Going Full Fash: Breitbart Mainstreams the ‘Alt Right’

The radical right has always needed a stop over point on its way to middle American conservatism.  For years, the Libertarian Party and its various “economic” projects were this, from the anti-tax movement of California to the mainstreaming of their ideas with the Tea Party.  Libertarianism has headed into the Beltway as one of the last popular coherent philosophies for the new GOP, mired in mainstream liberal values mixed with cut-through capitalism.  In this move to the mainstream it has shed much of its racialist and white nationalist connections, leaving the growing Alt Right looking for its new crossover point.  They have found that friend in Brietbart.

Brietbart News began with the now-deceased perpetual yell of Andrew Breitbart, which brought a young and confrontational style to the Tea Party.  From “exposing” Acorn with edited videos that took low-wage organizing workers’ statements out of context to asking for “video proof” that Congressmen John Lewis was called the N-word at a public Tea Party event, Breitbart, and its various web staples such as the embarrassing BigGovernment.com, has made a name for itself for standing to the right of Fox News and engaging in the kind of silly click-bait that allows it to compete in an angry Twitter-verse.

The Alt Right, meaning the newest incarnation of the “intellectual” and Internet-driven white nationalist movement, has needed some friends in the the world of Beltway Conservative Inc., and Breitbart has proven that it can act as the middle point between their lair and the Brooks Brothers and “fiscal conservatism” of D.C.’s Republican establishment.

This relationship has been cemented with Breitbart’s recent fawning feature, “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right.”  The article begins by immediately drawing the comparison between the Alt Right’s role in conservatism to the role of Marxism to the contemporary left by saying “A specter is haunting the dinner parties, fundraisers and think-tanks of the Establishment: the specter of the ‘alternative right.;” The main thrust of the article is a large-scale defense of the Alt Right against allegations of racism, bigotry, and ideological violence.  Their defense begins with the perceived intelligence of the Alt Right in comparison to the caricatures of Klansman, which says nothing of their ideological orientations.  They go on to quote male-tribalist Jack Donovan, who one of the authors of the article, Milo Yiannopoulos, is friends with online.  This is not surprising as Donovan is known for being a sort of “anti-gay gay author” whose basic ideology is that queer men should abandon the gay identity because it is associated with feminism, effeminacy, and leftist politics.  Yiannopoulos, for his part, is publicly a gay man, which led to many of the reasons that the Alt Right had mixed reactions to this work (we will get into this later on).

This opening section mentions the ideological framework for the Alt Right as being diverse, and including Oswald Spengler, H.L. Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the French New Right, as well as having a relationship to the paleoconservative movement of the 1980s-90s.  This is meant to insulate it from accusations of extreme racism supposedly, and he goes on to mention more modern incarnations of this ideological current such as Steve Sailer’s HBD blog, the anti-immigration web publication VDARE, and the current center of “race realism”: American Renaissance.

When you cut through their ironic abstractions, what they are indicating is class rather than ideology.  They are noting that the Alt Right has a more middle-class and educated character, not that they do not hold the ideological foundations that have always driven neo-fascist movements.  The assumption here is that skinheads and KKK members lack a strong ideological foundation, yet there has always been an intellectual side to the far-right.  Oswald Spengler’s anti-Semitic racial nationalism has been key for decades, and Julius Evola has become the defining far-right philosopher both for intellectual Pagan racists and for street-level skinheads.  His work was key to the violent right-wing terrorism of people like Ordine Nuovo or contemporary Ultra movements in Rome, and his alleged “anti-fascism” only came from his view that fascism needed to move further to the right to install an aristocratic racialist society built on authority, hierarchy, and violence.  The assumptions implicit in Breitbart’s article is that the criticisms of fascism today come from its association with “lone wolf” violence rather than the possibility of a violent political theology of enforce inequality, which misses a thorough understanding of the diversity and history of fascism since its interwar inception.

Milo does something useful in this place, however, in that he rightly identifies the more web-board intellectual Neoreactionary movement(NRx), the HBD networks, and the manosphere as part of this broad “Alt Right.”  As much as these movements want to self-identify with their own “unique” ideology, especially the culture of Men’s Rights Activism and “game” blogs, they are a part of the anti-egalitarian Alt Right current that essentializes biology and roots for the oppressor.

What they spend a great deal of time on is this notion of “Natural Conservatives,” which is the position they seem to agree with the most (This is not actually a popular idea used on the far-right.).  This comes from the idea that some people are just built for conservatism in some kind of bio-psychological way (R-K Selection Theory may be the best example of this).  Much of this rhetoric comes in pieces from the Alt Right, who are attempting to draw out some kind of scientific framework to argue that different views are driven by biological difference.  This logic has an insidious underpinning as it is intended to be an “essentialist” view of behavior and nature as coming from the body rather than from environment.  In this way they can argue that there are essential racial, gender, and regional biological differences that influence ideology, and therefore the defining character of a society is demographic rather than its ideas.  This is why they can then argue that “Western” society is going to fall apart because it is now less-white, which means it has few of the people from which its character was developed from.  This logic has been echoed, however discreetly, in the work of establishment conservatives like Charles Murray, whose The Bell Curve took on the notion that IQ was biologically fixed and determined your level of socio-economic success.

They co-opt the notion from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt that there is “an instinct keenly felt by a huge watche of the political population: the conservative instinct.”

The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt, includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism. Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity. They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.

It should be noted that Haidt is an incredibly marginal voice, and this notion of biologically driven conservatism is not actually held by most of the psychological scientific community.

The prime purpose here is for Breitbart to go on through what are essentially nativist, nationalist, and racialist behaviors and explain them as being “natural and normal,” the kind of talking point that the Alt Right usually uses to explain itself.

The alt-right do not hold a utopian view of the human condition: just as they are inclined to prioritise the interests of their tribe, they recognise that other groups – Mexicans, African-Americans or Muslims – are likely to do the same. As communities become comprised of different peoples, the culture and politics of those communities become an expression of their constituent peoples.

You’ll often encounter doomsday rhetoric in alt-right online communities: that’s because many of them instinctively feel that once large enough and ethnically distinct enough groups are brought together, they will inevitably come to blows. In short, they doubt that full “integration” is ever possible. If it is, it won’t be successful in the “kumbaya” sense. Border walls are a much safer option.

The alt-right’s intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race. The alt-right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved. A Mosque next to an English street full of houses bearing the flag of St. George, according to alt-righters, is neither an English street nor a Muslim street — separation is necessary for distinctiveness.

Here they are not proving that the Alt Right has been mischaracterized, but instead attempting to say that their logic is sound and respectable even if it is not always shared amongst establishment types.  They want to allege that these talking points are fundamentally different from those of the neo-Nazi crowd, but they are almost completely synonymous with what people like David Duke, Tom Metzger, or the National Socialist Movement will say publicly.  The “suit and tie” rhetoric has dominated amongst racist groups for decades, and the only difference between the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the Alt Right’s “identitarianism” is vocabulary, not ideology.

What has led to many in the Alt Right actually denouncing this article is actually the starkest problem with it from the anti-fascist left-wing point of view as well.  In the section titled “The Meme Team,” they go into the Twitter troll phenomenon, lead by The Right Stuff, along with the offensive memes that call conventional conservatives “Cucks,” deny and mock the Holocaust, and are cruelly racist.  Bokhari and Yiannopoulos allege that the people behind this wing of the movement essentially do not believe what they are saying, but instead are libertarians attempting to offend people and behave as iconoclasts.  There is no evidence of this and instead the vocal centers of this wing of the Alt Right have been incredibly clear about their resurrection of conventional angry anti-Semitism, their belief that non-whites are subhuman “mud” races, and that we literally need a fascist revolution.  To deny the reality of “the meme team” is to be purposely blind, which seems partially the ironic way that many in the hipster side of Breitbart see the Alt Right.  Bokhari comes from a middle-eastern ethnic origin and Yiannopoulos is openly gay, two things that make them openly targets of ridicule from the same people they are venerating here.  Yiannopoulos has even used the term Alt Right to describe himself, yet he seems to lack a clear understanding of the actual depth and intensity of its fascist politic.

The Daily Shoah picked up on this dynamic almost immediately, thinking that instead of simply getting the meme section dead wrong, Yiannopoulos actually is trying to make the Alt Right more palatable to his editors and audience.

He might be saying that in order to get it through an editor and make his own relative acceptance of the Alt Right acceptable and keep his job.  He could really think it.  He could be fooling himself, I don’t know.  But I think that there’s a tactical presentation going on there.

In a strange way, it is his own disbelief in the Alt Right (at least in its entirety) that has led to the fetishization of it.  In a recent episode of the Right Stuff podcast Fash the Nation, which is meant to mainly cover Trump’s political battles, they had on one of the founders of the infamous “Coon Town” Reddit channel.  There they had such classic sub-Reddits like “N*****s Dying” where people posted videos of black men being murdered or executed to the glee of the commentators.  Generally, it was the most extreme edges of guttural racism, where black people were openly called degenerate animals, slavery was celebrated, genocide was discussed with a certain admiration, and it marked the hallmark of insipid internet bigotry.  The hosts of Fash the Nation, including the aptly named Marcus Halberstram, joked with and complimented the guest, who was going by the pseudonym of GreatApeNiggy.  On this episode they casually talked about how people of color have innately lower IQs and were degenerate “jungle people,” how Jews are secretly destroying the West through race mixing, how LGBTQ people were filthy AIDs receptacles, and that some form of nationalist fascism was the answer.  Their language, which included open racial slurs, was politically and rhetorically more extreme than most neo-Nazis and KKK members of today.  For Breitbart, who knows full well that Fash the Nation and the Right Stuff is a signature part of the Alt Right since they linked to their blog, to say that they are somehow ideologically removed from the neo-Nazi revolutionary white supremacist crowd is for them to engage in intentional self-deception.

Yiannopoulos has defended the Alt Right before, going on Dave Rubin’s podcast to show allegiance to the Alt Right and protect it against allegations of anti-Semitism (Sort of.).

Generation Trump, the alt right people, the people who like me, they’re not anti-Semites. They don’t care about Jews. I mean, they may have some assumptions about things, how the Jews run everything; well, we do. How the Jews run the banks; well, we do. How the Jews run the media; well, we do. They’re right about all that stuff…It’s a fact, this is not in debate. It’s a statistical fact….Jews are vastly disproportionately represented in all of these professions. It’s just a fact. It’s not anti-Semitic to point out statistics….The anti-Semitism on the internet, which is really important, I want people to understand this because nobody seems to, when Jonah Goldberg of National Review is bombarded with these memes, and anti-Semitic “take a hike, kike” stuff, it’s not because there’s a spontaneous outpouring of anti-Semitism from 22-year-olds in this country. What it is is it’s a mischievous, dissident, trolly generation who do it because it gets a reaction. Right? That’s been the case for young people for generations….They can get to people in positions of power, and people in positions of power and keep biting, they keep taking the bait….It’s a direct response to the language policing, it’s a direct response to being told they can’t say things.

They go on to mock, as the Alt Righters do, the “1488” crowd, which essentially means those that use Hitler iconography unironically.  This would make up essentially the “old guard” of racist organizing, the pre-AmRen network of Christian Identity followers, Klansman, and the like who are too wrapped up in figures of the past.  They quote RamZPaul in making fun of them, yet he is really the tip of the iceberg.  The Daily Shoah has made that a staple of their program, where they ask listeners to donate $14.88, a tongue in cheek reference.  Yiannopoulos uses this disregard for that wing of the white nationalist movement as a sign that they are not ideologically similar, but that misses the thing that they actually admonish the neo-Nazis for.  Instead of decrying their genocidal racism and anti-Semitism, it is the “LARPing” that they find ridiculous.  As the Daily Shoah and the Neoreactionary Ascending the Tower have often said, they support the 14 from the “1488.”  This refers to the 14-word line by Order member David Lane, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”  The 88 refers to HH, Heil Hitler, which they see as being too focused on the past.  It is not so much that they reject Hitler as a political ideologue, some do and some don’t, but it is the useless political role-playing that they are attacking when rejecting the “1488.”  They certainly do not seem to support the seemingly random violence as well, they regularly laud those who attack refugee centers, but that is not the foundation of their break from the past.  Instead, it has a much more classed component, where they simply see the “low class” neo-Nazis and KKK members not living up to their own high-brow version of fascist racism.

The Daily Shoah picked up on Yiannopoulos’ claims about the unseriousness of the meme culture immediately, calling him a “flaming, Jewish f****t.”  Mike Enoch said that he has had private message conversations with him on Twitter, though he did not know that he was actually the host of the Daily Shoah at the time.  This section of the article was roundly insulted as absurd, and Breitbart itself mocked thoroughly, even though they generally thought it was a fine representation of their movement and were happy to have the coverage.  Fash the Nation also mentioned it, saying that it was a sign that the term Alt Right was starting to be well known and that their views were a semi-respectable part of acceptable discourse.

There certainly was an anger coming from some of the annals of the Alt Right, with the Daily Stormer being the best example.  Andrew Anglin, the voice behind the Stormer, is sort of the meeting point between the “1488 crowd” and the rest of the Alt Right.  His work is more in line with the Right Stuff, but he also has offloaded his work to places like Radio Aryan, which is better known for reviving neo-Nazi speeches by people like the National Alliance founder William Pierce.  Anglin’s article about Breitbart’s treatment, titled “Breitbart’s Alt Right Analysis is the Product of a Degenerate Homosexual and an Ethnic Mongrel.”  He notes immediately that one of the authors(Bokhari) is “half Paki,” and that Yiannopoulos is both Jewish and gay.  Anglin is likely correct in his main allegation against Brietbart: they are coopting the energy of the Alt Right.  His main points of contention here are that they do not give the Daily Stormer the due he feels is deserved, and, second, they don’t talk about the Jews.

Anglin continues his regular diatribes, calling the Bosnian genocide a joke and the authors cucks.  He goes through the article almost paragraph by paragraph with a Live-Tweet transcript of self-indulgence, something the Daily Stormer does in its tired frenzy to stay relevant among its angry racist subculture.  He also picks up that seem to think that the Alt Right is actually queer and Jewish friendly, and that the jokes are, well, just jokes.

Well, let me go ahead and explain something which the authors of this piece are already aware of: the people who invite homos and Pakis to their conferences are a totally separate group than the people who are joking about the Holocaust. As I said above, what this article attempts to do is force the entire alt-right movement under the banner of a tiny minority who no one actually cares about and who get virtually zero traffic on their pro-Jew, pro-homo websites.

This article attempts to create confusion where there isn’t any.

Also, I don’t know what a non-satirical Holocaust joke would look like, exactly, but no one who jokes about the Holocaust believes it actually happened.

 

The reception to the Breitbart piece from the mainstream press has been mixed, with places like Daily Wire taking a sort of “respectful disagreement” stance.  They note that the Alt Right gives “cover to actual anti-Semites and racists.”  This in and of itself still plays into Breitbart’s point, which is that the Alt Right is not just openly the newest branding of neo-fascism.  The Alt Right provides no cover: it is what racists, anti-Semites, misogynists, and neo-fascist are today.  Milo has stated publicly that the Alt Right and the Trump phenomenon are direct responses to the left, in that the anti-PC nature of it is for show and a response to allegations of racism.  This is the voice of someone who either cannot simply believe the level of racism he is associating with, or who thinks that he can use ironic ugliness to slide nationalism into the internet substream.

“There’s no hatefulness, racism, sexism, homophobia left in this country,” Milo said in a televised discussion with Dave Rubin.  This came directly after saying that many stereotypes turn out to by right before shifting into the idea that differences and prejudices may exist yet should be tolerated as long as they were not violent or intrusive.  This is not only a grade-school attempt at analyzing social structures, but it is a G-rated version of the “identitarianism” peddled by most of the Alt Right.  Milo has clearly been walking this line for some time now, coming to prominence first for siding with the Men’s Rights Activists during the “Gamergate” non-controversy.

It may end up being unfair to single Milo and his co-author out since it is Breitbart at large that has been a crossover point for the far-right, at least in terms of racialism, immigration restriction, homophobia, and rape apologism.

The relationship between the Alt Right and Breitbart has not always been an easy one, however.  Richard Spencer, the person who coined the term Alternative Right and now runs the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, covered the firing of John Derbyshire from the National Review heavily in 2012.  Derbyshire was let go after a column he wrote for Taki’s Magazine was released called The Talk: The Non-Black Version.  The article was a sort-of parody of the talk that many black families have to have with their sons to explain racial targeting by the police.  Derbyshire’s family talk, on the other hand, was to warn his children to stay away from black people.  Shortly after his firing, and before he spoke at the American Renaissance conference that year, he was roundly denounced by publications around the country.  Breitbart was vicious in their condemnation, but, as Spencer pointed out, Breitbart is part of a new conservative media that based their entire existence on subliminal race-baiting.

Glenn Beck and the late Andrew Breitbart are (and were) Grand Mastersof(sic) the race-baiting game. Breitbart rose to national awareness publishing videos of James O’Keefe, dressed as a ‘70s Black pimp, entering a Black-run ACORN office in search of government funding for his “ho.” Breitbart later warned conservatives of the dangers of Black Nationalists in the Department of Agriculture. His posthumous coup (which ultimately fell flat) was to hint that the President himself isn’t what he seems . . . . He’s no liberal backed by Wall Street, no; he’s a closet Black Nationalist!

The Blaze and Breitbart (Beck’s and Breitbart’s answers to the Huffington Post) have filled their webpages with salacious stories of various flash-mob attacks and general Black misbehavior. As I write (Sunday, April 8), the top story on The Blaze is about the New Black Panther Party’s call for a “race war.” On the same night that Breitbart declared John Derbyshire to be a non-person for talking about the dangers of Blacks, its best-read story was one on a unsuspecting White Man who ventured into Black Baltimore and was attacked and stripped of all clothes and possession by a feral gang.

When Andrew Breitbart explicitly talked about his political philosophy, one got the impression that it was some kind of universalistic libertarianism; Beck outdid him in genuflecting to the myth of Martin Luther King. But what they sold to their readers is quite different. It was never about race, but about “principles” and “fair play.”

Breitbart and Glenn Beck have made white tensions the foundation of their popularity, playing the populist game on a direct route to Donald Trump.  Breitbart columnists have made names for themselves trying to attack liberals, publicly using “dog whistle” racial language, and trying their best to instill fears of demographic replacement and non-white crime in aging Caucasian Baby Boomers.

The animosity between the Alt Right and Breitbart slowly dissipated, and by 2015 there began to be a certain amount of cross-over in the same way that Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter have had tacit flirtations with the movement as well.  The #Cuckservative meme was the beginning of major topical crossovers, with Breitbart reporters using the phrase popularized by the Right Stuff and Twitter personalities like Ricky Vaughn to describe Beltway conservatives they felt were making poor immigration choices.  In “’Cuckservative’ is a Gloriously Effective Insult That Should Not Be Slurred, Demonised, or Ridiculed,” Milo Yiannopoulos had already defended the 4Chan white nationalist community by bringing Breitbart to their side unequivocally.

But we don’t cry “racist” whenever someone says any of these words. That would be stupid. That would be playing the sort of dumb, disingenuous game that liberal race-baiters do. Right?

Thus, “cuckservative” can mean many things. It could mean conservatives who are afraid of social exclusion and kowtow to the liberal media establishment. It could mean conservatives who play the left’s game of identity politics, accusing their internal opponents, such as Donald Trump, of being racist or sexist or rapey for spurious or opportunistic reasons.

This support moved to their “edgy” backing of Donald Trump, though they still have a coin in the race for Ted Cruz.  People like Milo seem to have a strong voice inside of Breitbart’s political presence, where he is seen as the hip new face of conservatism.  This may be why they will continue to allow him to use their popularity as a gateway for white nationalism since they generally see this as just another “young” political phenomenon they do not understand.  Best trust Milo on this one.

Their focus on racism may only have intensified in the last year as they really are carrying on Andrew Breitbart’s effort to bait the left.  In articles like “Racism: ‘White Men Must be Stopped’ Says Salon Magazine,” they attempt to undermine real reporting on issues of racism so as to take out the legs of an effective anti-racist movement.  In the above mentioned article, Lee Stranahan goes almost line by line through a Salon article, tries to minimize how cruel chattel slavery was, and cherry-picks evidence to make slavery in America nothing too “unique.”  In a world where, as they accuse, mainstream conservatives are continuing to slide away from open racism, Breitbart and its constituency are doubling down (And if you view Breitbart’s comments section, that might be tripling down.).

Milo may not be making the kind of friends he hoped he had, but the Alt Right is happy for the continued exposure.  The far-right needs stop over points so that they can manipulate the moments of populism that the GOP can still muster.  Donald Trump is mainstreaming their views, and Breitbart, among others, is actually giving their name a bit of credibility among the fragmenting parts of the disheveled Republican Party.  Breitbart is one of the devices that conservatives are looking to rebrand and identify themselves now that the conservative movement invented by William Buckley as a Cold War tool is dead, a mantle also being taken up by places like Reason Magazine and other libertarian vessels.  The moment when it seemed clear that the libertarians were going to hold the keys for the future of conservatism is over, as can be see very obviously by the fate of people like Rand Paul.  Now it seems that nationalism is the key to winning the populist wave, something that could not have been predicted to cross over in this way before Trump turned off-the-cuff racism into a winning strategy.

Milo is attempting to recruit this racism, put it in skinny jeans, and make it the outlier constituency of the Breitbart defined American conservative.  It will likely not take place the way he is hoping, but it can easily be a tool to recruit and further build the white nationalist movement that is seeing a new kind of Renaissance.  In this way, it is important to identify exactly what they are doing and saying, and to make Breitbart accountable for being a mouthpiece of the far right.  They enjoy the battle with the liberal left, but what about the actual radical left?

When it comes to the recent Chicago shut down of Donald Trump and the growing Antifa presence, there are some avenues to show Breitbart that their snarky racism can be shut down.  Real fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Operation Equinox Nefolk Tour Continues to Be Confronted by Antifa

The popular Neofolk bands that have joined the Operation Equinox Tour have had quite a bit of trouble from anti-fascist rabblerousers since the shows began.  The tour is being co-sponsored by the far-right Heathen Harvest, which we covered previously in our look deep into their politics and the fascist sympathies of most the bands on this tour’s bill.  The tour’s main sponsor, Annihilvs Power Electronix, is the face that many of the venues actually know, so when confronted many of the stage managers actually did not know about the Heathen Harvest connection (though the bands were already publicly controversial).

Lee Bartow of Annihilvs went back to Heathen Harvest in an interview to attack Antifa organizers who he thinks are unfairly targeting this tour and, of course, he believes his own multicultural background should insulate the tour from criticism.

The thing that strikes me as odd about this whole thing is, in the very few posts I’ve seen online about boycotting or resisting or calls to action against the perceived fascism of the artists on this tour, I have been either not mentioned at all, or mentioned only in passing, as though I am some peripheral figure to be half-mentioned. Nobody has contacted me directly about any of it. Looking at the whole thing from my particular perspective, [it] strikes me as one individual’s personal vendetta. The fact that I orchestrated the entire tour, coordinated with all the promoters, collected the funds for the airfare, and am renting and driving the vehicle, which will take them from city to city, has been entirely ignored. The fact that I have a Jewish mother and African-American father seems to me as the most likely reason for this. It would put a rather salient dent in the argument that we’re all a bunch of Nazis hell-bent on spreading a gospel of intolerance across the country. As a child, I bore witness to my father being threatened and insulted because of the color of his skin, and I myself was called a “penny-pinching Jew” by all the black kids in my neighborhood, while the white kids saw fit to call me “zebra” or “half-breed.” The implication that I’d have any interest in supporting anyone’s racist agenda is preposterous. But, particularly in the current age of Internet-armchair warriors, it’s extremely difficult for people to comprehend the nuances of real life. They are uncomfortable with the concept of moral ambiguity; they cannot comprehend that a half-black Jew would count someone like Boyd Rice among his biggest influences, nor do they have the capacity to realize that the world is not interested in hearing of their outrage. Some of the biggest Death in June fans I know are Jewish.

He went on to say that there certainly is a part of the “scene” that has these far-right connections, but he is just here for the music.  This is a transparent attempt to whitewash the reality of the movement he is helping to promote, where he gives a tacit support of racial nationalism by not only providing them a voice, but making money doing so.  He alleges that the Antifa protesters are really totalitarians, an easy go-to for those who want to defend fascists on free speech grounds, but he fails to see the role of community action in the attack of totalitarian racial movements in utero.

The confrontations for the tour continued and on Wednesday, March 30th, the Philadelphia show date at the Convent was directly confronted by community anti-fascists.  According to a report back posted by It’s Going Down, this included the destruction of one of the band’s gear.

On Wednesday, March 30, the neofolk music tour “Operation Equinox 2016,” sponsored by extreme right blog Heathen Harvest, held its Philly show date. Held at a small former convent called The Convent in a deeply creepy, almost entirely white neighborhood that was filled with blue porch lights and cameras on residences, the show ended prematurely with the arrival of the cops, presumably called in by the cop-loving neighbors. While the cops were inside the show only a block away, a small mob of reckless vandals attacked the touring bands’ van, slashing its tires, painting the windshield and sides, and destroying several of its windows.

It’s disgusting and ridiculous that these bands even got booked at all. Fascist ideas should have no place anywhere, including in DIY music scenes. Yet this isn’t the first time we hear about crypto-fascist bands playing outside of the typical racist skinhead milieus, veiling white supremacist views in more sympathetic counter-cultural words and aesthetics. Wherever fascism rears its head, whether wearing swastikas and boots or studded vests and torn jeans, our reaction will always be the same: No Pasaran!

Let’s hope this is just the start not of just confronting the soon ending Operation Equinox, but Neofolk tours who maintain these New Right and Alt Right connections.  Let this be a line in the sand for anti-racist Neofolk musicians and fans to stop supporting this wing of the movement.

 

 

Love of Trump: National Policy Institute’s ‘Identity Politics’ and the Antifa Challenge

Richard Spencer, the National Policy Institute(NPI), and the rest of the Alt Right hid behind the security of the government backed Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. on March 5th.  Every year NPI, who is the definition of suit-and-tie white nationalism, holds two conferences.  This spring conference is the shorter of the two, usually just taking up just an evening and having three speakers rather than a full line-up.  This conference was called Identity Politics, which is a play on the identify politics that have permeated leftist space.  Since their “identitarianism” is all about advocating for “white identity,” they often attempt to claim that they are just like feminists, black advocates, or LGBT people, advocating for their “own interests.”  The event could easily have just been Donald Trump themed as that is what the promotional material, and all the speeches, consisted of.

For years, NPI and its associated Radix Journal, have pushed a more pseudo-intellectual and radical direction, focusing on anti-political figures, philosophers, and revolutionaries.  Their goal was to create a radical right intellectual counter-culture, that was until Donald Trump’s guttural racism taught them it was better to just dumb it down and troll on Twitter.  Now the NPI conference has forgone its diversity of racist voices and instead just find different ways to say “vote for Trump.”

The three speakers were well traveled, starting with NPI’s president and the founder of the Radix Journal and, formerly, Alternative Right, Richard Spencer.  Spencer has become a leader of this American version of the New Right, now called Alt Right after the term he coined for the various forms of dissident right-wing strands of thought.  Spencer has become a leading voice mainly because he controls the platform, where he gives very similar whimsical speeches that are devoid of strategy and tactics.  That was essentially what was at play this evening as Spencer rapped poetic about Trump, elevating him towards their intellectual tradition while ignoring the fact that Donald Trump’s racial politics are a form of primitive populism rather than the elitist right-wing philosophy they advocate.

RamZPaul did a version of his regular sort-of-stand-up, this time explaining what the Alt Right is in a speech ironically called “The Alternative Right and Masturbating to Anime.”  This was a reference to a recent Republican commentator Rick Wilson who said on MSNBC that Donald Trump supporters had “Hitler iconography on their Twitter accounts” and “masturbated to Anime.”  This speech seems sort of like child’s play for Paul, yet he usually does this type of comedic exposition, with previous ones for topics like the Dark Enlightenment.  RamZPaul became an internet sensation with his racist and anti-modern comedy routines, which are bare-bones, talk-into-the-camera fare.  This seemed to have some relevance when he was the only person doing a funny act inside of the Alt Right, but now that the Right Stuff and their various skit-makers have come along, RamZPaul seems as though he has become obsolete.  This was extra apparent on the 5th as he bumbled along his speech, missing most joke opportunities and showing obvious how limited his knowledge was beyond Alt Right talking points.

The largest attraction of the three seems to be Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Long Beach Professor Kevin McDonald.  We have covered McDonald at length in the past as he is the most prominent and persuasive anti-Semite of the last fifty years.  His Culture of Critique book series declares Judaism to be a “group evolutionary strategy” that Jews use to compete with Gentiles for resources.  They use their ethnocentrism, high “verbal intelligence,” and cripsis to undermine Western values like nationalism, identity, and masculinity.  They do this by creating pseudoscience that are meant to actually disrupt society, such as Boesian Anthropology, Freudian Psychology, and Frankfurt School Marxism.  His conspiracy thinking now says that Cultural Marxism (a term they invented), started by Jews like Leon Trotsky and Theodor Adorno, injected the egalitarian values of Marxism into the social sphere, where they undermine national identity and natural hierarchies.  He has been able to create a veneer of science over a unified theory of anti-Semitism, which white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and their ilk have rallied around in an effort to try and explain their anti-Semitism.  He has been open (since receiving tenure, at least) about his racial nationalism, editing the white nationalist web-publication The Occidental Observer and the journal the Occidental Quarterly.  Most recently, McDonald has been working on a book on the history of the “white race,” which uses outdated ideas such as Nordicism and eugenic understandings of racial differences to try and construct a narrative about Aryans.

Instead of going into most of that trite, he went back to the favorite recent subject of the other two speakers: Donald Trump.  He could not get far beyond his admiration for Donald, though even he could not seem to justify Donald’s spastic buffoonery by caking it in “identitarian” terms.  He went on to say that the GOP had not lived up to their demographic base, namely helping out white men.

The crowd was noticeably smaller than October’s gathering, closer to 150 people, which was in part because it was a smaller event and because it had been less promoted.  The major difference was that the anti-fascist presence outside was both larger and more confrontational, a turn that shows how the relevance of the Donald Trump candidacy is also bringing out Antifa supporters to get involved in counter-organizing.  Effigies of speakers like RamZPaul were hung out, and photos of participants taken so as to lift the veil that many of these internet focused race trolls tend to hide behind.

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This included an official participation from the Party for Socialism and Liberation(PSL), who has signs reading “SHUT IT DOWN! National Policy Institute = Racist White Supremacists.”  This was an incredible turn as anti-fascist organizing is often perceived as being exclusively an anarchist movement, and this kind of unity is going to be crucial now that we are up against an increasing threat of Alt Right white nationalism.  From the racists’ own accounts, there were two guarded elevators in which to enter and some were able to evade the growing crowd of several dozen anti-fascist protesters, which gives Antifa a tactical advantage at NPI’s coming Fall event.  Covering these entrances provides them the opportunity to take photos that can later be used to identify participants, many of which (especially in the Daily Shoah and My Posting Career crowd), are hiding behind their podcast microphones and Twitter handles.

Events like this are now explicitly using Donald Trump as a rallying cry as the event was more or less a universal declaration of Trump love.  Richard Spencer did caution against believing that Donald Trump himself was Alt Right, but instead noting that they both have a common trajectory and that Donald Trump is mainstreaming their positions of ethnic nationalism, enforced hierarchy, and racial hatred.  This should mobilize anti-fascists to replay what happened in Chicago at other Donald Trump events, where their numbers can easily overwhelm the silly tough-persona of the proposed Lion’s Guard.  It also shows that this Donald Trump mobilization can be used reflexively to go after explicit white nationalists, and that an anti-fascist movement is only growing.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Schulman is Not an Anti-Semite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paramilitary ‘Brown Shirt’ Organization Announced to Attack Opposition to Donald Trump

The debate as to whether or not the Donald Trump campaign is fascist has tossed between scholars and activists for months, with more and more people allying with the idea that Trumpism is a unique, 21st century American fascism.  Some established scholars in Comparative Fascist Studies have refused to go beyond lines like “fascist-like,” “proto-fascist,” or “right populist” to describe the phenomenon.  Robert O. Paxon, often called the establishment voice of Comparative Fascist Studies with his book The Anatomy of Fascism, recently went on Democracy Now to discuss the Trump phenomenon.  Here he correctly said it was inappropriate to call Republicans or authoritarianism at-large fascism, and then went on to say that if a paramilitary violent force was institutionalized in support of Trump then he would truly be a fascist.

One of the qualities of fascism was that they admired violence. They thought that violence had an esthetic quality, provided it was violence directed toward the revival of a damaged country or damaged state. And a little of that redemptive violence is showing up in Trump’s rhetoric, because he’s suggesting to the crowd and encouraging them to think that it’s good to rough up people they disagree with. And this is an ominous development.

It looks like, only a couple of days later, this has crystalized.

Donald Trump rallies have seen increasing violence against protesters, from videos of angry white men yelling “go back to Africa” or “send them to Auschwitz” to demonstrators to the aging racist who sucker punched a black protester as he was being led out.  Protests have only increased, culminating in the Chicago action that completely shut down the Trump rally before it began.

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Now, a group of militant Donald Trump protesters have formed a militia paramilitary wing to attack leftist opposition at Trump events.  Named after a quote from Benito Mussolini, “It is better to live one day as a lion than one-hundred years as a sheep!”, a quote which was already passed around by Trump on Twitter, the Lion Guard is exploding onto the right-wing political scene and adding locals in different states.  In their announcement letter, they say that the leftist opposition comes from an unchallenged “cult,” of which they see the need to create a counter-cult of violence to shut them down.

On March 11, 2016, five decades of radical left coddling reached its newest and most disgusting low as members of the free stuff cult, by deception and violence, attacked the Trump 2016 rally in Chicago, Illinois. In his magnanimity and concern for public safety, Donald Trump responded by canceling the rally. The Spartacists posers crowed they had canceled the rally, chanting they “Stumped Trump.” As a single event, it was minor and unsurprising, Chicago was the scene of the 1968 Democrat Convention Riot and, in the current year, the city is teeming with anti-American agitators and a skyrocketing murder rate. But this was not an isolated incident, this was part of a long train of abuses imposed upon the American public by treasonous horde.

The wicked deeds of this horde are not merely historical events; as many witnessed this weekend, an American hating brigand attempted to take the life of Donald Trump. He did not get there as part of some grand conspiracy, no one dare implies the Secret Service or Trump’s own security knowingly allowed this marauder into the rally. How did this son of a Democrat establishment cog get so close to Donald Trump? The same way as the scores of hooligans infiltrated the Trump rally in Chicago: lies.

Numerous tweets discovered after the leftist hate-nanny in Chicago revealed, these agents of chaos posed as Trump supporters to get tickets and to get access to the event. Amazingly, these people were gloating before the event started. Posting to social media their plans and appearances in a desperate attempt for social approval of their Maoist tactics. When seeing these egotistical tweets, there were two choices: endure the outrage of this conceit or stand up to it. To “Make America Great Again” there could only be one choice: stand up to it.

The foes arrayed against the movement to Make America Great Again are not invincible. If there is one word to describe them, they are vain. They act not out of a sense of patriotism but a compulsive need for affirmation that they are morally superior. With the advent of social media, this quest for recognition has taken new directions. In the past, these rabble would find much needed approval at their turncoat gatherings, seeing fellow cultists recite the same slogans and pantomime the same charades. Today, these malcontents can get their approval before they even engage in their pretentious farces by merely broadcasting their plans. They are not hesitant to announce their depravity because they think there are no consequences for their conduct. They gloat while under the hallucination they are above the law.

In the current year, it is very difficult to disabuse them of such a fantasy. Within 24 hours, the man who attempted to assassinate Mr. Trump in Dayton, Ohio, was released from jail and being interviewed on CNN. Within 24 hours an avowed anti-American bigot that tried to kill a presidential candidate was being interviewed by a major US news network like a national hero. Today in the United States, hating America and attacking American patriots is celebrated, while loving the USA and defending patriots is ridiculed as “extremism” or other sophistries. With the establishment, both left and right, against any effort to Make America Great Again, we cannot expect traditional channels of influence to stem this perfidious tide. Make America Great Again cannot be a mere slogan, it has to become a life choice in the face of force that wants to make America cinders forever.

At his Kansas City rally Sunday night, Donald Trump correctly identified the cultists attacking his rallies as the same forces trying to destroy America. As patriotic Americans, we must stand up to them. How to stand up to them is the issue. One suggestion is creating a paramilitary organization to patrol future Trump rallies and stop any violence by the America-hating fiends. While not a bad idea, it calls on fellow Trump supporters to engage in the sort of brawling the mainstream media wants to use against the Trump campaign. It also seems redundant, Mr. Trump already had secret service protecting his life and well paid security protecting his events from gate crashers. Mr. Trump’s problem is not the barbarians at the gate, it’s the sappers within them!

Another suggestion is to scour social media for all threats against Mr. Trump and his rallies and to report them to the secret service. While this can be useful with blatant threats against the life of Mr. Trump and his supporters, it is unreasonable to expect the Secret Service to use its limited resources to screen out reprobates trying to cause another Chicago. Trump’s security may have more resources for screening, but it is doubtful they have the necessary resources to gather intelligence and identify infiltrators before they can act. This creates a gap in Mr. Trump’s security, where those who wish to intimidate Trump’s supporters can sow discord at Trump rallies. While reporting would-be assassins to the Secret Service and Trump’s security helps, it is not enough to stop another Chicago or Dayton.

The Lion Guard is a call to put the words “Make America Great Again” into action and aid Trump’s security and show our adversaries we are disciplined, perceptive, and watching. Everyone who identifies with the idea of Lion Guard is called to search out for any Anti-M.A.G.A. social media account that is planning to infiltrate, disrupt, attack, or otherwise do harm to Mr. Trump, any Trump rally, or any Trump supporter. Archive any post or other broadcast plotting these assaults and the identity of the plotter(s) and share it on your own social media account, with the Trump Campaign, with the Secret Service and/or with Lion Guard. Fellow Trump supporters at the rally, will see these exposed plots find the plotters in the rally crowd and report them to Trump’s security for prompt expulsion because they breached the terms of their ticket. If you want to make sure there are Trump supporters on watch at every rally, start a Lion Guard chapter in your town TODAY. But remember, Lion Guard is principally to observe and report these vandals to the proper authorities, not confront them with force; we will not give the media more fodder against Mr. Trump and his plans to Make America Great Again.

The Lion Guard needs partner in Mr. Trump’s quest to Make America Great Again to stand up and really want to do something to make every Trump rally a safe and positive environment for American patriots. Every plot we expose and stop is one less incident for the mainstream media to use. Every plot we expose and stop is one more blow to the morale of the America-hating horde. Every plot we expose and stop is another accomplishment to Make America Great Again.

This force is the modern version of the Brownshirts, a paramilitary force that is meant to attack political opponents and leftist voices and to institute a social force of violent coercion.  For Paxon’s view of the Five Stage of Fascism, this paramilitary wing is a crucial part of the development of a fascist movement that leads into the seizure of state power.  For those that have decried analogies comparing Donald Trump to the European fascism of the interwar period, it seems like the parallels are becoming hardened as we increasingly fit the model that almost all scholars have been warning us about.

This presents a unique challenge for anti-fascist as the numbers of those willing to rise up against this fascist political movement are increasing, and they are seeing violence as almost assured.  As Trump heads towards the general election, hopefully anti-racist and anti-fascist organizing will only continue, link arms with the larger immigrant rights and Black Lives Matter movement, and be able to confront the Lions Guard directly.

Bank Blocked: The Daily Shoah Gets Banned on PayPal

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Using their own language, they got “ovened” and “Shoa’d,” which speaks to exactly the offensive self-importance that got them removed.  Just a few months after being dropped from their podcast hosting at Soundcloud, The Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah just got dropped from PayPal.  On every single show they read out PayPal donations that sum into the several hundred a week.  This seems to be their primary area of funding and besides this they accept Bitcoin, which they had been encouraging some of these payments because their new hosting service actually does take this crypto-currency.

Now they are giving their racist fan base two primary options, with the one available today being Bitcoin.  This is going to be a near impossibility as Bitcoin is becoming increasingly irrelevant and unused by most people, primarily because of its difficulty of acquisition and its unstable exchange rate.  They are discussing using private PayPal accounts for known donators, but it is not going to allow them to take general public donations because they rabidly hide their identities.

This great “shuddering” is similar to what Richard Spencer of Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute spoke of in a recent video and on the Daily Shoah, in that this is a “new” type of censorship where monolithic private companies ban them and their ideas from doing business.  This is incredible overstep as the Daily Shoah looks like an incredible exception because of their language and coded references to violence.

They spent most of the beginning of the newest Daily Shoah, #75, laughing sadly about it and discussing alternative options.

This comes as they also announce that they are officially a corporation, with news just in from their attorney.  They had been working on efforts to incorporate so as to be able to write off expenses and accept donations without having their name attached.  Their fear is that anti-fascists would be able to look up their tax records and reveal their legal names, which could then get them fired from their jobs.  While they may rant and rave on their podcasts, they are actually very protective of their private lives.

This seems as though it will be an ongoing problem for the growing Right Stuff network of podcasts as they are battling to keep their digital facilities going.  The large influx of money has always helped, but this is going to be a huge bomb on their fundraising abilities.  This will likely slow down attempts to keep their process going more so than most others, and is further relegating them outside of public speech platforms.

iTunes, Soundcloud, and their forum hosting has all shaken them off at this point, and it is just a matter of time before even more public companies refuse to do business with their violent racism.  This “shuddering” is happening at the same time as the white nationalist podcasting renaissance, which means that the battle has largely been taken to these platforms in a way that anti-fascists have never seen before.  This is not the first time that PayPal has banned groups like these, with Andrew Anglin from The Daily Stormer and the National Youth Front(now in the process of changing its name) was kicked off as well.

This may give a new organizing angle for anti-fascists dealing with this new mill of white nationalist material, where this centralization gives constant pressure points for organizers.  At the same time, many of these services could likely ban anti-fascist and anarchist voices as well, so the implications are mixed.

Making LaVoy a Martyr: Militia Movement Rallies in Oregon [Photos]

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After the Malheur stand-off resulted in one person dead and several of the original militia members facing felony charges, it seemed like the far-right militia movement that rallied around the Hammond family would take a hit.  In recent weeks we have seen them self-reviving, having rallies around Oregon(and around the country) calling for federal lands to be turned over to financial interests like mining and logging.  This has been called the great “second wave” of the militia movement, which was declared dead after a previous generation of its activity culminated in the 1995 bombing on the Oklahoma Federal Building.  Previous raids by the ATF on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas and the earlier intervention on Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge had started a wave of their organizing, often being founded around deeply racist enclaves like the Christian Identity church and Posse Comitatus.

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On Saturday, March 5th, supporters of the militias and “patriots” came out in Portland and other cities on a call from the Oath Keepers.  Beyond calling for the abolition of federal land, many are calling for a prosecution of the law enforcement officers who killed LaVoy Finicum.  Many have gone online calling for a “citizen’s grand jury” where individuals are “deputized” to “indict” the people involved in Finicum’s death.  Memes, t-shirts, and signs show an LV logo to remind people of LaVoy, as well as the more common symbols associated with the movement, such as excessive number of American flags and notices including coded racial language.

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A small counter protest was organized in support of public land, such as the Malheur preserve that was disturbed by the militia occupation, as well as in support of First Nations tribal land, like the Palute tribal land that was desecrated during the stand-off.

While these coordinated rallies show a sign of both the rise of the radical wing of the “patriot” movement, it also indicates the mainstreaming of many of their ideas.  While there were regular conservative supporters that came out for the openly racist and Nativist core of the movement, there is also a public “land grab” that is happening on the state level around the country.  In Alaska, a legislative committee is going against federal law by assigning 222 million acres of public lands over to the state for dissemination.  The Outdoor Industry Association notes that public land brings in over $646 billion in “economic benefit,” not to mention 6.1 million jobs.  The attempt to take out federal land is not one that would give it further access to “the people,” but instead an ideological war that large extractionist companies would benefit from as they would gain access to land that was considered a part of the commons.  The militia camp sees it as a sign of an overreaching government, which is a point at which lacks even the most basic understandings as to what elements of the state maintain systemic oppression or enable the elements of capital.  The militia instead make up a cultural segment of a growing reactionary core that is protesting progress, whether it is environmentalism, racial multiculturalism, or a multi-religious community.

At the rally in Portland, the police prevented intermingling between the “patriots” and the counter-protesters who were calling for a support for publicly accessible land.  Masked protesters were blocked when running in to confront the militia supporters, though many were allowed to intermingle when being more unassuming in appearance.

I almost wish you guys critiquing their racism had the “privilege” to show up as a person of color,” said one counter-protester who made their way through the opposing crowd.

It’s the only time I’ve been watched so closely by people and asked in an angry tone over and over “Why are you taking pictures?”, “Who are you with?”, “Where are these going?”, “Why?”. “Why?”, “Why?”. I’ve been asked that question usually once or twice at every event I cover, but never once in an accusatory manner as if I shouldn’t be there, and NEVER as many times as it happened today, not even close. Then there was the revealing moment when they all got so happy because a black guy had waved out his window and honked as he drove by–you should have witnessed all their back-patting and pleasure and excitement that they got from getting their token PoC for the day. It was a strange reaction when he was just one of many that waved and honked with no fan-fare.

One photographer reported being shoved while taking pictures.

The militia movement was set back after their bizarre overreaching at Malheur, but it is a growing player in the far-right that anti-fascists around the country will continue to encounter.

Fascist Entryism: AdBusters and the Problem of Hazy Politics

Note: Before we get started, we want to unequivacably say that we do not think that AdBusters is a fascist or fascist allied publication.  We enjoy a great deal of what they publish, support their project, and will continue to re-post articles, videos, and art from them.  Instead, AdBusters is just an example where the left creates open points that fascists can infiltrate.

 

The conventional political spectrum often betrays the actual process for radicalization that takes places on what we call the “far-right.”  The term far-right is often negated by comparative fascist studies scholars because it lacks clear boundaries.  Is it right populism?  Was Hitler on the far-right, or Ron Paul?  What we generally mean is anything that is within the fascism spectrum, from racialist to masculanist to other forms of militant right-wing politics.  The defining feature of fascism is that it adopts many aspects of the left, while maintaining the values of the far-right.  This means it may critique capitalism, argue for protection of the environment, and be anti-war, yet do it for reasons that are racialized, based on hierarchy, and opposed to democracy and equality.  It is because of this that they have found easy entry points into the left, often using a lack of ideological coherence or the willingness to be open to conflicting views if they share some political affinity.

Fascist infiltration in left spaces is reported reasonably often, from participation in Palestinian support work inspired by their anti-Semitism to points when the American Freedom Party or National Socialist Movement will join actions against the TPP.  When we get to vaguer left spaces, where analysis is growing and reshaping, this can be the perfect place to slide in and create doubt and complicate the analysis.

AdBusters has been a left institution for a couple of decades now.  Coming out of the “Culture Jamming” period of the 1990s, it was really founded on anti-globalization principles that were critical of global capitalism because of the way it destroys human interactions, replaces consciousness with vapid branding, and generally destroys the earth, communities, and free thinking through compulsive consumerism.  This type of analysis has become less and less popular since the 2008 financial crisis, largely because it is a critique of the excesses of capitalism.  Today, many people would love to have access to that kind of suburban wasteland, but as poverty and the inability to join the working middle class grows, the focus on capitalism’s effects at creating “boredom” and general affluence is less central.  That being said, they have continued to be an incredibly relevant publication, and they were the rhetorical beginning of Occupy Wallstreet, even if they did not do any real organizing work.

While they are often criticized for using the same flashy style as the media organizations they critique, they have used a beautiful design model to subvert conventional communication.  They also attempt to go beyond the analysis of the left at many points and forgo conventional political essays in favor of appeals that are often more emotional, narrative, and experimental.

Within this model, a clear political line is lacking, and they likely support having a diversity of voices.  Inside of that model, however, there has been a lacking of discernment for how some voices have become present.  Part of this comes from the willingness to include voices that would be controversial, even on the radical left, and part of it comes from a lack of understanding among the editors of what fascist crossover politics actually look like.

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As is common in publications that deal with issues like American foreign policy, Palestinian oppression, and AIPAC, AdBusters has been accused of anti-Semitism.  They would likely say that this is a buzzword used to denigrate supporters of Palestine, and it has been on occasion, but it is also incredibly accurate for many choices they have made.  In a much publicized issue from March 2004, they ran a story called “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?,” which looked at the number of supposed Jews among the Neoconservative establishment of the time.  This attempt to identify “Jewish power” is a major fascist talking point, and is often parroted by people like white nationalist academic Kevin McDonald, where they try and show that Neconservatism is a movement comes from former Trotskyists and is actually is a “far-left” and Jewish ethnic agenda.  This comes from the idea that Jews operate on an ethnic interest collectively, and therefore they are actually allied with Israel instead of the U.S.  The article itself outlines a key area of entryism: the inability to be discerning.  Here, instead of having a clear analysis of Israel, its role in global capitalism, and then the politics key to the Bush administration, they focus in on something that has an incredible history of violent oppression: whether or not they are Jews.

A lot of ink has been spilled chronicling the pro-Israel leanings of American neocons and fact that a disproportionate percentage of them are Jewish. Some commentators are worried that these individuals – labeled ‘Likudniks’ for their links to Israel’s right wing Likud party – do not distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests. For example, whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?

Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. But the point is not that Jews (who make up less than 2 percent of the American population) have a monolithic perspective. Indeed, American Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat and many of them disagree strongly with Ariel Sharon’s policies and Bush’s aggression in Iraq. The point is simply that the neocons seem to have a special affinity for Israel that influences their political thinking and consequently American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential neocons in the US (see above). Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish.

Again, in 2010 an issue had a cover comparing the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto, which caused them to be pulled from shelves in different places.  This may be a defensible point when discussing the open-air prison that Gaza had become, but it lacks a clear willingness to confront anti-Semitism as well when building a political analysis about the Palestinian people.

Lasn himself is fond of publishing 9/11-Truthers who blame the attack on the World Trade Center on “Zionist Jews.”  This includes people like Bill and Kathleen Christison, who published their article “Elliot Abrams: Dual Loyalist and Neocon Extraordinaire.”  Here they said that the former deputy national security adviser was behind the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon.  We should look closely at their title, mainly “dual loyalist.”  While they are trying to eschew direct connections, this is the kind of rhetoric that was employed for years in American anti-Semitism where it is said that Jews are actually loyal to Israel instead of the U.S. (hence they have “dual loyalties”).  This is not a direct line, but more of a “dog whistle” to anti-Semitic images of Jews as secretive, diabolical, and using crypsis to hide in society.

AdBusters has also been supporter of Israeli writer Gilard Atzmon, who has often referred to his own anti-Semitism even though he is an ethnic Jew.  He has written essays that say that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the anti-Semitic forgery that claims to be a written account of Jewish leaders planning the destruction of the West, had “prophetic qualities.”  Atzom has even gone as far as asking borderline Holocaust Denial questions, saying “if the Nazis ran a death factory in Aushwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them?”

We are ardent supporters of the Palestinian people, but to create a pro-Palestinian politic built on anti-Semitism rather than a clear political analysis is to inhabit the same racism and conspiracy theory that built the pogroms and Holocaust.

In response to the perceived anti-Semitism in AdBusters, the Canadian Jewish Congress created a campaign against Shoppers Drug Mart, that caries AdBusters, demanding that they pull the magazine from their 515 stores.  This came after AdBusters ran a spread that compared the Warsaw Ghetto to the Gaza Strip under Israeli apartheid.  This comparison is one more out of bad taste than anything, yet is a clear example of the paradox created in circles that discuss these issues without a clear understanding of the prevalence of anti-Semitism.  What has happened over the past twenty years has turned the Gaza Strip into the world’s largest open-air prisons.  What has been done to the Palestinian people, however, deserves no connection to the Holocaust unless your purpose is to undermine the trauma that the Holocaust imposed uniquely on the Jewish people.  Instead, going after the assault on Gaza on its own terms is not only acceptable, but imperative.  Memes that allege that “Zionists are the real Nazis” simply attempt to resurrect anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews so as to dismiss their humanity and to rob their suffering of importance.

Beyond their flirtation with anti-Semitism, much of what seems to be a problematic politic comes from a lack of political orientation, even broadly defined, that would filter out the more questionable voices.  An example of this, which has been challenged in places like Alternet and Jacobin Magazine, has been the magazine’s promotion of Italian conspiracy theorist Beppe Grillo.  He is labeled as “Italy’s Alex Jones,” a title that should reveal his M.O. right away.  He is known especially for going after things similar to chemtrails, being an anti-vaxxer and 9/11-Truther, and providing false cures for cancer.  He has provided manifesto-like works that argue for something like the Matrix, with virtual citizenship that is achieved through state coercion.  He is backed by Bianroberto Casaleggio, who is known for allegiances with Italy’s far-right movements, including the Northern League separatist movement.

Despite these obvious issues, they labeled him “nuanced, fresh, bold and committed as a politician,” as well as being something of a performance artist and being opposed to austerity measures in Europe.  “[C]ountries around the world, from Greece to the US., can loot [him] for inspiration.”

[Grillo] was planting the seed of a renewed-accountable, fresh, rational, responsible, energized-left, that we can hope germinates worldwide.

In a later May/June article they ran another piece supporting Grillo.  Micah White, who is now labeled as being the person in AdBusters who created the Occupy Wallstreet name before it turned into a movement, put out a video saying that the Occupy Movement should take a next step by following Grillo’s strange 5-Star Movement, the same one funded by the separatist movements in Italy.

After the defeat of Occupy, I don’t believe that there is any choice other than trying to grab power by means of an election victory…This is how I see the future: we could bring the 5-Star Movement to America and have the 5-Star Movement winning elections in Italy in America, thereby forming an international party, not only with the 5-Star movement, but other parties as well.

As Jacobin reported, in the days after that video Germany’s Der Spiegel said that Grillo’s discussion of restructuring the parliamentary system was strangely close to Mussolini’s.  Directly before that, the 5-Star Movement MP, Roberta Lombardi, was seeing media coverage after posting support for the early period of fascism in Italy.

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A lot of comparison has been made between AdBusters and places like Info Wars and Prison Planet, mainly because of their “free your mind” rhetoric.  Their line “neither left nor right, but straight ahead” is eerily reminiscent of the Third Positionist fascist rhetoric that attempts to unite political elements of the left and right behind a virulent far-right set of values.  AdBusters itself is assumed to be an anarchist project, which could probably be considered true, but more than anything it is uneven.  In an attempt to deconstruct “everyday capitalism” it often resorts to body shaming of fat people as signs of “cultural excess,” again body-shames thin people for being caught up in cultural images of beauty, and certainly revels in insulting the “sheeple” who do things like shop on Black Friday, not acknowledging that this is often due to a lack of means.  In general, it represents a semi-elitist understanding of the political spectrum in these instances, though it would be incredibly unfair to reduce AdBusters as a whole simply to these cringe-inducing moments.

The term “mental environmentalism” has been picked up as central to the AdBusters project, which is also espoused by their editors.  It is broken down as the way that capitalism and culture can jam your mind, confusing your sense of self, and can could be considered a form of sensory “pollution.”

Mental environmentalism is an emergent movement that in the coming years will be recognized as the fundamental social struggle of our era. It is both a unifying struggle – among mental environmentalists there are everything from conservative Mormons to far-left anarchists – and a struggle that finally, concretely explains the cause of the diversity of ills that threaten us.

To escape the mental chains, and finally pull off the glorious emancipatory revolution the left has so long hoped for, we must become meme warriors who, through the use of culture jamming, spark a wave of epiphanies that shatter the consumerist worldview.

Culture jamming is their answer to this, subverting branding and advertising to open up free space.  This is the name for Kalle Lasn’s, AdBuster’s founder, book.  This is an idea that was incredibly influential through anarchism of the 1990s and early 2000, and it is still an important component of struggle and survival in a capitalist world of simulacra and mental colonialism.  That being said, the AdBusters project fails to make clear distinctions that do not allow this to go into a right-wing direction, which it easily could with the assumption that these same forces of consumer capitalism attack identity, nationalism, and create decadence.

This ability to shift to the right has been seen very clearly in their most recent issue in early 2016, that comes with the tagline “Rejecting Modernity.”  This phrasing is incredibly telling, and it is perhaps the “go to” line for the esoteric neo-fascist Third Positionist movement.  The term “Against the Modern World” comes from fascist philosopher and esotericist Julius Evola, who not only rejects the technology of the modern world, but also its equality, democracy, immigration, racial mixing, and other “degeneracies.”  He believed the modern world to be in what the ancient Vedas called the “Kali Yuga,” or a Dark Age.  This was the last in a period of ages, starting with the glorious Golden Age, after which there would be a destruction and the cycle would begin again.  Some in this fascist interpretation of the Vedas saw this cycle of ages in terms of the Caste system, with each age being dominated by that caste.  In the Golden Age we were controlled by the Brahmin caste, a priestly caste that maintained the hierarchies of the world’s spiritual traditions.  Today we were ruled by the lowest caste, the worker, who, through ideologies like Marxism, have taken control of society from the natural aristocracy.

This rejection of modernity is the call in fascist cultural spaces like neofolk, racial heathenry, and other types of far-right, left hand path esotericism.  Going after the modern world is also a somewhat sanitized way of speaking about their politics, where they instead focus on obsessions with things like the myths of pre-Christian Europe rather than just ranting about race mixing.  They also end up finding some type of rhetorical crossovers with areas of the radical left, as we see in this case.  This rhetoric is frighteningly close to what we see in parts of green anarchism and anarcho-primitivism, with people like John Zerzan.  Zerzan, who is also published reasonably often at AdBusters, believes we should return to hunter-gatherer societies that were “unalienated” and non-hierarchical.  He also would reject modernity, as well as appropriate much of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger.  Zerzan also speaks about the problems of what he calls “mass cultural orientation,” a term that walks a very close line to “multi-culturalism.”  He also chooses to publish his books at Feral House Press, a publisher known for the involvement of fascist writer Michael Moynihan and has the penchant for publishing many far-right tomes.  In a review of Zerzan’s 2008 book Twilight of the Machines, anti-fascist writer Spencer Sunshine discusses this ideological closeness, but does note that Zerzan himself is not associated with those ideas.

For example, in a 1993 review of Tom Rockmore’s Heidegger’s Nazism and Philosophy, Zerzan writes that Rockmore “convincingly demonstrates that Heidegger’s Nazism was no mere contingency or accident.” But Twilight of the Machines contains a number of references to Heidegger, even though they are not always completely favorable.  Adorno, in The Jargon of Authenticity, said that thinkers who championed the unmediated self (such as Heidegger and psychologist Carl Jung) forwarded intrinsically fascist perspectives. Adorno, along with many post-structuralists, also questioned the existence of any kind of complete social totality, as well as the possibility of an unfragmented self.

Zerzan rejects these views as reflections of our own alienated society, but the fact that fascists are drawn to Zerzan’s views, and that he is inspired by certain philosophers with ugly pasts, raises concerns. In fact, it is easy to see why Nazis see his attack on symbolic thought as the same as their attack on the Jews who they claim are the source of alienation, decadence, and abstraction. Nazis see his championing of the unmediated community as the same as their desire for a homogenous, racially-pure community, which they think will exist as a unified whole, free of fragmentation.

Zerzan is not sympathetic to Nazi ideas, but in terms of certain philosophical categories, there is a closeness. Because of this, and because he rejects Adorno’s path of separation from fascism, he needs to go further than denouncing fascist political actors; he needs to confront their philosophies directly.  Zerzan needs to explain why his views are fundamentally different, and incompatible, with theirs.

Zerzan, as well as many other green anarchists and those on the anti-Civ post-left, are often appropriated by those on the far-right who reject the “modern world.”  AdBusters seems willing to put itself in that camp as well, uncritically using phrasing and overlapping ideological critiques with this neo-fascist movement.  The issue goes on to include the regular spread for AdBusters, such as the loneliness and impersonality of the “modern world.”  This part of the analysis puts them directly on par with this wing of the modern fascist politic, and there is little present here that separates them substantially from those who see this modern world as basically a contemporary “Weimar” Germany where people are alienated from their true racial identity.

As they say in Jacobin, the “Battle for the Mind,” is at the center, rather than something that could be derived from a social view or politic.

Lasn might claim not to believe in leaders, but he believes in elites: marketing professionals with a higher calling, responsible for shepherding public consciousness to save humanity from brands, from themselves.

And by exaggerating the mass media’s ability to zombie-fy the public, jammers could imagine that they, too, had Svengali-like powers over ordinary proles. For all the “tools” Adbusters offered to sway public consciousness – stencilling, stickering, page defacement, supermarket trolley sabotage – there was never much emphasis on social skills, on persuading people with politics instead of bombarding them with theater or treating them like hackable machines.

More than anything, what sets culture jammers apart from social anarchism and weds them to the Grillo camp of quacks is a unifying emphasis on a theory called “mental environmentalism.” Mental environmentalism, Micah White explains, is “the core idea behind Adbusters, the essential critique that motivates our struggle against consumer society.”

For Adbusters, concern over the flow of information goes beyond the desire to protect democratic transparency, freedom of speech or the public’s access to the airwaves. Although these are worthwhile causes, Adbusters instead situates the battle of the mind at the center of its political agenda. Fighting to counter pro-consumerist advertising is done not as a means to an end, but as the end in itself. This shift in emphasis is a crucial element of mental environmentalism.

In this way, his project could easily shift over to technocratic control or the far-right, without the ability to actually utilize culture jamming with a social endgame.  We would likely disagree with parts of the Jacobin analysis, as well as their counter-politic, but that does not mean that they are without a cogent criticism of what is happening with the culture jamming project.  In a lot of ways there is an underlying elitism that happens in this project, with the “plebes” in the streets unable to differentiate the media images they are seen and in need of saviors like Lasn, and possibly other benevolent elites, to come and rescue them.  This is starkly different than the ground-up revolutionary spirit in play with most anarchists, and instead harkens to much of the Conservative Revolutionary or Radical Traditionalist ideas that we literally need to be saved by an elite caste of rulers, ones bound by virtue to lead a revolution “from above.”

The revival of a hero aesthetic is also a central notion of resurrecting a fascist politic, one that comes in odds with the “homogenizing effects of egalitarianism.”  In one issue, AdBusters decided to “jam” another culture jam, one by Barbara Kruger created in 1987.  This was a billboard with a classic image of a girl feeling a boy’s arm as he flexes with the line saying “we don’t need another hero.”  This image was critiquing what we now call “toxic masculinity.”  As was outlined in by Max Haiven in the journal article “Privatized Resistance: AdBusters and the Culture of Neoliberalism,” Lasn and AdBuster’s critique largely undermines their larger project and reveals something else problematic about their politics.

By sharp contrast, AdBusters’ ‘jam’ of Kruger’s ‘jam’ is not only a refutation of Kruger’s intervention, but also a keen example of why hers was necessary in the first place.  With the romantic image of two young male “radicals” in a violent protest situation, AdBusters has reclaimed the masculinized individualist hero problematized by Kruger’s socialist-feminist intervention.  AdBusters seems to not only suggest that we need violent vanguardist leaders to confront global power, but, in a way, that revolution has been made effeminate by works like Kruger’s which do not meet consumer culture with the unmediated gestural action to which AdBusters aspires.  Gone is the deep intentionality and cunning of Kruger’s work, which invited the audience to think of themselves critically and reflexively as participants in their own liberation.  The AdBusters jam represents the politics of the gesture in which revolutionary acts and culture jamming are prized for their own sake.  Here, the gesture is valourized both in the content of the jam, the two masked male youth whose target is unknown (for all we know that would be firebombing a mosque), but also in the jam itself which the history and politics of Kruger’s prior intervention is chucked out the window in favour of a gestural resistance of the petty little boys (and their regimes) she so ardently and cleverly critiqued.

Haiven goes on to compare AdBusters to films like Fight Club, where there is a “seductive yet problematic claim to ‘radical resistance.’

As a result, AdBusters resistance becomes coded in the figure of Tyler Durden, the hypermasculinized leader of an essentially fascist terrorist cell.  Durden’s attitude, which valourizes the “mayhem”—causing gesture, devoid of a broader strategy or alliances, relegates any form of social critique or solution to social ills as ‘an act of bad-faith or the unacceptable whine of victimization.”

This mode of reverting to hypermasculinization as a form of resistance has been a problematic aspect of many radical circles, especially noted in the forest defense movement and in insurrectionary anarchist and ultra-left circles.  This should not mean that those movements are guilty of those qualities as such, but that they have allowed for entry by those ideas and behaviors, just as AdBusters has.  Lasn regularly valorizes his characters, such as his characterization of the Situationists in his book Culture Jam, saying they were “heroes” and were “unbridled and anarchical, pure vessels of poetic expression, living somehow out of time(pg 105).”  While this image may share the description with Ernst Junger’s figure of the “Anarch,” this does not make it a fascist fantasy, but it does present a problematic dynamic.

Haiven goes on to note that not only do they lack a clear direction for what this revolutionary spirit should be, except to not be “wimpy,” but their analysis of the state is often directly in line with right-wing libertarian critiques.

Jacobin jumps on the “Scientology like” language used to describe Mental Pollution in much of their writing, which are essentially pseudo-science in the guise of revolutionary psychology.  This is true, but when drawing on the writing of people like Naomi Klein it is hard to defend the idea that mass advertising is anything but harmful.  That does not, however, justify an analysis almost completely centered on misreadings of psychology, which blame people for doing things like seeking conventional medical treatment.  What culture jammers should do then is turn their criticisms back on AdBusters, illuminating the parts of their program that make little sense, draw on bigotries and reactionary ideas, and create a culture of self-blame rather than revolutionary politics.

It was even suggested by Jacobin that AdBusters would seek an allegiance with the Tea Party, and, in a sense, they have in that they have published Tea Party voices. What they point to is an interview with Lasn where he basically fawns over the Tea Party, and he sees their dissent as the key point rather than their political orientation.

People are coming up with the Optimist Party and all kinds of weird stuff, but nonetheless I feel that something serious could happen. We may well see something like the True Cost Party of America—a radical new way of looking at the global economy and the ecological future. It could well be a sort of strange hybrid party, a getting-together of the left and the right. If you look at the Tea Party, they are totally convinced that America is going in the wrong direction, that there is something fundamentally wrong with America, and that is a very similar feeling to what we have on the left. So maybe this third party will not be the usual kind of a clearly left or right party.

In one issue of AdBusters during this period, they posted the article of a World War II survivor who accounted the horrors of the Third Reich, except the only horrors were things like socialized medicine.  The account did not include most of what is commonly understood to be the genocidal violence and discrimination of Nazi fascism, but instead was an opportunity to say that since everyone was getting free medical treatment, there was no money or time for medical research.  Lasn continued this lack of discernment over whether or not the Tea Party could be a revolutionary force in his article “Regime Change in America.”

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AdBusters anti-consumerist credentials have often been called into question, especially when they released their “Blackspot campaign.”  This was an incredibly expensive shoe they sold that looked like a carbon copy of the then popular Converse All-Stars, with a black spot over where the logo would be.  Critics have pointed out that this was simply another form of consumerist ploys, where they were using their cultural clout as a counter-cultural force and identity to share a product that would have its own brand appeal.  In the earlier mentioned article by Haiven, they discuss the way that AdBusters and Lasn responded to criticism of the Blackspot campaign, including by people like Naomi Klein.  Buy Nothing Day, another campaign they are famous for, is the object of almost complete derision on the left, where they seem to lack any strategic focus and instead create inter-class victim blaming so as to develop a completely ineffective attack on corporate capitalism.

It needs to be said that AdBusters has repeatedly ran anti-fascist articles, especially a popular one that begged the question as to whether or not right-wing America was turning fascist.  They have repeatedly published articles on the “traits” of fascism by people like Umberto Eco, and often publish articles deriding reactionary ideas in things like “hipster culture.”  Because of this, as well as the rest of their publishing trajectory, AdBusters should continue to be thought of as a radical left publication with incredible value.

What this instead brings up is what a lack of discernment and a willingness to publish some voices uncritically can do.  Entryism is the primary tactics of the establishing radical right, and for those elements that attempt to co-opt parts of a left analysis, such as National Anarchists or neo-Tribalists, it requires a certain amount of depth and self-criticism to weed out their attempts to gain entry.  This co-optation has happened either intentionally or ideologically all over the place, and the complexity of these ideas has created a smokescreen that makes onlookers often unable to see when a subcultural fascism is taking place.  This was true in publications like Green Anarchist, is is true now in Olympia with Sadie and Exile, and it will be increasingly running along this paradox as fascists further try to infiltrate deep green, anarchist, and radical spaces.  AdBusters has made themselves uniquely vulnerable to this type of discourse, and so we should continue to engage with them so as to create a dividing line as to what kind of voices we are willing to accept.

 

 

 

Donald Trump’s KKK Connection Runs Deeper Than You Think

As the media pundits expect Donald Trump to clean up on tonight’s Super Tuesday run, Trump’s recent response to the endorsement of David Duke is getting more headlines than his usual racist antics.  Duke recently put forward a formal announcement, stating that if you care about your “race” then you are “required” to vote for Trump.  Duke is one of the best known white nationalists in the world, formerly becoming state representative in Louisiana before running for Governor, and almost winning with 55% of the state’s white vote.  Duke is one of the few open racists to see any electoral success into the 1990s, where he continued to support his past KKK and neo-Nazi affiliations, deny the Holocaust, argue for racial differences in intelligence, and run his organization, the National Association for the Advancement of White People.

Duke is only one on the long list of white nationalist endorsements.  Recent, Jared Taylor of American Renaissance voiced a robocall in support of Trump in Iowa, which was funded by the nationalist American Freedom Party.  The Radix Journal, The Right Stuff, Counter-Currents Publishing, Occidental Dissent, The Daily Stormer, and many more have jumped behind Trump, using his open nativist rhetoric as the mainstreaming of their own racism.  Every one of these organizations have shared membership with various incarnations of the KKK, drawing them straight to Trump, yet Donald’s KKK connections move even beyond that.

After Duke’s endorsement, Trump was cornered on CNN and asked to denounce Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.

I don’t know anything about David Duke. I don’t know what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist. I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me, or what’s going on?

Trump later said that he had a “bad earpiece,” but in reality he was refusing to denounce a base that has thrown more resources than expected at him.  While he may play ignorance, he actually knows exactly who David Duke is and where his politics come from.

In a 2000 report by ABC News, Donald Trump was interviewed about the Reform Party and its connections to the paleoconservative and racist right-wing.

As you know, the Reform Party has got some pretty big problems.  Not the least of which is Pat Buchanan, David Duke, Fulani, and it’s a problem.

He then went on to bring up the same reference with the New York Times discussing the relationship between the Reform Party and the New York Independence Party.

Although I am totally comfortable with the people in the New York Independence Party, I leave the Reform Party to David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani.  That is not company I wish to keep.

It is difficult for Donald to now claim that he knows nothing about David Duke, and therefore will not condemn him as the Anti-Defamation League has requested.  He was endorsed by Duke quite a while ago actually, and when he originally found out he smiled and joked “I even got endorsed by that KKK guy.”

Trump’s connections to the KKK actually go much deeper into his family tree, which is a politic that we have seen played out in his new public persona.  Fred Trump, Donald’s millionaire father, has been well known for his work with the New York KKK.  He was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens in 1927.  The arrest was a part of a 1,000-person racial brawl that came after a rally intended to restore the “Native-born Protestant Americans” to New York City.  This was in line with the deep anti-Catholic views of the New York KKK of the period, which also said the police were mainly made up of Roman Catholics.  The flier that they were handing out for the event read:

Liberty and Democracy have been trampled upon,” the flier stated, “when native-born Protestant Americans dare to organize to protect one flag, the American flag; one school, the public school; and one language, the English language.

The language of this flier seems awfully familiar given Trump’s recent rhetoric about Latino/a and Muslim Immigrants.

Fred Trump went on to “jumpstart” the campaign of arch-racist Barry Goldwater, where they also got backing from the John Birch Society.  With influence from Roy Cohn, Goldwater went on to develop what was later called the “Southern Strategy,” which plays on Southern racism using “dog whistle” terms to signal to the base.  Cohn went on to become Trump’s “mentor,” and helped him to countersue a group that was suing him for discrimination against African Americans in his business.   Cohn eventually introduced him to Roger Stone, a man who has walked the line between the right-wing of the GOP and Libertarian Party and openly racialist, nativist, and white nationalist movements.

Since Donald’s recent misstep on CNN, he has been roundly denounced, even by the GOP establishment.  Joe Scarborough has dropped him entirely with disgust, and Paul Ryan decided to speak up publicly in a press statement.

There has been a lot of talk in the last 24 hours about one of our presidential candidates and his seeming ambivalence about David Duke and the KKK, so let me make it perfectly clear.  That is not the view of Republicans who have been elected to the United States Senate, and I condemn his views in the most forceful way….If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln…his is fundamental. And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this. I hope this is the last time I need to speak out on this race.

Neither of these men are the bastion of progressive values, so their disgust is a good sign of how far outside of any conventional discourse Donald Trump has become.  With the recent violent stabbing of anti-fascist protesters in Anaheim by California by KKK members, few are willing to accept this tacit support for the KKK that Trump has given.

David Duke has gone to Twitter to continue to support Trump openly, decrying the “corporate media” for distorting his views and libeling Trump.  Donald himself has recently given a speech that his presidency would further criminalize libel, a journalistic dishonesty that is already illegal.  He may have trouble understanding that the reporting on him has actually been straight forward, yet he will not accept that he simply does not look good after ranting and raving on stage.

As votes are being cast today, we are about to learn a lot about what American whites are willing to accept to protect their last vestiges of privilege.  Anti-racist author Tim Wise started his career with an organization fighting David Duke’s two political runs in Louisiana.  After Duke got more than half of the white vote even though the media coverage clearly revealed his open racial politics, Wise said that he had to reckon with what was happening to whites.  He labeled this turn “Dukism,” the ability for these whites to overlook his Nazism.  Anti-fascist writer Alexander Reid Ross has given the current period Trumpism, and has a similar pattern to both David Duke and Pat Buchanan, two people that Trump had previously condemned.  In periods of crisis and strife, working class whites are presented with a choice on how they will deal with the country’s future.

Hopefully, this is not the choice they will make.

Sound of Violence: Fascists Are Now Broadcasting

by Brandon Berg

The capacity of popular media to affect social change is undeniable. One needn’t look further than the oft-cited correlation between the popularity of CBS’s Will and Grace and the country’s attitude toward gay rights for confirmation. The fact is, progressive writers in Hollywood and New York have, for decades, have been actively working towards the era of tolerance, not to mention organizers and activists. Recall the response of Richard Nixon, perhaps America’s most openly fascistic president, to the inclusion of a gay relationship in a 1970s-era episode of All in the Family, captured for posterity in one of his own secret recordings. The upshot of this has been the continued isolation felt by the fascists, racists and homophobes who can no longer find mainstream media content fitting their own perverse worldviews. A notable development in the last year undoubtedly connected to this reality has been the birth of an entire cottage industry producing gut-churning right-wing content for web-bound fascists.

Interestingly, it would seem that the main way in which this new phenomenon is expressed is through a whole plethora of podcasts available for free download. Virtually every large fascist site has some sort of audio content: Pseudo-intellectual “Radix Journal” produces a podcast seemingly dedicated entirely to film and cultural critique. Daily Stormer maintains a site with regularly scheduled broadcasts, unsubtly entitled “Radio Aryan” (which includes a rather suspicious looking “Aryan Bootlegs” section).  Counter-Currents Publishing does interviews with foreign fascist intellectuals, often attempting to create a more “high brow” appearance.  Anti-Fascist News has covered the increasing popularity of the crude “Daily Shoah” podcast produced by The Right Stuff.biz, and that same site has apparently enlarged their audio production immensely, now featuring numerous different podcasts with different hosts releasing each day of the week.

One might ask why exactly, in a world of Vlogs and easy video production, the fascistic right-wing has essentially reverted to 1930s era tactics of scheduled radio broadcasts to get their message out. It likely has to do with a desire for anonymity on the parts of both the producers and the listeners. Unlike a YouTube video, it’s very easy to conceal one’s identity if they can remain, for all intents and purposes, a disembodied voice. It is seemingly very common for the hosts of these podcasts to go by pseudonyms continuously, referring to each other by names that are either simply bizarre or blatantly offensive(everything from Mike Enoch to Reactionary Tree). It is also fairly clear that a downloaded .mp3 file offers a far greater chance to hide your disgusting, socially unacceptable views than a YouTube video of SS men marching to death metal. It can be listened to discretely on an iPod without the risk of anyone looking over their shoulder.

These factors have led to a renaissance in racist and fascist podcast production. As mentioned before, the racist blog The Right Stuff now has multiple podcasts releasing new episodes daily, all hosted on their Radio.therightstuff site. Many of them appear to be giving a regional perspective on news item of interest to racists. They have different podcasts featuring hosts from the American South, Scandinavia and Britain among others. These mainly consist of the various hosts bemoaning the increased tolerance and multiculturalism of their native lands, and calling, in vague terms, for the physical removal of Syrian refugees and other “undesirables”. Others seem to have more obscure and esoteric interests. “KulturKampf” (note the German fetishism) seems to exist solely to discuss Plato’s Republic. “The Fatherland” (there it is again) relates the experience of fascist fathers trying to raise their children in a world without a Hitlerjugend to enroll them in. One of their most recent additions in “Fash Course World History”, a show not related to the history of fashion but rather Fascism.  Here they spin common right-wing straw men, re-hashing historical events with a white nationalist perspective, often revealing that they lack even a basic understanding of most of Western history. At first listen the show sounds something like an NPR program, with the hosts speaking in the characteristic calm tone and without the Opie and Anthony-style drops and sound effects now a hallmark of other fascist podcasts. The half-dozen hosts, evidently academics seeking a form of expression for their own bigotry, then launch into a critique of Nietzschean ideology. They praise the controversial philosopher for introducing the ideals that would eventually contribute in some way to he rational for the holocaust, but attacking him for his “materialist” philosophy, evidently viewed among elements of the far-right as having damaged the theocratic power of religious institutions.

Though these people have little money, institutional support, credibility or recognition, it’s clear that they have both a growing number of covert participants and a lot of time on their hands. See a young white man on the subway with downcast eyes and headphones in his ears? He could well be listening approvingly to a podcast on the anti-Semitic pogroms of Imperial Russia. With this we are given tools to monitor how this movement has changed, how it is adapting to new conditions, and use this to develop an anti-fascist movement that is versatile enough to continue to dismantle any ground they gain.

Taking on Fascism and Racism from the Ground Up.