Richard Spencer has always fought for a seat at the table. At least the edge of the table.
He entered the broad Conservative Movement in the mid-2000s not through the popular Neoconservative and evangelical hangers-on of the Bush Administration, but through the dissident wing to its right. Brought on as an Assistant Editor at the American Conservative after giving a racially charged speech on the case of Duke Lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a black sex worker, Spencer was open that even at Pat Buchanan’s home publication, he was the odd man out. Jokingly calling himself as a Nietzsche-con, he was already a subscriber to the “race realist” publication American Renaissance by the time he took the position and he spent his time fraternizing with dissident rightists like Pau Gottfried and Steve Sailer. He then walked through the fringes of the right, from Taki’s Magazine to his flagship AlternativeRight.com, where he set firmly in the camp of “big tent” neo-fascism. While the website published semi-mainstream paleoconservatives at first, it continued to drift in the direction of the French New Right and pseudo-intellectual strains of white nationalism, all while Spencer desperately held on to any connection to the Conservative Movement he claimed to loathe.
As AlternativeRight.com came into its own and Spencer took over the National Policy Institute, he became one of the most toxic figures on the edges of the Conservative Movement. After Jack Hunter’s past as the Southern Avenger was dredged up, the fact that he co-hosted the Taki’s Magazine podcast with Spencer was another blow to his failing career. When the Heritage Foundation published an erroneous report on the multi-trillion dollar cost of immigration in the U.S., one of their analysts, a new conservative careerist named Jason Richwine, was shown to have published a Harvard dissertation that asserted racial differences in intelligence. A quick Google search found that he also had published at AlternativeRight.com for editor Richard Spencer, which provided the last nail in his coffin.
Though a few renegades from mainstream conservatism would still take his calls, the rest of the world was telling him no. Though he fashioned himself as a bohemian intellectual, the rest of the movement disagreed, and instead put him back firmly in the camp of David Duke, William Pierce, and George Lincoln Rockwell. The narrative he created for himself was rejected by the broader world, and his desire for a “dialogue” was met with a firm “No.”
That was, of course, until a series of blogs, trolls, and trending hashtags took Spencer’s brand of pseudo-intellectual white nationalism into the Chan culture of vulgar abbreviations and he was back in the news. The Alternative Right was shortened to #AltRight and used again as a catch-all for angry white men impressed by race realism, anti-democratic philosophy, the reclamation of vulgar patriarchy, and conspiracy laden anti-Semitism. Now media outlets could not get enough of Richard Spencer, and just about every conference appearance, event, or public disagreement was cause for dozens of articles, and his views and ideas were republished on a daily basis. His whole career was now happening at once as his entire history was being condensed into biographical think pieces and antagonistic retreads of right-wing agitprop, all making his own synthesis of the French New Right and American white nationalism seem as though it was new and fresh.
And he was waiting.
Spencer embraced the attention with open arms, ready to give interview after interview, repeating the same answers to different questions. As the interest swelled, and the press finally showed up for his previously vacant press conference, he got cocky. While most people focused on the leaked video from The Atlantic from the National Policy Institute’s 2016 conference featuring attendees Sieg Heiling, during the lunch-time press conference he berated the gaggle of reporters that crowded in front of the attendants. Weeks later he came to a heavily-contested appearance at Texas A&M, where he was notably off his game, instead mocking and insulting attendants and refusing to answer questions with the pragmatic sincerity that marked his earlier branding.
Spencer signaled this as a point of entry into the culture, that he and his ideas had “arrived.” He called 2016 the “Year of the Alt Right” and jokingly said “We’re the establishment now.” His assent was actually a free fall, one he could not see amidst the glare of the spotlight. While he believed he was mainstreaming his ideas, he instead was becoming a reality star famous for his own eccentricities mixed with a society’s lurid fascination with the trainwrecks of social mood. Spencer’s fame provided him nothing tangible, nothing real.
Now that his antics have been overexposed, the sheen has worn off completely. The world that said “Yes” to him only so briefly has now become a rapid fire series of “Nos,” denying him entry to almost any avenue he has listed. At the recent Students for Liberty conference, a libertarian student organization that skews left on social issues, Spencer arrived at the invitation of a small Alt Right friendly contingent known as the Hoppe Caucus. He wasn’t even allowed in the conference gates before being banned, relegated to the bar, and publicly denounced by Jeffrey Tucker. While the Alt Right made some minor inroads with some chapters of Students for Liberty and, more definitively, with Young Americans for Liberty, that well has dried up.
Spencer later made his regular trek to the Conservative Political Action Conference, one he does almost yearly as he tries to hold onto this connection with Beltway conservatism. While he thought about getting a press pass, he knew the climate had shifted against him, yet he decided to still attend since he saw multiple panelists there speaking about the dangerous entryism of the Alt Right. Upon entering he was swarmed and banned from attending, though he did end up getting to speak with a few reporters before leaving in a hurry. During one of those exchanges he mentioned that “Depeche Mode was the official band of the Alt Right,” based mainly on his own synth-wave nostalgia that he has used to brand the aesthetics of the Alt Right. Depeche Mode quickly issued as statement decrying both Spencer and the Alt Right, rejecting them entirely. Spencer was short on friends.
In December, an even larger rebellion began happening in his family home of Whitefish, Montana. For several years the Spencer family has been battling against anti-fascist organizations like Love Lives Here and the Montana Human Rights Network, both of which want to stop white nationalist organizing from taking place in their backyard. The city passed an anti-hate ordinance that Spencer tried to undermine with his own IRL trolling, but it united the town for the years that followed. After it became apparent that Richard’s mother, Sherry Spencer, had allowed him to use her property as official headquarters for the National Policy Institute, the community turned on her and demanded that she sell her commercial property and leave. The troll army descended at the behest of Richard’s neo-Nazi friend Andrew Anglin, though the community rose up in defense and the Nazis finally retreated back into obscurity.
The battle with Whitefish started in 2014, shortly after he had tried to hold a “Pan-European” conference in Budapest featuring people like American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor, the American Freedom Party’s Tomislav Sunic, and Russian Eurasian nationalist Aleksandr Dugin. The entire government of Hungry, including the Prime Minister Viktor Orban, denounced the conference and Spencer was arrested at a pre-event function, deported back to the U.S. and banned from entering the European Union. He was later officially named “persona non grata” in the United Kingdom, further limiting travel to his sacred homeland.
After separating from his wife, Spencer finally decided to move away from Whitefish to Alexandria, Virginia, where he took up residence with New Jersey Institute of Technology lecturer turned Arktos Publishing editor Jason Reza Jorjani, a brotherhood made in Alt Right heaven. The entire community, led by Alexandria’s Christ’s Church marched against Spencer’s move, and they continue to organize, along with the IWW, for him to move out of the loft he is hiding in.
In a recent Alt Right press conference, the National Press Club had to cancel his reservation citing security concerns over the opposition. This had never happened before to Richard, but it marked a shift in the culture that promised a lot of rejections from venues in the future. Even the private high school he attended, St. Mark’s School of Texas, made a move against him as the “class of 1997” raised money for a refugee charity under the banner that there were “united against Richard Spencer.”
In the world of global politics, and even small town life, Richard Spencer is being told “No” by an increasingly hostile public. Now that he has announced his “Danger Zone” campus tour, one modeled on Milo’s failed “Dangerous Faggot” tour and inspired by his perceived success at Texas A&M. The only problem is that when the entire student body is revolting against the Alt Right at every public university, the only universities he will even attempt because of their neutrality rules, he has yet to announce any such public event.
The leaps that the Alt Right have made, while real and substantial, are dwarfed by the sheer size of the anti-fascist opposition that has skyrocketed in their wake. While Richard Spencer is more famous than ever, with his message most condensed and branded, almost no institution is willing to claim him. His entire strategy, from the hair to the suit to the witty racist retorts, were crafted to give him access to the edge of the culture while maintaining his white nationalist politics. His crossover support has disappeared and he is instead falling into a world of his own extremist base, a choir and no one else. He is all in on his radicalism, but he has lost the only advantage he had for years: his corner of conservatism.
Spencer intends to continue these college tours, focusing on groups like Turning Point and Students for Trump locals. While this has been well promoted, it is unlikely he will have more than one or two dates in the next couple of years. It’s just too hard, too much fighting. Students will have to publicly announce their support for Spencer if they are to use university facilities to bring him over, and who would want to publicly associate with a figure for whom public attacks are a cause for universal celebration?
The left opposition has focused on moving the ‘neutrals’ to an emphatic “No,” robbing the ability for recruitment to happen on the right. Spencer’s conservative appearance, his good looks and fashionable hair, his agreeable personality and penchant for jokes has acted as a mask for the most radical forms of regressive nationalism, and it is that packaging that has stopped some segments of the public from reviling in horror and breaking his access to the culture even further. For organizers this means making the connections between Spencer the icon and Spencer the ideologue, showing the consequences of open fascism and finding allies that are willing to move from apathy to action, from neutral to “No.”
Spencer’s battle to find a small, but effective, group of Yes Men has a shrinking pool to pull from, even if they are louder than ever. Their only benefit is the perception of their power, not their actual effectiveness, and that is something hat the left needs to make explicit if they are going to stave off any of the growth. The purpose of denying Spencer a platform is that access to the culture is a chance to organize, not just to speak, and so the cultural shift against him is a question of power and success, not just words. While the Alt Right may have been celebrating their successful launch as a political movement, it is actually the left that should be clinking its glasses as it moves an entire generation off the fence and directly against their message of racial revenge.
For anyone who has been on the ideological radical left, especially in Marxist or anarchist organizations, they know exactly what it is like to get caught up in petty disagreements and insular political arguments. It is what has led to the trend towards “splitting” in communist organizations, and what keeps many of these politically centered parties and groups from growing beyond a couple hundred members. Much of this has led to high profile infighting, where disagreements that are unintelligible to those outside an ideological cadre are unable to even understand what the two parties are so passionate about.
For those organizing against institutions of capital and the state, there is certainly a need to create strong bonds on points of agreement and to save disagreements over tactics and strategy to internal discussions. The primary reason for this is that the opposition looks for points of weakness, cracks in our structure that they can exploit to weaken us in critical ways. This “divide and conquer” strategy has been primary to the way that bosses weaken labor battles, landlords destroy tenant unity, and how the ruling class generally fractures any kind of working-class identity that is needed to combat forces that have the money and the state-supported power.
On the flip side, those on the reactionary edges of white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, and other parts of an intersectional neo-fascist movement, are also subject to the same forces. In the recent years many of these voices have rebranded and adapted to a new generation of white nationalists who are coming from middle-class, tech-friendly jobs and families. There has been a great call for unity that was often impossible in the earlier days of the KKK or neo-Nazi skinheads, all of which were subject to tribal gang fights over non-political issues. This new core has intellectual backgrounds and are using philosophy and pseudo-science as the foundation of a new nationalism, and by keeping strategy and tactics vague they have been able to create bonds that were less easy to break.
Yet, as is always the case on the far right, their egos remain unchecked and, eventually, they do begin to crack. It is at these points that anti-fascists can exploit these breaks in solidarity between them, and find ways to weaken and destroy their movements by isolating them from each other. Over the last couple years it has been easy to see where the points of contention between these people are since they are often along the lines of those who have developed a following.
When thinking about where the fractures are in the Alt Right, one person comes up as a point of rupture: Richard Spencer. Spencer is known for coining the term Alternative Right from his former webzine, which was created to bring together different dissident reactionary forces that were coming together around 2010. He has eventually helped to bring together a vague collection of white nationalists, post-libertarians, traditionalists, Men’s Rights dissidents, identitarians, racial pagans, and others, into a general new white nationalism.
He also popularized podcasts as being a primary way to outreach to the rest of the movement since reading is not always their strong suit. Vanguard Radio was his first attempt at this, starting by interviewing people like the American Freedom Party’s Merlin Miller, Youth for Western Civilization’s Kevin Deanna, and techno-futurist and neo-reactionary Rachel Haywire. He also brought on fellow racists Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki to co-host a rambling version of the podcast. Both of them had been contributors, and later editors, at Alternative Right. At one point Spencer decided to leave Alternative Right as an editor, yet he continued the podcast and blogging at the website. Andy and Colin stepped up as the primary editors, and when Spencer told them in private that he kind of wanted the website to come down so he could move on, they insisted that it stay. After an incident happened with Jason Richwine, the Rachel Maddow Show at MSNBC did a story about Alternative Right and the National Policy Institute, which Spencer had taken over at this time. Here they identified a story by Colin Liddell where he essentially denies the Holocaust and mocks the Jews who died. He did not like being associated with this since he did not have any editorial control over what was published. On Christmas Day of 2013 he took down Alternative Right and made the URL link to his new web magazine, Radix Journal.
Andy and Colin were understandably enraged, and Colin went on social media rants calling Spencer a “Dick-tator.” They reformed a new website called the “New Alternative Right,” and started their own podcast. In one early episode dedicated to Spencer’s decision, Colin spoke about Spencer’s behavior and penchant for talking over his guests.
In 2014 Spencer tried to have a “pan-European” conference in Budapest, Hungary. This was going to bring white nationalists from around Europe, America, and Russia to come together and talk about “European unity.” The docket was to include people like Alexander Dugin and Jared Taylor. The Hungarian government, under pressure from the socialist party, declared that the conference would not happen, moving all the way up to the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. Spencer decided he would not listen to the government’s order and would go anyway, even though the government canceled their hotel bookings. At a private dinner of conference attendees, the police showed up and arrested Spencer. They deported him, banning him from European nations. The conference ended up just happening in private at the dinner location, with Tomislav Sunic and Jared Taylor as its only speakers.
It was this situation that actually mended the relationship between Liddell and Nowicki with Spencer. He went on their podcast shortly there after, and even though Liddell used this opportunity to talk over Spencer and throw insulting jokes at him, it seemed as though they would make it through. Liddell ended up going on Spencer’s new podcast, the Radix Journal Podcast, several times to talk about the Scottish Independence vote and on a series they did on James Bond.
The situation in Hungary did, however, stoke problems that were forming between Greg Johnson and Richard Spencer. Johnson is the founder and editor of Counter-Currents Publishing, which publishes a lot of racist and traditionalist books by people like Savitri Devi and Jonathan Bowden. They are known for their blog and pocast, which attempts to be even more high brown than Radix while also being more offensively racist. When Spencer still called for people to fly into Hungary even though hotels were being canceled by the state and they were having calls for deportation, Johnson became incensed. He took to Twitter to insult Spencer and state that he owes all conference attendees a “complete refund.” He went on to make insulting comments about Spencer’s wife, saying he was controlled by her and referring to her as “Nina Nogoodnick.” This stopped the growing relationship between the two flat. Spencer had recently had him on several podcasts to discuss movies and Johnson had hosted Spencer discussing what had happened with the shut down of Alternative Right. The irony here was that Johnson went on, at length, about how this type of public infighting is just useless and antithetical to their cause. Their relationship was never really patched up, and they were both known to make passive jokes about each other in interviews and podcasts. They were eventually both on a round table podcast at Red Ice Radio with RamZPaul, John Morgan of Arktos Publishing, and Daniel Frieberg. The discussion moved to the debate over pan-European unity versus regional European nationalism. Spencer is known for calling for a new “white empire” that gets over “petty nationalisms.” Johnson discussed the importance of having these regional states, telling Spencer that “reality had vetoed his dream.” They got incredibly heated insulting one another while the host desperately tried to get things on track.
These differences and arguments seem silly to us, and they are. Yet to the neo-fascists who are trying to move from their basements and into the political sphere, they are incredibly meaningful. In knowing where their fractures are we can begin to develop a strategy that plays on this as a weakness. Greg Johnson and Richard Spencer are both “intellectual” leaders of the Alt Right, and their strong personalities have the ability both to create leadership and to turn their followers off. To confront this we can find ways to further split their connections apart by highlighting the differences between them, and trying to stoke their infighting into public displays of disunity. What if, when shutting down one of their events, anti-fascists also go onto internal forums and place blame on other parties? This can have the effect of shrinking any cadre that they have with a common purpose, which also diminishes its effectiveness.
By highlighting their splits we can also help to communicate to those who may see them as an attractive dissenting force, show that they actually lack any ideological clarity or ability to force political programs. They are ineffective as organizing agents, which is clear since they rarely have any organizational plans, but if we continue to exploit their fragments we can show them for the impotent forces that they are. Using messaging on our end that not only confronts the bigots directly, but also creates dissent and infighting in their ranks can be an effective tool for destroying their mobilization.
Infighting around Richard Spencer has been happening for well over a year now beyond just the skirmishes mentioned. His dismissal of Orthodox Christianity has made him persona non grata in some of the more neo-Confederate, Kinist, and religious communities associated with the Traditionalist Youth Network, the League of the South, and others. He recently banned Trad Youth’s Matthew Heimbach for his recent comments about same-sex relationships where he claimed that queer people are intentionally spreading HIV. This brought offense to the NPI participants, one of which is the “andriophile” Jack Donovan.
By highlighting their own infighting we can continue to show their weak points, disable their ability to create compelling narrative or fronts, and maintain their position on the fringes. Part of this is allowing them to walk themselves into corners, which they often do through their own bizarre political ideas and their ability to attract those with political egos. In the case of Heimbach, we can continue to highlight his homophobia in an effort to not only alert the public to his disgusting ideas, but also to call the attention his fellow fascists. The more they clash internally, the weaker they will be. For anti-fascist organizing, this is always going to weaken the opposition and make those white nationalists that do creep up even easier to marginalize.
Occidental Dissent, another one of the more offensive racist websites, actually has publicized these arguments between bigots. In a post from 2014 they outlined a big list of “who hates who.” Though it is a little old, it seems to be more or less accurate even today.
Get your popcorn.
Check out this partial list of ongoing current beefs:
Greg Johnson vs. Daily Stormer
Greg Johnson vs. Richard Spencer
Alternative Right vs. Daily Stormer
Alex Linder vs. Jared Taylor
Alex Linder vs. Greg Johnson
Ramzpaul vs. Robert Ransdell
Daily Stormer vs. Ramzpaul
Greg Johnson vs. Matt Parrott
Bob Whitaker vs. Stormfront
Alex Linder vs. Bob Whitaker
Sebastian Ronin vs. Countless People
My Picks For Most Intense Beef
Hadding vs. Harold Covington
Will Williams vs. Harold Covington
Axis Sally vs. Harold Covington
Their movement is based entirely on the subjugation and oppression of “the other,” a notion that drives their ideological core. They do not have the same foundation in thought and ideas you see in the radical left opposition, which makes it even easier to unravel when put under a magnifying glass. At times, the ludicrous nature of their own racism will do it on its own. The coup attempt in Leith, North Dakota a couple of years ago lays out a clear exampele of this. Craig Cobb, a well known fringe neo-Nazi even by their own standards, began buying up property for next to nothing in a remote North Dakotan town. Leith had a population of 26 people, and his plan was to overrun the town with fellow neo-Nazis so as to take control of the Town Council. He deeded property over to members of the National Socialist Movement and former White Aryan Resistance organizer, Tom Metzger. The town put up an incredible show of counter-organizing, with great support from local First Nations tribal leaders and anti-racists. A confrontation was put forward to Cobb to do a DNA test that would prove his racial ancestry. He accepted this challenge, and when it came back proving that he was 14% Sub-Saharan African he saw a great deal of his support dry up. This came from the internal contradictions inside of his Creativity Movement, which is the most militant side of the white nationalist movement demanding racial purity. In reality, almost no person appearing white has only European genetic ancestry, so it is literally a contest that they cannot win. By leaving themselves open it provided anti-racists an opportunity to confront them, not only to dismiss their message publicly, but to create a backlash internally as his fellow skinhead supporters began demanding him out of his own white community.
Because we do not want to ever provide them a platform, and because we organize to defend our communities from them, we often do not have the resources to attempt to exploit these cracks in their ranks. With their influx of public media and loud voices we now have more information about high-profile racists than ever before, which means that we can integrate these strategies into our more general messaging.
Let’s continue to show the world who these people are and the fallacies that their calls for “white revolution” depend on!
For most of its post-WWII history, white nationalists have not exactly been on the cutting edge of technology. What they have done, however, has had mixed results, with some of their outreach efforts becoming massive operations.
Willis Carto turned the Liberty Lobby and its paper, The Spotlight, into a business with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, creating the platform for the Populist Party and making Carto a very wealthy man. This even lead to the Institute of Historical Review, an “academic institute” whose only function was to deny the Holocaust, which Carto lost and then battled with IHR members like Mark Weber for years over endowments. Tom Metzger tried to draw out a niche for the White Aryan Resistance by bringing it down into the gutter by producing what they labeled as “the most racist newspaper on earth.” As his operation and outreach to racist skinheads like Hammerskins and Volksfront grew, he lost his house and everything he owned after Mulugeta Seraw was murdered by WAR affiliated skinheads in Portland, Oregon. The lawsuit that followed destroyed WAR, and set a new precedent of responsibility for these “behind the scenes” racist organizers.
The real step forward for the white nationalist movement was the development of Stormfront, a white nationalist web-forum developed by Klansman Don Black out of Florida. Even now, Stormfront has a special place in the world of internet hate, growing month after month. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s The Year in Hate and Extremism 2015 outlined how their growth has been steady.
The total of registered users is just shy of 300,000, a fairly astounding number for a site run by an ex-felon and former Alabama Klan leader. And that doesn’t include thousands of visitors who never register as users. At press time, Stormfront ranked as the Internet’s 13,648th most popular site, while the NAACP site, by comparison, ranked 32,640th.
Their number of registered users has now broken that 300,000 mark, and they have had to update their servers recently just to be able to match the increase in traffic that has come from people discussing Donald Trump.
All of these different communications methods, as successful as some have been for them, are still fossils. They are relics of the past, both in their distribution format and in their cultural affiliations, rhetoric, and philosophical starting points. Movements like the Alternative Right, Neoreaction/Dark Enlightenment, Human BioDiversity, Radical Traditionalism, and all related “identiatrians” have almost no cultural connection to many of these more KKK/neo-Nazi derivative formations, even if their ideas are cut and paste from them.
Instead, these movements were New Media bound right from the start, circling around internet blogs like Alternative Right or hidden forums on places like 4Chan. Today, their outreach has only grown, and the foundation of this outreach strategy has become podcasting.
A real vanguard of this, so to speak, was Richard Spencer and Vanguard Radio. As we have written before, Richard Spencer began his website Alternative Right in 2010 to bring together all the disparate edges of the conservative movement that were no longer a part of the GOP. Paleoconservatives, race realists, neoreactionaries, radical traditionalist catholics, ethnic pagans, Evolian traditionalists, nationalists, identitarians, Men’s Rights activists, and so many more were all drawn into this movement. The real center of this was Vanguard Radio, which was the podcast that was used both as an interview show and, for a time, a regular chat segment with Spencer talking to co-hosts Andy Nowicki and Colin Liddell. The end of 2013 had a traumatic break from Alternative Right for Spencer who, after stepping down as editor, continued to be associated with the website in the press. After Rachel Maddow did an expose on Spencer and Alt Right after the Jason Richwine scandal at the Heritage Foundation, Spencer became increasingly upset with Alternative Right continuing. On Christmas of 2013 he pulled the plug on the website, angering the Nowicki and Liddell, who had become the current editors. He moved Vanguard Radio over to his new project, the National Policy Institute affiliated Radix Journal, and renamed it the Radix Journal podcast. Over its years it has interviewed names from the far-right movement, such as anti-semitic psychology academic Kevin McDonald, the male-tribalist Jack Donovan, Counter-Currents editor Greg Johnson, American Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Merlin Miller, the Traditionalist Youth Network’s Matthew Heimbach, and Pat Buchanan, among dozens of others. He has included a series looking at films by Stanley Kubrick, James Bond books and movies, and a range of other television and films, all of which intending to bring a sort of artistic intellectualism back to the racist right.
Greg Johnson followed suit, using his podcast stream to host talks that he gave on Plato, speeches by nationalists like Johnatahn Bowden, interviews and panel commentaries on white nationalist topics, and to sync together disparate podcasts like Robert Stark’s the Stark Truth. Matthew Heimbach went on to host episodes at Counter-Currents, help out on the briefly lived Kinest racialist Christian podcast Tribal Theocrat, and to do the occasional Traditionalist Youth Hour. The podcast field was eventually swamped with white nationalist content, with places like the White Voice, the Nationalist Network, and White Rabbit Radio. All of these tended to ally with the conspiracy world, often devolving into White Genocide and Zionist Occupied Government narratives. The very popular Daily Stormer website attempted to bridge the gap between the more bizarre and “old school” factions of the white nationalist scene with the smarter and more contemporary crowd, but they eventually moved their show over to Aryan Radio to be alongside speeches by the neo-Nazi William Pierce.
The internet has been critical for outreach of these groups, and it has been since the mid-1990s, so the fact that there are entire podcast networks dedicated to their work is not surprising. What is disturbing, however, is the popularity that many of them have gotten. Radix Journal Podcast and The Daily Shoah, especially, are seeing a renaissance in terms of listeners. The Daily Shoah, which is the podcast project of The Right Stuff, has only been around since early August 2014 but has already soared in popularity. This has come mainly from their “Opie and Anthony” approach to politics where they have vulgar skits targeting Jews, people of color, and LGBT people in the most disgusting language possible. Their popularity has led for them to develop a podcast network of their own coming out of their own crowd, all of which are complete with their own jargon and code-names. This includes Free Radio Skyrim, Fash Britannia, and Fash the Nation, where two hosts banter mainly about how Donald Trump is the savior of the white race and that Bernie Sanders is just a Jew.
The Radix Journal podcast itself has maintained the popularity immensely, and you can see that on their Soundcloud listings there are between 3,000 and 20,000 full listens even on shows that have not been available for very long. Spencer has done this all in an incredibly smart way as he utilizes his iTunes streams effectively. He uses multiple channels, one for the regular podcast, one for the audio of speeches at his conferences, and one for the older conversations he had with Jonathan Bowden several years ago. All of the podcast stream in iTunes with an RSS feed, which is the same deal with The Daily Shoah, Counter-Currents, Tribal Theocrat, American Renaissance, and several others. Even for less specific far-right projects, like Jack Donovan’s Start the World or The Pressure Project, subscribers are in the thousands, and only increasing. As places like The Daily Shoah helped to increase the number of white nationalists active in these online publications and forums, Radix took off as well. In 2015, Spencer increased his podcasting to about once a week, and the listenership tripled. He has now publicly committed to doing a once a week podcast, a once a week video(which will also be streamed on the podcast), and also doing a monthly Google Hangout on YouTube, which is a format that has become popular for The Daily Shoah contributor, Millenial Woes. What this amounts to, when looking at the entire Alt Right network of media, is an almost constant stream of content who is increasing more rapidly than anyone would have expected. Spencer says that he expects to, conservatively, double his reach in 2016, and he just might be right.
Stormfront itself has created a podcast of its own, a five day a week operation where Don Black babbles incoherently, showing both that he is out of touch with the world and even his own movement. This feed has failed to become anywhere near as popular as his successors, which generally shows how different that movement of today has become and how it has left the old-guard racialist groups in the dust. Even leaving out this radical fringe of the fringe, the numbers are staggering when you simply look at just how many people are listening to the vast majority of these shows on an almost daily basis.
People assume that a huge part of this increase is the candidacy of Donald Trump, and it certainly is, as well as white reaction to changing demographics, refugee immigration, recent crimes from Islamic participants, and Black Lives Matter. The real issue, however, is less that there is just a “spark” that has caused it, and rather than this new generation of the radical right is just more effective at targeting and growing their base. They have crafted a message that is more effective than the KKK ever had, and now they have grown to a point that their community has an echo chamber through social media that allows them to continue growing their reach. In this way, it is less that new converts are being made through events and arguments, and instead that the already-racist are simply being “activated.”
For anti-fascists, this presents an incredible challenge, which means effectively targeting their outlets when possible while continuing to shine a light on the way that they code their messages. An example of this is their use of iTunes is almost monolithic, and Soundcloud has already proved that it is not going to accept open racialist content. What anti-fascists and anti-racists cannot do is continue to ignore this faction of the racist community, assuming that they are only an irrelevant fringe. Instead, their growth signals a real shift in the thinking, and it is going to be critical to grow anti-racist work, confront their organizing directly, and to develop strategies that go far beyond liberal anti-racists narratives so that the very structures of racial inequality can be dismantled. “No Platform” is critical in this context, and now we are heading to the digital world of confrontation as well as meeting them in the streets.
As Death in June began making its rounds on the Death of the West tour (a line often used throughout White Nationalist literature, and the title of a book by it’s public face, Patrick Buchanan), an anti-fascist group began to rally to have the dates canceled and shows protested. As the organizing began there was a mad rush to defend DIJ by a fan base that could not imagine that an iconoclastic band such as this could really be responsible for the kind of hate they were being accused of. “They are representing a kind of folk culture.” “They only use fascist imagery as an ironic shock.” “They are queer friendly, and play in Israel.” These are only a few of the justifications given, while most people simply cited that they don’t usually say anything racial so therefore do not fit in the Nazi category. This was responded to by a difficult discussion about the factions within Nazism and an attempt at a critical analysis about the use of fascist and nationalist imagery, most of which was lost on those defending DIJ.
What this tends to bring up is less a question of how DIJ presents themselves and more a difficulty in the discourse around anti-fascism. Today a rising tide of fascism takes on multiple political programs, finds entryism into a variety of cultural movements seen as traditionally both left and right, and often times shades itself in images that are completely alien.
The term Nazi is often hard to apply, and therefore the discussion often creates confusion and robs anti-fascists of the ability to truly mobilize around this issue. It is much easier, in comparison, to target things like the North Dakota town being infiltrated by the National Socialist Movement and the Creativity Movement (formerly World Church of the Creator) as the aesthetics and most people generally understand rhetoric. But what about the tribalist rhetoric present in DIJ? How about the discussion of paganism, right wing anti-capitalism, folkish culture, and the various tenants of rising ”intellectual” fascism. This creates a disconnect as anti-fascists are often reduced to the most obvious, and often least effective, target. The question here becomes what the goals of an anti-fascist movement should be, and what the results of a fascist current can be when not countered.
There are two primary problems that a fascist movement can create when entering a community.
1. Extreme violence towards members of communities that oppose them. This means the targeting of minorities, Jews, LGBTQ folks, and others for violence.
2. Entry into existing movements to push them in a fascist direction, whether on the right or the left.
The first one has often been the target of anti-fascist groups, and for good reason. The most common issue that a militant racist movement will cause is spontaneous violence for people, such as the random attacks on people of color on the street. This is an incredibly difficult problem since, by and large, anti-fascist groups are really not equipped for the kind of community policing that this requires. This does not mean it is unnecessary, but in reality it creates such a point of violence that most people cannot risk their lives to participate. Likewise, though people often hurl epithets at the police, calling them fascists, they are usually not, and the police usually targets Nazi gangs pretty regularly. Problems with the police do not usually come from their participation in openly fascist movements (at least in this country), but instead in their protection of a system of capital and institutionalized oppression. The system exhibits consistent racism on a daily basis, but this is fundamentally different than a paramilitary force that hopes to establish an explicitly racist social system. For anti-fascists that do want to target these groups, they are going to have to commit to a life at risk of violence and retaliation.
This fact does not, however, mean that their efforts are not needed, but instead much less effective. The violence of explicit Nazis is often unprovoked, unplanned, and difficult to counter. Instead, a praxis of community protection and solidarity can be employed, where safe spaces are established and large-scale community response networks can be created.
The second problem is the one that is both more persistent in our current climate and often less targeted. This comes in several forms, less often having participants of an open Neo-Nazi self-identification. Instead, these people may refer to themselves as radical traditionalists, revolutionary conservatives, reactionaries, neo-pagans, or simply “concerned citizens.” The rhetoric here often changes with whatever the cultural subsets of these ideas are, but the fact remains that they share a White Nationalist worldview. Their primary focus is to now enter social movements, community spaces, spiritual communities, and the like, and influence them in a certain direction, usually towards the “preservation of the European traditions and people.” They may not recite the “14 words” explicitly, but the content of their speech remains the same. It is here that things become more difficult, but there are some mainstays that we can look towards.
What is the primary issue for White Nationalists to focus on? Immigration (you may also say Affirmative Action, but this has really receded as will be discussed later). What is the second most primary issue for them? There is none.
This is not because White Nationalists view immigration as a problem above all else, even though their current rhetoric will lead you to believe this. Instead, they have found a dividing issue in which they can enter and shift the conversation consistently. In a different generation, there were contentious issues that were easy to enter the public discussion about, yet today immigration is on many people’s minds and mixed consciousness about this issue is common even in “progressive” communities.
A great example of this is the clearly racialist website VDare. Run by White Nationalist Paul Goddfried, this is an anti-immigration website that hosts a “variety of viewpoints” that are critical of immigration. It is through this website, and really only through this type of discourse, that someone like Peter Brimelow is able to be taken seriously and be invited to mainstream conservative events like C-PAC. Brimelow hosts openly racist writers on VDare, as well as well known reactionaries like Pat Buchanan. Here they are given a gift in that racist immigration ideas are still mainstream and accepted within the sphere of “reasonable discourse,” and therefore White Separatist ideas become part of this sphere through VDare’s position on the issue. The same is true of overt racists like Steve Sailer and the former National Review contributor John Derbyshire.
Other issues come and go as racists feel as though they can utilize them. At times they have been on both the vanguard of the pro and anti-environmental movements. They have at times been conservative Evangelical Christians, while also shifting to Germanic Neo-Pagan movements with an ethnic identitarianism. They are both hyper rational, and critical of materialism and science. They lack consistency in their issues and their approach to criticism, yet remain consistent in their conclusions.
The diversity and complexity of this has really taken shape with the injection of far-right academics into this discourse, usually coming out of Western Europe. Movements like Noveaux Drois, GRECE, the French New Right, as well as individual authors like Alain DeBenoit and Jonathan Bowden developed a canon to be essentially the fascist equivalent of Frankfurt School Marxism. Domestically, the vanguard of this “novel restatement of fascism” comes in places like Alternative Right, Count-Currents publishing, Voice of Reason radio, and others. There is again nothing consistent in the politics of these areas, except their criticisms of multiculturalism, egalitarianism, and anything that could possibly rip white Europeans from their “glorious history.” At Attack the System we see the North American lead of National Anarchism, amongst other similar strains like Anarcho-Feudalism and Anarcho-Monarchism. Here former Worker Solidarity Alliance member turned National Anarchist, supports secessionist movements where people abolish the state in favor of ethnically homogenous tribal sects. Richard Spencer, previously of Alternative Right and now Radix Journal, focuses on what he calls Radical Traditionalism, creating an essentialist and biological explanation for almost every social system. Here he consistently argues for fascist policies as the continuation of the great “Western civilization,” based on heroism, strength, and a strict nationalism. All of these utilize the language of academia and activism to argue for some of the most reprehensible views on race and politics, with a starting point that popular democracy is a perversion and that people are inherently unequal.
There have always been intellectual vanguards on the far right, so these new terms and publications are nothing new. What is different, however, is that the vigilance of their entryism has waned. It may seem obvious when looking at their writing that they are getting at something fundamentally fascist, even when avoiding the word outright. At the same time, as these ideas enter our movements we have not created the kind of united fronts that are important.
An example of this has been the uncomfortable relationship between these nationalist neo-tribalist movements and the radical environmental and Anarcho-Primitivist currents. While people like John Zerzan and Kevin Tucker critique all aspects of civilization for its alienating effects, and advocate a return to a pre-civilized way of living, there are definite elements to their discourse that have become questionable. What Zerzan often refers to as a critique of “mass cultural orientation” often resembles the newly forming critiques of multiculturalism that are happening on the far-right, as well as the inherent belief in Primitivist politics that people with special needs must be sacrificed. There is a definite spiritual element to this analysis, at times echoing the folkish connection between the people and the land. Fetishism of tribal communities is common, often forgetting to discuss how a return to these original tribal communities often takes the form of racial segregation. This is not to say that people like Zerzan himself share these fascist worldview, and likely far from it, but this has created a clear opening. Recently, a National Anarchist was added to the editorial collective of Green Anarchist in Britain, forcing many infoshops to remove it from their shelves. Often times this discourse has affected green communities, and it is not uncommon for things like race and nation to be discussed alongside these anti-civ perspectives. In Deep Green Resistance we see a respect for the top-down militia style that we see in right-wing paramilitarism, as well as an acceptance of transphobia without a consistent backlash.
As we entered into the Occupy Movement, the diversity of political ideas and backgrounds created a lot of ideological conflicts. While this disagreement is totally welcome in a multifaceted mass movement, we again saw a return of the conspiracy theory and “libertarianism”(for most anarchists, calling capitalists libertarians feels like a punch in the stomach). We saw things like 9/11 Truthers, Mises Institute fellows, and many on the fringes of right-wing economics being discussed. As an undercurrent to many of these are classic conspiracies about the control Jews have in the media, banking, and politics, many of which are the same that the John Birch Society had in the past. The inherent “inequality” of people is central to the ideas present in people like Murray Rothbard, and his racial views are well known. As a search for openness was heralded as incredible in these burgeoning occupations, we began to see an unquestioning acceptance of borderline conspiracy theories and disgusting views on the poor as part of the acceptable range of discourse. While many of these “libertarians” had connections to neo-confederate, militia, and racial movements, we still sat through talks on the gold standard and the Federal Reserve as if this fringe element was just a part of our revolutionary milieu.
The problem is, they aren’t. These ideas do not make up political allies in left communities, especially ones that have committed themselves to an anti-racist egalitarian worldview. Without the ability to identify this rhetoric for what it is it is difficult to be able to see it when it begins to influence our movements. Just like a parasite turns its host against itself, these movements go from being our tools for social change to their weapon for social destruction.
The question that comes up here is how can we go forward with an anti-fascist praxis that can be both effective and comprehensive. This often begins by knowing what we are looking for, and what we are fighting. Without a clear understanding of what fascism is we will only be able to spot it in its most obvious caricatures of itself. Unfortunately, the fascist movements that will attempt to gain powerful holds in America will likely not be under a Nazi flag. This makes them harder to spot, harder to attack, and harder to suffocate.
What people have done for years is attempt to create a “generic definition of fascism.” What this means is a way to describe what fascism is that is not dependent on a particular movement, conflict, country, or period of time. What is the specific fascist element? Some argue that there is no generic fascism because it is always a false ideology that is specific to the dictator and always just a way to exploit a population. While this is true, there are common features that bind together fascist movements even though they may be culturally and contextually different.
There has often been an effort to simply define authoritarian movements as fascist, though this is not a universal connection. Marxists often define fascism as the more reactionary sector of capital, but this misses its most key elements. Fascism as a state philosophy is almost universally anti-capitalist because capitalism creates too much multiculturalism and does not put the welfare of a homogenous racial or cultural group first. In this way fascism is often described as a right-wing socialism, where by a welfare state is used to systematically exclude people. The fundamental core of fascism is the belief in the essential nature of hierarchy. If people are fundamentally unequal, then society should be stratified and democracy should be waned since the governing of the people is best left up to an elite. Any form of capitalist representative democracy, which most anarchists and anti-authoritarians would say isn’t even a true democracy, allows for too much class mobility and popular control. Instead, a fascist state is meant to force hierarchy to exist without the irregularity of capital. This state is meant to subvert democratic institutions along an ideological line, force “class collaboration,” and make sure that inequality is observed. Many on the modern intellectual fascist line return to the ideas of Julius Evola, a radical right wing philosopher that states that societies are healthier the more clearly the social stratification and hierarchy is. He asserts that modernity is a “feminizing” and equalizing force that strips of our national, racial, and spiritual identity, which is inherent in “traditional” societies. This shows the next key element of fascism, which is a paleogenic myth about the “true nature” of society. Fascism promises to restore the true order, the heroic history that never was. Fascism outlines a mythology about a particular grouping by suggesting that in the past it was racially homogenous, filled with heroes, perfectly run, and where by people are spiritually fulfilled. This often forgets the history of extreme oppression that most people experienced historically as subjects of the empires they hope to emulate in a modern context, as well as the fact that there is no genetic homogeneity in any of these European communities at any point in history. The reality is that this vision of its past was never true, but that does not negate that fascists believe we can return to it.
Elitism, essentialism, and racism are all key since they create a worldview that inequality is “natural” and that nations are essential characteristics of a person’s biology. Without this return to the pure essential it is hard for them to argue that a nation has something crucial to offer, but if you assume that all things are based in biology they can string together a narrative that racial categories define our cultural realities. There is no contemporary science to justify these racial categories and no evidence to propose that people of Germanic decent have something fundamentally different about them than anyone from any other part of the world, which is why they easily slip into pseudo-scientific double speak, quoting obscure philosophers and playing with subjective terms like “identity”
There is a lot of discussion about what is truly fascist, what is proto-fascist, and what simply has “fascist elements.” The answer to this for anti-fascist organizers comes a lot different than academics that make it simply an intellectual exercise. Instead, we have to see fascism as something to be opposed and countered, not simply something that exists as an idea on its own. Fascism attempts to conquer and transform our communities, so its definition is only as useful as we can use it as a category to identify and destroy. Fascism is not defined by its command economics or its anti-capitalism, but by its elitist, hierarchical, racist nationalism and mythology. It’s perceived return to the past, its utopian visions of superiority, and its belief in the essential nature of sexual, gender, racial, and social roles.
Within this context we can see an entire historical run for fascism as it arises as a distinct current within a political movement, even if that current does not take over every apparatus of government and social life. Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy are often proposed as the only true manifestations of fascism, but this negates the reality of its place in the Fallange in Spain, the Iron Guard in Romania, and, most recently, the paranoid race-based nationalism of North Korea. Fascism makes up a distinct worldview where by imagery has substantive meaning and ethnicity is a defining characteristic.
Fascism does likewise not attach itself to specific political formations. There has often been a very common comparison, usually by the less intelligent conservative milieu, that any kind of nationalized industry thus denotes fascism because they also nationalized that industry in Germany and Italy. This is an obvious logical fallacy, but does present some of the problems with discerning fascism. While it does often take on authoritarianism, and the idea of authority whether in a macro level through “fuher” type leadership and on the micro level by strong men within the family, it does not necessarily denote totalitarianism. National Anarchists argue for a state-free form of nationalism, where by tribal and racial authorities are important without the apparatus of the state. This is one of the many “third position” fascist ideas that have become popular, where it is not uncommon to combine previously thought of as non-complimentary social ideas.
The key element here will never be a type of political machinery, but instead a distinct one of values. Political methodology is usually chosen because of its perceived effectiveness in realizing a sort of value. From the perspective of most people, equality, freedom, and the like are common values, though the methods of how to achieve this very greatly. Among the radical right, this sense of value is completely different. Instead, hierarchy, authority, tradition, and strength over the weak are the values, and the political apparatus that is chosen is just the method. While the kind of state fascism seen in Italy and Germany may be the kind that is commonly known, it is not the only method that these people come up with. The totalitarian tyranny of Soviet Russia took on many of the state functions that Nazi Germany did, but different in that they thought this oppression could lead to an egalitarian democracy. The difference is the Nazis used these tools to smash both.
From here we can begin to sketch together a profile that is common amongst the various groups, often hiding behind the syncretic “dualism” of Third Position fascism. At their core is a disbelief in the capability of all people to rule, the inequality and stratification amongst people, the essential nature of value in biology, and the need to lead through violence, heroism, and strength.
The definition of fascism should then come from what is useful rather than what is academically perfect. In this way, the broader definition of the history of fascism can trace a series of examples of fascism that may not fit the definitions verbatim. The reason is that while these movements are diverse and may not hold every single element of fascism, this is still their dominant current and can be reduced to this common denominator for the purpose of targeting. This does not mean, however, that we should be liberal with the term. Without the key elements of inequality, authoritarianism, and the like it does not really represent a revolutionary fascist current, but rather just the most barbarous elements of the current capitalist system. When the Obama, and previously Bush, administration engage in corporatism and totalitarianism, it does not inherently make it fascist. As anti-authoritarians we already have a critique of these elements and currently oppose the state of the system, but this does not necessarily represent fascism. Instead, fascism is going to run counter the current mechanisms of capitalism and the State since they do not perfectly represent the forceful implementation of their vision. Instead, they can influence or overthrow the State, in the same way that various strains of the left could. We very well could devolve into fascism in America, but it is likely to not simply come from the regular functions of capital and the State.
The war that is at play here is not with the fascists for the fate of society (yet), but instead over the fate of radicalism.
Fascism, as a radical current, critiques the current social order for various reasons, often times taking to task the same things that revolutionaries do on the left. Boredom. Environmental destruction. Alienation. Poor living standards. All of these things are presented often times within the fascist program of critique, but it does so with a fundamentally different set of values. As they come in contact with people looking for a deeper analysis and have a general distrust of the system, they present an alternative. They do this inside the various radical movements that are at play to attract revolutionaries, and inside conservative social movements to attract the reformists. While we will not be persuading potential converts inside the right-wing anti-immigration movement, those working in Palestinian support and radical environmentalism can and should be comrades in an intersectional struggle against oppression. If these struggles are primary to someone, they are susceptible to systemic critiques that support their current issue. If we allow these disgusting ideas to become a viable option for those in struggle, we will let our movements be areas of inflation for the fascist movements.
For committed anti-fascist organizers there needs to be a few ideas that can lead a way forward away from the current failures and to begin to target fascist movements as they arise, try to make entry into radicalism, and shift current social movements.
1. It is important to differentiate fascist intellectual movements and political organizing from fascist gang culture. The main reason for this is not ideological, but tactical. In the case of skinhead gangs or KKK militants there is rarely a deeply thought ideological root, but rather a pairing of racial difference with economic and personal strife. Here they tend to recruit the down and out, often youths with difficult backgrounds, and their main tool is violence. The reality here is that they will never influence any movement, and even the far right would like to disassociate at any chance. Instead, they pose the risk of spontaneous violence to communities of color, LGBT color, and anyone else they begin to add to their list of discontents. This presents a fundamentally different challenge from targeting white nationalists in American Renaissance or The Occidental Observer, who are there making poised ideological arguments to people willing to absolve themselves of conventional ethical logic. The plan of action is completely different, as approaching skinheads is really a matter of physical defense of self and community. Here they need to be dealt with simply as agents of violence, and in reality police will still act as their adversary. This is also not a conventional battle of political organizing as it would be with actual political organizers, and you do not have to win people to your side since they have already done a pretty good job alienating everyone around them already. This does not mean that anti-fascists should not strike against groups like Combat 18, but it means that this is a guerilla war and community organizing does not take on the same precedence. Instead, it is social movement fascists and intellectual right-wingers that need to be targeted through social movements that hold a radical enough analysis that their charade can be unveiled.
2. The fascism of tomorrow will never look like the fascism of yesterday. While a fetishism of nationalist images is a permanent fixture of far right institutions, with Death in June being the perfect example, the most classic images of World War II fascism have been completely stripped from the intellectual and social movement fascists. You are not going to see a swastika from the National Anarchists at a Palestinian solidarity rally, nor are you going to see pictures of Hitler in the pages of the Radix. Instead, you are going to see vague references to nationalism, identity, spirituality, tradition, and the like, all of which can go under the radar if you are looking for “Heil Hitlers.” The reality is that the obvious images of traditional war fascism are so repugnant to everyone in modern society that people who share those ideas are never going to cloak themselves in them if they want any chance of success. The fascist movements that do so, like the National Socialist Movement or the National Alliance, make up the most organized wing of the skinhead gang culture, but in the end the only threat they present is motivating spontaneous violence. They will never have power in social movements or statist politics. Instead, fascism will take on the same core ideological principles and motivate them within existing movements. This was seen very plainly in the reactionary behavior of the Tea Party, and the open invitation that they gave to openly fascist organizations like the American Third Position Party (now called the American Freedom Party). Here the rhetoric was the same, though cloaked in libertarian jargon. This society is being stripped from the inside by immigrants and non-whites, degenerating our culture, and taking the country from its rightful inheritors. The rhetoric was so cleanly disguised that it was often dismissed by even left-wing people as something wholly different. When the release of the Ron Paul papers came out, he was able to disguise clearly racist and homophobic articles as being some kind of clerical error. When Anonymous hacked the website for the American Third Position Party they found clear communication between those in the Ron Paul camp and those in the “whites only” political party. There was even an image of Ron Paul shaking hands with Don Black, the founder of the large white nationalist network Stormfront. None of this seemed to matter to young Ron Paul supporters who were more interested in his attacks on the TSA and marijuana laws than the fact that he was exploiting racial tension to bring in a southern voting base. These are fascist ideas repackaged, and having a clearly successful strategy to influence political discourse. Similar situations have occurred in different radical communities, whether it is continuing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories around the 9/11 attacks or influencing the pagan religious movement by associating Norse paganism with ethnic identity. The names and faces have changed, but the core ideology has not. It means that while we are looking for swastikas, we miss the Asatru Alliance creating bonds between mainstream Wiccans and white nationalists. Nazis will never rise again, but nationalists of a different sort can and will influence the social movements that continually reshape society.
3. Anti-fascist organizers should be able to differentiate between fascists, but there is no reason to do so when organizing publicly. It is important to be able to understand fascist ideas, imagery, and history so that they can be identified and their efforts countered, but this does not mean that we need to engage in long winded public exercises on the difference between National Bolshevism and nationalist Satanism. Instead, call a fascist a fascist. There is an effort to differentiate between proto-fascism, crypto-fascism, and real fascism, but in the end they are all just various levels of the same thing. To the public, the declarations should be simple. Someone can go on long diatribes about ethnic identity and Jungian archetypes, but in reality they simply are a racist. It may be more complicated than that to them, but it is not in any practical terms to the anti-fascist. The definition of fascism must remain useful, so do not publicly overcomplicate the discussion. This differentiation is exactly what they want since they do see themselves as more complicated than those stereotypes, but it is more useful to maintain them because in the end they simply are anti-egalitarian, anti-democratic, race baiting authoritarians. To successfully target them we need research, but to the outside we need only scorn
4. Drop your liberal moralism. Fascism is the core opposite of a free and equal society. It represents the exploitations of the darkest parts of humanity, and the barbarism that is at the polar opposite of anti-authoritarian and egalitarian movements. There should be one, and only one goal, destroy fascism. The kind of respect and “even playing field” logic that many people like to utilize in a liberal democracy needs to go out the window when you are dealing with a direct spawn of evil. Success is the only possibility; their defeat is the only goal. This should come from any means possible, with no moral reservation. This does not mean that you should target confused people with absolute impunity, but know a real fascist organizer when you see one and seek to destroy. They do not deserve to make their case, this allows them to talk around issues and cloud things. Do not let them speak, do not let them have their own organizations, do not let them have a livelihood, do not let them live in your community.
5. Know fascism when you see it, but not all things that should be opposed are fascist. Free market corporate capitalism is a radical tool of class destruction and should be opposed. Imperialist wars on the Muslim world are racist and used to deepen the pockets of corporate pockets, and should be opposed. Rape culture is a disgusting aspect of the ongoing patriarchal structure, and should be opposed. Domestic spying and wiretapping are an encroaching police state that strips us of our liberties, and should be opposed. This does not mean that they are all necessarily fascist. If you have a clear understanding of what fascism is then you will be able to target and irradiate it. If you have a social and class analysis that is growing and targets systemic flaws, then you have the ability to really deal with society as a whole. This means knowing what you are looking and seeing it for what it is. As an anarchist I find capitalism and the state incredibly tyrannical, but they are not always fascist (and today, usually are not). Fascism remains the vanguard of the reactionary elements of every social sector, boiled down and magnified.
Where does this leave us with Death in June? As has been pointed out by many an anti-fascist blog, his ideas make up an affinity for radical Strasserist fascism aligned with National Bolshevist Third Positionism. This sounds like academic pseudo-jargon, and it is. The fact of the matter is that this is how they see themselves, how they differentiate themselves from the other forms of fascism that they do not perfectly align themselves with. What does it mean for us? The bottom line is that they are fascist, not matter what sub labels and traditions they attempt to quote from. Simply because they appeal to a queer audience or play shows in Israel does not mitigate the layers of fascist ideas that permeate not only their imagery and lyrics, but also outright statements in interviews. We do not need to get into a discussion about the details, especially when we can look at those details and see them for what they really are. A fascist does not deserve to be argued with. They do not deserve point and counter point. They do not deserve to have their ideas paired against ours. They represent the purest form of the enemy, the crystallization of every element of the current society that forces us to reject its basic premise. If Death In June wants to go on diatribe about folkish communities and tradition, let them. We will be on the other side trying to end the words before they even begin. To really combat fascism, we have to know what it looks like and what its tactics will be. To do this we need a way forward that does not only look to the past, but looks at our own communities and sees it when it begins to take shape.
Death in June has hidden itself from criticism with irony and calls to pre-Christian paganism, and these are claims that can be debunked with a quick Google search. Pearce has said openly that they began looking towards the ideas of early Nazi Gregor Strasser, which often takes a more economically socialist position than Hitler ended up taking the party in later years. In an article by John Eden at Who Makes the Nazis, he re-asserted Pearce’s public affiliation for violent White Nationalist actions. “It has been widely corroborated that Pearce dedicated a song from the stage to the ‘White Wolves’ – a neo-Nazi grouping who had initially claimed responsibility for these atrocities. In much the same spirit, a valedictory message was posted to the Di6 Yahoo group forum immediately following Anders Breivik’s Utoya massacre, and mainland bombing.” Pearce has also shown open support for genocidal Croatian nationalists, and continues to take inspiration from the neo-fascist National Bolshevist movement that is popular amongst the most violent skinhead gangs in Russia.
Pearce’s eugenic ideas have been posted in very clear terms, though he often shades the racial elements. “MAINLAND EUROPA, HAS SEVERE STOCK PROBLEMS. THAT, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE HAS ONLY GOT WORSE. THOSE WHO SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO BREED ARE DOING SO WITH SUCH FREQUENCY THAT THE UK IS BEING OVER POPULATED BY MORONS WITH NOTHING TO DO EXCEPT HARASS THE REST OF THE POPULATION,” said Pearce. Whether it was when he glorified white domination of people of color by saying “Thank the Gods for Euro-colonialism,” or when he openly attacks non-white immigration and Islam, it is pretty clear where his allegiances are. In an interview in 1998 with Scapegoat he said plainly, “Depending upon their ‘version’ of Eurocentric Racialism, then 9 times out of 10 I feel very comfortable with it.”
These quotes are not a-typical for him, and this has happened on a regular basis. For those who see the esoteric and gothic turn that a lot of White Nationalism has taken in the last twenty years, then this is no surprise. But for those who are regularly looking for the traditional demons, they are going to have trouble parsing them out in a subcultural that treats shock as inherently artistically valid. They are likely not to know about the occasional acceptance of various queer identities in White Nationalist circles these days, often championed by Portland’s Jack Donovan who refers to himself as an “andriophile” because “gay” is “associated with effeminacy, feminism, and leftist politics.” The point here is not that there is a common acceptance of queer identities on the far right, which there is certainly not in any meaningful way, but that one point of contradiction is not enough to discredit their fascist ties. Many of these movements are perfectly willing to accept internal contradictions in the favor of pushing their agenda.
The more important argument, rather than focusing just on the band themselves, is to really look what they open a space for. If you are to find many of the more contemporary intellectual White Nationalists from organizations like Counter-Currents, Occidental Observer, Alternative Right, and American Renaissance on social media, you will find that there is a direct correlation to the band. As an article at the One People’s Project pointed out, it is much more that the band creates a comfortable meeting space for people with these racial perspectives. One former fan reflects on their experience at a show:
“Then I saw the first Call the Paramedics shirt, and then shit got even less subtle up to and including National Alliance patches and Nazi medals. This was not a crowd I wanted to be hanging out with all night. Mind you, they were a very small portion of the attendants but the fact that they were there at all was increasingly upsetting as the night went on. Most of the folks were just sort of willfully ignorant of what was around them. Just like me.”
“I noticed Kevin I. Slaughter in the audience. His publishing company – Underground Amusements – publishes some of the works of Jack Donovan an anti-feminist, anti-gay, anti-equality author. There was a couple next to me that was chanting out any line they found adequately racist and kept yelling for a song called “Enemy Within” that I’d never heard before (I looked the lyrics up when I got home and was not surprised what I found. Ugh.).”
“When I got outside, it was all pretty much laid bare. The folks who had been asked to cover or remove offensive symbols re-revealed them (the extremely anti-racist staff of the venue was extremely vigilant in their enforcement of this standard inside the club and anyone was who did not comply was told they had to leave – outside the club they had no say) and it was at this point that I just said “Fuck this” and walked home feeling like a sucker that had played a part in something that was really disrespectful and shameful.”
If we give the excuses ourselves as to why this kind of thing should be allowed in our communities then we create the space for the development of a fascist movement that will grow before it can be confronted. The best organizing disallows the violence before it even takes shape, and we need to know that without a strong form of resistance then this discontent and collapse in our country can easily become the kind of reactionary wave that we never previously believed would be present.
Big thanks to NYC Anti-Fa who provided many of the quotes by Pearce.[/i]