My latest post at PJM:

Anarcho-Left Meltdown as Radical Infighting Turns Violent

“Like starving wolverines in a canvas sack, they tear at each other until there’s nothing left but shredded fur.

That’s essentially what’s happening on the West Coast anarchist scene, as far-far-far-far-left radicals have taken to assaulting the merely far-far-far-left radicals for being insufficiently revolutionary, opening up a huge rift in a political milieu that is now hemorrhaging adherents as we speak.

It all came to a head at this weekend’s Anarchist Bookfair in San Francisco, an annual convention of left-leaning anarchists and anti-civilization activists (which I covered extensively in previous years). One of the invited speakers was Lierre Kieth, a 45-year-old anarchist who spent decades on the cutting edge of environmental extremism, but who recently wrote a book explaining why she abandoned her once strict vegan diet after realizing that it probably wasn’t going to save the Earth after all. She’s still a committed anarchist, mind you, who “believes in militant action, even property destruction, if it can lead to change,” and who wants an end to all mass-production of food (i.e. agribusiness and factory farming), with the goal of restoring the Earth to its pristine pre-civilizational state if possible. Oh, but you see, that’s not radical enough for many of the deranged San Francisco Black Bloc anarchists, who somehow got it into their heads that she was a traitor to the cause and a puppet of the meat industry because she abandoned her vegan diet. And so, while she was speaking at the conference on Saturday, three masked young men rushed onstage and threw cayenne-pepper-laced pies in her face — an incident which was (as is everything these days) naturally captured on video:


…”

Rest the rest here!

37 Responses to “Anarcho-Left Meltdown as Radical Infighting Turns Violent”

  1. 1CattusMagnus on Mar 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm:

    “Half of the anarchists have banned the other half from their clubhouse.” – Funniest line in the whole report.

  2. 2Dianna on Mar 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm:

    I don’t like Ms. Kieth. But those bastards belong in jail.

    Note that they didn’t throw, they smashed those pies into her. Someone let them backstage, and probably thought it was funny. It wasn’t.

  3. 3Dianna on Mar 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm:

    She also has degenerative spinal disease? That little rat who slammed the pie down on top of her head needs a severe lesson.

  4. 4Bakunin on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm:

    You mean there isn’t divisions in the conservative movement?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/07/tea.party/index.html

  5. 5Starless on Mar 18, 2010 at 2:31 am:

    What those little pricks did was obviously wrong, but if you lie down with dogs…and so on.

    An anarchist calling for the “cops” to right a wrong is just about the most hypocritical thing she could possibly do. Or is it that she’s only an anarchist when it comes to her vegetarian lifestyle choice? If you’re well past the age when you would have been able to figure out that the world is a more complicated place than anarchism says it is yet you still call yourself an anarchist, that tells me that Anarchy(TM) is a product you are trying to sell. So, yeah, pepper spray in the form of a pie is assault, but 99% of the population deals with some sort of abuse to make a living.

    What do you want to bet there’s a spike in her book sales as a result of this incident?

  6. 6Dianna on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:56 am:

    Starless, I keep running across this same attitude, “lie down with dogs”, the folded arms, smug, “sauce for the goose”, the rest of the so-righteous “she picked her company” kind of digressions.

    Honestly, though, this is wrong-headed. If we’re operating in the realms of civilization and reason, Ms. K’s positions are irrelevant. However pernicious her ideas, she was within the proper bounds of speech. The inarticulate physical assault goes beyond any acceptable behavior.

    Either there is one standard, or we might as well arm up and prepare for the war of each against all.

    It is a sad thing, but the rule of law doesn’t produce justice, or even a rough approximation of it. However, we should all be profoundly grateful that we do not receive perfect justice – or none of us would escape with whole skins.

    While I, too, delight in the fight going on among the fringe, the assault itself isn’t excusable, or something to mock.

  7. 7Starless on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:15 am:

    Dianna: While I, too, delight in the fight going on among the fringe, the assault itself isn’t excusable, or something to mock.

    I agree that the assault wasn’t excusable and I don’t think she in any way deserved what she got, but she’s advocating a position which encourages the type of behavior she received. She knows these people and she knows what they do. The “lie with dogs” statement was about how this incident shouldn’t be a surprise, not how she got what she was asking for. She’s a 45-year-old woman advocating adolescent thinking and behavior mainly to 20-somethings as a path to righteousness — has 20 years in her business told her nothing about the people she’s dealing with? I’m not talking about justice, I’m talking about prudence.

    I suppose a more apropos statement would be, “She should have known better”.

    If she suffered physical pain or injury as a result of this, I feel bad for her, but I also know that what she’s doing is selling a product and her target market is full of people who do the sorts of things that was done to her — things which I’m sure she has encouraged if not participated in in the past. Pepper in the eyes hurts like hell and if the smack on the head hurt her back, that’s terrible, but as I said, this incident will likely help her book sales. Is the exchange worth it? I dunno. Ask a guy who bends metal all day, every day in a factory for twenty years if the damage done to his body is worth it to put food on the table.

  8. 8Kun on Mar 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm:

    So basically a bunch of petty-bourgeois lameasses threw pies at another petty-bourgeois lameass and apparently this constitutes a significant event in the American Left even though anarchism hasn’t been relevant since the International Workers of the World ceased importance in the 1920′s.

    I present to you one of the many reasons why I am not an anarchist, Engels in his 1872 work The Housing Question:
    “Consequently a reactionary character runs throughout the whole of Proudhonism; an aversion to the industrial revolution, and the desire, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly expressed, to drive the whole of modern industry out of the temple, steam engines, mechanical looms and the rest of the swindle, and to return to the old, respectable hand labour. That we would then lose nine hundred and ninety-nine thousandths of our productive power, that the whole of humanity would be condemned to the worst possible labour slavery, that starvation would become the general rule – what does all that matter if only we succeed in organising exchange in such a fashion that each receives ‘the full proceeds of his labour,’ and that ‘eternal justice’ is realized? Fiat justitia, pereat mundus!

    Justice must prevail though the whole world perish!

    And the world would perish in this Proudhonist counter-revolution if it were at all possible to carry it out.”

  9. 9bdtr on Mar 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm:

    lol red propaganda ftw

  10. 10phoenixgirl on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:46 am:

    it is hard not to laugh at that vid…..benny hill music makes it funnier…..and to think she called the police afterward….the hypocrite! what kind of anarchist is she? obviously a cafeteria anarchist!

  11. 11DangerousNate on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:44 am:

    it is hard not to laugh at that vid…..benny hill music makes it funnier…

    I know, that made me laugh too.

    I also love how after she gets the 3 pies in her face a guy in the audience throws a banana peel or something at her as well.

  12. 12Dane on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:58 am:

    Kun: Fiat justitia, pereat mundus!Justice must prevail though the whole world perish!

    Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor? Isn’t he a little… bourgeois of a source for a good Marxist to quote?

  13. 13Dianna on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:45 am:

    DangerousNate: I also love how after she gets the 3 pies in her face a guy in the audience throws a banana peel or something at her as well.

    Quote

    I thought it was a rubber chicken. Could it have been? In so far as anything would make sense, that would.

  14. 14Starless on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm:

    phoenixgirl: it is hard not to laugh at that vid…..benny hill music makes it funnier…..

    “Yakety Sax” makes anything funny — double funny if the video is sped up. For example.

  15. 15Kun on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:01 am:

    @Dane:

    Marx and Engels sourced people from Aristotle to John Locke to J.S. Mill in their works, and were especially fond of sourcing medieval figures and such when they wanted to be witty.

    Case in point, in Capital Vol. I:

    “Price, like relative value in general, expresses the value of a commodity (e.g., a ton of iron), by stating that a given quantity of the equivalent (e.g., an ounce of gold), is directly exchangeable for iron. But it by no means states the converse, that iron is directly exchangeable for gold… If the owner of the iron were to go to the owner of some other commodity offered for exchange, and were to refer him to the price of the iron as proof that it was already money, he would get the same answer as St. Peter gave in heaven to Dante, when the latter recited the creed —

    ‘Assad bene e trascorsa
    D’esta moneta gia la lega e’l peso,
    Ma dimmi se tu l’hai nella tua borsa.’”

  16. 16Dianna on Mar 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm:

    #15 Kun –

    The number of us who read early modern Italian can be numbered fairly easily. It does not include me.

    I hit babylon. I got: Assad well and spent d’esta currency already the alloy e’l weight, but if you tell me you in your bag.

    Oh. Helpful!

    Now, I happen to keep Dante, so I looked it up.

    Still, could you spare us the pretention?

  17. 17realwest on Mar 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm:

    Well I’m with Dianna on this – what happened to her is inexcusable and the people who did it should be arrested, tried and if found guilty, sent to jail.
    BUT – she has advocated violence “in defense of Mother Earth” and, iirc, she also advocated putting those metal spikes in trees that have injured -sometimes severely – loggers just trying to make a living.
    Yes, it was WRONG for them to do that and I deplore it, and sincerely want justice to be done, but for HER to decry violence “in defense of Mother Earth” is a little bit hypocritical.

  18. 18Starless on Mar 21, 2010 at 3:54 am:

    realwest: Well I’m with Dianna on this – what happened to her is inexcusable and the people who did it should be arrested, tried and if found guilty, sent to jail.

    I agree that she should have called the cops and the perpetrators should be punished, and that’s what I was getting at when I called her “hypocritical” for calling the cops. The fact that most people in this culture realize that the first thing you do after being assaulted like that is call the police and that she realized that also invalidates that anarchic ethos she’s selling. So, this may not be exactly a case of hypocrisy, but it comes close.

    As far as sympathy is concerned, take an analogy from the really important news-of-the-day (no, not that boring healthcare stuff): the public detonation of Sandra Bullock’s marriage. She’s the obviously aggrieved party, she did nothing wrong, and she didn’t deserve what happened to her. At the same time, she married a dirt bag. Everyone knew he was a dirt bag and there was plenty of publicly available information out there for her to inform herself about his historic dirt-baggery. So when he acts like a dirt bag again, does she then deserve our sympathy? Yes, we’re right to feel bad for her, but she probably doesn’t deserve our 100%, unquestioning, unequivocal sympathy.

  19. 19Kun on Mar 21, 2010 at 7:57 pm:

    @Dianna:

    “Still, could you spare us the pretention?”

    It’s in the book (Capital) itself. I merely noted it because it is Marx quoting Dante. There are parts where Marx cites Aristotle and it’s in ancient Greek, too.

  20. 20Charliefreak on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:12 am:

    I am most impressed by the reaction of her audience and the number of them who rushed to her aid. Heartwarming.

  21. 21Charliefreak on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:14 am:

    I am most impressed by the reaction of her audience and the number of them who rushed to her aid. Heartwarming. Also wondering if they sell books at the fair, or could I just take what I want? Anarchy for the University of Kentucky.

  22. 22Dianna on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:19 am:

    Kun: @Dianna:“Still, could you spare us the pretention?”It’s in the book (Capital) itself. I merely noted it because it is Marx quoting Dante. There are parts where Marx cites Aristotle and it’s in ancient Greek, too.

    Marx is – frankly – unreadable. And the objection to quotes in Early Modern Italian remains.

    Pretentious. Either put in a translation (Rossi’s version is quite readable), or mention where to find said translation.

  23. 23Kun on Mar 22, 2010 at 11:47 am:

    Marx’s reputation for being “unreadable” is overblown. Chapter I of Capital is admittedly a head-scratcher at first, but that’s because Marx is just putting out definitions of words and such, and actually goes into detail in the following chapters (which are far easier to read). It’s also because Marxism is quite different from neoliberal economics as used today. (E.g. Marxists still use the Labor Theory of Value à la Adam Smith—something I’ve failed to see so-called “progressives” ever endorse, Marxists separate use-value and exchange-value, Marxists have a totally different view of what constitutes capital, etc.) So going in without some understanding of Marxian economics beforehand can result in confusion.

  24. 24Dianna on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm:

    #23 Kun

    I beg to differ.

  25. 25Dianna on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm:

    Oh, and Kun?

    The accusation of pretentiousness stands.

  26. 26experiencedtraveller on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm:

    None of the men in the video made a move when they saw a woman being assaulted.

    That’s the difference right there.

  27. 27Starless on Mar 23, 2010 at 2:54 am:

    Charliefreak: I am most impressed by the reaction of her audience and the number of them who rushed to her aid. Heartwarming.

    “Anarchy” and “selfless” don’t usually go hand-in-hand.

    Dianna, don’t encourage Kun. All you’ll end up with is a long link and quote-filled lecture on Marxism which is only just barely related to the topic at hand.

  28. 28Dianna on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm:

    Starless:
    “Anarchy” and “selfless” don’t usually go hand-in-hand.Dianna, don’t encourage Kun. All you’ll end up with is a long link and quote-filled lecture on Marxism which is only just barely related to the topic at hand.

    I’ll just keep hammering away at my impression that Kun has no more notion what that verse from Dante translates to than does my cat. Pretentious Marxists never admit they don’t know, and they won’t go look it up, either.

  29. 29Starless on Mar 24, 2010 at 3:46 am:

    Dianna: I’ll just keep hammering away at my impression that Kun has no more notion what that verse from Dante translates to than does my cat. Pretentious Marxists never admit they don’t know, and they won’t go look it up, either.

    Heh. To quote Oprah, “You go, girl”.

    Personally, I prefer foreign language pretension which uses phrases like, “Pax vobiscum, floppy diskum”.

  30. 30Kun on Mar 25, 2010 at 3:20 am:

    Except I never claimed that I knew what the verse meant.

  31. 31Render on Mar 31, 2010 at 4:40 am:

    …and that defines the word “pretentious” almost exactly.

    Well done Dianna, well done.

    THE
    MERIDIAN
    METHOD,
    R

  32. 32Dianna on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm:

    Kun: Except I never claimed that I knew what the verse meant.

    Oh, for pity’s sake.

    You are, as I suspected, a pretentious Marx-quoting idiot, with no more notion of what you post than has my cat.

    A hint, from a non-pretentious, half-educated, humorously inclined (and reasonably charitable) woman of middle age and few illusions about politics, society, literature and life: if you don’t know what it means, don’t include it in a quotation. Doing so merely proves you’re an (note the proper article usage!) archetypal pseudo-intellectual.

  33. 33Vincent on Jun 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm:

    I stumbled across this thread because I am reading Kapital and I could not read the Italian either. It took one more minute of googling to find a translation. Be nice to Kun, the effort you all are investing in nagging him could have been spent on research to everyone’s benefit just as easily.

    Paradiso: Canto XXIV
    http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/dante/dante_x_24.htm

    Dante is singing the praises of faith to Peter, and in a sense talking about what faith can be exchanged for, or at least that his vision of heaven was entirely anticipated by the things he had already believed before he could see them (he is citing Hebrews 11:1). He got the password right with that description, but Peter wants to know if he really has the faith, or if he just knows the right way to describe it:

    “Very well has been gone over
    Already of this coin the alloy and weight;
    But tell me if thou hast it in thy purse?”

    You know it pretty well, have you got it?

  34. 34شات كتابي on Sep 27, 2010 at 11:46 am:

    …and that defines the word “pretentious” almost exactly.

    Well done Dianna, well done.

  35. 35binkw32.dll for forgotten sands free download on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm:

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

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