Hate, Now Streaming: White Nationalism’s Podcasting Breakthrough

For most of its post-WWII history, white nationalists have not exactly been on the cutting edge of technology.  What they have done, however, has had mixed results, with some of their outreach efforts becoming massive operations.

Willis Carto turned the Liberty Lobby and its paper, The Spotlight, into a business with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, creating the platform for the Populist Party and making Carto a very wealthy man.  This even lead to the Institute of Historical Review, an “academic institute” whose only function was to deny the Holocaust, which Carto lost and then battled with IHR members like Mark Weber for years over endowments.  Tom Metzger tried to draw out a niche for the White Aryan Resistance by bringing it down into the gutter by producing what they labeled as “the most racist newspaper on earth.”  As his operation and outreach to racist skinheads like Hammerskins and Volksfront grew, he lost his house and everything he owned after Mulugeta Seraw was murdered by WAR affiliated skinheads in Portland, Oregon.  The lawsuit that followed destroyed WAR, and set a new precedent of responsibility for these “behind the scenes” racist organizers.

The real step forward for the white nationalist movement was the development of Stormfront, a white nationalist web-forum developed by Klansman Don Black out of Florida.  Even now, Stormfront has a special place in the world of internet hate, growing month after month.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s The Year in Hate and Extremism 2015 outlined how their growth has been steady.

The total of registered users is just shy of 300,000, a fairly astounding number for a site run by an ex-felon and former Alabama Klan leader. And that doesn’t include thousands of visitors who never register as users. At press time, Stormfront ranked as the Internet’s 13,648th most popular site, while the NAACP site, by comparison, ranked 32,640th.

Their number of registered users has now broken that 300,000 mark, and they have had to update their servers recently just to be able to match the increase in traffic that has come from people discussing Donald Trump.

All of these different communications methods, as successful as some have been for them, are still fossils.  They are relics of the past, both in their distribution format and in their cultural affiliations, rhetoric, and philosophical starting points.  Movements like the Alternative Right, Neoreaction/Dark Enlightenment, Human BioDiversity, Radical Traditionalism, and all related “identiatrians” have almost no cultural connection to many of these more KKK/neo-Nazi derivative formations, even if their ideas are cut and paste from them.

Instead, these movements were New Media bound right from the start, circling around internet blogs like Alternative Right or hidden forums on places like 4Chan.  Today, their outreach has only grown, and the foundation of this outreach strategy has become podcasting.

A real vanguard of this, so to speak, was Richard Spencer and Vanguard Radio.  As we have written before, Richard Spencer began his website Alternative Right in 2010 to bring together all the disparate edges of the conservative movement that were no longer a part of the GOP.  Paleoconservatives, race realists, neoreactionaries, radical traditionalist catholics, ethnic pagans, Evolian traditionalists, nationalists, identitarians, Men’s Rights activists, and so many more were all drawn into this movement.  The real center of this was Vanguard Radio, which was the podcast that was used both as an interview show and, for a time, a regular chat segment with Spencer talking to co-hosts Andy Nowicki and Colin Liddell.  The end of 2013 had a traumatic break from Alternative Right for Spencer who, after stepping down as editor, continued to be associated with the website in the press.  After Rachel Maddow did an expose on Spencer and Alt Right after the Jason Richwine scandal at the Heritage Foundation, Spencer became increasingly upset with Alternative Right continuing.  On Christmas of 2013 he pulled the plug on the website, angering the Nowicki and Liddell, who had become the current editors.  He moved Vanguard Radio over to his new project, the National Policy Institute affiliated Radix Journal, and renamed it the Radix Journal podcast.  Over its years it has interviewed names from the far-right movement, such as anti-semitic psychology academic Kevin McDonald, the male-tribalist Jack Donovan, Counter-Currents editor Greg Johnson, American Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Merlin Miller, the Traditionalist Youth Network’s Matthew Heimbach, and Pat Buchanan, among dozens of others.  He has included a series looking at films by Stanley Kubrick, James Bond books and movies, and a range of other television and films, all of which intending to bring a sort of artistic intellectualism back to the racist right.

Greg Johnson followed suit, using his podcast stream to host talks that he gave on Plato, speeches by nationalists like Johnatahn Bowden, interviews and panel commentaries on white nationalist topics, and to sync together disparate podcasts like Robert Stark’s the Stark Truth.  Matthew Heimbach went on to host episodes at Counter-Currents, help out on the briefly lived Kinest racialist Christian podcast Tribal Theocrat, and to do the occasional Traditionalist Youth Hour.  The podcast field was eventually swamped with white nationalist content, with places like the White Voice, the Nationalist Network, and White Rabbit Radio.  All of these tended to ally with the conspiracy world, often devolving into White Genocide and Zionist Occupied Government narratives.  The very popular Daily Stormer website attempted to bridge the gap between the more bizarre and “old school” factions of the white nationalist scene with the smarter and more contemporary crowd, but they eventually moved their show over to Aryan Radio to be alongside speeches by the neo-Nazi William Pierce.

The internet has been critical for outreach of these groups, and it has been since the mid-1990s, so the fact that there are entire podcast networks dedicated to their work is not surprising.  What is disturbing, however, is the popularity that many of them have gotten.  Radix Journal Podcast and The Daily Shoah, especially, are seeing a renaissance in terms of listeners.  The Daily Shoah, which is the podcast project of The Right Stuff, has only been around since early August 2014 but has already soared in popularity.  This has come mainly from their “Opie and Anthony” approach to politics where they have vulgar skits targeting Jews, people of color, and LGBT people in the most disgusting language possible.  Their popularity has led for them to develop a podcast network of their own coming out of their own crowd, all of which are complete with their own jargon and code-names.  This includes Free Radio Skyrim, Fash Britannia, and Fash the Nation, where two hosts banter mainly about how Donald Trump is the savior of the white race and that Bernie Sanders is just a Jew.

The tools that have allowed their successful outreach are the same ones that have aided the general public in creating the podcasting revolution.  Soundcloud and iTunes are just as accessible for amateur podcasters as they are to NPR, which means that they have incredibly mainstream access points for their streams.  Soundcloud will flag certain types of content, and just a few weeks ago it banned The Daily Shoah for violating its terms of use.  TRS obviously made a joke of this, but it slowed them down as they briefly had to host over at the clunky Archive.org.  They wanted to just host on their own website, but at the point at which they post their show there are literally thousands of downloads.  On every weekly episode they read donations, which account to hundreds of dollars a week, coming from listener donations.

The Radix Journal podcast itself has maintained the popularity immensely, and you can see that on their Soundcloud listings there are between 3,000 and 20,000 full listens even on shows that have not been available for very long.  Spencer has done this all in an incredibly smart way as he utilizes his iTunes streams effectively.  He uses multiple channels, one for the regular podcast, one for the audio of speeches at his conferences, and one for the older conversations he had with Jonathan Bowden several years ago.  All of the podcast stream in iTunes with an RSS feed, which is the same deal with The Daily Shoah, Counter-Currents, Tribal Theocrat, American Renaissance, and several others.  Even for less specific far-right projects, like Jack Donovan’s Start the World or The Pressure Project, subscribers are in the thousands, and only increasing.  As places like The Daily Shoah helped to increase the number of white nationalists active in these online publications and forums, Radix took off as well.  In 2015, Spencer increased his podcasting to about once a week, and the listenership tripled.  He has now publicly committed to doing a once a week podcast, a once a week video(which will also be streamed on the podcast), and also doing a monthly Google Hangout on YouTube, which is a format that has become popular for The Daily Shoah contributor, Millenial Woes.  What this amounts to, when looking at the entire Alt Right network of media, is an almost constant stream of content who is increasing more rapidly than anyone would have expected.  Spencer says that he expects to, conservatively, double his reach in 2016, and he just might be right.

Stormfront itself has created a podcast of its own, a five day a week operation where Don Black babbles incoherently, showing both that he is out of touch with the world and even his own movement.  This feed has failed to become anywhere near as popular as his successors, which generally shows how different that movement of today has become and how it has left the old-guard racialist groups in the dust.  Even leaving out this radical fringe of the fringe, the numbers are staggering when you simply look at just how many people are listening to the vast majority of these shows on an almost daily basis.

People assume that a huge part of this increase is the candidacy of Donald Trump, and it certainly is, as well as white reaction to changing demographics, refugee immigration, recent crimes from Islamic participants, and Black Lives Matter.  The real issue, however, is less that there is just a “spark” that has caused it, and rather than this new generation of the radical right is just more effective at targeting and growing their base.  They have crafted a message that is more effective than the KKK ever had, and now they have grown to a point that their community has an echo chamber through social media that allows them to continue growing their reach.  In this way, it is less that new converts are being made through events and arguments, and instead that the already-racist are simply being “activated.”

For anti-fascists, this presents an incredible challenge, which means effectively targeting their outlets when possible while continuing to shine a light on the way that they code their messages.  An example of this is their use of iTunes is almost monolithic, and Soundcloud has already proved that it is not going to accept open racialist content.  What anti-fascists and anti-racists cannot do is continue to ignore this faction of the racist community, assuming that they are only an irrelevant fringe.  Instead, their growth signals a real shift in the thinking, and it is going to be critical to grow anti-racist work, confront their organizing directly, and to develop strategies that go far beyond liberal anti-racists narratives so that the very structures of racial inequality can be dismantled.  “No Platform” is critical in this context, and now we are heading to the digital world of confrontation as well as meeting them in the streets.

 

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Hoods All Around: How The Daily Shoah Dumbed Down the Alt Right

On Friday, New Year’s Day, Richard Spencer posted a new episode of the Radix Journal Podcast.  The podcast has evolved over the years, starting as Vanguard Radio, a “radical traditionalist” podcast for his Alternative Right website.  He has since split from that brand, taken the helm of the National Policy Institute, and started the Radix Journal.  The podcast has often been conversations with people on the racist and neo-fascist right wing, often including pseudo-intellectuals, professors, and authors.  Here they have attempted to reclaim a right-wing academic avant garde, where he has had conversations with everyone in his movement from Matthew Heimbach to Paul Gottfried to Kevin McDonald.  Conversations often looked at things like race and IQ, the German Conservative Revolution, Julius Evola, male tribalism, the Republican party viewed from the right, contemporary theories of anti-semitism, and profiles of organizations like the League of the South and Youth for Western Civilization.  The niche that Spencer carved out for himself, and really built the Alternative Right around, was that he would be more thoughtful and philosophical than those nationalists better known for burning crosses and shaved heads.

At least, that used to be the case.

In this new episode, called Cuckservative Speaks, he labeled it “A famous Cuckservative and respected Beltway pundit pays a surprise visit to the 2015 NPI conference.”  Here Spencer makes one of the most profoundly embarrassing moves of his career where he attempts to do a funny mocking impression of a “Cuckservative” Republican, complete with awkward voices and dubbed in laughter and applause.  The podcast was essentially him dressing up in skinny jeans and trying to “hang with you youths,” which may reveal why he has become known for his “fashy” hair.

What Spencer is trying to capture here is clear, in his attempt at both style and rhetoric.

Since its first episode in August of 2014, The Right Stuff’s primary podcast, The Daily Shoah, has become one of the most popular white nationalist program on the internet.  It has done this by taking the themes and ideas of the Alternative Right, meaning a contemporary white nationalism and neo-fascist politic, and bringing it back down into the gutter where they can understand it.  Earlier in our tenure, we did a couple of articles about The Daily Shoah discussing how they reveal exactly what the “suit and tie fascists” of the Alt Right really are.  Since their inception they have added a half dozen other shows, all trying to one-up each other on how self-referential and offensive they can be.  Now they have moved beyond simply being the “straight talk” of the Alt Right as they force all of their “colleagues” to side with their own vulgar racial hate.

The Daily Shoah was billed as “Opie and Anthony for white nationalists,” yet it is mainly composed of skits and jokes that mock the holocaust, deride people of color as subhuman animals, and generally call for the abolition of equality, democracy, and compassion.  Their open use of racial slurs and over the top racial jokes was unequivocally opposed by people like Richard Spencer for years.  Spencer has openly said that these types of words are an affront to the movement, that they miss the point of an acceptable racial nationalism, and basically would make him look like a “jerk.”  Greg Johnson, the eccentric academic founder of Counter Currents has also said that he does not like this kind of racial humor, saying that it is vulgar and completely regressive.  Even RamZPaul, the racist YouTube sensation known for making nationalist comedy videos, has openly distanced himself away from “radicals” who use Nazi imagery.

Not only has all of these people now joined The Daily Shoah on different episodes, and in many cases invited hosts like Mike Enoch onto their own shows, but they laughed along and even joined in calling people “fa****s” and “Dindus.”

 

This participation is only one way that TRS has begun to show its dominance in the Alt Right-sphere, but their ideas, rhetoric, and language has begun to seep into all channels tuned to their racial arson.  Terms like “LARPing,” “Cuckservative,” “The Current Year,” “Wow, just wow,” have all become common place, with the Radix Journal continuing to use them as jokes and show titles, almost as though the agenda is being set by idiots at the back of the class.  This extended even into their 2015 National Policy Institute Conference, where those TRS in-jokes were the lowest common denominator for conference attendees.

In general, TRS has gained its popularity through very concerted internet trolling, using provocative hashtags to chase trending topics, and use insular jokes and internet culture as the barometer of actually “seeping into the culture.”  This has had a modicum of success, at least in terms of media coverage.  They broke through with the #Cuckservative meme, and then joined in with the #BoycottStarWars campaign that very unsuccessfully went after the movie because it included a black character.  Lately, they have become the Donald Trump fan-network, and use the #AltRight hashtag to connect the reactionary Trump campaign with their own “forward thinking” white nationalism.

It is less that that rest of the Alt Right is willing to have their brand dumbed down by the the Daily Shoah as much as they have begun to realize that this is the mindset most of their audience base actually has.  The image of the intellectual white nationalist who bases his ideas simply on identity rather than racial hatred and angry bigotry is a myth, one that was created by them only to appear to be on the vanguard of radical politics.  Instead, their movement is built on angry “men in basements” who define political participation and movement building as harassing Buzzfeed reporters on Twitter using false accounts.  The Daily Shoah itself reveals its lack of intellectual pedigree quickly, where the hosts often deny the existence of global warming and reduce complex political issues simply to the fact that one person in a story is Jewish(We are still perplexed how Jewish ancestry automatically leads them to politics you disagree with, or how the complete lack of Jewish consensus on politics affirms your narrative.).  Spencer has seen the writing on the wall very clearly and is jumping on it, allowing these ridiculous inside jokes define his message because he really believes that these angry message boards hold the roots of some “paradigm shift.”

For anti-fascists, The Daily Shoah presents one of the clearest opportunities to destroy the “identitarian” mirage by showing exactly what their message means when stripped of its Evolian wordplay.  While people like Spencer may rap philosophic about Heidegger, Mike Enoch says exactly what the white nationalist movement is built on, complete with calling war refugees “barbarian hordes.”  Their politics have always been disgusting, but at least now the pretense has been shaken off as, it turns out, they never needed it to attract their base.

White nationalism has desperately grasped at intellectual straws for the last several years, including creating an Alt Right with so many disparate strands that barely recognize one another.  Once the Right Stuff fades after Donald Trump’s campaign becomes a memory, people like Spencer and Greg Johnson will likely regroup and double back on their conference-circuit.  This, however, is tactical rather than essential as, no matter how they phrase it, their politics are as complicated as the hoods that came before them.

 

Voice and the Voiceless: What Does “No Platform” Mean in the Donald Trump Saturated Media?

The media loves a good scandal.  Hell, we do too.

Over the months, as the Donald Trump campaign has shifted from bumbling loudspeaker-style racist quips to copy-and-paste fascist political programs, the media response has moved from mockery, to horror, and, finally, to click-bait.  Trump’s campaign has rode this wave, which was a “shock/response” model, and the left-leaning media outlets that use a social media business model have been central to its ability to spread through the culture.  The “outrage machine” has been very real in that, from identifying a room full of Jewish Republicans as “deal makers” to banning and registering Muslims, his politics have only made their way up the ladder of offense and guttural bigotry.  The echo chamber, which has led his message and created the offense-racket that has made him popular with reactionary sectors of middle America, has been driven by this, and it has given his voice the kind of reach that he simply couldn’t have achieved with his own appearances and the standard political news machine.

Trump himself has created an entire media model of exploiting the disbelief in leftist coverage, but he has also been the gate-keeper to mainstreaming an entire narrative that has been developed over the last five years in the annals of web forums and news sites.  The Alternative Right, Neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment, and all the other variants of internet-focused and pseudo-academic neo-fascism has been developing a new language for speaking and “critiquing” society that breaks from the two sided coin of neo-Nazis and the Klan.  Now they return to race and IQ talking points, critiques of contemporary democracy, attacks on the idea of equality, rejection of modernity, and a range of other simple ideas repackaged in the aesthetics of Continental Philosophy.  Backed by the ideas of European New Right intellectuals, much of this resurrects previously fringe ideologues like Julius Evola or the Conservative Revolution, looking to build a strictly hierarchical society and the idea of ethnically defined societies.  This is not the posturing that Donald Trump has gained his popularity on, but it is much of the long-term vision that his seemingly casual comments have as their end game.  Just as there are “dog whistle” words that use economic rhetoric to signal racial tensions, neo-fascist supporters hope that his reactionary remarks are a “dog whistle” to an open fascist political program.

What the “Donald Trump phenomenon” has done, even more than just Trump himself, is to open the door to the voices of this reactionary movement in that they have a direct lineage between the two.  Buzzfeed began publicizing the use of “alt right” as a hashtag on Twitter, which has been used for years up to this point, giving extended interviews to people like Richard Spencer, RamZPaul, and Jared Taylor.  Rosie Gray, the Buzzfeed reporter who did the article on white nationalism and the Trump campaign, got pulled into an even more difficult situation when RamZPaul gave one condition to doing the interview: that he could film and broadcast it.  What resulted is another one of Paul’s well-known videos, this time where he talks to an understandably timid Gray over an iPhone speaker.  While Paul’s rhetoric in the video is confusing and rambling, it still gave him the perfect opportunity to actually draw some of the Buzzfeed crowd to an unedited piece of his own racial nationalist script.

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Richard Spencer got extended time in Vice’s recent “We Asked a White Supremacist What He Thinks About Donald Trump,” which followed a similarly vapid premise as their “We Asked a Fascism Expert About Trump.”  Here, again, Spencer’s ideas were given an open platform, not because he is an expert on the Trump campaign, but simply because his politics have now become a relevant part of the discourse.  Spencer was additionally interviewed in the New York Times for an article that placed him alongside David Duke and Stormfront founder Don Black, which angered him enough to do a response on the Radix Journal website going through the references to him point by point and discussing how he was misrepresented.  This shows a particular character of these internet-focused racialists, who exist in word vomit where they constantly have to ramble at length and can never give up the last word.

These articles are small snippets of dozens of articles in recent months that have shown that white nationalists from David Duke to the Traditionalist Youth Network’s Matthew Heimbach.  When interviewed, all parties are allowed a platform to explain very clearly their key points, why we should support trump, and what kind of vision they hold.

The problematic nature of this coverage often comes directly from its intention to reveal something very real about the Trump phenomenon and its growing far-right affiliations.  What these articles are intending to show is that Trump is, first, associated with these types of characters and, by association, tarnish his name.  But this does not end up being a straight line since, as much of the neo-fascist rebranding has done purposefully, the alt right bloggers are often prepared to muddy the discussion so as to avoid conventional critiques of white supremacist politics.  Reports in places like Gawker and Alternet are then not prepared to counter them, instead simply offering them an open platform that they could never have dreamed of on their own sites.  The intended effect, for these people to hang themselves on their own words, is often ineffective.

The issue that liberal anti-racist activists often clash with radical anti-fascists over is free speech.  The liberal notion of free speech is to defend even the most vile and erroneous forms, which, in essence, the protections are there for.  Antifa organizers then have to propose a counter view, which is not to actually argue for state intervention to criminalize certain forms of speech, but instead to mobilize direct action to stop it cold.  The distinction here is based around the use of the state and whether or not empowering its infrastructure will have a long-term positive effect.  When the organs of political power shift they could very easily use the same rhetoric and repression used in hate speech laws against us on the radical left, and it is also less than appropriate to further empower a state that is designed to maintain capital and ruling class interests.  The “no platform” concept in Antifa organizing is to show the community’s resistance to all the methods by which fascist organizing attempts to gain a foothold.  The direct result of every racialist project is violence, inequality, and authoritarianism, either politically or socially, and therefore stopping it at the root is critical.  People are free to have any ideas they want, but we are also free to mobilize to stop violence and oppression from becoming an unstoppable wave in our community.

It is difficult, then, to figure out exactly what “no platform” will always mean.  An example of this difficulty is with someone like American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor.  Taylor has made a name for himself arguing points on the fringes of acceptable discourse, such as concepts like racial difference in IQ, racial disparity in crime, and the “inherent” problems and conflicts in multicultural diversity.  Taylor then uses any oppottunity, whether it is being brought by controversial student groups to campuses or going on liberal talk shows that use him as an oddity, to pitch his well choreographed lines.  His discourse is not meant to outline a clear point, it is to inspire doubt in the listeners.  People are generally not up on all the ways that race and IQ correlations have been disproven, or the very well documented explanations for racial disparity in the judicial system.  Taylor then uses this as a break through opportunity to then shift a small segment of the viewers into their whole world of “research,” explanations, and narratives.

This presents a conflict, which is often seen in how people respond to him.  One could be to simply ignore his work, refuse to debate or comment on it lest actually give it more exposure.  This has been successfully done in many Holocaust Denial situations, which is the pattern offered up by people like Deborah Lipstadt and in her book, Denying the Holocaust.  This is often the best course of action, but what if the ideas are already starting to spread because an effective counter to them has not been made?  This is often while people like Michael Shermer from Skeptic Magazine debated Mark Weber from the Holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review, or when anti-racist author Tim Wise has debated Jared Taylor on several instances.  The concept here is that the ideas actually are beginning to grow as the only available narrative is the one provided by the fascist right, and it is important to expose and disprove them.

The answer is actually situational, but if a “debate” or disproval of sorts is going to be in effect, the people have to be prepared to do it.  It is not that Jared Taylor is an expert on the sociology of race or intelligence and genetics, in fact he consistently embarrasses himself anytime he moves beyond platitudes to try and actually discuss these topics, but he is completely prepared to debate in sound bites.  This is really the entire front edge of the racialist movement, especially in the U.S., which means that those who are attempting to engage them as a means of attack have to be prepared to effectively counter their stylized argumentation.  Instead, Buzzfeed and related outlets, who clearly believe that exposure will generally lead to enlightened society expelling the Nazis, have not done due diligence and instead are providing them a platform completely open and uncontested.

The second real purpose, at least from an activist standpoint, would be to educate people about these movements and ideas so as to effectively understand and resist them.  This, again, has been a problem for reasons that parallel our own, yet miss the mark.  The conversations with Richard Spencer in the New York  Times, Vice, Buzzfeed, and CBS are especially telling examples of this.  He was allowed to put out points of propaganda, very attractive soundbites that are how he thinks people should first engage with his ideas.  They did not, however, actually deconstruct those ideas, provide much history, correctly correlate them to their more obvious neo-Nazi counterparts, and discuss what the real threat of them are.  This comes, partially, because they do not care what the details are because he is a racist and that is good enough.  On a certain level, we certainly agree.  Fascists of all stripes think that their specific narratives and sub-ideologies are incredibly important and unique.  In reality, to us and for our purposes, they are all really just branches of fascism, an ideology of nationalism, inequality, and anti-democracy.  The problem is, however, that we still have to understand them to effectively counter organize, and even to just have a better understanding of philosophy and politics.  In this way, we are provided with literally nothing by these articles, which instead provide a platform for fascist organizers while providing us no useful information and engaging in no concrete refutation.

Publicity of any sort can be useful to a fascist fringe, yet it can be on us to continue to create a strong counter narrative.  In a certain sense, Donald Trump has actually done this by boiling down the “alt right’s” pseudo-academic drivel to offensive racial sound bites.  Creating a strong counter-narrative is the real work that people on the radical left can do in this regard as the mainstream media can and will do what it knows and not what is best suited to anti-racist struggle.  This means confronting claims directly, continuing to be open about about the how and why of revolutionary projects, and shutting down public organizing and presence of the radical right in every available opportunity.

Trump and the Alt Right echo chamber provides us with a couple of opportunities, the primary one being the ability to counter organize and openly refute the outright lies.  If we cannot expect conventional media outlets to do this effectively, the torch is passed to us, though this can be done without providing any additional power to the voice of the racists.  The greatest weapon against their reactionary ideas of race and social divisions is to actually uproot white supremacy in our communities, and this is a project that goes far beyond the fascist framing.  As we grow anti-racist struggle, their voices will become angrier, yet we will continue to set the narrative agenda.  When Donald Trump makes claims about undocumented peoples, it provides an opportunity to undermine that false narrative and to organize a movement to stand with immigrant rights no matter who the opposition is.

When thinking further about “no platform,” the most important lesson to take into media and propaganda is to not let the racialist fringe set the conversation.  Anti-fascists around the world are growing alongside the opposition, and we can together make confronting racial oppression a priority and not just a response to the reactionaries.  Avoid sharing their lines, do not link to their blogs, block their Tweets, and generally make unavailable their rantings, while also confronting any of the lies and memes that they are successfully getting into the general culture.  It is by walking this line that we are able to undercut the only power they have while eliminating any crossover points they have.

The media is going to continue to use white nationalists as an oddity, but if we know how to approach these daily case studies we can use it to continue to silence and step over their violent impulses.

Racists Today: Why Is Russia Today Using White Nationalist Commentators?

The news cycle has had another spike around the clickbaiting Trump campaign now that Vladamir Putin has thrown some tacit support around the racist billionaire.  This is not surprising given Russia’s use of racialist internal politics and support of nationalists in Eastern Europe, but this also stokes tensions between Trump and the GOP as the Republican perception of Russia tends to be as though it was still the Cold War.  This gave a lot of relevance to Russia Today, the essentially westernized cable news channel that is so popular in U.S. social media circles for its commentary, debates, and somewhat sensationalized news coverage.

As the Putin endorsement story coalesced, RT thought it would be a good idea to bring on Richard Spencer, the founder of Alternative Right and the Radix Journal.  Spencer has been on RT as a commentator, and not a subject, a large number of times, usually talking about U.S. foreign policy.  What they fail to mention is that Spencer is a leading white nationalist and has become the intellectual center of the “alt right” neo-fascist movement in America.

Speaking to RT, he joked about American audiences and their “shrill” ideological battles, but then “lays it down” for the RT audience.

This is another thing where the American media doesn’t really understand Putin. Because Putin is not a shrill ideologue like they are. Putin will speak diplomatically, will speak carefully and they just don’t get that. I think what Putin is saying when he says that Trump might deepen relations is that Trump is not going to treat Russia as an enemy. Remember, Mitt Romney who wasn’t even the craziest of the conservative bunch said that our number one geopolitical adversary is Russia. That is ridiculous. Anyone who would say that is not looking at the world as it is; they are looking at the world through some 1980’s Cold War rosy glasses. Trump, I think, would really deepen the relations in a sense he wouldn’t treat Russia as the Soviet Union or as Nazi Germany or some rogue state. He would treat Russia realistically as a state that has its interests, that has interests that might align with the US in certain situations and I think he would treat that where conflicts would be Trump would make a deal. He would deal with Russia as a real, legitimate actor of a legitimate state. So, in that sense, I truly do hope Trump gets elected. I think the world would be a more peaceful place with this bombastic man in power.

He has gone on RT and discussed the conflict in Ukraine, calling this a “new Cold war” in a battle between Moscow and Washington.  His idea that this is a “proxy war” is not an uncommon one, yet his interest in this comes from the nationalist militias that have formed in Ukraine over anti-EU tension.

Spencer, who leads the white nationalist “think tank,” The National Policy Institute, the “race realist” publishing house, Washington Summit Publishers, and the all-racist culture journal, Radix, is not someone who would normally be considered to be a commentator.  Generally, these are experts in a particular field, at least those with moderate views that are tainted by very extreme bigotries.  Spencer holds none of this expertship, and instead is someone that, in the U.S. has been the subject of “point and sputter” stories, to use Spencer’s own reference to coverage by Rachel Maddow.  Spencer is someone who believes in forming a white Ethnostate, that black and Latino people have innately lower IQs than whites, and that we need to restore a fascist empire with European “spiritual” qualities.  This is not the voice of a general policy commentator, so why is RT employing him as such?

This is certainly not the first time the RT has brought on co-hosts with this type of reputation.  In the past they have also hosted national anarchist Keith Preston, who joins Spencer on the “alt right” sharing his weird synthesis of anarchism with far-right libertarianism, nationalism, and bizarre ideas about tribal identity.  RT has hosted one of the leaders of the race realist and “human biodiversity” movement, which is primarily the idea that people of color in the global south are intellectually inferior and prone to criminal behavior.  Jared Taylor, the founder of the New Century Foundation and American Renaissance, has come on multiple times, often given complete platforms to debate his ideas about diversity and racial inequality.  Founder of the White Student Union and the Traditionalist Youth Network, Matthew Heimbach, has also gone on RT for a softball interview where he was able to prove he was just “not racist.”

When looking at RT broadly, they are not just leaning to the far right as they often have people like anti-racist commentator Tim Wise.  The real question here is why people so far outside of the mainstream and who’s ideas are not relevant to general commentary on news issues are allowed to present contemporary news stories.  One simple answer is that RT does not have the cache to actually attract name talent, which is likely a large part of it, as well as the fact that the primary RT audience is not going to know the difference between different unknown people.  The other side of this is that they are likely carving out a niche for themselves by providing fringe and sensationalistic commentary, which, though in different types of content, is commonly done at places like Fox News and Al Jazeera.

We stand with the Anti-Fascist Action principle of “no platform,” which means we do not debate with fascists and allow them a platform to share their ideas.  The easiest way to approach this issue with RT is to continue to make our voices heard that we will not tolerate these type of commentators to be allowed in as “just another voice on an issue.”

 

Alternative Internet Racism: Alt Right and the New Fascist Branding

In a recent call in show, conservative radio voice Rush Limbaugh got a call from someone named Roy who asked him about a new brand of the right wing that is straying from older conservatism.  “What I’m interested in, is all this stuff about conservatives being older people,” said the caller. “But I think that’s gonna quickly change. I think there’s a group of younger people called ‘the alt right.’ And it started in the last few years in Europe because of the Muslim invasion. And I think it’s… They’re beginning to get people over here, youngsters between 18, 25, 26, to convert to what they call ‘the alt right.’ I think it’s gonna be pretty intense. I think you should keep an eye out for it.”

Many capitalized on Rush’s response, which seemed happy about the caller’s reference to the rise of the cultural right amongst young people.  As the Daily Shoah mentioned in a following show, Rush likely did not know exactly what he was referring to.  Though Rush has started using the Cuckservative meme to discuss conservatives who do not take up racist immigration policies, he certainly is a part of the conservative beltway that is not only not publicly in favor of this white nationalist contingent, it is probably not even much aware of it.

The term “alt right” was then injected into the Twittersphere as a popular hashtag, spreading around the regular reactionary troll dynamic that links together racist blogs and podcasts using labels like “neoreaction” and “Dark Enlightenment.”  This term lead to Buzzfeed doing a story on it where they interview Richard Spencer about the term, leading him to even do a follow up video to discuss the term and how it is evolved.

Though in anti-racist/anti-fascist circles have certainly come across this as they research the new face of white nationalism and the pseudo-intellectual radical right.  Spencer is the right person to be talked to about this since he, for all practical purposes, coined the term.

In 2010 Spencer had finally left a short lived career in paleoconservative publishing to start Alternative Right.  He was plucked out of a Duke University graduate program after writing an article about the “Duke Lacross Case,” where a group of white male students were alleged to have sexually assaulted a black sex worker.  This was eventually picked up by the American Conservative, a publication started by Pat Buchanan, and came on as an Assistant Editor.  It has been alleged that he was eventually fired when his racism came to light, but he could have left on his own accord, and went to the further-right web publication Taki’s Magazine.  In his time there he continued moving further to the right and consorting with groups of people on the fringes of “acceptable” conservatism.  Through this became friends with people like Paul Gottfried, American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor, Human BioDiversity proponent Steve Sailer, and a whole host of other people with “heretical views” who all tried to cram into the creases of CPAC.

He then created the web publication Alternative Right, a term he started using in 2008, to bring together all of these different groups of people who were dissenting from Neoconservatism and the Washington Consensus.  These would include white nationalists, “race realists,” radical traditionalists, folk religionists, right Rothbardians, national anarchists, and so many more, all of which took on radically dissenting views from the conservative movement and the GOP.  The publication became a “go to” spot for a new type of white nationalism, one that took its queues from French and broad European intellectuals, looked towards ideas like Eurasianism and Metagenetics, resurrected philosophers like Oswald Spangler and Ernst Junger, and generally coalesced around a disdain for the “modern world.”  They often opposed the Iraq war, environmental destruction, and were critical of American Christianity.  The publication certainly had name people writing for it, such as VDare founder Peter Brimelow and, later disgraced, Heritage Foundation Fellow Jason Richwine, as well as new, openly racist commentators like Colin Liddell.  He started Vanguard Radio as a regular podcast for the website, which featured people ranging from Pat Buchanan to Jared Taylor.

Greg Johnson, editor of the neo-fascist Counter-Currents Publishing, wrote as then editor of the white nationalist Occidental Quarterly, that the alt right banner is bringing together a wide variety of people who are forced out of the mainstream and could benefit from the comfort of one another.

[Alternative Right] will attract the brightest ‘young’ conservatives and libertarians and expose them to far broader intellectual horizons, including race realism, White Nationalism, the European New Right, the Conservative Revolution, Traditionalism, neo-paganism, agrarianism, Third Positionism, anti-feminism, and right-wing anti-capitalists, ecologists, bioregionalists, and small-is-beautiful types.

Spencer eventually moved over to take the reigns of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, and start the website and publication, Radix Journal.  After continuing to do the podcast at Alternative Right for some time, he moved it over to the Radix Journal podcast, and even pulled the domain for the original Alternative Right website.  This create some animosity with between Spencer and the two co-hosts of Vanguard Radio who had taken over editorial duties of Alternative Right, but they went on to create the New Alternative Right to keep their progress going.  Spencer has gone on to make Radix Journal a white nationalist hot spot, as well as the yearly National Policy Institute conferences, one of which caused him to be deported by the Hungarian government when he tried to do a pan-European event.

Spencer has largely walked away from the term alt right simply because his politics, and those he semi-leads, have specified a bit and he feels that the moment that term inhabited is somewhat over.  Instead, the term has taken on a life of its own in that it represents a certain sphere of nationalist politics today.  From the Right Stuff to Counter-Currents, the “alt right” now often means an internet focused string of commentators, blogs, Twitter accounts, podcasters, and Reddit trolls, all of which combine scientific racism, romantic nationalism, and deconstructionist neo-fascist ideas to create a white nationalist movement that has almost no backwards connection with neo-Nazis and the KKK.  As Spencer often said, they had a “different starting point” than conventional conservatism, often coming from their disavowal of human equality.  It is an easy way of differentiating them from older forms of white nationalism that they feel they have no cultural affinity for.

Much of what distinguishes the alt right is aesthetics, education, and language choices, while the core ideas remain the same.  They maintain traditional racism and anti-semitism, a strong sense of gender roles, a traditionalism about behavior, and a necessity towards national identity, though there have been some acceptance of queer members and a move away from strict Christianity and towards Nordic paganism and the Radical Traditionalism of Julius Evola.  This broad sphere is attempting to reclaim an intellectual, spiritual, and social movement for the far-right, and, except for some exceptions, they like to couch their language in intellectual double speak rather than just stacking racial slurs.

In recent weeks the alt right hashtag has started trending mainly because of the concerted effort of many of the disparate trolls forcing it to do so, but it needs to be seen in exactly the context it exists.  This is old-school racism and neo-fascism, except looking to wear a suit and tie rather than a white hood.  As Neoconservative David From said about them, they are
“going to be white nationalists, but, by God, they’re going to be a little fancy about it.”  The attempt here is to rebrand neo-fascism as something new and hip, which has worked in some circles, but it needs to be recognized and treated as exactly what it is.

While the alt right would broadly be opposed to electoral politics, over the last couple weeks the use of the #altright has been to post constant fawning tributes to Donald Trump.  His recent insulting jokes towards a Jewish audience, claims to ban Muslim immigration, and general attack on minorities has mobilized digital reactionaries to broaden their umbrella to include support for Trump.  This is less for his ability to actually win an election and do anything significant politically, but for his ability to generally unleash the subdermal racism in the country that they can then use to mobilize more to join the broader alt right.  This kind of entryism has a real history of success as Trump represents a 2015 version of the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign, which helped push conservatives to the right and flood in open white nationalist organizations for the next couple decades

The alt right itself is going to stay the mark of the 21st century’s more intellectually minded and diverse neo-fascism, one that is more willing to sacrifice much of the baggage of older white nationalism so that they can create a movement that undermines the basic values of democracy, equality, and the “enlightenment.”  Understanding this new branding gives anti-fascist the tools to confront the new kind of fascist movement that is going to vie for power in times of crisis and turmoil.

Capitalists Against Cops: Cop Block, Christopher Cantwell, and the Libertarian Paradox

The movement against the police, their excesses and abuses, has, in the last two years, really melded with what became Black Lives Matter.  Much of this has come by stacking up the violent attacks by police, mainly on people of color, for seeming mild behavior that no one would estimate warranted moments of extreme police violence.  Much of this movement has come from the ability of everyone to take reasonably good video on their cell phones and the use of social media news feeds, which allow the stories of police abuses to come one after another.  On social media, Cop Block has become one of the most popular of these, gaining more than a million and a half followers on Facebook and having a full website and podcast to support it.  For most of its fans it seems to be a place that is helping to feed the consciousness of police authoritarianism, and with its slant towards the police violence against people of color it has become a go-to source on the left.

Cop Block’s history is actually more complicated then just a leftist anti-cop outlet, and that history has come back as a flash just recently.

As most people will notice if they go just beyond the Facebook page, Cop Block is much more of a libertarian publication than one of general left-wing values.  Amid click-bait articles about different police excesses, you will find points that actually stray from the regular anti-police narrative such as railing against DUI laws.  In their recommended reading you are going to find tomes like For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, and their podcast is hosted by the libertarian Free Talk Live and sponsored by the Free State Project.

Libertarian elements often meet points with the left, whether it is with drug legalization or the anti-war movement, and this is a completely normal part of mass movement building.  In this case, Cop Block seems to mainly be a part of “left libertarian” strains that are opposed to racism openly.  That doesn’t make up the entirety of who Cop Block has been, however.

Christopher Cantwell was a former contributor to Cop Block who wrote awkward and violent tracts against the government and police, eventually being kicked out as a contributor and from the Free State Project for publishing an article talking about the joy people should feel about killing police.  The editorial collective of Cop Block then published a response distancing themselves from Cantwell and committing themselves to the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle.  Cantwell is known for his own podcast “Radical Agenda” and positioning himself with different “Alt Right” and racialist projects.  His website lists himself as an “Anarchist, Atheist, Realist.”  The anarchism he is talking about is hard-right anarcho-capitalism, and the realism is directly in relation to race.  He delves heavily into race issues, siding with “race realists” in believing that people of color have lower IQs, are more prone to criminality, that we need to ban all immigration, that Muslims are sub-humans, and that the Jews are over represented in positions of power.  His own website and twice-weekly live video broadcasts are filled with racial slurs, conspiracy theories, and mixing of American right-wing populism with the new “hip” fascism.  He has joined the Right Stuff’s podcasts twice in the last two weeks, first going on the flagship The Daily Shoah and later joining Fash the Nation.  On both he railed against people of color, yelling about how they were “dumb n—-rs,” “spooks,” and calling Muslim people “Kababs.”  He also spent quite a bit of time ranting about how he “schooled” members of Cop Block on a recent podcast episode he joined them on.  He enjoyed calling them Cuck Block, a reference to the #Cuckservative meme that The Right Stuff and others on the Alt Right have been using to say that traditional conservatives are working for the benefit of non-white groups instead of themselves.

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Since Cantwell was a contributor at Cop Block previously, he was invited back to explain why he was, as a libertarian, supporting Donald Trump’s presidential bid.  This was also a video episode, where Cantwell was poised in front of an anarcho-capitalist half-gold, half-black flag with a coiled snake and the “Don’t Tread on Me” line.  They come out almost immediately to see if he actually believes that “to get freedom back” we need to get rid of liberals and leftists.  He goes on to use Alt Right buzz points, or “hate facts” as he refers to them, such as R-K Selection Theory, Race and IQ psuedoscience, and bizarre references to evolutionary psychology.  Cantwell shifts towards criticizing Cop Block for using leftist news sources like Counter-Currents News(not to be confused with the white nationalist Counter-Currents Publishing), which the co-hosts do apologize for, and for “teaming up with liberals.”

“If you think that people are just blank slate, everybody’s equal, then that’s absolute nonsense,” said Cantwell.  “One things that’s wrong with Cop Block and the other Race Pimp outfits that you have teamed up with is that…you jump on board with the Black Lives Matter thing.  If black people are 13% of the population and 30% of those killed by police, thus police are racist.  Well that’s nonsense, you know, what’s actually happening is black people are responsible for more than 50% of the crime in America, and that is an objectively observable thing that is actually happening.  And so if you are getting in trouble with law enforcement, you are getting killed by law enforcement while you are out committing a vastly disproportionate amount of crime in a country, then it makes sense that you would end up in that position.”

This is a regular white nationalist talking point, well known in crowds like American Renaissance and the Council of Conservative Citizens, where race and crime reporting statistics are overtly manipulated to make arguments that there are some type of biologically driven criminality in black people.  These statistics are intentionally taken out of context, and they refuse to look at the vastly different representation of people of color in accordance to actual rates of “criminal” behavior.  An example of this is with drug use, which from individual surveying is shown to be equal across races, though black and Latino people are much more represented in drug possession convictions.  Crimes are most correlated to socio-economic status, and due to historic oppression and racism have tied communities of color with poverty, and therefore there is a common sense way to read the evidence.  Instead, “race realists” intend to use these statistics to make really vulgar statements that there are literally differences in black and white brains that make black people driven towards “criminality,” which is an unscientific way of dividing up pre-conscious motivations and brain functions.  Criminal behaviors are designated by a society and its property laws, which are not a set of “timeless principles” that some types of people are just more prone to violate.  Much of early race science addressed class in the same way, using meritocratic arguments to say that people of low socio-economic class, as well as race, are in the situation they are in because they are prone to criminal behavior and low intelligence.  Good breeding, a coded phrase for Eugenics, was supposed to breed out these people by using rich whites as a model for genetic superiority.   People like Cantwell are resurrecting these kind of pseudoscientific embarrassments, this time focusing just on race to separate people of color from the white working class.

The Cop Block podcast hosts do their best to challenge Cantwell on these points, but, as Cantwell railed about with glee, they were not prepared to challenge rehearsed white nationalist talking points.  The reality is that most people are not on guard to defend against things that are generally known to be false, such as roundly discredited race and IQ or race and crime arguments.

After Cantwell left the show, another member of the Cop Block spoke up to defend him as “having a point,” while another member, Severin Freeman, stated that they do not support the Black Lives Matter movement.

At a certain point, in 2013, Cop Block began to shift to be more conscious of the violence from “non-state actors” because of interpersonal oppression.  This meant consciously addressing white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other forms of oppression.  This has not been monolithically successful, especially when people noticed some posts from Cop Block that downplayed the significance of street harassment against women.  Even with those moments, there was an intentional turn to be aware of intersecting oppression and move away from a right-wing value set in their anti-police political orientation.  As Peaceful Streets notes, when some founding members began to stand up to some racist and sexist responses, the far-right segment of the anti-police movement came out in droves to attack them.

This brought out vicious attacks from many who were at the intersection of some or all of the following groups: Cop Block, anarchocapitalists, Men’s Rights Movement, and Neoconfederates. One semi-popular libertarian blogger named Christopher Cantwell led the charge against the “White Knight,” “Social Justice Warriors” who dared to take offense at overt forms of bigotry. Soon, [Antonio] Buehler had hundreds of racist and sexist people attacking him for taking a stand against racism and sexism. Buehler responded by disassociating with everyone who was willing to associate with Cantwell, and this included Cop Block founder Ademo Freeman and many other members of Cop Block.

Today, Cop Block is generally set to focusing largely on cop-on-black violence, really lending to ground the Black Lives Matter narratives in the constant stream of police brutality cases.  Since the shooting in San Bernadino, they have continued to perpetuate the conspiracy theory that it was actually white “crisis actors.”  While these types of conspiracy theories are obviously problematic, they do shift away from the right-libertarian trend to believe that the government is “anti-white” and would never fake an attack by a Muslim.

The libertarian tradition, and by that we mean the American libertarian tradition specifically, has always sat on the fringes of the extreme right.  After Murray Rothbard was kicked out of the National Review in the 1960s he briefly associated with the left-wing cultural elements that began lingering around the libertarian movement before falling into a distinctly reactionary place and began producing the Rothbard-Rockwell Report with Lew Rockwell.  Anarcho-capitalism, which draws a completely different historical trajectory than anarchism as it is commonly understood, has always rubbed shoulders of neo-fascist movements in their respect for hierarchy and inequality.  The Ludwig Von Mises Institute used to hold a message on its opening page listing that property means the right to “refuse service” to people or groups the owner determines.  Throughout the life of libertarianism, which really does not gain steam until the 1980s, you saw a close consortium between libertarian and various intersectional movements on the far-right.  The most obvious of these were the milita movement who was built on a conspiracy theology about the invading “left-wing” government.  During the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas 1994, milita people, conspiracy theorists, and libertarians joined the onlookers in outrage, and it radicalized people like Alex Jones and Timothy McVeigh.

The bridge points into mainstream politics, with the anti-war politics of Lew Rockwell to the Ron Paul newsletters, allowed for far-right positions to become semi-acceptable under the auspices of paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism.  Throughout the 1990s, much of the open white power movement, including various neo-Nazi and Klan organizations, found their way into the generic “anti-tax” movement, of which people like Ron Paul were also a part.  These movements later crystalized in response to changing demographics and an American President of color, and came front and center with the Tea Party.

Libertarianism itself has been a stepping stone for many in white nationalism because the mechanisms of the welfare state are associated with people of color.  As the Ron Paul campaign of the mid-2000s brought libertarianism back amongst a newer generation of young people, the left-leaning cultural elements found a space again and were popularized by places like Reason Magazine and the Caito Institute.  As libertarianism in this vein began to abandon its far-right cultural elements, it no longer became a safe space for various fringe right-wing ideologies.  Today, you see organizations like the white nationalist The Right Stuff, the American Freedom Party, and the Traditionalist Youth Network coming out of former Ron Paul supporters, and even today institutions like the Property and Freedom Foundation and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute continue to be safe spaces for “race realists” and others in the open racialist movement.

Today’s libertarianism has distinctly different wings that are broken up more by values than by politics.  This is what really separates people like Cop Block and Christopher Cantwell: a sense of what their social values are rather than what the type of political and social tools they prefer.  This does not, however, mean that there is a clean break between them since they still share a certain analysis and background.  Many of the people still involved with Cop Block, and some of what they publish, show a mixed consciousness about political issues.   At the same time, Cop Block has made huge moves to separate themselves from many of the racist traditions that parallel libertarianism, as well as create distance between them and open racists that used to contribute to them.

Cop Block’s controversies are mainly reserved for the founder’s, Aderno Freeman, alleged wiretapping or the South Carolina’s Republican Chairperson’s “liking” of one of their posts.  The foundation of their work is always going to be based on a libertarian suspicion of the government, which is founded on the idea that the state interferes with “sovereignty” and property rights.  This is much different than the anarchist analysis as the state as a tool for the ruling class, which means that those on the left looking to use Cop Block as a resource need to do so with a sense of distance.  What this says more than anything is that the anti-police narrative needs to be better enunciated by those on the radical left, especially taking the analysis away from reactionary minarchist politics and bringing them back to revolutionary anti-oppression praxis.

A Racist in the Streets: Trad Youth Ramps Up Public Actions

If the rhetoric of the racist right is tweaked at the edges, with the sharp language about minority groups shifted towards a broad discourse of “white dispossession,” then it can easily go under the radar as coded racial attacks are common to Tea Party groups and Donald Trump rallies.  As we see an anti-racist movement with teeth evolve out of Black Lives Matter, many whites are taking the calls of a combed-over Fuhrer figure and feeding the darkest recesses of their reactionary impulses.  It is in this wave of Islamophobia, “all lives matter” retorts, and increasing racist violence, that the Traditionalist Youth Network has gone under the general public’s radar.

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The Traditionalist Youth Network and its political wing, the Traditionalist Worker Party, has been hitting the streets in a series of actions where their message has gotten through by being disconnected from their open white nationalism.  In a recent action in Cincinnati, Ohio, Trad Youth picketed outside of the Great American Ball Park to highlight the attack on Christopher McKnight.  McKnight had recently been attacked by a group of people who beat him pretty severely, all of which was caught on camera phones and posted on YouTube.  The reason that Trad Youth became interested in this case was that McKnight was white and the attackers were black.  They then wanted to call attention to the fact that one of the filing police officers who addressed the case had briefly considered filing it as a “hate crime,” even though there is no credible instance that the attack was racially motivated.

Trad Youth’s action garnered a great deal of publicity, and a lot of people they passed were sympathetic to the “heartland” rhetoric they laced their argument with.  The news reports never mentioned their close neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan relationships, nor their open fascist political program.  Trad Youth also does not invite these comparisons as they kept their language incredibly limited when dealing with the crowds that poured past them.

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Over the weekend of December 5-6, the Traditionalist Worker Party joined the Madisonville, Kentucky Christmas Parade complete with their Fallange inspired political signs.  Here they passed out hundreds of candy canes to the children of the town with messages that read “Local Solutions to the Globalist Problem.”  This is a very particular choice in wording as they play on the “go local” language that is often used in small towns around the holidays where small businesses are trying to stay afloat against big box competitors.  The real key to this line is “globalist,” which is a particular framing that is key to their conception of nationalism.  They handed out anti-immigration flyers to the rest of the crowd, which also indicated that they were “pro-worker” since they wanted to keep out foreign workers.  With a general support from the semi-rural, conservative community, their actual political affiliation was never suggested even as their political wing was discussing programmatic solutions.  On their own website, in the discussion about the event, they listed a quote from the Spanish fascist Fallange party founder, Jose Antonio.

Nobody was ever born a member of a political party; on the contrary, we are all born members of one family; we are all citizens of one Municipality; we all press forward in the exercise of one task of work.

Even more disturbing, the Southern California chapter of Trad Youth has been organizing in a coalition with neo-fascist National Anarchist groups to organizing Food Not Bombs.  Usually anarchist in nature, FNB is a project where by the boundaries between those who cook and those who are hungry are broken down and act as a community-building alternative to the traditional soup kitchen.  Often considered an anarchist counter-cultural staple, FNB is an attempt by National Anarchists to co-opt anarchist cultural items so that they can go under the radar as “just another type of anarchism.”  Instead, they believe in a decentralized form of racial nationalism, one where “autonomous” communities are driven by racial identity and traditionalist authoritarianism.  Together, the N-A and Trad Youth also had a sit down meeting with Ron Paul, which continues to show that the left libertarian support for Ron Paul has been a bizarre misstep.

In a continued attempt to wear the shoes of the revolutionary left for a reactionary agenda, Trad Youth and the N-A affiliates formed a four person “black bloc” to defend anti-abortion protesters around the trumped up Planned Parenthood attack.  They note particularly that they were going up against the Revolutionary Community Party, which they use to show that they are utilizing the left’s organizing strategy “against them.”

Further, since one of our national-anarchist members came from a leftist to a traditionalist mindset over time, as he grew from a teenager to a man, he was familiar with the flyering techniques of the RCP and was able to help us locate their flyers they were dropping in the downtown area to invite local drug users and homeless from skid row to a “community meeting” they were organizing in a Methodist church. While we chose not to counterprotest this meeting at that time, having located the flier and considered options to act against them as a group shows the level of discipline we have developed in just a few short months.

The Traditionalist Youth Network has shown itself to be one of the few white nationalist groups capable of even moderate organizing, though they use marginal actions more as a chance to create endless blogs and media rather than as a larger strategy.  Any success that they do have really comes from their ability to adapt to the particulars of the area.  In Kentucky they stick with a traditional rural ultra-conservative messaging, while in California they join the rhetoric of alt-fascism that tries to employ elements of the revolutionary left.  All of this tends to come under the cover of leader Matthew Heimbach’s smiling face, which provides a certain optimism that is very different from the traditional image of racist skinhead anger.

Because they intend to go under the radar in their particular areas and sub-groups, this gives anti-fascists key tools to confront and destabilize their strategy.  In this way it is simply stating the reality of their politics, showing their quotes and affiliations openly, and mobilizing coalitions against any appearance they have.  As we just saw in Seattle with the successful counter-action against Hammerskins from Rose City Antifa, there is the ability to mobilize large actions when people see that open racialism is gaining a foothold.  This fury can be organized with Trad Youth as the target, and the mild community support they have will dry up immediately when they are exposed for what they really are.

Heimbach’s calm demeanor and Christian apologetics will only go so far when the sheet is pulled off of their dog whistle politics and their plans for an Ethno-state is laid bare.

Your 14 Words Shut You Down: Daily Shoah Gets Dropped by Sound Cloud

In an incident that is less than surprising, The Daily Shoah, the angrily racist podcast from the pop-Neoreaction phenomenon The Right Stuff, has had their landmark podcast stream dropped from their hosting service.  Brought to us by Soundcloud, closely before renewing their Soundcloud subscription they had their line severed for violating the terms of service agreement that bans content advocating for “racial hatred.”

On their most recent episode they ran a skit about the incident while also complaining for over half an hour that it was likely the “Jews” at Soundcloud that dropped their subscription.  The first segment on Episode 61 is simply called “Soundkiked,” which is the kind of embarrassing pun-politics that they are known for.  They mainly pushed at the idea that the terms of service agreement actually defines the racial hatred portion as rhetoric that may inspire violence.  This seems like a certain kind of willful ignorance as they spend most of their shows making jokes about killing black people and Jews, denying the Holocaust, and wishing for the mass slaughter of Arabs.  In the last episode of Fash the Nation, their “capital hill” style program discussing contemporary politics(mainly just Donald Trump and immigration, anything beyond that seems past their reach) a segment titled “The Europa Report” praised the attacks on refugee camps that are happening outside of Paris after their recent terror attack.  The commentator referred to the violent gangs as “Patriots,” and called the camp, which is filled with families escaping imperialist backed mass violence, “invader hordes.”

Soundcloud has served as their hosting for some time, and it also hosts similar racist tracts at Radix Journal and the New Alternative Right.  These podcast streams have not yet been flagged by Soundcloud, which is most likely simply because they use more pseudo-academic rhetoric and do not use the N-word 200 times an episode like The Daily Shoah does.  It could also simply be that the name of their podcast is a joke mocking the Holocaust, which is a not-so-subtle reference that Soundcloud should have noticed from the beginning.  The Daily Shoah has now moved their stream over to Archive.org, which is well known for hosting old educational videos from places like the Prelinger Archives.  Archive.org is also doing some of the hosting for the New Alternative Right, as well as many religious tracts and political rants that are on the fringes.

The Daily Shoah is just one of the more popular podcasts that have come in recent years that is using the format to reach out in a longer format for those not as inclined to read their prolific blogs.  Alternative Right really led the pack in a lot of ways with Vanguard Radio, which started with Richard Spencer interviewing people like Pat Buchanan, Tom Sunic, and Jonathan Bowden, before hosting a regular discussion panel with Alt Right commentators Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki.  When Spencer left Alternative Right to form Radix Journal he eventually severed the podcast feed and created the Radix Journal Podcast to continue his pontifications on “society and culture” from a neo-fascist point of view.  Now, these podcasts are often the first face forward for many of the most popular “alt right” websites, with The Daily Shoah being a less pseudo-intellectual fare and more in line with comedycentric talk radio.

While Soundcloud may have banned The Daily Shoah, iTunes, on the other hand, has not.  iTunes does not actually host the podcasts themselves, but instead just act as a delivery medium through their computer and mobile apps.  You provide an RSS feed and XML data and they keep the podcast running through their software.  They do make The Daily Shoah label themselves as having Explicit content, but as long as they do not show obscene content on their image and episode titles and do not break copyright protections, iTunes is not interfering.  They are in line with a host of other major white nationalist podcasts that are popular on iTunes, including the Radix Journal Podcast, Start the World, Attack the System, Counter-Currents Radio, and the now defunct Tribal Theocrat and the Traditionalist Youth Hour featuring Matthew Heimbach and the Traditionalist Youth Network.  These often feature interviews between prominent white nationalists, broadcasts of speeches, pithy commentary, and, most recently, a trend towards providing their longer essays as audio versions.  This is perfect for the angry white identitarian too busy to sit down and read a text rant posing as academic discourse.

iTunes came under fire in recent years for continuing to sell white power bands through their music service.  This went beyond coded neo-nationalist neo-folk music, and to open skinhead bands like Jewslaughter and RaHoWa(the name means Racial Holy War).  They stand on a more universalist ethic, which has also allowed for many radical left-wing resources to be broadcast through there.  The concern from many anti-fascists is that forcing iTunes to draw a distinction with their content could create a backlash against revolutionary anti-capitalist and anti-state discourse through them as well.  This should not disuade organizers entirely, however, as continuing to highlight the way that iTunes is creating a vehicle for a rising fascist current could create a focus that could remove the most accessible voice for these racist podcasts.

For the Daily Shoah, their web presence is likely to stay for now, though it is clear that a shift is happening as the massive rise of racist violence this year is changing people’s perception of what kind of rhetoric they want to allow in their community.

 

Black Lives Matter Confronts Black Friday in Portland

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Black Friday has long been correlated with post-Thanksgiving political actions, often labor focused, meant to target what many say are consumerist priorities and the exploitation of low-wage workers forced to leave their families over the holiday weekend.  Of course many working class families have to use Black Friday sales simply to afford gifts for their families, yet it is still a good opportunity to highlight many labor and social abuses.  This includes the white washing of the murder of African American’s in the U.S., which public outcry is bringing together a movement threatening the current order in fundamental ways.

Starting in 2014, the Black Lives Matter movement moved into using Black Friday as a way of highlighting the growing movement and linking it up with existing labor struggles like $15Now and Our Walmart.  This year, 2015, saw this Black Friday becoming an annual one as cities across the country reported rallies, marches, and disruptions at consumer centers.  In Portland, Oregon, Don’t Shoot PDX and Black Lives Matter Portland organized a mass action that would highlight voices of color and mobilize people to keep their voices heard even through the dense fog of holiday shopping.

Around 400 people packed Holladay Park across the street from Oregon’s oldest mall, Lloyd Center.  Amid speeches that discussed the disparity in rates of police violence against black and brown people, the name Laquan McDonald rang loud as people sadly remember his recent death.  McDonald was shot in Chicago in a shocking sixteen time in a matter of seconds by police, showing the veracity at which police address black suspects.  There was also an climate of suspicion as it was recently revealed that the Black Lives Matter movement locally had been spied on by Oregon law enforcement, as well as the general fear after the white nationalist attack on BLM protesters in Minneapolis-St.Paul.  There were a small handful of counter protesters at Holladay park, but they were sandwich board wearing fundamentalist Christians yelling obvious attacks at protesters.  This was until several white men were apprehended by police in the mall carrying airsoft guns and heading in the direction of the BLM rally.

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After an hour of speeches where organizers had white allies create a locked-arms line to protect people of color, the march hit the streets and weaved up and down Northeast Portland.  This often came in direct contact with the police, who would often attempt to block the path before backing down and breaking their line.  The route took protesters through neighborhoods that had been gentrified, new commercial space that is getting frightening rent increases, and parts of town that used to have a vibrant African American community before developers changed the demographics.

The march led back to Lloyd Center to go inside and continue the messaging, just as they were doing in cities around the country.  This meant showing the banners and providing the known chants.  Cross-issue organizing was incredibly apparent here, where Portland State University students were also trying to highlight the arming of security officers on their campus and the project to undo that decision.

Below is a large image gallery of the rally, march, and Lloyd Center action giving a cross section of how this diverse movement came together to highlight the ongoing anti-black racism that defines America.

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Putting It To Rest: What You Want Isn’t Anarchism

The last bastion for anarchists who don’t organize is to write.  The three editors of Anti-Fascist News have stayed committed to not falling into this pattern as we know how a “managerial class,” as recent commentators have referred to it, is antithetical to anarchist visions of directly run social systems.  Keith Preston, who runs the National Anarchist website Attack the System, does not share this commitment as his politics lie in wait only in the theoretical.  This is why we do not take his assertion that pan-Secessionism, and his idea of the revolutionary potential of the radical right, very seriously.

Preston has, of course, released response to response to response.  We are going to keep this short only because there is actual organizing we are trying to make this a resource for.

One quick introductory note on the use of names.  All contributors and the website’s three editors come under the same name “antifascistfront(We literally say where many of the contributors come, so it is clear the range of authors that are in place).”  For someone who attempts to bastardize the history of Anti-Fascist Action, Keith should probably know the utility of a uniform “common front” where by names and faces are united so as to engage in a common purpose.  This is in line with the use of free association(we know you are aware of that part of anarchist theory) and direct action.  This comes out of Autonomen and Autonomist factions where by anarchism influence Marxist economic theories.  The exchange between anarchism and Marxism has been complex and ongoing, yet this idea that Marxism has infiltrated anarchism and that is why it has adopted socially left values is not just bizarre, it has zero basis in fact.  Today, Marxist factions, as small and scattered as they are, are continually a socially conservatizing force and several steps behind in these struggles.  This has always been true in older periods of Marxism where struggle is centrally set on a united working class along economic lines, not along lines of other oppressed identification.  The idea is then proposed by neo-fascists that the Frankfurt School completely reshaped all social struggles on every level so that anti-racism and anti-patriarchal struggles would supplement class struggle.  The main purpose of this conspiracy theory is to create a narrative where by it is actually Jewish philosophers that have started this process and, therefore, must be only done for Jewish domination.  There are literally no Marxist academics or organizers that would agree with the radical right’s estimation of Marxism as the driving force towards social progress through the Frankfurt School.  The struggle between communist countries or dominant sub-sections and fascism is due to the size of communism as a left-ideology in militant areas during the interwar period.  The assertion that Preston makes is that Antifa really draws its history from the German Communist Party(KPD) in the mid-1930s is dubious, the only real connection is the symbology that most of us identify under the auspices of a “united front.”  The allegations of nationalism in the KPD is bizarre as it lacks the ideological racialism that most identify with nationalism as such, but you are right about one thing: none of us would support KPD politics in the 21st century.  Instead, we cite the long history of anti-fascism that is united along anti-racist, and broad-based anti-fascist politics.  Today, Antifa is actually drawn from the creation of Anti-Fascist Action in Britain in 1985.  This concept came out of a period when anarchism was shifting towards dominance in the larger left, only because of the historic failure of state communism.  More than this, it is the failure of simple labor-centric politics to have the tools necessary to confront the ways that people actually experience oppression, as well as the need to attack cultural power on multiple fronts.  To say that the KPD “invented” anti-fascism is a right-wing delusion where by you boil literally hundreds of independent and intersecting movements just down to one group who made a flag.

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Other anti-fascist images, such as the downward sloping three arrows, comes from the social democratic Iron Front who hardly share the hard-line state Marxism.  The KPD, the failed German Revolution, and the position of racism within their party is a history that fails to have a connection to modern anti-fascist organizing since the dynamics of state allied communist parties is past, but it does actually show the degree to which Marxism fails to address issues like racism, patriarchy, and queer liberation.

Ideologically, the anarchist project of modern times owes so little to Marxism in all the ways that most people understand Marxist theory.  Marxism does not see the power dynamics that are central to interpersonally identified oppressions, such as race or gender, as foundational.  Instead, economic relations act as the base to the larger superstructure by which other forms of oppression can rest alongside disparate pieces of culture.  This runs counter to most contemporary anarchist’s conception of oppression, where anything beyond class struggle would have to be secondary.  The influence of Marxism on anarchism is in much of the critiques of capitalism, which you would see in the work of people like Wayne Price(We are guessing you remember him).  The Marxism that does tend to maintain some types influence in anarchist circles are, ironically, the Marxists that you cited to make your point.  There is differing opinions about the work of Negri and Hardt among our editorial collective, especially as it comes to the de-emphasis of the nation state, yet this disagreement is within a particular framework: namely, the discussion of politics leading towards liberation.  If anything, anarchism has influenced Marxism more on social issues than the latter as you can see the emergence in most of the ideas in many of the anarchists Preston sites, such as Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.  The issue Preston takes up is if reactionary counter-cultural movements, from neo-Nazis to Mormon Fundamentalists, can be united to challenge the global hegemony of capitalist power.  The reality is that with visions so radically different, as well as analysis about power and oppression so different, they hold little tactical or ideological virtue in each other.  Simply put: we don’t want the same things, and even in challenging the state we would engage with it in such radically different ways that we do not hold stake in each other’s success.  We believe in dual power and, only to some degree, prefiguration of the world we want to see.  In doing so, we engage in anti-oppression politics inside of the methods we use towards larger movement building, which we hope are cumulative moves towards revolutionary struggle.

The influence on anarchism over the second half of the 20th century came instead from anarchism’s ability to adapt to different ideas it comes in contact with during periods of struggle.  This means its connection to the Civil Rights Movement, Radical Feminism, Radical Ecology, the anti-nuke movement, Animal Rights, and a whole other range of actual social movements that allowed anarchism this evolution.  This really comes from the notion, which is primary in anarchist thought from the start, that anarchism is a struggle against oppression on multiple fronts.  Anarchism’s opposition fundamentally to hierarchy means confronting all the places that oppression seeps into people’s experiences, and confronting that as a unique place of struggle.  This is the point by which intersectionality influenced the modern movement, coming out of the Combahee River Collective in Boston in the mid-1970s where it came from the combined experiences of both racism and sexism experienced by women of color.

The real key issue that Preston’s arguments here rest on(possibly all of his stale arguments, in general) is whether or not things like racism and sexism actually exist as significant forms of oppression and if all these completely unrelated and antagonistic ideological forces can basically be called the same thing.  There are literally stacks of books about this issue, but we are simply going to refer you back to our previous article about anarchism and its ideological position as the direct opposition to fascism broadly understood.  There are core values underlying the anarchist tradition, such as unmediated democracy and radical anti-hierarchical egalitarianism, on which the political and social ideas rest.  We believe that “any cook can rule,” that people are very different while all being equal in value, and that direct participation is crucial to a fully realized existence.  These assumptions are not shared in your right-wing libertarian variants, even if they both find value in the larger anti-authoritarian tradition.  Even though we do not think that these ideas are ultimately liberatory, we would not get into a tit for tat argument with you about whether anarcho-capitalism or N-A could be broadly understood to be anti-authoritarian.

One thing that Preston mentions both in his last article and in much of his larger work is a critique of Political Correctness.  He often joins in with the narrative that PC culture is the grand leviathan that controls the culture, which is ideologically pre-school in nature.  The notion that liberal social norms are somehow equal to capitalism, the church, the communist party, or the corporation in different times and places is ridiculous.  We want to add, however, that we also oppose things like Political Correctness and call-out culture.  Much of what you lump together with contemporary anarchism or Marxism you bring over from mainstream liberalism, which are exactly many of the points at which the radical left breaks away.  We do not, however, see these as grand travesties that are the equal to the violence implicit in racial nationalism.

Preston does make it clear that he does not see the oppression faced by people of color, women, and queer folks as being significantly dominant and therefore they are more of a battle amongst interest groups.  White nationalists love this line as it gives them the excuse to say that they are just fighting for white interests just like other groups fight for their own interests.  The reality is that racism is real, just as rates of job hiring, incarceration, police violence, and pretty much all areas of social life can be seen as disparate between whites and racial groups of color.  Women are the victim of misogynist violence at rates so systemic that their own home is one of the most dangerous places they can be and pregnant women are more likely to die from homicide than in any other way.  Rape, assault, and harassment are daily threats for non-male members of our society, and the notion that a straight white man can pontificate about how this oppression is just a thing of the past is breathtaking.

We have gladly engaged in some jabs your direction, but we do want one thing to be taken incredibly sincerely.  The idea that ideological positions that hold almost no connection rather than opposition to the state(We would guess that you do not even agree with us as to what a state actually is.) do not have any business being discussed as the same project.  When you stand with neo-fascist organizations(even though we are sure that you will dispute that description) you empower their revolutionary vision, one that necessitates our failure.  In times of crisis and collapse there is a lot of revolutionary potential, both on the right and the left, so the challenge of anarchism is to present liberatory potentials opposed to the rise of reactionary forces.  The fringes of these movements do not hold similar enemies since our politics are a tool for achieving specific values.  National Anarchism seeks to build up the idea of the ethnic nation as a viable unit of identity and resistance, but we want to counter that notion with the idea that working class unity and broad community is both more functionally successful in terms of struggle and more inspiring to the human soul.  Ethnic struggle is one that has been successful on the left only in that it opposes the oppression from the dominant groups in the society, but to say that white nationalism and black nationalism are the same thing is to lack an understanding of what ideologically motivates the two groups.  Instead, our anarchism is something that runs so much deeper than the surface ideas you throw around, ones that will never be reconciled with your ideas.

Taking on Fascism and Racism from the Ground Up.