What Happened in Charlottesville? Reply

A summary of the findings of the investigation conducted by a private law firm commissioned by the city of Charlottesville. Assuming this summary is accurate, the findings are fairly consistent with my own observations about Charlottesville.

By Gregory Hood

American Renaissance

Independent report makes an honest effort to find out.

The law firm of Hunton & Williams has just issued an independent, 207-page report on the Unite the Right protest that took place in Charlottesville last August. The city of Charlottesville commissioned and paid for the report, but it is no cover up. It is a slashing indictment of the way the city prepared for and handled the demonstrations. It is a thorough vindication of the perspective of the Unite the Right demonstrators.

The report makes clear that the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) and its black chief, Al Thomas, had no intention of allowing the demonstration to take place. Astonishingly, the report leaves no doubt that Chief Thomas wanted the police to let enough violence go unchecked to justify an order to declare the event an “unlawful assembly” and shut it down. The report is also unflinching in its condemnation of police and city-administration bungling that virtually guaranteed continued violence even after the event was canceled.

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Squaring off against Fascism Critical Reflections from the Front Lines: An Interview Reply

An interesting interview with an Antifa who was present in Charlottesville. This also makes for an interesting counterpart to the account of the Charlottesville conflagration by Matt Parrott of Traditionalist Workers Party that I posted previously. Yet another interesting observation is that both sides are claiming victory in this battle.

Crimethinc

In the three weeks since anarchists helped shut down the largest fascist rally the US has seen in decades, the pendulum has swung back and forth between new public support for anti-fascist organizing and a dishonest, fearmongering reaction spearheaded by the extreme center that plays right into the hands of far-right elements in the police and FBI. Now, fascists are shifting towards a strategy of decentralized attacks while the Trump administration prepares a new racist offensive against nearly a million residents of the United States. It’s more pressing than ever to learn from our victories in order to strategize for the next round. We spoke with a participant in the front lines of the clashes in Charlottesville about why an under-equipped anti-fascist contingent was able to defeat a more numerous body of fascists, how to halt the creep towards authoritarianism, and what courage means in these struggles.

In Charlottesville, on Friday night, August 11, if the torchlit march had not encountered any protesters around the monument or elsewhere—if it had been able to proceed without meeting any opposition—what do you think the consequences would have been?

Well, it’s easy to be doctrinaire when you’re speculating. I mean, any time fascists do something provocative without opposition, it sets a new baseline for them. It’s like, “Oh, marching with torches and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ is a pretty low-key thing to do, let’s always do that at our gatherings from now on. It’s fun and easy!” But I think it strengthens their movement even more when they encounter opposition that they can easily defeat, which is what actually happened on Friday. If that had been the only event in Charlottesville, or if the rest of the weekend had gone the same way, it would have been a gift to their movement.

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They Staged a Bum Fight…and They Lost Reply

This is an interesting account of Charlottesville by Matt Parrot of the Traditionalist Worker Party, one of the right-wing groups involved in the melee. As a caveat, I know Matt personally, I met him at a National Policy Institute event in 2011, and he produced some of my podcasts when I was on the old Voice of Reason network. He is critical of my anarchist philosophy, and I am critical of his white nationalist/national socialist ideology, and I have become very critical of the direction the Alt-Right has taken in recent years.

However, I had an interesting exchange with Matt on Facebook in the days before Charlottesville. I suggested that if the Alt-Right and Antifa were real radicals, they would be fighting the cops rather than other fringe groups. Matt objected, arguing that the fights start when the Left seeks to use force to prevent white nationalists and other right-wingers from having a presence in the public space. This is a valid point since the stated objective of the hard Left is to prevent right-wing gatherings from happening “by any means necessary” ranging from physical violence against persons, to vandalism, to bomb threats, etc.

I largely agree with the narrative that Matt outlines in this article in the sense that, while there were no doubt neo-Nazis on the Alt-Right side who were picking fights with counterprotestors on an individual basis, there is not yet any evidence that the Alt-Rightists who planned and organized the event intended for a riot to occur. However, there is evidence that the Antifa and other hard leftists (which did not include a majority of the counterprotestors) specifically wanted a riot to take place (see Faith Goldy’s interview with Stefan Molyneux I posted today), and that the serious violence started when the police shut down the rally and dispersed the Alt-Rightists into the crowd of counterprotestors. There is also room for speculation that the mayor and vice mayor of city government of Charlottesville, and possibly the governor of Virginia, quite possibly intended for a riot to occur for the sake of scoring partisan advantages. The Charlottesville police had been criticized for the way they handled counterprotestors during an earlier KKK rally in Charlottesville a month earlier, and it is entirely plausible that the decision was made to take the opposite approach in August by having the police stand down after shutting down the rally, pushing the Alt-Righists into the crowd, and allowing the leftists to “have at” the right-wingers (probably very much to the regret of most of the counter protestors). I am certainly willing to be persuaded by evidence to the contrary, but that’s how it looks at present.

By Matt Parrott

Traditionalist Worker Party

As foreshadowed by pretty much every altright voice who was actually there, and many of the anarchist voices who are being completely honest, Charlottesville was a premeditated attempt by the leftist city government to host the Alt Right’s paramilitary defeat at the hands of their antifa allies. It didn’t play out like that, but slowly and surely, piece by piece, what actually happened is making its way out from behind the wall of hysterical media-driven bullshit.

As predicted, documents are leaking and the objective truth is coming into focus. The Narrative Collapse is happening in cascading stages:

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Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say Reply

The Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet that I could find that made any reasonable effort to understand what actually happened in Charlottesville without moralistic grandstanding, and by including the alt-right perspective. The Los Angeles Times has been the only mainstream media outlet that has bothered to ask the question, “What actually happened?” rather than simply spin the “Official Bad People Did Bad Things” party line. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet to predict Trump’s electoral victory.

By Matt Pearce

Los Angeles Times

The clashes that broke out over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., have become a new touchstone in the nation’s long-running debate over racism, free speech and violence.

One woman was killed and many more injured when a car, allegedly driven by a rally participant, sped into a crowd of anti-racism protesters. Two state troopers monitoring the action died in a helicopter crash later in the day, though no foul play was suspected.

The event quickly took on enormous political importance as Democrats and Republicans alike denounced the violence and the white supremacist views espoused at the far-right rally. President Trump has also denounced the racist groups, but he suggests that anti-racism counter-demonstrators share some of the blame. On Tuesday, he said “both sides” were responsible for the bloodshed.

Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here Reply

This feature from CNN is fairly representative of the mainstream media narrative on Charlottesville.

By Eliot McLauglin

(CNN)Despite the outrage and uproar, everyone had to know the protests were coming to Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — and that they would get out of hand.

This is how we got here.

It began in February when the City Council voted to rechristen two parks named for Confederate generals and to remove a bronze statue of one of those generals, Robert E. Lee, from an eponymous downtown park.

This came on the heels of several Southern cities removing dozens of Confederate monuments from public property after a self-described white supremacist massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

The Charlottesville move met with resistance, as some residents sued, and a judge blocked the statue’s removal for six months as the matter was litigated.

The City Council voted again in April, this time agreeing to sell the statue and let the buyer remove it, CNN affiliate WVIR reported.

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The complete story of what happened in Charlottesville, according to the alt-right Reply

This is an article from Quartz, a left-leaning publication, that describes the general set of narratives that have developed in alt-right circles concerning what actually happened in Charlottesville. While this article is obviously meant as as a “look at how these assholes are trying to spin things” expose, the author makes no effort to refute the claims made by the alt-right (some of which I would agree with and some I wouldn’t). Instead, the author simply links to the article on Buzzfeed I posted today, along with a feature from CNN, as supposed evidence of “the real story.” As I have said before, the media coverage of Charlottesville some of the sloppiest I have ever seen.

By Gwynn Guilford

Quartz

The mainstream media account of the Unite the Right rally and the alt-narrative ultimately diverge regarding the weekend’s violence: Who started it, what kind occurred, who let it happen. Both tell roughly similar stories, with the perpetrator roles inverted. According to alt-right commentators, the white nationalist protesters were thrust defenseless into crowds of armed thugs, beaten, and forced to defend themselves to the extent that one of their ranks killed in self-defense.

This isn’t surprising. The theme of Unite the Right and the surrounding commentary wasn’t the superiority of whites as much as it was their victimhood. While some Unite the Right attendees certainly came armed to the teeth, many others stood just as vigilantly clutching their smartphones and selfie sticks, as if poised to capture leftist evils rained upon them.

This matters because the alt-right audience isn’t exactly tiny—Breitbart News, the most popular site of its stripe, clocked 11 million unique visitors in May, after peaking at around 45 million in 2016. Nor is it disempowered: after all, the man the alt-right sees at its most prominent ally occupies the Oval Office. But perhaps because the alt-right (a term that encompasses those with anti-establishment views to racist extremists) readership is still small compared to more mainstream outletsCNN’s monthly traffic exceeds 100 millionwriters have fostered a David-versus-Goliath solidarity with readers around a shared conviction that politicians and the mainstream media aim to take power and rights away from whites.

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Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville Reply

This article from Buzzfeed, published two days after the Charlottesville incident, remains the best account of the timeline of events that I have seen to date by a) someone who was actually there, and b) someone who is liberal to left leaning in their political biases. The principal problem I see with this article is that it starts off with the line “Yes, you can blame the Nazis,” and the proceeds to describe what sounds like a great deal of mutual combat with no clear aggressor being identified, except on the basis of ideological affiliation, i.e. the standard “Official Bad People” vs. “People with Good Intentions” narrative. In other words, a variation of the “there is no moral equivalence between a dictatorship and a democracy” argument I used to get from right-wing Reaganite hawks when I would point out how US foreign policy during the Cold War was at least as aggressive as that of the USSR, and often more so given the superior wealth and military power of the US.

By Blake Montgomery

Buzzfeed

Yes, you can blame the Nazis.

The race-fueled chaos that wracked Charlottesville, Virginia, finally came to rest on Sunday night. And the hundreds of people who spent the weekend fighting in streets — and the millions who watched them — began what has become a new American ritual: arguing about what really happened, and what a spasm of localized political violence means.

Was this an assault by racist extremists on innocent, rightly outraged Americans? Was it a clash between “many sides,” as President Trump notoriously said? Was the scale of the white supremacist threat blown out of proportion? Was the violence of the black-hooded “antifa” understated?

The answers are clearer on the ground than they are in the filter bubbles driven by fierce partisan argument on social media and cable news. They are complicated but not ambiguous. Here are a few:

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Charlottesville and the Politics of Left Hysteria 7

Spot on analysis.

The Current Momemt

The murder of an anti-fascist protestor (and the less-noted deaths of two National Guardsmen) at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has gripped the United States and many observers elsewhere. It has revived claims about the rise of a “fascist” threat in the West. This is simply hysterical, and symbolises the US left’s incapacity for reasoned political analysis, particularly since the election of Donald Trump.

The most striking aspect of the left’s hysteria over Charlottesville is its failure to understand that it won the US culture wars, not the right. By any reasonable measure, American attitudes have become steadily more liberal over time. A summary of opinion polling since the 1970s shows a “sweeping, fundamental change in norms regarding race”, with steady declines on practically every key measure of racism. Surveys on attitudes towards women reveal an identical decline in sexism. More belatedly, a similar transformation happened in attitudes towards LGBT people. Two-thirds of Americans now support gay marriage, up from just 40 percent in 2009, suggesting that campaigners for equal rights now find themselves kicking at a largely open door. The membership of vile organisations like the Ku Klux Klan has collapsed, from a peak of three to six million in the 1920s to around 6,000 today. Only 10 percent of the US public admit to supporting the “alt right” (only 4 percent “strongly”, while 83 percent say it is “unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views”. Too high and not high enough, one might say. But the fact is that the far-right is a lunatic fringe.

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Hannity: What media get wrong about Charlottesville Reply

Sean Hannity is just a neocon/Zionist/Saudi/Murdoch mouthpiece, but this is an interesting example of the response of the right-wing media to the Alt-Right/Antifa conflict. The right-wing press is usual pretty good at criticizing the left-wing of the establishment (not exactly a difficult undertaking) even if they veer off into the usual “Democrats are the real racists” silliness.

See the facts about the Charlottesville riot. You decide what they mean. 1

An interesting discussion of Charlottesville from a relatively neutral perspective. The analysis of this blogger is fairly similar to my own. Charlottesville is not an issue in which I have a horse in the race. I see the situation as one where the state simply lost control, whether deliberately or through incompetence, of a situation where two groups of statists-in-waiting (both of whom would probably create an even worse state than the one we have now) were engaged in low level fourth generation warfare conflict. I am interested in simply trying to figure out exactly what happened. My commentary on the incident thus far has been criticized by both the Left and Right for allegedly slighting their own side, which leads me to the conclusion that I am probably getting a lot of things right.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, people walking, crowd and outdoor

By Fabius Maximus

Summary: The riot at Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” event is trivial by historical standards. But it is rich with insights into modern America. This street fighting, like that of the Weimar Republic, might be a milestone on America’s path to an ugly future. Here are the facts about what happened, fairly showing both sides in action. You decide their significance. At the end you will see my proposed solution.

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Charlottesville Car Attack: Full Livestream Reply

This footage was broadcast by News2Share’s Ford Fischer live. I am inclined to respect Ford Fischer’s viewpoint because he is one of the few journalists or activists to attempt to offer a first person perspective on Charlottesville that offers any insight or depth beyond the usual “Leftist Terrorists vs. Official Bad People” narrative coming from the Left and Right.

Who Do Americans Blame for the Violence in Charlottesville? 4

What I find most interesting about this poll is that despite the common far left claims that Republicans are merely fascists and Nazis under another name, these results show that a super-majority of Republicans either blamed both sides (64%)or the far right (18%) for the melee, indicating that actual sympathy for the far right among Republicans or mainstream conservatives is actually very minimal.

By Gwynn Guilford

Quartz

Which side—the white nationalists or the counter-protesters—bears greater responsibility for the Charlottesville violence, which directly resulted in the death of a 32-year-old counter-protester? It should be a factual question. And also a moral one, considering that the demonstrators had gathered in the spirit of a homegrown terror group that lynched thousands of blacks and a foreign one that murdered around 6 million Jews.

Yet in the America of the moment, the question is a political one.

Only 18% of Republican respondents blame the white-nationalist groups for the bulk of the Charlottesville violence, according to a SurveyMonkey poll with 2,181 participants, via Axios. (Update: Note that this was not a scientific poll—here is the methodology—and may not be representative of the view of all Americans.) Some 64% think both sides share responsibility equally. Perhaps more alarmingly, only 46% of all the respondents put the blame on the white nationalists, while four in 10 condemn both sides equally.

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On Charlottesville: A Conversation with Keith Preston Reply

My interview with Millennial Transmissions.

More than any other recent conflict in current affairs that I can recall, the Unite the Right rally and subsequent clash in Charlottesville have been immensely difficult to find objective, unbiased accounts and explanations of. The mainstream media have proven to be intent on sensationalising and stupefying the incident, whilst reports on the left and right have offered almost nothing but narrow-sighted, ideological spins on the events that took place.

I reached out to Keith Preston to find out his take on the conflict, having been impressed by his own article ‘Some Initial Thoughts on Charlottesville.’ A former instructor of sociology at John Tyler Community College, Keith holds a B.A in Religious Studies and an M.A in History, with additional graduate studies in Sociology and Criminology, and is a former regional delegate for the Industrial Workers of the World. As the anarcho-pluralist and pan-secessionist mastermind behind the Attack the System blog and podcast, and author of multiple books on anarchist and anti-statist matters, I knew that with his encyclopedic knowledge of cross-spectrum political currents and organisations and his multidisciplinary approach to complicated issues that he could be relied upon to give a well-rounded, non-partisan analysis of the events that took place on that fateful weekend (or at least as solid an account as possible considering the nebulous, conflicting reports available so far).

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Charlottesville Was a Massive 4GW Failure Reply

“Failure” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I would argue that Charlottesville was the end of the Alt-Right’s opportunity to be anything other than a fringe subculture. In 4GW, the propaganda wars are the most important of wall, and the Alt-Right essentially suffered a Hiroshima attack in Charlottesville. At this point, Richard Spencer is simply the “new David Duke,” Matt Heimbach is merely the “new Tom Metzger,” and the Alt-Right generally are now the “new skinheads,” or at best the SJWs and Antifa of the Right. The Alt-Right may not have wanted it to turn out this way, but that’s how it is.  The more radical people on the Alt-Right will remain on the fringes from here on, and the more moderate people will be absorbed by the system as a kind of “racial conservatives” who will play a role similar to the religious right in terms of their relationship to mainstream conservatism.

By Titus Quinctius

Traditional Right

’m sure that a lot of folks in the alt-Right, of whatever stripe, are feeling pretty black-pilled right at this moment. As well they should, because the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville was a disaster.  There’s no way to get around that. Don’t take what I’m about to say in the post below as “punching right”. Rather, understand it as me giving some well-meaning, and I believe much needed, counsel.

What everyone who is interested in this needs to understand is that the reason the Unite the Right (UTR) rally was a failure was because it completely neglected to take into account 4GW (Fourth-Generation Warfare) principles which can very easily be applied to civilian situations remaining at conflict levels below outright armed conflict.  In fact the leadership at UTR and during the subsequent chain of events once the rally got started broke just about every rule of 4GW that could have been broken.

My advice for any serious alt-Righter of any stripe who wishes to avoid future debacles like UTR would be to first, firstFIRST read Victoria by William Lind, and then familiarize yourself with Lind’s other materials on this subject.  If you haven’t done this yet, then stop what you’re doing, alt-Right involvement-wise.  You’re only going to hurt, not help your cause.

However in the meantime until you can do this, I’ll provide a few pointers as overview.

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How Will the State Respond to Growing Antifa/Alt-Right Violence? 2

By Keith Preston

The State exists for the purpose of maintaining a monopoly over the legitimate use of violence within a particular geographical territory in order to more effectively control resources, exploit subjects, protect an artificially privileged ruling class, and expand its own power both internally and externally. The State does this while maintaining a self-legitimating ideological superstructure, and buying the loyalty of the middle class by suppressing the lower/underclass. The State is what you would get if the Mafia managed to eliminate all of its competitors, including the State itself, and consequently become a state of its own.

At times, the State will seek to maintain total control over every aspect of social life (e.g. the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, present day North Korea or Islamist regimes like ISIS, the Taliban, and Saudi Arabia, or Israel’s conduct in the occupied territories). However, most modern states allow for a fairly robust civil society to exist that may actually have the effect of affording the average person a fair amount of comfort. States of these kinds, so-called “liberal democracies,” may even encourage intense political debate within certain narrow parameters (or even fairly broad parameters). Some states will allow or even encourage a fair amount crime and disorder in order to legitimize the expansion of state power to an even greater degree (what the late paleconservative writer Samuel Francis called “anarcho-tyranny’‘). For example, isn’t it interesting that in spite of the massive police and prison systems that now exist in the United States, one third of all murders go unsolved?

However, no state can allow disorder to spiral too far out of control, or it will lose its legitimacy in the process. A state of this kind is a protection racket that continues to engage in extortion and exploitation, but can no longer offer actual protection. Hence, states tend to be very sensitive to perceived threats to their own legitimacy. At present, the violence that is taking place between the Antifa, Alt-Right, and their various allies certainly poses no threat to the state. America in 2017 is light years away from Weimar Germany in 1932. But the important question involves the issue of to what degree the State will continue allow such violence to persist, if indeed it does persist, which it may not. That remains to be seen.

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Charlottesville Once More: Left-Anarchist Keith Preston Discusses Reply

My interview with Tom Woods. Listen here.

Keith Preston, whose writing I always find interesting and challenging, wrote an excellent overview and analysis of what happened in Charlottesville last weekend. He does the impossible here: this is as dispassionate as it gets. Enjoy.

About the Guest

Keith Preston is (more or less) a left-anarchist and the author of numerous books, and operates AttackTheSystem.com.

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Article Discussed

Some Initial Thoughts on Charlottesville,” by Keith Preston

Guest’s Twitter

@attackthesystem

Previous Appearances

Ep. 677 Our Politically Correct Totalitarians
Ep. 164 Breaking Free of Left and Righ