Statement of Purpose

WHY WE FIGHT: The Crimes of the Empire

BEYOND PARTISANSHIP: Keith Preston Explains the Fundamentals of Pan-Secessionist Activism

AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY VANGUARD: Twenty-Five Point Program

AttacktheSystem.Com is maintained by American Revolutionary Vanguard, a dissident tendency within North American anarchism.  It is our contention that the mainstream of the anarchist movement has become unduly focused on left-wing cultural politics, countercultural lifestyle matters, and liberal pet causes. Consequently, the mainstream of contemporary anarchism has abandoned the central focus of the historic anarchist movement: overthrowing states, ruling classes, and empires. We aim to restore anarchism to the position it held during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, that of the premier revolutionary movement in the empire’s mother countries of the Western world, and in the global anti-imperialist struggle.

We reject the Left/Right model of the political spectrum and work towards a synthesis of the currently scattered anarchist tendencies. These include collectivist-anarchism, syndicalism, mutualism, post-structuralism, Green anarchism, primitivism and neo-tribalism from the Left; anarcho-capitalism, anarcho-monarchism, anarcho-feudalism, national-anarchism, tribal-anarchism, paleo-anarchism and Christian anarchism from the Right; and anarchist tendencies that defy left/right categorization such as synthesist anarchism, post-left anarchism, situationism, Zapatismo, black anarchism, native anarchism, Islamic anarchism, third wave anarcha-feminism, geoanarchism, libertarian queer anarchism, and queer national-anarchism. We likewise embrace our many ideological cousins including decentralists, non-supremacist separatists, constitutionalists, autonomists, revolutionary patriots, anti-corporate libertarians, sovereigns, common law advocates, regionalists, anti-state conservatives, non-statist nationalists, agorists, individualists, guild socialists, council communists, municipalists, Georgists, farmer liberationists, agrarians, micronationalists, Luddites, radical environmentalists, deep ecologists, geonomists, geolibertarians, libertarian socialists, non-racist militias, libertarian feminists, queer activists, anti-globalists and non-statist class struggle advocates of every kind. Sympathetic persons from other ideological currents are welcome to participate in our efforts including but not limited to populism, paleoconservatism, Jeffersonianism, Southern Agrarianism, distributism, radical traditionalism, Catholic Worker, black nationalism, southern nationalism, Afro-centrism, European New Right, alternative right, neo-classical liberalism, classical progressivism, liberal civil libertarianism, left-libertarianism, bioregionalism, and third-positionism.

The most strategically feasible anarchist movement for contemporary North America would be an anarchist-led, pan-secessionist action emphasizing the principles of radical decentralization and appealing to the legacy of the American Revolution. Its primary class foundations would be the lumpenproletariat, petite bourgeosie, lower proletariat, sinking middle, neo-peasantry and declasse` sectors, within the context of a broader populist framework.  A struggle rooted in these classes would necessitate a political re-alignment of the populist right, radical center, independent left, and others outside the center-left/center-right paradigm of the existing state and ruling class.

We reject the “culture wars” of mainstream American politics as a rivalry within the upper-middle class which is irrelevant to our revolutionary struggle. Anarchist participation in the “culture wars” is an unnecessary distraction from the struggle at hand. Irreconcilable cultural differences are best handled through individual autonomy, voluntary association, pluralism and peaceful co-existence where possible. Otherwise, secession, local sovereignty, community self-determination, and mutual self-separation should be the rule. Contemporary political science and social science research shows that Americans are currently in the process of self-separating into diverse communities oriented towards the specific interests of those of a particular culture, religion, political affiliation, language, occupation, economic values, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality or preferred way of life. This is how it should be. The natural results of people using their freedom of choice are a pluralistic anarchism, or “anarchism without adjectives.”

We identify as our primary enemies the American regime, the American ruling class and state-capitalist overlords, the international American empire and its accomplices. We therefore support self-determination for all peoples throughout the world, and the struggles of all enemies of imperialism. We stand in ruthless opposition to the domestic American police state, its prison-industrial complex, therapeutic state, legal caste, and the institutions responsible for the dissemination of its propaganda, from the state-licensed media to the state-run educational system. We further oppose the ideology of Political Correctness embraced by totalitarian Left which has been appropriated by the forces of liberal-capitalism as the current manifestation of its ideological superstructure. Against this ruling class vision, we offered an alternative vision that is anti-authoritarian, non-Marxist, non-militarist and decentralist.

Newcomers to this blog should begin by reading the essays “Liberty and Populism: Building an Effective Resistance Movement for North America,” “Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire,” “National Anarchy and the American Idea,” “Anarchism or Anarcho-Social Democracy,” “Anarcho-Pluralism and Pan-Secessionism: What They Are and What They Are Not,” “The Ten Core Demographics of Alternative-Anarchism/Pan-Secessionism,” and “Smashing the State,” by Keith Preston, “Political Program for Anarchists” and “Reparations Cui Bono?” by Kevin Carson, “Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Anarchism” and “The Myth of Socialism as Statism” by Larry Gambone and the “American Revolutionary Vanguard Twenty-Five Point Program.” Our video, “A New Independence” is available on Youtube. Please check out our sister site The Dangerous Times.

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Editor-in-Chief

Keith Preston  (Keith is interviewed by Tomislav Sunic  here,  by Keir Martland here, and by Robert Stark herehere, here, here, and here)

Webmasters

R.J. Jacob, editor-in-chief of The Daily Attack

Jeremy Weiland, editor of Social Memory Complex

Senior Editors

MRDA, editor of MRDA’s Inferno

Miles Joyner, American Revolutionary Vanguard, Cincinnati area, editor of the ARV Facebook page

Michael Parish, Wisconsin ATS, editor of the Regeneration blog (listen to an interview with Michael)

Peter Bjorn Perls, Denmark ATS, veteran ATS contributor

Vincent Rinehart, Lingít Latseen & American Indian/Alaskan Native ATS  (listen to an interview with Vince here and here)

Associate Editors

Anya Bryce, contributing editor

Dan Canuckistan, contributing editor

Kate Chesney, contributing editor

Nicholas Corvin, Orthodox Christian National-Anarchism

Michael C., Southern Nationalist Network

Ted Darcy, Northeastern US Attack the System

Jack Donovan, author and contributing editor

Craig Fitzgerald, National-Anarchist Tribal Alliance-New York

Tia Foster, contributing editor

Michael Geathers, contributing editor

Justin Gillespie, contributing editor

Alex Gleason, contributing editor

Rachel Haywire, contributing editor

David Heleniak, contributing editor, “On Pagans and Paleocons

Welf Herfurth, contributing editor, author of “A Life in the Political Wilderness

Neil Hiatt, contributing editor

Rodney Huber, contributing editor

Buster James, contributing editor

Jonathan Kelly, The Dionysian School

Kyle Kidwell, contributing editor

MK Lords, contributing editor

John Liner, “Discovering the Elephant

Absurdist Cake, contributing editor

Jamie O’Hara, National-Anarchist Tribal Alliance-New York

David Parry, Gruntler’s Theatre and Caliban’s Redemption

Lawrence J. Patti, Queer Attack the System

Spencer Pearson, contributing editor, CivilLiberty.Org

Ted Perron, contributing editor

Josh Rhodes, contributing editor

Steven Saragian, Boston American Revolutionary Vanguard

Adil Sarker, Attack the System Facebook page editor

Skepoet, The Disloyal Opposition to Modernity

Troy Southgate, National-Anarchist Movement

Robert Stark, The Stark Truth

Michael Strasser, Confucian Platonism and New Vinland

Wayne Sturgeon, Christian Anarchist, contributing editor

Adam Hunter Taylor, contributing editor

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On the White Nationalism Question

We are frequently asked by well-intentioned people about the relationship between American Revolutionary Vanguard/Attack The System and the collection of movements that are commonly grouped under the label of “white nationalism.”  Core ARV/ATS documents like the “25 Point Program” and “Liberty and Populism” outline our perspective very comprehensively and indicate that just as we do not discriminate against any particular race, religion, gender, etc., nor do we discriminate against any specific political identity. This means that someone who generally supports the ideas of the core ARV/ATS documents is welcome in our camp irrespective of how they label themselves, whether liberal, conservative, libertarian, anarchist, tribalist, white nationalist, black nationalist, Muslim, Christian, feminist, gay, or whatever. Any movement such as ours that includes a virulent attack on PC and advocates secession as a tactic will obviously receive a wide audience among the “white right” as well as the “far right” generally. Our relationship to National-Anarchism has also been controversial among some other kinds of anarchists. We recognize N-A as a legitimate branch of anarchism and include N-As within our ranks, but there are also substantial differences between N-A and WN, and N-A itself is only a sub-tendency and one of many influences within ARV/ATS.

To spend all of our time attacking “fascists” or “the right” would be strategically foolish and a waste of time, and it would be playing into the System’s hands. Totalitarian humanism has become the legitimating ideology of the System, and the pro-state Left is simply a more virulent version of the same ideological presumption. In many ways, “fascists” and “racists” (however these terms are defined) have become official scapegoats to attack for the purpose of distracting attention from more genuine, serious, and immediate problems. It is also a cover the totalitarian Left uses to mask its own pernicious ambitions. Even the well-meaning Left has fallen into this trap, which is why the official Left has become largely useless, even on what should be fundamental issues like the police state and imperialist war. Unlike the Left, we regard “fascists” as an irrelevant, marginal, antiquated outgroup that is on the losing end of history (like apologists for slavery, theocracy, and feudalism). We are future-oriented whereas our critics from the Left are backward-looking, making them the true reactionaries. We are the true progressives.

Additionally, we have to consider the ideas of WNs and other types of racialists (whatever the race) on their own merits. It is possible to separate legitimate issues raised by such tendencies from the silliness, fanaticism, or malevolence often found there. We have to consider that it may well be that WN-influenced movements will indeed grow in the future as a response to problems associated with mass immigration, multiculturalism, etc. Simply pushing people who raise such issues to the margins and attempting to silence them no matter what will only fuel extremism. It is likely that as the white population in North America shrinks and loses its traditional majority status, there will indeed be organizations advocating for “white rights” (whether one agrees with their specific ideas or proposals or not) that emerge. It is far better that such tendencies be moderate, reasonable, conciliatory, and polite in nature rather than violent and predatory. This is a primary reason why some in our movement have tried to cultivate a relationship with the more intelligent and fair-minded people in those camps and give them their seat at the table.
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On the Social Conservatism Question

We are likewise frequently asked about our relationship to social conservatism. On social and cultural matters, some of us are cultural liberals or radicals and others are cultural conservatives or traditionalists. Still others are cultural centrists. Our position is that the political theory of anarchism transcends ordinary cultural differences of this type. As dissident anarchists, it is our contention that the mainstream of the anarchist movement has abandoned two principles that are essential to any authentic anarchism: freedom of opinion and freedom of association.

We aim to create an alternative anarchist milieu where one may express whatever views one wishes on controversial social issues. Anti-state radicals differ among themselves on a wide range of questions. These include animal rights, children’s rights, abortion, capital punishment, religion, environmentalism in its many forms, the legitimacy of conspiracy analysis, competing economic views, sexual norms, the role of technology, varying expressions of identity politics, matters of political strategy and many other things. Additionally, we aim to engage with the wider society outside of the various anarchist and libertarian milieus for the purpose of building a much larger anti-state populism for which anarchists provide the leadership and militant wing. This inevitably involves recruiting, organizing, or engaging in dialogue with people from all layers of society and from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, including those with a conservative orientation.  Therefore, it is necessary to establish an anarchist movement that is fully committed to freedom of thought, speech, expression, and inquiry and rejects the censorious attitudes found among all too many in the anarchist milieu at present. On these matters we take our stand with the late, great anarchist historian Paul Avrich:

Avrich does not shy away from controversy in his books, treating the anarchist acts of violence honestly and in the context of the time. He does not condone the violence of Berkman, but says he still admires his decision, considering how brutal Frick acted toward striking workers. But Avrich does not have the same patience for some contemporary anarchists, who choose to destroy property and who, he says, come mainly from educated and middle-class backgrounds. “I’m not so crazy about anarchists these days,” he says. Anarchism means that you leave other people alone and you don’t force people to do anything.”

He says he is sad that the old-timers are not around to guide the resurgent movement. “They were nicer people –much nicer people.” Their deaths have taken a toll on him. “It’s been terrible for me,” he says. “They were the people who meant the most to me. I admired them and wanted them around the most. There’s nothing else that is me.”

Freedom of association is among the most natural of all human rights. The state seeks to maintain control over its captive populations through the disruption of organic patterns of human association, migration, and self-determination. The result is a “divide and conquer” effect whereby population groups with conflicting cultural values are needlessly pitted against one another as pawns in the machinations of the political class. The necessary corollary to freedom of association is freedom of disassociation. Autonomous individuals and communities should naturally be free to voluntarily associate or not associate with whomever they choose.  It can therefore be expected that an anarchist civilization will include the entire spectrum of predictable human sentiments, values, aversions, and affections. Consequently, there would likely be both religious and secular communities, ecumenical and traditionalist ecclesiastical bodies, sexually conservative and sexually libertine communities, traditional families in their various forms, feminist or homosexual pairs and pan-sexual relationships, ethnically heterogeneous and homogeneous communities, ethnic communities holding both preservationist and assimilationist norms, communities of carnivores and vegans or vegetarians, primitivist communities or seasteads and space colonies, proprietarian and communistic communities, drug-using and non-drug-using communities, communities with an open-entry stance and communities which prefer restricted entry. The result would be a vast array of tribes and communities reflecting the true diversity of humanity.

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On the Lumpenproletarian Question

Our endorsement of outreach efforts to lumpenproletarian subcultures has understandably raised certain concerns among other honest and well-meaning anarchists.  It is on the lumpenproletarian question that we genuinely place ourselves outside the realm of polite society and respectable opinion, including that of the so-called Left. The Left has admirably championed the impoverished or exploited and opposed the persecution and oppression of traditional outgroups such as racial or religious minorities, women, and sexual minorities by the forces of the state and capital or by private or extra-legal violence. However, there remains a substantial number of population groups who continue as recipients of statist assaults while so-called “progressive” political forces look away or even express approval.

We stand with all enemies and victims of the state regardless of their social or legal standing. These include all political dissidents subject to repression irrespective of their ideology and all residents of the total institutions maintained by the state (jails, prisons, detention centers, psychiatric institutions, juvenile facilities, institutions of compulsory education, or conscript armies). Just as past generations have formed civil rights organizations for the defense of racial minorities, feminist organizations for the defense of women, or gay rights organizations for the defense of sexual minorities, so do we advocate the formation of similar organizations for the defense of the handicapped, those labelled mentally ill, those subject to involuntary civil commitment, students, youth, prostitutes and other sex workers, prisoners, the criminally accused, the homeless, anti-police activists, advocates of alternative medicine, drug users, the families of drug war prisoners, migrant workers, lumpen economic elements (jitney cab drivers, peddlers, street vendors, midwives), gang members and those subject to persecution under laws criminalizing consensual behaviors and he byzantine machinations of the regulatory, managerial state.

We have previously called for dialogue and mutually advantageous cooperation with non-political outlaw organizations including street gangs, motorcycle clubs and prison gangs. This is among our most controversial positions but it is a position that has been vindicated by the participation of both motorcycle tribes and urban street tribes in both past and present revolutionary efforts such as the West Coast uprising of 1992 and the contemporary Occupy movement.

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On the Indigenous Question

The term “indigenous” is commonly used to refer to those peoples that are either native to a particular geographical region, who existed in tribal forms prior to the rise of nation-state entities, or who share a unique cultural heritage derived from their particular history. For the sake of recognizing and preserving the diversity of humanity, we favor self-determination for all particularly identifiable cultures, ethnic groups, tribes, or traditional ways of life.  These include the native peoples or traditional ethnicities of all nations, regions, or continents. A massive plethora of such population groups exist including the American Indians/Native Americans of North America, the Indian peoples of Central and South America, the immensely varied ethnic groups of Africa and Africa, and the historic ethnic groups of northern Europe and the Mediterranean. We recognize and support self-determination for all those possessing a unique cultural heritage within a larger state or imperial system such as the Basques, Catalans, Scottish,  Kurds, Romani, Hawaiians, African-Americans, the aboriginal people of Australia, the European Americans of Appalachia and the southern United States, Hasidic Jews, white Afrikaaners, the Amish, Tibetans, and Palestinians. We reject the claim that self-determination for all peoples implies racism, ethnocentrism, chauvinism, supremacism, exploitation, or xenophobia. Rather, the principles of self-determination and self-preservation imply an ethos of mutual respect and inter-cultural civility.

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On the Rejection of Universalism

On the question of universalism, we take our stand with the Global Revolutionary Alliance:

Each segment of the anti-American front, each element of the Global Revolutionary Alliance has its own vision of the future, its own norm. It must be assumed that these images and these norms are different, disparate, and even mutually exclusive. But this circumstance will be important only if these norms and images of the future are realized as something universal and obligatory, something that is exclusive and excludes all other imperatives common to all mankind. In this case, the split within the Global Revolutionary Alliance is sooner or later inevitable, and, therefore, its activity is doomed to failure at some point.

The Muslims, atheists, Christians, socialists, anarchists, conservatives, libertarians, fundamentalists, sectarians, progressivists, environmentalists, or traditionalists will hardly get along with each other, if they try to spread their vision of the future to their neighbours, and even more so, to all mankind. And the global oligarchy will immediately take advantage of this, hammering a wedge between the opponents; it will split their solidarity and will kill or strangle each individually. Considering the sheer simplicity and primitiveness of such a strategy, it has invariably and consistently given a positive result to those who have been using it over the past millennia. The Global Revolutionary Alliance has no right to succumb to such a pre-programmed and anticipated turn of events. The ability to extract knowledge from history and to create a strategy based upon rational thought is an essential attribute of an intelligent person. Thus, in order for its war to succeed, the Global Revolutionary Alliance must avoid this impending trap.

With diverse and disparate images of the future, we must learn to imagine them in their local, rather than a universal context. Islam for Muslims, Christianity for Christians, socialism for socialists, ecology for environmentalists, fundamentalism for fundamentalists, nation for nationalists, anarchy for anarchists and so on – that should be the way of designing the future. This means that we must recognize the multiplicity, the plurality of the future, its polyvariability, as well as the coexistence of different designs of the future on different contiguous or noncontiguous territories.

In keeping with this anti-imperialist vision, we seek to unite anarchists throughout the world against the American global empire specifically and the international global elite generally. We aim to build an anarchist-led international coalition against imperialism that promotes self-determination for all peoples everywhere. It is the anarchist vision of decentralized societies, autonomous regions and localities, self-managed municipalities and villages, stateless tribes and voluntary associations, peoples’ militias and federated communities that offers the most viable vision for future civilizations liberated from the yoke of imperialism, accommodation of the divergent forces that must be mobilized for imperialism’s defeat, and recognition of the ongoing diversification of modern societies.

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Against an Anarchist Fundamentalism and the Manichean View of the State

Our colleague Dan Canuckistan raises the essential question of how the process of attacking the totalitarian apparatus of the modern state is to be achieved:

Which which institutions do we preserve and which do we allow to be razed to the ground? Do we allow neo-liberal    Shock Doctrinarians to gut public institutions and enclose what is left of the commons, or do we fight back with a counter-scorched earth campaign?

Some revolutionaries of a more libertarian persuasion have replaced the outdated left/right dichotomy with an equally Manichaean concept of “statist/non-statist”, the former being absolutely evil and the latter completely desirable & good. Personally, I think the “statist/non-statist” distinction is as useless as the “left/right” one because it doesn’t acknowledge the nuanced blend of possible & existing solutions.

For decentralization to make any sense at all- and libertarians claim an affinity for local solutions- you have to acknowledge the possibility that people of a given locality or region may freely choose a different political or economic model than pure anarchism/libertarianism. All over the world, there are genuine grassroots movements opposing privatization, especially of water supply, transportation and energy grids. In my own area, folks have mobilized against the selling off of a publicly-owned regional bus line. I suppose that makes them “statists” in a narrow sense but local history, culture, geography & environment, as well as sheer practicality, may dictate that a “public option” is the best solution for a particular problem in a given area.

As the modern state becomes less coherent and unified, it would be a mistake to equate a government bureaucrat charged with providing, say, low-income housing or free medical care with another engaged in secret police work. But to libertarian or anarchist puritans, both are equally evil and no grey areas are to found between.

As our co-editor Craig Fitzgerald observes:

I agree that the state vs. anti state debate can become as Manichean as the traditional left right paradigm. I  also      recognize the limitations “anti statists” and “statists” alike face due to a failure to “acknowledge the nuanced blend of possible and existing solutions.” As Dan states “for decentralization to make any sense at all…you have to acknowledge the possibility that people of a given locality or region may freely choose a different political or economic model than pure anarchism/libertarianism.”

As much as I can see this dichotomy among revolutionaries as a form of philosophical quagmire/masturbation, I believe this debate can and will lead to the “nuanced and realistic solutions…at the core of decentralization” and indeed  a pragmatic and populist “ solution has to work for real people, not for the sake of some abstract ideology of  either left or right.”

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Vision and Wisdom

from A New Kind of Mind

A decent while back, the anarchism subreddit was getting me down with it’s lynch mobs and sectarianism. To find some sanity (and probably to confirm a couple biases), I asked fellow Reddit user BondsOfEarthAndFire — who describes himself as “a market-friendly, primitivist-friendly anarcho-communist” and is a member I’ve always found to be considerate and wise — for his take on the situation. He did not disappoint:

I think that the notion that all of humanity will ever be operating under the same ‘flag’, so to speak, is astonishingly stupid, and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of humanity and and dumbfounding ignorance of history. It frankly astounds me that the intelligent folk on this reddit manage to convince themselves that the future Earth will be entirely syndicalist or entirely transhumanist or entirely mutualist, or entirely re-wilded, or entirely fill-in-the-blank.

I’ve described myself as an Anarcho-ecumenist, but I fly the red star because the ancom belief system is closest to the system I would personally like to live in. That system may be made of a hundred people or a hundred million people; I have no way of predicting the future, and neither does anyone else. I do make some very broad predictions, however:

I think that the future will be a world of dizzying social complexity, replete with small city-states with governments ranging the gamut from democratic to monarchical to theocratic, surrounded by vast hinterlands filled with eco-villages and wild ranges where hunter gatherer humans chase wild game and forage for nuts and berries, while vast trade fleets of ultra-light zepellins transfer goods and services all over the planet, and transhumant consciousnesses zip through endless, decentralized computer networks maintained by industrial syndicates a million workers strong, who build satellites and launch them into orbit to maintain a global network of communication so primitivists can use cell-phones to trade furs for plastic-composite bows… and so on. Personally, I wish I was there right now.

In the immediate moment, I’m willing to ally myself with anyone who who believes that humans are capable of developing large-scale systems that can be entirely consensus based. I don’t think these social technologies exist yet, and so I’m working towards trying to figure them out. The answers lie across a dozen different flavors of anarchism, and the only to even begin is to respecting A) each others opinions, B) our differences and similarities, and C) the fact that we don’t have the answers yet – if we did, we’d already be doing it!

It always struck me as incredibly stupid to say, “We agree on 97% of everything, but we have differing notions of what the word trade means, so you are therefore my bitter enemy.” It’s a crock of shit, but it’s worse than stupid: it’s counterproductive. We’re working towards a very different world than the one we live in, and we need 100% of the people involved to be, ya know, actually working towards it. Even if someone thinks your direction is 15 degrees removed from their compass bearing, you’re both still pretty much headed in the same direction.

I’d like to think that my unabashed outreach to the pacifists, Christians, primitivists, transhumanists, mutualists, ancaps, and everyone else is beginning to pick up speed, but there’s only so far the mass mentality can be pushed without a profound, systemic change in the way people perceive their potential allies.

Granted, there’s a lot of room for improvement in relations between the different flags, but on the other hand, compared to what we agree on, it’s actually not that much.

Just beautiful.

©2012 American Revolutionary Vanguard, all rights reserved.