I've written a good many polemics against skinheads, 'chavs', 'bogans', lumpenproles and antisocial misanthropes in the nationalist and racialist movement over the years and I've sounded off against them in private conversation as well. I've gone through periods where I thought that skinheads - and 'bogans' - could be of some use to the movement, only to be disappointed afterwards (usually when such-and-such a prominent representative member of the nationalist-lumpenprole class has gone and done something really, well, lumpenprole, usually something criminal and destructive (and self-destructive) after a prolonged drinking bout). How wonderful it would be, then - and this has been my thinking - if one could wave a magic wand and make them all drop out of the movement, or at least grow hair, dress normally, remove their tattoos and start behaving like decent, respectable racial comrades (volksgenossen). An outcome which would follow from this would be that decent, respectable, educated middle-class folk (not to mention the working class blue-collars who have the discipline to hold down a job) would want to join us - in fact, they'd flock to us.
If you think that the above line of reasoning sounds like Joe Owens or Nick Griffin c. 2008, you're right, except that the problem doesn't lie strictly with the 'Nazis' in the movement but with all the freaks, misfits, criminals, eccentrics, alcoholics and lumpenproles in general. The trouble is, however, that this point of view starts from the ideal and works towards the actual, and not the other way around; it takes a position - on how things ought to be - and runs the risk of turning into a dogma, and then ignores or attempts to excise any part of reality that doesn't fit in with that dogma. Neo-Nazi skinheads and 'patriot' anti-Islamist 'bogans' make up at least 50% of the Far Right activists outside of those populist and civic nationalist Far Right parties which have enjoyed success in recent elections (Rise Up Australia, Australian Liberty Alliance, Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party, Katter's Australian Party). Politics - especially Far Right politics - doesn't consist solely of running in elections, and if you are to participate in that politics, you are going to come across, sooner or latter, a 'skin' or a 'patriot'.
An old article in the British Weekly Worker tabloid, 'What the EDL is and how not to combat it' by the Trotskyite Eddie Ford, makes more or less the same point, in a roundabout way:
The organisation’s main financial backing comes from the 45-year-old businessman, Alan Lake, a computer entrepreneur - who helped set up the EDL’s website and runs a whole series of far-right sites including 4freedoms.com. Significantly, he has talked about turning the EDL into a “street army” to strike against the what he and his supporters perceive as the “rising Islamisation” of Britain. To this end he recently addressed the far-right Swedish Democrats group, telling them of the urgent need to build an “anti-Jihad” movement across Europe.
Lake boasted in Sweden that he and his friends had begun to build alliances with “football supporters”. Expounding more on this point to a, no doubt horrified, Guardian reporter, Lake declared that “we are catching a baby at the start of a gestation”, and went to state: “We have a problem with numbers. We have an army of bloggers, but that’s not going to get things done. Football fans are a potential source of support. They are a hoi-polloi that gets off their backsides and travels to a city and they are available before and after matches”.
We nationalist activists need to redefine the political and expand its scope. Political activism can include, not just campaigning in elections, but marches, demonstrations, meetings in meeting halls, concerts, even barbeques. And, as Selznick writes in his Organizational Weapon (1952), it's those who show up to these events who determine the politics there. Imagine it were nice, decent, well-behaved and respectable folk who were the ones attending the skinhead concerts and the 'patriot' demonstrations in droves: they'd determine the character of the politics there fairly quickly, and the lumpenprole elements would be forced out by sheer weight of numbers.
But, as we know, the 'decent folk' in the main can't be found at these events, nor can they be coaxed into doing so in larger numbers. But the lumpenproles, and the weird, eccentric, misanthropic and anti-social types, are nearly always there: they can be counted upon, just like the hooligans who used to attend the EDL marches when that organisation was in its prime.
But one has to draw a distinction between the politically active and inactive lumpenproles. Plenty of skinheads, for example, are content to put on a concert once or twice a year or form a prison gang, and that's it; they would not dream of showing up to a demonstration. Likewise, many of the attendees of the 'patriot' rallies in Australia from 2015 to 2016 lost interest and dropped out - perhaps they followed Joe Owens' advice and stayed home and voted for One Nation. But apathy and inertia tends to separate the wheat from the chaff, so far as radical politics is concerned. The vast majority of young students who joined Trotskyite sects such as Socialist Alternative drop out after six months or so - this is what the American ex-communist Frank S. Meyer called 'churn' - but those who remain become hardened commies, the 'cadre'. We can find equivalents in the sphere of nationalist politics: those activists who deign to merely show up to a UPF or True Blue Crew event, or even to an Australia Day nationalist barbeque, and invest the time, energy and effort required for these events, go on to form a nucleus. You could say that they metamorphose into 'cadre'.
But one might say: what a 'cadre'! These are men who look like the two fellows in the photo above (in fact, these two men are perfectly representative: the one on the left is a 'chav', the one on the right a 'skin'). That fact, when you think about it at length, can prove to be depressing. Every high-minded and decent Australian ought to be concerned with the future of the white race, or at least the well-being of their immediate community, and so should be participating in nationalist (and racialist) politics; but that brand of politics only seems to attract misfits, losers, lumpenproles... These 'bad' people in turn scare away the decent folk, and so the nationalist scene, over time, encompasses a narrower and narrower sphere.
One then, by logic, is forced to choose between two options: one can either drop out, and join the ranks of the hundreds? thousands? of Australians who have burned out (mainly because of the antics of the time-serving misfits and lumpenproles in the nationalist movement) and left; or one can stay on and attempt, futilely, to use whatever power and influence one has in the movement to purge the ranks of the freaks, eccentrics and lumpenproles.
But a third alternative exists: one can accept the reality, learn to live with it and try and work with it. Firstly we need to acknowledge that lumpenproles, inside and outside the nationalist movement, exist, and that there is a fine line between the lumpenproletariat and the proletariat. In the comments section of an old article (from 2013) on the EDL, one commentator writes:
Tommy Robinson comes across pretty much as he seems.
A bit of a football hooligan who is ”fed up” with certain sections of people in the country taking the micky. And he and his followers react in that lumpen bone-headed way. Why people get so upset about the EDL I really have no idea. They are part of the lumpen working class. Maybe if you never mix with such people they seem so alien and horrid. But if you’ve ever worked on a building site (for example) you would have come across a lot of these kinds of people. Or if you went to football matches or went to the bookmakers shop.
They are Sun and Daily Star readers. We might wish they ceased to exist – but they have always been with us.
Indeed. But then, those of us in the nationalist movement who are inclined towards socialism and anti-capitalism ought to be happy. After all, record numbers of the European working classes are voting for Le Pen and Wilders, and in the UK, members of the British working classes are joining anti-Islamic groups (which are the equivalent of our own Australian 'patriot' gangs) such as the North-West Infidels, the South East Alliance and the Pie and Mash Squad. Doesn't this make our nationalism socialist? National socialist?
It goes without saying that a historical link exists between today's 'national socialists' and the German variety. In the aforementioned article by Eddie Ford, he writes: 'It is an eminently reasonable assessment of the EDL that it has steadily becomes less ‘respectable’ and developed more of the traits of a street-fighting paramilitary outfit, whose goal - no matter how far-fetched - is to physically, violently, smash the organised left and the working class movement [that is to say, the communist movement] as a whole'. He adds hopefully: 'Though, it is vital to add, at present the EDL is a pathetic piss-pot organisation with no more than a few hundred - thoroughly disorientated - members nationally'. The Left saw the connections between the EDL and the BUF, the Brownshirts, the Blackshirts, and sees the connections between today's 'patriot' and anti-Islamist gangs and those same fascist brawlers. (The fact that our civic nationalist and anti-Islamic friends furiously deny that such a connection exists makes no difference). The social base of the NSDAP itself rested on, at the outset, two groups: university-educated youth and 'hard men' (who were more often than not returned soldiers or dropouts from the German Communist Party (the KPD) or both). The Marxists have always alleged that the latter group formed part of the lumpenproletariat. Who knows. As stated before, a fine line exists between the lumpenproletariat and the proletariat. In defining the lumpenproletariat, today's Marxists rely on Marx's book The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1852) which was written a hundred and seventy years ago and may (one might think) have become outmoded.
In all respects - in all but one (which I shall detail in a moment) - the 'patriot' and 'skin' movements resemble the fascists of the 1920s and 1930s. This isn't to say, however, that both of them can't be criticised from a nationalist point of view. They direct most of their fire at what many of us in Australia consider to be the wrong targets. The 'patriots' concentrate overly much on Islam: the real threat to the white man's racial survival on this continent comes, not from the Middle Eastern countries (or even Islamic-Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia) but from India and China. Likewise, the 'skins' and other Neo-Nazis (especially the American ones) are preoccupied almost solely with the Jewish question, whereas the Jew - while being no friend of the white man in Australia - doesn't here make himself as much of a nuisance (socially, politically, culturally, economically) as he did in the Germany of Hitler's time.
But all that can be debated later. The most glaring deficiency of both the 'skin' and 'patriot' movements is that, while both subscribe to fascist practice, if not fascist theory, both lack strong leaders, 'great men'. The NSDAP and the PNF were conceived as, among other things, a means of catapulting their respective leaders Hitler and Mussolini into power. The expectation of all the fascist movements of the time was that their leaders were prepared for, and sought, absolute political power - that they would settle for being mere leaders of a cult (i.e., William Pierce) or a trend in popular music (i.e., Ian Stuart). We in the nationalist movement today lack men of action - the Hitlers, Mussolinis, Mosleys, Degrelles... I compare a fascism without a leader to an Islam without a Muhammad.
Having said that, in conclusion, we nationalists, especially those of us of a 'fascistic' and 'Nazi' bent, should be grateful to the lumpenproletarians among us; they alone in the seventy years since the war have kept the flame of nationalism alive.