Below is the press information that the “Media Working Group” of the DisruptJ20 organizing effort made available outlining the schedule of events for the inauguration day protests Washington D.C.
Fully-Permitted “Festival of Resistance,” Checkpoint Actions, Unpermitted Marches, DisruptJ20 Action Camp Press Events Scheduled this Week Include Access to a Sign-Making Session and a Nonviolent Direct Action Training at the DisruptJ20 Action Camp
Press Events / Photo Ops:
1) Wednesday, Jan 11, 6 PM – 7 PM, Art Event, sign making, banner painting, art, photo op
Tyghe Berry Studio, 1241 Evart Street NE, Washington DC
2) Thursday, Jan 12, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM, Press Conference, get info on street protests
St Stephen’s Church Auditorium, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC
3) Saturday, Jan 14, 2 PM – 3 PM, Nonviolent Direct Action Training, workshop, photo op
SIS Building Atrium, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC
Washington DC — Activists and organizers are planning massive protests and acts of resistance throughout the week of the inauguration of Donald J. Trump on January 20. The DC Counter-Inaugural Welcoming Committee, also known as DisruptJ20, is planning a “Festival of Resistance,” a massive permitted, family-friendly march and rally on the 20th, as well as an unpermitted “Anticapitalist Bloc” march, protests at all twelve Secret Service security checkpoints, activist parties, and more. The goal is to give expression to the massive opposition to Trump’s right-wing, racist, and misogynist agenda. Organizers intend to demonstrate that people of conscience are the majority, and take steps towards organizing that sentiment into a force that can have an impact on Trump’s ability to claim a mandate, setting a tone of resistance for the coming years.
**Schedule of Protest Events is below.**
Three press events will help the media organize coverage for the protests of the Inauguration. At 6 PM on Wednesday, January 11, an art event will take place to give press a glimpse of the artistic and creative energies that will be expressed during the inauguration week of resistance. At 9:30 AM on Thursday, January 12, a press conference will give media access to activists and organizers planning some of the most memorable and disruptive events of the week. At 2 PM on Saturday, January 14, an open nonviolent direct action training will allow press to see activists in a hands-on training to learn how to engage in civil disobedience and safely risk arrest.
Beginning at 9 AM on January 20, McPherson Square in downtown Washington DC will be a DisruptJ20 staging area and rallying point for many marches, as well as spontaneous, unpermitted events. An unpermitted, anticapitalist march will begin at 10 AM in Logan Circle. A fully-permitted DisruptJ20 march will begin at 12 PM at Columbus Circle and march to McPherson Square. Another permitted march organized by Occupy Inauguration will start from Malcolm X Park (often called Meridian Hill) and march downtown to McPherson Square join DisruptJ20. McPherson Square will contain tents, portable toilets, a stage, sound system, signage, a medic area, food donations, and other amenities. More unpermitted actions are likely to occur at some point after 3 PM and continue into the evening.
Colorful disruptions will occur right at the Inaugural Parade Route. DisruptJ20 organizers have identified twelve checkpoints that participants will have to pass through in order to attend the inaugural festivities. To call attention to the many threats faced by people and planet, each of these twelve checkpoints will be the site of an issue-specific protest. Issues will include racial justice, immigrant rights, LGBTQ+, antiwar, immigrant and border justice, labor, climate, and other issues.
Each checkpoint protest is being organized by a group or set of groups in collaboration with DisruptJ20. In the past, each checkpoint has included metal detectors, police officers, the Secret Service, and national guard. Details and logistics are still being pulled together for these twelve actions, and information will be released publicly as soon as possible.
DisruptJ20 is also coordinating mass housing for activists from out of town, legal support for arrestees and others, medic teams to be present in the street, de-escalation teams to respond to conflict, media teams to relay current information, gathering spaces for activists, and more. Information such as welcome packets, maps, and event calendars will be distributed to the press and public.
Many groups are allied with DisruptJ20 in sending a clear message during the J20 week. A climate-specific day of action will occur on Thursday, January 18, culminating in a Earth2Trump Roadshow with performers and speakers. Antifascist groups are planning a protest at the “Deploraball,” a Trump celebration planned by white supremacists, Nazis, and rape apologists on January 19 at the National Press Club. The ANSWER Coalition is planning a large rally on January 20. A #Trump420 event planned by the DC Marijuana Justice Coalition will feature people handing out marijuana joints. Through the evening, the Peace Ball, the UnNagural, and the Unity Ball will all provide entertainment, music, and libations while standing opposed to Trump’s agenda. The All in Service DC campaign has coordinated, during the lucrative weekend, for bars and restaurants to give donations to local nonprofits serving at-risk communities. The People’s Inaugural Ball on January 20 and People’s Inauguration on January 21 are being planned by #StayWokeAndFight with Howard University to call for racial justice. The Women’s March on Washington will occur on Saturday, January 21.
From January 14 to January 16, DisruptJ20 will hold the DisruptJ20 Action Camp, a series of trainings and workshops in DC to prepare people for upcoming actions, particularly those around the Inauguration. The trainings aim to provide space for participants to collectively analyze and discuss why resistance and action is important under the Trump administration, how we can resist, and what future our actions are building towards.
More releases of information from the DisruptJ20 Media Team are forthcoming, and there will be a press conference call on the evening of January 20 to provide information on the day’s activities. Please visit our DisruptJ20 Media page if you wish to sign up to receive these releases.
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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
We are organizing a week of trainings, actions, and events leading up to the mobilization on January 20th. Below you will find details about these events as well as convergence space for the week starting with January 14th.
January 14-16th – Action Camp
Jan 14 – 15th – American University, 10am-7pm
Jan 15th – Action Spokes Council
Jan 16th – St Stephens, 1525 Newton St NW, 10am-7pm
January 15th – Trade Justice blockade webinar – http://tradejustice.net/11517
January 17-19 – Convergence Space
Food, daily NVDA trainings, Affinity group meetings, spokes councils
St Stephens, 1525 Newton St NW, 9am-6pm
January 18 -21st- Climate Convergence
January 19th – Deploraball
January 20th –
Early Morning – Blockades Action
9am – Outdoor Convergence Space @ McPherson Square opens
10am – Anti-Capitalist Anti-Fascist Bloc @ Logan Circle
12pm – Festival of Resistance, permitted march starting @ Columbus Circle
2pm – Rally at McPherson Square
Note: This article is republished from its original location, published first August 25th, 2015. We think that it continues to be important now seeing Trump heading into the White House.
by Alexander Reid Ross
The White Power Candidate?
An impressive amount of light is being shed on the current presidential candidates, and Donald Trump in particular, revealing the ugly face of fascism in the US. In late June, the most popular US neo-Nazi news website, The Daily Stormer, fully endorsed Trump. Editor of The Daily Stormer Andrew Anglin writes, “[Trump] is certainly going to be a positive influence on the Republican debates, as the modern Fox News Republican has basically accepted the idea that there is no going back from mass immigration, and Trump is willing to say what most Americans think: it’s time to deport these people. He is also willing to call them out as criminal rapists, murderers and drug dealers… I urge all readers of this site to do whatever they can to make Donald Trump President.” A particularly high amount of attention has been placed on the fact that someone in the audience shouted “White power!” at Trump’s recent speech in Alabama, but what did Trump actually say during that speech?
To the tune of “Sweet Home Alabama,” Trump struts to the stage at the stadium in the majority-black city of Mobile—a Northern businessman in one of the major port cities in the Gulf of Mexico with a significant Civil War history. He seems to handle himself with all the bravado it takes for a white man from Queens, New York, who the Nation has likened to an oligarch, to ramble through what seemed like a largely ad-libbed speech for fifty minutes before an all-white crowd of an anticipated 40,000 Southerners.
The speech begins with Trump comparing himself to Billy Graham, a leader of the Moral Majority who took cues from the infamous “Jayhawk Nazi,” Gerald Winrod. By minute two of his speech, Trump declares that just last week, a 66 year-old woman was “raped, sodomized, tortured, and killed by an illegal immigrant. We have to do it. We have to do something. We have to do something.” The crowd erupts in enthusiastic applause. The US, according to Trump, is immediately beset on all sites by immigrants who pose a clear and present danger to the security of each and every white, God-fearing American citizen—“The people that built this country. Great people.”
In true populist fashion, Trump calls himself a “non-politician,” insisting that he served jury duty recently, and refused to put “politician” as his occupation. He is an outsider, the common man like us. “I know the game,” he tells us. He doesn’t rely on lobbyists, because he’s “built a great business.” Trump shifts his focus to a celebration of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who walks onto the platform for a cameo appearance with his very own “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. Those hats are “hotter than pistols,” speaketh the Trump (“They’re made in America,” he reassures us). Sessions has declared that the opinions of climate scientists offend him, so in Trump’s world, he’s one of the good guys. Trump, however, is an unconventional leader, not a politician. In his speech, he calls for expedited elections. “Can we do that?” And then in his best manbaby impression: “I don’t wanna wait!”
Returning to the Pre-Reconstruction South
Someone brandishes an “original” copy of The Art of the Deal, one of Trump’s books, and he goes gaga; “That’s when they used real paper, right?” The crowd accepts the triumph of the paper mill—a great irony given the forest fires currently raging through millions of charred acres of Pacific Northwest rainforest, choking the air of hundreds of thousands of people. Unlike Portland, Oregon, however, the only scent of scorched earth in Mobile, Alabama, is that strange whiff of pre-Civil War nostalgia that still musters a tear for Old Dixie.
After insisting that “We’re going to build a wall” and warning that “seven and a half percent of all births are from illegal immigrants,” Trump rapidly moves on to issues of revitalizing the South by rescinding the Fourteenth Amendment. “The Fourteenth Amendment, I was right on it, you can do something with it, and you can do something fast.” What is Trump’s target here? The Fourteenth Amendment is the civil rights amendment drafted after the Civil War out of a compromise between supporters of abolition democracy and Northern industrialists who disliked the idea of racial equality. According to the Fourteenth Amendment, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
This amendment established the basis of citizenship and the right to vote for black people in the South. Before the amendment, a politician who supported Reconstruction by amendment named Alfred Ronald Conkling declared, “[the] emancipated multitude has no political status. Emancipation vitalizes only natural rights, not political rights. Enfranchisement alone carries with it political rights, and these emancipated millions are no more enfranchised now than when they were slaves. They never had political power. Their masters had a fraction of power as masters.” The Fourteenth Amendment sought to enfranchise black voters, and to be treated “like Magna Charta as the keystone of American legislation,” in the words of one of its framers. Still, the Fourteenth Amendment came as a compromise to afford blacks various rights without engineering a far more liberatory, systemic undertaking.
By opposing the Fourteenth Amendment, Trump represents the nefarious tradition of Northern Republicans who split with the Reconstruction-era movement to spread equal rights to all citizens of the US. These industrialists sided with Southern racists to undermine Reconstruction through extreme violence, sparking the menace of the Ku Klux Klan. Agreeing with Southern Democrats that those who believed in public education and abolition democracy were mere “carpetbaggers” and “scalliwags,” these Northern industrialists turned their backs on Southern black voters and the project of Reconstruction, which ended finally in 1876 when Rutherfurd B Hayes won the election by agreeing to withdraw US troops from the South and allow “states rights” governance. As historian Leonard Zeskind explains in Blood and Politics, the history of resistance against Reconstruction marks an important tradition for white supremacists, from the anti-civil rights movement to Humphrey Ireland (also known as Wilmot Robertson and Sam Dickson) to David Duke, who would have won the race for Governor of Louisiana but for the black vote. A former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Klan, Duke supports Trump for president, saying “he’s certainly the best of the lot,” and he “understands the real sentiment of America.”
Trump does not even have to mention black voters in the South; he merely points to the stopgap measures of the Reconstruction period as the problem that keeps the US from returning to its former glory. This position is presented on Trump’s new baseball caps, which proudly state, “Make America Great Again.” This sort of American Renaissance would occur by expelling immigrants and returning to pre-Reconstruction South. It is only after establishing these points that Trump moves to the global trade question, which he simplifies largely to the field of US-East Asia geopolitics.
“I’m a Free Trader”
The Chinese have stolen America’s future, Trump bleats, and it’s the US’s fault for allowing them to do it. The political careerists in power must be thrown out, and replaced with Trump’s “killers,” “mean” guys, economic hit men who know how to broker big, merciless deals with the Chinese. Trump presents himself as a “free trader,” but also states that he will reverse the economic order by applying a 35 percent import tax on all imports from Mexico to keep Ford and Nabisco in the US. This position of tariffs within free trade systems seems to fall close to what Nuremberg prosecutor Franz Neumann, in referring to the Nazi Party, called “a perverted liberalism.”
Most evident in his economic platform is Trump’s willingness to take shots at companies who have run afoul of his propaganda enterprise in the past. Trump tells us that Sony “has lost its way. Prices are too high,” which may have less to do with Sony’s balance sheet, and more to do with the feud that he got into with Sony late last year when Trump insisted that the multinational corporation based in Japan has “no courage, no guts” after they withdrew the film, “The Interview,” due to threats from hackers. The row went as far as Trump calling for Amy Pascal to quit her position of co-chairman due to “stupidity issues” when news came out that she consulted with Al Sharpton.
As he expands on his ideas, Trump’s outlook on international relations seems increasingly informed by similar personal beefs. He claims to appreciate the Saudis for spending tens of millions of dollars on real estate with him. However, he claims that “they wouldn’t be there without our protection.” Similarly, we receive little in exchange for “28,000 troops we have at the border between North and South Korea,” except for that “they take our trade. We loose a fortune with them. We loose a fortune with China.”
Confronting the flight of support from his campaign after he made racist remarks, Trump declares that he is suing Univision for $500 million after the Mexico-based media company for dropping Miss USA, which Trump co-owns: “I want that money!” He regrets, he tells the audience, that Univision’s audience will miss the beautiful women of Miss Universe (“summer girls, but beautiful,” he tells the audience, stealing a line from the late-’90s boy band, LFO). Trump tells us that he is “not bragging” when he gloats that he has over $10 billion dollars with an income over $400 million. “I want to put that energy,” he explains, into the American public. His main points are to “make our country rich, and to make our country great again.” How can we do the latter without doing the former? It is at this point, which would appear to many to be one of the more innocuous moments, that an audience member begins to shout, “White Power!” A cry which Trump seems to hear, but does not acknowledge (according to some reports, the slogan was heard more than once).
Flogging the Middle Class
In pinball fashion, Trump returns to China, which he claims is taking our jobs. “It’s almost as though they want us to just die,” he tells us with a faltering timbre in his voice. They’re his friends—those Japanese bankers who pay Trump rent—they’re “really smart,” but “we have dummies” who are “incompetent.” At the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan, Trump tells us that he hears “a sucking sound”—that noise discovered by Ross Perot in Mexico while NAFTA was in the works in 1991.
Like Perot, Trump makes a number of homages to the middle class. “I didn’t like ties so much, because they were made in China,” he tells the crowd, eliciting jocular approval. In other interviews, Trump has declared his disdain for hedge fund managers gutting the middle class, and called Hillary Clinton a “running dog.” Since Trump is independently wealthy, while Clinton is worth a mere $32 million, his candidacy is untainted by the special interest lobbyists in Washington, DC. “We’re a debtor nation,” the crowd is told, because the US does not negotiate well on the international stage. To fix this, Trump would use the “smartest, toughest, meanest, in many cases the most horrible human beings on earth. I know them all. They’re killers. They’re negotiators… I would put the meanest, smartest—we have the best people in the world, but we don’t use them, we use political hacks, diplomats[.]” Trump discusses his friend, Carl, who he characterizes as making “blood coming out of [his enemies’] eyes from hatred.” This macabre image was minted by Trump earlier this month in reference to his own feud with FOX’s Megyn Kelly, during which he stated that “there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her—wherever,” because she was so angry.
With these men in his charge, Trump declares, “I will rebuild our military. It will be so powerful that we won’t even have to use it. Nobody is going to mess with us.” Chants of “USA!” break out, and Trump silences the chorus with a jeremiad about “our vets” for whom “the senators up in Washington… have done nothing.” Responding to a commentator and referring to his standing in the polls, he insists, “We are tired of the nice people. I won on the economy; I won on jobs; I won on leadership by massive numbers. I won on all these categories. I said, ‘Why do we need an election? We don’t need an election. These are such important categories.’”
It’s in the Genes
In the final ten minutes, Trump surpasses all prior excesses. Describing a friend of his who “comes from a good family,” Trump asks the audience, “do we believe in the gene thing? I mean, I do.” A cry of “Yes!” comes from the stadium. Recalling the old eugenics comparison of stockbreeding, Trump states, “They used to say that Secretariat produces the best horses.” As Trump then goes through a list of accomplishments, including best-selling books and the show The Apprentice, he sticks his chin out in a move that can only be compared with a Mussolini. Trump then informs us that Generals Patton and MacArthur “are spinning in their graves,” because “we can’t beat ISIS.” Presumably, if anybody could “fire” ISIS, it would be the star behind The Apprentice.
At the end of the speech, Trump attunes his audience to anxiety: “We’re running on fumes. We’re not going to have a country left. We need to have our borders. We need to make great deals.” Regarding deals, Trump returns to the issue of Israel for which he asserts his love, but seems to believe is being abandoned by the US. Like numerous reactionary politicians, Trump avoids open anti-Semitism, throwing his support behind Israel while periodically getting in trouble with veiled anti-Semitic jokes like his recent gaff against Jon Stewart. He seems horrified that Iran “are doing their own policing.” This is “so sad,” he states, and then switches up the pace with one simple word: “Obamacare,” eliciting prompt roars of disapproval from the crowd.
After declaring his intention to rescind Obamacare, Trump begins to stump about “women’s health issues” bring about a couple of interesting minutes of awkward discomfort from the audience. He promptly switches to the lack of spirit, jobs, anything, and declares, “I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created… The American dream is dead, and I am going to make it bigger, stronger, and more powerful than ever before… And you’re going to love it, and you’re going to love your president.” As Trump steps away from the podium to the tune of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Going to Take It” having apparently reanimated a Frankensteinian monstrosity, he seems confident, and the crowd wildly applauds.
Analyzing the Speech
If we assess Trump’s political platform based on Cass Mudde’s rubric of the “populist radical right,” we can see both nativism and welfare chauvinism as the most important characteristics. If nativism is the emphasis on citizenship that traces familial lineage beyond simple birthright, and welfare chauvinism is the increase of the social wage for native citizens, then we’re inside Trump’s ballpark. While Trump is certainly a right-wing populist, there is more to his politics.
There can be no denying that Trump is nativist—in fact, he openly brags about mainstreaming the term “anchor baby,” forcing Jeb Bush to use it in order to keep up with xenophobia. However, Trump’s demonstration of a “free trade” platform with restrictive tariffs is anything but consistent, and he seems to paper over the awkward split with returns to the gimmick of “killer deals.” Tariffs would encourage companies to build factories in the US, he claims, putting more money and jobs into the working class, but would taxes go to public health care? Trump seems to indicate that increased revenue would go to the military, rather than the social wage. The military would then leverage its protection of Saudi Arabia and South Korea for financial support—in short, a protection racket. So the description of “welfare chauvinism,” or generating social programs for “native citizens” only, seems to be a stretch. Instead, Trump’s interesting mix of personalization of economic order and increased protectionism within a liberal, “free trade” framework seem to move more in kind with Mussolini’s framework.
“[Fascism] is not a matter of assembling any old government, more dead than alive,” Mussolini wrote. “It is a question of injecting into the liberal State— which has fulfilled tasks which were magnificent and which we will not forget—all the force of the new Italian generations[.]” This seems to keep with Trump’s insistence that he wants “to put that energy” of his own personal genius into the system that “is running on fumes.” Competitors like Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton are “low-energy people” and black youths have “no spirit,” but Trump is resilient and his cadre are high-impact killers.
When told that the two Boston men who urinated and beat a houseless Latino man with a metal pole were inspired by his words (“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported”), Trump responded, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” He later tweeted that “We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence.”
Although he claims to disavow violence, Trump’s repeated calls for exceptions from the ordinary juridical order echo the famous fascist “state of exception.” He calls on the crowd to support his impulse for extra-parliamentary aims, such as holding the elections early or not even holding elections at all, because “We are tired of the nice people.” Regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, he insists that we can “do something fast.” These impulses, matched with his personalization of economic policy, mark an important kind of leadership principle focused on his own gimmick of “deal making,” which only “the smartest, toughest, meanest, in many cases the most horrible human beings on earth” can understand. Trump would replace the incompetent “political hacks, diplomats” currently in power with his own energetic, vigorous, and ruthless crew. This rhetoric is mirrored by the words of important early fascists like Giovanni Papini—“those who hold power are of three types: the old, the incapable, the charlatans.” Trump’s people are virile and impressive, like Trump, himself. They evoke “blood coming out of her eyes from hatred.” And most of all: they want to help “make America great again.”
Holy Palingenesis, Batman!
Although there are numerous characteristics of fascism, many of which are contradictory, a minimal definition is provided by Roger Griffin: palingenetic ultra-nationalist populism. In lay terms, that means a kind of ultra-nationalist politics that calls for a rebirth of a former glory of the State. If “make America great again” holds as its referents the following:
1) Xenophobic focus on high immigrant birth rates and roving migrants raping and sodomizing elderly women;
2) Anti-Asian economic stance calling forth the image of intelligent-but-thieving Asian nations;
3) Anti-Civil Rights position decrying the unconstitutional burden of the Fourteenth Amendment;
4) A strange focus on genetic, familial heritage;
5) Anti-plutocratic politics coming from an oligarch;
6) Militaristic protectionism masquerading as liberalism; and
7) A political rhetoric devoted to energy and coming “back from the dead”
then it lands quite clearly in the tradition of ultra-nationalism known as “Americanism.” Each of these reference played its own special role during the 1960s backlash against the Civil Rights and labor movements, which after the election of Richard Nixon moved from political participation through the Wallace campaign of 1968 into various critical fascist organizations like the National Alliance and Liberty Lobby.
Is Trump a paleo- or neo-conservative? Not really. Is he a leftist? Absolutely not. But in his syncretic platform, he takes planks from both sides, from economic protectionism and anti-plutocracy to anti-immigrant and anti-civil rights rhetoric. Is he nostalgic for a bygone era? Yes, he is expressly nostalgic for that era that passed away with the Fourteenth Amendment and Reconstruction. Trump does not so much have an ideological position as a position of personal force and energy. He seeks “passion” for a new regime to beat the stale one and fill the existing system with renewed energy by eliminating the specter of rapist migrants given carte blanche by civil rights, and of course, making great deals.
Hence, while noting the complexity of fascist movements throughout history, it would be accurate to characterize Trump’s candidacy as lying within the “Americanist” tradition of fascism. Americanism began with the “America First” anti-interventionist group whose spokesperson was Charles Lindbergh, and continued through the American National Socialist Party under the leadership of George Lincoln Rockwell. While the American Nazi Party wore armbands, carried swastikas, and looked like brownshirts, the Americanist movement moved into a more astute appraisal of US politics forwarded by William Pierce and Willis Carto after the 1968 Wallace Campaign. America and Americans First has since been the banner of multifarious fascist groupuscles in the US, including JT Ready’s National Socialist Movement in Arizona. Although he may be stumping for this tendency without being fully aware of it, Trump may just be the most quintessentially “White Power” candidate that the Republican Party has seen for some time.
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.
#DisruptJ20: Call for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017
On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies. If Trump is to be inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the true face of the security state Trump will preside over. It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United States do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.
Trump stands for tyranny, greed, and misogyny. He is the champion of neo-nazis and white Nationalists, of the police who kill the Black, Brown and poor on a daily basis, of racist border agents and sadistic prison guards, of the FBI and NSA who tap your phone and read your email. He is the harbinger of even more climate catastrophe, deportation, discrimination, and endless war. He continues to deny the existence of climate change, in spite of all the evidence, putting the future of the whole human race at stake. The KKK, Vladimir Putin, Golden Dawn, and the Islamic State all cheered his victory. If we let his inauguration go unchallenged, we are opening the door to the future they envision.
Trump’s success confirms the bankruptcy of representative democracy. Rather than using the democratic process as an alibi for inaction, we must show that no election could legitimize his agenda. Neither the Democrats nor any other political party or politician will save us—they just offer a weaker version of the same thing. If there is going to be positive change in this society, we have to make it ourselves, together, through direct action.
From day one, the Trump presidency will be a disaster. #DisruptJ20 will be the start of the resistance. We must take to the streets and protest, blockade, disrupt, intervene, sit in, walk out, rise up, and make more noise and good trouble than the establishment can bear. The parade must be stopped. We must delegitimize Trump and all he represents. It’s time to defend ourselves, our loved ones, and the world that sustains us as if our lives depend on it—because they do.
In Washington, DC
DC will not be hospitable to the Trump administration. Every corporation must openly declare whether they side with him or with the people who will suffer at his hands. Thousands will converge and demonstrate resistance to the Trump regime. Save the date. A website will appear shortly with more details. #DisruptJ20
Around the US
If you can’t make it to Washington, DC on January 20, take to the streets wherever you are. We call on our comrades to organize demonstrations and other actions for the night of January 20. There is also a call for a general strike to take place. Organize a walkout at your school now. Workers: call out sick and take the day off. No work, no school, no shopping, no housework. #DisruptJ20
Around the World
If you are living outside the US, you can take action at US embassies, borders, or other symbols of neocolonial power. Our allegiance is not to “making America great again,” but to all of humanity and the planet. #DisruptJ20
CrimethInc. Workers’ Collective It’s Going Down subMedia
New York Anarchist Action
The Base NYC Anarchist Black Cross
Pittsburgh Autonomous Student Network
Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition
Pitt Against Debt
Pitt Students for a Democratic Society
Steel City (A) Team
Antifa Seven Hills
Black Rose Book Distro St. Louis
Resonance: An anarchist audio distro Rose City Antifa Torch Antifa Network Central Oklahoma Black/Red Alliance (COBRA)
New Wave Army
Puget Sound Anarchist Black Cross
Four Corners Antifa
killedbypolice.net AK Press PM Press Indigenous Action
Chicago Anarchist Black Cross
NYC Anarchist Book Fair
Autonomous Actions Against Prisons—Seattle
Denver Anarchist Black Cross
Loughborough Labour Party
Words as Weapons
The Roosevelt Group
LeftSec/AnonAnarchistAction – i2p Darknet anarchohacker collective
Hispagatos – International hacking collective
Maryland Food Collective
Shades of Silence
If you endorse this call, sign your name at the bottom of this list and circulate it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the above list.
While the mostly anarchist anti-fascist movement would likely never devolve into a question of voting for liberal candidates, the unique nature of this year’s election has changed many opinions. With the potential of a Donald Trump victory on the horizon, many are asking the question of whether or not supporting Hillary Clinton as simply a way to dethrone the nationalist movement. Given the election results creeping up on us late tonight, we have decided to present a quick debate between two competing opinions on whether or not voting is an worthwhile anti-fascist act in this context.
No Ballot Box
by Anti-Fascist Front
The question about voting is one that tends to divert from what the real question ends up being: how to build anti-fascist movements and projects that can confront the real core of the movement. It may be a benefit if Trump is not voted in, especially in that it will cut off the connection between the Alt Right and the mainstream GOP. At the same time, the struggle against fascism will only continue as the component parts are still built into the neoliberal world. Clinton herself is voice of the ruling class, one that will likely attack unions, support police murder, continue the march off the cliff of climate change, deregulate financial markets, and celebrate international bombing campaigns. She herself is not a fascist, and instead is part and parcel of American capitalism, so it is hard for many to actually expect casting a ballot will do much more than act as self congratulation.
No matter what you do today, spend no more than a few minutes on it. If you cast a ballot, then fine, and if you choose to burn yours in protest, that is great as well. What matters is what you do tomorrow, whether you begin working in your community to build an anti-fascist movement. This can be supporting anti-racist education projects or Antifa organizations in your city. It can be standing in the streets yelling Black Lives Matter or confronting anti-immigrant sentiments in schools and police unions. It means building a mass movement to undo “Trumpism” as a social concept, and that will be required whether or not Trump loses tonight.
Election results will not unring the bell of the Alt Right, and so it is going to be a necessity for us to find a way to contribute to on-the-ground work, movement building and community organizing. That is where the battle is had, so do not allow this flurry of button pushing to obscure what is really required in this struggle.
by Karl Starkweather
I contend that one should vote.
Living under liberal democracy is better than living under fascism. It is also better in terms of the Left’s ability to move in an egalitarian direction.
More concretely, currents existed prior to the rise of Trump and the neo-Nationalist movements around the globe, but Trump and the neo-Nationalist movements outside the US have helped manifest new forces and embolden older strains. And whether Trump wins or loses on the 8th, these new and old currents will have to be confronted beyond the ballot box. Still, we as Anti-Fascists must stay true to the call we took up: that the heads of State, military, and economy, when confronted with fascism, either cannot stop it or will absolve themselves into it. The only true cure for the disease of fascism is popular resistance. And in the USA, there is not currently a working mass popular resistance outside of the Democratic Party.
How? In power, a moderate-Left party does more good for the 99%. In the United States, I personally benefit from a Democratic NLRB, for instance, and from the various (inadequate and non-universal) social services and aid that nonetheless have a real impact on the day-to-day life of myself and loved ones. In addition, women are more likely to be able to access the full spectrum of health services they need; there will be more support for reforming our racist criminal justice system so I can see more energy in the world not be totally annihilated; there will remain some semblance of hope that millions–including people close to me–won’t be violently removed by Trump’s militarization of ICE; and the list goes on.
Furthermore, to be Sorelian or Nietzschean, getting turned on by “catastrophic myths” that heighten contradictions—or the proposition “that which is falling should also be pushed” by not voting or voting 3rd party—is quintessentially fascist. Only such an irrational-artistic-metaphysics of the fascist could visualize joy in that violent chaos. Are we Anti-Fascists for the people? Or are we enamoured of that fascist myth—seeing destructive chaos as some “hygiene” for the people?
What is wrong with voting then, if it can keep some things that impact real marginalized people in place? Maybe make some things better? There has been progress in some areas, the last 8 years under Democrats. It could be much better and it is our duty to make it that way. We have to continue stepping up. The Left, if more imaginative, and with more agency, could comprehend of a world where the far-Left would help win victories for the moderate Left while at the same time building a movement to turn the moderate movements more to the Left, usurp them, or transcend them (depending on your ideological persuasion).
So, as Anti-Fascists, I contend that we must use the means available. At present, in America specifically, today on November 8th, it’s the ballot box. Vote against Trump today and for the Democrats. That is the job for today, and will enable us to continue to do our job tomorrow.
In the ramp up to Hillary Clinton’s Alt Right speech and in the aftermath the Alt Right headed into the public media consciousness. Drawing together the appointment of Stephen Bannon with the conspiracy popularity of Infowars and the racist crew of Twitter trolls, she has allowed a layer of media scrutiny to somewhat misrepresent the Alt Right. Her speech was generally a positive move and none of us expected her to get all the details right. As profiles came from every major news outlet, few actually got the characterization of the Alt Right correct.
What this allowed for, and what was already happening as the Alt Right label became popular over the past few months, is received a layer of commentators and angry white voices have begun calling themselves Alt Right without holding the real ideological foundations. Breitbart, the Donald Trump campaign, Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannapoulos, and a whole range of Twitter commentators and Trump supporters have been labeled as Alt Right, either by the media externally or in a sort of self-imposed Edgelord identity.
This phenomenon has been labeled by those in the Alt Right as the Alt Lite, and while it has presented them with a huge boost in exposure, it has also created a problem for their ideological consistency.
The Alt Lite mainstreams most of the Alt Right’s most public and middle ground political positions. Immigration restriction, anti-political correctness, Islamophobic policies, anti-feminism, and other Trump-like proposals. These are all superstructural positions, manifestations of an underlying politic that many in the Alt Lite do not share. While places like Breitbart are helping to fight the Alt Right’s war on immigration and demonizing voices of color, they are not necessarily centered on their white nationalism, race and IQ beliefs, and vicious anti-Semitism
A recent story released by the Forward written by Josh Seidel called “I’m a Jews, and I’m A Member of the Alt Right” was the most cited of these, and likely the one that made the most Alt Right members angry. Here he pronounces a politically incorrect, Trump supporting opinion, one that is void of almost all the features that those of us who track far-right groups would actually ascribe to the Alt Right. He was one of the many commentators who have taken on the label, using the trendy term Alt Right to simply describe their own mildly controversial views, ones that are inconsistent among these voices and not set in the ideological roots that all actual Alt Right publications agree on.
Richard Spencer, who runs the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, is one of the centers of the Alt Right, and has been generally positive about this development. He calls himself “pro-Alt Lite,” but does say that they need to maintain ideological consistency and watch out for entryism. There is not likely to be actual conservative entryism into the Alt Right, but he is right that those with more middle ground views who simply want to appear “edgy” will help to moderate their movement.
The Right Stuff and its signature podcast, the Daily Shoah, was less happy when looking at this phenomenon, especially Jews calling themselves Alt Right. In an article called “I’m a Jews and I’m Party of the Alt Right, Trust Me Goy!” they provided an ironic commentary suggesting that conspiratorial Jews are trying to destroy the Alt Right from the inside. Here they outlined four key parts of the Alt Right that must be observed, including:
Opposing Illegal Immigration
No Globalist Elites
Natural gender roles
The last was incredibly important to them, and one that they stress in this article that jokingly takes on a “Jewish” voice.
Unfortunately, as I said earlier there is a very vocal minority of people who claim to be part of the Alt-Right who spread anti-Semitic memes all across the Internet. They share pictures of Jews being shoved into ovens like it’s nothing. If you ask them about their disrespect they claim the Holocaust never even happened. Can you believe that? In the Current Year people still believe that the 6 million were not gassed and ovened. I got so angry one day that I asked one of these Alt-Right pretenders where they got the idea that the Holocaust never happened. The pompous brat rattled off some gibberish about there “not being any paperwork explicitly calling for the extermination of the Jews.” He even showed me a stupid coin that had a swastika (OY VEY) on one side and a Star of David on the other. As if that’s supposed to mean anything! Then he had the gall to link me to some despic–uh, I mean, confused gentile pastor who babbled on about high tech ovens and asked a funeral director about cremation times. These people are loco, amigo! So, to summarize my feelings on the matter, I don’t really care. American children are told the truth about the Holocaust and the 6 million from age 5 onward. They’re made to read Night at least 3 times and told about Hitler’s sexual derangement due to having one testicle (He was probably into butt stuff too, goys.) They’re taken on field trips to one of a dozen or so handsomely funded Holocaust Museums at least once in their school careers. A vocal minority on Twitter doesn’t scare me; although, those parentheses got real old, real fast.
The most popular podcast on the Alt Right, Fash the Nation, also stressed that Jews cannot be a part of the Alt Right since the Alt Right itself is anti-Jew. What they say very clearly, and what is echoed on almost the entire core Alt Right publications from Counter Currents to the New Alternative Right, is that Jews are responsible for undermining Western identity through globalism, immigration, feminism, queerness, and other “degeneracies” that stop White men from running a nation “in their interests.” Fash the Nation actually sites another Alt Right commentator, Lawrence Murray (a joking Semitic pseudonym) and their “principles” of what makes up the Alt Right.
(We are shortening these obviously, they clearly think that their LONG definitions are important, but you will get the drift.)
People are different.
Our world is tribal.
Our tribe is being suppressed
Men are not women and women are not men.
Freedom is a responsibility and not a right.
If we must be a democratic society, the franchise should be limited.
Jewish elites are opposed to our entire program.
While they try to have a conversational and inoffensive tone, the politic here is clear. This is ideologically in line with almost all neo-fascist programs, one that see the traditional gender roles as necessary, that racial groups are unequal, that democracy should only be for the racial “in group,” that freedom needs to be subsumed to only certain caste levels, and that Jews are the enemy. They go on to cite people like Kevin MacDonald, the anti-Semitic psychology professor who has made it his life’s work to prove that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” to confuse Gentiles and undermine their nations.
Greg Johnson, the esoteric white supremacist founder of the Alt Right publishing house Counter Currents, posted an article that sums up a sentiment that we actually agree with completely. Called “The Alt Right Means White Nationalism…or Nothing at All” he outlines what the Alt Right is versus what the Alt Lite wants it to be.
Like paleoconservatism, the Alternative Right was simply a way that timid, status-conscious conservatives could flirt with racism and even anti-Semitism while maintaining some sort of pretense of mainstream credibility.
But when Richard Spencer started the Alternative Right webzine in 2010, the principal funders and writers regarded it simply as a vehicle for White Nationalist entryism, and they would have blown it up rather than see it become anything else. Today’s White Nationalists need to take the same strongly proprietary attitude toward the Alternative Right. It is a vehicle of White Nationalism, and we will give it the Howard Roark treatment if it is hijacked from us. Full stop
Johnson is not as sympathetic to the Alt Lite phenomon as others are because he notes that Counter Currents has not really seen a traffic bump through the search terms after the Clinton speech. This kind of analysis is a good metric for the development, one that Johnson has always been pretty apt at reading. Johnson’s work is ideologically consistent, one that shows the clear connection between the Alt Right and the esoteric mysticism, Germanic neopaganism, and occultism that many associate with the spiritual ideas that run parallel to fascist movements. While associating with the surface level of Alt Right “Shitlords” on popular websites and Twitter handles, Counter Currents continues to publish books by people like Savitri Devi, a white Hindu woman who believed that Hitler was a divine avatar and that the caste system should be enforced through authoritarian violence. While many on the Alt Right associate more with a atheist “race realist” perspective, there is still a reverence for these more occult and spiritual positions echoing through all Alt Right institutions, with some, like Neoreactionaries and the Radix Journal, being more explicit about the “spiritual” foundations for their racism.
Andy Nowicki, a writer who was popularized as a co-host of Vanguard Radio, the original podcast of Alternative Right, is now the editor of the New Alternative Right website (the original was deleted by Richard Spencer amid protest by Nowicki). In his article “What the Alt Right Means to Me (Hillary Clinton Remix),” echoes this sentiment, even though Nowicki himself is not a strict White Nationalist.
In general, places like American Renaissance, Red Ice Radio, and the vlogger Millennial Woes have all created “intro videos” for the Alt Right to help orient Alt Liters, all of which are explicit about their racism, anti-Semitism, and opposition to democracy and equality.
While the Alt Lite phenomenon may be difficult for those on the Alt Right, it also presents challenges for anti-fascists. If the Alt Right is dumbed down to just means iconoclastic American conservatism, it is harder to make the connections that their public ideas, like immigration restriction and Trump success, is rooted in white nationalism. That is the source of this politic even if some recent “converts” are using the Alt Right label without accepting all of its dirty laundry. What the Alt Right will do over the next several weeks is to double down on its more unsavory connections, something that will reverberate through the Alt Lite as it becomes more and more apparent what the phrase, and the ideology, really means.
For those on the anti-fascist left it means continuing to name names when it comes to the Alt Right, and to not let their silly arguments about crime, immigrations, and politically correct speech be the end of the conversation. Instead, we should help the Alt Right tell the truth, so to speak, so that they can consistently reveal who they are.
We need to call the Alt Right what it is: fascist.
Hillary’s speech from August 25th was rumored for days in advance, with the fact that she was addressing the Alt Right well known. This sent many in the press running to get this phenomenon figured out, while at the same time the Alt Righters were waiting to hit their moment of peak visibility. With their media savvy, their ability to dominate social media, and their focus on well-packaged talking points, it was quite possible that they were going to be able to set the conversation after Hillary spoke in vague platitudes.
Except this time Hillary was prepped well, and named the fascist. Her speech identified the Alt Right as one element of the racist right wing that is giving Donald Trump his surging popularity. She mentioned Twitter accounts like White Genocide, went after the KKK members that support Trump openly, and even lamented the ludicrous conspiracy theorizing of Alex Jones and Infowars. She took on Breitbart, reading aloud some of the more offensive recent article titles where they showed their hate for women, minorities, and LGBT people.
Hillary’s endgame here is simple: to scare you into voting for her. For our side of things, we recognize that both the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign are representing the interests of capital. They made up a middle-ground of establishment financial politics, ones steeped in Neoconservative foreign policy, international commercial interests, and environmental ruin. Donald Trump shares this position in politics, and laughs about the deregulated markets he attempts to foist on an already drained working class. Together, they make up what we have always expected from American politics: the choice between members of the capitalist class.
As we listened to Hillary’s speech, we knew that she had scored herself a campaign point. She also scored one for us, just not the one she wants.
We will never support the Clinton campaign, or the campaign of any bourgeois politician (this includes Jill Stein). Instead we think that the power of the working class is in movements from the ground up, and in today’s climate that includes organized anti-fascism. What Hillary’s speech did was accurately describe the phenomenon(to a point), named some of the key players, and then tied them directly to their support of Donald Trump.
Over the last couple of weeks, and especially in the last two days, we have seen a number of major news outlets clamor to make sense of the Alt Right. Anti-Fascist News was founded just over a year ago specifically with the idea that we wanted to focus in on the Alt Right from an anti-fascist perspective. Some major media coverage of the Alt Right has been better than others, but many miss the key factors at play with this movement. The recent segments from Fox News painted the Alt Right as synonymous with Donald Trump’s working class white, Middle American base. This confuses the situation and lacks the key lineage that the Alt Right comes from.
Drawing on the racialist organizations of the past, the European neo-fascist organizations, the history of fascist philosophy and spirituality, and various interlocking “traditionalist” and “identitarian” movements, the Alt Right is the latest and most popular confederation of what we would clearly label as fascist. This word is thrown around a lot, often used to mean authoritarian or violent. Instead, the word means a political movement founded in inequality, elitism, “essential” identity such as race or gender, hierarchy, “traditional values,” and a romantic view of the past. While this has some common historical forms, it can creep up with a variety of different political structures and programs. National anarchists, radical traditionalists, the Dark Enlightenment, paleoconservatism, “race realism,” racial paganism, identitarianism, and many other self-important philosophies fit under this broader fascist ideological banner, and all of them make up the various wings of the Alt Right. Together they are founded on the idea that there are racial differences in intelligence and “criminality,” that Jews are secretly in control of the government and the media, that feminism is eroding the true structures of man, and that we need to return to the identity and authority of our ancestors.
While Breitbart, Milo, and Donald Trump may only be the “diet” version of the Alt Right, they are taking their most palatable points and putting them out into bite sizes morsels. The Alt Right has taken the key fascist ideas built over a century of violence and attempts at power and turned them into “fashy memes,” jokes told on 4chan and celebrated at My Posting Career.
In short: the Alt Right has made fascism tweetable. And we are here to shut them down.
With Hillary Clinton’s most recent campaign ad and the direction spoken of in her speech, she has simply helped to mainstream the anti-fascist messaging in the same way that Donald Trump added a loudspeaker to the Alt Right. That does not make her our ally, she never will be. Instead, her speech helped to make the Alt Right known as a racist caricature of itself; a violent movement of vile racism bent on attacking communities of color, putting women in their place, and locking up trans people. While places like the Radix Journal and the Daily Shoah were celebrating the attention, and Alt Right vloggers like Millenial Woes were using it as an opportunity to create a racially-charged promotional video, we get more out of this mention than they could ever hope to.
Now our task is to take her rhetoric much further, and to put the logic of it into practice. It is not enough to name a fascist on the Internet; we need movements capable of undermining them when they show up.
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.
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, Traditionalism, neo-paganism, agrarianism, Third Positionism, anti-feminism, and right-wing anti-capitalists, ecologists, bioregionalists, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The crowd of over two thousand protesters chanted as they marched through East London, an area that is notable for its history of multicultural inhabitants. The crowd donned Anti-Fascist Action flags, many with faces covered for fear of further police repression. The voices echoed a complexity to the “Brexit” vote that those outside of the European Union (and even those inside of the EU) attempt to grasp with what this decision means and symbolizes.
This week, a majority of 51.9% of voting United Kingdom residents voted to leave the European Union, a project that they have been a part of for over forty years. This is the first country in the EU to do this, a zone that was intended to both reconcile political tensions and to smooth over neo-liberal capitalist expansion. This is the first vote since the 1970s, and, at the time, the vote was not even close. Today, the force to leave toppled over the edge and is forcing a push away from the united continental project. Even after a Britain First affiliate and advocate of Brexit killed a pro-immigrant British MP, the vote still passed through with a slim majority.
While it has been largely acknowledged that the Brexit campaign was a xenophobic and racist push from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and Britain First, there has also been a reasonable Lexit (left exit) side to the campaign. Internationally, left circles have been debating the merits of this position, debating the role of a left contingent inside of a hard right campaign. Groups in the United States like the International Socialist Organization have showed a certain admiration for the Lexit contingent, while most mainstream progressives are standing back in horror.
The primary impulse for many on the radical left is to look at the vote as a series of component parts that have meaning, while the politics themselves will largely play out as business as usual.
A comparison to the Donald Trump campaign stateside is useful, especially as it has often been used by the British left to put the recent events in England in context. When comparing the realities of the political choices of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump it quickly reminds us just how little a vote allows for real decision making as it retains ruling class power no matter the distinction. Though there are great differences between the candidates, they are minor when it comes to large-scale social systems, and do nothing to challenge systemic inequality. You will never be able to vote the rich out of their wealth
It has mobilized a revolutionary wing of the far-right to begin crossing over into the racialist undercurrent of the right-wing segment of the white working class, creating a populist-right block that is as frightening as it is large. This has shifted the politics in the country to the right on social issues and race, and has created an open space to transform “dog whistle” racist politics into blunt racial nationalism. The possible Trump presidency and the right-populist community, only reinforced ideologically by the Alt Right, could act reciprocally, as Trump’s call for banning Muslim immigration has mobilized their Islamophobia, which will then further push Trump to live up to his promise
This effect is largely meta-political: it effects the underlying values, philosophies, and impulses that drive political decisions. For those of us on the anti-fascist left, this both mutates the working class and creates a violent reactionary force of Stormtroopers against any left revolution. This is the most destructive turn a society can take, the barbarism promised as the endgame of global capitalism.
When it comes to Brexit, this is the largest victory in decades for the far-right, who are growing across all sectors in the country. Given a state of economic turmoil since the global financial crisis, as well as coming after decades of neo-liberal austerity, the white working class of Britain have been pressed to the point of rupture. That angst is painted racially as the right has played on tensions from the “refugee crisis,” attempting to shift the blame from the rich to the immigrants. The targeting of immigrants, especially Islamic immigrants, has been the signature of the far-right since the earliest rumblings of the National Front in the 1970s up through the brief rise of the British National Party. Now that the English Defense League(EDL) and PDGIDA have tried to expand Islamophobia beyond the narrow neo-Nazi crowd, they have been able to sow a deep fear of immigrants in a public that normally would not have been touched by the British nationalist movements. Likewise, the growth of the Alt Right and movements like National Action have brought in a younger generation of educated neo-fascists who are hoping to use the social turmoil to capture a working class who may have had their discontent channeled into the radical left.
This has come together like a neutron star with the Brexit vote, a crossover issue that has given their rhetoric a place in the general public. They were given access to the minds of the people and were able to push through an exit vote not just on the issues of economic “free trade,” but on British identity.
It is less important what the vote was, and more central about why it was. The exit of Britain from the EU was due to a massive campaign with racial undertones, even if the left-wing of that vote came for economic reasons. For immigrants living in the UK, especially those of color, are speaking out en masse right now about the fear they are experiencing, and that racial attacks and harassment have gone through the roof. Right now the streets of London are a scary place for all but a white British base, exactly what Britain First was hoping for. No matter what the ideal economic effects of the vote were for socialists and progressive in Britain who supported the exit, it is having the effect of tossing a massive victory to the far right and allowing the racist undercurrent to bubble to the surface.
The real question here is if there will be any substantive gains for working people in Britain from the vote that would outweigh the social wave of the far-right that they are going to see from this victory. Organizations like Britain First, UKIP, the EDL, BNP, PEGIDA, and others are only going to grow at this point, gaining power not in the ballot box, but in the streets. They will further co-opt the righteous anger of the working class, turning it back on itself and dividing ranks further.
In a world where proxies work as a side-channel for larger meta-political goals, Brexit acts as a shift to the right even if the politics do not divert greatly from standard neo-liberal expansion or if they are even to fit into the larger goals of the anti-globalization movement.
This left-right alliance owes, to a large part, to the vagueness that has permeated from the anti-globalization movement since the 1990s. While Americans often associate it with the hard left/post-left turn of things like the Battle for Seattle. The war against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were, in essence, the battle against the all-encompassing power of Late Capitalism, where the issues of “globalization” were the issues of unregulated capitalism feeding off of the Global South.
This is where the terminology of “imperialism” fails to recognize what was/is actually taking place in global capitalism, where the term lends itself to traditional empires that ravaged the world through colonialism up to the earliest days of capitalism. Today, it is multinational corporations and institutions of market exploitation that run the world, not monolithic super states. When the UK’s economy dominates the world, that is capitalism running the state, rather than imperialism of the traditional aristocracy(though that aristocracy certainly graduated to the capitalist class when the politics shifted). The use of imperialism rhetorically on the radical left is more of an attempt to maintain continuity to political ideology of the past rather than an accurate description of most nation’s behavior, but one thing is true: whether it is traditional imperialism and colonialism or the unrestrained carnivorous passions of corporations, the Global South always loses.
The anti-globalization movement was a mass action against that, one that united artists and the black bloc and unions and immigrant rights organizations, and which saw the solution to these global problems both as the repudiation of capitalism and the use of localization for economics, food production, and community. This created strange ideological bedfellows as the far-right also saw a certain opportunity in the logic of “going local,” of bioregionalism, and of keeping out of foreign wars. This was old nationalism repackaged in hippie aesthetics and food politics, and they could oppose “globalism” since it also imported cosmopolitan multiculturalism. In a way, this helped to further develop the far-right’s Third Positionist anti-capitalism, since modern capitalism cared not for their “traditional” life and instead looked to commodity and reproduce.
The problem is that, philosophically and meta-politically, the anarchist core of the anti-globalization movement and the eco-friendly fascists crowding their fringes were the core opposite of one another. To help draw this distinction, terms like “para-globalization” began to be used, drawing on anarchist communist notions of “internationalism.” This was meant to say, clearly, that it was not so much globalization that we opposed, but “this globalization.” The globalization of capital. Instead, we support the international struggle of the working class against capital, even if we support decentralized federalism as a more responsive and successful way of organizing society. This rhetorical battle was never primary, however, and a lack of clear politics, both implicit and explicit, allowed the far-right to bloom inside of spaces thought to have radical left hegemony.
In anti-globalization, the issue of “globalization” was always a proxy for capitalism and the racial, sexual, and national oppression that comes along with its expansion into the Third World. For the far-right, globalization was a proxy for the “destruction” of nations, race, gender, and sexual boundaries. If they both see a victory, then it can strengthen the far-right as it mobilizes the radical left. In many ways, many of the more fringe elements in places like AdBusters and in eco-anarchist circles reveled in this murky ideological waters, and flirted with the far-right, not because they were sympathetic to them, but because they needed a broad coalition. This “linking up” with the far-right has never bloomed anything of value, and instead has always been the hallmark of a revolutionary fascist movement that attempts to draw elements of the far-left’s politics into a value set of the far-right. This means that fascist often oppose capitalism, and sometimes even the state, for reasons that they are not sufficient in propping up nationalism and inequality. They want a society more rooted in inequality, where a market does not just produce inequality as a side-effect, but that the inequality perfectly reflects their ideas about race and gender and are reinforced through whatever system of social coercion they see fit.
When Brexit is looked at as a proxy, the reality is that for the right it was a vote on immigration. UKIP ran billboard ads with large pictures of streams of refugees, dog-whistling that they are the “brown hordes invading Britain.” The vote was painted as one about immigration from the start, even when UKIP made promises that this exit will save the country money that they could then put into the National Healthcare Service (a promise they have already backed away from). In this way it draws on the isolationism of the Old Right, where they are saying that we can better take care of ourselves by forgetting everyone else. The Alt Right in the U.S. has also jumped on board to sing their praises, with the Daily Shoah, Fash the Nation, the Traditionalist Youth Network, the Daily Stormer, American Renaissance, and Counter-Currents all claiming a major victory for nationalism. The only real dissent came from Richard Spencer of the Radix Journal, who, while also reveling in the “success” of Brexit, thinks that it could further “divide white people.”
While Lexit may have sided with the removal from the EU for different reasons, they still have created a right-left alliance that has emboldened the far-right through their proxy politics. Since the vote does little to change the actual politics of the country, yet does a lot to fuel the far-right, what does Lexit actually hope to gain out of this? At the same time, while the EU was still an infrastructure for global capital to exploit workers, how did the exit do anything to challenge that dynamic? What it certainly did was guarantee a large number of workers being laid off, foreign employees being deported, and pensions to be sacked, all of which for no tangible gains.
The left of Britain, beyond the few Lexit supporters, were largely united on staying. Neo-liberalism does not depend on the EU; it depends on capitalism as a system. Labor was almost universally aligned, with unions seeing an economic downturn that could effect membership. This turned out true as the markets opened the day after the UK’s vote, with over $5 billion in wealth disappearing and Britain dropping from the 5th largest economy to the 6th. Many laughed for ages about this on social media, especially the fact that the British ruling class is taking a dramatic hit financially. The problem is that this hits pensions and investments of working class families around the country, and will be felt economically through the lowest sectors of the population. This is not an isolated financial problem, nor is the coming recession, and the shudders could mean massive austerity both inside and outside of the country.
The discourse about imperialism has returned in this discussion, especially the idea of “breaking up the empires.” There is a certain logic to this, but it is also important to look at the dominated nations inside of the United Kingdom. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay, despite Donald Trump’s embarrassing statements upon landing in Scotland to promote his bourgeois golf club.
This exit vote presents further problems for Northern Ireland as it will be even more difficult to transfer between the Northern province and the main country of Ireland. Currently, EU member nations are easy to travel between. This is actually part of the strange inter-European xenophobia at play in the Brexit decision, where Polish immigrants are specifically seeing a backlash against them and may have a difficult time staying in the UK in its post-EU form. For the Irish, this further blocks up the nation. On the one hand, this is re-igniting the possibility of Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the UK to become sovereign nations. At the same time, this Brexit vote does not do much to mobilize that leaving since it essentially puts their identity within Britain only rather than the EU at large.
The question now is if this decision will collapse markets in such a way that working people will take another hit, and if revolutionary movements will actually gain anything from the crushing recession. The answer is likely no since inside or outside the EU, the class positions remain largely the same. The only difference is that remaining would have seen economic stability last slightly longer. For working families in the UK who are barely surviving as it is, this could be the last push towards poverty.
Against Corporate Nationalism, In and Out of the EU
Instead of focusing on the politics of Brexit, it may be worth looking at exactly how this decision reflects the social climate of the country, how the far-right is going to mobilize, and what the left’s actual goals are inside of the larger EU situation. This often comes off as a “fuck both sides” argument, which, given the nature of the corporate EU on one side and the reactionary nationalists on the other, makes sense. Christopher Hayes of MSNBC posted a position that sums up our feelings perfectly:
I don’t want a future in which politics is primarily a battle between cosmopolitan finance capitalism and ethno-nationalist backlash.
It is impossible to ignore the violence and racism that has permeated the country in the wake. Thousands of people have reported harassment, chants of “we voted for you to leave,” and threats on people of color and immigrants around the country. Violence has increased so quickly that people are hiding indoors, frightened that their family is going to be murdered by white racialists patrolling immigrant neighborhoods with guns. Right now, the UK is a scary place to be in.
The battle after Brexit will not be to bring the UK back into the EU, event though a reversal referendum may come through and Scotland will fight tooth and nail to remain. The fight will be to confront the racism that was once subdermal and has now been brought to the surface, given a pass by the semi-respectability of UKIP and the populism behind Brexit. As their economy continues to fall, and working people get a financial attack that was unwarranted and unnecessary, the discontent could further feed the Britain First movement. Those on the radical left cannot stand for this, and instead should develop a strong movement that takes that righteous anger and channels it back where it belongs: in the direction of a financial elite who will do whatever it takes to make the non-rich lose. Crisis is the perpetual state of capitalism, and it is time for the reality of social inequality to obliterate the victim-blaming racial narratives that have divided working people for centuries.
For all its claims of discernment and elitism, the Alt Right will take just about anyone it can get.
We have covered the infamous D-list reality celebrity Tila Tequila in the past. Several years ago, Tequila seemed to go off the deep end on her own website where she started posting Holocaust Denial rants, admiration for Hitler, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories claiming that the Jews of today are actually the parasitic Khazar race and not the Israelites of the Bible. This is one of the more “out there” conspiratorial claims usually made by Christian Identity extremists, and for some reason this bi-sexual Asian woman is now allying herself with the furthest reaches of Nazism.
Her strange love for Hitler has garnered the most attention, with her beginning by posting a picture of herself dressed as a Nazi. She has posted articles and comments discussing her celebration of Hitler, and as recent as Hitler’s birthday (4/20) this year(2016) she went to Twitter to say that Hitler was the “true king,” her soul mate, that he was the second coming of Christ, and that she was Hitler in a past life. She went as far as to Photoshop herself into a picture sitting next to Hitler.
In the past she turned her own personal website into a troll farm for far-right Jew bashing, where any criticism was met with the vilest racial slurs straight out of Stormfront. An example of this would be what she said of reality TV director James Marcus Howe, where she hurled the kind of insults you never would have expected.
GOD SEE’S(sic) YOU DIRTY FUCKING KIKES WORKING FOR THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN AND I HAVE RETURNED AS HIS MESSENGER! TAKE HEED NOW BITCHES!
She often responded by calling people Jews and Kikes when commenters said she was being racist or attempted to point out that Hitler would admonish her for her bi-racial background. She was eventually dropped from the reality show Big Brother in 2015 because of her pro-Hitler politics.
Over the years it has not gotten much better for Tequila as she desperately raises money online to pay rent and takes almost any appearance job she can get. She came back into the news recently as she went on Twitter to say she also does not believe the earth is round, and that she joined rapper B.O.B. in calling NASA “globalist shills.” The idea here is that NASA are a part of the anti-nationalist “new world order” that is destroying our racial and cultural identities with lies like the spherical Earth. She has also roundly endorsed Donald Trump, which is an endorsement even the Trump campaign was not likely looking for.
Her anti-black racism has also garnered gossip recently as she continues to go on Twitter and say vulgar racist things about black people. She has said that “blacks” pray to their “fried chicken God,” that the “coloreds” shop at Wal-Mart, and various other mockeries of having “affirmative action friends.” It didn’t help when Radar Online revealed a text message she sent to the father of her child that read “Your daughter Briana is dating a n***er…why is this so prevalent in your family?” She spends much of her time on Twitter tweeting at black artists asking why she isn’t allowed to use the N-word.
In an effort to one up herself, she has now appeared on one of the most popular white nationalist podcasts in the world. Fash the Nation is the political podcast from The Right Stuff, the parent website of the Daily Shoah podcast. It has now eclipsed the Daily Shoah in popularity, mainly because it spends three hours pretending they have a good grasp on American politics. The podcast mainly discusses Donald Trump’s candidacy, but the hosts usually devolve into racist name calling and Trump worship, and it is clear that they are out of their league when it comes to even the most basic political analysis.
They occasionally have guests, and even an interview once in a while, and that is where Tila Tequila came in.
Many people might say that she would not know exactly what Fash the Nation was exactly, but right from the start it became clear that she not only knew what it and the Alt Right were, but she was also sympathetic. While she labeled herself as Conservative, she said she was moving in the direct of the Alt Right. She said that she was previously unaware of what was “really going on,” and then left Hollywood for Texas and began “trolling” online with conspiracy theorists. She met Alt Right people online and then found that her community in Houston were reflecting what Alt Righters said, where non-white immigration had turned her neighborhood into an “unsafe ghetto.”
It seriously looks like a third world country out here. And its not fair because my parents actually worked really hard to become, you know, middle class people…crime has really shot up, and it has turned really ghetto. I can’t even take my daughter out anywhere without worry about, and then I have to think about, ‘ok, what areas can I migrate to to take her to a safer area.’ We shouldn’t be kicked out of our neighborhoods.
They avoided the fact that she was from an immigrant family, just like the immigrants she was blaming. In reality, crime has not risen dramatically in the immigrant areas of Houston and the increases in crime rate that do happen are directly correlative to income inequality.
Tila quickly, and on her own, began moving into the Alt Right’s narrative about public housing vouchers and how the government is actually destroying white neighborhoods by “moving in” poor people of color. She agreed that people of color shouldn’t be moved into white neighborhoods because they would destroy them.
It’s like they have taken Section 8 housing people and spread them into nice neighborhoods, to be equal, or whatever. And its not cool because, sure, everyone deserves a chance to have a good life, or whatever, but its just not safe to mix certain types of—
She stopped herself in the middle of saying Mexican, which is again, strange given her own non-white ethnic background. She repeatedly talked about how she was often the only “light skinned” person in these dangerous neighborhoods, and how she worries for her daughter’s safety anytime she was near dark skinned members of the community. Most of this came with stuttering rants, barely coherent in their embarrassing fragments. For an Alt Right community that celebrates elitism, this has to be the bottom of their own barrel.
They spent a great deal of time talking Donald Trump, where she supported the candidate’s plan to build a wall since “there are a bunch of invaders coming into our country.” Her and the Fash the Nation hosts discussed the allyship between whites and Asians, who white nationalists often consider to be “second to whites” because of a perceived high natural intelligence. They still say they don’t want a great deal of Asian immigration, which Tila agrees, saying “we didn’t come over here [to the U.S.] to bring the third world with us.” The hosts do their best to keep Tila on their racist track, moving to international refugee policy.
While it may seem confusing for a neo-fascist podcast like Fash the Nation to have someone like Tila Tequila as a guest, especially since she is non-white, non-heterosexual, and having worked as a sex worker, it is part of their program. What it shows more than anything is that these ideas are not just isolated t0 a white core, but can have allies throughout the culture. It also shows the willingness by people on the Alt Right to pull any celebrity in that could possibly connect to their racialism, even if they are barely literate reality stars who think the Earth is flat.
Note: It should be noted clearly that we think there is nothing shameful about sex work, and believe that it is both “real work” and something that should be respected and defended. The irony, however, is that those at The Right Stuff, the Daily Shoah, and Fash the Nation do not agree, and instead see sex work as decadent degeneracy.