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.

Stand Against “The Infidels” in London

The Infidels is a deeply Islamaphobic and open neo-Nazi offshoot organization from the English Defense League, which was formed to try and force Muslims out of Europe at any cost.  In the wake of the Paris attacks Islamaphobia and refugee blame is rampant, even though it is clear that the terrorists were French citizens and not refugees.  This does not matter as gangs of right-wing populists have attacked refugee camps outside of Paris, and now the Infidels are marching against Muslim immigration in North London.

In response, anti-fascists are organizing to show that refugees are welcome and that no one is illegal.  The counter action is called A Day to Celebrate Diversity and is going to stand directly against the forces of organized reactionaries.


On Saturday the 21st of November a fascist group – “The infidels of North Wales” – plan to hold a rally in Llangefni. Our event aims to draw as many people as possible to Llangefni on the same day, to show our comittment to diversity and multi-culturalism. We will peacefully celebrate our values.

More information will be added as we make plans for the day. In the meantime, feel free to invite your friends.

We stand with all those who are going to rise up to protect Muslim comrades and community members, especially against vile racists who use tragedy to create a fascist movement.  Their own website says that they are “a political movement for (the indigenous people of Europe) to take our country back.”  It could not be clearer than that.

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Grasping at Straws: Refuting Keith Preston and Pan-secessionism

Keith Preston recently issued a response to a short letter we wrote a while back asking him to stop calling himself an anarchist because of his racism, misogyny, and support for libertarian variants.  In what is probably the most anarchist thing he could do, he responded with a letter defending his pan-anarchism and associating us with totalitarian elements of the left.  This accusation is a go-to for fascist organizers shut down by anti-fascist movements, as if the freedom for loud and angry loud men to rant and rave is what liberation is really all about.  The issue with Preston as an associate and supporter of the far-right is an important reason to isolate his website, Attack the System, from having any association with anarchism, as is his idea that he can reconcile completely disparate philosophical tendencies that have literally no association with one another other than the “anarcho” prefix.  Preston himself mentions this after citing John Zube’s bizarre dialogue on anarchism.

There are indeed many readily identifiable traditions within anarchism, some of which maintain a paradoxical relationship to each other.

He goes on to mention that anarchists are like divisions in the Christian church that refuse to recognize each other as being appropriately Christian.

What Preston hopes is that his critique will allow him to ride the wave of critiques that his title suggests, that we are being “More Anarchistic Than Thou.”  This is a very real response that began in the 1990s where deconstruction and a “culture of critique” formed around post-left anarchism where by people began a “one-upmanship” of who could be more “radical” or attack oppression at more “systemic” levels.  This can lead to some destructive behavior as small disagreements become overpowering and destroy even fleeting unity, but this is not what is happening with Preston.  While disagreements over lifestyle choices or the specifics of anti-capitalist economics are applied are completely within the realm of disagreement between associated ideologues, arguing over racial nationalism, gender essentialism, and whether or not capitalism is acceptable is simply not.  No person inside of anarchist anti-oppression politics, where the “More Anarchistic Than Thou” situation often arises, would extend this anarchist umbrella to Keith Preston as the different cultural elements he celebrates (racism and capitalism) are opposed at the foundation of the anarchist project.  As was said in the original article, anarchists oppose the State not out of some revulsion to organization, but because it serves a class and hierarchy.  A pan-secessionist movement that Preston advocates means empowering movements that seek to crystalize the elements of the State and general social system that motivate anarchism’s revolutionary potential.

Plainly put: Anarchism is founded on the desire to smash capitalism, racism, sexism, and the like, so you cannot make friends out of movements that seek to celebrate those tyrannies.

While Attack the System is more known for its National Anarchism than its Anarcho-Capitalism, the libertarian traditions are well represented on the site.  Capitalism is not “a central project” of anarchism, but, in a lot of ways, the central project that began the movement.  Anarchism comes out of the socialist tradition, yet a libertarian version of this as opposed to Marx’s conception of revolutionary socialism developing out of Proletarian Dictatorship through a Worker’s State.  Anarcho-capitalism is an idea that really did not become apparent until the 1970s-80s, and comes not from the liberatory movements associated with the anarchist tradition, but for the deregulation of capitalism for completely different motivations.  There were socially “left” people associated with disparate strains of Anarcho-capitalism, but that does not make them any more associated with the tradition than liberals who share the anarchist disdain for sexism.  The question of Anarcho-capitalism, which is a strong part of the synthesis that Preston attempts, is brought up into the massive FAQ project that Ian McKay as put together.

While “anarcho”-capitalists obviously try to associate themselves with the anarchist tradition by using the word “anarcho” or by calling themselves “anarchists” their ideas are distinctly at odds with those associated with anarchism. As a result, any claims that their ideas are anarchist or that they are part of the anarchist tradition or movement are false.

“Anarcho”-capitalists claim to be anarchists because they say that they oppose government. As noted in the last section, they use a dictionary definition of anarchism. However, this fails to appreciate that anarchism is a political theory. As dictionaries are rarely politically sophisticated things, this means that they fail to recognise that anarchism is more than just opposition to government, it is also marked a opposition to capitalism (i.e. exploitation and private property). Thus, opposition to government is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being an anarchist — you also need to be opposed to exploitation and capitalist private property. As “anarcho”-capitalists do not consider interest, rent and profits (i.e. capitalism) to be exploitative nor oppose capitalist property rights, they are not anarchists.

Part of the problem is that Marxists, like many academics, also tend to assert that anarchists are simply against the state. It is significant that both Marxists and “anarcho”-capitalists tend to define anarchism as purely opposition to government. This is no co-incidence, as both seek to exclude anarchism from its place in the wider socialist movement. This makes perfect sense from the Marxist perspective as it allows them to present their ideology as the only serious anti-capitalist one around (not to mention associating anarchism with “anarcho”-capitalism is an excellent way of discrediting our ideas in the wider radical movement). It should go without saying that this is an obvious and serious misrepresentation of the anarchist position as even a superficial glance at anarchist theory and history shows that no anarchist limited their critique of society simply at the state.

McKay goes on to deconstruct allegations that Individualist anarchists that some anarchists claim affinity with are capitalist, who have a much different conception of property than people like Hayek or Rothbard.

The question comes up of exactly what totalitarianism is as it is the “totalitarian humanism” that Preston talks about is a problem of the left and distracts the left’s claims of liberation.  Preston’s critique is especially precious given his belief that completely deregulated capitalism is acceptable in his “liberated” society.  As Daibhidh points out in Anarcho-Hucksters, to allow a “Boss” to take place in an “anarchist” society, which is unequivocally necessary in any form of capitalism, undermines the basic assumptions of the anarchist project.

“Anarcho” capitalists talk of freedom as a negative, in a (Ayn) Randian definition of: “the absence of physical violence”. They see capitalism as the epitome of this ethic, and the State as the antithesis of it (defining the State as “the institution with a monopoly of force”).

This is the cornerstone of their professed anarchism. They say, “we oppose the State; anarchists oppose government; ergo, we are anarchists.”

But anarchists look at that statement and ask:

  • What of the boss in the workplace?
  • What of the wealthy owner of property?
  • What of the capitalist industrialist?
  • What of the church elder?
  • What of the judge?
  • What of the patriarch of a family?

Don’t these people have very real authority over others’ lives? Haven’t each of these, in their way, brought shame, misery, and degradation to those under their control?

The “anarcho” capitalist has no problem with rulers below State level, so long as they don’t impinge on profit and property! So, if your boss eavesdropped on your calls, the “anarcho” capitalist would say, “hey, you can always get a new job” rather than taking the anarchist stance of “how dare X boss eavesdrop on their employees?! We must work to end workplace tyranny!”

In fact, to the “anarcho” capitalist, being able to work for whomever you want (including working for clients [e.g., “self”-employment) is what they consider “freedom”. This amounts to choosing who gets to be your boss! Some choice, huh?

Anarchists, in contrast, don’t think there should BE any bosses. Everyone pulls their fair share of the collective social burden of day-to-day living. And, while everyone works, the distinction between this and typical capitalist drudgery is that, in anarchy, you’d be working for your own needs, rather than for the profit of another! As such, you wouldn’t have to put in 40+ hour weeks lining the pockets of whoever owns the company you work for (or servicing your clients’ needs).

The tyranny that people experience is rooted in fundamental inequalities, both social and systemic.  Without the ability to challenge those dynamics then there is no liberation, and to allow wage-slave systems in other “city-states” (or whatever Preston thinks his ideological enclaves would be called) would be the opposite of the ongoing revolutionary transformation of anarchism.

Attack the System itself has a banner at the top of the website that shows images of some of the famous anarchists of the past that Preston respects and says is a part of his own tradition.  If we look at their own work, it is pretty clear that their opinions about capitalism do not for allow for Preston’s idea that anarchism can collaborate with capitalism.  According to Mikhail Bakunin, capitalism undermined any sense of freedom for the vast majority of humanity.

Juridically they are equal; but economically the worker is the serf of the capitalist . . . thereby the worker sells his person ant his liberty for a given time. The worker is in the position of a serf because this terrible threat of starvation which daily hangs over his head and over his family, will force him to accept any conditions imposed by the gainful calculations of the capitalist, the industrialist, the employer…. The worker always has the right to leave his employer, but has he the means to do so? No, he does it in order to sell himself to another employer. He is driven to it by the same hunger which forces him to sell himself to the first employer.

The worker’s liberty . . . is only a theoretical freedom. lacking any means for its possible realization. ant consequently it is only a fictitious liberty. an utter falsehood. The truth is that the whole life of the worker is simply a continuous and dismaying succession of terms of serfdom–“voluntary from the juridical point of view but compulsory from an economic sense–broken up by momentarily brief interludes of freedom accompanied by starvation; in other words, it is real slavery.

Alexander Berkman, the author of the ABC’s of Anarchism, is known for outlining many of the ideas that brought anarchism into the 20th Century.  He noted that capitalism represented the foundations of a society that had to be torn apart.

If you can see, hear, feel, and think, you should know that King Dollar rules the United States, and that the workers are robbed and exploited in this country to the heart’s content of the masters. If you are not deaf, dumb, and blind, then you know that the American bourgeois democracy and capitalistic civilization are the worst enemies of labor and progress, and that instead of protecting them, you should help to fight to destroy them.

Even Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, a person who shared some of Preston’s bigotries and was more of a proto-anarchist than the anarchism we would call today said that “property is theft.”  We could really go down the line on this, but what we would find is not just that these anarchists have a different opinion about capitalism, they find anti-capitalism foundational.  What Preston attempts to do though is to say that anarchism naturally has the ability to take on fully contradictory ideas, as he mentions also with religious anarchism.  There certainly is a broad anarchist movement with many colliding ideas, but the fundamental values do remain the same.  No one in the broad anarchist movement, even on the primitivism or post-leftist fringes would accept capitalism or racial nationalism.  Even the more nuanced anarchists from fringe traditions, like Max Stirner and Hakim Bey, seem to be little understood by Preston and his writers, though they pull at anyone vaguely associated with the anarchist tradition to give relevance to their absurdity.  It is like someone who thinks a political movement can be summed up by describing its members clothing and hair styles: he seems to know nothing about the fundamental values and motivating factors of the revolutionary anarchist movement.

For Attack the System, and Preston personally, the real issue is of this new concept of National Anarchism.  When stripped of its pseudo-mystical tracts and overly jargon filled double speak, the notion here is almost identical to Preston’s idea of pan-secessionism.  Groups, known as tribes, would create separate enclave based either on identity, such as race, or on social choice, such as economic system.  The NA’s themselves focus on racial identity as they are essentially anti-State nationalists, who maintain the same violent racism and misogyny that most neo-Nazis do.  Troy Southgate, former organizer with the National Front and some even more unsavory and violent white nationalist groups, is the ideological frontrunner of the NA theory, and has written most of their few works of theory.  Spencer Sunshine outlines this beautifully as you can see where their true allegiances are.

The National Anarchists claim they are not “fascist.” Still, Troy Southgate looks to lesser known fascists such as Romanian Iron Guard leader Corneliu Codreanu, and lesser light Nazis like Otto Strasser and Walter Darré. Part of Southgate’s sleight of hand is to claim to be ‘against fascism’ by claiming he is socialist (as did Nazis such as Strasser) and by supporting political decentralization (as do contemporary European fascists such as Alain de Benoist). Sometimes he proclaims fascism to be equivalent to the capitalism he opposes, or promoting a centralized state, which he also opposes.

Southgate is undoubtedly sincere in his aversion to the classical fascism of Hitler and Mussolini, and has cited this as a reason for his break from one of the National Front splinter groups. He sees the old fascism as discredited, and an abandonment of the true values of revolutionary nationalism. But his ultimate goal, shared with the European New Right, is to create a new form of fascism, with the same core values of a revitalized community that withstands the decadence of cosmopolitan liberal capitalism. This cannot be done as long as his views are linked in the popular mind to the older tradition.

Spencer Sunshine attempts to look a little closer at the ideas of NA to see if they are aligned with anarchism on any fundamental level, yet sees instead the same kinds of deeply run bigotries you find on Stormfront.org.

The National-Anarchists are quite open about their antifeminism and desire to exile queer people into separate spaces, but tend to hide their deeply antisemitic worldview. Troy Southgate says of feminism, “Feminism is dangerous and unnatural… because it ignores the complimentary relationship between the sexes and encourages women to rebel against their inherent feminine instincts.”

The stance on homophobia is more interesting. Southgate said:

Homosexuality is contrary to the Natural Order because sodomy is quite undeniably an unnatural act. Groups such as Outrage are not campaigning for love between males — which has always existed in a brotherly or fatherly form — but have created a vast cult which has led to a rise in cottaging, male-rape and child sex attacks… But we are not trying to stop homosexuals engaging in this kind of activity like the Christian moralists or bigoted denizens of censorship are doing, on the contrary, as long as this behaviour does not affect the forthcoming National-Anarchist communities then we have no interest in what people get up to elsewhere.

What this means in his schema is that queer people will be given their own separate “villages.” The recent National-Anarchist demonstrations in San Francisco were against two majority-queer events, the Folsom Street Fair and the related fair Up Your Alley. Their orchestrator, “Andy,” declares that he is a “racist” who hates queer people.

Andy also denies the charge of antisemitism against National-Anarchists, claiming that they merely engage in a “continuous criticism of Israel and its supporters,” 53 as do the majority of Leftists and anarchists. Once again, this is a typical disingenuous attempt by National-Anarchists to duck criticism. Antisemitism is an important element of the political world views of Southgate and Herferth.

Southgate actively promotes the work of Holocaust deniers, including the Institute for Historical Review, and holds party line antisemitic beliefs about the role of the international Jewish conspiracy. As a dodge, he sometimes uses the euphemism “Zionist”; for instance, he says “Zionists are well known for their cosmopolitan perspective upon life, not least because those who rally to this nefarious cause have no organic roots of their own.”54 In another interview he says that, “there is no question that the world is being ruthlessly directed (but perhaps not completely controlled) by International Zionism. This has been achieved through the rise of the usurious banking system.” And he describes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a forgery which is the world’s most popular antisemitic text) as a book which “although still unproven, accordswith the main events in modern world history.”

Meanwhile, his Australian counterpart Welf Herferth is even more explicit in his neo-Nazi antisemitic views. In one speech, he describes the Holocaust as an “extrapolation” that “has been an enormously profitable one for the Jews, and one which has brought post-war Germany and Europe to its knees,” before referring to Israel as “the most powerful state in the Western world.” Herferth concludes that “by liberating Germany from the bondage to Israel and restructuring a new Germany on the basis of a new ‘volksgemeinschaft,’ the German nationalists will liberate Europe, and the West as well.”

Preston would have us believe that since anarchists of the left and post-left variety share anti-capitalism and opposition to the State with them that we should ally with them even though they represent a complete break from all of our motivating ideas.

Preston goes on to make some claims that are bizarre on their surface since their refutation is really implicit.  First he says:

Attack the System does not oppose the maintenance of identity politics by African-Americans, Native-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Arab-Americans, Asian-Americans, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, the LGBTQ umbrella, feminists, atheists, vegetarians, vegans, immigrants, environmentalists, the elderly, young people, disabled people, fat people, ugly people, students, gamers, drug users, sex workers, slut walkers, street gangs, prison inmates, or Star Wars fans. Likewise, Attack the System does not oppose the maintenance of identity politics by Protestant evangelicals, Catholic traditionalists, adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy, Mormons, Europeans, Caucasian-Americans, Southerners, Midwesterners, Catalans, Scots, Basques, Russians, Englishmen, Irishmen, Scientologists, Moonies, the white working class, WASPs, yuppies, men, social conservatives, cultural traditionalists, ethnic preservationists, Euro-pagan tribalists, gun owners, meat eaters, tobacco smokers, rednecks, military veterans, motorcycle gangs, survivalists, metal heads, or aficionados of classical music.

Let’s think about this for just a second.  The first on the list are racial groups who have been historically oppressed by white majorities that use both unregulated social systems and the State to oppress them.  Later there are groups that also could fit under the oppressed banner: fat people, disabled people, Jews, Muslims, sex workers, etc.  The point here is that this identity means something in that the identity is a point of resistance to oppression, not identity for identity’s sake.  This “identity politics” (though it is clear he does not understand what identity politics are and why most anarchists oppose them) is something that the radical right often highlights since they want to compare their “white nationalism” with “black nationalism” as if they are both equally movements towards racial identity and the advocacy of an ethnic identity.  The difference is that black nationalism is a response to white oppression and an identity use only as a tool to resist that historic oppression.  For white nationalists to say that they are the same project is to deny the fact that the purpose is fundamentally different.  White nationalists seek to double down on their perceived identity, essentializing their racial characteristics.  This is fundamentally a different project, for a different purpose, and a radically different politic.  Preston goes on to identity feminists in his list, which he has to understand is not an “identity” as much as a movement to overhaul society and dethrone patriarchy.  To list this as an “identity” is again a sign that he doesn’t clearly understand why identities are used in anti-oppression politics.

 

It is not that “identity” is something that the left wants to create dividing lines around, but instead, for some people, a piece of their lives through which they have been oppressed, and therefore need to create solidarity with others who share the same background of oppression.  To say that white people are in the same boat as people of color in terms of racially defined oppression is offensive right from the start.

 

Preston often likes to cite obscure pseudo-anarchists from history, while ignoring ninety-five percent of anarchist history and theory.  The best example of anarchist social organization existed in response to the rise of the Fallange fascist party in Catalonia, and were eventually crushed fighting for survival against the Catholic nationalists.  Anarchists rose up as primary actors in fighting the fascist party machine in Italy, Romania, Austria, and Germany, all of which show the history of the radical right as being the direct inverse of anarchism and dedicated to its destruction.  As you prance around the National Policy Institute and promote your Americanized pan-libertarianism, you are celebrating the forces that have been the historic enemy of the anarchist movement and who have murdered anarchists by the thousands.

 

Preston also lists a number of often considered right-wing political issues that he says anarchists are not vocal on.  These include gun control, home schooling, and alternative medicine.  This is a red herring as he is again looking for surface politics while failing to go deeper.  Most anarchists do oppose bourgeois gun control, yet the politics motivating that movement are xenophobic and reactionary.  To join that movement in equal parts is to undermine our founding purpose, even if there is tacit support.  The rest of the list has disparate political ideas that would be boring to go through point by point, but needless to say there are left-anarchists associated with most of those projects.  They certainly are not primary political issues because they are incredibly marginal and many of the motivating factors would not be shared by anarchists, but that is certainly an individual’s choice as to whether or not to support home schooling or zoning regulations.

 

Preston himself now has zero connection to larger anarchist movements and seems to have been deemed persona non grata from all political arenas except the far-right.  At the National Policy Institute “Become Who We Are” conference, the last that Preston spoke at as of this writing, there were speakers advocating for whites to have their own state, claiming that Jews control world affairs, and that there are racial differences in intelligence.  NPI, Radix, the Daily Shoah, American Renaissance, and the Occidental Observer were all represented organizations there right along Attack the System, which puts Keith and his website firmly in the camp associated with neo-Nazis and Klan supporters. Preston will likely put out a response to the response (we are sincere when we say this behavior is the closest you have come to contemporary anarchist conduct), in which he will quote his own cadre of unknown authors to try and justify his racist connections, but luckily his backward jargon works on no actual anarchist communities.  We could go on a detailed analysis of what “is” and what “is not” anarchism, but the reality is that there are dozens of books available that do this wonderfully and do not include you are any of your ideas.  This notion that anarchism is just anything anyone says it is, that its opposition to authority means that no one can define it, is a-historical and non-useful to those who actually try to utilize anarchism as a revolutionary idea.

Keith himself has not actually organized in a couple decades, and has resigned himself to racist conferences and internet blogs.  You may want to criticize Antifa organizers for what you see as censorship (Angry white men always scream censorship when their bullshit is disallowed by the community, usually because they have never been told “no” before in their lives.), but we are out in the streets and fighting in solidarity with movements across the world to bring together a liberated society.  We are not sure what part of standing with Richard Spencer as he argues for a White European Empire, but since “anarchism” is just a t-shirt you like to wear on top of your opportunistic Third Positionism, you try to make yourself immune to common sense and reason.

 

 

Insurgent Islands: A Continuing Conversation on Anarchism with Principles, by Kevin Van Meter

Institute for Anarchist Studies

“Freely Disassociating” appeared in June 2015.  Although it was written a year prior, the half dozen Left and radical publications to which it was initially submitted would not print it.  Since its publication by Perspectives on Anarchist Theory inquiries and positive responses (such as Scott Campbell’s, on which I have commented upon elsewhere ) have found their way to me either directly or through intermediaries.  Of course there was a series of irrational and nonsensical comments online that only served to confirm my claim that there isn’t an “audience that can access arguments and positions outside those with which it already agrees.”  And for that matter, the positive responses confirm this as well.  What is interesting about those who are generally supportive of my arguments is that they often agree with the analysis of the problems that currently exist in radical movements, but are neither able to completely disassociate…

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Taking on Fascism and Racism from the Ground Up.