What Would the Right-Wing of Pan-Secessionism Look Like? 5

I have a piece up at AlternativeRight.Com where I take a look at Alex Jones. Read it here. I argue that the kinds of elements Jones appeals to might be the ground level forces for the Alternative Right just as the fans of “conservative talk radio” and FOX News are the grassroots support base for the neoconservatives.

Expanding this analysis a bit, the ground level right-wing populism of the Alex Jones crowd might well be what the right-wing of pan-secessionism would look like at the lower levels. I’ve suggested before that a strategically effective pan-secessionism would need a left-wing, a center-wing, and right-wing, with the right-wing element being precisely the kind of consistent anti-establishment populism that Jones promotes. It does not matter that Jones’ particular analytical framework is rather shabby (to say the least), or even whether Jones himself is even sincere in his rhetoric. All that matters is that Jones has managed to put together an audience of people from the populist-right with consistently anti-establishment views.

This raises the question of what the left and center wings of pan-secessionism would look like at the ground levels. It’s somewhat easy to imagine what a left-wing version of Alex Jones might be. The grassroots left-wing of pan-secessionism would probably look like some of kind synthesis of left-anarchism, left-libertarianism, Alexander Cockburnism, Noam Chomskyism, neo-yippieism, and neo-Black Pantherism, and intermixed with all sorts of countercultural, New Age, occult, left-conspiracist, and “alternative lifestyle” influences and tendencies. My best guess at present that the center-wing of pan-secessionism would look somewhat like the Ron Paul and/or Tea Party movements, but sufficiently radicalized to the point that they take a consistently anti-establishment line and are open to more radical propositions as opposed to simply being Republican dupes or hoping to elect “one of us” to the presidency.

And, of course, the primary task I envision for the alternative anarchist movement and its allies is to the coordinating forces that are capable of bringing all of these elements together into a strategic alliance for the sake of carrying out the pan-secessionist effort.

5 comments

  1. Your text at AltRight was very good. I highlight that…

    “A successful political movement must attract the attention of the mediocre as well as the superior and, to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, the incompetent many as well as the capable few. On most major issues of importance, Alex Jones does indeed hold positions that would overlap relatively well with those of many among the alternative Right. That the wider analytical framework he draws on may often be rather shabby or that he wraps many of his more solid ideas in ornamental obscurantism may be frustrating to those who aspire to high intellectual standards. Yet high intellectual standards are not what would keep Jones’s audience listening. Instead, his fans appear to be mostly people who recognize instinctively that something is very wrong with the society around them, and that the performance of its institutions continues to deteriorate noticeably with its leaders being increasingly inept.”

    And also this comment:

    “Successful movements are not led by scribblers debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. That is ,unless they are provided with outside financing and support, as in Lenin and the Bolsheviks.”

    A good advice that I would give to an alternative radical is “Keep it Simple Stupid”. One of the things that made me very bad impression about the anarchist movement was that it didn’t try to persuade people into rejecting the evils of current society, but it tries to forcefeed them ideological packages. It is not intellectualism the problem, populism can be very intellectual at its core (as punk music can be very sophisticated, despite it’s simplicity), but a dogmatic evangelicism, that demands us to accept their intellectual gods. But it’s not serious activism but Trotskist-oid cultism… If you don’t make your message visceral, nobody is going to pay attention to you.

  2. The Tea Party in its current incarnation is a controlled opposition consisting largely of mainline Republicans, the same individuals who cheerled for the Bush-Cheney junta during the pre-Obama era. I wouldn’t conflate them with the Ron Paulistas of ’07/’08, none of whom came from Republican origins but from the genuinely radical Right. The former has merely adopted the most supericial outer trappings of the latter as a thin rhetorical defense against Obama’s supposed crypto-Marxist inclinations. That said, it’s worth noting that Jones was a key figure in the Ron Paul revolution, with a great many of his fans populating the movement; in fact, the two could easily be seen as one and the same.

  3. I would think that the greatest force for a “conservative” revolution in America, the independent libertarian grassroots Tea Party, even when they are sufficienctly radicalised as to have an official break with the mainstream neocons, might still stigmatise us anarchists. I’ve ran into Paulians who’ve criticised anarchism, mostly misunderstanding our theories of course, but mostly for us being just too goddamn intellectual, inclusive, and almost elitist compared to everyone else (ironically enough, this is probably why I’m sometimes inclined to call myself a radical populist more than an anarchist, seeing as I’m able to see the weak, yet still relevant anti-status quo links between people as diverse as Nader, Alex Jones and even Jack and Bobby Kennedy, and incorporate all that stuff, even though my ends are quite different). Especially some might stigmatise us for our opposition to the US Constitution, the liberalness of most of us, pan-secessionists and anarchists in general, and our obvious opposition to alot of conservative ideas. This could obviously be offset by introducing them to Tucker, Carson, Rothbard and the like, as well as your own stuff and other more recent writers in the anarchist movement, at least we’ll know after then who’s a populist revolutionary and whose just commited to “ideals” of an old American republic and what have you.

  4. I should clarify why I cited the Tea Partiers as an illustration of what the center-wing of pan-secessionism might look like. I was referring specifically to their demographics, e.g. middle class people experiencing economic frustration and downward mobility, rather than their specific ideological outlook or present role in U.S. politics. I agree that at present they’re simply stooges for the neocons and the right-wing of capital. However, they are drawn from a demographic whose genuine radicalization would be important to pan-secessionism.

  5. Noonan,

    “Especially some might stigmatise us for our opposition to the US Constitution, the liberalness of most of us, pan-secessionists and anarchists in general, and our obvious opposition to alot of conservative ideas. This could obviously be offset by introducing them to Tucker, Carson, Rothbard and the like, as well as your own stuff and other more recent writers in the anarchist movement, at least we’ll know after then who’s a populist revolutionary and whose just commited to “ideals” of an old American republic and what have you.”

    Probably the two most immediately difficult issues we face are 1) growing the alternative-anarchist/pan-secessionist/anarcho-pluralist movement(s) to the point where we have both a large enough and cohesive enough critical mass to make actions on our part to sway public opinion feasible and 2) finding the correct rhetorical devices and activist programs to start building the movement.

    I tend to be very “big picture” or “long term” oriented in my thinking on these questions. I don’t much care about what’s going on right now. I’m more interested in what we or our ideological posterity will be doing 40 years from now. Regarding the question of how to reach the general public, the first issue is how to present our core ideas of sovereign communities to be achieved through pan-secessionist action in a way that is comprehensible to most people. When we start talking about “anarchism” it all sounds crazy, but if we draw on more familiar concepts like the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, or the Southern secession, it starts to make more sense. Particularly if we can point to real world examples of functioning autonomous, decentralized political entities like Monaco and Luxemborg, or real life examples of cooperative economics like Mondragon. It is these kinds of ideas we will need to be able to articulate as we prepare to bring more and more people into our orbit.

    Another issue is what kinds of action would we want to engage in for the sake of publicizing such ideas. I’ve cited the Norman Mailer ’69 mayoral effort as a possible model of using the system’s own processes against it. Multiple efforts of that type conducted simultaneously may be a viable strategy. There’s also the possibility of identifying “wedge issues” that the establishment political factions are not able to incorporate into their paradigm due to the role of vested interests. One example of these is the economic ideas outlined in Carson’s “political program for anarchists.” Still another is a comprehensive prisoner amnesty program or full on drug legalization and repeal of victimless crime laws. Still another is the repeal of discrimination prohibition on the private level. Of course, secession itself is such an issues. There are a lot of others.

    But the biggest key to reaching “ordinary” people is that more and more people need to be persuaded to give up on the system and take a look at genuinely radical ideas. That will likely happen as circumstances continue to deteriorate.

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