they have begun using code words, obscure symbols, and certain sorts of clothing to mark themselves. Only in prison are they truly open about who they are and what they believe.


    * It was common for the NYPD Red Squad to change phone numbers and buildings when they were found out. Also personell would be re-assigned out of the RS if their cover was blown, not moved to another part of town. New York has probably had an RS for the longest period; theirs began in the 1880s and today they are still monitoring groups, but now they are Muslim.

    **Speaking of which, Google “Mae Brussel” and “Symbionese Liberation Army.” Brussel may have been a conspiracy nut, but the piece she did for “The Realist” on how the SLA was a government honey pot/discreditor is immenently logical.

  • 29. Captain Prickhard  |  July 7th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    The answer is some variety of Leninism – because the bastards aren’t going down without a fight.

    Remember, they don’t play fair:

    Their Morals and Ours, Leon Trotsky:

  • 30. A Silver Mt. Paektu  |  July 7th, 2011 at 2:38 pm


    Pretty sure Ames knows that, which is why he did some research and confirmed that the Hunter College libs were, in fact, libertarians of the stripe we’re all too familiar with today. Hence the stuff about J. Neil Schulman.

    Also, the Comintern was dissolved in ’43 and the radical left of the 60s was internationally fractured by the fallout of the Sino-Soviet split. Older commies sided with revisionist parties orbiting Moscow, while the New Left largely rallied to Mao’s anti-revisionist camp. Anarchists weren’t sidelined in the Amerikan New Left of the 1960s because of some monolithic party line issued from the USSR, but because the radicals of the period had sufficient political acumen and education to not take seriously a revolutionary ideology that rejects the very apparatuses by which revolutionary gains are defended and consolidated.

    That said, anarchists were still involved here and there in the New Left. YIP was anarchist-inspired at the very least (“property is theft” being a quote from Prudhon) and there were anarchists in SDS all along. One of Harvey Pekar’s last completed works was a graphic history of SDS and he devoted a chapter to the reminiscences of a SDS anarchist. Worth checking out.

  • 31. Victorvalley Villain  |  July 7th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    @28 Strelnikov,

    Your post reminds me of this bit of Kersplebedeb’s book review of Hamerquist / Sakai / Chicago ARA / Salotte’s book Confronting Fascism: Discussion Documents For A Militant Movement

    We forget that fascism has always been mainly a movement of the young. That many youth in 1930s Germany viewed the Nazis as liberatory. As opposed to the German social-democrats, for example, who preached the dutiful authority of parents over children, the Hitler Youth gave rebellious children the power to keep their own hours, have an active sex and political life, smoke, drink and have groups of their own. Wilhelm Reich pointed out long ago that fascism in practice exposed every hypocrisy and internal cultural repression of the old left.

  • 32. John Drinkwater  |  July 7th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Good points Mike, but I don’t think are many, if any, capitalists who actually call themselves anarchists. After all, even they recognize that they need the police to protect their precious private property.

    For example, in a recent interview with Salon, Reason editors Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie were very quick to distance themselves from the anarchist label.

    I think ‘anarchism without adjectives’ is important to stress in order to avoid unnecessary sectarian disputes among left-wing radicals who are, regardless of their differences, still very close to one another on ideological grounds, esp. in terms of their criticisms of the existing order. The slogan was never, of course, meant to include or be open to anyone on the right of the political spectrum, particularly gung ho capitalists.

  • 33. Joe Namath  |  July 7th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, I’m a paid sockpuppet libertard, and I’m trying to find a way to pretend that this article didn’t bother me and make us look like the billionaire chambermaids that we are. Hold on…hold on still thinking here…hold on, checking my Sockpuppet 3.1 software here…Okay, got it! Ready? Sockpuppet 3.1 says that the best strategy here is to pretend that the Yippies weren’t much of a big deal, even though their leaders were harassed, spied on, wiretapped, arrested, and forced into one of the most famous trials of the past 50 years. Conversely, Sockpuppet 3.1 recommends that I whitewash the FBI’s decision to protect the Libertarians as “the FBI just didn’t have enough time, manpower, or paper, so they explicitly called off the dogs.” Hope it works! Let’s give it a go. Ready? Here it is, the magic of Sockpuppet 3.1–

    “What fuckin’ overreach, Ames! The Yippies got vid bites, sound bites, some newspaper columns, but not much more. Had you been old enough to have experienced the late 60-ies and eary 70-ies, you would have appreciated events like the ’68 Dem Convention, when Daley’s cops served as proxies, demonstrating much of America was still pissed over the 50-ies Elvis phenomenon. consumption of Enovid by the keg, and ‘If it feels good, do it’ mentality of the 12-25 crowd. Sure, the FBI covered the Yippies. But they covered about anyone who did not toe the accepted moral tone of the time. That they spent no time surveilling the Libs is simple to answer: them to be surveilled didn’t amount to a pile of gnat shit. It was probably a good thing that Koch gave Fink a little coin, if only to keep the guy off the soup line. Your article would have been more effective had you focused more on that white-piped black suit.”

    Whoa, that oughta neutralize this article. Thank you, Sockpuppet 3.1! You’re a libertard bootlicker’s bestest friend in the whole wide world!

  • 34. spark  |  July 7th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Great stuff, Ames.

  • 35. Will  |  July 7th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    So you want violent suppression of socialists/communists/actual-marxists/and anarchists in order to implement a clumsy social democracy as a transitional measure toward state-capitalism?

    Should we get there by letting Hispanic socialists agricultural workers do all the fighting and then have some urban whites run in and bayonet any counter-revolutionary who doesn’t understand that further concentration of wealth and power is the only way to end the concentration of wealth and power, even if it means executing thousands of veterans of the revolution?

    And at some point we should tell communist farmers how to communize farming and how to farm, all of which follows from the necessary preservation of existing cultural chauvinism and class elitism, because creating a communist utopia requires the seizure of state power as it exists now even if you don’t wind up in charge until a few years after large parts of that apparatus have been dismantled, right?

    It’s not counter-revolution because you’re doing it and you’re the good guys because everyone else is counter-revolutionary, right? Do I get it or should I say a hundred Our Fathers and read the collected works of The Prophet?

  • 36. Victorvalley Villain  |  July 7th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Does anyone have grbrblibblopb hey looks like I got a Sockpuppet 3.11 virus in my computer. Oops, no, sorry, that virus is me.

  • 37. Dom  |  July 7th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Great article.

    Comment editing is also top notch today. :)

  • 38. Michal  |  July 7th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I think you’re reading too much into this, Ames. You’re trying to mesh capitalism into everything, and as a non-american, looking at your country from the outside, I just can’t see it. Capitalism is just one part of a wider American way of living.

    The libertarians adopted a language of working within the system to change it. They let everyone know they think the fundamentals of the American society, the base on which it is founded, is sound. You’re right in that they were left alone because they simply weren’t radical. But I think you’re wrong when you claim the suppressed groups were suppressed merely because they opposed capitalism. Radical groups suppressed by the FBI, like Black Panthers, Symbionese Army, or the Yippies, instead adopted a revolutionary stance which declared the fundamentals of America to be rotten and called for them to be razed. They wanted to overthrow the entire societal system, rather than change it to their likeness.

    Granted, every one of the groups I just named were anti-capitalist, and granted every group that threatened capitalism–from unions to Keynsians–had been harassed and surveilled and sometimes destroyed by the McCarthyites and the FBI–but still, that aside, my point still stands. Wait, what was my point again?

  • 39. Will  |  July 7th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    “I looked Mark Ames up on Wikipedia and learned he was born in October 1958. This surprised me because he wrote as if his voice had changed when I was getting busted at an anti-war-tax demonstration in 1972. ”

    1972-1958=14, what fucking retard. This twats link to his “mere anarchy” article is dead too, which is for the best since it’s standard ahistorical up-ass drive.

    You know if we truly cared about spreading our ideas in the marketplace of ideas with reasoned dispasionate bla bla bla we’d engage this twit in a bla bla bla, but bulshit bullshit violence bullshit.

    Urge to troll… rising…

  • 40. Will  |  July 7th, 2011 at 6:48 pm
    Hilarious. Did this asshole walk straight out of an updated edition of Dead Souls?

    I like your writing Mark but “low hanging fruit” doesn’t begin to describe this target.

  • 41. pat  |  July 7th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    The “libertarian alliance” links to “Young Americans for Freedom.”

    They all link back to the “conservative” groups.

    This article from 1976 explains how the “conservatives” wanted no party label and would “work within all parties and groups.” “The main order of business” of the conference put on by the Conservative Caucus was “how to organize at the local level and replace Democrats and Republicans with Conservatives.” If you go back to 1965, you’ll see they were discussing going to a 3rd party, but later opted to take over both parties. It is always the same people involved, Helms, Howard Phillips, Richard Viguerie, Ron Paul, the John Birch Society (Kochs.)

    I linked them back to the “vouchers” to take $ from the public school system in 1973 in New Hampshire with their member who was Gov. of New Hampshire Meldrim Thompson.

  • 42. RazerRay  |  July 7th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I was a 14 year old runaway from Brooklyn in 1968. I crashed at the bas player for David Peel and the Lower East Side’s tenement on East 11th and hung out at the Cooper Square free store, in later years involved with spin-offs of Yip. I know of at least one well-known Yippie! who moved to JDL ‘activism’ after the 60s and knew the informant (George Demmerle) who blew his cover to bust Sam Melville and friends for the planned armory raid.

    In that group, whom one can search from the info above, at least 3 more of the core members of the group turned out to be various kinds of infiltrators, John Birch Society affiliated informers etc. Even the fellow who ran the local radical news agency, Lou Salzberg was a regular… and FBI informant:

    That name that probably fills one blank for you.

  • 43. pat  |  July 7th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    This is interesting too…same players.

  • 44. helplesscase  |  July 7th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    The bums will always lose.

  • 45. DocAmazing  |  July 7th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Wait…the guy’s name is really Rich Fink? Really?
    Irony is dead, or at least really badly hurt.

  • 46. Spaceman_Spiff  |  July 7th, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Let’s see, so…

    Rich Fink dresses badly, goes to Charles Koch, impresses Koch because of rather than despite himself, gets funding to form Citizens for a Sound Economy…which later becomes FreedomWorks & a major mover in the Tea Party movement under the leadership of FreedonWorks’ chairman Dick Armey.

    I’ve got it!

    A Rich Fink Koch-whore pimps out a Teabagging Dick Armey!

    I guess I picked the wrong week to stop doing angel dust…

  • 47. Joe Namath  |  July 7th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    What fuckin’, Ames! The Yippies got vid bites, sound bites, newspaper columns, much more. Had you been old enough to have experienced the late 60-ies and eary 70-ies, you would have appreciated events like the ’68 Dem Convention, when Daley’s cops served as proxies, demonstrating much of America was still pissed over the 50-ies Elvis phenomenon. consumption of Enovid by the keg, and ‘If it feels good, do it’ mentality of the 12-25 crowd. Sure, the FBI covered the Yippies. But they covered about anyone who did not toe the accepted moral tone of the time. That they spent no time surveilling the Libs is simple to answer: It was probably Koch. Your article had you focused.

  • 48. Neil in Chicago  |  July 7th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Not much left to add, and only a few little things to amplify. Mainly, if you think there were no “American” radicals, then besides looking up the Industrial Workers of the World, you ought to check out Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Lucy Parsons, and Emma Goldman.
    It’s interesting how the overt and unproclaimed Marxists all agree about anarchy. It’s significant that in the course of the conquest of the Russian Revolution by the Bolsheviks after their coup, they went down the list of their political opponents, and very first of all liquidated the anarchists . . . While Marx was explaining how he’d scientificly proven that the revoluiton would come first in England and Germany and last in russia and China, Bakunun, who had to deal with actual Marxistst, predicted Lenin and Stalin.
    (And if you think the Stalinists stabbed the Spanish Revolution in the back, get Spain Betrayed from Yale University Press. The actual archival documents tell an even uglier story than you think.)

    A couple of small corrections:
    Sam Konkin’s politics may have belonged in the cat box, but he did throw good parties.
    “Nestor Makhno” has a “k” in the middle.
    And I wonder if that Hunter College confab was the one I was at. Somewhere in there, a carload of us went to New York for a blow-out with the Living Theater and Wavy Gravy and a bunch of stuff.

  • 49. Zoner  |  July 8th, 2011 at 4:19 am

    Oh great, Ames, the Schulman guy is practically in tears over at his blog. Do you really want to be known as the guy who turned a beret-wearing, Santa Claus-looking “anarchist” into a sobbing mess?

  • 50. Michal  |  July 8th, 2011 at 4:39 am

    @ 38. Fair enough. Wait whut, Keynesians? Can comment editor or someone else explain this?

  • 51. pat  |  July 8th, 2011 at 5:10 am

    From 1969:
    By RONALD SULLIVANSpecial to The New York Times
    New York Times (1923-Current file); Oct 14, 1969;

    pg. 2
    “Most of the agitators were members of the NJ Libertarian Alliance, a right-wing group affiliated with the conservative group Young Americans for Freedom.”

  • 52. Mike  |  July 8th, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Sorry I didn’t research Comintern dates. The failure of authoritarian bureaucratic state capitalism seems to speak for itself, as it had since the early 1920s. I had just assumed that today’s investment bankers/corporate lawyers of a certain age were consuming the allegedly different flavors and selling the newspapers, of the authoritarian left because these groups were using State treasuries to spread their ideology. I guess that’s a kind of political acumen?

    It would appear that this was a larger anarchist conference at Hunter than we were led to believe. From page 95 of this book report thingy or whatever:

    “The organization of the Hunter College Anarchist Conference in the spring of
    1974 brings to light innovative anarch@-feminist networking and organizing that
    required new methods of communication. The conference, which had been in the
    works for over a year, was held at Hunter College in New York City, April 19-21st; it
    was sponsored by Anarchs of New York, an ad hoc group including Freespace
    Alternate U, Hunter Libertarian Alliance, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
    NY, The Living Theater Collective, Vegetarian Activist Collective, Ecology Action
    East, Faggot and Dyke Anarchists (FADA), New York Anarcho-Feminists, and
    Come!Unity Press. The organizing collective initially proposed the conference as a
    “preliminary organizational anarchist conference,” to gather and organize prior to
    an even larger anarchist conference, which never took place. And while ‘anarchofeminism’
    and women were included in most of the early conference organizational
    documents, they remained mostly in the periphery until planning for workshops
    began in the early spring of 1974.”

    It would appear that the ‘libertarian’ alliance was a part of that conference but they weren’t the bottom-line organizers (but I have yet to read the Eff Bee of Eye files)

  • 53. TheStrawMan  |  July 8th, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Thats all very good and great article I enjoyed reading it but, the fact is that the 1960s radicals had a living and breathing model to follow called “communism” which, even if they weren’t predisposed to favor, they would, out of laziness and disorganization have ended up following and would we really be better off if we’d ended up adopting it? I’m not so sure, I mean the people who implemented Pol Pot’s policies in Cambodia were “leftists” were they not? Can we say for sure any system designed by some hypothetical 60’s radicals who somehow gained state power been any better than what we have? Again I don’t know..

  • 54. aron pieman kay  |  July 8th, 2011 at 7:58 am

    i am an old time yippie activist…we had to put up w/a lot of shit from the feds…back in those daze…..chedck out the stuff in the files relating to the post zippie days in 1973…i realized who the snitches were back then!! the files confirmed it

    aron kay=yippie pie thrower

  • 55. Plamen  |  July 8th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Hi, Koch-whore guy here. Just wanted to say that for some reason my boss here at the marketing firm only has Sockpuppet 2.4 installed in our system, so the only paid-for comment it’s producing is the old “oo, you’re seeing Koch influence everywhere” one. Yeah, I know, we pretty much had to abandon that about a year ago, it went nowhere. Probably the head of my PR firm which hires comment-trolls like me stole all of the kochs’ money they gave him, because you know, it’s in his self-interest to steal that money. But I don’t have to tell you that.

    Anyway, since I have to do this, here goes: “Ames, you’re seeing Kochs everywhere, Koch Koch Koch, yadeeyaddeeyadda, you know the score.” Ah hell, even my Sockpuppet program can’t fake it. Sorry, will come back and comment soon as we get the Sockpuppet upgrade.

  • 56. Plamen  |  July 8th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    you are truly getting better all the time Exiled. to take the time to improve my deeply retarded sense of the english language and voluntarily put words that I NEVER would have the brains to write or say, and all for free? this is pure charity at its best. some might say that it’s censorship, but then again, don’t retarded people deserve to be censored? it’s more humane than putting them down at least. You are much better than the Koches (whose name I’m too retarded to spell, that wasn’t nice of you to keep my retarded spelling). this is the second-to-the last time I come to read you, because i can’t handle having to use a dictionary all the time. or reading for that matter. i’ll betcha you’ll miss me bigtime!

  • 57. macs  |  July 8th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Great job on this one, I’m once again inspired by your cultural insights into the toxic web of the ruling class and their libertarian tools and fools.

    Something I’d like to understand better is the relation between technology and libertarians. I’m a leftist tech geek and have long noted the large libertarian strain that runs through that subculture. While dismissing many as socially and politically oblivious, I would know more about the psychological and cultural forces that sustain them.

    The leftist tendencies of creative types like scientists and artists has long been a source of hope for opposition against the ruling class. The technical and creative abilities of libertarian geeks is a noteworthy exception. In addition, their technical skills provide a greater degree of independence in comparison to non-technical libertards who must suck directly at the teats of their financial masters for survival.

    If libertarian-minded geeks ever attain a political appreciation of class struggle, I believe it would be potentially a very damaging development against the financial overlords in this increasingly computerized world.

  • 58. Strelnikov  |  July 8th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    @31 I would not say that, in America, the Nazi movement was “for the young”, because the sort of kids who found Naziism liberating in Germany were the sort involved with street gangs in the US*….our youth-culture was a lot freer than in Europe. The average Rockwell Nazi was about 21, barely graduated high school, and pissed off for a number of reasons. George Lincoln Rockwell gave them a cause, and I would not be suprised that, after GLR was killed, the smarter stormtroopers went off to join The Minutemen, the Liberty Lobby, or one of the other far-Right outfits that existed in the 1960s-1970s. The rest probably joined the Army and added to the anti-Vietnamese racism that fighting body was riddled with, or they became Klansmen. It should not be forgotten that on the far-Right people would drift through a lot of different groups until they found one they were happy with, so you have guys like Robert Jay Matthews (founder of The Order, aka “The Silent Brotherhood”) starting out in the John Birch Society, moving into Mormon Survivalism with white-supremacy undertones [Matthews was born into the LDS Church], then getting into full on “White Revolutionary” mode with The Order. But none of this changes the fact that far-Right politics outside of the GOP or “Libertarian” umbrellas often resembles mobsterism or street gangs, which is fitting, because the first German proto-Nazis were little more than gangs of pissed-off Great War veterans.

    I am glad that Ames and “The Exiled” are getting back to the root of the problem**, which is how power is doled out in the US, who has it, and how they cheated their way to the top. “The eXile” dealt with that pretty well in Russia, because there were no Goddamned pretenses: eveything was a rough, crude fight for power under Yeltsyn. America, however, lives in a sea of PR, doublethink, narrowing intellectual options, and raw propaganda – cutting through that shit takes more finesse, but Ames et. al. are doing it.


    * Just to be nice and pedantic, but all of the political parties in Weimar Germany had goon squads made up of young people, ex-Reichsheer veterans, or people that were trained in 1918 and never fought (future Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmer fit in that last category.) And all of these “political youth groups” had access to weaponry from clubs to old trench rifles, and wore some sort of simple uniform – from the Social-Democrats to the KPD (Communist Party of Germany.) It’s just that the Nazis absorbed most of the far-Right groups like the Stahlhelm, the Freikorps, and many others, so they became stronger than the other groups in the street battles while Hitler and Goering maneuvered to get the NSDAP on more electoral lists in more German states, because street thuggery alone could not win the Brown Revolution; it took endless machinations to get Hitler to the top.

    ** I will admit that Beigeism is a vast problem with the world today, but in the US, Beigeism is coupled to the mainstream political parties – having everything bland bores everybody but the “right kind” of voter, and the Beigeists in both parties were holding the line until the GOP was infected with the Insanity Virus and pooped out the Teabaggers.

  • 59. bobjones  |  July 8th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    from freedomworks fag matt kibbe’s bio:

    “Kibbe started his professional career at Citizens for a Sound Economy, serving as a policy analyst in the mid 1980s. Matt did graduate work in the economics department at George Mason University and received his BA in Economics from Grove City College.

    Kibbe lives in Washington, DC with Terry, his sublimely awesome wife of 25 years. For Matt, goofing off usually involves reading Hayek or Rand, watching The Big Lebowski, or listening to a killer Grateful Dead show, preferably with a nice bottle of red wine.”

    Did you exile guys read The Baffler? You should do an interview with Thomas Frank.

  • 60. Quincy Q. Rucksack  |  July 8th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    One day I was tanning up at the beach and I started flexing! My huge muscles eclipsed the sun and humanity sent delegate after delegate begging me to stop at least for a little while due to widespread crop failures but I absolutely refused! “How dare you FACISTS try steal my freedom with tanning regulations!” I screamed as I went and voted for Ron Paul several hundred billion times. Ron Paul instantly won the recall election for president of earth and proceeded to abolish all institutions which could put a check on the power of the wealthy! Then he awarded me the medal of honor for preserving states’ rights! With my blessings, he then took away the final vestiage of evil government and collectivism by privatizing all humans and selling them into slavery… to me! After this I walked off into the sunset.

  • 61. Diet Koch  |  July 9th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I know what you’re against Ames, but I don’t know what it is you are for.

  • 62. Vert  |  July 9th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I read all these comments criticizing
    the evils of capitalism.
    Snide remarks about how rotten the system
    in America has become.
    Tell me Ames,if you were in charge how would you set up an ideal government.
    Lets say I sold beads on a street corner
    for a profit, isn’t that capitalism?
    Then say some of my friends needed some money
    so I hired them to sell my beads.
    Isn’t that industry?
    By my own labors I made a better life for myself and my family.
    Isn’t that the American dream?
    You criticize capitalism but what would
    you replace it with?

  • 63. Captain Prickhard  |  July 9th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    what’s wrong with your tips email

    anyways, here’s my tip to the Exiled, Assange explaining why he hasn’t released the bank data yet.

    around 1:01:53, Amy Goodman asks Julian Assange about why he hasn’t released the bank data from Bank of America. Assange says that they’re being threatened with a “form of blackmail” and hints that it probably involves barebacking groupies.


  • 64. rossiya  |  July 9th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    “Yes, we’re seeing the rise of stateless currencies, but the only truly dependable ones depend on the value of a given nation’s goods and services.”

    That’s a complete fallacy. A scarce resource, difficult to replicate i.e. unique is all that’s needed. Gold, digitally-signed certificates come to mind. That’s why the banksters have been collecting all your gold in their vast underground bunkers, have made OTC trading gold illegal after 15July2011, and given you debt notes you mistake for “money.” They probably laugh at you every fifteen seconds, while thinking of your daughters they can have in exchange for a few of those worthless debt notes they’ve conditioned Americans to accept like Pavlovian junkies.

  • 65. aleke  |  July 9th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    that reminds me:

    An excerpt from William Blum’s memoir of the 1960s-1970s: West-Bloc Dissident

    What our natural enemies didn’t do to us, we naturally did to ourselves, as did many of the other underground newspapers and movement groups in the ’60s: disagreements developed, factions formed, and, eventually, a split that rent the organization hopelessly in two — the left’s traditional circular firing squad.

    Putting it in the broadest terms, there were two species of activists in these large dysfunctional families who kept bumping heads, here, there, and everywhere. We can call them the “politicos” and the “yippies” (subspecies: hippies, anarchists).

    The politicos placed their faith in organization and in the intellect — a mass movement, “vanguard” political parties, hierarchies and leaders, heavy on meetings, ideology, and tracts, at times doctrinaire sounding, using words and ideas to convince the great middle class, if not the great unwashed. There were theories to justify these tactics, theories based on class analysis, presented with historical annotation to certify their viability; theories that Norman Mailer disparagingly referred to as “the sound-as-brickwork-logic-of-the-next-step in some hard new Left program.”

    The yippies looked upon all this with unconcealed impatience, scorn, and unbelief. Said a yippie to a politico back then: your protest is so narrow, your rhetoric so boring, your ideological power plays so old fashioned …

    Let’s listen to Jerry Rubin, certainly the yippies’ most articulate spokesperson:

    The long-haired beast, smoking pot, evading the draft, and stopping traffic during demonstrations is a hell of a more a threat to the system than the so-called “politicos” with their leaflets of support for the Vietcong and the coming working class revolution. Politics is how you live your life, not whom you vote for or whom you support.

    The most important political conflict in the United States for Rubin was not of classes, but “the generational conflict”. “The respectable middle-class debates LBJ while we try to pull down his pants.”

    Is [American society] interested in reform, or is it just interested in eliminating nuisance? What’s needed is a new generation of nuisances. A new generation of people who are freaky, crazy, irrational, sexy, angry, irreligious, childish, and mad … people who burn draft cards, people who burn dollar bills, people who burn MA and doctoral degrees, people who say: “To hell with your goals”, people who proudly carry Vietcong flags, people who re-define reality, who re-define the norm, people who see property as theft, people who say “fuck” on television, people who break with the status-role-title-consumer game, people who have nothing material to lose but their bodies … What the socialists like the SWP and the Communist Party, with their conversions of Marxism into a natural science, fail to understand is that language does not radicalize people — what changes people is the emotional involvement of action.

    Hardly anyone, of course, fit precisely and solely into either of these classifications, including Jerry Rubin. Much of the yippie “party line” was to be taken metaphorically, unless one’s alienation had reached the level of an alien, while most politicos were independent of any political party.

    Ray Mungo, one of the founders of Liberation News Service, later wrote of LNS:

    It is impossible for me to describe our “ideology,” for we simply didn’t have one; we never subscribed to a code of conduct or a clearly conceptualized Ideal Society … And it was the introduction of formal ideology into the group which eventually destroyed it, or more properly split it into bitterly warring camps.

    When Mungo speaks of “formal ideology”, he’s referring to the “politicos” who joined LNS after its inception. These people, whom he refers to as “the Vulgar Marxists”, as opposed to his own “anarchist” camp …

    believed fervently in “the revolution”, and were working toward it — a revolution based on Marx and Lenin and Cuba and SDS and “the struggle”; and people were supported only on the basis of what they were worth to the revolution; and most of the things in life which were purely enjoyable were bourgeois comforts irrelevant to the news service, although not absolutely barred. … Their method of running the news service was the Meeting and the Vote, ours was Magic. We lived on Magic, and still do, and I have to say it beats anything systematic.”

    Mungo would have one believe that ideology is a “thing” introduced from the “outside”, like tuberculosis, that is best to avoid. I would argue, however, that “ideology” is nothing less than a system of ideas in one’s head, whether consciously organized or not, that attempts to answer the questions: Why is the world the way it is? Why is society the way it is? Why are people the way they are? And what can be done to change any of this? To say you have no ideology comes dangerously close to saying that you have no opinions on — and perhaps no interest in — such questions. Ray Mungo, I believe, was overreacting to people whom he saw as too systematic and who didn’t appreciate his “Magic”.

    Just as I knew instinctively that I wasn’t a Quaker or a pacifist, I knew I wasn’t a yippie, hippie or anarchist, which didn’t mean that I couldn’t enjoy and even take part in some of their antics. Jerry Rubin was mistaken in my case, as in many others — language, spoken and print, had played a major role in my radicalization; equally indispensable had been the sad state of the world, but it was language which had illuminated and brought home to me the sad state of the world and proffered explanations for why it was the way it was.

    During the American Revolution, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the first few months of 1776, used language suffused with both reason and emotion to argue powerfully the case for independence, to strike convincingly at one of the greatest obstacles to separation: American veneration of royalty; and to point out that beyond the politics and legalities of the conflict, the colonies were sources of profit the crown would never voluntarily relinquish. This message clarified the revolution for thousands of confused rebels who had been debating points of law with London. Imagine if Paine had been a yippie instead of a politico — his primary message might have been to pull down the king’s pants.

    It was the movement’s politicos who stayed the course, continuing to be activists well past the ’60s, while Rubin’s long-haired beast and Mungo’s Magic people — lacking the convictions of their courage — could more likely be found in the ’70s sitting cross-legged at the feet of the newest-flavor guru, probing interpersonal relations instead of international relations, or seeking fulfillment through vegetarianism, “the land”, or Rolfing. By the ’80s they had evolved into yuppies.

  • 66. aleke  |  July 9th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Why did the Politicos hold forth? Because Theory is the instinct of the death drive, it is that which is truly immortal in a world of shit, the surplus that survives past death and rot. Theory is immortal, and this is why the yippies capitulated, and for what we must fight & die for if we are to win.

  • 67. FunTimeSteve  |  July 9th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Schulman wrote his own Wikipedia page.

  • 68. aleke  |  July 9th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Lmao @ all the idiot anarchist children attacking ‘state-capitalist’ Bolsheviks lmao

    Yep, peasant third-world backwater which transformed itself into a megapower despite all the powers that be opposing it violently, which fought for justice even in its degenerating state all the way up to its complete dissolution, is worse than the nonexistent anarchist victories. Yeah. Spanish anarchists were worth shit. Uh huh. “Spain Betrayed” is western liberal ideology at its worse. Keep living in propaganda dream land you suckers

  • 69. Ilona  |  July 10th, 2011 at 3:04 am

    @ 62

    “Lets say I sold beads on a street cornerfor a profit, isn’t that capitalism?”

    Yes sir. It’s most definitely capitalism.

    If we’re to believe the belowed and trusted Mihail Gorbatšov himself. And why shouldn’t we? On the CCCP TV the beloved CCCP father figurine himself explained to an elderly, rural lady selling her few “extra” cabbages at the “marketplace” about all the capitalist trappings and stuff and evil and such.

    Dogma. Great.

  • 70. pat  |  July 10th, 2011 at 7:24 am

    @68 – Blackwater?
    There are links to “libertarians” all over the place to Blackwater.
    Citizens United:

    Who funded it? Betsy DeVos

    Who is Betsy DeVos? The sister of Erik Prince of Blackwater.

    She’s involved with this too and look at who signed it, same people involved in Citizens United.

  • 71. darthfader  |  July 10th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    “The Only Dope Worth Shooting Is In The White House” is a direct quote from Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal this Book”.

  • 72. darthfader  |  July 10th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Also, it’s pretty funny to me how if you get a handful of Marxists and a handful of anarchists in the same space they will immediately identify each other as the priority enemy.

  • 73. Ro  |  July 11th, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Interesting. So basically the FBI of the 60’s and 70’s was nurturing the teachers and handlers for everyone from Reagan to Glen Beck to Rush, Savage – ad nauseam. So if the FBI promoted these people, and now their results are on TV everyday bombarding us with their ideology, then it’s really state run propaganda just as much as it is in North Korea or any totalitarian society. We’re only special in that fact that we don’t even know that we’re being oppressed.

  • 74. Anna R  |  July 11th, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Wha?? You were like 7 when Hippies were over. How the Hell could you “remember” Hippies?

  • 75. Yousif  |  July 11th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    good article imho

  • 76. RanDomino  |  July 11th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    @72 Hey, experience tells us that the Marxists will stab us in the back every time even if it means they end up losing too… so we’d better smother them in the cradle, y’ see.

  • 77. Lev_Barbecue  |  July 11th, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Sorry to interrupt the old statist vs. anarchist pissing contest, but the amount of times I’ve read the word “retarded” in these comments really blows the mind.

    “Retarded” is an oppressive slur, like “nigger” or “fag” and is wholly unacceptable for use by people who claim to be against oppression.

    Then again, as a typical retarded commenter, you probably shouldn’t listen to my fake attempt at being outraged here. Unless, like me, you’re retarded. Yabbadabbadoo!

  • 78. Will  |  July 12th, 2011 at 7:01 am

    72, 76

    I think the problem is more specifically Leninist and I would add that the reason they’re so keen to attack anarchists is that Bolshevism only attracts people as a lesser evil. If you give people socialist or communist options that are not psychotic they’ll take them over capitalism or state capitalism.

  • 79. Almost as big as Jesus  |  July 12th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    @57 macs

    Great post! I inhabit the same circles where I see the came libertarian crap and ponder the same questions.

    I got few vague ideas. First, most of these techno nerds (my libertarian boss is a prototypical case) seriously identify with heroic capitalist that climbed their way to the top of the heap of the tech sector. Folks like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg are either idolized or hated and admired. In both cases the techie subject identifies these capitalists’ technical skills and business genius with their own mastery of code. To the techie, these opportunists and robbers are examples of genius which they all share. Because of identification, they have a lot of respect for these assholes that exploit them. You can even see it with their technically experienced managers. It’s disgusting, but techies appear to love and admire their managers. More than most professions that I’ve seen.

    Second, the internet is where these freak live and die. Internet freedoms are of a very individualistic kind. Liberal or bourgeois freedoms as Marx would call them. Buying and selling freely and without any interference from the government is one such freedom.

    I’ve also seen this turning around quite well. Nerds are developing better politics in the form of Anonymous, LulzSec and now AntiSec. They’re talking more about class and seem to be groveling less under the light of their superior nerds. For example, the change in tone on slashdot last few years has been palpable. Unions are not the devils they once were and capitalist are not such good guys anymore.

    A better thought out observation of internet nerd politics moving left can be seen here:

  • 80. John Drinkwater  |  July 12th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    ‘“Retarded” is an oppressive slur’

    Not necessarily. In common adolescent lingo, it just means stupid. Like ‘gay’ isn’t necessarily a slur against homosexuals, either. It can just mean that you think something is totally fucking GAY – or stupid.

  • 81. Victorvalley Villain  |  July 13th, 2011 at 6:58 am

    “Marxism, as the codification of a misunderstood and misinterpreted body of thought, was born and developed at a time when Marx’s work was not yet available in its entirely and when important parts of it remained unpublished.” – Maximilien Rubel 1973 /Marx, theoretician of anarchism/

  • 82. John Drinkwater  |  July 13th, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Marxism certainly got an unfair rap after Lenin and Stalin, but if he was in fact an anarchist as the author suggests, then how to explain his feuds with anarchists (and not only Bakunin) while he was living? How come Marx never embraced anarchism himself? Also, as the article indicates, Marx believed his materialist conception of history to be a ‘science’…something anarchists importantly refute, including, notably, Kropotkin, who was himself a scientist. PK wrote that Capital “is a marvelous revolutionary pamphlet but its scientific significance is nil.”

    Bakunin even predicted that Marx’s theories would lead to dictatorship. Was it just a lucky guess?

  • 83. Strelnikov  |  July 17th, 2011 at 4:16 am

    “Bakunin even predicted that Marx’s theories would lead to dictatorship. Was it just a lucky guess?”

    Old Mikhail hated Organization for Organization’s sake, and Marx’s politics just reek’d of Organization. I don’t think he foresaw a vanguardist party like the Bolsheviks emerging in Russia, but he knew that Authoritarianism was the default mode of political power in that country. BTW, everybody was trying to make everything into a “science” in the 19th century, so Marx should not be seen as a charlatan like L. Ron Hubbard.

  • 84. macs  |  July 17th, 2011 at 1:24 pm


    Thanks for those ideas, spot on. Let’s hope that groups like Anonymous and LulzSec are indicators of emerging political awareness of techies.

  • 85. aleke  |  July 17th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    If you want another fucking failure of anarchism, how about you try May ’68. People were in the streets against the old hierarchical organizations, a famous slogan was ‘Structures don’t march in the streets’. Well guess fucking what. They do. They fucking march, and if you dont understand structures being integral, and don’t build your own structures, you’re gonna end up just like the May ’68 generation, as a vanguard of a new capitalist model. Consumer capitalism with the welfare state in its modern incarnation was born from ’68.

    Lacan was right, those who do not understand structures, be they unconscious, political, economic, are doomed to seek a Master.

  • 86. gkruz  |  July 19th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Rich Fink? That name almost makes me believe in God. Provided that god is Loki.

  • 87. Beenthere  |  April 9th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Author is surprised that the YIP still existed in 1974? Too busy being snarky to spend fifteen seconds googling them?

    Core group yippies are very much alive and active in 2012 – the Million Marijuana March (formerly the NYC Pot Parade) now happens in hundreds of cities every year, ferhoffman’ssake!

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