Category Archives: Academic Racism

Largest Alt Right Institution Loses Its Non-Profit Status

For the past several years, the National Policy Institute has stood out as the most prominent Alt Right organizations in the country.  Headed by Richard Spencer, NPI and its journal Radix has been a leader in the intellectual formation of the Alt Right and furthering its brand of fascism.  The non-profit was formed in 2005 around the ideas of the late Sam Francis, a paleoconservative turned white nationalist known for his associations with American Renaissance and the Council of Conservative Citizens.  After Spencer formed Alternative Right in 2008, he rose to prominence and eventually took it over in 2010 turning it into a think tank for “European American interests.”

Since then his flagship has been the NPI bi-annual conferences, which feature the “who’s who” of more pseudo-intellectual and culturally significant white nationalists, like Jared Taylor, Alain de Benoist, and Mike Enoch.  The branding has gone in the direction of the French New Right and the Identitarian movement, with neofolk music acts, philosophical veneer, and an penchant for the dramatic.

NPI publishes books under its Washington Summit Publishing wing, which originally was just putting out scientific racism by people like Michael Levin and Richard Linn.  It has expanded to anti-Semites like Kevin MacDonald, English translations of books by Eurasianist nationalist Aleksandr Dugin(translated by Spencer’s estranged wife), and unpublished tomes by Sam Francis.  The Radix Journal seems to be the most active, which is the home for his podcast, blogs, and an occasional academic-looking journal.

The reasons for the IRS booting NPI from its 501(c)(3) status appears a little confusing, at least for Spencer.  When he was asked by the L.A. Times, he did not seem to have a clear answer.

I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to make a comment because I don’t understand this stuff…It’s a bit embarrassing, but it’s not good. We’ll figure it out.

Spencer had earlier incorporated the non-profit at his Mother’s address in Whitefish, Montana, where he lived for most of the year.  This has recently caused even more controversy as the community and the anti-fascist organizations of the area had enough of the Spencer’s, and even though his mother had presented herself as an unwitting participant she had allowed her facilities to be used by the operation and had herself attended white nationalist conferences.

When Spencer first took over NPI, which did not “officially” take place until 2011, he stopped filing his taxes properly after 2012.  If you do not file your taxes for three consecutive years, you lose your 501(c)(3) status.  The IRS was behind on follow up with this, but after Spencer had raised upwards of $50,000 in donations to create a new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and a central hub called AltRight.com, they got caught up and pulled his status.

Given the behavior of Spencer and the record of NPI, it is quite likely that Virginia will reject their application and they will no longer be able to operate as a non-profit.  This will be a good precedent, especially if it is the targeted language of organizers countering him.  If the result of the ruling can come in the wake of concerted counter-organizing, especially the churches and organizations (like the IWW) who have been protesting the new Alexandria location, then it will create a standard pressure point for anti-fascist organizations to go after.  The New Century Foundation, which props up American Renaissance, may be next, as well as the Pioneer Fund and the various anti-immigrant non-profits out there funding policy research.

Spencer says his strong suit is not paperwork, which is true since he is strongest when complaining on Twitter and Periscope about how the “powers that be” treat him.  We are guessing that is the strong suit we will hear most about in the coming weeks.

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Richard Spencer and Alt Right Meet Up Coming to Texas A & M on December 6th

For Texas anti-fascists, the most notorious alt right fascist leader in the country has been invited by a student organizer to speak at Texas A & M.  Alt right former student Preston Wiginton has asked Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute and Radix Journal to come and speak, despite a general lack of approval from the student body and the administration.  While the event is not at all officially endorsed by the school in any way, he will be speaking at Memorial Student Center (275 Joe Routt Blvd).  The exact room has yet to be announced, but they will be announcing it shortly before the event to avoid being shut down by anti-fascists.  Since the exact room will be broadcast eventually, it will be available to counter-organizers.

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Preston

In response to the white nationalist event on campus, the president of the university decided to make a statement and open up the stadium for a large event in celebration of diversity and against racism.

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young announced Tuesday the university will host a campus-wide “Aggies United” event Dec. 6 in response to a planned appearance by a controversial leader from the white nationalist movement.

Young said there has been “a significant outpouring of concern by members of the Aggie community and beyond” regarding the non-university affiliated event featuring Richard Spencer.

”Students, faculty, staff, former students and members of the community expressed their outrage over the speaker’s previously-expressed views and have roundly condemned everything for which he seems to stand,” Young said in a statement.

The “Aggies United” event is scheduled to take place at Kyle Field from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will be open to students, faculty and staff as well as the public.

Texas, Spencer’s home state, has been on a roll of rejecting him recently.  His high school, St. Marks Academy, recently did a fundraiser to benefit refugees entering the country, specifically naming Spencer as someone they wanted to disassociate their school’s name from.  His classmates have roundly condemned him and it seems that just about everyone from this part of his past has treated him like the pariah he is.  Texas A&M will be no different.

 

The National Policy Institute is Holding The Largest White Nationalist Conference of the Year November 19th

On Saturday, November 20th, the Ronald Reagan building in Washington D.C. will host the largest white nationalist and Alt Right conference of the year. After a year and a half of Breitbart and the Donald Trump campaign mainstreaming their message of ethnic nationalism and minority blame, they have seen the kind of unprecedented growth that white nationalism hasn’t seen since segregation. The conference is coordinated by the National Policy Institute, the white bread named non-profit that props up The Radix Journal, Washington Summit Publishers, and the twice-yearly conferences that they hold. The project is all centered on the most prolific, and interviewed, white nationalist personalities of the year: Richard Spencer.

Spencer coined the term Alternative Right in 2010 and set out creating a movement, and string of publications, that were centered on a new “intellectual” brand fascism that brought together white nationalism with masculanism, Southern nationalism, reactionary conservatism, right libertarianism, paleoconservatism, ethnic paganism, and so on. That movement evolved into the snarky internet trolldom we have today after it was picked up by racist nerds on /pol/ and 4Chan/8Chan, and now we have a Trump supporting brand of meme-oriented fascists that have grown far beyond their well-vetted chat rooms.

On Saturday their largest conference will bring them together, with a special focus on younger Millennial “shitlords,” who get a discount on the hefty conference price. The conference is in a public facility that has been resistant to anti-fascist pressure, but as their profile grows it only becomes more vulnerable.

Spencer will be speaking, as always, as he has become a celebrity in their movement and is the one trying to bring an academic tone and fashionable appearance. He is able to do this as his parents still fund most of his luxurious living and he gets a heavy influx of money from William Regnery of the Regnery Publishing legacy.

He will be joined by various speakers popular in the Alt Right today, with a shift from conferences of the past away from fascist philosophers like those of the French New Right and towards internet YouTube magnets that gauge their political effectiveness by the number of “Likes” they get in internet back alleys.

Millennial Woes will be one of these, who has become popular as a YouTube commentator where he essentially holds Google Hangouts with the “Who’s who” of that week’s Alt Right fame. Being inspired mainly by the people at the Daily Shoah, he keeps the content reasonably low-bar, even though he tries to bring on the few PhDs that they have in their ranks.

The headliners, besides Spencer, will be Peter Brimelow and Kevin MacDonald. Brimelow is known for his time in the Beltway conservative journalism world, formerly writing for Forbes and on a crusade to bust the teacher’s unions. This led him to the belief that education outcomes were not the result of actual education state policies, but that some people were innately less able to pick up those smarts in the classroom. This lead to his landmark racialist book Alien Nation in 1995 that set him on his later trajectory, which was founding the racist immigration restrictionist website VDare. Over the last few years he has become increasingly radical in his white nationalism, speaking at places like American Renaissance and the H.L. Mencken Club.

Kevin MacDonald bridges the world of the Alt Right and the insurrectionary world of explicit neo-Nazis and KKK members (many of whom will also be attending NPI). MacDonald is best known for creating a series of books that act as the Das Kapital of anti-Semitism, creating a “Grand Theory” to explain all the disparate conspiracy theories about Jews. Believing that Judaism is a “Group Evolutionary Strategy” to compete with Gentiles for resources, he argues that Jews use their high IQs and eugenic behavior to create a parasitic super-race that dissolves “white racial consciousness” through their false ideologies of communism, capitalism Freudianism, Boasian anthropology, Feminism, and “Cultural Marxism.” He is a “race realist” that believes that black people have innately low IQs and is an avid white nationalist.

F. Roger Devlin bridges the “manosphere” with the Alt Right, being well known for trying to construct crudely realized science and anthropology to buff up his belief that white men are genetically superior creatures. He has latched himself onto Radix as a vessel and is hoping to slide in under its banner into the perception that he is an intellectual of the white nationalist movement. His image is not well known at this point, so this provides anti-fascists an opportunity to reveal him and his real name.

The pair from Red Ice Radio will be in the house as well, both Henrik and Lana. They have become the defining Alt Right media operation at this point, building up over the last ten years on a subscription model to doing regular podcasts and video broadcasts. Their content is a mix of bizarre conspiracy theories, embarrassing occult ramblings, attempts at Fedora faux-intellectualism, and “alt health” ideas like that Vaccines were invented by Jews to sterilize gentiles.

Matthew Tait will bring in a foreign nationalist perspective, as he has been a voice in various nationalist parties in Britain, such as the now-defunct British Nationalist Party. He vocally jumped behind the UK Independence Party and its Brexit plan, one that Richard Spencer has been highly critical of. He will likely be there to discuss the recent Brexit vote, which is being called the British equivalent of the Donald Trump election.

One thing that Spencer has been avid about is the building of a “meta-politic,” one that develops a right wing culture, mindset, and identity before it even seeks out political goals. In this way he has set out, mostly unsuccessfully, to make Radix a cultural magnate for the Alt Right. In this way he is including live music at his conferences from here on out, in the past hosting half of the neofolk band Changes. This year he will have neofolk acts Xurious and Upward Path, both of which have been well known for their fascination with racialist Odinism and various nationalist European movements.

What most the press is likely to focus on, besides Spencer’s glee at Trump’s victory, is that in their pre-event they will be hosting a “talk” by reality-celebrity Tila Tequila. Since she faded from television programming, she has made headlines for using her website as a platform for Holocaust Denial, virulent anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, and various fascist allegiances. She recently gained headlines for openly denying that the world was round, a claim that seems to have been neither a joke nor a satire. This is the first non-white speaker at an NPI gathering (she is half Asian), which many white nationalists have criticized, especially after a story in Mother Jones revealed that Spencer had romantic relationships with women of Asian descent.

The conference is being held on Saturday from 10am -11pm, with music and drinks in the evening. The night before, Friday, there will be a private event for conference attendees that has not been made public, as well as a brunch for the Sunday morning following the main conference. Spencer hopes to build camaraderie amongst the fascists and help to build networks that can help with on-the-ground organizing.

The One People’s Project has continued their years of incredible work by joining with the DC Anti-Fascist Coalition and Smash Racism DC and organizing the counter-demonstration for NPI. The OPP has been identifying and challenging Alt Right fascists for years, and they will also be photographing conference attendants as they enter the building so that they can be identified.

 

The action will be held at the Ronald Reagan building from 12:30-3:30, show up early if you can.

 

You can RSVP to the event on Facebook HERE.

 

Location Information:

 

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.

 

12:30-3:30

 

You can also contact the Ronald Reagan Building administration to let them know what you think about them hosting a white nationalist conference.

 

Contact Form

 

Peak Alt Right: How the Far Right Has Already Lost

For Richard Spencer, the Republican National Convention was a return to relevance, a coming out party for those who had been out for years before anyone cared.

This was not the first Republican event for Spencer, who spent his early professional years following the small paleoconservative niches blazed by people like Pat Buchannan and Taki Theodoracopulos.  After penning a defense of the student Lacrosse players at Duke University who were accused of sexually assaulting a sex worker of color for the William Taft society, he was brought on as an Assistant Editor of arts at the American Conservative.  The magazine made a name for itself through Scott McConnell’s attempt to channel Old Right politics into a world disgusted by most of the excess of Neoconservative foreign policy, coming out against the Iraq War while few on the right were.

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McConnell eventually helped Spencer to land a job further to the right at Taki’s Magazine, which keeps the overflow of racists let go from places like Forbes and The National Review.  As Peter Brimelow left behind his career attacking teacher’s unions for white nationalism and anti-immigrant extremism with his website VDare and John Derbyshire decided to go public with his with race and IQ arguments, Taki’s Magazine became a place where they could continue to rant to an audience that was almost relevant to beltway Conservatism.

It was here that Spencer decided to make a final transition to the fringes based on the community that he was seeing take shape out of the ashes of paleoconservatism.  Greg Johnson, the editor of the neo-fascist publishing house Counter Currents described the early days of Alternative Right, which Spencer founded as a “big tent” for these dissident right-wing movements, as a place for ideas often conflicting to find a common ground.

[Alternative Right] will attract the brightest ‘young’ conservatives and libertarians and expose them to far broader intellectual horizons, including race realism, White Nationalism, the European New Right, the Conservative Revolution, Traditionalismneo-paganismagrarianismThird Positionismanti-feminism, and right-wing anti-capitalistsecologistsbioregionalists, and small-is-beautiful types.

Though it has gone through several iterations, the Alt Right is the most recent stage of the process started by Spencer several years ago.  Together, it makes up an ideological fascist kernel of ideas, ones that drive the political movement of the racialist right.  While it is largely undefined, it can loosely be thought to encompass anti-egalitarianism, anti-democracy, elitist, racialist, anti-feminist, and other forms of anti-equality thinking that make up its ideological core.  Whether these are arguments to restore the monarchy, to return to the “Ethnic religions” of pre-Christian Europe, or simply proclamations that people of color are more prone to crime or have lower innate IQs, it is the ideological position in favor of hierarchy that drives its ranks, from the white nationalists to the Men’s Rights activists.

While they often mock the neo-Nazis, Klansman, and old guard of the insurrectionary racist movement, they share the same ideological ideas even if the Alt Right are more upper middle class and concerned with a different strategic orientation.

An Intellectual Tradition?

As Spencer walked the streets surrounding the convention in Cleveland he held above him a sign that said “Want to talk to a “racist?”  This is a strategic move for Spencer, who wants to reframe “racism” as simply a preference for one’s own “identity” and “tribe.”  He attempts to liken himself to Latino organizations looking to advance what he calls “ethnic interests,” or Black Nationalists looking to retain a culture that was robbed during colonial slavery.

His arguments, while ignored for years, have finally found an audience in the mainstream press who are trying to make sense of the ideological current that has been associated with the rise of Donald Trump.  HBO, shooting a documentary looking at racialist groups in the U.S., was following him around, and even set up a conversation between him and news anchor Jorge Ramos.  While this may seem like cheap controversy baiting, and it is, Spencer was presented as a reasonable point of debate with Ramos.  Instead of just a spectacle, the message has been sent that Spencer represents a growing point of view that must be considered in the debate.  Previously his ethnic nationalist message would have been considered so obviously repulsive as not to be considered relevant for inclusion, but these are apparently the times we live in.

The Alt Right has pushed itself into the discourse through a few convenient openings.  The first, and most obvious, is the self-destruction of the Conservative Movement.  As Spencer has discussed, at length, the Conservative Movement as we know it today is more of an invention of William Buckley and the National Review as a Cold War ideology.  Here it mixed Christian social conservatism, hawkish foreign policy, and free market economics into something that appeared as a coherent ideology for decades.  Right-wing scholar Paul Gottfried, who consorts with Spencer and company often, calls this ideological pairing “idea clusters,” where the ideas themselves are not necessarily ideologically related yet are put into a bunch and labeled as “conservative.”

As demographics change, capitalism heads into permanent crisis, and the culture shift dramatically, Buckley’s idea cluster is failing to resonate.  It is in this space that alternatives have been tried, with libertarianism being the ideological position popular in the younger areas of the GOP for the last few years.  This headed into decline as Ron Paul faded from view and places like Reason Magazine and the Caito Institute lost power or uniqueness.

Now, in the search for an identity, many of the edgier “dissidents” allied with American Conservatism have found Brietbart, post-Tea Party racial anger, and Donald Trump.

Now That’s What I Call Edgy

When mixed with the second key factor for the Alt Right, the horizontal nature of social media, you can see why the edgy “Shitlords” found a voice.  In an attempt to out offend each other, the culture of the Alt Right was formed on 4Chan, Reddit, and Twitter, where the need to find uniqueness and to rebel against what they believe orthodoxy to be (in this case it is “political correctness”), they united with old-fashioned white supremacy to form a semi-coherent white nationalism that is based in ironic catch phrases, internal jargon, trolling, and unrestrained anger.

With Twitter they can cut through to mainstream discourse by trending hashtags like #Cuckservative, using every media mention as a way to slowly seep in Nazi talking points with kitschy memes and constant trolling.  Gone are the days of concerted organizing around crossover topics like immigration and affirmative action, now it is better to dominate comments sections on articles and post blogs arguing in favor of slavery and Holocaust Denial.

This is perfectly fine with Spencer, who was always looking to foment a fascist cultural movement more than a political one.  As he often proselytizes, he is not a materialist, he is an idealist in the German tradition.  He believes the change starts in the minds and the culture, and “politics are a lagging indicator.”  This is why his movement starts with a tweet, not with a sign, and you will not see concrete goals listed as how to get to the Ethnostate he envisions on the North American continent.

It is all of these peculiarities and contradictions that lead to why the Alt Right is failing before it ever really begins.

What drew out Alternative Right and its successor, the Radix Journal, as well as the entire sphere of neo-fascist publications and publishers was its ability to create a philosophical foundation to the racialist and neo-fascist movement.  It was not just its congenial style, we have had suit and tie racists before (see David Duke wearing suits at Klan meetings), but what Alternative Right attempted to do was do have a real set of philosophical, academic, and new religious interventions.  This was a smart white nationalism, one that was attempting to find some coherence.  As you would expect, this has had mixed results as those with credentials and ideas are few and far between inside of the far right, as is art, music, and literature.

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Radical Traditionalist and esoteric fascist, Julius Evola.

In their pursuit a few key threads came out, from celebrating paganism to the Radical Traditionalism of Julius Evola, Spencer and his ilk worked hard to carry on the legacy of people like Alain de Benoit and Guilluime Faye.  This was to make fascism just as much of a philosophic project as Marxism and anarchism, and one that they hoped to decouple from the more obvious forms of violence and ugly racism that it usually resorts to.  While those on the anti-fascist left will usually point out that this is merely an act, and it is, there is often a deeper process here.  What they are searching for is to give reason and purpose to the bigotry that they feel, and they want to prove that it is not hatred but deep philosophical ideas and socio-biological identity that is driving them.  Spencer has constructed a culture that looks as much as possible like the academic left, using jargon and rhetoric that feels more like the Frankfurt School than like the National Alliance.  Oswald Spangler, Ernst Junger, and Carl Schmidt were pulled off the shelf, mixed with misreadings of Nietzsche, and an “intellectual” fascist tradition was continued in the few conferences the Alt Right had the money to muster.

With the innocuously named National Policy Institute, Spencer hosted conferences that were overpriced and set in posh venues, all with the idea of gaining legitimacy.  With Washington Summit Publishers, the NPI book publishing wing, he basically republished books by scientific racists of the past like Madison Grant as well as “new school” race and IQ ideologues like Richard Lynn and Kevin McDonald, all with names like the “Global Bell Curve” that both try to ride the wave of popular right-wing books in the mainstream and to sound as if they could blend into the world of scientific publishing.  Going further, with the launch of the Radix Journal website, Spencer created a Radix imprint for Washington Summit Publishers to print books that were more cultural.  Here they published a slick journal with themes like “The Great Erasure,” looking at the “global delegitimization of the white man.”  They republished crossover authors like Samuel Francis, who has the strange achievement of being published regularly in the Washington Times as well as for white nationalist publications like the Occidental Observer, American Renaissance, and the Citizen Informer, the newsletter of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Similarly, Greg Johnson of Counter Currents has tried to create an academic tone with his publishing, mixing in the pseudo-spirituality of Heathens like Stephen McNallen, the racial mysticism of Savitri Devi, and tribalists like Jack Donovan.  Going even further, publishers like Arktos Media have tried to build a culture on republishing Julius Evola and French New Right thinkers as well as neofolk records, all with the idea that they can create a far-right wing culture of art and philosophy.

All of this together brought a certain tone that, while masking the guttural racial hatred and genocidal justifications, was meant to make arguments for their position in a world disgusted by racism, sexism, and homophobia.

It wasn’t this culture, however, that gave the Alt Right the name it has today.

Blind Ideology, White Anger

The current state of the Alt Right is one that is based on a certain online cruelty, a culture built almost entirely on the insult.  This did not start with The Right Stuff and their headline podcast The Daily Shoah, but it certainly was popularized with it.  The Daily Shoah was created by a group of former libertarians who had turned towards white nationalism and wanted to create an Opie and Anthony styled radio show for their crew.  As they had built most of their ideological foundations on message boards rather than in political situations out in the real world, they had developed a caustic online culture of racial epithets and angry misogyny.  Uniting the worlds of white nationalism, Men’s Rights Activism, anti-disability blame-rage, and other indulgences of reactionary toxicity, they used the Alt Right philosophical underpinnings as a foundation for their anger.  They hate black people, and call them the N-word and other creative insults, and then pick at “Human Biological Diversity” terminology to justify their anger.  Kevin McDonald’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories fuel their bizarre belief that everything in the culture that pulls progressive or against systemic white supremacy is done by Jews, who conspire in their genes to undermine “Western Civilization.  They bring on other Nazis and right-wingers to indulge in esoteric Hitlerism, strange Euro-paganism, and the intermix of Christian orthodoxy, paleolibertarianism, and secular authoritarianism with their own angry racism to create a culture of Internet trolling rather than political organizing.

Through The Right Stuff, the Daily Stormer, and a slew of blogs and podcasts, we have seen the two cultures, the pseudo-academic and the vulgar anger, unite into one “Alt Right,” with a single soul and two dramatically different faces.

As Spencer walked in circles around the Quicken Loans Arena he tried to turn “stereotypes” about racists on their head, fighting to shake Jorge Ramos’ hand.  In an earlier interview, Ramos had a conversation with a KKK member who refused to lock palms with him, and Spencer wanted to show that he, in fact, respected Ramos.  In their conversation, Spencer wanted to prove that Ramos was an “Identitarian” just like Spencer, fighting for his people.  This is a common talking point among white nationalist who try to argue that they are fighting for white interests just like the NAACP fights for “black interests” and La Raza fights for “Latino interests.”  This is context denial, a term that the Alt Right loves to use, in that they do not like to admit that when it comes to Black Nationalism, it is an attempt to reclaim a stolen culture and identity, while white nationalism actually obliterates European history in an attempt to reconstruct formal white supremacy. One is organizing against verifiable oppression, and the other is the reactionary anger of a group who is having their privilege eroded by progress.

That evening Spencer was invited to Milo Yiannopoulos’ evening party, where he lived out one of the most profound paradoxes of the Alt Right and their participation at the RNC.  Milo has made a name for himself as the most high profile people donning the Alt Right label, though his version is the most watered down by most Alt Right standards.  Many on the Alt Right denounce Milo because he is a gay man with a Jewish ancestry; though the more savvy of the crowd like that he is mainstreaming their iconoclastic views at Breitbart.  Milo was there to lead the anti-Islamic charge, claiming that it Islam was not only irreconcilable with queerness, but incompatible with Western Civilization as a whole.  LGBTrump founder Chris Barron continued this rhetoric during the evening, which echoed the angry scapegoating of Jewish immigrants in 1920s Germany.  While comparisons to Nazi Germany are often obvious and overwrought, this situation seemed obvious as the contempt towards Muslims was explicit and there were open calls for their forced expulsion.

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Matt Forney (Middle)

While Spencer was softening the blows of his racism, Milo was riding the wave of this own offensiveness, all the way to being banned on Twitter.  Spencer was one of many Alt Right people at Milo’s events, including MRA clown Matt Forney reporting for Red Ice.  The party was an RNC associated event that openly invited people who argue that Black people should be forcefully returned to Africa in a “peaceful ethnic cleansing.”  If this doesn’t reveal the current orientation of the GOP, nothing does.

After the first couple days of the party, Spencer joined Jazz Hands McFeels at Fash the Nation, one of the other most popular white nationalist podcasts on the growing Right Stuff podcast network.  After telling Jorge Ramos that he respected all races and cultures, he used racial slurs to refer to black people and laughed along at comparisons between people of color and animals.  Fash the Nation enjoys using the n-word, calling black people “feral” and various types of apes, and laughs about killing Jews.  This is what has spiked its numbers, as its Alt Right Twitter army laughs with glee as they are given permission to revel in the darkest parts of their reactionary bigotry.

Appearance vs. Reality

It is here that the contradiction in the Alt Right has grown to proportions it cannot ignore: it wants to be both an inoffensive political and ideological movement while also being an angry and virulently offensive brand of political theater.  While Spencer previously found racial slurs offensive and idiotic, he dropped his standards once it was those qualities that gave the Alt Right legs.  While he was developing an “ideological” movement built on intellectual credibility, it was words like Dindu, Triggered, Echoes, and Merchant that gave it the culture to grow.

As it hits its zenith, many on the inside of these circles are beginning to realize that you cannot have both.  You cannot have an inoffensive “identitarianism” on one side, that argues that is simply wants its own identity and is not reveling in hatred of “the other” while also indulging in angry insults at people of color and mocking their suffering.

Holocaust Denial has come in waves as a sort of “crossover” topic for white nationalists, one that is intended to find some converts in conspiracy theory circles.  In the early 1990s it saw a peak with organizations like the Institute for Historical Review and the Barnes Review trying to legitimize “Holocaust Revisionism” as just another form of historical inquiry.  They argued that it was simply about uncovering truth and had no social or political agenda besides finding out what really happened.

If this was true, why was it that most of those involved in the revisionism were also involved in racial nationalist projects?  Why were the same people questioning the existence of gas chambers also presenting race and IQ arguments?  Could it be simply that they were repackaging the racial hatred of the past in new pseudo-intellectual arguments?  This became such an obvious sham that places like the IHR shut their doors, and Holocaust Denial became (until recently) an almost forgotten task left to basement dwellers on BlogSpot.

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Mark Weber

They attempted to say that their arguments were disconnected from all of the aspects that society finds repulsive: insulting racism, racial violence, genocide, persecution, and oppression.  Instead, they could not cover their tracks well enough, and it took only the briefest look to reveal them for who they were.  Mark Weber, the most well known front-man for the IHR (after wrestling it away from ignominious racist Willis Carto) often donned a suit and tie and used academic jargon when stating his case for reimagining the second World War.  If he really was just another historian who stumbled on this “inconvenient truth,” then how come he had been a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance since he was a teenager?

A similar situation marks the two-storied history of American Renaissance (AmRen), one of the largest and most established white nationalist projects in the country.  AmRen began in the late 1980s as a newsletter from Jared Taylor as a pseudo-intellectual white nationalist voice, intending to be an alternative to the toxic influence of neo-Nazi organizations that engaged in murderous fits of violence over the 1980s.  Taylor focused in on race and IQ arguments mainly, riding the wave of The Bell Curve and the candidacies of people like David Duke and Pat Buchanan, creating a “high brow” culture for their conferences.  Over the years they have hosted every scientist who has made arguments about the differences between races, often arguing that the organization is simply dedicated to getting out a clearer view of science, heredity, and biological difference.

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Donald Templar, speaking at American Renaissance.

If this were true, then their list of speakers would not be a “who’s who” of nationalist far-right political organizations, ranging from fascist organizations to ones with a history of racial terror.  If it was simply an organization for the scientific study of race, then you would not have “academics” like Donald Templar stepping to the podium to yell about how tired he is of black people “complaining” and how they need to be worked 60-hour weeks in prison so they will stop “giving aids to each other.”  If you listen to a large cross section of American Renaissance speeches, or read their newsletter, the only connective tissue is anger towards non-white people and the value-laden language meant to disparage anyone without pure Aryan ancestry.  All of the “difference” that they outline puts black and brown people in a negative light, and most of the terms and categories used are either antiquated or non-scientific in orientation.   Plainly put, American Renaissance is an organization dedicated towards developing white nationalism through the denigration of people of color, and the “science” is piecemeal, out of context, and almost always discredited.

Why American Renaissance has dropped its scientific veneer in recent years is that it did not work.  They attempted to gain credibility for its beliefs on the one hand, yet empowered a sub-intellectual culture of racial slurs, anger, and insults.

Spencer has spent years disassociating himself with the KKK and neo-Nazis of the world, but that is a surface act at best.  In his most recent podcast, Spencer interview former KKK leader David Duke about his upcoming big for the Louisiana legislature.  He often has Kevin McDonald, the sort of Karl Marx of anti-Semitism, who was on the board of the skinhead-associated American Freedom Party, a place where Spencer has also been interviewed.  He often joins The Daily Shoah, or invites them on his own show, where they do not skimp on the denigrations against Jews, transgender people, and all non-white people.  Spencer may play his rhetorical game, but the only difference between him and a KKK member is that his house is worth almost $4 million.  When it comes to every ideological point, from the “subhuman” nature of black people to the secret power structure of Jews, Spencer is identical to all of the neo-Nazis that the general public finds so repulsive.  When it comes to rhetoric, he is of the same circles as those calling Black people “Dindus,” making monkey sounds during Black History month, and applauding the murder of Mike Brown.

As Donald Trump publicly implodes going into the general election, he is continuing to drum up an “anti-PC” culture of racial animosity and fighting words.  This peak has given the Alt Right a place in the public discourse, but it has discredited all legitimacy it had hoped to gain.  While they main gain converts through their toxic discourse and rhetoric, they have undermined all ability to actually have an influence on even the broader American right wing.  While trying to take on both faces, that of the academy and of the bully, they have failed to actually benefit from either, and now they are seeing peak influence.  Even if Donald Trump was to pull a Hail Mary and win in the general election, their rhetoric will continue to fade as Trump’s administration heads to a socially conservative platform, bought into the same neoliberal interests that he has been tied to throughout his career as a bourgeois inheritance baby.  The Alt Right has played all of its cards, and its limited contributions to discourse will not withstand its self-destruction.

For anti-fascists going forward, the biggest lesson is that the Alt Right has rebranded the far right, and will make up the cultural touchstones of fascist organization for years to come.  Broad nationalism, Internet trolling, and silly jargon are what neo-Nazis are today, which gives a great sign of what to look for.  As far as influence, they have created a cap that they will never be able to move past.

Red Ice Creations and the New Fascist Media

The world of the pseudo-intellectual far right used to be relatively isolated. There was a small network of blogs and then a few that peaked above the others, namely Alternative Right, American Renaissance, Occidental Observer, Counter-Currents Publishing, and a few others. Alternative Right morphed over to the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, where they continued their use of meta-politics to introduce white nationalism and used podcasts as a primary means of media communication. In only the last five years this network of online “Alt Right” spaces has expanded exponentially, starting largely with Human Biological Diversity blogs that continued “race and IQ” arguments. They began creating a generalized subculture of trolls, social media warriors, and those who have taken the jargon and influences of the more academic Alt Right and brought them down to the level of the average racist.

Today, podcasts and videos are commonplace for Alt Right commentators who are trying to jump into the fast Internet media cycle, and attempting to create a fascist version of what we see on the left. Through this, the Daily Shoah and the Right Stuff radio network have become incredibly popular for their crass racist audio tracks, and places like Radix have continued to pump out their interview focused episodes with fascist “celebrities of the week.” While all of these have maintained an increasing popularity as Donald Trump mainstreams white nationalism, all of their work combined still pales when compared to a relative newcomer in the fascist Internet scene.

Red Ice Creations, which jumps between Sweden and the U.S., has created a media infrastructure that is more formal and has more socio-political crossover points than you see in other racist media. They have taken up the mantle started by people like Richard Spencer, now doing a regular feed of audio and video programs.

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Henrik Palmgren

We first heard about Red Ice Creations, which includes their radio and video shows, over a year ago when many of the louder voices on the right, like Richard Spencer and Jack Donovan, began getting interviewed on their radio show. At first, it seemed like programming primarily focused on strange conspiracy theories and alternative scientific notions, and perhaps these voices were just a part of their strangeness. As they went on, their founders, Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff, became open about their racial politics, being clear on any show that has a racialist subject or guest that they are there to “defend their race” and demonizing African descended people, immigrants and refugees, and all “leftist” ideas.

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Lana Lokteff

The design of their website is purposefully meant to look like places like Infowars, the conspiracy racket from resident nutjob Alex Jonesnutjob Alex Jones. These places have a generally slick presentation and act as somewhat of a crossover point between the far right and broader conservatives. This connection continues as they repost articles from Infowars and the affiliated Prison Planet regularly. Their news choices fit into an interesting space for the Alt Right as of recently, which is to try and create artificial holes in narratives about the reality of racism. An example is their recently posted article listing 100 “hate crime hoaxes,” which is intending to first undermine the recent history of bigotry related violence and, second, reframe the narrative so that it appears as European-descended people are under attack because they are not “allowed” to organize in their own racial interest. It may seem obvious that they are playing with facts and ignoring very simple bits of analysis to make these connections, yet it is these blind spots that are critical if there are going to create an “analysis” that justifies their white nationalism

Their two primary programs are the podcasts Red Ice Radio hosted by Henrik and Radio 3Fourteen hosted by Lana. Here they focus on guests for interviews, which are quickly becoming the “who’s who” of the broad white nationalist and racist communities. Guests like Richard Spencer, American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor, David Duke, Mike Enoch and Seventh Son from the Daily Shoah, various people from the Manosphere and Men’s Rights community, and just about everyone who remains relevant from this growing Alt Right scene.

Because of their connection to Sweden, they have picked up very heavily on one of the hallmarks of the racialist movement in Scandinavia: Islamophobia. Between hearing from anti-Islamic activists to posting articles about Swedish political parties being “infiltrated by Islamists,” they have used Muslim European immigration as a fault line since they see it as having the same social crossover point in Europe that anti-Latino immigrant racism has in the United States.

What could be considered even more of a focus would be pagan guests, always leaning to the far right. Lana herself has spoken about her fondness for the pagan side of the Alt Right, how it avoids the cultural and restrictive trappings of Christianity, and how it can help to define their race.

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Stephen Flowers Speaking About Indo-European Religon

It is this paganism that has created one of its crossover points to the non-racialist circles, though it becomes clear that even those unaffiliated with the Alt Right previously are more than willing to flirt with its racial nationalism. An example of this would be the recent interview with Stephen E. Flowers, who is known inside of heathen circles for writing some of the more respected books on the runes. He caused a controversy inside of the Troth, the largest Universalist heathen organization, for also being a member of the Left Hand Path Temple of Set. Though his interview really does focus on the topics of ancient Indo-European religions, he uses “blood and soil” rhetoric to discuss this and helps to validate the racialist voice of Henrik.

Their radio programs go back for ten years with hundreds of guests that run the gamut, and it is likely that, not until recently, the extent of the racial and political views of the hosts were not known to all of the guests. Over the last year they have honed in on fascist and racist commentators almost exclusively, from anti-immigration activists in Australia to nationalist politicians in Britain like the British National Party’s Nick Griffin.

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Some of Red Ice’s recent videos, showing the fascist sensationalism their recent success has been built on.

More recently they are trying to do regular videos and live broadcasts, following the recent trends on the Alt Right to refer to everyone as “cucks” and to use silly internet Alt Right personalities like Millenial Woes to chatter about any possible issue, usually showing their inability to think through complex social problems.

Their largest point of crossover is in the broad world of conspiracy theory, which is an important component of far right ideology. To reach the point where by you center power on Jews or that non-white racial groups are lacking in intelligence and “agency” you have to created a complex matrix of conspiratorial power that is suppressing this information and denying the truth. These ideas cannot exist on their own, so it is useful to “jump down the rabbit hole”(they prefer “take the Red Pill”) of conspiracy theory, calling most known facts into doubt. From 9/11 Truthers to Climate Deniers (and Holocaust Deniers) to JFK Assassination theories, Red Ice has had major players in these fringe circles all over the place. Besides the Ancient Aliens and “Big Pharma” conspiracies, they have focused on another crossover point: libertarian/Austrian economic ideas. While they certainly do not politically side with Libertarians, especially those of the Mises or Caito Institutes, they do enjoy finding an audience with shows about the gold standard, BitCoin, and the Federal Reserve.

Their connections to the anti-vaxx community have been one of its more solidified crossover points. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, a well-known anti-vaccine activist, has been on the program often, talking about things like Zika Virus conspiracy theories. The far right has often found inroads into spaces otherwise considered left or “progressive” through Alternative Medicine, which often comes from their generalized conspiratorial worldview.

Lana’s show, Radio 3Fourteen, seems to have always had a foundation in European “identitarianism” right from the start, and has had a slew of recent guests like the Political Cesspool’s James Edwards, pan-Europeanists Melissa Meszaros and Alex Gabler, Counter-Currents’ Greg Johnson, and Walter T. Richmond on various Syrian refugee blaming.

What you can see both in Lana and in Henrik’s show where the crossover points to non-racialist subcultures is going to be. Inside of organized power-lifting, martial arts, and cross-fit communities were are seeing a difficult flirtation with the various “tribalist” factions inside the Alt Right, from the masculanism of Jack Donavan to the barely-literate rants of The Pressure Project. And example of this is with David Whitehead, a popular martial arts instructor in Canada who has his own podcast called Truth Warrior. He runs the Warrior Arts Academy in Sooke, which ranges from broad martial arts classes to a condition type of “warrior” training. From his professional personae there is nothing explicitly racial yet on Radio 3Fourteen he joins in with an open racialist to discuss the “warrior” ethic in what he calls a “Culture of Victimhood.”

The question about the guests of Red Ice Creations is not so much whether or not they are open fascists like the hosts. It is likely that they would disagree about many things, yet they still will flirt with those ideas and empower a movement that is explicitly about creating authoritarian ethnostates. Each of these guests should be challenged for this association and we should make it so that they do not feel welcome to associate with the openly racist radical right. The vast majority of guests on the show are open about their fascist politics, but for those that are not, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to distance themselves from the crowd they are associating with.

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A Lana’s Lama image, from their marketing campaign.  The logo is in the upper left hand corner, which you will see on their various products.

Lana has decided to move out of simply broadcasting from her living room studio and has created a clothing company, saying that fashion is normally a “lefty cesspool.” Lana’s Llama is a “non-toxic clothing” company, which is her attempt to carve out a space inside of the organic community. The clothes themselves are your general mid-range mix of blouses, shirts, skirts, and pants, with only a few styles of each. Fabrics are of a major focus for Llama, which advocates the use of natural fibers over synthetic. Nothing about the website indicates her intended “subversion of the fashion world,” which lends to its intent to use the natural clothing/foods community as a Trojan Horse of white nationalist entryism. She goes further than she needs in this way by trying to assert that synthetic fibers are responsible for hormone disruption, fungal infections, respiratory problems, joint pain, muscle fatigue, and a number of other ailments. There is some real agenda in this, especially with the claims about hormone disruption. This plays directly into her notion that chemical companies are responsible for “feminizing men,” or for somehow “creating” transgender people through hormone manipulation. This conspiratorial thinking works to further essentialize gender and to create the notion that “globalism” is actively working to subvert “natural gender roles.”

 

There is a rash of alarmist images and language along these lines, an important component of continuing the sense of dread and conspiracy that is necessary for laying the foundations of a revolutionary white reactionary worldview. Much of the rhetoric that they use draws on elements that are, again, associated with the left, such as the need to have environmentally sustainable clothing production. This has always been a focal point of Third Positionist fascist ideologues, and one that, because of environmentalism’s current cultural image, has allowed for fascist associates to go under the radar.

Lana’s Llama continues the slick appearance of Red Ice and is well linked up with ordering options and social media. Right now it seems that their website is the only way to get the clothing, but it will be important to begin broadcasting what this company is and who it is run by before it gets any further crossover. This means letting people know right on the social media accounts for the company, and to keep up pressure to make sure that those who do not want to fund white nationalist causes do not do so unwittingly.

The same has to be true for Red Ice more broadly, and now that their politics are becoming more known it seems that the guests on their shows are narrowing a bit. The list of those who have been guests is so expansive and touches so many bizarre subcultural spaces that it would be hard to list them one at a time, but it is going to be important to monitor who goes on there from here on out and to make sure they are contacted about their associations. Racial politics are not a safe space because we will not allow it to be. We will make it socially dangerous to associate with these ideas because white nationalism is founded on violence and oppression.

Red Ice has made extensive crossover into the broader Alt Right over the last year, so much that they co-hosted the NPI Conference live podcast with Richard Spencer and Mike Enoch as well as live-streamed, with obnoxious commentary, the videos from Richard Spencer, Nathan Damigo, and Johnny Monoxide from the Berkeley Alt Right Safe Space “event.” They also went to the American Renaissance white nationalist conference in Tennessee this year, broadcasting live and doing interviews with speakers and those attendants who were willing to have their faces on camera.

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Image they used when interviewing the Traditionalist Workers Party leader/founder Matthew Heimbach

They extended this live stream project to the recent Traditionalist Workers Party/Traditionalist Youth Network event with the Sac Town Skinheads and Golden State Skinheads, neo-Nazi skinhead gangs who often try to flirt with more “suit and tie” organizations.

Going forward, Red Ice Creations is going to be the leader of this particular wing of the white nationalist movement, consolidating speakers and media output in a way that fascists have rarely achieved in the past. By finding a (slight) financial model that keeps them afloat and by driving deep connections in the conspiracy and pseudo-science/mystical worlds, they have created enough of a base to keep speakers lined up and people paying for premium memberships. Their own folly will likely be in their attempt to follow podcasts like The Daily Shoah and go “full Alt Right,” where their vulgarity will limit their guests to fellow open racists. You can see a direct descent over the last six months as their own “diversity” has been reigned in so as to replicate the ugly success of many of the Alt Right trolls that have defined their movement.

Never the less, they have taken the lead position in the Alt Right digital mediascape, and because of their lack of ideological presence they are bringing in everyone from Britain First activists to open neo-Nazis and Holocaust Deniers. They remain a good marker for those inside of occult, “alternative medicine,” libertarian, and conspiracy circles who are willing to flirt with fascism, and can be a bridge point for confronting the creeping nationalism and racism that often finds these marginal communities as a cross-over pathway into the larger social discussion. Their “success” can also be a tool for anti-fascists who can use their broadcasts as a window into the less-confronted areas of the “intellectual” fascist world, as well as be a regular news feed for what the inside of these new nationalist projects look like.

No matter what Red Ice intends their project to be, the anti-fascist community will use it as a resource to further understand the Alt Right and to build a movement that will shut it down at every turn.

Fascist Chic: Inside American Renaissance 2016

Since 1990, American Renaissance (AmRen) has been a leader in the “suit and tie” racist crowd that was forming during that period. Preferring a congenial conference atmosphere to a cross burning, Jared Taylor created an institution that would use an academic tone to argue for racial differences in biology and intelligence, against diversity, and for white identity. Though it has become slightly more radical over the years, it has generally been a meeting point for a certain segment of the white nationalist movement that wants to see a level of respectability, and even mainstream crossover, for its ideas.

What it is best known for, even within its small subculture, is the particular focus it has given on largely disproven Race and IQ arguments, building on the work of disgraced and marginalized professors like J. Philippe Rushton, Donald Templar, and Richard Lynn to argue that there is a global “Bell Curve” in intelligence. They then tie in qualities like criminality, sexual restraint, and “time-preference” to this, putting whites near the top just below East Asians (Jews are actually at the top, which takes them to a whole other disgraceful set of accusations.). The notion here is that there is a general racial hierarchy, and that it is gene markers that actually drive much of behavior rather than “nurture,” social systems, or culture. This is not where the mainstream of science is, no matter what branch, and the AmRen crowd seems well aware that they are against the tide.

Over the last couple of years, as the Alt Right has formed, the new intellectual internet culture of white nationalism, AmRen has continued to be one of the primary meeting points for a certain department of the movement (the other leader being the National Policy Institute). Here speakers have shifted somewhat from the pseudoacademic prose that has defined most of its history, and instead political nationalism, identitarianism, and crossover social issues have defined its last couple of hears. Human Biological Diversity, the modern term for Race Realism, has gained them quite a following for Internet hate-mongers, but it hasn’t had the organizing results they had hoped for. While they have pivoted the rhetoric a bit, they still return to race and IQ arguments whenever possible.

The most recent AmRen conference that happened on May 27th was held at Montgomery Bell State Park outside Nashville, Tennessee. It has been housed here the last several years after the conference was shut down by organized pressure on hotel managers. Taylor believed that having it at a government venue would provide them a certain level of protection, and this has proven true, as officials have done what they could to protect the racists gathering inside. This track record is one reason that many in the movement are advocating for using government services more as they believe they do not have the same influence from the public, and therefore anti-fascist organizers cannot get the event shut down. The 2010 and 2011 conferences were both shut down when pressure was put on the hotel, and one speaker at the canceled conference even attempted suing the One People’s Project and other activists in an effort to keep them away from the conference.

The 2016 line-up was a mix of known faces and foreign guests, many of which seemed like surprising choices since the growing Alt Right has provided them with enough domestic celebrities that they wouldn’t need to turn to European nationalists. The choice to include them seems like a very clear ideological choice for Taylor, whose vision of politicizing their meta-politics is to follow European nationalist parties and movements. In recent speeches he has discussed returning to the populist model of people like David Duke, and he was an early supporter of the Donald Trump campaign.

 

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James Edwards

At the Podium

James Edwards made up one of the more well known faces whose toothy-grins make him the kind of “aww schucks” Southern white-nationalist who attempts to “dumb down” AmRen for the more “hometown” racists. He wears his racism on his sleeve, yet, even in this speech, he uses the cover of paleoconservatism to really act as though he simply represents the edge of Old Right traditional American conservatism. Edwards himself is ideologically aligned with the New Right/Alt Right wing that sides with traditionalism, ethno-nationalism, and hard-right anti-equality views. He is on the board for both the American Freedom Party and the Council of Conservative Citizens, which he got a great deal of media heat for after church-shooter Dylan Roof revealed to be a fan of the CofCC. Edwards is not as well traveled on the conference circuit, but he does have more of a reach than many might realize.

While his radio show, the Political Cesspool, has been denounced openly as a white nationalist “go to” spot, he has been able to acquire a number of semi-well known guests from libertarianism and paleoconservatism. This peaked when he welcomed former GOP Presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan, who Edwards volunteered for during his final Presidential run in 1999. Buchanan, for many years, was the furthest edge of the GOP that was still acceptable, and his 1992 campaign was well known for taking many of the strategic points from the David Duke campaign a year before (Duke is also a frequent guest on the Political Cesspool). Buchanan has often argued for a sort of American nationalism, suggesting that America should have stayed out of WWII, postured in favor of segregation, was against affirmative action and about all progressive racial policies, and adamantly opposed to all things queer. The only strange relief from this hard right politic is that he is strangely in favor of animal rights (to a degree), and PETA even awarded his magazine, the American Conservative, an award for an expose they ran on the meat industry. It was Buchanan’s appearance that lent Edwards’ show mainstream credibility, which led Edwards to appearing on major news outlets not only as a speaker for the hard-right, but actually as a commentator in regular debate segments at places like CNN.

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James Edwards speaking on CNN as a regular guest discussing politics, where refrain from mentioning he is a white supremacist.

Edwards got even more attention recently when he hosted Anthony Cumia of the radio show Opie and Anthony after Cumia was fired for racially loaded comments on the air. Edwards and Cumia ranted for an hour about the “problems in the black community,” and the only breaks in this discussion were for advertisements for survivalist companies and racist community groups.

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Edwards usually sticks to his regular trough of neo-fascist ideologues, which often includes AmRen founder Jared Taylor. His discussion at AmRen 2016 was a familiar story to AmRen crowds: the sacrifices he has made to be a racist, the times he refused to apologize, and the extensive work he has done that should be respected. His rhetoric was noticeably behind much of the rest of the crowd, which is a testament to the fact that his lack of social media skills and well-read mannerisms is starting to push him out of the center of the Alt Right. While he still may be popular with people like the League of the South, the Daily Shoah and the rest of the vulgar Internet trolls are the ones that are defining the movement that lingers at AmRen.

His most recent act of media buffoonery came when the Donald Trump campaign gave him full press credentials and he was allowed to interview the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr. The story was picked up in dozens of publications, listing him as a “pro-slavery” radio host. As he went on discussing how many places the incident was mentioned, it became clear that this was an attempt to impress the crowd and prove his relevance. This included bragging about marrying a model and appearing in a reality show.

 

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Fernando Cortes(left) standing with John Friend, racialist and anti-Semitic host of the Realist Report.

Fernando Cortes was a prime speaker who was given extra room, used as an example that AmRen wasn’t just vulgar racism for white people: it was racism for everyone. Cortes is a well-known Mexican nationalist who advocates for a far right politic that is friendly to white nationalism over the border. During the questions and answer session Richard Spencer of the Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute asked what the Mexican nationalist movement thought of American fascists, which led Cortes to gush and promise that it is only American Mexicans who want to “take back” the American Southwest.

He went after NAFTA, sharing a certain critique with left-wing anti-globalization advocates, though his prescription and core ideas are the anti-thesis of the anarchist project.

NAFTA was a deathblow for Mexican farming, since without protection from imports; Mexico cannot even grow its own corn and beans.

He thanked white people for being so generous and kind even though they were under “racial attack.”  Cortes is known for his Identitarian Congress that hosted famous anti-Semites and Holocaust Deniers like Ernst Zundel and David Duke.  Cortes even appeared on Duke’s radio show, where he again said that American whites were “under attack.”

We [Mexican nationalists] understand the attack and the genocide that is trying to be done with the European and white Americans and we are against it. … The people in the United States, they believe that we want massive immigration, that we think it’s a good thing, that we’re taking advantage. We understand perfectly that it erodes the fabric of your society, that it’s toxic for your nation. It’s also toxic for our nation.

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Peter Brimelow

To those outside of the racialist world, the real superstar would have been Peter Brimelow. That name rings a bell for anyone that has followed anti-immigration politics over the last decade. The author of Alien Nation and the founder of VDare, the anti-immigration web magazine, Brimelow has slowly moved from being a beltway conservative writer to an open racialist. He still has a great deal of pool in those edge areas of mainstream conservatism, with people like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh often crediting his work for informing their views on immigration.

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RamZPaul (Paul Ramsy)

RamZPaul did the dinner speech once again, just as he had at the last couple of AmRen conferences. RamZPaul has made a name for himself doing rambling YouTube videos where he tells racist jokes into the camera. His speeches at AmRen are often to explain a right-wing phenomenon, with the last one being “What is the Dark Enlightenment.” This year’s was “What is the Alt Right,” which outlined the main trajectory for the Alt Right starting with paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Samuel Francis and Paul Gottfried. He traced it through the founding of the website Alternative Right by Richard Spencer, who Paul showered with affection. He went through the basic political ideas, the mobilization behind Donald Trump, and the validation by “mainstream” sources like Milo Yiannapoulos and Breitbart. His rendition, which is supposed to be something of a stand-up comedy routine, was mainly old jokes thrown awkwardly to intersect with nationalist themes. He started his speech with the “unveiled” video by Alt Right parody artist UnCuck the Right called “We Didn’t Start the Movement,” which is a cheesy song naming different right wing allies and has Jared Taylor in a brimmed hat and Hawaiian shirt singing along out of key. At the end of Paul’s speech they played an even more embarrassing video, “Dildoween,” which was a voiced over parody of the opening song in The Nightmare Before Christmas. This was even more embarrassing than the first, mainly just mashing together slang from the Daily Shoah into a barely rhyming string of insults and racial slurs. This was a low point even for AmRen, which they have always attempted to brand as an intellectual gathering rather than just an attempt for Nazis and Klansman to wear a bow tie.

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Anke van Dermeesh

Going Euro

Anke van Dermeesh, a Belgian nationalist Senator, came mainly to talk about the “perils” of Muslim immigration and her work doing Islamophobic organizing in Europe. She claimed that “third world immigration” was a battle for the very soul of Europe, comparable to the Greek battle against the Troy invaders. It was Europe’s own materialism and individualism, however, which made it vulnerable, so Europeans needed to reclaim their racial spirit. Her organization, Women Against Islam, is ugly enough on its own, but what is even more frightening is that she has held several major elected offices in Belgium.

The multicultural ideology assumes that different civilization levels can live peacefully with each other on the same territory. However, history has already proven that this leads to bloody clashes. After which one culture, the dominant culture, gets the upper hand over the weakest. Pointing out historical facts, and referring to the theory, like the one of Charles Darwin, is an act of racism in Europe….The multicultural society will never exist. Many human lives have already been destroyed and still people’s races, civilizations, and cultures collide.

Van Dermesh mentions the American cities where she says that these clashes are still happening, where black people with their “lower level” of civilization cannot handle sophisticated white societies. She said that regular “folk” identity has been criminalized, and that the influx of immigrants are undermining a sense of identity, authority, law, order, and moral astuteness that will lead to degeneracy of their great European people. While she attempts to throw these ideas into abstractions, they are the same ideological core that you would find with hard-core neo-Nazi organizations around Europe. Her ideas indicate the notion that there is an essential racial soul to whites that is being destroyed by modern science and logic, and that we need to attack rationality, give in to violent reactions to the “other,” and try to reinstate an anti-democratic order of racial supremacy.

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Ruuben Kaalep

Ruuben Kaalep brought a similarly international experience from the Conservative Party of Estonia, a country from which AmRen enjoys pulling its racialists. At only 22, he is a leader in the six-year-old party that is making nationalism a major player in Estonian party politics. Kaalpe seemed to be even radical by their standards, and talked about bringing Europeans, and Estonians specifically, back to their “12,000 years of roots.” Kaalep could not explain these ideas in genetic terms since there is no coherent genetic history that Estonians can trace back 12,000 years as specific people because that is not not how genetic histories work, nor do isolated genes have any real influence on the development of culture. Nationalism is a social construct, not an idea embedded in biology, so the call to the past 12,000 years is just as arbitrary as going back to the reformation or the French Revolution. Neither one brings that back to an era of racial identity and purity because that period did not exist in history. Likewise, most of the AmRen speakers likely would not have joined in with Kaalep’s Estonian nationalism since they prefer a pan-European white nationalism. While the statements are not based in research, science, or historical facts, it does make good rhetoric for a crowd looking to class up their racist impulses.

On the evening plenary before AmRen, Red Ice Radio asked Kaalep what he was going to be talking about at the conference.

I will encourage the young people in America to start a movement, and to act against what they see is happening around the world in white countries. To do it just as we have done it in Estonia with our youth movement. Because it is very important, even as human beings it is very important that we have an identity. A living identity that connects us with the people around us and the places that we live.

This was Kaalep’s first time out of Europe, and he said that it was a culture shock since he was coming from “Europe’s last white country.” He spent some time bragging about how many blondes there were in Estonia.

Filip Dewinter also spoke about his position in the European Parliament for the Vlaams Belang, and did the standard speech about non-white immigration and its threat to a white Europe.

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Jared Taylor

Benediction for Racists

Jared Taylor always speaks at American Renaissance, and this year was no exception. His talk was intended to be on why progressive whites “lie,” to themselves and to others, and he goes down the line: they lie about Black victimization by police, lie about the science proving black intellectual inferiority, and lie about race and crime. He tapped into well-known Alt Right talking points, rehashing the Cologne attacks, which the far right tries to use to “prove” that Islamic refugees are systemically raping white European women. Their idea is then that political correctness is a “religion” so powerful that it makes authorities neglect rape and violence so as to not be called racist. Never mind that the statistics do not support what he says, nor was the Cologne attacks universally Muslim refugees. There is no statistical threat of sexual assault posed uniquely by Muslim immigration, but Taylor’s entire purpose is to twist statistics to drum up a fear narrative. With the same aristocratic drawl that has become a meme on the Alt Right, Jared Taylor states that the “ludicrous” notion of racial equality has no real world basis.

During his Question and Answers section he is asked about the Jews, and he convenes to the idea that some “elite Jews” have been very “destructive” to their interests. He then points out that many Jews have been on the nationalist side of the argument, but that racialists should “have their eyes open” about the Jews. He says that the Jews may have been the “hand pushing at the door” of the ‘Death of the West,’ but “that door was rotting from within” already.

This really marks a change for Jared Taylor on the Jewish Question as he used to be vigorously opposed to anti-Semitism at AmRen. Not only were there Jewish scholars at AmRen conferences like Byron Roth, even David Duke was asked not to return to the conference because of his rabid anti-Semitism. While Taylor was not willing to go fully into blaming Jewish people, he certainly did not admonish anti-Semitism, and seems to be warming up to these ideas. This also shows the persistence that anti-Semitism has had on the Alt Right/New Right and the fact that it is going to continue to play a major role in American racialism.

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Sam Dickson

Sam Dickson did his regular “Benediction for Heretics,” which is often a rambling set of remembrances and accolades to racists of the past. As usual, Dickson tempered his language and used a sort of “liberals are the real racist” argument to say that people who do not want racial separation are actually manipulating people of color and attempting to “solve the problem of black people.” For someone who does not immediately appear as being particularly sophisticated, his use of left-wing rhetoric and warm personalities is masterful, which is probably why he has continued to be a staple of the Alt Right while many of the Southern racist organizations have drifted into irrelevance.

Dickson carried on the theme that the left and the media lie about them to put the racist movement in disfavor, mentioning the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on Dickson that he characterized as saying he was a “financial swindler.” The story, which has been well sourced and proven, shows that Dickson makes his money by manipulating poor homeowners in the South through predatory property purchases.

Since 2001, Dickson, a 59-year-old former Klan attorney and active veteran of numerous extreme-right causes and groups, has built a multi-million dollar business in the niche field of tax lien and title acquisition. His success has depended in no small part on keeping his otherwise well-known racism concealed from his targets, many of which are poor and black. According to those who have observed and worked with Dickson, his profits have been earned through a combination of bullying, stealth, and legal pretzel-making in the arcane world of tax lien purchases, redemptions and foreclosures. When contacted, Dickson declined to comment on the charges.

Many in the story mentioned how Dickson was casually racist, often saying that people on the phone couldn’t be black because they were “too smart” to have that skin tone. Dickson, of course, takes issue with this characterization of him as a predator and low-class racist, especially since he likes to call himself an Identitarian and says that he has the best interests of people of color at heart. Though Dickson went on and on about sacrifice, he has become a millionaire despite being in the racialist movement for almost 50 years.

Dickson recommended that the young racists in the crowd get themselves some degree of financial stability since the “struggle”(their racist struggle) is ongoing, and will not just be victorious with the election of Donald Trump. While he seemed optimistic by the billionaire buffoon’s casual racism, he is still one of the strongest voices against investing in reformist political moves. A couple of years ago, Richard Spencer and Dickson debated John Derbyshire and Peter Brimelow about the possibilities of reform. Brimelow and Derbyshire discussed how they thought that the American political system could be used, even though unlikely, to “fix the race problem.” Spencer and Dickson took the more radical view that America was beyond fixing, largely because it is still an enlightenment, propositional project that has invested in phrases like “all men are created equal.” Dickson was brash in the past, saying, “no man, in the history of the world, was created equal.”

One of the more “unofficial personalities” of AmRen 2016 was Richard Spencer, who could not help but pontificate on the microphone during Question and Answer sessions. Spencer has often been the debatable leader of the intellectual wing of the Alt Right, defining the term itself and bringing together disparate elements of the far right into an intellectual current to build a movement on traditionalist, racialist, and hierarchical lines. Spencer has often been a divisive figure, often finding opponents inside of religious and working-class racist circles. This was made clear when he banned Trad Youth’s Matt Heimbach from NPI’s 2015 conference for his homophobia, which Spencer is offended by because it would leave out masculanist writers like Jack Donovan.

Spencer’s presence was heavy this year as he holds onto the growing Alt Right, and this comes, in part, because he was able to reconcile the intellectual elitism of his publication and non-profit with the vulgar racist populism of places like the Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation. This has given him a new life, and one where he is able to maintain his crown as an aristocrat of racialist philosophy and pseudo-science.

 

Patting Themselves on the Back

Jared Taylor has declared that this AmRen conference was their largest effort, which he attributes to Donald Trump and the wave of Internet followers.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s candidacy has given our movement a boost, but the continuing slide towards chaos–riots in Ferguson and Baltimore; the immigration invasion of Europe–are rousing unprecedented numbers of whites from complacency.

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Red Ice Radio’s Lana and Henrik interview Jared Taylor in a streaming broadcast.

Both the Political Cesspool and Red Ice Radio made AmRen a streaming media event as well, which helps to circle their own internal media landscape around AmRen as a centerpiece. Nathan Damigo of Identity Europa was Red Ice’s first guest, where he basically acted starstruck by all the celebrity racists and discussed campus activism. A Pakistani-American engineer, a bi-racial man who identified as a “racial realist”, followed him up. He went on about how Pakistanis could do better to maintain their nation’s IQ by avoiding cousin marriage and irrigating water better. He explained race realism in much the same way J. Philippe Rushton did, that white people evolved in “harsher” conditions in Europe, giving them a higher IQ. He basically provided a “we’re different, so what?” perspective, but said that IQ was the important thing and that society needed to stop subsidizing low IQ people or civilization will die. This was an interesting development for a conference like AmRen, but it also shows how HBD and neo-eugenic rhetoric has worked its way into Asian and Middle Eastern communities online as well.

Counter-Currents Publishing, the neo-fascist publishing house from the infamous Greg Johnson, covered the conference in a review from Michael Polignano. He noted the “celebratory mood” in the room and the several “Make America Great Again” hats dotted around the tables. He also noted the “diversity” and young age of the attendants, which is new for a white nationalist movement that was almost universally composed of older white men. As he went down the line he seemed especially drawn to Dan Roodt’s speech, and South Africa is always a topical favorite for this crowd since they have so well embedded the lie of “white genocide” in the country that they use it repeatedly as an example of “what happens” when white relinquish hegemonic control over a country.

Since African IQ is insufficiently high to sustain the civilization that Afrikaners built from scratch and sustained for centuries up until the end of the apartheid era, Pakistanis and Chinese have raced to filled many positions of power and responsibility held by whites. What can be done? In the short run, all white South Africans can do is either flee or try to hold on. to(sic) survive, they need to increase their physical and economic security. Physical security measures include bodyguards, security guards, and private police, neighborhood crime watches and increasing ownership. Economic security measures include networking and mutual aid to keep wealth within the pro-white segment of the white South African community.

South Africa has long been a centerpiece of the “white genocide” narrative, where the rural “farm murders” has given them a rhetorical strategy for conjuring up images of racial revenge. In reality, the rural Boer murders that they cite are statistically lower than the regular murders in South Africa broadly, and are much more a testament to the brutality with which wealthy farm owners have historically treated their farm hands with.

In general, Polignano said that the conference was a “triumph,” that showed the future of the movement. What he still does not seem to grasp is what a “movement” actually means, and what is to happen when they come to grips with the fact that they are vastly outmatched by the anti-fascist left and that they have no concept of what real organizing actually means.

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Photo from inside AmRen

Anti-Fascism Has Localized

AmRen has always been a strategic meeting point for the racialist movement, and generally has been in a state of flux. When their movement moves towards HBD, it shifts its speakers. When it is looking towards electrical politics, it brings in political nationalists from Europe. What it has always acted as is more of a meeting point than anything else, and while this is larger than in years past, it is also made up of people less willing to be open about their politics. This means that simply by shining a light on who these people are and the reality of what they are saying, we can help to challenge any growth they will have.

There was an organized Antifa presence this year, as there always has been, yet much of the energy has grown locally as organizers challenge Donald Trump appearances instead of focusing on conferences like AmRen. This is a good sign as anti-fascism is becoming a strategic orientation for community defense, and just as Donald Trump has emboldened the Alt Right, it has made anti-fascist organizers a central piece of building intersecting local movements.

The white nationalists in the U.S. need AmRen because they lack the fellowship and community that the left has always built, and they will continue to lack coordination and organizing ability as their focus will always be on their racial idealism. Why they congratulate themselves under the protection of U.S. state authorities, we are building a movement against the rising tide of nationalism.

Fash the Campus: Identity Europa, Millenial Recruitment, and the Berkeley Alt Right Safe Space

What was the purpose of having an Alt Right ‘Safe Space,’ other than to mock the idea that people need safe spaces sometimes?

 

When the idea was announced only a few days ago it seemed like an insulting media stunt, and it was, but it was also a strategic point for the growing Alt Right and its attempts to market racism and bigotry to Millenials. Richard Spencer of the Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute put together a video and a plan, to promote an outdoor meeting at the historic Sproul Plaza on the University of California and Berkeley campus. This was a place where 60s radicals joined together to confront the Vietnam War, and to build the Berkeley Free Speech movement. The point they were trying to make is that Berkeley is no longer a bastion of free speech because of the Political Correctness that has run rampant. Though this seems like the embarrassing overreach of angry children who are stomping their feet about no longer being able to say the N-word in public, what they are tapping into is a feeling in much of middle America of not understanding the new developments that have come in confronting interpersonal oppression.

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Nathan Damigo, Identity Europa

The event was put together and manned primarily by Richard Spencer along with Nathan Damigo and Johnny Monoxide. Damigo is running the organization Identity Europa, whose name seems intended to conjure up the French organization Generation Identity that the American Alt Right often fawns over. That organization is built as a more radical alternative to the fascist Front National political party run by Marine Le Pen, which they think is too reformist and populist. Generation Identity has been pushing the “Identitarian” identification, which brings them somewhat in line with the fascist philosophy of the Nouvelle Droite movement and people like Alain de Benoit and Guillaume Faye.

Identity Europa began as the National Youth Front, but after a Christian group of the same name threatened to sue, Damigo changed it.  That organization went into disarray when Nathan’s co-founder,Angelo John Gage, left the organization in October.  When it was still the National Youth Front it had a back and forth relationship with the fascist and populist American Freedom Party, where they automatically registered NYF members with the AFP when they turned 35.  NYF hit more hurdles when their fundraising efforts were canceled by both GoFundMe and IndieGoGo for violating the terms of service, which comes from the fact that you can only strategically phrase things so much before the open racism becomes obvious.  The only real press that the NYF got on campuses was for trying to target professors at Arizona State University and Boston University for being “anti-white.”

Nathan is an example of the kind of middle ground that the Alt Right has always been on. Good looking, well spoken, dresses and combs his hair like a hip Banana Republic model; he is a good advertisement as he looks far from a Klansman (looks a lot like Richard, to be exact). He is an Iraq war veteran, but he is also a felon for a hate crime. Several years ago, after he returned from Iraq, he brutally attacked a Muslim man on the street, and robbed him. He went to prison for this, and, to be fair, is generally publicly apologetic for his behavior, but it actually reveals a driving set of perspectives that lie under his fashy hair. He has hoped that by being open about his conviction he would be spared of ridicule, but it is actually just provides more background about who he is and what has inspired his organizing program.

Though Identity Europa seems to be little more than his brainchild and attempt to coordinate with young people, they seem to attempt to be largely the same project that Youth for Western Civilization, the Traditionalist Youth Network/Workers Party, and the various White Student Unions are. They wish to make whiteness an identity battle, and present white advocacy as the same as Black and Latino rights organizations, including reaching out to communities of color to find “allies of color” who think that whites are being discriminated against on college campuses.

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Johnny Monoxide at Burlingame Trump event.

Johnny Monoxide is another level of racism piled on, which may be a testament to the way that the Alt Right has been mainstreamed by gutter podcasts like the Daily Shoah. In fact, Richard Spencer had moved on from even using the term Alt Right and was simply referring to himself as an Identitarian in the French model, but after places like The Right Stuff started popularizing the phrase he returned to it. Monoxide is best known for hosting the short-lived podcast on the Right Stuff/Daily Shoah podcast network, The Current Year Tonight. This is a joke from the Daily Shoah lexicon referring to how liberals will respond to racism on social media by saying something like “racism, its 2016,” so now they will just respond by saying “it’s the current year.” Monoxide matches the angry racialism of Mike Enoch and Seventh Son, yet, unlike them, he shows his face in videos quite often. In a recent set of videos at the Burlingame, California Donald Trump appearance, he made a series of videos where he mocked protesters, using racial slurs and “calling the Jew ‘the Jew.’” He was interviewed and filmed heavily by Infowars, the conspiracy website that has taken a hard right turn and now spends most of their time mocking women and leftists.

Richard Spencer talking into the camera to the Red Ice Creations hosts.
Richard Spencer talking into the camera to the Red Ice Creations hosts.

The entire event was live streamed by Red Ice Radio, the white nationalist podcast network that has become one of the largest in their movement. From a semi-professional studio built in their living room, married team Lana and Henrik provided stunted commentary as Johnny Monoxide live streamed from what appeared to be his phone and was able to hear them in an earpiece. Monoxide doesn’t seem too worried about being found out in the world for his behavior because he is a union electrician in the Bay Area.  This doesn’t stop consequences from a counter-movement, but he is right that unions vessels of protecting their membership.

The event went as many expected it to go, including the organizers. Generally it was Spencer, Monoxide, and Damigo, and a couple of simple student protesters holding broad Alt Right sloganed signs as people came up and tried to argue with them. It was often an attempt to slip the group up on some kind of rhetoric, and a few Trump supporters, including students of color, came through to defend the group of racists. At one point, a loud man came through who obviously knew this was in progress and what it was. He identified Spencer as a “suit and tie Nazi” and called out Monoxide for being a union electrician. Spencer yelled back for the man to stop “whitesplaining” to the mostly non-white crowd, a move that he will likely be bringing up in speeches and podcasts for months with a self-congratulating smile.

While there were dozens of people that came through the square, none of them were necessarily set to argue the point because, as with most people, they were not trained to argue with a fascist whose entire purpose there is to bait you into an argument. Jack Donovan, a white nationalist allied male tribalist who rolls in these Alt Right circles, has a new book out calling Becoming a Barbarian. It is generally masculanist nonsense, yet one section has something that we thought was interesting to folks looking to confront fascism. Arguments, he says, are only between friends. There is no point in arguing with enemies since you have no stake in changing their mind. Let them have their ideas, and save disagreements between people that you really do want to find unity with.

We will never find political or social unity with Damigo and Spencer, and the arguments themselves end up being relatively politically useless. They want to get you to engage with them so they can hopefully have a chance to pontificate more rhetoric and then use very well planned verbal prose to try and sow doubt. Most people have not sat there and trained themselves to make arguments about race and IQ, to know the latest archeological evidence about pre-colonial Africa, to understand the nuance in race and crime statistics. Spencer knows this, and so he can use the very small amount of evidence he has to support his wild ideas and most people are not ready to combat it. In this case, he knows that getting people into the argument is a win. Most of the people in the square that day were strong voices that advocated for inclusivity and diversity. A conversation still should be had about what anti-fascists call the “no platform” approach, and why we should leave our arguments between comrades and those who are not open racists. While those people argued with them, Lana and Henrik mocked them on air, using racial language and laughing at each impassioned plea against racism.

Spencer and Damigo intended to use the Berkeley Alt Right Safe Space experiment to see if they were going to do this on other college campuses. Given the way that they discussed, promoted, and reflected on it, they likely will do this again.

This is not the last time that they will show up on campus, but a college anti-fascist movement can be equipped to handle their push when it returns.

Sarah Schulman is Not an Anti-Semite

A recent series of headlines from well-known newspapers and news websites may have caught your eye if you are a fan of Sarah Schulman.  The novelist and playwright is well known both for her stage work and working on LGBT rights, including AIDS activism with ACT UP and direct action organizing with the Lesbian Avengers.  Schulman, now a professor at the City University of New York, is now being touted as a “suit and tie” anti-Semite.

The accusation comes from a CUNY student chapter of Zionist Organization of America, one of the oldest pro-Israel organizations in the world with over 30,000 members.  The accusations come, in part, from her sponsorship of the student organization Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island.  Students from the ZOA wrote a letter to state Senator Jack Martins as well as bringing these charges before the CUNY administration.

The content that they use to make these allegations are largely things like tweets, support for the student organization and their work, and her public statements and writing on the Israel/Palestine conflict.  An example of this cited by the ZOA is an October 11, 2014 tweet from Schulman wrote saying, “I question the idea of exceptionalisms[..]The murder of 2,000 Gazans also reflects Jewish values.”  In response to accusations about anti-Semitism in her tweets, she also wrote “That’s not anti-Semitic to say that people who killed people murdered them.”

In 2012 she published Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, a book that shifts a little from her political work of the past.  The allegations have settled largely on, what for Palestinian human rights activists, are pretty standard discussion points.  This includes the violence perpetrated against children in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Defense Force, using language like “murderers” to describe them.  The students at ZOA have asked for Schulman, who is Jewish herself, to be removed from the adviser for the student group.

The purpose of Students for Justice in Palestine is to harass, intimidate and frankly assault Jews attending schools, and we can’t have the government or the university underwriting a hate group,” wrote Senator Jack Martins, who agreed with the ZOA about the group and Schulman.

The event culminated in forcing Schulman before the CUNY Task Force on Anti-Semitism, formed to look at incidents on the city campuses.  Schulman said afterward that it was clear that the college was after the student group specifically, and the inquiry was less about her and what she had said.  She was forced to discuss accusations against SJP that had no evidence, like the claim that they drew swastikas on campus.  She focused in the conversation about the students that she supported, and how their experience was the focus of the group and how anti-Semitism and homophobia was both never tolerated and never seen.

I also spoke about the students themselves: how much I respect our students, and how much I have been enriched by working with them. How many of our SJP students are Palestinian. Their families have been displaced. Their relatives have been held in illegal detention. They have been denied entry to Israel/Palestine because of their political activism. I told the Task Force that I have come to know the students, and some of their family members. That they have NEVER been anti-semitic or homophobic or done anything that justified any kind of negative institutional response.

One of the accusations was that a “Jewish student” hid her Star of David when she saw Muslim students. Besides the fact that this has nothing to do with SJP, I explained to the Task Force that there are Jews who have dehumanizing views of Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, and project enormous anxiety onto to them. But that this has nothing to do with Muslim students, themselves. And certainly is not their fault.

In this statement, put on her Facebook on October 22nd, also she discussed Zionism as a concept with the panel, which she said was must different today than the historical trajectory of Judaism.

Then we discussed the relationship between Zionism and Judaism. I testified that since the onset of Zionism, since Theodore Hertzl published his book “The Jewish State” in 1896, there has been disagreement among Jews re Zionism. That for its entire history, for 5,700 years, Judaism has been a dialogic religion rooted in commentary and inquiry. And that this current moment is the only time that Jews have been told to be homogenous in thought. That in fact, this impulse to force all Jews into one opinion is ahistorical and not Judaic.

She went on to discuss how Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League has approved of how CUNY was handling the allegation, showing tacit support for the singling out of Schulman.

When looking at Schulman after the allegations we wanted to be open to the idea that creeping anti-Semitism had, in fact, made its way into her discourse.  This has happened inside of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, not because radical support for the Palestinians and opposition to the State of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic, as Abe Foxman would have you believe.  Instead, it comes from a lack of a clear understanding of the historic role and character of anti-Semitism and the inability to for the movement to confront creeping caricatures, conspiracy theories, and anti-Semitic anger that has made its way in.

Instead, what we found was that Schulman’s accused “anti-Semitism” was almost purely one that is made up of for her pro-Palestinian organizing, and lacked any of the key qualities that anti-Semitism is made up of.  This vision of anti-Semitism is not built on any of the historic understandings of what anti-Semitism actually is, whether it is an unfair conspiratorial view of Jews or a targeting of Jews that is unique to their position as Jews.  Foxman makes the allegations that if you support other national liberation movements but oppose Israel, then you are anti-Semitic, plain and simple.  This erases the historical injustices of the formation of Israel, the colonization of land, the removal of families, the violent ethnic cleansing of the people living in the neighborhoods that was acquired.  It tells us that the ongoing atrocities, the imprisonment of Gaza, the building of Apartheid walls, and the ongoing imperialism in the settlements, is just common to liberation struggles.  This absurdity strips us of the ability to see anti-Semitism as an accurate phenomenon, one that continues as a point of genocidal racism that is not synonymous with criticism of Israel.

The ZOA itself is not a representative Jewish voice, but instead one that is uniquely Israeli in politics.  As Schulman pointed out, there is no “absolute” legacy for Israeli politics inside of the “Jewish people.”  This is, in part, why we oppose the use of the term Zionism, as it is also a Jewish religious concept, only one interpretation of such is actually the modern State of Israel.  We may make different language choices than Schulman has (such as not using the term Zionism), but this does not an anti-Semite make.

When looking through Schulman’s public statements, as well as the allegations of private statements and behavior, we found not one single example where charges of anti-Semitism could be leveled.  The danger this presents should be obvious as a political issue over the behavior of Israel is at stake here, not Jewish people or Judaism as a tradition and faith.  This creates a culture of social criminality for critics of Israel, equating the very real threat of anti-Semitism with incredibly logical politics on the left.  For Sarah Schulman, these allegations could destroy her life, get her fired, force her books to be pulled from shelves, and get her blacklisted from many of the artistic circles she has spent her life and energy to be a part of.  For many young activists, this could end the possibility of careers before they even begin.

At the same time, it obscures the actualities of anti-Semitism, giving reasonable cover to those that do perpetrate images of Jews as evil and conniving.  These voices are increasing as neo-fascists movements increase in the U.S. and Europe, but with a hazy understanding of what actual anti-Semitism is it is becoming more difficult to single those reactionaries out and to create a movement to remove anti-Semitism from the social discourse.

We are especially sensitive to anti-Semitic discourse, going further in our analysis than many would simply because creeping anti-Semitism has occurred inside of left spaces through areas like anti-banking politics and anti-Israeli ideas.  This, however, isn’t an example of that, and the idea that people like Schulman can be targeted with charges of anti-Semitism to wash over important politics is both frightening and revolting.

The incident at CUNY is not unique as a report from the University of California has now made the allegation that opposition to “Zionism” is often just a cover for anti-Semitism.  The administration plans to be asking for regular reports on intolerance, with a focus on anti-Semitism.  This is the kind of monitoring is something we actually support as challenging racism and anti-Semitism on campus is an important battle, but if the equation is that anti-Israeli politics are synonymous with anti-Semitism, then we will see the censorship of Palestinian politics on California campuses under the guise of fighting racism.  This would fundamentally undermine the BDS movement, which has followed the South African Apartheid movement in being heavy on campuses and pulling for campus divestment in Israel and the settlements.  The move would essentially socially criminalize Palestinian activism, and reframe the conversation of Israeli atrocities so that they could never be fairly discussed.

This is a point that Schulman knows well, and even if the CUNY administration decides that neither she nor SJP have done anything wrong, this may taint the conversation on CUNY campuses for years.  For our part, with our position that anti-Semitism should be rooted out at any point, also want to make a clear statement about what anti-Semitism is, and what its not.  We support Schulman and SJP’s work on campus and want to keep a conversation alive about how to correctly identify anti-Semitic behavior, and how to support the Palestinians to find justice.

Well Dressed Racism: American Renaissance Returns to Tennessee

The modern racialist movement is defined by American Renaissance.  It bridges both the organized racism of the past and the contemporary Alt Right, Human BioDiversity, Neoreaction, and other movements who believe themselves superior to the KKK.  AmRen began in the early 1990s by Jared Taylor, a former West Coast editor for PC magazine and consultant to companies dealing with Japan.  Taylor, raised in Japan before going to Yale and then to France for graduate school, is a very literate and well spoken man.  His enunciation is important to him, so much so that he has developed an elitist accent that is just as artificial as his conference’s attempts at pedigree.  He formed AmRen to give intellectual credibility to his growing racist ideas.  He had already been making waves on the racist right when AmRen came into existence, publishing the book Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America.  Getting good reviews from people like Pat Buchanan, he launched AmRen as a conference and newsletter that would further disseminate racist views using pseudoacademics and reviving old bio-racial rhetoric.

Beginning in 1990, AmRen brought together a couple hundred racists to talk about…well…racism.  What defined AmRen right from the beginning was really marginal ideas on bioscience that justified the notion that black people were inferior.  Speakers often try to replicate academic discourse, yet their ideas are simply that black people have lower IQs, are prone to criminality, and all races have trouble trusting one another for biologically deterministic reasons.  These conferences are also notable in the white nationalist community for its lack of anti-Semitism, though most of the conference attendees are only putting on a face for this event.  Several Jewish speakers have been seen at AmRen, including the ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Mayer Schiller and Mark Levin.  Both of them have been known for writing about IQ gaps and the need for traditional, racially static communities.

Over the years there have been speeches by controversial academics like J. Phillip Rushton, Richard Lynn, and Donald Templer, all of which quickly drop their veneer of respectable scholarship so that they can insult and degrade people of color.  This is all in line with what in “Human BioDiversity” circles is often called the “Yellow Hypothesis.”  This essentially revives a racial taxonomy and hierarchy, but one that shifts the dynamics slightly.  In this view, according to their theories on innate IQ, Asians have the highest IQs, whites just below them, then Latinos far below that and African descended people scraping the bottom of the list along with Australian aborigines.  This is what they use to refuse the label of “white supremacist,” but the dynamic is to suggest that Asians actually lack other qualities because of their high level IQs and therefore whites are essentially “just right.”  Jews, according to this, actually have higher IQs than Asians, but the AmRen crowd usually save that part of their analysis until the conference is over.  What some attendees, such as Professor Emeritus Kevin McDonald, suggest is that the high verbal intelligence that this crowd ascribes to Jews has actually made them a parasite that uses their intellect to manipulate Western men away from their ethnic interests.  Though the general line-up of AmRen is certainly prone to conspiracy theories, this is a step too far for Taylor.

The focus on pseudoscience has really defined AmRen for almost two decades, yet in recent years there has been a shift.  Over the last few renditions of the conference, all of which have been at the Montgomery Bell State Park outside of Nashville, they have shifted away from arguments about racial difference in biology and more in the direction of politics and culture.  They have included many speakers from nationalist parties internationally, as well as many from the Alt Right that talk in vague platitudes in an attempt to revive racial Idealism and Romanticism.  This change is largely because they did not see the resurgence in “white racial consciousness” that they were hoping for from their previous discourse about perceived racial difference.  Taylor has been a bit slow off the mark, and because of the new focus on social media and streaming content, as well as the lower brow focus of modern post-Trump Alt Right, he has been the old man of the community.  While others are trying to maximize this Trump moment, Taylor continues to drivel on about black crime with barely-coded insults to movements like Black Lives Matter.

The coming 2016 conference, which will be held on May 20-22(which is actually longer than most AmRen conferences), replicates this new trend in their programming, as well as returning to attempts at respectability.  Similar to what you see in white nationalist conferences and organizations like the H.L. Mencken Club and the Council of Conservative Citizens, they always try to host speakers who are just on the edge of respectability.  This was the case with people like the late Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, who were both on the edges of the beltway Conservative Movement.

The 2016 conference’s “headliner,” so to speak, is Peter Brimelow, who is exactly the kind of crossover point that AmRen uses to make itself relevant.  Brimelow was a former writer for Forbes and a number of conservative publications, really known for writing about education and the “problem” of the teacher’s unions up through the 1990s.  In 1995 he published his “magnum opus,” Alien Nation, a book that rallied against immigration and the need to tighten the borders.  Brimelow himself was foreign born, a British immigrant, a point that is often lost on his supporters.  He then founded the web publication VDare, which has become a meeting point for the far right who want to focus on immigration as their primary issue.  He has slowly shifted out of the broad GOP crowd and into a racially focused community, speaking at other racist conferences like the H.L. Mencken Club and the National Policy Institute.  His talk brings the conference back to one of their real forces of excitement: Donald Trump.  Titled “The Trump Tsunami and the Future of the Historic American Nation,” Brimelow will continue the fawning appreciation for the billionaire just as most in the AmRen scene have.  Jared Taylor recently voiced a robocall for Trump support in Iowa, funded by the neo-fascist American Freedom Party.

James Edwards is also on the line-up, a person who has not been as prominent over the last year or so of the growing white nationalist movement.  He hosts the Political Cesspool, a white nationalist/populist radio show that is actually on a few AM stations beyond its large internet following.  He is on the board for both the Council of Conservative Citizens and the American Freedom Party, and he spoke up in defense of the CofCC after the Dylan Roof shooting.  The murderer mentioned the CofCC’s website, which obsessively focuses on what they falsely say are differences in black and white crime rates.  He represents a lower-brow sensibility for the AmRen community, which is really summed up by his book Racism Schmacism.  

Flemish nationalist Filip Dewinter will rant about the “Islamisation” of Europe, Ruuben Kaalep will give a plea for Estonian nationalist, and Dan Roodt will talk about “white survival” in post-Apartheid South Africa.  This is part and parcel of the new AmRen: trying to create unity between white racist internationally.  Here they often try to find common cause with white nationalist talking points in Europe, focusing largely on Syrian refugees and Islamic immigration.

RamZPaul will join the AmRen crowd, which he has in recent years, where he does a sort of “stand up routine.”  This mainly consists of awkwardly timed jokes coming straight out of his popular YouTube videos.  His comedic style is telling and has helped groups like The Right Stuff to focus on humor in their racism.  He will discuss the Alt Right, which has been seeing a surge of media attention in recent months because of the entryism that Donald Trump has provided for them.  This theme will be compounded with the inclusion of Uncuck the Right, a new YouTube “sensation” who does racist parody songs in the vein of The Right Stuff.  “Uncuck” is a reference to the Cuckservative meme that the Alt Right recently popularized, referencing the idea that mainstream conservatives do not act in their own racial interests in terms of immigration.  This also really shows AmRen begging to keep themselves relevant in the internet-only “shitlord” movement of angry white men.

Both Taylor and Sam Dickson will be speaking about “identitarianism,” Dickson giving the same “Benediction for Heretics” that he has done every year since 1990s premiere of the conference.

MontgomeryBell
Montgomery Bell facility where AmRen 2016 will be held.

Over the last several years of the conference, protesters have always been present.  In 2010 the conference was effectively shut down when pressure was put on the Four Points Sheraton at the Manassas Battlefield to cancel their reservation.  The following year, he attempted to hold it in a secret location, yet when the location was revealed to be the Airport Sheraton organizers were successfully able to shut it down again.  This later inspired lawsuits from David Yeagley, a self-described “American Indian” who the One People’s Project have revealed is actually Italian and consorts with white nationalists.  He tried to sue, among others, Daryle Lamont Jenkins, but the suits were ultimately unsuccessful before Yeagley passed away.  Now the conference has been moved semi-permanently to Montgomery Bell State Park, a government run facility that has been less responsive to organizing.

In 2013 organizers again clashed with conference attendees, this time out in Nashville.  After the primary conference, attendees including the Traditional Youth’s Network’s Matthew Heimbach and Scott Terry, RamZPaul, and several people from the CofCC and the League of the South all headed to a local par where Antifa organizers were also present.  A scuffle ensued where anti-racist organizers ended up being forced out of the bar, and the staff allowed the fascist parties to stay.

For 2016, research is being done about the attendees and location, and you can expect that the opposition to this festival of white self-congratulation will not be able to continue unchallenged.  If you are in the area, this is going to be one of the prime places to confront the dangerous white nationalist movement.

 

Nationalists on Samhain: The National Policy Institute’s 2015 Conference and the Identitarian Lie

Sam Dickson, in the center, pointing.
Sam Dickson, in the center, pointing. “Anarchist” Keith Preston off to the far-right, as usual.

It may have seen a bit odd to see one of the biggest white nationalist intellectual events in the U.S. happening on Halloween, but there is a certain obviousness about it.  Samhain, as it was originally known, was a traditional holiday in pre-Christian Europe where it was said the fabric between the land of the living and the land of the dead was at its thinnest.  It was then a time to remember the ancestors, a tradition that made its way into the Christian churches that were built on top of the pagan past, and we see it with the establishment of later holidays like Old Hallow’s Eve before All Saints Day and the Dios De La Muertos celebrations in Latin American countries.  With the white nationalist fetishism of paganism under a their self-created concept of “meta-genetics,” there is a certain attraction for them to pontificate about the “threatened” white race in the name of the ancestors on a day like this.

The National Policy Institute’s 2015 conference took place at the Washington Press Club this past October 31st, hosting some of the biggest names in the organized racist community.  Richard Spencer, the President of NPI, celebrated this fact, referencing anti-racist posters featuring them as labeling them the “Superheroes of Hate,” and jokingly saying “Avengers Assemble” about their line-up.  The conference, as we wrote about during the run up to the actual event, featured a rainbow assortment of white nationalist paranoia.  The most featured speaker of the day, so it seemed, was Kevin McDonald, who has been working on a book on the “origins of the white man.”  He recently did a podcast episode for Radix Journal, Richard Spencer’s online publication, where they discussed the origins of the “Aryan” race.  Here they both indulged in elementary understandings of genetics and embarrassing overreaches about the importance of white racial in-groups.  McDonald himself expounded on the idea of developing moral structures, in-group cohesion, and what he calls “pathological altruism” that he alleges is both innate to white people and is destroying them by disallowing them to fight for their ethnic interests.  This essentializes whiteness in a way that is anti-scientific, as if having darker skin tones in a lineage changes that genetic history in any way.  Spencer and McDonald lament about the Goths, who were eventually absorbed into the Roman Empire, and they opine about this being the potential result of the “white man.”  McDonald, now a retired University of California Long Beach psychology professor, is best known for his academic anti-Semitism, where he developed a theory that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” that Jews use to dominate Western societies for access to resources.  No one in evolutionary psychology proper agree with this notion, nor agree that there is some type of biological urge to fight for resources with people of different ethnic origins.  There is no evidence that we have some biological radar for people of similar ethnic origins that drive us towards allegiance.  That is simply not how genetics work, as anyone who has taken a high school science class should be able to discern.

We were also looking at Keith Preston, a former anarchist who likes to parade himself at nationalist gatherings in an effort to find some community as his support for racism has had him ousted from anywhere on the radical left.  At this conference he went on about the “Left’s worship of the State,” though his background should have informed his understanding of the anti-authoritarian and anarchist left’s actual association with the State.  What Keith really references here is the left’s association with anti-racist and egalitarian values, which he sees as being totalitarian in its monolithic nature.  This is an embarrassingly middle school interpretation of authoritarianism, and really lacks even the most basic ideas of where anarchism came from and what the tradition advocates at its core.  It was never anti-authoritarian for anti-authoritarian’s sake, but instead a revolutionary libertarian communist tradition, opposed to hierarchical oppression but never in favor of an “anything goes” politic of “pan-secessionism.”

Sam Dickson returned, a Southern lawyer who enjoys a life both as a Southern Nationalist and as a predatory land merchant who takes gleeful pleasure in making money on evicting black families.  After saying the much quoted line about “giving blacks Manhattan,” he went on to note that he wants a country for ALL white people.  “White people, as we’ve become a minority, will not be able to live in a state of severe repression and discrimination,” he said. “Our ethno-state will not be a meeting of the Tea Party; it’s not going to be the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s going to be a genuine ethno-state with Christians, Catholics, alcoholics, tee-totallers, gay people. It’s not going to be a subset of the right.”

The conference was well covered by a few media outlets, with Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and Raw Story doing full pieces on it.  For this, Spencer arranged a press period, which was a sort of delusional show since there were only three journalists there.  A big question that was presented to the panel, which included Dickson and Spencer, was if Jews were white.  Spencer responded by saying “I think Jews are Jews.”  This was a good sound bite as people went on to make anti-Semitic remarks and jokes throughout the day with the laughing support of the crowd.  “The Jews exist precisely because they were apart,” said Spencer. “Precisely because they had a sense of apartness—perhaps you could say a little bit of paranoia, about trying to stay away. That’s a clear aspect of Jewish—”  At this point he stopped and realized that he was playing his anti-Semitism too straight, and then begged the reporters not to print his line about Jewish paranoia.  Spencer thinks of himself as having a very nuanced understanding of Jews, and he hates when he is quoted like some kind of vulgar anti-Semite, but his ideas are so in line with traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes that it is a mirage for him to believe he is any different from people like Kevin McDonald or David Duke.

The conference itself also stood apart from the traditional portrayal of the far-right in the United States as mainly Christian.  Instead, there was a strong push towards a kind of racial atheism and paganism, which is expressly noticeable by having the neo-folk band Changes performing in the evening.

One of the real set pieces of the day was the live podcast that they recorded as a discussion and Q&A with Spencer, two hosts from Sweden’s Red Ice Radio, and Mike Enoch from The Right Stuff and The Daily Shoah.  Enoch decided, for some reason, to wear aviators at the microphone as he thought that might confuse the anti-fascists who were in the room.  Though the rest of the information still continues to come out, some east coast antifa organizations have stated that they were still in the room at that point and have photos of the panel.  One person taking photos was forced out of the venue earlier in the day, which was a testament to the paranoia in the room.  Enoch is well-known for turning their “alt right” community into a bouquet of racial slurs, holocaust denial, fantasies about killing minorities and Jews, and generally being one of the more self-congratulation focused disgusting examples of the reality of “ethno-nationalism.”  It was in this podcast, but really across the neo-fascist movement in the U.S. over the last several months, you can see the influence of Enoch and The Daily Shoah.  The panel, who usually tries to couch their rhetoric in academic jargon, instead celebrated the “trolling” nature of their internet presence and state over and over again that this is a sign that “something is happening.”  They repeat this as if it is a mantra they really want to believe, and since they have no concept of organizing or movement building it must seem that using the n-word in a podcast under a pseudonym or creating the #cuckservative hashtag is the same thing as creating a revolutionary political movement.  Spencer himself banks on this idealism, the idea that if we change our minds we can change the world, instead of looking at the material realities of the world, which gives anti-fascists their greatest tool in combating their reactionary lies.

The conference offered a dramatically discounted rate from its original outrageous dollar amount(this is calculated to give it a posh appearance, which is why the conference is such a poor organizing tool) for millennials, which there were quite a few of.  They then used this to say that they are a young movement, but really it is simply that within the racist sphere the young professionals are more likely to attend their event than a Klan rally.  It is less that this is a new turn for millennials and more that any of them attracted to white nationalism are there, and their numbers are being vastly oversold.  Just as on the internet, the reactionaries love to over speak, and therefore appear more numerous than they actually are.  The questions during the Become Who We Are podcast panel were telling as few had any concept of political organizing or even how to communicate their ideas in anything approximating a cogent argument.  They did, however, find unity in making fun of the small protest outside, which, from the sound of it, was underorganized and did not have a good strategy for challenging the conference.  This has been a problem unique to the United States Antifa organizations, that fail to do long-term movement building or, in turn, actually physically confront anybody.  There needs to be choices made about how the action is meant to be effective, whether this means trying to interfere and shut down the event, or, on the other hand, to create a mass coalition to show the power of anti-racist unity in the face of regressive nationalism.

Jack Donovan’s appearance is again a strange addition to the group, but says more about what a fascist movement is really composed of more than anything else.  Donovan is known as a sort of “anti-gay” gay writer, a person who coined the term “andriophile” to identify queer men who do not want to identify with what he see’s as an effeminate gay identity.  In recent years he focuses on “male tribalism,” is a certain radical wing of the Men’s Rights Movement, and writes about tribal bands dissociating themselves with the larger society and State.  In his “Rules for Barbarians,” he focused on things like not caring about the fate of out-group peoples.  This ties into work he has been writing for a long time, including last-year’s article “I Don’t Care” over at Radix Journal.  Donovan, beyond being deeply misogynist and an advocate of brutal hierarchical violence, is much more wishy-washy when it comes to race.  In his article “Why I Support White Nationalism,” he expresses a tacit support for the racialist movement since they are essentially men who want to create their own tribalist society with an in-group and out-group.  In his recent article and podcast on the Wolves of Vinland, a folkish Asatru group modeled on a motorcycle gang, it seemed apparent that he was interested in joining.  He then wrote a review of “What is a Rune?” by white nationalist Heathen Colin Clear for Counter-Currents, which shows a move in favor of identitarian paganism.  Even though his talk did not reference race much, he spoke at the Human BioDiversity obsessed American Renaissance last year.  All of this indicates a drift towards white identity for Donovan, though the movement will likely only take him in at an arm’s length distance because of his homosexuality.  Mike Enoch really enjoys making gay jokes about him, but Enoch really just loves any time when he can use queer sexuality to degrade people.

The conference had a reported 175 attendants, which may seem like a lot except considering that there really are not a huge catalogue of similar events.  For years NPI has lead a faction of the “alt right” that focused on a pseudo-spiritual and academic discourse in favor of ethnic nationalism, but here we are seeing a shift away from neutral coded language and a more open support of traditional racism and Jew-blaming.  Spencer is now calling for the need for a whites-only “European empire,” which he alleges is a part of the white “Faustian nature.”  When discussing his hometown issue when a group of White Fish, Montana residents got together to stand against his racism, he mentioned how he thought to himself, “What would a Jew do?”  The crowd laughed and clapped with glee, and he went on about how he can use his superior logic to turn things around on them.  This is all good rhetoric, but the movement he is a part of is composed mainly of double-speak, angry racist rants about pop culture(the humiliating boycott of the new Star Wars is prime example), and the lack of even basic understanding of how to create a movement that can transform anything is what leaves them behind.

This does not, however, meant that they are no longer a threat.  There is still a huge growth happening here, crossovers in the form of Donald Trump’s campaign and the fringe movements like Neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment, and their effort to co-opt “radicalism” and “dissent.”  To really confront NPI and the growing faction of pseudo-intellectual revolutionary nationalists, there needs to be an anti-fascist movement that does what the far-right was never able to do: to build a movement.  Anti-fascist and anti-racists will have to destroy the narrative that nationalists are building, which is easy to do since reality and public opinion really are on our side.  Sticking to the Antifa idea of “no platform” is critical, and that does not mean shooting silly-string onto NPI conference attendents, but not allowing them to have a public voice.