Says supposed “anarchist” Spencer Sunshine:
“The movement’s beliefs are a grab bag of toxic politics which commonly include: opposition to any restrictions on gun ownership; anti-immigrant xenophobia and Islamophobia; unrestricted use of private and public land; legal strategies of right-wing decentralization; a commitment to completely unregulated capitalism; various conspiracy theories about how our supposedly socialist government is planning to allow the UN or China to invade; climate change denial and anti-environmentalism—and of course an implicit racism.”
And this state differs from ordinary state-centric progressivism/totalitarian humanism exactly how? Noam Chomsky and this guy are Exhibits A and B concerning why we need the new anarchist movement that ATS and friends are building.
The current Patriot Movement grows out of white-power influenced militias of the 1970s. While the current crop has attempted to distance themselves from White nationalism, it is still is made up of far-Right Islamophobes, conspiracy-theorists, anti-immigration activists, and others that straddle the fence between the Tea Party and White nationalism.
Such groups often have a pull within the white working and middle classes, and represent an armed cadre of (largely) ex-service men and former police officers, willing to take action. With the ‘success’ of the Bundy Ranch standoff under their belts and now the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, we wanted to know more about the Patriot Movement and the current showdown. Sitting down with Spencer Sunshine, a longtime anti-fascist writer who has tracked and written about the far-Right, we asked him to explain what is happening and how the far-Right is mobilizing.
IGD: What is the relationship between the Bundys, the 3%ers, and other far-Right militia groups and formations? Why do you feel that the Oath Keepers have decided to stay out but others have come in?
It’s hard to know exactly who is inside the armed camp—recently christened Citizens for Constitutional Freedom—especially since people can, astoundingly, come and go freely (some of the paramilitaries are actually staying in hotels in town). So here’s what I can make out.
In general, they are all part of the same political milieu, which is pretty disorganized and factional. Often it is not clear where the lines start and end between, say the right-wing of the Republican Party; more grassroots-oriented groups like the Tea Party, various Constitutionalists and conspiracy theorists, and Christian Rightists; and the what I consider to be the formal Patriot movement groups (Oath Keepers, 3%ers, militias, and Sovereign Citizens).
Since this question always comes up, I think that today the Patriot movement is self-consciously trying to police a line between themselves and the ideological white nationalists. This is ironic since the Patriot movement is essentially based on the template set up by the 1970s antisemitic, white supremacist group Posse Comitatus, which advocated many of the ideological and organizational forms used by the Patriot groups today. However, this may be changing at the camp, as the SPLC just reported yesterday that two ideological white Supremacists are now part of the occupation.