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.