A Review of Alexander Reid-Ross’ “Against the Fascist Creep”
by Keith Preston
Academic Gloss for the Antifa
For decades, a minor cottage industry of professional “anti-racists” and “anti-fascists” has existed for the purpose of perpetually sounding the alarm about the imminent threat posed by supposed “far right extremists.” The most well-known and influential of these is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has raked in millions of dollars largely by frightening elderly liberals and Jews old enough to remember the Holocaust with hobgoblin tales about the supposedly persistent rise of neo-Nazism in America. The fundraising tactics of the SPLC are nearly identical to those of televangelists soliciting funds from elderly Christians by spinning tales about the supposed infiltration of the public schools by gay pedophiles. If one reads the literature of the SPLC and, for example, the publications of religious right organizations such as Focus on the Family and Coral Ridge Ministries, parallel themes will soon become noticeable. While the SPLC and a similar organization, the Anti-Defamation League, are the major league players in the “anti-fascism” industry, there are a number of minor league players as well ranging from the Ford Foundation-funded (how is that for irony?) Political Research Associates to AK Press, a small publisher oriented towards the “antifa” sector of the wider “anarchist” milieu.
A decade ago, when David Armitage began working on his new book, Civil Wars: A History in Ideas, published this week by Knopf, he had no idea how relevant the subject would become. These days, it’s hard to avoid concluding that American society is tearing itself apart. Several observations and arguments in the book can be harrowing to read—that the nations mostly likely to devolve into civil wars are those that have suffered such conflicts before; that civil wars are most likely when the government is divided against itself; that politics is civil war by other means. Civil Wars ranges over more than two millennia of history, law, and philosophy, but it feels as urgent as the latest shock, as fresh as tomorrow’s news.
I recently spoke with Armitage about his book. The conversation has been lightly edited.
You write in the book that you began working on it after you “found the past rhyming with the present.” What were some of those rhymes that you saw, and what questions were you trying to answer?
I was on academic leave in that period when the Second Gulf War was at the height of its violence, around December 2006 and early 2007. I was in residence during that period at Huntington Library in Southern California, which holds the papers of Francis Lieber, whose name was popping up in the media discussion about Iraq around the same time. Even though he was a 19th-century Prussian, he became newly relevant because he produced the first codification of laws of war and debates about treatment of enemy combatants, subjects very much at issue at the time I was encountering his work.
Among his papers at the Huntington Library was correspondence with his boss, Henry Hallek, a Union general, about the code and, in particular, about the absence of discussion of civil war in it—a strange omission for a code of the laws of war in the midst of the what became known as the US Civil War. There was no legal definition available to him, so he had to describe and define civil war in legal terms that exactly coincided with highly ideological debates in the media and in Congress about whether or not the violence in Iraq should be considered a civil war, or instead a rebellion or an insurgency or an insurrection. As I was reading this mid-19th-century correspondence I was hearing in the news and in the papers about how hard it still was to define a civil war. That’s one of those moments when, as Mark Twain said, history rhymes. I realized that these were two data points—one from the 1860s, and one from the 2000s—which were part of a longer history of civil war that needed reconstructing.
This book is a story of paradox, from the first page to the last. Can you explain why the very idea of “civil war,” beginning with the Romans, is a bundle of contradiction?
To understand the world of politics and change it for the better, it’s paramount that people begin to study political theory and the ways in which it has manifest throughout history up into the present day. By bringing light to the origins of political and philosophical thought, the present day becomes all the more explainable because one is now able to see the logical progression of such manifestations.
With this urge to better understand the root of many of the common political ideologies present in the world, The Last American Vagabond has decided to team up with Keith Preston in a new podcast series in which the who, what, where, when and how of different political theories will be explored.
In this episode Keith and Tim Bryant take a look at Cultural Marxism, which is the transformation of the political left from a party focused on the eternal class struggle in society of labor workers vs. the elite owners of capital, to a party focused on cultural infiltration in order to weed out the “oppressors and oppressions” within society. Stemming from the commonly held belief that the workers of the world were bought off by the elite capitalists through consumerism, the left thought it was no longer fruitful to keep fighting capitalism. Instead, their new method of redefining Western society was to be carried out by infiltrating the culture and remaking it in the image of an equal world free of the old cultural and economic values.
Recent riots in Berkley, California have brought increasing attention to the global left wing terrorist organizations known collectively as ANTIFA. They justify their violence based on the idea they are fighting fascism. Who is not against fascism, right? Thus, the riots and murders are understandable. This logic holds about as much water as the idea the Patriot act was patriotic because patriot was in the name. You can paint a turd any color, it doesn’t change the taste. Antifa are violent thugs, and the patriot act raped a number of our civil liberties in a very UN-patriotic manner. In the words of John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
This immutable law of nature is a source of neverending irritation to the leftists attempting to hold back the Libertarian Party from its destiny to shift the paradigm of American politics. That destiny is to create a force edging us towards freedom with each election cycle, rather than a constant inch toward Marxism. Nick Sarwark, National Chairman of the Libertarian Party, is the poster boy for the Cultural Marxist idiocy that keeps us relegated to single digit election returns in a country where 25% or more of the population supports our policies. If we took the national platform and removed all the items.
The The UC Berkeley Antifa/SJW Riots against Trump and Milo
The parallels between Milo’s color blind Civic Nationalism, and the Alt-Left, Rabbit’s identitarian Alt-Left
How FOX News and other mainstream conservatives outlets have described the Rioters as Alt Left, and how that contributes to SJW entriest into the Alt-Left
Alt-Left Founder Robert Lindsay disowns the Left Wing of the Alt-Right over Trump, and calls for an Alliance with the PC/SJW Left against Trump and the Republican Party
Ryan’s point that there cannot be an Alt-Left/SJW Alliance
Ryan’s critic of SJW’s/Antifa from a Classical Marxist perspective
Ryan’s article Are You Tired of Winning Yet? on Trump’s performance, both the good and bad aspects
Trump’s accomplishment stopping the Trans Pacific Partnership and his immigration policies
Trump’s plutocratic cabinet, and talk about repealing Financial Regulations
Trump’s foreign policy, his saber rattling against Iran, and how the combination of Trump’s friendliness to both Israel and Russia has divided the Neocons
Saudi Arabia and the Petrodollar
The Dakota Access Pipeline, Oil Nationalization, and Alternative Energy Romantic racism, and how it has effected the environmental and antiwar movements
Social Credit, and the Alberta Social Credit Party
On February 1st, 2017, Brietbart News technology editor, Milo Yiannopolous, was scheduled to give the final lecture on a US speaking tour prior to the publication of his upcoming book. The event was canceled when about 150 black-clad and masked people set fires, assaulted people waiting to get in the lecture hall, and goaded the police by throwing firecrackers at them. Some consider this a heroic example of anti-fascist “direct action.” Others see it as leftist hooliganism. KMO and Silas welcome Keith Preston of AttackTheSystem.com back to the C-Realm to talk about the history, beliefs, and tactics of the antifa (anti-fascist) movement.
The neocons and other hawks want a permanent war against Islam and the Left wants a permanent war against whitey, so there always has to be some looming threat on the horizon. The real violence is the US comes mostly from inner city gangs that murder each other over drug dealing disputes, from fights and domestic violence that spirals out of control, and from the mentally ill or lone nuts like Adam Lanza, Dylan Roof, or Omar Mateen.
September 11, 2001 was a singular but spectacular incident that has predictably kept plenty of people up in arms ever since. The OKC bombing in ’95, which killed about 150, had the same impact on the Left. I remember how after OKC the Left was saying many more such acts were just around the corner. But over 20 years later there’s been no such thing. The same thing happened with 9-11. I remember people talking about how there was going to be nuclear destruction of US cities and terrorism with bioweapons and all kinds of stuff. But 15 years later there’s only been a handful of incidents like Orlando, San Bernardino, and Ft. Hood that were perpetrated by lone nuts or small groups of friends acting as freelancers.
Some interesting thoughts from an anarchist on Facebook.
“My fear was that jokes about helicopter rides would be escalated into calls for outright genocide, which is actually starting to happen.
Some “anarchists” or “alt-right” have begun the dehumanization process of a group of people by generalizing them all as “degenerates.”
If anyone is familiar with history, this is the same thing Hitler started doing to the Jews, except he based his dehumanization tactics on an ethnic\religious group rather than a political group.
This mentality shakes me to the core, because I have maintained the idea that anarchists could keep their perspective and dignity—and that their beliefs were the opposite of murder and mayhem. But it seems like their dignity and decency has been perturbed by recent and apparent culture wars.
With that said, this is not to justify people on the economic left who choose to vandalize or destroy property. It is not to condone this childish, aggressive behavior. Indeed, I rail against this aggression and weakness of philosophy as well. However, I honestly had higher expectations of people who promote modern, libertarian anarchism. I thought they knew the dangers of dehumanizing others and trumpeting violence against economic groups as the answer. I thought they could move beyond this urgency to shed blood.
It turns out they were weak minded and desirous of warfare. Turns out they were not really freedom lovers, but hate mongers hellbent on tasting the blood of their enemies.
So I will ask any “anarchist” who have these Freudian murder fantasies a few questions: what can you do for peace instead? How can you deescalate an increasingly volatile situation without stoking the fire? How can you reign in your growing desire to hurt others? How can you better relate to others even if they are unhinged and ready for violence? How can this be resolved?
My hope is that these people talking loosely and non-jokingly about extermination can come to terms with their impulses, and we can find better ways to solve the current cultural crises.
For those of you who don’t know me, I have extensive history and connections in leftist activism from previous movements, but I’m essentially a pariah now because I split with them when the the SJWs seized power from the older relatively moderate activists and went full authoritarianism. None the less.. I’m still in all those social circles and I see the discussions going on behind the scenes.
Late Saturday night, in the jam-packed baggage terminal for international arrivals at Washington Dulles International Airport, dozens of lawyers and hundreds of protesters watched as the first major Constitutional crisis of the Trump presidency played out.
The day before, Trump signed an executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. But many people traveling to the U.S. from those countries—including legal permanent residents of the U.S.—were already in the air and couldn’t turn around. As a result, airports across the country turned into lawfare zones, with cadres of volunteer lawyers squaring off against bureaucrats in the Customs and Border Protection agency. Late-night rulings from federal judges made a legally unprecedented situation even more dramatic, with all three branches of the federal government—congressional, executive, and judicial—warring with each other. At stake: the lives and safety of people trying to legally enter the U.S.
At about 7:30 p.m., a boisterous crowd of several hundred pro-refugee protesters had circled around the “International Arrivals” baggage claim at Dulles—flanked by police who cleared a passageway so people getting off planes could get through. Protesters waved signs saying refugees were welcome (some signs read “Welcome” in Arabic), denouncing President Trump, and calling for Christians to show Christlike love to people fleeing terrorism. They carried “Welcome Home” balloons and they sang songs.
And there were chants, including “Let them see their lawyers now!”
There were dozens of lawyers, brought together by the International Refugee Assistance Project. A handful actually practiced immigration law, and dozens more with non-immigration backgrounds—bankruptcy, litigation, you name it—showed up to try to help.
Early in the evening, a huge piece of news broke: Two federal judges, Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York and Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia, had made rulings that would stall the implementation of Trump’s anti-refugee executive order.
Without understanding the way that those ambiguous ideas are applied in different milieus, like with national anarchism and autonomous nationalism and those sorts of things, radicals can fall for easy platitudes. Pan-secessionism is another great example. When radicals start talking about the need for separatism without a clear, cosmopolitan follow-up strategy, they leave ourselves wide open to their influence and the insinuation of fascism and the ability for fascist ideas and movements to gain ground in the radical milieu and also in the broader subcultures and in mainstream cultures. When they start talking about ethnic separatism—particularly white separatism, whether de jure or de facto—they’ve basically given up the field.
I think that people in the radical milieu are very disconnected from the impact and effect that they have and their ideas actually have on the mainstream. People often look to radicals to get a sense of direction, particularly vis-a-vis subcultures, so if fascists are given a pass to influence subcultures then the mainstream is far more likely to accept them piecemeal on the basis of accepted ideas and attitudes which are very deleterious. For example, you’ve probably heard of people who you might have thought of as a left wing or a radical saying things like “I don’t believe in equality” or “equality is nonsense” or “I don’t believe in freedom,” or that kind of thing. These kinds of statements seem geared to impress people or shock them or both, but does all that really work for us?
While pan-secessionism is a tactical concept, not an ideology, and has nothing to do with either fascism or anarchism or even national-anarchism per se, it is interesting to observe how these “anti-fascism” hysterics actually help to build the wider ARV-ATS program, largely by serving as the de facto promotional division for our tendency. We’re easily ten times more “famous” because of these people than we would be without them and, as they say in the entertainment business, “there ain’t no such thing as bad publicity.” These guys are the satanic rock protestors of the present era.
These folks are mostly oriented towards the jihad against “straight white cisgendered Christian male” hegemony, or whatever the latest rendition of this perspective includes while ATS is oriented towards the actual overthrow of states, ruling classes, and empires. However, I am for the building and expansion of all forms of anarchism, and oppositional subcultures generally, including the ones that are non-ATS affiliated and which may even be vehemently anti-ATS. To the degree that these guys are contributing to the delegitimization and fracturing of the system generally, they are contributing to our cause.
I can’t say I have any problem with any of this either. Much of this article is predictable anti-Trump hysteria. Last night, I asked a long time friend of mine, a lifelong Communist from France in his 60s, what he makes of the US Left’s “Trump is a fascist” hysteria. His response was, “They don’t know what their talking about.” Pretty much. But notion of “Trump as a fascist” may be a useful Sorelian myth or Platonic “noble lie” if it motivates the liberal-Left coalition to go into full oppositional mode on the liberal end and create chaos in the streets on the far left end. Fracture, fracture, fracture…
By Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society
In movements like the struggle for economic justice or against the authoritarian state (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, etc.), we usually see arguments for “diversity of tactics” made by radicals against liberal criticism of black block tactics like smashing windows and things of that sort. There’s still a lot of that kind of criticism, obviously — for example liberal reactions to the smashing of Bank of America windows, torching of limosines and whaling the almighty tar out of neo-Nazi celebrity Richard Spencer. But lately, since Trump’s election, I think there’s been at least as much criticism — much of it quite contemptuous — from Leftists dismissing liberal tactics like peaceful marches, factual corrections of Trump’s lies, denials of legitimacy, etc., as ineffectual (“This is not how you beat fascism”). And I think appeals to diversity of tactics apply just as much to the latter case as to the former.