By Keith Preston
Special thanks to Peter Topfer, Adam Ormes, Thom Forester, and Sean Jobst for their assistance in the writing of this summary.
On June 17 and 18, the first ever conference of the National-Anarchist Movement (N-AM) took place in Madrid. The process of arranging this conference was certainly not without its difficulties, and the organizers deserve much praise for their diligence in this regard. Originally, the conference was supposed to be hosted by the Madrid section of N-AM, who dropped out of the project shortly (and out of N-AM altogether) before the conference took place. This led to the irony of a conference being held in Spain where no actual Spanish people were among the attendees. Because National-Anarchists are widely despised by leftists who mistakenly regard N-A as a “fascist” tendency, security was a paramount concern.
The conference was held at a hotel in Madrid, and while no leftist disrupters were present, on the morning the conference began a group of Madrid police officers showed up at the hotel. The officers subsequently followed the organizers to a pre-arranged meeting point where attendees were in the process of arriving. Although I was not personally present when this incident occurred, I am told the officers began asking the arrivals for identification, almost comically claiming “anti-terrorism” as a motivation. Apparently, Big Brother is indeed always watching. However, the situation was resolved and the conference continued without further difficulty.
The conference attendees represented a range of national origins, including those from England, the United States, Germany, Poland, Italy, Greece, Finland and Brazil. While the number of attendees was relatively small compared to other conferences where I have spoken, this was an extraordinary event considering that it was the first ever of its kind. I became interested in National-Anarchism shortly after the movement’s inception in the late 1990s. I had been involved with anarchist and anti-state movements for over a decade previously, and normally found movements of these kinds to be less than satisfactory in terms of both theory and action. The mainstream of the international anarchist movement was and continues to be oriented towards ordinary center-left “social justice” concerns. These may be good causes, or at least acceptable from an anti-authoritarian perspective. Yet there is little about most of this which is actually subversive to the state, or which threatens the rising global capitalist empire. There is also a parallel “anarcho-capitalist” movement which champions “free market” economic theory within a stateless context. While many in this milieu are adamant, sincere and admirable defenders of individual liberty, it is also true that libertarianism of this kind often veers off into bourgeois conservatism, centrist neoliberalism, or the social leftism of the mainstream anarchists, thereby undermining its subversive potential. National-Anarchism has always seemed to be a tendency that “puts the horse before the cart.”
If I had to come up with a working definition of National-Anarchism, I’d say it’s a philosophy that favors stateless societies based on autonomous, voluntary communities comprised of freely associating individuals and groups, with an orientation towards decentralized, pluralistic particularism, human scale institutions, mutual aid, an infinite array of individual and collective identities, and self-determination for everyone. A nation is this context simply means a common ethnic, religious, cultural, sexual or lifestyle affiliation, not a national state or national chauvinism. The same way indigenous people around the world often think of themselves as a nation (Kurdish nation, Sioux nation, Lakota nation, Ibo nation, Yazidi nation, etc) even though few if any of these have states of their own. And a “nation” in this context doesn’t have to be an ethnic group. Presumably it could be Star Trek or Star Wars freaks or fans of football teams.
It was consequently a pleasure to finally meet in person the founder of the National-Anarchist Movement, Troy Southgate, whom I had known only online for 15 years, and to once again meet Welf Herfurth, whom I had previously met at a Washington, D.C. conference in 2011. It was also quite interesting to meet a range of other individuals involved with N-A, whom I had previously known only online, by reputation, or by a pseudonym in some instances. One of the more amusing thoughts that occurred to me during the course of the conference was the fact that despite the “fascist” label that is given to N-A by its enemies, a person that walked into the conference would immediately known they were at an anarchist gathering, and not a fascist one, based on the appearances of the attendees, and the ideas that were being discussed. The central focus of the conference was a range of presentations on some particular aspect of National-Anarchist thought, or exploring National-Anarchist criticisms of the system.
Adam Ormes: “Perspectives on Ancestral Health”
The first speaker on the morning of June 17 was Adam Ormes from England who spoke on the topic of “ancestral health.” He described how our human ancestors have been subjected or subjected themselves to a number of significant adaptations concerning their diet, environment, and lifestyle since Paleolithic times, and that it’s highly debatable as to whether many of these adaptations have been beneficial from the perspective of health. A central focus of Adam’s presentation was the impact of modern dietary practices on human health, and how aspects of the modern diet may actually have a retrograde impact on human physical development. In support of his arguments, Adam referred to the studies conducted in the early 20th century by Dr. Weston Price, an American dentist that was intrigued by the healthier teeth and better developed facial structures of people in societies where industrial dietary practices had yet to be adopted. Price concluded from his studies that the excessive consumption of processed sugar, flour, and vegetable oils has a dysgenic effect on human physiological development.
Weston Price’s research is only one example of the dramatic effects of such changes; degeneration seemingly likewise occurred on a monumental level with the advent of agriculture, and is now occurring once again on numerous fronts exponentially. What is significant about this process in terms of human evolution is that both degeneration and regeneration are possible trajectories, depending on the decisions that humans make, both individually and collectively. The talk examined significant factors that have been at play over the ages, focusing in particular on how different cultures have treated their soils, and how this in turn has informed their long-term viability.
With regards to human dietary choices, Adam proposed this prism through which to consider the question of “what is good for you”:
- Ancestral adaptation: Were your ancestors eating these foods, and are you adapted in such a way as to be able to make use of them?
- Soil, plant & animal conditions where food was grown: How are the soil nutrient levels where the food was produced? How have the plants and animals been bred and cared for? Have toxins entered the food chain?
- Processing: Have the foods been processed in a way that preserves or destroys nutrients / increases or decreases digestibility?
Further considerations included the question of how to adopt the trajectory of regeneration through detoxification, “biohacking” (e.g. the Wim Hof method), and remineralizing our soils with permaculture practices, along with the necessity of a community effort in order for these goals to be attained in time – before humans are reduced to a pale shadow of their potential.
To be sure, dietary health is an issue of concern in modern industrial societies. While mass starvation of the kind that often plagued pre-industrial societies is less common in modernity, newer health concerns have certainly emerged due to the normalized consumption of industrially processed food. An obvious example is the epidemic of obesity in the United States, particularly among the lower classes, which is no doubt a result of American fast food and junk food culture. This phenomenon is now being exported to nations such as Japan which are traditionally known for their healthy diets and long life expectancy. The Japanese are now experiencing a dramatic rise in rates of obesity as well. Another issue is the cancer epidemic of modern societies. For example, nearly forty percent of Americans will develop cancer at some point in their lives, and dietary practices such as the consumption of processed foods are a likely contributing factor to this as well. Adam also mentioned the benefits he has experienced from adopting what is commonly called the ‘paleo’ or ‘keto’ diet – an effort to mimic the dietary practices of hunter-gatherer peoples – something he feels has helped him to significantly improve his cognitive abilities.
Peter Topfer: “The Foundations of German National-Anarchism”
The second speaker was Peter Topfer, whose life story I found to be quite fascinating. Peter explained the way he found National-Anarchism and what it means to him. He was born and raised in East Germany, and described how he became a Maoist in his teens much to the disdain of his parents, coaches, and authority figures in the DDR. In the mid-1980s he became interested in the political right, but found the right-wing to be too rigid, and not particularly satisfying or interesting. At one point he was involved in a collaborative effort with the Anarchist Pogo Party of Germany during the 1980s. On another occasion, he was involved in the development of the QUERFRONT (“cross front”) left/right collaboration in Germany as well. During a time of personal crisis he was faced with the questions of who am I, what do I want, and how do I want to live? In 1995, he heard of Hans Cany who promoted the idea of National-Anarchism in France. Peter found this to be a very interesting concept as he had previously encountered the ideas of the National-Marxist Reinhold Oberlercher, without actually becoming a National-Marxist or a National-Anarchist.
Thinking that his rightward tendencies had made him “too hard” on a personal level, Peter began making his way back than to the left in the sense of embracing more softness and flexibility. This led him to finally create his own conception of National-Anarchism, which Peter considered to be a very libertarian and emancipatory position, and related to the pursuit of personal truth, together with an affirmation of nation, ethnicity, community, culture and tradition. He considers this personal evolutionary process to be a natural and personal way of embracing National-Anarchism, or more precisely Neo-National-Anarchism, because in the 1920s there had already been National-Anarchists such as Helmut Franke. Peter subsequently contacted Hans Cany in France, and not just as somebody interested in National-Anarchism but as a National-Anarchist comrade. It was at this point that he learned from Hans that someone else had initiated a very comparable tendency at the same time, and established a new position that he called also National-Anarchism. That was Troy Southgate in England.
Peter’s version of National-Anarchism is closely related to self-emancipation. As long as we are not self-emancipated in the Stirnerian sense, he says, we are not really alive and have no real motivation to live. Our will to live, to survive and to assert ourselves is lost deep inside of us. He integrated not only the pro-national and pro-ethnic standpoints of the Right into his Weltanschauung, but also the most radical self-emancipatory theories and psychotherapeutic techniques developed from the theories and practices of Wilhelm Reich and Arthur Janov, both of whom originated from the radical Left.
After discovering the limitations of Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy while at Janov’s institute in Paris, Peter began to develop his own theory and practice that he called “Deep Truthing.” Peter describes himself as a “post-intellectual” who has no interest in theories and prefers to focus on life and survival, believing that theories are no good unless they have a practical application, but he says that the crucial point of human history and evolution is the Neolithic Revolution. Everything changed at that point. Ever since, we have had all of the gifts of civilization but also its problems: war, mass murder, violence, sickness, alienation, etc. And we are divided between affirmation and criticism of the post-Neolithic world. Peter says he is not an intellectual except for when seeking understanding he has to fall back on, resort to, or to recourse to something intellectual. He says this is important because National-Anarchism should be post-intellectual, at least in his own-understanding or in his version of National-Anarchism, in order to distinguish it from other philosophies. Intellectuality is the old world. Now, National-Anarchism proposes to go in new ways which are the indeed old ways from before the Neolithic revolution when there was no intellectualism.
Peter says that on the one hand we have the historic example of people who discovered wondrously how to survive in the desert (regions that were green and fertile until the desert appeared). They discovered that if they put seeds in the soil and watered them, there will be plants emerging some months later. While some primitive peoples remained sedentary, others handled the new situation of desertification in an extremely violent way. They hijacked and conquered the lands which had not become deserts. Peter points out that conquest of this kind can occur not only by means of violence as was the case with the Huns, the Mongols, and other marauding groups, but also by means of intelligence, deception, and manipulation. Just as people are able to learning how to breed animals and use them for their own purposes, so are they also able to use other human beings for their own purposes as well. For them, other human beings are just cattle.
Ideology can be a tool of manipulation of this kind. Peter noted that at the conference other participants and debaters denounced “totalitarian humanism” (as term popularized by yours truly as a synonym for the modern phenomena of “political correctness,” “social justice warriors,” the antifa, authoritarian progressives, and other parallel or overlapping trends) but Peter thinks this concept of totalitarian humanism is not radical enough. Instead, he argues that humanism is always totalitarian, and that there is no good humanism. The proponents of humanism ultimately engage in hypocrisy. An example is the Zionists, which preach humanism and universalism to others. Humanism insists that all that matters is the global citizen, while the Zionists practice ethno-nationalism and dismissing outsiders as goyim. Consequently, humanism used in this context merely becomes a weapon of Jewish ethnocentrism and supremacy. Peter points out that many people are fixated on Islam and criticize the Islamic culture as the “religion from the desert,” noting that even the even the Jewish Defense League makes alliances with Odinists against the Muslims nowadays. But he argues that while Islamism is a threat, it is far more acceptable to criticize Islamism than to criticize Zionism and the Jewish ethnocentrism that it represents, and which exercises a much greater influence.
Humanism becomes imperialistic and seeks to dominate other peoples by destroying their group identity, and the means towards this end are humanism and universalism. This is done by means of corrupting the indigenous intelligentsia and making them herders of the defeated peoples. The ambition of humanism is to transform all kinds of human beings with vastly different culture into humans, regardless of language, customs, mentality, and other specificities into a polymorphous mass with only “culture“ which will not be a culture because it is not necessary for slaves to have a culture. The main ideological weapon of the humanists is to preach universalism while staying for themselves extremely particularist. We are all equal, they say, but they are more equal than others. They wage war by means of ideas that are placed in the heads of other peoples (with ideas assuming the same role as seeds), a way that is much more effective than other conquerors who were more violent but not as successful in the end.
These have been among the changes that the Neolithic Revolution has brought to the external, political world. But the Neolithic Revolution, Peter says, also brought with it a break in the human psyche, and a huge change of the inner world. In the same way and at the same time that people discovered they can breed animals and plants they also discovered their own reproductive capabilities. When a seed is placed into a woman’s womb, there will be a child in nine months. Until the Neolithic Revolution fatherhood, was not known and had no importance. The patristic structure was born and its first victim was the man who had to be the “father.”This became the main reason for the higher levels of stress experienced by males with their life expectancy being less than women.
The consequence of civilization is that people began to breed not only cattle and plants but human beings. They began to consciously reproduce and sexuality developed a purpose. This purpose was the utilization of their offspring as labor and so from the beginning of their lives children were subjected to involuntary servitude. This became the first and deepest form of child abuse. Until the Neolithic Revolution, a child was just himself or herself. Now, children had to become slaves to their breeders. They were not themselves anymore, and this was the beginning of the alienation. Peter says one of the main goals of National-Anarchism as he defines it is to reverse this process of conquest, subjugation, and alienation. He observes that, “We should become ourselves again (the goal of Deep Truthing) and let our children develop themselves freely so they can stay themselves. They should not live for others and others’ purposes, just for themselves and their community.”
Thom Forester: “Green Independence on the Welsh Borders”
Thom Forester discussed his activism in England involving a range of different fronts, and the possibilities that he has observed for the construction of alliances against the global capitalist empire, based on his experiences with people of different cultural, geographical and political backgrounds. Thom described how his family background included a long tradition of land-rights struggles and involvement in local politics. Among the issues that he has been involved with include ecological and sustainability concerns, and efforts to develop self-sufficient communities. Thom overlapped the unique history, geology, culture, and narratives of the place he was born with his own journey, and how he became interested in the controversial subjects of regional independence and the ultimate taboo of desiring the preserve the “ethno-sphere.” His talk explored the possible lessons separatists and N-A’s can learn from the thousand years of land-rights struggles that gave birth to the regional identity of the Forest of Dean, a land between two rivers on the Welsh borders, with a long history of independence and resistance to enclosures. Thom is the founder of the “Wum Land Party,” a fledgling independence movement that campaigns for a “progressive devolution” from London, for the Forest of Dean. More information can be found about the Wum Land Party, here… http://wum.land
Describing how he became interested in regional identity and culture, Thom talked about growing up between two opposing cultural forces, that of the Forest’ traditional culture and way-of-life, and that of encroaching modernity. Sharing some of the stories of the place he grew up, he explored the “song-lines” of inter-connectedness between place and people through time and how through his Grandfathers involvement in local happenings and controversies, he caught a glimpse of what a truly resilient local culture and identity once looked like. The narratives that wove the community together, and he saw how that had been undermined by television and synthetic popular culture.
Thom has been a land rights ‘activist’ and was involved in establishing several anarchist land occupations in and around the Forest of Dean, including re-opening an environmental education centre after the local authority decided to sell it off, on the open market. He talked about his efforts to create self-sufficient eco-villages and productive ‘community farms’; and how this process led to his realization of the importance of shared narratives, of shared culture- rather than just ideology- as the glue that holds true community together, binding the polarities of ideology with a rooted narrative of shared land and history. Thom spoke of his attempts to construct of alliances against the global capitalist empire, based on his experiences with people of different cultural, geographical and political backgrounds. These concerns have led towards efforts to develop alliances between National-Anarchists and the English freeman movement (roughly the equivalent of the US “sovereign citizens”), and between members of local communities and left-anarchists (who were amusingly and predictably less than enamoured with the perceived “racism and sexism” of the locals).
Thom talked about the architecture of community, about the sources of inspiration we have to draw from, when trying to envision what national-anarchist communities could look like, structurally. He touched on the subject of bio-mimicry, the possibility of looking at other biological systems as a framework, or way of interpreting the architecture of community. He talked about permeability of ideas and of people; the importance of ‘selectively permeable membranes’ for preserving diversity in both the eco-sphere and the ethno-sphere’; and how he sees regional culture/ economy as essential for achieving ecological harmony. He talked about the regional language of the Forest of Dean- a mixture of pre-Shakespearian old English on the Anglo-Saxon derivative, Cymraeg (Welsh) and archaic mining slang, and postulated the central role of regional languages, as ‘ways of seeing the world’ in preserving the Earth’s biodiversity noting that “70% of the world’s languages are found within the planet’s biodiversity hotspots… Out of 6,900 or more languages spoken on Earth, more than 4,800 occurred in regions containing high biodiversity.” Describing how regional culture and economy works to diffuse our various cultural ‘dis-harmonies’, ensuring that when a culture fails, it doesn’t take the entire world down with it.
One of Thom’s most intriguing ideas was his proposal for an “International Secessionary Movement” that would work to cultivate a federation of global independence movements similar to the Communist and Anarchist Internationals of past times, and which would be oriented towards the cultivation of a revolutionary challenge to the hegemony of global capitalism. He proposed that for the separatist movement to be successful in dismantling the globalists’ “New World Order” some kind of ‘international’ organization will be needed as a form of protection, a counter-balance to globalism, whilst functioning to support the emergence of more human-scale systems of organization (micro-nations) by offering a non-coercive, platform for sharing ideas and resources between groups as-well-as for dealing with conflict resolution, via free-participation/ delegation of that role by those concerned.
Such an approach would help resolve the “archaic revival” problem of technology involving differentials in power, and the question of how to ensure more technologically advanced groups respect the sovereignty of others, including more ‘traditional’ / primal societies. This is an essential concern as the technological divide grows between those whose cultures choose to diverge from the ravages of modern technology, focusing on more the organic, agrarian ‘life-ways’ so essential for regenerating the biosphere and those whose cultures continue to embrace technological expansion. The international level of organization Thom envisions would be a decentralized, non-coercive entity that campaigns for the right of all peoples, to pursue their own political, economic and cultural destiny. Thom closed his talk with a request for anyone interested in building a decentralised communication and information service platform to assist the innumerable independence campaigns, to contact him on the address below.
Separatists of the world, unite!
Kostas Exarchos: “Anarchy against Politics”
Kostas Exarchos has for several years been a writer, editor, musician and activist in the Greek movement. His presentation described the Greeks’ terrible economic situation, the consequent rise of both the far right and far left in Greek politics, and the intense conflicts that are presently occurring in Greece between Communists on the far left, Golden Dawn on the far right, and anarchists. An important aspect of Kostas’ presentation was his criticisms of parliamentary democracy, and its failure both as a means of effectively representing public interests and concerns, and effectively addressing contemporary crises. This is perhaps one of the most important criticisms of modern states that anarchists, of any tendency, needs to advance. An overwhelming majority, perhaps a super-majority, of people in contemporary liberal democracies, which now represent nearly two-thirds of the world’s nations, regard liberal democracy as the only legitimate kind of state. The number of people who take seriously forms of government such as an absolute monarchy, a hereditary aristocracy, an oligarchy with no pretensions of popular accountability, theocracy, military dictatorship, fascism or communism is comparatively extremely small. It is only liberal democracy that continues, for the most part, to maintain an aura of legitimacy. Therefore, while it is true that the anarchist struggle is a struggle against states generally on sufficiently abstract level, on a practical level the anarchist struggle in the twenty-first century is a essentially a struggle against liberal parliamentary states.
Keith Preston: “Anarchism and the History of Anti-Imperialist Struggles”
In my own presentation, I attempted to dispel the myth that anarchism is a fringe or marginal ideology, and presented evidence that anarchism has a vast of array of prototypes in ancient philosophy, in most of the traditional religions, and in a range of traditional, indigenous or pre-modern societies. Anarchistic ideology, philosophy, and practice have always had left-wing and right-wing dimensions since the advent of modern anarchist tendencies during the time of the Enlightenment. Classical anarchist movements from the 19th and early 20th century were at the forefront of anti-imperialist struggles long before Marxists developed any kind of serious anti-imperialist analysis of their own. Drawing on the work of both classical anarchists as well as contemporary post-colonial anarchist theorists, I also explained how anarchists understood the difference between the idea of a nation as an organic cultural formation, and the nation-state as a political entity.
I also described how both anti-imperialist and anti-state struggles over the course of the past century have been extraordinary successful in many way leading to the advancement of humanity, but how a new threat has emerged in the form of the global capitalist empire. Drawing on the work of military historians and fourth generation warfare theorists, I explained how both the nation-state system and the state itself are in the process of breaking down on a global scale, and how these are being challenged by a virtually infinite array of non-state actors to whom people around the world are transferring their loyalties. However, I pointed out that the struggle against imperialism is not enough by itself as the Marxist cooptation of anti-imperialist movements in Cold War period indicates. Instead, anti-imperialism is merely an aspect of a wider popular emancipatory struggle with which anarchism is the most compatible political outlook. Lastly, I attempted to convey the vastness of anarchist thought, and point out a considerable number of trends which indicate the 21st century will be the century of anarchism just as the 20th century was the century of totalitarianism.
Piercarlo Bormida: “Ecological Society and Sustainable National-Anarchist Communities”
Piercarlo Bormida, a Piedmontese (Northwest Italy) esotericist electronic musician, closed with the first day of the conference with an extensive and highly detailed discussion of the issue of ecological sustainability. After providing an overview of the present ecological crisis and its relationship to the rise of modern systems of industrial production, Piercarlo described a range of possible alternatives involving more decentralized systems of production that would be capable of providing for human needs, while avoiding the ecological devastation that is associated with contemporary industrial society. One of the principal considerations of these kinds involves the need for substitute energy sources beyond those derived from fossils fuels, natural gases, or nuclear power, each of which presents unique dangers to human beings or the environment, and the cultivation of alternatives such as biofuels, solar power, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy. The inadequacy of centralized states to effectively addressed ecological concerns was also discussed, in part by an acknowledgement of the fate of former Soviet satellite nations when the Soviet Union collapsed:
After the collapse of the USSR, North Korea and Cuba found themselves without oil or agricultural aid. North Korea, with its centralized and statist structure, has faced a famine that has caused millions of deaths. Cuba, liberalizing agriculture, maximizing agricultural land (on roofs, palaces, parks, abandoned land, etc.) and using permaculture techniques has succeeded not only in allowing the population to survive, but also in increasing the production and quality of food.
Much of the presentation dealt with such issues as how small, self-sufficient communities could provide for their own needs concerning necessities like water, feeding, health and hygiene, energy, education, defense and social life. There was also a discussion of the possible solutions offered by National-Anarchism to the problems involving ethnic conflict that are endemic to multicultural societies.
The overwhelming, incontrovertible, widespread return of a series of racial issues is undeniable, especially in large urban agglomerations; National-anarchist communities can be the positive answer to the problem. Tribal and ethnic understanding must not be a taboo, as it should not be a preconception. As we have already said elsewhere, the community can be based on any principle of belonging (food choice, sexual orientation, religion, etc.), but in this context, I would like to focus on ethnicity, obviously far from being labeled as racist. Ethnicity is a more concrete and less abstract concept than race. It is historical, dynamic, complex, and rich: it encloses culture and nature, genetics and environment, myths and destiny. Ethnicities are coached by common history and passions, ways to feel and see the world, affinity with blood and ties to your own land. Each and every one belongs to an ethnic group and it belongs to us. There are micro-ethnicities and macro- ethnicities, almost like a system of Chinese boxes (e.g. Tyrolean and German)…
…The creation of differentiated ethnic-cultural communities, separate national anarchist communities, should among other things allow people who live there to interact, to know each other, to create ever-widespread ties, following their own rhythms and customs, inverting the processes of mutual extradition so widespread in mass civilization: the creation of micro-communities would be very profitable even in contexts free from ethnic tensions. In fact, the process of progressive loosening of interpersonal bonds is a tremendous problem, which makes the megalopolis unobtrusive, leading to the mechanization of social relationships and hence to an increase of violence typical of those environments which are populated by anonymous subjects, disconnected from each other and from the context.
Piercarlo presented a social and political vision that in many ways synthesized the ideas of Otto Strasser with those of Murray Bookchin.
The idea of Otto Strasser makes conveys the idea perfectly: Volk, the people who form the community, must be based on a peasant middle class capable of expressing every other social and intellectual activity: worker-peasant, intellectual-peasant, soldier- farmer. Personally, I am fascinated by medieval monastic-chivalrous communities, I believe that the normalization of the planet must be fought by small and self-centered communities spiritually and economically, strongly cohesive with common goals…
…I agree with Murray Bookchin when he says that most of our ecological problems have their roots in social problems and the current disunity between humanity and nature can be traced essentially to social conflicts. I do not think there can be balance between humanity and nature unless there is a new equilibrium within society. It is necessary to honestly address the fact that if we do not transform society in a libertarian sense, the attitudes and institutions that make us mad at the ecological disaster will continue to operate despite all the efforts that can be devoted to reform the dominant social system. The ecological implications of these systems are even more important than their economic determinations, as they involve the destruction of ecological values such as complementarity, mutual support, sense of limitation, a deep sense of community and an organic conception based on unity in diversity.
Also included in Piercarlo’s presentation was an extensive discussion involving statistical analysis of the specific ecological harms that are presently being generated by industrial capitalism, including issues of human health, waste of resources and inefficiency, pollution related to agricultural production, soil degradation, deforestation, chemical pollution, energy and water consumption, waste disposal, global warming and acid rain, along with ethical concerns involving animal abuse and the extermination of animal species. The sum total of the ideas presented made for a very comprehensive overview of present day ecological problems, their origins, and possible methods of addressing and correcting these difficulties.
Troy Southgate: “Oswald Spengler’s ‘Der Mensch die Technik’”
On the second day of the conference, Troy Southgate opened with a very far-reaching discussion of Oswald Spengler’s work “Der Mensch die Technik” (“Man and Technics”), originally published in 1931, and which contains a discussion of Spengler’s view of the role of technology in modern societies. Spengler argued that contrary to the assumptions of Enlightenment derived thought which tends to regard technological development as linear, unbreakable, and optimal, the historical record actually indicates significant periods of technological regression. The most well-known were those which occurred in Egypt following the era of the Great Pyramids, in Western Europe following the collapse of Rome, and in China following its high point in the Middle Ages. Spengler argued that modern Western civilization may well suffer a similar fate, and suggested that a fatal flaw in technological progress is the tendency of civilizations to engage in a technological overextension that ultimately becomes self-defeating. Spengler was particularly concerned about the combination of tremendous technological advancement with materialism and economism in the Western world of modernity. Troy pointed out that Spengler was not an anarchist, but an advocate of dictatorship where the leader would assume the role of an orchestra conductor (hence, Spengler’s enthusiasm for National Socialism). However, his critique of technological evolution as representing a cyclical process is one that may have much relevance if indeed modern civilization were to experience a technological regression of the kind that prior civilizations have witnessed. Such occurrences would require massive adjustments by modern peoples regarding their ways of life.
Sean Jobst: “Zionism and Globalism: A Threat to All Communities”
Sean Jobst discussed the relationship between globalism and Zionism, and his talk explored a range of different issues pertaining to these, including the influence of Israel in the United States, and role of Israel in the Middle East. Sean has described himself as “a consistent supporter of indigenous rights and self-determination, including for Native Americans, ‘Third World’ victims of imperialism, and for my own European peoples” and notes his “support the preservation of cultures, communities, and tribal identities in the midst of the consumerist monoculture of Globalism.” Sean offers a very far reaching critique of the relationship between Zionism, US imperialism, and global capitalism, between “big business” and “big government,” the false dichotomy of the “left/right” political divide, and in the inadequacy of a range of supposed “radical” movements to fully grasp the all-encompassing nature of the global system.
The picture that emerges is one where an international ruling class or power elite can be identified as operating by means of governments, big banks, telecommunications corporations, private contractor or consulting agencies, elite think-tanks, and intelligence agencies. The power elites foster statism as a means of social and political control, and corporatism as a means of economic domination, thereby rendering meaningless the usual left/right postulation of an alleged conflict between the forces of the state and the forces of capital. The triangular relationship between Zionists, Wahhabists, and adherents of American exceptionalism provides a core ideological foundation for these power elite. However, the ranks of the global capitalist ruling class also includes the elite of Eastern nations, contrary to the view of Russia as representing the vanguard in the fight against globalism held by many conventional nationalists. Russia is, after all, a member of the G20, and Russia failed to oppose NATO’s war against Libya.
Likewise, Trumpism represents simply another development in the advancement of globalism as Trump’s recent visits to Saudia Arabia and Israel illustrate. The conventional Libertarian movement has not been immune to cooptation by global capitalism, as the presence of figures such as Peter Thiel and Jim Rogers among the ranks of Libertarians indicates. The Left is likewise impotent in the fight against globalism because the Left shares what are essentially the same cultural values and philosophical presumptions of the globalists. The picture that subsequently emerges is one where the ruling class of all major powers is essentially united in a global front against all peoples everywhere, and where nationalists, libertarians, and leftists alike are incapable of mounting an effective opposition. Sean describes the relationship between Zionism and globalism in the following way:
Let me make clear what I mean by Zionism as a threat to communities. This is not a simplistic identification of Zionism with all Jews, or solely pointing out specific Jews in powerful positions and extrapolating from that they must automatically be Zionists. But what I do is point out verifiable and open links with Zionism or the State of Israel, to demonstrate a nexus or pattern connecting Zionism to the globalist power structure…
We can define Zionism as Jewish chauvinistic nationalism…Zionism is a global threat. One merely has to cite the ongoing oppression and genocide of the Palestinian Arab people, the Israeli activities against neighboring Arab peoples, and the profitable role of the Mossad and Israeli arms merchants historically throughout the conflict zones of Africa and Latin-America.
A principal tactic that is utilized by Zionists is to deflect attention from themselves by labeling critics as anti-Semites on a reflexive basis pointing out, for example, how Manuel Gerstenfeld, the Dutch-Israeli author and former Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, lambasted the Norwegians as “a nation of antisemites,” and “a barbaric and unintelligent people” after the Norwegian government issued mild criticisms of Israel. The influence and power of organized Zionism in the United States is particularly significant given American’s military power, and Sean points out how “the Zionists have a stranglehold on Congress, the White House, and other political institutions at least down to the state level, via the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and such Zionist political pressure groups as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The Zionists have likewise harnessed the forces of Big Business and Wall Street.” Much of this stranglehold is due to the “role of billionaire donors who have made Israel their raison d’etre, such as Sheldon Adelson over the Republican Party and Haim Saban over the Democratic Party – categories of ‘right’ and ‘left’, ‘conservative” and “liberal’” who are in turn “united when it comes to the twin pillars of making money and lobbying for Israel.” Sean also describes how what is now called the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States has its roots in the relationship between the Zionist movement and the United States that began even before the state of Israel was founded.
In 1939 the Zionist leader and future Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, gave a speech entitled “We Look Towards America”, wherein he said the Zionists had “no more effective tool at our disposal than the American Jewish community and Zionist Movement.”(9) Around the same time, Moshe Shertok, the future Foreign Minister of Israel, predicted: “America will have a decisive influence at the end of the war….and the question of our strength in America is a very real and important one. There are millions of active and well-organized Jews in America, and their position in life enables them to be the most dynamic and influential. They live in the nerve-centers of the country, and hold important positions in politics, trade, journalism, the theater and the radio.”
Sean also describes the role of the organized Zionism in the global banking system, pointing out how, for example, the “former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, made a career lobbying for Israel within the French Socialist Party” and who in 2011 remarked to the Tribune Juive: “I wake up every morning and think about how I can help Israel.” Influential Zionist billionaires have also been intricately involved with a range of financial crimes, and the role of Tel Aviv as a major financial center. Sean identifies what he calls a “nexus of finance, Marxism, and Zionism.”
As Anarchists, we naturally oppose any centralization or concentration of wealth or power, which is coercive and exploitative by definition. In his 1871 rebuttal to Karl Marx, the great Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin pointed out Marx’s support for “a strong centralization of the state. And where there is centralization of the state, there must necessarily be a central bank, and where such a bank exists, the parasitic Jewish nation, speculating with the labor of the people, will be found.”
Bakunin’s use of the word “Jewish nation” is significant, for this coincided with the rise of Zionism, which redefined Jews as a nation. It’s no accident that Moses Hess, the so-called “Red Rabbi” who was a close collaborator of Marx, also wrote one of the earliest Zionist texts, Rome and Jerusalem, in 1862. To those accustomed to seeing an antithesis between Zionism as nationalism and Marxist Socialism as internationalism, the self-professed “Marxist Zionist” and founded of Labor Zionism, Ber Borochov, said in 1897: “The socio-economic structure of the Jewish people differs radically from that of other nations. Ours is an anomalous, abnormal structure.” It doesn’t take a proverbial leap down the conspiratorial rabbit-hole to recognize a tripartite nexus between International Finance, Marxist Revolution, and Zionist-Jewish nationalism. We need only consult the words of Theodor Herzl, the official founder of the Zionist movement: “When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of all revolutionary parties; and at the same time, when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse.”Alluding to his own connections to powerful Jewish bankers, Herzl also wrote: “If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return undertake to regulate the whole finance of Turkey.”
Sean also discussed links between the Mossad and the global banking and media systems, the challenges to Zionist power issued by the rise of anti-capitalist movements in Latin America, and the hypocrisy involved in the Left’s failure to criticize the racist nature of Zionism.
This has a parallel in the way that mostly upper-class, guilty white liberals and Marxists often project their own inherent racism in a hatred of everything white. As a corollary to this, AntiFa proclaims all of its political opponents – including National-Anarchists – of being “Fascists” or “Nazis.” Yet you will never hear these Marxist street thugs attack the Zionists – quite the contrary, they recently attacked an anti-war protest in Washington, D.C. against U.S. involvement in the Syria war (contrary to Israeli interests, who want to implement the Oded Yinon Plan of destabilizing and destroying Syria) and even more recent than that, attacked the anti-Zionist Jewish leftist Gilad Atzmon. Is it not strange that AntiFa never attacks Zionist interests or even Israeli policies which are racist and fascistic?
Israel’s nuclear arsenal is particularly problematic given the Israeli military doctrine that is known as the “Samson Option.” The Dutch-Israeli military historian Martin van Crevald has observed, “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: ‘Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’…Our armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but the second or third. We have the capacity to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.” Other issues of concern involve the support of Zionist organizations for mass migration as a means of facilitating the cultural and demographic transformation of Europe, a measure that is utilized as a means of revenge for Europe’s perceived anti-Semitic legacy.
Sean likewise pointed out the inadequacy of “the Statist-nationalist parties and leaders such as the English Defence League, Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationale, PEGIDA, and Geert Wilders.” While these conventional populist nationalist leaders “may oppose mass-immigration” this opposition is hypocritical and self-defeating “because they champion the Zionist wars using European and American cannon-fodder, and the Capitalist social conditions which create the conditions for migration in the first place.” Similarly, these leaders decry the “real terrorist threat of Wahhabi extremism” and yet they “ally with Saudi Arabia and the Israeli-Saudi destabilization in the Middle East.”
Welf Herfurth: “Traveling the World as a National-Anarchist”
Welf Herfurth described the parallel trajectories of his extensive travels, including visits to 80 countries, and his own political evolution. Welf grew up in Germany, moved with his family to Iran in 1976, and was subsequently present in Iran during the Khomeini revolution of 1979. It was due to this experience that Welf realized the power of people to change or overthrow their political leaders in an instant. Upon returning to Germany, he became interested in the cause of reuniting West Germany and East Germany, and subsequently joined the National Democratic Party. This led to his earliest confrontations with leftist rioters, and Welf described being pelted with eggs during the first NPD demonstration he attended. He also began traveling in Latin America where he encountered members of the Shining Path, the Maoist guerrillas of Peru, and became increasingly aware of the role of American imperialism in Latin America. Welf subsequently traveled behind the Iron Curtain, and in China and Mongolia, before settling in Australia and becoming active in nationalist movements there, even working in the Australian parliament at one point, all the while becoming a successful businessman and later relocating to Brazil.
A core feature of Welf’s presentation was the way in which his decades-long odyssey through different opposition movements led him to the conclusion that attempting to reform the system by using the system’s tools is a futile effort. Liberal democratic capitalist states are oligarchies ruled by and for the elites and their interests, and conventional political opposition forces are, at best, merely controlled opposition. This is an immensely important lesson given the rise of populist movements in many different parts of the world that purport to be taking a stand against “the globalists,” and the failures that these movements will likely represent. For example, the neoconservative journalist Niall Ferguson (citing the work of Henry Kissinger in this area) has described how, far from representing a counterforce to global capitalism, the rise of populist “strongman” or even “strongwoman” leaders heading the states of the major powers could in fact be easily be coopted into a global system of neocolonialism where each power retains its sphere of influence, but where the international plutocracy retains its hegemony.
This conference was enormously successful given that it was the first ever of its kind, involving two years of preparation, and encountering a range of setbacks in the process. Hopefully, the conference in Madrid will be the first of many, and I’m told there are already plans in the works for a similar conference next year. Many fascinating ideas were discussed, and even many people who do not identify as National-Anarchists, or who even find N-A objectionable in some ways, would likely gain from the presentations that were made. It is regrettable that many other anarchists approach N-A in such a closed minded way as much of what was said was highly relevant to the ideas of the libertarian-left and the libertarian-right alike, as well as those affiliated with anti-globalization, environmental, anti-imperialist, indigenous, anti-state, and anti-corporate movements generally. Indeed, of the varied events where I have previously spoken, I found the National-Anarchist Movement conference of 2017 to be the most substantive thus far.