Category Archives: Third Positionism

The Left-Overs: How Fascists Court the Post-Left

The Left Overs: How Fascists Court the Post-Left

By Alexander Reid Ross

 

A few months ago, the radical publication, Fifth Estate, solicited an article from me discussing the rise of fascism in recent years. Following their decision to withdraw the piece, I accepted the invitation of Anti-Fascist News to publish an expanded version here, with some changes, at the urging of friends and fellow writers.

In Solidarity, ARR

 

 

Chapter 1: The Early Composition of Fascist Individualism

 

 

A friendly editor recently told me via email, “if anti-capitalism and pro individual liberty [sic] are clearly stated in the books or articles, they won’t be used by those on the right.” If this were true, fascism simply would vanish from the earth. Fascism comes from a mixture of left and right-wing positions, and some on the left pursue aspects of collectivism, syndicalism, ecology, and authoritarianism that intersect with fascist enterprises. Partially in response to the tendencies of left authoritarianism, a distinct antifascist movement emerged in the 1970s to create what has became known as “post-left” thought. Yet in imagining that anti-capitalism and “individual liberty” maintain ideological purity, radicals such as my own dear editor tend to ignore critical convergences with and vulnerabilities to fascist ideology.

The post-left developed largely out of a tendency to favor individual freedom autonomous from political ideology of left and right while retaining some elements of leftism.  Although it is a rich milieu with many contrasting positions, post-leftists often trace their roots to individualist Max Stirner, whose belief in the supremacy of the European individual over and against nation, class, and creed was heavily influenced by philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. After Stirner’s death in 1856, the popularity of collectivism and neo-Kantianism obscured his individualist philosophy until Friedrich Nietzsche raised its profile again during the later part of the century. Influenced by Stirner, Nietzsche argued for the overcoming of socialism and the “modern world” by the iconoclastic, aristocratic philosopher known as the “Superman” or “übermensch.”

During the late-19th Century, Stirnerists conflated the “Superman” with the assumed responsibility of women to bear a superior European race—a “New Man” to produce, and be produced by, a “New Age.” Similarly, right-wing aristocrats who loathed the notions of liberty and equality turned to Nietzsche and Stirner to support their sense of elitism and hatred of left-wing populism and mass-based civilization. Some anarchists and individualists influenced by Stirner and Nietzsche looked to right-wing figures like Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, who developed the idea of a “conservative revolution” that would upend the spiritual crises of the modern world and the age of the masses. In the words of anarchist, Victor Serge, “Dostoevsky: the best and the worst, inseparable. He really looks for the truth and fears to find it; he often finds it all the same and then he is terrified… a poor great man…”

History’s “great man” or “New Man” was neither left nor right; he strove to destroy the modern world and replace it with his own ever-improving image—but what form would that image take? In Italy, reactionaries associated with the Futurist movement and various romantic nationalist strains expressed affinity with the individualist current identified with Nietzsche and Stirner. Anticipating tremendous catastrophes that would bring the modern world to its knees and install the New Age of the New Man, the Futurists sought to fuse the “destructive gesture of the anarchists” with the bombast of empire.

A hugely popular figure among these tendencies of individualism and “conservative revolution,” the Italian aesthete Gabrielle D’Annunzio summoned 2,600 soldiers in a daring 1919 attack on the port city of Fiume to reclaim it for Italy after World War I. During their exploit, the occupying force hoisted the black flag emblazoned by skull and crossbones and sang songs of national unity. Italy disavowed the imperial occupation, leaving the City-State in the hands of its romantic nationalist leadership. A constitution, drawn up by national syndicalist, Alceste De Ambris, provided the basis for national solidarity around a corporative economy mediated through collaborating syndicates. D’Annunzio was prophetic and eschatological, presenting poetry during convocations from the balcony. He was masculine. He was Imperial and majestic, yet radical and rooted in fraternal affection. He called forth sacrifice and love of the nation.

When he returned to Italy after the military uprooted his enclave in Fiume, ultranationalists, Futurists, artists, and intellectuals greeted D’Annunzio as a leader of the growing Fascist movement. The aesthetic ceremonies and radical violence contributed to a sacralization of politics invoked by the spirit of Fascism. Though Mussolini likely saw himself as a competitor to D’Annunzio for the role of supreme leader, he could not deny the style and mood, the high aesthetic appeal that reached so many through the Fiume misadventure. Fascism, Mussolini insisted, was an anti-party, a movement. The Fascist Blackshirts, or squadristi, adopted D’Annunzio’s flare, the black uniforms, the skull and crossbones, the dagger at the hip, the “devil may care” attitude expressed by the anthem, “Me ne frego” or “I don’t give a damn.” Some of those who participated in the Fiume exploit abandoned D’Annunzio as he joined the Fascist movement, drifting to the Arditi del Popolo to fight the Fascist menace. Others would join the ranks of the Blackshirts.

 

 

Originally a man of the left, Mussolini had no difficulty joining the symbolism of revolution with ultranationalist rebirth. “Down with the state in all its species and incarnations,” he declared in a 1920 speech. “The state of yesterday, of today, of tomorrow. The bourgeois state and the socialist. For those of us, the doomed (morituri) of individualism, through the darkness of the present and the gloom of tomorrow, all that remains is the by-now-absurd, but ever consoling, religion of anarchy!” In another statement, he asked, “why should Stirner not have a comeback?”

Mussolini’s concept of anarchism was critical, because he saw anarchism as prefiguring fascism. “If anarchist authors have discovered the importance of the mythical from an opposition to authority and unity,” declared Nazi jurist, Carl Schmitt, drawing on Mussolini’s concept of myth, “then they have also cooperated in establishing the foundation of another authority, however unwillingly, an authority based on the new feeling for order, discipline, and hierarchy.” The dialectics of fascism here are two-fold: only the anarchist destruction of the modern world in every milieu would open the potential for Fascism, but the mythic stateless society of anarchism, for Mussolini, could only emerge, paradoxically, from a self-disciplining state of total order.

Antifascist anarchist individualists and nihilists like Renzo Novatore represented for Mussolini a kind of “passive nihilism,” which Nietzsche understood as the decadence and weakness of modernity. The veterans that would fight for Mussolini rejected the suppression of individualism under the Bolsheviks and favored “an anti-party of fighters,” according to historian Emilio Gentile. Fascism would exploit the rampant misogyny of men like Novatore while turning the “passive nihilism” of their vision of total collapse toward “active nihilism” through a rebirth of the New Age at the hands of the New Man.

The “drift” toward fascism that took place throughout Europe during the 1920s and 1930s was not restricted to the collectivist left of former Communists, Syndicalists, and Socialists; it also included the more ambiguous politics of the European avant-garde and intellectual elites. In France, literary figures like Georges Bataille and Antonin Artaud began experimenting with fascist aesthetics of cruelty, irrationalism, and elitism. In 1934, Bataille declared his hope to usher in “room for great fascist societies,” which he believed inhabited the world of “higher forms” and “makes an appeal to sentiments traditionally defined as exalted and noble.” Bataille’s admiration for Stirner did not prevent him from developing what he described decades later as a “paradoxical fascist tendency.” Other libertarian celebrities like Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Maurice Blanchot also embraced fascist themes—particularly virulent anti-Semitism.

Like Blanchot, the Nazi-supporting Expressionist poet Gottfried Benn called on an anti-humanist language of suffering and nihilism that looked inward, finding only animal impulses and irrational drives. Existentialist philosopher and Nazi Party member, Martin Heidegger, played on Nietzschean themes of nihilism and aesthetics in his phenomenology, placing angst at the core of modern life and seeking existential release through a destructive process that he saw as implicit in the production of an authentic work of art. Literary figure Ernst Jünger, who cheered on Hitler’s rise, summoned the force of “active nihilism,” seeking the collapse of the civilization through a “magic zero” that would bring about a New Age of ultra-individualist actors that he later called “Anarchs.” The influence of Stirner was as present in Jünger as it was in Mussolini’s early fascist years, and carried over to other members of the fascist movement like Carl Schmitt and Julius Evola.

Evola was perhaps the most important of those seeking the collapse of civilization and the New Age’s spiritual awakening of the “universal individual,” sacrificial dedication, and male supremacy. A dedicated fascist and individualist, Evola devoted himself to the purity of sacred violence, racism, anti-Semitism, and the occult. Asserting a doctrine of the “political soldier,” Evola regarded violence as necessary in establishing a kind of natural hierarchy that promoted the supreme individual over the multitudes. Occult practice distilled into an overall aristocracy of the spirit, Evola believed, which could only find expression through sacrifice and a Samurai-like code of honor. Evola shared these ideals of conquest, elitism, sacrificial pleasure with the SS, who invited the Italian esotericist to Vienna to indulge his thirst for knowledge. Following World War II, Evola’s spiritual fascism found parallels in the writings of Savitri Devi, a French esotericist of Greek descent who developed an anti-humanist practice of Nazi nature worship not unlike today’s Deep Ecology. In her rejection of human rights, Devi insisted that the world manifests a totality of interlocking life forces, none of which enjoys a particular moral prerogative over the other.

 

 

Chapter 2: The Creation of the Post-Left

 

 

It has been shown by now that fascism, in its inter-war period, attracted numerous anti-capitalists and individualists, largely through elitism, the aestheticization of politics, and the nihilist’s desire for the destruction of the modern world. After the fall of the Reich, fascists attempted to rekindle the embers of their movement by intriguing within both the state and social movements. It became popular among fascists to reject Hitler to some degree and call for a return to the original “national syndicalist” ideas mixed with the elitism of the “New Man” and the destruction of civilization. Fascists demanded “national liberation” for European ethnicities against NATO and multicultural liberalism, while the occultism of Evola and Devi began to fuse with Satanism to form new fascist hybrids. With ecology and anti-authoritarianism, such sacralization of political opposition through the occult would prove among the most intriguing conduits for fascist insinuation into subcultures after the war.

In the ’60s, left-communist groups like Socialisme ou Barbarie, Pouvoir ouvrier, and the Situationists gathered at places like bookstore-cum-publishing house, La Vielle Taupe (The Old Mole), critiquing everyday life in industrial civilization through art and transformative practices.  According to Gilles Dauvé, one of the participants in this movement, “the small milieu round the bookshop La Vieille Taupe” developed the idea of “communisation,” or the revolutionary transformation of all social relations. This new movement of “ultra-leftists” helped inspire the aesthetics of a young, intellectual rebellion that culminated in a large uprising of students and workers in Paris during May 1968.

The strong anti-authoritarian current of the ultra-left and the broader uprising of May ’68 contributed to similar movements elsewhere in Europe, like the Italian Autonomia movement, which spread from a wildcat strike against the car manufacturer, Fiat, to generalized upheaval involving rent strikes, building occupations, and mass street demonstrations. While most of Autonomia remained left-wing, its participants were intensely critical of the established left, and autonomists often objected to the ham-fisted strategy of urban guerrillas. In 1977, individualist anarchist, Alfredo Bonanno, penned the text, “Armed Joy,” exhorting Italian leftists to drop patriarchal pretensions to guerrilla warfare and join popular insurrectionary struggle. The conversion of Marxist theorist, Jacques Camatte, to the pessimistic rejection of leftism and embrace of simpler life tied to nature furthered contradictions within the Italian left.

With anti-authoritarianism, ecologically-oriented critiques of civilization emerged out of the 1960s and 1970s as significant strains of a new identity that rejected both left and right. Adapting to these currents of popular social movements and exploiting blurred ideological lines between left and right, fascist ideologues developed the framework of “ethno-pluralism.” Couching their rhetoric in “the right to difference” (ethnic separatism), fascists masked themselves with labels like the “European New Right,” “national revolutionaries,” and “revolutionary traditionalists.” The “European New Right” took the rejection of the modern world advocated by the ultra-left as a proclamation of the indigeneity of Europeans and their pagan roots in the land. Fascists further produced spiritual ideas derived from a sense of rootedness in one’s native land, evoking the old “blood and soil” ecology of the German völkische movement and Nazi Party.

In Italy, this movement produced the “Hobbit Camp,” an eco-festival organized by European New Right figure Marco Tarchi and marketed to disillusioned youth via Situationist-style posters and flyers. When Italian “national revolutionary,” Roberto Fiore, fled charges of participating in a massive bombing of a train station in Bologna, he found shelter in the London apartment of Tarchi’s European New Right colleague, Michael Walker. This new location would prove transformative, as Fiore, Walker, and a group of fascist militants created a political faction called the Official National Front in 1980. This group would help promote and would benefit from a more avant-garde fascist aesthetic, bringing forward neo-folk, noise, and other experimental music genres.

 

 

 

 

While fascists entered the green movement and exploited openings in left anti-authoritarian thought, Situationism began to transform. In the early 1970s, post-Situationism emerged through US collectives that combined Stirnerist egoism with collectivist thought. In 1974, the For Ourselves group published The Right to Be Greedy, inveighing against altruism while linking egoist greed to the synthesis of social identity and welfare—in short, to surplus. The text was reprinted in 1983 by libertarian group, Loompanics Unlimited, with a preface from a little-known writer named Bob Black.

While post-Situationism turned toward individualism, a number of European ultra-leftists moved toward the right. In Paris, La Vieille Taupe went from controversial views rejecting the necessity of specialized antifascism to presenting the Holocaust as a lie necessary to maintain the capitalist order. In 1980, La Vielle Taupe published the notorious Mémoire en Défense centre ceux qui m’accusent de falsifier l’histoire by Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson. Though La Vielle Taupe and founder, Pierre Guillaume, received international condemnation, they gained a controversial defense from left-wing professor, Noam Chomsky. Even if they have for the most part denounced Guillaume and his entourage, the ultra-leftist rejection of specialized antifascism has remained somewhat popular—particularly as expounded by Dauvé, who insisted in the early 1980s that “fascism as a specific movement has disappeared.”

The idea that fascism had become a historical artifact only helped the creep of fascism to persist undetected, while Faurisson and Guillaume became celebrities on the far-right. As the twist toward Holocaust denial would suggest, ultra-left theory was not immune from translation into ethnic terms—a reality that formed the basis of the work of Official National Front officer, Troy Southgate. Though influenced by the Situationists, along with a scramble of other left and right-wing figures, Southgate focused particularly on the ecological strain of radical politics associated with the punk-oriented journal, Green Anarchist, which called for a return to “primitive” livelihoods and the destruction of modern civilization. In 1991, the editors of Green Anarchist pushed out their co-editor, Richard Hunt, for his patriotic militarism, and Hunt’s new publication, Green Alternative, soon became associated with Southgate. Two years later, Southgate would join allied fascists like Jean-François Thiriart and Christian Bouchet to create the Liaison Committee for Revolutionary Nationalism.

In the US, the “anarcho-primitivist” or “Green Anarchist” tendency had been taken up by former ultra-leftist, John Zerzan. Identifying civilization as an enemy of the earth, Zerzan called for a return to sustainable livelihoods that rejected modernity. Zerzan rejected racism but relied in no small part on the thought of Martin Heidegger, seeking a return authentic relations between humans and the world unmediated by symbolic thought. This desired return, some have pointed out, would require a collapse of civilization so profound that millions, if not billions, would likely perish. Zerzan, himself, seems somewhat ambiguous with regards to the potential death toll, regardless of his support for the unibomber, Ted Kaczynsky.

Joining with Zerzan to confront authoritarianism and return to a more tribal, hunter-gatherer social organization, an occultist named Hakim Bey developed the idea of the “Temporary Autonomous Zone” (TAZ). For Bey, a TAZ would actualize a liberated and erotic space of orgiastic, revolutionary poesis. Yet within his 1991 text, Temporary Autonomous Zone, Bey included extensive praise for D’Annunzio’s proto-fascist occupation of Fiume, revealing the disturbing historical trends of attempts to transcend right and left.

Along with Zerzan and Bey, Bob Black would prove instrumental to the foundation of what is today called the “post-left.” In his 1997 text, Anarchy After Leftism, Black responded to left-wing anarchist Murray Bookchin, who accused individualists of “lifestyle anarchism.” Drawing from Zerzan’s critique of civilization as well as from Stirner and Nietzsche, Black presented his rejection of work as a nostrum for authoritarian left tendencies that he identified with Bookchin (apparently Jew-baiting Bookchin in the process).[1]

Thus, the post-left began to assemble through the writings of ultra-leftists, green anarchists, spiritualists, and egoists published in zines, books, and journals like Anarchy: Journal of Desire Armed and Fifth Estate. Although these thinkers and publications differ in many ways, key tenets of the post-left included an eschatological anticipation of the collapse of civilization accompanied by a synthesis of individualism and collectivism that rejected left, right, and center in favor of a deep connection with the earth and more organic, tribal communities as opposed to humanism, the Enlightenment tradition, and democracy. That post-left texts included copious references to Stirner, Nietzsche, Jünger, Heidegger, Artaud, and Bataille suggests that they form a syncretic intellectual tendency that unites left and right, individualism and “conservative revolution.” As we will see, this situation has provided ample space for the fascist creep.

 

 

Chapter 3: The Fascist Creep

 

 

During the 1990s, the “national revolutionary” network of Southgate, Thiriart, and Bouchet, later renamed the European Liberation Front, linked up with the American Front, a San Francisco skinhead group exploring connections between counterculture and the avant-garde. Like prior efforts to develop a Satanic Nazism, American Front leader Bob Heick supported a mix of Satanism, occultism, and paganism, making friends with fascist musician Boyd Rice. A noise musician and avant-gardist, Rice developed a “fascist think tank” called the Abraxas Foundation, which echoed the fusion of the cult ideas of Charles Manson, fascism, and Satanism brought together by 1970s fascist militant James Mason. Rice’s protégé and fellow Abraxas member, Michael Moynihan, joined the radical publishing company, Feral House, which publishes texts along the lines of Abraxas, covering a range of themes from Charles Manson Scandinavian black metal, and militant Islam to books by Evola, James Mason, Bob Black, and John Zerzan.

In similar efforts, Southgate’s French ally, Christian Bouchet, generated distribution networks and magazines dedicated to supporting a miniature industry growing around neo-folk and the new, ”anarchic” Scandinavian black metal scene. Further, national anarchists attempted to set up and/or infiltrate e-groups devoted to green anarchism. As Southgate and Bouchet’s network spread to Russia, notorious Russian fascist, Alexander Dugin, emerged as another leading ideologue who admired Zerzan’s work.

Post-leftists were somewhat knowledgable about these developments. In a 1999 post-script to one of Bob Black’s works, co-editor of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, Lawrence Jarach, cautioned against the rise of “national anarchism.” In 2005, Zerzan’s journal, Green Anarchy, published a longer critique of Southgate’s “national anarchism.” These warnings were significant, considering that they came in the context of active direct action movements and groups like the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a green anarchist group dedicated to large-scale acts of sabotage and property destruction with the intention of bringing about the ultimate collapse of industrial civilization.

As their ELF group executed arsons during the late-1990s and early-2000s, a former ELF member told me that two comrades, Nathan “Exile” Block and Joyanna “Sadie” Zacher, shared an unusual love of Scandinavian black metal, made disturbing references to Charles Manson, and promoted an elitist, anti-left mentality. While their obscure references evoked Abraxas, Feral House, and Bouchet’s distribution networks, their politics could not be recognized within the milieu of fascism at the time. However, their general ideas became clearer, the former ELF member told me, when antifascist researchers later discovered that a Tumblr account run by Block contained numerous occult fascist references, including national anarchist symbology, swastikas, and quotes from Evola and Jünger. These were only two members of a larger group, but their presence serves as food for thought regarding important radical cross-over points and how to approach them.

To wit, the decisions of John Zerzan and Bob Black to publish books with Feral House, seem peculiar—especially in light of the fact that two of the four books Zerzan has published there came out in 2005, the same year as Green Anarchy’s noteworthy warning against national anarchism. It would appear that, although in some cases prescient about the subcultural cross-overs between fascism and the post-left, post-leftists have, on a number of occasions, engaged in collaborative relationships.

 

 

 

 

As Green Anarchy cautioned against entryism and Zerzan simultaneously published with Feral House, controversy descended on an online forum known as the Anti-Politics Board. An outgrowth of the insurrectionist publication Killing King Abacus, the Anti-Politics Board was used by over 1,000 registered members and had dozens of regular contributors. The online platform presented a flourishing site of debate for post-leftists, yet discussions over insurrectionism, communisation, green anarchy, and egoism often produced a strangely competitive iconoclastism. Attempts to produce the edgiest take often led to the popularization of topics like “‘anti-sexism’ as collectivist moralism” and “critique of autonomous anti-fascism.” Attacks on morality and moralism tended to encourage radicals to abandon the “identity politics” and “white guilt” often associated with left-wing anti-racism.

Amid these discussions, a young radical named Andrew Yeoman began to post national anarchist positions. When asked repeatedly to remove Yeoman from the forum, a site administrator refused, insisting that removing the white nationalist would have meant behaving like leftists. They needed to try something else. Whatever they tried, however, it didn’t work, and Yeoman later became notorious for forming a group called the Bay Area National Anarchists, showing up to anarchist events like book fairs, and promoting anarchist collaboration with the Minutemen and American Front.

An important aspect of the Anti-Politics Board was the articulation of nihilist and insurrectionary theories, both of which gained popularity after the 2008 financial crisis. In an article titled, “The New Nihilism,” Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey) pointed out that the rising wave of nihilism that emerged during the late 2000s and into the second decade could not immediately be distinguished from the far right, due to myriad cross-over points. Indeed, Stormfront is riddled with users like “TAZriot” and “whitepunx” who promote the basic, individualist tenets of post-leftism from the original, racist position of Stirnerism. Rejecting “political correctness” and “white guilt,” these post-left racists desire separate, radical spaces and autonomous zones for whites.

Through dogged research, Rose City Antifa in Portland, Oregon, discovered whitepunx’s identity: “Trigger” Tom Christensen, a known member of the local punk scene. “I was never an anti [antifascist] but I’ve hung out with a few of them,” Christensen wrote on Stormfront. “I used to be a big punk rocker in the music scene and there were some antis that ran around in the same scene. I was friends with a few. They weren’t trying to recruit me, or anybody really. They did not, however, know I was a WN [white nationalist]. I kept my beliefs to myself and would shut down any opinions the[y] expressed that seemed to have holes in them. It’s been fairly useful to know some of these people. I now know who all the major players are in the anti and SHARP [Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice] scene.”

For a time, Christensen says he hung out with post-leftists and debated them like Yeoman had done. Less than a year later, however, Christensen followed up in a chilling post titled, “Do You Think It Would Be Acceptable To Be A ‘Rat’ If It Was Against Our Enemies.” He wrote, “I had an interesting thought the other day and wanted peoples opinions. If you were asked by the Police to provide or find evidence that would incriminate people who are enemy’s [sic] of the movement, i.e. Leftists, reds, anarchists. Would you do it? Would you ‘rat’ or ‘narc’ on the Left side?” Twenty one responses came beckoning from the recesses of the white nationalist world. While some encouraged Christensen to snitch, others insisted that he keep gang loyalty. It is uncertain as to whether or not he went to the police, but the May 2013 discovery of his Stormfront activity took place shortly before a grand jury subpoenaed four anarchists who were subsequently arrested and held for contempt of court.

In another unsettling example of crossover between post-leftists and fascists, radicals associated with a nihilist group named Ultra harshly rebuked Rose City Antifa of Portland, Oregon, for releasing an exposé about Jack Donovan. An open member of the violent white nationalist group, Wolves of Vinland, Donovan also runs a gym called the Kabuki Strength Lab, which produces “manosphere” videos. As of November 2016, when the exposé was published, one member of Ultra was a member of the Kabuki Strength Lab. Although Donovan runs a tattoo shop out of the gym and gave Libertarian Party fascist Augustus Sol Invictus a tattoo of the fasces there, a fellow gym member wrote, “Obviously Jack has very controversial beliefs and practices that most disagree with; but I don’t believe it affects his behavior in the gym.” Donovan, who has publicly parroted “race realist” statistics at white nationalist gatherings like the National Policy Institute and the Pressure Project podcast, also embraces bioregionalism and the anticipation of a collapse of civilization that will lead to a reversion of identity-bound tribal structures at war with one another and reliant on natural hierarchies—an ideology that resonates with Ultra and some members of the broader post-left milieu.

It stands to reason that defending fascists and collaborating with them are not the same, and they are both separate from having incidental ideological cross-over points. However the cross-over points, when unchecked, frequently indicate a tendency to ignore, defend, or collaborate. Defense and collaboration can, and do, also converge. For instance, also in Portland, Oregon, the founder of a UK ultra-leftist splinter group called Wildcat began to participate in a reading group involving prominent post-leftists before sliding toward anti-Semitism. Soon he was participating in the former-leftist-turned-fascist Pacifica Forum in Eugene, Oregon, and defending anti-Semitic co-op leader, Tim Calvert. He was last seen by antifas creeping into an event for Holocaust denier, David Irving.

Perhaps the most troubling instance of collaboration, or rather synthesis, of post-left nihilism and the far right is taking place currently in the alt-right. Donovan is considered a member of the alt-right, while Christensen’s latest visible Facebook post hails from the misogynistic Proud Boys group. These groups and individuals connected to the alt-right are described as having been “red-pilled,” a term taken from the movie, The Matrix, in which the protagonist is awakened to a dystopian reality after choosing to take a red pill. For the alt-right, being “red-pilled” means waking up to the “reality” offered by anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, misogyny, and white nationalism—usually through online forums where the competitive iconoclasm of “edge-lords” mutates into ironic anti-Semitism and hatred. Among the most extreme forms of this phenomenon occurring in recent years is the so-called “black pill”—red-pillers who have turning toward the celebration of indiscriminate violence via the same trends of individualism and nihilism outlined above.

“Black-pillers” claim to have shed their attachments to all theories entirely. This tendency evokes the attitude of militant anti-civilization group, Individuals Tending to the Wild, which is popular among some post-leftist groups and advocates indiscriminate violence against any targets manifesting the modern world. Another influence for “black-pillers” is Adam Lanza, the infamous mass shooter who phoned John Zerzan a year before murdering his mother, 20 children, and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Zerzan has condemned Individuals Tending Toward the Wild, and months after Lanza’s horrifying actions, he penned a piece imploring post-left nihilists to find hope: “Egoism and nihilism are evidently in vogue among anarchists and I’m hoping that those who so identify are not without hope. Illusions no, hope yes.” Unfortunately, Zerzan developed his short communiqué into a book published by Feral House on November 10, 2015—the day after Feral House published The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement co-authored by Eddie Stampton, a Nazi skinhead.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

In light of these cross-overs, many individualist anarchists, post-leftists, and nihilists tend not to deny that they share nodal networks with fascists. In many cases, they seek to struggle against them and reclaim their movement. Yet, there tends to be another permissive sense that anarchists bear no responsibility for distinguishing themselves from fascists. If there are numerous points in which radical milieus become a blur of fascists, anarchists, and romantics, some claim that throwing shade on such associations only propagates fallacious thinking, or “guilt by association.”

However, recalling the information in this essay, we might note that complex cross-overs seem to include, in particular, aspects of egoism and radical green theory. Derived from Stirnerism and Nietzschean philosophy, egoism can reify the social alienation felt by an individual, leading to an elitist sense of self-empowerment and delusions of grandeur. When mixed with insurrectionism and radical green thought, egoism can translate into “hunter versus prey” or “wolves versus sheep” elitism, in which compassion for others is rejected as moralistic. This kind of alienated elitism can also develop estranged aesthetic and affective positions tied to cruelty, vengeance, and hatred.

Emerging out of a rejection of humanism and urban modernism, the particular form of radical green theory often embraced by the post-left can relativize human losses by looking at the larger waves of mass extinctions. By doing this, radical greens anticipate a collapse that would “cull the herd” or cause a mass human die off of millions, if not billions, of people throughout the world. This aspect of radical green theory comes very close to, and sometimes intertwines with, ideas about over-population compiled and produced by white nationalists and anti-immigration activists tied to the infamous Tanton Network. Some radical green egoists (or nihilists) insist that their role should be to provoke such a collapse, through anti-moralist strikes against civilization.

As examples like Hakim Bey’s TAZ and the lionization of the Fiume misadventure, Zerzan and Black’s publishing with Feral House, and Ultra’s defense of Donovan indicate, the post-left’s relation to white nationalism is sometimes ambiguous and occasionally even collaborative. Other examples, like those of Yeoman and Christensen, indicate that the tolerance for fascist ideas on the post-left can result in unwittingly accepting them, providing a platform for white nationalism, and increasing vulnerability to entryism. Specific ideas that are sometimes tolerated under the rubric of the “critique of the left” include the approval of “natural hierarchies,” ultranationalism understood as ethno-biological and spiritual ties to homeland and ancestry, rejection of feminism and antifascism, and the fetishization of violence and cruelty.

It is more important today than ever before to recognize how radical movements develop intersections with fascists if we are to discover how to expose creeping fascism and develop stronger, more direct networks. Anarchists must abandon the equivocations that invite the fascist creep and reclaim anarchy as the integral struggle for freedom and equality. Sectarian polemics are the result of extensive learning processes, but are less important than engaging in solidarity to struggle against fascism in all its forms and various disguises.

———

 

Alexander Reid Ross is a former co-editor of the Earth First! Journal and the author of Against the Fascist Creep. He teaches in the Geography Department at Portland State University and can be reached at aross@pdx.edu.

[1] Black writes, “Bakunin considered Marx, ‘the German scholar, in his threefold capacity as an Hegelian, a Jew, and a German,’ to be a ‘hopeless statist.’ A Hegelian, a Jew, a sort-of scholar, a Marxist, a hopeless (city-) statist — does this sound like anybody familiar?’ Full text available on Libcom at https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/bob-black-anarchy-after-leftism

Advertisements

Against the Fascist Creep Looks at How Fascism Presents a Threat to the Left, and How We can Fight It

Fascism, as an iconoclastic and revolutionary political orientation, is one that has made itself dynamic by bucking the traditions associated with the Right. While it is anti-liberal, anti-multicultural, and anti-democratic, it is also anti-conservative. As it believes in a mythical understanding of a “pure” past, it believes that the institutions of the past, the authorities that exist today, can no longer be “conserved.” Instead, they need a radical solution; one that destroys the conventional order and rebuilds one that they believe is a modernist interpretation of the empires of the deep past. This is not an accurate interpretation of historical nations, of course, but instead a reactionary fantasy that is colored by unrestrained hatreds, the desire to oppress, and the need to rethink contemporary society and reinstate explicit inequality.

To do this project, fascism looks to many movements and ideas associated with the Left in an attempt to “get to the root” of the problem and to recruit revolutionaries who could be swayed by their romanticism. This process is where fascists use Leftist projects for Right wing core ideas, like inequality, racial nationalism, and a cult of violent masculinity. This process was not just true in interwar Europe, but even today as neo-fascism attempts to make its way into social movements founded on Left wing principles. Anti-imperialism, radical ecology, animal rights, post-colonialism, broad-based anti-capitalism, and other projects have all seen attempts at entryism by the far right, and they have worked hard to have their ideas infect these political tendencies, so much so that often times people are unaware that a fascist politic has made its way into their political vision.

This is the founding idea behind the fantastic new book, Against the Fascist Creep, by anti-fascist journalist and author, Alexander Reid Ross. The book, just released by AK Press, outlines a history of fascism since its development in Italy, Germany, Austria, and other European nations, and how it has shifted and evolved in the decades since.

The “fascist creep,” as I am using the term in this text, refers to the porous borders between fascism and the radical right, through which fascism is able to “creep” into mainstream discourse. Howev­er, the “fascist creep” is also a double-edged term, because it refers more specifically to the crossover space between right and left that engenders fascism in the first place. Hence, fascism creeps in two ways: (1) it draws left-wing notions of solidarity and liberation into ultranationalist, right-wing ideology; and (2), at least in its early stages, fascists often utilize “broad front” strategies, proposing a mass-based, nationalist platform to gain access to mainstream po­litical audiences and key administrative positions. (AtFC, pg. 3)

Ross weaves a history in the crevices where fascism attempts to find an avenue into mainstream discourse and reclamation of its revolutionary potential. In the years after World War II, fascist ideologues changed their rhetoric and strategies, often arguing for ethnic separatism, anti-colonial racial nationalism, and meta-political orientations so that they could avoid the associations with the failed movements of Mussolini and Hitler. At the same time, far right terrorism through the Years of Lead had direct ties to the spiritual paths of people like Julius Evola and to right populist political parties like France’s Front Nationale. Over the years the development of neofolk, Asatru and ethnic forms of Nordic paganism, the militia movement, the European New Right, and, later, the Alt Right, were all attempts at finding a new space for fascist ideas and a way to make them new and exciting again to an upcoming generation of racialists.

In the U.S., the development of national anarchism through groups like the Bay Area National Anarchists and the National Anarchist Tribal Alliance of New York, have been a part of this continuous reimagining, and they had the potential to try and recruit from the left. Projects like Attack the System, the national-anarchist, pan-secessionist project we have discussed before, has attempted to bridge the world of Left and post-left anarchism with fascism, allowing in white nationalists as a real “revolutionary” force. In the case of the radical environmental movement, where anarchism has intersected with revolutionary forms of ecology, National Anarchism has made larger inroads by exploiting deconstructionist impulses. This was particularly true in the case of Green Anarchist magazine, which Ross explains was the target of entryism by the syncretic fascist philosopher Troy Southgate.

As Southgate navigated the fascist scene, he became increasingly drawn to a branch of the left-to-right ecology movement cofounded by a British intellectual named Richard Hunt. Hunt’s UK-based journal, Green Anarchist, advocated positions that were just as problematic as, if not worse than, its US coun­terparts. Hunt’s “beyond right and left” political ideology gener­ated particular hostility from the left. A supporter of village-level anarchism on a bioregional basis that operated outside of present contexts of nation-states and consumer societies, Hunt argued that racism was natural to people but unhelpful in the context of anticapitalist movements. While Hunt supported blood and soil–style bioregional movements, he incorporated nationalist histories and “ethnopluralism” in keeping with Benoist’s ideals of diversi­ty. When Hunt backed the United Kingdom’s involvement in the Persian Gulf War based on patriotic sentiment, he was pushed out of Green Anarchist and formed a new journal entitled Alternative Green, which more explicitly advocated for a decentralized bioregionalism with traditionalist and nationalist tendencies, seeing the potential of national and cultural rebirth after the collapse of industrial civilization. (AFC 162-63)

Anti-imperialist projects have found allies in white nationalists in that they are for “Ethno-pluralism,” the right to separation from the dominant culture to maintain cultural “legitimacy.” While many discuss the right to reclaim identity for indigenous people or those of African descent, the fascist element in this discourse believes that white should be afforded this as well, and instead of seeing race as a social invention with consequence they think it is a biological and spiritual reality that should create divisions among groups. In this way, they are “against empires” since they see it as a form of “globalization” that destroys ethnic nationalism and homogeneity in nation states.

What Ross analyzes is broadly within the “Third Positionist” camp, which utilizes elements of the left for a far right purpose. This means anti-capitalist critiques from the right, even going as far as to embody some of the same visioning as the left.

With its syncretic configuration of political ideology, Third Positionism took root in the skinhead and neofolk subcultures as a kind of palingenetic ultranationalism that, with a pessimistic and nihilist sense of modern life, looked toward a revolutionary new age born of traditional culture that could thrive amid the collapse of liberal multiculturalism. (AFC 137)

While Third Positionism is often called a variant on fascism, even a minority within the larger movement, it is actually the dominant expression of fascism. The Alt Right, Neoreaction, racialist paganism, and so on, are all forms of Third Positionist thought, and the meta-political projects like Neofolk, which attempt to push fascist ideas through non-political venues, are comfortably within this analysis as well. It is from this vantage point that entryism on the left presents itself, and this can happen ideologically even without a concerted strategy from fascist organizers.

Ross attempts to answer these contradictions by putting out a call for consistency and understanding of how politics develop, to see the consequences of ideas. Are your politics consistently opposed to racial nationalism and in favor of multicultural society? Are your environmental politics intersectional, opposed to racism, and in favor of immigration? The Left’s projects have to have a clear understanding of the motivating factors for their own political ideas, as well as the ideas of the far right. The “fascist creep,” as Ross labels it, is the way that fascism can seep into left spaces, such as music circles or the movement against international capitalism. This can mean sorting out the way that anti-Semitic narratives seep into the anti-corporate and Palestinian solidarity movement, the “natural law” discourse that is celebrated in some Deep Ecological projects, and the cynical nihilism that has often been a part of the anti-consumerist movement, and to then build a politic that keeps the values of equality and diversity at the center of these varied movements. This is a call for intersectionality, or class compositional analysis, that sees that these movements need a way to remain connected and cannot throw each other aside for short-term gains.

As the Alt Right grows in the U.S., so does the anti-fascist movement. In Trump’s America there has been a validation of their toxic racism, yet there is also a growth of a mass anti-fascist movement that wants to shuffle off their influence. To do this effectively necessitates having a deep understanding of the movements we oppose so that we can clearly see where fascism is, where it grows, and where it comes from. Without that we are scrambling in the dark, calling anything reactionary or authoritarian “Fascism” without being able to see its growth in the corners. Ross’s book can be a guide for this, tracing us through how this movement of hierarchy and inequality has changed over the years, and he is able to boil it down to its essentials.

 

You can order his book here directly from AK Press.

 

 

The Complete Anti-Fascist Reading List

The term “fascism” has been thrown around left circles for decades as a proxy for authoritarianism, racism, or both. This inability to properly define and understand how fascist movements erupt and grow has created a deficit in organizing, and as we head into a Trump presidential administration and the massive growth of the Alt Right and white nationalism organizers across the left need the tools to break down these movements and how they work. There have been a lot of “reading lists” put out recently, so we thought we would compile one of our own that combines a whole number of threads that are important for understanding how fascism works. This includes detailed looks at the Alt Right, the more mainstream “Alt Lite,” the role of Neofolk and goth music, white nationalist organizing, the history of white nationalist violence, how the revival of scientific racism works, how anti-Semitism plays out, and all the other tentacles that make the intersectional beast of the new fascist movement.

This list of readings is far from complete, and this page is going to continue to be updated as we add new sections and flesh out the ones that are here. If you think there are some great ones that are missing, let us know, and also know that it is the writings, videos, and audio recordings below that make up a lot of the thinking that goes into this website. We have also angled the list below more in favor of newer articles as well as ones that are generally accessible(though there are a few academic ones dotted in there).

 

Alt Right

 

Alt Lite

 

Neofolk

 

White Nationalist Organizing

 

Anti-Semitism

 

Scientific Racism

 

Defining Fascism

 

Queerness and Fascism

 

Esoteric Fascism

 

National Anarchism

 

Third Position

 

White Nationalist Violence

 

Conspiracy Theory

 

Militia Movement

 

Donald Trump and White Nationalism

 

Anti-Fascist Organizing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

You can RSVP to the event on Facebook HERE.

 

Location Information:

 

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.

 

12:30-3:30

 

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

 

Contact Form

 

Confronting Fascist Entryism: Bioregionalism, Left-Hand Path, and the Brooklyn Commons

 

Recently a supporter emailed us to let us know something a little strange happening at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. Among the Lovecraftian horror authors, R’lyeh themed t-shirt vendors, and various international films, the organizers had invited someone a touch more eccentric. Diabolus Rex is an occultist from the area who spends his time building the Ragnarok Engine, which is a large metal ship that is meant to generate occult energy. Speaking in a mix of prophetic End Times jargon, conspiracy prose, and pan-esoteric mashups, he says that this will fuel a black magic enterprise, possibly bringing the end of the world.

Though on first glance Rex is likely to appear as an oddity that an H.P. Lovecraft fanfest would enjoy a peek at, but that is really only without delving deeper. Rex was featured on Jack Donovan’s podcast Start the World. People will know Donovan as a part of the controversial Wolves of Vinland folkish heathen group, and for speaking at white nationalist conferences like American Renaissance and writing for publications like the Radix Journal. Know for his Queer Fascism, Jack writes about “male tribalism” and the need for men to think only about their in-group and to reclaim a culture of violence.

This was not Rex’s only connection to the Alt Right as on his Facebook he shares links from the esoteric-loving white nationalist publisher Counter Currents and rants about blocking Muslim immigration. More than this, he focuses on a “will to power” reading of left-hand path mysticism where he believes in creating a culture of hierarchy based in the domination of others, which includes human sacrifice. He even includes Julius Evola, the fascist mystic, as one of his key influences, as well as seeming to draw on Aryan esoteric and rune magic. He makes snide comments about Jews, and especially about “socialists” and those who want “equality.”

The question of whether Rex is a fascist is dubious; he seems to straddle a line in some ways, and may or may not actually fall firmly into that category. The burden of his meta-politics does not fall on the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (even though they were notified ahead of time of his connection), but it presents a clear problem that happens in spaces from left to right, from the arts to the social sciences.

Anti-fascist researcher and author Alexander Reid Ross made this process the key idea for his upcoming book from AK Press, Against the Fascist Creep. In it he chronicles the neo-fascist project since World War II and the shifting, often contradictory strategies that fascist movements take. Using ideas and patterns from the left, fascist movements attempt to co-opt struggles, transform radical movements, and adopt elements of the left while maintaining a far-right meta-politics. This means that areas that are not normally associated with racialist and nationalist politics, such as the pop arts, environmentalism, or anti-colonialism, have become places they believe they can make inroads.

To gain popularity, fascists develop and adapt syncretic ideologies to meet and manipulate leftists and radical activists. Their motivations are often concealed through the rhetoric of the “right to difference” and “racial diferentialism.” It is important to see through and reject the rhetoric of fascism in order to garner a better understanding of its general adherence to inequality, elitism, and hate. (AFC, pg. 7)

While most people subscribing to Left Hand Path traditions would find fascist politics and racism disgusting, there are those who see it as a way to developing an imperial power. People may reject the notion that ideologues like Rex have a creeping fascist politics because of the sexual libertine ideas and animal rights adherence, but these are just pieces of what is a larger philosophy of power and domination.

The fascist entryism into areas associated with the left is both conscious and unconscious, and those on the far right often see these crossover movements as legitimately a part of their struggle.

***

Quite a while ago, bioregionalists in Oregon were putting on a conference about their ecological movement. There is a push to look at the bioregion of the Pacific Northwest, sometimes divided up into being the western side of Oregon and Washington, as a distinct ecological “bioregion.” While there are nationalist movements that want to redefine state boundaries, bioregionalism is generally a project of the left and sees itself as a progressive notion for protecting environmental areas. Because of its creation of borders and boundaries, as well as because of right-wing intervention into environmental movements, it has also attracted those from the more questionable elements of the right.

Among the various invitees for the conference was also Vince Rinehart, a tribal member of the Tlingit people and an editor with the National Anarchist website Attack the System. AtS is well known for allying with white nationalists and racialists, developing their own “pan-secessionist” ideology that calls for anarchists uniting with fascists to attack “the empire.” Keith Preston, the founder of the website, often speaks at neo-fascist conferences like the National Policy Institute. Rinehart himself supports a strong tribal nationalism, one where racial groups could get their own exclusive tribal communities.

After the public learned that Rinehart was included in the conference there was an understandable uproar, and many in the more questionable areas of the bioregionalist community tried to defend Rinehart’s inclusion. There was an aspect of agreement with Rinehart: it took opposing ideologies coming together to defend the bioregion. This is exactly the “creeping fascism” that those on the right want, to undermine coherent politics and to gain entry into revolutionary movements for their own philosophical bent.

This showed up in an especially embarrassing blog post by Casey Bryan Corcoran after Rose City Antifa refused to participate. Here Corcoran admitted to both understanding Attack the System’s fascist roots and to doing a recorded interview with them.

I want to be clear that I am not denying Fascism’s unsavory past and present.  I will also not deny the unsavory past and present of the Left.  I am hopeful that Bioregionalism can be formulated in a way that opposes both toxic ideologies, and I see both the Left and the Right as his-stories not to be repeated.  I also reject both the Trojan Horse of ‘Third Position’ racialism, and the re-colonizing impositions and racial animosities that thrive in Leftist subcultures.  However, attacking everyone I don’t see eye-to-eye with has proven a terrible way to build a community, and I have engaged in dialogue with a good handful of people expressing remarkably problematic ideas about life, taking my fair share of flack for this in the process.  I feel this risk is worth it, as I feel no human being is motivated by pure evil intentions.  Pardon my optimism if you must.   I have also observed peoples ideas change over time, mostly as the result of relationships with other people who are not quick to judge.

Here he goes into the defining characteristic of creeping fascism, the ability to “move beyond right and left” to something new. This is Third Positionism crystalized, the refusal to see fascism for what it is in an effort to “move beyond the failures of the past.” He continues on to use ad hominem attacks, to dance around the clear far-right associations, and to defend Rinehart’s racialist politics.

Rinehart was eventually removed from his panel against his own protest, though he still spoke at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon at the University of Oregon. The conference is known for including controversial speakers like Lierre Keith, the transphobic founder of Deep Green Resistance. Rinehart spoke on a panel with members of Occupied Cascadia and Portland State University Cascadia chapter.

Rinehart went on Jack Donovan’s podcast as well to defend himself, as well as to re-commit himself to solidarity with ethnic nationalism.  Though at the time Rinehart was already known for his problematic views, this was only the tip of the iceberg and many in the Cascadia bioregionalist movement seemed fine with flirting with the most reviled ideas imaginable. There was something of a reckoning and the left wing of the bioregionalist movement is much more conscious of this type of entryism today, but it is something that continues in left spaces regardless.

***

Recently the Brooklyn Commons turned a few heads when they hosted Christopher Bollyn, a 9/11 Truther who has entered crossover politics from his deep anti-Semitism. Bollyn was formerly a staff member at the Liberty Lobby, which published Spotlight. The Liberty Lobby was the organization founded by Willis Carto, and was the leading white nationalist organization for decades. Though it is less known than organizations like the National Alliance, it was arguably even more influential, starting off in the 1960s with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and riding a wave of anti-Communism and anti-integrationist fervor on the right into influence in the halls of power. They eventually became open about their racialist politics, believing that Jews secretly run the world, that black people have lower IQs than whites, and that people of color are more prone to crime. They founded the Holocaust Denial organization The Institute for Historical Review, and after that organization was wrestled away from Carto by some previous employees he went on to found the Barnes Review to do the same thing.

Bollyn was on the staff of the Liberty Lobby between 2000 and 2006, when the Spotlight was renamed the American Free Press. Bollyn, with his penchant for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, claims that Jews themselves were behind all U.S. government decisions, that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real, and that Jews actually did the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Bollyn has been incredibly public about what he thinks about Jews, not usually even hiding behind anti-Semitic “dog whistle” language. Below are a few quotes compiled by anti-fascist writer Spencer Sunshine.

  • “Great nations, like the United States, France, and Germany, once had anti-Masonic and anti-Semitic political parties that acted to challenge the pernicious influence of secret Masonic and Jewish organizations.  Today we no longer have such political parties to counter these secret networks and find ourselves ruled by B’nai B’rith and Jewish Freemasons.”
  • “The ‘false flag’ ter­ror­ism of 9–11 is a mon­strous Jewish-Zionist crime of our time.  The true cul­prits of this heinous crime are clearly being pro­tected by a gang of like-minded Jew­ish Zion­ists in the high­est posi­tions of the U.S. government.”
  • “It seems like being a Jew is a lot like being a wolf.”
  • He openly cites the Protocols line that: “Not a single announcement will reach the public without our control.”
  • “I suspect that Arlen Specter is a high-level agent of the B’nai B’rith, the secret organization of Jewish Freemasons which I consider to be the real Elders of Zion.”

After the Commons booked Bollyn there was a near revolt by many of the organizations and projects that use the place, including Jacobin Magazine, the Right to the City Alliance, and the Marxist Education Project. They wrote a letter to the Commons listing their disdain in a quick statement.

As organizations that work out of the Brooklyn Commons, we reject the antisemitic politics of Christopher Bollyn. We do not have any say in event booking and management at the Commons but agree that such politics should have no place in leftist spaces.

The event was allowed to continue by the space’s owner, Melissa Ennen, who is a 9/11 Truther herself. In her own statement she said that there should be space for hateful people to speak because it can also be enlightening.

I never intended for The Commons to be a safe space at all times. Nor was it designed to be a cozy cocoon for intramural debate among leftists. From the beginning my goal has been to foster discussion among disparate groups across a wide political spectrum.

This is clearly a cherry-picked decision since usually the Commons would not normally allow a speaker with openly racist views, even though they represent “a wide political spectrum.” Instead, she wants to make it a left-specific space, except in that they allow anti-Semites.

Once the event did take place there was a small, yet understandably angry, contingent outside protesting the event. Those who tried to go inside were assaulted by security, and other people associated with the Commons attacked opposition in different situations. Some Antifa organizations have now called for a boycott on the Commons, which is a boycott we are joining in to send a message that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated.

***

In all of these situations, what happens is a break in left-oriented politics allows for some of the most abhorrent examples of far-right politics to work their way in. Though they are often challenged in the end, this has allowed many of these movements to flourish in ways that a concerted opposition would eliminate. This comes, in part, from the fact that education about fascism and its interlocking tentacles is not well done even in radical spaces, and it is important to understand the depths of the nationalist project and how it tries to seek crossover into, and cover from, the left. It also feeds on the unchecked acts of bigotry and oppression inside of leftist spaces, where racism, sexual assault, and abuse still happen even though the rhetoric and ideas are intended to challenge it.

This is an ongoing project, one that does not end in one project or confrontation.   Instead, as the fascist movement shifts and changes, we need to be virulent and learn about how it is attempting to adapt. Radical environmentalism, anti-imperialist movements, animal rights, Palestinian solidarity, anti-globalization, pagan religious communities, and many iconoclastic arts projects all have a special place in this because they are areas that Nazis have attempted to stake their claim. A clear idea of what the threat is, a coherent politic in opposition, and the ability to shift and adapt is what will help to ensure that creeping fascism is crushed at entry.

Peak Alt Right: How the Far Right Has Already Lost

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

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

richard-spencer-20150303

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

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

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

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

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

An Intellectual Tradition?

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

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

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

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

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

Now That’s What I Call Edgy

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

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

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

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

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

evola.jpg
Radical Traditionalist and esoteric fascist, Julius Evola.

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

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

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

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

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

Blind Ideology, White Anger

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

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

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

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

matt-forney-ann-sterzinger-peter-john-mclean-1200x900
Matt Forney (Middle)

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

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

Appearance vs. Reality

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

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

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

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

mark_weber_002
Mark Weber

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

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

hqdefault
Donald Templar, speaking at American Renaissance.

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

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

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

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

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

Red Ice Creations and the New Fascist Media

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

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

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

Henrik-Palmgren-Studio.jpg
Henrik Palmgren

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

lanalokeff.jpg
Lana Lokteff

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

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

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

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

Flowers.png
Stephen Flowers Speaking About Indo-European Religon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mainstreaming Racial Nationalism: Brexit, Meta-Politics, and the Consequences of Left-Right Alliances

“No borders, no nations! Stop deportations”

 

The crowd of over two thousand protesters chanted as they marched through East London, an area that is notable for its history of multicultural inhabitants.  The crowd donned Anti-Fascist Action flags, many with faces covered for fear of further police repression.  The voices echoed a complexity to the “Brexit” vote that those outside of the European Union (and even those inside of the EU) attempt to grasp with what this decision means and symbolizes.

This week, a majority of 51.9% of voting United Kingdom residents voted to leave the European Union, a project that they have been a part of for over forty years.  This is the first country in the EU to do this, a zone that was intended to both reconcile political tensions and to smooth over neo-liberal capitalist expansion.  This is the first vote since the 1970s, and, at the time, the vote was not even close.  Today, the force to leave toppled over the edge and is forcing a push away from the united continental project.  Even after a Britain First affiliate and advocate of Brexit killed a pro-immigrant British MP, the vote still passed through with a slim majority.

While it has been largely acknowledged that the Brexit campaign was a xenophobic and racist push from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and Britain First, there has also been a reasonable Lexit (left exit) side to the campaign.  Internationally, left circles have been debating the merits of this position, debating the role of a left contingent inside of a hard right campaign.  Groups in the United States like the International Socialist Organization have showed a certain admiration for the Lexit contingent, while most mainstream progressives are standing back in horror.

The primary impulse for many on the radical left is to look at the vote as a series of component parts that have meaning, while the politics themselves will largely play out as business as usual.

 

Britain First
Britain First

Donald Brexit

A comparison to the Donald Trump campaign stateside is useful, especially as it has often been used by the British left to put the recent events in England in context.  When comparing the realities of the political choices of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump it quickly reminds us just how little a vote allows for real decision making as it retains ruling class power no matter the distinction.  Though there are great differences between the candidates, they are minor when it comes to large-scale social systems, and do nothing to challenge systemic inequality.  You will never be able to vote the rich out of their wealth

But what does the Donald Trump candidacy really represent?

It has mobilized a revolutionary wing of the far-right to begin crossing over into the racialist undercurrent of the right-wing segment of the white working class, creating a populist-right block that is as frightening as it is large.  This has shifted the politics in the country to the right on social issues and race, and has created an open space to transform “dog whistle” racist politics into blunt racial nationalism.  The possible Trump presidency and the right-populist community, only reinforced ideologically by the Alt Right, could act reciprocally, as Trump’s call for banning Muslim immigration has mobilized their Islamophobia, which will then further push Trump to live up to his promise

This effect is largely meta-political: it effects the underlying values, philosophies, and impulses that drive political decisions.  For those of us on the anti-fascist left, this both mutates the working class and creates a violent reactionary force of Stormtroopers against any left revolution.  This is the most destructive turn a society can take, the barbarism promised as the endgame of global capitalism.

 

Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP
Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP

Meta-Proxy Politics

When it comes to Brexit, this is the largest victory in decades for the far-right, who are growing across all sectors in the country.  Given a state of economic turmoil since the global financial crisis, as well as coming after decades of neo-liberal austerity, the white working class of Britain have been pressed to the point of rupture.  That angst is painted racially as the right has played on tensions from the “refugee crisis,” attempting to shift the blame from the rich to the immigrants.  The targeting of immigrants, especially Islamic immigrants, has been the signature of the far-right since the earliest rumblings of the National Front in the 1970s up through the brief rise of the British National Party.  Now that the English Defense League(EDL) and PDGIDA have tried to expand Islamophobia beyond the narrow neo-Nazi crowd, they have been able to sow a deep fear of immigrants in a public that normally would not have been touched by the British nationalist movements.  Likewise, the growth of the Alt Right and movements like National Action have brought in a younger generation of educated neo-fascists who are hoping to use the social turmoil to capture a working class who may have had their discontent channeled into the radical left.

This has come together like a neutron star with the Brexit vote, a crossover issue that has given their rhetoric a place in the general public.  They were given access to the minds of the people and were able to push through an exit vote not just on the issues of economic “free trade,” but on British identity.

It is less important what the vote was, and more central about why it was.  The exit of Britain from the EU was due to a massive campaign with racial undertones, even if the left-wing of that vote came for economic reasons.  For immigrants living in the UK, especially those of color, are speaking out en masse right now about the fear they are experiencing, and that racial attacks and harassment have gone through the roof.  Right now the streets of London are a scary place for all but a white British base, exactly what Britain First was hoping for.  No matter what the ideal economic effects of the vote were for socialists and progressive in Britain who supported the exit, it is having the effect of tossing a massive victory to the far right and allowing the racist undercurrent to bubble to the surface.

The real question here is if there will be any substantive gains for working people in Britain from the vote that would outweigh the social wave of the far-right that they are going to see from this victory.  Organizations like Britain First, UKIP, the EDL, BNP, PEGIDA, and others are only going to grow at this point, gaining power not in the ballot box, but in the streets.  They will further co-opt the righteous anger of the working class, turning it back on itself and dividing ranks further.

In a world where proxies work as a side-channel for larger meta-political goals, Brexit acts as a shift to the right even if the politics do not divert greatly from standard neo-liberal expansion or if they are even to fit into the larger goals of the anti-globalization movement.

This left-right alliance owes, to a large part, to the vagueness that has permeated from the anti-globalization movement since the 1990s.  While Americans often associate it with the hard left/post-left turn of things like the Battle for Seattle.  The war against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were, in essence, the battle against the all-encompassing power of Late Capitalism, where the issues of “globalization” were the issues of unregulated capitalism feeding off of the Global South.

This is the kind of campaign that UKIP ran for Brexit, using images of refugees to trigger a racist response in England.
This is the kind of campaign that UKIP ran for Brexit, using images of refugees to trigger a racist response in England.

Lexit?

This is where the terminology of “imperialism” fails to recognize what was/is actually taking place in global capitalism, where the term lends itself to traditional empires that ravaged the world through colonialism up to the earliest days of capitalism.  Today, it is multinational corporations and institutions of market exploitation that run the world, not monolithic super states.  When the UK’s economy dominates the world, that is capitalism running the state, rather than imperialism of the traditional aristocracy(though that aristocracy certainly graduated to the capitalist class when the politics shifted).  The use of imperialism rhetorically on the radical left is more of an attempt to maintain continuity to political ideology of the past rather than an accurate description of most nation’s behavior, but one thing is true: whether it is traditional imperialism and colonialism or the unrestrained carnivorous passions of corporations, the Global South always loses.

The anti-globalization movement was a mass action against that, one that united artists and the black bloc and unions and immigrant rights organizations, and which saw the solution to these global problems both as the repudiation of capitalism and the use of localization for economics, food production, and community.  This created strange ideological bedfellows as the far-right also saw a certain opportunity in the logic of “going local,” of bioregionalism, and of keeping out of foreign wars.  This was old nationalism repackaged in hippie aesthetics and food politics, and they could oppose “globalism” since it also imported cosmopolitan multiculturalism.  In a way, this helped to further develop the far-right’s Third Positionist anti-capitalism, since modern capitalism cared not for their “traditional” life and instead looked to commodity and reproduce.

The problem is that, philosophically and meta-politically, the anarchist core of the anti-globalization movement and the eco-friendly fascists crowding their fringes were the core opposite of one another.  To help draw this distinction, terms like “para-globalization” began to be used, drawing on anarchist communist notions of “internationalism.”  This was meant to say, clearly, that it was not so much globalization that we opposed, but “this globalization.”  The globalization of capital.  Instead, we support the international struggle of the working class against capital, even if we support decentralized federalism as a more responsive and successful way of organizing society.  This rhetorical battle was never primary, however, and a lack of clear politics, both implicit and explicit, allowed the far-right to bloom inside of spaces thought to have radical left hegemony.

In anti-globalization, the issue of “globalization” was always a proxy for capitalism and the racial, sexual, and national oppression that comes along with its expansion into the Third World.  For the far-right, globalization was a proxy for the “destruction” of nations, race, gender, and sexual boundaries.  If they both see a victory, then it can strengthen the far-right as it mobilizes the radical left.  In many ways, many of the more fringe elements in places like AdBusters and in eco-anarchist circles reveled in this murky ideological waters, and flirted with the far-right, not because they were sympathetic to them, but because they needed a broad coalition.  This “linking up” with the far-right has never bloomed anything of value, and instead has always been the hallmark of a revolutionary fascist movement that attempts to draw elements of the far-left’s politics into a value set of the far-right.  This means that fascist often oppose capitalism, and sometimes even the state, for reasons that they are not sufficient in propping up nationalism and inequality.  They want a society more rooted in inequality, where a market does not just produce inequality as a side-effect, but that the inequality perfectly reflects their ideas about race and gender and are reinforced through whatever system of social coercion they see fit.

When Brexit is looked at as a proxy, the reality is that for the right it was a vote on immigration.  UKIP ran billboard ads with large pictures of streams of refugees, dog-whistling that they are the “brown hordes invading Britain.”  The vote was painted as one about immigration from the start, even when UKIP made promises that this exit will save the country money that they could then put into the National Healthcare Service (a promise they have already backed away from).  In this way it draws on the isolationism of the Old Right, where they are saying that we can better take care of ourselves by forgetting everyone else.  The Alt Right in the U.S. has also jumped on board to sing their praises, with the Daily Shoah, Fash the Nation, the Traditionalist Youth Network, the Daily Stormer, American Renaissance, and Counter-Currents all claiming a major victory for nationalism.  The only real dissent came from Richard Spencer of the Radix Journal, who, while also reveling in the “success” of Brexit, thinks that it could further “divide white people.”

While Lexit may have sided with the removal from the EU for different reasons, they still have created a right-left alliance that has emboldened the far-right through their proxy politics.  Since the vote does little to change the actual politics of the country, yet does a lot to fuel the far-right, what does Lexit actually hope to gain out of this?  At the same time, while the EU was still an infrastructure for global capital to exploit workers, how did the exit do anything to challenge that dynamic?  What it certainly did was guarantee a large number of workers being laid off, foreign employees being deported, and pensions to be sacked, all of which for no tangible gains.

The left of Britain, beyond the few Lexit supporters, were largely united on staying.  Neo-liberalism does not depend on the EU; it depends on capitalism as a system.  Labor was almost universally aligned, with unions seeing an economic downturn that could effect membership.  This turned out true as the markets opened the day after the UK’s vote, with over $5 billion in wealth disappearing and Britain dropping from the 5th largest economy to the 6th.  Many laughed for ages about this on social media, especially the fact that the British ruling class is taking a dramatic hit financially.  The problem is that this hits pensions and investments of working class families around the country, and will be felt economically through the lowest sectors of the population.  This is not an isolated financial problem, nor is the coming recession, and the shudders could mean massive austerity both inside and outside of the country.

The discourse about imperialism has returned in this discussion, especially the idea of “breaking up the empires.”  There is a certain logic to this, but it is also important to look at the dominated nations inside of the United Kingdom.  Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay, despite Donald Trump’s embarrassing statements upon landing in Scotland to promote his bourgeois golf club.

This exit vote presents further problems for Northern Ireland as it will be even more difficult to transfer between the Northern province and the main country of Ireland.  Currently, EU member nations are easy to travel between.  This is actually part of the strange inter-European xenophobia at play in the Brexit decision, where Polish immigrants are specifically seeing a backlash against them and may have a difficult time staying in the UK in its post-EU form.  For the Irish, this further blocks up the nation.  On the one hand, this is re-igniting the possibility of Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the UK to become sovereign nations.  At the same time, this Brexit vote does not do much to mobilize that leaving since it essentially puts their identity within Britain only rather than the EU at large.

The question now is if this decision will collapse markets in such a way that working people will take another hit, and if revolutionary movements will actually gain anything from the crushing recession.  The answer is likely no since inside or outside the EU, the class positions remain largely the same.  The only difference is that remaining would have seen economic stability last slightly longer.  For working families in the UK who are barely surviving as it is, this could be the last push towards poverty.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Protesters hold up signs and flags as they demonstrate against the EU referendum result outside the Houses of Parliament on June 28, 2016 in London, England. Up to 50,000 people were expected before the event was cancelled due to safety concerns. In the early evening a crowd still convereged on the square to vent their anti-Brexit feelings, before the protest moved to the Houses of Parliament. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 28: Protesters hold up signs and flags as they demonstrate against the EU referendum result outside the Houses of Parliament on June 28, 2016 in London, England. Up to 50,000 people were expected before the event was cancelled due to safety concerns. In the early evening a crowd still convereged on the square to vent their anti-Brexit feelings, before the protest moved to the Houses of Parliament. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Against Corporate Nationalism, In and Out of the EU

Instead of focusing on the politics of Brexit, it may be worth looking at exactly how this decision reflects the social climate of the country, how the far-right is going to mobilize, and what the left’s actual goals are inside of the larger EU situation.  This often comes off as a “fuck both sides” argument, which, given the nature of the corporate EU on one side and the reactionary nationalists on the other, makes sense. Christopher Hayes of MSNBC posted a position that sums up our feelings perfectly:

I don’t want a future in which politics is primarily a battle between cosmopolitan finance capitalism and ethno-nationalist backlash.

It is impossible to ignore the violence and racism that has permeated the country in the wake.  Thousands of people have reported harassment, chants of “we voted for you to leave,” and threats on people of color and immigrants around the country.  Violence has increased so quickly that people are hiding indoors, frightened that their family is going to be murdered by white racialists patrolling immigrant neighborhoods with guns.   Right now, the UK is a scary place to be in.

The battle after Brexit will not be to bring the UK back into the EU, event though a reversal referendum may come through and Scotland will fight tooth and nail to remain.  The fight will be to confront the racism that was once subdermal and has now been brought to the surface, given a pass by the semi-respectability of UKIP and the populism behind Brexit.  As their economy continues to fall, and working people get a financial attack that was unwarranted and unnecessary, the discontent could further feed the Britain First movement.  Those on the radical left cannot stand for this, and instead should develop a strong movement that takes that righteous anger and channels it back where it belongs: in the direction of a financial elite who will do whatever it takes to make the non-rich lose.  Crisis is the perpetual state of capitalism, and it is time for the reality of social inequality to obliterate the victim-blaming racial narratives that have divided working people for centuries.

Nazis and TradYouth Attempting to Use Stabbings to Fundraise

After the Traditionalist Youth Network, Traditionalist Workers Party, the Golden State Skinheads, and various KKK members and neo-Nazis rallied in front of the California Capitol Building on Sunday, the anti-fascists in the crowd swarmed them in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Before they were even confronted directly, one of the Nazis stabbed an elderly woman who was doing nothing more than yelling. As they were shut down and had their members humiliated, they began stabbing anti-fascist protesters, sending several to the hospital.

eae63b97c989332044a802b23d69d882
Yep, this is the future of Western Civilization.

Even though their members almost all left broken and bruised, and their meeting was not allowed to happen, the Traditionalist Youth Network are continuing to “claim victory” for stabbing people. Matthew Heimbach, their leader, often prided himself on “fighting fair,” yet this act of stabbing protesters and then hiding is one of the most shameful in their sordid history.

Using this rhetoric, the Traditionalist Workers Party/Traditionalist Youth Network is using this act of putrid disgrace to fundraise for their nationalist aims.   Alleging, still, that they are a “peaceful” ethnic nationalism, TradYouth is asking that supporters use this opportunity to send money to their PayPal account.

We delivered the message we intended to deliver today; We will not be intimidated. We will not stand down. Our event was a victory by all metrics. We won the physical fight. We provoked the leftists into showing their true colors. The national media story about our event is becoming a conversation about how our attempt to peacefully demonstrate was viciously attacked by the leftist mob.

Christians, pagans, and skeptics marched as one today, fighting and winning as one. Workers of all professions battled side-by-side. High school dropouts and the college educated stood their ground against what was the single greatest show of anti-white force ever organized in America…and won! Today was not only a victory against the forces of the Left who wish to exterminate our people, but against the voices on the Right who would divide our cause up by religion, class, and background.

No clever “metapolitics” can work around the fact that our enemies want us dead. While blog posts and social media debates are excellent work for our cause, they’re not a replacement for men who are willing to risk injury or even death to guarantee that our message is heard and our voices are not silenced or marginalized. I was not out there today and neither was Matthew Heimbach. We fully trusted the leadership of our California chapter and GSS to host a successful event, and they succeeded against staggering odds. We all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

But we also owe them a real financial debt, as well.

 

The fact that PayPal is still allowing them to do business, even though they are technically an LLC, is surprising. PayPal has shut down funding to a number of nationalist organizations, such as the Daily Shoah podcast and National Youth Front, the organization that was later rebranded by Nathan Damigo as Identity Europa. Neither of those groups, as disgraceful as they are, have ever engaged in the type of racist violence that Trad Youth has now displayed, yet Matthew Heimbach is continuing to raise money using PayPal.

The Donation link on their page takes you to pay directly to the Traditionalist Youth Network, LLC, which does not have the protections of a non-profit organization. It is time to let PayPal know that Trad Youth is using their service to fund a violent terrorist movement, one that stabs protesters when their event gets shut down.

We need to contact PayPal’s Customer Service center collectively and let them know that a violent neo-Nazi organization, which is easily provable with public information, is trying to use PayPal to raise money.  You can either email the report in at aupviolations@paypal.com, or you can go to their Customer Service center here to do a direct email or a phone call.  We recommend doing both if you have the time.

When looking back at the event, it is delusional that they are claiming victory today. They were not able to recruit, almost all of their organizers were chased out with force, and they were made to look like the degenerate fools that they are.   This is attempt at spin will not work simply because the KKK and neo-Nazis skinheads have so destroyed any public media game they could have had with their persistent and cartoonish violent racism.

What the action in Sacramento really displays is that anti-fascists are growing in numbers and increasing in militancy. This has come in response to the growing threat the Alt Right and the rest of the neo-fascist movement presents, and is one that has to be shut down at every chance.

If sending an email, feel free to send along a link to some of the articles below to give them a better idea of who this group is and what they have done.

Augustus Sol Invictus Coming to Chicago

For those who have been watching this saga unfold, things are becoming more and more difficult for neo-fascist politician Augustus Sol Invictus.  Running for Marko Rubio’s seat in the Senate, this candidate is running with the Florida Libertarian Party(against their general wishes).  He is a Thelemite pagan, which is the part that many focus on, who argues in favor of hierarchy, nationalism, various types of eugenics, and taking power with a show of strength.

In general, Invictus went under the radar for months, with news stories mainly focusing on his embarrassing videos of animal sacrifice and his public use of drugs during ceremonies.  This was, however, until he was shutdown by Rose City Antifa in Portland, Oregon, and then denied access to Canada where the reformed American Front were organizing an event for him.  Shortly after he announced that he was speaking at the National Socialist Movement’s conference, and was decidedly dropped from pagan and political events around the country.

Invictus is now trying to raise his profile even further by coming to Chicago.  He has recently just announced this, though he has yet to put an exact time and location for this.  Though the far-right will be his base, he often draws those out of neofolk/post-industrial music scenes, pagan circles, and general counter-cultural areas that attempt to be iconoclastic without being expressly political.  His high profile nature has allowed this to be a perfect event to counter for regional anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers, so this puts those in the Chicago area on notice.

Below we are putting a short reading list of articles about Augustus Invictus, and the efforts to counter-organize his presence.  We will update the website with more specific information as it becomes available.