The long awaited article from Alexander Reid Ross and Joshua Stephens has had its first volume released, and later chapters will come out every couple days for the next couple of weeks to give it time to simmer with those who have a stake in its contents. This volume outlined a little bit about Michael Schmidt’s background, then mostly looking at a 2008 internal document he shared with the South African platformist organization Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front. The article itself goes into the deeply problematic elements of the paper that essentially says that people of color will never take the lead in revolutionary movements. Instead, white anarchists are essentially the vanguard that will lead these communities who can only serve at a lower level.
The racist implications of this paper are clear, even if people have disagreements about what Schmidt’s intent was. Schmidt himself has chosen not to remain silent about this part of the article as he has taken to social media to speak out in anger.
So it took my former publishers in the US a whole 18 days to come up with a single 2008 internal discussion document in which I ask difficult – and no doubt politically incorrect – questions as to why the ZACF had failed to (at that stage; they have now) attract significant black membership, as their “proof” that for decades I’ve been an undercover white supremacist. I’d say I was devastated if I hadn’t regained my sense of humour about all this buffoonery.
In fact the document was given to them by those who started this whispering campaign against me, so they probably had it 18 days ago; why wait so long? Because they are clutching at straws!
What he is mentioning at the end is that the statement came from AK Press a couple of weeks ago, yet the article itself was not ready at that time. Many expressed frustration that the evidence was not made immediately.
The next volume of the series on Schmidt will be released on Wednesday, October 14th.
In continuing to bring you interesting news, documentaries, and reports from the front lines of anti-fascist struggle we have been sharing a series of short documentaries from Vice Magazine on the rise of the far-right internationally. Much of this has focused on European fascist movements like Pegida, UKIP, and Golden Dawn, but this is not just a Euro-centric problem. An imperial neo-fascism has been brewing in Japan for years based much on the legacy of their monarchial past, and from their current place in the Asian world. Today, many are noting that the nationalists in Japan have connections to traditional organized crime in the country, known as the Yakuza.
As we collectively wait for the longer article discussing the recent allegations that well known anarchist author Michael Schmidt has also been working as an active white nationalist, the dialogue all around the board has become confusing. Schmidt’s book Black Flame has been important in “red and black” anarchist circles, and he has certainly been known and trusted by many inside of organizing circles. The revelation that he could very well be joining the South African reactionary front is frightening, and people are reeling.
The global Anarkismo network, which ties together various “platformist” and “especifist” anarchist organizations released a statement on the issue, though it should be said that this does not necessarily reflect the opinion of all of the organizations or individuals involved with the project.
The international Anarkismo Network, which brings together class struggle anarchist organisations from more than a dozen countries in both the global South and North, and has relations with far more from across the globe, has noted with great surprise and concern the recent accusations by AK Press that Michael Schmidt is a fascist working undercover to infiltrate the anarchist movement .
Michael Schmidt has been a regular and long-standing contributor to Anarkismo.net and, in the past, has sat on its editorial and delegates groups. If these accusations are proven to be true Anarkismo will take immediate and appropriate action to ban him from posting on the website, as well as to guard against any possible future infiltration.
Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented. Both sides will have to explain themselves thoroughly first and be available for answering any serious questions about the information.
However, we must be clear that we feel the way in which AK Press has dealt with the matter is irresponsible and prejudicial, judging and condemning Michael Schmidt without presenting any evidence, and without allowing him the right to defend himself, or to respond to the article before making the public announcement of 25 September 2015.
Both sides must be given a fair chance to have their say.
The Anarkismo Network therefore demands that the alleged “incontrovertible evidence” be released by AK Press with immediate effect, and not to refer us to the journalist: since AK Press itself has endorsed the position, it must take responsibility for the proof.
We furthermore demand that AK Press unconditionally and explicitly state, also with immediate effect, that its allegations refer to Michael Schmidt alone, and not to any publishers, co-authors, editors, left organisations or currents with which Michael Schmidt may have been associated.
We urge AK Press to publish Michael Schmidt’s official responses on its newswires and sites, as we believe that he has the right to defend himself.
Schmidt has been active in the Anarkismo project, publishing quite a bit of original work there over the years and interacting with many of the member organizations.
The Institute for Anarchist Theory and History took a somewhat stronger stance in support of Schmidt, mainly citing the lack of evidence presented along with the accusations.
The Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (IATH) – a multinational research project currently based in the Global South (Brazil and South Africa) – heard the shocking AK Press accusation (Sept. 25th, 2015) that Michael Schmidt, one of our members, is supposedly an “undercover fascist”. AK Press states that they have “received and compiled” what they “consider to be incontrovertible evidence that Michael Schmidt is a white nationalist trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement”.
This statement was made without presenting any supporting evidence. It is only stated that a person called Alexander Reid Ross “will soon be publishing an article that presents all the details in a more comprehensive manner.”
The allegations came as enormous and terrible surprise. We would like in this statement to point out some of the measures we have already taken to deal with this matter, and to note some concerns regarding the manner in which the matter is being handled by AK Press.
Michael Schmidt is, at this moment, on a leave of absence from the IATH to allow him, and the IATH, to deal adequately with the matter. He will be on leave to prepare his defense, and will remain so until the IATH Council has taken a final position.
We will only make our final statement on the matter after carefully analyzing the AK Press evidence (not presented yet) and Michael Schmidt’s responses.
We cannot proceed further without criticizing the way in which AK Press has acted. AK Press has already tried, condemned and sentenced Michael Schmidt (in a “juridical” sense). They alone received and compiled the evidence, interpreted it, reached judgment and sentenced Michael Schmidt by cancelling his upcoming book, and by putting out of print two previous books in which he was involved.
All this was done without presenting evidence to the public, and without allowing him the right to defend himself. We think that these measures – which are guaranteed in the most basic of the “democratic” states that we so regularly criticize – must surely be guaranteed in any model of libertarian “justice.”
The result should have been foreseen. Hundreds of people have shared AK Press Facebook’s sentencing, and individuals and organizations have reproduced it. Michael Schmidt has been publicly condemned, with no evidence presented, and no opportunity to defend himself.
We are not here, to defend one side, or the other. We believe that we will only be able to do so once all the evidence has been presented by AK Press and by Michael Schmidt in his responses.
But we would like to appeal to people in the “libertarian milieu” to proceed in the same way, taking into account the basic ethics that we believe anyone, who claims to be an anarchist, should uphold.
To minimize the damage, we insist that AK Press immediately make public the evidence it used so that we, and others, can analyze the case and take a definite, well informed and evidence-based position.
Likewise, the Anarchist Federation out of the UK was less confident in Schmidt, and reminds people that this situation with Schmidt should be a ‘wake up call’ about infiltration and ultra-right ideas. But this only lasted a moment, as they actually pulled the article they originally posted and replaced it with the line:
This article has been removed at this time on the back of internal discussions within the AF and communications with the ZACF. We should have an updated version of this article available shortly.
What this really says is that people are hesitant to roundly remove Schmidt from their community until they have hard proof, which is a reasonable position to take.
Schmidt uses several different Facebook accounts, with various different names ranging from his taken name(Michael Schmidt), to other aliases. On one of these he has posted responses to the AK Press accusations, as well as going deeper into how the issue was raised and how it was handled in the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front. On these Facebook threads, members of the Third Positionist National Revolution chimed in, which was alarming since they were clearly friends with Schmidt.
This seemed especially noteworthy after a fake page was created for AK Press that posted a long message saying that they retracted the accusations against Schmidt and have begun to see the “revolutionary potential” of National Anarchism. This is untrue, Schmidt’s books are remaining out of print at AK Press and there is no reason to believe that they will ever support decentralist fascist movements like National Anarchism.
Schmidt, in his large response to the accusations, said he thought that he was being interviewed by Alexander Reid Ross, who exposed this news, because he was listed as a source on Wikipedia about National Anarchism. The quote, which he was surprised was used as a source for this encyclopedia page, was taken from an article he did for Anarkismo. This line does sound somewhat sympathetic towards National Anarchism, but at the very least is uninformed about the way that National Anarchism actually plays into the ideological legacy of third positionist fascism.
Misdiagnosed by most anarchists as fascist, “national anarchism” fuses radical decentralism, anti-hegemonic anti-statism (and often anti-capitalism), with a strong self-determinist thrust that stresses cultural-ethnic homogeneity with a traditional past justifying a radical future; this is hardly “fascism” or a rebranding of “fascism,” for what is fascism without the state, hierarchy and class, authoritarianism, and the führer-principle?
We know that there is a Stormfront account run by Michael Schmidt, though he stated that this was used for research for his position as a reporter. The account, which is called Karelianblue, has a great number of extremely racist posts, going far beyond what appears to be reasonable research. There are also posts about the National Anarchist organization that he is accused of starting called Black Battlefront.
Black Battlefront is a racially-aware, anti-racist revolutionary cadre network of White African politico-social soldiers defending our unique culture, under the anarchist black flag! We are pan-secessionist militants who staunchly oppose Boer Genocide and we work for the establishment of White African base area communities in South Africa and Namibia (in particular, but also elsewhere in Africa) where we can live out our cultural prerogatives unmolested by the Black majority. We take our inspiration from militants and cultural warriors of the calibre of Nestor Makhno, Kai Murros, Jim Goad and Troy Southgate. Interested people can apply to join our facebook group and if we believe you are genuine, we’ll sign you up.
Now, the group mentioned was stated to be a fake by Schmidt used to get him closer to members of National Anarchist movements, but the double-sided politics displayed here looks more like an honest attempt to form this group than a total artifice.
These various connections should not be used as a hard evidence of Schmidt’s connection to the larger “alt fascist” movement, but they are creating a general confusion about what is true and showing that there is certainly an organized right-wing contingent that is holding a stake in Schmidt’s place in the anarchist movement. Schmidt has been using social media since the accusations came forward to constantly post articles and photos about anti-fascist traditions and issues that are relevant to a multiracial South Africa.
One notable absence from this discourse is Lucien van Der Walt, Schmidt’s co-author of Black Flame. He very well may just be staying out of the discussion until more clear evidence is made available, which may be a smart position to take. Many have thrown out accusations that he knew about Schmidt’s alleged association with the far-right, but this is really just hearsay at this point.
Any evidence about Schmidt’s connections to the far right has yet to be released, so for those who are unsure of what to do in this situation will have to wait a bit longer until the large expose is released. Right now there are forums everywhere that are becoming heated arguments taking sides on the issue. We prefer to say that it remains to be seen, though we respect the people making the accusations as well as Schmidt’s right to respond to them.
In the last few days, those in anarchist, platformist, syndicalist, and related circles have been reeling from the accusations from AK Press that their Black Flame author, Michael Schmidt, is a closet white nationalist. The accusations were made while they were getting ready to publish the sequel to Black Flame, Global Fire, which he would begin book tours on shortly. As of yet the main evidence has not been made available as the author, Alexander Reid Ross, is still working on the story. Since then many organizations have put out responses, with many asking for evidence before taking the accusations as fact.
In response, Michael Schmidt responded to the accusations directly with a lengthy statement outlining a defense to these accusations. He states plainly and without ambiguity that the claims are untrue and a misreading of the ‘evidence.´
Two swallows don’t make a summer – Michael Schmidt’s reply to AK Press allegations, 27 September 2015
Right up front I want to state that the hurtful allegations made against me by the AK Press Collective – that I have been masquerading as an anarchist while I am in fact a fascist – do not only have an impact on me, but directly damages more than two decades of hard work on behalf of the anarchist movement by my closest comrades. This is especially true of Prof Lucien van der Walt, my co-author of Black Flame, who has committed the past 15 years to researching and writing its as-yet unpublished sister volume, Global Fire, a huge synthesis of world anarchist organisational and ideological history. I must stress in the strongest possible terms that Lucien and others such as my comrades at the Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (IATH) in São Paulo, Brazil, https://ithanarquista.wordpress.com/ are entirely faultless in this affair and so cannot possibly be tarred with the same brush: the allegations relate solely to myself and to no-one else.
Secondly, thanks for all the messages of support from my friends and comrades around the world, including those that have taken a “let’s hear the evidence first” approach, because that’s the polite way to do things. I initially thought AK Press had gone public without contacting me first, but on trawling through my alternate email I found a message from Zach Blue – so thanks to the AK Press Collective for attempting to alert me to the pending allegations.
Researching the white ultra-right
AK Press has yet to produce its evidence against me, but I know what it consists of. The allegations arise from a lengthy interview conducted with me by the writer Alexander “Sasha” Reid-Ross over June to August 2015. Sasha told me he was researching a book on that weird and worrying new entryist tendency called “national-anarchism” for publication by AK Press under the title Against the Fascist Creep (I have a record of the entire interview if needed). I expected that he had approached me because for some reason, Wikipedia cites me as a source on “national-anarchism” because of a paragraph extracted from a very long review of two brilliant books on South Asian anarchism by Maia Ramnath in which I say that Gandhi’s thought, far from being anarchist, appears more as a precursor to “that strange hybrid of recent years,” as I called it, “national anarchism”; the full review is online here: http://www.anarkismo.net/article/23404 .
It is definitely an unusual take on Gandhi, but it is obvious that I in no way support “national-anarchism” nor find it has anything in common with genuine anarchism. Bear in mind that the article was peer-reviewed by both Lucien van der Walt and the anarkismo editorial collective before being published. In any case, I was eager to assist and Sasha is very knowledgeable and a thorough researcher. I’m now not sure if he really is planning such a book, or whether he was simply tasked by AK Press with investigating allegations that I was involved with the “National Anarchist Movement,” but that is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
The allegations have their origin with the fact that since 2005 until I shut it down recently, I maintained a profile on the white supremacist website Stormfront. Let me explain: I am an investigative journalist by profession and in 2005 was working at the Saturday Star in Johannesburg. My beat included extra-Parliamentary politics – social movements, trade unions, and political organisations from the ultra-left to the ultra-right. My editor Brendan Seery allowed me to set up a Stormfront account under which I could pose as a sympathetic fellow-traveller in order to keep an eye on what the white right-wing in South Africa was talking about: in other words, this was professionally vetted by my editor.
For the next decade I kept my finger on the pulse of the right by reading and occasionally posting on Stormfront. Most of my posts were pretty neutral in tone, though I did have to take an essentially racist stance in order to fit in and not arouse suspicion: this was distasteful, but is part and parcel of doing undercover work. I have since shut the account down, but some of the results of my work on the white right are included in the first chapter of my new book, A Taste of Bitter Almonds, which is due out in November (see Background below); these make it clear that while I attempt to understand the white right, I am no friend of theirs.
In 2009, with Black Flame published, I started researching contemporary claims to the anarchist label, including “anarcho-primitivism,” “post-anarchism” and “national-anarchism” for a section in the up-coming volume with Lucien van der Walt, Global Fire: the intent was to critique and discredit their claims to anarchist legitimacy, but I needed to get to know their materials properly first. I used my Stormfront profile to make contact with Troy Southgate, the founder of “national-anarchism”. In order to establish my bona fides with him and his circle, I established two false Facebook profiles, one of a woman, another of a man, and a blog purporting to be that of a Southern African “national-anarchist” outfit called Black Battlefront set up by the couple.
I fleshed things out by inventing back-stories on the couple, the guy as a white Namibian, and the woman as a risk analyst of Ukrainian-American descent; I also had them write two detailed pieces, one a “Creed” of Black Battlefront in order for the false organisation to sound plausible in a “national-anarchist” context, and another a critique of Jared Diamond’s great book Guns, Germs and Steel, to establish the woman as a serious thinker who would be of interest to Southgate. This positioning allowed me to talk on a personal level with Southgate and his cronies and so round out my research.
To be frank, though I readily admitted my Stormfront profile to Sasha, I lied to him about those profiles when he asked me because although I finished my research on “national-anarchism” more than a year ago, I still wanted to maintain the links to Southgate and his “National-Anarchist Movement” just in case – and the first rule of undercover work is you only tell who you absolutely need to, so I did not even tell my former comrades in the ZACF. Sorry for lying, Sasha, Lucien and the rest, but intense confidentiality is my practice as an investigative journalist; for example, in the 2000s, I never even discussed with my then-wife what I was working on until it was published (do I need to state that she’s an Indian woman and that she very kindly did the hard work of proof-reading Black Flame?). But now that my cover is blown, it makes no difference.
My life took a dramatic turn for the worse in July 2010 when I was hospitalised with meningitis – and as a parting gift, the meningitis provoked a massive seizure that broke my spine in five places. In the aftermath of that, I spent a month in hospital, mostly in a delirium caused by the virus and the medication. In the subsequent months, due to heavy pain medication and perhaps some brain damage caused by the meningitis/seizure, my memory is patchy about what I posted online under my Stormfront and Facebook aliases – Sasha questioned me in detail about this period, but, for example, I remember absolutely nothing about the entire first month out of hospital when I was apparently cared for by some friends (thanks, guys, but my mind is still a blank!). Although I initially thought my account had been hacked, because I couldn’t remember making some of the posts, I now accept that I must have posted what is there.
In any case, as a result of one of those posts in that period, in 2011 some anarchist comrades came across a Black Battlefront link to my Stormfront profile and in shock recognised my face. My ZACF comrades hauled me onto the red carpet and grilled me about this – and rightly so! I admitted to them that the Stormfront profile was mine, but explained that it had been vetted by my editor and that I still used it for research; I did not admit to the Facebook profiles because a few months before, a good friend had confessed to me that for years she had worked as an agent for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), actually being paid to be the girlfriend of one of our comrades, to keep an eye on us; I could not risk my penetration of the “National-Anarchist Movement” becoming known in activist circles in case other NIA agents got wind of it and used the information for their own ends. Nevertheless, the ZACF accepted my explanation. What AK Press has now discovered, I believe, based on Sasha’s questions, is exactly what the ZACF discovered back in 2011; I infiltrated the far-right; it did not infiltrate me! Background: my position on race & nationalism
I won’t detail my anarchist activism, save to say that in 1992 I joined what became the Durban Anarchist Federation (DAF) in 1993 – while apartheid was still in force and I was ducking the Military Police who were trying to force me into part-time military service – and was in Chiapas in 1996 as a DAF delegate, then switched to the anarcho-syndicalist Workers’ Solidarity Federation (WSF) in 1997, following its key comrades into the Bikisha Media Collective in 1999 when the WSF disbanded, and again into the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) when it was founded in 2003, taking with me the Anarchist Black Cross (South Africa) which I founded in 2002. It goes without saying that all these organisations were multi-racial and anti-fascist.
After two decades of activism in black working class and poor townships, I resigned from the ZACF in 2009 to focus on my research and writing. Apart from numerous Workers’ Solidarity and Zabalaza journal and online www.anarkismo.net articles, which serve to affirm my anti-racist credentials, my published books are:
1) Anarquismo Búlgaro em Armas (Brazil, 2008). This, on the Bulgarian Anarchist Communist Federation over 1919-1948, is the first in a series looking at anarchist mass movements that defended themselves by force of arms. The next in the series will be on Uruguay in 1956-1985, and on Manchuria in 1929-1945 – which shows that not all such movements were “white”.
2) Black Flame: the Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism (AK Press, USA, 2009), with Lucien van der Walt. A controversial attempt to discover the coherent heart of anarchist theory by looking at the historical record, it has been translated into German (Nautilus, Germany, 2012), and translations are pending in Spanish, French and Greek. This book remains my core statement of political belief and I have not wavered from it (note the positions in Chapter 10 in particular on the intersections of race, nationalism and class, which are profoundly anarchist). Its unpublished sister volume Global Fire stresses the practical internationalism of the anarchist movement and its practical engagement with race and national liberation particularly in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Oceania and Asia.
3) Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism (AK Press, USA, 2013), which is the English translation of the French original (Lux Éditeur, Canada, 2012). This is in some ways a pocket version of Black Flame & Global Fire together: a potted history of the international anarchist movement in five waves from 1868, it stresses the multi-ethnic, transnational nature of the movement across the decades and is unique for its non-Western scope.
4) Drinking with Ghosts: the Aftermath of Apartheid’s Dirty War (BestRed, South Africa, 2014). This looks at the continuing damage done by the legacy of apartheid transnationally in Southern Africa – it avoids most local books’ narrow nationalist perspective and is explicitly anarchist in perspective.
5) A Taste of Bitter Almonds: Perdition and Promise in the New South Africa (BestRed, South Africa, due November 2015). This takes the controversial position that the corporate entity that is “South Africa” was established on the bones of the genocide of First Nations people here, stresses the multi-ethnic and mixed-race nature of all South Africans including myself, and consists of interviews across the country with the poor and excluded, mostly black, majority from an anarchist perspective. Conclusion
Two swallows don’t make a summer, and the fact that I maintained a Stormfront profile and some fake Facebook accounts does not make me a fascist: they need to be seen in their proper context of my exhaustive research into the international anarchist movement over the past 15 years – work that is pretty much unique in terms of the breadth and depth of its non-Western (ie: non-white) materials. In 26 years of paid journalism and 23 years of unpaid anarchist activism, I don’t believe I’ve ever written an article that had even a whiff of white supremacy, fascism or racism to it – yet I do realise I am saying this as a white South African who continues to benefit directly from centuries of institutional racism. I won’t make any claim about how many back friends I have, but the fact is that my most beloved friends and comrades hail from diverse cultures across the planet. I truly hope that this response is taken by those friends and my comrades at AK Press in a constructive spirit and that, even if we only finally manage agree to disagree over my methods of research, at least then part with no ill feelings.
Red & Black regards
The rumors and evidence pieces are numerous at this point, but without a coherent claim we will just say that the accusations have been made by trusted sources, but we have yet to see exactly what is being accused.
Black Flame has been heralded for years as a defining book on anarchism for syndicalist and platformist trends. Its two co-authors, Lucien Van der Walt and Michael Schmidt, are South Africans associated with the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, and well known in Europe, South America, and the U.S. AK Press has just announced that they will be pulling all Michael Schmidt´s books from publications and canceling his new book, Global Fire, the sequel to Black Flame. The reason being that he was outed as a fascist and white nationalist going under anarchist cover, mixing the anarchist politics he wrote about with open racialism. This was revealed by author Alexander Reid Ross, who has been covering neo-fascism for Counter Punch and is working on the book Creeping Fascism for AK Press.
In a statement just released, AK Press said:
We have some ugly and upsetting news…
About six months ago, we started hearing some disturbing rumors that one of our authors, Michael Schmidt, was an undercover fascist. Soon after, another one of our authors, Alexander Reid Ross, provided us with actual evidence. We helped him investigate further for several weeks and then put him in touch with another writer.
Over the past months, we have received and compiled what we consider to be incontrovertible evidence that Michael Schmidt is a white nationalist trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement.
Alexander will soon be publishing an article that presents all the details in a more comprehensive manner, but we are not comfortable sitting on this information any longer. We have always drawn strength from the history of anarchism as an internationalist movement concerned with the destruction of capitalism, the state, and hierarchal social relations. Those social relations clearly include racism and white supremacy. We are committed enemies of fascists and their sympathizers. The anarchist movement won’t tolerate their sick credo and, when they are found hiding in our midst, they must be dragged from the shadows.
We have cancelled Schmidt’s upcoming book and have put the two books of his that we’ve already published out of print. Please stay tuned for the whole story.
The AK Press Collective
Ross is still working on the article that will outline the story, but it has been made clear from many, not just Ross, that Schmidt has been active in white nationalist politics and this may have been information suppressed by associates.
For those who may not know who he is, or if he is going under your radar but on your news feed, his covert facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/feyd.saifulisaan?fref=ts
The Trump Republican candidacy has been a consistent mix of buffoonish embarrassments and an very real sense of terror. As a racial populist, Trump has tapped into one of the darkest areas of the collective American psyche that turns economic crisis into attacks on immigrants, women, and those that appear non-white. Drawing on much of the far-right frenzy that dominates racial violence in Europe, some of the discourse appears to be returning to those of Islamic faith and their role in American society. Trump’s basic position is to scapegoat whenever possible and to stoke the anger and fear of supporters, which has been so effective that it has brought him to the top of Republican polls. When presented with clear bigotry in questions from supporters, rather than trying to avoid traditionally fascist calls for expelling people of different backgrounds, he urges people further.
At a recent Trump support rally, he decided to take this even further. A supporter, dawning one of Trump’s trademark shirts, got up and said bluntly, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.” Trump replied that this was an important question. The supporter went on to say that “we know our current president is one,” and “That’s my question. When can we get rid of ‘em?” Trump’s reply would have been shocking a few months ago, but it has become commonplace for the dialogue that is happening in the Trump camp.
Drawing a little from the history of Anti-Fascist Action and Anti-Racist Action, we bring back this classic reporting about the confrontations happening on U.K. streets. The news reports goes into the work of Antifa and Red Action in England and their use of “physical resistance” and militant anti-fascism to prevent the street attacks that are happening from racist skinheads. This is an important component of the street action that was developed in Germany and the U.K. to confront the neo-fascist organizations that focused almost solely on almost random acts of violence rather than mass organizing, and a blanket approach of complete elimination was used to silence and remove all neo-Nazi and racist sympathies.
The report itself is not always sympathetic, but does act as a useful document when looking at these movements.
The KKK has decided to come out of the woodwork in response to the groundswell against the Confederate flag and other celebrations of the antebellum South. After Dylan Roof’s genocidal rage was let loose in Charleston, South Carolina, the Ku Klux Klan and National Socialist Movement came from out-of-state to rally in Columbia, South Carolina on July 18th. During this action several anti-fascist organizers were arrested and charged with criminal penalties, and the media and state coverage has smeared them as “troublemakers.”
We are calling for support for anti-fascist prisoners of this action, including Stephen Loughman who is being supported by the The Defend Steve Support Committee.
A second counter-protester, Eddien Patterson, was also targeted by the police with a second degree felony assault charge and misdemeanor battery charge. This is an outrageous over-reach by law enforcement, where Eddien seems to be getting “special treatment” because he is a man of color who dared to stand up to the Klan. He was on probation at the time of the arrest and is now serving a ten-month sentence for a probation violation, and needs our support right now!
From the group supporting Eddien:
Currently we are trying to find a lawyer for Eddien, but he has requested that money be added to his books and desires to receive letters.
As many people saw, a quick blog was posted less than a week ago covering the recent #cuckservative hashtag. The goal of this was really just to provide a little context for those who are not up on the clashes between GOP traditionalists and the far-right. The main focus of this was The Right Stuff and their podcast, The Daily Shoah. This quickly got to the attention of the neoreaction themselves, and was shared widely amongst The Right Stuff supporters. This allowed us a night of entertainment where pop up messages came accusing us of being “dirty Jews” and having a strange chain of the regular alt-right comment types. The strange thing we noticed about these comments were so many of them seemed to want to make friends with us, and a lot of them seemed to believe that things like “you are the real fascists” and “how can white supremacy exist if all the leaders are Jews” were substantive intellectual fodder. The comments were relatively the same on The Right Stuff’s own forum, except they mixed in videos of black face, mentions of the Third Reich, and the kind of vicious racial hatred and language that deserves a brick, not a response.
This then led to The Daily Shoah dedicating us a full fifteen minutes on their podcast, a period that was apparently too long to refrain from using the n-word. We appreciate the promotion, and we wanted to go ahead and both address some of the things mentioned and to shine a light on what it really means to be a “shitlord.”
One thing that they picked up almost immediately is a couple mistakes we made, which we will gladly correct. First we mentioned that they referred to black men as “Dingos,” which is actually “Dindus.” This was something that was incredibly important to them, and was even in the glossary of silly words that they use to “class up” their podcast. I also referred to their host as Goy, and their main hosts are actually Seventh Son and Enoch (though the person I did refer to now goes by Goy, not sure if that is because he wants our fandom).
They then went on a rant about the article and all the mistakes, though we really do beg them to mention any mistakes that were beyond things like who the main host was and word mistakes. The key issue in the article was not about whether or not the alt-right is racist, that is clear from the get go, but exactly what the motivation is. As you go through Radix, Counter-Currents, American Renaissance, Traditionalist Youth Network, Council of Conservative Citizens, and oh so many more there is their own type of coded language. Unlike traditional conservatives that try to use “dog whistle” racialism to signal their base while accusing the left of “real racism,” the alt-right conventionally hides behind a similarly obvious series of symbols and easy-outs.
Let’s start with a few phrases that are common on the alt-right (though, for reasons I’ll get to later, not common on TRS or TDS). Ethnopluraism, ethnonationalism, pan-Europeanism, and many others that essentially have similar etymology. What most of these idea represent is the notion that racial nationalism, or even more specific ethnic nationalism, is the main function of a radical alt-right movement. The argument goes then that ethnic nationalism is the right of all peoples, and it literally has nothing to do with the inferiority of or hatred towards people of color. The Human Biological Diversity issues brought up in places like American Renaissance are often couched as “group differences” as a way of saying that perceived difference in IQ or criminality is only an example that black people (or whoever the target racial minority is that week) need their own homeland because their genetic make-up doesn’t allow them to fit correctly in white culture. Many of these groups go even further than this, often times even using language that celebrates minority cultural organizations, and anti-Semitism is often on the back-burner of most of these websites and justified using very marginal ideas in evolutionary psychology. On the majority of these websites you will never see a Klan robe, swastika, 14:88, holocaust denial, and other hallmarks of the vanguardist far-right. Even Stormfront bans racial slurs and swastikas at this point. These are the politics of respectability, and they really are making an argument for racial nationalism as being separate from the racial violence we saw for centuries with colonialism, genocide, slavery, Jim Crow, the Holocaust, etc.
Then there is The Right Stuff.
On their podcast you will hear open racial slurs, incredibly vile racial insults, jokes about the holocaust (as well as what appears to be denial, though that is not a main target of discussion), deep hatred of Jews, discussion about how women manipulate men and make false rape accusations, and basically reinforce white supremacist orthodoxy that many of these alt-right sources would say are a caricature of nationalist that no longer exists.
So then, we could easily say that these are two separate movements, two different ideological positions. Except they aren’t.
As they acknowledged when playing fanboy to our website, their members have gone on Radix Journal podcast. They do host Greg Johnson from Radix. They do attend American Renaissance, and they are generally tied to the broader pseudo-intellectual racist movement. Their ideas are functionally the same while the value judgments and crass nature are different. They actually do think that people of color, especially people of African decent, are inferior. They actually do think that Jews control the world and deserve the violence that has been inflicted upon them. They actually do think that people of color benefited from colonialism because they cannot govern their own affairs. (Or have agency, as they like to say)
They even lamented the fact that the infamous /r/CoonTown subreddit network was taken off of Reddit. This is where you had forums to share videos of black people being murdered and to discuss general hatred against African Americans.
You say that we did not do our homework, but we actually have listened to your entire first season of The Daily Shoah, so maybe we are actually your most committed followers.
The real question that they raise, however, is about the functioning of Anti-Fascist Action. While throwing out the same ad hominem that the far-right likes to do that it is a middle class movement (it has predominantly been the British working class left that founded antifa), that we are Marxists (it is predominantly an anarchist-driven movement), they went after their very core argument: that we are the “militant” wing of the “system.”
This is one that antifascists usually ignore because, on its face, it is completely meaningless. Our decisions to be opposed to or inside “the system” has little to do with anti-racist and antifascist inclinations. Likewise, there is this notion that we side with the police. Antifascist Action has traditionally used “physical resistance” to confront and eliminate fascist organizing, which is inherently illegal. Likewise, those organizing with Antifa are, usually, of a political organization opposed to the state. That said, the final intention of antifascist organizing is to stop fascists. Period. There is no moral function here since the decisions about why we want to eliminate fascist organizing was made before entering into discussions of tactics. We will feel absolutely nothing about police smashing up a fascist gathering and suppressing your speech because you are seen as an enemy. Period.
This does, however, present a real concrete issue for antifascist organizers who do not actually want to empower the police in general. The alternative that is presented is to create a militant community response that, whenever possible, does not engage with the police. The majority of large racist rallies in the U.S. have police protection because of the inflammatory nature. Look at recent rallies by Traditionalist Youth Network, the KKK, League of the South, and many others all rely on police protection to be able to speak. Likewise, recent statistical research from the FBI show a higher than average percentage of racialist organizational members inside the police force. Not much of a shocker there. We do not care what the police’s intentions or goals are with busting up fascist organizing because they have little connection to our own. We do not care about your illegality, about your silly gang culture, or if you are running drugs. We confront you because you are violent blast from the past, the direct inverse of radical organizing.
The argument then that we are on the side of the “status quo” is one that is actually true to a degree. We do stand with the vast majority of working class people that see we have much more to gain by coming together in solidarity than we do by dividing ourselves by arbitrary phenotypes. There is nothing that bonds a white person biologically to another white person over a person of color, and to say that there is has been one of the most long-standing misreading of science by those with racial anger and fear as their motivation. While we see that conscious racism is no longer a dominant paradigm, due directly to the long-working anti-racist organizing of the last 200 years, institutional racism is still alive in well. The antifascist movement, however, is only targeting a specific subset of the reactionary white population who is desperately trying to hold onto the illusionary benefits of white privilege. Anytime you see a revolution happening that challenges the hierarchy that the ruling class benefits from, you will see some try to hold onto the meager superiority they have. This is true white white nationalists, as well as Men’s Rights Activists in regards to gender equality, the Religious Right in regards to queer rights, and so on. In a period of social upheaval, there will always be a vanguard of the fascist movement, and as working-class organizers that is one of the greatest enemies of mass social transformation in the direction of democracy and equality. In a funny way, we assume you would agree with this.
At the same time, what is the status quo? For most of American history there has been a mass white on color genocide and enslavement. Millions of Native Americans murdered, black people turned into livestock, and, today, literally locking up an entire generation of African Americans. What is the status quo here? Those working to eliminate the most glaring examples of conscious racism, or those wanting to reinforce the implicit racism that defines American institutions? We are aware that from your standing point you are oppressed by multiculturalism. I’m wondering if a black man being lynched by the Klan would agree that you are oppressed because you might be reprimanded at work for using the n-word. Yeah, you certainly are a victim class.
So what is the threat of fascism? This is actually something we have answered on this website at length. We will direct you to the first two articles in a series that explains why we oppose fascism, which includes the variants you prefer such as New Right, Alt Right, neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment, etc.(What is the Real Threat of Fascist Organizing? and Anarchism vs Fascism) The third will be out shortly dealing with the lone-wolf violence that your rhetoric inspires, and we will gladly send it over. These fascist ideas, rooted in traditionalism, racialism, and hierarchy, are the functional opposite of what drives our organizing. You could say that we literally have nothing in common.
You were right about one thing, however, you did drive a ton of traffic to the website! This website and Facebook page are literally just a couple weeks old, so it is still getting moving. The reason we will continue to talk about you is, for one, you are the plainest and simple example of your ideas. There is no nuance here. You say exactly what you mean, and so you make counter-organizing that much easier.
So thank you TRS, keep up the work. We’ll be listening.
When the #Cuservative meme first came up we assumed that this would be dropped in a couple days, and therefore would not be worth commenting. It quickly erupted as a “troll focused” group of internet white nationalists used it to attack mainstream conservatives from National Review to Congressional staffers. Now a couple weeks later it is not only still a viable hashtag, but it is the talk of the town inside the “pro-white” camp.
So what is #Cuckservative? Why is it unique?
Inside the discussions from white nationalists and racialists about the term Cuckservative, it is clear that they are not entirely sure where it came from. If it did not come from them, it is certainly popularized by a growing website The Right Stuff. They promoted the term on their site, their contributors have been using it over and over again under fake Twitter accounts, and they have gone on more popular racist podcasts and websites to discuss the phenomenon. The term draws from the world cuckold, a concept where by one male has sex with an other male’s female. This idea has long been a lurid fascination for those with open anti-black bigotry, one that has existed through history in literature like Othello and even occurs naturally when one species of bird lays their eggs in another species’ nest. White nationalists continue to focus on illusionary concepts like dramatic “group differences” between the races, often accusing African Americans of lower IQs yet large genitals. This is a way of assuming them more animal-like qualities, but also drawing on folk myths about black male sexuality to demean them. The flip side of this is that it also assumes them power, one where by the black male is more virile and sexually satisfying than they are. The fear is then always that they will be cuckolded by having their white partner be seduced by the “sexually and physically superior” person of a different race. This is both fetishized and feared, and gives us a quick insight into the profoundly disturbed mind of those advocating open racial separation. Even the most basic discussion of this includes some of the most vile racism that has creeped its way into the 21st century, reminding us the visceral hatred that some people have towards black men.
So why call conservatives Cuckservative? They regularly advocate for an ethnic politic based on “protecting your own.” They assume then that white people have distinct racial interests, which are then harmed when non-white groups gain power or are allowed into the society through immigration. They are then accusing mainstream conservatives who have began to shift (very, very little) to racial inclusivity of being cuckolded by racial minorities. These Republicans are acting in someone else’s interests at the cost of their own, and therefore are politically a cuckold.
If we are even to ignore the clearly misogynist and racist surface elements of the cuckold name, its popularity and use reveals something very clear about the growing above-ground far-right movement. To do this, looking at The Right Stuff makes some sense. This is one of the more disgusting and offensive sectors of the “alternative right” or “neo-reaction” where they choose to openly use racial slurs, degrade women and rape survivors, mock the holocaust and call for violence against Jews. Their podcast, The Daily Shoah, which is a play on The Daily Show and the Yiddish term for The Holocaust, is a roundtable discussion of different racists broadcasting under pseudonyms. Here they do voice “impressions” of Jews, and consistently use terms like “Nig Nog,” “Muds(referring to “mud races,” meaning non-white), and calling people of African descent “Dingos.” The N-word, homophobic slurs, and calls for enforced cultural patriarchy and heteronormativity are commonplace. Now, this may be what you would expect from a crowd like this, but this is no longer the norm. The use of rhetoric like this is almost entirely missing from groups like American Renaissance, Counter-Currents, Radix Journal, Alternative Right, and even Stormfront, the main hub for racist groups who recently banned swastikas and racial slurs. On these various news sites and publishers, you will find a lot of discussions about philosophical “ethnonationalism,” discussions of group differences through “human biological diversity,” and many topics that are often the property of the left such as critiques of state authoritarianism and capitalism.
As this shift in the public far-right discourse happens, The Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah stand out as having a sort of “old school racist” dialogue. This does not, however, actually leave them on the margins of the movement. Within the first few days of this #cuckservative Twitter trend the main host of The Daily Shoah, named “goy” from the assumed name that Jewish people have for Gentiles, came onto Richard Spencer’s Radix Journal Podcast to discuss it. This is the same podcast that, in the next episode, hosted former National Review columnist and VDare founder Peter Brimelow. Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents, which focuses on their pseudo-intellectual pedigree with attempts at high-brow discussions, jumped down in the mud and actually went on The Daily Shoah and joined in as they constantly called people “N—–s.” These were only a few of the more “respectable” racists that joined in with this meme, openly supporting The Right Stuff for continuing their work.
It has been long said by Radix founder Richard Spencer that it would be good if people were immediately confused by Radix and thought that it was a website of “far-left” ideas. Much of this comes from his desire to break from mainstream conservatism, but also to believe that they are beyond “conventional right and left.” With this you may actually, on first glance, not correlate many of the more popular white nationalist publications and sites to neo-Nazis and the KKK, but the new support of #Cuckservative is revealing. Underneath the surface language, the coloring and aggression, is a common politic and an open support of one for the other. What this means is essentially that Radix and Counter-Currents are the same as The Daily Shoah, though they prefer a different script and are targeted towards a college educated crowd rather than a blue collar one. The Right Stuff tries to mimic the aggression and reactionary insults of right-wing talk radio like Rush Limbaugh, while Radix would love to look a lot more like that trendy Critical Theory journal young grad students are clamoring to be published in. In the end, however, they both share the same ideas about race and gender. What separates them? The thin politics of respectability, and with the open support of The Right Stuff they have lifted this veil and have shown them for what they really are.
So why is #cuckservative trending now? Well it comes in the direct admiration that many of these people, The Daily Shoah especially, are having for Donald Trump. This should not be interpreted as the same kind of support they would have had for former candidates like Pat Buchanan or David Duke, but they enjoy the callous and nativist/nationalist rhetoric that he has been throwing around, shifting the Republican primary discourse far to the right. They like seeing him “Call out” his colleagues, bait women, and openly insults Latino immigrants from the southern border. He is doing more than “dog whistle” politics, he is openly playing footsy with his racist base. This has allowed racialist discourse to shift into the public, making #cuckservative an accusation that mainstream Republicans feel like they have to answer to. And there have even been some clear support from institutional GOP supporters, with people from Breitbart often supporting the nationalists as they call other conservatives “cucks.”
As the “alternative right” attempts to come in as a viable radical alternative to “liberalism” and “multiculturalism” we need to continue to point out that they are discredited and disgusting fascist notions repackaged in fancy internet language. Cuckservative is a reminder that under their overly-complicated rhetoric, is an angry white man, yelling at his computer because he cannot give up the mild amount of privilege he has been given through the suffering of people of color.