By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
When I first learned that I had been published on Attack the System, a site notorious for being something of a safe space for national anarchists, I was both confused and intrigued. Intrigued because the national anarchists have a rather unsavory rep among their fellow anti-statists as being a kooky breed of quasi white supremacists. And confused because I happen to be an aggressively queer Marxian syndicalist. But also being a hard-luck, technologically challenged, writer who’s shit is often too radical even for the fringe, I decided I could hardly look a gift horse in the mouth. So I said fuck it, why not?
Then something very strange happened. The national anarchists turned out to be human beings and they seemed to legitimately dig my shit. So I put them to the test. I sent them all of my posts, not just the ones I thought wouldn’t offend their traditionalist sensibilities. I sent them candid posts about my own complex gender identity. I sent them posts referencing my past dalliances with communism and my continued admiration for the Black Panthers. I sent them posts in which I openly and gleefully derided the very notions of biological race and gender. I didn’t write these posts with the national anarchists in mind, it just happened to be the kind of shit I write about and I made zero attempt to shield my new audience from it. To my surprise, not only did every single one of those posts get published, they were a hit. Attack the System even went so far as to make me an editor, which was particularly kind considering that I can barely edit my own work, let alone anyone else’s.
What the fuck was going on? These were the big bad national anarchists that everyone is so goddamn afraid of? So I did some digging and I was shocked to find out how much common ground I had with these pariahs of the anarchist movement. First off, Attack the System is run by a guy named Keith Preston, an ex-Wobbly who looks more like an ex-Hell’s Angel. The left anarchist blogosphere would have believe that Keith eats live babies and jerks off to Nazi propaganda films but, much like myself, he’s actually a Lou Reed loving panarchist who had been an important player in the anarchist left before he decided to go rogue and welcome national anarchists into the fold as viable revolutionary allies against the state. This act of blasphemy made him a defacto member of the national anarchist movement in spite of the fact that he’s really more of a fellow traveler, a cautionary tale that will probably feel like deja vu before I finish this post.
The national anarchists themselves preach advocacy for a post-capitalist society of stateless tribal communes. If it wasn’t for their tacit support for racial separatist societies being allowed to coexist with mixed racial tribal communities, their vision would be virtually identical to my own Bookchinite democratic confederalist pipe dreams. I’m not going to pretend that I’m OK with the idea of enthno-pluralism, as I’ve said before, I find it to be quite ridiculous. But it can’t be emphasized enough that nearly every national anarchist that I’ve encountered is also a card carrying Voluntaryist/anti-interventionist that would sooner cool out to Graceland than force their weird beliefs on anyone else. That doesn’t make these beliefs any less gross to me personally but the whole point of panarchy is local self-determination. I will never be able to create a queer syndicalist world anymore than they would be able to create a racially purist one. It would be stupid to even try. Human beings are just too goddamn complex for a single Utopian vision. Panarchy doesn’t just protect the tribes you like, it protects the tribes you hate. Provided that these people don’t force their will upon anybody else, their lives are their goddamn business.
Compare this to the fine upstanding citizens of the antifa scene and you have to wonder who the real fascists are. Antifa, like the national anarchists, are a loose knit tribe of mostly white cis-men allegedly committed to combating tyranny. Unlike the big tent national anarchists however, they feel that they have the inalienable right to force their so-called values down your fucking throat with a goddamn ax handle. They claim to be standing up for maligned minorities like me but rather than taking on the police state, they seem to focus most of their energy reenacting scenes from The Warriors with their doppelgangers in the alt-right. It’s little wonder that most of the founding fathers of the antifa movement are former neo-Nazi skinheads who’ve gone from bashing fags to bashing on our behalf as if we need their fucking help. Like Tyler Durden‘s lost boys in Fight Club or the PC Bros on South Park, these assholes aren’t about any specific ideology, they’re about the action. They just wanna fucking break shit and pound pussy. Ernst Rohm would be so proud.
And it’s these patronizing pricks who lead the front to deny national anarchists and any other anti-statist who doesn’t jibe with their adolescent interpretation of anarchy a voice in the movement. What made them so fucking high and holy? Tell me, when was the last time you heard a story about national anarchists fucking up kids at a Noam Chomsky conference? From what I can tell they’re much more interested in Renaissance fairs and pagan festivals. Antifa throwing shade on these weird motherfuckers for being “fascists” feels a bit like neckless jocks calling D&D nerds bullies. And think you all know where I stand in that scenario.
So has Comrade Hermit gone over to the dark side? Truth be told, dearest motherfuckers, I’ve always kinda been there. I may be an anti-racist, genderfuck, cultural Marxist but I’m also a lifelong fan of Yukio Mishima and Norwegian black metal. I’m a creature of the fringe, I’ve always felt most at home among the freaks, be they drag queens and leathermen or wickerman burning Odinists. A stated mission I’ve had since this blogs infancy several years back has been to unite the anti-statist fringe into on big revolutionary vanguard against the tyranny of the status quo. If this means breaking bread with some right-wing oddballs then I say pass the bread, we’ve got work to do.
And to all you “anti-hate” haters out there, I have only this to say while you unwad your collective panties. The National Anarchist Movement has published one of your own on their Facebook page, twice. Can you honestly say that you would return the favor? Check your mirror, dearest motherfuckers, check your mirror.
Good. And yet, even among those not unsympathetic to this cause, a certain misunderstanding persists. Namely, that nobody within N-A is saying that nations SHOULD be organised along ethnic lines, simply that this COULD be an element in their makeup. And how ‘ethnicity’ is to be interpreted is entirely at the discretion of the individuals involved. But more to the point, the author is to be congratulated for speaking their thoughts publically – no doubt a stream of recriminations will follow. I suspect that there are many others who feel the same way, but do not say so for fear of the ‘anarcho’ thought police.
Speaking personally, my own interest in this subject comes out of experiences of what might be called ‘genetic memory’, and likewise the curious synergistic effect I’ve observed when people to whom the same symbols speak congregate in one place – somehow it feels to me as though the ‘mythosphere’ is thereby enhanced, something which, I posit, is vital to the creation of a meaningful shared culture. If others have never experienced such things, then of course they would struggle to understand their significance.
Obviously ethnicity has likewise been employed as the basis for all sorts of disgusting and preposterous things, and hence it’s quite understandable to me that many people will have a great deal of antipathy towards the idea of considering it as a potentially positive factor, if they have no positive context with which to associate it. Beneath all of the fallacies attached to this subject, there exists an undisputable reality of greater and lesser degrees of shared ancestry. Some of us within N-AM are interested in exploring or re-membering what beneficial role this reality might be capable of playing within the group dynamics of non-coercive communities. And that of course makes us something of a rare sort, subject to endless misinterpretations… but so be it – this is important enough to us that we’re willing to endure the slander.
By extension, those that associate themselves with N-AM, for whom ethnicity is not a consideration, are presumably likewise prepared to put up with the slander due to an alignment with what lies at the core of N-A – freedom of association. “Our vision, in a nutshell, is one of small village-communities in which people occupy their own space in which to live in accordance with their own principles.” This is something that goes far beyond the perceived importance of ethnicity or otherwise.
As such, I feel that N-AM serves as a very effective litmus test with regards to how tolerant someone actually is where other people’s beliefs are concerned – we can now see very clearly in these times that those claiming to be ‘tolerant’ are often quite the opposite.
All I gotta say is….fuck yeah! Haha it’s my self-imposed bedtime right now, so I’m too tired to say much else. But I feel like we, the nameless anarchists who feel like no label truly fits, are actually the majority. Most of us are just afraid. Afraid to put ourselves out there, afraid of that tiny elite who have the weapons and surveillance technology we can’t afford. No one want to go to prison. But as my husband said a few days ago, we already are.