Tag Archives: national policy institute

Going Full Fash: Breitbart Mainstreams the ‘Alt Right’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_20160307_092828

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

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

 

 

 

 

Edgelords: The National Policy Institute Holding Washington D.C. Conference in March

In an effort to double up their popular conferences, The National Policy Institute is going to be having a conference only a few short months after their Halloween event.  Set to coincide with the Conservative Political Action Conference, which makes sense with their use of the Alt Right branding, the event will bring together “shitlords” and white nationalists from the growing recesses of the internet-focused racialist movement.  The evening event, on March 5th, is going to be smaller than NPI’s regular conference event, which usually spans an entire day.  This conference, called Identity Politics, will bring together Richard Spencer, the NPI president, Kevin McDonald and RamZPaul.

Richard Spencer has been one of the people at the center of the recent upsurge in this particular wing of the white nationalist movement.  Focused on social media, podcasting, and YouTube conversation videos, the new Alt Right has evolved beyond what it had been previously.  Spencer coined the term in 2010 with his website Alternative Right, which was meant to bring together “dissident” right wing ideologues that were leftovers from paleoconservatism, libertarianism, the Old Right, traditionalism, and all the other “edge” philosophies that were leading in a neo-fascist direction.

This was a “big tent” approach that was meant to associate these disparate forces with each other, but he moved on from this approach when joining NPI and forming the Radix Journal.  The term Alt Right, however, stayed, and it became synonamous with a white nationalist movement that had little connection to the silly costumes of the KKK and neo-Nazis.  Instead, this group formed an ideology that was a hodgepodge of the new scientific racism of Human BioDiversity, the strange “critiques” of democracy from Neoraction, the general attack on egalitarianism, a focus on the spirituality of ethnic Heathenry, the traditionalism of Julius Evola, and a great deal of misrepresented scraps of the social sciences to justify “identitarian” focus on ethnic identity as well as classic racial hatred and anti-Semitism.  These people see themselves as a break from the racism of the past, yet they simply repackaged it for a different audience.

The new shift was largely from association with The Right Stuff and their cohorts, which focus on internet trolling, using internal jargon, repeating offensive jokes, and using social media and blogs as their primary vessel rather than any kind of organizing.  You would expect that this would change the speaking demographics of the NPI conference, but most of the people associated with this side of the movement do not use their real names and would not let their faces be seen lest anti-fascists identify and doxx them.  The main exceptions to this was Mike Enoch from the Daily Shoah’s appearance on the NPI conference podcast, though he wore sunglasses during the panel to try and conceal his identity.  UnCuck the Right, an internet sensation that does the same embarrassing parody songs that The Right Stuff is famous for, is presenting at American Renaissance as well, which is again a surprise for a grouping who hides behind avatars.

Instead, Spencer will be joined by former University of California at Long Beach professor Kevin McDonald.  McDonald is known for creating a “unified theory of anti-Semitism” which his Culture of Critique series.  Here he states that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” where Jews use ethnocentrism and high verbal IQ to outcompete Gentiles for resources.  He identifies things like Marxism, Freudianism, contemporary anthropology, Frankfurt School philosophy, and other movements as pseudoscience created by Jews to destroy Western identity and therefore come out on top.  McDonald was a well regarded evolutionary psychology academic before going off the deep end, and now writes for various white nationalist publications like the Occidental Quarterly on the need to reclaim ethnic nationalism and avoid what he calls “white altruism.”  Over the last year he has been doing speeches and interviews about the “origins of the white man,” which he did both at last year’s NPI event and at the Stormfront Smokey Mountain Summit.  He is working on a book on this theme, where he butchers anthropology in an effort to create a “history” of white people as a monolithic and distinct history.  Here he resurrects a strict racial taxonomy, one that has literally no place in contemporary biology or anthropology, as well as distinct categories from the early 20th century like “nordics.”

RamZPaul will join the two, who does actually come in similar to the silly format set by The Right Stuff.  He does popular YouTube videos where he decries liberalism, multiculturalism, and “the modern world,” usually with a penchant for bad stand-up comedy.  Over the last couple of AmRen and NPI conferences he has taken on a specific topic to sort of “explain,” though they usually show that he does not have a clear grasp on the concepts himself.  In his recent AmRen talk on the “Dark Enlightenment” he went on to briefly explain critiques of democracy and equality as well as the preference for monarchy, but with all of the platitudes and generalizations it became obvious that he had not been able to understand Nick Land’s work and was generally out of touch with the science and philosophy that movement claims as its own.  At the March event RamZPaul will try to explain what the Alt Right is, which may actually creates some dissonance in the crowd since he is not a strict white nationalist.

Spencer’s talk will likely be one of his usually “if you dream it we can built it” rants, where he talks vaguely about “ideas” and “passion,” yet clearly does not have a political program to support it.  It may be simply to support Donald Trump, who is fawningly supported by the Alt Right.  Spencer himself really pushes a sort of “right Idealism” where by he thinks these sorts of expensive conferences and constant blog diarrhea are comparable to building a movement.  This provides Antifa its greatest opportunity to challenge their existence since all they want, literally, is a platform.  They have no other strategic elements to the movement, and they are hoping that the groundswell from the Donald Trump primary bid will be enough to move to the next stage in their fascist project.

Confrontation at the NPI conference is often difficult since it is usually held in The Ronald Reagan Building in The Rotunda of Washington D.C.  They have been resistant to organizers asking them to cancel the event, and strict security keeps protesters relatively far from the entrance.  What has been seen recently is that the swell of young people has come primarily from people who do not want their identity’s released, so photos and videos of conference attendees is an important operation.  Pressure can be put on the operations of the Ronald Reagan building year round so that when it comes time for NPI to sign its contract, there is already a show that the community will not accept that.  This could be a long-term organizing project for those in the area, but really any organization nationally could take up this campaign to show national discontent for what is happening there.

Below is the contact information for the Reagan Building if you want to make your voice heard about their hosting, but it may make sense to use this information to develop a long-term escalation campaign where community phone blasts, emails, and general mobilization can be done on a multi-month calendar.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 11.08.12 AM

 

Hate, Now Streaming: White Nationalism’s Podcasting Breakthrough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

At least, that used to be the case.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Banned From Entry: Trad Youth’s Matt Heimbach Is Persona Non Grata

Over the last few years, antifascists have watched as a young new face has come from the “radical traditionalist” milieu.  Matthew Heimbach, who is only 25 at this point, started by organizing a chapter of the ultra-conservative Youth for Western Civilization at Townson University before forming the White Student Union.  After graduating he helped to form the Traditionalist Youth Network, which organized white nationalist “youths” on a range of cultural issues.  He is closely associated with the usual suspects, including organizing with and speaking at the conferences of the League of the South, Council of Conservative Citizens, Stormfront, and the American Freedom Party.  He began touring around the country, then around Europe, meeting with far-right groups, neo-Nazi skinheads, KKK locals, and nationalist parties.  In a lot of ways, he is a sort of “jack of all fascism,” where he is bringing a Southern flare back to the “alt right.”

His fiery style, big smiles, and lack of a filter has also made him enemies, and not just of the anti-racist crowd.  At the recent National Policy Institute conference, Heimbach was banned entry because of his publicly repulsive statements about homosexuality.  The bright new face of nationalism is more friendly(which still isn’t very friendly) to queer people, and they did not want to insult the one gay speaker on their line-up.  He still made it to DC to hang out with the crowd, but this was certainly a blow.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 4.32.26 PM

At the same moment, he was officially banned from entering the United Kingdom for his racist views, which he feigned glee over since it gave him some racist “street cred.”  The letter the Homeland Department’s Theresa May said that he violated the Unacceptable Behavior Policy.  His claims that homosexuality is a “deviant lifestyle” and needed re-education camps is what got him removed from both NPI and the Britain border, which says something about the level of reactionary he has become.  His upcoming trip to England was to speak at a private Southport lunch event that is held by organizing white nationalists in the area, all of which have been confronted so thoroughly by Antifa that they have to hold their events in hiding.  Heimbach has been challenged regularly by anti-fascist organizers in places like Bloomington, Indiana, which is right near the home he shares with his wife and her father.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 4.40.48 PM

It is not the first time that Heimbach has been kicked out of his own movement.  In 2013 he was seen fist clenched at a National Socialist Movement event, smiling that dopey grin in front of an emblazoned swastika.  This got him dropped from the League of the South temporarily, but he is now training to become their new director.  After a confrontation with anti-racists where he used a large, wooden crucifix to savagely beat a protester, his Orthodox Church booted both him and his father-in-law, Matt Parrot.  Conservative Orthodox Christianity is central to Heimbach’s identity, where he especially aligns himself with Eastern and Russian Orthodox churches that maintain support for regional nationalism, deep homophobia, and implicit anti-Semitism(though this is not monolithic in these Orthodox regions.).

10253913_750400441645856_6540244272223503811_n_thumb_thumb
This picture of Heimbach attacking anti-fascist protesters got him excommunicated from the Orthodox Church. The Traditionalist Youth Network then turned it into an Internet meme.

Heimbach has steadily moved to the right over his time as an organizer for white nationalism.  He started as a “patriot” type who was a strong supporter of Israel, yet today if you were to check his social media it would be filled with the most vile anti-Semitism and support for fascist killers.  The Traditionalist Youth Network has just started an electoral wing, the Traditionalist Workers Party, which is surprising since Heimbach has stated over and over again that revolution is the only solution.  This could be simply an attempt to gain a larger platform for street-based fascism, which was successful for the National Front and British National Party.  None the less, Heimbach is one of the more successful targets for Anti-Fascist Action as he wears his hate on his sleeve yet acts as an entry point to the more “suit and tie” fascist organizations.

Stormfront Smokey Mountain Summit 2015 Brought Militant White Nationalism to Tennessee

While most people, both antifascists and white nationalists, were focused on the National Policy Institute 2015 conference on October 31st in Washington, D.C., Stormfront was also having a series conference for the more militant wing of the movement.  Most people will know Stormfront as the first white nationalist message board, which is still one of the centers of the movement with over 300,000 registered members.

Over the last few years, Don Black, who is the Stormfront founder, KKK member, and long-time white nationalist activist, has been organizing the Stormfront Smokey Mountain Summit for now five years.  This is a conference for Stormfront related groups and individuals, which means it appeals to a more working-class, southern, and rural white supremacist.  It is here that you will see the disparate fringes of Aryan Nations and the Christian Identity movement, neo-Nazis and Klansman, and a lot of the sort of “B-team” of the Alternative Right.

The conference that was held on November 2nd, just like Stormfront, attempts to have a softer image and looks more towards organizing rather than the angry racialism and slurs that has traditionally painted these gatherings.  This year, David Duke kicked off the event with an hour speech where he alternated between fears of immigration and his favorite topic: the Jewish “Supremacists” that he thinks are controlling world affairs.  Dr. Patrick Slattery also added the image of respectability to the event, though he is best known for writing at places like the Occidental Observer about Southern issues and general anti-Semitism.

While Don Black said on his re-cap podcast that NPI and the Stormfront are very different conferences, two NPI speakers engaged with the conference.  Sam Dickson, who spoke at NPI about the “coming ethnostate,” did an audio address to Stormfront about lessons that they can learn from the fight over the Confederate Flag.  He mentioned that it was important to “look before you leap,” and that you need to do your homework and properly prepare before “going into battle.”  The flag controversy was a huge topic amongst the crowd, which was a testament to its Southern character

Kevin McDonald also intended to be there, but ended up choosing the NPI conference as well where he gave a speech on the “origins of the white man.”  A man called “Roy” gave a workshop on using humor as a “weapon,” where they broke people into small groups to make memes.  Notorious Canadia racist Paul Fromm had to Skype his talk in because the U.S. would not grant him a visa, which is not uncommon for Fromm.

There is a clear divide between Stormfront and NPI, and that was pretty clear when Don Black rambled on about how they don’t need locations like the National Press Club.  It was stated openly that NPI is a more flashy gathering, and Black was right.  At NPI you saw the hip intellectual center of the movement where they use pseudo-academia as an attempt to portray a grounded radical development happening.  Stormfront lacks that pretense, not to mention educated people and money.  It was not that Black seemed to oppose the project of NPI, but more that he personally feels on the outs from gatherings like that.  His tradition of racism is much more “down home,” and so really the division between the two conferences is one of class and background rather than ideology.  Stomfront and NPI shared the need for a “white homeland,” and their ideas about people of color, women, and Jews were almost identical.  Terms like Cuckservative, Group Evolutionary Strategy when referring to Jews, and Race and IQ arguments were just as present in Stormfront as they were in NPI.  Donald Trump gear was spotted at both, which was little surprise to antifascists who infiltrated.

Stormfront does represent a much more irrelevant wing of the organized racist movement, but it has a much higher potential for violence.  As the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported, Stormfront has hosted over 100 racist murderers in just the last ten years, and the type of organizations that are attracted to the Stormfront conference over NPI are going to be more aligned with violent action rather than biting commentary.  Both need to see a strong Anti-Fascist Action presence, though they do represent two distinctly different threats.

Nationalists on Samhain: The National Policy Institute’s 2015 Conference and the Identitarian Lie

Sam Dickson, in the center, pointing.
Sam Dickson, in the center, pointing. “Anarchist” Keith Preston off to the far-right, as usual.

It may have seen a bit odd to see one of the biggest white nationalist intellectual events in the U.S. happening on Halloween, but there is a certain obviousness about it.  Samhain, as it was originally known, was a traditional holiday in pre-Christian Europe where it was said the fabric between the land of the living and the land of the dead was at its thinnest.  It was then a time to remember the ancestors, a tradition that made its way into the Christian churches that were built on top of the pagan past, and we see it with the establishment of later holidays like Old Hallow’s Eve before All Saints Day and the Dios De La Muertos celebrations in Latin American countries.  With the white nationalist fetishism of paganism under a their self-created concept of “meta-genetics,” there is a certain attraction for them to pontificate about the “threatened” white race in the name of the ancestors on a day like this.

The National Policy Institute’s 2015 conference took place at the Washington Press Club this past October 31st, hosting some of the biggest names in the organized racist community.  Richard Spencer, the President of NPI, celebrated this fact, referencing anti-racist posters featuring them as labeling them the “Superheroes of Hate,” and jokingly saying “Avengers Assemble” about their line-up.  The conference, as we wrote about during the run up to the actual event, featured a rainbow assortment of white nationalist paranoia.  The most featured speaker of the day, so it seemed, was Kevin McDonald, who has been working on a book on the “origins of the white man.”  He recently did a podcast episode for Radix Journal, Richard Spencer’s online publication, where they discussed the origins of the “Aryan” race.  Here they both indulged in elementary understandings of genetics and embarrassing overreaches about the importance of white racial in-groups.  McDonald himself expounded on the idea of developing moral structures, in-group cohesion, and what he calls “pathological altruism” that he alleges is both innate to white people and is destroying them by disallowing them to fight for their ethnic interests.  This essentializes whiteness in a way that is anti-scientific, as if having darker skin tones in a lineage changes that genetic history in any way.  Spencer and McDonald lament about the Goths, who were eventually absorbed into the Roman Empire, and they opine about this being the potential result of the “white man.”  McDonald, now a retired University of California Long Beach psychology professor, is best known for his academic anti-Semitism, where he developed a theory that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” that Jews use to dominate Western societies for access to resources.  No one in evolutionary psychology proper agree with this notion, nor agree that there is some type of biological urge to fight for resources with people of different ethnic origins.  There is no evidence that we have some biological radar for people of similar ethnic origins that drive us towards allegiance.  That is simply not how genetics work, as anyone who has taken a high school science class should be able to discern.

We were also looking at Keith Preston, a former anarchist who likes to parade himself at nationalist gatherings in an effort to find some community as his support for racism has had him ousted from anywhere on the radical left.  At this conference he went on about the “Left’s worship of the State,” though his background should have informed his understanding of the anti-authoritarian and anarchist left’s actual association with the State.  What Keith really references here is the left’s association with anti-racist and egalitarian values, which he sees as being totalitarian in its monolithic nature.  This is an embarrassingly middle school interpretation of authoritarianism, and really lacks even the most basic ideas of where anarchism came from and what the tradition advocates at its core.  It was never anti-authoritarian for anti-authoritarian’s sake, but instead a revolutionary libertarian communist tradition, opposed to hierarchical oppression but never in favor of an “anything goes” politic of “pan-secessionism.”

Sam Dickson returned, a Southern lawyer who enjoys a life both as a Southern Nationalist and as a predatory land merchant who takes gleeful pleasure in making money on evicting black families.  After saying the much quoted line about “giving blacks Manhattan,” he went on to note that he wants a country for ALL white people.  “White people, as we’ve become a minority, will not be able to live in a state of severe repression and discrimination,” he said. “Our ethno-state will not be a meeting of the Tea Party; it’s not going to be the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s going to be a genuine ethno-state with Christians, Catholics, alcoholics, tee-totallers, gay people. It’s not going to be a subset of the right.”

The conference was well covered by a few media outlets, with Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and Raw Story doing full pieces on it.  For this, Spencer arranged a press period, which was a sort of delusional show since there were only three journalists there.  A big question that was presented to the panel, which included Dickson and Spencer, was if Jews were white.  Spencer responded by saying “I think Jews are Jews.”  This was a good sound bite as people went on to make anti-Semitic remarks and jokes throughout the day with the laughing support of the crowd.  “The Jews exist precisely because they were apart,” said Spencer. “Precisely because they had a sense of apartness—perhaps you could say a little bit of paranoia, about trying to stay away. That’s a clear aspect of Jewish—”  At this point he stopped and realized that he was playing his anti-Semitism too straight, and then begged the reporters not to print his line about Jewish paranoia.  Spencer thinks of himself as having a very nuanced understanding of Jews, and he hates when he is quoted like some kind of vulgar anti-Semite, but his ideas are so in line with traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes that it is a mirage for him to believe he is any different from people like Kevin McDonald or David Duke.

The conference itself also stood apart from the traditional portrayal of the far-right in the United States as mainly Christian.  Instead, there was a strong push towards a kind of racial atheism and paganism, which is expressly noticeable by having the neo-folk band Changes performing in the evening.

One of the real set pieces of the day was the live podcast that they recorded as a discussion and Q&A with Spencer, two hosts from Sweden’s Red Ice Radio, and Mike Enoch from The Right Stuff and The Daily Shoah.  Enoch decided, for some reason, to wear aviators at the microphone as he thought that might confuse the anti-fascists who were in the room.  Though the rest of the information still continues to come out, some east coast antifa organizations have stated that they were still in the room at that point and have photos of the panel.  One person taking photos was forced out of the venue earlier in the day, which was a testament to the paranoia in the room.  Enoch is well-known for turning their “alt right” community into a bouquet of racial slurs, holocaust denial, fantasies about killing minorities and Jews, and generally being one of the more self-congratulation focused disgusting examples of the reality of “ethno-nationalism.”  It was in this podcast, but really across the neo-fascist movement in the U.S. over the last several months, you can see the influence of Enoch and The Daily Shoah.  The panel, who usually tries to couch their rhetoric in academic jargon, instead celebrated the “trolling” nature of their internet presence and state over and over again that this is a sign that “something is happening.”  They repeat this as if it is a mantra they really want to believe, and since they have no concept of organizing or movement building it must seem that using the n-word in a podcast under a pseudonym or creating the #cuckservative hashtag is the same thing as creating a revolutionary political movement.  Spencer himself banks on this idealism, the idea that if we change our minds we can change the world, instead of looking at the material realities of the world, which gives anti-fascists their greatest tool in combating their reactionary lies.

The conference offered a dramatically discounted rate from its original outrageous dollar amount(this is calculated to give it a posh appearance, which is why the conference is such a poor organizing tool) for millennials, which there were quite a few of.  They then used this to say that they are a young movement, but really it is simply that within the racist sphere the young professionals are more likely to attend their event than a Klan rally.  It is less that this is a new turn for millennials and more that any of them attracted to white nationalism are there, and their numbers are being vastly oversold.  Just as on the internet, the reactionaries love to over speak, and therefore appear more numerous than they actually are.  The questions during the Become Who We Are podcast panel were telling as few had any concept of political organizing or even how to communicate their ideas in anything approximating a cogent argument.  They did, however, find unity in making fun of the small protest outside, which, from the sound of it, was underorganized and did not have a good strategy for challenging the conference.  This has been a problem unique to the United States Antifa organizations, that fail to do long-term movement building or, in turn, actually physically confront anybody.  There needs to be choices made about how the action is meant to be effective, whether this means trying to interfere and shut down the event, or, on the other hand, to create a mass coalition to show the power of anti-racist unity in the face of regressive nationalism.

Jack Donovan’s appearance is again a strange addition to the group, but says more about what a fascist movement is really composed of more than anything else.  Donovan is known as a sort of “anti-gay” gay writer, a person who coined the term “andriophile” to identify queer men who do not want to identify with what he see’s as an effeminate gay identity.  In recent years he focuses on “male tribalism,” is a certain radical wing of the Men’s Rights Movement, and writes about tribal bands dissociating themselves with the larger society and State.  In his “Rules for Barbarians,” he focused on things like not caring about the fate of out-group peoples.  This ties into work he has been writing for a long time, including last-year’s article “I Don’t Care” over at Radix Journal.  Donovan, beyond being deeply misogynist and an advocate of brutal hierarchical violence, is much more wishy-washy when it comes to race.  In his article “Why I Support White Nationalism,” he expresses a tacit support for the racialist movement since they are essentially men who want to create their own tribalist society with an in-group and out-group.  In his recent article and podcast on the Wolves of Vinland, a folkish Asatru group modeled on a motorcycle gang, it seemed apparent that he was interested in joining.  He then wrote a review of “What is a Rune?” by white nationalist Heathen Colin Clear for Counter-Currents, which shows a move in favor of identitarian paganism.  Even though his talk did not reference race much, he spoke at the Human BioDiversity obsessed American Renaissance last year.  All of this indicates a drift towards white identity for Donovan, though the movement will likely only take him in at an arm’s length distance because of his homosexuality.  Mike Enoch really enjoys making gay jokes about him, but Enoch really just loves any time when he can use queer sexuality to degrade people.

The conference had a reported 175 attendants, which may seem like a lot except considering that there really are not a huge catalogue of similar events.  For years NPI has lead a faction of the “alt right” that focused on a pseudo-spiritual and academic discourse in favor of ethnic nationalism, but here we are seeing a shift away from neutral coded language and a more open support of traditional racism and Jew-blaming.  Spencer is now calling for the need for a whites-only “European empire,” which he alleges is a part of the white “Faustian nature.”  When discussing his hometown issue when a group of White Fish, Montana residents got together to stand against his racism, he mentioned how he thought to himself, “What would a Jew do?”  The crowd laughed and clapped with glee, and he went on about how he can use his superior logic to turn things around on them.  This is all good rhetoric, but the movement he is a part of is composed mainly of double-speak, angry racist rants about pop culture(the humiliating boycott of the new Star Wars is prime example), and the lack of even basic understanding of how to create a movement that can transform anything is what leaves them behind.

This does not, however, meant that they are no longer a threat.  There is still a huge growth happening here, crossovers in the form of Donald Trump’s campaign and the fringe movements like Neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment, and their effort to co-opt “radicalism” and “dissent.”  To really confront NPI and the growing faction of pseudo-intellectual revolutionary nationalists, there needs to be an anti-fascist movement that does what the far-right was never able to do: to build a movement.  Anti-fascist and anti-racists will have to destroy the narrative that nationalists are building, which is easy to do since reality and public opinion really are on our side.  Sticking to the Antifa idea of “no platform” is critical, and that does not mean shooting silly-string onto NPI conference attendents, but not allowing them to have a public voice.

Letter to Keith Preston: No, You’re Not an Anarchist

Keith Preston speaking at the white nationalist National Policy Institute Conference
Keith Preston speaking at the white nationalist National Policy Institute Conference

Recently, in our blog looking at the National Policy Institute we mentioned that their line-up included former anarchist Keith Preston.  As we mentioned in the article, Preston used to be a member of the anarcho-syndicalist Workers Solidarity Alliance and was at the founding convention of the Love and Rage Anarchist Federation.  It should also be mentioned that he was a member of the syndicalist union the Industrial Workers of the World.  The reason that this is relevant, as we will get to later, is that Preston came from organizations associated with the broad anarchist tradition and not just countercultural “scenes” associated with anti-authoritarian tendencies.

According to Preston’s own descriptions of himself, after disagreements over what he saw as identity politics and the “cult of antiracism” in Love and Rage, he started looking towards Libertarianism and Anarcho-Capitalism.  He later got involved in just about every disparate ideological strain that could vaguely be associated with anti-statism, then working to find ways for collaboration for these groups, left, right, and center.  He himself argues for a concept call “pan-secessionism” or “anarchy-pluralism,” where by these “different anarchist tendencies” can collaborate in creating regional communities in a decentralist grid.  It needs to be stressed, however, his idea of what different anarchist tendencies includes strange right-wing constructs that no one in the anarchist camp would include including such charming ideas like anarchy-monarchism, national anarchism, anarchy-capitalism, and anarchy-fuedalism.

Keith picked up our article to giggle about the reference to him speaking at the NPI conference, where he has spoken in the past.  After first quoting us and then going onto mention Alexander Reid Ross’s expose series on Michael Schmidt, he went on to address claims that he is a “former anarchist.”

Whether these guys like it or not, I’m still an anarchist who embraces the entire range of anarchist and decentralist thought. Sorry if that if upsets anyone.

He goes on to make jokes about people’s shock at an anarchist’s support of secretive ideas about racism and genocidal fascist traditions.  Yeah, it certainly was pretty funny.

The question about whether or not what Keith Preston considers anarchist is one that has been explained at length over and over again, especially about the so-called “anarchy-capitalism.”  Preston’s ideas are based solidly on the idea that ideologies that literally have no historical or ideological connection can still be said to be the same thing.  Libertarianism, which is a completely deregulated form of capitalism, is a tradition that really did not exist in any meaningful way(We already know that you will probably dispute this Preston, but that is only grasping at straws) before the 1980s where people like Murray Rothbard vocally tried to take the “anarchist” title as a way of undermining the historic libertarian tradition.  Rothbard, working with people like Lew Rockwell, produced work throughout the 1980s that by today’s standard might even be seen as white nationalist, but not to mention hideously vile to working class people and minorities.  We are not going to go into the volumes and volumes of literature that outlines why “anarchy-capitalism” has no connection to anything understood to be anarchism, but we will go into just a few areas of this.

533593_501838756511321_1524215203_n

Literally, every single traditional anarchist that Preston likes to prop up on his website, Attack the System, consider themselves primarily of an anti-capitalist tradition.  Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, and even Pierre Joseph Prodhoun and Max Stirner, were all violently anti-capitalist.  Bakunin’s first formulation of contemporary anarchism came out of a split in the first meeting of the International Workingman’s Association with Karl Marx, where Bakunin saw the communist tradition better served by an anti-statist tendency.  It was not simply that socialism was a part of the anarchist tradition, it was the foundation of it.  Kropotkin fueled this even further by developing the very basis on which the ideas of modern anarchism rested, which is today known as Anarcho-Communism.  While many traditions have split from the surface political forms of this, the foundational ideas have remained the same.  Rudolph Rocker brought these ideas into the workplace, Emma Goldman elaborated them into gender and sexual liberation, and as they came up through the 20th century they adapted to the struggles against oppression from different oppressed identities.

What anarchism never did, however, was become a tool for those who own capital to justify a complete release of any constraints for their cruelty.  Anarchism, at its core, has always been an idea about the smashing of social and political hierarchy, embedded in capitalism and enforced by the state.  It is not that anarchists are opposed to the state just because it is a bureaucratic machine, but instead because it enforces ruling class interests and are created in the image of that class.  To be opposed to the state is because of its role in capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.  There is literally no connection then to “national anarchist” ideas that are based around the idea that white people are somehow an oppressed class, which is against all common understanding of power and history.  There is no role for bigotry, anti-Semitism, the oppression of women and queer people, or for the rich to maintain their wealth.  No Keith, there is literally no connection between what anyone in anarchism actually thinks and does and what you espouse on your silly platforms.

In a recent presentation at NPI, Preston embarrassed himself as he went on to show how white nationalism was compatible with anarchism.  In his stuttery twang, he spit out his idea of “totalitarian humanism,” which is one of his charming notions that the left forces their ideology of “humanism” on the right.  His use of these types of labels is a way of creating a mirage about the fact that he is playing with pre-school ideas about how the world works, where by any attempt to confront racism and domination is somehow the real oppression.  To do this it doesn’t require any deeper analysis about white supremacy, heteronormativity, or what people of oppressed classes have actually experience in their lives.  Instead, Preston can rail against Political Correctness as the true evil, which I’m sure is much worse than the crisis of sexual assault happening against women worldwide or the vicious cruelty of de-regulated capitalism on the working class.

What is really at the core of anarchism?  It was never just liberty for liberty’s sake, but understanding that true freedom for the individual comes from challenging oppression, authority, and hierarchy.  The analysis looks at the role that capitalism and the state have in suppressing most of the world for the benefit of the few, and intersectionality has helped to draw out the way that other oppressed identities can create a more complete matrix.  Anarchist do not oppose the state because it forces equality, it limits capitalist accumulation, or it is to “modern.”  They oppose it because it does not allow for equality, because it is a tool of capital, and because it is a brutal machine for the interests of the ruling class.  These are not just the ideas of “one strand” of anarchism, but literally all strands of anarchism.  While anarchists may disagree about the methods and the tools, they never disagree on the basic ideas about capitalism and oppression.  What you describe are a series of right-wing ideas that you are trying to provide a venue for on the radical left.

More importantly, Preston has worked hard to create a space for some of the most vile fascist and white nationalist strains in the U.S.  He is supporting a conference October 31st, 2015, that will discuss explicit anti-Semitism(Kevin McDonald), that will have silly misogynist rants(Jack Donovan), that will argue for an ethnically cleansed “ethno-state”(pretty much the rest of the speakers), and will be a meeting space for people associated with just about every single major player in the “white right.”  He has been published and/or interviewed in places like Alternative Right, Red Ice Radio, Radix Journal, and Counter Currents.  He is right along side people making claims that African descended people’s are degenerates with lower IQs than whites.  He is paired next to people who deny the holocaust, who think the world is run by a secret cabal of Jews using pornography and banking to destroy the white race, and who state that major world events are Jewish conspiracies.  He stands next to those who think that rape is just a social construct, that white people need to rid their continent of people of color, that we need to re-establish a fascist(and yes Keith, we mean fascist by any broad definition of political fascism) world order.  Fascism is the core flip side of the anarchist project, where by they intend to enforce hierarchy, social authority, and inequality.  Fascism, and all of its various “strands”(We are sure you will love that term, Keith.) is the political opposite of the anarchist project, where there is literally no crossover and anarchism requires the explicit failure of all of these traditions.

18747527

In Preston’s most recent book, named Attack the System, after his own website, he put a big American flag on the cover alongside a few bullets.  Do you think that anarchism is unique to America as a country?  Do you think that the imperial state of the U.S., built on slavery and exploitation, and crystalized in the flag, is somehow anarchist?  What do you think most anarchists would see when they see your claims of a “new anarchist perspective” emblazoned in front of the American flag?

Plainly put, you serve a different community, not the one you claim.

As Preston likes to lament, he is going to continue to call himself an anarchist despite his detractors.  Feel free to do that Preston, but you know as well as we do that there is nothing in your simplistic idea about the world that can fit in anything that anarchism was built on.  Do you actually think that any of the traditional anarchist voices you like to toss around would have supported your various capitalist and racial separatist ideas?  I’m sure that these are backflips that you have to do mentally while you realize that you are more welcome in circles full of swastika tattoos and shaved heads than the anarchist movements that are growing internationally.

So no, Keith, you are not an anarchist, but you can keep putting it on as a Halloween costume so you do not have to confront the fact that you have joined hands with racists, sexists, and homophobes.  We would call this shameful, but it is pretty clear that this is the only community that will have you at this point.

Keith Preston is likely to respond to this blog, and he will mention all of these different “anarchists” that support his anarcho-pluralism, yet your pack of fringe “dissidents” mean very little to people involved in the actual anarchist movements.  He will likely use white nationalist buzzwords like “cultural Marxist” to describe us, which is just a silly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in an attempt to say that Frankfurt School Marxism has had more influence than it has had because of its “Jewish character.”  He will probably call us authoritarians, because to angry white men being told that their opinion does not matter is just as oppressive as Jim Crow.  We want to say up front that Preston’s opinion on our anarchism because what we are saying here is not a fringe idea, but what anarchists along vast sets of traditions will agree on.

So Preston is set to humiliate himself even further on Halloween as he begs the pseudo-intellectual racists at NPI to be in their club, and they will be more than willing to take his “island of broken toys” into their camp of violence, nationalism, and reactionary anger.  We, for one, would like to write you a letter of recommendation for your entry into the Alternative Right.

You are one of them, not one of us.

Under the Radar: The Neo-Folk Band “Changes” And Their Open Fascism

changes2

The anti-fascist tradition, starting in the interwar period in Europe and Japan, and moving through the nationalist insurrections in the decades that followed, have always created a difficulty of adaptation.  American fascist organizations have often been built on deeply American traditions like Christianity, U.S. patriotism, and the legacy of the Confederate south.  This has created a uniquely American form of far-right organizing, that still had cultural connections to the mainstream GOP and socially conservative culture.  It is the shift away from this in the contemporary fascist incarnations that has confused many people on the anti-fascist left, especially as the syncretic nature of adaptive contemporary fascism comes forward.  Involving itself in deep green movements, animal rights, anti-capitalism, and other social movements usually associated with the left, this fascist kernel takes on these social issues, yet for many different reasons that those on the radical left.

Where this breaks even further is the growing far-right cultural sphere that looks more like the rainbow gathering than a Klan rally.  The shift towards Euro-paganism because of its assumed “European ethnic” core, as well as much of the music and art that is associated with this revival.  It is through this that the musical current of Neo-Folk and related genres have become a difficult place for those in the music underground as far-right elements have become the most vocal members of the scene, using the music as a way of focusing on a romantic and mystical reading of European history.  There have been obvious controversies as anti-fascists shut down appearances of Neo-Folk bands like Death in June and Sol Invictus, who draw so clearly on the traditionalist fascist right that is hard to argue with, but many others go under the radar.  One of these is the band Changes, who has ridden the fence enough to be accepted in both political camps.  At least until recently.

The question of Neo-Folk and the fascist right is a more complicated one, but the ability to identify the bands in question are not.  Changes has a much longer history than most of these bands, all the way back to the American flower child year of 1969.  Made up of Nicholas Tesluk and the better known Robert Taylor, the music has been so closely aligned with the resurrection of Germanic Heathenry that they helped to set the template to the cultural influence on the musical movement.

When looking at their history it looks like most narratives of middling bands with moderate followings, until you are able to see enough spots that drive out questions.  Their recent history outlines a more explicit connection to the traditionalist far-right, as well as folksih Heathenry.  In 2013 the Asatru Folk Assembly and their most vocal member, Stephen McNallen, hosted a music festival called Stella Natura.  This was essentially to be a music festival to reflect the cultural influence and ideas at play in the AFA, which are racial and ethnic identity tied to European history and aesthetics.  There were a couple of dozen bands, mainly made up of musical backgrounds that have some problematic associations like Viking Metal and Neo-Folk, including people like Hell, Cauldron Black Ram, and Hail.  Changes was also in the line-up there, with Stephen McNallen elevating them from the rest of the list by performing a Heathen blot as an announcement for their taking of the stage.

Out of the two members, Robert N. Taylor has been the most vocally problematic as he has continued to associate himself with racially defined movements.  In 2006 he was quoted in Chronicles of Chaos as saying “None of this had any real connection to integration or peace between races.  Integration did not occur – flight of the whites occurred.  It has no secret that once blacks predominated in an area, the crime rate would soar and the streets would become dangerous to walk.”  Taylor has made a name for himself in the right-wing music press for inflammatory comments that certainly cannot be misread.  In Stigmata, which is a well known racial Neo-Folk publication, he discussed his involvement with the neo-fascist “Minuteman” organization in the early 1960s.

Minutemen drew from the full scope of those on the right. From “Barry Goldwater” type conservatives, Objectivists and libertarians, anti-communists, constitutionalists, Christian Identity, neo-Fascists, Nazis, gun-owner advocates, etc..”

“My involvement in the Minutemen was considerable. I became a member of the newly formed organization at about 14 years old. I first was a member, then became the principle organizer and leader in the Chicago area. Then I became a member of the Executive council of ten as the director of intelligence. By the time I was 24 years old I was the editor of the organization’s publication, On Target as well as the national spokesman for the group. My involvement lasted through most of the years of the organization’s existence.”

What made On Target uniquely different from other anti-communist or right-wing publications was that in addition to articles and commentary on various current issues, it also contained names, addresses and phone numbers of its assumed communist and liberal enemies. Often literal dossiers on such people were featured. Combine the slogan, cross-hair masthead, and such detailed information on perceived enemies, and the potential threat was implied, without ever being actually stated.”

“We have studied your Communist smirch, Mao, Che, Bhukarin. We have learned our lessons well and have added a few homegrown Yankee tricks of our own. Before you start your next smear campaign, before you murder again, before you railroad another patriot into a mental institution…better think it over. See the old man at the corner where you buy your paper? He may have a silencer equipped pistol under his coat. That extra fountain pen in the pocket of your insurance salesman that calls on you might be a cyanide-gas gun. What about your milkman? Arsenic works slow but sure. Your auto mechanic may stay up nights studying booby-traps. These patriots are not going to let you take their freedom away from them. They have learned the silent knife, the strangler’s chord, the target rifle that hits sparrows at 200 yards. Only their leaders restrain them. Traitors beware! Even now the cross-hairs are on the back of your necks…”

In the early 1960s, both of the members joined the Chicago Minutemen, which was a far-right militia dedicated to combating the “communist threat.”  This meant that at the same time that the hippie “back to the land” movement helped to birth much of their fan base, they were taking on a popularization of post-WWII racialism.

Like many in this community, Julius Evola’s poetically racist spirituality is both a philosophical and artistic inspiration.  In their 2013 tour they referenced Evola’s ideas and rhetoric in subtle ways, going as far as to take the title of Evola’s book Ride the Tiger as the name for their tour.    They went on to reference the Kali Yuga at the bottom of tour posters, a reference to what Evola listed as a degenerate “fourth age” where by the proper roles and social hierarchies are no longer in effect and the world needs to be destroyed.  This is the defining idea for their “anti-modernism,” a term and idea that flows through their work and the rest of the Neo-Folk fringe.

They have had a community of support that strays far from conventional music connections to those that alternate between organizing, writing, and using music as a venue for ideas of Social Darwinism and Blood and Soil nationalism.  Blood Axis’ Michael Moynihan, who has his hands every fascist esoteric tradition from militaristic Odinism to Satanic Fascism associated with Charles Manson veneration, produced one of their albums.  They continued relationships with the far-right Neo-Folk edge musicians like Andrew King from Sol Invictus, Allerseen, and David E. Williams.

With all of these associations, why is it that Changes continues to appear in folk music circles where left-wing politics tend to dominate?  Well this has happened by general intent in Changes where they intend to play on the obscurity of many references and outright lying about associations.  They often do not refer to Michael Moynihan by name on their promotional material, and they do not usually have the cultural and social following of the more radical edge of the music scene like people like Death in June do.  That being said, the politics are up front if you are looking for them.  Again, in Chronicles of Chaos, they listed that there was confusion about their positions in the past, but today the audience is more in line:

“In the early to mid ’70s the audiences were alright, but I doubt that most of them knew what our music was all about. The folk music scene was pervaded with leftists at that time, both as performers and as audiences. That has radically changed. It was as if Changes had to wait over thirty years to find the real audience it had been seeking all those years.” 

This does not mean that they have gone entirely unnoticed as anti-fascists have repeatedly had them removed from their platform.  In Chicago, Changes had their concert with Death in June canceled after their positions were discovered.  The venue The Green Note canceled their show, noting “if there is any truth to the extreme political views held by the members of Changes, these run in contrast to our beliefs and we felt unable to go ahead with the show.”

Robert Taylor in Front of a Germanic Rune
Robert Taylor in Front of a Germanic Rune

We come back to the band Changes here because of one of their most recent show announcements.  Robert Taylor, on his own, will be performing in the evening portion of the white nationalist National Policy Institute.  This is an appropriate setting as NPI often makes up the more “alternative” cultural side of white nationalism, that often meets up with the European New Right and is attended by friends of theirs like Stephen McNallen.  At this conference there will be speeches by the “who’s who” of movements like Men’s Rights, white nationalism, pan-Europeanism, National Anarchism, and folksih spirituality.  In this new world of bizarre ideas trying to act as religious and intellectual justifications for racial hatred and separatism, Taylor’s obscure references and dark musical edge create an aesthetic fence that allows them to further obscure their own image.  This allows them to just seem like “controversial” or “alternative” ideas rather than what they are: the same racists and fascists that we have had to deal with since WWII.  While Taylor may couch these ideas in talk of nature and ancestors, the key issues are the same as those who have been burning crosses and attacking minorities.  We cannot let their style and cultural status obscure the issue, and their appearance at NPI should be the last straw for anti-fascists.

With that we should return to the Anti-Fascist Action principle: No Platform.  They will not be allowed in our venues, their music and voices not allowed in our spaces.

Special thanks to Who Makes the Nazis for so much of their research on Changes, which we used as part of this report.