Category Archives: Right Wing Politics

Roy Moore’s Systemic Danger to Democracy

By Gleb Tsipursky

The front-runner candidate for Alabama Senate, Republican Roy Moore, called The Washington Post “fake news” after the newspaper published a thorough investigation reporting on sexual encounters between Moore and multiple teenage girls, one as young as 14. Moore’s attacks on this highly-reputable newspaper are part of a recent broader pattern of prominent public figures using the label of “fake news” to denounce quality investigative journalism that reveals corruption and abuse of power. Such attacks pose an urgent and systemic danger to our democracy, as they encourage corruption and abuse of power by undermining credible media reporting on such behavior.

As a high-quality, well-respected venue, The Washington Post would not publish such a controversial story without a thorough investigation. The article was based on multiple interviews with over 30 people who knew Moore at the time the sexual encounters happened, between 1977 and 1982. The journalists were careful to paint a balanced story, including some negative facts about the women who accused Moore, such as divorces and bankruptcies.

Perhaps most telling of the high quality of reporting and credibility of the newspaper is the fact that a number of prominent Republican leaders are calling on Moore to withdraw from the race. Immediately after The Post publishes its story, Republican Senator John McCaincalled for Moore to step aside immediately, and Montana Senator Steve Daines withdrew his endorsement, as did Utah Senator Mike Lee. After a fifth woman stepped forward to accuse Moore independently of The Post’s story, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell statedthat Moore “should step aside,” and so did Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

On the other hand, Republicans well-known for making false accusations of mainstream media outlets being “fake news” defended Moore and supported his attack on The Post. For example, former Donald Trump adviser and head of Breitbart Stephen Bannon accused the The Post of being “purely part of the apparatus of the Democratic Party” for conducting its thorough investigation. Prominent Virginia Republican Corey Stewart also refused to criticize Moore and instead attacked the newspaper. A number of Fox News commentators,such as Gregg Jarrett, also attacked The Post.

Unfortunately, these attacks on quality investigative reporting represent part of a broader trend of conservative politicians across the country adopting the tactic of condemning media as “fake news” whenever there are stories unfavorable to them. As an example, Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin tweeted that the reporter Tom Loftus of the largest newspaper in Kentucky, The Courier-Journal, is “a truly sick man” for “sneaking around” Bevin’s manor. Loftus at the time was working on a story about how Bevin faced an ethics complaint over an accusation of bribery for purchasing this manor for about a million dollars below market price from a local investor, Neil Ramsey. Apparently, shortly before getting a million-dollar discount on this manor, Bevin appointed Ramsey to the Kentucky Retirement Board, which oversees $16 billion in investments.

Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie used a similar approach when caught abusing his power. He ordered a number of state-run beaches in New Jersey closed on June 30, yet he used a closed state beach in Island Beach State Park for himself and his family on July 2. Reporters for New Jersey’s largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, secretly photographed him and his family using the beach. When asked about whether he was on the beach that day, Christie denied it. When confronted with photographic proof, Christie did not acknowledge and apologizing for his lies and his abuse of power in using a closed public beach for the benefit of himself and his family. He instead attacked The Star-Ledger for its reporting.

Without the attacks on the media, the investigations of Christie and Bevin would have simply revealed the sordid affairs of corruption and abuse of power. Our democracy would have worked correctly with voters appropriately getting the important information from credible sources, the largest newspapers in Kentucky and New Jersey. With these accusations, Bevin and Christie distract attention from the corruption and abuse of power, and instead present themselves as fighters against supposed media bias.

In doing so, Moore, Bevin, Christie and many others are tapping the anti-media bias of the Republican base inflamed by Trump’s attacks on the media. He has expressed pride over his branding of high-quality venues like “CBS, and NBC, and ABC, and CNN” as “fake news.” We are now reaping the whirlwind of politicians caught engaged in immoral, abusive, and corrupt behavior using Trump’s anti-media rhetoric to protect themselves and continue engaging in such activities.

Now, it doesn’t mean that Democrats will not try similar tactics. For example, the prominent film director Harvey Weinstein, a well-known and high-profile fundraiser for and influencerin the Democratic Party, accused The New York Times of publishing fake news when they revealed his sexual harassment. However, neither the Democratic base nor prominent Democrats bought this accusation, and Weinstein was quickly ousted from his leading roles.

By contrast, Bevin’s popularity in the polls was climbing in Kentucky, a conservative state, at the same time that he was making his accusations. Moore has continued to be staunchly supported by the Alabama Republican Party and base, despite the accusations and the withdrawal of support from many mainstream Republicans. Only in New Jersey, a liberal-leaning state, did voters express discontent over Christie’s behavior.

However, all of us – regardless of our party affiliation – will be greatly harmed if politicians are able to get away with corruption, immorality, and abuse of power through labeling of credible media sources as fake news. This tactic is posing an existential and systemic threat to our democracy, and we must do everything possible toprotect quality journalism and overall promote truthful behavior.

 

P.S. Want to promote truth and fight lies? Take the Pro-Truth Pledge at ProTruthPledge.org, get your friends to take it, and call on your elected representatives to do so.

 

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is the author of the forthcoming The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. One of the lead creators of the Pro-Truth Pledge, he is a professor at Ohio State and President of the nonprofit Intentional Insights. Connect with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky on Twitter, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn, and follow his RSS feed and newsletter.  

 

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A Micropolitics of Fascism

 

By Jeff Shantz

It is important that fascism is openly being named and opposed in the present context. Yet the mechanisms of fascist flourishing and spread in current period require some further understanding. And on levels that are not often considered (beyond the visible manifestations of explicit fascist creeps mobilizing). There is too a soft ground of support and sustenance for the more overt manifestations of fascism.

French psychoanalyst Felix Guattari presented an article in 1973, when few were thinking actively about a present fascism entitled “Everybody Wants to be a Fascist.” Guattari recognized in 1973 that fascism was still very much “a real political problem” and not merely a pure theoretical matter (154). In any event as Guattari asks: “Besides, isn’t it a good idea to discuss it freely while we still can” (1973, 154). And we need to talk about it in ways that go beyond the standard or typical features to understand how fascism survives, reproduces, and recurs.

This was an early discussion of micropolitics and fascism. No one should feel that it is all over and the good guys won. For Guattari: “Through all kinds of means—in particular, movies and television—we are led to believe that Nazism was just a bad moment we had to go through, a sort of historical error, but also a beautiful page in history for the good heroes” (Guattari 1973, 166).

Elements of fascism leap transhistorically across generations. They proliferate in other forms. They adapt to new conditions. They move intergenerationally. There are different types of fascism. Italian, Spanish, German, etc., but there are also continuing threads. Fascism is not renewable like a complete artifact. Fascism is in constant evolution.

Guattari takes neither a historical nor sociological approach. He seeks a micropolitical examination of the molecule of fascism. Fascism is dangerous and molecular. This can be massified but not as a totalitarian organism.

Guattari makes a provocative move in his analysis. He suggests that fascism is an internal part of desire. It is immanent in desire, not something that comes from without, for Guattari. It emerges at a microphysical scale. It is not located in individuals but in sets of relationships. Whenever there is desire there is a microfascist potential.

We need to address the in/visibility of fascism that is (and has been) everywhere operative in the present. The Trump campaign was a lightening rod for tendencies that have been long in play. As Guattari warned at that time, we do indeed need to talk about fascism while we still can. And we need to talk about it more fully.

 

 

Micropolitics and Macropolitics of Desire

In works of Felix Guattari and his colleague Gilles Deleuze, desire is the key economic concept. Desire is both political and psychological as well as financial. The “eco” in economy draws from the original Greek for household or habitat, or milieu in Deleuze and Guattari. For Deleuze and Guattari, desire is productive. Desire involves and structures a specific milieu. Desire acts within social context, the situation. Guattari notes a distinction between desire and pleasure. While one might speak of a revolutionary desire, it would appear odd to refer to a revolutionary pleasure.

For Guattari, fascism is, in fact, a key theme for understanding the issue of desire in the realm of the social. In Guattari’s view, you cannot put pleasure in the same sentence with revolution (1973, 154-155). You cannot talk of a “pleasure of revolution” but can readily speak of a “desire for revolution” or a “revolutionary desire” (1973, 155). The reason Guattari gives is that the meaning of pleasure is connected to, inseparable from, an “individuation of subjectivity” (1973, 155). On the other hand, desire is not intrinsically linked to this individuation.

There is a macropolitics of desire, which acts on larger social groupings. At the same time there is a micropolitics of desire. Guattari emphasizes the micropolitical. His goal is “to put in place new theoretical and practical machines, capable of sweeping away the old stratifications, and of establishing the conditions of a new exercise of desire” (156).

Guattari goes beyond the association of psychoanalysis with the small scale (the person and family) and politics only with large social groupings. Rather there is a politics that addresses itself to the individual’s desire and a desire that manifests itself in a wider social field (1973, 155). For Guattari, this politics has two forms: “either a macropolitics aiming at both individual and social problems, or a micropolitics aiming at the same domains (the individual, the family, party problems, state problems, etc.)” (1973, 155-156).

Macropolitics has been given the dominant emphasis. But politics works at micropolitical levels as well. In his terms, molar and molecular. Not a dichotomy. Not dialectical.

The self is a multiplicity of “desiring machines.” How they operate and what they produce are as crucial as what they are. In Crain’s words: “One’s sense of personal identity is itself a product of desire related to a broader social structure” (2013, 3). As Crain suggests, one does not simply desire an iPhone, one desires being seen as someone with an iPhone.

Desire produces not only objects, but rules. What you want structures your behavior (Crain 2013, 3). The desire for an iPhone produces new desires—taking pictures of trivia, posting them to Facebook or Instagram. Checking repeatedly for likes and follows. These new desires form habits. And these habits form rules governing our actions (Crain 2013, 3).

How do these minute habits and rules relate to your political actions? For Deleuze and Guattari, there is no fundamental difference. Except that one affects others (Crain 2013, 3). This is the notion of micropolitics. The habits and rules speak to desire investing itself in the world (Crain 2013, 3).

Macropolitics draws from “small interpersonal dealings with one another” (Crain 2013, 3). If the macropolitical structure becomes repressive how is it drawing from and organizing desire (Crain 2013, 3)? And why would “we” (specific people in a specific context) desire fascism? This gets to the heart of the growth of fascism, in a particular desiring form of the so-called “Alt Right,” for example, and the rise of Trump.

For Deleuze and Guattari, fascism only emerges because it is wanted, desired. Micropolitics is a sense that others should follow the rules that our own habits have produced. The desire is for others to follow your rules. This is the imposition of desire on others.

Written large you get Trump and “Make America Great Again”—make others follow your rules of an America that you desire (in a context where you perceive the existing rules not working in your favor and where others express diverse views, habits, or rules).

One might ask about the molar level and identity. White supremacy and the figures of Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, and David Duke. The Authoritarian Personality (of Theodor Adorno and Frankfurt School fame) speaks of the winning loser who is obsequious to those above while being brutal to those below. White rage and hatred of Obama is directed at the Affordable Care Act which hurts mostly the poor (overwhelmingly poor whites).

State fascism always seeks homogeneity (even in a context of diverse microfascisms) (Crain 2013, 4). Fascism seeks to impose an order on the chaos of desire. It is ultimately suicidal. Homogeneity is only realized in death (Crain 2013, 4).

 

 

A Typology

In pursuit of his labors, Guattari develops a typology of fascism. Guattari identifies three approaches that have been undertaken. Of the three approaches, the first two maintain the distinction between small and large social groupings for Guattari. Only the third attempts to move beyond this distinction (1973, 156).

First is “sociological analytical formalist thought.” This seeks to identify and classify “species.” It seeks common elements while distinguishing differences. The first re/produces sociological types. These focus on national, historical types of fascism. Italian, German, etc. Each has specific phenomena that mark it.

Sociological. On one hand this approach minimizes differences to pull out a common feature. In this way it will distinguish three types of fascism—Italian, German, and Spanish. On the other hand, the approach will magnify differences to construct species, as between fascism and Western democracies (1973, 156). Guattari finds little of interest in this approach.

Second is a “synthetic dualist neo-Marxist thought.” This puts forward a collective representation of the desire of the masses expressed through the party and ultimately the state. The second, Marxist approach, distinguishes revolutionary desires of the masses and the Marxist categories imposed on them. This “massifies” mass desires.

There is a dualism. A code wielding political class and a passive mass of followers. This is viewed in relation to the power of the state. What type of state does it produce?

The dualist neo-Marxist approach encounters another gap then. This is between the reality of the masses’ desires and the supposed representation of those desires.

The Marxist system poses itself as the collective representation of the masses’ desires, rather than failing to recognize the creativity and desire of the masses as occurs in sociological thought. Sociology reduces social objects to things. It is reifying. While Marxism recognizes the existence of revolutionary desires, in contrast to the sociological, it imposes mediations on them—Marxist theory and the representation of the party (Guattari 1973, 157).

The differences that flow through the desires of the masses become “massified”—turned into standard formulations viewed as necessary for class and party unity (Guattari 1973, 157). There is a dualism between representation and reality, between the party leaders and the masses. Bureaucratic practices flow from this. The oppositions revolve around a third party—the state.

Third is “political analysis” in a “connection of a multiplicity of molecular desires which would catalyze challenges on a large scale” (156-159). Political analysis speaks to a “univocal multiplicity” rather than the mass (159). Micro-groupings offer challenges and there is no necessary unitary content. For Guattari, the “unification of struggles is antagonistic to the multiplicity of desires only when it is totalizing, that is, when it is treated by the totalitarian machine of a representative party” (159).

Desire creates itself when saying is doing (1973, 160). When saying is doing, as Guattari puts it, the division of labor between the specialists (in saying and in doing) ends (1973, 160).

Guattari is not interested in representing the masses and interpreting their struggles. You do need some political analysis though. Guattari seeks a conception of desire that does not have an object or a center. It does not distance as in representation or interpretation. Mediation must be bypassed.

This is done in the third approach, political analysis. for Guattari, this political analysis “refuses to maintain the disjunction between large social groupings and individual problems, family problems, academic problems, professional problems, etc.” (1973, 158). It does not reduce struggles to alternatives of classes or camps (Guattari 1973, 158). Theoretical and practical truth are not the domain of the party.

A micropolitics of desire, in this way, would not present itself as representing the masses and interpreting their struggles (Guattari 1973, 158). In Guattari’s perspective:

“It would no longer seek support from a transcendent object in order to provide itself with security. It would no longer center itself on a unique object—the power of the State, which could only be conquered by a representative party acting in lieu of and instead of the masses—but rather, it would center on a multiplicity of objectives, within the immediate reach of the most diverse social groupings.” (1973, 158)

Challenges are catalysed on a larger scale by “a multiplicity of molecular desires” (Guattari 1973, 159). There is a “univocal multiplicity of desires” rather than an “ideal unity” representing and mediating multiple interests (Guattari 1973, 159). What Guattari suggests has relevance for thinking about contestational risings, of resistance among diverse forces. In his words:

“This multiplicity of desiring machines is not made of standardized and regulated systems which can be disciplined and hierarchized in relation to a unique objective. It is stratified according to different social groupings, to classes formed by age groups, sexes, geographic and professional localizations, ethnic origins, erotic practices, etc. Thus, it does not realize a totalizing unity. It is the univocity of the masses’ desire, and not their regrouping according to standardized objectives, which lays the foundation for the unity of their struggle.” (1973, 159)

The threat to the multiplicity of desires comes when the unification of struggles is totalizing. As when dealt with by the totalitarian form for the representative party (Guattari 1973, 159). Desire always wants to go “off the track.” It wants not to “play by the rules.”

By Guattari’s own claim he seeks not reductivist comparisons but to complexify the models in terms of fascism, for example. In his words, “[T]here are all kinds of fascisms” (as all kinds of bourgeois democracies, for example) (Guattari 1973, 161).

The groupings break up once one considers “the relative status of, for example, the industrial machine, the banking machine, the military machine, the politico-police machine, the techno-structures of the State, the Church, etc.” (Guattari 1973, 161). So, as Sinclair Lewis famously said—” “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

The Nazi party changed. Himmler’s SS was not Rohm’s SA. They operated in specific domains. And, as Wilhelm Reich suggests, they each bore a specific relationship to the revolutionary desires of the masses.

Yet, simplifications should not interfere with grasping “the genealogy and the permanence of certain fascist machineries” (Guattari 1973, 162). This is the same fascism that operates under different forms. And which, for Guattari, can continue to operate in families and in schools.

Totalitarian systems produce formulas for the collective seizure of desire (Guattari 1973, 163). These depend too on productive forces and the relations of production. At the same time, and despite his contributions, Guattari drifts into totalitarian analysis (a la Arendt) and shares some of the limitations of that approach.

 

 

Microfascisms

Guattari stresses that what fascism set in motion continues to proliferate in contemporary social space (1973, 163). Today’s productive forces unleash a whirlwind of desires. Guattari looks at the continuity of the fascist machine in different forms. For Guattari, it is important to confront totalitarian machines in their micropolitical aspect. Otherwise “you find yourself a prisoner of generalities and totalizing programs, and representative instances regain their power” (164).

In Guattari’s view: “Molecular analysis is the will to a molecular power, to a theory and practice which refuse to dispossess the masses of their potential for desire” (164-165). In Western capitalism the totalitarian machine lives in “structures capable of adapting desire to the profit economy” (171). Western capitalism is subversive in this way of molecularization. It gets “under the skin” (we simply have to have the newest newness).

Thus, the bureaucratic systems must “miniaturize their repressive machines” (Guattari 1973, 164). We could see this today in debates over micro-aggressions or in the minutia of memes.

Desire gets away from encoding. It avoids containment. There is no dichotomy between saying and doing. There is a process of connectivity. Machines.

Disobedience, disruption, resistance to demands of stakeholders. Micropolitics of desire: Refuse any formula to slip by at whatever scale. Fascism in family, political structure, etc.

There is a capacity of fascism to spread throughout the social body. Memes. IRC. The meme machine and the circulation of memes is able to coalesce desire in particular ways. In the present period the oddest portions of the Internet become politically important. The memeification of Pepe. “Pepe for President.” Pepe the frog says “It feels good, man.”

4chan was launched in 2003. 4chan is hyper-err-production. It decenters the individual as both source and lack. In 4chan anonymity is a goal. It is keeping individuation at bay. No one wants celebrities or personal benefit in that space. The anonymity of social dislocation, unfamiliarity, market forces.

The aim is to release intense flashes of desire and intention. It is delirious and incoherent. Trump rolls the joy of winning and the despair of losing into one. He is the loser who won.

 

Why Fascism?

The fascist party is organized like a police force. In this it compartmentalizes the masses in a way a straightforward military dictatorship cannot (Guattari 1973, 165). A military dictatorship does not draw on libidinal energies in the manner a fascist dictatorship does.

In response to the question of why German capital did not simply turn to military dictatorship after 1918 or 1929 (“Why Hitler rather than General von Schleicher?”) Guattari turns to libertarian socialist Daniel Guerin in suggesting that big capital did not want to “deprive itself of this incomparable, irreplaceable means of penetrating into all the cells of society, the organization of the fascist masses” (1973, 165).

For Guattari, the coming together of four libidinal series in the figure of Hitler crystallized a mutation of  a “new desiring mechanism in the masses” (1973, 165). First was a “plebeian style.” This gave him a handle on the people. Second, a “veteran-of-war style.” This allowed him to somewhat neutralize the military elements and gain some of their confidence. Third, and most relevant for the Trumpist figure, “a shopkeeper’s opportunism.” Guattari expands on this: “a spinal flexibility, a slackness, which enables him to negotiate with the magnates of industry and finance, all the while letting them think that they could easily control and manipulate him” (1973, 166). Finally, and crucially, “a racist delirium.” This was “a mad, paranoiac energy which put him in tune with the collective death instinct released from the charnel houses of the First World War” (Guattari 1973, 166).

We should have little question of this in relation to Trump after Charlottesville, his response to it (“on many sides,” alt Left,” etc.), and his pardon, a short week after, of the sadistic Sheriff Arpaio.

Hitler tried to forge a compromise among different machines of power that sought their own autonomy—the military, police, and economic machines (Guattari 1973, 167). Trump, like the early fascist regimes, will provide some economic solutions to current issues. A phony boost to the economy or markets, a dip in unemployment, a public works program (of Brownshirt infrastructure as I have already discussed elsewhere). And  these will be compared favorably by the administration to the feeble efforts of Obama.

Note the similarities of Trump’s language in this regard with the language used by Guattari to describe fascist rhetoric—“The socialists and communists had a bad program, bad leaders, a bad organization, bad alliances” (1973, 168). One might add to this, in Trumpist style: “Sad.”

And remember,  a section of the bourgeoisie only rejected fascism because it stirred too powerful forces of desire in the masses and was too unstable. Global capital could only consider the elimination of fascism in the presence of other means to control class struggles (including Stalinism) (Guattari 1973, 167). The United States could ally with Stalin because his form of containing mass turmoil was more stable than that offered by Nazism.

 

Lessons for the Left and Desire

There is a very real (non-metaphorical) social war that is being waged in the United States. It goes by names like neoliberalism and involves cuts to Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, the increase in military spending, the tightening of borders, growing detention and deportations, cuts to education spending, increases in incarceration, etc. Historically fascism responds to political and economic crisis. The crisis of 2007 and 2008 was an economic crisis. It gave rise to some resistance in the form eventually of Occupy Wall Street.

The Left today is extremely divided amongst itself presently, unlike the lesser divisions that marked much of the 1930s. The rallying cry of a more united Left in Spain was “Let Madrid be the tomb of fascism.”

Guattari reminds us that at the very beginning the Leftist organizations in Italy and Germany had been liquidated. This is always the aim of early fascism. It is the aim of the alt-Right and the anti-antifa today.

Still, as Guattari suggests, we need to ask why these organizations collapsed like houses of cards. His answer is that these organizations never offered the masses a real alternative, one that could tap their energies of desire (or even direct it away from the fascist draw) (1973, 168. Guattari follows Wilhelm Reich in suggesting this.

Wilhelm Reich notes too how an element can change into its opposite under certain conditions. So the anti-capitalist rebellions of the mass of German people, in acute contradiction to the objective functions of fascism, became interwoven with that function and transformed for a period into its own opposite—a reinforcement of German capital and its rule (1972, 29-30). Social democratic support of capital as a defense against fascism.

Mechanistic communism as in the Comintern, overlooked the revolutionary tendencies of the fascist mass movement, where revolutionary and reactionary tendencies were temporarily combined in fascism (Reich 1972, 30). The Comintern could not turn the revolutionary tendencies to its own advantage.

Desire. The micropolitics of desire sparked by the anti-capitalist rebellions, flowed into the revolutionary tendencies within fascism. Especially as the Leftist movements faltered. This is not to say, as some contemporary liberals might, that the Left caused fascism. Rather it is a reminder to the Left to finish the job.

Reich notes, commenting in the 1930s, that:

“In Germany there were, at the end, some thirty million anticapitalist workers, more than enough in number to make a social revolution; yet it was precisely with the help of the staunchest anticapitalist mentality that fascism came into power. Does an anticapitalist mentality qualify as class consciousness, or is it just the beginning of class consciousness, just a precondition for the birth of class consciousness? What is class consciousness anyway?” (1972, 285-286)

Reich points out the challenge of desire for socialists. The average worker in Germany, he says, was not interested in Soviet Five Year Plans or their economic achievements except inasmuch as they present increased satisfaction of the needs of workers (1972, 293). Reich describes the thoughts of the workers as follows: “If socialism isn’t going to mean anything but sacrifice, self-denial, poverty and privation for us, then we don’t care whether such misery is called socialism or capitalism. Let socialist economy prove its excellence by satisfying our needs and keeping pace with their growth” (1972, 293).

Even as sections of the masses acted against their own interests in lifting Hitler to power (Reich 1972, 283). As Reich says:

“While we [communists] presented the masses with superb historical analysis and economic treatises on the contradictions of imperialism, Hitler stirred the deepest roots of their emotional being. As Marx would have put it, we left the praxis of the subjective factor to the idealists; we acted like mechanistic, economistic materialists.” (1972, 284)

 

In different terms, for Guattari:

“By reterritorializing their desire onto a leader, a people, and a race, the masses abolished, by means of a phantasm of catastrophe, a reality which they detested and which the revolutionaries were either unwilling or unable to encroach upon. For the masses, virility, blood, vital space, and death took the place of a socialism that had too much respect for the dominant meanings.” (1973, 168)

And in this is a lesson (an old one) for today. The Left must not be afraid to go beyond the traditional terrain of politics. It must seek more than reformist liberal democracy or politics as usual. And it must make its uprisings all the way, not part way. Lest it dig its own grave.

Guattari concludes:

“It can be said of fascism that it is all-powerful and, at the same time, ridiculously weak. And whether it is the former or the latter depends on the capacity of collective arrangements, subject-groups, to connect the social libido, on every level, with the whole range of revolutionary chains of desire.” (1973, 171)

This again echoes the insights provided by Wilhelm Reich in the 1930s. We might think of this in terms of the collapse of the alt-Right, and its confidence in its desires, after Charlottesville. And we might reflect on this before becoming too confident it will not recover and regroup.

 

Conclusion

Capitalist machines tap the working class potentials for desire. In Guattari’s words: “These machines infiltrate the ranks of the workers, their families, their couples, their childhood; they install themselves at the very heart of the workers’ subjectivity and vision of the world.” (1973, 169). Guattari makes a point, easy to overlook, that industrial capitalism decodes all realities. This liberates greater waves of desire. We might think of this in terms of the desires in trolling, fake news, sarcasm, and nihilism expressed today and which rise along with, as part of Trumpism. Capitalism always needs to search for new formulas for totalitarianism to control struggles of desire (of migrants, of racialized people, of prisoners, etc.).

Political practice is at an impasse. A social totality is locked in inertia. Despite the best intentions of those involved. There is a surplus of information and a lack of action. The Right personalizes national ills. The Left does not personalize. Rather it looks at structural forms. The Right looks for and focuses on particular groups that can be vilified.

Fascism is the charismatic leader with a cult following and religious fervor. It is the regular refusal of all philosophical positions. This is so throughout its various incarnations. On deception Reich suggests:

“A worker trained in the class struggle is not often deceived, but many, very many, have been ideologically softened up. Only a minority are trained. The majority, thanks to the free trade unions, have never known a strike. There is hardly a “dangerous worker” left in the factories. And so the average worker may have a correct sense of what is happening, but he is without leadership and is forced to fall back on the hope that Hitler means well, after all, and that “he’s doing something for us workers.” He accepts the pittance without realizing that he is really the master and nobody has any presents to give him.” (1972, 311)

The fears of anonymous society give rise to a desire to submerge oneself—maintain anonymity—in the figure of the leader—who is known and even famous. The leader carries one’s desires forward for them in a  way that takes the heat—so you can remain anonymous and not have to be accountable. Even if they are wrong or get  hammered they are respected because they have put themselves out there and taken the heat—for you.

Modern society is marked by docile, passive interchangeability. Anywhere, anyone. This is not revolutionary anonymity. It is rather an anonymity to blandness. The mask of democracy and interchangeability of voting or polls.

The black bloc is a visceral response to the phony transparency of liberal democracy. Also  the use of minimal violence to expose much deeper and extreme violence. It rests on masking. That is both its strength and its weakness. Transparency gets you clobbered.

Modern citizens are too comfortable, but not comfortable. They are isolated, detached, fragmented, lonely, exposed. This relates to their susceptibility to social phobias. As Reich puts it: “Such a man is psychically so deformed that simply being told he is a “fully valid member of society” will make him feel better, especially if he is given some kind of uniform to wear” (1972, 310). He wants an impossible comfort.

Trumpism and the end of comfort. Fear based politics related to climate change. First impacts of climate change. Reflected in fear of the refugee. Fear of the “outside invasion.” Which will only increase as the climate crisis increases.

Affect. Trump projects symbolic disarray that only the symbolic leader can address. Support for Trump is acknowledgement that the bet will never be placed. Giving your money and knowing it will not be placed. You will be ripped off. The more it goes off the rails the more it works and the more people join. Trump does not hold together well—and that is a big part of his appeal. The euphoria of empty promises. Finding solace in distress. Alterity and alternative facts. For Guattari, the more it breaks down, the better it works. Unlike totalitarianism it liberates the desires o the masses for their own death. It is an escape that is suicidal.

 

 

References

Crain, Caemeron. 2013. “Microfascism.” The Mantle

Guattari, Felix. 2009 [1973]. “Everybody Wants to be a Fascist.” In Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972-1977. New York: Semiotext(e), 154-175

Reich, Wilhelm. 1973. Sex-Pol: Essays, 1929-1934. New York: Vintage Books.

Producerism: The Homegrown Roots of Trumpism

Jeff Shantz

The disturbing rise of Donald Trump to the presidency and the growing  mobilization of rightwing forces in the United States has driven attempts to understand and situate trumpism and the particular brand of politics his rise signals. Most commentators have been tempted to look at rightist traditions outside of the US, whether right populism in Europe or Latin America or historic fascist movements as in Italy, Germany, or Spain. Yet I would suggest we can better understand trumpism and its place in rightist developments in the US by looking at a forgotten homegrown American lineage—producerism.

Producerism refers to a political-economic perspective of right wing populism. At the center of producerist ideas and movements is the notion that so-called productive members of society, typically industrial or more skilled workers, small business people, and individual entrepreneurs are threatened by dual pressures coming from so-called parasitical strata both above and below them in the social hierarchy. From above are the economic and political elites who live parasitically by usurping the value produced by their workers in the form of surplus value or profit. From below the middle class workers are threatened by the poor, unemployed, and those who receive social welfare. Both the elite and the non-elite strata live off of the value produced by the middle classes. Producerists present a picture of an imperiled middle class that is responsible for social wealth, growth, and development but is constantly squeezed by non-productive forces from above and below. The dual squeezing of middle class labor is said to drain society of its productive faculties and resources, leading to stagnation and eventual decline. The end result is a society that is lazy and unproductive due to pressures toward idleness, parasitism, and freeloading. For producerists, the middle class are the real engines of social growth and development are should fully enjoy the fruits of their labor, free of undue control from capital or taxation by government.

Producerism is an undertheorized, often overlooked perspective, yet one that has influenced a range of historical and contemporary right wing movements. Producerism was developed by organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan to mobilize working class whites against former slaves, union organizers, and Jewish workers in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Producerism found some expression in William Jennings Bryan’s populist opposition to the rail and mining monopolies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1960s producerist rhetoric was used by George Wallace in his anti-federal, campaigns for states’ rights. It also found expression in Richard Nixon’s appeals to the “silent majority” and his so-called “Southern Strategy” to become president. Contemporary expressions of producerism are found in the Reform Party of America and figures like Pat Buchanan and Glenn Beck. The more recent Tea Party movement in the US, and its rhetoric of middle class decline, tax-cutting, cuts to social spending, anti-immigration policies, etc. is perhaps the most dramatic recent expression of producerism as a political movement. The images of the “Momma Grizzly” or “Hockey Mom,” popularized by Sarah Palin, are expressions of the tenacity or resilience of the middle class and entrepreneurialism.

Producerism represents a critique of capitalism and free market ideologies, but does so from a conservative or reactionary rather than a radical or progressive perspective. For producerists, the primary class within social change is the middle class rather than the proletariat or working class more broadly, as in anarchism and communism. In producerist perspectives, it is the so-called productive middle class, particularly better paid industrial or skilled workers rather than service sector workers or the poor, that produces value in society.

The value produced by middle class workers suffers a dual expropriation by economic and politics elites. On one hand the value they produce at work is expropriated by executives and owners who retain that value as profit. On the other hand the portion of value retained by middle-class workers as their wages is expropriated by government elites in the form of taxation. For producerists, middle class workers always bear a disproportionate and unfair burden in national taxation schemes.  On the one end, corporations enjoy a variety of tax breaks, rebates, and loopholes.  On the other end, producerists claim that the poor and lower wage workers are not taxed as heavily. This latter claim, of course, overlooks the heavier burden placed on lower paid and poor workers by regressive taxes such as consumption or sales taxes. The earnings expropriated through taxes are redistributed both upwards (as corporate grants and tax relief) and downwards (in social welfare spending for the poor and unemployed).

The usurpation of middle class value by large corporations and international finance capital siphons wealth out of the country, limits free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and destroys small business through monopolization. At the same time, the underclasses and migrant labor drain productive wealth away from entrepreneurs and industrial production giving it instead to supposedly wasteful government programs that benefit the least, rather than the most productive, strata in society.

Producerists, unlike anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, and communists, are typically not anti-capitalists. Producerists differ from anarchists or anarcho-syndicalists even in the way that they view capital. Some producerists draw a distinction between what they view as productive industrial capital (which is usually portrayed as domestic) and so-called idle or unproductive financial or speculative capital (which is often constructed as international). While industrial capital is involved in the production of real material goods that address specific needs, such as automobiles or refrigerators, financial capital is viewed as purely symbolic or frivolous, undermining productive capital by wasting resources on speculative schemes aimed only at profiting the financiers. Speculative capital is connected with the rootless interests of cosmopolitan or multinational investors. This distinction between national capital and international capital or investors can give rise to racist formulations as in anti-Semitic constructions of finance capital as part of a Jewish world conspiracy. Such were the infamous formulations at the center of Nazi ideology, in which ill-defined notions of Jewish, cosmopolitan, and communist were equated in a paradoxical framework that also included global capital (also ill-defined).

In the period of capitalist globalization companies engaged in outsourcing, global movement, or investment, rather than domestic production, are viewed as a threat. Some producerists advocate protectionist policies and high tariffs to safeguard the domestic economy and workers. Foreign transnational companies are viewed as a threat, yet domestic transnationals, such as Wal-mart and Ford are viewed more favorably. The internationalist threat is, once again, posed from above (bankers, financiers, Trilateralists, the United Nations) as well as from below (socialists, communists, migrants, labor solidarity).

While primarily economic in orientation producerism often takes on cultural critiques.  Middle class values, associated for producerists with a sturdy work ethic, patriarchal and heteronormative family structure, and values of thrift and conservatism, are counterpoised against the so-called “decadence” of supposedly unproductive classes such as artists and writers.  These cultural workers, who are believed to live from government subsidies, grants, or welfare, are viewed as dangerous bohemians who threaten economic prosperity as well as cultural values.  Their “lifestyles” are again viewed as being subsidized or underwritten by the productive work and surplus value produced through the labors of the hard working middle class.

Often the terms are racialized as the middle class is presented as white and African-Americans and Hispanics are presented as lazy or bound by “cultures of poverty.” Producerists often take on nativist, even explicitly racist, positions toward immigrants.  Immigrants are viewed as a threat to the middle classes as they can be used to drive down labor values by expanding the labor market and, thus, depressing wages. Producerists accuse migrants of representing a drain on social services, particularly welfare, education, and health care.

Producerist narratives are often also gendered, presenting middle class workers as male and proper families as male-headed.  The narratives are also often heteronormative, presenting homosexuality as a form of unproductive decadence that threatens cultural values of restraint and discipline.

Producerism bears some relation to notions of social Darwinism in which poverty is viewed as the lack of “fitness” of the poor who should be left to survive by their own labors. Where the poor fail to succeed or survive the outcome is viewed as a reflection of natural selection at work.

The political ideology with which producerism bears the greatest similarities is indeed fascism. Indeed fascism is often viewed as a form of producerist ideology. Fascism, like producerism, also presents a view of society in which the middle class suffers a dual threat coming from above (financial capital) and below (the poor, unionized workers, the left). Hitler expressed the view that the state should respond only to the claims of the productive classes which excluded migrants and the poor.

Some producerists support skilled craft associations, even craft unions, as free associations of individuals. Yet they oppose industrial unions, particularly radical or syndicalist unions, as threats to production or advocates for the less productive. It bears watching to see what types of union formations might emerge as part of contemporary trumpist initiatives and to oppose them.

 

Further Reading

Berlet, Chip and Matthew N. Lyons. 2000. Right-wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. New York: Guilford Press.

Betz, Hans-Georg and Stefan Immerfall, eds. 1998. The New Politics of the Right: Neo-Populist Parties and Movements in Established Democracies. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Laclau, Ernesto. 1977. Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory: Capitalism, Fascism, Populism. London: NLB

Zernike, Kate. 2010. Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America. New York: Times Books

 

Originally Published in the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #70

Tendencies of Trumpocalypse

By Jeff Shantz

The rise of Trump and more importantly the far Right movements around him raise some questions about the nature of the Trumpocalypse (and its relation to Right populism or more to the point to fascism). The question is now being asked whether or not it is true that there is fascism of some sort in the US at the present time. While not providing a firm answer on that question there are some initial tendencies or shaping features that are suggestive and should be addressed. These are outlines of Trumpocalypse rather than hard and fast conclusions.

Fascism refers to a unique and most extreme form of bourgeois rule. This is so because under fascism the bourgeoisie gives up some of its control to shock troops and loses its customary hold over the mechanisms of liberal democracy. Big capital desires fascism to do its dirty work for it and fascism becomes a tool of big capital. Finance capital through fascism gathers all the organs and institutions of the state. Schools, press, municipalities. Not only the executive. Workers groups are crushed. At its heart fascism is an armed movement that uses extreme violence against the Left.

Some suggest that populism is a more useful term than fascism right now. Yet there are problems with the use of populism to describe the far Right movements today. Centrist notions of populism equate Left and Right. Both are lumped together as non-liberal, against trade, etc., and therefore both are bad. In this way the centrist notions of populism are similar to earlier versions of totalitarianism analysis, as in the work of Hannah Arendt, for example. FDR was referred to as a fascist by some communists. While at the same time Hitler was called a passing phenomenon—to be followed in turn by a victorious proletarian revolution.

At the same time there is a Trumpism—against urbanism, rationalism, metropolitanism. It is a proto-fascist movement. It is about a dynamic. The proposed “purification” of society. A new anthropology—creating the human anew (as in fascism).

Of some importance, there is a tendency to underestimate the movements of contemporary brownshirts in the US. Some commentators might still assume that real fascists in the US live in bunkers in the desert and are merely odd survivalists. But that is a dangerous misreading of current movements. It is an analysis from the 1990s. Fascists today, and this is one thing that can be said about the Trump campaign, have come above ground.

 

Trump and Brownshirt Infrastructure

Trump represents the construction wing of Wall Street. He will oversee a regime of infrastructure building particularly of Brownshirt infrastructure. That is infrastructure of repression such as prisons, policing infrastructure. His will be a regime of building as his campaign expressed—build a wall; build prisons; build detention centers. He will provide help to banks and he will provide help to construction industries.

Trump will build his base and reward it through Brownshirt infrastructure and physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports). This will help the Midwest and the Rust Belt and shore up his base in those areas. That means it will reinforce the white nationalist base and white nationalist rhetoric.

Tax holidays for corporations to repatriate wealth. If taxed at one percent it could be used to fund Brownshirt infrastructure. Funding would be through banks and government would secure the loans. This will be a state assisted accumulation of capital.

 ***

Trump represents warmed over Reaganomics. His plan is the dream of investment bankers. The DNC will carry out his agenda as it benefits Wall Street. There will be a battle in the DNC over the nature of support for Wall Street. They will do so around infrastructures spending and a child care tax.

The Democrats will align with Trump. Sanders, Warren, Chuck Schumer, and the AFL-CIO have all said they could work with Trump. They will hope to gain some credit for some policy decisions. Yet this will only reify Trump as the dealmaker who gets stuff done and can work with anyone (on his terms) as he has said throughout his campaign. There will be no benefit accruing to Democrats for doing this.

This raises the need for organizing within the infrastructure industries. At present too many unions in those industries are crass business unions with less than progressive practices.

Contemporary far Right populism, Trumpism, in the US, is something of a coalition of the one percent with people of all classes who are outcast (dislocated from the social system at all levels), declasse (particularly, of course, among white American males). People supporting Trump are not the most downtrodden, not the classic lumpenproletariat, as is often assumed. They are instead the ones who fear losing their assumed place in the social structure, those who fear precarious status and economic decline (the much talked about loss of the middle class).

 

Context

Fascism comes to power when the Left has abdicated its role and responsibility. That is when it is not fighting fascism directly in the streets or when it has not carried through a revolution in the making. Today’s far right operates in a different context and has a different intent.

In Europe and Latin America there are right populist movements. There are fascist organizations, but they are small and few in number. Furthermore, they have no significant connection to either capital or state power. Big capital is not significantly supporting the fascist groups. The main purpose of the current far right is anti-globalism. But big capital wants globalism. Social phobias find a home in the parties of the far right—nationalism, not globalism.

The one percent (particularly building capital) has little interest in populism. It wants migration, for example, in order to keep wages down and increase completion on the labor market. Indeed, many of the voices for the movement of refugees come from neoliberal capital rather than the broad Left.

Historic fascism emerged in face of an imploding world market. Some might suggest that there is no need of fascism for capital since there is no Left working class movement and no imploding world market.

Yet one can see hints of an answer in current social struggles, particularly over extreme energy. As one instructive example we might look to the militarization of police at Standing Rock. Some mobilization against extractives. Is this being used as an impetus for capital to mobilize fascism in the present period? The militarization has already happened in Canada. As the stakes get higher this militarization will increase. It has not yet developed in the form of Right wing mobilization of civilian gangs to attack Indigenous peoples defending their lands. But there are isolated individual instances that suggest it could.

 

When Reform Fails

Far Right populism is what you get when social reform or social democracy fails. Today there are not significant working class movements of the Left in the US. Right wing populism thrives where the Left has failed. There have been mass movements representing refutation of elites and neoliberalism recently. Arab Spring, Indignados, Occupy Wall Street represent examples. There has been, since the decline of these movements, a hard swing to the Right. This is represented in Trump, Modi, UKIP, and the Front National in France, etc. In the current context the far Right has taken up the challenge that the Left has failed to meet.

The Left has abandoned even its bread and butter “wheelhouse” issues. There is virtually no Left movement against global trade agreements anymore. While there has been some spoken opposition against CETA and the TPP there is no semblance of the public mobilizations that challenged NAFTA in the 1980s and early 1990s and the WTO in Seattle in 1999 or the FTAA in Quebec City in 2001. There has been no large scale movement against any of the smaller agreements passed over the last few years either. And that is at the level of manifestations, not at the level of organization in workplaces and neighborhoods.

And this has been an organizational challenge. The Left in the West has built very little in the way of real world, material infrastructures of sustenance and resistance. Unfortunately the far Right has moved in to occupy this abandoned territory. Megachurches gave a center to sprawling suburbs. They provided community life. The Left used to do this but does not anymore.

Unions are business unions and there is no contestatory ideology. They offer service for workers for pay. They organize over contracts and grievances. It is a commodified form of unionism. There is nothing that makes mainstream unions inherently working class, let alone radical working class. Organized labor has become a form of clientalism. Organized labor does not organize labor. It is focused on contract negotiations. There are some public campaigns on issues like education. There are some “get out the vote” efforts.

 

Neoliberal Populism Today

The present period is perhaps closer to the 1970s period of neoliberal populism. The Left in the 1970s was marked by three different tendencies. First was welfare state social democracy. Second was the advocacy of class conflict. Third was the denial of class (post-modernism).

Neoliberalism impelled a shift from understandings of classes to notions of taxpayers versus elites. Corrupt elites were understood not as capital and politicians but as state bureaucrats and unions within neoliberal frameworks. Individual liberation was viewed as everything. The aim of neoliberal populism was identified as getting welfare state and union bosses off your back, not capital. This would supposedly allow anyone to win in the market game. These were staple views espoused by Reagan and Thatcher.

After some years of course the realization grew that the market game produced mostly losers. And these losers were working class. By the time this realization set in for broad cross-sections of people there was no likelihood of getting back the welfare state that neoliberals had transformed (into a carceral or workfare state). Capitalist globalization circumvented and destroyed unions.

Now neoliberalism is unpopular and the welfare state is not on offer. The Left cannot deliver on hopes for a return to the welfare state. Right wing populism emerges keeping at its center the rugged individualism of neoliberal populism. But now it has also to focus on bailed out bankers and big capital. It must focus on corporate welfare as well as social welfare as its motivating social ills. But, not surprisingly, Right wing populism gives less focus to corporate welfare. Indeed, for Right wing populists many of their leaders are part of the establishment.

Neoliberalism has made the irrationality of supporting capitalism (a planet destroying system) seem to be the only possibility on the planet. Right wing populism has been ramping up a counter-revolution in culture. It is a cultural counter-revolution rather than an economic counter-revolution.

The Democratic Party claims that they can be and will be better managers of neoliberal capitalism. They claim to be more efficient and thus will be able to manage more tax money to put into some, limited range of, social programs. They also claim a more diverse base of interests in their representative politics. The Democratic Party since 2008 has, despite the hopeful rhetoric, been pro-Wall Street and pro-war as, indeed, it has always been. They offer nothing to the working class, even in the Sanders wing.

 

In Response

Fascism always needs to be fought directly, not argued with. You cannot fight power unless you build power. There is a need for organizing infrastructures of sustenance and resistance. Syndicalist organizing and a militant approach to challenging structures of ownership and control are crucial. On the one hand there will be a need to organize against development capital. On the other green syndicalist approaches can connect struggles over extreme energy and extractives.

It might be recognized that organizers have to engage with some Trump voters (some, not by any means all). Not doing so is to replay the elitism of Hillary Clinton. At the same time, and crucially, organizers have to support and defend the main targets of Right wing populism. There is a pressing need to find the common ground there.

There are real questions about how to provoke progressive politics in the US. One necessity is to refocus on locally based struggles and work to share them and their lessons internationally.

Some have suggested a Left Tea Party. This is a futile hope. There is no Left equivalent of the Kochs and Coors who build up Right wing infrastructures. The Left cannot have a Left version of the Tea Party. The Left has no real organizational form or movement like the Tea Party. The Tea Party was a real movement, it was not strictly Astroturf. There is no equivalent on the Left.

One approach is to think of organizing space. Especially in the cities. Trumpism is a war against the cities. It is a war against diversity. It is a war against metropolitanism. Cities are refuges of migrants, queers, women, unions, the Left. Cities are also a concrete space. Imagined communities do not exist the way cities do. There could be a broad based strategy focused on cities.

Cities are controlled by real estate developers. Thus struggles confront the Trump wing of builders and real estate capital. Cities are huge bases of support and opposition. They are large economies. There is a need to organize city by city. At the same time it is a historical fault of the Left not organizing the working class in the suburbs. Suburbs are the areas of the working class. Yet the Left organizes downtown in the city center.

Finally something must be said about the anti-Trump protests. The Republican Party wants to pose the working class as white reactionaries. Anti-Trump protests are working class protests. The diversity of the working class. A working class revolt against Trump. These manifestations are already posing questions of organization (beyond street manifestations) anew.

 Originally published in the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, Issue # 69 

 

Letter to the Patriot Militias: The Alt Right Murders Veterans

By Portland Antifascists

The alt-right is closer to power than ever, yet they have never been further from reality. The media portrays them as everywhere at once—from the beleaguered White House to your neighborhood street corner, wheat pasting fascist literature about “European identity.” Yet for all their online presence and in-real-life media attention, their assortment of “Kekistan Flags” and “Pepe” memes expose a dying culture of hatred. Using their memes to maintain an ironic distance from one another, as well as reality, they hope to supplant the modern world with their own jaded vision—one which we are sure you support just as little as we do. We ask that, when you see a Kekistan Flag flying, when you identify the ironic subcultures of Reddit and 4chan that bubble up to the surface of everyday life through the alt-right’s manifestations, that you refuse to look the other way. Oppose them as we do, because they seek your undoing as much as they do yours.

For the newbies who don’t know what the alt-right is, it is a white supremacist movement that came out of different libertarian and far right trends in the 2010s. Its leader, Richard Spencer, advocates violence against political enemies who believe in freedom and equality. The other key alt-right personalities like Mike Enoch, Andrew Anglin, and Matt Heimbach advocate various forms of neo-Nazism.  Their ideas are not new, they have floated up over the years, blaming immigrants for crime, Jews for “subverting Western culture,” and destroying any unity working people have had. Although the alt-right supported the Trump campaign, they have since moved to a more autonomous political position.  While the alt-right hopes to portray themselves just as “not PC” or simple Trump supporters, their rhetoric, friendships, and plans reveal them to be the same white supremacists that have terrorized this country for years.

Because their neo-Nazi ideas remain unpopular in the US, alt-right leaders use the general rejection of their white identity politics as a rallying point to defend their “free speech.” Laden with bitter anti-Semitism, racism, and conspiracy theories, these “free speech” rallies quickly became lightning rods for the revival of neo-Nazism in the US.  Free speech was, itself, a lie, since they have been open about how they would dispose of democracy and the free exchange of ideas if they were to ever take power.  Instead, they saw it as an opportunity to recruit for their ideas, and they could use the banner of free speech to argue for racial separatism without interruption.  The rally in Berkeley held by the alt-right drew a crowd of hundreds with the impetus of attacking left-wing counter-demonstrators, leading to bloody confrontations. Similar rallies in Boston and Portland deliberately antagonized local communities, as outsiders affiliated with Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman and other militant, violent alt-right groups descended on cities looking for a fight.  The communities, in response, turned further against them and their followers.

Such rallies have fostered an atmosphere of hatred against antifascists and Muslims, directly contributing to the double murder on Friday, May 26, of innocent people attempting to defend Muslim teenage girls from hatefully harassment on public transit. The two men were killed for behaving out of heroic bravery. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche was a peaceful 23 year old who had just graduated from a local college and was trying to get his life started. Rick Best was a 23-year veteran of the US military with a wife and kids—the youngest of whom is a 12 year old daughter.

Disgraceful as ever, supporters of the alt-right descended on the pages of mourning community members to question the attitudes of the culprit, calling him a “Bernie-bro,” a leftist, and a supporter of antifa. From research that we have done, including speaking to former associates in the local metal scene, there is more to the story than that. According to their accounts, before the Trump campaign, Jeremy Christian was a troubled and damaged man but he was not a killer. He did support the Sanders Campaign and spend time reading comic books and going to rock concerts. However, when Sanders lost, his ire against Hillary Clinton developed into support for Donald Trump. Soon, it appears, his anger began to fester and grow into conspiracy theories about Jews and Muslims.

Christian was increasingly obsessed with the same conspiracy theories that the alt-right cultivate in order to expand the gap between reality and fiction.  While many on the alt-right disbelieve conspiracy theories like “Pizzagate,” they continue to promote them to gain followers and manipulate a distrust in the surrounding community and media. When the alt-right began holding “free speech” rallies, Christian’s rhetoric became increasingly violent toward those targeted by the alt-right. Joey Gibson’s local Portland Prayer group, also known as the “Warriors for Freedom,” helped Christian locate a material outlet for his hatred. When he arrived at one of Gibson’s “free speech rallies,” Christian immediately attempted to attack counter-protestors with a baseball bat unprovoked. After police confiscated his bat, Gibson continued to scream at antifascists, even throwing up a Nazi salute and racial slurs, but was welcomed within the rally.

Police had thwarted his desire to engage in physical violence against counter-protestors, and despite finding an outlet for his rage, Christian continued to fume. Amid Gibson’s renewed calls for another “free speech rally”—this time in the heart of Portland—Christian could not control himself. On a well-trafficked light rail MAX line in the relatively docile neighborhood of Hollywood, Christian verbally assaulted Muslim women, one of whom wore a hijab. Three white men stood up for the women, and an enraged Christian stabbed them in the throat, killing two and critically injuring the other. These were not incidental killings due to the kind of indiscriminate collateral damage of a knife fight; they were clear and precise throat strikes with the intention of severing the carotid artery and jugular vein. The surviving victim is alive because, although the knife struck the jugular, it barely nicked the carotid.  He will carry the scars of this attack the rest of his life, a reminder of the time he sacrificed everything to defend someone in need.

Think of the distance between the heroic act of defending a vulnerable teenager from a stranger’s aggressive harassment, on one hand, and the cowardice evidenced by alt-right members on the web following the attacks. Some alt-right members called the murderer “/ourguy/” and others called him “based knifeman.” Harold Covington, the murderous white supremacist who took part in the murder of labor activists by KKK members in the 1970s, claimed Christian as one of his own.  Although Richard Spencer has distanced himself from Christian, his followers have already built up a kind of cult for him as a logical and reasonable representative of their cause—an extension of Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman. And that’s exactly correct.

Jeremy Christian is the alt-right today. He represents the kind of mob violence that happens when you combine the mob violence mobilized by Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman with the lone wolf violence promoted through alt-right forums from 4chan to Andrew Anglin’s Daily Stormer website. The response to such a violent movement that slaughters law abiding citizens for no other reason than acting on the defense of civil rights must be unified opposition.  This has always been how white supremacist groups operate, mobilizing those who feel powerless to feed on their bigoted rage and to enact putrid acts of violence while the leaders stay comfortable in their plush Montana homes.

The “based knifeman” alt-right double murder, it should be noted, came on the one-month anniversary of another alt-right attack—this one carried out on a university campus in Kentucky by a young man brandishing a machete. It came less than a week after a cowardly member of the alt-right stabbed and killed Richard Collins III, a second lieutenant in the US Army, while waiting for an Uber ride at the University of Maryland. It came one week after police discovered the gruesome murder of two people by a member of the alt-right who, like Jeremy Christian, idealized Timothy McVeigh, and was apparently building a dirty bomb.

Jeremy “based knifeman” Christian is not someone outside of the realm of the alt-right. He is, as their community members have claimed, a part of the increased pressure the alt-right has placed on college campuses and left-leaning liberal hubs throughout the US. No self-respecting human being in the US should participate in the atrocious deterioration of humanity manifested by the alt-right and its persistent attacks against the innocent and vulnerable in society. Ask yourself, if you are an Oath Keeper, a militia member, or if you are just a right-wing member of society—would you support the slaughter of innocent civilians at war? If the alt-right is doing that today under the auspices of a self-declared war against a society that wants nothing to do with them, why support them in that effort? Why wrap villainy in the flag and give it that protection, rather than identify the movement for what it is?

The alt-right no more believes in the American flag than it does the Kekistan flag or the memes of Pepe the frog. They are using you to gain ground, and once it came to your turn, they would turn against you as mercilessly as if you were a teenage Muslim girl or those attempting to protect her. In supporting Joey Gibson, “Based Stickman,” and the alt-right’s mobilizations, you are encouraging the murder of innocent people in defiance of your own stated ideals. We can all see where this hypocrisy leads. We ask you humbly to step away from it before it destroys you and us.

In loving memory of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Rick Best.

In solidarity against fascism and the alt-right. 

Click here to donate to the surviving person attacked by Jeremy Christian.

There Is a Nationwide Day of Action Against Muslims on June 10th, and We Need to Stop It

Donald Trump and the Alt Right pigeoned their growth on the nativist fear in many sectors of the U.S., and one of their most targeted points of racial antagonisms have been around Muslim immigrants.  The recent travel bans, the “dogwhistle” language about “radical Islam,” and the willingness to attack Muslim areas has all been the kind of cultural signal to stoke anti-Muslim bigotry and violence in the U.S.

Fascism depends not solely on the state, but the complicity of its people. The violence that was perpetrated in interwar fascist countries included the “unsanctioned” violence of a community who has given in to reactionary violent impulses.  The anti-Muslim rhetoric continues to increase across the country, and is leading to a growing targeting of Muslims and those from Middle Eastern countries.  As is often the case, it is presented as “not Muslims as such, just some Muslims,” in this case the supposed threat of Sharia Law.  Though there is no realistic threat of Sharia or any other type of conservative clerical law being imposed in the U.S., this is an easy talking point for the far-right to use to try and pull non-political people into their movement by building on fear and misconceptions about nations with large Islamic constituents.

This effort is culminating on June 10th as the “National March Against Sharia” is being promoted, drawing on the same anti-Muslim populist sentiment that pushed PEGIDA and the European Defense League in Europe.  Promoted by the Proud Boys and other white nationalist/Alt Right organizations, as well as the prime organizers Act for America, the march is going to be a way to target Muslim communities, Mosques, and cultural centers, building a large base for this anti-Muslim extremism.

The resistance to fascism is built around community self-defense, and this is an important moment to stand up in the face of increasing reactionary violence.  This is one of the moments that many were worried about when Trump was elected, but it started long before that and will continue forward if it is not shut down.

Below are all the cities and times for the anti-Muslim marches on the 10th, and we will continue to follow this and post more specific details so that counter-demonstrations can take place to stop these marches from targeting marginalized groups.

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Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka is a Fascist

By Benjamin Doscher

Sebastian Gorka is a Neo-Nazi — semantics aside his ideology makes him a Nazi — his collaborating ideological brethren trace directly back to Hitler.

As the Hungarian Free Press writes on March 6, 2017:

On October 19, 2003 Tamás Molnár (later far-right Jobbik Party’s Vice Chairman) organized an event in the Hungarian city of Visegrád to discuss the future of “Hungarian National Radicalism,” a euphemism for the Hungarian neo-Nazi movement. Prominent far-right activists were invited to the Visegrádi Disputa as they called it, among them Gorka Sebestyén aka. Sebastian Gorka, today President Trump’s counterterrorism adviser. No mainstream political party would attend.

Far-right event Visegrád Disputa poster in 2003 featuring Gorka

The event poster depicted an angel wrapped in a US flag with EU stars around him and Hungarian Stalinist symbols in the background. The Hungarian far-right is equally anti-Communist, anti-American and anti-EU. They believe that Hungary should revive its mystical eastern past, the Turul, the connection with the Turkish and Kazakh people and the Aryan brotherhood with the Iranian people. They called for a fight against worldwide Zionist conspiracy, or what the Hungarian far-right frequently called at that time, “the New-York Tel-Aviv axis.”

Visegrád Disputa participants included:

Balázs Lenhardt — Mr Lenhardt later became a Jobbik MP. He has flashed Iranian flags at soccer games and burned an Israeli flag with a blowtorch in 2012 before his neo-Nazi brethren.

Mátyás Usztics — Mr. Usztics is an actor and one of the first members of the later banned neo-Nazi Magyar Gárda — Hungarian Guard. (The Magyar Gárda was Jobbik party’s Stormtroopers unit.)

Z. Kárpát Dániel: Long time far-right activist, he is currently an MP of the Jobbik party.

Kornél Döbrentey: Mr. Döbrentey is a poet and long-time far right activist. He recently inaugurated a statue of Albert Wass in a park at Margitsziget, Budapest. Mr. Wass was a convicted World War II criminal and a writer who depicted Jews as rats.

Mária Wittner: Ms. Wittner fought in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and received lengthy prison sentence after that. She supported the creation of Magyar Gárda, attended several far-right Jobbik rallies. Later she switched colors and became a ruling Fidesz party MP and also developed a close relationship with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

István Lovas: A journalist and author of numerous anti-American and anti-Semitic pieces.

Mária Wittner (right) with Jobbik leader Mr. Gábor Vona
Visegrád Disputa participants included Balázs Lenhardt: Mr Lenhardt later became a Jobbik MP. He has flashed Iranian flags at soccer games and burned an Israeli flag with a blowtorch in 2012 before his neo-Nazi friends.
Balázs Lenhardt — Mr Lenhardt later became a Jobbik MP. He has flashed Iranian flags at soccer games and here is burning an Israeli flag with a blowtorch in 2012 before his neo-Nazi brethren.
Mátyás Usztics: Mr. Usztics is an actor and one of the first members of the later banned neo-Nazi Magyar Gárda — Hungarian Guard. (The Magyar Gárda was Jobbik party’s Stormtroopers unit.)

Gorka is a member of the far-right Hungarian group Vitézi Rend. No matter what the vile individual says he will always be a member — part of the membership process was a life long oath to always be part of the demonic cult.

Further, Gorka co-founded with two former members of the far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik Party, the New Democratic Coalition. And according to, The Forward, Gorka voiced support for and defended the establishment of the Hungarian Guard, an extreme right-wing paramilitary militia led by known anti-Semites.

The Forward elaborates:

In a video obtained by the Forward of an August 2007 television appearance by Gorka, the future White House senior aide explicitly affirms his party’s and his support for the black-vested Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda) — a group later condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for attempting to promote an “essentially racist” legal order.

Asked directly on the TV interview program if he supports the move by Jobbik, a far-right anti-Semitic party, to establish the militia, Gorka, appearing as a leader of his own newly formed party, replies immediately, “That is so.” The Guard, Gorka explains, is a response to “a big societal need.”

Hungary’s official military, he stressed, “is sick, and totally reflects the state of Hungarian society…. This country cannot defend itself.

Immediately after the interview, the New Democratic Coalition, which Gorka co-founded with two former members of the far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik party, posted news of the interview on its website under the headline: “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard: Sebestyen [Sebastian] Gorka on EchoTV.”

Credit — The Forward

Needless to say Gorka is a Neonazi and Trump an obvious sympathizer to those views — or more specifically and more accurately a collaborator. Jargon aside they are Nazis. Of all the people in all the world there is a reason Trump chose Gorka.

Róbert Kerepeszki of the University of Debrecen told a conference in 2014 that Vitezi Rend operated an unofficial secret police to report on dissent and was:

“radically rightist, ultra-Nationalist as well as anti-Semitic, never admitting Jews to their ranks.”

The group was dissolved in Hungary after World War II under the terms of the Allies’ armistice with Hungary, it was reconstituted by veterans’ groups in exile, including prewar members of the group appointed by Horthy — Nazi sympathizers — Nazis.

As the article in the Forward notes – Gorka could be subject to deportation if he did not disclose his membership in this hate group. (I’m not thinking he did)

According to the Hungarian Free Press:

The late Congressman Tom Lantos considered some of the Hungarian fascists dangerous; not to be admitted to the United States. He introduced a bill in Congress, House Resolution 4197 in 2007 “to prevent the admission of any member or leader of the Magyar Garda into the United States, and for other purposes.”

Full Text of H.R. 4197 (below):

Gorka was born in the UK to Hungarian immigrant parents. And in just that sentence the hypocrisy is as obvious as the sky is blue. Far-right fascist parties have demonized immigrants in time and memoriam — it is part of all the Nationalistic Fascist movements in Europe and this propaganda was and is clearly a part of Trump’s own brand of American Fascism.

Gorka has been caught on camera wearing a Vitézi Rend medal given to his grandfather by Miklos Horthy the Nazi collaborating Hungarian Leader during WWII. Scholars have asserted that they cannot be certain that the medal worn by Gorka is the one given by Horthy but there is no doubt it is an alt-right nationalistic fascist symbol that is enamored by these hateful individuals.

Gorka’s explanation is that he wears it only to honor his family — suggestion, wear one of his old ties. And, where did he defend wearing this symbol of the most horrific and certainly the most organized genocide in history, the Holocaust — a Breitbart interview by none other than the Fascist, otherwise known as Milo (postolusly destroyed by joking about pedopehilia, but nothing else) Yiannopolus.


Fascist Fucks talking about hate — sounds like a sunny day in Berlin circa 1939.
(Fox News screenshot)
(Fox News screenshot)
Photo: Sebastian Gorka appearing on Fox News after the inauguration ball. Gorka seen wearing a medal from the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. 927mag.com
Gorka as a young fascist with vitézi rend medal. http://lobelog.com

As the Hungarian Free Press writes, concerns about Gorka were overt and Trump must have known and ignored this information to garner support from his alt-right base.

Michael S. Smith II, a respected terrorism analyst who has advised members of Congress and White House officials, has raised serious questions about Sebastian Gorka’s qualifications as a counterterrorism advisor to President Trump, dubbing him on Twitter a #FakeTerrorismExpert.

Smith said “no one has anything nice to say” about Gorka who has the level of expertise “one would expect from a Congressional intern.” “His work is of little interest because he has never — not that I can think of — contributed anything to the body of knowledge which informs understandings of threats posed by the Salafi-jihadist groups of interest to him.”

Congressman Robert Pittenger responded by releasing the following statement in Gorka’s defense.

“Dr. Sebastian Gorka is a friend and trusted adviser on efforts to combat radical Islamic terrorism and increase the safety and security of American families. Since 2014, I have hosted seven Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forums, bringing together more than 600 Members of Parliament and other leaders from 60 nations to discuss efforts to combat terrorism financing, money laundering, and other national security issues. Dr. Gorka has provided expert testimony at these forums, and I applaud President Trump for bringing him to the White House.

While I did meet Mr. Smith when he stopped by my office several years ago with another trusted adviser, he does not serve the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare in any capacity, nor has he contributed to any of the work we have produced.”

I am stunned to learn from this statement that “Dr. Gorka has provided expert testimony” to Congressman Pittenger’s Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forums because in an earlier HFP article I called attention to the fact that Congressman Pittenger has invited openly pro-Iranian Mr. Márton Gyöngyösi, an MP of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party to his Forum. (To read HFP article click here) His name even appears in the Forum’s report. (Pittenger report 2015–16.)

Mr. Gyöngyösi is not only openly pro-Iranian; he is also Hungary’s best known anti-Semite who has requested a “lists of Jews” in the country. (Read more here)

Mr. Gorka and Mr. Gyöngyösi together on Congressman Pittenger’s Intelligence-Security Forums? Is that possible?

Mr. Sebastian Gorka is certainly familiar with Jobbik since in 2007 he founded his Hungarian political movement with Mr. Tamás Molnár, the ex-vice-chairman of Jobbik. Mr. Molnár later warmly praised Gorka in an article published by kuruc.info, a California-registered Hungarian neo-Nazi website which was investigated by the FBI. Mr. Molnár was a regular contributor.

Mr. Gorka and Jobbik’s ex-vice-chairman Mr. Molnár announce their political movement in Budapest in 2006

Mr. Gorka’s name also appears on a Jobbik campaign event announcement in 2004 where Mr. Molnár introduced Mr. Balázs Kirkovits, Jobbik’s candidate in the city of Sopron. Alajos Chrudinák and Sebestyén Gorka planned to speak at the event.

Logo of the movement

These are uncomfortably cozy relationships with Hungary’s worst far-right thugs! For the record, Gorka was not a member of Jobbik and he also mercilessly criticized the current Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s dead-end policies in 2007. At the same time, he associated with Jobbik leaders and even appeared at party events when it was well known that Jobbik maintains strong ties with Iran and Russia. In 2008 Jobbik leader Mr. Gábor Vona even wanted to call in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Budapest. (watch here)

Mr. Gorka has some explaining to do. Many of us have a hard time to understand why didn’t he, a seasoned security expert and “trusted advisor,” warn Congressman Pittenger that pro-Iranian Gyöngyösi might present security risks to the US? Why didn’t he react to the kuruc.info articles? Why didn’t he raise his voice when Hungarian diplomats met with Jobbik members here in the US?

In 2008 Jobbik leader Mr. Gábor Vona even wanted to call in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Budapest.

Gorka’s PhD dissertation lists his name as “Sebestyén L. v. Gorka” — this suggests that he used his grandfather’s title given to him by Horthy. This title carrys with it Horthy’s anti-Semitic beliefs and of course the same reprehensible evil. Horthy is quoted as saying the below in:

As regards the Jewish problem, I have been an anti-Semite throughout my life. I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theatre, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad. Since, however, one of the most important tasks of the government is to raise the standard of living, i.e., we have to acquire wealth, it is impossible, in a year or two, to replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands, and to replace them with incompetent, unworthy, mostly big-mouthed elements, for we should become bankrupt. This requires a generation at least.

Image of Gorka’s medal : http://forward.com/fast-forward/363065/top-white-house-adviser-wears-nazi-collaborator-medal/The founder of the news analysis blog Hungarian Spectrum, Eva Balogh, a former Yale professor of Eastern European history, identified it.

Eva Balogh, former professor of Eastern European History at Yale University, told lobelog the identity of the medal worn by Gorka. Balogh said the following about the medal:

Yes, the medal is of the ‘vitézi rend’ established by Miklós Horthy in 1920. He, as a mere governor, didn’t have the privilege to ennoble his subjects as the king could do before 1918, and therefore the ‘knightly order’ he established was a kind of compensation for him. Officers and even enlisted men of exceptional valor could become knights. Between 1920 and 1944 there were 23,000 such knights. The title was inheritable by the oldest son. I found information that makes it clear that Gorka’s father, Pál Gorka, used the title. However, since he was born in 1930 he couldn’t himself be the one ‘knighted.’ So, most likely, it was Gorka’s grandfather who was the original recipient.In Magyar Idők, Far-Right European Fascist groups have complimented Gorka for wearing the attire shortly after Trump’s inauguration. If this is not proof of loyalty to evil, what is? Gorka knows what the symbol means and what the message wearing it will send. So to do all of Trump’s fascist friends.

Hitler and Horthy|927mag.com

From: downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/search?q=jobbikFurther

Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.

Jobbik’s own website has the following description:

Our intentions and goals are genuine, our programme is clear. We want nothing but to be able live in proud, free and liveable Hungary where the society is characterised by integrity, faith, security, order and solidarity. While preserving our national traditions and passing on our cultural heritage to the next generations, we also wish to represent universal humane values that are common in all cultures and religions. This is what we work for. For a better future, in a better world.

Haaretz reports that Jobbik is a Party with blatant anti-Semitism espousing from its platform:

Jobbik has a long history of anti-Semitism. In 2006, when Gorka’s political allies were still members of Jobbik, articles in the party’s official online blog included headlines such as “The Roots of Jewish Terrorism” and [“Where Were the Jews in 1956?”] (http://www.jobbik.net/index.php?q=node/3170), a reference to the country’s revolution against Soviet rule. In one speech in 2010, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said that “under communism we licked Moscow’s boots, now we lick Brussels’ and Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s.

Simply, this short passage from the book Fabricating Authenticity in Soviet Hungary, establishes exactly what Horthy supported and what Gorka and Trump support – omission is no better than commission.


The ridiculous justifications for wearing this medal must end—there is only one reason. And now that Vitézi Rend has openly acknowledged that Gorka is a member and Gorka has not disavowed that fact — it can be unequivocally said that the Deputy Assistant to the President is a Nazi. And the President is a Nazi collaborator.

It is already established fact that any mention of anti-Semitism was left out of Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance day debacle, (a play right out of the Holocaust Denial playbook), Trump’s false flag attack against Jews, his shaming of a Jewish reporter, a prominent Hitler historian delineating that Trump’s playbook is Mein Kampf (and the fact that Trump slept with a copy of it by his bed), a prolific rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes since Trump’s election (legality withstanding), the utter disregard to disavow this, except when he felt forced and than it was done as a side note and a dog whistle, not to mention the meme with Secretary Clinton and a Star of David, and the commercial just before election day which portrayed the old anti-semitic tropes straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Nazi that he is, Trump used Nazi propaganda as his own throughout the campaign,during the transition and currently during his administration — lying press, synonymous with fake news, signaling out specific journalists and attempting to usurp the Fourth Estate via Twitter — this is what dictators do. The definition of Lügenpresse in German is lying press, coined by Hitler to discredit the media. This among other demonic tactics Trump has copied from past tyrants t0 garner power and discredit dissent — if they benefit him, he uses them.

As Politico delineated on December 21, 2016:

In Germany just after the American election, the AfD Chairwoman (the far-right fascist party leader), agreed with Trump and the Führer of the Third Reich, her country’s fascist tyrant and Germany’s Dance with the Devil, whose scars have yet to heal in her own country just as the tattoos branded on Hitler’s victims never would. Her concern for any of this nonexistent.

This election result gives courage for Germany and Europe,” read AfD Chairwoman Frauke Petry’s statement on November 9. “Just as the Americans did not believe the manipulations of their mainstream media, citizens in Germany also have the courage to make their decision in the election booth themselves and not to remain resigned at home.

Now, the party is poised for a historic result in next year’s national elections, in which Merkel faces her stiffest challenge yet. After narrowly missing the 5 percent needed to enter national parliament in the 2013 elections, polls now suggest the AfD will receive 16 percent of the national vote in 2017, making it the third-largest political party in Germany, after Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), part of Merkel’s grand coalition. The terror attack that killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday is expected to bolster the AfD even more, and in turn, lower support for Merkel, who has been criticized for welcoming nearly 1 million migrants in 2015 alone, without proper background checks.

That level of success for a far-right party in the country that gave rise to Adolf Hitler would represent a political earthquake for Europe — and a national trauma for Germans, who have sought to expunge and confront their history in the 70 years since World War II. The country’s politics have been solidly liberal since the reunification of Germany in 1990. But over the past two years, as Merkel has welcomed Muslim refugees and led the bailouts of struggling European economies such as Greece, populist sentiments have surged — and the AfD is now reaping the rewards.

The AfD’s platform is a collection of right-wing themes: EU reform, closed borders and a return to the Germany of yesteryear, before what many of its members and supporters refer to as the “Islamization” of Europe. The party seeks to ban large minarets and the call to prayer, and require Muslim preachers to undergo government vetting. “Islam does not belong in Germany,” the platform states.

The AfD’s rise has been stunning, accomplishing in just three years what took other populist European parties — like France’s National Front and Austria’s Freedom Party — more than four decades to achieve. And it could have serious consequences. Unlike France and Austria, Germany, under Merkel’s leadership, has become the widely accepted leader of the liberal West. Now, the pillars of this leadership — from Merkel’s stewardship of the refugee crisis and the euro crisis — are under attack from the country’s increasingly popular populist party. That popularity has already led Merkel to veer to the right, hardening her stance on refugees and Islam in Germany.

“What they are managing right now is to make a very radical brand of right wing politics not exactly fashionable, but acceptable in Germany, and that’s new,” says Kai Arzheimer, a professor of politics at the University of Mainz. “They should be taken very seriously, insofar as I think they will do pretty well in the upcoming election. Sixteen percent on the national level is a very strong showing by German standards.

The true test will come soon with the Presidential Elections in France and far-right fascist Marine La Pen as well as elections later this year in Germany. And seemingly closing the doors tighter or loosening them for Putin?

1 cC_Gomo4VDCg3ZujMn7vLQ@2x.jpeg
Will 2017 depict this 1899 illustration of Russian power, as shown on an European Map, as it seemed to do in 2016, or will it mostly be in Putin’s head? Remember it’s just a drawing — not deemed historically accurate.

Push back has been holding against these movements with La Pen behind and PM Merkel Coalition leading as well. Unlike the United States — parliamentary systems draw representation based upon percent of the electorate won. So even though France and Germany seem to be holding back the fascist fire — the far-right parties are picking up governing power. This occurred in the Netherlands even though Geert hit the dirt and and in Austria but Turkey seems to be falling to autocracy, Poland and Hungary are no longer liberal democracies, at best illiberal, swinging closer to fascism.

These countries are on a straight trajectory with tyranny — as any recent study will make clear. Trump would foam at the mouth to tell you he was behind the far-right BREXIT — he’s not so fast to spew — its epic fail or Putin’s real pull.Putin has backed these fascist movements . Will Putin’s open aid help the movements going forward — that is still an open question but he clearly is the alt-right God King.

1 TE01tH_172nBkLiWTBzvjw@2x.jpeg

I’m going to run a joyful campaign,” La Pen said towards the beginning of her campaign, the opposite of what fascism is — fascism is joyless, cruel — evil. Not to be outdone by the or hypocrisy of her lying ami transatlantique — La Pen said whatever she thought would sound good.

Le Pen wanted to soften her harsh image and “soothe” voters — she had posed for pictures hugging horses and pet kittens — but also to offer a hardline programme she believed would “reassure” a French population despairing of decades of mass unemployment and a persistent terrorist threat.

The aim, as always for the far-right Front National founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 1972, was keeping France for the French. There would be a referendum to change the constitution so that “national priority” would be given to French people over non-nationals in jobs, housing and welfare. There would be another referendum to leave the European Union. Le Pen promised an immigration clampdown and a ban on religious symbols, including the Muslim headscarf, from all public places in France.

1 6CZwjXOWT104H9R7NvJltA@2x.jpeg

France elects a new president in two rounds of voting on 23 April and 7 May.

Polls have forecast for more than two years that the populist, nationalist, authoritarian Marine Le Pen will advance to the run-off.

The polls also suggest Le Pen, who has promised to take France out of the euro and hold a referendum on France’s EU membership, would then lose to Emmanuel Macron, a former Socialist economy minister running as an independent centrist.

But the race is very tight. Both François Fillon, a former rightwing prime minister hit by an alleged corruption scandal, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a far-left veteran with a radical economic programme, could also make the final two.

In fact, with an estimated one-third of voters yet to make up their minds, polling inconsistencies and margins of error make it impossible to predict with certainty which two of the top four will face off in the final round.

After Britain’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US, a President Le Pen would deal a heavy symbolic blow to Europe, send markets into turmoil, and be seen as the next step in a populist, nativist insurgency.

A victory for the Eurosceptic Mélenchon would also seriously shake the establishment, while a Macron win could — after the defeat of Geert Wilders in March’s Dutch elections — point to a future for centrist, pro-European politics.

 1 2Kq_UEHwzrLI1orb1nfumg@2x.jpeg

As The Guardian writes …

 1 GEFBEkuLqCQtgzNAooo76A@2x.jpeg

Emulating these European fascist movements — The Trump platform has always been openly anti-Semitic and racist and xenophobic. Trump’s son, Don, Jr., used Nazi propaganda in his description of refugees as skittles. He is not smart enough to create this type of propaganda on his own — the Nazis used the same illogical argument against Jews — back then it was mushrooms instead of candy. In fact the Nazi that originated this propaganda was hung at Nuremberg according to The Intercept.

1 q45oHxskzsbspM3-rZd15w@2x

http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/story2.htm – Nazi Propaganda
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Available from Amazon as of 4.13.17

Nothing new is happening here, and nothing new was happening in 1933 either — there has been an undercurrent of hate via anti-Semitism historically. Hatred of Jews has been part and parcel of demonization and scapegoating for millennia and the fact that anti-Semitism is an overt Trump message is all the more vile.

The alt-right are Neo-Nazis with a different name — like I said in the beginning of this piece — semantics aside — they are Nazis. The reason Trump has Gorka and Bannon (among other reprehensible individuals, I go into more detail on Bannon here) on the United States payroll, in high profile positions, is to appeal to this base.

The National Policy Institute is an alt-right conspiracy think tank. Nothing but Nazi propaganda. Because they are Nazis.

The below is taken directly from the NPI website.

The independent organization is dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world. It was founded in 2005 by William Regnery and Samuel T. Francis, in conjunction with Louis R. Andrews.

NPI hosts regular public events and conferences; we publish books, journals, essays, and blogs; we produce videos and podcasts — all dedicated to the revival and flourishing of our people.

Richard Spencer, the alt-right darling said the below in November after the election. This was followed with audience members shouting “Heil victory!” and other exhortations. A video of the scene, released after the article was published, showed that Mr. Spencer himself shouted “Hail victory!” — the English translation of the Nazis’ “Sieg Heil!” — as well as “Hail Trump! “ and “Hail our people!”

But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, they are awakening to their own identity.

Spencer, using Nazi propaganda as his own, was so flagrant and obvious with his hate, it was as if the crowd descended into a literal hell while espousing:

One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,” he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews.

And the evil, continued to spew, from his sick mind, carrying his delusional, virulent, hateful propaganda:

Mr. Spencer said that while he did not think the president-elect should be considered alt-right, “I do think we have a psychic connection, or you can say a deeper connection, with Donald Trump in a way that we simply do not have with most Republicans.

White identity, is at the core of both the alt-right movement and the Trump movement, even if most voters for Mr. Trump aren’t willing to articulate it as such.



WAKE UP! There are Nazis in power at the highest levels of the American Federal Government!

Here is Gorka on Fox News (Propaganda) with Trump, in August 2016, well after all the information I have reported on above was available. In fact, almost 13 years.

And these Nazis are freely espousing, implicitly at the very least, what Goebbels propaganda ministry flouted as reality in the 1930’s. The Reich’s Ministry of Propaganda, created in 1933, almost immediately after Hitler took power, and run by the Minister Joseph Goebbels, ignited the inferno of already virulent anti-Semitism, like a match to a gasoline soaked rag. The sole purpose of the Ministry — to demonize and control the minds of the masses.

The espousal of alternative facts should send a chill down humanity’s spine. This is done for only one reason — to demonize the other and control the minds of the masses — Goebbels, quickly instituted Nazi propaganda throughout the population so what was already a common societal delusion, (as is Protofascist, Neoantebellum Ideology and now Trumpian Neofascism, in the United States circa 2017), could become a collective delusion and soon after — law.

As can clearly be seen with an eye to the historical use of propaganda, the assertion that Trump’s Counselor to the President espoused that an alternative fact existed, was pure evil, and simply propaganda. George Orwell called it Newspeak in his novel, 1984 — Conway calls it alternative facts.

Conway like Goebbells has only one purpose — to espouse propaganda — she is not the Counselor to the President — that is propaganda — she is the Neo-Minister of Propaganda. Press Secretary, Sean Spicer — Neo-Mini Goebbells or Spicy Neo-MG.

Alternative facts can only be described as Hitlerian. The current nationalist, fascist movements around the world are fueled by similar hateful delusion and are a threat to all of humanity.

The creation of the other apparent in the video below, as Trump compares immigrants to venomous snakes in March 2016 — is what fascists do. The other is a historical basis for hate. Even as I write these words and you read them; this brutal evil is being indoctrinated into nationalist, fascist movements around the world.

Far-right fascist parties have demonized the other in time and memoriam — demonization of the other is currently part of all these Nationalistic Fascist movements in Europe, Venezuela and in the Philippines. ‪

BBC Newshour — Venezuelan Protesters Clash With Riot Police: Venezuelan Protesters Clash With Riot Police. Venezuela sees the worst outbreak of political violence in three years; we hear from Caracas and assess the other.

When a President Says ‘I’ll Kill You’ is a Times documentary on the deadly crusade led by President Rodrigo Duterte of…In the Philippines President Duterte murders the other.

This propaganda is clearly a part of Trump’s own brand of American Fascism.

So, yes, along with all the other fascists running around the White House and hating all that don’t look and think like them — meaning pure evil thoughts. Trump and Gorka are fascists and they both are that particular kind of fascist that Mein Kampf inspired — Nazis.

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Steve Bannon’s Twitter Cesspool

 By Benjamin Doscher

With all the noise emanating from Trump’s Twitter account it is interesting to find that Steven Bannon’s account is almost silent. Not interesting in a surprising way but definitely illuminating — indeed a perfect metaphor for how he lurks quietly within Trump’s agenda. Why is it this way? There is no way to be sure and that is not really the question that needs to be answered but analysis of the account is definitely intriguing. As it sets out exactly what his ideology is without saying the words — all in four tweets — which is all it is comprised of.

The words being … White Supremacist Christian Western Culture v. everyone and everything else, and destruction of the current world order. And the easiest enemies, meaning the most accepted in American culture currently, are Muslims and immigrants.

Steven Bannon’s 4 Tweets — his entire account as of 3.23.17
It is also notable that out of the 23 Bannon is following (as of 3.23.17) on Twitter, the above are the only foreign entities. PM Merkel, Kremlin News and the far-right French party, Front National.
The 5 tweets (as of 3.23.17) that Bannon likes on Twitter — who is this Joshua Pedraja? And why is he the only like besides these two usual suspects?
Joshua Pedraja’s Twitter feed (right) and Bannon’s Tweet which he replied to and Bannon liked. (left) This is out of 312 replies to Bannon’s Tweet — the only liked one. A cursory Google search found nothing. (seems like the typical alt-right sick mind from his feed and media) Maybe he’s just “lucky.” Bannon has no media.

Bannon is Trump’s Chief Political Strategist, and his possible (probable) puppeteer. He has been placed on the NSC (as his 2.3.17 Tweet references), an unprecedented power play that has shaken up the intelligence community, the military, the federal government, Washington, DC — literally the entire world.

There has been much written about Bannon of late, most recently his origin story, which the Wall Street Journal published and interestingly cross published on a Fox News site. It has been ripped apart as a myth by numerous outlets and thousands of words. My own take is that it is simply a play on the early 20th Century, anti-Semitic, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which in turn is based on the much older Blood Libel. This is at the heart of all of Bannon’s beliefs — Jews control everything in a vast global conspiracy.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fabricated document purporting to be factual. Textual evidence shows that it could not have been produced prior to 1901. It is notable that the title of Sergei Nilus’s widely distributed edition contains the dates 1902 — 1903. Wikipedia

                                    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Bannon’s alt-right ideology and his specifically delineated Leninism*, is reprehensible and is downplayed by the mainstream media, (I use this term to call attention to television news, the medium that is, besides social media which is tailored to one’s own beliefs, constantly blaring in the background.), as it is obviously no coincidence that Trump has surrounded himself with people of this ilk. Besides Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Michael Anton, Stephen Miller, Senator Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III (The new, and already disgraced Attorney General – for lying about speaking to the Russian ambassador at his confirmation hearing, because he was caught, not because of the lie – and having to recuse himself from all Russia related investigations.), and Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn (The already resigned (fired) chief of the NSC — again, not because of a lie but because he was caught speaking to the Russian ambassador.) come to mind quickly as alt- light ideologues. Not to mention Trump’s cabinet which seems designed for destruction, in a nod to Bannon’s Leninism.


*

There is a problem with the main stream media and the public in general — that problem is accepting reality and, to a lesser extent, disregarding the propaganda that is inherent in it. The United States is at war and the Nightly News makes it seem as if government is Reality TV.

If the United States was occupied by a foreign power it would be acceptable to say so but there is a disconnect between what Russia accomplished, the alt-right controls and what is occurring daily — it has begun to seem like the population is getting more distant from the seat of power because that is exactly the goal — that is until the hammer of realty hits the collective delusion squarely on the head.

The root of the problem, the needle in the haystack, the foul that must be called — and has not as of yet — Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch believes in independent judges, not an independent judiciary. His appointment would give Trump and thus Bannon control of all three branches of government.

Bannon’s alt-right ideology is inspired by the most vile of humanity’s beliefs — that race is a real thing and that one is superior to another. It is this White Christian Supremacist ideology that has taken hold prominently in the White House but in reality permeates the entire Republican Party and as Chauncey DeVega writes in Salon, “has been a 50-year backlash against the civil rights movement.” Bannon treats The Camp of the Saints, a racist French treatise that describes immigrants as people that eat feces, as gospel.

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The Camp of the Saint in the original French and an English translation.

He touts the clash of civilizations as reality, not as conspiracy. At the Vatican in 2014 he said …

“There is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global,” …

Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is — and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it — will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”

It is this, radical, hardline that seems to be running White House policy, even changing the wording of a letter to Iran (which reporting indicates he was against sending at all but seemingly his letter is more destructive than none at all), for the Persian New Year of Norwuz, to reflect this incendiary agenda.  This is all on top of his references to Julius Evola and Aleksandr Dugin.

Simply, hate and power are the two words that easily describe Bannon’s view, as this anything but subtle and infamous quote exemplifies:

“Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power”

As his cult of hate is fond of, Bannon masquerades conspiracy theory as theory and academic scholarship as jargon. Cunningly, he passes off the, The Fourth Turning: What Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, as something that is more than fiction.

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Needless to say it is his ideology that has led to the engineered chaos that is currently occurring and causing so much human suffering, as ICE’s continued unfettered assault on undocumented individuals illustrates. This too, represents the demonization of the other, which is part of all fascist regimes. Control of the masses through propaganda — stoke fear and hate, to garner control and power.

Taken together, this is the culmination of capitalism — the birth of neofascism and the on set of denial — the White House is under investigation for collusion with Russia, yet the government continues unfettered, with of greatest consequence, the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Trump’s nominee, judge Neil Gorsuch, an alt-right jurist in Bannon’s image, hidden underneath black robes and a choir boy facade.

***

Benjamin Doscher is a criminal defense attorney and freelance politics reporter.  You can find his work here.

Into the Fire: A Report Back from the Huntington Beach Antifascist Clash With Trump Rally

This is a report-back from an anonymous member of the resistance to the Make America Great Again pro-Trump march at Huntington Beach, California, on March 25th.

11 am – Myself and four other communists walked along the bolsa chica bike path to meet up with our anarchist and Antifa comrades. The Facebook event showed at least 100 signed up to attend the counter demonstration, there were barely 20 in total. There was an anarchist book fair that may have drawn people away, but this is unconfirmed. As far as I could tell there were three factions making up the black bloc that day: my comrades, two separate groups of Antifa for a total of 10 and the organizer and a few of his people who identified themselves as socialist party members. They chose not to join the black bloc. None of us had met prior, there was no knowledge of who was local and who was not. My comrades and I tried to lead chants with bullhorns to embolden our side. Within our small numbers were many inexperienced, nonmilitants. With each group acting separately, there was no tactical consensus.

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The person in the left is wearing a Hammerskin Nations patch (two hammers), which is the largest skinhead gang in the country.  He is openly wearing these symbols at the Trump event.

12 pm – The organizer planned on forming a wall to deter the trump supporters, but our small numbers made that an ineffective choice. When the trump supporters began to march, we realized there were at least 1,000 of them and only a handful of us. The organizers decision to go ahead with the original plan in absence of any backup plan showed inexperience and unwillingness to assess the situation at hand. We were overrun and facing violence. We did not use physical violence as a means of provocation, but as a means of self defense. The trump supporters were emboldened by their numbers and felt comfortable attacking us in absence of initial provocation. Our comrades were punched, kicked, and tackled by the trump supporters. It was a difficult spot to be in, because we knew that if we retaliated we would be putting our lives at risk due to the sheer number of trump supporters looking for fights. Most of us did not engage the trump supporters, but our comrade who was beaten did not have this luxury. After she was beaten, the police placed her under arrest. Three Antifa were arrested, two released without charge and one released on bail. No arrests were made of Trump supporters.

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1 pm – This went on for over an hour before the majority of trump supporters left. The ones that remained were far more violent. The 7 black bloc that were left were armed only with small tasers and pepper spray. Some trump supporters were spotted with brass knuckles and knives. The symbols that we identified were the crossed hammers and Reichskriegsflagge, both used by white supremacists. We were still outnumbered and in even more danger than before. We decided to leave as quickly and quietly as possible, but we were followed and chased by two skinheads and a group of at least 20 trump supporters. There’s no doubt in my mind that they wanted us dead and the police had no interest in the situation. Those of us who were left were picked up at an undisclosed location and made it out relatively unscathed. Thoughts and reflections – This counter demonstration was poorly planned and ill executed. The only ones who showed any discipline or militancy were the two groups of Antifa and my comrades. Without greater numbers and coordination, we were immobilized and disarmed. Without an alternate plan of action, we were divided and that allowed the Trump supporters to beat on us without constraint. A call for unity is absolutely necessary to achieve any measure of success. In other instances Antifa has been successful in demoralizing the fascist right wing. As far as I can see, southern California lacks the organization and discipline that other Antifa groups exude.

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Those on the Alt Right: Why We Hate Hillary Clinton, But Loved Her Speech

Yep, she said it.

 

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.

 

And they have.