STIGMERGY: The C4SS Blog
Power to the People, Karl Hess Speaks at UCLA

In this talk, Karl Hess discusses his break with the Right of America. The ethic of the Old Right as isolationist, anti-federal and anti-state was destroyed by the alignment against international communism. He surveys the struggles of the radical figures of the anticommunist right to connect their historical opposition to centralized power with a new philosophy which seemed to necessitate glorifying and reveling in it. With the rise of Nixon and Agnew, he sees the right-wing embrace of power fully realized, and that the Republican party had become nothing more than the American expression of Stalinism.

Hess gains no comfort from the centralist liberals of the day, whose ideas of police reform involve teaching cops only to shoot straighter. Hess instead embraces the slogan of Power to the People and connects this tendency within the New Left to the embrace of full anarchism. The Right had grown tired of individuals, of people, of communities, saw the only true attainment of its goals through the institution of the nation-state. Hess saw the aims of the Left and of social revolution to be for “the people to be great and for the nations to be nothing”

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