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Attack the System: Anarchism, Secession and the Relevance of These to the Alternative Right

My inaugural broadcast for Voice of Reason.

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Attack the System: Anarchism, Secession and the Relevance of These to the Alternative Right

January 12, 2012

National-anarchism symbol

This is the debut show of Attack the System! Keith Preston discusses:

  • His own political journey from the radical left to the alternative right;
  • The history and purpose of AttackTheSystem.com and its leadership group, American Revolutionary Vanguard;
  • The philosophy of anarchism and its relevance to a modern society;
  • The growing tendency of national-anarchism;
  • Pan-secessionism as a strategic concept for the collaboration of dissident subcultures against the political class;
  • The possibility of strategic alliances that transcend boundaries of left and right;
  • How people tend to naturally self-separate along the lines of tribe and shared community values when left alone by the state;
  • The failure of the Left to create an effective opposition politics.

 

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44 replies »

  1. Excellent stuff, Keith. I enjoyed it. Especially your story about how you came to your current social/political thinking. I also enjoyed the part where you explained the Left today and how it differs from the old Marxist Left. I used a clip from your fist show along with a clip from Jonathan Bowden in a post today on what Mr Bowden calls ‘the soft Left’ and its influence in our society.

    http://southernnationalist.com/blog/2012/01/17/the-soft-left-tyranny-of-our-society/

    I’m looking forward to hearing many more of your shows as we push the concept of secession/self-determination and local autonomous communities being freed from central states further in the mainstream.

  2. It seems ATS is expanding to a height exceeding that of it’s critics. Although the Left will undoubtedly make sport of it’s being aired on a WN radio network, that only expands it’s outreach opportunities.

  3. “Will Vince and RJ and the rest be doing this alongside you?”

    I want to do some shows with several co-hosts that amount to a group discussion. So, yes, I am very much interested in having Vince and RJ on some shows as co-hosts, and other ATS associates as well.

    I’m going to record an interview with Paul Gottfried tomorrow night and another one with Richard Spencer this weekend. Tom Naylor also agreed to do an interview. I’m looking for lots of other guests as well. I want the content of the program to span a wide spectrum of ideas.

  4. “Nice talk Keith. Your going to get hell for doing it via that site though.”

    Well, it’s not like I’m currently well-loved by the probable critics.

  5. Excellent. Glad to hear especially about the Gottfried and Naylor interviews. I had dinner with Dr Naylor not terribly long ago and talked about secession and the collapse of the Empire. He and I differ on some issues but I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a good man. I have tons of respect for Dr Gottfried as well. I’m looking forward to hearing these interviews.

  6. “Well, it’s not like I’m currently well-loved by the probable critics.”

    Why not invite them to prove you wrong on the show?

    What would be nice is if VoR allowed you to challenge some of the more sacred cows of that milieu. Possible topics, “The contradictions of white supremacism: What kind of master race gets its arse kicked by subhumans?”, “If there was no final solution did Hitler let you down?” “The Radical Right: lazy minded idiots whose interest extends only to fantasies about using the state to assault the majority of their compatriots, “Conspiracy Theory: How come the Radical Right can’t deal with reality?” and “Common hypocritical contradictions in “mainstream” radical right thought (chapters one through twenty).

    As a strategy for that platform this has the merit of being what those guys need to hear and allows you a defence against the “QED: Preston is a nazi” argument taking the VoR gig has re-vitalised.

    After all the message of secessionism for radicals of either church is that they are both wrong and should be allowed to discover that truth for themselves. It is fitting that we therefore be even handed in our criticism of both traditional rights and lefts.

  7. ” Possible topics, “The contradictions of white supremacism: What kind of master race gets its arse kicked by subhumans?”, “If there was no final solution did Hitler let you down?” “The Radical Right: lazy minded idiots whose interest extends only to fantasies about using the state to assault the majority of their compatriots, “Conspiracy Theory: How come the Radical Right can’t deal with reality?” and “Common hypocritical contradictions in “mainstream” radical right thought (chapters one through twenty).”

    Ha!

    Well, there is such a thing as diplomacy.

    “After all the message of secessionism for radicals of either church is that they are both wrong and should be allowed to discover that truth for themselves. It is fitting that we therefore be even handed in our criticism of both traditional rights and lefts.”

    The reason I attack the Left so frequently is not the low quality of many of their ideas. Rather, the PC Left is a rising totalitarian force that is in the process of assuming state power. Plus, the PC left dominates the wider anarchist milieu and is an obstructionist force with regards to developing a pan-secessionist alliance. Those issues are not nearly as significant with the radical Right. I’d be fine with having PC Left-anarchist “tribes” or communities following the downfall of the state. It’s just that’s a particular demographic that has been especially hostile to what I do, which is the reason I attack them so virulently.

    What I want to do eventually is split the Left between the hard-core cultural Marxist left and the more sincerely anti-establishment left (for instance, the kinds of leftists who might view someone like Ron Paul sympathetically).

    Speaking of which, I recently found this old article from my critic Matthew Lyons: http://www.zcommunications.org/conservatives-split-over-war-by-matthew-lyons

    This article illustrates as much as anything I’ve ever encountered what’s wrong the Left, i.e. its interest in maintaining ideological conformity rather than actually attacking the system. Instead of viewing, for instance, antiwar conservatives as a possible constituency for the prevention of aggressive war (where real people do actually get killed, including an awful lot of brown folks), the Left prefers to attack them for not having the PC position on whatever.

  8. It might be beneficial to interview some women that are promoting secession and decentralization. I’m sure I know of any besides Carla Gericke from the Free State Project though…

  9. As I’ve said before Keith I totally agree that A. The radical left has degenerated into what is effectively a superficial subculture devoid of any intelligent political analysis and B. That the remnant has dispensed with any serious critique of elite power leaving only those elements of it which were peripheral and which could be harmlessly assimilated into elite orthodoxy. This sad state of affairs is evinced by the abject fawning of the left over Obama, as pathetic an apologist for, and embodiment of, authoritarian imperialist capitalism has as ever walked and yet protected from criticism from the left by virtue of the mere tint of his skin.

    And of course the radical right will listen to that kind of assessment of the left day and night and cheer you to the rafters for making it. However that will neither make them re-assess their failed beliefs, strategies and tactics or have any impact what-so-ever on the radical left. It is entirely useless as a revolutionary activity and in that it arms the right with an actual coherent critique of the left it actually serves to perpetuate the radical schism. It is, therefore, counterproductive.

    Secessionism is, in part, a response to “cultural radicalism”, which is to say radicalism which has lost its ambition to change society and atrophied into a sub-culture. It offers a serious, viable and practical method of contesting the hegemony of the status quo. However if that argument, and it is an important one, is going to have any force is has to be married up to the critique of the failed ideological, intellectual, strategic and tactical models of the radical right (and left) as it exists today. The case has to be made. The quite frankly stupid assumptions of the radical right need to be challenged if anything is to be salvaged from it and if those assumptions are to be replaced by something better.

    Acknowledging the fact that secessionism allows for the establishment of moronic mini reichs (which I imagine as self organising karmic prisons for their inhabitants as well as useful rodent traps for the rest of society). It makes little sense for us to extol the virtues of secessionism as a simple and effective weapon against elite power if we do not advise those we offer it to that it is not a magic wand and that it requires discipline and intelligence to be effective. In practical terms for the radical right that means that if they are going to entertain Kevin MacDonald’s acolytes or David Icke’s fan club they may as well not bother going to the trouble of worrying about practical revolutionary techniques since there are none which will ever let them gain control of so much as a square inch of the Western world.

    Clearly, delivery of this message on something like VoR presents a tactical problem in that a great deal of the listenership passionately does not want to hear it. However some obvious solutions present themselves. For example attempting to defend the traditional radical right’s position against a half competent secessionist. An initial concentration on the deficiencies of the left in order to predispose the audience towards a latter critique of the radical right. The attribution of the failure of the radical right to develop an intellectual framework which wasn’t beneath contempt to the malevolence of its leadership (thus allowing disassociation from that failure by the average activist/supporter) . And so on.

    As for Lyons. Let’s be fair in that his criticisms of the radical right in the article you cited are broadly accurate. The right in the West has almost completely been reduced to a state of contemptible idiocy by a pincer movement from capitalist “happy slave” Reagan types on the one hand and David Dukesque paranoid delusionals on the other. Where Lyons goes wrong is that he is entirely blind to the equal absurdities of his own tradition and in that he is wholly monomaniacally focused on trying to match absolutely everything he sees on the right to his crude stereotype. This is obviously a worthless enterprise which contributes absolutely nothing to the cause of building a better, or at least vaguely more interesting, sustainable and just society. The danger is that we take the soft option and thereby become nothing more than a right wing counterpart to the dull stupidity of his little world.

  10. I generally agree with just about everything you said.

    Right now, I’m inclined towards pushing the position that the only way the whole pan-secessionist/neo-tribalist/national-anarchist idea will be successful is if it is genuinely “pan-tribal” in nature. If it were to turn out to be just another branch of the “white power” movement it has already lost the race before getting out of the gate and rightfully so.

    This means that radical rightists who entertain the kinds of ideas we talk about need to welcome “tribes” of all sorts into the broader movement (e.g. black or other non-white tribes, gay tribes, leftist tribes, multicultural tribes, Muslim tribes, hippie tribes, etc.) If they don’t then the whole project is dead in the water.

    Welf Herfurth and I were discussing this a few months back and he pointed out that a problem is that when N-A was introduced in the US a lot of its early converts were folks out of the “white power” milieu and even someone like Yeoman who didn’t come from that kind of background ended up recruiting a lot of people from those sectors who thought N-A was just another branch of WN. That in turn only helped to reinforce the stereotype. Fortunately, a lot of the newer N-A groups in North America seem to be moving past that.

  11. “It might be beneficial to interview some women that are promoting secession and decentralization. I’m sure I know of any besides Carla Gericke from the Free State Project though…”

    That’s an idea. Any further references would be helpful.

    I think we’ll start attracting more women into our ranks when we begin to grow big enough to start putting the “social” aspect of our program into practice. Take Hezbollah’s educational, health, and social services, for instance. If we started doing stuff like that, a lot more women would come into our camp. Right now, we tend to focus on issues like government, law, war, and economics which men are primarily though not exclusively interested in.

  12. “If some prominent black leader for instance adopted similar ideas to NA would he or she call it national anarchism? Probably not.”

    Indeed. I don’t describe myself as a national anarchist, though they seem to have adopted me (online, anyway.) I figure we’ve got our own thing. It doesn’t have a name, but we arrived at it independently, so why start calling it NA?

  13. “I think we’ll start attracting more women into our ranks when we begin to grow big enough to start putting the “social” aspect of our program into practice. Take Hezbollah’s educational, health, and social services, for instance. If we started doing stuff like that, a lot more women would come into our camp. Right now, we tend to focus on issues like government, law, war, and economics which men are primarily though not exclusively interested in.”

    Small scale and informal home schooling and cultural education is already fully in place in both my tribes and in most other tribes. I and others are trying to brand it as revolutionary.

    Really, women (and moms in particular) are excellent at immediately building community, especially around children. I’ve watched my wife and her friends do it from scratch.

  14. The difficulty with N-A is rooted in the fact that its initiators were folks with “far right” backgrounds on varying levels who created a form of anarchism that was synthesized with a lot of ENR or radical nationalist ideas and sought to apply these within an anti-universalist framework. There are three primary difficulties this presents:

    1. The ideological and cultural origins of many N-As is by itself a taboo subject matter on a number of levels.
    2. Many people identify N-A with the personal beliefs or backgrounds of N-A adherents rather than with the wider pan-tribalist, anti-globalist, anti-universalist framework in which it operates. In other words, they look askance at N-A because they dislike, for example, some of Troy Southgate’s personal views without really understanding the wider N-A concept itself.
    3. The problem of distinguishing the broader N-A concept from the personal or collective views of individual adherents or specific N-A groups.

    This is a problem I have as well. Some people attack ARV.ATS program because they don’t like me personally or some of my personal views (my adherence to Sowell’s “conflict of visions” concept or Nietzsche’s radical elitism, for example) while failing to grasp the essence of pan-secessionism or the ideas outlined in the 25 pt program or “Liberty and Populism.” It would be no different if N-A had been invented by radical leftists and others started assuming that N-A was just another variation of cultural Marxism.

    I don’t think the labels are that important. Whether we call it pan-secessionism, neo-tribalism, anarcho-pluralism, national-anarchism, some other kind of anarchism, or whatever, it’s the actual ideas that matter. For instance, the New Resistance group calls itself “national revolutionary” even though many of their ideas are very similar to both N-A and ARV/ATS. I think the core ideas reflected in all of these have a common emphasis on decentralized non-universalism which I suppose is the principal abstraction behind what we do.

    I generally see ARV/ATS as being a much more radical version of what the Rockwell-Raimondo crowds are doing. LRC is oriented towards orthodox Rothbardian libertarianism and pushing the Ron Paul phenomena as it’s main strategic vehicle right now. AWC is trying to build a consensus across the political spectrum towards a non-interventionist foreign policy. Those are worthwhile projects but what we’re doing is taking it to the next step. That is, we’re expanding the anti-state concept beyond the confines of orthodox Austrianism or anarcho-capitalism towards a more comprehensive decentralized, non-universalist, pluralistic, particularism. We’re also trying to forge a consensus not just for abolishing America’s 1000-base foreign empire with a non-interventionist foreign policy, but also for abolishing the domestic fifty-state empire as well. Rather than having one of us run for President, we’re pushing the development of local movements oriented towards full blown secession and autonomy.

  15. “If some prominent black leader for instance adopted similar ideas to NA would he or she call it national anarchism? Probably not.”

    As the N-A concept grows I do think there will be more folks outside the “white gentile male” demographic who adopt the N-A label. For instance, in the last few years, I’ve started to see an increase in the number of self-proclaimed N-As who are not white or are of mixed race heritage. I’ve also seen the number of gay or female participants increase, particularly over the last year so. Also, some of the newer N-A groups are less oriented towards the “far right” ideas implicit in the N-AM manifesto. The NATA-NY group for instance is a lot closer to ATS and took a lot of their platform directly from us. In fact, I think that was Troy’s original vision: There would be some N-A tribes who reflected his own radical right-racialist-national revolutionary outlook and there would be other tribes with different, maybe much different or polar opposite views with opposition to homogenizing globalization being the common thread.

    However, I agree that sovereignty movements will naturally adopt their own ideas and labels rooted in their own history. Why should the Republic of Lakotah call itself N-A, even though it’s obviously very consistent with N-A, when it has its own identity? Why not just call it Republic of Lakotah? Some Nation of Islam ideas overlap with N-A, but obviously they’re not going to adopt that label. They’re just going to be the Nation of Islam. The same is true of secessionist movements like Second Vermont Republic or the Texas Nationalist Movement. Its best to draw on one’s own history.

  16. “Small scale and informal home schooling and cultural education is already fully in place in both my tribes and in most other tribes. I and others are trying to brand it as revolutionary.

    Really, women (and moms in particular) are excellent at immediately building community, especially around children. I’ve watched my wife and her friends do it from scratch.”

    Exactly, and I think we’ll see more of that as the various movements start becoming real communities and less like political parties debating political theory on the internet. 🙂 I’m sure there’s lots to be learned from what your communities are already doing, Vince.

    Actually, there are prototypes for this in the subculture I originated from. The fundamentalist Christian milieu does a lot of home schooling, has a large network of private Christian schools, church-sponsored social services, alternative media and businesses, Christian universities, all sorts of stuff. They are really in many ways a prototype for people who reject the system or mainstream society for whatever reason, despite my obvious disagreements with their actual theological and political views. I’d encourage dissidents of whatever kind to develop similar institutions for themselves.

  17. Btw, some people have found it odd that I consider the examples I observed from my fundamentalist heritage to be prototypes for alternative communities that operate outside the system given my Nietzscheanism and Bakuninism and all that, which are about as anti-Christianity as it gets. But for me it all gets back to my anti-universalism. I can look at fundamentalist Christian “tribes” as a prototype, and even encourage and endorse them, while personally being an atheist who thinks it’s a shame that Christianity overran the classical pagan world the way it did because I am an anti-universalist. What the “bible-believer” tribes do for themselves is correct for themselves while secular pagans like myself should simply go elsewhere and do something different.

  18. The Christian sub culture is a great example. They and my tribe function similarly as far as their societal impact. Both work toward assimilating and educating youth into the sub culture. Both pull together to help out members who are having a hard time. Tight knit small towns function in a similar manner, really. Fraternal societies used to provide health care and social security! Was it in this broadcast that you said the infrastructure for pan-secession is already in place in many areas?

    For my people one of the battles is to get people to stop freaking out over election cycles. The upwardly mobile middle class of my people define sovereignty as upholding our treaties with the federal government; which usually amounts to getting them to keep paying for our social services. Isn’t that the opposite of sovereignty? There’s an obsession with having a voice in national level policy. Anyway, there are similar problems with the christian right and national level politics, of course.

    A big gap is in the middle class suburbs. I’ve been thinking we need an activist who can show people how to build community from the ground up in these kind of neighborhoods and show other people how. There was an article I’ve heard about that advocates for turning your city (by which they basically mean suburban sprawl of a major city) into a village by socially connecting the dots. You make yourself a fixture at the local independent barber shop, bookstore, watering hole, neighborhood association meetings, school board meetings, library, restaurant, church, etc. etc. We need people who are deeply connected to their communities and undeniable members of those communities. Such people can be widely accepted and respected in their communities and recognized as productive members, despite holding radical views. Then you start cultivating local level institutions, and start identifying like minded individuals who are receptive to the ideas of neighborhood level autonomy. To leave the theoretical realm we need people who are embedded and inseparable members of their communities. Such people should be focused on building a community’s capacity to be self sufficient, and not focused on pushing on ideas like “property=theft” or “everything would be better if everything were privatized.”

  19. “Welf Herfurth and I were discussing this a few months back and he pointed out that a problem is that when N-A was introduced in the US a lot of its early converts were folks out of the “white power” milieu and even someone like Yeoman who didn’t come from that kind of background ended up recruiting a lot of people from those sectors who thought N-A was just another branch of WN.”

    I agree, but this is simply a problem of “popular” or at least conventional perception of the relationship between anarchism and nationalism. It is a matter of accepted convention that Troy Southgate “invented” NA back in the 90’s. In fact the relationship between nationalism, tribalism and anarchism goes back much further than Troy and the various contemporary NA ephemeral groupuscules.

    Bakunin himself stated:

    “I feel myself always the patriot of all oppressed fatherlands. . . Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principal of freedom.” -Bukunin [quoted by Alfredo M. Bonanno in Anarchism and the National Liberation Struggle, pp. 19-20]” (cheers wiki)

    A sentiment which might have been expressed by a National Anarchist yesterday. Bakunin actually came from a nationalist background which would have seen him condemned as a nazi by 99% of modern day “anarchists”.

    Wiki on Kropotkin, Kropotin! 100% gold plated anarchist royalty.

    “With Mutual Aid especially, and later with Fields, Factories, and Workshops, Kropotkin was able to move away from the absurdist limitations of individual anarchism and no-laws anarchism that had flourished during this period and provide instead a vision of communal anarchism, following the models of independent cooperative communities he discovered while developing his theory of mutual aid. It was an anarchism that opposed centralized government and state-level laws as traditional anarchism did, but understood that at a certain small scale, communities and communes and co-ops could flourish and provide humans with a rich material life and wide areas of liberty without centralized control. ”

    His observations of cooperative tendencies in indigenous peoples, pre-feudal, feudal and those remaining in modern societies, allowed him to conclude that not all human societies were based on competition such as those of industrialized Europe; and that in many societies, cooperation was the norm between individuals and groups. He also concluded that in most pre-industrial and pre-authoritarian societies (where he claimed that leadership, central government and class did not exist) actively defend against the accumulation of private property, for example, by equally sharing out, amongst the community, a person’s possessions when he has died; or not allowing a gift to be sold, bartered or used to create wealth”

    Again, far closer to the “national anarchist” position (if it is distinguishable at all) than that of the so-called “anarchists” of today.

    It’s no real surprise that people meditating on what a real anarchistic society would look like have often realised that such a society would, since it has the same population as the existing one, be subject to the desires and beliefs of the current society. In such societies nationalism, and assorted lesser collective identities ranging from religion to soccer club fandom, are easily the strongest force for coherence and mutualism. In fact it is only by an active suspension of belief in the absolutely obvious that any other conclusion can be reached. Moreover it’s equally manifest that these collective identities are the only forces capable of motivating people against the state, or indeed anything at all.

    However that’s all mere theory which pales into insignificance when compared to the fact that anarchism’s most successful projects were not the “anarchist” communes of Republican Spain during the Civil War (which were in any case defended by Catalan nationalists as much as anarchist revolutionaries). The fact is that the kibbutz movement far better demonstrates anarchism as a workable sustainable social arrangement. The Kibbutz movement is easily the best example of intentional communities, most of which were agrarian and rabidly anti-private property to boot. The problem for today’s anarchists is that they were clearly motivated by the most naked “ethno”-nationalism conceivable as much as anarchist principle. Just to add another level of cognitive dissonance for the radical right and left they were also actually Zionist according to the actual meaning of the word.

    Southgate’s NA then hardly has a monopoly on the fusion of anarchist and nationalist traditions; indeed reality NA represents a rather bleak moment in that long and illustrious relationship. In my favoured narrative NA does not represent the pre-cursor to the more developed and coherent nationalist/anarchist synthesis emerging today rather it represents a regrettable false start.

    “The nearly paralyzing anti-Zionist obsessive disorder written into the National Anarchist Manifesto certainly limits the national anarchist outreach. Native American and African American leaders for instance may not subscribe to the anti-Zionist tendency associated with the national anarchist movement. Anti-Zionism is not a required doctrine or a necessary component of a national anarchist program yet opposition to Zionism is inscribed in the public declaration of principles.”

    My thoughts exactly RJ.

  20. Vince,

    “Was it in this broadcast that you said the infrastructure for pan-secession is already in place in many areas?”

    Yes, I said pan-secessionism is just a matter of formalizing what is already in place anyway.

    “For my people one of the battles is to get people to stop freaking out over election cycles. The upwardly mobile middle class of my people define sovereignty as upholding our treaties with the federal government; which usually amounts to getting them to keep paying for our social services. Isn’t that the opposite of sovereignty? There’s an obsession with having a voice in national level policy. Anyway, there are similar problems with the christian right and national level politics, of course.”

    Yes! That’s the major problem with both the Left and the Right. The left is the upwardly mobile members of all the minority groups and the left-wing of the middle class generally. These sectors are more about using the state for self-advancement and getting more goodies from state handouts from entitlements. In his autobiography, Russell Means talked about how anyone who wishes for true independence either personally or for their collective has to forget about that kind of thinking. As you said, it’s the same way on the right. I know so many “conservatives” who otherwise have some fairly decent anti-system ideas who think the fate of the world depends on what the GOP does in the next election. If the Christian right would forget about all this “reclaim American for Jesus” bullshit and develop a genuine separatist outlook they might actually get somewhere.

    “A big gap is in the middle class suburbs. I’ve been thinking we need an activist who can show people how to build community from the ground up in these kind of neighborhoods and show other people how. There was an article I’ve heard about that advocates for turning your city (by which they basically mean suburban sprawl of a major city) into a village by socially connecting the dots.”

    The day we convert suburban middle America to pan-secession is the day of the revolution. 🙂 This is actually a very important question because to make a pan-secessionist anarchism viable we would eventually need to gain the support of substantial sectors of the middle class. Typically, middle class support for revolutions comes from formerly middle class people who are sinking socioeconomically (there’s plenty of that) or an upwardly mobile middle class that sees the system as frustrating its ambitions (so the key there is to identify sections of the middle class that fit that description).

    “Then you start cultivating local level institutions, and start identifying like minded individuals who are receptive to the ideas of neighborhood level autonomy. To leave the theoretical realm we need people who are embedded and inseparable members of their communities. Such people should be focused on building a community’s capacity to be self sufficient, and not focused on pushing on ideas like “property=theft” or “everything would be better if everything were privatized.””

    Yes! That’s why I think the Mailer model is generally a more potent strategic outlook than any of the sectarian kinds of anarchism. LOL! If we start preaching “property is theft” to the American middle class, they’re going to think we’re a bunch of fucking Stalinists, and if we take the an-caps “sell the sidewalks to the highest bidder” line they’re going to think we want to turn the world into a giant shopping mall (which hardly does much to distinguish us from neoliberalism).

  21. Pearson,

    I’m aware of the history you’re discussing concerning the relationship between anarchism and nationalism. In fact, throughout much of the 19th century nationalism was often identified with the Left along with socialism and liberalism. The classical liberal bourgeoisie tended to favor nationalism against the multinational empires associated with the monarchical dynasties. The socialists and anarchists often adopted a similar outlook. In fact, genuine conservatives of the throne and altar type often looked askance at nationalism and regarded it as a leftist, egalitarian outlook. There’s a lot of that in the work of Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, for instance. Nietzsche disliked nationalism because of it’s association with democratic movements which were antithetical to his aristocratic radicalism.

    I also agree many of the classical anarchists had views that would be indistinguishable on many levels from today’s national-anarchists. Proudhon referred to France as the “sacred land of Gaoul.” Kropotkin became a Russian nationalist who supported the Great War against German militarism as did American expatriate turned French patriot Benjamin Tucker (which was a major fuck up on both their parts, IMO). Bakunin’s pan-Slavic nationalism is well-known. Gustav Landauer’s writings on these issues are often cited by N-As as a prototype for their outlook. There are tons of other examples.

    Here’s what I think the current problem is: Today’s Left, including its anarchist contingent, has a view of nationalism that is both phobic and schizophrenic. Phobic, in the sense that the Left now views anything to do with nationalism as a variation of fascism and Nazism. IMO, the contemporary Left’s hysteria and extremism over race issues and phobic anti-nationalism is simply a knee-jerk reaction against the past: WW2, Hitler, the Holocaust, colonialism, Jim Crow, apartheid and all that. I think that will fade over time (in fact, a friend of mine who is a very liberal but not fanatically PC female anarchist recently pointed that out to me as well). The left’s take on nationalism is also schizophrenic because the left still often endorses extreme nationalism when practiced by the Third World or “people of color” while going crazy over any expression of nationalism by palefaces. I think the continued growth of globalism and multiculturalism may change that. For instance, a Scottish anarchist of the leftist-Chomskyite variety who also supports Scottish independence recently read my essay on N-A from 2003 and praised it to the heavens. There will probably be more of that in the future.

    My question is how do we go about reclaiming and revamping this historical legacy?

    “In such societies nationalism, and assorted lesser collective identities ranging from religion to soccer club fandom, are easily the strongest force for coherence and mutualism. In fact it is only by an active suspension of belief in the absolutely obvious that any other conclusion can be reached. Moreover it’s equally manifest that these collective identities are the only forces capable of motivating people against the state, or indeed anything at all.”

    Yes, that’s why I think N-A is a valuable project and is a necessary corrective for some of the deficiencies found among other types of anarchists (not that it doesn’t have baggage of its own, of course).

    “The fact is that the kibbutz movement far better demonstrates anarchism as a workable sustainable social arrangement. The Kibbutz movement is easily the best example of intentional communities, most of which were agrarian and rabidly anti-private property to boot. The problem for today’s anarchists is that they were clearly motivated by the most naked “ethno”-nationalism conceivable as much as anarchist principle. Just to add another level of cognitive dissonance for the radical right and left they were also actually Zionist according to the actual meaning of the word.”

    It’s also true that the most successful kibbutzes tend to be the ones with the strongest sense of religous and/or ethnic identity, a fact that I’ve pointed out to bemused anarchists in the past.

    “In my favoured narrative NA does not represent the pre-cursor to the more developed and coherent nationalist/anarchist synthesis emerging today rather it represents a regrettable false start.”

    Hmm. Interesting comment. What do you mean by “false start”?

  22. Pearson and RJ,

    On the “Zionist question” or whatever we wish to call it, I agree that being “anti-Zionist” (in whatever form) is hardly a prerequisite for holding to any of the kinds of anarchist ideas we discuss here. Theoretically, for instance, one could be a dedicated pan-secessionist and also be “pro-Israel” in the sense of favoring Israel against the Palestinians or over the Arabs on the grounds that Israel has a superior civilization, or more internal freedoms, or is an extension of the West or that Jews need a state of their own as a safe haven from persecution, or that Israel is a prototypical N-A intentional nation or that the kibbutzes are prototypical anarcho-communist collectives, or whatever. I suppose there could even be “anarcho-neocons” who want their future anarchist/secessionist territories or communities to go to war with Iran on behalf of Israel or whatever.

    But as we know, it usually doesn’t work that way. For those of us who are Americans (and Englishmen as well, as British foreign policy usually mirrors America’s to a large degree), the “Anglo-American-Zionist” triumvirate is a major part of the empire that we are in opposition to. So if we wish to see the end of the American empire and it’s military industrial complex, we advocate ending that alliance by default even if not by proclamation. As we know, that automatically puts us in direct conflict with the “Israel lobby” and related forces. Being anti-neocon or even anti-Likud is not the same thing as being anti-Zionist per se, but for the purposes of practical politics there’s not going to be a great deal of distinction made by our critics or enemies. Case in point: http://www.infowars.com/israeli-lobby-launch-new-super-pac-effort-to-bring-down-ron-paul/

  23. RJ,

    “Well, the Nation of Islam can have ‘overlapping’ tendencies and still be opposed to “the white man” (or national anarchist movement) The Republic of Lakota can share some common themes but still be opposed to “the white man” (national anarchist movement). ”
    Well, maybe something like this is the solution on that end: 🙂 http://books.google.com/books?id=CjIYNrOO24IC&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=john+baumgardner+akkebala&source=bl&ots=YJlaUatfV8&sig=IENs-H2gTbLXEEKQ2GM95Ask3Lc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qLQaT472FYH40gHCiJHTCw&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=john%20baumgardner%20akkebala&f=false

    “National anarchists are nationalists first, period. And nothing is wrong with that, I’m on their side but NA is not going to move beyond WN. A collective of white males who claim to be beyond left and right while placing emphasis on issues like anti-homosexuality, anti-abortion, anti-Zionism, anti-feminism, etc are not so much beyond-left-and-right. These issues should be seen as non-issues to the decentralist revolutionary anarchist leadership — or the anarcho-pluralists.”

    Yes, I agree with that. I would say that in its present form N-A is similar to the left-anarchists who are leftists first or an-caps who are capitalists first. All of these tendencies tend to focus primarily on their hyphens. The advantage of the N-As, however, is their anti-universalism which is rare among some of the other hyphenated anarchisms. Also, the issues you mentioned that are a feature of Southgate’s N-AM are not emphasized as strongly (or at all) by some other N-A tendencies. For instance, I know one gay N-A who has photos of himself making out with guys on his FB page (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    “When I hear national anarchists advocate free association and say they have no problem with the development of multicultural communities (when they’re taking a break from attacking multiculturalism) I think to myself wow, how is this supposed to work? It’s no different from the left-anarchists who claim to support free association while attacking separatism.”

    Well, I think free association is the key principle to making any of this work. With free association, there could be ethno-centric and multicultural associations. The question is how committed is either side to the free association principle. I agree both sides sometimes fall short on this question.

    “ARV should defend national anarchism but ATS appears to be moving closer and closer into the realm of national anarchism (white nationalist disclaimer now on the statement of purpose, radio program from white nationalist network, national anarchist logo for ATS radio show)”

    Well, as is the case with Vince, they’ve adopted me as one of their own, and I have no problem participating in their milieu, even if I certainly would not want to limit myself to that exclusively by any means. Btw, didn’t you used to call your local affiliate the “Las Vegas National-Anarchists”? 🙂

    “If there’s anything we can learn from the rise of national anarchism and the response to it, it’s how NOT to suffocate the ATS outreach and the growing diversity of ATS that would allow us to marginalize our critics in the future. The radio show is a good thing, but why the NA symbol?”

    Why not claim all of the varying anarchist banners and symbols and use them when they are contextually appropriate? For instance, if we were doing a show on a network oriented towards women’s issues, why not use an anarcha-feminist symbol? If we were doing a show on a leftist network, why not use the black and red anarcho-syndicalist flag? Keep in mind also that for anarcho-pluralism to develop it would be necessary for all of the hyphenated tendencies to recruit from the wider milieus from which they are connected, e.g. N-A recruits from the “far right,” pink and green anarchists from feminists, gays, and enviros, an-caps from conservative libertarians, black anarchists from African Americans, syndicalists from labor unions, etc.

    “Of course, the so called leaders of ARV should not take on a national anarchist tone more than an anarcho-capitalist tone, or an anarcho-communist tone.”

    I agree with that as a matter of general theory, but it may be different when dealing with specific constituencies. Obviously, some symbols and rhetorical arguments are better for some audiences than for others.

    “Yes so we should be pushing the wider anarcho-pluralist meta-political framework (ARV) and not national-anarchism. NA is not the proper domain for both the spirit of the concord of families and tribes, and the multi-culturalists, to the exclusion of outlanders, to be sold abroad.”

    I agree that we should regard N-A as only a denomination within the wider anarcho-pluralist framework. Obviously, I also want us to have our hands in as many different anarchist tendencies as possible. But I also think different kinds of communities require different outreach efforts. The radio show, for instance, is a means of reaching the broader sectors of the populist right, radical right, or alternative right with the ARV/ATS message, while using N-A symbols and arguments as a kind of bridge or connector. What we need are lots of other projects oriented to other demographics using the appropriate tools and imagery that are relevant to the community in question. That’s what Vince does in the Native American communities. If Miles had a program on Uhuru radio, he would obviously need to do some things a bit differently from what I do on VOR. http://uhurunews.com/radio/?tzoffminutes=480 When I’ve written for LRC or the LA or Anti-State.Com, I’ve put on somewhat different slant on what I’m writing than when I’m doing a piece for the AltRight. If I were on a Christian radio network, I wouldn’t want to talk about Nietzsche or Bakunin, even though they are my primary influences.

    I agree with the general point you’re making. I think what we need is simply more participants in the ARV/ATS project from a wider variety of backgrounds who can work to establish a foothold in lots of different milieus. That’s one of the many reasons why the growing diversity of ARV/ATS is a good thing. Eventually, I want to see representatives of our tendencies being publishing and doing broadcasting within the context of all kinds of milieus. In my case personally, it’s a matter of not being able to be everywhere at once.

    A question: How can we go about expanding our presence in all of the different kinds of anarchist tendencies, thereby making our diversity even broader and allowing us to gain a footing in a continually greater number of dissident communities?

  24. Actually, I’m in the process of doing an interview for a N-A magazine where I’m going to raise some of these issues in that milieu, i.e. that for the N-A idea to be accepted in the wider anti-state or radical sectors a clear distinction needs to be made between the wider pan-tribal, anti-universalist idea and the values of particular tribes, e.g. nationalist, racialism, anti-Zionism, neo-paganism, elitism, masculinism, etc.

  25. “For instance, I know one gay N-A who has photos of himself making out with guys on his FB page (not that there’s anything wrong with that). ”

    There are also a number of women, some South Americans, a couple Spaniards and a number of people from various religious persuasions like Asatru, Freemasonry, Sufism, Christianity and the Shi’a Muslim faith. (On a side note, there were articles by a Jewish NA on the old Rosenoire page…) Many of these people even have multicultural friends lists… In fact, someone I just added to my friends list from the NA circle posts quite a bit of rap videos. So there are already left/right/center and liberal/conservative trends emerging within NA. I’m pretty sure Troy was hoping it’d turn out that way.

  26. “On a side note, there were articles by a Jewish NA on the old Rosenoire page…”

    Yes, I believe he went by the pseudonym of “Archonis.” He was a really interesting if sometimes bizarre writer, but I haven’t seen anything from him in quite a while.

  27. “A big gap is in the middle class suburbs. I’ve been thinking we need an activist who can show people how to build community from the ground up in these kind of neighborhoods and show other people how. There was an article I’ve heard about that advocates for turning your city (by which they basically mean suburban sprawl of a major city) into a village by socially connecting the dots.” Vince

    We argued this subject recently on another thread. I agree that the “middle class” are the group most likely to successfully enact forms of secessionism. I also agree that the best strategy to persuade them to do so is a gradualist approach starting with small scale re-localisation projects and then moving on to more ambitious objectives as related concepts penetrate the local consciousness and a group capable of implementation if formed and trained.

    I’d add thought that suburbs are the most difficult environment to attempt this process. I recommend a concentration on small and preferably fairly remote towns. These towns have the following advantages over suburbs.

    A. Since they usually have economies based on agriculture they are less dependent on the global system of trade. A suburb of Atlanta surrounded by other suburbs to a depth of fifty miles is going to be difficult to convince that it can be economically independent of the global trade system when every last calorie is trucked by Wal Mart.

    B. These towns often have traditions of civic consciousness which is obviously going to help promote the idea of the community as an organic political entity. Suburbs rarely have any such comparable sense of “place”.

    C. Small towns are usually far more economically self contained than suburbs since commercial and other services are usually provided by central districts in city suburbs. This makes less reliant on other communities.

    D. Populations of small towns often contain a substantial number of people there because, to some extent, because they have rejected urban culture or deliberately chosen a life in a more organic community. Such people are likely to be more susceptible to a secessionist message.

    E. Cities are logistical hubs, they are the environment in which the establishment finds it easiest to mobilise and concentrate its support base. A successful secessionist movement in a city suburb with become the target of a relatively large force of establishment political firepower. Within a small town by contrast the establishment is forced to rely on its local support. This is likely to be of very low quality and short of numbers.

    F. Smaller towns have almost invariably lost out in the process of globalisation whereas cities and their inhabitants have ”gained” opportunities. Obviously globalisation tends to concentrate and centralise economic activity and that can only be at the expense of the small enterprise operating in a local market.

    G. Small motivated and focused groups can have a far larger impact and be far more influential in small communities than they can among the vast populations of urban centres. Even individuals can have a significant influence in smaller communities.

    If we can encourage successful secessionist orientated movements in these outlying communities then we would have a concrete example to hold up to suburban communities of the advantages of secessionism, or economic and political relocalisation if you prefer.

  28. I think a major strategic question is this: How can we all organize and promote the anarchist/secessionist message among the reference groups with which we identify or originate from, while at the same time promoting the wider anarcho-pluralist/pan-secessionist metapolitical concept in a way that rises above specific differences among political communities?

    For instance, in my case much of my political work in recent years has been among the paleoconservative, anarcho-libertarian, and alternative right circles. It’s not so much that those are even my primary reference groups as much as it was something I fell into by accident given the enthusiasm for many in those circles for my “totalitarian humanism” theory. So naturally when I speak to folks in those circles I use arguments and address issues they can relate to. I’ve tried with varying degrees of success to keep ATS independent of that scene. Much of the overlap between ATS and N-A has more to do, I believe, with the obvious similarities between the two rather than a specific effort on my part to move ATS in that direction, as well as the fact that N-As are often more receptive to the ARV/ATS message than some other kinds of anarchists.

    So how do we organize among dissident milieus with a specific cultural or ideological orientation while working to retain the anarcho-pluralist/pan-secessionist concept as something that rises above sectarian considerations, including those that involve N-A? Eventually, I would like to see conventions of anarchists where syndicalists debate an-caps and an-coms on economics, and anarcho-monarchists debate libertarian municipalists on preferred political structures, and N-As debate APOC or multiculturalists and so forth. But how do we get there? Then there’s the wider question of extending this out into dissident cultures generally, and then into the public at large. Obviously, there’s a lot of work ahead.

  29. Relating these issues to other anarchist milieus, I’d say a major problem with Rothbard’s legacy is that a lot of his work was too economics-obsessed. That’s not surprising, given he was an economist by profession. But a lot of his stuff leaves the impression that anarcho-libertarianism is just another branch of bourgeois liberal economics (which it often is).

    I actually think Walter Block has been better on these questions. I’ve seen stuff from him where he recognizes that capitalism and libertarianism are not the same thing despite his own favorable view of capitalism. For instance, he once wrote that a libertarian society could at least theoretically be composed of voluntary socialist communities like the kibbutzes or Hutterite colonies.

    As for the left-anarchists the problem with them is that they seem to have given anarchism a different definition from its historic or dictionary meaning. For them, anarchism is not about abolishing the coercive apparatus of the state as much as opposing all sorts of nebulous “hierarchies” of a somewhat dubious nature. That might not be an awful thing by itself, but the problem is that it leads to the kinds of things we saw in Lyons’ critique where exclusionary neighborhoods, conservative churches denominations, and strict parents are conflated with political totalitarianism.

  30. s e pearson wrote, ‘ I recommend a concentration on small and preferably fairly remote towns.’

    I would agree. And I would say that the semi-rural areas (such as my own) on the outskirts of such areas and outside of the suburbs are also fertile areas for recruitment and implementation of these ideas. There is a great deal of resentment there in people like myself and friends of mine. There is a natural antipathy towards the system and an enclave mentality. Pat Buchanan as written and spoken at length about the enclave. As Keith as said, the infrastructure is already there. I think this goes beyond the secessionist movements (such as my own Southern nationalist movement) to the broader enclave-isation of North America and the entire multicultural Western world. I’v began writing about embracing the enclave, thinking of it as your country, and trying to promote the independence and unique identity of it. I think it would help if folks who support these sorts of ideas began writing about their own enclave and how they want to see it develop. Beyond this, we need to do all we can to foster the growth, well-being and independence of our enclave. It’s a hard thing for people to come to grips with on a macro-scale. But on a micro-scale they have seen it and embraced it., for the most part, already. It’s just appealing to that micro-scale image and experience, I think, and then showing how this can be part of a bigger, macro-scale picture of cooperation.

  31. “But I believe you’re in the process of snipping that in the butt as you become the national anarchist figurehead in America.”

    But that perception of me is nothing new. It goes back to at least 2002 or 2003. I was always unpopular with the left-anarchists even before ATS began.

    ” I think being ‘adopted’ by ancient empire apologists and revolutionary fascists will do more damage to the larger outreach and diversity of ATS than to say, the state. But of course it would be more beneficial to you being written into history (the rise of National Anarchism in America, etc) so I don’t blame you.”

    I don’t really see the diversity of ATS decreasing. Participants come and go, but the diversity of ATS continues and the actual number of readers/participants/adherents seems to continually increase over time. If anything, there were more “fascists” on our old yahoo list than they are among the current regular participants here.

    “I think a contextual pluralism is in order to sell such ideas to ordinary Americans. I view both secession and US styled libertarianism as the unique cultural heritage and political traditions of this country.”

    So what should we be doing that we are not currently doing?

  32. For instance I’ve come to call myself a ‘neighborhood anarchist’ and I’ve corresponded with both multiculturalists and non multiculturalists who agree that Neighborhood Anarchism is the best way to go. Do we seek to return power to the race? or to return power to towns, neighborhoods and villages regardless of their origins or preferences? The Power to the Neighborhood video project returned like a 90% positive response from both leftists and rightists with the exception of Lyons and some random YT troll. One leftist noted that ‘neighborhood anarchism’ reminded him of Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism. Again, instead of going on and on and on about anti-Zionism, anti-feminism, anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-this, anti-that – the emphasis is on recovering the neighborhood, repairing and advancing “the broken family” and “the broken community” and it’s truly open to both multicultural potentialities and historical traditions. It places the Neighborhood First! in hope of joining together with other neighborhood anarchists to knit these neighborhoods and towns into a broader confederation. Such a confederation of left-right neighborhoods would be capable of challenging the legitimacy of the state and restoring the powers of towns and cities against global power. Would the national anarchist movement be capable of doing this? I really don’t think so. The neighborhood anarchist is more open and capable of transcending the boundaries of the municipality. He could be a nationalist anarchist, capitalist anarchist, or communist anarchist. But the neighborhood anarchist refocuses on the attention of local community without the nationalist-first, communist-first, capitalist-first baggage.

  33. “I could be wrong but I am not aware of any new African American, Native American, Arab American (or any other) participant(s) that we’ve picked up since your merger with alternative right, or since you started speaking to the non-anarchist nationalists.”

    A full accounting of the demographic breakdown of ATS readers or participants would be an interesting question to explore. Do any of our readers care to identify themselves, their cultural backgrounds, or philosophical orientations?

    “Over the last few years your new work has targeted a particular audience and certainly you’re aware of the results. It’s not a coincidence that after the series of articles you’ve written for altright that you’ve been asked to speak at NPI and launch a radio program at VoR.”

    Well, there’s a valid reason for that. Other than the SVR, the alternative right is really the only faction in U.S. politics that is interested in the breakup of the mother country of the empire other than isolated individuals and tiny sectarian groups. The mainstream right is more interested in flag-waving jingoism and the progressive left is more interested in re-electing Obama. Both Richard Spencer and Paul Gottfried, who are the de facto leaders of the Alt Right have expressed an interest in scrapping the U. S. system altogether. In fact, Richard told me this evening that NPI is considering moving towards a specifically secessionist outlook. There’s not many other games going on right now.

  34. “It places the Neighborhood First! in hope of joining together with other neighborhood anarchists to knit these neighborhoods and towns into a broader confederation. Such a confederation of left-right neighborhoods would be capable of challenging the legitimacy of the state and restoring the powers of towns and cities against global power. Would the national anarchist movement be capable of doing this? I really don’t think so. The neighborhood anarchist is more open and capable of transcending the boundaries of the municipality. He could be a nationalist anarchist, capitalist anarchist, or communist anarchist. But the neighborhood anarchist refocuses on the attention of local community without the nationalist-first, communist-first, capitalist-first baggage.”

    Yeah, I’m with you on all of that. What you’re saying here is fairly similar to what Pearson was saying in the above post, although he seems to favor a more rural approach while yours seems more suitable to a large metro area (why not both?).

    “Do we seek to return power to the race? or to return power to towns, neighborhoods and villages regardless of their origins or preferences?”

    Here’s an article that more or less addresses the same question you’ve raised in a much different political and cultural context but more or less comes to the same conclusion as you?

    http://blog.com.np/2007/03/13/ethnic-federalism-in-nepal-is-a-recipe-for-disaster/

  35. “Like I said we should not succumb to a particular anarchist subgroup”

    I generally agree, but to what degree do you think the infoshopper types are salvageable? I’m not being dismissive here. It’s a question I’m generally interested in exploring.

  36. Pearson, I agree. The suburbs will likely be the last to come over in any scenario, but I think for some of the reasons you mentioned they will be the hardest to fall. If they fall and no one is there to promise them anything other than the state, then that’s who they’ll throw in with. I’m talking about recruiting up and coming activists to start laying the groundwork for a neighborhood by neighborhood network of pan secessionists who are deeply integrated and inseparable from their communities. As the system starts to fail we’ll need a network already in place in mainstream America. The idea of neighborhood autonomy will be an easier sell when seemingly out of nowhere rebel forces from within the community are providing security and maintaining infrastructure while the rest of America crumbles or secedes. Will these activists be the first to move their neighborhoods toward pan secession? Likely not, but that’s okay.

    So on that note I like where RJ is going. I come from and speak to my Native community, but I grew up in the suburbs of Juneau, an area designed to destroy any sense of community, even in the enclave of Native families on my block. I currently spend most of the year in the ‘burbs of east Portland. But even here I’ve already built up a decent network of receptive folk from all walks of life. Next up is flying the Cascadian flag, and tailoring a message that will get a network of locals on board.

  37. “In my favoured narrative NA does not represent the pre-cursor to the more developed and coherent nationalist/anarchist synthesis emerging today rather it represents a regrettable false start.”

    “Hmm. Interesting comment. What do you mean by “false start”?”

    In order to answer that question we need to define what we would consider success. As a minimum I think we have to see some ground level activity motivated by the ideas being promoted. As far as I know apart from Yeoman who, and with all due respect to him, was not very successful in getting anything other than token actions done there was no manifestation of NA in the real world. Sure, that standard sets a high bar but it has to the measure of success of any serious radical.

    One of the great hopes of NA is that it would encourage a none authoritarian radical right strand which would allow for the development of radical right thought and allow it to break out of the propaganda kill zone set up by people like Lyons. In this it failed utterly. Nor did it win much support from the radical left which is an implicit objective since it is necessary to achieve anything really significant.

    So we can fairly say that NA failed in all of its objectives. OK so a small element of the radical right has begun to reconsider some of the assumptions of that tradition. However how far can NA be said to have been responsible for that? The ITP, for example, (of which I think Southgate was a member) was considering broadly similar ideas back in the early 80’s so it can’t even be said that NA has been responsible for that minor trend. (and in fact a none authoritarian collectivist strand has been around throughout the 20th century on the margins of the radical right).

    We have to ask the question “why was NA not more successful?” given that I think all of us can see that it has an obviously superior intellectual and practical offer to the conventional radical right.

    It’s my belief that Southgate made far too many concessions to the traditional radical right and in doing so allowed it to co-opt NA rather than the other way around. In particular the tolerance of the elements of the radical right which makes it abhorrent to both the left and mainstream society doomed it from the start. These concessions, like the “anti-zionism”, saddled NA with a quite prescriptive outlook which unnecessarily limited its appeal. (I pick that subject because it is so divisive among all radical traditions and because in my one conversation with Troy he absolutely insisted the view taken on that subject had primacy over all others).

    Even the name was wrong. National Anarchism? Not Anarcho-nationalism? The latter would have at least followed the convention of anarchist strands such as Anarcho-syndicalism, Anarcho-Capitalism and Anarcho-Communism. This might seem a minor point but I think it is telling that, in spite of the obvious point that you can’t moderate anarchism and therefore it must be the dominant element of any synthesis, Southgate still put nationalism before anarchism in his nomenclature.

    I absolutely agree that it is inherent in secessionism or “neighbourhood anarchism” (love that phrase RJ) that all groups are equally entitled to self determination. However we must be careful not to become too strongly associated with any one tradition, of any sort, but particularly not the least popular one in the West.

    In practical terms this means that when using a platform like VoR it’s important to be critical of the failings of the traditional radical right as well as left. It might also be useful to set out a critique of the NA movement in order to be distinguished from it. I also think that the current importance of NA in the narrative of the development of the secessionist (or whatever you want to call it) movement should be given less prominence in favour of an emphasis on the longer and more significant tradition of overlap between radical schools. After all a line of succession from Southgate is OK, but a line of succession from Kropotkin and Bakunin must be better in that it is more intellectually provocative. (I’m guessing that we’d probably find that Mazzini or some other prominent nationalist theorist (if there is one) expressed similar sentiments if we were to look)

    To sum up, I agree with RJ, there is a danger here that ATS is becoming too strongly associated with NA and the radical right in general. Sure the Lyons of this world will always accuse anyone who does not share their BS agenda of being in league with the Klan, however there is a difference between that claim being easily refutable and it being credible to anyone taking an interest.

    (Another critique of NA and the NA-M is that its proposed internal structure was centralist and hierarchical in direct contradiction of its own ethos and principle)

  38. BTW on the subject secessionist antecedents GK Chesterton’s 1904 “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” is interesting. In the book London is divided into sovereign micro states based on the traditional boroughs, each of which develops its own character. Although superficially this is explicitly presented as a joke (the system is put in place by a monarch who has been randomly selected from the population and who conceives the system as a prank) and that the various boroughs engage in a graphically portrayed war Chesterton is clearly not hostile to the suggestion. The book ends with the protagonists celebrating the creation of a more interesting society. And this is Chesterton we’re talking about so clearly there is more to this than a comic conceit.

    The 1949 film “Passport to Pimlico” also features a secessionist London district’s confrontation with the British State. So these ideas have been in the popular cultural consciousness for at least a century. (incidentally the most famous line from Passport is “We’re English and we always have been English. And it’s just because we are English that we’re sticking up for our right to be Burgundians!”; NA anyone?)

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