This is a howler. This reads like some of kind fundamentalist cleric or theologian who wishes to purge all of the impure or heretical tendencies from the faith and insure that all of the believers remain unblemished in their allegiance and adherence to the catechism.
Really, Matthew is too smart for this kind of silliness. Abstract philosophical or theoretical differences aside, the only practical dispute he raises with my outlook is that I don’t make the universalization of “cultural ultra-leftism” or whatever it might be called into a primary issue, as if that’s all that matters.
It’s also interesting that he never offers any precise definition of what “oppression” actually involves, in spite of his frequent invocation of the concept, nor does he ever lay out any criteria as to what should get on the laundry list of “oppression” and what shouldn’t. What ever problems libertarians may have, they at least have a coherent ideology. Lyons’ variety of leftism just seems to be completely reactive in nature. This lack of any kind of vision is why the Left has sunk to its present level.
Most right-wing responses to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement have ranged from patronizing to hostile. Rightists have variously criticized the Occupy forces for–supposedly–copying the Tea Party; failing to target big government; being dirty, lazy lawbreakers; being orchestrated by pro-Obama union bosses and community organizers; having ties with radical Islamists; fomenting antisemitism; or failing to address Jewish dominance of Wall Street. (On the Jewish Question, the John Birch Society wants to have it both ways–arguing that antisemitic attacks are integral to the Occupy movement’s leftist ideology, but also that the movement is bankrolled by Jewish financier George Soros, who is backed by “the unimaginably vast Rothschild banking empire.”)
At the same time, some right-wingers have joined or endorsed Occupy events, causing some leftists and liberals to raise warning flags.Neonazis have shown up at Occupy Phoenix and been kicked out of Occupy Seattle, where leftists formed an antifascist working group to keep them out. The Liberty Lamp, an anti-racist website, has identified a number of right-wing groups that have sought to “capitalize on the success” of OWS, including several neonazi organizations, Oath Keepers (a Patriot movement group for police and military personnel), libertarian supporters of Texas congressmember Ron Paul, and even the neoconservative American Spectator magazine. Lenny Zeskind’s Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has warned against Tea Party supporters “who want to be friends with the Occupiers,” including FedUpUSA, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, and conspiracist talk show host Alex Jones. The International Socialist Organization has focused on Ron Paul libertarians as a particular threat to the Occupy movement. In a related vein, the socialist journal Links reposteda detailed expose of Zeitgeist (aka the Venus Project), a conspiracist cult that has been involved in Occupy movement events, many of whose ideas are rooted in antisemitism or other right-wing ideology.
There is always a danger that some rightists will come to Occupy movement events to harass or attack leftists, or act as spies or provocateurs. More commonly, rightists see the movement as an opportunity to gain credibility, win new recruits, or build coalitions with leftists. When pitching to left-leaning activists, these right-wingers emphasize their opposition to the U.S. economic and political establishment–but downplay their own oppressive politics. In place of systemic critiques of power, rightists promote distorted forms of anti-elitism, such as conspiracy theories or the belief that government is the root of economic tyranny. We’ve seen this “Right Woos Left” dynamic over and over, for example in the anti-war, environmental, and anti-globalization movements.
Neo-fascists against financial elites
Rightists who support the Occupy movement aim to redefine and redirect Occupiers’ discontent. Hoosier Nation (Indiana chapter of American Third Position) pledged to join Occupy Indianapolis as a “popular uprising against the financial elites” but criticized the rally organizers’ call for human unity as “muddled thinking”: “Not to quibble, but our races, religions, and identities do matter. Our identities aren’t the problem, they’re the solution…. The notion that we don’t exist as families and nations but rather as autonomous individuals is a fiction perpetuated by our financial elites to topple the barriers standing in the way of exploiting us.”
A cruder style of rhetoric comes from Rocky Suhayda’s American Nazi Party, which champions the “White working class” against “this evil corrupt, decadent JUDEO-CAPITALIST SYSTEM.” The ANP praised the Occupy movement as “a breath of cleansing air” and urged its supporters to get involved. “Produce some flyers EXPLAINING the ‘JEW BANKER’ influence–DON’T wear anything marking you as an ‘evil racist’–and GET OUT THERE and SPREAD the WORD!” (Another fascist grouplet, the National Socialist American Labor Party, immediatelyrepudiated the ANP’s stance and denounced Occupy Wall Street as a Jewish Communist movement.)
The Lyndon LaRouche network, which offers a more esoteric version of fascist politics, has a long history of attaching itself to popular movements–as well as violence, spying, and dirty tricks against political opponents. LaRouchites have always denounced finance capital as one of the world’s main evils, so it is no surprise that they have joined Occupy events in several cities. True to their current attempt to package themselves as Franklin Roosevelt liberals, the LaRouchites are pushing for reinstatement of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act’s wall between investment banking and commercial banking, which was repealed in 1999. The LaRouchites take credit for supposedly making Glass-Steagall reinstatement “a leading demand” of the Occupy movement.
Attack the System’s “Message to Occupy Wall Street”
A more sophisticated rightist overture to the Occupy movement comes from Keith Preston’s Attack the System (ATS) network. Two ATS associate editors, RJ Jacob and Miles Joyner, have produced a YouTube video titled “Message to Occupy Wall Street: Power to the Neighborhoods.” The 13-minute video is explicitly “tailored to the mainstream left” and contains many elements designed to appeal to leftists. Jacob and Joyner call for OWS to develop into a revolutionary insurgency against the American Empire and highlight their opposition to U.S. military aggression, state repression, global capitalist institutions, corporate welfare, gentrification, and other standard leftist targets. They also advocate a strategy of “pan-secessionism” to help bring about “a system of decentralized cities, towns and neighborhoods where all colors, genders, and political groups can achieve self-determination.”
What Jacob and Joyner’s video doesn’t tell us is that their organization’s vision of revolution would not dismantle oppression but simply decentralize it. ATS founder and leader Keith Preston believes that most people are herd-like “sheep” who will inevitably be dominated by a few power hungry “wolves.” Although Preston calls himself an anarchist, he has no problem with authoritarianism on a small scale and has made it a priority to “collaborate with racialists and theocrats” against the left. White nationalists and Christian rightists are major players in the pan-secessionist movement that ATS and the Jacob/Joyner video promote. (For details on Preston and ATS, see my article “Rising Above the Herd.”)
ATS elitism is reflected in “Message to Occupy Wall Street.” In explaining what’s needed to move toward revolution, the video puts a big emphasis on the development of “an intellectual and philosophical counter-elite.” It is this counter-elite that develops revolutionary ideas, which then “trickle down into the ranks of the masses.” No hint that “the masses” might develop a few ideas of their own.
“Message” also calls for a revolutionary movement that transcends left/right divisions. This is a standard theme for ATS (and many other far rightists), but the approach to it here is different from what I have seen in Preston’s work. Jacob and Joyner argue that “counter-elites” on both the left and the right have contributed to developing a revolutionary movement–but in very different ways. The leftist counter-elites “have served as leaders of systems disruption, networked resistance, informational warfare, communications, and public intelligence.” Meanwhile, “it is the counter-elites of the right who are developing an entirely new political paradigm in opposition to the state ideologies of the system.” In other words, leftists are good at developing the technologies of revolution, but rightists are the ones with the actual vision for society.
Jacob and Joyner’s list of important rightist counter-elites includes anarcho-capitalist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, paleoconservative Paul Gottfried, European New Rightist Alain de Benoist, and the ever-popular Ron Paul, among others. Their list of “leftists” who have influenced the Occupy movement is heavily weighted toward the technology/info-guerrilla side, with figures such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, digital currency developer Satoshi Nakamoto, the Chaos Computer Club, and the hacker network Anonymous. The list also includes Ralph Nader and Kirkpatrick Sale, who among liberals have been two of the leading practitioners of left-right collaboration–Salethrough the pan-secessionist movement, and Nader through the anti-globalization movement.
John Robb, open-source technocrat
The counter-elite figure who gets the most coverage in “Message” is John Robb, who runs the Global Guerrillas website, and he deserves attention here because of his murky politics and his interest in OWS. Robb is a former U.S. counter-terrorism mission commander turned independent military theorist and technology analyst. He has written about the rise of “open-source warfare“–characterized by decentralized networks of terrorists, criminals, and other non-state actors acting with a high degree of innovation and flexibility–and the hollowing out of traditional nation-states. In response to these and other trends–including economic and environmental crises–Robb promotes the development of “resilient communities,” which are autonomous and largely self-sufficient in terms of energy, food, security, and other basic needs. Robb has praised the Occupy Wall Street movement as a pioneering example of “open-source protest” that is “constructing the outlines of resilient communities in the heart of many of our most dense urban areas.”
Jacob and Joyner’s video characterizes Robb as a leftist, and indeed many of his ideas, such as his belief that both capitalism and the nation state are breaking down and his emphasis on decentralized solutions, sound radical. But while I don’t claim to fully understand where Robb is coming from, I am deeply wary. Robb himself avoids political labels, and Thomas Barnett has characterized him as “a serious technocrat who distrusts politics.” According to his online bio, Robb has consulted extensively for government agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and Defense Department. And his anti-establishment friends seem to be found mainly on the right. For example, he has archived the former blog of fellow military theorist William Lind and features it prominently on the Global Guerrillas home page. Lind, whose theory of “fourth generation war” has a lot in common with Robb’s ideas, is a hardline traditionalist conservative who spent many years at Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation.
Robb’s writings are often reposted on right-wing websites such as AlternativeRight.com, The Occidental Quarterly, Occidental Dissent, and Attack the System. As far as I know, he has never tried to dissociate himself from these organs. Intentionally or unintentionally, his own work often resonates with rightist themes without invoking them directly, as when he writes about “the decline of the West” (echoing Oswald Spengler) or the virtues of building a “tribe” (echoing national-anarchists, among others). John Robb’s relationship with the right merits more in-depth study, but he is no leftist.
So far, the effect of right-wing groups on the Occupy Wall Street movement has been limited. Yet the lack of clear anti-capitalist and anti-fascist analysis in much of the movement opens the door for rightists to spread radical-sounding propaganda rooted in oppressive politics. It is important for us to understand and expose this danger, in the Occupy movement and others that may follow.
Here’s an archive of some of his past writings that go back a good way:
“So we’re not dismantling oppression by smashing the state, the ruling classes, and western economic supremacy?”
Remember that those are not priority issues for most contemporary leftists, if it’s even something they have any interest in at all. Remember that in his original critique of us Matthew suggested that “challenging public heterosexism” is equal to or even more important that opposing the empire. In other words, opposing mild social disapproval of groups favored by leftists is equal in importance to opposing the extermination of millions of people.
“We have to burn the boats and bridges of people who hold rightist views?”
“Anit-rightism” is the definitive characteristic of these people’s worldview. They have no interest in building bridges to the Right just as we have no interest in building bridges to the state, Goldman-Sachs, the military-industrial complex, or “law enforcement.”
“Is this guy just another Marxist or is he with the anarcho-authorities?”
Looking through his past published material, he seems to be a generic far leftist who probably holds some sympathy with both the Marxist and left-anarchist traditions, but for whom “anti-fascism” defines his political outlook. He seems to have rarely if ever written on anything else. It’s no different from the whole industry of writers that developed in the 50s and 60s for whom “anti-communism” was the sum total of their outlook: “The Communists are infiltrating the labor movement!,” “The Communists are infiltrating the National Council of Churches!,” “The Communists are infiltrating Hollywood!,” “The Communists are teaching your kids in school!,” “The Communists control the civil rights movement!”
I actually grew up in those kinds hysterically reactionary circles, so I’ve seen all this before, only with a different ideological gloss. These “anti-fascist” people really are a classic illustration of the adage that “you become what you hate.”
If you can, find some old Bircher pamphlets from the 50s and 60s and compare them with the writings of these “anti-fascist” people. The similarities are unbelievable.
The essence of the Left’s objection to us is illustrated very by this statement in Lyons’ original analysis of my work:
“Preston’s vision emphasizes individuals choosing the communities they want and not bothering other people.”
The Totalitarian Humanist vision has as its essence the ambition of denying freedom of choice to individuals and bothering other people a great deal. What do these kinds of people do when they actually hold power? They seek to expand the authority of the state into ever greater areas of life and in ever more absurd ways. Recall the incident in Britain about the gathering of data on “racist toddlers.”
They can’t stand the idea that some people might use their freedom of choice or association to choose ways of life or practice values that leftists disapprove of, so this has to be prevented. What is particularly arrogant is their claim to speak for all blacks, all women, all homosexuals, all workers, all “minorities” of whatever kind, as if these very broad population groups were all some kind of unitary monolith with complete uniformity of opinion. Our movement is just as “diverse and multicultural” as the Left is (as our old friend Faust never tired of pointing out) but the difference is that we also have a diversity of ideas, values, and belief systems. The Left is fine with diversity of skin colors, genitalias, and sexual habits but wants complete ideological uniformity.
As Vince once said, in anarcho-pluralism some communities might be liberal, some conservative, some explicitly anarchist, some neo-tribal. Some might even be Communist. So what? But that’s not good enough for the Leftists who wish to reconstruct humanity according to their preconceived ideological prescriptions.
Does he and leftists like him even know what fascism is or have a definition of it or does it just become a smear word like Nazi for everything you disagree with? There are so many great mp3’s on every topic available from the Mises institute and if you listen (without intellectual prejudice) to what the kids at Stormfront really want and compare it to what agrarian anarchist / ethnic minorities/, hell every political party and individual in every country knows beter then government what is good for them, so why not give them that freedom. I am white and live in Africa so how much is he going to fight for my minority rights? Zero-nada-fuckall! Do people like Matthew Lyons even consider why other people have different opinions on how they want to live and that they just might want that freedom?
I read your previous debate with him, he can not defend government from fascists, government is fascisms no matter what ideology they claim to have they all behave the exact same with central power, a decentralized world full of various city states and collectives will not be perfect, but we will have choices, real choices. It will force small municipalities/ tribal councils/theocracies/democracies or whatever else exists to treat people well, because if you don’t, I pack my bag and leave, as easy as that.
By the way Keith have you seen our little experimental village in Africa?
It is tiny but I love it!
Every now and again I decide to kick my politics habit and take up something constructive, like pottery or canal boating or something. Then I read something like this, about which I have been stewing all day counting the hours until I could get to a keyboard.
When I do I find Keith has neatly skewered the absurd hypocrisy, preconceptions and double-think of this article before I could.
I am particularly enraged by the very concept of the piece; “hey Occupy, here’s a list of people who might sound reasonable, who might say they are down with what you’re doing, who might have some suggestions that seem like viable options for moving this on. I’m just here to give you the heads up that these groups have been deemed Heretics by the self appointed Inquisition of the dinosaur left. Just so you get it I’m going to be sticking a nice big reference to the Nazi Party of America in the list, and then I’ll be listing a load of other groups and opinions who I want you to associate with that party and treat identically.”
You the hell does this guy think he is anyway? Why does he assume that the Occupy movement is going to be attentive to his diktats? He must be labouring under the misapprehension that Occupy is some sort of manifestation of the European Progressive Left suddenly dropped on New York. Reminds me of the dicks in Tahrir Square and Misrata telling the Western media that this was all about gay rights and religious toleration with absolute confidence that was what was motivating the guys fighting it out with the police. Of course it wasn’t, but it never entered the “spokesmens” heads for a second that the people weren’t all closet progressives who’d finally snapped over the oppression of the transgendered.
That is the arrogance of these idiots who after a century and more of utter rejection still think that somehow everyone really supports their silly and irrelevant agenda.
NB “No hint that “the masses” might develop a few ideas of their own.” The difference between the “new” none authoritarian decentralist right and the “lets re-enact the Spanish Civil War” left is that the former is absolutely cool with whatever the masses chose for themselves, whereas the later would shoot them for not absolutely swallowing down every last line of their doctrine.
“Of course it wasn’t, but it never entered the “spokesmens” heads for a second that the people weren’t all closet progressives who’d finally snapped over the oppression of the transgendered.”
The Beleaguered Masses of the Islamic World Arise Against Transphobia!
The guy who does the RAMZPAUL videos recently said in an interview (with either Robert Stark or Richard Spencer, I forget which) that it’s very difficult to parody what the Left is nowadays because the Left is such a self-parody in its own right. I mean, how the hell do you satirize things like “transgendered Maoism”?
Today’s leftists are mostly middle class Westerners with enough affluence and leisure time to focus on developing ever more exotic or outlandish types of neurosis for themselves.
“When you go to infoshop’s news section for example, the welcoming banner reads “Your time has come, right-wing scum.” Wait, but what about the state? For an anarchist publication one would expect an anti-state banner, or something knocking the state.”
One of the Youth for Western Civilization guys does presentations where he shows photographs from the classical anarchist period where you see old style anarchists in suits and ties but with firearms shooting at the cops and then compares those with photos of contemporary “anarchists” which look like pictures of some kind of carnival freak show.
“Don’t get me wrong I think these leftists are honestly against the state but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if a new state were established that reflected their personal views. This would be seen as “progress” – no doubt. They’d be content with a worldwide leftist political uniform and the role of settling in as mild critics bickering over minor adjustments (with a lot of “eventually the state will wither away” talk). So at the bone of the bite, they still view the state as a neutral vehicle. They rather not have it, but to their minds at least states can be highjacked whereas people can not be highjacked.”
Well, they just care more about leftism than anarchism, that’s all. This stuff is a derivative of the alteration of the Left in the 1960s from its previous Stalinist orientation to the New Left. Marxism had failed to produce a credible alternative to capitalism, and Stalinism had produced a new oppressive bureaucratic stratification system. Meanwhile, you had the civil rights movement raging and the recent events of WW2. So the Left shifted away from anti-capitalism towards anti-racism and anti-fascism, and the repressive nature of Stalinism led to a rejuvenated interest in anarchism and related ideas on the Left, but in an altered form from what they had been in the 19th and early 20th century. The line on the Left that developed was one that made the struggle against “racism and fascism” the primary focus of the Left, with a “by the way, we’re also against capitalism (maybe) and possibly even the state (except welfare and antidiscrimination laws)” plank added on as an appendage. As more and more victim groups started coming out (no pun intended), the fight against “fascism and racism” became the fight against the whole laundry list of Isms and Phobias. What I’ve just described more or less defines the radical Left as it is presently constituted.
One of the big weaknesses of the Left today is that it offers no positive vision of an alternative society. The old style commies offered the vision of an egalitarian utopia without hunger and deprivation. Today’s Left is purely reactive in nature. It mostly positions itself as a defense of the status quo that wants to preserve the welfare state, multiculturalism, etc. against “reactionary” forces seeking to reduce public expenditures on the social bureaucracy, reduce immigration, etc. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn used the say the big weakness of the Right in terms of popular appeal is that it offered no “Utopia of the Right” as a counterpart to leftist utopianism. In his time the Right was purely a reaction against the rise of socialism, communism, liberalism, mass democracy, etc. But that’s not really the case today. Today, it is the Left that is defending a moribund status quo (at least in the realm of ideas). Meanwhile, “utopias of the Right” are emerging in the forms of belief systems like anarcho-capitalism or national-anarchism.
Reading most contemporary leftist literature, one gets the impression they think contemporary Western nations would be fine as they are if only the BNP and other European anti-immigration parties or American Christian fundamentalists would go away. For instance, if you spend much time in the company of American leftists, it’s clear they think the religious right, poor uneducated whites, “rednecks,” “racists,” the Ku Klux Klan, and other un-progressive, marginal or lower order elements are the real enemy. Rarely do they critique the actual establishment in any serious way.
Quite right Keith and RJ. Although we can simplify that assessment. The left took a long hard look at what it would take to break a Western State in about 1930 and decided that it had better go and find something else to take on instead.
Ultimately, they would rather the state than the right, and since the only way to keep the right in check is the state, the state it is.
“I see a lot of anti-banking system stuff, a lot of anti-transnationals stuff, a lot of anti-security state stuff, anti-media stuff, anti-alphabet agencies stuff, etc.”
It depends on what strands of the Left you’re talking about. I don’t think the “mainstream” of the Left cares much about those kinds of things. Look how quickly the antiwar movement and pro-civil liberties movement dried up once Obama was elected. That shows most of them were more anti-Republican than anti-system. On what remains of the “hard left,” you find people who take those questions more seriously, usually unreconstructed commies or left-anarchists. Matthew Lyons actually seems to be one of those on the Left who is genuinely interested in those questions: http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/2011/10/state-repression-from-bush-to-obama.html
The Left is ultimately worthless at addressing those kinds of issues effectively because all of the “cultural Marxism” stuff always takes priority with them. To seriously oppose the U.S. state, empire, ruling class, corporate class, new class, et.al. ad nauseum, it goes without saying that such a movement would have to be populist in nature and include people from all races, classes, religions, etc. including people with “conservative” views on some of these things in some instances. The Left in its present form will always let its pre-occupation with things like “transgendered rights,” radical feminism, the most hysterical forms of anti-racism, reactionary welfare statism, etc. operate as an obstructionist force towards any effort to build such a resistance movement.
I know this from decades of dealing with leftist groups. That stuff is all they care about. Look how they attack Second Vermont Republic for “racism and fascism” simply for being associated with LOS even though they’re a left-libertarian-green group. Carol Moore is a left-libertarian, hippie, pacifist who hates me as a supposed anarcho-fascist-terrorist but she still get attacked by the Left for her pro-Palestinian stance (anti-Semitic), her pro-secessionist stance (neo-confederate) and her pro-free association stance (racist). The Left is its present incarnation is interested only in advancing its extremist social agenda. Eventually, they will end up just like the 68ers: http://www.freespeechproject.com/830.html Their views are so easily co-opted by the system that they’re not able to stand their group on these other questions even when they are sincere.
“And outside of the states there have been far left anarchists in Greece, Italy, Spain, attacking police bases, killing cops, setting banks on fire, bombing nano-technologies institutes — launching attacks almost every day.”
The Left in the southern European countries is still closer to the older manifestations of the Left as PC is not as deeply entrenched there. I think that has to do with the historic Catholic culture of those countries whereas northern European and English speaking nations with a Protestant heritage tend to be more susceptible to the fanatical moralism of today’s Left.
“Do people like Matthew Lyons even consider why other people have different opinions on how they want to live and that they just might want that freedom?”
According to the Left, if you want to live in ways other than what they prescribe, then you’re either a privileged oppressor or a victim under false consciousness.
“I read your previous debate with him, he can not defend government from fascists, government is fascisms no matter what ideology they claim to have they all behave the exact same with central power, ”
Yes, the “iron law of oligarchy.”
“a decentralized world full of various city states and collectives will not be perfect, but we will have choices, real choices. It will force small municipalities/ tribal councils/theocracies/democracies or whatever else exists to treat people well, because if you don’t, I pack my bag and leave, as easy as that.”
The critics are not interested in practical, pragmatic ways of dealing with these questions. What they are interested in is universal ideological conformity.
“By the way Keith have you seen our little experimental village in Africa?”
Yes, I’m very familiar with Orania. It’s an interesting model for decentralized, intentional or themed communities. I know some U.S. rightists who see Orania as a model, and the concept could be applied within the context of any ideological paradigm. But according to the Left, people like you and your fellow villagers would be considered the worst of moral reprobates. It’s like the Protestant puritans for whom it’s not enough to simply go about your business and let other people alone. You have to do eternal penance simply for the original sin of being alive.
Yes, I agree with everything you said.
I actually consider the Naxalites to be a model fourth generation warfare group along with Hezbollah and the FARC.
The anarchists outside of the Anglosphere and northern/western Europe are much, much superior to their counterparts that we are more familiar with and I don’t really have any problem with them. For instance, you recently posted a news item here where the Greek anarchists attacked the Communist Party headquarters, which is something you would never find among anarchists in the Protestant countries. When I attack the Left, I’m specifically focusing on the form the Left has taken in the English speaking countries and in the countries of northern Europe. In Portugal, for instance, the relationship between the N-As and the left-anarchists is not nearly as antagonistic.
I think another big part of this picture is that the countries where the anarchist movement is more solid are also poorer countries where bread and butter issues also matter more, so the anarchists there have less time to indulge in either slave morality or personal neurosis.
“The Left in its present form will always let its pre-occupation with things like “transgendered rights,” radical feminism, the most hysterical forms of anti-racism, reactionary welfare statism, etc. operate as an obstructionist force towards any effort to build such a resistance movement.”
“Yeah as the cultural left grows and more memes propagate, the state becomes the lesser of two evils. The Right has become the ultimate boogie man. Forget about the state. Kill the right wingers and the state’s not so bad. “
Reminds me of one of Angry Atheist’s anti-Ron Paul vid (though to be fair, doesn’t always toe the PC line).
Here’s some more back and forth about us at “Three Way Fight”: http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/2011/11/rightists-woo-occupy-wall-street.html?showComment=1321600215163#c5170234959209746435
LOL, maybe we should set up a front group and call it the Alliance for Decentralized Oppression or something like that. 🙂
I wonder what our champions humanitarianism and “liberation” would think of the Hasidic communities of New York like Kiryas Joel or New Square. Their ethnicity might score them some PC points, though in the end they’d probably be attacked as sexist and homophobic (which they obviously are-lol). Then again, they’d probably attack libertine communities like the red light districts of Europe as not only sexist but as capitalist exploitation (which it obviously is-LOL).
“Nothing new. White man telling us what we can and can’t have.”
I think a big part of the problem is that anarchists seem to know very little of their own history or the ideas of their founders.
For instance, my own virulent opposition to what I call “totalitarian humanism” is rooted in my recognition of the historic rivalry and incompatibility between anarchism and the pro-state left, beginning with the polemics of Marx against Stirner and Proudhon and the Marx/Bakunin split in the First International, the repression at Kronstadt by Trotsky, the backstabbing of the anarchists by the commies in the Spanish Civil War, and so forth. The left-wing anarchist movement in the West seems to completely ignore this history. What is particularly funny is when anarchists go marching hand in hand with communists in their ritualistic “anti-fascist” protests even though there’s been at least as much repression of anarchists by communists in the past as there has been by fascists. The only reasons I’ve been able to think of concerning why this is so is that most modern anarchists originate from the middle class and are thoroughly inculcated with the ideology of the left-wing of the middle class that they get from the schools, universities, media, entertainment industry, mainline religion, hippie parents, etc., as well as the broader re-orientation of the Left beginning in the 1960s away from working class politics towards middle-class oriented left-wing identity politics. Also, I think the punk and hippie subcultures created a youth culture that likes the symbolism and exotic nature of anarchism but knows zero about its actual history and ideas so this vacuum becomes filled with ordinary PC liberalism.
Also, the more I study the history of classical anarchism the more I lean towards the view that some serious strategic errors may have been made even during their time. For instance, I lean towards the view that the regicides from the “propaganda by the deed” era and violent attacks against the aristocracy were probably a mistake. The problem is that the monarchies and aristocracies were a dying force in their time (like the American WASP elite of today) whereas the bourgeoisie and the Marxists were the rising forces of statism. The anarchists of the classical era tended to align themselves with the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy and with the Marxists against the bourgeoisie. The problem with this is that the anarchists ended up being overrun by the “red” (either republican or socialist) forces as they eventually came to power.
It may have been more strategically advantageous for the anarchists to tone down their anti-aristocratic and anti-clerical positions in exchange for broad concessions in terms of civil liberties and economic rights (with the settlement between the anarchists and the traditionalist right resembling something like Chesterton’s and Belloc’s distributism) and in favor of an alliance between the anarchists and traditionalists against the rising statist forces of capitalism, communism, and fascism. Such a position probably would have attracted a much larger quantity of the peasantry to the anarchist camp, along with a larger number of dissident aristocrats, religious believers who feared repression by militant secularists, etc. Such a stance may not have worked. The tenor of the times may not have allowed it. But it would have been an interesting idea.
“In the earlier stages of interest in ARV they tend to barricade the connection to whites in order to safeguard their previous alliances. They love the idea of cross-ideological unity against the common enemy but feel the need to distance themselves from White-ATS to keep their comrades intact.”
As you can imagine, I am frequently asked by well-intentioned people with generally “liberal” sympathies about the relationship between ARV/ATS and WN. I usually begin my response by pointing to the core ATS documents like the 25 pt program and “Liberty and Populism” which outlines our perspective very comprehensively and indicates that while we do not discriminate against any particular race, religion, gender, etc. we do not discriminate against any specific political identity either. Meaning someone who generally supports the ideas of the core ARV/ATS documents is welcome in our camp irrespective of how they label themselves, whether white nationalist, Nation of Islam, Aztlan, or whatever.
Second, I will point out that any movement 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. For instance, Paul Gottfried is a German Jew whose family fled the Nazis, but even he has a large following in those camps.
Third, I will point out that there are substantial differences between N-A and WN, and that N-A itself is only a sub-tendency and one of many influences within ARV/ATS.
Fourth, I will point out that even if we zealously excluded everyone tainted by a hint of “racism” from our circles, our enemies would still attack us for having people in our camp who are insufficiently zealous for gay marriage, or pro-life, or pro-gun, or too Christian, or who are black conservatives, or who glorify drugs and prostitution, or promote crime or are un-American or something else. There would be no stopping point. Our enemies will attack no matter what we do because we are fundamentally subversive to the state and threatening to the ambitions of the totalitarian Left (why else would they devote so much ink to such a small movement like ours?)
Fifth, to spend all 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 Left is simply a more virulent version of the same thing. In many ways, “fascists” and “racists” (however these terms are defined) have become official scapegoats to attack in order to distract attention from more genuine and serious problems. It’s also a cover the Left uses to mask its more pernicious ambitions. Even the well-meaning Left has fallen into this trap, which is why the Left has become utterly 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 the Left is backward-looking, making them the true reactionaries and us the true progressives.
Sixth, we have to consider the ideas of WNs and other types of racialists (whatever the race) on their own merits. It’s possible to separate legitimate issues raised in those kinds of tendencies from the silliness, fanaticism, or malevolence often found there. For instance, the issues raised by this article: http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/hbd-human-biodiversity/rsa-usa%E2%80%94beloved-benighted-countries/
Lastly, we have to consider that it well may 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’s 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” 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 I’ve tried to cultivate a relationship with the more intelligent and fair-minded people in those camps and give them their seat at the table.
I’ve usually found that reasonable “liberals” will accept the explanations of our positions and activities I’ve outlined here and it generally ceases to be much of a problem. The hysterics, fanatics, and ill-intentioned are never satisfied, of course, but so what? They’re our enemies anyway.
Association with ARV/ATS doesn’t necessarily equate to being on the right. If you take a hard look at the American Indian philosophy I champion, you’d see that it is pretty hard core communalism. I would classify it as a leftist ideology with well defined criteria on who is a part of the commune and who isn’t. I call it ethno-nationalism of the left. That said I am but one voice among many Native activists, many of whom toe the PC line. For strategic purposes, I choose not to worry a whole lot about all that, as it distracts us from our real enemies.
I always considered myself to be on the Left until about 10 years ago, when I started saying I was “neither left nor right” or “beyond left and right.” I’ve never thought of myself as any kind of right-winger. Even my association with the alternative right I regard as a kind of default position resulting from my opposition to the totalitarian left.
I have personally shed those labels myself. A rather forward thinking position among Natives would be to look at our political and economic philosophies outside of the context of western thought. That would mean shedding the statism inherent in our puppet “tribal” governments as well as taking a hard look at our loose alliance with the PC left. At the very least I’d love to see Natives worry less about things like racist mascots and worry more about crony capitalism on our own reservations coming from our own tribal government.
The history here is complicated. Old-style monarchical dynasties and aristocratic systems were often multinational or multi-ethnic, or were comprised of regions and localities with unique identities of their own. Nationalism of the kind that emerged in the 19th century typically wanted national groups with a specific ethno-lingual identity to break away from whatever dynasty they were a part of and form a unitary state for their entire “nation” that also erased provincial distinctions within a particular nation. Nationalism was typically opposed by throne and altar conservatives and supported by the rising middle classes. Nationalist, republican, liberal, and anti-monarchist sentiments were often combined. Anarchists viewed nationalism with suspicion because of its tendency towards ever more powerful states. Anarchist anti-nationalist feelings intensified after the patriotic and jingoist rhetoric that came out of WWI helped entice the working classes into support for the war. These sentiments became even more extreme after WW2 for obvious reasons.
The pendulum actually swung back in the other direction a bit with the rise of the anti-colonial movements, the development of black nationalism in the US, and with greater recognition of the Palestinian issue. Nowadays the Left, even its anarchist contingent, has something of a schizophrenic relationship with nationalism. On one hand anti-colonial movements for national independence, racial nationalism among minority groups in the West, and the Palestinian struggle are usually supported by the left-anarchists, who will simultaneously attack European ethno-nationalist tendencies or nationalist movements that resist globalism as “fascist” irrespective of their specific ideological content.
If anything, I think Fascism and National Socialism can be seen as outgrowths of the Left. Fascism theory was in many ways a revision of Marxism that saw things not in terms of class struggle but in terms of struggle of the poor nations of central and southern Europe against the wealthy Atlantic powers. The ideology of classical fascism is not dissimilar to that of Marxist anti-colonial movements in the mid to late 20th century. There have been fascist apologists as well as anti-fascists like the libertarian David Ramsay Steele who have acknowledged this. In fact, I hope to write on this topic soon. Nazism also borrowed its cult of the party from Bolshevism and saw itself as a progressive movement that was breaking down the old monarchical and/or bourgeoisie order.
“Yea Spain and Basque nationalism, I’m familiar. They were very much against industrialization as well”
The classic examples are the eradication of the French provincial system by the Jacobins, the consolidation of Italy under Garibaldi, and the creation of the unitary German state under Bismarck. It was these trends that fueled Nietzsche’s hostility to the state as well as that of the anarchists.
Gustav Landauer had some interesting ideas about the relationship of anarchism to nationalism: http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/gustav_landauer_a_nationalist_anarchist
“Yes these were the pivotal events that set the stage for modern anarchist fuckery.”
What’s odd, however, is that for all their “anti-fascist” hysteria which often goes well beyond reason, they fail to apply the same standards to left-wing authoritarianism. For instance, the Landauer article I linked to above discusses how the communists had already started to initiate a coup against the anarchists in the German revolution of 1919 even before the revolution was repressed by the German army. This kind of thing has happened over and over again in anarchist history on varying levels. Yet the left-anarchists have no problem marching hand in hand with commies against the “fascists” or, for that matter, ordinary conservatives or even libertarians. I would consider this to be one of the most fundamental differences between ARV/ATS and the “mainstream” left-anarchists, i.e. our recognition of the pro-state left as a primary enemy along with the state generally, the corporatocracy, the empire, MIC, PIGS, etc. Until the left-anarchists adopt a similar position, regardless of their own individual or collective views concerning economic or social preferences, they will be ineffective as a movement.
Notice, for instance, how our critics like Lyons and “Sunshine” rail against “rightist” participation in OWS but never say a word about the presence of Trots, Stalinists, Maoists, etc. This kind of “Leftoids only, but no enemies on the Left” line is foolish and myopic beyond belief. Of course, they are not necessarily anarchists and totalitarian humanism may well be fine by them.
This is why a realignment of anarchist theory and strategy is vitally necessary. I’d consider the three major strands in anarchism to be “anarchism of the left” in the tradition of Bakunin and Kropotkin, which tends to emphasize social justice and liberation of the downtrodden, “anarchism of the right” which tends to be Nietzsche-influenced as is concerned about the effects of egalitarianism, mass democracy, and mass society on merit and excellence and by extension cultural advancement, and the Anglo-American libertarian tradition of Tucker and Rothbard which is mostly about individual liberty and is rooted in classical English liberalism. We very much need a synthesis of all of these, as while we should oppose unjust oppression of outgroups and the lower orders, we also need a meritocracy to insure competence in the operation of social institutions, and both objectives are enhanced by the preservation of individual liberty. Anarchism will become a much more powerful and coherent philosophy and political force once all of these trends are reconciled.
But we also have to recognize the state in all its forms is an enemy, period. That’s true whether the state is communist, fascist, theocratic, Marxist, or liberal. Anarchists need to recognize that left-wing statists are just as much an enemy as flag-waving retards chanting, “USA! USA!” Unfortunately, many of them appear to have little if any realization of this issue.
Who is “sunshine”?
This dude: http://shiftmag.co.uk/?p=512
He got pissed off because I re-posted that article here, claiming copyright infringement or something like that. He’s a shill for Chip Berlet: http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v23n4/rebranding_fascism.html
It’s so silly how these people insist on labeling N-A as fascism, which ignores the fact that statism is among the defining characteristics of fascism:
“Everything for the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State.”-Benito Mussolini
“”Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini.
The above quotations from Il Duce himself more closely describe the existing system rather than any ideas found in N-A circles. It’s like when right-wingers label anarcho-syndicalists and mutualists as Communists in spite of the historic dichotomy between the anarchist and Marxist camps.
Spencer Sunshine, meet George Reisman: http://blog.mises.org/5194/mutualism-a-philosophy-for-thieves/
“Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time. – H.L. Mencken
“Left-Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is discriminating against someone else.”
The rhetoric and tactics of these people is the mirror image of the old Stalinist tactic of calling Trots “Trotskyite fascists, ” social democrats “social fascists,” and anarchists “anarcho-fascists.” George Orwell used to say that the Left had abused the term “fascism” so much as to render it nothing more than a synonym for “something undesirable.” For instance, merely holding conservative views on abortion, gay rights, or even race does not make one a “fascist.”
Here’s an interview with Sunshine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdBu-dTlnmo
This might be interesting: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/245625.I_Am_Not_a_Man_I_Am_Dynamite_Friedrich_Nietzsche_and_the_Anarchist_Tradition
Whatever happened to him? Is he still making videos? His “ideology” always seemed to me to be the equivalent of a group of middle schoolers who want to have an all night party without any adult supervision.